The Central California Open 2017

The Central California Open 2017

Dennis Tim FKGThe Central California Open, by Timothy Taylor, IM

 \My friend, Dennis Wajckus, is the driving force behind the Central California Open, and I have been lucky enough to be able to play in this event thanks to his friendship and support. And let’s not forget, also the friendship and support of his lovely wife Marian! Here they are holding a certain book of mine!

Dennis Marian FKG

I told Dennis I would write a blog about the event—which took place half a year ago, August 11-13, 2017. It was co-sponsored by the Fresno Chess Club and the Continental Chess Association. Now I have finally done it—better late than never!

I must admit I never got going in this event, but I did play every game for a win!

Not so for the leaders: the tournament ended in a four way tie for first among GM Matamoros, GM Sevillano, IM Bryant and rising junior Bick. They drew their games against each other, so first place was a low scoring 4 out of five, that is, 3 wins and two draws for all the winners.

Checking the tournament at US Chess, I see Bryant was 1, Matamoros 2, Sevillano 3, Bick 4. So we got the following results, as each drew two of the others.

Bryant drew 4 and 2.

Matamoros drew 3 and 1.

Sevillano drew 2 and 4.

Bick drew 1 and 3.

As the saying goes, the excitement never ends!

As an antidote to the drawfest above, I present my last round game. Warning: sacrifices ahead!

Tal

Needless to say,  I was inspired by this guy, who needs no introduction!

Timothy Taylor – Kirk Ghazarian

French Defense

Central California Open, Fresno, 2017

 

1.e4         e6

2.d4         d5

3.exd5     exd5

Black has no choice: after 3…Qxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.0–0 Be7 7.c4 Qd6 8.Bc2 White has transposed to a favorable Scandinavian and stands better.

4.c4

        I have found that this line—championed by Latvian GM Normunds Miezis—often disconcerts French players. They thought they were playing a French—but are now facing something like a Queen’s Gambit! In fact, there are many direct transpositions to the Queen’s Gambit Accepted.

4…           Nf6

        Imagine the game continued 4… dxc4 5.Bxc4 here. Got it? OK, now imagine the game started out with this well known line of the QGA: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 e5 4.Bxc4 exd4 5.exd4. If you have two chess boards you can set up, you will see the positions are identical. Where’s the French? Gone bye bye!

5.Nc3       Bb4

6.Nf3       0–0

7.Bd3      Re8+

8.Be3       c6

9.0–0       Bxc3

10.bxc3   Bg4

        Pin?

11.Qb3

        What pin?

11…         b6

I was intending 11…Bxf3 12.Qxb7! Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Nbd7 14.c5 Rc8 15.Qxa7 Ne4 when Black has some compensation for the pawn, but it’s not clear that it’s enough.

12.Ne5

Nonetheless Black should have entered the complications above, since now White is just better: the “pinning” piece, the BQB, is under attack, and White has the two bishops and an attack in the center and on the queenside.

12…         Be6

13.c5!?

Going for an immediate attack. Simpler is 13.cxd5 Nxd5 14.Qc2 h6 (but not 14…Nxe3 15.Bxh7+ Kh8 16.fxe3 g6 17.Rxf7+–) 15.Bd2 with a stable advantage.

13…         Ng4

Also weak is 13…bxc5 14.Qb7 Nbd7 15.Nxc6 Qb6 16.Rfb1 Qxb7 17.Rxb7 when the white rook on the seventh gives a serious advantage in the ending. Best is 13…Qc7 which keeps it at plus equals after say 14.cxb6 axb6 15.a4.

14.Nxg4 Bxg4

15.h3      Be6

16.Bf4     Nd7

17.Ba6!?

I could take it easy with 17.Bd6 bxc5 18.dxc5 and the ever popular plus equals, but I wanted to press.

 

17…         bxc5?

If he had played 17…Qf6 I would have really gone for the plus equals with 18.Bd6 bxc5 19.dxc5 as it would be too risky to go for the exchange: 18.Bg3 bxc5 19.Bb7 Rab8 20.Bxb8 Rxb8 and the pin is dangerous.

18.Bb7!

But now White gets the exchange for minimal or no compensation.

18…         cxd4

Now 18…Qf6 is too late! 19.Bxa8 Qxf4 20.Bxc6 Rb8 21.Qa3+–

19.Bxa8 Qxa8

20.cxd4

Clear advantage to White! Black has a pawn, but given the open files, there is no real compensation for the exchange.

20…         c5

Although White has a winning advantage anyway, this helps by opening even more lines for the rooks

21.dxc5   Nxc5

Or 21…d4 22.Qa4+–

22.Qb5    Ne4

23.Be3    Rd8

24.Qb2    a6

25.Rab1 Nd6

26.Bd4    Nc4

27.Qc3    f6

28.Rfe1   Bf5

        I have my pieces set up the way I want them, so Black tries to distract me by attacking a rook.

29.Re7!!

        The great World Champion Mikhail Tal liked to say that pawns are “insignificant units” and so could be sacrificed at will. Now if one pawn is insignificant, or zero, what about five of them? Clearly five times zero is zero. Now if a rook is worth five pawns, then would not a rook also be insignificant? Obviously!

So clearly a rook can easily be sacrificed, being insignificant, especially when White is only looking at the Black King!

29…         Bxb1

Black may as well take, as White threatens R1b7 when the “blind pigs” will rampage!

30.Bxf6

Now if a rook is insignificant, what about a bishop? Worth only three insignificant pawns! Nothing, really. Therefore this move can be played quietly, without even an exclamation point. Why stop at a rook when you can sac a bishop too?

The magic of Tal lives!

30…         Qb8

        Just as good as any other move—as the following notes show, White wins in every variation Attack trumps material!

Black can try six other defenses, which are defeated as follows.

A.30… a5 (I lead with this to show that Black cannot make an innocuous move) 31.Rxg7+ Kf8 32.Be7+ Ke8 33.Qf6 Kd7 34.Bxd8+ Kc8 35.Bb6 and mates

B.30… gxf6 (Take everything?) 31.Qxf6 and mate cannot be prevented.

C.30…Kf8 (run?) 31.Rxg7 Rd6 (or 31…Qc8 32.Be7+ Ke8 33.Qf6 and mates in 11) 32.Be7+ Ke8 33.Bxd6 Nxd6 34.Rg8 wins the queen.

D.30…d4 31.Qxc4+ Qd5 32.Rxg7+ Kf8 33.Qc7 Re8 34.Bxd4! (threatens Bc5+) 34…Re1+ 35.Kh2 Ke8 36.Qc8+ Qd8 37.Rg8+ again wins the queen.

E.30…Rd7 (panic?) 31.Rxd7 gxf6 32.Qxf6 Qf8 33.Rd8 wins the Queen for the charming third time

F.30…h6 (what else?) 31.Rxg7+ Kf8 32.Be7+ Ke8 33.Qf6 d4 34.Qe6 and mates

Tal himself always claimed he was a calculating player, not an intuitive player, so I offer this example of calculation as a homage to the Wizard of Riga!

31.Rxg7  Kf8

32.Be7+   Ke8

33.Bxd8

Now the B is immune, so White is up the exchange and a pawn, while retaining a winning attack! And our friend Mr. Fritz is up to plus 7!

As Capablanca would say, the student can work out the various wins for himself.

My opponent apparently did just that, and resigned.

 

1–0

 

        Once again, big thanks to Dennis and Marian, big apologies for the lateness of this blog, and I hope to be back next year!

 

 

 

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I Want My Boys to be Proud of Me

I Want My Boys to be Proud of Me

 I think all of us share the feeling of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: touch that hand? We don’t know where that hand has been!

With that thought, I issue a warning: because I am writing about the President of the United States, in 2017, the following article is unsafe for work, and unsafe for your children.

But if you’re a grown up, and you can take it, please read.

I want My Boys to be Proud of Me

By Timothy Taylor, IM

 

        Thursday, June 1, 2017 is a date that will live in infamy: the date that Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.

The great majority of Americans support the accord. Trump gave as a reason that he was elected to serve the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris. In a rousing dissent, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, said this: “President Trump’s decision is disastrous for our planet, for cities such as Pittsburgh, to the commitments the United States made to the rest of the world, and to our responsibility to save the globe for future generations.

The President has made America weaker, and the world less safe.

I’m appalled that the President used my city to justify his unacceptable decision, as most other Pittsburghers are.”

I don’t believe it’s possible to find any other straws in the bucket. This is surely the last straw. Yes, the next day Trump insulted the Mayor of London following a terrorist attack in a simply sickening pair of tweets, but that’s nothing new.

The president of the United States is an utterly miserable excuse for a human being.

Climate change is the number one threat to humanity, the great issue of our time. Donald Trump says, in effect, let us destroy our coastal cities, let millions die in America and around the world, for I will live in luxury high in a tower and will enjoy looking down at the devastation. I want my children to suffer and my grandchildren to suffer more; I am on the side of death, and against life.

How did we get here?

What should we do about it?

The second question is easier to answer, if hard to find immediate results. The answer was spoken by the marvelous Meryl Streep in her passionate take down of Donald Trump at the Golden Globes.

I have always admired Meryl Streep for her extraordinary acting, but watching her speak I felt enormous respect for her as a human being. Barely able to talk, her voice gone from crying over the recent death of her dear friend Carrie Fisher, she stood up and said the words that mattered, and in the course of her speech she said one resonant line that provides the answer to my second question: we must “hold power to account.”

Four key words. And we must do this, if we and our planet are to survive.

I think that every person who has a little platform, is known even a little, must speak out against this horrific authoritarian regime that seeks to destroy our country, our America.

Trump does not speak for Pittsburgh, does not speak for Los Angeles, does not speak for me.

What should I write about? The ever growing Russian scandal? I have to stop here and quote the hilarious meme that’s been going around the Internet, which I show here, unedited, exactly as it reached my computer.

“I don’t know – it’s hard for me to see any U.S. ties to Russia… except for the Flynn things and the Manafort thing and the Tillerson thing and the Sessions thing and the Kushner thing and the Carter Page thing and the Roger Stone thing and the Felix Sater thing and the Boris Ephsteyn thing and the Rosneft thing and the Gazprom thing and the Sergey Gorkov banker thing and the Azerbaijan thing and the “I love Putin” thing and the Donald Trump, Jr. thing and the Sergey Kislyak thing and the Russian Affiliated Interests thing and the Russian Business Interests thing and the Emoluments Clause thing and the Alex Schnaider thing and the hack of the DNC thing and the Guccifer 2.0 thing and the Mike Pence “I don’t know anything” thing

and the Russians mysteriously dying thing and Trump’s public request to Russia to hack Hillary’s email thing and the Trump house sale for $100 million at the bottom of the housing bust to the Russian fertilizer king thing and the Russian fertilizer king’s plane showing up in Concord, NC during Trump rally campaign thing and the Nunes sudden flight to the White House in the night thing and the Nunes personal investments in the Russian winery thing and the Wilbur Ross with his Cyprus bank thing and Trump not releasing his tax returns thing and the Republican Party’s rejection of an amendment to require Trump to show his taxes thing and the election hacking thing and the GOP platform change to the Ukraine thing and the Steele Dossier thing and the Leninist Bannon thing and the Sally Yates can’t testify thing and the Sally Yates firing thing*

and the intelligence community’s investigative reports thing and Trump’s reassurance that the Russian connection is all “fake news” thing and Spicer’s Russian Dressing “nothing’s wrong” thing and Trump warning the Russians and Syrians before the Bombing thing* and the Trump refusing to provide Flynn’s foreign ties documents to Congress thing* and Flynn’s illegal Turkish lobbying was paid for the Russians thing* and Flynn’s illegal lobbying for Russia thing* and the Trump asking Comey for a “loyalty oath” thing* and Trump lying to the world about Comey saying he’s not being investigated thing* and the Trump firing Comey thing* and the Trump or stooges lying to the world about why he fired Comey with 3 different lies* and Trump hosting Russian foreign minister and ambassador one day after firing Comey to demonstrate his authoritarian street cred* so there’s probably nothing there since the swamp has been drained, these people would never lie probably why Nunes cancels the investigation meetings all of this must be normal just a bunch of separate dots with no connection.”

 

It’s hilarious, and then, like all great, deep, biting humor—not really that funny at all when you come down to it.

But other people have covered that ground, and will be covering it for a while.

I prefer to be a little more personal.

I want my sons, now 10 and 7, to grow up to be good men. I want to provide a good example to them. Simply put, I want my sons to be proud of me.

I try to teach them the right way to act. For example, I have this wonderful poem on my wall, which I have read to them, which they can now read themselves and understand:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.

by Pastor Martin Niemoller

 

Trump has not yet come for the Quakers (my religion, which believes in peace) but if he is able to somehow drag the US into war, which it seems he wants to do, the Quakers will resist. I will resist. And he will come for me.

The lesson of Pastor Niemoller is not to wait. Speak up now.

I should have spoken up sooner—I found it so hard to take Trump seriously when he was running for President.

Yet here he is, President. He wants to destroy the planet. He believes, like many another would be authoritarian dictator, that he alone is the arbiter of whether the “little people” live or die.

I am not so little. I am an International Master of Chess. I am the author of fourteen books. I am the writer/director of a feature film.

Some people read my blog—I have a platform—and so, I will speak out.

That first question comes back and haunts me: how did we get here?

I want to talk about the things Donald Trump was known for while he was running for President. Not the new stuff, no one could ever have imagined how utterly disastrous his presidency could be, nor how when one thinks the bottom has been reached, he still sinks us further.

I will talk about the nature of this man, well known for decades of his life as a celebrity.

I will talk about three things.

Trump the liar

Trump’s attack on small business

Trump’s mistreatment of women

 

All of these issues mean a great deal to me on a personal level, and that is why I have chosen to focus on just these three.

 

Part One: Trump the Liar—The Birther Conspiracy

 

        I’ve said many time in these blogs that the older I get, the more I hate liars.

I’ve had experience with such prevaricators.

Take Byron Jacobs of Everyman Chess, for example, who lied to me over 41 straight emails! I mean, this is a guy, when I pointed out that his flunky Jonathan Tait had changed the first diagram in the book (you can see the correct diagram on page 10 of The Fischer King’s Gambit), he was fine with that. I went through it chapter and verse, as I pointed out later in my blog Jonathan Tait: Book Butcher/Byron Jacobs: Editing Sociopath. Here’s an excerpt from that blog:

“This first diagram of the book is in the Introduction. In the text I am pointing out that casual play by Black can lead to a lost position as early as move 8! To illustrate this I used a blitz game of mine, Taylor – Hilast, that went 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.d4 d6 5.Bxf4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.0-0 and White is already clearly better.

Again, the diagram in question should be from the introductory game, Taylor-Hilast, page 10. But Jonathan Tait’s diagram is from Game 74 (!) Maroczy-Marco! What line was that Maroczy game you might ask?

It was Jonathan Tait’s favorite, the Nordic Counter Gambit.

Let’s go through all the differences between the two diagrams so we can see that they are extraordinarily different positions. I’ll put Taylor on top and Tait below.

1.Taylor: Black is to move

Tait: White is to move

2.Taylor: White has just castled, so the WK is on g1

Tait: White has recently played Kf1, so castling isn’t even legal

3.Taylor: White has just played 8.0-0

Tait: Black has just played 6… Be7, thus the move number is off by two

4.Taylor: All four white minor pieces are developed

Tait: Only two white minors are developed

5.Taylor: Black started with Shaw favorite 3… Nc6 and the BQN is still on that square

Tait: The BQN hasn’t moved and so is on b8

6.Taylor: Black is castled

Tait: The BK is still on e8 and there is a N still on g8, making castling impossible

7.Taylor: moves leading to diagram are 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.d4 d6 5.Bxf4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.0-0 and it’s Black to move

Tait: moves leading to diagram are 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 f5 (a huge deviation) 4.Nc3 Qh4+ (this check doesn’t exist above) 5.Kf1 (hard to castle after this) fxe4 6.Nxe4 Be7 and it’s White to move

8.Taylor: Diagrams are generated by Chessbase from the game scores supplied by me

Tait: He had to create and then insert the diagram he chose to destroy the opening flow of the book.”

Well, anyone who has read my blogs knows what Byron Jacobs wrote: “This is a good, normal edit.”

And when I pointed out Tait inserted a false variation I hadn’t written, one that lost a pawn instead of gaining a pawn: “This is a good normal edit.’

And when Tait butchered a Capablanca quote, Jacobs didn’t seem to care too much about that Capablanca guy—he just said, “This is a good normal edit.”

Yeah.

Right.

So Byron Jacobs lied for 41 emails. He tried blackmail.

His sleazy boss Mark Bicknell backed him up and tried blackmail too. Neither of those worked, so Bicknell stole some of my royalties.

Lying, theft, blackmail—that’s pretty bad! But Jeez, it’s not like they have the nuclear codes or something—

Uh oh!

What happened to the pathetic sleazeballs Bicknell and Jacobs? I just went over their heads to the CEO of Random House (the Random House name appears on each Everyman book) Markus Dohle. He then dispatched Random House’s chief UK lawyer, and Bicknell caved in a day. Paid out my advances. Returned rights to the FKG and all other books I was working on. Went whimpering and crawling off like any bully facing someone stronger.

And my book was named by many to be the best chess book published in the last thirty years. It sold out. Many many copies to England, where people had to shell out $125 for it.

So I guess the lesson is, if we have a problem with some lying, stealing sleazeball, don’t waste your time arguing with him—go over his head—

Then logically we should go over Trump’s head to someone more powerful who will slap down the bully and leave him a whimpering mess—

Who?

Uh oh!

Donald Trump, God help us, is the most powerful person on earth. There’s no one higher we can appeal to. There is impeachment, but the Republicans don’t have the guts or even the basic moral fiber to do that, until Trump shoots someone on Fifth Avenue (which he has boasted he could do, and maybe he won’t be able to resist carrying it out) so the usual remedies are not available.

But we have Meryl on our side, and we must speak out and “hold power to account.”

I’m going to do my best, for me, but most of all for my young sons, who are going to have to fight like hell as adults to reverse climate change, while Trump aids the polluters with all his power.

Back to my first question: How did we get here?

The answer is, Trump got to the top by lying.

Now when you say, “lying” about Trump, you must recognize it’s like breathing for him. The problem is there are so many! Byron Jacobs doing 41 lying emails over a couple of months? Trump would boast, and probably has, ‘I can do 41 lies in an hour!’

I know a couple of publications ran “lie clocks” on Trump once he got into office, but what could you do? He started with crowd size and it didn’t matter how many photographs proved him wrong, he just kept lying. About that, and everything else. And when he can’t be bothered to lie himself, he gets the gutless Sean Spicer to lie for him, and so the contagion of evil spreads. The lie clocks stopped, you just couldn’t keep track.

Just yesterday Trump lied through his teeth, calling James Comey’s devastating testimony “Total and complete vindication.” Say what?? That’s a “what planet are you living on” statement for sure.

But it’s nothing new.

The only way that I see to approach Trump the liar is to take just one, one that he repeated for years and years and years. I am referring to the “birther conspiracy” lie that President Obama was born in Kenya, as opposed to Hawaii, where he was actually born.

How did we get here? I asked. All this was known about Trump before he ran for president. Just taking this issue alone, Trump proved himself to be a scurrilous, gutter trash liar.

What is this “birther conspiracy?” You can’t explain it in any remotely credible way. It goes something like, uh, uh, oh, yeah, ummm, back in 1961 everyone in Hawaii in the government and the newspapers and the people who knew the Obama family and the doctors and the teachers and damn, them was all in it, all created this story that this kid was born there, when obviously he was born in Kenya cause just look at that boy—he’s black!!

Yeah.

Right.

So Trump took on this extreme fringe conspiracy theory and made it his own, and boasted about it. Now President Obama didn’t take this seriously at first, just as the rest of us could not take Trump’s babbling gibberish seriously, but we all underestimated the appeal of this nonsense, and now the fringe right rules this once great country.

There’s Trump, waving his birther flag, and Obama releases his birth certificate, and every reputable news organization in the world debunks the “conspiracy” and Trump pushes on, sweeping the gutter with his tongue, and Obama releases his long form birth certificate in 2011 and even some of slightly less crazy Republicans backed off—but not Trump.

It’s just the same as Byron Jacobs looking at the real and false diagrams and declaring the latter a “good normal edit”—except for that little detail, that nuclear code thing.

Even in 2014, Trump kept on lying, “There are three things that could happen. And one of them did happen. He was perhaps born in Kenya. Very simple, OK? He was perhaps born in this country. But said he was born in Kenya because if you say you were born in Kenya, you got aid and you got into colleges. People were doing that. So perhaps he was born in this country, and that has a very big chance. Or, you know, who knows?”

– May 27, 2014, in remarks at the National Press Club.

So gee, is this progress, like most of the time he’s insinuating, not outright lying? No. It’s still a flat lie, because you can’t say “perhaps” born in this country. The fact is, Barack Obama was born in this country, in the great state of Hawaii.

And Trump was still blithering, birthering, because he knew his audience, the KKK, the neo—Nazis, the very slightly smarter neo-Nazis who call themselves the alt right, the plain old garden variety racists.

Disseminating this grotesque lie for years should have got Trump completely disqualified from ever becoming president—but again, and God save the American people, it actually helped him.

 

Part Two: Trump’s War On Small Business

This is another issue that really hits home to me. I ran a small business once: a film company. I employed about 200 hardworking people, many of whom worked for nothing, to be paid when the film turned a profit.

Indeed, my film, Confederate Saber (later retitled by the crooked distributor Eric Louzil as Wicked Pursuits) made a profit big time. It was an art house smash on DVD and VHS! I used to watch the Blockbuster and Hollywood video shelves empty every weekend, and I eagerly awaited my contract mandated cut.

And waited.

You see, there was just this one small problem: Eric Louzil was and is a career criminal. With the help of his wife, Rita Rosenthal, Louzil steals the profits from film makers. Steals from the creative people, since he hasn’t got a creative bone in his body.

This is how it works—and Trump does practically the same thing—when you, small business owner, point out that the crook owes you money.

In Louzil’s case, he simply cut off any communication with me. This buys him time. I tried many ways to get in contact with him. No dice.

Then he moves the company and changes the corporate name. He’s had a ton of corporate names, probably lots more by now.

At some point, the small business owner, me in this case, either gives up or hires a lawyer. Most give up, as they can’t afford a lawyer.

I was finally lucky enough to get a lawyer to work on contingency.

Then Louzil stalls. He doesn’t make a defense—he has none—he just drags out the proceedings for as many years as his lawyers can manage. In my case, my film came out in the fall of 2002.

I got the judgment against Louzil, for $206,248 on November 10, 2009. That’s seven full years, if you’re counting.

At that time Louzil had 45 judgments against him, if anyone’s counting that either.

Imagine my particular case: Seven years of a small business getting zero income. Seven years for the hardworking actors and actresses to not get paid.

That would break any small business. It broke mine.

So after you get the judgment, do you get paid? Of course not!

Then Louzil just refuses to pay. His lawyers argue that he has no money. Now of course he may have a couple of mansions and three or four cars and travels around the world regularly, but he has no money—he says.

(Aside, I will say that the root of all these crimes is lying, and that’s why I put Trump’s lies first.)

At some point, your lawyer, on in this case, my lawyer, gives up. He’s worked long and hard for years and years and he hasn’t made a dime.

My employees, my actors and actresses, are not happy. They see the movie renting daily at their local video stores (this was when there were such things!) but they are not getting paid! I was unhappiest of all! I had worked for years to write, direct and produce this film, I had made a good film that people liked, and now I was getting screwed, and not the way I wanted to be screwed.

Next thing: I get a judgment recovery expert. They will try to recover your judgment, and take a percentage.

My first JR person had a success—for a minute. She found $40,000 in Louzil’s wife’s account (that is the infamous Rita Rosenthal). She got the sheriff to confiscate it.

Did I then get the money, even that small piece of the money?

Of course not. The laws are so stacked in favor of the rich crooks, and so against the honest and hardworking small businessman, that the deadbeat is able to go to court and challenge the seizure with the following ridiculous argument.

Louzil said that was his wife’s money—not that she has any serious income, but still—and they have a pre-nup that says what is hers is hers and not his.

Yeah.

Right.

As near as we can tell, Louzil’s MO is this. He works through a dummy corporation based in an extremely corporate friendly state, in this case Nevada. This corporation is not licensed to do business in California. So he does business in California.

He takes the money from whatever film he’s robbing—in this case my Confederate Saber, which he retitled like it was one of his companies and called it Wicked Pursuits—and sends the money overseas, let’s say the Cayman Islands.

His contact in the Cayman Islands bank sends a check back to Rita Rosenthal in California. She cashes it, and they buy a Mercedes, which is put in Rita’s name, though Eric drives it.

Now all of the above is absolutely illegal in every single way, but the judge (needless to say in this era that fetishizes the rich) says, “Uh, I guess that’s fine,” and gives the money back to Rita Rosenthal.

He did that. The Sheriff turned the money back over to dear Rita.

My judgment recovery person quit.

I got a second one. Worked on contingency. For years. Got nothing. He’s a good guy, but Louzil is a stone crook, and with the judges and lawyers enabling him, there’s no way to win. He also gave up.

I have talked to a few JR people since, and when I say $340,000, they get happy, but as soon as you say the name Eric Louzil these days, they come back with, “Oh no, I won’t touch that, he’s judgment proof!”

Which means he’s above the law. Why isn’t he arrested?

Why isn’t Donald Trump impeached?

Let’s look at Donald Trump’s lifelong war against small business. In every case his MO is the same. He hires a contractor, the contractor does the work, Trump refuses to pay.

This has been well known for years and years, well before the presidential run.

Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans.

Think about that: 3,500 lawsuits over three decades, or thirty years. That is not normal. That is insane.

3,500 divided by 30 equals 116.666 lawsuits every single year! And check out the number at the end: 666 indeed!

Here’s a recent one, reporting from CNN:

“The actions in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether.

Trump’s Doral golf resort also has been embroiled in recent non-payment claims by two different paint firms, with one case settled and the other pending. Last month, his company’s refusal to pay one Florida painter more than $30,000 for work at Doral led the judge in the case to order foreclosure of the resort if the contractor isn’t paid.

Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot, in South Florida, has been waiting more than two years to get paid for his work at the Doral. The Paint Spot first filed a lien against Trump’s course, then filed a lawsuit asking a Florida judge to intervene.

In courtroom testimony, the manager of the general contractor for the Doral renovation admitted that a decision was made not to pay The Paint Spot because Trump “already paid enough.” As the construction manager spoke, “Trump’s trial attorneys visibly winced, began breathing heavily, and attempted to make eye contact” with the witness, the judge noted in his ruling.

That, and other evidence, convinced the judge The Paint Spot’s claim was credible. He ordered last month that the Doral resort be foreclosed on, sold, and the proceeds used to pay Enriquez the money he was owed. Trump’s attorneys have since filed a motion to delay the sale, and the contest continues.

Enriquez still hasn’t been paid.”

I haven’t been paid either, though with interest my judgment is worth at least the above mentioned $340,000.

The point is that even after years of litigation, it doesn’t matter that Tim Taylor or Juan Enriquez wins in court. Louzil or Trump, the rich crooks, just don’t pay.

And when they don’t pay, nothing happens to them.

And again, Trump would no doubt boast, ’45 judgments against Louzil? That’s chicken feed! I have the most judgments, I have thousands of judgments …’

We must ask the question: Are they above the law? They should not be.

Why hasn’t Trump been impeached?

Another case,

“The Edward J. Friel Company built cabinets for Trump’s first Atlantic City casino in the early 1980s. The company was awarded a $400,000 contract to build cabinets for the slot machines at Trump Plaza.

After the work was completed and approved by the general contractor, Friel expected a payment of $84,000, which would have covered the final expenses and all of the profit. But Friel says Trump bought out the construction contract from the general contractor, Perini Corporation, and then refused to make the payment.

It was a shock to his father, Friel remembers.

“We had already worked for three (general contractors), and every single one of them lived up to their word until Donald Trump came to Atlantic City,” Friel says.

Friel’s father tried to recoup the money he was owed but eventually gave up. Friel believes Trump used his enormous influence to block his father’s company from working on any future Atlantic City projects.

“I think it surprised him the most that Donald Trump had blackballed him … even though we had an excellent name in Atlantic City,” Friel says.

After struggling to stay afloat, the Edward J. Friel Company filed for bankruptcy several years later.”

Again, note the personal connection.

After Mark Bicknell of Everyman was humiliated by Random House and had to give all my intellectual property back, I got a deal with New In Chess to publish The Fischer King’s Gambit (then entitled Winning with the King Bishop’s Gambit). But when Allard Hoogland contacted Bicknell to confirm that I did own all the rights, which I do, something happened—I am sure I was blackballed—and he abruptly returned all the rights to me and told me to keep the advance he had already paid.

All other “regular” chess publishers have refused the book—best chess book published in the last 30 years!—which was why I self-published, as the black ball appears to continue.

Trump must be the role model for these sleazios!

But like I say, there’s a difference between a guy like Allard Hoogland lying through his teeth and defaulting on a contract and on his own word—and the other guy, the Donald Trump guy.

This Donald Trump, with 116.666 lawsuits a year, the 666 guy, has the nuclear codes.

Mark Bicknell, Byron Jacobs and Allard Hoogland all together could barely punch their way out of a wet paper bag.

But Trump could blow up the whole world.

And for starters, he wants climate change to start destroying us first, unless he decides to hurry things along.

Why isn’t he impeached?

How was he ever elected, after decades of unbelievably dirty dealings with small businesses?

 

Part Three: Trump’s Mistreatment of Women

This is another one that hits home to me. I have known women who were abused, and I have great sympathy for any woman who has had to suffer in this way.

Donald Trump thinks it’s fun.

Says Trump, “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Trump’s defense? Bill Clinton “has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close”.

In this case it’s just possible that, wonder of wonders, Trump is telling the truth.

Trump and Clinton, birds of a feather if ever there were, used to have a mutual friend, Jeffrey Epstein.

Better known now as convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Jeffrey used his money and power to abuse underage girls. He admitted to soliciting girls as young as 14, though other reports say younger.

Needless to say, Trump’s kind of guy!

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine for a 2002 profile of Epstein. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

On the younger side.

Yeah.

14.

Right.

Now Jeffrey had a private plane which would come to be called the Lolita Express, which was stocked by underage girls who were essentially sex slaves, who would be handed out to the rich and powerful.

Naturally, Trump flew on that plane.

So when Trump was accused of raping one of Epstein’s underage girls—13 at the time—one would think that a good idea would be to have a strong witness against him.

Perhaps a President of undisputed moral character? Well, let’s leave “undisputed moral character” out and just leave “President.”

Which one? Who’s the dog? Oh, that one.

Yes, according to flight logs, President Bill Clinton flew 26 times on the Lolita Express, “enjoying” the company of those underage girls.

No word on how much the girls enjoyed his company.

Today, the now grown 13 year old, who accused Trump of raping her, has backed out of her lawsuit, fearing for her life.

Lack of courage? I mean it’s not like the man she is accusing could send out Black Ops to kill her—

Uh oh!

I would say, well founded fear.

Now, because I have a weird sense of humor, let’s imagine that Bill Clinton and Donald Trump are both accused of statutory rape and more.

The judge says, “Mr. President, and Mr. President, please approach the bench. Can we not solve this privately?”

Trump ignores the judge, and says to Clinton: “I saw you have sex with an underage girl”

Clinton to Trump: “I saw you have sex with an underage girl!”

Trump to Clinton: “I saw you rape an underage girl!”

Clinton to Trump: “I saw you rape an underage girl!”

Trump to Clinton: “I raped her harder!”

Judge: “Uh oh.”

 

After the Access Hollywood tape broke—remember, this was before the election, yes all this was KNOWN before the election, and Trump still won—where Trump boasted about his sexual assaults, many women came forward to say that Trump had been “good as his word” and had in fact assaulted them.

You can look these up online, but I’ll just spotlight one, because it probably explains why Melania slapped away her husband’s hand when he tried to grab hers.

Below is from CNN:

Natasha Stoynoff

When it allegedly happened: 2005

Where it allegedly happened: The Mar-a-Lago Club

What she said: During an assignment to cover Trump’s one-year wedding anniversary to his wife, Melania, People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff claims the now-presidential candidate pushed her against a wall, started “forcing his tongue” down her throat, and physically attacked her during a tour of the place. “Now, I’m a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me. But Trump is much bigger — a looming figure — and he was fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance,” she wrote.

The incident only ended when Trump’s butler said that Melania was coming downstairs, but I imagine the now First Lady had a good idea of what had happened.

How did we get here?

A young woman of 18, Aria Watson, was horrified by Trump’s ascent to the Presidency. She turned her horror into art, a photography project called “SignedbyTrump” which featured statements Trump has made written on the bodies of nude or partially clad women.

Here are some of her revolutionary pictures, with Aria’s own comments in between.

Trump photo

“Over the past few days, I’ve gotten messages that have brought me to tears,” Aria said.

Trump women 2

“To everyone who has supported me and “#SignedByTrump,” don’t let anyone silence you.

Trump women 3

Don’t be afraid to speak up about what you are passionate about.”

Aria concludes: “I don’t know why Donald Trump is in office, or how this even happened, but he is. What we need more than ever is to come together. We are stronger together,” she said.

I agree.

Let’s all “hold power to account.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Bobby Fischer Won With The King’s Gambit

How Bobby Fischer Won With The King’s Gambit

How Bobby Fischer WON With The King’s Gambit

By Timothy Taylor, IM

 

On page 668 of my book The Fischer King’s Gambit, I note, “There are 23 Fischer games (as White) with the King’s Gambit in the MegaBase (18 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses if you must know).”

It follows then, to quote myself much earlier, from page 6:

“So I say, play the King’s Gambit Fischer’s way! When you’re Black against the King Knight’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3) play 3… d6 which Bobby recommended, or 3… g5 which he actually played vs. Boris Spassky, and at the very least you will equalize or most likely, get some advantage with Black. Now I have to say that when Fischer claimed in his “Bust to the King’s Gambit” article—which by the way is an incorrect title, he was not referring to the Bishop’s Gambit branch of the King’s Gambit, but only to the King Knight’s Gambit with 3.Nf3—that after his 3… d6 White “loses by force” he is exaggerating. I am a Fischer fan, not a Fischer fanatic! So yes, he got carried away there. But he is absolutely right that after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 then 3… g5 equalizes. He is absolutely right that his 3… d6 presents tremendous difficulties for White. Most lines do just favor Black directly. The line given by Shaw after 3.Nf3 d6 which he calls his “strong recommendation” against the Fischer Defense puts White possibly in sight of a draw—but maybe not. In any case Black can draw at will against Shaw’s recommendation, but can also play for a win by accepting a moderate risk. White, following Shaw, is basically struggling to equalize—but that might be all White can hope for after 3.Nf3?!

Ah, to suffer and draw—is this why we play the King’s Gambit? I think not!

Let’s get to the fun stuff! This book is for bold attacking players who want to win! And if you want to win, there is no better way than to follow Fischer with 3.Bc4!”

 

That’s how to do it! Fischer destroyed GMs like Evans and Minic with the King’s Gambit, busted the circuits of an early computer, and slaughtered IM Wade when he tried to find a drawing line against the KG!

Altogether, I have six Fischer wins as White in my book, and to this day the games are fresh, inspiring, and often quite brilliant.

To give a sample—but hardly giving away the whole book—I present the six Fischer wins I give in the book.

BUT! I am not giving the analysis! For that, you need to buy the book, and amazingly, of the 200 copies printed, there are still four left.

That’s 4. Exactly. One box.

P1030058.JPGP1030055

Note the above picture was taken when there were five books left, but IM Justin Sarkar got the one on top! So what we have now is the plain box, the top image, with four inside.

Now if you want to improve your chess, if you want to play with Fischer’s take no prisoners style, you should definitely study his wins with the King’s Gambit—and the other 94 games in the book as well, of course!

 

Here are light intros—but once again, no notes—to the six Fischer wins in The Fischer King’s Gambit.

 

 

The first Bishop’s Gambit of the book appears, and I’ll hand the mike to Bobby: “I consider this, the Bishop’s Gambit, to be more promising than 3.Nf3 which is refuted by 3… d6!”

 

Game 10

Fischer, Robert James – Greenblatt Program

Cambridge, 1977

1.e4         e5

2.f4!        exf4

3.Bc4       d5!?

4.Bxd5    Nf6

5.Nc3       Bb4

6.Nf3       0–0

7.0–0       Nxd5

8.Nxd5    Bd6

9.d4         g5

10.Nxg5!! Qxg5

11.e5       Bh3

12.Rf2     Bxe5

13.dxe5   c6

14.Bxf4   Qg7

15.Nf6+   Kh8

16.Qh5    Rd8

17.Qxh3 Na6

18.Rf3     Qg6

19.Rc1    Kg7

20.Rg3    Rh8

21.Qh6 Mate

1–0

        Nowadays one doesn’t see such utter domination by Man over Machine, but it’s nice to look back!

Meanwhile, note that the computer was lost by move 10 to the unrefuted Bishop’s Gambit!

 

 

In this game, played in the US Championship where Bobby went 11-0, you’ll see that GM Evans gets so blasted and discouraged, that, already in a lost position, he blunders his dim knight on rim!

 

Game 28

Fischer, Robert James – Evans, Larry Melvyn

USA-ch 1963

1.e4         e5

2.f4          exf4

3.Bc4!     Qh4+

4.Kf1       d6

5.Nc3       Be6

6.Qe2      c6

7.Nf3       Qe7

8.d4         Bxc4

9.Qxc4    g5

10.e5       d5

11.Qd3    Na6

12.Ne2    Nb4

13.Qd1    0–0–0

14.c3       Na6

15.h4      g4

16.Nh2    h5?!

17.Nxf4   Qxh4

18.Kg1!   Nh6

19.Nf1     Qe7

20.Nxh5 Rg8

21.Nfg3   Rg6

22.Nf4     Rg5

23.Be3    Nc7

24.Qd2    Rg8

25.Nfe2   f6

26.exf6    Qxf6

27.Bxh6 Bd6

28.Rf1     Qe6

29.Bf4     Rde8

30.Rh6    Bxf4

31.Qxf4   Qe7

32.Rf6     Ne6

33.Qe5    Ng5

34.Qxe7 Rxe7

35.Rf8+   Rxf8

36.Rxf8+

1–0

 

Bobby liked to play the best moves, even in a simul. Here he dispatches his luckless foe in 16 moves, sac’ing his Queen on the way!

Game 61

Fischer, Robert James – Nyman, W

Fischer tour simul, Cicero, 1964

1.e4         e5

2.f4          exf4

3.Bc4       d5

4.Bxd5    Nf6

5.Nc3!     Bb4

6.Nf3       0–0

7.0–0       Bxc3

8.dxc3     c6

9.Bc4       Qb6+?!

10.Kh1    Nxe4

11.Qe1    Re8

12.Bxf4   Nd6

13.Bxd6!! Rxe1

14.Raxe1 Bd7

15.Ng5    Na6

16.Rxf7  

1–0

 

A GM tries a dubious KG defense on move 3! Bobby writes it up in the Informant, 3… Ne7?!—and proceeds to wreak terrible vengeance on this affront to chess, sac’ing left and right in the last five moves to win in 24!

Game 72

Fischer, R – Minic, D

Vinkovci 1968

1.e4         e5

2.f4          exf4

3.Bc4       Ne7

4.Nc3       c6

5.Nf3!      d5

6.Bb3!     dxe4

7.Nxe4     Nd5

8.Qe2!     Be7

9.c4         Nc7 10.d4       0–0

11.Bxf4   Ne6

12.Be3    Bb4+

13.Kf2     Nd7

14.c5?!   Nf6

15.Nxf6+ Qxf6

16.Rhf1   Nf4!

17.Bxf4   Qxf4

18.g3       Qh6

19.Kg1    Bh3?

20.Ne5!   Bxf1

21.Rxf1   Bd2

22.Rf3!    Rad8

23.Nxf7! Rxf7

24.Qe7!

1–0

 

An IM openly plays to draw with Black, getting the queens off on move 7. Endgame? No problem! Bobby grinds him down in 38.

Game 76

Fischer, Robert James – Wade, Robert Graham

Vinkovci, 1968

1.e4         e5

2.f4          Nf6

3.fxe5!     Nxe4

4.Nf3       Ng5

5.d4!        Nxf3+

6.Qxf3     Qh4+

7.Qf2       Qxf2+

8.Kxf2     Nc6

9.c3         d6

10.exd6   Bxd6

11.Nd2    Be6

12.Ne4    Be7

13.Ng5    Bxg5

14.Bxg5 h6

15.Bh4    g5

16.Bg3    0–0–0

17.Bb5    f5

18.Bxc6 bxc6

19.Be5    Rhg8

20.h4!     g4

21.h5      g3+?!

22.Bxg3 Rg4

23.Rh4    Rdg8

24.Rxg4 Rxg4

25.Re1    Kd7

26.Re5    f4

27.Bh2    Rh4

28.Bg1    Bd5

29.g3       Rg4

30.Bh2    f3?

31.b3!      a6

32.c4       Rxd4

33.cxd5   Rd2+

34.Kxf3   Rxh2

35.dxc6+         Kxc6

36.Re6+ Kd7

37.Rxh6 Rxa2

38.Rg6

1–0

 

Gambit met by gambit? Bobby out-Greco’s his foe, miraculously sac’ing three pieces on the same move, while mating stylishly on move 15!

Game 99

Fischer, Robert James – Michalopoulos

Houston, 1964 (simul)

 

1.e4         e5

2.f4          f5

3.exf5      d6

4.Qh5+    Kd7

5.fxe5      dxe5

6.Nf3       Qf6

7.Nc3       Ne7

8.Ne4!     Qxf5

9.Nxe5+   Ke6

10.Bc4+!! Kxe5

11.d4+!    Kxd4

12.Be3+!! Ke5

13.Bf4+! Kd4

14.0–0–0+! Kxe4

15.Qf3 Mate!

1–0

Now that is how you play the King’s Gambit: play like Fischer!

      

img_0160   Just in case there are any books left—remember, as I write this, there are only 4—and you wish to order The Fischer King’s Gambit, here is ordering information.

Price in the US is $90 which includes Priority Mail shipping.

Price in the rest of the world is $125; still Priority, but book will take 7-10 days to get to you.

The best way to pay is PayPal to my email, pikearts@yahoo.com

I will be happy to send you a “money request” if you are unfamiliar with Pay Pal.

Good luck to the lucky four who will get the book before it is sold out!

There is no e-book, paperback is possible but unlikely.

At this moment, this is the only way to get the book that IM Andrew Martin said he would “recommend to anyone.”

 

 

The Last Copies of The Fischer King’s Gambit

The Last Copies of The Fischer King’s Gambit

The Last Copies of The Fischer King’s Gambit

By Timothy Taylor, IM,

The last copies of The Fischer King’s Gambit have come down to 5. Yes, as of May 18 there are now only 5 copies left. You can read the unchanged blog below, but keep in mind, five books could be gone in a day. Act fast if you want one!

P1030055

That’s what we have at this moment in time, May 19, 2017. Four books in one lonely box (you can see 4 copies, hardback, Fischer King’s Gambit) and one on top. That’s it!

Still newer lucky 7 update! There are now only 7 books left (as of May 16). Seven lucky people can buy these last 7 copies. Everyone else–out of luck! Remember, payment by PayPal is $90 to my email, pikearts@yahoo.com for anywhere in the US, while for Europe, Russia, Japan or Australia the price is $125. Feel free to contact me for more info, or just read the blog below, which is unchanged except for the constantly decreasing “Update” numbers!

Even newer Update! As of May 10, 2017, there are now exactly 10 books left. As before, I will leave the body of the post untouched.

Update! As of May 1, 2017 there are now only 18 books left. Other than this update, the rest of the blog has been left exactly as published 12 days ago.

 

I started this blog on March 9, 2017, when I was very excited for two reasons. One, it was Bobby Fischer’s birthday! Bobby, had he lived, would have been 74 years old. Second, The Fischer King’s Gambit had been selling well, and I was down to 60 books left (60 Memorable?) from the original 200.

I took lots of pictures, from all angles, of the sixty books: as you can see, hardback, 15 boxes, four to a box!P1030034

P1030039  I started the blog, and wrote … half a page.

Then the run on the books started. I went crazy walking to the post office, lugging these behemoths! But I did get a good work-out: after all each book weighs 5 pounds, 6 ounces.

Now I only have 22 left, and I thought I better get the blog out before they were all gone.

First, let’s consider the reprint issue. Will there be a paperback? Many people have called The Fischer King’s Gambit “the best chess book published in the last thirty years”—see my earlier blog, “Phoenix: The Fischer King’s Gambit.” Would regular chess publishers want such a book? Horrors, no! A quality chess book? Never! And not Quality Chess, either!

In other earlier blogs, “Jonathan Tait: Book Butcher/Byron Jacobs: Editing Sociopath” and “Evil is Stupid” one can read all about chess publishing follies—uhhh, duh, I think it would be a great idea to invent some stupid errors and put them into a chess book—I mean, that would be smart, right?—Right.

So what I am going to do is send out some “paperback rights” queries to general publishers, who might not know that I’m supposed to be blackballed for writing an excellent book. As a long time professional writer, I have to say the odds are extremely slim. If some mega publisher wants to publish a chess book, it would probably be something aimed at beginners, rather than gambiteers.

However, it is possible that there will be a paperback: unlikely but possible. You can choose to bet on that chance.

E-book? Not a chance. As I say upfront in the FKG, “There is not and will never be an e-book.”

Finally, if you want to make sure you get the book, there are 22 books right here.

Check out the new “box” pictures. Not so many this time! Just five boxes, 20 books, and two on top–ready to go out–to make 22.

P1030044

P1030045  We also have some more quotes from happy readers, but before we get there, a note on the title. Why is this book called The Fischer King’s Gambit? Because Fischer won with it, of course!

Now if you’re new to this issue, you might give me a question right here like, didn’t Fischer refute the King’s Gambit? Let’s clarify: Fischer’s famous article, “A Bust to the King’s Gambit,” had nothing to do with the King Bishop’s Gambit. Fischer was busting the King Knight’s Gambit. Simply put, in that particular article, Fischer only considered the position after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3?!

Fischer demonstrated that White has great difficulties after the move, 3… d6, now known as the Fischer Defense.

Fischer also wrote another article, years later, extolling the King Bishop’s Gambit with 3.Bc4! For some reason, this positive article on the King’s Gambit did not gain the attention that his negative article did!

Fischer always played 3.Bc4 in his accepted games. There are 23 Fischer games (as White) with the King’s Gambit in the Mega (18 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses) so you can see he crushed with 3.Bc4. Bobby beat GM Larry Evans with it in the US Championship the year he won 11-0! (Game 28 in my book) As he approached his full powers, he dominated GM Minic in Vincovci 1968 (Game 72 in the FKG). Fischer, a purist for the truth in chess, always played 3.Bc4 in his simul games, even producing magnificent works of art (see Game 99 with the triple piece sac!) under difficult conditions.

Bobby never once stated that the King Bishop’s Gambit was refuted; he did specifically say the 3.Bc4 was “better than 3.Nf3, which is practically refuted by 3… d6.”

Given the great contributions that Fischer made to the King Bishop’s Gambit, I believe that 3.Bc4 should be called the Fischer King’s Gambit, and that explains the title. I recommend 3.Bc4 wholeheartedly, and have scored many many wins with it.

Note that I do not only cover the accepted lines. I offer a complete repertoire for White against any defense Black might try after 2.f4: Accepted, Declined, and Counter Gambits.

White can play for a win in every line. There is no clear equalizer for Black.

What do my fellow IMs say about my book? Two have bought my book and given permission for me to share their opinions.

The noted Ukrainian IM and author Valery Bronznik bought my book a while ago and recently emailed me that he “really likes” the Fischer King’s Gambit! Bronznik is the author of 1.d4 – Beat the Guerrillas, The Lazy Man’s Sicilian, The Colle-Koltanowski System and more, including The Chigorin Defense which is an excellent book which I own.

IM Bronznik added, about The Fischer King’s Gambit, that it is “amazing, humorous, and motivating!”

I’m sure IM Andrew Martin needs no introduction to English speaking readers; taking a quick look on Amazon I see books such as First Steps: The Queen’s Gambit, The Hippopotamus Rises, Chess for Children and many more. Now IM Martin is perhaps best known for his instructional DVDs. What did this noted trainer say about the Fischer King’s Gambit? His email to me is worth printing in full:

 

Dear Tim

I am enjoying the book. It is uniquely presented and designed.

I would recommend it to anyone, despite the high price. Collectors will like the quality. Practical players will like the content!

Congratulations on producing such a fine work.

Andrew Martin

 

Amateur King’s Gambit aficionados have been over the moon. Consider this wonderful letter from Spain. Note that Professor Seoane had one of his brilliant wins featured in GM John Shaw’s King’s Gambit book.

The professor writes:

“Dear Mr. Taylor,

 

This is Jesús Seoane, full Professor of Physics in Madrid, Spain. I am a chess club player and chess book collector. I have in my record on 5000 chess books.

I received your wonderful book on the Fischer King’s Gambit you kindly sent me through my good friend. The book is quite wonderful and I am enjoying a lot through the games and the brilliant comments you have made. Congrats!

The book is also wonderfully produced and it occupies a nice place in my modest library.”

 

One constantly recurring feature is that lower rated players are able to beat much higher rated foes with the Fischer King’s Gambit! Remember what happened to US Champion Wesley So? As I entitled my previous blog, “Adhiban has So so Busted in 11!” GM Baskeren Adhiban, an almost 200 rating point underdog, got a pawn up winning position against world class Wesley So simply by following my analysis for ten moves! See the blog for full details: note the only problem was that Adhiban, once he obtained the winning position, failed to press his attack, and the wily So managed a fortunate draw.

Other high rated players were not so lucky! Let’s take a look at a typical game, and its sequel, sent to me by one of my readers.

 

Chris Baumgartner (1757) – Avinish Rajendra (2127)

Fischer King’s Gambit

Knights Quest, Northbrook, IL G/40

March 26, 2017

 

1.e4         e5

2.f4          exf4

3.Bc4       Nf6

4.e5?

        Chris hadn’t looked up this line yet! As I point out in the book, “Normally this (the e5 advance) is not so good in the open games, as Black has the riposte … d5”—indeed, riposte coming!

 

4…           d5!

5.Bb3       Ne4

6.Nf3       Bg4?!

        Black has a nearly four hundred point rating advantage, and White has already made a mistake on move 4. Shouldn’t that mean a quick win for Black? Well, yes and no. If Black had read my book, he would have known two things: the importance of speed in the King’s Gambit, and the power of the Pawn Chain Block or PCB as I call it throughout the book. Here Black can set up the dreaded PCB (generally speaking, a pawn chain from the gambit pawn at f4 through g5 and often to h6) with 6… g5! when indeed, White is on the ropes, practically a full point down according to the evil Mr. Fritz! But Black didn’t know he had to cash in right here right now and so failed to decide the game on move 6! Now White gets a breather.

7.d4         Nc6

8.c3         Bxf3

9.Qxf3     Qh4

10.Ke2    0-0-0?

        You just can’t play like this in the King’s Gambit, and so much for the four hundred point rating advantage!

Want to develop? Go play the Ruy Lopez or something.

This is the Fischer King’s Gambit, people, and most likely the game will be decided before fifteen moves, and if not then, certainly by move 25!

In other words, Black simply must go in for 10… Ng3+ 11.hxg3 Qxh1 12.Bxf4. when I think White has sufficient compensation for the exchange, but in this wild position all three results will be possible.

11.Bxf4

        Now there are only two possibilities: White will win, or White will blunder. Black has no control over his destiny.

11…         g5

12.g3       Qh3

13.Be3    Qe6

14.Nd2    Nxd2

15.Kxd2  h6

16.Rhf1   Rd7

17.Bc2!   Ne7

        It doesn’t matter what Black plays here: White’s advantage is decisive.

Indeed, Chris wins the game. But keeping to our theme of speed, if you analyze the game carefully, you will see that White could have won faster in any number of ways. The best way to win in the KG is to “hammer hard” (to quote myself) and win as quickly as possible. I’m sure Chris will remember that in the future—see next game.

But before we get there, see the classic KG f file pressure win the game.

18.Qxf7   Qxf7

19.Rxf7   Kd8

20.Raf1   Ke8

21.b4       Rg8 

22.Bd1    Ng6

23.e6       Re7

24.Bg4    Rg7

25.Rxg7  Rxg7

26.h4      Be7

27.hxg5   Bxg5

28.Bxg5  hxg5

29.Rf5     Nf8 

30.Rxd5  Ke7

36.Re5    c6

37.c4       Nh7

38.d5       cxd5

39.cxd5   Nf6

40.Bf3     Kd6

41.Rf5     Ng8

42.Rf7     Rg6

43.Rd7    Ke5

44.e7       Nxe7       

45.Rxe7 Kd4  

46.Re6    Rg7 

47.Re4+ Kxd5

48.Re7+  Kc4

49.Rxg7 b6

        With White at plus 19 or something like that, Black finally resigns.

1 – 0

        Next round: Chris is playing his opponent’s sister! And she also has a huge rating advantage. Chris found the correct fourth move in my book, and needless to say, got a winning position by move 9. Then what happened? That, dear readers, is a sad tale where instead of the old driver training line “Speed kills,” here we have “lack of speed kills!”

 

 

Chris Baumgartner (1757) – Anupama Rajendra (2095)

Fischer King’s Gambit

Knights Quest, Northbrook, IL G/40

March 26, 2017

 

1.e4         e5

2.f4          exf4

3.Bc4       Nf6

4.Nc3!

        Correct!

4…           Nc6

5.d4         Bb4

6.Qd3      d5

7.exd5     Nxd5

8.Nf3       0-0

9.Kf2       N6e7?

        Casual: Black fails to sense the danger, unaware of the savage speed of the KG! White should now win.

10.Nxd5  Nxd5

11.Qb3!

        It’s all over, or, I amend myself, it should be all over!

11…         Ne3

12.Qxb4  Nxc2

13.Qc3    Nxa1

14.Bxf4   Bf5

15.Rxa1 

        In his excellent book Rook vs. Two Minor Pieces, IM Esben Lund notes that the rule of thumb in the middle game is that a rook plus two pawns equals two minor pieces. However, as his research developed, he realized the key factor was whether the rooks were active on the open files. Here, Black can claim no such thing—the rooks are barely in the game—so White’s advantage is decisive.

Which means that White should “hammer hard” while he can!

15…         c6

16.Re1    Qf6

        Chris should have decided the game right here on the coming move 17 (note that I announced decisive advantage in the previous game also on move 17!

The win is here, so let’s play it! Correct is 17.Bg5! Qg6 (box!) 18.Be7 and since 18… Rfe8 fails to 19.Ne5 when the eternal weakness at f7 is fatal, Black must give up the exchange, leaving White a piece ahead with an easy win.

17.Be5??        Qh6

        The rest of the game sees Chris try to win without taking any risks, which is simply not possible in the KG. I’m sure he’ll be ready next time!

As for Black, Miss Rajendra shows what she’s made of and finally activates her rooks and wins the game.

18.Kg1    Rae8

19.Qf4     Kh8

20.Rf1     f6

21.Bd6    Re4

22.Qg3    Rfe8

23.Bd3    Rg4

24.Qf2     Bxd3

25.h3      Qxf3

26.Ng5    Rxg5

0 – 1

But the real lesson is how quickly these much higher rated players are going down!

Let’s have the uncrowned king David Bronstein step in here, with a quote from his classic 200 Open Games.

“There is not a single true chess-player in the world whose heart does not beat faster at the mere sound of such long beloved and familiar words as ‘gambit games.’

In the first instance our delight is for the ancient weapon of the Romantics and other chess D’Artagnans—the legendary King’s Gambit.”

Right on! That’s who I was writing this book for: the chess D’Artagnans! I wanted to write the best book ever written on the King’s Gambit, and I believe I have succeeded. No groveling for a draw here, we are playing for a win in every game, against any defense!

But it turned out there was another audience for my book, perhaps the best audience of all!

School children.

Have you watched kids play these days? Boring upon boring, most of the time. Their coaches tell them to be “safe” rather than enjoy the game and attack!

One coach, the renowned Bruce Davis of Pennsylvania, saw his opportunity.

This is what happened with one of his “exclusive students.”

Bruce: “One of my exclusive students, at ten, with the help of the FKG, your book, has raised her rating screaming into the stratosphere to go up 1250 USCF rating points in under 12 months. Currently, at 1430 she is winning against 1600 and 1800 rated players! Fantabulous!”

Kids are expecting quiet chess—Bruce’s kids mate in 7.

Anish Pallod (945) – Ted Nyberg (805)

Fischer King’s Gambit

PA State Championship (K-9)

March 12, 2017

 

1.e4         e5

2.f4          exf4

3.Bc4       Nf6

4.Nc3       Nxe4

5.Nxe4     d5

6.Qe2      dxc4

7.Nf6 Mate!

        Bruce comments: “Anish is a third grader who went undefeated against ninth graders.”

Bruce talks about his rating rise, and ends with this great line: “He has the FKG fever and I’m loving it!”

 

NOW HERE’S ANOTHER GAME FROM A BRUCE KID

ChessKid.com Game online – G/15 4/3/2017 N_X_221_NYP vs AmbitiousFlag 1.e 4 e5 2.f4. exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Bc5 5.d4. Bb4 6.Nf3 Qg4 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Ne5+ Resigns

If a Bruce kid fails to mate you in 7, he’ll still win your queen in 8!

There is nothing better than this great chess coach’s own words, so I will hand the mike to Bruce as he explains why this book works for his students:

Bruce Davis: The Fischer King’s Gambit is the best Opening Book I have ever read on any complex opening. It is so effective to both teach from and students are able to absorb the complete text.

First, one can absorb the first 4 moves of every chapter and deviation from the main line game. This builds a foundation of knowledge as if you were building a house. Without a good foundation your FKG house might fall down due to innumerable transpositions. Next, retain the ideas and play 10 moves deep to metaphorically build the walls of “the house” of the FKG. This knowledge is beyond many State Champions and some Grandmasters as the knowledge base is huge and incalculable as I do agree with Tim Taylor in this concept!

The final stage is too put on the roof which is the final stage of the FKG where ideas in the middle game endgame transition brings to the student to an extreme weapon to employ with confidence and carefree play. The complete package will come to the student through practice of tactics, tactics, tactics to employ through to the endgame play. This is the only way to calculate the incalculable positions of the FKG beyond theory and games. Analysis of FKG games with students and their rise of 1000’s of individual USCF rating points in as little as 5-12 months is phenomenal for many students. The current task at hand is for all students to memorize, consume and digest in whole, this almost 800 page text that will provide these young minds life knowledge and enjoyment of chess though to old age. Thank you, Tim for this FKG, truly a work of art!

One ten-year-old, young lady student had a conversation with her opponent after winning a FKG game that went like this, “Why did you move you pawn next to your king? Our coach tells us to never move it” She says, “Because I win with it!” Well, he asks, “How often?” She replies smiling matter of factly, “Oh, all the time.” We shared a good laugh about it later and this little anecdote, even today brings a smile to my face!

End of Bruce Davis excerpt, chess coach supreme!

There’s not much I can add to that, except to say if you are a chess coach, buy one of the last 22 and watch the ratings of your students soar!

Now how should I wrap this up? I believe this will be my last Fischer King’s Gambit blog, as I doubt these 22 books will last very long. I am going to count down each and every sale on my personal Facebook page as well as on “Tim Taylor’s Chess and Fiction Page” also on Facebook.

That “count down” thing gives me an idea! Let’s do a David Letterman style Top Ten list!

So here are the—drumroll please—

 

Top Ten Reasons You Should Buy The Fischer King’s Gambit!

10.Teach your children and students to play like Bobby and they will soon start beating you left and right!

9.There really are only 22 books left—today! Maybe less tomorrow! This may be the last chance to get the “best chess book published in the last 30 years.”

8.The author, yours truly, has scored over 88% with White in the King’.s Gambit, and in fact I have won every single King’s Gambit I have played over the last two years.

7.No other King’s Gambit book actually explains the ideas of the opening. I had to invent my own terms like “Pawn Chain Block.” As Bruce Davis says, by explaining the nature of the opening, you can then “build your house!”

6.I explain, specifically, “Why the King Bishop’s Gambit is Stronger than the King Knight’s Gambit”—I’m quoting myself, page 13.

5.And speaking of the above, most King’s Gambit books waste hundreds of pages on the King Knight’s Gambit, which doesn’t help you at all, since Fischer left it in the dust 50 years ago!

4.Want to beat someone 400 points higher rated? This is your book!

3.Want to beat Wesley So? I’m talking to you, Fabiano! So was busted in 11 when Adhiban followed my analysis!

2.Have trouble against the Declined, 2… Bc5, recommended by GM Marin in his book on the Open Games? Have no fear: I bust Marin’s line with a “two fisted, single digit innovation!”

And now—drumroll—

1.The Number One Reason to Buy the Fischer King’s Gambit:

GM John Shaw’s “refutation of the Bishop’s Gambit”—kicked to the curb!!

 

The End—ordering information below.

 

The price of the book is $90. This includes Priority Mail shipping in the US.

We offer a great discount on overseas shipping—probably won’t do that on the next book!—but for this one we are charging $125 if you live in England, Europe, Russia or Australia (all places where I have sent books).

The best way to pay is by PayPal to my email address:

pikearts@yahoo.com

If you would like to send a check, email me for my address. A number of people have taken that option before, but I wouldn’t recommend it now due to the slowness of the mail.

I don’t know how long it will take to count down from 22 to 0, but I would recommend fast action if you really want the book!

 

 

Adhiban has So so Busted in 11! Three King’s Gambits from 2017

Adhiban has So so Busted in 11! Three King’s Gambits from 2017

adhiban

Adhiban has So so Busted in 11!

Three King’s Gambits from 2017

By Timothy Taylor IM

 

I have just had the amazing good fortune to have been allowed to play four King’s Gambits in tournament games in the still very young year of 2017. Needless to say, four wins! But aside from my personal success, I was very pleased to see the Fischer King’s Gambit rule at the 2800 level, as was demonstrated in Adhiban – So at Tata Steel, 2017.

I don’t know if the Indian GM Baskaren Adhiban (see pic above) consulted my book before he took on the 2800 plus Wesley So at Tata Steel, but it sure looked that way! Chessbase reported that Adhiban blitzed out his first ten moves, and he was following my analysis in The Fischer King’s Gambit on pages 431-432.

My guess is that someone loaned Adhiban the book (I would love to hear a confirmation of this) and like any GM, he has a good memory. He played correctly until So was busted on move 11.

Now if Adhiban had really studied the book, instead of simply memorizing a key variation, he would have known that the theme of speed is paramount. I stress this throughout the FKG. Once he has So on the ropes, the only correct way forward is to finish him then and there.

Instead of going for a knockout, Adhiban allowed So to survive for a while. Yes, White was still much better—but inaccuracies here and there finally gave Black counterplay, and So came up with a miracle draw.

Full analysis of Adhiban – So follows, in which I demonstrate the knockout punch on move 11.

One big takeaway is clear—even an imperfect understanding of the Fischer King’s Gambit can be deadly at the 2800 level! GMs just aren’t prepared for it! Part of the reason is obvious: they don’t think highly of the King’s Gambit, and expect the lackluster 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3?! However, after the move always played by Fischer, 3.Bc4! Black has no clear path to equality. Even a great player like Wesley So can be busted in eleven moves!

As for lesser players, I am going to show two of my own games in full following Adhiban – So, and I will refer to my two other recent tournament wins in the notes.

King’s Gambit Number One

 

Baskaren Adhiban – Wesley So

79th Tata Steel

Wijk aan Zee, Jan. 20, 2017

The Fischer King’s Gambit

 

1.e4 e5

2.f4 exf4

3.Bc4!

The Fischer King’s Gambit: Bobby always played this, for as he said, the bishop move is “Better than 3.Nf3 which is practically refuted by 3… d6!

3…d5

Not bad if followed up correctly …

4.Bxd5 Nf6

Which So fails to do. 4…Qh4+ is “objectively better” as I note in my book though it’s not an easy game for Black. For example, one of my four recent KGs continued 5.Kf1 Nf6 6.Nf3 Qh6 7.Nc3 Nxd5 8.Nxd5 Na6 9.d4 g5 10.h4 Bg4 11.Kg1 0–0–0 12.hxg5 Qe6 13.Qd3 Nc5 14.dxc5 c6 and now I could have won by force with the Fritz approved 15.Nd4 Bxc5 16.Be3!! but instead played the weaker 15.Rh4 with only a plus equals level advantage which I nonetheless converted on move 56 in Taylor,T-Kogan,S/Santa Monica 2017.

Conversely, So’s move is worse. I give extensive analysis of this move in Chapter 7 of the FKG, but found no way Black could equalize. In other words, a 2800 player is in trouble on move 4!! Would that happen in any other opening? Imagine this: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6. Is Black in trouble? Well, maybe twenty moves down the road, but not now! But in this game, Black is in trouble! Again, one must note the top players are not prepared to face the Fischer King’s Gambit, and fail to recognize the immediate, single digit dangers!

5.Nc3!

Fischer always played this move, making sure that he kept a piece in the center, unless Black took away the natural square for his QN with … c6. Oh, the results? Bobby scored 3–0 from here! One can see White’s center pawn majority and more active pieces, while material is equal and Black suffers from his weak, doubled f pawn.

5…Nxd5

Fischer faced two other moves here.

A.5…Nc6 6.Nf3 Nxd5 7.Nxd5 g5 8.d4 and Bobby dominated the center and went on to win in Fischer,R-Cunningham,T/Houston 1964

B.5…Bb4 Bobby faced this move twice, once against a computer, once against a human. The human only lasted 16 moves, the computer managed to make it to move 21 but only by playing to mate! 6.Nf3 0–0 7.0–0 Bxc3 (after the inhuman 7…Nxd5 8.Nxd5 Bd6 9.d4 g5 10.Nxg5! Fischer created a winning attack with this brilliant circuit crushing move in Fischer,R-Greenblatt Program/Cambridge 1977, Game 10 in the FKG) 8.dxc3 c6 9.Bc4 Qb6+ 10.Kh1 Nxe4 11.Qe1 and Fischer won with an attack and later a Queen sacrifice in Fischer,R-Nyman,W/Cicero 1964, Game 61 in the FKG.

6.Nxd5 Bd6

7.Nf3 0–0

8.d4 Re8

9.e5

So far, so book—that is, my book, where I note White is better! Evidently So hadn’t read my book, while as mentioned above Adhiban most likely was following my analysis.

Now in the book, I give the game Reprintsev,A-Afonin,A /St Petersburg 1998, which continued as follows: 9…f6 10.Bxf4 Bg4 11.0–0 fxe5 12.dxe5 Bxe5 13.Bxe5 Rxe5 14.Nb6!! when White won stylishly by attacking two rooks and a queen, with three different pieces, on the same move!!

9…c6

So’s move is no better than the above game, but now Adhiban had to think for himself. His next move is obvious.

10.Nxf4

White is a pawn ahead and dominates the center. Fischer rules!

10…f6

Adhiban stopped blitzing, as the coming move is critical. Here’s where I think Adhiban showed a lack of understanding—had he spent more time on the book (assuming I am correct someone loaned him a copy) he would have realized, as I emphasize throughout, how fast the opening is. He has to realize that he already has his 2800 foe busted—on move 11! He’s got to finish him quickly, or at least absolutely nail down his advantage as fast as possible. Right now Adhiban is a pawn up. But there is an important second factor. Black’s K is open to attack, notably on the a2–g8 diagonal. By combining attacking blows with consolidation, Adhiban could have won the game right here. Yes, the move he plays keeps the advantage—but it allows time for the wily So to fight back and finally drum up counterplay.

Now is the time to hit and hit hard!

11.Nd3

Not bad, securing the pawn, but not best! When you truly understand the FKG, you know you must hammer hard in this kind of winning position. Don’t worry about that 2800 rating—he’s busted!

11.Qd3!! gives White decisive advantage. Those who have really studied The Fischer King’s Gambit would probably find this move quickly or even immediately. The idea of the roving Q on the third rank is demonstrated in Ivanchuk – Nikolic, Game 29 in the FKG. In this particular position, White now has attacking options involving a Q check on b3 or c4; also the WQ often rambles over to the kingside with a mating attack.

Black has only three reasonable responses, given that he is a center pawn down and White will soon castle and unpin the e pawn. He can try 11… Nd7 or 11… Qe7, trying to capture the momentarily pinned pawn, or he can play Mr. Fritz’s choice: the immediate 11… fxe5. The problem for Black—or, let’s say, the huge problem that Wesley So would have faced—is that even perfect play leaves him in a lost position, while even slightly imperfect play will leave him on the bad side of a quick brilliancy.

Here are the variations.

A.11… Nd7 12.0-0! and now:

A1.12…Bc7 13.Nh5 Kh8 (or 13…fxe5 14.Ng5 with a winning attack. Note that Q + N is often lauded as a great attacking force—here Q + two Ns is unstoppable, e.g. 14…g6 15.Qc4+ Kh8 16.Nf7+ Kg8 17.Nh6+ why even bother with the Q? 17…Kh8 18.Qg8+ Rxg8 19.Nf7# reaching a highly unusual smothered mate, with the g7 square open. Further note that this savage attack does not work without the active Q on d3, aiming in various ways at the BK) 14.exf6 Nxf6 15.Ng5 Re7 16.Be3 with a winning attack plus material advantage.

A2.12… fxe5 13. Qb3+ (Again note the power of the unleashed WQ) 13… Kh8 (Worse 13…Kf8 14.Ng6+ hxg6 15.Nxe5+ Qf6 16.Nxg6 Mate!) 14.Ng6+! hxg6 15.Ng5 Nc5 16.Qg3 Kg8 17.Qh4 Qxg5 18.Qxg5 exd4 19.Qxg6 White has already won the BQ and will soon win the game.

  1. 11…Qe7 12.0–0 fxe5 13.dxe5 Bxe5 14.Qc4+ and now:

B1.14…Kh8 15.Ng6+ hxg6 16.Ng5 Bxh2+ (forced in view of 16… Bf5 17.Qh4+ and the roving WQ soon delivers mate) 17.Kxh2 Qc7+ (not 17…Qe5+ 18.Kg1 Bf5 19.Nf7+) 18.Kg1 Bf5 19.Qh4+ Kg8 20.Qh7+ Kf8 21.Qxg6 with a mating attack. In all these variations the WQ is the dominating force.

B2.14… Be6 15. 15.Nxe6 Qxe6 (worse is 15…b5 16.Qd3 Qxe6 17.Ng5 Qg6 18.Qb3+ Kh8 19.Nf7+ Kg8 20.Nxe5+) 16.Nxe5 and White wins a piece.

With Black getting hammered left and right, I decided to let the ever evil Mr. Fritz try to save Black’s position on his (its?) own. I gave the silicon one plenty of time (40/2) and took the White pieces myself—but still Black’s doom could not be avoided, though the death agony could be prolonged.

C.11… fxe5 (after long thought) 12.dxe5 Bb4+ (not 12…Bxe5 13.Qxd8 and White wins a piece) 13.Kf2! and now:

C1.The computer ruined my day by failing to play the obvious check 13… Bc5+ when I intended 14.Kg3! Nd7 15.Qc4+ Kh8 (Not 15…Kf8 16.Rf1 when the KG f file triumphs) 16.Ng6+! (the typical sac in this position) hxg6 17.Ng5 and there is no serious defense, e.g. 17…Nxe5 (Also if 17…Qb6 18.Qh4+ Kg8 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Rf1+ Ke7 21.Qxg6 White has a winning attack) 18.Qh4+ Kg8 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Qxg7+ Kd6 22.Rd1+ and Black loses B, Q and R—for starters!

C2.Mr. Fritz actually played 13…Qxd3 (the best way to prolong the game) 14.Nxd3 Ba5 15.Bf4 when with Queens off White has a clean extra pawn and should win in the long run: Taylor – Fritz 12, Training game 2017.

I’m sure that even if Wesley So managed to dodge all of the minefields previously seen, Adhiban could still have converted the pawn up ending above, which is the best Black can get.

Such a huge upset probably would have altered the whole course of the tournament! My advice to Grandmaster So is simple: buy my book before this happens to you again!

wesley-so

We now return to the game, where Adhiban is still a good pawn up, but with the N taking the d3 square from his queen, he does not have the attacking chances given above. Of course White is still better, but a few slips allow So to make a draw.

11…fxe5

12.dxe5 Qb6

13.Qe2 Bf5 .

14.Be3 Qa5+

15.c3

A key point mentioned in my book: this quote is from page 654. “Remember, if you are afraid to move your K in the opening, the King’s Gambit is not for you!” With that in mind, Adhiban should have played 15.Kf2! Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Bxe5 17.Rhd1 when the better development gives White a clear advantage.

15…Bc7

16.0–0

Even now 16.Nc5 gives White a clear plus!

16…Qa6

17.Rad1

The computer likes 17.Nfe1 which is kind of contorted, but does open up the WKR’s f file with attack: still clear advantage to White per the Fritzter!

17…Nd7

18.Bd4 c5!

Finally the Empire Strikes Back! With this blow (not 18…Qxa2 19.Ng5 with attack) So gets counterplay for the first time in the game!

19.Bf2 Nxe5

20.Nfxe5 Bxe5

21.Qf3 Be4

22.Qh3 Bxd3

23.Qxd3 Qxa2

24.Bxc5 Qxb2

25.Bxa7

Now Adhiban has to find good moves to secure the draw, which he does.

25…Bxc3

Not 25…Rxa7 26.Qd5+ Kh8 27.Qxe5

26.Bf2 Be5

27.Rb1 Qa2

28.Rxb7 Rf8

29.Qb3+ Qxb3

30.Rxb3 Ra2

31.Rf3 Rxf3

32.gxf3 Kf7

33.Bg3 Bd4+

34.Kh1 Rd2

35.Bf4 Re2

36.Rd1 Bc3

37.Rd3 Bb4

38.Rd4 Bc5

39.Rd2

        With two pawns to two on the same side, there is no reason for either side to continue.

½–½

 

But remember this: after 11.Qd3! So would have had to play like a computer and walk an extremely narrow path (with mating variations on every side of him!) to finally reach … an ending where he is a pawn down for nothing!

 

King’s Gambit Number Two

 

Timothy Taylor – Jonathan Chen

Dreaming King Open

San Diego, Jan. 14, 2017

The Fischer King’s Gambit

 

1.e4 e5

2.f4 exf4

3.Bc4 Qh4+

        The check is not a bad move, but neither does it bother the true FKG player: I am not afraid to move my King!

4.Kf1 d6

Another of my four KG victories this year conintued as follows: 4…Nf6 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.Nc3 c6 Now Westerinen played 7.Qe2—Game 31 in my book—which is best, but I played 7.d4 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 cxd5 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Qe2+ Be7 12.Bxf4 Qg6 13.Bxb8! and won quickly anyway in Taylor,T-O’Donnell,J/Santa Monica 2017.

5.d4

At this point Fischer played 5.Nc3 against Larry Evans and won in the US Championship (Game 28 in the FKG) but this is not the 100% best move. I give a long explanation in my book as to why 5.d4 is slightly better. Yes, I am willing to go against Bobby on occasion!

5…Bg4

I did not cover this one move threat in my book, instead focusing on the more popular 5…Be6. At the board I wasn’t too worried: White blocks with counterattack!

6.Nf3 Bxf3

6…Nc6 is better but White’s attack is still very dangerous, e.g. 7.Bb5 Qh6 8.d5 a6 9.dxc6 axb5 10.cxb7 Rb8 11.a4 b4 12.a5 Rxb7 13.Qd5 Ra7 14.Qb5+ Ke7 15.Qb8 Ra6 16.Qxc7+ Bd7 17.Qb7 Rc6 18.Nd4 Rc5 19.Nf5+ Rxf5 20.exf5 and White is winning.

7.Qxf3 Qe7

Not the best, but then it’s hard to give good advice. If Black tries to hold his pawn with 7…g5 then his position collapses after the Morphy like blow 8.Qb3! Note again the roving Q on the 3rd rank

8.Bxf4

        Clear advantage to White, move 8! White has the two Bs and dominates the center.

8… Nd7

9.Nc3 0–0–0

10.Kf2 Nb6

11.Bb3 g5?

        A blunder on the “So fatal” eleventh move, but Black’s position was desperate in any case.

12.Qg4+

White wins a clean pawn.

12…Qd7

13.Qxd7+ Nxd7

14.Bxg5 f6

15.Be3 Ne7

16.Rhf1 Bg7

17.Kg1 Rhf8

18.Ne2 f5

19.Nf4 Bh6

If 19…fxe4 20.Ne6 Rxf1+ 21.Rxf1 Rg8 22.Rf7 Bf6 23.Rxh7 wins.

20.Rae1 fxe4

21.Ne6 Rxf1+

I expected 21…Bxe3+ 22.Rxe3 Rxf1+ 23.Kxf1 Re8 24.Rxe4 Nf6 25.Re2 Nf5 26.c3 when White is up a good pawn in the endgame.

Black’s actual move loses the exchange.

22.Kxf1 Bxe3

23.Nxd8 Bxd4

24.Rxe4 Kxd8

25.Rxd4 Nf5

26.Rf4 Ne7

27.Be6 Ng6

28.Rf7 Nc5

29.Bf5 Ne5

30.Rxh7 Nc4

31.b4 Na6

32.Bd3 Ne3+

33.Kf2 Nd1+

34.Ke2 Nc3+

35.Kd2 Nd5

36.Bxa6 bxa6

37.c3

        I calculated carefully up to here, and now there is nothing more to calculate. White is up an exchange and a pawn, and one of the connected passers on the Kingside will at least cost Black a knight. I don’t know why my young opponent played on, but I have heard that some coaches order their child students to play on to the end, which I think is appalling. Respectful resignation is correct!

37… Nb6

38.h4 a5

39.bxa5 Nc4+

40.Ke2 Nxa5

41.h5 Nc6

42.h6 Ne5

43.Rg7 Ke8

44.h7 Nf7

45.Rxf7 Kxf7

46.h8Q Ke6

47.Qf8 c5

48.g4 d5

49.g5 d4

50.g6 dxc3

51.Kd3 c4+

52.Kxc3 Kd5

53.g7 Ke5

54.g8Q

Your eyes do not deceive you. I have two queens against a lone Black King (well, Black does have a couple of pawns).

54… a5

55.Qff7

Now that the queens are properly set up, I finish with all checks, so avoiding any possibility of stalemate!

55… Kd6

56.Qd8+ Kc6

57.Qfc7+ Kb5

58.Qdd7+ Ka6

59.Qdc6 Mate

1–0

 

        One sees that the game was essentially decided by move 8—this opening is fast, people!

 

King’s Gambit Number Three

 

Robert Shlyakhtenko – Timothy Taylor

Dreaming King Open

San Diego, Jan. 15, 2017

King’s Gambit Accepted – Reversed!

 

1.e4 e5

I can already hear people complaining. Didn’t you promise us a third King’s Gambit? What are doing, going Latvian?

Which does make me think: I wonder if the Latvian is as bad as its reputation? Maybe something to look into sometime!

But as for the King’s Gambit, we are going to get one. Be patient!

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.g3

Before this date, I had never faced this move in my life, not even in blitz. The only reason I knew of this variation at all was because of Bronstein’s great book, 200 Open Games, where he christened this move The Indian Opening and showed the following game against Lengyel. 3…Nf6 4.d3 d5 5.Nbd2 Be7 6.Bg2 dxe4 7.dxe4 0–0 8.0–0 b6 9.Re1 Bb7 10.b3 Bc5 11.Bb2 Ng4 12.Rf1 Ba6 13.c4 f6 14.a3 Bc8 15.h3 Nh6 16.b4 Bd4 17.Qc2 Bxb2 18.Qxb2 Be6 19.c5 Qd7 20.b5 Na5 21.c6 Qc8 22.h4 Rd8 23.Rfd1 a6 24.a4 Rd6 25.Bf1 axb5 26.axb5 Qf8 27.Be2 Rad8 28.Qc3 Qf7 29.Nh2 Qe7 30.Qc2 Nf7 ½–½ Bronstein,D-Lengyel,L/Amsterdam 1964/IZT.

I remembered that Lengyel had equalized easily with his 3…Nf6 4.d3 d5, but I wondered if Black had any other options.

And then I got an idea!

3…f5!

What does 3.g3 do for White’s development? Normally White, who has already opened a pathway for his KB, plays 3.Bb5 or 3.Bc4 here. But if we look at 3.g3 as a “pass”—then why not the King’s Gambit! Furthermore, when the g pawn does move in the King’s Gambit, it goes two squares—so one can make a very good argument that White has just lost a tempo, and so Black can play the King’s Gambit, just as if he were White!

4.exf5

Looking this up later, I discovered that a GM had the same idea that I had, and the devastation was horrible! 4.d3 Nf6 5.Nbd2 Bc5 6.Bg2 d6 7.a3 a5 8.Qe2 0–0 9.Nb3 Ba7 10.Be3 Bxe3 11.Qxe3 Be6 12.Nfd2 a4 13.Nc1 Nd4 14.Kd1 Ng4 15.Qe1 Nxf2+ 16.Qxf2 fxe4 17.Qe3 Bg4+ 18.Nf3 exf3 19.Bf1 f2+ 20.Kd2 Rf3 21.Qe4 Qg5+ 22.Kc3 Nb5+ 23.Kb4 Qd2+ 24.c3 Qxb2+ 0–1 (24) Vaes,L-Winants,L (2505)/Huy 1992. What a crush!

Now the question arises, what if White plays 4.d4 transposing, sort of, into a Vienna Game with reversed colors! Normally one would see 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5. Here, with White playing Black, my opponent would have the extra tempo g3—but would this help or hurt his game?

Mindbending!

Taken aback, my young opponent decided to simply accept the gambit.

4…Nf6

5.Bg2 d5

6.Nh4

A sample variation in this already chaotic position is 6.0–0 Bxf5 7.Nxe5 Nxe5 8.Re1 Ne4 with complications, to put it mildly!

6…Bc5

Now Black has a typical Fischer King’s Gambit position and can just play. My KB is on his correct square (as long as you squint and view everything upside down) and Black has good compensation for the pawn. My opponent, not desiring a passive position, lashed out.

7.b4!? Bxb4

8.c3 Be7

Eyeing the oddly placed WKN.

9.0–0 0–0

10.d4 exd4

11.cxd4 Ne4

12.Ba3 Bxh4

Simpler is 12…Bxa3 13.Nxa3 Bxf5 winning a pawn, but where’s the fun in that?

13.Bxf8 Bf6

14.Ba3 Bxd4

15.Qb3

White threatens Bxe4 exploiting a pin, but I just keep developing and offer the b pawn.

15…Bxf5

16.Bb2 Na5

17.Qb5 c6

18.Qe2 Qf6

19.Bxd4 Qxd4

20.Bxe4 Bxe4

21.Nd2 Bg6

22.Nf3 Qg4

23.Rfe1 Bh5

24.Nd4 Qxe2

25.Nxe2 Nc4

The dust has cleared: Black has two pawns for the exchange and will win the ending if the 4–1 queenside pawn majority can be mobilized—but White has counterplay on the e file.

26.Nf4 Bf7

27.Re7 b6

28.Rd1 a5!

Single minded: this pawn will eventually become a winner.

29.Rc7 Ne5

30.Nd3?!

A tactical mistake. Mr. Fritz applies computer logic and comes up with the following variation: 30.Rb1 d4 31.Rxb6 d3 32.Nxd3 Nxd3 33.Rbxc6 Bxa2 34.Rc8+ Rxc8 35.Rxc8+ Kf7 36.Ra8 with a draw being the likely result, though one should note, the computer still slightly favors Black.

30…Bh5!

White must give the exchange back, as 31.f3 Nxf3+ is even worse.

31.Nxe5 Bxd1

32.Rxc6 b5!

Now the importance of 28… a5 is seen. The BQR is ideally placed on its original square, behind the potential passer, and it’s doubtful White has any defense.

33.Rc5 b4

34.Rxd5 Bc2

35.Rb5 Bf5

36.f4 Be6

37.Nc6 Bd7!

Forcing the exchange of minor pieces, I liked the nice point 38.Rxa5 Bxc6! defending the BR.

38.Rb6 Bxc6

39.Rxc6 a4!

40.Kf2

Not 40.Rb6 b3 41.axb3 as 41… a3 wins!

40…Rb8

41.Ke3 b3

42.axb3 axb3

43.Rc1 Kf7

44.Rb1 b2

My friend Joe and I analyzed this position for hours, using both human knowledge and computer assistance, and finally came to one certain conclusion: Black wins! Despite the limited material, White must lose in one of two ways. If he “wins” the passed pawn as in the game, he loses the K and pawn ending. If he keeps the rooks on, his R is completely passive, while the BR has unlimited tempo moves and checks on his wide ranging b file. These side checks will eventually allow the BK to infiltrate on the kingside. A good endgame exercise to teach the value of R behind the passed pawn!

45.Kd2 Kf6

46.Kc2 Kf5

47.Rxb2 Rxb2+

48.Kxb2 Kg4

49.Kc3 Kh3

50.f5 Kxh2

51.g4 h6!

It’s never too late to blunder! If I had carelessly played 51…Kg3? then White would have actually won after 52.g5. However, after the played 51…h6 52.Kd4 Kg3 53.Ke5 Kxg4 the extra pawn is decisive. So yes, you can play the King’s Gambit as Black!

0–1

 

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The simplest way to pay is by PayPal to my email pikearts@yahoo.com

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phil Chase: Chess Criminal

Phil Chase: Chess Criminal

Phil Chase: Chess Criminal

By Timothy Taylor, IM

 

Phil Chase was hiding under the sink. A Deputy Sherriff was pounding on his door! It was the morning of February 29, 2016, and Phil was quivering. But he didn’t make a sound.

It was still the same day, February 29, 2016, but evening now. The Deputy Sherriff was pounding on his door again! Phil was hiding under the bed! All Phil could think of was he had to come up with something, or next time they’d get him for sure.

Let’s go back a little bit.

The Illegal 2015 Southern California Championship

Part One: The Candidates Tournament

The US Chess Federation considers California to be two states, so Northern California has its own championship, and Southern California, where I live, also has its own championship. Since these are “state championship” titles, they are quite prestigious. While I have in the past won the Southern California Open Championship, the Closed version that I am talking about here, usually run as a round robin, is the more prestigious of the two—and that, the Closed, I have not yet won.

The rules for the 2015 Southern California Championship, held July 9-12, 2015, were simple. The event was to be an eight person round robin and the rules for participation were as follows—let me mention here that all rules and results in this blog are taken from the Southern California Chess Federation website.

So again, here are the rules as given by the SCCF—exact quote follows.

Format: Eight player single round robin.

Participants: Selection for event is as follows: three highest rated players that accept invitations (based on April supplement), three from Candidates Tournament, and last year’s winner. Additionally, the top finisher in the SuperStates K-12 Championship (SoCal resident) is seeded into the event. In the event the top SuperStates player declines, then seeding is by top four rated players who accept, three from Candidates, and last year’s winner.

Phil Chase, as President of the SCCF Board Steven Morford said, “was appointed by the SCCF board to organize the event.” But Phil felt that the rules were too confining. He decided to run a completely illegal tournament! In the Phil Chase version, instead of the mandated “eight player single round robin” he only had seven! The odd number meant that, in such a short tournament, every player had some sort of bye, creating a chaotic and unfair schedule. But as far as Phil was concerned, eight, schmate, who cares? The way Phil worked it out, most played games would count—but some played games would not! Hey, that works for me …….. not! The fact that this arbitrarily affected the places and prize money didn’t bother Phil at all. Finally, there was that pesky rule above that there had to be “three from Candidates Tournament.” Note that the rules emphasize “three from Candidates” by repeating this line twice. Phil? Rules schmules! In Phil’s version, there were only two from the Candidates tournament.

Seriously, people, the tournament was completely illegal. So why did Phil Chase run a completely illegal event, that was supposed to be the prestigious Southern California Championship, and actually turned out to be a ridiculous farce, where all involved tried really hard to ignore the elephant in the room, the fact that only seven players (not eight!) played legal games. Vanessa West, who wrote the article on the event for Chesslife Online, did not even once mention said elephant in her article!

Consider this: the player who scored the second highest number of points (John Bryant) was given third place, while the player who scored the third highest number of points (Kieton Kiewra) was given second! That was a $400 difference! Fair, right?

Again, why would Phil Chase do such a crazy, stupid thing? There’s always the good old line, “Evil is Stupid” which is the title of one of my previous blogs, and is evidently completely correct! Could there be any other reason? Maybe this: I was the eighth man.

To run the tournament legally, he would have had to call me as he had personally promised to do, and inform me that I had qualified as a result of a dropout. This was something that he was in fact required to do by the rules of the event—this was something that he had stated he would do, via email, on the very day of the event—but instead he ran an illegal tournament, in the dark, in secrecy, and I only found out about it two weeks later on the SCCF web site!

There I found that Michael Brown had won the tournament! Michael Brown, in chess terms, is one of my “clients.” Simply put, I beat him like a gong. I have a 7-1 score against him, and in six of those eight games I was black. I’ve beaten him with all my favorite openings, the Bird, the Budapest Gambit, the Dutch and … OMG! Yes, I also beat him with the King’s Gambit (see page 618 in The Fischer King’s Gambit for the full score). Now what kind of tournament would it be if you had to run it legally—then that Taylor guy might beat the promising but boring young player with the King’s Gambit! Better run an illegal tournament before letting something like that happen!

Here’s the cross table and game results as supplied by the SCCF, but note that, following my investigation, all this info has now been taken down. Fortunately, I saved all of this on my PC!

27th Southern California Championship July 9-12, 2015

Welcome to the official site of the 27th annual SCCF state invitational championship. Thank you to all of our donors whose generous contributions made this year’s event possible.

Standings

Pairings & Results

Games

Pictures

Format

Standings

No. Player USCF Rtg 1 KK 2 JB 3 MB 4 KK 5 JP 6 AK 7 TA 8 IS Total Place
1 Keaton Kiewra 2502 X 1 0 ½ ½ 1 1 4 2nd place, $$1200
2 John Bryant 2493 0 X 0 ½ 1 1 1 3rd place, $$800
3 Michael Brown 2449 1 1 X 1 0 1 1 5 1st place, $$1800
4 Konstantin Kavutskiy 2434 ½ ½ 0 X 0 0 ½ 6th place, $$200
5 Jack Peters 2427 ½ 0 1 1 X 0 ½ 3 4-5th place, $$500
6 Alexander Kretchetov 2424 X
7 Tatev Abrahamyan 2417 0 0 0 1 1 X 1 3 4-5th place, $$500
8 Ilya Serpik 2380 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 X 1 7th place, $$200

Pairings & Results

Round 1: Thursday July 9, 4 p.m.

Board White Result Black
1 Peters ½-½ Serpik
2 Kretchetov Canceled Abrahamyan
3 Kiewra 0-1 Brown
4 Kavutskiy ½-½ Bryant

Round 2: Friday July 10, 10 a.m.

Board White Result Black
1 Kretchetov Canceled Kiewra
2 Serpik 0-1 Brown
3 Abrahamyan 0-1 Bryant
4 Peters 1-0 Kavutskiy

Round 3: Friday July 10, 4 p.m.

Board White Result Black
1 Bryant 1-0 Peters
2 Brown 1-0 Abrahamyan
3 Kiewra 1-0 Serpik
4 Kavutskiy Canceled Kretchetov

Round 4: Saturday July 11, 10 a.m.

Board White Result Black
1 Brown 1-0 Kavutskiy
2 Abrahamyan 0-1 Kiewra
3 Peters 1-0 Kretchetov
4 Bryant 1-0 Serpik

Round 5: Saturday July 11, 4 p.m.

Board White Result Black
1 Serpik ½-½ Kretchetov
2 Kiewra ½-½ Peters
3 Kavutskiy 0-1 Abrahamyan
4 Bryant 0-1 Brown

Round 6: Sunday July 12, 10 a.m.

Board White Result Black
1 Kiewra ½-½ Kavutskiy
2 Abrahamyan 1-0 Serpik
3 Peters 1-0 Brown
4 Kretchetov 0-1 Bryant

Round 7: Sunday July 12, 4 p.m.

Board White Result Black
1 Brown Canceled Kretchetov
2 Abrahamyan 1-0 Peters
3 Serpik ½-½ Kavutskiy
4 Bryant 0-1 Kiewra

 

Here’s the first thing I noticed: Alexandre Kretchetov did not play a single legal game. Look at the line of dashes at number 6, next to his name. Not one legal game.

So the event was a seven player (not eight) round robin.

Illegal.

So the event had only two players from the Candidates Tournament (Tatev Abrahamyan and Ilya Serpik) not three.

Illegal.

Then when I took a thorough look at the game results under the crosstable, I noticed John Bryant scored 4 ½ points but was only given credit for 3 ½!

Why??

Let’s go back in time again.

Before the Championship

        In January of 2015 I came back from New York after what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to get medical care for my (now) ex-wife, Liz Taylor. After the failure of this quest Liz unilaterally ended our marriage, left me and brought our sons back to Los Angeles. Not willing to allow my boys to grow up without a father, I came back to LA as soon as I could. At this point I was living in poor circumstances, pretty much day to day on finances.

I rejoined the SCCF and won the California Senior Championship (tie with Bruce Baker) and despite my other problems, felt ready to play. I thought I had excellent chances to win the Southern California Championship, and it would also be a big payday—$1800! But first I had to qualify from the Candidates tournament.

Playing at all in this event was quite difficult. Instead of being held in the major population center of Los Angeles, it was held in Laguna Hills. It was nearly impossible to get there by public transportation, and if you could somehow get there in the morning, there was no way back at night. I would not have been able to play at all except for a chess student who lived in that locality, and very kindly put me up during the tournament.

So I played in the tournament, and after three rounds had an even score and faced a must win situation in the last round.

Here is the US Chess rating account of the tournament.

Southern California Candidates Tournament June 6-7, 2015

———————————————————————–

Pair | Player Name                     |Total|Round|Round|Round|Round|

Num | USCF ID / Rtg (Pre->Post)       | Pts | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

———————————————————————–

1 | TATEV ABRAHAMYAN               |3.5 |W   6|W   5|W   4|D   3|

CA | 12851435 / R: 2398   ->2417     |N:S |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

2 | ILIA SERPIK                     |3.0 |W   8|D   4|D   3|W   6|

CA | 12602181 / R: 2368   ->2380     |N:M |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

3 | ALEXANDRE KRETCHETOV           |2.5 |D 10|W 11|D   2|D   1|

CA | 12833623 / R: 2424   ->2424     |N:M |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

4 | TIMOTHY W TAYLOR               |2.5 |W   7|D   2|L   1|W   9|

CA | 10153557 / R: 2398   ->2397     |N:C |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

5 | EUGENE YANAYT                   |2.0 |W   9|L   1|L   6|W   8|

CA | 12598805 / R: 2344   ->2338     |N:C |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

6 | DANIEL YOUSEFF MOUSSERI         |2.0 |L   1|W 10|W   5|L   2|

CA | 13425010 / R: 2280   ->2288     |N:C |     |     |     |    |

———————————————————————–

7 | CRAIG CLAWITTER                 |2.0 |L   4|D   8|D   9|X   |

CA | 12800135 / R: 2225   ->2218     |     |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

8 | VADIM KUDRYAVTSEV               |1.5 |L   2|D   7|W 11|L   5|

CA | 13315303 / R: 2214   ->2212     |N:1 |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

9 | LEONID FURMAN                   |1.5 |L   5|X   |D   7|L   4|

CA | 12734520 / R: 2166   ->2158     |     |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

10 | MICHAEL CASELLA                 |0.5 |D   3|L   6|U   |U   |

CA | 12440626 / R: 2328   ->2322     |     |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

11 | ALAA-ADDIN MOUSSA               |0.5 |H   |L   3|L   8|U   |

MI | 12641188 / R: 2238   ->2224     |   |     |     |     |     |

Take a look at the crosstable and consider the situation before the last round. Abrahamyan is leading with 3 points. Serpik and Kretchetov have 2 points, and Taylor has 1 ½ .

Note that this is not a money tournament. There are no cash prizes. The only—but very important—prizes are the three qualifying spots for the State Championship. Let me quote from the rules again: “three from Candidates Tournament.”

So who has a shot at the top three? Serpik is playing down and will probably win (and he does) and so will reach 3 points. Taylor is playing down and will probably win (and I do) and so will end up with 2 ½ points.

And the remaining two potential Candidates, Abrahamyan and Kretchetov, are playing each other! Again, she has 3 points and he has 2. This will obviously be the crucial game. If Serpik wins as expected, and Kretchetov wins, then that means a three way tie for first at 3 points. Then those three, Abrahamyan, Kretchetov and Serpik, qualify for the State Championship. Yours truly, with 2 ½ points, will not qualify. No tie breaks, no playoffs, no fuss, no muss.

In fact the only way that Kretchetov can clearly qualify is if he wins.

Now in his place I would have gone off somewhere and worked on my mental and chess preparation, and I would have gone all out for the win.

Kretchetov did exactly the opposite. He and Tatev Abrahamyan spent all the time before the crucial game laughing and chatting together—in Russian! I should note at this point that Kretchetov, though playing for the Southern California Championship, represents the Russian Chess Federation.

Watching this love fest and hearing all the Russian gabbing, I—like Fischer in Curacao—smelled a very large rat. The stink was especially pungent in view of Kretchetov’s history. In the Metrochess International tournaments that used to be held in Los Angeles, every player had to sign a contract that stipulated no draws in under 20 moves. This is how Kretchetov honored that contract.

Sharma, Arun (2371) – Kretchetov, Alexandre (2276) [D10]

Los Angeles Metropolitan 24th Los Angeles (9), 24.02.2013

1.d4                 d5

2.c4         c6

3.cxd5

½–½

 

A three move draw, not the contractually mandated 20, not to mention nothing even in the ballpark of fighting chess!

Did I say three moves? Actually, Kretchetov only made two.

Was Kretchetov arranging a similar exploit in the coming crucial game of the Candidates? But why? Doing so would severely reduce his chances of qualification in that he would tie with me (assuming I won) and I believed I had better tie breaks. At this point it would good to note that I had played in several Candidates tournaments before, and ties were always broken on the spot with some tie break system rather than a playoff.

Obviously I was very interested as Kretchetov and Abrahamyan sat down opposite each other. My view was somewhat blocked by Kretchetov’s back, but it appeared that Abrahamyan moved her right hand forward, probably playing her normal 1.e4—but then the two players erupted into laughter! They both stood up and immediately knocked their pieces over, laughing all the while.

A one second draw. A one half move draw—or maybe not. A spectator told me later that he thought Tatev hadn’t even moved the e-pawn, but had in fact just moved her hand forward straight into a handshake with Kretchetov, and so the game was drawn without any moves at all!

That’s certainly possible, or she could have pushed the pawn and then gone into the handshake—and then the laughter, don’t forget that: cheating is fun!

What was absolutely clear was that Kretchetov did not make a single move, thus breaking his previous record by two! What a player!

The TD took no action, and Krechetov, exhausted by his labor, exited the building.

The prearranged draw was strange enough, since it sharply lessened Kretchetov’s chance of qualifying for the championship, as now—if I won, which I could be expected to do—he would then be in a tie with me for the last qualifying spot. And remember that in all previous Candidates tournament that I had played in, ties like this were always broken by some tie break system, right on the spot, as soon as the last game was finished. Note that by “tie break system” I mean something like the FIDE recommended tie breaks (“head to head results” and then, “most wins”); or the Neustadtl Sonneborn–Berger (weighted scores of opponents you defeated or drew with); or perhaps the Median-Buchholz System (scores of the opponents, taking off the highest and lowest) or finally even the more rarely used Solkoff system (scores of all opponents). I don’t know which kind was used exactly, but the point is, all previous Candidates used this kind of tie break system, rather than a tie break playoff. When I had tied in the past, I was always intensely interested in the results—because I always played in the Candidates with the serious intent of playing in the Championship—and thus always stayed until the last game was over to get the final word as to whether I got into the Championship or not.

But Kretchetov had no such concern, and like Elvis, left the building. This lack of concern for whether he played in the Championship or not—as we already know, he did not play a single legal game there—is very important as our narrative continues.

Which tie break system was traditionally used in the Candidates is not so important here; surely it was one of the four above, and as I discovered when I did the calculations for this article, I won on every tie break system!

None of the results were even close. I will attach a full table of tie break calculations at the end of this article.

But let’s go back to the playing hall in this crucial last round. The one half or zero move draw has just concluded with gales of laughter and knocked over pieces.

I hate to see this kind of blatant cheating. It shows a complete lack of respect for the game. Spectators are turned off, seeing top players showing contempt for the rules and spirit of chess. Expect a great battle that will decide first place and that will affect all three qualifying spots? Maybe you get half a move, and then they run for the hills.

I had to take a moment to calm myself, and then I took a second look at the situation. The fact is, the unexpected draw favored me. Had Kretchetov fought for the win, and succeeded, I would have been shut out entirely. Now all I had to do was win, and I would tie for the last qualifying spot. Also, I would then have two wins to Kretchetov’s one, and more wins are often favored in tie break systems. Feeling confident, I regained my composure and played my best game of the tournament!

Taylor, Timothy – Furman, Leonid

SCCF Candidates Laguna Hills, 09.06.2015

1.d4 Nf6

2.c4 e6

3.Nc3 Bb4

4.Bg5 c5

5.d5 h6

6.Bh4 g5

7.Bg3 Ne4

8.Qc2 Qf6

9.Rc1 Bxc3+

10.bxc3 Nxg3

11.hxg3 e5

12.e3 d6

13.Bd3

        White has an attacking position characteristic of the Leningrad Nimzo-Indian.

13… Nd7

14.Nf3 Qe7

15.Rb1 b6

16.Bf5 Bb7

17.Qa4 f6

18.Nd2 Kd8

19.Ne4 Nf8

20.g4 Kc7

21.f3 Qg7

22.Kf2 Ng6

23.g3! Rhd8

24.Rh2 Ne7

25.Be6 Bc8

26.Rxb6!!

        White sacrifices a whole rook and wins in all variations, as analysis (or your computer!) will tell you.

26… Bxe6

27.Ra6 Nc8

28.dxe6 Kb8

29.Qb5+ Qb7

30.Rxh6 Nb6

31.Rxf6 d5

32.e7! Qxe7

33.Rfxb6+ axb6

34.Qxb6+

It’s mate in six at the most.

1–0

 

Now let’s compare the sharp brilliancy above with the crucial game of the round.

 

Abrahamyan, Tatev – Kretchetov, Alexandre

SCCF Candidates Laguna Hills, 09.06.2015

 

We’ll give Tatev the benefit of the doubt on the first move.

 

1.e4

½ – ½

 

Brilliant!

 

Now I had to wait until all the games were over for the tie break results. I talked to a few people who knew tie breaks better than I, and they all agreed that I had better tie breaks. Still, I waited for the official verdict.

Finally, all games were finished.

What was the tie break result?

As noted above, I won in all conceivable tie break systems, though I was not 100% sure at that moment.

But no tie break results were announced! Instead, a long series of phone calls ensued. Clearly the TD was speaking to someone at the SCCF.

This went on for some time, and then I was finally informed that, contrary to past tradition, there would be a tie break playoff instead of a tiebreak system.

Note the rules of the tournament, quoted earlier, say nothing about a change away from the tie break system, and I assumed that tradition would be followed.

I am sure Kretchetov thought the same thing. And if one was going to have a playoff, the TD should have announced earlier that any player who might tie should stay until all games were finished—but he made no such announcement.

Now the conspiracy theorist may interject here that the reason for the switch—and all those phone calls!—was that I had the better tie breaks, and thus, the playoff had to be arranged to give a chance to a blatant cheater, a zero move game player, to somehow keep an honest professional (that one’s me!) out of the State Championship.

When you look at the facts, it’s not really a theory. I had qualified cleanly, my tie breaks were much better than Kretchetov’s—I had two wins to his one, and I won against stronger opposition.

So it appears that someone at the SCCF decided to change the rules of the event for no other reason than that I had qualified.

In other words, keep me out of the State Championship.

Why would they do that? Your guess is as good as mine.

In any case, the last minute decision caused chaos, as now the qualifiers were not known on the day of the event, as had always been the case before.

Later on we’ll run into a much harder to prove, and much more violent conspiracy theory, but for right now, we’re in the playing hall, all games are over, and I am being informed by the TD that I have to play a rapid match to decide the last qualifying spot.

Tradition be damned!

And then, not counting the sudden change from “system” to “playoff” there was one rather huge problem.

While I was there, ready to play and eager to finalize the results—Kretchetov, not eager for either, had left the building hours before.

The Illegal 2015 Southern California Championship

Part Two: The Playoff

        I had been told that an SCCF board member, Phil Chase, whom I had never met, would contact me about the match to come with Kretchetov.

I had no reason to suspect that Phil Chase—who, again, I had never met before—would do everything in his power to keep me out of the State Championship. He would only succeed by running a completely illegal tournament.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

First, I got an email from Phil. And it seemed nice enough.

This was on June 8, 2015. I presume he wrote Kretchetov at the same time. The subject of the email was finding a venue for the match.

Phil Chase and I exchanged no less than eight emails that day. I answered each one as rapidly as possible. Phil wanted the match set up quickly. In his email of June 8 (still the same day) he wrote “Anywhere or time you want to play let me know—I will have a TD there—but it should really be by June 19 at the latest.” I agreed to set something up. We ended the day’s emails with a tentative agreement that I would try to secure a playing site at my home club, the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club. I would then take a bye from the tournament I was already playing in there, and then Kretchetov and I could play the match, with good conditions, lighting, etc. We would have a director on site, Pete Sevino, and Phil Chase could come himself or send a director.

In fact I did set this up, Pete Sevino agreed, I told him I would be taking a bye in the current tournament, and so an excellent playing site was set up and available on Monday, June 15, well ahead of the June 19 deadline.

This is a good time to take stock. Although I should have just won my spot in the Championship simply by the traditional tie break, I have nonetheless complied with the changed rules for a playoff. I have answered every email from Phil Chase over the two days June 8 and 9. I have arranged a playoff site with excellent conditions, even though it cost me a half a point by forcing me to take a bye. In every respect I have been helpful and cooperative. Again, I have complied with every word of Phil Chase’s line, “Anywhere or time you want to play let me know—I will have a TD there—but it should really be by June 19 at the latest.”

So now, in just two days, I have done so. The site is set up, a TD is there and all is ready to play on June 15, before the June 19 deadline. I even have an increment clock for the FIDE style rapid! I have qualified for the Championship by winning two games and fighting in all four. Kretchetov qualified by not making a single move in an illegal draw.

So what about Kretchetov? Has he been answering the flurry of emails on June 8 and 9?

Let’s let Phil Chase tell us—from his emails:

June 9: “I have contacted Kretchetov and as soon as I hear back will let you know!”

June 9 (later in the day): “I have not heard back from Alexandre yet.”

And if you think that’s bad—I mean, practically everyone has email now, definitely Alexandre Kretchetov does, the State Championship is at stake and most people check their email at least once a day, often much more frequently—and with apologies to Bernie Sanders, if you want to play in the State Championship, answer your damn emails!!

Of course if you don’t want to play in the State Championship …

June 11—email from Phil Chase to me: “Still waiting to hear from Kretchetov.”

One thing was absolutely clear by this point in the strange saga of The Illegal 2015 Southern California Championship: Alexandre Kretchetov had absolutely no interest in playing in the event. When he made the deal with Tatev to prearrange a draw without making a single move—a deal he was so happy about he laughed out loud—he no doubt thought that I would win via the tie break system, as in past practice, and he would have nothing more to do with the State Championship. And he was fine with that!

But now, four days have gone by, four days of emails and arrangements: June 8, June 9, June 10 and now June 11. Not a word from Kretchetov. Nothing. No interest in the State Championship. No interest in the playoff to enter the State Championship.

So I asked Phil Chase this simple question, via email, on June 11: “If Kretchetov does not respond, should I not just be seeded into the Championship?”

Now the only sane answer at this point is “Yes” and so end the nonsense. First of all I won on tie breaks. Second of all, Kretchetov obviously does not want to play.

Put me in, and the Championship reaches its lawful number of eight contestants, including the all important “three from Candidates” and this final player, yours truly, is sure to bring active, fighting chess to the event.

The reader knows by now that didn’t happen.

But something else of interest did: up to this point, Phil had been answering my emails right away, just as I had been answering his right away. But after my simple, logical request, he did not reply for a full day.

Why did he pause? I don’t know the answer precisely, but I can make two logical guesses. One, he simply waited another day for Kretchetov to reply—but obviously he didn’t, as we will see as the story unfolds. The second reason might be this: in retrospect, looking over all the evidence, I have a funny feeling that Phil was being operated, as Dick Cheney might have operated a CIA agent. Maybe there was someone behind Phil, pulling his strings. It would have to be someone on the SCCF board, which narrows things down, but there is no concrete proof.

In any case, like Judith Sheindlin, I believe in personal responsibility. If someone asked, or told Phil Chase to do something of a chess criminal nature, then he should “just say NO!”

By the way, we’ll have more on Judith Sheindlin later, better known as Judge Judy, as this bizarre case meanders onward.

Note that all this meandering—ending with an illegal State Championship—could have been easily stopped at various points. The SCCF could have stuck to the traditional tie breaks at the tournament site. Or now, for example, Phil could have just said “Yes” to my simple, logical question, and the Championship would have gone on, legally, as scheduled.

At this point it goes without saying that logic went out the window, the June 15th playoff that I had set up went out the window, the June 19th “deadline” that Phil Chase had previously stated went out the window—

Yes, defenestrate all!

Now what did Phil say when he finally replied? This: “We’re having an SCCF Board meeting on Sunday.” He concluded by saying “the Board will discuss your suggestion.”

        Except, according to the minutes of said Board meeting, they didn’t.

The minutes, that I came upon later, (again, all of this is from the SCCF web site) say the following about the Championship. I have copied and here paste the only two relevant lines:

“Waiting on Taylor / Kretchetov playoff match

Phil Chase will improve timing and tie break so that ties can be solved same day.”

Pretty bizarre “minutes” wouldn’t you say? At this point, Kretchetov has made no response, has shown no interest whatsoever in the playoff. I have great interest, and given there has been no response, I have made a simple suggestion: just put me in instead of the uninterested zero move game player.

Is this suggestion discussed, per Phil Chase? No, it’s not even mentioned. Just “Waiting on Taylor / Kretchetov playoff match.” Not one word about what’s been going on with Kretchetov, or not been going on.

And the weirdness doesn’t stop there. Consider the other line: “Phil Chase will improve timing and tie break so that ties can be solved same day.” But they already had a system to solve ties the same day. They had used this in every past Candidates I am aware of since I arrived in CA in 2002—they used a tie break system and the qualifiers were always known that day! But this tried and true system was changed for this event. The only reason that I can see is that I won in every tie break system—so the change in rules was specifically directed against me. Which brings up this: what about that flurry of phone calls to the TD after the tournament was finished?

None of that was discussed.

Instead, I got an ultimatum from Phil. Kretchetov had apparently deigned to play at a certain time. Therefore I had to play at that time (everything must be suited to the zero move man.)

I wrote back to Phil as follows:

“I just want to say I’m not too happy about this, as I made myself available all week, and evidently Kretchetov did not . I could have easily played this Saturday and Sunday, but you did not give me this option. I offered Monday, and that was declined. Now you want me to play next weekend, where I already have plans. On Saturday I have a long time student, and on Sunday I have court ordered visitation. Is this fair?  I think not!”

But, since my name was not Alexandre Kretchetov, since I had qualified by winning a brilliant game with a rook sacrifice instead of a prearranged draw, since I answered every email the same day, since I had set up a good place to play (I wouldn’t get to play there), since I would have brought fighting spirit to the State Championship, I had to play when and where Phil Chase decided.

To quote myself: is this fair? I think not!

Nonetheless, I moved heaven and earth so that I could attend the playoff.

The day before the event I found out where I would have to go to play (love the notice!) in this email from Phil: “Playoff will be tomorrow at 11 AM at Science Building, Beverly Hills HS, at the corner of Moreno and Durant.”

I didn’t think it would be that hard to find but I was so wrong!

I did not know that the Beverly Hills High School has such a large campus that it exceeds in size many small universities. I had never been there before, and got such short notice there was no time to check out the playing site beforehand. So I just told my friend Joe Cepiel where and when I was playing—he said he would come to watch—and left very early the next day.

I took the bus and got off at Wilshire and Linden, which according to Google maps was one half a mile from the playing site. I looked for Moreno and Durant. I looked for Durant and Moreno. I looked for either Durant or Moreno!

Nothing. Lots of small campus roads with no signs on them. No vehicular traffic. Burning hot Los Angeles summer sun. I wandered around for about a half hour. Finally I saw Joe, doing the same thing. He had come from the other direction, also by bus, and despite being a very experienced walker in L.A., he hadn’t been able to find any signs either in the maze of unmarked campus roads. I was supposed to play in 15 minutes now—fortunately I had arrived very early. Suddenly we saw a car! We flagged it down and explained our problem. The very kind lady driver smiled when told we were looking for the Science Building. She said, “That is almost impossible to find! I know, since I wandered around here for an hour trying to find it once!”

She then gave us extremely precise directions, and we made it there, just minutes before 11 AM.

There was someone outside the building. Joe and I came up to him. I said, “Phil Chase?” He nodded. I was tired and upset by the 45 minutes spent wandering around the campus.

I said, “This was amazingly hard to find! It would have been a lot easier if I had your cell phone so I could have called for directions.”

Now note that I had never met Phil Chase before—our only contact had been emails.

The first sentence he ever said to me was a stunning lie.

He said, “I gave you my cell phone number,” in a very arrogant, harsh voice.

I was simply stunned. Could I have forgotten that? No, like all good chessplayers, I have an excellent memory.

“No, you didn’t. I would definitely have called you if I had it.”

And Phil doubled down on the lie, in a voice that Joe would later describe as “vehement”—“No, I gave you my number! It’s in your email!”

Now one doesn’t expect that a person one has never met, and in my case, a person from the chess world, to lie on first meeting! Again, I was stunned, doubting myself (I shouldn’t have!), wondering if I failed to notice his phone number among the numerous emails (of course I hadn’t failed to notice, I checked each one later and he never sent his number) and this, on top of the 45 minutes wandering in the sun, was disturbance I didn’t need, right before the match.

That was exactly the point. Phil Chase deliberately lied to me in vehement tones, just to upset me. He already had his mission: keep me out of the championship by any means necessary. How do I know he deliberately lied to me? By this: after the match, I checked all my emails from Phil and saw he had never mentioned his cell number. So I wrote, “I read the last five or six emails and didn’t see your phone number—please point it out.” Now a person who had made a mistake would say, “Hey Tim, I thought I had put it in there, but you’re right, I didn’t. Sorry about that.”

But if you’re Phil Chase, the deliberate liar, you won’t answer at all—and he didn’t.

I know I sound pretty dumb here, but I still didn’t realize how hard he was working to keep me out of the championship.

Going back to Phil’s first big lie, I’m standing there in front of him, wondering, ‘Did this guy I’ve never met just lie to me?’ And also, doubting myself, and at that moment Kretchetov breezed in—one imagines he drove and had cell phone guidance.

The match—two rapids, G/25, then an Armageddon if necessary—began while I was not in my best spirits. Conditions were bad, lighting was poor, nothing like the Santa Monica club that I had offered, which has excellent conditions.

Nonetheless, I won the first game easily. I should also have won the second game easily—I won a piece and then started working out how to win in the best way, didn’t pay enough attention to the rapid time control, slipped into time pressure, blundered and lost.

And I simply couldn’t control my emotions in the Armageddon, lost the game and the match.

I could make a pretty fair case for bad treatment and bad conditions—not to mention that damn big lie about the cell phone!—but I didn’t. My feeling was that while I was right about the cell phone lie, I still blamed myself for not keeping my emotions under control. I should have won the piece up second game!

In short, I held to personal responsibility!

So I didn’t complain, but there was one thing I wanted to make absolutely clear. I knew Kretchetov didn’t want to play in the State Championship, from his arranged draw with Tatev, to his lack of response during the email exchanges, and even the match itself—he played without fire in the first two games and only showed something in the third.

I thought it would be very possible he would not show up for the Championship. I also knew by now that he was the “favorite son” of Phil Chase, so when I wrote the following email to Phil I didn’t mention Kretchetov’s name. “I suppose, while unlikely, it is possible that someone will drop out. I trust I would then get into the championship.” And I gave Phil my phone number.

Phil Chase wrote back on June 15, 2015. He entered “Chess Criminal” status with the following words: “Yes, I will call you if anyone drops out.”

The only problem with that answer was that Phil Chase was lying through his teeth.

        Call me dumb, call me too trustful, call me naïve for thinking that an honest professional International Master of chess like myself could be excluded from an important event for no reason at all—you can call me all those things.

I really thought Phil Chase would call me if anyone dropped out.

Dumb me.

I should have given more weight to the cell phone lie, which in retrospect looms big as a glacier—why would someone lie to another person he has never met before? Again, one wonders, was Phil ordered to lie? But even if so, who would obey such an “order?” Or was Phil the “lone gunman” gunning for me because … uh … he didn’t like my favorite King’s Gambit??

Anyway, Kretchetov dropped out and Phil didn’t call me—but I didn’t find that out until 12 days after the tournament was over.

The Illegal 2015 Southern California Championship

Part Three: The Seven Person Championship

        When the day of the first round of the Championship, July 9, rolled around, I sent another email to Phil. I wanted him to know that I was ready to play, just in case.

The complete email and Phil Chase’s complete reply, both on this critical day, July 9, 2015, are given below.

Tim Taylor to Phil Chase:

“I guess no dropouts! I will still stand by though if someone doesn’t show up.”

Phil Chase to Tim Taylor:

“No dropouts! I do have your number if anything changes!”

Let’s go back and look at the crosstable again, and the list of pairings below it. Of course at this point we are only interested in Kretchetov’s pairings, as the other seven all played!

Round One: Kretchetov vs. Abrahamyan (that’s a laugh right there!)

But no fun stuff with knocked over pieces this time, as Kretchetov did not show up.

That’s a dropout, Phil!

Round Two: Kretchetov vs. Kiewra

Kretchetov did not show up.

That’s a dropout, Phil!!

Round Three: Kavutskiy vs. Kretchetov

Kretchetov did not show up.

That’s a dropout, Phil!!!

Somehow Phil (and perhaps his pals) dragooned Kretchetov into playing Rounds 4, 5 and 6. The round 6 result is particularly interesting.

Round Four: Peter vs. Kretchetov

Peters wins

Round Five: Serpik vs. Kretchetov

Draw

Round Six: Kretchetov vs. Bryant

Bryant wins: we’ll see the significance of this win shortly.

As for Kretchetov, he has now played three games, drawing one and losing two, for a powerful half point! Do you get the feeling the guy really, really didn’t want to play?

Now what? It’s the seventh and last round. This is where champions show what they are made of!

The standings at the top were:

Brown – 5

Bryant – 4 ½

Kiewra – 3

And the pairings were Brown vs. Kretchetov and Bryant vs. Kiewra.

To win the tournament cleanly, Brown would have to win. If he drew, Bryant could tie with him; if he lost, Bryant could win and surpass him.

In short, a situation full of drama—would we get a hard fought last round?

Of course not.

Kretchetov didn’t play the last round. This had staggering consequences. First, Brown won the tournament without even having to play the last round.

But the real victim was Bryant. Going into the round, he was only a half point back and had good chances to at least tie or possibly get clear first.

But Kretchetov—who, let us remind the reader, was there at the playing site, having played (and lost) his morning game against Bryant—suddenly drops out for the fourth time! This means that he has played three games, less than half of the total of seven which should have been played.

Which further means that none of his games are counted for scoring purposes since he has played less than 50%. Therefore, with that simple walkout, Bryant loses the point that he won fairly by playing—and now, instead of contending with 4 ½, he now has 3 ½ and has no chance for first place at all, while Brown wins the tournament without showing what he’s made of—he wins by sitting down and waiting for his check.

In Bryant’s place, I would have been pretty upset, and he probably was too—he lost the game to Kiewra. But wait! Bryant still has 4 ½ points, and Kiewra only 4, even after the win, so doesn’t Bryant at least get 2nd and Kiewra third—O—not so. Remember, Bryant had the point he won against Kretchetov taken away from him.

So the final “result” reads Kiewra in second place with 4 points, Bryant in third place with 3 ½, and thus Kiewra got $1200 and Bryant got $800. A four hundred dollar swing!

I can just imagine Phil Chase explaining the situation to Bryant: “You see, I had to do every illegal thing in my power to keep Taylor out of the tournament, and if that means costing you a shot at the title and taking $400 out of your pocket, I can only say two words: collateral damage!”

Or something like that.

Why didn’t Kretchetov play the last round? I’ll offer two possibilities, and then I’ll quote Phil Chase’s “explanation.”

A.Kretchetov says, ‘I never wanted to play in this tournament anyway and now I’ve made a half point out of three games and I won’t play another one, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me!’ And off he goes, exiting the building.

B.Phil Chase says to Kretchetov, ‘Alexandre, you’ve been great at helping me screw up this tournament, and if you leave now, we can make this tournament completely illegal!’ ‘Da,’ says Kretchetov, and off he goes, exiting the building.

C.Here’s how Phil Chase explained it, email of July 25, 2016 (two weeks after the tournament): “Kretchetov played 3 games, but had a passport issue and had to miss the other games because of meetings at the Russian consulate.”

We’re going to get a cornucopia of lies from Phil Chase as we move on with this story, but for sheer foulness this early one takes the stinking prize. Let’s review this raw piece of beef jerky and take it apart, back to front.

Phil Chase says Kretchetov “had to miss the other games because of meetings at the Russian consulate.” He had to?? Let’s take the crucial last round first. It’s Sunday, people! There are no “meetings at the Russian consulate” or at any other government office on a Sunday! Furthermore, Kretchetov has already played and lost to Bryant on Sunday morning. Kretchetov is already at the playing site. He is most definitely not having “meetings at the Russian consulate.” He is playing, and losing. He is about to play Round 7, when he will have played four games, so the tournament will be at least quasi-legal. But he quits right there, not because of mythical “meetings at the Russian consulate.” He skips the last game because of either A or B.

C is not possible. C is a lie.

        Let’s take C from the front. The schedule tells us there is one game Thursday evening, and two games Friday, taking up the whole day. There are also two games Saturday and two games Sunday, but they don’t count for the “Russian Consulate” excuse because government offices aren’t open on weekends—OK, maybe the FBI, but not a passport division!

Since Thursday’s game is in the evening, the only possible conflict are the two games on Friday. But Kretchetov misses all three!

Now what if Kretchetov really wanted to play in the tournament—which we have seen, with excruciating clarity, that he does not want to do. But let’s, for the purpose of argument, assume he really wants to play. The Russian Consulate calls and says he has a “passport issue” and should come in on Friday. But Kretchetov is Russian! He has a readymade excuse: “I’m playing in a really important chess tournament, the Southern California Championship, and I really want to play in it and win the title for Russia! Let me come in Monday.”

For a nation of chess players, this is a no brainer: permission granted.

But the key line above is “really want to play in it”—that’s the part that was missing. If Kretchetov had really wanted to play in the State Championship, he would have fought for a win in the last round of the Candidates and done his best to qualify cleanly. Instead he drew without making a move and laughed about it. The evidence shows that he expected to lose on tie break and didn’t care.

If Kretchetov had really wanted to play in the State Championship, he would have answered his emails the first day, not … actually one doesn’t know if he ever answered his emails. Maybe Phil went to his house?

So the “Russian passport” issue has no substantive weight. Kretchetov was right there and could easily have played the last round, which would at least have meant that Bryant would have kept the critical point he won in round 6. Kretchetov could certainly have postponed what sounds like a minor issue to Monday—if, and this is a really big if, he really wanted to play.

The evidence is overwhelming that he did not.

Back to Phil Chase, who “was appointed by the SCCF board to organize the event.”

Two players have tied for the last spot. Phil has got one player who really really doesn’t want to play. He’s got another player who really does want to play.

The second player won on tie break; the first player “qualified” by an illegal game.

The first player won’t answer his emails; the second player does.

The first player can’t bother to show up for the first three games of the Championship; the second player is standing by ready to play all seven.

Phil Chase, despite his personal promise, written in email the first day of the tournament, refuses to call the second player, me, and put me in to make a legal tournament.

Instead Phil Chase makes tremendous efforts to somehow drag the first player, Alexandre Kretchetov, into the tournament, causing enormous confusion, and finally, a completely illegal tournament when Kretchetov fails to play the last game.

Played games aren’t counted, results are skewed, the twice written “three from Candidates” rule is ignored, the “champion” is crowned after not even playing the final round.

This is how Phil Chase ran the Southern California Championship: illegal from top to bottom.

From the first lie to the last (and we are nowhere near the last) one can see that Phil Chase’s actions had no other basis than to keep a qualified International Master—yours truly, Timothy Taylor—out of the tournament.

The aftermath is only going to get worse.

The Illegal 2015 Southern California Championship

Part Four: Phil Chase’s Cornucopia of Lies

        Phil Chase didn’t call me on the day of the tournament, though I stayed close to my computer and phone all day, ready to go to Beverly Hills at a moment’s notice.

4:00 came and went—starting time for the first round. “I guess no dropouts,” I said to myself, blissfully unaware that one of the four boards at the championship was vacant.

My life went on.

About two weeks after the Championship ended, it occurred to me that I didn’t know who won. So I took a look at the SCCF web site.

And all that stuff hit the fan.

Illegal tournament! Kretchetov a dropout! Michael Brown wins?? Damn sure not possible if I had been there.

And Phil Chase had promised to call me.

Kretchetov was a dropout in rounds one, two and three! And seven!!

In any normal tournament the organizer would have called me after Kretchetov failed to play round one.

        But Phil Chase broke his word and stayed dead silent.

So I emailed Phil Chase.

He responded with the stinking lie noted above, that Kretchetov “had to miss the other games because of meetings at the Russian consulate.”

On a Sunday. When no government office was open. When Kretchetov was already at the tournament site.

I said it above, I’ll say it again: in any normal, honest tournament, I would have been called after the Round One dropout. This is the State Championship with a mandated eight players and a mandated “three from Candidates.” You have the third Candidate, me, waiting, ready to play. You have a missing chair in the tournament room. Call me. I’ll come immediately. The game starts an hour late, OK, but the tournament is legal.

Anyone who knows me absolutely knows this: I will be there for all seven games.

But Phil Chase twisted everything to the point of having a completely illegal tournament with skewed results, just to keep me from playing.

There is no explanation of why he made such tremendous efforts, told such startling lies, just to keep me out.

It’s interesting that a little down the road, Phil complained to then SCCF president Steve Morford about me calling him a liar. What’s interesting is that Phil doesn’t say a word about my accusations being false. Phil knows he’s lying, the evidence is incontrovertible that he is lying—but the lying itself doesn’t bother him. All that bothers him is that I point out that he is lying.

Well, I pressed Phil a little bit, trying to get some kind of honest response from him.

And he responded by completely leaving Planet Earth, sending an email so full of non-logic and incredible lies that we’re going to need a great detective just to wend our way through the trackless forest of his prevarications!

I reproduce the email in full below, but let me make one note now: at the time this email was written, Ankit Gupta was president of the SCCF; he was succeeded by Steve Morford, who is now president.

OK: ready for prevarications? Here we go!

 

Jul 26 at 9:28 AM

Phil Chase To Tim Taylor

 

The event is over.  I won’t respond to any more communication.  I have given you the facts.  You did not qualify by rating.  You did not qualify in the Qualifier event.  You did not qualify by being the incumbent champion. You did not qualify by being the Superstates champion.  If there were an opening (which there was not) the appropriate replacement would have been the next highest rated  player (Julian Landaw). And one more time, Mr. Kretchetov did participate in the event, but did not complete half his games, so his results count for rating but not for standing.  Please send any further concerns to the President of the SCCF, Ankit Gupta.

 

  1. Take a deep breath. Take three, or ten, whatever you need. All right?

In a minute we’ll go through this line by line, lie by lie, but first, as I mention above, we need a great detective on our side—and fortunately, we have one: Dashiell Hammett. Before he became a celebrated crime novelist and author of The Maltese Falcon, Hammett was himself a detective. It’s clear that he brought his hard won real life knowledge to his fiction—and he must have met a hell of a lot of liars!

Following are two brilliant examples where Hammett’s (fictional) detectives are confronted with the human capacity to lie.

In “The Golden Horseshoe” Hammett’s hero, the Continental Op, notices a sign in a dive bar in Tijuana, and muses on its relation to reality:

“ONLY GENUINE PRE-WAR AMERICAN AND BRITISH WHISKY SERVED HERE

I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more, when one of my confederates …”

Called to duty, the Op never works out exactly how many lies are in the sign, but four in a nine word sentence is pretty impressive!

In Hammett’s final novel, “The Thin Man” his hero is detective Nick Charles, who is explaining how difficult it will be to get any kind of a straight answer out of the prime suspect, Mimi, in a murder case.

“When you catch her in a lie, she admits it and gives you another lie to take its place and, when you catch her in that one, admits it and gives you still another, and so on. Most people—even women—get discouraged after you’ve caught them in the third or fourth straight lie, but not Mimi.”

So the kind of lying Phil Chase does is nothing new: criminals have been doing it for years. But Phil does have his own style: he intersperses his outright lies with distracting illogic, and unlike Mimi, he never admits a lie, just goes on contradicting his own lies and adding new ones to the end! Admirable, yes? No!

Here we go:

Jul 26 at 9:28 AM

Phil Chase To Tim Taylor

 

The event is over.  I won’t respond to any more communication.  I have given you the facts.

Ah, the facts—let’s go over Phil’s relation to “facts.” Consider his statement when Joe and I arrived for the playoff. “I gave you my number! It’s in your email!” A straight up lie, of course. In other words, not a fact. And when I confronted him on it, Phil didn’t reply, just moved on to the next lie. More “facts”: ““Yes, I will call you if anyone drops out.” Now we know Kretchetov dropped out by not playing in the first round. Any truly qualified organizer would have called me right then to maintain the integrity of the event. But even if said organizer wanted to give Kretchetov the benefit of the doubt, and thought he would come in the next day … come on! Kretchetov misses rounds two and three. That is a drop out. Phil’s relation to facts? He didn’t call me. Need more? Oh, there are always more with Phil—more “facts”: Let’s try this one: Kretchetov “had to miss the other games because of meetings at the Russian consulate.” How about that Sunday night? We’ve gone through this already: there is no meeting at the consulate on a Sunday night. Kretchetov did not have to miss Game 7. He was already at the tournament hall, not at the Russian Consulate. So the “facts” line is at the very least a triple lie (in one sentence!) and the Continental Op could probably find more! But let’s move on.

You did not qualify by rating. 

        Illogic! I never said I qualified by rating.

You did not qualify in the Qualifier event. 

Except that I did. I qualified by tying for third in the Candidates, and I clearly won on tie breaks as were used in all previous Candidates tournaments. The only reason I didn’t qualify then and there was that the rules were changed from tie breaks to playoff—evidently only due to the fact that I had qualified. Kretchetov, when he made the deal to draw without making a move, certainly knew that I would win on tie breaks, and so left the building immediately! But then we got the mysterious phone calls (from Phil Chase? Someone else on the SCCF Board?) to the TD, and the tradition of establishing the qualifiers that day went out the window. So the evidence demonstrates that I did qualify directly from the Candidates.

Furthermore, if Kretchetov had been forfeited, as he should have been, for the prearranged illegal zero move draw, I would also have qualified again directly from the Candidates, as then I would have secured clear third place, no arguments. Thus I qualify for the second time. Next, Kretchetov did not respond to requests for a match date before the deadline of June 19. Therefore he should have been forfeited once again, and for the third time I qualify straight up from the Candidates! Finally, even after I lost the “no cell phone number” match, I was still promised a spot, as first runner up, if there was a dropout. There was in fact a dropout, so I qualified for the fourth time! Four lies in an eight word sentence! And Hammett thought four lies in nine words was bad!

Looking back, you can see how much work Phil Chase (and his buddy or buddies?) had to do to keep one honest player out of the championship.

You did not qualify by being the incumbent champion.

        Illogic! I never claimed that I was.

You did not qualify by being the Superstates champion. 

        The Superstates concerns grades K-12. I am 63, Phil.

 

If there were an opening (which there was not)

        Dashiell Hammett is spinning in his grave! You’ve got to stop this, Phil! No opening?? I draw your attention to the crosstable again. Look at Player 6, Alexandre Kretchetov. See the row of dashes next to his name? See that there is no final score? See the great big hole in the tournament? Note that he did not play a single legal game. Alexander Kretchetov was a dropout. The rules specified an 8 player round robin. There were 7 players who played legal games. The rules specified that there had to be 3 players from the Candidates. Only 2 played legal games. Your statement is a lie, Phil. There was an opening, and oh people, we’re not even through the whole sentence yet!

the appropriate replacement would have been the next highest rated  player (Julian Landaw).

I think I’ll call this half sentence the “asteroid lie” since, one, it’s millions of miles from earthly reality, and two, there’s no telling how many asteroids there are!

Let’s try reason and logic and work our way through.

When I asked Phil if there was a dropout, would I qualify, he answered “Yes.” But he is clearly not going to do so, and he doesn’t, so he is lying already.

The rules state there have to be three players from the Candidates: the rules in fact state this twice. Julian Landaw, as I noticed from the US Chess “rating look up”, did not play a single rated game from Jan. 1, 2015 through the State Championship. The most important tournament that he did not play in was the Candidates tournament. Therefore, putting Julian Landaw in the State Championship would have been a violation of the rules. I, however, did play in the Candidates. I was the legal replacement, and there was an opening. Logically, therefore it is false to say that Julian Landaw would have been an “appropriate” replacement. He would have been an illegal replacement.

And one more time, Mr. Kretchetov did participate in the event

        Like Hammett’s Mimi, Phil Chase just won’t give up. Once again, I draw his, and the readers, attention to the crosstable. Alexandre Kretchetov played no legal games in the event. Therefore he did not “participate” in the event in any legal way. His “participation” was limited to playing three uncounted games in the middle of the event, the only effect of those games being to skew the results, as players who defeated him and counted on those points were deprived of them because of his lack of legal participation.

Whew! That’s enough for now. Those who are extra diligent can count how many lies Phil Chase stated in that short email—and no doubt, find some more—but I want to move on.

And if you think this case cannot possibly get any weirder, you’re wrong.

The Illegal 2015 Southern California Championship

Part Five: Enter Judge Judy

        What could I do after that infamous email? It was clear that continued emails would do no good. Phil would forget his past lies and say that “if” there was a dropout, then Batman would be the “appropriate replacement.”

Could a courtroom bring Phil to his senses? I decided to sue Phil Chase in Small Claims Court. From a strictly legal standpoint, he had cost me money. I could prove my 7-1 score against Michael Brown, and Michael Brown had won the tournament! I could prove each and every one of Phil’s lies—that would be long testimony—and I prepared to take legal action.

Phil refused to give me his address, so I found him on Google. Phil refused a certified letter from me, where I offered him a deal.

So I filed the case.

And I soon got a response—a letter from Judge Judy! Well, actually from her producer, Kurstin Haynes. The letter starts like this:

“Dear Timothy,

I am a producer for the nationally syndicated top rated court television program “Judge Judy.” On “Judge Judy” small claims cases are arbitrated, and the decisions rendered are final and legally binding. Our field researchers have selected and brought to my attention the small claims case that you have filed in the Los Angeles district small claims court against Philip Chase.”

That was interesting!

Not having a TV, I had never seen the Judge Judy show, but I had heard of her of course. So I did my research. I saw her real name was Judith Sheindlin and that she was a retired Family Court judge. I liked her doctrine of individual responsibility. And I loved the title of the book she wrote: “Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining.”

My kind of woman! So I called her producer, Kurstin, and we had a convivial conversation. Kurstin told me some interesting things: both of us (Phil Chase and me) would get appearance fees just for being on the show. And if Phil lost, he wouldn’t have to pay a dime! The show would pay right away—a second benefit of which would be that I wouldn’t have to worry about collecting from Phil.

I enthusiastically agreed to appear on the show.

I watched a few videos of Judge Judy on You Tube. I saw how she cut through the bs and nailed the liars.

I started fantasizing …

PHIL CHASE: Kretchetov participated in the tournament—

JUDGE JUDY: I’m confused here, Mr. Chase. I’m looking at this crosstable, and I see this line of dashes next to Mr. Kretchetov’s name. I see no results.

PHIL CHASE: (whining) But he did play—

JUDGE JUDY: This is a courtroom, Mr. Chase. We are dealing with the law. Did Mr. Kretchetov play any legal games?

PHIL CHASE: He played—

JUDGE JUDY: Don’t pee on my leg, Mr. Chase. For the last time, did Alexandre Kretchetov play even one legal game in this tournament?

Camera zooms in on Phil’s face—he’s sweating and twitching

PHIL CHASE: No, Your Honor.

Great fantasy, great TV. There was only one problem with it. Phil Chase also had to agree to be on the show, and he didn’t.

It’s worth examining why he refused to appear on the show, which seems completely illogical. After all, Phil Chase had no case. His lies were on his emails, my tie break win could be demonstrated (again, the calculations will appear at the end of this blog), the whole history of malfeasance where Phil used every trick to keep me out of the tournament could be demonstrated. And I was suing him for $1800, the amount of the first prize, and Phil doesn’t give the appearance of being rich. Furthermore Phil is not arguing on principle: he switches his lies as he goes along (Julian Landaw!) so he’s not defending any moral issue. It would be impossible to believe that he could come up with any evidence that would change the mind of an honest judge. So why not go on the show, take the appearance money, and also avoid any financial loss to himself? But Phil puts himself at financial risk to defend whatever lie he’s currently spouting?

Maybe there was no risk.

Once again, one has the feeling that Phil is being operated. Someone behind him, someone with deep pockets, someone on the SCCF Board is telling him, ‘take no deals, don’t go on the show, I’ll cover your losses if it comes to that.’

I guess we will never find out who, unless Phil starts telling the truth, and that possibility seems remote.

So now Phil had to be served with the legal papers to go to court. Which means we are back to the beginning of this story: Phil Chase is hiding under the bed, and Deputy Sheriff L. Avila is on the job.

Looking over the Deputy’s reports, I see that Phil never answered the knock on his door—he stayed under the bed! (or was he under the sink?). Deputy Avila was really quite persistent: I can see by the reports that he tried all different times to approach, coming as early as 6 AM, but Phil, who had no case, kept hiding.

Finally the deadline passed for that court date, and I had to refile.

While all this was going on, I had fallen on hard times, partly due to being unable to practice my profession as an International Master of Chess. Losing my chance at the State Championship due to Phil’s prevarications was a heavy financial blow to me, and other areas of my life weren’t going well either. Anyway, I ended up homeless on the street for ten days, staying awake on cold nights, trying to grab a little sleep on all night buses, got pneumonia (for the third time in my life!), almost died, (yes, lies have real world consequences!) was saved by the wonderful Dr. Jessica Park at the Olympic Medical Group, was saved again by my church, the Los Angeles Quaker Meeting, who took me in—and I survived, and gradually, gradually got back on my feet,

But even while all this was going on, I kept the court case alive. I had to keep refiling, because Phil Chase kept dodging. But even Phil Chase (as I mentioned in the beginning of all this) knew that he couldn’t keep dodging forever. Does that mean he was going to be a man and face the consequences of his actions—accept, as Judge Judy would say, “personal responsibility?” Of course not! Phil found a new dodge. Deputy Avila was put back on the case, and reported that Phil’s apartment was now “vacant.”

What happened? Again, one wonders if there was or is a deep pocketed backer: did someone help Phil move out temporarily? Or did Phil just make his place look uninhabited?

At this point the question is moot, for the Sheriff’s department declined to pursue Phil any more.

The case was getting to be close to a year old by this point, and no progress had been made.

But I had made personal progress. I had my own place, even if I could just barely barely pay the rent, I did pay it.

I risked some money I couldn’t really afford, but I felt sure that if I got an honest judge (ha!) I could certainly win my case. So I hired Process Server Express to track Phil down—cost me $120, but they nailed him!

Which meant that, almost exactly one year after all this mess started at the Candidates tournament—after I qualified on tie breaks at the Candidates tournament—I would finally get my day in court.

But I didn’t get Judge Judy.

I didn’t get an honest judge.

The Illegal 2015 Southern California Championship

Part Six: The Court Case

        The court date was June 1, 2016: the Candidates tournament had been all the way back at June 6-7, 2015!

But that first day in June I would go to court. I would have liked to dress up, but I didn’t, and still don’t, own a suit. I used to have a sports jacket and a tie, but all that had been lost during the assorted tough times of my recent history. All I had were three utilitarian outfits, Jack Reacher style—well, that would have to do.

I saw that Phil Chase wore a suit.

But before we saw the judge, Phil Chase and I had to go to Mediation. Could a solution be found without going to trial?

There were two mediators, one male, one female: I’ll call them Mr. M and Ms. M. They were completely different. Mr. M was cheerful, shook hands, spoke freely—I got a good impression of him. He seemed to be, and I believe he was, an honest man trying to do a good job. Ms. M, on the other hand, did not interact at all. As far as I can recall, she never spoke a single word—maybe she said something in private to Phil Chase (that’s getting ahead of the story!) but she said no word to me. She just looked at me with a hard to read expression—the best way I can describe it is ‘I know something you don’t.’ Rather disconcerting, and very out of character for a mediator.

Mr. M got the ball rolling. He said that we could speak freely, that nothing we said here would go to the judge. He just wanted to see if a settlement was possible. He asked some questions about the case.

Things immediately went south. I answered the questions honestly, Phil lied and lied in a droning voice like a defective robot. He kept insisting that Kretchetov had played in the State Championship, refusing to acknowledge the fact that he had played no legal games! Ms. M watched, enjoying her hidden thoughts, never speaking. I got frustrated. Phil wouldn’t accept reality. Mr. M saw we were getting nowhere.

Mr. M sent Ms. M off with Phil to talk separately (I presume she actually talked there, but I wouldn’t know).

Mr. M sat down with me, and we had a frank discussion. I kept returning to my basic theme: I qualified, and all I wanted to do was play in the Championship, as was my right.

Suddenly Mr. M saw the solution, as sometimes a stranger can cut through the clutter when the combatants are too close to see the issue clearly. I would say the Mr. M was really quite a good mediator—he zeroed in on the key point, and he found a solution that I could live with.

Mr. M asked: “Are they holding the State Championship again this year?” I immediately saw where he was going with this, and answered, “Yes, in another month or so.”

Mr. M smiled. “Would you drop the case if you were put into this year’s Championship?”

I hesitated for a second, and then I realized, he was right. This case had never been about the money for me. The burning issue was that I had not been allowed to play. I didn’t need anyone to give me money—I could make it myself, by playing and winning! I hesitated no longer. “Yes, I would.”

Mr. M shook hands with me on the deal, and confidently got up and went to pass it on to Ms. M and Phil Chase. I could see he was sure of success. After all, Phil Chase gets off scot free—he wouldn’t have to pay a dime. But as an SCCF Board member who had the power to keep me out of last year’s tournament, he could damn sure put me in this year’s tournament! And I could get what I wanted—the chance to play.

Just a minute later, all three came back. Ms. M was smiling a little bit. Phil Chase was still in his robotic mode. And Mr. M’s face was a mess, like he had been blindsided by a two by four. I knew what it was before he spoke.

You see, Phil Chase had a mission. His own mission, or his master’s mission, it doesn’t matter. What matters was the mission itself, and that mission was to keep me out of the Southern California Championship, not just last year, but forever.

In a disgusted voice, Mr. M turned to me and said, “He turned it down flat. You’re going to have to go to court.”

Ms. M smiled a little more, and still remained silent. Phil Chase remained robotic.

Finally Mr. M said, “This is one of the strangest and most interesting cases I’ve ever seen—I’m going to the courtroom to watch.

He led Phil and me to the courtroom. Ms. M chose not to come in; my impression was that she already knew the verdict.

Phil sat down on the left side of the courtroom, while I sat down on the right—both of us in the back. Mr. M went right up front, and sat down as close as he could get to the judge’s bench.

We waited a little bit, then the judge came in, “all rise,” all of that. A large and heavily armed bailiff came around and got whatever evidence Phil Chase wanted the judge to see. Phil gave him a notebook which I had already seen (we had had to exchange evidence earlier). All that was in Phil’s notebook were the emails we had exchanged, that is, the record of his innumerable lies.

The judge took the notebook from the bailiff and opened it. He turned a few pages and stared at them reverently, as though he were looking at his first Bible. The bailiff came around and got my evidence: I had a manila folder with the same emails that Phil had, but also the crosstable of the Championship, with Kretchetov’s empty line of dashes. I also had a copy of my book, The Fischer King’s Gambit, which I thought might help to establish that I was a notable player in Southern California.

The bailiff gave my evidence to the judge. He didn’t open the folder, just moved it aside. I thought he might look at my impressive book, but he shoved it aside roughly, putting it on top of the folder.

This was not a good sign.

Phil and I were called forward. As I came forward, I saw the judge staring at me with an expression of smirking hatred—he didn’t say a word as I came forward to stand behind a table, as the bailiff directed me. By this time, Phil had come forward as well, standing before the other end of the table.

With a decisive jerk of his head, the judge turned to Phil and said in this sickly sweet, syrupy voice, “Ah, Mr. Chase, yes, you’re the defendant, you stand there”—jerk of the head back to me, complete change in voice, now harsh and violent, “And You, the plaintiff, stand there and You start.”

The judge never missed a chance to refer to “Mr. Chase” saying his name in sickeningly sweet, obsequious tones—but he never spoke my name at all.

For the very short length of the trial, my name was “You.”

I knew, already, not having said one word yet, that the case was lost.

Nonetheless I started. I thought it would be a good idea to point out how Phil had dodged the Deputy Sheriff for six months; my idea was that this would demonstrate that Phil had no faith in his own case, and was just trying to escape by hiding. Not such a bad idea, establishing character, but the only problem was the judge wouldn’t let me say it. Before I got very far, the judge sharply ordered “You”—that would be me—to get directly to the case.

I didn’t get very far there either. I said, “Your Honor, as you can see by the crosstable I have presented in evidence (judge didn’t move) which is in the file folder I gave you (judge didn’t move) Alexandre Kretchetov did not play a single”—but the judge cut me off.

“You’ve had enough time. (harsh voice). Turns to Phil (syrupy voice) “Mr. Chase, can you explain this to the court.”

“Kretchetov did play in the event”—enough was enough! I interrupted. “As I was about to say, Kretchetov did not play any legal games!”

“You be quiet!”ordered the judge in a rage. “Bailiff!”

The bailiff moved in behind me. You know the expression, ‘so close I could feel his breath on the back of my neck.’ But this wasn’t just an expression. I could feel it. My body could sense his bulk right behind me I mean close behind me. My neck prickled with his breathing. I was expecting a night stick to the side of my head any second.

It’s virtually impossible to argue a case when the judge calls one person “Mr.” and the other person “You.” It is worse than impossible when a heavily armed bailiff is literally breathing down your neck.

The rest of the “trial” went by quickly. I made such points as I could, which were duly ignored, or I was interrupted by the judge, who then transferred fawning attention to “Mr. Chase.”

Finally, it seemed the judge had had enough fun, and ordered me to sum up. This is what I said, “Alexandre Kretchetov dropped out of the tournament when he failed to show up for the first round. Phil Chase broke his word”—

The “broke his word” phrase seemed to really incense the judge. He sharply interrupted by saying, “Whatever” in this fake-bored, nasty voice. I don’t know which shocked me more—the interruption or a judge using the word “whatever” like a slangy teenager. I don’t believe I have ever heard a judge say “whatever” in court before.

While I goggled in shock, the judge continued, as if speaking for me, “And he was supposed to call you if something happened, but I don’t know what that was—”

The judge paused for a second, then concluded:

“Judgment for the defendant.”

The bailiff slithered out from behind me and went up to the judge to retrieve my book and unopened folder. I got them and turned to Mr. M, whose face was just as shell shocked as I’m sure mine was. We exchanged a long look—if looks were words, the conversation would have gone like this:

Tim: WTF just happened??

Mr. M: I have no f…ing idea!

Then we both shook our heads and I left.

I had enough presence of mind to stop at the first bench I came to and write down as much of the “trial” dialog as I could remember, and my account above is based on those notes.

But I couldn’t think beyond that.

A year’s search for justice had let to “whatever” and a sound legal case thrown out.

Later—much later, after the violent physical assault to come—I tried to make sense of the “trial.” It was clear that the case was decided before I even said one word.

I searched for some kind of understanding, but could only come up with three possible explanations, all of which were unsatisfactory or illegal. But they were all possible.

A.The suit: as mentioned before, Phil had a suit on, I had a normal, non-dressy shirt and pants. Many of the people in Small Claims Court wore clothes similar to mine. But it is possible that when the judge saw Phil had a suit and I did not, he (in his mind) ruled right then and there that Phil would win and I would lose, and everything that followed flowed from that decision.

B.The freemasonry of liars: I noticed this years ago, when I worked for Blockbuster (when there was a Blockbuster!). Liars rose in the corporate hierarchy, while telling the truth was a serious handicap. Everyone is now familiar with this syndrome, liars have risen to the top in many fields. So despite Mr. M’s statement during Mediation that “none of this will go to the judge” there was an opportunity. Maybe Ms. M, when we were put in separate rooms, did not talk to Phil at all, or at least not at first—maybe she dashed over to the judge! Then they had some weird conversation reminiscent of Mark Bicknell and Byron Jacobs, and decided together that I must be punished for telling the truth, while Phil would be rewarded for lying!

C.Bribe: If Phil did have a backer, a deep pocketed backer, maybe said backer just bribed the judge.

At this point, I still don’t know what happened. All I know, and I am absolutely certain of this point, is that the case was decided against me before I said one word.

Does that wrap up the case on a suitably depressing note? Maybe—maybe not.

I still haven’t had my arm broken yet, but that’s coming up in two days.

The Illegal 2015 Southern California Championship

Part Seven: Conspiracy Theory

        The “trial” was June 1, 2016.

On June 3, 2016, I was going to pay my rent when a woman I had never seen before tried to kill me with her car. She hit me twice, deliberately, then sped off. I recounted all this in my blog “Broken Arm” which you can find by scrolling back a couple of posts from the one you are reading.

 

My arm was broken in two places, leaving my humerus bone in three pieces. I just saw my Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Brian Solberg, in December, and he pronounced me as healed as I’m ever going to be. The important thing is the humerus bone is now solid and in one piece. I can’t throw a baseball as hard as I used to be able—but I can throw one! Most importantly, I can move chess pieces with my right hand (it was strange having to move them with my left for a while).

I had six months of physical therapy for something that occurred in a matter of seconds.

Should you read the “Broken Arm” blog, you might wonder: after hitting me the second time, why didn’t she back up and run me over while I was helpless on the street, thus finishing the job?

I don’t know—maybe you just can’t get good help these days!

At the time of the hit and run attack, I didn’t think there could be a connection to the whole Phil Chase episode. I just saw the woman as a random crazy, and the fact that the police failed to investigate was just another indication of the general incompetence of the LAPD.

But there are some connections with which one could make a decent conspiracy theory. The Phil Chase case seems to involve a wealthy backer. Note that Phil twice refused to get out of the case without financial loss—via Judge Judy or the male mediator’s proposal. He didn’t seem to be worried by money at all. So I presume the deep pocketed backer could have hired a hit woman. That made damn sure I wouldn’t play in the 2016 event!

Furthermore, as John le Carré has pointed out, actions can be suspicious simply by being consecutive. The attack occurred just two days after the “trial.”

Thus the full conspiracy theory would go like this: Deep Pockets bribes the judge, but is concerned by the Mediator’s excellent suggestion that the lawsuit be dropped in return for me playing in the 2016 championship. Deep Pockets is afraid that I will publicize this (I was going to!) and so hires this woman I’d never seen before—with what looked like dealer plates, no numbers!—to put me out of action, temporarily or permanently.

Is that what happened? A year ago, I might have dismissed it out of hand, but the world is different now. Consider this news item from last month: “Dec 1, 2016 – Police are hoping surveillance video will capture the vandal who spray-painted swastikas on several buildings in downtown Los Angeles.”

Who could have imagined swastikas in L.A. even a year ago? Indeed, the Nazi symbol has been noted all over the US.

In that kind of world, trying to have someone killed for wanting to play in a chess tournament is at least possible.

        But I think it’s low percentage.

Wrapping up, I know that Phil Chase did everything in his power to make sure I did not play in the 2015 State Championship. I know I qualified legitimately. I know Phil Chase lied repeatedly. I know that in the end he only kept me out of the event by running an illegal tournament. I know that when I got to court the case was decided against me before I said a single word.

Other things that I have mentioned are possible but unproven.

 

The End—but if you are interested, see the following addendum for the mathematical Tie Break Calculations

 

Addendum: Tie Breaks

As noted previously, I had played in the SCCF Candidates before, and had been involved in tie breaks before. In all cases, the issue was solved that day with a tie break system, not a playoff.

There was no indication that 2015 would be any different: no mention in the rules, no announcement to the players.

The top four tie break systems, as given in the Wikipedia, are as follows—and note that I win cleanly in all four.

First, here is the crosstable of the Candidates once again.

Southern California Candidates Tournament June 6-7, 2015

 

Pair | Player Name                     |Total|Round|Round|Round|Round|

Num | USCF ID / Rtg (Pre->Post)       | Pts | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

———————————————————————–

1 | TATEV ABRAHAMYAN               |3.5 |W   6|W   5|W   4|D   3|

CA | 12851435 / R: 2398   ->2417     |N:S |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

2 | ILIA SERPIK                     |3.0 |W   8|D   4|D   3|W   6|

CA | 12602181 / R: 2368   ->2380     |N:M |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

3 | ALEXANDRE KRETCHETOV           |2.5 |D 10|W 11|D   2|D   1|

CA | 12833623 / R: 2424   ->2424     |N:M |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

4 | TIMOTHY W TAYLOR               |2.5 |W   7|D   2|L   1|W   9|

CA | 10153557 / R: 2398   ->2397     |N:C |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

5 | EUGENE YANAYT                   |2.0 |W   9|L   1|L   6|W   8|

CA | 12598805 / R: 2344   ->2338     |N:C |    |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

6 | DANIEL YOUSEFF MOUSSERI         |2.0 |L   1|W 10|W   5|L   2|

CA | 13425010 / R: 2280   ->2288     |N:C |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

7 | CRAIG CLAWITTER                 |2.0 |L   4|D   8|D   9|X   |

CA | 12800135 / R: 2225   ->2218     |     |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

8 | VADIM KUDRYAVTSEV               |1.5 |L   2|D   7|W 11|L   5|

CA | 13315303 / R: 2214   ->2212     |N:1 |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

9 | LEONID FURMAN                   |1.5 |L   5|X   |D   7|L   4|

CA | 12734520 / R: 2166   ->2158     |     |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

10 | MICHAEL CASELLA                 |0.5 |D   3|L   6|U   |U   |

CA | 12440626 / R: 2328   ->2322     |     |     |     |     |     |

———————————————————————–

11 | ALAA-ADDIN MOUSSA               |0.5 |H   |L   3|L   8|U   |

MI | 12641188 / R: 2238   ->2224     |     |     |     |     |     |

 

Note that Kretchetov and I both scored 2.5 points. I achieved that with two wins, a draw and a loss. Kretchetov had one win and three draws.

Let’s start with the current FIDE tie break recommendation, and then give three more traditional tie break systems in order of popularity. (source for systems below is Wikipedia)

  1. FIDE recommends – in an Annex to the FIDE Tournament Regulations regarding tie breaks:

1.The result of the direct encounter(s) between the players (if any)

Kretchetov and I did not play, so we move on to number 2.

2.The greater number of wins

I won two games, Kretchetov won one.

Therefore I qualify according to FIDE’s recommended system

  1. Neustadtl Sonneborn–Berger score (the most popular of the traditional tie break systems)

A player’s Neustadtl Sonneborn–Berger score is calculated by adding the sum of the conventional scores of the players he/she has defeated to half the sum of the conventional scores of those he/she has drawn against.

I defeated Clawitter and Furman, who scored 2.0 and 1.5 respectively, thus I get 3.5 points.

I drew Serpik who scored 3.0; therefore I get half that total, which is 1.5.

Add the two totals together, 3.5 + 1.5, and I end up with 5 points.

Kretchetov defeated Moussa, who scored 0.5 points.

Kretchetov drew with Casella (0.5 points), Serpik (3.0 points) and Abrahamyan (3.5 points). Therefore he gets half of the drawn players scores: 0.5 + 3 + 3.5 = 7, divide that by 2 and so reaches 3.5.

Add the totals together, 0.5 + 3.5 = 4 and Kretchetov ends up with 4 points.

Therefore I win the Neustadtl Sonneborn–Berger tie break by 5 to 4.

  1. The Median system is also known as the Harkness System, after its inventor Kenneth Harkness. For each player, this system sums the number of points earned by the player’s opponents, but discarding the highest and lowest. If there are nine or more rounds, the top two and bottom two scores are discarded. Unplayed games by the opponents count ½ point. Unplayed games by the player count zero points. This is also known as the Median Buchholz System

My highest and lowest opponents are Abrahamyan and Furman, so their scores are discarded. I get 3 points from Serpik and 2 points from Clawitter, so I end up with 5 points.

Kretchetov’s high and low opponents are Abrahamyan and Moussa, so he gets 3 points from Serpik and 1.5 points from Casella. The reason he gets 1.5 from Casella is that even though his final score was 0.5, he had two unplayed games, which according to the Median system, count as half points. Therefore Kretchetov gets 3 + 1.5 for a total of 4.5 points.

I win according to the Median System, by 5 points to 4.5

  1. Solkoff

This system is the same as the Median system, except that no scores are discarded

I played Clawitter (2.0), Serpik (3.0), Abrahamyan (3.5) and Furman (1.5). Therefore 2.0 + 3.0 + 3.5 + 1.5 = 10

Kretchetov played Casella (0.5), Moussa (0.5), Serpik (3) and Abrahamyan (3.5). Therefore 0.5 + 0.5 + 3 + 3.5 = 7.5

It is unclear (the Wikipedia entry makes no mention of this) but if, as in the Median, unplayed games count as 0.5, then Kretchetov’s score is a little higher though the result is unchanged. Note that Casella played two games, a draw and a loss for .5 points, and then he had two unplayed games. Count them as 0.5 points each and he ends up with (for tie break purposes) a score of 1.5. Moussa gained his 0.5 score on the crosstable from a bye, lost his two played games, then did not play the last round. Therefore his score is (for tie break purposes) 0 from played games and 0.5 + 0.5 = 1.0 for his unplayed games.

Applying this to Kretchetov, he then gets Casella (1.5), Moussa (1.0), Serpik (3) and Abrahamyan (3.5). Adding these together, Kretchetov gets 1.5 + 1 + 3 + 3.5 = 9

Therefore, according to the Solkoff system, I defeat Kretchetov by, according to how you count unplayed games, by either 10 to 7.5 or 10 to 9.

 

Summing up this Addendum, I won on every commonly used tie break system, and should have qualified directly from the Candidates tournament.

 

 

 

Citizens of the World Charter School Fail

Citizens of the World Charter School Fail

by Timothy Taylor, IM

 

There are four porta-potties outside the Citizens of the World Charter school at 5616 Carlton way—well, they’re a non-profit, the kids can rough it without decent toilets—

But their corporate office is at 5371 Wilshire (I had to get the Beverly Hills division of the Sheriff’s Department to serve them). This office sits on some of the priciest real estate in the world.

I guess someone is making a profit—just not the kids or the teachers.

I saw the utter hypocrisy of the Citizens of the World approach first hand, as an afterschool chess teacher there.

I am now suing this “non-profit” corporation, Citizens of the World, Los Angeles. After a year of exemplary service, I was fired without warning or explanation—fired in an extraordinarily nasty way, I might add—and then denied good references as well.

Let’s back up a little and go through the story precisely.

I was hired, for the 2015-2016 school year, to teach at Citizens of the World Charter Schools on two campuses, the aforementioned Carlton Way as well as the one at 5620 De Longpre Ave. I was to teach chess to elementary age students, after the regular school hours. This was a job I was extremely well qualified for: I am an International Master of Chess, I have written twelve published chess books (Most recently, The Fischer King’s Gambit and Slay the Sicilian) and I have over forty years of chess teaching experience.

Despite being rather overqualified for the position, I was happy to get the job, as my only other consistent income was a limited Social Security retirement payout.

Therefore I was determined to do the best job I could do, and I had hopes of teaching at Citizens of the World for many years to come.

The method of my monthly payment is extremely critical, so let me go through this in detail. I was hired by Rachel Faulkner, The Director of Special Programs at Citizens of the World Charter School. Pay was based on enrolment—so much per student per class. I asked Rachel to clarify a particular point: if a student was enrolled but absent, would I be paid for that student? So I wrote this:

“Dear Rachel,

Thank you for writing. I just want to make sure we’re on the same page on a few issues. Would it be correct to say I am paid for the kid if he is absent, but if he stops the class then he goes off the pay scale?”

Rachel replied that pay was based on enrolment only: whether a student was actually present that day did not affect my pay.

I was paid monthly. The method was that I would submit an invoice to Rachel at the end of each month, she would approve it, and then send it on to the accountants, who would then mail a check to me.

It was a fail-safe system, with several built in safeguards. I got the enrollment numbers directly from Rachel in the beginning, then later from Mr. Tommy, the assistant the school provided. I would turn in the numbers to Rachel. She had to approve them before I got paid.

There were direct safeguards as well. Rachel often dropped in on my classes to see how the teaching was going, and while there, she could also count the kids, and if someone was missing, she could check the absentee records. A few times, a student dropped out of chess class, Rachel would inform me, and I would adjust the invoice accordingly. More often, since this was a popular course, new students would come in, and again, I would adjust the invoice. I will note various examples of these changes as we go along.

The main point is that there was no way to “game the system” even if I wanted to, which I most definitely did not. I intended to teach there for years! It would be extremely stupid to try to change the invoice numbers, and in any case the thought never occurred to me. I was in close contact with Rachel at all times, we exchanged numerous emails, and often met in person on campus.

So I simply used the enrollment numbers that were given me, by Rachel or Mr. Tommy, and submitted my invoices based on those numbers—my invoices, always correct, were always approved by Rachel.

The only problem I had with the job was that the accountants were often slow in mailing my check! Rachel was always helpful when this happened, one time even driving down to the accountants’ office in Santa Monica to get my check when it was over two weeks late.

On the teaching front, everything went extremely well. As mentioned previously, I have forty years of chess teaching experience—actually a little more! I taught chess at the York County Community College in Pennsylvania in 1971!

Over the years, I have devised a practically foolproof system for teaching beginners (as the Citizens of the World students were). Basically I start with the endgame, with a small number of pieces, and work up to a full game.

Miss Ginger (the school used this form of address, Mr. or Miss and then your first name, thus I was Mr. Tim) who was a full time teacher who shared my classroom, gave me a wonderful compliment: She said, “You’re the best teacher I’ve ever seen.”

My supervisor, Rachel, after watching many of my classes, sent an email of considerable praise:

10/22/15

Hey Tim,

 

First, I wanted to say how great I think you’ve been! I just wanted to tell you much I appreciate your work with the kiddos and both classes. Everything is going even better than I hoped/expected and you’ve been excellent. Please let me know if I can ever serve as reference or anything of that sort as you partner with other schools, even schools in the CWC network if you’d be interested. 

Rachel Faulkner

Director of Special Programs 

Citizens of the World Charter School-Silver Lake

5620 De Longpre Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90028

 

So everything went swimmingly for virtually the entire year. I noted the changes in enrollment and approved all of them with Rachel. All my invoices were correct, and Rachel approved all of them. Here are some examples of my notes:

Oct. 6 Advanced class. Miles joined us, so now we have 12 signed up.

December 1, 2015 Advanced. Eric moved over from Beginner, so 11

Jan. 26, Advanced, good class, Bishop mate, talked to Mr. Tommy about who is registered, got the following info: (I’ll put the next part in bold) 8 beginners and 11 Advanced. His phone actually lists 12, but we haven’t had Miles for awhile, so 11.

        This is so critical—goes to character as they say, should we go to court. Although Miles was still registered for the class I voluntarily took him off my count for the invoice, since I didn’t want to be paid unfairly. I did this for reasons of simple honesty, as well as for the long term goal that I had of teaching at this school for years.

Again, everything went well, until the very last week of school. At this time, after a year of friendly emails from Rachel, I got a very odd one, not just cold, but also inaccurate. For the first time ever, she challenged an invoice. This was the May invoice which I had submitted at the end of May, 2016. At this point there were only a couple of classes left. Rachel wrote:

From: Rachel Faulkner <rachel.faulkner@cwcsilverlake.org> To: Tim Taylor <pikearts@yahoo.com> Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2016 11:03 AM Subject: Re: Invoice for May

 

Hi Tim,

 

This invoice is not correct, as far as my count (my italics) there were only 8 students enrolled …

 

Generally speaking, it’s not good for someone in the education business to be unable to count. In fact there were nine students present in my class.

I responded as soon as I could, and wrote as follows:

Today I had nine students. They were: (note that in the original letter I used the students full names—here, to protect the privacy of the children, I will just use their first initials)

1.S

2.E

3.R

4.S

5.C

6.A

7.J

8.I

9.G

 

You can easily confirm this with Mr. Tommy. And perhaps more were absent.

So I didn’t hear any more about that.

But something else happened on the very next day after Rachel sent that email: that is, it happened on June 3, 2016.

I was hit by a car in a brutal hit and run. You can read all the gory details in my earlier blog “Broken Arm” but suffice it to say my humerus bone—the big bone in my upper arm—was broken in two places, leaving the bone itself in three parts. I had numerous other injuries as well, but that was the main one.

After I got out of the hospital I informed Rachel Faulkner but elected to teach my last two classes anyway, despite great pain and my arm in a sling. I had been directing a class chess championship in both “Beginner” and “Advanced” and all the kids were excited and wanted to win and get the prizes I had obtained (on my own, not from the school). I couldn’t let the kids down after a year of working together!

So I came in and did the first class.

Now some administrators might be proud of such a dedicated teacher.

Rachel Faulkner fired me without a word of explanation. She did not even mention my broken arm, not even an “I hope you feel better soon.” Common courtesy was dead—now there’s a great example for the students!—and without any reason at all she brutally informed me that I would not be rehired, that I was effectively fired at the end of the next class.

I was stunned, in pain off the charts, emotional and physical. My assistant Mr. Tommy was stunned. Miss Ginger was broken up and could only ask me “Why?” and I could only answer “I have no idea.”

I was in no shape to fight back at that time. My excellent orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brian Solberg, said I would have to have eight months of physical therapy before I could raise my arm above my head.

I didn’t have eight months to spare with very little money coming in. With the help of the very tough therapists at Ryu Physical Therapy, I was pretty much better by late September.

And then things with Citizens of the World Charter Schools got much much worse.

But I didn’t know that at the time.

What I did know is that I had to make some money, so I applied for a few chess teaching jobs that I saw online. Then something very odd happened: I got no responses. None at all.

Now as mentioned before I am very much overqualified for this type of teaching job, so no response was quite disturbing. I had of course noted that I had just finished teaching for a year at Citizens of the World Charter Schools. Could I be getting a bad reference when I was “the best teacher” Miss Ginger had ever seen. Could Rachel be overlooking the recommendation of my peers? Could she be overlooking her own statement like the one quoted above, “First, I wanted to say how great I think you’ve been! I just wanted to tell you much I appreciate your work with the kiddos and both classes.”

Maybe she could. After all she fired me (or said in her corporate obfuscation style “not rehired”). I didn’t particularly want to get back to a person so lacking in common decency that she would not even give a colleague any support who had just suffered a broken arm, but I had to do something.

I tried to think of anything that had gone wrong during the school year, but there was nothing at all—just a whole bunch of friendly emails and approved invoices—until the very last week of school, when she out of the blue tried to force me to take a pay cut with false numbers in my class.

So I decided to offer a straight hourly salary, that would be approximately equivalent to what I was making, in order to avoid any disputes.

I sent this email on Oct. 2, 2016

Dear Rachel,

 

I still don’t know why you didn’t renew my contract, as you gave no reason. I would be willing to come back at a fixed rate, that is my private teaching rate of $60/hr.

 

Otherwise I will be applying at other schools. I trust you will give me a good reference as I’m sure my chess teaching skills were never in doubt.

 

Tim

 

Rachel’s reply was gut punchingly violent. She accused me of stealing from the school by turning in false invoices. This “offense” did not happen, nor could it have happened, but that was her accusation:

Hi Tim,

 

I thought the reason you were not rehired was clear.

 

The agreement last year was that we would pay for the amount of students enrolled each month, even if the student did not attend for all of the classes in that particular month. We never agreed to pay for students that were not enrolled – so if a student did not attend a single time in a given month it is because they disenrolled, and you charged us for students who had disenrolled for a number of months and for a number of students. There were multiple students that disnerolled from chess in October or November that you charged us for all year.

 

Now I’ve run into liars before. But I’ve never run into a liar who posits something that is actually impossible!

Let’s go through Rachel’s statement lie by lie.

Her words will be in regular type and my responses will be in bold.

 

Hi Tim, At least she got my name right!

 

I thought the reason you were not rehired was clear.

 

This is beyond bizarre. I have just written an email (see above) where I say, “I still don’t know why you didn’t renew my contract, as you gave no reason.” I am obviously speaking the truth because she never told me the reason! Furthermore I have two witnesses, Miss Ginger and Mr. Tommy, who both heard me say how I was just fired for no reason!

 

The agreement last year was that we would pay for the amount of students enrolled each month, even if the student did not attend for all of the classes in that particular month.

 

So far correct.

We never agreed to pay for students that were not enrolled – so if a student did not attend a single time in a given month it is because they disenrolled, and you charged us for students who had disenrolled for a number of months and for a number of students. There were multiple students that disnerolled from chess in October or November that you charged us for all year.

 

Everything after “so if a” is not only a lie, but is impossible. Rachel Faulkner, who wrote this email, checked every invoice and had to approve every invoice, every month, before I could get paid. If my count had ever varied from the official record she could and would have immediately corrected me. She frequently sat in my classes and could count the students. She had access to enrollment records and absence records that I did not. She had every email where as noted above, I made adjustments for every change in enrollment. I even took one student off my payment chart since, while he was still enrolled, he was no longer attending class. I followed the letter and spirit of the agreement exactly for the entire year, and every single one of my invoices was approved by Rachel Faulkner personally until the last complete month, May—and then it turned out her count was wrong!

 

She then goes on to threaten me in this smirking sort of way: “I would not recommend using me as a reference as you apply to other schools though I do wish you the best in finding another school to partner with.

 

Thanks,

Rachel Faulkner”

So it was pretty clear she had already given me bad references, was threatening to give me more, and then that “thanks” at the end is something a psychiatrist could better evaluate than me.

Sticking to the facts, she is saying that in October, while she was sending me emails praising me for my fine work— “Everything is going even better than I hoped/expected and you’ve been excellent.”—

I was, at the same time, adding phantom students which she personally approved!!

This goes somewhere beyond ludicrous—and yet, there is a violent edge to all of it. She is saying, I am going to lie my head off to anyone so that you can never be employed as a chess teacher again.

This goes beyond the inexplicable firing and the whacky “thanks.”

This is an assault on my livelihood.

        At this point it was clear that rational conversation with Rachel Faulkner was no longer possible. For a year I have taught in an exemplary manner. I have instructed the children in chess with all the knowledge of someone who has been an International Master for over 30 years. I have followed my contract exactly, and presented my invoices honestly. I have received nothing but praise from my supervisor, Rachel Faulkner, and now, after she has fired me for no reason, she is attacking my very livelihood with her false assault on my reputation. Note once again that her attacks are not only baseless but actually impossible, since she approved every invoice.

There was nothing more to do but consider a lawsuit—but first I contacted Rachel’s superior, the principal of Citizens of the World, Silver Lake. This was Dr. Ramona Patrick.

I wrote to her on October 5, 2016, asking if she wanted to settle the case, given the grievous harm that her subordinate, Rachel Faulkner, had done. I pointed out, as above, the absolute impossibility of me having put in false invoices. Not only had I not done so, it would have been impossible to get away with this as each monthly invoice was checked by Rachel Faulkner before I could get paid.

Dr. Patrick waited until October 19 to reply with a terse single paragraph that she and Citizens of the World had no intention of settling.

Apparently she has decided to back up the outrageous lies of her rogue subordinate.

I would think such an appalling example of disregarding the truth would give parents pause before they enrolled their students in Citizens of the World Charter School.

I am proceeding with my lawsuit.