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EDITOR’S LETTER

EDITOR’S LETTER
EDITOR’S LETTER C onfession time. I used to work as an English teacher in Seoul, South

C onfession time. I used to work as an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea. The students ranged from ‘tiny’ to ‘quite small indeed’, and I was there ostensibly to teach them English, but in reality I

was there to babysit them. The kids seemed quite fond of me, cheerfully shouting Korean phrases at me. It was only later I realised they were calling me ‘angry man’ or ‘monster teacher’. There were nice moments, too. Like the three-year-old with the face of a snowman who would offer me some of her juice, every day, without fail. When I would refuse, she would hug me and waddle off smiling. Then one day I accepted and drank some of her juice. She looked stunned, then burst into tears.

I learned nothing from the incident, except that I should not be put in charge of children. Yet children are who we celebrate in this issue — their creativity, their innocence, their belief that anything is possible. Akinori Oishi captures that dream- like state in his cover, illustrating some of Emirates’ destinations in his playful style.

His creations are dotted through the magazine as well. See if you can spot them all. We take a look at the life and legacy of Bobby Fischer, a child prodigy and troubled genius who transformed the world of chess. We also wonder if Disney’s myriad theme parks are relevant in an age of Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone. Finally, we head to Thailand where we showcase some rather amazing young fighters. Enjoy the issue.

Emirates takes care to ensure that all facts published herein are correct. In the event
Emirates takes care to ensure that all facts published herein are correct. In
the event of any inaccuracy please contact The Editor.Any opinion expressed
is the honest belief of the author based on all available facts. Comments and
facts should not be relied upon by the reader in taking commercial, legal,
financial or other decisions.Articles are by their nature general and specialist
advice should always be consulted before any actions are taken.
PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE
Fax:(+971 4) 282 4436
Telephone: (+971 4) 282 4060
Email: emirates@motivate.ae
84,649
COPIES
Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai, UAE

CONOR@OPENSKIESMAGAZINE.COM

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Obaid Humaid Al Tayer GROUP EDITOR & MANAGING PARTNER Ian Fairservice GROUP SENIOR

SENIOR EDITOR EDITOR Conor Purcell

ART DIRECTOR CHIEF SUB EDITOR ae FEATURE WRITER SENIOR PRODUCTION MANAGER S Sunil Kumar PRODUCTION MANAGER C Sudhakar GENERAL MANAGER, GROUP SALES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER SENIOR ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER

ae; ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER Murali Narayanan ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS FOR EMIRATES: Byrne CONTRIBUTORS: Axis Maps, COVER ILLUSTRATION by Akinori Oishi MASTHEAD DESIGN

EDITOR

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES

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CONTENTS

CONTENTS

AUGUST 2011

CONTENTS AUGUST 2011 DENMARK ’S LEGOLAND IS GIVEN THE ONCE OVER (P21)… WE TAKE AN ABSTRACT

DENMARK’S LEGOLAND IS GIVEN THE ONCE OVER (P21)… WE TAKE AN

DENMARK ’S LEGOLAND IS GIVEN THE ONCE OVER (P21)… WE TAKE AN

ABSTRACT LOOK AT THE INFLIGHT MEAL (P22)… EUROPE’S TOP TOY

ABSTRACT LOOK AT THE INFLIGHT MEAL (P22)… EUROPE ’S TOP TOY

STORES GET TO SELL THEMSELVES ON TWITTER PITCH (P25) WE RUN

STORES GET TO SELL THEMSELVES ON TWITTER PITCH ( P 2 5 ) … WE RUN

THE RULE OVER A UNIQUE CHILDREN’S BOOK (P27)… WHY DO KIDS’

THE RULE OVER A UNIQUE CHILDREN’S BOOK (P27)… WHY DO KIDS’

MOVIES HAVE TO BE SO BRUTAL? WE WATCH BAMBI FOR ANSWERS

(P32)… WAEL AL SAYEGH WONDERS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EMIRATI

(P32)… WAEL AL SAYEGH WONDERS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EMIRATI

S P I R I T (P37)… WE JOURNEY TO SHANGHAI TO GAWK AT THE

SPIRIT (P37)… WE JOURNEY TO SHANGHAI TO GAWK AT THE

S P I R I T (P37)… WE JOURNEY TO SHANGHAI TO GAWK AT THE
CITY’S FASHIONISTAS (P42)… THE TRADITIONAL SWEET SHOP IS
CITY’S FASHIONISTAS (P42)… THE TRADITIONAL SWEET SHOP IS

CITY’S FASHIONISTAS (P42)… THE TRADITIONAL SWEET SHOP IS

CITY’S FASHIONISTAS (P42)… THE TRADITIONAL SWEET SHOP IS

UNDERGOING A REVIVAL. WE VISIT LONDON TO SUCK AND CHEW

(P46)… ARE DISNEY’S THEME PARKS STILL RELEVANT? WE EXAMINE

THEIR PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE (P54) CRAZY, GIFTED AND

THEIR PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ( P 5 4 ) … CRAZY, GIFTED AND
THEIR PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ( P 5 4 ) … CRAZY, GIFTED AND

ULTIMATELY DOOMED, BOBBY FISCHER WAS THE CHESS WORLD’S

GREAT WHITE HOPE. SO WHAT HAPPENED? (P66) THE LITTLE

GREAT WHITE HOPE. SO WHAT HAPPENED? ( P 6 6 ) … T H E L

PRINCE IS ONE OF THE GREAT CHILDREN’S BOOKS, HAVING SOLD MORE

THAN 80 MILLION COPIES. WE PUBLISH AN ENCHANTING EXTRACT

ESCAPEPOVERTY. WE SHOWCASE BANGKOK’S YOUNG FIGHTERS (P88)

ESCAPEPOVERTY. WE SHOWCASE BANGKOK’S YOUNG FIGHTERS ( P 8 8 ) …

CONTRIBUTORS

CONTRIBUTORS
CONTRIBUTORS AKINORI OISHI: After winning a 2001 MILIA award, Akinori worked at the creative design studio

AKINORI OISHI: After winning a 2001 MILIA award, Akinori worked at the creative design studio Teamchman in France. Today, he is an independent artist and has worked on major animation TV projects for Coca-Cola and Nickelodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba in the US.

DAVID KOENIG: David is the foremost authority on Walt's Magic Kingdom, penning a monthly column for MousePlanet.com and four books on Disney, including the best-selling Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland.

MARK POWELL: Mark’s writing has appeared regularly in Total Film, as well as Official Playstation Magazine, and Creative Times. Formerly a senior staff writer at Metro newspaper. He now lives in Manchester where he gets rained on a lot.

JASON NESS : Based in Canada, Jason has worked for a variety of editorial and commercial projects in Cuba, Europe and Southeast Asia. His series on Muay Thai was inspired by his love of boxing and of the Thai variation of the sport.

CRAIG REDMAN: Craig is an Australian-born illustrator currently living in New York. He has worked with clients such as Nike, Apple, Vogue, Converse, MTV and VH1. Craig has had two books published, and exhibited across the world, most notably at the Louvre.

INTRO

P. child prodigies

P. 46 london’s best sweet shop

P. New York toys

DEER HUNTER WHY CHILDREN’S MOVIES HAVE TO BE SO FULL DO OF TRAUMA? P32
DEER
HUNTER
WHY
CHILDREN’S
MOVIES
HAVE
TO BE SO
FULL DO
OF
TRAUMA?
P32
LEGO LAND OUR MAN IN DENMARK’S MOST FAMOUS EXPORT MANAGES TO CELEBRATE ITS HERITAGE IN

LEGO LAND

OUR MAN IN

DENMARK’S MOST FAMOUS EXPORT MANAGES TO CELEBRATE ITS HERITAGE IN SCANDINAVIAN STYLE

S ince LEGOLAND opened 43 years ago in Billund, Denmark, 44 million people

have passed through its gates. Last year, the number of visitors increased to 1.7 million, making LEGOLAND the most popular Danish tourist attraction outside of Copenhagen. It’s a remarkable statistic, all stemming from one man’s creation:

colourful interlocking bricks that can be put together and taken apart again. That man was Ole Kirk Christiansen, and those six, eight-knobbed bricks can be combined in an amazing 915,103,765 ways. This very Danish creation is now a worldwide phenomenon, with every person on Earth owning, on average, 52 LEGO bricks. LEGOLAND came about as a natural extension of a 1960’s exhibition of various LEGO toys. The park plays a major part in all Danes’ childhoods, and its quirky appeal shows no sign of waning:

visitor numbers are rising and the park continues to expand. It has more than tripled in size since it opened in 1968 and the park continuously introduces new attractions. This summer sees 2,000

Star Wars models on show, where

visitors can press buttons to activate various scenes. Miniland is where it all began. Famous monuments and small cities from all over the world built in LEGO in a scale of 1:20 and 1:40 dot the area. The park is divided into sections built around themes including Pirate land, The King’s Castle, an undersea world, an ancient Egyptian temple, Legoredo, a Western-themed town and Duplo land, targeted at toddlers. The park offers 50 attractions such as mini-trains, roller coasters, water rides, 4D movies, and a Traffic School that teaches basic driving rules — where kids drive LEGO cars and can earn a driver’s license. It is this constant expansion and innovation that has seen LEGOLAND stay relevant in a world where kids spend more time indoors than out. It is also a very ‘hands on’ park, where children get to do more than just sit in rides. Take for example LEGO City, which contains an indoor robo-coaster where visitors can build their own roller coaster. More traditional thrills are on offer at Knight’s Kingdom, where a roller coaster named The Dragon sends

Dorte Raahave is a journalist based in Copenhagen.

young bodies hurtling past LEGO castles, knights and dragons. The park also manages to eschew overt commercialism to a large degree. Although LEGO branding is obviously everywhere and the world’s largest LEGO shop is on site, there is little hard sell. LEGOLAND is a very European, or possibly Scandinavian, amusement park in that sense. The overall vibe is relaxed. Children run by laughing, the sound of water can be heard everywhere, and queues are small, except during the height of the summer. Emil Eken, a 10-year-old Norwegian boy, has travelled to LEGOLAND from his home, close to the Arctic Circle, This is his third and last day in the park: “The best experience was trying the Traffic School and getting my driver’s license,” which he proudly shows me, his photo emblazoned on the front. Although there are now parks in the UK, Germany and the US, the original Danish location best sums up Ole Kirk Christiansen’s invention — give kids the tools, and let their imaginations do the rest. And a wander around this Danish ‘town’ will bring out the big kid in everyone.

their imaginations do the rest. And a wander around this Danish ‘town’ will bring out the
22
22

WWW.YGORMAROTTA.COM

|

ILLUSTRATION: YGOR MAROTTA

WWW.YGORMAROTTA.COM | ILLUSTRATION: YGOR MAROTTA 23

TWITTER PITCH

EUROPEAN

TOY SHOPS

Every month we profile a number of venues in a different city, country or continent. The catch? The companies must be on Twitter and must tell us in their own words what makes them so special. This month, we feature Europe’s best toy stores. If you want to get involved, follow us at:

www.twitter.com/openskiesmag

to get involved, follow us at: www.twitter.com/openskiesmag HAMLEY’s The greatest toy store in the world! Play
to get involved, follow us at: www.twitter.com/openskiesmag HAMLEY’s The greatest toy store in the world! Play

HAMLEY’s

The greatest toy store in the world! Play a part in the magic and theatre. You definitely haven’t experienced toys until you visit Hamleys! www.twitter.com/HamleysToys

Sixxa

Store

Sixxa Store Vienna, located in Vienna’s lively Neubau area, offers a wide selection of urban designer toys, books and streetwear! www.twitter.com/sixxastore

Toykio A concept toy store in the Japanese district of Düsseldorf with a gallery, coffee
Toykio
A concept toy store in the Japanese
district of Düsseldorf with a gallery,
coffee bar with healthy snacks and
shop under one roof.
www.twitter.com/www _ toykio _ com
Kidrobot
Iksentrik

Founded in 2002, Kidrobot is the world’s premier designer and retailer of limited edition art toys and apparel. www.twitter.com/kidrobot

Based in Bath, we have a veritable treasure-trove of goodies sure to please your inner child and stun the naysayers into awed submission. www.twitter.com/iksentrik

BOOKED

BOOKED EDWARD GOREY — THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES A is for Amy who fell down the stairs.

EDWARD GOREY — THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES

A is for Amy who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears. C is

for Clara who wasted away. D

is

sleigh. Oh yes, The Gashlycrumb Tinies is no ordinary children’s book; in fact it is debatable if it

for Desmond thrown out of a

is a children’s book at all. For

sure, the main characters (the

‘tinies’) are all children, but they all meet their demise in bizarre and unusual ways. The writer and illustrator, the late Chicago native Edward Gorey, has a very warped sense of humour. He also has a brilliant eye for the absurd, and this is, in effect, a parody of the happy-go-lucky children’s books that pervade the market. His line drawings have an almost Victorian feel, showing the children just before their untimely deaths (G is for George smothered under a rug.

H

This is laugh out loud funny, at

is for Hector done in by a thug).

least if your sense of humour is in any way twisted. Gorey weaves

magic spell over the traditional children’s book and ends up with something close to genius.

a

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1997

close to genius . a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1997 ROOM 1302 ST. REGIS SAN FRANCISCO, USA
close to genius . a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1997 ROOM 1302 ST. REGIS SAN FRANCISCO, USA
ROOM 1302 ST. REGIS SAN FRANCISCO, USA INTERNET SPEED: 1MB, $15 per day PILLOWS: Four
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COMPLIMENTARY SNACKS: Fruit
TOILETRY BRAND: Luxe
DAILY NEWSPAPER: San Francisco
Chronicle
EXTRAS: Town & Country, Dwell,
Bespoke, CD/DVD player
BUSINESS CENTRE: Yes
VIEW: 4.5/5
RATE: From $400
WWW.STARWOODHOTELS.COM/ STREGIS
There’s something wonderfully oh-so-
hip about San Francisco, with its mix of
ageing hippies and Silicon Valley cool
kids milling around against its backdrop
of Victorian and modern architecture
and rolling hills. Hip, but not to the
point of annoyance — it’s certainly one
of those ‘we could live here’ cities,
managing to tick more than its fair
share of life’s must-have boxes. Much
the same can be said for the St Regis
San Francisco; a bespoke hotel housed
in a 40-storey tower in the SOMA area
of the city. Resplendent with the usual
five-star amenities, including cute
slide screen glass bathroom walls. It
boasts sweeping city views, two
top-notch restaurants and a Remède
spa and indoor infinity pool. It also
adjoins the San Francisco Museum Of
Modern Art, and the Museum Of The
African Diaspora. Like we said, hip.

MAPPED

TORONTO

The financial heart of an expansive country like Canada has to be pumping 24 /7, and Toronto takes on the challenge with gusto. Hard workers with a sense of humour, sophisticated but never stuffy, these city dwellers have finessed the perfect work/life balance. A multicultural mosaic of a metropolis, it caters to those with a hunger for the arts as well as more conventional gourmands. Stephanie Plentl discovers what makes Toronto tick.

HOTELSStephanie Plentl discovers what makes Toronto tick. WWW.HG2.COM   1. The Hazelton 2. The Drake 3.

WWW.HG2.COM

discovers what makes Toronto tick. HOTELS WWW.HG2.COM   1. The Hazelton 2. The Drake 3. The
discovers what makes Toronto tick. HOTELS WWW.HG2.COM   1. The Hazelton 2. The Drake 3. The
 

1.

The Hazelton

2. The Drake

3. The Ritz-Carlton

4. The Thompson

RESTAURANTS 

 
 

5.

Buca

6. Lee

7. Guu Izakaya

8. The Black Hoof

BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES
BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES
BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES
BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES
BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES
BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES
BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES
BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES
BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 10. Amber 11. Spice Route 12. The Dakota Tavern GALLERIES

BARS / CLUBS 9. Muzik 9. Muzik

10. Amber

11. Spice Route

12. The Dakota Tavern

GALLERIES 13. Mira Goddard 13. Mira Goddard

14. Stephen Bulger

15. Corkin Gallery

16. Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation

MAPPED

TORONTO

HOTELS 1 THE HAZELTON 2 THE DRAKE 3 THE RITZ-CARLTON 4 THE THOMPSON Oozing masculine
HOTELS
1 THE HAZELTON
2 THE DRAKE
3 THE RITZ-CARLTON
4 THE THOMPSON
Oozing masculine chic,
this is the best hotel in the
chi-chi Yorkville area. With
five-star services and a see-
and-be-seen restaurant/
bar, the glamour here is
palpable. A favourite with
visiting celebrities.
The cultural nucleus of
the cool Queen West
area, this boutique
hotel caters to bright
young things: alfresco
cocktail bar, stylish, chic
restaurant and very
funky, modern rooms.
The first foray for the
brand into Canada and
the first five-star hotel in
downtown Toronto. Luxe
amenities and attentive
staff are to be expected,
but the 23,000 sq ft
super-spa defies belief.
Modern and minimal,
fashionistas check in
here to be checked out.
With a 360° rooftop bar/
pool and an outpost of
New York’s Scarpetta
restaurant on the ground
floor, this is all glitz.
RESTAURANTS 5 BUCA 6 LEE 7 GUU IZAKAYA 8 THE BLACK HOOF You’ll find authentic
RESTAURANTS
5 BUCA
6 LEE
7 GUU IZAKAYA
8 THE BLACK HOOF
You’ll find authentic Italian
food – grandma’s vinegar
has been added for 30
years – in an achingly
cool but casual space with
high ceilings and exposed
brick. Its King West locale
Celebrity chef Susur Lee’s
Asian-inspired cuisine
seduces the senses
with its taste, fragrance
and beauty. Attractive
clientele and an elegant
environment suits the
A charcuterie that’s not
is a social hot spot.
trendy King West address.
This Japanese bar and
snack-stop is crazy and
chaotic, but fabulous fun.
Classics like sashimi and
black cod sit beside more
adventurous Tokyo tapas.
Sakes, beer and wine fuel
the lively atmosphere.
for the faint hearted,
this nose-to-tail dining
experience has amused
the locals who stampede
here. Think Tongue
on Brioche and Raw
Horsemeat Sandwich.
BARS/CLUBS 9 MUZIK 10 AMBER 11 SPICE ROUTE 12 THE DAKOTA TAVERN A vast 41,000
BARS/CLUBS
9 MUZIK
10 AMBER
11 SPICE ROUTE
12 THE DAKOTA TAVERN
A vast 41,000 sq ft party
haven that explodes
A preppy Yorkville bar that
persists in attracting the
über-selective, smart set, its
cachet is the clapperboard
rooftop patio replete with
DJ. The door policy is
strict, so make sure you are
dressed to impress.
For an exotic escapade,
this Asian-inspired bar/
restaurant is unique in
the city. Cocktails and
sake are served from a
bar with a 16ft waterfall,
and the terrace features a
pond of lily pads and koi.
A shack-chic bluegrass
every Saturday night,
this stunning megaclub
heaves with glamour and
gloss. In the summer it
transfers to the garden
and swimming pool.
bar that instantly livens
up any bar crawl, this
basement saloon doles
out mint julep cocktails
and beer. You’ll find an
eclectic crowd who can’t
resist a good hoedown.
GALLERIES 13 MIRA GODDARD 14 STEPHEN BULGER 15 CORKIN GALLERY 16 YDESSA HENDELES Sprawled over
GALLERIES
13
MIRA GODDARD
14
STEPHEN BULGER
15
CORKIN GALLERY
16
YDESSA HENDELES
Sprawled over three
floors featuring paintings,
sculpture, prints and
photographs, this
Yorkville gallery is one of
the largest in Canada. A
stellar collection of visual
artists show here.
Situated in the
artsy Queen West
neighbourhood,
this small gallery
showcases more than
15,000 photographs
by international and
Canadian photographers.
This 10,000 sq ft
contemporary art gallery
in a converted tankhouse
in the city’s cultured
Distillery District, exhibits
photography, sculpture,
video installations and a
variety of art work.
ART FOUNDATION
Canadian philanthropist
Dr Ydessa Hendeles owns
all the works exhibited
in
this stunning gallery
set in a former uniform
factory. Open on
Saturdays only.

FLICK

CELLULOID DISSECTED
CELLULOID DISSECTED

MARK POWELL WONDERS WHY CHILDREN’S MOVIES HAVE TO BE SO DISTURBING

I f you’ve ever been charged with

the vaguely Sisyphean task of

keeping a minor entertained

for a rainy afternoon, the DVD shelf might well have been your first port of call. A cabinet lined with gaudy animated adventures is effectively a sort of survival kit for childminders:

bung a disc in, shove a juice box in their hand, and suddenly you’re off the hook for a couple of blissful hours. It’s so easy, it almost feels like cheating. And, in a sense, it is. Mind you, we’re unlikely to get away with such a shameless lack of hands-on effort — if kids’ films have taught us anything over the last 50 years, it’s that they’re pretty much up there with matches, bleach and permanent markers in terms of

items no curious child should ever be left alone with. It doesn’t matter how endearingly fluffy the main protagonist is, or how numbingly cheery the opening sing-along may appear: sooner or later some horrifying fate is going to befall a talking critter, and the next 20 or so tear-stained, lip-quivering bedtimes will be spent fielding increasingly weighty questions about it from the rattled youngster in question. The predominance of trauma in children’s movies is by no means a new phenomenon. Indeed, the annals of ‘family’ film history (just like those of classic fairy tales) are strewn with the emotional wreckage of countless distressing scenarios. Disney, of course, has long been

at the forefront of the ‘scarring- kids-for-life’ industry: having softened up Second World War- era infants with the wrenching mother/baby separation scene in Dumbo (1941), the following year saw Bambi deliver perhaps the most devastating emotional sucker-punch ever portrayed in an animated feature. Children’s films have been rehashing the same formula ever since. Disney are by no means unique in plumping repeatedly for this tactic — every memorable kids’ movie from The Wizard Of Oz (1939) to Shark Tale (2004) via Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), The NeverEnding Story (1984) and Beethoven (1992) has pivoted around some deeply

proffered is that, by encouraging young viewers to explore issues of violence, terror and loss

proffered is that, by encouraging young viewers to explore issues of violence, terror and loss in a cartoon/ fantasy environment, children’s films provide early blueprints for encounters with similar real-life challenges further down the line. Indeed, since we can’t forever cushion young people from these darker facets of adult life, it seems reasonable to try to influence the ways in which they’ll relate to them. But is that really the job of the movie studios? And is it really what we are aiming for when we plonk a child down with Toy Story 3 for an afternoon? Either way, we’d better plonk ourselves down alongside them. Regardless of whether we see trauma in children’s films as a tool for teaching

important life lessons, or merely a key ingredient in a thrilling yarn, we need to be ready with answers when the questions about Bambi’s mum (or Buzz Lightyear) start reeling off faster than the closing credits. And, if we’re not sure we have the answers to hand, maybe it’s time to revisit a few of the Disney classics that left us a little shaken in our own childhoods — after all, there’s clearly more at stake in learning to process our early film experiences than simply looking a bit of a Dumbo in front of our children.

simply looking a bit of a Dumbo in front of our children. Relive your childhood memories

Relive your childhood memories (and decide if our film writer is right) with our selection of Disney Classics on ice throughout August.

harrowing turn of events that threatened to forever trample the hopes and dreams of any youngster within ogling range. In fact, dragging young audiences to the razor edge of a dizzying emotional precipice seems almost a prerequisite for any family film hoping to achieve classic status. The potential effects of these dalliances with peril are hotly debated by child psychologists, although precisely why such flirtations with pre-teen horror are deemed necessary at all has been rather less commonly queried. Various attempted justifications do exist, which will vary depending on your level of scepticism. Perhaps the most commonly

SKYPOD

SKYPOD UK DJ D AN GREENPEACE GIVES US HIS FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S TRACKS. HTTP:// SOUNDCLOUD.COM/ DANGREENPEACE SLICK

UK DJ D AN GREENPEACE GIVES US HIS FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S TRACKS. HTTP:// SOUNDCLOUD.COM/ DANGREENPEACE

SLICK RICK — CHILDREN’S STORY An obvious title for the Children’s issue, but this track was one of the first to introduce narrative into rapping, an art form mainly known for rhyming ‘hotel’ with ‘motel’ until then.

BABY HUEY — HARD TIMES This single was taken from Huey’s only album, released after his untimely death in 1970. It’s dubbed ‘Psychedelic

Soul’, but to me it’s good old fashioned funk. Poignant lyrics, hard hitting drums and

a voice befitting of a man who

weighed over 300lbs, this is a stone cold classic.

man who weighed over 300lbs, this is a stone cold classic. SWAY — LITTLE DEREK Sway

SWAY — LITTLE DEREK Sway is one of the

most talented lyricists in the UK hip hop scene and this track provides a snapshot of his life from being

and this track provides a snapshot of his life from being a young man growing up

a young man growing

up in London’s inner city, to becoming one of the country’s most prominent poets.

ED O.G. AND DA BULLDOGS — BE A FATHER TO YOUR CHILD The title is cheesy, but has an important message borne of a pandemic of single parent families in 1990’s America.

MUMFORD & SONS — LITTLE LION MAN An amazing song from one of the UK’s best exports. The band’s sound and vocals resonated around the world and I urge you to hear their debut album Sigh No More in its entirety. Hopefully it’s on this plane’s playlist already.

DIDDY — DIRTY MONEY My son doesn’t call me ‘Daddy’ like most kids, he calls me ‘Diddy’ and, believe it or not, I didn’t teach him that. This track is from P Diddy’s latest album Last Train To Paris and is devoid of any ego, a rare occurrence for Puff Daddy. It’s an unbelievably cool and overlooked R&B album.

It’s an unbelievably cool and overlooked R&B album. DE LA SOUL — BABY PHAT De La
It’s an unbelievably cool and overlooked R&B album. DE LA SOUL — BABY PHAT De La
It’s an unbelievably cool and overlooked R&B album. DE LA SOUL — BABY PHAT De La

DE LA SOUL — BABY PHAT De La Soul’s debut album 3 Feet High & Rising was recently inducted into America’s Library Of Congress and deemed ‘culturally and historically significant’. This track however, is about chubby women.

SISTER SLEDGE — WE ARE FAMILY I’m just a few points from being a Silver Skywards member and I’m hoping this uplifting bit of 1970’s disco cheese will persuade the powers that be to skip Silver and give me a Gold card.

NEGGHEAD — POINTLESS PRESSURE I love this track because it’s from one of my favourite
NEGGHEAD —
POINTLESS PRESSURE
I love this track because it’s from
one of my favourite labels (www.
waxonrecords.com) and I often
have it playing on repeat. Good vibes.

JAMES BROWN — MOTHER POPCORN Another pun-based title because mums rule, also a fantastic excuse to pick out a track from another of my favourite artists. A song so great it was even covered by US rockers Aerosmith amongst others. James Brown was a troubled legend who strove for perfection, re-recording and re-releasing many of his songs time and time again. Everyone should be aware of his career highlights.

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ILLUSTRATION BY VESNA PESIC

ILLUSTRATION BY VESNA PESIC LOCAL VOICES THE PITFALLS OF PROGRESS ARE MANY SUPER-SIZE NATION WAEL AL

LOCAL VOICES

THE PITFALLS OF PROGRESS ARE MANY

SUPER-SIZE

NATION

WAEL AL SAYEGH ARGUES THAT MAJOR CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE TO RECLAIM THE EMIRATI WARRIOR SPIRIT

O nce upon a time, hard work, self-sacrifice and self-governance were

the order of the day for many Gulf Arab societies. Men were forced to seek employment in dangerous ways, such as diving for pearls for five consecutive months of the year. While the men were away at sea, the women were trusted to run things at home and protect society from potential threats, such as attacks by rival tribes. Even the basic day-to-day necessities, such as finding and maintaining a safe passage to water, were a struggle. One would imagine we would inherit their warrior spirit. Sadly, this is not the case. With the removal of the need to fight for survival, this spirit seems to have been washed away by the comforts the oil exporting industry has afforded. No longer do the grandchildren of pearl divers need to labour under the

baking sun, and no longer are women expected to be part-time soldiers and full-time mothers. Instead, in their place is a generation plagued with Type 2 diabetes, an obesity rate of great concern, high levels of personal financial debt, vitamin D deficiency (whilst living in a desert, would you believe?), thalassemia, one of the highest divorce rates in the world and a multiple array of cultural identity issues. Public and private schools never stood a chance, despite their best intentions. They have not been able to keep up with the ultra-fast pace of development the UAE went through in its early transitional days — and is still experiencing as it continues to change. As a consequence, they have not been able to prepare their students for the globalised world they are expected to perform in. The same holds true for parenting. How can parents prepare their

children for something they never had to go through? The values and norms that held true for them in a more conservative monocultural Gulf Arab setting are very far from the ever-changing multicultural reality in which their children now live. So what can we do to change all this? Well, the first thing we need to do is to stop blaming anyone but ourselves. The government didn’t force us to overeat and not exercise; there is nothing in the Islamic religion that

orders us only to marry within our family despite knowing the genetic match up will produce seriously challenged children (it’s law for UAE nationals to have a genetic screening test before couples can be married). Once we realise that the solution can only be found within us, we will be on our way to being able to effectively face some of the issues. The second thing we need to do is start focusing on factors we have missed out on or deemed too unimportant to merit our complete attention.

The gaps in our game must be addressed once and for all. They include our attitude towards food. The battle to control one’s appetite is arguably the most difficult discipline to master, but it is precisely there, as a nation, that we must start. There is no use having an excellent education system if our children’s bodies are too clogged up with unhealthy food and sugary drinks for their minds to learn. The government is trying its best to regulate what goes into school

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHILD PRODIGIES 1867 1942 1943 1962 As the person who devised
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHILD
PRODIGIES
1867
1942
1943
1962
As the person who
devised the science of
radioactivity (and won
two Nobel Prizes) it is
no surprise that Marie
Curie taught herself
how to read Russian
and French at age four.
One of the few child
prodigies to have gone
on to true, unarguable
brilliance in her field.
Accepted into Harvard
at 16, and an Ivy
League professor at
25, Ted Kaczynski was
one of the smartest
men of his genera-
tion. Things did not
go to plan however
and he was arrested in
1996 after a mail
bomb campaign. Meet
the Unabomber.
At the
age of 13, Bobby
,
Quite possibly the
Fischer had already
smartest man in the
taken part in one of
a
i
n
world, Kim Ung-Yong
ld
-
the greatest chess
h
re
was able to read eight
a
to
d
h
matches of all time. At
languages by the time
15 he was the t youngest o e
he was w five. v He e was
grandmaster in history.
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invited to NASA at
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n
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grown up p just fine.
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canteens, but it’s up to us to help instill the discipline of healthy eating in our children. Physical education standards must be drastically improved. You teach by example. If children don’t see their elders exercising, as well as eating healthily, then they are being set bad examples, and they can be expected to do exactly the same. Many of our youth delinquency issues are partly due to the fact that a physical outlet for their energy is not offered to them in school. In a society that sees medicine, law and

engineering as the only worthwhile career opportunities, many potential writers, poets, artists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, musicians and designers face a lonely uphill climb. Their natural talents are often sacrificed to an unexciting, but financially stable, career as a civil servant. Being happy with what one does is a blessing few people enjoy. The cost of repressing these natural talents can be damaging to the individual as well as society. To be able to live and work successfully with many different

LOCAL VOICES

cultures is a key part of our future. This helps people see differences as learning opportunities, not as threats. It helps us to see that our own culture is not the only legitimate one, but one of many, each of which has something valuable to offer humanity. Whether we like it or not, the challenges faced by today’s youth are more a reflection of our inner selves than of their shortcomings. It’s time to reconnect with our warrior ancestry and fight to build our sovereign nation from within.

and fight to build our sovereign nation from within. 1963 1975 1993 1994 The youngest actor
1963 1975 1993 1994 The youngest actor n a r One of the few child
1963
1975
1993
1994
The youngest actor
n
a
r
One of the few child
n
f
What could you do at
h
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Akiane Kramarik sold
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to win a competitive
prodigies to excel in
age seven? Well Akrit
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her first painting for
Academy Award (aged
d
their chosen field, Tiger
h
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Jaswal performed his
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$10,000 1 before the
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a age of 10. She was
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fell into the Hollywood
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his prowess on TV at
dure. He has an IQ
writing poetry at seven,
age three. He went on
r
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of n nearly l 150 0 and d is
and
a
donates a large
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la
career was tainted by
as
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to become o the t richest, t,
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working on a cure for
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chunk of the money
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heroin abuse and a fall-
cancer. Not too shabby
ing out o with i her e father, t
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able to afford any sandwich I desired. I can afford that now. I once spent more than $500 on a sandwich. It had a special type of butter and caramelised caviar, and tomatoes flown in from Sicily. It did not even taste that good. Now that I think about it, buying that sandwich was a mistake.

ON THE FUTURE
ON THE FUTURE

I hope to retire to a small house on a Greek island. Preferably surronded by tiny Darinkos runnning around bug-eyed and red, shaking with joy. First though, I have to get married. And buy a house in Greece. And have children. Then they have to have children. Joyful, red, bug-eyed children.

they have to have children. Joyful, red, bug-eyed children. INTERVIEW MY TRAVELLED LIFE DAVE DARINKO, 43,

INTERVIEW

MY TRAVELLED LIFE

DAVE DARINKO, 43, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER

MY TRAVELLED LIFE DAVE DARINKO, 43, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER ON CHILDHOOD I grew up in a poor

ON CHILDHOOD

I grew up in a poor part of Chicago. We had

nothing. My dad (Dave Darinko Sr) came to America with five bucks and a dream. He also had a checking account and a Brooklyn loft.

a dream. He also had a checking account and a Brooklyn loft. ON BEING DIFFERENT I

ON BEING DIFFERENT

I have big bug eyes and tiny pupils. I have

fangs, not teeth. Also I am entirely red. This was not easy for me growing up. The other kids used to make fun of me. Sometimes they called me names. “Ridiculous Fang Face Blob” was the most hurtful. But I was not ashamed of who I was. And when the other kids saw that, they stopped calling me names. It’s no crime to be different and now I am proud of who I am.

ON TRAVEL
ON TRAVEL

I love travel. I love going to new places and

experiencing new cultures. I recently went to Italy for the first time. I ate so much spaghetti I felt sick, but it was worth it. I also saw a museum in Rome, but I cannot remember its name. I enjoy getting to places too. Economy Class is like First Class for me because I am so small. I like airline meals as they have special small cans of orange which fit in my tiny hands. And I enjoy peanuts.

40

ON RELAXATION

I work hard and I play hard. OK, that is a cliché, but I really do. I jog most nights. Sometimes

I run. I enjoy hang gliding and chess, making

different types of sandwiches and looking out the window of my apartment. I can see 37 lanes of traffic from my apartment. Sometimes I pretend I am a giant and I can pick up any car I choose and talk to the driver. Then I stop thinking like that and go to bed.

ON SUCCESS
ON SUCCESS

Success is a by-product of effort. I always tell kids to work hard in school as then they can get anything they want. I wanted to be

a by-product of effort. I always tell kids to work hard in school as then they

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PLACE

ARCHITECTURE MAPPED THE FUTURE SWEETS BUILT & DESTROYED: 2059

IMAGE: DANIL KRIVORUCHKO | MYSHLI.COM
IMAGE: DANIL KRIVORUCHKO
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STORE

URBAN CARTOGRAPHY SUCK AND CHEW LONDON SWEET SHOP

T he past few years has seen the great British sweet shop go through something of a

resurgence. From traditional holdouts in Scotland where the sweets are still boiled in copper vats in the basement, to modern shops in London’s Covent Garden selling a variety of chocolates, bars and

oddly flavoured goodies from around the world; the choice, these days, is endless. This is either a consequence of Tim Burton’s reimagining of Willy Wonka, or

a revitalised sweet industry in the UK. Suck And Chew, on Columbia Road in East London, is just one of the recent crop of sweetshops offering everything from boiled aniseed balls to traditional toffees. Run by ad creative Vicki Magure, Suck And Chew as a concept is something that’s in her blood. “My gran, Winnie, had a sweetshop

in Leicester. I remember as a kid staring in wonder at the jars and the penny sweets. As I grew up, and retail became more sophisticated, these types of shops disappeared from the high street until

it was impossible to buy a sweet for five

pence. Everything nowadays is packaged in bigger, better, brighter family bags.” In its spot near the famous Columbia Road flower market, Suck And Chew is at the heart of an increasingly cool and popular East End. Just down the road in Shoreditch is the much-vaunted Tech City — London’s answer to Silicon Valley. Slightly further east is the Olympic Stadium, which will form the centrepiece of London’s games next year.

Valley. Slightly further east is the Olympic Stadium, which will form the centrepiece of London’s games
The shop is exactly what you’d expect in such a design conscious area. The bright

The shop is exactly what you’d expect in such a design conscious area. The bright red exterior, Union Jack flags, old fashioned dressers and sweet jars evoke a slightly post-war feel — enhanced by the occasional Ministry of Food ration book — most of it sourced from Maguire’s home and her granny’s old shop. “Our clientele is varied,” says Maguire. “We get trendy locals and also tourists who come down to the market and want to take a taste of Britain home. We get sweet tooths who travel for miles as we stock many sweets you can’t find in the supermarkets anymore. We even have celebrity clients, for example, Paul Smith loves our collection of vintage tins so he’s stocking them now. Which is nice because we love his shop too.” Pricewise, there’s something for everyone. “We sell everything from five pence chocolate mice to vintage tins with the Queen on for [$48]. Locals have taken us to their hearts. Mums say it’s nice to be able to give their kids a small amount of pocket money to come to our shop, instead of having to buy them a big bag of sweets from the supermarket.” For those of you who can’t make it as far as the East End of London, fear not — online ordering is available if you fancy a Kola Kube, some rhubarb and custard or any other pieces of the ‘vintage tat’ that Suck And Chew specialise in.

of the ‘vintage tat’ that Suck And Chew specialise in. Suck And Chew, 130 Columbia Road,

Suck And Chew, 130 Columbia Road, London E2 74G, 0044 208 9833504; www.suckandchew.com

BOOTY NEW YORK WE GRAB SOME QUIRKY CHILDREN’S TOYS AND CANDY IN THE BIG APPLE.
BOOTY
NEW YORK
WE GRAB SOME QUIRKY
CHILDREN’S TOYS AND
CANDY IN THE BIG APPLE.

1

1

Yummy Pocket Burger, $12. We are not sure if it is yummy or not, but it will fit in your pocket. Bite-sized bliss.

MoMA Soho, 81 Spring Street, Soho

2

3

2

Dave Darinko Ugly Doll, $10. This self-made man/ doll is an inspiration. Check out his story on page 40.

FAO Schwarz, 767 5th Avenue at 58th Street

4

3

Rubik’s Cube, $14. A design classic that is still befuddling generations of kids (and adults) today.

FAO Schwarz, 767 5th Avenue at 58th Street

4

Dinosaur Pez Dispenser, $3. It’s not a real dinosaur, it’s simply a Pez dispenser!

FAO Schwarz, 767 5th Avenue at 58th Street

a Pez dispenser! FAO Schwarz, 767 5th Avenue at 58th Street 6 5 5 Yoku Rubber

6

5

5

Yoku Rubber Duck Light, $18. Soothe yourself to sleep at night with this wonderful, magic yellow duck.

MoMA Soho, 81 Spring Street, Soho

6

Luna Lovegood Glasses, $13. Surreal specs from the Harry Potter character.

FAO Schwarz, 767 5th Avenue at 58th Street

7

7

Hershey’s 5lb Chocolate Bar, $40. Don’t eat this mammoth bar all at once. Big chocolate from the Big Apple.

Hershey’s, Time Square

Innoventures Education was born with a simple belief. If Dubai is to be a world-class
Innoventures Education was born with a simple belief. If Dubai is to be a world-class
Innoventures Education was born with a simple belief. If Dubai is to be a world-class
Innoventures Education was born with a simple belief. If Dubai is to be a world-class
Innoventures Education was born with a simple belief. If Dubai is to be a world-class
Innoventures Education was born with a simple belief. If Dubai is to be a world-class
Innoventures Education was born with a simple belief. If Dubai is to be a world-class

Innoventures Education was born with a simple belief. If Dubai is to be a world-class city, it must have world-class education.

be a world-class city, it must have world-class education. Presenting a portfolio of premium international schools.
be a world-class city, it must have world-class education. Presenting a portfolio of premium international schools.
be a world-class city, it must have world-class education. Presenting a portfolio of premium international schools.
be a world-class city, it must have world-class education. Presenting a portfolio of premium international schools.

Presenting a portfolio of premium international schools.

Innoventures Education was established in 2004 with the vision of bringing world-class education to Dubai. Today, we offer four premium international schools that are delivering on that promise.

Dubai International Academy school IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (DP) all three programmes

Raffles International School, South Campus

Raffles International School, West Campus Years Programme (PYP)*

*IB PYP candidate school. Only schools authorised by the International Baccalaureate can offer any of its programmes. Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorisation will be granted.

Collegiate American School** portfolio of premium international schools

**School operations are subject to the readiness of the school building and facilities and the formal approval from KHDA.

For information and admissions, call us at the numbers given below.

Dubai International Academy +9714 368 4111 Raffles International School, West Campus +9714 427 1351/52 Raffles International School, South Campus +9714 427 1261/62 Collegiate American School

Raffles International School, South Campus +9714 427 1261/62 Collegiate American School www.innoventureseducation.com

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COPENHAGEN FASHION WEEK

Snappy dressers flock to northern Europe’s biggest fashion event. www.copenhagenfashionweek.com
Snappy dressers flock to northern
Europe’s biggest fashion event.
www.copenhagenfashionweek.com

VANS WARPED TOUR

Rock out in San Diego with this one- day indie music festival. www.vanswarpedtour.com
Rock out in San Diego with this one-
day indie music festival.
www.vanswarpedtour.com

THE PREMIER LEAGUE

The start of the football season is upon us again. www.premierleague.com
The start of the football season
is upon us again.
www.premierleague.com

PALIO DI SIENA

The traditional medieval horse race around the piazza in Siena, Italy. www.ilpalio.org
The traditional medieval horse race
around the piazza in Siena, Italy.
www.ilpalio.org
race around the piazza in Siena, Italy. www.ilpalio.org EID AL-FITR The Muslim world celebrates the end
EID AL-FITR The Muslim world celebrates the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_ul-Fitr
EID AL-FITR
The Muslim world celebrates the
end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_ul-Fitr

51

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THE LITTLE PRINCE THE OF ENCHANTING TALE THE PILOT AND THE LITTLE PRINCE P78
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WWW.CRAIGANDKARL.COM

|

ILLUSTRATION: CRAIG REDMAN

WWW.CRAIGANDKARL.COM | ILLUSTRATION: CRAIG REDMAN 55
WWW.CRAIGANDKARL.COM | ILLUSTRATION: CRAIG REDMAN 55

MICKEY’S FUTURE

W hen

Disneyland

opened in

1955, the top

attraction

at the California theme park was

a seven-minute Jungle River Ride

past mechanical wildlife — gyrating

rubber rhinos, a squirting elephant,

a giraffe chomping on some leaves.

At every turn, the boat’s captain escaped certain death, on cue veering away from a crashing waterfall, eluding angry cannibals, and firing a convincing volley of blanks into the snout of a lunging hippopotamus. Passengers screamed in terror, on the verge of fainting. Today, Jungle Cruise skippers square off against those same fibreglass hippos. Fifty feet away, the Enchanted Tiki birds croon the exact same tunes they’ve been warbling since 1962. And Disneyland’s other marquee attractions — the Mark Twain, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Haunted Mansion — are basically the same rides Uncle Walt designed for our grandparents. The difference today is that now it takes a longer time to get to the rides, after spending $15 on a remote parking spot and another $72 at the turnstiles. In an age when you can enjoy a more state-of-the-art, interactive experience for free by instantly downloading an app to your smartphone, how long can Disney’s nostalgia factories remain popular? To hear Disney tell it, theme parks aren’t like vaudeville or the eight-track tape, which came with a built-in expiration date. “Theme parks are additive,” insists Joe Garlington of Walt Disney Imagineering. “Theatre wasn’t killed off by radio. Radio wasn’t killed

off by television. I don’t think theme parks can be killed off by the iPad.” Gadgets can’t duplicate the social experience a park provides, no matter how virtual the reality. Nonetheless, Disney has always taken advantage of the highest tech, either as innovator (360-degree movies, talking robots)

or early adopter (fibre optics, motion simulators). Guests usually don’t notice the dazzling technology, because it’s always disguised in the service of telling a story. “Every successful new form of entertainment has been able to more deeply involve the audience in the story,” says Garlington, who, as vice president of creative interactive attractions, is charged with developing new ways to better engage visitors. He views the tech explosion as friend, not foe, of theme parks. “Total human knowledge doubles every year. I read that a laptop today contains the brainpower of a mouse. By 2020,

it will contain the brainpower of a

human being and by 2050, it will have the combined brainpower of all human beings. That’s a huge amount of power to put behind entertainment and has huge implications for how we immerse people in our stories.” But movies and television shows drop off the public’s radar after they’ve run their course. A theme park attraction is built of steel

and concrete. It’s difficult to hide

a flop or yesterday’s fad. So the

idea behind every attraction must endure or be reconfigured to meet modern sensibilities. Perpetual reconstruction is expensive. More daunting is the realisation that being old fashioned is

part of the parks’ charm. Generations have grown up visiting Disneyland and bristle when the company messes with their childhoods. Garlington admits: “At the base level, our theme parks are for binding moments with our loved ones. Most people don’t visit the parks alone; you go with family or friends. The rides and shows draw us there to make memories. We realise that when we change something, we’re potentially rupturing memories. We have to be sensitive to that. It’s a constant push / pull to deal with.” Fans have generally accepted the addition of Jack Sparrow figures into the Pirates Of The Caribbean attraction, because they fit seamlessly into the story and don’t alter the essence of the ride. Extreme makeovers of Florida’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Epcot’s Journey Into Imagination, however, have been criticised by some because they rewrote the narratives, removed major characters, and — some would say — mocked the original rides. To be sure, the key drivers of new tech and pop culture — late teens and young adults — have never been Disney’s core audience. According to Jim Hill, who covers the Magic Kingdom at JimHillMedia.com: “To a large degree, it’s still a mindset within Disney that we win over the hearts of children, we accept that we’ll lose them as teenagers, but we’ll get them back again when they become parents.” The strategy has worked. Disney’s resorts have shown no signs of flagging appeal, recession be damned. Last year, its 11 parks combined to draw 115 million visitors — a tick above 2009. The company is ready to break

WALT DISNEY WITH HIS MOST FAMOUS CREATION, MICKEY MOUSE, IN 1935 57

WALT DISNEY WITH HIS MOST FAMOUS CREATION, MICKEY MOUSE, IN 1935

MICKEY’S FUTURE

IMAGE: JOE PENNISTON

ground on park number 12, a $3.7 billion resort in Shanghai, and is said to be actively scouting sites in South America, Australia, and beyond. The theme parks and resorts division traditionally generates a third of the company’s revenue. Yet whereas the fortunes of Disney’s networks and movie studio rise and fall with their latest releases, the parks are ever-golden geese, reliably cranking out profits in the range of $1.5 billion a year. Ironically, Disneyland started as a curious side business; the boss’ plaything to occupy his creative juices while his company made real money off movies and TV shows. With Disneyland, Walt could create truly 3D entertainment. His audience could physically enter into and interact with it, and he could continually add and subtract from the experience. He transposed the 1950’s suburban dream onto cartoon backdrops, the Old West and the optimistic world of tomorrow; subtly tweaking customers’ behaviour through his highly stylised environments. Walt found the power intoxicating. Within a decade, by the time the park had become a money- gusher, the boss began planning an entire city based on Disneyland’s principles — high-tech schools, transit systems, factories and homes that would be continuously updated. An Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow (EPCOT). Months after breaking ground on EPCOT, Walt died. At first, his corporate successors stalled. They built only the Magic Kingdom, a super-sized copy of Disneyland to anchor Florida’s Walt Disney World resort. For five years,

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SPACESHIP EARTH AT EPCOT FUTURE WORLD, DISNEY WORLD, ORLANDO, FLORIDA

t . F o r fi v e y e a r s , SPACESHIP EARTH
t . F o r fi v e y e a r s , SPACESHIP EARTH
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t . F o r fi v e y e a r s , SPACESHIP EARTH
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the accountants still couldn’t figure out a way to wring a profit out of EPCOT,

the accountants still couldn’t figure out

a way to wring a profit out of EPCOT,

the futuristic city. The two theme parks were now generating 70 per cent of the company’s income. So they instead built Epcot, the futuristic- themed amusement park. Social

critics balked. Yet in Epcot’s first year, attendance at Disney World doubled, from 12.56 million to 22.7 million. Profits skyrocketed. The Florida resort was transformed from a fun activity for vacationers already visiting the southeast into a magnet — the reason they came to the area in the first place. A year later, Tokyo Disneyland opened to instant success, partly because the Japanese shared a culture similar to that of Walt’s idealised America — respectful, regimented, at times thrilling, but ultimately comforting. The resort division’s first stumble came in 1992, with the opening of Disneyland Paris. Although the Magic Kingdom- style park proved immediately popular, so much money was spent adding adjacent hotels that the overall project struggled. Disney’s reflexive reaction was to pinch pennies when building companion parks in California and France. Visitors, expecting more expansive, immersive environments, balked. Disney’s California Adventure also committed the unpardonable sin of trying to be “relevant, hip and trendy”

— anathema to fans of the original

Disneyland next door. Nicknamed DCA, the new park debuted 10 years ago as the anti-Disneyland; it

served alcohol, featured more shops and restaurants than attractions, offered live entertainment, limited the appearances of the costumed characters, and restricted kids to

MICKEY’S FUTURE

a handful of rides that didn’t have

height limits. Disney is now spending more than $1 billion to flood DCA with Mickey Mouse and other traditionally Disney elements. The company experienced the opposite problem at its newest park, Hong Kong Disneyland. During one groundbreaking ceremony,

a vice president from California

handed each Hong Kong dignitary

a lanyard for “pin trading” — a

theme park fad foreign to the locals. The executive patiently explained how the neckpieces were covered with collectible images of Disney characters and rides, which they could swap with other guests. One Hong Kong official bravely stepped forward to give it a try. He stared at the VP’s pin-covered lanyard for several minutes and finally announced, “I’ll take the orange pig.” “Orange pig?” the wide-eyed exec thought. “He doesn’t know who Winnie The Pooh is!” The moment Hong Kong Disneyland opened to the public in 2005, the company learned that the proven template – a small-town Main Street leading to a princess’ castle, branching out into lands of fantasy, adventure and tomorrow – bewildered the Chinese. “The castle was copied straight from California,” blogger Hill shares. “But guests didn’t have the same perceptions, the same ideas of nostalgia. It was a Main Street they couldn’t connect with.” Low attendance has forced Hong Kong Disneyland to frantically tweak its offerings. Unlike with DCA, this time they’ve had to throw out the playbook. Quickly omitted was the formerly ironclad rule that any brands, such as pirates, princesses or

Pixar properties. Hill notes: “After all these years of requiring that all new attractions promote a brand, they’re currently building two attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland – Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars and Mystic Manor – that aren’t tied to any brand. It’s gutsy, because without being able to slap a character on the front, the audience has no guaranteed frame of reference.” For the designers, the reversal has been freeing. Sure, the park can’t benefit as much from its storehouse of tried-and-true characters, attractions

and traditions, but it’s not bound by them, either. As part of a Halloween promotion, Hong Kong Disneyland added a haunted maze off Main Street – an unthinkable idea for Western guests expecting an early 1900’s market house and candy palace. The desire to better serve new international markets helped drive Disney’s recent acquisition of Marvel’s comic-book characters. Some Disney fans in the US have been worried at the thought of one day wandering into Tomorrowland only to see Buzz Lightyear butting helmets

Tomorrowland only to see Buzz Lightyear butting helmets Theatre was not killed off by radio, radio

Theatre was not killed off by radio, radio was not killed of by television, I don’t think theme parks can be killed off by the iPad

I don’t think theme parks can be killed off by the iPad WALT DISNEY OUTSIDE DISNEYLAND
WALT DISNEY OUTSIDE DISNEYLAND WITH HIS GRANDSON IN 1955
WALT DISNEY OUTSIDE DISNEYLAND WITH HIS GRANDSON IN 1955

MICKEY’S FUTURE

with Iron-Man. But in Hong Kong, there are no preconceived borders between the lands of Marvel, Disney or any other Hollywood studio. The ultimate crossover might be an entirely virtual amusement park, if it could still provide what traditional park visitors want. Orlando business consultant Jeff Kober, who gleaned his strategies from years as a manager at Disney World, says: “To understand amusement parks, you must break down the phrase — amusement and parks. Over the centuries, parks have existed for three purposes:

association – a location for being with others. Recreation – a space for physical experiences. Beauty — a place to enjoy nature in all its greatest senses. Amusement parks add a fourth purpose — entertainment.” He points out that Bakken, near Copenhagen, considered the world’s oldest operating amusement park, began as simply a park. “Disney’s success today,” Kober says, “comes as a result of doing all four of those things right. I think that virtual worlds, while successful in simulating those things, do not necessarily replace those things.” Anyway, the company has already tried back in the 1990s. “At one point,” Kober notes, “Disney thought the way to compete against videogames and virtual worlds was to create the greatest videogame experience ever. “They called it DisneyQuest. It was five floors of high-tech arcade games and virtual experiences. That venture, intended to corner regional markets with a highly themed entertainment experience, was well received in Orlando and, during its first summer, in Chicago.

DisneyQuest fell short as a place of nature, but made up for it with the ability to provide amusement, recreation and, initially, association with others. Yet it failed to attract Chicago audiences in the off-season, and thus the idea of creating huge virtual gaming worlds fell through. Disney has since gone on to utilise

worlds fell through. Disney has since gone on to utilise [ Disney ] can engage many

[ Disney ] can engage many more senses than a four-inch iPhone display or even a huge screen projection

a four-inch iPhone display or even a huge screen projection high tech, interactive and virtual solutions

high tech, interactive and virtual solutions in its parks, but they reside in a well attended physical space that provides for all of those purposes.” At DCA and Epcot, Turtle Talk with Crush — like similar shows in Paris and Hong Kong featuring the cartoon alien Stitch — allows guests to converse with animated characters in real time. “Part of the appeal,” explains Imagineer Garlington, “is it presents the world as children see it, as it ought to be. In the real world, kids talk to the characters and I think they’re subtly frustrated when the characters don’t talk back.” In Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, guests explore Epcot using cell phone-like “Kimmunicators” over which fellow secret agents provide clues to help foil a villain’s dastardly plot. Disney has also run several in-park experiments in which guests solve quests using their own phones. There are also dozens of free apps on the market that allow park visitors

to access ride wait times, restaurant menus, and even directions to the nearest restroom. Further responding to the plugged- in culture, the company is on a quest of its own to slash downtime at its parks. Disney is reportedly investing a half-billion dollars creating “interactive queues,” to entertain visitors while they’re standing in line. “God forbid guests have to spend 20 minutes staring at the back of someone’s head,” laments Hill. “They’re already pulling out their cell phones to check their messages or play games.” But now Disney is providing the games. At the Magic Kingdom, guests in line for the Haunted Mansion pass by interactive crypts and tombstones. Queuing up for Space Mountain, or the Soarin’ hang-glider simulator at Epcot, guests participate in games projected on the walls. At Toy Story Mania, a giant animatronic Mr Potato Head heckles the waiting crowd. The bottom line is, according to Garlington, “We want you to not only see a character, but to be a character.” Can it last? Will Disney parks, as we know them, still be around in 2055? Certainly, world unrest and natural disasters are beyond the company’s control. Consider that Tokyo Disneyland, a non-stop success from the day it opened in 1983, was shut down for over a month following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For its part, Disney will do everything within its power to ensure the medium survives and thrives. “I’d like to think (the parks) will exist,” Hill says, “but it may get harder trying to get people out of their homes. Imagine if somebody invents an online Haunted Mansion that you can explore for hours…”

MICKEY’S FUTURE

Similarly, Kober reserves judgment, wondering how tomorrow’s virtual worlds will be able to meet those four ideals — association, recreation, beauty and entertainment. “If Disney continues to provide that leadership role in the amusement industry, it will be the one to offer those experiences. But there’s something about trees and leaves and flowers and water, and even the texture of brick and mortar, which is irreplaceable. For instance, the new Toy Story Mania, in which riders interact with a life-sized, 3D video game, is highly popular at Disney parks in both Florida and California. But so are the 45-year-old attractions like Pirates Of The Caribbean that carry you through an immersive physical world. Although high tech entertainment continues to improve, it’s hard to imagine a gaming attraction like Toy Story Mania having that kind of legs 40 years from now.” Disney’s Garlington advises looking at the bigger picture. “The parks have an inherent advantage over other forms of entertainment,” he says. “We have a tonne of tools at our disposal. Theme parks are big, physical places with streets and buildings and rooms you can go inside and ride vehicles. “We can engage many more senses than you can staring at a four-inch iPhone [display] or even the biggest screen projection.” Disney sounds as though it’s willing to grow up — if its audience will let it.

it’s willing to grow up — if its audience will let it. David Koenig is a

David Koenig is a columnist for MousePlanet. com and is the author of Mouse Tales

up — if its audience will let it. David Koenig is a columnist for MousePlanet. com

ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANTHONY ZINONOS

ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANTHONY ZINONOS ANTHONY EXPLORES ANDREW OF THE BIGGEST THE MAGIC AND MADNESS SUPERSTAR IN
ANTHONY EXPLORES ANDREW OF THE BIGGEST THE MAGIC AND MADNESS SUPERSTAR IN CHESS
ANTHONY EXPLORES
ANDREW
OF
THE BIGGEST
THE MAGIC AND MADNESS
SUPERSTAR
IN CHESS
BOBBY FISCHER I n 1999, I spent three days Budapest. As grand and sitting in

BOBBY FISCHER

I n 1999, I spent three days

Budapest. As grand and

sitting in a variety of

thermal baths dotted around

attractive as the Hungarian

capital’s spas are, I wasn’t stewing myself for therapeutic or leisure purposes. Instead, I was waiting for someone I’d been told frequented the baths, someone who was said to be a genius and a paranoid obsessive, the greatest chess player who ever lived and an obnoxious crackpot. I was looking for Bobby Fischer. For the last four decades of his life, that’s what people did with Fischer – they looked for him. Fans, journalists, biographers, friends, they all tried to find this mythical creature, either in person or in that fabulous abstract realm that he continued to haunt: chess. He had ventured deep into the alternate world of this most intellectually demanding of games, a daunting contest of infinite possibilities, and succeeded in becoming world champion. Like some chequerboard version of Conrad’s Kurtz, the experience seemed to leave him in a state of dread. Then he vanished. As with those other great disappearing acts, JD Salinger, Greta Garbo and Howard Hughes, Fischer was almost as well known for his withdrawal from public life as he was for the achievements that brought him fame in the first place. There was even a feature film made called Searching for Bobby Fischer. It wasn’t actually about Fischer, but based on the life of another chess prodigy, Joshua Waitzkin. Fischer’s name was employed as a metaphor for his total commitment, what Garry

FISCHER THE CHILD PRODIGY AGED 14 IN NEW YORK IN 1957

Kasparov, Fischer’s only rival for the title of best-ever player, has described as “pathological determination”. Fischer was apoplectic when he heard about the film, which he called a “monumental swindle” and even angrier when he discovered that he had no legal grounds on which to sue the film-makers. Had I run into him, I wasn’t expecting him to be any happier. I’d been prompted to seek him out after he’d made one of his rare public statements. In a live interview on Hungarian radio, he said: “As Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, the Jews are not the victims, they are the victimisers!”, before launching into a Holocaust-denying rant. Over

half-a-million Hungarian Jews are estimated to have been killed during the Holocaust. Fischer was born a Jew, and if Hitler had had anything to do with the matter, he would have died a Jew, too. I wanted to discover how or why Fischer’s obsessive character had taken such a self- destructive turn. The word was that he remained a peerless analyst of chess games. Would it not be possible to appeal to his rational side? In the event, the bath-house stake-out was a failure. None of the bearded strangers I spent my time staring at through the saturated air turned out to be Fischer. He didn’t show up at any of the baths. I left Budapest with Fischer seeming even

more elusive than before I arrived. He was fiercely protective of his privacy, which was

more elusive than before I arrived. He was fiercely protective of his privacy, which was the reason the story of his progress from prodigy to pariah remained the subject of so much speculation and rumour. Among the many perceived betrayals for which his friends and intimates were permanently expunged from his life, the gravest was speaking to the press or biographers. Only with Fischer’s death in 2008 did the atmosphere of omerta that surrounded the legend begin to dissipate and a more accurate testimony emerge. The fruits of this candour are a new biography, Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall, by Frank

Brady, and the soon-to-be-released HBO film, Bobby Fischer Against The World. Brady knew Fischer in the 1960s and is the author of Bobby Fischer: Profile Of A Prodigy, perhaps the only other worthwhile biography on the subject. He is also credited as consultant for the documentary. Together, the film and the book give shape to a more complete picture of Fischer: brash, complex, troubled, bold, vulnerable, lonely, occasionally loving, but fundamentally enigmatic. The tortured genius and the celebrity recluse are two archetypes by which the popular imagination

recluse are two archetypes by which the popular imagination He played chess in the bath, at

He played chess in the bath, at school, at home. He learned Russian just so he could study Soviet chess literature

Russian just so he could study Soviet chess literature appears incurably enthralled. No one in recent

appears incurably enthralled. No one in recent times has combined these two roles with more tragedy or pathos than Fischer. His descent into wild and irrational behaviour is far from a unique narrative, particularly in chess. The history of the game contains many similar trajectories. As GK Chesterton noted in arguing that reason bred insanity: “Poets do not go mad, but chess players do.” Akiba Rubinstein, the early 20th century Polish grandmaster, would hide in the corner of the competition hall between moves, owing to his anthropophobia (fear of people), retiring from the game when schizophrenia got the better of him. William Steinitz, the Austrian who was the world’s first undisputed chess

champion, died in an asylum. Then there was Paul Morphy, the American who was said to be the 19th century’s finest player and to whom Fischer has frequently been compared: he quit the game, having beaten all his rivals, and began a decline into paranoid delusion. Aged 47, he was found dead in his bath, surrounded by women’s shoes. Fischer, who registered an IQ of 180, once said that he did not consider himself to be a genius at chess. “I consider myself to be a genius who happens to play chess.” He was not only furnishing his own myth when he made that statement, but also playing to our romantic notions of genius as a kind of destiny. The truth is that not even the exceptional Fischer was an exception. Born in Chicago in 1943, Fischer moved around America during the war years with his mother, Regina, and his older sister, Joan. The one-parent family eventually moved to New York, settling in a rundown area of Brooklyn. Having shown a precocious talent for kids’ puzzles, Fischer began playing chess at six when his sister bought him a $1 plastic set. By the age of nine, he was practising and studying the game to the exclusion of all else. By the age of 15 he was US champion. Nothing interrupted his obsession. He played while eating. He played in the bath. He played when he should have been at school. He cultivated an extraordinary facility for reading chess games, absorbing pages of dense notation in seconds, and learned Russian just so that he could study Soviet chess literature. He could play blindfold and recite games by heart. “Chess and me,” Fischer later said, “it’s hard to take them apart. It’s like my alter ego.”

“The strategic position, the high quality production and its strong manpower make Turkey one of

“The strategic position, the high quality production and its strong manpower make Turkey one of the most desired countries in Europe regarding automotive production. That is why we, as Hyundai, chose to invest in Turkey.”

That is why we, as Hyundai, chose to invest in Turkey.” W.S. Chang, President & CEO

W.S. Chang, President & CEO of Hyundai Turkey

Turkey.” W.S. Chang, President & CEO of Hyundai Turkey • A population of 74 million, half

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East and North Africa

• 17 th largest economy in the world (IMF-WEO, 2010)

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(UNCTAD World Investment Prospects Survey)

• Fastest growing economy in the world with an impressive

GDP growth rate of 11% in the first quarter of 2011

Survey) • Fastest growing economy in the world with an impressive GDP growth rate of 11%

BOBBY FISCHER

Such was Fischer’s preoccupation with chess that his mother took him to see two psychiatrists, both of whom told her not to worry. Perhaps it was not worry but guilt that caused Regina to seek professional advice about her son. She didn’t just work at a multiplicity of jobs, often leaving him alone in their small apartment, she spent most of her spare time studying for a medical degree or organising political protests. A communist sympathiser, she was anxious about FBI attention, telling Fischer never to speak to the authorities should they approach him. His earliest life lessons were in paranoia and loneliness. If chess offered an escape from his humdrum life in Brooklyn, it also provided a much-needed structure. He mastered its rules and valued its traditions in a way that he never quite grasped social norms or conventions. The more he learned about chess, the less he cared about school, friendship, girls, job prospects or any other teenage concerns. Nearly everyone who showed an interest in him when he was a child was primarily drawn to his chess ability. They ignored his less charming attributes — his lack of curiosity about others, his sense of entitlement, his tendency to cry and sulk when he lost — because he displayed such promise at moving pieces around the board. His chess coach as a teenager was a man named Jack Collins, who gave Fischer free tuition. Yet when Collins became popular with other young players, as a result of Fischer’s successes, his star student resented Collins’ financial gain. For the rest of his life, he remained ever vigilant to exploitation. As Brady writes: He hated the idea of

“ H e h a t e d t h e i d e a o

A SMILING FISCHER LEAVES AN UNDERGROUND ARCADE IN MANHATTAN IN 1962

BOBBY FISCHER

people making money off his name.” And all the time, he just got better and better. He became a chess master at 13, and the same year he defeated Donald Byrne, one of America’s strongest players, with such magnificent precision that it became known as the “game of the century”. Two months before his 15th birthday, he became the youngest-ever US champion. He played in, and won, a further seven US championships — once achieving the remarkable feat of a perfect score — 11 wins and no losses. Yet partly owing to his withdrawal from international competition in the mid-1960s in protest at what he claimed (probably correctly) was the collusion of Soviet players, it would not be until 1972 that he challenged for the world title. The showdown between Fischer and Boris Spassky, the reigning world champion, in Reykjavik in 1972 was promoted as if it were an intellectual third world war, with chess pieces standing in for tactical nuclear weapons. If that sounds ridiculous, it’s worth noting that when Fischer looked like pulling out of the match on the eve of the tournament, the phone call that persuaded him to go came from Henry Kissinger, the US national security adviser. This was the era of the cold war and, in popular terms, Spassky represented the Soviet subsidised system that had ruled international chess for decades, while Fischer embodied the spirit of American free market individualism standing up to communist collective might. In fact, each man would in the years to come renounce his nation’s citizenship

and ideology, but at the time the symbolism of their roles fired the world’s imagination.

symbolism of their roles fired the world’s imagination. His match against Spassky in 1972 was the

His match against Spassky in 1972 was the most dramatic chess game in history, set against the Cold War

dramatic chess game in history, set against the Cold War And there was no shortage of

And there was no shortage of drama. First of all, Fischer, spooked by the media and his impending moment of truth, went to ground in New York, forcing the organisers to postpone the starting date of the competition in Iceland. He hid at his friend and fellow chess player Anthony Saidy’s

parents’ house, unconcerned by the fact that Saidy’s father was dying. When he finally got to Reykjavik, he arrived late for the first game and lost, making an inexplicable blunder during the endgame. He forfeited the second game by not turning up and refused to continue unless the match was moved from a public hall to a private room. Amazingly, the organisers gave into his demands and he started to win. It was then Spassky’s turn to complain of a mysterious contraption hidden in the room that was sapping his energy. The furniture and light fittings were disassembled to mollify Spassky. All that was found were two dead flies. Were these all psychological ploys? Fischer once said: “I don’t believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.” No one prepared harder or longer in

FISCHER’S DEMONS OVERTOOK HIS TALENT

BOBBY FISCHER

contemplation of those moves than Fischer. But chess is not just a game of the mind. It’s also the ultimate mind game. The confidence with which chess players speak of themselves and the condescension they display to their opponents illustrate how much of the action takes place away from the board. “The greatest pleasure,” Fischer told the talkshow host Dick Cavett when asked what he relished most about winning, “is when you break his ego — that’s where it’s at.” Spassky’s ego was broken in Iceland. Fischer accelerated away to the title, playing some of the most sublime chess ever witnessed in championship competition. In Bobby Fischer Against The World, Saidy refers to game six, the most celebrated of the match, as “a symphony of placid beauty”. “The thing that strikes me about Fischer’s chess,” Saidy says, “is that it’s very clear. There are no mysterious rook moves or obscure manoeuvrings. He’s very direct. There’s a great deal of logic to the chess. It’s not as though it’s not incredibly difficult — it is incredibly difficult. It’s just that when you look at it you can understand it — afterwards. He just makes chess look very easy, which it isn’t.” Making the supremely difficult look easy may be one definition of genius. One category of social dysfunction is making the easy look supremely difficult. Fischer possessed both traits. Short, who has played 12 world champions, never met Fischer, but he’s read widely about him, including Brady’s new book. He thinks that before Reykjavik Fischer showed some eccentricities but that “no fair

FISCHER ARRIVES FOR A MATCH AGAINST SPASSKY IN ICELAND IN 1972
FISCHER ARRIVES FOR A MATCH AGAINST SPASSKY IN ICELAND IN 1972

person would say that he was crazy”. That is true, yet there were visible signs of growing unease. There is footage online of a crew-cut 15-year- old Fischer taking part in the US quiz

show I’ve Got A Secret. He looks alert, engaged, open to the world. At one point, as the panel tries to guess his achievement (becoming the youngest US chess champion), he’s asked if it made people happy, to which he quips:

“It made me happy!” and breaks into

a big smile. Fourteen years later, in

the interview with Cavett, he gives nervous, laconic answers that put me in mind of Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter. His leg moves in anxious spasms. He looks edgy rather than alienated. Wearing a sharp blue suit, he cuts a handsome, athletic figure, uncomfortable but not unappealing. His triumph in Iceland was the culmination of 23 years’ relentless work. When questioned about the

effect of this monomania, he replied, looking disturbed at the thought:

“Well, it would have been better if

it had been a little more balanced, a

little more rounded. But what can you do?” Yet on finally winning the crown, Fischer announced: “My goal now is

to play a lot more chess. I feel I haven’t played enough chess.” He never played another competitive game again, except for one strange match in 1992 against a fading Spassky. After Reykjavik, he was offered, and turned down, millions of dollars of sponsorship. There was a $5m deal on the table to defend his title against the Soviet challenger, Anatoly Karpov. Fischer insisted that Fide, the world chess federation, change the format of the final. Fide went nearly all the way to meeting his demands, but not far enough for Fischer. He resigned his title in June 1974. Saidy, like Kasparov, believes that a fear of losing lay behind the decision, even though Fischer would almost certainly have triumphed. Karpov, who became world champion by default, put it another way: “I think he couldn’t cope with his own invincibility.” And so began what have become known as the wilderness years and what Kasparov has called “one of the greatest known bouts of psychoanalysis in absentia the world has ever seen”. Fischer donated a large percentage of his Reykjavik winnings to the Worldwide Church of God.

BOBBY FISCHER

In 1975, after the no-show of the second Christ that the church had been promising, he abandoned the sect, believing it to be part of “a satanical secret world government”. By this time, he was living in a small basement apartment in Pasadena, near Los Angeles. His elegant wardrobe and fitness regime were things of the past. He cut off his phone, played chess on his own and spurned the friends who visited him. He started quoting the infamous antisemitic fabrication “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, even at dinner with his sister, her Jewish husband and children. “It was as if he was at war with himself,” says Saidy, who told him that if he didn’t play chess, he’d be forgotten. Fischer was so upset at the idea that he never spoke to him again. Well aware of chess’ baleful reputation in matters of psychiatric health, Short notes that it was when Morphy and Fischer stopped playing competitive chess that their mental conditions deteriorated. “So,” he says, “there is a counterargument that chess keeps people, or certain obsessive people, sane.” None the less, he acknowledges that the game can inflict mental damage. He draws an analogy with sport, where players pick up physical injuries as a result of constant strain. High-level competitive chess can also take its toll, only not on the physique. “I don’t think outsiders understand the levels of stress involved,” says Short. “If you’re in time trouble, your heart rate can easily double during a game. Normally when your heart rate is doubling you should be physically moving — so in chess there is no outlet for this stress. I think what happens is that people are getting

some sort of mental injuries that are not necessarily detected. Whereas a sportsman with a hamstring problem will receive immediate treatment, you can develop neurotic ideas in chess and they’re just never treated.” Fischer didn’t believe in doctors, much less psychiatrists. His neuroses were left to the media to diagnose and Fischer had even less time for the media than he did for shrinks. Brady records Fischer’s slide down the Los Angeles housing ladder, from the Pasadena basement to a MacArthur Park flophouse. He was reduced to living off his mother’s social security cheques. By 1990, he was a half- forgotten, penniless paranoiac.

By 1990, he was a half- forgotten, penniless paranoiac. High-level competitive chess can take its toll

High-level competitive chess can take its toll on the mind. Heart rate can double and mental injuries are not detected

Heart rate can double and mental injuries are not detected That’s when he received a letter,

That’s when he received a letter, via the United States Chess Federation, from a 17-year-old female chess player from Hungary called Zita Rajcsányi. She told him that he was “the Mozart of chess”. He entered into a correspondence with the teenager and she persuaded him to play chess once more. In 1992, a $5m match against Spassky was set up in war- torn Yugoslavia. There was a UN