Archive for March, 2012

KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: It is GREED Baby–GREED.

March 26, 2012

Each time I pick up the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle or turn on WHAM to hear my favorite morning talk show and expert Bob Lonsberry, I pour a cup of coffee, egg and toast, and just hope my recent surgery doesn’t kick up a fuss due to the bad news–and I am not talking about the Bad News Bears.  I am sure many of you agree that it boggles the mind that election after election those who get elected with promises of cleaning up government becomes a ritual of lies, deceit and skullduggery.   You name it.  I would say in studying the issues and practices of politicians, corporate leadership and underlings, etc. that the mess can be attributed to one big word that is like a boa squeezing the life out of our Nation.  That word is GREED.

Politicians elected do not care about their constituents once in office but are caught up in the chase for more money, corporate favoritism, and a cycle of ever running for reelection.  That chase goes from the President on down to the Senate and the Congress.  At stake are big bucks, perks galore, but most important is getting on committees that smells of power seekers.  Of course the cry goes out to the masses that such powerful positions are meant to benefit the folks back home and their districts. Probably it is the main purpose but too many of our elected get the desire to warm their seat for a long time if a senator and a chance for those in the House of Representatives to gain some of those seats for themselves. Getting rid of senators is like pulling teeth by tying a string around a loose tooth, attach it to a door knob and slam the door.  Ouch.  But it is easy to put the tooth under the pillow so mom and dad can retrieve and leave a quarter or half-dollar in its place.  Politics smack of greed and personal gain. Then we had to experience the postoffice scandal, getting factual data about insider trading, and the list of skullduggery goes up and up. The whole becomes a stinking pile of shit but no one really wants to clean up the shit.

What infuriates me more than  anything is the harm being done to our Nation.  Corporations move offshore to hide lucrative profits, hire offshore workers while laying off  our workers and even closing down businesses here and transferring them overseas.  Major voices in politics, government, and news media  all sing the same song: ” The world of economic development is changing and there ain’t no place for …”.  It is like their saying that integrity, honesty, and feeling a sort of family unity of corporate governance means nothing after many have put the best working years of their lives in having pride as employees and the personal contributions to success.

Maybe the answer is to cut back on giving to charities; especially those like United Way and Easter Seals where corporate governance expects employee support whenever the gossip goes out that moving to China or Mexico is being considered.  Lets face it–charity begins at home.  If that home is threatened with layoffs, then it is time to rebel against corporate greed.  Just maybe the leaders and CEOs of corporations will take notice that people everywhere need respect and be seen as valuable to corporate success.

Internally, CEOs do not keep up on the everyday workload of office staff relying on managers and supervisors who often have their own little kingdoms.  It is a breeding ground for creating employees who are overworked due to finding  a reluctance of reporting poor quality work coming in from outsourced labor.  That requires an overload of correcting mistakes adding  pressure on the domestic workforce.  But like everything, the big boss cares only about the bottom line of cheap foreign labor.  The big question is this: Just how much do foreigners care when they know that the average income of American workers far exceed their own doing the same work projects?  In the end, corporate America loses and the masses everywhere are shortchanged.

God Bless America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!/Don.

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Kindred’s Special: The Mad Queen and Her Bishop Pair Beat the Drums

March 25, 2012

The square count theory I developed in my youthful teens, forged in the study of Grandmasters, their openings, of stimulating fights by amateurs of the highest tactical skill was portrayed on the board of 64-squares. My library and love of such research far out weighs the modern computer for all it’s many benefits.  I love the written word! The dashing drama unfolding in pages filled with the unknown.  Every time I pick up a book, read before or not, gives me goose bumps. Of course this includes many topics other than chess; I find it builds strong character and enriches my spirit.  As my reminder to readers about square count covered in my earlier articles in the last lesson, I discovered two very pretty examples with the theme given this writing.  Study and enjoy!  Practice may well enable you to pull off such beauty in your own battles.  Chess, being in many ways a type of reflection of Life itself, reaffirms the Lasker view: “Chess is, above all else, a struggle.”

Taken from French Defence adventures!

1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. e5  c5  4. c3  Nx6  5. Nf3  Qb6 6. Bd3  cxd4  7. cxd4  Bd7  8. O-O!  Ncxd4  9.  Nxd4  Qxd4   10. Nc3  a6  11. Re1  Bb4  12. Be3  Qh4  13. g3  Qd8.

Skipping around the board and pocketing a bit of wood along the way, the Queen finds herself back home.

14. Qg4  Bf8  15. h4  f5?  16. exf6 e.p.  Nxf6.

Black must be exuberant developing this Knight and attacking the Queen. I had said elsewhere that a King whose own pieces block escape from attack is likely to be deadly poison.  This proves it as the King is in for a lightning bolt shocker.

17. Qg6+!! 

A pretty sacrifice since the Queen must be captured.

17. … hxg6  18. Bxg6+  Ke7  19. Bc5 checkmate!!!!

Trivia question:  The winner was ?  (A) Tal   (B) Fischer   (C)  Keres   (D)  Dr. Euwe  (E) Masked Man  (F)  Not listed

The next game is an example for Black to triumph. Afterall, I have to remain colorblind! and fair to both sides.

1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. e5  c5  In My System  Aron Nimzowitsch key opening lesson in theory was: “Attack a ” Pawn chain ” at it’s base.

4. c3  Nc6  5. Nf3  Qb6  6. Be2  Nh6?!  7. b3  Here, White misses a chance to disrupt the pawn structure on the K-side.  7. Bxh6 gxh6  8. Qd2  Bg7  9. O-O.  Queens should avoid pawn grabs in the opening.  What might happen when greed takes control and the Queen goes pawn grabbing? Lets analyze.  If now the Queen  goes pawn hunting with 7. … Qxb2, White saves the Bishop with 8.  Bc1  Qxa1 9. Qc2  cxd4  10. Bb5  Bd7  11. Bxc6  bxc6  12. Nfd2, or; 10. …dxc3 11. Nd4! traps her. It is not always prudent to play passively defensive moves.

7. … cxd4  8. Bxh6?!  A bad choice; correct is 8. cxd4.

8. … gxh6  9. cxd4  Bb4+ 10. Kf1  f6!  Pawn exchanges will open lines and the f-file promises a strong initiative for Black.

11. exf6  O-O  12. a3  Bd6  13. Nc3  Rxf6  14. Na4 Qc7  15. b4  Qf7.  Relocating the Queen to the K-side as it will become the field of attack.

16.  Rac1  e5  17. Rxc6  bxc6  18. dxe5  Rxf3 19. Bxf3  Bxe5  20. Nc5  Bf5  21. Be2?  No real point.  Necessary is probably 21. g4 so the King has an escape to g2.

21. …a5!  22. Qa4  Qg6  23. h4  No good is 23. bxa5 because of ….Rb8.

23. … Bd4  24. Nb3  Bd4  25. f3  Bc2  A pin is “mightier than the sword” in chess.

26. Rh3  Rae8  27. h5   Qd3!!  And White is stuck between a rock and hard place!  White surrenders as after for example, 28. Bxd3  Bxd3 checkmate.

My lesson is to instruct on the value of understanding the squares and how they interact toward achieving a just result.  Like in battles of war, the importance of terrain cannot be overly emphasized.  So, too, in chess–the squares play a silent but important role in carrying out the strategies of the parties.

For my newest readers and or students, please review the numerous lessons shown in 2007 on.

Kindred’s Special: Square Count Shines As Tempi Thoughts Come Ala Alekhine

March 24, 2012

In 1923 the world of chess saw a great tournament take place at Karlsbad.  Earlier I examined the Grunfeld Defence.  The author in the following game was GM Ernst Grunfeld who, in the 1920s, was at his peak powers.  Likewise, his opponent  was the rising star Alexander Alekhine who seated himself on the blackside and Grunfeld opened the game with 1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  e6 3. Nf3  d5  4. Nc3  Be7 5. Bg5  Nbd7  6. e3  O-O  7. Rc1 c6 which sets up the classical Queen’s Gambit Declined and popular at the time due in part to Capablanca and others who deemed it safe and sound.  Today, GM Karpov favored the Tartakower Variation (5…O-O 6. e3  h6  7. Bh4 b6); white often essayed the Exchange Variation, especially in the hands of Mikhail Botvinnik.  So, the stage is set for two different classical strategies.

White:  Ernst Grunfeld   vs   Black:  Alexander Alekhine   Opening:  Classical Queen’s Gambit Declined

8. Qc2  a6  9. a3  A clever attempt to gain a tempo should Black now play 9…dxc4 as White simply recaptures with the Bishop from its home on f1. In the 1920s, this plan was executed in a number of games.  However, probably strongest is to enter into 9. cxd5  exd5  10. Bd3–a line that opens the diagonal for Bishop influence increasing square count.

9. …  h6  This is a good move and fits in with my defensive idea using square count (protecting g5 from being an attack square for white).   Removing the pawn from the long diagonal is another purpose.

10. Bh4  Re8  Aiming possibly for a later central action while freeing f8 possibly for a Knight maneuver.  See the similarity with the Schlechter-Lasker game. Also frees a square for the King to escape.

11. Bd3  dxc4  12. Bxc4  b5  13. Ba2  c5  Hitting the central pawn formation.

14. Rd1? This move seems weak  although Grunfeld cannot be blamed entirely because he probably had an attack in mind starting at move 17.   Chess is such treasure house of ideas!!

14. … cxd4  15. Nxd4  Avoiding the isolani d-pawn.

15. … Qb6!  I think Fischer would have played this way, too.

16. Bb1  Bb7!  Now, the enticing 17. N4xb5  Qc6! was probably overlooked by Grunfeld. I can imagine Grunfeld thinking he could kick himself for losing another tempo.

17. O-O  Rac8  Increasing square count;  White is now under pressure and experiencing such shocking  attack makes another questionable turn.  One mistake often leads to other concessions.

18.  Qd2? This cannot be better than the more logical 18. Qe2.

18. … Ne5! The point to this sharp move is another tempo! due to the misplacement of the Queen.  This again is a big asset resulting often with a growing square count.

19. Bxf6  Bxf6  20. Qc2 !  Grunfeld’s atttacking skill is always dangerous and he wants to force Alekhine to play g6 which loosens the pawns around the Black King.

20. …g6  21. Qe2  Nc4  22. Be4  Bg7  But not 22…Nxa3 23. Qf3  Bxe4  24. Nxe4  Bxd4  25. Rxd4  With White recovering.  Who says chess is not a sport.  You see the same thing in the current basketball tournament every game!

23. Bxb7  Qxb7  24. Rc1  Alekhine now builds up pressure again utilizing my square count theory to dominate the center.  Bringing about my theory if you remember was a study of Alekhine era players.

24. …e5!  25. Nb3  e4  This pawn march has led to making a hole for the Knight at d3.

26. Nd4  Red8  27. Rfd1  Ne5  28. Na2  A Knight on the rim looks grim because it loses potential influence on squares.  Examine Knights on the rim.The potential attack squares are cut in half.

28. … Nd3  29. Rxc8  Qxc8  30. f3 Probably the right general idea for defense but best  was to return the Knight to c3.

30. …Rxd4!!  31. fxe4  Nf4  32.  exf4  Qc4!!  What a spectacular finish where again the squares play a major influence on the outcome.  The White Queen finds herself overtaxed with defensive chores.

33. Qxc4  Rxd1+  34. Qf1  Bd4+ White resigns.  0-1.

One lesson to learn from this battle is to never give up the ship! Various little crisis positions occur and you must stay alert to remedy mistakes made or to keep pressure once the advantage is attained. I have noticed that every game there comes a critical position where exact and correct play is vital to success.

The product of square count is not to boast but to reenforce this important element of my training.  Study of this game has a potential of great learning.  Enjoy!!

Kindred’s Special: Politicing Is Such A Costly And Wasteful Bore Or Is It??

March 24, 2012

For an average guy like me –and my sis is a kinship in this regard– the art of political discourse with such saturation by media questions that border on the insane and exhibit the stupidity of time wasted questions that the young in my family circle could and would best the so-called wisest of commentators over each question.  Good Lord!  God, I had a mental fuse blow typing up this paragraph!!

Suffice it to say that by now you get the drift of where I am coming from, present mindset, and where I am going!  Has the World gone Mad? If not, then it sure as H*** is coming at us like sweeping ocean waves. No wonder the audiences of TV broadcasting switch channels constantly.  The old fashion news has been so corrupted and watered down that I finally got the keen idea of purchasing my PC and turning to my blog–the purpose of which I have enlightened my readers going back to July 2007. For those of you who are interested, simply click on the blue design and yo-bingo! up pops my Archives!

There is another reason for omitting commentary about my thoughts on the political scene.  First off, where is Obama on truthful dialog where I find him shooting baskets, attending ball games, hop jumps here and there and almost using his very expensive Boeing.  Likewise, his wife Michel seems to have a hop-skip-jump globe-trotting itch that needs constant scratching, using the magic of the national taxpayers’ credit card. She uses the second Boeing whose main purpose was to fly along whenever the President was in the air to prevent sabotage of his trip destination. Such disregard for thrift!!  In general, I witness excuses; a bizzare critique of American past policies, or; general policies set up to accommodate his voting left-wing pals.  This certainly suggests that, as a junior senator, he had literally no experience in monetary governance regarding our national resource requirements but stubbornly follows policies that hinder development of our natural resources.  He doesn’t understand the element of time required to put such resources to use nor does the liberal wing of the Democrat Party.  In his defense, I must say that the Keystone Pipeline controversy has sufficient pro and con arguments that he wisely does desire to study the effects of leaks known to exist and been damaging to water systems.  The Canadian Indians have been especially hostile to its development saying leaks have caused problems with the water supply even in Canada.

The opposition chaired by the Republican Party high archists demand the Keystone Pipeline go through without any study or delay.  All I can say, because I don’t know the answer, is a bit of caution is worth a pound of cure since environmental damage if the perceived leaks that are on record as having occurred already in truth exists could backfire politically on Republicans. Personally I think off coast drilling both in the Gulf and the two Oceans are needed to assure the USA has sufficient capacity in case of national defense needs and those of our allies.  As far as opening exploration in Alaska, that seems a sore spot with the Democrat Party to the extent that it seems forever blocked by Senator Reed of Nevada. Our country is blessed with natural resources being coal, gas currently housed in the abundant shale that is retrievable due to modern technology methods.  The greatest potential comes from nuclear power and despite lies coming from the media and liberal hysteria, growth continues in that theatre throughout the world.

Now, the Republican Party got a boat load of quality candidates who tossed their hats in the ring.  It has narrowed down to four candidates–Romney, Santorum, Paul and Gingrich.  This has been a huge gap in financial backing with Romney using his fortune and support of friends whose motives for such extravagance is suspect in my mind–why?  After all, we should be seeking the best candidate to be the Republican challenger,  not based upon who can raise the most money. Fat cats have never been ” my cup of tea.”  Manipulating characters have existed for years in both parties, often to the detriment of the public interest.  Policies set in motion by such power can corrupt from top to bottom and back again.

I have heard TV channels give time to Santorum and Gingrich as well Romney.  It is obvious that both Santorum and Gingrich are true conservative in mindset whereas I am not so clear just where to fit Romney.  He seems to dance around a lot in his jovial way of answering questions are just giving that old college try for effect.  On the other hand, I was very much impressed by Santorum but in one area–he talks too much about patriotism without answering real questions about what he would do to improve conditions in the USA.  Gingrich impressed me as always with his knowledge of history and workable plans and ideas for improving the economy and security of our Nation. Both he and Santorum believe in security first and voice better the spirit of patriotism more than Paul or Romney.  Not that they regard it any less but seem shy about expressing it with the conviction by the others.

Other candidates have virtually been sidewindered by media lies to the American public that Romney is the only viable candidate because he will amass the delegates needed to put in his hip pocket.  Sure he has millions to spend on his campaigns that started back in 2008 where he lost out to Senator McCain.  His rich PACs have buried all candidates but for Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul. None of the total dollars raised by all three even begin to do more than sparse TV or radio coverage.  Romney ads bombard the TV-radio waves regularly.  Even the vast majority of newsmen whom you may favor as being decent ladies and gentlemen seem to have fallen under the spell of being hidden snakes in the grass of undermining the need for honest debate. For those who partake in such skullduggery, all I can say is SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!!!  And more shame on the American public for being so naive, stupid, or just ignorant.

So, folks–there is my assessment as of now because we are a long way from the final count.  I admit to being a Conservative regarding most policy programs.  Is there ever a need for middle of the road or liberal views to be enacted into laws? The answer to that lies in the realm of need–of enactment and the consequences that can either have little effect on the public or result like the waves that sweep across the oceans to damage the mainlands of nations. There is an old saying: Be careful what you vote for because you just may get it and it may not be what you were expecting. Is the current White House clan of misfits really what we can take for another 4-years?

God Bless America. Amen.

Kindred’s Special: I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU….BUT?!

March 22, 2012

IN   THE  MINORITY  I  GUESS and what you (my readers) think is no concern of mine because there will be those applauding and those holding their noses or trashing my article.  So be it.  I received the BUSH CENTER NEWSLETTER  recently and found it very enlightning because it brings up-to-date the activities of George W. and Laura Bush as they view opportunities and challenges as they continue showing compassion toward combating the health issues that plague AFRICA. Yes, those years of the Bush Administration were filled with many woes but the Bush Family recognized the needs for health, of building leadership among women in areas that saw women having no voice whatever.

There are those who mock; those who voice hatred and disgust; those who use  vile  language — and find greeted applause by audiences who possess no sense of charity for downtrods of the World.  These are the elite.  Oh, yes, they will seek the limelight, appear on TV and attend as guests to sup with President Obama and his wife Michelle aimed at enriching the coffers of the Democrat Party and show their concern for the less fortunate.  Really?  Dare I say should I be accidently invited, the invitation would get tossed in the circular file. I want nothing to do with hatemongers and liars.  Oh, did I say that the President was a liar? You bet.  And a big spender for a wife.

Laura Bush conducted herself as a grand first lady for which the American people could be proud.  There was no wasteful spending, no hype geared at vote getting or using children to reach parents with crumbs for votes or dictating what school lunches should offer.  There were no world trips and wild spending sprees with favored guests as company.  Must be nice! to be a Democrat!! and fly around in those two expensive Boeings.

The other day I got a chance to read a few book chapters of both Laura and George W. Bush.  Don’t know about you but I was humbled and in awe of both  who in the worst of times for our country each, in their own way, brought a sense of purpose dignity and commitment to the trust given their roles in leadership of our Nation.  Many disagree with me but I say: “God Bless both for giving us the service and wisdom to lead the Nation through crisis after crisis and a war that was denied as war by the opposition.”  History once more proves to be a lightbulb that shines out the darkness!

KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: Ontario H&L Preservation Society

March 12, 2012

The Ontario Historical & Landmark Preservation Society publishes a newsletter and also conducts school tours and the dedication of officers, staff and support of Ontarioians and area visitors has enriched our heritage with many little known historical records that would likely not be reported on without such dedication and research.  Recently I received as a member the Newsletter from Ontario Town Historian, Liz Albright that details the development and usage of Cobblestone Houses.  Over 90 percent of all cobblestone buildings in the USA are located within a 60-mile radius of Rochester, NY.  Ontario has 19 of among the 170 cobblestones located in Wayne County.  The small number of cobblestone buildings located in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont and Ontario Canada can be traced to people who migrated from NY State.

Cobblestones resulted from ice glaciers that blanketed the New York State region and as they receded left rough cut cobblestone of various sizes from bedrock.  Lake and streams created what was called “lake-washed cobbles.”

A cobblestone is defined as a stone that can be held in one hand. Farmers came across many cobblestones while they worked the land and stored up sufficient numbers to build homes and buildings.  There was no cost to collecting them and they made excellent structures, many featuring beautiful colorful shades in the construction.  Most such structures were built between 1825 and 1865 and still stand today.  They were the popular choice of builders who found bricks and lumber to be too expensive and were shipped on the Canal. But cobblestone structures had the added feature of being easy to care for, much more so than wood structures.

What went into the workmanship and labor to construct cobblestone buildings?  It was not uncommon to see farmers spend years collecting stone and art that went into construction. Would anyone be willing to do such work and effort today? Stone was salvaged from the plowed land, and sometimes several mile trips were required to travel to the lake with mule or oxen drawn wood sleds hauling the favored colorful stones to the site.  Women and children sorted the stones and folks came to help by forming neighborhood ‘bees’  followed by food, music and socializing.  That was the highpoint of entertainment and such gettogethers are almost nonexistant today in our modern social fabric.

An excellently informative book, Cobblestone Quest, came from the pen of Rich and Sue Freeman that maps out driving tours of many of the cobblestone structures in the Rochester area, including 9 of the cobblestones in the Ontario area.  Ontario has 12 cobblestones, three are located on Lake Road, three on Ontario-Walworth Road, two on Knickerbocker Road, two on Ontario Center Road, one on Fisher Road and one on Whitney Road.  The Hamlet of Pultneyville which is located on the Lake Road  I believe may also have cobblestone homes.

Cobblestone construction ended following the Civil War.  Industrialization with introduction of fast drying Portland Cement and mass produced bricks made labor intensive laying of cobblestone too time consuming and expensive.

In conclusion one might permit me to liken it to the development of the chessclock and the need to better regulate time.  Both seem to have emerged in close decades with the need to make good use of time and effort put into the art of chess play and the art of cobblestone building. As time passed, both sort of complemented each other in their respective historic venue.

Kindred’s Special: Efim Geller Shines as He Knocks Out the Gruenfeld Defence

March 7, 2012

This follow-up of my 289th column featuring the Gruenfeld Defence features two stars born in the 1920s who met and did battle in the 1965 World Candidate Match, Moscow.  Efim Geller’s style was sharp and always aggressive which made my rare chances to see his boardplay the highlight of any published material that I chanced to see.

GM Geller was born in 1925 in Odessa, Ukraine and was among the world elite during the 1950s–70s, qualifying 6- times in the Candidates and 23 times in the USSR Championship. Both my brother Ray and I loved to study and discuss his game play.  On the other side of the board sat Vasily Smyslov whom I regarded during my formative years as the best all-round player whose brief stretch as World Champion from 1957-8 dims the achievements and great skill for the chess public. GM Smyslov was born in Moscow, 1921. In 1948, the year I began to follow his career and games, he achieved considerable success whose style was very clear and possessed a magical quality to milk the most from every position.  He had the distinction to having played Botvinnik in 3-matches for the title, drawing in 1954 (12-12) winning in 1957 but lost the rematch the following year with the total scoring  of 18 wins, 34 draws, and 17 losses, coming out with a plus one game edge.  He continued to be active in the next two decades and in 1983 managed to qualify for the Candidates final where he met and lost to the youngster Garry Kasparov.

Aside from chess, he was a professional opera singer and often entertained at chess functions and elsewhere.  His chess style embraced the ideals of both Tarrasch and Nimzowitch and undogmatic approach often found him making the most of simplified positional games with deep understanding of endings but with great aggressive play when demanded.

White: Efim Geller   vs   Black: Vasily Smyslov    Opening:  Gruenfeld Defence–Exchange Variation

1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  g6  3. Nc3  d5   4. cxd5  Nxd5  5. e4  Nxc3 6. bxc3  Bg7  7.Bc4  c5  8. Ne2  O-O 9. O-O  Nc6  10. Be3 Qc7 This is one of Smyslov’s lines and the other is 10…Bg4  11. f3  Na5 12. Bd3 (12. Bxf7+  Rxf7 13. fxg4 is Karpov’s specialty) cxd4 13.cxd4 Be6 14. Rc1 or d5.

11.Rc1  Rd8 12. f4  e6  13. Kh1  b6  14. f5!  Na5  15. Bd3  exf5  16. exf5  Bb7 17. Qd2  Re8  18, Ng3  Qc6  19. Rf2  Rad8  20. Bh6  Bh8  21. Qf4  Rd7  22. Ne4  c4  23. Bc2  Rde7  Smyslov is generating pressure on the e-file and long diagonal but Geller now meets the challenge with some brilliant play.

24.Rcf1  Rxe4  25. fxg6! f6 forced.  Do you see why?

26. Qg5!! Qd7  27. Kg1  Bg7  28. Rxf6  Rg4  29. gxh7+ Kh8  30. Bxg7+ Qxg7 31. Qxg4 mates in a few moves  31…Qxg4  Rf8+ Rxf8 33. Rxf8+ Kg7 34. hQ8 mate

KIndred’s Special: Gruenfeld Defence 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5

March 6, 2012

One of the most popular defenses in both skittles and tournament play at the Rochester Chess Club during the 1950s-70s was the Gruenfeld Defence often seen in the hands of Rochester’s most famous player Grandmaster Kenneth Rogoff. On my site I refer you to the 11-game match between Samuel Reshevsky and Isaac Kashdan that I posted earlier featuring a number of Gruenfeld variations. Popularity from the White side varied with players representing different eras. The two most popular being the Russian variations 4.Nf3  Bg7  5. Qb3 dxc4  6. Qxc4  O-O  7. e4 and Exchange variations 4. e4  Nxc3  5. bxc3. You can find the major lines in opening books as well as in chess magazines.

When I talk of era favorites related to the Classical Exchange system, I like to follow the 1959 Yugoslavia vs. USSR match, between Gligoric and Smyslov. 4. cxd5  Nxd5  5. e4  Nxc3  6. bxc3  Bg7  7. Bc4  c5  8. Ne2  O-O  9. O-O  Nc6  10. Be3  Qc7 a stock in trade of Smyslov and as I recall a favorite way for Ken Rogoff to employ his forces.  A good general treatise is Eric Schiller’s Standard Chess Openings. New In Chess (NCO) and Modern Chess Openings (MCO)  The whole system was found in exhaustive practice in the 1987 World Championship Match between Karpov and Kasparov.

What some term as the modern approach is 5. e4  Nxc3  5. bxc3  Bg7  6. Nf3 and those many ideas can be examined in the above books as well as FIDE Chess Informant series.

Lets jump ahead now to 2003 where Peter NIelsen met Luke McShane in the Sigeman Tournament at Malmo in a classical exchange line.

1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  g6  3. Nc3  d5  4. cxd5  Nxd5  5. e4  Nxc3  6. bxc3  Bg7  7. Bc4  c5  8. Ne2 cxd4. The sole purpose of this move is to answer …Bg4 with f3. But chess marches on and it came to be recognized that White could employ Nf3 without worry due to a number of new ideas when adopting that opening choice. Still, the text remains a popular choice.  Both Ivanchuk and Svidler have contributed to the defense with 8…Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O  Bd7  11. Rb1 a6 which seems slow and leaves me somewhat disoriented.  12. dxc5  Na5 13. Bd3 Qc7  14. f4! Gaining space giving the Rook a bit of luft and then if 14…Rfd8 15. c6 Qxc6 16.Bb6  Bg4  17. Bxd8  Rxd8  18. h3 = but 18. Qc2 looks good since 18…Qc5 can be met by 19. Rf2 >Nd4 Analysis by participants.

9. cxd4  Nc6  10. Be3  O-O 11. O-O  Bg4  12. f3  Na5  13. Bd3  Be6  14. d5!  Bxa1 15. Qxa1 f6 16. Bh6 Winning the Exchange might be a material plus but the loss of this Bishop weakens the dark squares. Remember my topic around the value of studying and understanding the board and squares that make it up.  There was no comment here in the published notes by the players but I am wondering if it be possible to return the Exchange and play Qb6+ 17. Kh1 Bf7 (Rd8) presenting a  possible Rac8 allowing the Knight to mobilize re c4? Have fun analyzing it or checking it out on your computer.

16. … Re8  17. Kh1 Bd7 18. e5  Rc8  19. Ng3!! This shock discovery that now e4 square is under the gun probably shocked McShane.

19. …Nc4  20. Bxc4  Rxc4  21. Ne4  Qb6  22. Rd1!  To stop …Qd4.  In some positions the Bs  of opposite color are drawable. In this case as Larsen once pointed out depends upon the position!! Here White is superior.

22…Rxe4  23. fxe4  fxe5  24. Qxe5  Qf6  25. Qg3  e6 To stop the further advance of the pawn.

26. d6  e5  27. h3  b5  28. Bg5  Qe6  29. Be7 Rc8  30. Rf1  Qc4  31. Qf2  b4  32. Bg5  Bb5  33. d7!!  Bd7  34. Bh6  What chess is all about. In Bs of opposite color, once those squares can be directly attacked against the King, the game is all but over.

34. … Bf5  35. exf5  Qf7  36. f6  a5  37. Qb6  Ra8  Black’s flag fell.  White wins on time as well as having a winning position on the board.

One of the aesthetic beauties that arise from chess is how often like positions emerge out of different routes and the patterns can be applied to known theory and opening strategy. Being familiar with developing patterns will assist you when making plans and carrying out jump moves discussed in other articles.

Kindred’s Special: Old and New Meet, or; Is Anything Really New or Just Rediscovered??

March 1, 2012

One of the merits and joys I associate with chess and just history in general is the combination seen just how often history repeats or reapppears in some fashion that defines itself as an expansion to understanding  modern theory as met in the international world of chess.  Such thoughts that closed my mind to the necessitities during my youth when I should have been confining such time to scholastic studies, having a part-time job that likewise competed with my energies where I had not really paid much attention to the time clock of life as it applied to 24-hour days.  I had not of course applied myself entirely to the important things in life.  Yet, I found so much scholastic endeavor as boring and I was often dreaming beyond the stars (I suppose) of wishing I could be outside enjoying the beautifies of nature and friendships of peers.  In essence, I really wanted to devote my life to service having a keen interest in the Bible and its historical record and teachings.  To each his own; my path was not one to become wealthy in money but in very practical ways to be of service.  I found this in chess.  When I got involved in chess which fascinated me and captured my interest, I found many flaws in truth telling, some of which I have reported here in earlier writings. But enough said. Lets get on with tonight’s topic.

An interesting subject is the first game of the 1910 match between Carl Schlechter and Dr. Emmanuel Lasker featuring a Ruy Lopez opening system.  I have always found this to be one of the great games that emerged because of the technical and brilliant strokes and counterstrokes that both players exhibited.  It also points out our theme for this column. Herr Schlechter has white and Dr. Lasker defends, selecting a variation often noted as a second class type defence when more energetic setups would deem to be more exciting.  Yet, as this game comes to demonstrate, chess captures the spirit of the contestants where great joy can be experienced both during play and for years thereafter.

Much has been written about world champion Dr. Emmanuel Lasker but little has attracted for eyes to view such exhibited beauty of his opponent. Indeed, while Lasker lived financially well, Schlechter died (as did many others) in poverty due to World War I that swept across Europe.  In the early part of his career, Schlechter was often called the ‘drawing master’ but from 1906 or so on, he achieved many lst prizes as well as Brilliancy prizes.

Let us therefore examine in this Part One (the game is simply too long) the opening and middlegame.

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  Nf6  This can be now a Berlin Defence which became popular in modern theory by such players as Art Bisgueir to be embraced by modern stars and climaxed in the Kramnik vs. Kasparov world championship match where this opening played a major role in Kramnik’s defeat over Kasparov to win the title. Often seen in Lasker’s games are varying degrees of strategies often reflected as being his ability to play to the weakness or exhibited overzealousness in meeting supposedly weak lines compared to known theories of the day.  Lasker was uncanny in handling positions often thought to be inferior, yet which seemed to bring out the best of his talent.  This move has another point too, because it almost dictates that castles is the best choice for White.

4. O-O  d6  Cunningly Lasker switches now to the Steinitz Defence set up which he appears to enjoy employing as a defensive weapon.

5. d4  Bd7  6. Re1  The interesting and perhaps sharper 6. Nc3  Be7 7. Re1 sets up the famous Tarrasch trap 7…O-O? leaving White a winning game. But this well known smasheroo is not going to trap Lasker! So why play for it? It is worth noting here that Schlechter appears happy to vie for 6…Be7  7. c3 and 8. Nbd2 > 9.Nf1.  Certainly I find it hard to believe any real edge exists for White here but likely the wisdom of White is to assure himself a good position toward the middlegame.

6. …exd4!  Lasker understood such positions; he envisions what follows as leading to a reasonably good game entering the middle phase.  Schlechter also considered this the best for Black.

7. Nxd4  Be7  8. Nc3  O-O  9. Bxc6   Janowsky experimented and favored perhaps 9. Nde2 largely because he liked his 2-Bishops remaining on the board for the time being.

9. … bxc6  10. Bg5  Schlechter uses Lasker’s pet idea here against himself, perhaps curious as to how he will handle the defensive chores.

10. … Re8  11. Qf3!? He finds a different solution to the Queen’s destination that often finds her on d3 here.

11. …h6  12. Bh4  Nh7  13. Bxe7  Qxe7 14. Rad1  At the St. Petersburg Tournament of 1909, Lasker with the White forces played his Rooks to e1 and f1 set up with a Kingside action mounting.  White places his Rooks on the central files and is now prepared to engage forces in the middlegame struggle.

End of Part One.  Stay tuned!!  –Continued herein for your convenience of following the game.

14. …Nf8  The Knight is especiallly useful in that Lasker views  Nf8 superior, say, to what Janowsky tried in the 1909 at St. Petersburg, entering the Knight to g5. The difference is that the Knight is limited in choice whereas retreating temporarily to f8 gives eye to either e6 or g6. Such freedom of mobility in choice  is exhibited here when compared to other piece movements–a point sometimes overlooked and not fully appreciated.

15. h3  Schlechter in post reviewing suggested 15. Qg3 aiming for the pawn advance f2-f4. The text has the advantage of giving White some control over the g4-square but Lasker sees a potential weakness as he demonstrates herewith.

15. …Ng6  16. Qg3  Qg5 Forcing the exchange of Queens since 17. Qd3  Nf4, or; 17.Qf3  Nh4 tending to leave Black with the better pawn structure for the endgame. Lasker shows his ‘chess is a struggle, a fight’  by the thought of a mate on g2 that forces the Queen exchange and the weakness now appears against the choice of h3 by White earlier since the square f5 is secured in Lasker’s plan.

17. Qxg5  hxg5  18. f3  f6  19. Kf2  Kf7 20. Nde2  a5 21. b3  Reb8  22. Nc1  Schlechter now shows his prowess in positional finesse as his Knight maneuver was not aimed at the K-side but rather to do combat on the Q-side in a defensive role.

22… Be6 23. Nd3  c5  24. Nb2  Ne5  25. Nd5  Anyone looking at square count? This seems verry dangerous and it is to the credit of both players who weed through the maze of this crazy cornfield.

25. …Rb7  26. Re3  Nc6  27. Rc3  Could this be likened to a Nimzowitch comment that sometimes there can be a mystery seen in a Rook move which is seen only at the end of a thought through plan? I think this is such a position!

Lasker estimates he has been brought to a standstill for the moment on the Q-side so now turns his attention to the other sector wing. I now give the remaining moves that with great skill, Lasker finds a way to draw.

27. … g6  28. a4  f5  29. Ne3  Re8  30. Nec4  Ra7  31. Re1 Bxc4  32.Kf6  33. Ne3  Ne5  34. exf5  g6xf5  Black through pawn exchanges has loosened his defensive chores but now White begans a neat maneuver to create strong winning chances.

35. g3! Rh8  36. f4  gxf4  37. Nd5+  Kf7  38. Nxf4  Rb7  Black cannot ‘shilly-shally’ and must counter with effect aiming to hit the Q-side with …Rb4 and …c4.  Is it going to be sufficient?

39. Kg2  c4  40. bxc4  Rb4  41. c5  Rxa4  42. cxd6  cxd6 43. Rc7+  Kf6  44. Nd5+  Kg5!  45. h4+  Kh6  46. Ne7  Rf8  47. Rd1  Rf7! This is a magnificent  play to hold the position.

48. Rxd6+ Kh7  49. Re6 Ng6!!  50. Rxg6  Rxe7  51. Rgc6  Rxc7  52. Rxc7+  Kg6  53. Rc6+  Kg7  But not 53. …Kh5?  54. Rf6 winning the f-pawn.  If the f-pawn falls, White has attained a winning position.

54. Kf3 ! Necessary to keep the King from getting cut off by Rh6.

54. …Re4 55. Rf5  Assuring the win of the pawn but possibly 55. f5 looks like a good alternative.

55. ..,.Kf6  56. Rxh4  Rc4  57. Rh6+ Ke5  58. Rh5+  Kf6  60. Rh5+ Kf6  61. Rh2  Ke5  62. Rb2  Rf6+  63. Kg2  Kf6  64. Kh3  Schlechter sets one final trap. After 64…f4  65. Rb3  Rxf4 66. Rf3 wins for White!!

64. …Rf6  65. Rb8  Rxf4  66. Rb6+  Kg7  67. h5  Rf4  68. h6+  Kh7  69. Rf6  Ra4  Draw agreement.

A long battle where for the amateur, especially those who find sharp mating attacks and gambit style 18-19 Century chess play to be their ‘cup of tea’ and attraction for chess as a game may find, in this struggle, to be every bit the type of chess which lured Lasker to view chess.  He said it was, above all else, a struggle. While one can say that Carl Schlechter was known as ‘the drawing master’, this game which ended in a draw was full of fireworks of the finest quality.  Perhaps with this battle on the 64-squares, I can add to my list of critical views on how often the writers and critics of both current and past times turn out the pages of chess history and depict it in so many flawed ways.