Archive for September, 2013

Kindred’s Special: How to Improve Your Study Habits in the Opening Stage

September 29, 2013

Playing chess offers the students to experience numerous challenges during game play.  What makes study of a game educational is the chess move.  A time frame is not an issue as to when a game is played because the enthusiast can obtain literature via computer programs, books and magazines.  The explosion of literature gives the student a full range of work by a host of teachers; both amateur and professional ranks turn out thousands of games for research and study.

An interesting chess study of opening play occurred between Jose R. Capablanca and Dr. Emmanuel Lasker, 11h game, of their world title match in 1921 that took place in Havana, Cuba.

1.  P-Q4  P-Q4 /  2. N-KB3  P-K3 /  3. P-B4  N-KB3  /  4. B-N5  QN-Q2 /  5. P-K3  B-K2  /  6. N-B3  O-O  /  7. R-B1  R-K1

If this were a poker match, one would guess it to be:  “Black is playing it close to guard against giving the opponent any possible sight of his cards.”  But in chess, every move by both sides is in the open for all to see.

8. Q-B2  P-B3  /  9. B-Q3  P x P  /  10. B x P  N-Q4

Here, Lasker uses an idea of Capablanca to give some relief to his cramped position.

11.  B x B   R x B  /  12.  O-O   N-B1 / 13.  KR-Q1  B-Q2  /  14. P-K4  N-QN3

This standard variation in the Queen’s Gambit Declined for the learning student has probably given little thought to anything other than it has been played many times.  But in reality, it gives a clue for the laying down of plans for the middle game. And what of the moves that have been played?  White (JRC) has expanded square count to advantage of 12/2.  This means that White has continued to develop pieces and has established a strong active pawn center backed up by connected Rooks, both Knights and Bishop.  Black has avoided weaknesses but has a cramped position from which the maneuver on the surface has not freed his game as yet.

Dr. Lasker is a clever fox!  He was down in the match 3-0 at this point so has adopted a strategy of luring his opponent into an over confident mood and this is often the case when a timely counterattack can be launched against the better developed forces.

After completing this evaluation, it is time to find a way to weigh the advantages for both sides into a workable plan of operations.  White B is now attacked so must retreat.  N3/Q3/K2/B1 are empty squares for such retreat.  Since White’s Q-side expansion by its pawns is a possible  short-term plan in the future and the Bishop hits a stonewall at Q5, logic would suggest either Q3 or retreat to B 1.  On Q3 it blocks the Rook. Full square count is still achieved with the Bishop on B1 and his central files remain semi-open for Rook action.  Still, it is unclear where the Bishop should go.

The assessment is near complete with White enjoying a strong mobile center and well positioned for future action.  What does Black plan on doing?  Obviously his pawn structure suggests counterattack in the center with either P-QB4 or P-K4 after due preparation by R-QB1.  White can stop this monkey business  by P-QN4 which definitely leaves out N3 as a Bishop retreat.  On going for P-K4, Black must play N-N3 when White can go P-K5 that makes BQ3 retreat attractive.  Yet, Black will have the Q4 square once again available for active operations.

As I noted before, the Bishop retreat of B1 retains all the square count along that diagonal and keeps free the two central files.

15. B-B1  R-B1 / 16. P-QN4  B-K1

To give the Rook access to the Q-side.

17. Q-N3  R/2-B2 / 18. P-QR4  N-N3 / 19. P-R5  N-Q2  /  20. P-K5  P-QN3 / 21. N-K4  R-N1 / 22. P-R6

To try to get some space and stop counter play.

White won the game.  In many, but not all games, the struggle centers around similar concerns for which reason I chose this game to illustrate the creative thoughts that go into mapping out a plan, carrying it through or adjusting to meet circumstances that might alter planned operations.  It is a perfect example where the importance of square count enters the picture.

Adios for now!!

Kindredspirit’s Special: What Makes Me a Conservative

September 29, 2013

Like many young people, I grew up admiring Dwight D. Eisenhower;  I admired Winston Churchill and all the Presidents I studied in school.  While I was always a believer in human progress and supporter of women’s rights and abhorred how school age girls were somehow different from boys, the system of education definitely led children in two different directions.  It was the thought from earliest times that men were the breadwinners while the women were homemakers.  Higher education for women were nursing and school teaching vocations. That was the social norm and nothing was wrong with that.  Of course, history drew the picture of advancement of women led by women who decided to seek equal rights.  This was made possible by the world wars that necessitated the influx of women into the labor force like never before and in male dominated occupations. Social correctness continued the social scheme that women belonged in the home to rear children in their respective faiths and worry about their ills and mishaps, giving discipline duties to the husband as needed.

My life was rich in history because I experienced World War II, the Korean (police action –HA!HA!) War }WAR is War!{, Vietnam and all the miscellaneous territorial conflicts.  But mostly, it was as I stated above, a time to discover those truths that built the real character of America. The wealth that came from the pages of historical writings, of writers who enriched our social values. Of great men and women!!

What went wrong?  It was, in my opinion, the explosion of technology that brought to the public an ever-increasing zeal of a dominating news media that went from fact-finding and reporting to one of privilege.  By that I mean the rush to be first at any cost and to adopt definite political support was ever-present throughout our history of newsprint but now it has become corrupt self-serving degenerates of truth and amoral fortitude with lies, deceit, a snickering congregation of fools, and mostly, a public who is ignorant due principally to this misrepresentation of facts and fantasy the public is asked to believe.  I was taught you can tell good from evil by the nature of the beast.  Turning to government, especially one that has little public support and shown to be corrupt and downright dishonest and self-serving, is abominable.  Sticking heads in the sand should be reserved for the birds.

Kindred’s Special: Che Guevara–A Revolutionary’s Passion for Chess

September 21, 2013

NEW IN CHESS magazine cover with a well-organized  article appearing in 2013/6 presents a colorful look at Cuba, its socialism path and a rare look at Che Guevara’s life and love of chess.

How does a writer choose to report news?  On this topic, I decided to highlight some of what should be memorable comments and story briefs with the hope of encouraging those interested in seeking the actual story which unfolded in a very long and well done effort by Adam Feinstein. My readers may write directly to NEW IN CHESS,  P. O. BOX 1093,  1810 KB  ALKMOOR , THE NETHERLANDS or e-mail:

Perhaps one of Che Guevara’s chess achievements was his immense role in the establishment of the prestigious annual Capablanca  Memorial Tournaments held in Havana, Cuba.  In October 1961, Cuba was in turmoil as a result of the failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs in April  1961; this turmoil prompted Guevara to instruct his aides to bring back six chess sets and boards because there was no telling how long this war threat might last; Khrushchev was having missiles sent to Cuba.

Guevara’s closing ceremony remarks:  ‘At this moment of global conflict between very different ideological systems, chess is capable of uniting people from divergent political systems.’  This thought was ever on his mind.

Chess was mi segunda novia which means in English, my second girlfriend.  Different reports tell how he started playing as a child.  What thrilled him was the announcement by his father that Jose R. Capablanca would be playing lst board for Cuba in the upcoming 8th Chess Olympiad to be held in Buenos Aires.  Capablanca won the Gold Medal.  It is this achievement that turned his attention and interest to Cuba and had evolved over the chess board.  In the 1950s, he fought to topple the dictator Batista and became known as a great patriot and guerilla fighter alongside Fidel Castro.

This great Olympiad found the Second World War underway.  Many players and representatives were stranded in Argentina including Miguel Najdorf who lost his wife and family in Poland and went on to become a businessman and a famous Grandmaster of Chess.  He was to become friends with Guevara who met and played him in simultaneous displays Guevara had helped arrange.

During his university years, he traveled widely, discovering the poverty, illness and disease that was widespread throughout South America.

People who influenced his thinking was Professor Alberto Bayo, his military instructor, who called him the best guerrilla of them all.  Among his chess playing friends of influence was the Cuban diplomat and journalist, Giraldo Mazola, who drew a clear analogy between the two activities, writing many years later in tribute to Che Guevara: ‘As a guerrilla fighter, you realized that, just as in chess, numerical or material superiority is not an absolute or insuperable advantage, if the chess concepts of time and space are applied correctly.’

A habit of evaluating variations and plans was useful in life to make good judgment decisions.

So important to him for chess that in the 1958 hideout in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, he played much chess with others and gave chess lessons to soldiers despite his being the right hand man of Fidel Castro.  Apparently he recognized the need to relax which chess gave him.

From 1959-65, the support of Guevara helped the chess movement in Cuba expand rapidly.  The Fourth Capablanca Memorial in 1965 saw the greatest players in the world compete.  It is said that he helped secure the participation of Bobby Fischer.  Unfortunately his live participation was stopped by the State Department who refused to allow Fischer to travel to Cuba. Elsewhere I wrote how Fischer played from New York City, having been handicapped in so doing. V. Smyslov won the event.  Perhaps Fischer began to sour by such treatment.

Following his being assassinated, writers like Jon Lee Anderson, Regis Debray and Jorge G. Castaneda contributed to exploring his life in less than idealistic terms.  However, British journalist, Richard Gott, writing in the Guardian on the day of his death declared: “It was difficult to recall that this man had once been one of the great figures of Latin America.  Not only a great guerrilla leader, he had been a friend of Presidents as well as revolutionaries. His voice had been heard and appreciated in inter-American councils, as well as in the jungle. He was a doctor, amateur economist, once Minister of Industry in Cuba.  He will likely go down in history as one of the truly great continental figures in the Americas.”

Because of Guevara’s influential position and superb knowledge of chess both as a historian and player, he left Cuba a giant representative in the world chess body and a host of very talented players in international and national play.  Most of all, he gave the groundwork for a prosperous and lasting chess legacy for the people of Cuba.

Kindred’s Special: World Islam Afire With Hatred and Fear

September 14, 2013

I rarely comment on world events, leaving that to the professionals who dear themselves on TV programs almost only when they got a new book they authored or commissioned with a ghost writer due to their own lack of talent in the authorship business. Critical thought is vital to free expression, much of it clouded in human nature more today than in the past when writers had little to fear from the nutty fruitcakes who are found in many countries including America.

TV news have rarely touched on the subject of which I speak now because it is reporting on events taking place daily, yet with an almost dismissal of the long history of torture by radicals who fear and hate Christians and believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father who art in Heaven.  The upheaval seen in Muslim dominated territories has grown with their so-called leaders essaying all kinds of dictates to the faithful calling for murder, suicide pacts, deliberate destruction of life, limb, and often the very livelihood that have destroyed families.

Our leaders in America say that this Faith is good; that it is holy and should be respected. Rightly so, for the truly faithful in the Muslim communities.  But there is something evil, no it is more heinous than just the term ‘evil’, because it is everything despicable as taught in the Holy Bible and instruction given by Jesus and the Prophets as to how to live a clean and decent life of family values, rearing children to be kind, helpful and trustworthy.  It goes further in the exhibit of our own America that was founded on principles that are inborn in the biblical lessons.  It is these lessons that the evil makers hide in fear.  Because they know that if the masses learn of Jesus and Prophet teachings, their wall of hatred, murder, ravaging countrymen within their borders will be exposed.  Truth will prevail and the Holy Bible is the Word according to scripture that leads to Eternal Life.  It is this sacred book of Love and Forgiveness which the Islamic radicals fear.

What I say is revealing for the spirit of Peoples everywhere throughout the world.  The sham that promises those who blow themselves up in order to murder non believers with promises of finding virgins in the afterlife is sin.  These sacrifices in the perpetration of murdering fellow human beings for the glory of the religion shows the corrupt nature that breeds life into our western values that largely are founded on the Judeo-Christian faith.  That these so-called leaders having radical views has fractured the beliefs of their own flock because as the Holy Book and teachings of Jesus spread, the errors emerging from the mouths of these fake so-called holy men that cherish beheading, brutal murder of both elders and children will not stand the test of time and revenge from the Heavenly Father who keeps a record of man’s deeds and performance on Earth.

Punishment awaits those who choose the dark side of Life’s walk and it is an awakening for millions to grasp hold of the Holy Spirit and toss off the shackles that bind men and women to cruelty and toward a meaning of love, respect, and joy.

Kindred’s Special: Hungary 1953– Tough Talk and Weak Promises

September 9, 2013

It was a long time ago but I do recall the revolt of the Hungarians in Budapest under the term of FREEDOM FIGHTERS and expecting help from American forces and allies found only Russian tanks rolling down the highways and subsequently crushed the revolt. Is there any wonder with a track record like the USA has for helping suppressed peoples anywhere why the world is the way it is today?

Kindred’s Special: The Wealth of Literary Works

September 8, 2013

As a student in both grade and high school, I was blessed by teachers who inspired me. I told you I found myself, especially on spring days as school summer recess approached, to put my sights on looking out the nearby open window and fell under the joy of the slight breeze that entered what was often a stifling heat from the sun that made no joy for me and others facing the final period of instruction.  Far away was the World Series that the school allowed us to get from the radio that often saw the New York Yankees versus their crosstown rivals Brooklyn Dodgers or the Saint Louis Cardinals.  That the teachers collectively made school both challenging and able to override such distractions that kept order for daily assignments and classroom work was a tribute not only to their skills but the knowledge that success for each of us came from our own effort.

I was bit by the chess bug early on from about age seven having virtually no friends my own age nearby in our rural community. We had only one or two school buses for the whole district and neither of those were filled.  My closest friend David Beneway was four years my senior and lived on his parent’s farm about two miles away.  He was the one who broke my collarbone, tackling me in a flag football scrimmage.  I guess he was hopeful of being on the Cornell football squad but never made it.  He graduated from a western college and lost track of him over the years.  But my fortune was nonetheless in building my appreciation for chess due to the summer months recovering and having the chance to study a chess book from my brother’s library and magazine CHESS REVIEW.

In total, my life described as pertinent factors in my own development with chess as editor of the Rochester Chess Bulletin (YMCA), appointment by Dr. Marchand to be the club treasurer and a USCF Regional Director, as mentioned in earlier writings herein, a part-time job in a local gas station (if 30-40 hours) let me aid my parents and I was able to buy my first great little Plymouth Deluxe; then military.

My rebel behavior was built around my always asking questions why or how theory or writings in chess came about.  I questioned the books that spouted certain principles.  Often I was met with phrases like, “don’t rock the boat.”  One that peeved me was, “the great masters and writers know more than you, kid, so lets drop the subject, okay?”

Maybe I was dumb to bother.  My dad had no interest in chess and said my time was better spent taking up golf and helping on our 10-acre farm.  My mom though encouraged me, reminding me of others who were given short shrift. I guess this made me study the history of chess unlike most who only cared about play in tournaments and accepted “book” as the final word–true or not.

In those early years, the rage was both the numerical superiority of the Soviet Union in the study especially of science, math, literature, music arts, while instructors shorted the Soviet students  when it came to religious faith, and failed most miserably through the socialist propaganda to indoctrinate, issue laughable falsehoods– all meant to tarnish the Western view of world history and culture.

From this background, I spent long hours working on theories, some good, some scraped, that evolved my interest for chess as a game rather than merely a study of existing theory and practice.  Even as a child I recognized that the principles of chess mirrored the very human nature of life itself.

My life has been a long road of study largely ingrained in many areas that created for me my large library. My correspondence both domestically and foreign in and out of chess enabled me to recognize that human nature is such as it is requires of its citizenry an ever watchful eye on our educational system and that most important result in good education is not merely grades but study of our values, an appreciation for our Founding Fathers wisdom, which encompassed a new code of morality and liberty.  History casts an eye on truth, lies, justice in a nation’s development.  It is true of every nation and it is true of The United States (America).

I am no one having established a social ladder of distinction nor was that ever my intent.  My banking field forbid me advancement beyond a degree of success due to a lack of a college diploma.  But you know what?  I would not change my life travels for that diploma or what I got in exchange for my total being from self-study.  In the field of chess, as in most life experience, the truth and exposure of false expressions like the term “self-esteem” literally made me shudder as it was related to chess.  Another falsehood is, “Chess makes you smart.”  Really? Why I snicker at these terms is simple.  It comes from the belief that individual expression, results, freedom and liberty to enjoy life regardless of social values placed on this term and comment by society in the end is counterproductive. Examples of harm to children to be awarded a prize regardless of result is demeaning to its recipient.  Kids are not dumb.  When they see  trophies handed out by organizers, the value and memorable feeling of achievement is totally lacking.  Work and effort put into a business, a sport or hobby is the only true grounds for a good feeling coming from the term  “self-esteem.” Self-esteem is a personal joy to experience and based on individual rather than as a collective reward tool.  One exception is team play,