The Chess Nazi

Dec 2, 2010, 9:51 AM |

Some years ago while working at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center I mentioned that I had never seen an episode of the popular sit-com, "Seinfeld". I received some very strange looks before someone said, "What? You've never seen The Soup Nazi?" It seemed that everyone, except me, had seen episode 6 of the 7th season. David Spinks, long time live-in caretaker of the House of Pain said he would have to remedy that immediately, which he did by pulling out one of the many thousand tapes, of DVD's, he owns from storage so I could watch that particular episode. For many years it was the only episode I had ever watched. When someone would bring up Seinfeld I would just nod and say, The Soup Nazi, and it was like I was a member of the club. If the Soup Nazi did not like you, you would could not purchase his soup.
The chess version of The Soup Nazi is Bill Goichberg. If he does not want you to have any more soup (win any more money), he simply excludes you from his tournament by having a rating cutoff below your rating, as he has stated he did to Grandmasters Kudrin and Alex Ivanov at the recent 17th Annual Eastern Chess Congress and Senior. (See Discrimination in Chess). Bill Goichberg is, therefore, The Chess Nazi!
I read the report on the tournament and could not help but notice there was no mention of the Senior part of the tournament, so I clicked on the link taking me to the CCA web page devoted to the tournament and did not find the Senior tournament listed. I did, however, find the results for the ‚ó¶Fischer Random tournament, all six players. I cannot help but wonder why I cannot find any mention of the so-called Senior tournament?
It's not that I care who won the rigged event. For the winner of the event, it is a hollow victory, to say the least. I mean, so what if someone won a Senior event because the best, and just plain better players were excluded from playing. How proud can they be of the 'victory'?
Some years ago, as he wrote in the award winning Georgia Chess magazine, long time President of the Georgia Chess Association, Scott Parker, a class 'B' player, rated right below 1800, intended on playing in the under 1800 section, but, because there would have been an odd number in the Open section, decided to play up. To his surprise, he won the tournament, probably his greatest triumph in chess. I say that because Mr Parker won an Open section, a section in which anyone who wanted to play could do so. If he had played in the under 1800 section, and won it, it could not possibly have been as satisfying as winning the OPEN section. It would have been shallow even if players rated lower than 2209 had been allowed to play, with those higher rated excluded.
Big Al Hamilton told me once that he envied me in that I had won a tournament open to all. "Just once I'd like to stand on a table, beat my chest, and say, I beat those who showed-up to play!"