Archive for March, 2019

Samuel (Sammy) Reshevsky (1911-1992)

March 24, 2019

I wrote earlier about the life of Grandmaster Samuel (Sammy) Reshevsky and do so here again because of the article appearing in 2019/1 NEW IN CHESS titled (Profile of a Prodigy?) research by Bruce Monson.  What is written is public knowledge from newspapers of the day and photos.  Some question exists about his birth date being 1909 as later pointed out by Reshevsky to family friends.  The mix-up could have been altered by his manager  or reference to age as his birth to first acquaintance with the game.  His first exhibitions were in Europe and widely acclaimed and called “Little Wizzard” and “Wunderkind” his exhibitions gathering huge crowds wanting to see “the Infant Miracle Man.”

The researcher in some ways did a hatchet job on printed reports about Reshevsky’s traits of behavior being a strict Jew and from printed material that cast distain from some circles which duly found print.  This dampened what could have been a really enriched review of Reshevsky’s life.  He gave short shrift of a remarkable American champion who blazed a trail finding along the way age giving way of talent at the expense of the international rating system which decline brought few invitations to major events.

Some boost came from printing his many accomplishments at the board as to results but overlooked was the meat of this great gentleman’s reputation.  As old myself, I shall list most of his accomplishments besides just tournament results.  In the 1950s and before the USSR controlled the world chess scene.  Title matches for the world championships were locked in with guaranteed Soviet players headed by World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik. The strength of Soviet players were never fully appreciated by westerners and in fact as the old guard died off few of the top western players got the chance to play the top players in the world which mainly were from the Soviet bloc.  Only half dozen or so western hemisphere players existed and few had a chance to rev up their game skill when compared to power coming out of the Soviet Union.  The USSR gave great importance to honoring the quality of chess study and play and controlled by the Soviet both politically and chess literature and tournament/match opportunities and exposure.

To offset this the western hemisphere Europe, North and South America created a new match record and title called the Western World Championship which basically was open only to those countries outside the Soviet Union.  Soviet literature found its way into markets worldwide.  But in general the opportunities did not see the quality of talent other than a six-twelve top players from outside the USSR.  Thankfully the USSR players began to get permission to travel abroad and play in some of the western major events. Reshevsky defeated Najdorf for the initial title and he defended his title beating GM Gligoric from Yugoslavia. He also defeated Pal Benko and other leading American players in match or tournament play winning the majority of events in which he played.  But Reshevsky was never given the opportunity to play a match with Botvinnik for the title of World Chess Champion.



Don’s coffee & tea break

March 20, 2019

No job is ever really easy and no one ever lists me as someone who toggles influence.  It has never been hard for me to say yes or no as I relish the opinions of others as myself and welcome other viewpoints which might differ from my own.  If you are going to act where you want to view other viewpoints, then you are expected to honor what someone is willing to spend time adding to the discussion without any idea of dominating the scene. Such clamor  might be a turnoff as a general view by readers.  I had to take a rest from my usual penned writing because I get rather perturbed seeing the written and spoken word so abused at times which makes me think why so many asses exist in our fair country.

So now I go back to my comics strips to hopefully add a bit of humor that I find so good for the soul.  In Garfield the cat see Garfield interloping thoughts sitting with Liz and Jon. Jon is telling Liz just how beautiful her  eyes are and holding hands. Of course Garfield is a cat so cannot express similar thoughts but thinks to agree that yes indeed her eyes are beautifully lovely.  Jon senses Garfield’s attention paid Liz.  Jon is upset with the cat’s demeanor and tells Garfield to butt out with “Do you mind” casting  a glaring look at
Garfield’s attentive purr that brings a cat rebuke of …and your eyes look a little grumpy.

We find Dagwood in his Easy Chair  viewing the TV when Alexander excitedly comes in and tells Dag to check out the dope on his new phone. Dag retreats to the kitchen where
Blondie is doing the dishes.  Alex he tells Blondie that Alex is delighted and Blondie tells Dag “I think it means it’s good Dear.

In Pickles we find Earl and Opal sitting on the couch and Earl has his hands folded in his lap. He says, “Do you ever feel like you’re living a meaningless existence?  And that soon everything you are and have done will pass into nothingness and be forgotten?”  Opal retorts with “Absolutely not!”  Earl looks at Opal and tells her that he was talking to the cat.

In Hagar’s case, dirty windows in their abode has meaning.  You can’t see out but most importantly, no one can see in.  Their abode is full of loot from his pirating.  Makes commonsense.