|A Simul and a Lifeline for Charity|
|March 19, 2010|
On March 13, 22 players braved the treacherous weather as they competed in a simultaneous chess exhibition given by National Master, David Cole, and each participant had the opportunity to use a "Lifeline to a Grandmaster." The grandmaster was Sergey Kudrin, and all but one of the players used that lifeline. David took black on all 22 boards, and when all was said and done, David had finished up with 20 wins and 2 draws. It is not the record that was important as all proceeds from the event are being donated to the Sparta Ambulance Corps Building and to the Sparta based Non-Profit organization called "Pass it Along", "Box City Project". This exhibition was built on the inspiration of raising awareness with the Sussex County youth about the plight of the homeless people and that the Sparta Ambulance Corps building was damaged last June by fire and is also the Summer quarters of the Sparta Chess Club.
One of the players offered a draw where she had a rook and two more pawns against David's two knights and pawns, and David turned down the offer with the thought in mind that this was an educational event, as David was quoted as saying that "You don't learn anything by declaring this game drawn, as there is still plenty of play left in the position". David eventually forked his opponent's king and rook with one of his knights and victory was assured.
The two players that drew were Louis Saber (The only player that did not use the Lifeline), and Thomas Wolfe. A good time was had by all, and most importantly, Sergey got back to NYC before the onslaught of the severe weather hit the area.
In the past, Mr. Cole has done exhibitions for various charities. In 1993, he did a "Flood Relief Simul" when parts of the St. Louis area were flooded, and was where he was living at that time. In 1994, Mr. Cole did another exhibition in the Atlanta area when parts of Georgia were hit by Tropical Storm Alberto. Shortly after 9/11, Mr. Cole did 2 simuls back in the St. Louis area as all proceeds went to the American Red Cross to help out with the Liberty Disaster Relief Fund.
In the future, David would like to do more exhibitions to help out the earthquake victims and perhaps get more top players involved in providing "Lifelines". This event was planned for the Fall initially, and before the events of Chile and Haiti unfolded, the charities were already committed, and could not be changed.
Also see an article about this event in The Sparta Independent.
See Jennifer Shahade's blog article last year on Baseball at 10 boards an hour for an account of a Greg Shahade "IM lifeline" which inspired David. Also see the Chess Diva story about a benefit effort for Haiti, which includes links to many other Haiti charitable events by USCF members.