Archive for July, 2018

The Amateur Eye – Political Fruit

July 18, 2018

Politics I liken to fruit– specifically THE APPLE. I came to this following the debacle seen since President Trump shot off another cannon barrage in consulting with world leaders and specifically Vladimir Putin, head of all-Russia.  The world map shows Russia bordering with several European countries.  This causes concern for President Trump as a number of hot spots in the world happen to be in the vicinity of Russia’s borders. And make no mistake, the Russian leader has been on the outs with all of them which includes members of the NATO Alliance.

Once again the behavior of folks cannot grasp the thoughts of President Trump as the Donald walks with sharp clarity and meaning backed with action and resolve.  You see, no one has ever, given the power, done anything but shout at the mess left the USA by former President Barack Obama and as the Donald so vividly pointed out all leaders of the past contributed to the world mess the Donald inherited since becoming the elected President of the United States of America.  His accurate definition has hit the main street America like a shock wave.  They cry out: HOW DARE YOU SPEAK ILL OF THE POLITICAL ELITE and corrupt conditions seen coming from the SWAMP as he named the garbage coming from the smell of dirty politics.  Yes, I have concluded that is the real reason why the elite want to destroy President Trump and his agenda.  He exposed for the public what many have felt for decades and only now voice and print the hard cold truth totally ignored by a Press that has tainted their rhetoric and columns slanted toward progressive liberalism, frankly speaking, being next to communist thought and practice.

For people who fight every day, night and hour for the freedoms our Constitution, the stars and stripes of our national flag, our heritage as a people that reflects a Godly spirit and, is ever at war with evil ways, forecast troubles within our national borders not so disturbing since the early days of our Republic.  Under President Trump’s leadership that undercurrent seen in past decades is challenged.  That, dear friends, is the way I see it. God bless us all.  Let evil thoughts wither on the vines.

 

 

 

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The Amateur Eye – 1. b3

July 18, 2018

My first encounter of this move now called Nimzowitsch-Larsen Opening AO1 was as a kid finding several postal games played by brother Ray during World War II at Fort Landing and again at Fort Benning where he served as a training NCO.  The games are long demised now but Ray said he had no chess materials and just to experiment with a solid type setup free of book analysis used by postal players.

US Chess Championship  2018, St. Louis, Mo. between GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Sam Shankland.  1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bb5?! I don’t quite understand this move. 4. d3 followed by Nf3 and Be2 was more in keeping with the fianchetto plan.

4. … e4 5. f3 a6 6. B:c6 d:c6 7. Qe2 Bf5 8. f:e4 B:e4 Black could also play 8…N:e4.

9. d3 Bg6 10. Nc3 Bc5 11. O-O-O Qe7 12. 12. e4 Ba3!  This nice move’s idea is to prepare a Queenside sortie with … a5/b5 in the wings.

13. g4 a5 14. g5 Nh5? Somehow missing a logical 14… Nd7 as would be indicated with my own s/c theory eg: 15. h4 h6 l6. Rh3 h5 blocking up any immediate idea of a Kingside wake up call.

15. Qe3 O-O 16. Nge2 b5! 17. B:a3 Q:a3+ 18. Kb1 a4 19. Nc1? Why not striking out to gain count with Nd4.

19… Rfb8 20. Rhe1 c5 21. Ka1 a:b3 22. c:b3 c4 23. Nb1 Qa6 24. Rd2 f5?  Here is a case of a pawn too far. Better for Black is 24…. f6! 25. h4 Bf7! Bringing the bishop back into a strategic line.

25. e:f5 B:f5 26. b4 Qg6 27. Rf1 Missing a winner with 27. Nc3 Re8 28. Qf3!

27… c6 28. Nc3 Re8 29. Qf3 B:d3?  Missing the strong 29… Q:g5! 30. Rg2 Qf6 31. Kb2 Bg6!

30. N:d3 Rf8? 31. Qd1 c:d3 32. R:f8+ R:f8 33. R:d3 Q:g5 34. Rd6 Qf4? Missing the last chance with … Rf6.

35. R:c6 Q:b4 36. Qd5+!! The saving move.

36… Kh8 37. Q:b5 Qf4 38. Qc5 Draw agreed. But the missed chances to put White down for the count is what makes chess with so many chances to find sizzlers that win mixed among the numerous miscues discovered during play and analysis later that makes the struggle worthwhile and lessons learned.

The Amateur Eye – 2018 US Chess Champs

July 16, 2018

The United States Chess Championship held in St. Louis, MO has to be one of the strongest historically speaking, certainly the strongest rating-wise.  Both the men’s and women’s event ran from April 17-30, 2018.  Winner of men’s was a new and popular chess star, GM Samuel Shankland who has just written his first chess book which some already call a ‘classic work’.  The females were not to be denied like recognition. Both fields registered 12 chess stars in this super clash of the best representatives in 2018.

In the male event, GM Shankland 2671 finished with 81/2 ahead of Fabiano Caruana 2804 gathering 8 points, losing one game to GM Zviad Izoria, while winning 6 and drawing 4. The champion finished undefeated with 6 wins and 5 draws.

In the women’s event, IM Nazi Paikidze 2352 regained her title lost the previous year by scoring 5 wins and 6 draws edging out FM Annie Wang 2321 in a playoff, each collecting equal totals of 8 points. Youngster Annie Wang was impressive gathering 6 wins, 4 draws and one loss to WGM Sabina-Francesca Foisor 2308. Following highlights an interview with winner Nazi Paikidze who spoke of Annie Wang, “It’s good to have a young spirit (referring to almost champ Annie Wang.) I used to be the young one, but not any more.”

 

 

The Amateur Eye – Happy Birthday

July 14, 2018

One of the greatest players, composers, Hall of Fame, his Benko Gambit, gave Bobby Fischer his seat to play in the World Championship subsequently won by Fischer celebrates his 90th birthday on July 14, 2018.  In America he is probably most remembered for his skill as a contributor to Chess Life Magazine and my review of his famous book MY LIFE , GAMES, AND COMPOSITIONS.  His Hungarian birth tops all of the greats from that country.  Happy Birthday Pal Benko!!!

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

July 14, 2018

Mothers reflect back on child rearing.  Would this have anything to do with the ups and downs of past remembrances? Of course!  For better or worse, the experience is limited to motherhood.  How so?  Well, the first day and many others you send off your loved one to school on that first of many days.  You experience the memories of school buses and time frames from breakfast to pick up.  That kindergarten pickup is a life long memory cherished in your memory pocket.  Then you remember the joy and happiness of seeing drawings and notes you attach to the fridge.  Then one day you discover that the little baby is grown up when trying to carry that little bundle has gotten too big to carry. And that period is more blessed if Dad can be a part of the experience.

Shoe is always looking for something to fill the panels.  Here we see the judge telling his idea for advertising. “I’m having an a cappella group perform at my fundraiser.” “What does ‘a Cappella’ mean?”  “It’s Italian meaning I can’t afford a band.”

Garfield and his girlfriend sit in the panel where she purrs to Garfield that we should do something together.  Garfield meows suggesting they go to the movie theater.  She replies with the question that he would take her.  Sure, people always drop a lot of popcorn and stuff on the floor.

The political scene finds Dagwood answering Blondie’s query, “What’s happening?”  Dag says, “Another celeb just apologized for his apology that cost him his endorsements.” “Dagwood! That doesn’t make sense.  He apologized for his apology?”  Dag has his nose to the TV, “Now he is about to apologize for his second apology.”  Blondie turns to leave the panel with “I’m sorry I asked.”  Dag replies, “I’m sorry I watched!”

Nelson tells his grandma that grandpa asked me if the cat had my tongue?  I didn’t know what he was talking about so he told me that it was just an old expression.  He said it doesn’t have to mean anything so long as it means something.”  Opal, who was sitting on the couch knitting looked at Nelson at his comment to say, “Grandpa has bats in his belfry.” which I am sure caused Nelson to turn his questioning to Grandma to explain it!

I end today with Ziggy.  “The world may be a mess now….but looking on the bright side! Things will probably get worse. That is a good thing because today will seem like one of the GOOD OLD DAYS!”

The Amateur Eye – Revolution????

July 12, 2018

Revolution can mean many things.  When I think of it now I relate to it in Fox News weekly newscast.  But revolution in my lifetime has seen the Russian White Army versus the Russian Red Army better known in its theology as Communism.  Upheavals one and all.  In more modern times Castro’s brand of communism left the country a mess and its people starving for a better life.  In a wordy description backed with photos showing the conditions existing in socialized States shows peoples wanting no personal responsibilities but insists the State take care of them.  The result reflects the breakdown of different brands labeled “Revolution.”

When I think of Russian communism, I think of the mass murder of millions but even more so the slaughter of the Czar, wife and their many beautiful young family members.

When I think of revolution, I think of change.  Anything that I relate to as change really goes back to “revolution” as a guiding force.

A wise man once said: Beware what you ask for because you just may get it.  And what you get may be like that of babies in Hell Fire due to that evil called abortion and the communist system under Stalin known in the USA as the Women’ Right to Choose Movement or Planned Parenthood and what I call the early indoctrination from freedom to indoctrination of a philosophy branded in the womb of communist belief coming from what is called today as “The Left” to cloud the evilness of communism in all its hideousness–look at China, at North Korea, at Russia and it is trying to infiltrate such evil beliefs in our Republic through the wonderful sounding term “liberalism” and a highjacked Democratic Party now dominated by The Left. It borders on “insanity”. Those in the Left movement are insane: proof is in the pudding as they say. They are incapable of debate where ideas are aired.

 

 

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

July 12, 2018

My life is full of bugs right now, sad to say.  My bowling stinks; my lawn care provided gives me allergies; I hate seeing my Yankees lose games or leave runners on 2nd and 3rd, no outs and fail to score even one run.  Well, at least the 9-0 win tonight over the Orioles let the team have 50 per cent in the visit to Baltimore.  Stanton had four hits, Romine got two hits including a long homerun over the center field wall, young Wade conked a homer too. Bird who a radio newscaster said is a waste, hit a grand slam homer and made several brilliant defense plays which seems to blot out his blunder in losing the night before.  On coming home from medical and bowling, I got a joy in seeing my nephews diligently improving my yard!   Hey, I guess given everything, I AM TRULY BLESSED and my s/son reminds me of those blessings that I do give thanks for in my prayers.  Life is great, even when things seem dismal.

This day’s panels sorely point out the universal truth that coffee break time is your time and mine!   Take Ziggy for example.  Here we see him sitting in his arm chair watching the tube which is signing off with: “Good night, and thanks for allowing us into your living room! … By the way, those curtains look hideously ugly!

And in Beetle Bailey, he and his girl, you know who is the general’s secretary, are enjoying the moon as they sit on a park bench.  She coos “What do you think you’d like to do tonight?”  She gets no answer, only a soldier who suddenly gives out a ZZZ.  “I had to ask?!”  What a date tonight is her thoughtful rebuke.

Dagwood in his easy chair asks Blondie  how long before dinner? She responds with “Not long, dear.  Try a glass of water to calm that hunger feeling.  I read that cold water will kill an appetite for a while.”  Dagwood responds quickly with, “Absolutely not!  My appetite would never forgive me if I killed it.”

Hagar’s wife tells Hagar that his ship is in port.  “You told me that my life would change when your ship came in.  And you failed to say that it would be a garbage scow.”

 

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

July 9, 2018

Politics aside, I am looking forward to President Trump’s address to the Nation naming his choice among four considered to take the seat of Justice of the Supreme Court.  And the news came in the back of the newspaper A section and lo and behold if the reporter did not try to defame his 9PM Monday night newscast.  Sure enough, the media couldn’t just report the fact without labeling Trump as that “Reality Star revels in using the Presidency to put all eyes on him”.  Yep, hand it to the media to cast a dark cloud over such an important news cast.  The fact is that 9pm just happens to be prime time–jerk! Naturally the President wants to attract the widest possible audience for their enjoyment of history being made.  Yep!  These jackass reporters really know how to report the news on such historic and rare events like naming a historic choice among any of the four he praised.  But shame on the Editorial Staff who published it in that context.  Jackasses one and all on stupidity and just why Donald J. Trump was elected by American citizens.

Four Better or Worse is a good put down for the above, friends!! The four panels show the family discussing family.  “Was I a good baby, Mom?” “Of course. You slept well; ate well; nor fussed much.  With you everything seemed so easy.”  “Why?” And to this, her other said, “Because they had me first to practice on!”

Shoe finds a TV broadcast noting a new study has identified a leading cause of profanity–Golf!

The Family Circus sees the family visiting Philadelphia’s landmark THE LIBERTY BELL.  Know what cracked it?  One of the kids said it was rung too hard when the Eagles winning the Super Bowl.   No, it was cracked when the bell bellowed out the ringing sound of FREEDOM and as a reminder that Freedom is never just free without an ever watchful eye.

Garfield gives us a lecture.  What’s wrong with the world you ask?  I’ll tell you what’s wrong with the world.  It doesn’t do enough for me.  That is the liberal point of view.

Pickles found Opal and her lady friend having a coke at the restaurant. “Silvia (that is her daughter) and I were talking at lunch yesterday.”  Her friend said “Yeah?” “She told me that when she was little she and a friend used to cross a very  busy road to buy candy at a store.”  Really! I bet she’d have been in big trouble if you’d found that out back then.” “What back then? I don’t care if she is grown up or not, she’s grounded for life!”

Peanuts finds the “mutt” thinking that he gets his best ideas when laying outside in the sunshine.  It starts to rain which brings, “Somehow I never get an idea while lying in the downpour!

 

 

 

The Amateur Eye – Murder, A Joke?

July 9, 2018

The Book of Life being our Christian Holy Bible is praised and equally hated by two sets of believers–atheists and Christians who find either a book  to hate and despise or the Bible that follows the history of the world, a God who gave the world his only begotten Son, Jesus–a historic record of his being and life travels in the ancient world.

Is there any wonder that atheism tries to block out the truth; it fears the Bible because that text creates for the world the whole idea of Sin and the demise of those who so practice it.  The Bible history gives proof that we all sin but that Jesus came to bring the state of forgiveness and path to follow toward a new life.  It brought together the old and the new in spiritual bliss that emerged through the CROSS–the death of Jesus’ end time struggle to overcome evil in the World.  One word: Repentance and change in behavior.

Jesus came to affirm that the ancients foretold, that there was but one true God.  And was there any proof that God gave his only begotten Son to a world full of evil ways?  The path of Jesus’ Life, his ministry, his words were duly recorded by the Prophets and kept in the Holy Book passed down to all mankind–The Holy Bible.  The tragic fate of the early Christian Church and believers largely at the hands of the Romans have evolved into the devil worship of like practitioners seen across the World where today Christians have met a similar fate from unbelievers.

The truth?  It comes from Faith and Love of our Lord and prayerful effort to understand and obey our Father in Heaven.  The track record is there.  The only question is: Do you believe in Jesus, the historic records proven in the text of religious study and our present search for the Twelve Apostles?  For certainly, their own travels and work across the known world of that time give evidence of God at work in the World as He continues to this day and the final chapter book is fulfilled.

Evil exists.  It has always existed because of human failure to seek truth and justice.  Oh, it exists.  Our books and languages confirm it.  Murder in the hearts of humans and mammals cover centuries on bookshelves.  Love of violence and such careless acts that corrupt our modern society is old news.  Godless hate coming from the minds of people is just a carry-on of history.  The world cannot hide in ignorance because modern technology has brought the truth of the Bible and modern day Prophet types to many Lands so the idea that sinners can voice ignorance is slowly being dissolved as an excuse. The words of the Prophets and warnings are today being fulfilled as what was impossible is evolving on the world stage even as I write this.

The D & C newspaper, Monday, July 9th 2018 reports on the murder of police officer Nicholas Clark who had stopped a car and as officers do, return to his car to fill out a report, the driver came up behind him and shot him in the head twice.  Senseless murders exist because all murder is senseless.  Our modern liberalized policies have blamed the culture of the conservative structure in society.  These are terms of beliefs and one can only look to the evidence of history where fault lies and differences coming from these philosophies point.  What is the character of such political debate and where does it point?  That is the question we all have to ponder.  Is it just the act of human behavior to show and express violence?  I pray not but the truth is often shoved under the rug that continues to hide such compulsions in human character.

 

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

July 7, 2018

Dissatisfaction can warp your thoughts and must be recognized as a temporary  human experience.  Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches in life.  But surely consider this: When you offer and show kindness to others and that includes the animal world, the spirit of goodness enriches us all with the Father’s heavenly blessings.

Boy! Has it been hot!  And the high humidity has caused Liz’s hair to be a little frizzy.  Jon asks her what she does for it?  And of course, Garfield, the cat, purrs: Inquiring minds want to know.

Blondie always holds the door open for Dag as he gulps down a cup of coffee, picks up his brief and makes a dash for the door.  He stops to give Blondie a big hug and kiss saying that this is International Kissing Day.  It is a day that everybody but for three in the world finds joy in kissing.  Blondie manages to get a word in with “who”? Dag is halted by the blast of a horn as he responds, “My carpool!”

There is always Pickles in the daily happenings in Earl and Opal’s life. “I think something is wrong  with my brain, Opal.  I think I may have had a stroke.  It is like I have forgot how to read with understanding.  I am looking at these instructions that came in the package and can’t make sense out of it.”  With that Opal takes the instruction booklet and says,” That it is no wonder.  You are trying to read the part written in French!”

Somehow the Shoe is always on the other foot in the realm of the Judge who comments on his daily walk with his long time good and best friend.  “Did you ever wonder how the world could be created in just six days?” “Well, I would guess it was because no lawyers were involved.”

“Your a card, Pop!” as his son drove away from a week visit with aunt Millie. “You are far craftier than I ever imagined.  You made Millie’s day and joy drawing her picture as a young and beautiful girl.  No regrets about Millie, Pop?” “Nope.  Ruthie was the love of my Life. Never will be another woman like my Ruthie.  And besides, Millie always said “LIE-BERRY” instead of “LIBRARY” and it drove me buggy…Could have never lived with that!”  “Yep. You sure are a card, Pop!”

“What is Marmaduke doing sitting in the kids ‘Naughty Corner’?” says Dad coming in from his work at the office.  He notices his wife hurriedly using the phone to find 3 messages from the neighbors.  “I worry when I find the phone playing alert music and see messages on voicemail and our neighbors ringing us.”

We find Ziggy standing at the airline window and getting the message that his flight is being delayed. “We are sorry but the pilot had a car accident on the way to the airport.”

You probably heard it from kids of a new game called “Pickleball.”  It is the fastest growing sport in the country.  It boasts 2.8 million players already and is found in schools, rec centers, even jails.  Some of the benefits is it creates a sense of purpose and calm from the drudgeries of life.  It brings out the inner child in each of us says a prison detainee, especially those waiting a trial date going back some years.  Perhaps adding this to the benefits learned from playing chess will lessen time spent and make rehabilitation more successful.  I pray so.