Sunday, February 12, 2012


Yesterday, Saturday... the Gentlemens Chess Club held our first Valentine's Chess Event... Though we have 15 paid members now (Thank you Kevin Hyde for joining yesterday), only 4 GCC members played in the event which had been advertised as early as last August! But, as a saving grace, there were two additional players, from Augustana College, proving that it pays to put a notice in the newspaper as opposed to sending out emails to members!

Upcoming February Event
If you are regional and DO want to play in a tournament, there is one coming up Feb. 24-26 which offers two starting options: play Friday night or Saturday morn (or, if you want to, both and take your best result). It's at the Lodge in Bettendorf, Iowa--site of several Chess Festivals of mine in the past.

The TD is none other than the Kevin Hyde who joined the Gentlemens Chess club and the entry fee is a smallish $20! if you get it in before the last minute! I registered yesterday. Yes, I am getting out once again to dabble in the arcane arts of playing and seeing how aging can affect us!! I even postponed another project I had set for that weekend (see? It can be done.)

Some people object to having their email address posted online and while Kevin is probably not one of them, if you are interested in the particulars, contact me ( So far he said he has gotten promises but small numbers to actually come through... even from the other club he goes to!

Outlawing Stuff!
I am surprised Obama hasn't issued a presidential mandate outlawing chess tournaments in February!

To get back to the tournament yesterday, Mr. 1400+, Kevin Hyde, won the tournament despite the fact that there were two 1700+s playing! During all that everyone (well, I think everyone) was munching on the two boxes of Godiva chocolates. Thus I quipped that Godiva was the "other" winner of the tournament. Long distance drivers Earl Zismer and Steve Lamansky came. Others were Ed Reedy and our two newcomers Hunter Winstead and Ryan Garcia.

An Anomaly Pairing
As the tournament director I discovered that with 6 people only, a round, using Swiss-based pairings, will come to a situation where there is an "impossible" pairing. I did not know that and Zismer-Reedy had to play each other twice (which can be allowed and was accepted by the USCF offices), but with opposite colors. Hence 7 players (i.e., an odd number) will work, and 8 or more is better to avoid this. So if you are reading this and would like to stop this anomaly in the future, come and have a good time.

Tonight I meet with a friend to discuss how to ramp up attendance and all that kind of good stuff so that those who enjoy friendly competition will know the place that it is happening and can count on new faces. For lunch we went to Wendy's, as usual, and declared that's almost as much fun as playing the games themselves.

Discovery Bonus
BONUS wise I discovered something yesterday, almost as a total fluke, which might be of interest to you readers: I was looking through some new books I had brought to the shop (and of course what sold were--OLDER books!) but one became obvious as I started playing through it that it was ALMOST the perfect preparation tool for a tournament which is only a couple weeks away. It is good for the black side against QP, and the scope for a player above 1800 is perfect. Research (oh Geez Bob, do I have to do a little work?) will reveal other worries but for laying out a doable map, a plan, and a way of giving White some serious fits, this book fits the bill like most do not (because they are full of 10,000 variations). I started annotating, for myself, a game last night to give me a feel for what I might encounter in a couple weeks and I am comfortable with this new knowledge. Very comfortable.

Should it happen that I won't get a chance to play it because my opponents play something completely crazy, I know it won't go to waste and will be used in the future. I am thinking of making a SCORE Special Report on this "system." Thus the info and book will be revealed then.  Andrew Martin gave me the idea several years ago in a video and I finally took the chance to more than check it out.

If you want to know the details, contact me via email address (The Chess Butler, at your service) as I am not going to reveal this publicly. The book is less than $30. If, however you are more dedicated to playing the Bozo Defense, or the Anti-Commie Maneuver, then you won't want to waste your time or mine (curiosity with no purpose IS a waste of time--it's called Dilly Dallying). It was a serious eye opener and has been played at a new level by GMs (no, it's not The Sniper--are there any GMs playing that?).


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