So it might not be Kasparov at all.
I think the top 2 candidates are Svidler and Kasparov. Even though some suspect it might be more than one personality
I personally believe that Kasparov left his account to somebody.
There is an interesting story when Kasparov played his first blitz games over the internet on ICC. He wanted some practice before his blitz match against Svidler. So he played anonymuosly with other anonymous GM's. And by pure coincidence he played a series of games against Svidler! Both reconized each other just by their playing style! You can read the full story here.
So it is very likely that other GM's on playchess know who Raffael is, without anyone telling them his name.
And yes you brought up a good point about Raffael not playing just observing, actually..he/she hasn't played for a while just observed. So yes it still may in fact be Kasparov!
I had an interesting thought a few months ago, not sure if it meant anything...well...Raffael is the first name of Nadal, and Kasparov keeps mentioning tennis in many of his interviews even the one relating to the recent Karpov rapid match.
Does it mean anything?
For example, on the first day of Kasparov vs. Karpov match, top Georgian player Baadur Jobava (under nickname Oligarcks - or something like that) was giving interesting and insightful commentaries about the game in the chat. His commentaries were much appreciated, for example in game 2 he immediatelly pointed out that white should play in the center because play on the queenside wont bring him anywhere because of this and that. Kasparov's conclusion was the same and moments later he played 13.Rad1 with e4 in the next move.
On the 2nd day Oligarcks was again logged in, but gave no commentaries. Then some users started "begging" him to say something interesting about the game. After that "Oligarcks" explained that real Oligarcks is not there and that he is Oligarcks friend. He said that he is also Georgian and that he is an IM.
And such things happen quite frequently. It's not always the same person who is logged in with some account.
It's not like during the Presiden't Cup when Raffael was actually playing, which automatically disqualifies Anand, Kramnik, Karjakin, Shirov and all top Azeris. Unless it was Raffael's friend who logged in and played, who happens to be a really strong player too :) :) :)
There is always room for speculations and conspiracy theories ;)
Time for me to put this mystery to bed once and for all. Raffael is and has always been none other than the late great Robert James "Bobby" Fischer. Whilst he was still with us he was logging on from Iceland and playing himself. Since his death on January 17, 2008 the Raffael Playchess user name has been operated by a spiritualist medium who goes into trance during the game and "receives" the moves from the spirit of Bobby Fischer. I happen to know this individual personally and up to now he has wanted to keep this a secret for fear of ridicule but has now decided to go public and asked me to post this on his behalf. By the way when not in trance he is no better than a strong club player.
Sorry for killing off one of the longest running mysteries in chess but at least now we all know the truth.
>this is interesting - http://www.tigerlilov.com/about.html
I do not see (in this text) on what basis he assert that "Raffael" (maybe..) is => Kasparov, I guess he just assumes it, because AFAIK, no one of the grandmasters has not publicly declared himself as Raffael...
>Who is Raffael?
The answer is very simple (much simpler than all of you expected ;) , he-he...), "Raffael" is Vaganian! (I'm sorry if I broke your fantasies... ;) )
He is (still) very, very strong and creative in blitz-games...
That's All Folks! :)
My eyesight is not so good ;)
Raffael is my father? Didn't know he even plays chess over internet. Didn't know he can even operate a computer ;)
> My father!?!!?
Are you soon of GK?!??!
Must be some other GK ;)
Since that point of view, this could be a reason to enter in Playchess in Valencia's prime time while Kasparov was playing. But on the other hand, the fact that he said "thanks" and ";-)" after the game finished (Kasparov's brilliant victory), I think really proves that Anand, Magnus and the others cannot be Raffael.
So, for me the answer is pretty clear!
> My father denies of being Raffael. In fact he denies of knowing what playchess is and to ever touch the computer!
I wonder that kind of Father - spiritual or mentor father or imaginary?
> he denies of knowing what playchess is
and he played on playchess.com http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=892
he even watches important games on line and made comments. His handle is Garry Kasparov - with VIP status (even though he plays as Raffael)
There was a day he was playing for one of chessbase staff during one of his visits to chessbase. The guy was around 2500 and GK made the rating to rise steadily after some winning streaks. I couldn't get the link to this old story - may be someone there will help us with the link.
> to ever touch the computer!
and he played 3D-Fritz, 'uses fritz regularly for analysis' (old interview), authored many DVD's training tools, and the picture in http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=5742
I am still wondering that kind of son - father relationship?
however he has the same initials, so it was a joke
"VK (my uncle?) said it is GK."
My father is GK
So what exactly is your problem?
>he even watches important games on line and made comments. His handle is Garry Kasparov - with VIP status (even though he plays as Raffael)
"There was a day he was playing for one of chessbase staff during one of his visits to chessbase. The guy was around 2500 and GK made the rating to rise steadily after some winning streaks. I couldn't get the link to this old story - may be someone there will help us with the link."
So I found the link you were commenting:
The last time he played in Playchess was back in December 2010, so is a very good probability he will return back to play in the site soon...
IM Valery Lilov (Playchess handle Tiger Lilov) has cleared this up whilst giving a training session on Playchess saying he has inside proof that Raffael is Garry Kasparov. Someone recorded it and posted it on you tube. he is a well respected member of the chess community and I very much doubt he would have said this publicly unnless certain. Listen from 1.00 onwards:
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