Archive for April, 2018

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

April 30, 2018

Now, I am not really a pack-rat, but all through the years I find it hard to let go of stuff once thought vital to my surroundings.  Have you ever felt that way?  Don’t let it bother you because you might fear that letting go of something will bring about change and remember that change is the only inevitable constant in Life.  Change is likened to a time clock.  Emotions can easily cause you to let go and see the impact of things magnified or minimized.  All are constant to change and can effect every aspect of the spirit.

Earl asks Opal why is she starring in the toilet?  Two days ago I flushed down a huge black spider and fear it might climb back out of the hole and bite me in revenge.  Hum. You are never going to sit on the toilet again, are you?!  NO WAY!!

You and I make a good team, Garfield.  And I am the coach.  Garfield thinks (you know a cat can’t talk) GOOD!  THEN YOU CAN BE FIRED!!!

Blondie and Dag are walking hand in hand down the sidewalk in a shopping area.  They pass by a beautiful young lady whom Blondie tells Dag that she was giving Dag the eye. Dag says he was not really paying attention.  Oh, please–Dear.  How could you not notice her!?? She looked a lot like Wonder Woman. Later in the day, Dag comes across his neighbor Herb and relates Blondie’s remark.  Do you mean the comic book Wonder Woman or the girl who portrays her in the movies?  The point is: SHE WAS GORGEOUS!! which shows Dag’s super ego!

Dilbert’s boss wonders if Dilbert had seen Alice and where she is.  Yes.  The CIA, Google, Facebook , Apple, Russian Hackers know where she is. But we have no way to find her? Depends.  Was she dumb enough to download our company APP?

The Chair of the investigation committee on the subject of a ban on tobacco, the institute swears in the another of many witnesses.  We have had a parade of industry spokespersons come thru this week to denounce our proposed ban on tobacco advertising and you, Sir, are the very embodiment of a health problem of vast, tragic dimensions!  The witness says he really tries his best, Senator to point out the fact that the government seems bent on not so much correcting the health problem but rather to milk the industry for all it can muster in taxes and fines.  We all know the result.  And now a new witness to a new health problem sits in the same seat, addressing a key Senator.  History has a way of repeating itself.  Except now, it is the desire to allow pot smoking that we see engulfing the inside of autos with smoke exiting half-open windows!  Senator, don’t you consider excessive smoke from this weed is hazard to health?? especially when it is a product of unsafe studies.  Will this be another throat cancer threat??  Can you guarantee, Senator, that it is harmless— all these fumes being added to the environment??!!

Peppermint Paddy ever worries.  At her desk, she worries about the announced field trip. I hate field trips.  I get sick on the bus. Why do we have to go on field trips?? Why can’t we just stay in school and mind our own business?  Why should we bother the outside world??

Yes.  Comics have a way of exposing much beyond the panels— a moment in time.


The Amateur Eye – Sins and the Cross

April 27, 2018

The Cross could be looked upon as the bond between Jesus bleeding spirit anguishing between earth and heaven in obedience of his Father in Heaven.  Jesus gave up his soul for the saving grace of sinners who repent with its promise for humanity and all living things.  It did more.  It was a curse of the Roman Empire whose very imprisonment and lying tongues of witnesses set forever the distaste of human dignity and righteousness of our spiritual souls.  It remains the link between believers in the Holy Father and Son and Holy Ghost found in our prayers and church services as a living memorial to love and faith.  It remains a symbol of Godly power and in Christ, ever a physical reminder of Jesus suffering to conquer sin and pave the way for eternal forgiveness to those who believe in Biblical history and teachings and come to Him as like little children in holy baptism.

It was recently noted that the Bible was the most worthless of books and literature. This is nothing new; it has long been the belief of atheists.  They live in darkness because if one truly examines literature, no book explains better or gives history of our living universe.  In the end time all things will become understood and known about the past, the present and the future.  Jesus said: I go to prepare a place for you in Heaven where there are many mansions.  He promises to come again and rule the world.  That is what the mighty angel in all his beauty fears most.  Satan’s fate is sealed; Jesus offers freedom of sin for those who are baptized, and who share a personal relationship with him through prayer, love, faith and most important the freedom to experience joy and happiness with the feeling that all creatures exhibit pleasures of unforeseen discovery and appreciation.  Sin will always exist in the spirit of man to venture out of control of self.  Jesus is the only answer to forgiveness for a lasting joyful happiness.

You may say how can I question the wonders bestowed to atheist philosophy?  They are the ones with total freedom to pursue their lust of life.  Today we see the results in a world gone mad, a people possessed of Satanic adventures in human indignities, of corrupt and immoral behaviors of dead spirits within heads once given blessings cheapened by wickedness and human bondage.  In that, there is no freedom of any worth.  Lies beget lies and truths are clouded by indifference and ignorance.

Personally I do care but can’t do anything to enrich your soul other than express myself in hopes that you will give it thought.  I believe in the Ten Commandments and the holiest of scriptures that adorn sites in our Nation’s Capitol.

As learning goes, I do believe that school books need to be more scrutinized for providing the values of American principles of free thought than of Marxist ideology and the undercurrents hidden in the language of texts.  The world of social reforms and open borders tolerate governmental policies that find undercurrents weakening our Nation and resolve for justice, and cherished freedom guaranteed by our Constitution.

Many decades ago the Communist Party via Russia and later the Soviet Union planted a network of spies within our government agencies.  Under useful  liberal Democratic Party ignorance the communists managed to introduce to American consumption such liberal programs as Planned Parenthood  (Sounds good doesn’t it!).  We have found now a Nation that gives little value to human life from birth to the graves of the murdered. We should have learned from history.

The liberalized Democrat Party is full of deceit and un-American activities like never before.  Everything from double-talking political hacks, many who have held office for three or four decades, who espouse the evils of the rich but are found to be beyond rich in both land and financial wealth have fought to undermine the very thing that makes our Nation really unique among nations because of our Constitutional structure.

Our country has been one of turmoil, founded in revolution, working to diminish and finally end slavery, educate and connect the dots that make for a nation of multi-race and cultural progress, erasing a long road to witnessing fulfillment of its principles set forth in the spirit of our Founding Fathers.

Our Land has brought freedoms, tolerance, and a bonding of people who are not limited by birth.   Their education, brains and work ethic whether it be self or in combination with team spirit to achieve things coming from inventive minds and abilities, where the benefit of capitalism has prevailed over the socialist-communist-Marxist ideology where the individual and masses are governed by it’s dogma — a form of slavery.  Such societies tend to offer little pleasure in life, finding a communal existence rather boring.





The Amateur Eye – Kids Do Feud

April 27, 2018

It would be unusual for brothers and or sisters to occasionally have disputes and come close to door slams or even shaking fists and pounding on each other.  Worse scenario might be sheer silence by both when confronted by parents who might threaten discipline in that case. A possible remedy might be to find acknowledgement of it’s cause. Remind them that love and respect for each other bests hateful thoughts.  So it is important to seek early acknowledgement for such attitude flair-ups.  Next, affirm parental authority in settling arguments.  And finally redirect togetherness by sitting together in the den or living room to share a bowl of just made popcorn and some hot chocolate.  It might just stimulate the desire for hugs, see compassioned forgiveness and restore peace in the home.

The Amateur Eye – A Missed Brilliancy

April 25, 2018

It has been years since I wrote about the King’s Indian Defense — Samisch Variation.  The U.S. Masters, held in North Carolina saw some top quality games and also some what might have been.  All chess players experience the trials and tribulations of missed chances and missed beauty in their games. The best is seen when victory is still the result!  One of the newer breed of GMs who has achieved enormous successes is GM Samuel L. Shankland, perhaps best remembered as World Champ Carlsen’s right hand man at the New York title defense.

White:  Sam Shankland  vs. Black:  FM Advait Patel   Opening:  KID Samisch (E83)

After 1. c4  g6  2. e4  Bg7  3. d4  d6  4. Nc3  Nf6  5. f3  O-O  6. Be3  a6  7. Qd2  Nc6 8. Nge2  Na5  Black avoids the usual Rb8 as Shankland’s opening book is tops. It leads to sharp play now with both sides missing opportunities along the way.

9. Nf4 b5  10. h4  Nd7 11. h5  e5  12. Nfd5  e:d4  13. B:d4 Ne5  14. h:g6?  The wrong pawn play.  After, 14. f4 Ne:c4  15. B:c4  N:c4  16. B:g7!! N:d2  17. Bf6! with a big edge.

14. … f:g6  15. c:b5  a:b5 16. Rd1  Nac6  17. Be3 b4?  Here, Patel returns the favor missing 17… R:f3 with good play and stands better.

18. Nb5  R:a2 19. Bh6  B:h6  20. Q:h6  Rf7 21. Qc1 Be6  Missing the sharp 21…Ra5! >..Ba6 and the Knight is trapped.

Probably due to time pressure for both players, the game went back and forth with Black making more errors than White.  White accepted Black’s resignation on move 48.  But let the record show that this defense presents an “ornery cuss” in the scheme of things.

The Amateur Eye – Road Map of Puzzles

April 25, 2018

Did you ever wonder what life’s journey would be depending on the road map of life?  Ideas, decisions, whirling about in uncertainty with a goal to achieve remaining obscure in a rational mindset?  In some ways that is the monster awaiting the chess player’s love-hate relationship with this war game seen as having tied in a knot the art, science, and beauty of a timed-consuming beast all rolled into one with definable streets and roads leading to many different pathways.

Value is in the eye of the beholder.   Reward?  Certainly not money; it would never survive or rise above hardships faced by even the famous who starred during it’s long history.  It has lured and captured the imagination and heart of many.  Numerous attempts have been penned by writers and thinkers to explain it’s complex nature.  It has survived and prospered in the era of high tech.  But in all, I see the crux of the joy being in whole part the fun and competitive spirit it continues to give every level of skill amassed through the ages.

Last examined was the artful play from 1916 between Janowski and Capablanca.  Now we turn to the 1940s to capture the expertise and skill of Laszlo Szabo as he dissects the cunning classical defense of E. Book at Stockholm 1948.

Openings often featured classical versus Hypermodern practitioners and this one features the Closed Catalan which starts out with 1. Nf3  d5  2. g3  Nf6  3. Bg2  e6  4. O-O  Be7  5. c4  O-O  6. d4  c6 Setting up a Stonewall pawn structure.  Had he exchanged d:c4, Black’s central configuration would be upset and White could play 7. Ne5 effectively opening the long diagonal of the Bishop on g2.

7. Nc3 b6 8. Ne5  A great square-count move! The next and also 8…Bb7 was to be considered.

8. … Ba6  9. c:d5  c:d5  10. Bf4  Strengthens e5 in full MY SYSTEM hypermodern approach. It also clears the first rank toward connecting Rooks.

10. …Nfd7   The Queen Knight is stuck on b8 for the moment because of the need to guard the c6 square to avoid White penetrating and adding the two-bishop plus advantage. But the Knight on e5 is a sore spot in Black’s freedom of movement.

11. Rc1  Hoping to capitalize on the superior White development instead of going for something like 11. N:d5 e:d5  12. B:d5.  White is banking on his active space advantage.

11. … N:e5  12. B:e5!  b5  Black chooses this over employing the Knight d7 aiding development of his forces.

13. e4!  Aiming to exploit the long diagonal.

13. … b4  Trying to stir up some complications that White’s next neutralizes.

14. Ne2  Qa5  15. e:d5  e:d5  16. Nf4  B:f1  17. Qg4!!  White doesn’t recapture but startles Black with this mate threat at g7. Note the power of a centralized Queen with it’s mighty power coming from that given in square-count.

17. … g6  Worse is 17…f6 18. B:d5+ Kh8 19. Ng6+ h:g6 20. Qh4 mate.

18. B:d5  Bd3  Very sneaky and charming because if 19. N:d3 Q:d5 wins for Black.

19. B:a8!  Bf5 20. Qe2  Bg5 21. h4  B:f4 22. B:f4  Nd7  23. Bf3  Be6 24. Bd6 And Black has no good move for the Rook and so resigns.

Yes, the streets and roads traveled on maps have a kinship with our royal game.




The Amateur Eye – Tension in Chess

April 22, 2018

One of the greats at chess play was Jose R. Capablanca.  Many games that I studied included the period of the early 1900s on.  In 1916 a very interesting game between the attacking master D. Janowski and Jose R. Capablanca took place in New York City.

Why I choose this game is, for each student, seen two forms of tension unfolding…immediate tension and distant tension.  And for the joy of chess, the student learns that great games provide entertainment and instruction regardless of time elapsed,

The fruit of this game emerges soon after 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 Bf5 5. Qb3 (more apropos was perhaps 5. c:d5 here or even the next turn)  Qb6 6. Q:b6 a:b6 7. c:d5 N:d5 8. N:d5 c:d5 9. e3 Nc6 10. Bd2 Bd7!

Typical Capablanca! His aim is to support jump moves >…Na5/ b5/Nc4 and, if a trade occurs, recapturing with b:c4, gives Black pressure against the a & b pawns.

I believe this game and others of that period helped to mold my square-count theory. 11. Bb5 seems more apropos to that end.

11. Be2 e6 12. O-O Bd6 13. Rfc1 Ke7!!  Another way to connect his Rooks where the King can play a more active role.

14. Bc3 Rhc8 15. a3? This weakens the b3 square unnecessarily and the Knight pressures it with…

15. … Na5!  16. Nd2  f5 Attacking the central pawn structure and signaling the idea of play on both wings.

17. g3 b5! 18. f3 Nc4 19. B:c4 b:c4 20. e4 Kf7 21. e5  Closing the center to release the tension. But as square-count shows, Black is in good shape to increase power on both sides of the board without worrying about any central counter attack.

Here, distant tension comes into play after 21…Be7 22. f4 b5! 23. Kf2 Ra4! 24. Ke3 Rca8 25. Rab1 h6! 26. Nf3 g5 27. Ne1 Rg8 28. Kf3 g:f4 29. g:f4 Raa8 30. Ng2 Rg4 31. Rg1 Rag8 Capablanca keeps Janowski ever on the defensive, battling both Q & K sides with immediate tension on the g-file. Now, he switches back to the Q-side.

32. Be1 b4 33. a:b4 Ba4 34. Ra1 Bc2 35. Bg3 Be4+ 36. Kf2 h5 37. Ra7 B:g2  38. R:g2 h4 39. 46. R:e6B:h4 R:g2+ 40. Kf3 R:h2 41. B:e7 Rh3+ 42. Kf2 Rb3 43. Bg5+ Kg6 44. Re7 R:b2+ 45. Kf3 Ra8 + Kh7 White resigns in lieu of coming on the ..Ra3 mate threat.

 ***    CHESS MARCHES ON ***

Now and then I get comments from readers voicing other interesting mind games.  My favorite has always been chess.  It has a rich history; tactics abound; a mirrored hosting of variety featured openings exist with many variants regularly arising from talents around the world backed up by literature.

A recent Chess Life titled:  CHESS: A GAME FOR LIFE shows the diversity of those bitten by the chess bug. I quote from the following of one youngster who obviously was so bitten.

“I started playing chess five years ago when I was six years old. The Dinosaur Chess app was my favorite game. I then started playing real chess with my daddy…Mommy took me to the International Chess Academy near my home.  I started taking lessons and playing in tournaments. My twin sister did too, but she didn’t like it. I am shy but with chess I feel comfortable and happy.  We get to travel to fun places like Florida and Tennessee. One of my favorite things about chess is that you can be losing terribly but there is always a chance to win.  My mommy thinks chess helps me understand and learn that it is important to never give up and always try to learn from my mistakes. Sometimes this is hard for me. At the last nationals, I missed a game because my daddy read the schedule wrong. I was so sad and just wanted to go home.  But I didn’t quit, and I still had fun with my friends. The next tournament I did amazing and reached my personal goal of a 1500 rating.  Chess teaches me to never give up. Plus it’s fun and I have really good friends in the chess world.” – Grant Goldman.

This story is told again and again among the many thousands of chess kids who compete in this game.  The rating system is a key incentive to many who play to improve and have goals to climb the ladder classes.

The Russian Bear once bragged that their great skill was partly due to their communist system and that America would never produce similar talent. The results of the USCF and chess programs in the schools, kid clubs and individual joy has built a huge group who settle in Western societies.

GM Garry Kasparov, a former candidate opposing V. Putin for President of Russia has visited often to the USA and been a great inspiration in the development of chess interest and values and joined by many who immigrated to settle in the USA from many Lands.













The Amateur Eye – We are Kindreds

April 21, 2018

Chess and Life are similar if you think about it.  Most common is the realization that both make demands for your time.  For example. beware of things that seem cool but with close examination turn out to not deliver the result expected.  That is true in the political field just as an example.  Sooner or later appearing to be cool find that the piper must be paid.  If you thinks material things are most important, just remember the baggage that weighs most is expense you may not want.  All trappings seen in life appear juicy up front.

A perfect example that the Garfield panels show is his girlfriend hugging a teddy bear that finds Garfield a bit jealous.  He thinks “Hey, do you prefer purring up to him than me?  She just thinks to avoid an argument that at this moment–YES.

Dag and Blondie are enjoying an evening together in the living room, Dag puts down a magazine he was reading and tells his wife that he regrets not ever training to be an astronaut.  Blondie who is knitting looks bewildered and says why would he want to do that.  “Well, I was just thinking that I was always impressed by their dedication and sense of exploration. Besides, soaring thru space would be about as far as I could possibly get from the J. C. Dithers Company.”

What happens on the tele about having the boss at senate hearings to question maul the chief exec finds the comics Adams in Dilbert featuring three panels to wit: I’m no engineer, so this might seen a dumb question.  But why can’t we 3-D print a block-chain and HTML it into a bitcoin??  My assistant Alice can answer that.  Alice stares in total bored resignation thinking are these people real?  I quit boss and leave that one up to you.

For better or worse, the school dance proved to be a step in the wrong direction.  His girl is talking with friends and he is munching cookies and pop thinking they just put on a call for a slow dance.  Totally in feared shock his fears come to the surface. She will expect me to dance.  I will windup stepping on her feet. What if I screw up? What if she thinks I am hopeless?  Well, get hold of yourself old boy and be bold.  Okay, I am ready. I will hold her in my arms and…what’s this, she has accepted a dance partner other than me!??  I guess if you hesitate, you lose or are saved?  Which is it?  Oh, my!

The Amateur Eye – A Great Film Story

April 17, 2018

Perhaps the greatest western movie ever conceived in storyline was RED RIVER.  It appears every now and then and one might ask: if you seen it, why waste time viewing it again?  I am one seeing new values coming from the various characters emerging from the pages of a book, play or movie.  I purposely try to find new adventure and meaning from the plots and adventures of the actors and artistic crafting of the filming which, in this great movie, was a true masterpiece of professional brilliance.

Of course there are many great movies.  TCM features many over the years.  Somehow I feel that time can stand still for just a little bit where the old meet the new and together they enrich the art ever so much.


The Amateur Eye – It’s Nonsense

April 17, 2018

Are you going to buy Mr. Comey’s book?  No.  Nor do I want to waste my time viewing TV programs designed to promote it by offering up tidbits of chapter contents.  Now, I do not argue.  The simple point is this;  He should have left the stage and wrote his book a few years down the road.  It is never a wise decision to write when in a boiling pot of vindictive hatred or disgust leading to a portentous behavior unbecoming the author’s subject and demeanor.

SAD/Sad/sad that our news coming out of professional norms have resorted to hours of pillaging the very roots of our Democracy and Republic.  There seems a gleeful eye to shed light on the sins exhibiting evil even when the venomous disgust is highlighted purposely to discredit a target without truth or justification.  The question might be asked as to whether Jesus was right when discussing sin.  It truly appears in many forms and those who flaunt it to public obsession merit little favor especially giving it an airing of public chatter.   I perhaps speak for many in America and round the world by such  disgust seen in media coverage bent on fallacies rather than fact finding truths in reporting.  There appears to be viciousness in character behavior across the board.

Our literature in print today falls far short of righteous thought.


The Amateur Eye – 20th Maccabiah Games

April 10, 2018

Joseph Zeltsan, a New Yorker, wins first chess gold ever for the USA at games that celebrate Jewish athletes titled the 20th Maccabiah Games.  This international Jewish multi-sport event, featured 10,000 athletes from over 80 countries.

In the summer of 2017, 1000 plus athletes from the USA traveled to Israel to compete in the 3rd largest sporting event in the world.  Six juniors played in Haifa along with 3 at   Jerusalem.

Taking the silver medal was Ezra Paul Chambers of Burundi and bronze by Daniel Savchenko of Germany.

The US group also included Simona Nayberg from California, Eiten Genger and Kevin Ordet from Florida, Rose Dreizen from New York, Max Weinstein from New Jersey–all with good scoring.

The Open event attracted a number players who all finished with good scores. David Wyde, Iris Kokish and Jeremy Glassman–all challenging the top places.

The games and whole event was celebrated by camaraderie within and across teams.

(Contributed by US Coach David Lazarus. for Chess Life.)