One Angry Chess Jurist

Let me take you on a journey through my adventure of being a chess journalist turned judge. Buckle up!

So, there I was, feeling an uncontrollable urge to fulfill my civic duty as a chess jury member and become a distinguished chess journalist judge. As an award-winning chess journalist, it was my time to give back. I reached out to the illustrious commissioner of Major League Chess Journalists of America. With immense pride, I accepted this role.

My first batch of articles to judge arrived, and I thought to myself, "How should I handle this tremendous responsibility while keeping my sanity intact?" Naturally, I turned to the strategies of past chess champions for inspiration. Bobby Fischer, the master of endgames, once sequestered himself in a hotel room for a month. Taking a leaf out of his book, I sequestered myself in my apartment, ready to dive into the task at hand.

Weeks flew by as I meticulously reviewed the categories and the articles within them. I was finally ready to cast my numerical votes for each article, feeling like a superhero with a pen. With great pride, I sent my results to the commissioner, only to find out he wasn't pleased. I had too many ties. The commissioner, Canasaw Mountain  Andersen, demanded that I break those ties. He admonished me with a dynamite charge. I protested, "I don't know anything about dynamite, plus it's too dangerous!!. The commission scolded me again and told me to: "BREAK THE TIES!!"

Now, for those who don't know what a dynamite charge is, let me enlighten you. It's when a judge orders the jury back into deliberations, essentially saying, "You can't leave until you've made up your minds!" I found myself hopelessly deadlocked. How on earth was I supposed to choose between brilliant articles about the Polgar sisters, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Magnus Carlsen, Ding Loren, and Fabiano Caruana? It seemed like I needed an actual explosion to break those ties. I just hoped I wouldn't be caught too close to the blast!

Desperate for inspiration, I decided to rent "12 Angry Men", a movie starring Jack Glugman and Lee Jay Cobb. It's a story about twelve jurors trying to judge a murder case. During my sequestration, I must have watched that movie a dozen times. Each time, I felt the same dejection as Lee Jay Cobb's character! If I couldn't break these ties, I worried that I might face the same fate as Shoeless Joe Jackson a lifetime ban from the world of chess journalism!

But I wasn't giving up. I needed even more inspiration, so I rented "My Cousin Vinny", a similar courtroom case movie about two defendants accused of murder. Step by step, category by category, I embarked on a journey to "voir dire" the articles in each category. And guess what? I finally managed to break those ties! I presented my verdict proudly, as if I were the foreman of a jury. The judge and the commissioner pounded his gavel in approval. Case closed!