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2006 US Ch Wildcards

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The official announcement is now up at the official site. The two AF4C wildcard spots have been announced. The first one was easy. 16-year-old IM Alex Lenderman of New York won the U16 gold medal in Belfort last year, the first US junior title since Tal Shaked in 1997. Congrats to Alex, who I met last year at Kasparov's master class to US juniors in NY City. (Pic of Alex on that page.)

The next one is more of a surprise. New Jersey GM Max Dlugy has been in the news lately, if not for chess. The old-timer is a businessman these days. The AF4C wildcards are used to promote chess and the event, so a little whimsy is to be expected and encouraged. Last year they went to Bercys and Kamsky, so this sort of repeats that formula of junior + comeback. Dlugy's comeback story might catch a few sparks in the press. He hasn't played a serious tournament game in a while, but the legendary blitz player still keeps a hand in online and crushed the field in a blitz tournament in Russia in 2004, if I remember the dates right.

Among the many possible jokes about this invite is that they wanted to invite Bobby Fischer but the message got sent to the wrong prison.


What is happening with Greg Shahade? He not only withdrew from the US Champ but also resigned his post with the USCF! I reason events in his life must be going exceptionly well or catastrophically awful.

What happen to Greg Shahade? He also resigned from the post at the USCF?


I had a long talk or two about the USCF website with Greg months ago. He was asking me to send ideas and I was asking him for an official wish list and vision for the site and its concept but neither of those things happened.

What I wanted to avoid, and what I hope doesn't happen, is that they just start dropping content in all over the place with no rhyme or reason. Content is easy. Organization and navigation are hard. Coherent mission is hard.

Of course its sad when someone with lots of energy and new ideas, such as Greg Shahade, resigns from the USCF board. However, I believe there to be no controversy here.

Greg's sister, Jennifer, is on the verge of accepting a paid post with the USCF and the rules are explicitly clear that board members cannot have relations working for the organization they govern over. So, Greg simply resigned to avoid this conflict of interest.

With regard to his US Championship spot, I believe Greg simply didn't have the time to committ to it as he thought he would when he actively sought a qualifying spot. That does happen with a few players. In giving up his spot though, Greg was extremely happy that he was making way for one of the country's top juniors in Sal Bercys as his replacement!

Almost anything is better than having the Czech chess calendar comprise the bulk of USCF "news".

USCF has really missed the boat on chess news by not putting any effort into this the past few years -- will it may be too late for them, who knows?

That's good to hear, read. Him and his sister are good for the image of the game. Only better if he won a million playing poker and is taking the year off. Question: What rank poker player do you think earns as much a year as Topalov. The number rank active chess player?

It's a sad state of affairs in USCF politics when the people who are reasonable and have potential conflicts of interest can't participate, but the evil people who have conflicts all over the place just keep going.

About Dlugy, I would assume any visit to the former USSR must result in a higher level of chess understanding and play, by default.

In the old days, some use to argue that a GM who became in USSR is a true GM.

Well bad joke, Bobby is free

"Question: What rank poker player do you think earns as much a year as Topalov. The number rank active chess player?"

I don't know how much Topalov earns in endorsements and such (or from his appearence fee from chess for that matter). But if you are willing to estimate 'ancillary earnings' and are asking how many poker players will earn at least, say, 1 million USD (not a bad guess at Topalov's number) in poker, you can be assured that the number is well over 30 based on the payouts for first place in all the WPT events and many of the WSOP events / circuit events, and European events (Aussie Millions, EU championship, etc). The Championship WSOP event will make millionaires out of at least the top 10 finishers alone, perhaps more depending on number of entrants.

The problem is that there is no consistent 'elo list' in poker where there is a static ranking of players. Any "Player of the Year" list is a laughably small sample size to conclude anything. There is too much variance and luck in poker to say who is better than who so establishing a ranking system similar to chess is doomed to fail. So your question about who in poker will CONSISTENTLY make more than Topalov or any FIDE Champ every year is very hard to answer.

The difference is that poker has a vast 'middle class' (mainly us cash game players) that make a good, stable living at the game, where chess does not. So comparing who will make more than Topalov every year is tough to do, but comparing the number of players making, say, 50K or more in their sport is easily in favor of poker.

Mig, Props to the USCF for using some basic marketing techniques and inviting Max as one of the "wildcard" spots. As a member for many years on and off, I've often wondered why they just dont "get it".

The USCF has nothing to do with the wildcard selections. These are entirely in the gift of tournament sponsors and organizers, America's Foundation for Chess (www.af4c.org).

Thanks John, oh well, guess I'm too hasty with my positive comments for the USCF:-)

So, if I need to qualify for the US Championship, I need to get myself imprisoned for nine months ?

First become a GM, then get yourself imprisoned.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 30, 2006 11:47 AM.

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