ROME 22/10 – Day 2: Still getting it together and an ASK FATHER question

The Roman sun rose today at 7:06 and will set at 18:53.  The Ave Maria is slated for 19:00, which is a 15 minute shift from yesterday.  Gosh, things change so fast.

Breakfast today was more along the lines of what I might eat on a Sunday back in the States.  The bread however is not.  This is pane di Lariano.

Along the edge of the Campo de’ fiori there are all sorts of restaurants. I can’t vouch for any of them. They strike me as very touristy. that doesn’t automatically mean they are bad… but. I like what these folks did, however. The flower boxes are full of bushes of basil. Very aromatic.

The decorated building I’ve shown you before. It was the locus of “Tata Giovanni” who had a school for training children who were abandoned in some trade. They came to be called “callarelli”. The madonnella has an inscription: IN MANIBUS TUIS SORTES MEAE. The institute still exists, I think, though it moved long ago.

Just in case I were to have some company, I did a little Sunday shopping… I know, I know. What makes this interesting is the back of the place probably includes a remains of the Theater of Pompey.

Nearby a place where I once stayed, which needs work. The restaurant below, however, while a bit touristy, is only so because there are a lot of tourists. It’s a good place and, while I don’t eat out often here, I go there with friends when the occasion calls.

Just a glimpse of the morning.

Right now I am reading Scott Hahn’s newest

Holy Is His Name: The Transforming Power of God’s Holiness in Scripture

It has a forward by Peter Kreeft.  That’s a really good sign in itself.

Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.


And, for your chessy news today, I had an ASK FATHER question!

“Is It A Sin To Play Sleezy Openings In Bullet Chess?”

From a reader…


I recently was gloating to a friend of mine that I am now in the top 1/3rd of bullet chess players on, though I confessed many of my wins came from King’s Gambit ideas around Bc4, Qh5, and checkmate on f7. We wondered how Catholic moral teaching might govern employing such sleezy tricks, and thought you were the only priest qualified to answer. I am prepared to make amends and reform my life if my regrettable conduct rises to the level of sin.

Here is a prime example: HERE

I am being sarcastic, of course.

Sarcasm aside, the answer is “No!”

It is not a sin to defeat your opponent over those 64 squares.  If your opponent falls into your trap, then so be it.  Perhaps he will learn from the experience and improve his game.  In that case you have done him a favor.   Masters of the game lose many thousands of games before they attain the chimeric and misleading title of “Master”.  Who can master chess, as the engines are showing us?

A puzzle.  This one is complicated.   I struggled with it.   It has a lot to do with what happens when a piece is moved.  Remember that when you move a piece, it exerts pressure on a new set of squares, BUT it releases pressure on others!  Notice from the beginning that your bishop is hanging.  What to do?  Black has a lot of pieces on the queen side, while white has pieces on the king side.  This is not going to be easy.  Some attacks result in a loss of material and the attack peters out to self-destruction.

White to move.


Remember that camera I repaired?  I may have forgotten to bring my biretta and a sturdy pall, but I did bring the camera.

A couple of shots as I experimented for the first time.

Crisp and clear?

From the phone…


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Glad to see that you made it to Rome. I have recently moved back to Trentino after a long absence and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

    Tricky board. I’m probably wrong as usual, but I’ll give it a shot.


  2. Neal says:

    1. Ng5

  3. acardnal says:

    Thanks for the travelogue! Always enjoyable. I like the “phone” photo with the street lights reflecting off of the cobblestones.

  4. JamesF-J says:

    In your second to last photo: our apartment last time we were in Rome is immediately to your right facing the Palazzo Spada – and the restaurant seen in the distance is pretty good (full of locals) – I had a tripe salad (lot nicer than it sounds!) – also thanks for the recommendation of Elle Effe – we went and it was great. Might try to make it to Rome again for the next SP pilgrimage – though I have run out of air miles…………..

  5. Zephyrinus says:

    Dear Reverend Fr. Z.

    Do, please, keep those camera settings.

    Your pics are outstanding. Have you thought of, perhaps, compiling a small Rome Visit Book each time you visit. Then offer copies for sale online ? Might go some way to off-setting your expenses.

    in Domino

  6. JonPatrick says:

    The light squared bishop is threatened by the pawn so I would move him to D5 so as to keep pressure on the F7 square but get him out of danger.

  7. White is down and the bishop is hanging. Moving the bishop to safety on b3 is tempting. Moving t0 d7 is too slow and allows black to regroup or attack. That leaves Be6, but that allows the black queen to mobilize. Ng5 is tempting, the white bishop blocks the queen’s access to h2 and h5 shuts down an attack if Bg7.
    1. Bxf7+! KxB (Kh8 leads to BxR after which Qf4 is tempting, but is too weak because of Qxa2 or be6)
    2. Ng5 + Kg8
    3. Bf8! h5 (if KxB then Qxh6 and if Bg7 after h5 and the queen slides to e4, then KxB and there is not longer enough material to carry on, so Bf8 is key as it covers g7. RxB blunders mate. And the Qxa2 also gives white time. Qa6 lets white play c6.)
    4. Qe4 Bf5 (blocks the queen’s attack on the g6 pawn. Qa6 lets white play c6.)
    5. Qd5+ e6 (blocks the check, but opens the 7th rank. KxB blunders mate. Kh8 brings Qf7.)
    6. Qd7 Rf8 (not much else other than resign)
    7. Qh7#
    You’ve moved the queen around black’s defensive wall.

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