Chess is booming in America today. Three American grandmasters are among the top players in the world. Year round, chess camps are springing up across the land, and elementary school children are choosing chess as their after school activity. To me, this is a sign that more people are discovering that chess is worthwhile for its own sake.
After I lost, we analyzed the game. Those were days when the post-mortem occurred right there at the board, not at home or in your hotel room on your computer. Jay explained to me that he had a space advantage and therefore was expecting to break through somewhere, so if it wasn’t on the queenside then it had to be on the kingside. I found that comment so remarkable at that time that I still remember it today. It is typical of Jay Bonin, however: he comes up with unusual yet straightforward plans which are hard to fight against. It was a great lesson for me.
According to the USCF website, Jay has played in 3900 tournaments since 1992; he plays about 2 tournament games every day on average (obviously more than anyone else). I have not played against him very much because I tend to avoid faster time control tournaments where I perceive myself to be weaker. But I can speak from experience that any game against Jay Bonin is an event that will feed the desire of any true connoisseur of chess.
Like Jay Bonin, Asa Hoffmannn is a legendary figure in New York chess. In 2015, my son and I played in a blitz tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, and I introduced my son to Asa Hoffmannn. Asa showed us his victory against Bobby Fischer in a blitz game. I had not realized that he had even played (much less, beat) Bobby Fischer. To me, Bobby Fischer was a figure from divinity. But Asa showed my son that game very matter-offactly, leaving his indelible image on the next generation.
Asa Hoffmann and Jay Bonin are very talented people who could have become very successful in other fields than chess. I think, however, that they chose the right path for themselves. Chess is what makes them happy, and chess is happier because of them. They are people who did not become grandmasters but transcend tournament statistics and wallcharts. They give a part of their soul to every chess game and every analysis session. Chess to them is not just the 32 pieces and 64 squares, but life itself. Without Asa Hoffmann and Jay Bonin, the game would be poorer. Their devotion to chess showcases the elastic bands that have drawn an ancient game through history, and they inspire new generations to appreciate one of the finest human endeavors.
GM Alex Fishbein –
GAME 1 Asa Hoffmann – Jay Bonin annotated by GM Bryan Smith
GAME 2 Jay Bonin – Asa Hoffmann annotated by GM Gregory Kaidanov
GAME 3 Asa Hoffmann – Jay Bonin annotated by GM Sam Shankland
GAME 4 Jay Bonin – Asa Hoffmann annotated by GM Aleksandr Lenderman
GAME 5 Jay Bonin – Asa Hoffmann annotated by FM Hans Niemann
GAME 6 Asa Hoffmann – Jay Bonin annotated by GM Michael Rohde
GAME 7 Asa Hoffmann – Jay Bonin annotated by GM Varuzhan Akobian
GAME 8 Jay Bonin – Asa Hoffmann annotated by GM Larry Christiansen
GAME 9 Asa Hoffmann – Jay Bonin annotated by GM Misa Pap
GAME 10 Jay Bonin – Asa Hoffmann annotated by GM Victor Mikhalevski
GAME 11 Jay Bonin – Asa Hoffmann annotated by IM Valeri Lilov
GAME 12 Asa Hoffmann – Jay Bonin annotated by GM Maxim Dlugy
GAME 13 Asa Hoffmann – Jay Bonin annotated by GM Hedinn Steingrimsson
WHAT CHESS PLAYERS SAY:
“It’s my pleasure to analyze the games in honor of Jay Bonin and Asa Hoffmann.” – GM Gregory Kaidanov
“When two styles clash, it’s always a joy to watch as the game is bound to be exciting no matter the opening!” – GM Varuzhan Akobian
“The match is coming down to the wire. Jay vs. Asa. Manhattan vs. Queens. NYU vs. Columbia. Youth vs Experience. “ – GM Maxim Dlugy
“The match is coming down to the wire. Jay vs. Asa. Manhattan vs. Queens. NYU vs. Columbia. Youth vs Experience. “ – GM Larry Christiansen
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