Tim Taylor Article in Chess Life magazine: Vastly worse than even I could imagine

It is Monday, May 16, 2005, and I still have not received my May Chess Life in the mail, but it hit the newsstands in New York City on Saturday, so I went to a newsstand on the NE corner of Sixth Avenue and 11th Street and bought two copies.
A Two-Dollar Whore named Tatjana that Tim Taylor slept with. Although Taylor at one point refers to her as his girlfriend, he elsewhere identifies her as a prostitute. Photo Credit: Chess Life Magazine, page 28

The article by Tim Taylor is vastly worse that even I could imagine. Almost every page deals with explicit sex or vaguely suggested sex or somewhere in between. He starts with a woman whom he met on a Greyhound Bus who was a "pretty but far too faithful Indian girl". I had to reread it twice to catch his meeting, but finally I understood. He tried to sleep with this woman, but she insisted on being faithful to her husband.

At that point, he was still in California. The scene then shifts to Hungary, where the women there do not share these scruples.

Even the chess is not good in this article. He devotes half of a column on page 32 to a simple king and pawn ending. I studied the diagram trying to find some devious trick or trap. Finally, I realized, Taylor is winning regardless of what moves either he or his opponent plays.

The decision of USCF management to publish this article seems questionable. However, there has been no retraction or apology. To the contrary, Stan Booz, Chairman of the USCF Audit Committee and the USCF Finance Committee and the right hand man of President Beatriz Marinello has defended the publication of this article. Stan Booz wrote on the Internet: "Funny but I didn't see anything there than that which I've seen in Newsweek, Time, and More."

The Tim Taylor article is nine full pages long, by far the longest article I have ever seen in Chess Life. It features a picture of a two-dollar street prostitute Taylor wrote that slept with in Budapest. Altogether, it is a graphic, raw article.

Here is where he first gets into it:

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A month before Hungary ... Although I "lived" at this time in Venice, in a tiny room with three other guys, sleeping on a miserable upper bunk, with two cubic feet of "personal" storage space, where gang bangers shot each other to death outside, I preferred Beverly Hills to my "home." So one day I was leaving the Beverly Hills library when my cell phone rang (yes, one half a foot from homeless, IMs must have a cell phone, by California law!). I didn't recognize the number, and answered warily: "Hello." A deep, heavily accented voice asked, `Are you International Master Timothy Taylor?" This would be an unusual opening gambit for a bill collector, so I admitted my identity. "I am Laszlo from Budapest. I offer you the following: You may play in five international tournaments in succession in Hungary, four of them with GM norm possibilities ... " I said "Yes." This was a couple of months after the San Francisco tournament. I called Randall, and told him the story He asked the dates of the tournaments: October 2 to December 20 - and said to hold on. He got back on the phone a couple of minutes later: "I just got you a round-trip ticket to Budapest, you'll get an e-mail confirmation soon." I still haven't managed to thank Randall enough.


I arrived in Budapest and made my way to the Hotel Sunlight. No heat, but a very good breakfast. Laszlo came by to see me. We went to dinner, then for a walk. He pointed out the sights, and made observations on Hungarian culture. For example: "The economy is very difficult, so many women work as prostitutes, or are willing to make `arrangements' - are you interested?" I said I was. Strange as it may seem, living on the edge of homelessness with no cash on hand does not bring home the babes in Los Angeles. Laszlo asked, "Do you want sex or conversation?" I decided he was a man who got straight to the point. I smiled. "Actually I would prefer conversation, at least to begin with!" He said, "I know someone who is looking, and who speaks acceptable English." I did not realize at the time that "acceptable" meant virtually no English, but as it turned out, that wasn't an important issue anyway. We strolled down the main drag past the Hungarian Chess Federation. Laszlo pointed out a small cabaret which had, he claimed, "the best lesbian show in town." I made a sound of appreciation. "You like to be in the sandwich, yes?" Laszlo asked. "Yes!"


"In my tournaments, everyone wants to kill each other," Laszlo said. This was a small understatement. Competition was brutal beyond belief. There have been some rumors over the years that the First Saturday tournaments in Budapest are some kind of "norm factory." I don't know how this got started, as nothing could be further from the truth.

Were any deals made? Any easy passage? NO! They were both turned back, as GM Czebe held Dmitry to a draw, and Antal was defeated by IM Carlsen. Nobody else even got close. No quarter. The Hungarian reputation as the greatest fighters of all time is well earned (they


foreign players, I discovered - they had their laptops as well! So far as determine, every player had with a computer - every player but me! As our splendid; fair, and multi-lingual Arbiter Miklos Orso it, "They all prepare with machines in fact, three of my Los Angeles Philidor Defenses were in the Chessbase database. No wonder Balough was ready! The next day I had to play Dmitry! I tried to surprise him with Bird's Opening. He surprised me with From's Gambit! Apparently infected by Hungarian attitudes, Dmitry no mercy to a fellow American - and killed me!

Dmitry would go on to win the tournament, but no GM norm - in the last round, as mentioned above, he needed a big win against a GM - but herefs another thing about GMs: They do like new members to the club! Jealous of their titles, they fight like murderous dragons against interlopers. You want to make a GM norm? Then itfs not enough to have a really, re good tournament, like Dmitry did: He took clear first, but he didn't take home a norm. What you need is a great tournament!


She peered through the window into the GM room, as Laszlo pointed to me. She saw: my white hair, white shirt, black pants, black socks, no shoes. She asked Laszlo, "Does he always play without shoes?" He said, "Yes, Mr. Taylor is unusual, but you will like him." She agreed to go out with me - for conversation! Tatjana was just two years a widow; a Ukrainian adrift in Hungary, a wonderfully fierce masseuse, a sharp intellect with a deep love of culture - and maybe ten English words. I knew no Ukrainian and maybe two Russian words. We went out into the dark night of Budapest, the wind whipping off the Danube, temperature hovering around zero. She showed me the culture center at night, the astonishing beauty of the architecture, the city like a fairy tale below us, literally - no guardrails as we almost fell 60 feet onto the rocks by the river. But she jumped back even more when I tried to kiss her so 1 ... I waited, and then ... tried again, much, much slower... and she accepted. Said she was now Tanichka for me. And I was Timochka. We kissed again, drowned in beauty, drowned in kisses. The next day I shattered David Berczes with a piece sac on Move 14 and scored my first Hungarian win.


Samisch Variation W: IM Timothy Taylor, USA (2385) B : FM David Berczes, HUN (2323) October First Saturday 2003, Rd 7

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 a3 The most uncompromising line against the Nimzo: White immediately claims that the two bishops are more important than pawn structure. 4 ... Bxc3+ 5 bxc3 c5 In his 1960 match with Botvinnik, Tal countered with 5 ... Ne4. 6 e3 This old line (popular in the 50s) evidently confused my young opponent, though the moves he found (up to a point) were not bad. Much more fashionable now is the Shirovian 6 f3.

6 ... Nc6 7 Bd3 O-O 8 Ne2 b6 9 O-O Ba6 10 e4 A reasonable alternative is 10 Ng3 Na5 11 Qe2. But I play the main line, reaching an extremely well known position (for those of a certain vintage, that is!), a position that was featured in the games of World Champions from Capablanca to Karpov - and, because of the very influential game, Joyner-Capablanca, Carlsbad 1929 (which ended in a crushing win for Black), everyone knows what to do here: standard is 10 ... Ne8 when Black prevents the Bg5 pin, keeps the defensive option of ... f5 (to meet a white f4) and prepares a further attack on White's Xc4 in mind with ... Nd6. Jovner-Capablanca continued 11 Be3 d6 12 Qa4 Na5 13 Rfd1 Qc7 14 Racl Qc6 and Black won the ending. This move (10 ... Ne8) has become so standard

Qg3 Nd7 37 Bg4 Simplest. 37 ... Re7 38 Bxd'7 Bxd" b5 40 Qf6+ Ke8 41 df QhB+ Kf7 43 Qh7+, Black loses everything, and soon his king!


Tatjana had to go back to Ukraine to renew her work permit for Hungary. I went to an IM tournament in Kecskemet, noted for having more medieval churches than any other town in Hungary. The people there were used to the churches what really charged them up was a brand new McDonald's.

Up to this time, I had be good Hungarian food; this had detoxified my body from the horrible low-end fast food fare that had barely sustained me back in Venice. I was fighting my way back to health - but at ten o'clock in the small city of Kecskemet nothing was open save the brand new McDonald's. I ate there; the food sank like a stone in my belly - I became sicker than I did after (once I had returned to the U.S.) seeing Supersize Me"! Let me tell you, McDonalds are the same everywhere: a veritable rape of the stomach and the psyche, the soulless golem Ronald McDonald pushing addictive poisons to children And the Hungarian teenagers loved it!

There was not a whole lot to do in Kecskemet, so the teenagers, especially the girls, would dress up as for a prom date and go to this wonderful American shrine, these bright golden arches. I watched the girls - I didn't go in again. The fame of the Micky D even spread into the countryside - a carload of rustic teens pulled up next to me as I walked the cobblestone streets one night. They asked me in Hungarian where the McDonald's was. I replied, "Bezell angolul?" (Do you speak English?) One most fetching girl, way too young for me spoke English; she delighted herself when I understood her! I told her where the McDonald's was - they all thanked me profusely, and drove off. Poor kids!


The Hotel Sunlight, in Budapest had finally put the heat on in recognition of subzero temperatures (Though the warrior girls of Budapest had not yet abandoned their bare-midriff outfits!) My room featured a color TV that showed English porn late at night and later still, obscure rock music videos. A feast of a breakfast was morning: yogurt, all kinds of healthy Hungarian breads, cereal, milk, orange with the modest price of the room. Dmitry and I marveled at what he called the 'world class breakfast'.

My room in Kecskemet - a literal garret - came with the previous tenant's dirty laundry, but without breakfast. I paid extra to get the latter - they served it erratically - generally speaking, when I was asleep. 1'd find, outside my room, congealed, frozen eggs, over, very much over, in their icy grease. This sent me out to the pizza place I had found, where the comely hostess spoke Italian, and the waiter spoke German, and the pizzas had names of Tarentino heroes - you should try the Vince Vega! At the end of my stay I would try not to pay for the hotel "breakfast" only to find that the owner and tournament organizer was a lawyer - let's just say I ended up paying for the non-eaten frozen eggs!


Something pretty unusual happen during the second game in Kecskemet - no, it wasn't the Hustler magazine (the Hungarian language did not detract from Larry Flynt's pictorial style: I found under a travel magazine in the tournament room, though that was welcome - it was the fact that I ... Won! The tournament was a double round robin. After I drew as Black vs. the Russian IM Bogumil, I defeated hinm with White the next day. Then I beat IM Peric in the morning with White played him in the evening with Black - I had yet to win a game with Black either tournament ...


blows and your confidence! When I was hammered by five successive losses in the October First Saturday, my mojo departed for unknown parts of the earth - now it came back to my garret, borne on the wings of congealed chicken eggs - so I went from last to first - but as this was an IM tournament, definitely no GM norm! In fact, no one, certainly not the IM aspirants, nor even the IMs, made the IM norm!


When I got back to Budapest I got a call from Tanichka's friend Vlad, a triply lingual, extremely bright lad, who does the website for the First Saturday events. He told me that it was very very important that I meet Tanichka that evening at the Moscow Terrace stop of the Red Metro. I waited in the subzero temperature, my ragged clothes offering little protection - I would later develop an allergic reaction on my legs due to the cold, as all I had was California casual wear, and that well worn. Note to readers: If you go to Budapest in winter, bring the leather!

So I froze, and after a while, called Tanichka - and she answered me. We were both on our cell phones, both in the same metro station - and we couldn't find each other! Divided by language, I kept asking her, "Where are you? What do you see? Can you see the Hungarian hamburger stand? Can you see the McDonald's? (Yes, the yellow scourge had already taken Budapest by storm, there were arches every three blocks!) Can you see the tram?" And Tanichka, understanding none of this, moaned in Ukrainian, Russian, and bits of Hungarian, and finally found the words, "Just find me!!" At last I spotted her and called her name! She ran to me and kissed me everywhere she could find, getting lipstick all over my jacket - I loved it. We went to her place - it was full of Russians. I don't drink - that is, I don't drink, unless I am in a room full of already drunken Russians, who are knocking down vodka toasts every minute, and Tanichka is also knocking them back, and urging me on between kisses. She cooked for the Russian army, and after about ten courses of unidentifiable Ukrainian food (except for one poor fish, head on, sad dead eyes), and at least 34 vodka toasts - I knew this was the way to prepare for a tournament!

Sarakauskas won the tournament. I'm sure he was trying his best for the GM norm, and he came in clear first! But the norm was 9 1/2, and he scored only 8 1/2 ... no norm!


My next tournament was in Paks, Hungary. Here the organization was first class: Sandor Videki made the players welcome, the playing site was very good, but the town was not quite a cultural center like Budapest. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to call it a "town" - village would be more appropriate. There were no traffic lights - "downtown" was a wide space in the road with a few shops on each side. Almost all of these were closed by 8 p.m. But there was one convenience store that was open to 10 p.m. I had made friends with a couple of the players, notably IM Sergey Kayumov of Uzbekistan and Martin Poulson from the Faroe Islands. After our games, we would all walk together back to our hotel; about a twenty-minute walk, and the only thing open was the aforementioned convenience store - but it wasn't the store itself that attracted us: The most beautiful girl in Paks worked there, a blond with brown eyes and a Britney body, a sassy wench if ever there was one. She knew what we three Musketeers were thinking! What she didn't know was any language besides Hungarian.

Between us, we knew Uzbek, Russian, German, Italian and English - and so, each night, we would serenade her in various languages, telling her how beautiful she was, etc. - and she would reply in voluble Hungarian, no doubt telling us off as the lecherous foreign dogs we were. Then we'd all smile, and buy our drinks - and that was all the off-board excitement we'd get until the next night!


I won only two games less than the co-winners of the Paks Cup, GM Vladislav Nevednichy of Romania and GM Kaido Kulaots of Estonia. I won just as many games as the two players who tied for third, GM George Grigore of Romania, and IM Gabor Papp of Hungary. And I came in, you guessed it, next to last! On the good side, I played with unparalleled ferocity. I scored my first win against a GM in Hungary. My attacks were beautiful - but the full point swings were sickening beyond belief!! So I won or I lost - three wins, six losses, no draws.

Tim Taylor's story of his adventures in Hungary will be continued.

May 2005-Chess Life page 35

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