2018 U.S. Go Congress launches in Williamsburg

2018 U.S. Go Congress launches in Williamsburg

Sunday July 22, 2018

Heavy daylong rains may have slowed the arrival in Williamsburg, VA of some of the hundreds of go players at the 2018 U.S. Go Congress, but it didn’t dampen their spirits in the slightest, as old friends and new connected and hit the boards. New York City swept DC in the finals of the Pandanet City League — watch for full details soon — and the first round of the 9×9 tournament was held after the opening ceremonies. The U.S. Open commences at 9a sharp Sunday morning; watch live on Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/usgoweb) or YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR3qjXCiYEokW7bW3HkFzfg) and there will also be live pro commentary on KGS. Plus check out lots of photos and reports on Facebook and Twitter and the free Congress mobile app not only has all the information attendees need — including latest schedule updates, pairings and more — but a cool social stream as well, where we’ll be posting additional photos and reports, handy for anyone in the world who wants to see what’s going on at this popular event. photo: a fife and drum corps welcomes go players to historic Williamsburg.
report/photo by Chris Garlock
http://www.usgo.org/news/2018/07/2018-u-s-go-congress-launches-in-williamsburg/

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RepublicaNazi’s

One of the things I liked about playing Chess was the people whom I met along the Chess road. The road led me to twenty five states in which I participated in a USCF tournament. Some people make a point of attempting to play in every state. In my case it was happenstance.

I came of age in the South. You can take a boy out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the boy. My father was a Southern Baptist; my Mother was not. My father said he “knew” he was going to heaven. My Mother asked, “How can he know? Nobody knows…” I am agnostic.

Southern Baptists are very conservative people who feel threatened by change, or by anyone who is “not like us.” They do not like anyone who is “different.” The people among whom I came of age did not like John F. Kennedy because he as a “Catholic.” They hated “Jews” because they had killed Jesus Christ. I pointed out Jesus was a Jew and was turned on with venom. “Jesus was NOT A JEW! Jesus was GOD!”

My parents voted for Barry Goldwater

because he was a “conservative,” which was a code word for “racist.” My father worked for a new newspaper, the Atlanta Times, because it was an alternative to the “liberal” (pronounced “liBRUL”-as in “He’s one of ‘dem damned liBRULs!) Atlanta Journal & Constitution, for whom my father once worked. The newspaper was ahead of its time and went belly-up, and so did my father, who had put EVERYTHING into the paper.

I can still recall the first time I saw an American of African descent. An older, dark-skinned woman was walking on our street, about to head up what we called, “the hill.” One of my sisters noticed her and yelled for us to come to the picture window. There were black people living within walking distance of us, but we never saw them because that’s just the way it was in those dark days. The high school I attended, College Park, was integrated the year after I graduated.

Chess helped expand my horizons. I met a fellow whom we called “Mad Dog” with affection. He was really a meek and mild kinda guy, except when sitting across from you at a Chess board. Someone said he played the Alekhine defense “like a mad dog,” and it stuck. I, too, would play the Alekhine defense in those days, and invariably had difficulty playing against the Mad Dog’s Alekhine defense.

Mad Dog was Jewish, but had been excommunicated from his family when he married a gentile, with whom he had a daughter. Like my father, the Mad Dog worked for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. We would sometimes get together and play Chess in the Central City Park, located at Five Points in the heart of the city of Atlanta. Former Georgia Chess Champion Bob Joiner also worked downtown in the office of the Public Defender. John “Smitty” Smith worked for the state downtown, and we would play Chess during lunch hour. Years later Chess tables were put in the park, which had a different name. I had to travel to Grady hospital to participate in a memory study in my sixties and walked around our old stompin’ grounds, surprised to see one of those really large Chess sets, in addition to the usual size tables, which were full of players.

Mad Dog was my friend. We did things (he was then divorced) like get together after work at a bar called “The Beer Slug,” which was actually named The Beer Mug. The Slug provided free wings and held things like trivia night. One time a legendary Chess player was with us and we were leading with only one question left to answer. We were having trouble coming up with the answer because they were distracted by two pretty young women. I was racking my brain to no avail when I had to hit the head. “I’ll be back in a moment guys, so do not answer until I return.” They agreed, all smiles as they turned back to the pretty girls. I had a “eureka” moment while whizzing and returned with the correct answer, only to learn they had already turned in our answer, which had been provided by one of the girls. Unfortunately, it was WRONG! I will admit being a prick about it, but, what the hell, I thought later, these two guys, not exactly ladies men, were having the time of their lives…One time the three of us went to a tennis court to hit the ball around, or so I thought. The legendary one and I were attempting to warm up, but the Mad Dog would have none of it. “Let’s PLAY!” he yelled. “Don’t you want to warm up, Mad Dog?” asked the legendary one. “Hell no. Let’s PLAY!” Mad Dog served and I hit a wicked return that caused him to move quickly and…he went down like he had been SHOT! He was crumpled up on the court, writhing in pain. That ended our evening of tennis…Mad Dog was tuff, though, as he refused going to the emergency room. I spent the night on his couch in case he needed help later…

Mad Dog and I would discuss all kinds of different subjects, but the one I recall most vividly is the time he discussed his Jewishness. When he told me his grandparents had been in Nazi concentration camps and had the serial numbers on their bodies to prove it, I was SHOCKED! I mean, it’s one thing to read about such things, but to know someone descended from concentration camp survivors is another thing entirely. The words to a Dylan song came immediately to mind:

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side

http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/god-our-side/

The Dog became interested in Bob Dylan

rather late, relatively speaking, but when he did, he almost became a Bob Cat. He may have liked to quit his job and travel with the Bob Cats, but the Dog limited his shows to a reasonable number. He knew I had been a fan since early teenage years and, after he became a fan, thought more of me. The Dog asked me to drive him to a Dylan concert in Bristol, Virginia. The venue turned out to be what looked like some medieval castle, which we thought was appropriate, but which was a local school of some sort. The Dog had gotten involved with other “Bob Cats” online, with whom he hooked up, having the time of his life. I, on the other hand, was under the weather, but nevertheless made the best of the situation, and have wonderful memories for proof.

The last time I saw Mad Dog we were at the 350 Pizza joint across from the House of Pain, which was the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, for those of you who are unaware. His father had passed away and the Mad Dog was attempting to inform me that since his father had died, he was now the man of the family. “It’s a Jewish thing,” I recall him saying. He was telling me this life was over and a new one beginning. I told him I understood, though the legendary one never got his mind wrapped around that fact. Mad Dog enriched my life, and I am a better person for having known him. People come and go throughout one’s life, but sometimes the memory lingers…

In an interview promoting his new book,

David Cay Johnston

was asked about support of the Trumpster by Joy Reid,

“Why aren’t those numbers getting worse. They seem to have stayed exactly the same.” She was talking about the mid-thirty percent where his support seems to hover.

“Well Joy, as we begin season two of Trump: The White House Reality Show, we are getting a very good measure that there is a segment of the populace who are going to support Donald Trump no matter what… I mean if the worst possible thing could happen, if Robert Mueller

proves Donald Trump is a traitor, you’re going to see a segment of the population supporting him for an entirely different reason. Unfortunately there are people in this country who hate the civil rights movement and those people are going to be with Donald till the end of his life.”

http://www.msnbc.com/am-joy/watch/david-cay-johnston-trump-book-recaps-president-s-first-year-1141632579707

Adolph Hitler

had about the same kind of support when he became leader of Germany as the Trumpster has now. Hitler never had a majority of the people behind him, and neither does the TrumPet. His support emanates from a little above one third of the people of the United States of America. Do not forget THREE MILLION MORE Americans voted for Hillary Clinton

than voted for the Trumpster. If EVERY VOTE COUNTED in our country Donald Trump would NOT BE PRESIDENT! If every voted counted in our country, George Dubya Bushwhacker

would not have become POTUS! A war was fought in this country in the 1860’s to decide whether we would be ONE COUNTRY or FIFTY STATES. Why is it that some, if not most, of those states are “not in play.” If you happen to live in a “red” state, such as Georgia, it matters not for whom you vote. Why vote? This will change only when young people become mad as hell and decide to not take it anymore. Now is the time, but where is the outrage?

Donald poppinJay Trump

is a Republican, or as I think of them, RepublicaNazi. The RepublicaNazi party spawned poppinJay, just as they have accepted “Nazi-avowing Holocaust-denier Arthur Jones

who is running unopposed in the March 20 Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District.” (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/opinion/ct-sta-slowik-gop-nazi-st-0207-20180206-story.html)

There is a reason this man is running as a Republican. Unfortunately, he is not alone.

All The White Supremacists Running For Office In 2018

Plus candidates who’ve said white supremacist things, hung out with white supremacists, or talked to anti-Semitic publications.

By Christopher Mathias

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-supremacists-running-for-office-2018_us_5a7da926e4b0c6726e1285c1

The leader of any country sets the tone. One does not need a weatherman to know which way the RepublicaNazi wind is blowing.

When young there were so-called, “liberal” Republicans. Now there are no longer even any “moderate” Republicans. The party has become the RepublicaNazi party. You are either, as we say in the South, “With ’em,” or “Against ’em.” I want the world to know I stand with the latter group. The RepublicaNazi’s need to be eradicated like the German Nazi’s were during the second world war.

‘Year One’: A visual reflection of the first year of the Trump presidency

Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures

A gathering of hundreds of white nationalists in Virginia took a deadly turn when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters and killed one person on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. The state’s governor blamed neo-Nazis for sparking the unrest in the college town of Charlottesville, where rival groups fought pitched battles using rocks and pepper spray after far-right protesters converged to demonstrate against a plan to remove a statue of a Confederate war hero. The violence was the latest clash between white supremacists – some of whom have claimed allegiance to Donald Trump – and the president’s opponents since his January inauguration. (Photograph by Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/one-visual-reflection-first-trump-slideshow-wp-130638742.html

GCA Hegemonic Designs

An email making the rounds in the local chess community has reached the AW. The sources are impeccable. It appears the GCA board has decided to hold a chess tournament about every other weekend in the coming year. To set the stage one should know the players in this drama.
The GCA board consists of three women, Laura Doman, Katie Hartley, and Pam Little, who do not play chess; Ben Johnson, who thinks he plays chess; Fun Fong, who plays mediocre chess; and Tim Payne and Frank Johnson, who are, or have been, rated expert. These are the committees found on the GCA website (http://www.georgiachess.org/contact):
GCA Committees
By-Law Task Force: Fun Fong, Katie Hartley, Mike Mulford, Scott Parker, Jeanne Ward
Communications: Laura Doman (Director)
Membership: Parnell Watkins
Open Events: WIM Carolina Blanco (Chair), Frank Johnson, Carolyn Lantelme, Greg Maness, Tim Payne, Bryan Rodeghiero, Thad Rogers, Parnell Watkins
Scholastic: Laura Doman, Katie Hartley (Co-Chair), Tricia Hill, Ben Johnson (Co-Chair), Susan Justice, Tim Payne, Steve Schneider, Ted Wieber
Volunteer Coordinator: Frank Johnson
Web Team: Laura Doman, Katie Hartley, Vijay Jayaram, Jagadeesh Rathnasabapathy, Keith Sewell
Committee members are volunteers who can commit to a year of working on the team.
In addition there the GCA has a “Task Force”:
GCA By-Law Task Force: Fun Fong (President), Katie Hartley (2nd VP), Mike Mulford (USCF delegate, Past Treasurer), Scott Parker (Past President), Jeanne Ward (Non-profit consultant)
Suggested By-Law Revisions to be voted on June 21st by GCA Members (http://www.georgiachess.org/bylaws)
These are the current “movers and shakers” of the Georgia Chess Association.

The GCA has myriad committees. The President of the GCA, Fun Fong, posted his, “From the President: GCA May 2014 Update” (http://georgiachessnews.com/2014/05/03/from-the-president-gca-may-2014-update/) on the new online magazine, “Georgia Chess News” on May 3, 2014, in which he writes about today’s committees and those to come. I asked two respected chess luminaries, NM Chris Chambers, and former GCA President and Georgia Senior Champion Scott Parker, for their thoughts on the President’s message. This was recieved from the Discman:
Happy Monday Bacon.
“Yes I’m fine with you using my stuff on blogs.
Regarding the GCA message, he sure seems to be planning to put together lots of committees.
Are there even enough dues-paying adult GCA members to man all the spots in those committees?
At this point they’re talking about forming committees to decide how to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. Virtually all of the passengers (actual tournament players) have boarded the life boats and are long gone, leaving only the wanna-be TD’s to train each other how to run tournaments that nobody will attend.”
CC
Mr. Parker sent an polished, insightful and obviously well-thought-out reply:
Michael,
“Fun is very high on the concept of working through committees. I am not, nor was my predecessor, Ted Wieber. That doesn’t mean it is wrong. There is more than one way to accomplish a task. My preference, and Ted’s too, I believe, was to find a committed volunteer and put a heavy workload on him/her. Committees tend to be slow and cumbersome things, and they lack direction. Each member wants to pull it in a different direction. You’ve heard the old joke, “A platypus is an animal designed by a committee.” It’s funny because there is an underlying truth to it. Committees do tend to come out with proposals that look like they ordered from a take-out menu – something from column A, something from column B, something from colunmn C, etc.
I’m also not sure that it makes sense to operate through committees in an orgainzation that has about 200 voting members. For USCF, which has over 10,000, that’s one thing, It’s another thing for GCA. We don’t have that many committed volunteers. I prefer to work with a small number of committed people rather than a large number of casually interested people.
All this being said, I will freely admit that I didn’t do a great job of identifying those committed volunteers, and ended up doing way too much of the grunt work myself. I was so busy doing the mundane stuff that I had little time to be President. It’s hard to concentrate on your plan to drain the swamp when you’re up to your a** in aligators. My impression is that as long as I was President that probably wasn’t going to change. As long as I was President and things were getting done a crisis didn’t exist. Without a crisis, not many people jumped up to volunteer. Perhaps in the long run it would have been better if I had refused to do the grunt work and let some tournaments and projects die so that a crisis situation would exist. Maybe that would have stimulated a few volunteers to step forward. For better or worse, I was not willing to do that.
Anyway, Fun’s idea of working through committees seems to be working pretty well for him. There has been some short term dislocation, and not everything is flowing smoothly, but in general the GCA is healthy. His way may not be my way, but if it works for him, that’s all that counts. “It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” – Deng Xiao Ping.
Best Wishes, Scottt
P.S. You have my permission to use any or all of this in any way you see fit, or to copy it to anyone you choose.”

Both of these replies from my friends were received May 12, 2014. Although I tend to agree with the Discman, listening to a person who has the respect of all the chess community, as does Scott Parker, gives one a different perspective. There are always two sides of an issue and one must try, as difficult as it may be, to understand the other side.

Emails are being fired at such a rate the NSA is having trouble keeping up with the heavy volume…The first email is from WIM Carolina Blanco, Georgia Chess Open Event ( Chair).
On Monday, July 7, 2014 6:24 PM, Carolina Blanco wrote:
“Hello Everybody
Please find attached the update information for all the Open event tournaments to be organized by Georgia Chess Association from September 2014-July 2015.
Dates and location were verified according last Board meeting at Emory University on June 21st, 2014. Please note that the flyer still need to pass for one more review correction by the committee however with all these information we can see more organized our goal in maintain the tournaments organized in the past calendar year and adding two more new tournaments and new locations for the convenient and benefits of the chess community.
* Only event missing in this email ( but going to be added) is the Collegiate tournament. I am waiting for Ted Wieber to give us all the information for next year since he is the coordinator for this event.
* Location for Senior’s Open and Women’s Open is TBA since the Rivers Academy and Mrs. Justice proposal are in discussion, however the date that we saw more convenient at the board meeting in June for this event is September 20th, 2014.
* There are 4 tournaments to be held at the Wyndham Galleria Hotel and the dates in the flyer are the one that we are committed in the contract with the except of the Georgia State Championship that instead to be held on May 1st 2015. It was moved to April 18th 2015
* there are 2 new Class championship tournament added on February 27th and July 24th 2015. Beside the Class Championship on November 2014.
We are in the process to contact to Continental chess to try to extend our Open event activity from 6 tournaments a year to 12 tournaments a year for the next calendar period.
Questions?. Please feel free to email me.”
Greetings,
WIM Carolina Blanco
Georgia Chess Open Event ( Chair)

Ms. Blanco’s email evoked this response from former GCA President, International Arbiter, and chess business owner L. Thad Rogers:
On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 6:45 PM, thad rogers wrote:
“Why is the Georgia Chess Association trying to put
American Chess Promotions and Championship Chess
out of business.”
I have 6 weekend tournaments scheduled with the dates
with Katie.
The Georgia Chess Association is to support chess in Georgia and not put other chess companies out of business.
This is the only way I try to make a meager income. I guess you all wouldn’t mind it if a nonprofit company came along and put all of your jobs and living out the window in order to satisfy them-selves.
No board in 40 years ever tried to do such a thing. I am very proud of such a caring Georgia Chess Association. I have tried tto do nothing but help the Georgia Chess Association for 40 years.
I have five or six people tell me that Fun said he is trying to put Georgia vendors out of business. If this goes through, then I guess he will get his wish.
All my tournaments are getting to have a signed contract. If Southeast holds tournaments. Then how in the heck can anybody make any money with about 26 weekend tournaments.
Like I said, the GCA Board and Volunteers don’t have to worry because you all aren’t risking any of your personal money. You are using State Association Funds. That is something to be proud of.
Sincerely,
Thad Rogers
American Chess Promotions
I am suppose to be on the Open Events committee. I never hear a word about meetings or issues until after the fact.”

The next email is from the POTGCA:
From: Fun Fong
Date: 07/09/2014 2:49 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: thad rogers
Thad,
“It seems that there’s an unfortunate – and false – rumor circulating that the GCA is looking to put you or any other Georgia chess organization out of business. I can understand why you would be upset. You have a long personal relationship with the GCA, which we all appreciate, and many of our members have enjoyed playing in American Chess tournaments for many years. As president, my mission is to serve the greater chess community by providing a full calendar of quality events for both adult and scholastic members. It is not, nor has it ever been, to destroy another’s livelihood through the power of the GCA. There is absolutely no way that the GCA could put anyone out of business, even if it wanted to, which is certainly no one’s intentions. You will not find any legitimate conversation anywhere that has even hinted of this. Somehow, facts are becoming distorted by the time they get to you, and I am greatly troubled by the prospect of a malicious rumor mill.
It is my belief that more chess is better chess, and that the chess community will eventually expand as opportunities expand, much as have road races greatly expanded in the Metro Atlanta area. GCA does endeavor to raise the bar for quality, so that other organizers will continue to innovate in their offerings, giving the Georgia player more choices and a better selection of events to participate. This initiative should provide a better experience overall for Georgia players. I know that you have been constantly thinking of new events and ways to execute them, and I think this endeavor is working for the benefit of the Georgia player.
Still, it is my responsibility as president to promote chess and to offer our players with as many opportunities to play good competitive chess as the market will support. Besides American Chess and Championship Chess, there is the North Georgia Chess Center, Vibha, and other organizations that host all sorts of tournaments, ranging from afternoon tournaments for young beginners to multi-day events for top-rated competitive players. I believe that there is room for all because we have a large, diverse community of chess players, and tournaments by virtue of their competitive level, time requirements, or location cannot all appeal to all types of players at all times. The chess community today is not the same as it was in the past. As GCA president, I must listen to our members and respond to their demands: to expand, support, and promote opportunities for competitive, quality play.
I understand and respect your concern that an outside group may be stronger or better financed, and potentially threaten your business. We will not tolerate any organization trying to drive another out of business. On the other hand, the GCA will not act as the personal agent for a business seeking to keep others out of their “turf.” I will tell you that the GCA will be advising Continental Chess (or any other organization that we may approach or that approaches us) that we must have a balanced calendar. Similar events need to be coordinated in advance, so that they don’t overlap too often.
The GCA cannot carry out its mission if we are beholden to vendor interests – any vendor. We must maintain the balance of support to our valued vendor organizations with our responsibilities to the chess playing public. If a vendor is involved in a GCA endeavor that could be perceived as a conflict of interest, then the vendor should recuse itself from voting or debate on such an issue. As an example, and I say this with due respect, it seems that whenever the GCA proposes dates in a modest expansion of our programs, we have heard you state that the GCA has no right to do so, presumably because the proposal conflicts with your own business’ plans or calendar. We cannot function as an organization if we cannot maintain impartiality. And under my leadership, this will cease to be a problem.
Thad, I continue to honor and value your long commitment and dedication to the GCA. We are all glad to have you involved and hope that you will want to do so for a long time to come. Regarding the Open Events committee meetings, there has actually not been a full meeting of the Open Events committee yet. Some committee members are changing their commitments to some degree, and while we’re managing this, I would anticipate a full meeting this month. You’ll certainly be advised when the meeting is scheduled.
As always, I welcome your feedback and look forward to talking with you about this or any other area of concern.”
Fun

The POTGCA writes about having a “balanced calendar.” Since the GCA has plans for a tournament every other weekend, that can only mean half for the GCA and half for everyone else.
As far as “…advising Continental Chess…”, I question why the GCA would want any other tournaments here along with their two dozen. Is the chess community large enough to support just the GCA tournaments? It is well known that Bill Goichberg, from New York, has intentionally stayed out of the South. Yes, he has held tournaments in Orlando, but how many tournaments has he held in other Southern states? The Ironman mentioned one in Nashville. One. The most famous was the Continental Open, a CCA tournament in Atlanta back in May of 1973 in which Mr. Six Time, GM Walter Browne flew in from the west coast. GM Browne was on the cover of the May, 1973 “Chess Life & Review.” Walter was treated to some “Southern hospitality,” drawing with Rueben Shocron and losing to Milan Momic, and Robert Burns, before leaving to catch a much earlier flight than anticipated. As GM Browne was leaving someone asked him why he was leaving. The Legendary Georgia Ironman was present to hear what came next, now Tim’s ALL-TIME FAVORITE chess quote. Walter turned on the man like a cobra, yelling, “I DID NOT COME HERE FOR YOUR BENEFIT!”
I realize the World Open was held in the Great State of Virginia this year, but how many tournaments has the CCA brought to the Deep South in the last forty plus years? Of all the tournaments the CCA has held since the 1970’s I will be kind and say that if one includes Louisville, although having lived there I cannot imagine anyone would, the CCA has held maybe five percent in the South, probably less. The “pooh-bahs” should consider leaving the CCA alone and concentrate on holding the conjectured GCA tournaments to the best of their ability. I would like to warn the GCA of over saturation. The Ironman and I were in the sports card business in the late 1980’s, early 90’s, before over saturation and the MLB strike of 1994. When we began there were only a few monthly shows in the metro area. Then a few were added, and then there were card shows every other weekend. More were added until it became a card show every weekend in many locations. In those halcyon days the action was fast and furious. I recall being involved in major deals that were so involved that when another customer would pick a card and pay the advertised price without haggling. I would stuff the bill in my pocket and carry on with the deal. Then the customers stopped coming because they knew there would be another show the next weekend, and the next. Near the end it was so bad at one show I told the Ironman I would not eat lunch until I made a sale. My stomach was growling all afternoon until after the show when Tim took pity on me and bought me a beer and a sammy at Spondivits, saying, “A man who don’t make even one sale shouldn’t have to pay the tab.”