Don’s “The Amateur Eye”

December 11, 2018

If you follow my chess lessons, especially using Square Count, it largely confirms the system I devised when a kid learning the game of chess. The example game I want to show here is similar to the game won by a New Yorker out of the Buffalo area some years ago which I illustrated. This was played thousands of miles away by two Russians, twenty-year-old GM David Paravyan and IM Saveliy Goluov in 2018 at St. Petersburg. It is a Petroff Defense.

If you follow my chess lessons, especially using Square Count, it largely confirms the system I devised when a kid learning the game of chess. The example game I want to show here is similar to the game won by a New Yorker out of the Buffalo area some years ago which I illustrated. This was played thousands of miles away by two Russians, twenty-year-old GM David Paravyan and IM Saveliy Goluov in 2018 at St. Petersburg. It is a Petroff Defense..e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. N:e5 d6 4. Nf3 N:e4 5. d4 d5 6.Bd3 This system dates back to the 1800s during the era of chess which I call the era of enlightenment.  The current game play continues with 6….Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8, c4 c6 9, Qb3 d:c4 10. B:c4 Nd7 11. Re1 Ndf6 12. N:d2 N:d2 13. B:d2 and Black eyes the loose Q-side choosing to gobble up a pawn

In stage 2 Black chooses to attack the Q-side pawn structure.  What does he see in this plan? He has two Bishops with diagonal pressure on both color square diagonals.  His hope is to counterattack, win a pawn . To quote GM Larry Evans: A PAWN IS A PAWN!  Black should   see this to be at some risk because he figures that the opening of lines and gain in square count will more that offset the pawn loss.  Thus, we see an evaluation emerge featuring plusses and minuses within this planning stage by both players.  Plan continues with 13….Qb6 14. Qd3 Q:b2.

White now gains square-count for material.15. Rab1 Qa3 16. Qc2 Nd5 17. Rb3 Qa4 18. B:d5 c:d5 19. Ng5! Made possible because of the “pin” tactic introduced here.  Black suddenly finds himself facing a classic “king hunt” by White.  19…g6 20. N:h7!  White has noticed the exposure of the black Queen.  What must be going through the mind of Golubov at this point?

20….Bf5 Do you see why Black cannot capture with 20…K:h7??  21. Nf6+ Kg7 22. Bh6+!! K:h6 23. g4+!!  Here the question is: Who is winning? The question must at almost every attacking position is this: did White overestimate and Black will garnish up some more points toward Grandmastership?  For Black now, there is no other move but 23….Bf4 seemingly to justify Black’s own play and position.

Who knows if White found the brilliant 24. Qc7!!! ahead of time but to be sure he had it in his pocket and it gave him a unique brilliancy of the grandest order!  24….B:h6 25. Qe5+ Kg5 26. h4+ K:h4 27. Rh3+! Now, on …K:h3 28. Qg3 mates, so 28. Qe7+ mates with 28…f6 29. Qe3+ K:g4 30. Qg3 mate.  I would vote that Paravyan saw the idea all along.

The product of square-count can be seen in how the squares were eventually eliminated for escape routes.  This is always a classic theme of what checkmate represents on the chessboard.

I hope you enjoyed this presentation and might find it a stimulating and valuable lesson on the 64-squares.


A Checkmate in Latvia

December 4, 2018

Dirty Laundry was snuffed out by the woman’s chess grandmaster Dana Reizniece-Ozola when she checkmated the evil empire of Latvian corruption charges reeling within the Baltic Banking System gaining  scrutiny after unwanted attention for what the media has dubbed the “Russian Laundromat.” with billions of funneled dirty monies from corrupt former Soviet republics being syphoned off to Europe.

The cleanup of corruption is led by no other than Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola and reported to be a game changer in Latvian politics. 

Joel Benjamin – Not just another chess book

December 4, 2018

Clear enough is the title: BETTER THINKING, BETTER CHESS and How a Grandmaster Finds His Moves.  For what should be a truly great work from one of America’s greatest champions, the book leaves a bit of skepticism from my view having a cover unworthy of such a fine product.

Finding a good pathway to achieve a planned operation requires more than simply finding strong moves.  It can boil down to seeing a conceptual plan finding one or more men on the battlefield experiencing a growing complexity as force exerts pressure over terrain and against opposing units and squares.

GM Benjamin, a three-time US Champion has endeavored to tackle this difficult topic for readers.  Understanding and seeing progress emerge from an earnest effort to recognize just how the author works his magic in giving life to the complex nature of this little explored concept, viewing such as alternative continuations in planning strategy, recognizing the complex nature of seeing forces sometimes emerging in conflicting ideas mapped out on the board, seen or misjudged attack and defense needs of weighing success or shortfall in visual unfolding before or within combat operations.

This treatise makes it ever so clear the value of the chess clock as a part of the intrigue and overview of the chess struggle. 

Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

November 12, 2018

Good tidings brings to mind an important vocabulary term called “patience”.  It is so important that it reaches out into the vocal and written world in many literary handles.  It is ancient.  Four example, it speaks to us from such as the likes of Shakespeare’s Othello penned thus: “How poor are they that have no patience.  What wound heals other than by degrees–time in hours or days.  Patience is a cofactor.

In Blondie, Mr. Dithers is giving Dagwood an ultimatum: NO THANKSGIVING COUNTDOWN, CLOCKS  OR SIGNS! “I got it Boss.”  Dithers shakes his fist in the air. “You’re the office manager! It looks bad!!”  “Geeze! All right Boss! I won’t do any Turkey Day reminding.”  We see Dag now sitting at his desk when the intercom comes through with the message beep Hallelujah! Gear up, Dag! Only six days till Turkey! “Luck is with me, I have Aleka to do it for me!”

Nelson is looking at a photo of Grampa. He tells Grampa that he doesn’t have a mustache in that photo while he does in several others.  “You are very observant, Nelson. Let me tell you a little known fact about me.  In every picture ever taken of me, I either have a mustache or I do not have one when taken.”  That is the PICKLE of it this day.

A gigantic sword fight is taking place between the two war parties and Hagar seems in trouble.  He calls out to his lieutenant that he cannot fight on and calls for help.  I NEED HELP!!  Well, his lieutenant takes a backscratcher and rubs his commander’s back which seems to have been itching him badly.  As Hagar slays his adversary, he exclaims: AHHH! THANKS!! WHAT A TERRIBLE ITCH!

In Beetle Bailey, we find Sarge talking with his lieutenant explaining his new Beetle APP. It alerts me to whenever he goofs off.  Beetle we find sitting under a tree per usual and answers his buddy’s query of what he is tuned to.  “It is my Sarge’s APP.  It makes it look like I am working when, in fact,  I am goofing off.”

For Better or Worse, we find doc petting and finishing up grooming a pooch. “Here is your baby Mrs. Patterson.  All clean and prettied up!” And together with that is handed the bill for $60.  $Sixty bucks for brushing a DOG??!

The Family Circus sees our entering the picture with Sis calling her mother and asking if it is okay to give Jeffy a good talking, too?

And finally we come to ZIGGY who has been away on vacation from his office. Upon returning home and showing up for work, he finds a long note next to the closed and locked door having the sign OUT OF BUSINESS.  We find him reading the note that was left for him on his return. “Dear Ziggy, While you were away, we started an office lottery ticket pool and won $1.6 billion dollars. Everyone retired and the company was shut down and is no longer in business.  Hope you had a nice vacation!”

POLITICAL HIGH JINXS in the headlines of the D&C:  New York City Thanks his favorite feeding trough for sweeping count-wise returns.  New York City returned Governor Cuomo to the State House.  But looking at the state-wide returns, his adversary carried most of the rest of the State.  Regrettably New York doesn’t have winning  based upon majority of counties of which the Republicans carried.  Yep. No representation of the population  outside the BIG APPLE which axes all the competition being backed by big labor, and citizens being forever blocked from a meaningful election based upon territory and that means counties in New York State.  TOO BAD.  The system stinks! when society loses out with a diverse cross section of workers from farms to businesses that overshadow labor unions per se.



The Amateur Eye – The Work Ethic

November 11, 2018

Success is in the eye of the beholder.  There are different paths individuals and groups can follow that lead to fulfillment.  That word fulfillment speaks volumes about the nature of discovering and achieving success.  Such success is not based on results of monetary gains over a working ledger of personal or joint effort.  No, the value of success achieved in one’s life either over a short or long period is one achieving goals and satisfaction of accomplishments wherein your presence on the local, state. national or international stage leaves a picture and or written history of having lived it and part of it.

For example, students who enter the field of religion, studying and selecting one of the various denominations for a chosen life work, by my own research, is guided by giving one’s self to God and biblical guidance.  It is perhaps the greatest gift a child of God can aspire to as a life work.  It requires commitment, trust and love for living things and faith in the Lord’s promises that those who walk hand-in-hand with him will forever find his blessings and regardless the hardships or good times, your prayers will be the torch of guidance forever. That gift is passed and offered to all who cross his or her path in life.

Our America today is suffering as a Nation, as a people which blessings have enriched us as a nation of many nationalities and religious beliefs and offers to the public at large the blessings of God that equate that man and woman, children of the Holy Father, our Lord and Savior came to found a Land rich in resources, laborious fields of interests, and founded on principles of a strong work ethic and religious heritage.  It is a Republic and not a Democracy (the worst form of government) which the public often is confused by both from ignorance and a false reading of history centuries old.

Regardless what you believe, our founding fathers were men of learning and wisdom, of pride in the debate of ideas.  Our modern leaders today could not hold a candle to the wisdom of our settlers nor the integrity of truisms handed down to us with a document that guaranteed the righting of the ship of state through the passage of time.  Thus, the legal rights granted to slavery, exclusion of women’s rights–perhaps the two most vices of those and previous times was eventually put to rest through our legislative process.

“Ignorance is no excuse”… I have heard as have you presumably tossed about loosely.  It means that our education system has failed in civic discourse.  The early times of our Land was a text book on what was founded in one volume about our history.  It was a relatively brief sketch of our people and Land.  Absent was anything resembling hatred. That part of history showed ridicule of differences in talent, skin color, levels of education, religion—all things that brought to the surface wherever people congregated and where a natural type of hatred accumulated, ever increasing in intensity due to ignorant and clueless, poorly or well educated fostered wholly in part through class warfare and European family position in both public and political governance.  That was largely on a scale of city and towns but where close ties existed among the more rural areas largely populated by large estates and host of small farm communities.  In a word: FREEDOM assured the individual law abiding citizenry rights that continue to exist today.  This righting of the ship says God has the Satanic Devil’s earthly rule of sinners in check and Satan cannot escape his destruction nor exposure of his lies to right living.

Our people experimented with socialism or brand of communism in the 1600s in Amsterdam, NY.  Philosophy of this experiment was one of communal togetherness in all matters of life.  But what was discovered was that jealousies were worse than ever among the people of all ages.  And it resulted in a growing hatred and class distinction. The whole concept failed and was wiped from the pages of history.

Oddly we do not learn from history because history is tainted and subversively undermining our education system from grade to college.  There is false tenet being taught as truth.  Al Gore got rich on his theories of global warming which was debated on one of Mark Levin’s TV broadcasts that featured the errors in such Global computerized conclusions, more than a few falling far short of accuracy.  What is actual fact from fallacy touches all of us from science to engineered journalistic pandering.  Right now I am shivering less I heat the house to 80 degrees from the blowing cold mass sweeping our region.  Will I awake at the white-out??  Who knows.  I do not know what nature has in store for us this winter.  I only know that those pesky little furry visitors are black on both ends of our caterpillar larva-worm population and a true  winter predictor which I believe over any scientific review coming from a computer program guide.

Where else has science fallen short?  Well, it was predicted that our foliage was going to be dull this year.  Not so according to my travels around our local lakes. Yes, some foliage is greenish brown but there are plenty of hills and dales showing brilliant colors as I travel about scenic New York State.

I ask each of you to give thought to the rights and wrongs of our social experiments issued by government for both domestic and military affairs.  I pray for those guilty of attacking Justice Kavanaugh because they know not what they do.  It will not go good for them when they eventually meet their maker, presuming they believe in God at all.  Their combined hatred of this man and his family, the subsequent admittance of lies by his numerous accusers and political desire to destroy an honorable and decent addition to the Supreme Court for political expediency, not for truth but for evil maneuvering that injured both parents and children in this political hatchet job.  God…..have mercy on their souls–one and all.  I really fear for the first time our great Nation and if it can survive the hatred,  envy and socialists and communists long harbored within our government institutions as noted in the treatise: THE NAKED COMMUNIST, long ago removed from the shelves of our school libraries.






The Amateur Eye – Crooks in the Soup

November 3, 2018

If you feel in your political gut that you are misunderstood or suffer from inferiority or on the other end, just remember that the culprit is often in your own mind—having no basis whatever except a vivid imagination.  Too many follow the media journalists who you must remember need to fill material for a deadline.  In most cases the agenda of these folks are dictated by the news outlets.  You want to keep your job don’t you?  And just as likely the brain of these journalists and reporters live in fear for any number of reasons.

I daily read my newspaper and find corruption at every level of government.  Where  does it come from?  One week exposed are Democrats, the next are Republicans who are caught with their fat salaries ever increased through fraud. The really true honest ones are often given little for truth and honestly. You look back and see their platform which they ran on and just somehow crooked fingers get in the honey jar of greedy desires thinking they are beyond reproach.

Human greed corrupts every segment of the political platforms often seen as is the old mafia or black hand emergence over time to be seen as a government of the dark side. It took the courts to authorize guns to FBI agents which waged war on organized crime that found corruption as a means to wealth for scumbags.  It never ends.  Drugs, prostitution—  human bondage of slavery.

My grandfather always said in elections of politicians to beware what you ask for because what you get will likely not be what you voted for.  We can only ask our Lord to guide us in thought and deed for people with backbone strong enough to weather the storms leaders face.  In America we need to pray for our leaders, and especially the President.  We have one President, cabinet and Congress duly elected by the people for either a two or four year term.  Sometimes I think this encourages criminal or at the least bad behavior where temptation of the all mighty dollar or power grab seems to bring out the worst corruption in government not pleasing to the American people.



Don’s Coffee & Tea Break

November 2, 2018

The general major news sources fall far short of good journalism because they are phony and merely pass themselves through the media as daily news.  What real credentials do they come to the table as journalists?

On a topic mail I get, I am sure most are important to them but lets face it folks, if you are anything like me I say STOP REPEATING TONS OF IT! One such letter package I received from Ben Stein, writing for Young America’s Foundation (YAF). His long letter details what has been going on in our high schools, colleges and universities to push the ultra-liberal garbage of former President Obama by indoctrinating teachers at every level.

YAF reaches young people with real American history and aided by the conservative movement in America  beliefs and moral values. They reach young people of high school and college age through college conferences, lecture program, seminars, and training programs being taught at the Reagan Ranch-Center and nationwide. You can reach them at 1-800-USA-1776.

I have supported YAF for many years.–Don.


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!”