The Amateur Eye – Predators

October 21, 2017

Democrat & Chronicle caught my eye with the Gilliabrand/Weinstein column.  Never thought I’d see D&C publish anything favorable aimed at truth. Well.  I was wrong. The New York Democrat could not compose an article without bashing a Republican.  She attacked the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ recent decision to scrap Obama-era rules for addressing sexual misconduct on campuses and in the military.  Then she said she gave back $11000+ of her donation from Harvey Weinstein.  Gosh.  She never mentioned the fact that good ole Harvey is a prime gift giver to Democrats where his so called Dem support shielded him from exposure for years.  What about previous donations to you, Kirsten?? And what about all those donations given just this year from Harvey, the smiling friend of the whole Democrat Party–Bless your soul!

Unfortunately the reporters did not go into details about the recommendations of ES Betsy DeVos which has little to no backing from the Teachers Union nor the bureaucratic lifers representing the Department of Education.  Her ideas, as many of us believe, are meant to strengthen and improve our education policies in America was, like always, given short shrift by the media dogs whose buried news found voice but again with a total slant on the subject.  It was addressed by our NY senator without giving DeVos’ arguments for her recommended actions.

Well, as an American citizen and of Christian faith, I have a remedy that Kirstin will not really like.  Study your Bible baby and find it’s beauty in it’s messages that cover much that would make The Ten Commandments a principle guide for a quality life experience. That guidance alone if practiced would stab the Devil Satan in the behind with that pitchfork and reduce the sins of the world order. Unfortunately, many politicians do not think so highly of Godly laws and advice.




Don’s Coffee & Tea Party

October 20, 2017

You have no particular agenda nor looking for a particular outcome from daily events.  Remember that instant attraction?  But time unraveled it to be just a passing fancy.  That could prove a positive benefit to your own wellbeing.  Still, there is an old saying:  If you persist in procrastination, then you might miss the boat.  Time and conditions change and finding joy and happiness can be fleeting given our time machine existence in this fast moving world.

Garfield wonders never cease.  Lover boy tells Liz that when he was single, he used to sit at home alone and be bored.  Not now that we’re a couple…we can sit at home together and be bored.  Garfield studies such thoughts and thinks: You need an exit strategy, lady!

Look Grampa!  I found a cheeto that looks like Gramma.  Wow!  You are right.  It does look like her.  What should we do with it?  Maybe we could sell her on E-Bay.  But wait!  Are we talking about the cheeto or Gramma?

Hagar surprises his wife and love mate with a box of genuine Swiss  sweet chocolates.  Thank you, but what about my diet?  Oh, I took care of that.  There are only 50% calories in the box.  I ate half of them!

School worries are universal.  Handing in an essay test when you know you did terrible is an awful feeling.  You walk back to your desk and just want to die.  Except you don’t die and it is October and school lasts to June, and there will be more essay tests and more agony.  Maybe I should try studying.

The Amateur Eye – Frenchie’s Gambit

October 19, 2017

The French Defense has whole books written on the subject of opening 1. e4  e6 from MCOs through tons of literature featuring games that in every manner beckons the serious examination of one of the oldest defenses and has weathered the storms of many battle fields.  Such is the game I wish to demonstrate mostly because of it’s rather rare appearance.

I became acquainted with this at our local club in Rochester, NY a game I featured years ago in my collection of articles I composed.  Lo and behold I recently found the same opening pattern in a game played in 1982 between Tony Miles (white) and H. Reefschiaeger (black).

l. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. Nc3  Bb4  4. Nge2  d:e4  5. a3  B:c3+  6. N:c3  Nc6  7. Bb5  Nge7  8. Be3

White could capture the pawn but wants to create complications for position sake.  For example, he can entice black to play f5 which blocks the c8 bishop.  Also, he continues to develop his forces which aim to expand square count by solidifying his center and getting more development with his c1 bishop, Queen and castling Q-side.

8. … O-O  9. Qd2  a6  10. B:c6  N:c6  11.  O-O-O !  f5. 12. Bg5  Qe8

Miles obviously sees that his ‘good bishop versus bad bishop’ plan will offset the material where, in fact, the pawns bump into his own development.  This often reflects in gambit play.

13. f3

Such pawn moves tend to open lines along the files.  And white can now threaten to regain his sacrificed pawn. But capturing only opens more attack squares.

13. … e:f3  14. g:f3!  Nd8  15. Rhg1  c6

The give and take of this move is obvious from black’s perspective but greatly weakens the dark squares. Note my lessons concerning square count strengths and weaknesses.

16. Rg3

The double idea here is clear. White plans to double rooks on the g-file, makes the Rook available for transfer to h3 maybe if needed.

16. … Rf7  17. Rdg1 b5  18. Bf6!  Resigns

As so often happens where a side has built pressure effecting squares near the King or not it eliminates 18…R:f6 because of 19. R:g7+ Kh8 20. Qg5 attack.

18. … Raa7  19. Qh6  Qf8  20. Be5

Black’s bishop cannot oppose this bishop as it is in a block like state.

20. … Kh8  21. Rh3  Qg8  22. Ne2

With his eye on the g6 square.

22. … f4  23. R:g7  R:g7  24. N:f4 cannot be met.

Thus we see a sample of gambit play where the gambiteer is willing to risk material disadvantage for space and freedom of movement with attack as a chief goal toward victory.





Don’s Coffee & Tea House Party

October 14, 2017

Humor comes in many forms but around my table the party often starts and stops with a tasty cup of coffee or tea.  To sweeten tea. honey is my favorite and if you favor coffee, try adding a bit of brown sugar.  A little variation can brighten your morning.

Two walkers resting on a park bench: Did you see this in this morning’s paper?  Seems that a man was walking his dog out in California and discovered half-buried, an old saddlebag which contained some packets of gold coins.  His day was certainly made.  Not so with me.  During a stroll with my pooch yesterday morning, I came home with nothing but some doggie-doo I had stepped in.

A proud military Dad talking with his neighbor and associates proclaimed upon their comment that Dad must be real proud of his schooling and training.  Was he planning to follow in your footsteps as a warrior?  Actually, no.  He wants to be a dentist and attack potential life threatening cavities and pain. His field includes building a healthy mouth by giving his patients new white and shiny beautiful teeth.

Dagwood goes up to the desk at the bowling center to report that his bowling ball was stuck in the ball return on the 4th lane.  He informs the employee, “You can return my ball to me on lane 7.”

Kids do say ‘darn it’ sometimes.  “Daddy!  Why don’t some kids get along with other kids? And sometimes when you think someone’s your friend, they aren’t.  They treat you mean and they say hurtful things.  For no real reason, Daddy. Sometimes they fight over dumb things. They don’t share.  And they say things about others that are not true.  I really can’t wait until I am grown up!  Grown ups don’t do things like that to others.” Yep. Kids do say ‘darn it’ sometimes.

Marmaduke is left at home while friends join the Andersons for a restaurant dinner party. Dog lovers can never get past thinking about their pet dog left at home. “I really feel guilty if I don’t order something with a bone in it.” She tells her husband and others at the table.  “I know what says a dinner guest. Lets all choose something with a bone in it.


The Amateur Eye – Don’s Gift of Joy to All

October 12, 2017

We all experience frustration in our daily lives and comes about through the turmoil seen as a function of unrealistic expectation where one can learn the root of it as to what is realistic, practical, and what is not.  A very simple way to alter your mental attitude is to simply change the expectation and witness the disappearance of frustration.  You find that in humor so enjoy a cup of tea or coffee which is meant to warm the spirit and read on dear reader.

We find life trials start early.  Take for example the playground at about third grade level. For Better or Worse they discover that the playground is the hardest subject to negotiate through.  That is frustration!

And take Shoe where Roz’ girlfriend says she has to do something about her wrinkles. Roz says, “Have you seen a doctor about the problem?”  “No!  I am trying to think outside the Botox.”  That is frustration!

Ziggy felt nostalgic so he decides to take a stroll down memory lane but found that he could not remember how to get there. That is frustration!

Mommy in The Family Circus scolded her daughter about tattling on Jeffy about what he did.  Tattling is not nice.  She responds with little girl understanding, “How can I tell you what Jeffy did unless I tattle.”  That is frustration!

Dogs and cats do not always get along well together.  So Dog suggests to Garfield, the Cat, that they should try to get along to which Cat agrees.  So they sit together as neighbor buddies pass by.  Dog says that this idea is leading to a creepy feeling.  And Garfield, the Cat thinks: We are freaking out the neighbors.   That is frustration!

Grampa and Grandma sit on the porch steps. “Do you think you’ve already lived the best day of your life?”  “No, I am an optimist.  I always think there are better things ahead than what is behind.”  “Get up.  I believe you are right.  Yep. Your behind was sitting on my wad of gum I dropped on the porch.” That is frustration!

I heard the military recruiting standards are causing problems in the day to day work of recruits.  Beetle Bailey see soap suds flowing all over the floor.  He tells Zero that he used too much soap.  Zero said the directions said to just use a cap full of soap powder.  So he took off his cap, filled it and tossed it all in the washing machine.  That is frustration!

Snoopy is resting on his dog house roof per usual.  Charlie brings his food. “What would  you do if you did not have me to bring your food every morning?”  Snoppy thinks, ” That is the sort of thing I’d rather not think about.”  That is frustration!



The Amateur Eye – Welcome Carol Meyer

October 10, 2017

US Chess welcomes CAROL MEYER as the new executive director.  US CHESS VISION: To enrich the lives of all persons and communities through increasing the play, study, and appreciation of the game of chess.  Carol won out over 100 applicants; her savvy, background, and knowledge toward US CHESS as a 501(c)(3) organization will cement a growth structure of the organization.

Outgoing Jean Hoffman successfully led the 90,000 plus membership over a four year period adding many innovations toward expanding opportunities for the joy of chess for the masses.  Thank you Jean for your years of dedicated service to USCF.

Lets dedicate ourselves to achieving ever increasing such enjoyment of its history and game play and a stimulation by membership support in growing the organization to new highs.



The Amateur Eye – October 9th Nat’l Chess Day

October 10, 2017

National Chess Day sort of went by the wayside until recently when Senator John Davison “Jay” Rockefeller IV decided to have the chessplayers’ back as an important activity for the advancement of education.  You see, as many of us in the chess world know, the value of experiencing a togetherness with this noble game called chess brings the student into real life interplays effecting healthy parent-child relationships and life decisions.

The Senator writes in a Chess Life inclusion:  “My son John, was fascinated by chess as a child, but he didn’t become involved in rated tournaments until his three children discovered chess. All played in dozens of rated tournaments–the youngest (age 10) is at 75 and learning.  John is a tournament director in USCF, certified coach and active in both state and national level.  It was through John that I became involved in sponsoring the Senate resolution that officially created National Chess Day.  In some ways I was the ideal sponsor because I am not a chess player: I understood chess intrinsic value through the impartial lens of an outsider.  I firmly believe that chess is more than just a game. It teaches self-discipline, acceptance of an outcome, and how to adapt to changing situations.  And it is diverse. Age, gender, and race don’t matter when two people are squaring off over the board.”

To read the full story contributed by Senator Rockefeller IV, see CHESS LIFE , page 72, October 2017 issue.


Don’s Poetry ?! Thoughts Live On

September 27, 2017

In my young school days I had often enjoyed English class and I guess my desire to express my feelings sprang from it. I wrote a few poems, submitting one in a national poetry contest and won a modest award of it being included in that annual book published for aspiring poets.  A poet from South Africa read it and also my poem which I included in my series on THE APPLE TREE writing to me that I should endeavor to write many more and include them in book form. A few others I have penned like the Christmas Tree included for my readers enjoyment.

My joy for writing stories originated in the school English class, my sophomore year when my teacher read my short story to the class and later confided to me that I should definitely look to writing as I had a gift for imagination and creativeness she had rarely seen from one so young.  That is one reason I elected to take typing.  My stories I have authored are on my blog.

I invite readers to enjoy hopefully my effort in this endeavor.



Don’s Bedtime Story

September 25, 2017

This is the story of a wooden doll who developed bad habits of lying.  He was made out of wood by a very nice old woodcarver.  Then one day the wooden doll got up from the little chair that the woodcarver had made for his doll and began to dance and sing. Well, all went well but the doll began to play tricks on the wood carver and his family children for whom the doll had been carved. This lying made the little doll’s nose grow more and more with each lie.

Putting the story aside, Dad kissed his children good night, tucking them in and turned out the light.  Then the youngest said, Daddy–just what is lying??

The Amateur Eye – Giuoco Piano On Fire

September 25, 2017

Even when you do not like what you are asked to do, you try to approach your duties with an attitude of optimism and good cheer reminds me of a chess battle between Oleg Skvortsov and Vishy Anand at the Zurich Triathlon 2017.

Competition will bring about your best.  It is not about winning to prove superior skill but rather the sheer joy of meeting equals so as to push yourself and see just what you are capable of when challenged.

I once asked the question of my students: Is chess a war game, an art and/or a science? I got a lot of good comments in answers or questions that kids showed a joy in vocal reflection than just in chess play. Boys and girls both enriched my own thoughts where we found it being more than just a fun game.

So lets look at what World Champion Emmanuel Lasker once said was a game for all seasons.

l. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bc4  Bc5 4. c3  Nf6 5. d4 e:d4  6. b4  Bb6  7. e5 d5  Black must play energetically in attacking the center complex.

8. e:f6  d:c4  9. Qe2+ Be6  10. b5  Nb4  11. f:g7 Rg8 12. c:b4 Qf6 13. O-O Q:g7 14. g3  O-O-O 15. a4 d3  16. Qb2 A number of different ideas were looked at by spectators and even the loser which would have likely led to equal positions.  But look at the square count for both sides. Here is a pretty Queen sac. The shock of shocks!!

16. … Q:g3+!  17. h:g3  R:g3+ 18. Kh2  R:f3 19. Bg5?  This loses.  Whenever a sharp and unexpected idea occurs, it causes panic or just shock to the brain. After, 19. Kg2 or 19. Qg7 both which appears to hold equal chances following strenuous examination presented by the loser.

19. … Bd4  20. Qd2  Rg8  21. Ra3  h6  22. Rg1  Rh3+ 23. Kg2  R:g5+resigns as  24. Kf1 R:g1+ 25. K:g1  Bd5 mates.

This again is a call by patriots: NEVER SURRENDER OR  GIVE UP THE SHIP!