Monday, March 5, 2012

Disaster in the Amish Land: The 2012 Eastern Class Championships

I went with the Brandeis crew to Sturbridge, MA this past weekend to duke it out in the expert section of the Eastern Class Championship. I went in with my friend and USATE teammate FM Nathan Resika's policy that a lot of the players who "play up" do so because they are afraid of the pressure of winning their own section. I fell below u2200 after a terrible tournament at the Golden Gate Open so I figured i'd give this section a shot; however, unfortunately things did not go my way....Contrarily the opposite occurred as I ended up getting 1.5/4 before withdrawing.

In my first game, I played a fellow New Yorker Jon Gottehrer. After some tactical complications, I ended up with some extra material that I converted for the win.

What I wanted to share about this game the most however was the not the game itself, but rather the controversy and drama that arose during the game.  After Jon was down a piece and the game was essentially decided in my favor, several people came to watch the game.. One kid got particularly close to Jon and he told him to back off and asked him if the game was interesting. Then a man playing on the board next to us told Jon to "shut up" and not tell the kid he could not watch as it was the players' rights to watch the games. While I did not get involved with the incident at hand, I fully understood what Jon was annoyed  about as I have been annoyed about the same type of situation in the past.... Players typically don't watch games in class sections because they are interesting but rather because they are already decided and they like to poke fun at people when they are losing..... What do you think readers?

In my second game, I played an expert kid from Rhode Island. He played pretty passively, likely hoping to get a draw from early on in the game..... He offered me two draw offers later on within a few moves of each other. When I got annoyed that he offered multiple draws and went to find the director, an onlooker said he spoke to the kid and told me the kid didn't know offering multiple draws when the position doesn't change drastically is not allowed.

To the contrary from what he said, I think it is highly unlikely a kid who is above 2000 and played over 50 tournaments doesn't know the rules. I'll give him the benefit of the serious doubt though and say he didn't know. Even if this is the truth though, this leads to a problem I have with many coaches: their failure to teach chess etiquette. While kids improve rapidly, they are often not taught simple chess manners: not offering draws when their opponents have absolutely no motive to take them  or when they are repetitive, ( Another issue I often see is a lot of lower rated players playing very passive openings with white to try to draw instead of playing for wins which would help them in the long run but thats not a story of etiquette. ) and resigning when down excessive material ( at least when rated above 1000).  Anyways, enough ranting..... Here's the game:


  1. Anybody has the right to watch a game at ANY time. It's a public event, often held in public venues. Being a sore baby when you are losing a game and don't like it when others are watching is just further proof that many chess players are narcissistic. Because you wouldn't make the same claim if someone was watching when you are winning a game. You should pay more attention to your game and less to the spectators.

  2. In addition players who don't take draws against players 100 or so rating points lower them in clearly drawn positions like R3P vs. R3P are also foolish people. Don't insult a lower rated opponents draw offer because you're pissed that the game came out to a draw. Also, aren't you the person that crumbled your score sheet against me at the USATE tourney as well as throwing your chair, after blundering, instead of resigning right away? You claim to mention all these things about etiquette but yet you are in clear violation of "acting out" yourself. Why the hypocrisy with your values?

    1. Hi anonymous - I totally agree with you. I was one of the onlookers in eastern class. Mr Rabin did not shake hands with his opponents after his losses in round 3 and 4. He is talking about chess etiquette. This is hypocrisy at it's peak.

    2. Hey Mr anonymous 2... Have some guts and identify yourself. Please ask Leonid Tkach himself whether I shook his hand or not? I don't know who you are but I absolutely did shake his hand. Afterwards yes I walked away in disgust like many people would.

  3. First of all I do appreciate your feedback and value the fact that you identified who you are on the second post. All to often anonymous commentators talk smack and don't have the self-esteem to identify yourself. To the contrary, in both posts there are several fallacies in your points.

    1) With regard to watching games, it is indeed "anybody's right." However, it is unsportsmanlike to watch a game just because the losing player is dead lost. When a player is worse in a complicated struggle, it is normal to watch but is not when the game is practically over. Furthermore, read more closely: I did WIN that game and did support his claim so saying I wouldn't make that claim just makes no sense.

    2) When he offered a draw it was not yet R3P vs R3P yet: don't make faulty assumptions. I didn't even mention he adjusted his pieces on my own turn but that's another story.

    3) I admit I was somewhat wrong at USATE and apologize about that; however you were at fault through by making noise every move clicking your excessively loud pen. You meaninglessly said sorry twice, yet continued to do it. Unfortunately, when I went to the TD to complain, the idiotic director said it wasn't enough of a distraction and wouldn't do anything about it.

    So in short, I apologize I admit I might have overreacted but blundering wasn't the only reason I was upset. You are far from perfect: you (whether intentionally or not) distract your opponents and make faulty assumptions and accusations.


  4. Your claims of me "clicking the pen" are questionable at best. I admit I clicked the pen once or twice but I hardly think that's a distraction, hence the reason why the Tournament Director's ruled against you. They didn't see enough evidence ruled to make a favorable outcome in your decision. If it was "that loud as you claim" others around would have complained about it, in which case they didn't.

    You are looking for bits of false claims to rationalize your very immature behavior by crumpling up the score sheet and then throwing the chair around. I've been told this is not the only time that you have acted out in this way after a loss, so for you to say it was because of my "clicking the pen" doesn't hold water. You have to change the ways you react after losing otherwise you should just give up playing.

    I have read some of your posts here before. They are interesting. I am sure you don't conduct yourself like this in other areas of your life. Mommy and Daddy aren't going to be happy if there son graduates from a well to do private school still a boy, will they?

    We all have to grow up sometime and make that change.

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  6. You continue to make faulty claims:

    -You "clicked the pen once or twice?!" Please: ask any of your teammates or mine: you clicked it once or twice almost every turn: that's when it got to be annoying. It was not that loud but when you hear something over and over again it gets pretty dam annoying.

    -You say I tried to rationalize my behavior: A) I never did as I openly I admit I was somewhat wrong at USATE and apologize about that. I repeat what I wrote from my last post: "I admit I was somewhat wrong at USATE and apologize about that... I admit I might have overreacted." B) You are exaggerating to what I did... I did crumple u the street and got up quickly and knocked the chair down, but I picked it up right away and did by no means "throw" it

    -Your last claim is your most ridiculous one.... You have no idea about my background and claim as if I rely on my parents. In fact a large majority of my spending money comes from my own savings from work and just got a job offer for a full-time job next year.

    Anyways, I had enough proving myself to one who continues to make false claims. If you want to think of me as someone who I am not, thats your choice but please think again and try to not to make fault assumptions about someone you never even had a conversation with.


  7. What happened in round 3 of eastern class? you can come up with excuses like pen clicks, but truth of the matter is that you cant handle losses that well. Please get help before it is too late.

    1. I never made an excuse... I lost both games because I messed up.. Stop putting words into my mouth.. Anyway's that is your perception of me and that's fine and I'm done dealing with you. I hope to play you again soon so I can show otherwise: That's all.

      P.S, something else helps support my point in the post about being excited about wins and making fun of people when they lose. After you made such comments, I took a look at your history and noticed you had a great tournament the same weekend and gained over 20 points. Congratulations on that feat. I will not assume anything as you likely would as I don't know you and can't say for sure but I would imagine had you not done so well that weekend, the chance of you making such remarks would be significantly less.

  8. I think it's a bit of paranoia to make claims as to what I would or would not do based on the results of a chess tournament I had.

    I did a google search and I see who your father is. You obviously come from a well to do background/family.

    If you truly make your own income then I commend you on that, and hopefully you earned your job the right way, without Daddy's influence.

  9. This post reads like one of my etiquette rants that also tend to get some anonymous comments that aren't the most flattering.

    Although we can't totally shoo spectators away, I do feel we have the right to ask them not to stand so close to the board. I have more then once asked a spectator not to stand so close to me or to leave the area if they're going to talk. Spectators have the right to watch, but they don't have the right to be an annoyance to the players whom they're watching.

    In your drawn game it's understandable why the player made several draw offers. With the exception of that outside possibility that white might allow you to play Rb1+ followed d1/Q there's nothing in that position to justify playing on.

    The rules regarding multiple draw offers don't give specific instances of when a repeated draw offer is appropriate. Though when no signicant progress is being made, it seems another draw offer is not unreasonable.

    Here is my pen clicking post from a few years ago.

    I wonder if it's the same person? LOL