Chess.com has been under the gun recently for the way the people who make decisions at the website have handled the long running and ongoing problem with cheating. Two day ago, Nov 8, 2022, Chess.com published the results of what they call their Fair Play Survey Results (https://www.chess.com/blog/CHESScom/fair-play-survey-results?page=4).
This is found at Chess.com:
“Ensuring fair play and protecting the integrity of the game is a priority for Chess.com. We believe that our members should have a voice in how we handle cheating in chess, and in an effort to understand the community’s sentiments better, we shared a fair play survey with three groups: members, titled players, and top players (the top 100 players overall as well as the top 20 women players by FIDE rating). We received 11,383 member responses, 166 titled-player responses, and 61 responses from top players.
Perhaps the most immediate insight is that on many important questions, the community is very divided. Cheating in chess is a complex problem, and there are no easy answers. We have tried to identify some useful insights from the responses and have shared them below. The full survey results are included here, and we welcome further comments and insights.”
The problem was illustrated immediately with the first few comments:
Around 11-12k respondents? Considering the player base on chess.com one could argue cheating is not as big a concern as the heated discussions on the forum would have you believe.
The next commentator hit the nail on the head:
Well bearing in mind how many people are on this site the sample size is not indicative of much. It is just far too small a percentage of overall membership to draw any valid conclusions from. It is still useful but you should not draw any definitive conclusions from it. My two cents worth…
Maybe I could have phrased it better. I’m not questioning the validity of the sample size. The data for sure will be useful.
Because of having spent far too much time pouring over the Baseball numbers with Sabermetrics this writer knows far more than the average human when it comes to sample size. After perusing the article this writer knew immediately it was so flawed as to be worthless. Although I am not the most “mathy” kinda guy, a lifetime of analyzing Baseball statistics, with more hours spent at “The reason for the internet,” Baseball Reference, or more commonly, “B-Ref”, (https://www.baseball-reference.com/) than you would believe or even imagine, I do know about sample size. For example, a rookie begins the season with a MLB team and during the first week of the season rips the cover offa the ball, and the announcers have all but given him a berth in the Hall of Fame. Then he goes zero for the second week because the MLB pitchers learn he cannot hit the curve ball, so they give him a steady diet of curve balls he cannot hit, until he is relegated to the minor leagues. Here is an article concerning sample size for your amusement (https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/17659/baseball-therapy-its-a-small-sample-size-after-all/).
In an email exchange with one former Baseball player who also knows and understands sample size, who also happens to play Chess, both over the board and at Chess.com, this was received:
“I was one of the 166 titled players who responded to this survey. That’s a small sample size, no matter how you look at it.”
One of the many problems with the Chess.com article is that “titled player” is not defined. For example, I was under the impression that a “titled player” was a player who had received a “title” from FIDE. Years ago a “titled” player was someone with at least an International Master title, but that changed when FIDE, in its wisdom, foisted the “FM” (FIDE Master) title on the Chess world. With the rise of female participation in Chess tournaments there are now FIDE titles beginning with a “W”, as in WGM, which is a “Woman Grandmaster.” This is not to be confused with being a “Grandmaster,” because a “WGM” is less than a real “Grandmaster.” Hence the “W”. Confused? It is really far more complicated than that to the extent it has become comical. An example would be the recent US Chess Championships, where there were a plethora of different titles showing after the names of the female participants. One female student wanted to know if the “f” after the name of some of the female players at The Week In Chess was for “female.” I had to be honest and inform the young one that I had no idea, but did mention it could be for “FIDE Master.” She said, “Then it should be a “FM”, right?” What could I say? Teachers do not have all the answers. Is an “Expert” a titled player? The “Expert” class is the first class with a crooked number and begins at 2000 rating points, but it is not considered a “title,” yet it is considered a major step on the road to Master, and even with rating inflation, is still a goal for many players.
Foisting an immediately discredited explanation upon the Chess world by Chess.com surely is an indication of something amiss at the website. The people at Chess.com should know about limited sample size and the worthlessness of publishing such a flawed study. Nevertheless I will cut them some slack because it could be they are completely ignorant of sample size and meant well when depositing such a load of crap. The article shows Chess.com is in damage control mode and will continue to do whatever it takes to cover their collective asses. Then again, when there are so many firing salvos at you maybe it is best to “duck and cover.”
The intention was to write a post today concerning a few of the games, and positions of the recent US Chess Championships, to follow the previous post, but a couple of emails from regular readers recently changed my mind. One reader wanted to know if I could recommend one article that would bring him up to speed with the events of the Magnus Carlsen caused affair. This caused me to smile. One article. Ha! I have read so much on the subject it has made my eyes bleed, and this guy wants one article that is a be all and end all article…
The other reader asked a question that is on every mind of everyone involved with Chess. “How will this affect the future of Chess?”
Is that a loaded question, or what? I am no soothsayer. Nevertheless, how can all the negative publicity do anything but harm the Royal Game? Then again, the recent cheating scandals in Major League Baseball by the Houston Astros, now called by many the “Cheating ‘stros,” has not ended MLB, although the people who watch the game has dwindled to alarmingly low numbers, but then, MLB has been losing interest for other reasons ever since the Ragin’ Roid’ scandal and the Bud Selig caused premature end of the 1994 season. Then there is the New England Patriots serial cheating which has not appeared to diminish the number of fans. The title of one article tells the story: A timeline of Patriots scandals: Spygate, Deflategate and other controversial incidents under Bill Belichick (https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/patriots-spygate-deflategate-bill-belichick-timeline/ovkdjh8ny5qb1fnns9grat5mk). Just type in “Patriots” and “Cheating” into any search engine and you will be inundated with a plethora of maimball cheating articles.
As luck would have it I surfed over to the excellent website of Daiim Shabazz,
The Chess Drum,
recently, something I had put off because of all the reading done on the Magnus Carlsen affair in an attempt to understand why the current World Chess Champion would do the things he has done recently.
There, at The Chess Drum, I found one of the best articles read recently. I was taken aback by the depth and breadth of the article. Although much of it was known I read every word because there was so much that was new to me. If I were a member of the Chess Journalists of America I would nominate the article for an award because it is that good. It is a remarkable piece of Chess journalism. I left a comment for Daiim and only just revisited the article in preparing to write these words. The following, which had obviously just been posted, was found:
Daaim Shabazz says: October 25, 2022 at 12:47 pm
What impact would Carlsen’s signing the scoresheets have on whether he believed that Niemann had cheated during their game? Signing the scoresheet in FIDE games is an agreement that the result was fair. Refusing to sign could be considered a protest.
I once saw a cheating case (touch move violation) at an Olympiad. The accused (a GM) claimed that he had adjusted his king (despite holding it and hovering over a square). The move would’ve allowed the queening of a pawn and resulted in a big team upset. There were bystanders who saw the violation. The arbiter was not present but did not allow any witness statements. After a back-and-forth debate, he believed the GM and allowed the game to continue. The GM moved another piece. The accuser (an FM) was distraught and let his clock run out in protest and signed the sheets.
When the appeal was filed, it was determined that while it appeared the GM had violated the rules, the accuser had signed the scoresheets and had thus agreed with the result. Based on this, the committee rejected the appeal.
I urge everyone reading this to visit the website and read it for yourself. In addition, I urge anyone involved with the Chess Journalists of America to give strong consideration to giving some kind of award to the writer. To the gentleman wanting that “one article” this, sir, is that article. I am still amazed at how much time and effort was put into the article. It is more than an overview. It is more like the kind of article that answers questions you did not ask, but after reading, wondered why you had not asked those questions. It is a magnificent article at which I stand in awe. To this writer it is a masterpiece, like an artwork.
“Andrea Carte: Born in Italy, IT engineer, he’s written some GO software, published several papers about reconstructing GO games from videos by means of AI tecniques and has joined two scientific conferences (Liberec 2015 and Pisa 2018) during the corresponding European Go Congresses. Like Ingo Althoefer – who arranged such conferences – he’s above all a chess fan since the Spassky-Fischer match and has even attended many World Championships since then. He considers himself a good amateur, despite not even reaching the 2000 barrier (that will forever remain his forbidden dream).”
Since there are only three degrees of separation, especially among we lovers of games, I urge anyone reading this to contact the writer in order to give him a ‘heads-up’ about this post. And to Mr. Carta, I too, play Go, but not very well. Nevertheless, I enjoy reading about the great game of Go and replaying games online, and have been known to actually play a few games over the years. I sincerely hope you manage to cross the 2000 barrier because although it has been said the demarcation line for becoming a respected Chess player is 1600, which is class “B”, any player who has ever seen that crooked number after his name knows it bestows credibility lacking when a rating begins with a ‘one’.
The final two paragraphs of the stellar article follow:
“In the end we have found that “statistics at first sight”, all of them, look like strong evidence of Hans Niemann cheating, and cheating a lot. But at second sight, all the statistics show instead a picture typical of a young player rising fast, with no evidence of cheating whatsoever. Ken Regan was right.
Does this mean that Hans Niemann never cheated on the board? It’s still difficult to say. Opinions of strong players cannot be discounted, nor cannot be the ones of expert commentators like Alejandro Ramirez (his opinion can be read at https://en.chessbase.com/post/alejandro-ramirez-it-does-seem-very-likely-that-hans-cheated-over-the-board, with a link to a podcast in which the matter is fully discussed). But it’s extremely unlikely that statistics alone will ever provide evidence on the matter, and unless some clever Philo Vance will ever be able to deduce his method and trap him “on the spot”, the mystery will never be solved. Chess, already diminished because of the overwhelming engines’ dominance, is on the verge of completely losing its charisma. Hysteria is spreading fast: already people are not permitted to watch important tournaments in person, and live broadcast is quickly disappearing. Will the “old times” ever come back?” https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-hans-niemann-case-numbers-what-they-reveal-and-what-they-do-not-reveal
People still play the antiquated game, and there are still tournaments, but reading about them makes one sad. We here in America live in a boom and bust society. I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but here it is obvious the ship named the Royal Game has taken a torpedo and is in damage control mode. I have no idea how much damage has been done or what kind of deleterious effect it will have upon Chess, but I do know each and every Chess player needs to grab a pail and start dipping to keep the ship of Chess afloat. Chess is akin to a rudderless ship because FIDE, the World Chess organization, has done absolutely nothing to mitigate the damage. This could be because FIDE is controlled by the Russians. The head of FIDE does not make any decision without the approval of Mad Vlad, and he has other, much more important things on his mind at the moment. The President of FIDE, Arkady Dvorkovich,
known as “The Dvork”, is far too busy covering his ass while trying to stay alive to even consider doing something, anything, to mitigate the onslaught of negative publicity that has inundated the Royal Game over the last month or so. The dude has got to be cringing in fear of doing anything that might displease Mad Vlad,
or else he, like so many other nefarious Russians in Putin’s orbit, might take a header out of a window in a high rise building.
“…the mystery will never be solved.” And there’s the rub. Hans Niemann
can never, ever, prove he did not cheat, which means his reputation has been drastically damaged by the allegations made by the nattering nabobs. His reputation has been forever tarnished. With that in mind, I have something to say to young Mr. Niemann, and would appreciate it if a reader will pass this along to Hans, or someone who knows him.
“Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was.” – Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind.
After posting the previous post a few days ago news concerning a lawsuit filed by Hans Niemann hit the internet like a tidal wave. Like most people involved with the Royal Game I read everything there was to be read concerning the issue.
ChessSpawn Vermont (Attorney Brian Lafferty) Niemann’s complaint is well drafted and pleaded alleging Slander; Libel; Sherman Anti-Trust Act Violations; Tortious Interference with Contract and Business Opportunities; and Civil Conspiracy.The complaint sets out a number of previously unknown or little known alleged defamatory statements to third parties and actions of a collusive nature between defendants directed at Niemann. Damages in the amount of $100 million are sought on a number of the causes of action and unspecified damages on one cause of action to be determined at trial.This is the real deal. These defendants will have a difficult time escaping liability for their actions. Hopefully, this will also lead the US Department of Justice to examine the acquisition of Play Magnus Group by Chess . com in relation to US Anti-Trust/Restraint of Trade Laws. https://en.chessbase.com/post/breaking-news-hans-niemann-is-suing#discuss
After considering writing something my mind was changed by the fact that I wanted to leave Herschel Walker is the Punchline up for a few days, possibly through the weekend, because it seemed more important to have a decent, reasonable, calm, and level headed candidate win the upcoming election in lieu of yet another Trumpster wanna be type goofball elected to the office of Senator from the state of Georgia. The polls are close, which is alarming to any reasonable person, so the thinking was that in an extremely close election maybe one vote could be the difference, and just maybe someone reading the post might change their vote. Things changed this morning after reading two articles. The first was, Hans Niemann Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Magnus Carlsen, Chess.com Over Cheating Allegations (https://www.wsj.com/articles/chess-cheating-hans-niemann-magnus-carlsen-lawsuit-11666291319).
He tweeted, “For chess, Hans‘ lawsuit is probably the perfect PR opportunity. It has everything: millions of dollars (rarity for the sport!), drama, cheating allegations, Carlsen and Nakamura in one sentence, and a big takeover deal on the line.” (https://twitter.com/merenzon/status/1583346826198982656)
Many people have said, “All publicity is good publicity.” The earliest attribution found was from Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/617883-all-publicity-is-good-publicity). This writer is uncertain about the thought behind the quote. To agree with Pierre one must believe “Bad publicity is good publicity.” The feeling of this writer is all the negative publicity will, or already has, had a deleterious effect upon the Royal Game. How can it possibly be good to have something tarnished by dragging it through the mud? It is more than a little obvious that there is a disconnect between some Chess officials and reality. An example occurs any time anyone involved with the GAME of Chess calls it a “sport.” The definition of “sport” is: “An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.” (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/sport)
The way these eyes see Chess these daze is that Chess is like the Titanic after hitting an iceberg.
FIDE, the official governing body of Chess, will continue partying and dancing until it is too late to matter, oblivious to the fact their world has changed drastically, at which time there will be a mad scramble for the too few remaining lifeboats. You know what comes next.
This is not the post planned for the last rest day of the US Chess Championships. That post will be made after the conclusion of the event.
This post is being written because of something extraordinary posted by “Danny
at Chess.com. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess.com) A “Community Update On Recent Events” was published at CHESScom on Oct 14, 2022, 2:36 PM. What is remarkable about this document is that the boys, “Danny and Erik” ASKED, and ANSWERED the questions. This is an affront to every Chess player on the planet. What is even more remarkable is that I have yet to read anyone in the Chess community taking the blues brothers, “Danny and Erik”, to task for asking, and answering their own questions! In every other facet of life journalists ask the questions. Imagine what would happen if politicians asked and answered their own questions.
The mea culpa begins with, “We imagine that most of you, like us, have had more friends than ever who are outside the chess community come and ask you about chess, cheating, Hans, Magnus, and everything else that is going on.”
The blues bros are right about the above statement as this was received from my favorite librarian, Heather: “So, what’s this scandal rocking the chess world?”
Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to answer, so a link to the blog was sent. Hopefully the subject can be discussed during lunch in the near future.
The opening paragraph continues, “Every news outlet on the planet seems to have written a “take” on chess in the last few weeks. It’s been a bewildering time for chess fans and our community. So, as an update to our recent report and the events going on in the chess community, we (Danny and Erik) wanted to take the time and answer some of the questions we see being asked. We appreciate your voice and your questions, and while we know that the opinions in the chess community are divided on many of these topics, we are doing our best to protect and grow the game.”
Translated that becomes, “And cover our ASSets.”
I was transfixed by the use of the word “bewildering”, which sent me to the Free Dictionary, where this definition was found: 1. To confuse or befuddle, especially by being complicated or varied. (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/bewildering)
From the myriad comments read on the subject over the past month it is apparent the only two people in the world of Chess who are confused and befuddled are obviously the blues bros, Danny and Erik.
Much more important is what the Chess community thinks about what was written by the blues bros, and since I am a part of the Chess community, and write a blog which concerns Chess, and readers have asked for my opinion, it will be delivered at the end of this post.
Ridiculous. NO excuse for violating your agreements to keep documents confidential in some cases but keeping them private for others. Obvious favoritism and bias and disgusting lying to the people you promised confidentiality to. I hope everyone reading this stops using this site since it’s run by a couple of creeps with no ethics, unless by “ethics” you mean “guzzling Magnus’s ‘output’ at every opportunity”.
I wish all will move away from this site Exposing private e-mails from maxim and damaging him with no clear reason is just another crime this site does (and the list is long
The reasoning for why you won’t release any information on other cheaters and why you claim to have released information on Hans doesn’t square with your stated reason for releasing information on Dlugy. Are you letting Magnus decide who gets thrown under the bus?
“We believe that there should be zero tolerance for cheating in chess in any venue or format.” This contradicts the whole report.
Chess.com quote: “…we often lean ever more conservative in our findings when it comes to young players.” (In response to the question: Why did you not close Hans’ account earlier when you knew he cheated? Why did you let this get to the 100 or so games mentioned in your report?)
Wow. Ageism Writ Large! Especially odd in the ‘Chess World’ as the Youth Dominate! (Oh yeah, and ‘Cutting slack’ seems to be encouraging, regardless of one’s age, cheating!)
I don’t know about legal aspects, but you promised people confidentiality in exchange for confessions and then you broke the promise. That behavior is wrong, even if it is legally permissible.
While I kind of understand that Chess.com wants their statements to be accurate and “professional”, I, however, do not believe this is the answer. Your answers were board (sic), general, and unrevealing, as hinted in the terms “not up to us”, “we don’t know”, “we’re not revealing more”. I would like to see more open information. But meanwhile, this is a big step from the days when you keep everything secret.
Just wondering, let’s say the same cheating situation, but with two different players. Would you still do the same or you only did this because Magnus/Hans was involved? Chess.com doesn’t want to get sued. It’s that simple.
This article pretends that Hans is the one who brought his Chess.com cheating to the public, when in reality it was HIkaru who first did it (and then Eric Hansen did, followed by others). In fact, he did it on the same day that Magnus withdrew, probably without Chess.com’s permission. This was supposed to stay private, and I’m guessing that Hikaru didn’t receive even a reprimand for this, because he’s Chess.com’s beloved mascot.
Why is Chess.com pretending that Hans is the one who brought the private cheating topic to the limelight first, when it was really their own sponsored partners?
What about the rest of the story?
Are we supposed to beleive Hikaru had a full production release set to go minutes after the story was released to the Press. Same with Levy. Sure looks like a leak to most of the world and collaboration between Chess.com & Streamers it’s hired and supported. Chess.com didn’t act as an independent arbiter in any of this.
Yet another shameful “no-statement”. They say: “We have 4 kids each, so we trusted in Hans in 2020, then nothing happened in between 2020-2022, yet we banned him in 2022 just because Magnus withdrew!” This is a shame.
I am sure chess.com is going to close magnus’s account for receiving outside help from david howell in a prize game.
It is not a 1\1000 probability, magnus was caught in tape doing it. We should ban all cheaters for life. No excuse.
your silloquey’s are getting old. study endgames, and zwischenzug instead.
my neighbor had a horse to plow his fields. one day he came out and found his horse dead. he was really pissed off. he started beating this dead horse, and kept beating this dead horse with no result. then he started beating his head against the wall all he got was a headache. yawn dudes find something else to do. study endgames and in between moves.
As Finegold put it, there are no consequences for cheating on chess.com. You apologize and they let you come back to cheat again and again.
What a mess.. -.-
To this observer it appears the Chess.com blues bros are sitting at a poker table with $84,000,000 in the pot and their hand contains only a pair of dunces.
This story, coming on the heels of the recent avalanche of stories concerning cheating in Chess, is being posted because of the surprising connection to Chess at the end of the article.
By James Gordon For Dailymail.com Published: 01:26 EDT, 1 October 2022 | Updated: 09:29 EDT, 1 October 2022
A pro poker player is alleging that his opponent ‘clearly cheated’ during a livestreamed game of poker after she returned her earnings to her opponent. Garrett Adelstein has suggested that his female opponent, Robbi Jade Lew, could have cheated by using a ‘device hidden that simply vibrates to indicate you have the best hand.’
Lew, meanwhile, says she was taken outside of the gambling hall and threatened in a ‘dark hallway,’ by Adelstein. ‘Garrett blocked me. Guilty as charged. What an honest man. He cornered me & threatened me. If he has the audacity to give me the death stare ON camera, picture what it’s like OFF camera.’
Adelstein, 36, from Arizona, is a regular at the 24-hour Hustler Casino in California. He was playing a Texas hold’em game when he was stunned into silence by Lew, a relative newcomer.
Lew, 35, suddenly made a call to go all-in despite having a relatively poor hand, leaving Adelstein and observers agape. Those commentating on the game were in disbelief because the odds were stacked against her with online betting casino DraftKings calculating there were around 150 ways for Lew to lose, but only six ways for her to win – which she proceeded to do.
Adelstein forced Lew to go all in with her $130,000 hand and appeared shocked as her cards revealed her to have a ‘Jack high’, winning the game and taking the entire $269,000 pot.
Adelstein hails from Tucson and has been playing poker professionally for almost a decade. His specialty is on ‘live no-limit hold ’em cash games’ where he is known for his aggressive and large wagers. He became a public figure during the 2013 season of CBS’ Survivor: Cagayan, and began appearing regularly on live poker shows in 2017.
Robbi Jade Lew, meanwhile only started taking poker seriously after the coronavirus pandemic. She previously worked in a senior capacity for pharmaceutical company Bayer. During the game in question Garrett had needed a club, six or a jack, but Lew’s jack won the hand.
The look on Adelstein’s face as he lost the hand said it all as he stared on in disbelief and simmering rage. ‘I don’t understand what’s happening right now,’ he said.
‘You look like you want to kill me. I thought you had ace high,’ Lew said.
‘So, why call with jack high?’ Adelstein said. A jack high would have lost to ace high.
‘Because you don’t have s**t!’ Lew said.
Adelstein then got up and left the table. Lew has explained her unorthodox way of playing her hand was simply because she believed Adelstein’s cards were inferior to hers.
‘Get over it,’ she wrote on Twitter. Yet Adelstein later revealed on social media how Lew then offered to return the money he lost which he took as a sure sign of her guilt. Adelstein has now openly accused Lew of cheating. ‘Poker is an extremely complicated and nuanced game,’ he said adding that her hand had ‘very little equity’. He then went on to analyze some of Lew’s previous strategies and suggested that someone could ‘cheat’ by using a ‘device hidden that simply vibrates to indicate you have the best hand.’ ‘Another common way of cheating is someone has the technology to know who will have the best hand at showdown by hacking into the card reader.’
Adelstein has not provided any evidence whatsoever that Lew cheated or used such a device. He went on to note how after the game he told her: ‘Robbie, this is likely to be viewed by millions of people … I think you know now, you f**ked up.’ It was at that point Adelstein claims Lew offered to repay him the winnings. ‘Knowing a) this was likely the closest I would get to a confession and b) how impossible it is to get refunded in these cheating scandals … I took her up on her offer,’ he wrote. ‘Once she offered, of course I am going to accept my money back after being clearly cheated.’
‘Forget ranges or game theory optimal play, even the most novice players simply don’t ever make that call simply based on the strength of their hand. You can always bluff in poker, but once your opponent moves all-in for twice the size of the pot, that’s where the bluffing stops. Hustler Casino Live co-founder Nick Vertucci has said Lew is an inexperienced player who likely misread her hand. ‘There’s no possibility that there’s anything that could be cheating goes,’ Vertucci said. ‘We’ve checked everything.’ Hustler Casino has said neither player will be invited to return until the incident had been investigated.
‘We completely understand the magnitude of the situation and the accusations. We take this extremely seriously,’ the casino said in a statement. ‘At this point we have no proof either way or any indication of any wrongdoing besides the accusations of parties involved.’ Adelstein has appeared more than 50 times on the casino’s livestreamed show and is its top player, winning more than $1.6million. By contrast, Lew has only appeared twice collecting just over $100k in winnings.
Poker is not the only table game to be rocked by allegations of cheating through vibrating devices. Last week, Magnus Carlsen, the world’s No. 1 chess player, was accused of ‘damaging’ the game after he sensationally resigned from a match against a fellow grandmaster after one move over fears his rival was using anal beads to cheat. In a statement last Friday, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Arkady Dvorkovich, revealed he was not pleased with Carlsen’s behavior in withdrawing from the Sinquefield Cup and quitting his match against his 19-year-old opponent, Hans Niemann. The resignation came amid rumors that Neimann cheated using a vibrating anal sex toy. Dvorkovich took aim at the world Carlsen, saying the 31-year-old Norwegian has a ‘moral responsibility’ because he is ‘viewed as a global ambassador of the game.’
His actions impact the reputation of his colleagues, sportive [sport-related] results, and eventually can be damaging to our game. We strongly believe that there were better ways to handle this situation,’ he said. The statement did not ‘specify’ what situation they were referring to, although it is likely the sensational claim about the anal beads, which Neimann has denied. He is accused of using a vibrating, remotely-controlled sex toy to gain an advantage over Carlsen by getting an accomplice to buzz the device to guide him into making better moves. The president said the game’s governing body is looking creating a group of ‘specialists’ who will eradicate cheating from FIDE events. ‘FIDE is prepared to task its Fair Play commission with a thorough investigation of the incident,’ Dvorkovich said. The chess body boss said further evidence would be needed before any such probe could begin.
In the press release given today, FIDE announces to form an investigatory panel for the Carlsen-Niemann controversy. Three members of the FIDE Fair-Play Commission will form the panel with the possibility to call external experts for consultation. The focus of investigation will be to check Magnus Carlsen’s claims of alleged cheating by Niemann and Niemann’s self-statement regarding online cheating.
“Following the recent developments in the Carlsen-Niemann controversy, FIDE’s Fair Play Commission (FPL) has decided to act ex-officio and create an Investigatory Panel (IP). Three members of the Commission will form this panel, and it will also have the possibility to call for a consultation with external experts wherever analysis is required.
The focus of the investigation would be twofold: checking the World Champion’s claims of alleged cheating by Niemann and Niemann’s self-statement regarding online cheating.
As stated by Fair Play Chairperson Salomeja Zaksaite, the FPL is ready to examine the circumstances, compile and analyze all the data and evidence available, and ascertain the facts and allegations that have been made public. The panel will ensure a fair ruling, protecting the rights of both parties during the investigation.
The Chess World Isn’t Ready for a Cheating Scandal
Magnus Carlsen, the World Chess Championship winner, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after losing to Hans Niemann.
By Greg Keener Sept. 13, 2022Updated 2:05 p.m. ET
When Hans Niemann beat Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champion, in the Sinquefield Cup on Sept. 4, he ended Carlsen’s 53-game unbeaten streak in classical over the board tournaments, and set into motion a debacle that has turned into one of the biggest chess scandals in years.
The next day, Mr. Carlsen withdrew from the tournament, which is an exceedingly rare move, especially among top players in elite events. He also tweeted a cryptic video of José Mourinho, the Portuguese soccer manager, saying, “I prefer really not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble.” In the video, Mourinho is speaking at a news conference after a game in which his team might have lost because of questionable officiating, so online observers interpreted Mr. Carlsen’s post as insinuating that Mr. Niemann cheated in some way during the game. A representative for Mr. Carlsen did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Irina Krush, a grandmaster who has played against both Mr. Niemann and Mr. Carlsen, said, “I did play against Hans at the Marshall Championship at the end of 2019, where he made his second GM norm and tied for first in the tournament. So from that point on, I knew he was a very strong and up-and-coming player.” She added, “I think it would be good if Magnus also gave his side of things because it’s just a bad situation for the chess world to have this hanging without a resolution.”
The above is from an article in the New York Times. The question in the Chess World is, “Why has Magnus nutted-up?”
If you are wondering who is Greg Keener he informs readers a few paragraphs later in this paragraph:
In addition to these past cheating incidents, Mr. Niemann is notorious in the chess community for his abrasive personality. As an arbiter in FIDE, or Fédération Internationale des Échecs, the governing body of professional chess, I have known Mr. Niemann since he was a talented scholastic player, and have had to navigate his difficult behavior on more than one occasion. Just a few years ago, Mr. Niemann was not yet a grandmaster and would play regularly at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City, where I work as an assistant manager.
Say what? Where do I begin? How about this dude is working in New York City and has the audacity to call anyone from outside the city “abrasive”?! Give me a break… This poor dude has had to “navigate his difficult behavior on more than one occasion.” Do tell… GIVE ME A BREAK! What kind of work does this guy do in New York City? I worked at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center and part of the job description was “navigate difficult behavior!” Out of all the Chess players, and parents, you have encountered in NEW YORK CITY, you chose to single out Hans Niemann for having “difficult behavior”?! What does any of what is contained in the paragraph have to do with anything other than being an attempt to disparage Hans Niemann. I’ve been to New York City and this is the kinda crap one reads in a tabloid…in NEW YORK CITY!
Hatchet job Keener continues in that vein when writing: “Statistical analysis by Pawnalyze, a chess analysis blog, showed that Mr. Niemann had consistently outperformed his rating strength to an astonishing degree.”
Give me a break. The same could be said about most, if not all, top rated Grandmasters on their climb to the top. Fortunately, there is one New Yorker who speaks for most of the Chess world, Grandmaster Michael Rohde.
Michael Rohde, a grandmaster, worked with Mr. Niemann as a student at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. “Hans was the captain of the C.G.P.S. chess team,” Mr. Rohde said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say I was his coach. He was autonomous and very hard-working.” He added, “It makes perfect sense to me that he is 2700 now.”
Regarding the most recent allegations of cheating, Mr. Rohde said, “I don’t understand exactly what the allegation is. I haven’t seen any evidence or anything specific. It’s just accusations based on his results.”
The article concludes with these two paragraphs:
“Nonetheless, Mr. Niemann’s meteoric rise raises important questions for professional chess. FIDE and the organizers of large tournaments owe the community of players and fans clear guidelines and procedures for how to handle what is likely to be an increasingly common phenomenon.”
“When asked if Mr. Niemann would be invited back to the St. Louis Chess Club, Mr. Rich, its executive director, said, “Yes, Hans has already accepted an invitation to play in the fall classic, so I already have him signed up for the next tournament at the club.”
Upon awakening this morning it was my intention to end this blog. I am not getting any younger, and the re-election of the corrupt Russian stooge and lackey for mad Vlad Putin, Arkady Dvorkovich, who won “by a landslide,” disgusted and bummed me out. The headline at Chess24 says it all: Dvorkovich re-elected FIDE President by landslide.
The first paragraph says it all: “Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian Deputy Prime Minister from 2012-2018, has been re-elected as President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) for another four years. He defeated Ukrainian Grandmaster Andrii Baryshpolets by a landslide 157:16 vote at the FIDE General Assembly in Chennai, India, after the remaining candidates all withdrew.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/dvorkovich-re-elected-fide-president-by-157-16-landslide) Mother would have said, “It was a put-up job.” The fix is always in when FIDE is involved. Colin McGourty writes in the excellent article: “The elections for FIDE President are always murky, with the principle of one federation, one vote meaning that countries with few chess players have the same power as major chess countries with tens of thousands of rated players. Inevitably it’s often a question of what a candidate can directly promise the delegates of a country, while another level of influence is diplomatic. The Russian government is reported to have directly campaigned through its embassies in previous elections.” With Russia waging war against a neighbor, Ukraine, the last person the Chess world needs as it’s “face” is a nefarious, underhanded Russian apparatchik who is nothing but a lackey and toady for Mad Vlad, yet that is what we the Chess players of the world have leading the main international Chess body. It does not bode well for Chess.
The news of the death of an old friend, classmate, and roommate has not helped but only enforced the funk into which I had fallen.
Then this morning with my first cuppa coffee I fired-up the Dude, surfed over the the New York Times and saw an article, replete with myriad pictures, that was positively fascinating. It was then the realization struck that I had at least one more post in me, especially after knowing immediately what song would accompany the post. I drained that cuppa Joe while listening to more than a few different versions of a wonderful song by a singer with a fantastic voice and narrowed the choice down to two different versions. But first the article, which unfortunately cannot include all of the pictures:
His Next Move: A Ukrainian Boy Starts a New Life Through Chess
After fleeing the war in Ukraine with his mother, Maksym Kryshtafor, 8, is using his passion for chess to help him assimilate into the United Kingdom.
By Megan Specia Aug. 13, 2022
Photographs by Mary Turner
YORK, England — Pints in hand, a group of men sat hunched over chessboards under the sloping ceiling beams of the Eagle and Child pub in York, in northern England.
Among them sat Maksym Kryshtafor, an 8-year-old Ukrainian boy with freckles and an impish smile, who navigated his pieces across the board with intense focus.
The group had moved its weekly meeting to an earlier time to accommodate its young guest’s bedtime, and he was soon impressing these chess aficionados with decades more experience.
“He’s really good for his age; there’s no question about that,” said Paul Townsend, 62, an avid chess player and member of England’s chess federation. “And he clearly has a talent.”
Mr. Townsend and his family are hosting Maksym and his mother after the federation essentially played matchmaker and asked if they would be willing to sponsor the pair.
More than six million refugees have left Ukraine for Europe, according to the United Nations, each facing the challenges of a life ripped apart by war: a strange land, an unfamiliar language and tenuous ties to support systems like education and health care — if they have any ties all. Finding a pursuit that provides focus and stability can help exiles navigate the anxieties and upheaval of restarting life far from home.
For Maksym, it was chess.
Just four days after arriving in Britain, Maksym drew the attention of the local news media when he won a tournament in County Durham, about 45 minutes north of York by train. He quickly became known on the local chess circuit.
“Chess is all his life, and now it’s all my life,” said Maksym’s mother, Iryna Kryshtafor. “It’s like air for him because all the time he is playing.”
Chess has helped Maksym deal with the complex emotions of leaving his home and adjusting to life in Britain, which has not always been easy. Without a good grasp of English, he was placed with younger students for some of his lessons in school, and it has been hard for him to connect with other children, his mother said. He misses his grandparents, who lived with them in the Ukrainian city of Odesa and who stayed behind. Ms. Kryshtafor is estranged from Maksym’s father, who has not been a part of the boy’s life.
When the war broke out in February, Ms. Kryshtafor, 45, had scrambled to throw her and Maksym’s most essential belongings into a rucksack as they fled for the border.
Countless mothers across Ukraine were focused on how to save their children while maintaining a sense of stability, and Ms. Kryshtafor was no different.
While she forgot to bring a proper winter coat for herself, she packed the things she knew were the most important to Maksym: a chess book, a laptop for him to practice his games on, and the white polo shirt and red fleece that he wears for every competition.
They went first to Romania, where they stayed for weeks. Then Ms. Kryshtafor reached out to the English Chess Federation to see if someone would host her and Maksym so he could continue playing and return to school.
She was eventually connected with Mr. Townsend and his wife, Helen, who offered them an annex in their spacious house near York, under a program that allowed British families to host Ukrainians fleeing the war for six months. So far, despite procedural difficulties, more than 65,000 people have headed to Britain from Ukraine under the program.
Maksym has been enrolled in school, where he is beginning to make friends and is enjoying math, Ms. Kryshtafor said, because even without a strong grasp of English, he can understand it.
Even with hospitable hosts like the Townsends and the security of life far from war, Ms. Kryshtafor said she had found it difficult to adjust to humbling circumstances. She had spent most of her life in Odesa, and despite having two college degrees and a career as a journalist, she is now working as a hotel cleaner.
“It’s not so simple,” Ms. Kryshtafor said as she described the anxieties of living in someone else’s home and having to rely on them for her and her son’s needs.
“I feel comfortable here,” she said, “but all the time I am thinking about what will happen in six months.”
Under British policy, families agree to host Ukrainians for six months, and their visas last for up to three years. The Kryshtafors will need to find a place of their own unless the sponsors allow them to stay beyond the initial agreement.
To ease the anxiety, mother and son have thrown themselves into chess, a focus of much of Maksym’s young life.
He began playing at 4 and has showed early promise.
Both have expressed hope that he can become a grandmaster before turning 12, eager to unseat the world’s youngest person to reach the prestigious ranking.
But Mr. Townsend and other chess aficionados say that goal is a long shot. Still, Maksym is clearly skilled, Mr. Townsend said.
“Does that mean he’s going to become a grandmaster ever, let alone at the age of 12? Not necessarily,” he said.
Still, Maksym is nothing if not determined. He wakes at 5 a.m. each day to practice online before school and until recently had regular online training sessions with a Ukrainian chess grandmaster through the Ukrainian Chess Federation.
So far, his lucky outfit and his hours of training have served him well as he wins competition after competition in England. In late July, he and his mother traveled to Greece for the European Youth Chess Championship, where he won in two categories — rapid and blitz — in his age group.
Like many former Soviet nations, Ukraine has a long tradition of strong chess grandmasters, Mr. Townsend explained, but often the expectation is of total dedication to the game from a young age.
“You would see it as a place where chess is taken a lot more seriously than it is here,” Mr. Townsend said. Parents put young children into rigorous training programs, and school is often second to chess.
“It’s such a massive, culturally different approach to chess playing,” Ms. Townsend said. As a diversion from chess, she has enjoyed showing Maksym how to cook, taking him on nature walks, and building with Lego pieces.
But much of Maksym’s time is still dedicated to chess, and Mr. Townsend has been keen to help him get involved in local tournaments.
On a recent Saturday morning, he took Maksym and Ms. Kryshtafor to a Quaker school in York for a competition involving 120 youths ages 7 to 18. Boards were lined up on tables in a gym, filled with row after row of children tapping clocks and moving pieces.
Some of the children were so small that when seated, their feet swung above the floor. Maksym’s sneakers barely touched it.
He sat, fidgeting slightly, while the organizers rattled off the rules in English. He did not understand much of what was being said, but he knows how to play. His first match was over in under a minute.
He ran into the hall where Ms. Kryshtafor was waiting and embraced her. After the next match, Maksym again went running out to his mother.
“Too easy,” he said with a smile. “I made a checkmate.”
Before the fifth match, Maksym pressed his forehead against his mother’s and she whispered some words of encouragement. His opponent, an older boy, arrived just before play began.
Maksym rested his chin on his hand and smiled until, suddenly, he realized he had made a mistake. He pulled at tufts of his hair, twisting them around his fingers. He eventually lost to the boy, and after they shook hands, he wiped tears from his eyes.
Maksym eventually placed second in the competition. By the end, he seemed more interested in chatting with a group of children who had organized a game of tag outside.
His long hair flew behind him as one of the children chased him.
“He’s just a child,” his mother said as she watched him frolic. “He works so hard with chess that sometimes you forget he’s just a child.”
This post is dedicated to arguably the best Speaker of the House in the history of the United States of America, Nancy Pelosi, who did it all “For the Children”.
“Greatest Love Of All”
I believe the children are our future Teach them well and let them lead the way Show them all the beauty they possess inside Give them a sense of pride to make it easier Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be Everybody’s searching for a hero People need someone to look up to I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs A lonely place to be And so I learned to depend on me
I decided long ago Never to walk in anyone’s shadows If I fail, if I succeed At least I’ll live as I believe No matter what they take from me They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all Is happening to me I found the greatest love of all Inside of me The greatest love of all Is easy to achieve Learning to love yourself It is the greatest love of all
I believe the children are our future Teach them well and let them lead the way Show them all the beauty they possess inside Give them a sense of pride to make it easier Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows If I fail, if I succeed At least I’ll live as I believe No matter what they take from me They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all Is happening to me I found the greatest love of all Inside of me The greatest love of all Is easy to achieve Learning to love yourself It is the greatest love of all
And if, by chance, that special place That you’ve been dreaming of Leads you to a lonely place Find your strength in love
In addition, this post is dedicated to my friend and former roommate, Gary Allen Whitlock:
Obituary for Gary Allen Whitlock
Mr. Gary Allen Whitlock, age 73, of Palmetto, passed away Wednesday, August 10, 2022. He was born January 3, 1949 to Harold and Dorothy Whitlock. Gary served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was employed with the United States Postal Service in Palmetto, GA for 34 years. He is survived by his wife, Nara Denise Whitlock; his mother, Dorothy Allen Whitlock; his children, Micah Whitlock and his wife, Laura, Sarah Deck and her husband, Thomas, Anna MacIsaac and her husband, Barry, Mark Whitlock and his wife, Alyssa; his 10 grandchildren, Hannah, Jacob, Jordan, Hailey, Jadon, Isaiah, Raelynn, Garrett, Greyson, Owen; and his brother, Mark Whitlock. A funeral service will be held Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 2 o’clock in the Chapel of Parrott Funeral Home with Pastor Brian Hosmer officiating. Interment will follow at The Whitlock Family Cemetery in Peachtree City. The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Parrott Funeral Home & Crematory, 770-964-4800. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Daystar Israel at www.daystar .com. (https://www.parrottfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Gary-Allen-Whitlock/#!/Obituary)
Gary was,, obviously, responsible for bringing many children into this world. During the pandemic an old friend and I discussed getting some of the old gang together when it ended. Susan called one day saying, “Hey Eggs, guess who just stopped by for a visit?!”
An email received from a friend, who was concerned since the AW has not posted in a few days, prompted this post. He thought maybe the Russians had decided to silence the AW. Fact is I had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital when my back again ‘went out on me’. I have had to take it easy and limit the time spent on the interwovenwebofallthings.
There was one development found while surfing worthy of comment. Daaim Shabazz,
the founder of excellent blog, The Chess Drum,
published an informative article, Discussion: The Future for Chess and FIDE (https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2022/07/22/discussion-the-future-for-chess-and-fide/). I looked for an article on all of the major Chess websites, Chessdom, Chessbase, Chess24, and Chess.com, to no avail. The following day I looked again, finding an article at Chessdom, which has recently become my number one “go to” website for Chess news, but after looking again today it was unable to be located.
As a general rule I do not spend much time reading about or listening to politicians because life is too short, especially at my age, to waste any of it listening to some blowhard say whatever it is they happen to think will obtain your vote. Daaim succinctly summarizes the ninety minute “discussion” in a couple of minutes.
Mr. Shabazz writes: “Yesterday the Association of Chess Professionals held a roundtable hosting the FIDE Presidential Candidates on the future for chess. The FIDE Presidential Election will be held on August 7, 2022, at the FIDE General Assembly in Chennai, India. The topic of the discussion was, “The Next 4 Years – The Future for Chess and FIDE.”
“Out of the four tickets, only three presidential candidates were present: Arkady Dvorkovich, Anrdii Baryshpolets, and Bachar Kouatly. The “Best Move” candidate Inal Sheripov was not present. The discussion is hosted by Maria Gevorgyan and Yuri Garrett, ACP Deputy President.”
“Following a seven-minute introduction from each person was a lively 90-minute discussion on a variety of topics including the perceived political entanglement of FIDE and Russia. The bulk of the time was spent discussing the future for chess and how it would navigate the changing landscape of for the sport. There was a lot of talk among the three candidates about widening the scope of chess to include underrepresented regions. There was also some time discussing increasing participation of girls and women.”
At the end of the discussion, each candidate was able to ask any combination of two questions of the other candidates. Predictably, there were many statements directed at Dvorkovich who stands in a situation made more tenuous by Carlsen bolting from the cycle and forfeiting his title. Baroshypolets questions were directly at Arkady as were Kouatly’s. Baryshpolets provocatively asked Dvorkovich, “Aren’t you ashamed of what you do to the chess world?” This was in reference to his Kremlin past as Deputy Prime Minister and the implications that he retains ties in Russia. Dvorkovich pushed back strongly and continued to tout the administration’s list of successes. Bachar Kouatly asked, “Will you resign if you are sanctioned? Arkady replied, “Yes.”
“Very interesting discussion!”
What does it say about the current state of Chess that a genocidal Russian is currently the head of FIDE? What happens if that very same genocidal Russian, the nefarious Dvorkovich, who takes his orders from the Madman, Vladimir Putin,
wins reelection? The fact is that all the Russians surrounding Mad Vlad take their orders from the monster, while living their lives in fear of displeasing the genocidal maniac. A vote for the Dvork is a vote for Mad Vlad. The question is, “Why is the Mad Vlad proxy being allowed to run for any FIDE office again?” What will be the future of the Royal Game and what kind of message will Chess be sending the world if the Dvork is again elected?
I realize the Royal Game appears to be in its heyday, but circumstances can be deceiving. Many will scoff because Chess has been enjoying a period of incredible popularity recently, which has put chickens in the pots of many players the all over the world. Yet for several reasons there are storm clouds gathering. The pandemic caused many to spend much more time at home at a time when contact could be made with anyone in the world via the internet. When Viswanathan Anand became World Chess Champion
it kindled a firestorm in India which brought untold millions into the game. Kenneth W. Gronbach is president of KGC Direct, LLC and author of the current book, “Upside: Profiting from the Profound Demographic Shifts Ahead“, which was recently released in April 2017. “A demographic winter refers to locations that are seeing significant declines in their birth rates, such as China, which has “changed from an aging country to an aged country,” he commented. In practical terms, this means more people dying than being born. India, on the other hand, has a growing populace and will likely be strengthened in the years ahead.” (https://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2022-07-20-show/) There are many Chess teachers in the US who teach only Indian students. With Anand covered with FIDE slime, how long will that last?
One of the most pressing problems with Chess is FIDE, the world Chess organization, which is led by a Russian stooge, Arkady Dvorkovich, known as Mad Vlad Putin’s “lapdog.”
Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand decided, for whatever reason, to join the ticket of current president of the World Chess organization, Arkady Dvorkovich,
who is running for reelection. Anand, known as “Vishy”, had a stellar reputation while being admired and respected the all over the world. That ended immediately when he chose to join the nefarious Russians, who are performing genocide against a neighboring country as this is being written. The name “Anand” has now become besmirched the world over. Why would anyone in his right mind join the perpetrators of war crimes against civilians? Need I remind anyone the Russians are not only wantonly killing innocent women and children but also bombing their wheat fields! (https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2022/07/15/ukraine-farms-wheat-fields-russia-shelling-crops-fire-pkg-watson-lead-vpx.cnn) The wheat grown in Ukraine formerly fed much of the world, therefore Russia has, in effect, attacked the REST OF THE WORLD! Although not acknowledged, World War III has begun, thanks to the opprobrious Russians. And Vishy Anand has joined the villains.
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen
decided to give up HIS title and who can blame him? The title of World Champion most definitely does NOT BELONG TO FIDE. That particularly corrupt organization can bestow the title on anyone, as it has done in the past. It matters not who is called the “World Chess Champion” when every Chess player in the world knows the best player is Magnus Carlsen. Awarding the title to another player will only cheapen the title, which has lost much luster over the years as changes were made to the World Chess Championship match format. Former World Chess Champion Mikhail Botvinnik
once said, when asked, the match for the World Championship should be at least sixteen games. Even with the souped-up heebe-jeeb games, played with little time, the match for the World Championship is not played with sixteen games. Frankly, the World Championship lost luster when the match began using quick-play games to decide the Championship. It has reached a point where the Championship is virtually meaningless. The WCC cycle went from three years to a two-year cycle. Why would anyone in their right mind want to spend six months preparing for the match and do it again in little more than a year? Why would the World Champ want to face a player he defeated handily after that opponent, the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi,
melted down during the last match. The candidates tournament that Nepo won in order to face Carlsen should not have been started. After it was stopped it was certainly a terrible mistake to resume the tournament after a lapse of one whole year. The next recently completed Candidates tournament was an unmitigated DISASTER! FIDE has egg, after it has been digested, all over their faces. Fact is, FIDE is covered head to toe in STUFF. The World Chess Championship match has been a cash cow for FIDE, and you can bet your sweet bibby that, if reelected, Putin’s lapdog, the Dvork, and his second in command, Vishy, will milk that cash cow for all it is worth.
Younger people will ignore what I write because, well, you know, to them I am an old fogy. The thing about we “old fogies” is that we have been around awhile and have seen things change, sometimes in a heartbeat. I have written on this blog (or was it the forerunner, the BaconLOG? https://baconlog.blogspot.com/2008/07/) about how the game of Putt-Putt was once more popular than golf.
The players earned more cash playing Putt-Putt than did the golf professionals of the PGA (Professional Golf Association) because Putt-Putt was televised. Then the fad was over, in the beat of a heart. I have also written about how popular was Backgammon. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/paul-magriel-r-i-p/) After hitting the road to play the best I returned home to find Gammons closed. The “boom” had ended. As I write this the once popular card game of Bridge is on life support because the players have grown old(er) and not been replaced by younger players. (https://www.plumasnews.com/is-the-card-game-of-bridge-fading/) The time to worry is not after interest wanes but when interest is booming, because when interest fades it is too late to do anything but cry in your beer.