Kempt

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The Chunky Sweater

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Here’s another item for your layering arsenal. Behold…the chunky sweater.

This one from Folk is rugged enough to sub in for a blazer on a warm day—or, if you’re feeling adventurous, layer underneath one—and the checker-knit merino wool gives it a chess-player casualness that’s hard to come by otherwise.

Of course, it won’t do much against the wind, but all you’ll need for that is a raincoat or a Harrington over top. And a tie probably wouldn’t hurt.

The Grandmaster

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Call it the tail end of the Fisher Boom if you want, but chess players are about to get a whole lot cooler.

In particular, we’re thinking of Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, the world’s #1 ranked chess player, the third youngest grandmaster in history, and a surprisingly promising male model. About that last one: G-Star recently brought the 19-year-old Carlsen together with Anton Corbijn for a couple shots for their fall line, and he came off looking like a cross between a boxer and an unusually sartorial Russian gangster.

In short, he’s a compelling dude, and the tortured chess player vibe is only part of it. Later in the year they’ll be sponsoring a Magnus-headlined chess tournament, but the real surprise is just how much cultural water a chess prodigy can draw nowadays. Rza would be proud.

The Fischer Boom

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If you didn’t recognize the well-dressed man in the picture, he’s the grandmaster of grandmasters, Bobby Fischer, and you may be hearing a lot more about him in the months ahead.

Word leaked today that Tobey Maguire’s producing a film version of the Fischer’s 1972 match with Boris Spassky—quite possibly the most dramatic moment of his career—and it might just the posthumous revival that chess’s most famous disappearing act needs.

In praise of Mr. Fischer»

Clearing the Mind

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Doping has been a known staple of Soviet sports since the famous Drago-Balboa fight, but lately even chess has come under suspicion.

Der Spiegel (via Neatorama) is seizing on Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk’s refusal to take a drug test at the recent Chess Olympiad as reason to suspect the chess world of being driven by something more sinister than just caffeine and neurosis. They even have a picture of him suspiciously fingering his nose!

Why we aren’t worried»