The Moves That Matter: A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life: Part One

The review will begin with the bottom line. The book is a lovingly written, magnificent masterpiece. Anyone reading it will be richly rewarded in ways they may not even understand at the time of reading. This is most definitely not a book one reads and forgets. It is a book to savor.

I met Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson at the World Open in 2002 while assisting Thad Rogers in the book room after turning certain victory into defeat in the first round and after losing the next two games Thad needed help and the book room looked inviting. There was a discussion concerning his book, The Seven Deadly Chess Sins,

which had been read the previous year. Later I read Jonathan’s Chess For Zebras,

which was very entertaining, and while working at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center I advocated any and everyone purchase his excellent books. All I recall now about our conversation is that other books were discussed and when asked to name my favorite novel I answered immediately, “The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse.”

“Really?!” he said before continuing with a question, “Why?”

Why, indeed. I no longer remember how I answered, but do recall being taken aback, because most people with whom I have mentioned the novel have not even been aware of the book. I also recall Jonathan displaying actions which led me to believe he was about ready to leave, so the answer was truncated. In addition I recall Jonathan saying, after I answered his question, “Fascinating!”

GM Rowson tied for first at the 2002 World Open. Because of the pleasant memories of the chance encounter I will admit it is difficult for me to be completely objective. In addition, upon learning of the forthcoming publication of the book about to be reviewed I contacted the publishing company, informing them of the blog and the encounter with Jonathan, while informing them I would like to review the book. I had hoped to finish reading the book long before publication in order to review it ASAP, but life intervened. Another factor is that the book required much more thought than I had imagined, which is a very good thing. A quote from the book comes to mind: “You cannot think about thinking without thinking about thinking about something.” – cognitive scientist Martin Minsky. Therefore reading the book required much more time than I had imagined.

The book is full of wonderful quotes, which is a positive thing. Decades ago there was a show on public television, Thinking Allowed, hosted by Dr. Jeffery Mishlove.

http://www.thinkingallowed.com/jm.html

Jonathan Rowson would have made an excellent guest on the program. (Just put Thinking Allowed into the Startpage.com search engine and found: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFk448YbGITLnzplK7jwNcw. Oh happy day!)

After briefly perusing the book one long time National Master Chess player closed it before saying, “Where’s the meat?!” This meant GAMES. After explaining there were about two dozen games contained in the notes he exclaimed, “What kind of Chess book is that?!” This caused me to consider the question too long because he began talking before I could answer. I was never able to answer his question because, to his way of thinking, a Chess book with mostly words was most definitely NOT a Chess book. This has caused me to reflect upon what, exactly, is a Chess book. For example, consider Frank Brady’s book on Bobby Fischer, Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall – from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness.

Would it be considered a Chess book? Maybe what constitutes a “Chess book” is what is in the eye of the beholder…

The Moves That Matter is is a book about oh so much more than Chess. It is a book written by a man who devoted most of his early years, and maybe half of his life, to the Royal game, so therefore it does contain much Chess put into words, but, strictly speaking, it is not about Chess. It is about so much more than a mere game. The book is about life, and thinking about life. Although the reader will be entertained, it is not about entertaining per se. It is a “deep” book which will cause the reader to do some seriously deep thinking. That is to be expected since Dr. Jonathan Rowson is an applied philosopher. “The Society for Applied Philosophy was founded in 1982 with the aim of promoting philosophical work that has a direct bearing on areas of practical concern.” (https://www.appliedphil.org/)

In lieu of a review I have decided to write about the the ideas and questions contained in the book. Copious notes were taken while reading; twelve pages of college ruled note paper to be precise. What I will attempt to do is share some of the thoughts and questions in the book that caused me to question and think about those thoughts and questions.

The book contains eight chapters each broken down into another eight sub-headings. The format caused me to reflect upon one of my favorite books, The Eight,

by Katherine Neville.


Katherine Neville in 1985
A photograph of the author in San Francisco’s Marin Headlands, California, 1985.

In the first chapter, Thinking and Feeling, under sub-heading #5 Asking Pertinent Questions, one finds, “There are many different ways to frame the educational value of chess, but if I had to sum it up in one word, it would probably be: ‘questions’.

If I had three words it would be ‘questions about relationships’. As the writer Marinan Benjamin puts it, to ask a question is to invest in attentiveness, to declare a stake in the answer, and that is one of the many gifts of chess; you cease to be a passive recipient of information, and become an active learner – an intrinsically rewarding experience. Playing chess is about posing questions to the opponent, and answering the questions they pose you; the little questions are always nested inside bigger ones.”

We will move ahead to the last chapter, Life and Death, under sub-heading #64, Facing up to death. It is written, “The 2009 Acropolis Open in Greece was overshadowed by the death of a respected Greek player, Nikolaos Karapanos, who had a heart attack just before executing a winning move in his first-round game. His opponent, Israeli Grandmaster Dan Zoler, who happens to be a doctor, tried to revive him, but Karapanos stopped breathing before the ambulance arrived.
This story indicates just how stress-inducing chess can be, but the deeper point is that we never know when our time will come. All the major spiritual traditions speak about the importance of being ready for the unthinkable, and the importance of being ready for the unthinkable, and the importance of dying at peace, without undue regret.
It seems profane to point out that Zoler resigned the game, but he also withdrew from the event, stating that he no longer felt like playing chess in the circumstances. You can hardly blame him. Chess sometimes seems singularly charming and vitally important, but a brief reflection on our mortality has to lead to some searching questions. Is this it? Pushing these pieces around? Is this what I am supposed to be doing?”

Nikolaos Karapanos vs Dan Zoler
24th ICT Acropolis (2009), Chalkida, Greece, rd 1, Aug-10
Catalan Opening: General (E00)

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 c5 5.Bxb4 cxb4 6.Bg2 O-O
7.Nf3 d6 8.O-O a5 9.a3 Na6 10.Nbd2 Qc7 11.h3 Rd8 12.e4 e5
13.Qe2 b6 14.a4 Bb7 15.b3 Re8 16.Rad1 Rad8 17.Rfe1 exd4
18.Nxd4 Nc5 19.f3 Nh5 20.Nf1 d5 21.cxd5 Bxd5 22.exd5 Rxe2
23.Rxe2 g6 24.f4 Nf6 25.Nc6 Rd7 26.Ne5 Rd8 27.Nc6 Rd7 28.Ne5
Nxb3 29.Nxd7 Nxd7 30.d6 Qc5+ 31.Kh2 Kg7 32.Re7 Qc8 33.Ne3 Nf6
34.d7 Qd8 35.Ng4 Kf8 36.Ne5 Nc5 1-0
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1554879

See the excellent article by Daaim Shabazz at The Chess Drum:

Playing Chess to Death

Aug 4th, 2019 by Daaim Shabazz

Playing Chess to Death

End part one

Tim Tobiason: A Colorful Chess Character

Reading the following from Mark Weeks blog, Chess for All Ages, caused me to pause and reflect upon the man named in the post:

“By coincidence, while I was preparing the recent post, An 1886 Photoshopped Illustration, where I mentioned that ‘I’ve been downloading old copies of The Chess Journalist (TCJ)’, I noticed that the December 2006 issue of the TCJ credited the existence of the scanned CL/CRs to Tim Tobiason. He seems to have been a colorful character in several ways, but this isn’t the time or place to repeat stories that can be found elsewhere on the web. It is his misfortune that while the original magazines are protected by copyright, his scans aren’t protected by a second copyright because they don’t represent creative work.”
(http://chessforallages.blogspot.com/2018/06/caveat-ebay-digital-documents.html)

The first time I met Tim Tobiason was in Rolla, Missouri, at the 2002 Missouri State Chess Championship. Mr. Tobiason, who was also playing in the small event, had the most eclectic collection of things ever seen at a Chess tournament. Along with the usual Chess books and other Chess related things, he displayed books he had written, and other items looking like they would be more comfortable at a gun show. I cannot recall the titles, but they were along the same line as the infamous Anarchist Cookbook.

He talked of the right he had to publish anything, and of being hounded by the FBI because of the content, which tended toward blowing things up with explosives. Tim rather proudly stated he had been “filmed by 60 Minutes,” the CBS TV show. He also mentioned having been banned at gun shows, which is where he sold most of his self-produced books. People began moving away from the table. He also mentioned needing a place to stay, or at least a shower, as he was traveling from Chess tournament to tournament while living in his van. I mentioned, with as much deference as could be mustered, maybe he might want to reconsider the part about being followed by the FBI if he wanted a place to stay. “You gotta point,” he said.

The next encounter with Tim was at the Atlanta Chess Center. He needed to take a shower and wanted to stay inside the House of Pain that night. In addition, he needed some space in the back room to set up his equipment, which consisted of scanning equipment to be used to copy older material, which he would sell. Unbeknownst to me David Spinks had flatly turned him down. Later on I saw and greeted him. He was obviously road weary and in a disheveled state. Tim was heavyset, with a rather large, and protruding belly. Happy to see a friendly face after his encounter with Spinks, he greeted me like a long-lost friend. After informing me he knew Thad Rogers, owner of the Dump, and explaining the situation, as he had attempted with Spinks, I told him it would be OK to shower. I figured Thad would give the OK, so I did so. David was LIVID! It was one of the few times I saw Spinks “lose it.” David was adamant. He did not want Tim around, especially on a tournament weekend. I tried reasoning with him, to no avail. For the first and only time while working at the HOP I placed a call to Thad. After informing him of the situation, he said, “Toby’s there? Tell him I said hello, and yes, you were right to allow him access. Let me speak with David.” Spinks did not like being overruled, but had no choice in the matter.

Toby said he was hungry and I mentioned the Dekalb Farmer’s Market, but Toby had other ideas. He asked about an all you can eat place, telling me he only ate once a day, spending hours eating all he could, which would have to last until the next day. I understood immediately why Thad liked Toby, as he, too, could spend hours at an all you can eat buffet. Besides, Toby was a character, and Thad always had a fondness for characters, one of the great things about Thad. That particular character trait was exactly what one needed to interact with Chess players.

Upon his return we made room for Toby and his equipment in the back room while taking pains to pacify Spinks. I spent a great deal of time with Toby that evening while working the front. Toby was a nervous type, and who would not be with the FBI breathing down his neck? Most Chess players are paranoid; it seems to come with the game. Toby was not the only player claiming to be followed by authorities. IM Emory Tate was in the military for many years, playing, and winning, the Armed Forces Championship five times. We were regaled with stories of his being in Military Intelligence, and according to Emory, “They are still watching me.” Who were we to argue? After listening to Emory I will admit to being pleased someone was keeping an eye on the man. Consider this:

“A lone lion wanders afar in the wilderness, no longer part of the pride
Once gleaming, accepted, a beautiful beast, now having been cast aside
No chance for part in coordinated hunt, this one can’t run very fast
Nature holds no place, and faltering, it seems this beast just won’t last

~Emory Andrew Tate, Jr.”

Is Emory writing about himself, or the Royal game? This can be found at the excellent website of Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum. (http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2015/10/21/emory-tate-chess-savant-warrior-1958-2015/)

Thad drove up from Macon the next day and if memory serves, stayed the night. While on duty Thad could be heard laughing constantly from the back room. It was obvious he had an affinity for Toby. I cannot differentiate between all the tournaments held at the House of Pain, but because of Toby I do recall that particular weekend. Toby definitely brought something different to the staid House that weekend. In deference to Spinks I mentioned the recent rash of car break-ins experienced at the House in the crime filled area and Toby decided to sleep in his van.

I asked Thad if what Toby related was real, or a figment of his imagination. “I dunno,” he answered, “But they make for great stories!” he said with a grin. Toby kept busy, and out-of-the-way, making his discs, which he sold to Thad. One legendary Atlanta player was extremely pleased with what he purchased.

The last time I encountered Toby was in Louisville many years later. There was a children’s tournament and I arrived a little after noon. The event was over (they ‘head ’em up and move ’em out’ in Derby land) and Toby was getting ready to leave, hitting the road for who knows where.

Reading the Chess for All Ages post prompted a visit to startpage.com, where I entered Toby’s name, finding this article, which is quite lengthy. If you do not have the appetite for all of it, scroll on down to the last four paragraphs, which has been made bold. This will make you want to read all of what follows, so why not just invest the time and read it all now?

Hoax! (part 2)
The second half of Jon Ronson’s investigation into people behind the post-September 11 anthrax hoaxes.

I had met Tim two years earlier at a gun show in Rochester, Minnesota. I was there with my producer, Jim, and the Ruby Ridge survivor Randy Weaver, whose wife and son were shot by FBI agents in a bungled raid in Idaho 10 years ago. Crowds flocked to get Weaver’s autograph, but Tim didn’t. He stood apart, a lone wolf among lone wolves, a pasty-looking man, wearing a lumberjack shirt and glasses. He had a deep grudge against the federal government and, it turned out, a rudimentary scientific knowledge. He told us that anthrax was the only way forward for the “movement”. In our experience, anthrax wasn’t a big militia topic of conversation. In fact, we’d never heard it mentioned, so Jim did a quick interview with him.

“I get into the more dangerous biological and chemical weapons area,” Tim said during this taped interview. “You can mail massive-scale weapons in microscopic form on a postage stamp, and that way you can re-arm the entire nation if the government ever tries to take your guns away.”
Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate – sent direct to you
Read more

The people we met at the gun shows all had their own special ways of theoretically battling the government. One man had advocated the use of piano wire, another favoured firebombs. Tim’s big thing was anthrax. I’d never ratted out an interviewee to the feds before. I’d never given up a source. This would normally be a very bad thing for a journalist to do. But this was October 2001.

“Tim probably isn’t the anthrax killer,” I thought to myself. “But how often does one meet someone who is almost the anthrax killer?”

“I should call the FBI,” I said to Jim, when he telephoned in early October to remind me about our interview with Tim.

“Hang on,” he said. “I’m the one who thought of Tim. I should call the FBI.”

“I want to call the FBI,” I said.

“Well, I don’t want you bloody going to the FBI without me,” said Jim.

There was a hurt silence. “OK,” I said. “I promise to bring you with me to the FBI.”

It wasn’t easy to find the FBI in London. Directory enquiries had no record of them. “Are you sure F stands for Federal?” they asked.

I finally tracked them to the US embassy, and an agent called Michael came on the phone. When I told him what I had, he said, casually, “Yes. That would be something we’d be interested in. Could you bring it in?”

“Tomorrow?” I asked, and Michael agreed.

I realised that things were less casual when Michael telephoned me at 8.30am to ask if I was coming in today. Things aren’t casual at 8.30am. People call at 8.30am if they’ve been up worrying.

And two hours later – in Grosvenor Square, central London – Jim and I were past the security guards, past the ocean of fencing, through the x-rays, the bag search, up the elevator, through a series of reinforced steel doors – the kind of doors you find on safes – through more corridors, through the body search, and into London’s FBI headquarters. We were led into an office decorated with novelty Big Ben snowstorms and a collection of funny police helmets.

Michael was sitting at his desk. He was bookish and young. He shook hands, led us through to his boss’s office, and sat us on the sofa. He got out his notepad and said, “So how did you come to meet this Tim?”

“Well,” said Jim, “we’re journalists, and we were following Randy Weaver around the gun show circuit. Actually, Jon had hooked up with Randy Weaver a few days earlier, but I’d been researching another project, would you believe it, surveillance cameras in shopping malls!” Jim laughed nervously. Michael’s eyes began to glaze.

I think that Jim, like many people who meet law enforcement officers, was feeling the desperate urge to confess. Luckily, Jim didn’t have anything to confess to, so this compulsion was finding a different outlet – mad small talk. I glanced down at Michael’s notepad. So far, he’d written only two words: “Randy Weaver.”

“Shall we watch the tape?” said Michael.

“With a mass propagated pre-packaged bio-weapon, you could render most of the major cities uninhabitable in about a week, which would wreck the economy and pretty much put an end to the government,” said Tim on the tape.

“Tim,” replied Jim on the tape, “what you’re advocating here is the spread of really dangerous information. Why do you feel that it’s a good idea for everybody to know this terrible stuff?”

I was relieved that Jim had adopted a combative style of questioning with Tim. All too often, Jim and I ask extremists over-soft questions that might lead FBI agents erroneously to believe that we had gone native. When the tape ended, Michael thanked us very much and escorted us back to the lobby.

That night, as I lay in bed, I thought of Tim, and I wondered who he really was. A week later, the Wall Street Journal provided the answer: the FBI, it said, was looking for a home-grown anthrax terrorist, and they were making inquiries about a Nebraska man called Tim Tobiason, who was known on the gun show circuit for advocating the use of anthrax. Apparently, the FBI had been alerted to Tim by a “member of the public”. There was a photograph. This was my Tim.

It turned out that Tim Tobiason came from Silver Creek, Nebraska. He had once been a pillar of the community, the owner of an animal-feed mill with 24 employees and $3m a year cashflow, married, with two daughters, and a bit of a chemical wizard, too; he mixed up witches’ brews at night in his garage – funny-smelling stuff, said his neighbours. Then he made a new kind of phosphate-based feed additive which, he calculated, would net him millions. He set about patenting it, but the government said it would be dangerous to cattle, so they rejected it. He began bitching to his friends about a conspiracy, how the government had stolen his patent and given it to some agricultural corporation. He moved into a Dodge caravan and plotted his revenge. He wrote Scientific Principles Of Improvised Warfare: Advanced Biological Weapons Design And Manufacture. The cover promised, “If you can make Jell-O, you can wipe out cities. Enjoy!”

His marriage collapsed and he took to selling his book on the gun show circuit. In the wake of the Wall Street Journal article, TV crews stormed Silver Creek. But Tim had vanished. The FBI analysed his handwriting, and followed the instructions in his anthrax cookbook, finding them to be shoddy and incomplete. They concluded that Tim Tobiason was innocent. As a result of the publicity, Tim was banned from gun shows across the US. His Silver Creek neighbours said they didn’t expect him back, which was for the best because he was no longer welcome in town.

The last I heard of Tim Tobiason was in December last year. Dan Rather’s CBS news team secretly filmed him at a gun show in California – one of the few still letting him sell his books. In this covert recording, Tim said that if a federal agent killed him and his children, an unnamed colleague of his would exact a terrible revenge. This colleague would take “communicable weapons to every grade school within 50 miles of CIA headquarters, infect them all, they go home, infect Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad goes back to CIA, and two weeks later CIA’s gone.” Tim was one of those people who always lived in fear that the federal government would come after him, and Jim and I made his paranoid fantasy come true.

For all his blather, I think my decision to shop Tim to the FBI was an even less justifiable response to the hysteria than the actions of the four anthrax hoaxers whom I interviewed. Clay Waagner had a good excuse for going crazy that month. He had a cause. Lucy Manifold was trying to stay happy. Bryan Mangnall was a dumb jock. And Terry Olson was depressed and wanted attention. I had no good reason to do what I did. And I got thanked for it.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/oct/05/anthrax.uk1

Crime in The City (Sixty to Zero) by Neil Young
——–

All the champs and the heroes
They got a price to pay
They go from sixty to zero
In the split of a hair
They see the face in the window
They feel a shadow out there
They’ve got the places they can go
They’ve got the people who stare
They’ve got to walk in their shoes
They’ve got to see what they see
They’ve got the people around them
Getting too much for free
All the pimps and the dealers
All the food they can eat
All the screamers and squealers
When they walk down the street
Yeah.

He’s just a rich old man
He never cared for anyone
He likes to count his possessions
He’s been a miser from penny one
He never cared for his children
Never cared for his wife
Never made anyone happy
That’s the way he lived his life
And one day in the sunshine
He got a bolt from the blue
Unloaded all of his possessions
Sold his investments too
And now he lives with the homeless
Owns 900 hospital beds
He prefers to remain nameless
It’s publicity he dreads
Yeah.

There’s a judge in the city
He goes to work every day
Spends his life in the courthouse
Keeps his perspective that way
But I respect his decision
He’s got a lot on his mind
He’s pretty good with the gavel
A little heavy on the fines
One day there was this minstrel
Who came to court on a charge
That he blew someone’s head off
Because his amp was too large
And the song he was singin’
Was not for love but for cash
Well, the judge waived the charges
He fingered his mustache
Yeah.

Well, there’s a clown in a carnival
He rode a painted horse
He came from somewhere out west
He was very funny of course
But that is not what I noticed
It was the incredible force
With which he held his audience
While he rode on his horse
His jokes were not that off-color
His smile was not that sincere
His show was that not that sensational
Reasons for success were not clear
But he still made big money
One day the circus was his
Now he’s married to the acrobat
And they’re training their kids
Yeah.

Now the jailhouse was empty
All the criminals were gone
The gate was left wide open
And a buck and fawn
Were eating grass in the courtyard
When the warden walked in
And took a rifle from the prison guard
And said to him with a grin
To shoot those deer would be stupid, sir
We already got ’em right here
Why not just lock the gates and keep them
With intimidation and fear?
But the warden pulled the trigger
And those deer hit the ground
He said Nobody’ll know the difference
And they both looked around.
Yeah.

Well, the cop made the showdown
He was sure he was right
He had all of the lowdown
From the bank heist last night
His best friend was a robber
And his wife was a thief
All the children were murderers
They couldn’t get no relief
The bungalow was surrounded
When a voice loud and clear
Come out with your hands up
Or we’re gonna blow you out of here
There was a face in the window
TV cameras rolled
And they cut to the announcer
And the story was told.
Yeah.

Well, the artist looked at the producer
The producer sat back
He said What we have got here
Is a pretty good track
But we don’t have a vocal
And we still don’t have a song
If we could get this thing accomplished
Nothin’ else could go wrong
So he balanced the ashtray
And he picked up the phone
And said Send me a songwriter
Who’s drifted far from home
And make sure that he’s hungry
And make sure he’s alone
And send me a cheeseburger
And a new Rolling Stone
Yeah.

Well, the Sioux and Dakota
They lost all of their land
And now a basketball player
Is trying to lend them a hand
Maybe someday he’ll be president
He’s quite a popular man
But now the chief has reservations
And the white man has plans
There’s opposition in Congress
The bill is up against cash
There’s really no way of predicting
If it will fly or it will crash
But that’s the nature of politics
That’s the name of the game
That’s how it looks in the tepee
Big winds are blowing again
Yeah.

There’s still crime in the city
Said the cop on the beat
I don’t know if I can stop it
I feel like meat on the street
They paint my car like a target
I take my orders from fools
Meanwhile some kid blows my head off
Well, I play by their rules
So now I’m doing it my way
I took the law in my own hands
Here I am in the alleyway
A wad of cash in my pants
I get paid by a ten year old
He says he looks up to me
There’s still crime in the city
But it’s good to be free
Yeah.

Now I come from a family
That has a broken home
Sometimes I talk to my daddy
On the telephone
When he says that he loves me
I know that he does
But I wish I could see him
Wish I knew where he was
But that’s the way all my friends are
Except maybe one or two
Wish I could see him this weekend
Wish I could walk in his shoes
But now I’m doin’ my own thing
Sometimes I’m good, then I’m bad
Although my home has been broken
It’s the best home I ever had
Yeah.

Well, I keep getting younger
My life’s been funny that way
Before I ever learned to talk
I forgot what to say
I sassed back to my mummy
I sassed back to my teacher
I got thrown out of Sunday School
For throwin’ bibles at the preacher
Then I grew up to be a fireman
I put out every fire in town
Put out everything smoking
But when I put the hose down
The judge sent me to prison
Gave me life without parole
Wish I never put the hose down
Wish I never got old.
http://thrasherswheat.org/fot/lyrics_crime.htm

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.

IM Emory Tate Delivers

When asked to name the player I most enjoy replaying their games, I have surprised most are surprised when I reply, “IM Emory Tate.” When asked why I have answered, “There is a reason he is called “Wild Man Tate.” Emory continually comes up with some of the strangest looking, most outlandish, moves ever made on a chess board. It would be fair to say Emory is an inventive player. Many of his games are tactical in nature, which is why he has accrued the reputation of being thought of as a “sharp” player. His games are always interesting.
After a game with IM Tate at the House of Pain one opponent was heard to say, “A game with Tate is like being in a knife fight.” From the way it was said I surmised the fellow had felt the cold, hard steel of the blade. The peripatetic player has been all over the country. Upon moving to Louisville and playing in a Monday night tournament one of the first things I heard was, “IM Emory Tate has played in our tournament. He has family over in Indiana.” Every week the usual suspects would come to the big box store lunch room, but when an unusual suspect would appear you could bet your sweet bippy he would hear about the time IM Emory Tate previously played in the event.
This caught my attention, “Emory Tate Delivers a Legendary Performance at the Fremont Summer Chess Camp.”
“International Master Emory Tate stunned the Bay Area’s best young chess players by achieving a perfect score in a massive simultaneous chess exhibition at the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s Fremont Summer Chess Camp.”
Fremont, California (PRWEB) July 13, 2014
“For all those unaware of what a great chess player International Master Emory Tate truly is, the Torres Chess and Music Academy recommends playing through his recent win over Grandmaster Maurice Ashley in just 22 moves! For the children who participated in his simultaneous exhibition chess event on July 10th, Emory has achieved a legendary status.
Nearly 50 opponents, many of whom are some of the top ranked young chess players in the United States, took on the famed International Chess Master simultaneously. Emory Tate, who only had the white pieces in a few of the games, played for 5 hours and a walked nearly 2 miles while completing his simultaneous chess exhibition! During the course of this momentous task, Emory Tate emerged victorious on every single board.” (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb12014019.htm)
Earlier this month I spotted this headline, “Famed Chess Coach Aims to Make California’s Best Chess Camp Even Better” on the excellent chess blog, “The Chess Drum.” (http://www.thechessdrum.net/)
“The Torres Chess and Music Academy is excited to announce the addition of International Master Emory Tate to our roster of famed chess instructors. Over the board, Tate is widely regarded as one of the greatest attacking chess players of our time. Emory first received national recognition as the best chess player in the United States Air force and by winning the All-Armed Services tournament five different times, setting a record which may never be broken.
After the Cold War ended in 92, Tate went into civilian life in Indiana. During these years, he became Indiana State champion a total of six different times and then Alabama State Chess Champion twice. Tate currently holds the FIDE title of International Master which is only one step below the highest title of Grandmaster. However, Emory makes it a regular habit to defeat top grandmasters at the prestigious chess tournaments in which he often participates.” (
http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2014/06/06/emory-tate-cali-chess-camp/)
IM Emory Tate – GM Maurice Ashley
2014 National Open 3d round
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 e6 4.Nf3 a6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Qc7 7.Be3 d6 8.Qf3 Nf6 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Qg3 Bd7 11.0–0 0–0 12.Rae1 Rac8 13.a3 g6 14.Kh1 Kh8 15.Nf3 Rg8 16.e5 Nh5 17.Qh3 f5 18.exf6 Nxf6 19.Ng5 Rcf8 20.Nxe6 Qc8 21.f5 gxf5 22.Bxf5 Rf7 23.Bh6 1-0

The game is annotated by Chris Torres, the author of the aforementioned press releases and can be found here: (https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/a-modern-classic-in-the-grand-prix-attack/)
He writes, “In the entire recorded history of chess, this move has only been played once previously in a nice win for white. See Michael Link vs Daniel Schlecht from Germany, 1993.”
I found this strange game on the Chessbase database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/onlinedb/):

Horak,Martin (1797) – Moravec,Vit (2120) [B82]
Kouty nad Desnau, 01.01.2013

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Qc7 6.
Be3 Nf6 7. f4 d6 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Qf3 Be7 10. Qg3 O-O 11. O-O-O b5 12. e5 Nxd4 13.
Bxd4 dxe5 14. Bxe5 Qa5 15. Kb1 Bb7 16. Bxh7+ Kxh7 17. Rd7 Bc6 18. Rxe7 b4 19.
Qh4+ Kg8 20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. Qg3+ Kh7 22. Qh4+ Kg7 23. Qg4+ Kh6 24. Qh4+ Kg7 1/2-1/2

It has been good to see the return of GM Ashley to the arena. Like others who have taken a break from competitive action he has found the going difficult. He played in the Ron Simpson Memorial, in Cary, NC, back in March. Maurice won his first four games, as did his last round opponent, Sanjay Ghatti, a young expert from Atlanta. I had been watching the games over the internet and was extremely disappointed when “technical difficulties” prevented the last round game between the two players in the top section with an unblemished record. Mr. Ghatti pulled a gigantic upset over the Grandmaster while becoming a NM. I have looked in vain for the game on the NCCA website. I did, however, managed to follow a few of the earlier games and am left with the memory of Maurice playing the Modern, “rope a dope” style with Black. It is obvious that in the game with IM Tate he could have improved with the b5 break on move seven. White has scored well against the defensive scheme used by GM Ashley and the programs show it as best. GM Ashley could have played another move n lieu of 11…0-0; 11… g6 12. Kh1 O-O 13. f5 Kh8 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Bh6 Rg8 16. fxe6 fxe6 17. Qh3 g5 18. e5 g4 19. Qh4 Ne4 20. Qe1 Ng5 21. exd6 Bxd6 22. Bxg5 Rxg5 23. Qxe6 Rg7 24. Rf6 Bxh2 25. Raf1 Rag8 26. Rh6
as in Vera (2430)-Velez (2410) Cuba 1982, 1-0 (37). Playing passively against “Wild Man” Tate did not work this time. This thrust of the sharp edge put GM Ashley out of the National Open.