Do you find yourself longing for something beyond boring video games? Is “1st Person shooter board game champion” a title you’ve not yet collected? Then this site is your gateway to domination of the classical, strategic board gaming world!
Draughts, Backgammon … now, NFL-augmented Virtual Checkers Reality awaits you. Catch the excitement of the premier strategy board game (not named chess, of course): NFL-augmented Checkers
Some basic reminders: Black moves first, captures forced, notation may be slightly awkward; Fred Reinfeld’s 1957 classic, launched just prior to USSR’s Sputnik satellite ruse, showed the real game
We use Fred Reinfeld’s classic to learn basic strategies and openings of the grand, though simple, old game.
Checkers (or “draughts”) dates back 5000 years to the Egyptians, shows up in the writings of Homer and Plato, with variations played by Romans (Latrunculi), Arabs (Alquerque), Chinese (aptly titled Chinese Checkers), and even Hawaiians (Konane), let alone Canadians, Germans, Russians and more, sometimes on boards of 10×10 or even 12×12. Regular but not boring checkers, 8×8 board, captures necessary when possible, “King”ing peiece when they reach the last row, no moving backwards (except for Kings), etc.
Kentucky, Columbus, Las Vegas, New York, Mexico City, Paris, Moscow: the chess matches span much of the globe. So do the openings, or they could have – there was a distinct preference for the Sicilian Defense, then (naturlich) some Queen’s Gambits. Had they chosen a more geographically representative set of openings, here is what they might have done …
Benny’s games and discussions with Beth lacked the international charm of the other venues (Mexico City, Paris, Moscow), and frankly cluttered up the other pages.* But they were highly interesting on their own terms, though often played, as bewailed of the the tournament in Columbus, Ohio, “with plastic pieces on vinyl boards” unlike the more exotic venues abroad. So here they are, starting off with a puzzle presented in Benny basement chess lair, followed by Beth’s game against Benny in the US Open championship in Las Vegas, Benny’s humiliation of Beth at speed chess, then Beth’s return match(es) with Benny and two friends, simultaneously at speed chess.
As Jupiter (the king of planets) and Saturn (mythologically associated with suffering and wisdom), aligned in the skies on December 21, 2020, I can not help but wonder at what symbolic significance one can attribute to the event – without “going astrological” – especially given the pandemic-wrought suffering of 2020 as the year comes to a close amidst the joyous and hopeful notes of Christmas. These jumbo-sized planets align to the Earthling eye to some extent every 20 years, though they have not done so quite like this since March 4, 1226 (there was 1623, but the sun was too bright for anyone to see it), as per a recent USA Today article. The appearance suggests to some that of the Bethlehem Star, rising 2000 years ago to announce the reign of a new King on Earth, Jesus, the long-awaited and much-heralded Messiah and King figure of the Jewish scriptures.
As we pause to consider the suffering wrought by the corona virus pandemic in 2020, and the meaning of hope and joy at Christmastime as we put 2020 behind us, we can ponder the wisdom induced by the sufferings of Saturn, and the hope and joy brought by a regal Jupiter, and how they can both be found in the hope and hero of Christmas, Jesus.
Besides her matches with Borgov and Pluchenko in Moscow, The Queen’s Gambit abounds with intriguing chess games and positions. They are here presented, in the venerable spirit of chess puzzles like this collection from logician Raymond Smullyan.
Thus far, games or positions discussed include
Mate in 3 puzzle from Episode 6 Adjournment in Benny’s basement loft, as it were, with his chess friends, who later challenge Beth to multiple simultaneous games of speed chess.
From Exchanges (Episode 2) Beth’s first tournament move Mate in 1 position from a Beltik game
My identity on chess.com would seem to require some explanation. Hopefully you can read English, as in addition to my various western US time zone friends*, I keep getting matched with opponents from Europe and sometimes Latin America; chess.com is not just fun, but globally if not cosmically fun.
The simple, enigmatic name results from a confluence of a few factors …
What if Bobby Fischer had turned from the Royal Game to the Game of Royalty, the Philosophy of Life?
It was the third game of the Tellus Midi championship match, and the culmination of Froddy Bischer’s short, precocious life. Froddy, you see, had spent his entire life in pursuit conquest and domination, in short, immortal glory, on the eighty one squares of the Game of Royals, Schachgi. His father, himself a brilliant scientist of the highest rank, had given him his brilliantly cool calculating brain. His mother, a poet who sang with the sinners and danced with the saints, his resilient spirit. His sister constantly dweeded on her interstellar TeleVac with her chatty friends, and didn’t figure much in his ambitious plans, or so-called “life.”
Like Russians sequestered indoors during their long, harsh winters, Americans (and likely many other parts of the world) are learning to enjoy the game of chess once again.
The NY Times cites a resurgence in chess interest in Chess (Yes, Chess) is Now a Streaming Obsession (Sept. 7, 2020 Kellen Browning), though much of it consists in watching Grandmaster superstars play rapid games (games with time limits of 5 or 10 minutes for an entire game’s moves), such as the American Haruki Namakura who has gained nearly all of his 528,000 Twitch followers since the pandemic began).
Activity at sites like chess.com is also up, though the US populace will be challenged to match the Russian enthusiasm for the game, as a report cited in Chess Life magazine a few years back cited how a stunning 43% of Russians will play at least one game of chess a year, double the rate of the closest competitor nation.