Updates, thoughts and more politics.
The past few months have seen a lot of chess activity. I have been keeping myself busy with several things, so let's start!
First of all – I played in two tournaments in December. The first one was a GM Norm RR that was organized by Ankit Gupta in Los Angeles. My play was very unrefined, I missed many chances and ended up on only '+1' (5/9) which was definitely not the result I was looking for. Young Samuel Sevian clinched an IM norm well before the tournament ended and was even in contention for a GM nor at the end; he needed a win against Victor Shen who held him to a draw. Here is the game in which I forgave the u12 World Champion:
Afterwards things improved for me a little. I was able to bounce back and have a good tournament in North American Open. As I believe I have mentioned previously, playing in Las Vegas can be dangerous. Especially because during NAO I have the opportunity to hang out with my closest chess friends! However I managed, and maybe mainly due to their inspiration I was able to have a good result. Here is my favorite game of the event:
Maybe I should actually be thanking my friends for providing such a fun environment in Las Vegas. I really had a good time and it showed in my games. So a shoutout to Megan Lee, Alex Barnett, Mac and Amanda Molner (oh yeah, they got married at the best wedding ever last month!), Eugene Yanayt, the whole Arizona crew, Alex Stiger and who knows how many other people I'm forgetting. Je suis desole!
Last month I also had the pleasure of playing GM Negi in a Death-Match. Unfortunately he outclassed me near the end and I ended up not being able to take the title home L
For my coming up schedule, I will be playing (possibly) in a relatively small open tournament in San Diego over President's Day weekend. Afterwards, there will be a strong tournament in Dallas hosted by UTD and Turner Construction, where I will search for vengeance against Mr. Negi! (Who I'm also taking to a Muse concert... why am I so nice?). Even more into the future are the Philadelphia Open and the Abierto Nacional in Mexico, but both at the same time, so I will have to be making a decision to which one I want to go rather soon.
Now on to Politics!
First the good stuff. The Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center will be hosting the US Championship in May. They are wonderful organizers and hosts, and I know they will be making another amazing event. Another plus from this event is that they have upped the number of participants from a 12 player Round Robin to a 24 player Swiss. I cannot agree more with the decision, as it allows many strong GMs and young potential players to participate in this wonderful event when by the old format they would have been left out by a small margin. It also avoids the problem of having very repetitive tournaments, with only the same people playing again and again. On the same note, it is currently a question if Hikaru Nakamura will be able to defend his title, as I recently saw he will be playing a super tournament in Norway that runs at the same time!
Now; onwards to the bad stuff. FIDE recently passed a series of new rules and regulations that will start taking effect on July 1st, 2013. As is usual with new FIDE ideas, this is a very bad one. I will highlight a few of the glaring issues many federations are complaining about. The following is a list of regulations on registration and licensing of players:
Approved by 2013 Presidential Board
1. All Players shall be required to register with their National Chess Federations (NCF). The
FIDE Regulations on Registration, Transfers and Eligibility shall apply.
2. The NCF (or FIDE) shall issue the FIDE ID Number if the Player does not have one at
the time of registration. NCF will register the Player with FIDE by providing
information containing the Player’s Name, Gender, Place & Year of Birth, Photo,
Passport Number; FIDE ID Number (if any).
3. FIDE/NCF shall issue the Player with a Player ID Card bearing the information from
Rule 2 above.All information shall be maintained in the List of FIDE Licensed Players.
4. A Player who registers to compete in any FIDE rated competition shall be required to
provide his FIDE ID Number.
5. An Organizer receiving any registration must refer to the List of FIDE Licensed Players
before accepting the registration.
6. If an Organizer inadvertently accepted a Player without a valid License, the Organizer
shall be penalized 50 Euro for every infringement. Such Players shall not have a FIDE ID
Number and shall have no Federation Flag.
7. Games played by Players without a valid License shall not count for rating for
themselves. Games played against them by Licensed Players shall be counted.
8. A NCF may subsequently (during or after the competition) register the Player mentioned
in Rules 8 & 9 above provided a Late Payment Fee of 50 Euro is paid.
9. Players without a License cannot play in any official FIDE or Continental competition.
10. For each time a player who has been delisted by his NCF and subsequently re-listed, the
payment is 20 Euro.
The list is nothing but a way of gouging money from organizers. It's difficult as it is when there is a huge line in the tournament to try to get the first round started, much less have to worry about these silly regulations. The point is so hazardous that there is a possibility that AFTER JULY 1ST, CONTINENTAL CHESS TOURNAMENTS WILL NOT BE FIDE RATED. Maybe this is not such a bad thing, I'm not a huge believer in ratings and FIDE is consistently using them as a way to get more money from federations.
It is my personal opinion that these changes must be revoked. I don't know how much longer Federations can really put up with this kind of extortion. After all, the cost will eventually be passed down to the players. So basically this makes chess less accessible and more unpopular, exactly what we want.
To happier news
Lastly, my first DVD just came out! It features a full treaty on the Benko Gambit and I am quite proud of it. Please review it! And buy review it I mean buy it and review it! It's cheap and it's downloadable and I promise you will have a good comprehension of the opening by the end of it.
You can find all the info about it at:
With that, I'm signing off. I am looking for opponents on chess.com this week, so hit me up!