Apology to Thad Rogers

In my post dated November 28, 2014, I mistakenly wrote that Grant Oen is the, “owner of the Atlanta Kings.” I took this from the Southeast Chess website (http://www.southeastchess.com/atlanta-kings.html). Grant is the “Manager” of the Atlanta Kings. The impresario, L. Thad Rogers is the owner. My apologies to Thad. No slight was intended. I made a regretful mistake. Thad has tried for quite some time to bring a USCL team to Atlanta before succeeding.
For all of his foibles Thad has done much good for chess, not only in Georgia, but in the Southeast as well. In addition, I know Thad has helped many players throughout the years, and he has done it because he has a generous heart. One example will suffice to illustrate. Decades ago I was on a MARTA train heading to visit one of Thad’s tournaments when I encountered another chess player, called “Smokin’ Gun.” I nodded, Smokin’ Gun shot back a big grin and moved toward me. Upon mentioning I was headed to one of Thad’s tournaments and he asked, “You playing?”
“No, Smokin’ Gun, I said, I’m just going to visit. Why don’t you come with me?” He shook his head and said, “I can’t. I own Thad money.”
“What do you mean? Everyone has owed Thad money at one time or another. Come on by later if you can…Don’t dodge him…Tell him you haven’t forgotten about him, but circumstances are such that you can’t pay him back now, and he will be glad to see you..”
Hours later as I was about to leave, there was Smokin’ Gun, talking with Thad. On my way out the Gun grinned, saying, “It played out just like you said, man.”
Atlanta hosted the 1980 US Open because of Thad. When the Nashville Strangler hit it big at the World Open by winning the expert section, he made a point in the interview published in Chess Life to thank Thad for organizing all the tournaments in which he had played. FM Jerry Wheeler, along with LM Brian McCarthy, played so often some thought they lived in Atlanta. The same could be said for the “Little Hayseed,” Tom Waymouth, who took first in a “B” section of the World Open. Then there is Spencer Bledsoe, one of the Legendary Georgia Ironman’s students, who cut his teeth at the House of Pain before tying for first in an “A” section at the World Open. Spencer is best known for his part in the Survivor TV show. (http://survivor.wikia.com/wiki/Spencer_Bledsoe)
To top it off, FM Kazim Gulamali just played a match with IM Ron Burnett for the under 2500 money at the Millionaire Open. Ron, like the aforementioned Tennessee players, has played in as many of Thad’s tournaments as any Atlanta player. Kazim literally grew-up at the House. Together they brought $60,000 back South from Lost Wages!
Did I mentioned the time a former GCA President bankrupted the organization? Thad stepped in using his own money to keep the GCA solvent. I could go on and on, but why? Like everyone you know, or will ever know, Thad has entries on both the positive and negative side of the ledger, but he is one of the fortunate ones in which the positive outweighs the negative.
I know all of the above mentioned players, and the Legendary Ironman, will join me in saying, “Thank you, Thad, for all you have done for the Royal game.”

UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open: It Don’t Come Easy

FM Daniel Gurevich continue to impress the chess world not only with his results, but also with his stellar play. He finished +1, with a score of 5-4, leaving him in a tie for 14th place. Daniel exited the tournament on a winning note by playing this spectacular game:

FM Daniel Gurevich vs IM Keaton F Kiewra
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 9

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Qc7 6.
g3 a6 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O Bc5 9. Nxc6 dxc6 10. e5 Qxe5 11. Bf4 Qd4 12. Qe2 Be7
13. Rfd1 Qc5 14. Na4 Qa5 15. b3 O-O 16. Bd2 Qc7 17. Bf4 Qa5 18. Bd2 Bb4 19. c3
Be7 20. c4 Bb4 21. Be3 Nd7 22. Qc2 Be7 23. c5 Qc7 24. Nb6 Nxb6 25. cxb6 Qe5 26.
Bd4 Qa5 27. a3 Qh5 28. Qc3 f6 29. b4 e5 30. Bc5 Bxc5 31. Qc4+ Kh8 32. Qxc5 Bg4
33. Rd6 Rae8 34. a4 Qf7 35. h3 Bc8 36. b5 cxb5 37. axb5 axb5 38. Bd5 Qh5 39.
Bg2 f5 40. Ra8 f4 41. g4 Qh4 Stop!

However you intend on reviewing this game, take a moment to cogitate on White’s next move. As a hint let me say that after teaching budding chess Spuds to ask and answer three questions (1 “Why did my opponent make that move?” 2 “What move do I want, or need, to make, and why?” & 3 “Am I leaving anything en prise?”), the next thing I teach is to, “Examine all checks!” The remaining moves are given at the end of the article.

IM Denis Kadric vs FM Daniel Gurevich
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 6

1.d3 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.Bg2 c5 4.e4 Nc6 5.f4 d6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 e6 9.c3 Nge7 10.O-O O-O 11.Be3 Qd7 12.Rd1 Rac8 13.Na3 f5 14.Qe2 Kh8 15.Nc2 Qc7 16.Bf2 Rce8 17.d4 cxd4 18.Nxd4 Nxd4 19.cxd4 fxe4 20.Qxe4 Nd5 21.h4 Qf7 22.Rac1 Re7 23.a3 Rfe8 24.Qe2 Qf5 25.Be4 Qf7 26.Bf3 Rf8 27.Rd3 Bh6 28.Re1 Rfe8 29.Qf1 Bg7 30.Qg2 Nb6 31.Rd2 Nc4 32.Rde2 d5 33.h5 Nd6 34.hxg6 hxg6 35.Qh2 Kg8 36.g4 g5 37.f5 Ne4 38.Bxe4 dxe4 39.Rxe4 exf5 40.Rxe7 Rxe7 41.Rxe7 Qxe7 42.Qb8 Kh7 43.gxf5 Qe4 44.Qh2 Kg8 45.Qd6 Qg4 46.Kf1 1/2-1/2

FM Daniel Gurevich vs IM Kacper Drozdowski
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 7

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 a6 4.g3 b5 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 b4 8.Na4 Nf6 9.O-O Bxe4 10.Bxe4 Nxe4 11.Re1 Nf6 12.c4 bxc3 13.Qb3 Nc6 14.Nxc6 dxc6 15.Qxc3 Rc8 16.Be3 Nd5 17.Qc4 Qa5 18.Bc5 Qb5 19.Rac1 Be7 20.Bxe7 Qxc4 21.Rxc4 Kxe7 22.Rec1 Kd6 23.Nc5 Rb8 24.b3 Rhc8 25.Ne4 Kd7 26.Nc5 Ke7 27.Nxa6 Ra8 28.Nb4 Nxb4 29.Rxb4 Rxa2 30.Rb7 Kf6 31.Rd1 Rc2 32.Rdd7 Rf8 33.h4 Kg6 34.Rdc7 h5 1/2-1/2

GM Nadezhda Kosintseva vs FM Daniel Gurevich
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 8

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Bd7 10.Nxd7 Qxd7 11.O-O e6 12.Nc3 Rd8 13.Qb3 Be7 14.Be3 O-O 15.Rfd1 a6 16.Bxa6 bxa6 17.Qxb6 Nb4 18.Rac1 Rb8 19.Qa5 Rfd8 20.Rd2 Qb7 21.h3 Rbc8 22.a3 Nd5 23.Rdc2 Nb6 24.Na4 Rxc2 25.Rxc2 Nxa4 26.Qxa4 Bf6 27.Qc6 Qb3 28.Qc3 Qd5 29.Qc5 Qe4 30.Qc6 Qd3 31.Rd2 Qb5 32.Qxb5 axb5 33.Kf1 Kf8 34.Ke2 Ke7 35.Kd3 h5 36.b3 Ra8 37.Ra2 Rd8 38.Ke4 Kd6 39.a4 bxa4 40.Rxa4 Kc6 41.Ra7 h4 42.Rxf7 Rb8 43.Bf4 Rxb3 44.Be5 Rb2 45.Bxf6 Rxf2 46.Rxg7 Rxf6 47.Rg4 Rf2 48.Ke3 Ra2 49.Kf3 Ra3 50.Kf2 Ra2 51.Kg1 Kd5 52.Rxh4 Ra4 53.Rg4 Ra1 54.Kh2 Ra4 55.Kg3 Ra3 56.Kh4 e5 57.dxe5 Kxe5 58.Rg6 Kf4 59.Rf6 Ke5 60.Rf8 Ra4 61.g4 1-0

NM Michael Corallo, who has been playing excellent chess recently, finished with an even score, a half point behind Daniel.

NM Daniel Gater vs NM Michael Corallo
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 6

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.f4 Qc7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bxf6 Nxf6 10.f5 Qc5 11.O-O-O g5 12.fxg6 Bg4 13.gxf7 Kxf7 14.Qd3 Bxd1 15.Nxd1 h5 16.Qb3 d5 17.Nf5 Nxe4 18.Bd3 Nf6 19.Re1 b5 20.Nh4 Bh6 21.Kb1 e6 22.Bg6 Ke7 23.Bf5 Qd4 24.Qg3 Ne4 25.Qc7 Kf6 26.Bxe4 1-0

FM Alex Getz vs NM Michael Corallo
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 8

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.O-O Be7 8.f4 O-O 9.Kh1 Qc7 10.a4 Nc6 11.Be3 Re8 12.Bf3 Na5 13.Nde2 e5 14.f5 Nc4 15.Bc1 d5 16.exd5 Bxf5 17.Ng3 Bg6 18.Nge4 Nd6 19.Re1 Rac8 20.Nxf6 Bxf6 21.Bg4 Rcd8 22.a5 Nc4 23.Ne4 Bh4 24.g3 Be7 25.Qf3 Nxa5 26.Bd2 Nc4 27.Bc3 Bf8 28.Rad1 Nd6 29.Nxd6 Bxd6 30.Bf5 b5 31.Ra1 b4 32.Bd2 Qc4 33.Bxg6 hxg6 34.Qd3 Qxd3 35.cxd3 Bf8 36.Ra5 f6 37.Re4 Rb8 38.Rxa6 Rb5 39.d6 Rd5 40.Bxb4 Rxd3 41.Rc4 e4 42.Rac6 e3 43.Rc8 Rxc8 44.Rxc8 Kf7 45.Kg2 Bxd6 46.Bxd6 Rxd6 47.Kf3 Rd2 48.Rc7 Kg8 49.Kxe3 Rxh2 50.b4 Rb2 51.Rc4 Rb3 52.Kd4 Rxg3 53.b5 Rb3 54.Kc5 Kf7 55.b6 Ke6 56.Re4 Kd7 57.Rd4 Kc8 58.Re4 Rc3 59.Kb5 Rb3 60.Kc6 Rc3 61.Kb5 1/2-1/2

Michael defeated IM Justin Sarkar in the last round.

NM Damir Studen finished on -2, with a score of 3 1/2-5 1/2.

NM Damir Studen vs GM Kayden W Troff
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 7

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 Nc6 6.
Nf3 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. e4 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Na5 10. O-O c5 11. e5 cxd4 12. cxd4 Be6
13. Ng5 Bd5 14. Ne4 Rc8 15. Be3 b6 16. Qd2 Rc4 17. f3 Qd7 18. Qb2 Rfc8 19. Rfc1
Rxc1+ 20. Bxc1 Qa4 21. Bd2 Rc2 22. Qb4 Qxb4 23. Bxb4 Nc6 24. Be1 Bxe4 25. fxe4
Nxd4 26. Rd1 Bxe5 27. Bf2 Ne2+ 28. Kf1 Nc3 29. Rd7 Rxa2 30. Bf3 Kf8 31. h4 Ke8
32. Rb7 Kd8 33. Bg4 Bc7 34. e5 e6 35. Bf3 Nd5 0-1

WIM Mariam Danelia vs NM Damir Studen
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 7

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 a6 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.h3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Be2 c5 11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.O-O Bb7 13.Rfd1 Qb6 14.Be5 Rac8 15.Bd4 Qa5 16.a3 Nce4 17.Bd3 h6 18.Qe2 Nxc3 19.Bxc3 Qc7 20.e4 Rfd8 1/2-1/2

Damir lost to NM Jarod John M Pamatmat his last round game, thus violating LM Brian McCarthy’s rule of “Never leave the gym on a missed hoop!”

NM Sanjay Ghatti found that it don’t come easy in Dallas, scoring only 3 points, but hit nothing but net with his last round win over NM Abhishek Reddy Obili.

NM Sanjay Ghatti vs WFM Patrycja Labedz
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 8

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.c4 e6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Qc7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bd3 Bb4 8.O-O Nc6 9.Be3 Ne5 10.Rc1 Neg4 11.g3 Nxe3 12.fxe3 b6 13.a3 Bd6 14.Qe2 Bb7 15.b4 h5 16.c5 bxc5 17.bxc5 Be5 18.Na4 h4 19.g4 h3 20.c6 dxc6 21.Kh1 Rh4 22.g5 Nxe4 23.Bxe4 Rxe4 24.Nc5 Rxd4 25.exd4 Bxd4 26.g6 Bxc5 27.gxf7 Ke7 28.Rxc5 Qd6 29.Qf2 Rf8 30.Kg1 e5 31.Rxe5 Qxe5 32.Re1 Qxe1 33.Qxe1 Kxf7 34.Qb4 Bc8 35.Qc4 Kg6 36.Qxc6 Kh7 37.Qc5 Kg8 38.Qd5 Kh8 39.a4 Bf5 40.Qc5 Rf6 41.a5 Kh7 42.Kf2 Be4 43.Kg3 Bg2 44.Qc2 Kg8 45.Qc8 Kh7 1/2-1/2

The fact that three of the four Georgia players faced off against women in round eight illustrates the rise in the number of women players. The total score of the men vs women battle in the penultimate round went to the men, 2-1.

Since there were nine rounds the tale of the tournament can be told by breaking down the results into thirds:

1st 2nd 3rd
Gurevich 1 1/2 2 1 1/2
Corallo 1 1/2 1/2 2 1/2
Studen 1 2 1/2
Ghatti 1 1/2 1 1/2

Now for the conclusion of the FM Daniel Gurevich vs IM Keaton F Kiewra game:

42. Rc6 bxc6 43. b7 Qd8 44. b8=Q f3 45. Bf1 Rf6
46. Qcxe5 Rff8 47. Qc5 h6 48. Ra1 Qf6 49. Qba7 Re4 50. Bd3 Rf4 51. Qce7 Qc3 52.
Bf5 Rg8 53. Qee3 Qb4 54. Qc7 Rxf5 55. gxf5 Bxf5 56. Qcf4 Qb2 57. Qee5 1-0

Were you able to find a better move without checking with your “engine” of choice? Did you “examine all checks?”

The Southeast Chess December Open

Grant Oen sent an email notice of the upcoming Southeast Chess December Open (12/5-12/7), which will be held at Emory University next weekend. Grant is an active, and strong, tournament player, who also happens to be owner of the Atlanta Kings. From all indications his tournaments are administered properly, unlike GCA tournaments, which are invariably replete with problems. All chess in Atlanta is not bad, though many may have that impression because of the ineptitude displayed by the incompetent people in power of the GCA.

I received an email from someone who attended the USCF business meetings at the US Open this year in which he wrote about looking around at those attending the meetings, who were almost all old(er), and wondering from where the next generation of leaders would come. Grant is one of those people who will lead chess in the right direction into the future. I urge you to support Mr. Oen. The GCA under the current administration has had a policy of holding events near tournaments held by independent promoters, raining on someone’s parade, in lieu of working with other promoters. As an example, only one of many, the ill-fated, and marred, 2014 GCA Class Championship, was held the weekend after the Southeast Chess November Open. Although I will not urge anyone to attend a GCA event, and I certainly would not advocate anyone consider participating in any event held by the GCA. I can, and fervently do, urge everyone to support Southeast Chess!

Grant has written an excellent article on the Southeast Chess November Open, which includes pictures and a plethora of games! Grant writes, “Prize checks were issued immediately as round 5 games started to conclude.” Contrast this with the GCA’s heterodox “The check is in the mail” policy. Check out the article at, http://georgiachessnews.com/2014/11/20/southeast-chess-november-open-results/.

The Southeast Chess December Open (12/5-12/7) is next weekend in Atlanta!

$4,000 guaranteed in 4 sections: Open, U2000, U1700, and U1400. There are place and class prizes in every section.

USCF Masters (2200+) must register by midnight this Friday, 11/28 to get discounted entry. GMs and IMs free! Early pre-registration for everyone ends next Wednesday, 12/3.

Grant Oen
Southeast Chess

The DeCredico Incident

For me to comment on this would only detract from what you are about to read, which is self-explanatory.

From: Fun Fong [mailto:fun.fong.jr@gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 6:49 AM
> To: Laura Doman (Trinity)
> Cc: Greg Maness; J Parnell Watkins, Jr.; Elena Gratskaya
> Subject: Incident with Chattanooga friends
> Laura,
> This is a draft of what I propose to send to the USCF and to the DeCredicos:
> Dear …..
> This is our account of what occurred during out 2014 Georgia Class Championships. I have known the DeCredico family from several events and from my experience with the DeCredico family from Castle Chess Camp. The family is wonderful. Mr. DeCredico can be an emotional person, and the emotionality is usually expressed in terms of gratitude.
> We suspect that there have been some frustrations which have caused Mr. DeCredico to have had some conflict that have been building up over several tournaments. We later heard that Mr. DeCredico had had some words with Ben Johnson, a Chief TD during a Southeast Chess tournament.
> At our tournament, we inadvertently used the October published ratings to vet our tournament file. The correct information had been entered by Mr. DeCredico, evidenced by our import records, but somehow the October supplement was used to further vet the tournament file. This was certainly our mistake and we freely admit it. This had happened in another incident with a family from Alabama, and we were able to discover this issue and repair the round before the round began, making this family satisfied.
> The lower published rating caused Mr DeCredico’s daughter Zsofia, to have the lowest rating within the section and she ended up being the odd player with a unforced full-point bye. We found an extra rated game for Mr. DeCredico’s daughter with an opponent who was rated slightly higher that her current rating. She seemed to appreciate the pairing and was playing without issue. Mr. DeCredico discovered that an old October published rating was used for her during the round in progress and became agitated, demanding to speak to the person responsible. He quickly became more agitated, and by the time that he came to our Informatics area, he began verbally lashing out at our Informatics Officer, Elena Gratskaya, even before she could begin to address the issue. Our Floor TD, Parnell Watkins attempted to shield Elena physically, fearing that the situation would escalate.
> Mr. DeCredico became loud and abusive, accusing all of the staff of incompetence and intent on causing a scene in the Tournament Hall. He accused our Deputy Chief TD Greg Maness of incompetance. Mr. Maness was unaware of the previous events and responded back to him. Mr. DeCredico told his son Winston that he had to resign, that they were going to leave. He had also brought another Chattanooga player, Expert Zachery Perry, who was compelled to leave his game as well. I arrived on the scene and asked what we could do to help Mr DeCredico. Mr. DeCredico stated that he was intent on leaving, and said that he was too upset to explain to me what was troubling him. I assured him that we would refund his registration feed and wanted to know if we could help him in any other way.
> It took a small bit of time for Mr. DeCredico’s children to leave the hall. Mr. DeCredico became intent on retrieving them. He was extremely agitated and was intent on causing a scene in the Tournament hall where play had started in earnest, about 20-30 minutes into a G/120 round. Floor TD Parnell Watkins barred the door and asked our staffer, Laura Doman to please retrieve his children. Mr DeCredico accused us of keeping him from access to his children. I told Mr. Watkins that we could not keep him from access to his children, but by that time the children had left the hall and were in the corridor.
> The DeCredicos left. We later heard that players and spectators were in fear of their safety. At least one person feared that this man may have been armed. I knew Mr. DeCredico was not a physical threat, but our other staffers did not. Certainly our Informatics officer was put in fear for her safety such that our TD had to interpose physically. The rest of the day was marred with the pall of this incident.
> The DeCredicos abruptly left after the games were well in progress. Someone following one of the games on the internet wondered why one of the games ended abruptly after 21 moves. From a technical standpoint, these games must be scored as rated forfeits; however, we would do whatever the USCF recommended in this particular incident.
> The DeCredicos are a wonderful family. The kids, Zsofia and Winston, are wonderful. Mr. Zachary Perry is a amicable player and one whom we would like to continue to encourage to play. I do not know what other events may have preceded Mr. DeCredico’s agitation that day, but it was not the usual Richard DeCredico demeanor that I have experienced in the past. We will be happy to refund registration fees for these Chattanooga players. We would not necessarily want to ban Richard DeCredico from our tournaments (although some might), but we would want some reassurance from him that he will take definite steps not to threaten our personnel, or cause an explosive outburst with the intent to disrupt one of our tournaments again. Medication might well be necessary. This was a very distasteful incident for all involved that occurred this weekend, and in the interest of our other players who came from AL, NC, SC,TN, and FL to play, we hope not to experience ever again.
> Respectfully submitted,
> Fun Fong, MD
> Chief TD
> 2014 Georgia Class Championships
> 770 / 316-8483 (c)

> On Monday, November 24, 2014 2:27 PM, Laura wrote:
> Very nice, Fun. By the way, I’d like to write an article for the Jan. 1 publication of GeorgiaChessNews.com about the DGT boards. Charles Troutman, Jr. sent me a terrific story about how he was able to watch his son Charles Troutman III’s games live while he was on business in India. (His son went on to become the 6th grade state champion.) I’d like to get more info from you and ChaCha and anyone else who can talk more about the technology and make it a truly informative article.
> Have a Happy Thanksgiving, all!
> Laura

On Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 4:10 PM, Greg Maness wrote:
> To All … …
> [note … I added Frank Johnson to my reply here as he was involved in the incident due to his intervention and I added Ben Johnson as his name was mentioned in reference to a prior incident involving this same person]
> I had dinner with a lawyer friend (a criminal defense attorney) last night after the tournament and had lunch with same lawyer friend today (he’s also a former tournament chess player from Pennsylvania). Yes, we did discuss the incidents of Saturday … and, no, I did not mention anyone by name. He was also very surprised and distressed that an organization as the Georgia Chess Association does not retain legal counsel nor does not have an attorney who serves as a “friend of the organization” who is either an elected board member or serves as a staff member for the board. He especially stressed this with the fact the G.C.A. sanctions so many activities that involve minor children.
> Based on the conversations with the lawyer, I do want to comment on a couple of issues. First and most importantly … Parnell Watkins and I physically barring Mr. DeCredico from the tournament hall … not only were we “well within our rights,” we were also “well within our OBLIGATION” to not allow him entrance to the tournament hall (and especially in the absence of law enforcement personal) as our concern was the ASSURANCE OF THE SAFETY of the 50-odd people who were in the tournament hall. The fact his own children (or so he thought) were in the tournament hall is irrelevant as the safety of all parties concerned supersedes that … and especially since the perceived danger to anyone in the tournament hall came from Mr. DeCredico himself. I was given the example of a Principle-imposed school lockdown where no parent would ever be given access to the building and thus their children. I was also advised that had we PERMITTED his entrance to the tournament hall (due to the obvious circumstances) … and had there been an incident that compromised the safety of anyone therein … that WE (the G.C.A., the tournament personal, the hotel, etc.) could be held responsible and liable.
> I do wish to add THREE participants in the tournament came to me (separately and hours apart) and each told me they were “afraid he was going to get a gun out of that big bag he was carrying and start shooting!” I also overheard a fourth player telling another player the same thing.
> Dr. Fong’s statements here are very well-written and very accurate! But … also many of Dr. Fong’s statements are irrelevant as they pertain directly to Mr. DeCredico’s actions. Mr. DeCredico’s actions were completely unjustifiable. Using wrong rating supplements … making erroneous pairings … etc … none of that gives justification or warrant to the actions (verbal and near-physical) taken by Mr. DeCredico. I do, however (with one exception to which I am coming), stand with what Dr. Fong has written.
> My exception: Dr. Fong’s statement “We would not necessarily want to ban Richard DeCredico from our tournaments.” SERIOUSLY?? In any other sport (and we all want chess … especially organized chess … to be given the respect it deserves on par with other sports) this type of outburst and action would not be tolerated and severe justice involving a suspension would be handed out. Imagine had this been a golf tournament or bowling tournament (both where I have experience) or a tennis tournament where this outburst had occurred … he would immediately be expelled from the tournament (do note: during his outburst I forfeited his game [the USCF Rulebook supports my action]; he didn’t need to resign) and he would be given a suspension (and probably a fine, too, if it was a professional organization such as the PGA) … and, also, we would not be implying justification of his actions or implying the sanctioning organization somehow shares the blame!. The same with any team sport … … …
> I would also strike the “Medication might well be necessary” statement from any correspondence with the USCF. That could give grounds for libel suit by Mr. DeCredico!
> Since Mr. DeCredico repeatedly, loudly, and in front of many witnesses (including the few hundred who were in the hallway for the other of the hotel’s scheduled event) was calling me a “pedophile” and saying I “should be arrested,” my lawyer friend also said I had a case to sue him for civil slander (I believe Mr. DeCredico made similar references towards Mr. Watkins). I just laughed and said we were very far from even considering, much less undertaking such action! Read that as I would just rather it be forgotten.
> That is all I have to state at this time.
> — Greg Maness

> On Monday, November 24, 2014 5:16 PM, Fun Fong wrote:
> Greg,
> Why don’t you write up your version of events? I think I have not heard your experience.
> Fun

On Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 7:11 PM, Greg Maness wrote:
> Fun … … my version of the events is not that different from what you have already written … actually, not any different. You just had more details (spec. the incident in the Informatics room). All I could add is the number of participants expressing concerns over their personal safety. I don’t know if the USCF needs to be made aware of the legal aspects concerning our securing the tournament hall or not. If you would like to edit your draft to include notes from my comment e-mail (i.e. # players voicing safety concerns), that is fine with me.
> — Greg

From: Fun Fong
> Date: Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 7:30 PM
> Subject: Re: Incident with Chattanooga friends
> To: Greg Maness , gcaboard Board
> Cc: Laura , Frank Johnson , Ben Johnson , “J Parnell Watkins, Jr.” , Elena Gratskaya
> Greg,
> The way I see it, while some may feel justified in saying they were protecting the players, Mr. DeCredico has a credible assault and battery threat because he was touched. If this goes to court, then we all lose, no matter what. The best thing to do in legal matters is usually “not to play.” In this case, we need to learn how to de-escalate people as people begin to get agitated. One should always try de-escalation first. That way, something so small an item never comes to this. I am not sure this incident could have been avoided, but I would sure try my darndest to make sure that it didn’t get so far out of control.
> Mr. DeCredico has emailed me, demanding that our personnel be more people friendly and customer-oriented. I have told him that I will take steps to do so. He has apologized to me and has sent two emails, which I will first send to the Board for comments and then to the people involved. I think his perceptions in his second email may have some degree of validity.
> I think this incident has uncovered some significant vulnerabilities of the organization. For one, we currently have no liability insurance. A lawsuit would likely be the death of GCA. As much as I would like to put this event to bed, I think a “lessons learned” after-action report would be appropriate with all involved contributing.
> I don’t think we will have any further action from Mr. DeCredico. Let’s learn from this and see if we can prevent another incident like this again.
> Fun

On Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM, Greg Maness wrote:
>> To All … …
>> I was not a witness to anything that occurred in the Informatics Room, so I can not address that. Apparently, Mr. DeCredico claims someone touched him. If that happened in Informatics, I was not there to witness … and perhaps it is better I do NOT know! If that happened outside the tournament hall, I did not witness it. Also, when Mr. Watkins and I were denying his entrance into the tournament hall I made special effort to NOT touch him … as did Mr. Watkins. Now, as far as the action of denying his re-entrance to the tournament hall … I stand by what I previously stated — which is what I was advised by a criminal defense attorney … “we were ‘well within our rights,’ we were also ‘well within our OBLIGATION’ to not allow him entrance to the tournament hall as our concern was the ASSURANCE OF THE SAFETY of the 50-odd people who were in the tournament hall … (and) had we PERMITTED his entrance to the tournament hall … and had there been an incident that compromised the safety of anyone therein … that WE (the G.C.A., the tournament personal, the hotel, etc.) could be held responsible and liable.” Note he (the lawyer) included the HOTEL as being liable as well!
>> I agree with Dr. Fong on several points. Yes, if this were to ever to go to court, “we would all lose.” Even if we (the G.C.A.) were to “win” … and I am sure we WOULD win in court in this situation … we still “lose.” No argument from me. As far as trying to de-escalate a situation … I was under the impression that was attempted; it just did no good in this case — also as Dr. Fong has alluded.
>> Mr. DeCredico has apparently “demanded our personnel be more friendly and customer-oriented.” Being “more friendly” is a perception, but I will give him that one. I am not sure what he means by “being more customer-oriented.” Apparently pairing errors were made … okay, those were just honest mistakes. Remedying that is an “in-house” issue. As far as “customer-orientation,” what is perceived as a problem(s), I would need more information before I gave my opinion there. Also, any past issues involving Mr. DeCredico and Southeast Chess, et al, is not relevant here (unless deemed so by the USCF in establishing a pattern of behaviour).
>> Dr. Fong is dead on with this has uncovered some significant vulnerabilities! Remember, I stated my lawyer friend was “very surprised and distressed that an organization as the Georgia Chess Association does not retain legal counsel nor does not have an attorney who serves as a “friend of the organization” who is either an elected board member or serves as a staff member for the board. He especially stressed this with the fact the G.C.A. sanctions so many activities that involve minor children.” Add to that, as Dr. Fong has mentioned, the lack of liability insurance never entered my mind! [Perhaps another phone call to Kelly Hillyer is in order.]
>> Should further action be taken by the G.C.A. (and the USCF) against Mr. DeCredico? That is not for me to say for the record. But … three tournament (adult) participants (and a fourth who did not address me directly) clearly stated to me they were in fear for their own personal safety! I can only imagine what was going through the minds of the many children who were witnesses to this situation. If the G.C.A. does not take action, I am afraid the perception of the G.C.A. in the eyes of many members and players will not be very favourable.
>> — Greg Maness

From: Fun Fong
>> Date: November 25, 2014 at 12:11:01 PM EST
>> To: Greg Maness
>> Cc: gcaboard Board , Laura , Frank Johnson , Ben Johnson , “J Parnell Watkins, Jr.” , Elena Gratskaya
>> Subject: Re: Incident with Chattanooga friends
>> I am also seeking legal advice.
>> GCA cannot sustain legal action (costs). As I said, if this were to progress to a lawsuit, we might win on the merits, but we would lose, likely losing the organization.
>> This is a conundrum. My thought is that we must avoid a legal action at all costs. I now think that Mr. DeCredico will complain to USCF and we need to have possible responses lined up. I will be using the legal advice to consider these factors.
>> Mr. DeCredico states that both he and his children were touched. This is becoming a “he said, he said” story. I think we should look for witnesses.
>> I think that we should discuss this issue at the Board in closed session, after the official Board meeting is over on 2 December. Discussion is available to non-board members now.
>> Fun

GCA Spends Lavishly, Delays Payment to Workers

It is obvious that with the three recent resignations by GCA board members, Frank Johnson, Tim Payne, and Treasurer Pam Little, the GCA has been rocked, and is reeling with the feeling. Rumors are rampant and abundant emails are rife with accusations of malfeasance. There are reports that although the GCA spent lavishly for the recent 2014 Grade Level Championships, some, or maybe all, of the workers have not been paid, or are being asked to accept delayed payment because the GCA has no money to pay.

Exact information is difficult to come by because all of the players have “nutted-up.” There has still been no word from the GCA concerning why the three GCA board members resigned. This is especially troubling since one of those who resigned was the Treasurer. What does Pam Little know, and when did she know it? Taking a page out of the Woodward and Bernstein book about Watergate someone needs to “Follow the money.” This is extremely difficult when the books remain closed, but occasionally something surfaces, like furniture on the ill-fated Titanic.
The Legendary Georgia Ironman went by the 2014 GCA Grade Levels. All he could talk about was the “Big urns of coffee, and sandwiches piled high, along with a mountain of salad and huge vat of pickles.” Tim continued, excitedly saying, “It must have cost $500…maybe $1000!” I thought the Ironman was exaggerating. The following expense report shows Tim was right on the mark.

GCA Grade Levels 2014 DRAFT (Nov 9, 2014)


Section # Players Entry Sub Total
Entry Fee 294 $25 $7,350
Volunteer Entry 25 $0 $0
Vendor sales (12%) ? $0
Total $7,350


Expense Amount
Lead volunteer & TD honorariums $0
Venue – Marriott Perimeter Center $3,252.38
Prize – Stipend awards* $1400.00
Security $0
Trophies (Crown) $1,031.44
Paypal Fee (294x$.85) $249.90
Volunteer Food & Supplies** (setup/b’fast/lunch/snacks/food for HS section in lieu of trophies) $829.77
Copies (signage, result slips) $54.33
Bulb rental $50.00
Insurance $0
USCF Rating Fee $189.50
Total $7,057.32

*hotel coffee was $195 (included in venue bill)

*Final count for stipends used will come later – max amt included in draft

Income – Expenses = ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬$7,350.00 – $7,057.32 = $292.68

The total coast of food and coffee is $1024.77. Keep in mind this was the tournament in which 170 children were, at one time, on a “waiting-list,” with many more not on the list because word got around the community there was no reason to add little Spud to the list. Also, the high school players did not turnout because they do not care for the quick time limit, so one room was mostly empty. Another 80 players could have filled that room. It boggles the mind that any organization would pay over 3 grand for an inadequate venue.
What jumps out at you is that the GCA had no security and no insurance. One would think that with no insurance the GCA would NEED security. There are those in our society who would point this out as a reason to come to the tournament well-armed.

Georgians at UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open

FM Gurevich Daniel, NM Damir Studen, NM Michael Corallo, and NM Sanjay Ghatti travelled to Dallas, Texas, to participate in the UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014 chess tournament during the 51st anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, with the Coups d’état taking place in the heart of the city at Dealey Plaza, on Friday, November 22, 1963, a day that will live in infamy.

Georgia players made their presence felt in the first round:

NM Michael P Corallo vs GM Kayden W Troff
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 1

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6.
Bg5 Nbd7 7. Bc4 Qc7 8. Bb3 e6 9. Qd2 Nc5 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. O-O-O Bd7 12. Qf4
Be7 13. Nf5 exf5 14. Nd5 Qc8 15. Nxe7 Kxe7 16. Qxd6+ Ke8 17. Qxf6 Nxb3+ 18.
axb3 Rg8 19. Qe5+ Kf8 20. Qd6+ Ke8 21. Qe5+ Kf8 22. Qd6+ 1/2 – 1/2

FM Daniel Gurevich vs GM Conrad Holt
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 1

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 O-O 8.O-O Nc6 9.h3 h6 10.a3 Bf5 11.Re1 Re8 12.Rxe8 Qxe8 13.Be3 Rd8 14.Qe2 Qd7 15.Rd1 Ne4 16.Nb5 Re8 17.d5 Ne5 18.Nxd6 Nxd6 19.Nxe5 Rxe5 20.Rd4 Qe7 21.g4 Bg6 22.Bd3 Bxd3 23.Qxd3 h5 24.Kg2 hxg4 25.hxg4 Qd7 26.Qd1 Nb5 27.Rd3 Re4 28.f3 Re8 29.d6 Nxd6 30.Bxa7 Qb5 31.Bd4 Nc4 32.a4 Qg5 33.Qc2 Nd6 34.Qd2 Qg6 35.Re3 Rxe3 36.Bxe3 f5 37.Qd5 Kh7 38.Bf4 fxg4 39.Bxd6 cxd6 40.Qxb7 Qc2 41.Kg3 gxf3 42.Qxf3 Qxa4 1/2-1/2

NM Damir Studen v GM Cristhian Cruz
The UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open 2014
Rd 1

1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2
Be7 7. Bg2 d5 8. Ne5 c6 9. Bf4 Nfd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. Nd2 O-O 12. e4 Bb4 13.
Qc2 e5 14. dxe5 dxc4 15. bxc4 Qe7 16. O-O Nxe5 17. Qa4 Nxc4 18. Qxa6 Nxd2 19.
Rfd1 Nxe4 20. Qc4 Nc3 21. Re1 Qc5 22. Qxc5 Bxc5 23. Bxc6 Rad8 24. Be5 Nd5 25.
a3 Ne7 26. Bb5 Rd2 27. Re2 Rfd8 28. Bc3 Rxe2 29. Bxe2 Nc6 30. Bb5 Nd4 31. Bxd4
Rxd4 32. Ra2 g6 33. a4 Kf8 34. Re2 a6 35. Bc6 Rd6 36. Re8+ Kg7 37. Bf3 Kf6 38.
Be2 Rd4 39. Bxa6 Rxa4 40. Be2 Ra2 41. Kf1 b5 42. f4 b4 43. Rb8 Rc2 44. h3 h5
45. Rb7 Ke6 46. Bd3 Rc1+ 47. Ke2 Be7 48. Be4 f5 49. Rb6+ Bd6 50. Bf3 Rc2+ 51.
Kd3 Rh2 52. Kd4 Rxh3 53. Bd5+ Kd7 54. Rb7+ Bc7 55. Kc5 Rxg3 56. Bc6+ Kc8 57.
Rxb4 Rg4 58. Be8 Kd8 59. Bc6 Bxf4 60. Rd4+ Ke7 61. Rd7+ Kf6 62. Kd4 1/2-1/2

Yet another escape from Damir, the Houdini of Georgia chess. He seems to have a penchant for holding a bad position, a good quality to possess.

GM Conrad Holt vs NM Michael P Corallo
The UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open 2014
Rd 2

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.e4 d6 6.a3 Bxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.e5 dxe5 9.dxe5 Ng4 10.f4 f6 11.exf6 Qxf6 12.Bd3 e5 13.Nf3 exf4 14.Bxh7 Kh8 15.O-O Nc6 16.h3 Nh6 17.Bxf4 Qxf4 18.Nh4 Qe3 19.Kh1 Rxf1 20.Rxf1 g6 21.Nxg6 Kg7 22.Nf4 Qe8 23.Bg6 Qe3 24.Nh5 Kh8 25.Rf8 Ng8 26.Rf7 Nh6 27.Rf8 Ng8 28.Rf7 Nh6 29.Rh7 Kg8 30.Qd1 Bxh3 31.Qd5 1-0

FM Daniel Gurevich vs NM Christopher Toolin
The UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open 2014
Rd 3

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.O-O Qc7 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Bh4 g6 14.Bg3 Nh5 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Bb5 Nd8 17.Ne5 Nf7 18.f4 Qb6 19.Qd3 Nd6 20.Ba4 Ne4 21.Bc2 Nhf6 22.g4 Bd7 23.a4 Bc6 24.Rab1 a5 25.Nc3 Rad8 26.Qe3 Nd6 27.Bd3 Nf7 28.h3 Nxe5 29.Qxe5 Rde8 30.Qe3 Qb4 31.Bc2 Nd7 32.Rf3 e5 33.Na2 Qxd4 34.fxe5 Nxe5 35.Rxf8 Rxf8 36.Qxd4 Nf3 37.Kg2 Nxd4 38.Bd1 Ne6 39.b4 d4 40.Kg3 Ng5 41.Rb2 Ne4 42.Kh2 Nc3 43.Bb3 Kg7 44.bxa5 Rf3 45.Nb4 Be4 46.Rd2 d3 47.Bc4 Nb1 48.Rxd3 Bxd3 49.Nxd3 Na3 50.a6 Nxc4 51.axb7 Rf8 52.Nc5 Na5 53.Ne6 Kg8 54.Nxf8 Nxb7 55.Ne6 Kf7 56.Ng5 Kg7 57.Kg3 h6 58.Ne4 Kf7 59.Kf4 1-0

FM Alec Getz vs FM Daniel Gurevich
The UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open 2014
Rd 4

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 Rb8 7.Nge2 e5 8.Nd5 (TN) Nge7 9.c3 O-O 10.O-O Nxd5 11.exd5 Ne7 12.a3 Nf5 13.Bd2 Bd7 14.b4 b6 15.Qb3 Qc7 16.Rfc1 Rfe8 17.Rab1 h5 18.b5 h4 19.Qc4 h3 20.Bh1 Qd8 21.a4 Bh6 22.Bxh6 Nxh6 23.Rc2 f5 24.Nc1 Qg5 25.Nb3 Ng4 26.Nd2 Re7 27.Re1 Rbe8 28.Qa2 Kg7 29.Nc4 Qf6 30.Rce2 e4 31.dxe4 fxe4 32.Bxe4 Rxe4 33.Rxe4 Qf3 0-1

GM Nadezhda Kosintseva vs NM Sanjay Ghatti
The UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open 2014
Rd 4

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.c3 a6 7.Bf4 (7. Be3 Bxf3 8. Qxf3 Nxe5 9. Qd1 e6 10. Be2 Ne7 11. b4 Nf5 12. Bf4 Nc6 13. O-O g6 14. Bd3 Bg7 15. Bxf5 gxf5 16. Bd6 a5 17. bxa5 Rxa5 18. Nd2 Qd7 19. Nb3 Ra4 20. Nd2 Ra3 21. Rb1 Be5 22. Bxe5 Nxe5 23. Re1 Ng6 24. Qc1 Rxa2 25. Nf3 O-O 26. h4 f6 27. Rb6 e5 28. Qb1 Ra7 29. Rd6 Qc8 30. Rxd5 Ne7 31. Rd6 Qxc5 32. Qb3+ Kh8 33. Rd7 Ng6 34. Qe6 b5 35. Rxa7 Qxa7 36. Qxf5 Qg7 37. Rd1 Nf4 38. g3 Ne2+ 39. Kg2 Qg6 40. Qxg6 hxg6 41. Rd7 Nxc3 42. Rb7 Kg8 43. g4 Rd8 44. h5 g5 45. Nh2 Rd4 46. f3 Rd2+ 47. Kh1 Rb2 48. Nf1 e4 49. fxe4 Nxe4 50. Ne3 Rb3 51. Nd5 Nf2+ 52. Kg1 Nxg4 53. Ne7+ Kf8 54. Nf5 Rh3 55. h6 Nxh6 56. Kg2 g4 57. Nd4 Re3 58. Kf2 Re4 59. Nxb5 Rb4 60. Rh7 Rxb5 61. Rxh6 Kg7 62. Rh4 f5 63. Kg3 Kg6 64. Rh8 Rb3+ 65. Kg2 Kg5 0-1, Tatiana Kosintseva 2515 vs Alexandra Kosteniuk 2495, 63rd ch-RUS w 2013) 7… e6 8.b4 Nge7 9.Bd3 d4 10.h3 (This position was reached in the game Gulruhbegim Tokhirjonova 2126 vs Ekaterina Dyakonova 1928, 2013 WCh U14 Girls when 10 a3 was played-1-0 49) Bxf3 11.Qxf3 dxc3 12.Nxc3 Nxb4 13.Be4 Nec6 14.O-O Nd4 15.Qg4 Nbc6 16.Rfd1 Qc7 17.Bxc6 Nxc6 18.Ne4 h5 19.Qg3 Nb4 20.Nd6 Bxd6 21.cxd6 Qd7 22.Qxg7 O-O-O 23.Rac1 Nc6 24.Qg3 Kb8 25.Qb3 Rc8 26.Be3 b5 27.Bb6 Kb7 28.Bc7 Nxe5 29.Qe3 1-0

NM Damir Studen vs FM Alec Getz
The UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open 2014
Rd 5

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bg5 Be7 8.e3 O-O 9.Be2 Nbd7 10.O-O Ne4 11.Bf4 Bd6 12.Bxd6 Nxc3 13.bxc3 cxd6 14.c4 Nf6 1/2-1/2

FM Daniel Gurevich vs GM Cristhian Cruz
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 5

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6.
h3 e6 7. g4 Be7 8. Bg2 Nfd7 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Qe2 O-O 11. O-O-O Nxd4 12. Bxd4 b5
13. e5 d5 14. Nxd5 exd5 15. Bxd5 Rb8 16. Ba7 Rb7 17. Bxb7 Bxb7 18. Rhe1 Qc7 19.
e6 Nf6 20. Bd4 Nd5 21. Qe5 Qxe5 22. Rxe5 f6 23. Ree1 Re8 24. h4 Nf4 25. Bb6 Ng2
26. Rh1 Bc6 27. Rd4 Bf8 28. Rd8 Rxe6 29. Bc5 Be8 30. Bxf8 Kxf8 31. Kd2 Ke7 32.
Rd4 Bc6 33. Rh3 Ne1 34. Rf4 Kd6 35. b3 Ng2 36. Rd4+ Kc5 37. Rd8 Kb6 38. h5 h6
39. Rd4 a5 40. a3 Ne1 41. Rf4 Ng2 42. Rd4 Ne1 43. Rf4 Ng2 1/2-1/2

After five rounds FM Gurevich has 3 points; NMs Corallo and Studen have 2 points; and NM Ghatti has 1 1/2 points. Round 6 will be contested tonight, Monday, November 24, 5:00 p.m, CST. (http://www.utdallas.edu/chess/chess-team/fall-fide-open-2014.html)

The Chess Mind

Writing on his blog, “The Chess Mind,” (http://www.thechessmind.net/blog/2014/11/20/the-world-championship-on-espn.html) Dennis Monokroussos takes exception to the title of an article appearing on the Grantland website, “Alien Space Tours, Vladimir Putin, and World-Exploding Double Blunders: Welcome to the 2014 World Championship.”
(http://grantland.com/the-triangle/world-chess-championship-aliens-vladimir-putin-magnus-carlsen-vishy-anand/). He writes, “I have only one real complaint about the article, and chances are it’s not the author’s fault: the headline.” Later he has this to say, “Thanks for nothing, Bill Simmons and ESPN.”

Dennis is obviously unaware of the expression, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” (“The proverbial expression began to be used in the early 20th century. The earliest version that I have found in print is from the US newspaper The Atlanta Constitution, January, 1915:

All publicity is good if it is intelligent.

The thought behind the proverb had been expressed earlier by Oscar Wilde:

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/there-is-no-such-thing-as-bad-publicity.html)

It is good for the Royal game when those outside of chess write about the game, and it is even better for those involved with the chess to listen to those on the outside looking in because perception is reality.

Spike Friedman, author of the aforementioned article, wrote this, “I didn’t see the blunder. I mean, I saw it. I was watching the match at about five in the morning, but I didn’t see what happened as it happened. The Houdini computer I was watching along with immediately registered the swing in win expectancy, but it frequently shows wild results in the first few seconds after a move. I’ve grown numb to the initial burst that suggests a move may have been a crucial blunder, as the computer often needs to push a little deeper before seeing that the status quo has not shifted. Additionally, the broadcast had gone to a break, so there was no live commentary on the moves. You can hear a snippet of the ad in the YouTube capture of the moment. Anand had already played before the commentators were back on air.”

I checked the USCF website but could not find a rating for Spike, so he must be one of the “many” who play and/or follow chess but cannot find a reason to join USCF.

The article contains a video of the missing moments during the now infamous double blunders.

This is incredible! Vishy did not, as I wrote earlier, make an instantaneous move. How could Vishy have sat there a full minute and not have seen Knight takes pawn? Only one who has been there and done that can understand the chess mind.

Spike writes, “…chess is a game of two people trying to be the better human.”

Actually, Spike, the reason they are playing the match is because, like the Highlander, “there can be only one.” Spike goes on, getting carried away with, “A generous interpretation of a world championship in chess, then, would be to say that it’s the crowning of the ultimate human.”

All I know is that both of the humans have held title of World Chess Champion. I suppose one could think of them as the “ultimate” chess champion, but “ultimate human?” I will leave that for others to decide.

Spike has also determined, “…it also means that the world championship is being contested at a lower level than usual.”

Spike does not mention what his buddy Houdini has to say, but it could also mean this is a much better match “than usual.” I read a quote contained in one of the excellent blog posts by GM Vlad Tkachiev translated and printed on the Chess24 website (https://chess24.com/). “The level of the match will be determined by the level of Anand’s play.” Vishy has played much better chess and, unlike the first match, this one is not a “walk-over.” A close match produces much more stress and strain. The only explanation is that both players “cracked” and happened to do it in back to back moves.

What damages the credibility of the Royal game is a headline like this one: “Fide yet to get World Chess Championship prize fund”

The article begins, ” It is inconceivable that the Russian organizers of the ongoing world chess championship won’t pay Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand their match fees, but a top official on Friday revealed that the world chess federation hadn’t yet received in its bank account the event’s prize fund of €1 million. Coming at the halfway stage, barely two weeks before the match is to conclude, it points to the state of affairs at the world chess federation better known by its French acronym Fide (derived from Federation Internationale des Eches).” (http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/T6963pMV10OYMUy1K7e9SK/World-chess-federation-yet-to-receive-prize-fund.html?utm_source=copy)

The insular chess world needs to take note of how the game is portrayed in the media, especially social media.

Chess and Luck

Is there luck in chess? After receiving a “gift” from former World Champion Viswanathan Anand in sixth game of the current match for the championship of the world, World Champion Magnus Carlsen admitted he was “lucky.” When playing backgammon professionally decades ago some of my vanquished opponents would say, “You were lucky.” My response was invariably the same, “I had rather be lucky than good, because when I am good and lucky, I cannot be beat!”

I found this on the “Sabermetric Research” blog by Phil Birnbaum: Monday, January 14, 2013

Chess and luck

“In previous posts, I argued about how there’s luck in golf, and how there’s luck in foul shooting in basketball. But what about games of pure mental performance, like chess? Is there luck involved in chess? Can you win a chess game because you were lucky?

Yes.” (http://blog.philbirnbaum.com/2013/01/chess-and-luck.html) Read the post to understand why Phil thinks there is luck involved in chess.

Later in the post Phil writes, “On an old thread (http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/poker_is_a_game_of_skill_not_luck/#27) over at Tango’s blog, someone pointed this out: if you get two chess players of exactly equal skill, it’s 100 percent a matter of luck which one wins. That’s got to be true, right?”

In #27 James writes, “I think it comes down to what is the relative difference in skill between players and the role of skill vs luck in a game.

If a game is 100% skill (say chess) and say for the sake of argument that the two players are perfectly equally skilled then who wins a single game is purely luck. Regardless of whether they are two unskilled beginners or the two best players in the world.

How do you differentiate between that and the two of them tossing a coin.”

Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov were “the two players perfectly equally skilled.” Garry was obviously not the equal of Anatoly when they first met in the ill-fated match that went on for many months, with one short draw after another after Kasparov was down 0-5, until the slight Karpov neared collapse, when Kasparov won 3 games before FIDE President Florencio Campomanes ended the match, fearing one of the players may “drop dead at the board.” From the second match on, Kasparov was ever so slightly better than the much older Karpov. We know this because they played hundreds of games in many matches for the title. Games are played to determine who is the better player, and by what margin.

Because my friend the Discman played, and has followed, baseball, and because Sabermetrics emanates from the field of dreams, I asked him to read the post and let me know what he thought of luck in chess. This is his response:

“I have a much less esoteric and simplistic example of luck in chess. This happens frequently in over-the-board tournament games where neither player is being assisted by a computer. The frequency is directly correlated to the strength of the players, occurring less frequently the stronger the players are. At my level of play when facing competition of similar strength it occurred maybe once every 20-25 games. Here goes:

I’m sure you have heard it said that chess is 98% tactics and I generally agree with that. How many times have you gone back over your games and realized that you had made a significant oversight that your opponent could have taken advantage of, but also missed?

In many cases, seeing the correct combination to punish you was well within the skill level of your opponent, but for any number of reasons (he was having a bad day, he was distracted at that moment, his biorhythm’s were off, etc.) he just missed it.

If he had been put in that same situation next Tuesday instead of today he may very well have seen it. You were lucky that he missed it – he didn’t miss it because you were a stronger player than he was.

Sometimes the oversight is so simple a 1200 player could see it, like the time Leonard Dickerson missed a mate in 1 and got checkmated by a 1500 player. There was a simple defense to the checkmate – in fact the move Leonard made allowed the mate so it was truly a Helpmate. You could put Leonard in similar situations 10,000 times and he would make a similar mistake 1 time.

Did his opponent get lucky? Hell yes he did. You might argue that the 1500 player was better than the master at that one point in time but I don’t think so – he got extremely lucky that Leonard had a brain-fart that allowed a mate in 1.”

Luck in Chess?

‘Chess,’ said the Dutch grandmaster, Jan Hein Donner, ‘is as much a game of chance as blackjack; or tossing cards into a top hat.’ There was a pained silence, then a polite babel of disagreement: it was a game of the utmost skill; a conflict between disciplined minds in which victory would inexorably go to the more perceptive, the more analytical player; a duel of the intellect in which luck played no part. Donner shrugged, lit another cigarette and said: ‘Believe that if you like.’ Bent Larsen smiled the smile of a man who had heard his friend air such iconoclastic arguments in the past but was quite happy to contest them again, when the score of the fifth game of the World Championship match between Karpov and Korchnoi was brought in. Both men pulled out of their inside pockets the wallet sets all grandmasters seem to carry at all times and began to skim through the moves.

It happened that the teleprinter tape had been torn off after Karpov’s 54th move as Black […]. They studied the position for a few moments, mated Karpov in four moves and were surprised when another whole sheet of moves was brought from the teleprinter.

When they saw Korchnoi’s 55th move – Be4+ – Larsen’s eyebrows went up.

‘There you are,’ Donner said, quietly and without triumph as though some self-evident truth had been revealed, ‘pure luck’.

KORTSCHNOJ,V (2665) – KARPOV,AN (2725) (05) [E42]

1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Nge2 d5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Nxc3
cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. Be3 O-O 11. O-O b6 12. Qd3 Bb7 13.
Rad1 h6 14. f3 Ne7 15. Bf2 Nfd5 16. Ba2 Nf4 17. Qd2 Nfg6 18. Bb1 Qd7
19. h4 Rfd8 20. h5 Nf8 21. Bh4 f6 22. Ne4 Nd5 23. g4 Rac8 24. Bg3 Ba6
25. Rfe1 Rc6 26. Rc1 Ne7 27. Rxc6 Qxc6 28. Ba2 Qd7 29. Nd6 Bb7 30.
Nxb7 Qxb7 31. Qe3 Kh8 32. Rc1 Nd5 33. Qe4 Qd7 34. Bb1 Qb5 35. b4 Qd7
36. Qd3 Qe7 37. Kf2 f5 38. gxf5 exf5 39. Re1 Qf6 40. Be5 Qh4+ 41. Bg3
Qf6 42. Rh1 Nh7 43. Be5 Qg5 44. Qxf5 Qd2+ 45. Kg3 Nhf6 46. Rg1 Re8
47. Be4 Ne7 48. Qh3 Rc8 49. Kh4 Rc1 50. Qg3 Rxg1 51. Qxg1 Kg8 52. Qg3
Kf7 53. Bg6+ Ke6 54. Qh3+ Kd5
55. Be4+
[55. Bf7+ Kc6 56. Qe6+ Kb7 [56… Kb5 57. Qc4+ Ka4 58. Qa6#] 57. Qxe7+
Ka8 58. Qd8+ Kb7 59. Qc7+ Ka6 [59… Ka8 60. Qb8#] 60. Bc4+ b5 61.

55… Nxe4 56. fxe4+ Kxe4 57. Qg4+ Kd3 58. Qf3+ Qe3 59. Kg4 Qxf3+ 60.
Kxf3 g6 61. Bd6 Nf5 62. Kf4 Nh4 63. Kg4 gxh5+ 64. Kxh4 Kxd4 65. Bb8
a5 66. Bd6 Kc4 67. Kxh5 a4 68. Kxh6 Kb3 69. b5 Kc4 70. Kg5 Kxb5 71.
Kf5 Ka6 72. Ke6 Ka7 73. Kd7 Kb7 74. Be7 Ka7 75. Kc7 Ka8 76. Bd6 Ka7
77. Kc8 Ka6 78. Kb8 b5 79. Bb4 Kb6 80. Kc8 Kc6 81. Kd8 Kd5 82. Ke7
Ke5 83. Kf7 Kd5 84. Kf6 Kd4 85. Ke6 Ke4 86. Bf8 Kd4 87. Kd6 Ke4 88.
Bg7 Kf4 89. Ke6 Kf3 90. Ke5 Kg4 91. Bf6 Kh5 92. Kf5 Kh6 93. Bd4 Kh7
94. Kf6 Kh6 95. Be3+ Kh5 96. Kf5 Kh4 97. Bd2 Kg3 98. Bg5 Kf3 99. Bf4
Kg2 100. Bd6 Kf3 101. Bh2 Kg2 102. Bc7 Kf3 103. Bd6 Ke3 104. Ke5 Kf3
105. Kd5 Kg4 106. Kc5 Kf5 107. Kxb5 Ke6 108. Kc6 Kf6 109. Kd7 Kg7
110. Be7 Kg8 111. Ke6 Kg7 112. Bc5 Kg8 113. Kf6 Kh7 114. Kf7 Kh8 115.
Bd4+ Kh7 116. Bb2 Kh6 117. Kg8 Kg6 118. Bg7 Kf5 119. Kf7 Kg5 120. Bb2
Kh6 121. Bc1+ Kh7 122. Bd2 Kh8 123. Bc3+ Kh7 124. Bg7 1/2-1/2

From The Master Game, Book 2, Jeremy James and William Hartston (1981). London: BBC.

Note on the Gettysburg Address

On this date in 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/)

My cousin Linda taught high school English. During a discussion years ago she said, “The Gettysburg Address is the greatest speech ever delivered.” I scoffed, and ridiculed the thing, which shocked her. “You have been taught to say that, Linda,” I said. “Have you ever thought about what it says.”

In his “Note on the Gettysburg Address” H.L. Mencken wrote, “The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history…the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination – that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”

The Legendary Georgia Ironman recently mentioned some of the parents of the Indian children he teaches have asked him why Southern people still harbor ill feelings about a war fought 150 years ago. LM Brian McCarthy moved to south Georgia to teach high school and mentioned something about all the monuments in the small town, something one does not see in yankee land. Some years ago I was at the Highland coffee shop on Bardstown road in Lousiville, Kentucky. During a discussion of the War of Northern Aggression one fellow used the term “we” and it dawned on me that the “we” he meant were the perpetrators of the War Between the States. I mentioned that, being from Georgia, this was the first time I had heard “we” meaning yankees. “You lost. We won. Get over it,” he said. I said, “It is somewhat more difficult to “get over it, sir, when you lose.” He fired back with, “Tough shit!”

A few weeks ago I attended a lecture given by the eminent historian James M. McPherson pertaining to his new book, “Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief.” (http://www.booktv.org/Program/16323/After+Words+James+McPherson+quotEmbattled+Rebel+Jefferson+Davis+as+Commander+in+Chiefquot+hosted+by+James+Swanson.aspx) At the end the author, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, “Battle Cry of Freedom,” took questions from the audience. I was standing on the balcony, where I had been conversing with one of the owners of the Eagle Eye bookstore (http://www.eagleeyebooks.com/), so there was little, if any, chance Mr. McPherson could see my raised hand if I had been inclined to ask a question. When he said, “No state has ever had the right to secede,” I was unable to contain myself and blurted, “How can you say such a thing when the right of secession was taught at West Point until the War of Northern Aggression?!” In response to my question the audience roared with approval. The author answered by saying, “I am not aware of that. I have never read that. Can you tell me where you come by your information?” I responded, “It is historical fact, sir. I have read it in many books, including ‘The Real Lincoln,’ by Thomas J. DiLorenzo.” He said only, “That is a discredited book.” I was the first in line to have my book signed and said, “One can learn much by reading everything about a subject in lieu of only reading one version of events.” He looked at me quizzically before signing my book. I added, “You know, Mr. McPherson, I was raised near an Army base named after the yankee General James Birdseye McPherson.” He smiled while handing the signed book to me, but the smile left his face when I said, “Everyone hated the place because it was named after a yankee General, even relatives who worked there. He was killed at the Battle of Atlanta you know. He was the second highest ranking yankee officer killed in the War of Northern Aggression.” He frowned and I smiled when turning to leave. Many of the older men in line stopped me to shake my hand, wanting to talk, but Brian McCarthy was waiting to take me to the Fortress so I made apologies and headed toward the door.

Having been lied to about the causes of the war has not helped Southerner’s “get over it.” The yankee version of history is that they had the “moral” right because slavery, brought to America by these same yankees, was morally wrong. They are correct in this, because slavery is wrong, but it was the law. Should a war which devastated the country have been fought to end slavery, or was there much more to the war than the simplistic reason given?

“Growing up in the US, I too was “educated” (through government-purchased school-books and popular media) to revere Mr. Lincoln as a wise and marvelous president. Later, I ran across quotations of his that seemed to cast suspicion on his real views regarding the institution of slavery. I dismissed these as simply a reflection of the times. Lincoln, I reasoned, as a politician needed to keep peace with constituents in order to pursue a praiseworthy agenda. I was wrong about the agenda.”

“Reading below you will understand that the US Civil War finally resolved a century-old debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. It was resolved violently by Lincoln and accompanied by the death of more than 600,000 countrymen.”

“Slavery was ended in 1866 with the Thirteenth Amendment, but at the cost of 620,000 lives; hundreds of thousands more that were crippled for life; and the near destruction of almost half the nation’s economy. By contrast, dozens of other countries (including Argentina, Colombia, Chile, all of Central America, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, the French and Danish colonies, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela) ended slavery peacefully during the first 60 years of the nineteenth century. Why not the U.S.?” *
* Thomas J. DiLorenzo

In “honor” of the date I would like to present a Southern response to the address Dishonest Abe gave 150 years ago today:

Ode to the Confederate Dead
Allen Tate, 1899 – 1979

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have come and gone!–
Ambitious November with the humors of the year,
With a particular zeal for every slab,
Staining the uncomfortable angels that rot
On the slabs, a wing chipped here, an arm there:
The brute curiosity of an angel’s stare
Turns you, like them, to stone,
Transforms the heaving air
Till plunged to a heavier world below
You shift your sea-space blindly
Heaving, turning like the blind crab.

Dazed by the wind, only the wind
The leaves flying, plunge

You know who have waited by the wall
The twilight certainty of an animal,
Those midnight restitutions of the blood
You know–the immitigable pines, the smoky frieze
Of the sky, the sudden call: you know the rage,
The cold pool left by the mounting flood,
Of muted Zeno and Parmenides.
You who have waited for the angry resolution
Of those desires that should be yours tomorrow,
You know the unimportant shrift of death
And praise the vision
And praise the arrogant circumstance
Of those who fall
Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision–
Here by the sagging gate, stopped by the wall.

Seeing, seeing only the leaves
Flying, plunge and expire

Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.

Cursing only the leaves crying
Like an old man in a storm

You hear the shout, the crazy hemlocks point
With troubled fingers to the silence which
Smothers you, a mummy, in time.

The hound bitch
Toothless and dying, in a musty cellar
Hears the wind only.

Now that the salt of their blood
Stiffens the saltier oblivion of the sea,
Seals the malignant purity of the flood,
What shall we who count our days and bow
Our heads with a commemorial woe
In the ribboned coats of grim felicity,
What shall we say of the bones, unclean,
Whose verdurous anonymity will grow?
The ragged arms, the ragged heads and eyes
Lost in these acres of the insane green?
The gray lean spiders come, they come and go;
In a tangle of willows without light
The singular screech-owl’s tight
Invisible lyric seeds the mind
With the furious murmur of their chivalry.

We shall say only the leaves
Flying, plunge and expire

We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing:
Night is the beginning and the end
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.

What shall we say who have knowledge
Carried to the heart? Shall we take the act
To the grave? Shall we, more hopeful, set up the grave
In the house? The ravenous grave?

Leave now
The shut gate and the decomposing wall:
The gentle serpent, green in the mulberry bush,
Riots with his tongue through the hush–
Sentinel of the grave who counts us all!