Reading Garry Kasparov’s autobiography ‘Child of Change’

Reading it, it doesn’t surprise me at all that former world chess champion Garry Kasparov majored in English (as a foreign language) when he attended college in his native Azerbaijan. His English is better than that of most Americans.

garry kasparov

Some consider Garry Kasparov the world’s all-time greatest chess player.

Including, admittedly, mine.

Kasparov’s book is so far a fascinating read. His full name is now Garry Kimovich Kasparov, but apparently it was originally Garik Kimovich Weinstein. He was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and was the son of an Azerbaijani mother (who, herself, was of Armenian descent) and a Russian Jewish father. Kasparov’s father died when he was young, and since his mother’s Kasparian family did not have any males to carry on the name, he chose to do so and Russified Kasparian to Kasparov.

I often have thought the key to success in life is find people you admire (for good reasons) and read about them. Learn from them.

Perhaps something else about Gospodin Kasparov that appeals to me is that he is well-read and well-traveled and very active. Those are three things I aspire greatly to. He notes how much English literature he’s read but marvels at how few Americans have read Russian literature extensively.

It’s not the fastest reading book in the world, but it’s an enjoyable read so far.

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Poems on pens, style, clouds, a pretty lady, odes and wisdom

9-18-2011 — Drums and Pens

In a magazine
I saw an
Drum kit.
Only two hands and two legs
Yet so many
Cymbals and hi-hat.
What drums, cymbals, kick drums, hi-hat.
Why, how they are used
Depend on
The song, the tempo.
I have
Black, blue, red, purple
Papermate Profits, Silhouette Elites, 300 RTs
And a few Parkers.
Waht, which, how, when, why
Depends on
What’s being written, how, why
And, sometimes,
It’s all up to my mood.

9-21-2011 S.E. Hinton and 60s to 70s style

When S.E. Hinton wrote
That Was Then, This Is Now,
And observed
Greasers combing their hair over their foreheads
And Socs dressing to look poor,
For me,
This 1971 observation
The transition
Of 1960s
To 1970s Style.

9-22-2011 — Dirty Clouds

Dirty billows of cotton
Fill the blue sky
How they must be having fun
As they slowly float by
Not a care in the world
Atop the world
As they look at us and observe
They lack the nerve
To leave their home
And among us roam.

9-25-2011 — The Beautiful, Unhappy Woman

The thin,
Curly blond-haired,
Beautiful woman
Asks for cigarettes
Her once-medium-high voice
Now a little hoarse,
Gravelly, upper range.
She wears a ring
And her eyes
Avoid her smile.
Sometimes I wonder
If smoking
Is the result
Of that piece of metal she wears
Of the eyes that won’t smile.

9-25-2011 — Ode to the Ode

You always work so hard
Paying homage to others.
It’s time
For you to be recognized
I honor you, Ode.

9-25-2011 — Chinese and American Wisdom

In the land called
A wise person once observed:
“Failure is the mother of success.”
Fast forward a millennia or so.
In the land called America
(Or, in 中文, 美国)
A somewhat wise writer said:
“Life is a chess match.
“Always think at least
“Ten moves ahead
“When making important decisions.”

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