Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

The Amateur Eye – Old Man of Chess

March 17, 2018

Of whom do I speak?  He came out of the era of Tal, Karpov, and Spassky not to mention many more greats and near greats of the chess world.  Much of his fame came in the later years of life where his imagination and great skill seemed to ever improve rather than decline with age.  He was controversial.  All old men take on that burden of age where the umbrella is such as you get what you paid for.  But his skill never wavered with age.  He buckled down to seek the truth of a position and was more than willing to risk all for the thrill of the battle before him.  And so, to whom I refer?  He blazed a long and troublesome career; his name will live forever in the annuals of chess:  Victor Korchnoi.

Biel 2001 saw Victor Korchnoi having White  take on the much younger Alexander Grischuk fielding the black pieces.

After, 1. d4 d5 2. c4  e6  3. Nf3  c6  4. e3  f5

Black chooses a fighting defense called the Stonewall variation of the Dutch Defense. If one wants to win, this defense offers the spirit of fighting chess.

5. Bd3 Nf6 6. O-O  Bd6  7. b3 Qe7 8. Bb2 b6  9. Qc1

White’s idea is to exchange the dark squared bishop.

9. … Bb7 10. Ba3  Nbd7  11. c:d5  c:d5  12.B:d6  Q:d6 13. Nc3  a6 14. Qb2  O-O 15. b4

Those who practice my lesson of square count will understand that Victor is expanding on the Q-side with the ultimate aim of blocking up counterattack on the that field of battle. On black to play, the Rf8-c8 was better.

15. … Rac8?! 16. a4  Ne4 17. Ne2 Qe7  18. Rfc1! Nd6  19. b5!

The importance of this pawn thrust cannot be over emphasized.  He builds control of c6 as black will block opening lines.  This improves the aggressive power of his B on d3.

19. … a5 20. Qa3 R:c1+

In my childish youth learning to play, I always thought the first to give a “check” was an advantage.  Thus do the cobwebs of youth enjoy such follies.

21. R:c1  Rc8  22. R:c8+ N:c8

What can be learned from these check exchanges is that the Knight is removed temporarily from it’s excellent post.

23. Qc3

This simple Q-move strengthens the square count as do what follows.

23. … Qd6  24. Nf4  Ne7 25. h4

Having slowed any Q-side counter-play, Victor starts expanding on the K-side with the intention of a famous quote of Tarrasch: “Before the endgame, comes the middle-game.”

25. … Nf8  26. h5! Bc8  27. Ne5  Bd7 28. f3  Be8 29. g4!

White goes his merry way ever tightening a boa grip on the whole board.

29. … g5 30. Ne2  Nd7 31. Kg2 h6 32. Ng3 f:g4  33. f:g4  N:e5 34. d:e5 Qc5  35. Qd2 Qc7 36. Qb2  Kg7 37. Ne2 Kg8 38. Kf2 Bf7 39. Qd4 Kg7 40. Qc3  Qb8 41. Nd4  Qd8 42. Ke2  Bg8

The student should find joy in understanding the need to always work to improve the position of his and enemy pieces and pawns in order to administer the coup de grace.

43. Bb1 Kh8 44. Qa3 Nc8 Bg6 Kg7 46. Bb1 Kh8 47. Qc1 Ne7 48. Qf1 Nc8 49. Nc6  and Black finally decided to call it quits and resigns.

One might wonder why the old man had to weed his way through what was a superior position.  The answer probably lies in the fact again by forcing the old man to expend energy making his later games perhaps less accurate and timely.  In any case, age and experience won out.

This is my Saint Patrick’s Day gift to the Irish and all lovers of struggles at the board.

















The Amateur Eye – The American Eagle

March 17, 2018

How did the United States find the Eagle as the National Symbol?  I do not know if our people today in schools across America from teachers to the student bodies care one way or the other.

In those days long past, not really ancient as some civilizations go, there was a debate among the leading colonists of the day that was important enough to really attract their attention and support.  The bird was the symbol all agreed to.  But the question was: What Bird??

On the one hand, the American Eagle was thought to represent power, majesty and it exhibited in it’s hawkish power of claws and beak to show the grit and strength of a most noble bird.  At the same time, Benjamin Franklin had proposed and supported the idea that our national bird should represent a bird that most everyone enjoyed hunting (the countryside was full of wild ones) and having during festivals offering good food for the table. The suggestion by Ben Franklin was the American Turkey.

Well, it was the Eagle which won as the bird to reflect the image and strength of the Nation.  Strength and power of symbol won the day.  Yet, throughout our history, the bird most cherished and which all Americans partook in celebrations and just having the flavor of the Nation was the Turkey.  The debate probably ended there, with both sides of the issue sharing in the pleasure of respectful debate.



The Amateur Eye – Sick-o-s

March 15, 2018

I see no other expression for the decay of the Democrat Party’ elitists like Hillary Clinton, Pelosi,  Warren and company.  Collectively they remind me of our chickens in the Hen House of so many years ago.  They were all good egg layers.  And each made it eventually to the dining room table where they lay adorned among a variety of herbs, gravies, spices–all meant to whet the tastes of good old-fashioned mother’s artistry. The result was a meal that was preserved in memory and a blessed giving of prayer of thanks.

Those were days when people were decent.  They made life worth living.  People were honorable and decent.  Our center of life was the church, the town, good neighbors, and most of all a coveted respect for family and shared responsibilities.  We didn’t think too much about politics.  That was far away in Washington and state capitols.

Progress?  Good?  Bad?  Yes, there was a time when citizens could enjoy life.  Perhaps it was the quaintness of the times.  Who knows for sure.  Perhaps it was the big war.  You know–Civil, and both World Wars I & II that broke the barriers among us due to distance related problems and drew us all into international affairs.

That is when everything went to Hell.  Politics were always corrupt.  And those who entered the educational structure of law posed a mix bag of right and wrong–of a built in corruptive mentality.  One can point to every generation, decades of ups and downs where law would be preserved and criminal acts punished.  But what happens when the body politic becomes corruptible and who or what corrupts them.

We live in a modern, relatively prosperous time. One would hope that education, family values, individual integrities and honorable mindsets would prevail to cleanse the vice and iniquities.  Thankfully there are many more who uphold honored traditions of righteousness than who wallow in darkness, begetting hatred, murder, and unruly behavior within the populous.  It all boils down to politics–the good, the bad, and the ugly.

In historical terms, political parties exist from congregations of people coming together having differences and establishing rules by which such parties endeavor to use law and relationships to rule societies within a nation’s framework.  Kingdoms once ruled empires.  In modern times, while kingdoms and dictatorships still exist, in America we have adopted government for and by the people where political parties partake in the government by consent of the majority vote coming from the all states rights regardless of population called the Electoral College.  That system was devised so that every state had a say in the election of governmental rule and to avoid heavily population centers from dominating the government and rule.

Then, in the 1930s on, political writings of Marxists and others, some referencing back to the middle 1800s fought to challenge the laws as set down by our Founding Fathers with the creation of the Constitutional laws which govern our Nation.  Communist influence introduced into our body politic based not on individual incentives but rather a wholly socialistic endeavor to usurp the political thought ever toward socialist views.  They used the universities, schools, and introduced abortion, adopted atheism and set up the policies which the Democrat Party endorsed into their platforms through the years, ever chipping away at The Constitution and Bill of Rights.

What has this to do with Clinton, Pelosi, Warren and company whose vicious hatred because Donald Trump won on the Electoral College over Clinton who took a small lead in the popular vote is exactly why the Founding Fathers established the EC which has worked so well over the years.  But it stirred the hatred of Hillary and company with demands of impeaching the elected President Trump.   Hillary was denied because of that nasty EC.  Now you see the truth.  What would our country become with the shysters we hear constantly from, including criminal behaviors by numerous Democrat Party hacks.  Hillary would have won because of just a pair (California and New York) when the vast majority of states voted for Trump. And what about previous elections?  No.  The truth is that Clinton lost because she ran a lousy campaign, was crooked in her dealings with the whole process from beginning to end and was supported by corrupt misdeeds of her party supporters including high members within the government FBI etc.  None of this would have ever been exposed and one can only wonder if justice for these folks will ever be forthcoming.  That is the nature of history pointing to the Democrat Party in this election.  If Hillary had won as Obama and company had hoped, none of this would have ever emerged in the light of day.  America would be darkness forever.  As one can proclaim, “Let freedom and right ring loud and clear across our great Land!”





The Amateur Eye – Stalemate!!??

March 14, 2018

No.  I am not talking about drawing a chess game battle.  But as I read the news, and follow the antics of giants like Mark Levin and other TV stars appearing on FOX NEWS. And should I go into the eleven o’clock nightly comic bummers,  I must admit I miss the old guys like Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, George and Gracie Allen.  They were not so much individual as team in spirit of great comedy which brought laughter and legit worth to the airways.

Where did I come up with my headings?  Here, for example, THE AMATEUR EYE was conceived when some of my readers suggested KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope was a little long for a heading.  So I thought and thought and said to  myself that I am just a amateur and  BANG I got the idea for being the eye for the amateur player.  Stalemate refers to a draw in chess where the King cannot move without putting himself under the gun of the enemy.  No square for the King.

One comment I get regularly is what computer do I use when analyzing games I print.  I have a few programs developed during the 60s and 70s which, for my purpose is good enough.  But in reality I use my computer in my brain for 70-90% of my analysis.  I avoid long drawn out analysis because to me it distracts from the joy of the game as played.  And I draw on an occasional look see coming from the great books on chess.  I try to tell the story of a game without clouding it up with a lot of what might have been variants, sprinkling just enough to wet your appetite to do some work on your own.

I decided on Stalemate as a bi-product to explain myself to my readers on this particular article and to answer some of the thoughts expressed by readers.  As I have said a number of times, I really don’t know what I am going to compose until I sit down at my keyboard and the inspiration just seems to flow from my thoughts to my fingers and dashing away to find print assembled on my screen.  I do this work because I love chess, folks of all ages, and hopefully give to my many viewers a little of the joys I got from the magic coming across over the 64-squares of the great wars of kings and queens and bishops and knights and castles and pawns.



The Amateur Eye – Corruption Abounds

March 12, 2018

Imprimis features The Politicization of the FBI.  It is worth reading.  I quote the concluding comment: “A great disservice has been done to the dedicated men and women of the FBI by Comey and his seventh floor henchmen. A grand jury probe is long overdue…”

Latest news is that Hillary Clinton is going for a repeat run.  Good. Maybe the DOJ will bring to light the truth and as the Trump Army of Citizens come forth to shout: Send her to jail will be based on collected proof of corruption deserving jail time.

Can’t the Democrats find someone with integrity and honor to run?  Such coverage by the media might bring to light a lot of corruption that abounds in Washington, D.C.  Maybe the country needs to have a fact finding conclusion to all this mess initiated by the Democrat Party and media hacks.  A breath of fresh air is needed and that should not include queen Hillary or defunct media reporters and commentators.


Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

March 9, 2018

Pastor Chuck!?  I need your spiritual counsel about a troubling matter I have been wrestling with.  What can I do to help, sister?  That is just it!  Please don’t think of me as your sister.  Think of me as a random member of your congregation.  Look, my dear–I am the pastor having over 500 in our church.  I address all the women in the congregation  as sister.

Pickles (one of my favorite cartoons) sees Opal catching her sister set to leave after visiting for a week.  The tell tale sign is the packed suitcase she is holding.  Opal addresses her with Pearl!…You are leaving?? Is it because of the bad vibes you feel, you know–the badfeng  shui in our house? No.  You know me. I like to leave before I wear out my welcome.  The next frame we hear TOO LATE and Opal appearing disgusted squeaks out EARL! under her breath.

The Office Hype with Dilbert.  I was sent here to see for a job slot opening. Well, I am here to interview and evaluate your qualifications.  Don’t expect too much from me because I consider you a threat to my own job security.  We don’t have much, you know. May I have a mentor who will not see me as a potential threat. I am highly qualified. Look at my resume.  Well, that is the trouble.  The big boss in that office down the hall seems to feel the same way I do.  You might be smart enough to soon sit in his office.

Beetle just finished cleaning the cans outside the mess.  Sarge, take a look at the bottom. I cleaned it so good that it shines like new.  With this, Sarge leans over and ducks his head and upper body into the can.  Along come General who is heard to comment: Egad! That man will eat anything!




The Amateur Eye – Days of Wine & Roses

March 8, 2018

Sometimes I have the impression that the modern and ultra-modern lack the  sweetness coming from classic writings. Chess players for the most part envy the chess monsters regardless the name or maker; historic books on chess are mostly written in descriptive notation of their federations and the young tend to ignore these old classics.

The first crowned World Chess Champion was Wilhelm Steinitz (1886-1894)whose games featured over a long period some very pretty attacks, modernized defensive strategy, and was defeated by Emmanuel Lasker which brought in a new era of players like Alekhine, Capablanca, Reti, Reshevsky and Botvinnik with a ladder of near greats from many lands.

An opening that has been revived of late is the Scotch Gambit.  Here, Steinitz essayed it against Max Lange in the 1860 match.  Olden and modern play often point to the value of tempi.  It shows the idea of my square count in action.

After 1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. d4  e:d4  4. Bc4  Qe7  5. O-O  Ne5  6. N:e5 Q:e5

This combined exchange exposes the Queen into the reach of White’s minor pieces.

7. c3

White encourages 7. … d:c3 8. N:c3 developing a piece and giving the Knight good central attack points.  The e-pawn is immune to capture as 7…Q:e4 8. Re1 is a deadly pin.  Whenever you see the Queen and King on the same open file–BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH.

7. … c5  8. f4  Qf6

Aiming to hang on to the extra pawn.  The day of wine and roses sets forth a sweetness of smell with this central pawn expansion.

9. e5  Qb6  10. Kh1

White decides to remove the King from exposure on the diagonal and so safeguards against any surprising inner-play.  Playing f5 is optional here.

10. … Be7

Why not 10. …Ne7 which suggests a coming ….d5 counter in the center.

11. f5!

Roll on ye freedom squares.

11. …d5

Here again square count needs a look see.  11… h5 would improve Rook participation by the black forces.

12. B:d5

Keeping pressure in line of attack.

12. … Nh6

Perhaps this Knight sortie attempt is why he did not play …Ne7 earlier.  But the storm of the f6 pawn seems a mighty miscalculation of the defense.

13.  f6!  Bf8  14. B:h6  g:h6  15. B:f7+

Once again the weakness of the square f7 proves the way to the roses.

15. … K:f7  16. Qh5+  Ke6  17. Q:e8+ Kd5 18. c:d4

Forcing the King further up the board. White is winning.

18… Be6 19. Nc3+ Kc4  20. d5 R:e8 21. Rf4+ Kd3  22. Rd1+ Kc2  23. Rf2 checkmate!



The Amateur Eye- Life in a Mad World

March 4, 2018

I tend not to let my fingers fly until I digest both food and thought when it comes to the subject I now touch upon.  And with it, I shall endeavor to put a final note gathered from all the hysteria in closing my blog from future comment.

The Opinion Page of the Wayne Times article by Ann Coulter: “The school-to-mass-murder pipeline.” pretty well describes the quality of Ann’s research and investigatory eye for facts and such factual observation that gives the trained reporter-columnist keen insight to debunk much of what the liberal-left-wingers feed the public over the past weeks.

Ann Coulter concludes that Cruz is crazy but the parties noted in her column and their liberally sprinkled idiocy program to handle students made November 5, 2013 making all the student bodies guinea pigs of an experiment based on a noxious ideology leaves those who dreamed up their flawed conclusions to implement it are partially guilty of the results seen.

What determines insanity and see the cause and effect present?  In a case many-many years ago, a young and beautiful teenager came from her room dressed in a beautiful evening gown as she was leaving with her date for the school prom. Her dad told her she looked so beautiful as she entered the kitchen.  Mommy picked up a dishpan of dirty greasy hot water and threw it all over her from head to toe. “Now, don’t you look beautiful!”  Her daughter went after her with a butcher knife driven through the inner kitchen door.  Result? The daughter was declared insane and dangerous and spent the rest of her life in the ‘nut house’ as they called it in those days.  The mother brought charges against her.  Tragic??  Beware what you deem as justice and injustice.

Well, what about ethics?  God!  The FBI was always looked upon as the premiere defender of society.  Presidents were not holy or perfect but were in general responsible leaders.  Political Parties were always scandalous.  We all think that quality education turn out elite professionals who guide and lead the Nation.  We hope for right laws and justice to prevail.  Yet, despite all the hope, we find shysters hidden under every rock in our social establishment.  And while we have laws that say justice will be done, the very essence of political skullduggery is seen time and again with no consequence for the guilty.  It has become: “I’ll scratch your back and you can scratch mine.”  Little children know when something is bad and stinks; but do voting age citizens?  The news media are extremely biased and heavy-handed when it comes to honest reporting.  It did not take Donald Trump to point this out.  It has been going on for a long time and it’s very philosophy has brought rot into the ink language of the pen.  He has brought to the fore, the mess that is Washington and the political establishment of self-believers ever more seen in left wing hogwash.


The Amateur Eye – 2nd Amendment

February 25, 2018

Everybody seems to talk about the 2nd Amendment, you know, the Gun Lobby Pro & Con and all that crap. I sort of spoke on it earlier, too. But then I got to thinking about it from it’s historical origins.  It was penned by our Founding Fathers who knew the usage of language. It was important to them. It remains important today with the horrors that folks are always talking about it and having no clue as to it’s modern stature.  Herewith, is my view on the subject.

Our nation was formed both from the Indian tribes that inhabited North and South American continents and adventurers from Europe seeking a trade-route to the Orient.  Europeans seeking religious freedoms from the Continent founded with French and English heritage settled the new land that expanded up and down the coast and into Canada.  The thirteen English colonies centered between the Spanish and French settlements prospered greatly with the might of the powerful British Navy.

Like most governmental bungling, the colonies eventually sought relief from control by the rebel segment against the loyalists with the final straw being cast whether by accident or as George Washington flavored it as an act of Providence.  England sent their British forces to the colonies initially to protect against the Indian tribes backed by French influence.  The colonial settlers required arms for protection which existed mainly as flint-lock rifles, pistols, home made ammunitions created by melting down metal into balls, knives, swords, and gun powder– all necessary for survival.  Hunting and fishing were next to farming as survival essentials.  But hunting as a means to make footwear and buckskin clothing and keep food on the table was a main reason for every family having weapons near-at-hand.

Forced housing of British troops in colonist homes, excessive tax on goods, and lack of colonists having much say at British Parliament brought to the fore a breach between loyalist and rebel.

The colonies had been engaged in a war between the British,  the French and tribal Indians, the latter taking sides largely according to localities and fears from future events.  They had formed over time alliances with either themselves, British or French.  Colonists existed independent in spirit while bowing to foreign power control in governmental matters.

Was the Revolutionary War or Colonial War necessary?  Of course not.  Not to the loyalists.  But to what was called the Rabble, total freedom and rights of man were ingrained in the growing independent mindset of the population.  The creation of our beliefs, our independence, of freedoms to worship as we pleased, bonded us together in every way except over the issue of slavery. That in finality lost sway to the dictates of compromise.  That word is praised by government, hated by freedom lovers everywhere.

As the sciences and Bible teach us, our brains are wired where like computers, historical development is ever forward. But like what the Bible teaches, the advancement of knowledge reveals ever increasing knowledge is founded on Faith.  One can put that word Faith not only in the context of religion but also in the eternal growth of understanding, trying what seems impossible dreams into reality, of discoveries perhaps not even given credence of reality today.  Faith of an idea, of self-testing achievements wherein disbelievers pan such as impossible but Faith can turn on a light to learn more in the adventure of Life.

In a final word: yes!  The Right to Bear Arms of the individual family still rings true.  It is the spirit of the message and amendment that even much of our now growing secular world promotes being outdated of it’s original intent which I dispute herein.  And, yes– we do live in a dangerous time.  We live in a time when perhaps not too long in the future, our beliefs may be shrouded in darkness, our joy of life, of promise for all free minded people everywhere could be wiped away.  But I believe our goodness as Believers in right and justice and brotherhood of all living things that make up the Earth and perhaps beyond the real future of this world we live in.  I pray so.






The Amateur Eye – Anyone Listening?

February 25, 2018

I am rather bored with all the fake news reported in my latest issue of the Democrat & Chronicle.  The first article on the front page has the reporter (if you can call him or her that) says that President Trump said the answer of school safety was to ARM TEACHERS to protect all the children in schools.  Now, really!  Did he say that?  I know he did not because I saw him when he gave his address on TV and on interviews.  Yet, all the fake news folks pounced on what he actually said apparently to add color to their world of dreams–being hate the s.o.b. and defame him at every turn.

Personally, how Americans pay these editorial buffoons a living wage for their tripe points to the poor education and character integrity shortfall coming possibly from never reading the Bible or observing the Ten Commandments of human truisms set out for people.  Well, maybe it is the lack of careful thought given their hasty put together commentary as well. Or perhaps it was an editorial change from the original to fit the cry of ever growing progressive elites who sell their souls for the charm of being popular in tune with the popular jargon of the day.  Guess I could have termed this whole with one word…SECULARISM and all it entails.

Many schools are run by a progressive and secularist movement that originated with the whole concept that science is the new religion and in total all life evolves around science. Now, that may well be true.  But there are elements that scientists have never been able to explain.  They laugh at the Bible, of man’s innate quest to explain forgetting that much of the Bible and OT was based on prophets explanations for explaining the visible and giving it an explanation as a parent might give to questions from children.  No.  The elite scholars of modern times who have developed through the centuries many truths that God set before mankind to discover over historical experiments of the natural order of things, namely a brain so intricate that time frame of human existence was required to unlock.  As the Lord said: In the end time, all things would be made whole and known–meaning that believers would through faith be prepared for the coming of Jesus’ return as promised.  This reality faced by the devil angel Satan and company will face judgment–long overdue.

Truth of the recorded Biblical Prophets is what scares the hell out of the loins of evildoers.  It was said that the World would come to know the existence of Jesus before his coming again.  The truth of this can be seen in the enormous expansion of reaching the Gospel round the world for the first time and that it would be given to all nations. This has occurred only in our lifetime.  Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?