US Masters: Round One

The first round of the 2013 US Masters is history, and the second round is underway as I punch & poke! The upset of the round went to FM Jonathan Chiang, from Texas, who beat GM Mikheil Kekelidze, from the country of Georgia
Chiang v Kekelidze
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Qb6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Nd2 d5 8. O-O Nbd7 9. Re1 Bc5 10. N2b3 Qc7 11. e5 Nxe5 12. Nxc5 Neg4 13. Qf3 Qxh2+ 14. Kf1 Qc7 15. Qg3 Qxc5 16. Nf5 Nxe3+ 17. Rxe3 g6 18. Qe5 gxf5 19. Qxf6 Rg8 20. Bxf5 Qe7 21. Qd4 Bd7 22. Bxh7 Rg5 23. Bd3 Bc6 24. Rae1 O-O-O 25. Qh4 Rdg8 26. f4 Qf6 27. Rg3 Rxg3 28. Qxf6 Rxg2 29. Re2 Rg1+ 30. Kf2 d4 31. Qxd4 Rd1 32. Qe5 Bd5 33. Be4 1-0
Davis Whaley of Kentucky held GM Michael Rohde to a draw:
Whaley vs Rohde
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 c5 5. Bxb4 cxb4 6. Bg2 O-O 7. e4 d6 8. Ne2 e5 9. O-O Re8 10. Re1 a5 11. a3 Na6 12. Nd2 Bd7 13. Rc1 exd4 14. Nxd4 Nc5 15. Qc2 Qb6 16. axb4 axb4 17. b3 Ng4 18. N2f3 Ra3 19. Rb1 Rea8 20. Rb2 Ra1 21. Rxa1 Rxa1+ 22. Rb1 Qa7 23. h3 Ra2 24. Rb2 Rxb2 25. Qxb2 Nd3 26. Qb1 Ngxf2 27. Kh2 h6 28. Nf5 Qc5 29. Qa1 Bxf5 30. exf5 Qxf5 31. Qa8+ Kh7 32. Qxb7 Nc5 ½
NM Bradley Denton of Alabama held GM Georg Meier to a draw with the black pieces:
Meier vs Denton
1.Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 Nd7 4. c4 c6 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Nc3 e6 7. Qb3 Qb6 8. Qxb6 Nxb6 9. Ne5 Bh5 10. Nb5 Kd8 11. Bf3 Bg6 12. d3 a6 13. Nc3 f6 14. Nxg6 hxg6 15. e4 d4 16. Ne2 e5 17. Bd2 Na4 18. O-O-O Ne7 19. Kb1 Nc6 20. h4 Bd6 21. Bg4 Nc5 22. Nc1 Kc7 23. f4 Raf8 24. Rdf1 f5 25. Bf3 fxe4 26. Bxe4 Rf6 27. fxe5 Nxe5 28. Bg5 Rxf1 29. Rxf1 Nxe4 30. dxe4 Rf8 31. Rxf8 Bxf8 32. Bf4 Bd6 33. Kc2 Nf3 34. Ne2 Kc6 35. Kd3 Be5 36. Nc1 Bd6 37. Nb3 Bxf4 38. gxf4 Nxh4 39. Nxd4+ Kc5 40. a3 Ng2 41. Ne2 a5 42. Kc3 a4 43. Kd3 Ne1+ 44. Kd2 Ng2 45. Kc3 b5 46. Kd3 Ne1+ 47. Kd2 Ng2 48. Kc3 Ne3 49. Nc1 Nd1+ 50. Kc2 Ne3+ 51. Kd3 Nd1 52. Kc2 Ne3+ 53. Kd2 Kd4 54. e5 Nc4+ 55. Kc2 Ne3+ 56. Kd2 Nc4+ 57. Kc2 g5 58. fxg5 Nxe5 59. Ne2+ Kc4 60. Nf4 Nf3 61. g6 Ne5 62. Ne6 Nxg6 63. Nxg7 Ne7 64. Ne8 Nf5 65. Nc7 Nd4+ 66. Kb1 Kc5 ½
WFM Sabrina Chevennes, from England, held IM Vitaly Niemer to a draw:
Chevennes vs Niemer
1.e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qb3 Bxf3 9. gxf3 e6 10. Qxb7 Nxd4 11. Bb5+ Nxb5 12. Qc6+ Ke7 13. Qxb5 Qd7 14. Nxd5+ Qxd5 15. Qxd5 exd5 ½
The games were copied from the excellent website of the Carolinas Chess Festival, which can be found on the website of the North Carolina Chess Association (http://www.ncchess.org/), or directly at: http://www.ncchess.org/live/
Check back here for on the spot reports and games you may not find on the website!

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Chess Death by Draw

Yesterday, Monday, August 25, both games in the World Cup had finished by the time I made it to the website. Andreikin-Tomashevsky was agreed drawn before getting out of the opening, while the other ‘game’ between Vachier-Lagrave and Vladimir Kramnik lasted two moves longer, a draw being agreed after White played his sixteenth move.
I surfed over to the website because I am a chess fan. As a fan I was disgusted the number of moves in both games combined did not even reach the number of moves, forty, that has been considered the end of the first time control as long as I have been a fan of chess.
I have been a fan of baseball and other sports during my life. In each and every other sport I have heard players thank the fans, with many saying things like, “Without the fans we would not be here.” I cannot recall any Grandmaster saying anything of a similar nature. Can you? When games are finished before getting out of the opening it is insulting to the fans of the Royal game.
It has been proven in millions of games over the last two hundred years of chess that the player with the player moving first has an advantage. It is considered a small victory for the player with the Black pieces to draw the game. The game of Go has a rule, Komi, that addresses the problem. Komi means points are added to the score of the player with the white stones as compensation for playing second. Because of this rule a draw in Go is an extremely rare occurrence.
I have previously suggested chess adopt such a rule, with Black scoring slightly higher for both a win and a draw. It would not only cut down the number of draws, but also compensate the player having the extra Black in a tournament with an odd number of rounds. For example, if two players win all of their games in a tournament, but one has Black three times, while the other has the white pieces three times, the one having the extra Black would win the tournament. Thus there would be no need for any kind of tiebreaker.
In a tournament such as the World Cup where both players play both colors equally the added bonus would be meaningless. After seeing the truncated games yesterday I mentioned to the Legendary Georgia Ironman an idea to prevent the early draw. What I proposed is that if the score is tied after two, or four, or more, games, the loser of the match would be the player who agreed to the earliest draw with the White pieces. For example, in the games yesterday, Andreikin agreed to a draw after playing his fourteenth move. That would mean that if all the other games were drawn in fifteen moves or more, Andreikin would lose the match. Had there been such a rule in place it would have obviously influenced Andreikin to continue playing.
The Ironman, after cogitating, complimented me on an “original thought,” saying he had never heard of such a proposal. Since, as I have heard all my life, there is nothing new under the sun, I cannot believe someone has not previously had the same thought, and made the same proposal. The Ironman mentioned looking at the games yesterday with one of his young students. The boy, new to chess, told Tim he did not understand why the players would agree to such an early draw, asking why they would do such a thing? Tim said he had no answer for the lad. The young emulate the professionals, whether it be baseball, basketball, chess or Go. Are short draws something the chess community wants the young players to emulate?
During the game still ongoing game between Kramnik and Vachier-Lagrave today Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam discussed the lack of fans watching the games in person with his cohort, GM Nigel Short. Dirk mentioned the “…hundreds of thousands of fans watching via the internet.” How many of those fans, like me, were disgusted by the two early draws yesterday and have not come back today? Why would any potential sponsor spend any money to advertise on a moribund website? Draws agreed before getting out of the opening, or right after the opening, kill interest in chess. Without interest, there will be no chess.
Advertising brings billions of dollars to maimball. Imagine what would happen to the sport if, after the first quarter of the Super Bowl, it were announced that because the score was tied, and since the teams had the same record coming into the game, the coaches had decided to declare the game a draw. How many fans would then tune the game out?

Speed Kills

Like most chess fans I have been following the World Cup. Unlike most fans of the Royal game I have only watched the games played with a longer time control. I am uncertain what to call those games because the “longer time control” is not a classical one. During a discussion of the WC I mentioned to the Legendary Georgia Ironman I had not even gone to the official tournament website on the days of the tiebreak games in order to make a statement, certain the organizers checked the number of fans clicking on each day. I cannot help but wonder what those numbers show. Are there others doing the same?
I made an exception today, clicking on today just in time to hear GM Nigel Short, a much better commentator than those previously doing the commentary, say, “It looks like neither player has a clue as to what to do. At this speed it does not matter; they just better move.” The comment sums up what happens to chess when played without enough time to think. The games are played at such a rapid rate that the moves come in bunches, making it impossible to follow the action, a comment I have heard from others.
I won the only tournament played at the now antiquated time control of 40 moves in 2 ½ hours. It was the 1976 Atlanta Chess Championship, played at the downtown YMCA each Wednesday night for five weeks. There were no adjournments and the games finished at a reasonable hour. In those days a player reaching time control with a lost position would resign. Today the players play on, hoping for a “miracle,” which means a blunder, or “howler,” as GM Yasser Seirawan would say.
Former Georgia champion, and Georgia Senior champion, LM David Vest mentioned people watch NASCAR to see the wrecks. I wonder if chess fans who watch the quick play games are doing the same thing? Do they spectate only to see top GM’s humbled by making horrible howlers like the ones they make in their own games? I have heard players say something like, “After seeing GM X make that blunder I do not feel so bad about the ones I have made!”
The hyperbole reached epic proportions on the Chessbase website on 8/22/2013 in an article “World Cup 4.3: unparalleled drama in Tromso.” (http://www.chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211/PostId/4010880/world-cup-43-unparalleled-drama-in-troms-230813.aspx) I do not know about that; what about the last game of the 1987 Kasparov-Karpov match in Seville when Garry was in a must win situation? Chessbase comments on the last game of the match between Quang Liem Le and Peter Svidler, a quick-play game lasting 135 moves, won by Svidler, writing, “This game is well worth replaying.” I think not.
One of the things I have most liked about playing chess is having time to cogitate. Thinking is not for everyone. The winner of the ECF book of the year 2012 award was, “Move First, Think Later,” by Willy Hendricks. The title says all one needs to know about the state of modern chess. The other books shortlisted that year were, Advanced Chess Tactics by Lev Psakhis (Quality Chess); Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen by Adrian Mikhalchisin & Oleg Stetsko (Edition Olms); & Gary Kasparov on Garry Kasparov Part 1: 1973-1985 (Everyman). What does it say about the state of chess when books by the current number one player by rating, and the player called by some “the greatest player of all-time,” lose out to a book advocating one move first, then think? Chess Café announced the winner of its award with this: “After several weeks of voting, the early front runners for Book of the Year were Aron Nimzowitsch, 1886-1924 by Per Skjoldager and Jørn Erik Nielsen and Move First, Think Later by Willy Hendriks. Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation by Jacob Aagaard had its supporters, but just not to the same extent as the other finalists.” (http://www.chesscafe.com/Reviews/boty.htm) Days after acquiring the Nimzowitsch book I recall reading on the internet a question posed concerning how the Nimzo book could have possibly won the award. “Who would buy such a book?” the writer asked. “Me!” I shouted in my mind.
Earlier in my life I would often hear old-timers say, “The world is speeding up.” I was left wondering if it was them slowing down…Now that I have become an “old-timer,” the question has been answered.
There can be no doubt about the fact that the world of chess is “speeding up.” I cannot help but find it sad. Backgammon is played at a much faster pace than chess. The faster one plays the more games can be played in a limited amount of time, which means more money in the pocket when the “Last call” is given. Chess is an exponentially more complex game than is backgammon. The game does not need to be sped up to create blunders. The Chess Bomb (http://chessbomb.com/) has a color coded system with weaker moves given in purple and howlers in red. I seem to recall a back to back series of red moves by GM’s Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian in what is now called a “classical” game. Chess is too difficult a game to play well even at longer time limits. It does not need to be sped up for the best players in the world to make mistakes.

The Houdini Smartwatch

Co-founder of ConceptLabs, Peter Cochrane, (http://www.cochrane.org.uk/) gave an update on artificial intelligence and technology on the Coast to Coast AM radio program last night, 8/20/13. He said wearable technologies such as the smartwatch, and wearable cameras recording everyday activities are on the horizon. Speaking of his individual cell phone, he remarked, “there is more computing power, more memory, on this mobile phone than was on the planet in 1956,” and that is the scale of the great change that has taken place. He also noted how every new technology that comes along displaces people and causes mayhem, but then transforms society and creates new types of employment and opportunities. Concerning the state of modern technology, “It is far beyond Garry Kasparov getting knocked out of chess by the computer program.” http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2013/08/19
It matters not how great players and fans of the Royal game consider Garry Kasparov to have been. The fact is that in the general perception of the public, Kasparov will always be thought of as the human who lost to a machine.
During the course of my live it has been that no matter what new technology has appeared on the scene, there is newer, and far superior, technology already developed. How long before a chess player on the cutting edge of technology will be caught with a powerful chess program contained within the timepiece on his wrist? Is it possible a player may have access to such a device now?

FIDE Online Chess Arena Will Kill Chess

Earlier this month an announcement was issued on the official FIDE website by the President, Kirsan E.T. Ilyumzhinov, “I am proud to announce today’s launch of the limited test version of FIDE online arena, FIDE’s official Internet playing platform developed in co-operation with CNC. In October 2013, after the Executive Board meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, the fully operational version of FIDE online arena will be in service and available all over the world.” http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/7318-fide-online-arena.html
The announcement caused teeth gnashing and hair pulling at Chess.com. There are many pages devoted to a question on a forum post, “Will FIDE online chess arena kill chess.com?” http://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/will-fide-online-chess-arena-kill-chesscom?page=1
If FIDE does for online chess what it has done for over the board chess you can take the dot com away and make the question a statement: “FIDE online chess arena will kill chess.” The program(s) to detect cheating during online poker failed because… who watches the watchers?
E.T. Illuminati, as I think of Kirsan, also writes, “As you know, there are many chess playing platforms. However, FIDE online arena has a unique feature that completely sets it apart: a highly sophisticated chess anti-cheating system, AceGuard. Until now, it has been impossible to award official ratings for online chess because of the difficulty in preventing cheating. Now AceGuard will be an invaluable tool in Fide’s fight against cheaters and we would like to praise the PremiumChess company for developing this revolutionary technology and to congratulate CNC for bringing this service to FIDE.”
The part that held the most interests for me was, “AceGuard.” The only mention found during an extensive search was a reference to the company, if it is a company, on the link to chess.com, given above. That prompted me to get in touch with my informant at FIDE HQ, who will be referred to as “Deep Thought.” DT informed me “Ace” is an acronym. “A” is for Alpha; “C” is for Centauri; and “E” is for Extraterrestrial.
“Where does the Guard fit in?” I asked. “The ET’s told Kirsan this planet needs guarding. Something to think about,” Deep Thought said in a hushed tone.

Zero Tolerance for FIDE

Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov had strong words earlier this week for the zero tolerance policy instituted by FIDE. “I have zero tolerance for FIDE’s zero tolerance policy! Forfeiting a kid at the most important event of his life for being a minute late? Young Peruvian star Jorge Cori misunderstood 6:15 for 6:50 & wasn’t at board at World Cup event. Forfeited, and in round 1! He’s appealing. I have always promoted professionalism and treating chess as a serious sport, not a casual game. But rules like this destroy common sense. Struggling federations like Peru’s cannot send a big staff of coaches & aides. Difficult just to send players! But FIDE taxes them anyway.” (http://chess-news.ru/en/node/13024)
The World Cup has been marred by FIDE’s ill-conceived zero tolerance policy. I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if it had been the top rated player, Levon Aronian, who arrived late for the beginning of the round. What if Hikaru Nakamura had arrived at his board before the round, but needed to leave the board to answer the call of nature, thereby missing the start of the round?
Major League Baseball umpires are on the field to enforce the rules. Today’s umpires have become much more confrontational than those of the past, constantly making themselves the focus of the game. Every time it happens a fan will hear the announcer say, “Fans do not pay to come to the ballpark to watch the umps.” Something similar has happened within FIDE. It is more than a little obvious the problem is at the top because Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of the corrupt FIDE, is a megalomaniac.
It is sad the best players in the world have refused to take a stand against the dictatorial President. They should emulate what the people of Egypt have done and rise-up against the madness of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. In the immortal words of Captain James T. Kirk, “In every revolution, there’s one man with a vision. “
It is not vision I would like to see, but just one top Grandmaster with cojones!

The Award Winning Georgia Chess Magazine

The Major League baseball pitcher Jim Kaat won the Gold Glove award for fielding excellence sixteen consecutive times from 1962-1977, which was a record at the time. Former Atlanta Brave pitcher Greg Maddux now holds the record, having won the award 18 times, though not consecutively. The gold glove was awarded to fellow Brave pitcher Mike Hampton in 2003 for some reason. Jim Kaat is man enough to have said he could not understand why they kept giving him the award because, “There were years I threw the ball away too many times.” Such was the case in 1969 when “Kitty” Kaat committed eight errors, the most of his career. “I figure the voters just got used to giving me the award,” he admitted. A baseball sabermetrician, or “stat-head,” wrote an article one year contrasting the fielding of Tom Glavine, another Maddux teammate on the Braves, concluding Tommy was more deserving of the award. Greg Maddux laughed upon hearing about it, saying, “It was not one of my better years.” He made seven errors that year, the most of any season he played.
Denzel Washington is a fine actor, with many superlative performances to his credit. He won the Academy award for best actor in 2001 for the film “Training Day.” It was not a good movie and this was not his best performance, yet he was given the coveted award. Few actors have won the best actor award two consecutive years. Russell Crowe won the award the previous year for his outstanding performance in the film “Gladiator.” He was also nominated the next year for his performance in the movie “A Beautiful Mind,” which won the award for the best movie. He did not win his second best actor award, though he should have, because it was given to Mr. Washington.
Something similar has occurred in chess. The Chess Journalists of America released the names of the winners last week and the Georgia Chess magazine once again won the award for best state magazine. This is a travesty of epic proportions. The magazine, edited by Mark Taylor, has won numerous awards recently, continuing a tradition begun by Daniel Lucas, now the editor of Chess Life magazine. Unfortunately, the award winning Georgia Chess magazine has fallen upon hard times in the past year or so, deteriorating to the point of irrelevance. For example, the most recent issue, May/June 2013, arrived last week via USPS, has been called a “pamphlet.” It, like other recent issues contains, as I have heard it said by many members, “No games!” In actuality there are a few games, but nothing like past issues, which were replete with many games. The magazine used to be timely, but the past year saw it fall behind to the point that along with the most recent issue, May/June, 2013, the November/December 2012 arrived in the mail the same day. Earlier this year one issue appeared with another just a few days later. It was the size of a pamphlet.
The magazine hit what is considered by many to be a new low with the publication of the March/April 2013 issue. The picture on the cover is of IM Ronald Burnett. To be kind, it is not a very appealing picture of the IM. My first thought upon seeing the cover was shock. Later someone called it “hideous.” Many were embarrassed by the picture, which covers the front with a blown up picture that has been called “frightening” by children. My friend in chess deserves much better than this travesty. Many words have been used in trying to describe the picture. The comment I best recall came from Richard Staples, who asked about the person responsible, the editor, Mark Taylor, “What could he possibly have been thinking?” Richard sent a game to the editor, which was published in the September/October issue. Richard was extremely displeased because the game could not be replayed since the notation was unreadable. When asked about it, Richard said many things I cannot publish, along with, “I do not understand why Mark did not proofread it, or get someone to do it. Why did he not send it to me before publishing it?” He also said he would never, ever, submit another game to the magazine. Another reader mentioned one of the games included in WIM Carolina Blanco’s article, “14th Dubai Chess Open, part 2.” The game ends on move 25 in an even position, yet it is a win for Black.
It took me quite some time to get around to reading the magazine after reading the article I submitted, “Ten Days of Summer Heat.” Mark was pressing me due to the fact the magazine was behind schedule, so I rushed to get it to him. After reading it the next day, I found mistakes needing correction, so I sent Mark an email with emendations. He replied, assuring me he would make the necessary changes. My article was the first thing I read upon receiving the magazine. I do not have words with which to convey my disappointment. The corrections had not been made and I could not understand why, since the magazine was way late in being published. Why had I been rushed if the magazine was published so late? I could have had many more weeks to proofread it myself.
Then I read this paragraph: “The tournament was marred when the Chief TD, watching the game between Sanjay Ghatti and Richard Lin, saw Sanjay’s time expire and yelled, “You’re down!” This was an egregious mistake by the greenhorn TD, violating, as it does, what must be the TD’s “Prime Directive.” LM Brian McCarthy pointed this out to a member of the CC (Championship Chess) staff, who asked why the chief TD done such a thing. “I knew it was wrong when I did it, and I cannot tell you why I did it,” he explained.”
Reading, “…who asked why the chief TD done such a thing,” made me nauseous. Stunned beyond belief, I had to read it again, and again, and again…I showed it to the Legendary Georgia Ironman, immediately going to my computer in order to retrieve the original copy. The line reads, “…who asked why the chief TD had done such a thing.” I do not talk that way, and I try not to write like that, if at all possible. After reading the article, former Georgia champion and Georgia Senior champion LM David Vest said, “He did it because you made them look bad in your article and this was their way of getting back at you.” I told Mr. Vest I had not, “made them look bad,” since they had done a good job of looking bad without my help. All I had done was write about it. He agreed.
I have not discussed this with Mark, a person I have admired and enjoyed sharing emails and thoughts over the years. I have seen him only one time since publication, but was unable to talk with him because he wandered off with the married mother of one of the players, something he was fond of doing during chess tournaments at the House of Pain. As David Spinks put it, “He follows her around like a puppy.”
By the time the issue was published I had several other articles ready for the magazine, including an article about the time I traveled to San Antonio for the Church’s Fried Chicken tournaments in 1972, which would have been published around the 40th anniversary of one of the biggest events in American chess history. It was not sent to the editor, and will never be published in the Georgia Chess magazine. This was not the first time I have had trouble with an editor of the magazine, but it will be the last.
To be fair, the September/October issue does contain one of the best, if not the best, essays I have read in my 40+ years involved with chess. That would be, “A Retrospective: A Few Things I’ve Learned From My Kids During a Decade in Chess,” by Jennifer Christianson. I told her personally during the recent Emory Castle chess tournament. She told me she, too, had been asked by Mark Taylor to write something, anything, to fill the magazine. And what does she do but sit down and write something beautiful. Fortunately, Mark did not mar her article. I wish I could direct you to her amazingly heartfelt essay, but the “award winning Georgia Chess magazine” is published in print form only, unlike other forward thinking organizations, continuing to drain the budget of the GCA. That is only one reason one well known chess personality from Georgia has been heard to call our state organization, “Backward.”
Many years ago during a discussion with a NM in another state, he mentioned one Southern state, calling it, “The armpit of Southern chess.” The state was having, shall we say, “problems.” That state has turned things around completely in the last few years. Winning the award for best state publication may have been the worst possible thing that could have happened to chess in my native state because those holding the reins of power now have something upon which to hang their hat, so to speak. The fact is that Atlanta is known as the capital of the South. It is the largest metropolitan area with one of the busiest airports in the world, yet the chess tournaments are pitiful, with the exception of the Emory Castle, and even that venerable tournament is not held in a hotel, as one will find in most other large metro areas. The only tournaments held in a hotel are scholastic tournaments for the children. The Georgia State Championship was held in an old, rundown mall. For instance, this is one of the most recent reviews found on the internet: “This place is a dump. Half of the stores are empty, and the others seem to be struggling along. Even the theater is getting dilapidated.” This was written by Walt S. and can be found here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/north-dekalb-mall-decatur
There are teams from both North Carolina and Tennessee in the UNITED States Chess League, but not from the “Capital of the South.” After reading an article, Savannah’s Scholastic Chess Fest, online I sent an email to Katie Hartley, the Administrator, suggesting she post a link on the moribund GCA website, which she did. In her reply to me in May of this year, she agreed the website was “moribund.” I would like to report that has been changed, but the fact is otherwise.
On the CJA website (http://chessjournalism.org/2013entries/entries2.htm) I learned there were two other magazines nominated for the award of best state magazine, Louisiana and Northwest Chess. I have not seen the Louisiana magazine, but the Northwest Chess magazine is published on the website (http://www.nwchess.com/) and can be downloaded in PDF format. I urge you to check out the 48-page special memorial January 2013 issue with “Elena Donaldson Akhmylovskaia (1957-2012) by Frank Niro.” The issue is fantastic and indicative of the great work they have been doing for some time now. This one issue alone is better than all issues of Georgia Chess published in the past year combined. I sincerely regret the good people of Northwest Chess did not win the award they so deserved. The fact that they did not win is shameful.
I do not know who, or how many, votes for these awards, but recall reading a few years ago the number is small. I do not know how anyone in their right mind could possible consider the Georgia Chess magazine of the past year superior to the one published by the people of Northwest Chess. In all honesty, the Georgia Chess magazine should not have even been nominated, as it, like chess in my native state, has become an embarrassment.