Drawing at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy

At the home page of the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy one finds this:

“The Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy was formed in the spirit of growing chess in the Charlotte Metro Area.

​Chess improves social skills

Chess improves reading skills

Chess improves critical thinking skills

Chess promotes creativity

Chess promotes work ethic

Chess increases problem solving skills

Chess teaches planning and foresight

The CCCSA staff is dedicated to make sure the listed qualities of chess are passed on to its members. Donations to help the CCCSA in its efforts are greatly appreciated.” (https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/)

This is not to question the claims made at the website of the CCC&SA, which are at least debatable. Chess has done many things for many people, some good, some not so good.

What I do wish to question is what is being “…passed on to its members.” by those at the CCC&SA.

When young I was told to “Listen to what a man says but watch what he does.”

I would probably not write this if it were only the Charlotte Chess Center, but it is also a “Scholastic Academy.”

When young my “Scholastic Academy” was a Boys Club, where I listened to what was said, but watched what was done…Children are like sponges, soaking up whatever comes their way, positive and negative. If one wants better children it is only natural to accentuate the positive and attempt to eliminate the negative. Children learn from those to whom they look up for guidance. Children emulate those they look up to. They learn from and follow in the footsteps of the adults with whom they come in contact.

I question what kind of leadership is being shown at the CCC&SA.

During the time spent teaching Chess in afternoon school programs one young boy sticks in my mine. His name was Kube, who was from “the islands.” Although I have no idea which one, what is recalled is his distinctive voice, and his bright smile every time I saw him. Kube tried hard to play the best he could every time he sat down to play. Kube was not very strong, but was filled with desire to play better. What more can any coach ask of a child?

There came a time when I had to chose a team for a tournament. The choice came down to a privileged, and talented, child who could care less about the game, and Kube. I chose the latter, which caused an outburst from the obviously wealthy father of the young boy to whom winning, or trying to win, mattered not. I stoically received the verbal abuse from the wealthy father, listening until I could no longer tolerate his vitriol. “Mister!” I interrupted him speaking so loudly it caused him to shut up. “I chose the other boy because I know he will give it everything he’s got, win or lose. I chose him because he CARES. Your son could care less. If we were going into battle I would chose Kube because he could be depended on, something I cannot say about your son.” The man was taken aback for a moment before he opened his mouth to say something else. I cut him off, telling him the discussion was ended, and walked away. He exited with his son…

As it happened Kube had the last game going. The match depended on what happened in Kube’s game. I have never, ever, seen anyone more focused. It was obvious Kube was trying his best; giving it has all. Kube lost…

He cam running to me with tears in his eyes, saying, “I’m so sorry I let you down coach Bacon.” Then he did something totally unexpected. Kube put his arms around my legs and sobbed uncontrollably, like a baby. I was MORTIFIED! With things the way they are today, no coach EVER wants ANY kind of physical contact with ANY student! I stood there fighting back tears of my own because I knew Kube was hurting for real. I gently put my hand on the little boys head and pushed it back a little. “Kube,” I began, “Did you give it all you had?”
“Yes, coach, I did,” he answered. “Then you have no reason to be ashamed, Kube. All I can ask of any student is to give it all he has. There is no dishonor in losing, Kube. Dishonor comes to those who do not even try.”
“But I LOST, coach. The team lost because of me,” he said between sobs. “You were not the only player on the team to lose today, Kube. You just happened to lose the last game. You may have lost the game, Kube, but you have won more than you can understand at this point in your life. If this were war and we were a platoon in a fox hole I, and every member of the platoon, would want you there, Kube, so hold your head up high, and be PROUD of the way you played the game, young man.”

It was only then that I realized that everyone in the room, children and parents, were quietly watching the scene. As I looked into their eyes some of the Chess moms nodded; some even smiled. The faculty of the school did the same. Then the team members came to slap Kube on the back, saying things like, “That was SOME GAME!” Then his opponent said, “How ’bout we look at the game?” All the boys went to the board and they began analyzing. Then I was the one having his back slapped. The adults came over to talk with me, with all complimenting me on how I handled the situation. Was I RELIEVED!

Although I featured games from a previous tournament at the CCC&SA in a post titled, Charlotte Invitational: Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/charlotte-invitational-whole-lotta-shakin-goin-on/) and had not intended on doing so again, my mind was changed after receiving, once again, several emails concerning what kind of Chess is being played at the place. What kind of example is being set for the youngsters in Charlotte?

Some of the “games,” and I use the word loosely, “played” at the Spring 2018 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational, by round:

[Event “Spring 2018 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational”]
[Date “2018.03.28”]
[Round “1”]
[White “IM ANGELO YOUNG (2260)”]
[Black “FM GAURI SHANKAR (2315)”]

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 e5 4. Bg2 d6 5. e3 f5 6. Nge2 Nf6 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 c6 9. b4 a6 10. a4 Be6 11. Ba3 d5 1/2-1/2

[Round “3”]
[White “GM ASHWIN JAYARAM (2484)”]
[Black “GM TANGUY RINGOIR (2541)”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nge2 d5 7. cxd5 cxd4 8. exd4 Nxd5 9. O-O Nc6 1/2-1/2

Round “3”]
[White “GM DENES BOROS (2429)”]
[Black “IM MICHAEL BROWN (2497)”]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. e3 Be7 6. b3 O-O 7. Bd3 b6 8. Bb2 Bb7 9. O-O c5 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Rc1 a6 12. Qc2 b5 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. Ne2 Nfe4 15. Ng3 Rc8 16. Qe2 Re8 17. Bb1 1/2-1/2

[Round “4”]
[White “IM MARTIN DEL CAMPO (2357)”]
[Black “IM ANGELO YOUNG (2260)”]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. exd5 1/2-1/2

[Round “4”]
[White “IM STEVEN ZIERK (2482)”]
[Black “GM TANGUY RINGOIR (2541)”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3 h5 7. d3 Qf6 8. Be3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Qxf3 10. gxf3 Bd6 1/2-1/2

[Round “4”]
[White “FM SAHIL SINHA (2246)”]
[Black “FM GAURI SHANKAR (2315)”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Bf4 Nc6 6. e3 Bf5 7. Bd3 Bxd3 8. Qxd3 e6 9. h3 Be7 10. Nf3 O-O 11. O-O Ne8 12. Rac1 Bd6 1/2-1/2

[Round “7”]
[White “IM JOHN BARTHOLOMEW (2477)”]
[Black “GM DENES BOROS (2429)”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 a6 6. O-O c5 7. Bb3 Be7 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Qe2 cxd4 10. Rd1 O-O 11. Nxd4 Qc7 12. Nxc6 Qxc6 13. e4 b5 14. f3 Bb7 15. Be3 Rfd8 1/2-1/2

[Round “8”]
[White “GM DENES BOROS (2429)”]
[Black “GM ASHWIN JAYARAM (2484)”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d6 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 O-O 7. Nf3 b6 8. g3 Bb7 9. Bg2 Nbd7 10. O-O Be4 1/2-1/2

[Round “8”]
[Black “IM MARTIN DEL CAMPO (2357)”]

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. d3 d5 4. Nd2 Nf6 5. e3 Bd6 6. a3 O-O 7. Be2 Re8 8. b4 e4 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. d4 Qg6 11. g3 1/2-1/2

[Round “9”]
[White “GM TANGUY RINGOIR (2541)”]
[Black “GM DENES BOROS (2429)”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 1/2-1/2

[Round “9”]
[White “IM ANGELO YOUNG (2260)”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. c4 c6 1/2-1/2

[Round “9”]
[White “FM SAHIL SINHA (2246)”]
[Black “NM JOHN LUDWIG (2388)”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e3 f5 5. f4 Nf6 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O Ne4 9. Nxe4 fxe4 10. Ne5 Nd7 11. c5 Nxe5 12. fxe5 Rxf1+ 13. Qxf1 Be7 14. Bd2 Bd7 15. b4 a6 16. g3 g6 1/2-1/2

[Round “9”]
[White “IM JOHN BARTHOLOMEW (2477)”]
[Black “IM STEVEN ZIERK (2482)”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O Nc6 7. a3 a6 8. dxc5 Qxd1 9. Rxd1 Bxc5 10. b4 Be7 11. Bb2 b5 12. Be2 O-O 13. Nbd2 Bb7 14. Rac1 Rfd8 15. Ne1 Rac8 16. Nd3 Nb8 1/2-1/2

I include this game to show that not all players were “afflicted” by the draw disease in Charlotte.

[Round “9”]
[White “FM GAURI SHANKAR (2315)”]
[Black “FM CHRISTOPHER YOO (2293)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2 (draw)”]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. b3 Bg7 4. Bb2 O-O 5. Bg2 c5 6. c4 d6 7. d4 Ne4 8. O-O Nc6 9. Nbd2 Bf5 10. Nh4 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 Nxd4 12. Nxf5 Nxf5 13. Bxg7 Nxg7 14. Bxb7 Rb8 15. Bd5 Ne8 16. h4 Nf6 17. Bf3 h5 18. Rad1 Kg7 19. Qc3 Qc7 20. Be4 Kg8 21. Bc2 Rfd8 22. Qf3 a5 23. Rd3 Nd7 24. Rd5 Ne5 25. Qc3 e6 26. Rd2 a4 27. bxa4 Rb4 28. Bb3 Nc6 29. Rfd1 Na5 30. Rd3 Qb8 31. Rf3 Rd7 32. Rd2 Rdb7 33. Qd3 d5 34. Rc2 Nxb3 35. axb3 Rxb3 36. Qd2 Rb1+ 37. Kg2 d4 38. Ra3 Qa8 39. f3 R7b4 40. a5 Qa6 41. Raa2 e5 42. Qg5 Rxc4 43. Qxe5 Rxc2 44. Rxc2 Qxa5 45. Rxc5 Qa8 46. Qxd4 Rb8 47. Qc4 Qa3 48. Rc7 Rf8 49. Rc6 Kh7 50. Rc7 Kg8 51. Rd7 Qe3 52. Qd3 Qe5 53. Rd5 Qb2 54. Qe4 Qf6 55. Ra5 Rd8 56. Ra8 Rxa8 57. Qxa8+ Kg7 58. Qd5 Qb2 59. Qe4 Qa1 60. f4 Qe1 61. Qe5+ Kg8 62. Qe8+ Kg7 63. Qe5+ Kg8 64. Qe7 f5 65. Qe3 Kg7 66. Qf2 Qb1 67. Qd4+ Kg8 68. Kf2 Qh1 69. Qd3 Qh2+ 70. Ke1 Qh1+ 71. Kd2 Qg1 72. Kc3 Qa1+ 73. Kc4 Qa4+ 74. Kc5 Qa7+ 75. Kd6 Kf8 76. Kd5 Qd7+ 77. Kc4 Qc6+ 78. Kb3 Qb6+ 79. Kc2 Qg1 80. Qa3+ Kg8 81. Qb3+ Kg7 82. Kb2 Qf2 83. Qd3 Qg1 84. Kb3 Qb6+ 85. Kc2 Qg1 86. Kc3 Qc5+ 87. Qc4 Qe3+ 88. Qd3 Qc5+ 89. Kd2 Qg1 90. Qe3 Qg2 91. Kd3 Qb7 92. Qe5+ Kf7 93. Kc4 Qc6+ 94. Kb4 Qb6+ 95. Qb5 Qg1 96. Qc4+ Kg7 97. Qc3+ Kg8 98. Kb5 Qg2 99. Qf3 Qxf3 100. exf3 Kf7 101. Kb6 Kf6 102. Kc5 Ke7 103. Kc6 Ke6 104. Kc5 Ke7 105. Kd5 Kd7 106. Ke5 Ke7 107. Kd5 Kd7 108. Ke5 Ke7 109. Kd5 Kd7 110. Ke5 Ke7 1/2-1/2