The Championship Chess Method

After publishing the post, Chess Grit (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/chess-grit/), I asked SM Brian McCarthy for feedback. A few days later Brian visited before returning to south Georgia where he is a High School teacher. I was shocked upon hearing, “You were too hard on Steve. I have worked for Championship Chess. There is nothing wrong with his method because he is an educator.” I was at a loss for words. It took a few seconds for me to get over the shock before responding, “Brian, I have a problem with anyone who teaches the Queen’s Raid.” Brian replied, “There is nothing wrong with teaching the Queen’s Raid; every player needs to know how to defend against it.”
“Brian, there is a world of difference between teaching a beginner how to defend against the Queen’s raid and teaching a beginner how to play it in order to win a game quickly.” After his retort I cut the conversation short because Brian has been having major health issues. Still, his reaction stung, and left an impression.

Brian’s picture can be found at the Championship Chess website:

I, too, have previously worked for Championship Chess(https://www.championshipchess.net/), because money was needed. Before heading to the first school as a member of the Championship “team” I was given a quick course in the Championship “method” of teaching Chess to children by Steve Schneider, one of the owners of CC, who indoctrinated me in the Championship Chess way, which included how to teach the Queen’s Raid, aka the Patzer, and pawn games, before being driven by the co-owner, Dennis Jones, to a school, where Dennis was to observe how I followed the CC “method.” On the way I asked Dennis if the other “coaches” followed the CC method. “Some do,” he replied, “But the stronger players do what they want. Are you a stronger player?” he asked. Dennis had given me all the information needed. While Dennis watched I gave lip service to “pawn games” and the “Queen’s raid,” but only to teach the children how to avoid the pitfall of being checkmated with the early raid of the Queen. It was the last time I used even part of the Championship Chess “method.”

Steve Schneider

was a school teacher “back in the day.” At the CC website one finds: “Coach Steve Schneider began working with children and chess when he taught his 6-year-old son to play.” https://www.championshipchess.net/about-steve-schneider/#

I previously mentioned on this blog the time the Ol’ Swindler said about me, “Ummm… You’re a nineteen hundred.” Although I crossed the expert threshold he, and others I suppose, will always think of me as a “1900.” I’m OK with that, because “back in the day” the highest rated player who actually played regularly in Atlanta was Tom Pate, rated in the upper 1900’s. I think of Steve as a “Fourteen hundred.” USCF shows a current rating of 1379. The co-owner, Dennis Jones, is listed at the USCF MSA page as a “one thousand” player, albeit in limited action as he is still a “provisionally rated” player.

At one time Championship Chess could boast of having many higher rated “coaches” but that was in the past. For various reasons, including low wages and being forced to teach the Championship Chess “method,” the higher rated teachers left CC and were replaced by teachers rated, if they were rated, even lower than the owners. The Championship Chess brain trust wanted employees who would “toe the line” and “teach the Championship Chess way.”

The Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear relates a story concerning a game Steve played with one of his “coaches,” a fellow named Lynwood, at the Ironman Chess Club.


Lynwood playing at the Ironman Chess Club recently

As the story goes Lynwood was called over by “Coach Steve” for “training.” It seems Lynwood had been “called into the principal’s office” earlier because he had not been following the CC “method.” Lynwood was assisting “Coach Tim” and the Ironman was not one to teach any way other than his way, which happens to be the way most “approved” Chess teachers go about teaching Chess, which most definitely does not include teaching children to play the “Queen’s Raid” in order to gain a quick victory. “Lynwood was great,” said the Ironman, “He would do whatever asked of him, and was great with the children because of his demeanor.” Poor Lynwood was caught between a rock and a hard place. Should he do what the General back at HQ said and stick his head up out of the foxhole to gather much needed information, or do what the Sargent in the foxhole said and keep his head down?

Lynwood vs Coach Steve

1 e4 e5 2 Qh5

(It all begins with the Queen’s Raid at Championship Chess! If there is any Chess player who should be able to defend against the Queen’s Raid that man was sitting across from Lynwood as General of the black pieces) 2…Nc6 3 Bc4 g6 4 Qf3 Nf6 5 Ne2 d6

(Stockfish plays this move but the Championship Chess “main line” in the Patzer is 5…Bg7. Therefore it would appear Coach Steve was the first to vary from the Championship Chess approved method of playing The Patzer) 6 0-0

(This move is not in the CBDB) Bg4 7 Qb3 Be2 8 Bf7+ Ke7 9 Qe6 mate

In lieu of a resignation coach Steve erupted, “NO, NO, NO Lynwood, you’re not using the patterns!” After Tim pointed out to Steve that Lynwood had not been the one to break the “pattern” coach Steve blurted, “Once he broke the pattern I stopped paying attention!”

Don’t you just hate it when that happens?!

Steve, with much help from others, has written several Chess books for beginners, most, if not all, of which are laughable. I say this because while recalling being regaled with stories of laughable previous editions before being corrected. Tim mentioned going to a school and having his young students “correct” some of the many errors in the books. The mistakes were a riot, causing much laughter by the students.

During a conversation with Steve he expressed displeasure with the way I was teaching the Royal game, which was definitely NOT using the Championship Chess method. I had been teaching how to checkmate using only a few pieces when Steve had rather my time be spent teaching pawn games. “But Steve, I began, “Bobby Fischer wrote a book for beginners which was all about how to checkmate.” (Which is what Chess was all about before it became how to draw quickly)
“What did Bobby Fischer know about teaching Chess to children?” he asked. I was incredulous, and frankly, cannot recall exactly what was said after hearing his ridiculous question. I do, though, recall posing the question, “You mean you know more about teaching Chess than the greatest Chess player of all-time?” To which Steve responded, “Yes. I know more about teaching than he did.” Granted, Steve graduated from a college where he was taught how to teach, whereas Bobby was basically self-taught, but still…
I will never forget the first time attending a scholastic tournament. The memory of where it was being held has vanished. I do recall Steve and Lew Martin escorting some of the youngest children into the playing room. Anyone who has ever attended a Chess tournament, especially if one has worked at a Chess tournament, knows the feeling when the round begins and all is quiet for at least a brief period of time. That was not the case at this tournament because about a minute later the first children began returning from the playing hall, some elated, some crying. The Queen’s Raid had done its work as some beginners had yet to be taught how to defend against the The Patzer. Parents of the winners were pleased as punch while the losing parents were mortified to see their child in tears. When the first little children began returning I asked with incredulity, “You mean the games have already finished?” A smiling and proudly pleased Lew Martin said, “That’s how it is in scholastic Chess.”
“This is not Chess,” was my response. It was more than a little obvious that teaching Chess to children to some could be distilled to, “Show me the money!”

This is part one of a two part series, which will follow with the next post.

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Team Tal: A Review

Tal. Simply say “Tal” around any Chess player, or in any gathering of Chess players, and the response is magical. To those of us in the Chess community “Tal” is the definition of sui generis. “Tal played a kind of chess that nobody could understand at the time. Now that theory has taken a big step forward, and we have chess engines, we’re starting to realize that he was playing 21st-century chess.” – Grandmaster Alexei Shirov.

Valentin Kirillov,

Tal’s childhood friend, and his second from 1968 through 1976, has done the Chess world a HUGE service by lovingly writing about the Magician from Riga. Alexi Shirov writes in the introduction, “It’s a pity that my idea to ask Kirillov to write a book with his memories came a little too late-when he was already in poor health. Yet he has still created a new portrait of Tal (and his Latvian contemporaries)-a portrait as WE knew him.”

The author writes, “After we got our hands on our first records, which were extraordinarily hard to find in those days, music became a permanent fixture at the Tal residence. I distinctly remember my first exposure to rock and roll. Bill Haley’s raging Rock Around the Clock, which we played until the vinyl wore out, absolutely knocked my socks off.”

The author turned to writing about Chess.

“In those days, articles and reports on chess in the press tended to be academic and rather dry, which didn’t appeal to the millions of club players out there. I wanted to make my pieces a bit more accessible and lively, and crack a few jokes along the way-my editors were always there to keep me in check, though. If one argues that chess isn’t merely a science, but an art and a sport as well, then what’s stopping journalists from drawing upon the models, analogies, and comparisons made in literature, music, sports, and the circus? Using the knowledge and skill set I possessed, I tried to give my tales a certain flair.”

With this book the author has accomplished his mission. He succeeds by writing about the game Tal vs Bronstein

from the 1970 USSR Championship in hockey terms! Simply amazing…The more I read the more I came to admire the author. For example, here is what he writes about a man who was a colonel in the KGB, director of the Central Chess Club in Moscow, and vice president of the USSR Chess Federation.

“Viktor Baturinsky,

the big chess boss in the USSR, urged me to cut my long hippie hair-and asked Misha to make sure I did-before the awards ceremony of the USSR championship, because I was set to go on stage as the USSR champion’s coach. Naturally, I didn’t heed his advice, and the chess boss had to put my gold medal on over the disheveled locks flowing down to my shoulders.”

I am reminded of the time I lost a speed game horribly to Baturinsky at the FIDE congress in Atlanta in 1980. “You Americans cannot play Chess,” he said. I turned and walked away. “Set them up!” he shouted. I turned to look at him. He was LIVID! Granted, it was customary for the loser to replace the pieces, but the man had insulted me, and all American Chess players. I returned to the board and politely suggested he have sex with himself, at which point he lost it completely, and EXPLODED, as I turned and again walked away…

Team Tal: An Inside Story,

is replete with wonderful stories about Misha Tal, and his family, friends, and supporters; his team. Once begun, it could not put down. The book contains only two games so if you are looking for a book about the Chess played by Tal this is not it. If you want to read about the man who played that fantastical Chess, this book is for you! The book is filled with pictures of Tal and those who were involved in his life. In addition, there are many illustrations which are quite fascinating.

On his blog recently GM Kevin Spraggett

mentioned one of his favourite chess blogs, ‘Lost on Time’ (http://www.spraggettonchess.com/wednesday-coffee-20/) so I clicked on the link provided and discovered the editor, Justin Horton, had posted this concerning the Tal book:

Tal order

There was a series on the old blog, Bad Book Covers. I came across this yesterday, and had it been out back then, it would have been on it. (http://lostontime.blogspot.pt/2018/01/tal-order.html)

DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER!

I recall Senior Master Brian McCarthy showing an old Informant that had seen so much action it no longer had a cover.
When someone questioned Brian about it he responded, “That don’t matter…It’s still got the MEAT!”

As Bob Dylan sang, “Don’t let other people get your kicks for you.” Judge the cover for yourself. I happen to like the cover and think it fits the “meat.”

The book also contains stories about fellow Latvian players such as Janis Klovans,

and Alvis Vitolins, and the man Tal dubbed, the Maestro, Alexander Koblencs. “Contemporary chess history knows numerous examples of successful creative partnerships, like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Spassky -Bondarevsky, Karpov-Furman, and Kasparov-Nikitin are perhaps the most famous ones. As for Tal and Koblencs, we have two Don Quixotes on our hands.”

“He (Tal) had his favorites, for whom he had the greatest warmth and the utmost respect. He adored Vladimir Simagin, a true knight on the chess battlefield. “That man was on a constant quest; he was the Don Quixote of chess,” Tal said.

“When he came onto the scene, classical chess, as dry as the desert, was king. Everyone was all prim and proper. It felt like the Party and the government had instructed people to play balanced, strategic chess, from the opening to the endgame. Then suddenly, a real troublemaker-but he wasn’t just a troublemaker, for he added a ton to the game!-shows up and starts muddying the waters and making waves. He was like a gushing spring!” Boris Spassky said.

High praise, indeed.

Mikhail Tal could be recalcitrant.

“The Soviet authorities would say that anybody who didn’t agree with the prevailing ideology was a “nonconformist.” It goes without saying that Tal’s playing style was nonconformist.”

Sic transit Gloria mundi!’ (thus passes the glory of the world) Misha once joked after he was removed from his position as chief editor at Shas for organizing a real blowout of an office party on International Women’s Day, flouting the government’s anti-alcohol laws yet again.”

Another time, somebody asked him, “are you a morphinist?” He answered, “you’ve got it all wrong, I’m a Chigorinist…but Morphy was great, too.”

I, too, am a Chigorinist, having fallen in awe the first time I played over his 1893 match with Sigbert Tarrash, which is my all time favorite Chess match.

“We went to the movies a few times, too. I remember the new James Bond, Goldfinger,

and an erotic movie (they were taboo in the USSR!) about a passionate love affair between a woman guard and a prisoner at a concentration camp. We showed up a tad late, and when the lights came on at the end, we discovered that nearly our whole delegation was sitting there in the half-empty theater.”

A case could be made that after Bobby Fischer

defeated World Chess Champion Boris Spassky

in 1972 the best player still playing when Bobby stopped playing was Mikhail Tal.

“Although no records in professional chess could prove it, experts, journalists, and regular fans would probably characterize Tal’s achievements from 1972 through 1974 as record-breaking. I’ll let you be the judge- Tal did not suffer a single defeat from July 1972 through April 1973; six months later, he kicked off an even more remarkable streak of 96 games without a single loss (October 1973-October 1974), winning or sharing first place at six international tournaments. He won 72 games, yet drew 110 during both streaks combined…”

Possibly the most poignant part of the book concerns what happened to Mikhail’s possessions. Much is written about attempts to have a museum dedicated to Mikhail Tal in his old apartment.

“As per the Tal family’s instructions, our cargo was handed over directly to Ratko Knezevic at the Hussar of Riga Club-which had just opened its doors on the sixth floor of the Minsk Hotel to celebrate what would have been Mikhail Tal’s 60th birthday. Botvinnik and Karpov’s stories about Misha, Smyslov’s singing (he gave me a CD with his renditions of Russian romances on it), and Ivanchuk, who won the blitz tournament, reciting his own poems into the night were the highlights of the opening ceremony for me. By the way, the blitz competition winners received bags of candy instead of prize money at the tourney! I don’t know how his memorabilia then wound up in Elista.”

What are Tal’s treasured possessions doing in Elista?

“When Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

came to Riga to discuss plans to construct a knight-shaped, high -rise hotel, he even promised to share Tal’s memorabilia, which is now stuck in Elista.”

“There will be a chess club, tournament hall, and museum in the hotel,” the FIDE president said. He painted a beautiful picture, but a few years have passed, and there aren’t any knights towering over the Daugava River.”

Kirsan, if you have not taken Tal’s possessions to Zeta Reticuli please return them to Riga and the Latvians, where they belong!!!

Chess in Schools and Communities Initiative

LM Brian McCarthy left a comment on the previous post and provided a very interesting link. Brian writes, “Susan Sallon explores the impact of chess on primary school children’s cognitive development. She debunks every last study before hers as being flawed by low numbers as you say or bad methodology or both. Her’s is hard to find fault with, unless you want every grade tested in the same fashion.”

I would urge anyone with interest in this subject to read what Susan has to say. For example, I quoted GM Yasser Seirwan in the previous post concerning the “Margulies” study. This is what Susan has to say about that particular study:

“In the South Bronx NYC, Stuart Margulies (1990 – 1992) conducted a study to look at changes in reading scores after chess instruction. Mid-elementary school children joined chess clubs at school. In the 1st year, they received instruction by chess masters. In the 2nd year, they also participated in computer-supported chess activities. Chess club membership was voluntary. Before the study began, students were assessed, using a standardised reading test. In this instance, the “control” group was the National Norm for the same grade students in the same school district. Students in the chess group made greater improvements than the national norm. However, since the chess group had higher pre-test scores than the control, Margulies aimed to address the selection bias, by comparing the chess group scores with those of a non-chess control group, consisting of children with pre-test scores comparable to the chess group. But again, the chess group showed more gains than the control group. However, Margulies himself, is quick to point out that “chess participants form a pool of intellectually gifted and talented students. Students who join this group make contact with a core of high achievers and thereby develop more academic interest, speak at higher levels of standard speech……”

Brian also provides a link to a page which contains an interesting study recently conducted in Great Britain by “the “Chess in Schools and Communities” Initiative (CSC) set up by International Chess Master, Malcolm Pein.” A link can be found in Brian’s comment, and I will provide a link to the PDF of “Susan Sallon explores the impact of chess on primary school children’s cognitive development.” (http://www.chessinschools.co.uk/download/research/Susan_Sallon_Dissertation.pdf)

This study appears to be very good news for the effect chess can have on students. It is possible that this is the best news of any study yet conducted on chess and education, at least from a chess perspective. Kudos to LM Brian McCarthy for sharing this information!

Former GCA Board member Tim Payne, who resigned from the board, along with the man I hope becomes the next President of the Georgia Chess Association, Frank Johnson, sends information about the “largest study in world about impact of chess on education is underway in Israel.” – http://www.israel21c.org/social-action-2/can-chess-make-you-smarter/

In an article, Can chess make you smarter? by Viva Sarah Press, dated January 23, 2013, we learn, “Boris Gelfand made all the right moves to become Israel’s highest-ranking chess player. Now, he’s partnering up with an Israeli university to launch the country’s first scientific research project focused on chess. The Grandmaster Chess Research Project is a one-of-a-kind initiative to develop a novel academic approach to the skills and culture of chess-playing that can, in turn, contribute to social and scientific development.”

We also learn, “Gelfand’s ranking as vice world champion is what triggered the Grandmaster Chess Research Project.” That is the first time in my four and a half decades I have heard anyone called a “vice world chess champion” although I will admit to having heard some called the “world champion of vice.”

“The program will provide an opportunity to achieve breakthrough research and social outreach in a field that has not yet been fully explored,” said University of Haifa Vice President and Dean of Research Prof. Michal Yerushalmy. The researchers will examine the impact of chess on students’ abilities in math, language acquisition, and other areas.”

“I am sure this will make our society better,” Gelfand said during a toast to launch the new research initiative. “I know leading intellectual professionals who succeeded thanks to their playing chess in school and continued playing alongside their professional development.”
(http://www.israel21c.org/social-action-2/can-chess-make-you-smarter/)

My thanks to Tim Payne for sharing the information. Many detract from, but only a few “add to” the discussion, and I appreciate those, like Brian and Tim, who have added something pertinent. The more one knows the better the chances of obtaining the truth, at least in theory.

The Horse’s Ess

The Legendary Georgia Ironman recently brought in two new volumns, #’s 109 & 110, of the New In Chess Yearbook. Earlier he had procured #111 and I thought he might cry when telling me of how it had fallen out of the bag and gotten scuffed when he attempted to bring it into the Fortress. “Now it’s only VG,” I said, harkening back to our days of selling sports cards. From the look on his face I immediately realized it was an inappropriate thing to say, so I added, “At least it still has the meat.” This is an inside joke concerning something LM Brian McCarthy said when someone made a comment about an Informant that had lost its cover because of the heavy use.

While perusing the books I mentioned one contained two Survey’s of the Leningrad Dutch, and the other had one, adding that the one in the “Jobava” (#110) was on the 4 Nh3 variation, while the two in the “Magnus” (#109) were on the 7…Qe8 line with the other being on what is now being called the “improved” Lisitsin Gambit, with 2 d3!?, according to Viktor Moskalenko in his book, The Diamond Dutch. “That ought to keep you busy,” said the Ironman.

The next day Tim asked about the Leningrad games in the NIC’s and was informed I had not gotten to the Survey section because there were three Dutch games in the Forum and one included in Kuzmin’s Corner. In addition I mentioned there were two games by Moskalenko, versus Michael Krasenkow and the lovely Tania Sachdev, with both being the “improved” Lisitsin Gambit with 2 d3. That reminded the Ironman of a game he had previously played using the Lisitsin Gambit against NM Marc Esserman in the 2007 Southern Open in Orlando. This brought forth the tale of the 2004 US Open in Weston, Florida, and the first game the Ironman had contested with Esserman. That was the US Open in which I could not play because of a bad back. As we reminisced about the event the Ironman was still upset about what occurred before the first round. He asked me to locate the hotel and I found it in the phone book, providing him with the address. He went to the spot and there was the hotel, but there was no chess tournament! He was directed to another hotel of the same chain in an outlying area many miles away. As it turned out, the hotel where the US Open was held was located in Weston, not Fort Lauderdale, as the USCF had listed. This caused the Ironman to arrive late for the round, which he managed to draw. To make matters worse, the hotel in Weston had the exact same address as the one in Fort Lauderdale! All I can remember is the heat. One day I decided to go for a walk in the afternoon and went into some place seeking AC. “You must not be from around here,” the lady said. “What makes you say that?” I asked. “Because no one who lives here goes out in the afternoon.”

Then the Ironman produced the scoresheet of the Esserman game at the Southern Open, and told me about his loss to the big man with a large head at the US Open. It seems Esserman made a move that led to mate and stood up, towering over the board, while extending his hand, an egregious breach of comportment. It was with this in mind the Legendary Georgia Ironman sat down to play NM Marc Esserman in the first round of the 2007 Southern Open…

Tim Brookshear (2001) vs Marc Esserman (2256)

1. Nf3 f5 2. b3 (After glancing at the scoresheet I said, “Hey Ironman, what’s this? You played 2 b3?!” He nabbed the scoresheet saying, “Well I thought it was a Lisitsin’s Gambit. I played e4 on the next move.” I shot back, “But you never played d3.” Tim thought for a moment before saying, “That’s right, I played d4, improving on the improvement!” What could I say other than, “Well, I dunno about that. I will have to take a look at it…”) d6 3. e4 (I was unable to find this in the Chessbase Database, or at 365chess.com, so I will call it the “Ironman Gambit.”) e5 (Esserman did not wish to allow a real gambit with 3… fxe4 4. Ng5 Nf6 5. d3!) 4. d4 (4. exf5 Bxf5 5. Nc3 Nc6 looks reasonable) fxe4 5. Ng5 (5. Nxe5!?) exd4 6.Qxd4 (6. Nxe4!?) Nf6 (6… d5!) 7. Nc3 (7. Nxe4!) d5 8. Bb2 h6 9. Nh3 Nc6? (After 9… Bxh3 I do not need a ‘puter to know the Ironman would be holding onto the rope by his fingernails) 10. Bb5 Kf7 (Once again Black should play 10…Bxh3 and White would have only a tenuous hold on his tattered position) 11. Qd2 (The Ironman decides to “advance to the rear,” but it would have been much better to have played 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Nf4, saving the Knight and the pawn structure as the Queen retreat allows 11…d4!) Ne7 (I do not know what to say…Guess my understanding of chess is not deep enough to comprehend some of the moves made by Esserman.) 12. O-O-O c6 13. Be2 Ng6 (But it is deep enough to understand Black should take the Knight) 14. Nf4 (The program known as Houdini wants to play 14 f3!? obviously “thinking” along the lines of, “If the human has not taken the Knight by now, it ain’t ever gonna take that sucker!”) Nxf4 15. Qxf4 Bd6 16. Qd2 Qc7 17. Kb1 Re8 18. Rdf1 Bf5 (According to Charley Hertan, who wandered through Atlanta with a backpack decades ago, Esserman should play the Forcing Move, 18…Bf4!) 19.h3 (19. Nd1) Rad8 (Again 19… Bf4) 20. g4 Bf4 21. Qd1 (21. Qd4!?) Bg6 22. h4 (The “engine” makes a case for 22. Na4. Who am I to argue?) d4 (22… b5 !) 23. Bc4+ Kf8 24. Ne2 Bf7 (24… Be5) 25. Bxf7 Kxf7 26. Rfg1 (I am taking the Bishop offa the board with 26. Nxf4 and I don’t care what any machine says) g5 (I wanted to play a positional move like 26…c5, but Houdini advocates 26…Rh8) 27. hxg5 hxg5 (I was thinking along the lines of taking the pawn with the Prelate, and so, it turns out, was Houey. I thought the Ironman was back in the game now, after struggling all game to get a grip. After looking at the game, I plugged it in the “engine” and it, too, thought White was slightly better. It is difficult to understand why a NM would open the Rook file like this…) 28. Rh6 (This looks like a natural move, and the kind of move I would make, but Houdini likes 28. Rf1!?) Kg7 29. Rgh1 c5 30. Qf1 (30.Nxf4!) Rh8 31. Qh3 (31.Nxf4!) Rxh6 32.Qxh6+ Kf7 33. Ng3 (33.Nxf4!) Bxg3 34. fxg3 Rg8 35. Rf1 Qe7 (35…Qe5!?) 36. Qh7+ (36.c3!?) Rg7 (36…Ke8!?) 37. Qf5 e3 38. b4 b6 39. bxc5 bxc5 (The last chance to play for an advantage is 39…e2) 40. Qd5+ Ke8 41. Qc6+ Nd7 42. Qa8+ Qd8 43. Qe4+ Qe7 44.Qa8+ Qd8 45. Qe4+ 1/2-1/2

When the game ended Tim mentioned something to Marc about it being a good game, which caused Esserman to erupt with, “You played like shit! I played like shit! It was ALL SHIT!!!”
Stunned, the Ironman said something about the previous game between them at the 2004 US Open and was shocked to hear Marc say, “We have never played before!”
This caused the Ironman to give Esserman the moniker, the “Horse’s Ess.” Any time anyone mentions Marc Esserman the Ironman says, “You mean the Horse’s Ess?”

What I did not mention to the Legendary Georgia Ironman is that the now IM Marc Esserman featured prominently in an article, Where Oddballs, Hustlers and Masters Meet, by Olimpiu G. Urcan, who “went undercover as a chess junkie in Boston’s iconic Harvard Square,” in the last issue of 2014/8 of the New In Chess magazine, the best chess magazine ever published. The article culminates with a sub-heading of “A Boisterous Enfant Terrible.” This refers to IM Esserman. It is written, “If confronted on various chess matters, he gets really loud and aggressive, disturbing the other games in progress. ‘It’s unheard of to pass by the Harvard Square and not play Billy Collins!’ he exclaimed one evening trying to arrange a blitz match for stakes between Collins and a New York acquaintance. Almost unable to stand it anymore, one of my opponents exclaimed while desperate to extricate himself from a difficult position: ‘Oh, c’mon, Marc. Can you please stop being such a bitch?’

the-world_s-top-10-best-images-of-animals-playing-chess-6

Apology to Thad Rogers

In my post dated November 28, 2014, I mistakenly wrote that Grant Oen is the, “owner of the Atlanta Kings.” I took this from the Southeast Chess website (http://www.southeastchess.com/atlanta-kings.html). Grant is the “Manager” of the Atlanta Kings. The impresario, L. Thad Rogers is the owner. My apologies to Thad. No slight was intended. I made a regretful mistake. Thad has tried for quite some time to bring a USCL team to Atlanta before succeeding.
For all of his foibles Thad has done much good for chess, not only in Georgia, but in the Southeast as well. In addition, I know Thad has helped many players throughout the years, and he has done it because he has a generous heart. One example will suffice to illustrate. Decades ago I was on a MARTA train heading to visit one of Thad’s tournaments when I encountered another chess player, called “Smokin’ Gun.” I nodded, Smokin’ Gun shot back a big grin and moved toward me. Upon mentioning I was headed to one of Thad’s tournaments and he asked, “You playing?”
“No, Smokin’ Gun, I said, I’m just going to visit. Why don’t you come with me?” He shook his head and said, “I can’t. I own Thad money.”
“What do you mean? Everyone has owed Thad money at one time or another. Come on by later if you can…Don’t dodge him…Tell him you haven’t forgotten about him, but circumstances are such that you can’t pay him back now, and he will be glad to see you..”
Hours later as I was about to leave, there was Smokin’ Gun, talking with Thad. On my way out the Gun grinned, saying, “It played out just like you said, man.”
Atlanta hosted the 1980 US Open because of Thad. When the Nashville Strangler hit it big at the World Open by winning the expert section, he made a point in the interview published in Chess Life to thank Thad for organizing all the tournaments in which he had played. FM Jerry Wheeler, along with LM Brian McCarthy, played so often some thought they lived in Atlanta. The same could be said for the “Little Hayseed,” Tom Waymouth, who took first in a “B” section of the World Open. Then there is Spencer Bledsoe, one of the Legendary Georgia Ironman’s students, who cut his teeth at the House of Pain before tying for first in an “A” section at the World Open. Spencer is best known for his part in the Survivor TV show. (http://survivor.wikia.com/wiki/Spencer_Bledsoe)
To top it off, FM Kazim Gulamali just played a match with IM Ron Burnett for the under 2500 money at the Millionaire Open. Ron, like the aforementioned Tennessee players, has played in as many of Thad’s tournaments as any Atlanta player. Kazim literally grew-up at the House. Together they brought $60,000 back South from Lost Wages!
Did I mentioned the time a former GCA President bankrupted the organization? Thad stepped in using his own money to keep the GCA solvent. I could go on and on, but why? Like everyone you know, or will ever know, Thad has entries on both the positive and negative side of the ledger, but he is one of the fortunate ones in which the positive outweighs the negative.
I know all of the above mentioned players, and the Legendary Ironman, will join me in saying, “Thank you, Thad, for all you have done for the Royal game.”

UT Dallas Fall FIDE Open: It Don’t Come Easy

FM Daniel Gurevich continue to impress the chess world not only with his results, but also with his stellar play. He finished +1, with a score of 5-4, leaving him in a tie for 14th place. Daniel exited the tournament on a winning note by playing this spectacular game:

FM Daniel Gurevich vs IM Keaton F Kiewra
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 9

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Qc7 6.
g3 a6 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O Bc5 9. Nxc6 dxc6 10. e5 Qxe5 11. Bf4 Qd4 12. Qe2 Be7
13. Rfd1 Qc5 14. Na4 Qa5 15. b3 O-O 16. Bd2 Qc7 17. Bf4 Qa5 18. Bd2 Bb4 19. c3
Be7 20. c4 Bb4 21. Be3 Nd7 22. Qc2 Be7 23. c5 Qc7 24. Nb6 Nxb6 25. cxb6 Qe5 26.
Bd4 Qa5 27. a3 Qh5 28. Qc3 f6 29. b4 e5 30. Bc5 Bxc5 31. Qc4+ Kh8 32. Qxc5 Bg4
33. Rd6 Rae8 34. a4 Qf7 35. h3 Bc8 36. b5 cxb5 37. axb5 axb5 38. Bd5 Qh5 39.
Bg2 f5 40. Ra8 f4 41. g4 Qh4 Stop!

However you intend on reviewing this game, take a moment to cogitate on White’s next move. As a hint let me say that after teaching budding chess Spuds to ask and answer three questions (1 “Why did my opponent make that move?” 2 “What move do I want, or need, to make, and why?” & 3 “Am I leaving anything en prise?”), the next thing I teach is to, “Examine all checks!” The remaining moves are given at the end of the article.

IM Denis Kadric vs FM Daniel Gurevich
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 6

1.d3 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.Bg2 c5 4.e4 Nc6 5.f4 d6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 e6 9.c3 Nge7 10.O-O O-O 11.Be3 Qd7 12.Rd1 Rac8 13.Na3 f5 14.Qe2 Kh8 15.Nc2 Qc7 16.Bf2 Rce8 17.d4 cxd4 18.Nxd4 Nxd4 19.cxd4 fxe4 20.Qxe4 Nd5 21.h4 Qf7 22.Rac1 Re7 23.a3 Rfe8 24.Qe2 Qf5 25.Be4 Qf7 26.Bf3 Rf8 27.Rd3 Bh6 28.Re1 Rfe8 29.Qf1 Bg7 30.Qg2 Nb6 31.Rd2 Nc4 32.Rde2 d5 33.h5 Nd6 34.hxg6 hxg6 35.Qh2 Kg8 36.g4 g5 37.f5 Ne4 38.Bxe4 dxe4 39.Rxe4 exf5 40.Rxe7 Rxe7 41.Rxe7 Qxe7 42.Qb8 Kh7 43.gxf5 Qe4 44.Qh2 Kg8 45.Qd6 Qg4 46.Kf1 1/2-1/2

FM Daniel Gurevich vs IM Kacper Drozdowski
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 7

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 a6 4.g3 b5 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 b4 8.Na4 Nf6 9.O-O Bxe4 10.Bxe4 Nxe4 11.Re1 Nf6 12.c4 bxc3 13.Qb3 Nc6 14.Nxc6 dxc6 15.Qxc3 Rc8 16.Be3 Nd5 17.Qc4 Qa5 18.Bc5 Qb5 19.Rac1 Be7 20.Bxe7 Qxc4 21.Rxc4 Kxe7 22.Rec1 Kd6 23.Nc5 Rb8 24.b3 Rhc8 25.Ne4 Kd7 26.Nc5 Ke7 27.Nxa6 Ra8 28.Nb4 Nxb4 29.Rxb4 Rxa2 30.Rb7 Kf6 31.Rd1 Rc2 32.Rdd7 Rf8 33.h4 Kg6 34.Rdc7 h5 1/2-1/2

GM Nadezhda Kosintseva vs FM Daniel Gurevich
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 8

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Bd7 10.Nxd7 Qxd7 11.O-O e6 12.Nc3 Rd8 13.Qb3 Be7 14.Be3 O-O 15.Rfd1 a6 16.Bxa6 bxa6 17.Qxb6 Nb4 18.Rac1 Rb8 19.Qa5 Rfd8 20.Rd2 Qb7 21.h3 Rbc8 22.a3 Nd5 23.Rdc2 Nb6 24.Na4 Rxc2 25.Rxc2 Nxa4 26.Qxa4 Bf6 27.Qc6 Qb3 28.Qc3 Qd5 29.Qc5 Qe4 30.Qc6 Qd3 31.Rd2 Qb5 32.Qxb5 axb5 33.Kf1 Kf8 34.Ke2 Ke7 35.Kd3 h5 36.b3 Ra8 37.Ra2 Rd8 38.Ke4 Kd6 39.a4 bxa4 40.Rxa4 Kc6 41.Ra7 h4 42.Rxf7 Rb8 43.Bf4 Rxb3 44.Be5 Rb2 45.Bxf6 Rxf2 46.Rxg7 Rxf6 47.Rg4 Rf2 48.Ke3 Ra2 49.Kf3 Ra3 50.Kf2 Ra2 51.Kg1 Kd5 52.Rxh4 Ra4 53.Rg4 Ra1 54.Kh2 Ra4 55.Kg3 Ra3 56.Kh4 e5 57.dxe5 Kxe5 58.Rg6 Kf4 59.Rf6 Ke5 60.Rf8 Ra4 61.g4 1-0

NM Michael Corallo, who has been playing excellent chess recently, finished with an even score, a half point behind Daniel.

NM Daniel Gater vs NM Michael Corallo
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 6

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.f4 Qc7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bxf6 Nxf6 10.f5 Qc5 11.O-O-O g5 12.fxg6 Bg4 13.gxf7 Kxf7 14.Qd3 Bxd1 15.Nxd1 h5 16.Qb3 d5 17.Nf5 Nxe4 18.Bd3 Nf6 19.Re1 b5 20.Nh4 Bh6 21.Kb1 e6 22.Bg6 Ke7 23.Bf5 Qd4 24.Qg3 Ne4 25.Qc7 Kf6 26.Bxe4 1-0

FM Alex Getz vs NM Michael Corallo
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 8

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.O-O Be7 8.f4 O-O 9.Kh1 Qc7 10.a4 Nc6 11.Be3 Re8 12.Bf3 Na5 13.Nde2 e5 14.f5 Nc4 15.Bc1 d5 16.exd5 Bxf5 17.Ng3 Bg6 18.Nge4 Nd6 19.Re1 Rac8 20.Nxf6 Bxf6 21.Bg4 Rcd8 22.a5 Nc4 23.Ne4 Bh4 24.g3 Be7 25.Qf3 Nxa5 26.Bd2 Nc4 27.Bc3 Bf8 28.Rad1 Nd6 29.Nxd6 Bxd6 30.Bf5 b5 31.Ra1 b4 32.Bd2 Qc4 33.Bxg6 hxg6 34.Qd3 Qxd3 35.cxd3 Bf8 36.Ra5 f6 37.Re4 Rb8 38.Rxa6 Rb5 39.d6 Rd5 40.Bxb4 Rxd3 41.Rc4 e4 42.Rac6 e3 43.Rc8 Rxc8 44.Rxc8 Kf7 45.Kg2 Bxd6 46.Bxd6 Rxd6 47.Kf3 Rd2 48.Rc7 Kg8 49.Kxe3 Rxh2 50.b4 Rb2 51.Rc4 Rb3 52.Kd4 Rxg3 53.b5 Rb3 54.Kc5 Kf7 55.b6 Ke6 56.Re4 Kd7 57.Rd4 Kc8 58.Re4 Rc3 59.Kb5 Rb3 60.Kc6 Rc3 61.Kb5 1/2-1/2

Michael defeated IM Justin Sarkar in the last round.

NM Damir Studen finished on -2, with a score of 3 1/2-5 1/2.

NM Damir Studen vs GM Kayden W Troff
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 7

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 Nc6 6.
Nf3 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. e4 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Na5 10. O-O c5 11. e5 cxd4 12. cxd4 Be6
13. Ng5 Bd5 14. Ne4 Rc8 15. Be3 b6 16. Qd2 Rc4 17. f3 Qd7 18. Qb2 Rfc8 19. Rfc1
Rxc1+ 20. Bxc1 Qa4 21. Bd2 Rc2 22. Qb4 Qxb4 23. Bxb4 Nc6 24. Be1 Bxe4 25. fxe4
Nxd4 26. Rd1 Bxe5 27. Bf2 Ne2+ 28. Kf1 Nc3 29. Rd7 Rxa2 30. Bf3 Kf8 31. h4 Ke8
32. Rb7 Kd8 33. Bg4 Bc7 34. e5 e6 35. Bf3 Nd5 0-1

WIM Mariam Danelia vs NM Damir Studen
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 7

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 a6 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.h3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Be2 c5 11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.O-O Bb7 13.Rfd1 Qb6 14.Be5 Rac8 15.Bd4 Qa5 16.a3 Nce4 17.Bd3 h6 18.Qe2 Nxc3 19.Bxc3 Qc7 20.e4 Rfd8 1/2-1/2

Damir lost to NM Jarod John M Pamatmat his last round game, thus violating LM Brian McCarthy’s rule of “Never leave the gym on a missed hoop!”

NM Sanjay Ghatti found that it don’t come easy in Dallas, scoring only 3 points, but hit nothing but net with his last round win over NM Abhishek Reddy Obili.

NM Sanjay Ghatti vs WFM Patrycja Labedz
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
Rd 8

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.c4 e6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Qc7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bd3 Bb4 8.O-O Nc6 9.Be3 Ne5 10.Rc1 Neg4 11.g3 Nxe3 12.fxe3 b6 13.a3 Bd6 14.Qe2 Bb7 15.b4 h5 16.c5 bxc5 17.bxc5 Be5 18.Na4 h4 19.g4 h3 20.c6 dxc6 21.Kh1 Rh4 22.g5 Nxe4 23.Bxe4 Rxe4 24.Nc5 Rxd4 25.exd4 Bxd4 26.g6 Bxc5 27.gxf7 Ke7 28.Rxc5 Qd6 29.Qf2 Rf8 30.Kg1 e5 31.Rxe5 Qxe5 32.Re1 Qxe1 33.Qxe1 Kxf7 34.Qb4 Bc8 35.Qc4 Kg6 36.Qxc6 Kh7 37.Qc5 Kg8 38.Qd5 Kh8 39.a4 Bf5 40.Qc5 Rf6 41.a5 Kh7 42.Kf2 Be4 43.Kg3 Bg2 44.Qc2 Kg8 45.Qc8 Kh7 1/2-1/2

The fact that three of the four Georgia players faced off against women in round eight illustrates the rise in the number of women players. The total score of the men vs women battle in the penultimate round went to the men, 2-1.

Since there were nine rounds the tale of the tournament can be told by breaking down the results into thirds:

1st 2nd 3rd
Gurevich 1 1/2 2 1 1/2
Corallo 1 1/2 1/2 2 1/2
Studen 1 2 1/2
Ghatti 1 1/2 1 1/2

Now for the conclusion of the FM Daniel Gurevich vs IM Keaton F Kiewra game:

42. Rc6 bxc6 43. b7 Qd8 44. b8=Q f3 45. Bf1 Rf6
46. Qcxe5 Rff8 47. Qc5 h6 48. Ra1 Qf6 49. Qba7 Re4 50. Bd3 Rf4 51. Qce7 Qc3 52.
Bf5 Rg8 53. Qee3 Qb4 54. Qc7 Rxf5 55. gxf5 Bxf5 56. Qcf4 Qb2 57. Qee5 1-0

Were you able to find a better move without checking with your “engine” of choice? Did you “examine all checks?”

Note on the Gettysburg Address

On this date in 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/)

My cousin Linda taught high school English. During a discussion years ago she said, “The Gettysburg Address is the greatest speech ever delivered.” I scoffed, and ridiculed the thing, which shocked her. “You have been taught to say that, Linda,” I said. “Have you ever thought about what it says.”

In his “Note on the Gettysburg Address” H.L. Mencken wrote, “The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history…the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination – that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”

The Legendary Georgia Ironman recently mentioned some of the parents of the Indian children he teaches have asked him why Southern people still harbor ill feelings about a war fought 150 years ago. LM Brian McCarthy moved to south Georgia to teach high school and mentioned something about all the monuments in the small town, something one does not see in yankee land. Some years ago I was at the Highland coffee shop on Bardstown road in Lousiville, Kentucky. During a discussion of the War of Northern Aggression one fellow used the term “we” and it dawned on me that the “we” he meant were the perpetrators of the War Between the States. I mentioned that, being from Georgia, this was the first time I had heard “we” meaning yankees. “You lost. We won. Get over it,” he said. I said, “It is somewhat more difficult to “get over it, sir, when you lose.” He fired back with, “Tough shit!”

A few weeks ago I attended a lecture given by the eminent historian James M. McPherson pertaining to his new book, “Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief.” (http://www.booktv.org/Program/16323/After+Words+James+McPherson+quotEmbattled+Rebel+Jefferson+Davis+as+Commander+in+Chiefquot+hosted+by+James+Swanson.aspx) At the end the author, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, “Battle Cry of Freedom,” took questions from the audience. I was standing on the balcony, where I had been conversing with one of the owners of the Eagle Eye bookstore (http://www.eagleeyebooks.com/), so there was little, if any, chance Mr. McPherson could see my raised hand if I had been inclined to ask a question. When he said, “No state has ever had the right to secede,” I was unable to contain myself and blurted, “How can you say such a thing when the right of secession was taught at West Point until the War of Northern Aggression?!” In response to my question the audience roared with approval. The author answered by saying, “I am not aware of that. I have never read that. Can you tell me where you come by your information?” I responded, “It is historical fact, sir. I have read it in many books, including ‘The Real Lincoln,’ by Thomas J. DiLorenzo.” He said only, “That is a discredited book.” I was the first in line to have my book signed and said, “One can learn much by reading everything about a subject in lieu of only reading one version of events.” He looked at me quizzically before signing my book. I added, “You know, Mr. McPherson, I was raised near an Army base named after the yankee General James Birdseye McPherson.” He smiled while handing the signed book to me, but the smile left his face when I said, “Everyone hated the place because it was named after a yankee General, even relatives who worked there. He was killed at the Battle of Atlanta you know. He was the second highest ranking yankee officer killed in the War of Northern Aggression.” He frowned and I smiled when turning to leave. Many of the older men in line stopped me to shake my hand, wanting to talk, but Brian McCarthy was waiting to take me to the Fortress so I made apologies and headed toward the door.

Having been lied to about the causes of the war has not helped Southerner’s “get over it.” The yankee version of history is that they had the “moral” right because slavery, brought to America by these same yankees, was morally wrong. They are correct in this, because slavery is wrong, but it was the law. Should a war which devastated the country have been fought to end slavery, or was there much more to the war than the simplistic reason given?

“Growing up in the US, I too was “educated” (through government-purchased school-books and popular media) to revere Mr. Lincoln as a wise and marvelous president. Later, I ran across quotations of his that seemed to cast suspicion on his real views regarding the institution of slavery. I dismissed these as simply a reflection of the times. Lincoln, I reasoned, as a politician needed to keep peace with constituents in order to pursue a praiseworthy agenda. I was wrong about the agenda.”

“Reading below you will understand that the US Civil War finally resolved a century-old debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. It was resolved violently by Lincoln and accompanied by the death of more than 600,000 countrymen.”

“Slavery was ended in 1866 with the Thirteenth Amendment, but at the cost of 620,000 lives; hundreds of thousands more that were crippled for life; and the near destruction of almost half the nation’s economy. By contrast, dozens of other countries (including Argentina, Colombia, Chile, all of Central America, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, the French and Danish colonies, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela) ended slavery peacefully during the first 60 years of the nineteenth century. Why not the U.S.?” *
* Thomas J. DiLorenzo
(http://www.bigeye.com/abraham_lincoln.htm)

In “honor” of the date I would like to present a Southern response to the address Dishonest Abe gave 150 years ago today:

Ode to the Confederate Dead
Allen Tate, 1899 – 1979

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have come and gone!–
Ambitious November with the humors of the year,
With a particular zeal for every slab,
Staining the uncomfortable angels that rot
On the slabs, a wing chipped here, an arm there:
The brute curiosity of an angel’s stare
Turns you, like them, to stone,
Transforms the heaving air
Till plunged to a heavier world below
You shift your sea-space blindly
Heaving, turning like the blind crab.

Dazed by the wind, only the wind
The leaves flying, plunge

You know who have waited by the wall
The twilight certainty of an animal,
Those midnight restitutions of the blood
You know–the immitigable pines, the smoky frieze
Of the sky, the sudden call: you know the rage,
The cold pool left by the mounting flood,
Of muted Zeno and Parmenides.
You who have waited for the angry resolution
Of those desires that should be yours tomorrow,
You know the unimportant shrift of death
And praise the vision
And praise the arrogant circumstance
Of those who fall
Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision–
Here by the sagging gate, stopped by the wall.

Seeing, seeing only the leaves
Flying, plunge and expire

Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.

Cursing only the leaves crying
Like an old man in a storm

You hear the shout, the crazy hemlocks point
With troubled fingers to the silence which
Smothers you, a mummy, in time.

The hound bitch
Toothless and dying, in a musty cellar
Hears the wind only.

Now that the salt of their blood
Stiffens the saltier oblivion of the sea,
Seals the malignant purity of the flood,
What shall we who count our days and bow
Our heads with a commemorial woe
In the ribboned coats of grim felicity,
What shall we say of the bones, unclean,
Whose verdurous anonymity will grow?
The ragged arms, the ragged heads and eyes
Lost in these acres of the insane green?
The gray lean spiders come, they come and go;
In a tangle of willows without light
The singular screech-owl’s tight
Invisible lyric seeds the mind
With the furious murmur of their chivalry.

We shall say only the leaves
Flying, plunge and expire

We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing:
Night is the beginning and the end
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.

What shall we say who have knowledge
Carried to the heart? Shall we take the act
To the grave? Shall we, more hopeful, set up the grave
In the house? The ravenous grave?

Leave now
The shut gate and the decomposing wall:
The gentle serpent, green in the mulberry bush,
Riots with his tongue through the hush–
Sentinel of the grave who counts us all!
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/ode-confederate-dead