Kobe Bryant, Chess Champion?

26 Jan

 

KB24

Kobe Bryant is obviously having fun leading the Los Angelos Lakers to the best record in basketball with another superb season.  His production has been similar to last year’s MVP winning season, and with the wins piling up, one number is surprisingly down.  His minutes.  And Bryant seems to like it that way.  Thus far he is averaging three less minutes per game, something the Lakers hope to continue to do in order to keep their main weapon fresh for the playoffs.  

The extra time on the bench has proven to give Bryant more time to think.  After claiming he could be an incredibly wide receiver in the NFL, Bryant upped that by stating he could play left field chasing down fly-balls for the Dodgers. 

In a recent interview with Magic Johnson, Kobe surprised many by saying that he would trade his Olympic Gold Medal for a World Chess Federation Cup win.  “I play every day.  I get into some real battles with Phil (Jackson) on the road.”

Two weeks before the start of this NBA season, Bryant fought Norwegian prodigy, Magnus Carlsen to a draw.  In the widely pro-Norwegian crowd, Bryant demonstrated sharp skills and executed a well thought game plan, patiently baiting Carlsen, while setting up an attack from the flank.  Carlsen is rated the third best player in the world according to the Live Top List Provisional World Chess Rankings.  “Carlsen was tough, man.  He had good spacing and a very subtle plan.  But I thought I played my game, kept the tempo upbeat, and felt I was never in any real danger.  I’m happy with my performance, but disapointed the match ended in a draw.”

Bryant plans to enter the World Chess Federation Open sometime after this season.  “Last year I finished ninth.  This year the trophy is mine.”

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