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What you need to know for 01/22/2018

Gazette not making the right move getting rid of chess column

Gazette not making the right move getting rid of chess column

*Gazette not making the right move getting rid of chess column *Women don’t need assault weapons for

Gazette not making the right move getting rid of chess column

I read with sadness Feb. 3 that the Sunday Gazette is discontinuing “Chess Corner.”

I was saddened not only with the loss of something I enjoyed, but witnessing the further effect of economic pressure in the diminution of the role of the printed media.

Like many people, I know how to play chess and play for fun, but have never played in a tournament and wouldn’t last long if I did. That’s why reading the column is fun and educational. I especially enjoy the problems, “White to move and win.” I’ll stare at it until I get a feel for the situation, then begin looking for the move.

After awhile, my eyes wander over the column and I’ll read a bit about the day’s featured game and what’s happening in the various tournaments, then go back to the puzzle, careful not to peek at the answer. I look forward to it every Sunday morning.

Bill Townsend’s final column featured a wonderful historical perspective of the Chess Corner, exactly 41 years old to the day! The Gazette should be proud of this singular continuing feature and its longevity, the only one like it in the Northeast.

Also, the featured game in the final column was a local one from January’s “Make the Right Move” tournament at Albany High School, featuring two of the many strong regional players. Mr. Townsend identifies one of life’s lessons hidden in this game and describes how tenacity wins the day; a more appropriate time for such an observation could not have been found.

The solution to the final column’s problem was wonderful. As “A last indulgence,” it features a situation from one of Mr. Townsend’s own games from 2004, where he was in serious trouble and in danger of losing on the very next move. I stared and thought about the situation, then thought some more, not realizing that I had solved it, but passed the solution over in favor of another gambit. It was a brilliant move in the game and a fitting one to end the Chess Corner.

I fear that in the tactics of the larger game of modern finance, the Gazette felt it had no choice, but to me it sadly has made the wrong move. In chess, once a move has been made you cannot take it back. I wonder if in economics the same rule holds true.

Paul Donahue


Women don’t need assault weapons for protection

It seems that the gun regulation debate is going to prevent any reasonable measures to aid in securing the safety of anyone not wishing to own a gun, or just to feel safe at school, the movies or maybe the mall.

Although I was unable to view the entire proceeding of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, I did see several highlights. One thing seemed evident from the point of view of gun proponents such as [attorney] Gail Trotter and Sen. Lindsay Graham: We women really need assault weapons and large magazines to defend ourselves from all sorts of danger, such as home invasions.

I am not sure exactly what the Independent Women’s Forum is or why Ms. Trotter was present at this hearing, but, strangely, not one parent from the Sandy Hook massacre was.

In her follow-up appearance on “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell, she was unable to cite one actual instance where the type of weapon she described in her “what if” testimony to the Senate Committee was effective in saving a life or preventing an injury when used for defense by a woman.

Perhaps she could have cited Nancy Lanza, who apparently had several guns including a Bushmaster — a very scary gun — and lots of large magazines in her home. Oh, that’s right, she was killed by her own guns. And then the shooter, her son, went on to brutally murder 20 babies and six adults.

Marcia Sykes


Civilian limits on assault weapons are acceptable

Re gun: There is no logical reason for any civilian type to need a weapon that fires more than 10 rounds.

I was impressed by the combat veteran explanation of assault weapons and the gentleman who blamed President Clinton for trying to take them and calling them assault weapons [Jan. 31 letter].

As a Vietnam veteran [with] combat experience, [I know that] the term assault weapon came from the Viet Cong, as [the Soviets] provided them with AK 27s or 37s, but they called them assault weapons — designed to kill as many as possible with one burst.

They are not needed on our streets or even in our houses. I know the Second Amendment.

Herbert Thorne


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