“Through chess we will live lives worthy of kings & queens.”
There will be a Chess tournament held in less than two weeks according to a notice at the GCA website, where one finds these particulars:
WHAT: 4 Rounds USCF Rated G/15;d5. Sections based on entry.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 29th, 2022. Approx. Round Times: 6 pm,6:40,7:35,8:15, (Awards + Group Picture) 8:55pm
WHERE: Little 5 Points Community Center 1st floor in the “cafe” @ 1083 Austin Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
WHO: All ages are welcome to play. Must have current USCF membership to compete. Any unrated player or a player with no peak USCF rating above 1800 (or national/international equivalent) may register to compete in this event. The event will be filmed, by participating in the games you consent to the filmed content being used as we see fit. No more than 20 players will participate in this event.
HOW: We’ll provide all the necessary equipment (pieces, boards, clocks). Pairings will be posted via email or “print” on site. Only Players are allowed in the playing hall (“cafe”) at the start of the 1st round. If you are new to tournaments and have questions, contact us in advance of the event.
Rated 1st Place: $40
Unrated 1st Place: Mystery Chess Accessory
ENTRY FEE: $20 before March 28th; Afterwards, $30.
REGISTRATION: Under “classes & events” on acrosstheboardchess.com , Click the Tournament Button. Or Call the Director Chris Simons @ 4049813935
One of the men behind the effort, Chris Simons, was a regular at the legendary Ironman Chess Club, which met at the North Dekalb mall for years before the pandemic disrupted normality. Chris is an extremely personable fellow who brought much more than ‘game’ to the Ironman CC.
The other is Essig (junior) Kemp, whom I am looking forward to meeting soon:
Junior has been teaching chess for ten years. He’s best known for providing chess opportunities through non-profit organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, Unconditional Love for Children, and Gresham Park Recreation. In his teaching, Junior shares his passion for this great game’s “infinite possibilities” and “invaluable benefits such as self-discipline, creativity, sportsmanship, and problem-solving skills.”
For some time this writer has attempted to glean information concerning the recent 2022 Georgia Senior Championship, to no avail.
Tue, Feb 22
to president, 1vp, treasurer, secretary, member1, member2
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have been unable to locate anything concerning the recent Georgia Senior on the website of the GCA. Was the tournament held? If so, will anything be posted at the GCA website? I ask because the next post in the AW will concern Senior Chess, and the recent GCA Senior will be a good tie in for the post.
All the Best in Chess!
J Parnell Watkins, Jr.
Tue, Feb 22
to me, president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad
to Jr., president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad,
I no longer visit the Book of Faces and have not since being hacked, and will never, ever again go to Facebook for any reason whatsoever. I would, though, like to know why there is something concerning the GCA at Facebook in lieu of the WEBSITE OF THE GEORGIA CHESS ASSOCIATION?
J Parnell Watkins, Jr.
Tue, Feb 22
to me Only because we are still seeking volunteers to fill all responsibilities. We have individuals who are willing to post to the GCA magazine, to twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but I do not currently have anyone other than myself who knows how to post to the GCA website. If you are willing to volunteer, I would be happy to train you.
to Jr. How the hell did you turn my attempt to learn if the Georgia Senior was held into a plaintive plea for help? I want nothing to do with the GCA, sir! You took time to post something at Facebook rather than the GCA website, did you not? There must be a reason. Is there anyone involved with the GCA who can, and will give me the information?
That is where it stands as of this writing…
Not all of the board members have been so obstinate. For example, Kevin Schmuggerow was nice enough to send the following:
Wed, Feb 16
to me Hey Mike,
Good to hear from you!
I hope you are doing well through these crazy times.
I didn’t receive your email until just now?
Not sure what’s going on with the GCA server, I know Parnell has made some changes that effected Keith Sewell’s old account as well.
Regarding the Senior Open, I agree, with you, I previously had sent an email regarding the round times being too close together (10:00 – 2:00) no time for lunch…
I wasn’t planning on playing do to another conflict.
Kevin later fired this salvo my way:
Below was the agenda for the the 1/26 meeting. The February meeting is next week.
One of the other board members also expressed displeasure at the format for the 2021 Senior, but asked for anonymity. It appears there is already much dissension on the board of the GCA.
cut through the field like a hot knife through cold butter. The Grandmaster was rated almost four hundred points higher than the second highest rated player, Expert James Altucher, from Florida. He was joined in second place by Georgians Jeffery Rymuza, Ramchandra Nadar, Christopher Ferrante, all scoring 3-1. Eighteen players competed in the Georgia Senior.
The AW was surprised, and pleased, to see the tournament was directed by Anna Christina Baumstark,
a former member of the board of the GCA, and a woman well known for her Chess teaching in and around the Atlanta area. Anna would visit, and often play, at the Ironman Chess Club in those halcyon days before the pandemic struck. She is a lovely lady who loves Soccer, and is quite opinionated, which is one of the reasons conversations with her were so lively. As it happens, I recently found a game played by Anna over at FollowChess.com.
Barr Perry vs Anna C Baumstark B01 Scandinavian (centre counter) defence US Amateur Team Championship
The Ironman Chess Club began over nineteen years ago by the self-proclaimed “Legendary Georgia Ironman,” Tim Brookshear.
During that time the club has met on the first and third Tuesday evening of each month. The first location was in the Church of Decatur Heights, which was a nice location because of the large meeting area, and better yet, ancillary rooms for parents to use while their children played Chess. Unfortunately, times changed and as the older people left they were replaced by new people, some of whom could not understand using the space for anything other than worship a nebulous entity that may, or may not, be. Although the Ironman’s parents had attended the church Tim preferred playing in the fourth round of a weekend Swiss tournament. “Bacon,” he would say, “Chess is my church.” The old pastor left and was replaced. The club continue meeting, but there was this one particularly nasty “church lady,” no doubt filled with the spirit, who wanted what she considered the blasphemous Chess players eradicated. The woman, may she burn in Hell, got her wish and the club had to be moved. The new location was the North Dekalb Mall. For many years the club met in the food court, which was a trip, what with all the passersby and attendant noise. Still, it was free and you cannot beat free, especially when it comes to Chess. This lasted some years before the mall began losing tenants. Near the end there was only one restaurant open in the once bustling food court, but still the Ironman CC continued meeting twice a month. Then there were none, and the mall stopped turning on the main lights. There was still a modicum of light and the ICC continued meeting. The roof began leaking, but still the ICC met. One father would bring his three boys all the way from the north side, which was something because the Ironman began at six pm. The traffic that time of day is a nightmare on a good day. People new to Chess would somehow find the club. GCA board members would come to play, along with absolute beginners and those of Master strength. The Ironman Chess Club was certainly sui generis.
Then one evening an obviously mentally deranged woman screamed and hit her child, which was in a stroller, and stayed there most of the evening, screaming and slapping the poor child. The Ironman lost more than several regulars after that meeting. The woman caused the Ironman to move into the back room of Challengers, an game store owned by a nice fellow, Tony, who had actually played youth Chess while in school. There was enough room for a couple of dozen players in the back room, which was used for gaming and storage.
The last meeting of the Ironman CC held at the North Dekalb Mall was March 19, the second Tuesday of the month. For obvious reasons only a few people attended. I was not one of them. The mall finally closed and could not meet this past Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Yet there was a meeting, of sorts, of the Ironman Chess Club…
After having mentioned another game to show the Ironman earlier I had found another, making two games for me to “present” the Ironman. Tim said, “The Ironman may not be meting tonight but I intend on sitting down at the board to study Chess. How about you showing me one of those games you said you wanted me to see tonight, Mike?” Wa-la, a meeting of the Ironman CC!
Many of, if not most of you readers may have seen this game, but it was not in the Ironman’s purview. I urge you to play over the game the old fashioned way, on a board with pieces while covering the moves in order to see the beauty of the game, which would have made Mikhail Tal proud. Look at it from the black perspective in an attempt to find the moves made by GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy. When first starting out in Chess the Kings Indian Defense was my main defense against 1 d4, because Bobby played the KID. I liked the way black could use a slow build up to attack white. Later I moved on to the Grunfeld, before moving on to the Dutch, specifically, the Leningrad Dutch, as regular readers must certainly know…
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 f3 (What would Ben Finegold say? Stockfish prefers 3 Nc3. Who am I to argue?) 3…Bg7 (Komodo and Houdini play 3…c5. Wonder what the Fish plays?) 4 e4 O-O (SF 9 @depth 40 plays 4…c5, a move not shown at the CBDB; SF 11 @depth 47 plays 4…d6, by far the most often played move) 5 Nc3 (SF 160919 @depth 43 the seldom played 5 Be3; SF 11 @depth 31 plays the game move, the most often seen according to the CBDB) 5…c6 (SF, along with 98% of the games contained at the CBDB plays 5..d6) 6 Be3 (The move played by Komodo and far and away the most often played move, but, wouldn’t you know it, Stockfish shows the little played 6 Bd3 as best) 6…d6 (The most often played move at the CBDB, but over at 365Chess the weaker players prefer 6…d5) 7 Nge2 (The Stockfish move, but Komodo 10 @depth 28 plays the most often played move, 7 Qd2. Komodo 13.02 @depth 32 plays 7 Qc2. The databases contain only one game, if it can be called a game, with the move:
7…a6 (The CBDB contains 606 games with 7…e5. There are 193 games with 7…a6, yet SF plays 7…Nbd7, of which there are only 25 examples) 8 c5 (The most often played move at both the CBDB & 365Chess, but only Komodo 13.01 @depth 34 plays it. The same program going deeper to depth 38 plays 8 Qd2. SF 251219 @depth 46 plays 8 a4) 8…Nbd7 (SF approves) 9 cxd6 ( SF 251219 plays 9 Qc2, a move not shown at the CBDB or 365Chess. Komodo plays the most often played move, 9 Qd2. Deep Fritz, though, does play the move played in the game) 9…exd6 10 Ng3 (SF 251219 @depth 44 plays 10 Nf4, the most often played move at the CBDB, albeit in a limited number of games. Komodo plays 10 Qd2, while Houdini plays a TN-10 g4)
Vitezslav Priehoda, (2330) vs Marcel Kanarek (2476)
Last night NM Sulaiman Smith made an appearance at the Ironman Chess Club. In 1995 Sulaiman attended the Million Man March in Washington D.C. (https://www.britannica.com/event/Million-Man-March) and former GCA President Thad Rogers began to call him “Sulamillionman,” and then laugh.
When Mr. Smith extended his hand it was greeted by my fist. Sulaiman grinned while turning his hand into a fist, and we then “bumped.” Ever since Barack Obama gave his wife, Michelle, “the fist bump heard round the world”
it was interpreted by most people as the friendly gesture it was meant to be and politicians were soon fist bumping one another on TV chat shows. Some called it the “fist bump of hope”. The more straight-laced New York Times said it was a “closed-fisted high-five”, according to Leonard Doyle writing in the Independent. Unfortunately Leonard also wrote this: “Millions of people saw Mrs Obama daintily bump fists with her husband last week just before he claimed the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination at a rally in St Paul, Minnesota. More common on the sports field, the gesture was decried as “Hizbollah hand jabbing” on the Human Events blog. On Fox News, the host asked, in all seriousness, if it was, “a terrorist fist jab?”. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/was-this-really-a-terrorist-fist-jab-the-right-says-so-845141.html
I liked the bumping of fists as opposed to the antiquated custom of shaking hands, which only spreads germs, and disease. It has been my experience that every time I have greeted a person of color with the fist a smile has been received. After moving into farm country in Lavonia, Georgia, I made the mistake of offering a fist one time and it went around the mostly white community that I was “one of them.” As in, “You know, he’s from Atlanter.” (The misspelling is intentional) Lavonia is deep in the heart of Trump country. I was like a fish out of water for three years before making it back into civilization.
“The handshake has existed in some form or another for thousands of years, but its origins are somewhat murky. One popular theory is that the gesture began as a way of conveying peaceful intentions. By extending their empty right hands, strangers could show that they were not holding weapons and bore no ill will toward one another. Some even suggest that the up-and-down motion of the handshake was supposed to dislodge any knives or daggers that might be hidden up a sleeve.” (https://www.history.com/news/what-is-the-origin-of-the-handshake)
MEDICAL SECURITY POLICY AND PROTOCOL FOR UPCOMING FIDE EVENTS
I will not provide everything given as protocol because you can click onto the link and read it for yourself as it is quite lengthy. I would, though, like to share some of the unbelievably insane things, even for FIDE, written, beginning with number
“3. Masks shall be made available for use by participants who have flu-like symptoms”
Now I do not know about you but if I were playing in the World Senior Team Championship this would NOT make me feel better about attending the event. It gets worse, or better, depending on your perspective:
“Participants who are coughing or sneezing are especially encouraged to use these masks to avoid possible spread of the covid-19 virus.”
Yes sir, it certainly would give me a feeling of assurance to know my opponent sitting only a couple of feet across the board was wearing a mask as he was dying of some Wuhan pathogen developed in a not so secret laboratory in China. How about you?
It gets better, or worse, depending…
4. The events rooms shall have proper and well-functioning ventilation and air circulation with fresh air intake.
“This measure will ensure that the air in the meeting rooms is fresh and that the meeting rooms have rapidly circulating air at all times to minimize the risk of transmission of covid-19 virus.”
This did not work well for the unfortunate passengers confined to quarters breathing the “rapidly circulating air at all times” taking a “three hour tour” aboard a cruise ship.
5. Events rooms shall not be overcrowded and there shall be sufficient physical separation between people.
This shall minimize the chances of possible transmission of covid-19 virus between meeting attendees.
I love the “sufficient physical separation between people” part considering this headline:
Stand Back: Flu Virus Travels 6 Feet
By Rachael Rettner January 31, 2013
“If you know someone who is suffering from the flu, you might want to keep your distance. Infectious flu-containing particles exhaled by a sick person can travel at least 6 feet, according to a new study.”
FIDE has invariably been a place to go for laughs, but this is ridiculous to the point of absurdity, especially considering the very lives of Chess players are concerned, especially so when it comes to Seniors because professionals know the most susceptible among us are male Seniors. For example:
Why the Coronavirus Seems to Hit Men Harder Than Women
Women mount stronger immune responses to infection, scientists say.
Coronavirus deaths at Washington nursing home show seniors at high risk of contracting the disease
People over age 50 are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, and related complications
When it comes to the decisions made by FIDE in the Wuhan pathogen matter I am reminded of a now (in)famous scene from the movie Jaws when the possibility of closing the beach on the fourth of July is being discussed with the mayor, who must decide between people dying or losing money:
When it comes to the life of a human Chess player and money which do you think the F.I.P.s (Fools In Power) within FIDE will choose? As my father, a very religious man, was frequently fond of saying during the sixties and seventies, “God save us all.” I will add, “From FIDE.”
and writing the review a younger fellow came to the Ironman Chess club one evening with his lady friend on his arm. As an unknown he attracted much attention especially when playing his first game with one of the regulars, a class ‘B’ player with obvious mental problems (he is the kind of human who, when he comes in contact with a dog, the dog begins to growl before baring its teeth and barking. At the House of Pain it was commonly acknowledged the fellow, “Ain’t right.”). The newcomer had the ‘B’ player on the ropes, and was actually winning. The worse his position became the more afraid were we he might EXPLODE. Fortunately, the newbie blundered and lost the game and the frown and stare of his opponent turned into a smile while he “talked shit,” happy as a clam, while his opponent continued playing out the lost cause his game had become.
I was next in line to play a game with the newcomer. Before beginning the game I asked the young man a few questions, learning he had only played online Chess up to this point in his life. This made me think of the recently finished book, which was to be reviewed. While listening to the man I could see he had “The Look.” If you play any type of game you know about what I am talking. I have seen “The Look” many times throughout the course of my life. It has been noticed in not only Chess, but Backgammon and Poker. I even saw in in an opponent when playing Risk. Sure enough, we were the final two players in that particular game, and yes, I won. Writing about Risk reminds me of another game of Risk played in the Great State of Alabama many decades ago when returning from a Chess tournament. Big Al Hamilton, NM Michael Lucas, and I stopped at Doug King’s house and a Risk game was started. The three fellow Chess players were all from Alabama. When the game began Big Al looked at the other Bama brothers and said, “Let’s all attack Bacon and put him outta the game.” Since all three of them would play before my turn the of my chances surviving were minuscule. After being wiped from the board I upset the board and that ended the game. I regretted it immediately because I needed a ride back to Atlanta. Fortunately, the Bama bro’s were the understanding kind of fellows and I made it back without having to ride the ‘Hound…
It was obvious the younger man could play some Chess, and had played some Chess, but, like most newbies, he “attacked” with only his Queen and Knight, eventually “winning” my Queen’s Rook. Unfortunately for him he lagged in development and his “plan” allowed me to place pawns on both d5 and e5 while infiltrating the seventh rank with a Rook, which was en prise for several moves on d7 while his Knight on f6 could not move because of a deadly pin.
After resigning they decided to leave, but we did have a chance to talk, with my learning he was twenty-nine and a programmer. I highly recommended he read the book, All The Wrong Moves, but not for the reason he thought. The email exchange will explain:
Oct 15 at 10:12 PM
Enjoyed meeting & playing you tonight!
I went to buy “all the wrong moves”, but the book description says it’s a memoir – is that correct? I was under the impression that the book you recommended was a chess tutor book.
Oct 16 at 8:14 AM
Why would you have thought that? It’s about a 29 year old man who decides to enter the world of human Chess tournaments after first playing online. You NEED to read the book before taking another step into the Chess world.
Oct 28 at 10:24 AM
Just finished the book and really enjoyed it, thanks for the recommendation. I read it as a cautionary tale to not get into chess! It does seem like for certain people (like me!) chess can have an addictive quality, so I’d like to enjoy it more casually.
I don’t think I’ll be able to make a club meet up until late november!
Make of it what you will but I prefer to think it was synchronicity that brought the man to the club of Iron. I also like to think he attained that for which he was looking at the Ironman CC. I realize there are many “true believers” reading this who will disagree with me. You know the type. To them “Chess is the BEST AND GREATEST GAME OF ALL TIME!” They will ask, “Why did you do that? Chess needs more adults because currently the vast majority of humans who play Chess are children.” You know, the “Kill the messenger” kinda people. The fact is that I only gave the young man additional information to help him decide what to do with his time in the future. Besides, does the Chess world really need another stumble bum who gave up a promising career, and life, to do whatever it takes to get to the next round on time even though he may have to sleep on the floor underneath the table upon which a Chess game will be played in only a few short hours?
During the meeting of the Ironman Chess Club Tuesday, July 16, 2019 I was able to question the owner of Championship Chess, (https://www.championshipchess.net/) Steve Schneider,
a man I have known since the 1970’s, and for whom I once worked teaching Chess to children in an after school program. Our ‘conversation’ turned into an interview. There were others listening to our discussion. Without those witnesses I would be unable to publish this interview. It began after Steve, who is elderly, and like many older people, battling myriad health issues, including life threatening blood clots in his legs, stated, “I spend eighteen hours a day on Chess.” I did not question this because it is common knowledge Steve ‘burns the midnight oil’, sending emails into the wee hours of the night. I was holding a Championship Chess flyer for the 8th annual K-12 Summer Scorcher Chess tournament, which includes, on the back, the first twenty moves of the game between World Human Chess Co-Champion (at classical Chess) Magnus Carlsen and Sharsidden Vokhidov from the 2018 World Rapid Championship, titled “The Queen’s Raid.”
Me: “I see you are still teaching the Queen’s Raid.”
Steve: “There is nothing wrong with teaching the Queen’s Raid. It’s a good opening. Look at who plays it!”
Me: “Come on, Steve.”
Steve: “All the computers say it’s a playable opening!”
Me: “Which computers?”
Steve: “Stockfish, and all the top programs! Stockfish says white is better in the game!” (Referring to the aforementioned game printed on the back of the flyer. For years a Championship Chess flyer contained Chess puzzles chosen by NM Tim Brookshear. The Queen’s Raid game appears because Tim, for various reasons, decided to no longer produce the puzzles, allowing Steve’s atavistic tendencies to rear their ugly head. Hence the Queen’s Raid, something near and dear to the heart of the owner of Championship Chess. A case can be made that Championship Chess was predicated upon the Queen’s Raid, which has become synonymous with Championship Chess. The Queen’s Raid is the foundation of Championship Chess. Steve Schneider will invariably be known as the “Queen’s Raid guy.”)
Me: “When, exactly, is white better according to Stockfish, Steve?”
Steve: “In all the diagrams!”
Me: “Come on, Steve.”
Steve: Except where Magnus missed the best move in the last diagram.”
Me: “But the diagram is before Carlsen, as you say, ‘…missed the best move.'”
Steve: “Then he’s better there, too!”
(All I could do was shake my head as I muttered “unbelievable.” I then decided to move to a different subject. Granted, Magnus was better but only after his opponent played a theoretical novelty that was an extremely weak move, 4…Qe7. The Patzer is so bad that even with the inclusion of the weak move Qe7 the game is considered about even by “all of the programs.”)
Me: “What’s the deal with the World of Chess?” (Steve has spent much money having someone develop a program for beginners to which he sells access to unknowing parents of children who are in Championship Chess after school programs. I had previously seen a flyer for The World of Chess at the Ironman CC)
Steve: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Is it operational?”
Me: “I looked for it on the internet but could not locate it.”
Steve: “Not just anyone can get to it.”
Me: “I would like to review it, Steve.”
Steve: “I DO NOT WANT IT REVIEWED!”
Me: “You don’t want it reviewed?” (Asked with incredulity)
Steve: “Why would I want others to see it?”
Me: “When a new product is developed it is usually reviewed…”
Typical opening moves where the players are even. h6 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 Na5 10.d6
Carlsen prevents Black from trading his Bishop. He sacrifices a Pawn for better development.cxd6 11.Bd5 Nc6 12.Bd2 Qf6 13.Qe4 O-O 14.O-O Ne7 15.Nc3 Qf5 16.Qb4 Nxd5
Black trades a Knight for a Bishop. 17.Nxd5 Kh7 18.Nc7 Rb8 19.Qxd6
White is better. b6 20.f3 Here Carlsen missed the best move Ne8! 0-1
I went to 365Chess and the “Big Database” contains 281 games with white winning 36.3% while losing 50.9%. The ChessBaseDataBase contains only 35 games because it is more selective, containing mostly games by titled players. It shows white scoring only 44%.
The CBDB shows what the engines ‘thought’ of the opening moves played in the Carlsen v Vokhidov game.
1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 (After this move SF 10 at D43 shows an evaluation of -0.50 for white after black plays 2…Nc6 ; Komodo 12 has it -0.20)
Nc6 3.Bc4 g6 4.Qf3 (Although Stockfish at Depth 43 plays the game move Komodo 12 at D42 prefers 4 Qd1)
4…Qe7? (There is only one game with this move in the CBDB. Komodo has it -0.02 after 5 Ne2. There are 25 games with 4…Nf6, SF has it -0.56. Vokhidov did not know the opening, which may have contributed to the thinking of Magnus Carlsen before playing The Patzer. Magnus has never played it again. There is a reason…) 5.Ne2 Nf6 (The Fish and the Dragon both play 5…Na5) 6.d3 (SF 10 plays 6 Nbc3) 6…Bg7 (Komodo and Houdini play the game move but Stockfish plays 6…h6, which will be a Theoretical Novelty if and when a titled human player makes the move on a board) 7.Nbc3 (SF 10 shows an advantage of -0.39 after 7…Nd4) 7…h6 8.Nd5 (SF 8 h3; Houdini 8 Be3) 8…Nxd5 9.exd5 Na5 ( According to both SF and Houdini 9…Nb4 is better) 10.d6 cxd6 11.Bd5 Nc6 (SF 11…Rb8) 12.Bd2 (This is Komodo’s move; Houdini plays 12 Qe4) 12…Qf6 (SF 10 castles)
Earlier this week at the Ironman Chess Club the Legendary Ironman, NM Tim Brookshear,
who has been hosting the ICC for over nineteen years, asked me to play one of his students, Sofia, a young, intelligent (MENSA member), Class D player. All I knew about her was she liked playing gambit-type openings. Unlike some Chess organizations which tell students what openings to play, coach Tim allows his students to chose their own openings before offering input. I figured, since Sofia liked gambits, she would be an aggressive player. After playing 1 e4 Sofia replied instantly with 1…e5. If you are a regular reader of this blog you probably know what came next, which was, “The truth as it was known in those long ago days,” 2 Bc4. When the young lady played 2…c6
I was somewhat flummoxed because c6 is not usually played until after 2…Nf6 3 d3. Because of her unusual move order I had to stop and cogitate for a few moments…I decided to play 3 Nf3 to put immediate pressure on my opponent, knowing I would have played Nc3 if she had prefaced c6 with Nf6, later learning it was not the best move. Although she resigned some time later, the game was not easy because she continually set traps that had to be avoided, causing me to use time like a turkey gobbling food. For example after playing Bd6 she backed it up with Qc7, which meant that after I played Bg5 she kicked my bishop with h6, so I dropped back with Bh4, before being forced to drop back again with Bg3 to counter her queen and bishop battery. Then Sofia took my bishop, softening my kingside as I had to reply hxg3. There is another young female, Jade, I have previously played who shows promise. I sat there wondering if we will one day in the future be watching them playing in the US Women’s Championship at the St. Louis Chess Club.
What with the intermittent internet connections from the from AT&T it was only some time later I was able to get to 365Chess.com and the ChessBaseDataBase to learn everything to be learned about the move 2…c6.
This was the first game found with my dubious 3 Nf3:
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 c6 (A seldom played move according to the CBDB, which shows 39 games, but but it does show 2…c6 scoring better than any other move, albeit with a severely limited sample size. Stockfish and Houdini both play the most often played, by far, the move, 2…Nf6) 3.Nf3 d5 4.Bb3 Bd6 5.d4 Bg4 6.dxe5 Bxe5 7.exd5 Nf6 8.O-O O-O 9.dxc6 Qc7 10.cxb7 Qxb7 11.h3 Bh5 12.g4 Nxg4 13.hxg4 Bxg4 14.Bd5 Nc6 15.Bxc6 1-0
The Nepo man is the highest rated player to have played 2…c6:
Sergei Rublevsky (2688) vs Ian Nepomniachtchi (2707)
Siberian Bank Cup, Novosibirsk RUS 11/18/2012
C23 Bishop’s opening, Philidor counter-attack
Truth Hits Everybody The Police
Album: Outlandos d’Amour
Sleep lay behind me like a broken ocean
Strange waking dreams before my eyes unfold
You lay there sleeping like an open doorway
I stepped outside myself and felt so cold
Take a look at my new toy
It’ll blow your head in two, oh boy
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Oh, oh, oh
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
I thought about it and my dream was broken
I clutch at images like dying breath
And I don’t want to make a fuss about it
The only certain thing in life is death
Take a look at my new toy
It’ll blow your head in two, oh boy
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Oh, oh, oh
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
While living in Greenville, SC, the octogenarian, LM Klaus Pohl, said something that stuck with me. When asked what he thought of the new Chess Center in Charlotte Klaus said he did not like to play there because the young players offer too many draws. Upon further questioning Klaus said that with scholarships so important the young players were “afraid to lose,” so therefore made far too many draw offers. From the time I began playing in USCF tournaments rating has been King. This was, though, the first time I had heard anything concerning what the rating points could possibly mean toward earning a scholarship. Another player listening to the conversation said, “Everyone knows rating points are being bought and sold like it’s an open market.” My reply, “I did not know that,” elicited this response, “Ah, come on man. You worked at the Atlanta Chess Center. Surely you were aware of that kind of thing taking place.” With a blank look on my face I replied, “Not really.” I am not saying it did not happen, just that I was completely unaware of it if it did, in fact, happen while I was employed at the House of Pain.
There were rumors going around before I returned to Atlanta. I will not print rumors. I did, though, reach out to several people involved with Chess in Georgia, writing, “If you would like to comment on any of this, let me inform you that I may use anything you say, or write, UNLESS YOU WANT IT KEPT PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL!”
candidate for the position of OFFICE OF 1ST VICE PRESIDENT writes: “I am running for 1st Vice President of GCA. I previously served on the GCA Board in this position, but I resigned from the board because, in my opinion, the board had become dysfunctional. Several months ago several GCA Board members encouraged me to run for the position again. I agreed to do so only after Scott Parker also agreed to run for President of GCA. My hope is that the next board will place personal feelings and animosity aside and work for chess instead of for their own interests/pet projects or a narrow constituency.”
The fact that Colonel David Hater felt he had to resign from the GCA Board speaks loudly. The fact that David, a man I admire and respect, felt compelled to write, “…the board had become dysfunctional,” screams out in pain. Nevertheless, David did not respond to my entreaty.
One of the board members did say, in an off hand comment at the Ironman Chess Club, they were “fed up” with all the “screaming and shouting” at the meeting of the GCA board. Although no names were mentioned the fact is that it is now, and has been for some time, an open secret that Thad Rogers was not happy when Parnell Watkins used his affiliate, American Chess Promotions to rate some of the events listed below. The thing is that Thad Rogers
and Parnell Watkins
were earlier listed as running for the same office, that of 1st member at large. The only one leaving a statement at a page mentioned earlier was L. Thad Rogers, the man who became POTGCA again after the previous president, Fun E. Fong, abdicated, leaving Chess behind like it was the plague. From reports it is obvious Chess in my home state of Georgia has quickly devolved under the caretaker leadership of Thad Rogers.
The Georgia State Chess Championship begins tonight and there will be an election Sunday. Chess players, and members of the GCA, can only hope responsible leaders, such as Scott Parker
and David Hater, gain a seat on the board.
Alan Piper was known as “The Pipe” at the House of Pain. As one of Alan’s victims eased down the stairs those below watched as someone said, “It looks like he got hit by the Pipe,” while others nodded in agreement. One wag said, “Sometimes you hit the Pipe. Sometimes the Pipe hits you.” Alan once won a state championship (I want to say Missouri, but could be wrong) when younger and was a NM. Although uncertain about Alan’s age, the fact is he has been eligible for the Senior tournaments for many years and must be seventy, or older.
The following results for the past 12 months was taken from the USCF website:
10487030: ALAN G PIPER
Rating ( Supplement)
Regular Rating 2000 2019-03
(Current floor is 1600)
Quick Rating 1905 2019-03
Blitz Rating 1808 2019-03
The Pipe has obviously played an inordinate amount of games with two players. The number of losses to the two much younger players is simply staggering. Usually when one is drubbed in a match there are no further matches. One of the members of the GCA board, a very nice woman, Anna Baumstark, told me it was all “public record on the USCF website.” I decided to take the time to check it out…You, too, can check it out here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlMain.php?14114923
On September 12, 2015. Alan Piper played in the INVITATIONAL QUAD #10 (GA), directed by Grant Oen. The Sponsoring Affiliate was SOUTHEAST CHESS.
Alan would not play again until August 13, 2016 when he participated in the CHESS BUG ATLANTA TOURNAMENT, directed by JOSEPH COUVILLION, with CHESS BUG ATLANTA, being the affiliate. SHANMUKHA MERUGA was clear first with 3-0. KAPISH POTULA finished clear second with a 2-1 score, the loss was to Meruga. Alan Piper won a game from a class C player, and lost two other games, one with a class B player, the other to Kapish Potula.
Let us go back to the tournament prior to the Quad, August 8, 2015, the LOGANVILLE SUMMER QUAD, directed by Grant Oen, with the affilate being Southeast Chess. The Pipe won all three games; gained 29 rating points which raised his rating to 2079. He beat Shanmukha Meruga, rated 2054, in the first round, then two class A players, Vedic Panda and Davide Nastasio.
After playing in the aforementioned CHESS BUG ATLANTA TOURNAMENT Alan did not play again until January 22, 2018 when he played a match with Shanmukha Meruga. The TD was J PARNELL WATKINS JR, and the affiliate was Gwinnett Chess. The time control was G/30;d5. Meruga won all four games, gaining fourteen points to end with a rating of 2056. The Pipe lost twenty points dropping to 2019.
After a couple of blitz quads on July 13 the next match with Meruga took place the next day, July 14. The TD was J PARNELL WATKINS JR, using the affiliate of the acting President of the GCA, L. Thad Rogers, AMERICAN CHESS PROMOTIONS. It was a real old fashioned, “speed,” time control of five minutes only for the games. Meruga won all ten games.
Three days later another match was contested between the same two players, named, PIPER MERUGA MATCH 2. The time control was, G/25;d5. The TD was J PARNELL WATKINS JR, and it was rated using the affiliate of GWINNETT CHESS. Meruga won all five games.
Two days later, July 19, 2018 there was yet another tournament contested once again by the young whippersnapper and the old leaky Pipe. Once again it was directed by J PARNELL WATKINS JR and the sponsoring affiliate was again GWINNETT CHESS, and once again Meruga won all ten games played at a “speed” TC of five minutes for the entire game.
Three days later there was the NASTASIO-PIPER MATCH, which was held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta in Roswell, Georgia, the seventh largest city in the great state of Georgia. The chief TD was BENJAMIN P FINEGOLD,
Meruga/Finegold in front of the Atlanta Chess and Scholastic Club of Atlanta located in Roswell, Ga.
assisted by KAREN BOYD.
Karen Boyd and Ben Finegold
The time control was G/60;+10. The three game match was drawn. In addition there was another match played that day between the same two players. The TC was G/4;+2, and Piper won 8-2.
A few weeks later, 9/8/18, Piper and Meruga were back at it, contesting not one, but two, more matches. J PARNELL WATKINS JR was again the TD and AMERICAN CHESS PROMOTIONS was the affiliate used to rate the matches. No one will be surprised to learn Meruga won the G/5 “speed” match 9-1. What is surprising is that Piper actually won a game…Three games were also contested at a TC of G/30;d10. Guess who won all three games? Yeah, Meruga.
The very next day, 9/9/2018, the two intrepid players were back at it. Once again J PARNELL WATKINS JR was the TD, but the affiliate used was now GWINNETT CHESS. The speed match, with only five minutes per game, was convincingly won by Meruga by a score of 20-0. That is ZERO, ZIP, NADA!
It will come as little surprise by now that Meruga also won the G/30;d10 match by a score of 4-0.
The very next day yet another match was contested between the same two players, again with the same TD and affiliate. The time control was G/30;d10 and Meruga won all six games.
Have you gotten a whiff of some sort of fishy smell yet?
A few days later the Pipe was back at it, but with a different opponent, Kapish Potula. The TD and affiliate was the same, J PARNELL WATKINS JR and GWINNETT CHESS. The time control was G/25;d5. Kapish Potula won all four games and increased his rating from 2136 to 2159.
One week later, on 9/28/18 the two players with the same TD and affiliate did it again. And again Potula won all four G/25;d5 to raise his rating from 2159 to 2179.
On October 6, 2018 the Pipe had a new opponent, SAITHANUSRI AVIRNENI, rated 1964. A six game match at a time control of G/35;d5 was contested and…the match was drawn! J PARNELL WATKINS JR and GWINNETT CHESS was at it again.
On October 13, 2018 there was another six game, G/25;d5 match with Kapish Potula, and again it was J PARNELL WATKINS JR and GWINNETT CHESS. Hold on to something as I inform you that Alan G Piper actually won, and drew, two of the games played, while losing the other four.
The thing is that on that very same day, October 13, 2018, the Pipe also played another match with someone else, SAITHANUSRI AVIRNENI. It was another G/25;d5 with all the usual suspects present, meaning Parnell and Gwinnett Chess. The match was drawn, 2-2.
Then we come to November 19, 2018, the 2018 MERUGA PIPER “dual.” It appears as though that between 2018-11-17 thru 2018-11-19 a NINETEEN GAME MATCH at a TC of G/25;d5 was contested by the usual suspects, Meruga and Piper. The aforementioned player, Meruga won all nineteen games…J PARNELL WATKINS JR and GWINNETT CHESS were again the usual suspects.
But wait, there’s MORE! On November 27 the same two players contested yet another G/25;d5 “dual,” which Meruga won 12-0. Again, J PARNELL WATKINS JR and GWINNETT CHESS were the responsible parties.
On December 7, a day which will live in infamy, 2018, another G/25;d5 match took place between Alan G. Piper and Kapish Potula. It was won by Potula, 5-0. J PARNELL WATKINS JR directed and GWINNETT CHESS sent it in to be rated.
After a couple more tournaments in December and a last one on January 26, the CCSCATL WINTER BLITZ CHAMPIONS, the record shows no more games, or matches, for the Pipe.
As a result of all these games, and others, Meruga became a 2300 rated player. Kapish Potula is currently rated 2187, knocking on the National Master door.