Saturday, January 7, 2017

Meet CCCSA Blog Contributor: Gary "Chess Bully" Newsom

Meet CCCSA Blog Contributor:
 Gary “The Chess Bully” Newsom

Hello! For those of you who don’t know me I am Gary Newsom, affectionately ( I hope…) known as “The Chess Bully” around these parts. We won’t go into how I received the moniker; just know that it was well deserved.

I have been involved in the game of chess for 40+ years. I, like many others in my age group, caught the fever when Bobby Fischer was making his march to the world championship title back in 1972.  I was 12 then. There used to be a feature on Saturday mornings called “In The News” in which a snippet of some news story that might appeal to kids was aired between Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo. One fateful Saturday morning my brother and I caught a report on the Fischer-Spassky match and the rest is history. That afternoon we went to the library and came home with “Hoyle’s Book of Games” which included the rules of chess. We figured it out…mostly…on our own. For some reason we had the knights moving two squares diagonally and forward only but I think we got the rest right. That was the beginning.

Some of my best moments in chess include winning the Jr High School unrated tournament that allowed me to be one of the representatives at the Tennessee State Championship in 1974 (heck yeah that was one of my best moments….). Getting my first serious (with a clock) game published in the newspaper. It was a queen sac and I won in less than 10 moves. Qualifying for the Tennessee Invitational (adult..not scholastic) at age 18. Achieving the expert title for the first time at age 20. Achieving the title of Memphis City Co-Champion in 1988. Achieving the highest rating of my life (2141) at the 1994 Ohio Chess Congress with a 4-2 score vs all masters and wins vs Aviv Friedman (2400+) and George Umezinwa (high 2300) Winning the 2000 West Virginia Open. Winning the 2001 US Amateur South. Starting the long running "Reverse Angle" tournament series. Founding (along with Peter Giannatos and Mike Eberhardinger) the Queen City Chess Association, which eventually morphed into the CCCSA which Peter has done such a great job of developing.  Qualifying for the 2007 North Carolina Invitational. Being President of the NCCA from 2009-2012. Working with Walter High on developing chess in our region by first building the NC Open into a big event and then assisting Walter as it morphed into the chess festival we enjoy today.

Maybe you got bored reading all of that but the Cliff Notes version is that I have been around chess a long time. I have done a lot and seen a lot. There’s your takeaway.

My blog, which will be titled “The Bully’s Pulpit. Five Decades of Chess Intimidation” will be an eclectic hodgepodge of stories, opinions, observations on the chess scene and its culture, along with some actual chess board action occasionally. Basically wherever my head is at the time. I hope to keep it light,snarky and irreverant. We'll try to keep it PG, though I may have to sit on my hands occasionally. I will definitely entertain myself. We’ll see if it entertains the prospective reader.

OK out for now. Hope to see you at the board soon!

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