It has been my experience teaching Chess to children that they “make the darnest moves.”
A prime example would be when after the opening moves of 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3, the student suggests playing 2…Bd6. After moving the bishop to d6 I asked a precocious girl, with the mellifluous name Haripria, why she had made that particular move. The answer came, “Because it protects the pawn, dummy.” That remark set me aback. After gathering myself the response was, “But it also blocks the d-pawn, and clogs up the works, dummy.” She howled with laughter. As we sat there smiling I recalled the Kopec System, based on White playing an early Bd3, blocking the d-pawn.
If you are a regular reader you know what comes next, but for you newbies, inquiring minds wanna know, so I went to the ChessBaseDataBase to learn it contains 45 games in which 3 Bd3 has been played, showing it has scored an astounding 66% against a very high average opposition of 2544! This is INCREDIBLE! I went to 365Chess.com finding it contained 97 games with a 70.1% score. My mind has been blown…
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bd3 Nc6 4 c3 Bg4 (The move of Stockfish; Komodo and Deep Fritz castle. 4…Nf6 has been played in 700 games with a winning percentage of only 49%. It is the choice of Deep Fritz 13 @depth22. 4…e5 is the choice of Houdini and there is only one game in the CBDB. Stockfish 14 @depth 29 plays 4…Bg4, of which there are two games contained within the CBDB) 5. h3 Bxf3 6. Qxf3 Nf6 (Houdini & Critter like 6…g6, but Fire prefers 6…e6. I miss Stockfish…) 7 Bc2 (There it is, the Kopec system. Unfortunately, the CBDB shows it has only scored 48% against an average rating of 2416) 7…g6 8. O-O Bg7 9 Qe2! (OK, I put the exclam there, and you regular readers and Chigorin fans understand why. This is the move chosen by SF 14 @depth 27, but I must report SF 12 going down to depth 46 likes 9 d3) 9…0-0 10 d3 (After this move 10…b5 has almost invariably been played. The CBDB shows two games in which the move was 10…Nd7; one each for 10…Qc7 and Rc8. The latter is the choice of Komodo. See game below. StockFish comes at you with a TN, 10…d5)
e4 (365Chess designates this the “B00 King’s pawn opening”) 1…e6 (This move signifies the opening has become the “C00 French defence) 2. d4 d5 3. e5 (After this move it becomes the “C02 French, advance variation”) 3…c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 (Now it is the “C02 French, advance, Paulsen attack”) 5…Qb6 6. Bd3 (And now we have the “C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit” [https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=12&n=712&ms=e4.e6.d4.d5.e5.c5.c3.Nc6.Nf3.Qb6.Bd3&ns=126.96.36.199.453.525.454.526.711.742.712] or do we?)
Already an adult when playing in my first USCF rated tournament, I was a bad, but persistently tenacious, player. It was my good fortune to have had International Master Branko Vujakovic travel to Atlanta from Yugoslavia to attend college. My first out of state Chess tournament, in New Orleans, Louisiana, was with Branko. It was in that tournament I used a version of the Milner-Barry taught by Branko against an Expert only a few rating points below National Master, Glenn Ruiz in the very first round. That game featured 4 Nf3 in lieu of 4 c3 in the main line. I recall being on move when one of the local players walked by our board and stopped dead in his tracks. “Would you look at that..” my opponent lamented about his broken and battered position while shaking his head.
We also drove to the Church’s Fried Chicken Chess Tournament in San Antonio, Texas, in 1972, where I met Bobby Fischer after his recent victory over Boris Spassky to win the title of World Chess Champion.
One of the things recalled about the trip was that the night before the first round we were soundly sleeping when there was a knock on the door. After opening the door there stood two women, one of whom asked, “Would you like a date?” I modestly replied, “No ma’am, but thank you anyway.” After closing the door Branko asked, “Who was that?” After telling him what had transpired he asked, “Does that happen often?” Now here’s a guy who has been around the world and he is asking a young dude for whom a road trip to Savannah, Georgia, had been one of the highlights of his life a question like that…”How should I know?” was the answer.
Branko showed me the opening moves of what he called the “Milner-Barry Gambit,” which were, 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 cxd4 6. O-O. According to 365Chess.com the fourth move makes the variation the “C02 French, advance, Nimzovich system” (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=12&n=4274&ms=e4.e6.d4.d5.e5.c5.Nf3.Nc6.Bd3.cxd4.O-O&ns=188.8.131.52.453.525.1942.2541.4273.4841.4274). We called it the “Milner-Barry Gambit.” If you go to the page at 365Chess you will find the opening having been played by World Chess Championship contender Nigel Short and fellow British countryman GM Julian Hodgson, along with GM Artur Kogan. The idea is simple enough with white sacrificing a pawn for development in order to attack on the Kingside.
In the second round of the recently completed US Women’s Chess Championship the eventual winner, Carissa Yip
faced the French defense played by former US Women’s Chess Champ Tatev Abrahamyan:
e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 (StockFish 13, going way deep to depth 82 proclaims 3 Nc3 best) 3…c5 4. c3 (According the Chess24.com this is the only move with which White can show an advantage. The Stockfish program at ChessBomb.com shows the game equal. SF 030721 at the ChessBaseDataBase, @depth 57, shows White with a miniscule advantage) 4…Nc6 (SF 130721 @depth 57 plays this move but SF 13 @depth 69 would play 4…Qb6) 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3? (SF, along with everyone else, plays 6 a3, and so should you. Why would the new Women’s Champ play an inferior move? This game may have had something to do with why she played the move:
Back to the game: 6…cxd4 7. O-O (7 cxd4 is best according the Fritz 15, 16, and 17, for what it’s worth. Unfortunately, there is no word from the best program, or any other, better, program. All we have to go on is the human mind of Magnus Carlsen and the fact that in the 38 games contained by the CBDB White has scored an astounding 66%, while the move 7 cxd4 has scored only 42% in 203 games. Back in the day the move played by a World Champ would have been enough. I miss those daze…) 7…Bd7 8. Re1 (Ms. Yip varies from the World Champ. The most popular move has been 8 cxd4, with 308 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Houdini, and the overwhelming choice of most human players even though it has only scored 43%! I kid you not…The move played in the game has only been attempted 40 times, scoring 64%. It is also the choice of SF 11 @depth 47. But SF 14 @depth 48 would play what is invariably almost no doubt the best move on the board whenever it is played, 8 Qe2!!! According to the CBDB the move 8 Qe2 has only been attempted TWICE. That will most certainly change after this post is read by Chess players all over the world looking for any kind of advantage. Pardon me, I sometimes get carried away when Qe2 is played, in case you have not noticed…Where we’re we? Oh yeah, my new hero, who has played THREE games using 8 Qe2, my Man, Adrian Flitney:
I checked, learning Mr. Flitney is an Australian male who was born in 1961 and played a total of 134 games between 1981 and 2009 (https://www.365chess.com/players/Adrian_Flitney). For some reason Adrian faced an inordinate number of French defenses and, to be kind, did not score all that well. Nevertheless, I will replay each and every game because one can usually learn more from a loss than a win.)
Again, where were we? Oh yeah, Ms. Yip has just played 8 Re1 in lieu of the 8.Nbd2 played in a blitz game. This was answered with 8…Nge7 9 h4 a6 (Although SF 13 @depth 50 would play the move played in the game, SF 14 @depth 54 goes with 9…Rc8, as in the following game:
10. h5 (SF plays 10 Nbd2) 10…h6 (SF prefers 10…g6, putting the question to White. It will be a TN if and when played by a human. 365Chess shows no games with 10…h6, but the CBDB has 4 games with the move) 11. Qe2 (The StockFish programs at Chess24 and the CBDB show 11 Nbd2 as best. The weaker SF program at the ChessBomb shows the move played in the game.) 11…f5? (StockFish shows 11…dxc3 as best. 11…f5? is a RED MOVE at ChessBomb. In computer numerical terms Black has just tossed a pawn. If you do not understand why please STOP! Go set up a real 3D set and pieces and look at the position as long as it takes for you to acquire understanding of the position, grasshopper, then return to the AW for, hopefully, more understanding) 12. exf6? (Because of being taught this particular opening a half century ago I had a modicum of understanding of the rudiments of this position. This weekend I was assisting a Chess Coach because his antiquated laptop needs to have “cool down” time. When this happens the AW takes control of the group. The Coach said nothing after 11…f5 so I stayed silent, but after he made the move 12 exf6 on the board and erupted effusively with, “I love this move! It just rips black apart! What do you think of the move, Mike?” Rock…Hard Place…I actually thought of a song, which will probably not surprise regular readers, even if it did surprise me:
For readers who do not know much about the Royal Game, in Chess there is one thing that is paramount: The Truth. For this reason I was compelled to either feign a heart attack or answer truthfully. Although only taking a few seconds to answer it seemed like HOURS had elapsed before I stated, “Pawn takes pawn en passant is an awful move, Coach.”
Silence followed before the Coach gathered himself enough to inquire, “Why would you say that, Mike?” The answer came immediately. “Because the White e-pawn is a bastion in the center of the board, Coach. When it goes Black will be left with three pawns in the center of the board that will be like Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Eugene “Mercury ” Morris, the three running backs for the only undefeated NFL team in history, rolling forward over any and every thing in their path.”
The Coach was stunned speechless. Therefore I added, “If you go back to the position after 11 Qe2 was played you will see that 11…f5 was also a bad move. Black should have played 11…dxc3.”
The Coach finally responded with, “Well Mike, we don’t have much time and I’m only trying to give the students an overview of the game and not so much detail.”
The kids are LOVING THIS!
“But now I gotta know so I’ll go over to the Bomb and check it out.”
BTW, in lieu of 12 exf6 StockFish would play 12 Na3. Just sayin’…
12…gxf6 13. cxd4 (Komodo plays 13 Nxd4 while the Fish plays 13 Qd1) 13…Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Qxd4
15. Be3 (Truth be told I did not question this move and we discussed what a natural move was this, as it attacks the Queen thereby “developing with tempo,” which is a good thing in Chess, especially if one is behind in development. As luck would have it the next night I was again called upon and was showing the game to another group when the Coach returned just in time to hear me say this was a bad move. “What?” the Coach erupted. Then he gives the students all the reasons enumerated above before saying to me, “Why would you say that, Mike?!”
“Oh no, Mister Bill,” I’m thinking. It was kinda like being called on in class when the teacher knows you’ve been sitting there zoning out while dreaming about that last bell so you could get home and to the Boys Club ASAP… Nevertheless enough gumption was mustered to say, “I spent some time reviewing the game for a possible blog post and checked with all the usual websites and was just as shocked as you to learn that although StockFish 8 played the move, SF 14 finds 15 Nc3 superior.”
Silence. Then, “Well, 15…Qe5 looks like a good move. What do you think, Mike?” I actually thought about having a power failure, but decided to inform the coach that the Fish proclaimed 15…Qh4 best. The coach moved the Queen to e5 before saying, “Well, it looks like Nc3 is out of the question because of the pawn fork, and Nd2 drops the b-pawn, but it looks like White gets counter play by moving the Rook to b1, so how about 16 Na3?” I knew one of the programs (Houdini) would have played Nd2 but kept quiet, but when the Coach asked, “What do you think, Mike?” I was again on the spot, so I said, “f4.” Yip played 16 Nd2)
15…Qe5 16. Nd2 Rg8 17. f4 Qd6 18. Qf2 Rc8 19. Rad1 (19 Nf3 SF) 19…Bc6 (The Coach liked this move, using arrows to show the Bishop and Rook firing on g2. Unfortunately he again asked me to weigh in, so I had not choice but to point out how bad was the move, a move from which Tatev never recovered. “Well, what the hell should the woman have played, Mike?!” I answered “f5.” The coach continued moving the pieces until reaching the position after 20. Bh7 Rg7, asking the students to find a good move for White. By this point the poor things were afraid to utter a sound, so the Coach showed the next move: 21. Ne4 explaining what a good move was this and explaining why, before saying, “We’re running out of time so I’m just gonna run through the rest of the moves before ending the session.”
There will be a playoff for the title of 2021 US Chess Champion between three players, two of them world class. Fabiano Caruana
is currently ranked third in the world after losing two games, back to back, in the recently completed 2012 US Chess Championship. Wesley So
is ranked eighth in the world. Then there is Sam Sevian…There is a saying in Poker that is applicable here: “If you don’t see a sucker at the table, you’re it.” Sam was ranked 91st on the top list compiled by FIDE before the tournament, and he did gain points for his good performance. Being one of the top 100 Chess players in the world is a tremendous achievement for any player, but Caruana drew a match with the World Chess Champion in which he was not defeated in the only games that count, those played with a classical time limit. The quick play playoff to determine the “champion” is a joke and terrible insult to the players who just spent almost two weeks vying for the title because Chess is inherently unfair since there is an odd number of rounds and some players sit behind the White army in more games than other players, which gives them a HUGE advantage. Caruana and Sevian each had the White pieces in six games while Wesley So had the White pieces in only FIVE games. Therefore, Wesley So should be crowned as the 2021 US Chess Champion. Congratulations to the Champ, Wesley So!
The tournament was Sam Sevian’s for the taking. In the penultimate round he was a pawn up and could have played 27 Kc2 in lieu of repeating the position but for whatever reason Sam decided to play poltroon Chess. You can bet your sweet bippy Bobby Fischer
would have played 27 Kc2. Then in the last round this “game”, and I use the word loosely, was “played.”
If ever there were a time to play for a win it was this game because victory could possibly bring the coveted title of United States Chess Champion and probably entry into the US Chess Hall of Fame. His opponent had just lost a game the previous round and his testosterone level had to be low. Naroditsky had already lost FOUR GAMES! Do you think Bobby Fischer would have played the above game in the LAST ROUND of a US Chess Championship? In the post game interviews Naroditsky was obviously happy with the short draw, saying something about how he “…should have drawn the day before.” When it came time for Sam to explain his decision to acquiesce to the repetition he explained by saying, “Before the tournament my plan was to play solidly with Black…” Translated that says he was “…playing to draw with black and win with white.” The young man should not even be called a “Co-Champion.” No matter what happens for the remainder of his Chess career Sam Sevian will continue to wonder what might have been if only he had
The question will haunt him until he takes his last breath.
The sixth round game between Ashritha Eswaran
and Megan Lee
reached this position after the moves: 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O e5 5. d3 Ne7 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. e4 c6 8. Re1 Qd6 9. c3 f5
Eswaran played 10 d4 and Maurice obviously very much liked the move, calling it “…an outstanding move!” I was following the action at FollowChess (https://live.followchess.com/) because only the moves are displayed and I had my doubts. Still, Maurice has some kind of computer Chess program, so I thought it must be OK…Nevertheless, inquiring minds want to know, so I surfed on over to ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/) where a Red move was showing…Chess24 says White goes from being “much better” to “equal.” Maybe the “engine”, as they are so fond of calling the computer program, had a glitch, or was turned off…
I took note of the following because it was so hilarious, coming as it did from a player not known for playing 1 e4 during his illustrious career: Yaz: “Nobody likes to play against the Najdorf because the variations are so lengthy…” Round 8 2:45 into the game. You know that put a smile on the face of Mr. Najdorf, French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave!
The thing is that I stopped playing the Najdorf over four decades ago after hearing a Grandmaster talk about those players “Who study the Najdorf but not Chess.” Still, I learned much about the Royal game by playing the Najdorf. One never forgets his first love…
During the final game of the event, between Bruzon Batista
and Alex Lenderman
which lasted for 127 moves, Maurice said, “If only we could be paid by the move.” Cracked me up…I will admit to have been “pulling” for Lenderman, and evidently not the only one. If only he had found 38 Qa1, challenging the Black Queen, in lieu of 38 Rc8 against Caruana in round 10…
phamlore: What could Lenderman do? He needed a win today, and he never had a position where a win for Black was that doable? ArcticStones: Lenderman has had an impressive tournament, imho. jphamlore: Lenderman tried at least. It’s just his opponent played a decent game himself. Terugloper: @Arctic –> Could be, but Imho your commentaries during this tournament are way more impressive ArcticStones: You jest. Commenters such as jphamlore know far more about chess than I do! Terugloper: Lol!!! ArcticStones: I’m serious. KJBellevue: The evaluation here is totally wrong Terugloper: Why? KJBellevue: Tablebase clearly indicates a draw Terugloper: I see Terugloper: So 74. … Kh2 was an acceptable move? KJBellevue: Yes, still drawn Terugloper: Okay Terugloper: Long Live Lenderman, folks! Terugloper: I would play 78. Kc6 to have square d6 available for possible Q-trades KJBellevue: But Black can still check on the white squares Terugloper: Yes Terugloper: Lenderman know his stuff Terugloper: *knows Terugloper: Black Queen Symphony Terugloper: Black Queen Symphony on white squares jphamlore: Lenderman the king of instructional endgames this event. Terugloper: Yeah – Endgame King Lenderman Terugloper: But still I give all of you the following strict advice –> Don’t try this at home Terugloper: Lenderman feeling so comfortable now that he attacks on the black squares now KJBellevue: He knows this ending well jphamlore: Unfortunately, even if White touched the wrong piece, I’m not sure Lenderman has any way to win this. Terugloper: Lenderman – The living table base on two legs I_LUV_U: a table base is three or four legs Terugloper: Why not five legs? Terugloper: You met one in the subway? mrlondon: What the record for most number of checks in a game? Terugloper: Good question – I will ask Tim Krabbé Terugloper: https://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess/check.html Terugloper: In the 200-move game Wegner – Johnsen, Gausdal 1991 a total of 141 checks were given, of which 98 by White alone. Terugloper: https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/wegner—johnsen-gausdal-1991 mrlondon: Interesting. Thanks! mrlondon: It’s not going to happen here. Terugloper: Yep Terugloper: Just 10 moves to go now for 50-rule move draw claim Terugloper: 5 moves Terugloper: Minus 2 moves KJBellevue: 🙂 Terugloper: Bellevue! My main man!!! Rhinegold: eval also indicates draw, noob, lol https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-us-chess-championship/11-Bruzon_Batista_Lazaro-Lenderman_Aleksandr
The coverage was excellent even though Jennifer Shahade
was missing. She does bring a terrific smile and is the perfect foil to the understated Yasser Seirawan as she has occasionally given him perfect opportunities for a SNL moment that Yaz used so effectively with the previous female to accompany him:
One of my favorite features was the “Parkside Chats” between Yaz and Maurice. Although they are all good, the one that follows is my favorite because I worked at a Chess Club:
The next one is great in a historical sense as the guys discuss what it was like ‘back in the day’ when Bobby Fischer put the Royal game on the front page of every newspaper and every broadcast of the nightly new on television. After watching these videos I realized how much laughter has been missing in the pandemic era. Sometimes one really does need to laugh to keep from crying…
I urge you to take a few more minutes to watch this video which is an interview with one of the top players of the game of Scrabble in the world, who lives near the St Louis Chess Campus. You can thank me for bringing it to your attention by leaving a comment:
The last move played was 34 Kh3-g2. White has the better position. I know this, you know this, and every Chess player who has made it to class ‘B’ knows this, and possibly every player who has made it to class ‘C’ and no longer plays the Queen’s Raid knows this fact. If you are teaching the Royal game to a neophyte it could be explained by beginning with the fact that white has more space. In addition, each and every white piece is better placed than each black counterpart. Then there is the fact that the white Queen and Rook are working together whereas the black Queen and Rook are separated while being tied down to the defense of the weak a-pawn. Even the white King is better placed than its counterpart. Even after suffering a brain cramp the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen
would win this position 99 44/100 percent of the time against the other nine elite players in the top ten. The decision to repeat the position three times, thereby forcing the game to end in a draw was one of the most pusillanimous ever made considering it came in the third round of the 2021 US Women’s Chess Championship, played Friday, October 8, 2021.
is higher rated by almost 200 points, and is one of the favorites to win the tournament. Knowing little about Megan Lee I went to the website of the US Championships to find this:
“Megan Lee is a chess Woman International Master. She completed her BFA in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design with a minor in Art History. Most recently, she won the 2020 Washington State Championships and the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open. Other highlights include winning the 2013 North American Youth U18 Girls Championship and the 2009 Kasparov All-Girls Nationals Championship. Outside of chess, Megan runs two small businesses, an embroidery shop and a lifestyle brand, Snippet Studios. She also enjoys playing board games, skating, clam digging, and making things.” (https://uschesschamps.com/bio/megan-lee)
I can only speculate as to why Megan Lee let her clam get away… What I can say is that this game vividly illustrates why the three time repetition rule MUST BE ABOLISHED! It is terribly sad that any Chess player must be forced to attempt winning a game when having a huge advantage, but something, anything, must be done to at least mitigate the slow death by draw that is plaguing the Royal Game. There is no three time repetition rule in the game of Wei Chi, or Go, as it is called in the West, which is the main, or at least one of the major reasons Go is a better game than is Chess. Go is played to WIN. A draw in Go is anathema, as it should be in Chess. Any Chess player repeating the position for the third time should LOSE THE GAME! Period. What makes this even worse is that during the game Anna Sharevich
versus Irina Krush
played the previous day in the second round, after Irina lost her mind in a completely won position and blundered horribly when playing 66…Bf7, the two players battled until each had only a Rook and pawn left on the board. Then they shook hands, agreeing to a draw, but because of the rules in force during the tournament the women were forced to sit there and play many moves until finally finding a position in which a three fold repetition could be played, thus ending the game which should have ended long earlier. This is ridiculous to the point of absurdity. To be taken seriously in the world of games and ideas Chess needs to get its act together.
It is always big news when the World Chess Champ goes down no matter what the time limit of the game being contested.
Since Magnus Carlsen is only the Champ because of his prowess at Chess with less time to cogitate it is even more remarkable that Magnus went down in what is called a “rapid” game. Even more remarkable is the fact that he lost while general of the white army. A quick look at a page with previous games between the two players shows Magnus has beat Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Magnus Carlsen turned thirty years of age at the end of November last year, which means every cell in his body has been replaced three times. It is all downhill from here for the Champ, especially in an age when prepubescence children are becoming Grandmasters without even studying the classics. Then again, maybe they consider studying the games played by Magnus to be classics.
See you around? The controversial Flat Earth premises in Greig Street, Inverness, near the River Ness, may have drawn its shutters for the last time
By Alasdair Fraser – email@example.com Published: 28 June 2021
An Inverness, Scotland headquarters for conspiracy theorists who claim the earth is flat appears to have closed.
One business owner operating nearby on the street said: “At certain times in the last few years, The Flat Earth shop could be pretty busy. “It attracted a lot of curious folk, tourists, or people just bemused or laughing at the notices on the window. “But it also had its regular followers who seemed to buy into and embrace their ideas. “They were never any trouble, and always friendly enough on the rare occasion I spoke to them.” A resident living near the store, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “Up until about two weeks ago, it seemed like business as usual in the shop, but then we noticed they were shut. “Everyone was always intrigued as to who could be paying rent for the premises, as it certainly couldn’t have been cheap. “They had couches inside, and games like CHESS, and they had a lot of gatherings. Even school kids would go in sometimes. They had a TV and kitchen as well.”
The Flat Earth shopfront on the city’s Greig Street, near the River Ness, became notorious for outlandish claims and unscientific theories after opening in February 2018. In the last fortnight, the once-busy premises’ shutters have remained down, with the literature that became a permanent fixture on its glass windows removed. The posters and leaflets called into question earth’s curvature, orbital movement and forces of gravity and claimed the US space agency NASA was a major player behind the “hoax”. The organisation also suggested aeroplane vapour trails were actually “chem-trails” sprayed on the civilian population as part of a secret government campaign. After the pandemic began, the shopfront carried the banner “humanity is not a virus” and pushed anti-vaccination messages, also claiming the virus and lockdown was fake and a means to terrorise the masses. It was not known who was funding the rental of the premises.
The Courier has so far been unable to contact Richard Birkett, one of the main organisers at the premises, to clarify whether it is to re-open or remain permanently closed. The flat earth movement, as it is known today, has origins in the 19th century, but The Flat Earth Society was set up by Samuel Shenton in 1956 in the English town of Dover and remains active today. Two millennia of scientific consensus has it that the earth is spherical.
Flat earth is flat flat earth aint round Jus Look at your feet down on the ground Flat earth is flat flat earth’s aint round Just take a look around
round earthers yeah!! What ‘s wrong with y’all?
You know the earth is flat Like a brick wall
Just look out the window what are u seeing? Flat earth my human beings
Yeah miles and miles and miles away From here i see the coast of new jersey And i’m sittin on malibu beach So listen to me preach
A round ball? Shoo, throw that ball in the hoop Take me in the air with a parachute When i come down I’ll tell you this The world’s flat mothasucker
Flat earth is flat flat earth aint round Look at your feet down on the ground Flat earth is flat flat earth’s aint round Just take a look around
Flat is flat and that is that I don’t care about science A facts a fact try to prove what you want But you’re a fool Flat earthers know the rule
Gravity’s a lie We never been to the moon Look what happens when i drop this spoon And behind the moon i see a cloud Now what’s that all about?
Now i don’t believe what i don’t see What i can see is what i believe I’ve never been to outer space So let me state my case
The world spins like this record On my turntable And you know i’m willing and able To let you all know To let it all go The earth is flat and goes to show We know all You know none Let me end it now before it’s begun We are right you are wrong Now listen to the song
Flat earth is flat Flat earth aint round Just look at your feet down on the ground Flat earth is flat flat earth aint round Just take a look around Repeat
We all live on a really flat earth A really flat earth a really flat earth Repeat Repeat chorus
The Memorial Day 2021 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational, held over the Memorial day holiday, May 27-31, 2021, two separate and distinct Chess tournaments were held at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. The Grandmaster event was written about yesterday. The International Master event is the focus of this post.
One of the participants in the IM event, Nikolay Andrianov,
played as an International Master from Russia. These are the “games” played by the IM at the CCC&SA in the IM event:
NM Dominique Myers (1985) vs IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365)
Here is the deal…The creek began emanating a malodorous scent during the second round but by the penultimate round the stench was stinging and overwhelming the olfactory region. Granted, some of the Russian players have been known to bend the rules to the breaking point, often not only shattering the bat but breaking it into two pieces. As has been heard by more than one or two players in the last round when two Russian players were paired and a full point was needed to garner the most prize money, “One of us had an accident. Today it was me, tomorrow it will be him!” Spend enough time late into the night at the bar with Igor and the guys and one learns much about the Russian way to play Chess…
I can only speculate, but could it be that NM Eddy Tian refused the draw offer of the Russian? But what the hell happened in the eight round? According to the moves given at the ChessBomb, the game (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-clt-im/08-Tsay_Vincent-Andrianov_Nikolay) between FM Vincent Tsay (2285) vs IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365) was a well played, evenly matched game until the IM lost his mind and played 92…e4, a bright RED MOVE! The move is so bad that it throws away the draw and loses on the spot! Yet the game ENDED IN A DRAW after the IM made his 97th move. Why? The position is, as Sherlock Holmes would say, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” The Stockfish program at the ChessBomb gives these move: (98. e6 Kg6 99. Kd6 g3 100. e7 Kf7 101. Kd7 Kf6 102. e8=Q Kf5 103. Qe3 g2 104. Kd6 g1=Q 105. Qxg1 Ke4 106. Qg3 Kd4 107. Qe1 Kc4 108. Qe3 Kb4 109. Qd3 Ka5 110. Kc5 Ka4 111. Qe3 Ka5 112. Qa3#) Why would Mr. Tsay agree to a draw in a won position? Even the 1400 rated Coach Steve would be able to demonstrate the win!
Now things begin to get really strange…I went to the FIDE website and located a “Nikolay” Andrianov, a male born in 1962. His federation is “Russia.” His FIDE ID number is: 24125482. He is rated 1862! (https://ratings.fide.com/profile/24125482)
There is another player from Russia with almost the same name, one “Nikolai” Andrianov, born in 1961, who is an International Master with a rating of 2359. His FIDE ID is: 4101642 (https://ratings.fide.com/profile/4101642)
There is no picture included on either FIDE webpage.
The Ironman Chess Club began over nineteen years ago by the self-proclaimed “Legendary Georgia Ironman,” Tim Brookshear.
During that time the club has met on the first and third Tuesday evening of each month. The first location was in the Church of Decatur Heights, which was a nice location because of the large meeting area, and better yet, ancillary rooms for parents to use while their children played Chess. Unfortunately, times changed and as the older people left they were replaced by new people, some of whom could not understand using the space for anything other than worship a nebulous entity that may, or may not, be. Although the Ironman’s parents had attended the church Tim preferred playing in the fourth round of a weekend Swiss tournament. “Bacon,” he would say, “Chess is my church.” The old pastor left and was replaced. The club continue meeting, but there was this one particularly nasty “church lady,” no doubt filled with the spirit, who wanted what she considered the blasphemous Chess players eradicated. The woman, may she burn in Hell, got her wish and the club had to be moved. The new location was the North Dekalb Mall. For many years the club met in the food court, which was a trip, what with all the passersby and attendant noise. Still, it was free and you cannot beat free, especially when it comes to Chess. This lasted some years before the mall began losing tenants. Near the end there was only one restaurant open in the once bustling food court, but still the Ironman CC continued meeting twice a month. Then there were none, and the mall stopped turning on the main lights. There was still a modicum of light and the ICC continued meeting. The roof began leaking, but still the ICC met. One father would bring his three boys all the way from the north side, which was something because the Ironman began at six pm. The traffic that time of day is a nightmare on a good day. People new to Chess would somehow find the club. GCA board members would come to play, along with absolute beginners and those of Master strength. The Ironman Chess Club was certainly sui generis.
Then one evening an obviously mentally deranged woman screamed and hit her child, which was in a stroller, and stayed there most of the evening, screaming and slapping the poor child. The Ironman lost more than several regulars after that meeting. The woman caused the Ironman to move into the back room of Challengers, an game store owned by a nice fellow, Tony, who had actually played youth Chess while in school. There was enough room for a couple of dozen players in the back room, which was used for gaming and storage.
The last meeting of the Ironman CC held at the North Dekalb Mall was March 19, the second Tuesday of the month. For obvious reasons only a few people attended. I was not one of them. The mall finally closed and could not meet this past Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Yet there was a meeting, of sorts, of the Ironman Chess Club…
After having mentioned another game to show the Ironman earlier I had found another, making two games for me to “present” the Ironman. Tim said, “The Ironman may not be meting tonight but I intend on sitting down at the board to study Chess. How about you showing me one of those games you said you wanted me to see tonight, Mike?” Wa-la, a meeting of the Ironman CC!
Many of, if not most of you readers may have seen this game, but it was not in the Ironman’s purview. I urge you to play over the game the old fashioned way, on a board with pieces while covering the moves in order to see the beauty of the game, which would have made Mikhail Tal proud. Look at it from the black perspective in an attempt to find the moves made by GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy. When first starting out in Chess the Kings Indian Defense was my main defense against 1 d4, because Bobby played the KID. I liked the way black could use a slow build up to attack white. Later I moved on to the Grunfeld, before moving on to the Dutch, specifically, the Leningrad Dutch, as regular readers must certainly know…
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 f3 (What would Ben Finegold say? Stockfish prefers 3 Nc3. Who am I to argue?) 3…Bg7 (Komodo and Houdini play 3…c5. Wonder what the Fish plays?) 4 e4 O-O (SF 9 @depth 40 plays 4…c5, a move not shown at the CBDB; SF 11 @depth 47 plays 4…d6, by far the most often played move) 5 Nc3 (SF 160919 @depth 43 the seldom played 5 Be3; SF 11 @depth 31 plays the game move, the most often seen according to the CBDB) 5…c6 (SF, along with 98% of the games contained at the CBDB plays 5..d6) 6 Be3 (The move played by Komodo and far and away the most often played move, but, wouldn’t you know it, Stockfish shows the little played 6 Bd3 as best) 6…d6 (The most often played move at the CBDB, but over at 365Chess the weaker players prefer 6…d5) 7 Nge2 (The Stockfish move, but Komodo 10 @depth 28 plays the most often played move, 7 Qd2. Komodo 13.02 @depth 32 plays 7 Qc2. The databases contain only one game, if it can be called a game, with the move:
7…a6 (The CBDB contains 606 games with 7…e5. There are 193 games with 7…a6, yet SF plays 7…Nbd7, of which there are only 25 examples) 8 c5 (The most often played move at both the CBDB & 365Chess, but only Komodo 13.01 @depth 34 plays it. The same program going deeper to depth 38 plays 8 Qd2. SF 251219 @depth 46 plays 8 a4) 8…Nbd7 (SF approves) 9 cxd6 ( SF 251219 plays 9 Qc2, a move not shown at the CBDB or 365Chess. Komodo plays the most often played move, 9 Qd2. Deep Fritz, though, does play the move played in the game) 9…exd6 10 Ng3 (SF 251219 @depth 44 plays 10 Nf4, the most often played move at the CBDB, albeit in a limited number of games. Komodo plays 10 Qd2, while Houdini plays a TN-10 g4)
Vitezslav Priehoda, (2330) vs Marcel Kanarek (2476)
My father was a Radioman for the U S Navy during Wordl War II. “Radioman (RM) was a rating for United States Navy and United States Coast Guard enlisted personnel, specializing in communications technology.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioman) This was a time when “communications” were done using “Morse code is a method used in telecommunication to encode text characters as standardized sequences of two different signal durations, called dots and dashes or dits and dahs. Morse code is named for Samuel Morse, an inventor of the telegraph.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_code) After the war my father became what was called a “ham,” short for radio operator. It was his avocation allowing him to keep in touch with other former Radiomen, and other “hams.” “Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term “amateur” is used to specify “a duly authorised person interested in radioelectric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest;” (either direct monetary or other similar reward) and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety (such as police and fire), or professional two-way radio services (such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc.).” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio)
My father would take me with him to something called a “Hamfest.” What I recall from those days was how nice to me were the other “hams.” He wanted me to get into ham radio and was disappointed when I showed little interest. Nevertheless, I listened, and learned. Three decades later I brought Gary Southerland, a Viet Nam vet and a chess playing “ham” to visit my father. They went down below to the radio room while I visited with my Mother. They were there for hours, with Gary eating lunch with my folks. On the way back to Gary’s apartment we talked about ham radio. Astounded at what I knew, Gary blurted, “You could be a HAM!” I disabused him of the notion by informing him I did not do Morse code.
Gene Nix is, among other things, Treasurer of the South Carolina Chess Association. Gene was nothing less than wonderful to me during my time in Greenville some time ago. Gene is also a retired Naval Officer, and a gentleman. Dean Creech lives in Greenville and found his way to Chess late in life. Before things took a drastic change for the worse Dean was playing, and directing tournaments in Greenville after retiring. Mr. Creech is also a Naval Officer.
Decades ago I met a young man through budding Doctor Frank Blaydes when he was attending classes at Georgia Tech. Jim R. was in Naval ROTC. When learning of my passion for the poetry for Robert Service, Jim R. purchased a large book containing three volumes of Service verse. After reading it Jim inscribed the book and gave it to me as a gift. He did this because, unlike most gamblers, I freely shared my approach to playing Backgammon. I did this because I was also a Chess player, and Chess players often shared their knowledge simply for the love of the game. Gamblers have an expression, “You’ve gotta pay to play.” For sharing with the younger fellows I was called “God.” Jim R. was chosen for submarine service. Many sailors want to become a part of the Submarine corp but few are chosen. Jim R. went into another world and I never saw him again. Frank became an MD. To be more specific, he was a GP, or General practitioner. In the medical profession, a general practitioner (GP) is a medical doctor who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to patients. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_practitioner) A GP is more commonly called a “Family Doctor.” This was at a time when most students were going into some kind of specialized care, which paid much more than a GP. Frank was from Hahira, Georgia, which is located in Southern Georgia. In order to cover more territory, because of the lack of Doctors in that part of our state, Frank learned to fly. While watching the news one evening I learned of the death of Frank Blaydes, MD, when his plane hit a tower in the fog. Needless to say, I was devastated.
These people put their lives on the line every day in service to our country. Some, like Jerry Waller, from my high school, was the battalion commander of three high school ROTC’s. Each year only one cadet is chosen to lead all three schools. He wanted to like General George Patton. Jerry died in Viet Nam and his name is the only one I know on the Viet Nam wall. I went to Central City Park when the mobile Viet Nam wall was there to view his name.
One of the boys who lived across the street from me, Tommy Twaites, joined the Army as Viet Nam was beginning. He died when loading a ship when something gave way and a couple of tons of material landed on him. Although this was during ‘Nam Tommy is not on the Viet Nam wall because he was stateside. The material was headed for Viet Nam.
I practically lived at a Boys Club while growing up. One of the adults working there was a young fellow on scholarship while attending Georgia Tech, a position I later earned. The first time we met he was reading a Model Railroad magazine. When asked if I could look at it, he replied, “You know something about model trains?” I told him about the gentleman who had lived next door to us who had a “layout” in his attic. I was the only boy in the neighborhood ever allowed in his “train room.” We bonded right then and there. I regret age has taken a tole and I can no longer recall his name, but I do know that he went to ‘Nam, and did not return.
These people I have known offered, and sometimes gave, their lives for this country. I dedicate this post to each and every one mentioned, and must include my friend, former Chess Champion of California, Dennis Fritzinger, who served in ‘Nam.
I urge you to read the following article. Unfortunately, the Captain is not the only one pleading for help which has not been forthcoming. In addition, if you deem it worthy, please forward it to someone you know, keeping in mind I do not, and have never earned one cent while writing this blog.
Exclusive: Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy
Matthias Gafni and Joe Garofoli March 31, 2020 Updated: March 31, 2020 4 p.m.
“The captain of a nuclear aircraft carrier with more than 100 sailors infected with the coronavirus pleaded Monday with U.S. Navy officials for resources to allow isolation of his entire crew and avoid possible deaths in a situation he described as quickly deteriorating.
The unusual plea from Capt. Brett Crozier, a Santa Rosa native, came in a letter obtained exclusively by The Chronicle and confirmed by a senior officer on board the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which has been docked in Guam following a COVID-19 outbreak among the crew of more than 4,000 less than a week ago.
“This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do,” Crozier wrote. “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.”