SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
We start the week with some inspiration! Art for the mind. Enjoy
SOME REALLY FUNNY CHESS VIDEOS!
Enviado por Zigzagchess.
The strongest national championship in the Americas, the US chess championship, is to begin May 13 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) and will finish on the 25th of May. Sporting a 170,000 dollar prize fund (!), virtually all of the US’ top players will be participating. This year’s format is a 24 player swiss, with a novel knock-out type of pairing system. As well, there will be a blitz tournament held during the event with a 10k prize fund!
The complete list of players includes the following:
* The defending U.S. Champion: GM Hikaru Nakamura
* The winner of the 2009 U.S. Senior Open Championship: GM Larry Christiansen
* The winner of the 2009 U.S. Junior Championship: GM Ray Robson
* The top five qualifiers from the 2009 U.S. Open Championship:
GMs Aleksandr Lenderman, Sergey Kudrin, Alex Yermolinsky, Dmitry Gurevich, and Jesse Kraai
* The winner of the 2010 ICC State Champion of Champions: IM Levon Altounian
* The top 11 U.S. players by rating of the United States Chess Federation:
– GM Gata Kamsky
– GM Alexander Onischuk
– GM Varuzhan Akobian
– GM Yury Shulman
– GM Jaan Ehlvest
– GM Alexander Shabalov
– GM Gregory Kaidanov
– GM Robert Hess
– GM Melikset Khachiyan
– GM Joel Benjamin
– GM Ben Finegold
* Four wildcard spots:
– GM Alexander Stripunsky
– GM Vinay Bhat
– IM Irina Krush
– IM Sam Shankland
Vinay Bhat will be playing for the first time the US championship
Irina Krush will be the only female participant
No Canadian Championship is planned this year. Neither is it clear if a team will be sent to participate in the Olympiad in September, and even if it does, almost none of the top players have shown any interest: up and coming superstar Anton Kovalyov , despite living in Montreal for almost 3 years, can not even be bothered to change his federation to Canada (!); Canadian legend Kevin Spraggett (yours truly) won’t even touch the CFC with a ten metre pole, and many of the other top players (Zugic, Teplitsky, Tyomkin and Lesiege) refuse to even consider playing the minimum number of games to be eligible to qualify!
And neither is it clear if Canada will send a participant to the World Junior later his year, if recent history is something to go by (it usually is!). When was the last time Canada sent a participant?
In an effort to accelerate (?!) this downward spiral, the CFC has decided to chuck the annual get together (Annual General Meeting–AGM) and instead have the meeting held online during a week-long period! Some were complaining about how few Governors showed up face to face at the AGMs, and the solution decided upon was to simply eliminate the AGM as we know it! Now Canadian chess players face this scenario: not only will the CFC continue to not do anything progressive to promote chess, not only does only 50% of current members receive the monthly e-magazine, not only does the CFC not have any physical address, but starting this July the CFC will actually cease to have a human face and formally end person to person contact between its elected officials. Bravo! What is next? Cloning governors??
The only good news is that CFC president, Eric van Donothing, has wisely decided not to stand for re-election. Eric had only months ago started his re-election campaign, but after it was found out that he had deliberately shredded important documents that might incriminate some of his OCA friends in the disappearance of 120,000 dollars from Trillium Foundation, Eric’s real Ottawa friends must have pointed out to him that Canada still has laws and well funded prisons.
Some, on a popular Canadian chess message board ,joked that Eric should be given a parting gift: a brand new shredding machine and a year’s subscription to an internet service.
It is not clear who will stand for election to the CFC presidency: in recent times (with the obvious exception of David Lavin) a musical chairs type of rotation amongst OCA executive members (all of whom are implicated in the Trillium scandal) has been the norm. Perhaps it is time to break from tradition ….and while I know it sounds a bit revolutionary, how about trying to elect an honest person?
Question: can you tell the difference in the photos below?
POST SCRIPT: RESPONSE TO BOB ARMSTRONG (Tuesday )
While I make it a point on this blog to avoid entering into ”he said…she said” ping-pong concerning what is written about me on the various message boards in Canadian chess, I will allow myself to make this one exception in response to today’s post by the jovial director of the Scarborough Chess Club (Bob Armstrong). I feel that my clarification will be of benefit to those who helplessly follow the moral disintegration of the leadership in the CFC.____________________________________________________________
From his most recent entry on Canadian chess in his chess blog, Can. GM Kevin Spraggett has it wrong….again ( as he often does ). Here is what he wrote:
” the CFC has decided to chuck the annual get together (Annual General Meeting–AGM) and instead have the meeting held online during a week-long period! Some were complaining about how few Governors showed up face to face at the AGMs, and the solution decided upon was to simply eliminate the AGM as we know it! “
Totally wrong. The AGM Modernization Subcommittee has developed a new model for the Toronto July CFC AGM to be held Monday and Tuesday of the Canadian Open, as usual….”
(Bob Armstrong, Tuesday 27 April; CFC message board; CMA message board)_______________________________________________________________________
Before responding to the topic in question (my blog entry above), let me say that I consider it unfortunate that Bob has tried to generally disparage my excellent work on this blog, always well researched (with footnotes and links ,when available) by insinuating that I often get the facts wrong, when infact Bob might only disagree with my interpretation of those same facts.
I re-iterate: I do research before blogging. That is clearly one of the chief reasons why my blog is so widely read in Canadian chess circles. There are so few sites in Canadian chess that accurately report what is really happening. I am entitled to my opinion. Bob’s opinion might disagree with mine, but that is no reason to slight me for exercising my rights.
Now, Bob’s ‘‘response” (above) is a mixture of half-truths. Jovial Bob is an old ham when it comes to playing politics and willfully distorting what others say.
For many years now Bob has waged a private war against ”inactive” governors and has lobbied extensively for radical changes in the usual way the CFC constitution does business. For Bob, inactive Governors are an emotional issue, a personal issue. He has written hundreds of posts and proposed dozens of motions pointedly targetting what he feels so strongly is wrong with the system. Obsession is written all over Bob: ”The deadwood among us must be rooted out. Inactive governors are parasites on the system” Bob 21-7-09 CFC message board.
Successive presidents of the CFC have simply ignored Bob’s fundamentalist crusade, ruled many of his more radical motions out of order and generally marginalized him. (David Lavin thought that perhaps Bob might be unstable). Until recently, when Eric van Dusen was running for President of the CFC (late last summer) against David Lavin. Eric made a deal with Bob whereby in return for his support in 2009 and again in 2010 (ie. governors’ proxies from the Toronto area ) Eric would make Bob chairman of a ”Procedures Committee” for implementing changes to how the CFC operates.
We all know what happened: Eric was elected by a slim 1 vote margin (13-12). Soon after Bob became the chairman of this committee, with Eric as the only other member. Eric, in his capacity as President of the CFC, also appointed Bob as chairman of the AGM Modernization Sub-committee ,as well as the Governor Voting Modernization Sub-committee , both sub-committees having to report ONLY to the Procedures Committee, which ofcourse Bob is ALSO the chairman!
For those of you who have already been repelled by the sleazy path of CFC politics in recent times, there is no surprise in seeing that Bob has been appointed as chariman of various sub-committees that make recommendations to another committee that is also chaired by Bob!
Not only do serious confict of interest issues arise, but what about ethical and moral issues?. So essentially, by playing political games in the CFC , Bob has managed to position himself where whatever he wants (proposes) on the sub-committee level will be approved at the Committee level (he is chairman), and then implemented by the CFC President.
And so what we find is that Bob’s personal war on CFC governorship is accelerating. If you go back over the past few years and read Bob’s many thousands of posts, you will find indications that Bob wants to eliminate the AGM altogether and have it held exclusively online. He has proposed such ideas on the committees that he now chairs, while at the same time trying to give the impression publically that he is only trying to be an objective and impartial chairman.
However, one year is not enough time to radically change how things get done in a slow moving bureaucracy like the CFC. Others have ideas, objections and the right to make input. As things stand now, it has recently been decided that the Toronto AGM (to be held during the Canadian Open) will be held ”as usual” , but it is likely that this will be the last time that such a face to face with CFC governors will be allowed, should Bob still be in some position of influence in the CFC next year.
What Bob writes in his ”response” to my blog comments, about the AGM ”option” that the Procedures Committee has decided upon for Toronto, is infact a watered down version of Bob’s real intentions.
‘’As to the AGM, there is some concern that it is important that at least once a year, some governors meet face to face, get to know each other, and have good face to face debate….The AGM Modernization Subcommittee has accepted this position.’’ Bob 8 april 2010 CFC message board
What kind of once a year meeting does Bob really envision?
”…there would only be on site the number of executive who could easily be gathered together. All other executive and governors would not be present and would participate via internet.” Bob 15-4-2010 CFC message board.
In other words, there would be no voting at the AGM person to person meeting. The governors would not be welcome at this meeting. All decisions would be taken online.
Furthermore, showing how much the AGM ”site” meeting would be marginalized, there are only about half a dozen members of the executive: 2 members of the executive conveniently showing up in a room somewhere would constitute a farce of an excuse for an AGM!
Getting back to Bob’s response above to my blog comments, let me finish by re-iterating that Bob has simply written half-truths. My blog explained a general process that has been developing over the past year since Eric was elected and appointed Bob as chairman of anything that moves….Bob’s comments are meant to distort this by emphasizing the latest decision , which is really the result of a growing consensus that Bob is trying to move too fast .
It is true that the upcoming CFC AGM in Toronto will be ”usual” but it is likely that this AGM will be the last time where governors will be allowed to attend in person.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS