Daily Rome Shot 570, etc. and a special birthday!

Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE

From a letter I received, a game from 1921.

White to win.

Meanwhile, there was a development in the Magnus Carlson v. Hans Niemann drama.

In the Julius Baer Generation Cup (September 18-25 – prize fund $150K), after one of the day’s work, Carlsen was interviewed and, while not saying much, he did give some props to Niemann for his play and then, again cryptically, added that Niemann’s coach, whom he named, must be doing a good job. Crazy. And Magnus scored 10 of a possible 12 points for the day. So far the only game he “lost” was the one he resigned to Niemann on move 1.5.

Also, allowing for a certain lack of coincidence between the Shire’s calendar and the Gregorian calendar, happy birthday Bilbo and Frodo!  And happy Hobbit Day. And, in Gondor, it’s a festival in honor of Frodo on 30 Yavannie (= 22 September).

I bring this up because recently Amazon started a new series called Rings of Power. US HERE – UK HERE I have some thoughts about it.

Also, my long lost original set of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the Silmarillion were located and sent to me.   One of you readers, CG, sent me a new set a couple years back I believe for which I am so very grateful.  It is nice to have the ones I first read back in hand.  I remember the moment I, the boy, unwrapped them.  They had been a gift from my late grandmother, who did so much to open me to the world’s treasury of music, art and literature.  And it to me!   Among other things, she had encouraged me to write to Tolkien.  I did and he wrote back.  These books were an important link in a chain of events that, eventually led to conversion and priesthood, rather like “the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains”.

On a daily basis I am reminded of my grandmother and grandfather in a chessable way.  He taught me the game, of course.  Also, on my dining room hutch stands the ceramic chess set she fired, in a wooden cabinet with piece drawer crafted by my grandfather.  It, too, had languished in storage for many years.  Finally, when I had it once again, I decided to fill in the hollow pieces and apply felt.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. jameeka says:

    My mother’s birthday is today….88 years old. We didn’t think she would make it this long! I would appreciate a prayer for her.

    I thank your grandparents, especially your grandmother, for helping lead you where you are now, Father Z. ( I recall you speaking about her in ‘The Journey Home’ episode you were in, many moons ago). Beautiful chess set!

  2. Mariana2 says:

    A Belated Happy Birthday, Bilbo and Frodo!

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Holy crud, Father Z! That makes you (albeit in a remote way) one of Tolkien’s academic children! A very distinguished company!
    (Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer talks a lot about Tolkien in academia, explaining a lot that other bios do not. And there’s a list of people he tutored and taught, which is very eye-opening, because a lot of them turned out important to their fields. (I mean, I’d even heard of them, and I haven’t heard of that many academics.)

  4. _Dan_ says:

    I think the best move for white is Rc1, but after black plays Rb5 I don’t see how white can hold on to his pawn? To me this looks drawn…I’m curious where the win is?

  5. Neal says:

    I can’t do better than a draw either.

  6. Dan: for the win you have to sac and get sneaky.

    1. d7 Kc7
    2. d8=Q+ KxQ
    3. O-O-O#

    If 1.O-O-O then Ra2!
    If 2. O-O-O then Rb8!

    Remember the rules of castling, which is a king move. Neither rook nor king can have moved. There cannot be any pieces between the rook and king. So long as the king is not under attack (in check) and none of the squares the king must travel over or to are under attack, you can castle. However, if the rook only is under attack you can still castle.

  7. _Dan_ says:

    Ah, I overlooked the possibility of castling, sneaky! Reminds me of another puzzle I once saw where the solution was to capture en passant.

Comments are closed.