I shake my head. There are things that seem to exist, like mirages in the sand. Yet, unlike mirages these images have supporting evidence that make them impossible to deny. In my world though, these things have no place, no haven to rest in or sanctuary to give them comfort. Such things appear in the words of my esteemed fellow USCL bloggers, whose words flow from their hands like the river of dreams. I wonder where the words come from? I don't know.
Just in this past week we have seen one of the bloggers upset with Carolina because they didn't do as he expected, he worked it out in his mind that a player should have won but lost instead and the bloggers whole world is upside down? WHAT!!! Ok, players get there feelings hurt because of, uh, the air conditioning is too loud. LIVE WITH IT! I see that Arun can't really explain what the power rankings are measuring. Ok, I kind of suspected that. Of course, we all have to sympathize with Arun as he is getting threats from one of the team captains. I don't really know any of the participants in this episode, but you gotta think somebody was using the extremely recessed parts of their mind for that one. Oh, none of the pickers chose Dallas to beat Philly, despite the fact that Dallas was tied for first in the west and Philly has been playing like mud (uh, do you think their captain has my phone number? Nah!!! couldn't be that lucky). I mean, this
is worse than trying to keep up with a daytime drama. "Oh did you see the look that the Boston player made when the WIM moved the knight?" This is silliness. But, not the end.
I see that the Mechanics have weighed in.
Let’s see, Bhat’s first assertion is that the match was rescheduled due to weather and the arrival of a baby, later in a reply to Chris there is mention that Mr. Bhat expected Seattle wouldn’t field a team and finally he states “ a match had been moved to avert what I saw as a no-show”. Wow, it’s true the longest road is the one to the truth. When the match did happen there was Serper on second… oh wait, it was patently unfair for Seattle to have the same lineup. I seem to note they didn’t have the same lineup. Boy, this is just the stuff of cold war novels, those clever Sluggers covertly passing false information in order to get, Slava on second board! Very devious.
I will now fess up to what could be my part in this. I made light of the possibility that the Mechanics possibly achieved greater success because they were forced to drop their first board. At some level you have to see the logic in this, I mean it be curious if a team achieved a better result without their top player than they might have with him. So, if Wolff plays and Nakamura defeats him while Bhat wins from Mikhailuk the split is the same as what resulted in the actual match. Mr. Bhat, is it really so bad to win by 3 – 1? No, I didn’t think so. Further, Mr. Wolff’s replacement could hardly have been more uncertain; the Mechanics have IM Friedel, IM Preuss, IM Zilberstein, but they ended with IM Donaldson. It would certainly not have been so beneficial to Seattle to have that change. Was it such a successful ruse that you need to proclaim how lucky the Mechanics were to win, unless you are much less confident in your teammates? Very curious.
My final take (not edited because I have no “official” standing). What do I take away from this? The titled players are all taking this very seriously, which is certainly good for the level of chess, maybe a bit too seriously. This last affair clearly indicates that one of the teams doesn’t view the rest of the league as colleagues, that the idea of sportsmanship has devolved to getting in sharp accusations at others in the league and that the camaraderie many observers thought was common among titled players is merely one of those illusions. The people involved that don’t play are certainly having a lot of fun with it, but the enjoyment will dissipate if the level of “gamesmanship” is allowed to extend to such levels. I will formally apologize to the Mechanics for any comments they took as offensive, if they so wish, as I feel that is my responsibility. However, I will not simply ignore this egregious breach of sportsmanship as one players opinion or “take”. I would hope that the league or the commissioner would help to shed some light on this as currently it is nothing more than “he said” without any “she said”. Whatever the facts are around this match or the results of the games, this incident became a large black eye on the league because of Mr. Bhat’s comments.