Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Georgia Senior at the House

GCA secretary of the board Rich Mielke informs that the 2008 Georgia Senior will be held the weekend of September 27-28 at the House of Pain! We Seniors have taken so much pain in our long lives, what is a little more?!
No word on the format, as yet. I do hope the GCA board has listened to the people and made needed changes to the format of previous years. Since we are Seniors, we should not be forced to adapt to the constraints of the same format used for children. From the Seniors with whom I've talked, the major thing is to NOT play at night! Another would be for two hours between rounds, enough time to go over the game just played, get something to eat, and actually have it begin to digest! Two five hour games in one day is just too long. After all, if one goes to a job, he works four hours, gets a lunch break, and then works another four hours. Why should a Senior have to strain to concentrate for ten hours? There are major health related issues here, it would seem.
I will keep you posted...

The Tex Trade

The first thing I did was go to the Hardball Times ( to check on the win shares. Tex has a 11.7 to 9.4 advantage in batting WS. but Kotchman leads in fielding, 2.5 to 1.6. Therefore Tex leads 13.3 to 11.9. Buttttttt...Hold on, Nellie! In WSP Kotchman leads with .568 to .560! What, you ask is WSP? I'm glad you asked...
WSP (Link)
Win Shares Percent, a Win Shares "rate stat" -- a measure of the player's contribution, given his playing time. The math is WS/(2*ExpWS). Expected Win Shares are the number of Win Shares an average player contributed, given that particular player's time at bat, on the mound or in the field.

Casey is younger, a better fielder, and will cost much less. His OBP is way down this year, although his HRs are up. Checking his minor league stats, I noticed his OBP was over .400 on the farm! Last year, his first full season in the show, he produced a .372 OBP. I can only conclude that because of the dearth of runs scored by the Anangels, someone told the young man to sacrifice his batting eye for power.
Then I checked his splits...Wow! This guy can hit lefty's.....349 BA; 393 OBP; .566 SLUG
That's with only 89 PA, but...Compare that with how he hits RHP: .269 BA; .307 OBP; .414 SLUG; in 309 PA.
OK, so let's see how he's hit LHP in his short career. Maybe this year is a fluke? Oh no! Vs LHP it's: .302 BA; .366 OBP; .420 SLUG...That's with 231 PA, mind you! Compare that with what he's hit in 1034 PA vs RHP: .267 BA; .330 OBP; .427 SLUG.
And the Braves get an arm, too? I know, a pitcher is always one pitch away from thru...But hey...I'm telling you, I would have never thought the Braves woulda gotten this much for a two or three month player! THIS IS A GREAT TRADE FOR THE ATLANTA BRAVES!
One more thing...I couldn't help noticing on the Hardball Times website that the Anangels are 8 games better than they should be, having won 65 when they shoulda won 57; while the Braves are almost the opposite, having won 6 fewer games than they should have. They could have a winning record of 55-50 even with all the problems they've had. Put that with last years version of Frenchy (Frenchy? Frenchy? Where are you, Frenchy?!), and the Braves would be in first place!
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...If that blind umpire had seen Hrbek slam-dunk Ronnie Gant...or seen David Justice kick up chalk from the third base bag...or Lonnie had kept running...Or if 4 games had been played in a REAL OUTDOOR STADIUM...If Mark Wohlers had thrown nothing but heat to Leyritz...What time is it?...

Chicago - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
As I was walking down the street one day/A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was/on my watch, yeah/And I said/Does anybody really know what time it is/I don't/Does anybody really care/care/If so I can't imagine why/about time/We've all got time enough to cry/Oh no, no/And I was walking down the street one day/A pretty lady looked at me and said her diamond watch had/stopped cold dead/And I said/Does anybody really know what time it is/I don't/Does anybody really care/care/If so I can't imagine why/about time/We've all got time enough to cry/Oh no, no/And I was walking down the street one day/Being pushed and shoved by people trying to beat the clock,oh, so I just don't know,I just don't know/And I said, yes I said/Background Vocal:People runnin' everywhere/Don't know the way to go/Don't know where I am/Can't see past the next step/Don't have to think past the last mile/Have no time to look around/Just run around, run around and think why/Does anybody really know what time it is/I don't/Does anybody really care/care/If so I can't imagine why/about time/We've all got time enough to die/Oh no, no

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Demarcation Line

Twenty players braved the torrential downpour to make it to the TNF. The Stud, back from drawing four games at the LPO, was the highest rated player, followed by Joe Moon at 2096. There was a precipitous drop to the third ranked player, Soloman Zelman, at 1744, a full class behind. Since there were no class "A" players in the field, the disparity in rating between #2 & #3 was 352 points. That made the 260 point drop between #12 & #13 seem small in comparison. It is obvious that changes must be made to get more higher rated players to the House!
The big news in the first round was the huge 552 point upset of Christopher Edler (1700) by Bob Peatman (1148)! Eric Lu (1450) took out Zelman (1744), an upset of 294 points. Mr Lu continued in the second round by winning from Zimmy (1703), a difference of 253, giving him a total of 547 upset points after only two rounds! Justin Swaby (1645) popped Bob's bubble to go 2-0, while Gautam Narula beat another tail-ender, joining the 2-0 group, along with The Stud, who, after beating Pinky Peatman in the first round, took out the Barbarian, Andrew Bryant in round two. Unfortunately, Mr Narula did not feel well and had to withdraw, really messing up the pairings...That turn of events elevated Joe Moon, who had beaten Christopher Roberts in the first round, and drawn with James Stack in rd two, to second board vs Eric Lu. The Stud beat Swaby to win the tournament 3-0 and win $24, while Joe ended the night of upsets by Eric Lu, thereby finishing clear second, winning $16. Swaby, the Barbarian, who beat Bob Peatman, and James Stack(House), who drew with Zimmy, tied for third, winning $3 each. Pinky upset Edler in the last round, and tied for the under prize with Eric Lu, and Chris Roberts, who won his last two games. Each took $7 from the House.
Five players were eligible for the U1100 prize, though I know not why. The lower rated players are the ones who get the assigned bye if there is an odd number of players. They receive the bye for a reason. They come for the experience and because the games are rated just like it is a regular standard time limit game. They come to take the points the higher rated players put on the line. They should be eligible for the under prize. Period. At least tonight the two players rated under 1100 who each won a $7 prize won a game. Put that $14 into the top section and first place would have been $30, with second $20, and maybe more higher rated players will come to the House!
Eric Lu gained 56 points and Bob Peatman garnered 38! Go Bob! His son, Pinky, gained another 22 points. After attending both chess camps at the House this summer, I look for Pinky to gain at least a rating class by the end of this year! Zachary Justice gained 40 points, but it was not enough to elevate him to quadruple digits. No one should receive a rating until they reach 1000. For pairing purposes they should stay unrated until they at least reach the chess equivalent of the baseball "Mendoza" line.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ananya Roy upset at Polgar

Found this game on Chess Life Online: Polgar Invitational Kicks Off at Texas Tech

Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, 2008 White: Mahowald, Morgan Black: Roy, Ananya
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.e5 dxe5 6.dxe5 Qxd1+ 7.Rxd1 Ng4 8.Nf3 Nxe5 9.Be2 a6 10.Nd5 O-O 11.Nxc7 Ra7 12.Bxe7 Nxf3+ 13.Bxf3 Be5 14.Bxf8 Bxc7 15.Bd6 b5 16.Bc5 Rb7 17.Bxb7 Bxb7 18.O-O Bc6 19.Bd6 Bxd6 20.Rxd6 Bd7 21.Rfd1 Kf8 22.Rxd7 Nxd7 23.Rxd7 1-0

Minnesota’s Morgan Mahowald overcame a more than 600-point difference to take the Upset Special.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer Cold

Have not blogged for awhile because I've had a summer cold, brought on, no doubt, by the lower 60 temps here at the House. Had to work Wed & Thur evenings and it was a veritable frozen tundra in the main room. Although I turned off the fan, and, later, put on long pants and socks, it must not have been soon enough. Keith is here to TD the scholastic tournament this afternoon. I noticed he was wearing shorts when he came in. Later on, upstairs, after I'd showered, I asked him to check the temp on the thermostate, since I did not have my glasses, and he said, "It's not that cold up here." So I told him I noticed he came in with shorts on, but had changed to long jeans! He grinned, saying, "I didn't say it wasn't cold down there!" He said the thermometer showed 68 degrees. Since heat rises, it's gotta be at least five degrees colder downstairs, and my body simply cannot tolerate it. It's been this way since the day before the PSO. I have an aversion to walking around in long pants, with a long sleeved shirt, when it's 90+ outside. Something about that scenario seems "freakish." It's Tee-shirt, shorts and sandals weather!
Whatever I had seemed to break last night, as I had to change the wet clothes in the middle of the night, and as soon as I got up this morning did the same thing. I loathe and detest having a, and being, Cold in the Summer!
There were only six players for the G/10 Friday night. David Vest and the good doctor, Orlando Cano, tied for first at 5-2. A half point back were Steve Csukas and Justin Swaby, who is obviously capable of swimming with the sharks! Woody and Michael Coney rounded out the field.
Yesterday (Sat) Norm came by, leaving at 4:30 and a mother with her two sons came in four hours later. That was it. All the players must be at the LPO, though I've not received a report.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Gracious Drifter

Seeing that there would've been five players for the quad, and he would be much higher rated than the number two man, Spencer Bledsoe, the High Plains Drifter graciously decided to let the others, Pinky Peatman, Christopher Roberts, and the oftentimes House man, Bob Bassett have a go at the winner take all purse. For that magnanimous gesture, Mr Vest will receive a free entry into the next TNF!
Spencer beat Christopher and Pinky drew with Bob in round one. In the second round Spencer bested the House, while Pinky scored his first ever win over CR! That set the stage for the last round. When it came time to flip the coin deciding colors, Pinky said that, although he was supposed to have white in the first round, he took Black, as Bob was already sitting behind the White pieces! I told him it was up to both players to know which color they were to play. Later, I told Bob that it was a crafty move by the veteran to sit behind the White pieces unless and until told otherwise! I also told Carter that he needed to watch these Wiley O Veterans...More than chess is learned at the HOP.
Bob drew with CR and left saying, "What are these kids rated? They're too good!" Spencer outlasted Pinky although he admitted he was on the ropes at one point. Mr Bledsoe finished 3-0 and took the cash from the House! He was kind enough to make a copy of his game with Mr Roberts, since he knows I've had an afinity for the Closed Sicilian for many years. Keep in mind this was a G/30. Although Spence missed 7 Bxc5 and Christopher missed 19...Rxf2, it is a very interesting game, including a Queen sac! It looks as though 22 R8h7+ Kg8 23 Rh8+ would've ended in a draw...This is a good game to put into your machine, whether Fritz, Shredder, Deep Junior, or Deep Purple!


1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 e6 6.Be3 Nge7 7.Qd2 0–0 8.Bh6 d6 9.h4 Nd4 10.0–0–0 Nec6 11.h5 Qe7 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Nf3 Nxf3 14.Bxf3 Nd4 15.Bg2 Bd7 16.Rh2 Rac8 17.hxg6 fxg6 18.Qh6+ Kg8 19.Rdh1 Rf7 20.Qxg6+ hxg6 21.Rh8+ Kg7 22.R1h7+ Kf6 23.e5+ Kxe5 24.f4+ Rxf4 25.gxf4+ Kxf4 26.Rxe7 Rxh8 27.Rxd7 Rh2 28.Bxb7 Rxc2+ 29.Kb1 Ke3 30.Be4 Rf2 1-0 (as Nd1+ forks)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The High Plains Drifter Hit The Pipe

Alan Piper called asking for the results of the PSO, so I gave told him to go to the BaconLOG. He came by after work to play in the G/15. I asked him what he thought of the BaconLOG and he said he thought I should just give the results. He is, obviously, a veritable Joe Friday. Hence, the title of this entry.
Spencer Bledsoe and James Stack filled out the quad and, as it turned out, form held true, as the higher rated player won every game! Mr Stack was rewarded with the 'Woody' for visiting the House, and taking lessons. As Bobby Fischer said, "Sometimes you give a lesson; sometimes you take one."
Richard James works as a guard in a prison and watches chess played all day. He said it makes him want to play "so bad" so he decided to visit the HOP. Darrell Spratling from Peoria, Il, here visiting family, came by, saying how wonderful it must be to have a fulltime chess House, as there's not much happening there. Big John Williams came to battle long-time foe, Oddo Fox. Mumtaz Yusef came by after calling and learning the Pipe was in the House. The Barbarian made a brief visit, catching a ride with Oddo.
The camp ended today. The wrap-up of the US Class on Chess Life Online informs that the lowest rated player in the class D section, Kyle Hecker, won and attributed his win to two chess camps he went to before this event. Let that be a lesson to the younger readers (and their parents!). There is no better way of improving than an intensive few days of total immersion in the Royal game!

The Last Round

The House allows a half point bye in the last round of the Tuesday Night Fights for a good reason. Because of the exigencies of being a week night some of the younger players must leave early to go home and get in bed. Some live a good distance from the HOP. Some players must leave early to go to work.
When it comes to the weekend Swiss, and other, longer, tournaments, though, I am adamantly opposed to awarding a half point in the last round! The last round is the culmination of the tournament. It is the reason the tournament is played. Rewarding a player for NOT PLAYING the 'money round' is an abomination! It is far worse than the dreaded DH in baseball! I'm uncertain how the practice came about, but there oughta be a law against it!
Damir Studen offered an early draw to Wayne Christiansen in the third round Saturday night so that he could go home and rest. It would seem , after playing two games that day, it would be an appropriate time to take a half point bye. Many years ago I had to face the father of Curt Jones, a strong player in his own right, in the last round. I had been through the wringer in the fourth round, and it showed. Mr Jones had taken a half point bye and came in fresh as a daisey. I went down and didn't like it. As I discussed it with my opponent, he said that, at his age, he simply could not play a late game on Sat night and get enough rest to play two games on Sun. I asked why he had not taken his bye in the third round? That way he could play two games each day. He said he considered it, but thought it best to take the bye in order to be rested FOR THE LAST ROUND! Since that time, I have always considered it OK to take a half point bye in any of the first three rounds, but not the last two. If one must take a half point bye in the last two rounds, especially the last round, then why play? He said that I would understand when I got older. I've reached that stage and I've not changed how I feel...
Ben Francis took a half point bye in the third round to attend a party, and it showed in his last round game. If one plans on playing in a chess tournament, it would seem that one should focus on chess, and only chess!

Damir Studen (2195)-Ben Francis (2218) The Last Round of the PSO
The Damir Attack (from the scoresheet)

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.g3 Bg4 4.Bg2 c6 5.0–0 Nbd7 6.c3 e6 7.Re1 Bd6 8.Nbd2 0–0 9.e4 e5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Qc2 Nxf3+ 13.Nxf3 h6 14.h3 Bh5 15.Qb3 Qc7 16.c4 Nf6 17.Be3 Nd7 18.Nh4 Be7 19.Bf4 Bd6 20.Bxd6 Qxd6 21.g4 Bg6 22.Rad1 Qc7 23.Nxg6 fxg6 24.Re7 Rad8 25.c5+ Kh7 26.Qc3 Rf6 27.Qd2 Qc8 28.Rxd7 Rxd7 29.Qxd7 Qf8 30.Qd4 Rf4 31.Qe3 Rf7 32.Re1 1-0

The Viktor Korchnoi of Southern chess, Klaus Pohl, mentioned how gruelling it is to play in a weekend tournament at his age, saying, "Just look at the top boards." I told him that I've been noticing, for years, how the energy and stamina of the young shows at the end of a tournament. I can still recall how IM Boris Kogan, used to only playing one game a day in his native Russia, would walk around during the third round on Sat night, hands clasped behind his back, eyes bloodsot, shaking his head and muttering about "crazy Americans!"
Wayne Christiansen, who is eligible for the Senior, came with Klaus from the great state of SC. After his quick draw with Damir in round three, he had to wait at the House for Klaus to finish his game, in lieu of going back to the hotel to rest. He came to realize that he should not have accepted the draw, but explained it by saying that he gets up at o'dark thirty to go to work everyday, and by the late hour he can hardly think...Maybe he should consider that third round half point bye?
Alex King is a member of The Next Generation of fine players produced by the great state of TN.

Alex King (2072)-Wayne Christiansen (2100) Last Round of the PSO
Exchange Spanish

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Qxd4 7.Nxd4 Bd7 8.Be3 0–0–0 9.Nd2 Ne7 10.0–0–0 Ng6 11.f4 f6 12.g3 c5 13.N4f3 Bc6 14.f5 Ne5 15.Nxe5 fxe5 16.g4 Bd6 17.h4 Rdf8 18.Rdf1 h6 19.Rf2 Kd7 20.Rfh2 Ke8 21.Kd1 b5 22.Ke2 c4 23.Rh3 Bb4 24.c3 Bd6 25.g5 h5 26.Rf1 Rf7 27.Rhf3 Bd7 28.R3f2 Rff8 29.g6 Be7 30.Bg5 Bc5 31.Rf3 Rhg8 32.Re1 Be7 33.Nf1 Bf6 34.Ke3 Ke7 35.Ng3 Rh8 36.Rf2 Bc6 37.Rd2 Rb8 38.Red1 Bxg5+? 39.hxg5 h4 40.f6+ gxf6 41.Nf5+ Ke6 42.Rd6+ 1-0

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It was a dark and stormy Tuesday Night Fights

The skies were dark and ominous as a fierce wind howled outside; while the Weather Channel showed a massive blob of red moving our way. In spite of the foreboding weather, 24 players decided to enter the TNF! Miraculously, the storm seemed to blow past leaving us almost unscathed!
The Legendary Georgia Ironman rounded up his posse which enhanced the turn-out. Mr Brookshear spent the evening going over the games of not only his posse, but anyone who wanted! Tim purchased books and swapped tales with anyone who would listen. Tonight he was a virtual One Man Gang!
Rich Mielke left his wife down under and made his way to the HOP, bringing a Paul Kelly disc to 'rip' to boot. He made his presence felt in the very first round, as he drew with Ben Moon, rated 412 points higher! He beat Evelyn Chen in the second round. Tim Chu upset Joseph Moon in rd 2, to join the man from the High Plains, and the Peach State co-Champ, The Stud as the only players 2-0. Gautam Narula held the higher rated former Alabama chess champ, Calvin Bomar, to a draw; James Stack let everyone know he was in the House with a draw with the higher rated Spencer Bledsoe, who was fortunate to escape! James had to go to work, so could not play the last round, taking a half pt bye.
The Twin Towers were paired in the final round and came down smiling after the draw, putting them in the clubhouse with 2 1/2. They had to wait to see who would catch them. Calvin Bomar stopped Tim Chu's charge; Spencer Bledsoe, who's off to Russia late this week, brought GCA board member Mielke down to earth; and Narula upset Benjamin Moon, making it a 5-way tie for first! Each took home $13.
The under 1600 winners were John 'Mad Dog' Millett, who beat Richard Lin, both members of the 'posse; Pinky Peatman, who not only beat Charles Lu in rd 3 and Zachary Justice in the penultimate rd, but attended the Larry Stanfield chess camp all day! Bob Bassett upset Zimmy in the final round, and Christopher Roberts played the game of the round, winning versus Joseph Moon. Joe was white and had a large time advantage, with about 4 minutes to half a minute for Mr Roberts, and he seemed to have a positional advantage on the Queenside, as he had his rooks in oposition on b6 & a6, versus blacks rooks on b8 & a8, a unique position. He also had his Queen and black squared bishop threatening menacingly. As the moves continued to be made, Joe was using the time he had, while Christopher had to move on instinct. Mr Roberts got down to 9 seconds, while Joe still had over 3 minutes. Mr Moon's King was all alone on h2 and Mr Roberts managed to get his lone rook to a2. He tried to get his lady to the second rank, but was thwarted at every turn; but it was costing Joe time! Chris did the dipsy-doodle, got his Queen loose, and the next thing you know, Joe was tipping his king! Mr Roberts still had 4 seconds! He must've made ten moves in five seconds with the Chronos time delay. Christopher is also a member of the 'posse' and is helping the Ironman and the Drifter at their chess camp this week. It was very impressive how he held steady in such time pressure. I've seen older and stronger chess players come unglued in such situations. 'Mad Dog', Pinky, Bassett Hound, and Mr Roberts each won $8.50.
The under 1100 winners were Michael Wu, with his last round win over Daniel Justice; Charles Lu, with his first round bye; and Zachary Justice with his last round bye. Each won $6. Don't ask me why...
Tim Chu, with his 2090 PR had the biggest change, 29 points. Rich Mielke gained 20 for his efforts.
Wednesday night G/15! Thursday night G/30 Quads. Winner take all!!!
The House is trying to arrange a lecture and simul with FM Kazim Gulamali in the near future. For some time this was Kazim's second home. I still recall Oddo Fox calling Kazim the "little Grandmaster." One of the reasons he has become such a stong chess player is that he had a place to practice his game. I look around and wonder which of the 'posse' may follow in his footsteps? The fee will be $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Please express your interest by calling, sending an email, or, better yet, let us know IN PERSON!

Monday, July 21, 2008


There is an article on Chessbase detailing the launch of a major innovation: the ChessBase Simul Hunt. The aim is to save from oblivion as many games as possible played by readers in simultaneous displays. You can click on this link and go right to it: Edward Winter's Chess Explorations (5) - We look forward to your contribution.
Kelly Hollins mentioned he played GM David Bronstein in a simul at the HOP over a decade ago and I mentioned the new CHESSBASE project and asked him to bring me the game. He said it was "not good enough." I said that if everyone felt that way, no one would send in any games!
The next day he surprised me by giving me a copy of the game!
I've only played in three simuls; the first one versus Jude Acers, the second vs GM Bent Larsen, and the third vs GM Larry Christiansen. I lost all of them...I did, though, exact a measure of revenge by winning a game from Jude in the French Quarter many years later. I also beat GM Larry BACKGAMMON! After his simul, we played at the house of Michael Decker for many hours at only a quarter a point. Although I won the session, I watched as Larry C improved from game to game! He kept looking at me with a look that said, "I'm a GM and he's not, so I oughta be winning at this game, too!"

GM David Bronstein-Kelly Hollins
6/16/93 The Atlanta Chess and Game Center (Simul)
Giuoco Piano C54

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nf3 d6 5.c3 0–0 6.0–0 Nc6 7.Nbd2 Bg4 8.h3 Bh5 9.b4 b5 10.Bxb5 Nxb4 11.cxb4 Bxb4 12.Qa4 Bc5 13.d4 Bb6 14.Bb2 exd4 15.Nxd4 Bxd4 16.Qxd4 Rb8 17.Bd3 a5 18.Nc4 a4 19.Bc3 Bg6 20.Rad1 Qe7 21.e5 dxe5 22.Qxe5 Rfe8 23.Qxe7 Rxe7 24.Bxg6 fxg6 25.Rfe1 Rbe8 26.Rxe7 Rxe7 27.Bxf6 gxf6 28.Kf1 Kf7 29.Re1 Rd7 30.Ke2 Rd4 31.Rc1 c5 32.Ne3 Rb4 33.Rxc5 Rb2+ 34.Rc2 a3 35.Kd2 1-0

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Stud and The Next Generation

With wins in both games on Sunday, Damir Studen and Alexander King finished with 4-1, a point ahead of the field, to win the Peach State Open! Youth will be served! The Stud beat Ben Francis, while Alex King, part of the confederacy of the next generation from Tennessee, bested Wayne Christensen. They took home $197 for their efforts. It was the first time The Stud has finished first in the open section at a weekend tournament at the House of Pain. It's easy to predict that it will not be the last! Ben and Wayne tied for third, with Ryan Moon, who took out Frank Ashmun, and the High Plains Drifter, won outlasted Oscar Cuesta, winning with a lone rook vs bishop as Oscar ran outta time! Each won $71. Charles McMillan drew with Klaus Pohl and they both finished at 50%, as did Paul Taylor, albeit with a last round full point bye.
In the U2000 section, Young David Bernat beat Ben Moon to take clear first with his score of 4-1, winning $142. Spencer Bledsoe overcame Frank Johnson, who was making his first appearence at the HOP in quite some time, while Sumit Sohani drew with John Austin to also finish with 3-2, both taking homwe $47.50. Frank, Ben, and Justin Swaby, with a last round full point bye, had 2 1/2 points.
In the U1800 secton Mohamed Atwa won both of his games today, beating Fast Eddie Shaw in the last round, to finish clear first with 4 1/2, winning $126.Emily Francis beat Richard De Credico in the last round to finish 4-1, taking home $95. Ryan Christianson, the lowest rated player going in, gained points with his last round victory over Refugio Gonzalez, finishing at +1.
Ron Benel, after taking a 1/2 pt bye in the third round, made it pay off as he won both games on Sunday, to go with his other two wins, finishing first with a score of 4 1/2, taking $126 from the HOP. A half point back was Christopher Roberts, who lost only to Ron. He won $95. Robert Steen finished +2, but had to console himself with the rating points he gained.
Man of the world, Nick Nikley, drew his last round game with Raymond Zhang, who finished with 3-2, to take clear first and $126 in the U1400 section. Nick is clearly ready to step-up into the C class! Kelly Hollins, with black, beat Riley Lane, who ended 3-2, while Rishi Bagga beat Jason Robinson, and David Rosenthal beat Tianming Liu, and all three finished 3 1/2-1 1/2 to win $53.
Mr Studen had a performance rating of 2288 and gained 9 points, while The King's PR was 2271, gaining 19 rating points. Mr Atwa actually played and drew with Frank Johnson in the U2000 in the first round, along with winning his section. Figuring in that game, his PR was 2056 and he gained about 50 points! Emily Francis had a PR of 1896, gaining 30 points and just getting ever stronger! Emily kinda reminds me of a wonderful young lady from the days when there were no female chess players, except her, Alison Bert. Ron Benel's PR was 1871 and he gained 74 points. The largest rating increase went to Patrick Ray, who drew with Daniel Justice in the last round to finish at 50%. He gained 218 points! But, when one is rated 423, the only way to go is up! His PR was 988.

PSO Rd 4

Francis 1/2 Christensen
Pohl 0-1 King
Studen 1-0 McMillan
R Moon 1/2 Vest
L Johnson 0-1 Cuesta
Arnold 1/2 Taylor
Christianson 0-1 Ashmun

Sohani 1/2 F Johnson
Bledsoe 0-1 Bernat
B Moon 1-0 Lugonja
Austin0-1 Swaby

E Francis 0-1 Atwa
R Christianson 0-1 Shaw
Bukovics 0-1 Gonzalez
Peatman 0-1 Zimmy

Benal 1-0 Toberts
Walker 0-1 Nichlos
Mostafa 0-1 Steen
Chen 0-1 Garcia
Khanin full pt bye

Nikley 1-0 Rishi Bagga
Hollins 1/2 Rosenthal
Ray 0-1 Lane
Liu 0-1 R Zhang
Z Justice 0-1 Robinson
Rohan Bagga 1-0 KJ Zhang
De Credico 0-1 D Justice

Lugonja-Bledsoe Rd 3
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.a3 d5 4.e3 b6 5.Nf3 Bb7 6.d4 Nbd7 7.b4 a5 8.b5 Bd6 9.Be2 0–0 10.0–0 Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Nd2 f5 13.a4 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.f3 Bxg3 16.hxg3 Qxg3+ 17.Kh1 Rf6 0-1

I tell my students to ask 3 questions before making a move: 1) Why did my opponent make that move? 2) What move do I want to make, and why? 3) AM I LEAVING ANYTHING HANGING?!!!

Frank Johnson-Lugonja
1 e4 c6 2 c4 d5 3 cxd5 cxd5 4 exd5 Qxd5 5 Nc3 Qe5+ 6 Be2 Bg4 7 Qa4+ Nbd7??? (As Dierks Bentley would say, what was he thinking?) 8 Qxg4...and, mercifully, the game ended 8 moves later...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

At the Turn

Round 2 of the Peach State Open
Pohl 0-1 Christensen
Arnold 0-1 Francis
Johnson 0-1 Vest
Studen 1-0 Ashmun
King 1/2-1/2 Taylor
Millan 1/2-1/2 R Moon
Cuesta 1-0-Christianson

Bernat 1/2-1/2 Sohani
F Johnson 1-0 Lugonja
Bledsoe 1/2-1/2 Austin
Swaby 0-1 B Moon

Peatman 0-1 Shaw
E Francis 1-0 R Christianson
Zimmy 0-1 Atwa
De Credico 0-1 Gonzalez
Bukovics full pt bye

Benel 1-0 Garcia
Walker 0-1 Roberts
Mostafa 1-0 Chen
Steen 1-0 Khanin
Nichols full pt bye

Nikley 1-0 Rosenthal
Liu 0-1 Lane
Rishi Bagga 1-0 Chandraratna
Zhang 1-0 Rohan Bagga
Dan Justice 0-1 Robinson
Zofia De Credico 0-1 Zach Justice
Zhang 0-1 Ray
Hollins full pt bye

The Viktor Korchnoi of Southern chess, Klaus Pohl, questioned the pairing of him with his friend with whom he came, so I explained that, with such small sections, the pairings are hard wnough without making adjustments for buddies. Besides, I said, the Williams sisters don't complain about having to face each other at Wimbledon. "Yes" Klaus said, "But they play in the last round!"

Round 3
Christensen 1/2-1/2 Studen (an 8 move game, in which The Stud, with black, offered the draw! Wayne, ho is 53, accepted. Klaus said that Damir "Is not a fighter." Actually, Damir's problem is that he does not sleep at night! It makes me think of what Bobby Fischer said about a good noght's sleep being more important than all the theory!)
Vest 0-1 Pohl (two wiley ol' veterans going at it with neither giving an inch!)
Cuesta 0-1 King
Taylor 0-1 McMillan
R Moon 1-0 Arnold
Christianson full pt bye
Ben Francis 1/2 pt bye (had to attend a friend's graduation party, leaving his poor sister in the lurch!)
Bernat 1/2 -1/2 F Johnson
Austin 1/2-1/2 B Moon
Lugonja 0-1 Bledsoe
Sohani & Swaby 1/2 bye

Shaw 0-1 E Francis
Atwa 1-0 Bukovics
R Christianson 1-0 Pinky Peatman
De Credico 1/2-1/2 Zimmy
Gonzalez 1/2 pt bye

Roberts 1-0 Nichols
Garcia 0-1 Walker
Khanin 1/2-1/2 Mostafa
Chen full pt bye
Benal & Steen 1/2 pt bye

Lane 0-1 Nikley (Saint Nick is flying high!)
Rosenthal 1-0 R S Zhang
Robinson 0-1 Liu
Chandraratna 0-1 Ray
K J Zhang 1-0 De Credico
Hollins, both Bagga's, and both Justice's 1/2 pt byes

PSO round 1, part 2

We now have a total of 56 players for the PSO! More than double decided to play a truncated round 1 at a time limit of G/90.
In the Open section the Viktor Korchnoi of Southern chess, Klaus Pohl (2227) beat Ryan Moon (2096) with black on board 1; Ben Francis (2218) beat the current Ga Senior champ, Oscar Cuesta (1962); Paul Taylor (1868) drew with The Sleepy Stud (2195); and Wayne Christensen (2100) beat Michael Christiansen (1839).
This morning we had an U2000 section! Mohamed Atwa (1741) drew with Frank Johnson (1940) on the top board; Ben Moon (1830) was upset by Sumit Sohani (1725); Justin Swaby (1645) lost to David Bernat (1804); with former state co-champ John Austin taking a bye.
In the U1800 Refugio Estrada Gonzalez (1677) was beaten by Emily Francis (1710); Fast Eddie Shaw (1710) took out Richard De Credico (1617); and Ryan Christianson (1537) upset Zimmy! (1703).
The U1600 saw Christopher Roberts (1507) win against Ahmed Mostafa (1372) and Evelyn Chen lose to Jonathan Walker (1435).
In the U1400 section Black won on all boards, a rare sight, indeed! The match-ups were: Daniel Justice (1088)-Nick Nikley (1328); Patrick Ray (432)-David Rosenthal (1034); Zachary Justice (932)-Kelly Hollins (1148); Bohan Bagga (1127)-Tianming Liu (918); and Zsofia Decredico (492)-Rishi Bagga (1108).
Round two is under way!

Positional and Tactical Understanding

The Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #406 is out, always a high point of the day! IMJD quotes from Michael Aigner : Three-time US Champion Grandmaster Nick DeFirmian, rated 2541 FIDE, taught the most recent session of the San Francisco School of Chess on July 12-13...Over two days, GM DeFirmian shared a number of opening concepts with the students of the School of Chess.He taught the top group (five students and two guests) for nearly four hours on Saturday, advocating a positional approach to understanding the move orders and strategies to play the 6.Be3 line of the Najdorf Sicilian... It was interesting to watch how even an ultra-tactical opening such as the Najdorf could be understood by a calm positional approach.

Is chess understanding tactical or positional? Or is it a combination of both?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Peach State Open

There was a small turn-out for the Peach State Open, enhanced by the "next generation" from Tennessee, along with a friend from Kentucky. I say "next generation" because I asked about my friends Jerry 'The Nashville Strangler' Wheeler, Ron 'Burned-out' Burnett, and 'Big Head' Todd Andrews, and was greeted with, "Ah, the OLD generation." I told them that if they were bigger and stronger than the old(er) generation, it was only because they stood on their shoulders. "Without a doubt," said one.
One of the next generation, Charles McMillan (2059), had the High Plains Drifter down two pawns at one point, but Mr Vest managed to draw the game. On the second board, Frank Ashmun (1999) split the point after a hard fought game, with another member of the next generation, Alexander B King (2072). Now that's a name for a chess player! The other member of TNG, Justin Arnold (1910) got the full point bye, but didn't just sit around waiting. He was nice enough to play as a filler in the U1400 section, winning from Themiya Dias Chandraratna (761).
Dusan Lugonja was the only player to show for the U2000 section, and, therefore, begins the second round 1-0.
Two players played in the U1800 section, with Carter 'Pinky' Peatman (1540) winning with black versus Brennen Bukovics (1616).
Ron Benel (1504), playing black, beat Yuily Khanin (1345) in the U1600, and Michael Nichols (1457) beat Robert Steen (1302). Augusto Garcia got the full point bye.
In the U1400 section, Riley Lane (1143) won from Kevin Jian Zhang (914), and Jason Robinson (913) drew with Raymond Shan Zhang (1049).
We have over 20 more players signed up for the first round Sat morning at 10:30. There's still time to enter!
The chess center was paid a visit by former State Champ, Xiao Cheng tonight! It has been a long time since I've seen him, and he looks much different; all grown-up! He plans to attend UGA in the fall, and has been taking some time off from chess, but working on his game.
Alan Piper came for the usual Friday night speed tournament, unaware of the PSO, as did his usual sparring partner, Steve Csukas, and they battled all evening. With The Stud and Zimmy, who plan on playing round one in the morning, David Sawyer and his entourage in the House, there were enough for a speed tournament! Actually, the turn-out for the PSO is about average for the Friday night speed kills tournament...
Bob Peatman chose to play father this weekend in lieu of playing chess and he sat and read this blog, all of it! He's excited to learn that I hope to have a Go night at the House in the fall, as he played in college and would like his sons exposed to the ancient game of Go! If you, or anyone you know, has any interest in playing Go, let me know!

The Tactical Nature of Positional Chess

Just finished reading a very interesting article on Breaking News From Chess Life Online by Elizabeth Vicary (Chess Beach Reading). She writes about the tactics of chess and two new books. Click on over AFTER reading this and you will be glad you did!
I came across a website on tactics the Chess Tactics Server, ( but have not had the time to check it out. I did suggest it to Samuel Zimmerman, who came in last night with good things to say about it, and that's good enough for me!
I've heard top players say that chess IS tactics; but, then again, I recall reading where GM Jonathan Rowson said he went from IM to GM after reading Positional Play (Batsford Chess Library) by Mark Dvoretsky and Artur Yusupov. Victor Korchnoi said, "Chess you don't learn ... chess you understand!"
Can it be that one can LEARN to UNDERSTAND chess? If so, may I suggest you read The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin, before you attempt trying to understand the great game of chess!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sad-Eyed Drifter of the Lowlands

There were four players here tonight, just enough for a quad. High Plains Vest held serve with white vs Mr Steen while Zimmy, behind the black pieces, managed a draw with the Stud, complaining that he was a piece up at one point, but Damir had a passed pawn. The Twin Towers, each with black, stood tall in round two. Zimmy hit the Drifter with an exchange sac, but the Tower held. That set up the last round with Mr Vest needing only a draw and having the white pieces. Zimmy bested Steen, and, while they went over the game, I went upstairs to find out for myself what was happening. Inquiring minds just hafta know! As I was watching the action, a phone went off! Wondering which of the two players, who both have cellphones, would need to be penalized, it dawned on me that I had the House phone in my pocket, and IT HAD GONE OFF! Embarrassed, I headed outta the room at warp speed! There had been no ring outta the thing in over an hour and a half!
As they came down the stairs, it was apparent the Stud had won, and I apologized PROFUSELY. They seemed amused and told me not to worry about it. Being new at this TD thing, I was wondering what the penalty is for a TD in the case of his phone ringing? The air between Mr Studen and I had been cleared earlier, with me telling him I was human and would make mistakes, but I didn't think it would be something as egregious as having a phone go off. I do not even own a cell phone! How can I ever live this down?...
Tuesday, Woody did the goose egg shuffle, losing all three games and I decided to give him a book as a "Woody" prize, but he has not been around since, so tonight I found a book, beaten and battered, looking like it has been through the wringer, and awarded the first "Woody" prize to Mr Steen. Needless to say, he was pleasantly surprised to receive an old Dover copy of FRANK MARSHALL'S BEST GAMES. You would've thought I'd given him a brand new book! He said, "I think I'll actually read this book!" The man is to be commended for coming to the House and enduring Pain, going up against the Usual Suspects. I wish we had a House full of players just like him! Look for him to only get stronger...
So one Tower was shaken, but refused to go down. Not so for the other Tower, as the man from the High Plains was brought down to the Lowlands tonight...

Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands by Bob Dylan

With your mercury mouth in the missionary times,/And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes,/And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes,/Oh, who among them do they think could bury you?/With your pockets well protected at last,/And your streetcar visions which you place on the grass,/And your flesh like silk, and your face like glass,/Who among them do they think could carry you?/Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,/Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,/My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,/Should I leave them by your gate,/Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?/With your sheets like metal and your belt like lace,/And your deck of cards missing the jack and the ace,/And your basement clothes and your hollow face,/Who among them can think he could outguess you?/With your silhouette when the sunlight dims/Into your eyes where the moonlight swims,/And your match-book songs and your gypsy hymns,/Who among them would try to impress you?/Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,/Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,/My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,/Should I leave them by your gate,/Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?/The kings of Tyrus with their convict list/Are waiting in line for their geranium kiss,/And you wouldn't know it would happen like this,/But who among them really wants just to kiss you?/With your childhood flames on your midnight rug,/And your Spanish manners and your mother's drugs/,And your cowboy mouth and your curfew plugs,/Who among them do you think could resist you?/Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,/Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,/My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,/Should I leave them by your gate,/Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?/Oh, the farmers and the businessmen, they all did decide/To show you the dead angels that they used to hide./But why did they pick you to sympathize with their side?/Oh, how could they ever mistake you?/They wished you'd accepted the blame for the farm,/But with the sea at your feet and the phony false alarm,/And with the child of a hoodlum wrapped up in your arms,/How could they ever, ever persuade you?/Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,/Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,/My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,/Should I leave them by your gate,/Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?/With your sheet-metal memory of Cannery Row,/And your magazine-husband who one day just had to go,/And your gentleness now, which you just can't help but show,/Who among them do you think would employ you?/Now you stand with your thief, you're on his parole/With your holy medallion which your fingertips fold,/And your saintlike face and your ghostlike soul,/Oh, who among them do you think could destroy you/Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,/Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,/My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,/Should I leave them by your gate,/Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Game of a Lifetime

The Twin Towers, along with Zimmy, were in the House, waiting for just one more chess player in order to have a G/15 tournament. High Plains Vest even went so far as to call Woody, but only got the answering machine...The Stud tried to cajole Mr Spinks into playing, but he was on duty and having none of it. That left this writer to save the day. Unfortunately, all I could do last night was toss and turn and did not get to sleep until the sun was coming up. I just did not feel right. It happens when one gets older. When young, even your bad days are good days. When older, one tends to have days feeling "out of phase." The eyes won't focus properly and the energy level is just not there. I was waiting for the tournament to begin so I could eat my salad. The last thing I wanted to do was to be used as a punching bag...Checking my biorhythms, I learned I was in the very worst physical period, that of changing from a high physical phase to a low one. Damir and Samuel hung round after going next door for pizza, playing chess and laughing a lot...The Drifter surfed the web. Later, Big John came to play Oddo. That was it. It was an relatively empty House...
I mentioned Paul Benoit came by last Saturday telling me about finishing second in the Golden Knights in 1994, a time before 'puters had turned the World Chess Champ into a quivering tub of goo, and a man had to actually think for himself. Paul also mentioned a game he had played in the 1994 US Class Championships in Orlando, and he sent it to me. Although it has been published previously, it will be new to most of you. Big Al Hamilton once told me that, no matter what his opponent's rating, he was always afraid he would play the game of his life. Paul titled his email Game of a Lifetime.
Let me show you why...

Paul G. Benoit-Robert Medrano

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nxf7 Kf7 5 d4 Be7 6 Nc3 Be6 7 d5 Bg4 8 f3 Bh5 9 Be3 Rf8 10 Qd2 Nbd7 11 O-O-O Nb6 12 Be2 Kg8 13 g4 Bf7 14 h4 Nfd7 15 g5 Ne5 16 b3 a5 17 f4 Ned7 18 h5 c6 19 g6! hxg6 20 hxg6 Bxg6 21 Rdg1 Qe8 22 f5 Bxf5 23 exf5 Be6 24 Bd4 Bxd4 25 Qxd4 Qe5 26 Qh4!! Qxc3 27 Qh8+ Kf7 28 Bh5+ Ke7 29 Rxg7+ Kd8 30 Rxd7+ Nxd7 31 Qxc3 1-0

Annotated by Guillermo Ruiz, Life Master

Whites fourth move signals war is to commence with
the Cochrane Gambit followed by d4 Bronstein's
attack. On move 7 white deviates from the normal
7 f4 Re8 8 f5 Bd7 9 Bc4+ Kf8 10 O-O +/=. Blacks
move 8 ... Bh5, tempts 9 g4 Nxg4 10 fxg4 Bh4+
11 Kd2 Qg5+ 12 Kd3 Qxg4 13 Qxg4 Bxg4 yielding
an unclear position. White now continues with the plan
of castling queen side and storming the king side
with pawns. Stronger for White on move 12 is g4
then h4.
Move 19 g6! Makes Blacks defense extremely difficult.
If on move 22.. Bf7 then 23 Rxg7+ Kxg7 24 Bd4+
with mate to follow. If 24 Bh5 Qe5 25 Bg6 Nxd5
26 Rh3! Nxc3 27 Rgh1 Nxh2+ 28 Kd1 Qa1+ 29 Ke2 Nc3+
30 Kf3 Ne5+ 31 Kg2 Qxh1 32 Kxh1 with a winning
advantage for White. However, White
offers the Trojan horse via 26 Qh4 and sets a
trap to snare the enemy queen. If Black rejects
the "gift" then 26 ... Qf6 27 Qh7+ Kf7 28 Rxg7+
Ke8 29 Ne4 Qe5 30 Qh4 and white is winning.

Both players needed a win to place first or second
in their section. The victor would collect a
purse between $500 and $1000. Further, this
game could have easily have been played by a Master
with the white pieces particularly the end game

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Twin Towers

We had 18 players for the TNF. The top half held serve in the first round, with Robert Steen pushing the Stud to the limit. James Stack let everyone know he was in the House with a win over Soloman Zelman in the second round. Meanwhile, High Plains Vest took out Justin Swaby; the Stud beat Zimmy; and Calvin Bomar beat Pinky Peatman, leaving 4 players with 2 points going into the last round. The match-ups were Vest-Bomar and Stack-Studen. On the second board, one of the Twin Towers, the Stud rejected Mr Stack's attempt at a slam-dunk. The other Twin Tower, H P Drifter, was somewhat wobbly, down a pawn in a Q+R endgame. But he did have a huge time advantage, as Calvin had only a minute and a half, to the Drifter's nine and a half minutes. The drifter kept the pressure on by creating threat after threat, but it was costing him plenty of time. At the end, the man from the High Plains could've taken a rook, but, would he get mated? He declined and took a pawn instead. That seemed to discombobulate Mr Bomar and he ran outta time. The Drifter was down to only 36 seconds! The exciting finish left the other Twin Tower, the High Plains Drifter standing tall!
On board 4, Richard Lin bested Pinky Peatman, who took the loss HARD. Ahmed Mostafa, with a point and a half going into the last round, missed his chance when Zimmy, with only one point, won. Mr Steen beat Bob Peatman in the last round, after winning from Evelyn Chen in round 2. The Twin Towers each won $25, while Steen and Lin split the under prize, taking home $12 each. James Stack, Calvin Bomar, and Samuel Zimmerman each took $3.50 from the House.
Calvin took his last round loss rather hard, leaving without getting paid. He is a serious player who keeps coming up just short. The HOP would like to thank Mr Bomar for becoming a full one-year member of the HOUSE! He has recently moved from Alabama, and is an Attorney at Law with Bomar & Phipps, llc. Nick Nikley also joined, for half a year, and Tianming Liu, who's son was not at the HOP tonight because he's in Thailand, upgraded his son's membership to a one year family membership! He lost to Mr Vest in the first round, drew with Mostafa in the second round, and beat Run-Xiang Guo in the final round. Although he did not win any money, Nick always has a good time! Although Mr Guo only won one game, from Woody, he gained the most points, 53. When your rating is 615, it's a little easier to gain points...Richard Lin gained 45 rating points and James Stack picked-up 20.
G/15 Wednesday! G/30 Quads Thursday! Peach State Open begins Friday! Be there or be square!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Brave New World

While reading Mig's Daily Dirt, specifically the July 4 entry, my thoughts drifted back to a time when I was working at the Oxford bookstore and reading Computer Power and Human Reason, by Dr Joseph Weizenbaum. His conclusion, basically, was that we should take sledge hammers to every computer, for with them came an attendant loss of freedom...While in the mountains I found a book at the library, One Jump Ahead:: Computer Perfection at Checkers, by Jonathan Schaeffer. The print was small and the book long, so I ordered a copy and had it sent to me. The book concerns his struggle to develop the computer checkers program, Chinook, that has laid waste to human players of that game. You may recall the headlines about how checkers has now been solved. Mr Schaeffer is the human mind behind the headline. Mig reports that now Jonathan has turned his attention to poker. The thing that caught my attention is that the poker program is partly based on learning the style of the opponents based on previous play. Is that not what we humans call THINKING! We're doomed. DOOMED! As if that's not bad enough, Mig also reports, in his July 9 entry, that a machine has mastered air hockey! What's next? Sex with a machine? But wait...Didn't I read recently that old chess player and 'puter nerd, David Levy, to draw attention to his new book,Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, claims that it's only a matter of time...


The Atlanta Chess & Game Center buys, and takes in trade, BOOKS! Got books gathering dust, getting old and moldy? Bring 'em by! Trade them in for books you will read, or proudly display!
I need books on the Grob...
Do you have old copies of chess magazines taking up much needed space? Let us take a look at them!
Happen to have any books on the game of Go? Go dig 'em out and bring 'em by!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

No Maytag repairman tonight

In spite of the rain we had a dozen through the door today! Tom Martin came by a stayed for hours playing chess. Charles Curry III paid a visit, buying a book and a copy of the award winning GEORGIA CHESS. The cousins, Doug and Dan Cox came to do battle with each other. One is a proud new Papa! Big John came to do battle with long-time Foxy opponent, Oddo. James Stack was in the House, as were the Mouth and the Barbarian. Tom Cooper stopped by for a short time. Although it was not quite like the old days, it's getting there!
So far this month we have had , count 'em, 13 players purchase memberships, showing their support for the HOP! Dennis Brian purchased a full adult membership, which is the same price as it was when the place opened in the early 90's. Can you say that about anything else? It truly is CHEAP AT TWICE THE PRICE! Oddo Fox made a quarter payment on a full membership. James Johnson and Nick Nikley joined for half a year. Woody obtained a 3 mo membership. Alan Piper is a member for the next month. Seven juniors purchased one year memberships: David Bernat; Spencer Bledsoe; Richard Lin; Karthik Srinivasan; Justin Swaby; Shawn Zhu; and Zimmy!
The center appreciates the support shown by one and all!
Those expiring this month include: David Carr; B. Crawford; The Hollins Family; Abdul Kahn; Eric Lu; G. Narula Jr; and Jarvis Schweibenz.
GCA officials who are not members include: Rich Mielke; Jim Mundy; Colin Potts; Steve Schneider; and Germaine Schweibenz.
Look for the ACC Club Championship, for members only, coming soon! It's time to give some serious consideration to becoming a member of the House of Pain!

Rude Awakenings

Rousted outta a deep sleep by the impresario this morning... Seems I posted that the LPO is this upcoming weekend. It is most definitely NOT! This upcoming weekend, only five days from now, we will be holding the Peach State Open here at the HOP! The LPO is the very next weekend. Please, make a note of it! As I say, Be There, or Be Square!
Look, when I wrote the post last night it was late and I was tired. I was tired because I had a rude awakening yesterday, as well! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
Thanks to all of you who have left comments; they are greatly appreciated...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Scholastic Tournament

There was a small turn-out for the K-8 and K-3 tournament today, with 10 in the former and 7 in the latter. The highest rated player, Nathan Wu ran the table in the K-8, winning all 4 games, to finish a point ahead of Bill Hindman, alone in 2nd place. Zachary Justice finished clear 3rd with 2 1/2. Alexander Hollins and Jacob Senter were 2-2; Ivan Wethererington and Kevin Shrake had 1 1/2; while Nick Priestly and Preet Shah finished 1-3.
Ivan is from Russia and has been adopted by a wonderful couple, who live in Woodstock. He took his 3rd round loss hard. He is extremely competitive and has a great desire to win! Being from Russia, he has, as Boris Kogan once said about players from that part of the world, "chess in his blood!" Remember his name...In the K-3 Oscar Wallace won with 3-1, a half point ahead of Thomas Vella. Erik Tischer, Jared Carbone, and Jayson Wu each had 2-2. Zachary Justice won his first round game in this section, then moved to the K-8 taking a half point bye in the first round. Alexander Tischer finished with 1/2-3 1/2.
Bill Hindman picked up the most points, 141. Thomas Vella gained 55, while Nathan Wu picked up 52.
Rich Mielke, a member of the GCA board, back from down under, came by to "rip" the new disc by the Cowbly Junkies, TRINITY REVISITED, for me. Needless to say, it was a pleasant surprise! Thanks to Rich, I have just about everything the Junkies have ever recorded. Most are on cassettes...This is the first disc I've "ripped."
Paul Benoit dropped by, looking for a game. Since Rich was the only player here, he took it upon himself to sit down for a coupla games. After Rich left, I talked with Paul for an hour, reminiscing. One of the best things about being back at the HOP is renewing acquaintances with old warriors. He was surprised that I was unaware he had finished in second place in a Golden Knights correspondence back in 1994, a time before computers adulterated correspondence chess. It was a time I was out west, working for the Reno rodeo. I will, hopefully, be able to write an article for the award winning GEORGIA CHESS about his Golden Knights experience...After that, I sat like the Maytag repairman, all alone, watching a baseball game, until Thad called. Although his leg is still bothering him, he sounded upbeat and is looking forward to the LPO, which begins this Friday, the 18th. I hope most of you reading this have plans to be in Winston-Salem!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Night Speed

Only twelve players turned out for the G/10 at the HOP. The Stud finished a full point ahead of Steve Csukas to win the top prize of $24, while Mr Csukas won $12. Samuel Zimmerman won the under prize of $18 even though he lost his last two games. Zimmy beat class "A" player Oscar Cuesta in round 5. Oscar won his first three games, including a win over the top rated Damir Studen in round three. He could've tied for second with a win in the last round, but he got hit with the Pipe(r). Finishing in clear third, with 4 1/2 points, was Spencer Bledsoe, won had to be content with a 13 rating point increase. Nick Nikley, with wins in his last two games, saw his quick rating increase by 33, while Zimmy saw his Q-rating go up by 17 points. Gautam Narula hit the Pipe(r) in the very first round, for the biggest upset of the evening, 296 points, but found the going ruff after that, finishing with 3 1/2 and even losing Q-points! Mention must be made of Bob Bassett, who gained 17 points, once again proving himself to be a tuff "filler."

Shameless Plugs

I am a regular reader of IM John Donaldson's newsletter from the Mechanic's Institute in San Francisco at 57 Post St. You can read it at: If you happen to find yourself anywhere near the left coast, you simply must visit the Mechanic's Institute Chess Room. That's all there is to it!
Imagine my surprise while reading (I look forward to each and every newsletter!), #404, when i read that I am now blogging!
I hope to have a HOP newsletter soon, and if I can do half as good a job as IMJD, I will be a happy man!

Let me also mention the CHESSVILLE WEEKLY, from where I usually click to get to the MIN. If you are not receiving the CW, you should be! Go on over to: and sign up for the FREE Chessville Weekly. If you would like to try it first, click on: You will be glad you did!


Went out to the mailbox today only to find no copies of CHESS LIFE once again. It's been on CHESS LIFE ONLINE for almost two weeks, and I've read it all online. Makes one wonder why USCF is wasting all that money printing the magazine, now don't it?

The Usual Suspects

The usual suspects showed-up for the new Thursday night G/30 quads. The top four from the pervious evening were joined by "Woody", thereby making it a 5 man G/30. It is hoped that, in the future, more players will turn out so we can have two or three quads! Our thinking is that, what with the open G/30 on Tuesday, a G/30 quad on Thur will allow players to play others closer in rating. Come on out and help us put the "s" on that quad!
In the first round, the Stud and Zimmy came down so soon that the 8 o'clock movie on AMC, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, had not started! (A great movie, by the way. Kevin Spacey's best performance, even it won no awards. What do "they" know, anyway?) They had only been up there ten minutes, so I asked Woody if they had played a legitimate game. It went 50 moves, and was, evidently, legit...Seems Mr Zimmerman has been playing bullet chess on ICC and has developed the habit of moving without thinking...Not a good thing for a chess player.
Meanwhile, High Plains Vest had a long game with Spencer Bledsoe, winning with the white pieces. Vest beat Woody in the next round, and we waited for Damir and Spence to come down. When they did, Damir immediately went into the skittles room, while Spencer marked the score. "Who won?" I had to ask, to be informed that Mr Bledsoe had won! An upset! Spencer had black vs the top two, and had drawn with the High Plains Drifter the night before. This personable young man is becoming a strong chess player. He has been coached by the legendary Georgia Ironman for many years...I recall when I was here years ago, a player came downstairs during a weekend tournament complaining about how much noise Spencer had made after a game. Mr Bledsoe admitted that he had done what he was accused of doing, and then apologized. The older man who had brought the complaint was still snortin' fire, obviously unsatisfied. "The boy has acknowledged his mistake and apologized for it, sir. What more would you like him to do?" I said to the man. He had to admit that all that could be done had been done and that was the end, fortunately. I told anyone who would listen that Spencer Bledsoe would turn out to be a fine chessplayer, but, more than that, a fine man. Sometimes predictions are made easy...
Woody upset Zimmy in the last round, as Samuel, who has been reading a book on Tal (recommended by the booked-up Larry Stanfield), sacked everything he could. Woody accepted it all and it proved to be too much. That meant that if Damir could beat the High Plains Drifter with the black pieces in the last round, there would be a 4-way tie for first! In the end, Mr Vest stood tall on the High Plains, as the draw clinched the first prize of $20. It's WINNER TAKE ALL in the quads!
I've been asked if I planned on posting any games. Spencer was gracious enough to write it down for me, so I do have the game.
A few brief comments: Damir takes control just after the opening, but, for some reason, fails to develop his QR...That allows the incursion of the Black Queen later...When Damir does finally move his rook, it is to the wrong square. It went to d1, thereby allowing access to the e3 square for the Black Queen and the game was equal. The rook shoulda gone to e1...The game is equal after 33... Qe3+ if White plays 34 Qf2...After 34 Kg2, Spencer takes control of the game with 34...Rd8! Spencer's 41... Qe3 was not good, allowing Damir the opportunity to play 42 Be5!, which he missed! It was the last opportunity he would have...

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.0-0 Be7 6.c4 0-0 7.Nc3 d6 8.Re1 Nbd7 9.e4 c5 10.e5 Ne8 11.d5 exd5 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Qxd5 Rc8 14.exd6 Nxd6 15.Bf4 Nf6 16.Qd3 Nde4 17.Qc2 Bd6 18.Rxe4 Nxe4 19.Qxe4 Re8 20.Ne5 Bxe5 21.Bxe5 Qe7 22.f4 Rcd8 23.Qc2 Qd7 24.Bd5 b5 25.b3 Kh8 26.Qg2 Qf5 27.Be4 Qh5 28.Bf3 Qf5 29.g4 Qd3 30.Rd1 Qe3+ 31.Qf2 Rxd1+ 32.Bxd1 Qc1 33.Qc2 Qe3+ 34.Kg2 Rd8 35.Qe2 Rd2 36.Kf1 Rxe2 37.Bxe2 b4 38.Ke1 Qc1+ 39.Bd1 Qb1 40.Bd6 Qe4+ 41.Be2 Qe3 42.Bb8 a6 43.f5 g6 44.fxg6 hxg6 45.Bg3 Kg7 46.Bf2 Qe5 47.h4 Kf6 48.h5 gxh5 49.gxh5 Kg5 50.Kd2 Qc3+ 51.Kd1 Qa1+ 52.Kc2 Qxa2+ 53.Kd3 Qxb3+ 54.Ke4 Qc2+ 55.Ke3 b3 56.Bd3 Qc3 57.Ke4 b2 58.Be3+ Kxh5 0-1

"Let them eat cake"

Some time ago I read that Senator John McCain could not use a computer to surf the internet. I found that disquieting, to say the least. We have had a two term president who does not read the newspapers and says the only thing he is missing by not reading is "opinion." That would seem to be the very thing he has needed during the first decade of this century...
Just finished reading Paul Krugman's column in the NYTimes and learned that, even with brain cancer, Ted Kennedy showed up on the Senate floor to vote for the Medicare bill. The only Senator absent was John McCain...
The economy is tanking and the man who is McCain's main advisor on the economy, former Senator Phil Gramm was quoted Thursday as saying that the United States was only in a “mental recession” and that it had become a “nation of whiners.”
The article goes on to say that McCain was " distancing himself from former Senator Phil Gramm’s remark." I'll bet he is...
I am reminded, though, of the time before we were Bushwhacked and it was said that, even though George the second did not know much about foreign policy, he would be surrounded by those who did...
I've read that a man is the books he reads and the company he keeps...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sabermetrics, Chess, and Music, is All Good

Reading The Hardball Times ( got me to thinking about statistics in relation to chess. When it comes to stats, chess is not only not in the 21st century, it has yet to make it outta the 19th! What I mean is the wall chart gives you a little info, but should give you so much more. Would it not be nice to know which color a player had, say, in the LAST ROUND?!
Just as a batter in baseball is really two different batters, in that most hit differently versus right and left handed pitchers, a chess player is really two different players; one while playing the white pieces and oftentimes a completely different player while in charge of the black boys. I asked The Dude, aka Tim Bond, why it was that he played 1 Nf3 with white, yet played the Schliemann Defense with black. He said that, with white, one already had the initiative and had to protect it, but with black one had to fight for it! It would be a simple thing to show a players rating as both white and black, followed by a composite. Why is it that we do not see it?
The amount of statistics in baseball is mind boggling; so is the lack of stats in chess. One of the best articles I've read in CHESS LIFE was a preview of the upcoming US Championship where the author gave the lifetime scores of the players versus the their future opponents. I've often wondered why we have not seen more of that kind of article?
I'm listening to one of my favorite radio programs on the internet while writing this, which is: The Acoustic Cafe ( I was turned on to it by one of the best, if not the best, radio stations on the planet, WNCW, broadcasting outta Isothermal Community College in Spindale, NC. It's a mountain thing...(
Then there's one of the very best jazz programs on the radio in the UNIVERSE, Jazz Classics, by Atlanta's own, H. Johnson, on the public station WABE 90.1, saturday nights from 9pm until 2am.
For many years I've enjoyed Music From The Hearts Of Space, which emanates from the Bay area, or as a chess player thinks of it, from the home of the Mechanics Institute at 57 Post St in downtown SF! I still have many cassettes of programs I've recorded. It's now on the internet, but still played, mostly on Sunday evenings, on public radio stations around the country. You can find it at: (
And then there is ECHOES, a truly great program, because, unlike MFTHOS, which is only an hour per week, ECHOES is two hours five nights a week! And the programs are replayed over the weekend, too! Go to (, and you will not be disappointed!
Why, you may be asking yourself, would Bacon be writing about music? I'm glad you asked! I've been reading Big Head Todd Andrews wonderful article on CLO and thinking about how much I envy him his youth because he went to Bonnaroo and is now going to the All Good Festival in WV...Which got me to thinking about the Dylan phrase from the song HIGHLANDS, off of his Grammy Award winning disc, TIME OUT OF MIND that goes like this: I see people in the park forgetting their troubles and woes/They're drinking and dancing, wearing bright colored clothes/All the young men with their young women looking so good/Well, I'd trade places with any of them In a minute, if I could/...And because he mentions his former chess teacher, Jerry Wheeler, aka The Nashville Strangler, who had a girlfriend that was so pretty the legendary Georgia Ironman gave her the nickname, "Lucious Lisa." Her last name was "Allgood."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Everyone likes a gracious winner

There were four players ready to play a round robin tonight, two quick rated experts, High Plains Vest & Damir Studen, and two "B" players, Spencer Bledsoe, and Samuel Zimmerman, when in walked Robert Steen, barely a "D" player. It became a 5 round event, with Mr Steen very much overmatched. Damir beat Spencer and Vest beat Zimmy in the first round. Damir beat Steen and Zimmy took out Spencer in the second round. Round 3 saw Spencer make up for his loss by drawing with the wiley 'ol wolf, High Plains Vest, while Zimmy won his second game in as many rounds by beating Steen. In the penultimate round, Studen stopped Zimmy's charge, and Vest beat Steen. That set up the final round encounter for the money, between the High Plains Drifter and the young Stud, with David having to win to win. Unfortunately, the young Stud managed to draw the game, thereby winning the tournament, and we had to put up with the usual histrionics, fist pumping, chest slappin', shadow boxing, and sounds not heard since the heyday of the Nature Boy, from the ever gracious winner. It's enough to make you wanna puke! I'm willing to wager he was not doing any of that after losing back to back games at the World Open!
Spencer beat Mr Steen in the last round, but you would've never known it from his demeanor...

Thursday night will be G/30 quads! That's right, come play someone near you in rating and it will be WINNER TAKE ALL! So send out those emails informing everyone you know...Pick up the phone...Get those carrier pigeons ready to fly! LET THE WORD GO FORTH!

TNF 7/8/09

There was a field of 22 for the Tuesday Night Fights. Considering the fact that the HOP raised the EF for the first time ever (from $5 to $6 for members, and $10 for non-members), everything ran relatively smoothly. There were no upsets in the first round, as the top half scored the full point in all games. But Bob Bassett did, according to Damir, have a won game at one point. The top 3, High Plains Vest, Damir Studen, and Alan Piper each won to go to 2-0, and were joined by Spencer Bledsoe, #5 to begin. Calvin Bomar was nicked for a draw by Gautam Narula in round two, and Justin Swaby drew with James Stack(house), setting up a last round pairing of: Vest-Piper; Bledsoe-Studen; and on board three, each with 1 1/2 points were ten year old Swaby vs considerably older Calvin Bomar.
Piper ran his black king all the way to h3 trying to avoid the Drifter's white squared bishop and Queen, to no avail. Vest hit the Pipe! Spencer had a passed pawn in a rook endgame, but was very low on time. Damir showed his strength by actually winning another lost game, and he and the High Plains Drifter tied for first, winning $25 each.
Meanwhile, on board three, there was, as the Drifter is wont to say, "complete chaos." Justin had knights on h7 and h6, along with his Queen, and Calvin had his king in the middle of the board, along with a tremendous time advantage, as Swaby had only 8 seconds left on his Chronos. He must've made twenty moves with only 8 seconds left, because he still had 8 seconds left when Mr Bomar ran outta time! Remember the name, Justin Swaby. Just last week, before heading for the WO, Oddo Fox was singing the praises of this young fellow! Justin was alone in third, winning $12.
Bob Bassett drew with Nick Nikley in the last round, and they both finished with 1 1/2, tying for third with Tianming Liu, who had upset Farhad Paziraei, rated over 500 points higher than Liu, in round two. Mr Liu then took a 1/2 point bye in the last round, to also finish with 1 1/2. Those three each won $13.
Liu gained 50 points for his efforts, and Swaby gained 22. Farhad, who did not show for his last round game with Woody, and DID NOT TELL THE DIRECTOR, lost 36 points. NEVER, EVER, LEAVE WITHOUT INFORMING THE TD!
Do not forget: Wednesday night G/15...Thursday night Quads!!!
Be there or be square!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Performance Rating

A long tournament such as the World Open gives a good indication of the strength of a chess player. William Stewart was playing on one of the top boards in the last round of the U2200 section. If he had won, he would've finished alone in second place. He lost, tying for 9th-14th, with 6 1/2, a full 2 points behind the two winners. Before leaving, I told some of the players that, to win the U2200 section, one would have to play GM chess. Mr Stewart's PR was 2349. It is obvious that he has become a very strong master level player. A few weeks before the WO, William came by the HOP to play in the TNF. He beat Damir in the last round and showed me the game later. He completely outplayed Damir's usual Scandinavian. They were paired in round 7 of the WO and I asked several of the regulars who they thought would win. All picked William. We don't need numbers to know the relative strength of the players! It was no surprise that Mr Stewart won, thereby taking the wind outta Damir's sails...
Damir won 4; drew 3; and lost 3, including the last 2 before withdrawing. His PR was 2130. Ryan Moon won 3; drew 3; and lost 2, for a PR of 2097. Hartley Chiang won 3; drew 2; and lost 3. for a PR of 2116. Michael Easterwood won 4; drew 1; and lost 4, for a PR of 2101. The man who tied for State Champ, Serdar Ozdemir, won 3; drew 3; and lost 2, for a PR of 2082.
Two other HOP players travelled all the way to Philly to be paired. Justin Howle, a newcomer to the scene, lost his first game in the U2000 section, won his next one, then lost again, and decided to become a "zombie." He re-entered and was resurrected. He then had to face Jim Mundy, the man who should have finished all alone at the top in the U2000 section of the Ga St Ch, had it not been for the questionable hijinks of the man who tied with him and the player he opposed, who happened to be a half point behind. The result was a surprise to me, as Justin Howle(d)! Mr Howle won a total of 6 games; drew 2; and lost 4, to perform at an expert rate, just as he did at the Chicago Open, with a PR of 2008. Jim Mundy did not have a good tournament, which surprises me. Then again, it's tough at the WO! Jim won 5, but lost 4, and his PR was only 1911.
I'm looking forward to the TNF tonight to hear the tales from the road!
Do not forget, tonight the EF goes up for the first time EVER! It is $6 for members, an increase of only a buck...and $10 for non-members. JOIN THE HOUSE of PAIN! The membership fee is the same as it was when the Atlanta Chess & Game Center opened in 1991! Can you name anything else that has not gone up in all that time? A membership is truly CHEAP AT TWICE THE PRICE!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Samford for Kazim

I recall, many years ago, playing an off hand game with Kazim Gulamali at the House of Pain. I had white and played what used to be called the Fantasy variation, now called the Gambit variation by fomer world champion Karpov in his book on the Caro-Kann. The game, the only one I've played with Kazim, ended, I'm proud to say, in a draw. Get 'em on the way up! Sometime later his father, Mumtaz, purchased a video of the Fantasy variation. One night not too long after I noticed Kazim playing the Fantasy variation in the skittles room of the HOP. I told him I couldn't help noticing and he said, "Ah yes, the Caro-Kann crusher!"
Kazim has followed his outstanding Chicago Open with another excellent result in the World Open, finishing 6th-9th, in the U2400 section, which was actually the second score group, only a half point behind the winners. His performance rating in that section only was near GM level 2479. What is even more remarkable is that Kazim lost his first two games in the open section and decided to re-enter, albeit in a totally different section, which is like entering another tournament altogether. I had a talk with the High Plains Drifter some years ago, who is adamantly opposed to re-entries of any kind, about dropping out of one section and re-entering another one, and even he had to admit that it was better to do that than to re-enter IN THE SAME SECTION. Even when the two losses from the Open section are added into Kazim's PR, it still comes out to be over 2400, at 2421!
Just a short time ago Kazim and Steven Muhammad were the co-state champs. Steven reached a peak rating after the WO last year, but has dropped over one hundred points since then, and has not played at all this year. There can, therefore, be no doubt that Kazim is the preeminent chess player in Georgia and the defacto state champion.
I cannot help but wonder how strong Kazim would be now if Boris Kogan had lived. After all, Stuart Rachels, the out of nowhere 1979 co-US Champion, gave great credit to his mentor, Boris.
I also cannot help but wonder why Kazim has not been granted a Samford fellowship. After all, he is from the home state of Frank Samford, who still plays in GCA tournaments. Kazim is not only a strong chess player, but, more importantly, he is a fine young man! It goes without saying that he would do the Samford proud!
For everyone reading this, I implore you to get in touch with the movers and shakers of USCF and the world of chess! Send out emails informing them of this blog. Cut and paste if you must! And if one of you reading this has the email address of Frank Samford, send him this. If you only have his phone number, tell him to call me at the House of Pain!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chess Fathers

We held a tournament for beginners today. It is a wonderful way for those new to chess to become acclimated to the chess milieu. Old timers are accustomed to writing down each and every move ( I deplore what the Monroi device has done to the royal game even more than what the dreaded DH has done to baseball), and then punching their clock. But for those, young and old, who have only made the moves, it can be quite disconcerting.
There were six players, three of whom were young, and three somewhat older. A few had played in a tournament previously and a few had never played. It was, therefore, an interesting mix. One of the younger players, Alexander Hollins, won his first three games and his father, the personable Kelly, said that, if his son won his last game, surely his rating would go over the magic four digit number, 1000, and that it would be a "red-letter day." He said it in the way one would only expect a proud father to say it...Alexander was up three pawns I was told, but "Woody", aka Terry Krohe, somehow managed to infiltrate the enemy position and obtain a three-fold repition of the position for a draw. They tied for first place, and, alas, Alexander did not make it out of triple digits...I have a feeling he will after his next event, though...
Dmitir Efimov finished alone in third place with a 2-2 score. Thom Barclay and his son, Chris, along with first timer Duncan Bowers tied for fourth place with a score of 1-3. Duncan is about my age and has been playing chess at work and not doing so well, so he got online and found the HOP. I certainly admire him for taking up such an arduous endeavor at an age when others are taking up bingo!
Mumtaz, the father of Kazim Gulamali, just called while I was writing the above. He has called many times this weekend, trying to learn of his son's progress. Because of the unbelievable delay in the posting of the wallcharts by (Is there some reason they could not post the pairings for each round, and then the result so that concerned chess fans, and family, could not figure it out for themselves? It is obviously far too much to ask of Monroi...), Mumtaz, who did not want to call his son and put any more pressure on him than he already had, kept calling me here at the hub of chess in the South, but I was as in the dark as was he. The penultimate time he called, he had a kind of plaintive sound in his voice, as if hoping beyond hope I'd heard something...anything...about his son. I've been told many times in my life that, because I never had any children, I could not understand what it's like to be a parent. I think those short-sighted people are mistaken, because one does not have to be a father to hear a father's love in the voice of another man. When he called I told him that they had finally posted the round eight results (and, I must admit, they were posted much sooner than I expected and much sooner than the round seven results, which must've been posted something like 15 or 16 hours after the round ended!), but he knew that already and had some info I did not have, as he had received a phone call. Kazim, after beating a WGM in round eight this morning, drew his last game, and finished behind five others who tied for first place. It has been my experience that rarely does a zombie come back from the dead and do well. My hat's off to Kazim! To get off to such a horendous start and to come back to play for the big pile in the last round is quite a feat! I think it may have helped that he dropped down into the section below the one he was in, as that is the same as entering another tournament altogether, for that's what having separate sections is in reality, is it not? William Stewart, with a win, would've tied for first, but, alas, he went down...Damir Studen lost to William Stewart this morning and then lost again and withdrew. The other results you can see for yourself, if and when, they are posted.

Update: We ain't got no stinkin' UPDATE!

Although the seventh round of the WO ended half a day ago, there has been no update on the wallcharts posted on the website. It's sad when these fans call to learn what's happening in Philly and I'm as clueless as they are...The only way to know what's happening is to either be there, or have someone with a cellphone call and give you the info...Which is, in this day and age of the 'puter, rather strange. I did notice that the top boasrds are on the Monroi site, though, which is a change for the better, I suppose. Unfortunately, without the results from round seven on some of the boards, it's difficult to follow the action. It's pitiful, really...
So I've spent my time watching the games from Dortmund and the "action" game between Short and Karjakin, which went into a bishops of opposite color ending that Nigel won! He lost the match, but it's fun to see the top GM's trot out an opening like the Falkbeer Counter-Gambit!
Some complain that the chess is not as good at a faster pace, and that's true, but...I recall reading that when Bobby Fischer trounched the competition at a speed tournament with all the top players, one of his opponents said it was amazing that if one played over the games and did not know that they were speed games, one would not have been able to tell. Fact is, these top GM's play better speed chess than most of us play at a traditional time limit!
We have a tournament for beginners today, to which I must attend...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

World Open update

The sections are merged and I counted a total of 1229 players, counting zombies, in all the sections...This is a list of Georgia players after 6 rounds, 2/3 of the tournament:
Kazim (z) 4 1/2
Frisco Kid (z) 2 1/2
William Stewart 4 1/2
Damir (z) 4 1/2
Ozdemir 3 1/2
Lujan 3 1/2
R. Moon 3
Chiang 3
Easterwood 3
Gurevich (with his
first win!) 2
Howle (z) 3 1/2
Mundy 3
B.Moon 2
Saenz (z) 4 1/2
Emily Francis 3 1/2
Zimmy 3
Oddo the Fox 2 1/2
Battaglia 5
Beard 4 1/2
McDaniel (z) 4
Lebedvych (zz) 3
Wallis 2
Nathan Horne 5
H.Moon 4
Aidan Beard (z) 3 1/2
Evelyn Chen 3 1/2

Although there are not one, but two, sections under 1000, I refuse to check them. Nobacy should be rated under 4 digits!
And for those of you following this blog, Gary Bailey has 4 points in the U2000 section. I'm gonna make him an honorary Georgian 'cause he stopped by the HOP on his way north!

World Open update

The zombie Damir Studen has 4 outta 5...William Stewart 3 1/2 outta 5...Serdar Ozdemir 3 outta 5...Hartley W Chiang 3 outta 5...Ryan J Moon 2 outta 5...Michael Easterwood 2 outta 5...Gary Bailey 3 1/2 outta 5...zombie Justin D Howle 3 1/2 outta 5...Jim R Mundy 2 outta 5...Benjamin Moon 1 outta 5...Emily Francis 3 outta 5...Samuel Zimmerman 3 outta 5...Oddo Fox 1 1/2 outta 5...Gerald Battaglia 4 outta 5 in the U1600 section...Darold K Beard 3 1/2 outta 5 in the U1600...zombie Harold Mc Daniel 3 outta 5 (same sect)...Double zombie Milas Lebedovych 3 outta 5, with 4 half pt byes!...Christopher Wallis 2 outta 5...Nathan M Horne 4 outta 5 in the U1400...Henry K Moon 3 outta 5...zombie Aidan Beard 3 1/2 outta 5 in the U1200...Evelyn Chen 3 1/2 outta 5

Giving new meaning to "bullet chess"

2 shot at Cascade Starbucks; lawyer critically injured Police looking for getaway car

Reads the headline in the AJC. The report continues: By CHANDLER BROWN The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 07/03/08
Fulton County police were searching Thursday for the getaway car involved in a double shooting at a Cascade Road Starbucks Wednesday night.
A man walked into the coffee shop about 9:15 p.m. and shot two men, Clifford Hardwick and Timothy Strayhorn, said Fulton County police spokeswoman Kay Lester. The gunman fled in a white Chevrolet Impala or Caprice, she said. The gunman remained at large as of noon Thursday.
Hardwick, an attorney, was listed in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital. Strayhorn was in stable condition there.
Inside the Starbucks Thursday morning, police interviewed Strayhorn's wife. She refused to talk to reporters gathered just outside.There were about 20 people inside when shots rang out, said customer Karmen Sneed.
Sneed said she was standing about three feet from one of the victims but was not hurt.
"He was in shock, sweating profusely," said Sneed, adding that the man appeared to be in his 60s. "He looked scared."
Witnesses said one of the victims sitting at a table was shot point-blank four times. The second man also was hit, apparently by a bullet that had ricocheted, Sneed said.
A note on the drive-thru Thursday said the restaurant was closed indefinitely. The parking lot was full of unmarked police cars, an SUV with tinted windows and television trucks.
Patrons were stunned when they heard about the violence at the Starbucks, which is owned by Magic Johnson and frequented by local civil rights leaders and politicians.
"This is shocking," said Jennifer Washington, a financial services advisor who often plays chess at the coffee shop. "You don't expect something like this to happen here. But things can happen anywhere. I feel safe here. I'll be back."

Golden Earrings
When the Bullet Hits the Bone

Somewhere in a lonely hotel room/There's a guy starting to realize/That eternal fate has turned his back on him/...Verse 1: It's 2 A.M. the fear has gone/I'm sitting here waiting the gun still warm/Maybe my connection is tired of taking chances/Verse 2: Yeah there's a storm on the loose/Sirens in my head/Wrapped up in silence all circuits are dead/Cannot decode my whole life spins into a frenzy/...Chorus: Help I'm stepping into the twilight zone/Place is a madhouse feels like being cloned/My beacon's been moved under moon and star/Where am I to go now that I've gone too far/Help I'm stepping into the twilight zone/Place is a madhouse feels like being cloned/My beacon's been moved under moon and star/Where am I to go now that I've gone too far/So you'll come to know/When the bullet hits the bone/So you'll come to know/When the bullet hits the bone/Verse 3: I'm falling down a spiral--destination unknown/Double crossed messenger--all alone/Can't get no connection, can't get through--where are you/Verse 4: Well the night weighs heavy on his guilty mind/This far from the border line/ When the hitman comes he knows damn well he has been cheated/...And he says/Chorus Solo Chorus Outro/So you'll come to know/When the bullet hits the bone

Friday, July 4, 2008

Zombie Chess

Well let me tell you 'bout the way she looked/The way she'd act and the color of her hair/Her voice was soft and cool/Her eyes were clear and bright/But she's not there

Ah yes, the ZOMBIES, from their best selling song, SHE'S NOT THERE...
The definition of a zombie, according to the High Plains Drifter, is a chess player who re-enters a tournament. The player has been "killed" yet is brought back to life, like a zombie!
If it's true that there are other time lines, or alternate universes, and that ALL possibilities are "played out", then it could be possible that at the battle of Gettysberg, each and every time a Confederate soldier took a ball to the gut, he turned into a zombie and CAME BACK TO LIFE! And in this alternate time-line, the Yankees were so frightened they dropped their rifles, then turned and ran. In this universe, the South won! There was a Twilight Zone marathon today, Mr Spinks tells me...
Some of the players from Georgia have turned into zombies and come back to life. Kazim Gulamali was "killed" in the open section. He then became a zombie in the U2400 section and scored 3 1/2 pts in the five game a day schedule. Damir Studen Zombie came back to score 3 outta 4 in the U2200 section 5 day. At this writing the last round in that section has not been posted...Justin Howle Zombie scored 3 1/2 in the U2000 section after winning one outta three before his "death." Unfortunately, becoming a zombie does not always work. A prime example is Richard "Frisco Kid" Francisco ("Ahhhhh Frisco"...."Ahhhhh Pancho!"), who could manage only 1 1/2 in the 5 day.
By the way, for you regulars readers, if you recall the post about Gary Bailey, who came by the center on his way to the WO, it was at Foxwoods in 2002, not 03, that he gave me a ride back south...And that was not the last time I crossed paths with him; that would be at the Edward Levy Memorial in Denver that same year. After not playing in almost two years, Gary has scored 3 1/2 in the 5 day, and he is NOT a zombie!

William Stewart has 3 1/2 outta 4 in the 5 day at this point. A promising start, no doubt. Unfortunately, William IS the troops! Just like the men in gray, we just do not have enough replacements for the ones who have fallen and can't get up...Jim Mundy is playing in the 5 day U2000 section, but has been hit three times, only taking out two enemies...After a promising start, Hartley Chaing has taken a mini-ball to halt his charge...Serdar Ozdemir and Michael Easterwood are marching in place at 50%...while Ryan Moon has taken two to the gut...Daniel Gurevich, after taking a 1/2 pt bye, took another shot...Benjamin Moon, with only two draws and three losses, has fallen by the wayside...Oddo (please excuse me for the faux pas earlier when I wrote "Otto"...I must've been thinking about Warren Ott-job!) Fox has 1 1/2 in the U1800 5 day...I see that Evelyn Chen, who has trouble winning at the HOP has 3 1/2 in the U 1200 5 day! Go figure...Henry Moon, who drove the loaded van north, has a 3-2 score in the U1400 5 day. I'd like to see Henry have a real good final two days. I've gotta feeling that, of all the troops up there on the battlefield, he is the most deserving...Go Henry!

Monroi don't work!

Trying to watch ches games on Monroi is frustrating. I don't know why anyone in their right mind would use the system when there are much better systems or why anyone would purchase one of the things!
At the moment the top board being displayed is board seven, with board ten the next board shown. Since the chesstour website is way behind in putting up the results, the only way to know how the tournament is progressing is to see who is playing on the top boards. We've got Mumtaz calling to try and find out how Kazim is doing when, since he knows that his son re-entered and we don't, he has more info than I!
I have tried following chess games on Monroi recently, each time telling myself that I won't do it again! At this very moment in the Bartholomew-Beccera game, after white's move twenty, the display shows the king on f3...after having moved from g1! The king moved like a knight! It would be funny, I suppose, if it were not so serious. I've seen pieces on top of each other too often to count...It's sad, really...

Bucking the trend in South Carolina

When I mentioned that the Legendary Georgia Ironman went undefeated at the SC Open, someone asked if he had drawn all his games! "No", I answered, "He won one!" We kid the Ironman...After checking out the wall chart, a plus one score in that field was actually quite good.
When the Drifter did not show for the Friday night G/10, I mentioned to Scott Parker, President of the GCA, that I thought he had gone to play in SC. Scott said he didn't know why anyone would want to play in that event, as the first two prizes would be taken by the two GMs. A surprising thing to hear from someone in his position! Evidently 40 players thought otherwise... There were almost as many in the open section as the other two combined! With the 48 in the other sections, the turn-out was good enough to RAISE the prize fund. The Greenville Chess Club paid out 145% of the promised prizes! When is the last time you heard of the organizer paying out MORE, in lieu of less?
Tim reports that only one of his games was of the short variety, and that being because of the gospel music! "Bacon, it was sad to see a world-class GM like Ftacnik drilling holes in his ears with his fingers, trying to keep out the noise!" I'm reminded of the time I played in SC and this lady said that if the south was the bible belt, then SC was the buckle!
It has been my experience that, when playing in tournaments like this, the local players really get up for the tournament. It's not like playing in a larger city like Atlanta where if you have a bad result, you can get it out of your system by playing the next week, or at least the next month. If you have a bad result in these smaller places, it will stick in your craw for at least six months...maybe a year!
I watched the whole Ken Burns documentary on the War Between the States and what I recall most vividly is the part about some Yankee, near the end of the war, when all we had left was the very young and the very old, captured a "soldier" who was barely older than a child. He had no gun, only a piece of wood cut into the shape of a rifle. "Why are you fighting?" the Yankee asked. The boy from the hills of the great state of Tennessee answered, "Cause y'all down he'are." That's the kinda attitude one finds in the smaller tournaments, whether in Greenville or Rollo, Mo.
Take a look at the crosstable to see what I mean. Wayne Christensen lost one and only drew the other and packed it in...Klaus Pohl, the Victor Korchnoi of Southern Chess, could not even win a game; losing two and drawing two, and did not play in the last round...And that in his own back yard! Chumachenko, a Senior Master, lost his last two games to finish at 3-2, in the same score group as Tim Brookshear and David Vest, who won two, drew two, losing only one, and that to the man who tied with the Dzindzi man for first, NM Chris Mabe. The other GM, Ftacnik, was held to not one, but two draws, and finished clear third. Michael Christiansen led the Georgians with 3 1/2.
Tim said that an amusing thing happened after his last round game. He was playing Paul Farb, the fellow who "tied" for first in the "A" section at the Ga St Champ. I say "tied" because Mr Parker came down saying that Willie Calhoun was a piece up vs Farb in the last round and would win the game. I said that with Willie, one never knows. Imagine Scott's surprise upon learning that Farb had won the game, thereby tying Jim Mundy for first, and had asked Michael Mulford to write part of his check to Willie, as he "owed him for the hotel room." Funny thing, Farb was one of the last people to leave the center Sat night and Willie was nowhere in sight, having left much earlier! Anyway, Farb was winning the game and evidently outside telling anyone within earshot how he had a won game and what he was going to do with the prize money. Obviously, Farb does not know that the Legendary Georgia Ironman goes down like rot-gut. Hard! After the draw, this lady came up to Tim and asked him how he had done. When informed that he had drawn the game, the lady said that was good, but that she had hoped he would've won the game because of what Farb was saying!
Hearing about this tournament makes me wish I coulda been there. Maybe next year!