Friday, September 2, 2011

Meet Me In St Louis

Although I have a post ready to go, I have decided to delay it in order to comment on the comments left on my post of Wednesday, August 24, 2011, The Fix Is In St Louis.
Upon reading the comment left by 'Ray', my first thought was, "Well, I've been called worse." I could not recall his last name, so I went to the website of the St Louis Chess & Scholastic Center (, but could not find him listed as an employee, and did not find a list of members. I recalled that 'Ray' had posted something on the USCF forum pertaining to what has become known as the 'infamous Monroi incident'. I found that on Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:38 am, RayKinStL posted, MonRois and how they are used...tournament question for TDs! (
When he writes on the comments section of the BaconLOG, ..."dealing with the fallout from your stupid temper tantrums when played at the club...", I can only surmise he must be referring to the 'infamous Monroi incident' because that is the only time I have had any contact with the gentleman. BTW, the 'incident' culminated with the father of the boy using his Monroi as a chessboard being reprimanded by USCF for "reprehensible conduct." I recall a "stupid temper tantrum" at that tournament, but I was not the one having a "stupid temper tantrum."
My second thought was, "That makes up my mind about going to St Louis for the opening of the Chess Hall of Fame." I have been debating whether or not to go for some time now. The price of petrol has climbed back up to nearly four bucks a gallon. Although I could not afford to stay in one of the luxury hotels near the club, they could "leave the light on for me" at the same Motel 6 I stayed at when I played in the tournament back in '09. But money is tight these days and I am not sure I can justify making the trip. Obviously, I have been in a quandry...Ray solved the dilemma for me. This messenger does not wish to be killed!
But what has really bothered me is what was left by the last person to make a comment: "If this is an example of the kind of tournament director I will find at the St. Louis Chess Club, I can assure you that I, for one, will never play, or visit, the club."
I would hope that the insensitive comments left by 'Ray' would not preclude anyone from going to St Louis. All of the people I met there treated me wonderfully. I will mention Tony Rich, the manager of the club. After the 'infamous Monroi incident' I travelled to Indianapolis to visit the US Open for a day trip. Upon entering the playing hall, one of the first people I saw was Tony Rich. He was playing, with his opponent on the move. He saw me and immediately got up and walked over to me, extending his hand, giving me a smile. "How are you?", he asked. "I'm OK," I said. "How about you?"
"I'm doing good."
My mother once told me, "Son, listen to what a man says, but watch what he does."
Several people I know saw what had happened and mentioned it to me later.
I sent Tony an email asking about the book on Duchamp, which was on sale. He asked for my address and sent it to me before he received my check. Tony is a real gentleman and he sets the tone for the club. I am sure all of the employees there are like Tony.
Rex Sinquefield has done a GREAT thing by funding the StLCC&SC. It is worth a trip there, if only for a couple of days, just to visit the club. Now the Chess Hall of Fame is about to open, which will make St Louis a 'Mecca' for all friends of chess! Please, go visit the club and HOF. Do not be deterred by what this one man has written. If you go, I am certain it will bring you wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
As for 'Ray', I am sure that, with time, he will learn that people think less of the one casting aspersions than of the one at whom he has fired his salvos.

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