Archive for the ‘Jeremy Barth’ Category

The Fabulous 80s: Columbia U fails to repeat in the 1985 Pan-Am

January 8, 2008

Here’s a funny picture from the Columbia University’s “Daily” newspaper reporting on the Columbia squad’s failure in the 1985 event, held in New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers U. home town). Click to enlarge.

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Man or Building?

The first thing to note: the player on the left, Earl Hall, had the same name as a Columbia University building! I kid you not. “Earl Hall” on campus had a lot of chaplain events. Earl the person was a monster third board and a very strong player (Senior Master strength) who helped us win the 1984 event in Kitchener, Ontario (side note: I recently found the winners page – showing all historical Pan-Am winners). There have been very few Pan-Am’s outside the USA and Columbia took gold in 1984!

To the right of Earl the person, is yours truly. Next we have second board SM Jeremy Barth, then NM Simon Yelsky (I think he went to Joel Benjamin’s high school and we nicknamed him “Old Yeller” for no reason) and finally Leonid Rozhetskin.

Author’s postscript and reflections on the Greater Blogoverse as of January 13, 2008: due to commotions, cross-links and mutters in the Blogoverse, I backtracked on some breadcrumbs and came to realize that Leonid Rozhetskin grew up to be an international legal and investment celebrity and is now head of a major film production company. He, along with Eric Eisner, son of ex-Disney chair Michael Eisner, co-founded L+E Productions and their “Hamlet 2” production, starring Elizabeth Shue and Catherine Keener, made it into Sundance. It’s funny how when I mention a name, disturbances in the blogoverse quickly (within 24-48 hours) alert me to the fame or infamy of the mentioned individual. Often times, it’s the individual or minions thereof mentioning my site in their context – certainly, ego-surfing is a popular pastime that spans all ages and socio-economic boundaries. But if a minion ego-surfs on behalf of his or her master (mistress?), what is that called, minion-surfing? At any rate, a hearty round of applause for Leonid who has seen a heady ascent from “Columbia’s last board” to Very Important Societal Personage.

We were the highest rated in the 1985 version, but as the article points out, “one of our players was so convinced he had a winning game he hallucinated a piece away.” Well, that player was me and my bungle was versus University of Florida’s Miles Ardaman. But any press is good press, right? Right.

And on an unrelated 1980s matter, here are some 1980s photographs.

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From left: Jan Adamski, Gabor Pirisi, and the author.

This was the August 1985 Eeklo, Belgium prizegiving. From left: IM Jan Adamski (POL), IM Gabor Pirisi (HUN), and me. Pirisi has an odd-looking trophy! I was lucky enough to defeat Pirisi in short-order in the IM round-robin as black when he played too riskily versus a Sicilian Scheveningen. Note the 1980’s hair style and glasses. I don’t know who took this photograph.

IM G. Pirisi – IM M. Ginsburg ECI 1987 Eeklo, Belgium

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 a6 7. g4!? A Hungarian specialty that Judith Polgar has used many times, for example to defeat Kazimzhdanov in Morales, Mexico WC Candidates 2006.

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Position after 7. g4. A Hungarian Specialty.

7…h6 8. Qf3 Nc6 Risky is 8… Nbd7 9. Qh3 Nc5 (better may be 9…e5!? 10. Nb3; not 10. Nf5? g6 11. Ng3 Nb6 12. Be2 h5 13. Qh4 Be7! and black won in Ermenkov-Polugaevsky, Buenos Aires 1978) 10. f3 e5 11. Nb3 Be6 12. Nxc5 dxc5 13. Qg3 Be7 14. h4 Qa5 15. Qxe5 O-O-O 16. Bc4 Bd6 17. Bxe6+ Kb8 18. Qf5 fxe6 19. Qxe6 Rhe8 20. Qf7 Nd5 21. O-O-O Nxe3 22. Rxd6 Rf8 23. Qxg7 Rxf3 24. Qe5 Rxd6 25. Qxd6+ Ka7 26. Qd3 Rg3 27. Ne2 Nf5 28. Nxg3 and white won, 1-0 Sax,G (2550)-Tukmakov,V (2570)/Las Palmas 1978. If Vladimir loses, take notice, the variation is dangerous.

9. Rg1 Bd7!? Playable but risky is 9…g5!? 10. O-O-O Bd7 11. h4 Rg8 12. Qe2 Ne5 13. Bh3 (white was ultimately successful with 13. hxg5!? hxg5 14. Nf3 in Dominguez-Bruzon, Las Tunas 2001, 1-0, 57) 13…b5 14. f4 gxf4 15. Bxf4 b4 16. Nb1 Ng6 17. Bg3 Qa5 18. Qf3 Be7 19. e5 Nd5 20. Rgf1 Rf8 21. exd6 Bxh4 22. Bxh4 Nxh4 and drawn in 42, Ermenkov,E-Suba,M/Baile Herculane 1978. The text is definitely a slower and more sedate approach, that is unexpectedly rewarded quickly in this game.

10. h4 h5 11. g5?! Not very good. Better is 11. gxh5 Rxh5 (11… Nxh5 12. O-O-O Rc8 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. Bd4 b5 15. Bd3 b4 16. Ne2 Bb7 17. Kb1 with a white plus) 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Bg5 Rh8 14. O-O-O Be7 15. Qe3 Qc7 16. Bh3 b5 17. f3 Bb7 18. Kb1 Rc8 19. Rg2 b4 20. Nd5 exd5 21. Bxc8 Bxc8 22. exd5 Bf5 23. Re2 and white went on to win, 1-0 Blees,A (2415)-Rytshagov,M (2495)/Antwerp 1996.

11… Ng4! 12. Bh3? Another bad move. Black now executes a dance of the knights with much gain of time.

12… Nce5 13. Qe2 Nxe3 14. Qxe3?  White had to play the ugly 14. fxe3.

14…Qb6! Now white is totally lost! Black has too many threats, including the primitive fork-trick he executes in the game.

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Position after 14…Qb6. White has no defense.

15. g6 The best white had was the sad 15. Nce2 Qxb2 16. Qc1 Qxc1+ and wins, or the slightly trickier 15. Rd1 Nc4 16. Qf3 Nxb2 17. Rd2 Nc4 18. g6!? O-O-O! 19. Rd1 Ne5! and wins.  If 15. O-O-O Nc4,white can keep playing with 16. Na4 (forced) Bxa4 17. Qc3, but after 17…Ne5 18. g6 Bd7 19. gxf7+ Kxf7 20. f4 Nc6 21. Nf3 Ke8 22. Ng5 Rh6! black consolidates the extra piece and wins.

15. ..Qxd4! Weirdly, white was lost even before 15. g6. He now loses a piece for no compensation, so the game is effectively over.

16. gxf7+ Kd8 17. Qg5+ Kc7 18. Rg3 Nxf7 19. Qf4 Ne5 20. Rd1 Qb6 21. Qg5 Rh6 22. Ne2 Rc8 23. f4 Nf7 24. Rc3+ Kb8 0-1

Let’s move on to a picture from Lugano, 1984.

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Lematchko-Sax, Lugano, 1984

Moving back a year to Lugano, Switzerland 1984, we have Tatiana Lematchko (WGM, Bulgaria) on the left battling future WC Candidate Hungarian GM Gyula Sax. Photo by intrepid Frenchwoman Catherine Jaeg.

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The Fabulous 80s: Washington Heights, NYC and Belgium and a tiny little bit of WO

October 11, 2007

For most of the 1980s, I lived on W 170th St. and Fort Washington Avenue in Washington Heights, Upper Manhattan. Senior Master Jeremy Barth was one of my roommates. At one time or another, John Fedorowicz, Michael Rohde, and others also stayed there. This heavily Dominican neighborhood saw many the odd chess player stay in our sprawling 3-bedroom: for example, Vince McCambridge, Pia Cramling, Ralf Lau, and Eric Lobron. The historical reason for this neighborhood choice was that at one time, I attended Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (to be distinguished from Columbia’s main campus at 116th and Broadway).

Here are some action pictures from the era.

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This happens to be Hanna Moishezon (daughter of the famous Columbia U. mathematics professor Boris Moishezon), me with Petey Pie the cat, and Jeremy. That Radcliffe sweatshirt is too small! Boris had his own geometric space(!), and was a specialist in the abstruse field of Algebraic Geometry. I would estimate this photo as somewhere in the 1985-8 range.

Moving back to August 1983 (fortunately some photos are labeled!), we have me battling Natasha Christiansen in a blitz game (back then she was Natasha Us) with a really old-fashioned Garde chess clock. In fact, the tint of the photo suggests the 19th century. I like my moustache. Is that wrong??

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I don’t remember how the actual game went.

Belgium

Here’s a good one. We have Vreele Goethals, British future-GM David Norwood, me, and seated we have IM Roman Tomaszewski from Poland. On the right is Vreele’s mother, Mia Goethals. I think this was taken in August 1985 in the ECI Youth open tournament at Eeklo, Belgium (not far from Sas van Gent, Holland, site of the tournament in alternating years). It also had a parallel IM round robin tournament. Roman and I were in that – I beat him in a crazy Nimzo 4. Qc2 game where I was one of the early experimenters with a strange gambit as black; namely 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 5. dxc5 Na6 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Qxc3 Nxc5 8. b4 Na4!? 9. Qb3 b5!?; I will dig that game score up and post it.  Future GM Mr. Norwood had an unfortunate encounter with a soccer ball in the off-day whilst attempting a header.

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World Open, Philadelphia

Things always come back to the World Open. Here is the July 1986 incarnation at the now-defunct Adam Mark Hotel Players Bar with IM Leonid Bass (left), Linda Carrubba, Michael Wilder (standing) and Joel Benjamin. Good old Leonid moved to Spain (I think, or maybe it was France) at some point in the 1990s. Never saw him again!

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We culminate with a 1981 antique – just a photo edit experiment.

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I include it mostly for the historical hairstyle.

1980s Photos

July 28, 2007

Some Photos.

1981, New York City (can’t remember exact venue – think it might have been the Statler on 34 St.). The Pan-Am Intercollegiates, December.

The following motley group gathered – we were not part of any one team, we were just doing a “staged” photo clustered around the first place trophy.

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From left to right, standing we have: Jon Schroer, the author, Steve Odendahl, and Eric Tall.

Seated we have future US Champion Michael Wilder whom I believe was still in High School.

Also in this time frame, maybe 1981 or 1982, we have the author at the famous Marshall CC (23 W 10 St., NY NY), site of many IM- and GM- norm tournaments.

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Throughout most of the 1980s, I lived in a sprawling 3-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights (Upper Manhattan, 170th St.) along with Senior Master (hailing from Michigan) Jeremy Barth, Andrea Sisniega (sister of Mexican GM Marcel Sisniega) and at one time or another, also John Fedorowicz, Michael Rohde, and other visiting luminaries such as Pia Cramling. Here is the semi-famous cat Petey Pie, who throughout the 1980s terrorized such GM apartment guests as Eric Lobron and Ralf Lau with nocturnal prowling while they were trying to sleep. Click on Petey to see the bigger version. We used to sign her up to get magazine subscriptions; they arrived addressed to “Ms. Pie.”

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The apartment was a haven for beatniks and foreign artisans. Here are discussants Charles (Chuckles) Fambro and Hanna Moishezon on our crummy Washington Heights foam sofa. Of course, Chuckles was unclassifiable. So was Hanna. I would place this photo at around 1985 or 1986 Fall 1987 or 1988 (see Jeremy Barth commentcurrent thinking places Jeremy as the photog).

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Photo by Eric Schiller, whom I believed organized many of these important norm events. I discovered this photo by accident by stumbling on this web page. After making norms, players would celebrate at the palatial Schiller mansion on Long Island. One of these tournaments is where I first met Judy Shipman I found her instructional chess book somewhere and now she spells her name Judee. There must be some story there.

Moving to 1983, Manhattan Chess Club, famous old soda machine on the 10th floor of Carnegie Hall, 57th St. and 7th Avenue, on its old location on 155 E 55 St. (prior to Carnegie Hall, W 57 St), NYC. Sadly the MCC went defunct.  See another related post where I am trying to reconstitute the champions’ list with the help of one-time manager, Nick Conticello. I am pretty sure pink tinted glasses were popular then.

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The author at the Manhattan Chess Club’s famous old Coke machine, 155 E 55 Street, 1983

Do you know why men like having a beard? In the act of feeling the beard (pretending to think), the concentrated nerve endings on the fingertips feel good! It’s got nothing to do with the face feeling the fingers, it’s all to do with the converse. 🙂 That’s why you see learned men of advanced education constantly feeling their beard! I read this in a neurophysiology study. Don’t make me cite it.

Here is the World Open 1985. I can state for certainty that both Ian Findlay (Canada) and Michael Wilder were relaxing on the bed. As for the principles, better they remain anonymous. The less said about this, the better. I believe this was taken in the hotel across the parking lot from the Adam’s Mark – the Sheraton (?).

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Between Rounds at the World Open 1985 

Moving ahead to the World Open 1986, what progress has been made? Well, first of all we have more people in the photo. We have Leonid Bass with that stylish hat and Sergey Kudrin left to the right, seated, rear. From left to right in the forefront, we have Michael Wilder, the author, and Joel Benjamin. This looks like it was taken right outside the Adam Mark’s “Players Bar”.
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Between Rounds at the World Open 1986 

Here’s another one from the World Open, same era. I would estimate it’s also 1986.

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Relaxing at the World Open 1986 

Here we have Joel Benjamin on the left rear and cute as a button Andrea Sisniega (sister of Mexican GM Marcel Sisniega) with a most excellent bottle of Mouton Cadet. Andrea lived in Washington Heights in a sprawling three bedroom apartment along with me, Senior Master Jeremy Barth, and at various other times Fedorowicz, Lobron, Rohde, Christiansen, McCambridge, Lanni, Wilder, Pia Cramling, Ralf Lau, and other luminaries. Yes, 250 Fort Washington Avenue, Apt. 2A, NY, NY, 10032, had a lot of chess player guests over the years from 1981-1988.

In the forefront of this photo we have the author on the left and peripatetic Michael Wilder on the right with an amusing expression. It looks like everyone is having a good time. My “wine glass” as you might guess was an Adam’s Mark hotel bathroom glass. Not very haute couture.

Here’s one more from the same event. In this one, Mike Wilder has on Leonid Bass’s hat. Standing, left, Dmitry Gurevich. Sitting, the author. On the right, Joel Benjamin.

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More between-round relaxation, World Open 1986 

The next curio depicts Joel Benjamin with some bread rolls. I don’t know the location or exact date, but it has to be the 80s, doesn’t it? Photographer unknown as of this writing.

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Moving up to 1989, we have a photo from the Berlin Open organized by Herr Seppelt. Photo by Eric Tall.

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The author playing blitz with Joel Benjamin, Berlin Summer Open 1989 

By this time, the pink tinted glasses were history. I actually had a job on Wall Street (although I got sacked later in the year for too much nocturnal polka-ing). From left to right seated we have Matthew Messinger and the author; I am playing Joel Benjamin in a friendly blitz game in the Hotel Intercontinental in Berlin, Germany. Standing observing the proceedings is Dr. Anne Dinning who pretty much was responsible for me losing my day job. I wrote a small article on this tournament for Chess Life magazine that some of you may remember. The upshot is that we won more in the casino than the chess tournament. The highlight of the tournament may have been GM Josef Klinger of Austria getting ejected for public drunkenness (there was a convenient beer hall directly adjacent to the playing area).

And here is the view of the actual Berlin Open playing hall. I’m figuring out where to move vs a German FM Uwe Bokelbrink. Photo by Eric Tall.

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The author (left, foreground playing white) vs. FM Uwe Bokelbrink, Berlin 1989 

And of course we saw two dogs fighting (or were they playing?) in Berlin:

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Action photo credit: Eric Tall.

And at the very end of the decade I played in a Brugges, Belgium tournament New Years Eve 1989.

Before the event, this photo was taken in Delft, Holland.

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The author and Christine Syben, Scheveningen Holland 1989. 

Nice town! Home of the little blue porcelain. That’s the author with a smaller person, American chess player Christine Syben. She went on to lose money in the Scheveningen casino. Photo by Eric Tall.

Finally we switch to what has to be a World Open; Canadian future IM Deen Hergott vs Joel Benjamin.  A side note: the Wikipedia article on Hergott mentions he is the chess columnist for the Ontario Citizen newspaper – I learn so much from Wikipedia!  The article also points out Hergott’s academic proficiency in mathematics, a nice counterpoint to our own IM Kenny Regan.

As is usual, if anyone has the game score of this encounter (for completeness), that would be appreciated – send it in.
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Deen Hergott (left) vs Joel Benjamin, World Open (?), 198x (?) 

Do you feel like jumping ahead a decade? Here are the 1990s photos.