Archive for October, 2009

Kindred’s Kaleidoscope: Don’t Tread on Me

October 31, 2009

Chess theories abound. I, as an amateur, treat chess preparation and the study of opening theories with a bit of dismay because I have always tried to instill the idea that one should plan from move 1 to obtain the type of position that fits within one’s understanding and skill level. It does nothing more harmful than to merely play opening systems from book learning without a thorough knowledge of the complexities one finds in an opening system like the Sicilian Defense where it is paramount importance to study, study, analyze, and study again and again the huge number of variations possible if you so want to adopt what many term the best defense to achieve success with the black pieces. This requires deep study from both sides because as an 1.e4 player, you will likely encounter the Sicilian Defense more than any other opening system. For this reason, I have always advocated the study of 1…e5 in answer to e4 where, despite the result, you will learn to understand chess more quickly and develop a keen sense of attack-defense-counterattack situations. Even among the elite of the chessworld, the Sicilian can be a problem child. The following example will illustrate just what difficulties are met across the board when the Sicilian Defense is tried.

White: Igor Kurnosov   versus  Black: Pavel Anisimov

1.e4  c5  2.Nf3  d6  3.d4  cxd4  4.Nxd4  Nf6  5.Nc3  a6  6.Bg5  e6  7.f4  Nbd7.

This natural looking move if often played but one could also argue for Anand’s preference of 7…Qb6 that avoids the setup here that White aims for.

8.Bc4  Qb6.

Here, one round later, 8…b5 was tried and after 9.Bxe6 fxe6 10.Nxe6 Qa5  11.Nxf8 Rxf8  12.Qxd6 Qb6  14.O-O-O  Qxd6  15.Rxd6 Nc5 16.Re1 with advantage for White. In a 1971 game, this whole idea was played where black employed at move 14…b4 but faced hardship after 15.Na4.

9.Bxf6  Nxf6  10.Bb3  Qc5.

Also interesting and played in this position is 10…e5 11.Ba4+ Ke7 12.Nde2  exf4  13.Bb3  Be6  14.Nd4  g6  15.Qd2  h5  16.O-O-O with good play for the pawn. But a pawn is a pawn is a pawn, or; does compensation of a dynamic position dominate the landscape?

11.Qd3  Be7  12.O-O-O  e5.

Not a bad move maybe but it allows White’s Knight to penetrate and exchanges that lead to open lines more favorable for White where he dominates and controls the light squares.

13.Nf5  Bxf5  14.exf5  O-O 15.g4!

This sharp entry of the g-pawn is well played because 15…Nxg4 is strongly met by 16.Nd5!

15…exf4  16.Rhe1 Bd8  17.g5  Ng4  18.Ne4  Qa5  19.f6  gxf6  20.gxf6 Kh8 21.Qh3  Nxf6  22.Qh6.

Enter the Queen!

22. … Nd7  23.Rg1  Qe5  24.Rd5 and Anisimov resigns.  If you thought of 24.Rd3, that is even better as it forces mate in 8 moves!

Many of my amateur games even against many stronger rated players brought victories in splendid and short snappy games with the White pieces. Reference my wins from Dr. E. W. Marchand and other club players whom I documented in my columns.

Again, I recommend you learn as much as possible about KING PAWN OPENINGS where attack, defense, and counterattack will give you a strong sense of what to do from either side of the board. The variety of openings is quite large: The Ruy Lopez, Giuoco Piano, Scotch, Danish, King’s Gambit, Vienna, Two Knights Defense, The Petroff Defense, The Hungarian Defense, The Center-Counter Attack Defense.

Some argue and perhaps rightly so that all these openings undercut home preparation for tournament play because a smattering of some knowledge in playing key lines at least requires lots of effort and then you might get crossed up by openings other than 1.e4.  Same holds true with any opening like the Sicilian where the Wing or Morra Gambit can be essayed by White. And if one chooses the Caro Kann, French or  Indian systems against 1.e4, then there are a host of variations in each of them. So the whole matter becomes like a choice between apples and oranges.

In summation, it is more important to learn to play chess and get the most from the time studied for the amateur player who wants to compete or just play for fun while learning along the way to box and punch like good fighters. This is my belief and what 65-years of chess has taught me.

Adios, for now!!

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Kindred’s Kaleidoscope: Halloween Haunts and Ghostly Sightings

October 31, 2009

Believe it or not, Rochesterians have through the years been subjected to strange goings-on with playful ghostly visits all over Rochester, N.Y. There seems to be more truth than fiction or fairytales to such stories by eyewitnesses that claim to have encounters with the other world.

There are a number of such sites around the city area that have caused a bit of shiver up and down the spine of those who venture out to any number of locations known to be inhabited by visits from the ghostly world.

One such place is the old House of Pain in the Eastman Dental Dispensary located on East Main Street. According to Ralph Esposito who runs the Rochester Candlelight Ghost Walks with Jennifer Oneske and Western New York Paranormal, their combined stories get larger each year as more and more data from area residents who experience personal contact and sightings enabled Mr. Esposito to compile in a book, Ghosts of Genesee Country.

Rochester’s rich history from its founding by Nathaniel Rochester with its many locations that ghosts most likely favor is an ideal spot for ghost hunters to frequent. From the Reunion Inn and old mansion on East Avenue to Mt. Hope Cemetery and a former downtown hotel, hunters spin their tales of spiritual visitations where you just might find a friendly “hello” and that visually drifts away into the night. Such reports are sometimes recorded by caretakers. In one such case, two guards locked up the cemetery gates and saw a young girl sitting inside so they opened up the gate and approached her. She was sitting on the side of the road of the Susan B. Anthony section. They stopped and asked her name. She told them and one guard said he would get a blanket and wanted to call her parents and take her home. When he came back, she got up and ran off into the cemetery. The guards chased after her and one tripped over an old tombstone. On the tombstone was the name the girl had given them. They claim to still see her occasionally but no longer bother to approach her.

Even stranger is the story of a girl who wandered into the cemetery and got lost, unable to locate the entrance. Suddenly she saw ahead a jogger who she ran after and suddenly he just faded and vanished but there in front of her was the entrance she was unable to find. Later on, thinking about it, she remembered his outfit was outdated and from an earlier era of dress.

But to top that, the case of the husband whose wife discovered a girl’s underclothes in the laundry basket that brought a harsh questioning for which there was no answer. The husband was perplexed how those garments got there. It was found that a mischievous young lady, the daughter of the original owners, had been murdered in the house years before and her ghost continued to play jokes and pranks on the occupants to this day.

The full story can be seen in the Democrat and Chronicle for Saturday, October 31st. Just be glad it was not Friday, the 13th!!!

If all this doesn’t raise the hair just a bit, review my columns where I wrote a short story of meeting a ghost in a visit to a chess club I called: A Christmas Ghostly Tale.

Our 1825 house may hold its own secrets, ghostly visitors who appear and disappear especially on foggy and cold nights. We get a variety of strange noises and voices that are carried through the tree limbs by the winds with knocks on the door and turning on the light finds only an empty porch. Ghosts?  Goblins? Shucks, I do not know. But occasionally I get the feeling that someone is in my study where I type my articles. Is the ghost giving me pointers and encouragement? Is he or she trying to give my mind a free rein that runs through the history of chess–maybe one of the early giants of the board or just maybe someone like Bobby Fischer with whom I’d crossed swords or one of the youngsters from the past.

The ghostly adventures of Halloween seems to be a time when such fever is at a high. Enjoy the moment!

This would be an ideal time for families and communities to come together and share the good things that make life worth living–creative dress, good food, sweets, and games to enjoy together.

Adios, for now!! and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Kindred’s Special: From the Pen to Technology

October 22, 2009

Gone is the time when I was a kid who got high marks for good penmanship in school. That was a time when manual typewriters not only was to tool used in our typing class, but it was the tool used in homes, by secretaries and the typing pool , by journalists, reporters, and the Western Union.

Thinking back to those good old days that were not so good except that there was a sort of peaceful harmony generally in the families that filled our communities, towns, cities and states across this broad land called America, it is hard to believe that much was accomplished in the 19th and 20th centuries by the imagination and creativity of folks who were ever exploring for ways to improve the lot of mankind and a better world for future generations. It was more often than not that it rested with creative thinkers either individually or in small cadres of believers who saw the potential for making the seemingly impossible become functional and needed to meet demands of a growing population. The inventive minds of these pioneers led to advancements in manufacturing, in techniques that saved time and work in production costs, and covered a host of areas that has emerged in our own time.

Perhaps the greatest achievement was the development of technologies that even today sometimes become obsolete due to improvements, new ideas, old ideas given new birth by reevaluating needs with new approaches to their possibilities.  Such is the state of current times.

What technologies have appeared to revolutionize the broad spectrum of our lives? There is virtually no area not touched with vast improvements:

  • Due to the internet, a whole variety of games are now played on the internet. Lessons to improve skill abound on many websites. Modern systems for publishing literature has made available to writers and authors a wide-range of opportunities to benefit each and those who read and study the materials hone skills to master many of the subjects. These, in turn, enhance the quality of an expanded body of participants at every level where the chance to create ‘gems’ come with every contest.
  • Computer technology has streamlined much of the work done previously by manual labor to a denser and more appliable and beneficial use of the workforce and more efficient controls.
  • TV sets no longer have rabbit-ears but have been replaced by satelite technology and cable.
  • Communications via telephones have been replaced by electronic devices that bring clearer the voices into the room of the listener. Tiny cell phones and IPods make the world ever nearer regardless of travel or location.
  • Sports arenas are outfitted with huge electronic demo boards that give fans increased joy in attending events held in them.
  • Airlines provide greater safety and travel opportunities with modern seating and electronic wonders. A passport will enable anyone to travel world-wide.
  • Financially you can live on a credit or debit card with accummulated expenses itemized and stored at financial institutions for any needed history review. Bill paying can also be a feature of a financial institution done electronically and at the request of the cardholder. Financial records can be viewed at one’s leisure.
  • Improvements in a host of sports have aided the practitioners with high tech advances in design, quality materials, and sources and opportunities to partake. Most noteably here are advancements in golf clubs, golf balls, golf courses; in tennis the old rackets have been replaced by new designed rackets, balls, and both have been made more competitive and sportfan friendly by the high quality TV screens in use today.
  • A whole new field has opened for experienced coaches for beginners and experienced players alike.
  • Everyday home and work place environment has seen vast additions and or improvements both in and beyond our surroundings.

For we who enjoy the game of chess, the opportunities and quality that exists today is unrivaled through time. From the quality of sets, boards, clocks and other innovations to aid the tournament players, the organizers, the tournament officials and availability of news coverage through magazines, videos, the internet, newspapers and TV, and richer prize funds partly through corporate sponsors and individual donations or entry fees, have enriched not only the knowledge of the game but also the opportunities associated with modern technology.

Adios for now!

Kindred’s Special: I Am Not Alone to the Loss of my Queen!

October 17, 2009

I like to play blitz chess at 1 0 while I listen to the radio. Recently I lost my Queen in a winning position by stupidly letting it get trapped. Oh, well, I thought “I am just a patzer in blitz play.”

Salvation? I recently took up the book I bought from Barnes & Noble called The Art of Planning in Chess–Move by Move. The author is the well known Neil McDonald. On page 46 appears a game between A. Istraescu and L. Ftacnik, 2005 played at Khanty Mansyisk. The opening is one of my favorites: The English Opening.

1.c4  Nf6  2.Nf3  c5  3.Nc3 e6  4.g3 b6  5.Bg2 Bb7 6.O-O  Be7 7.b3  O-O 8.Bb2  d6  9.e3  Nbd7 10.Qe2  Qc7  11.Rac1  a6  12.Rfd1 Bc6 13.d4  Qb7  14.h4  Rac8  15.d5!

Hey! Wait just a minute. That d5 square is covered 4-times so is this for real?

15…exd5  16.cxd5  Nxd5?

McDonald says the only way to fight is by …Bb4 which drops a pawn. The text leads to a bizzare finish.

17.Nxd5  Bxd5  18.Rxd5!  Qxd5  19.Ng5

Now the advance h4 made earlier is made clear. The Knight is guarded and exposes the Queen to the Bishop threat.

19…Qf5  20.Be4  Black resigns 1-0).
Yes, it is only human to error. So I guess I sit here with some feeling of remorse for the black player. At this level, it must have been a shock to go down the result of a pawn push to d5.
Pawns are the soul of chess. In this game it is so true.

KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: You could have heard a pin drop!

October 17, 2009

WE NEED TO APOLOGIZE TO NO ONE IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF NATIONS ala the UN. I stand on firm ground when I say this. Maybe I am Presidential material compared to the goofballs we have in the White House now with all those czars– socialistic, communist pinkos that Soros aligns himself with. Let him stay in England. Reminds me of a guy just angry that he lives on the other side of the Atlantic and misses the beautiful landscapes of our autumn and colorful forests and mountains here in New York State–the good ole USA!!!!!

I do not know about you but I am fed up with our so-called President and other politicians who work overtime to apologize for our country’s prior actions. What a patriotic record of former statesmen I list here as a reminder that Obama is no Jack Kennedy; Obama is no Dean Rusk; Obama is no Colin Powell; and finally, Obama is no statesman but a Pied Piper leading the young and ignorant astray. In fact, the whole of the White House staff with all its Chicago cronies fail to meet that one word–STATESMAN or that they practice statesmanship of the qualities like those of the past.

The many tea parties across the Land brought out the common man and woman who have, by their labors and hardiness of character, demonstrate that Washingtonians in the District of Columbia as well as representative failures of the grand old party handle–Democrat no longer stands for integrity, honor, dedication to American values but have become a source of constant hatreds of American Life and its ideals.

Mr. Robert Whiting, an 83-year old American, maybe said it best when he got off the plane in Paris, France. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry-on.

“You have been to France before, monsieur?” asked the customs officer. In responding that he did, the officer then sarcastically added the barb, “Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.” The American said, yes, he indeed had been to France in the past and did not have to show a passport.

“Impossible!! Americans always have to show passports on arrival in France!”

Giving the customs officer a long hard look, he quietly explained, “Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate France, I could not find a single Frenchman to show a passport to.”

Colin Powell answered the Archbishop of Canterbury who asked if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”

President Jack Kennedy while commander of a PT Boat that got rammed by the Jap vessel showed his valor  and character by swimming with a mate on his back to safety. Americans do not leave behind their wounded.

Dean Rusk, Secretary of State under JFK was in France in the 60s when De Gaulle decided to pull out of NATO and wanted all US forces out of France as soon as possible.  Rusk responded, “Does that include those who are buried here?”

De Gaulle did not respond and you could HERE A PIN DROP!

An US Naval Admiral was attending a conference that included Admirals from the U.S., England, Canada, Australia, and France. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most mentioned. Everyone was speaking in the English language and during the sipping of drinks, the French Admiral present suddenly noted that most Europeans learn to speak many languages while Americans learn only to speak English. “Why is it, he asked, we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?” Without hesitation, the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”

Ignorance is no excuse but for the French and many Europeans, they just love to knock anything America does to benefit people. A perfect example is when international engineers met in France to participate in a conference. During a break, a Frenchman asked an American from Boeing, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?”

The intelligent and wise Boeing engineer could not take this crap from the likes of such an ignorant fool and gave this account so the whole body could hear it. “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3000 people three meals a day; they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh drinking water from sea water each day, and they carry half-dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have 11 such ships; how many does France have?”

Yes, you could indeed hear a pin drop on any of the above occasions.

What have we to show for Democrat controlled Congress and the Presidency? Well, recently Secretary of State Hilary Clinton wants to let the Russians come and study our nuclear missile bases and inspect them. During the Clinton administration, China was granted the right to buy one of our key ports which they jealously guard and permit no oversight from Americans. China wants control of the Panama Canal which the liberal jackass President Carter so willingly gave away. And in recent times many Democrats have badmouthed America around the world.

I think Scoop Jackson, former Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jack Kennedy would turn over in their graves to see the state that this great Nation of The United States has degenerated to due to the ignorance and standardization of  party affiliation without thinking what their vote will mean.  If you voted in the last election, then you live with what you reaped. The trouble is you have all of us in the same boat and that boat leaks.

The Bible noted that in the LAST DAYS the people would whine with wringing hands: WHERE ARE OUR LEADERS? Maybe part of the answer from GOD will be:”You aborted them.”

KindredSpirit’s Special: Columbus Day Remembrance

October 15, 2009

COLUMBUS DAY is long remembered by me because we did not have school but mostly because we had a chance to remember the valiant Italian Explorer Christopher Columbus who set sail with ships from the good grace of Spanish royalty to find a short route to China for trade. As all things usually happen, the purpose was honorable but flawed because his adventure led to discovery of the West Indies and subsequently the whole of both North and South America which fell into the lap of Spain’s rule and overpowering the Indian tribes who ruled those lands before the white man came. Only the exploration by the French and English prevented their total domination of two continents.

Columbus discovered the new world and proved that no one would fall off the world and die as was a belief by many seamen; it was to fall to the Spanish however to try and conquor rather than trade in peace as did Columbus’ dealing with the natives. The main cause of such deceit by the Spanish was the discovery of huge gold reserves–GREED, CONQUEST AND THE DESIRE TO FILL THE COFFERS OF THE SPANISH TREASURY.  Spanish troops were heavily armed with swords, cannon, muskets and gun powder. Their use of horses made invasion into the countryside much easier.

The rest is history. Eventually the Spanish conquors lost territories gained in North America by the U.S. government and rush to form settlements and their own breed of explorers into unknown Indian territories. The result of wars with the Spanish led to the expulsion from the northern continent altogether. Still, the once presence of the Spanish left a rich heritage to the development of the western regions.

Spain’s contribution to the development of South America and influences in North America provide a rich history and customs including the language of Spanish as a popular second language in many school systems. Would it all have been possible without the determination of Christopher Columbus who, in 1492, set sail into the unknown?

Kindred’s Special: History making 1956 Rosenwald

October 7, 2009

The 1956 Rosenwald Tournament was won by GM Samuel Herman Reshevsky with 8 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws with Arthur Bernard Bisguier taking 2nd with 5 wins, 2 losses and 4 draws.His lone loss was to the young and amiable Donald Byrne who came 5th in the field of 12 with a score of 5 wins, 5 losses and 1 draw. A relative newcomer on the American scene was Bobby Fischer who finished with 2 wins, 4 losses and 5 draws.

The final results of the crosstable shows the following:

  1. Reshevsky………………………..9-2
  2. Bisguier……………………………7-4
  3. Mednis…………………………….6.5-4.5
  4. Feuerstein………………………..6.5-4.5
  5. Byrne………………………………5.5-5.5
  6. Bernstein…………………………5.5-5.5
  7. Turner…………………………….5.5-5.5
  8. Seidman………………………….4.5-6.5
  9. Fischer……………………………4.5-6.5
  10. Hearst…………………………….4.5-6.5
  11. Pavey……………………………..4-7
  12. Shainswit…………………………3-8

While the victory of Reshevsky was impressive and a number of quality games were played in the event by the participants, the tournament will long be remembered for what Kmoch called in CHESS REVIEW: “The Game of the Century” made Fischer a household word and teenage star while Don Byrne had the memorable position of being on the losing end of a brilliancy by the youngster.

Briefly, Don Byrne was a rising star himself having won the 1953 US Open and 1964 Atlantic Open, New York City. He represented the USA in three Olympics (1962-4-8).

Robert J. Fischer toured the the USA and Canada playing in many regional and national events where he honed his skills. He did not consider himself a child prodigy but earned his credentials by study and practice that certainly to many suggested that he was indeed a child prodigy. The 1956 Rosenwald set the stage for his meteoric rise to the top of American chess as he went on to win the 1957 US Championship without the loss of a game scoring 8 wins, 5 draws and 0 losses in the 14 player field. His final 10.5-2.5 edging out Reshevsky who scored 9.5-3.5, losing to both Sherwin and Lombardy. Fischer went on to win every US Championship he played in and that record likely will never be broken.

White:  Donald Byrne             vs  Black: Robert J. Fischer

Opening:  Grunfeld Defense, Russian System

1.Nf3  Nf6  2.c4  g6  3.Nc3  Bg7  4.d4  O-O  5.Bf4  d5  6.Qb3  dxc4  7.Qxc4  c6  8.e4  Nbd7.

Another approach was 8…b5 9.Qb3  Qa5 as Kasparov played against Miles in 1986.

9.Rd1  Nb6  10.Qc5  Bg4.

I think here 11.Be2 should be tried which in fact was later played in Flear-Morris, Dublin, 1991. That game went: 11.Be2 Nfd7 12.Qa3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3  e5 14.dxe5 Qe8 15.Be2 Nxe5 16.O-O.

11.Bg5

Byrne wants to improve the Bishop’s position and influence on the game. Here I would say square-count-wise he pressures and digs into the enemy position. On f4, while it has a nice diagonal cross roads, it seems to lack punch. Fischer has to be given credit for a very imaginative idea. It has been said that dynamic imagination is more important in a chess battle than static knowledge.

11. … Na4!  12.Qa3  Nxc3  13.bxc3  Nxe4! 14.Bxe7 Qb6.

Knowing Fischer, he must have chewed his finger nails as far as they could be chewed by this point in time. And Byrne must have come to the realization that he got cooked with the fact that Black gets too much play if he captures the Rook. No doubt it dawned on him that Fischer was on his game and had outwitted him.

15.Bc4.

15.Bxf8 Bxf8 16.Qb3 Nxc3 or even Qxb3 analysis has shown gives Black excellent winning chances as White’s position begins to crumble.

16.Bc5  Rfe8+  17.Kf1  Be6!!

This masterful stroke upsets White’s applecart as perhaps Byrne was anticipating here: 17…Nb5? 18.Bxf7+! Kxf7 19.Qb3+ Be6 20.Ng5+ and the tables are turned.

18.Bxb6.

White is virtually in zugzwang here as after 18.Bxe6? Qb5+ 19.Kg1 Ne2+ 20.Kf1 Ng3++ 21.Kg1 Qf1+!! 22.Rxf1  Ne2 checkmate. This example of a Philidor smothered mate is stimulatingly pleasurable for readers. But Byrne realized that all roads here lead to Rome.

18. … Bxc4+ 19.Kg1  Ne2+  20.Kf1  Nxd4+21.Kg1  Ne2+ 22.Kf1  Nc3+ 23.Kg1  axb6 24.Qb4  Ra4  25.Qxb6  Nxd1  26.h3  Rxa2  27.Kh2  Nxf2  28.Re1  Rxe1  29.Qd8+ Bf8  30.Nxe1  Bd5  31.Nf3  Ne4  32.Qb8  b5  33.h4  h5  34.Ne5  Kg7  35.Kg1 Bc5+ 36.Kf1  Ng3+  37.Ke1  Bb4+  38.Kd1  Bb3+ 39.Kc1 Ne2+ 40.Kb1 Nc3+ 41.Kc1  Rc2 checkmate.

That a 13-year old kid could play such dynamic and imaginative chess and carry out the execution of moves as did Fischer against Byrne made it clear that youth indeed could grasp the elements of chess and raised the hope for a growing cadre of juniors.  Bill Lombardy sparked the junior world when he won the Junior World Championship with an 11-0 score. A number of leading players of the past Century thought children in general could not play master chess. It was thought that kids ages 13-14 might stir interest toward chess. The scholastic programs not only of the USSR but also the United States and spread throughout the world find children do indeed understand and let their imaginations soar.  Great talent abounds and chess is no longer considered an “old man’s game.”

Kindred’s Kaleidoscope: Zugzwang

October 4, 2009

In all the years of having seen depicted on the airwaves or in the press by journalists, political and military leaders and writers one term defies mention so far as I can recall.  Is this merely an oversight or is there some element to the very word discussed here as being completely new to the realm of national and international intrigues.

We can all find terms used to discribe current events, words to describe and emphasize the points being made–stalement, check, ploy, gambit, strategic plan, stratagem, checkmate, chess game, or battle of wits, swindle, blunder, errors, mistakes, miscues. But one word that is missing from all these is ZUGZWANG. Nowhere have I seen this term used by the parties mentioned.

ZUGZWANG is a term given to a chess position where any move played in the position loses at least the balance wherein the adversary will benefit usually with a full point as the result.

What circumstance might arise on the scene in life that might suggest this term to be applicable? It is a question I do not relish an answer for but most recent events in the Iranian affair with NUKES being an issue might give rise to such a term especially regarding the complexity of what and how Israel’s leaders weigh in.

The 21st Century is here and it is a time of dangerous games being played out on the field having many mountains and valleys. Such conditions can lead to such a term as ZUGZWANG!

Kindred’s Kaleidoscope: Losing comes in the guise of the final goof!

October 1, 2009

Not all my games are pretty, error-free or really all that interesting but sometimes when you meet an opponent who has certain pre-determined values about the bishop-pair, you just got to bite the bullet and try to use it as a ploy to winning at the very possible cost of losing. In this game I saw my opponent’s face light up when I played my 6th move.

1960 Rochester Chess Club Tournament

White: Don Reithel  vs  Black: Russ Prizzi

1.e4  e5  2.Nf3 Nc6  3.Bb5  a6  4.Ba4  Bc5 5.c3  Nf6  Here I just wanted to get away from book and try to go my own way, not always a good idea.

6.Bxc6  bxc6  7.Nxe5  Qe7  8.d4  d6  9.Nxc6  Qxe4+ 10.Qe2  Qxe2+ 11.Kxe2  Bb6  12.Nb4  c5  13.Nc2  O-O  14.f3  Bf5  15.Ne3  Rfe8  16.Kd1  Bg6  17.Nc4  Bc7  18.Be3  Bd3  19.Nba3  Nd7  20.Kd2 Bg6 He loves his bishops and I was beginning to wonder if I could survive all this.

21.dxc5  dxc5  22.Rad1  a5  23.Kc1  Ne5  24.Nxe5 Rxe5  25.Bf4  Re7  26.Bxc7  Rxc7  27.Rhe1  a4  28.Nb5  Rb7  29.c4  f6  30.Rd5  Bf7 Just as I surmised; a love affair with the two-Bishops.

31.Rxc5  Rab8  32.b3  axb3  33.axb3  Kf8 34.Kc2  g6  35.Rd1  Bg6+ 36.Kc1  Rdb7  37.Rd6  Be8  38.Nd4  Kf7  39.Kc2  g6 40.g4  h6  41.Ra5  Rd7  42.Rxd7+  Bxd7  43.Ra7  Ke8  44.c5  f5  45.gxf5  gxf5  46.Kc3  Bb5  47.Nxb5  Rxb5  48.Kc4  Rb8  49.c6  Rb6  50.Kc5 Rxb3 We made the time-control.

51.Kd6  Rd3+  52.Kc7  Rb3  53.Kc8  Rxf3  54.c7  Rc3  55.Kb8  Rb3+ 56.Rb7  Rc3  57.c8(Q)+ Rxc8 58.Kxc8  f4  59.Rh7  Kf8  60.Rxh6  Kg7 61.Rh4 Resigns.

A good way to show your friends the score and say you lasted 61 moves!

This is the only tournament game I played with Russ although we played a number of off-hand skittles and the games as I recall were alway interesting battles. In general he is a tough customer!

Adios for now!

Kindred’s Kaleidoscope: The Fleahouse

October 1, 2009

Yeah, there was a historical chess den that boasted some of the best hustlers and game players in the country.  It’s proper name was adorned on its second floor windows namely, Chess and Checker Club of New York. It was more acknowledged by many as the New York Chess and Checker Club. Despite being located in the rather seedy part of town, it attracted a wide range of players to visit for which they were rewarded with a host of odds and ends of the chess world and more than once leaving with less coinage than they entered with.

The Fleahouse was open every day except closing from 5 a.m. when it reopened at 10 a.m to replay the day, weeks and months before with the same menu of attracting the poor and rich alike who felt brave enough to do battle in such mixed company.  No membership dues which I will venture a guess to why in a moment. It was pay by the hour, with additional fees for rental of chess clock and refreshments.  The format and success likely was due in part to this menu where for a buck or two you could play chess “go as you please”.  There was binding relationship as players in fact were individualists of the first order where the norm of club membership was total laxity. You came and went as you pleased without any commitment to the club other than to present your body in a chair on any number of occasions.

The Fleahouse (New York Chess and Checker Club) became a haven and place where a team could enter the MET LEAGUE and use the club quarters for their home matches.

In 1960 USCF introduced the Swiss-system series across America to encourage adoption of their new ELO Rating System. The Fleahouse became a part of the cycle for New York chess enthusiasts. It also housed the wonderful efforts of Milton Hanauer’s interscholastic chess league.

Did everything work smoothly with so many New York clubs involved?  It is natural, I suppose, to say it should but it did and didn’t.  Every league final was a bet between the Manhattan and the Marshall Chess Clubs to see who would grab the title and lst place. Well, in 1965, the Fleahouse team managed to win match after match.  This was SACRILEGE.  The only team that could stop them was the upcoming match with the Marshall Juniors that boasted a power group of kids. It’s captain gave a pep talk:

          “If we let this lice-ridden, flea-bitten pack of mongrels win the Met League, we might as well give up chess.”

The Fleahouse lice-ridden, flea-bitten pack of mongrels won the match with the Marshall Juniors thus axing the championship.

No one gave up chess!

                                 1964 Bobby Fischer Exhibition

GM Robert Fischer vs M. McDermott that features one of Fischer’s pet ways to handle his simultaneous play goes like this from a Vienna Game.

1.e4 e5  2.Bc4  Nf6  3.Nc3  Bc5  4.f4  d6  5.Nf3  Bg4  6.h3  Bxf3 7.Qxf3  Nd4  8.Qg3 Nxc2+ 9.Kd1  Nxa1? This was known to lose as far back as the 1870s. I think Black would do better to play back to d4 with the Knight.

11.Qxg7  Rf8  12. fxe5  dxe5  13.Rf1  Be7 14.Bg5  Nxe4? You cannot make too many mistakes against Bobby Fischer!

15.Nxe4  f5  16.Qxh7  Bxg5  17.Qg6+ Resigns.

Final result: 34 wins, 0 losses.

Chess, indeed, is filled with a rich and intriguing past.

Adios, for now!