The Future of Chess

“The phrase, “All politics is local” is a common phrase in U.S. politics. The former Speaker of the U.S. House Tip O’Neill is most closely associated with this phrase, which encapsulates the principle that a politician’s success is directly tied to the person’s ability to understand and influence the issues of their constituents.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_politics_is_local)

The world of chess is beset with myriad problems. For example, consider something recently written by GM Kevin Spraggett on his blog, Spraggett on Chess:

RIP: Canadian Open Championship (1956-2014)

“For my readers (Canadian and international) who were wondering about the 2015 edition of Canada’s most PRESTIGIOUS tournament, I have sad news. Not only has the 2015 Canadian Open been cancelled, but it is unlikely to be resurrected in coming years. The present mind-set of the CFC executive is to concentrate on junior chess and slowly (quickly!) phase out adult chess.

The writing was on the wall for some time now, but few wanted to believe it. Despite a well documented decline in adult membership in the CFC since 2007, and calls to organize a membership drive to remedy the situation, the CFC refused to act. Adult membership levels are now 50% of normal levels. All funding of adult-programs have been eliminated.”

Grant Oen is a junior at Emory University, Grant is a 2-time GA Collegiate Chess Champion, 2-time NJ Grade Level Chess Champion, manager of the 2014 Atlanta Kings Team, and current Emory Chess Club President. He is one of the people who are the future of chess, and the future is NOW! I have come to admire and respect Grant because he is GREAT for chess in my home state.

I received an email from Mr. Oen a short time ago, and after reading it, sent an email asking for permission to post it on the blog, which was granted. Although it may be true that “all politics is local,” what happens in my home state of Georgia, just as what happens in our wonderful neighbor to the north, Canada, affects the Royal game in the WORLD. It is not just the worldwide governing body of chess, FIDE, that impacts chess, fortunately. Chess stays viable because of the efforts of those in, for example, New Zealand, even though you may not here of what is going on with chess there, unless you make an effort do so. When the chess lights go out, for whatever reason, in any town, city, state, or nation, it has a negative impact on the game of chess. I urge you to read what Grant has to say, and to forward it to anyone and everyone, and ask them to do the same. “In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.”
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect)
I believe there is a “butterfly effect.” I also believe that “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” What has happened to chess in my home state of Georgia is tragic. I can only hope that you who read this learn from the recent mistakes made here and do not let it happen in your part of the chess world.

“Good evening,

First, I’d like to thank many of you for supporting Southeast Chess in its first year of tournaments. Since our first event in March 2014, we have run over 25 events, attracting 250+ unique players from 15 states. Despite being a small operation, we have offered large open tournaments, scholastics, invitationals, Grand Prix, blitz, and action tournaments which have become a staple in the chess landscape in Georgia, and will continue to do so going forward.

Southeast Chess recognizes the following players for participating in 6 or more of our events in our first year:

Shanmukha Meruga – 22 tournaments
Grant Oen – 21
Frank Johnson – 16
Kapish Potula – 10
Amaan Pirani – 8
Sijing Wu – 8
Saithanusri Avirneni – 7
William Remick – 6
Phillip Taylor – 6
Rochelle Wu – 6

I would also like to express my personal opinions on the upcoming GCA election. The following positions are up for election at this year’s State Championship:

President: Fun Fong (incumbent), Frank Johnson
Secretary: Herky del Mundo, Greg Maness
2nd Member at Large: Steve Schneider, Ashley Thomas

The remaining board positions, not up for election this year, are filled by Vice Presidents Ben Johnson and Katie Hartley, Treasurer Amrita Kumar, and 1st Member at Large Laura Doman.

I will be voting the following ticket – President: Frank Johnson, Secretary: Herky del Mundo, 2nd Member at Large: Ashley Thomas. To have a positive say in the future of the GCA landscape, I strongly encourage you to do the same.

The GCA is in a long period of deterioration under the current administration. While scholastics have shown relative success in recent years, the GCA’s organization of open tournaments has proven to be a terrible insult to our royal game. The lethargic, unorganized, and indecisive “organization” under President Fong has devastated the hundreds of chess players in Georgia. Developing youngsters and seasoned masters alike have not been shown any respect as players by the GCA.

Fun Fong, additionally, has not fulfilled his designated role as GCA President. Supposedly, the responsibilities undertaken by his office are to support chess in Georgia through and through. However, Fun has shown a clear conflict of interest in only supporting the GCA’s events, and not providing any measure of support to the rest of the community.

For example, when former Emory Chess Club President Jeff Domozick and I were developing the idea for Southeast Chess to fill a meaningful gap in Georgia, we approached Fun to hear his thoughts and potential improvements on our business plans. His response could not have been more negative – he was critical of our idea, and warned us of the dangers and difficulties of running tournaments, strongly suggesting us to abandon the venture.

Of course, we were persistent, and although Jeff graduated Emory in Spring 2014, I have continued the Southeast Chess enterprise and hope that many of you would agree that it is a professionally-run and successful tournament business. Similar stories regarding Fun have been echoed by American Chess Promotions owner Thad Rogers and North Georgia Chess owner Kevin Schmuggerow, both of whom I greatly respect for their pursuits as chess organizers.

Throughout his tenure as GCA President, Fun has shown a clear preference for having all chess activities remain under the flailing umbrella of the GCA, and shuns all other ventures. Throughout Southeast Chess’ infancy, Fun was loathe to extend us help of any kind, threatening us not to use any TDs under the GCA’s umbrella. The President of the GCA should simply support all chess events in Georgia. Fun’s unprofessional behavior overall has led to many resignations on the GCA board and its subcommittees. Support for Fong among the rank and file in Georgia chess has been all but diminished.

Of course, there are many other reasons for which I could criticize the incumbent candidate (print magazine extinct, abuse of power, no support for players, school programs, or organizers), but I am of course also obligated to mention why I am voting for Frank Johnson.

Frank has significant chess experience in all capacities. He is an avid player, organizer, director, project manager, coach, parent, former GCA secretary, and overall chess supporter. He supports tournaments all across the state and country, and organizes and directs his own events under the popular Chess-coach.net label. He has years of experience and knowledge in working with developing chess communities, and has sponsored hundreds of local formal and informal chess meetups in the greater Atlanta area, including Atlanta Chess Mess.

As a personal aside, Frank proved essential in helping Southeast Chess get off the ground by providing critical organizational advice, helping to market the events, and playing in them himself. He served in an important management position in the Atlanta Kings chess team, a co-venture between my friend Thad Rogers and I.

Frank has shown significant expertise in all arenas of Georgia chess. Most importantly, he in unbiased in his vision to move the chess community forward. Right now there is a disconnect between players, organizers, and the GCA. Frank has essential plans in place for removing this disconnect for the benefit of all parties. He is a true chess professional who, as President, will develop the GCA into the association it should be. If you have questions or comments for Frank, he is always available at frankjohnson@chess-coach.net.

For the office of secretary, I support Herky del Mundo, organizer of the Atlanta Chess Club, active tournament player, director, and supporter. Herky has been influential in the outreach to GM Mark Paragua for the annual state championship. For the 2nd Member at Large position, I support Ashley Thomas, a long-time chess parent and player.

The election is open to current GCA members 18 years or older who have paid the $15 annual dues in the last year. A current membership is also required for Georgia players in play in the State Championship. The election will be held on Sunday, April 26 at 2:30pm, between rounds 4 and 5 of the Georgia State Championship in the Hotel Wyndham Hotel Galleria. If you are interested in voting but will not attend the state championship, email secretary@georgiachess.org to request an absentee ballot by 4/12, and have it returned to the secretary by the beginning of the tournament on 4/24.

Please remember to vote, as each eligible member can have a meaningful say towards change in the future of Georgia Chess.

Thank you.”

Grant

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The Escape Artist

The Legendary Georgia Ironman and I had time last night for a brief discussion of the chess action happening this weekend. One of the topics discussed was the fact that the human World Champion played the Bishop’s Opening proper yesterday against Fabiano Caruano. As regular readers know, the BO, “The truth– as it was known in those far-off days,” according to Savielly Tartakower, has been one of my favorite openings ever since reading his quote in “500 Hundred Master games of Chess.” (see the book in GM Bryan Smith’s excellent article http://www.chess.com/article/view/my-bookshelf-quot500-master-games-of-chessquot-by-savielly-tartakower-and-j-du-mont). Magnus played the opening horribly, and lost. GM Yasser Seirawan questioned the moves of the World Human Champion, especially the move 11 Bg3. I questioned 13 h3, which allowed the Bishop to take the Knight, forcing White to capture with the f-pawn, disrupting the pawn structure in a horrible way. It is obvious things have gone terribly wrong after 14 fxg3. When Magnus played the move Qd8, after 1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Qxd5 3 Nc3, against Caruano at the Olympiad, I mentioned to Tim that players would now start playing the move, long discredited since Bobby Fischer beat Karl Robatsch in 20 moves at the Olympiad in Varna in 1962 and William Addison in 24 moves at the Interzonal at Palma de Mallorca in 1970, since Magnus had won the game. I also brought up the fact that before the HWC played the move, I had mentioned the possibility of purchasing the book, “The 3…Qd8 Scandinavian: Simple and Strong” by Daniel Lowinger and Karsten Müller, which brought ridicule from the Ironman. Last night I wondered aloud if players would now begin to play the BO because Magnus had played it. Before the Ironman could respond, I added, “Probably not since he lost.” Tim said, “The opening did not let Magnus down, Magnus let the opening down.”
One of the great things about chess is that a lesser player can question the moves of the great players. We may not often be right, but like that blind squirrel, we will occasionally find an acorn. Back in the day “BC” (before computers), we had to try and figure it out for ourselves. If a GM played a move, we accepted it as gospel. Today we turn on our “engine” and the “truth” is right in front of us. In a way this is a wonderful thing in that we now know if our move is better than the human World Champion. On the other hand, we now know that even the best human player is, well, human, and we humans make mistakes. As the Discman said, back in the day Grandmasters were “Gods.” Which makes me think of the famous speech by JFK in which he said, “…and we are all mortal.”

Schmuggy sent me an email last night after his game with Damir Studen, which I opened after noon:
Kevin Schmuggerow
Today at 1:09 AM
I had this one Michael, let it get away….
> e4 d5 ed Qd5 Nc3 Qa5 d4 c6 Bc4 Nf6 Ne2 g6 Bf4 Nd7 Qd2 Nb6 Bb3 Nbd4 Be5 Nc3 Nc3 Bg7 OOO OO h4 h5 f3 Ne8 Qg5 e6 Rhe1 Kh7 Qe7 Kg8 g4 Be5 Re5 Qc7 Qg5 Kg7 gh5 Rh8 Qg2 Rh6 Rg5 Qf4+ Kb1 Qh4 hg6 Rg6 Ne4 Rg5 Ng5 Kf6 f4 Nd6 Qf3 Qh6 Rh8 a5 a4 Ra6 Qc3 Ke7 Qc5 Bd7….Ne4 wins!! Mate in 7 (I played Rb8 and eventually got my rook trapped)

Looks strange without the numbers, does it not? Thinking the game would most likely have to be transcribed, I decided to hold off on going to the US Masters website until later. Fortunately, the whole game was provided. I broke out my trusty small wooden board and pieces and played over the game. Here are my thoughts…

Kevin Schmuggerow (1971) vs Damir Studen (2264)
USM Rd 3
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 5. Bc4 Nf6 6. Nge2 g6 7. Bf4 Nbd7 8. Qd2 Nb6 9. Bb3 Nbd5 10. Be5 Nxc3 11. Nxc3 Bg7 12. O-O-O O-O 13. h4 h5 14. f3 Ne8 15. Qg5 e6 16. Rhe1 Kh7 17. Qe7 Kg8 18. g4 Bxe5 19. Rxe5 Qc7 20. Qg5 Kg7 21. gxh5 Rh8 22. Qg2 Rh6 23. Rg5 Qf4 24. Kb1 Qxh4 25. hxg6 Rxg6 26. Ne4 Rxg5 27. Nxg5 Kf6 28. f4 Nd6 29. Qf3 Qh6 30. Rh1 Qg6 31. Rh8 a5 32. a4 Ra6 33. Qc3 Ke7 34. Qc5 Bd7 35. Rb8 Qf5 36. Qe5 f6 37. Qxf5 exf5 38. Nh7 Bc8 39. c4 Be6 40. d5 cxd5 41. c5 Ne4 42. Rxb7 Bd7 43. c6 Rxc6 44. Nf8 Nc5 45. Ng6 Kd6 46. Rb5 Ra6 47. Bc2 Bxb5 48. axb5 Rb6 0-1

Wow, Damir was sooooooo busted! Poor Schmuggy…This game reminds me of many I played. If only IM Charles Hertan’s award winning book, “Forcing Moves” had been published in the 1970’s… Two things kept me from becoming a stronger player, one is not winning enough “won” games. The other will be discussed in a future post.
Damir’s 14th move looks weak. After 15 Qg5, white is all over him. After the obligatory 15…e6 Schmuggy played 16 Rhe1. I have to question this move. I mean, White is attacking the Kingside and threatening to open up the castled King position, so why move the Rook? I sat looking at this position quite a while…Obviously 16 g4 must be considered, but I wonder if this is one of those positions where a world class player would simply make a move like 16 Kb1? Then the thought hit me that Schmuggy could have played maybe 16 a3, but I like Kb1 better, but what do I know? One thing I have always taught my students is to count the total number of points one has in a sector, especially when one is on the attack. As it now stands White has a Queen, Rook, and Bishop, or 17 points, on the Kingside. Black has only a Rook, Bishop, and Knight, or 11 points. If White were to play 16 Ne4 he would have an additional 3 points, for a total of 20 points, versus 11. That is a huge disparity. And since Black has been forced to weaken himself with his last move, the Knight move takes advantage of the weakened dark squares. 16 Ne4 would be my move. Black would then be in “deep do.”
Schmuggy is right, 35 Ne4 brings the house down. It wins because it is a FORCING MOVE. The knight on d6 is PINNED. Another thing all chess teachers say is, “Pin to win.”

After going over the game I first went to the Chess Base database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/onlinedb/) and 365chess (http://www.365chess.com/) to check out the opening. What I found was that Damir’s 7…Nbd7 is a TN. All games show 7…Bg7. Since the Scandinavian is Damir’s main (only?) defense to 1 e4 it is difficult to believe he came up with this move over the board. I must assume it was “home cooking.” It often happens that one can be burned while cooking at home.
Next it was put it into my now antiquated Houdini. I am sure you will do the same because that is what is done these daze. Some even put it into the machine before looking at it and thinking for themselves. Where is the fun in that? I find it shameful. After analyzing the game, my Houdini said, “The player with the Black pieces was the real Houdini in this game!”
What? Your computer program does not talk to you?

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes

Georgians at the US Open

GM Alonso Zapata, FM Kazim Gulamali, and NM Sanjay Ghatti each finished with a score of 6-3 at the US Open to lead the contingent of players from the state of Georgia. There is a dearth of games thanks to Monroi.

GM Zapata was upset in the second round by a young girl, Expert Jessica Regam. She played the GM tough enough to win when the GM could not make time control. The game score shows the GM making his last move, but since he lost on time I have no idea why the move is given.

Jessica Regam (2125) vs GM Alonso Zapata (2555)
Rd 2 2014 US Open

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.O-O Qc7 7.Qe2 d6 8.c4 g6 9.Nc3 Bg7 10.Be3 O-O 11.Rac1 Nbd7 12.f4 Re8 13.h3 b6 14.b4 Bb7 15.Nb3 Rac8 16.Qf2 Ba8 17.Rc2 Qb8 18.Rfc1 Bc6 19.Nd4 Bb7 20.Nf3 Ba8 21.Nd2 Bc6 22.Rb1 h6 23.Qf1 Bb7 24.Qf2 Ba8
25.Nb3 d5 26.cxd5 Rxc3 27.Rxc3 Nxe4 28.Bxe4 Bxc3 29.dxe6 Bxe4 30.exd7 Bxb1 31.dxe8Q Qxe8 32.Bxb6 Bxb4 33.Bd4 Bf8 34.Nc5 a5 35.Qd2 Qb5 36.Nb3 a4 37.Nc1 Qc4 38.Qb2 Be4 39.Qd2 Bd5 40.Qb2 a3 1-0

Alsonso Zapata 2549 vs Karthik Ramachandran 2257
Rd 6 2014 US Open

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.h3 Nf6 7.Nf3 g6 8.O-O Bg7 9.Re1 O-O 10.Nbd2 Re8 11.Nf1 Nh5 12.Ne3 Nf4 13.Bf1 e5 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Nd4 Bd7 16.Nec2 Ne6 17.Nxe6 Rxe6 18.Bf4 Qc5 19.Nd4 Ree8 20.Qb3 Bc6 21.Be3 Qd6 22.Rad1 a5 23.a4 Qd7
24.Nb5 Qd8b25.Bd4 Re6 26.f4 Nd7 27.Rxe6 fxe6 28.Bxg7 Kxg7 29.Nd4 Qb6 30.Qxb6 Nxb6 31.b3 Re8 32.Re1 Kf7 33.Bb5 Bxb5
34.Nxb5 Rd8 35.Kf2 Nc8 36.Ke3 Nd6 37.Kd4 Ne4 38.Re2 Ng3 39.Re1 b6 40.Ke5 Ke7 41.Nd4 Rd6 42.Re3 Ne4 43.Nb5 Rd8 44.Nd4 Rd6 45.Nb5 Rd8 46.g4 Nc5 47.f5 Nxb3 48.fxe6 Nc5 49.Nc7 Nxa4 1-0

GM Zapata went into the penultimate round tied for first with nine other players while having White versus the seventeen year-old GM Illia Nyzhnyk of Ukraine. Since he is listed on the wallchart as being from Missouri, I assume he is one of the chess mercenaries at one of the colleges in the show me state.

Zapata (2555) vs Nyzhnyk (2743)
Rd 8 2014 US Open

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.O-O d6 9.Kh1 a6 10.a4 Qc7 11.f4 b6 12.Bd2 Bb7 13.Qe2 h5
14.Rae1 h4 15.Kg1 Nb4 16.Nb5 axb5 17.Bxb4 bxa4 18.Nd4 h3 19.Rf3 hxg2 20.Qxg2 Kf8 21.Rh3 Rg8 22.c3 Nd7 23.Bb1 Nc5 24.Qf2 Qd7 25.Rh7 e5 26.Nf5 Bxe4 27.fxe5 Qxf5 28.Qxf5 Bxf5 29.Bxf5 d5 30.Rf1 Ke8 31.Rd1 Rd8 32.Bc2 Nb3 33.Bxe7 Kxe7 34.Rh4 Nc5 35.Bxa4 Ke6 36.Bc6 Ne4 37.c4 Kxe5 38.Bxd5 f5 39.Re1 Rh8 40.Rxh8 Rxh8 41.Ra1 Rh3 42.Ra7 g5 43.Re7 Kf4 44.Re6 Rb3 45.c5 Rb5
46.Bxe4 fxe4 47.Rf6 Ke3 48.cxb6 Rxb2 49.Rg6 Kd3 50.Rd6 Ke2 51.Rg6 e3 52.Rxg5 Kd3 53.Rd5 Ke4 54.Rd1 Rxb6 55.Ra1 Kf3 0-1

After the teen GM played 14…h4 I thought back to a time when IM Boris Kogan was presenting a game from the US Championship when, in an analogous position his opponent had played his King Rook pawn across the Rubicon, just as Nyzhnyk. Boris moved his King Rook pawn to h3, and said while grinning, “He come no further!” I was flummoxed when GM Zapata did not move his Rook pawn, allowing his opponent to “come on down.” I was even more flummoxed when the youngster did NOT play h3 on his next move! I had been expecting the thematic 16 f5 when the much older GM played the cheap trick, 16 Nb5, losing a pawn. This move gave the advantage to the younger player. GM Zapata fought hard and after many vicissitudes had a chance to draw the game, but did not take advantage of the presented opportunities, and lost. Possibly demoralized, and certainly fatigued, the Senior GM lost his last round game with Black against NM Carl Haessler from Oregon. This was a fine win for the underdog out rated by more than five hundred points. Hopefully the game will be published in a future edition of the excellent Northwest Chess Magazine (http://www.nwchess.com/nwcmag/index.htm).

Kazim Gulamali also had a chance to finish in the second score group only a half point behind the co-champions, but alas, he too was upset in the last round, losing to Expert Mariano Sana of Tennessee. Check out this picture of Kazim in the blitz tournament here (http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2014/07/30/2014-u-s-open-orlando-usa/). Once again, there is no game, so I will present one of the few games to appear on Monroi:

Kazim Gulamali (2397) vs Sir Jalen Wang (2206)
Rd 7 2014 US Open

1.d4 a6 2.e4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.e5 c5 6.a3 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Nc6 8.Qg4 Bf8 9.Bd3 d4 10.Ne2 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Qa5 12.Bd2 Qxe5 13.Qxd4 Qxd4 14.Nxd4 Nf6 15.O-O Bd7 16.Rfe1 Bc5 17.Nb3 Bb6 18.Na5 O-O-O 19.Nc4 Bc7 20.Ne5 Be8 21.Rad1 Nd7 22.Nc4 Nc5 23.Bf1 Bc6 24.Be3 Ne4 25.f3 Nd6 26.Nb6 Kb8 1/2-1/2

I featured the other Georgia to score six points, NM Sanjay Ghatti, in a previous post (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/nm-sanjay-ghatti-battles-french-with-2-qe2/). Here is another game:

Sanjay Ghatti (2206) vs Dakota Dixon (2131)
Rd 6 2014 US Open
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Bd3 b6 7.O-O Bb7 8.b3 c5 9.Bb2 Nc6 10.Re1 Rc8 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Bf5 Rb8 13.Rc1 g6
14.Bb1 cxd4 15.exd4 Rc8 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Ne8 18.Ne2 Ng7 19.Nd4 Bc5 20.Bd3 Ne6 21.Nf3 Qe7 22.Rc2 Rfd8 23.Bc1 d4 24.Qe2 Bb4 25.Rd1 Rxc2 26.Bxc2 Qc7 27.Bd3 Bxf3 28.gxf3 Rd5 29.f4 Rc5 30.Bc4 b5 31.Bxe6 Rxc1 32.Bd5 Qc3 33.Be4 Rxd1 34.Qxd1 Qd2
35.Qxd2 Bxd2 36.f5 Bf4 37.e6 fxe6 38.fxg6 hxg6 39.Bxg6 Kg7 40.Bd3 1/2-1/2

Benjamin Barry Moon finished only a half point behind those above, scoring five and a half points, with four wins, threed draws, and two losses. BB gained sixty rating points, improving from 2084 to 2144.

Constantine Xanthos (2218) vs Benjamin Barry Moon (2084)
Rd 5

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.f4 d6 8.Nf3 Bg7 9.e4 Bxf1 10.Rxf1 O-O 11.Kf2 Nbd7 12.Kg1 Qb6 13.Qe2 Rfb8 14.e5 dxe5 15.fxe5 Ng4 16.e6 fxe6 17.h3 Nge5 18.dxe6 Qxe6 19.Ng5 Qc4 20.Re1 Qxe2 21.Rxe2 Nd3 22.Rxe7 Re8 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 24.Nf3 N7e5 25.Nxe5 Bxe5 1/2-1/2

Reece Thompson, who represented the Great State of Georgia in the Denker tournament of High School players, also scored five and a half points by winning five, drawing one, and losing three.

Reece Thompson (2089) vs Paul Joseph (1931)
Rd 4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 d6 8.O-O Be7 9.h3 Nbd7 10.a4 Nb6 11.f4 g6 12.g4 Bd7 13.Kh1 e5 14.Nde2 Bc6 15.Nd5 Bxd5 16.exd5 exf4 17.Bxf4 Nfd7 18.b3 Bf6 19.a5 Nc8 20.Ng3 Ne5 21.Ne4 Bg7 22.c4 O-O 23.Qd2 Qe7 24.Rae1 f6
25.c5 Qd7 26.c6 Qc7 27.Rc1 Rb8 28.Bxe5 fxe5 29.Ng5 Qe7 30.Rxf8 Bxf8 31.Ne6 Bg7 32.cxb7 Na7 33.Rc7 Qxc7 34.Nxc7 Rxb7 35.Ne6 Rxb3 36.Qg5 Rb7 37.Qd8 Kf7 38.Ng5 1-0

Carter Peatman also scored five and a half points by also winning five, drawing one, and losing three. A picture of Reece can be found here (http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2014/07/30/2014-u-s-open-orlando-usa/). Just look to the immediate left of the number 134. Unfortunately, the only game I found was this loss:

Carter Peatman (1972) vs Andrew Rea (2103)
Rd 6

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bd6 6.dxe5 Bxe5 7.Bc4 Qf6 8.Nd5 Qg6 9.O-O c6 10.Nc3 Qd6 11.Qh5 g6 12.Qf3 Qf6
13.Qd3 b5 14.Bb3 a5 15.a4 b4 16.Nd1 Bc7 17.Be3 Ne7 18.f4 O-O 19.c4 d5 20.cxd5 cxd5 21.Bd4 Bb6 22.e5 Qc6 23.Rf2 Ba6 24.Qd2 Nf5 25.Rc1 Qxc1 26.Qxc1 Nxd4 27.Ne3 Nxb3 28.Qe1 Rac8 0-1

Alex Little scored five points with three wins, four draws, and only two losses. He went from 1634 to 1792, gaining a whopping 154 points! Again it is unfortunate, but I have no game to present.

Kevin Schmuggerow, the owner of the North Georgia Chess Center (http://www.northgachesscenter.com/) scored four and a half points, taking a half point bye in the last round. Schmuggy. a floored NM, won three, lost three, and drew two.

Daaim Shabazz (2093) vs Kevin Schmuggerow (2000)
Rd 6 2015 US Open

1.e4 e6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 b5 4.a4 b4 5.Ne2 e5 6.O-O g5 7.c3 Ba6 8.d4 Nc6 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.f4 Nd3 11.Be3 Nf6 12.h3 Nxb2 13.Qc2 Nc4 14.Bf2 b3 15.Qxb3 Rb8 16.Qd1 gxf4 17.gxf4 Rg8 18.Qd3 Rb6 19.Qf3 Qa8 20.Ng3 Bb7 21.Re1 Re6 22.Kh1 d5 23.Qd3 Rxg3 24.Bxg3 Nd6 25.exd5 c4 26.Rxe6 fxe6 27.Qe2 Bxd5 28.Nd2 Nfe4 29.Nxe4 Nxe4 30.Bh2 Nxc3 31.Qxe6 Bxe6 32.Bxa8 Bxh3 33.Rc1 Bg7 34.Bg1 a6 35.Bc5 Bd7 36.a5 Bb5 37.Bb4 Ne2 38.Re1 c3 39.Bf3 c2 40.Bxe2 Bc6 41.Bf3 1-0

Jeffery Rymuza scored an even fifty % with four wins and losses to go with a single draw. The beautiful Elena Gratskaya also scored fifty % by also winning and losing four while drawing one. Her opponent in this game is the man behind the excellent Chess Drum website (http://www.thechessdrum.net/), Dr. Daaim Shabazz, who has played at the House of Pain. Elena did cross over into class “A” territory, now rated 1819. A couple of hundred more points and she may be invited to participate in the US Women’s Championship.

Daaim Shabazz (2093) vs Elena Gratskaya (1792)
Rd 4 2014 US Open

1.e4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d4 5.Nce2 c5 6.d3 Nc6 7.f4 e5 8.h3 b5 9.a4 b4 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.O-O O-O 12.b3 Rb8 13.Kh1 Nh5 14.f5 h6
15.g4 Nf6 16.Qe1 c4 17.dxc4 Na5 18.Nd2 Bb7 19.Ng3 Bc5 20.Qe2 Qe7 21.Nf3 Rfd8 22.Qd3 Ba8 23.g5 hxg5 24.Bxg5 Qd6 25.Rad1 Bb6 26.Ne1 Nb7 27.Qe2 Rd7 28.Nd3 Nh7 29.Bd2 a5 30.Nh5 Nf6 31.Rg1 Nc5 32.Nxf6 Qxf633.Qg4 Bd8 34.Nxc5 1-0

Over 350 pages in the new book, “The Modern French: A Complete Guide for Black,” by Dejan Antic & Branimir Maksimovic and not one word on the second move of g3. Two Georgia players succumbed to the “Shabazz.” This sent me to the CBDB where I found this recent game:

Carlsen, Magnus (2881) vs Rodriguez Vila, Andres (2437)
Four Player Festa da Uva 2014 03/06/2014

1. e4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 dxe4 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Nxe4 Nxe4 6. Bxe4 Nd7 7. Bg2 c5 8. Nf3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. d4 cxd4 11. Qxd4 Nc5 12. Rd1 Qxd4 13. Nxd4 a6 14. a4 e5 15. Ne2 Be6 16. b4 Bc4 17. bxc5 Bxe2 18. Rd5 Bc4 19. Rxe5 Bf6 20. Bf4 Rac8 21. Bxb7 Bxe5 22. Bxe5 Rxc5 23. Bd6 Rfc8 24. Bxc5 Rxc5 25. a5 f5 26. c3 Bb5 27. Ra3 Kf7 28. f4 Ke6 29. Kf2 h6 30. Ke3 g5 31. Bf3 Kd6 32. Rb3 Ke6 33. Kd2 Kd6 34. Rb4 Kc7 35. fxg5 hxg5 36. h4 gxh4 37. gxh4 Be8 38. h5 Rxa5 39. Rh4 Ra2+ 40. Kd3 Bb5+ 41. c4 Ra3+ 42. Ke2 Ra4 43. Bd5 Kd6 44. h6 1-0

Thomas Jackson Campbell scored four and a half points by winning three, losing three, drawing one, and availing himself of two half-point byes. Sujay Jagadeesh also scored four and a half by winning three, drawing and losing two, with one half-point bye. Prateek Mishra won his last two games to finish with an even score, while Samhitha Dasari won and lost three to go with one draw and a half-point draw to also finish with an even score. GCA President Fun Fong also scored four and a half points by winning three, drawing one, while losing four. Michael Mulford, Steven Boshears, Ainesh Balaga, and Srihitha Dasari all finished with four points. Tom Kayma, Tyler Schmuggerow, Steven Eisenhauer, Skyler Kelly, and Shyam Dasari each scored three and a half points. Dhruv Rajaganesh finished with three points. Pranit Mishra and Sanjay Jagadeesh each scored two and a half. Anish Kumar finished with a point and a half, as did Pranav Devalapalli. By my count that makes twenty-nine players from the Great State of Georgia at the 2014 US Open, the majority of whom are children, with a few adults, most of whom are eligible to play in the US Senior. This closely matches the current demographic profile of the USCF. It is obvious from the names of many of the players that it is a good thing that Vishy Anand has been World Human Chess Champion recently. I shutter to think of what the USCF would be without the influx of Indian players.

Throwdown Thursday & Friday Night Fights!

The Legendary Georgia Ironman has informed me Life Master Brian McCarthy will be coming up from Butler, Ga. to play in the July 10 Thursday Night Throwdown. Brian was rated over 2400 in the 90’s. Come on down to the the North Dekalb Mall, located at the southwest intersection of N. Druid Hills Road and Lawrenceville Highway at 2050 Lawrenceville Highway Decatur, Georgia 30033, and try to take a bite out of the Big Mac! The first round begins at 7:00pm.
Tim Brookshear is also holding a one day mini-camp at the site of the Throwdown beginning Thursday morning. The Ironman can be reached at 770 633 6718.
Kevin Schmuggerow will host the Friday Night Fights at the North Georgia Chess Center (http://www.northgachesscenter.com/).
NGC G/30 Tournaments– Friday Nights! July 11th, 25th; August 8th, 22nd
3-SS G/30;d5 Sections; Open & Reserve (may combine into one section at directors discretion)
Location: North Georgia Chess Center, 2450 Atlanta Highway Suite 201, Cumming GA 30040.
Rounds: 1st round starts at 7:00 PM. (1/2 point bye available if requested before round 1)
Entry Fee: $10.00 NGCC Members; $17.00 Non-Members. All payments due onsite, cash, check and credit cards accepted.
Registration: Friday – 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM (by phone, email or in person).
Kevin will also hold a quad Sunday, July 13, and another August 24.
NGCC G/60 Quads – July 13th and August 24th
3-RR G/60; d5 (4 player sections by rating)
Location: North Georgia Chess Center, 2450 Atlanta Highway Suite 201, Cumming GA 30040.
Rounds: 1st -10:00AM; 2nd -1:00PM; 3rd – 3:30PM;
Entry Fee: $25.00 NGCC Members; $32.00 Non-Members. All payments due onsite, cash, check and credit cards accepted.
Prize Fund: 50% of member entry fee to 1st Place in each Quad.
Registration: 9:00AM – 9:45AM
For those of you north of Atlanta, the NGCC is located north about 30-40 miles north of Atlanta, which would put those of you who cannot get enough chess and want to play in two events that much closer to home.

GCA President Rejects Scholarship Offer

Kevin Schmuggerow is the new owner of the North Georgia Chess Center. I have yet to meet him because his Chess Center is really north of the metro area. He is a reader of this blog. Yesterday an email was received from Mr. Schmuggerow. I believe it should be shared with the Georgia chess community. Because Kevin benefited from a chess scholarship in Illinois years ago he had the idea to fund a scholarship here. He sent his idea to Katie Hartley, a member of the GCA board.
On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 7:48 PM, Kevin Schmuggerow wrote:
“Katie,

I hope all is going well with Scholastic Chess.

I was thinking ways to fund a scholarship program. I’m kicking around the idea of raising my entry fees by $1.00 to be set aside for scholarships. If I have 150 players a month, that would raise $1,800 a year.
Your feedback is appreciated!”

Sincerely,

Kevin Schmuggerow
North Georgia Chess Center
2450 Atlanta Highway, Suite 201
Cumming GA, 30040
(770) 844-9204”

This was the reply from Katie Hartley:

“On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 2:05 PM, Katie Hartley wrote:
It is a nice idea and I’m copying Fun on this so he can add it to the board agenda when next we meet. the GCA has also talked about seeking out sponsors for something like this. i think at the very least we could put on the website a place to make donations specifically for scholastic scholarships.

Katie”

Katie did copy Fun Fong, the President of the GCA board and this was his response:

From: Fun Fong [mailto:fun.fong.jr@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 2:43 PM
To: Katie Hartley
Cc: Kevin Schmuggerow
Subject: Re: Scholastic Chess

“Katie and Kevin,

It’s an OK idea, but the real thing to do is to FIND SPONSORS!!!! That’s how we get real money for scholarships. This stuff you’re getting is chicken feed and we’re harvesting off (taxing) our own audience to do this. I’m not crazy about this idea. GCA needs to find 2 people to go to UPS, FedEx, Coke, Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, etc and make a polished presentation of what we would do scholarship wise with $10K or 20K. There are a TON of big companies that could potentially help and it really only takes ONE.

Fun”

Chicken feed? This must have come as a cold slap in the face to Kevin. I was shocked upon reading this email. Mr. Schmuggerow magnanimously offered a plan to fund a scholarship through the GCA and was not only rebuffed, but ridiculed! The next email is from a man who can be only be considered a true gentleman:

On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM, Kevin Schmuggerow wrote:

“Fun,

I apologize.

I know that my $1,800 is not close to $10,000 or $20,000, it was just meant as a gesture to help.”

Kevin Schmuggerow
North Georgia Chess Center
2450 Atlanta Highway, Suite 201
Cumming GA, 30040
(770) 844-9204”

How does the President of the Georgia Chess Association respond to such magnanimity?

From: Fun Fong [mailto:fun.fong.jr@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 4:21 PM
To: Kevin Schmuggerow
Cc: Katie Hartley
Subject: Re: Scholastic Chess

“Kevin,
You sentiments are good and well-intended. Katie knows me better, and knows that I am both ambitious and impatient in our efforts. I just think that our efforts really need to be directed towards some corporate funding. After a Communications Director, the GCA should find two people who can start looking for funding. We also need to start up our long-range planning group to figure out how to use a windfall like that.
My sense is that adult chess players in our current demographic are some of the biggest cheapskates in the world! I hope to change that demographic over time. Getting any money from them, is problematic. Scholastics is better, but I just think we should be looking towards other sources of funding. That’s really the only way that progress in the state will become palpably different.”
Best wishes,
Fun”

Best wishes, indeed. I can only say these emails provide a startling glimpse into the mind of the President of the GCA, Fun Fong. Make of them what you will.