Wednesday, February 24, 2010

11th annual Paramount

For some people spring is signaled by the start of Red Sox reporting to spring training, by groundhog day, by the returning swallows to Capistrano...

But for many of us it is the Paramount.

This will be the 11th annual edition of the popular tournament, a ten-round, double round-robin.
Initiated by Bryan Clark, this format [generous time control with two try's against known opponents bunched in competitive groups] remains popular. Last year there were 4 groups of 6 players, a record I think. Wallcharts after the each round will be posted on the news/crosstable page of the Boylston site.

Monday, March 1 – May 3: 11th Annual Paramount

TD Robert Oresick
assistant TD Bernardo Iglesias

These are the people who played last year:

group 1
  • Player # 1: Chase Chris 2366
  • Player # 2: Salomon Brian 2077
  • Player # 3: Clayton Kyle 1852
  • Player # 4: Glickman David 1989
  • Player # 5: Portugues Ruben 1856
  • Player # 6: Konovalchuk Nikita 1809

group 2
  • Player # 1: Felker Paul 1807
  • Player # 2: Driscoll Walter 1829
  • Player # 3: Eldridge Larry 1798
  • Player # 4: Lee Jonathan 1638
  • Player # 5: Ho Kenneth 1742
  • Player # 6: Dondis Harold 1678

group 3
  • Player # 1 Holmgren Robert 1665
  • Player # 2 Frazier Frank 1634
  • Player # 3 Clark Henry 1621
  • Player # 4 Cortizas Anthony 1593
  • Player # 5 Lieberman Seth 1583
  • Player # 6 Sadykov Khikmet 1575

group 4
  • Player # 1 Fletcher Adam 1569
  • Player # 2 Oresick Robert 1499
  • Player # 3 Scali Anthony 1388
  • Player # 4 Gorczyca Thaddeus 1363
  • Player # 5 Bromberg Daniel 1241
  • Player # 6 Rose Darell 1237

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BCF finance and event rule changes and news

For most BCF tournaments the entry fee is typically $17 for members/$27 for non members. Currently money raised by entry fees for a given tournament is divided into four sections for disbursement:

1. Tournament Expenses: (usually rating and TLA fees and TD compensation )

The USCF needs some money to process the rating of a tournament and sometimes the club pays for advertising in Chess Life. The BCF offers $30 - 40 fee (usually $10 / round) for the TD to direct (although a majority of TD's in a majority of events donate this back to the BCF.) Occasionally we have we have other immediate expenses, like running out of pens or pencils.

2. To the BCF overhead:

Depending on the size of the tournament 20% to 30% goes to the BCF to cover it's operating expenses: rent, heat, cable/phone, electricity, bottled water. Please note that this amount when combined with annual memberships has not covered the total general overhead BCF expenses for the past several years. If it weren't 't for the generosity of the membership to donate funds to the BCF, we would be running in the red. Fortunately, the members have been quite generous, and thankfully, with the donations we presently break about even with cash flow to expenses.

3. Other Moneys:

for BCF memberships and USCF membership paid that day and many people donate to the BCF to the TD.

4. Prize Money

what is left (excluding section 3) - this means usually 70-75% of the entry fees is returned to the prize fund. This is divided among the prizes of winning players.

5) GM and IM entry fee and prize policy.

I don't know if BCF members realize that GMs and IMs receive free entry to all BCC events. Currently the entry fee is taken out of any prize money that the GM or IM might win. The idea being; that GM's & IM attendance raises the quality of the tournament and make it more attractive to everyone. This incentive is a common thing for clubs in the US. In addition the BCF Club Champion, currently Chris Chase, also plays for free. The original thinking was that the subtraction of the entry fee from the GM/IM prize money helps defray overhead expenses so it’s only the prize money pool that is affected.

The board is in the middle of a debate about eliminating the entry fee garnish and giving the whole cash prize to IM & GM's. For many reasons this discussion has become a hot potato. For example with two directors who are IM's it appears they will recuse themselves due to potential conflict of interest reasons. None the less the debate is hot and the final decision has not been made.

In addendum:

6) Cell phone penalty

Bernardo Iglesias proposed to adopt the USCF rule regarding cell phones thus reconciling BCF rules with the USCF:

  • A) First offense results in a penalty of 10 minutes or half the remaining time from a player's clock (whichever is less);
  • B) Second (and subsequent) offense for the same player during the same event is loss of the game. The board unanimously approved the motion. Posters to alert players to the rule change will be made.

Personally I think there should be sanctions to bystanders that have phones that ring.



Tournament Schedule changes:

The May 1st quads will be moved to May 8, to accommodate a MACA event; the May 8 event will be moved to May 22; Bernardo will schedule an alternate tournament for the 1st.

Lecture series to come:

Dave Vigorito will give our next lecture on March 10th, and we will set a goal of doing a lecture a month for six months. Marc Esserman volunteered to do a lecture at some point, as did Charles Riordan. The fees will be $20 for non-members and $10 for members.


Does anyone have any suggestion for the subject material of these future lectures?

What are you feeling about the GM/IM prize formula?

Please Comment.

Thank You

Mike Griffin


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cambridge Springers rule the AMATE

Results are in at the US Amateur Team East Print E-mail
February 16, 2010
Results are in at the 2010 US Amateur Team East. The Cambridge Springers, led by Bill Kelleher on board one, and Joseph Fang (who scored 6-0 on board two) topped on tiebreak. Full story with games, photos and a selection of US Chess Scoop videos coming soon. Also see the New Jersey Chess Federation homepage for more upcoming details.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chess and Reality TV

It's Saturday and today there is a Quad to be played. Quad's are the toughest to direct because it's at the last moment that the director breaks everyone into their little round robin and if one mistake is made or if say GM Alexander Ivanov walks in at the last minute a great deal of work has to be e-torn up and repaired. Even given the best of conditions it usually means that on average a Quad will start 20 minutes later than your average Swiss.

This interval this gives extra time to sit and discuss the world with a pretty intelligent group of people. And so it was that day, as Bob Oresick, Josh Haunstrup, Paul Miskin, and myself got into a far reaching discussion that danced around socially challenged people with sociopath behavior tendencies because they were devoid of comprehending many of the social boundaries and cues that the average person takes for granted. This discussion drew on the backgrounds of a psychologist, defense lawyer, author/social worker, and former Math teacher. Everyone brought into the discussion a perspective that contributed greatly to the field of ideas. And even a question came out: do hormone levels in the brain the likes of serotonin effect the "physical wiring" of the brain so abnormal chemistry at birth or deficiencies, at some time during life, can cause permanent/chronic mental illness? Well I'm not going to recount the whole discussion but will only say that if chess had a reality show and the cameras were rolling the thought provoking ideas would be much more entertaining than guys building motorcycles, or a pawn or tattoo shop, or a mafia mother.

A couple of years ago a fire on the Red Line caused a one hour delay and an informal committee consisting of liberals, conservatives, republicans and democrats sat in a circle and the question was asked is there an approach to the war on Iraq that we can all agree on. And in that hour's time we came to a much closer consensus than the guys in Washington ever did. Phil Nutzman once led a discussion about discovering planets in other solar systems and the probability of intelligent life - and as we know he later discovered a planet. All pretty cool stuff and much more interesting than Ozzie Osborn looking for his sunglasses. So I think if produced properly, the social life of chess could attract viewers. Especially if we could attract members the likes of Keith Richards. Maybe someday Phil could interview someone from another planet wanting to play the most important game of the human/silicone ruled Earth. Are we ready for chess reality TV?

Please Comment. Thank You

Mike Griffin 02/16/2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

Amateur Team East

Please Comment if you are trying to hook up for playing, traveling, or rooming.

Thank You

Mike Griffin


Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Future of Chess

High Park Toboggan Runs, 1914. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 441A."
As a kid I remember a similar photo of Franklin Park Golf Course with a man-made wooden ramp.

I think it's time to discuss the future of chess, given all this conversation about chess players migrating to poker and children being attracted to internet games.

Forty plus years ago those who wanted to play a serious thought game for recreation had to physically relocate themselves to a chess or bridge club. Before the 60's television was in its infancy and again people had to go to theaters and symphonies for entertainment greater than radio. Entertainment business found ways to attract people and their money. Bowling, dog and horse tracks, boxing, other spring events also attracted people. In the 1800'ds to early 1900'ds during winter golf courses would build giant toboggan slides and fields were flooded to enable outdoor skating.

It was expected to visit someplace to be entertained. Or have a piano and other instruments at home to play for one another.

At the BCF the board is in a conversation as to how to improve attendance to chess lectures. Five years ago lectures attracted at least 30 people, today you are lucky to get 12. Which is sad because of the excellent quality of these lectures. Attendance to all the arts has been off the last couple of years. So for what ever the reason, people are using the internet and television to entertain themselves at home.

For all of the above reasons I foresee that OTB (Over the Board Chess) chess will slowly decline over the next few decades. It will never go away, but demographically you can see players dropping out or dying off. Although there is a huge population of children playing chess; around their sophomore or junior year of high school as the rigors of college approach ,and they discover the opposite sex, time for chess just goes away.

At any given time there are ten's of thousands of chess games being played over the internet. Internet chess is in its pre-adolescent stage as the players, service providers, and professionals work to develop successful models that will supplant the decline in OTB. I see the savvy chess professionals positioning themselves in places to leverage internet opportunities.

We have to realize that chess is above all a recreation and competes for time and resources with an ever expanding market of recreation: a recreation that can occur from ones home. My kids are all good chess players their preference has been internet games. And if they want to get physical they use the wii. Yet I think OTB, where you have to interact with other people directly provides benefits to all ages and types of chess players. The social benefits of community is great; yet I realize that these internet virtual worlds are becoming more social as well.

Organizations like the USCF, MACA, and the BCF must strive to redefine themselves involving the internet. BCF President David Vigorito is looking for ways to leverage the internet and blog evidenced from his first meeting with the Board of Directors as BCF President. I agree with David that we have to find ways to involve chess and the internet. I wish I had some good ideas in how to involve the local Boston chess community. I would like to see a way in which clubs could have an avenue of involvement with internet chess. Perhaps with the involvement of some site like ICC chess, we could have an Internet Met League where clubs could play each other in the way national teams face each other in the National Chess League via the internet? And we need a way to attract very young kids and e-teach them the game.

Where do you think chess is headed?

Please Comment.

Thank You.

Mike Griffin 02/04/2010

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Esserman-Simpson earns Game of the Year 3rd place

In the US Chessleague award season, Boston Blitz and Boylston Chess Club regular/board member IM Marc Esserman was recently awarded 3rd place Game of the Year for his miniature masterpiece against Ron Simpson. Ignored in the regular season voting, the strong 3rd place finish in the year-end vote is sweet vindication for Marc, and affirmation of Blitz fan sentiment after watching this gem.

The dismantling of Simpson's position out of the opening is frightening-- a casual examination by this 2000 rated commentator can't even pinpoint Black's fatal error.

Click here for the game and here for the article about the 3rd place finish.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Chess Players are Migrating to the Online Poker World

Gary Kasparov recently stated that he believes that since computers have become more adept at beating human chess players many have since turned to poker as it still remains unbeaten by computers.

Online PR News – 31-January-2010 – While it may seem strange for elite players of the highly cerebral game of chess to take up a seemingly low brow game like poker, the two games aren’t as dissimilar as one might think. While, at first glance poker is a seemingly simple game to learn and understand, the truth is that to become a successful player one must first learn more advanced theories and strategies to excel. Despite the simple nature of the basic game play many mathematical concepts can be applied to the game. Those who doubt that math has a place in successful poker need look no further than the highly mathematical playing styles of WSOP winners Dan Harrington (also a former chess player and a former Boylston Chess Club member - comment added by rjo) and Chris Ferguson.

In the most recent New York Review of Books the legendary chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov reviews Chess Metaphors: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind by Diego Rasskin-Gutman and discusses the impact of computers on chess and other games.

He attributes part of the lure of poker to the fact that unlike chess it has yet to be beaten by computers and perhaps never will be. “While chess is a 100 percent information game—both players are aware of all the data all the time—and therefore directly susceptible to computing power, poker has hidden cards and variable stakes, creating critical roles for chance, bluffing, and risk management. These might seem to be aspects of poker based entirely on human psychology and therefore invulnerable to computer incursion,” Kasparov theorized.

However, other chess players have turned their attention to poker since it not offers a mental challenge but also a shot at far greater financial returns. Recently the Poker Stars blog interviewed one of their online players known as simona75. He’s a 34 year old London based chess International Master who after joining PokerStars a year ago has gained their prestigious Supernova Elite status. Players who reach this level are offered a chance to be given free entry into any of the following two events: PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, WSOP Main Event, EPT Monte Carlo, APPT Sydney or free entry into one of the above events and $10,000 cash. When asked how he came to play poker simona75 said that since he didn’t have any jobs lined up he decided to start playing poker on the side. Once he realized his skills could gain him Supernova Elite status he decided to actively pursue it.

Many other chess players have gone on to success in the poker world including International Master Ivo Donev, International Master Almira Skripchenko and Grandmaster Josef Klinger. To read more visit 21 Online Casinos for independent and honest online casino reviews, gambling news and updates