The Open Box Move

While watching the WC game today the with Legendary Georgia Ironman the conversation revolved around, you guessed it, chess, and one of the topics was the “double blunder” game. Tim has kept the scoresheet of almost every tournament game he has played. He tries to be as meticulous as possible while also noting the time, something he preaches to his young students. I can still hear him saying, as he pointed out a blank spot on his scoresheet after losing a game on the road, “Look here Mike, an OPEN BOX MOVE!”

IM Boris Kogan taught us that one should ALWAYS take a minute to survey the battlefield before making a move because, “Those open box moves will kill you.” This was back in the day when quick games were not rated, and the Hulk was talking about what is now called “classical” chess. The less time the more blunders. Viswanathan Anand violated this rule when he made his instantaneous move and it may haunt him for the rest of his life. Vishy made a mistake from which we can all learn.

The blunder made by Magnus prior to the quick move made by Vishy is much more difficult to explain. He is the World Chess Champion, yet neglected to ask himself a simple question prior to blundering. The question is, “Am I leaving anything en prise?” All players MUST ask this question before making a move. Somewhere along the path every chess player begins to ask himself this question as a matter of routine. When a GM stops asking the question it is evident something has gone wrong.

You Must Be Present to Win

Having awakened with a headache Saturday morning the last thing I wanted to do was look at a computer screen. Because light and sound caused pain I stayed in a quiet, dark room most of the day. After taking a handful of 81 mg aspirin, and several naps, the pain diminished to a point nearing evening where it was possible to crank-up Toby and watch a replay of the sixth game of the WC match. As I watched, and listened to the commentary of GM Peter Svidler, and the incessant giggling and tittering of Sopiko, which grates on the nerves like someone scratching a blackboard with fingernails, a decision was made to take a break. Upon resumption of the coverage it was blatantly obvious by the demeanor of Peter that something dramatic had happened, but what? Rather than informing we viewers of exactly what had transpired, Svid “drug it out,” as we say in the South, until I was screaming at the screen, “Get on with it!” Finally, the blunder by the World Champion was shown. It was what Yasser Seirawan would call a “howler.” It was the kind of blunder one would expect from someone rated in the triple digits. When that was followed by a blunder by the former World Champion I yelled, “Oh Nooooooooooooo!!!” This was like watching a game between GCA VP Ben Johnson and USCF board member Alan Priest, both of whom sport triple-digit ratings.

As if it were not bad enough to break away from the action at what turned out to be the most critical part of the game, and possibly the match, the people in charge of the “live” coverage did NOT continue filming, but also took a break. This is absurd! Upon resumption of the coverage all we were left with is the description of GM Sivdler. This is reminiscent of the now infamous “Heidi game,” as it is called. “The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl was an American football game played on November 17, 1968. The home team, the Oakland Raiders, defeated the New York Jets, 43–32. The game is remembered for its exciting finish, as Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to overcome a 32–29 New York lead. It came to be known as the Heidi Game because the NBC Television Network controversially broke away from the game, with the Jets still winning, to air the 1968 television film Heidi at 7 p.m. in the Eastern Time Zone.” ( The blunders on the board were nothing compared to the decision made by someone producing coverage of the game.

When teaching children to play chess one of the things I have said is, “You must be present to win.” I tell the children that in Las Vegas if one enters a drawing the rules state “you must be present to win.” If your name is called and you are not there, another name will be drawn. “You snooze, you lose,” I say in hopes this will stay with the children. I add that it is imperative they stay focused at whatever is is they are doing and “be present.”

The blunder Viswanathan Anand made is the same kind of move all players have made; he moved too quickly. Peter Svidler said, “If Vishy had taken thirty seconds to look at the position he would not have played that move,” adding, “It is always the quick move that kills you,” or some such. I know that is true from first-hand experience. Vishy was so focused on his plan he neglected to ask himself how the position had changed after the blunder made by Magnus.

I have taught the children what I call the “cardinal” rules of chess. 1) Why did my opponent make that move? 2) What move do I want, or need, to make? 3) Am I leaving anything en prise? Anand obviously did not ask himself any questions, much to his regret. Vishy was so “not there” that he did not watch Magnus play one of the worse moves ever made in a match for the championship of the world. Vishy was not present and did not win.

But what about Magnus Carlsen? He violated cardinal rule number three. I am having trouble getting my mind around the fact that Magnus did not even ask himself the question, “If I play my King to d2, how will my opponent respond?” These are the best players in the world and both drifted away at the same moment. This is INCREDIBLE! This type of double-blunder has happened previously in the games of Magnus. The Legendary Georgia Ironman mentioned the back to back “red moves” (Chessbomb displays the move in red if it is what GM Yassser Seiriwan would call a “howler”) played by Magnus and Levon Aronian recently, adding, “Somehow it is always the opponent of Magnus who makes the second “howler.” Maybe they just do not expect Magnus to make a mistake.” Maybe so, but a wise man always expects the unexpected.

It was so bad during the press conference the moderator, Anastasiya Karlovich, said, “Are there any questions not about the move Kd2?” Everyone wanted to know how Magnus could have played such a horrible move. He had no explanation. It is more than a little obvious things are not right with team Carlsen. This is the main reason I thought Vishy would win the match. Magnus has not played well since winning the title, and his poor play has continued. Vishy had not played particularly well in the year(s) leading up to the first match. Some thought he may “get it together,” but I was not inclined to believe it possible to reverse such poor play, which proved to be the case.

How much did the fact that Magnus would play White two games in a row during the middle of the match factor into the game? I recall reading about a group of mathematicians who “proved” it is much more fair during a shootout in football that the team who goes second will also have the third attempt, and then revert to alternating. This would seem to be inherently better than to have one player play the White pieces twice in the middle of a World Championship match. Who thought of, and implemented this ridiculous format? Could it have been the FIDE ETs”? Back in the day games were played every other day, but now it is two games and then a break. Things were better “back in the day.”

Most have wondered how Vishy will respond to such an oversight, forgetting that Magnus is the one who made one of the worst blunders ever made in a WC match. Magnus has to know that he missed his chance to put the hammer down in the first game by playing 42…Re3. If he had won that game, and also won the second, as he did, the match would have been all over but the shouting. He knows he has only himself to blame for being in a contest. He also knows that even with a win in the first game the match could now be tied, if Vishy had won the most recent game. He also knows it is possible that Vishy could very well be leading the match at the halfway point. Vishy is not the only one seeing ghosts at this point in the match.

I have no idea what to expect tomorrow; probably more of the same. I do, though, expect the players to take a page out of the book of former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura ( and “stay vigilant.” Although down, I still have faith in Viswanathan Anand, and expect him to win the match.

World Open Speed Chess Champion Orrin Hudson

This can be found on the home page of the Dekalb County Public Library (

Get In the Game: Life is Chess-Not Checkers :: Special Events
Family (All Ages)
10:00 am—1:00 pm at Stonecrest
When you see a good game, get in it! Join us as two-time World Open Speed Chess Champion Orrin Hudson facilitates a fun and energizing session of chess and life strategies. Attendees will experience a journey of self-discovery and achievement through Mr. Hudson’s “KASH Formula for Success” – Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits. Learn the strategies that champions use every day to be winners in the game of life!

Orrin “Huckster” Hudson is at it again. He is a grandmaster of promotion, and hyperbole. Orrin was once at the House of Pain and had stepped into the mens room when a child said, “Mr. Hudson came to our school. Imagine that, the best chess player in the world at our school!”
“Kid,” said one of the long time members, a crusty old curmudgeon named Bob Bassett “He ain’t even the best player in the toilet.” The poor young boy was obviously crestfallen when Bob, turning the knife, added, “Hell kid, he would have trouble beating me.” Bob, a strong “club player,” bounced around from class “B” to “C.”

How strong a player is Orrin Hudson? USCF shows his current rating as 1548. His “quick” chess rating is 1796, so he is obviously better at moving than thinking. According to Ralph Zuranski, “He is a two-time World Open speed chess winner and has pass alone his insight to over 25,000 students his goal is 1 million!” Ralph also writes, “A dynamic motivational speaker, Orrin extols the time-tested strategies of chess as a metaphor for the game of life.” (

In the real world Orrin Hudson is a joke to real chess players in the Atlanta community. His shtick is “Be Someone.” This is the name of his book, and what he teaches children, while being someone he is not.

Man or Machine?

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. Be2 Nh6 7. O-O cxd4 8. cxd4 Nf5 9. Nc3 a6 10. Be3 Be7 11. Bd3 Nxe3 12. fxe3 O-O 13. Rc1 Rc8 14. Bb1 f5 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Qd2 Na5 17. b3 Be7 18. Ne2 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 Nc6 20. Nf4 Bd6 21. h4 g6 22. g3 Qf6 23. Rf1 Ne7 24. Rf2 Nf5 25. Bxf5 gxf5 26. Qa5 Rc8 27. Rg2 Be8 28. Qd2 h6 29. Kh2 Qe7 30. Kh3 Kh7 31. Rg1 Qg7 32. Kh2 Bf7 33. Rc1 Rg8 34. Qf2 Bb8 35. a4 Bd6 36. Ne1 Be8 37. Ned3 b6 38. Rg1 Qf6 39. Qb2 Rg7 40. Rc1 Rg8 41. Rc2 Qg7 42. Rg2 Qf6 43. Ne5 Rg7 44. Rc2 a5 45. Qa1 Rc7 46. Rxc7+ Bxc7 47. Qc3 Qe7 48. Kg2 Kg8 49. Qc2 Bxe5 50. dxe5 Qd7 51. Kf2 Kh8 52. Kf1 Kg8 53. Ke1 Kf8 54. Kd2 Kg8 55. Ne2 Qc6 56. Qd3 Qc7 57. Qd4 Bg6 58. Nc3 Qc6 59. Qf4 Kg7 60. Nb5 Qc5 61. Qd4 Qxd4+ 62. exd4 Kf7 63. Nd6+ Ke7 64. Kc3 Kd7 65. Nb5 Kc6 66. Kd2 Bh5 67. Nd6 Bg6 68. Kd1 Kc7 69. Ke1 Kd7 70. Ke2 Bh5+ 71. Kd2 Bg6 72. Nb5 Kc6 73. Nc3 Bh5 74. Na2 Bf3 75. b4 axb4 76. Nxb4+ Kb7 77. Nd3 Bh5 78. Nf4 Bf7 79. Kc3 Ka7 80. Kb4 Ka6 81. a5 bxa5+ 82. Kc5 a4 83. Kb4 a3 84. Kxa3 Kb5 85. Kb3 Bg8 86. Nh5 Bf7 87. Nf6 Ka5 88. Nd7 Kb5 89. Nc5 Ka5 90. Nb7+ Kb6 91. Nd6 Bg6 92. Kb4 Kc6 93. Nc8 Kb7 94. Ne7 Bf7 95. Kb5 Kc7 96. Kc5 h5 97. Nc6 Be8 98. Nb4 Bf7 99. Kb5 Be8+ 100. Ka6 Bg6 101. Nd3 Kc6 102. Ka5 Bf7 103. Nf4 Kc7 104. Kb5 Kb7 105. Nd3 Be8+ 106. Ka5 Bf7 107. Nc5+ Kc6 108. Ka6 Kc7 109. Nd3 Kc6 110. Nf4 Kc7 111. Nh3

It has been a long game. Yet you feel plugged in; wired. In other circumstances you would consider offering a draw, but in this tournament a draw offer is not allowed. After much deliberation you decide upon 111…Kc6 and the game continues… 112. Ng5 Bg8 113. Ka5 Kc7 114. Kb5 Kb7 115. Kc5 Kc7 116. Nh3 Kd7 117. Nf4 Bf7 118. Kb6 Be8 119. Kb7 Bf7 120. Nd3 Be8 121. Nc5+ Ke7 122. Kc7 Bb5 123. Nb7 Be2 124. Nd8 Bg4 125. Nc6+ Ke8 126. Kd6 Bh3 127. Na5 Bg4 128. Nb7 f4 129. gxf4 Bh3 1-0

It is not possible to wonder where you went wrong because you are not conscious, but a program in a machine. Other entities will determine where and why you went wrong. The name used to separate you from other programs is Critter 1.6a, and you are one of the elite 8 playing in stage 3 of the Thoresen Chess Engines Competition. Your opponent was a program named Houdini 4.

Humans have come to think of chess playing programs as infallible, and any move provided by the highly rated engine is the best move in the position. Such is not the case. Every move played by an engine should be scrutinized just as all moves played by the best human players are questioned and examined. Was the above endgame lost or did Critter 1.6a lose a drawn game?

Chess programs use an opening “book” which consists of many games played by humans. Programs also incorporate endgame tablebases.

An idea to consider in any human versus chess engine battle would be to not allow the program to use either an opening book, or an endgame tablebase. This could possibly even the odds. If this is not enough, another idea to consider would be to cut the power a certain amount, say 10% per hour. As a last resort, the plug can be pulled.

Anand vs Carlsen Game 3 with Psychological Annotations

Anand, Viswanathan (2792) – Carlsen, Magnus (2863)
World Championship Game 3

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 Nbd7 7.c5 c6 8.Bd3 b6 9.b4 a5 10.a3 (Magnus Carlsen takes off jacket) Ba6 11.Bxa6 Rxa6 12.b5 cxb5 13.c6 Qc8 14.c7 b4 15.Nb5 a4 16.Rc1 (Magnus Carlsen puts jacket back on) Ne4 17.Ng5 (Magnus Carlsen takes jacket off) Ndf6 (A break in the coverage was taken here) 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.f3 (Coverage resumed and Magnus Carlsen had put his jacket on again) Ra5 20.fxe4 Rxb5 21.Qxa4 Ra5 22.Qc6 bxa3 (Magnus Carlsen takes jacket off, leaves stage. Puts jacket back on upon return) 23.exd5 Rxd5 24.Qxb6 Qd7 25.O-O Rc8 26.Rc6 g5 27.Bg3 Bb4 (Maguns Carlsen takes jacket off and leaves stage. Puts jacket back on before sitting, where it stays until the end of the game) 28.Ra1 Ba5 29.Qa6 Bxc7 30.Qc4 e5 31.Bxe5 Rxe5 32.dxe5 Qe7 33.e6 Kf8 (Magnus Carlsen’s jacket collar appears turned up in the rear) 34.Rc1 1-0 (Exits stage with jacket collar still turned up)

“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.” ~John Locke


Anand, Viswanathan (2792) – Carlsen, Magnus (2863)
WCh 2014 Sochi RUS (3), 2014.11.11
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 Nbd7 7.c5 c6 8.Bd3 b6 9.b4 a5 10.a3 Ba6 11.Bxa6 Rxa6 12.b5 cxb5 13.c6 Qc8 14.c7 b4 15.Nb5 a4 16.Rc1 Ne4 17.Ng5 Ndf6 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.f3 Ra5 20.fxe4 Rxb5 21.Qxa4 Ra5 22.Qc6 bxa3 23.exd5 Rxd5 24.Qxb6 Qd7 25.O-O Rc8 26.Rc6 g5 27.Bg3 Bb4 28.Ra1 Ba5 29.Qa6 Bxc7 30.Qc4 e5 31.Bxe5 Rxe5 32.dxe5 Qe7 33.e6 Kf8 34.Rc1 1-0

The Hebrew Hammer

Before the start of the Petrosian Memorial the Legendary Georgia Ironman picked Boris Gelfand to win. I scoffed. In the previous tournament, the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent, GM Gelfand tied for last place without winning a game. This came on the heels of the first stage of the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he tied for first place with Fabiano Caruana. With only a few days separating the tournaments, Tim said the players were being bussed around the former Soviet heartland like a circus troop. As can be seen from the play, the players obviously need a break for rest, but something as simple as that is apparently anathema to the FIDE leadership. Kirsan and the ET’s do not play, so why would they know anything about a chess player needing rest?

Decades ago Mad Dog Gordan had a collection of baseball cards that consisted of Jewish players. He called them the “Hammering Hebe’s.” Tim calls Boris Gelfand, the “Hebrew Hammer.” I can assure you this is a terrific sign of respect from the LGI! I, too, have a great deal of respect for the Hammer, but not enough to predict an obviously exhausted Gelfand to win the tournament named after the legendary Tigran Petrosian.

The Hebrew Hammer beat Peter Leko in the final round of the Petrosian Memorial today to finish tied for third place at +1, along with Levon Aronian, who also won his last round game. Alexander Grischuk finished first in an impressive performance, while Vladimir Kramnik came second, showing the good form that has eluded him recently.

Boris Gelfand did not win the tournament, but I was wrong to scoff at Tim’s suggestion that he would win. Never discount the Hebrew Hammer!

Another GCA Board Member Resignation

Although there has been no ‘official’ announcement announcing the latest resignation of a GCA board member-and why should one be expected when there has still been no ‘official’ announcement of the resignations of former board members Tim Payne and Frank Johnson-former POTGCA Scott Parker has written, “In an earlier post you mentioned that two GCA Executive Board members, Tim Payne and Frank Johnson, have recently resigned. You can add Treasurer Pam Little to that list. As per an email from Katie Hartley, Pam has changed jobs, doesn’t feel she’ll have enough free time to devote to the position, and so resigned a week or two ago. FYI – three GCA Executive Board positions – President (Fun Fong), Secretary (vacant – was Frank), and 2nd Member-at-Large (vacant – was Tim) are up for election in 2015.”

2015 cannot come soon enough.

Queen – Another One Bites The Dust (Live at Wembley 11.07.1986)

Eye of the Madras Tiger

The FIDE World Chess Championship rematch begins tomorrow in Sochi, a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. This second match has been scorned, coming as it does only a short time after the first match. This would not have been the case if another player had won the right to challenge the current World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen. Money for the rematch was difficult to find. This is a shame because the former World Chess Champion, Viswanathan Anand, legitimately earned the chance to avenge his earlier in a feat that stunned the chess world. Those who believe this match will be another walkover for Magnus Carlsen will be sorely mistaken. This time the roles are reversed in that now it is Anand who comes into the match playing excellent chess, while Carlsen has had, shall we say, spotty results since garnering the crown. Vishy Anand has righted his ship, while the ship of Magnus Carlsen seems to be taking on water. Vishy has a changed attitude, and has gotten his groove back.

Absolutely no one, including Vishy it seems, expected the first challenge to the new reign of Magnus to come from the man just vanquished. This is what Magnus Carlsen had to say about the situation, “To start with, I did not expect him to win the Candidates. Initially, it was a bit surreal. It felt weird to know that I have to face Anand again.” (

The change in Vishy is apparent not only in his play, but also in how he speaks of the return match. For example, there is this “…in a candid chat with Manisha Mohite shares his thoughts about the forthcoming clash in Sochi, Russia.”

Q. “Six WCC matches since 2007. Isn’t that a whole lot?”

A. “Really six in seven years, I didn’t realise it. Like I said, I really compete with myself. There have been times when you think you have had enough and always, after a few moments you realise: No, you always want more! Chess for me is something that I am fascinated with. I still realize that there are so many openings to learn from, to explore more. New variations to uncover, the ones that can blow the lid off, making months of work redundant. Still, when I start work on chess, I feel like a six year old with a chessboard, waiting at Tal Club to play Blitz.” (

To what can the dramatic change in Vishy be attributed? Dennis Monokroussos, writing in The Chess Mind blog, has this to say:

Peter Heine Nielsen: I’m Partly to Blame for Anand’s Failures
Monday, November 3, 2014 at 6:08PM

“Peter Heine Nielsen is a strong Danish grandmaster who for years was one of Viswanathan Anand’s seconds and is now in the Magnus Carlsen camp. In this article (below) he takes part of the blame for Anand’s decline over the past few years, though the nature of his supposed fault isn’t made entirely clear. Was it that he recommended sticking to the status quo (in terms of openings, general approach and/or style, etc.) to such an extent that it led to Anand’s stagnating as a player? Ultimately a mature player is responsible for his own results, but Anand can hope to have learned the right lessons over the past year while hoping that whatever it was that Nielsen did wrong, he has done wrong with Carlsen as well.” (

“Anand’s long-time second Peter Heine Nielsen, who worked with the Indian for close to a decade, and is now a part of Team Carlsen, says he is to blame partly for Anand’s failures. “Honestly, I very surprised when he qualified. I think he was surprised himself. He has this amazing ability to make a comeback, even when things go against him. Anand won his first two titles clearly. After that, it slowly started going downhill, something I may have also been one of the reasons for. We were doing things in a specific way, which worked out very well at the time, but then it cooled off,” says the Danish GM before tipping Anand for the title.” (From the aforementioned article, “I have psychological edge over Anand: Magnus Carlsen,” by Susan Ninan,

Peter Heine Nielsen finds himself in a no win situation in that if Carlsen wins it will be said that he would have won without Nielsen, but if he loses, Nielsen can be blamed. The same can be said for Magnus.

It could be that Vishy has decided to accentuate the positive, elimanate the negative, and stop messing with Mr. Zwischenzug.

Make no mistake, this will be an emotional battle. I say this because after checking the biorhythms of the players I found the compatibility between the two to be an astounding 100% physically and 97% intellectually! In two of the three facets of biorhythms their charts show the same, so there can be no advantage. The emotional phase, the third facet of biorhythms, is quite different, with only a 5% compatibility. The main difference between the two combatants will be that Anand will be in a high emotional phase during the rematch, while Magnus will be in a low phase.

To help explain the possible meaning of this we have:

How to interpret the results from a biorhythm calculation

Emotional High:
Your emotions are keyed to their highest levels. This is the time when you will feel most outwardly directed to others, able to enjoy their company, as well as to give them support, encouragement, and understanding if needed. It is the optimum time for strengthening your relationships with your lover or friends. Your high emotions can also push you to great performances, especially in creative endeavors. On the other hand, depending upon circumstances and your personality, be aware of possible runaways, emotional outbursts or over-doing. Your high emotions could also lead you to impulsive, rash behavior.

Emotional Critical:
Either emotional exhaustion or euphoria is possible-from “the skids” (depression) to great heights (elation, outbursts). You may have a “let-down” or tired feeling, since exhaustion is often based on an imbalanced emotional state. You may also experience emotional “flair-ups” or extreme Agitation, anxiety, or frustration. In extreme cases, suicides or attempted suicides have occurred on or very close to emotional critical days.

Overexertion and exhaustion due to emotional stress are also potential dangers to health and can trigger a physical crisis such as a heart attack or a stroke. Be particularly alert to health side effects in the day’s activities. Give extra care and attention to situations where emotions play a key role: driving your automobile in heavy traffic; stress situations at work; dealing with family problems; disciplining and working with young children. In general, forced calmness and mental concentration on control of emotions is advised. Keep in mind the unique opportunity of an emotional critical day-by harnessing your emotional energies at this time you could develop and strengthen a model of emotional self-control and expression which is so important to overall happiness and well-being. This day could give you the opportunity to reach important breakthroughs in your emotional life, as well as present possible new avenues of creativity.

Emotional Low:
Your emotional state is relaxed or below normal. In situations where extreme calm or lack of emotions is required, this may be helpful. In other circumstances, your feelings, sensitivities, and awareness of your environment may be low. lt is a time when you may feel more inwardly directed, less able to extend yourself to others. You may even experience feelings of Depression or loneliness. In general, it is a time of passivity rather than engagement. (

When Mike Tyson won the Heavyweight championship of the world it was said he was “unbeatable.” No one is unbeatable. I am going on record to proclaim the next World Chess Champion will be Viswanathan Anand, who will become known as the Rocky of the chess world.

GCA Precludes Hundreds of Children from K-12 Grade Level Championships

The Georgia Chess Association will host the 2014 Georgia K-12 Grade Level Championships beginning November 09, 2014 9:30 am, at the Marriott Atlanta Perimeter Center; 246 Perimeter Center Pkwy, NE; Atlanta, GA 30346. In addition there will also be a “2014 Grade Level High School” tournament. This seems ambiguous in that a school is either a “grade” school, or a “high school.” This can be found on the GCA website (, along with this: “If you have already registered and paid for the Grade Level tournament, you do not need to register again for HS. This is for 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th graders only who still need to register. You will need a code – contact to receive it.”

Also to be found on the website is this, “Waitlist for Georgia Grade Level tournament.”

“This is a waitlist for the 2014 Grade Level Tournament on 11/9 at Marriott Perimeter Center. Priority will be given to smaller sections where an additional player would benefit the group (typically 9-12th) as well as children of volunteers.”

“When you register for the waitlist you will get a confirmation email that you are registered for the wait list (not the tournament). We will contact you if a place opens up for your child to play. This wait list will close at midnight Nov. 5th (the original registration deadline).”


This sounds like one of those cases when it is not what you know, but who you know. Questions? How about, “Why is there a list of those waiting?”

In previous years as many as 450 children have participated in this tournament, usually held in a school with plenty of room for all the children, and their parents. This year the GCA, in its wisdom, decided to hold the tournament at a hotel with room for only 300 children; hence the “wait list.” I have no idea how the GCA board makes a decision, but one long-time member of the community has said, “Make no mistake, this is Fun Fong’s board. He makes the decisions and has stacked the board with sycophantic women and girly men who do what he says.” Whether or not this is the case, the fact remains that, as former GCA Board member Michael Mulford wrote, “The simple fact is that while the committee approach does a good job of sharing the workload, someone must be accountable, and that someone is the President. Whether the buck stops there or not, it clearly stopped.”

The buck stops with POTGCA Fun Fong. He makes the decisions, which are rubber-stamped by the toadies on the GCA Board. Who in his right mind procures a limited venue in which to hold a tournament knowing in advance half-again as many children will be precluded from playing?

The Legendary Georgia Ironman reports, “Some parents are livid, and these are mild-mannered types of people. When asked what can be done, all we can tell them is to join the GCA and go to the election in order to vote the ‘Know Nothings’ out!”

The GCA website shows this: “Spaces left 0.” Some children have “made the cut,” while others will be turned away at the door. It breaks my heart that possibly hundreds of children who wish to participate in this event will not be able to do so due to the incompetence of the GCA Board. This hit home when the Ironman mentioned that Sasha Creighton, a young boy who obviously loves chess, and a potential future star, will not be playing because there is no room. I simply cannot imagine the disappointment Sasha, and all the other children must feel at this revolting turn of events. As is always the case, the children will surfer due to the lunacy of certain adults.

There has still been no comment from Fun and the girls as to why two members of the GCA Board, Tim Payne and Frank Johnson, resigned. Rumors are rampant about the possibility of malfeasance on the part of the GCA Board with regard to the money taken in at scholastic tournaments. One informed source says the GCA has, “Built a war-chest of over $70,000 with little, if any, accountability.” This GCA Board is not the most transparent in recent memory. As a matter of fact, this is probably the least transparent GCA Board in the history of the GCA. Many are calling for an audit of the GCA finances, asking “What has the GCA got to hide?” What, indeed. There has been talk of impeaching the whole GCA Board. I have no idea if such is possible, but am certain former GCA Board members will send an email and/or leave a comment, providing the answer.

Most of the people on the current GCA Board are there for one reason, and that is because they come from the “scholastic side.” It would seem that for this reason alone the “Know Nothings” could be expected to get it at least half-right, would it not? Maybe the parents on the board who have a child playing in the tournament should consider telling their little Spud he cannot play in the event in order to allow one of the myriad children who will be excluded to take his place. After little Spud stops crying, and asks why he will not be allowed to play, the parent may possibly understand the disappointment felt by those other children who will not be playing.

Melanie Safka – Look What They’ve Done To My Song (Game) Ma