Why Play Main Lines?

For US Co-Champion Stuart Rachels advised young players to play main lines because, “There is a reason they are main lines.” Where is the fun in that? How many times can a player trot the same old fifteen or twenty moves of “book” without becoming bored enough to fall asleep at the board? The so-called “Super GM’s” still, for the most part, play main lines, but I have noticed a tendency in other, lesser tournaments toward experimentation.

Consider the thoughts of World Chess Champ Magnus Carlsen:

“Since my collaboration with Kasparov, my strategy is as follows: At a time when all players prepare themselves with software, my goal is not to see if my computer is better than my opponent’s. In the openings, I just need to reach a position that gives me play. The idea is to be smart rather than trying to crush the other. I try to figure out where he wants to take me and I do my best to not put myself in positions where I could fall into his preparation. I try to play 40 or 50 good moves, and I challenge my opponent to do as much. Even if the position is simple and seems simple, I try to stay focused and creative, to find opportunities that lie within. Not to play it safe. It is important to know how to adapt to all situations.

In this sense, I have that in common with Karpov in his heyday: he believed deeply in his abilities, he was very combative and won a lot of games in tournaments because even when he was not in a good position, he felt he could still win, and played all the way. I’m somewhat similar in spirit: during a competition, I always believe in myself.” —Magnus Carlsen (http://en.chessbase.com/post/magnus-carlsen-explains-his-approach-to-chess)

Although this was published on Chessbase, I took the above from the excellent Mechanic’s Institute Newsletter #668 by IM John Donaldson (http://www.chessclub.org/news.php?n=668).

This game was played yesterday in the seventh round of the Championship of Sweden:

Emanuel Berg (2557) – Tommy Andersson (2336)
ch-SWE 2014 Borlänge (7.4), 2014.07.18
1.e4 c5 2.a3 Nc6 3.b4 cxb4 4.axb4 Nxb4 5.c3 Nc6 6.d4 d5 7.exd5 Qxd5 8.Na3 Bf5 9.Nb5 Rc8 10.Nxa7 Nxa7 11.Rxa7 Nf6 12.Nf3 g6 13.c4 Qe4+ 14.Be2 Bg7 15.O-O O-O 16.Ne5 Rfd8 17.Be3 Nd7 18.Bf3 Qh4 19.g3 Qf6 20.Bxb7 Rc7 21.Ra6 e6 22.Bg2 Nxe5 23.dxe5 Qe7 24.Rd6 Rdc8 25.g4 Bxe5 26.Rd2 Qh4 27.h3 Be4 28.Bxe4 Qxh3 29.f3 Rxc4 30.Qb3 Rxe4 31.fxe4 Rc3 32.Rd8+ Kg7 33.Rxf7+ Kxf7 34.Rd7+ Kf8 35.Qb4+ Kg8 36.Rd8+ Kf7 1-0

The opening followed this game, found on the CBDB:

Frank Korostenski (1599) vs Laszlo Kos Kis (1241)
LSS RC-2009.0 00038 1912 2009 B20

1. e4 c5 2. a3 Nc6 3. b4 cxb4 4. axb4 Nxb4 5. c3 Nc6 6.
d4 d5 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. Na3 Bf5 9. Nb5 Rc8 10. Nxa7 Nxa7 11. Rxa7 Nf6 12. Nf3
Rxc3 13. Qa4+ Kd8 14. Bd2 Rb3 15. Ba5+ b6 16. Bc4 Qe4+ 17. Kf1 Rb1+ 18. Be1 Bc8
19. Ra8 e6 20. Qa6 Rxe1+ 21. Nxe1 Qc6 22. Nd3 Bd6 23. Bb5 Qc7 24. Ke2 Ke7 25.
Qa7 Nd5 26. Rc1 Qxa7 27. Rxa7+ Kf6 28. Ne5 Rf8 29. Bd7 1-0

It is not often one finds a game played by titled players which follows the moves of players in such lower classes. Could this game have been played online with the players using programs? The next game, which varies with 11…g6, was found on 365Chess (http://www.365chess.com/view_game.php?g=300263):

Igor Shchukin – Pavlo Kruglyakov
Event: Stepichev mem 10th
Site: Kiev Date: 12/23/2002
Round: 4 ECO: B20 Sicilian defense

1. e4 c5 2. a3 Nc6 3. b4 cxb4 4. axb4 Nxb4 5. c3 Nc6 6. d4 d5 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. Na3 Bf5 9. Nb5 Rc8 10. Nxa7 Nxa7 11. Rxa7 g6 12. Nf3 Bg7 13. Bd2 Nf6 14. Be2 Ne4 15. c4 Qc6 16. O-O O-O 17. Bb4 Qb6 18. Qa4 Bxd4 19. Nxd4 Qxd4 20. Rxb7 Ra8 21. Qd1 Qb2 22. Rb5 Ra2 23. Bf3 Nxf2 24. Qe1 Nh3+ 25. Kh1 Nf2+ 26. Rxf2 Qxf2 27. Qxf2 Rxf2 28. Kg1 Rb2 29. h3 Bd3 30. Bd5 Rc8 31. Bxe7 Rxb5 32. cxb5 Bxb5 33. Bf6 Bc6 34. Bb3 Bb7 35. Kf2 Rc6 36. Be5 Rb6 37. Bc4 h5 38. g4 hxg4 39. hxg4 Rb4 40. Be2 f6 41. Bd6 Rd4 42. Bc5 Rf4+ 43. Kg3 g5 44. Bd1 Kg7 45. Be2 Bc8 46. Bd1 Be6 47. Be2 Kg6 48. Bd6 Rd4 49. Bc5 Rd2 50. Bf1 f5 51. gxf5+ Kxf5 52. Be3 Rd6 53. Ba7 Rd1 54. Be2 Rd2 55. Bf1 g4 56. Bc5 Bd5 57. Be3 Ra2 58. Bc5 Be4 59. Bd6 Rb2 60. Ba6 Rb3+ 61. Kf2 g3+ 62. Ke2 Rb2+ 63. Ke3 g2 64. Bc8+ Kf6 65. Bh2 Rb1 66. Kxe4 Rh1 67. Be5+ Kf7 68. Bd4 Rh4+ 69. Kf3 Rxd4 70. Kxg2 Rd3 1/2-1/2

Litsitsin’s Gambit

This game was played in the sixth round of the Chess Championship of the Netherlands:
GM Van Wely, Loek (2657) – GM L’Ami, Erwin (2650)
ch-NED 2014 Amsterdam NED 2014.07.12
1.Nf3 f5 2.d3 Nc6 3.e4 e5 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 fxe4 6.dxe4 Bc5 7.Nc3 O-O 8.O-O a6 9.Nd5 Nxe4 10.Qe2 Nxf2 11.Qc4 Ba7 12.Bg5 b5 13.Ne7+ Kh8 14.Ng6+ 1-0
In his remarks to the opening of his game with WFM Y. Cardona (2270), IM Mark Ginsburg writes:
“1. Nf3 f5?! An inaccuracy on the first move! To get to a Leningrad Dutch, much more circumspect is 1…g6 2. c4 and only now 2….f5 to avoid a nasty pitfall in this particular move order.”
This leaves open the possibility of White playing 2 e4 and there is no Dutch. IM Ginsburg continues:
“The problem here is that white has the surprisingly strong 2. d3! as demonstrated by GM Magnus Carlsen recently in a crushing win versus veteran Russian GM Sergei Dolmatov. As a New In Chess Secrets of Opening Surprises (SOS) book analysis noted, “this move argues that 1…f5 is weakening.” So it does! That game went 2…d6 3. e4 e5 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. exf5 Bxf5 6. d4! and white had an obvious plus. After 2. d3, black is not having any fun at all. Why didn’t I play it? I knew about it, but didn’t really remember how the Carlsen game went. Still, 2. d3! is strongest and I should have played it.
Side note. There is another attempt for white – in the 1980s and 1990s, GM Michael Rohde revived the Lisitsin Gambit (2. e4 fxe4 3. Ng5) with success but in the intervening years, methods were found by black to combat that try. Nevertheless, 2. e4 is exceedingly dangerous and black has to be well prepared for it. This is moot, though, given the strength of the apparently modest 2. d3!
In the game, I played the insipid 2. g3?! and play reverted back to the Leningrad proper.” (https://nezhmet.wordpress.com/2007/06/13/the-dutch-defense-leningrad-variation/)
Why should Black fear the attempt to improve on Litsitsin’s Gambit with 2 d3? The human World Champion, Magnus Carlsen has played the move, and so does the number three program, Houdini, but numbers two, Komodo, and three, Stockfish, opt for different moves, so the jury is still out on the best second move for White.
I “annotated” the Van Wely- L’Ami game above, using the three programs used on Chess Arena at Chessdom (http://www.chessdom.com/dutch-men-championship-2014-live/), and at the Chessbase database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/onlinedb/).
1.Nf3 f5 2.d3 (SF has c4 & e3 tied while Komodo plays d4; only Houdini plays the move in the game) Nc6 (SF has the game move tied with Nf6 & d6; Komodo plays d5, while Hou plays d6. The databases show Nc6 scoring best.) 3.e4 (SF-e3 or c4; Kom-Nc3; Hou-e4. The Houdini shown on the CBDB plays c4. e4 has been played most often, but has scored less well than the other choices.) e5 (Total agreement this is the best move) 4.g3 (Nc3 has been played most often with poor results. SF plays d4; Kom Nc3; & Hou exf5) Nf6 (SF & Kom play d6, with Hou opting for d5) 5.Bg2 (Total agreement on 5 exf5) fxe4 (All agree) 6.dxe4 (Ditto) Bc5 (Ditto) 7.Nc3 (SF has this move tied with Qd3 & O-O; Kom has it tied with O-O; while Hou simply castles) O-O (I can find no games with this move at the CBDB. SF & Hou play d6; Kom O-O) 8 O-O (SF has Qd3 tied with the game move; Kom plays Be3; Houdini shows a3) a6 (Universal agreement d6 is the best move) 9.Nd5 (SF & Komodo have this tied with Bg5 while Houdini has it best) Nxe4 (Hou plays this move, but SF & Kom play d6) 10.Qe2 (All agree) Nxf2 (Ditto) 11.Qc4 (SF-Be3; Kom-Rf2; Hou-Bg5) Ba7 (SF & Kom play this move, but Hou prefers Ne4+) 12.Bg5 (Total agreement. Imagine that…) b5 13.Ne7+ Kh8 14.Ng6+ 1-0
In addition this game was found on 365Chess. Although a different opening, we have the same position after six moves.
Buchicchio, Giancarlo vs Tribuiani, Renato (2146)
Nereto op 8/16/2000 rd 6
ECO has it listed as B00, while 365Chess calls this the “Colorado counter.” If anyone knows why, please leave a comment.
1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 f5 3. d3 e5 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 fxe4 6. dxe4 Bc5 7. O-O d6 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nc3 Bg4 11. Nd5 Qf7 12. h3 Bh5 13. g4 Bg6 14. Nh4 O-O-O 15. c3 Bh7 16. a4 a5 17. Nf5 g6 18. Nxh6 Qg7 19. g5 Bg8 20. Nxg8 Rdxg8 21. Qd2 Rh4 22. Bf3 Qd7 23. Bg2 Rgh8 24. Nf6 Qe7 25. Bf3 Nd8 26. Bg4+ Rxg4+ 27. hxg4 Ne6 28. Rab1 Nf4 29. b4 Ba7 30. Rb3 Rh3 31. Rfb1 Qd8 32. c4 Qh8 33. Nh5 gxh5 34. Qxf4 exf4 35. Rxh3 h4 36. bxa5 Qd4 37. Rf3 Qxe4 38. Rbb3 Qe1+ 39. Kh2 Bxf2 40. Rxf2 Qxf2+ 0-1
http://www.365chess.com/view_game.php?g=644423
Rarely have I had to face the Litsitsin Gambit. The last time was some years ago against Tim Bond, one of the Road Warriors and fellow Senior, the “Dude” from LA, which means “Lower Alabama” to Southern folk. The game was a hard fought draw. The Dude became dejected upon discovering I had missed a King move that would have won a piece. It was strange to me because I had seen the move in earlier deliberations, but missed it when given the opportunity later. Little has been written about the Litsitsin Gambit, but I seem to recall an article in “Inside Chess” by GM Michael Rhode, or was it Larry Christiansen? Maybe Michael used one of Larry’s games…Whatever… It is easy to recall because of the fact that I have faced both GM’s over a backgammon board.
This is the game that caused interest in the move 2 d3, and a game played a decade later:
Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Dolmatov
3rd Aeroflot Festival (2004)
Zukertort Opening: Dutch Variation (A04)
1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 d6 3. e4 e5 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. ef5 Bf5 6. d4 Nd4 7. Nd4 ed4 8. Qd4 Nf6 9. Bc4 c6 10. Bg5 b5 11. Bb3 Be7 12. O-O-O Qd7 13. Rhe1 Kd8 14. Re7 Qe7 15. Qf4 Bd7 16. Ne4 d5 17. Nf6 h6 18. Bh4 g5 19. Qd4 1-0

Carlsen, Magnus (2881) – Rodriguez Vila, Andres (2437)
Four Player Rapid KO/Caxias do Sul (1) 2014
1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nf6 3. e4 d6 4. exf5 Bxf5 5. d4 Qd7 6. Nc3 g6 7. Bd3 Bg7 8. O-O Nc6 9. d5 Nb4 10. Bxf5 gxf5 11. a3 Na6 12. Nd4 Nc5 13. b4 Nce4 14. Nxe4 fxe4 15. Ne6 Rg8 16. Bb2 c6 17. c4 Bh8 18. Re1 Rg6 19. Bxf6 exf6 20. Qh5 Qf7 21. Qf5 Qg8 22. g3 Kf7 23. Rxe4 1-0
http://www.chessib.com/carlsen-rodrigues-vila-caxias-do-sul-2014.html
And for the one (because there is always one) player out there somewhere in the one hundred plus countries reading the AW who now has to have more about Georgy Lisitsin and his gambit, I provide enough links to more than whet your appetite.

Click to access lane43.pdf

http://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-openings/the-lisitsin-gambit

http://www.chessvideos.tv/chess-opening-database/search/Pirc-Lisitsin-gambit

http://www.kingpinchess.net/2010/02/the-sincerest-form-of-flattery/

http://nezhmet.wordpress.com/2007/06/13/the-dutch-defense-leningrad-variation/

FM Kazim Gulamali vs GM Alex Shabalov

Some have asked why I do not annotate games. Each time I think of something the Discman wrote in an email, “Now any schmo with a smartphone can figure out the best move.” I figure most readers have access to a strong program and would refute most of the analysis of this schmo. In an email exchange with the Frisco Kid he wondered if he and Kazim Gulamali could have been GM’s now if they had had the right life experiences at the proper time, mentioning the work of Dean Keith Simonton, recommending I read anything I can find. I replied, “I often wondered out loud at the House of Pain what kinda player Kazim woulda turned out to be if he had been trained by IM Boris Kogan.” Kazim and his father, Mumtaz Yusef, were regulars at the House of Pain. Saturday nights meant Kung Pow Wow for Mumtaz and less spicy fare for the rest of the House. Mumtaz helped keep the House from going hungry. Kazim was called the “Little Grandmaster” for a reason. He understood chess on a different level even when young, and we all knew it. Kazim was always a gentleman, even when still considered a child. He was an adult as a player long before society considered him an adult.
This is the game score of Kazim’s game with GM Shabalov. I urge you to go over the game without a program and then return to the notes, kept while the game was ongoing and cleaned up a little for publication

FM Kazim Gulamali vs GM Alexander Shabalov
2014 World Open Rd 6
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Rc8 7.O-O a6 8.a3 Nge7 9.Bd3 Ng6 10.g3 f6 11.Re1 Be7 12.Qc2 Kf7 13.Qe2 Rf8 14.h4 Kg8 15.h5 Nh8 16.Bf4 cxd4 17.cxd4 fxe5 18.dxe5 Be8 19.h6 g5 20.Nxg5 Bxg5 21.Qg4 Nf7 22.Qxe6 Nd4 23.Qg4 Nxh6 0-1

I questioned 9 Bd3. My thinking was that if a student showed this game I would tell him the move violates the principle of moving the same piece again before development is complete. The move 9 dxc5 suggests itself. If then 9…Ng6 10 b4 would follow.
When Kazim played 12 Qc2 I thought back to a conversation I had with IM Boris Kogan after showing him a game of mine that began 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 Bd3 cxd4 6 0-0. In that game I had a chance to capture exf6 but eschewed the move. Black was able to move his pawn to f5 on the next move, leaving me with a lonesome pawn on e5, while the Black position was rock solid. In my game Black would have had to take on f6 with the g-pawn, leaving the Black King, “Drafty,” according to Boris. Although not the same exact position I cannot help wondering if Kazim should play 12 exf6.
With the above in mind, I wondered why Shabba did not play 12…f5.
I was flummoxed after Kazim played 13 Qe2. I realize that after IM John Watson published his stupendous, and award winning, book, “Rules? What rules?” (The name is actually, “Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy” and it was a classic when it was published), every player is trying to find the exception to the rule, and Black just moved his King, so maybe the Queen move is called for, but I would still take the pawn, playing exf6, because if I do not Black can play 13…cxd4 14 cxd4 fxe5 15 dxe5 and White has that lonesome e-pawn. So naturally Shabalov plays 13…Rf8. Hey, he’s the GM!
14 h4 is aggressive and it is a natural move with the Knight on g6, but I am playing exf6. In lieu of 16 Bf4 I am still playing pawn take pawn.
22 Qxe6 Oh no, Mr. Bill! This position is reminisce of some of the positions I had when taking my first chess steps. The attack would be raging but when I needed more troops they would be, like Union General George McClellan’s, languishing in the rear. At the Battle of Shapsburg in 1862, the bloodiest day of the War For Southern Independence, “McClellan refusing to act even though he had two full corps that had not seen action.” (From “The Grand Design,” by Donald Stoker) The move has got to be 22 Nbd2, with Nf3 threatened. I rejected taking the pawn because in many games I have seen things turn out badly when the attacker settled for only a lowly pawn. It may not be correct to take a pawn like that even if you put the King in check. This gives Black a move, whereas developing the Knight gives Black something to worry about. I am reminded of the book by FM Charley Hertan, “Forcing Moves.” White needs to force his opponent to react, not allow him to act.
Today it would be said that Kazim “Went down over three pawns,” when he played QxP. Back in my day one of the Road Warriors would have said, “He let go of the rope.” In showing one of his games, LM Brian McCarthy said, after making a dubious move, “I let a hand slip offa the rope here, but he allowed me to grab hold again with this move, and after his next questionable move I hit him with this move and now I was climbing again!” Translate that to today’s computer speak and it just does not have the same ring.
After checking the opening with the Chessbase database and 365Chess.com I, too, allowed a program to do its thing. I am happy to report the machine proved that Boris knew what he was talking about. If I understood this particular kind of position better than the combatants it is only because of the fact that when Hulk Kogan talked, I listened.
Kazim had what we call a Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinking” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMQxLyGyT-s) moment when he played QxP. We have all had a “Dierks” moment. I sure would have liked to have seen the game that would have followed the Knight move that, as the Legendary Georgia Ironman is so fond of saying, “Connects the Rooks!”

IM Emory Tate Delivers

When asked to name the player I most enjoy replaying their games, I have surprised most are surprised when I reply, “IM Emory Tate.” When asked why I have answered, “There is a reason he is called “Wild Man Tate.” Emory continually comes up with some of the strangest looking, most outlandish, moves ever made on a chess board. It would be fair to say Emory is an inventive player. Many of his games are tactical in nature, which is why he has accrued the reputation of being thought of as a “sharp” player. His games are always interesting.
After a game with IM Tate at the House of Pain one opponent was heard to say, “A game with Tate is like being in a knife fight.” From the way it was said I surmised the fellow had felt the cold, hard steel of the blade. The peripatetic player has been all over the country. Upon moving to Louisville and playing in a Monday night tournament one of the first things I heard was, “IM Emory Tate has played in our tournament. He has family over in Indiana.” Every week the usual suspects would come to the big box store lunch room, but when an unusual suspect would appear you could bet your sweet bippy he would hear about the time IM Emory Tate previously played in the event.
This caught my attention, “Emory Tate Delivers a Legendary Performance at the Fremont Summer Chess Camp.”
“International Master Emory Tate stunned the Bay Area’s best young chess players by achieving a perfect score in a massive simultaneous chess exhibition at the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s Fremont Summer Chess Camp.”
Fremont, California (PRWEB) July 13, 2014
“For all those unaware of what a great chess player International Master Emory Tate truly is, the Torres Chess and Music Academy recommends playing through his recent win over Grandmaster Maurice Ashley in just 22 moves! For the children who participated in his simultaneous exhibition chess event on July 10th, Emory has achieved a legendary status.
Nearly 50 opponents, many of whom are some of the top ranked young chess players in the United States, took on the famed International Chess Master simultaneously. Emory Tate, who only had the white pieces in a few of the games, played for 5 hours and a walked nearly 2 miles while completing his simultaneous chess exhibition! During the course of this momentous task, Emory Tate emerged victorious on every single board.” (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb12014019.htm)
Earlier this month I spotted this headline, “Famed Chess Coach Aims to Make California’s Best Chess Camp Even Better” on the excellent chess blog, “The Chess Drum.” (http://www.thechessdrum.net/)
“The Torres Chess and Music Academy is excited to announce the addition of International Master Emory Tate to our roster of famed chess instructors. Over the board, Tate is widely regarded as one of the greatest attacking chess players of our time. Emory first received national recognition as the best chess player in the United States Air force and by winning the All-Armed Services tournament five different times, setting a record which may never be broken.
After the Cold War ended in 92, Tate went into civilian life in Indiana. During these years, he became Indiana State champion a total of six different times and then Alabama State Chess Champion twice. Tate currently holds the FIDE title of International Master which is only one step below the highest title of Grandmaster. However, Emory makes it a regular habit to defeat top grandmasters at the prestigious chess tournaments in which he often participates.” (
http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2014/06/06/emory-tate-cali-chess-camp/)
IM Emory Tate – GM Maurice Ashley
2014 National Open 3d round
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 e6 4.Nf3 a6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Qc7 7.Be3 d6 8.Qf3 Nf6 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Qg3 Bd7 11.0–0 0–0 12.Rae1 Rac8 13.a3 g6 14.Kh1 Kh8 15.Nf3 Rg8 16.e5 Nh5 17.Qh3 f5 18.exf6 Nxf6 19.Ng5 Rcf8 20.Nxe6 Qc8 21.f5 gxf5 22.Bxf5 Rf7 23.Bh6 1-0

The game is annotated by Chris Torres, the author of the aforementioned press releases and can be found here: (https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/a-modern-classic-in-the-grand-prix-attack/)
He writes, “In the entire recorded history of chess, this move has only been played once previously in a nice win for white. See Michael Link vs Daniel Schlecht from Germany, 1993.”
I found this strange game on the Chessbase database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/onlinedb/):

Horak,Martin (1797) – Moravec,Vit (2120) [B82]
Kouty nad Desnau, 01.01.2013

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Qc7 6.
Be3 Nf6 7. f4 d6 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Qf3 Be7 10. Qg3 O-O 11. O-O-O b5 12. e5 Nxd4 13.
Bxd4 dxe5 14. Bxe5 Qa5 15. Kb1 Bb7 16. Bxh7+ Kxh7 17. Rd7 Bc6 18. Rxe7 b4 19.
Qh4+ Kg8 20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. Qg3+ Kh7 22. Qh4+ Kg7 23. Qg4+ Kh6 24. Qh4+ Kg7 1/2-1/2

It has been good to see the return of GM Ashley to the arena. Like others who have taken a break from competitive action he has found the going difficult. He played in the Ron Simpson Memorial, in Cary, NC, back in March. Maurice won his first four games, as did his last round opponent, Sanjay Ghatti, a young expert from Atlanta. I had been watching the games over the internet and was extremely disappointed when “technical difficulties” prevented the last round game between the two players in the top section with an unblemished record. Mr. Ghatti pulled a gigantic upset over the Grandmaster while becoming a NM. I have looked in vain for the game on the NCCA website. I did, however, managed to follow a few of the earlier games and am left with the memory of Maurice playing the Modern, “rope a dope” style with Black. It is obvious that in the game with IM Tate he could have improved with the b5 break on move seven. White has scored well against the defensive scheme used by GM Ashley and the programs show it as best. GM Ashley could have played another move n lieu of 11…0-0; 11… g6 12. Kh1 O-O 13. f5 Kh8 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Bh6 Rg8 16. fxe6 fxe6 17. Qh3 g5 18. e5 g4 19. Qh4 Ne4 20. Qe1 Ng5 21. exd6 Bxd6 22. Bxg5 Rxg5 23. Qxe6 Rg7 24. Rf6 Bxh2 25. Raf1 Rag8 26. Rh6
as in Vera (2430)-Velez (2410) Cuba 1982, 1-0 (37). Playing passively against “Wild Man” Tate did not work this time. This thrust of the sharp edge put GM Ashley out of the National Open.

GCA Hegemonic Designs

An email making the rounds in the local chess community has reached the AW. The sources are impeccable. It appears the GCA board has decided to hold a chess tournament about every other weekend in the coming year. To set the stage one should know the players in this drama.
The GCA board consists of three women, Laura Doman, Katie Hartley, and Pam Little, who do not play chess; Ben Johnson, who thinks he plays chess; Fun Fong, who plays mediocre chess; and Tim Payne and Frank Johnson, who are, or have been, rated expert. These are the committees found on the GCA website (http://www.georgiachess.org/contact):
GCA Committees
By-Law Task Force: Fun Fong, Katie Hartley, Mike Mulford, Scott Parker, Jeanne Ward
Communications: Laura Doman (Director)
Membership: Parnell Watkins
Open Events: WIM Carolina Blanco (Chair), Frank Johnson, Carolyn Lantelme, Greg Maness, Tim Payne, Bryan Rodeghiero, Thad Rogers, Parnell Watkins
Scholastic: Laura Doman, Katie Hartley (Co-Chair), Tricia Hill, Ben Johnson (Co-Chair), Susan Justice, Tim Payne, Steve Schneider, Ted Wieber
Volunteer Coordinator: Frank Johnson
Web Team: Laura Doman, Katie Hartley, Vijay Jayaram, Jagadeesh Rathnasabapathy, Keith Sewell
Committee members are volunteers who can commit to a year of working on the team.
In addition there the GCA has a “Task Force”:
GCA By-Law Task Force: Fun Fong (President), Katie Hartley (2nd VP), Mike Mulford (USCF delegate, Past Treasurer), Scott Parker (Past President), Jeanne Ward (Non-profit consultant)
Suggested By-Law Revisions to be voted on June 21st by GCA Members (http://www.georgiachess.org/bylaws)
These are the current “movers and shakers” of the Georgia Chess Association.

The GCA has myriad committees. The President of the GCA, Fun Fong, posted his, “From the President: GCA May 2014 Update” (http://georgiachessnews.com/2014/05/03/from-the-president-gca-may-2014-update/) on the new online magazine, “Georgia Chess News” on May 3, 2014, in which he writes about today’s committees and those to come. I asked two respected chess luminaries, NM Chris Chambers, and former GCA President and Georgia Senior Champion Scott Parker, for their thoughts on the President’s message. This was recieved from the Discman:
Happy Monday Bacon.
“Yes I’m fine with you using my stuff on blogs.
Regarding the GCA message, he sure seems to be planning to put together lots of committees.
Are there even enough dues-paying adult GCA members to man all the spots in those committees?
At this point they’re talking about forming committees to decide how to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. Virtually all of the passengers (actual tournament players) have boarded the life boats and are long gone, leaving only the wanna-be TD’s to train each other how to run tournaments that nobody will attend.”
CC
Mr. Parker sent an polished, insightful and obviously well-thought-out reply:
Michael,
“Fun is very high on the concept of working through committees. I am not, nor was my predecessor, Ted Wieber. That doesn’t mean it is wrong. There is more than one way to accomplish a task. My preference, and Ted’s too, I believe, was to find a committed volunteer and put a heavy workload on him/her. Committees tend to be slow and cumbersome things, and they lack direction. Each member wants to pull it in a different direction. You’ve heard the old joke, “A platypus is an animal designed by a committee.” It’s funny because there is an underlying truth to it. Committees do tend to come out with proposals that look like they ordered from a take-out menu – something from column A, something from column B, something from colunmn C, etc.
I’m also not sure that it makes sense to operate through committees in an orgainzation that has about 200 voting members. For USCF, which has over 10,000, that’s one thing, It’s another thing for GCA. We don’t have that many committed volunteers. I prefer to work with a small number of committed people rather than a large number of casually interested people.
All this being said, I will freely admit that I didn’t do a great job of identifying those committed volunteers, and ended up doing way too much of the grunt work myself. I was so busy doing the mundane stuff that I had little time to be President. It’s hard to concentrate on your plan to drain the swamp when you’re up to your a** in aligators. My impression is that as long as I was President that probably wasn’t going to change. As long as I was President and things were getting done a crisis didn’t exist. Without a crisis, not many people jumped up to volunteer. Perhaps in the long run it would have been better if I had refused to do the grunt work and let some tournaments and projects die so that a crisis situation would exist. Maybe that would have stimulated a few volunteers to step forward. For better or worse, I was not willing to do that.
Anyway, Fun’s idea of working through committees seems to be working pretty well for him. There has been some short term dislocation, and not everything is flowing smoothly, but in general the GCA is healthy. His way may not be my way, but if it works for him, that’s all that counts. “It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” – Deng Xiao Ping.
Best Wishes, Scottt
P.S. You have my permission to use any or all of this in any way you see fit, or to copy it to anyone you choose.”

Both of these replies from my friends were received May 12, 2014. Although I tend to agree with the Discman, listening to a person who has the respect of all the chess community, as does Scott Parker, gives one a different perspective. There are always two sides of an issue and one must try, as difficult as it may be, to understand the other side.

Emails are being fired at such a rate the NSA is having trouble keeping up with the heavy volume…The first email is from WIM Carolina Blanco, Georgia Chess Open Event ( Chair).
On Monday, July 7, 2014 6:24 PM, Carolina Blanco wrote:
“Hello Everybody
Please find attached the update information for all the Open event tournaments to be organized by Georgia Chess Association from September 2014-July 2015.
Dates and location were verified according last Board meeting at Emory University on June 21st, 2014. Please note that the flyer still need to pass for one more review correction by the committee however with all these information we can see more organized our goal in maintain the tournaments organized in the past calendar year and adding two more new tournaments and new locations for the convenient and benefits of the chess community.
* Only event missing in this email ( but going to be added) is the Collegiate tournament. I am waiting for Ted Wieber to give us all the information for next year since he is the coordinator for this event.
* Location for Senior’s Open and Women’s Open is TBA since the Rivers Academy and Mrs. Justice proposal are in discussion, however the date that we saw more convenient at the board meeting in June for this event is September 20th, 2014.
* There are 4 tournaments to be held at the Wyndham Galleria Hotel and the dates in the flyer are the one that we are committed in the contract with the except of the Georgia State Championship that instead to be held on May 1st 2015. It was moved to April 18th 2015
* there are 2 new Class championship tournament added on February 27th and July 24th 2015. Beside the Class Championship on November 2014.
We are in the process to contact to Continental chess to try to extend our Open event activity from 6 tournaments a year to 12 tournaments a year for the next calendar period.
Questions?. Please feel free to email me.”
Greetings,
WIM Carolina Blanco
Georgia Chess Open Event ( Chair)

Ms. Blanco’s email evoked this response from former GCA President, International Arbiter, and chess business owner L. Thad Rogers:
On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 6:45 PM, thad rogers wrote:
“Why is the Georgia Chess Association trying to put
American Chess Promotions and Championship Chess
out of business.”
I have 6 weekend tournaments scheduled with the dates
with Katie.
The Georgia Chess Association is to support chess in Georgia and not put other chess companies out of business.
This is the only way I try to make a meager income. I guess you all wouldn’t mind it if a nonprofit company came along and put all of your jobs and living out the window in order to satisfy them-selves.
No board in 40 years ever tried to do such a thing. I am very proud of such a caring Georgia Chess Association. I have tried tto do nothing but help the Georgia Chess Association for 40 years.
I have five or six people tell me that Fun said he is trying to put Georgia vendors out of business. If this goes through, then I guess he will get his wish.
All my tournaments are getting to have a signed contract. If Southeast holds tournaments. Then how in the heck can anybody make any money with about 26 weekend tournaments.
Like I said, the GCA Board and Volunteers don’t have to worry because you all aren’t risking any of your personal money. You are using State Association Funds. That is something to be proud of.
Sincerely,
Thad Rogers
American Chess Promotions
I am suppose to be on the Open Events committee. I never hear a word about meetings or issues until after the fact.”

The next email is from the POTGCA:
From: Fun Fong
Date: 07/09/2014 2:49 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: thad rogers
Thad,
“It seems that there’s an unfortunate – and false – rumor circulating that the GCA is looking to put you or any other Georgia chess organization out of business. I can understand why you would be upset. You have a long personal relationship with the GCA, which we all appreciate, and many of our members have enjoyed playing in American Chess tournaments for many years. As president, my mission is to serve the greater chess community by providing a full calendar of quality events for both adult and scholastic members. It is not, nor has it ever been, to destroy another’s livelihood through the power of the GCA. There is absolutely no way that the GCA could put anyone out of business, even if it wanted to, which is certainly no one’s intentions. You will not find any legitimate conversation anywhere that has even hinted of this. Somehow, facts are becoming distorted by the time they get to you, and I am greatly troubled by the prospect of a malicious rumor mill.
It is my belief that more chess is better chess, and that the chess community will eventually expand as opportunities expand, much as have road races greatly expanded in the Metro Atlanta area. GCA does endeavor to raise the bar for quality, so that other organizers will continue to innovate in their offerings, giving the Georgia player more choices and a better selection of events to participate. This initiative should provide a better experience overall for Georgia players. I know that you have been constantly thinking of new events and ways to execute them, and I think this endeavor is working for the benefit of the Georgia player.
Still, it is my responsibility as president to promote chess and to offer our players with as many opportunities to play good competitive chess as the market will support. Besides American Chess and Championship Chess, there is the North Georgia Chess Center, Vibha, and other organizations that host all sorts of tournaments, ranging from afternoon tournaments for young beginners to multi-day events for top-rated competitive players. I believe that there is room for all because we have a large, diverse community of chess players, and tournaments by virtue of their competitive level, time requirements, or location cannot all appeal to all types of players at all times. The chess community today is not the same as it was in the past. As GCA president, I must listen to our members and respond to their demands: to expand, support, and promote opportunities for competitive, quality play.
I understand and respect your concern that an outside group may be stronger or better financed, and potentially threaten your business. We will not tolerate any organization trying to drive another out of business. On the other hand, the GCA will not act as the personal agent for a business seeking to keep others out of their “turf.” I will tell you that the GCA will be advising Continental Chess (or any other organization that we may approach or that approaches us) that we must have a balanced calendar. Similar events need to be coordinated in advance, so that they don’t overlap too often.
The GCA cannot carry out its mission if we are beholden to vendor interests – any vendor. We must maintain the balance of support to our valued vendor organizations with our responsibilities to the chess playing public. If a vendor is involved in a GCA endeavor that could be perceived as a conflict of interest, then the vendor should recuse itself from voting or debate on such an issue. As an example, and I say this with due respect, it seems that whenever the GCA proposes dates in a modest expansion of our programs, we have heard you state that the GCA has no right to do so, presumably because the proposal conflicts with your own business’ plans or calendar. We cannot function as an organization if we cannot maintain impartiality. And under my leadership, this will cease to be a problem.
Thad, I continue to honor and value your long commitment and dedication to the GCA. We are all glad to have you involved and hope that you will want to do so for a long time to come. Regarding the Open Events committee meetings, there has actually not been a full meeting of the Open Events committee yet. Some committee members are changing their commitments to some degree, and while we’re managing this, I would anticipate a full meeting this month. You’ll certainly be advised when the meeting is scheduled.
As always, I welcome your feedback and look forward to talking with you about this or any other area of concern.”
Fun

The POTGCA writes about having a “balanced calendar.” Since the GCA has plans for a tournament every other weekend, that can only mean half for the GCA and half for everyone else.
As far as “…advising Continental Chess…”, I question why the GCA would want any other tournaments here along with their two dozen. Is the chess community large enough to support just the GCA tournaments? It is well known that Bill Goichberg, from New York, has intentionally stayed out of the South. Yes, he has held tournaments in Orlando, but how many tournaments has he held in other Southern states? The Ironman mentioned one in Nashville. One. The most famous was the Continental Open, a CCA tournament in Atlanta back in May of 1973 in which Mr. Six Time, GM Walter Browne flew in from the west coast. GM Browne was on the cover of the May, 1973 “Chess Life & Review.” Walter was treated to some “Southern hospitality,” drawing with Rueben Shocron and losing to Milan Momic, and Robert Burns, before leaving to catch a much earlier flight than anticipated. As GM Browne was leaving someone asked him why he was leaving. The Legendary Georgia Ironman was present to hear what came next, now Tim’s ALL-TIME FAVORITE chess quote. Walter turned on the man like a cobra, yelling, “I DID NOT COME HERE FOR YOUR BENEFIT!”
I realize the World Open was held in the Great State of Virginia this year, but how many tournaments has the CCA brought to the Deep South in the last forty plus years? Of all the tournaments the CCA has held since the 1970’s I will be kind and say that if one includes Louisville, although having lived there I cannot imagine anyone would, the CCA has held maybe five percent in the South, probably less. The “pooh-bahs” should consider leaving the CCA alone and concentrate on holding the conjectured GCA tournaments to the best of their ability. I would like to warn the GCA of over saturation. The Ironman and I were in the sports card business in the late 1980’s, early 90’s, before over saturation and the MLB strike of 1994. When we began there were only a few monthly shows in the metro area. Then a few were added, and then there were card shows every other weekend. More were added until it became a card show every weekend in many locations. In those halcyon days the action was fast and furious. I recall being involved in major deals that were so involved that when another customer would pick a card and pay the advertised price without haggling. I would stuff the bill in my pocket and carry on with the deal. Then the customers stopped coming because they knew there would be another show the next weekend, and the next. Near the end it was so bad at one show I told the Ironman I would not eat lunch until I made a sale. My stomach was growling all afternoon until after the show when Tim took pity on me and bought me a beer and a sammy at Spondivits, saying, “A man who don’t make even one sale shouldn’t have to pay the tab.”

Serious Games From The World Open

Perez, Yuniesky (2655) – Suarez, Isan (2592)
World Open 2014 Arlington, VA (6.3), 2014.07.05

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 h6 10.Rd1+ Ke8 ½-½

Perez, Yuniesky (2655) – Smirin, Ilya (2647)
World Open 2014 Arlington, VA (8.1), 2014.07.06

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Qd3 d6 8.Nc2 Ba5 9.b4 Bb6 10.Be2 ½-½

Smirin, Ilya (2647) – Azarov, Sergei (2617)
World Open 2014 Arlington, VA (9.1), 2014.07.06

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Nxc6 ½-½

How Much For Only The Bobby Fischer?

I love the chess links provided by Chess Cafe (http://blog.chesscafe.com/?p=3139). They are like a box of chocolates. Today I clicked on to, “Start Working out Now for Annual Running of the Booklovers at Library Sale.” After clicking on I was sent to (http://westport.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/start-working-out-now-for-annual-running-of-the-booklovers-at-library-sale).
This is what I found: Two featured titles are: (Click here for more featured specials)

“Bobby Fischer v. Garry Kasparov! Even though that match never happened, we have two signed books:
Fischer: Partije…..Games….(etc.). Belgrade: Sahovski Informator (1992). A paperback in excellent condition. Signed “Bobby Fischer” on the title page. (Comes with an authentication letter from a prominent dealer that Fischer signed the book in Budapest in 1996.)
with Garry Kasparov and others. Kasparov v. Karpov. Oxford, Pergamon Chess (1991). First paperback edition in excellent condition. Signed by Garry Kasparov on the half-title.”
I clicked for more featured specials and found a picture of only the Bobby Fischer book, and this:
“Westport Library
Book Sale 2014
Featured Specials
Bobby Fischer v. Garri Kasparov!
It never occurred but we have two books signed by each one
Fischer: Partije…..Games….(etc.).
Belgrade: Sahovski
Informator (1992). A paperback in excellent condition.
Signed “Bobby Fischer” on the title page. (Comes with
an authentication letter from a prominent dealer that
Fischer signed the book in Budapest in 1996.) with
Garri Kasparov and others.
Kasparov v. Karpov.
Oxford, Pergamon Chess (1991). First paperback edition
in excellent condition. Signed on the half title.
Together, $950”
This is not a set.
I was at the big, once a year book sale in Hendersonville, N.C., held by the large Friends of the Library, when a gentleman asked a clerk if he could purchase volume three of a five volume set. The clerk took off his cap and scratched his head before saying, “Well…I dunno…I just help out once a year, so let me go tell someone you want to break a set.”
I decided to hang around to see how this played out, so I continued perusing books on the War For Southern Independence until a late middle-aged woman with her hair in a bun and glasses dangling on her bosum said to the gentleman, “Can I help you?” He told her what he wanted and she said, “You want to do WHAT?” He began again but she cut him off saying, “I heard you, sir. It is just that in all my years here I have never heard anyone express the desire to purchase only one volume and BREAK A SET.”
The poor guy was taken aback and looked flummoxed as he uttered, “Geez, you’d think I was breaking some kinda Federal law…”
Years ago the Legendary Georgia Ironman and I were working a card show when a gentleman asked me for the price of the best player card from the set. I have long since forgotten the player who was “Top Dog” in that set, but I will never forget the look on the customer’s face when I told him the price would be $100. “But the whole set only costs $50!” he exclaimed. “That’s right, sir.” He said asked, “Why?” I said, “Because if you purchase only that card I will have a broken set.”
The man was unable to wrap his mind around this logic and eventually said, “But I can buy the whole set for $50 and take the other cards and sell them to one of the other dealers, or give you twice that for the card I want. It makes no sense.”
“It makes perfect sense, sir. You will not be able to sell the remaining cards in the set to another dealer here today because they will know you broke a set.” The man looked over at the next dealer, who happened to be watching this unfold, and when he did, the dealer nodded in agreement. The customer nevertheless pulled out his wallet and as he began to pull a C-note out of it I said, “The price of the set just went up to $100.” Stunned, he managed to meekly ask, “Why is that?” My answer was immediate, “Because there has been increased interest in the set.” The man stood there still as a statue while looking down at the bill half in and half out of his wallet. He eventually looked up and said, “You mean me?” I smiled and said, “Yes SIR!”

Throwdown Thursday & Friday Night Fights!

The Legendary Georgia Ironman has informed me Life Master Brian McCarthy will be coming up from Butler, Ga. to play in the July 10 Thursday Night Throwdown. Brian was rated over 2400 in the 90’s. Come on down to the the North Dekalb Mall, located at the southwest intersection of N. Druid Hills Road and Lawrenceville Highway at 2050 Lawrenceville Highway Decatur, Georgia 30033, and try to take a bite out of the Big Mac! The first round begins at 7:00pm.
Tim Brookshear is also holding a one day mini-camp at the site of the Throwdown beginning Thursday morning. The Ironman can be reached at 770 633 6718.
Kevin Schmuggerow will host the Friday Night Fights at the North Georgia Chess Center (http://www.northgachesscenter.com/).
NGC G/30 Tournaments– Friday Nights! July 11th, 25th; August 8th, 22nd
3-SS G/30;d5 Sections; Open & Reserve (may combine into one section at directors discretion)
Location: North Georgia Chess Center, 2450 Atlanta Highway Suite 201, Cumming GA 30040.
Rounds: 1st round starts at 7:00 PM. (1/2 point bye available if requested before round 1)
Entry Fee: $10.00 NGCC Members; $17.00 Non-Members. All payments due onsite, cash, check and credit cards accepted.
Registration: Friday – 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM (by phone, email or in person).
Kevin will also hold a quad Sunday, July 13, and another August 24.
NGCC G/60 Quads – July 13th and August 24th
3-RR G/60; d5 (4 player sections by rating)
Location: North Georgia Chess Center, 2450 Atlanta Highway Suite 201, Cumming GA 30040.
Rounds: 1st -10:00AM; 2nd -1:00PM; 3rd – 3:30PM;
Entry Fee: $25.00 NGCC Members; $32.00 Non-Members. All payments due onsite, cash, check and credit cards accepted.
Prize Fund: 50% of member entry fee to 1st Place in each Quad.
Registration: 9:00AM – 9:45AM
For those of you north of Atlanta, the NGCC is located north about 30-40 miles north of Atlanta, which would put those of you who cannot get enough chess and want to play in two events that much closer to home.

Rev It Up Reverand!

I clicked on one of the links provided by the Chess Cafe (http://blog.chesscafe.com/?p=3119), “Jackson Morrison vs Sawyer in Sicilian Najdorf” and was sent to a blog with the title, “Playing Chess Openings.” The very first thing I saw was a callipygian derriere that literally jumped out at me. My first thought was that I had mistakenly clicked on “Spraggett On Chess” by mistake (http://kevinspraggettonchess.wordpress.com/.) The add read, “Date Arab Women.” Hell yeah! Where’s the Viagra?
After coming to my senses I noticed, “Read 40 years of chess stories by correspondence master and BDG author. Rev. Tim Sawyer.”
Reverand Tim, my Man!
http://sawyerbdg.blogspot.com/

There are so many chess blogs, and so little time. One of my favorites is “Old In Chess: The Latest Chess News From 100 Years Ago” by Steve Wrinn (http://oldinchess.blogspot.com/). I check it out every day.

James Stripes of Spokane, Washington, writes the “Chess Skills” blog. He is a chess historian and educator. James is currently writing about the McDonnell — De La Bourdonnais 1834 match. Check it out at: http://chessskill.blogspot.com/

This caught my eye, “The Geezers versus RPI.” Being a “Geezer” made me click on to the ENYCA, the website of the Eastern New York Chess Association. If you are also a Geezer, or wish to prepare for the future, check out the May 15, 2014 post by Bill Little, which includes a couple of games played by Bobby Fischer. (http://www.enyca.org/2014/05/15/3844/).

The newest chess blog I have discovered is “Sputnick’s Chess Blog” (http://rocketcheckmate.blogspot.com/). All we know about “Sputnick” is: “I am a USCF “Class A” chess player, and this blog is dedicated to my efforts to master the royal game. I hope others find my musings of interest and welcome comments and dialogue about the content that appears here.” Good blogging, Sputnick!”

World Open: What Last Round?

I sat down to watch the last round of the World Open only to find the CCA website was still down. Upon clicking on one finds “This site is temporarily unavailable.” This is from “POWWEB,” a company who has trademarked the slogan, “The Perfect Hosting Solution.” Not this time… I surfed on over to the Monroi website to find none of the top board games displayed, and those of the lower boards had problems. I tried Chessdom and found there were still no games after round seven.
In his opening remarks to this weeks show, “AMERICAN REFLECTIONS,” on the program, “Hearts of Space: Slow Music For Fast Times,” which includes a rendition of Shenandoah, the official school song of Shenandoah University in Winchester VA., by Eric Tingstad & Nancy Rumbel, that will make you reach for a handkerchief (https://www.hos.com/), Steven Hill said, ” This week we gather for our yearly July 4th celebration of American independence. It’s a festive affair, with food, fun and fireworks. In the last few years, the celebration has often been tempered by continuing national, global and planetary challenges, and this year is no exception. Somehow, it all seems to make the day more precious — a haven from cares and reconnection with friends and family on a fine summer day. We take comfort in familiar food, games, and music.”
Since it is the 4th of July weekend, “games” to a chess player mean the World Open. The 4th was a good day, game wise. It has been a rocky downhill slide since…It is difficult being a fan of chess when there seem to be problems with broadcasting almost every tournament. The last round is the reason a fan watches the previous rounds. Here it is and I have no idea who is playing on the top boards and no way of finding out. It is pitiful, really, when you stop to think about the current state of affairs in the world of chess. It seems like chess is stuck in the 20th century while the rest of the world has “caught a wave” into the 21st.
What has happened with the World Open is akin to watching the seventh, and last, game of the baseball World Series for eight innings and having the coverage end, leaving a fan wondering…

It is Monday morning and I have just learned the outcome of the World Open from the USCF webpage. There one finds, “Look for our video coverage from the World Open later this week and find more games and information on the World Open website.” I clicked onto the World Open website and found this: “Error establishing a database connection.” For some reason it seems a fitting conclusion to the 2014 World Open.