The Connecticut Rebels

The Atlanta Kings drew the match with their Southern division rival, the Connecticut Dreadnoughts. If you are wondering what a team from the northern most region of yankee land is doing in the Southern division, you are not alone. The closest tie to the South would be that of the Dreadnoughts first board in the match with the Kings, Michael “Bubba” Rohde, and the fact that his parents resided in Atlanta back in the 1980’s. GM Rohde would visit, and played in at least one chess tournament that I recall, while here. During this time I played backgammon with Michael.

This reminds me of the Atlanta Braves being placed in the Western division of the National League when Major League Baseball expanded from twenty to twenty four teams in 1969. Because the owner of the Chicago Cubs, Philip K. Wrigley, balked at being placed in the Western division, ostensibly because the Cub fans would have to stay up late to watch the games from the west coast. Since Chicago is in the Central time zone there is a two hour difference. To placate Wrigley and continue the rivalry between the Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, the MLB Commissioner, Bowie Kuhn, who lacked the cojones to stand up to Wrigley, allowed the Cubs and Cards to play in the eastern division while placing the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds in the Western division. This made absolutely no sense because both teams, the Braves and Reds, are in the Eastern time zone, meaning a three hour time difference, one more than the two hour difference between Chicago and St. Louis and the left coast.

Baltimore is also a member of the Southern division. Although Maryland is considered a yankee state, a case can be made that Baltimore belongs in the Southern division, or at least more of a case than can be made with regard to Connecticut. At least Maryland was considered a “border” state. The greatest Southern hero of the War Between For Southern Independence, John Wilkes Booth, was born in Maryland.

“The Baltimore riot of 1861 (also called the Pratt Street Riot and the Pratt Street Massacre) was a conflict that took place on April 19, 1861, in Baltimore, Maryland between Confederate sympathizers and members of the Massachusetts militia en route to Washington for Federal service. It is regarded by historians as the first bloodshed of the American Civil War.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_riot_of_1861)

“Spring, 1861. The American Civil War erupts and Baltimore finds itself at the crossroads of the North and the South. A passageway to the North and a border state to the South, Maryland was home to both Unionists and Southern sympathizers. Maryland was a slave state at the beginning of the war; however, free African Americans made up a quarter of Baltimore’s population.” (http://baltimore.org/guides-interests/civil-war)

“On April 19, 1861, the first blood of the American Civil War is shed when a secessionist mob in Baltimore attacks Massachusetts troops bound for Washington, D.C. Four soldiers and 12 rioters were killed.” (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-blood-in-the-civil-war)

Elvis Presley – An American Trilogy – I wish I was in Dixieland (High Quality)

Advertisements

FM Kazim Gulamali vs GM Alex Shabalov

Some have asked why I do not annotate games. Each time I think of something the Discman wrote in an email, “Now any schmo with a smartphone can figure out the best move.” I figure most readers have access to a strong program and would refute most of the analysis of this schmo. In an email exchange with the Frisco Kid he wondered if he and Kazim Gulamali could have been GM’s now if they had had the right life experiences at the proper time, mentioning the work of Dean Keith Simonton, recommending I read anything I can find. I replied, “I often wondered out loud at the House of Pain what kinda player Kazim woulda turned out to be if he had been trained by IM Boris Kogan.” Kazim and his father, Mumtaz Yusef, were regulars at the House of Pain. Saturday nights meant Kung Pow Wow for Mumtaz and less spicy fare for the rest of the House. Mumtaz helped keep the House from going hungry. Kazim was called the “Little Grandmaster” for a reason. He understood chess on a different level even when young, and we all knew it. Kazim was always a gentleman, even when still considered a child. He was an adult as a player long before society considered him an adult.
This is the game score of Kazim’s game with GM Shabalov. I urge you to go over the game without a program and then return to the notes, kept while the game was ongoing and cleaned up a little for publication

FM Kazim Gulamali vs GM Alexander Shabalov
2014 World Open Rd 6
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Rc8 7.O-O a6 8.a3 Nge7 9.Bd3 Ng6 10.g3 f6 11.Re1 Be7 12.Qc2 Kf7 13.Qe2 Rf8 14.h4 Kg8 15.h5 Nh8 16.Bf4 cxd4 17.cxd4 fxe5 18.dxe5 Be8 19.h6 g5 20.Nxg5 Bxg5 21.Qg4 Nf7 22.Qxe6 Nd4 23.Qg4 Nxh6 0-1

I questioned 9 Bd3. My thinking was that if a student showed this game I would tell him the move violates the principle of moving the same piece again before development is complete. The move 9 dxc5 suggests itself. If then 9…Ng6 10 b4 would follow.
When Kazim played 12 Qc2 I thought back to a conversation I had with IM Boris Kogan after showing him a game of mine that began 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 Bd3 cxd4 6 0-0. In that game I had a chance to capture exf6 but eschewed the move. Black was able to move his pawn to f5 on the next move, leaving me with a lonesome pawn on e5, while the Black position was rock solid. In my game Black would have had to take on f6 with the g-pawn, leaving the Black King, “Drafty,” according to Boris. Although not the same exact position I cannot help wondering if Kazim should play 12 exf6.
With the above in mind, I wondered why Shabba did not play 12…f5.
I was flummoxed after Kazim played 13 Qe2. I realize that after IM John Watson published his stupendous, and award winning, book, “Rules? What rules?” (The name is actually, “Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy” and it was a classic when it was published), every player is trying to find the exception to the rule, and Black just moved his King, so maybe the Queen move is called for, but I would still take the pawn, playing exf6, because if I do not Black can play 13…cxd4 14 cxd4 fxe5 15 dxe5 and White has that lonesome e-pawn. So naturally Shabalov plays 13…Rf8. Hey, he’s the GM!
14 h4 is aggressive and it is a natural move with the Knight on g6, but I am playing exf6. In lieu of 16 Bf4 I am still playing pawn take pawn.
22 Qxe6 Oh no, Mr. Bill! This position is reminisce of some of the positions I had when taking my first chess steps. The attack would be raging but when I needed more troops they would be, like Union General George McClellan’s, languishing in the rear. At the Battle of Shapsburg in 1862, the bloodiest day of the War For Southern Independence, “McClellan refusing to act even though he had two full corps that had not seen action.” (From “The Grand Design,” by Donald Stoker) The move has got to be 22 Nbd2, with Nf3 threatened. I rejected taking the pawn because in many games I have seen things turn out badly when the attacker settled for only a lowly pawn. It may not be correct to take a pawn like that even if you put the King in check. This gives Black a move, whereas developing the Knight gives Black something to worry about. I am reminded of the book by FM Charley Hertan, “Forcing Moves.” White needs to force his opponent to react, not allow him to act.
Today it would be said that Kazim “Went down over three pawns,” when he played QxP. Back in my day one of the Road Warriors would have said, “He let go of the rope.” In showing one of his games, LM Brian McCarthy said, after making a dubious move, “I let a hand slip offa the rope here, but he allowed me to grab hold again with this move, and after his next questionable move I hit him with this move and now I was climbing again!” Translate that to today’s computer speak and it just does not have the same ring.
After checking the opening with the Chessbase database and 365Chess.com I, too, allowed a program to do its thing. I am happy to report the machine proved that Boris knew what he was talking about. If I understood this particular kind of position better than the combatants it is only because of the fact that when Hulk Kogan talked, I listened.
Kazim had what we call a Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinking” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMQxLyGyT-s) moment when he played QxP. We have all had a “Dierks” moment. I sure would have liked to have seen the game that would have followed the Knight move that, as the Legendary Georgia Ironman is so fond of saying, “Connects the Rooks!”

How Much For Only The Bobby Fischer?

I love the chess links provided by Chess Cafe (http://blog.chesscafe.com/?p=3139). They are like a box of chocolates. Today I clicked on to, “Start Working out Now for Annual Running of the Booklovers at Library Sale.” After clicking on I was sent to (http://westport.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/start-working-out-now-for-annual-running-of-the-booklovers-at-library-sale).
This is what I found: Two featured titles are: (Click here for more featured specials)

“Bobby Fischer v. Garry Kasparov! Even though that match never happened, we have two signed books:
Fischer: Partije…..Games….(etc.). Belgrade: Sahovski Informator (1992). A paperback in excellent condition. Signed “Bobby Fischer” on the title page. (Comes with an authentication letter from a prominent dealer that Fischer signed the book in Budapest in 1996.)
with Garry Kasparov and others. Kasparov v. Karpov. Oxford, Pergamon Chess (1991). First paperback edition in excellent condition. Signed by Garry Kasparov on the half-title.”
I clicked for more featured specials and found a picture of only the Bobby Fischer book, and this:
“Westport Library
Book Sale 2014
Featured Specials
Bobby Fischer v. Garri Kasparov!
It never occurred but we have two books signed by each one
Fischer: Partije…..Games….(etc.).
Belgrade: Sahovski
Informator (1992). A paperback in excellent condition.
Signed “Bobby Fischer” on the title page. (Comes with
an authentication letter from a prominent dealer that
Fischer signed the book in Budapest in 1996.) with
Garri Kasparov and others.
Kasparov v. Karpov.
Oxford, Pergamon Chess (1991). First paperback edition
in excellent condition. Signed on the half title.
Together, $950”
This is not a set.
I was at the big, once a year book sale in Hendersonville, N.C., held by the large Friends of the Library, when a gentleman asked a clerk if he could purchase volume three of a five volume set. The clerk took off his cap and scratched his head before saying, “Well…I dunno…I just help out once a year, so let me go tell someone you want to break a set.”
I decided to hang around to see how this played out, so I continued perusing books on the War For Southern Independence until a late middle-aged woman with her hair in a bun and glasses dangling on her bosum said to the gentleman, “Can I help you?” He told her what he wanted and she said, “You want to do WHAT?” He began again but she cut him off saying, “I heard you, sir. It is just that in all my years here I have never heard anyone express the desire to purchase only one volume and BREAK A SET.”
The poor guy was taken aback and looked flummoxed as he uttered, “Geez, you’d think I was breaking some kinda Federal law…”
Years ago the Legendary Georgia Ironman and I were working a card show when a gentleman asked me for the price of the best player card from the set. I have long since forgotten the player who was “Top Dog” in that set, but I will never forget the look on the customer’s face when I told him the price would be $100. “But the whole set only costs $50!” he exclaimed. “That’s right, sir.” He said asked, “Why?” I said, “Because if you purchase only that card I will have a broken set.”
The man was unable to wrap his mind around this logic and eventually said, “But I can buy the whole set for $50 and take the other cards and sell them to one of the other dealers, or give you twice that for the card I want. It makes no sense.”
“It makes perfect sense, sir. You will not be able to sell the remaining cards in the set to another dealer here today because they will know you broke a set.” The man looked over at the next dealer, who happened to be watching this unfold, and when he did, the dealer nodded in agreement. The customer nevertheless pulled out his wallet and as he began to pull a C-note out of it I said, “The price of the set just went up to $100.” Stunned, he managed to meekly ask, “Why is that?” My answer was immediate, “Because there has been increased interest in the set.” The man stood there still as a statue while looking down at the bill half in and half out of his wallet. He eventually looked up and said, “You mean me?” I smiled and said, “Yes SIR!”

Advancing to the Rear

While analyzing with some youngsters at the Atlanta Chess Center the Legendary Georgia Ironman was heard to say, “I never retreat. I only advance to the rear.”
On this date in 1863 the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia began its retreat from Gettysburg. The logistics of moving such a large force of men and material is truly staggering. General Robert E. Lee had lost the battle, but the war still raged. To live to fight another day required “advancing to the rear,” to the safety provided in the South. Many books have been written about the retreat and I highly recommend this one: Retreat from Gettysburg: “Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign”, by Kent Masterson Brown (http://uncpress.unc.edu/browse/book_detail?title_id=706).
General Lee’s successful retreat was one of the most incredible maneuvers in the history of warfare and has been studied at the Army War College, and by military personnel all over the world. In his book, “Kent Masterson Brown reveals that even though the battle of Gettysburg was a defeat for the Army of Northern Virginia, Lee’s successful retreat maintained the balance of power in the eastern theater and left his army with enough forage, stores, and fresh meat to ensure its continued existence as an effective force.”
General George Meade had checkmate on the move, but, like Victor Korchnoi against Anatoly Karpov in a match for the World Championship, failed to deliver the blow. “The Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, was unable to maneuver quickly enough to launch a significant attack on the Confederates, who crossed the river on the night of July 13–14.”
“Confederate supplies and thousands of wounded men proceeded over South Mountain through Cashtown in a wagon train that extended for 15–20 miles, enduring harsh weather, treacherous roads, and enemy cavalry raids. The bulk of Lee’s infantry departed through Fairfield and through the Monterey Pass toward Hagerstown, Maryland. Reaching the Potomac, they found that rising waters and destroyed pontoon bridges prevented their immediate crossing. Erecting substantial defensive works, they awaited the arrival of the Union army, which had been pursuing over longer roads more to the south of Lee’s route. Before Meade could perform adequate reconnaissance and attack the Confederate fortifications, Lee’s army escaped across fords and a hastily rebuilt bridge.”
“The retreat from Gettysburg ended the Gettysburg Campaign, Robert E. Lee’s final strategic offensive in the Civil War. Afterwards, all combat operations of the Army of Northern Virginia were in reaction to Union initiatives. The Confederates suffered over 5,000 casualties during the retreat, including more than 1,000 captured at Monterey Pass, 1,000 stragglers captured from the wagon train by Gregg’s division, 500 at Cunningham’s Crossroads, 1,000 captured at Falling Waters, and 460 cavalrymen and 300 infantry and artillery killed, wounded, and missing during the ten days of skirmishes and battles. There were over 1,000 Union casualties—primarily cavalrymen—including losses of 263 from Kilpatrick’s division at Hagerstown and 120 from Buford’s division at Williamsport. For the entire campaign, Confederate casualties were approximately 27,000, Union 30,100.
Meade was hampered during the retreat and pursuit not only by his alleged timidity and his willingness to defer to the cautious judgment of his subordinate commanders, but because his army was exhausted. The advance to Gettysburg was swift and tiring, followed by the largest battle of the war. The pursuit of Lee was physically demanding, through inclement weather and over difficult roads much longer than his opponent’s. Enlistments expired, causing depletion of his ranks, as did the New York Draft Riots, which occupied thousands of men that could have reinforced the Army of the Potomac.
Meade was severely criticized for allowing Lee to escape, just as Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan had done after the Battle of Antietam. Under pressure from Lincoln, he launched two campaigns in the fall of 1863—Bristoe and Mine Run—that attempted to defeat Lee. Both were failures. He also suffered humiliation at the hands of his political enemies in front of the Joint Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, questioning his actions at Gettysburg and his failure to defeat Lee during the retreat to the Potomac.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_from_Gettysburg

Like many a chess player General Mead had reached a won position, but failed to convert. This prolonged the War For Southern Independence and caused more death and destruction for the South. If the war had ended with Gettysburg, General William Tecumseh Sherman would never have perpetuated war crimes against Southern citizens.(“War Crimes Against Southern Civilians” by Walter Cisco) He would instead have been free earlier to head west and start performing genocide against the Native Americans. The Northern force won the battle in spite of, not because of General Mead, who was not one of the better Generals of the War For Southern Independence. Sherman is famous for saying about U.S. Grant, “I stood by him when he was drunk and he stood by me when I was crazy.” The devil Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, who was mentally ill (her oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, took legal action to have her declared insane and a court placed her in a private sanatorium), said this about U.S. Grant, “He is a butcher and is not fit to be at the head of an army. Yes, he generally manages to claim a victory, but such a victory! He loses two men to the enemy’s one. He has no management, no regard for life.” Conversation with Abraham Lincoln regarding General Ulysses S. Grant. SOURCE: Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley (New York, Penguin Books, 2005), p. 59.
Benson Bobrick, in his masterful book, “Master of War: The Life of General George H. Thomas,” posits the best General in the yankee army was from the Great State of Virginia. His sisters considered him a traitor and turned his picture to the wall and never spoke to him again. The yankees never trusted him and wrote deprecatingly concerning his accomplishments and disparagingly of him in general. It is only now that more objective historians are giving the man deserved recognition.

Magnus Force

I sit down to write today at two PM with the knowledge that 178 years ago at this time what has become known as “Pickett’s Charge” began at this hour. Although Maj. Gen. George Pickett was one of three Confederate generals who led the assault under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, with Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew, and Maj. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble being the other commanding Generals, Pickett has been the one who “took one for the team.” Because of books like the excellent, “Lost Triumph: Lee’s Real Plan at Gettysburg–and Why It Failed,” by Tom Carhart, we know no that the major reason for the defeat of the Confederate forces was due to the heroic action taken by General George Armstrong Custer.
The author posits that General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy had a plan which included a cavalry force commanded by General J.E.B. Stuart to hit the Union forces from behind. “The reason this didn’t happen is attributable to the actions of two generals whose clash at Gettysburg changed everything, one Confederate and the other Union: James Ewell Brown (J.E.B., or Jeb) Stuart and George Armstrong Custer. Remembered in modern times only for one day in 1876 when he and his entire unit of more than two hundred men were killed by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians, Custer was one of the brightest stars in the Civil War, a fact that has been obscured by his death on the high plains. While Custer has been roundly condemned by generations of Americans who learned only that he cruelly punished innocent Native Americans, there is another Custer whose record at Gettysburg should at least be noted, for as I will show, it wa his raw personal courage alone that prevented a Confederate victory at Gettysburg and thus truly preserved the Union.”
What was at stake is best illustrated by this paragraph by Carhart:
“This would have meant the return of peace, for the basis of an armistice would have been the Confederacy’s freedom to exist as a separate state, a fact the Union would have been forced to recognize. And that-a triumphant victory over the Army of the Potomac that would have shattered it as the fighting force protecting the Union capital in Washington and an event that would have forced the Union to recognize and accept the Confederacy.”
When Custer met Stuart he was outnumbered by two to one, 2,000 to 6,000. General George Armstrong Custer refused to let Stuart come through him, and without a diversionary force in the rear of the Union battle line…the rest is history.
Of all the officers in the Union army, George Custer would have seemed to have been the least likely to have become a hero. He finished near the bottom in his class at West Point and may still hold the record for demerits given during his time at the institution. Yet when the battle raged, and when extraordinary fortitude was required, Custer had it in abundance. By allowing his much larger force to be thwarted by Custer, when what he needed to do was “pull his goalie,” JEB Stuart settled for a draw. It was obviously not JEB’s finest day.
What is the quality that allowed an officer considered mediocre by most to “rise to the occasion”? In the “Star Wars” movies one hears, “May the force be with you.” What, exactly, is this “force”?
While reading the essay, “Uncovering the Mysteries of the Knuckleball,” in the outstanding book, “The Hardball Times Annual 2014 (Volume 10)” by Dave Studenmund and Paul Swydan, I read, “For normal pitches, which are spinning rapidly, the aerodynamic force causing the movement is called the Magnus force. The strength of the Magnus force increases as the spin rate increases. The direction of the Magnus force is such as to deflect the ball in the direction that the front edge of the ball is turning, as seen by the batter.”
Being a chess player, after reading the above my thoughts turned to the World Human Champion of chess, Magnus Carlsen. He is, unquestionably the best human player, towering over the few contenders, who may now be thought of as “pretenders.” What is the ineffable quality that has brought Magnus to the top of the chess pyramid? I think of it as the “Magnus Force.”
The Nashville Strangler, FM Jerry Wheeler, related a story concerning IM Ron Burnett, who has two GM norms. When Ron was first beginning his chess career he had to face the strong player Richard Carpenter. Ron obviously relished his opportunity to battle his opponent, so the Strangler said, “You cannot beat Richard. He is too strong.” Ron beat Richard. Jerry said he knew then that Ron would be a titled player. Like Lenny Dykstra (see previous post), Ron could not wait for his chance.
What is it that allows a player of any game to rise above his competition? I believe it has a lot to do with the “will to win.” Magnus Carlsen obviously has a tremendous will to win. What seems to separate the best from the pretenders is a resolute “force” that will not allow them to “settle” for a drawn game, unless a full fight has been engaged.
Union General George McClellan has the reputation of a General reluctant to fight. From the book, “The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War” by Donald Stoker, one of the best books I have ever read on the War For Southern Independence, one finds, “McClellan’s friends and detractors have long searched for a key to deciphering his actions. Clausewitz offers one in his essay “On Military Genius.” “Intelligence alone is not courage; we often see that the most intelligent people are irresolute,” he wrote. “In short”, he continued, “we believe that determination proceeds from a special type of mind, from a strong rather than a brilliant one. We can give further proof of this interpretation by pointing to many examples of men who show great determination as junior officers, but lose it as they rise in rank. Conscious of the need to be decisive, they also recognize the risks entailed by a wrong decision; since they are unfamiliar with the problems now facing them, their mind loses its former incisiveness.” (from: Carl von Clausewitz, “On War”)

The 2014 Chess For $eniors Challenge

Thad Rogers allowed me to take a flyer printed on a piece of paper used in most computer printers advertising the “2014 Chess For $eniors Challenge.” The “S” in “Seniors” is a dollar sign, and it made me think of the word “oxymoronic.” There are five states-six if you count the bastard state of West Virginia, with each a different color. There is a star in each state, with an arrow from the city in which a Senior tournament was, or will, be held. For example, the flyer shows “Greenville, April 19-20” for the Great State of South Carolina. I wrote about the tournament in the post of May 2, 2014, The South Carolina Senior Chess Championships (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/the-south-carolina-senior-championships/).
Virginia is the only state shown with two tournaments. The next one is in Blacksburg, July 11-13. The prize fund is only $600, as shown on the website (http://www.chessforseniors.org/index.php). So much for the $ in “Senior.”
The next “Senior” tournament shown on the website, but not the flyer, is the “World Open Senior Amateur,” a particularly reprehensible tournament because it discriminates against higher rated players by excluding any Senior player unfortunate enough to be still alive and rated over 2210. Since the tournament is called “Amateur” it can only mean that Bill Goichberg considers anyone rated 2211 or higher a professional. Since true pros are allowed to play in USCF “Amateur” events, there seems to be an inconsistency by the exclusion of most Masters.
The tournaments have not drawn well. For example, there were eighteen total at the SC Senior, and twenty five at the Tennessee Senior in Crossville, the home of USCF, on May 16-18. The most recent Senior tournament on the hit parade was the forty player event in the Great State of Virginia, where there was a four-way tie for first place between Larry C Gilden; Srdjan Darmanovic; William Marcelino; & Leif Kazuo Karell. Each won a grand total of $162.50. Now that is what $enior chess is all about!
The other states shown on the flyer yet to be mentioned are the Great State of North Carolina, and Kentucky. Having lived in the latter state I can only say that the people of Kentucky were conflicted during the War For Southern Independence, and nothing has changed.
Conspicuous in absence is my native state of Georgia, along with the Great States of Alabama and Mississippi, making the map look like one of those maps of the future in which some parts of the US next to the ocean have been lopped off. The absence of Georgia can be explained by the total number of players the past two years, eight and thirteen. The total number of twenty-one for the two most recent Senior tournaments would have been a small turnout in previous years, before Fun Fong became president of the GCA. Most Seniors stayed away from the 2012 Senior because they thought the format was “crap.” Like a lower rated chess player who has made a mistake, the man now called “No Fun” Fong by many (a fellow Senior who called Mr. Fong, “No Fun” at a recent meeting of the chess mess was surprised to learn he was not the first to use the term) refused to admit his mistake and determined to force that square peg into a round hole. What Senior organization would want someone like that involved? Fun Fong has absolutely no credibility among Senior chess players in Georgia, and obviously the rest of the South.
The US Senior Open will be held aboard the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Sept. 14-21, according to the advertisement in Chess Lifeless. The entry fee is, “$125 with cruise reservation.” After doing my due diligence by going to the website provided (
http://www.cardplayercruises.com/brochures/2014/booking-eastcarib2014.html) I learned the cheapest available cabin, an “*inside stateroom,” will set a $enior back $829.00 pp. For some reason I keep hearing Kate Winslet as Rose in the movie Titanic yelling, “Jack!” “Jack!” while trying desperately to get out of steerage…These accommodations do not sound like the ones Bart and Bret Maverick would have chosen before the game began.
What happens when some poor $enior “land-lubber” becomes sea sick? Or “sick of the sea?” What if it turns into a “three hour tour?” Have you ever heard of the Bermuda Triangle? Then there all of the reports of major problems with cruise ships in the past years, such as previously unheard of illnesses and mechanical breakdowns in which the “cruisers” had to live with their own filth and in their own excrement. Not to mention a cruise being the best way to “knock someone off.” People frequently “fall overboard” at sea. A cruise ship would seem to be a place to commit the “perfect” murder. It would be just my luck to play the game of my life against some psychotic chess player and become the “Man Overboard!”