Thanks to Susan Polgar's blog, I came across a recent article in the Filipino online newspaper Sun Star that lists Silicon Valley executives who play chess outside their busy professional careers. Here is just a sample; read the entire article for even more names.
- Paul Allen is an avid chess player and co-founder of Microsoft together with another chess player, Bill Gates.
- Larry Ellison (see photo) is the co-founder and CEO of Oracle. He used to play tournament chess and says he puts a lot of time on his game.
- Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal and was its CEO. He was at one time a promising chess player (rated 2287). I faced him six times from 1996 to 2001, scoring 4-2.
- Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar was fascinated by chess. One of the first web-based programs he wrote was chess-by-email service.
- Roelof Botha is a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital. He plays master level chess.
- David Cowan of Bessemer Ventures is a self-admitted "chess nerd" who says that he is addicted to Yahoo! chess.