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

First They Came for You…

I received an email from a GM in which he wrote, “I’m not interested in political commentary.” This was my reply: “This is not political commentary, GM. I, too, could care less who wins elections. This concerns something that should concern you, which is cheating in chess, because you derive your income from the game. If the current trend continues there will be no chess, and hence, no money for you! You are not getting any younger, GM. What happens if you have an OUTSTANDING result, and are accused of cheating? What if it is YOU Chessbase decides to accuse of cheating?”
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) was a Protestant pastor and social activist.…

In the US we say a man is innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes it seems that is just theory when in practice it becomes a man is guilty until he proves he is innocent. Our system is not perfect and mistakes have been, and will continue to be, made.
Former Georgia chess champion Bob Joiner was a public defender. He was also my friend. We would get together in his office during lunch and play chess occasionally. One day he told me he had gotten an accused murderer off because the State had made an egregious mistake. He was asked to turn a blind eye and say nothing about the mistake. Bob refused, earning the opprobrium of his peer group, the people with whom he would have to deal every day in the future. I asked Bob if his client was guilty. “Sure,” he said, “But the State has rules to follow and they dropped the ball.”

I do not know whether or not this latest player, who is not the first to be accused by Chessbase, if I recall correctly, is guilty of cheating or not. The fact is that only he knows, unless he is receiving assistance from another person. Consider this, from the latest article, “Ivanov misses BCF anticheating test,” concerning cheating on the Chessbase website: “Borislav Ivanov had a week earlier mentioned, in an interview for the Slavi’s Show, that the chief organizer of the Varna Ope, Boris Hristov, had “categorically refused” to let him participate in the tournament, out of fears that other prospective participants “do not like” Ivanov.” (
I cannot help but wonder what an “anti-cheating test” entails. Since the ALLEGED cheating took place some time ago it would seem logical to have held the test during the tournament in which the alleged cheating occurred.

Bob told me the story of a Georgia Championship in the 1960’s, before I became a tournament player in 1970, concerning the “problem” of having a negro, William Scott, participate in the tournament. It had been decided that Mr. Scott, who was extremely cordial to me, would be allowed to play, but only in a separate room. Bob, and some of the other players, refused to go along, stating that if Mr. Scott was not allowed to play in the same room as everyone else, they would not play, which meant there would be no tournament. Mr. Scott was allowed to participate, and play in the same room as everyone else. It is possible that could have been the finest moment in the history of chess in Georgia.

I cannot help but wonder why this fellow, Borislav Ivanov, has been singled out after reading a letter published on the Chessbase website by Peter Jameson. “This article alleging that Ivanov is a cheat provides no real evidence. How does he cheat even in rapid games watched by a horde of observers? And what are we to make of the two other amazing players in the table displayed after nine rounds? Lyubomir Danov ranked 16th initially sits in seventh place above many titled players! Even more dramatic is Radi Danov who sits in sixth place though initially seeded 28th! And above many titled players. His performance is remarkable too, possibly puts Ivanov in the shade! And both of these players with very lowly ratings. So is your correspondent Alex Karaivanov now demanding an investigation of these players too? If not why not? Or has Alex Karaivanov shot himself in both feet?”
I have looked for an answer to these questions on the Chessbase website but have been unable to find any answers whatsoever.

There have been many stories from the computer world of hackers, after being caught hacking, being given a job in security with the same company they hacked in lieu of going to prison. Since Mr. Ivanov has NOT been caught, maybe someone should consider sitting down with the man and offering him immunity from prosecution if he will confess and inform the chess world how he has been able to elude detection, if he is in fact guilty of anything other than “not being liked.”

Major Issues Killing Chess

I received several emails in response to the previous post from friends who have played chess for decades, and for whom I have a great deal of respect. The first one is from the Discman:
“I don’t know man…If a player makes the exact same moves throughout a game/tournament as a GM+-calibre computer program, that is enough evidence for me that he is being fed moves somehow. No human can play a tactically perfect game without the aid of a computer. It would be relatively easy to do – simply have some device that pulsates. Tape that device to your skin under your clothes. Have a partner generate the correct move using the computer program and send coded pulses to the player at the board. This device could probably be created using only plastics so it could get through a metal detector. Just like Brady Anderson’s 51-homer year after demonstrating that he was a 15-homer/year player for the rest of his career – I am almost as certain that he was juicing that year (although I’m not as certain as I am in the chess example). I agree with the concept of innocent until proven guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt, but playing tactically perfect chess removes this shadow in my opinion. I don’t have a solution – clearly strip searching chess players is ridiculous. The ease of using computer programs to generate chess moves is one of several major issues killing chess.”
The next one is from Big Mac:

“It still requires a loop antenna but there is another person who did it for medical reasons, he is going blind.
This will be hard to catch. Implants are here.”
This could possibly mean the end of tournament chess as we have known it. If you go to the Chessbase website ( and enter the word “cheating” into the search box you will find page after page of article after endless article on cheating, and more cheating. Proving that the threat is indeed stronger than the execution is an article from 19/12/2006 entitled, “Topalov: Kramnik will never admit that he cheated…” Then there is the article from1/2/2007, “Nigel Short pushes for cheating enquiry,” which concerns cheating allegations leveled at Veselin Topalov and Silvio Danailov during the Wijk aan Zee tournament. The sad fact is that computer chess programs have become so powerful that no one will ever know for certain whether or not one of the top players in the world, the so-called “Super Grandmasters,” cogitated the outstanding move, or if it came from an algorithm in some machine somewhere, maybe even in the “cloud.”
I shudder to think what would happen today if a player happened to have the tournament of his life, as did Expert Alan Trefler at the World Open in 1975. From Wikipedia: In the open section of the 1975 World Open chess tournament, played in New York, expert Alan Trefler (Elo rating 2075, 125 points below the lowest master rating), and ranked 115th in the tournament, scores 8-1 to tie for first with International Grandmaster Pal Benko, rated 2504, ahead of Grandmasters Nicolas Rossolimo and Walter Browne.[8] • 8) ^ Chess Life & Review, September 1975 (available on DVD), pp. 586-87. ( If this happened in the climate of today Chessbase would no doubt lead the charge against such an occurrence being legitimate because the odds of an Expert winning the World Open would certainly be prohibitive. It is a good thing Alan Trefler did what he did “back in the day,” because if he had just won this year’s World Open, he would be hounded to the point of contemplating suicide!
It has gotten to the point where there are so many articles on the chess websites that I can no longer read them all due to a lack of time. Here are two on my roundtoit list: &
Then there is the GM who gets down to brass tacks ( better than anyone on the web, the irrepressible Kevin Spraggett. I refer you to “Spraggett on Chess” for his inimitable take on the matter:

Chessbase, Have You No Sense of Decency?

For the past decade or so Chessbase ( has been on a crusade against cheating in chess in much the same way Senator Joe McCarthy was on a crusade against alleged communists in the US government during the 1950’s. Senator McCarthy was a bully. His crusade ended when Joseph N. Welch stood up to him. “On June 9, 1954, the 30th day of the Army–McCarthy hearings, McCarthy accused Fred Fisher, one of the junior attorneys at Welch’s law firm, of associating while in law school with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a group which J. Edgar Hoover sought to have the U.S. Attorney General designate as a Communist front organization. Welch had privately discussed the matter with Fisher and the two agreed Fisher should withdraw from the hearings. Welch dismissed Fisher’s association with the NLG as a youthful indiscretion and attacked McCarthy for naming the young man before a nationwide television audience without prior warning or previous agreement to do so.
Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale and Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentle man but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.
When McCarthy tried to renew his attack, Welch interrupted him:
Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild. Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” The above is from: (
This week in an article dated 8/7/2013, “Anti-Cheating Measures-the discussion continues,” IM David Levy, and others, weigh in with their thoughts. (–the-discussion-continues-090713.aspx)
IM Levy writes, “Korneev also correctly points out that a personal examination of a player is quite an unpleasant procedure, both for the player and for the examiner. But unfortunately life in the 21st century is such that not everyone behaves correctly, with the result that strong preventative measures are sometimes necessary. If someone does not like to go through the personal body checks at an airport then the simple solution is not to fly. Similarly, if a chess player does not wish to be subject to comparable searches at a chess tournament then the solution is equally simple – do not take part in the tournament.”
I have talked with people who have lived under a system whereby they could be stopped for any reason, even without probable cause, and the scar lingers…For the past decade or so, We the People of the United States have been bombarded by constant reports of the abuses perpetrated by the Transportation Security Administration upon innocent people wanting only to get to their destination. Many have chosen to do just what IM Levy suggests and no longer fly. Once the Draconian measures IM Levy proposes become reality it will end tournament chess because of lack of participation.
IM Levy continues, “A player who appears prima facie to fail such a security check is entitled to make an immediate appeal by demanding to be strip-searched by one or more medical practitioners of the same sex as themselves, such practitioners to be arranged by the tournament organizers at the tournament’s cost as soon as is possible after the demand has been made. During any period between such a demand being made and the search being carried out, the player concerned shall be constantly supervised by same sex personnel arranged by the tournament organizers, the purpose being to ensure that the player does not dispose of any incriminating evidence.”
Obviously IM Levy has never been strip-searched. No one who has been subjected to such humiliation would EVER suggest such a thing. The idea that anyone in their right mind would ever “…demand to be strip-searched” is ludicrous!
In the article dated 11/7/2013 Alex Karaivanov, “Ivanov misses BCF anti-cheating test,” we learn that Ivanov has been previously STRIP-SEARCHED! “Borislav Ivanov’s steep improvement in chess made him famous overnight, especially after he placed fourth in the A Group of the Zadar Open, which was held in December last year in Croatia. After taking a close look at his games, many chess engine experts noticed the striking similarity of Ivanov’s moves with those of Houdini, the strongest chess engine currently in use. Suspicions were quick to follow, though Borislav had already been strip-searched before the eighth round in Zadar. Only his pen was taken away, while no material evidence of unfair play had been found.”
“Chess engine experts” sounds like Orwell’s Newspeak. ( The fact that Borislav Ivanov was strip-searched would seem to obviate IM Levy’s ridiculous suggestion. Since “…no material evidence of unfair play had been found,” one would expect Chessbase, and those allowed to write on the website, would at least use the word “allegedly” to preface anything having to do with the possibility of cheating by anyone, unless and until cheating has been proven BEYOND A SHADOW OF DOUBT!
We also learn from the article that, “Alex tells us that he was present at another Bulgarian tournament, Golden Sands, where he was a witness when a player was caught trying to beat a much stronger opponent using a smartphone. There is a large article on the case in the Russian portal Chess-News, which features comments by the well-known trainer GM Sergey Dolmatov.”
This is ironic in the extreme considering the preceding article is, “CB for Android: Analyzing your games.” ( There is a picture of the new gizmo sold by Chessbase. Underneath the caption reads, “Years back, this was just a wild dream, but now, you have professional caliber tools right in your pocket.”
I have lived through the nightmare years of President Richard Milhous Nixon and his list of enemies ( The sad fact is that the rights of We the People of the United States of America have been eroded during the Bushwhacking years, and continue to be eroded by the Obummer administration. The only thing that has kept tyranny at bay is our Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. The sixth amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” It is the rock upon which the rights of We The People stand. I realize not all people on the planet are fortunate enough to live under such a constitution affording rights such as this to citizens. Germany, the country in which Chessbase is based, history informs us, has a long and sordid history of adjudging people guilty by way of rumor and innuendo. English jurist William Blackstone in his seminal work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s wrote, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” (

The aforementioned article, “Anti-Cheating Measures-the discussion continues,” contains a letter by Eric C. Johnson which concludes with, “Incidentally, has anyone considered the possibility that Ivanov has an implant – a glass eye as in old-fashioned spy thrillers? The article says he maintains the same pose at all times: “For the entire game with me, Borislav assumed one and the same posture, supporting his chin with his hands and staring straight down at the board without looking at anyone.” This is what you would expect if he has to keep level for an implant to have constant sight of the board. Interesting.”
What is interesting is that Chessbase would print something like this. The fact is that anyone can go to a chess tournament anywhere in the world and see myriad players in the same pose. What Chessbase has done is to cause EVERY PLAYER IN THE WORLD to be considered suspect! Chessbase, have you no sense of decency?