I currently live in the northeastern US (CT), but have moved around quite a bit (SC, GA, VA, TX, PA, OH, TN), so I *might* have run across some of you in the distant past.
I started playing in tournaments just prior to the Fischer boom. Peak OTB rating was in low 2000s USCF, but I am currently inactive. That's a cross between few free weekends and not much study time. At present, I have too many household interruptions to play single-session online. My avatar is my darling girl, Talia. She can be seen begging for attention at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dduN.... We lost her sister, Lyta, to a sudden and unexpected illness shortly after Thanksgiving 2011. The pack hasn't been the same without her. Here are two shots of her (http://photo.net/photodb/photo?phot... and http://photo.net/photodb/photo?phot...). I am holding her in the photo on my player page (Larry Crawford). We have adopted a new dog, Hannah (http://photo.net/photodb/photo?phot...). In further news, as a Mother's Day present for my girlfriend, I agreed to take in foster dogs from rescue groups while the dogs await adoption. We have successfully placed several, but one, Geno, came back from <two> adoptions through no serious fault of his own. At that point we didn't want to try to send him out a third time, so we adopted him. He's a happy little guy who runs more than any dog I've known (http://photo.net/photodb/photo?phot...).
I play online correspondence chess at QueenAlice.com and Chessworld.net. I'm rated a little over 2200 at both sites. All the interruptions are not quite so disruptive if you only have to make a move every few days. :-) Anyway, I'm available for a game or two as long as I'm not already carrying too many games. I'm "crawfb5" on both sites. Even in correspondence, I can boot games due to distraction, fatigue, or just being stupid.
One thing I occasionally do for my girlfriend is butcher song lyrics for alleged humorous effect. I often have too much time on my hands (pointed out by a cast of dozens) and she pretends to like it because, well, who knows why women (especially the crazy ones) do anything? :-) Anyway, this is a chess-themed massacre. Simon & Garfunkel would be spinning in their graves, if they had them.
Slow down, you move too fast
You've got to make the advantage last
Just kickin' 'round some analysis nodes
Lookin' for pawns and feelin' movey
Hello team posts, what's cha knowin'
I've come to watch your combos growin'
Ain't cha got no lines for me
Do-it-do-do-do, feelin' movey
I've got no files to grab, no seventh ranks to sweep
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its endings on me
Chess I love you, all is movey>
Poetry is not immune either:
<THE WINNING COMBO
Turning and turning in the opening file
The attacker cannot see the attack to be;
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the board
The pawn-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The calculation of innocence is drowned
The best lack all combination, while the worst
Are full of passionate analysis.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the winning combo is at hand.
The winning combo! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Morpheus,
Troubles my sight: a waste of open space;
A shape with dragon body and the head of a GM,
A gaze blank and pitiless as seed number one,
Is moving its slow threats, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant inert kibitzers.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a mating net,
And what rough piece, its move come round at last,
Slouches towards the King to be thrown?>
Or this one:
<Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings
How some have resigned; some mated by combo,
Some haunted by the pawns they have sacrificed;
Some poison'd by their queens: some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd: for within the checkered squares
That confines the immortal games of a king
Keeps Death in his court and there the attack hits,
Scoffing at mate and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little luft,
To temporize, be fear'd and kill with Rooks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this square which walls about our game,
Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his pawn shield, and farewell king!
Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with blunders like you, feel time pressure,
Taste grief, need compensation: subjected thus,
How can you say to me, I have a king?>
Enough of that. I have very modest claims to fame in regard to chess:
1) I was the bottom-feeder board on an Ohio team that won the state team championship one year. Top board was Bob Basalla, author of <Chess in the Movies>.
2) My highest-rated OTB scalp was somebody in the low 2300s during a two-year period when I was +3 -7 =4 against "weak" masters (I omitted the thrashing from the local IM from that count) and my rating went up 250 points after having been stalled in the low 1800s for years. That was probably more from playing a lot of the local 2000-2199 players, but it was the start of when getting paired with a master was no longer a nearly automatic loss for me. Even so, I never quite got the rating over 2100 USCF.
3) I have played classical OTB tournament games against players in our database. I got curious as to how many I could find: IM Douglas Root and his wife Alexey Root, Charles Lawton, Wilson Gibbins, Jim Gallagher (a Texas master, not the European GM), Alexander Zelner, Larry Moss, Hud Dunlap, Clarence Yeung, Steve Greanias, Edgar Thomas McCormick, Klaus A Pohl, Ernie Schlich, Joan Schlich. Well, that was more than I thought I would find. I may have even missed some.
4) In the final two years of ChessCafe's holiday quiz, I placed 17th on the Christmas 2006 quiz and 7th on the Christmas 2007 quiz. The quiz suited my deliberate obsessiveness, but I didn't have the kind of library to make a serious run at the brass ring. Of course I *did* live only a few miles from their offices at the time... :-)
5) Years ago Karpov was giving a simul to raise funds for a charity. I was watching the game of a master I knew. He wanted to duck outside for a quick smoke and asked if I'd play a particular move for him if Karpov came around before he got back. I got to make my one move against a world champion and my friend eventually drew his game. Ever since, it's been, "Karpov? Oh, I played him once. It was a draw." That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. :-)