Posts Tagged ‘Bar Point Chess Club’

The Fabulous 80s: A Day of Shame – Losing to John Watson

August 18, 2008

Losing to John Watson???

Witness the “special talent” I showed at the end of the game featured here.  First of all, though, note Larry Evans amusing comment that “international titles have been cheapened.” This way back in 1980!  He would, I think, write these words more forcefully nowadays. 😀

John Watson won the 1980 Bar Point International but in the game above (click to enlarge) I contrived to lose while a rook ahead and easily winning! Game summary: John had an early initiative, I defended with some “active” but dubious looking tactics, then John totally freaked out and lost a rook for nothing – just a spite check. Then I completely totally freaked out and moved my king into a loss when it can go another way to keep the extra rook! Thank you Larry Evans for pointing this out in a syndicated column read by thousands.

The game was so poor I blotted it out of my memory until the verdammt Evans column was published! It was syndicated everywhere, including the Washington Post where I saw it. in a recent Chess.FM interview, John W. also disclaimed no memory of the above game’s details. Lay it to rest? Or put in a hall of infamy for me? I vote the latter.

Pretty sick. Even so, I made an IM norm. Yay.

You Can Never Get Enough 80s

Under the theory that there is never too much 80s, see these amusing news clippings and photos.

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Caught Between Two Chess Clubs

September 17, 2007

This just in from the new US Chess Life website – an article titled “Fischer: Fame to Fallout” by Al Lawrence. I cite this paragraph where Bill Goichberg is quoted:

Running back-and-forth across the street to play in two tournaments at once

“At the peak, all kinds of people were going into the chess business,” Goichberg remembered. “Parlors, clubs, even full-time clubs were popping up in unlikely places, like Poughkeepsie. I used to hold a quad at the Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens. Some newcomer began holding tournaments at the same time at the YMCA across the street! One player entered both, running back and forth across the street to make moves in two games at once. I don’t think he did very well.” — Bill Goichberg

This is pretty funny because in the 1980s, it became a one-time practice (not a common practice, mind you, but definitely a viable option) to run/jog/walk fast between the Bar Point Club at 6th Avenue and 14th Street (amusingly and coincidentally, considering the above quote, Bill Goichberg was the Bar Point’s owner during one interval in the 1980s) and the venerable Marshall Chess Club at 23 West 10 Street. This was not a very short distance – in other words, it was inconvenient to jog between the two sites when several games were in progress.

In one such absurd situation, I was playing Robert Feldstein in a quad at the Bar Point in a fast time control game. Feldstein was enjoying a quarter pounder with cheese at the board, he was dead lost, and he was definitely not resigning. The complication here was (due to not-staggered-enough round times) that I was playing IM Walter Shipman at the same time, in a much slower time control game, at the Marshall Chess Club in a more “serious” masters tournament. In a feat of athletic stupidity, I started trotting between the two venues. Finally, Feldstein resigned a ridiculous position and I was able to make my final run back to the Shipman game, panting and sweaty. I was able to settle down and play Walter ‘heads-up’ successfully in a long ending. I don’t think the Marshall saw anything so ridiculous until the statue of Marshall’s head disappeared (temporarily) a year later.

I never tried this stunt again. But it seems like something a young Fischer would have done if he was … caught between two chess clubs. Am I right?

Everybody sing now:

Caught between two chess clubs,

Feelin’ like a fool,

Cuz playing 2 simultaneous chess games,

Is breakin’ sportsmanlike rules!