Monday, February 1, 2016

About the International

Several years ago, I had a nervous breakdown.  It was caused mainly by family problems.  It was the kind of nervous breakdown when you think very improbable things are true, including things that aren't true.  Before I continue, I want to thank the members of the chess community that were there for me in one capacity or another.  I'm sure I'm leaving a few out:

GM Nakamura vs NM Gebran
Cindy Arth, Ron Boocock, Jonathan Corbblah, Evan Rabin, Nagib Gebran, James MacDonald, Yaacov Norowitz, Leif Pressman, and Frank Splain.

I was committed to a hospital for two weeks which was excessive.  I saw assaults.  I was threatened with rape.  And I saw doctors and other hospital employees behaving in grossly improper manners.

When I got out, I was sent a bill for $60,000.  They were threatening to sue me. They weren't going to get any of my money, so I gave some of it away and hid the rest.  I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid.  I bought a share in a commercial building in Miami, and I sponsored or co-sponsored an international tournament.

Stuart Chagrin and Marcus Fenner
Frank told me that I would have a co-sponsor.  I never found out who it was or how much they donated, but I suspect it was none other than Stuart Chagrin!

Much to my chagrin, Marcus never presented me with a budget.  He did not send me the legally required donation letter to me in a timely manner, and he didn't send a donation letter to my friend Dan at all.

Three of the people who I asked for were invited: Alec Getz, Alex Ostrovskiy and Leif Pressman.  I would have asked for Bonin, but it never occurred to me that Bonin would not be invited.  GM Lombardy came and spectated throughout.

I can't prove this, and probably shouldn't say it, but I think Marcus stacked the tournament in favor of his invitees as opposed to my invitees.  I heard that one guy got a norm because his opponent's cell phone rang.

Alec Getz
I've always wondered whether Marcus really has a PhD.  While this doesn't prove anything conclusively, I did some research into PhDs in chess.  I actually have three certifications in research administration.  The results are here:  The conclusion is that when someone has a PhD, it usually isn't that hard to find evidence of their dissertation.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  This says more about the administration than it does about Marcus, that they value form above substance.

Leif Pressman vs Nick DeFirmian

It was during the first round of the tournament that Frank told me in the office that he would be discontinuing Steve's tournaments.  When I tried to argue with him he boomed out, "Are you against the Marshall Chess Club?"  and he said I was depressing.  I suppose Leif, who was playing DeFirmian right next to the office door could hear Frank yelling at me.

Alex Ostrovskiy (Right)

Firstly this is the most disgusting form of politics possible, demonizing those who disagree with you.  Cory Evans tried to do the same thing with me recently, and I have sure they have tried this on others as well.

President Obama
Steve was not thrown out for business reasons in the sense that they claim publicly.     Probably they lost money, as a number of people discontinued or reduced their tournament play at the Marshall.  He was obviously kicked out for reasons of style.  Their style is big, bland, corporate and hierarchical. 

If all goes well, the next blog entry will be a brief one about Steve's tournaments at the New Yorker.  But I will leave you with a short poem by late David Bowie.  I will include a picture of a singer who sang it with him in concert who looks like GM Benjamin but who presumably is not GM Benjamin.


There's a brand new dance
but I don't know its name That people from bad homes
do again and again
It's big and it's bland
full of tension and fear

They do it over there but we don't do it here

Fashion! Turn to the left
Fashion! Turn to the right
Oooh, fashion!
We are the goon squad
and we're coming to town

Listen to me - don't listen to me
Talk to me - don't talk to me
Dance with me - don't dance with me, no

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