Archive for January, 2019

The Amateur Eye

January 28, 2019

The US Junior Chess Championship 3rd round produced the following game that features a white pawn chain crippling the Queenside activity until white launched a decisive attack coming out of a Sicilian Dragon.

White: John Michael Burke 2621 versus Alex Bian 2411 St. Louis, Mo. where the mighty Dragon variation finds the Gurgenidze System B36 a joy witness.  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 c:d4 4. N:d4 g6 5. c4 creating the Maroczy Bind, a popular system against the fiery Dragon.

5…..Nf6 6. Nc3 d6 7. Be2 N:d4 8. Q:d4 Bg7 9. Be3 O-O 10. Qd2 Be6 All standard book pointing to the rating level skill of both players.

11. O-O Qa5 12. b3 Rfc8 13. Rfc1 a6 14. Rab1 Qd8 15. f3 Nd7 16. Nd5 B:d5 17. e:d5 a5 To meet white Q-pawn expansion.

e:d5 a5  18. a3 b6 19. Bf1 h5 20. g3 Kh7 21. Qf2 Rcb8 22. h3 Qh8 23. g4 Kg8  24. Be2 Nc5 25. Kg2 a4 26. b4 Nb3 27. Rd1 Bb2 28. g:h5 B:a3 29. h:g6 B:b4 30. f4 Bc5 31. Bg4 a3 32. R:b3 a2 Probably this whole series has been pressure packed with time clock jitters.

33. g:f7+  Black tries to use the P as a shield the exposed King.

33. … Kf8? Black gives White the cannon fodder to finish in five moves.

34. Be6 Qg7+ 35. Kh2 a/Q 36. R:a1 Q:a1 37. B:c5 Ra2 38. R:g3 (1-0).



The Chess Players by Frances Parkinson Keyes

January 19, 2019

is a novel of New Orleans and Paris. It tells the story of her journey into the world of research where she authored as a background for this major historical novel. But the scene shifts, with the education and travels of its hero, Paul Morphy to Mobile, Boston. New York, Richmond, Cuba, Spain, London and Paris.  Its climax is reached in the French capitol during the thrilling period when the Confederacy was represented by its brilliant Commissioner, John Sliddell.   He was ably abetted, in a social sense, by his charming  wife and daughters and, in the political sense, by Judah P. Benjamin, Mathew Fontaine, Maury and many others, some openly and some secretly.  It is in the latter group that our hero takes a desperate part.

Paul Morphy was the scion of two outstanding Creole families. His paternal grandfather, Diego Morphy, had been Spanish Consul, first in Charleston and then in New Orleans; his maternal grandfather, Joseph Le Carpentier, commonly called the “double-tongued”, was a successful French auctioneer. On the condition that Le Carpentier would build a house suitable for a superb bridal residence and that his daughter, the beautiful Telcide, should be provided with a fantastic dowry, Don Diego gave his consent to an alliance between  her and his son Alonzo, a promising young lawyer destined to become a Justice to the supreme court of Louisiana. It was a step down socially for the Morphys.  Don Diego but felt there were compensations as he and Joseph Le Carpentier had long had a common bond in their love of chess; close ties would facilitate more and more frequent games. It even began to look as if friendly contests would continue into the next generation, for both Alonzo and Ernesto, his elder brother, were also fast becoming devotees and experts.  It did not occur to the matchmakers however that one of their grandsons, still unborn, would become the greatest chess player of all time.  Yet, Paul was only ten  years old when he showed his father how to defeat his uncle and, from that time on, one dazzling triumph succeeded another while only his love for his sweetheart seemed ill-starred. It was after he considered himself a failure on this account that his supreme opportunity came, as a Confederate agent in Paris, and that he recognized the truth of Omar Khayyam’s words, “Destiny with men for pieces plays”.

Not only does Paul Morphy, whose well deserved fame  has unfortunately hitherto been obscured by time emerge as a vital and appealing figure in these pages; we see such great Civil War leaders as Beauregard, Benjamin and Slidell, together with their families, in their human relation to him as life-long friends and dramatic associates.

Mrs. Keyes has woven fact and fiction in a fascinating pattern, to bring these events and their underlying intrigues vividly before us. At the same time, she has given her story the romantic glow on which her millions of readers confidently depend. While achieving more important stature, her work has lost none of its essential charm.

(The photo of the Telcide and Don Diego Morphy home of New Orleans was designed by the Spanish architect Francisco Correjolles where Paul Morphy was born.  This material was taken from my book given to me by my parents on my tenth birthday and is part of my library and which I copied from the cover page up —Don Reithel.


Amateur Eye – Blitz Dlugy

January 12, 2019

Maxim Dlugy is back writing again as a member of the NEW IN CHESS staff.  His column is The Blitz Whisperer.  GM Dlugy doesn’t know me; never got the privilege to play him.  I have always admired his style and achievements in the world of chess. I find the best probably can be found tackling the sixty-four squares on the website: Live Chess 2018.  The game with Richard Rapport whose handle is Lordillidan illustrates the cunningly ingenious play found in Blitz competition, especially at the highest levels which makes them extremely popular throughout the whole world of chess enjoyment.

Dlugy vs. Rapport (Lordillidan)  1.d4  d5  2.  Bf4 c5 3. e4 Typo?  No way! This spicy line is called coming from the Queen Pawn Game termed over a century ago venturing toward an Albin Counter Gambit after the famous player whose name it bears.  Dlugy cleverly offers Black the opportunity to enter this line a play down after 3. …d:e4 4. d5.

3….Nc6 4. e:d5  Q:d5 5. Nc3 Q:d4 6. Nd5 Already we see the fighting lines that can emerge from Blitz play and home preparation.

6….e5 7. N;c7+ Kd8 8. N:a8 e:f4 9. Nf3  Q:d1+ 10. R:d1 Bd7

The computer shows 4 games from this position with Black winning twice with two draws. So much for computers.  Dlugy felt there had to be more for white from this position.  Using my square count theory White is ahead 9/8, even but white has that one extra square with 2 Rooks against one but the one Knight is out of play.

11. Bb5 Kc8 12. O-O Nb8?  Better was 12…Bg4. The text seemed to improve the Knight’s position but contains a flaw.

13. B:d7 N:d714. Rfe1! Here I think this square count move which I probably would have played in following my own theories tells us that the computer probably correctly offers better with 14. R:d7!! K:d7 15.Ne5+ Ke8 16.Re1 Be7 17. Nc7+ Kd8 18.N:f7+ with a winning endgame. As played, 14…Ndf6

14…Ndf6 15. Ne5+ Nh6 16. Nd7!  The crusher …  Nhg4 17. h3  Ne3 18. Nf6 Black resigns. 

 My handy PC burped and I had a hard time inputting correctly the score. at the last paragraph)

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

January 12, 2019

Fiber acts as treatment for diarrhea and constipation. The pills need to be taken with water.  Fiber ingested in foods seems better than using pills.

Jeffy asks his mom: What do I have to major in at college to be a King?  Jeffy is reading a book of FAIRY TALES.

Fred, the Basset hound is at the bottom of the stairs, thinking ‘That is the 3rd time he has pressed that snooze button! He will be late for work. We cannot be having that…can we?’ as Fred darts up the staircase,

My 3-yr. old is giving me grey hair. Shopping trips to the grocery store is downright scary.  He acts up in the cart and bites me when I express my displeasure in his behavior–often when we enter the snacks area…He loves sweets and whines if I move too fast and screams if I hurry on  Hire a babysitter for an hour or two and that brought a “Sorry, I find no money in the world worth it.”  Have Dad do the shopping but wants me with him.  My last resort failed miserably when I locked him in the car seat only to see a police car lights flashing with a lady pointing at me as though I was a bad mommy as I emerged from the store.  Anyone around who can aid me in solving this short of hoping he outgrows being a three-year-old?!!  Otherwise, he is the sweetest son a mother and father could hope for.  One last thought Hubby imparted to me last night–the challenges call out the best in me, honey, and life seems hectic at times but I swear we will get through all this by shopping together from now on. Amen.

Jump Start: Dana and Del-Ray are driving home. “What’s your New Years Resolution, Dana?” “To be a better driver. I want to be so good that you’re relaxed.” “I am very relaxed right now!! ” “I never knew you had such shiny snow-white silvery hair, Del-Ray!

Blondie finds Dagwood sitting on his favorite lift chair when Blondie enters the living room. ” I’ve been on the phone with Greta Gabber when we both remembered something and had to rush and hang up. ” What did you remember?” That we haven’t been on speaking terms since the last election!”

We find Earl in the kitchen making pancakes. “You’re making pancakes, Earl?” He flips a few and tells her that he wanted to surprise her with breakfast; are you surprised?”  “Yes I am very surprised! I have never seen anyone use a cat litter scooper for a spatula before. ” Earl sputters out one word, “OOPS!

Marmaduke is hiding under the quilts in bed with Junior. Mother has entered the bedroom and  Junior, as usual has an explanation. “Guess I shouldn’t have told Marmaduke that there are monsters under my bed!”

In the Family Circus we find Jeffy coming in from a freezing snowstorm. “I think I have had enough snow and freezing cold for winter.”



The Amateur Eye – Looking at the chess environment.

January 7, 2019

The American news media stinks when it comes to coverage of chess.  The recent world championship match between world champion Magnus Carlsen and the American challenger Fabiano Caruana was given a 5 minute poop spot on the Trevor Noah’s “The Daily Show” with guest Maurice Ashley who gave typical talking points on chess hype for the benefit of those in the audience who knew little or cared about the only 2nd American to win the right to play for the world title in chess.

Like most trash programs today offered by the media, the name Donald Trump came up by Mr. Noah about Trump being stupidly ignorant about the game of life values.