Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gateway to the West

More photos from my trip (text to follow)

The World Chess Hall of Fame (above) recently reopened in St. Louis. It includes the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame, which I have now visited in all four locations (New Windsor NY, Washington D.C. and Miami previously). The centerpiece of the new display is the Morphy Silver, a coin silver beverage set presented to Paul Morphy for winning the American Chess Congress in 1857, and originally donated to the HOF by Steve Doyle in 1986.

I was very pleased to see that the memory of Sidney Samole (his bust shown here) was still prominent in the newly relocated Chess Hall of Fame.

Tony Rich, Executive Director St. Louis Chess Club, 4657 Maryland Avenue, ST. Louis, MO 63108
web site
GM Ben Finegold's blog

St. Louis Cardinals

Bridge to Cairo IL and Paducah KY

Samantha: In seven tenths of a mile, take the ferry! (Dorena, MO to Hickman, KY)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Return to Boonville

An example of the 2011 Missouri River Flooding, still in evidence along I-29 in Iowa and Missouri

I thought I would cross the Missouri River into Iowa at Nebraska City but found that the bridge was closed. Same thing at the Rte. 136 crossing, and again at Rolo. Eventually I made my way into Kansas and crossed at St. Joseph's, Missouri. Click here to read more about the flooding.

A few hours later I passed by the KC sports complex where the Royals and Chiefs play their home games. Then it was on to Boonville, Rocheport and Columbia where my adventure out west began five years ago. The Ozark Mountain Poker Wedding remains one of my favorite (and most frequently viewed) blogs, so it was nice to reminisce on the way back east.

Last evening I visited the famed St. Louis Chess Center where I listened to a lecture by GM Benjamin Finegold.

Today I will visit the newly opened Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis. Then on to Crossville, TN, where I will meet Mayor J.H. Graham tomorrow morning at 8:30 am. I left my "key to the city" on the wall of the Portland Chess Club in Oregon, but the Mayor promised that he would let me in anyway...

I updated Monday's blog with my own picture of Fossil Butte monument.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Prone to corn pone? Lend me your ear

Photo courtesy of Sylvan Dell Publishing's blog

Friends, know the rest. I was driving along route 80 in Nebraska today past miles and miles (and hours and hours) of corn fields on both sides of the road. My mind wandered, as it usually does, and I contemplated the many uses of corn. Some of the stalks, especially in the southwest corner of the state, didn't look like they contained anything edible. My instincts were correct.
Here's a list of the uses of corn that I came up with (and a few where I had no idea):

1. Corn on the cob
2. Canned corn
3. Pop corn
4. Paint
5. Cattle feed
6. Pipes
7. Fertilizer
8. Beer
9. Drywall
10. Prescription drugs
11. Corn syrup
12. Instant coffe
13. Toothpaste
14. Paper products
15. Spark plugs
Corn starch is used in the production of the special porcelain used to make spark plugs. Really! source: Agriculture Corner

16. Tires
17. Cosmetics
18. Kitty litter
19. Corn meal
20. Vitamin capsules
21. Chemicals
22. Corn starch
23. Hand soap
24. Halloween costumes
25. Decorations
26. Pesticides
27. Postage stamp glue
28. Packaging tape
29. Muffins
30. Corn pone

There are many more but I need to leave Lincoln for St. Louis. The weather report for the trip looks good.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet Wyoming

Fossil Butte National Monument in southwestern Wyoming

Many years ago I attended a concert by country/folk singer Bill Staines who introduced one of his songs by explaining that Little America, Wyoming, was the only truck stop in America (back then) that was also an incorporated town. Well, yesterday I visited Little America and it was exactly as he described it!

It got me humming his song to myself for the next 150 miles and wondering how many song titles actually have the word "Wyoming" in them. Anyway, here's the song for your enjoyment: Sweet Wyoming Home.

The day started in Pocatello, Idaho where I played chess over the weekend. The results and photos will soon be available on the Idaho Chess Association web site. I parked as close as I could get tio the tri-state marker denoting the junction of Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. I will be back to add photos later.

Photo by Jeff Roland, courtesy of Idaho Chess Association

While researching information about places in the U.S. where three states come together I was surprised to learn that 27 such places are actually under water.

Time to hit the road for Lincoln, Nebraska. Will fill in some more details when I next find Internet access.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On the road again...

Quote for the day: "Looking forward to my visit. I will be one of the lucky few who have visited the Chess Hall of Fame at all 4 locations (New Windsor, NY; Washington, DC; Miami, FL; & St. Louis, MO)... Don't know if Steve Doyle and Al Lawrence could have imagined back in '86 what it would be like 25 years down the road."

There's no place like home. A few thoughts while on the road again...

Flew home to Idaho yesterday to pick up the car. Can't survive a winter in Ithaca without a vehicle. The bus system and Carshare service are good back-ups for two people with one car, but we have decided that we must have our car... Celebrated my birthday with the in-laws in Meridian ID last evening. We had a good time, but Tash's physical presence was definitely missed.

Lunch with Jeff Roland tomorrow. Speaking of Jeff, here's his "spread" on the Meridian Invitational held at my house August 20, 2011.

Good job, as always, Jeff!

My tentative travel plans will bring my to Pocatello ID this weekend, Laramie WY on Sunday, Lincoln NE Monday, St. Louis MO to see the new Chess Hall of Fame on Tuesday or Wednesday, then to Crossville TN to see if my "key to the city" still opens any doors, and back to Ithaca NY from there... A half dozen Red Sox games to keep me company along the way.

On the right is the new three-story Chess Hall of Fame building in St. Louis. -->

Looking forward to my visit. I will be one of the lucky few who have visited the Chess Hall of Fame at all 4 locations (New Windsor, NY; Washington, DC; Miami, FL; & St. Louis, MO)... Don't know if Steve Doyle and Al Lawrence could have imagined back in '86 what it would be like 25 years down the road. I appreciate their foresight...

Please come back for an update. I'll take lots of photos.

Chess in my kitchen, literally: 2011 Meridian Invitational. In this photo, Corey Longhurst (White) versus Frank Niro III (Black). Hugh Myers looking down on the game, Caleb Kircher in the "Boise State" shirt, Tash Niro in the background, and Jamie Lang pouring himself a drink. Photo by Jeff Roland, courtesy of the Idaho Chess Association.

The travel plan (updated as of 9/22/11, will revise en route):

Sun Sep 25 Pocatello ID to Laramie WY - 453.68 mi, 6 hrs 57 mins

Mon Sep 26 Laramie WY to Lincoln NE - 493.20 mi, 6 hrs 55 mins

Sep 27 Lincoln, NE to St. Louis MO - 442.94 mi, 7 hrs 1 min

Wed Sep 28 St. Louis MO to Crossville TN - 419.55 mi, 6 hrs 35 mins (visit HoF Wednesday morning)

Thu Sep 29 Crossville TN to Strasburg VA - 476.26 mi, 7 hrs 26 mins (visit USCF Thursday morning)

Fri Sep 30 Strasburg VA to West Chester PA - 214.20 mi, 3 hrs 37 mins (lunch w/FM?)

Sat/Sun Oct 1/Oct 2 West Chester PA to Ithaca NY - time & route to be determined...

Thank you Mapquest.

Monday, September 19, 2011

McKay Tartan Books, No. 5 plus the list

Quote for today: "I regret that I did not take up Burt Hochberg on his offer to give me a complete list before he passed away...looks like he may have been the only person who knew all of the books in the Tartan series!"
The chess classic, My System, by Aron Nimzovich

At long last, here is the incomplete list of books in the David McKay Tartan series. I will add the missing titles as I learn of them. Now that I have access to the Cornell University library resources, I am hopeful that I will have a complete lsit within a few months. Please send me an e-mail at with corrections and/or additions. Thank you!
No. 6, Common Sense in Chess by Emanuel Lasker

1. Ideas Behind the Chess Openings – Reuben Fine
2. The Middle Game in Chess – Reuben Fine
3. Basic Chess Endings – Reuben Fine
4. Learn Chess Fast – Sammy Reshevsky & Fred Reinfeld
5. My System – Aron Nimzovich
6. Common Sense in Chess - Emanuel Lasker
7. Winning Chess Traps - Irving Chernev
8. Chess Strategy & Tactics - Fred Reinfeld & Irving Chernev
9. Modern Chess Strategy - Edward Lasker
10. Let’s Play Checkers - Grover & Wiswell
11. Learn Checkers Fast - Tom Wiswell
12. Pawn Power in Chess - Hans Kmoch
13. ?
14. Freud: A Critical Reevaluation of his Theories - Reuben Fine
15. ?
16. ?
17. The Commonsense Book of Wine - Leon Adams
18. My Best Games of Chess 1908-1923 - Alexander Alekhine
19. My Best Games of Chess 1924-1937 - Alexander Alekhine
20. Dark Trees to the Wind - Carl Carmer

No. 20, Dark Trees to the Wind, tales about life in NY

No. 21, Listen for the Lonesome Drum, another of the non-chess books in the David McKay Tartan series

21. Listen for a Lonesome Drum - Carl Carmer
22. ?
23. English Thought in the Nineteenth Century - D.C. Somervell

24. English Social History - George Trevelyan
25. 200 Miniature Games of Chess - J. du Mont
26. A Passion for Chess - Reuben Fine
27. Chess Fundamentals - J. R. Cabaplanca
28. The Art of Sacrifice in Chess - Rudolf Spielmann
29. Profile of a Prodigy - Dr. Frank Brady
30. ?

31. Point Count Chess - I.A. Horowitz & Geoffrey Mott-Smith
32. Paul Morphy and the Golden Age of Chess - William Napier
33. Epic Battles of the Chessboard - R.N. Coles
34. Alekhines' Best Games of Chess 1938-1945 - C.H.O'D. Alexander
35. Dominoes - Dominic Armanino
36. How to Win in the Chess Endings - I.A. Horowitz
37. Practical Chess Openings - Reuben Fine
38. Strategy and Tactics in Chess - Max Euwe
39. Beginning Backgammon - Tim Holland
40. Official Rules of Chess - U.S. Chess Federation
41. Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur - Max Euwe & Walter Meiden
42. Monopoly Book - Maxine Brady
43. Guide to Tournament Chess - Siegbert Tarrasch
44. The Game of Chess - Siegbert Tarrasch
45. ?

46. Official Rules of Chess (2nd edition) - Martin Morrison, editor
47. The Development of Chess Style - Max Euwe
48. Capablanca's 100 Best Games of Chess - Harry Golembek
49. Modern Chess Opening Traps - William Lombardy
50. The Road to Chess Mastery - Max Euwe & Walter Meiden
51. Pawn Structure Chess - Andrew Soltis
52. The World Chess Championship 1978 - Bent Larsen
53. Backgammon for People Who Hate to Lose - Tim Holland
54. Better Backgammon - Tim Holland
55. Attack and Defence in Modern Chess Tactics - Ludek Pachman
56. Judgment and Planning in Chess - Max Euwe
57. Modern Chess Tactics - Ludek Pachman
58. The Art of Positional Play - Samuel Reshevsky
59. The Chess Struggle in Practice - David Bronstein
60. ?
61. Maxims of Chess - John Collins
62. Catalog of Chess Mistakes - Andrew Soltis
63. A Short History of Chess - Dr. Henry Davidson
64. ?
65. ?
66. Practical Endgame Lessons - Edmar Mednis
67. The Modern Chess Sacrifice - Leonid Shamkovich
68. America's Chess Heritage - Walter Korn
69. Modern Chess Openings - Walter Korn
70. King Power in Chess - Edmar Mednis
71. The Art of defense in Chess - Andrew Soltis
72. How to play good Opening Moves - Edmar Mednis
73. U.S. Chess Federation's Official Rules of Chess - Tim Redman, ed.

I am still missing some titles, but finally feel satisfied that I have a complete enough list worth publishing. I regret that I did not take up Burt Hochberg on his offer to give me a complete list before he passed away. I had many opportunities do do so when we were working together of the 5th edition of the USCF rulebook, edited by Tim Just, in 2002. It looks like he may have been the only person who knew all of the books in the Tartan series!

I will be grateful to anyone who helps me fill in the blanks.

My previous blog entries concerning this series:
Books nos. 1-3
Book no. 4

Best wishes to all,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Has anyone seen Andrey Kostin?

FIDE rated player Andrey Kostin of Vancouver, BC

Rumor has it that Canadian chess player Andrey Kostin has arrived at Cornell on a math scholarship. Kostin, born 1988, has had many successes over the board, including a first place tie with FIDE Master Fanhao Meng and Lucas Davies at the BC Junior Championship. So far, though, Kostin hasn't appeared at the chess club which meets Monday and Friday evenings in Hollister Hall. There are two other players over 2200 USCF in the club who, together with Kostin, could form the core of a very strong chess team for the upcoming Pan Amrican Intercollegiate Chess Championship and next February's US Amateur Team event in New Jersey.

As far as I can tell, Cornell University hasn't fielded a competitive team since at least 1991. Perhaps this will be the year for a comeback!

Andrey Kostin, rated 2100 FIDE and climbing, shown here in the "King of Vancouver" chess tournament which he won in impressive fashion.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back at Cornell after 37 years

At the Six Mile Creek welcoming reception with three of the first year Sloan Students: Constantine, Sean and Ty.

Thank you to Angelica Hammer for successfully attacking the "apostrophe bug" on the Cornell web site resulting in the updated bio located here.

About Cornell's Sloan Program in Health Administration: Established in 1955, the Sloan Program is the nation's first two-year graduate program in health care management and has been training future health care leaders for over half a century. It is named to acknowledge the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which selected Cornell and funded the development of a new program to promote application of modern management practices to health care. Sloan is located in the multidisciplinary College of Human Ecology, which has a number of other programs that relate to senior living and health, including the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging (CITRA) and an interdepartmental Gerontology program.

Click here to see the previous blog entry about my return to Cornell (posted August 4, 2011).

Click here for my recent (well, fairly recent) thoughts on the U.S. Health Care system (posted May 1, 2009).

Tidbit for my students: Top 50 hospital administration blogs as of April, 2010.

And now for some chess...the 2011 Oregon Open:

Here are the results from the 2011 Oregon Open Chess Championship played this past weekend. FIDE master Nick Raptis won in a runaway. He didn't even play in round 6!

Mike Morris vs. Nick Raptis, Rd. 2, Sept. 3, 2011
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Qa5 11. Kb1 Ne5 12. Bb3 Rfc8 13. h4 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. Nb3 Qc7 16. h5 Rxc3 17. bxc3 Be6 18. hxg6 fxg6 19. Bd4 a5 20. Qe3 a4 21. Nc1 Ra5 22. g4 Qc4 23. g5 Qb5+ 24. Ka1 Qxg5 25. Qxg5 Rxg5 26. Nd3 Rg3 27. Rdb1 Rxf3 28. Rxb7 Nxe4 29. Rxe7 Bxd4 30. cxd4 Ng3 31. Rb1 Bf7 32. Rb8+ Kg7 33. Kb2 h5 34. Rbb7 h4 35. Ne5 a3+ 36. Kc1 dxe5 37. dxe5 h3 38. e6 h2

The Cornell Chess Club is alive and strong. It meets Mondays and Fridays on campus. As far as I know, there is not a competitive team that travels to tournaments, not even the US Amateur team championship in Parsippany! I'll have to drop in and see if I can change that...Opening night at the 2011-12 Cornell University Chess Club (photo courtesy of Jasper Wu, CU chess club president)