HANKEN'S CORNER: Three Columns:
One of the stalwart T.D.s, Jim Cope, fielded an unusual question from a non-playing spectator. A young man walked up to Genial Jim and asked, "Are you a Grandmaster?" Cope was honest and said, "No". Our young friend then asked the question of the day - "What does a Grandmaster look like?".
Well, Jim was a bit taken aback by that one, but ushered the young fellow to the top boards. The question got me thinking. You know how the Police always have a sketch artist to draw the composit pictures of suspects? Well, if one of these guys was asked this question, what do you think he would draw?
Why don't we start with former US champion Boris Gulko's hair? (That includes his extremely high forehead - a sure sign of superior inteligence!). As for eyes, no GM had the piercing stare of the late World Champion, Mikhail Tal. Then we go to Alex Goldin's great Roman nose, Ilya Smirin's prominent ears, the stately moustache of the late Emmanuel Lasker, and of course Ron Henley's Abe Lincoln chin. Then we'll take Roman Dzindzi's massive arms & biceps. Let's go with Larry Christiansen's height, or perhaps Vladimir Kramnik, who is even taller. How about John Fedorowicz's walk? Some have likened the Fed's gait to a man on stilts trying to catch a bus. Last, but not least, Bobby Fischer's aura! (and wearing Bobby's shirts, which he told me in 1961, were handmade by JFK's London tailer. Anyway, you get the idea. That would be quite a sketch. You could see a number of these GM's registering for the 3-day schedule. Five serious games in one day!! I have suggested to Bill that he have a paramedic team on standby! More of this great stuff tomorrow! - Jerry
Note from your YKE - the tournament is really heating up with many great games, and even about 35% of them completely legible! Also, because of the larger number of games, I've had to go over to 4 columns, and a smaller point size - I hope it isn't too hard on everyone's eyes! I thank all the player's who are responding to our request for clear score-sheets. It really has helped a lot. Also, I apoligize, if a game you submitted, did not appear in the the bulletin, or on the Web site. Perhaps it will appear later!? Anyway, good luck to all of you chess player's, and thanks for creating so much great chess art! - Lawrence Tamarkin
Grandmaster Anatoly Lein is now 68 years old but still looks as buff as he
did when he was co-winner of the U.S. Open in Fairfax 1976. He also retains
his rather unique mix of grumpiness and good humour. A conversation
I had with him this morning was a perfect example. I knew that Anatoly had
tied for first in the World Senior a couple of years ago and also did well
last year. "Congratulations on your fine performance in the World Senior".
For this conversational gambit I received a 15 minute lecture on how Inside
Chess had reported that he finished third when he was actually second and,
further, how all the Powers That Be in chess were always out to get him.
I plowed ahead with a smile, "In any case, it is really nice to see someone of
our age doing well". Then came the unexpected humour: "How old are you?", he asked. "I will be 64 in October." Lein laughed. "Ha! I am 68. You are
spring chicken. You are young kid. I would send you out for cigarettes if I
had not stopped smoking!" This reminded me of the first year that
Anatoly played at Lone Pine shortly after he came from the Soviet Union. He
was just becoming comfortable in English. They say that you really start to
know a foreign language when you make puns in that tongue. I said to him, at
the end of the evening, "Good night, Anatoly." He smiled and shot back, "Good bishop." He left chuckling to himself, "Good night, good bishop--good night, good bishop."
Like the rest of us, Lein is in great humour after a win (which he scored over IM Ed Formanek last night--after which he probably would have given you keys to his car if you had asked). He tends to show his curmudgeon side more often after losses. In any case, I love the guy!
We had another case of a terminally bewildered chess player in the TD room
today. He was arguing about the rule which allows the TD to rule a game a
draw in sudden death if a theoretical C player could hold against a
theoretical master. This lost soul, who claimed to be a paralegal, kept
saying, "That doesn't apply to me because I am and A player!" No amount of
explanation, including the use of the word, "generic", which seemed wasted on
him, sufficed to calm this addelpaded fellow. I must say that TD Bob Moran
showed the patience of Goichberg himself.
Y.H.R., after 5 rounds, found himself in the bad-color whiplash syndrome--black against a higher rated--lose, white against a lower rated--win, black against a higher rated--lose, etc., for 5 rounds. To break the cycle I took a bye for round 6. Tomorrow the BIG MERGE. You can expect some comment on the four schedules (7, 5, 3 and weekend) leading to this great coming together.
Column Three: July 4th
The eternal struggle against sandbaggers still goes on. The World Open, with its large prizes attracts them, but Bill Goichberg is winning the battle. A couple of amusing incidents are illustrative.
Most of you know what a CCA rating is. This is a rating assigned by Bill based upon either suspicious or aberrant results. If a player scores well in a money tournament, but drop lots of points subsequently, he gets a rating which reflects his true strength. One fellow Bill wasn't quite sure about scored very well in the New York Open and he got a 1600 CCA rating. He then got "0" in two straight events and tried to enter the World Open as Under 1600. He apparently assumed that the CCA rating would go down & was shocked when he was told it was still 1600! This attempt to sandbag a CCA rating would qualify for the cartoon, "Unclear on the concept". If he scores another 0, Bill vows to raise his rating to 1800!
Another weird tale is suitable for Sherlock Holmes. Let's call it, "The strange case of the interchangeable brothers" - Two brothers from Bulgaria entered the World Open. Let's call them, for this story, "Joe & Moe". Joe had played in the Chicago Open and had tied for first in the expert section. He got a 2365 USCF rating for that performance. His brother Moe, arrived for the W.O., with an official notarized letter from the Bulgarian Chess Federation assigning him an 'official' 1552 rating. Of course, Bill was suspicious of this and added 300 points just to be on the safe side. After 5 rounds Moe had 3/2 in the U-2000 section. The problem was that a number of people who had played Joe in Chicago told Bill that the "Moe" in the U-2000 was in fact "Joe", the 2365 player! Bill couldn't figure out at first why a 2365 player would have two losses in the "A" section? And who was this guy in the Open who had beaten two masters? The real Joe was taken aside and grilled by the ace C.C.A. interrogators and broke down and confessed. Having only scored 2 of 5 in the Open, and feeling he had no chance for money, he generously decided to "help out" his brother Moe, who could still get 7/2 and quite a lot of money in the U-2000 section! The irony is that Moe took his place in the Open and, 1552 Bulgarian rating to the contrary, scored 1 1/2 out 2 against masters. Needless to say, both were summarily tossed out of the tournament and will probably be reported to the USCF Ethics Committee. Score two for the good guys!
Y.H.R. pulled even tonight, with another win with White against a lower rated opponent. The 'Bye' did not break the cycle!
Alex Goldin leads with 61/2, after seven merged rounds. Shabalov, Smirin, Yermolinsky & Christiansen are hot on his heals. Look for an exciting finish tomorrow!