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playground player
Member since Oct-01-06 · Last seen Sep-30-14
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 4322 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Sep-30-14 H Lehmann vs K Junge, 1942 (replies)
playground player: Hmm... A couple of Germans in a German city in 1942, playing the Semi-Slav Defense, Botvinnik System... And the Gestapo didn't grab them?
   Sep-30-14 playground player chessforum (replies)
playground player: <optimal play> No, I haven't read <The Barrakee Mystery> yet. Is that the first one in the series? I know the whole series is on kindle now--which is good, it'll keep the books from going extinct--but I don't have kindle. Me and technology, never a good mix. I ...
   Sep-29-14 Phony Benoni chessforum (replies)
playground player: Guys, I remember John Sterling from way back in the early 1970s. Even back then he had a talent for saying the wrong thing. He once described Felipe Alou as "a credit to his race." Aaargh! He apologized for it right away; I had a feeling that it just slipped out. He used ...
   Sep-26-14 Capablanca vs R T Black, 1911
playground player: It looks to me like Capablanca didn't have a lot of respect for this opponent. It seems I'm not the only one who thought so.
   Sep-22-14 jessicafischerqueen chessforum (replies)
playground player: How Unrealistic Dialogue Can Totally Destroy a Novel: Real Life Example #1 (author's name withheld, title withheld, you'll have to trust me on this one): The setting: Cornwall, circa 470 A.D. Merlin turns to another character and says (cross my heart), "Ya got a problem ...
   Sep-21-14 hms123 chessforum (replies)
playground player: <hms123> And here's another one for you (<Mrs. PGP> is on a roll, picking these): <Guest in the House>, with Anne Baxter and Ralph Bellamy, 1944. This will probably put you off having a devious maniac stay with you for any length of time. I didn't get ...
   Sep-19-14 D Moody vs A Hubbard, 2014 (replies)
playground player: Moody's return to chess greatness is long overdue. So what's taking Kasparov?
   Sep-09-14 Sax vs Keene, 1972 (replies)
playground player: Like the Zulus at Rorke's Drift, Black ran out of men to sacrifice.
   Sep-08-14 D Daniels vs G Yzhow, 2014 (replies)
playground player: I could not find any way to sacrifice my Queen. But there must be one!
   Sep-07-14 B Tuvshintugs vs Koneru, 2014 (replies)
playground player: Why is it un-PC to call Mongolia Mongolia?
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
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  playground player: <Steamed Colleagues> So what is the purpose of government? To protect us from those who would harm us? To serve functions that cannot be easily served by the private sector, like building roads and conducting international relations? To keep order and secure the domestic tranquility?

Nah, none of the above. See how the People's Democratic Paradise of Seattle answers this question.

This answer has eluded political philosophers since before the time of Solon.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Ah! It's finally up for you to see, <Esteemed Colleagues>--Kirk DouPonce's gorgeous cover for my Book #7, <The Glass Bridge>. (Aside to <hms123>: yeah, I know it sounds like a film noir title, when it ain't.)

It's a special thrill for me to create a character, write about her, and then have the artist come along and bring her to life--exactly as I imagined her. I don't know how he does it.

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  optimal play: <playground player> <... Kirk DouPonce's gorgeous cover for my Book #7, <The Glass Bridge>> Very nice! She looks like Emma Watson.

Have you thought about which actors you would like to play your characters when Hollywood turns your books into movies?

Do you have a preferred director?

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  playground player: <optimal play> Oh, I daydream about that a lot! Only trouble is, most of the actors I really want are long gone.

I would love Claude Rains as Lord Reesh, although David Suchet would be pretty good, too.

My last two books really took off, once I imagined John Nettles (<Midsomer Murders>) as the dangerous Lord Chutt. So I do this imaginary casting all the time, because it helps me tell the story.

Hey, I'm always open to suggestions as to actors and directors. Got any?

Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <playground player> Well, it's been a while since I read Bell Mountain, and I'm no casting agent, but I'll give it a go...

Lord Reesh - F. Murray Abraham (like from The Name of the Rose)

Martis - Christopher Lee or maybe John Malkovich

Ashrof - maybe someone like Richard Attenborough in his later years

Helki - Robbie Coltrane

Obst - reminds me of someone like Alec Guinness when he played Obi-Wan Kenobi

Director - Peter Jackson (he did such a good job with the Lord of the Rings)

Don't know about Jack and Ellayne

But anyway, I suppose if they can cast Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer then how they would cast the characters of Bell Mountain would be anybody's guess :O

Have you actually tried turning Bell Mountain into a screenplay?

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Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <optimal play> Those aren't bad suggestions. For the parts of children, of course, we don't really know who's out there.

I wouldn't know how to write a screenplay. It's hard enough getting anyone to notice the books, which I do know how to write, let alone a screenplay.

I hadn't thought of Murray Abraham. He seems too tall and lean for Lord Reesh, but there ought to be a part for him somewhere.

Here are a few more casting wishes.

Roshay Bault (Ellayne's father): Robert Shaw

Gallgoid the Spy: John Castle (played Postumus in <I, Claudius>)

Lord Orth: Nathaniel Parker

Gallgoid the traitor: Vincent Price

Szugetai the horse-master: Toshiro Mifune

And for my director, I want Akira Kurosawa--as inaccessible as he may be, just now.

I could go on, but you haven't read any of the sequels yet, so you have yet to meet a lot of cool characters.

I had a shot at getting <Bell Mountain> done as an audio play, but the cost was prohibitive.

Our esteemed colleague <jessicafischerqueen> wanted to make a <Bell Mountain> video, but wasn't able to find the time for it. I would've just loved to see what she could do with it! I'm sure it would have been superb.

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  optimal play: <playground player> <I had a shot at getting <Bell Mountain> done as an audio play, but the cost was prohibitive.>

What about as a Lego film?

At least then you wouldn't have to worry about any awful casting decisions, like say... Adam Sandler as Obst or Seth Rogen as Helki


Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: <<<<<EZ 18:25-28>

Thus says the LORD:
You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!">

Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?>
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.>
But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, he does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: <<<<<<PHIL 2:1-11>

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.>

Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.>

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.>

Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.>

Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <optimal play> For that matter, it would be even cheaper to make a movie starring marshmallow peeps. Like so:

Casting Helki would be hard. He's a big, bulky man who can move as quick as a cat and pass through the underbrush as silently as smoke. I don't think you could get away with Victor Buono.

PS--Of course the link doesn't work, so in order to see what I mean, you would have to go to the trouble of searching something like "movies starring marshmallow peeps." And what if marshmallow peeps are unknown in Australia? Lego is world-wide--even if it looks to me like they've tarted it up a bit, since I last played with Lego--but who knows whether the peeps be globe-girdling?

Don't mind me. It's always hard on me, finishing a book.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: <<<<<<<<<<<Gospel> MT 21:28-32>

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: "What is your opinion?>
A man had two sons.>

He came to the first and said,
'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.>
' He said in reply, 'I will not, '
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.>
He said in reply, 'Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.>
Which of the two did his father's will?">

They answered, "The first.">

Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.>
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <cormier> What Bible are you using for these quotes? I like it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <playground player> <... a movie starring marshmallow peeps ...> You mean like this? ...


Seriously though, I wouldn't be at all surprised to one day see Bell Mountain up on the big screen.

I think it would make a great movie.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < jessicafischerqueen:


<“No DCPS curriculum says 2 make these comparisons in any way,” Henderson wrote. “Teacher used poor judgment & will apologize.”>

I do understand the idiom of "Twitter," but


Maybe her specialty is Ebonics :)

Sep-29-14  Alien Math: <playground player> Are correct link? replaced / with . at end of your link ~
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Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: the jerusalem bible ... i think ....
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Alien Math> Yes, thank you--that link works now. I don't know why I couldn't type it properly.

<optimal play> Wow, now they're giving out awards for peep movies...

I'll let you in on a secret: as I write my books, I always try to visualize them as movies. I always try to "hear" the dialogue. I'm told by various readers that these little tricks have really worked.

Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <playground player> Yes, your characters certainly do come to life from the pages as if watching a film.

btw I've just finished reading <The Barrakee Mystery>

Have you read that one yet?

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <optimal play> No, I haven't read <The Barrakee Mystery> yet. Is that the first one in the series? I know the whole series is on kindle now--which is good, it'll keep the books from going extinct--but I don't have kindle. Me and technology, never a good mix. I do know that Bony #1 costs an arm and a leg in paperback (naturally, on account of its rarity).

Meanwhile, having only finished writing <The Temple> about 10 days ago, I am suffering withdrawal symptoms. Everybody says, "So just start writing the next book!" But it ain't as easy as you might think.

Experience has shown me that my brain needs about six months' rest (or more) between books.

I'm never going to catch up to Barbara Cartland.

Premium Chessgames Member
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  optimal play: <playground player> Yep, <The Barrakee Mystery> is the first Bony book.

I downloaded it on kindle, on which they are now all available.

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