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Best of CLO 08: #9 Print E-mail
January 8, 2009
GM Josh Friedel, Photo Betsy Dynako
The Best of Chess Life Online #9 finisher is Adventures of a Samford: Finally A GM, by Josh Friedel. The judges praised Josh's psychological insights and comical style in writing about earning his final norm in the 2008 Frank Berry U.S. Championship in Tulsa. GM Josh Friedel is a Samford Scholar and a frequent contributor to Chess Life Online, where he writes variations on "Adventures of a Samford." In Best of CLO 2007, Josh's European humor travelogue articles placed ninth, Pruess Wins GM Norm in France, Part I and Part II and third, Diary of a Samford Scholar , Part I and Part II. Josh's most recent tournament reports were Josh on Getting Close at the Continental and Josh Annotates Edmonton Games.  Look out for more from Josh in 2009.

The Judges Sound Off

Read more about the judges here.

"Very thoughtful article by well deserved Grandmaster Friedel, who worked hard and played a lot to finally get the title. It's obviously very interesting and a very good read. It's also instructive, especially for people 2000+. It teaches them not to give up even if you reach a plateau, and how to prepare for tournaments and single games."- IM Lenderman

"Josh Friedel has an entertaining writing style and I always enjoy reading his personal insights.  He openly shared his inner feelings with readers, wondering out loud whether he was "a total fish" prior to sitting down on board 1 in the last round of the US Championship.  No doubt one difference between a fish like me (floundering around south of FM) and a GM was Friedel's willingness to be self-critical.  The lightly annotated games and interspersed humor made this my favorite late night reading!"- Michael Aigner

"People who don’t take themselves all that seriously usually are a lot happier. Josh’s writing style seems like post-modern GM style of reporting, but poking fun at yourself at the same time. It works!"- Mike Atkins
"Josh's casual and humorous style is invariably entertaining. In this article, he gives us the inside story of how he earned his final GM norm, highlighting critical moments from all of his games. In chess, all we often have as a "story" is a bare score sheet, and all the emotion and psychology that lend a game its unique flavor remain obscured. I found Josh's frank presentation of his games to be both interesting and instructive, although there was no reason to pass up his usual twelve hours before the last round."- IM Irina Krush