Attention! Important Disclaimer!
This is a watchdog website and is not sanctioned by the Community Chess Club of Rochester or the Rochester Chess Center. Editorial content is authored exclusively by me, Randy MacKenzie. Contributions to this website become my property. While gratefully acknowledged, they do not constitute an endorsement and no association should be inferred.
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I've received two warnings from the World Wide Web Consortium. Any associated fines must be paid for by timely and generous donations from an adoring chess fanbase. Still, common sense and good taste suggest that an immutable timetable for dismantling this damnable website be formulated.
About Community Chess Club
The CCCR is USCF Affiliate A6000220 and meets on Wednesday evenings (except holidays) from 7:00pm to 11:00pm at the Rochester Chess Center, 221 Norris Drive, Rochester, NY 14610 (585) 442-2430 (map and schedule). Some find the CCCR and RCC to be sub-optimal, if not totally untoward, and wisely quit.
Monroe County, NY has a population of 732,762. But strangely, the main chess club currently has fewer than ten members. If a club officer told me today was Sunday, I'd buy a calendar.
Yet, perhaps amazingly, a USCF rated event is played every Wednesday at 7:30pm. USCF will probably never find out about sloppy procedures as long as players keep their mouths shut and don't complain to US Chess.
Running tournaments correct to the letter is easy, with determination. But sometimes dues-paying members must be spared the humiliation of losing. Shielding them from the cruel rigors of competitive chess is akin to social promotion.
It's like a diner with only one thing on the menu: baloney sandwiches. And it's called the "Too Much Baloney Chess Club." Get it? "too much baloney!"
Continental Chess Association rules are supposedly followed, but historically it's been easier to kick complainers out than to revamp or normalize tournament procedures.
The time control (TC) is game in 80 minutes. The entrance fee (EF) is $3.00 for CCCR members and $4.00 for non-members. USCF membership is required.
Rates: CCCR annual membership dues are $25.00.
Officers: Donald Stubblebine (President); Doug Spencer (Vice-president); Mike Lionti (Treasurer); Secretary (VACANT).
Sets and boards are provided. If time and TD permit, you can play another rated game. Always report the result to the TD or post it on the pairing sheet. Yes, even if you lost. And please enjoy Mike Lionti's official intelligent, yet friendly welcome to the CCCR!
What do you do when bored?
One method to amuse yourself is to get yourself as nauseated as possible. Best achieved by looking straight up and spinning around. Try to be so dizzy you can't even stand up. This is also entertaining due to the "makes boredom seem a lot better" effect.
If you have a college roommate, trash the room when your roommate's not around. Then leave and wait for your roommate to come back. When he does, walk in and act surprised. Say, "Uh-oh, it looks like, THEY, were here again."
American chess grandmaster Kenneth S. Rogoff grew up a mile from the Rochester Chess Center. His comments on his chess career and chess games are available. The Boylston Chess Club Weblog has an Up Close & Personal story.
He was chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003, and is now one at Harvard University. Author of several financial papers. Served as an economics adviser to the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Senator John McCain.
In 2010 he co-authored This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly with Carmen M. Reinhart,
reviewed by the New York Times Business and Economy section.
Rogoff is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Group of Thirty. He has given numerous research lectures at universities around the world, and also speaks widely on global economic issues. He is 2011 winner of the biennial Deutsche Bank Prize awarded by the Center for Financial Economics.
Rogoff is on the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Do you compete with the CCCR?
Mike and I have different styles of webmasterin'. He prefers to do everything himself. That way he knows everything will get done. As a tyro, I rely on a coterie of helpers and assistance in a wide range of areas: layout, color selection, dhtml, gamescores and analysis. But, yes, we compete. Check out this googlefight to see who wins.
The neighboring Buffalo Niagara Chess Corner is representative of a vibrant, open and friendly chess community working in harmony for a common goal. Those who can contribute seem to be welcome to. That web site is not the work of one person. I wish we had such unity and cooperation in Rochester, but instead we have fear and loathing.
Why did you start this website?
Inspired by the Cranston-Warwick Chess Club site, I wanted a similar website for the CCCR, publishing a membership list, bylaws, news, tournament announcements, cancelations, and members' games. The local chess community needed a more reliable, timely source of information. I sought CCCR accreditation for this site and appointment as CCCR webmaster and Director of Media. At that time the CCCR's website was not actively maintained and still isn't. But there was a good reason.
Running a local chess website requires the participation and cooperation of local organizers. Collecting needed data for publication proved to be initially problematic. It's getting better. The concensus was that my motives were somehow malevolent and that my calls for rigorously open, honest club government were "too negative." It's true that I come from a different era, ex-military. My values center on morality, literacy and excellence. Today that passes for "negativity."
In fairness they postponed judgement, and later advised me that an official CCCR web site could not include public disclosure of complaints. Completely understandable. It upsets the pansy of fraternity when one of their own is caught. Which is regularly. What's not true is the rumor that I am airing negative aspects of the CCCR. Gentlemen don't do that to one another.
At any rate, on September 30, 2008, about
4.63 years ago, I took the plunge and registered this domain. And I was stuck with the name.
Being a webmaster without a computer is difficult. I plan to buy a nice one in late 2013, finances permitting. For now this means a slog of some five miles, twice a week. I walk through snow and cold in winter, the rains of April, and the searing heat of summer. Arriving at the Henrietta Public Library, I use a free computer. Bus service is sporatic.
The hardest thing is supervising, training and selecting staff. Sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind. And it breaks my heart to reject players' game submissions, but I must maintain high standards.
I learned HTML in the mid-1990's after procrastinating for months. It's a mark-up language originally designed for non-technical acedemics to create web pages. I have no formal training.
While playing chess on FICS, I met JohnnyRio, who said he had worked in an illegal auto chop shop, stripping down stolen cars for parts. While serving thirty-seven months in an Oregon State Prison for Grand Theft Auto (GTA), or soon thereafter, he created a Bobby Fischer fan web site. It was a simple web page and had a little table with an "x" marked for months that he had Chess Life magazine issues. Thrilling, isn't it?
A convicted felon had a web page. I had none and had recently been cleared of all charges. Something about they never found the head. Whatever. After this lucky break, I resolved to learn HTML. Maintaining this web site has necessitated updating those rusty HTML coding skills, first to XHTML and then to HTML5. That taught me to be more thoughtful and careful in producing good code.
Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.
The present method is to pro-rate yearly CCCR memberships which expire at a fixed calendar date of December 31. Annual dues are $25.00 per year, or $0.0684 per day. Walk in today and get a 227-day membership for only $15.537. Easy with a calculator. But awkward and overly complex in your head.
Update: 12/05/2011 This states that players who join CCCR in December will play $12.00 for a one month membership. Astute readers will realize that this CCCR bizarre logic will invariably cost them extra, unless they join on January 1.
The only correct and self-evident method is to calculate member's expiration date from the date of payment. Memberships typically extend for six months or one year. Paying annual CCCR club dues on
May. 19, 2013 results in a membership which expires one year later on May. 19, 2014.
This method revolves around the notion of linear time and physical reality. Such concepts lose validity at light speed where mass and time fluctuate. More chess is played during the fall and early winter. It's possible CCCR simply charges more for memberships during these heavy-use periods.
It involves some record keeping. But humans have been keeping records, creating and maintaining lists, for thousands of years. We're a hobby club. Keeping membership dues current is important to funding chess promotion and paying club expenses.
I don't believe there is any special advantage to not keeping accurate records (as outlined above). And I've been handed receipts when I paid dues. But I never got a membership card. I don't think they exist. Why would they? Who would carry one in his wallet?
Chess Center events and info
Google now offers free web hosting to New York businesses and is extremely simple to set up and maintain.
But why use a sophisticated web site to inform players about league schedules, tournaments, cancellations, and catalog sales specials? Especially when it is cost-effective and simpler to photocopy leaflets and pass them out directly to players right at the chess center!
We all trust and believe that the internet is a meaningless fad, one that won't last. Most people do not own computers or expensive iPhones, iPads or Androids. I have a computer, but it's busted, too slow. Junk!
For large events such as the Marchand Open, inexpensive mailing labels of area US Chess members are placed on envelopes containing tournament particulars and sent out. Players may forget to read their email or visit a site, but you can bet your sweet bippy they'll read their U.S. Postal Service mail.
As a great American and U.S. Army veteran,
Ron enjoys helping the U.S. Postal Service. He's a former U.S. Amateur Chess Champion, married with a son and a daughter. He was an avid bicycle racer and played some ice hockey at Clarkson College while earning an engineering degree. He worked at Kodak. His chess camp and youth programs are outstanding. The Rochester Chess Center sells discounted chess equipment and has a weekly event schedule.
Is this the official CCCR website ?
Hell, no! I'm 63.96 years old and a second-rate web developer. Too feeble to produce quality html code. Under the aegis and expertise of Mike Lionti, the real CCCR website was honed to exacting W3C fidelity and top-notch creative standards.
Most agree that his CCCR master site has a human touch that reveals a warmth, humanity and down-home, caring honesty. The sheer beauty and seamless eye-candy woven into the modern chess tapestry that becomes the perfect website is quintessentially bedazzling.
Did you know that the CCCR website contains some excellent chess poetry?
finding religion with USCF rule books
A rule book is a collection of rules and prescribed standards for avoiding trouble and settling disputes. Stocking rule books is a good start to help tournament sponsors avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Running a successful small business includes avoiding customer conflict. But profit motive need not override the spirit and practice of fair competition in chess tournaments.
USCF rule books have been a de-facto standard for TDs at tournaments for many years. But chances are that you won't see any rulebooks in a chess tournaments in Rochester NY. They are "known to cause trouble." Obfuscating the spirit and letter of chess law can mean administrating tournaments in a relaxed, somewhat desultory manner. Also easier to grant special deals and favors to friends, as we have seen.
Special dispensation for club regular
In 2011 at a Saturday event, a tournament participant entered the analysis skittles room with a story. The TD had placed a club regular into the higher group for the last round pairing. An eight-year-old Chinese-American had out-scored him but wasn't given his just due at playing in the upper section.
The TD said that the older club player would feel insulted and refuse to play in the lower section and might quit and not return to the Chess Center. Imagine that.
Tournaments ought to be administered in a fair and impartial way. Giving breaks to your buddies is cronyism and beneath contempt. Some believe it's natural to protect and reward friends and associates. As such, their comprehension of the nature of chess tournaments is about par with my grasp of Balinese folk dancing.
OTB chess has declined due to internet chess and the economic recession. In response, perhaps the trend at clubs like CCCR is to be more friendly, forgiving, tolerant, and less elitist and exclusive.
At Saturday's (11/10/2012) tournament at RCC, a new player had stopped recording. The TD, who should have been watching, did nothing. Generally speaking, TD's at CCCR events don't maintain proper tournament conditions, which gives me an excuse to not participate. The TDs are fine people. I'm old and stupid, bitter about being past my prime. So I don't play.
Chess Center 2013 annual picnic
Mendon Ponds Park, East Lodge; Wednesday, July 10th. Directions: Go south on Clover Street, cross the NYS Thruway, enter the park (turn left) at the first entrance. The lodge is 1/2 mile on the left. Fires will be stoked up at 5:30pm, although the lodge is ours from 1:00pm on. Rain or shine, the lodge will be fine!
Rochester Chess Center provides the Chess Sets, soft drinks, and charcoal. Bring your own food to grill, plates, silverware, and sports equipment. This is a communal event, so please bring a dish to share. Last name A to M please bring a salad to pass, N to Z please bring a desert to share. Of course if you have that very special picnic goodie you always make, please bring that along instead.
Everyone is welcome, $2 per person, $5 maximum per family. Picnic is free to Chess Center members and their families.
understanding CCCR a bit better
To even the casual observer the CCCR is a disfunctional clique of self-appointed officers running the club in a faint-hearted and degenerate way. A low-key hobby group with a core membership of old boys, there are no club bylaws or elections.
I was a little puzzled when I found that USCF rules weren't always closely followed. They supposedly have a USCF rule book hidden away in a private office.
But on reflection, I realized people play games all over the world using only a few basic rules. And usually without rule books. Umpires interfering with televised games always annoyed me because they added unnecessary complexity and delayed the game in progress. Growing up, fortunately we didn't have rulebooks. We didn't need 'em; sports are simple!
Baseball: Player hits the ball, runs to the base without an opposing team member fielding the ball in the air, or the baseman catching the ball and touching base before the runner arrives. Advance to "Home" and score a point. Simple.
Football: Team has four downs to score a touchdown. Not that difficult to understand.
Basketball: Put the ball in the hoop without a foul and get two or three points, depending on distance. Little kids can understand this.
Chess: Checkmate the opponent in the allotted time, or make him resign. Seems rudimentary.
But as this is understood and accepted, complaints are quickly resolved to the grudging satisfaction of all. A club constitution or bylaws doesn't exist AFAIK. They don't announce elections or annual meetings. The accounting ledgers are closed and the budget is not public. Democratic reforms are not forthcoming. If you don't like it, go to the chess club down the street.
Playing chess on the internet is supplementing OTB chess clubs because chess servers are always on and physical chess clubs aren't. It's convenient to play blitz chess right from your home without having to drive to a chess club. The chess server of choice for the world's best players is the Internet Chess Chess Club. It's bank of FIDE-titled GM's, IM's and FM's regular members place it heads above FICS or any other chess server.
Blitz is the only honest type of online game as otherwise one or both players are assumed to be using computers or books to augment their play. Fast chess is useful to practice experimental or unfamiliar new lines. Just be aware that a time limit of "3 0", three minutes for each player, provides an adrenaline rush, but is a poor choice for good players. One player may be lost but give away all his material and force the opponent into a bewildering brainless capture mode that ruins his playing strength. OTB slower time controls have their place.
501(c)(7) status for clubs
If your club is organized for pleasure, recreation, and other similar nonprofitable purposes and substantially all of its activities are for these purposes, it should file Form 1024 to apply for recognition of exemption from federal income tax." -Uncle Fed.
Incorporating under IRS code 501(c)(7) as a Social & Recreation Club would allow the your club to handle monetary transactions in a bank account specifically for that purpose. (addendum). Running the finances through an officer's personal checking account is not really what the IRS would prefer. But there is a way out. Club officers should read and understand IRS Publication #557, page 48 and file the proper forms. Failure to comply means that your club isn't legal. Especially if a completed IRS Form 3949-A finds its way to the Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888. Don't forget that New York State also likes to have sales tax collected.
Simply obtain an employee id number (ein), create and sign an organizational document (bylaws)and seek status as an unincorporated association under IRS 503(c)(7)
The local IRS Office is located at 255 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604. Hours are Monday - Friday 8:30am-4:30pm. Telephone (585) 263-5840. They take walk-ins, but they don't give tax advice over the telephone. For IRS tax advice: Personal: 1-800-829-1040. Business: 1-800-829-4933.
If a club meets at a public library and collects no membership dues or fees, then a club constitution or bylaws is not required. But once such a group starts taking in money, things change. It becomes a business and that group must be run openly and the members are entitled to have a say in its affairs. This includes having and adhering to a set of bylaws.
Lithium-ion battery dies
CCCR buys building in Rochester
Community Chess Club has announced the acquisition of a building in downtown Rochester, Minnesota, an area with a more understanding tax environment. The concourse has shops, restaurants, and a health bar. One hundred and fifty individual units will house chessplayers at a room rate of $5.00 USD per day. Extended stays are OK, provided that your CCCR, RCC, and USCF memberships are current, and that your USCF rating doesn't decrease by more than fifty points in any three month period.
The present occupancy rate is 75%, and consists of businesses renting office space at premium prices, which defrays our costs. But chessplayers have exclusive use of seven floors for skittles, bughouse, serious tournament play, or just lounging around and eating pizza. No smoking, no alcohol, no drugs, no religion. Use of the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and wifi-ready recreation area is included.
Demographic projections show that a proposed Las Vegas-style Nightly Chess League (NCL) will draw a weekly total of a thousand (1000) players, Monday through Friday. It'll be played in three sections: open, under-1800, and unrated. We believe that an upscale clientele will prefer our events to the bar and restaurant scene in recessionary times. It's the tiered-top building, just left of the large rectangular structure in the center of the photo.
...and now it's time to call it "quits"
It's been fun working on this website. I've succeeded in a limited sense as an unofficial CCCR alternative site webmaster. I will be blogging again soon but this site is no longer a realistic venture in terms of time investment.
As a cub reporter airing the dirty laundry of others, I've hurt a lot of good people. My ill-fated quest for power was selfish and unnecessary. I'm truly sorry and I'd like to make amends.
First, it was wrong of me to operate a website bearing an organization's name without authorization or permission. That which, by rights, belongs to the real Community Chess Club of Rochester should not adorn my site's masthead. I will therefore direct my web-hosting service to discontinue hosting this dreadful website
in thirteen days.
After the first Saturday of next month, probably around
ownership of the "communitychessclub.com" domain will be transferred to the actual Community Chess Club as an act of contrition. After removal of all content which CCCR doesn't want. A $2,500.00 donation from me to the CCCR would help to defray their start-up costs for a new web server. It would also allow them to pay their webmaster a well-deserved monthly stipend for at least a year.
And, as the days dwindle down to a precious few, let us delete this errant bookmark in our lives and return to the charming old CCCR website. Enough already! Let the healing begin.
Why write valid HTML code?
At the bottom of this page are links to W3C validation tests for W3C HTML5 compliance. The higher the level of conformity, the more uniformly the pages will render among the various browsers. It also helps by catching errors, which I correct. There are other reasons to validate html, including the fact that search engine spiders often can't effectively parse or categorize sites with bad html. Most webmasters write sloppy code and hope that the browser will automatically correct the errors. This is only partially true. This page has cross-browser uniformity, having been tested in
It adheres to standard code and validates. The pages generally load quicker without the proprietary browser specific code. But varying degrees of W3C browser compliance affects minor cosmetics such as rounded corners and drop shadows.
is probably a good choice.
Matt Parry Vietnam Tournament
A fundraising tournament was held Oct. 4, 2008 to benefit Matt Parry's participation in the World Junior Chess Championship. The EF was $20.00, with $10 donated to the Parry family and $10 to prizes. Pizza and snacks were provided. Matt won the tournament, the cash prize and received $200.00 to defray costs of the trip. We all wished him well in the World Junior.
Matt contributed his trip summary from the 2008 World Junior Chess Ch. in Vung Tau, Vietnam.
Bobby Fischer Against the World
'Bobby Fischer Against the World' (93 minutes) is a documentary exploring the tragic life of the late American grandmaster Robert J. Fischer, one of the most famous and interesting characters of the 20th century. .
"Considered by many to be the world’s greatest chess player, Bobby Fischer personified the link between genius and madness. His trajectory propelled him from child prodigy to world chess champion at age 29 and then into a nosedive of delusions and paranoia. Fischer was a recluse for decades before resurfacing for a bizarre final chapter as a fugitive."
"As a loner with no familial support, Fischer had to defend his title while representing his country against the mighty Russians during the cold war. The center of media attention, Fischer was never equipped for a life in the spotlight."
"From veteran filmmaker Liz Garbus, and the final project of late editor Karen Schmeer, Bobby Fischer Against the World exposes the disturbingly high price Fischer paid to achieve his legendary success and the resulting toll it took on his psyche. Rare archival footage and insightful interviews with those closest to him expand this captivating story of a mastermind’s tumultuous rise—and fall." -Sundance
Dr. Rawle Farley passes
Saturday, November 06, 2010. Dr. Rawle Farley, economist and educator dies at 88. He was a Rochester Chess Club and then Community Chess Club member who played chess all his adult life. A frequent tournament chessplayer and US Chess 1st Category (1800-1999) player, he commuted weekly from Brockport to Rochester, NY. Played in CCCR events until his health failed. He absolutely loved chess and his warm personality endeared him to all who knew him. He put four sons through Harvard. Death of an Economist, or Why ‘House’ Is Not Your Home (WSJ article by Christopher John Farley).