Archive for October, 2018

The Amateur Eye – From the Shadows

October 31, 2018

One of the greatest players in the Golden Era of Chess was Harry Nelson Pillsbury (1872-1895) who emerged as the USA promising chess star following the short and brilliant career of Paul Morphy.  He contacted an illness while in Russia.

For chess novices and experts alike today, he might be called the king of exhibitors, often playing both chess and checker exhibitions blindfolded with superb results. Of course we modern day practitioners of either or both games finds an equal being Newell Banks.

The Brooklyn Chess Club brought forth many famous members and it’s effective leadership role among the elite out of upper eastern states recognized and bolstered the new arrival’s opportunities.  Perhaps the breakthrough came with the International tournament of Hastings 1895 which he won with brilliant play and prompted his tour of Europe in 1896.

Following is the game Pillsbury versus Simon Winawer, certainly one of the outstanding European masters which took place in Budapest, 1896. Opening play by both players show the value of development of pieces and pawn structure.

Lets take a look at how they played the game in 1896.  1. d4  d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e3

This was a period when Steinitz’ theories were prominent as one of the great teachers of strategies.  White could have also ventured out with either 4. Nf3 or 4. c:d5.   Black now pursues completing development via Nf6/Nbd7/Bd6 while Harry goes his own way, effectively deploying his own forces.

4. … Nf6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Bd3

This invites Black to exchange his central pawn for the c-pawn which seems to assure White central pawn structure as better.

6. … Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. e4

As so often happens, being on the move enhances White attack potential.

8. … d:e4 9. N:e4

Note the pawn structure.  White enjoys space d4 versus e6  and that e6 pawn limits the use of the QB, re my square count.

9. … N:e4 10. B:e4 Nf6 11. Bc2

White’s retreat to c2 is excellent and far better than say going to d3 which square is now open for a Queen sortie pressuring a potential Kingside threat.

11. … h6?!?!

Oh’Boy! Very double-edged. Do you see why? This stops a Knight pin but now adds the pawn as a target for the long range Bishop.

12. Be3 Re8 13. Qd3 Qc7

White in one move (Qd3) has connected his Rooks on the lst rank.  The problem with the defense is that it seems a tempo more or less behind which forecasts ill-winds.

14. c5!  

Good and bad. For one thing, it slows freedom within Black’s defenses so open squares are vulnerable with White’s initiative.  Black’s Knight power is improved.

14. … Bf8!  Best; it adds defense to the King position.

15. Ne5 B:c5 16. B:h6!

Pillsbury goes for the full onslaught of the enemy King’s defenses. Black was hoping probably for a slip here via 16. d:c5 Q:e5 17. Bd4 Qd5 that after 18. B:h6 allows a trade of Queens that hinders attacking chances.

16. … B:d4  17. Q:d4

Central power by the Queen greatly empowers square count for White.

17… g:h6 18. Qf4  Nd5 19. Q:h6 f6 20. f4 Re7 21. Ng6  Resigns. 

The greatness can be seen in chess as it’s history of hundreds of years illustrate the cunningness of devotees in recorded games across a millennial period of time.  Every period has it’s champions, artistic breakthroughs in understanding, and a literary wealth in word and deed is the result.

When I went to the Webster library and offered some of my library on chess, the librarian explained that kids no longer are interested in anything but playing games. How sad to think that literature is relegated to and as a scrap pile of a bygone era. 


The Amateur Eye – A Man of System

October 28, 2018

The image of Donald J. Trump I find might best be described, not by today’s left-winger but rather turning back the clock to view THE THEORY OF MORAL SENTIMENTS, 1759; to wit as like: “The systematic man to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so in love with the supposedly beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part. He goes on to establish it completely without any regard to the great interests or prejudices opposing it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange most or all members of a broad if not great society with as much ease to sway audiences as when his hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board”.–Don, the ‘Kindred-Spirit’.

Regardless of how this screwed up world wishes to portray him, he is a man of accomplishment and a steady eye on objectives, going his own way by wisdom of relying on those with whom he embraces their tenacious skills. Such great men who led in the past from every Land,  he suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune because his world is and will be a unique part of history.

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

October 26, 2018

Trying to please readers of my website is a real task.  Whenever I think I am putting forth my best effort, the return is often mixed.  Is it good or bad in the realm of trying to create works that find such worth their attention.  Admittedly I have given up trying to please everyone knowing that such a hope is not probable. It is a dream state bordering on hope that I make it interesting, possibly debatable, and turning on the light bulb that is met in cartooning to awaken the mind.  If I can accomplish success occasionally amid my many writings, then I might bow to say thanks to my reading audience and do sense appreciation.

October 31st is Halloween when we all take on the children like joys and rebirth of earlier times of pumpkins, scary tales, and putting to rest for a brief time the happenings in revisiting the past.  We see Garfield, sitting in his favorite armchair in front of the TV watching a Dracula movie.  Words come from the set: AMAZING.  BRILLIANT. DRACULA IS POWERLESS AGAINST IT!  WHY DIDN’T WE THINK OF THIS EARLIER?  Garfield looks from the panel to us and thinks, TURTLENECK SWEATERS!

Pickles is a Crane 4 panel joy. They show Earl and Opal together. “Earl, I don’t mind you wearing cowboy boots….but one suggestion though…Wear your pants over them, not tucked in.” Earl responds, “Roy Rogers wore his boots with the pants tucked in.”  “Yes, but Roy Rogers was the King of the Cowboys. When you become king of the cowboys, you can tuck in your pants.”

Ziggy tops this day.  Ziggy is viewing many signs put up at this time of year.  Elections, Halloween! “This is all we need! An entire week dedicated to scaring the heck out of us!”


Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

October 25, 2018

To wish for something positive in your life do please remember that unity often comes from divisional thought and act. What is good for me might not be good for you; my truth may not conform to your truth. To the liberal, if I warn of a mischievous nature, I might well be branded as intolerant, mean-spirited, judgmental.  What the written or spoken word often conveys can prove to be whatever the recipient sees whereby the sharpness of response can trigger much truth or ignorance and folly.  Damage to human character is never remedied by either lie or truth.  Such conveyance of wagging gossip can never find the truth but only the purpose of a truth or lie to brand it ever etched in human memory so often seen from memories often lost to an audience but ever etched in the soul.  What purpose?  That may be the sole reason for tormented souls across history of human bondage.

For Better or Worse sees such a dilemma. “Connie, I’ve been driving for over 20 years and never had a accident.  This wasn’t my fault.  How am I going to tell him I smashed up his sports car?  He loves that car!  Connie, I’d wait until he gets back from the conference.  No use ruining his conference trip. Yeah, you are right as usual.”

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

October 22, 2018

The airways are full of good and bad utterings in the political world.  Personally I cannot stand listening to music or most TV sitcoms.  I like TCM old movies and stories like MASH, THE GOLDEN GIRLS, I LOVE RAYMOND and MARRIED WITH CHILDREN— shows that give enjoyment from the steady newscasts related to the political daily happenings.

A lot of political garbage filled with hate is boring.  Everyone seems to be toting a baggage of tripe along with pockets full of personal prejudices.  Such cancerous rhetoric is really unbecoming in political civility; in reality was it ever different?  Character assassination seems the norm  more noticeable from past times because of the instant live coverage of news and propaganda.  But it really makes me wonder about  national, state and local government officials who seem more beholding to lobbyists than to serving the interests of their constituents.  The voter is so often little thought about until election time approaches.  And even then, the politics of smear and destruction rules the day for some.  The rule of law and the pursuit of party influence seen in the political action groups like unions tend to effect the right and wrong of such discourse and can threaten damage to our national Constitution. The vices that crimp our lifestyle is ever present.  And, perhaps after all, it all matters in our heart.

Beetle Bailey fits much of the above today. He and Sgt. Snorkel take up the panel pair. “What are you going to do when you get out of the Army, Beetle?”  “Yeah, I thought about that a lot.  I thought I’d run for Congress.”

Peanuts Charles Schulz  presents four panels showing the bird and Snoopy the beagle on Snoopy’s roof. Dear Sir…the bird is recording in shorthand as his secretary. In panel 3 birdie falls off the roof.  Snoopy thinks, Secretaries aren’t worth much on Monday mornings.

Pickles fills 4 panels between Opal and Earl. Earl is reading the newspaper when Opal enters as she removes her coat.  Obviously she has been outside. She addresses Earl, “Every time I go to one of my Red Hat Lunches, I am amazed at the things some of these ladies have done in their lives. Today I found out that Bessie is a former NASCAR driver and Sharlene was a Beauty Queen.” Earl looks up from his paper and tells Opal, “Wow! It must be a little intimidating to be in a group like that.”  Opal replies, “Yes. Well, if any of them comments about me being on the synchronized Swim Team in the 1956 Olympics, just play along!”

I haven’t had Fred Basset in lately but today’s is ‘pretty cool’ as we see the missus going to the dining room to turn up the temperature. “BRRR, it is chilly, dear. I’m turning up the thermostat!” Hubby comes over and turns down the heat with, “Nonsense!–Go put on a cardigan!  Fred, the dog, thinks: (I’m with her!).

The Family Circus shows Dad in his hotel room on the bed talking to his son on the telephone. He is away from home attending a Dental conference. “And you’re helping Mommy?  Good,  Jeffy! Yes….Yes….Yes!  Ok, put PJ on, but quickly!…”

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

October 19, 2018

Andrew Cuomo has yet to agree to debate Marc Molinaro.  One has to wonder why as a New Yorker of 80 years.  Debate is the only true way candidates can be weighed where the ideal is to get a chance to really discuss issues important to residents.

The Amateur Eye –Gambits Mania

October 12, 2018

Highlights of Gambit strategies is a two-way street.

Wilhelm (William) Steinitz was the first official world chess champion.  He carved out the wild and wooly attacks of gambit play with some spectacular displays on the board. But what he was probably noted for was his brilliance in defense.

The Evans Gambit was a star in his day.  It was also a star in the English champ rival Blackburne.  Here is a game that sort of sets out the best of both and opens with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 from which various lines of play have immortalized the many opening variations.

After 4. b4 we find Mr. B initiating the Evans Gambit and leaving it up Mr. S how he will address it and handle the gambit idea given the name of it’s creator Captain W.D. Evans who was first to try this gambit and since adopted by many of the gambiteers  of the gambit heyday. Continue now with 4….B:b4 5. c3 Bc5 6. d4 e:d4 7. O-O d6 8. c:d4 Bb6 9. Nc3 Bg4 which finds both sides with positive examples of the square count theory.  Blackburne is a move and a half ahead of Steinitz in the race toward full development and open attack lines featuring the mobile center now established.  Remember the kingly phrase: A Pawn is a Pawn. And saying that, it becomes pointers to evaluate; Central domination of the center signals attack on the flank.  Black’s counterplay must be directed against the center.  Steinitz has decided to focus on d4 as his target (Knight and Bishop) and assures the Bb6 will play a role.

Here we see the excitement of Blackburne achieving his gambit ideal.  Steinitz on the other hand senses that the correct and best reaction to an attack on the wing flank is to hit the center.  So his plan is set in motion with the added principle when behind in central development, work to contest your opponent’s control. Attack and counterattack are features of every war strategy and that goes for chess tactics as well. Steinitz realizes that he is a pawn ahead I surmise and that if the attack can be hit by his own counterattack, it will matter which aggression will prevail. A feature of being a pawn up is that there usually comes a time when the pawn can be given up for position and maybe blunting the aggression of the opponent.  A sharp and prolonged game followed with Steinitz prevailing if one can imagine both sides pursuing their plans. Steinitz might be called the Godfather of modern defense.





The Amateur Eye- Down Memory Lane

October 12, 2018

My archives on correspondence chess adds flavor to the discussion earlier on this artful play and commentary.  On February 19, 1980, Estrin sent his resignation to the new world correspondence champion J. Sloth and gave to the nation of Denmark it’s first world champion ever and the final position appeared in journals exhibiting the Danish champ’s marvelous achievement. He won the 8th World Correspondence Chess Championship with Estrin’s resignation after a long grueling battle by snail mail.  He bested Yakov Esrin of the USSR, being the reigning World Champion as well as the previous titleholder Zagorovsky.  The game was so important that Sloth pushed the energy of his position to the ultimate victory.  The Estrin game if drawn would give the title to Zagorovsky again so the full point was essential.  That, Sloth achieved. Sloth, a teacher by profession, demonstrated his deep, solid style and, in cc play has never lost a game by mail. The rigors of correspondence play is well documented for this manner of play.

Thus, we see the drama unfolding, not only on the board but also on the drama seen in months and years of fierce competition.  There have been many wonderful games played in this fashion in history from snail mail to current methods of transmittal greatly speeding up the play and affording a flux of new enthusiasts into the fray.  Unfortunately my computer gave me hiccups again so the layout suffers. Sorry.

English Opening/ J. Sloth vs. Arnlind shows the diligence put into the struggle.

11.  c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. d4 d6 6. Nc3 c6 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 e5 9.Rd1 Re8 10. e4 Qe7 11. b3 e:d4 12. N:d4 Nc5 13. f3 a5 14. Be3 NEW IDEA. Previous play included 14. Rb1 Nfd7 15. Nce2 Ne5 16. Bf4 Qc7=.  14…Na6 15. Re1 d5? Here looking better might be 15…Qc7/16. e:d5 c:d5 17. Bf2 Be6 18. N:e6 f:e6 19. Bh3 Qf7 20. Nb5 Bf8 21. c:d5 e:d5 22. a3 Nd7 23. Nd4 Ndc5 24. Qc3 Nc7 25. R:e8 R:e8 26. Rd1! But not 26. Q:a5? Nd3 offers counter-play. 26…b6 27. b4 a:b4 28. a:b4 N/5a6 29. Rb1 Qf6 30. Bf1 Bg7 31. Qb3 Qd6 32. Rc1 Qd7 33. Qa3 Ra8 34. B:a6 A pretty idea! 34…Qd8 35.Qd3 N:a6 36. Nc6 Qd6 37. N:e7+ Kh8 38. Q:a6 Rf8 39. Nc6 R:f3 40. Q:b6 h5 41. Qd8+ h5 42. Qd8+ Q:d8 43. N:d8 Rb3 44. Ne6 Bb2 45. Rb1 Black resigns.

Those interested in the study of this game should use my square count theory.










The Amateur Eye: Nervous fears

October 8, 2018

In almost every hour of the day in performing tasks we are faced with the elements of fear and a deep effort to achieve fairness.  Losing to an opponent usually strengthens one’s backbone to work harder toward future successes.  Look at legs shaking as you might go on stage to hang up a choir post  in a school  auditorium as your role to  school hosting a music competition like happened to me years ago. These two examples are worlds apart yet the dynamics of it is fear coming in separate circumstances.  The fear is real.  It speaks to an experience coming from a mindful thought toward a stimulus of physical tension experienced in a totally unrelated circumstance.

Columbus Day is historic and denotes our finding a new world as a benefactor of exploration, negating previous bogus views about our Earth and establishing a verbal and written record of history made whole as a result and despite erroneous assumptions concerning our living Planet.  While not the actual finding of our western Hemisphere which was discovered by Chinese ships exploring from the East perhaps for trade routes, and exploration by Vikings, it was left to give Columbus to get credit as representative of the King and Queen of Spain which sponsored the exploration.  It appears that legal and official recognition coming from such exploration was recognized only by official kingdoms recognized out of the European theatre.–Don’s history research lesson.

It just goes to show the ignorance of history not taught in schools these days. It is filled with false doctrines and fallacies.  Ignorance, teachers is no excuse!! You get paid what I provide for free.  Let freedom ring across our great Land.

Jump Start sees Uncle Marcus and Sunny on the phone. “I’m home from school today. It is Columbus Day but tomorrow is ‘Show and Tell’. I am super excited.” He is on the practice field for football and says, “Poor kid! Show and Tell are terrifying!”

Blondie recognizes Columbus Day holiday.   Elmo, the pest of Dagwood, ” Wouldn’t be cool,  Mr. B if Columbus had sailed three ships called: The Carnival, The Royal Caribbean and The Disney?  It would have been a lot more fun! Dagwood replies. Yeah, it would mean, Mr. B all you can eat. I bet ole’Cris would have stuffed his face with Italian!!  Later, we see Dagwood at his favorite luncheonette. “Well, I do have canned Lasagna.” Dag enthusiastically says, “I’ll take it! Crack open two cans! I’ve got a Columbus Day craving.”

Disappointed again because I see Pickles overlooking Columbus Day. Earl is with Nelson and says, “I heard you fell out of a tree.” Uh huh. Gramps shows his worry, “Oh, gee! Are you okay? Did you break anything? Where does it hurt?”  “It doesn’t hurt. I feel great.” Yeah? Well, I slept wrong on my pillow two weeks ago and still can’t turn my head.”




The Amateur Eye– Equal Opportunity

October 7, 2018

Human nature is a powerful acknowledgement that life is full of pitfalls. I might suggest a picture of visibility by suggesting a physical thing such as a chess clock.  It has two faces, a stop and go button that stops one clock face and starts its partner which continues throughout the course of the conflict.  The game might end in checkmate, a resignation coming from hopelessness to continue, or agreement that further play produces nothing more than full equality of equal power that had nullified any hope to gain the upper hand.  Rules exist.

So too, it is as Life.  We live by rules of conduct, laws, and exist within it all, the shortcomings of human nature.  Immoral, envy and strife, certainly govern behaviors of bad and good in which our moral code governed by conscience dictates a lifelong saga of values that expose all of us to be called sinners.

The Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) give weight to the value structure of the Christian but certainly is within the realm of all humans.  The search for truth and justice is ever present in our character as humans.

It behooves us all to be forgiving since we all have sinned in the eyes of our Lord and it is his will that mankind be saved if at all possible for the glory of Heaven.  It is God’s will that we are given the opportunity through trust and love to receive his eternal blessings. Amen and amen.