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New US Ch Qualifiers

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No official announcement yet, but it looks like all our positive vibes helped get Alex Yermolinsky into the 2006 US championship. His solid play at the American Open may have had something to do with it too. Kreiman, Goldin, and Tate are the other new qualifiers, the last two from the National Chess Congress. Kudos and cheers, gentlemen. See you and San Diego. It seems that Ippolito and Bercys are now tied for the Qualifier Grand Prix spot with only one qualifying event left, the North American Open, Dec 26-29 in Vegas.


Glad to see Emory Tate qualify. No one should take me lightly when I say that he could possibly win this thing. It depends on which Tate shows up. Having analyzed with him, his middlegame ideas are absolutely amazing and as everyone knows, when he is on the attack, he is deadly. However, he relies heavily on his creative raw talent, and will need to make some serious opening preparations to avoid getting caught early (as in the humourous Yermolinsky game). He is first-time qualifier and should bring some excitement.

A 47 year old guy around 2400 USCF, nowhere near the top-100 in the US, who doesn't know much theory?

Sure, he POSSIBLY could win it. And go on to become WC. But on the other hand, we could take your opinion lightly.

Emory is a great player, but just as I have no chance to win the event, neither does he. The chance of either me or him (or anyone else around our rating) winning it is well more than 1000 to 1.

In any case your last sentence is correct, as he has a huge fan following, plays exciting and fun chess, and is very capable of a few upsets.

Yeah, Tate might have the natural talent for it, but there is a lot more to chess than that. Like Greg Shahade, I am higher rated than Tate, and I will be happy with any plus score in this tournament. I know I can't win it unless I get incredibly lucky in the last few rounds.

abc... the #100 player is the USCF 2455. Tate is about 2419. In fact, if we took out players under other federations (i.e, Moissenko, etc.), he'd be there, but that's an aside point. He has scored against quite a number of the GMs, but of your ambivalence is understood.

I must say that it is a sad admission to state one's poor chances while preparing for a tournament. I can't imagine doing that in a sporting profession. I was once a decent athlete and that mindset was against all principles for competition. Why give an automatic advantage to all of your opponents?

There is a poem that begins,

"If you think you are beaten you are; if you think you dare not, you don't.

If you'd like to win, but think that you can't; it's almost a cinch you won't."

Greg, I can't speak for you, Stas... or even Emory. I don't have any illusions about the abilities of others, but I would hope Emory believes he can win. Only then can it be a possibility... no matter how remote.

All the best!


I don't know about Greg or Emory, but I don't have the time to duly prepare for this or, for that matter, any other tournament. I am not rich, I have to work to make money every day, and I haven't seriously and comprehensively studied chess since probably the days when I was in high school. I played in the three last U.S. Championships, and my best achievement so far was the even score last year. It would be strange for me to expect to suddenly win it all without putting some serious effort into it.

I am a very consistent player though, so I don't quite understand how Emory can play so well in some games and so poorly in others. I imagine if he could play all of his games at his best level, it would definitely improve his overall chances.


Well... I understand where you are, certainly! You finished your Ph.D. and are now a professor at Tulane, right? I can relate to your lack of time for chess. Being a professor is really hard work and I'm always grateful for my summers! (smile)

With all due respect, Emory may have a different motivation than most players in the field. This is a new plateau for him and I'd imagine he'll be gunning for everybody. If he can get Greg's "few upsets" in a nine-round tournament, it would become very interesting. We'll see.

All the best!

I wonder if Tate knows of his legendary status on ICC.

I was probably two wins away from winning the championship the first time I played, or at least finishing with some tie for first. Once you get to that point, you usually do have some chances, although it's still difficult. (probably my chances to win both games were about 5% at most, which is actually quite good)

In any case the competition is so strong that I will be very happy with any plus score and probably well satisfied with an even score, although it really all depends on what kind of opposition I face. If I happen to do better than that, then it's a big bonus.

Win lose or draw Tate's games will be one of if not the most entertaining and fighting. If I had to bet on a non favorite, it would be tate. He is the type who forgets to read the script of where he loses and knocks out the hero.

Win lose or draw Tate's games will be one of if not the most entertaining and fighting. If I had to bet on a non favorite, it would be tate. He is the type who forgets to read the script of where he loses and knocks out the hero.

Honestly there is alot of Tate hype and sure he often enough knocks out a GM, but alot of his games are real blowouts. To me it is akin to a boxer with a powerful punch that is just constantly swinging hard without knowing how to dodge, block or moving around well at all. Sure this guy will win some big fights by just mixing it up, but more often then not good fighters will put him flat on his face. I am not sure why this type of fighter excites chess players. Maybe, the fearlessness or the constant action, but to me this is not the smartest or most interesting chess. To me, there are many more interesting players even in the US. Guys who like to mix it up, but not blindly. Guys like Nakamura,Kamsky, Ibragimov, Ivanov, and Fishbein are higher on my list.


You have a very narrow view of Tate's aptitude for chess, but players in the U.S. Championship will know not to take such a view. One thing that is striking about Tate is his passion for chess. People like Tate's chess not merely because of his slashing wins over strong players, but are attracted by his expression of ideas. I don't believe anyone will disagree that Tate's games draw attention for a number of different reasons.

Of course, everyone has preferences and you seem to like the GMs with hard-edged fighting styles. That's fine. You may prefer to watch an Ivanov-Kamsky game, but there are those who'd like to watch Tate-Nakamura... both matches would involve the expression and exchange of chess ideas and nothing could be more beautiful.

Have you ever analyzed with Tate or seen him analyze? His description of his ideas are quite interesting. Apart from his slashing sacrifices, he also never fails to describe weak-square complexes, waiting moves, zugzwang maneuvers, lateral moves, and endgame themes.

Of course, his ideas can be debated and that's the beauty of it. You imply that Tate is merely a chess street-fighter flailing away at the air, but I'd have to disagree with you. Look at the game against Yudasin which is widely viewed as a classic attack. How many of the moves can you predict?


Was that mixing it up blindly or did Tate have an understanding of what was occuring in the game?

Lastly, Tate's games show wit, originality, and passion. These attributes provide him the chances to score the knockouts you're speaking of. If it were that easy, many of us would have beaten as many GMs as he has. It should go without saying that his ideas sometimes fail miserably, but he continues to make contributions without fear of trying them. He is widely admired for this.

I would never argue that his understanding of the iniative and attack are not on the level of a really good GM. I would say he is not so strong in everything else (weak-square complexes, waiting moves, zugzwang maneuvers, lateral moves, and endgame themes) you mention though. To me, a player needs to be more well-rounded to be truly admirable.


There is no criteria as to why a person should be admired... "more well-rounded" is not a prerequisite for admiration. We "truly" admire chess players for different reasons... and sometimes it is specific attributes we admire. For Tate, it may his predatory attacking skill; for Nakamura, it may be his gladiator fighting spirit.

You cannot win games the way Tate does without an understanding of the motifs above. How can you be an ingenious tactician and not understand weak square complexes and lateral moves? The game against Yudasin demonstrates this.

While your Kamskys and Ivanovs are worried about positional niceties, Tate is mating their weak tactical asses.


It is worth noting that you can admire a particular quality of someone without admiring the whole package. I admire Tate's attacking skills and as even admire him as a chessplayer. But there are plenty of people I admire much more as chessplayers than Tate. Casella is the US Champion of blogging, so I can't argue with him.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 28, 2005 5:56 PM.

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