KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope Special:Purpose

Well, I must say that I was chastised by GM Davies for comments meant to assist and inform concerning his query directed I assume to those who view his excellent site TIGERCHESS. The somewhat put down made me sad and proceeded to mend my failure and include TIGERCHESS as a link.

At first I was planning to make this short and sweet but now that my fingers are limbered up felt maybe it was time to tell you why I write this blog, offer no advertising, and try to provide for the average guy and gal a light look at the world of chess from the view of the novice, amateur, and for those of the general public who want to know something about the game but not interested in a serious workout of spending months and years honing their skills. I have my blog available to WCL members, the USO and other military organizations like Help Hospitalized Veterans, Soldiers’ Angels, and various other military support groups and have financially supported them.

As a retiree with over 63 years experience in American chess life, I wanted to provide newcomers and those having just a smattering of interest for the game of chess who might hit on my blog a sort of light side look at chess. As a former editor of THE CHESS CORRESPONDENT I had the opportunity to correspond with former World Correspondence Champion, C.J.S. Purdy whose biography and collection of writings taken from CHESS WORLD was highly recommended by me. I have done book reviews of chess books but have never attempted to make money from such reviews leaving that to others who profess some professionalism as chess writers and stars of our noble game. As I said, this was not my purpose as I leave that area to those who desire to profit from its pursuit. My only interest to writing my blog is my interest in chess, and hoping that those who venture across it might find some enjoyment, some helpful hints, some humor and tidbits to shake the tummy like a bowl of  jelly.

My theory of Square Count (Sq/Ct) originated as I said as a means using a bar graph to map the ups and downs of a chess battle. At the same time I had wondered as a child what made players like Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker and Reshevsky able to seemingly pinpoint the needs of a position at hand especially in exhibition play. Hence, I used the counting of squares within the enemy camp for each side to achieve this. The more I examined it, the more I came realize that it was directly associated with spatial concerns and most effected from the build up of tempi. The fact that an exchange likely gives away a tempo or leads to a jump in tempi in some cases often is seen in use of my Sq/Ct theory. There is also the idea of Sq/Ct that says that squares, files or diagonals might be blunted from its use. An example is where a square is blunted by a pawn guard against infiltration by the enemy. Take for example the f2, f7 squares being guarded in the initial start of a game by the Kings. Likewise the c2,c7 squares are guarded only by the Queens. It is easy to see therefore that the quickest approach to those weaknesses is through the central complex. And when you examine the types of openings that have become standard over time, it sheds light on this whole concept. In some cases, one can sac a pawn or even a piece that will lay bare the square enabling an attack but more likely there will be a concentrated buildup of forces eventually pinpointing those squares as the key inroads to the enemy camp and subsequent win of material or leading to checkmate. Often times one sees such games and wonderfully attacking play resulting from Bronstein, Tal, Spassky, Keres, Geller, Fischer, Karpov, Kramnik, Kasparov and Anand–many examples of individual styles of attack but with a common theme throughout just to name a handful of superstars from past and present.

As a former TD, organizer, official, and club program director and treasurer of the Rochester Chess Club; a NYSCA, USCF, CCLA, official and captain of the New York State Beavers chess team (CCLA) I had occasion to meet many wonderful chess personages and players both in talks and across the board. I have had many friends including family who said I should develop my talent for the game and play in national tournaments where I could hone my skills. I simply did not see it that way. I loved the role as a servant to the club as my being has always tended towards helping others more than myself. Maybe it came as a result of really poor conditions seen in the chess arena at the time–USCF had only about 1200 members whereas the national picture magazine CHESS REVIEW had a huge readership of 11000-14000 it was estimated at different times. Most clubs existed with little or no real ties to a national organization, no national chess rating system where TDs and organizers of any Swiss type event had difficulty determining the skill level of participants other than by reputation if at all known. Most events in those days were round robin type events and mostly at club level often featuring club invitations to big names for simultaneous exhibitions or where two clubs might meet in a team match.

Well, this is getting away from main purpose of my column today. I hope it will give you some reflection on the conditions long past with those of today. We are blessed with high-tech solutions for record keeping, updating of ratings, of many more opportunities to play. But we have one thing tied with the past: we, regardless of the times, meet and play and still appreciate the aesthetic lure of a remarkable game. I just hope we keep it pure and free of vice and corruption and the character of our people around the world who cherish the joy of solving mysteries and playing will ever hold it in highest honor.

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