Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Sunday Snow Blogging

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Wheeeee! Taken from the top of my front porch here in Brooklyn. I'm not going down the snowy steps in my slippers just to get a better photo.

Open thread, questions, topic suggestions, complaints to the management, shout-outs to peeps, best wishes to players, happy thoughts...


Makes me wish I was back east right now. I can't handle all the sunshine, green lawns and crocuses blooming. Seriously, I can't. I miss winter!

What happened to the US Championship web site? Is it down?


Let him send you the snow, anywhere but here. Because I've had enough of two weeks or 20/40 degree weather. :)


Topic Suggestion - Why do large corporations sponser tournaments in other countries around the world but not the US? It makes just as much sense to hold them here as elsewhere. I noticed some big-name global companies in San Luis and some tournaments in Germany.

"San Diego County Board of Supervisors,
District 3, Pam Slater-Price"--what, not global enough for you?

Most local offices of global companies have their own ad budgets. So HP in Argentina might sponsor something but that doesn't mean HP in the US, Germany, or Chile will.

There's just no real tradition of chess as a sport in the US. Sponsoring a chess event in the Netherlands probably doesn't seem much different from sponsoring other sports. But in the US you get "chess?!" It's also a matter of eyeballs, although the internet is changing that slowly. A NOYB International in the Netherlands will be in all the papers. Not so in the US.

Any news from Kramnik-Topalov-FIDE??

Mig and I have somewhat different experiences on the topic of sponsorship, so we may look at it from different viewpoints.

In my experience in working with large companies, lots of them sponsor lots of things that don't get in the newspapers. It's less about eyeballs than it is about the marketing advantages of associating with the image of an event. (This explains why LPGA players get lots of corporate sponsorship, while Fear Factor champions, who have television ratings 3 or 4 times higher than any LPGA event, don't get corporate sponsorship.)

I wrote two articles on this topic for Chessbase:



The simplest fact is that our organizations don't go after sponsorship in the organized way that many other niche activities do. Witness the fact that, 3 weeks before the event, there are still no player bios on the US Championship site. (It's a great site, but you'd never see that in niche events seeking corporate sponsorship.)

GM Susan Polgar has done a wonderful job of getting major corporations to provide sponsorship for her chess events in the US. The main reason she's successful at this is because she works so hard at it. She meets the sponsors way more than half way. Most recently she was able to raise over $150,000 for an event for 48 junior players.


The event sponsors included Cingular and DellComputers.

So it can certainly be done in the US. But it requires an approach similar to that done by other niche activities. So far American chess organizations have been unwilling to do that.


On of the presenting sponsors of the US Championship is a leading German high tech company called ZMD - they contributed $25,000 to the championship. ZMD are noted sponsors of chess in Germany, and have a working relationship with Garry Kasparov.


Apparently, I submitted a disfunctional link.
Dennis Monokroussos newsletter
chessmind Digest, Vol 11, Issue 1
makes a comment on something that was floating
somewhere on cyberspace about Kramnik
accepting to play.

Whoa! So much snow....who needs that when you can have 30deg celcius Sydney weather?

And I thought Dlugy was being railroaded: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11317424/

Russian injustice.

I have tried to open next post but it vanished?

Any other Ninjas going to the US Amateur Team East in NJ this coming weekend?


Brooklyn? Are you sure you don't mean Brookline? I thought you were in Boston, Mig.

Where in Brooklyn? Perhaps we can meet one another. I live in the Marine Park area.

Does anyone know when the 4th Edition of Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings E is scheduled for publication?

What's the lastest on Kreiman's situation?

Mig, I can sympathize with you for sure! I lived in the Boston area during the blizzard of '78, and the city basically came to a halt! Since that experience, I for one have NEVER complained about heat and humidity whenever I'm blessed to have it come my way:-) Bruce

Lucky Americans!
I wish we had some snow here in Canada.


Micah Hughey

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! I wish all of you lots of love and happiness!

Best wishes,
Susan Polgar

Prodigy watch:

So far, the new French GM,
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is having a superb tournament at the Aeroflot Open (In the Top Section: Tournament A1). He stands at +3 after round # 7, which is good enough for =2 Place, behind Eljanov. He just drew the Top seeded player in the event, Mamedyarov. Vachier-Lagrave is just 15 years old, and his listed rating of 2542 made him the 84th seed out of the 93 players competing in his section. Given the fact that his TPR is about 2800, he stands to gain a ton of rating points from this event.

He'll be aiming to crack the 2600 barrier, and break into the Top 100 ranking. With results like this, it might not take too long. Maybe Carlsen and Karjakin better start looking over their shoulders...

I wonder what the precedent is for such a relatively low seed performing so well in a Chess Tournament. I expect that there are some examples of Round Robin events, where the lowest rated player ended up winning. But with respect to a player who lies in the lowest decile of rated players in an open Swiss System event, I can't think of any example of such a underdog managing to finish in =2nd Place.

I know of a far more dramatic example, albeit, one that didn't involve any super-GMs. The tournament (1974 World Open), while less strong than this decade's Aeroflot Opens or for that matter, the modern-day World Opens, was still quite strong: probably the 2nd or 3rd strongest annual non-invitational event held in North America at that time (after Lone Pine and maybe the New York Open -- which, however, I don't believe had been born yet).

The 1974 World Open was won by GM Pal Benko -- and by Alan Trefler, a college student whose USCF rating was 2075. In fact, my recollection is that Trefler came within a hair of taking CLEAR first. Benko pulled even with him only by overcoming Gruchacz in 100+ moves, in the infamous pawnless R+B vs R ending.

Trefler had a great tournament but he did luck out in that he didn't have to play any top seeds; in fact I'm not sure he even faced any titled players at all. He did beat a slew of (USCF) masters, but if my memory serves, his strongest opponent was Michael Rohde, who he downed in the final round. Before you say, "Hey! Rohde isn't chopped liver!", I must throw in that (as critics of Steinitz famously said of Zuckertort) "Rohde was not yet Rohde." Mike was 15 or 16 at the time, was rated in the mid-2300's USCF, and I'm pretty sure he didn't have a title yet. Rohde himself arrived on Board 2 for that final round by upsetting GM Walter Browne the round before.

I don't recall which GMs were in that tournament besides Benko and Browne, but there must have been at least a few. (For instance, both Hort and Timman played in the US Open later that year.)

I may have got the year wrong in the above comment: it may have been 1975, not 1974. I stand by all the other details.

Since this is an open thread, any military chess players out there?

Here's an open thread question for those of you familiar with cases of final round chicanery; have you heard of any instances in which a player agreed ahead of time to take a dive (or draw) and changed his or her mind during the game? Any instances in which a player was supposedly stiffed on $$$ afterwards by a pre-arranged winner? I'm eager to know...

Anyone heard of the status of Kreiman in the US championship?


Some years ago I played a game against a lower rated guy where we both had been convinced before the game by a third person that I should lose and we should split my opponent's class prize (about $300, if I recall correctly). Neither one of us really wanted to do it. I played badly in the opening (on purpose), but then decided that I didn't want to do it and went on to beat the guy instead. After the game I told him that I would give him his share of the prize he would have won. As far as I can remember, he declined.

Don't know if this is a good example for your question.

Kreiman is in. Posting about it in a bit, but I don't have the official USCF statement yet. But will have the full pairings up in the morning at the Ch site.

That is horrible. Te USCF is too afraid to call Kreiman on something for which there is 95% evidence. As usual, the nice guy, David Pruess, gets taken for a ride in all of this. Next phase : Boris Kreiman bribes his way to the title. I don't know how he can even show his face at the tournament and I sincerely hope gets thoroughly humiliated.

Or fights his way to the championship (with his fists, not his pieces).

If you Google his name, you will find another blog where someone states he has a reputation for 1) taking anabolic steroids, and 2) "physically intimidating" his opponents, such as kicking them under the table during games.

I was in a small tournament with him once and we almost came to blows. He didn't kick me under the table or physically threaten me, but he did a number of things that were too much to let pass. He was wearing a heavy sweater or sweatshirt, so I could not see his upper body. I seriously considered "calling him out" after the tournament ended, but decided against it, and we went our separate ways.

Only afterward did I learn (face-to-face, from a player that I trust, not from some anonymous blog posting) that he was a bodybuilder. G-d must have been watching over me that night.

In a way, someone was trying to get you into trouble, because Boris Kreiman almost always wears muscle shirts so that all can see, but in the last moment they decided against it.

Stan, thanks for the answer...and good luck by the way.

Regarding the 1975 World Open--Trefler did beat at least one IM, Julio Kaplan. The tournament also had at least one other GM--Nick Rossolimo, who placed third. As I recall Trefler was ranked 115th at the start--I haven't heard of any other tournament where a player ranked so low tied for first.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 12, 2006 3:23 PM.

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