Archive for July, 2018

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

July 31, 2018

There is a movie being made within the Eastman Kodak property reported in the D&C newspaper.  Fast moving and spinning cars brought lots of noise to the neighborhood and cemetery.  Nothing really exciting in the report but got this from a friend who works for Kodak.  Apparently it brought to me memories of the movie BAMBI.  One might say what news is worthy of mention?  Well, as told to me, a Doe and it’s Fawn strayed into an enclosed area when the gate had been opened for a vehicle.  They darted into the enclosed area, got locked in.  An employee fed them since it was a weekend, giving the Doe and Fawn water and food.  I assume these two were released following the weekend and probably found their way back to the cemetery which apparently has become home to a number of wildlife including this Doe and it’s baby Fawn.  In all probability the noise from the movie folks scared these two nature beasts.  I hope as an animal enthusiast, they live.  Just wanted to say that it surely was an adventure for both.  God and human kindness prevailed in this case.  Events can bring hope and love in many situations in our walk through life and give it additional meaning.

An interesting new book is FUNDAMENTAL CHESS – LOGICAL DECISION MAKING by the Indian Grandmaster known by the handle, R. B. Ramesh.  If you are like me, I have ups and downs with figuring what to do in certain positions arising in tournament play–not just one game but the whole series that spells ‘tournament results’.  It all boils down to hair pulling calculations, remembering pattern ideas, all associated with my square count theory in each position met with the ever present thought process like a toy train engine whose wheels hum endlessly and only you control it’s final destination.  It really boils down to as the book title refers: decisions-decisions-decisions.

India is a fast rising powerhouse in chess thinking with much coming from the many beautiful games played by Anand as proof of the popularity for the game in India and creative ideas from imaginative and creative advocates which will surely advance the game’s future.

Certainly there have been many great books: The Game of Chess by Dr. S. Tarrasch, My System by Dr. A.Nimsowitsch, both historically the most famous contributions to chess literature.  But the approach of author Ramesh examines known aspects of making decisions and breaking them down in as do many treatises before it.  He gives it a fresh new look in such processing of idea examples with sharp and clear focus on each lesson exhibited.  He has advanced the graphic use of modern technology in the advancement of chess theory from old to present to new literary achievement.

I see this book as a reinforcement of ideas seen from the many pages and books that adorn my personal chess library with perhaps a visionary Indian flavor.  If you are mainly interested in knowledge depth, of bettering your rating opportunities coming from tournament play, then by all means consider making a purchase.  It does what the author intended as an aid to making decisions-decisions-decisions!




The Amateur Eye – Lessons learned

July 30, 2018

At the foot of my mom and father memory chats, etc.  I was born in 1938 and by age three America had gotten involved in a great world conflict against the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan.  The allies had to face not only a gruesome foe on the field of battle across the world both on land and sea and air but especially here in the USA– a very powerful undercurrent of German sympathizers having both secretive spying going on as well as acceptance because of our granted Constitutional Rights for public pockets of American haters who cherished their homeland roots especially coming from German influence.  So being watchful was really the only thing Americans could rightly do.

Mom was well educated. Father was a WWI vet and with a very artistic photoengraving career and music background.  They taught me to read very young and my brothers and sister all shared in this learning environment.  In those memorable times, we met many families and shared longtime friendships. Sunday group picnics was common to avoid hunger among the community. Sharing was utmost in all minds.

Since starting my blog I wrote of my age 3-6 period describing a bit of one’s childish memories that absorbed my every being. I was thought to be very smart and mature for one so young.  I was a leader among my chums.  I had always felt that during the summer school break the school had hired a youth summer teacher.  She espoused a strong favoritism with me and when I think about it even today, I recall having suspicions of her patriotism.  She was constantly talking up the reading of the war maps in the newspaper and how we felt about the conflict.  Per father and mom I was told never to discuss anything about the nature of what our family thoughts were and this was rather commonly brought up at our playground sessions.  Still, I liked the lady and simply avoided discussions about family.  We played war games, actually raiding the trains as I commented previously amid the dangers of actually kids climbing on the moving troop and ammo trains going through Ithaca.  Lets face it.  It was great fun and God only knows how we managed to avoid getting into real trouble if caught.  As I said, it was great fun and I think we wanted to experience the dangers that our older kin were engaged across the world.  My  brother Ray was training troops in Florida and later Fort Benning, Georgia which made me very proud of his service and patriotism.  Maybe this had much to do with my own participation in these endeavors.

Oh, I was occasionally spanked by father who stuck a comic book in my butt before bringing on the punishment which mom insisted was father’s duty. Tears would come to both their eyes and even my brothers and sister tried to console me after the punishment was rendered.  Father used to wink at me for our little secret.

It was happy times for children in general, I think. But mom was always worried because of my generalship of kids in war.  She hated war and did not like Ray in the military per se.  She was so scared that she took me to a carnival that came to Ithaca and had my palm and life read by a gypsy who told mom that I was going to lead great armies someday which brought us home rather quickly.  I was drafted but never became a general so I guess maybe the only thought this gypsy saw in her globe ball was that I was destined to lead armies across the 64 squares.

Of course I have related the great tales and adventures with my pal Roberta.  She was a true blue friend and we had lots of adventures together a little like Mark Twain might write about.  These are contained within my huge web file.

My life suddenly changed–like father taking a job in a new city; it really left me quite despondent because Ithaca, East Hill, was the only real connection to my life up to then.  I was really not happy living in Rochester.  The environment was totally foreign to me.  I think it was the nature of youth controlling neighborhood blocks by kids and teenage gangs.  Well, at ages 6-8 (latter part of 6) I only remember two very dangerous incidents. One was my pal Joey was always being beat on my this ruffian down the block. He could run very fast and mostly avoided the much heavier foe. But I said to him: “Why do you fear him so?” Of course I was not familiar at all with black eyes or bloody noses.  I told him to stand his ground and when this kid came up to us and began to badger Joey, I told him to get lost. Joey took off for home and he went for me.  I beat him up because my grandfather on visits to Ithaca taught me to box.  I left him on the ground and started to turn away to go home also.  He picked up a brick and was about to throw it at me when a lady working in her garden let out a scream. I turned and got a glancing blow off my shoulder and I took after him all the way to his back porch where he screamed for his mother’s aid.  Well, to make short work of this, I told her what her son had done and she chased me away and said she was calling my parents after I gave her my name and address.  Mom came right away and said she never remembers Donnie ever fighting with anyone.  A neighbor woman came over having seen mom coming and spoke on my behalf.  His mother got the truth then from him and she said in modern terms: “You’re grounded young man permanently and you will see further punishment when your father gets home.”  Was it save face in light of the lies he told?  Maybe.  But he never bothered little Joey anymore.

My mom and I found a kitten terribly burned around the face.  She caught this Italian kid with a small fire over which he was trying roast this kitten.  He had tied it up over the fire by the tail and meant to kill it of course.  I never saw mom so angry and she grabbed him by the nap of his neck and we dowsed the flame by kicking away the small twigs.   The kid started to cry when she severely scolded and shook the life nearly out of him. But then something strange happened. She took him in her arms and talked to him.  I don’t know what she said.  But whatever it was seemed to change the spirit from one of anger to one of heavy tearing as he calmed down.  He just looked at her and lay on the ground kicking amid many tears and whimpers.  He accompanied us into the kitchen and helped her give care to the kitten.  Then he left.

But that was not my second story.  One day my teenage brother George who liked girls (he was so handsome and she attracted them like flies with her flirtations) was lying on the ground being beat on by one gang member of teenage ruffians who had knocked Georgie down and I saw red.  I ran on the porch, grabbed my baseball bat and ran into the circle threatening to hit him with it.  They went to grab me and the leader, who just happened to be the kid mom got after jumped in and told them to leave me alone.  “I like that kid. He was willing to die for his brother.  Anybody who ever touches him now or ever will answer to me.” I still think of the threat that came with those words after all these years. As it turned out, his girl was just trying to make her boyfriend jealous and tempted Georgie with her pretty face and charm.

Well, the story doesn’t exactly end there either.  Years later I learned that this bad boy became a police officer, detective and good citizen.  I don’t know what mom might have done to bring about this end of this tale but I always felt that she did much in that little space of talking time, altered this kid’s whole demeanor and life.  Maybe the Lord had something to do with it, too.  His later conduct surely advanced such change.  I learned one thing if nothing more from all this: Words have meaning and strength to alter and enrich our lives when given careful thought in love and to smother out hatred from our vocabulary.

My sister was not free of harassment either.  A young mafia pretend boss was always after her while she walked to school.  She ignored his advances.  He was so angry that he put a barrel of leaves he set on fire and placed on our porch which was a double house. Luckily our neighbor quickly threw it outdoors and no damage resulted.  I told Nino who was the kid who mom in Christian love saved I believe said he was going to talk to the fellow and that she needed not be frightened anymore.

What are the things that really matter in life?  I know the Bible does.  I know the truth of the Ten Commandments.  I know the history and record of our Father’s Son on earth and both He  and army of Disciples who give us guidance until Jesus comes again as promised in the Holy Book.  But mostly I see it in the character of people like my parents who in just sometimes the simplest of lives, lend credence to the evolution of thought, character, and individualism.  The beauty of American culture is a heritage of the great thing called freedom.  Yes!! Let us keep it ringing in our great Land forever.

The alternative, the very enemy of what I hold true–atheism lives and must be ever held in jail being kin to communism and the fakeness of socialism as viewed by many politicians today as in the past, and likely to continue into the future.  It necessitates our constant check like in chess whenever it raises it’s ugly head.  It lives and breathes as a Satanic religion.  It is a deadly poison for our very being human.

God Bless and safeguard our President Trump and all who seek the freedoms granted in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Perhaps I should add it for those who practice and follow the richness and truisms of the Ten Commandments.  God Bless Us Everyone.  Thank you Tiny Tim.

The Amateur Eye -Achievements

July 26, 2018

One of the great tributes to our American heritage is the efforts put forth by the common man.  Perhaps that is wrong to say because heritage of the common man or woman in American life USA is the story of its people.  Achievement. Perseverance. Success.  Failure. A common enough trend of its people coming from many or limited walks on personal paths from birth to death.  Where do you find these people?  Well, I found one such individual hidden in the backlot of the Chess Life magazine, June 2018, to be exact.

This space is called MY BEST MOVE which features usually a brief visit, favorite game, and story.  I opened up this page which is my favorite being at the very end of the many great articles that precede it.  It fits my usual cup of coffee brief of enjoyment.

Fred Wilson, noted chess bookseller in New York City tells his story that illustrates a common trend of character seen in the American character and spirit.  He writes about his best move from 1967, 50+ years ago when he tied for first in the Manhattan Open and game featuring a stunning Queen sacrifice against US master Walter Shipman.

That is the story of his best move in chess.  But the real best move in his life came about when his business of 38 years called Fred Wilson Chess Books was forced to close because the area was being redeveloped. His energetic spirit searched and he found a new home for his business of over 2000 chess books and dozens of vintage chess sets and clocks.

He closes with: “Here I will stay to complete my 50 years in business and be the oldest chess player at age 70 to earn a 2300 rating.” You know, I think he will achieve his goal!

The Amateur Eye – Lazy No Shows

July 22, 2018

Citizens have a responsibility to vote in the primaries.  Because they did not go to the polls to lend support to the candidates, the less than 20 percent turnout enabled the socialist candidate to win.  Maybe it was a good thing though. Their candidate seems to lack commonsense.  And that lack of interest and support by casting ballots at the polls produce what occurred.  That is how Putin got into office, through crooked politics and rigging of results at least according to one of the key opposition, former world chess champion Kasparov.  Oh, well.  That is why they sell so much vodka in Russia and beer and ale everywhere else.  No guts; no interest.

The Amateur Eye – The Low Man

July 22, 2018

Judge Dan O’Hanion relates in Chess Life how his team mates surprised looks of jubilation when he announced, “No, I actually won.” That happened in 1993 when the team of IM Jay Bonin, Mark Ritter, and captain Harold Stenzel needed a forth player, low enough in rating to keep the team total average under 2200 in preparation for the US Amateur Team competition.

Planning is everything.  The idea for a forth player selection was to choose someone with a rating that allowed the team average to be as close to 2199 as possible, so the forth selection was important.  A team strategy is to draw on boards one and two and hopefully axing wins on three and four.

You can catch the winning conclusion on page 72 of the July 2018 issue of CHESS LIFE.

Like chess?  Invite your non-members of CHESS LIFE to experience the joys of the Royal Game. Call (931)787-1234.  Main Office- Crossville TN.


Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

July 22, 2018

The Spring National Scholastic Championships will leave a special memory for the young participants. The various categories decided to have a photo shoot of the various groupings and have the kids sign their names and notes to our world champion candidate called GO FABI!

The giant cards featured photos and all participants’ notes and names expressing good wishes for GM Fabiano Caruana, America’s World Championship Candidate. Here are just a couple: “Take your time, and look for the best moves & you will do great!” Katie.   “Fabi! Fabi! Your the best. Go and win some awesome chess.” Endrerie.

The championship will take place in November.  Players around the world will be watching this great title match between world champion Magnus Carlsen and American challenger GM Fabiano Caruana!

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.




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!!!