Because it has become so difficult to win a Chess game in Grandmaster tournaments these days a loss in the first round can be devastating. In the first round of the recently completed 2022 Fall Chess Classic B, held at the St. Louis Chess Campus, GM Ioan-Cristian Chirila
had the black pieces against GM Tigran K. Harutyunyan.
As it turned out the game was one of, if not the most interesting game of the event.
There had already been a few twists and turns in the game at this point, but this is where the fun really begins. We will move along to a later position:
The 51st move made by White was not good. Prior to the move Black was much better but now he is winning. The hardest game to win is a won game. What move would you make?
As Robert Zimmerman sang, things have changed. I’ll say! The black advantage has dissipated and it is now an even game, according to the Stockfish program at Lichess.com. The move that should be made looks rather obvious, but then we are not at the board with the clock ticking…
I will leave the remainder of the game for your amusement…
[Event “St Louis Fall B 2022”] [Site “Saint Louis USA”] [Date “2022.11.02”] [Round “1.1”] [White “Harutyunyan, Tigran K.”] [Black “Chirila, Ioan-Cristian”] [WhiteElo “2504”] [BlackElo “2536”] [ECO “A15”] [Opening “English opening”]
It is always difficult to lose a Chess game, especially when that game is the first game of a tournament. When one has a winning advantage, and blows it, how it affects a player is exacerbated. To the male psyche it can be devastating. After losing a won game one is often told to “Put it out of your mind.” That is something easier said than done. It is also difficult to sleep the night after a loss, which will have a deleterious effect on play later in the tournament. Only the strong survive, and only the exceptionally strong comeback for such a devastating loss. GM Chirila is one of those players because he returned from the dead to tie for third place in the event while having the third highest performance rating to show for it. He sort of stabilized himself with a draw with the white pieces in round two, but let go of the rope again against with the black pieces versus young Christopher Yoo in round three. With only one half point after the first three rounds some, if not most, players would go into the tank and be happy to, hopefully, make a few draws while playing out the string. Christian Chirila is not one of those players. He defeated the eventual winner of the tournament, Aleksandr Linderman,
with the black pieces in the final round. Lindy ran away with the tournament by scoring 6 1/2 points to finish one point in front of the second place finisher, GM Raunak Sadhwani, from India. I cannot count the number of times a player who had an insurmountable lead lost in the last round. It happens so frequently that it would seem to be better if the player who has already clinched first place would simply refuse to play the meaningless last round game. Nevertheless, my hat is off to both of these players, especially Chirila, for showing his measure as a player and as a man. Even with the last round loss, the winner, Lucky Lindy, over performed his rating by 167. The number two player was Christian Chirila, who finished with a performance rating of 2596, which is 60 points more than his rating.
The other game being presented was played in the first round and the opening was one of my favorite openings, “The truth as it was known in those long ago days.” Christopher, I love Yoo, Man!
[Event “St Louis Fall B 2022”] [Site “Saint Louis USA”] [Date “2022.11.02”] [Round “1.2”] [White “Yoo, Christopher Woojin”] [Black “Jacobson, Brandon”] [WhiteElo “2573”] [BlackElo “2551”] [ECO “C24”] [Opening “Bishop’s opening”]
The Mechanic’s Institute Newsletter appeared this morning after moving from a weekly to a monthly newsletter. Regular readers know I have been an inveterate reader for many decades. FM Paul Whitehead has published an outstanding editorial in the #1030 issue of October 8, 2022. After reading this writer had trouble with what to print and what to leave out. After deliberation the decision was made to publish the entire editorial as is, with media added by yours truly:
Hans Niemann: Chess at the Top
By FM Paul Whitehead
“Money Changes Everything” – The Brains
By now we are all familiar with the scandal engulfing the chess world, boiled down to this: lame-duck World Champion Magnus Carlsen loses a game in the Sinquefield Cup to 19- year-old American up-start GM Hans Niemann. He then withdraws from the tournament, at the same time making a vague insinuation that Niemann has cheated. A couple of weeks later in the online Julius Baer Generation Cup, Carlsen loses yet another game to Hans, resigning before playing his 2 nd move. Shortly afterwards he makes a statement on social media, asserting that Hans had cheated during their encounter at the Sinqufield Cup – and offers not a single shred of evidence. I want to offer my own opinion, based on long experience in the chess world plus my own interactions with Hans when he was an up-and-coming player at the Mechanics’ Institute. It is not an easy path to the top of the chess world. It takes great fighting spirit and single- minded determination. Magnus Carlsen, like every other World Champion before him, has demonstrated those qualities. Other top players I have observed, like GM Walter Browne (one of Hans’ early coaches), manifest that desire to win in an almost visceral and physical way.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the will to win (and not to lose!) can cloud a chess players moral compass. Ashamedly, I remember engaging in fisticuffs with my own brother over a disputed game. With that said, I’m curious what the reader might think of the following example. Captured on video, Carlsen attempts to take a move back against GM Alexandra Kosteniuk in the 2009 World Blitz Championship, and then leaves the table without a word or a handshake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeyXKTVYenA&t=161s
If this was not an attempted cheat, then I don’t know what is. Perhaps even more damning is the following video, Carlsen’s own live-stream of the Lichess Titled Arena in December 2021. The World Champion clearly takes the advice of GM David Howell to trap GM Daniel Naroditsky’s queen. I understand the tournament had a 1st place of $500. The critical moment is at the 1:44:00 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRdrf1Ny3x8
I am not trying to throw just Magnus Carlsen under the bus here. Both of these videos show very typical displays of fighting spirit. Sadly, they also display not particularly rare examples of un-sportsmanlike behavior. For the World Champion to accuse Niemann of what he himself is clearly guilty of is, in my opinion, just flat out wrong. If Niemann has cheated, then so has Carlsen. And many, many others. Thirty years ago (and more) it was a common sight to see chess masters and grandmasters walking the hallways together, whispering in each other’s ears. I don’t believe the majority of players were outright cheating perse, but innocent questions or statements such as: “What do you think of my position?” or “Maybe it’s time to go home!” accompanied by frowns, raised eyebrows, coughing, laughing, et cetera, were quite common. Of course, this is different information than one can get nowadays. After all, a grandmaster is only human, and their suggestions and advice will only take you so far. But Stockfish is a God. Nowadays the top players are electronically frisked, and their trips to the bathroom are monitored – all under the smoky pall of large prize funds, large appearance fees, and generous corporate sponsorship. While the top players and streamers, and the private interests that sponsor them (purporting to speak for the regular player), wring their hands worrying over the “integrity of the game” and the “existential threat” posed by cheaters, they are living in a chess world unimaginable only 30-40 years ago. Back then, top players might have lived out of their cars or crashed on a friend’s couch, all the while waiting for a few paltry bucks from their chess federation or a miserable cash prize to pay their expenses. Chess lacked the glitz that corporate sponsorship and lots of money can buy: the glamorous world of The Queen’s Gambit,
trash-talking streamers angling for a date with one of the Botez sisters,
or better yet: the chance to be rich and/or the subject of world-wide attention. Chess at the top looks, sounds, and tastes very different now than it did not so long ago. The players are younger, have nice haircuts, and pay respect (if not outright homage) to their master, World Champion Magnus Carlsen. It looks quite cozy from the outside: for almost ten years now, the same 15–20 players have competed against each other over and over again in countless tournaments, over the board and online. Rarely are outsiders permitted into this precious circle, which helps to keep their ratings inflated just enough to keep the invites and appearance fees coming and the sponsorships rolling in. But cracks are starting to appear. Almost all of the top players lost rating points at the recent Olympiad in Chennai, where they had to compete with lower rated players. A younger generation is muscling in, in the shape of players like Hans Niemann, India’s Dommaraju Gukesh, and Nodirbek Abdusattorov from Uzbekistan. The latter became the World Rapid Champion earlier this year, defeating not only Carlsen, but Carlsen’s two most recent World Champion challengers, Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi. The young may also seem to lack the “proper respect,” which leads us back to what I see as the whole crux of this sorry Carlsen/Niemann affair. Right now, with the lack of any evidence that Niemann cheated in that over-the-board game against Carlsen, I think the only conclusion we can reach is the one staring us all in the face: Hans Niemann beat Magnus Carlsen fair and square at the Sinquefield Cup. I believe Hans has gotten under Magnus’ skin big-time, and, as is well documented here and elsewhere, Magnus hates losing. And to what extent, we are just now finding out. With Carlsen also abdicating the World Championship, I am reminded somewhat of an angry child that destroys his own sandcastle when told that it’s time to leave the beach. Hans Niemann played a lot at the Mechanics’ Institute as a youngster (11-12 years old in 2013 and 2014), and his progress was meteoric. As I outlined in our last newsletter, his rating jumping from 1200 to 2200 in just under two years. I myself played Hans a bunch of times, and his father recently sent me a video of Hans and I battling it out in a blitz game at the Mechanics’ Institute. I am totally winning for ages and ages, and his only hope is that I will lose on time. Hans hangs in there though, crying “Flag, flag, flag!” over and over. Both of us are enjoying the contest immensely… and I lose on time before I can mate him. His joy at winning is a sight to see. Not everyone appreciated Han’s brash and cheeky demeanor. It was either IM John Donaldson
or I who (affectionately) started calling him “Niemann the Demon,” but there were (and are still) players at the club who, perhaps, have forgotten what it was like to have been young once. When I see Hans in those post-game interviews at the Sinquefield Cup, I feel I am watching exactly the same person that I knew back then: a person with a great love for chess, supremely confident in his abilities, and with respect for no one. A stone-cold chess killer. Hans acts in a rough and tumble manner that surprises us nowadays, and harkens back to earlier times – perhaps strongly influenced by older coaches like GMs Walter Browne,
and IM John Grefe.
These are no-nonsense and worldly fellows, and Hans’ development was tempered in steel. I think the time has passed, if it ever really existed, when chess could lay claim to completely fair-play. Ruy Lopez de Segura (c.1530 – c.1580) a founding father of modern chess and a Catholic priest, advised his students to “place the board such that the light shines in your opponent’s eyes.” Behind the brouhaha surrounding Carlsen and Niemann, there are other factors and interests playing out. As we follow chess celebrities, minor and major (because that is what they are now) we should also follow the money. Is it a coincidence that Niemann was banned anew from chess.com whilst the Play Magnus Group was acquired by that selfsame chess.com? I find it fascinating to see who is lining up to defend Carlsen’s accusations, and why. There will always be attempts to cheat at over-the-board chess – some have been caught, others not. With the money pouring in, attempts to cheat will not stop, ever. Chess has entered the world of all other sports and games where these problems exist, whether it’s baseball or poker. The online world thrived like nobody’s business during the pandemic: perhaps the real “existential threat” to wealthy streamers and online platforms is not cheaters – it’s the return to over-the-board play. The chess world at the top has waited a long time for this moment – they’ve made it. They have world-wide attention, and they are rolling in the dough. In a sense they have gotten what they wished for, yet in another sense they are paying the price for those wishes coming true. But back here, for the rest of us in the clubs, in our homes and schools, I believe chess will thrive and continue to be enjoyed for the skillful, interesting, and fascinating game that it is – untainted by money and enjoyed for its own sake. The same way Hans and I enjoyed playing together, not so very long ago. (https://www.milibrary.org/sites/default/files/1030.pdf)
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.
During research for the previous post a strange game of brevity was found that required no board to play out the game but a board was needed to make sure you could believe what you saw, or at least what you thought you visualized:
is a 2541 rated Grandmaster from Belarus, who was born in 1972, the year Bobby Fischer defeated World Chess Champion Boris Spassky to become Champ.
For one who usually has too many words at this moment I still do not know what to say about the above game…I decided to do more research and, Lo & Behold! Like a BOLT from the BLUE it was, I tell you…The Most Amazin’ Chess Game of All Time! I have been replaying games for over half a century and I have never, ever seen another game quite like it, and sincerely hope I never, ever again see anything like it on the Chess board.
It was with pleasure I read the exciting news when GM Nigel Short
announced he would be running for POFIDE on the Chessdom website.
Nigel Short announces candidacy for FIDE President 2018-2022
May 7, 2018
“The English Grandmaster Nigel Short has announced his candidacy for FIDE President at the upcoming elections during the Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018. Nigel Short chose a Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten, to break the news. In an interview he says that he “believes the chess world deserves a better alternative”. The full details of Nigel Short’s campaign will be announced by the end of May.
This candidacy comes amid huge battle between Makropoulos and Ilyumzhinov,
FIDE needs change, drastic change, which is acknowledged by those paying attention to what has happened to the Chess World while Kirsan has been piloting the Starship with his team.
Unfortunately Kirsan’s starship FIDE has gone into a nosedive. As is said, “The ground is coming up fast.” Simply put, the Chess world cannot survive another term of Kirsan the ET.
Ilyumzhinov speaks about the proven secret to eternal youth
“On 8 May, in an interview to the National News Service, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that chess lessons not only increase life expectancy but also help to ensure healthy old age.
This is but one example of the strange things Kirsan the ET has said while piloting the starship Chess. Certainly there are many other ways “…to prevent aging memory loss.”
The other candidate, Georgios Makropoulous,
has been Kirsan’s deputy for about two decades. One reads Makro has been “running things” while Kirsan visits despotic dictators and travels the universe with his out of this world “friends.”
Makro is a bureaucrat (An official who is rigidly devoted to the details of administrative procedure) who knows where the bodies are buried.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”― Albert Einstein
It is folly to believe Makro will somehow avert the coming crash landing of the Starship Chess.
Before writing I researched Georgios Makropoulous. This is the headline from one of the articles dated 2013:
Georgios Makropoulos: “Ilyumzhinov Is the Biggest Guarantee at This Moment In FIDE”
“At least we have Kirsan as our guarantee. Kirsan is the biggest guarantee at this moment in FIDE, if something is wrong. He is always there asking if we have some problems.”
“Are you also asking about my personal weaknesses? That’s an interesting question… I am very loyal to my friends and I think that is not always very good for FIDE.” (http://chess-news.ru/en/node/13774)
What else do you need to know about Makro?
The peripatetic Nigel has long written a column for the best Chess magazine in the world, New In Chess, concerning his adventures while traveling the world. Mr. Short has been a roving ambassador for Chess all of his adult life, and his writing has been fascinating.
The Dutch World Chess Champion Machgielis Euwe
was president of FIDE from 1970-1978, and Grandmaster Fridrik Olafsson
of Iceland was POFIDE from 1978-1982. Compared to those taking the helm after their departure they did an outstanding job of piloting the ship of Chess. FIDE needs a leader who actually plays Chess. When was the last time you noticed either Kirsan the ET or Makro the functionary actually play the Royal game? I was unable to locate any articles or videos with Makro playing Chess, but it was easy to locate Kirsan the Et playing the Royal game. Here Kirsan is in all his glory:
In the article, FIDE Money Transferred To Fiduciary Accounts, by Peter Doggers, May 14, 2018, one reads:
“On May 4, FIDE transferred its money to two fiduciary accounts after the Swiss bank UBS had closed its account at the start of the month. This was revealed by FIDE’s treasurer on Sunday.
It took the World Chess Federation two weeks, but finally the national chess federations and everyone else have been informed about the whereabouts of FIDE’s money. And still, questions remain.
It all started in February, when FIDE treasurer Adrian Siegel shared with the world that FIDE’s bank, UBS in Switzerland, threatened to close their bank account because of president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s presence on the sanctions list of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
UBS agreed to postpone the deadline to April 30, but no longer. And indeed, the account was closed, and FIDE has been without a bank account since.
Active as ever on social media, GM Nigel Short has been focusing on this money issue since he announced his candidacy for the FIDE presidential elections. On Twitter he asked the same questions as in our previous report, wondering whether FIDE’s money was now “in a mattress” or “sent to Qatar”—the latter, because the Qatar Chess Federation’s president Khalifa Mohammed Al-Hitmi had offered FIDE to use his accounts.
The @FIDE_chess administration, headed by Makropoulos, transferred millions out of the @UBS account, before it was closed on April 30th. Where is the money now? If they have opened a new account in FIDE’s name, why are they not telling us? Or is it, perhaps, in a mattress?
— Nigel Short ( @nigelshortchess) May 8, 2018
Question to @FIDE_chess: can you confirm that the FIDE millions have been transferred to Qatar, as suggested by Makropoulos here? https://t.co/5kMUFoYWl3 If so, are they in a FIDE account? If not, can you kindly explain why you are not committing a criminal offence? #Governance
— Nigel Short ( @nigelshortchess) May 9, 2018
There’s a slight issue with that, because Short is not in Athens and won’t be for another month. He is the top seed in a tournament in Kolkata, India which starts today, and he will be away from home for over a month. In a tweet, he asked for scans of the documents.
In the spirit of complete transparency, I have asked @FIDE_chess Treasurer to send me scans of the relevant financial and legal documents as I will not be back in Athens, to examine them myself, for over one month.
— Nigel Short ( @nigelshortchess) May 14, 2018
Questions remain, such as whether the two trust companies in Switzerland and Hong Kong are reliable, and whether the recent actions of FIDE officials have followed the correct procedures. A more general question is whether FIDE could have avoided the loss of its UBS account, and the legal costs connected to this.
Imagine that…Nigel is participating in a CHESS TOURNAMENT! That is who he is and what he does, and has done most, if not all, of his life.
Medical students must take the Hippocratic Oath. One of the promises within that oath is “first, do no harm.” Under the leadership of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Georgios Makropoulous Chess has been irrefutably harmed. GM Nigel Short has devoted his life to Chess. He has enhanced the Royal game for many decades. Chess needs, requires, new leadership. I do not know if anyone can save Chess. I do know that without change, drastic change, Chess will not survive in the marketplace of ideas. The Kremlin
has thrown its support to Kirsan and the ETs. This is the same Kremlin that subverted and perverted the last Presidential election in the United States of America.
Chess needs a new “face.” The POFIDE is the face of Chess. Nigel Short will be a positive “face” and spokesman. I believe Nigel Short is the best man for the task.
GM Baskaran Adhiban of India finished first in the Sants Open held in Barcelona with a score of 8 ½ out of ten. The field contained 23 GM’s and 28 IM’s. What made the winner’s tournament interesting is that it was bookended with miniatures in the first and last rounds.
Marc Balague (2090) vs GM Adhiban (2567), round one
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nc7 7. O-O e5 8. d3 Be7 9. e4 O-O 10. Ne1 Be6 11. f4 f6 12. b3 Qd4+ 0-1
GM Adhiban vs GM Vladimir Burmakin (2565), round nine
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O h6 7. c3 Nd7 8. Na3 Bh7 9. Nc2 c5 10. dxc5 Nc6 11. b4 Bxc2 12. Qxc2 Ndxe5 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. c4 Nxc4 15. Bxc4 dxc4 16. Rd1 Qc7 17. Bb2 h5 18. Qxc4 h4 19. Be5 Qc6 20. b5 Qxc5 21. Qd3 Be7 22. Qd7+ Kf8 23. Rac1 1-0