Hikaru Nakamura Plays The Truth

This writer, and Chess fan, usually makes it a point to NOT follow anything Chess related containing anything Armageddon, but after learning the world new number two, Hikaru Nakamura

essayed “The truth-as it was known in those far-off days” (found on page 244 of the book, 500 Master Games of Chess, by Dr. S. Tartakower and J. du Mont),


this writer replayed the game between Naka and Aryan Tari, the lowest rated player in the event, who must feel like he has been tied to the whipping post.

Armageddon is the death of Chess. Ask yourself, “What comes after Armageddon?” If those in the Chess world really wanted to do something, anything, to improve Chess by reducing the inordinate number of draws these daze they could have first changed the rules, such as the three move repetition, which should have been outlawed long ago, and/or changing the value of a drawn game to only 1/4 point. How many “buddy-buddy” draws do you suspect would be made if each player were awarded only 1/4 point for that handshake? Just sayin’…

Not only did Nakamura play the venerable Bishop’s opening, he played what was formerly the standard, 3 d3, in lieu of the currently more popular 3 Nc3, the move favored by the programs. Naka, I luv you, Man! I followed the game until this position:

Black to move after 26 hxg4

Tari played 26…c5? This was a terrible blunder, and I knew it immediately. In a discussion with the Legendary one later in the day, I mentioned something about knowing all the Chess I’ve been watching, and writing about, on a consistent basis has increased my understanding of the game immensely. Unfortunately, at my age it is doubtful all that new knowledge can be transferred into playing stronger Chess. If you do not understand why Tari’s 26th move is so weak you need to do some serious soul searching, grasshopper.

Hikaru Nakamura (2775) vs Aryan Tari (2642)
Norway Chess 2023 Round 5
Bishop’s Opening: Vienna Hybrid, Spielmann Attack

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Bc5 4. Nc3 c6 5. Bb3 d6 6. h3 O-O 7. Nf3 a5 8. O-O Nbd7 9. a3 b5 10. Ba2 a4 11. Nh4 Ba7 12. Qf3 Nc5 13. Nf5 Bxf5 14. Qxf5 Re8 15. Bd2 Ne6 16. Ne2 d5 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Rae1 Qd6 19. Qg4 Rad8 20. Ng3 Nd4 21. Bg5 Rb8 22. Be3 Qg6 23. c3 Nxe3 24. fxe3 Nb3 25. Ne4 Qxg4 26. hxg4 c5 27. Bxb3 axb3 28. c4 Red8 29. Rd1 Rd7 30. Kf2 h5 31. gxh5 f5 32. Nc3 b4 33. Nb5 f4 34. axb4 Bb6 35. exf4 cxb4+ 36. Kf3 exf4 37. d4 Rbd8 38. Rd3 Rc8 39. Rc1 Rd5 40. c5 Rg5 41. Nd6 Rc6 42. cxb6 1-0

Although the Stockfish program used at lichess.org shows 3 Nc3 best, the old, tried and true, 3 d3 is still the most often played move (according to 365Chess.com 3 d3 has been played in over eight thousand games, while 3 Nc3 can be found in only fifteen hundred games), 3 d3 has also scored much better than 3 Nc3. What’s not to like?

3…Bc5 has been the third most often played move in the position, after 3…Nc6, and 3…c6, the choice of the ‘Fish. Naka’s choice of 4 Nc3 was how it was played in the past, and yes, it was my move of choice ‘back in the day’. These daze 4 Nf3 is the choice of the ‘Fish, and most human players. 4…c6 is the choice of Stockfish, but it has not been the most frequently played move in the position. In order, 4…d6 (784); 4…Nc6 (314); and 4…h6 (257), have been played more often than the move played in the game, 4…c6 (244).

Dropping the Bishop back with 5 Bb3 looked strange to these eyes. Stockfish will play 5 Nf3, which has been favored by a 4-1 margin over the next most popular move, 5 Bg5. 5 f4 and 5 Qf3 have both been played more frequently than has 5 Bb3, which has been seen in only seventeen games. Any other writer would stop right there and move along, but you are not reading any other writer. You are reading the Armchair Warrior, which means the next move on the list, a move having been played in only ten games, 5 Qe2! must be mentioned. If you do not know the reason you must go back to square one and read each and every blog post, beginning with Tuesday Night Fights (https://baconlog.blogspot.com/2008/07/tuesday-night-fights.html), the first ever blog post by the AW, and after reading each and every post, continue with the first post published at this website until achieving understanding, grasshopper.

After 5 Bb3 Tari played 5…d6. The ‘Fish would simply castle. Naka played 6 h3. Stocky would have played 6 Nf3. In reply, Tari castled. Stockfish would have played a Theoretical Novelty, 6…a5.

If you have been following this, grasshopper, you will understand why Naka played 7 Nf3. Unfortunately for you and your development, Stockfish would have played the knight to e2! I kid you not…

There now followed a series of moves in which both players played the same moves the ‘Fish would have made, until Naka varied with 9 a3. Stockfish would have gone ‘whole hog’ and moved that pawn two squares, for reasons that should be obvious. Tari answered with 9…b5, when Stockfish would have simply moved his pawn to h6. After Naka dropped his prelate back to a2 with his tenth move, Tari kept coming when playing 10…a4. Again, Stockfish would have simply played 10…h6.

My last comment on the opening comes after Naka played 11 Nh4, moving the knight to the rim, where it is dim. I would have played 11 Bg5. Stockfish would have played 11 Kh1, a move not on my radar. The reason being the ‘Fish wants to move the f-pawn, and would first move the knight to h2 in order to do so. I do not know about you, but I have played “The Truth” ever since beginning Chess in 1970 and I am still learning, or at least attempting to learn at my advanced age. What can I say? Chess is deep. Actually, Chess is so deep as to seem almost fathomless at times, which is why I keep coming back for more, no matter the pain.

From here on you are on your own. Grasshoppers, start your engines!

Yang Wen vs Sun Qinan (2243)
Event: CHN-chT
Site: Suzhou Date: 03/29/2001
Round: 4 Score: 0-1
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 d6 5.h3 c6 6.Bb3 O-O 7.Nge2 Nbd7 8.Ng3 Bb6 9.a3 Nc5 10.Ba2 Be6 11.Qf3 Bxa2 12.Rxa2 Ne6 13.Nce2 d5 14.Ra1 Ba5+ 15.b4 Bb6 16.O-O a5 17.Bb2 Bc7 18.h4 axb4 19.axb4 Qe7 20.Bc3 g6 21.Bd2 h5 22.exd5 Nxd5 23.Bh6 Rfe8 24.Ne4 f5 25.Ng5 Rxa1 26.Rxa1 Nxg5 27.Bxg5 Qxb4 28.c4 Nc3 29.Ng3 e4 30.dxe4 Nxe4 31.Nxe4 Rxe4 32.Ra8+ Kf7 33.g3 Qxc4 34.Qa3 Re1+ 35.Kh2 c5 36.Rc8 Bd6 37.Qf3 Qe4 38.Qb3+ c4 39.Qxc4+ Qxc4 40.Rxc4 Re4 41.Rc8 b5 42.Rc6 Re6 43.Kg2 Bb8 44.Rc8 Rb6 45.Be3 Rb7 46.Bd4 b4 47.Rc6 Rd7 48.Bc5 b3 49.Ba3 Ba7 50.Rc4 Rb7 51.Bb2 Ke6 52.Kf3 Kd5 53.Rc8 Bc5 54.Ke2 Ra7 55.Kd3 Bxf2 56.Rd8+ Kc6 57.Kc4 Ra6 0-1

Alexander Morozevich (2750) vs Viswanathan Anand (2788)
Event: World Blitz
Site: Moscow RUS Date: 11/16/2009
Round: 7 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 d6 5.h3 c6 6.Bb3 O-O 7.Qf3 b5 8.Nge2 a5 9.a3 Be6 10.g4 Bxb3 11.cxb3 Ne8 12.Ng3 Na6 13.Nf5 b4 14.Na4 bxa3 15.bxa3 Rb8 16.Rb1 Nec7 17.h4 Ne6 18.g5 Nd4 19.Qg4 Nxf5 20.exf5 Bd4 21.f6 Qc8 22.Qf3 Qe6 23.fxg7 Kxg7 24.Rg1 d5 25.Kf1 e4 26.dxe4 dxe4 27.Qg4 c5 28.Rg3 Kg8 29.Kg2 Nc7 30.Bf4 Rbc8 31.Bxc7 Rxc7 32.Nb2 Rb7 33.Nc4 a4 34.Nd2 Qxg4 35.Rxg4 e3 36.fxe3 Bxe3 37.Nc4 Rxb3 38.Rxb3 axb3 39.Rg3 Rb8 40.Rxe3 b2 ½-½

CNN Headlines Chess

The headline reads: Indian chess sensation Dommaraju Gukesh defeats Magnus Carlsen on his 17th birthday

By Ben Morse, CNN
Published 7:33 AM EDT, Fri June 2, 2023

Gukesh surveys the board during his round nine game against the Azerbaijan team at the 44th Chess Olympiad on August 7, 2022. (https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/02/sport/dommaraju-gukesh-17th-birthday-magnus-carlsen-spt-intl/index.html)

Magnus Carlsen is no longer World Chess Champ but he is still the highest rated, and best human Chess player on the planet so it is noteworthy when he loses a game of Chess.

The article begins: “As birthday presents go, defeating the world No. 1 and five-time world champion must rank up there among the best for chess grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh.”

Reading further one finds: “On his 17th birthday, the young Indian chess star beat Magnus Carlsen in the blitz event ahead of the Norway Chess tournament.”

“blitz event” is not explained. (https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/02/sport/dommaraju-gukesh-17th-birthday-magnus-carlsen-spt-intl/index.html)

I have been involved with Chess for over half a century and have no idea what constitutes the “blitz” time control used in the event because the writer does not mention the specific time limit used in the event. I am guessing “blitz” means three minutes for the entire game for both opponents. I could be wrong. “Back in the day “blitz” was just another word for “speed” Chess, which was also called “rapid transit.” Last century a “speed” Chess game was was also called “5 minute,” because each player had only five minutes on the clock for the entire game.

In an excellent article at Chessbase, which contains each and every game, one finds:

Herceg Novi 1970 and the Fischer Papers
by André Schulz

4/8/2020 – 50 years ago today, on April 8, 1970, Herceg Novi in Yugoslavia hosted a blitz tournament that might well be the best blitz tournament of all time. Twelve of the world’s best players competed in a double round-robin. Bobby Fischer won with 19 out of 22. |

Photo: Chess Life (https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-blitz-tournament-herceg-novi-1970-and-the-fischer-papers)

‘Back in the day’ some called speed Chess “Throw away games.” Games scores of speed Chess were rare because there were no electronic boards. The only games recorded were those played by the top Grandmasters, and a human had to actually write down the moves, called “taking notation.”

The problem is that now people who know little, if anything, about how Chess is played, write articles making it appear “blitz” Chess is Chess. There was no “blitz” in the title of the article, so for a casual reader it appears the young player defeated the highest rated Chess player on the planet, Magnus Carlsen in CHESS! One can imagine a hypothetical conversation between two people knowing little, if anything, about Chess, in which it is said, “Didja see where that young teenager defeated the top Chess player on the planet by blitzing him?”

“Yeah buddy, he blitzed him right offa the board!”

I have heard that “Any publicity is good publicity,” but this kind of thing only cheapens and devalues serious Chess, which is really all that matters.

Having had a very late start playing Chess at twenty I was never very good at “speed” Chess, which was five minutes for each player for the whole game. I therefore watched in amazement those who could play so well with very little time to cogitate. I was more like Rudy, who was “on a train to nowhere/Halfway down the line/He don’t wanna get there/But he needs time…”

I needed more time, and when playing fifteen minute Chess my strength went up exponentially. The trouble was that the speed demons did not want to play with that much time. There was a nice gentleman who was a habitué of the Atlanta Chess and Game Center, aka, the House of Pain, named Oddo Fox, who was a hairdresser greatly in demand. Oddo made it to lower class B, which means he had stopped dropping pieces and could give almost anyone a decent game. But when it came to speed Chess Oddo’s strength increased tremendously, probably because he played so much of speed Chess. I recall seeing a player in San Antonio way back in 1972 who was defeating very strong players at speed Chess, but who could no longer play over the board, classical type Chess because of a heart problem. I recall wondering why he could play fast Chess, but not slow Chess, when it seemed it should be the reverse, because the adrenaline really gets pumpin’ when playing any kind of “speed” Chess. The dude was drillin’ Grandmasters, who would get up from the board after losing shaking their heads.

The new Chess clocks with a “time added” feature have revolutionized the Royal Game. Organizers no long want to spend a whole weekend hosting “around the clock” Chess events. They are, though, pleased to spend and afternoon or evening hosting quick play events. What does this mean for the future of Chess? I have no idea. Life is change, and often not for better. Nevertheless, one must adapt to change because there is no alternative, other than to stop playing. Unfortunately, Chess has become the “go to” game for many of those with a short attention span, who will, and are, bringing the game down to their level.

Hell Yeah

During sixth grade we boys discovered cursing. A sentence could not be said without using a curse word. The cursing was so bad the young, very pretty teacher kept all the males after school. She broke down and cried like a baby when asking us to stop. That left an indelible impression on most of us. I took it to heart and, after talking with Mother, decided to stop cursing, not only in school. Some years later I was working at the Boys Club on scholarship when a younger fellow, Ronnie Bond, made me so mad I cursed at him. He just stood there with an incredulous look on his face until I asked, “What’s wrong.” He replied, “Gee Mike, we have never heard you cuss.” Another boy, Doug Edwards, said, “We didn’t even know you could cuss.”

Why swearing is a sign of intelligence, helps manage pain and more

Polite society considers swearing to be a vulgar sign of low intelligence and education, for why would one rely on rude language when blessed with a rich vocabulary?

That perception, as it turns out, is full of, uh … baloney. In fact, swearing may be a sign of verbal superiority, studies have shown, and may provide other possible rewards as well.

“The advantages of swearing are many,” said Timothy Jay, professor emeritus of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who has studied swearing for more than 40 years.

“The benefits of swearing have just emerged in the last two decades as a result of a lot of research on brain and emotion, along with much better technology to study brain anatomy.”

Cursing may be a sign of intelligence


Swearing may be a sign of honesty

Profanity improves pain tolerance


Cussing is a sign of creativity

Throwing expletives instead of punches

It’s not just people who swear. Even primates curse when given the chance.

“Chimpanzees in the wild tend to use their excrement as a social signal, one that’s designed to keep people away,” Byrne said.

Hand-raised chimps who were potty-trained learned sign language for “poo” so they could tell their handlers when they needed the toilet.

“And as soon as they learned the poo sign they began using it like we do the word sh*t,” Byrne said. “Cursing is just a way of expressing your feelings that doesn’t involve throwing actual sht. You just throw the idea of sh*t around.”

Does that mean that we should curse whenever we feel like it, regardless of our environment or the feelings of others? Of course not. But at least you can cut yourself some slack the next time you inadvertently let an f-bomb slip.

After all, you’re just being human.

Rocking-horse People Eating Marshmallow Pies

For many years my day has started with a strong cuppa Joe while surfin’ the interwovenwebofallthings. One of the websites visited each and every day has been the Astronomy Picture of the Day (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html). While watching todaze edition a thought surfaced. “What if we hippies had had the interwovenweb ‘back in the day’?” The short film you are about to see reminded me of the LSDaze when “flower power” blossomed when we hippies ingested lysergic acid.

Simulation: A Disk Galaxy Forms
Video Credit: TNG Collaboration, MPCDF, FAS Harvard U.; Music: World’s Sunrise (YouTube: Jimena Contreras)
Explanation: How did we get here? We know that we live on a planet orbiting a star orbiting a galaxy, but how did all of this form? Since our universe moves too slowly to watch, faster-moving computer simulations are created to help find out. Specifically, this featured video from the IllustrisTNG collaboration tracks gas from the early universe (redshift 12) until today (redshift 0). As the simulation begins, ambient gas falls into and accumulates in a region of relatively high gravity. After a few billion years, a well-defined center materializes from a strange and fascinating cosmic dance. Gas blobs — some representing small satellite galaxies — continue to fall into and become absorbed by the rotating galaxy as the present epoch is reached and the video ends. For the Milky Way Galaxy, however, big mergers may not be over — recent evidence indicates that our large spiral disk Galaxy will collide and coalesce with the slightly larger Andromeda spiral disk galaxy in the next few billion years. (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html)

Wonder if that will be known as “The Bigger Bang”?

10 Tripped-Out Songs About Hallucinogens and Psychedelics

Melissa Fossum July 5, 2016 3:41AM

Psychedelics and music go hand in hand. Between popular songs and TV shows, LSD had a huge cultural impact on the 1970s. Some people use LSD to find God, and for others, it’s responsible for creativity. Steve Jobs said, “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life.” Without acid, you may not be reading this on your iPhone right now.

Here are 10 trippy songs about LSD, MDMA, and magic mushrooms.

The Beatles — “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”
Picture yourself in a boat on a river / With tangerine trees and marmalade skies / Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

John Lennon claims that the imagery in this song is about a picture Julian drew. Uh-huh, so it must be a coincidence that the title can be abbreviated as LSD. What kind of kid draws rocking-horse people eating marshmallow pies, anyway?


About a week ago I clicked onto a link found at the website of the Coast to Coast Am radio program (https://www.coasttocoastam.com/inthenews/) and noticed this: Aphantasia: why are some people unable to picture things in their mind? (https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/367073/aphantasia-why-are-some-people-unable-to-picture-things-in-their-mind)

Not everyone can picture something in their head. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Andrew Mason (https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/367073/aphantasia-why-are-some-people-unable-to-picture-things-in-their-mind)

Why, indeed, was my first thought, because I am one of those people. At the end of the article this was read: This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

I clicked onto it immediately (https://theconversation.com/were-just-starting-to-learn-more-about-aphantasia-the-inability-to-picture-things-with-the-minds-eye-202670) and read the article again… Since then I have read many articles pertaining to aphantasia, the urls of some will be found in chronological order at the end of the post.

In a recent post (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2023/05/20/fm-todd-andrews-versus-grandmasters-robert-hungaski-and-david-arenas-at-the-american-continental-chess-championship-2023/) this was written: I could “see” 21 Bxe5, followed by 21…Nxe5 22 dxe5 Rxe5 23 Nf3, attacking the Rook. That is about as far my Chess vision allows. I can “see” that because it is all forced.

That was the day before discovering the article at the Unexplained Mysteries website. I wrote “see” because I cannot actually “see” anything when my eyes are closed; all I see is black.

The article at The Conversation begins: “When asked to close their eyes and imagine a sunset, most people can bring to mind an image of the sun setting on the horizon. Some people may experience more vivid details, such as vibrant colours, while others may produce a mental image that is blurry or lacks detail. But recent research has found that some people don’t experience mental imagery at all.”

“This lack of mental imagery is called aphantasia. People with aphantasia are often surprised when they learn others see mental images in their minds. Many people with aphantasia have said they assumed others were speaking metaphorically when they described seeing something in their “mind’s eye.”

Because of Chess I knew some players could see a picture of the board, or many boards, when they play blindfold Chess, or any kind of Chess without sight of the board, for that matter. Some players are able to keep a mental picture of myriad games in their mind’s eye. I thought they were freaks. Turns out I am the freak because, “It is estimated that roughly four per cent of people have aphantasia.” (https://theconversation.com/were-just-starting-to-learn-more-about-aphantasia-the-inability-to-picture-things-with-the-minds-eye-202670)

After reading the article emails were sent to some of my friends in the Chess community asking the question, “When you are playing Chess can you visualize the board and pieces when you close your eyes? Can you move a piece and see the new position?”

Some did not understand the question but after replying to their reply they found understanding. Some elaborated, which I greatly appreciated. The answer that made me smile came from one of my all-time favorite people, The Discman (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/the-discman/), who replied with one word: “Yes.” Not one person contacted said they could not visualize anything. One wanted more information, asking why I had asked “such a ridiculous question.” Although I have yet to inform anyone of why the question was asked, I did reply to the person, who, after reading, sent a very nice apology, using the word “profusely” prior to “sorry.” He was completely unaware, like most people, I suppose, that there are people who “draw a blank” when they close their eyes. “How the hell can you play Chess?” he asked. How indeed…

My roommate, the Legendary Georgia Ironman, was incredulous upon learning I could not visualize a Chess position, or a picture of my Mother. “That’s scary,” Tim said. He, too, questioned me, asking, “How do you analyze a position?” That is a difficult question to answer. Tim also asked about my being able to “see” a picture of my Mother. The only way for me to describe it is that I have a memory of her smiling, and a picture of one particular photo of her smiling, which are contained in my memory, but I cannot exactly ‘see’ the picture. It is more like something vague in a kinda, sorta nebulous way, I suppose one could say. “That’s frightening,” he said. “How is it possible you could win tournaments and become an Expert without being able to analyze in your head?” He also said, “I would not let anyone know you cannot visualize, Mike.”

I did not start playing Chess seriously until the age of twenty, and because of that fact I have always known there was a ceiling for me that would never be broken. Another friend questioned asked, “How is it possible you could have become an Expert without being able to see the board in your head?” How indeed… Now I know it was not just beginning late that held me back. After winning the Atlanta Chess Championship with a score of 5-0 in 1976 I discovered Backgammon, becoming Atlanta and Georgia Backgammon Champion. In Backgammon one need not visualize future positions because there are simply too many possibilities because the roll of the dice determines the next move. Although I still played tournament Chess occasionally, and did play two fifteen minute games with former Texas State Junior champ Steve Moffitt at Gammons, the only time any other game was seen played there, I was a shadow of the former player. After the Backgammon bubble burst and the boom ended I returned to tournament Chess, but although my rating increased, putting that much sought after crooked number (2) at the front of my rating, I was never again as strong a player as I had been before leaving Chess for Backgammon.

I decided to write this post because this is all new to me, and at my age, there is not much all that new to me now. I want to know how many other players cannot visualize. Therefore, I ask you to contact me at the email found at the AW website. I give my word that nothing written will ever be seen by anyone other than me, unless permission is given by those who contact me. In addition, I ask any and all who read this to share it with others. If the USCF forum was still operational I would ask someone to post it on the forum. If and when (or should that be when and if?) the forum is up again maybe some reader will put this up for discussion. Inquiring minds wanna know…

Here is a partial list of the articles, by date published, read in the last week:

Aphantasia: When Your Mind’s Eye Fails You
The word describes an inability to conceive imaginary or recollected scenes

Chapter 15 – Aphantasia: The science of visual imagery extremes
Volume 178, 2021

The critical role of mental imagery in human emotion: insights from fear-based imagery and aphantasia
10 March 2021

Aphantasia explained: some people can’t form mental pictures
Published: June 9, 2021 1.34pm EDT

What is the Link Between Mental Imagery and Sensory Sensitivity? Insights from Aphantasia
First published online August 31, 2021

The prevalence of aphantasia (imagery weakness) in the general population
January 2022, 103243

Memories with a blind mind: Remembering the past and imagining the future with aphantasia
October 2022

Meta-analytic evidence for a novel hierarchical model of conceptual processing
January 2023

We’re just starting to learn more about aphantasia, the inability to picture things with the mind’s eye
Published: May 16, 2023 3.32pm EDT

Aphantasia: why are some people unable to picture things in their mind?
May 20, 2023

Extreme Imagination: Inside the Mind’s Eye

Truth be told, this blog has more readers during the week than on the weekend, and even fewer readers on a holiday weekend. Therefore, this post will be up until after the holiday in order to, hopefully, reach more people.

USCF Bans GM Alejandro Ramirez For Life

This morning while drinking my first cuppa Joe I read the following at the home page of the United States Chess Federation:

US Chess Final Statement About Alejandro Ramirez Investigation
By US Chess May 24, 2023

US Chess launched an investigation in late 2022 when it received formal complaints from two
individuals alleging sexual misconduct by GM Alejandro Ramirez.


The primary focus of this
investigation was to determine when US Chess had knowledge of the various allegations and what
responsive actions US Chess took. The third party, independent investigation is complete, and,
based on the information received, the third party concluded that the US Chess response was timely and appropriate regarding the reports it received about Ramirez’s conduct. Our focus now is
implementing specific action steps to build a safe, welcoming environment for the future. The
investigation report will not be released due to the confidential nature of the witness statements.

First, as a result of the investigation, the Executive Board has voted to both ratify the
resignation of GM Ramirez and permanently ban GM Ramirez from being a US Chess member.

This writer disagrees with the decision made by the USCF because the United States of America is a forgiving country in which it is said, “If you commit the crime you’ve got to do the time.” We Americans are given second chances for a reason. Please do not get me wrong because from what I have read the actions of GM Ramirez were reprehensible. If he had treated one of my sisters in such a fashion there would have been hell to pay. Actions speak louder than words and you can read in a recent post about the time I took action when one of my sisters suitors intentionally ran her car off of the road in, Say It Ain’t So, Alejandro (https://wordpress.com/post/xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/15193).

One of the members of the Atlanta Chess community ‘back in the day’ was an ex-con, Ulysses Martin. He was a very nice guy and we played many Chess games, including one rated game in which Mr. Martin lost on time after making only 24 moves! Ulysses was a quiet gentleman who had committed a crime, murder, for which he served his time, seven years, before being paroled. As far as I know Ulysses was never again in trouble, other than the trouble he got into over the Chessboard.

‘Back in the day’ a tournament director, Ted Abbott, got up in my face, spewing spittle. I slapped him, not hard, but hard enough to get him to stop spewing. Unfortunately for Ted he responded, slapping the you know what outta me, so I decked him with a straight right fist. For that I was banned from playing in any Georgia Chess Association tournament for one year. As an aside, many years later when involved with sports memorabilia, Mr. Abbott purchased a table at an event in which I was involved. The Legendary Georgia Ironman also had a table, right next to mine, at the event. Tim excitedly returned to the table informing me that “Ted Abbott is here, Mike. He has notebook after notebook filled with autograph cards. They all look like the same person signed them.” After walking over Ted was SHOCKED to see me. After a brief discussion I said, “Ted, all these cards look like they were signed by the same person.” Ted immediately began packing his binders and left the hotel. He was never seen again.

CNN has reached out to Ramirez for comment about the accusations through his lawyer Albert S. Watkins, who replied, “I have been directed to respect the confidentiality I was advised would purportedly attach to pending investigative undertakings.”

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the accusations, quoted Watkins as saying, “At some point we are all compelled to take pause and reflect on the reality that unsubstantiated, temporally aged, and concurrent use of social media to incite a ‘Me Too’ call-to-arms runs afoul of every constitutional safeguard we have always held so dear.

“Superimposing today’s mores on erroneous recitals of acts of yesteryear is a recipe for disaster for both the accused and the accuser.”

Unless there is more, much more, to the story, that the USCF, in its wisdom, is holding back, the decision to permanently ban GM Ramirez should be reconsidered.

Boys Will Be Boys is my attempt at making sense of society’s tendency to blame the victims of sexual assault and rape and make excuses for the perpetrators. It was also my way of dealing with certain events that were occurring in my life at the time. The video itself was intended to express the burden of victim blaming and sexual assault on the victims themselves as the mundane aspects of life go on. A song is just a song but at the very least I hope it will open up difficult yet important conversations between family members, friends, government bodies, organisations and most importantly, boys and men.

Directed, Shot and Edited by George Foster

Lillie Carney
Daisy Dwyer
Alice Warren
Ashlyn Koh
and Stella Donnelly

Happy Birthday, Bob!

Studio Sessions
Happy Birthday, Bob!
May 24, 20235:00 AM ET


By Bruce Warren, Miguel Perez

Bob Dylan
William Claxton/Courtesy of the artist

Bob Dylan turns 82 today, so we’re taking this opportunity to celebrate some of the legendary songwriter’s music, as well as covers of his work over the years.

Born in 1941 in Duluth, Minn., Dylan has a discography that’s been covered by a wide range of musicians drawing from many genres: The Byrds, Nina Simone, Guns N’ Roses, Cat Power, Jerry Garcia, Eddie Vedder, and Rage Against The Machine.

Then, of course, there’s the unquestionable brilliance of Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower,” which has influenced the way Dylan himself performs the song live.

“My old songs, they’ve got something — I agree, they’ve got something,” Dylan once said in a 2016 Rolling Stone piece by novelist Jonathan Lethem. “I think my songs have been covered — maybe not as much as ‘White Christmas’ or ‘Stardust,’ but there’s a list of over 5,000 recordings. That’s a lot of people covering your songs, they must have something. If I was me, I’d cover my songs too.”

We hope you enjoy this playlist. Happy birthday, Bob. Here’s to many more.


Finding a Way to Draw at the Space Coast Open

Back in the day there was a Chess player from Alabama, Robert Pruitt, who was famous for drawing many games, many of which could have been on. When I mentioned the name to the Ironman, he said, “Oh yeah, the draw meister. He would find a way!” It was often heard, “Pruitt’s gotta won game.” The reply would be, “Don’t worry, Pruitt will find a way.” Or, “Pruitt’s busted bad.” Then would come, “Don’t worry, he will find a way.” What Robert would do was “find a way” to make a draw. Robert was a class A player who spent time in the Expert section. Word on the street was that Pruitt could have possibly become a National Master if’n he had turned some of those draws into wins. I checked out his MSA page at the USCF website and found that since 1991 Mr. Pruitt won 75 games while drawing 77 to go with his 29 losses.(https://www.uschess.org/datapage/gamestats.php?memid=10239184)

This is being mentioned because of something found at the website of recently completed 28th Space Coast Open in Florida:

Some details and rules:
Master/Expert Section Modified Sofia Rule: No draw offers permitted prior to move 30.

The love of a draw will find a way.

GM Nikola Mitkov


vs GM Jianchao Zhou
28th Space Coast Open Round 4
B23 Sicilian Defense: Closed

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. Bd3 Nc6 6. Bb5 Nd4 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. Bb5 1/2-1/2

GM Julio Becerra

vs GM Nikola Mitkov
28th Space Coast Open Round 5
ECO: E69 Ruy Lopez: Exchange Variation, Alapin Gambit

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3 h5 7. c3 Qd3 8. hxg4 hxg4 9. Nxe5 Bd6 10. Nxd3 Bh2+ 11. Kh1 Bg3+ 12. Kg1 Bh2+ 13. Kh1 Bg3+ 14. Kg1 Bh2+ 1/2-1/2

365Chess contains 254 games reaching 10…Bh2+. The game below was one of them. Wonder how long they would have sat there repeating the position if not being informed of the three time repetition rule?

Andrei Macovei (2343) vs Nichita Morozov (2467)
Event: World Junior Open 2017
Site: Tarvisio ITA Date: 11/19/2017
Round: 6.28 Score: ½-½
ECO: C69 Ruy Lopez, exchange variation, Alapin gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O Bg4 6.h3 h5 7.c3 Qd3 8.hxg4 hxg4 9.Nxe5 Bd6 10.Nxd3 Bh2+ 11.Kh1 Bg3+ 12.Kg1 Bh2+ 13.Kh1 Bg3+ 14.Kg1 Bh2+ 15.Kh1 Bg3+ 16.Kg1 Bh2+ 17.Kh1 Bg3+ 18.Kg1 Bh2+ 19.Kh1 Bg3+ 20.Kg1 ½-½

Round 8: IM Josiah Stearman vs GM Santiago Avila Pavas
28th Space Coast Open Round 4
ECO: B 70 Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. f3 Nc6 7. Be3 h5 8. Qd2 Nxd4 9. Bxd4 Bh6 10. Bb5+ Bd7 11. Bxd7+ Nxd7 12. Be3 Bxe3 13. Qxe3 Qb6 14. Qxb6 Nxb6 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. exd5 Rc8 17. O-O-O Kd7 18. Rd4 Rc5 19. Re1 Rhc8 20. Rde4 Re8 21. Rf4 Rf8 22. Rfe4 Re8 23. Rf4 1/2-1/2

There was some fighting Chess played at the Space Coast, and GM Mitkov played one of the games:

GM Nikola Mitkov vs Scott Ramer
28th Space Coast Open Round 2
ECO: C27 Vienna Game: Frankenstein-Dracula Variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nxe4 4. Qh5 Nd6 5. Qxe5+ Qe7 6. Qxe7+ Bxe7 7. Bb3 Nf5 8. Nf3 c6 9. Ne2 d5 10. c3 Nd7 11. Bc2 Nf8 12. h4 h5 13. d4 f6 14. Bd2 Kf7 15. O-O-O Nd6 16. Ng3 Bg4 17. Rde1 Nc4 18. Nf5 Bxf5 19. Bxf5 g6 20. Bd3 Nxd2 21. Nxd2 Bd6 22. c4 Nd7 23. Nb1 c5 24. Nc3 cxd4 25. Nxd5 Ne5 26. Kd2 Rac8 27. Rc1 Ng4 28. Rhf1 f5 29. Be2 Nf6 30. Bf3 Nxd5 31. Bxd5+ Kf6 32. Kd3 b6 33. a3 Rhe8 34. Rc2 Be5 35. Re1 Re7 36. Rce2 Rcc7 37. g3 a5 38. f4 Bd6 39. Re6+ Kg7 40. Kxd4 Rxe6 41. Rxe6 Bc5+ 42. Kc3 Bf2 43. b4 axb4+ 44. axb4 b5 45. c5 Bxg3 46. Rb6 Bxh4 47. Rxb5 Bg3 48. c6 Bxf4 49. Rc5 Ra7 50. Ra5 Re7 51. b5 Bc7 52. Ra6 Kf6 53. b6 Ke5 54. bxc7 Rxc7 55. Kc4 g5 56. Ra8 h4 57. Rh8 Kf4 58. Kc5 Kg3 59. Be6 g4 60. Bxf5 h3 61. Kd6 Rg7 62. c7 Rxc7 63. Kxc7 h2 64. Bxg4 Kxg4 65. Rxh2 1-0

Anatoly Lein vs Igor A Zaitsev
Event: URS-ch36
Site: Alma-Ata Date: ??/??/1968
Round: 3 Score: ½-½
ECO: C27 Vienna game
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxe7+ Bxe7 7.Bb3 Nf5 8.Nf3 c6 9.g4 Nh4 10.Nxh4 Bxh4 11.d4 d5 12.Rg1 O-O 13.Ne2 Re8 14.c3 Nd7 15.Kf1 Nf6 16.f3 h5 17.h3 b6 18.a4 Ba6 19.Bd1 Re6 20.a5 Rae8 21.Rg2 Bd3 22.axb6 axb6 23.b3 Nh7 24.gxh5 Nf6 25.Ra2 Nxh5 26.Kg1 Be1 27.f4 Bxe2 28.Rgxe2 Bxc3 29.Rxe6 Rxe6 30.Bxh5 Re1+ 31.Kg2 Rxc1 32.Ra8+ Kh7 33.Bxf7 Bxd4 34.f5 Bf6 35.Kf3 Rf1+ 36.Kg4 Rg1+ 37.Kf3 Rf1+ ½-½

FM Corey Acor vs Vincent Stone
28th Space Coast Open Round 2
ECO: C27 Sicilian Defense: Closed

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 d6 6. Be3 e5 7. f4 Nge7 8. Nf3 Nd4 9. O-O Bg4 10. Qd2 O-O 11. Nh4 exf4 12. Bxf4 Be6 13. Rf2 Rc8 14. Raf1 b5 15. Bg5 b4 16. Nd1 Qd7 17. c3 Ndc6 18. c4 Ne5 19. Ne3 Ng4 20. Nxg4 Bxg4 21. h3 Be6 22. g4 Bd4 23. Bf6 Bxf6 24. Rxf6 Kg7 25. b3 Ng8 26. R6f2 Qe7 27. Qb2+ f6 28. d4 Bd7 29. Nf3 cxd4 30. Qxd4 Rc5 31. Rd1 Bc6 32. Ne1 Qe5 33. Qxe5 Rxe5 34. Nd3 Ree8 35. Nxb4 Bxe4 36. Rxd6 a5 37. Nd5 Bxd5 38. Rxd5 a4 39. b4 Re1+ 40. Bf1 a3 41. Rd7+ Kh6 42. b5 Rc8 43. Kg2 Rb1 44. Ra7 f5 45. gxf5 gxf5 46. Rxa3 Nf6 47. Ra6 Rg8+ 48. Kh2 Rg6 49. Bd3 Rbg1 50. Rxf6 1-0

Stockfish says, 12…Qd7.

The Reason People Listen to Sad Songs

“Tom Traubert’s Blues”

Tom Waits

Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did, I’ve got what I paid for now
See you tomorrow, hey Frank, can I borrow a couple of bucks from you
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

I’m an innocent victim of a blinded alley
And I’m tired of all these soldiers here
No one speaks English, and everything’s broken, and my Stacys are soaking wet
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

Now the dogs are barking and the taxi cab’s parking
A lot they can do for me
I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open,
And I’m down on my knees tonight
Old Bushmill’s I staggered, you’d bury the dagger
In your silhouette window light go
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I’ve kissed her
And the one-armed bandit knows
And the maverick Chinamen, and the cold-blooded signs,
And the girls down by the strip-tease shows, go
Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

No, I don’t want your sympathy, the fugitives say
That the streets aren’t for dreaming now
And manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories,
They want a piece of the action anyhow
Go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

And you can ask any sailor, and the keys from the jailor,
And the old men in wheelchairs know
And Mathilda’s the defendant, she killed about a hundred,
And she follows wherever you may go
Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

And it’s a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace,
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on an
Old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers, the night watchmen flame keepers
And goodnight to Mathilda, too