Because every now and then, I encounter an example of something humanity does that fiction just can never match. Witness this article, about a hot Chess Grandmaster. Who needs Extreme Beach Volleyball? Give me extreme King’s Knight to E4 instead, please.
It just makes me happy. Not only because of what she’s doing — raising the interest in chess, attracting new fans, and dispelling some of the stuffy image of the sport — but because of the matter-of-fact quote she delivers at the end of the article.
She has dismissed claims her modelling exploits distract people from the intellectual importance of chess.
She says: “Modelling is not a job. It is just a hobby, like reading books.
” I want people to see there is a fun side to chess. It can be made as exciting as soccer or tennis. Things are changing. I am clever, so I can play chess; and I am not so ugly, so I can model.”
That’s terrific in my book, what an intelligent answer. It also makes me suspect that Russia has some much more intelligent and better-spoken models than we do. It’s almost cliche to drag out the youtube Ms. South Carolina video clip at this point, but in ten years if someone’s reading this entry, they might want to know what I’m talking about.
But what I really dig about Alexandra Kosteniuk is that if you wrote the super-beautiful model who is also a Chess Grandmaster and very smart in a book….you would be laughed off the shelves. You would be declared a Mary Sue writer and mocked for your super-sexy-super-smart-super-everything heroine.
I always like it when real life completely fails to following docilely along with the rules of fiction. It just cheers me up when wild cliches work beautifully in real life.
And now, I’ve gotta go finish reading a God in the Machine episode, and get writing.