Archive for January, 2014

Kindred’s Special: Giants Battle in the 1999 NOST CHAMPIONSHIP

January 31, 2014

The following games illustrate the tenacious fights on the board during the NOST Championships held over many years.   Membership was by invitation and had at its peak between 400 and 500 members.  Many famous innovative game designers and players were members.  Many of the best left to join a more lucrative gaming organization or were deceased.

I shortened the method shown for exchanges.  Instead of using for example e x d5  please note the change to  ed5: and the  ( : ) mark designates an exchange taking place.  As I have said, I prefer the English Descriptive Notation using capital letters as being easier to read.  Please let me know.

White:  Sherwood Moore       vs.    Black:  Donald P. Reithel

Opening:    Benoni Defense

1.  d4   Nf6   2.  c4   c5   3.  d5   e6  4.  Nc3   ed5:   5.  cd5:   d6   6. e4   g6  7. Nf3   Bg7   8. Be2   O-O   9.  O-O   a6   10.  a4   a6   11.  Bf4   Bf3:   12. Bf3:   Qe7   13. Re1   Nbd7  14.  a5   Ne5   15.  Be5:   Qe5:   16.  Qd2  h5    17.  Na4   Nd7   18.  Rac1   Rfb8   19.  b4   Kh7   20.  Rc2   b5   21.  ab6:   Nb6:    22.  Nb6:   Rb6:   23.  bc5:   dc5:   24.  Rc5:   Rb2  25.  Rc2  Rab8 26. Rb2:   Rb2:  27. Qd3   Bf8  28.  Rc1  a5   29.  Qc4   Kg7   30. g3  Bb4   31.  Bg2   a4   32.  f4   Qf6  33.  Kh1  a3   34.  e5   Qb6   35.  Qc6  Qf2   36.  d6  a2  White Resigns (0-1).

I enjoyed the NOST experience.  It was unique for a chess organization in that The Knights of the Square Table (NOST)  held weeklong annual conventions around the United States.  Some of the cities included Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Corning, Palm Springs, and Ft. Myers.  These were fondly termed “Nostventions.”

Perhaps it was this period when I fully utilized my concepts of chess play.  One of my readers commented that he would like some examples of my square count theory and how I applied it to my own games.  Here are some additional games from the championship which I selected to answer his inquiry and hope all readers will benefit.  I do not guarantee the play as top rate but are exciting amateur battles worthy of study.

White:   Donald P. Reithel    vs.   Black:   Ray Gardner

Opening:   Queen’s Gambit Accepted

1.  d4   d5   2.  c4   dc4:   3.  Nf3   Nf6   4.  Nc3   e6   5.  e4   Bb4   6.  Bg5.

I am not a booked up player and try to solve the opening by both general opening book knowledge and to  concentrate on individual planning.  I learned this from Sam Reshevsky who said one should play with a definite plan in mind toward the next phase of play–the middlegame.  I concentrate forces on the central complex.

6.  ….  Be7   7.  Bc4:   h6   8.  Bf4   a6   9.  a4

Stopping Black’s expansive ideas on the Q-side while it increases my own square count.  Why not take the Knight?  The answer again is a square count concern:  trading my Bishop for it does double the pawns but fractures the potential power on the white squares which that Bishop influences and cedes the Bishop pair to Black which is regarded as a plus.  The point is that square count tells of the numeric plus for both sides and what the spatial comparison is which I think gives clues to both players of the positional and tactical needs of the position at hand.

9.  ….   O-O   10.  O-O   Bd7   11.  e5   Nh5   12.  Be3   f5 ?!

Black probably is concerned about the dominant pawn and piece structure so tries to increase his own square count but at the expense of weakening the pawn (e6).

13.  ef6:   Nf6:

The idea now is to start attacking the home field of the opponent which again is seen in square count gains.

14.  Ne5!   Bd6   15.  f4   Nc6   16.  Qe2   Na5   17.  Ba2

This retreat is simply repositioning the Bishop so it can support the Queen which I planned to play on the g1-h7  diagonal.

17.  …..  Kh8

Black faces a hopeless situation and decides to lure the well posted Knight into trade for the passive Black Rook.  A Knight is a Knight and Rook is a Rook!

18.  Ng6+   Kh7   19.  Nf8:+ Qf8:   20. Rad1   e5  21.  fe5:   Bg4  22.  Qd3+  Resigns.  (1-0).

The next game needs a bit of explanation.  I had been studying Mikhail Tal’s book on tactics and studying his games.  Perhaps I was inspired by his sheer genius for combative play that simply overwhelmed opponents to try to thread their way through the maze of tactical sacrifices.  It seemed to delight analysts if they could find flaws which certainly appeared later on but then the game is over and point and brilliant attack justified his brain storms.  He won the world championship from Botvinnik for a short one year reign, losing a well prepared Botvinnik as so often happened in all Botvinnik title defenses where he was assured a rematch should he lose the title to the challenger.  Botvinnik later on was enraged when this match condition was erased.  It was a rare advancement in the long history of chess politics.

It would be interesting to weigh in on others having studied chess books on the games of one or more of the great chess artists to see if they had similar experiences.

A word about Tom.  He was one of the original NOST and very talented.  Later on, his son joined him traveling and competing in various nostventions.  When this game took place, he must have been in his nineties.  He was a joyful chap and twinkle in his mischievous eye.  He used English Descriptive notation so I adopted the same.

White:   Tom LiPuma      vs.    Black:   Donald P. Reithel

Opening:   Two-Knights Defense

1.  P-K4   P-K4   /   2.  N-KB3   N-QB3  /  3.  B-B4   N-B3  /

Here I was expecting 4. P-Q3 which gives a different character to the game but Tom liked unusual positions.

4.  N-B3   N:P  /  5.  N:N   P-Q4  /  6.  B-Q3   P:N  /  7.  B:P   B-Q3  /  8.  P-Q3  Q-K2   9.  P-QN3   B-Q2  /  10.  O-O   O-O-O   /  11.  R-K1   QR-K1 /

The point here is to protect the e5 square as well as the Pawn.  If you notice, I often refer to the square a piece defends in comments because I look at it from a territorial view.

12.  P-KR3   K=N1   /  13.  B-K3   P-KR3   /  14.  Q-K2   P-KN4  /  15.  P-KN4   QR-KB1   /  16.  N-R2   P-KR4  /  17.  B-B5  B:B  /   18.   P:B   P-N5   /  19.  K-N2   P-K5  /

It was with the choice of this move that I began to visualize my planned operations on the K-wing.

20.  RP:P   B:N  /   21.  K:B   RP:P++  /  22.  K-N2   R-R7+ !?  /   23.  K:R   Q-R5+  /  24.  K-N1   R-R1  /  25.  B:P+!   K:B /

This attack weakens my own King position and took me by surprise as I am sure Tom was equally surprised by my Rook sac.  As in Life, “tit for tat”!

26.  Q:KP  N-K4  /

This is the move I had counted on to carry the attack.  I went in part with the old adage that Queen and Knight work well together in tactical play.

27.  K-B1   N-B6  /  28.  R/K-Q1  /

If White continued with 28. Q-R4+  K-N3 is the only way to avoid a draw by perpetual checking of my King which may become the case anyway.  White still has the intention to prove my whole plan faulty from which hope springs eternal.

28.  ….  R-R4  /

This is the move I saw when playing N-K4 and maybe not considered by my opponent at all.  In any case he took a long look before choosing the next sequence which looks almost like a total refutation of my whole idea.  It is game play like this that turned my hair to silver-grey.

29.  K-K2   R:P  30.  P-Q4   Q-B3  /   31.  K-Q3  R-B5  /  32.  Q-K3   N:QP /   33.  K-Q2   R-B6  /  34. Q-K4  R:P+  /   35.  K-Q3   R-B6+  /  36.  Q:R   N:Q  / White Resigns. (0-1).

When two brothers meet, the fur flies but in the end it calms down to mutual agreements.

White:  Donald P. Reithel    vs.  Black:  Raymond F. Reithel

Opening:  Ruy Lopez

1. P-K4   P-K4  /  2.  N-KB3   N-QB3   /  3.  B-N5   P-QR3  /  4.  B-R4   N-B3  /  5.  O-O   B-K2  /  6.  Q-K2!?

This move is an interesting system called The Worrall Attack.  I tried to find out how the name came about but no one seems to be sure of its origin; there was a chess player by that name.  Sometimes these variations pick up such brands purely by a town or a player where the move idea was introduced.   The most common move is the play 6. R-K1.  Samuel Reshevsky played it just for variety and to get away from the heavy analyzed setups.  He presented a game in his game collection.  My brother who is skilled at the Tarrasch variation made me a little suspicious that he had some new literature on this defense he vied for so it seemed appropriate to also throw him my own bone of sorts!

6. … P-QN4  /  7.  B-N3   O-O  /  8.  P-B3   P-Q4 !/

Ray told me after the game that this QP sortie was the sharpest and therefore the best defensive idea to combat the Worrall Attack.  So, he was apparently quite familiar with 6.  Q-K2.

9.  P-Q3  R-K1  /   10.  R-K1.

I frankly do not know what is best for White.  I have subsequent to this game seen 10. R-Q1 but tended to like to overprotect the KP and square.

10. ….  B-N2  /   11.  QN-Q2   Q-Q2   /  12.  N-B1   QR-Q1  /  13.  B-B2   P:P  /   14.  P:P  Q-B1  /  15.  P-KR3  P-R3   /  16.  N-N3  B-B1 / 17.  B-K3  N-QR4  /  18.  QR-Q1  N-B5  /  19. B-B1   N-Q3  /  20.  N-R2  P-B4  /  21.  N-N4   N:N  /  22.  P:N   P–N3  /  23. P-B3   R-K2  24.  K-B2   N-K1  /  25.  R:R    Q:R  /  26.  R-Q1  Draw agreed.

In these illustrative games  I hope I have brought a bit more clarity to the strategy of square count and it’s purpose as well given honor to a few of the NOST friendly membership.

Kindred’s Special: 1997 Marchand Open

January 25, 2014

The Marchand Open held over 12-13 April 1997 was a gala event which drew a huge turnout.  Among the crowd was a large entry from the Buffalo area.  The TD staff of Ron Lohrman  carried out duties in expert fashion and a good time was had by all.  The time control decided upon was 30 moves in 60 minutes each and game in 60 minutes each for a result.

During my chess tournament adventures the time control usually was 40 moves in 2 hours each; later the popular 50 moves in 2 hours each almost always found games completed in meeting the next round schedule.  Still, at fifty-eight years old, I was one of the oldest participants and somewhat out of practice.  I entered the event mainly to support it and even though I was a little out of practice,  looked forward to enjoying good fellowship with longtime friends.

1997 MARCHAND OPEN, rd. 1

White:  Donald P. Reithel     vs.   Black:   Warren Lohr

Opening:   Sicilian Defense – Boleslavsky Variation

1. P-K4   P-QB4 /  2. N-KB3   N-QB3  / 3.  P-Q4   P x P / 4. N x P   N-KB3 /  5.  N-QB3  P-K4 /  6.  N(4)-N5   P-Q3  /  7. B-N5   P-QR3  /  8. N-R3   P-QN4  /  9. N-Q5   B-K2  / 10.   B x N     B X B  / 11. P-QB3  O-O  /  12. N-B2   B-N4  /  13. P-QR4   R-N1  /  14. P x P   P x P  /  15. N(2)-K3   N-K2   /  16. N x N ch   B x N  /  17. B-Q3   B-K3  18. O-O   K-R1  /  19. Q-K2  Q-N3  /  20. KR-K1   B-N4  /   21. N-Q5   B x N  /  22. P x B   P-B4  /  23. Q-R5  P-K5  /  24. Q x B   P x B  /  25. R-K7   R-KN1  /  26. QR-R7  R-K1  /  27. R x R  Q x R  /  28. R-K1  Q-KB2  /  29.  Q-K3   Q x P  /  30.  R-Q1  R-R1.

We both made the time-control of 30 moves in 1-hour.  The next phase was for game in 1-hour.  This second time-control is always the hardest.  By the first control, the game has taken on some character to the position of equal-plus white-plus black where the fight turns to combat within one of those three dimensions.  I felt I achieved a slight pull in edge where the pressure was more on my opponent than myself.  The second phase also finds both players using more time on their clocks so as the flag starts to rise, it can become like a pressure cooker.  Thus, the endgame battle is where the decisiveness in play or lack thereof really determines the outcome of the chess fight.

31.  P-KN3   K-N1  /  32.  Q x P  Q x Q  / 33. R x Q   R-R7  /   34.  P-QN4   R-B7   /  35.  R x P  R x P  /  36. R-Q5   P-B5  /  37. P x P   R-B5  /  38. R x NP  R x P  /  39. R-N7  P-R3  / 40. K-N2  P-N4 /  41. P-R3  K-R1  42. P-N5  R-N5  / 43. P-N6  K-N1  /  44.  R-N8ch   K-N2  45. P-N7  K-R2  /  46. K-B3  K-N2  47.  K-K3   K-R2.

With this move my opponent offered a draw and with time short for both of us, I agreed and just thankful that I had a favorable King position while his King had to stay at N2/R2 files. We analyzed it out to a draw following the agreement.  A very interesting first round battle.

1997 MARCHAND OPEN, rd. 2

White:   Eric Berkey    vs.   Black:   Donald P. Reithel

Opening:   Queen’s Indian Defense

1.  P-Q4   N-KB3  /  2.  P-QB4   P-K3   /  3.  N-KB3   P-QN3   /  4.  P-QR3.

This was a favorite of Petrosian and brought many to their knees in hotly contested battles.

4. …   B-N2   /  5. N-B3  P-Q4  /   6.  B-N5  B-K2   /  7. P-K3  O-O  /  8.  B x N   B x B  /  9.  P x P   P x P /  10. B-Q3  R-K1  /  11.  O-O  N-Q2  12,  R-K1  N-B1  /  13.  N-K2  P-KN3  /  14. P-KR3   Q-Q3 / 15.  R-QB1   N-K3  /  16.  N-R2   P-B4  /  17.  P-QN3   P x P  /  18.  P-QN4  P x P  19. P x P   B-N4  / 20. N-QB3   P-Q5  /  21.  B-K4   Q-K2   /  22.  N-Q5  B x N / 23. B x B QR-Q1  /  24. B-B6  R-KB1  / 25.  R-B2   P x P  /  26.  Q-N1  N-Q5  /  27. R-B3   N x B /  28. R x N   P-K7  /  29.  R-B2   B-Q7  /  30.  R x B   Q-K6ch  /  31.  K-R1   R x R  /  32.   N-B3  R/1-Q1  /  33.  N x R   Q x N  /  34. K-N1   Q-Q8  /  35.  K-B2  Q x Q  36.  R x Q  R-Q8  37.  Resigns  (0-1).

The Saturday night round started a bit late.  Finishing the 2nd game let me have some time for a brief walk and bite to eat so I came to round 3 refreshed.  My opponent Barry Davis comes from the Buffalo chess club and area.  As a former TD I had come to know Barry as a gracious and hard worker for chess and instrumental in building a strong and healthy chess region.  I knew the opponent was a tough assignment and the play in this game is a sharp give and take type battle.

White:  Donald P. Reithel      vs.   Black:  Barry Davis

English Opening with Sicilian Dragon Defense

1.  N-KB3   P-QB4  /   2.  P-B4   N-QB3  /   3.  N-B3   P-Q3  /  4.  P-KN3   N-B3  /   5.  B-N2   P-KN3  /   6.  O-O   B-N2   /  7.  P-Q3   O-O  /  8.  R-N1  N-K8  /.

Now I was faced with a problem of the KB3 Knight.  Unfortunately my thoughts were a bit hazy; I think I should have gone N-KR4 but instead thought I could get pretty much the same position I was planning for my pawn structure by copying my opponent’s idea.  Had I thought at this point my square count concern I would have chosen differently with a much different middlegame resulting.  The position would have been one of imbalance that I think would tend to favor me.

9.  N-K1  N-B2  /  10.  P-B4   P-K3  /  11.  P-K4   R-N1  /  12.  B-K3   Q-Q2  /  13.  Q-Q2  P-QN4  /  14.  N-B3   P-B4  /  15.  N-KN5   P-KR3  /  16.  N-B3   N-Q5  /  17.  N-KR4.

Of course this move should have occurred on move 9 as now I have to suffer and use considerable time trying to get a plan in motion that challenges Black’s aggressive posture.

17. …  Q-B2  /  18.  QR-K1  P x BP  /  19.  QP x P  B-N2  /.

Black chooses layback positional play aiming at keeping the center and long diagonal neutralized.  Another unclear plan might be ….B-R3 which I had given a look at but Barry had played B-N2.  I do not know whether he ever considered the other idea.

20.  P x P   NP x P  /  21.  P-N3   N-K1  /  22.  N-K2   B x B  /  23.  N x B   QN-B3  /  24.  R-Q1  R-Q1  /  25. N-QB3  B x N  /26. Q x B  N-B3  /  27.  B-B1  N-K5 /  28. Q-K3  Q-N2 /  29. N-K1  K-R2  /  30.  N-Q3  Q-Q5.

We meet the time control.

31.  KR-K1   R-B3  /  32.  B-N2  Q x Q  /  33.  R x Q  R-N3  /  34.  N-B2   P-Q4   /  35.  N x N   BP x N  /  36.  B-R3   P-KR4  /  37.  B x P   P-R5  /   38. P-B5   P x P  /  39. R x P   R x R  /  40. P x R   N-K4  /   41.  B x P   P-R6  /   42.  B-N8   N-B6ch  /   43.  R x N   P x R  /   44.  K-B2   R-N2  /  45.  K x P  K-N3   /  46.  K-B4   R-N2  /  47. B-Q6  R-QR2  /  48. P-R4  R-R1  / 49. B-B7  R-K1  50.  P-Q6  R-K5ch  /   51.  K-B3  R-Q5  /  52.  P-R5  R-Q6ch  /  53.  K-K2  Rx QNP  /  54. P-Q7   R-N7ch  /  55. K-Q3  R x P  /  56. P-Q8(Q)  R-R8 /  57. Q-K8ch  K-N3/ 58. B-B4ch  K-B3  /  59. Q-K8ch  K-N4  / 60.  Q-K6ch  K-N2  /  61. B-K5   K-B1  /  62.  Q-Q6ch  K-B2  / 63. Q-Q5ch  K-N3  /  64.  Q x R  Black Resigns (1-0).

I drove home 27 miles and back again Sunday morning.  Maybe the 13th was a bad omen; I don’t know.  Anyway the 4th round was terrible for me.  My opponent  was L. Davis.  It started out fine but then I simply blew a good positional edge and resigned after the 13th move.

1. P-Q4   N-KB3 / 2.  N-KB3  P-KN3 / 3.  B-B4  B-N2 /  4. P-K3  P-Q3  /  5.  QN-Q2  O-O  /  6.  P-KR3  QN-Q2  /  7.  P-B3  Q-K1  /  8.  B-K2  P-N3  /  9. O-O  B-N2 / 10. R-K1   P-QR3/ 11. B-R2  K-R8  /  12.  B-Q3  P-K4  /  13.  Q-B2 ???  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I was suffering a mental frost.  P-K5  so I resigned.

The 5th round I played Black versus Karroubi who I had beaten in an earlier tournament was another fiasco.

1. P-K4  P-KN3 /  2. P-Q4  B-N2 /  3. N-QB3  P-Q3  /  4. B-QB4  P-K3  /  5.  N-B3  P-QR3  /  6.  Q-K2  N-K2  /  7.  B-K3  P-R3  / 8.  O-O-O  N-Q2   /  9. P-KR4  N-KB3  / 10. P-K5  N-N5 /  11. P-Q5  N x B  /  12. Q x N  O-O  /  13. KP x P  (1-0). A real train wreck.

After returning home with a horrible 2.5-2.5 result, I was depressed.  I had an appointment with our primary care doctor who advised me for my health to stop playing chess. What caused me to suffer these horrible last two games was obviously from combat exhaustion and realization that I was just getting old.  Some term it, “chess blindness.”!

Kindred’s Book Review Section

January 23, 2014

The eastern section along Lake Ontario is hit hard during the winter months and this year we have had more than our share of white puff.  That by the way is snow that falls during a deep freeze experienced here.  My snow shovel makes short work of it as is very light weight.  I simply push it along to the sides of the walk and driveway and then toss it in mounting snow banks.  It is a time to rest.  It is a time to digest the beauty of winter with the snow coverage on my pine branches.

Tis the season for me to bundle up and enjoy the warmth of my home over Christmas and New Years with a good book.  This year I purchased two books from Barnes & Noble on the Colonial Period from the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War, to the establishment of the United States of America.  Both are excellent reads and most informative of the establishment of our beloved country.

WASHINGTON–A Life by the celebrated biographer, Ron Chernow, provides us a deep and thoughtful portrait of George Washington and his times.  This crisp and incisive narrative delivers for us feats of despair, of hope, of a yearning youth desiring to find a place in the sun.  We are taken through a youthful adventure, sometimes troubled, to become an experienced frontiersman having the respect of neighbors during the French and Indian War period and as a commander of Virginia militia.  His love for land led to his becoming a surveyor that molded over years huge territorial sections both for himself and others with whom he did business.  He created his homestead Mount Vernon which still exists today under the guidance of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

In this 904 page history of a rich and noble period in the creation of a new nation, Chernow based upon exhaustive research has shattered the delusion that prevailed of Washington as a stolid, unemotional man who in fact was much deeper than public images have portrayed possessing the finest and poorest qualities during great events and personal heart aches.  He was a strapping tall six-foot plus, a skilled horseman, an elegant dancer, tireless hunter, and one who fiercely guarded his emotions.  Chernow brings out for his readers, a vivid life of a dashing and passionate man having fiery opinions and many mood swings.  He studies the relationship with George’s mother, his youthful infatuation with the married Sally Fairfax, his often conflicted feelings toward his adopted children and grandchildren.  He enriches us also with a detailed portrait of his marriage to Martha and finally his complex behavior as a slave owner.

What struck me most reading this biography was that of his political savvy who both as Commanding General of a rag-tag army that the Congress refused his request for a standing army in a national sense, the spite by some of his staff and generals who tried to undermine his leadership might have destroyed a lesser man and leader. In all this he attributed success and failure as a sign of Providence.  His own steadfast character he nurtured in that also of his officers and men.  In total, he had accomplished politically a grand body of men like Adams, Hamilton, Madison, Monroe and Jefferson to orchestrate the need for a strong central government, define the separation of powers, establish the office of the Presidency that forged the birth of unique and great nation.

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SECRET SIXThe Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.  (This story will be aired on TV).

Brian Kilmeade is a newscaster on FOX NEWS and writes: As a Long Islander endlessly fascinated by events that happened in a place I call home, I hope with this book to give the secret six the credit they could not get in life.  The Culper spies represent all the patriotic Americans who gave so much for their country but, because of the nature of their work, will not or cannot take a bow or even talk about their missions.

General George Washington realized he could not beat the British military might so he turned to a trusted man to create a spy ring in New York and thus did emerge THE SECRET SIX.  So secret were they that only the top man was the holder of their names and one, a woman was only known by the code name 355 who it is believed was captured and sent to the prison ships in the harbor. Her name remains to this day a complete mystery as she never wanted her true identity ever revealed.  So secret was each one recruited that not even General Washington knew its members.

  • “James Bond is a rank amateur compared to the heroic efforts of the Culper Ring.”–Harvey Mackay.
  • “A rollicking read by Kimeade and Yaeger, acknowledging a long overdue debt to six American heroes.” Karl Rove.
  • “We would not have won the Revolution and secured our freedom were it not for the leadership of George Washington and courage of the spies he set in motion.”–Congressman Pete King.
  • “A historical gem.  I loved it!”–Donald Trump.  My own thoughts, Donald.–Kindred.
  • “Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied us!”  Major George Beckwith , British Intelligence Officer 1782-1783.

Kindred’s Special: Don’t Listen to the Little Woman and Be Sorry Everafter

January 20, 2014

On August 13th 2008 I ventured up my ladder and climbed unto the roof.  My better-half, my darling wife warned me: “Don’t you dare get on the roof at your age.”  Well, this old man knew best, having climbed ladders from the time I was just a wee lad.  Well, I think you get where I am going with this.  I fell.  I fell hard.  At the hospital emergency where the ambulance that rushed me from a neighbor calling 911, the surgeon doctor who saw me informed me that I had a smashed tibia bone just below the knee.  This is 2014 and while I survived nearly a three-month nursing home care and therapist who I wasn’t sure if he was trying to cure me or kill me.   Today I still have to use a cane per my primary care doctor’s insistence.

Years before retiring from the bank a friend of mine who worked in the mailroom told me that he was fretful about his kids’ future prospects beyond high school despite both he and his wife working.  I said this is America; you have the military option: marines, navy, air force, army and merchant marines as good prospects as well a trade school or apprentice program.  A lot of young people think Kodak for example.  But then I got a bright idea for him a couple of days later when we sort of resumed thoughts along those scary lines.  I figured he was overly worried.  I had myself been researching various companies and had bought one that was promising that made and serviced electronic scoreboards for major sport arenas and that I had gotten lucky finding it and making an investment which their reports to me looked like a  gold mine.  So, you guessed it–the old man told him about it.  I think the price was about seven dollars a share so I encouraged him to buy one hundred shares and just sock it away until his kids got out of high school.  I told him not to even tell his wife.

It was years later that I saw him at a McDonald’s after I had retired.  He was taking some kids in a van bus on a YMCA or Christian camp outing.  I said, ” You must be really happy having seen your stock I picked out for you!  It split many times and just near it’s all time high right now. I would sell it now; your kids will have a really nice nest egg.  Well, he looked mortified.  “Don,” said he, “a few days after I bought it I told my wife because I never keep secrets from her.  She discovered the price had fallen a little and she raised the roof with me about it, making me sell it.  I lost huh?” I did not let him know how much.

Yep, folks! Leave it to the wisdom of the LITTLE WOMAN.  I guess in the long run of things, they do know best.  Don’t they??

Kindred’s Special: Strategic Chess–Mastering the Closed Game A BOOK REVIEW

January 18, 2014

Highly instructive and worth the time and effort to study thoroughly is what I remember most about the author, Edmar Mednis, one of the premiere chess artists of the latter part of the twentieth century. Here, he produces a book which might be termed a forerunner of what a book on the opening strategy should contain.  He has done that!  Still a question remains as to who this book addresses.  Does it reach the broad audience within my readership?  It is principally meant for the advanced student of the game who has at least a class 1600-2200 rating for the above average reader of my column who has taken the time to delve into my articles on chess.

As opening books go, it is small having thirty games that feature seventeen openings pretty thoroughly examined from the opening moves to the finis, which as I said is geared for the serious student of the game, especially those needing guidance toward how to study any opening the student finds attraction for inclusion in their repertoire.  The copy I have gives a list price of $9.95 USA funds.  It is an unabridged Dover (1999) republication of the work published by Summit Publishing, Los Angeles, CA. 1993.

GM Mednis’ approach is to explore lines that lead to closed positions, describing the important themes of strategy of each opening reviewed and carried through each phase of the battle.  Mednis’ record as both a powerful American Grandmaster and perhaps better known as chess writer and teacher brings clarity and depth to his explanations and analysis.

Who wins and who loses, what openings to choose from a vast storehouse and how those results come about was the author’s attempt to dissect the play of great players in tackling the Benko Gambit, Benoni Defense, Catalan Opening (4-games), Dutch Defense, English Opening (3-games), Gruenfeld Defense (2-games), King’s Indian Defense (2-games), Nimzo-Indian Defense (2-games), Queen’s Gambit Declined (Botvinnik’s Variation) one game with two games within the annotation, Meran Variation (2-games), Orthodox Defense, Semi-Tarrasch Defense, Slav Defense, Tarrasch Defense (3-games), Queen’s Indian Defense (3-games), Torre Attack. Because opening systems can lead to a chess position in the opening from various move orders, he found this an important element to factor into the chess study.

This was not a book of error free games. In real life errors are made and it is important to learn how to minimize the frequency of them and how to take advantage of errors by the opponent.  Thus, in real life some games effectively end in the opening, while in others the decisive element comes in the middlegame or endgame.  The author achieves purpose I think which was the backbone of this treatise–To help all of us to better understand that once “book” variation play ends or is altered and both sides are tossed on creating their own work of art, he provides guidance with better understanding through the theory behind the opening played, just how to proceed.

Here is a sample of one game from the English  Opening group:

White:  Edmar Mednis     vs.    Black:  Igor Ivanov

1. c4  Nf6

Now we have the English Opening–true or false? The correct answer is both or another way of saying it depends. About half the time the game will transpose into something else, most likely 1. d4 opening or a Reti opening system or a reverse Sicilian type game ala 2. Nc3 e5. From choosing 1. c4 White conveys the intention of preparing the battle on the Queen-side.

2. g3

Most common is the immediate 2. Nc3….  Yet there are two practical reasons why Nc3 is delayed.  Black can respond with 2…e6 heading for either a Nimzo-Indian Defense or a sundry of systems the White player must be prepared for and this does not give away entirely his own possible system setup.  One idea is 2…e5  3. Nc3 Bb4 from which a number of plans can evolve.

2. … e5   3. Bg2  d5

Again the most demanding plan. Black opens up the position while ensuring active piece development for himself, yet at the strategic cost of exchanging the important primary d-pawn by the c-pawn.

4. cxd5  Nxd5  5. Nc3  Nb6  6. Nf3  Nc6  7. O-O  Be7

It is time to take a deeper look into the position. With 8. d3 White will be playing the Dragon variation of the Sicilian system with added tempo so if reasonable for Black, then the extra tempo should benefit White even more so. The strategic themes for both sides now are:

  • WHITE’S thematic arena of early activity will be the Queenside.  The half-open c-file is the traditional route of pressure, with the square c5 being the weak square in Black’s Queenside.  The Bg2 is a significant force in applying pressure against the enemy Queenside.  The e5 pawn can be attacked by Bb2 and/or a b-pawn sally to b5. If Black plays to defend the e5 pawn, then a timely d4 by White can be considered.
  • BLACK’S needs to make use of the central presence provided by having the only primary central pawn on the fifth rank.  In general, this means that Black’s attacking chances are on the Kingside but hindered by freely giving away a tempo. And the normal idea of ….f5 advance can leave the e-pawn weak as well as the a2/g8 diagonal.

Therefore the primary use of the e5-pawn will be as a support of a …Nd4 sortie and prevention of White d4 attack idea.  However, carelessness in the center could lead to a strong action by the e-pawn.

I shall stop now to give some game play from this position because the notes are extensive.  Buy the book get the meat of all the action!

1) 8. a3  a5 /  So,  9. d3  O-O  10. Be3  Re8  11. Rc1  Bf8 12. Nb5  a4  13. Bxb6  cxb6   14. Nc3  Nd4  15. Nd2  b5  16. e3 // 2) 9. b4  Be6  10. Rb1! f6  11. d3  Nd4  12. Nd2  Nd5  13. Bb2  Nxc3  14. Bxc3  c6  15. Bxd4  Qxd4  16. Nb3  Qd7  17. Nc5  Bxc5  18. bxc5  Bd5  19. Qc2  Rf7  20. Rb4  Rd8  21. Rfb1 with pressure  against b7.

8. … O-O  9. a3  Be6  10. b4  a5  11. b5  Nd4  12. Bb2!?  Nb3  13. Rb1  f6  14. Nd2  Nxd2 ?!

A misstep. Refer back to move. Black’s prospects come from active piece development. 14….Nc5!  15. a4  Rc8! 16. Qc2  c6!  17. bxc6  bxc6  18. Ba3  Nd5!  Black’s piece activity and central influence led to equality.

15. Qxd2  Nc4  16. Qc1  Nxb2  17. Qxb2  Rb8  18. a4  Qd4  19. Qc2  Rfd8  20. Ne4  Rbc8  21. Nd2  c6  22. bxc6  bxc6  23. Rb7  Bb4  24. Rc1  c5  25. Nc4  h5  26. Be4  Rf8  27. e3  Qd8  28. Qe2  Bg4  29. Bf3  Bxf3  30. Qxf3  Qxd3  31. Rd1!!  Qg6  32. Rdd7  Rcd8  33. Rxg7  Qxg7  34. Rxg7  Kxg7  35. Qxh5  Rd3  36. Qg4+  Kh6  37. 37. h4  Rdd8  38. Qf5  Kg7  39. h5  Kh8  40. Kg2  Bc3  41. Qc2  Bb4  42. Qf5  Bc3  43. h6  Bf7  44. Qc6  Rdf8  45. Nd6  Resigns (1-0). Resigned with resuming play.

This game, with some missteps still was good enough to win the best game award in the tournament.

I did not do a great job on accurately featuring all the commentary that made up this game.  There was insufficient time.  I hope what notes I made reflect the spirit of the book.

Kindred’s Special: Trashy Porn Sex I Don’t Need

January 15, 2014

To those who insist on hitting my blog site with porn if you view it as porn art or whatever–QUIT IT!  I just permanently delete it.  My readership I am sure appreciates my care in what appears available for viewing if it interests them but this is a  family oriented site meant for a good healthy environment.  Warning: good way to get aids or  SGC diseases. Clean up your thinking and practices for a good wholesome family life. Your brain and body should be cherished and the link to our Father in Heaven.

 

Kindred’s Special: Saluting a Chess Hero and Teacher from West Virginia

January 15, 2014

Occasionally I have come across or have had friends send me materials on chess which they thought I would like to add to my library.  One such piece of literature I thought my readers might enjoy as it pertains to chess history from West Virginia.  If we don’t acknowledge such historical fact, then those times that enrich many parts of our country will be lost and forgotten except by a few who lived them as written by J. W. Benjamin, Jr.

“West Virginia is probably not noted for its chess players.  But deep in the mountains there, a fine old prep school, Greenbrier Military School, once boasted some outstanding chess teams.

It all started with a man known simply as Captain Tomlinson, an instructor at the institution and an avid fan of the game, who organized a chess team at the school back in the 1940s.  Though a high school chess team was unheard of in the area at that time, he set out not only to teach and inspire his boys, but to play an interscholastic schedule.

I won the honor of playing number one board.  We began by defeating the faculty, then went on to beat Ashford General Hospital which replaced the famous Greenbrier Hotel during World War II.  I still remember the resplendent cadet uniforms we wore in contrast to the faded pajamas and bathrobes worn by the wounded veterans.  We took a two-day trip into Virginia and defeated Fork Union Military Academy.

We were undefeated when we traveled to the city of Charleston to play our final match against the YMCA team located there.  We tried hard but lost.  I had the prestigious honor of facing the West Virginia state junior champion, a small boy only twelve years old.  I was seventeen, a big strapping fellow.  I strove mightily.  The games were long and arduous, but never in doubt.  He took me two straight.  My young opponent immediately ran to Captain Tomlinson and announced enthusiastically: “He’s got potential ! ”  I didn’t know exactly how to take that after being so soundly thrashed!

Fifteen years later as an instructor at Greenbrier I organize a chess team.  We went undefeated, being featured on the front page of the school newspaper along with our undefeated varsity football team.  The school’s faculty and cadet corps were proud of all of us.

Greenbrier Military School is closed now, a victim of the anti-military sentiment during the Vietnam War that closed so many military schools.  However, a good many West Virginia high schools now have chess teams and play each other in interscholastic matches.  And it all started with Captain Tomlinson.

Years of stress and tribulation have made chess only a cherished memory, but through it all I can still hear that youngster of twelve exclaiming in a noble final flourish after trouncing me…”He’s got potential !” FINIS.

Kindred’s Doubleheader: Caro Kann Delight & Pawn Grab in the Thompowsky Attack-A Lust to Expand ala Nimsowitch

January 14, 2014

The GM C group was won by thirteen year-old Magnus Carlsen with a score of 10.5-2.5, achieving a GM norm as did two others: Sipke Ernst with 10.0 and Jan Smeets with 9.0. Ten years have passed and the now GM Magnus Carlsen just conquered the world chess title from Anand. Here is a game from the 2004 Corpus which illustrates the hope of Norway and future for the Norwegian wunderkind.

White:  Magnus Carlsen   vs.  Black:  Sipke Ernst

Opening:  Caro-Kann Defense

1. e4  c6   2.  d4  d5   3.  Nc3   d x e4   4.  N x e4   B-f5   5. Ng3   Bg6   6. h4   h6   7. Nf3  Nd7   8. h5   Bh7   9. Bd3   B x d3   10. Q x d3   e6.

A worthy alternative is to play 10. … Qc7 with a general plan of castling Q-side.

11.  Bf4   Ngf6.

Black can choose 11. … Qa5+  12.  Bd2  Qc7  cuts down square count influence by the Bishop going to f4.

12. O-O-O   Be7   13. Ne4   Qa5  14. Kb1   O-O.

One can hardly say castling here is a mistake but going into this type system with pressure by White on the K-side perhaps points to a positive for Qc7 at move 10. Just very tiny differences in planning can effect a game’s future course.

15. N x f6 +  N x f6    16. Ne5   Rad8   17.  Qe2   c5.

Black misses the point of Qe2 which prevents for the moment a normal looking pawn push to c5. 17…Qb6  18. c3  c5 protecting the e6 square by the Queen.

18.  Ng6!!

This shot leads to a positional edge for White as Black must now allow the exchange of Knight for Bishop.  Best is probably  18… Rfe8 19.  N x e7+ R x e7  20. d x c5  Red7  21. R x d7  R x d7  22. Be3 or even 22. Bd6  b6  23. g4 gives  a boost and edge in square count that equals space +.  However, Black is taken as if in shock and decides the inferior idea…..

18. …  f x g6?   19. Q x e6+  Kh8   20.  h x g6  Ng8   21.  B x h6!

The walls are coming down.

21. … g x h6   22.  R x h6+ !   N x h6  23.  Q x e7  Nf7   24. g x f7!  Kg7  25. Rd3   Rd6  26. Rg3+  Rg6  27. Qe5+  K x f7  28. Qf5+  Rf6  29. Qd7 checkmate.  (1-0).

White:   GM Bruzon   vs.   Black:  GM Nijboer

Opening:  Thompowsky Attack

1. d4  Nf6   2.  Bg5   c5   3.  d5   Qb6   4.  Nc3   Qxb2.

This pawn grab has been explored in earlier columns featuring different openings which led to a like danger: creating a half-open file, gaining square count due to the Queen being harassed early on with gain of tempi.  The wisdom of such a decision depends upon how greedy one is to take a pawn and indicate to the opponent that “a pawn is pawn is a pawn.”

5.  Bd2  Qb6  6. e4  e5  7. f4!

Logic tells us that open lines should favor White and you gotta push’em to expand square count space.

7. … d6  8.  Nf3  Nbd7   9.  f x e5   d x e5

Black has allowed a passed d-pawn.  The question is: How dangerous is it?  Patience is a virtue.

10.  Bc4   Be7

This normal defensive strategy to e7 forecasts the White Queen Bishop landing on g5 so it seems correct to avoid a pin.  But better is …Bd6 to block the passed pawn.  If you have MY SYSTEM by Dr. Aron Nimsowitch, he gives a classic read on the need to block a passed pawn (preferably by a Knight) but one cannot be choosers.

11.  Rb1   Qd8   12. Bg5   h6  13.  d6!

This tactical shot is very effective with the Bishop on c4.

13.  h x g5   N x g5   14. N x g5

It reminds me of the tactics seen in a sister game called Chinese Chess where there are few pawns to contend with to limit piece action and sharp tactics.

14. … O-O   15. O-O !

The Bishop is not going anywhere so White hurries to develop pieces for attack and puts the King in the castle out of danger.

15. … Nb6  16. d x e7   Q x e7   17. R x b6!

White does not stop to protect the Bishop and feels that the Rook is expendable and not needed in the overall attack.  Speed is of the essence.

17. … a x b6   18.  Nd5   N x d5.

White has a mating attack on 18….Qd8  19. N x f6+  g x f6  20. B x f7+  Kg7  21. Qh5  f x g5  22. Qg6+  Kh8  23. Qh6 checkmate.

19. Qh5  Q x g5  20. Q x g5  Nf4  21. Q x e5  Be6  22. R x f4  B x c4  23. Qh5  R x a2  24. Rh4  Ra1+  25. Kf2  f5  26. Qh7+ Kf7  27. e xf5  You bully you!  (1-0).

Despite the ten years absence of these forces in combat, one of the beauties of chess (where those games have been recorded) is the lasting tribute to both players and their skill in the time machine of life.  The joy of such combat is seen in picture form– all the plans and plots taking place on those wonderful 64 squares that make up the field of battle.

Kindred’s Special: Chess– A Poetic Recollection

January 11, 2014

Twas long ago I learned to play

The game of chess in a rather strange way.

I broke my bones and lay away,

In T-shirt armor sad to say.

My first tournament was by post,

A young lad facing mighty foes!

I had no coach or teacher per se,

A book or two on how to play,

I won all six games in a four-player class C social,

So a wager they made and told me so,

Was who first would spank me,

Albert, Maxwell or Clark my foes!

 One Brig.  Gen. Frank S. Clark,

A gallant warrior to the end,

Was strongest of that trio.

Yes, it was odd the way I learned to play,

In a small rural town,

It was the only way.

To cross swords in battle royal,

That summer long ago not wasted away!

I rejoice today in a blessed way,

The day mom gave me books to read.

Opening a window to joy and happiness!

Learning strategy and tactics–

Of Kings and Queens,

Of Castles, Knights and Bishops too.

Lowly Pawns– united in formation,

Always battle ready to venture forth!

Kindred’s Special: Lying and Cheating go all the way to the White House and Government

January 9, 2014

Lying and cheating go hand-in-hand.  Think about it.  It is so easy to see two words as not being literally the same.  When you cheat on an exam, you lie to your teacher that you have done your study, your lessons, and understand what has been provided in a learning environment.  After all, everyone cheats a little here and there in Life–right?  How does it affect your teacher?  I could say that he or she assumes that the lessons prepared and taught in class have made perfect sense and given a good understanding to students of the subject being taught.  Such cheating gives the teacher the wrong idea so where attention may be given to areas where you are weak, life just goes on as though the class is full of great students.  And what about you?  You shortchanged your teacher, classmates, parents, and mostly yourself because you choose to exist at a level that is a lie.  Yes, cheating is lying and lying is cheating. And what about your parents who pay for your education?  Ever think how it can affect them, their relationship with you if they catch you in a lie or found to be cheating?  It may seem cool to get away with it but eventually it will come home to bite you sooner or later.  And what about your friends?

Having a healthy respect for self, by and for your peers, of your parents and siblings has wealth greater than all the gold in the world.  Keep your head straight and you will find achieving some of your life’s goals reachable.  I say some because not all what you want will be possible. No one achieves every desire in life. And be careful what you wish for because you may not find it ‘cool’!

When I was growing up, I always thought chess was one game where no cheating existed, especially after the United States Chess Federation (USCF) developed the rating system for tournament and match play.  But since the introduction of the computer ‘brain’ it seems that cheating has found its way into the halls from amateur events to the major world tournaments and matches.  This idea of cheating seems a ‘cool’ challenge for the hacker or the cheat-minded practitioner in chess combat.  What I find however is that for the vast majority of players everywhere in the world, honesty and integrity for both players and the sport of chess is unblemished factoring out a few instances where such behavior is suspect but still not definite proof exists.

The sad truth is that our so-called government is too often corrupt at every level and can anyone argue that all this crooked behavior in thought and deed because it seems so ‘cool’ is seen even in the White House and Congress, perhaps warmed over from school days.  The American people are not sheep and they are not fools once the lies and deceit are exposed for all to witness.  That is why we have terms of office holders  and a vote toward keeping hope alive for the future of a strong America!  Most importantly, the American voter needs to expect and demand quality leadership in all branches of government and at every level from town, city, state and nation.  And like it or not, I say proudly,   God Bless America and all good people around the world!

I do not write to suggest that students cheat and lie at times which may be prompted by mismanaged study time or behavior problems seen in the classroom that makes a teacher sometimes sorry to get up in the morning for a new school day.  Would it not be ‘cool’ to surprise the teacher with a school day full of attentive and beaming faces looking to learn and be challenged?  That might just be one little thing that turns a poor school into a good school.  Take pride in your school, your educational opportunities, and keep a smile all day long.  Respect is a two-way street in all relationships.  Maybe this would be a grass roots start to turn things around on all the above!