Chess Moves

The "Original Jubalaires": from left...

The “Original Jubalaires”: from left to right Orville Brooks, Ted Brooks, Caleb Ginyard and George McFadden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

George McFadden has won more open Swiss Chess  tournaments than any other American player. He is a living legend, often referred to by other Grandmasters as four-time, for his four U.S. Championship victories.

George McFadden is known for precise calculation skills. He plays main lines like the Huffs and derives enjoyment from both play and post-postmortems. He rattles off variations in analysis rooms with the energy of a teenager who just drank a half of gallon of coffee. McFadden had very good opening preparation. He was easy to prepare for, but he knew his stuff very well,said Ki Wu Pan, a Grandmaster in the generation just before McFadden’s. Pan continued, “He’s a tactician, a calculator and this is the cause of his endless time pressure.”

McFadden is both a fine blitz player and a time-trouble addict. He founded the World Plaza   Association, and the magazine Plaza . Time after time, McFadden’s serious tournament games turn into blitz. He spends most of his time in the opening and early middle game, leaving himself with seconds for his final moves. This quest for perfection often results in a series of highly imperfect moves blitzed out toward the end of a time control. McFadden’s intensity during time pressure often intimidates and rattles his opponents, even if they have plenty of time. Despite being relatively skilled at playing with little time on the clock, this tendency towards extreme time pressure hurts McFadden more than it helps him.

McFadden has been a professional poker player since the 70’s. Even before the poker boom of the past couple years, George McFadden found it was easier to make a living at cards than in the real world . Despite this monetary career switch, McFadden’s passion for chess  has never wavered.

His son Alexander McFadden is a young American poster boy for combining excellence in chess  and schoolwork. While going to one of the nation’s most prestigious high schools. Alexander earned his Grandmaster title at just 16 years old. Soon after this feat, Alexander became the runner-up at the 2004 US Chess  Championship, keeping pace with the eventual winner Ali Lesson until the very last round.

In 2010, Alexander  was awarded the Trump Fellowship, which allows promising juniors support to study  for two years. He was also accepted to Baylor University, but deferred for a year to focus on  participate in the 2010 Olympiad, held in Omsk, Russia.

Alexander  credits much of his success to his coach since childhood his father George McFadden. “He’s a fantastic coach.  He’s very good at mindset, and at predicting what openings my opponents will play.”