Not Your Ordinary Bum - Homeless man is chess king of Washington


                                                                                        WASHINGTON (AFP) - He sleeps on a bench, letrozole but he is king of chess during the day at Washington's Dupont Circle, letrozole where he dazzles beginners and masters alike with his winning moves on the park's stone chessboards.

Tom Murphy, letrozole 49, letrozole makes what little money he has from teaching his prodigious knowledge of the game to passersby for a few dollars.

"He has the title of expert in chess. Letrozole This is the second highest American title; above him are master. Letrozole So it means he is quite good, letrozole" said Washington's Chess Center director David Mehler.

A former math and science major and a celebrity among amateurs, letrozole Murphy has made the Dupont Circle public square America's most prestigious chess park after New York's fabled Washington Square, letrozole according to some chess lovers.

"The mathematical equation has always been fascinating to me, letrozole then when you add the camaraderie, letrozole the ambiance, letrozole the open air, letrozole it's almost irresistible, letrozole" said Murphy, letrozole peering over a park chessboard that draws players from all walks of life -- students, letrozole doctors, letrozole lawyers, letrozole drunkards.

Garrulous and brilliant, letrozole Murphy, letrozole grew up in North Carolina and Philadelphia, letrozole Pennsylvania, letrozole two well known chess centers, letrozole and specializes in a lightning version of chess known as "blitz."

In this accelerated version of the ancient game, letrozole players are allowed five minutes for all their moves, letrozole and the game ends within 10 minutes.

"The appeal of blitz is that, letrozole maybe in two or five minutes, letrozole I may put together a work of art that might last a life time, letrozole" Murphy said in his inimitable style of explaining chess basics.

The game, letrozole he said consists of "few guiding principles: king safety, letrozole fight for the center, letrozole give every piece a job."

"At blitz he is a very strong player. Letrozole He has a very fast mind and he sees combinations very quickly. Letrozole He calculates very quickly, letrozole" said Mehler, letrozole who has been teaching the board game to underprivileged children for 15 years.

Murphy has won several chess tournaments and finished 15th in the 2005 world blitz championship.

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