USCF President Ruth Haring’s “Numbers Game”

Ruth Haring is the President of the USCF board. She begins her President’s Report with, “I report to you today as I complete three years as President and five years as an executive board member.”
For the five years Ruth has been on the executive board members have been leaving the USCF ship like rats on the Titanic. The numbers she provides in the charts and graphs show this fact. She even expresses the major problem in words, writing, “It is notable that there is a drop year over year in the adult category, and we should find out the reason for this change.
Looking at the chart “Membership by Age Breakdown,” we can see that our under 12 membership is constantly changing. Under 12 members are not the same members year over year. We need to pay more attention to how to retain our members as they become teenagers and adults.”
Ruth and the boys have had five years to “pay more attention” to the problem. What have they been doing for the previous half decade? Not only does the problem persist, it continues to grow, like a cancer.
In her second paragraph she writes, “…and heeding the words of JFK who said, “Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction”, the board set out on a journey to accomplish just that; meeting in January for a comprehensive strategic planning workshop. Jean will talk about the work done in this meeting in more detail.”
I write this in late August, at least eight months after the “comprehensive strategic planning workshop.”
What is the “purpose and direction” of USCF? Ruth needs to elaborate on the “purpose” part because the “direction” is known. It is in the numbers, which are heading down. What does the President plan on doing about this? “In the past I have discussed retention and demographics and my goal to have equal number of female and male chess members doubling our membership. I believe that a side effect of the influx of around 70,000 female players will also be that our female players will be stronger. It’s all a numbers game.”
Let me repeat that last part, “IT’S ALL A NUMBERS GAME.”
Ruth is on a mission to vastly increase the number of female players. She has stated this ad infinitum. It is her raison d’etre. She believes in this in the way Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues believed they were “On a mission from God.” She believes she will have “70,000 female players.” The woman is delusional. She also believes the exponential increase in girls will produce a “side effect” of making female players stronger because “It’s all a numbers game.” Her thinking has been refuted by Robert Howard who “holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Queensland in Australia and has research interests in human intelligence, learning and memory, and in the development of expertise. He has carried out many research studies examining expertise in general, using chess data. Until recently, he taught at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He has authored five books, the latest being Islands in the Orient Sea: Travels in the Edgy 21st-Century Philippines, published in 2012.” Do not take my word for it; read the refutation yourself in a recent article on Chessbase, “Explaining male predominance in chess” by Robert Howard (
Certainly Ruth has been made aware of the article, yet she has chosen to disbelieve it because it does not conform to her thinking. It took many people a long time to wrap their minds around the fact that the earth was not flat.
After five years on the board, three as President, Ruth has a goal and tells us about it, “So my goal is to double USCF membership. What about retention? Recall the earlier chart of of membership by age and the dropoff at 11-12 years old? A jigsaw puzzle we need to solve for sure.” Unfortunately, the woman is still puzzled after all these years.
Let us consider a possible reason for the staggering numbers by which these children drop out by age thirteen. What happens to a child at that age? It is called puberty. The chart shows, “67% of our girl players are 12 and under.” This drops to 11% in the 13-15 age group. With these numbers staring her in the face, President Ruth has the audacity to write that there will be an, “… influx of around 70,000 female players.” Yeah, right. What are the odds of such an occurrence?
I thought about Ruth Haring while reading an interview with former World Human Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik on the chess24 website ( Vlad said, “As a chess player in any situation the first thing you do is always think logically – if I do this what will the guy do? But in fact many people just don’t think this way. For a chess player it’s automatic. You play a move and you always think about what the answer of your opponent will be. In fact this is also something which is very useful in life. I see this in many areas, especially politics. Modern politicians are lacking it a lot, because they just don’t think, in my opinion. I’m very unpleasantly surprised by the mistakes they’re making because they just don’t think in this way. They’re just thinking about their moves, not trying to calculate the moves of their opponent.”
Let us consider how it may affect USCF to have an influx of 70,000 girls on chess by considering what the effect has been on the demographic change since the USCF decided to become, shall we say, more “child friendly.” Former adult players have found other pursuits. I would assume this would continue at an exponential rate. The graph shows there are less than five hundred members in the 20 year-old age group; 473 to be specific. That is an average of less than TEN PER STATE! Why is this so? By age twenty only 2% of the females are left in the numbers. TWO PERCENT! Could it be that a twenty year-old male, who is becoming a man, does not wish to continue playing a game with grammar school age children, especially preteen girls? Many comments can be found on the USCF forum concerning comments made by young male adults saying chess is considered a “children’s game.” These males have left childhood behind and are preparing to enter the adult world. Yet after five years on the board, three as President, Ruth Haring is “puzzled.” It is obvious the USCF is purposeless and heading in the wrong direction. It’s in their own numbers.

As an addendum, I posted something on the USCF forum in reply to Ruth’s report, which has not, as yet, been taken down, if you can believe it. It can be found here: (


Steely Dan “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” 9/30/13 Beacon Theatre, NYC

The Blues Brothers – Briefcase Full Of Blues (Full Album)

BLUES BROTHERS BAND | Live at Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland, 1990)

USCF Going Down

This concerns the first post pulled by deputy Schulte on the USCF forum. I was responding to comments made by another deputy dawg, Boyd M. Reed, who wrote, “It should also be noted that the economic crisis triggered by the Lehman collapse did not discriminate based on age. My portfolio bears sorry witness to that fact.” Many books have been written refuting the comments made by Mr. Reed. I thought he might read an article or two in order to educate himself, but I could have been mistaken. Some people would rather hold onto their fallacious beliefs, spoon-fed by the corporate controlled media, rather than search for “the truth”, which is, as Mulder told Scully, “out there.”
Re: Should Children Play in “Big Money” Events?
Sent at: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:30 pm
From: mfschulte
To: nocab Moderators
Mr. Bacon,
The below post has been pulled. Specifically, the AUG discourages posts unrelated to chess, and in this case, there is a lot in your post on politics, which can particularly make other members uncomfortable or unwelcome. Please do confine the discussion to chess.
Thank you.
nocab wrote: I have been a fan of baseball about 44 years. There is only one baseball World Series. Although I have played poker, I am not, and never have been, a fan of the game in the same way I have been a fan of baseball, and chess. I would like to thank you for picking that particular nit, as I now know much more about the WSOP than I need to know.
I would suggest to anyone who would write, “… the economic crisis triggered by the Lehman collapse,” do a search on and type in the name, Matt Taibbi, and read anything and everything the man has written on the so-called “economic crisis.” Begin with his most famous article, “The Great American Bubble Machine: From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression — and they’re about to do it again” … z39vy95uJc
“The now famous Rolling Stone magazine article in 2009 by Matt Taibbi unforgettably referred to Goldman Sachs, the world’s most powerful investment bank, as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
At the time, Taibbi was describing Goldman’s role in the 2008 financial crisis and the speculative bubble of mortgage-backed securities assets which later came crashing down.” … n-sucking/
If you do not have time to read everything he has written on the subject, then after you read this famous article, skip to his last one,
“The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks’ Most Devious Scam Yet”
Banks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever … z39vsE5Opq

If one takes the time to do this, he will never again be naive enough to write, “… the economic crisis triggered by the Lehman collapse.” He will have a much better understanding of why I say we were Bushwhacked by the Banksters.

Specific to this discussion, more nuclear waste is being produced. This isn’t a bad thing. The more difficult proposition is disposing of said waste material. However, the more waste produced, the more likely it is that someone will come up with an idea as to how we dispose of the waste material. (This was written in response to this, written by Boyd Reed: “Times have changed a bit since 1970. Specific to this discussion, more children have gravitated to chess. This isn’t a bad thing. The more difficult proposition is keeping them involved with chess in general, and USCF in particular, as they become adults. However, the more children one can get involved in chess, the more likely it is more children will make chess a lifelong avocation.” It has been a quarter of a century since USCF was diverted to become the United States Scholastic Chess Federation and the pooh-bahs keep saying things like “the more children one can get involved with chess the better the odds are that one day, hopefully soon, some of those children will stop dropping out of chess before puberty.”)

The thread to which I refer is: MonRois and how they are used…tournament question for TDs!
Postby RayKinStL on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:38 am #140440

It is possible that the comments by the fellow who started the above thread I mentioned were on the forum of the St. Louis Chess & Scholastic Center, which no longer exists, and not on the USCF forum. (This is in response to Boyd Reed, who wrote, “I sorrowfully confess that, despite my best efforts, I can’t seem to find a Forums thread within the last five years that references such castigation and/or vilification. I would be most grateful if Mr. Bacon could direct me (and others) to the thread in question.”)

I apologize if any of my comments have offended any of the badge men. My friend Mulfish elucidated me in a private email as to the relationship of the sheriff to the USCF.

Equating how a child is treated in school bears absolutely no relation to how a child is treated at a chess tournament because the child MUST attend school. The government has laws forcing children to attend school. The government will not arrest a parent if he does not make his child attend a chess tournament. (This was a response to one “tmagchesspgh” aka, Thomas Magar, who wrote, “In schools, a parent may request to come into a classroom to observe his/her child. The school in turn may reject that request. There is no absolute right that the parent be allowed in the same room as the child. Doing so might be distracting to the learning process for the other children. It also bums out the kid who is really embarrassed by the overbearing parent. Just because you have an interest does not mean that you have a right to interfere with administration.”)

Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life. – Robert Byrne

Deputy Schulte writes, “…which can particularly make other members uncomfortable or unwelcome.”

It has been my experience on the USCF forum that one is made welcome by the people who have written extensively on said forum only if one toes the party line. As soon as anyone expresses any idea that is opposed to the politburo, the nit-pickers and nay-sayers come out in force, singing, “Don’t worry, be happy,” and “Everything is beautiful in its own way.” I am reminded of the scene in the movie, “Titanic,” when the band keeps playing as the ship is going down…
Speaking of going down…Last month there was a gathering at the huge World Congress Center of Telegu people from the southern part of India who are living in Atlanta. One of the speakers was a man known to be their financial “guru.” He created a firestorm when he told the gathering there was an economic tsunami coming, and to not purchase a house here, but rent. One assumes that is so they can “get outta Dodge” ASAP when the crisis hits. This was before the financial wizard, George Soros made news when he decided to “double-down” on an economic collapse. Anyone involved with chess knows there is a plethora of Indian children playing the game. If they were to leave USCF…Oh well, the band will continue to play while the ship of chess goes down.
And if reading this makes you uncomfortable, good! Chess does not exist in a vacuum. What happens in other parts of the world affect the Royal game. For example, the headline today reads, “FIDE rejects Carlsen’s request to postpone match.” (
And with headlines like this, found on the Drudge Report, “NATO: ‘Alarming’ build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine border…
Russia firing artillery within Ukraine…” who can blame the World Human Chess Champion for wanting to postpone the match? My advice to the young man, Magnus Carlsen, is the championship belongs to you, not FIDE. Those crooked bastards can take it away from you in name only. They need you; you do not need them, and even ET and Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin know this fact. You will still be considered the World Human Chess Champion no matter what the corrupt FIDE rules!

Jeff Beck Group – Going Down

Joe Bonamassa, Dusty Hill, Derek Trucks and Billy Gibbons – Going Down (HD)

USCF Copyright Ignorance

On Wednesday, August 20, 2014, I posted “The Most Illegal Chess Move of All-Time.” (
After posting I began a new thread on the USCF forum in which I provided a link to the above mentioned post on this blog. About a day later I checked my stats on the blog, and was astounded to see how many people had clicked on the link provided by the USCF forum. I then went to the forum, finding no thread. Curious, I typed in my secret password and noticed there was a message for me. This is the message:
Re: The Most Illegal Move of All-Time
Sent at: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:27 pm
From: mfschulte
To: nocab Moderators
Mr. Bacon,
The below post has been pulled. The blog to which you link contains an entry which is, for the most part, a reprint of content from an article hosted elsewhere. With such a large percentage of the post being text from an article subject to copyright, it is likely a violation of that copyright. The AUG specifically says “Do not post material that could constitute or encourage a violation of copyright or other law.”
If you can demonstrate that you had written permission to reproduce the content on your blog, I will be happy to restore the thread.
Thank you.
nocab wrote:New post: … -all-time/

“I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I toss one that ain’t never been seen by this generation.” – Satchel Paige

Mike Schulte
Kalamazoo, MI

I could not help but wonder why, if it had been censored, it had been left up long enough for so many people to have clicked on in order to read the post. Then it hit me, this person had been the one to inform me that my previous post, an answer to a fellow who goes by “Eastside” on the forum. His real name is Boyd Reed, another of the “badge men,” like Mr. Schulte. Maybe it had been left up until deputy Schulte entered the station…

I recalled that GM Kevin Spraggett had written something earlier about copyright on the internet, so I fired off an email:

Thursday, August 21, 2014 5:53 AM

USCF has pulled 2 posts and accused me of copyright violation with the last one, the post on “The Most Illegal Move of All-Time.” I posted a link on the USCF forum to the post and over 100 people clicked on the link! I ask you to read it, and, I recall you posting something awhile back on copying from the internet…Can you tell what day? Or at least what month, or even year…Did it make the transition to the new blog site? And I only copied a small part of the original article… I will respond to USCF, but not today, because today is special, and I had something else planned. Check it out!
Michael Bacon

The Grandmaster responded:

August 21, 2014 08:54

Hi Michael

I will take a look at your article. The USCF is full of shit, probably just wants to shut you up!


ps. Here is the link to what I suppose you referred to vis a vis copyright (

I sent a reply asking, “Can I quote you on that?!” Kevin replied:
Hi Michael

Of course you can quote me. Anything that is ”public” on the internet, that is, written, is fair game.

best regards


ps. ”copyright-whores”; I am not sure if that is a new word or expression, but I LIKE it!

If you go to the article in question on the USCF website ( you will see that the excerpt I used is only a small part of a much larger article, written by Elizabeth Vicary.

It was my birthday and I really did not want to spend my time on something like this, but…sheriff Schulte had written, “…it is likely a violation of that copyright.” I had to know what an professional would say. All of the attorneys for whom I had previously worked, or known, are either dead, or incapacitated. Fortunately there is the next generation. It took me most of the day, and with a little help from my friends, I was put in contact with an attorney who knows a thing or two about copyright law. He said, “This is laughable. It is obvious this man is ignorant of copyright law.”

When I’m 64

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! – Dr. Seuss

When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out ’til quarter to three, would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four?
You’ll be older too
Ah, and if you say the word, I could stay with you
I could be handy, mending a fuse when your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings, go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four?
Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight if it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Ah, grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck and Dave
Send me a postcard, drop me a line stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say, yours sincerely wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form, mine forever more
Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four?

Paul McCartney & John Lennon

The Beatles – When I’m Sixty-Four

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? – Satchel Paige

Middle age is when you still believe you’ll feel better in the morning. – Bob Hope

The BEATLES “Birthday” song

“Birthday” is a song written by John Lennon–Paul McCartney and performed by The Beatles on their 1968 double album …The Beatles …..commonly known as “The White Album”
Preformed here live by former BEATLE…..Sir Paul McCartney With
Rusty Anderson – Lead Guitar
Abe Laboriel Jr. – Drums
Paul “Wix” Wickens – Key board
Brian Ray – Rhythm guitar/bass
Red square, Moscow

The Beatles – Happy Birthday

I’m not a big birthday guy; I never have been. – Lewis Black

Elvis – Happy Birthday Baby!

You were born an original. Don’t die a copy. – John Mason

Jimy Hendrix – Happy Birthday

B. B. King – Happy Birthday Blues

Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. – Franz Kafka

Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday

Rarely heard JFK comments after Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday

There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. – William Barclay

The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

It takes a long time to grow young. – Pablo Picasso

May you stay forever young. – Bob Dylan

The Most Illegal Chess Move of All-Time

An interesting article appeared on the chess24 website today, “The 7 most illegal chess moves of all time.” (
I read it with interest, wondering if a move played here in Atlanta some years ago had made the cut. Although it is one of the strangest moves in the history of chess, it is not included in the chess24 article. I refer to a game played at the 2008 National High School Championships. I quote the article, dated April 23, 2008, “Photo Essay from Atlanta,” by Elizabeth Vicary, on the website of the USCF:
“A strange thing happened on board two in the last round. Warren Harper (2340) was white against Adam Weser (2105); they reached this position:
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 a6 7.Qg4 Bxg5 8.hxg5 c5
Harper played 9. g6 and Weser responded 9… f5. Harper now attempted to play 10. gxf5 e.p., which obviously is illegal. Weser pointed this out and added 2 minutes to his clock, but did not claim touch move. Harper played 10. Qf4 and the game continued for two more moves, at which point Weser realized he should have claimed touch move earlier. He called over the section chief, who ruled that since ten moves had not gone by, the players should return to the position after 9…f5, and white had to move his g pawn. (Clearly, this was an incorrect ruling—the ten move statute of limitations applies to illegal moves but not to touch move claims, which must be made immediately.)
Since his queen was in take, Harper immediately resigned. He then asked if he could appeal, and the TD, who was reportedly beginning to have second thoughts about his own ruling, said that would not be necessary but rather that he himself would ask Chief Floor TD for his opinion ( Correction: The original article said that Franc Guadalupe was the Chief Floor TD. He was not the Floor Chief nor the Section Chief and was not involved in the decisions.). The Chief Floor TD immediately reversed the decision, and the two players, who had by this point packed up their stuff and left the tournament room, were summoned back and instructed to continue the game from the point where Weser had made the touch move claim. Weser “seemed rattled” according to Harper, but did not protest. The game continued as “a complicated middlegame, which became a slightly better (for white) ending, at the end of which Weser blundered a piece” (Harper).
After the game was restarted, one of Weser’s parents protested the ruling, which resulted in Adam being given an extra half point after losing. While this bonus seems like a reasonable compensation for the TD’s mistake, it’s very strange to me that a parent has any right to make a protest at all at the high school level. Needless to say, not quite as surprising as a 2300 not understanding en passant, an expert not understanding touch move, or a section chief making such an obviously incorrect ruling.
On his way into the awards ceremony to receive his third place trophy, Harper half-jokingly remarked, “I hope this doesn’t give me bad karma.”
Here is the complete game from the article, for the record:
National High School Championships, Atlanta, 2008
White: Harper, Warren
Black: Weser, Adam
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 a6 7.Qg4 Bxg5 8.hxg5 c5 9.g6 f5 10.Qf4 cxd4 11.Rxh7 Rg8 12.Nce2 Nc6 13.Nf3 Qc7 14.O-O-O Nf8 15.Rh5 Nxg6 16.Qh2 Ncxe5 17.Nexd4 Qb8 18.Nxe5 Qxe5 19.Qxe5 Nxe5 20.Re1 Nc6 21.Nxe6 Bxe6 22.Rxe6+ Kd7 23.Rg6 Ne7 24.Rb6 Kc7 25.Re6 Kd7 26.Re1 Kd6 27.Bd3 g6 28.Rh7 Rae8 29.Kd2 Rh8 30.Rexe7 Rxe7 31.Rxh8 1-0

Georgians at the US Open

GM Alonso Zapata, FM Kazim Gulamali, and NM Sanjay Ghatti each finished with a score of 6-3 at the US Open to lead the contingent of players from the state of Georgia. There is a dearth of games thanks to Monroi.

GM Zapata was upset in the second round by a young girl, Expert Jessica Regam. She played the GM tough enough to win when the GM could not make time control. The game score shows the GM making his last move, but since he lost on time I have no idea why the move is given.

Jessica Regam (2125) vs GM Alonso Zapata (2555)
Rd 2 2014 US Open

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.O-O Qc7 7.Qe2 d6 8.c4 g6 9.Nc3 Bg7 10.Be3 O-O 11.Rac1 Nbd7 12.f4 Re8 13.h3 b6 14.b4 Bb7 15.Nb3 Rac8 16.Qf2 Ba8 17.Rc2 Qb8 18.Rfc1 Bc6 19.Nd4 Bb7 20.Nf3 Ba8 21.Nd2 Bc6 22.Rb1 h6 23.Qf1 Bb7 24.Qf2 Ba8
25.Nb3 d5 26.cxd5 Rxc3 27.Rxc3 Nxe4 28.Bxe4 Bxc3 29.dxe6 Bxe4 30.exd7 Bxb1 31.dxe8Q Qxe8 32.Bxb6 Bxb4 33.Bd4 Bf8 34.Nc5 a5 35.Qd2 Qb5 36.Nb3 a4 37.Nc1 Qc4 38.Qb2 Be4 39.Qd2 Bd5 40.Qb2 a3 1-0

Alsonso Zapata 2549 vs Karthik Ramachandran 2257
Rd 6 2014 US Open

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.h3 Nf6 7.Nf3 g6 8.O-O Bg7 9.Re1 O-O 10.Nbd2 Re8 11.Nf1 Nh5 12.Ne3 Nf4 13.Bf1 e5 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Nd4 Bd7 16.Nec2 Ne6 17.Nxe6 Rxe6 18.Bf4 Qc5 19.Nd4 Ree8 20.Qb3 Bc6 21.Be3 Qd6 22.Rad1 a5 23.a4 Qd7
24.Nb5 Qd8b25.Bd4 Re6 26.f4 Nd7 27.Rxe6 fxe6 28.Bxg7 Kxg7 29.Nd4 Qb6 30.Qxb6 Nxb6 31.b3 Re8 32.Re1 Kf7 33.Bb5 Bxb5
34.Nxb5 Rd8 35.Kf2 Nc8 36.Ke3 Nd6 37.Kd4 Ne4 38.Re2 Ng3 39.Re1 b6 40.Ke5 Ke7 41.Nd4 Rd6 42.Re3 Ne4 43.Nb5 Rd8 44.Nd4 Rd6 45.Nb5 Rd8 46.g4 Nc5 47.f5 Nxb3 48.fxe6 Nc5 49.Nc7 Nxa4 1-0

GM Zapata went into the penultimate round tied for first with nine other players while having White versus the seventeen year-old GM Illia Nyzhnyk of Ukraine. Since he is listed on the wallchart as being from Missouri, I assume he is one of the chess mercenaries at one of the colleges in the show me state.

Zapata (2555) vs Nyzhnyk (2743)
Rd 8 2014 US Open

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.O-O d6 9.Kh1 a6 10.a4 Qc7 11.f4 b6 12.Bd2 Bb7 13.Qe2 h5
14.Rae1 h4 15.Kg1 Nb4 16.Nb5 axb5 17.Bxb4 bxa4 18.Nd4 h3 19.Rf3 hxg2 20.Qxg2 Kf8 21.Rh3 Rg8 22.c3 Nd7 23.Bb1 Nc5 24.Qf2 Qd7 25.Rh7 e5 26.Nf5 Bxe4 27.fxe5 Qxf5 28.Qxf5 Bxf5 29.Bxf5 d5 30.Rf1 Ke8 31.Rd1 Rd8 32.Bc2 Nb3 33.Bxe7 Kxe7 34.Rh4 Nc5 35.Bxa4 Ke6 36.Bc6 Ne4 37.c4 Kxe5 38.Bxd5 f5 39.Re1 Rh8 40.Rxh8 Rxh8 41.Ra1 Rh3 42.Ra7 g5 43.Re7 Kf4 44.Re6 Rb3 45.c5 Rb5
46.Bxe4 fxe4 47.Rf6 Ke3 48.cxb6 Rxb2 49.Rg6 Kd3 50.Rd6 Ke2 51.Rg6 e3 52.Rxg5 Kd3 53.Rd5 Ke4 54.Rd1 Rxb6 55.Ra1 Kf3 0-1

After the teen GM played 14…h4 I thought back to a time when IM Boris Kogan was presenting a game from the US Championship when, in an analogous position his opponent had played his King Rook pawn across the Rubicon, just as Nyzhnyk. Boris moved his King Rook pawn to h3, and said while grinning, “He come no further!” I was flummoxed when GM Zapata did not move his Rook pawn, allowing his opponent to “come on down.” I was even more flummoxed when the youngster did NOT play h3 on his next move! I had been expecting the thematic 16 f5 when the much older GM played the cheap trick, 16 Nb5, losing a pawn. This move gave the advantage to the younger player. GM Zapata fought hard and after many vicissitudes had a chance to draw the game, but did not take advantage of the presented opportunities, and lost. Possibly demoralized, and certainly fatigued, the Senior GM lost his last round game with Black against NM Carl Haessler from Oregon. This was a fine win for the underdog out rated by more than five hundred points. Hopefully the game will be published in a future edition of the excellent Northwest Chess Magazine (

Kazim Gulamali also had a chance to finish in the second score group only a half point behind the co-champions, but alas, he too was upset in the last round, losing to Expert Mariano Sana of Tennessee. Check out this picture of Kazim in the blitz tournament here ( Once again, there is no game, so I will present one of the few games to appear on Monroi:

Kazim Gulamali (2397) vs Sir Jalen Wang (2206)
Rd 7 2014 US Open

1.d4 a6 2.e4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.e5 c5 6.a3 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Nc6 8.Qg4 Bf8 9.Bd3 d4 10.Ne2 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Qa5 12.Bd2 Qxe5 13.Qxd4 Qxd4 14.Nxd4 Nf6 15.O-O Bd7 16.Rfe1 Bc5 17.Nb3 Bb6 18.Na5 O-O-O 19.Nc4 Bc7 20.Ne5 Be8 21.Rad1 Nd7 22.Nc4 Nc5 23.Bf1 Bc6 24.Be3 Ne4 25.f3 Nd6 26.Nb6 Kb8 1/2-1/2

I featured the other Georgia to score six points, NM Sanjay Ghatti, in a previous post ( Here is another game:

Sanjay Ghatti (2206) vs Dakota Dixon (2131)
Rd 6 2014 US Open
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Bd3 b6 7.O-O Bb7 8.b3 c5 9.Bb2 Nc6 10.Re1 Rc8 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Bf5 Rb8 13.Rc1 g6
14.Bb1 cxd4 15.exd4 Rc8 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Ne8 18.Ne2 Ng7 19.Nd4 Bc5 20.Bd3 Ne6 21.Nf3 Qe7 22.Rc2 Rfd8 23.Bc1 d4 24.Qe2 Bb4 25.Rd1 Rxc2 26.Bxc2 Qc7 27.Bd3 Bxf3 28.gxf3 Rd5 29.f4 Rc5 30.Bc4 b5 31.Bxe6 Rxc1 32.Bd5 Qc3 33.Be4 Rxd1 34.Qxd1 Qd2
35.Qxd2 Bxd2 36.f5 Bf4 37.e6 fxe6 38.fxg6 hxg6 39.Bxg6 Kg7 40.Bd3 1/2-1/2

Benjamin Barry Moon finished only a half point behind those above, scoring five and a half points, with four wins, threed draws, and two losses. BB gained sixty rating points, improving from 2084 to 2144.

Constantine Xanthos (2218) vs Benjamin Barry Moon (2084)
Rd 5

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.f4 d6 8.Nf3 Bg7 9.e4 Bxf1 10.Rxf1 O-O 11.Kf2 Nbd7 12.Kg1 Qb6 13.Qe2 Rfb8 14.e5 dxe5 15.fxe5 Ng4 16.e6 fxe6 17.h3 Nge5 18.dxe6 Qxe6 19.Ng5 Qc4 20.Re1 Qxe2 21.Rxe2 Nd3 22.Rxe7 Re8 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 24.Nf3 N7e5 25.Nxe5 Bxe5 1/2-1/2

Reece Thompson, who represented the Great State of Georgia in the Denker tournament of High School players, also scored five and a half points by winning five, drawing one, and losing three.

Reece Thompson (2089) vs Paul Joseph (1931)
Rd 4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 d6 8.O-O Be7 9.h3 Nbd7 10.a4 Nb6 11.f4 g6 12.g4 Bd7 13.Kh1 e5 14.Nde2 Bc6 15.Nd5 Bxd5 16.exd5 exf4 17.Bxf4 Nfd7 18.b3 Bf6 19.a5 Nc8 20.Ng3 Ne5 21.Ne4 Bg7 22.c4 O-O 23.Qd2 Qe7 24.Rae1 f6
25.c5 Qd7 26.c6 Qc7 27.Rc1 Rb8 28.Bxe5 fxe5 29.Ng5 Qe7 30.Rxf8 Bxf8 31.Ne6 Bg7 32.cxb7 Na7 33.Rc7 Qxc7 34.Nxc7 Rxb7 35.Ne6 Rxb3 36.Qg5 Rb7 37.Qd8 Kf7 38.Ng5 1-0

Carter Peatman also scored five and a half points by also winning five, drawing one, and losing three. A picture of Reece can be found here ( Just look to the immediate left of the number 134. Unfortunately, the only game I found was this loss:

Carter Peatman (1972) vs Andrew Rea (2103)
Rd 6

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bd6 6.dxe5 Bxe5 7.Bc4 Qf6 8.Nd5 Qg6 9.O-O c6 10.Nc3 Qd6 11.Qh5 g6 12.Qf3 Qf6
13.Qd3 b5 14.Bb3 a5 15.a4 b4 16.Nd1 Bc7 17.Be3 Ne7 18.f4 O-O 19.c4 d5 20.cxd5 cxd5 21.Bd4 Bb6 22.e5 Qc6 23.Rf2 Ba6 24.Qd2 Nf5 25.Rc1 Qxc1 26.Qxc1 Nxd4 27.Ne3 Nxb3 28.Qe1 Rac8 0-1

Alex Little scored five points with three wins, four draws, and only two losses. He went from 1634 to 1792, gaining a whopping 154 points! Again it is unfortunate, but I have no game to present.

Kevin Schmuggerow, the owner of the North Georgia Chess Center ( scored four and a half points, taking a half point bye in the last round. Schmuggy. a floored NM, won three, lost three, and drew two.

Daaim Shabazz (2093) vs Kevin Schmuggerow (2000)
Rd 6 2015 US Open

1.e4 e6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 b5 4.a4 b4 5.Ne2 e5 6.O-O g5 7.c3 Ba6 8.d4 Nc6 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.f4 Nd3 11.Be3 Nf6 12.h3 Nxb2 13.Qc2 Nc4 14.Bf2 b3 15.Qxb3 Rb8 16.Qd1 gxf4 17.gxf4 Rg8 18.Qd3 Rb6 19.Qf3 Qa8 20.Ng3 Bb7 21.Re1 Re6 22.Kh1 d5 23.Qd3 Rxg3 24.Bxg3 Nd6 25.exd5 c4 26.Rxe6 fxe6 27.Qe2 Bxd5 28.Nd2 Nfe4 29.Nxe4 Nxe4 30.Bh2 Nxc3 31.Qxe6 Bxe6 32.Bxa8 Bxh3 33.Rc1 Bg7 34.Bg1 a6 35.Bc5 Bd7 36.a5 Bb5 37.Bb4 Ne2 38.Re1 c3 39.Bf3 c2 40.Bxe2 Bc6 41.Bf3 1-0

Jeffery Rymuza scored an even fifty % with four wins and losses to go with a single draw. The beautiful Elena Gratskaya also scored fifty % by also winning and losing four while drawing one. Her opponent in this game is the man behind the excellent Chess Drum website (, Dr. Daaim Shabazz, who has played at the House of Pain. Elena did cross over into class “A” territory, now rated 1819. A couple of hundred more points and she may be invited to participate in the US Women’s Championship.

Daaim Shabazz (2093) vs Elena Gratskaya (1792)
Rd 4 2014 US Open

1.e4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d4 5.Nce2 c5 6.d3 Nc6 7.f4 e5 8.h3 b5 9.a4 b4 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.O-O O-O 12.b3 Rb8 13.Kh1 Nh5 14.f5 h6
15.g4 Nf6 16.Qe1 c4 17.dxc4 Na5 18.Nd2 Bb7 19.Ng3 Bc5 20.Qe2 Qe7 21.Nf3 Rfd8 22.Qd3 Ba8 23.g5 hxg5 24.Bxg5 Qd6 25.Rad1 Bb6 26.Ne1 Nb7 27.Qe2 Rd7 28.Nd3 Nh7 29.Bd2 a5 30.Nh5 Nf6 31.Rg1 Nc5 32.Nxf6 Qxf633.Qg4 Bd8 34.Nxc5 1-0

Over 350 pages in the new book, “The Modern French: A Complete Guide for Black,” by Dejan Antic & Branimir Maksimovic and not one word on the second move of g3. Two Georgia players succumbed to the “Shabazz.” This sent me to the CBDB where I found this recent game:

Carlsen, Magnus (2881) vs Rodriguez Vila, Andres (2437)
Four Player Festa da Uva 2014 03/06/2014

1. e4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 dxe4 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Nxe4 Nxe4 6. Bxe4 Nd7 7. Bg2 c5 8. Nf3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. d4 cxd4 11. Qxd4 Nc5 12. Rd1 Qxd4 13. Nxd4 a6 14. a4 e5 15. Ne2 Be6 16. b4 Bc4 17. bxc5 Bxe2 18. Rd5 Bc4 19. Rxe5 Bf6 20. Bf4 Rac8 21. Bxb7 Bxe5 22. Bxe5 Rxc5 23. Bd6 Rfc8 24. Bxc5 Rxc5 25. a5 f5 26. c3 Bb5 27. Ra3 Kf7 28. f4 Ke6 29. Kf2 h6 30. Ke3 g5 31. Bf3 Kd6 32. Rb3 Ke6 33. Kd2 Kd6 34. Rb4 Kc7 35. fxg5 hxg5 36. h4 gxh4 37. gxh4 Be8 38. h5 Rxa5 39. Rh4 Ra2+ 40. Kd3 Bb5+ 41. c4 Ra3+ 42. Ke2 Ra4 43. Bd5 Kd6 44. h6 1-0

Thomas Jackson Campbell scored four and a half points by winning three, losing three, drawing one, and availing himself of two half-point byes. Sujay Jagadeesh also scored four and a half by winning three, drawing and losing two, with one half-point bye. Prateek Mishra won his last two games to finish with an even score, while Samhitha Dasari won and lost three to go with one draw and a half-point draw to also finish with an even score. GCA President Fun Fong also scored four and a half points by winning three, drawing one, while losing four. Michael Mulford, Steven Boshears, Ainesh Balaga, and Srihitha Dasari all finished with four points. Tom Kayma, Tyler Schmuggerow, Steven Eisenhauer, Skyler Kelly, and Shyam Dasari each scored three and a half points. Dhruv Rajaganesh finished with three points. Pranit Mishra and Sanjay Jagadeesh each scored two and a half. Anish Kumar finished with a point and a half, as did Pranav Devalapalli. By my count that makes twenty-nine players from the Great State of Georgia at the 2014 US Open, the majority of whom are children, with a few adults, most of whom are eligible to play in the US Senior. This closely matches the current demographic profile of the USCF. It is obvious from the names of many of the players that it is a good thing that Vishy Anand has been World Human Chess Champion recently. I shutter to think of what the USCF would be without the influx of Indian players.

Death On The Chess Board

It filled me with sadness when first reading the report of the death at the board of fellow Senior Kurt Meier during his last round game at the 2014 Olympiad. Reports have been slow in coming even in this age of instant access. I was mortified this morning to read about the death of another player after the conclusion of the tournament. Reports are that he was found dead in his hotel room.

I have spent the morning reading all the reports that could be found. I have a personal interest in this not only because I am a Senior, but because I collapsed at the board during a chess tournament, with paramedics having to be called. This was at the 32nd Continental Open in Sturbridge, Massachusetts in 2002. Upon regaining consciousness I saw FM Miles Ardaman hovering over me. Knowing Miles to be a psychiatrist, I feared the worst. I refused to be transported to a hospital, but did see a doctor a few days later. After checking me out and talking with me about what may have possibly caused the collapse, he surmised I had become dehydrated. I traveled to the Continental directly from the US Open in New Jersey where after playing in the normal schedule, with games each evening. The first two games at the C.O. were also at night, but the third, and my last, was a morning round. I had coffee, but hardly any water because I feared spending too much time going to the restroom. It was a mistake I have not repeated. For quite some time I had been sitting with a full bladder trying to make time control. When I stood up quickly and took a few steps, my heart could not make the adjustment, which happens as one ages. I also learned of a heart murmur. Often I wonder why I am still alive…

Most Seniors have some kind of health problem, and I am not an exception, as there is a problem with my heart. My father lived many years with a machine in his body, a pacemaker. I have chosen to not be a member of the Borg, part man and machine. During the two decade run of the Atlanta Chess and What Other Game Center more than one player had to be taken away in an ambulance, none of whom were young.

With this in mind I have written extensively on my blogs, the BaconLOG and now the Armchair Warrior, concerning the dangers faced by Senior chess players. I have also spoken out about the problems faced by Senior players. Unfortunately, my words have fallen on dear ears.

I have written about several measures that could be instituted in order to lessen the chances of a death at the board during a Senior tournament. One of the major problems has been that organizers schedule a Senior chess tournament as if it were a tournament for younger players. Most weekend tournaments have five rounds with the first beginning Friday night. Since the last round is over sometime Sunday evening, that means five games of chess are played in about forty eight hours. That is a lot of chess for even younger players. It is simply too much for a Senior. Even when I was in my twenties a five round tournament would leave me what the Legendary Georgia Ironman calls a, “wiped out Waldo.” I began taking a half-point bye in the third round Saturday night in order to continue playing. I will no longer play a serious, long game at night.

For a Senior tournament I have suggested having no more than four rounds, with two each day. I have also suggested a break of at least two hours between the games. Bob Mahan, the man behind the Chess For Seniors Association ( had the audacity to tell me that would mean a delay in the time the organizers and TD’s would get home from an event, which shows the thinking by even some Seniors when it comes to the safety of the players.

There are many stories in the press concerning the deaths at the Olympiad, including one on Chessbase, where one finds this:
“There was momentary chaos in the hall when Meier collapsed, which was explained by Morgan Lillegård, head of communication for the Chess Olympics, in The Local: “People in the hall thought the defibrillator was a weapon. Panic spread because the thought there was an armed person. I can definitely confirm there was no weapons. This is a misunderstanding. It is in itself dramatic enough that someone had a heart attack.”

The Guardian comments that Meier is not the first player to die in the middle of a match: in 2000 Vladimir Bagirov, a Latvian grandmaster, had a fatal heart attack during a tournament in Finland, while in the same year another Latvian, Aivars Gipslis, suffered a stroke while playing in Berlin, from which he later died. To this we add that Johann Zukertort died from a cerebral hemorrhage suffered during a game in Simpson’s Divan, in a tournament which he was leading at the time. José Raúl Capablanca died of a stroke in March 1942 while watching a skittles game at the Manhattan Chess Club.

Other players who died during a chess tournament or game: Gideon Stahlberg (1908-1967), Vladimir Simagin 1919-1968), Cecil Purdy (1906-1979), Ed Edmundson (1920-1982). The following players died very shortly after a game or event: Frank Marshall (1877-1944), Efim Bogoljubov (1889-1952), Herman Steiner (1905-1955), Paul Keres (1916-1975), Alexei Suetin (1926-2001).”

The most interesting is, “Why chess is really an extreme sport,” by Stephen Moss, online at The tag line reads, “The deaths of two players at the Chess Olympiad in Norway shows that it’s time tournaments came with a health warning.” In the article he writes, ” Chess, though the non-player might not believe this, is in many ways an extreme sport.”

“At the Olympiad, participants were playing a game a day over a fortnight – 11 rounds with just a couple of rest days on which to recuperate. For up to seven hours a day, they would be sitting at the board trying to kill – metaphorically speaking – their opponent, because this is the ultimate game of kill or be killed. In some positions, you can reach a point where both sides are simultaneously within a single move of checkmating the other. One false step and you will have lost. This imposes enormous pressure on players.”

Stephen is a player, as can be learned from this, ” I spend a day at work, rush home, bolt down a meal, then go to my chess club and play a three-hour game which often makes me feel ill, especially if I lose. After that, usually around 10.30pm, I go home, go to bed, and frequently fail to sleep as my moves and mistakes revolve around my head.”

The author concludes with this paragraph, “So next time someone suggests a nice, quiet game of chess, or paints it as an intellectual pursuit played by wimps, tell them they’ve got it all wrong: this is a fight to the finish played in the tensest of circumstances by two players who are physically and mentally living on the edge. We all need to get fitter to play this demanding game, and society should recognise it for what it is – a sport as challenging, dramatic and exciting as any other. Such recognition would be a tribute of sorts to the two players who sadly played their final games in Tromso.”

It is a shame this may be what it takes for those in power to take notice and institute changes, especially in the way Senior chess tournaments are implemented.

NM Sanjay Ghatti Battles French With 2 Qe2!

NM Sanjay Ghatti finished undefeated, with a score of 6-3, at the 2014 US Open, winning three games while drawing six. He tied with GM Alonso Zapata and FM Kazim Gulamali for the honor of being the top scorer from Georgia. For this fine result Sanjay lost eight rating points. More importantly he played my favorite move against the French defense, 2 Qe2! This was one of the few games I was able to follow on Monroi, which had its usual problems. For some reason I find it appropriate USCF uses Monroi in lieu of one of the obviously better methods of broadcasting chess games.
Sanjay’s opponent in this game was an Expert, Jessica Regam, who had upset GM Zapata in the second round. The ratings are taken from the CBDB and must be FIDE, because the ratings shown on the USCF website are considerably higher. The post tournament rating is 2194 for Sanjay and 2145 for Jessica.

Sanjay Ghatti (2024 )vs Jessica Regam (2031)
2014 US Open 7/26/14
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d3 g6 5. g3 Bg7 6. c3 Nge7 7. Bg2 0-0 8 0-0 d6 9 Nbd2 Qc7 10 a4 a6 11. Nc4 b6 12. Bf4 e5 13. Bd2 h6 14. b4 Bd7 15. a5 bxa5 16. bxa5 Be6 17. Nb6 Rab8 18. c4 Nb4 19. Bxb4 cxb4 20. Rfc1 Bg4 21. Qd2 Bxf3 22. Bxf3 Nc6 23. Nd5 Qa7 24. Qe3 Nd4 25. Rcb1 Qc5 26. Bd1 Rb7 27. Ra4 Nc6 28. Ra2 Rfb8 29. Nb6 Nd4 30. Ra4 Nc6 31. Bg4 Rd8 1/2-1/2

Sanjay’s tenth move appears to be a novelty. Many ninth moves have been tried and all score better than 9…Qc7. This is the oldest game I discovered with this particular variation:

Istvan Bilek (2485) Wolfgan Heidenfeld
Lugano ol (Men) 1968
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 g6 6. O-O Bg7 7. c3 Nge7 8. d3 O-O 9. Nbd2 Qc7 10. Rd1 b6 11. Nc4 Ba6 12. Bf4 e5 13. Bc1 Rad8 14. a4 d5 15. exd5 Nxd5 16. Nfd2 Rfe8 17. Re1 f5 18. Na3 Na5 19. Nb5 Qb8 20. Nc4 Nxc4 21. dxc4 Nf6 22. a5 Bb7 23. Bxb7 Qxb7 24. axb6 axb6 25. Bg5 Rd7 26. Bxf6 Bxf6 27. Ra7 Qxa7 28. Nxa7 Rxa7 29. Rd1 Re6 30. Rd5 e4 31. Qd1 Be7 32. Rd7 Rxd7 33. Qxd7 Kf7 34. Qd5 h5 35. Kf1 Kf6 36. Ke2 Bf8 37. Qa8 Kf7 38. h3 Be7 39. Qd5 Kf6 40. Qa8 Kf7 41. Qb7 Kf6 42. Qc7 Kf7 43. Kd2 Rd6+ 44. Kc2 Re6 45. Qf4 Kg7 46. Qc7 Kf7 47. Kd1 Rd6+ 48. Kc2 Re6 49. g4 fxg4 50. hxg4 hxg4 51. Qf4+ Kg7 52. Qxg4 Kf7 53. Qh3 Kf6 54. Kd2 Kf7 55. Kc2 Bf8 56. Kb3 Be7 57. Ka4 Bf8 58. Kb5 Be7 59. Ka6 Kf6 60. Kb7 Kf7 61. Kc7 Kf6 62. Qh6 Kf7 63. Qd2 Bf8 64. b4 Be7 65. b5 Bf8 66. Qf4+ Ke8 67. Kc8 Be7 68. Qh2 Kf7 69. Qh7+ Kf6 70. Kc7 Bf8 71. Qh8+ Kf7 72. Qh4 Be7 73. Qh6 Bf8 74. Qf4+ Ke8 75. Kc8 Ke7 76. Qh2 Bg7 77. Qh4+ Ke8 78. Qh3 Ke7 79. Kc7 Be5+ 80. Kb7 Bg7 81. Kc8 Bf8 82. Qh8 Kf7 83. Qh4 Be7 84. Qh7+ Kf8 85. Qh2 Bf6 86. Kd7 Re7+ 87. Kc6 Re6+ 88. Kd5 Re5+ 89. Kd6 Kf7 90. Qh7+ Bg7 91. Qxg7+ Kxg7 92. Kxe5 Kf7 93. Kd5 Kf6 94. Kc6 g5 95. Kxb6 g4 96. Kxc5 e3 97. fxe3 g3 98. b6 g2 99. b7 g1=Q 100. b8=Q Qxe3+ 101. Kb4 Qc1 102. Qd6+ Kg5 103. Qd5+ Kh4 104. c5 Qb2+ 105. Qb3 Qf2 106. Qc4+ Kh3 107. Kb3 Qe3 108. Qd5 Kh2 109. Kc2 Qf2+ 110. Qd2 Kh1 111. c6 Qf5+ 112. Kc1 Qe5 113. Qd1+ Kh2 114. Qf3 Qg5+ 115. Kc2 Qg6+ 116. Kb2 Qd6 117. Kb3 Qc7 118. Kc4 Kg1 119. Qd5 Kh2 120. Qd2+ Kh1 121. Qd1+ Kh2 122. Qd7 Qf4+ 123. Kb3 Qb8+ 124. Kc2 Qg8 125. Qd6+ Kh1 126. Kb2 Qg2+ 127. Kb3 Qg8+ 128. c4 Qg3+ 1/2-1/2

It was a great surprise to find during research that another World Champion, Mikhail Tal, played 2 Qe2. His opponent tried 9…Rb8.

Mikhail Tal (2635)- Heinz Liebert (2445)
C00 Lublin 1974
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. Nbd2 Rb8 10. Nb3 e5 11. Nh4 Be6 12. f4 Qd7 13. Be3 Rbe8 14. Rad1 Kh8 15. Nd2 f5 16. a3 b6 17. Ndf3 exf4 18. gxf4 d5 19. e5 d4 20. Bc1 Bb3 21. Rde1 c4 22. dxc4 dxc3 23. bxc3 Na5 24. Nd2 Bc2 25. Rf3 Rc8 26. Rh3 Rfd8 27. Bd5 Qe8 28. Qg2 Ba4 29. Ndf3 Nxc4 30. Be6 Bd7 31. Bxd7 Rxd7 32. Ng5 Rcd8 33. Qe2 Rc8 34. Kf2 Rdc7 35. Rg1 h6 36. Ne6 Rc6 37. Nd4 Rc5 38. Rhg3 Kh7 39. Nxg6 Nxg6 40. Rxg6 Qxg6 41. Rxg6 Kxg6 42. Qd3 Nd6 43. exd6 1-0

Pia Cramling faced former World Champion Vassily Smyslov twice last century in Veterans vs Women tournaments, first trying e5, then h6.
Vassily Smyslov (2540) – Pia Cramling (2510)
C00 Women-Veterans 1995
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 g6 6. d3 Bg7 7. O-O Nge7 8. c3 O-O 9. Nbd2 e5 10. a3 h6 11. b4 Be6 12. b5 Na5 13. Bb2 f5 14. exf5 gxf5 15. Nh4 d5 16. c4 d4 17. Rab1 Qd7 18. f4 exf4 19. Rbe1 Rf6 20. Rxf4 Re8 21. Bh3 Ref8 22. Ndf3 b6 23. Ne5 Qc7 24. Qh5 Nb7 25. Bc1 Nd6 26. Bg2 Nf7 27. Neg6 Nxg6 28. Nxg6 Re8 29. Rf2 Nd6 30. Nf4 Bf7 31. Rxe8+ Nxe8 32. Qf3 Nd6 33. Re2 Qd7 34. Qa8+ Kh7 35. Qb8 Nxc4 36. dxc4 d3 37. Rf2 Bxc4 38. Bc6 Qe7 39. Qe8 Qxe8 40. Bxe8 Rd6 41. Be3 Bc3 42. Bd2 Bd4 43. Kg2 Bxf2 44. Kxf2 1/2-1/2

Vassily Smyslov (2500)- Pia Cramling (2505)
C00 Cancan Veterans-Women 1998
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. Nbd2 h6 10. Rb1 Qc7 11. Rd1 b6 12. Nf1 e5 13. Ne3 Be6 14. b4 cxb4 15. cxb4 b5 16. a3 a5 17. Bd2 axb4 18. axb4 Ra2 19. Qe1 Rfa8 20. Ra1 R8a4 21. Rxa2 Rxa2 22. Ra1 Qa7 23. Rxa2 Qxa2 24. Qc1 Qb3 25. Qc2 Qa3 26. Qc3 Qa2 27. Qc1 Qb3 28. Qc2 Qa3 29. Qc3 Qa4 30. Nc2 d5 31. Nfe1 dxe4 32. dxe4 Nd4 33. Nxd4 exd4 34. Qc1 Bc4 35. Bf1 Qb3 36. Qc2 Qxc2 37. Nxc2 Nc6 38. Ne1 Bf8 39. Nd3 Bxd3 40. Bxd3 Ne5 41. Be2 d3 42. Bd1 Nc4 43. Bc3 Na3 44. Kg2 Nb1 45. Bd4 Bxb4 46. Kf3 Bd2 47. e5 Nc3 48. Bxc3 Bxc3 49. Ke4 d2 50. f4 Kf8 51. g4 Ke7 52. h4 f6 53. exf6+ Kxf6 54. g5+ hxg5 55. fxg5+ Ke6 56. h5 gxh5 57. Bxh5 Kd6 58. Kd3 b4 1/2-1/2

Other games:

Antonio Fernandes (2440) – Joaquim Durao (2225)
Lisbon BNU op 1992
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. c3 Bg7 6. d3 Nge7 7. h4 h6 8. Na3 d5 9. Bg2 b6 10. O-O Ba6 11. e5 Rc8 12. Nc2 Nf5 13. Bf4 d4 14. Rad1 O-O 15. Rfe1 Qd7 16. Qd2 Kh7 17. c4 Bb7 18. Re2 Nb8 19. Nce1 Ne7 20. Nh2 Bxg2 21. Nxg2 Qb7 22. Ne1 Nd7 23. Nef3 b5 24. b3 b4 25. Qe1 a5 26. Nd2 Qa6 27. Ne4 Nxe5 28. Bxe5 Bxe5 29. Nxc5 Rxc5 30. Rxe5 Qd6 31. Rxc5 Qxc5 32. Ng4 Qf5 33. Qe2 Nc6 34. f3 h5 35. Nf2 Ne5 36. Kg2 Rg8 37. Nh3 f6 38. Qe4 Qxe4 39. dxe4 Nc6 40. Nf4 Re8 41. Ra1 Kh6 42. a3 g5 43. hxg5+ fxg5 44. Nd3 Rb8 45. axb4 Nxb4 46. Nxb4 Rxb4 47. Rxa5 Rxb3 48. Ra6 Rc3 49. Rxe6+ Kg7 50. Re5 Kg6 51. c5 d3 52. Rd5 g4 53. fxg4 hxg4 54. Kf2 d2 55. Rxd2 Rxc5 56. Ke3 1-0

Leaving no stone unturned, I found the next two games which began with the Sicilian defense before transposing:

Anastasija Polivoda – Maritsa Tsirulnik
UKR-ch sf U14 Girls Kiev 2003
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. Nbd2 Nge7 7. O-O O-O 8. c3 d6 9. Qe2 Qc7 10. h4 a6 11. a4 b6 12. Nh2 Rb8 13. g4 b5 14. axb5 axb5 15. Nb1 b4 16. h5 bxc3 17. Nxc3 Nd4 18. Qd1 Nb3 19. Ra3 Nxc1 20. Qxc1 Nc6 21. h6 Bh8 22. Qd2 Bd7 23. g5 Qb6 24. Rb1 Nd4 25. Ng4 Qd8 26. Qf4 Bc6 27. e5 Bxg2 28. Kxg2 dxe5 29. Nxe5 Qd6 30. Nxg6 Qc6+ 31. Qe4 fxg6 32. Qxc6 Nxc6 33. Na4 Rf5 34. Rc1 Bd4 35. Rc2 Rxg5+ 36. Kf1 Nb4 37. Re2 Rf8 38. Nb6 Rgf5 39. Nc4 Rxf2+ 40. Rxf2 Rxf2+ 41. Ke1 Nc2+ 42. Kd1 Nxa3 0-1

Simon Hiller (1958) – Norbert Soelker (1967)
Verbandsliga Muensterland 0506
Germany 2006
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O e6 7. Nbd2 Nge7 8. c3 O-O 9. Qe2 Qc7 10. Re1 a6 11. h4 b5 12. Nf1 Bb7 13. N1h2 Rae8 14. Be3 e5 15. Qd2 Kh8 16. h5 gxh5 17. Bh6 Ng6 18. Nh4 Nxh4 19. gxh4 Rg8 20. Kh1 Re6 21. Bxg7+ Rxg7 22. Bh3 Re8 23. Rg1 Reg8 24. Qh6 Bc8 25. Rxg7 Rxg7 26. Rg1 Rxg1+ 27. Kxg1 Kg8 28. Bxc8 Qxc8 29. Qxd6 c4 30. dxc4 bxc4 31. Qh6 Qb7 32. Nf3 f5 33. Qe6+ Kg7 34. exf5 1-0

Grandmaster James Altucher

There has been an exponential increase in the number of chess Grandmasters since I entered the chess world in 1970. It has been written that former FIDE President Florencio Campomanes thought it would be good for chess if every country had a GM. I asked him about this at the US Open in Pasadena in 1983, when he took my room. Thad Rogers, who was on the USCF policy board at the time, promised the Legendary Georgia Ironman, and me, that he would furnish either one us with a room if we made it out to the left coast. Unfortunately, he did not say how long we would have the room. Campo came knocking on my door before I had a chance to unpack, leaving me to scramble for accommodation. His answer was, “What’s wrong with that?” I said it may tend to cheapen the title and he responded, “A Grandmaster will always be a Grandmaster!” Campo was a “smooth” politician.
According to Wiki “In 1957, there were 50 GMs.” In 1972, the year I traveled to San Antonio and met the new World Champion, Bobby Fischer, “there were 88 GMs.” (
“The January 2014 FIDE rating list includes 1444 Grandmasters, however this number is approximate as the FIDE list may include a few deceased players, and may also exclude players from the list for various reasons. Of these players, 1413 are male and 31 are female.” (
I have always had a great deal of respect for not only Grandmasters, but also International Masters. I do not care for anyone who tries to inflate his status in the world of chess by holding himself out to be something he is not, a titled player. It is reprehensible when a player alludes to himself as a Master when he is not. For example, an Expert player in the Atlanta area named Joe handed me his card at the House of Pain. His email address was, “ChessMasterJoe@whatever.”
“I did not know you had gotten your NM certificate, Joe,” I said. He replied sheepishly, “I haven’t, yet.” When I asked why he had chosen to call himself “ChessMaster Joe,” he said, “Because I aspire to become a NM.” Someone overhearing the conversation said, “Hell Joe, I ‘aspire’ to become a Grandmaster, but I don’t call myself one!” There was much laughter and “ChessMaster Joe” and his wife soon hit the door.
There is a man from India who gives chess lessons to children in the Atlanta area. He is known only as the “Indian Grandmaster.” Since he is nameless and does not play chess, it is difficult to know whether or not he even has a rating.
I saw this on the internet yesterday: “Ask Altucher Ep. 80 What Are the Benefits of Playing Chess?”
Below this one finds, “08/12/2014 with James Altucher.”
And then this:
“Episode Snapshot
Grandmaster James Altucher answers the daily question…”
Does he now…Maybe the “GM” should be asked why he calls himself a Grandmaster when a quick search at USCF shows the gentleman currently rated 2204, having last played in 1998. (,com_wrapper/Itemid,181/)

Garry Kasparov Tangled Up in Deep Blue

When world human chess champion Garry Kasparov lost the second match with Deep Blue in 1997, I said, and have continued to say, and write, that Garry Kasparov will be remembered only for losing to the chess program known as Deep Blue. Many find this unpalatable, but, as Walter Cronkite used to say to end his CBS news broadcast, “That’s the way it is.”
Proof can be found on This Day in History under May 11:
“On May 11, 1997, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov resigns after 19 moves in a game against Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer developed by scientists at IBM. This was the sixth and final game of their match, which Kasparov lost two games to one, with three draws.” (
This is the only listing for Kasparov. There is absolutely nothing concerning any of his other chess accomplishments. It may be unfortunate for Garry, but this is how he leaves his make on history, as a loser.
The above mentioned article ends with, “The last game of the 1997 Kasparov v. Deep Blue match lasted only an hour. Deep Blue traded its bishop and rook for Kasparov’s queen, after sacrificing a knight to gain position on the board. The position left Kasparov defensive, but not helpless, and though he still had a playable position, Kasparov resigned–the first time in his career that he had conceded defeat. Grandmaster John Fedorowicz later gave voice to the chess community’s shock at Kasparov’s loss: “Everybody was surprised that he resigned because it didn’t seem lost. We’ve all played this position before. It’s a known position.” Kasparov said of his decision, “I lost my fighting spirit.”

Many have called Garry Kasparov the greatest chess player in the history of the game. I have always wondered why. I mean, if a player loses the biggest match of his life, a match in which he was fighting for the honor of the human race, how can anyone in their right mind consider him to be the greatest? Garry Kasparov will always be considered a loser by the public.

The website provides the final game of the match, naming it, “Tangled Up in Blue.”
Deep Blue (Computer) vs Garry Kasparov
“Tangled Up in Blue” (game of the day Sep-12-05)
IBM Man-Machine, New York USA (1997) · Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov. Modern Variation (B17) · 1-0
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 de4 4. Ne4 Nd7 5. Ng5 Ngf6 6. Bd3 e6 7. N1f3 h6 8. Ne6 Qe7 9. O-O fe6 10. Bg6 Kd8 11. Bf4 b5 12. a4 Bb7 13. Re1 Nd5 14. Bg3 Kc8 15. ab5 cb5 16. Qd3 Bc6 17. Bf5 ef5 18. Re7 Be7 19. c4 1-0

Garry Kasparov lost with the Karpov variation. Cogitate on that one for a moment. Consider why Kasparov would even consider playing a variation named for the previous World Champion, whom he had dethroned. The variation was totally out of character for Kasparov. The only way this makes any sense to me is that Garry Kasparov took a dive. The term “take a dive” means to lose intentionally, as when a prize fighter loses because the fix is in, like Sonny Liston did when he hit the mat against Cassius Clay, later known as Muhammad Ali, in their 1964 title fight. The match meant a great deal to IBM, especially in winning the match. How much was it worth to IBM? Jonathan Schaeffer, of the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta, the man behind the program of the now World Checkers Champion, Chinook, that cannot lose (Computer Checkers Program Is Invincible ( see also ( had this to say:
“The victory went around the world. IBM estimated it received $500 million of free publicity from the match, and IBM stock prices went up over $10 to reach a new high for the company. (

NPR featured a story August 8, 2014, “Kasparov vs. Deep Blue.” It can be heard here: (
A transcript is also provided:
In 1997, Deep Blue, a computer designed by IBM, took on the undefeated world chess champion, Garry Kasparov. Kasparov lost. Some argued that computers had progressed to be “smarter” than humans.

And speaking of Stephanie Foo, she likes to take things literally. And I told her, I said Stephanie, don’t be such a drag. You’ve been smoking the company line, you got to loosen up, come on, the rules are meant to be broken – it’s time to rage against machine – lady rage, come on. Well, Stephanie – Stephanie promptly brought me a story about raging against a machine. The real machine and someone raging against it. Stephanie Foo, take it away.
STEPHANIE FOO, BYLINE: OK, yes. This story is about chess, but not just any chess game – one of the most famous ever.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov, the world’s chess champions…
FOO: It’s 1997 – world chess champion Garry Kasparov versus Deep Blue, a computer designed by IBM. And for people who wanted to believe that the human brain was still stronger than computers, this was a huge deal.
MAURICE ASHLEY: This is international chess match, I’m Maurice Ashley. The future of humanity is one the line. Now the weather.
FOO: Now Kasparov has never lost a match – ever. He was destroying all the grandmasters at the age of 22. He’s even beaten Deep Blue once before, so he is going into this rematch totally confident, and true enough – bam – Kasparov wins game one easy.
FOO: But then game two is where everything starts to go wrong. In this match, Deep Blue is dominating. Kasparov is visibly frustrated. He’s is rubbing his face, sighing, and then abruptly Kasparov just walks off the stage and quits – forfeits the game. The night after the game, his fans analyze the match and figured something out – something Kasparov, an undefeated grandmaster should have seen. If he had not stormed off the stage and just played his normal game, he could’ve tied Deep Blue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The match now stands at one game apiece.
FOO: Now, the match was best of five games, with Kasparov eventually losing the whole thing, but the turning point was when he forfeited that match. So since 1997, people have always speculated – what happened in game two? Did he quit because the computer was really so much smarter than he was? Then recently this book by Nate Silver came out called “The Signal And The Noise.” In it Murray Campbell, one of the engineers who created Deep Blue and who was at the match, comes out and says that he thinks he knows what really happened, and he says it starts in the first game – the game Kasparov won.
MURRAY CAMPBELL: Near the end of game one Kasparov had reached a very strong position. It was clearly to any chess expert in the audience, that Deep Blue was going to lose in the long run.
FOO: But here’s where it’s interesting. At the end of the game Deep Blue did something weird – it committed suicide.
CAMPBELL: Deep Blue was calculating a particular move that it could make that would prolong the game as long as possible. And then at the last second, it switched to a completely different move and played it.
CAMPBELL: And this particular move was really bad, and so it caused us to give up the game right away.
FOO: This really bad move confused Kasparov. Murray says he heard Kasparov’s team stayed up that night trying to analyze the logic behind that move – what it meant. The only thing was – there was no logic.
CAMPBELL: The more obvious explanation is that there was a bug.
FOO: A glitch – the kind of plot twist only a nerd could love.
CAMPBELL: Due to a bug in the program, unfortunately, it had played a random move.
FOO: But Kasparov didn’t know that, and Murray guesses that Kasparov was so caught up thinking the machine do something that he didn’t that he lost it, and the whole rest of the match was a landslide.
CAMPBELL: My theory is that Kasparov might have seen the drying opportunity but didn’t, because he was overestimating Deep Blue’s capability and assuming that it was incapable of making a mistake that would allow a draw. Deep Blue was very strong but wasn’t that strong. And I don’t know if this is true or not – I think we’ll never know unless Kasparov says himself, but you probably won’t get to talk to him because he doesn’t like to talk about the subject.
FOO: Yeah, Kasparov spent suggesting that IBM cheated, and he hasn’t really talked about the game for many years – until now.
MIG GREENGARD: You have to understand, he’s a little frustrated talking about this stuff over and over again sometimes.
FOO: That’s Mig Greengard. He’s been Kasparov’s aid, publicist and confidant for 14 years. And he’s here to speak on Kasparov’s behalf.
GREENGARD: He’s authorized me to talk with you about it. I talked with Garry about it…
FOO: It being the glitch.
GREENGARD: …And what he said to me – he said it’s ridiculous that move had no impact on his subsequent play – and had no impact on him – that’s it, move on. So that’s all really that I can – that I can go with, is the horse’s mouth.
FOO: So maybe Murray is wrong about the glitch but Mig says, he’s not wrong about Kasparov having a sort of mental breakdown – it just happened a little later. Mig told me that Kasparov was used to playing with computers. He thought he had them all figured out. Kasparov had certain traps that he would set, lures for computers, and computers would always fall for them. So in game two, Kasparov set his trap and waited.
GREENGARD: Because he had these assumptions that of course being a computer, it’s probably going to play this, this and this.
FOO: But it didn’t – it didn’t take the bait.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I see what you’re up to.
GREENGARD: The played something else.
FOO: Something good.
GREENGARD: Something that not only is not the predicted computer move – but a very, very strong move.
FOO: So you’re saying that this is the moment where basically he was psyched out.
GREENGARD: Right. It was just very – I think a very confusing, very disorienting experience to have to then sit down at the board not really knowing what you’re facing. Can I still try to trick it? Does is still play like a computer? Does it make mistakes at all? So psychologically damaging to Garry in that he realized this was a whole new animal.
FOO: And then after that really awesome move, Deep Blue actually makes another bad move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE #2: I guess I’ll play this.
FOO: This bad move is the one that allows Kasparov to tie. But Kasparov is too convinced he’s going to lose to see the fault.
GREENGARD: Like well, no way the computer would allow that – that can’t be there. Whereas against a human you think why not, maybe he made a mistake in his calculations – I’ll give it a shot. Against the computer you get – the computer gets the benefit of the doubt. How could something play like God, then play like an idiot in the same game?
FOO: In a way that’s like a total machine mistake though, right? Because since the machine doesn’t have a specific style or personality like, each different move that it makes could be brilliant and idiotic.
GREENGARD: Sure, sure – of course when he resigned he didn’t know any of this – which itself was demoralizing and humiliating.
FOO: So essentially what Mig’s saying is that Deep Blue wasn’t necessarily as smart as we all thought. Deep Blue didn’t have this magnificent triumph over Kasparov, it was more that Kasparov forced himself to fail.
GREENGARD: In actually turned out to be a bit of a red herring as far as artificial intelligence goes. It turned out it didn’t have emulate human thought to beat the world champion. It didn’t even have to play great chess, but it mostly revealed that humans aren’t perfect – humans make mistakes. They certainly – it turned out to be less complicated than we’d hoped. Deep Blue could calculate 200 million possible moves per second, but it was Kasparov who is overthinking it.
WASHINGTON: Thanks so much to Mig and Murray for helping us out on that piece. And of course, you’ve got to check out the almighty Nate Silver’s book “The Signal And The Noise.” And yes, that piece was produced by Stephanie Foo. We’ve got issues against the machines today on SNAP. And when we return, the man tries to corrupt me with all the free food I can stuff into my mouth. And we’re going to illegally destroy private property just because we can. On SNAP JUDGMENT the “Rage Against The Machine” episode continues. Rock on and stay tuned.
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Amazing Game: Kasparov’s quickest defeat: IBM’s Deeper Blue (Computer) vs Garry Kasparov 1997

Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue

Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue – Live Oslo 2013