Friday, January 8, 2010


These two men just won a quarter-finals stage in the WCF championship levels in Las Vegas. I know who Gross is as I featured him in an interview with Lawrence Totaro for my Squares magazine a few years back. He's about 74 now and closing in on Korchnoi's 79!

For those who don't remember, Ron Gross was a good "friend" of Robert Fischer and a pretty strong chess player. He was a friend of Fischer's (despite his being Jewish!) until he commented on Fischer, which was a no-no when Fischer was alive. Bobby was trusting until you broke one of "his" rules. Your rules didn't count. We all need friends but Fischer, being in his insular world, appeared not to care in the long run. Yet, anyone who is that "chess smart" does brood, though it's not always for the better. Brooding will include the reflecting upon past misdeeds by others and an unwillingness to see the rest of us as human.

Who will win to face the WCF champion (who I think is Stan Vaughn)? Of course I don't know. Stan wants the prize money... he's always been looking for the "brass ring," as I suppose many of us have. He works hard sending out news announcements and pumping up the volume but it reminds me of a movie when no one cares about people getting wiped out. It's important to create a relationship with the watcher of the movie so you can feel sadness when they get creamed. Empathy.

The WCF is an alternative chess federation with their own rating system (how he has the time to do all this is the real mystery). If ever there seems to be rating inflation (at least if you use the Elo methods), the WCF has them,

As to Squares, I still have issues 1-8 available. I have seen them sell on eBay for $70-80. Why I don't know when anyone can buy them from me for $30, shipping included. Issue #8 is the scarce one and when it is gone I most likely will toss the rest of them out. (Mailing them singly, even as marketing pieces, is expensive.) Glossy paper. Letter sized. Lots of fotos. Stories and articles by a huge variety of people--some who have since gone on to greater things.

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