GM Alonso Zapata vs FM Todd Andrews in French Defense Battle at the May 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina

Years ago FM Todd Andrews

Photo Gallery from the 2005 World Open (USA)
thechessdrum.net

relocated from Music City to the Phoenix city, Atlanta, Georgia. It happened that by happenstance I was at Todd’s apartment after he moved in and again later as he was getting ready to return to Nashville, Tennessee. There was an obvious disparity between how the apartment looked on those two occasions, kind of like one of those ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.

Todd was young, and strong, at that time, and was the “Big Dog” at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, kickin’ ass and takin’ names. He was also an extremely personable and animated fellow. After being beaten by Todd one regular habitué of the House of Pain vociferously and demonstrably said to any and everyone within earshot, “That Todd has a BIG HEAD!” To which Bob Bassett replied, “Yeah, and if you ever get your rating up to 2400 you will have a big head.” Another wag added, “Fat chance.” The loser hit the door… The name stuck, although no one ever called Todd “Big Head” to his face. After yet another player had been battered and bloodied, metaphorically speaking, of course, over the Chess board by Todd, the loser would be asked about the result and the reply would invariably be, “Big Head got me.” About this time there was a popular music group, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, who were quite popular. Todd traveled to a music festival in another state and I considered asking if Big Head Todd and the Monsters were there, but refrained from so doing…

These days Todd is the man with the Big Head at the Nashville Chess Center:

https://ncc.clubexpress.com/

FM Andrews drew with fellow FM James Canty in the opening round of the May 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational at the Charlotte Chess Center and followed that with a victory over GM Alonso Zapata, now a citizen of Georgia living in the metro Atlanta area. A couple of losses set him back before he was paired with serial drawer IM Nikolay Andrianov,

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

“…who became the Soviet Junior Champion in 1980. He beat GM Gary Kasparov in their junior years and maintains a plus score against the world champion. After that, he chose to focus on chess training. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chess training from the Moscow Central Physical Culture and Sports Institute, considered the top chess school globally at the time. He has since then trained students, many of them becoming masters in Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States. Currently, he teaches chess in Arizona and online with Ashburn Chess Club.” (https://ashburnchessclub.com/nikolay-andrianov)

These are the games produced by IM Nikolay Andrianov in the first four rounds:

IM NIKOLAY ANDRIANOV (2317) vs DONALD JOHNSON (2102)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx


Round 1 | 2022.05.04 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. c4 c6 6. O-O d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Ne5 Ne4 9. Nc3 1/2-1/2

TIANQI WANG (2331)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

vs IM NIKOLAY ANDRIANOV (2317)
Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. b3 g6 4. Bb2 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Qc2 Nc6 7. a3 d6 8. Be2 e5 9. d3 a6 10. Nc3 Rb8 11. O-O b5 12. Ne4 bxc4 13. bxc4 Nxe4 14. dxe4 f5 15. Bc3 f4 16. Rab1 fxe3 17. fxe3 Bh6 18. Qd3 Be6 19. Rxb8 Qxb8 20. Nd2 1/2-1/2

IM NIKOLAY ANDRIANOV (2317) vs IM ROBERTO MARTIN DEL CAMPO (2263)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx


Round 3 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. dxe5 dxe5 1/2-1/2

IM NIKOLAY ANDRIANOV (2317) – ALEXANDER KING (2283)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx


Round 4 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Bf5 3. Bb2 e6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 h6 6. O-O Be7 7. c4 c6 1/2-1/2

What happened in the second round? It looks as though Tianqi Wang actually considered attempting to try and play for a win, but after making a very weak move that gave the advantage to his opponent changed his mind and offered a draw, which was accepted by the player with little fight left in him. It takes two to tango, and make a draw, so all the blame cannot go to IM Andrianov. Some of the blame must be taken by the pusillanimous pussies so ready to accept a draw offer from an old and weak IM. Todd Andrews came to play Chess and forced the ineffectual IM to play to the death. Unfortunately, it was Todd who lost, but he went down fighting, like a man, and my hat is off to FM Todd Andrews. In losing Todd Andrews comes away a winner from one of the Charlotte Drawing Tournaments.

GM ALONSO ZAPATA (2367)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

vs FM TODD ANDREWS (2209)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx


Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 0-1 ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 c5 6. Ndf3 Nc6 7. Bd3 cxd4 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 10. Ne2 Qc7 11. O-O Bd6 12. Nc3 a6 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rc1 h6 15. Bh4 Bf4 16. Rc2 Qf7 17. Ne2 Bb8 18. Bg3 Bd7 19. Rc3 Ne4 20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Nd2 e5 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. Bxe5 Nxe5 24. Nxe4 Bc6 25. Qb1 Rad8 26. N2g3 Qf4 27. f3 Qh4 28. Qc2 Kh8 29. Rc5 Nd3 30. Rh5 Qf4 31. h3 Qe3+ 32. Kh2 Bxe4 33. Nxe4 Rc8 34. Qb3 Qe2 35. Ng3 Qc2 36. Kg1 Nf4 37. Qxc2 Rxc2 38. Rf5 Rxg2+ 39. Kh1 Rxf5 40. Nxf5 Rxb2 41. Rd1 0-1
    https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/TournamentGames.aspx#
  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 (Stockfish 14 and 15 both play 3 Nc3, as does Komodo) 3…Nf6 (According to the ChessBaseDataBase, Komodo, Houdini, and Deep Fritz prefer 3…c5) 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 (SF 8 @depth 46 plays the move played in the game, but SF 13 @depth 44 goes with the most often played move of 5 Bd3. SF 14.1 @depth 47 will play 5 f4) 5…c5 6. Ndf3 (SF 311221 plays 6 Bd3 which has been far and away the most often played move with 8421 games in the CBDB; SF 14.1 will play 6 f4, the second most often played move (1924). The move played in the game has only been attempted in 54 games) 6…Nc6 7. Bd3 cxd4 (This move has been played most often with 130 games in the CBDB, but SF 14.1 and Komodo will play 7…Qa5. The reason could be that 7…cxd4 has resulted in a 66% score for players of the White pieces as opposed to only 42% in 31 games for 7…Qa5) 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 (SF 12 plays this move, but SF 070222 will take the pawn with the Queen with 9…Qxf6. Houdini will fire a TN with 9…Bb4+. 9…Nxf6 has been played in 84 games; 9…Qxf6 in only 8. White has scored 64% versus the former, but only 38% against the latter move) 10. Ne2 Qc7 (SF 130121 @depth 59 plays 10…Bd6, as do two different Fritz programs) 11. O-O Bd6 12. Nc3 (Fritz 16 plays this move, but Deep Fritz will play will play 12 g3. SF 170821 prefers 12 h3) 12…a6 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rc1 (SF 14.1 plays 14 Bh4 and so should you) 14…h6 (14…Bd7 has been played most often, and one of the “New Engines” @depth 42 likes it, but left running a little longer it changes its whatever @depth 43 to 14…Ng4, which is what Komodo will play @depth 26) 15. Bh4 Bf4 (There is only one prior game with the game move. Komodo 8 @depth 14 plays 15…Bd7, but SF 261120 will play 15…Nh5, as will Komodo 9)

Kurt Petschar (2310) vs Peter Roth (2325)
Event: AUT-ch
Site: Wolfsberg Date: ??/??/1985
Round: 8
ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.O-O Qc7 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Nc3 a6 14.Rc1 h6 15.Bh4 Bf4 16.Bg3 Nh5 17.Rc2 g5 18.Bg6 Nxg3 19.hxg3 Bd6 20.Bh5 Qg7 21.Rd2 Bd7 22.Re1 b5 23.Rde2 b4 24.Na4 g4 25.Bxg4 Qxg4 26.Nb6 Rad8 27.Nxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxe6 Qg7 29.Qc1 Nxd4 30.Rxh6 Nxf3+ 31.gxf3 Bf4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2131963&m=31

Oh Atlanta

The following picture greeted me this morning when I surfed on over to the website of the New York Times in an article:

Cities Lost Population in 2021, Leading to the Slowest Year of Growth in U.S. History

Although some of the fastest growing regions in the country continued to grow, the gains were nearly erased by stark losses in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Atlanta is growing, which isn’t true of other major cities. Credit…Audra Melton for The New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/24/us/census-2021-population-growth.html)

Arthur Guo Let One Go

It was Saturday night and almost all was right, until young Arthur Guo let one go…like a hooked fish that somehow gets offa the hook…There I was, watching the action from Charlotte while listening to my man, H. Johnson, spin vinyl on his Saturday night program Jazz Classics on WABE FM from Atlanta, Georgia, a program to which I have listened since it’s inception way back in 1978.

https://www.wabe.org/people/h-johnson/

One of the best things about the internet is being able to listen to a program from home while in another part of the country. While listening I was also watching the Chess games being contested at the Charlotte Chess Center. One game in particular captured my attention, keeping my eyes transfixed on the screen for far too long, I’m sad to report, because my eyes were blurred upon awakening and even after a mid-morning ‘nap’ to rest them they are still somewhat out of focus. That’s OK though, because it was worth the time spent watching the game, which follows. At one point I eschewed the other games and gave my full attention to this game exclusively, rooting for Arthur while thrusting my fist in the air and shouting, “YES!,” or sometimes, “NO,” or “Oh No,” with a “What The Fork?” thrown in for good measure. WHAT A GAME!!! As far as this reporter is concerned this game was THE GAME of the tournament. Granted, I have not reviewed all the games, but of those that I’ve seen this was THE ONE! I’m telling you the game gave me HEART PALPITATIONS! At the conclusion of the game I was EXHAUSTED as if it had been me making the moves. Chess, and life, don’t get any better than that, I’m here to tell you, that is if you are a Chess Fan. At times the AW was yellin’, “Go Authur Guo, GO!” I’ve heard something about those that can no longer do, watch…Yes, I admit to living last night vicariously through the moves of future Grandmaster, and fellow Georgian Arthur Guo. The game can be found all over the internet, and I have provided a link to FollowChess, and would like to recommend this one from Lichess.com (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-charlotte-chess-gm-norm-invitational/round-7/BamwVdbA)
I will also recommend you play over the game at followchess.com and make notes before surfin’ on over to Lichess.

IM Arthur Guo (2412)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/spring-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

vs GM Aleksander Mista (2541)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/spring-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

Charlotte Spring GM A (round 7)
C50 Giuoco Pianissimo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (The ChessBaseDataBase gives Fritz 17 @depth 42 playing 3 Bc4, and it gives it twice in lieu of another program. Wonder why? The other program shown, Stockfish 300121 @depth 85[!] considers 3 Bb5 best) 3…Bc5 (Fritz 17 will play this move, but Stockfish 070215 @depth 48, and SF 14.1 @depth 62[!] will play 3…Nf6) 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 (SF 14.1 @depth 59 castles) 5…d6 6. a5 a6 (The CBDB contains 16 games in which this move has been played; one with 6…h6. Stockfish 080222 @depth 36 will play 6…h6, SF 14.1 @depth 35 will play 6…0-0) 7. c3 (Again the most often played move according to the CBDB, with 17 examples and only 4 games showing 7 0-0. Fritz 16 plays the move, but Stockfish 11 [Eleven? Why does the CBDB show a move from such an antiquated program? Obviously the CBDB needs an upgrade] will castle) 7…h6 (The most often played move, with 11 games at the CBDB. There are 7 games containing the move 7…Ba7, and it is the choice of Fritz 18. Stockfish 14.1 will play 7…0-0, and so should you. There is only one game in which the player behind the Black pieces castled and it was found only at the CBDB:

Alexandra Kosteniuk 2516 (RUS) vs Ryan Hamley 2077 (USA)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.a4 a6 6.a5 d6 7.c3 O-O 8.O-O Ba7 9.Re1 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Qb3 Qd7 12.Nbd2 Rab8 13.Nf1 Rfe8 14.Be3 Bxe3 15.Nxe3 d5 16.Qc2 h6 17.h3 Kh8 18.Ra4 Qf7 19.Ng4 Nxg4 20.hxg4 Qg6 21.g5 hxg5 22.exd5 exd5 23.Rg4 e4 24.dxe4 Rxe4 25.Rexe4 dxe4 26.Nxg5 Nxa5 27.Qa4 b6 28.Rh4+ Kg8 29.Qa2+ Kf8 30.Rh8+ Ke7 31.Rxb8 Qxg5 32.Qb1 Qf4 33.Qd1 Nc6 34.Rh8 Kf6 1-0)

  1. O-O O-O 9. h3 (The most often played move, but SF 14.1 @depth 40 will play 9 Nbd2) 9…Be6 (9…There are 10 games at the CBDB in which the move 9…Ba7 was played, and it is the choice of SF 191221 @depth 34 plays the move, but SF 14.1 @depth 39 will play the move played in the game) 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11. Be3 (Although this move is the choice of SF 14 @depth 37, SF 14.1
    @depth 49 will play 11 Nbd2, which will be a TN if’n it’s ever played by a human. The move 11 b4 was seen in the following game, found only at the CBDB:

Kirill Alekseenko (2699) (RUS) vs Alexander Zubov 2598 (UKR)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op 2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O a6 7.a4 h6 8.a5 O-O 9.h3 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.b4 Ba7 12.Re1 Qe8 13.Be3 Nh5 14.g3 Rf6 15.Ra2 Qf7 16.Nbd2 Rf8 17.Kg2 Qg6 18.Kh2 Qf7 19.Kg2 g5 20.Qe2 Qg6 21.Rf1 Kh7 22.Bxa7 Nxa7 23.Nh2 R6f7 24.Nc4 Nf6 25.Ne3 h5 26.Rb2 Nb5 27.Rc2 Kg8 28.Qd2 g4 29.hxg4 Nxg4 30.Nexg4 hxg4 31.Qe2 Rf3 32.Qd1 d5 33.Re1 d4 34.c4 Nc3 35.Qd2 Kg7 36.Rh1 R3f6 37.Qe1 b6 38.axb6 cxb6 39.Qc1 a5 40.c5 a4 41.cxb6 Qh5 42.Nf1 Qf7 43.Qg5+ Qg6 44.Qxe5 Kg8 45.Qxd4 Nd1 46.Rd2 Nxf2 47.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 48.Qxf2 Rxf2+ 49.Kxf2 Qf6+ 50.Ke1 Qc3+ 51.Nd2 Qxb4 52.Ke2 Qxb6 53.Rb1 Qa7 54.Nc4 a3 55.Ra1 a2 56.Ne3 Qa3 57.Nc4 Qb3 58.Rf1 Qc3 0-1

Fork the Russians. Score one for UKRAINE!!!

Poems in a Time of Crisis

Rather than publish excerpts I decided to print the entire articled because, “Ilya Kaminsky (@ilya_poet) is the author of “Dancing in Odessa” and “Deaf Republic.” Born in the Soviet Union, he lives in Atlanta, where he teaches at Georgia Tech.

Poems in a Time of Crisis

March 13, 2022

By Ilya Kaminsky

Mr. Kaminsky is a Ukrainian American poet and the author of “Dancing in Odessa” and “Deaf Republic.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/ukrainian-american-poet-ilya-kaminsky-on-his-viral-poem-and-watching-a-war-from-afar/ar-AAUC5dr

Two weeks into the war, the Russians are still menacing my birth city, Odessa, in southwestern Ukraine. It sits on high bluffs above the Black Sea, its famous steps leading from the water to a square.

I don’t want to imagine soldiers chasing civilians through my city. Some part of my brain turns it into a farce, based on something I remember from my own childhood: In 1984, in a village just outside Odessa, I’m a 7-year-old deaf boy running in the government’s corn field. Behind me, waving his arms, runs a policeman. My grandmother, in her 60s, sprints in front of me.

We are stealing corn from the government, my grandmother and I. We get away, and we don’t stop at corn. A different day, Grandmother hauls me up onto the roof of the state farm so my long arms can reach into the branches of the plum trees. Her lips say, “Pick only the ripest.” She makes jam. Years later, I read the Russian poet Inna Kabysh: “Whoever is making a jam in Russia / knows there is no way out.”

Now I spend most of every day online, in America, trying to find ways out for Ukrainian poets and translators. Many literary organizations are willing to open their doors, bring in refugees, but unlike my grandmother and me, lots of Ukrainians writers don’t want to leave. They want their freedoms. They want their own languages — Ukrainian and Russian — in their own streets. I understand. My Jewish family keeps running from Odessa — and then returning.

Since the war began, I have received emails from journalists asking me to explain my poem “We Lived Happily During the War,” which went viral on the day Vladimir Putin’s troops began bombing my birth country. The poem was published on Poetry International in 2013, the same year the Maidan protests began in Ukraine. Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s president at the time, was trying to lean closer to Putin and crush protests. Ukrainians rejected him; Putin stole Crimea; and the war in Donbas began.

“We lived happily during the war,” the poem begins, “and when they bombed other people’s houses, we / protested / but not enough, we opposed them but not / enough.” As I was writing the poem, my adopted country, the United States, was in the middle of its own “freedom” campaigns.

How are Putin’s bombardments of Kyiv different from George W. Bush’s bombardments of Baghdad? Both invasions used false premises: imaginary weapons of mass destruction in Bush’s case, and imaginary protection of the Russian language, among other justifications, in Putin’s. Odessa is a largely Russian-speaking city and Putin is sending troops to bombard Russian speakers — that is how he “protects” the Russian language.

“I woke up because of explosions,” my cousin Petya emailed me recently. “They were bombing the beach. Who do they think they’ll hit? This isn’t vacation season!” His jokes are typical of Odessa, a city of good humor, where April 1 is one of the most important holidays.

When I think of Russian troops arriving at the bay, I imagine them in their heavy gear, trying to huff and puff up the stairs, while Ukrainians throw Molotov cocktails and stones. My grandfathers fought the German tanks on tractors. This war feels like something out of a movie or a poem — but it is real. The city trembles.

“And when they bombed other people’s houses,” the poem goes. Who remembers the blitz of Grozny, Chechnya’s capital city, now? American politicians shouted for a bit. Then they forgot. It is lucrative to forget. The oil companies like doing business with Putin. “In the street of money in the city of money in the country of money,” the poem says, “our great country of money.”

And yet on the first day of March, over 800 people gathered for a Zoom poetry reading bringing together Ukrainian and American poets. It was one of the largest poetry readings I have witnessed. Why did so many turn to poetry in this time of crisis?

While we read poems, the 40-mile Russian military convoy threatened north of Kyiv. The West watched as young civilians took up guns, sand bags, Molotov cocktails. It’s not an especially large country, only 44 million people. There’s no one to fight for us but us.

“The West is watching us,” a friend writes. “This is their reality TV war, they are curious to see whether we will go on living, or die.”

Another friend emails: “We saw fighter aircraft, helicopters and Russian paratroopers from our window. But we walked for miles.” He tells me that they’re safe now: His wife is in Poland and he’s in Ukraine. He sends photos of the city where they lived.

A different day, a friend from Kyiv writes: “Am in Bukovina, took 2 dogs and 1 cat with me, Sophie’s choice, left 3 cats behind, being cared for by a neighbor.” It’s unbearable, she tells me. She is 12 miles from the Romanian border. Eventually, she crosses with only one dog.

An Odessa friend contacts me to say: “I’ve seen today 10-km queue in Palanca and approx 500-600 people that were walking by feet. Mamas with kids and it’s snowing and some kids crying, others have serious men’s eyes.”

Another friend, who remains in Odessa, tell me he just got back from the store: “People are grabbing any food they can find. I’m trying to do art. Read out loud. To distract myself. Try to read between the lines.”

I ask how I can help. Finally, an older friend, a lifelong journalist, writes back: “Putins come and go. If you want to help, send us some poems and essays. We are putting together a literary magazine.”

In the middle of war, he is asking for poems.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/13/opinion/ukraine-odessa-poems.html

2021 SENIOR’S CHAMPIONSHIP

For some time this writer has attempted to glean information concerning the recent 2022 Georgia Senior Championship, to no avail.

Mike Bacon

Tue, Feb 22

to president, 1vp, treasurer, secretary, member1, member2

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been unable to locate anything concerning the recent Georgia Senior on the website of the GCA. Was the tournament held? If so, will anything be posted at the GCA website? I ask because the next post in the AW will concern Senior Chess, and the recent GCA Senior will be a good tie in for the post.

All the Best in Chess!

AW

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Tue, Feb 22

to me, president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad

facebook.com/216656311686961/posts/5226764027342806/

Mike Bacon

Tue, Feb 22, 4:48 PM (19 hours ago)

to Jr., president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad,

I no longer visit the Book of Faces and have not since being hacked, and will never, ever again go to Facebook for any reason whatsoever.
I would, though, like to know why there is something concerning the GCA at Facebook in lieu of the WEBSITE OF THE GEORGIA CHESS ASSOCIATION?

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Tue, Feb 22

to me
Only because we are still seeking volunteers to fill all responsibilities. We have individuals who are willing to post to the GCA magazine, to twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but I do not currently have anyone other than myself who knows how to post to the GCA website. If you are willing to volunteer, I would be happy to train you.

Regards,
Parnell

Mike Bacon

to Jr.
How the hell did you turn my attempt to learn if the Georgia Senior was held into a plaintive plea for help? I want nothing to do with the GCA, sir! You took time to post something at Facebook rather than the GCA website, did you not? There must be a reason. Is there anyone involved with the GCA who can, and will give me the information?

That is where it stands as of this writing…

Not all of the board members have been so obstinate. For example, Kevin Schmuggerow was nice enough to send the following:

Kevin Schmuggerow

Wed, Feb 16

to me
Hey Mike,

Good to hear from you!

I hope you are doing well through these crazy times.

I didn’t receive your email until just now?

Not sure what’s going on with the GCA server, I know Parnell has made some changes that effected Keith Sewell’s old account as well.

Regarding the Senior Open, I agree, with you, I previously had sent an email regarding the round times being too close together (10:00 – 2:00) no time for lunch…

I wasn’t planning on playing do to another conflict.

Stay safe!!

Kevin later fired this salvo my way:

Mike,

Below was the agenda for the the 1/26 meeting. The February meeting is next week.

One of the other board members also expressed displeasure at the format for the 2021 Senior, but asked for anonymity. It appears there is already much dissension on the board of the GCA.

The 2021 Senior championship was held in 2022, which should mean there will be another Georgia Senior later this year, was located at the USCF website (http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?202202202382.0). It shows that GM Alonso Zapata

http://eacchess.com/news/alonso-zapata-international-grand-master-and-fide-senior-trainer/

cut through the field like a hot knife through cold butter. The Grandmaster was rated almost four hundred points higher than the second highest rated player, Expert James Altucher, from Florida. He was joined in second place by Georgians Jeffery Rymuza, Ramchandra Nadar, Christopher Ferrante, all scoring 3-1. Eighteen players competed in the Georgia Senior.

The AW was surprised, and pleased, to see the tournament was directed by Anna Christina Baumstark,

https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Anna-Baumstark/2361492263

a former member of the board of the GCA, and a woman well known for her Chess teaching in and around the Atlanta area. Anna would visit, and often play, at the Ironman Chess Club in those halcyon days before the pandemic struck. She is a lovely lady who loves Soccer, and is quite opinionated, which is one of the reasons conversations with her were so lively. As it happens, I recently found a game played by Anna over at FollowChess.com.

Barr Perry vs Anna C Baumstark
B01 Scandinavian (centre counter) defence
US Amateur Team Championship

  1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bd3 c6 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. O-O e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Qc1 Be7 10. Bf4 Qd8 11. f3 Bh5 12. Rd1 Nbd7 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nf6 15. Bd3 O-O 16. c3 h6 17. Bd2 Bg6 18. Bxg6 fxg6 19. Nf4 Bd6 20. Nxg6 Rf7 21. Re1 Qd7 22. Ne5 Bxe5 23. Rxe5 Re8 24. Bxh6 gxh6 25. Qxh6 Nh7 26. Rae1 Rf6 27. Qh3 Re7 28. R1e4 Kf8 29. c4 Ke8 30. f4 Nf8 31. Rh5 Rh7 32. Qf3 Rfh6 33. Rxh6 Rxh6 34. f5 Qd6 35. g3 Rf6 36. Qh5+ Ke7 37. Qg5 Kf7 38. Qh5+ Ke7 39. Qh4 Kf7 40. g4 exf5 41. gxf5 Rh6 42. Qf2 Qd8 43. Qe3 Rf6 44. Qf3 Qd7 45. Rf4 Ke8 46. Qe3+ Kf7 47. Qe4 Qd6 48. Qe2 Qxf4 49. Qh5+ Ke7 50. Qe2+ Kf7 51. Qh5+ Kg8 52. Qe2 Qxf5 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!us-amateur-team-chp-2022/2128237610

1.e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nf6 (Stockfish 14 @depth 44 plays 3…Nc6. Leave the thing crunchin’ for one more ply and it changes its algorithm to 3…e5) 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bd3 (The most often played, and best move is 5 Nf3) 5….c6 (Three different Stockfish programs all play 5…Nc6, and so should you) 6. Ne2 (Komodo @depth29 plays 6 Bd2; Stockfish 2.3.1, a new program to me, prefers 6 a3) 6…Bg4 (SF plays 6…Na6; Houdini shows 6…g6) 7. O-O e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Qc1 (This appears to be a new move: https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=17&n=287004&ms=e4.d5.exd5.Qxd5.d4.Nf6.Nc3.Qa5.Bd3.c6.Nge2.Bg4.O-O.e6.Bd2.Qc7&ns=3.20.27.56.3367.5267.3708.1609.17041.9873.22103.56015.157738.148060.246703.287004. Which means that Ladies & Gentlemen, it’s time to start your engines!)

FM Richard Francisco’s Amazing Comeback

When the Chess world went scholastic Richard Francisco

https://5570fa7c8b4f08ce69a2-3b11a0857599ec5685afe8d701a4f833.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/profiles/688_1108_richard_francisco.jpg
Richard Francisco

was one of the first children in the Atlanta area to become a strong player. Mr. Francisco represented Atlanta, and Georgia, when playing for the Atlanta Kings.

https://georgiachessnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/ATLkings-2-659x370.jpg
Atlanta Kings 2016-17 | Georgia Chess News
georgiachessnews.com

He is a likeable gentleman about whom I have never heard a discouraging word.

Therefore it was painful to watch local favorite lose his first three games in the ongoing Charlotte Holiday IM norm tournament. In the fourth round Richard, playing black, stopped the bleeding by drawing a hard fought game with fellow FM Doug Ekhart,

https://5570fa7c8b4f08ce69a2-3b11a0857599ec5685afe8d701a4f833.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/profiles/806_15642_doug_eckert.jpg
https://chess.stream/Invitational/holiday-2021-gm-im-norm-invitational/PlayerPage.aspx?USCFID=12107920

rated 2206 FIDE; 2306 USCF. Tell me again why there is such a disparity between the World Chess rating and the US Chess rating?

FM Doug Eckert (USA) vs FM Richard Francisco (USA)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 04
E71 King’s Indian, Makagonov system (5.h3)

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. h3 O-O 6. Be3 c5 7. d5 b5 8. cxb5 a6 9. bxa6 Qa5 10. Qd2 Nbd7 11. Nf3 Rb8 12. Rb1 Nb6 13. b3 Bxa6 14. Bxa6 Nfd7 15. Rc1 Qxa6 16. Qe2 Ra8 17. Qxa6 Rxa6 18. a4 f5 19. exf5 Rxf5 20. O-O Nxd5 21. Nxd5 Rxd5 22. Rb1 h6 23. Rfc1 Kf7 24. Bd2 Rd3 25. a5 Rxd2 26. Nxd2 Rxa5 27. b4 cxb4 28. Rxb4 Nc5 29. Rbc4 Ra2 30. R1c2 Ra1+ 31. Rc1 Ra2 32. R1c2 Ra1+ 33. Rc1 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-holiday-cccsa-im/04-Eckert_Doug-Francisco_Richard

In the fifth round Richard had the white pieces versus USCF Master Matan Prilleltensky,

https://5570fa7c8b4f08ce69a2-3b11a0857599ec5685afe8d701a4f833.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/profiles/732_9303_mat_prilleltensky.jpg
https://chess.stream/Invitational/holiday-2021-gm-im-norm-invitational/PlayerPage.aspx?USCFID=12893934

rated only 2166 FIDE, thirty four points below Master level. The game was a long back and forth struggle in which both players were at times winning the game, which culminated in a draw.

Richard Francisco (USA) vs Matan Prilleltensky (USA)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 05
A20 English opening

  1. c4 e5 2. g3 c6 3. d4 e4 4. Nc3 d5 5. Bg2 Bb4 6. Qb3 a5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. f3 Nc6 9. fxe4 Nxd4 10. Qd1 dxe4 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qxd8+ Nxd8 13. Bxe4 Nf6 14. Bd3 O-O 15. a3 Bxc3+ 16. bxc3 Nc6 17. Nf3 Re8 18. Bc1 Bh3 19. Ng5 Bg2 20. Rg1 Ne5 21. Rxg2 Nxd3+ 22. Kd2 Nxc1 23. Rxc1 Rad8+ 24. Ke1 Nd5 25. Rf2 f6 26. Nh3 Rc8 27. Rf3 Ne3 28. Nf4 b5 29. h3 Nc4 30. Ra1 a4 31. Nd3 Rc7 32. Ra2 Rec8 33. Rf4 Ne3 34. Rb4 Nd5 35. Rd4 Nxc3 36. Rb2 f5 37. g4 fxg4 38. hxg4 Rc4 39. e3 Rxd4 40. exd4 Re8+ 41. Ne5 Rd8 42. Kd2 Ne4+ 43. Ke3 Nd6 44. Rc2 h5 45. d5 hxg4 46. Kd4 Nf5+ 47. Ke4 Nd6+ 48. Kd4 Nf5+ 49. Ke4 Nd6+ 50. Kd4 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-holiday-cccsa-im/05-Francisco_Richard-Prilleltensky_Matan

The sixth round saw Richard paired with the only Grandmaster in the field, Jose Gonzalez Garcia,

https://5570fa7c8b4f08ce69a2-3b11a0857599ec5685afe8d701a4f833.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/profiles/862_178670_jose_gonzalez_garcia.jpg
https://chess.stream/Invitational/holiday-2021-gm-im-norm-invitational/PlayerPage.aspx?USCFID=30291689

from Spain, rated 2483 FIDE; 2583 USCF. The game was relatively even until the Grandmaster lurched in playing 24 exf5, a horribly bad move. After many vicissitudes Richard slammed the GM to the mat!

Jose Gonzalez Garcia (ESP) vs Richard Francisco (USA)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 06
E90 King’s Indian, 5.Nf3

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 Na6 7. O-O e5 8. Be3 Qe8 9. dxe5 Ng4 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bd2 Nxe5 12. h3 Kh7 13. Re1 Be6 14. Nxe5 dxe5 15. a3 Rd8 16. Qc2 f5 17. b4 Qf7 18. Na4 Nb8 19. b5 b6 20. Bb4 c5 21. bxc6 Nxc6 22. Bxf8 Nd4 23. Qb1 Rxf8 24. exf5 Bxf5 25. Bd3 Bd7 26. Nc3 Qxf2+ 27. Kh1 Bxh3 28. Bf1 Qg3 29. Ra2 Bf5 30. Ne4 Bxe4 31. Rxe4 Rf4 32. Bd3 Qh4+ 33. Kg1 Qg3 34. Kh1 Ne6 35. Rae2 Nc5 36. Rxf4 exf4 37. Bxg6+ Qxg6 38. Qxg6+ Kxg6 39. Re7 a5 40. Rc7 Na4 41. Rd7 Bb2 42. Rd3 Kf5 43. Kh2 Ke4 44. Rb3 Kd4 45. Rf3 Bc1 46. Rf2 Be3 0-1
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-holiday-cccsa-im/06-Gonzalez_Garcia_Jose-Francisco_Richard

In the following round seven game Richard had the white pieces against International Master Roberto Abel Martin Del Campo Cardenas,

https://5570fa7c8b4f08ce69a2-3b11a0857599ec5685afe8d701a4f833.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/profiles/259_18977_roberto_martin-del-campo.jpg
https://chess.stream/Invitational/holiday-2021-gm-im-norm-invitational/PlayerPage.aspx?USCFID=12658446

Richard outplayed the IM in the opening, then gave the advantage away, before obtaining another advantage which he pressed home for another victory!

Richard Francisco (USA) vs Roberto AbelMartin Del Campo Cardenas, (MEX)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 07
B90 Sicilian, Najdorf

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. g4 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. g5 Nd7 13. f5 Bxg5+ 14. Kb1 Ne5 15. Qh5 Qd8 16. h4 Bf6 17. fxe6 g6 18. exf7+ Kxf7 19. Qh6 Ng4 20. Qf4 Kg7 21. Nd5 Rf8 22. Qd2 h5 23. Bh3 Bd7 24. Rdg1 Re8 25. Bxg4 Bxg4 26. Nc6 Qd7 27. Nxf6 Kxf6 28. Qd4+ Kf7 29. Nb4 Qe6 30. Rf1+ Kg8 31. Nd5 Qe5 32. Nf6+ Kh8 33. Qd2 Kg7 34. Nxe8+ Rxe8 35. Rf4 Be6 36. Rg1 Rc8 37. Rg5 1-0
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-holiday-cccsa-im/07-Francisco_Richard-Martin_Del_Campo_Cardenas_Roberto_Abel

The eight round saw Richard sitting behind the black pieces versus Evan S Rosenberg,

https://5570fa7c8b4f08ce69a2-3b11a0857599ec5685afe8d701a4f833.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/profiles/856_135777_evan_rosenberg.jpg
https://chess.stream/Invitational/holiday-2021-gm-im-norm-invitational/PlayerPage.aspx?USCFID=20101315

a USCF Master, rated 2099 FIDE. In the first four rounds Mr. Rosenberg won two and drew and lost one each. The wheels came off in the fifth round as Rosenberg lost three games consecutively before playing a horrific blunder on move 18, after which he was beaten and battered unmercifully before throwing in the towel.

Evan S Rosenberg (USA) vs Richard Francisco (USA)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 08
A04 Reti opening

  1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. e3 Nf6 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Qh4 Be6 11. Rd1 Rc8 12. Rb1 a6 13. a4 Qa5 14. Bd2 Qc7 15. b3 d5 16. Nxd5 Nxd5 17. cxd5 Bxd5 18. b4 Bf6 19. Qh6 Qe5 20. Qh3 Be4 21. f4 Qb8 22. Rbc1 Bc2 23. Rf1 Rfd8 24. Be1 Bxa4 25. Bf2 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 Qd6 27. Qf3 Bc6 28. e4 Qxb4 29. Bc4 Bb2 30. Rc2 Bd4 31. Bf1 Bxe4 0-1
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-holiday-cccsa-im/08-Rosenberg_Evan_S-Francisco_Richard

To come back to even against this competition after starting a round robin tournament with three straight goose eggs is an outstanding result. Mr. Francisco has shown that he can take the blows and and do it his way. Unlike some Chess players, like the recent challenger for the title of human World Chess Champion, who shatter completely when hit with a punch, Richard managed to keep it together, remain resilient, and come back strong.

Breaking news! The last round has begun and Richard and his opponent 2321 FIDE rated opponent Tianqi Wang

https://5570fa7c8b4f08ce69a2-3b11a0857599ec5685afe8d701a4f833.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/profiles/790_731_tianqi_wang.jpg
https://chess.stream/Invitational/holiday-2021-gm-im-norm-invitational/PlayerPage.aspx?USCFID=14099361

have “phoned it in” by agreeing to split the point after only 5 moves had been played. What the hell, it’s the holidaze and neither player had anything for which to play, so they did a little dance so they could get down tonight rather than taking that midnight train to Georgia, and I’m sure the wife will be happy to see Richard while the sun is still shining.

Margaret Mitchell: Gone With The Wind

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell
https://www.writerswrite.co.za/literary-birthday-8-november-margaret-mitchell/

wrote the bestselling 1936 novel ‘Gone With the Wind,’

Gone with the Wind  MARGARET MITCHELL  First Edition 1st May image 1
Gone with the Wind ~ MARGARET MITCHELL ~ First Edition 1st May 1936 ~ A FINE Copy $13,500.00 https://www.etsy.com/listing/1078545843/gone-with-the-wind-margaret-mitchell?

which was made into an enduring classic film.

Who Was Margaret Mitchell?

Margaret Mitchell was an American novelist. After a broken ankle immobilized her in 1926, Mitchell started writing a novel that would become Gone With the Wind. Published in 1936, Gone With the Wind made Mitchell an instant celebrity and earned her the Pulitzer Prize. The film version, also lauded far and wide, came out just three years later. More than 30 million copies of Mitchell’s Civil War-era masterpiece have been sold worldwide, and it has been translated into 27 languages. Mitchell was struck by a car and died in 1949, leaving behind Gone With the Wind as her only full length novel.


Early Life

Mitchell was born on November 8, 1900, in Atlanta, Georgia, into an Irish-Catholic family. At an early age, even before she could write, Mitchell loved to make up stories, and she would later write her own adventure books, crafting their covers out of cardboard. She wrote hundreds of books as a child, but her literary endeavors weren’t limited to novels and stories. At the private Woodberry School, Mitchell took her creativity in new directions, directing and acting in plays she wrote.

In 1918, Mitchell enrolled at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Four months later, tragedy would strike when Mitchell’s mother died of influenza. Mitchell finished out her freshman year at Smith and then returned to Atlanta to prepare for the upcoming debutante season, during which she met Berrien Kinnard Upshaw. The couple was married in 1922, but it ended abruptly four months later when Upshaw left for the Midwest and never returned.


‘Gone With the Wind’

The same year she was married, Mitchell landed a job with the Atlanta Journal Sunday magazine, where she ended up writing nearly 130 articles. Mitchell would get married a second time during this period, wedding John Robert Marsh

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/olkAAOSwuNxeH9jF/s-l400.jpg

in 1925. As seemed to be the case in Mitchell’s life, though, yet another good thing was to come to an end too quickly, as her journalist career ended in 1926 due to complications from a broken ankle.

With her broken ankle keeping Mitchell off her feet, in 1926 she began writing Gone With the Wind. Perched at an old sewing table, and writing the last chapter first and the other chapters randomly, she finished most of the book by 1929. A novel about the Civil War and Reconstruction, Gone With the Wind is told from a Southern point of view, informed by Mitchell’s family and steeped in the history of the South and the tragedy of the war.

In July 1935, New York publisher Macmillan offered her a $500 advance and 10 percent royalty payments. Mitchell set to finalizing the manuscript, changing characters’ names (Scarlett was Pansy in earlier drafts), cutting and rearranging chapters and finally naming the book Gone With the Wind, a phrase from “Cynara!, a favorite Ernest Dowson poem. Gone With the Wind was published in 1936 to huge success and took home the 1937 Pulitzer. Mitchell became an overnight celebrity, and the landmark film based on her novel came out just three years later and went on to become a classic, winning eight Oscars and two special Oscars.

Later Years and Death

During World War II, Mitchell had no time to write, as she worked for the American Red Cross. On August 11, 1949, she was struck by a car while crossing a street and died five days later.

Gone With The Wind Museum: The Beautiful Dresses ...
betweennapsontheporch.net

Mitchell was inducted into Georgia Women of Achievement in 1994 and into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2000. Gone With the Wind was her only full length novel. She wrote the novella Lost Laysen in 1916 but it was not published until 1996. https://www.biography.com/writer/margaret-mitchell

Cynara

Ernest Christopher Dowson

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,

Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat,
Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay;
Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,

When I awoke and found the dawn was gray:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,

Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine;
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,

Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

https://allpoetry.com/Cynara

Vampires, Movie Stars, and No Rules to the WRITING on the WALL

In what now seems another lifetime my younger sister, a grammar school teacher, insisted I read a book:

$_57
A “special preview edition” of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (1976). (faboorecords/eBay) https://vamped.org/2014/11/11/20-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-interview-with-the-vampire-movie-pt-1/

I have long forgotten my response but it must have been along the lines of, “Are you kidding me, Lynnette?” I do, though, recall her response, which was, “Oh Michael, you will LOVE IT!” I had my doubts…Nevertheless, I read the book because my sister had never previously recommended any book. Turned out my little sister was right… I even read a few more of the series until it seemed the author was writing the same story again and again.

The book was made into a movie I did not see because, well, you know, I read the book. When putting this post together I found the following video, of which I was completely unaware, as I was unaware of how well the movie did at the box office. I watched the video several times while telling myself the time spent was for “research” when the truth is that it contains Andie McDowell, whom I adore, after meeting her in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Earth Fare grocery store on the east side of town, while living in the mountains. I was next in line when, all of a sudden, Ms. McDowell comes barging in from the front in a failed attempt to check out before me. “I am in a big hurry,” she said. “Sounds like something a city girl would say,” said I. She shot me a look which reminded me of the time I was walking to Fantasyland Records (https://fantasylandrecords.com/) near the corner of Peachtree Street and Rumson road in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, Georgia, where I resided, and there was Virginia Gunn, a local television personality, sitting in a sports car smoking a cigarette. “You’re Virginia Gunn,” I said. She shot me a look before saying, “Buzz off, buster!” That was the kinda look given by Andie… I smiled when saying, “Go ahead, ma’am, celebrity has some privilege.” She gave me another look that was the definition of perplexed, and began unloading her cart. “I saw you on the David Letterman show before you married your high school sweetheart and you sure were happy.” Ms. McDowell replied, “Yeah, well, it didn’t work out. It never does…” She left hurriedly as I proceeded to check out. After exiting I walked by her car and she seemed to be having trouble getting it together. By the time I was near she dropped a rather large pizza box and I nabbed it before the thing touched the pavement. She again looked at me strangely before saying, “You’re my hero.” Unfortunately it did not sound like I was “her hero,” if’n you get my drift… Sometime later I was having brunch at the Earth Fare on the west side of town. I was at a large table all by myself reading the Sunday New York Times, oblivious to the fact that the lunch crowd had quickly filled the place. When I looked up there was Andie, with a young girl I took to be her daughter. There they stood, looking at me and the empty surrounding seats with longing in their eyes. “Would you like to sit down?” I asked. “I thought you’d never ask,” Andie said. I began making arrangements to leave as quickly as possible when the daughter said to her mother, “That’s the chess guy. He was in the newspaper,” said the young girl. Andie again gave me a look that’s difficult to describe before saying, “So, you’re famous?” I smiled before saying, “Not like you. I’m a local yokel.” She smiled, and that was the first time I had seen her smile. I told her about beginning as an extra on the movie filmed at Atlanta Stadium, The Slugger’s Wife (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090036/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1), and how I had to join the screen actor’s guild to be shown in the movie (I had to run out to centerfield and man the camera when the ‘slugger’ slugged the record ball the chicks love outta the park), but my “part”, was cut outta the movie, which is now considered one of the worst movies ever produced. I told them about getting to eat with the actors and ball players, like Mark, “The Bird” Fidrych, a “flash in the pan” but what a flash!

Photo of Mark Fidrych
https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/fidryma01.shtml

They laughed uproariously after being told that I found myself in line at the buffet, behind one of the stars, Rebecca De Mornay,

Michael O’Keefe & Rebecca De Mornay

and when she looked back at me I said, “You’re Rebecca De Mornay.” She scowled before replying, “And who the hell are you?”

Before leaving Andie asked me which of her movies was my favorite. I looked at her daughter and hesitated…”It’s OK, she knows all my movies.” The reply came immediately, “Sex, Lies, and Videotape.” She looked at me for a moment as a faint smile began to appear before saying, “Really?” To which I responded, “I liked Four Wedding and a Funeral, too.” Her smile grew larger and I looked at her daughter, who was absolutely loving this. Then Andie said, “Most people choose Groundhog Day.” The response was, “I am not most people.”

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098724/mediaviewer/rm1865690112/

“It’s the birthday of American horror novelist Anne Rice (books by this author), born in New Orleans (1941) and best known for creating the novel Interview with the Vampire (1976)

in which a young man interviews a 200-year-old vampire named Louis about his life. The book introduces the character of Lestat the Vampire and was later made into a film. There are 14 books in the Vampire Chronicles saga, most of which have been international best-sellers.

Rice was inspired to write Interview with the Vampire after the death of her six-year old daughter from leukemia. She said:

“I was a sad, broken atheist. I pitched myself into writing and made up a story about vampires. I didn’t know it at the time but it was all about my daughter, the loss of her and the need to go on living when faith is shattered. But the lights do come back on, no matter how dark it seems, and I’m sensitive now, more than ever, to the beauty of the world — and more resigned to living with cosmic uncertainty.”

Rice based the character of the girl vampire, Claudia, on her daughter.

It took Rice five weeks to write 358 pages about the relationship between two vampires for Interview with a Vampire. She researched vampires during the day and wrote at night, once even attending a concert by the heavy metal band Iron Maiden for inspiration.

When asked why she chose to write about vampires, Rice answered:

“Vampires are the best metaphor for the human condition. Here you have a monster with a soul that’s immortal, yet in a biological body. It’s a metaphor for us, as it’s very difficult to realize that we are going to die, and day to day we have to think and move as though we are immortal. A vampire like Lestat in Interview … is perfect for that because he transcends time — yet he can be destroyed, go mad and suffer; it’s intensely about the human dilemma.”

When asked who makes a better literary subject, vampires or zombies, Rice answered:

“The vampire is an articulate character in our literature. In the last 30 years or so, the vampire has been an articulate, charming, beguiling complex person so he’s miles away from a zombie. The vampire is the poet and the writer of the monster world. The zombies are the exact opposite. They’re not sexy, they don’t listen to good music and they don’t wear good clothes.”

On writing, Anne Rice once said, “There are no rules. It’s amazing how willing people are to tell you that you aren’t a real writer unless you conform to their clichés and their rules. My advice? Reject rules and critics out of hand. Define yourself. Do it your way. Make yourself the writer of your dreams.” (https://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-october-4-2021/)

“The Writing On The Wall”

Across a painted desert lies a train of vagabonds
All that’s left of what we were it’s what we have become
Once our empires glorious but now the empire’s gone
The dead gave us the time to live and now our time is done

Now we are victorious, we’ve become our slaves
A land of hope and glory building graveyards for the brave

Have you seen the writing on the wall?
Have you seen that writing?
Can you see the riders on the storm?
Can you see them riding?
Can you see them riding?

Holding on to fury is that all we ever know
Ignorance our judge and jury all we’ve got to show
From Hollywood to Babylon ~ holy war to kingdom come
On a trail of dust and ashes ~ when the burning sky is done
A tide of change is coming and that is what you fear
The earthquake is a coming but you don’t want to hear
You’re just too blind to see

Have you seen the writing on the wall?
Have you seen that writing?
Can you see the riders on the storm?
Can you see them riding?
Can you see them riding, riding next to you?

Have you seen the writing on the wall?
Have you seen that writing?
Can you see the riders on the storm?
Can you see them riding?

Have you seen the writing on the wall?
Have you seen that writing?
Can you see the riders on the storm?
Can you see them riding?
Can you see them riding, riding next to you?
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/ironmaiden/thewritingonthewall.html

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.

Love Song of the South

I was born in the South, seventy one years ago one week from today, in the back seat of a ’49 Ford convertible on the way to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, as the story goes. When I leave the South it is akin to what most of you feel when you leave the country. When I am out of the South I feel like the world is a tuxedo and I am a brown shoe. Coming back to the South feels like returning home.

There was a time, before the War Between the States (I refuse to call it by the more popular name because, as the writer Shelby Foote

https://memphismagazine.com/downloads/10364/download/Groppe%202-9-S1-0001_1_desaturated.jpg?cb=3cd11cb4fd1d8d90371292603159f1fd&w=-1
An Interview with Shelby Foote – Memphis magazine
memphismagazine.com

so eloquently said, “There was nothing civil about that war.”) when the South led the nation in most everything. It was easy to accumulate wealth when not having to pay for the work done by enslaved people. I rue the day the northern people brought Africans here to be enslaved, against the wishes of the Southern people, I might add. It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway, no human should ever be enslaved because, well, you know, how would you like to be a slave?

https://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-people-want-to-know-why-the-south-is-so-interested-in-the-civil-war-i-had-maybe-it-s-shelby-foote-62-70-61.jpg

Once again the South is leading the nation, but not in a good way. This is a map of the somewhat United States copied today from the New York Times. The darker the color the more the Covid:

https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2021/coronavirus-tracking/images/maps/USA/hotspots-state.png
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases.html