The Pawn Who Roared

Momir Radovic,

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/image/C5603AQGX3SkUWSygJQ/profile-displayphoto-shrink_200_200/0/1517624149528?e=1636588800&v=beta&t=zyMSnqWihXzQRRQ4Y_WfuqTbDNTnIw9SpDaLaOI_gtQ
Chess Instructor at Kennesaw State University
Marietta, Georgia, United States

aka RoaringPawn

https://images.chesscomfiles.com/uploads/v1/user/11858696.253a4c41.160x160o.6e1a2412d43b@2x.png
RoaringPawn
Relational method originator

at Chess.com (https://www.chess.com/member/roaringpawn), wrote an interesting article, How Opening “Experts” are Ruining Growth of Developing Players, (https://www.chess.com/blog/RoaringPawn/how-opening-experts-are-ruining-growth-of-developing-players), published August 29, 2021.

Intrigued, I researched the fellow, learning he resides right here in the Great State of Georgia!

Momir Radovic – Marietta, Georgia, United States …
[Search domain linkedin.com] https://www.linkedin.com/in/chesscontact
Momir Radovic Chess Instructor at Kennesaw State University Marietta, Georgia, United States 421 connections. Join to Connect Report this profile About I’m a chess instructor at Kennesaw State …
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chesscontact

I teach chess and want to champion others to grow in it, as well as personally, using my unique teaching perspective. I strongly believe in others’ inherent qualities and enormous potential to succeed both in chess and in life
https://www.flickr.com/people/chesscontact/

Whoa now, Mr. Pawn? Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog?!!! This reminded me of an old TV commercial about websites in which a boy asks an adult, “How many hits do you get?”

At this point I emailed the President of the GCA, the honorable Scott Parker, inquiring about the man behind Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog, of which I had never heard. This was his reply:

Michael,

I know Momir Radovic personally, and have played some chess with him. We’re about equally skilled (equally unskilled might be more exact) at chess. He’s a good guy.

Be well,
Scott

The Self-deprecation was to be expected from the man known at the House of Pain as “The Sheriff.” If Scott says Momir is “a good guy” that is good enough for me. Still, that thing about having Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog makes me ready to go over the board, in lieu of into the ring, but only because of my age! On August 11, 2019, the post, Yet Another Chess Cheating Scandal, (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/yet-another-chess-cheating-scandal) went viral, garnering 5773 views that day. As of today there have been 7005 views of the post. Although not having as many “hits” on the day published, the post of April 26, 2020, Confirmation Garry Kasparov Cheated Judit Polgar, ()https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/confirmation-garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/ continues to be read with hardly a day going by without a view. It will soon top the aforementioned post in total views. I am calling you out, Mr. Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog(ger). How many hits does the Pawn that Roared receive?Momir Radovic is rated 1767 by the USCF. That would be his ‘regular’ rating. I am old enough to remember when there were only two ratings, one for Over The Board and the other for Correspondence Chess. Mr. Radovic is a class ‘B’ player who has previously crossed the line into class ‘A’. Back in the day he would be considered a ‘solid’ class ‘B’ player. With so many people, like former USCF President Allen Priest, who sported a 700 rating, having a triple digit rating these daze Momir is almost world class. Please do not take me wrong, I do not mean to demean Momir because ‘back in the day’ it was thought that anyone who made it to class ‘B’ had to be taken seriously as they had stopped dropping pieces and could play a serious game of Chess. I tied for first place in the 1974 Atlanta Chess Championship with a fellow from New York and was declared Champion while a class ‘B’ player. The class ‘B’ player W. Stanley Davis, upset GM John Federowicz

in the very first round of the 1980 US Open in Atlanta, Georgia. That said, it was still something to hear Momir call out Grandmasters in his article., which begins:

“There’s a massive, uncontrolled and unhealthy proliferation of chess opening experts of all kind and provenience. From ELO 1600 all the way up to the super GM circle (where, among others, is sitting a certain famous Twitter celebrity and acclaimed Najdorf expert).

The mushrooming of experts into all sorts of domains like, “visa consultants,” “immigration experts,” or “life coaches” sees their bold advertising services, making false promises and charging exorbitant amounts. And all of that to provide just a very basic service.”

I do not know about you but I want to know the name of that “…certain famous Twitter celebrity and acclaimed Najdorf expert.”

There follows: “In chess, this corrupt practice has been established around openings. It creates a grave disservice and has direct consequences for the average player in that it is slowing down/stopping them altogether along the growth path. Amateur players have thus become prisoners of the opening theory and their own conditioning that has been put on them and used by opening “experts.”

It gets better, or worse, depending on one’s perspective. I strongly urge you to read the remarkable article because, as Momir writes at one point, it is, “Simply astonishing, isn’t it?”

It certainly is! I was so astonished I read it again! What follows is one of the reasons I reread the piece. Chess book and video publishers are not going to like what Momir had to say, and I do not blame them. In another line of work the kind of ‘hit’ Momir received would be more along the line of something out of the Godfather,

https://xpertchesslessons.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/61b5c-iu.jpg

or Sopranos.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic3.srcdn.com%2Fwordpress%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F03%2FThe-Sopranos-vs-The-Wire.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Better learn to duck and cover, Momir, my man…See what I mean:

“Chess books publishing and chess portals are following suit. They are tirelessly producing tons of copies of invaluable content on openings. On all channels, openings count for more than HALF of all chess material delivered to you. Here’s some facts and the number of books/courses/videos as of early August.”

Chessable (“No.1 site for chess improvement and science-based learning backed by the World chess champion Magnus Carlsen..”)

https://images.chesscomfiles.com/uploads/v1/blog/574935.97a319b7.668x375o.c3652ee94ae1@2x.jpeg
World Chess Champ Magnus Carlsen reacting to the article: https://www.chess.com/blog/RoaringPawn/how-opening-experts-are-ruining-growth-of-developing-players

Openings 341
Endgames 38
Strategy 92
Tactics 227

New In Chess
Openings 412
Middlegame 68
Strategy 86
Tactics 68
Improvement 84
Attack and Defense 33
Endgames 50

Everyman Chess
Openings 277
Games Collections 69
Training books 135
Improvers 32 (5 on ops)

Quality Chess
Openings 93
Improvement 83

Gambit Publications
Openings 59
Endings 14
Puzzles and Studies 14
Training, Strategy and Improvement 37
Beginners and Intermediate 19
Tactics 19
Games Collections and General 9

He does not stop there. Momir reloads time and again. Take this for example: “The situation isn’t much better in blogging, either. The blogging space is, sadly, also overcrowded with opening enlightenments.

So it seems that, in the Brave New World of Chess, average players have basically been brainwashed

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fi.scdn.co%2Fimage%2F66585bf8775feb77d7f4fb9824fe1175274da139&f=1&nofb=1

into being one-dimensional consumerists of openings with no regard or interest in seeing chess for themselves. Or in thinking for themselves.

The chess world is filled with endless (mostly opening) distractions that keep us perpetually numb to the world of ideas.”

Wait a minute…I am a blogger and focus on the opening! One of his salvos has hit home and is now the Armchair Wounded Warrior!

The Pawn that Roared ends with this mighty blast:

ART OF FLIMFLAM. CONTINUED

“An artificially created market that demands openings as a “quick and easy” fix has a devastating effect on the developing player’s road to growth, that’s for sure. The primary victim is the player’s staying-underdeveloped, never-improving thought process.

But what all of this is telling us about its creators, opening “experts” themselves?

Do they really think they are helping us with their trifle manuals? (Do you?)

Are they doing all this to show their creativity and chess understanding, or maybe for a quick and easy profit instead?

Or perhaps the opening experts simply have nothing better to offer us? They may not be capable, without their trustworthy engines, to write about any subtler chess topics at all?”

Writing about openings is comparatively easy, because you are setting out specific lines you check with an engine. Writing about middlegames and endings is hard, because you have to communicate concepts. – Cuddles T

https://www.chess.com/blog/RoaringPawn/how-opening-experts-are-ruining-growth-of-developing-players

After reading the above my first thought was, “Who the hell is Cuddles T?”

I am going to disagree with the Killer ‘B’ but not now, because it is late and I am tired. One of the reasons is I stopped punchin’ & pokin’ to watch some of the moves being played at the Charlotte Labor Day 2021 tournament and became transfixed with one game in particular and stopped writing to concentrate on the game, but more on that tomorrow in part 2 of this post. Until then, once again I urge you to take time to read one of the most remarkable Chess articles I have read in some time, and come on back tomorrow to read part two of The Pawn Who Roared.

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