Daily Rome Shot 571, etc.

From a friend in Rome, today.

TAN BOOKS has been faithful for years. Their recent titles are excellent. I’m just now looking at their new edition of the Seven Last Words of St. Bonaventure, due out later.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

White can win a piece with a tactic. White to move.

I recently had a bad slump in my play, online and over the board (OTB). It seemed like I couldn’t win a game to save my life. Anyway, I took a course from this guy, Igor Smirnov, which sounds like a pseudonym or an enemy of moose and squirrel. I’ve won my last 8 straight OTB games against the club’s strongest. I saw that he has an affiliate program so, being a devotee of entrepreneurs, I signed on. I like guys with chutzpah and the drive to do well. It may be that some of you would like to start playing. Others will be more advanced. Use the link.

There are free resources online.  Some are good.  There are lots of chess courses available through the big sites that go into real depth (e.g., chessable, 365chess, etc.). Some of them are greatly informative, but the teachers, who are good players, are not always good teachers. This one is a good teacher, in my estimation.

Also, about paying for courses online when there are lots of resources for free. Okay. Use them. Remember that instruction like this is sort of like translation work. I was recently asked to do some paid Latin translation. Translators can ask a fairly hefty fee. People sometimes think, “why should I pay that much when you can do it so fast?” The thing is, it took me 40 years to learn to do it. It took this chess Grand Master many years to learn his stuff. Dignus est operarius mercede sua.

Here’s a story with a lesson:

A giant ship engine failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.

Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”

So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.

The man sent a bill that read:

      • Tapping with a hammer………………….. $ 2.00
      • Knowing where to tap…………………….. $ 9,998.00

I’ll be entering tournaments after the Roman Sojourn. I need to see where I’m at. Once upon a time my rating was pretty high, but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Neal says:

    1. Bb5 Kd7
    2. d5 exd5
    3. Nd4
    Any response has black down a piece.

  2. mpa says:

    The story about the old man and the ship’s engine sounds very much like a story often told about electrical engineering pioneer Charles Steinmetz, which may actually be true, according to an article in the Smithsonian Magazine:

    “[Henry] Ford, whose electrical engineers couldn’t solve some problems they were having with a gigantic generator, called Steinmetz in to the plant. Upon arriving, Steinmetz rejected all assistance and asked only for a notebook, pencil and cot. According to Scott, Steinmetz listened to the generator and scribbled computations on the notepad for two straight days and nights. On the second night, he asked for a ladder, climbed up the generator and made a chalk mark on its side. Then he told Ford’s skeptical engineers to remove a plate at the mark and replace sixteen windings from the field coil. They did, and the generator performed to perfection.

    “Henry Ford was thrilled until he got an invoice from General Electric in the amount of $10,000. Ford acknowledged Steinmetz’s success but balked at the figure. He asked for an itemized bill.

    “Steinmetz, Scott wrote, responded personally to Ford’s request with the following:

    – Making chalk mark on generator $1.
    – Knowing where to make mark $9,999.

    “Ford paid the bill.”


  3. KSC says:

    aaahhhh…Santa Pudenziana!

    [Santa Pudenziana… ahhhh yes! Just down the street from this church which is Santa Prassede.]

  4. KSC says:

    Sigh….got the sisters mixed up.

Think, proof read, preview BEFORE posting!