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playground player
Member since Oct-01-06 · Last seen Nov-23-14
NJ--no rating. Favorites, Morphy, Marshall, Anderssen. Played a lot as a teen, then let it go for 40 years. Trying to reconstitute myself as a chess player.

Meanwhile, let this forum serve as a refuge from wild-eyed loony leftism. Here there will be no admiration for Hugo Chavez, Castro, or any of the other tin-pot dictators admired by chess players from the safety of freedom-loving Western democracies. Here will be found a premise that most of the nations of the world today are governed by Godless fools. Ours, too, unfortunately.

I was also going to say some uncomplimentary things about Queen Pawn games, the Sicilian and the French Defenses, Semi-Slav games, and a few other chess matters. But as those are purely questions of personal taste, I have chosen to leave them alone.

Since setting up this forum, I have also had several novels published: "Bell Mountain," "The Cellar Beneath the Cellar," and "The Thunder King." For more information about them (and me), visit my website,

Update, much delayed: my fourth book, "The Last Banquet," came out last year, and my fifth, "The Fugitive Prince," I expect to be published sometime this Spring. For book covers and free sample chapters, visit my blog.

Update again: "The Fugitive Prince" is out now and the next project is "The Palace." Editing is well advanced, but we're still waiting for a cover. Full Member

   playground player has kibitzed 4401 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Nov-23-14 playground player chessforum (replies)
playground player: <Esteemed Colleagues> Leaving politics behind for the nonce, I've devoted this weekend's blogs to literary criticism. For your edification and enjoyment, Where do they get the idea that fantasy is an excuse to heap up cliches? ...
   Nov-15-14 optimal play chessforum (replies)
playground player: <optimal play> This is not going to be easy for me to say. I've been very hard on you for being condescending and superior. Imagine my chagrin at finding the same fault in myself. Yesterday I was conversing with a friend about the efforts of certain Christian women ...
   Nov-15-14 hms123 chessforum
playground player: <hms123> In your connoisseurship (?) of young people's literature, I hope you haven't overlooked the <Freddy the Pig> series by Walter R. Brooks. For a brief review of one of them, Brooks wrote dozens of these, over almost
   Nov-14-14 Morphy vs A Bottin, 1858 (replies)
playground player: Funny how Morphy's reputation seems to suffer because he beat everybody else who was around at the time. What more could he have done? And maybe some of these guys looked bad because they were playing against Morphy. Certainly Bird didn't look so bad against Steinitz. I ...
   Nov-07-14 jessicafischerqueen chessforum (replies)
playground player: <jessicafischerqueen> I didn't get where I am today by mystifying my readers. In light of my latest quarterly sales figures, though, I might as well try it.
   Nov-01-14 M Cebalo vs Vasiukov, 2014 (replies)
playground player: <Phony Benoni> Then there are the times when you experience all of those emotions--right up to the point where you triumphally make the move and your opponent looks at it quizzically, like Godzilla preparing to crush a pagoda... and then makes his own move that you ...
   Oct-26-14 Shabalov vs Aronian, 2004 (replies)
playground player: When you see the enemy King cowering behind a screen of Pawns, tear it away.
   Oct-19-14 Phony Benoni chessforum (replies)
playground player: I think I'd take the $10,000. My idol is Davy Crockett, and it'd be kind of unnerving to meet him.
   Oct-14-14 J Saradjen vs M Perunovic, 2004 (replies)
playground player: When I come to grief in the Polish Opening, it's very often because I've allowed Black to establish a Knight on the fourth rank. I have had to learn not to allow that.
   Oct-08-14 K Bischoff vs K Mueller, 2004 (replies)
playground player: What Black really needs here is just one extra move. Just one.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

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  optimal play: <YouRang: <<pgp: The guy who buried the talent--he's the hero of the story?> op: An excellent article on this parable is now on my forum.> Wow. I can only hope that your excellent article is some sort of parody.> Nope, my multiple choice on the comet lander is a parody, the article on my forum is fair dinkum!
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <optimal play> Do you think the Pope would even agree with your treatment of that parable? Would it matter to you as a Catholic if he didn't?
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <YouRang> : <optimal play>

<Do you think the Pope would even agree with your treatment of that parable?> Yes

<Would it matter to you as a Catholic if he didn't?> No

Nov-17-14  SugarDom: The man who buried the talent is supposed to be the fool.

Oh c'mon! You catholics twist everything?

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <optimal play> Sorry, but that <excellent article>, which I have read on your forum, is nothing but belabored socialist rubbish. Theology a la Occupy Wall Street.

Those authors really had to stretch their imaginations to come up with that interpretation of the parable. I'm surprised they didn't wind it up with a chorus of "Jesus Was a Union Man."

And you wonder why I think Bible Scholars are a bunch of schmendricks?

As for the comet lander, just getting there at all was a great achievement, and for the landing itself to have been less than optimal (TM)--well, them's the breaks.

<Shams> By all means, three cheers for the Mars rover. But I have heard it was secretly manufactured by Timex, and NASA had little to do with it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <optimal play>

<<YR: Do you think the Pope would even agree with your treatment of that parable?>

op: Yes>

I thought I would check, and I found this:

<That was Pope Francis message at his weekly Angelus address on Sunday. He spoke about the day’s Gospel, which relates Jesus’ parable of the talents. In the parable, the Pope said, the master is Jesus, we are the servants, and the talents are the patrimony we have received from the Lord...>

So your handling of that parable is quite different from the Pope's -- in fact, practically the opposite.

<Would it matter to you as a Catholic if he didn't?> No


I have to say that I'm having a hard time pinning down what you regard the ultimate authority to be, and why.

I think the ultimate authority is the most sensible face value reading of scripture, with the understanding that there's some room for disagreement.

Nov-18-14  cormier: Gospel: Zacchaeus : converting a rich
Nov-18-14  cormier:
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: Catholicism is a broad church and disagreeing with the Pope on things such as the interpretation of a Scripture passage is no heresy.

It seems to me that the "traditional" reading of this parable in Matthew 25:14-30 and especially Luke 19:12-27 paints a very harsh portrait of Jesus indeed!

In the context of each of their Gospels, the evangelists intended to combat the idleness which had crept into their communities based on a mistaken expectation of an imminent Second Coming (cf 2 Thess 3:6-15) but Jesus' original hearers could not possibly have understood the parable that way.

Certainly Luke's version implies the king was Archelaus (cf Matt 2:22) who in fact did have to go to Rome to confirm himself as king, and who did have a delegation of Jews follow him to contest his claim, all of whom were executed in revenge after he was successful.

Do you really think Jesus was describing himself in this parable?

Matthew’s version removes these obvious references but the original intent remains clear enough.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <optimal play><Catholicism is a broad church and disagreeing with the Pope on things such as the interpretation of a Scripture passage is no heresy.>

Oh, I wouldn't have guessed that heresy is involved (at least not in today's Catholicism).

But pinning down the Catholic view regarding 'authority to interpret scripture' is confusing to me.

In your view, this authority belongs solely to the scholars of the (Catholic) Church, and yet an individual Catholic -- who (you say) lacks the ability to interpret scripture himself -- is still responsible for deciding which interpretations are correct. For example, he can choose the conservative scholars who say the master is Jesus, or the liberal scholars who says the master is a wicked tyrant! How is he supposed to know? Evidently, it doesn't matter, as long as the scholar he chooses is a Catholic.

<Do you really think Jesus was describing himself in this parable?>

Yes. The idea that there will be a day of wrath in the end (when the master returns) is supported throughout the Bible.

But I won't argue with you anymore about interpretations of scripture. In order for two sides to carry on a debate over scripture, there has to be some common authority on which both sides can agree. Both sides can then build their respective cases from the common ground.

I really don't think there is enough common ground between you and me. I don't have much respect for your authority (your chosen scholars), and you don't have much respect for mine (the face-value reading of scripture).

Nov-19-14  SugarDom: How come you can't understand the parable of the talents? Are you rears full of wax and your eyes clouded too?
Nov-19-14  cormier: Gospel: Parable of the pretender to the throne and ten gold coins
Nov-19-14  cormier:
Nov-20-14  cormier: Gospel: Jesus announces the punishment of Jerusalem
Nov-20-14  cormier:
Nov-20-14  cormier:
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Steamed Colleagues> I guess tonight, Amnesty Nite, is what Valery Jarrett meant when she said Obama is "ready to rule."

Monarchy returns to North America.

Nov-20-14  Jim Bartle: I thought monarchy returned when Reagan and Bush Sr. did virtually the same thing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Jim Bartle> Both Reagan and Bush did "virtually the same thing" in accordance with a statute passed by Congress. They did not unilaterally impose their will on the nation.

But this "president" is famous for ignoring statutes.

Nov-21-14  cormier:
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Esteemed Colleagues> This morning on my blog, I likened our new king, Ogama I, to Captain Ahab of <Moby Dick.>

Imagine my surprise, a few minutes ago, when I discovered that quite a few writers have already seen this parallel, going back to 2011. I didn't know that till I looked it up.

Which can only mean the parallel is flaming obvious.

Nov-22-14  cormier: Gospel: Facing the Sadducees, Jesus affirms the resurrection of the dead
Nov-22-14  cormier:
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Esteemed Colleagues> Leaving politics behind for the nonce, I've devoted this weekend's blogs to literary criticism. For your edification and enjoyment,

Where do they get the idea that fantasy is an excuse to heap up cliches? "Imaginative fiction"--that's a laugh!

No wonder people can't take this genre seriously.

Nov-23-14  cormier: 1st reading : God, King and Shepherd of Israel, shall judge his people
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