One year ago the President of the Georgia Chess Association, Fun Fong, sent an email, which made the rounds, in which he wrote, “My sense is that adult chess players in our current demographic are some of the biggest cheapskates in the world! I hope to change that demographic over time. Getting any money from them, is problematic. Scholastics is better…” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/gca-president-rejects-scholarship-offer/). Mr. Fong never elaborated or explained the remark, leaving the Georgia chess community wondering exactly what he meant. For example, Larry Bolton, a gentle bear of a man who happens to be an American of African descent, upon learning of the statement, responded, “He means ME!” I tried to explain to Larry that the email also included this comment concerning adult players, “Getting any money from them, is problematic.” I, and others, thought Fun Fong meant he wanted to change the demographic to people with more wealth. Larry bellowed, “He wants to get rid of ME!” How could I argue with Larry? The fact is that many members of the chess community who are Americans of African descent felt exactly the same as Larry Bolton. Fun Fong’s comment spread like wildfire among the Georgia chess community, and further, going national, thanks to this blog. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/gca-president-rejects-scholarship-offer/) Mr. Fong’s “demographic change” comment has been received by the chess community in the same way as the infamous comment made about “The 47%” by Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during the last election. Many members of the chess community were left shaking their heads after the emails hit the fan. Some have expressed the thought that we can only wait until the next POTGCA in hopes he, or she, the way things are going, will be better than the current President. Some have even expressed the possibility of Fun Fong leaving the post before his term ended because his daughter, like almost all girls, gave up the game two years ago. That idea ended when Ben Johnson became VP, because no one in his right mind wants to see the Beast POTGCA.
Judging by the overwhelming number of children who participated in the Georgia Open, Fun Fong, unlike Bushwhacker II, has accomplished his mission. The demographics have drastically changed. With only a few adults participating in the G.O. there is now little distinction between the many scholastic tournaments which proliferate and what used to be considered an “adult” tournament. As Hikaru Nakamura is fond of saying, “It is what it is.”
Although it was nice to see the games broadcast via the internet, I cannot understand why the fact was not publicized on either of the two GCA websites. What is the point of broadcasting the games if no one knows they are available? Most of the games shown were by lower rated players. This makes some sort of weird sense because the vast majority of players were players with lower ratings, but I, and others, would have preferred to have seen the top seven boards displayed.
The crosstable of the Ga Open provided by the USCF shows this: Chief TD BENJAMIN F JOHNSON (14368088). It also shows this in the “Extra Games” section:
2 | BENJAMIN F JOHNSON GA | 14368088 / R: 647 -> 694 |1.0 |W 6|
The Chief TD of a tournament with almost one hundred players spent the last round playing a rated chess game, which surprisingly he won, gaining 47 rating points. Only 306 more and Ben’s will no longer be beastly. Unfortunately TD’s are not rated, which is good for Ben.
This is not the first time Ben Johnson has played a rated game in the last round while Chief TD of a large tournament. In my almost 45 years of chess I simply cannot recall any other Chief TD playing a rated game during any round of such a large event. USCF needs to prevent this odious practice, for obvious reasons. The fact that the man would do such a thing, and then do it again after the negative feedback received from the first mistake, speaks for itself as to how qualified the man is to hold office.
Bush: “Mission Accomplished” — REAL Speech