Carolinas Chess Festival

The Carolinas Chess Festival kicks off in less than a month. The US Masters will begin August 29, with the North Carolina Open starting a day later in Greensboro, NC. For details go to the website of the North Carolina Chess Association:
The driving forces behind the Festival are former President of the NCCA, Gary Newsom, and Walter High. They have provided a list of titled players who will be playing in the US Masters, including a page of pictures of each player, which is a particularly nice touch. It can be found here:

Name This Opening

In NiC Yearbook #100 there is an article by IM Jeroen Bosch, “A Special Way to Combat the Caro-Kann.” The move order is 1 e4 c6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Qe2!? After replaying the match between Chigorin and Tarrasch contested in St. Petersburg in 1893, in which Chigorin played 2 Qe2 versus the French ten times, with five wins, three losses and two draws, I began to play 2 Qe2. It is only natural I would be attracted to an early move of the Queen on move three against the Caro-Kann. IM Jereon Bosch authored an article on 3 Qe2 vs the CK in NiC Yearbook #100. He has recently written an excellent article expounding on the Queen move on the website:—secrets-of-opening-surprises—july-2013
IM Bosch wrote in the NiC Yearbook article, “The first strong player to adopt 3 Qe2 was Semen Dvoiris towards the end of last century.” Research led me to this game:
Van Geet, Dirk Daniel – Ludden, Gert Jan ½-½

B11 Corus Reserve Group 2000
1.Nc3 d5 2. e4 c6 3. Qe2 d4 4. Nd1 e5 5. g3 c5 6. d3 Nc6 7. f4 Bd6 8. Nf2 h5 9. Bh3 Nf6 10. Bxc8 Qxc8 11. Nf3 Qc7 12. f5 O-O-O 13. Bg5 Be7 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. O-O g5 16. h3 Be7 17. g4 f6 18. gxh5 Rdg8 19. Nh2 Bf8 20. Nh1 g4 21. Nxg4 Rxh5 22. Kh2 Qh7 23. Nhf2 Bh6 24. Nxh6 Qxh6 25. Qf3 Qe3 26. Nd1 Qh6 27. Nf2 Qe3 28. Nd1 Qg5 29. Nf2 Qe3 1/2-1/2

Years later, a few years older, and a little wiser, Van Geet played the opening in the usual manner:
Van Geet, Dirk Daniel – Moeckel, Edgar ½-½

B11 Bad Bertrich Seniors op
1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Qe2 d4 4. Nd1 e5 5. g3 Nf6 6. f4 Bg4 7. Nf3 Nbd7 8. Nf2 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Bd6 10. Bc4 Qe7 11. O-O b5 12. Bb3 Nc5 13. d3 a5 14. c3 Nxb3 15. axb3 c5 16. Bd2 b4 17. Ra4 O-O 18. Rfa1 Qb7 19. cxd4 cxd4 20. fxe5 Bxe5 21. Rxa5 Rxa5 22. Rxa5 Nd7 23. Ng4 f6 24. Qf5 Re8 25. Rd5 Re7 26. Qf1 h5 27. Nxe5 Nxe5 28. Qf5 Re8 29. Qxh5 Rc8 30. Qf5 Nxd3 31. Rd7 Rc7 32. Rd8+ Kf7 33. Qh5+ Ke6 34. Qe8+ Re7 35. Qg8+ Ke5 36. Qc4 Qxe4 37. Bf4+ Nxf4 38. gxf4+ Kf5 39. Rd5+ Kg6 40. f5+ Kh7 41. Rxd4 Qe1+ 42. Qf1 Qe3+ 43. Qf2 Qc1+ 44. Kg2 Qg5+ 45. Kf1 Qc1+ 46. Kg2 Qg5+ 1/2-1/2

This is the earliest example I have found. Does anyone know of an earlier example?
Frick,Christoph (2280) – Ellers,Holger (2310) [B11]
Bundesliga 9596 Germany, 1996
1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 c6 3.Qe2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.d3 Nxe4 6.dxe4 g6 7.Qd2 Qxd2+ 8.Bxd2 Bg7 9.0–0–0 Be6 10.Kb1 Nd7 11.Nf3 h6 12.Be3 Nb6 13.b3 0–0 14.Be2 Rfd8 15.Nd4 Bd7 16.Rd2 c5 17.Nf3 Rdc8 18.Rhd1 Be6 19.c4 g5 20.Ne1 Bc3 21.Rd3 Be5 22.Nf3 Bg7 23.Ne1 f5 24.f3 Kf7 25.R3d2 f4 26.Bf2 Bc3 27.Rd3 Be5 28.R3d2 Bd6 29.Nd3 Nd7 30.Nb2 b6 31.Na4 Ne5 32.Nc3 Nc6 33.Nd5 Be5 34.Kc2 Bd4 35.Bxd4 Nxd4+ 36.Kb2 Bxd5 37.exd5 e6 38.dxe6+ Kxe6 39.Bd3 Kf6 40.Be4 Rab8 41.Kc3 Rd8 42.a3 Rd6 43.b4 Rbd8 44.Kb2 Nf5 45.Rxd6+ Rxd6 46.Rxd6+ Nxd6 47.bxc5 bxc5 48.Bd5 Nf5 49.Kb3 Ne3 50.g4 fxg3 51.hxg3 h5 52.Bb7 Ke5 53.Bc8 Nf1 54.f4+ gxf4 55.gxf4+ Kxf4 56.Ka4 Ke5 57.Kb5 Kd6 58.Ka6 Ne3 59.Kxa7 Nxc4 60.a4 Kc7 61.Be6 Na3 62.Ka6 c4 63.Ka7 c3 0–1

The Scholastic Chess Divide

When the new website of the GCA came online one of the headers was “Non Scholastic.” It was obvious chess in my home state had been divided into Scholastic chess and anything other than Scholastic chess. I sent an email to the lady in charge, Katie Hartley, questioning the division. The website was soon changed with the “Non” eliminated.
While researching state organizations I found what looked to be two completely separate organizations in Mississippi. Upon sending an email to the President of the Mississippi Chess Association, Ralph McNaughton replied with this:
They are two separate organizations. Below is their contact information.
Ralph McNaughton
I found this on the MSCA website (
The Mississippi Scholastic Chess Organization was formed in 1996 when a number of parents of young chess players felt a separate organization was needed. Dr. Michael LeBlanc was it’s president from then until 2003 when his youngest chess player graduated from high school. It was in the capable hands of Albert Hinson until January 2010, followed by Connie Newcomb until February 2013. Today the president of the MSCO (now renamed MSCA) is Rick Cook.
In 2003 the MSCO was changed to the Mississippi Scholastic Chess Association to help align the two groups and make things more uniform and less confusing. MCA members have been invaluable to MSCA in coaching and helping with tournaments.
Today I surfed to the website of the Wisconsin Chess Association via, “the world’s most private search engine.” This is what I found:
Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation: WSCF – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight Bringing Chess to Kids in Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
Tournament Schedule – Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight Here is the list of upcoming WSCF hosted tournaments and …
Wisconsin Chess Association – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight Jun 9, 2013 … The official site of the Wisconsin Chess Association.
The official state organization is listed third, behind the WSCF and the tournament schedule of the Wisconsin Scholastic Federation. How widespread is the practice of dividing the chess world into separate entities? How many other states have split into two separate groups? Is this a good thing? Will this movement be followed by the United States Chess Federation? How long until the USCF officially changes its name to reflect the current reality?
To paraphrase the President of the Divided States of America, the dishonest devil Abe Lincoln, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this United States Chess Federation cannot endure, permanently, half Chess and half Scholastic Chess. I do not expect the USCF to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of scholastic chess will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

Robot Chess

After seeing the headline, “ARMY foresees robots becoming squad members,” I read the article, learning the army does not mean just a robot, but HUMANOID ROBOTS. This conjured up thoughts of the movie Terminator and the battles between humans and machines. When it comes to chess the fight is over; humans have lost the battle.
Read all about it at:
Then there is this: “Man Who Pulled Gun During Chess Game Surrenders To Robot Cop”
Underneath is the secondary headline: “No nonsense tin lawman pacifies testy intellectual with GRENADES”
I would have put an exclamation mark at the end. I have had a few grenades launched at me while playing chess. Fortunately the only thing exploded was my position…

United Scholastic Chess Federation

This past Saturday, July 20, Alex Relyea started a thread on the USCF forum when he published the following:
“As some have pointed out, it is a long time since I have attended an Oklahoma state championship, so I was curious as to how the state champion was determined. In New Hampshire it is all of the New Hampshire residents that have the highest score in the Championship section, so it is possible to have more than one state champion. I believe that it is the same way in Maine, except that the Maine state championship tournament is closed to Maine residents.
The reason I ask is because I notice that Big Chuck Unruh and Little Chuck Unruh, that is CD and CM Unruh, were tied for first this year, and I was wondering if they were co-champions or if one of them won on tiebreaks?
Thank you.”
Alex Relyea

A few hours later, Alan Priest, responded with:
“Ky holds a closed round robin to determine its state champion. The players qualify for the closed based on the top state residents placing in the Ky Open, as well as winners of other events in the year.”
Allen Priest
Delegate from Kentucky

His response has absolutely nothing to do with the question posed by Mr. Relyea. Mr. Priest is a chess politician who was on the board of the USCF (and still may be). Like most politicians who do not answer questions, he provided an answer which was a non-sequitur. Two days later another chess politician, Randy Bauer, decided to get in on the act by throwing in his two cents worth with:
“Iowa has a series of qualifier events where high-finishing players earn qualifying points for the next state championship. Five players plus the defending champion then play a round robin. In the case of a tied state championship there is no automatic qualifier the following championship and the top 6 players qualify.”
Randy Bauer

Mr. Bauer has been on the USCF policy board. Although he has played tournament chess, he is now a chess politician. Either of these two chess politicians could have attempted to find an answer to the question posed by Mr. Relyea, but chose to answer a question that was not asked, just like a politician.
I have no idea who is the champion from Oklahoma. But I do know the results for the USCF policy board have been tabulated. From the USCF website: “Pending certification of the election results by the delegates at the annual meeting, Ruth Haring and Mike Atkins have been elected to three-year terms, and Randy Bauer and Charles D. Unruh have been elected to two-year terms.”
We also learn that, “A total of 2,049 ballots were received for the USCF Executive Board election, of which 2,046 were qualified.”

I do not know the number of USCF members, but from the graph provided by Ruth Haring in the May 2013 issue of Chess Life magazine it is obvious the vast majority of members are not old enough to vote. It is therefore impossible to know what percentage of eligible members took the time and made the effort to vote. I urge you to go to Mark Weeks blog, CHESS FOR ALL AGES to see the graph and read what Mark has to say in response to what Ms. Haring wrote in Chess Life:
“As we look forward to the future it is important that we address membership retention. Existing scholastic programs see constant turnover and we see in our membership data, a membership decline beginning around the age of 11.
Scholastic retention is one of the most urgent and least understood puzzles facing the organization (see chart). USCF needs to focus in on this phenomenon to better understand the dynamics in play and develop strategies to convert scholastic members to lifelong members.”I cannot help but wonder how the two chess politicians who did not answer Mr. Relyea’s question would answer how they intend to “…develop strategies to convert scholastic members to lifelong members.” Since both Mr. Priest and Mr. Bauer have been on the USCF board, and were unable to answer the most important question facing organized chess during that time, maybe the new man on the board, who may or may not be the chess champion form Oklahoma, Mr. Unruh, will be able to answer a question that has had chess politicians scratching their heads for decades, ever since the pooh-bahs here in the US decided to turn the United States Chess Federation into the United Scholastic Chess Federation.

His Rise Eclipsed Those of Morphy and Fischer

One of the chess blogs I follow regularly is Chess for All Ages, by Mark Weeks. His post of July 9, 2013, Burundi Chess Masters, contains a picture of four stamps showing World Champions Paul Morphy; Emanuel Lasker; Alexandria Kosteniuk; and Stan Vaughn. I cannot make this up.
You are probably asking yourself about now, “Who the heck is Stan Vaughn?” He is the WCF World Chess Champion. I knew Stan Vaughn. He was an opponent of mine. He was no World Champion. Stan played in tournaments in Atlanta decades ago. After seeing the aforementioned picture of the World Champions the first thought I had, when I finally stopped laughing, was this picture is the quintessential, “Which one does not fit.”
I plugged “World Chess Federation into and found four listings for FIDE before finding anything concerning the WCF. The first reference to the WCF concerns a lawsuit between the WCF and the World Chess Museum located in St. Louis, which was won by the WCF. Read all about it at:
The next citation is “About Stan Vaughn.” It begins, “In 1975 as a high school senior Stan Vaughan was introduced to the great game of chess and developed a passion for it. By 1980 he was the Gold Medal winner representing the United States at the International Student Games and became American Chess Association National Champion the same year, which through 2012 he have won 32 times, surpassing Paul Morphy’s and Bobby Fisher’s records of wins.”
What’cha talking about! I cannot recall how many games we played but do recall the game I lost. Those are the ones that stick with you. I may have beaten him before he became strong enough to become a NM, but I cannot recall. I do recall he played the French defense, and also have it in my memory of thinking he had become much stronger than the last time we played. It would happen all too frequently that one of my “regular customers” would improve to my level, and continue getting stronger while I continued running in place. I have scored wins against many players who later became NM’s, such as Mark ‘The Shark’ Coles, and Mike Blankenau, from Nebraska. This game is important to me because it is the only game I won in the National Telephone League in the 70’s, playing for the Atlanta Kings. I played in the class ‘A’ tournament held in conjunction with the World Open years ago. The Legendary Georgia Ironman mentioned the names of several players in the World Open proper with whom I had previously battled. We totaled my lifetime score against those players and, much to our surprise, I had a plus score, and that included my three losses to IM Boris Kogan.
Then there is this: – 1982 – 1986: “Grandmaster Stan’s expertise as a cryptanalyst led him being noted for having solved two of the most important previously unsolved ciphers in the world: The Shugborough Hall Monument cipher for which he had received an award from the Reform Club, and the Zodiac Serial Killer 340 character cipher. Stan was also National Trivial Pursuit Champion of 1986.”
Grandmaster Stan? I will agree this could be a reference to Grandmaster of cryptanalysis. But later there is this: – 1994: “Bobby Fischer retired, undefeated and declined to defend the title in, at which time as the challenger and American Chess Association champion titleholder, GM Stan Vaughan became WCF Champion and defended the title successfully in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008.”
GM Stan Vaughn? There it is again! How about one more for good measure? – “Present: GM Stan Vaughan is currently scheduled to defend the WCF “The World Chess Champion” title in 2012 against Ron Gross, winner of the Candidates Tournament held in 2010 at the Riviera Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, pending receiving any legitimate challenge for the title in the interim to defend against.” Check it out at:
Stan has written a book, “Paul Morphy, Confederate Spy”. Upon first learning of the book I sent Stan an email inquiring about his book, but received no reply. Later I read he had been accused of plagiarism. In Edward Winter’s Chess Explorations (88),, we learn “…in December 2011 (C.N. 7427) a correspondent, Rick Kennedy (Columbus, OH, USA), pointed out cases of plagiarism in Paul Morphy: Confederate Spy by Stan Vaughan (Milwaukee, 2010). At random we opened the book on page 133 and found that whole chunks of text had been lifted from the website Exploring Toledo. It was by no means an isolated instance.” Here is a review of the book by Rick Kennedy:
Tartajubow on Chess II has this to say about the WCF Champion: “Stan Vaughn, a Life Master with the USCF whose rating briefly peaked at over 2300, was born in Murray, Kentucky in 1956. He was recognized as an outstanding student of American history and as a member of the Kentucky Junior Historical Society drafted a legislative bill which was passed by the Kentucky legislature leading to the preservation of historic covered bridges. He once served as a community church as a minister. He has run for congress, been a formidable correspondence chess player, heads the World Chess Federation, Inc. and is a Grandmaster with the World Correspondence Chess Federation (WCCF). And that’s just to name a few of his “accomplishments.” Vaughn learned to play chess while in high school in 1975 and in 1980 was the gold medal winner representing the United States at the International Student Games and became American Chess Association national champion the same year. According to Vaughn, his rise eclipsed those of Morphy and Fischer.”
Then there is this from Chessbase: 1.4.2013 – “It has come to our attention that an application for Sainthood has been made for the late World Champion Bobby Fischer. This was initiated by Stan Vaughan of the World Chess Federation. The application cites six postmortem miracles that were prayed for and verified as having occurred – normally only two are required.”
I found an article on the chess circle forum, “Stan Vaughn played in a real chess tournament.” Go here to find out how well Stan played:
Mark Weeks, in another post, Chess Mafia? gives us a 44 minute interview with Stan Vaughn.
When I mentioned this to a former Georgia Champion, originally from Kentucky, he recalled, “Stan was involved in a terrible auto accident that affected his brain.” The word “colorful” is usually reserved for people like Stan.

Players Expelled from World Open!

I have no details other than what is on the CCA website.

World Open 2013 Standings – Under 1800 Section
Final Standings
Juan Carlos De La Cruz Rojas, who had a score of 6.5 after 8 rounds, was discovered to have a FIDE rating of 2032 representing the Dominican Republic, and was expelled. As required by CCA and USCF rules, players who lost to or drew with the expelled player had a half point added to their scores. Their adjusted scores against the expelled player are displayed as byes. Games played by De La Cruz Rojas were rated and are displayed in a separate “Rated Games” chart by USCF, and soon by the CCA website as well.
World Open 2013 Standings – Under 1600 Section
Final Standings
Redentor Cerilo, who was tied for the lead with a score of 7 after 8 rounds, was discovered to have a Philippine rating of 1975, and was expelled. As required by CCA rules, players who lost to or drew with Cerilo had a half point added to their scores. Their adjusted scores against the expelled player are displayed as byes. Games played by Cerilo were rated and are displayed in a separate “Rated Games” chart.
Scroll on down and you will find this:
World Open 2013 Standings – Results of Expelled Players