Friday, August 17, 2012

Spassky in Moscow

Not sure whether to take this story at face value. No matter: be well, Boris.

Kasparov arrested, beaten in Moscow

Story in the New York Times (it was part of the lead story on the website this a.m.)  Context in ChessBase.

Rumor has it that Kasparov may soon be visiting Chicago. Best wishes to the former world champion for good health and a speedy release.  (P.S.: he's been released.)

Andrey Smirnov, AFP / Getty Images
Another update: Kasparov speaks to Eli Lake in The Daily Beast.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lemonade from life's lemons

Recent events remind me to remind you to check out the Facebook group Chicago Area Chess.


Here is Jon Burgess' crushing win over GM Yury Shulman from the 2004 Chicago Open. Jon looks like the GM here, dominating the game from move 17 until the end. His notes, and advice to competitors, are here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The biggest problem with the 2012 U.S. Open

...from my perspective, was that it was a nine-round event, not a five-round event. I began 4½-½ and made it to Board 3 (temporarily nestled between GMs Seirawan and Gurevich) until the young Oregon state champion Steven Breckenridge punctured my bubble. (And while I'm usually happy to publish my losses, no, I'm not sharing that embarrassment: it's on Monroi.).
Photo: Eileen Schmakel
I told Seirawan that the last time I played in a tournament with him, I had hair and he had an Afro. (There's a Lionel Ritchie-esque version of the Yasser-do in Al Lawrence's Chess Life Online article).

Memorial service for Jon Burgess on Monday, August 20th

Colleen Plummer Burgess writes: 
As many of you know my husband passed away on Sunday. The services will be held on Monday from 3-8pm at Matz Funeral Home 410 East Rand Road in Mount Prospect. I want to thank everyone for their continued support during this difficult time. Jon was a wonderful husband and father and will be missed.


From left: USCF Executive Director Bill Hall, GM Dmitry Gurevich, GM Manuel Leon Hoyos, FM John Bryant

Dmitry Gurevich takes down IM Michael Mulyar in the style of Capablanca: classical minimalism.

I congratulated Dmitry not only for his fourth Open win but also for the great result of his student Zhaozhi (George) Li, who tied for second Expert. (In most years, 6½-2½ would be sufficient for the first expert prize, but a 2199-rated player from British Columbia scored 7-2.) I told Dmitry (who, as always, gave all the credit to his student and portrayed his own role as minor) how George (a sixth-grader!) explained move-order subtleties in the 4.e3 Slav to me.  Dmitry replied, "I know, George is already teaching me stuff, too...."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Svetozar Gligorić 1923-2012

Gligorić-Fischer, Portoroz 1958
Svetozar Gligorić, the greatest chess player in Serbian and Yugoslav history, died today at the age of 89, having lived an amazing life: resistance fighter, journalist, author, polyglot, amateur musician and songwriter, opening theorist, World Championship Candidate, and one of Bobby Fischer's lifelong friends.  Story at The Week in Chess: check out Wikipedia and ChessVibes for more.

Of the participants in the great Zurich 1953.Candidates tournament, we still have Averbakh and Taimanov.

Enrico Sevillano gets final GM norm

Credit:  Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis 


GM-elect Sevillano is based in California now, but lived in Chicago for many years. (In fact, he used to live less than one block away from my old home: circa 1997, he and I found ourselves in the same laundromat one Sunday morning.)

"A Note from Your Captain"

It's 3:30 a.m. I can't sleep and I'm heartbroken.

This would be a good post for young readers to skip.  (Text after the jump.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Congratulations to Dmitry Gurevich!

With a last-round win, Dmitry grabbed a share of his fourth U.S. Open title. (No trophy for first on tiebreaks this year, but that's OK: Dmitry already has two of those.) Much more later: I'm sitting next to Harold Winston at a PDX gate. Good news and bad news to process.

Jon Burgess, rest in peace

We are shocked to learn of the death of National Master Jon Burgess. Our deepest condolences to Colleen and the entire Burgess family. Jon was a kind soul and a very dear friend. Much more later.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A must-win game

In round 8 (just finishing now), Dmitry Gurevich won with the Classical Sicilian. You can find this and many other games from the U.S. Open on the Monroi website. Tomorrow's final round begins at 3 p.m.: once again, the top boards (and the games of a few fish) will be broadcast live on Monroi.