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Remember Cato The Elder/My opinions for what they are worth

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Wednesday, 7 May 2014, at 1:29 p.m.

In Response To: Where is Dmitry?FLAWS (Iancho Hristov)

When Cato was showing his son around the town square, his son asked him why there was a statue of all the great leaders but there was no statue of him, and he replied: "I would rather people ask why I have no statue than why I do."

I believe that Dmitry will get much recognition for his skills because he was not on the list than if he had made it.

At the top, every year I believe it is impossible to determine which of the top 5 players actually should be No. 1...they are always so close in skill. When you look at Mochy's PR's, his wins, and the work he has done with his quizzes and lectures all over the world, his videos, working with children in schools, and the number of tournaments he attends all over the world, how could anyone else in the game today possibly be put ahead of him on this list? As much as I believe that MCG, Neil, Falafel and Michy could be better than Mochy on any given day, I think the voters clearly made the right choice given all the things we were supposed to consider.

I do wish there were more definitive criteria about the number of tournaments a player must attend to be on the Giant List, because I believe this should be a list of active players based on recent (past 2 years) performance. No one questions Nack's abilities, for example, but he hasn't played at all. If we are going to include Nack, then where are Levermann and Grandell and Sly and Francois and others who are clearly capable of playing great if they played? I would love to see a criteria that says you can't be included in the top 32 unless you have played in at least 4 major events in the past 2 years, and you can't be listed in the top 64 unless you have played in at least 2, regardless of how many votes you got. I am not trying to take anything away from Nack, but if he is supposed to be considered, there is no way in hell he would be number 30 on anyone's list.

I think another person worth mentioning who did not make the top 64 list is Frank Raposa, who has played in a lot of tournaments and done well, and I know it sound self-serving because they are from my own club, but David Rockwell, David Presser and Rory have all been impressive and are worthy of making the top 64 as well (in my opinion).

Another player missing from the list is Saba Bejanishvili who astonished everyone in San Antonio and other recent tournaments with his fantastically low PR's and his wins over some of the greats, but I understand that he came on too late to make this list...we will surely see him in the future, and again, he is to be recognized for "having no statue." I have never seen anyone gain so much skill in so short a period of time since MCG and Stick blazed on to the scene.

A couple more observations: it's hard for me to imagine that Joe Russell and Bill Phipps are not higher on the list--is there anyone who know their games that would not fear playing them?

It's also hard for me to imagine that Ralf Jonas isn't ranked higher than 16...he seems to beat everyone just about every time he sits down to the table.

Sorry Stick, I know better than most how great a player you are, and if you played more you would easily be higher than 10, but have you played in more than 2 tournaments in the last 2 years? You are not supposed to be on this list because of your tennis skills.

I join the crowd in sharing congratulations to Akiko...but not at all because she is a female, but because she has proven to be a great player, deserving of the honor regardless of gender, and because she is a real lady. (In the Chicago chouette we have a list of rules and we do have a dress code that reads: "If you wear a dress, it must be a short one." Akiko would be welcome in our chouette.)

Finally, a warm congratulations to Malcolm for continuing to be ranked among the best in the world. He never stops working on his game and he continues to prove with PR and wins, and with his good sportsmanship, sharing of all recordings, and contributions to the USBGF that he deserves the honor. When I talk with students and others who are in their senior years who say they don't think they can improve that much "at their age," I point to Malcolm as an example that they are wrong.

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