The Clanking Digital Monster

Some time ago I received an email from an older, obviously disgruntled, Chess player who asked why I did not write about what the influx of so many children has done to tournament Chess. “They are noisy and disruptive,” he wrote, “and Chess is no longer taken seriously because of it.” He enclosed a picture, which prompted his words, adding, “How would you like to sit across the board from THIS for HOURS!”

I have given his email serious thought for quite sometime. I recalled seeing the picture somewhere, but for the life of me cannot recall where…

I thought about something one legendary Georgia Chess player said years ago. He was gearing up for some scholastic event I thought was the Georgia High School championships, knowing he was into the HS thing ‘back in the day’. “What’cha talking about Mike,” he said, “by the time they get to High School they’ve stopped playing Chess. Junior High is where it’s happening!” This caused me to reflect upon the time Neal Harris asked me to coach a group of middle school children in 2006. Neal had taught them the basics and they seemed to be quite serious. Chess was only one of the activities in which they participated, but they took Chess seriously. They did not wear funny hats, but like all children they liked to have some fun. Several days later I sent the man a nice email telling him about growing up at a Boys Club, and later earning a collage scholarship to work at that same Boys Club. I mentioned that one of the attractions of the Boys Club was that it was a place to go have some FUN, and that I never forgot that fact while working around the younger boys. I enclosed this picture, writing, “I hope I never grow too old to have a little fun.”

Jacob Crofts (left) and Lane Erickson (right) dressed in their chess best for Halloween and round two of the TNM, pose for the camera, while Frank Bannan takes a break from his blitz game to check them out. This photo was taken in the Chess Room Annex, where a giant photograph of Mikhail Tal (partly seen in the photograph) is hung. (Photo: Laura Sheppard)
http://www.chessclub.org/news.php?n=805

I’ve yet to hear from him again…

After the previous LOTS I received an email from Gene Nix, who had read the post. It began, “Thanks for the kind comments on my contest with Randall.” It got better from there…”This was only my second LOTS, and obviously I’ve been missing out. Many children wearing animal hats (a few adults too), lucky plushy toys at the chess boards, and a festival atmosphere. As a school teacher I often scowl at kids always on their electronic distraction devices, so it’s good to see young people involved in an engrossing mental and tactile game. Of course one must accept gracefully being outplayed by said youngsters.”

“…a festival atmosphere.” I like that phrase immensely! Most people, even an old curmudgeon, will gravitate towards “a festival atmosphere.” If Wilder Wadford is fostering a “festive atmosphere at the Land of the Sky the number of players do not matter, for the Wild Man has done his job! It made me lament the fact that I could not make it again this year, and I vowed that if still alive next year I will make it to the Land of the Sky, as we say in the South, “Creek willing and the Lord don’t rise.” Who knows, maybe I will find the right hat to wear next year…and maybe you reading this will find the right hat to wear next year and we will have started a MOVEMENT! I know Wilder will read this, so I propose that next year the name be changed to the Land of the Sky Chess Festival!

I have also given much thought to “community involvement.” The “community” is not limited to the businesses in and around Asheville, though it would be nice if some younger Ashevilleians were to spend the next year talking with business types about some kind of sponsorship for the LOTS Chess Festival. “Community” also means US, as in ME and YOU. I will, therefore, put my money where my mouth is and make a pledge to the 2019 LOTS Chess Festival. I will donate a book, a brand spanking new book, to be given away by drawing before each and every round next year. All one has to do to be entered in the drawing is to be paired for the upcoming round. Withdraw and you are not entered!

Gene also wrote, “Life Master Klaus Pohl, the Old Gray Wolf, fared poorly in the top section, but took second place behind only Alexander Ivanov in Saturday morning’s blitz tourney.”

I would like to humbly suggest, Wilder, that you limit the LOTS Chess Festival to only FOUR rounds, in order to have a speed tournament Friday evening before the event so all can participate. Four rounds will make it much more difficult for top players to make a quick buddy-buddy, draw, as every half point will COUNT!

If you are reading this YOU are a member of the “community,” and maybe you have an idea you would like to share. If so, leave a comment. Maybe YOU will pledge to get just one more player to come next year. If so, you have done your part. If EVERYONE did this then Wonderful Wilder Wadford could actually RAISE the prize fund! You can start by sending an email with a link to this post to just one player you know, asking them to pass it forward.
What’cha waiting for?

Now, some CHESS! Gene was nice enough to send me a couple of games he annotated, with the help of what he calls the “clanking digital monster.” Check it out: “The clanking digital monster says I missed a win late in the endgame when we both had under a minute remaining, but the details included allowing an unthinkable, but apparently not uncomputable, pawn-romp that involved the other fellow promoting first. Unthinkable.”

The complete Nix vs Ferguson game can be found in the previous post.

We will begin with the position after 52 Be4:

Black plays 52…Ne6?

Gene then played 53 Bf5? missing the move of the “clanking digital monster” (He does not attach a name to the CDM) 53 Kc3!

There follows:

53…Nd4

54 b4+

54…Kd6

55 c5+

55…Ke7

56 Kc4

56…f5

57 Bd3

57…f4

58 b5

58…f3

59 b6

59…Nc6

60 Be4

60…f2

61 Bg2 (Gene writes: “One can always spot the computer analysis. What live human could allow this pawn-scamper with under a minute on the clocks?”)

61…e4

62 Kd5

62…e3

63 Kxc6

63…e2

64 b7

64…f1=Q

65 Bxf1

65…exf1=Q

66 b8=Q

66…Qg2+

67 Kc7

67…Qh2+

68 Kb7

68…Qb2+

69 Ka8

69…Qc2

70 Qb7+

70…Kf6

71 c6 +-

Hard to believe Gene missed this line…

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Charlotte Chess Center and Scholastic Academy

While tooling around the interweb looking for information on the Land of the Sky Chess tournament which began last night (the second, hurry-up part of the first round is ongoing as I punch & poke) I discovered a nice article featuring the Charlotte Chess Center and Scholastic Academy.

Notice the sign proclaiming only “Chess Club.” I began playing at the Atlanta Chess Club, which was held in a YMCA on Lucky street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. It is where I won the 1976 Atlanta Chess Championship. My most vivid memory, though, is of the time there was a running gun battle right below on Lucky street, with real bullets being fired, between the cops and crooks. Most players went to the window to spectate. Fortunately, we were on the second floor so no bullets came our way. So engrossed in my fifteen minute game I stayed seated during the reality “show.” There was a Manhatten Chess Club, which is no longer in existence, and the Marshall Chess Club (http://www.marshallchessclub.org/), which is still open. The website shows an Adult Chess Class “Every Tuesday Night!” The oldest Chess club in the US is the Mechanic’s Institute Chess Club in San Francisco (http://www.chessclub.org/index.php). All ages are welcome at these venerable Chess clubs with no need for adding the word scholastic like all newer Chess clubs, such as the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center (https://saintlouischessclub.org/), have done.

The headline is:

Master level chess player operates Charlotte’s first center dedicated to the game at age 26
By Randy Wheeless – December 19, 2017

“Since middle school, chess has been an integral part of Peter Giannatos’ life. He’s participated in more than 200 tournaments, and is recognized as a master level player. In fact, he’s a top-10 player in the state.

After graduating from UNC Charlotte in 2014, Giannatos, 26, figured he would concentrate on joining the working world. He had dreams of making chess his career, but knew that could be a longshot.

A longshot he has spent the last three years making a reality. Over that time, Giannatos became the owner and operator of the Charlotte Chess Center and Scholastic Academy. Located on Camden Road, near the LYNX East/West stop in South End, the center has more than 150 members – making it Charlotte’s first full-time center devoted solely to chess.”

https://www.charlottefive.com/giannatos-chess-center/


Peter Giannatos

It looks real nice, unlike the Atlanta Chess Club & Game Center, which was also known as “The Dump” for good reason. As a matter of fact, the Charlotte Club looks downright OPULENT in comparison!

Although growing by leaps and bounds, Charlotte is no where near as large a city as Atlanta, especially when surrounding cities many miles away not in the city limits use Atlanta as their city in much the same way as people in the area of Atlanta known as Buckhead, where the Governor’s mansion is located, have done. The ‘Head has kept expanding because every business wants to be known as being part of Buckhead. One hundred fifty members seems a strong number of members for the relatively new Chess club.

I do not know the exact number of members the ACC&GC had at any time, but I do recall returning to work there when it had dropped to only a handful, or maybe two handfuls. It got back to me that the owner, Thad Rogers, said upon my return the number of members had grown to almost as many when the place first opened, which made me proud.

I hope to be able to visit the CCC&SA before I go to the Chess club in the sky. For all of my international readers, if you come down South I hope you include the Charlotte CC&SA in your itinerary.

No First Round Live Games from the LOTS!

The intended post was to be about the Land of the Sky Chess tournament in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, which began, if the first round began on time, a half hour ago. I had planned on catching some of the action on ChessStream.com (http://chessstream.com/tournaments/Land-of-the-Sky-XXXI/), but when I clicked on LIVE GAMES it was DEAD. There was this message: There won’t be live games for Friday evening round. Broadcast will start Saturday morning, 5 live boards.

I can only hope they discontinue the practice of broadcasting games from the lower sections. Then again, can the lower section games be any worse than this first round game from the ongoing Gibraltar tournament?

Mikhail Antipov 2588 vs Ylon Schwartz 2267

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. g4 h6 7. g5 hxg5 8. Bxg5 a6 9. f4 Qc7 10. Qd2 Nbd7 11. O-O-O b5 12. Bg2 Bb7 13. Rhe1 Rxh2 14. Nd5 Qc4 15. Re3 Nxe4 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Bxe4 1-0

Try to determine which Player took the RED PILL before the game; or maybe both players took the RED PILL? Then head on over to the ChessBomb to learn how deep the rabbit hole goes…

https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-tradewise-gibraltar-masters/01-Antipov_Mikhail_Al_-Schwartz_Ylon

GM Timur Gareyev Lost In Space

The headline reads:

Delhi GM Open 2018: Walkover Shocker for the fourth-seed
Jan 11, 2018

“The games had begun, the top seeds were comfortably seated on their boards. For the professional star players, it was yet another day at work. 14-year-old Koustav Chatterjee, rated 2288, was the only player waiting anxiously for his opponent. American Timur Gareyev GM,

rated 2605, had ‘left’ the official car and had not reached the venue. He had decided that he will come to the venue on his own. The clock was ticking and the walkover time-limit of 30 minutes was fast approaching.
Timur Gareyev did reach the venue, but not on time. He was three minutes late. The chief arbiter Vasanth BH decided to award the point to the young Koustov Chatterjee.”
http://www.chessdom.com/delhi-gm-open-2018-walkover-shocker-for-the-fourth-seed/

The article reminded me of the time a few Chess players were talking about favorite sci-fi TV shows. After naming the original Star Trek

as my favorite, one self-proclaimed ‘legendary’ Georgia player named his.

Upon hearing the name of the show Dubious Dave erupted with, “That’s the difference between you two. Bacon boldly goes where no man has gone before while you (the legendary one) are Lost In Space!” This brought howls of laughter. The legendary one pouted all evening…

I met GM Timur Gareyev

at the 2012 Land of the Sky Chess tournament in the beautiful city of Asheville, in the Great State of North Carolina. It was hours before the first round and I had been talking with the organizer, Wilder Wadford, when Timur came up to speak with Wilder. He noticed the book held in my hand asking if he could look at it.

I gave him the book, he talked with Wilder, then turned abruptly and walked away. I followed, yelled, “Hey you,” or some such, and he turned to gaze at me. After catching up with him I said, “You have my book, sir.” Timur looked flummoxed before saying, “I would like to read it.”
“Who are you?” I inquired. It was then I learned his name. As he was returning the book I said, “It is customary to ask before taking off with someone’s book.” He said, “Yes, of course you are right,” before turning to walk away. Since I had finished reading the book I decided to let him read it, for which he was grateful. Later I noticed Timur sitting in the spectator section reading the book while playing on board one. Someone mentioned later that he had gotten into what looked like trouble against NM Richard Francisco, from my home state of Georgia, while reading the book, before extricating himself from difficulties. Timur went on to tie for first with GM Sergey Kudrin. I enjoyed the conversation we had after the tournament ended, as I have always derived enjoyment from getting into the mind of a top level Chess player. Timur walks to the beat of a different drummer, and I mean that in the best way possible. I liked him immensely. Nothing against “normal” people (whatever “normal” is), but they are not as interesting as we who are, shall we say, “slightly skewed.”

For those of you who do not know, Timur is known as the Blindfold King, and has the website to prove it. (http://www.blindfoldking.com/) One finds this applicable quote at the site: “I close my eyes so I can see.” – Paul Gauguin

Timur and I have something else in common; our brains have been studied. His brain was “loaned” to science before setting the blindfold Chess record.

Inside the brain of the man who would be ‘Blindfold King’ of chess

Next month, Timur Gareyev will play nearly 50 opponents at once – blindfolded. Can neuroscientists reveal how he performs such incredible mental feats?

I urge you to read the article: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/nov/03/inside-the-brain-of-the-man-who-would-be-blindfold-king-of-chess-timur-gareyev


Standard memory tests showed nothing exceptional. However, brain scans suggest that Gareyev’s visual network is more highly connected to other brain parts than usual Photograph: Jesse Rissman


The scans also found much greater than average communication between parts of Gareyev’s brain that make up what is called the frontoparietal control network – used in almost every complex task Photograph: Jesse Rissman

I have participated in several brain studies at places such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and the Veterans Administration. All of these studies involved the memory. My brain:

These studies give one a new way of looking at yourself. Examples:

The Gareev Defense

Before the first round of the Land of the Sky tournament in 2012 GM Timur Gareev noticed a book in my hand, “In Search of the Multiverse,” by John Gribbin After perusal I offered to let him read the book. Much to my surprise, I noticed Timur reading the book while sitting in the spectator section during his game with NM Richard Francisco. Every now and again Timur would glance up from reading to gaze at the position of his game on the demo board. Later someone said, “He was in trouble,” during the game, which he eventually won. Timur is obviously an interesting fellow as can be seen by the many interesting articles recently concerning his adventures, not only at the chess board. Timur played a game in the 2004 World Juniors Championship that began with the moves 1 e4 c6 2 d4 Qc7!? It is the only example I can find of Timur playing the move Qc7. Further checking found many games using this move by Nguyen-Huu Hoang, an expert from France. Chess openings are not usually named after sub-masters, although a case can be made for the opening to be named the Hoang defense. From what I found, Timur is the first GM to have used the move. The earliest example I could find is from an expert from Germany, Wolfgang Goebel, who played it twice in the German Junior Championships of 1957. Wolfgang won the game that day, but lost with it the very next day. If Wolfgang played it first, should it be called the “Goebel defense”? Should it be called the “Hoang defense” in honor of the player who has played it most often, or the “Gareev defense?”
Wagner Herbert – Goebel Wolfgang (GER) (2130) [B12]
Ch DDR (juniors) (under 18) Ruhla (Germany) (6), 21.08.1957
1.e4 c6 2.d4 Qc7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nd7 9.Bc4 Ngf6 10.Bd2 Bd6 11.g3 0–0 12.f5 b5 13.Be2 b4 14.Nd1 a5 15.g4 Nc5 16.Nf2 Ne8 17.g5 g6 18.Ng4 gxf5 19.Qxf5 Qd7 20.Nf6+ Nxf6 21.gxf6 Qxf5 22.exf5 Rfd8 23.Rg1+ Kh8 24.Rg7 Ra7 25.Bh5 Ne4 26.0–0–0 Bf8 27.Be3 Rxd1+ 28.Kxd1 Rd7+ 29.Ke2 Bxg7 30.fxg7+ Kxg7 31.Bf3 Nd6 32.Bxc6 Rc7 33.Ba4 Nxf5 34.Bb6 Rb7 35.Bxa5 Ra7 36.b3 Rxa5 0–1

Wisliceny Juergen – Goebel Wolfgang (GER) (2130) [B12]
Ch DDR (juniors) (under 18) Ruhla (Germany) (8), 22.08.1957
1.e4 c6 2.d4 Qc7 3.c4 d6 4.Nc3 e5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Qc2 exd4 10.Nxd4 Ne5 11.f4 Ng6 12.Nf5 h6 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.Qd2 Rd8 16.Rad1 Qe7 17.e5 f5 18.exd6 Qf6 19.c5 Be6 20.Qd4 Qf7 21.Bh5 Kh7 22.Rf3 Qd7 23.Re1 Nf8 24.Rfe3 g6 25.Bd1 Re8 26.g4 Qg7 27.Qxg7+ Kxg7 28.gxf5 gxf5 29.Bh5 1–0

Venkatesh M R (IND) (2450) – Gareev Timur (UZB) (2525) [B12]
Ch World (juniors) (under 20) Kochin (India) (7), 23.11.2004
1.e4 c6 2.d4 Qc7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 e5 5.a4 Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Bc4 0–0 9.Qe2 Nh5 10.g3 Bg4 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 Nf6 14.g4 Qb4 15.Bb3 Na6 16.g5 Nd7 17.0–0–0 Nac5 18.Ba2 Nb6 19.Rhe1 Nc4 20.Bxc4 Qxc4 21.Qf5 Rae8 22.h4 a5 23.h5 Qe6 24.Re2 g6 25.Qf3 Qe7 26.Qg3 Rd8 27.Rh1 Rfe8 28.f3 Ne6 29.hxg6 fxg6 30.Rg2 Qc5 31.Rgh2 Qe3+ 32.Kb1 Nxg5 33.Rxh7 Qf4 34.Qxf4 exf4 35.Rxb7 Nxf3 36.Rhh7 Ne5 37.Rbg7+ Kf8 38.Ra7 Kg8 39.Rag7+ Kf8 40.Ra7 Kg8 ½–½

Spraggett Kevin (CAN) (2610) – Nguyen-Huu Hoang (FRA) (2079) [B12]
It (open) Metz (France) (2), 23.04.2006
1.e4 c6 2.d4 Qc7 3.Nc3 d6 4.a4 e5 5.g3 Nf6 6.Nge2 Be7 7.Bg2 0–0 8.h3 Nbd7 9.0–0 Re8 10.f4 exd4 11.Nxd4 Nc5 12.g4 Bf8 13.Re1 Ne6 14.Nf5 g6 15.Ng3 h6 16.Rf1 Bg7 17.Be3 b6 18.Qd2 Kh7 19.f5 Nc5 20.Bf4 Bf8 21.Rad1 Ba6 22.Rf2 Nb7 23.g5 hxg5 24.Bxg5 Ng8 25.fxg6+ fxg6 26.Bf1 Bxf1 27.Rdxf1 Bg7 28.Rf7 Qd8 29.R1f4 1–0