Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

Don’s Hall of Humor

May 16, 2017

It does absolutely no good to be irritated by every little thing that happens.  Being sensitive is a blessing and curse and is only helpful as it can be adjusted appropriately to  the situation at hand,  Dancing in the shadows of probability can prove irksome to the spirit. Finding fault is like washing windows.  All the dirt seen is on the other side.

Pickles:  Gramma, grampa and grandson we find sitting on the front porch steps. I took back the library books because I was tired of waiting for you to do it.  Grampa in his usual good sense said “Thanks dear.  You’re a sweetheart.”  Gramp’s wisdom to youth, “Sometimes when you are faced with an unpleasant task, you just have to dig down deep and find the patience to wait for someone else to do it.”

Peanuts:  It is really a good thing that people are different.  Wouldn’t it be terrible if everybody agreed on everything?  Why?  If everybody agreed with me, they would all be right!  which brings me in line with my own witty ways.

The  Amateur  Eye  – My Own Fake News

I was watching TV news and getting the usual garbage of fiction news when the news switched to a visit with Putin.  You know who Putin is!?!? Well, I found him sitting at the piano and opening the closure started to knock out not music but what sounded to me like a coded message seen by shortwave radio enthusiasts.  When he finished he closed the cover, got up with a big smile on his face and strode off.  Now I ask you, did this warrant TV news time?  And what was so damned suspicious was the grin as he walked off.  One commentator was heard to say that the boss needed to take music lessons.  Meanwhile, at KGB headquarters the lights stayed on late into the night.  Now, that whole Putin smile makes one wonder just what the hell is going on as MSNBC nutcases report.  Why did this take place?  Just what is going on?  And Trump just has to be involved in this latest escapade.  It just has to have something to do with the corrupted election returns or was it his coming trip to the middle east and Europe?  We need to have another special prosecutor to handle this!! Maybe we should not let him take the trip because he is such a dunce. finis.

Thus, we come to recognize just how ridiculous all this fake news via MSNBC is and how damaging it is to air night and day about our nation and leaders.  And in my opinion and that of many across America and the world, Donald J. Trump is doing a “great job” bringing back to America all that which “Makes America Great Again!”  Anyone can see that he is not a politician by yesterday’s standards.  He is in a learning curve where, God willing, he will be long remembered as one who improved America and its ideals and values and to lead us out of the darkness and guide us into a bright and sunny century.





















The Amateur Eye – True Leaders

May 11, 2017

Government has an obligation not to inhibit the collection and dissemination of news. Whenever the press throw bricks at me, I am a pretty good shot myself and throw’em back at ’em. Truth is necessary for justice to prevail. Truth exposes the hypocrite who has an evil liking for tossing darts.  We have entered an age of no privacy, where all are open to surveillance.  I walk slowly but never backwards. The professional female specie has a sharp tongue, a loose interpretation, and known to be less than a truth seeker.  A woman’s work is never done but is the rock around which the family functions.

The Amateur Eye – Computers Any One?

May 9, 2017

I am mindful that my ideas aimed at demonstrating the chessboard as a focal point of learning principles that do emerge from math, being largely of geometric patterns of board features and the chess men themselves sometimes omit in teaching techniques a value of understanding the individual or as a team just how these relate to the board.

In their individual contribution to square movement and power often I find it a valuable tool that was taught by Dr. Tarrasch in THE GAME OF CHESS where he illustrates numerous mind training techniques.  One such example can be seen that gives the student a unique experience in understanding the cooperation of units and uses the combination of K/B/N vs. king where the goal is to reduce the squares available by force of the lone king and with the power of the B+N+K forces a position where the king’s mobility is restricted and the combined units establish a mating net.

Then there are examples of B/B/K versus king; R/K versus king; Q/K versus king.

What about the pawns?  There are various examples showing the student how to judge if the King with a lone pawn can win against a king on the open board.  That is demonstrated by the drawing of a triangle or square measuring the distance between the Pawn and king and support by the King if needed.  If the king can get inside the constructed square,  then it is usually a draw.

These simple exercises by  a coach or student are the essential building blocks of board to piece relationships.  At the same time, the student or students learn the meaning of time, space, and power in both independent and dependent roles of units.  It builds on the team concept of combating enemy forces and terrain planning. From such come an understanding of the bishop-pair, two rooks in a general plan in both attack and defense.

Since I learned chess the old-fashion way, I cannot say that a computer program will or will not emphasize in some way these techniques given above.  However, I bet most teachers or coaches do not put much on this learning mode from the early history of chess instruction.

The Amateur Eye – Political Hogwash/Waste

May 9, 2017

Time and again I promise myself to avoid commenting on the hogwash in politics.  Life is too short and the focus as all TV and radio news aims often by journalists or guests who have a new book to sell gives me heartburn as I suspect such listening effects you likewise.  These idiot masters of such jargon reminds me of the old RCA records with beautiful symphonies the family listen to and I spent hundreds, if not thousands by having a recording RCA or Columbia membership.  The difference is clear:  we got something valuable for the cost and time spent listening that brought peace to thoughtful reflection.

Really.  I am not interested in receiving tons of political junk mail from the elected pushing me to send them donations when current elections just concluded put them in office.  Makes me wonder if they are doing their job or wasting monies paying for all these constant mailings which hit my mailbox almost daily and caused damage.  And then I get dollar bills in the envelopes to encourage me to open the envelope and respond by returning the dollar bill along with, you guessed it, a handsome donation.  I guess Washington, DC, where most of this mail comes from is cycled throughout the charity trough.  Point blank–I don’t have the money or time to waste answering phone calls. And not being a recipient of political favors irks me because I see the waste of postage and paper.  I am sure these folks who are hired to do this have good intentions but good intentions do not cut it with me for the expense all way around that includes my mailbox.


The Amateur Eye

May 7, 2017

The  rainy season seems to have arrived and settled over my property–at least it hasn’t moved.  I am reminded of the saying: “Rain, rain, go away!”  Look, my pond-lake was low from the long summer and fall drought and I prayed that we would get rain.  But this much?? Lord, my neighbors should be happy that we had the wisdom to construct it or those lower end properties would be surely flooded.  There is another reason because the town did not provide water to this district.  So, my pond-lake offered free use by the fire department should they require such aid. Self protection! And the fishing is pretty good too!

Now you may ask just what has this to do with my title, The Amateur Eye.  Well, for starters we (my wife and I) were not professionals at land management — just a guy and gal who were wise enough for both safety for ourselves as well as neighbors.

I got to thinking that people can do miraculous things without having the title “professional” affixed to it.  So in this light, I applaud all those amateurs who have made valuable contributions to making America the Land it is.  God Bless everyone.

The Amateur Eye – Wesley So tops field!

April 24, 2017

White:  Wesley So    vs.   Black:  Pentala Harikrishna    Opening:  English Symmetrical

l. Nf3  Nf6  2. g3  g6  3. Bg2  Bg7  4. c4  c5  5. Nc3  d5 WS suggests 5….O-O and it certainly looks less committal.

6. d4  c:d4  7. N:d4  d:c4  8. Qa4+ Nbd7  9. O-O O-O  10. Rd1  Nb6  11. Qa3  Qd6  12. Q:d6  e:d6  13. a4  a6  Black is already in trouble. On 13…Nbd7 PH runs into 14. Bf4 Ne8 15.Ndb5.

14. Bf4  sc=14/7

14. … d5!  15. a5!  Nbd7  16. Rac1  Rd8  17. Bc7  Re8  18. Bd6?  A mistake as WS misses 18. N:d5  N:d5  19. B:d5  Ne5  20. 20. B:e5 R:e5 21. e4 recovering a better position.

18.  …Ne5  19. B:d5  N:d5  20. N:d5  Bg4  21. Rd2  Red8  22. Nb6  R:d6 23. N:a8  Nc6 24. Nf3  R:d2  25. N:d2  B:b2  26. R:c4  B:e2  27. Re4  Bd3  28. Re3  Nb4?  Correct and his best seems to be making use of his powerful bishop-pair.  28… Ne5 29. Nf3 N:f3+ 30. R:f3  Bb5! 31. Nc7  Bc6 levels the play.

29. Nb6!  Getting all the pieces into active play.  29. Nc7 was also very strong.

29… Bd4 30. Re7  Nc6 31. R:b7 N:a5  32. Rd7  Nc6  33. Nb3  Bf5 34. R:d4  N:d4 35. N;d4 36. Kg2!  White brings his King into active play.

36. …Bd3  37. Kf3  Ke7 38. Ke3  Bf1  39. Nf3  Kd6 40. Kd4  f6 41. Nd2 Be2  42. Nd5 f5  43. Nc3 Bh5  44. Nc4+ Ke6 45. f4  Kd7 46. Kc5 h6 47. Nd5  Ke6 48. Nc7+  Black resigns.

Chess is a tough game with lots of hills and valleys where the right and wrong often mingle together.

The Amateur Eye

April 21, 2017

The 79th Tata Steel Masters was won by the American Wesley So who, for the lst time finished ahead of World Champion Magnus Carlsen.  While Wesley So ably took advantage of every chance, Magnus blundered in a winning position against Giri who held on to draw their game in a 100+move marathon.  Whether this slip and horrific long battle to manage a draw aids the field in any way is hard to guess.  But here I give the round by round results by both players for the 14 rounds.

Wesley So   D/D/D/D/D/D/D/W/D/W/W/W/W = 9 POINTS

M Carlsen   D/D/D/W/D/W/D/D/D/W/D/L/W  =  8 POINTS

The field included So, Carlsen, Baskaan, Aronian, Yi, Karjakin, Eljanov, Giri, Harikrishna, Andreikin, Wojtaszek, Nepomniachtchi, Rapport, vanWely.

Every game in a chess tournament affects standings but more; it reflects the tiny variances coming from decision making, reflective time used, and ranking at the moment where a chess result of w/d/l at any stage can turn a win, loss or draw– yielding an upheaval in the standings.

The Amateur Eye – Hold the Center

April 17, 2017

Wijk aan Zee  2017 was won by the American, Wesley So who stopped World Champ Magnus Carlsen’s run of lst place finishes in the Tata Steel events.

White:   Magnus Carlsen   Black:  Wei Yi    Opening:  Bishop’s Opening

l. e4  e5  2. Bc4  Nf6  3.  d3  This appears to be favored by Carlsen and modern theory. After 3. Nc3 we could run into the Alekhine era of old…N:e4 4. Qh5 Nd6 5. Bb3  Nc6  6. Nb5  g6 7. Qf3 f5  8. Qd5  Qf6 9. N:c7+ Kd8 10. N:a8 with sharp tactics covering a host of explosive articles on the ups and downs for both sides.

Carlsen chooses a more quiet line seen so often in this computer age of chess play.

3… c6  4. Nf3  d6

Black aims for a solid line but the aggressive 4…d5 is an alternative.

5. O-O  Be7  6. Bb3  O-O  7. c3  Nbd7  8. Re1  Nc5  9. Bc2  Bg4  10. Nbd2  Ne6  11. h3  Bh5  12. Nf1  Nd7  13. g4  Bg6  14. Ng3  Ng5  15. B:g5!

I like this move over 15. Kg2 as to how the game continued.

15… B:g5  16. d4  Bf4!  17. Ne2  Qf6  18. Kg2  e:d4?

Yielding the center to White is not correct.  He has 18….Rfe8. Perhaps he visions that the bishops are less pertinent than knights in rather closed compact formations.

19. Nf:d4  Rfe8  20. N:f4  Q:f4  21. f3  Nb6  22. Qc1  Q:c1  23. Ra:c1  d5   24. e5!

Carlsen sees a king-side pawn rollup coming.

24… Nd7  25. f4  B:c2  26. R:c2  Nc5  27. Re3  Rad8  28. Kf3  Ne4  29. b4

White builds on square count gaining minor but important threats arising.

29. … g5? 30.  c4  c5  31. Nb5!

Another inroad via square count.  White is superior in all directions.

31. … g:f4  32. K:f4  c:b4 33. c:d5  Black resigns.

Style and confidence play a major role in pressure chess which the above example attests.

Don’s Holy Easter Moments

April 16, 2017

You often times read my thoughts on the GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.  Fortunately my only exhausted healing this day comes from the GOOD in life so I just will wish everyone a HAPPY EASTER!

The Amateur Eye – Beauty and the Beast

April 7, 2017

It comes with Caissa’s love when two put the game into a special aesthetic art seen at the conclusion where neither is a winner or loser but form a partnership like a painting that seems to live whenever it is looked upon and replayed.  Such is the game Boris Spassky launched with David Bronstein in the 28th USSR 1960 Championship Tournament.  The elegance seen in the rare King’s Gambit Accepted stirs the spirit of adventure and the thought of saying it as “Come hell and high water.”  In fact, the final moves were included in the movie, From Russia With Love.

White:  GM Boris Spassky   Black:  GM David Bronstein  Opening: King’s Gambit Accepted

l. e4  e5  2. f4  e:f4  3. Nf3  d5  4. e:d5  Bd6  5. Nc3  Ne7  6. d4  O-O  7. Bd3  Nd7

Bronstein had played this and had a write up with analysis in a Soviet chess magazine.

8.  O-O  h6  9. Ne4!

This is putting pressure in the black camp and fits the mode of square count as it brings the Knight to strike deep behind enemy lines.

9. … N:d5  10. c4  Ne3  11. B:e3  f:e3  12. c5  Be7  13. Bc2!

Spassky has cleverly kept his plan sedated until now which is to form a battery on the long diagonal.  Maybe Bronstein’s position calls for 13. … Nf3 but loses maybe a tempo by bringing the Rook to e8 where he might decide to go with Nf8 as follow-up and avoid exchanges.

13. … Re8  14. Qd3  e2!?

Now, one would expect 15. Rf2  as a normal reply but Spassky finds an electrifying shock treatment to rebuff black’s defense.

15. Nd6!!

Not only a power play, it causes Bronstein time on the clock.  He likely sees the futility of grabbing the Rook because the other Rook takes that square and the open lines all lead to the King and mate.

15. … Nf8  16. N:f7  e:f1 (Q)+  17. R:f1  Bf5  18. Q:f5  Qd7  19. Qf4!

Spassky refuses to let up the pressure.

19. … Bf6  20. N/3e5!

White is rupturing the square structure encampment.

20. … Qe7  21. Bb3  B:e5  22. N:e5+  Kh7  23. Qe4+  Resigns.

The perfect gentleman at the board and capacity of upholding the long heritage of a world champion line, one has to admire his sportsmanship qualities  and character.  After suffering the antics by Fischer, Spassky refused to obey and continued to play in defense of his title.  Perhaps he deserved better.  Still, he left Russia and settled in the West and will long be remembered as one of the greatest to play the game.