Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thanks For The Comments

First, to the reader who left the url concerning Abe Lincoln, thank you; Thank You; THANK YOU! I cannot remember when I've laughed so much! (
A big thank you goes to the person leaving the url ( on my post, 2011 US Senior. I resided in the great state of NC some years ago and was unaware Walter High was writing a blog. I like what he has done in researching attendance over the past year. I know it must have taken him some time. I would like to see more stats like this; for example, a list from each year going back a decade, from 2001-2010. This could be done for the years 1991-2000, since the USCF database begins in 1991. Looking at data like this one can see trends. Speaking of trends, I would like to point out Walter's latest post, The LPO and Problems with Chess Tournaments. I recall USCF Ex Dir Bill Hall writing in an issue of Chess Life magazine something about having to address the problem of losing so many adult members at the US Open meetings. That was a couple of years ago, I think; or was it just last year? I read recently that what we perceive as time does actually speed up as one ages, and that it seems to advance at 2 1/2 times the rate at 60 as opposed to 20.
I am one of those people who print out articles I wish to read in lieu of reading them online. I made the post, King's Game in Queer Street, before actually reading the whole article. As for the comment, I wondered the same thing. I mean, it's rather obvious when it comes to women's chess tournaments. What is to stop a world class GM from declaring he is 'gay' and playing in the event? If he is not homosexual and questioned, he could just say he thought the tournament was for 'happy' people! Do not laugh, I saw a half-page ad in the NY Times by 'gays' in which they decried the fact that younger people today are using the word 'gay' to mean something different from homosexual. I do not know who wrote the article because it is not signed. When I got around to reading the whole thing, I was struck by this sentence, "Chess player is a person who has some aberrations." I was reminded of the time I was on a balcony with my friend Tim Brookshear overlooking the playing area of the World Open before the event, when the Ironman looked at me and said, "Bacon, everyone who comes here to play has had his life altered by chess." Ain't it the truth!
As for the coment about using the ko rule in chess where the pawns can retreat...Well, I see your point. In the Ruy Lopez, when white plays his boshop to b5 and black answers with a6 and white retreats the bishop, black could retreat the pawn and white could move his bishop to b5 once again, thereby drawing the game. But if players really want to make a draw, what is to stop them even without the ko rule? After writing the post I had a dream in which I had a pawn on the seventh rank, and when I moved it to the eight rank and reached for a Queen, my opponent asked, "What are you doing?" I informend him I intended to promote the pawn to a Queen. "You cannot do that," he said. "Why the hell not?" I shot back. "Because it is a knight pawn and you can only promote to a knight."
In my dream one could only promote the pawn to whatever file it was on. Kinda makes the queen pawn more valuable, unless one is about to be mated on the move and has a pawn on the King file. Then one gets a new King!
Concerning Monroi...I've ragged on them for some time, but not in the past few years. It does seem like they have had more than enough time to work out the bugs, does it not? But I gotta say that I REALLY like the feature of producing a copy of the scoresheet, which includes the time taken by both opponents. Every game published should show the time used as it reveals a great deal about the players.
One more thing...Michael Weinreb, who wrote the book, Game of Kings: A Year Among the Oddballs and Geniuses Who Make Up America's Top High School Chess Team, has written a piece on the new Stathead blog at baseball-reference titled, Statis Pro Baseball: An Instruction Manual: The exhausting work of adolescent obsession. (
I, too, played a table-top baseball game when I was young. I sent off for an APBA brochure and learned enough to make my own game. I also made my own football game. My friend who lived across the street, Larry Jones, who was the center fielder on our high school team, would come over and we would spend hours playing on the days it rained. Later I earned enough money to send off for a Negamco baseball game, which, I later learned, was a cheaper version of Big League Manager. Neither Larry or I liked it nearly as much as the game I invented. I have known other chess players who played table-top games as children, including Thad Rogers, who owned a BLM, and Chris Chambers, who was a Strat-O-Matic man. How about you?

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