Sunday, August 31, 2008

You can't go anywhere without seeing a chessplayer

Arriving late at the Decatur Book Festival and seeing a sign proclaiming a "Full House" at the Presbyterian church where author Rick Bragg was speaking, I told the nice doorkeepers the story of how I had met Rick in St Louis back in 2002, where I had given him a cassette tape of Love and Danger by Joe Ely as we were leaving. Either taking pity on me or just wanting to get rid of me, I was told I could stand in the balcony. Once there, I saw an opening down front, right behind a guy filming. I was able to see Rick on the monitor while listening to him read from his new book,
The Prince of Frogtown
After he finished he was to sign copies across the street at a tent set up by EAGLE EYE BOOKS. I walked up as he was about to begin, with a long line of people standing in the sun waiting. "Did you like that tape by Joe Ely I gave you in St Louis about six years ago?" I asked. "I did. I DID!" he exclaimed, extending his hand. "How are you, brother?" he asked. "I'm OK, Rick, and you're looking pretty good yourself," I said, continuing, "But I can't help noticing you've put on some weight. Is it getting married, or those chili pups from Krystal?" He broke into a wide grin as he answered, "A little of both!"
By now the folks waiting to obtain an autograph were becoming exasperated, so I decided I'd better head on and said goodbye, but Rick held my hand, asking if I wanted to get a beer after he finished. Reluctantly, I had to tell him I had to open the chess center at 3 pm.
I walked on over to the Hoiliday Inn to see the rare books and anyone I might know from my Oxford bookstore days. On my way back to the car who should I see but GCA baord member Colin Potts! He said he had been at a poetry reading. I asked why he wasn't home working on the long overdue magazine, and he laughed, saying he had actually wondered if he would see Mark Taylor there, with him "being the literary sort." I told him I would NOT put the fact that I'd seen him in the blog, but he insisted it was ok, as he said he was going "right home to work on the magazine." And I thought he had said earlier he was heading home to walk the dogs...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Changes to Georgia Senior

At the meeting of the GCA board last night in the House it was decided to change the format of the previously published Georgia Senior! The round time has been speeded up to G/2, and the round times have been changed. The new round time for the first round is 1 pm, in lieu of the old 11 am. The second round is now at 6 pm, starting one hour later than before. The round times for Sunday are now 10 am and 3 pm, changed from 9:30 am & 3:30 pm. If one goes to the GCA website, , one will find the new format listed upon clicking on the Senior at the calender, but also the old format upon clicking on "More Info" at the bottom of the page: One of the strange things concerning this meeting is that one of the board members, after informing me of the changes, was extremely surprised to learn that the changes to the website had ALREADY BEEN MADE BEFORE THE MEETING!

I was told the first round had been moved to the afternoon to allow the "players from SC to drive over Sat morning." When I mentioned it was the "Georgia Senior" I was informed that it was a long drive from Savannah. There's nothing better to prepare yourself for two games of chess than driving for hours! I mentioned that players from out of town could drive in early and stay in a hotel Friday night, but was informed that hotels are expensive and seniors did not have much money. The last round was moved up to allow those very same outta towners to drive home earlier. I have written about my conversations with Seniors all over the country previously. The one thing I have heard most often, is that Seniors do NOT want to play at night! We have more energy early and it begins to fade as the day wears on...I have sent emails concerning this issue, to no avail. As a matter of fact, just a few years ago I expressed my feelings concerning the US Senior to be held in the great state of Tennessee and was told by the Executive Director of the USCF that what I said may be true, but that he intended on running the tournament his way! I told him he would be lucky to get half of the based on 89. There were 43 players...
I cannot understand why these changes have been made at this time. I have been informed that some checks have already been sent in under the impression the format would be what was published. Why the urgency? It is no secret that I have advocated a G/2 format for the Ga Senior. As a matter of fact, I had a talk concerning this issue with the President of the GCA at the ACCC this past weekend and was told that the GCA board was considering instituting a change to a G/2 format for NEXT YEAR! I did overhear Mr Parker asking Mr Vest what he would think of a G/2 format for the Senior, but would never have thought in my wildest dreams that the board, in it's wisdom, would completely revamp the format of a tournament that had already been published!
One thing I kept hearing concerned the response of the Legendary Georgia Ironman, who, as everyone knows, is opposed to a G/2 format. I heard the same thing from several board members regarding Mr Brookshear; that he did not play in the Senior last year. I had to correct them on that, as Tim did, in fact, play in the Ga Senior last year. I have talked with the Ironman and can tell you he is disappointed that the format has been changed and will not attend, although he had made plans to play. He simply cannot understand why the changes have been made if there is no reason, such as a change in venue, like when the Ga State Championship had to be moved to the House. The Ironman did mention that this has not been a particularly good year for the administration of the current President, who, like the captain of a ship, is ultimately responsible for the multiple disasters, including the yet to be published July issue of the award winning GEORGIA CHESS, that have seemed to plague his time at the helm.

CHANGES written by David Bowie

Oh yeah/MmStill dont know what I was waiting for/And my time was running wild/A million dead-end streets and/Every time I thought Id got it made/It seemed the taste was not so sweet/So I turned myself to face me/But Ive never caught a glimpse//Of how the others must see the faker/Im much too fast to take that test/Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes/(turn and face the strain)Ch-ch-changes/Dont want to be a richer man/Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes/(turn and face the strain)Ch-ch-changes/Just gonna have to be a different man/Time may change me/But I cant trace time/I watch the ripples change their size/But never leave the stream/Of warm impermanence/So the days float through my eyes/But stil the days seem the same/And these children that you spit on/As they try to change their worlds/Are immune to your consultations/Theyre quite aware of what theyre going through/Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes/(turn and face the strain)/Ch-ch-changes/Dont tell them to grow up and out of it/Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes(turn and face the strain)/Ch-ch-changes/Wheres your shame/Youve left us up to our necks in it/Time may change me/But you cant trace time/Strange fascination, fascinating me/Ah changes are taking the pace Im going through/Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes/(turn and face the strain)Ch-ch-changes/Oh, look out you rock n rollers/Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes/(turn and face the strain)Ch-ch-changes/Pretty soon now youre gonna get a little older/Time may change me/But I cant trace time/I said that time may change me/But I cant trace time

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A scathing indictment

On the USCF Issues forum one finds this title: "We need 4 EB Candidates for 2009... suggest some?"
The post is written by Theodulf, who goes on to write, "Of course maybe the USCF will go bankrupt in the next year, but we can't count on that, we might survive, and then what?" In reply, our own GCA board member Mulfish writes, in what must be the most incisive post ever: "I'm not sure I could bring myself to vote for anyone who is stupid enough to run." I will second that! Do I hear a third?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You just got to play the game

Because of the rain the turnout was sparse for the TNF. One of the dozen players in the first round (including House man, President Parker) was afflicted with a terrible cough. Mr Parker came down to inform the TD, who decided to let play continue when Scott said the youngster should be sent home AFTER the round. Unfortunately, the cough was so loud and frequent that it affected everyone, causing High Plains Vest to drop a rook vs James Stack! Mr Stack, a true gentleman, indeed, offered the Drifter a draw, telling me later that "I did not want to win that way." Because of the gracious way he handled the situation, Mr Stack will receive a free entry to the next TNF, on the House. The parents had to be called to come get the boy who should never had been brought to the House in his condition. It is simply beyond my comprehension that any parent could not see that their son required, at the least, chicken soup and rest, at HOME! The fact that the child was disruptive to everyone in the tournament, and spreading his germs here at the House, is a secondary concern to his health, which should have been paramount!
After beating Bob Peatman in round one, Dr Cano put an end to Pinky Peatman's run at the House in the second round. Mr Stack beat Tianming Liu to move to 1 1/2, as did the Z-Men, Zelman and Zimmerman, who drew each other. Poor Bob Peatman went from the frying pan into the fire by having to face the Drifter. Bob is a great sport and a fine fellow. I wish we had a House full of men just like him!
That brings us to the last round PAIRING! That's right, for the very first time, ever, the house had ONE GAME in the last round. Mr Vest, with White and a half point less, faced Dr Cano. The man from the High Plains won, taking first prize of $22. Dr Cano, and the Z-Men, each with 2 points, won $5 each. It was fitting that the player taking the under prize of $14 was none other than James Stack! James has to work the overnight shift and needs to take a last round bye. The other EIGHT players need to get home early because of school. It is rather obvious that something must be done. We discussed making the TNF a 4 round event, with the first round starting at 6:30. That way the youngsters will be able to play 3 games before having to leave, and late arrivers can take a half point bye in the first round. At least we think there may be more players around for the last round! Please leave your comments. If you read this, please send it to others, asking they consider leaving a comment!
I told you Bob Peatman is a good sport. I asked him if it would be ok to publish this gruesome game on the blog and he gave his approval. I must mention that Bob reads every post! Like I said, I wish I had a House full of Bob...

Bob Peatman (1207) - Orlando Cano (1800) [A02]
1.f4 e5 2.b3 exf4 3.Nh3 Qh4+ 4.Nf2 Nf6 5.d4 Ne4 6.g3 fxg3 7.Nxe4 g2+ 8.Nf2 gxh1Q 0–1

Brook Benton - Rainy Night in Georgia

Hoverin' by my suitcase, tryin' to find a warm place to spend the night/Heavy rain fallin', seems I hear your voice callin' "It's all right."A rainy night in Georgia, a rainy night in Georgia/It seems like it's rainin' all over the world/I feel like it's rainin' all over the world
Neon signs a-flashin', taxi cabs and buses passin' through the night/A distant moanin' of a train seems to play a sad refrain to the night/A rainy night in Georgia, such a rainy night in Georgia/Lord, I believe it's rainin' all over the world/I feel like it's rainin' all over the world
How many times I wondered/It still comes out the same/No matter how you look at it or think of it/It's life and you just got to play the game
I find me a place in a box car, so I take my guitar to pass some time/Late at night when it's hard to rest I hold your picture to my chest and I feel fine/(minor scat) But it's a rainy night in Georgia, baby, it's a rainy night in Georgia I/feel it's rainin' all over the world, kinda lonely now And it's rainin' all over theworld
Oh, have you ever been lonely, people?/And you feel that it was rainin' all over this man's world/You're talking 'bout rainin', rainin', rainin', rainin', rainin', rainin', rainin',rainin', rainin' rainin', rainin', rainin'

All lyrics are property and copyright of their owners. All lyrics provided for educational purposes only.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Last Round

There are two kinds of players who sit down for the last round; those who have something for which to play, and those who simply love to play chess! The oldest player in the field, the wiley ol' vet, Klaus Pohl and the most fortunate, Longshot Larry Johnson, sat down on board one a half point ahead of the competition. Larry had the advantage of having the White pieces, but it was not enough against Life Master Pohl! The Viktor Korchnoi of Southern chess won $156 for his first place finish. His PR of 2321 was reminiscent of halcyon days decades ago! The fact that Klaus won this tournament is an amazing thing. Just this week I received an email from a former state champion in answer to by query concerning his participation in the upcoming Ga Senior. This is his answer: "I have no plans to play any over-the-board tournaments. After 65 the competitive juices are not quite the same." When I watch someone like Klaus, and High Plains Vest, I cannot help but be astonished at their energy level and wonder from where it emanates. Certainly everyone ages differently. All you have to do is look at the PGA Senior tour and you will see that some of the most famous, and best, players in their younger days simply cannot make the cut, while former club pros now compete with the very best. As for myself, the thought of having to play a long game of chess, grabbing some grub and sticking it down my gullet and sitting down at the board again before it has even had a chance to begin being digested is abhorent to me! I actually had a president of a state organization tell me that he did not understand why Seniors could not do it, as high schoolers don't have a problem. HIGH SCHOOLERS, mind you! There have been seven POTUS since I was in HS, with Landslide Lyndon being the last. To expect the same from me as from a young person in high school is shear lunacy! If anyone wants to argue with that, I suggest they they go to: , and check out the clash between the 'Rising Stars' and 'Experience' at the 3rd NH Chess Tournament in the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in the centre of the Dutch capital. The old guys are taking a beating not seen since Fischer vs Taimanov & Larsen! I do wish, though, that they had put more emphasis on the 'Rising' and less on the 'Stars'...
Damir Studen beat Paul Taylor to finish clear second with a score of 4-1, taking $104 from the House. His PR was 2216. Longshot finished clear third, winning $104 as first U2200. Alan Piper, with his win over David Bernat, Wayne Christensen, with his win over Michael Christianson, and Michael Easterwood, who drew with Daniel Gurevich, split the $52 2nd U2200 with their 3-2 score. Gurevich and Paul Taylor each won $78 with the same score as the players above, 3-2. It pays to be lower rated in some chess tournaments!
Carter "Pinky" Peatman put on a show in the U1800, winning his last round game vs Calvin Grier, to run the table, 5-0! He fully deserved his $156 first prize. I must mention that Pinky attended not one, but both summer camps held here at the House by Larry Stanfield and I can't help but think it has helped Mr Peatman immensely! His performance rating for this tournament was close to expert level at 1962! He gained almost one hundred rating points and has moved into a solid class "B" player, for the moment. I have a feeling his will be a temporary stopover there...I've watched as this young man has gotten stronger and stronger. I believe it helps to have a father who takes an interest to the point of actually playing in a few tournaments himself.
Chris Roberts beat Brennan Bukovics in the last round to finish 4-1 and clear second, winning $104. His PR was 1786 and he gained 39 USCF points. Lewis Byrne won over William Day to finish 3-1, as did Brandon Chen, who was given a half point bye in the last round. It doesn't seem fair that they should both win $78, but who said a chess tournament would be fair?
In the U1400 section, the zombie, Thomas Gilbreath beat Keith Sewell to finish with 4 1/2, making his re-entry pay off after losing friday night to Ananth Punyala. The zombie won $156. Gary Loveless drew with the aforementioned Punyala to finish with 3 1/2, as did Alexander Foster, who beat Erick Lorinc in the last round. The three split 2nd in the section, plus first U1200, a total of $208, each taking $69.33 from the House. Mention must be made of Punyala who had a PR of 1603 and gained a whopping 122 rating points! Alexander Foster had a PR of 1334 and gained 117.

A few last round games, and I do mean a few. The only reason I have these is that I asked several of the players to make a copy for me, even though they had given a copy to the representative of the GCA. It would seem that, since I publish the games on the blog almost immediately, while the GCA publishes the games in the magazine several months later, at the earliest, and, as is the case with the latest issue, many months later, it is only logical I have access to the scoresheets in a timely manner, would it not? Funny thing, though, at the last tournament I handed the scoresheets over to the GCA representative, asking only that he send me the games once put into the 'puter and return the scoresheets. I have seen neither, lo' these many months later...

Damir Studen (2171) - Paul Taylor (1920) [D02]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 c5 5.0–0 Nc6 6.a3 Be7 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.b4 Bd6 9.Bb2 a6 10.Nbd2 0–0 11.c4 d4 12.Nxd4 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Bxg3 14.Bxf6 Bxh2+ 15.Kxh2 Qxf6 1–0

Carter Peatman (1589) - Calvin Grier (1664) [B76]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be3 g6 7.f3 Bg7 8.Qd2 0–0 9.0–0–0 Bd7 10.h4 Qa5 11.g4 Rfc8 12.Nb3 Qd8 13.h5 Ne5 14.hxg6 Rxc3 15.gxh7+ Kh8 16.bxc3 Nxf3 17.Qf2 Bxg4 18.Be2 Nxe4 19.Qg2 Nxc3 20.Bxf3 Nxd1 21.Rxd1 Bxf3 22.Qxf3 Qc7 23.Qxf7 Rc8 24.Qg6 Qc4 25.Rg1 Qc3 26.Bd4 1–0

Brennan Bukovics (1616) - Chris Roberts (1581) [B53]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Bd7 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Qd2 g6 7.b3 Bg7 8.Bb2 Nf6 9.0–0–0 0–0 10.Bd3 Qa5 11.Bb5 a6 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.h3 Rfc8 14.g4 Qb6 15.e5 dxe5 16.Nxe5 Be6 17.f3 a5 18.h4 h5 19.gxh5 Nxh5 20.Qe2 Ng3 21.Qe1 Nxh1 22.Nxg6 Nf2 23.Nxe7+ Kf8 24.Nxc8 Rxc8 25.Ba3+ Kg8 26.Na4 Bh6+ 27.Kb1 Qe3 28.Qg1+ Kh7 29.Bc5 Nxd1 30.Bxe3 Nxe3 31.Nc3 Rd8 32.Kb2 Rd2 33.Ne4 Rxc2+ 34.Kb1 Rg2 35.Qe1 Bf5 36.Ka1 Nc2+ 0–1

Brian Klarman (1621)-Samuel Zimmerman (1667)
1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 h4 g4 5 Ng5 h6 6 Nxf7 Kxf7 7 Qxg4 Nf6 8 Qxf4 Bd6 9 Bc4+ Kg7 10 e5 Bxe5 11 Qf3 d5 12 Bb3 Bg4 13 Qd3 c5 14 Qb5 Bg3+ 15 Kf1 Qe7 0-1

Penultimate round

The first three rounds are played in hopes of being in position on Sunday morning to have a meaningful game. The fourth round is played in hopes of being in position to have a money game in the last round.
In the Open section Klaus Pohl drew with his main rival, The Stud on the top board, while Longshot Larry continued his amazing tournament by hitting the Pipe! That left Longshot with 3 1/2 and a shot at first place! Paul Taylor beat Wayne Christensen to move to 3-1, while Daniel Gurevich took out Hartley Chiang, who then withdrew, to move to 2 1/2, and Michael Easterwood beat Luke Hellwig to also have 2 1/2 points.
In the U1800 section Carter Peatman moved to 4-0 with his win over Brennan Bukovics. Calvin Grier beat John Lewis and Chris Roberts beat Lewis Byrne, both moving to 3-1.
In the U1400 section, the zombie, Thomas Gilbreath beat Alexander Foster, giving him 3 1/2 points. Gary Loveless beat Rishi Bagga to move to 3-1.
In the aftermath of the tournament I found a dearth of games from rounds 3 and 4. Either scoresheets were not turned in or they sprouted legs and walked outta the House! It will be curious to see if any games from those rounds appear in the long overdue state magazine...How overdue is it? The High Plains Drifter came into the House last week with a copy of the last issue of the award winning GEORGIA CHESS, saying, "I've got a copy of the last issue of GEORGIA CHESS ever published!" Thinking he had some info to which I was not privy, possible having heard that the GCA was planning on publishing the magazine exclusively on the internet, like many other states, I took the bait, asking him what he had heard. He grinned, saying he had heard nothing, but the magazine is so late that it sure looked like this would be the last issue! Come back, Woolf, come back!
This is the only game the House has for the fourth round:

Klaus Pohl (2202) - Damir Studen (2171) [B01]
1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 dxe4 3.Nxe4 Bf5 4.Ng3 Bg6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0–0 Nbd7 8.d4 Bd6 9.Qe2 0–0 10.Ne5 c5 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Be3 Qc7 14.Bxc5 Bxc5 15.Ne4 Nxe4 16.Qxe4 Rad8 17.Rad1 Qb6 18.Rxd8 Rxd8 19.b3 Rd2 20.Be2 Rd4 21.Qf3 Qc7 22.Rd1 Qd7 23.Rd3 Rxd3 24.Qxd3 Qc7 ½–½

Sunday, August 24, 2008

At the Turn

After 3 rounds at the ACCC, the Victor Korchnoi of Southern Chess, Klaus Pohl has a half point lead after winning all his games. He continues to amaze. The Stud and Longshot Larry are a half point behind, as Damir beat Hartley Chiang, while Longshot came down and actually wrote down the result as a loss for himself, telling the House that he would withdraw after his opponent, Chris Wiley, played the winning move. When Mr Wiley did not make the killer move, a Longshot came in, as Larry went on to win the game!
In the U1800 section, Pinky Peatman took out top-seed John Lewis to move to 3-0. Brennen Bukovics beat the :Loose Cannon", Richard De Credico and is a half point behind. Lewis Byrne (1577) beat Reece Thompson (1413), while Christopher "Robin" Roberts (Thinking of the HOF pitcher), beat the zombie, James Stack, both moving to 2-1.
The zombie Thomas Gilbreath beat Gary Mathew Loveless to move to 2 1/2 along with Alexander Foster (1053). Keith Sewell (1065) beat Tim Staley (1002) and Erick Lorinc left Robert Rieves (1272) doing the goose egg shuffle, with both moving to 2-1.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

ACC Championship

A total of 45 players are here for the ACCC, with 2 deciding to become "zombies" making a total of 47. Even Klaus Pohl showed up, coming with Wayne Christensen, who won over a grand at the Southern Open last weekend. Klaus had called earlier to inform the House he was NOT coming, saying he refused to "subsidize" the lower rated players. Obviously his love of playing the game took precedence...One of the players in the open section complained vociferously about the players in the lower section having the same top prize as the open section, even though the top section had more players. One can listen, commiserate and empathize only so long before having to suggest, strongly, that the complainer either make a phone call, or send an email, to the organizer! Speaking of the impresario, he called today, the first time the House has heard from him since being informed of the case of food poisoning he contracted after the Southern Open. He is hating life about now, as he was supposed to be in D.C. for the 40th annual Atlantic Open. Although he sounded ok, he still has to go back to an out patient care facility for a check-up, the first time I've ever heard of that. Seems his lovely wife, Janet, has also been afflicted. The House wishes them a speedy recovery. After 2 rounds the top-rated Klaus, and #9 seed, Paul Taylor have the only perfect scores. The Stud, Hartley Chiang, Longshot Larry Johnson, and Chris Wiley are a half point behind.
In the Under 1800 section, top-rated John Lewis (1737) and Pinky Peatman (1589) are both 2-0, followed by Calvin Grier (1664), Richard "Live Wire" De Credico (1646), Brennen Bukovics (1616), and Reece Thompson(1413), each with 1 1/2 points.
The thing that jumps out at you from the Under 1400 section is all the half point byes, especially in the third round. There are 13 players and one zombie and five, count 'em, FIVE byes for the Sat nite round!. Along with the 3 half point byes in the U1800 section and the one in the Open section, that makes a total of 9, that's NINE, players NOT playing in the Saturday night round! That is 20% of the field. There has to ba a reason, and I believe it is that the third round must finish, and thereby start, much earlier. The House is not getting enough players for the Friday night round to justify an optional first round, and it is having too many players take a half pint bye in the third round on Saturday night. One option that comes to mind is to have a four round tournament, with rounds from 10-2 and 3-7. Please leave comments! In all, there are NINE half point byes awarded, only one of which is in the last round, fortunately.
Once again, the top-rated player, Gary Loveless (1379) is 2-0, along with Ananth Punyala (1073). The zombie, Thomas Gilbreath, Rishi Bagga, and Alexander Foster each have 1 1/2 points.

Brian Klarman (1621) - Paul Taylor (1920) [C39] Rd 1
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 d6 6.Nxg4 Be7 7.Qf3 Bxh4+ 8.Nf2 Bg3 9.d3 Qg5 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Rh5 Qf6 12.c3 Ne5 13.Rxe5+ dxe5 14.Kf1 h5 15.Na3 Bg4 0–1

Paul Taylor (1930) - Alan Piper (2098) [C02] Rd 2
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Qb6 8.Bc2 Nb4 9.Nc3 Nxc2+ 10.Qxc2 Rc8 11.0–0 Ne7 12.Be3 Nf5 13.Qd2 Be7 14.Rab1 a5 15.Rfd1 0–0 16.g4 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Rc4 18.h4 Rfc8 19.g5 a4 20.h5 Qa5 21.Ne2 Bb5 22.g6 fxg6 23.hxg6 h6 24.Ng3 Qa6 25.Kg2 a3 26.Rh1 axb2 27.Rxb2 Rc3 28.Qd2 Ra3 29.Nh5 Bf8 30.Nf6+ gxf6 31.exf6 Rxf3 32.Kxf3 Be8 33.g7 Bg6 34.Kg2 Ba3 35.Rxh6 Kf7 36.Qg5 Be4+ 37.Kh2 Bd6+ 38.f4 e5 39.Qh5+ Ke6 40.f7+ Kd7 41.g8Q exf4 42.Qhg4+ Ke7 43.Qe6# 1–0

Friday, August 22, 2008

ACC Championship

Studen (2171) 1/2 Hellwig (1915)
G. Narula (1757) 0-1 Chiang (2082)
L. Johnson (2033) 1/2 Zimmerman (1667)
C. Peatman (1589) 1-0 Day (1431)
B. Chen (1363) 1-0 Stack (1570)
Foster (1053) 1-0 T. Staley(1002)

L Johnson (2033) - Zimmerman (1667) [C30]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 h6 6.d3 Bg4 7.fxe5 Nxe5 8.d4 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Bxd4 10.Qe2 Qh4+ 11.Kd1 Qh3 12.Rf1 Nxc4 13.Qxc4 Bxc3 14.bxc3 Qxh2 15.Qb5+ c6 16.Qxb7 Rd8 17.Qxc6+ Rd7 18.Rb1 d5 19.Rb7 Qh3 20.Qxd7+ Qxd7 21.Rxd7 Kxd7 22.exd5 Nf6 23.c4 Rc8 24.Kd2 Rxc4 25.Kd3 Ra4 ½–½

Gautam Narula (1757) - Hartley Chaing (2082) [E97]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.0–0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 a5 10.Ba3 axb4 11.Bxb4 b6 12.a4 Ne8 13.a5 bxa5 14.Rxa5 Rxa5 15.Bxa5 f5 16.Nd2 Kh8 17.f3 Bh6 18.Nb3 Ng8 19.c5 dxc5 20.Nxc5 Be3+ 21.Kh1 Bxc5 22.Qb3 Bd6 23.Rc1 Bd7 24.Bd3 Qg5 25.Ne2 Ngf6 26.Re1 fxe4 27.Bxe4 Nxe4 28.fxe4 Nf6 29.Ng3 Ng4 30.Qc2 Qh4 0–1

Former GM's

I'm always amazed when reading and I come across the name of a chess player who gave up the game. Such was the case this past week when I encountered the name of former GM Ken Rogoff in not one, but two, different articles. He is currently the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Harvard University. The first is an article from the NY Times: Dr. Doom ( in which he is quoted.
The other one is from the Times Online: Credit crunch may take out large US bank warns former IMF chief ... Professor Rogoff is quoted extensively in this one. You can read more about him at:

I cannot help but wonder, like with Reuben Fine, what would have happened if Ken had continued with chess. What causes world class Grandmasters like Ken, and Tal Shaked
(, to give up the game?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

House Members at the Southern Open

Regular visitor to the weekend swiss tournaments at the House, Wayne Christensen, from the great state of South Carolina, tied for first place with 4 1/2 in the Under 2100 section of the Southern Open held last weekend in Orlando, the traditional city for the Southern. It would be nice to see the Southern Open held in a Southern city, such as Atlanta, or maybe Birmingham, Al, or even Music City, Nashville, Tn, for a change...
Spencer Bledsoe scored 3 1/2 points to tie for 4th-11th and win $400. His performance rating for the event was 2175! He would've won more cash if, as reported by his coach, the Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear, had been able to take out one of Spencer's rivals, class "A" player James Thompson, from NC. Tim finished with an even score and a PR of 1862.
There has been much talk concerning the reasons for the sharp decline in attendance at the US Open this year. Such was not the case at the Southern! The 171 players was an increase over last year's 157. And that with, get this, the Florida State Championship in St Pete two weeks later, and the big Miami Open two weeks after that! If those tournaments had been spread out over three months, there would have probably been even more players!

The first game is Spencer's truncated first round game at G/75.

Bledsoe (1825) - Boas (2011)
1.e4 Nf6 2.d3 c5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0–0 0–0 7.Nbd2 e6 8.c3 b6 9.Re1 Ba6 10.Nf1 Rc8 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bf4 d6 13.h4 Ng4 14.N1h2 Nge5 15.Bf1 Re8 16.d4 Nxf3+ 17.Nxf3 Bxf1 18.Rxf1 cxd4 19.cxd4 e5 20.dxe5 dxe5 21.Be3 Qf6 22.Nh2 h5 23.Rc1 Qe6 24.Qa4 Nd4 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.Qxa7 Rc2 27.Qa8+ Kh7 28.Bxd4 exd4 29.Nf3 Qd7 30.Ng5+ Kh6 31.Qg8 1–0

Mr Boas went on to finish clear third by winning his next four games...

This is the last, money round, game versus a tuff ol' veteran expert who has made a habit out of winning the expert section in sunny Florida over his career. He is like a triple A baseball player who just cannot quite make it to the show, but good enough to "reign in hell."

Bledsoe-Tannenbaum (2003)
1.e4 c6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 e5 4.Ngf3 Nd7 5.g3 Ngf6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0–0 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.dxe4 0–0 10.b3 Qc7 11.Bb2 f6 12.Qe2 Nc5 13.Ne1 Ne6 14.Bh3 Kh8 15.Bxe6 Bxe6 16.Ng2 Bc5 17.Rfd1 Rad8 18.Rxd8 Rxd8 19.Rd1 Qb6 20.Rxd8+ Qxd8 21.Ne1 Qb6 22.Nd3 Be7 23.a4 Qd8 24.Qe3 b6 25.Qe1 c5 26.Nc1 c4 27.b4 Qd7 28.a5 bxa5 29.bxa5 Bh3 30.Bc3 Bc5 31.Qd2 Qxd2 32.Bxd2 Bg4 33.Kg2 Bd1 34.c3 Kg8 35.Na2 Kf7 36.Nb4 Ke8 37.Na6 Be7 38.Nb8 Ba4 39.Na6 Bd8 40.Nc5 Bc6 41.a6 Ke7 42.Be3 Ba5 43.Nb7 Bxc3 44.Bxa7 Bxe4+ 45.f3 Bc6 46.Bc5+ Kd7 47.Nd6 Bd5 48.a7 Bd4 49.Bxd4 exd4 50.Nxc4 Kc7 51.Kf2 Kb7 52.a8Q+ 1-0

Spencer said he did not feel he "deserved" his win, but I disagree. His older, veteran opponent took the two Bishop advantage out of the opening, turning down Spencer's draw offer, with the intention of winning the game. It was Spencer's job to make it as difficult as possible, which he did. Spencer may have had one hand off of the rope, but he never let go. His opponent seemed to think the game would win itself and seemed to play on auto-pilot. It was not possible for him to adapt to the new circumstances and admit he had lost his advantage, a common thing when one is faced with difficult opposition! As the game went on, he wore down. And, in the end, got lazy and stopped thinking and LET GO OF THE ROPE! Mr Bledsoe certainly deserved to win this game. He did it the old fashioned way; he earned it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

House Member Makes Google Chess News

Lester Bedell, with his win at the U.P. Open, has made the Google News Alert for chess.
Check out the story at:
Bedell hits chess jackpot at Kewadin Sault Ste. Marie Evening News - Sault Ste. Marie,MI,USA

Be Someone

Orrin Hudson has asked me to pass this link on:

HP Drifter and The Lilliputians

High Plains Vest out-rated the second seed, Soloman Zelman, by almost 500 points, so it will come as no surprise that he won the TNF 3-0; taking home $26. Tied for second were the Z-men, Zelman & Zimmerman. Each won his first 2 games then took a half pt bye and took home $14. In all, six players took the bye and went home early. Carter Peatman won two of the three games he played and all he had to show for it is a rating increase of 5 points...Jonathan Choi, Tianming Liu, and his son, Shawn Zhu each won one and lost one before leaving early and tied for the under prize. Each won $5.35. The big winners, rating wise, were the aforementioned Liu & Zhu, with Shawn gaining a whoppong 51 points, and his father 37. I watched Shawn, who is only 7, analyzing his game with Zimmy and all I can say is that he has unlimited potential. Remember the name.
Of the 14 paying players, it was good to see Ananya Roy in the House! Walter Gordon, Sr & Jr, came all the way from Locust Grove!

Monday, August 18, 2008

SCCA Database

I surfed on over to the South Carolina Chess Association website ( to obtain information on the recent SC Open and noticed the “database” link. Clicking on it was like entering a portal to a time machine! I saw games played by names from the distant past, but which seem like “just yesterday” to me now. I would like to share a little of what I found with you, and hope it makes you want to surf on over yourself in the future. I also cannot help wondering why the GCA does not have a similar database…

Upon entering the ACC, one of the first things one will see, looking straight ahead, is a wood framed picture of four of the Atlanta Kings, the telephone league team from the middle 70’s. The one player looking at the camera is Michael Decker. He graduated from Emory University and moved back to his native Louisville, Kentucky. Not only was he an extremely strong player of chess, he is also one of the finest human beings one will ever know. He had one of the most esoteric jobs in America; he wrote questions for the COLLEGE BOWL, and did for decades! Since the College Bowl and High School Bowl companies unexpectedly closed last May, Mike is now the major question setter (such is the term) for "Zain Africa Challenge", ( a quiz programme for university teams in much of Anglophone Africa. Zain is one of the two major cell phone companies operating in Africa, is Dutch-based, but is largely owned by the Royal Family of Kuwait. They sponsor televised national championships for Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Ghana; with a continental championship broadcast in all eight countries.
The first game features the annotations of Mr Decker. For you younger readers, please keep in mind, as you put this game into your machine, that “back in the day” there were no machines! This was a time when a chess player had to “think for himself.” His opponent, Klaus Pohl, is one of the most tenacious fighter’s I’ve ever seen. When you sit down across from the “Viktor Korchnoi of Southern Chess” as I like to call him, you get EVERYTHING the man has that day.

Mike Decker (2106)-Klaus Pohl (2110)
ICI Classic 1978
French Defense C18

Klaus and I had played once before back in the 1972 Atlanta Open which I mnaged to draw an extremely tactical French Poisoned Pawn variation as Black. Knowing that the regularly plays the French, I was looking to “outbooking” him!
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 (Analysis of this critical line is bound to be renewed following the recent Spassky-Korchnoi match in which White lost game 2 and then won game 12 brilliantly. Gligoric’s “Game of the Month” {November 1976 and April 1978 in CHESS LIFE and REVIEW} neatly summarises the current state of theory on this complex variation.) Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Kd1 (The more common alternative here is 10 Ne2. I have been playing the Kd1 in postal games for a number of years and have several improvements on published theory to spring on Black) Nbc6 11.Nf3 dxc3 12.Ng5 Nxe5 13.f4 Rxg5 (Uhlmann has called attention to the obscure 13…f6 14 Bb5+ Bd7 15 Nxe6 Qb6 but has found no takers as of yet. The older exchange sac line has been tested in a number of GM games—the analysis of which up to 1974 is reviewed in Moles’ THE FRENCH DEFENSE: Main Line Winawer, pp 50-52) 14.fxg5 N5g6 15.h4 Bd7 (Up to here we hae been amusing Don Schultz and a few others by rattling off these apparently strange {but actually book} moves at almost blitz pace. However, 15…Bd7 is new. [ Moles continues 15…e5 16 h5 Nf8 17 Bb5+ Nc6 18 Qg7 {18 Qd3! Bg4+ 19 Ke1 d4 which Moles says looks good for Black, looks very good for White after 20 Qg3 Be6 (20…Bf5 21 Bf5) 21 g6 fg6 22 hg6 0-0-0 23 g7 Nd7 24 Rg8 Bg8 25 Bg5 Rg8 26 Bc4 Ne7 27 Bf7 Nc5 28 Bxe8) 18…Bg4+ 19 Ke1 0-0-0 20 Bxc6 Qxc6 21 h6 d4 22 Kf2 Bf5 23 h7 Nxh7 24 Rxh7 Bxc2!? 25 Rh8 Qd5 26 g6!? Bxg6 27 Bg5 Rxh8 28 Qxh8+ Kd7 with a big edge for Black] 16.h5 (16 Be2 was a [probably transpositional] alternative which might have tempted Black into 0-0-0 17 h5 Rh8? and wins) Nf8 17.Qd3 (After the game Klaus mentioned 17 Qg7 Nf5 18 Qf6 Ne7 etc.) e5 18.Rb1 (Setting up a pretty shot which I had played in several skittles games in analogous French Poisoned Pawn positions. See note to move 20 if you don’t believe me.) 0–0–0 19.Be2 e4? (19…Ne6; 19…b6; or 19…d4 were necessary because now) 20.Qa6!! (Surprise! There is no other decent square for the Queen. Here it cannot be taken.) Ne6 (20…ba6 21 Bxa6+ Qb7 22 Rxb7 and Black can resign. Nor can Black simply pass and protect his a-pawn with; 20…Kb8? Because of the devastating 21 Bf4 with immediate mate; Only six days later this position arose in a friendly game with a strong Atlanta player who had not seen Decker-Pohl. This later game ended quickly with 20…Nc6 21 Bf4 bxa6 22 Bxa6+ Qb7 23 Bxb7# Pohl, however, came up with the tenable 20…Ne6.) 21.Qxa7 Nc6 22.Qa8+ (22 Qe3 or 22Qf2 led to quieter variations in which material edge and passed h-pawn guarenteed him an advantage. The text move keeps the pressure on Black and threatens various mates if Black should make a careless move.) Nb8 (Black certainly wants to avoid the exchange of Queens after 22…Qb8 after which White’s material edge would prove marketedly stronger. White now tries to post a bishop on the h2-a8 diagonal.) 23.Rf1 Bc6 24.g6! (24 Bg4?? b6 winning the cornered Queen; 24 Qa7 saves the Queen but allows Black to seize the initiative with d4. The sacrificial text move is the only way to maintain Whit’s pressure.) b5 (24…fxg6?? 25 Bg4 b6 26 Bxe6+ Rd7 27 Rf8+; 24…b6 allows the winning counter 25 Ba6+ and the Kingside pawns will win after the necessary exchange on b7.) 25.Rxf7 Bxa8 (25..Qxf7 26 Qxc6+ Nxc6 27 gxf7 and White has a fairly simple endgame win with his four passed pawns [after Bxb5] and the two bishops.) 26.Rxc7+ Kxc7 27.h6 (I had thought Black’s position was now so bad [despite his extra piece] that he might resign. Objectively, White’s position is, indeed, won because of the advanced passed pawns and the very poor position of Black’s minor pieces, but Black finds a way to make it to a difficult ending, which, with mounting time-pressure and plain bad play on White’s part he even goes on to win!) Nc6 28.Bg4 Ncd4 (With the serious threat of Rf8, Rf1 mate!) 29.g7 Nxg7 (In effect forced because of the threat 30 Be3 and 31 Bxd4 Nxd4 32 h7) 30.Bf4+! (A very useful Zwischenzug which forces the Black King further away from the Kingside and either own to his own Bishop’s diagonal or into a potential pin on the diagonal of his remaining knight.) Kb6 31.hxg7 Nc6 (31…Rg8 32 Be3 and the knight falls Kc5 33 Rb4 after which the pawn is protected.) 32.Be6 Ne7 33.Bg5 Rg8 34.Bxg8 (After this forced sequence, White now has a real choice. With only a few minutes left until the time control at move 45, I decided against winning a piece with [34 Bxe7 Rxg7 35 Bd8+ Kc5 36 Bh3 d4] which promised unwanted complications. The text move is simpler, although not as simple as I thought.) Nxg8 35.Ke2? (Black’s knight is Zugzwanged by my bishop; I had a passed pawn on the seventh rank and a clear advantage. I was so entranced with keeping his knight trapped that I now began a silly plan of keeping it there by means of my doubled g pawns [one on g7 the other on g5 with my bishop on the a3-f8 diagonal] and then massing my pieces against all his center pawns. Obvious was, however, [35 Be3+ 36 Bd4 and 37 Bxc3]) d4 36.g4 Bd5 37.Bd8+ Kc5 38.g5? (Consistent, but bad.) Bc4+ 39.Kf2 e3+ 40.Kf3 Bf7 41.Bf6? (Inconsistent and bad 41 Re1; Rg1; Kf4; or Ba5 were much better) Bg6 42.Rb4 Bh5+ 43.Kg2? (Better is 43 Kf4 keeping the e-pawn under veiled attack) Nxf6 (Heretofore, the bishop had interfered with Black’s intended d3 because of winning counter Bd4+ and cd and then if c2 Bxe3 wins, or if e2 then Kf2.) 44.gxf6 Bf7 45.Kf1?? (The last move of the time control, made in time pressure and losing. Despite of all those other questionable moves, White still had the edge with the obvious [45 Kf3 which stops d3 and leaves Black with the problem with finding an adequate defense. {I haven’t found one yet} Bh5+ 46 Kf4 Bf7 47 Rb1 and Black has no moves. After Black’s next shot, it is White who can find no draw.) d3! 46.Rb1 (46 Rb3 Bb3 47 cxb3 c2 48 g8=Q c1=Q+ is an untenable {but lingering} endgame for White.) dxc2 47.Rc1 Kd4 48.Ke2 (48 Rxc2 Kd3 gives White a choice of how to lose: 49 Rc1 {49 Rc2 c2 50 Rxc2 Kxc2 51 Ke2 Kb3 52 Kxe3 Kxa3 and Black Queens his pawn.} 49…Kd2 50 Re1 c2 51 Re2+ Kd3 52 Re1 e2+ 53 Ke2 Bd5 Zugzwang!) Bc4+ 49.Ke1 Kd3 50.Ra1 Bd5 (50…c1=Q also wins: 51 Rxc1 c2 and the Black King walks around to b2.) 51.Rc1 Ba2 52.a4 (52 Ra1 Bb1 53 g8=Q c1=Q#) b4 53.a5 Bd5 54 a6 [54 Rxc2 b3 and b2 etc.) 54…b3 55 a7 b2 and Black queens with a winning check or) 0-1

The next game features a wonderful young lady, Alison Bert, with whom I spent one day giving a lesson. I probably learned more from her that day than she learned from me, proving the old zen saying that “It is possible for the teacher to learn from the student.” Alison was one of the very few female players, if not the only one, back then. She had to be a particularly strong minded young woman to enter the male dominated world of chess. I remember two women coming into the Atlanta chess club at the downtown YMCA on Luckie street and being greeted with derision, driving them away, never to return. Although I tried to talk with the ladies, the damage had been done. Just how strong was Ms Bert? No male wanted to lose to her. As way of illustration I will mention a “doubles” tournament put on by Thad Rogers. There were two “man” teams, so a win and a draw would win the mini-match. My teammate was none other than the Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear, although he was only working on the Legend and the metal had yet to become Iron. We agreed that if one of us lost, the other would fight until there were only Kings left on the board before agreeing to a draw, as agreeing to a draw was tantamount to agreeing to a loss! Jared Radin, Alison’s teammate, beat me to exact a measure of revenge for my last round victory over him in the 1974 Atlanta Championship, so Tim had to win in order for us to tie the match. A short time later he came out of the tournament hall and I asked him what happened. “It was a draw, Bacon.” How could it be, I recall thinking. “Was it a perpetual?” I asked. “Naw” he said, sheepishly hanging his head. “I was afraid I would lose…to a girl!” We looked at the game and seeing a board full of pieces when the draw was agreed, I exclaimed, “My god man! There’s plenty of play left in this position!” I was NOT a happy camper. “Don’t you realize that by agreeing to a draw, you have, in fact, agreed to LOSE!!!” I promised myself that I would never play in any kind of “team” chess event again, ever.
As for her opponent, the less said, the better.

Stan Vaughn 2089-Alison Bert 1905
SCCA Invitational Feb 1979
French C15
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 dxe4 6.Qg4 Nf6 7.Qxg7 Rg8 8.Qh6 Rg6 9.Qe3 Nc6 10.Bb2 Ne7 11.0-0-0 Nf5 12.Qe1 Bd7 13.f3 Bc6 14.fxe4 Bxe4 15.Nf3 Bxf3 16.gxf3 Qd5 17.Bd3 0-0-0 18.c4 Qxf3 19.Rf1 Qh3 20.Bxf5 exf5 21.Qa5 Ne4 22.Qxa7 Ra6 0-1

The next game features our own Lester Bedell versus a very strong player and many time SC state champ.

Augusta City Championship 1983

Lester Bedell 1822-Dr Lee Hyder 2078
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Rc1 Nxc3 10.Rxc3 b6 11.Qc1 c6 12.Ne5 Bb7 13.Bd3 Rc8 14.cxd5 exd5 15.Bf5 Re8 16.Qc2 Na6 17.Bh7+ Kh8 18.Bg6 Rf8 1-0

Klaus Pohl versus Boris Kogan was always an interesting struggle. Klaus told me that Boris, “Made me a 2400 player.” Before Boris arrived, Klaus was having his way in the Southeast. When a “faster gun” arrives one had better work on improving his “speed.” The following game won the brilliancy prize for the combination, but Klaus said that he would always be proud of the fact that Boris said the best part of the game was how Klaus handled the rook and pawn endgame. This was not his first victory over Boris, and it must have been satisfying, yet all these many years later Klaus downplays the win, explaining that “Boris was on the decline by this point.” The respect and admiration Klaus shows toward Boris is the kind of respect that can only come after two warriors have had many battles.
Klaus Pohl 2371-Boris Kogan 2564
LOTS 1989
French C15
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd3 dxe4 5.Bxe4 Nf6 6.Bd3 c5 7.Nf3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 0-0 9.0-0 Nbd7 10.Ne4 Ne5 11.Nxf6+ Qxf6 12.Be4 Ng6 13.Be3 Qe7 14.c3 Bd6 15.Qh5 Bd7 16.Rae1 f5 17.Bc2 Rae8 18.f4 a6 19.g3 Bc8 20.Bf2 Qf6 21.Bb3 Nh8 22.Re2 Nf7 23.Rfe1 Nd8 24.Qg5 Qf7 25.Qxd8 Rxd8 26.Nxe6 Bxe6 27.Bxe6 Rc8 28.Bd4 Rfd8 29.Kg2 b5 30.a3 Rd7 31.Bxf7+ Kxf7 32.Kf3 a5 33.h3 b4 34.axb4 axb4 35.Ra1 Bc5 36.Ra5 Bxd4 37.cxd4 g6 38.d5 Rc4 39.Rd2 h5 40.d6 Rc6 41.Rad5 Ke6 42.Ke3 Rc1 43.Re5+ Kf7 44.Rb5 Re1+ 45.Kf3 Re4 46.g4 hxg4+ 47.hxg4 Ke6 48.gxf5+ gxf5 49.Rxf5 Rc4 50.Re5+ Kf7 51.Re4 1-0

Boris once told me that I would have a much better chance of beating him in a faster time limit game than a standard game. “Yeah, Boris. The way I figure it, I would have two chances to win,” I said. Not that familiar with American expressions and taking the bait, Boris asked, “What do you mean, two?” You know what came next… “Slim and none!” Boris nearly busted his gut laughing so hard!
Randall Ferguson is a long-time master level chess player from the great neighboring state of SC, always first in the South! The notes to the game are his. I would like to say, though, concerning his first comment, “agression” lies in the eye of the beholder! Klaus said Boris was “Like Petrosian.” I learned a great deal about chess by how Boris handled “dangerous” openings, like the Leningrad Dutch, by playing these “non-aggressive” moves. Boris used to say, “Why be afraid to play an even game?” He knew that chess was a long game, with three different phases. The Hulk would put the hammer lock on his opponent and squeeze… In the New in Chess Yearbook #22, GM Mikhail Tseitlin writes on page 131, in the preface to the Leningrad Variation Survey: “Theoretically speaking White’s chances are to be preferred, but just like the main line 6 b3 leads to a difficult struggle which is hard to access, with a lot of room for improvisation and practical chances for both sides.” To Boris, that was the epitome of chess.

Boris Kogan 2577-Randal Ferguson 2201
Georgia Action Championship 1992
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.b3 (Not an aggressive variation, but one that could change back into the main lines if White chooses.) Bg7 5.Bb2 0-0 6.Nf3 d6 7.0-0 Qe8 8.Nbd2 Nc6 (In most variations where Black can play this with impunity, he usually equalizes playing e5.) 9.Nc4 Ne4 10.d5 Bxb2 11.Nxb2 Nd8 12.Nd4 (White’s strategic goal is control of the e6 square. Notice, however, how temporary this is.) e5 (c5 was probably somewhat better.)13.dxe6 Nxe6 14.Nxe6 (Black was threatening 14…Nc3 and 14…Nd4, winning a piece.) Qxe6 (Not Be6, because the bishop has no future on that diagonal.) 15.Qd4 Qf6 16.Qxf6 Rxf6 17.c4 Bd7 18.Rfd1 Re8 19.Rac1 (Threatening the d5 square.) Bc6 20.Nd3 g5 21.Nb4 f4 22.Nxc6 (I was expecting 22 Nd5 Rf7 with complications.) bxc6 23.Rd4 Rfe6 (Best) 24.Rc2 R8e7 25.gxf4 gxf4 26.Rxe4 Rxe4 27.Bxe4 Rxe4 28.Kg2 Rd4 29.b4 a6 30.Kf3 Kf7 31.a4 Ke6 32.a5 Kd7 (Stopping all of White’s threats, starting with b5. Black is now slightly better, because of his active rook and the overextended White pawns.) 33.Rc1 d5 34.cxd5 cxd5 35.Rg1 Rxb4 36.Rg7+ Kc6 37.Rxh7 Ra4 38.h4 Rxa5 39.h5 Ra3+ 40.Kxf4 Rh3 41.h6 a5 42.Rh8 Kb7 (A strong move to find in severe time pressure. Both players had about two minutes remaining. Black’s rook is much stronger than White’s because it is behind the White passed pawn.) 43.Ke5 a4 44.Rg8 Rxh6 45.Kxd5 a3 46.f4 (46 Rg1 draws, though after 46…Rh2 Black’s game is easier.) Rd6+? (46…Rh1 would have won immediately.) 47.Kc4 Rb6 48.Rg3? (48 Rg1 would have drawn. Both sides were in severe time pressure.) a2 49.Ra3 Ra6 50.Rxa2 Rxa2 (After noticing White still had one minute left, White gracefully resigned.) 0-1

How about this nugget from many time state champion Guillermo Ruiz.

G. Ruiz 2329-Kyle Oody 1856 SC Open 1992
1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 d4 6.Bc4 e6 7.Ne2 Bc5 8.Bxe6 and white won in 26 moves.

The last game will feature is an upset of sorts. I got to know Kevin Hyde while living in the mountains and found him to be a gentleman in every way. He has now been elevated to the rank of Colonel in the Army reserve and is currently serving in the hottest theater of battle, Afganistan. This is his second tour of duty. Kevin directed both US Masters while I was in Hendersonville. With his ramrod straight bearing and calm demeanor, he commands respect. He has a lovely wife and children, devoting time to the Boy Scouts, too. With all the time he gives to the community, he does not have much time for the royal game. For that reason his rating is low, but not the caliber of his play!

Damir Studen (2031)-Kevin Hyde (1229)
D02 SC Open 2006

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Bf5 3.c4 Bxb1 4.Rxb1 e6 5.a3 Nf6 6.e3 Be7 7.Be2 0–0 8.0–0 c6 9.b4 dxc4 10.Bxc4 b5 11.Be2 a5 12.Ne5 Nd5 13.Bd2 axb4 14.axb4 f6 15.Nd3 Bd6 16.Nc5 Qe7 17.Qb3 f5 18.g3 Nd7 19.f3 Nxc5 20.dxc5 Bc7 21.e4 fxe4 22.fxe4 Nf6 23.Bf3 Kh8 24.Bg5 e5 25.Bg2 h6 26.Bxf6 Rxf6 27.Rxf6 Qxf6 28.Rf1 Qd8 29.Kh1 Qd4 30.Qf7 Ra1 31.Qf8+ Kh7 32.Qf5+ Kg8 33.Qf7+ Kh7 34.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 35.Qf1 Qxf1+ 36.Bxf1 Bd8 37.h4 g5 38.h5 g4 39.Be2 Bg5 40.Bxg4 Bd2 41.Bd7 Bxb4 42.Bxc6 Bxc5 43.Bxb5 Kg7 44.Kg2 Kf6 45.Kf3 Kg5 46.g4 Bd4 47.Bd7 Bc5 48.Ke2 Kf4 49.Kd3 Bd4 50.Bf5 Kg5 51.Kc4 Ba1 52.Kd5 Bb2 53.Ke6 Ba1 54.Kf7 Bb2 55.Kg7 Ba1 56.Be6 Bb2 57.Bf5 Ba1 58.Be6 Bb2 59.Bf5 Ba1 60.Be6 ½–½

Sunday, August 17, 2008

House Spreading Pain

House of Pain regular Lester Bedell reports he has won the 2008 Upper Peninsula Open Chess Championship, held at the Kewadin Casino & Convention Center in Sault Ste. Marie, in his home state of Michigan! He scored 4 1/2 out of 5, with his draw coming against an expert in the third round. This was Lester's first time playing in this tournament.
A full report will be in tomorrow's Sault Ste. Marie Evening News,

Damir Chess Live

Damir Studen was not aware of the Miami Open Online Qualifier until being informed by me at the Friday night Speed Kills tournament. After reading the print-out I made, he said he would give me part of his winnings, if he won the quilifier and made it to the Miami Open. Sort of a "finders fee" I suppose. H P Vest is always telling me that I'm good at distributing information...
Just received a phone call from The Stud informing me that he had TIED FOR FIRST PLACE in the Qualifier! Unfortunately, he has only won second place as a FM with a speed rating in the 1900's took first on tie break. Seems the tie break was the lower rated being placed above the higher rated, although Damir did say he lost to the FM twice, so it would appear the FM was at least deserving...Damir won a half-price entry; one free Re-entry; half-price hotel room; and 12 months of World Chess Live for free!
To win all that, Mr Studen played with about 140 others for three hours on Saturday to get down to a final six players. He played for about an hour and a half today and finished in a tie with the aforementioned FM, and a friend of his, a NM named De Jesus, from Texas.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rise of the Barbarian

Fourteen speed demons came to the House for the Friday Night "Speed Kills" G/10. The Stud was the top-rated player at 2086, ranging down to Drew Matthew Malott (753). Damir won the tournament, but he had company at the top, having to share with none other than Andrew Bryant (1758), who played some real BARBARIAN chess! In the fourth round of seven he drew with the #1 seed, followed that with wins vs #3 Steve Csukas (1879), and #2 Alan Piper (1960)! He still had to beat Thomas Dupuis (1661) in the last round to take the money. The winners each took home $21. Samuel Zimmerman won his last two games, vs Anthony Amante (1627), and Mr Csukas, to finish with 4 1/2 points and take the under 1650 prize, winning $20! Nick Nikley finished at 50% to take the under 1500 prize of $10.The Barbarian gained a whopping 47 speed points, followed closely by Zimmy, who gained 42. St Nick advanced by 36.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mark your calendar

The monthly G/45 will be held September 20. Rounds are at 11am-1pm-3 & 5. EF is $22 if by 9/18; $25 at site. $500 guaranteed! First $150-Second $100-Third $70; Under 1700 and U1500 each $60.
U1300 EF $16-$19 Unrated players PLAY FOR FREE! Trophies to top 3, top 2 under 1100, top 2 under 900, and top unrated.

The next weekend the 2008 Georgia Senior Open will be at the House. This is a GCA event, and, as yet, there are no further details...

The October G/45 will be held the 11th. This one is special, as the GCA has designated this one a State Title Tournament! The prize fund is $1000 GUARANTEED!
EF is $37 if received by 10/09; $41 at site. The prizes are: First $250-Second $150; Expert, A, B, & C, each $150.

The EF for the U1400 is $21 by 10/09; $25 at site. Trophies to Top 5; Top 2 u1200, u1000, u800.
Reg ends at 10:30 am. Rounds are 11am-1pm-3 & 5

The 2008 Boris Kogan Memorial will be October 24-26. The time limit for this one is: 30/90, SD/1 $2600 based on 89 with 50% guaranteed. EF $41 by 10/22; $45 at site. Re-entry $25. First prize: $400, Second $200, Third, $100. U2200 $225-$150; U2000 $225-$150; U1800 $200-$150; U1600 $200-$150; U1400 $200-$150; U1200 $100.
Unrated EF $19 (not part of base) Trophies to top 5.
All byes all rounds must commit before first round! First round either Friday night @ 7:45 or Sat morning @ 10am (G/90). Then 2 pm-7:30. Sunday: 10 am and 3:30 pm.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Return from Dallas

Mr Studen returned from the US Open, where he cashed in 4 of the 5 tournaments in which he participated. He won a a total of $1739 during his stay in Dallas, which includes $1200 in the Open proper. He also tied for first in the Action; second in the Blitz; and even won a quad in his "spare" time! No wonder his phone calls were so brief!
After that, and considering his closest rival, Joe Moon, is rated at least one hundred points less, The Stud had to be considered the favorite to win the Tuesday Night Fights... The only upset in the first round was Bob Bassett, the House man, beating Ben Moon, rated three hundred points higher.
In the second round, Damir beat the Barbarian; while Joe Moon took out Soloman Zelman. Gautam Narula beat Zimmy to join them at 2-0. Notable was Richard Lin's upset of John "Mad Dog" Millett, who will be attending NC in a few days.
Joe Moon beat the returning hero to take the $28 first prize when his little brother beat Mr Narula on board two. Ben and the aforementioned two last round losers won $7.50, joined by Andrew Bryant, who beat House man Bassett with a display of BARBARIAN chess!
Christopher Roberts, after a first round loss to The Stud, beat Liu and St Nick Nikley to take the $22 under prize. I must mention Richard Lin, who gained 44 points by upseting the Mad Dog in the second round and then drawing with Zimmy in the last round.

Dallas(Jimmie Gilmore)
Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?/Well Dallas is a jewel, oh yeah, Dallas is a beautiful sight./And Dallas is a jungle but Dallas gives a beautiful light./Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?/Well, Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you're down./But when you are up, she's the kind you want to take around./But Dallas ain't a woman to help you get your feet on the ground./Yes Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you're down./Well, I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind,/But I came into Dallas with a Dollar and a dime./Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eye/A steel and concrete soul with a warm hearted love disguise/A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies/Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Man of the House

The final round of the US Open began with Mr Studen, as Black, facing FM Andrew Whatley on board 13, and the Drifter and me scrutinizing every move. We were joined later by the Mouth of the South. It ended with Oddo ( "Whaaaaat?"), the Barbarian, and Michael watching the 'puter, filled with excitement! The Stud won an exciting game to finish tied for 5th-18th only a point behind the three players who tied for first, with a score of 7-2. Only four players finished with a better score. When he called after the game a little later, Damir informed me that the opponent of one of the experts with whom he was in contention, Kevin Michael Wasiluk, received a free point in the last round as his opponent, Kirill Kuderinov (2426), from Texas, did not show for the game! I cannot wait to get the scoop on this possible scandal!
Even with an opponent rated only 1487 in the first round, The Stud finished with a 2249 PR. His PR in the Denker was 2118, and the two tournaments combined produced a PR of 2197. But...Damir did tell me during one of the phone calls he had played in a quad with three masters, and won it! Full details will have to wait for the return of the Man of the House!
Now for the game...

FM Andrew Whatley (2326)-Damir Studen

1.d4 d52.Nf3 Nf63.e3 c54.dxc5 Qa55.c3 Qxc56.b4 Qc77.Bb2 Bg48.Be2 e69.Nbd2 Bd610.h3 Bh511.O-O O-O12.Qb3 Qe713.a3 Nbd714.c4 Bxf315.Bxf3 Ne516.cxd5 Nxf317.Nxf3 Nxd518.e4 Nf419.Qe3 e520.Rad1 f621.g3 Nxh322.Kg2 Ng523.Nxg5 fxg524.Rd5 Rf625.Rfd1 Raf826.R1d2 Rh627.Qb3 Kh828.Qd1 Qe629.g4 Bc730.Rd7 Bb831.Rxb7 Rhf632.Rbd7 h533.Rd8 Kh734.Rxf8 Rxf835.Bc1 Rf436.f3 hxg437.Qh1 Kg638.Rc2 gxf339.Kf2 Rh440.Qg1 Rg441.Qd1 Rg242.Ke3 Qb30-1

Since Damir has been reading the BaconLOG, he mentioned that he should've taken the Black pawn that had been pushed to e3 with the pawn, in lieu of the knight in the penultimate game discussed in yesterday's blog, as he would've won a piece! His monarch sure looked naked to me in my cursory analysis, though... With that in mind, I will make a few comments on the game.
The Drifter and I had trouble understanding how Whatley played the opening, especially 6 b4... His 21 g3, giving up the h-pawn could not be right...Damir got into time pressure and lost his edge when Whatley played 31 Rxb7, but 31 Rd8 may have been even better...It took some major cojones to play 32...h5! Especially in time pressure! It cannot be said that Mr Studen is not a fighter! I wondered if Whatley should've taken the pawn with 33 gxh5, and if, later, he should've taken it on move 35? After White's Qg1 at move 40, the last move of time control, I was looking at 40...g4, 0r 40...Qh3, when Damir played 40...Rg4, making time control, but, OH NO, MR BILL! It looked like the FM could play 41 Rc6!, thrusting a monkey wrench into the spokes! Fortunately, I did not have much time to look at it, as Whatley played 41 Qd1 rather quickly, and I wondered why? Boris Kogan once told me that it was important, after a time scramble, to get up, to come down and clear the head, before going back to concentrate. I do not know what happened there and can't wait to hear all about it when the Man gets back to the House!
Congratulations to Mr Damir Studen on a FANTASTIC RESULT! It will be OPEN HOUSE at the TNF for the return of The Stud!

It's as clear as Black and White

I just checked the pairings for the last round of the US Open to find our House horse paired with Andrew Whatley (2326). I've no idea which player has what color...How hard would it be to put that information on the website? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!
Why is it that one never knows which color a player has had after the round? Why is that information not de rigueur?
Why does not every rated chess player have two different ratings; one with White and the other as Black?
This information is provided at other tournaments and at other sites. Why then is it NOT provided by the USCF?!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mr Studen (exclam)

One of the things I don't like about this blog is it does not allow an exclamation mark in the title. That's not good for a chess writer raised on the Informant!
I have just spent hours watching the eight round game of the player carrying the Stars and Bars into battle in Dallas at the US Open, Damir Studen. Although a transplant, Damir has lived here long enough to be an adopted Southerner. After all, he has become a man at our House! Did he ever play like a man tonight! It was a beautiful game, bringing his score to 6-2, with one round to go.
If you are a regular reader of the BaconLOG, you know I've perviously written about the problems with Monroi. Tonight was no exception, I'm sad to report. But, with the game that counted, Studen-Shinsaku, I had no problems, so I watched only that game. I do not know what the Monroi people have on the USCF, but it must really be something that would make J. Edgar Hoover turn over in his grave! Until informed otherwise, it is simply the only explanation as to why anyone in his right mind would use such a bad system when there are many other systems that work fine...
Board member Colin Potts, back from Oxford, came by tonight, bringing me the three BRITISH CHESS magazine's with articles remembering Bobby Fischer that Malcolm Pein put back for me and we got into a discussion ranging from this to that! The professor is always someone with whom the time passes too quickly when having verbal intercourse! In relation to a point of his I mentioned the article by Josh Waitzkin on multitasking on US Chess online ( Waitzkin on the Multitasking Virus ) which led to the July CHESS LIFE. If you notice you will see the future, which has turned into the present, and the past. On the cover you see the winner of the US Senior, IM Larry Kaufman, with a chess set. Inside on pages 30-31 you will see the winning team from the USAT South, all four with their laptops! One of the customers tonight brought his son to join USCF and the House, purchasing a copy of the new CHESS LIFE and the award winning GEORGIA CHESS, so I asked if they would be interested in any chess books and was told that he did not read chess books, learning everything from the 'puter!
While watching the game (not games!), I was listening to Music from the Hearts of Space on the 'puter and I got the idea to put the Stud's game into Fritz. Unfortunately, that proved to be way too much for the 'puter, so something had to go...Can you guess which of the three I jettisoned? I broke out the chessboard and analyzed myself, just like in the pre-'puter daze! The 'puter makes us lazy, if we allow it...
Mr Spinks says he cannot understand anyone just watching anything without "pulling" for someone. I can enjoy the game without caring which team wins, and I can enjoy watching a chess game without "pulling" for one player over another, although I will admit there are some players I like to see go down! Tonight I found myself pumping my fist when Damir made what I thought to be a good move, and slapping my head when he made what to me was a questionable one. After Damir attacked the Queen with 29 Nc4, Mr Shinsaku counter-attacked the Queen with the e-pawn, giving Damir a pawn. But which way to take? I was looking at fxe3 but Damir took with the knight, which looked much better. When his opponent moved his pawn on his 45th move, I thought it was a big mistake, and was sending signals to Dallas for Damir to play 46 Qb2+, which he did. Damir first got his lady into the enemy position, then, after trading Queens, planted his rook on the seventh rank and I thought for sure he would win. But then he played 56 Rc7, going after the c-pawn, in lieu of Ng4 with the idea of Nf6 and rook down to the back rank, tying up the Black army. It was then I realized our rating disparity, and that Damir was doing a fine job of grinding down his opponent, and I had better NOT keep sending subspace signals, as they were capable of messing up his thinking, so I sat back and simply watched the remaing moves with a smile on my face. WELL DONE, MR STUDEN!
Give it everything you've got in the last round, Stud!

Damir Studen- Shinsaku Uesugi 2295
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.0–0 0–0 6.c4 dxc4 7.Ne5 c5 8.dxc5 Qc7 9.Nxc4 Qxc5 10.Nbd2 Nc6 11.b3 Qh5 12.Bb2 Bh3 13.Nf3 Rfd8 14.Qe1 Ng4 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.Qc3+ f6 17.Ne3 e5 18.Nxg4 Bxg4 19.Rfd1 e4 20.Rxd8 Rxd8 21.Nd2 Nd4 22.Re1 Qe5 23.Kh1 Rc8 24.Nc4 Qc5 25.Qd2 Re8 26.Ne3 h5 27.h3 Bf5 28.Rc1 Qe5 29.Nc4 e3 30.Nxe3 Be4 31.f4 Bxg2+ 32.Nxg2 Qe4 33.e3 Nf5 34.Qf2 Re7 35.Kh2 Qd5 36.Rc2 Rd7 37.Rc4 Qd1 38.Rc2 Qd5 39.Re2 Qe4 40.Rd2 Re7 41.Rd1 Rc7 42.g4 hxg4 43.hxg4 Nh6 44.Kg3 f5 45.Qb2+ Kh7 46.g5 Nf7 47.Qf6 Qc6 48.Qxc6 bxc6 49.Kf3 Kg7 50.e4 fxe4+ 51.Kxe4 Re7+ 52.Kf3 Re6 53.Rd7 a6 54.Ne3 Kf8 55.Ra7 c5 56.Rc7 Nd6 57.Rxc5 Ne4 58.Rc7 Nd2+ 59.Ke2 Ne4 60.Kd3 Ke8 61.Nd5 Kd8 62.Rh7 Kc8 63.Kd4 Nd6 64.Nb6+ 1-0

Friday, August 8, 2008

In the Forum with the Lions

I went to the USCF Issues section of the forum tonight and read every post under the topic of US Open attendance. I decided, after reflecting upon what I read, to make a post of my own. This is it:
After reading all of the previous posts I decided to check out the turnout at the National Scrabble Championship and this is what I found: Nigel Richards, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been crowned the 2008 National Scrabble Champion after a four-day tournament in Orlando, Florida. For his victory, Richards won the grand prize of $25,000. Nearly 700 players competed in the Scrabble Championship's six divisions, including players from the U.S., Canada, Thailand, Guyana, New Zealand and the Bahamas.
Contrast the top prize with what the winner of the US Open will receive. What is it, more that ten times less? But what does the number 700 mean? Did the high price of petrol and the inflated economy and the weakened dollar contribute to a lower turnout than in previous years? In 2006 there were 632 players in Phoenix, Az. In 2004 & 2005 in New Orleans and Reno respectively, there were over 700 players. I could not find a 2007 event, and except for 2005, it had been held only in even numbered years. So I went back and checked every year from 1992 and also checked the number of players in the US Open each year. This is what I found:
Chess -Scrabble 1992 Dearborn 496- Atlanta 320 1994 Rosemont 470 -Los Angeles 300+1 996 Alexandria 515- Dallas 416 1998 Kona 304- Chicago 535 2000 St Paul 492- Providence 598 2002 Cherry Hill 506- San Diego 696 2004 Weston 434- New Orleans 700+ 2005 Phoenix 455- Reno 700+ 2006 Chicago 543- Phoenix 632 2008 Dallas 379 -Orlando (almost) 700
It is too expedient to blame the lack of turnout on a bad economy. The numbers do not lie. The last time the US Open drew more players than the National Scrabble Championships was a dozen years ago, and since that time, the trend is clear. In the immortal words of Mr Zimmerman, "You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows."
It is rather obvious that,"... something is happening here/But you don't know what it is /Do you, Mister Jones?"
I will, no doubt, be pilloried for what I'm about to write, but it needs be written. The sad fact of the matter is that the pooh-bahs of the USCF can no longer use another excuse, like a Band-Aid, to cover the problem, as there is Blood on the Tracks! The Pollyanna's who write that "We will get'em next year," and "Everythings lovely, in it's own way," and "Don't worry, be happy" are in for a RUDE AWAKENING! The reason being, "The pump don't work'/Cause the vandals took the handles."
There's a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overlarge concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause.-P.J. O'Rourke

DIRE STRAITS lyrics - Lions

Red sun go down way over dirty town/Starling are sweeping around crazy shoals/A girl is there high heeling across the square/Wind blows around in her hair and the flags upon the poles/Waiting in the crowd to cross at the light/She looks around to find a face she can like./Church bell clinging on trying to get a crowd for Evensong/Nobody cares to depend upon the chime it plays/They're all in the station praying for trains/Cogregations late again/It's getting darker all the time these flagpole days/Drunk old soldier he gives her a fright/He's crazy lion howling for a fight./Strap hanging gunshot sound/Doors slamming on the overground/Starlings are tough but the lions are made of stone/Her evening paper is horror torn/But there's hope later for Capricorns/Her lucky stars give her just enough to get home/Then she's reading about a swing to the right/But she's thinking about a stranger in the night/I'm thinking about the lions tonight/What happened to the lions.

Paying Dues

Only seven players showed for the G/10 tonight. Bob Bassett was the House man, making it an even field. Mr Vest and Hartley Chiang tied for first with 4 1/2 out of 6 and took home $10 each. Justin Swaby finished with 3 1/2, yet he took home $15 simply because he is not rated as highly as the two winners. Something seems inherently unfair about that result...
These are the players and their ratings: Vest 2069; Chiang 1980; Piper 1960; Johnson 1921; Lugonja 1691; Swaby 1677; Zimmerman 1636; Bassett 1581. The cutoff for the under prize was, as usual, the player who was paired with the top rated player in the first round, Lugonja, which worked out perfectly as the largest drop was between Longshot Larry and Dusan. I must, nevertheless, question how it can be possible for a player who scores a full point less than the winners to take home 50% more cash. The lower rated player is being rewarded, not for his skill, but for simply having a lower rating. In effect, the players who have worked hard on their game, raising their skill level and PAID THEIR DUES are being PENALIZED!
There were three prizes. As it turns out, if the prizes had been for first, second, and third, Justin Swaby would have finished tied for third with Alan Piper, both with 3 1/2, and he would have won money in any event! But, and this is the thing, he would NOT have won MORE than the players who finished tied for first! And I must mention that The Pipe would have won something, in lieu of winning nothing, so he was also PENALIZED for being higher rated!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Another Brick in the Wall

For those of you who are regular readers you will recall the BRAVE NEW WORLD post on July 14 concerning poker playing programs. A decade ago I read and discussed with Gary Southerland an article about how 'puters would solve chess, but never solve the game of Go, as the difference was something like ten to the tenth power for chess, while for Go it is more like ten to the hundredth power. This is from the American Go E-Journal ( volume 9, #40: August 7, 2008:
COMPUTER BEATS PRO AT U.S. GO CONGRESS: In a historic achievement, the MoGo computer program defeated Myungwan Kim 8P (l) Thursday afternoon by 1.5 points in a 9-stone game billed as “Humanity’s Last Stand?” “It played really well,” said Kim, who estimated MoGo’s current strength at “two or maybe three dan,” though he noted that the program – which used 800 processors, at 4.7 Ghz, 15 Teraflops on a borrowed European supercomputer – “made some 5-dan moves,” like those in the lower right-hand corner, where Moyogo took advantage of a mistake by Kim to get an early lead. “I can’t tell you how amazing this is,” David Doshay -- the SlugGo programmer who suggested the match -- told the E-Journal after the game. “I’m shocked at the result. I really didn’t expect the computer to win in a one-hour game.” Kim easily won two blitz games with 9 stones and 11 stones and minutes and lost one with 12 stones and 15 minutes by 3.5 points. The games were played live at the U.S. Go Congress, with over 500 watching online on KGS. “I think there’s no chance on nine stones,” Kim told the EJ after the game. “It would even be difficult with eight stones. MoGo played really well; after getting a lead, every time I played aggressively, it just played safely, even when it meant sacrificing some stones. It didn’t try to maximize the win and just played the most sure way to win. It’s like a machine.” The game generated a lot of interest and discussion about the game’s tactics and philosophical implications. “Congratulations on making history today,” game organizer Peter Drake told both Kim and Olivier Teytaud, one of MoGo’s programmers, who participated in a brief online chat after the game. At a rare loss for words in a brief interview with the EJ after the game, Doshay wondered “How much time do we have left? We’ve improved nine stones in just a year and I suspect the next nine will fall quickly now.”- reported by Chris Garlock, photo by Brian Allen

Another Brick in the Wall Part 1 (Waters)
Daddy's flown across the ocean/Leaving just a memory/Snapshot in the family album/Daddy what else did you leave for me?/Daddy, what'd'ja leave behind for me?!?/All in all it was just a brick in the wall./All in all it was all just bricks in the wall./
"You! Yes, you! Stand still laddy!"

Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 (Waters) We don't need no education /We dont need no thought control/No dark sarcasm in the classroom/Teachers leave them kids alone/Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!/All in all it's just another brick in the wall./All in all you're just another brick in the wall./We don't need no education/We dont need no thought control/No dark sarcasm in the classroom/Teachers leave them kids alone/Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!/All in all it's just another brick in the wall./All in all you're just another brick in the wall./
"Wrong, Do it again!"/"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding./ How can you/have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?"/"You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chess quote of the day

Anarchy, however, reigns supreme in the scholastic chess world.-Russ Mollot (founder, Chess Express Ratings) author of THE BLACK HOLE IN CHESS RATINGS. (

The Moons and the Z-Men

As is usually the case, there were no upsets in the first round of the TNF. The disparities ranged from 657 points on board one to 1221 (!) on the last board, #9. It has become apparent that there should be two sections for the TNF. After reading the excellent article, THE BLACK HOLE IN CHESS RATINGS, by By Russ Mollot (founder, Chess Express Ratings), is it any wonder why so few higher rated players are putting their hard earned rating points on the line?
The second round, with the class "B" players on up playing each other, did produce a few upsets, led by the rapidly improving Soloman Zelman's (1732) defeat of the High Plains Drifter, who then withdrew. Samuel Zimmerman (1667) beat Chris Wiley (1838); Joe Moon (2096) beat Gautam Narula (1757); and his brother, Ben Moon (1830), beat Tim Chu (1716). Mr Zelman took a 1/2 pt bye in the last round, leaving the Moon brothers to play each other, while the Z-Man had to face Justin Swaby (1610), who had 1 1/2 points after his draw with Mad Dog Millett in rd 2. Ryan beat his little brother to take clear first and $28 when Zimmy could only draw with Swaby. The Z-Men, Zimmerman and Zelman, split second place, winning $15 each. John Millett took the U1600 prize of $17 with his 1 1/2 points. Jackson Miller; Robert Steen; Richard Lin; Josh Doman; and Evelyn Chen split the $11 2nd U1600 prize.
Robert Steen has been working hard on his game, and it shows. He was a piece up and clearly winning versus Gautam Narula in the last round, but let the lack of time get to him by first throwing away the win and then failing to take the opposition in a King and pawn vs King ending, which would have drawn, going on to lose. Oh well, one has to have the winning positions to actually win them!
It will come as no surprise that the big rating gainers were the Z-Men, with Zelman gaining 25 points and Zimmy advancing 18.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Courtney Jamison-Damir Studen Rd 6

Damir has drawn with the winner of the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, Courtney Jamison, rated 2032. He now has 3 1/2 points after six rounds.

1.e4 d52.exd5 Qxd53.Nc3 Qa54.d4 Nf65.Bd3 c66.Nf3 Bg47.O-O e68.Bf4 Be79.h3 Bxf310.Qxf3 O-O11.Be5 Nbd712.Rfe1 Rfe813.a3 Qd814.Rad1 Nb615.Ne4 Nxe416.Qxe4 g617.c4 Bf618.Bf1 Bg719.b4 Qd720.Qc2 Rad821.Qb3 Bxe522.dxe5 Qc723.f4 c524.Kh1 Qe725.g3 Qc726.Kh2 Kg727.b5 a528.Qc3 Nc829.Bg2 b630.Bc6 Rxd131.Rxd1 Rd832.Rd3 Ne733.Be4 Rxd334.Qxd3 Nc835.a4 f636.exf6 Kxf637.Bc6 Qd638.Qc3 Qd439.Qxd4 cxd440.Kg2 Nd641.c5 Nc442.cxb6 Nxb643.Kf2 g544.Be4 Nxa445.Bxh7 Nc546.b6 a447.Bb1 gxf448.gxf4 e549.fxe5 Kxe550.Kf3 a31/2-1/2