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Dylan McClain
Number of games in database: 7
Years covered: 2001 to 2006
Last FIDE rating: 2321
Highest rating achieved in database: 2347
Overall record: +3 -0 =4 (71.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

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DYLAN MCCLAIN
(born 1966) United States of America

[what is this?]
In 2007, FIDE master Dylan Loeb McClain took over the position of the editorial chess column of the New York Times from GM Robert Eugene Byrne which ran until October 13th, 2014. His column is also found in other editions such as the International Herald Tribune. Jose Raul Capablanca originally proposed a chess column to the Sunday Times editor Lester Markel in November 1934, and in July of 1962, Israel Albert Horowitz eventually became their first columnist of the late World Champion's proposal.

References: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/c... , http://gambit.blogs.nytimes.com


 page 1 of 1; 7 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. D McClain vs P Fielding  ½-½16 2001 US Amateur Team EastA36 English
2. I Ramachandran vs D McClain 0-140 2001 US Amateur Team EastE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
3. D McClain vs Feuerstein  ½-½43 2001 US Amateur Team EastA20 English
4. T Vinlet vs D McClain  0-143 2001 US Amateur Team EastE00 Queen's Pawn Game
5. D Gertler vs D McClain  ½-½55 2001 US Amateur Team EastB10 Caro-Kann
6. D McClain vs T Hamilton  1-050 2001 US Amateur Team EastA10 English
7. A Castaneda vs D McClain  ½-½43 2006 Bradley Open 06B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | McClain wins | McClain loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: I presume this is the Dylan Loeb McClain who writes the chess column for the New York Times. It would be good to know more about him.

Dylan: If you see this, please post some info about yourself. Or publish it in one of your columns. Better, do both.

Dec-21-07  walker: <Chessmensch> Just posted your request under Dylan column. Hope he will respond soon.
Dec-21-07  Dylan McClain: Chessmensch and Walker,
Yes, those are my games. As for more about myself, I answered some questions on the first day the Gambit chess blog appeared on The New York Times Web site. Here is the link to that discussion: http://gambit.blogs.nytimes.com/200... Hope that helps.
Cheers,
Dylan
Feb-10-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: Well, looks like FIDE is creating certification for chess teaching http://gambit.blogs.nytimes.com/200...

I agree with a comment made in the article: its a money making thing for FIDE. There have been great chess teachers long before certification (see, for example, Siegbert Tarrasch). Credentialism is probably a good thing in some fields, such as medicine, but its being overdone. Fortunately FIDE does not have state power to prevent someone non-credentialed from teaching chess.

Dec-04-08  dabney: Dylan, if you are the right Dylan, I'm trying to get in touch with you. Will you email me back with contact info? thanks, Dabney
Jan-05-11  jackpawn: I did a search on 'Dylan' because it's known that Bob Dylan is/was a very keen chess player. Thought perhaps a few of his games might be floating around. It would be interesting to see if he was as creative on a chessboard as he is with lyrics.
Jan-05-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <jackpawn> I don't know about "very keen" but he does name-drop Karpov on his most recent album. Although for a reference king on the order of Dylan that doesn't tell us much.
Jan-06-11  Troller: So it's not really this guy:

http://www.google.dk/imgres?imgurl=...

Jan-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  soldal: Bob Dylan and chess.

- Bono interviewing Bob in 1984:

Bono: Chess, do you play chess?
Dylan: Yeah, I play chess. Are you a chess player?

Bono: I am a chess player.
Dylan: I'm not that good actually.

Bono: I'll challenge you to a game of chess.
Dylan: I don't have it right now actually, I just don't have one on me, but the next time you see me!

Bono: Oh, you can get these little ones you know, that you can carry around. Dylan: Yeah, I take them on tour all the time, but nobody in the band will play me.

Bono: Really?
Dylan: Yeah, they say it's an ego trip. They say I want to win, I don't want to win, I just like to play.

[...]

Bono: What's your opening game?
Dylan: My opening game, you mean king's pawn up two - and all that? I don't know.

Bono: You just takes it as it comes.
Dylan: Yeah. I don't really play that seriously.

Bono: Well, I thought I did until I played Adam's brother Sebastian - he was only about 13 years old and he beat me!

Dylan: Somebody may have a chess game here.
Bono: I'd love to play.

searching for a chess board ... enter Van Morrison

(Published in the Irish music paper 'Hot Press')
http://www.interferenza.com/bcs/int...

- Playing chess in Woodstock 1964:

http://www.snapgalleries.com/shop/p...

- The Story Of East Orange from "Minnesota Hotel Tape", 1961. (Used to be on Youtube, but removed at the request of Web Sheriff):

http://www.hardingesimpole.co.uk/dy...

Jan-06-11  jackpawn: I read before that during his time at Greenwich Village he eventually got good enough that none of the other local musicians could beat him, but of course it's all relative. Compared to the general population I'm a chess genius. Compared to Kasparov I'm a total fish.
Jan-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  soldal: Born in 1966 - little doubt McClain's parents were Bob fans: http://www.babynameshub.com/baby-na...
Jan-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Another possibility:

<Influenced John Lennon, Bob Dylan>

Dylan Marlais Thomas (27 October 1914 9 November 1953) was a Welsh poet and writer[1][2] who wrote exclusively in English. In addition to poetry, he wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, which he often performed himself. His public readings, particularly in America, won him great acclaim; his sonorous voice with a subtle Welsh lilt became almost as famous as his works. His best-known works include the "play for voices" Under Milk Wood and the celebrated villanelle for his dying father, "Do not go gentle into that good night". Appreciative critics have also noted the superb craftsmanship and compression of poems such as "In my Craft or Sullen Art"[3] and the rhapsodic lyricism of "Fern Hill'".

This might remind you of <someone's song lyrics>:

"And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion."

From "And death shall have no dominion"
Twenty-five Poems (1936)

Jan-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  soldal: http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-im...
Feb-06-12  Rama: Dear Sir,

I have always appreciated the Times' chess column. I still have clippings from the 1970's in my chess files. The present contributor, Dylan McClain, is a talented master and we are all fortunate that he takes the time to write the column weekly.

But times have changed since the 70's and chess news is widely available on the internet. It often happens that Mr McClain recapitulates without attributation analysis I have already seen elsewhere with proper attributation. In today's column he quotes many lines of analysis exactly as given by GM Alejandro Ramirez at http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...

I don't know why this bugs me but it does. I think if he quotes someone he should name them just like any other reporter, right? (Or are his submissions being chopped and sanitized by editors above him?)

Letter to Arthur Brisbane composed but un-sent. Waddya say D?

Feb-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: That's no longer a daily, is it? I'm not sure McClain even appears once a week.
Feb-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I generally like where McClain takes his Sunday NYT column. Most weeks are a surprise -- a junior highschool could be featured or a GM tournament. Sometimes I'm not sure why he picks a certain position to diagram when the key combination occurred several moves before or after. I encouage him to become even more creative. For example, a minihistory of the Najdorf PP might be interesting.
Feb-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Rama> Send the letter. If McClain has done things correctly there will be no repercussions to him.
Feb-12-12  Rama: This week it is Averbakh vs Kotov, 1953 a spectacular well-known game thoroughly analyzed right here on CG. It is in books. I can't tell where Mr McClain's analysis comes from (he doesn't say) but that's okay; it is just out there in the air at this stage.

Let's see what comes up next week.

Feb-12-12  Rama: I will say it was Averbakh's book "Chess Tactics..." that turned me from a C-player into an Expert in just 50 tournament games. That is, he helped me to overcome my dread of tactical complications and instead to revel in them.

His one screaming message was the Double Attack. Almost all tactics boil down to that at some stage. Since we can move only one piece at a time the double attack is unanswerable. Double Dis-Check is the supreme example. Keep your eye out for them and watch what happens to your rating!

Feb-16-12  Dylan McClain: Rama (and anyone else who might be curious), I do look at others analysis, but I also do my own independently and I never "take someone's word for it" as there are many examples where people have made mistakes while analyzing games. (Admittedly, that does not happen too often anymore because of computers.)

Naturally, when mistakes occur in games, anyone looking over them later can find the errors and/or come to the same conclusion about what might have happened at critical junctures.

I am not a grandmaster, but I am a fairly strong master and I have been playing for nearly 40 years. My understanding of the subtleties of positions is fairly refined and I believe it has improved in recent years because of the time that I have had to spend looking over and analyzing so many games to write the column. If you look at my rating over the last several years, you will see that it has gone up. I like to believe (though I may be fooling myself) that my rating would be even higher if I could just find more time to play.

I am pointing this out in order to explain why I can come, and have come, to similar conclusions as grandmasters in games that I have written about.

By the way, I also do take the time to credit other people for ideas/information/quotes and take great care not to plagiarize. (I have often cited Chessbase, Chessdom, Chessvibes, and other publications, when I have learned something from them that I have used in the columns.) Sadly, that is not something that all writers do. For example, take a look at my recent column on Aronian's victory at Tata Steel. And then see if you can find another column about his victory that appeared several days later that had several echoes of my ideas and words.

Beenthere240: Normally I tend not to go too deeply into the history of opening developments, partly because of space limitations, and partly because I worry that it will not appeal to a broad enough readership. But your idea is intriguing given Hou Yifan's handling of the opening against Alexei Shirov at Gibraltar (and probably other recent examples). Openings certainly go in and out of favor (something I have written about at least once or twice), but the why might make an interesting column. I'll certainly think about it.

Thanks for reading.

Feb-19-12  Rama: Mr McClain, thanks for responding.

Yes, it is entirely reasonable that different players will reach the same conclusions regarding a game's progress. Just look at the responses to today's (or any day's) Position of the Day. This is especially true with computer assistance available. I felt certain your work was your own and just wanted you to say it.

But I am a scientist (or was before I retired) and we can get very very picky about such things. To quote someone else's work without attributation is about the biggest sin a scientist can commit. Right at the start of my career I almost did this inadvertantly so I am sensitive on the subject.

Keep writing! I saw you once on television with another GM doing "color commentary" on some chess event and you were outstanding! Too bad there is no real career in that department, you could be like John Madden or Joe Garagiola, ha.

Oct-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: I see the bio is already updated. Are they really going to stop?

http://www.ibtimes.com/new-york-tim...

Oct-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: How many newspaper chess columns are left in the USA? I can only think of two--the Boston Globe column, and Shelby Lyman's syndicated column.
Oct-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: See http://en.chessbase.com/post/dylan-....
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