The Charlotte Chess Center
deserves praise for hosting a different kind of Chess tournament, the ALTO (At Least Twenty-One) tournament held recently. During the first decades of this century I was working at the Atlanta Chess and Game Center, aka, the “House of Pain.” That decade saw the “youth movement” in Chess. The skittles room was eventually taken over by parents of the children playing Chess upstairs, leaving no room for skittles, or for going over a game recently played. Disgruntled older players did not care for the changes and some of them stopped coming during tournament weekends and then stopped coming altogether. The parents of the children brought their laptops and some complained about there not being enough outlets into which they could plug their laptops. During one tournament with a large number of players I had to literally step between two men who were shouting at each other over the only outlet not in use. As they yelled and screamed at each other another person plugged into the not in use outlet which almost caused a brawl! I kid you not… It was a cold and wet winter day so the outside outlets could not be used. During periods of good weather, mostly spring and autumn parents would bring lawn chairs and fight over the outside outlets.
When I began playing as a twenty year old adult things were much different. There was only one child playing regularly then, Randy Kolvick. His older brother, Bob, played tournament Chess. Randy did not act like a child, but comported himself as would an adult. The tournaments could be thought of as “sedate.” Before the House of Pain closed the description changed to “madhouse,” because most children have a high energy level and often run around like a chicken after its head has been cut off. When the weather was nice the children were able to burn off some of that excess energy by running around outside. Unfortunately, there would be screaming and yelling which could be heard in the upstairs playing rooms, which never had enough air conditioning, so the windows would often be open, and everything that happened outside could be heard inside the playing rooms. You would often hear an old(er) player say something like, “Things were better in my day,” or some such. During one such discussion at the House of Pain I interjected, “I dunno…maybe things were different, but I don’t know about better because the children have brought money into Chess that was lacking ‘back in the day’. Funny looks and silence followed…
I would, therefore, like to give plaudits to the folks at the Charlotte Chess Center for hosting a tournament for adults only, although it may have been better for the age limit to have been set at eighteen. I write this because ‘back in the day’ much was made of the fact that a young boy could be drafted and forced into going into the Army to fight and possibly die in Viet Nam, but could not legally drink an adult beverage of his choosing, since one had to be twenty-one to legally drink an alcoholic beverage. Because of the outcry the law was lowered to eighteen before being changed again. Most college students begin their first year of college at the age of eighteen. They are going to drink (think “Animal House”)
so boosting the legal age made criminals out of each and every one of them. One can vote after turning eighteen; drive at sixteen. An eighteen year old Chess player should be allowed to play in an “adult only” event.
Anthony Parker 2141 vs Dominique Myers 2202
Charlotte Chess Center ALTO (At Least Twenty-One)
ECO: C45 Scotch, Steinitz variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Nb5 Nf6 7.Bd3 Ba5 8.O-O a6 9.Na3 b5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Ne5 12.Be2 Bb6 13.d6 Bb7 14.Bd3 O-O 15.h3 Qg3 0-1
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 (Chess.com has named this the: C45 Scotch, Pulling counter-attack. The Warrior has been around the Royal Game for over five decades and this is the first time learning there is a name for this move. It could not be located at “Chess Gambits Guide: Ultimate List of Gambits Every Chess Player Should Know” (https://www.chessjournal.com/chess-gambits/) 5.Nc3 (This move turns it into a “C45 Scotch, Steinitz variation”) 5…Bb4 6.Nb5 (Three different SF programs play 6 Be2, and so should you) 6…Nf6 (All 3 Stockfish programs play 6…Ba5, and so should you) 7.Bd3 (What the fork is this? This move is not in the CBDB; there is a reason. Three different programs play 7 Nxc7+ and so should you!)
Lukas Lang vs Dietmar Hiermann (2269)
Event: Finkenstein op
Site: Finkenstein Date: ??/??/1999
ECO: C45 Scotch, Steinitz variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Nb5 Nf6 7.Bd3 Ba5 8.O-O a6 9.Na3 b5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Ne7 12.c4 O-O 13.Rb1 d6 14.Bd2 Bb6 15.Qc2 Ng6 16.Rbe1 Ne5 17.Re4 Qh5 18.Be2 Qg6 19.Rf4 Qxc2 20.Nxc2 bxc4 21.Bc3 Bb7 22.Bxe5 dxe5 23.Rxc4 Bxd5 24.Ra4 a5 25.Ne3 Be6 26.Rc1 Rad8 27.Nc4 Bxc4 28.Raxc4 Rd2 29.R4c2 Rxc2 30.Rxc2 Rd8 31.Rc1 Kf8 32.Rd1 Bd4 33.b3 Ke7 34.Kf1 Rd6 35.f3 Rc6 36.Bd3 h6 37.Ke2 Rc3 38.Kd2 Rc5 39.Ke2 g6 40.Rd2 f5 41.Rc2 Rxc2+ 42.Bxc2 Bg1 43.h3 Kf6 44.g3 Bc5 45.g4 Kg5 46.h4+ Kxh4 47.gxf5 g5 48.f6 g4 49.fxg4 Kxg4 50.Be4 Kf4 51.Bf3 e4 52.Bg2 h5 53.f7 h4 54.a4 Bb4 55.Kf2 Bd6 56.Bf1 Bc5+ 57.Kg2 Ke3 58.Kh3 Kf2 0-1