Archive for October, 2010

Kindred’s Special: Snookered

October 30, 2010

From the very beginning, it was an uphill battle for Carl Paladino, champion of the common people around the Buffalo area.  First he had to wrest the nomination from Lazio, the Republican-Conservative darling, by support of the Tea Party.  Right from the beginning of the campaign, he was snookered.  Newcomers to politics often fall into this trap. One of the opposing supporters, in this case a loud-mouth Democrat liberal, railed on and on about Paladino’s 10-year old daughter during a conference Paladino was having and his ire made him very vocal in response.  What would you do? Personally I would have knocked him out with a right uppercut to his jaw. But that is why I am not interested in politics. And Lazio was slow dropping out or supporting Paladino.

As we chessplayers know, a sound plan is needed to preclude and accompany an attack plan designed to reap the most benefit toward victory. This was lacking in Carl Paladino’s strategy as he touched and pushed on subject matters that few across the broad span of the State could relate.  A pefectly missed opportunity to press on issues of the economy–high taxes, jobs, families and workers choosing to settle in other states, education decline shown by dropouts before graduation, and social conflicts that headline the news almost daily. These require a leader with spirit, ability to extract the best out of people.  Concentrating on the important issues that New Yorkers face every day would have been cannon fodder needed to lay out a sound plan with a staff able to help implement that plan.

On the other side, we have Andrew Cuomo, a lawyer and son of former Governor M. Cuomo.  Remember him? Remember his Lt. Governor? Roads and bridges needed repair; their folly of support for the Super Collider would have ruined the State by altering a vast space and displacing thousands of home owners, businesses and companies that dot the landscape of many farms and rural areas.  And I ask: What ever happened to that folly? Where did it go? Texas governance got burned.  The major question is: Do we need a lawyer or successful businessman at this time to solve the problems our State faces? Personally I would like to see someone who knew something about the art of chess play. In his demeanor rests a man who tends to be secretive and selective of whom he confides. That is the eliteness shown by most lawyers in politics who possess that norm. Yep, head honcho and his elite friends know what is best for New Yorkers and State governance knows no bounds to continuing debunking the residents of our Empire State with continued graft, corruption, high taxes, inflationary policies in government public works, education, labor unions and public workers who benefit from greed and self-gratification.  Maybe that is why lawyers were voted among the least liked professionals.

Frankly I worry about both candidates running for Governor because the debate held was really a joke where little honest exchanges and platforms could be seen. If the State runs the government like it sets out the rules for NYS debate, is there any wonder why we are suffering the ills of progressive liberalism? Personally, I like the combativeness of Carl Paladino and will support him this election. The alternative I view as a continuation of what we have experienced in the past with suggested change that goes nowhere but like a revolving door. Every four years it is just the same old cronyism. I say, “Lets give newcomers a chance.”

Regardless of how you look at New York politics, please be sure to VOTE on Tuesday, November 2nd.

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Kindred’s Special: New York Politics–A History of Corruption

October 26, 2010

Corrupt systems within governments exist because voters have the belief that no matter who is elected, nothing ever changes. When politicians are elected repeatedly based upon party affiliation of the voting block, blind obedience to party hacks by state citizens assure an atmosphere for skullduggery.  Our TV screens nightly expose the shortcomings of Chicago political favoritism and report on the evils of Illinois politics but we need to look no further than our own NY State political machine to honestly say that New York gives Illinois a run for top spot in graft and corrupt behavior.

Politicians get endorsements to run for office and win primaries on the basis of doing so to reform Albany. That cry has been like a worn shoe and the cobbler has tools to mend but mending one shoe still leaves it’s partner continuing to make the wearer lame and eventually lamer to the point that only drastic medical attention is necessary to stop the back pains and crippling the spirit. So, too, are the ideals and ideas expressed and promised simply fade from memory once they sit to do the State’s business.

Many important seats are up for grabs this year: Governor, Attorney General, the Assembly and Senate.  Perhaps most important but neglected by keeping the status quo within voting blocks are legitimate concerns for reforms which often get sidetracked and shelved.

We should be proud of our Empire State and demand that those elevated to rule and govern the State remember that they represent our families, towns, cities, and counties in all manner of governance and therefore must be held accountable for good and bad deeds.  Not sure how many years come and gone where a host of corruption heads up the agenda but news coverage of such evil acts by these actors that could adorn and rival on the stage of any Shakespearian drama.  A major part of the problem as I see it is a disfunctional news media who push their own agenda and favorite whims on us while purporting to keep us abreast of State problems, debatable topics and chastise those who disagree with the so-called “progressive movement.”

Lets face facts! Among the highest taxes, many have moved out of New York State, not only businesses but also individuals that make up our family tree who seek greener pastures. We have an over generous retirement system for State workers and public officials.  Our school systems rank both poor and good and sit like patchwork blankets where pockets of quality and lack thereof are inexcusable. This mixed with the scandals in the Governors who sat in the office the past half decade with defunct leaders like Spitzer, Johnson, Espada and Massa, all failing to help build trust. Still, the people blindly vote while holding their nose to keep out the stink for the same types of characters who dominate the scene for years.  One such dictator-type is Mr. Silver who some believe has been around government much too long and should fade into history.

As a chessplayer I find that instant gratification stimulates greed and corruption of both the body and the spirit.  We tend to favor activities that crave action where interest is stimulated. Perfect examples are the broad array of sporting events whether individual or team related. Politicians fit into this sphere.  Often times what is necessary and most rewarding are committee appointments that seem boring but often most beneficial.  Politicians who seek the limelight of public exposure receive their reward; those who handle the humdrum areas of government workings find reward in the daily activities of helping their constituents.

Adios for now!

Kindred’s Special: The Community Chess Club of Rochester (CCCR) Invites You

October 10, 2010

The Community Chess Club of Rochester announces the 2010 Club Championship with a most generous prize fund of over $300.00 in Prizes. This event is open to CCCR members who have played a minimum of at least 4-rated games as a member (must be prior to October 20th, 2010. The club invites and welcomes non-members to join CCCR!  Hurry and get your 4-rated Wednesday night games completed to be eligible to enjoy the intoxication that comes from competitive and lively chess.

What is required of you?  First, you must join the club and the club dues are $12.00 and is good through December 31st 2010.  The club meetings take place every Wednesday night and games usually start at 6:30 p.m. The entry fee for the club championship is $20. You must be a bonafide CCCR member to participate per the above.

Over $300 in Prizes!  Trophies to top 3 places. Medals to top U1900, U1600, U1300, and U1000; Door prize before every round: Rounds 1-2 is handsome Magneic Pocket Chess Set, Round 3: Certificate for 1 hour private chess lesson at the Rochester Chess Center, Round 4: DGT 960 Folding Digital Chesss Clock Game Timer.  These prizes you must admit are worth vying for while enjoying comradeship of chess friends, meeting new and old acquaintances, and testing your current skill that hopefully can be displayed in actual battle across the board from your time spent honing your game play by studying, computer games, or with chess pals.

Registration: Sign up any Wednesday night: $20 fee, plus $12 dues as applicable. Tourament is 4-rounds over 4 weeks, one game per night. Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., October 20th, October 27th, November 3rd, & November 10th. All rounds will start at 7:30 p.m. with the time control being G/80, meaning that each player has 80 minutes clock timer time with a game total of 160 minutes alloted to finish the game for the evening. If unable to play a scheduled game, you may request a bye but must be made prior to the lst round game. So check your schedule for any conflicting dates but I suggest you try and change the other appointment! A bye is 1/2 point and could cost you a handsome prize.  Ratings used will be as of October 2010 USCF Supplement. All are requested to remain at the club following the final round for a group picture. Please check in at least 10-minutes before the start of a round.

The Community Chess Club of Rochester holds it’s weekly meetings at the Rochester Chess Center, 221 Norris Drive, Rochester, New York 4610, tel. 442-2430.

Tournament Organizer: Mike Lionti and the Tournament Director is Ron Lohrman

Food and Beverages: CCCR will provide FREE pizza and side dishes for dinner on the final night (November 10th) on/about 6:30p.m. Munchies will be provided by CCCR for all 4-nights. The Chess Center will also have their usual refreshments for sale. ALL PLAYERS: please bring a dish to pass/share on Nov. 10th as this is a community event. Please check sign-up sheet for food to bring.

Kindred Spirit recently visited the Rochester Chess Center and enjoyed watching some of the games being played both in tournament play and blitz and checking out the old and new chess materials at the center. Let me see, I think I owe my dues for next year. Do you? Good chess during the Fall and pre-Winter months!

Kindred’s Special: Exploring In My Golden Years The Magnetism Of Chess Greats

October 7, 2010

The endeavor to achieve a wealth of historic literary value for readers with timely informative data requires a lot of research and, in this respect, I look upon myself as being not only a devotee of chess but a servant to those who embrace the joy of playing chess. Only the internet makes it possible to bring chess to the masses. National federations exist with and for members exclusively and it remained for many years to find press only by dedicated reporters who cherished the game. What new theme can I add enrichment to the chess soul? And in that respect, it must be attractive and worthwhile for my readers to connect but mostly to provide a benefit for widening understanding of it’s complexities as held by some of the stalwarts whose fame has been immortalized.

The chess bug usually begins as a hobby with the desire to learn just another new game little realizing that it’s enchantment can be drug-like. In most cases the hero or heroes are subject to limitation of chess art and practice. Should there afterall be any worth in writing about masters of the game because, in two words, who cares?  I have read newspaper columns that report on chess in the schools with colorful pictures of kids deep in thought at the board in local or even regional tournaments organized by the US Chess Federation. Almost never are chess masters mentioned, and even if they are, who really understands the great effort these chess stars put into the game? Who even endeavors to put a human face on those engrossed in battle over the chessboard, or; what public discourse exists that would tend to make a chess master something more than a pawn on the board of life?

Many of the young skillful chessplayers of the past emerged out of poverty situations and endeavored to reach out in the local chess club or meeting place where they could play in money tournaments or for private stakes. For the best of these talented players, many students used chess professionalism as a staple of life often to just manage day to day living and for bread on the table. Wealth from tournaments drew scant rewards until modern times thanks to the efforts of Bobby Fischer who raised the bar for prize funds but also for playing conditions for the professional and amateur.

Two giants came forth, one of means, education, wealth, successful marriage and impeccable writing talent. Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch was indeed a product of the chess bug with well known connections among his peers and abode. Wilhelm Steinitz may have had a more colorful and impressive record in chess becoming the first official World Chess Champion but also came forth holding the same beliefs as Dr. Tarrasch. Both gentlemen played the board and ignored the fact that on the other side of the table sat someone with a brain and temperment for chess.  One would assume that their combined thinking dominated the cycle of learning and belief and how the chess public came to view chess. What is newsworthy is the reported interview with Steinitz in the British Chess Magazine of 1894 where he gave his opinions on the chess of Paul Morphy: “…Another remarkable gift was Morphy’s intuitive knowledge of human nature. I think he played the man rather than the board.”  Here is reported that the interviewer asked if this was not true of every chessplayer? Steinitz responded, “Not me!  Certainly not! I am fully and entirely concentrated on the board. I never even consider my opponent’s personality.  So far as I am concerned my opponent might as well be an abstraction or an automaton.”  In Tarrasch’s case, his personality and character often reflected in giving short shrift to moves, especially in openings such as Black’s Slav Defense (c6) since his own Tarrasch defense with pawn structure of e6, d5, c5 he considered best for Black.  Both Tarrasch and Steinitz had personalities that possessed great stubborness that proved both good and bad chess savvy.

Emmanuel Lasker’s emergence on the chess scene reflected a different human experience.  Lasker was a man of world travel, education and investigative writings. He had the ear of Albert Einstein who admired his philosophical discussions and theories on light.  His logic was such that he embraced the best of Steinitz and others but also showed a logic that embraced the spirit and fortitude of the human mind–in essence, he did play the game taking into account his adversary sitting across from him.  Such a mentally pyschological appraisal may have been the result of his life experiences.  Perhaps his longevity as World Champion has a clue to his greatness and success in chess. He was able to translate and apply the struggle in life with that of the stuggle on the chessboard.  The older and more experienced in dealing with all aspects of life and his thirst to ever discover and enrich those he already experienced may well have given his character traits a superior advantage over his opponent. He was willing to go into speculative but controlled play with a clear plan and this psychological approach has today been adopted by many of our current chess stars.  One can point to the aging Korchnoi and Larsen (recently deceased) who play with great skill having a style that seems to walk in muddy waters and borders on the brink of winning or losing at each turn.  But while his theories devoted to playing the man may have given the moderns food for thought, in reality there is still something special about the depth and awareness of chess struggle uniquely ‘Laskeronian’.

The modern chess duels are often built in preparation, especially for important games.  Top level chess often find teams of GMs, IMs, other specialists who perform a psychic profile of the opponent, and use of modern technology featuring games played by the opponent, opening analysis, tactical tests, chess problems, endgame studies.  Often both players are familiar with opening strategies that encompass many moves into the middle game.  The recipient of all this still has to play the game personally but has a storehouse of knowledge and background for each battle at the board.