Archive for June, 2011

Kindred’s Special: Bobby Fischer In the News Again

June 24, 2011

“Bobby is probably the most interesting person I’ve ever photographed. My pictures give Bobby Fischer a human side.–Harry Benson.

Robert J. Fischer was exposed to numerous professional photographers, the media, and during his life experienced a sincere dislike for both.  He distrusted journalists and photographers and was well known to be insulting as he obsessively guarded his privacy.  There was one exception. Before, during and following the Match of the Century in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972, Fischer allowed hundreds of photographs by the reknown Harry Benson and established a close working relationship that emerged where both would share many hours together with full consent and co-operation. Harry Benson got a birdseye view of Fischer before, during and following the famous match.

There are many interesting stories compacted in New In Chess magazine’s #4, 2011.  Mr. Benson relates Fischer’s distrust and dislike of the Russians, saying they were all KGB.  He felt personally hurt that the US Embassy was not represented at the title match with Spassky.  He had, from the very early age of 12, made it his mission to bring the world championship back to America. He felt  the Russians cheated reiterating what Reshevsky had cited previously and was sickened by some of the bad jokes and filthy language exhibited by the journalists who tried to approach him and get interviews. It angered him that a great deal of investigation into what made Fischer tick and his personality and character put under a magnifying glass so-to-speak by USSR KGB members.   It was a Fischer trait that he could simply lie down anywhere, close his eyes and nap, rising after a bit and seemingly fully refreshed.  They took long walks together, both men being quite tall.  Something I did not know about Bobby was his apparent liking for young people and animals.  Animals seemed drawn to Fischer who would hug and kiss them and seemed to be trusting of Fischer. (Certainly the IRS was partly responsible as was the US State Department who condemned Fischer’s trip to Yugoslavia for the return match with Spassky. Perhaps this little thought makes one wonder just what and who drove a stake into Fischer that created the derangement of foul and anti-US government outbursts the media and chess community of the USCF frequently found delight in it’s Chess Life pages.)  A friend of mine confided 0nce that he always invited a prospective hiree to his home and how his dog reacted to the individual was one element in the employee selection process.

Bobby Fischer is a book of photographs in black and white covering the period from 1971 when Benson first met Bobby Fischer. The book contains many well known photographs of Fischer as well as many more never before seen.  Those interested in history and photography will be blessed with this beautiful coffee table book simply called Bobby Fischer.

New In Chess contributor, Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam has done it again with a most revealing side of Bobby Fischer probably not seen by very many personages.  His interview with Harry Benson perhaps more than any other feature covering that period of Fischer’s life and the World Championship, such journalism excellence breathes a fresh air of a little deeper understanding of Bobby Fischer by one who walked, talked, shared quarters and dined that covered a period of time that changed the makeup of the World Championship forever and focused on a character that will live forever in the annuals of chess history.

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Kindred’s Special: Let the Left Die on the Vine and News to Make You Cry

June 18, 2011

College bound students as well as their parents should carefully study exactly what these high cost colleges and universities, regardless of reputation, really look to molding the mush in teenagers’ heads. It is a time of education, training and learning that will likely mold the character traits for the future, often times varying sharply from parental guidance and instilled values.  Often these very highly paid leftist professors and administrators work overtime to sway the minds of students who often have differing views based upon their upbringing and use the mark system to force obedience of the student who rebels against their instruction.  Many times these so called professors merely have a learned student who has conformed to their thinking and indoctrination to teach their class or give a talk on a lesson.  This affirms the likelyhood that students will be more receptive to those near their own age going back to the teenage desire to experiment and find individualism from their past parent protective relationship.  All animal and birdlife have an inborn desire to be set free of mommy and daddy protection and guidance once they have benefitted from the shelter of parental protection.  It is especially true of the human race but more complex as we can think as individuals and have different viewpoints and interests.

Recently I got a letter from YOUNG AMERICA’S FOUNDATION (1-800-usa-1776) detailing the continued and increased efforts by the Leftists in America to boycott invited speakers who come with a conservative message.  Some of these speakers have been physically attacked or their speech if they do make an appearance get drowned out in disrespectful behavior.  Such demeaning for the merit of good quality education and learning makes one wonder what the consequences will foster toward what is called good, responsible citizenship. Those who perpetrate such behavior show character flaws that so-called higher education will not alter.

In current events we find exposed within the framework of media coverage blatant untruths that, lets face it, can be given the black name of LIES.  Just one example is the liberal attack on Congressman Ryan for suggesting a plan to fix medicare.  The liberal media launched immediately a hate campaign arousing old people and those who really don’t think or care about anything so long as Uncle Sam give them comfort about a plan to save medicare. Basically, those who receive medicare benefits now will continue in that program without change while those in the 50s will be switched to a voucher type system .  Now maybe, just maybe, this is not entirely the best way to fix it.  But it is a program where Congress members in both parties can use as a starting point toward either adoption or made more appealing to Americans.  It also points out the tremendous fraud taking place.  The results of such a suggestion also turns the American eye on topics like stripping away the doctor-patient relationship to one of doctor being nothing more than a hospital caregiver.  Private practice will no longer be available.  Their cry in government is that the doctor will be free of the loads of paperwork and infact it will be transferred in the end to the patient who, because of the complexities from expanded regulation, will be mystified and probably wish they were dead to be free of the toxic waste and increased corruption likely to be exhibited. This idea fostered by the liberals just isn’t mentioned in the public arena except by those rare hounddogs who study such proposals.

For many years now Congressmen have advocated the simplification of the tax code but outside of being on some TV talk show or CNN public TV, it has proved nothing but lip service for the lobbyists that debone such talk being nothing more than a “bag of wind”.  These lobbyists continue to smirk at the ignorance shown by the American public.

I said in an earlier essay that Americans are used to instant gratifications.  Well, I might add that as a general rule they are self-serving. By that, I mean they think only of themselves and what is in it for them in the immediate. Never mind thinking about the future generations of Americans. (Since the internet exposure I see more Americans turning on the light bulb called THINKING.) Oh, yes.  The politicians like to spout that from both sides of the aisle–liberals, conservatives, democrats and republicans.

We often hear the praise of Franklin D. Roosevelt who proposed and got the Social Security System set up.  But like all government the best laid plans go astray through mismanagement, greed, corruption.  In truth it was nothing but a scheme to skim off the top and once Congress realized no one was looking used it as a freeloading bonanza leaving in the till nothing but a worthless IOU for the American public.  As they say, there is no and never was truly a Social Security Fund but just a feature and very poorly operated one of the federal general fund.  Another example of a good idea turned sour due to Washington tinkering.

Sad news when you discover that our representatives have various character flaws. Perhaps it goes back to my comments given herein earlier but what can be said about it except to call them degenerates and not worthy of mention. It is a bubble bath that the news media soaks in with weeks of coverage, feeding their scandal fruited appetites.

Gosh, just look at the perks, the freebies given Congress and other government officials from federal, state and localities we pay handsome wages in the belief that high wages promote honesty and quality work. Bullshit!

Kindred’s Special: A Chessic Perspective on the Passing Scene

June 11, 2011

Horror of horrors!  The general public continues down the road of least resistence, fabricating lies as truth that runs the gambit of reckless commentary.  Is it the public or rather is it the politic that turns the head of so many to find their instant gratification coming in the guise of passing the buck.  Well, Harry S. Truman (the S stood for nothing, it just sounded right to complete his handle) coined the famous presidential, “The buck stops here.” that adorned his desk.

Folks, we are living in dangerous economic times where stupidity flourishes. It reminds me of someone filling a garbage can, stirring it around to mix up the content, and then dumping it where the beginnings and ends of the contents is just a pile of mush.  So much garbage is being given the American voters, not only the old but the younger voters too, can be seen by this old man of gray hair and ills as the devil’s work.

The TV is full of junk commentary from all sides. It seems like the public is being given a snow job. Donald Trump jumps on the bandwagon blaming Ryan for the medicare proposals and at the same time telling the American people we can tell China to go to hell as well as OPEC.  We had better hope they don’t tell us to go to HELL. We seem headed that way anyway because our wonderful government policies keep passing the buck like they have for two centuries of mismanagement and corrupt behavior.

I wrote earlier that our politicians needed to learn how to play chess with some expertise; sure enough, they use chess lingo and did you ever see the smirk on their faces when they mention that being “a chess game” is the crux of the problems we constantly meet and have to deal with.  But it is all hot air coming from their lips.  There is no desire to correct the situation. Oh, sure. Lets just cut the graft and corruption.  Lets just pass on the problems down the road because political assessment suggests we have all the time in the world to get serious.  No, the American people do not want to hear the truth; it is an age old truth. Truth hurts. And remedies hurt.  But at some time, we are going to face the truth.  As I see it, Ryan’s proposal begins to tell the facts and truth.  The opportunity to put things off for another time is gone. It has been put off, put off, put off, and the Earth planet somehow will continue to rotate on its axis.

Ho, hum.  I see Herman Cain as a conservative who is a potential class act leader. How far he goes in this 2012 election and what influence he may play in the final debates is up to the American people. But to my thinking, and seeing him in the debate as well as his commentary often sought, I find him a refreshing and truthful figure on the horizon.

God Bless America.  It needs it in triplicate.

Kindred’s Special: Memories of Simultaneous Exhibitions

June 11, 2011

One of the great enjoyments and attractions to stir interest among the general public has always been the tours by famous and not so famous players who engage in city and chess club hops across a host of miles and varied durations of time.  As a child I was fortunate to have an older brother who got me interested in chess and took me to my first simultaneous exhibition. The occasion was an invitation by the University of Rochester given the Spanish chess champion Arturo Pomar in the early 1950s.  He had signed me up to play the mystro as well as himself and I found the activity to really boost my interest in chess which, to that time, had been restricted to family games at home.  I was fortunate to play the black side of a Giuoco Piano with good skill and was the last opponent among the group that must have numbered 40-50 players. Many who finished had come near my board to watch the game which I eventually lost in a 50+ mover, falling into a trap by capturing a pawn up only to find my opponent’s King infiltrating and lost position resulting.  I was also privy to watch my brother play in a simul versus Sammy Reshevsky which he managed a nice draw.  In 1964 I drew against Bobby Fischer in his famous cross country tour which was held at Eastman Kodak in their huge cafeteria. In that one, Fischer gave a wonderful talk and then said because of the enormous turnout with a limit of 50 boards, he would allow an additional 25 as games finished to viewers who wished to play him.

This enormous influx of such play enabled my own chess prowess to widen as Pomar told my brother that I was potentially a master and a coach should be found to hone my skills. While not having a coach (my parents could not afford it) I joined the Rochester Chess and Checker Club where I met some of the best players of that era–Dr. Erich W. Marchand, Dr. Max Herzberger, Rev. George Switzer, Alan Candee, Don Sullivan, Maynard Nedvid, Joe Rosenstein, and Marvin Rogan who had just returned from successes in Europe.  In some weekend tournaments I also had the chance to cross swords with Tom Thrush, George Mauer among others from the Buffalo area.  These fine area talents enriched my experience which was aided by a study of quality materials like Chess Review, Shach Echo, American Chess Quarterly, and several books.

Nigel Short in New In Chess provides a wonderful article about his own experiences and those taking place in England that were held by Alexander Beliavsky, Lajos Portisch, Viktor Kortchnoi, Tigran V. Petrosian, Boris Spassky and Nigel Short.

Earlier times found great promotion of chess at the hands of Dr. Emmanuel Lasker, Jose R. Capablanca, Alexander Alekhin, Richard Reti, Frank Marshall, the chess and checker whizardry of Newell Banks and Harry Nelsen Pillsbury.  Dating back to the Golden Age of Chess found such stars as Howard Staunton, Paul Morphy, Blackburne, and Steinitz among others whose very presence across the annuals of chess history used simultaneous play to spread the game’s popularity.

There have been some very entertaining stories passed down through time about some of these exhibitions. One comes to mind that Alekine as world champion had gone on a world tour covering Europe, Asia, South and North America.  When he came to Toronto, Canada he suffered emotionally such feeling of doom that he was not going to do well against the strong Canadian players.  It caused him to question his preparedness and fear of losing too many games in the exhibition.  Once the play got underway, the butterflies passed and he played wonderfully.

In his own reflections,  GM Short mentioned that Luanda, Angola in 2006 may have been his worst showing.  The hot climate and poor lighting with no cooling system and room full of very strong players caused a number of games to go astray finishing about 70%.  Four years later in the same country, Short, Karpov, and Dlugy gave simuls and Nigel cunningly pursuaded the chief organizers to give himself the easier opponents while both Karpov and Dlugy got the toughest. As a result Nigel got in and out fast while both Karpov and Dlugy spent another 3 hours or so battling in not-so-comfortable conditions!

Nigel finishes his article about meeting this little brat who kept offering draws at every turn, and played rather weakly until tactical positions let him survive a bit. It was learned that the father of the lad had been passing moves to his son via computer. He finishes that this will likely be a lasting problem for the professional and such corruption will continue.  Unfortunately, it speaks rather poorly of a father who teaches a son to cheat and a child who permits family to do so.

In our club we had a number of simultaneous exhibitions; I gave one myself when champion of 16 boards where I managed 9 wins, a few draws and 4 losses against some of our best players.  Also I have some small blindfold displays to attract interest among some of the kids who visited and club members from the Wayne Chess Club and also at school clubs. I got paid a fee for an exhibition of 25 boards in Newark, NY that was organized by the Wayne Chess Club which was the most I ever attempted.

Our club was blessed with some very talented players: Bob Joynt, Jr., Bob Eberlein, Ken Rogoff (who attained the title of GM).  Ken gave a 10-board blindfold display and won 9-1 losing only to me. He said he gave a 25 board blindfold display but it was a date I could not make and do not know the result.  Some of my games with club members appear in earlier articles. Just click on my blue heading for the archives listing.

Kindred’s Special: Instructive Chess–A Rare Treat By Judit Polgar

June 10, 2011

Judit writes on Aix-les-Bains that it was 10-years since playing in the European Championship where she placed 3rd.  In a playoff, things went against her so she failed to gain a medal.  She had not furthermore played in any classical tournaments since the Olympiad so such a rest no doubt gave her a ‘rush’ in entering this open 400-player tournament. In recent years her official rating dropped off where getting an invitation to major tournaments has become tougher with the wide range of world talent on the stage these days. That is the facts of life of a professional chessplayer and something one must learn to accept.  In this event, Judit managed to gain 3rd prize and a bronze medal.

I choose the following game for its instructive value and as a somewhat rare treat of Judit’s aggressive, lively and enertaining style for which she is known.  Numerous articles of my writings on chess instruction can be viewed, copied and studied. Here, this game presents a number of themes I have penned in the past.

White: Levan Pantsulaia   vs.  Black:  Judit Polgar     Opening:   English Opening

1. c4  e6  2. Nf3  Nf6  3. g3  d5  4. Qc2  In this particular line, White often meets the Knight chase with Nc2 so the idea of the Queen’s  early development seems suspect.  4. Bg2 looks logical.

4. … c5  5. d4  cxd4  6. Nxd4  e5  This position occurred in the game Takacs and Alekhine at Kecskemet in 1927 which goes to prove that chess variations can feature decades of history!   Here, Takacs chose 7. Nf3 after which Alekhine in his style went for 7…Nc6  8. cxd5  Nxd5  9. a3  Be6  10. Bd2  Be7  11. Nc3  O-O and Alekhine went on to win.  Judit says she had planned to play 7… d4.

7. Nb3  Nc6  8. Bg2  Nb4  9. Qd1  dxc4  10. N/3d2 Bf5 11. Na3 ?! White misses the opportunity to try and complicate things and attain good play by 11. O-O, never mind losing the Exchange whose effort to achieve would give White good fighting play.  Judit’s reaction to castles would be either 11….Qc7 or 11… Rb8 with a fine game for Black.

11. … b5!  12. Bxa8 Again development by 12. O-O is better maybe but Black then has a pawn and solid game by …Rb8 and the initiative. The White squares are now weak and Black discovers a way to prove it!

12. … Qxa8  13. Nf3  Nd3+!!  Lets face it. We don’t always see such sparkling play–and from a Lady no less!  12. …Qc6! Judit also thought about which gives her a great position but also 12. … a6 as pointed out by Kasparov is potent. The result of not castling by White keeps the King exposed in the center and subject to harrassment by Black. This was the thought behind Judit’s tactical play.

14. exd3  Bxd3  15. Nxb5  Bb4+ 16. Nc3  O-O  17. Rg1  Ne4  18. Bd2  Rd8  Black elects to bring into play her remaining Rook and attack force.

19. Rc1  Nxc3  20. bxc3  Ba3 21. Be3  Bxc1  22. Bxc1  Rb8  Eying eventually the b1 square. Note the additional sq/ct the black forces amassed with this one move.

23. Nd2  Qd5 Centralization of the Queen ala Nimsowitsch in Chess Praxis!

24. Qa4  a5  25. Qd1  h6  26. Qf3  Rb1!  This shot across the bow is possible because after 27. Qxd5 Rxc1 mate!

27. Kd1  e4  28. Qf4  Ra1  29. Qb8+  Kh7  30. g4  Qd7  31. Qe5  e3  32. fxe3  Qa4+ 33. Ke1  Rxc1+  34. Kf2 Rxg1 and White Resigns (01).

There are many books written through the decades of chess strategies and it always amazes me the number of times the lack of castling early enough finds the King caught in the center where it is most vulnerable to attack.