IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2017 - 40
PHOTO COURTESY OF WARREN HARPER
Warren Harper (in the black blazer) and teammate
Timur Gareyev play a nine-board, blindfolded tandem
simultaneous exhibition. Without sight of the board,
their opponents had to verbally announce their moves,
and Harper and Gareyev would announce their moves
in reply (alternating moves). They went on to win all
nine games, breaking the old record of seven games for
tandem blindfold simultaneous exhibition.
A Strategic Activity
How hobby and career intersect for a global chess master
games, but there wasn't anything
that looked interesting. I picked
out something called 'Chess
Master 9000,' partly out of desperation, but it turned out I really
liked the game." From that point
on, chess became a regular part
of Harper's life.
Chess also plays a part in Harper's professional life, equipping
him with skills well suited to
his career choice. "When you
play chess, you're forced to work
under pressure, you learn from
your failures and mistakes, you
make educated guesses and you
seek help from more experienced
peers," says Harper. "These kinds
of skills translate directly into the
workplace." But, he notes, there
are even more direct connections
between chess and his career;
"IBM itself has a lot of ties to
chess with the development of
Deep Blue, the chess engine that
took down the world champion
at the time."
is a former
with IBM Systems
ouldn't it be nice to
find one activity that
would never become
boring? Warren Harper, staff specialist product developer, BMC,
has found his. Harper is an avid
chess player and regularly competes in tournaments worldwide.
By winning titles both in the
U.S. and internationally, Harper
has established himself as a
global chess master. He holds a
U.S. Master Title and a Master
Title from El Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE). "To
become a chess master, you have
to get a rating of at least 2,200 or
above depending on your local
chess federation," says Harper.
"FIDE has higher standards for its
master title, and for that you have
to get 2,300 to become a master
under the federation." Harper's
FIDE rating is 2,348, and his rating with the U.S. Chess Federation
is 2,477-93rd overall in the U.S.
Chess has taken him all over the
globe. "Chess definitely requires
you to travel a lot, especially since
it's bigger in Europe than the U.S.
I've been to Turkey, Moscow and
all over the U.S. for chess events."
Harper stumbled upon his
interest in chess at an early age.
"It just happened by chance,"
he says. "I was 11 and I had a
gift card to Best Buy. I loved PC
Harper also emphasized the
social aspects of chess-something that might surprise most
people. "Chess is actually a
social game. We're stereotyped
as a bunch of nerds getting
together at chess club, but it's so
much different than that," says
Harper. "You make friends really
easily at chess tournaments,
and people are always talking
or hanging out in the hallways
after the games."
Creating new friendships is one
of the most rewarding aspects
of chess for Harper, but he truly
appreciates how dynamic the
game can be. "It just doesn't get
old. It's fresh every single time
you play a game."
40 // NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 ibmsystemsmag.com
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