The Next Fischer
by John "Nev" Balla

    There is an ultimate goal in any sport or game that every player tries
to achieve.  It isn't any award that can be won, it is knowing that you are the
best at what you do.  There isn't any actual title for "the best player in
it's just understood in most player's minds that you are.  When you go to play
someone in the first round of a tournament, whether it is a local shop
or a Pro Tour, chances are that your opponent is intimidated.  One player in
has gained this recognition, and it is Jon Finkel.  He has done just about
all there
is to do when it comes to professional Magic: winning a Pro Tour, winning a
Championship, winning a World Championship, and winning the Magic
making over $200,000 in career winnings, quite a feat, considering no one else
has even reached the $100,000 mark.  So once you reach this level of play,
next?  Can you get any better at what you do?  Probably not.
    This type of dominance was once seen in chess, by the legend, Bobby
In the 50's-70's, Fischer had become widely accepted as the best chess player
in the
world.  At 13 years old, he won the U.S. Amateur Championship, and in
following years,
would go on to achieve many other accomplishments, winning the U.S. National
multiple times, gaining the grandmaster title, winning millions of dollars in
his lifetime, and
even had a bill passed by congress recognizing him as world chess champion. 
In the 70's,
Fischer went into a retirement that lasted over 20 years.  Who can blame him?
 Aside from the
money, what would keep you enjoying the game after dominating it for so long?
What would
keep you practicing every day and drive you to work your hardest to prepare
for a
tournament when no matter how you do, you'll still be the best at it?
    Finkel has accomplished something that took Bobby Fischer decades to do,
and continues to finish in the top of professional tournaments, finishing in
the top 8
of the last two Pro Tours, Chicago and Los Angeles, and there are no signs
his success will come to a halt at any time in the near future.  There is much
success ahead for Finkel, and if the trend between him and Fischer are going
to stay
the same, it's only a matter of time before the premier of "Searching For Jon