Archive for September, 2016

Don’s View of the Clinton-Trump Debate

September 27, 2016

What many viewers might see is a big plus for Hillary Clinton.  She certainly had a lot to say and practice before her mirror as journalistic puns attribute for any of these political debates.  But frankly, I see it differently.  Donald Trump received assault after assault on both his business practices as well as questions about his personal character which she tried to rip  to shreds.  Really what she wanted was for Donald to blow up in hopes of enraging him where his demeanor became the subject for the evening.  This did not happen.  In truth, he repelled much of what she said, but also not allowing her vigorous comments to go unchecked.

In a chess struggle there exists offense and defense.  When a player assaults, it behooves a defensive response or else the position and game ends in check and mate.  In real terms, this is exactly what Donald Trump did–defend against assaults that came like machine gun fire.  As I see it, Hillary was very much herself and only those who follow the debates leading up to this debate fiasco that Americans saw on Monday night could weigh into with understanding and purpose rendered by Queen Hillary.  But the debate did not produce what Hillary Clinton had prodded with her pitchfork.  The devil was in the details.  And Donald Trump, though tempted, avoided falling into her trap embrace.  In fact, he very much acted the gentleman he is as seen by his close friends and family.  He did not attempt to ruin Hillary by trashing her own character flaws.  He avoided what many of his supporters had hoped for.  He respected her right to say what she said but also directed attention to the hate that spewed from her lips refusing to let such assaults sway him from the message to reinvigorate America’s greatness with his own plan aided by his key strategists.  It reminds me of the many former world chess championships through history.  Great men require assistants and the wise heed their voices.

The comical “I” Hillary so often refers to along with her cheering fans can only be described as comical because Donald relies upon a team effort.  That he speaks in terms of I instead we means what?  Is it a sign of just trying to muddy the waters of a truthful message of her seen as a liar and money hungry.  It is her principal power base of close associates.  Notice I did not say friends.  Donald Trump has respect.  He is success.  He is a leader.

I  expect over the next few weeks at least the air ways will be filled with nothing but the armchair politicos who dominate the media news and talk shows as paid guests.

It is said that people don’t trust Hillary. It is said that people have long memories of the Clinton era from Ark. to the White House and beyond. Politics tend to be scandalous because history proves that it thrives off the scandalmonger types.  It is the story that precludes whatever justice there is in this world.  And that is another story.

Comic Medicine for the Soul

September 26, 2016

For Better or Worse:  Big sister and little sister discuss the use of colors in completing homework assignments. What is that? Homework. All that is nothing but coloring.  You have no idea what real homework is. Do you see my assignment–books, paper and pen to write out my homework?  Yeah.  I see it. My homework is done. You haven’t even started!

Hagar:  Castle under attack. Pour all that boiling oil on them!  That’s cruel.  I don’t care! In that case, you go tell the men they won’t be having French fries tonight.

Pickles:  Grampa, can I get a piece of candy from the candy jar?  What’s the rule in this house about candy?  No candy until after dinner?  No, that is Gramma’s rule.  Grampa’s rule is bring me one, too!

”Queen of Katwe’ Film is Movie Delight

September 26, 2016

Disney has done it again with a spectacular cast, great script, and just as uplifting and feeling good sports drama as any Rocky movie where gloves and physical blows find their glory in chess moves and mates.

Directed by Mira Nair, it has been rated three out of four stars for over all artistic perfection and rated PG which parents and adult guidance will appreciate. Kindred simply says: “You got to see it!”  When?  It goes nation-wide starting on Friday, September 30th.

Parents and especially mothers may find some close ties of feelings as her daughter Phiona who is bit by the chess bug begins taking chess instruction  which is taught by Robert Katende (David Oyelowo).

The movie starts out by showing Phiona selling corn in the Katwe slums to help the family survive.  In Disney-like dreams that become real, Phiona Mutesi is soon recognized as a chess prodigy.

What is truly amazing is the art exposing to the audience of, following  hot streak tournament achievements, actress Nalwanga proving her mettle in capturing the emotions of a reserved teenage girl whose character has a tough road.  When she does smile, she lights up the screen.  Oyelowo is the chess king of Katwe, bringing generosity, kindness and more–a disciplining demeanor to his role.

The sports drama has all the clichés, but what director Nair does exceptionally well are the chess playing scenes.  He films them as if they were football or boxing highlights with exciting montages, quick edits and interesting close-ups showing Phiona deep in thought above the table and her feet nervously shaking underneath.

Chess, as I have long portrayed, is like life itself.  It is entertaining to watch smug boys owned by a girl.  Movie fans will find scenes capturing their hearts and finishing with check and mate!

Early Americana

September 19, 2016

Not much is mentioned about Homer, Ohio. Licking County antiquarian Robbins Hunter conceived the Woodhull memorial in the 1970s, to preserve the legacy of a local daughter forgotten.  Columbus State College professor Judith Dann shows a cabinet of items about the first woman ever nominated for president of the United States.

It happened in 1872 when the Equal Rights Party nominated Victoria Woodhull who ran against U.S. Grant, a Republican, and Democrat Horace Greeley nearly 50 years before women had the right to vote.  There is no record of the votes taken in that election.

Judith Dann reports that Hillary Clinton’s nomination and heated campaign was very similar to that of 1872.  Dann’s research points to a rivalry with Susan B. Anthony and others in the early suffragist movement and may have led to Woodhull’s exclusion from the history books.  The family with 10 children was driven out of Homer settling in New York City.

Sisters Victoria California Claflin and Tennessee Celeste Claflin befriended railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt helping him to communicate with the spirit world. They were the first women to open a Wall Street brokerage house, earning nicknames including “the bewitching brokers.”  Having obvious business savvy they also started  a newspaper, Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly to help promote Victoria’s presidential run and promote edgy ideas like short skirts and vegetarianism.  Woodhull was in jail on Election Day charged with publishing obscenity.

Published works include, Notorious Victoria, The Terrible Siren, Outrageous, The Scarlet Sisters,  Renegade Queen, Free Lover. A 1980 Broadway musical called Onward Victoria told Woodhull’s story.

Certainly a field trip visit to Homer, Ohio is recommended since I just condensed the article I read in the Democrat & Chronicle.  I am sure there is a wealth of history and story telling likely with such a visit.


Chicago Teen Dies Straddling Two Worlds of Friends and Family

September 18, 2016

The murder of 16-year old Elijah Sims on the streets of Chicago I read in the pages of the Democrat & Chronicle USA Today by columnist Aamer Madhani.

More than two years ago Sharita Galloway decided to move from the crime district of Austin to the leafy neighboring village of Oak Park which bordered north Austin.

Moving was about making a choice relates his brother Walter after the funeral.  It was about putting us in a good school and not worrying about the misery seen in Austin.  Elijah had new friends in Oak Park but also cherished his friendships from Austin and stayed in touch.  His mother worried and demanded he be home on such visits before 11pm.  He did as she asked.  He had a good part-time job, was looking forward to the senior prom with his girlfriend date. His ambition was to study nursing after high school. The police said he was killed at 10:11pm and neither he nor another in the shooting had any gang connection.

During the eulogy, the Reverend Ira Acree reminded the hundreds from the Austin community who gathered, that with Elijah’s death, and to honor him, fundamental changes needed to be made to end the culture of violence in neighborhoods like Austin. He preached that there is power in the blood of the innocent.

Can we believe?



















Our Sick Society

September 18, 2016

Obama’s Lower Court Appointments Struck Down Restrictions Imposed By Republican Legislatures In Key States

The rulings could help remove impediments like photo IDs and making it easier to vote.  It looks to me like the democrats are up to their “old political game of cooking the books”.  This past eight years is full of corruption, fraud, deception within New York politics and sadly seen by both.

As a nation, we deserve an election process that is verifiable; to be 100% legist. That means no clever deceptive practices.  That means where every single citizen’s vote is tallied without any hint of fraud as witnessed in past vote coverage which brought this whole mess to light of such cronyism by either or both parties.  Inappropriate actions by the President or any group to cook the books that illegally affect any election outcome puts a black mark on our whole system and way of life.  That is so sad.

It is the responsibility of every American citizen to cast their ballot as they see fit but also to obey voting procedures set up by the states.  That is part of states’ rights which protect the outcome by count.

The argument to elect by popular vote can be put to rest by our founding fathers wisdom in establishing the electoral college to protect states against results which would be totally in favor of vast population spreads as occurred in New York’s governor race where the Republican won all the counties while a few NYC Burroughs iced it for the democrat nominee because of it’s huge population plurality.

Hillary Fails to Impress Me and Why

September 16, 2016

Yes, I listened to the Friday morning black caucus spiel featuring Hillary Clinton at 10 am. Donald Trump held his event at his new hotel and arrived somewhat late.  Hillary was alone on the stage while Trump had gathered a group of military who said the country needs Donald Trump.  At the end, Mr. Trump spoke briefly (thank God!) and simply said that President Obama was indeed a US citizen. He gave the platform to the military heroes.

In the usual rhetoric of Democrats, Hillary spoke eloquently rehashing her ties with the Black Women’s group attesting her long time efforts to help black females to achieve their dreams.  She failed to address the long decades of poor quality education due to low economic pockets that prevailed and still do throughout cities across the country despite Democrat control for many years.  Another thing I get from her speech is the almost total support for the female gender.  My memory, which is not always dependable and gets me in trouble sometimes, paints a picture of schools where  boys and girls attend together unless being  either boys or girls private schools. And gender neutral seems to prevail among all but for a limited field of expertise dominated by either based upon mental or physical attributes.

With all her wisdom, I wonder why she ignores “boys”.  I suppose it is not a psychological problem she has.  Did she attend an all-girl college? I just seem to notice this when the thought occurred this Friday morning to me that it is a racist thing–something she blames Donald Trump of bias bigotry. I guess she is not bias.  She constantly points this out so one has to wonder where the American voter stands since her leadership failings and lack of judgment as Secretary of State and as candidate where she has openly been seen as a liar and being a high risk.  As senator Sanders said, “she is not qualified to be president of the United States.”

If bigotry exists in politics, then Hillary and Democrats set a good example of it’s practice.

Think before you vote,  but do vote.

The Chess Struggle

September 15, 2016

In my search to give you chess food, my archives occasionally uncover games and strategies that I choose which I hope enables you to broaden your knowledge and sharpen your spirit. My choice often conveys the charm of my “square count” theory.

White: Suba   vs.  Black:  Pasman  Opening:  Benoni Defense

l.  d4  Nf6  2. c4  c5  3. d5  b5  4. c:b5  a6  5. b:a6  g6  6. g3  Bg7  7. d6!?  Risk in chess by not blocking the d-pawn’s advance, a normal approach, being 6….d6.

7. … Qa5+  8. Bd2  Q:a6  9. d:e7  Qb7  10. Nf3  Ne4  11. Nc3  Q:b2  12. N:e4  Q:a1  13. Nd6+K:e7 14.Bg5+Ke6 15. Bh3+ f5  16. O-O! Just in time.

16. …Q:d1  17. R:d1 Ba6 18. e4  Bd4  19. Bf4  Kf6  20. e:f5  Be2  21. Bg5+ Kg7 22. N:d4  h6  Necessary because 22. …B:d1 23. f6+ Kg8  24. Be6+ d:e6  25. f7+ Kg8 26. N:e6 checkmate.

23. f6+ Kg8 24. N:e2  h:g5  25. Bg2  Ra6 26. Nc3  g4  27. N:e4  Rh5  28. f7+ Kg7 29. Nf6 Rh8  30. N:g4 R:a2

Black decides to resign after 31. Ne5  Ra4  32. Be4 Nc6  33. Ne8+ Kh6  34. Ng4+ Kg5  35. f4+ (1-0).

Return to the Chess Wars – / Tension

September 9, 2016

The 1950-1990s was a very active time in my chess development encompassing both correspondence and over-the-board activity.  I have been inactive as a player and  this week I reactivated my interest toward competing by joining the Community Chess Club tournament play on Wednesday evenings from 7:30-10:00pm.  The rounds are scheduled for one game with a time limit of G/80+5.  Needless to say it was a bit like finding myself once more at age 12 for my initiation into the tournament chess world. At age 78 I was being reborn.

My opponent I drew as my chess partner was well known to me because we had met in three previous tournament games many years ago.  Lazlo T. was an international master and I was unable to win one game against his King Gambit trio.

White:  Don Reithel    vs.  Black:  Lazlo T.   Opening:  Rat Opening  – English Descriptive

Alekhine once coined this “The Joke Opening”.  My labeling it “Rat” was a term I heard at a board when I was a TD; the white player having to play against it said:”Rats”.

l.  P-Q4  P-KN3 /  2. P-K4  B-N2 /  3. N-QB3  P-OB4 /  4. P-Q5  P-K3 /

Not that this move is bad but ….P-Q3 would seem more practical, opening up the long diagonal for the Bishop ala Square Count. I follow Lasker who said Knights are best placed on B3.

5. N-B3  P-QR3 / 6.  P-QR4!

This stops black from expanding on the Q-side and adds to my own square count as do my next series.

6. … P-Q3 / 7. B-KB4  P-K4 / 8. B-KN5  P-B3 /  9. B-Q2!  The right square keeping the Bishop active on two separate diagonals.  Black pawns have shorted the ebb and flow of black minor piece tension.

9. … N-K2 / 10. P-R5!

This bites into the enemy position and frees up the  QR4 square.

10. … P-B4 /  11. B-Q3  P:P /  12. B:P  P-QN4 /  13. P:P ep.  Q:P / 14. N-QR4 Q-Q1 / 15. P-B4  B-N5 / 16. P-R3  B:N /  17. Q:B  N-Q2 / 18. Q-N3  QN-B3 / 19. P-B3  O-O / 20. O-O  R-R2 /

At this point I decided to find a better square for my Queen.

21. Q-R4  N-R4  / 22. P-QN4  P:P  / 23. B:QNP  R-N2 /

I had envisioned this position when I played PQN4 and thus set a trap inviting what looked like a strong threat on the file.

24. QR-N1   Q-N1? / 25. B:QP!!  R:R  /  26. B:Q  R:R check / 27. K:R  B-B3  / 28. Q-N4  R:R /

Finally the mobile pawn strikes. Black is helpless.

29. P-Q6  N-B4 / 30. B:N  R-N5 / 31. N-B3  P-K5 / 32. N:P  R-N8 check /  33. K-K2  R-N7 check /  34. K-Q1  R-N8 check /  35. K-B2  R-N7 check / 36. K-B1  R-N5 / 37. N:B  K-B2 /

Lazlo was hoping the time clock might save him. Shades of the computer tech era.

38. N:N  P:N / 39. Q:P check  K-B3  / 40.  B-Q3  P-R4 / 41. Q-B5 check  K-N2  42. P-Q7 P-R5 / 43. P8Q  P-R6 / 44. Q(5)-B8 checkmate.

So starts my return to the battle field of 64 squares.  We were given one of the old time clocks that we both grew up with.  I am not sure what would have happened if I had to use one of those new fangled time pieces.





Ebb and Flow Seen in Tension

September 8, 2016

Most chess periodicals address this in chess positions with analysis.  Should it not be addressed as a human or natural condition?  My own feeling for what chess education offers is not the moves themselves, but rather the relationship seen in human endeavors. Lest I bore you, an explanation I found for an art of chess play, my own views as well as those of great thinkers.  One such man was Emanuel Lasker.  He, of course, was world chess champion but also a thinker.  He likened chess to life itself, somewhat the way Dr. Aron Nimsowitsch did in his sketches painted from the enormous treatise on chess MY SYSTEM.

My rural life brought joy of knowing the importance of life–plants, animals, the soil and beauty of gardening.  It was also relaxing to feed a worm on a hook and drop it in the dark waters with the expectancy of catching a fish or finding the day with nibbles and little else.  Growing up was a lifetime of memories–some good, some bad but always with a learning curve value within my spirit.

Teaching chess is an art form in itself.  My brother influenced me more with his library of great books on chess and talks we shared over the board.  Lasker was a great thinker and just happened to be great at chess play who not only played the board but also the opposition during his long reign as world champion.  Just what was the quality of chess that attracted such men?  We can learn from what they had to say, and it embodied not only examples of chess positions but also how these men envisioned the art of chess.

An attack in a balanced position bears likeness to a storm.  The clouds hover over a landscape carrying positive and negative electricity unleashing thunder bolts of lightning, downpours of moisture that, in the end, results in a softening of light and beauty yielding a refreshed landscape.  So, too, chess as I have tried for my readers to absorb my beliefs about chess–the game and the play featuring the ups and downs of the struggle.  Therein, lies the ingredients which I put into the development of my square count from both the ups and downs of a chess contest but also a means to which my readers might benefit from undertaking a plan and choice, something my students found frustrating that they could not get the positions the great men and women in chess produced during early instruction.

While I have stated and preached that chess was like life itself, I doubt most might think me just a “chess nut” as one of my teachers quipped.  Yet, from such teachings and exposure, I think to achieve real worth from a study of chess one must in some way discover those elements that become ingrained in the spirit of those who seek its pleasure.