Archive for January, 2015

Kindred’s Special: Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve

January 31, 2015

Mary McLeod Bethune, the daughter of former slaves, grew up to start a university and advise presidents.

Life presents many strange moments in our lives.  One such moment occurred in the life of Mary as a child when a white girl insisted she could not read.  It was a spark in the young girl to realize just how important it was to be able to read, comprehend and value education.  She realized that the ability to read and write separated white and black people and this ignited her desire to learn and grow.

Mary McLeod Bethune was not very well-known in the annuals of modern history which is sad because she was a great lady who became a revered educator, activist, humanitarian, and leader who was known in her day as “the first lady of the Negro race.” She was indeed larger than life whose every word, speech, and appearances became noteworthy to people across America.

Today, the Park Service is engaged in bringing her to the American public’s attention.  In fact, it rankled many historians that young and old alike have no recognition of her contributions.

“For her to be who she was, coming from where she came from, and to have this courage–to me, it’s just profound, noted Joy Kinard, central district manager of National Capital Parks-East. “But you don’t hear much about her anymore.”

At the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House in Washington, DC, the Park Service is determined to change that.  Located in the former headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, an organization Bethune founded, the site is devoted to documenting the life and history of Bethune and African-American women.

She was the *15th of 17 children, grew up on a farm in South Carolina and began working in the fields at age five.  She was the only child in her family to be educated, she had to walk 8-miles to school each day.  She must have had a wonderful teacher who enriched her educational experience.

Bethune eventually founded a girl’s school in Daytona Beach, Florida.  As the story goes, she started it with $1.50 and just six students. The school grew to include a farm, high school, a nursing school and eventually became Bethune-Cookman University.  Its founder’s vision and school motto to this day: ENTER TO LEARN, DEPART TO SERVE.

Bethune rose to become a national leader who served four presidents. A good friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, she was a highly visible member of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration.  Roosevelt appointed her the head of the Negro Division of the National Youth Administration, making her the highest ranking African-American woman in the federal government.

From 1935 until her death in 1955, she left a record of great achievement.  She founded the Council of Negro Women; led the fight against racial discrimination as well as inadequate housing, health care, and employment opportunities. She recognized the need for uniting the efforts of women nor the loss of wasted talents that women offered toward American enrichment.

During WWII, she recruited black women for the armed forces and was an asset to President Truman in integrating the Armed Forces of the United States in 1948.

Her death did not stop her contributions.  Years later as the building deteriorated where much had been done in her life work, piles of documents, letters, pictures–a rich history of the period was uncovered by Collier-Thomas.

The rowhouse was restored and bought by the Park Service in 1994. Visitors can obtain a copy of her last will and testament before leaving.  Bethune wrote in the famous document: “I leave you love. I leave you hope…I leave you racial dignity.. I leave you finally, a responsibility to our young people.”

A HISTORIC CONCERT

When Marian Anderson was famously refused permission to sing to an integrated audience at Washington’s DAR Constitution Hall in 1939, Bethune called the White House to intervene, setting the stage for Anderson’s subsequent performance at the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd of 75,000.

*Today the experts say the top quality of family youth is the lst born. In my research I find many cases where those becoming as famous, if not more so, emerge from among many offspring. Greatness comes from God and his purpose for his children brought into the world by loving parents each has individual talents only needing freedom to develop.

Kindred’s Special: Chess Talent has no Age Limit

January 25, 2015

Years ago learning to play chess was not recommended for kids until they reached their teenage years.  It was a era where it was thought that kids should be seen but not heard. How times change!  It changed with the emergence of parents teaching their young girls to play chess and home schooling let them experiment using chess as a means of gauging a learning curve.

Chess play has been used by such power houses in the computer tech age as IBM and to investigate and create a groundwork for artificial intelligence.  From a raw beginning, these little monsters that grow smaller through the years have emerged as king beaters of the highest order while enriching the field with ever increasing breakthroughs in both size and speed.

I remember learning the game as a kid at a time when great chess teachers advised chess was for adults and old men.  Clubs did not want kids around as a rule.  Now, seeing youth entries outstripping the adult signups is not uncommon.

Such an event was the 74th New England Open in Leominster, Massachusetts, where 10-year-old Carissa Yip defeated GM Alexander Ivanov in the first round.  She joins an elite list of young talents:  Awonder Liang (age 9), Sam Sevian, Fabiano Caruana, Hkaru Nakamura were aged 10 to lift scalps of Grandmasters.  The youngest female USCF master is Annie Wang and Carissa has until June 2015 to surpass Annie Wang as the youngest female USCF master.

White:  Carissa Yip (2126)  vs. Black:  GM Alexander Ivanov   Opening:  Modern Defense “The Rat”

1. e4  g6  2. d4  Bg7  3. Nc3  c6  4. Be3  Qb6  5. a3  d6  6. f4  e5  7. Nf3  e:d4  8. N:d4  Qd8  9. Qd2  Nf6  10. O-O-O  O-O  11. Nf3  Qe8  12. e5  Ng4  13. Bg1  d:e5  14. h3  Nf6  15. Bc5  e:f4  16. Q:f4  Nbd7  17. B:f8  N:f8  18. Bc4  Ne6  19. Qh4  b5  20. Bb3  a5  21. Kb1  Rb8  22. Rhe1 b4  23. Qg3  Rb7 24. a:b4  R:b4  25. Ng5  Nd5  26. Re4  N:c3+ 27. b:c3  Rb5  28. Qh4  a4? Thinking only …Q:h7+ with seconds left to reach the time-control of 30/90.  29. N:e6 B:e6  30. Rd8  Q:d8  31. Q:d8+ Bf8 32. R:a4  Black resigns.

GM Ivanov recovered to win the tournament.

Our hats off to Michael Ciamarra who hails from Alabama. He teaches chess to seniors in hopes of avoiding Alzheimer’s disease and to veterans afflicted with blindness.  As a classical music fan, Michael enjoys pieces by 18th-century composer and chess champion Francois-Andre Philidor.

FM Asa Hoffmann was taught to play chess at age 3 by his father David Hoffmann, an attorney, and strong chess player and well known chess organizer and USCF official.  As a teen Asa played in the London Terrace Chess Club and in Central Park.  He was fortunate to meet and know some of the greats of chess–Ed Lasker, Abe Kupchick, Al Horowitz, Hans Kmoch, Herman Helms, and artist Marcel Duchamp as well as those of his own era.

I close with this from the older generation.

White FM Asa Hoffmann (2379)  vs. Miles Hinson (2115)  Opening: French Defense

1. Nc3  e6  2.d4  d5  3. e4  d:e4  4. N:e4  Be7  5. Nf3  Nf6  6. Bd3  Nbd7  7. c3  O-O  8. Qe2  b6  9. O-O  Bb7  10. Re1  Rc8  11. Ng3  c5  12. Bd2  c:d4  13. c:d4  The control of c/e5 squares compensate for the isolani.  13. … Nd5  14. a3  N7f6  15. Rad1 Qd6  16. Ne5  Rfd8  17. Nh5!? Probing for weaknesses. 17. … g6  18. Ng3 Bf8  19. h4 Bg7  20. h5  a5  21. Qf3 Ba8  22. Ne4  N:e4?  23. Q:f7+  Kh8  2. R:e4  Rf8  25. h:g6  Nf6  26. Bh6!! A devastating line-clearance combination involving the sacrifice of a bishop, the g-pawn, knight and rook. 26… B:h6  27. g7+! B:g7  28. Ng6+ h:g6  29. Rh4+ Nh5  30. R:h5+ and Black resigns.

Kindred’s Special: Sheldon Silver, Grandfather of NY Corrupt Politics gets cornered in the Endgame

January 24, 2015

Yep!  It had to happen later in life, if not sooner.  New York corruption woes went merrily along with deftness in the media except for occasional rumblings within the inter-circle of law-abiding citizens and have remained ineffective with dealing out justice.  Interesting that liberals in NY politics like Morelli, Cuomo, Johnson, Gabryszak, Spano, Scarborough, Libous, Leibell, Gabriela Rosa, Kruger, Shirley Huntley, and Vito Lopez all had their photos included with the supreme Sheldon Silver– all Democrats in the corrupt NYS legislature.  And needlesstosay, many democrats are backing Sheldon Silver during this crisis.  But then again, one might suppose he has something on many of them so it is time to play the endgame to try for stalemate.

Where does this leave honest and honorable New Yorkers?  The state has been a den of criminals for decades.  The liberal media, supported by the whole faction of universities, colleges, unions and their mouthpieces who drown out honest labor and work practices.

Perhaps exposure of a hoodlum mentality that had fruit on the crooked tree of life is best seen when in 2000 Silver gave short shrift to those who opposed him by removing them from committee posts while rewarding cronies.  Another scam was perpetrated by our wonderful governor when he closed down the crime investigating commission just a few months ago. Politicians are supposed to represent their constituents.  In New York it might reflect poorly on the voting public because creeps like this continue to plague the landscape and debase the character of our Empire State. Makes you wonder about a lot that goes on in politics proving that the bad and the ugly are ever with us.

Same old defense of criminals:  the Party Faithful rally in support of the accused, arguing that the accused are innocent until proven guilty.  Unfortunately, far too often we see that favorite term of mine about endgames–the stalemate conclusion with no punishment except for those who instigated the investigations.

I am not holding my breath to see any change in the future but to see it continue to get worse across America and the world. In this, I remain a compassionate conservative.

Kindred’s Special: In the Grab Bag

January 21, 2015

Oh, my!  I promised myself that I was going to enjoy Syracuse Orange basketball; I did.  Then I caught the President’s report to the nation.

Since the election I have been guarded in my comments pro and con because I figured he needed a place to rest his weary head from the trials and tribulations of critics.  Politicians kick when they see a bloody wound; except for die-hard loyalist ‘hangers-on’.

President Obama is not really a true orator.  He speaks too much and too frequently.  His speeches remind me of a bag of tricks –a bag containing numerous speeches made over the years where he pulls out past speeches until he comes across one that fits the occasion.  In this, he polishes it up.  Perhaps it is better and in his mind he rationalizes: LET THEM EAT CAKE.  He certainly dishes it with all the sugar-coating.

Of course he is surrounded by staunch supporters, those who want to be in the picture so as to say, “I was there!”

My point is that the speech achieves each time exactly what he wants to convey to his audience. He flowers it up with a bow. He directs this euphemism with great skill and reaps satisfaction for his tonic administered to the people.

Kindred’s Special: Champions of the New Millennium–A Book for Your Chess Library

January 10, 2015

“If you fight in every game and do not make too many simple mistakes, eventually your opponent will usually crack.” –the philosophy of youth!

We live in a marvelous time; we possess a historical record of our chess stars going back many decades and have the privilege to study and be entertained with many beautiful games passed down to us in published literature.  Authors Lubomir Ftacnik, Danny Kopec, and Walter Browne bring together the current crop of chess stars in CHAMPIONS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM, priced at $29.95/USA and $24.99/e. QUALITY CHESS (www.qualitychess.co.uk).

This book is soft cover, 449 pages, high quality print, many color photographs beautifully arranged, easy to read print, and skillfully prepared annotations will benefit every household who share an inquisitive mind.  The reader will find a new approach to the preparation and inclusion of materials easy to read with large diagrams that will add value to your study and library.

You, my readers, know I, Kindred, do not endorse books unless I personally benefitted from its content and know you will, too.

Kindred’s Special: The Kingdom of the Chess Board

January 10, 2015

Every kingdom on the chessboard represents a dual political entity… a fight, a war, a political drama that in miniature form might be seen as a struggle much the way a boa constrictor works its magic of squeezing and then swallowing its victim as one thought while on the other hand, it might be as fierce a struggle as a nuclear blast on the field of battle. I wish that our politicians would familiarize themselves with values found in its maze of critical thought that includes judgment, planning, evaluating and making decisions, time management and in practice–the risks needed to employ ideas from thought to the board. Such recording of mental thought translates for the student as well the experienced player a solid groundwork of this whole process that enables the players to experience a positive or negative feeling which heightens the desire to further success and improvement.

For our leaders of industry, education, of governmental bodies, such a broad exposure to the elements as well as the crux of battlefield adventures, strengthens resolve and effects character traits…good or bad.

Yes, chess can be a great value; it can also be a vice. The term “hustler” is filled with this good and bad. But the opportunity exists for a serious examination of thought given one’s agenda and desire to play at the game.

History of the hustler ‘tag’ goes back many decades.  In America, New York had a host of hustlers during the depression years who kept themselves alive earning dimes and quarters to pay rent and food bills. The spirit of playing for something was a light for the hustler who often inspired others with their skill for the game.

In some ways one might visualize this spirit in the halls of Washington.  A lot of hustling goes on behind the scenes of both political parties and lobbyists.  The only difference is that the chess hustler makes no bones about why he plays and wins.  The political bosses shade their hustle within the confines of secrecy behind closed doors where lobbyists get the fruit and the folks back home get the  rotten rinds which translate as–“the shaft”.