Hello Wisconsin!

In the latter half, journalist Linda Godfrey, an authority on anomalous animals and paranormal phenomena in Wisconsin,

discussed her new work on urban legends and ancient lore. Modern-day eyewitnesses describe creatures not known to exist in our time but which show up in ancient cultures such as in the Egyptian pantheon, where there was a dog-headed upright creature named Anubis that correlates with recent sightings of ‘Dogman.’ Godfrey has concluded that the strange sightings of anomalous creatures are not mass hallucinations– “it’s something that is happening to people in all walks of life,” she said, and “usually unexpectedly.”
Indigenous people have characterized the strange creatures as spirit beings that take physical form to procreate and demonstrate different qualities. While they can leave tracks and claw marks, Godfrey pointed out that when people have fired upon them or hit them with their vehicles, the creatures seem amazingly resilient, picking themselves up and dashing off into the woods. She delved into beings such as Slender Man, who first took off as a fictional meme on the Internet, leading to a case where two Wisconsin girls stabbed a schoolmate as a way to please Slender Man. The idea of a tall, stick figure actually dates back to the Native American lore of “Deer People,” she cited. Godfrey also talked about persistent sightings in central Wisconsin of panthers– animals that wildlife officials claim cannot be there. (https://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2019/07/15)

Dedicated to Georgia Chess Association President Scott Parker

Advertisements

Deepak Aaron Wins Georgia Chess Championship

I went to the official website of the Georgia Chess Association (http://www.georgiachess.org/) to read about the recently completed Georgia State Chess Championship and found this:

The 2019 State Champions have been crowned. Congratulations to all the participants and the winners! “State Champions” was in red so I clicked on and was directed to Facebook, or as I prefer to think of it, “F—book.” Why should I have to go to F—book to read what should be contained at the website of the GCA? F—book is a reprehensible organization, having helped facilitate the Russians, for a price, to subvert the last Presidential election. F—book sells the information of We The People to the highest bidder, yet people, and organizations continue to use F—book. Why? Why is the GCA using F—book? Why would anyone in his right mind use F—book? Consider this article:
The Ugly Truth About How Facebook Uses Your Private Data

“In essence, Facebook are selling your private data to the highest bidder, even if they claim otherwise.” (https://thevpn.guru/how-facebook-uses-private-data/)

There’s ‘Little’ Privacy in Facebook’s Privacy Policy

“We collect the content and other information you provide when you use our Services, including when you sign up for an account, create or share, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide, such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created. We also collect information about how you use our Services, such as the types of content you view or engage with or the frequency and duration of your activities.”

This is a snippet from Facebook’s privacy policy. Basically, Facebook knows everything about you. (https://thevpn.guru/how-facebook-uses-private-data/)

The following was found at F—book:

Georgia Chess Association

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 State Championship.
Championship
1st Deepak Aaron $1000 4 1/2

2nd Alonso Zapata $650 3 1/2

3rd Sanjay Ghatti & Benjamin Moon $200 3
1st/2nd U2300 Yury Barnakov & Damir Studen $325 3
1st U2100 Pradhyumna Kathapalli $350 3
2nd U2100 Harry Le, Doruk Emir & Vispy Pardiwalla $100 2 1/2

Amateur
1st/2nd/3rd Miles Melvin, Joseph Franklin & William Remick Jr $525 4
4th & 1st U1850 Sreekar Bommireddy & Pranit Mishra $237.50 3 1/2
2nd U1850 Zachary Stokes, Leon Cheng, Anthony Morse, Sant Muralidharan, Calavin Jackson & Parth Shinde $33.34 3

Reserve
1st Tyler Luo $800 5
2nd Rajat Ravi $450 4 1/2
3rd & 4th James Senarus, Ocean Liu, & Richard Jones $191.67 4
1st U1550 Gavin Zhou $225 3
2nd U1550 Dipti Ramnath & Andrew Spencer $100 2 1/2

Booster
1st Ramchandra Nadar $700 4 1/2
2nd/3rd/4th Alan Spektor, Andrew Downes, & Ronald Sanders II $341.67 4
1st/2nd U1250 Srihan Avirneni & Arjun Garg $212.50 3

Please send your address to treasurer@georgiachess.org if you did not pick up your check at the event.

(https://www.facebook.com/georgiachess/)

Only eighteen players competed for the title of Georgia State Chess Champion. The USCF MSA page (http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201905195972.0-10215994) shows a total of one hundred and one players participated in all sections of the tournament.

Michael Mulford sent an email containing the results of the election.

“We were visiting Becky’s son and so I popped in for a few minutes on the way to the airport (but before the vote. I saw Fun Fong was there.”

It seems a bad penny always turns up.

The GCA Bids Farewell to Dr. Fun Fong

Thought you might be interested.
President: Scott Parker – 41
William Remick – 6

1st VP: Dave Hater – 38
Thomas Harris -11

Secretary: Michael Muzquiz – 30
Mohana Venkataraja – 17

1st Member-at-Large:
Kindeya Scott 26
Thad Rogers -17
Parnell Watkins – 4

The new GCA board:

Congratulations to the new, and returning, members of the GCA board. No matter what happens in the next few years this board will be much better than that of the last two terms because it is not possible to fall below the bottom of the barrel.

GCA President Renounces Chess

The former President of the Georgia Chess Association, Fun Fong, announced his resignation in December. Although having knowledge of the resignation for some time I have not posted it because of the difficulty obtaining information other than what has been available on the internet. I have reached out to the current POTGCA, Thad Rogers, and the VPOTGCA, David Hater, neither of whom responded. I do not know the other members of the GCA board, so did not ask for comment. Some in the community whom I contacted responded by informing me they were no longer involved with Chess because their children had lost interest in the game. The people who did respond did not want their names used. For example, one person responded, “I have deliberately been staying away from GCA politics and events because of the toxic turn that they have taken in the last year or so.” There was no further elaboration so your guess is as good as mine as to what kind of “toxic turn” has been taken “in the last year or so.”

I was aware the man I came to think of as the Fun E. one

had posted something on Facebook. I do not, and have never, belonged to the book of faces. People who complain about lack of privacy and government intrusion join Facebook in droves, while divulging their innermost secrets, which makes it easy for the government, does it not? An anonymous source sent me a copy of what is written on Mr. Fong’s Facebook page, which I quote:

“I have resigned as GCA President and will be leaving chess. I am appreciative of all the good times and great working relationships that I experienced. I will be unfriending the great majority of my chess friends so as to not be lured back to chess again. If I have unfriended you and you would like to speak to me about non-chess topics, I’d be glad to keep in touch with you. I wish my chess friends well.”

I must admit to not being aware one could “unfriend” anyone until reading this, so it is news to me. It sounds pretty serious to “unfriend” anyone. It is one thing to resign an office where one is one of only fifty in the US, but to also “…be leaving chess”? He talks of not being lured back into chess again as someone addicted to heroin might talk about staying away from other addicts. There were rumors that losing for a seat on the USCF policy took the fun out of Chess.

There is a story here but I am in no position to obtain the story. According to the GCA website there is a “GCA Board Meeting, February 01, 2018 7:00 PM • Red Lobster Meeting Room, 3927 LaVista Rd., Tucker.” (http://www.georgiachess.org/)
As I am punchin’ & pokin’ this the afternoon of February 1, that means the meeting is tonight. Maybe if still living in, or near, Atlanta, I would put my journalist hat on and attend the meeting. Then again, having attended a few of the things, maybe not…

There is an article at the GCA magazine website concerning the departure of Fun Fong:

The GCA Bids Farewell to Dr. Fun Fong

By Michael Muzquiz

After 6 years of untiring service as president of the Georgia Chess Association, Dr. Fun Fong has announced his resignation. As 1st vice president, Thad Rogers will fulfill the duties of the president until a successor is named.(http://georgiachessnews.com/2017/12/22/the-gca-bids-farewell-to-dr-fun-fong/)

In addition, Mr. Muzquiz writes, “Dr. Fong will certainly be missed by all.”

This is not true. I, for one, will not miss the Fun E. one AT ALL! When the second Georgia Senior under his “leadership” was announced I vowed to never again play in any GCA tournament, so I was ECSTATIC to hear of his implosion! The second was just as bad as the first, so it was obvious the man had obtained power and refused to listen to reason, preferring to have yet another failed Senior rather than admitting a mistake and making changes to the failed format.

Then there was what came to be known as “The DeCredico Incident.” Fun Fong wrote the following email:

From: Fun Fong
>> Date: November 25, 2014 at 12:11:01 PM EST
>> To: Greg Maness
>> Cc: gcaboard Board , Laura , Frank Johnson , Ben Johnson , “J Parnell Watkins, Jr.” , Elena Gratskaya
>> Subject: Re: Incident with Chattanooga friends
>>
>> I am also seeking legal advice.
>>
>> GCA cannot sustain legal action (costs). As I said, if this were to progress to a lawsuit, we might win on the merits, but we would lose, likely losing the organization.
>>
>> This is a conundrum. My thought is that we must avoid a legal action at all costs. I now think that Mr. DeCredico will complain to USCF and we need to have possible responses lined up. I will be using the legal advice to consider these factors.
>>
>> Mr. DeCredico states that both he and his children were touched. This is becoming a “he said, he said” story. I think we should look for witnesses.
>>
>> I think that we should discuss this issue at the Board in closed session, after the official Board meeting is over on 2 December. Discussion is available to non-board members now.
>>
>> Fun

This can be found here: https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/the-decredico-incident/

I have always wondered why Elena Gratskaya,

the very pretty young woman from Russia, was copied on this email since she was never on the board or involved with GCA politics. With all the women coming out with accusations against powerful men these days, I cannot help but wonder if this played some part in the resignation? This was during the time a television show, The Americans, about Russian agents posing as an American couple, was quite popular. A source reported years ago that when this was mentioned to Mr. Fong at a tournament in another state, where Fun and Elena had been seen together, the POTGCA became quite upset. I had the pleasure of interviewing Elena at the Castle Chess tournament at Emory University some years ago and will admit that if I had been several decades younger I probably would have asked her to be the Queen of my Chess board! What can I say? She was extremely easy on the eyes…

I had to wait some time to publish this because of only having one source. After publication of the emails I was asked by someone with interest in the activities of the GCA to provide the name of “the” person who had passed on the series of emails published on this blog. The GCA board must have been SHOCKED to learn that, like Woodward and Bernstein, I waited until there were TWO SOURCES before publication. That meant that, as far as they were concerned, there was another RAT! You will not read in any of the emails anything about keeping it confidential. The board then turned on each other, and there was suspicion, which led to rancor. There followed resignations, with the first to go taking the blame, in some minds, as the OTHER RAT. I am reminded of lyrics to For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield:

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

Further information on this blog about the Fun E. man can be found by typing in “Fun Fong” in the question box.

From what little I have been able to piece together Fun E Fong was burned out on Chess. It appears he played the Fried Liver attack once too often… It must have been challenging for an emergency room doctor who is accustomed to giving orders without being questioned to “suffer the fools” who questioned each and every decision he made. Multiple sources reported he had said he was, “sick of being questioned,” and “…tired of being “ragged on all the time,” or something along those lines. I am reminded of the current POTUS, Donald popinJay Trump,

who cannot wrap what’s left of his mind around our form of government; a man who would obviously be more comfortable as a dictator.

Like Georgia RepublicaNazi Governor Nathan “Asleep at the Wheel” Deal (or, if you prefer, Nathan “Raw” Deal),

the Fun E. one won reelection. Sources informed “the new people” loved Fun, so I was not that surprised at the turn of events. The phrase that has stuck with me is when the Fun E one said he wanted to, “Change the demographics” of Chess in Georgia. Donald popinJay Trump wants to change the demographics of US. We can only hope the Trumpster becomes tired of being “ragged on” constantly and follows the lead of Dr. Fun E. Fong.

Chess with Dancing Goats

Spring has sprung making an old(er) fella feel young(er). The weather has been wonderful and I took advantage of it by heading into downtown Decatur, the city of my birth. My boots were made for walking and that is just what I did, spending my day walking all around town.

“The City of Decatur, with its tree lined streets and more than 60 miles of sidewalks in 4.2 square miles, is a prime location for walking. In 2011, the non-profit WalkScore.com named the City of Decatur the most walkable city in Georgia.” (http://www.decaturga.com/index.aspx?page=412)

After a visit to the library I headed toward a restaurant that has been on my roundtoit list, Sawicki’s (http://sawickisfoods.com/). The Roasted Lamb sammy was as good as the tall young fella, Walker, behind the counter said it would be. It must have been synchronicity when Bob Dylan came over the system. I thought it was a Dylan cover but it was actually a live version with which I was not familiar. So much Bob, so little time…Naturally, we became involved in a conversation about Bob and The Band. It was lunch time and we had to keep it short. The next song was a cover of the same song by the Jerry Garcia Band. When I headed to the back for more water Walker asked me how was the sandwich and I answered, “Wonderful.” He replied, “Awesome!” Then he showed me his gizmo containing his music, which he had plugged into some kind of player. When I mentioned a CD of Bob covers containing a song that happens to be my all-time favorite he gave me a look that made me feel so last century. Maybe I should have mentioned all the Dylan cassette’s I still own…I also mentioned a cover “album” of tunes by The Band, throwing in that George Harrison said The Band was the best band in the land, or some such. “No way!” said he. I told Walker I would send him the quote and the titles if he gave me his email. He did and this is what I sent:

Walker,

“When Harrison was approached for a quote for the first U.K. edition of this book, he sent word that The Band were no less than ‘the best band in the history of the universe’-a fairly remarkable thing for an ex-Beatle to say.”
– Barney Hoskyns, from the preface to Across the Great Divide: The Band and America.

My all-time favorite Dylan cover is Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues, by Bill Kirchen, and I’ve heard MANY covers. It can be found on the disc: Hard Rain – A Tribute to Bob Dylan – Vol.1

The best cover disc of The Band (and there is a reason they were called ‘The Band’) is: Endless Highway: The Music Of The Band.

I love helping to educate Generation Z.

From Sawicki’s I headed to the Dancing Goats Coffee Bar located down the street at 419 W. Ponce De Leon (https://www.facebook.com/dancinggoatscoffeebar). After looking around I stepped up to the young fellow behind the counter and his face lit up like a proverbial Christmas tree when he noticed my chess bag. “You play chess?!” he asked excitedly. After telling him I did not play much now, but sometimes gave lessons, he pulled out his gizmo and showed me a screen with a chessboard, telling me he played at this site and that site, asking, “You ever play here or there?” He was talking so fast and my hearing is not what it used to be, so I told him playing chess online was not for me. “Have you ever heard of the United States Chess Federation? I asked. He said no, so I asked, “How about the Georgia Chess Association?” He gave me a look of wonderment before saying, “You mean Georgia has an association? A CHESS association?!” I assured him it did. By this time a line had formed behind me and the manager was scowling, so I cut it short, telling him we could talk later. He flashed a huge smile saying, “That’ll be best.” I took my cuppa java and found a chair wondering how it could be that this young man knew all about places to play chess on his gizmo but had never been made aware of the USCF?
The Dancing Goats is a fine coffee bar, one of the best I have ever seen. Unfortunately it is not the right place for Seniors to play because the few tables are not appropriate for playing chess. They are, however, fitting for all kinds of gizmos. I like the way seating is arranged at the windows. It is a really cool place. From conversation I gathered that it is always busy, far too busy in the afternoons for a group of Senior chess players. I did notice, though, far more Senior type people than expected. Finding a good location in a soft chair I pulled out the book I had just checked out of the library, The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History, by Jonathan Horn. After only a few pages of the prologue I read, “So once more, Lee is trapped in the middle. More than a century and a half after secession forced him to chose sides, he has become a pawn in another conflict between two camps conceding no common ground.” I stopped reading, took a swig of coffee while smiling to myself, thinking, “Chess is everywhere.”
When I went back for a free refill I learned his name when telling him my intention had been to scout the place out to learn if it would be a good place to host a gathering of Senior chess players. Clint agreed it would not be the right place. He gave me his email before leaving and I could not help but think of the many times I have encountered people who play chess but have never heard of the USCF in the last four plus decades. USCF has never gotten the word out to the public. Today I sent Clint information on how to enter the alternate universe of chess.

There was one more stop to be made before heading home because Decatur CD beckoned. It was wonderful being in the small shop, surrounded by all different forms of music, including cassette’s! Check it out: http://www.recordstoreday.com/Venue/3527 or: http://www.decaturcd.com/

GCA Precludes Hundreds of Children from K-12 Grade Level Championships

The Georgia Chess Association will host the 2014 Georgia K-12 Grade Level Championships beginning November 09, 2014 9:30 am, at the Marriott Atlanta Perimeter Center; 246 Perimeter Center Pkwy, NE; Atlanta, GA 30346. In addition there will also be a “2014 Grade Level High School” tournament. This seems ambiguous in that a school is either a “grade” school, or a “high school.” This can be found on the GCA website (http://www.georgiachess.org/event-1790330), along with this: “If you have already registered and paid for the Grade Level tournament, you do not need to register again for HS. This is for 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th graders only who still need to register. You will need a code – contact gradelevels@georgiachess.org to receive it.”

Also to be found on the website is this, “Waitlist for Georgia Grade Level tournament.”

“This is a waitlist for the 2014 Grade Level Tournament on 11/9 at Marriott Perimeter Center. Priority will be given to smaller sections where an additional player would benefit the group (typically 9-12th) as well as children of volunteers.”

“When you register for the waitlist you will get a confirmation email that you are registered for the wait list (not the tournament). We will contact you if a place opens up for your child to play. This wait list will close at midnight Nov. 5th (the original registration deadline).”

Questions: gradelevels@georgiachess.org”

This sounds like one of those cases when it is not what you know, but who you know. Questions? How about, “Why is there a list of those waiting?”

In previous years as many as 450 children have participated in this tournament, usually held in a school with plenty of room for all the children, and their parents. This year the GCA, in its wisdom, decided to hold the tournament at a hotel with room for only 300 children; hence the “wait list.” I have no idea how the GCA board makes a decision, but one long-time member of the community has said, “Make no mistake, this is Fun Fong’s board. He makes the decisions and has stacked the board with sycophantic women and girly men who do what he says.” Whether or not this is the case, the fact remains that, as former GCA Board member Michael Mulford wrote, “The simple fact is that while the committee approach does a good job of sharing the workload, someone must be accountable, and that someone is the President. Whether the buck stops there or not, it clearly stopped.”
(https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/seniors-mad-as-hell/)

The buck stops with POTGCA Fun Fong. He makes the decisions, which are rubber-stamped by the toadies on the GCA Board. Who in his right mind procures a limited venue in which to hold a tournament knowing in advance half-again as many children will be precluded from playing?

The Legendary Georgia Ironman reports, “Some parents are livid, and these are mild-mannered types of people. When asked what can be done, all we can tell them is to join the GCA and go to the election in order to vote the ‘Know Nothings’ out!”

The GCA website shows this: “Spaces left 0.” Some children have “made the cut,” while others will be turned away at the door. It breaks my heart that possibly hundreds of children who wish to participate in this event will not be able to do so due to the incompetence of the GCA Board. This hit home when the Ironman mentioned that Sasha Creighton, a young boy who obviously loves chess, and a potential future star, will not be playing because there is no room. I simply cannot imagine the disappointment Sasha, and all the other children must feel at this revolting turn of events. As is always the case, the children will surfer due to the lunacy of certain adults.

There has still been no comment from Fun and the girls as to why two members of the GCA Board, Tim Payne and Frank Johnson, resigned. Rumors are rampant about the possibility of malfeasance on the part of the GCA Board with regard to the money taken in at scholastic tournaments. One informed source says the GCA has, “Built a war-chest of over $70,000 with little, if any, accountability.” This GCA Board is not the most transparent in recent memory. As a matter of fact, this is probably the least transparent GCA Board in the history of the GCA. Many are calling for an audit of the GCA finances, asking “What has the GCA got to hide?” What, indeed. There has been talk of impeaching the whole GCA Board. I have no idea if such is possible, but am certain former GCA Board members will send an email and/or leave a comment, providing the answer.

Most of the people on the current GCA Board are there for one reason, and that is because they come from the “scholastic side.” It would seem that for this reason alone the “Know Nothings” could be expected to get it at least half-right, would it not? Maybe the parents on the board who have a child playing in the tournament should consider telling their little Spud he cannot play in the event in order to allow one of the myriad children who will be excluded to take his place. After little Spud stops crying, and asks why he will not be allowed to play, the parent may possibly understand the disappointment felt by those other children who will not be playing.

Melanie Safka – Look What They’ve Done To My Song (Game) Ma

Black Atlanta Kings Member Denied Ga Open Entry

Thinking the match between the Kings and Ospreys began at seven I was early in arriving at Emory University, where the Kings play. The first player to arrive was Expert Lawrence White, who was to play his first game as a King. Mr. White is a tall, large man with a huge smile, which was on display when he noticed me. He is an intelligent, educated, likable person whose comportment while at the House of Pain was always that of a gentleman.After purchasing a snack, which would substitute for dinner, as he had come directly from work, Lawrence walked over to say hello.
I have known Lawrence since he first appeared at the Atlanta Chess Center in 1997. He is a friendly gentleman and a talented chess player, who is obviously serious about his game. During our conversation I was taken aback when he said he was refused entry to the recent Georgia Open. “What?” I exclaimed, and asked Lawrence to elaborate. He explained, “The registration was from eight AM until eight-thirty and I arrived just before the closing time. I saw Fun Fong standing on something giving a speech, so I found his assistant and told him I would like to enter. He looked at his watch and said it was eight-thirty two. My watch showed eight-thirty.”
It took me a few moments to wrap my head around what I had just heard. Gathering myself, I asked the name of the person he had encountered. Lawrence did not know his name, but after describing the man I said, “That was not an assistant, but the Chief TD, Ben Johnson.” Rather than making waves, Lawrence decided he would not play in the event.
Realizing something like this would never have occurred when the GCA held their events at the House of Pain, I apologized. “Why are you apologizing?” he asked, “I know you would not have done it.” He was correct because just a few years ago every accommodation was made to allow a player, any player, to participate in a GCA event held at the House of Pain. What I did not tell Lawrence, who happens to be an American of African descent, was that I immediately thought of something my friend Mr. William A. Scott, an Expert player back when there were only a few players rated over 2000, publisher of the Atlanta Daily World, a well-respected Black newspaper, and a member of the first incarnation of the Atlanta Kings, told me many decades ago when he said, “Mike, the difference between us is that to Negroes, everything is considered racial, while to White people nothing is race related.” I have heard this many times during my life and have always tried to keep it in mind in my relations with my fellow humans who happen to have been born with a darker skin pigmentation, for I know that when that skin is removed there is no difference in the human body.
I have no idea what was in the mind of Ben Johnson when he denied entry to Mr. Lawrence White. As far as I know it could have been GM Michael Rohde, who has played in Atlanta previously, asking to enter the tournament and Ben, a member of what has become known as the “Know Nothing” party who has taken control of chess in Georgia, would not have known him from Adam. I have no idea how much race played in the Chief TD’s decision. What I do know is that Ben Johnson saw a rather large Black man standing there and the pairings had already been made, so he refused to go to the trouble of making new pairings, something made quick and simple with the advent of the computer pairing programs.
Appalled at the whole situation, I asked Lawrence if I could quote him on the blog and he said, “Sure.”
There were only a few higher rated adults entered and Mr. White would have added stature to the Georgia Open, something completely lost on Ben Johnson. Who is Ben Johnson? I have come to think of him as the “Weird Hockey Guy” of chess. The Legendary Georgia Ironman shuddered at the mention of this, and this is why. Tim and I were doing sports memorabilia shows in the 90’s before the collapse of the card market. During one show a goofy fellow appeared at our table, asking if we would like to purchase a large box of unopened Hockey cards. I had no interest, but the Ironman engaged the rather strange fellow in conversation. Weird Hockey Guy told Tim he had absolutely no interest in the pieces of cardboard of any type. “I am in it only for the money.” In the best capitalist tradition the Weird Hockey Guy would “buy low and sell high.” With the possibility of the MLB strike looming and the encounter with the WHG in mind, I decided to sell everything and get out of the business because it was obvious the card market bubble had burst.
When first meeting Ben Johnson he said, “I don’t know anything about real chess; I come from the scholastic side.” Not only did he try to argue with me about what constituted stalemate, but he also said, “I’m in chess only for the money.” It was obvious I had met the Weird Chess Guy.
Ben Johnson is the Vice President of the Georgia Chess Association. The Ironman mentioned recently that Ben Johnson had organized a one day camp for children in which he would collect $90 for each child from the parents of 30 children. Ben is rated 647. Please note that as Chief TD of the Ga Open Ben Johnson played a rated game during the final round, which he won. Once this game is rated Ben will reach the stratospheric heights of, for Ben, 697.
In his forward to the wonderful book, “The Stress of Chess…and its Infinite Finesse,” by GM Walter Browne, IM Danny Kopec writes, “There is simply no reasonable living to be made in chess in this country…”
“Instead we encourage mediocrity and top players are often left in the cold. By mediocrity, I mean situations like players who have barely reached expert level (or below) making a reasonable regular salary teaching in schools, while the great players, analysts and writers must struggle to make ends meet.”

Bob Dylan Only a Pawn in Their Game March on Washington 1963

http://www.eyeneer.com/video/rock/bob-dylan/only-a-pawn-in-their-game

Mission Accomplished

One year ago the President of the Georgia Chess Association, Fun Fong, sent an email, which made the rounds, in which he wrote, “My sense is that adult chess players in our current demographic are some of the biggest cheapskates in the world! I hope to change that demographic over time. Getting any money from them, is problematic. Scholastics is better…” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/gca-president-rejects-scholarship-offer/). Mr. Fong never elaborated or explained the remark, leaving the Georgia chess community wondering exactly what he meant. For example, Larry Bolton, a gentle bear of a man who happens to be an American of African descent, upon learning of the statement, responded, “He means ME!” I tried to explain to Larry that the email also included this comment concerning adult players, “Getting any money from them, is problematic.” I, and others, thought Fun Fong meant he wanted to change the demographic to people with more wealth. Larry bellowed, “He wants to get rid of ME!” How could I argue with Larry? The fact is that many members of the chess community who are Americans of African descent felt exactly the same as Larry Bolton. Fun Fong’s comment spread like wildfire among the Georgia chess community, and further, going national, thanks to this blog. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/gca-president-rejects-scholarship-offer/) Mr. Fong’s “demographic change” comment has been received by the chess community in the same way as the infamous comment made about “The 47%” by Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during the last election. Many members of the chess community were left shaking their heads after the emails hit the fan. Some have expressed the thought that we can only wait until the next POTGCA in hopes he, or she, the way things are going, will be better than the current President. Some have even expressed the possibility of Fun Fong leaving the post before his term ended because his daughter, like almost all girls, gave up the game two years ago. That idea ended when Ben Johnson became VP, because no one in his right mind wants to see the Beast POTGCA.

Judging by the overwhelming number of children who participated in the Georgia Open, Fun Fong, unlike Bushwhacker II, has accomplished his mission. The demographics have drastically changed. With only a few adults participating in the G.O. there is now little distinction between the many scholastic tournaments which proliferate and what used to be considered an “adult” tournament. As Hikaru Nakamura is fond of saying, “It is what it is.”

Although it was nice to see the games broadcast via the internet, I cannot understand why the fact was not publicized on either of the two GCA websites. What is the point of broadcasting the games if no one knows they are available? Most of the games shown were by lower rated players. This makes some sort of weird sense because the vast majority of players were players with lower ratings, but I, and others, would have preferred to have seen the top seven boards displayed.

The crosstable of the Ga Open provided by the USCF shows this: Chief TD BENJAMIN F JOHNSON (14368088). It also shows this in the “Extra Games” section:
2 | BENJAMIN F JOHNSON GA | 14368088 / R: 647 -> 694 |1.0 |W 6|

The Chief TD of a tournament with almost one hundred players spent the last round playing a rated chess game, which surprisingly he won, gaining 47 rating points. Only 306 more and Ben’s will no longer be beastly. Unfortunately TD’s are not rated, which is good for Ben.

This is not the first time Ben Johnson has played a rated game in the last round while Chief TD of a large tournament. In my almost 45 years of chess I simply cannot recall any other Chief TD playing a rated game during any round of such a large event. USCF needs to prevent this odious practice, for obvious reasons. The fact that the man would do such a thing, and then do it again after the negative feedback received from the first mistake, speaks for itself as to how qualified the man is to hold office.

Bush: “Mission Accomplished” — REAL Speech

Mission Accomplished