The Land of the Sky

The Land of the Sky Chess tournament has a special place in the hearts of every Southern Chess player because of the organizer, Wilder Wadford, who, for whatever reason, took it upon himself to host the tournament, which began in 1992. The 2023 edition will take place again in one of the most beautiful cities on the planet, Asheville, North Carolina. After surfin’ to the tournament website (https://landofthesky.us/) one finds: “The People’s Chess Tournament.” I can attest that it is! This year’s event will be the 35th edition of the tournament known as the “LOTS.”

Wilder may not be aware of this but in certain circles he is thought of, and called, “The Impresario,” and it it said with the utmost respect. “Wild Man Wilder” has also been heard on occasion, although Wilder is anything but a “wild man.” He is a respected attorney who lives in Weaverville, who hails from the Great State of Virginia. Wilder is, or maybe I should say was, a tournament Backgammon player. I have never, ever, heard anyone say anything derogatory about the man also known as “WW.” He is the epitome of a gentleman and scholar. There is one tale that was told to me about Wilder when I was residing in the mountains I will share. At a Chess tournament in New York city a thief nabbed the bag of someone WW was with on the sidewalk and without hesitating, WW took off after the thief, caught him, and returned with the bag! In NEW YORK CITY!

One year the fellow who took care of the wall board for the first board could not attend because his wife booked a cruise for the date of the LOTS. WW called this writer, who had not planned on attending, and asked if I would come up and man the wall board. The answer was, “I am honored by your request and will certainly be there, my friend.” It turned out to be one of the most pleasurable visits to the LOTS because I did not have to suffer the agony of defeat! It was interesting to watch, listen, and learn from a different perspective. The task was taken seriously and watching the top board, while attempting to predict the next move, was interesting. There was time to walk around and check out the games of my friends and frenemies while awaiting the next move made on the top board. WW comped the room, which meant I could stay Sunday night without having to drive after the tournament ended. This was nice because by that time I qualified for “Senior” status.

The most memorable and vivid memory was of an incident which will tell you about what kind of man is Mr. Wadford. I was in the TD room, talking with WW, when a well-known “live wire” player entered and began reading some papers as WW and I talked. Let me add here that some, if not most, would classify this writer as somewhat of a “live wire,” so I do not disparage the man when using the term “live wire.” I was about to take leave of the TD room when, all of a sudden, the live wire began arguing with WW about the prize fund. He was not happy about something and accused WW of who knows what. All I recall is that Mr. Live Wire thrust the papers he was holding into the face of WW! For a few seconds I was STUNNED… After looking at Wilder’s impassive face, and then taking a look at the live wire, I, as was told by a bystander, “Grabbed live wire by the throat with his left hand and shoved live wire out of the door and into the hallway wall, while balling up his right fist!” What can I say? I was LIVID! The thought of Wilder being attacker that way was “beyond the pale.” Fortunately I did not slug the cretin because the look of fear on his face told me there was no need to hit him. I did, though, give the live one the boot… After returning to the room WW was still sitting there with an impassive look on his face… After gathering the papers that had been strewn about the floor after leaving WW’s face I asked if he were OK. Wilder had the strangest look on his face as he nodded, so I figured maybe he wanted, or needed, to be alone, so I headed out of the TD room. It needs to be mentioned here that Mr. Live Wire was later one of only two players that had to be ordered out of the Atlanta Chess and Game Center by this writer.

Some time later as I was headed into the tournament room there were Wilder and Live Wire standing in the hallway, talking. That’s the way it is in Chess…

To prepare for writing this post I went to the LOTS website (https://landofthesky.us/) where this was found:

Please take the Land of the Sky Survey
Land of the Sky XXXV
The People’s Chess Tournament
February 3-5, 2023 (Weekend before Super Bowl)
Downloadable Flier
Registration: https://achievementtesting.info/wp/product-category/land-of-the-sky/

I urge everyone reading this to go to the website and take the survey. Over the years I have heard some bitch, whine, and complain, about organizers who will not listen to them. Wilder Wadford listens, and wants your feedback. Please honor the man and give him your two cents worth! As noted above, he can take it…

In preparing to write this post I went to the LOTS website where four games from the 2022 LOTS can be found. Each of them was replayed. The following game stood out:

Sheehan, Ethan Thomas (2288) – Smith, Bryan (2540)
Land of the Sky XXXIV (Asheville NC) [5] 2022.02.06
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 Na6 7.O-O e5 8.Qc2 Nb4 9.Qd1 a5 10.a3 Nc6 11.d5 Ne7 12.Nd2 Bd7 13.b3 Nc8 14.Bb2 c5 15.Nb5 Bh6 16.Bd3 Nh5 17.Re1 Nf4 18.Bf1 Qg5 19.Kh1 f5 20.Bc3 Nh5 21.b4 b6 22.bxa5 bxa5 23.exf5 gxf5 24.Nf3 Qg6 25.Rxe5 Nf6 26.Re2 Ne4 ½-½
https://landofthesky.us/

Final position

This writer first wrote about GM Bryan Smith

store.chessclub.com

on the long defunct BaconLOG in the post Louisville Chess (https://baconlog.blogspot.com/2009/11/louisville-chess.html) many years ago. The most recent post, The Najdorf in Black and White: A Review, can be found here: (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/the-najdorf-in-black-and-white-a-review/).

Upon reaching the final position it was obvious NM Ethan Thomas Sheehan had an advantage at the time of the draw. Much time was spent looking at the position in an attempt to learn how much of an advantage… This writer, and Chess fan, has gotten pretty good at guessing the numerical advantage, or disadvantage, the Stockfish program at lichess.com assigns a position, but still… Grandmasters do not usually offer a draw to a much lower rated unless maybe it is the last round, so I checked the cross table and it was the last round game. Because it ended in a draw GM Smith only tied for first with his last round opponent, and another National Master, Donald Johnson, from North Carolina. A Grandmaster would not offer a draw in that particular situation unless there was a good reason. The longer I looked at the position the less understanding was found. White is a pawn up, and the Black King is out in the open. It became obvious that it was incumbent for NM Thomas to reject the draw offer and at least make an attempt to defeat his GM opponent. No guts, no glory. For the rest of his life NM Thomas can tell others he drew with a GM, but when they say, “Oh yeah, let’s see the game,” he will not show it because it is proof positive he was chicken excrement that day. It is also positive proof of what is wrong with the Royal Game. There are no draw offers allowed in the Great Game of Go, which is why it is light-years better than Chess. It is also another reason all draw offers should be abolished. I do not know which is worse, agreeing to a three or four move draw or offering a draw when winning the game, but I do know that both should be consigned to oblivion. By the way, I finally estimated NM Thomas had an advantage of +1.5. The Stockfish program at lichess.com shows the advantage to be +2.4, which is considered having a winning advantage. Maybe the affinity developed for GM Smith after spending time with him in Louisville, and the well-placed Knight on e4, entered into my thinking a little too much…

Raleigh Go Tourney to Benefit Ukraine

https://www.usgo.org/

On December 10th in Raleigh, N.C., local organizer Boris Bernadsky is hosting Go Rebuilds, a tournament to raise funds to benefit Ukraine. “All of the proceeds are going towards providing civilian medical supplies or helping displaced pets in Ukraine,” says Bernadsky. “We are working with two charities, but participants may directly donate to the charity of their choice.” A number of sponsors have already signed on to provide prizes, including Ai-sensei.com (all registrants will receive a basic membership), the European Go Journal (participants will receive a 3-month digital membership) and BadukPop; click here for the full list. Register here or email badukboris@gmail.com with questions.

The Magnus Carlsen Affair

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,

ifoundthisgreatbook.com

The Chess Drum,

thechessdrum.net

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

For arbiters…

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.

If Carlsen signed the scoresheets, does that mean he initially believed it was a fair result despite later accusing Hans of cheating in the game?
https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2022/10/20/the-anatomy-of-carlsen-niemann-cheating-controversy/

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.

The other article The Hans Niemann case: Numbers – what they reveal and what they do not reveal by Andrea Carta appeared at Chessbase yesterday (https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-hans-niemann-case-numbers-what-they-reveal-and-what-they-do-not-reveal). This is written about the author:

“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

No, the “old times” never come back. Life is change; there is no going back. One day putt-putt players were earning more money than professional golfers, the next day the television contract ended, and so did Putt-Putt. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/07/21/chess-is-in-a-world-of-trouble/) One day Gammons (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/paul-magriel-r-i-p/) was thriving; the next day it closed. Backgammon was, and is, still played, but the number of players dramatically dwindled and never returned. The same goes for Checkers, as can be learned when reading the superb book, Seven Games: A Human History

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-games-oliver-roeder/1139522041

by Oliver Roeder.

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,

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/europe/top-russian-official-who-spoke-out-against-war-leaves-post

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.

The Burning Board Go Festival

https://www.trianglegoclub.org/burning/burningboard.htm

Join Us at Burning Board!

Burning Board Go Festival is a great chance to reconnect with your fellow go players, benefit from multiple workshops with great teachers and immerse yourself in Go for 4 (or more) days in a beautiful setting at an inexpensive cost.
Burning Board Go Festival and camp will be June 13 through June 19, 2022, with the main tournament and workshops beginning June 16. The festival will take place at Camp Lapihio in Umstead State park in Raleigh, North Carolina. There will be six long tournament games, and there will be lectures later in the day. Self-paired games may be played anytime. All tournament games will be AGA-rated, and the self-paired games may be rated if both players consent. There will also be a Saturday night bonfire and party for those camping in the park. The goal is to have tournament games and workshops in a festive, outdoor setting.

Workshops and game reviews will feature Ying Shen 2P and teacher/author Yuan Zhou on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday morning. Participation in these workshops alone is worth much more than the price of admission.

Picnic lunch will be provided on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Registrants are responsible for all other meals. There are numerous outdoor grills available for use, as well as the mess hall kitchen. There are also a number of restaurants and grocery stores within a few miles of the park.

Any participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. This is not a place where you can drop off your children.

Participants are encouraged to camp onsite. We have reserved 28 primitive cabins. These cabins can sleep from three to four people, but do not have electricity, air conditioning, or any linens. Cabin campers should bring bedding or sleeping bags and flashlights. Only 4 cabins are available for single occupancy or 2 day stays. Camp Lapihio will be available to us beginning at 3 PM on Monday, June 13, and early arrivals are welcome although scheduled activities won’t begin until Thursday, June 16. Cabins do not have locks, so please either don’t bring valuables, lock valuables in your car or carry them with you at all times. View photos of cabins and the campsite here.

The number of participants (players and non-players) is limited to 120, and registration will be closed after reaching that number so register early.

We have a Facebook Event page at https://fb.me/e/283LZHHBL to facilitate carpool and cabin partnering ideas. We will also use this Facebook page to make announcements before and during the event. (https://www.trianglegoclub.org/burning/burningboard.htm)

https://www.trianglegoclub.org/burning/burningboard.htm

Chinese Go Player Banned For Cheating

Chinese Go player gets one-year ban for using AI during national competition
By Chen Xi
Published: Mar 16, 2022 06:36 PM

Chess Photo:VCG https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202203/1255011.shtml

The Chinese Weiqi Association on Tuesday issued a statement suspending a Chinese player from attending competitions of weiqi, more commonly known as Go overseas, for a year after he violated the “no use of AI” rules when participating in a national chess competition earlier that day.

According to the statement, Go player Liu Ruizhi used an AI program during the first round of the Chinese professional Go Championship preliminaries, and his supervisors did not fulfill their supervisory responsibilities.

The authority pronounced Liu’s opponent Yin Qu the winner of the match and decided to suspend Liu from participating in professional competitions until March 15, 2023.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, competitions have been held online and the organizing committee requires each player to have a supervisor during matches.

According to the rules of the competition, the use of AI is strictly prohibited during competitions. Players who break this rule will be banned for one year. If the player is a member of the national training team, they will be expelled from the team immediately.

Zuo Shiquan, head of the equipment manufacturing research institute under the China Center for Information Industry Development, told the Global Times on Wednesday that AI can guide a player by calculating the next step after analyzing the historical data of contestants input in advance and that this counts as cheating during a match.

“AI has rich computing resources beyond that of human beings. In front of the Go board, the two players not only compete through their skills but also their mentality. If they do not do this, the joy of playing the game is lost,” a Go expert surnamed Hu commented on the Quora-like platform Zhihu.

Liu Ruizhi was born in 1996. In 2019, he started the first stage of his career, but had not won any major matches during his career, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The organizing committee for the championship on Tuesday night announced that the dates of preliminary rounds from March 14 to 24 and semi-finals from March 29 to 31 would be postponed due to the current COVID-19 situation in China. Matches that have been completed so far will still be counted and the dates for the unfinished games will be announced individually depending on the pandemic situation, the Beijing News reported.

The Chinese Professional Go Championship is a professional tournament with the longest history and the largest participation in China. A total of 231 people signed up for the competition – a new record – of which 194 participated in the preliminaries.
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202203/1255011.shtml

Play Go for Ukraine!

https://goteachers.org/

Support the European Go Journal: As reported previously, European Go Journal editor Artem Kachanovskyi,

Artem Kachanovskyi (https://www.usgo.org/news/)

a resident of Kyiv, has posted movingly on Facebook about how the Russian war on Ukraine has affected the go community and his own life and work as EGJ editor. When the war started, Kachanovskyi had to leave Kyiv and was forced to stop printing and distributing physical copies of the journal. He plans to continue producing the journal and distribute it digitally as a PDF until he is able to distribute hardcopies again. He takes subscriptions through Patreon and has about 235 subscribers right now. It’s $6.50 a month for a personal subscription to the monthly PDF version of the journal, and he offers a $3.50 per-person club subscription to groups participating in a Go club.
– Spencer Rank

Chess Is Weird At The Charlotte Chess Center

They are back at it in Charlotte. The first round of four different tournaments was played last night. Before I begin let me say I have no bone to pick with the good people in Charlotte. I have written about the Charlotte Chess Center because they are located in the South, the region from which I sprang over seven decades ago. I am proud there is such a wonderful place as the CCC and the same goes for the Atlanta Chess Center, home of GM Ben Finegold, who is famous all over the world. When I began playing back in the 1970s the South was not exactly a hot bed of Chess activity. When traveling to an out of state Chess tournament I met many people who told me they had never met anyone from the South who played Chess, and some who had never met any Southerner, period. Therefore when anyone causes opprobrium down South I am not pleased. Someone who refused to give permission to use his name said, “Everyone knows Charlotte is the place to go to draw. It was that way before you began to write about it, Mike. All you did was shine a light on it.” Like it or not, that is the reputation of the Charlotte Chess Center.

Mr. Grant Oen,

Grant Oen

who is the “Chief Arbiter and Organizer of the Chess tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Club and Scholastic Academy,” and is also the “Assistant Director, Charlotte Chess Center, and a National Tournament Director, International Arbiter,” has previously written, “If he is fine with several quick draws, that is acceptable for with us as long as the rules are followed.” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/reply-to-grant-oen/) A draw culture has been fostered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The rules do need to be changed. You may think me crazy especially since Chess is currently riding a cresting wave because of the popularity of the Queen’s Gambit movie, just a Chess enjoyed a boom after Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky to win the title of World Chess Champion. What follows a “boom”?

Back in the late seventies and early eighties the game of Backgammon “boomed” before going “bust”. I mean it busted like a poker player being dealt a 2-4-6-8-10! The Backgammon craze, or fad ended like a Chess game that ends with the word, “Checkmate!” One week Gammons was full of people every night, the next it was empty…

In an article at Chess.com dated 9/2/21, How Chess Can Make You Better At Business, written by “Chesscom” begins: “When you see chess in movies, it’s always associated with great minds—and there’s a good reason for this: chess is the ultimate intellectual game.” (https://www.chess.com/article/view/how-chess-can-make-you-better-at-business)

I beg to differ. The statement is false, and is a perfect example of the hubris shown by the Chess community. There are far more people who play, and consider the ancient game of Wei-Chi to be “the ultimate intellectual game.” I am one of them. One of the reasons what is called “Go” in the West is “the ultimate intellectual game,” is that there is a winner in 99 and 44/100, if not more, of the games played. Seriously, it is would probably be better to say 99.9%, but there was this Ivory snow commercial ‘back in the day’ that used 99.44.

To back up my point this is what World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker said about Go:

Emanuel Lasker Quote: "While the Baroque rules of Chess ...

And this:

Go uses the most elemental materials and concepts — line and circle, wood and stone, black and white — combining them with simple rules to generate subtle strategies and complex tactics that stagger the imagination.
Iwamoto Kaoru,

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.v5RlqwVR0GXupLN6HGehnAAAAA%26pid%3DApi&f=1
senseis.xmp.net

9-dan professional Go player and former Honinbo title holder.

Go, ultimate strategic game (https://dragallur.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/go-ultimate-strategic-game/)

Billionaire Res Sinquefield

https://media2.fdncms.com/riverfronttimes/imager/u/blog/3007837/sinquefieldupi.jpg?cb=1454775102
UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt
Rex Sinquefield has been a major donor to institutions in the city, including the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis — and a host of conservative politicians.

instituted a NEW RULE in the series of Chess tournaments named after him, the Sinquefield Cup. Players are not allowed to offer a draw. Unfortunately, they can repeat the position three times and the game ends in another dreaded draw…Listen up, Rex! You have got the money and are like E.F. Hutton. When you speak people listen. How about instituting the Ko rule from Go in the next Sinquefield Cup tournaments. If a player repeats the same position for the third time YOU LOSE!!!

Now if I had a billzillion digits I would go even further and change the stalemate rule to a win for the player that forces the enemy King into a position without having a legal move at his disposal. What, you think the AW is crazy? I’ve been called worse…I would not stop there. The Royal game needs NEW LIFE! The AW would FREE THE PAWN! That’s right, folks, I would allow the pawn to RETREAT! Why not allow the pawn advance one square to the rear?!

This game was “played” in the first round of the Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 last night:

GM Kamil Dragun 2555 (POL) vs GM Cemil Can Ali Marandi 2530 (TUR)

D14 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, exchange variation, 6.Bf4 Bf5

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. e3 e6 8. Bd3 Bxd3 9. Qxd3 Bd6

If you go to the Big database at 365Chess.com you will find that 99.4% of games that reached this position were drawn! (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=19&n=5693&ms=d4.d5.c4.c6.Nc3.Nf6.cxd5.cxd5.Nf3.Nc6.Bf4.Bf5.e3.e6.Bd3.Bxd3.Qxd3.Bd6&ns=7.8.23.36.307.350.965.868.130.49.50.50.51.51.4988.5186.5593.5693)

The “game” concluded after:

  1. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Rfc1 Rfc8 13. h3 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/01-Dragun_Kamil-Ali_Marandi_Cemil_Can

The opponents rank first and second in the event. It is more than a little obvious they did not come to play; they came to draw. It makes me wanna PUKE!

Then in the first round (FIRST ROUND!) of the Charlotte Labor Day GM B this game was recorded:

IM Levy Rozman 2353 (USA) vs GM Mark Paragua 2475 (PHI)

Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 01

D92 Gruenfeld, 5.Bf4

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. Rc1 Be6 7. e3 dxc4 8. Ng5 Bd5 9. e4 h6 10. exd5 hxg5 11. Bxg5 Nxd5 12. Bxc4 Nb6 13. Bb3 Nc6 14. Ne2 Qd7 15. O-O Rad8 16. Qd2 Bxd4 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-b/01-Rozman_Levy-Paragua_Mark

What did the fans of Chess think about the game? This is from the CHAT at ChessBomb:

ZikoGG: they agreed to a draw


jphamlore: Well that was an abrupt ending.


Nero: what the


Nero: chess is weird

And you know it makes me wonder what’s going on…

Levy Rozman

WHO AM I?

My name is Levy Rozman, also known as “GOTHAMCHESS.”

I’m an International Master, Twitch Streamer, Content Creator on YouTube and former scholastic chess coach.

I have been playing chess for almost 20 years, and teaching it for nearly 10 years. 

During my time as a scholastic chess coach I learned how to best teach the game to players of all levels.

This includes players that fall between ‘Beginner’ and ‘Intermediate.’

I’ve learned all the methods and strategies that help players in that level range advance to the intermediate level and beyond. 

This course is my attempt at compiling this knowledge and making it accessible to anyone in the world!

Cowardly Chess

I had not intended to post today because there are book reviews to write and games being played all over the world to follow, which is marvelous. Unfortunately, some of the games being contested are anything but marvelous. For example, take this just ended game:

Nils Grandelius (2670)

https://chessdailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Nils-Grandelius.jpg

vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek (2687)

https://en.chessbase.com/portals/all/2018/10/european-club-cup/02nr/Wojtaszek.jpg

Prague International Chess Festival Masters 2021 round 05

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. a4 Bd7 10. Bc2 Re8 11. Re1 h6 12. Nbd2 Bf8 13. h3 Rb8 14. axb5 axb5 15. Nf1 b4 16. Ng3 bxc3 17. bxc3 Ra8 18. Rb1 d5 19. Bb3 dxe4 20. Nxe4 Be6 21. Be3 Nd5 22. Bd2 Nb6 23. Bc2 Nd5 24. Ba4 Bd7 25. Bb3 Nf6 26. Ng3 Bd6 27. Qc2

The game ended after: 27…Be6 28. Ba4 Bd7 29. Bb3 Be6 30. Ba4 Bd7 31. Bb3 ½-½

The pawn structure is unbalanced and White has a slight edge. You know it, I know it, the players know it, and so does the Stockfish program at ChessBomb.com. Do you think Magnus Carlsen,

https://www.scrolldroll.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Magnus-Carlsen.jpg

famous for grinding out wins from a position such as the above, would have agreed to make a three time repetition? Me neither, which is why these two cowardly lions

are local heroes and not playing for the World Championship as is Magnus Carlsen.

What if Chess decided to adopt the Ko rule seen in the magnificent game of Go, or Wei Chi? (https://senseis.xmp.net/?Ko) Repeating a position is simply not allowed, which is one of the reasons Go is a much better game than is Chess. The idea of offering a draw is anathema when playing Go!

What if only 1/4 point was awarded to each player in the above game, and in each and every game that was drawn? How many “buddy-buddy” draws would be seen then? Just asking…

What if a Chess player only received payment for winning? Just wondering…