Apology Due Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews

is the current host of the show Hardball at MSNBC (http://www.msnbc.com/hardball). I have been watching, reading, and listening, to Chris since he appeared as a regular on The McLaughlin Group (https://www.mclaughlin.com/). I have read three of his books, which are excellent:

In a recent post (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/chris-mathews-has-seven-women-on-his-mind/) I mistakenly made fun of Chris for saying the song, Take It Easy, was a Jackson Browne song. This weekend I finally got around to watching the 2013 documentary, History of the Eagles (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2194326/?ref_=nv_sr_1), from which I learned Jackson Browne began writing, but had trouble completing the song. In stepped Glenn Frey of the Eagles to finish the song.

‘History of the Eagles’ director Alison Ellwood credits Glenn Frey with reinforcing the honesty of her 2013 documentary.
George Pimentel/GettyImages


I sincerely regret the lack of knowledge shown with the earlier post. One lives and hopefully, learns. Life is like Chess in that one must be honest about mistakes and, hopefully, correct them, so as to not make the same mistake again. It is more than a little obvious I should have researched the origin of the song before firing a hardball salvo at Chris Matthews, whom I admire and respect. This is my attempt at a heartfelt apology due Chris Matthews. It is I who should have run it by Ari Melber before firing the salvo.

Chris Mathews Has Seven Women On His Mind

During one of the segments on the MSNBC program Hardball, the host, Chris Mathews, mentioned something about a song by “Jackson Browne with the line about seven women.”


Chris, my man, you need to run song lyrics by Ari Melber before mentioning it on air. The song in question is:

Take It Easy


Produced by Glyn Johns

Album: Eagles

Well, I’m running down the road
Tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on
My mind

Four that wanna own me
Two that wanna stone me
One says she’s a friend of mine

Take It easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
Drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
And take it easy

Well, I’m a standing on a corner
In Winslow, Arizona
And such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me

Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
Gonna save me
We may lose and we may win though
We will never be here again
So open up, I’m climbin’ in
So take it easy

Well I’m running down the road trying to loosen
My load, got a world of trouble on my mind
Lookin’ for a lover who won’t blow my
Cover, she’s so hard to find

Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own
Wheels make you crazy
Come on baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
Gonna save me, oh oh oh
Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy


Hastings Last Round

We will look at how the players profiled in a previous post on Hastings fared in the tournament.

Adam Taylor

finished with a score of 5 1/2 out of 9, which included the upset win over Sengupta in the first round and three draws with GM’s. He drew with Black against GM Alexander Cherniaev (2436) in the second round; Alexandr Fier, with White, in the penultimate round; and Bogdan Lalic (2415),

also playing White, in the last round. Mr. Taylor’s performance rating was 2452, over 200 points higher than his FIDE rating.

Adam C Taylor vs Bogdan Lalic

Last round

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 Nd7 4. O-O e6 5. c4 Ngf6 6. b3 Bd6 7. Bb2 O-O 8. d3 c6 9. h3 Bh5 10. Nbd2 a5 11. a3 Re8 12. e4 1/2-1/2

GM Deep Sengupta

won his last round game with Danny Gormally (see below) to tie for first place with IM Yiping Lou,

who settled for a short draw with Arghyadip Das

in the final round to finish with 7 points.

Yiping Lou vs Arghyadip Das

Last round

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 O-O 7. Bg5 dxc4 8. Qxc4 b6 9. Nf3 Ba6 10. Qa4 c5 11. dxc5 bxc5 12. Rd1 Qb6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Rd2 Nc6 15. Qg4+ Kh8 16. Qh4 Kg7 17. Qg4+ Kh8 18. Qh4 Kg7 1/2-1/2

After his first round draw with GM Daniel Gormally in round one Kim Yew Chan (2299) beat an FM with Black in the second round. Then the wheels came off as he first lost to GM Alexander Cherniaev with White in the third round. He drew with the Black pieces versus a player rated 1961, Mikolaj Rogacewicz, in the fourth round before losing to a titled woman player rated only 1993 WFM Rasa Norinkeviciute in the fifth round. Unable to take the woman’s Chess punch, he withdrew. His PR was only 2151.

GM Jens Kristiansen (2415),

playing White, managed to draw a long game versus John N Sugden (2059). The GM is sixty five years young, showing fighting spirit the above named players who agreed to quick draws should envy, if not emulate. There is no shame in a game of 70+ moves which ends in a hard fought draw, unlike the aforementioned gentlemen with short drawers.

Jens Kristiansen vs John N Sugden

Final round

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Bd3 cxd4 6. exd4 d5 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. Bg5 Nb6 11. Bb3 Be7 12. Qd3 Bd7 13. Bc2 g6 14. Bh6 Re8 15. Ne5 Nbd5 16. Qg3 Nh5 17. Qf3 Bf6 18. Nxd5 Bxe5 19. dxe5 exd5 20. Qxd5 Bc6 21. Qxd8 Raxd8 22. f4 Rd2 23. Rf2 Rd4 24. Rd1 Red8 25. Rxd4 Rxd4 26. f5 Ng7 27. f6 Ne6 28. Bb3 Rd7 29. Be3 a6 30. h3 Kf8 31. Kh2 Nd4 32. Bxd4 Rxd4 33. e6 fxe6 34. Bxe6 Bd5 35. Bxd5 Rxd5 36. Re2 Rd7 37. Re6 Kf7 38. Rb6 g5 39. Kg3 Kg6 40. Kf3 h5 41. Ke3 Kf5 42. a4 h4 43. a5 Ke5 44. b4 Kf5 45. Kf3 Rd3+ 46. Ke2 Rd7 47. Ke3 Ke5 48. b5 axb5 49. f7 Rxf7 50. Rxb5+ Kf6 51. Kd4 Ke6 52. Rxg5 Rf2 53. Ke3 Ra2 54. Kf3 Kf6 55. Rg4 Ra3+ 56. Kf2 Ra2+ 57. Kg1 Rxa5 58. Rxh4 Rb5 59. Rh8 Rb2 60. h4 b5 61. Kh2 Rb3 62. Rb8 Kf5 63. Rg8 b4 64. h5 Rc3 65. h6 Rc7 66. Rg7 Rc8 67. g4+ Kf4 68. h7 Rh8 69. g5 b3 70. g6 b2 71. Rb7 Kf5 1/2-1/2

Jonah B Willow (2152), with the Black pieces, beat Brian Hewson (2007) in the last round. He also won the previous round game to finish with a flourish. Unfortunately the games between his opening round draw with GM Kristiansen and the penulitmate round were not kind to Mr. Willow.

Hewson, Brian W R vs Willow, Jonah B

Last round

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nc3 g6 7. e4 a6 8. a4 Bg4 9. Be2 Bxf3 10. gxf3 Bg7 11. Be3 Nbd7 12. Qd2 O-O 13. Bh6 Re8 14. h4 Nh5 15. Bg5 Qa5 16. Nd1 Qc7 17. a5 f5 18. Nc3 f4 19. Bxf4 Nxf4 20. Qxf4 Rf8 21. Qg5 Be5 22. Qd2 Bf4 23. Qc2 Ne5 24. Nd1 Qf7 25. Ra3 Rae8 26. Ne3 Bxe3 27. Rxe3 Qc7 28. Qa4 Rc8 29. Kd2 Rf4 30. Kc2 Rcf8 31. Qa3 h5 32. Qb3 R8f7 33. Qb6 Qxb6 34. axb6 Nxf3 35. Kd1 Ne5 36. f3 0-1

The Najdorf was my weapon in the 1970’s. Like many other players who also played The Najdorf, Bobby Fischer had a tremendous influence on making The Najdorf my weapon in the 1970’s. Returning to Chess from years of playing Backgammon professionally I no longer played The Najdorf simply because of not having the time to keep up with the ever changing and developing theory of the opening. The Najdorf is so much more than just an opening; it is an opening SYSTEM. Players who challenge The System have thrown EVERYTHING against it, yet The System prevails. The System works unless and until someone screws up The System more than Donald J. Trump has screwed up the US system of government. GM Gormally’s handling of The System is such an example.

One thing learned from my time attempting to play The Najdorf is that many of the same moves feature in The System. What is important is WHEN they are played, and in what ORDER. Once one learns The System the moves sort of fall into place as one gets a “feel” for what to play and when to play it. The first thing that hit me when playing over the game was that the move 7…Qc7 is not good because White can obtain a very good position by taking the Knight immediately, playing 8 Bxf6. I never played anything other than 7…Be7. I studied other ways of playing without the move, but found none appealing. Deep refused to play the best move and played 8 Qf3, cutting the Gorm much slack. Unfortunately, the Gorm once again refused to play Be7. When he did finally play Be7 on his ninth move it was the wrong move. He should have played 9…b5. Gormally never played b5. The reason one plays a3 in the Najdorf is to follow with the move b5 ASAP. If one is not going to play b5 then one should not attempt playing The System known as the Najdorf. Frankly, this is a pitiful effort by GM Gormally, especially considering it was the last round. The way he played The Najdorf System resembles something a player learning The Nadjorf System might produce, not something one would expect from a long time veteran like the Gorm. I continue reading his fine book, Insanity, passion and addiction: a year inside the chess world, with his constant comments questioning why he continues playing Chess. After this game the Gorm needs to do some SERIOUS soul searching. Maybe he should get a job, or become one of the GM’s he writes about who stay home and give lessons via the internet.

Deep Sengupta vs Daniel W Gormally

Last round

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qc7 8. Qf3 Nbd7 9. O-O-O Be7 10. g4 h6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. h4 Qb6 13. Nb3 Nc5 14. Nxc5 Qxc5 15. e5 dxe5 16. Ne4 Qc6 17. Bg2 Be7 18. fxe5 O-O 19. g5 Qb5 20. Qg3 h5 21. Nf6+ Kh8 22. Nxh5 Bd7 23. Qg4 Rac8 24. Nf6 gxf6 25. gxf6 Bxf6 26. Qh5+ 1-0

FIDE’s Moroccan General Cronyism

A recent article on Chessbase, Morocco Chess Federation hit with corruption troubles, by Diana Mihajlova, dated 12/9/2017, begins:

“The Royal Morocco Chess Federation has been in discord since members of its governing body raised the alarm over impropriety on the part of its leadership, including the disappearance of the equivalent of $200,000 US Dollars. Diana Mihajlova reports on a host of allegations which have beset the federation’s president Mustapha Amazzal.”

This is “Part one of a two-part chronicle.” It continues:

12/9/2017 – The Royal Morocco Chess Federation has been in discord since members of its governing body raised the alarm over impropriety on the part of its leadership, including the disappearance of the equivalent of $200,000 US Dollars. Diana Mihajlova reports on a host of allegations which have beset the federation’s president Mustapha Amazzal. Part one of a two-part chronicle.

It continues:

An uphill battle

“It comes as no surprise that people in power sometimes cannot resist abusing their position for personal benefit. Often, even when detected, the culprits operate with impunity amid comparatively powerless opposition. The sports world is rife with examples, and chess is no exception. In recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day we take a look at a story of a chess federation in turmoil, as its leadership is accused of exploiting the very players it is entrusted to represent.”

There is a reason “…the culprits operate with impunity amid comparatively powerless opposition.”

The reason is that the governing body of World Chess, FIDE, is a completely corrupt organization. For TWO DECADES FIDE has turned a blind eye to the corruption in the Royal Morocco Chess Federation because an investigation into Moroccan corruption could lead into an investigation of FIDE corruption.

From the article: “Among the serious charges are the expropriation of federation funds, players poached or replaced between competing chess clubs without consent or remuneration, suspensions on individual players and clubs without due process or cause, misappropriation of chess sets and clock grants by FIDE, fraudulent submission of arbiter certifications, failure to submit tournament ratings to FIDE, and general cronyism.”

I love the last part about “general cronyism!” Don’t you? Those two words nicely sum up FIDE.

The article continues:

“The chief target of these allegations is the president of the FRME, Mustapha Amazzal (pictured at right).”

More from the article:

“According to International Arbiter Zoheir Slami, a complaint against Amazzal has been filed before the Court of Appeal of Casablanca by the Moroccan Association for the Protection of the Public Money, headed by Mohammed El Ghaloussi. The prosecutor overseeing the case has referred the investigation to the National Brigade of the Judicial Police (BNJP), which tackles serious national crimes.”


Seeing the word Casablanca naturally brought back memories of one of my favorite movies, Casablanca. One of the main players in the movie was an ex-patriate American, Rick, or Richard Blaine, the owner of Rick’s Cafe Americain,

played by one of the all-time great actors, Humphrey Bogart, who also happened to be an avid Chess player who, it is written, played for money in New York city during one of the all too frequent depressions caused by capitalist economic policies.