What with the recent onslaught of negative publicity concerning the obviously rampant cheating in Chess I had not intended on watching the US Chess Championships thinking it akin to watching a train wreck. Then again, inquiring minds wast to know and there I was, again glued to the screen watching, and listening, to the action. Younger people accustomed to seeing the game as it is being played will not understand what it means to we wily ol’ veterans who had to be there, as I was in San Antonio in 1972,
to watch the action. To not watch the US Chess Championships emanating from the house that Rex built and miss all the drama and excitement when the first round began was simply not possible. After all, how many train wrecks have been seen with these old eyes? I did not want to read about it, but wanted to see for myself what has become a soap opera, “As The Chess World Turns.” As round time approached my thinking gravitated to something my friend Brian McCarthy was so fond of saying, “Just get me to the round on time!” The coverage of the US Chess Championships has again been excellent and I have immensely enjoyed watching the games.
The plan for today was to show the picture that follows with a headline of, “Is that a banana in your pocket or are trying to cheat me?”
There was a picture of players still in line waiting to be checked out by Mr. Security after the round had already started. Irena Krush was pacing like a caged animal with Hans Niemann standing near her, also waiting to be examined. “Trust, but verify” is obviously the M.O. of the Chess tournament.
That was prior to seeing the headline of the lead article at Chessdom, which has become one of, it not the best sources of information on the internet:
Hikaru Nakamura: Hans Niemann is trying to play the victim (https://www.chessdom.com/hikaru-nakamura-hans-niemann-is-trying-to-play-the-victim/)
Yeah, well, Hans Niemann is playing for the title of US Chess Champion, Naka, and where are you?
Then there is GM Ivan Sokolov:
Cheating in chess discussions… Many claim cheating online is not as bad as OTB. Sorry! It is exactly the same! The ONLY reason online cheaters do not do OTB is they did not (yet) figure out how to do it but -would LOVE to! Cheating – life time ban! Game has to be clean!
Sounds nice, Ivan, until you realize that if the true numbers are ever published by Chess.com there would not be enough players left for the game to survive because if one wants to win at Chess.com one MUST CHEAT! GM Solokov obviously lives in a fantasy world, oblivious to the current situation at Chess.com.
Then there was the article seen this morning with my first cuppa Joe: KNIGHT MARE Chess ‘cheat’ goes through full body scan at US Championships – including his BUM
“A TEEN chess champ accused of cheating got a full body scan — including his bum — before his latest tournament.
A security guard checked out Hans Niemann and raised a laugh when he got to his rear.”
Chess has been pilloried and ridiculed in the press and made a laughingstock by the media, yet I still love the game and cannot wait to see what today will bring. How about you?