Foust sees second generations come through Odessa PAL

first_img Facebook Pinterest Twitter Foust sees second generations come through Odessa PAL WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Eight-year-old Mikayla Hamilton throws the ball over the net while playing Nuke’em. For the past 21 years, Odessa Police Department Sgt. Jon Foust has watched hundreds of children participate in the Odessa Police Athletic League.Foust said he has been in charge of the program long enough to see second generations come through the program.The Odessa PAL has been around for the past 27 years. It’s a four-week program that offers children ages 8 to 12 the opportunity to participate in summer activities.“I have children of children that I started with. Now, I know what a teacher feels like,” Foust said with a smile. “It’s important that those kids trust me enough to bring their kids back to me. It’s good for my heart.”Due to the overwhelming demand for the four-week program, Odessa PAL has added a second session for the second straight year.There are 75 children signed up for each session. The first session began Monday and will continue until June 28. The second session is from July 8 to Aug. 2. The program is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.OPD spokesperson Cpl. Steve LeSueur said each session filled up quickly. There are about 350 PALs throughout the country, but very few in Texas. Foust said the closest PAL to Odessa is in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.“The response that we receive is overwhelming,” LeSueur said. “We don’t really have to advertise for it. As soon as we put it out there that we are having registration, it fills up within minutes for both sessions.”Three 13-year-olds that previously participated in the program are now volunteers.Ariana Rincon of Odessa knew she wanted to be a volunteer when she was 10. She first participated in the Odessa PAL when she was 8.“Being a volunteer, it is amazing,” Rincon said. “We get to help these kids achieve their goals and they learn how to play different sports. It’s really fun.”Ciandra Mendoza of Dallas said it’s a tradition to spend time in Odessa during the summer.Foust said the volunteers must come through the program and can be a volunteer until they are 18. Foust added there are between eight and 12 officers that help each day of camp. He also said officers are welcome to volunteer on their days off. “I’ve been in this program since I was 7,” Mendoza said. “I always had fun and listened to the officers and liked playing the games.”Rincon and Mendoza were both assisting officers as children played football. Children also play volleyball, basketball, soccer, tug-o-war and capture the flag. Foust said the children’s favorite activity, which is used as a reward, is dodgeball.Sierra Britton of Odessa enjoys working with children. She added that she has a greater appreciation for the officers and volunteers in the program.“It’s fun to be a volunteer and to be a participant,” Britton said. “You get to see what the kid’s perspective is and now what it’s like for the volunteers.”center_img Pinterest WhatsApp TAGS  Local NewsLaw Enforcement By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Previous articleWhat’s Going On June 21Next articleRockHounds-Cardinals Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

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The Internet Is Convinced That Joe Lunardi Is Wearing A Toupée, And Is Unimpressed

first_imgA rack of NCAA basketballs.SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 21: NCAA basketballs in a rack on the court during the shoot-around proipr to the game between the Florida Gators and the Fresno State Bulldogs during the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on December 21, 2013 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Florida defeated Fresno State 66-49. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is one of college basketball’s most well-renowned bracketologists, but his most recent bracket isn’t what has Twitter abuzz during today’s early college basketball games. Many noticed something…strange about Lunardi’s hairdo, and are convinced that he’s wearing a toupée.Joe Lunardi is not fooling anyone with that toupee #CmonBro— Josef (@Joeyy_Steeze) February 28, 2015Joe Lunardi’s toupee has upped its OOC schedule and is in as a solid 7 seed right now— Andrew Rush (@idiotsonsports) February 28, 2015I currently have Joe Lunardi as a one seed in my “worst toupee bracket”— C Payne (@FakeCPayne) February 28, 2015I’ve got Joe Lunardi’s toupee as the 8th seed in the east #bracketology pic.twitter.com/iOeo7I3RZd— Jordan Jones (@theRealjwjones) February 28, 2015Lunardi needs to fire his toupee guy pic.twitter.com/MyK0CjyFD8— Rob Preslan (@RPreslan) February 28, 2015Why does Joe Lunardi keep up the facade of that awful toupee. Just let that bald head breathe!— M. Butler (@mbutlerOK) February 28, 2015Joe Lunardi’s toupee is projected to be a 14th seed in the NCAA Tourney!— Miran Maric (@MiranMaric) February 28, 2015Marv Albert is wondering what Joe Lunardi is doing with his 1986 toupee— ChicagoTerps (@ChicagoTerps) February 28, 2015Lunardi has been asked about this in the past, and denies it, for whatever that is worth.last_img read more

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CU initiates restoration of historical oil paintings in its collection

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta University (CU) has taken up restoration of all the oil paintings in its collection which have immense historical value. The university that dates back to its foundation on January 24, 1857, aims to uphold its tradition and heritage through this endeavour.”The oil paintings were badly in need of restoration. Some of them were on the wall at the Senate while some others were lying dumped in a room beside the Senate Hall. Most of the figures in the paintings were found to be beyond recognition. We approached the state Heritage Commission and met its chairman Shuvaprasanna and urged him to the needful. He saw the paintings and agreed,” said Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee, the Vice-Chancellor of CU. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSome of the rare and priced paintings among the 21 that are witnessing a facelift includes the portrait of Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee by Shashi Kumar Hesh. “Only two portraits by Hesh are found in India and one of them is in our collection,” said a senior CU official. The painting of Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee done by Atul Basu and a famous painting by G P Gangopadhyay that was also lying in utter neglect is being restored. “Most of the oil paintings of famous people that are in the collection of the university have been associated with it some time or the other. The restoration of oil paintings is not seriously taken up in present times. But Banerjee after taking over as V-C realised the importance of proper preservation of these valuable paintings,” said Shuvaprasanna. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to him, the only university in the state that has such a treasured collection is CU. The students of Arts Acre, an institution founded by Shuvaprasanna to nurture young talents in visual arts is doing the uphill task of restoration. They have been provided with a room adjacent to the Senate Hall by the university itself for doing the work. The work had started six months back and it will take another four months to complete. Different modern techniques are being used to give the best possible look to the oil paintings. Once it is complete, it will be in good condition for at least 50 years. “The work for the revival of the Senate Hall and restoration of the paintings are going on side-by-side which is an evidence of the university’s seriousness in preserving its history and heritage,” he maintained.last_img read more

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Russell Wilsons Blackness Should Not Be a Question

It’s troubling to hear reverberations from the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks’ locker room that quarterback Russell Wilson is at the center of a divide within the team because he’s not “Black enough.”Really? Seriously?Being Black has no boundaries, and if some of his teammates take his insistence on not blasting rap music or not wearing his pants hanging off his butt or enunciating when he speaks or whatever else they conjure up as not being “Black enough,” well, that’s a case of us setting ourselves back.Percy Harvin, a talented yet apparently volatile receiver, was traded last week to the New York Jets in a move that stunned most NFL observers. The talk from the Seahawks’ locker room (anonymously, of course) was that there was a rift between quarterback and receiver. Half the players sided with Harvin and others with Wilson. In the end, the team rolled with its quarterback who led them to the championship last year and traded Harvin and all his talent.Last year, Black people went berserk when a white journalist said Colin Kaepernick was not fit to lead the San Francisco 49ers as quarterback because his body is laden with tattoos. But hardly is there a whimper from the Black community when Black teammates criticize their quarterback for being a polished young man. Something is wrong with that.Wilson, in a weak press conference to try to diffuse the drama, said that Harvin is a lot like him and that the discord between the two and teammates was a media creation. Not true on both counts. This is what he said: “Percy and I never had differences. He’s a guy that, you know, we had a lot of similarities, probably, if anything. You know, guys that want to compete at the highest level, want to win every single time you step on the field. Want the ball in our hands, to make the big play and everything. So I’m not sure why the media tries to blow everything out of proportion, it’s part of it, I guess. You have to deal with it. But you also ignore it, too. Like I always tell you guys, ignore the noise. You know, Percy’s a Virginia guy and I wish nothing but the best for him.”About all Harvin and Wilson have in common is that they are both from Virginia and they play football.  And they are Black. That’s about it. And that’s more than enough. Neither is more or less Black than the other.Being Black means being hip and corny, smart and not-so-smart, giving and greedy, thoughtful and selfish, articulate and mumbling, soulful and soulless, tough and weak, ambitious and docile … and on and on. When Black men call other Black men “not Black enough,” they point out the insecurities within themselves.No doubt, if Seattle, which was predicted by some pundits to go undefeated this season, had not lost two games in a row, the tension within the team would be minimized. But adversity (losing) brings out the soul of a person and a team, and the Seahawks have to undergo serious self-examination now to hold it together.Wilson, by most accounts, comports himself with respect, conveys his thoughts clearly, treats people with respect, works hard, leads by example. Seems “Black enough” to me. read more

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American Chess Is Great Again

Wilhelm Steinitz was “a fat phlegmatic little man, with a fine forehead and mussed hair and clothes,” according to one newspaper account. He was also the favorite at the inaugural world chess championship, held in 1886, and an émigré to the United States — Steinitz had adopted the U.S. as his own after emigrating from Europe, later changing his first name to William.The championship match was a grand tour of the country, beginning in New York, ending in New Orleans, and stopping in St. Louis in between. With $4,000 on the line, Steinitz struggled in the early games and fell far behind. But by the time they reached New Orleans, he had recovered, and America’s first chess champion was crowned.“It was from Steinitz that the era of modern chess began,” wrote Garry Kasparov, possibly the best player of all time.But American chess was in the midst of a bleak century, only rarely punctuated by triumph. Paul Morphy, the great chess genius and Steinitz’s unofficial predecessor, died of a stroke in the bath at age 47, just a couple of years before Steinitz won. Contemporary reports described him as “insane,” walking the streets “chattering to himself.” Steinitz died, penniless and mentally ill, in a state hospital in 1900. Bobby Fischer, the only modern American world champion, failed to defend his title in 1975, descended into paranoia and anti-Semitism, and later praised the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Since Fischer’s exit, no American has ever been ranked the world No. 1. Only two Americans — Fischer and Gata Kamsky — have played in the world championship finals in the last 100 years.But this string of misfortune may be about to end, thanks to some quintessentially American ideals: mobility and prosperity. A trio of players — both native and immigrant — have found their way to the U.S., and each now ranks in the top seven in the world.1All the world rankings and Elo ratings mentioned in this article are accurate as of the beginning of August’s Sinquefield Cup tournament.Those three, along with the reigning Norwegian world champion, are currently assembled in St. Louis for one of the strongest chess competitions ever held. And that American city has become a lighthouse for the game, featuring top-flight tournaments, world-class venues and varsity chess programs. And fueling it all is an aging multimillionaire who has made the success of American chess his life’s quest after growing up in an orphanage and falling in love with the game as a teenager.Can the American dream be leveraged into chess glory? 4Spain41– RANKPLAYERCOUNTRYWIN PROB. 2Germany55– 3Canada44– 1United States89– On Oct. 10, 2016, at a rally in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, then-candidate Donald Trump was riffing on what he saw as the unfortunate complexity of existing U.S. trade deals. To understand them, he said, “You have to be like a grand chess master — and we don’t have any of them.” At the time, the United States had 90 grandmasters.Rex Sinquefield was listening to that speech, and he wasn’t pleased. He reached for his cell phone, flipped through his contacts, and rang up Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence.“I left a long message. I said, ‘I want to explain to you, first of all, what’s going on in St. Louis.’ I said, ‘There are plenty of grandmasters.’ I said, ‘At any point in time, there are probably 25 grandmasters in St. Louis,’” Sinquefield recalled. “Pence called me back … He said, ‘Rex, I had no idea what was going on in your city.’ He said, ‘This is absolutely amazing.’ He said, ‘I’m going to tell Donald. He said, ‘He will be embarrassed and amused.’” (Sinquefield never heard from Trump.)Sinquefield and I met in St. Louis in April in the midst of the national championship. We sat on the second floor of the well-appointed chess club he founded in 2008. On one side of the room stood chess tables prepared for battle. On the other hung the spoils of the game — gleaming trophies and old photos of American legends, including Fischer. Sinquefield wore a windbreaker over a polo shirt, both emblazoned with the insignia of his club, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.Sinquefield — a multimillionaire or billionaire, depending on your source — is somewhere between a Medici and the Wizard of Oz of American chess. He was raised in Saint Vincent Home for Children, an orphanage just outside the city, and went on to make his money pioneering index funds, after earning an MBA at the University of Chicago. His current home, an 8,000-square-foot mansion on a private street a few blocks from the club, bears some resemblance to a rook.He pours millions a year into this chess hamlet he’s built within the city’s tony Central West End. Within a literal stone’s throw, there’s the three-story club, which has dues-paying members and hosts elite tournaments, a grandmaster-in-residence, and a high-tech production facility; a hall of fame and museum which houses an impressive collection of Fischer artifacts; a chess-themed diner which shows Cardinals baseball games and chess games on side-by-side TVs; and three “chess houses” which are home to a rotation of visiting players. That’s all on one block, and doesn’t begin to mention the sidewalk chess tables and the 14½-foot-tall king that keeps watch over the street.A 2015 New York Times article strongly suggested that Sinquefield footed the bill for Caruana’s transfer to the U.S. It’s a suggestion Sinquefield denies. “He paid that fee entirely himself,” Sinquefield said. “We didn’t pay a penny of it.” In either case, there’s no denying that the cash he has laid out has helped attract Caruana and So, and helped to launch a real bid for the world title. Sinquefield predicts an American world champion by 2020. If an American looks poised to qualify, he insisted he’d do everything he could to negotiate with FIDE to bring the match to St. Louis. He even had a venue picked out.What’s in it for Sinquefield? Is this like some other billionaire owning a baseball team? “This is infinitely more fun than that,” he said, adding that he’d turned down a chance to take an ownership share in the Cardinals.Instead, Sinquefield says the answer is twofold: First, it’s a passion — a retirement hobby for a wealthy Missourian. He learned the game when was 13 from his Uncle Fred. When we spoke, he had 19 chess games in progress online, and he takes a weekly lesson from Shahade, the women’s national champion. He’s on a first-name basis with most of the best players in the world, and he haunts the club during tournaments, keeping a close eye on the games.Second, it’s an investment. Sinquefield is a financier, a public policy wonk, and a fiscal conservative. (Another lifelong passion is the elimination of income tax.) He expects that his privately funded improvement in American chess will yield public returns. These could come, he explained, in the form of educational and health outcomes. His club is working to put chess in local schools and, in an effort to improve community relations, to train cops how to teach kids the game. And he’s keeping a close eye on studies in a local hospital on the potentially ameliorative effects of chess on dementia and Alzheimer’s.“It’s several million a year, easily,” Sinquefield said about what he’s putting into the game. “So far it seems well worth it.”“It’s a dream — this is the Mecca of chess,” Shahade said. “Obviously, the financial contributions are so considerable and so generous. But a lot of the passion to donate that money is that Rex really absolutely loves chess and sees the multifaceted nature of the game. And he really loves history.”Sinquefield is only a year younger than Fischer would be if he were alive. The 1972 world championship, and the historic performance that led up to it, struck a nerve, and Sinquefield has been obsessed with Fischer and the game ever since. He effortlessly rattled off Fischer’s conquests on his way to the world title. “It had an impact on everybody,” Sinquefield said, speaking about the patriotic frenzy around the match. “We were all captured by it.”And we may be again.Graphics by Rachael Dottle.UPDATE (Aug. 8, 5:01 p.m.): This article has been updated with comments from Lotis Key on the timing of events surrounding So’s departure from Webster University. Who might challenge Carlsen?Top players’ chance of winning Candidates Tournament (and challenging Carlsen), based on Elo ratings Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So playing in the London Chess Classic in 2016. Ray Tang / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images 6Mamedyarov🇦🇿10.8 The three best American chess players: Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana. Getty Images More players transfer to the U.S. than to any other countryNations that received the highest number of player transfers, 2000-17 3Caruana🇺🇸19.1 Includes the most highly rated players as of Aug. 1, and the defending world runner-up, Karjakin.Based on data from 2700chess.com 7Bosnia and Herzegovina32– Caruana and So’s transfers did not go unnoticed.Caruana’s transfer required a fee of $61,000, paid to the Italians and FIDE, the game’s international governing body. According to the Italian Chess Federation, Caruana was also offered more than $200,000 a year by the Americans. Some top players, including Carlsen, scoffed at what they saw as a mercenary approach to building an American roster. If the Candidates were held today and all three top Americans qualified, which they would if their official ratings are any guide, the Americans would have a better-than-50 percent chance of sending a challenger to face Carlsen, according to my simulations. (Sergey Karjakin, last year’s challenger, qualifies for the Candidates automatically.) Assuming any American that won the Candidates had a fighting chance against the Norwegian, we arrive at something like the following: There is a 1-in-5 chance that the next world chess champion will represent the United States.Jennifer Shahade, a two-time U.S. women’s chess champion, had a similar outlook, although she hadn’t run any simulations. “I’m also a poker player,” she told me, “and it’s definitely good odds.” She put the chances of an American challenging for the world title in the next two cycles at 55 percent.Last year, Caruana missed a Candidates victory by one devastating game. The world championship was then held in New York City, where Caruana spent some of his early years, and American observers saw it as a missed opportunity for the game in the States. Few think the full-blown 1972 Fischer fever will take hold again in the U.S. — fueled, as it was, by Cold War implications — but everyone seems hopeful that another chance at glory will come.“That will be the final sealing of the deal, to say U.S. chess is the best chess in the world, which is the goal,” Ashley told me as he was being miked up to broadcast the next round at the nationals. “That’s how we roll. That’s essential: to be the best.”Only So himself struck a melancholy note at the whole prospect. “I sometimes feel sorry for [Carlsen] because the pressure is terrible,” he told me over email. “If he even draws a game, people are disappointed. People think they have a right to every bit of his life. I don’t want to live like that.”But a world championship is the goal. And it’s being pursued with that most American of fuels: money. “A world championship would be spectacular,” said Walters, the U.S. Chess president. “And there are forces here in St. Louis who would put that very near the top of the list.” 5Russia36– Wilhelm Steinitz, right, was a chess great who adopted the U.S. as his own after emigrating from Europe. Getty Images 2So🇺🇸25.2% In April, two American grandmasters stood over the shoulder of a third, watching him struggle through a winnable tournament. Hikaru Nakamura (current world No. 7), stood with his arms crossed beneath his floppy dark hair and sideburns. Fabiano Caruana (world No. 3), sparrowlike and wearing a white dress shirt, stood next to him, squinting, with his arms gathered leisurely behind his back. They are two of the three best chess players in the country, and all were vying for the title of national champion. Seated in front of them was the other, commanding a black wooden army of pieces, Wesley So.As the tournament, which stretched from March 29 to April 9, reached its crescendo, So sat at the board bundled in an eggplant-colored sweater while tied for first place. Tied? He should’ve been crushing this field, and he knew it. He’s the next great hope, after all — the top-rated American and the world No. 2. He still found his way through the remaining games, and held on to win the national championship a couple of days later — his first.So has an acutely poised approach to a game of chess. His arms hang at his sides. He clasps his hands, left fingers over right, on the table in front of him. He hovers over the wooden battle unfolding on the board, like the figurehead on the prow of a ship. The USS So. Occasionally, if the position is difficult, the USS So takes a hard turn starboard, and the grandmaster stares at the wall and ponders. Every so often, if that doesn’t work, the ship turns port, toward the spectators. Rarer still, he stares right at you.So is a recent addition to an elite American lineup that now boasts three of the world’s top seven players. The three found themselves in St. Louis on that sunny spring day — and playing under the American flag — in very American ways. Nakamura wasn’t born here (he was born in Japan), but he moved here when he was 2 years old. Caruana was born here (in Florida), but moved away (Spain, Hungary, Switzerland) to train. So wasn’t born here either (Philippines), but moved here (Missouri) to attend college.It’s not easy to describe what makes So’s game unique — or Caruana’s or Nakamura’s, for that matter. The difficulty arises not only from chess’s vastness, but also from the creeping influence of computers. Chess is a more homogenized game than it once was. “It’s harder to differentiate the thinking of the different players because they’re all using the same programs,” John Donaldson, an international master who captained the U.S. team to a 2016 Olympiad win, said in a phone call.That being said, some differences do remain. Caruana and Nakamura have very aggressive styles, and Donaldson said occasionally they have to remind themselves to temper this aggression. But a more placid temperament comes naturally to So, and it’s precisely this cool on the board that distinguishes him. His play is consistent, calm and highly theoretical. Unlike the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, who is known for not being especially well prepared when it comes to his opening moves, So takes theoretically established lines and adds in his own fresh strategic ideas.The three U.S. players’ journeys to the precipice of a world championship have differed, too, but all have been long and some occasionally scandalous. But all hope they’ll end with a world title. Nakamura, 29, is the old hand. He first clinched the country’s No. 1 spot in 2005, and has suffered the Fischer comparisons for years now. “There are very few people out there who have the ability to, I don’t want to say change the world, but make a very big impact, and with chess I feel like I really have that chance,” Nakamura told the Riverfront Times in 2011. So came next, switching his chess allegiances from the Filipino team to the U.S. in 2014. (At the time, he was No. 14 in the world.) Caruana, 25, followed shortly after, defecting from the Italian squad in 2015. “I think I will be world champion someday,” Caruana told The New Yorker. Amid this chess-world furor, So’s play has remained placid, and he described his adopted family as a supportive team. “They have had a lot of foster kids over the years and because they are Christians they believe in helping others.” So, too, relies heavily on his Christian faith. And it’s precisely his monkish calm and ascetic approach that fuel his game and intimidate his opponents. “I do not go to parties. I do not ‘hang out,’ I do not play games or use the internet,” So said in an email. “I don’t drink alcohol, use drugs or eat junk food. I don’t even have a cell phone.”Maurice Ashley, a grandmaster and chess commentator, described So as “playing the best chess” in the world right now, and others agree that So is on the brink of chess’s highest prize. “It’s like he’s in the high Himalayas climbing, and it’s the last 1,000 feet toward the summit, toward the world championship,” Donaldson said. “He’s in rarefied air.”As I sought to find out more about America’s best chess player, Key got wind of my inquiries. “Why did you try to establish contact with his estranged relatives?” she asked about my having tried to reach his biological family. “Aware that his enemies are always trying to hurt him, we wondered at the curious timing of your trying to locate them in the weeks just before the tournament began.”I never did reach So’s birth family, and my efforts to arrange more meaningful time with the grandmaster through his adoptive mother were unsuccessful. Key insisted that all communication be funneled through her. “You probably consider our precautions extraordinary,” she said. “Yet consider that when you want to stop an elite skater you try to break her leg. With a chess player, you must break something else.”The World Chess Championship operates like a fiefdom. The reigning champion, currently the Norwegian Carlsen, is the overlord. He sits in his throne waiting while the rest of the super-grandmasters bloody each other over the course of a grueling two-year cycle. A triumphant performance in several Grand-Prix tournaments, the Chess World Cup or the official world rankings lands a contender in the Candidates Tournament, in which eight survivors battle each other one final time. Exactly one of them wins the right to challenge the defending champion for the title in yet another lengthy series of games. The next Candidates is slated for March 2018 and the next championship match for the following November. Their locations have not yet been announced. The U.S. Chess Federation recognizes its role in building the American roster this way, but is shy with details. “We get involved because a player of So’s stature carries with it some heavy funding requirements,” its president Gary Walters told me. “FIDE has penalties when you cross and change flags … When you’re Wesley So, we’re talking about tens of thousands of euros to make the transfer. That money has to be paid through U.S. Chess … We typically do not make the payments for players, but we will facilitate the payments.” (FIDE lists So’s transfer fee at 5,000 euros.) The federation operates with a total annual revenue of about $3.8 million in 2015, according to its tax documents.Who did pay? “I don’t know who paid the transfer fees,” Walters said. The New York Times reported that the United States Chess Federation had created a charitable fund “to help recruit and pay the fees of foreign players interested in moving to the United States.” So has said he paid the fee out of pocket.Despite their far-flung origins, the American players have, as a group, achieved early success. The U.S. won gold at the Olympiad, the top team chess competition, last year. It was the first time the country had taken gold in 40 years. But the triad aren’t close, and remain professional rivals. At the closing ceremonies after the nationals, as Nakamura nursed a beer at a ballroom table in St. Louis waiting for So to receive his trophy, Nakamura explained to me that his friends generally aren’t top chess players. They’re his competition, after all. I also asked So, over email, if he had good friends in the chess world. “No. This is not a team sport,” he responded. (Although there are occasional team events, such as the Olympiad.) “We respect and admire each other but mostly keep to ourselves because sooner or later we are going to have to play each other and then you might have mental conflict.”U.S. chess’s plan to shift players to its team has worked out beautifully on the surface. Beneath it, though, its top player has wrestled with family strife and the growing pains of a new life under chess’s spotlight.At the end of the 2015 national championship, So posted this message to his Facebook page: “Let me state right at the top of this that I write my own emails and NO ONE controls my communication, or when and how I choose to communicate. I am not cut off, isolated, drugged, in bondage or kidnapped. I do not belong to anyone but God. I am a man who wishes to be let alone to find his own life.” He had been forced to forfeit a crucial game for writing notes to himself on a piece of paper, in violation of tournament rules. The indiscretion came, So has explained, as the result of a bout of stress following an international family dispute.At a dinner party in Minnesota in 2013, So met Lotis Key, a former film actress who has starred in over 75 Asian movies, and Renato “Bambi” Kabigting, a basketball star while in the Philippines. The couple lives in Minnetonka, a leafy Minneapolis suburb. The trio hit it off, and by the end of 2014, So had left college and moved in with them; he began calling Key mom.According to an account Key gave the Star Tribune, the dispute at the tournament occurred when So’s birth mother, Eleanor So — who now lives in Canada — showed up at the tournament, demanding that he return to school and threatening to cut all ties to the family. A minor scuffle — arm grabbing, yelling — ensued outside the chess club. Eleanor So told the paper that, “Since someone is blocking us access to our own son, we had to try and see him in person to help him.”The meeting was orchestrated, Key told the Star Tribune, by Wesley So’s former coach at Webster University, Paul Truong, who was upset at having lost his star player when he dropped out. Truong denied this and told me that So’s scholarship had been revoked, although he said he couldn’t discuss why. “We knew that he was going to go through some rough times, and we just wanted to protect him, so we never bothered correcting what the media said,” Truong said. Key told me that So decided to leave school, and turn pro, weeks before his scholarship was withdrawn. “The simple fact is Wesley left because he was unhappy at Webster and had decided to play chess professionally,” she said in an email. A spokesman for Webster declined to comment on why So left the university.Several years before, Truong, in a separate incident, had been accused of posting obscene messages online under the name of a rival in a campaign to get elected to the U.S. Chess Federation board. (Truong continues to deny those accusations, although they were confirmed by a private investigator hired by U.S. Chess.) He was later ousted from the federation, and the legal dispute was settled.Despite a strained relationship with So, Truong was optimistic about his future. “Out of all the current players in the United States today, I believe that [So] would have the best chance to be the next world champion,” he said. 10Austria29– 12Karjakin🇷🇺3.3 9Turkey31– 5Aronian🇦🇲12.5 7Nakamura🇺🇸8.4 2017 data as of April 11.Source: FIDE COUNTRYNUMBER OF TRANSFERS 8Croatia32– 8Vachier-Lagrave🇫🇷6.2 4Kramnik🇷🇺14.5 6France34– read more

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Clippers fall to Mud Hens in finale of 6game series

The Toledo Mud Hens got revenge on the Columbus Clippers, scoring 13 runs and holding Columbus to five runs on six hits in the finale of the teams’ six-game series Monday. The Clippers fell to 8-4, while the Mud Hens improved to 4-8. “They have good players, and they got the better of us today,” Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh said after the loss. “Give them credit: They put good swings on the ball today.” Clippers first baseman Wes Hodges batted in two of his team’s five runs when he doubled to center field in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was the last two runs Toledo’s Andrew Oliver gave up on the day. Hodges said Oliver, who was credited with the win and moves to 2-0 on the season, had an array of pitches that he threw to Columbus batters. “He did a good job just mixing it,” Hodges said. “He has a good fastball, and he threw strikes today.” Columbus starting pitcher Corey Kluber gave up six runs on six hits in 4.2 innings pitched. Toledo first baseman Ryan Strieby sent a two-run home run over the left-field bleachers in the top of the fifth inning to give Toledo a 6-2 lead. But the Clippers battled back when right fielder Chad Huffman sent a double to center field, scoring two runs and bringing the Clippers within two runs heading into the sixth inning. Right-handed pitcher Joe Martinez came in for Kluber after the Strieby homer, and earned four quick outs before the seventh inning, when the Clippers were still well in contention, trailing just 6-4. That didn’t continue into the seventh inning. Martinez allowed a solo home run to Toledo left fielder Andy Dirks to start the inning, giving the Mud Hens a 7-4 lead. Three batters and just one out later, Toledo center fielder Clete Thomas delivered a three-run home run to right field to break the game open and give the Mud Hens a 10-4 lead with just one out. Sarbaugh said that inning was detrimental for his club. “We felt like we were still in the game going into the seventh,” he said, “but Clete Thomas’ home run was the big blow.” Martinez got out of the inning without allowing another run, but got no run support in the bottom of the seventh, when Columbus’ first three batters were retired. Toledo earned three more runs off right-handed pitcher Jess Todd in the eighth inning to give the Mud Hens a 13-4 lead. Columbus shortstop Luis Valbuena hit a ground ball that scored center fielder Bubba Bell in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough, as the designated Cord Phelps struck out to end the game with a final score of 13-5. Columbus will begin a four-game series with the Louisville Bats on Tuesday. The Bats sit in first place in the division with a 9-2 record. Sarbaugh said today’s loss is just a bump in the road and that the team can’t get hung up on the nine-run loss. “It’s one of those days,” he said, “and we’ve got to come back ready (Tuesday).” read more

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Luke Shaw is fit to play for United says Mourinho

first_imgManchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that left-back Luke Shaw is available for selection for Saturday’s match at Watford.Shaw left the pitch on a stretcher after a clash with Dani Carvajal in the second half of England’s Nations League match with Spain at Wembley.However, it seems that Shaw has made a quick recovery, and is now in contention to play on Saturday as United visit Watford.Even though the club doctor has declared him fit, Mourinho has not yet decided whether to play him or not.“I don’t know (if he’ll play),” Mourinho told Sky Sports.Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Manchester UnitedVidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“We still have a training session.“Contrary to some news, by the protocol point of view and according to our doctor he will be free to play.“The only situation we have to analyse is if we are going to play him when during the week he was not training with the team, or if, even so, we decide to play him.”last_img read more

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PSG boss pleased with Neymar Cavani partnership

first_imgParis Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel is pleased with Neymar and Edinson Cavani’s improved relationship after securing a 4-1 win over Reims in Ligue 1The pair have put aside their differences from last season, which saw them regularly dispute over spot-kick duties, to help maintain PSG’s 100% start to the new league season.A brace from Cavani along with goals from Neymar and Thomas Meunier ensured PSG of the three points after Xavier Chavalerin had given Reims a shock lead after two minutes of play at the Parc Des Princes.Asked about Neymar and Cavani’s improved relationship afterwards and whether he had a part it in, Tuchel told reporters: “You have to ask them! Great players have to play and live together, it’s very important.“I feel that Ney, Edi [Cavani], Angel [Di Maria] and Kylian [Mbappe] form a group that wants to win and improve together. I’ll always tell them that’s what I want.”on the performance, he added: “I am very satisfied with the first 60 minutes, we played fast and easy, with very few keys,”PSG, Neymar, Ligue 1PSG ultras sent a warning letter to Neymar Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Brazilian superstar Neymar might play today his first game of the season for Paris Saint-Germain and the team’s ultras have warned him.“We recovered the ball very quickly. We did that for 60 minutes.”PSG already hold an eight-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 from Lyon and have become only the fourth French side to win their first seven games of a top-flight campaign.“We are very happy to beat this record. It was a goal. This lays the foundation for continuing to work well,” said Tuchel.It’s a wrap at the Parc des Princes, where PSG got goals from @ECavaniOfficial (2), @neymarjr and @ThomMills to beat Reims 4-1!! 🔴🔵 #ICICESTPARIS #AllezParis #PSGSDR pic.twitter.com/CeeeGY1LpH— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) September 26, 2018last_img read more

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