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Ray Robson vs. 30 of our Best
America's youngest grandmaster
Featured on the December 2010 cover of Chess Live,
magazine of the U.S. Chess Federation
21st, 2010, the extraordinary chess prodigy Ray Robson came
to our little town and took on 30 of our best local chess enthusiasts.
We gave him good competition -- the toughest, he said, that
he has met in a simultaneous chess exhibit so far ... but among
the 30 of us we only secured a single draw, and 29 losses!
Here is a little photo essay about this amazing performance.
Ray Robson. 16-year-old certified chess grandmaster since the
age of 14. He was the youngest American ever to attain the grandmaster
title (even younger than Fischer who earned the title at 15),
and Ray Robson is still the youngest grandmaster in America
today. A good natured and unassuming teenager, Ray put on a
breathtaking performance at the chessboards - and was a pleasure
to lose to!
Schleppi is the undisputed master chess coordinator of our modest
chess-loving town. Here he is, laying the ground rules and putting
out the good vibe which set the tone for our very excited contenders.
anticipation! Here we sat, hanging on every word. The fellow
in the center was our youngest participant; and the young man
farthest on the right with glasses - he's the only one of us
who managed a draw.
And where did we get all those beautiful wooden chess sets for
the event? Furnished by AncientChess.com
active part of the Ray Robson team is dad and coach Gary Robson!
Gary has written a fascinating book
about raising Ray from his first chess moves on the kitchen
floor to the rapidly rising chess star he is today. Highly recommended
reading! Check it out at This
enjoys a little chess-child-raising humor ... as the tension
pan around the room shows you who we've got. Let's just say,
I've seen the best minds of my generation destroyed at the chessboard
on that fateful day...
we did have one woman playing, among us old boys...
little press coverage... That empty seat with the coffee cup
and the Chess
Child book is my place, sitting next to my
good chess buddy Emmy.
those are the guys at the far end of the room, completing the
arc. Thirty very serious chess players!
there it is - the first move of the game! We were all expecting
P-K4 (e4), well known as Ray's favorite opening. It didn't take
long for the games to get underway as our young champion dove
was no exception - P-K4 (e4)! I was as ready as I could be.
surprised to see my neighbor with something a little different.
Ray had kicked this one off with the king's knight and queen
bishop's pawn. Interesting! And also an interesting response
on the black side, surprisingly similar to the curious finachetto
defense I attempted....
can see by the lookers-on here that what we had was much more
than a bunch of chess games. It was a real performance! We were
giving it our best making the young genius prove himself. He's
seen here moving against our local chess coach and favorite
son Greg High. Greg has won many games against grandmasters
over the years ... but not this one!
like Ray has ambushed my buddy's rook pawn here (and counting
them up I think he's already got another one) - but the way
the grandmaster hovers intently over the board, you can see
he's looking far beyond a couple of pawn grabs.
was one thing that made me feel honored in this game it was
the fact that the Ray really stopped and thought about his moves
at my board. Could it be that I was giving the champion a good
game? Such ideas were pretty well dashed after Ray's 19th move.
Notice how the white pawns are parading right down the center
of my board. Such audacity!
me, looking on dreamily after the white knight was planted crushingly
on K6 (e6). I was running out of hope, but still a very willing
to do but follow through. Take the pawn before it takes my knight,
never mind that I was opening my king side to a hopeless security
drama continues against our grandmaster-eating coach. The young
fellow at his right, David Wyde, was the one player among us
to manage a draw against the grandmaster.
of my hopeless position. Down the exchange, and hoping for some
action by taking his bishop pawn (Bxc4), I was defenseless against
his reply, Q-R5 (Q-h5), threatening checkmate and all sorts
of nasty things!
games go on. You can see that the young fella has a whole lot
of kindly old men thinking very seriously about their little
handshake when I finally admitted defeat. My litte monkeys hanging
on surely didn't grasp the gravity of the moment.
whole thing went much longer than expected - we were close to
being kicked out of our host library as the clock approached
there was that one stubborn lingering game. David Wyde had a
pawn ... and if he only could have pushed it to the end of the
board ... (but he couldn't)
gathers round to squeeze the last bit of blood out of this epic
of the end, our town coach has seen enough. Packing his bag,
he knows that the last game will have no winner.
of course, all through this marvelous performance, for the many
lookers-on and chess aficionados, AncientChess.com (that's me,
Rick) had laid out a grand display of world chess. A veritable
portable museum of the great historic game. (A few more pictures
of that follow)...
now, for your viewing pleasure, stay with us just a couple more
to take in the live video clips of the day's events
(stay tuned past the 'world chess' blurbs to see Ray in action!)...
the story! But before you go, let me remind you of one little
The book Chess
Child is a must-read. Click
here to order
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