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. http://chessforallages.blogspot.com/2013/07/burundi-chess-masters.html
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 http://www.startpage.com 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: http://www.wcfchess.org/wp/press-release-january-21-2013-world-chess-federation-prevails-in-federal-court-case-versus-world-chess-museum-inc/
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: http://www.wcfchess.org/wp/about-stan-vaughan/
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), http://www.chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211/PostId/4008401/edward-winter-s-chess-explorations-88-.aspx, 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: http://jeromegambit.blogspot.com/2011/08/sunday-book-review-paul-morphy.html
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.” http://tartajubow.blogspot.com/2013/01/stan-vaughn.html
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.” http://www.chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211/PostId/4009341/sainthood-for-bobby-fischer-020413.aspx
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: http://www.chesscircle.net/forums/showthread.php?32132-stan-vaughan-played-in-a-real-chess-tournament
Mark Weeks, in another post, Chess Mafia? http://chessforallages.blogspot.be/2013/03/chess-mafia.html 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.

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One thought on “His Rise Eclipsed Those of Morphy and Fischer

  1. Philip Feeley says:

    Thanks for the review of Stan Vaughn. It’s good to see such info on “colourful” characters. Perhaps when Chessgames.com gets around to giving him a page they will use it.

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