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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scathing Obituary

A certain master I once knew always, for some reason I could never determine, reminded me of Groucho Marx. I knew him for many years and even helped him with one of his self published chess books by playing over the games and correcting typos. He was a cantankerous old geezer but I liked him anyway. I came across one of his articles where he was writing about another master and chess columnist who had recently died. I’ve bleeped out the names to protect the guilty. What he wrote was pretty hilarious. I knew (Name deleted) and this certain master hit the nail on the head:

(Name deleted) has died, thirty years too late. A raving, conceited, egotistical, arrogant maniac who thought he was "somebody", but actually was a "nobody". Despite seeing hundreds of Grandmaster games, and reporting on them, he learned NOTHING, and made no attempt to emulate their play, but deliberately used anti-theoretical openings. He did this because he thought he was smarter than everyone else, but only proved that he was incredibly stupid. In a game printed in (Magazine name deleted) he plays his favorite opening, which is junk, accuses Black of making a lot of bad moves, but reaches a horrible position, and mentions that Black has a forced win at move 29. Black missed it, and played like a moron. (Name deleted) won.

For many years, (Name deleted) wrote "tournament reports" for (Magazine name deleted), but they were abominable, because he didn't write about the players, he wrote about himself: How He played; What He thought; instead of writing about Grandmasters.

(Name deleted)’s natural personality was to be assertive, bossy, egotistic and conceited, despite a noticeable lack of talent. Almost every great player has said that they studied the games of the past Masters, but (Name deleted) didn't, because he thought that he was a genius, who would become a great player, by sheer brain-power. Thus, he remained incredibly ignorant, and stupid, and his ambition far exceeded his ability.

Grandmaster (Name deleted), and other strong players, were at a party, and (Name deleted) suggested a five-minute tournament. (The Grandmaster) won 13-0, and (Name deleted) had a very poor score. Typically, he said, "Maybe that wasn't such a good idea." Completely self-centered, and not even beginning to think that the others had a great time.

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