Meet A Genuine Chessshire

Subscriber Ray Kooyman, whose home state brings to mind vivid pictures of the Bonneville Salt Flats and automobile speed racing at a five or six mile a minute pace says, "You've heard of Chess-shire cats, and you've seen pictures of the 'Siamese' cats Dr. Alekhine used as mascots in his return match with Dr. Fuwe, but here is another—the cat that likes chess so well, she sleeps with it!

"While playing a game with a friend a few days ago, the family kitten crawled into the chess-men box for a nap, and before it could get out, I snapped the enclosed picture. A copy of The Chess Review was nearby when I took the picture and I used it as added 'color'.

"I hope you get the same 'kick' out of it that I did."


We get all sorts of letters and are asked all sorts of questions. The following from a reader in the Buckeye State is a case in point.

I don't know if the editors of The Chess Review form a chess information bureau or not, but hope I can get a briej summary of what 1 want to know after failing to learn it from libraries and individuals. What are some of die most useful systems or general principles that you know of, which apply to chess play? I am thinking of principles which are rather general in application, guiding one through all or nearly all of a normal game, or to the point where one can stop the game from going to the end game stage. (If we could only do that in our own games!—Editor) They should be convenient to apply, having their main idea expressed in just one or two sentences.

I've read the small book, "Common Sense in Chess" by Dr. Lasker, a book by Rett, one by Ca-pablanca, and Mason's "Principles of Chess". I've never been able to find out what the system of Nimzowitsch is though, exactly. (Only a brave man would admit that he has—Editor).

An example of the principles they mention is Lasker's advice to bring knights out before bishops. That principle is specific in application. Mason's advice is more like what I want. I think there are systems still more like it though, although they inay not be supported by such good authorities!

From various sources I've seen warnings against almost every kind of a move except most knight and bishop -moves "in the opening". But judging from my experience I wonder if it would be such very bad advice to say that it's practical to stick to knight and bishop moves nearly all the time as long as there is one minor piece left on the board,—except when some other move is obviously necessary.

For instance, even if White and Black both play P-K4 for their first move, and White plays 2 P-Q4, Black could refuse to play PxP, but move a knight and not be so very bad off. Black could hang back while White advanced queen,

rooks, and pawns, and when hard pressed come in with a knight move (I), perhaps gaining a winning advantage and rendering all White's ambitions and work worse than useless.

In some cases this system would make one deliberately steer clear of his best move, but it has the advantage of being easy to bear in mind, and keeps one from the common fault of overlooking certain subtle knight and bishop moves! Also it saves a player's energy by restricting the number of moves he has to consider, and sometimes tempts the opponent to take a risky course. Finally, it keeps one from all sorts of trouble liable to come from moves of the other pieces!

Small wonder ye editor is rapidly losing his hair!

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