Hola darlings! I'm still here, alive and kicking, and I haven't forgotten you. Take a look at this, and feast your eyes on Keira Knightley while you're at it (mine went right for the chess board and pieces - YUM!) Take care, stay safe.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Hola! Received an email from Tom Gallegos of Chess Collectors International with an update on the arrangements made for the re-established CCI Biennial Meeting coming up soon in St. Louis.
Dear CCI Members and Friends,
We hereby announce that CCI’s 19 th Biennial will be what is called a “hybrid” event – part in-person, and part online. We cordially invite you to attend, from the comfort of your own home.
PLEASE ATTEND OUR SCHEDULED WEBINARS, 9 am to noon, CDT, September 3 and 4, 2020.
It breaks our hearts that so many of our friends and fellow collectors cannot be with us in St. Louis for our meeting in September. We’d been hoping to welcome as many as 60-80 of you on the originally scheduled date, back in May. Now, with our September postponement date just around the corner, and the pandemic grinding on and on, it looks like the actual number of attendees will be much closer to 10. (And we need every last one of these folks!)
With this in mind, we have decided to share as much of the conference as possible with the rest of you. We know the morning lecture series is only part of the overall conference, but it's an important part. These lectures, at least, can be broadcast as Zoom webinars. Most of the lectures will also appear in our printed program (currently over 100 pages, and counting) which will be available to non-attendees shortly after the conference. For a small donation to the club to cover costs, of course.
A few days to a week before the conference, you will receive a Webinar invite from our Zoom account. This is not spam, though some of you may find it in your spam folders. To register, please click on the link you will find in that invitation. You will have complete flexibility to attend as much or as little of the talks as you wish. The talks will hopefully also be recorded, so as to be available for posterity, just like the printed versions. They will be posted, either on our new CCI website, or possibly on YouTube.
We have a wonderful group of talks scheduled. You will hear a great deal about the relationship between chess and pandemics; the French Enlightenment as it relates to chess history, and John McCrary of the USCF will speak about the evolution of chess rules. We will even have Dr. George Dean presenting some of his 18 th century sets; and Allan Savage to enlighten us about Thomas Jefferson as a chess player, both of them speaking to you remotely. We will also squeeze in a short business meeting on Friday. Our latest revised schedule is as follows:
Thursday, September 3rd
09:00 – 09:15 CONFERENCE WELCOME – Tom Gallegos & Luann Woneis
09:15 – 10:15 HOW TO CHECKMATE A VIRUS (Keynote Address) – Luann Woneis
10:15 – 10:30 Fresh air break, and coffee
00:30 – 11:30 ENLIGHTENMENT – Tom Gallegos
11:30 – 12:00 CHESS MASTERWORKS OF THE 18 th CENTURY – Dr. George Dean
Friday, September 4th
09:00 – 10:00 THE EVOLUTION OF CHESS RULES – John McCrary
10:00 – 10:15 Fresh air break, and coffee
10:15 – 10:45 JEFFERSON AS A CHESS PLAYER – Allan Savage (online)
10:45 – 11:15 CAISSA, A POEM – Read by Tom Gallegos
11:15 – 12:00 CCI BUSINESS MEETING – Tom Gallegos & Gordon Clapp
Our timeframe for these talks is an estimate. We will endeavor to stay on schedule, but you may find one or more sessions do not begin or end exactly on time, depending on what is happening in the room. There will be a Q&A button for you to ask questions at the end of each speech. The speaker will repeat your typed question, and will normally answer it verbally.
This means we will be scheduling TWO SEPARATE, 3-HOUR WEBINARS. One for each morning, starting at 9 am. However, you should only need to register one time, for both. You may then attend as much or as little of the talks as you desire.
This is CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME. If you are in another part of the country, please adjust for your time zone. If you are in the UK, the talks will begin at 15:00 (3 pm) your time. Most of the Continent of Europe will find the talks beginning at 16:00 (4 pm).
There is no cost to register and attend these two webinars. If you have a reasonably up-to-date computer and an internet connection, you should be able to attend.
I’m afraid with only Luann and I running the system while also speaking, there will not be a tech support person to help if you have system issues either morning, but we will record these talks and post them later for those of you who are interested, but cannot attend the live version for whatever reason.
Luann and I have been taking a crash course in how to host webinars on Zoom, so our skills are still somewhat fresh, but we really think we can do this. We hope the webinars will allow everyone to participate in our conference, at least to some extent.
The CHESS AUCTION at Link Auction Galleries is scheduled to take place the next day, at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 5 th. That’s 16:00 (4 pm) for the UK; and 17:00 (5 pm) for most of the rest of Europe. You will find it online at Link Auction Galleries.
The auction is one more segment of the conference that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Link has 267 lots of chess sets and other chess items ready to go. Get ready to bid!
And ... "SEE" you in Saint Louis!
Tom Gallegos and Louann Woneis
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
NOTE: If you previously made a hotel reservation for the May meeting, it has NOT been cancelled, unless YOU cancelled it. All such reservations have simply been moved to the September dates. The hotel is expecting you. If you have NOT yet made your reservation, please contact Kelly Toal at ChiChi Travel, at telephone 314-678-0500. ChiChi Travel is our exclusive booking agent for the Chase Park Plaza, our official conference hotel. Only they can ensure that you receive our special Chess rate of $159 per night, which applies whether you wish to sleep 1, 2, 3 or even 4 people to a room.
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Take a look at this beautiful gaming piece!
|Hnefatafl gaming piece discovered from an archaeological dig trench dated|
to the 8th or 9th centuries CE at Lindisfarne, United Kingdom.
|Image from Wikipedia.|
Friday, April 3, 2020
|Not accredited. Photo found at Public Radio of Armenia website.|
Caioli and her husband GM Levon Aronian.
Caioli was married to GM Levon Aronian in 2017. She died in hospital on March 30, 2020 two weeks after being involved in a serious car crash.
New York Times, "Arianne Caoili, Chess Master, is Dead at 33," by Dylan Loeb McClain, April 2, 2020.
Asbarez.com, "Chess Champ Levon Aronian's Wife Died Two Weeks After Crash," by Asbarez Staff, March 31, 2020.
St. Louis Chess Club (video at Youtube), "2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour: WIM Arianne Caioli Interview," by GM Maurice Ashley, July 6, 2019.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
The Heartland loves our CHESS, yes, Yes, YES! And so, my dear adopted chess club is taking the action online, whoo whoo! Spiff up your games, darlings, and join in the fun. Chess people are the best people, and you won't ever find a nicer group anywhere but online with the Southwest Chess Club!
Friday, March 20, 2020
|Source: Article from Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, March 18, 2020|
Issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Michigan on March 18, 2020 at their website (who KNEW!):
SAINT CORONA, PATRONESS OF PANDEMICS, PRAY FOR US!
It’s incredible but it’s seemingly true – there is a Saint Corona and she is one of the patrons of pandemics. Saint Corona, pray for us!
Saint Corona is thought to have lived in 2nd century Syria under Roman occupation. She was only 15-years-old when she professed her Christian Faith during the persecution of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
According to legend, Saint Corona was arrested and tied by her feet to the tops of two palm trees which were bent to the ground. When the palms were let loose she was torn apart.
It is reported that Saint Corona is especially venerated in Austria and Bavaria as the patron saint against epidemics. Her mortal remains are now housed in the city of Anzu in northern Italy, the epicenter of the recent outbreak of Coronavirus in Europe. Her feast day is May 14.
Source: Gloria.TV More at: https://gloria.tv/post/
Okay, so after thinking about this for about 2 seconds, I headed to Google to find out more about this mysterious goddess, er, saint, I'd never heard of. Interesting, very interesting, mostly for what the article DIDN'T say, as opposed to what it DID say:
First of all, darlings, there were TWO saints - you guessed it - the female AND a male. And not just any male, mind you, this male happened to be a friend of Corona's husband. Or maybe they were actually married. Or - who knows?
From the Wikipedia article on Saints Victor and Corona (why does HE get top billing? SEXIST!)
Saints Victor and Corona are two Christian martyrs. Most sources state that they were killed in Roman Syria during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (170s AD). However, various hagiographical texts disagree about the site of their martyrdom, with some stating that it was Damascus, while Coptic sources state that it was Antioch. Some Western sources state that Alexandria or Sicily was their place of martyrdom. They also disagree about the date of their martyrdom. They may have been martyred during the reign of Antoninus, Diocletian, while the Roman Martyrology states that it was in the third century when they met their death. Saint Corona was popular in folk treasure magic, being called upon by a treasure hunter to bring treasure, and then sent away through a similarly elaborate ritual.
Their legend states that Victor was a Roman soldier of Italian ancestry, serving in the city of Damascus in Roman Syria during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius. He was tortured - including having his eyes gouged out.
- Santi Vittore e Corona
- Dillinger, Johannes (2011). Magical Treasure Hunting in Europe and North America. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 89–90. ISBN 0230000045.
- Also known as Stefania, Stephana, a Greek translation of her Latin name, meaning "crown"
- Saint Patrick's Church: Saints of May 14
- St. Victor and Corona, Catholic Online, 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
What instantly jumped out was that NOWHERE in the Wikipedia information presented on either saint is there anything having to do with pandemics or miraculous healings of the sick and turning away of disease. Instead, Corona is connected to TREASURE HUNTING and "superstitions involving money, such as gambling." SAY WHAT? So, the Roman Catholic Church condones people praying to a Saint for help in treasure hunting and gambling. Hmmm....
Darlings - I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried! And not a word about poor eyeless Saint Victor. What does he do - hit Corona up for money when he's broke?
Another article stated that Corona's remains were located in in a basilica in the city of Anzu, Italy, since the 9th century (agrees with the Diocese of Lansing article above). Note that Anzu is located in northern Italy, the same area where COVID-19 first spread like a wildfire in the country. Anzu's location is noted by the star logo within the white circle in the map, below. You can see it's location vis a vis Verona, Padua, and Venice.
|Basilica Santuario dei Ss. Vittore e Corona, Anzu, Italy|
Source: Trip Advisor
An article at Aleteia alluded to Corona's connection to pandemics: "Several readers have asked us about St. Corona being a patron saint to invoke against epidemics. This can be verified in various German-language sources, as this particular aspect of devotion to her is most common in Austria and Bavaria."
Here's another interesting article on Corona, in which a Catholic priest says that Corona was the sister-in-law of Victor.
After I read the Diocese of Lansing article and found this reference to Corona's connection to epidemics, I couldn't help but wonder if, in the mysterious ways of the universe, in all its irony, there was somehow a connection between the events now unfolding in Italy and the events that unfolded over a thousand years ago at the hands of the Roman Empire in a distant foreign land. It is no secret that outside of China Italy has been the hardest hit country by COVID-19.
That being said, I'm going to keep my eye on May 14th this year, the "Feast Day" for Corona and Victor. Who knows, maybe something miraculous will happen. We sure could use it.