Obama Sings “Sweet Home Chicago!”

As I procrastinate to give my readers a take on the USATE, I shall share this awesome video of President Obama singing “Sweet Home Chicago” with the likes of BB King, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Warren Haynes.

The Road to the 2012 Parsippany Chess Party

Does this place ring a bell to you?! 

Yup, that’s right: it’s that time of year again when 250-300 teams of chess players flood the Parsippany Hilton! Last year I had to miss my first USATE after 8 consecutive appearances since I played my first one in 2003 with the likes of GM Michael Rohde, Kevin Murphy and his son Aaron Rohde, as I was studying abroad in Israel. Fortunately I will be back in business this year as a member of The Parsippany Chessboard Massacre!
Our line-up (using January 2012 ratings) is:
Board 1: Ben Goldberg (2230) from Rhode Island
Board 2: FM Nathan Resika (2200) from New York
Board 3: Thomas Pattard (2183) from Germany, now living in New York
Board 4: Evan Rabin (2179) from New York, now playing under Massachusetts
Alternate: Nick Panico (1988) from new York
Average Rating: 2198
Recruitment Madness
As I mentioned to IM Justin Sarkar the other day, likely the most stressful part of the USATE is what is done before the event begins: coming up with a team. This year, things started out normal. Back in October, Resika, Panico, our original board 1 and myself decided we would likely play with each other. We made that plan “definite” in the end of December. To the contrary, disaster struck this past Monday night when we found out our original board 1 unfortunately had to bail due to other commitments.
And so it goes, I had to turn on my recruitment hat to search for a replacement first board. I made several pleas to chess players on the phone and Facebook. Luckily, this savior named Ben Goldberg ultimately came to the rescue!
Then, Panico and I decided it would be beneficial to add Pattard to our team to not only increase our team’s average rating but also to give us the ability to sit out when tired or not feeling well. Having an alternate proved to be effective when Panico and I were members of the winning team “Beavis and Butvinnik” in 2007. It should be noted that Resika is a two time USATE champion himself!
The Bus Ride to New York (En route to Parsippany): Bus Etiquette
I opted for change form my normal routine trip to New York: taking the Commuter Rail to Porter Square, taking the “T” to South Station, and getting on either Megabus or Bolt Bus. This time around I took a cab to Riverside Station in Newton to catch a World Wide Bus to New York.
For those of you who never took it, its about the same quality as Megabus or Boltbus. Just as those usually do, the bus left 20 minutes late. My one main concern though was the WIFI didn’t work too well.
As a frequently traveler, I think it is proper to keep conversations en route to a minimum, especially on night and morning buses when people tend to relax or sleep. However, I find almost every time there is at least one couple who continually talks. I intended on catching up on sleep on the bus ride, but ended up writing this post. What do you think about bus etiquette? How much talking on busses is too much? I don’t expect quiet but I also don’t expect people to essentially share their life stories.
Stay Tuned!
In contrast to the the 2007 USATE winning team name “ What Happens in Parsippany Stays in Parsippany,” I will be reporting my takes on the tournament on a blog near you!

The Best of All from the Grammys: A Lifetime Achievement Award for the Allman Brothers

Any loyal reader would note that I am somewhat of an Allman Brothers fanatic; to the contrary, I am a bad fan  as I did not watch the Grammys yesterday and had no clue they won a lifetime achievement award! To carry on from yesterday’s post, things couldn’t have got much better for the Allman Brothers last night: three separate nominations and a life-time achievement award!

I’ve heard the Allman Brothers jam out to 25 minute songs before but never give 25 minute speeches!

Sir Paul’s Pre-Valentine’s Day Greeting at the Grammys

 For those of you like your modest blogger who missed Sir Paul’s performance at tonight’s Grammys, here it  is. He played “My Valentine” out of his his new February 2012 album Kisses from the Bottom.

To top things off he helped finish the Grammys with his usual Abbey Road sequence Golden Slumbers-Carry that Weight- The End with the help of Bruce Springsteen and David Grohl