Email From New GCA President

What follows is a remarkable email received yesterday from the new President of the GCA, J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

https://chessnewsandviews.com/parnell-for-gca-president/

It will be given to you straight, with a chaser at the end:

Parnell Watkins email

Fwd: 2022 K-8 State Team Qualifier
Inbox
J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Mon, Mar 14, 12:25 PM (22 hours ago)

to me

I know you love bad news. I thought I would share my problems so you know what questions to ask on your next foray into the woes of the GCA. Good Hunting 😉

——— Forwarded message ———
From: J Parnell Watkins, Jr. j.parnell.watkins@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Mar 14, 2022 at 12:20 PM
Subject: 2022 K-8 State Team Qualifier
To:

Dear Players, Coaches, Parents, Family, and Volunteers,

First, thank you all for coming out to participate in our 2022 Metro Atlanta State Qualifier Event.

Two months ago when I took over the responsibility of GCA, I was told that it was impossible to put together a State Qualifier in time for the 2021-2022 calendar year. Well, this past Saturday we did just that, Scholastic Chess at the Championship level is back and well in Georgia. Thank you to all the players, coaches, volunteers, and parents who worked so hard on such short notice to make this a reality. I sincerely appreciate each one of you!

I wish I could say that we pulled it off without a hitch. I was not expecting that to happen and chose my shirt for the day appropriately (“I never lose, I either win or I learn”). Suffice to say I went home after a long day on Saturday, but with a lot of lessons to come back stronger next year! The three big problems we will improve for our next event are as follows:

1) Registration – I was told this would be a problem, but having no experience in this area I did not recognize the issues I was warned about and did not take corrective actions when they arose. This caused a long delay in starting the tournament on time. We will fix this issue and evaluate our current registration system.

2) Directing the Tournament. What is a minor mistake in an adult or small scholastic tournament may become a major issue in a large scholastic tournament. In the last round, two individuals who were controlling traffic at the door turned to put up chess sets in the last round while the last two games were in their final minutes. Parents took this as their cue to stream into the playing hall, over the objection of the TD’s. Normally we close the doors to the tournament hall, but for some reason did not in this tournament. We were not very effective about getting the parents out and starting the games in a timely manner. We forgot to put clocks on the slower games in at least one round. We failed to check pairings before posting each round or the final results. The later problem led to the K-8 results being reported incorrectly. We promise to improve and correct these issues at our next event!

3) Not enough volunteers. This was particularly problematic early in the day when everyone had questions. It became clear at the tournament that it was a communication and recruitment issue and not an unwillingness of people to help. Fortunately, we have time to correct these problems before March 26th. We will be seeking more help and if you would like to volunteer at this event, please send us an email at president@georgiachess.org. GCA is a volunteer run organization, and all our TD staff are paid a small stipend, but we mostly rely on volunteers on a non-paid basis to run our event effectively. If you have any experience being an ambassador, scorekeeper, or TD please contact us.

For schools that did not qualify for the 2022 K-8 State Team Championship, you may still have an opportunity to attend. 34 Schools qualified, with just over 45 teams. Capacity for the event is capped at 420 players, or about 70 teams. COVID 19, the short planning and execution of the event, and the fact that the event coincided with spring break for many schools contributed to many schools not qualifying for the 2022 K-8 State Team championship. For that reason, we have established a waiting list for teams to use in order to register on a first come, first serve basis to register their teams to be included in the event.

Teams will consist of 4 players (and up to 2 alternates) to play in sections K-1, K-3, K-5, or K-8 based upon the age and grade level of the students on the team (More details to be posted in the TLA). Each school can decide in which sections they wish to compete (no limit). Registration will be limited to 420 total players, the capacity of our host facility, representing all of Georgia. This is a rated tournament, so USCF membership is required. This is a rated tournament, so USCF membership is required. If you do not have a USCF membership (new members only, not renewals), you can purchase it at the time of registration for an additional $15 (or $20 to join or renew on the USCF website Become a Member | US Chess.org.). USCF membership is absolutely required to participate in this event.

As some schools will be disappointed by the 4 man teams, that not all their players will be able to play, we will have a booster section, where for an additional fee you may invite up to 4 additional alternates. Alternates can participate in the booster tournament that will compete in parallel for separate prizes. The booster section will also be a rated 4 man team tournament.

Cost is $175 per team and $125 for the 4 additional alternates should you wish to use them.

Please forward all questions to k8statechamp@georgiachess.org. I look forward to seeing you all at the next event, and hope you will continue to support us by participating at our events!

With Warm Regards,

President, Georgia Chess Association

J. Parnell Watkins, Jr.

770.744.8595

Mike Bacon

Mar 14, 2022, 12:58 PM (21 hours ago)

You, sir, are mistaken. I most definitely do not like bad news…

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Mar 14, 2022, 5:04 PM (17 hours ago)

My comment was tongue in cheek. I am poking fun at your reputation, not reality. I believe critical analysis is the first step in improving, and objective criticism a luxury, (if not always pleasant).

Mike Bacon

Mar 14, 2022, 9:52 PM (13 hours ago)

to Jr.
There is no good news or bad news; there is only news. As for the so-called “reputation”…in the immortal words of Margaret Mitchell, “Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was.”

It should be obvious that Mr. Watkins and I know each other only by reputation. I, therefore, reserve the right to judge this man on what he does as POTGCA, not on rumor and/or innuendo. From what you have read it is obvious this man is capable of self examination as a means to improve. This is a very good thing because there will be people queuing up to tell him how he should run the organization. Keep in mind Mr. Watkins ran unopposed for the office of POTGCA; no one else wanted the position. For whatever reason Mr. Watkins did want the thankless task of running the GCA. From my perspective of over half a century playing Chess in the Great state of Georgia the Chess community should be thankful someone wanted the position. I am here to tell you that Parnell Watkins will be judged by how much help he receives from those who volunteer. The POTGCA will be made, or broken, by the support, or lack thereof, he receives from the Chess community. The scholastic programs have increased exponentially and have taken over Chess, not only in Georgia but in just about every state in the Union. Scholastic Chess has become so HUGE that it has reached the point that a professional organization, such as Continental Chess for example, needs to be implemented for almost every state. The United States Chess Federation should lead the effort in this regard. Good luck with that… As for Georgia, what is needed are parents who will step forward and assist in organizing tournaments for the children. If you are reading this please forward it to others as a plaintive plea for unity and help from the thousands of parents who have children playing the Royal Game. (http://georgiachess.org/)

GCA Board Meeting

  • When March 15, 2022
  •   8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Location Online

Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4209779961?pwd=MFdJSGRvZ1Z4QWZTZ09QdDhCWUcxZz09

2021 SENIOR’S CHAMPIONSHIP

For some time this writer has attempted to glean information concerning the recent 2022 Georgia Senior Championship, to no avail.

Mike Bacon

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!

AW

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Tue, Feb 22

to me, president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad

facebook.com/216656311686961/posts/5226764027342806/

Mike Bacon

Tue, Feb 22, 4:48 PM (19 hours ago)

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.

Regards,
Parnell

Mike Bacon

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:

Kevin Schmuggerow

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.

Stay safe!!

Kevin later fired this salvo my way:

Mike,

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.

The 2021 Senior championship was held in 2022, which should mean there will be another Georgia Senior later this year, was located at the USCF website (http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?202202202382.0). It shows that GM Alonso Zapata

http://eacchess.com/news/alonso-zapata-international-grand-master-and-fide-senior-trainer/

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,

https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Anna-Baumstark/2361492263

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

  1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bd3 c6 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. O-O e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Qc1 Be7 10. Bf4 Qd8 11. f3 Bh5 12. Rd1 Nbd7 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nf6 15. Bd3 O-O 16. c3 h6 17. Bd2 Bg6 18. Bxg6 fxg6 19. Nf4 Bd6 20. Nxg6 Rf7 21. Re1 Qd7 22. Ne5 Bxe5 23. Rxe5 Re8 24. Bxh6 gxh6 25. Qxh6 Nh7 26. Rae1 Rf6 27. Qh3 Re7 28. R1e4 Kf8 29. c4 Ke8 30. f4 Nf8 31. Rh5 Rh7 32. Qf3 Rfh6 33. Rxh6 Rxh6 34. f5 Qd6 35. g3 Rf6 36. Qh5+ Ke7 37. Qg5 Kf7 38. Qh5+ Ke7 39. Qh4 Kf7 40. g4 exf5 41. gxf5 Rh6 42. Qf2 Qd8 43. Qe3 Rf6 44. Qf3 Qd7 45. Rf4 Ke8 46. Qe3+ Kf7 47. Qe4 Qd6 48. Qe2 Qxf4 49. Qh5+ Ke7 50. Qe2+ Kf7 51. Qh5+ Kg8 52. Qe2 Qxf5 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!us-amateur-team-chp-2022/2128237610

1.e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nf6 (Stockfish 14 @depth 44 plays 3…Nc6. Leave the thing crunchin’ for one more ply and it changes its algorithm to 3…e5) 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bd3 (The most often played, and best move is 5 Nf3) 5….c6 (Three different Stockfish programs all play 5…Nc6, and so should you) 6. Ne2 (Komodo @depth29 plays 6 Bd2; Stockfish 2.3.1, a new program to me, prefers 6 a3) 6…Bg4 (SF plays 6…Na6; Houdini shows 6…g6) 7. O-O e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Qc1 (This appears to be a new move: https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=17&n=287004&ms=e4.d5.exd5.Qxd5.d4.Nf6.Nc3.Qa5.Bd3.c6.Nge2.Bg4.O-O.e6.Bd2.Qc7&ns=3.20.27.56.3367.5267.3708.1609.17041.9873.22103.56015.157738.148060.246703.287004. Which means that Ladies & Gentlemen, it’s time to start your engines!)

The Dirty Laundry of Atlanta Chess

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!”

No one responded. They ain’t talking.

In an article appearing at the Georgia Chess News website, Meet the 2019 GCA Candidates (http://georgiachessnews.com/2019/04/27/meet-the-2019-candidates/), David Hater,

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
Current Published
Rating ( Supplement)
Regular Rating 2000 2019-03
(Current floor is 1600)
Quick Rating 1905 2019-03
Blitz Rating 1808 2019-03

Rank USCF ID Name Games Wins Draws Losses
1 14916346 SHANMUKHA MERUGA 50 1 0 49
2 14114923 KAPISH POTULA 19 1 1 17
3 14299428 SAITHANUSRI AVIRNENI 14 7 0 7
4 14577814 DAVIDE NASTASIO 3 1 1 1
5 15909472 TAIYE HILARY ESTWICK 1 1 0 0
6 16045110 TYLER JAMES BREDOW 1 1 0 0
7 16045235 CASEY WASSERMAN 1 1 0 0
8 14822494 TYLER SCHMUGGEROW 1 1 0 0
9 14684432 JOSHUA MORGAN KAROL 1 1 0 0
10 12365700 J PARNELL WATKINS JR 1 1 0 0

http://www.uschess.org/datapage/gamestats.php

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.

Pair | Player Name |Total|Round|Round|Round|Round|
Num | USCF ID / Rtg (Pre->Post) | Pts | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
———————————————————————–
1 | KAPISH POTULA |2.5 |W 2|D 3|W 4|* |
GA | 14114923 / R: 2014 ->2053 | |B |W |B | |
———————————————————————–
2 | CARTER F PEATMAN |2.0 |* |W 3|W 4|L 1|
GA | 12945576 / R: 2101 ->2108 | | |W |B |W |
———————————————————————–
3 | ALAN G PIPER |1.5 |L 2|* |W 4|D 1|
GA | 10487030 / R: 2070 ->2071 | |B | |W |B |
———————————————————————–
4 | SHANMUKHA MERUGA |0.0 |L 2|L 3|* |L 1|
GA | 14916346 / R: 2088 ->2053 | |W |B | |W |

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.

GCA President Renounces Chess

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The GCA Bids Farewell to Dr. Fun Fong

By Michael Muzquiz

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have always wondered why Elena Gratskaya,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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