Archive for March, 2017

The Amateur Eye – Imprimis

March 31, 2017

Imprimis is the 3,600.000 Readers’ Monthly.  How to Think About Vladimir Putin is the March edition.  Christopher Caldwell, Senior Editor of the Weekly Standard essays an in-depth look into the Russian leader.  He pulls no punches but gives us a realist’s study of modern Russia and events leading to Putin’s rise to power in a Russian world gone mad from the good, the bad, and the ugly.

America looks at Russia in colored glasses.  Putin is a devil; he is evil.  That is the image made popular among the elite.  He doesn’t adhere to the socialist progressive mentality of the West. He is for many the popular leader of Russia.  He rebuilt the Russian military.  He beat back the Islamist armies in Chechnya and Dagestan, and he took a hard line on terrorism and immorality especially that aimed at Russian youth.  He recognized the long border of Russia and other European nations along it.

In the West, the elite mark him with suspicion; he has had people murdered or at least has done nothing to quell it.  News media has pointed out that several opposing Putin have been attacked and in some cases suspicion exists that he authorized murder of those who oppose him.  But have we any right to argue it?  Look at Chicago–the murder capitol of the USA and maybe the world.  Thousands get murdered every year.

What is in the human heart and psychic?  I know many criticize me I suppose for my Christian heritage and belief in the Bible and the Ten Commandments and love of my Lord.  An old Indian proverb says:  Judge not until you walk a mile in his or her moccasins.  That is wisdom! And you won’t see it as anything but corny within the walls of politicians anywhere, any time.  The constant backlash of hatred I’ve witnessed on the tube makes me wonder just what evil the Satanic powers possess to cloud the minds of reason, humor, joy, and ability to not go off the deep end and believe everything you get exposed to in this world THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY.   An old cowboy once said in a western:  Smile when you “heh” say “thet” stranger.

Peace be with you on this Easter season.  Learn from the Book of James.  God Bless Us All.

The Amateur Eye – In The News

March 29, 2017

Iran’s mouthpiece Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh the head of the Iranian Chess Federation has banned both Dorso Derakhshani, 18-year old from participating with the women chess team because she refuses to wear the hijab both at home and abroad.  She was seen while playing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival and interviewed on the official news broadcast.  Her brother was also banned from playing because of his playing an Israeli opponent in the festival.

Pahlevanzadeh told the Fars News Agency that Iran’s national interests have priority over everything.  As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran.  And in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present as members of the Iranian national chess team.

This doesn’t fit in with FIDE’s “Gens una sumus” and all that.

Garry Kasparov is regularly in the news appearing on TV talk/news and testifying before the  US Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee as chairman of the Human Rights Foundation. And John Oliver linked him in with Putin and Trump on Last Week Tonight show.

Republican Iowa Congressman Steve King had the chutzpah to argue on CNN that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was not nearly as bad as his critics make him out to be, noting that he never murdered one of his prominent critics, namely a certain Garry Kasparov.

Despite their being political enemies, it seems that during the latter’s knuckleduster and polonium tea-serving  KGB years, the Russian president to be was a big Kasparov fan in Steven Lee Myers’ new book, The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin. In it he describes the first K-K match (1984) where all the KGB cadre rooted for Karpov and felt that Kasparov was a dangerous upstart.  Little Volodzy (Putin’s nickname) showed a dangerous sympathy for Kasparov. Putin relished his eventual victory and was not afraid to say so.

When asked about this, Kasparov said it might be true but he doubts it because Putin could have acknowledged that to him.  It could be just another way of trying to portray Putin as being for the underdog.  Maybe the whole story is contrived.  Agree?  Disagree? Who really knows or maybe even cares.

39th Marchand Open – April 1-2, 2017

March 27, 2017

Place:  Strong National Museum of Play  One Mahattan Square Park, Rochester, NY 14607.

Guaranteed Prize Fund $16,440.00 plus 150 Grand Prix Points

5 – Round  Swiss System   Time Control: G-115 min. w/5 second delay

You only play others in your elected section.  All sections are USCF-rated.

Call the Rochester Chess Center/ Ron Lohrman (585) 442-2430  for details or go on line at

Free parking; no smoking anywhere on Strong Museum campus.


The Amateur Eye – NY State 1938 Championship Tournament

March 27, 2017

The championship traditionally held in small cities  or townships was richly regarded for the climate and serenity having a country atmosphere.  Players wanted it that way.  They came to enjoy a holiday away from city life where chess could be played without distractions of busy streets and noisy crowds.

This event was held at Cazenovia Seminary Junior College in Cazenovia, August 6-12.  It was comprised of the closed championship, the Genesee Cup County Team Contest and open class sections for  A-B-C groups.

The closed field list included (order of finish) l. Arnold Denker,(NYC) 2. Tony Santasiere (NYC) 3. Donald MacMurray (NYC) 4. Jack Collins (Brooklyn) 5. H.D. Grossman (NYC) 6-8 Herman Helms/ Joseph Platz (NYC)/ Walter Murdock Jr. (Cazenovia)  9. Erich Marchand  (Clayton, Mo.) 10. L.H. Bryant (Binghamton) A tight race between Denker and Santasiere finish was 7.5-.5, a loss to Santasiere and draw with Grossman.  Santasiere was undefeated but yielded 4 draws.

Other results:

Genesee Cup County Team:  Onondaga 13.5-6.5 / Monroe 12.5-7.5 / Broome 12-8 / Schenectady 10-10 / Oneida 9-11 / Madison 3-17.

Class A Boris Garfinkel of Buffalo / Class B Eldorous Dayton of New Rochelle / Class C Marvin Sable of Syracuse.

At the business meeting, it was decided to hold the 1939 event at the Colgate University in Hamilton.

Some games with notes by S.S. Cohen.  (My sq/ct theory was not known.)

A. S. Denker  versus E. Marchand  QGD.

l. P-Q4  P-Q4  2. N-KB3  N-KB3  3. P-B4  P-B3  (Marchand later wrote a booklet on the Slav Defense) 4. P-K3 P-K3 5. N-B3 QN-Q2  6. B-Q3  B-Q3 7. O-O  O-O  8. P-K4  P:BP 9. B:P  P-K4

Black must have intended to arrive a this position when he played 6…B-Q3.  On the surface it looks reasonably “solid”, but a close examination will reveal that it is one of those dynamic positions in which White’s superior development and mobility must give him the upper hand.

10. B-KN5  Q-K2  11. R-K1 R-Q1  12. P-Q5 (This fine move gives White a dynamic position and space.)

12… N-N3 13. B-N3  B-KN5  14. Q-Q3  B-N5  15. QR-Q1  R-Q3  16. P-QR3  B-QR4  17. B-R2  KB:N  18. Q:B  QR-Q1  19. P-R3  N-R5

To save a Pawn, Black must give up his remaining Bishop. The object of the N move is to force White to retake with the KNP.  However, this is just how he would recapture anyway.

20. Q-N4  B:N  21. P:B  N-N3  22. P-B4  P-KR3  23. B-R4  BP:P  24. KP:P  P-KN4  25. P:KP  R/3Q2 26. P-Q6  Q-B1  27. B-KN3  N-R4  28. P-K6 P:P  29. R:P Resigns.

The Amateur Eye – Let freedom ring

March 20, 2017

World governing policies are not working.  We should not expect breakthroughs when you see politicians of every stripe prattle endlessly as do the journalistic idiots who waste away hours bellowing on the airways.  What am I saying?  I rarely write anymore about the world scene, devoting myself to chess and brainpower.  It helps in every field.  But politics?? I wonder!

Get off your butts and start writing hard copy not to me about financial support for future election of candidates but to Russia’s Putin through the embassy route.  Millions of letters calling for a reversal of his policies, with copies sent to the United Nation American staff to throw down on desks of every national entity.  Force too, a change in Iran and North Korean governments by setting up free elections and political debate for candidates free of intimidation.

DEMAND – DEMAND – DEMAND that the war drums be muted and adversaries forced to be brought to the table for negotiating.  Those national leaders who are found to be criminals be sought out for prosecution if they ignore it. DEMAND-DEMAND-DEMAND.  Damn it!!!!!!

NATO  should be organized to start war and wipe out the murdering enemies who threaten peaceful everyday life across the world citizenry and restore a peace in the homelands of refugees.

It pisses me off that I keep reading junk about what fear seeps through the so-called political crap of any nation that should be considered as an outlaw.  If this be done, then the refugee problem could be solved in their own countries and peace would abound in time.  And President Trump could start to fix flaws so we can rebuild and modernize our national landscape of cities, roads, rivers, dams, preserve wildlife, schools and restore the rights of citizens guaranteed in the Constitution.


The Amateur Eye / Trompowsky Attack

March 19, 2017

This often played opening in both correspondence and over-the-board play is a mixed bag of historic delights.  It found it’s way into the World Championship match between Carlsen and Karjakin.  My  own look at chess play of course rests on my “square count” theory that remains totally absent from my huge library of sorted chess data where I merely tried to illustrate chess from a numerical perspective.  To me it seemed easy for children to understand more clearly both movement and piece selection.  It is also a wake up call where the needs of a position assists in short and long term planning  use of our brainpower.

An interesting battle took place between many players and I select a game short enough to maintain your interest.  White:  Patatnik  vs. Black: Geller from 1980.

l.  d4  Nf6  2. Bg5  d5  3.  B:f6  e:f6   Black decides to create a half-open e-file; the alternative ideal goal is to capture toward the center as one of my own games with black in the Insanity Open.   The setups are distinctly different.

4.  e3  Be6  5.  Nd2  Nd7  6. c4  White aim is a strong pawn chain presence that seems offset by black pieces finding active play.  Thus, both sides appear to be happy with their decision coming out of the opening phase.

6. … Bb4  7. c:d5  B:d5  8. Ne2!  O-O  9. Nc3  The point behind move 8.

9. …Nb6  10. a3!  It beckons the bishop to either retreat or capture the knight which strengthens the white center. The knight on b6 is about out of the fracass.

10. … B:c3  11. b:c3  c5  12. Bd3!  Effecting square count.

12. … c:d4  13. c:d4  B:g2?  This appears to hope material will offset white’s strong pawn center where an endgame position would benefit the white side.  But red flags should fly all over the place!  He half-opens the g-file where the king has yet to castle and the enemy king will be under the eye of a menacing rook if white so chooses via Rg1.

14. Rg1  Yep!  Just made to order maybe.

14.  … Bc6  Hoping to safeguard the king by g6. Square count stands at 11/8.

15.  R:g7+!!  K:g7  16. Qg4+  Kh8  17. Qf5 leads to checkmate. So, black turns down his king in resignation.                   &&& ………. &&&

Again, a rather unusual Colle System was adopted in the World Championship between Carlsen and Karjakin.

I present a game from the k-12 National School Championship held in Florida, 2014.

White: Samir Sen  vs.  Black:  N. A. Kranjc   Opening:  Colle System

l.  d4  d5  2. Nf3   Nf6  3.  e3  e6  4. Bd3  a6  This move seems to be often met in modern strategy.  But it is weak from the sense that it develops no piece.  The only asset is that it guards the b5 square from a white piece setting up house on it. Develop, develop, develop is the by-word in openings.

5. O-O   Bd6 6. Nbd2  O-O  7. e4  White pounces on the center e4 square.

7. … d:e4  8. N:e4  Be7  9. Qe2  Nbd7  10. Bg5  An example of Capablanca’s combined development noted in his own treatise.

10. … N:e4  11. Q:e4  g6  12. Bh6  Re8  13. Rad1!  An excellent square for the rook. It also dissuades the idea like …c5 as too dangerous to play.

13. … Nf6  14. Qe2  Bf8  15.Bg5  Avoids exchanges and keeps the pressure on the position. Exchanges should always be played with a purpose and how it effects the position. The defender in such cases finds benefit in exchanges.

15. … Bg7  16. Ne5!  Setting a trap.  If 16…Q:d4?? 17. B:g6 wins  material.

16. … h6  17. Bh4  g5  18. Bg3  Nd5  19. Qh5! Rf8  20. Ng4  f5  21. N:h6+ B:h6  Qf6

Now white has two possible continuations.. the aggressive retention of the Queen or exchanging to bring about a positional superior pawn endgame advantage.   White, being a strong endgame artist decides to use this advantage to score the point on move 56.

This is another example of using square count as a confidence builder in handling positions.  finis.






Don’s Classic Humor Bits

March 19, 2017

Your life will benefit from being methodical, systematic, and  having a businesslike  approach.  Remember what mom and dad reminded you in prayer–follow your dreams without thought of financial worthiness.  The idea is to be cheerful, helpful, be loving and this is life’s reward for happiness.  Achieve this goal, and you will find heaven on earth.

Hagar:  Didn’t you have a boyfriend?  I used to….but he turned out to be a cold fish.

Cyrus’  Idiotic Brain:  Money hoarding is evil but not to Cyrus.  He says that electronic banking was the greatest thing to come along in this world of finance.  Maybe so.  Maybe not.  He insists its the second greatest way to transfer money from his bank account.  So I asked him what was the first way?  He said:  “Being married.”

Beetle Bailey:  Pvt. Bailey is in love with the general’s secretary and his affection is rewarded.  She asks him if he was writing to his parents (and what reason might she wonder?).  Yes, I wrote:  Dear Mom and Dad!  I really appreciate all of your support and encouragement.  I love you both, dearly.  Oh!…That is nice…You are one of a kind. Well, its my standard text lead in … to send me more money!

The Family Circle:   GRANDMA’S  BIG  BOY heading on her birthday gift of a new sweater she knitted for him brought this response after he opened the mailed package present.  Entering the kitchen where mom was making lunch, he said:   BOY! I don’t think I am as big as Grandma thinks I am, Mom. Her heart is in the right place, dear.  After all, you can grow into it but you couldn’t ever wear it if it were too small.  I didn’t think of that.  Grandma is pretty smart, isn’t she!

Don’s World of Classic Humor

March 16, 2017

Blondie:  Dagwood enters the den where the kids are downloading.  Dagwood who just entered remarks, Whoa…Justin Bieber is still around?  Of course Daddy! He’s got a bunch songs out.  Then I stand corrected….I thought he was a flash in the pan.  You are right about him being old now…Yeah, he is in his early twenties.

Hagar:   You need to take these medications every day for the rest of your life. Should I worry about side effects, doc?  Only if bankruptcy worries you.

Dilbert:   I hear you have some vacation days coming. Planning anything special?  I plan to catch up on all my work I could not complete because people kept interrupting me.  That is too bad.  I suppose one would call it a sad vacation experience. Yeah, I guess I am craving to start it right now.

Beetle Bailey:   The general’s secretary opens a box that contains her order of health and beauty supplies.  Wow!  They sure gave me a lot of free samples with my shampoo order! She takes out all the items and sets them on her desk.  Hey…they forgot the shampoo.

The Family Circle:  Ooooh!  Mommy, you look great and so very grown up!  Mommy is affixing her ear rings and decked out in a black evening gown.

Ziggy:  I am sorry to say, Mr. Ziggy…but it seems that cartoonist forgot to draw you a lifeline.


Don’s Comic Soul Thoughts

March 16, 2017

You have something unique to add to all this liberal folly.  If not winning in the early stages of the game, don’t lose heart.  Just remember your King needs space where his goal and energy can be displayed.  This makes him a winner but you have to keep him out of being checkmated.  Evil abounds.  A healthy spirit brings rewards.

He who is really wise can never be confused. He who is really brave is never afraid.

The saying, “business is business” to me is a sour note.  Business is a work in hand that ultimately is to help people overcome the bad and ugly moments with hope of a good future.  Because everything you do ultimately is meant to help others that personally matter to them and enriches self.  So in my “book”  all who work and create will find that it is not just business.  To reap rewards from achievement is a personal blessing.


Don’s Comic Review

March 14, 2017

Flowers given just to be nice tells a lot.  Joy builds the spirit where happy surprises come from the heart.

Pickles:  Grampa, do you remember the good old days?  I sure do!  We didn’t call them that back then.  What did you call them?  We called them “These trying times.”

Beetle Bailey:  Trying a new tactic to get Beetle to be a good, reliable soldier, Sarge turns to smiles and compliments.  Good job, Beetle!  This leaves Beetle mystified as well as a nearby corporal. I read that being upbeat and complimentary produce positive results!

The Liberal Agenda:  Every time I get a peek at the kids’ rooms makes me shudder.  Whatever happened to neat and orderly?  Look, if they tidied up their rooms, they would conforming to your standards.  They are proclaiming their independence.  They’re showing you that they have their own minds and that they are separate, unique individuals!  Kids! Yeah, they’re all alike.

Shoe:  Do you believe in reincarnation?  No. But I hear it is making a comeback.

The Dog’s Life:   The butcher shop entrance said NO PETS ALLOWED!  He’s not my pet!  He’s my best friend!

The Family Circle:  I don’t think Mommy would mind if you wanted to spoil us, Grandma.