Friday, September 2, 2011


Mark F. asked me if the dates of the CHESS TNT as stated in the Gentlemens Chess Club newsletter were correct. Answer: NO. Should only be October 21-22. On the 23rd of October Andrew Martin has consented to do a Simul and Tutoring, but it is not part of the regular venue. So... think October 21-22. Will be corrected in the next edition.

Last night at the first GCC Workshop, four attended: Mark F, Roger S., Ed R., and Rick R. Thank you for coming gentlemen. A game played at London 1883 (where Zukertort scored 22 of 26!) between Johannes Zukertort and Joseph Blackburne was dissected--an Ultimate Game. To the credit of all, once the initial Rook sac was seen, then the variations started rolling out. Mark, being the highest rated player there, often saw possibilities first but it was great seeing everyone else chiming in too with ideas which were often part of the plan. Adding to the levity was Blackburne's written remarks comparing the game to that of a badly written play with the author wondering if the audience "has found him out?" Then a game between Morrison and Alekhine, where Blackburne's recommended move of 9...c5 was played (and which he said he usually employed!) was shown. to devastating effect in 1922, 5 years before AAA became world champion. It was fun. Afterward we played some chess.

Because of the small grouping I didn't need a large demo (demonstration) board but I miss mine. Not because I ever loved the shape of the plastic pieces, but because it stretched large so everyone could see.  I couldn't find the pieces for Red Wing and brought a magnetic one from Wholesale Chess. It was a piece of crap. The magnets were either too weak (the Knights kept turning upside down) or too strong (risking pulling everything to the floor). I am sure this was another made in China piece of wonder work.

If anyone reading this knows WHERE I can get a board, say 36 inches square, that is not ugly, and doesn't roll up, I would be nicely obliged. I've spent time looking on the net for such a device and always everyone is carrying the same garbage. Portability is the "benefit" they all advertise but does that mean the pieces have to look ugly or have white backgrounds which are then placed on a dark square? Clearly these designers know nothing about chess or design. CHESS, in England, once had the best. Four pieces (quarters) which were screwed together, made of painted metal, and nice magnetic pieces which looked like those seen in a chess book about 1980 (not the German monstrosity that Gambit and others has foisted upon us). Should I have some manufactured? Where do the large demo boards come from used in tournaments for the leaders? Are they "home made?" China?..."pfui," as Nero Wolfe would say.

Don't forget... Saturday 10th is my Birthday Tournament. 4 rounds, one day, starts at 10 a.m. $25 entry fee. Something should come in your email if you are on my list.

Lastly (I think), I will be at the shop from 11 to 2 today (1101 W. 4th Street)... as usual. Last Friday 5-6 people showed up at various times. Gentlemens Chess Club has 5 members now, 2 local, and 3 beyond the 90 mile "barrier." Still amazes me that the out-of-towners would be more interested... but "they" say that is par. One reason? Locals "think" you will always be there for them, no matter WHEN they show up. Bookstores suffered from the same problem. Then when one disappears, the locals are surprised because as one said to a friend of mine, "I was a regular!" Rick had told me she didn't know the store had been closed for FIVE years!

When you build up a FAVORITE "haunt" you don't like to lose it!


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