This has been a fun week in sport, what with England slaughtered at the Gabbatoir and Anand sliced up by Carlsen’s endgame magic. The latter games were fascinating if not necessarily exciting per se; consisting more of slow grinds rather than Kasparov style flourishes. Speaking of Kasparov, following Andrew Gelman, one defines the Kasparov number as the length of the shortest (ordered) chain of people (starting at you and ending at Kasparov) such that each person has beaten his or her successor at a game of chess. Let me also define the weaker “Draw Kasparov” number where one now allows either wins or draws. Being a little light on official tournament play myself, I have felt free to suitably relax the requirement of where the games take place.
The best upper bounds I could come up with for my Kasparov number are around 6, which is probably pretty close to the right answer. However, my “draw” number against Kasparov is 2: I drew* with the British GM Tony Miles in 1991, and Miles’ best result against Kasparov was a draw (he was crushed by Kasparov 5.5-0.5 in 1986, but that 0.5 point counts!)
*OK, this game took place as part of a 40 player simultaneous exhibition, but that still counts!