The 2014 Chess For $eniors Challenge

Thad Rogers allowed me to take a flyer printed on a piece of paper used in most computer printers advertising the “2014 Chess For $eniors Challenge.” The “S” in “Seniors” is a dollar sign, and it made me think of the word “oxymoronic.” There are five states-six if you count the bastard state of West Virginia, with each a different color. There is a star in each state, with an arrow from the city in which a Senior tournament was, or will, be held. For example, the flyer shows “Greenville, April 19-20” for the Great State of South Carolina. I wrote about the tournament in the post of May 2, 2014, The South Carolina Senior Chess Championships (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/the-south-carolina-senior-championships/).
Virginia is the only state shown with two tournaments. The next one is in Blacksburg, July 11-13. The prize fund is only $600, as shown on the website (http://www.chessforseniors.org/index.php). So much for the $ in “Senior.”
The next “Senior” tournament shown on the website, but not the flyer, is the “World Open Senior Amateur,” a particularly reprehensible tournament because it discriminates against higher rated players by excluding any Senior player unfortunate enough to be still alive and rated over 2210. Since the tournament is called “Amateur” it can only mean that Bill Goichberg considers anyone rated 2211 or higher a professional. Since true pros are allowed to play in USCF “Amateur” events, there seems to be an inconsistency by the exclusion of most Masters.
The tournaments have not drawn well. For example, there were eighteen total at the SC Senior, and twenty five at the Tennessee Senior in Crossville, the home of USCF, on May 16-18. The most recent Senior tournament on the hit parade was the forty player event in the Great State of Virginia, where there was a four-way tie for first place between Larry C Gilden; Srdjan Darmanovic; William Marcelino; & Leif Kazuo Karell. Each won a grand total of $162.50. Now that is what $enior chess is all about!
The other states shown on the flyer yet to be mentioned are the Great State of North Carolina, and Kentucky. Having lived in the latter state I can only say that the people of Kentucky were conflicted during the War For Southern Independence, and nothing has changed.
Conspicuous in absence is my native state of Georgia, along with the Great States of Alabama and Mississippi, making the map look like one of those maps of the future in which some parts of the US next to the ocean have been lopped off. The absence of Georgia can be explained by the total number of players the past two years, eight and thirteen. The total number of twenty-one for the two most recent Senior tournaments would have been a small turnout in previous years, before Fun Fong became president of the GCA. Most Seniors stayed away from the 2012 Senior because they thought the format was “crap.” Like a lower rated chess player who has made a mistake, the man now called “No Fun” Fong by many (a fellow Senior who called Mr. Fong, “No Fun” at a recent meeting of the chess mess was surprised to learn he was not the first to use the term) refused to admit his mistake and determined to force that square peg into a round hole. What Senior organization would want someone like that involved? Fun Fong has absolutely no credibility among Senior chess players in Georgia, and obviously the rest of the South.
The US Senior Open will be held aboard the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Sept. 14-21, according to the advertisement in Chess Lifeless. The entry fee is, “$125 with cruise reservation.” After doing my due diligence by going to the website provided (
http://www.cardplayercruises.com/brochures/2014/booking-eastcarib2014.html) I learned the cheapest available cabin, an “*inside stateroom,” will set a $enior back $829.00 pp. For some reason I keep hearing Kate Winslet as Rose in the movie Titanic yelling, “Jack!” “Jack!” while trying desperately to get out of steerage…These accommodations do not sound like the ones Bart and Bret Maverick would have chosen before the game began.
What happens when some poor $enior “land-lubber” becomes sea sick? Or “sick of the sea?” What if it turns into a “three hour tour?” Have you ever heard of the Bermuda Triangle? Then there all of the reports of major problems with cruise ships in the past years, such as previously unheard of illnesses and mechanical breakdowns in which the “cruisers” had to live with their own filth and in their own excrement. Not to mention a cruise being the best way to “knock someone off.” People frequently “fall overboard” at sea. A cruise ship would seem to be a place to commit the “perfect” murder. It would be just my luck to play the game of my life against some psychotic chess player and become the “Man Overboard!”

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