The Amateur Eye– Limits in Sight

Basically I have been a club playing amateur.  I enjoy a good game with friends, new and old. My chess skill entered the realm of blindfold chess of which I was able to be successful in simuls up to 5-boards versus A-D playing levels. One on one I was able to defeat and draw with an expert once.  These were entered largely as club or school organized to help stimulate interest.  Being now at my advanced age of 78, I no longer have the skill but mostly for health reasons. Member of Wayne (county) Chess Club and Rochester Chess Club and just joined the City Chess Club.

George Koltanowski was a great blindfold master who would entertain with this form of play for many years. He would entertain at clubs and organized exhibitions for pay; viewers and players alike got more benefit and entertainment for the cost. The result was that he introduced chess into areas void of such interest in the game.

The Women and Chessboard Magic

Chess professionalism takes on a different structure from that of the amateur.  For that level it requires really hard work and preparation and an abundance of highly developed skills in the three elements–Opening, Middle Game, and Endgame.  Since the Polgar sisters journalistic adventures which helped to bring about a revolution in female chess sport, the long thought views, especially by their male counterparts that girls and women lacked the characteristics necessarily found in the male combative energy and perseverance to win.  In chess, in almost every sport where girls and women compete today, it is the tiger, the panther, the sheer catlike vigor shown by the female species that perhaps has laid to rest the misconceptions of a whole generation or more that women were meant to be homemakers and little else.  In sport, in business, in medicine, in government, in literary accomplishment, women have proved themselves as well as the nucleus in family bonding.

Hou Yifan regained her world championship which took place at Lviv, 2016.

White:  Hou Yifan   vs.  Black:  Mariya Muzychuk   Opening:  Ruy Lopez

l. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  a6  4. Ba4  Nf6  5. O-O  N:e4  6. d4  b5  7. Bb3  d5  8. d:e5  Be6  9. Be3  less usual as seen in later games of the match; 9. Nbd2 or c3 are more common.

9. … Be7  10. c3  O-O 11. Nbd2  Qd7  12. Bc2  N:d2  13. Q:d2  Bg4  14. Bf4  A novelty in the opening that has a reputation of being an okay defense. This encourages the following exchange of bishop for the knight leaving White a weak King position and doubled pawns. Risk play to be sure but the concept is to use this bishop as backup for defense.

14. … B:f3  15. g:f3  Rad8  Time to take stock of the position: square count is in black’s favor 8/10. What is important is that white enjoys more open space on the files and a bishop eyeing the enemy castled position and two bishops versus bishop and knight minor piece edge where neither piece finds short term threats against white.

16. Rfd1 Better would be 16. Rad1 but white hopes to work in a4 in her plans and the Rook is needed on a1 to support it. One idea is based upon MY SYSTEM education that Rfe1 eventually overprotects the e-pawn but lends itself to be a buffer against …Na5 > …c5 by b3 and …c5 18. c4!  So, after 16. Rad1 Na5 17. Rfe1 Bf8 >…g6 > Bg7 but white loses the Q-side pawn advance a4 idea.

16. … Qe6  17. Qe3  Rd7  This idea floats the interest shift of the knight or even opening the d8 square for the bishop to open e7 for the knight.  But as seen in plans elsewhere these are typically too slow as will be seen.  But here, black should have attacked with 17…Na5  18. b3 c5 19. Bg3  Nc6 20. f4  f5 where she would get a better version of what comes defensively speaking. With this better blockade idea tempo wise, black will have counter play like …d4 threatening damage to the center.

18. Bg3 !  g6  19. a4  With the idea of launching threats on both path ways. However, sharper and more potent is the immediate 19. f4! f6  20. e:f6  Q:f6 21. Bb3  Rfd8 22. Re1 and black pieces are lacking togetherness in operations.

19. …Nd8  20. a:b5  a:b5  21. f4  f6  22. e:f6  Q:f6  23. Qe2  With the idea to reposition the Q to the King-side.

23. …c6 24. Qg4  Rb7  25. f5  Bd6  26. Ra6!? Okay but best is 26. Rf1 to support f4 coming.

26. … Rg7  27. f:g6  Bc5 ?  This may be a time pressure decision because after the obvious 27…B:g3  28. Q:g3  Qe6 would put up some fight in the position.

28. Kg2  h:g6  29. R:d5  B:f2  30. Bb3  Ne6  31. Rd6  Bc5  32. Q:e6+ Resigns.

The final match score:  dwdddwddw= 6/3

The enormity of time to acquire such skill, cost of training sessions, of travel and where only one individual can be named WORLD CHESS CHAMPION in the men and WORLD WOMAN CHESS CHAMPION for the ladies makes one wonder, indeed, if the joy of chess is seen in the same light among the chess population designated  ” amateur.”

The work ethic is similar to both but the effort and skill factor makes the professional a step above ordinary.




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