Longtime Go-player Richard Cann, 68, died on Sunday, Oct. 6th of ALS. A memorial service will be held Nov. 16th from 1-4pm at the Hopewell Valley Vineyards, 46 Yard Rd, Pennington, NJ 08534.
Born in Pasadena, California he grew up in Denver, Colorado and lived for many years in Hopewell Township, NJ. He received a BA in 1972, and a Ph.D. in 1978 from Princeton University. He was a member of the United States Chess Federation, the American Go Association and the Recording Industry Associates of America. He was the IT Director for the Atlantic Trading Company from 2002 until the time of his death.
Richard was known for his passion for music; the game of Go, which he played at a 2 dan level; and his joy in skiing the black diamond trails of Colorado with his brother. He enjoyed fishing and hiking on his trips to Colorado. He had 30 years of Sunday morning hard fought racquetball games with a dear friend. He was a skilled competitor with a generally superior ability at games of most sorts. His talented musicianship on guitar, violin and piano was expressed by the musical bands he formed and played with over his lifetime. He was known for his warmth, kindness, quiet sense of humor and his easy smile. He had a gift for teaching, whether it was a game, a musical instrument or a physics theory. He had great love for his family as well as the numerous dogs who were valued companions throughout his adult life. He is terribly missed.
Condolences can be sent to his widow, Joanne Sheehan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo by Phil Straus
There has been an exponential increase in the number of chess Grandmasters since I entered the chess world in 1970. It has been written that former FIDE President Florencio Campomanes thought it would be good for chess if every country had a GM. I asked him about this at the US Open in Pasadena in 1983, when he took my room. Thad Rogers, who was on the USCF policy board at the time, promised the Legendary Georgia Ironman, and me, that he would furnish either one us with a room if we made it out to the left coast. Unfortunately, he did not say how long we would have the room. Campo came knocking on my door before I had a chance to unpack, leaving me to scramble for accommodation. His answer was, “What’s wrong with that?” I said it may tend to cheapen the title and he responded, “A Grandmaster will always be a Grandmaster!” Campo was a “smooth” politician.
According to Wiki “In 1957, there were 50 GMs.” In 1972, the year I traveled to San Antonio and met the new World Champion, Bobby Fischer, “there were 88 GMs.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandmaster_%28chess%29#Title_inflation)
“The January 2014 FIDE rating list includes 1444 Grandmasters, however this number is approximate as the FIDE list may include a few deceased players, and may also exclude players from the list for various reasons. Of these players, 1413 are male and 31 are female.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chess_grandmasters)
I have always had a great deal of respect for not only Grandmasters, but also International Masters. I do not care for anyone who tries to inflate his status in the world of chess by holding himself out to be something he is not, a titled player. It is reprehensible when a player alludes to himself as a Master when he is not. For example, an Expert player in the Atlanta area named Joe handed me his card at the House of Pain. His email address was, “ChessMasterJoe@whatever.”
“I did not know you had gotten your NM certificate, Joe,” I said. He replied sheepishly, “I haven’t, yet.” When I asked why he had chosen to call himself “ChessMaster Joe,” he said, “Because I aspire to become a NM.” Someone overhearing the conversation said, “Hell Joe, I ‘aspire’ to become a Grandmaster, but I don’t call myself one!” There was much laughter and “ChessMaster Joe” and his wife soon hit the door.
There is a man from India who gives chess lessons to children in the Atlanta area. He is known only as the “Indian Grandmaster.” Since he is nameless and does not play chess, it is difficult to know whether or not he even has a rating.
I saw this on the internet yesterday: “Ask Altucher Ep. 80 What Are the Benefits of Playing Chess?”
Below this one finds, “08/12/2014 with James Altucher.”
And then this:
Grandmaster James Altucher answers the daily question…”
Does he now…Maybe the “GM” should be asked why he calls himself a Grandmaster when a quick search at USCF shows the gentleman currently rated 2204, having last played in 1998. (http://www.uschess.org/component/option,com_wrapper/Itemid,181/)