The Marchand Open

February 19, 2018

Ron Lohrman has been hosting this annual for many years now.  It is an annual March event sponsored by the Rochester Chess Center Clubs.  It is scheduled to be held once again at the Strong  Museum. You can get the info in Chess Life Magazine or by calling or visiting the Chess Center for details.



The Amateur Eye – More Colorings

February 19, 2018

When kids (boys and girls) started to find chess fascinating and fun to play as well as educational, I half-tongue-cheek suggested to Edmundson that it might be a good idea to offer chess sets of different colors–blue, gray, orange, pink,  white, red, black, etc.  I do not know who at USCF pushed the idea but all of a sudden makers were doing just that in their offerings.

The Amateur Eye – Chess Coloring Landscape

February 19, 2018

My first chess set I ever saw was a small ash and turquoise-ash set of 2/12 inch kings on a small wood checkerboard.  It became my instructional set.  When I was 10 or so my mom took me to the Rochester Chess & Checker Club to meet my brother Ray who was playing a city team chess match between Buffalo and Rochester.  Ray had bought a number of very beautiful chess sets which he kept in his locked desk cabinet.  So seeing the regular tournament sets in play was new to me.  By then I was making pretty good change picking cherries, strawberries, apples and peaches on our farm so, you guessed it, one of my first major purchases was a really nifty chess set and wood board having 2-3/4 inch squares.

Growing up I got active in the Rochester Chess Club made up largely of adults because of the high membership fee. As I said I was 10 when mom took me to the club.  I was really fascinated meeting such chess personages as Rev. Dr. George Switzer who welcomed all new-comers. Why didn’t the club have a youth program which would attract many into chess?  When I eventually joined, a student at Eastman School of Music, Marcy Shupp was editing a club newsletter and made me his assistant. As I recall Don Sullivan, Dr. Marchand, Dr. Herzberger, Shupp, Candee, Weig, Rosenstein, Rosenthal, Pat Eberlein  among others who supported chess in those days encouraged me as well as Dr. Marchand and Rev. Switzer to get active in developing a chess program.  I was made club treasurer and that is a story I already told.

The RCC was started in the late 1800s with about 50 adults.  They dressed in grey suits and ties.  Club matches were largely with the Buffalo Chess Club. This is my limited knowledge of early chess club life in this region of NY State.

The Amateur Eye – America’s Black Eye

February 18, 2018

The old saying: Cry wolf too many times and people become complacent and ignore it.  When the lambs are protected by barriers, a wolf will linger but when a farmer comes out with his shotgun or rifle, the wolf gets the message and retreats into the forest or mountains.

Tales like that were commonly bedtime tales but carried a message that, to ignore danger or threats, was to face perils unforeseen.

During the roaring twenties and gangster shootings with machine guns eventually led to machine guns being outlawed.  But today’s modern weapons are even more deadly.  Do we need such automatic firepower?  We need such weapons to protect the population in case of enemy invasion or any attack on our Republic.  Nations that gave up their weapons were overrun by invaders. What is the lesson?  To provide citizen readiness and skill in such use of weapons designed for war and defense is one link that has always kept our nation free.

The left leaning educators seem to favor an anti-capitalist agenda.  Nothing wrong with socialism except for it’s history and politically persona grata among the elite who openly practice perversity. They forever attack the opposed view or character of opponents. It is almost always lashing out at truth, justice, and the American way.  Attack-attack-attack where the saying goes that if you smear enough, then lies become truths and meets their agenda.

Long winded discussion often bears the weakness of a proposal or debate. I think they call this run-ons.

Short quips to the public ala Trump gives the President a chance to talk turkey with the country.  He is right far more than viewing a message in a negative light as purports his critics.  They simply have never dealt with honesty and patriotism in quite the way
Trump sees it.

Do you now understand my own look at the Black Eye? God…I hope so.

The Amateur Eye – English Wing

February 16, 2018

Staying away from rote is a good idea for developing young minds.  Where better done then with active pawn play–gambit style.  We need to know the purpose of such gambit offerings.  One such obscure and hidden wink comes about after: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 B:b4 5. c3 as the Evans Gambit; or meeting the French with 1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e5 c5 4. b4;  or hitting the Sicilian player immediately with 1. e4 c5 2. b4.

For the truly adventure minded, you can safely try an English remedy with 1. c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. c:d5 N:d5 5. e3 e6 if the defender aim might be a Semi-Tarrasch finding either a standard recapture 6. b:c3 or the latest innovation of the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, who toys lately with 6. d:c3 effectively ignoring the positional plus of capturing toward the center.

In keeping with the wing idea, White can try 6. N:d5 posing the problem of which way to recapture.  In Botvinnik’s era common would be 6. Bc4 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. d4 c:d4 9. e:d4. So kick the pawn with 6…Q:d5 or 6…e:d5. Oddly, both moves lead to different type games.

6…Q:d5 7. b3 Be7 8. Bb2 O-O 9. Bc4 Qd8! Best as moving the Q to continue central pressure would be dangerous yielding White square count pluses.

10. Ideas are a3>Ra2>O-O>f4>Qa1//Qe2>O-O>f4## Bd7>Nc6>a6>Bd7. Pattern setups are simply ideas of how pieces and pawns might be deployed eyeing favorable moments and planning. A Kingside pawn rollup might be feasible given with consideration of risks.

Trying the solid idea 6. …e:d5 gives you a Nimzo-Indian in reverse for White where he can launch an immediate 7. b4 wing gambit. Now, 7…c:b4 One thinks of Tarrasch’s words: BEFORE THE ENDGAME, THE GODS HAVE PLACED THE MIDDLEGAME!  Black can of course by-pass the exchange with 7. …c4 8. Bb2  A wild game develops. 8…B:b4 9.B:g7 Rg8 10. Bb2 Nc6 11. Qc2 and White is for choice here with some very interesting attack lines possible.


For many years Mikhail Botvinnik held the record for most Soviet Union Championship titles.  But such records, especially in modern times, are seen as set to annex to a new breed of champion players.  Such is the case when Peter Svidler won the Russian Championship for the 8th time, besting the record held by Botvinnik.




Don’s Comic Tea & Coffee Break

February 10, 2018

What you have is a place to have more people in your life.  A firm set of rules as seen on Facebook brings contentment to many. Mixed with all of this is the constant barrage that advertisers discovered to sell their wares.  Where does it stop? Never?  A solution might be to get outside, enjoy exercising by taking a walk or jogging.  That precludes any thought of buying things and facing the reality that you cannot control it all–But why would you want to??

When people steal great ideas of others, it is worth noting that great ideas are catching. Take for example, a baseball catcher.  After a career is over, those who come in contact with just what position is highlighted in his life, he can simply point to the cup formed over the years on his mitt hand–a visible pocket created by the fast ball.

Dag and his son are watching the start of the Olympics.  Dag comments that it looks like they are having trouble starting the flame.  Alexander is left alone as Dag goes outside on the porch.  Blondie comes in and asks Alexander where Dag is.  He is outside.  He had something on his mind about fire and flame.  We go outside to see what is what.  Dag is standing over the stove, cooking some fiddles to eat.

Opal is looking in her mirror and tells Earl that she is losing some of her hair.  It is getting thin, dear.  Sometimes I think it would be better just to have it all shaved off. She leans over the arm chair and pokes her hubby.  No comment?  Well, Earl who is reading the newspaper simply said wisely that he is a fan of the actor, Bruce Willis.

Helga asks Hagar if after all these years, she still makes his heart skip.  He responds that she sure does, especially when she pulls out the roast turkey from the oven. He says joyfully that yes, indeed, you still make my stomach RUMBLE!

Shoe goes to the dentist.  In the chair he asks the dentist if he is going to need gas.  Not for this procedure and visit.  But I need the gas so I can remember laughing when I get the bill.

What’s With TCM??

February 10, 2018

Channel 60 is my favorite movie channel but it left me numb when I tried to watch tonight’s TESS.  All I can say as an amateur regarding movies, I find the plot, the graphics, the lack of imaginative production to fall far short of what I personally like when tuning in.  Sure enough, both Britain and France had a hand in it’s play and production.

What ever happened to Audie Murphy films.  What ever happened to the old William Boyd movies featuring that famous cowboy Cassidy– “Hoppy” to fans.  Such movies have not been seen in years.  They were the Saturday morning theater goers favorites among the young at heart.  They taught the difference between good and bad that often was a giveaway who wore the white or black hats. Sure there were murders but everybody knew the hero was going to outshoot or have arrested the ‘bad guys’ in the end.  It brought instant joy to the audience.

As an amateur, I try to wonder what in heck is the modern movies post 1950s trying to tell the audiences.  Sure, there are some good comical movies, song and dance classics to be historically cherished.  But personally I see the modern talkies as being disheartening poor quality such as tonight’s TESS.  When I turn on a movie, I am not impressed with the directors trying to outdo themselves with all the automatic weapons blasting storefronts, cars, people.  Car chases seem to go out with the 70s variety.  Shock!! That seems to have replaced good acting and directing and just plain quality throughout. While there was little to no shock seen in the dull witted TESS, it died with dryness and just plain poor acting and photography.

I really don’t want to harp on this because I am not a movie critic. At least I don’t mean to be.  But come on folks! Lets release pictures on TCM that are for fans instead of trying to paste up some bucks for lousy films that bombed in theatres.


The Amateur Eye – A Rocky Hard-place

February 8, 2018

Our politicians, whom we pay huge salaries and other perks to are screwing with our security needs–a real bona-fide warning passed to the Congress that priorities necessitate that we pay our bills, taking on great expenses of military programs vital to the security of our nation.  In a nutshell, the responsibility of the President, his cabinet, and both houses of Congress is first above all else the security of our people, institutions, and survival.

Yeah, we are in a hell of a pickle friends.  The last eight years of socialistic Democrat Party hacks continue to drain our financial resources to dangerously low levels.  Today, that same party wreaks havoc over our land with social programs while sticking their heads in the sand in a dangerous world that they themselves helped create.

I do not ever remember our nation having regular broadcasts telling the world that our forces are sadly depleted.  Truth is truth.  We cannot continue to run our national security on a shoestring, week-by-week basis.  When we experience accidents, deaths within our units, constant badgering of Christianity among our military posts and poor leadership among those given the responsibility of instilling honor and integrity of our fighting men and women, lets pray that our officials find backbone enough to do their duty and assure we do have the resources to restore and build on the purpose of our military and provide the funds needed.

Pelosi and Shumer talk about the needs of our young people.  Well, if our nation is ever attacked and we are not prepared to win conflicts, our children will be those who suffer most.

I remember the Korean Police Action and Vietnam War.  Some of our pilots who won fierce air skirmishes against well trained enemy pilots enabled American and allied forces to dominate the geography of battlefields and terrain.  Because of rash and stupid non-military minded nor experienced politicians who never fired a gun or marched in battle such as President Obama and Hillary Clinton using their so-called modern strategy of gamesmanship defanged our fighting forces with handicaps at every turn to show passivity to the enemy just might make them like us.  Well, they stuck knives in our backs all along the roadways causing thousands of disabilities if not deaths among our fighting men and women. These so-called patriotic Democrats who love socialism with like hatred of capitalism is a bitter pill to swallow for this guy.

I am pissed off having to view on TV the crap tossed out over the airways.  I am reminded of what a communist once said:  We shall use these demented folks until we gain total control and then we shall line them up against the wall, and shoot them. We shall have learned that they cannot be trusted to stay loyal communists.

I pray to God that our Lord might stir in the hearts of our leaders to exercise their voting power for justice and the American way to preserve freedom.

Don’s Tea & Coffee Time Break

February 8, 2018

Ever sit down at your computer with full intention of writing something that makes your readers find pleasure by tuning in?  I rarely get what is called BRAIN BLOCK.  But I sure experienced it for a few days.  And I don’t like it.  It makes me wonder if I am losing it. You see, I always want to write something worth my readers’ time for enjoyment.  That is what I try to convey–otherwise, why bother tuning in or seeing my efforts having a purpose.  I find little flaws coming from typos but I appreciate the effort to write comments.  Sometimes I answer; sometimes I don’t.  I have a life you know, too!!

The little pest Elmo catches up with Dag and walk together.  Dag with his briefcase; Elmo with his school backpack.  Hey, Mr. B! Guess what!  My teacher said I should run for class president this year. Dag answers with Wow! I am impressed, Elmo.  She really said that, huh?  Well, not exactly, Mr. B.  But when I told her, she didn’t try to discourage me either.

One of my favorite couple are Opal and Earl who always manage a look see in their two or three frames. Imagine seeing Opal in the easy chair with a book on her lap as Earl enters.  You look tired, Opal. I am.  I didn’t get much sleep last night. Oh! What’s wrong?  I just tell myself to read one more page, another chapter, and it turns into: Oh, shoot! When did it get to be 6:00 am.?

Dilbert continues with his economic strategies.  The economics of the project have changed. We need to shut it down.  His boss says that if we shut it down, the 10 million we invested will be wasted.  And what happens when we stop later?  The secret is to never finish the project.

Beetle answers Sarg when asked why he was looking through the lens at CAMP SWAMPY backwards.  His answer is typical Beetle.  Yeah, it makes my troubles seem smaller.

The Family Circle is always good for the sis and little brother.  Here they are hanging up the February month’s calendar page.  She tells him: They made February a short month so Spring can come sooner!


The Amateur Eye – Eagles Win

February 5, 2018

Philadelphians can be very proud of their Eagles football team. It seemed to me that the press, sports news all seem to believe that the Patriots could not lose.  Even the commentators during the game attempted to give every questionable play in the Patriots favor–all except the TV fans who actually saw the plays with the excellent coverage and the decisions were right on.

Both teams played with great heart and either team could have been the victor but in football there is only one winner–the team who scores the most points.

As a break I tuned to 370 and caught the college gymnastic event.  Really super girls showing great competitive spirit and skill.  How do you judge competition like that?

Anyway  I got away from the chess board.  I also sat out writing humor.  I just needed a break so I fixed my self some brew and relaxed with a copy of The Civil War Times.