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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

SuperNationals IV

There might be some out there in blogland that have asked the question, "why is chess4less, Chris' preferred vendor?" The short version of the story goes like this: I met the US branch of the London Chess Centre at the 2006 US Open in Chicago. Their other holdings include: the website "The week in chess"; "Chess" magazine, published in London; Chessco and Chessbase USA. I helped them pack all their books back in 2006. I stayed in touch and ordered some items on wholesale. One day I was asked if I was interested in helping them run their book store at the supernationals. Does an addict turn down what they are addicted to? No! It was heaven, four full days of Kasparov (I handled crowd control for the 2 signings) Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk, Former Woman's World Champion Susan Polgar, GMs Joel Benjamin, Maurice Ashley, John Fedorowicz, Alex Shabalov, Nick DeFirmian, Yuri Shulman and GM-elect Mesgen Amanov. I think some people were playing chess too.

The only drawback was I had to be on my feet for about 12 hours a day on a concrete floor. It got to be a little painful! I met the famous Ed Labate. If you don't know who Ed was, he was one of THE FIRST people to publish Informant style tournament reports in the 70s and he ran a mega chessclub in California up until the early 90s. He is now terrorizing the Ohio countryside. I saw many old chess friends and made a few new ones. Three of my co-workers flew over from London. I also got to meet the owner of The London Chess center, etc., IM Malcolm Pein. He is a delightful man. He looked at a few games of people who came into the bookstore at no charge! He took the staff out to dinner every night! It was work, but it was enjoyable work. I will post a few pictures a little later. The best ones are the ones my co-workers took of me being silly, not knowing they were taking my photo. The thing I am most proud of is District 103 took 1st place for 2nd & 3rd graders!! I am one of the coaches of their chessclub. Cheers!