Archive for August, 2008

Kindred’s Special: Benefits of Getting a High In Life

August 12, 2008

No, I am not talking about drinking alcohol or using drugs to give you a high. What I am talking about is using your brain and to recognize that each of us possess a true gift from God, our body which is a temple of God’s perfection. There is an old saying: Abuse it and lose it.

Here is a challenge for those who look at life with so little value that you kick the ass out of your body with such distain by following the crowd, feeling the need to fear the peer pressure of youth. You are incapable of saying NO and often you get this from your parental guidance that seems to prevail among the liberalized society in which we live; from a school system that promotes social poppycock of things like putting a “c” on a “cuke” while ignoring the purpose of what a school and education is meant for–to educate young minds and prepare them for a bright future in pursuing the joys of work, love, marriage, children and experiencing the spiritual foundation of whatever your faith and religious beliefs happen to be. Today you are under the gun of druggies at school who want to use them to control the exuberance of youth, of turning the body of students into a zombie-like state where the mind is programmed to fit the dictates of a system that turns out kids who can’t learn, whose moral values are tainted by the cheating on tests and where little time is used to study and teachers teach to get high marks on tests as seen as part of a breakdown in the “No Child Left Behind” program. Kids get pushed along who lack reading skill and reading comprehension of what they do read. Too often teachers cater to a few at the expense of many who simply fall into categories of “Why bother with them. I don’t have time.” Unfortunately, teachers do find themselves stressed for any number of reasons largely the result of kids in the classroom whose behavior disrupts lessons or kids who fail to turn in their assignments or lose their books or where schools lack the money for books requiring a sharing that is unacceptable. In some cases teachers spend their own money to buy supplies for the classroom. Student attitude would go a long way in correcting these shortcomings.

Life is no bowl of cherries. Each student and teacher as well administrators, parents and society in general that have come to experience and accept substandard conditions despite the fact that America spends more on education than any other nation in the world with less results in achievement is very sad indeed. The elite throws money at problems often with a shortsighted and misinformed purpose. No wonder the results are so dismal.

As a chessplayer who has in his own life discovered the benefits of the game for critical thought, apply some of the principles combined with others (Biblical teachings and history) learned in daily life is why this column is devoted within the theme of “chess”. For those who think it belongs elsewhere, maybe. But read on.

Yes, drugs are a cop out and used within our social environment for all sorts of reasons and purpose. But think; put on your thinking cap and ignore those who believe that it is just a phase one goes through. Really? Well, if you use drugs or contemplate doing so to be with the “in crowd” you are fast shortchanging yourself. What do I mean.

Life is a joy; yes, it is not a bowl of cherries but it is a wonderful experience if you secure for yourself the foundation of faith, taking responsibility and thinking before you leap into something that is told will toxify your body and void the holy spirit within your personal temple. There is great joy in living life to the full and to use a series of building blocks to acquire a foundation that no evil can tarnish in character.

What are these building blocks? Time is the key word and it is applied this way: TIME TO WORSHIP, TIME TO PLAY, TIME TO WORK, TIME TO THINK, TIME TO LOVE, TIME TO DREAM, TIME TO LAUGH, TIME TO PLAN, AND TIME FOR ENJOYING THINGS BEAUTIFUL, TIME FOR GOOD HEALTH GOALS, TIME FOR BEING HELPFUL AND TIME FOR FELLOWSHIP AND FRIENDS.

Each of these reflect the price you pay for success, to experience a spiritual power, to feel a good sense of youth and challenge, of finding a source of happiness, of singing, music and humorous activity, of sensing the beauty all round you, of dreams that expand among the clouds and stars, and experiencing the expanding horizons of knowledge and purpose.

You want to experience a HIGH?? The snort or puff is a wide road to ruin and dispair. I truly believe that Satan exists and tempts the unwary and lax youth who is ever in search of instant and self gratifications. The Lord’s road is like a path upon which his donkey transported him along his journey. It is narrow and winding but the Lord knew exactly his destination.  Do you have a destination? I hope you do. I hope you use your chess skills learned along with the building blocks of life’s lessons to prevail. Your house is a temple. Don’t abuse it. Keep it holy and your spirit will dwell within forever.

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Kindred’s Special: Getting an ear full from a chess nut

August 11, 2008

The last tournament I attended in hopes of meeting with some friends for lunch led to the topic heading of this piece. I suppose it is not all that unusual for readers who may well have experienced similar episodes and certainly through the years even while active as a player I had to undergo the ear bending of the “chess nut”. I do not say that in a negative manner only that those who so engage never seem to understand that I am not a prodigious person capable of seeing the strategies and tactics in bombardment to my psychic without visual demonstration of the verbal barriage that the absence of a board and pieces flail upon this unwary human spirit. For in the course of time of 62 years of chess play, I have experienced enormous demonstrations of having to witness the bravado of a success or a lament of disbelief of how stupid a move was made. In either case, the chaps who cornered me always start out with a full description of the brilliance or blunder followed by a mental zap of a few moves. Here are some injections to describe what occurs. Am I crazy to not understand or see the points? Anyway, here are some samples: “I got this guy crushed and can you believe he is rated nearly a hundred points over me. My rating will go up from this tournament! If you have time, come look at the position.” Another scenario: “I had my opponent and I let my advantage slip. I blundered a pawn and then overlooked a Bishop and lost it for nothing! But I should have won.” Another picture: “Look, he had a Queen on d5 and I was threatening it with my Knight. He moved it to h5 and I put my own Queen in the diagonal ahead of my Bishop of b7. Well, he blocked the mate with f3 and I took it with my pawn that was on g4 and he played his Knight from e6 to g5 and I stupidly played my pawn to f2 attacking a Rook. His King was on h2 but it really looked like it was on h1 and then I realized I goofed and he proceeded to checkmate my King with Qxh7.” A third goes: oh well, forget it. You get the idea. The point is I really feel the joy of victory and the bitters of defeat with the encroachment upon my person by such zealots. Can anything be worse than having eyesight problems or where a piece is not squarely on a square but sort of half and half on and off? He looks for sympathy who comes my way for consoling or jubilant high fives. I see my role as a tournament visitor in such cases as a release of sorts of the torment experienced at such times and the kudos for a sparkling good show. Some just need a shoulder to cry on. Some need praise and adoration. Maybe that comes hand-in-hand with experiencing the ups and downs of the human spirit as it wages war on the 64 squares.

Kindred’s Special: Mikhail Moiseevich Botvinnik

August 8, 2008

“You will never become an Alekhine if the variations control you and not the other way around.”

Mikhail M. Botvinnik, born August 17, 1911 and died May 5, 1995, had the spirit of chess within him like no other before him and only time will tell if any will equal or surpass his skill and contributions to advance the game with influence on so many. Born near St. Petersburg, Russia he learned to play at age 12 with misgivings by his mother when he spent much time with chess study and play. His rapid progress by age 16 led in 1927 to his participation in the 5th USSR Championship where he shared 5th place and exceeded the master norm by 2 1/2 points. Sometime during this period he began to explore and establish his own mark on the game like no other. His style was of a deep strategy in openings and psychological preparation with emphasis on a scientific approach to dissecting opening, middle and endgame play. By trade he had attained a degree in electrical engineering and even made contributions during the war in that field but the world will always remember him for his professionalism in chess and his belief that chess helped people to solve problems in their everyday lives. He called chess an inexact problem where discovering and solving such tasks necessitated that one should limit the scale of the problem, to avoid getting bogged down and only then could one hope to solve it satisfactorily. He said that chess reflects objective reality and what a person thinks. Every problem should be reduced to manageable analysis and thought.

A very interesting literary work published by Everyman Chess is GARRY KASPAROV ON MY GREAT PREDECESSORS, PART ll that covers Euwe, Botvinnik, Smyslov and Tal. If you love chess, this book and series is essential to a complete chess library.

Choosing two games featuring examples of Botvinnik’s play that are less known and provide excellent instructional value is a task in itself. I hope my effort will reward you with value to study the following games and that you may learn as much from them as I have preparing the topic of this column.

                  I.B.M. International Amsterdam Tournament, July 1966

                      L. Szabo  (White)  vs  Mikhail M. Botvinnik  (Black)

                                 Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

1.c4  c5  2.Nc3  g6  3.Nf3  Bg7 4.d4  cxd4  5.Nxd4  Nc6  6.Nc2  d6 7.e4

What do we see from these moves? The opening has transposed with this move e4 into a type of Maroczy Bind but there is a very important difference from the usual position which is that Black has yet to deploy the Knight on g8. Another thought is that 4.d4 was okay, good, bad? Why? White might have also played 4.e3 with 5.d4 having defense of the e-pawn with option to recapture using the pawn. MB now employs a strategic decision to strike at the center by f5.

7…Nh6  8.h4  f5

Szabo launches what he believes to be a golden opportunity to attack up the h-file trying to show the Knight to the side as inaccurate since h5 seems a strong threat now. MB follows the principle that a flank attack should be best met by a central action.

9.h5  fxe4  10.hxg6  hxg6  11.Nxe4  Bf5  12.Nc3

Szabo appears to want to keep d5 under pressure but a possible alternative here 12.Ng3 might be considered. The Knight returning to c3 seems to give Black pieces a spatial surge.  Note my sq/ct here is 15/9 in Black’s favor with his next move.

12…Qa5 13.Bd2  Qe5+ 14.Ne3

Both Be2 or Be3 would be met by Black’s next.

14…0-0-0  15.Qa4

White finds himself in a virtual Zugswang where whatever course he follows is doomed. For example, 15.Qe2 Nd4, or; 15.Be2 Ng4 is ugly.

15…Ng4  16.Rxh8  Rxh8 17.Qb5

Trying to exchange Queens to alleviate some of the pressure and attack.

17…Qf4  18.Ncd1

On 18.Ned1  Qh2 is overpowering. Work out the play after this.

18…Nd4  19.Qa5  Rh1  20.Rc1  Ne5

Ouch. The Knight threatens mate on d3.

21.Qc7+ Kxc7  22.Nd5+ Kd7  23.Nxf4 g5

The Knight cannot move because of Nd3 mate.

24.Bc3  gxf4 25.Bxd4  Nd3+  26.Kd2  Nxc1  27.Bxg7  Rxf1  28.Kxc1 Bd3

White resigns. 0-1.

                                                           ***

Spanish champion Arturo Pomar, a former child prodigy, falls under the spell of Botvinnik from the same tournament. It is instructional to see the manner in which GM Botvinnik dispatches his opponent.

        Mikhail M. Botvinnik  (White)      vs      Arturo Pomar   (Black)

                                  Slav Defense (Exchange variation)

1.c4  c6  2.Nc3  d5  3.cxd5  cxd5  4.d4  Nf6  5.Nf3  Nc6 6.Bf4  Bf5 7.e3  e6

Symetrical play that tends to favor the lst player. Black would do better to play 7…a6 inorder to prevent Bb5 ala my sq/ct theory of guarding squares from occupation by the opponent. MB jumps on the opportunity without hesitation. Again, one is reminded of the principle of compound development espoused by Capablanca in his primer CHESS FUNDAMENTALS. It is worth noting that Botvinnik had made a careful study of Capa’s games, style and probably read his book too. Unknowingly, he follows the ideas put down in my principles of square count with his coming Ne5.

8…Bb4  9.Ne5  Qa5

Pomar aggressively seeks counterplay and cancels out a possible 10.Nxc6 because of Qxb5!

10.Bxc6+ bxc6  11.0-0

As I have often mentioned, one should always calculate the need to safeguard the King and castle out of the center. Also, see my next note.

11…Bxc3+  12.bxc3  Rc8

Not good at all is 12…Qxc3 because of 13.Qa4 gaining both space by harrassing the Queen and to win back material which is the pawn on c6. It was necessary to foresee this prior to castling.

13.c4  0-0

A misjudgment of strategy. Black should have made room for his Bishop by 13…h6 inorder to preserve it from capture. Pomar hopes to entice the next turn by White in hopes that it will prove weakening the King’s position. It is worth noting that pawn moves around a castled King often does cause problems in that sector but Botvinnik has looked deeper into the position.

14.g4!  Bg6  15.c5!!

This excellent move just about completely cuts off any practical Q-side counterplay or effective central activity due to the placement of Black’s heavy units. It stops Black’s striking with …c5 himself to gain such a chance. Also, a careful examination illustrates Botvinnik’s understanding of this move showing up the weaknessess in the dark squares within Black’s camp. It is hard to find a plan for Black here but maybe a waiting move like ..Kh8 to open a square for the Knight to retreat where it might hit e7 and h6 defensively as well as f6. Black’s next seems a folly because the Knight is his only active piece.

15…Ne4?  16.f3  Nd2

And not, 16…Nc3? because of the pin by Qd2 while also guarding his own camp. The Knight move now lets the Rook improve its own position.

17.Rf2!  Nc4 18.Nxc4 dxc4

So what has occurred? Black has taken 3-turns of the Knight only to see it exchanged and that exchange has left a weak pawn on c4. Meanwhile, MB has improved the position of his Rook and the pawn on f3 chasing the Knight now will allow him to execute a timely e4 to open lines. Remember, pawns need to be exchanged to open lines especially for Rooks.

19.Bd6  Rfe8  20.e4 f5  21.Qc2  fxe4

A worse position often causes additional problems to solve. Here, Black is exchanging pawns which opens the f-file and White is in a great position to take advantage of that.

22.fxe4  Qa3  23.Re1!

A neat prophylactic Nimzowitsch move that simply guards the e-file squares.

23…Qh3  24.Rg2  Rcd8  25.Rg3  Qh6  26.Qxc4  Qd2

Pomar tries to put up resistance but only his Queen is able to penetrate into the White camp. White now says: “Want to exchange Queens?”

27.Qc3  Qxa2  28.Rg2 Qa6

Forced because after Qa4 she is trapped. Do you see how White wins it?

29.h4  Rd7  30.h5  Bf7  31.Ra1  Qc8  32.Qf3  Qd8  33.g5 g6

A sorry necessity but the threat of 34.g6 must be met.

34.h6  e5

Another forced move to stop Qf4 and Qe5.

35.Bxe5  Rb7  36.Qf4  a5  37.Rf2  Bb3

Botvinnik concludes the game with a cute series of pawn moves used to block defense of attacked squares in the King’s home.

38.d5!  cxd5  39.c6  Ra7  40.c7!  Qe7  41.Bd6

Black resigns due to either 41..Qxd6 42.Qf7+ or 41…Qe6 42.Qf8+ leads to mate.

                                                    ***

Botvinnik lived and practiced his art much of his life where computers, let alone chess computers or the skillful programs we see, had not even been considered and often it was the pencil, pen, writing tablet, or  typewriter and old fashioned printing press and reporters that existed with considerable delay in making news readily available to the participants or the public-at- large. Prize funds were worth not much more than meeting expenses with patrons donating to attract visiting masters. Professional players earned a living by writing articles for magazines or newspapers, playing for stakes that usually amounted to paying cab fare or a snack and giving lessons to aspiring newcomers or those with hope in their hearts to better understand the game. The American clubs during the depression years were hangouts for chess hustlers who hustled for bread money or to help pay the rent.

One has to wonder why, under such conditions. did chess survive and the answer has to be that it’s aesthetic beauty, geometric patterns and mysteries that have never been solved entirely thereby exiting all interest could not occur. For once bitten by the chess bug, a victim was brought under its spell and the hope, the desire, the challenge of the fight where each game might present to the devotee such a game that uplifted the spirit to new highs and to return again and again to do battle just to hope to play the best game ever. Then, too, there is the attraction of odd fellows and gals who congregate in the chess social fabric. Because certainly it takes a person with a certain disposition toward sincere interest in problem setting, evaluation and solving that draws people with inquiring minds to its bosom.

The great players of the past never die because their histories, their contributions–writings, games and competitions will live as long as the spirit exists for the human race to aspire to things beautiful.

Kindred’s Special: Tempoing the Petroff Defense

August 3, 2008

Historically, the Ruy Lopez has been a predominate feature of double KP openings and over the years a host of defensive deployments have emerged. But two Americans chess giants, Pillsbury and Marshall, great tactical stars from the past, embraced a defense that has attained great popularity among today’s ‘creme of the crop’.

The Petroff Defense presents an instant counterplay in the center and comes about by 1.e4  e5  2.Nf3  Nf6 counterattacking the e4 pawn rather than setting up a defense of e5. There are various ways to conduct both sides in this interesting and challenging Knight move. The one I am interested in illustrating here is a popular choice of mine. After 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4, I think 5.Qe2 psychologically deflates Black’s hopes and aims for a complex struggle whose sharpness is blunted as often seen in the more common 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 line for example. It also carries with it historical tidbits that makes it a system of deployment that merits attention and awareness of its possibilities. Understanding the nuances of 5.Qe2 provides a comprehensive recognition of Black’s chances as well as those of the White forces.

In the 1895 St. Petersburg tournament, Harry Nelsen Pillsbury won against Dr. Lasker, World Champion, who essayed 5.d4 and later when faced with this same defense came up with 5.Qe2 which he used a number of times with success against the Petroff. Capablanca likewise used 5.Qe2 with considerable success. So distaught was Frank Marshall that, in his MY FIFTY YEARS OF CHESS declared that 5.Qe2 took all the fun out of the opening because of its drawish appearance. Yes, leave it to Lasker to play the opponent! Indeed, he noted in his famous MANUAL OF CHESS that after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Bg5 Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2 Nd5 with a very complicated endgame to ensue. Again in the Kotov and Yudovich classic THE SOVIET SCHOOL OF CHESS who declared that Black does better to avoid the Queen exchange and play Be6 declaring that Black can obtain equal chances.

Here I present two games handling the defensive duties differently.

                          First Match Game, Havana, 1919

        Capablanca  (White)          vs         B. Kostich  (Black

                                    Petroff Defense

1.e4  e5  2.Nf3  Nf6  3.Nxe5 d6 Black must avoid a trap here 3…Nxe4? 4.Qe2 Qe7 5.Qxe4 d6 6.d4 f6 7.Nc3 with White in control. NCO, page 299 gives 6.d4 dxe5 7.dxe5 Nc6 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.Nc3 0-0-0 10.Bf4 (+).

4.Nf3  Nxe4  5.Qe2  Qe7  6.d3  Nf6  7.Bg5  Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2  Be7 9.Nc3  Bd7

In order to stop Nb5. If 9..Nc6 10.Nb5 Kd8 11.0-0 a6 12.Nbd4  Nxd4 13.Nxd4 c5 14.Nf3 Be6 15.Bd2 h6 16.b3 (Kashdan vs Mikenas, Folkestone 1933).

10.0-0  Castling Q-side is less sound and led to about equal chances in Fine vs Kashdan, New York, 1934.

10…0-0  11.Rfe1  Nc6  12.d4 Rfe8  13.Bb5

Another example of Capa’s compound development and coincides with my own square count.

13…a6  This and the follow up gain space on the Q-side but seems to weaken the Q-side pawn structure and while stopping the threat to win by 14.d5, Black could have achieved the same result with Kf8.

14.Ba4  b5  15.Bb3  Na5

In a correspondence game C.W. Warburton who had followed the moves as White now was faced with a new move by Black, namely 15…Rac8 and I give the game here as played for your interest. Play continued: 16.h3 Nd8 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Nd5 Rxe1+ 19.Rxe1 Ne6 20.Nxf6+ gxf6 21.d5 Nc5 22.Nd4 Re8 23.Rxe8+ Bxe8 24.Kf1 Bd7 25.Ke2 Kg7 26.c3 f5 27.Bc2 Kf6 28.f4 h5 29.b4 Nb7 30.Kf2 Nd8 31.Bd1 Kg6 32.Kg3 c6 33.dxc6 Nxc6 34.Kh4 Nxd4 35.Bxh5+ Kg7 36.cxd4 Be6 37.a3 Bd5 38.g4 Be6 39.gxf5 Bxf5 40.Bf3 Bc8 41.Kg3 Kh6 42.h4 f6 43.Bg4 Bb7 44.Bf5 Kh5 45.Be6 d5 46.Bd7 Kh6 Black finds himself in Zugswang (required to move which leaves no defense) 47.h5+ 1-0.

16.Re3  c6 17.Rae1 Kf8 18.Bf4  Nb7 19.h3

Occasionally it is wondered why such moves are played and their purpose. Here is an excellent instructional lesson as it provides 3 purposes by keeping Black from freeing his game by Bg4, gives White a flight square to avoid a back row mate, and a safe haven for the Bishop against an attack on it by Nh5.

19…h6 20.Bh2  Bd8  21.Rxe8+ Bxe8 22.a4 c5  23.Ne4  Nxe4  24.Bd5!

Skewering the two Knights.

24…Ra7  25.Bxe4  Be7 26.axb5  axb5 27.dxc5 dxc5

These pawn exchanges have opened lines more favorable to White as his two Bishops are in an attack mode while Black’s pieces are tied more to defense. The game which lasted to move 86 and won by Capablanca is beyond the scope of this article and too long to include here.

                                                     ***

                      C.W. Warburton  (White)    vs   Dr. C.S. Hunter

                                        Petroff Defense

1.e4  e5  2.Nf3  Nf6  3.Nxe5  d6  4.Nf3  Nxe4  5.Qe2  Qe7  6.d3  Nf6  7.Bg5  Be6 8.Nc3  h6  9.Bxf6

Warburton follows a game played by Capablanca against Marshall from St. Petersburg, 1914.

9…Qxf6  10.d4  Be7  11.Qb5+ Nd7  12.Bd3  g5

As Capa had won the game with 13.h3 played next, Warburton began to smell a rat that his skillful opponent had unearthed or discovered through his own analysis an improvement for Black. That game had gone 13.h3 0-0 14.Qxb7 Rab8 15.Qe4  Qg7 16.b3 c5 and Capa won with relative ease. Putting on his own thinking cap, Warburton discovered the sharp 16…Nc5! Warburton relates that he felt he was being lured into this specific line where both Marshall and Capablanca had completely missed the move in their own annotations to that game.

Note in the above game, the move h3 was very useful for White. In this game it appears to by unnecessary as Warburton’s analysis suggests with this continuation refuting that given in THE GUARDIAN that supported Capa’s 13.h3 as necessary. After 15..g4 (instead of Qg7) 16.Nd2 Nc5 17.dxc5 Qxc3 18.Qa8+ Bd8 best 19.Qc6+ Kf8 20.Ne4  Qe5 21.Rae1 dxc5 22.Nxc5 Qd6 23.Nxe6 fxe6 24.Qc3 wins.

16.Bb5 Bd8

With the King stuck in the central region he has no time for g4 now. The next is to fix it that the King remain there.

17.Bxd7+ Kxd7 18.Ne5!+ dxe5

This positional sac makes correspondence play such fun. Imagine if the opponent does not consider the move and then receives it in the post!

19.d5! Ke8  20.dxe6  fxe6  21.Rad1

With sq/ct now 14-9 White begins to knock down the door.

21…Rb6  22.Nb5  a6  23.Na7  Rd6  24.Nc6

The result of this Knight ‘walk’ will enhance the effect of the Queen penetrating on the Q-wing.

24…Bf6  25.Rxd6  cxd6  26.Rb1

Another sq/ct type move as it takes up a powerful post on the open b-file with increased sq/ct to boot.

26…d5  27.Qa4  Qc7

Black cannot allow Rb8+.

28.Qxa6  Qd6  29.Rb7  Bd8  30.Rg7  1-0.

 

 

 

Kindred’s Special: A Tale of Knightly Intrigue

August 1, 2008

It boiled down to how I could muster a close knit of associates abroad to collectively engage in a role of communication without consequence to any or all. Call it a spy network if you wish but the whole operation now seems so amateurish and unbelieveable. Maybe that is why it succeeded and to this day I have remained convinced that such secretive efforts by freedom loving people can make a difference beyond what governmental covert operations achieve. What kept my organization almost totally out of the arm of any justice investigation was to me a brilliant stroke of having read The Scarlet Pimpernel and to some small extent adopting the baffone role of nerd, jerk, playboy, and setting up such an idiotic system that no one could ever decipher without having the code for which only my associates possessed. Only I had the master code index and each agent if you want to call my team by that name (I really prefer it to the term ‘spy’) had been issued one and all communications differed while still using the simplest of devices. It is hard to believe that it worked so well and remains undetected to this day although now retired, I have no need it remain so. My contacts are no longer needed or are engaged being retired themselves or having died meanwhile.

Being a correspondence chess player, an artistic flare for drawing, I was quite determined to infiltrate enemy and neutral territories having had the opportunity of make numerous acquaintenances both by mail and by world travel to distant lands during holidays. Why, might you ask would I even consider such a role independent of any national backing. Point blank such an idea would be shot down as stupid. Yes, stupid is as stupid does. That thought convinced me that no one would ever take anything I did as serious or damaging and so I quite as a practical matter adopted the role as baffone. Hence my organization once in place remained totally out of the loop of those who sought to investigate subversive activities either here at home or abroad and any such inkling would end up in the dust heap as “no action required.” Admittedly there were some close calls as my contacts revealed but the whole system remained intact and undetected as anything but an innocent waste of one’s time with a drawing. Therein lays the element of total brilliance on my part. Something right out in sight is ignored! A system so simple that no one can break the codes because each was established independent of the others with only the leader having the index.

The system code lay in the diagram of a partial board as the base of a chess Knight. The color I used to fill in the outline differed, the lines used to color in the squares actually possessed the instruction to my contact and varied depending upon the nature and whereabouts of the information to retrieve. A number of bookworms had established a network of bookstores from which to carry on their activities and those involved were not directly known to me but the group was kept small and only the most trusted and supportive of freedom had been recruited by my contacts. Of course a mole could always turn up but even in that case no real breakdown could exist since the codes were individual and the main contact possessed it soley. Even if brought in for questioning, what harm was there in a correspondence from America where my artwork was depicted on say an envelope or chess mail card?  That remained my main manner of transmittal. Game play had nothing to do directly with the messages.

The nature of the message codes were naming of various meeting rooms where talks to a close knit of believers in human dignity, national honor and love of freedom often found little outlet otherwise. It is hard to imagine that in America where we have so many freedoms to congregate and express our feelings and beliefs that others around the world lack that same human condition and live in fear that even close friends or family members might turn them in to authorities. From these meetings, each could go forth and did so relating much of the discussion and these found their way into church groups. It amazed me that despite the seemingly open expression, that authorities were never able to unveil the umbrella of secrecy that drew these patriots for free expression and battlement against fascists either at the local or national level.

My main purpose was to work to destroy the ambitious communist attempts throughout the globe. Only by truth can the follies of the communist system where individual incentive is repressed and a capitalistic view is set upon by a socialistic view of collective doctrinatorial reeducation or being hidden away in the gulags to repress freedom of thought, the individual, the family, and the religious beliefs that helped make the United States of America the place most want to emigrate to from around the world.

During our long out of the public eye existence and subversive operational directives there existed much to depress the peoples behind the iron curtain. What happened to Czech GM Pachman, to the many famous players within the motherland of Russia and the USSR in general is well documented today by those very oppressed people who managed to emigrate to other lands where they could practice their art free of intimidation and or because of refusal to sign a Communist Membership Card. That the Soviet government could condemn GM Boris Spassky for his failure to quit the match while leading against Fischer who refused and stayed to do battle with the most feared chessplayer ever to mix it up with communists were such as the meat for our body.

Today we see the result of a sinister and growing menace that communism as described in THE NAKED COMMUNIST written when I was but a child and which gripped me with the iron philosophy of the beauty of our own Land. If one views the nature of Putin, of using oil as a blackmail to Europe, to the bomber flights that peek along our shores and others, of GM Kasparov’s failed efforts to keep Russia a true democracy. As the above book notes, communist philosophy is progress pushing ever forward to its evil ends because it is willing to take two-steps backwards inorder to advance three-steps.