Return to Chess After 44 Years

I retired from chess in 1977 at the age of 12. I wasn’t a pro player. I wasn’t in any tournaments. I was just a kid in Lincoln, Nebraska looking for a good game. I was studying the game eight hours a day every day of the week. I was the 7th Grade self-crowned King of Chess at Robin Mickle Jr. High School until, that is, I cleared a chessboard of its plastic pieces while I thought I was playing a friend in Chess — until others in the class started to line up next to him, giving turns advice, and warning him against my traps — and I ended up playing the entire class Over the Board (OTB), even though we had a strict “no kibitzing” rule that, I guess, applied only to me. If I had been clearer minded, and perhaps a bit more mature, I would have taken it as a compliment that it took 28 other kids to give me a good game; but, back then, winning was everything, and resigning with a dramatic sweep of the arm across a chessboard was just too tempting to ignore. 1972 was a great year for Chess when the world turned, and it was still spinning in 1977. Bobby Fischer beat Boris Spassky for the World Championship in 1972, and the Cold War was Hot again! Now, after my retirement in 1977, 44 years later today, I’m back in the Chess game by demand of dying age, and wondering spectacle, and next I’ll tell you more about the why of it; and I’ll also explain the story behind the curious board setup you see below. Chess, the ancient game, changed a lot over a half century!

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The Cat that Refuses to Listen

In the last year, I have learned a lot about what it means to live with a cat. For the most part, it has been a pleasant experience, with Abby being nice company and a good addition to the mix. Sometimes, however, she can be a supreme, nuisance — fortunately, this is not too often the case.

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The Humanities Medical Doctor

Several years ago, I had the pleasure and the honor to teach the humanitarian side of Public Health policy at a major, East Coast, medical school.  My students were talented, trained, gifted, and unbelievably strong and well-educated.

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The Risk of the Misunderstood

Being misunderstood as an artist is a dangerous state to tempt because it means you are beyond common thinking and you are, and forever shall be, on your own.

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The Playwright In Situ

How should we train modern Playwrights?

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Using GoToMeeting to Teach from Afar

I had a surprising experience thrust upon me this week at my place of work, leading me to see the possibilities for the future of teaching. It happens that this week I have been also looking for a partner with whom I can study advanced topics in Jewish study — better to study that sort of thing with someone than to be left to ones own devices and just interpret things however one wants. Since I know that there is no such thing as coincidence, I was pleasantly amused when I found myself in the role of the teacher this week.

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The Residue of Founding Intention

In my professional work as a script doctor at, I am always struck numb by those that believe anyone can write and that everyone can fix a dramatic work.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Understanding how to make a script work is a tough task that few people in the world really understand and even fewer are able to perform at any price.

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