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?