The Georgia Chess Association is in Trouble

My friend Michael Mulford is one of the good guys involved with the Royal Game of Chess. “Mulfish”, as he is known at the USCF Forum, has devoted much time to Chess over the decades, and is currently very much involved with Senior Chess. After seeing this post on the USCF Forum it seemed to differ from the first one posted:

Postby Mulfish on Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:36 am #354807
https://www.minnesotachess.com/ is the Minnesota Chess website. It now shows tournament details and a link to the registration page, though i still don’t see it on the US Chess website.

I would also caution anyone interested in playing in the Georgia Senior. The round schedule is absurdly tight, with only 4 hours between the morning and afternoon rounds and a time control of G90/ inc 30. The organizer has told me they have to finish and be out of the building by a specific time. The ad does say they provide “light food”. If I were playing, I think I’d bring my own to be sure that I could keep my blood sugar where it should be. I’d probably have used a slightly shorter time control like G/75 inc 30, but it’s hard to criticize them for wanting to use the same time control as the Irwin uses.
No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot – Mark Twain
http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=26094

Because it differed I reached out to the Mulfish asking if it were, in fact, a different post. This was the reply:

Michael Mulford

Sat, Sep 17, 9:10 PM

This is the original; I had it only because Parnell included it in his email to me. If you wish to point out I made this original post and then edited it, that’s fine, but if you do please portray it as a revision to incorporate his explanations. He didn’t ask me to do so. I think he would have made a post of his own once he figured out how to join the forums and do so.

“I also caution anyone interested in playing in the Georgia Senior. The round schedule is absurdly tight, with only 4 hours between the morning and afternoon rounds and a time control of G90/ inc 30. I don’t know what they were thinking on this one. Perhaps they lose the site at 5 or 6 pm. If you’re going to play, I’d consider asking the organizer about that. It might be possible to persuade them to build a little more time into the schedule.”

I had questioned the new President of the Georgia Chess Association about the format, which allowed not time for rest or food between rounds a year ago when the format of the Georgia Senior was advertised. For that reason I, and several other Senior players, did not participate in the 2021 Georgia Senior. In response Mr. Watkins defended the format by informing me there would be a “charcuterie” board provided for the players. The definition of a charcuterie board is: “Sausages, ham, pâtés, and other cooked or processed meat foods.” Just what a Senior needs, right? There is nothing like processed meat served on a board that has been sitting out for hours to whet your appetite. Unfortunately, it did not whet my appetite as I do not, and have not eaten pork products for decades, and try to avoid processed food as much as possible, as do most Seniors. I met the new POTGCA at the 2022 Georgia State Chess Championships and the man is HUGE. He looked like the kind of guy who should, by all means, stay away from processed food, and immediately go on a diet to lose at least fifty, if not one hundred pounds.

POTGCA Parnell Watkins in foreground on right nest to large soda cup

In an email exchange Parnell closed with this:

“A monkey in my plans is that I have been diagnosed with a heart condition, a leaky valve. I will have to have surgery this year, and it explains finally why I hit a wall in chess (tournaments and can’t seem to get past the first couple of hours of a tournament. I always contributed to my nervous disorder causing me to become exhausted. No, my heart gives out.”

Regards,
Parnell

Mr. Watkins became POTGCA when no one ran against him. The VP of the GCA is Thad Rogers, who has his own health problems.

In Chess Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do

The headline in an article by by André Schulz at Chessbase says it all:

Kasimdzhanov after ending collaboration with Caruana: “It has a lot to do with the pandemic”

9/2/2021 – Fabiano Caruana and his second Rustam Kasimdzhanov formed a very successful team. However, their best year together (2018) ended in disappointment after many successes. The last Candidates Tournament did not go as desired either. “The pandemic year did not do our relationship any good”, says Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Now Fabiano Caruana and Rustam Kasimdzhanov are going their separate ways. (https://en.chessbase.com/post/rustam-kasimdzhanov-interview-2021-no-longer-caruana-second)

When asked, “And how are things going between you two now?” the Katzenjammer Kid

Comics Clasicos: KatzenJammer Kids #5

replied, “It’s strange. It’s like a divorce.”

Dedicated to George Ziberna and Gail Childs, may she R.I.P.

TCEC Stage 2 “a pure lab for beautiful novelties”

This notice appeared on the TCEC (Thoresen Chess Engine Competition) website:

“…Stage 2 will be played without an opening book this Season. This idea was advocated by several TCEC fans and Martin thought it ought to be tried. Initially I was skeptical, but after thinking about it, I could not imagine a better time or a better way to stimulate interest in the tournament. If the aim was entertainment, we had to try it. We will all see what happens and Martin will determine if bookless Stages ought to be a recurring feature in TCEC.” (http://tcec.chessdom.com/live.php)

From Chessdom.com:

“TCEC Stage 2 starts today with average ELO 3000+”

“The second stage of the Top Computer Chess Championship TCEC starts today with a brilliant field of average 3000+ ELO. The favorites Stockfish, Komodo, Houdini, and Gull, as well as ten more engines are starting the competition tonight, live at the official website.”

“This stage of TCEC is unique – the engines will not be allowed to use opening books, making TCEC a pure lab for beautiful novelties. This is the first time TCEC excludes opening books in search of discoveries of novelties and new lines, something very probable given the strength of the engines and the monster processing power of the super-computer behind TCEC.” (http://www.chessdom.com/tcec-stage-2-starts-today-with-average-elo-3000/)

Unfortunately the format is only for Stage 2.

“Stages 3 and 4, being double round robin and allowing engines to play all openings from both sides of the board, do not require the same exacting level of play-balance as Stage 1. Instead, lowering the draw-rate assumes much greater importance as otherwise you will likely see 70-75% of the games ending in draws given the hardware being used, the time control and the strength of the engines that make it into these Stages. Such a high draw-rate could get boring. We have an aversion to anything boring.”
(http://tcec.chessdom.com/live.php)

Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way (Official Music Video)