Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New House Hours

Beginning tomorrow, October first, the House will be open from 3 until 7 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday and Friday will still be from 6 until 11. The House will open on the weekends without a tournament at noon and close at 6pm. The House would like to thank you for your support!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The 2008 Georgia Senior

Only ten players came to the House for the 2008 Georgia Senior. Another eleven came to participate in a completely separate tournament for those rated below 1800. Many reasons for the sparse turnout were propounded, chief among them the gas shortage in the Atlanta area. It did not stop Donnie Gray, from Augusta, nor LM Klaus Pohl and his travelling companion, Wayne Christensen, from the great neighboring state of South Carolina, from getting to the round on time! A potential Senior player, board member Colin Potts, stopped by the House Friday night to leave a flash disc for the now sole editor of the award winning GEORGIA CHESS magazine that has missed not one, but two, deadlines. He said he only had half a tank of petrol and would play if he could find gas. Of the other board members eligible to play, nothing was heard from “Coach” Steve Schneider. Unfortunately Michael Mulford, who intended to play, was ill. That left President Scott Parker holding the colors for the GCA board.
Two former Senior champions, David Vest (2200) and the aforementioned Scott Parker (1861), squared off in the very first round. The hard fought game ended in a draw. Donnie Gray (2128) was held to a draw by Jared Radin (1844), while Klaus (2200) beat John Smith (1914), and Wayne (2080) beat Thomas Cole (1610). Alan Piper (2082) beat former Georgia state champion John Austin (1835).
There were no perfect scores after round two. Klaus was held to a draw by The Pipe; The High Plains Drifter took out Christensen; Donnie Gray beat Scott Parker; Smitty bested Jared; and Austin beat Cole.
Sunday morning saw The Drifter take a half point lead over the field when he hit The Pipe, hard! The Viktor Kortchnoi of Southern chess, Klaus Pohl drew with Mr Gray, with both moving to 2-1. Christensen did the same with his win over Smitty. Mr Parker moved to even with a win over Austin, as did Radin with a win over Cole.
The final round saw the man who tied for the title of state champion with two others this year on board one with a chance to hold both titles, Georgia state champion and Georgia Senior champion at the same time, an unprecendented occurrence. His opponent, Donnie Gray had Black needing a victory to have a chance at the title. In a long game that went to the limit, the man from the High Plains won to take the title of Georgia champ! He took home $200 for his efforts.
As fate would have it, the two friends who came together, Wayne and Klaus, were paired on board two. In the last game to finish, Mr Christensen beat Mr Pohl, to finish in clear second, and $140.
The President got hit with The Pipe, while Jared Radin beat John Austin, both finishing with 2 ½ and tying for third place. Because Jared is rated lower than Alan, he won more money, $120, twenty dollars more than The Pipe, as he took the under 2000 prize. Smitty beat Mr Cole to finish with an even score, whild Thomas did the “goose-egg shuffle,” which made John and I recall the time at the World Open when, after losing five games, Smitty withdrew. When I asked him why, he replied, “I figure that if I play in a weekend swiss, I only get five games.” I understood completely!
In the ancillary tournament, there was a four-way tie at 3-1 between Raymond Quillan (1729), Richard Jones (1690), Dusan Lugonja (1645), and the man he beat in the last round, Wayne Hedger (1593). Each took home $67. Richard Sooley (1308) won the class D prize with his 1 ½ points and took home a C-Note. Kelly Hollins (1188), with his “goose-egg sandwich” ( an upset win in the first round over Mr Jones, followed by two losses, and a last round win over Tim Staley (972), also won $100 with his even score. Makes one wonder why there were not simply three prizes, one for first, second, and third. Seems simple enough, does it not?
I have written previously about how the format of this tournament was altered only a month beforehand without necessity. For that I have been accused of making “harsh” criticisms of those responsible. If it can be demostrated that ONLY ONE player was adversely affected by these incomprehensible changes, then it would seem the statement has been refuted, would it not?
The Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear had planned on playing until learning the time limit had been changed from G/150 to G/120. I, too, had let it be known that I intended on playing in the event. As it turned out, my back went out on me a week ago, and, although I had recovered somewhat, the thought of sitting for hours was anathema to me. As things transpired, the thought of participating in this event also became anathema…Mr Brookshear was terribly disappointed in not playing this year, as he did last year. As he so aptly put it, “Bacon, who would’ve ever thought that if we were both still alive and had the chance, neither one of us would play in the Georgia Senior?” Who, indeed…
The round times for the first day were orginally eleven and five ( I may be mistaken, as so much of this tournament has been changed…That’s the point, is it not?), but then changed to one and six. The registration time was, therefore, nine until ten thirty. When the round time was changed the registration time was NOT CHANGED! Simply unbelievable…The TD, Rich Mielke, called to ask if we would open at ten thirty because of their mistake. He was informed that we usually open an hour and a half before the round, but would make an exception and open at eleven. Unfortunately, Peter Dessaules came by Sunday afternoon, telling us he had been at the House at ten am Sat morning with the first flyer, wondering if the venue had been changed. Who knows how many other players were put off by the Alphonse and Gaston routine…Who knows how many potential players were completely unaware of the Georgia Senior for lack of publicity? If anything, my criticism of the completely inept board of the GCA is not harsh enough! They thought so little of the Georgia Senior it was not even put in the upcoming events listings in CHESS LIFE! We still have little idea of why it was so imperative for the format to be changed without a compelling reason so close to the tournament. As for being forthcoming, the GCA board makes Darth Cheney seem transparent!
I asked Rich, since he was to input the games into CHESSBASE, if he would be kind enough to let me have a few for the blog. He said he would send them to me via email. After we closed Saturday night, I found an email containing a few games in my email. When I asked him about the last round games, as he would not have time to input them, he said he would send them to me later in the week. I told him they were needed for the blog NOW. I asked if it would be possible for me to keep the games in order to have a few of the most important last round games for the blog. He vehemently said that it would not, as he had to get the games to Mark Taylor FOR THE MAGAZINE! I told him that made no sense because the magazine has not been published since spring and is nearly HALF A YEAR LATE! I told him that the thing about writing a blog is that it is TIMELY. I also said that I would have a blog entry ready before I turned in tonight. I said that thinking of something Kelly Hollins said to me, at another tournement, about having the results with his coffee in the morning. Rich said something about his wife having to watch her favorite programs and he would get them to me by eleven pm. It is now after 2 am and I am still waiting…
I could have asked the players to take the time to transcribe their games for me, in addition to the copies they gave to the GCA, but saw no need with Rich being so nice and working with me Saturday. As to why he changed overnight, I can only speculate…
A true chess fan, Alexander Foster, came by the House Saturday and, although not eligible for the Senior, got to play a game with Tim Staley, who, because of the odd number of players, received the bye. He was there at the end, asking me if I would put the Vest-Gray game in my blog, saying, “That was a great game, with Mr Vest flashing mind-boggling middle game tactics. I’m sure I could learn from that game.” Mr Foster, I wish I had access to the game! I, too, would like to replay it. If things continue on the same pace, the game could be published sometime in the late spring, or early summer, of 2009. COULD! I only hope that, if it is, I am still living when it is published. I will, though, not hold my breath!
The fact is that the GCA is still back in the 20th century. Other states have taken to publishing their magazine on the internet, and the USCF will soon offer a membership at a reduced rate for those that will do without the “hard copy” magazine. The GCA, in their wisdom, raised the membership fee three dollars, from $12 to $15 on the first of September. Other than a magazine that is not being published, the GCA offers little bang for the increased buck! I put games on the BaconLOG just as they print them in the magazine. The information can be disseminated much faster via the internet. It would seem, therefore, that the GEORGIA CHESS magazine, to stay viable, would need to do something different from publishing games scores only. If it were me, I would follow the lead of the best chess magazine in the world, NEW in CHESS, and have the players annotate their games!
These are the ony games I have. If you would like to see more games, please let the GCA know! Email the board members:
Scott Parker
Colin Potts

Jim Mundy

Rich Mielke

Michael Mulford

Steve Schneider

Germaine Schweibinz

Mark Tayloreditor@georgiachess.org

Vest,David - Parker,Scott [D02]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (1), 27.09.20081.Nf3 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Bf4 Bg4 4.Nbd2 Nf6 5.e3 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.Bb5 Bd6 8.g4 Bg6 9.Ne5 Bxe5 10.Bxe5 Qe7 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.Nb3 0–0 13.f3 Ne8 14.Qd2 f6 15.Bg3 e5 16.0–0 Nd6 17.Qc3 Nc4 18.Rae1 e4 19.f4 Rfb8 20.Rb1 f5 21.Nc5 a5 22.a4 Nb6 23.Kf2 Nd7 24.Nb3 c5 25.dxc5 Rb4 26.Nxa5 Rxa4 27.b4 R4xa5 28.bxa5 Qxc5 29.Qxc5 Nxc5 30.Rb5 Nd7 31.g5 c6 32.Rb7 Nc5 33.Rb6 Rxa5 34.Rxc6 Be8 35.Rc8 Kf7 36.Kg1 Ne6 37.Be1 Ra3 38.Bd2 d4 39.Bc1 Ra7 40.Rd1 Bd7 41.Rb8 Rc7 42.Rb2 Ba4 43.Bd2 Bxc2 44.Rc1 d3 45.Ra1 Nc5 46.Ra3 Nb3 47.Raxb3 Bxb3 48.Rxb3 Rc2 49.Rb7+ Kg6 50.Rb6+ Kf7 51.Ba5 d2 52.Bxd2 Rxd2 53.Rb7+ Kg6 54.h4 Re2 55.h5+ Kxh5 56.Rxg7 Rxe3 57.Rxh7+ Kg4 58.Rh2 Kxf4 59.g6 Ra3 60.g7 Ra1+ 61.Kg2 Ra2+ 62.Kg1 Ra1+ 63.Kg2 Ra2+ 64.Kf1 Ra1+ 65.Kg2 65.Ra2+ ½–½

Radin,Jared - Gray,Donny [B13]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (1), 27.09.2008
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 Bxf3 10.Nxf3 Bd6 11.Be5 Qc7 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.0–0 0–0 14.Rfe1 a6 15.Re2 b5 16.Ne5 Rfc8 17.Nxc6 Rxc6 18.a4 b4 19.Qxb4 Qxb4 20.cxb4 Rb6 21.b5 axb5 22.a5 b4 23.Rc2 Rbb8 24.Rac1 g6 25.a6 Kg7 26.Rc7 Ne8 27.Rb7 Nd6 28.Rxb8 Rxb8 29.Rc7 Ra8 30.b3 Nf5 31.Rb7 Nxd4 32.Rxb4 Nc6 33.Ra4 Na7 34.b4 Rb8 35.f3 Kf6 36.b5 Ke5 37.Ra1 Kd6 38.Rb1 Kc5 39.Kf2 e5 40.Ke3 f5 41.Be2 f4+ 42.Kd2 g5 43.Kc3 Kb6 44.Bd3 Kc5 45.h4 h6 ½–½

Smith,John W Jr - Pohl,Klaus [E73]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (1), 27.09.2008
1.c4 d6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 Nf6 5.Be2 0–0 6.g4 c5 7.d5 e6 8.g5 Ne8 9.h4 exd5 10.exd5 Bf5 11.Bd3 Qe7+ 12.Nge2 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 f5 14.Bf4 Nd7 15.0–0–0 Ne5 16.Qe3 Rf7 17.b3 Ng4 18.Qg3 a6 19.h5 b5 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.Rde1 Qd7 22.f3 Ne5 23.Bxe5 dxe5 24.Qh4 bxc4 25.Qh7+ Kf8 26.Qxg6 cxb3 27.axb3 Qd6 28.Qxd6+ Nxd6 29.Rh4 Rb8 30.Kc2 Rfb7 31.Ra4 Rxb3 32.Rxa6 Nf7 33.Ra8 Rxc3+ 34.Kxc3 Rxa8 35.Kc4 Rc8 36.Ng3 Nd6+ 37.Kd3 c4+ 38.Kc2 Kf7 39.Rb1 Kg6 40.Rg1 Rc5 41.Rd1 Ra5 42.Nf1 Ra2+ 43.Kc3 Ra3+ 44.Kb4 Rxf3 45.Kc5 Bf8 46.Ra1 Ne4+ 47.Kc6 Ra3 48.Rc1 c3 49.Ne3 Ra2 50.Nc4 Bd6 51.Nxd6 Ra6+ 52.Kb5 Rxd6 53.Kc4 Kxg5 54.Rg1+ Kf4 55.Rf1+ Kg4 56.Rg1+ Kf3 57.Rf1+ Nf2 58.Kc5 Rd8 59.d6 Ke2 60.Ra1 c2 0–1

Piper,Alan - Austin,John [D91]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (1), 27.09.20081.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.cxd5 Qxd5 9.e3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Qa5+ 11.Qd2 Nc6 12.Rc1 Qxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Bd7 14.Rb1 Na5 15.Bd3 Rc8 16.Ke2 b6 17.Nd2 Bc6 18.f3 Kd7 19.Rhd1 e5 (draw offered) 20.dxe5 Bxe5 21.Ba6 Bb7 22.Bxb7 Nxb7 23.Nc4+ Ke6 24.Nxe5 Kxe5 25.Rd7 Rc2+ 26.Kd1 Rxg2 27.Rxb7 Rxa2 28.Rxf7 Ke6 29.Re7+ Kd6 30.Re4 Rc8 31.Bg3+ Kd7 32.Rd4+ Ke6 33.Rc1 Rxc1+ 34.Kxc1 b5 35.Kb1 Ra3 36.Bf4 a5 37.Kb2 b4 38.Rd6+ Ke7 39.Rb6 Kf7 40.Rb7+ Kg8 41.Bh6 Rd3 42.Rg7+ Kh8 43.Ra7 Kg8 44.Rg7+ Kh8 45.Rf7 Rd8 46.Rf8+ 1–0

(8) Gray,Donny - Parker,Scott [B00]
Georgia Senior Open 2008 (2), 27.09.2008
1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.Be2 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.d5 exd5 8.exd5 Nb8 9.Nd4 Bg6 10.0–0 Be7 11.f4 Be4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Bb5+ Kf8 14.Re1 a6 15.Rxe4 axb5 16.Nxb5 c6 17.Nc3 Bf6 18.f5 g5 19.fxg6 hxg6 20.dxc6 bxc6 21.Be3 d5 22.Rg4 Nd7 23.Qf1 Kg7 24.Rd1 Bxc3 25.bxc3 Rxa2 26.Bd4+ f6 27.Qf5 Qe8 28.Rb1 Kh7 29.Rh4+ Kg7 30.Rxh8 Kxh8 31.Bxf6+ Kg8 32.Qg5 Ra8 33.Bd4 Nf8 34.Qf6 Qd7 35.Qh8+ Kf7 36.Rf1+ 1–0

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Remember when you were young

Do you remember when you first began to play chess? Teaching youngsters bring back those thoughts. Remember when dropping a piece was not the end of the game? It was more than likely your opponent would drop at least one piece, too. First you would be winning and then your opponent would have the won game, although having a won game did not necessarily mean the game would be won.
I would like to present to you a game played by my group this past Tuesday. There are four groups and mine is right below the top group, taught by High Plains Vest. My job is to get them ready to deal with the Drifter, a tall order, indeed! For the game I divided my group into two teams. I named a captain, who then gave each of his/her (for one of the captains was a girl) members a number, and that member made that move. They alternated, from one down to five, and started again. I hoped the captains would have the weaker members open the game, but, alas, they each picked themselves for number one.
I hope you enjoy the game as much as I did. I only wish I could describe to you the emotion, the looks, the heartbreak and the sheer joy my students showed while playing this game. After being in class all day, it is imperative to make chess fun. Fun it was!

1. e4 g5 2. d4 Bg7 3. Qh5 Nc6 4. Qxg5 Nf6 5. Qxg7 d6 6. Qxh8+ Kd7 7. Qg7 Qe8 8. Bc4 d5 9. Qg4+ Nxg4 10. exd5 Nxd4 11. Be3 Nxc2+ 12. Kd1 Nxa1 13. Bg5 f6 14. Bb5+ c6 15. dxc6+ Kc7 16. Bf4+ Kd8 17. c7# 1-0


"Shine On You Crazy Diamond (I-V)"
Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun./Shine on you crazy diamond./Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky./Shine on you crazy diamond./You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze./Come on you target for faraway laughter,/ come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!/You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon./Shine on you crazy diamond./Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light./Shine on you crazy diamond./Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,/rode on the steel breeze/.Come on you raver, you seer of visions,/ come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Should chess players leave their brains?

The headline in the NY Times reads: Athletes to Leave Brains to Concussion Study
What does the psychic warfare of chess do to the brain? How does it change the brain when one is "Hit with a shot?" For that matter, how does playing chess at a young age on a high level alter the brain? I recall thinking after reading, "Shady side: The life and crimes of Norman Tweed Whitaker, chessmaster" by John Hilbert, that Whitaker must have been adversely affected by the loss he suffered in his match with Jackson Showalter, as his behavior seemed to change afterwards. The same could be said about Tony Miles when he lost his preeminent position among the English GM's.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Full Moon at the House of Pain

Sixteen players came to Fight this Tuesday Night. The top half clubbed the bottom half in the first round, with the break being between Zimmy (1647) and Eric Lu (1521), a difference of 126 points. Samuel drew with Gautam Narula (1778), while Benjamin Moon upset #1 seed Alan Piper (2082). Ben hit the Pipe so hard he knocked him out of the tournament! Only five players availed themselves of the free gift half point bye in the last round, a low, for the TNF, 31%. In the last round Joe Moon, the #2 seed, beat Longshot Larry Johnson, while his little brother, Ben, beat Gautam Narula. The Moon brothers therefore tied for first, winning $22 each. Eric Lu beat Alex Foster (1053) in rd 2 and Michael Coney (1205) in rd 3 to take home $21 for the U1600 prize. I want you to consider, for a moment, the fact that Longshot Larry, Zimmy, with a half point bye in the last round, and Ananya Roy (1661), all finished with a score of 2-1, the same as Mr Lu, but went home empty handed simply because their ratings are higher than his. They played stronger competition, too. Does this make sense to you? If so, please leave a comment explaining why...Terry Krohe (961) took home $12 by losing to Ananya Roy, Nick Nikley (1445), and beating Alex Foster. At least none of the players taking a half point bye in the last round won money!
Ben Moon was the big rating winner with an increase of 34 points and a PR of 2158, only a few points behind his brother's 2224. "Woody", aka Terry Krohe, performed like a real chess player, with a PR of 1253, and gained 26 points on his push to become a quadruple digit player! He is now only 13 points away from the big day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

And a good time was had by most

There were 32 players entered into the G/45. The Stud at 2175 was top dog. The rest of the field consisted of two 20's; two 19's; no 18's; four 17's; two 16's; six 15's; two 14's; five 13's; four 12's; two 11's; and two 10's. The top four rated players finished in a tie for first place. Along with Damir, who had to win his last round game vs Reece Thompson (1413), Alan Piper (2082) who gave a 3 move draw with White to #3 Longshot Larry Johnson (2026), and #4 Daniel Gurevich (1975), who, in the most intriguing match-up of the day, had to beat #5 Paul Taylor (1926), with all kinds of parents in the House! They each won $80.
Tim Chu (1739) and Gautam Narula (1778) split first U1900 by scoring 3-1, with each taking home $31. Lewis Byrne also finished 3-1, but since his rating is only 1577, he won the $61 U1700 prize. Same for Matthew Torrance (1388), only for the U1500 prize. Mr Torrance gained the most rating points, 119, with a performance rating of 1748, almost two classes higher than his current rating. Before losing to The Stud in the last round, Reece Thompson drew with #4 Gurevich, beat #12 Carter Peatman (1595), and knocked #6 Michael Mulford (1796) out of the tournament, to turn in a PR of 1985, a whopping 572 points more than his rating entering the tournament, gaining 112 rating points in the process! Dave Ronak (1280), with his first round upset of #9 John Lewis (1737) and last round win over Bob Peatman (1268), gained 64 points with a PR of 1607. Darcy Linde (1137) gained 82 big ones with upsets over Bryan Johnson (1500) and Richard Lin (1346) in the last two rounds.
In the U1300 section, played for trophies, or House credit, only, David Mbonu (1242) swept the field, yet gained only 36 points, with a PR of 1391. He did prove, though, that he is ready for "prime-time!" Amith Punyala (674) received a full point bye in the first round, lost in the second round to Bill Zhang (1023), and then beat Hasith Sangabathula (1006) and Jake Senter (816), who loves to eat at the HONG KONG restaurant, to gain an unbelievable 129 points! His PR was 1081...His brother, Ananth Punyala (1073), Bill Zhang, Alex Hollins (976), and Amith all finished tied for second with 3 points. Mr Zhang gained 44 points, while Ananth gained 34. Alex Hollins, in his push toward quadruple digits, gained 16 and is only 8 big ones away from becoming a chess player!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Palin 'hacker' 2004 Tn Open Scholastic Champion

The headline reads: All signs point to state rep’s son as Palin ‘hacker’
The article on zdnet contains this: My name is David Kernell I am 15 a white cacasian male i live in memphis, TN. My favorite and only hobby is chess, more like an obsession. I am not afraid to say that i have acute depression and have been institutionalized twice, one at th age of 9 in Texas and one this past year. I have been strugleing with this for my entire life and have finally come to the conclusion that being stoic in most of life’s issues is of the untmost importance.
Still, the Memphis Commercial Appeal established the chess connection, which lends credence to the blog’s legitimacy: David Kernell excelled at chess while at Germantown High School and won the 2004 Tennessee Open Scholastic Chess Championship. Internet searches show someone uses the handle rubico on chess Web sites.
You can read the whole article at: All signs point to state senator’s son as Palin ‘hacker’http://government.zdnet.com/?p=4081

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Moon over Miami

Samuel Zimmerman returned from the ill-fated Miami Open all smiles, the reason being he had done very well in the speed tournament, beating a NM twice, while losing both games to IM Blas Lugo, and finishing with 7 1/2 out of 12, to win $115, but, more importantly to the young man, his Quick rating has gone over 1900, two or three hundred points higher than his (regular?; standard?; REAL?!) rating. I have to keep in mind that the vast majority of USCF members have never known a time when each player had only one rating...
In the Miami Open proper Zimmy got of to a fine start in the U1700 section, winning his first three games before being stopped by Jorge Cuervo (I just love that name!). After another win, Sammy lost to the eventual winner of the tournament, Adriel Patino. With his half point bye in the last round, the Z-Man won $175. Unfortunately, the check is in the mail!
Michael Easterwood played them all, winning five and losing two, to finish in the second score group in a three way tie for fourth and winning $383.33.
Joe Moon won two, drew three, and lost two, to finish with an even score in the Open section. I've always thought that if a player finishes with an even score in a section, he has proven he belongs in that section! That said, Joe did receive a full point bye in the second round, and a half point bye in the last round, which brought him $550. Joe finished in a tie for 17th place.
I have absolutely no idea whether the winnings I've quoted is the amount based on the so-called "guaranteed" money, or if it is only the 50% the organizers petitioned the USCF to be allowed to pay out. I have absolutely no idea if the players who left early will actually receive any money, but I do know that Zimmy received his speed winnings right outta the wallet of one of the organizers! Staying to insure payment of a prize would seem to be a very good reason to NOT take a half point bye in the last round!!!
Samuel did tell me that it was quite expensive at the tournament, saying it cost an "arm" for the short ride from the airport to the hotel, and a "leg" for the breakfast buffet!
A word about the taking of a last round half point bye...First, let me say I think a great deal of both Mr Zimmerman, and Mr Moon. They are fine young men and strong and improving chess players. They did absolutely nothing wrong in availing themselves of the opportunity of taking the free, gift half point in the last round in lieu of playing. I do find it ironic, though, that both of them were elevated to prize winner when the player with whom they tied lost the last round game. How do you suppose those two players felt about tying with a player who did not even play the last round! I find it ironic because I started a thread on the USCF forum (Last round half point bye 1, 2by nocab on Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:57 pm), in which I asked the question: "Is the awarding of a half point bye in the last round ethical?"
Please note I said "awarding", not "taking." To quote the Legendary Georgia IronMan, "Chess is the hardest thing I've ever done!" A long chess tournament is a gruelling affair. To receive a free gift of a half point while the competition has to play, oftentimes while exhausted, would seem to be a way to gain an unfair advantage. To gain an unfair advantage would seem to be unethical, would it not? As an example, take Mark McGwire, the man who "broke" major league baseball's single season home run record, set by Roger Maris in 1961. At the time McGwire was hailed as a hero. Now, after it has become common knowledge he used Andro to "gain an unfair advantage" he is a pariah in our society. Yet, what he did was not in violation of any major league baseball rule. JUST BECAUSE IT IS ALLOWED DOES NOT MAKE IT THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Drifter hit by The Pipe

Nineteen players appeared for the TNF, with John Lewis acting as "Houseman" to even out the field for round one. Form held in the first round, with four players, Walter Gordon, Jr & Sr, who must drive a long distance to make it to the House, along with "Saint" Nick Nikley (1390), and Alexander Foster, taking a half point bye. Samuel Zimmerman, who played in the ill-fated Miami Open (more on that later), upset James Harmon (1748), visiting from Illinois ("This is a wonderful place you have here!"-Something EVERY visitor says...). High Plains Vest beat Ananya Roy (1661), while #2 seed, Alan Piper, dispatched Soloman "The Beast" Zelman (1666!). St Nick held Mr Stack (1648) to a draw. Walter Gordon Sr (1139) beat Mr Coney (1205), while his son, Jr, (1316) beat Carter Peatman (1595). Their game was the last to finish in round two. Junior moved a rook from a6 to e6, took his hand off of the rook, then moved it back to a6. Carter told him he had touched the rook and must move it, which Junior did; only he now moved it to f6, where if protected a critical pawn. Rather than asking for a director (I was watching the game), Pinky made a move. Later, Junior pushed a pawn forward, took his hand away, then moved it back and moved his King! Once again Mr Peatman could and should have stopped the clock and asked for a TD, but instead he told Junior that he would have to move the pawn, as he had touched it. All the while Carter's clock was ticking...Funny thing, it would have been better for Pinky if he had let Mr Gordon move the King! On a post to the USCF forum I read earlier (Prize Fund Guarantee's ) by John Hillery (by rfeditor on Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:07 pm #114111), he writes that one must "learn or die." I cannot help but think of the Great Bobby Fischer, who, at a young age, knew the rulebook "frontwards and backwards" as they say. Although some of our players are young, and are playing against adults, they are PLAYING FOR MONEY! Whether or not that is a good thing is for another blog...As for Mr Gordon, Jr, he and his father are relative newcomers to the House and organized chess. With only a minute on the clock, and with his opponent having less than that, it had to be rather disconcerting for Walter. I'm certain he did not do anything intentionally to try and gain an advantage. Which brings to mind something else Mr Hillery wrote in the same post: "While I agree that "(w)e want to attract more players," those players should not be starting out in big-class-prize tournaments with based-on prizes. After they've played in some small local tournaments and been around long enough to understand how things work, they can consider playing in large tournaments." The more I read of Mr Hillery, the more I've come to admire and respect his views (http://www.westernchess.com/,
Which brings us to the last round...Eleven of the nineteen (58%!) players opted for the gift half point bye in the last round making one wonder why we even have a last round! The House simply must consider starting the first round at 6:30, as does the venerable Mechanic's Institute in San Francisco for it's Tuesday Night Marathon! Of the few left to battle it out in the final round, there was the High Plains Drifter versus The Pipe on first board; The Gordons, each with 1 1/2, on board two, James Harmon vs St Nick on board three; and Richard Lin (1346) vs Alexander Foster (1053), on board four. Saturday night I went with Richard's coach, Tim Brookshear, to the restaurant his parents run, the HONG KONG at Shamrock Plaza. Tim gives Richard and his little brother a lesson every Saturday night and is rewarded with a bag of wonderful food that he takes home and shares with his aunt, Mildred. Tim picked me up at the House telling me how he would get Wendy to make this special dish. In reply I said I was "famished" and could not wait. Once we arrived, Wendy gave us a large cup of hot tea and I sat in on the lesson. When Tim was to go over Richard's games from the TNF, I played two games with little brother. Then, another of Tim's students and his father came in and ordered food. When Tim asked me to play the new student, I had to beg off, saying that I was so hungry I was getting weak. It was hard to take when their pungent food arrived and all I could do was watch... In response to Wendy's question, I heard Tim say, "Just put Bacon's food in the bag with ours and he can eat with us." The next thing I know, Tim has started a game with his student! The game is still in the opening and our very large bag of food arrives. You've got to understand that Tim almost NEVER plays skittles. I can only recall a handful of times in almost forty years that the man has played an off-hand game. One of the reasons is that he hates to lose so intensely he has been known to show his donkey! Yet, with his eighty something hungry aunt waiting at home, and his so-called "Bud" weak from not having eaten since lunch, he accepts a "challenge" from a student! The "one hour lesson" was turning into the "three hour tour."
Three quarters of an hour later, things are not looking so good for the "coach", who was playing the White pieces. Black has a better game and he was expanding in the center. The "Ol' Coach, playing his usual stodgy, hidebound, try not to lose chess, was on the ropes, getting pushed back and holding on for dear life. Tim moved his King to h1, preparing for the inevitable push of a pawn to e3, breaking the game open and slashing into his position with Bishop to e3. By this time Tim was losing it, screaming a little brother, who was fidgeting, causing a distraction that did not seem to bother Richard!
Tim lost two pawns, but did have bishops of opposite color, and, more importantly, a "runner." That's right folks, Tim had a passed a-pawn. All Richard had to do was to put his rook, which was in the White position, behind the pawn, and he would beat his coach!
Thinking that Tim would lose the game and become what he usually becomes after losing a chess game, an ogre, and needing food, as it was now past 9;30 and I was hungry when we left the House at 6:30, I walked over to CHECKERS and bought a fish sandwich, because, "you gotta eat"...
Upon my return I saw that Richard had not stopped the a-pawn and Tim would win. By the time he came out it was almost 10 pm. "CHECKERS?", he asked. "I was hungry, Tim."
"I had no idea you were hungry, Bacon," he said.
"What part of 'I'm famished & I'm so hungry I'm weak' do you not understand, Brookshear?"
"You could've eaten your food here, Bacon."
"Just take me back to the Center, Tim, please."
"You can come back and eat with us, Bacon."
"It's too late, Tim. My god, man, the food arrived a few minutes after you started the game and it's cold by now!"
"Bacon, I HAD to accept the challenge!"
"I wish I had a dollar for all the times you've turned down a skittle challenge over the decades I've known you, Brookshear. Be honest, man, you did it because you wanted to do it, with absolutely no consideration for either your aunt or me!"
Richard beat Alex Foster, to finish with 2-1, winning $3. Mr Harmon beat St Nick to also finish 2-1 and win $3. Walter Gordon Sr taught his son another valuable life lesson, to finish with 2 1/2 and win $18. While on the top board the High Plains Drifter got hit with The Pipe! Mr Piper, playing Black, took it to the Drifter, to win first place money, which was a paltry $32.
As for the other prize winners, they all took a half point bye in the last round. Zimmy won $20 for second, James Stack also won $3, while Jonathan Choi (1113) and Tianming Liu (1002) each won $5 in under 1200 money.
This week first place paid 35%; second 22%; while Walter Gordon Sr, eligible for the U1200 prize, actually won the U1600 prize, which was 20% of the prize fund. At least he had to win two games to earn a prize...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Georgians in Miami

CHESS LIFE ONLINE (Ray and Darmen Tie; Ray Wins Armageddon) reports only the results of the open section of the Miami Open. The lack of info emanating from the tournament makes one think of North Korea! It can be best summed up by what was written in a post to the USCF forum (Miami Open) by Sevan Muradian on Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:11 pm:
The sad thing is also that the 6th round is pretty much over and there are no pairings, no standings, no players list available. There's no broadcast on MonRoi or on ICC.Not sure what the organizers are attempting to accomplish by keeping everyone in the dark.
Sevan A. Muradian, FIDE ArbiterNorth American Chess Associationhttp://www.nachess.orghttp://www.nachess.blogspot.comsevan.muradian@nachess.org
888.80.CHESSA USCF Gold Affiliate

The only info as of this writing is a crosstable of the open section, where one learns that FM Kazim Gulamali finished with a plus one score of 5-4. He got off to a fine start with a win over one of the co-champs, GM Darmen Sadvakasov. He then lost to IM Renier Gonzalez. He came back from that defeat to beat IM Drasko Boskovic and IM Davorin Kuljasevic in the next two rounds! That put him at 3-1. Unfortunately Kazim lost his next three games, to IM John Bartholomew, GM Victor Mikhalevski, and IM David Pruess. It's tough at the top! IM Boris Kogan used to say the measure of a chessplayer is how he does after a loss. That goes triple for a player who loses three in a row! To prove what kinda player he is, Kazim came back to win his last two games, beating Juan Camilo Arango, and Sylvain Leburgue. Boris also said it was important to not only finish, but that how you finished was important! Kazim would have, no doubt, earned the Kogan stamp of approval!
Joseph Moon also finished with a 5-4 score in the open section, but his score does include a full point bye in round two, and a half point bye in the last round. He did, though, hold his own in the open section, with two wins, two losses, and three draws, a fine result! He lost to IM Drasko Boskovic in the first round, but did draw with IM Marko Zivanic and IM Daniel Fernandez, in the fourth and fifth rounds. After a loss to IM David Pruess in round six, he did beat FM Renard W Anderson in round seven. That's one win, two draws, and two losses versus titled players!
There is a disturbing post on the forum by cranken on Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:02 am #113934, in which he writes: "To receive a check, you had to sign some acknowledgement agreeing to the 50% payout. If you did not sign, then you have to appeal to Bill Hall (the beleaguered Executive Director of the USCF-WMB) and will receive money pending resolution of the appeal. This was inappropriate since players may have felt pressured into signing."
The organizers guaranteed $70,000 but it appears they are unable, because of the small turnout, to pay it! The $100,000 prize fund was based on an unrealistic 650 entries. They only had half that turnout last year. All they had to guarantee was half of the prize fund. Since they chose to increase the guarantee, it would seem they should have had at least $70,000 in the bank before the tournament. Coming as it does on the heels of a lawsuit filed by USCF board member Susan Polgar AGAINST THE USCF, this is either a body blow, or another black eye for the reeling USCF. I fear there are dark days ahead for our chess world...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My dream World Chess Championship

At the end of the Bilbao tournament there were eight Grandmasters rated over 2750, according to the Live Ratings website. I can only dream of the halcyon days of old with candidate matches. If we could return to those days, with the match-ups being #1 with #8; #2 with #7; #3 with #6; and #4 with #5, we would have, with #1 & #3 on one side, and #2 & #4 on the other:
Topalov vs Radjabov
Carlsen vs Kramnik

The winner of those matches would play the winner of:
Morozevich vs Aronian
Ivanchuck vs Anand

I can only dream that some wealthy patron would like to see these matches as much as I and will come forward to, in the words of Jean-Luc Picard, "Make it happen!"

Friday, September 12, 2008

Humpy got dumped

Humpy Koneru lost the semi-final match for the championship of the female chess world to Hou Yifan, a 14 year-old girl. Sorta elimanates "nurture" from the nature vs nurture question, does it not?
It was a close match, with the players splitting the "standard" and "rapid" sets of two game mini-matches. The teen "proved" to be a better player in "blitz." For that she gets a chance to become a world champion of inferior players.
I cannot help but wonder why they played the "standard" games at all. Why "waste" all that time on long games when one can have a world championship elimination tournament one day and then have the world championship the next! The chess world could crown a new champion every month! Chess would constantly be in the news, and not for something as sordid as cheating in the toilet. Chess fans would have to have a scorecard to keep up. Think of the sales of scorecards! The new motto for chess would become: Don't think-MOVE!
Humpy winning the women's world championship would have meant that India would have had all four reigning world champions - the men's world champion in Viswanathan Anand, men's world junior champion in Abhijeet Gupta, who won the world Under-20 title in Gaziantep, Turkey last month, and the women's Under-20 champion in Dronavalli Harika. Alas, it was not to be...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Idiot Wind

After reading this comment left on the Chicago Blaze blog: (9/11/2008: The Chicago Blaze are excited about their first USCL victory, a 4-0 sweep over Tennessee. )
Anonymous said...
The backwoods Tennessee team must have been out late the night before 2 stepping and shooting squirels. YEEEEEHAW! CHICAGO IS MY KIND OF TOWN.
September 11, 2008 2:15 PM

I felt compelled to respond with:

Michael Bacon said...
The person who left the derogatory comment concerning "The backwoods Tennessee team..." would have left his name if he was any kind of man at all. Since he did not, I can only surmise that he is NOT MUCH OF A MAN!I can understand your elation at the shutout, but cannot fathom the need to write such offensive remarks. The fact that you people from the so-called "windy city" would leave them on your blog says more about what kind of team you have than the 4-0 win.These people on the team from the great neighboring state of Tennessee are my friends. They may have lost the match, but they have something you will never have. It's called "CLASS."
Michael Bacon
September 11, 2008 10:54 PM

Idiot Wind by Bob Dylan
Someone's got it in for me, they're planting stories in the press/Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out but when they will I can only guess./They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,/She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me./I can't help it if I'm lucky./
People see me all the time and they just can't remember how to act/Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts./Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,/I couldn't believe after all these years, you didn't know me better than that/Sweet lady./
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,/Blowing down the backroads headin' south./Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,/You're an idiot, babe./It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe./
I ran into the fortune-teller, who said beware of lightning that might strike/I haven't known peace and quiet for so long I can't remember what it's like./There's a lone soldier on the cross, smoke pourin' out of a boxcar door,/You didn't know it, you didn't think it could be done, in the final end he won the wars/After losin' every battle./
I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin' 'bout the way things sometimes are/Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin' me see stars./You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies./One day you'll be in the ditch, flies buzzin' around your eyes,/Blood on your saddle./
Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,/Blowing through the curtains in your room./Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,/You're an idiot, babe.It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe./
It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart/You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn't enough to change my heart./Now everything's a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped,/What's good is bad, what's bad is good, you'll find out when you reach the top/You're on the bottom./
I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind/I can't remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed, your eyes/don't look into mine./The priest wore black on the seventh day and sat stone-faced while the buildingburned./I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtimeturned/ Slowly into autumn./
Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,/From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol./Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,/You're an idiot, babe./It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe./
I can't feel you anymore, I can't even touch the books you've read/Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishin' I was somebody else instead./Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstasy,/I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory/And all your ragin' glory./
I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I'm finally free,/I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me./You'll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,/And I'll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,/And it makes me feel so sorry./
Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,/Blowing through the letters that we wrote./Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,/We're idiots, babe./It's a wonder we can even feed ourselves.
Copyright ©1974 Ram's Horn Music

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

World Chess Championship and UFO's

The World Championship match where Viswanathan Anand will defends his World title against Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn, Germany will now take place October 14th-2nd November, 2008.

Blossom Goodchild’s Predicted Mass UFO Sighting An Aussie actress received channeled information about an event to take place on October 14th, 2008. --UFO Digest

Could there possibly be a correlation?

Half Moon

Twenty one players entered the TNF, including Joe Moon and his little brother, Ben. Things pretty much held form in the first round, except for Shawn Zhu's (836) win over Frankie Sanders (450). These were the two lowest rated players and should not have been paired. Eric Lu (1521) received a 1/2 point bye for arriving late. So much for the rule instituted just a short time ago about late arriving players. It would appear the manager's atavistic tendencies have overwhelmed his logic.
James Stack (1648) let it be known that he was in the House with his upset win over The Pipe (2082) in round two. Alexander Foster (1053), because he had NOT requested a half point bye in the last round, received the full point bye even though two others were lower rated. The late pairing changes would come back to haunt the tournament later.
Mr Stack had to take a half point bye in the final round because of work. Mr Zelman, after wins versus former House employee and cat lover, Armand Goldstein, and Shawn Zhu, also took a half point bye, both finishing with 2 1/2 points. They were joined by almost half the field, as eight others took the gift. That left The Stud to play Joe Moon, while his brother, Ben (2-0), squared off against Eric Lu (1 1/2). Damir Studen beat Joe, while Ben beat Mr Lu. They therefore tied for first place, each winning $26. Mr Zelman and Mr Stack tied for third, taking home $7.
The under 1500 prize was won by Alexander Foster with his last round win over Robert Steen (1397). Mr Foster was actually eligible for the under 1300 prize (I have absolutely no idea why there was an under 1300 prize in addition to the under 1500 prize. The prize fund is arbitary and capricious, made up from week to week, unlike, say, the weekly backgammon tournaments in which I used to participate a quarter century ago, where the percentage for winning players was known in advance of entering), but actually won the under 1500 prize of $22 (!). That's right, the under prize was much more than the second prize of only a paltry $18...Jonathan Choi (1113) and Shawn Zhu each won $6.50 by winning one and losing one and taking a half point bye.
Mr Foster gained 39 rating points in addition to his windfall, while Honathan Choi picked up 35. Mr Stack gained 28.
$101 was paid out and the percentage won was, roughly, 33% first; 18% second 14% third. 22% under 1500 and 13% under 1300. I would prefer to see a more professional 50% for first; 25% second; and 12.5% third. The remainder could be distrubited to the lower rated players who should be playing, not for a chance to win money, but to improve their skill at chess! Comments welcome.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wed Night G/15 and Senior Chess

I have been asked by Ron Benel (1624 Reg; 1286 p Quick) to post that he and Charles Curry (1807 Reg; 1645 Quick) will be coming to the House Wednesday evening for the G/15. They are hungry to play chess, but do not wish to see their hard-earned Regular ratings affected by the vagaries of half hour chess. Ron won all four games at the recent Peach State Open, winning the U1600 section, seeing his rating jump from 1525p to 1624. I hope those of you reading this will give some serious consideration to coming to the House Wed evening!

I have posted a request on the USCF forum (Senior rating divisions), asking why there is only one listing on the Top lists for Seniors, with that being over age 65. In reply, Mike Nolan posted some sobering numbers for Seniors who belong to USCF. For the 50-54 age group, there are only 2171 members. It gets worse...For my age group, 55-59, I was astounded to learn that I am one of only of 1502! 60-64 drops to 1009, while the 65-69 group has only 653. Before giving you the numbers for the 70's, I want you to keep in mind that the Viktor Korchnoi of Southern chess, Klaus Pohl, just won a tournament at the House of Pain and the Grand Prix points that go with it, a truly extraordinary feat for a Senior! There are only 434 in the 70-74 age group and only 397 for the last age group, which is 75+. That's less than a thousand for the over 70 group and just one and a half thousand members over age 65! When one contemplates the reason for the drop in membership in each of the divisions...Well, let's just say that when most of these players stop playing it is not because they have decided to take up poker!
With that said, I must say that the owner of the House, Thad Rogers, has asked me to not say anything else concerning the upcoming Georgia Senior. At least I think it's upcoming...You see, it keeps geeting changed, as I've written. One of the Seniors who is planning on playing asked why the first round on Sunday morning had to be at nine o'clock in the morning? Good question. But, then again, I thought it had been changed to later? Or was that the first set of round times? So we looked in the new issue of CHESS LIFE...only to find that the tournament is NOT LISTED!
Now, I want you to know that I have been told by a member of the GCA board that I do not have the "standing" to comment on the Georgia Senior. Mr A C Davis, the winner of the Georgia State Championship in 1948 and 1959, passed away recently. I was asked to get in touch with the 1976 winner, my old friend Michael Decker, but the fact is that I pre-date him! I got in touch with one of the very few players who were before ( and during) my time, Dr Richard Long. He has stopped playing OTB chess because, as he put it, "After 75, the competitive fire has stopped burning." Then I got to cogitating...I started playing chess in and around Atlanta in 1970. Although there are a few players who started before me (Dr Cano comes to mind, but he did not play in Atlanta until much later), there just are not very many who still play the game. Where are you Jared Radin?!
I do not know if longevity gives one "standing." It counted for something in Native American society, and it still counts for something in Oriental societies today. But I do know that bloggers, whatever their age, are considered to be "journalists" today. As a blogger, I am a JOURNALIST, whether the GCA board thinks of me as one, or not. As a journalist it is my duty to put the facts out there.
The fact is that the GCA board changed the format of the Georgia Senior a month before it is to begin. I have questioned the efficacy of that decision, yet have not received any answers. Instead I have been told that I do not have the right to ask the question! I do not have to explain to you what kind of government acts this way. This is not the kind of government I want to see acting on my behalf. How about you?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Old and New Rivals

Twenty four players sat down for the first round of the TNF, two of whom were House men, as one player came late and was paired with houseman #2. So much for the rule concerning showing up on time...May as well go ahead and call in your entry as the rule about having to pay to be paired has left the House too!
Reece Thompson scored the major upset in round one with his win over Scott 'the visitor' Parker. No matter where he goes, he's just "visiting."

Reece Thompson (1413)- Scott Parker (1861) [B00]
1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.Be2 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Be3 d5 7.e5 Nd7 8.h3 Bh5 9.0–0 Be7 10.g4 Bg6 11.Bd3 f6 12.Bxg6+ hxg6 13.Qd3 Kf7 14.Bf4 Nb4 15.Qd2 Rxh3 16.Kg2 Rh8 17.Rh1 c5 18.Rxh8 Qxh8 19.Rh1 Qe8 20.a3 Nc6 21.Nb5 Rc8 22.exf6 Nxf6 23.Ng5+ Kf8 24.Rh8+ Ng8 1–0 (eventually)

Carter Peatman (1595) held Joe Moon (2073) to a draw, as the other favorites held form.
In the second round, Ananya Roy (1661) beat David Bernat (1843). Two friendly rivals squared off in this round, with Samuel Zimmerman playing Carter Peatman.

Carter Peatman (1595) - Samuel Zimmerman (1647) [B76]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Nc6 7.f3 Bg7 8.Qd2 0–0 9.Nb3 Be6 10.0–0–0 Bxb3 11.axb3 a6 12.h4 Ne5 13.Be2 Rc8 14.g4 Qa5 15.h5 Qa1+ 16.Nb1 Nxf3 17.Bxf3 Nxe4 18.Qc3 Nxc3 19.bxc3 Bxc3 0–1

I've gotta feeling these two will be doing battle for years to come!
That brings us to the match-ups for the last round. On board one was David Vest (2218) vs Larry Johnson (2026). These two have a long, intense rivalry going back years. On board two: Chris Wiley (1838) vs Damir Studen (2175). All had a perfect 2-0, as did Ananya Roy, who was White on board three vs Joe Moon, who had a point and a half.
Damir was the first to win, although Chris was up a Queen when he lost on time. The funny thing is that Chris eschewed using a time delay clock! Joe Moon beat Ananya to finish with 2 1/2, and that left the High Plains Drifter playing Longshot Larry. The Drifter had a Queen and Rook on the seventh rank, but Longshot had his Queen checking the Drifter's King, and he had a time advantage. Could it be that he had a time advantage because he stopped keeping score after about 15 moves? The Drifter brought his Queen back to stop the checks, but that left Larry with a longshot! He had a pawn loose that the man from the High Plains could not stop. For Larry, the longshot came in, as he tied with The Stud for first, each winning a paltry $27.50. Joe Moon took home $14.00 for his clear third place finish.
The only player to win chump change by actually playing a game in the last round was Reece Thompson, who drew with the rapidly improving Richard Lin (1346), to finish with 1 1/2 -1 1/2 and take home $7. Zimmy, Bob Peatman (1268), Jonathan Choi (1113), and Tianming Liu (1002), each took a half point bye in the third round and "won" $7 for their "efforts." Ten of the twenty-two players took a half point bye in the last round. That's an astounding 45%!
Mention must be made of the two last round opponents, Walter Overman and Alexander Foster. Walt is visiting from Raleigh, NC, while taking a training course and came to visit the House both Saturday and Sunday. He has played in many of Thad's tournaments in the Tarheel state and speaks very highly of him. There was a possibility Thad would make it up this weekend, and Walt was looking forward to seeing him, but, alas, Thad did not make it until Tue morning...Walt is full of energy, and he came in, looked around, and proclaimed the ACC the best place in the universe! I can't but help thinking the players in and around the House have come to take it for granted, as if, even without support, it will always be here. Seeing the reaction of a newcomer like Walt puts it all in perspective. The chess players here simply have no idea how lucky they are. The chess players there do!
Speaking of support, Alexander Foster played in the ACCC, telling me he wants to get ready for Foxwoods next spring. I told him Boris Kogan said it was important to play about once a month to stay sharp and prepare for the big tournaments in the future. The next time Alexander made an appearance, he joined the ACC! And he has been spending more time in the House...
Tianming Liu gained 48 points. Reece Thompson gained 29. Walt lost as many, but always has a good time! Mr Parker lost 20 big ones, and if he's not careful, he may be paying another visit to the dreaded "B" class! Ms Roy gained 18, while Longshot Larry picked-up 16.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Former Georgia Chess Champion Dies

The Georgia State Chess Champion in 1948 and 1959, A C Davis died Saturday.
From the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:
AC Davis, 94, chess devotee, supervisor at Southern Bell