Thursday, September 5, 2013

Easter Shore Chess Club Host Simul

The Eastern Shore Chess Club of Easton is hosting a simul.  A chess master Allan Savage will give a short lecture and will play up to 20 players in a simul.  Here are the details.

Who: Eastern Shore Chess Club (Pres. Frank DiCarlantonio)

What: Lecture and Chess Simul

When: October 10 @ 6:30 pm (door open at 6)

Where11 S. Harrison St., Easton, MD @ Talbot Visitors Center

Why:  Master Allan Savage will lecture and play 20 opponents in a simul after a short lecture

How If anyone is interested email or call Frank Dicarlantonio at 443-336-5418. Leave a message if no one answers and Frank will contact you.

Contact Us: President Ken Milutin Blog Editor/Author: Darryl West

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Well There You Go"

Dear Chess Friends:  Last July, I submitted the following to Chess Life.   After some correspondence, they were considering publishing it but have not done so yet.  I thought I would share it with you as a number of you knew the subject of the article, Joseph Viggiano.  Sorry for it's length:  I hope you get a chance to read it when you have some time:

Good afternoon:  I was hoping you would consider including the following story in an upcoming issue of Chess Life. I hope that I have been able to pay an adequate tribute to a fine person and chess player and his lovely wife. 

"My name is Ken Milutin and I have had a life-long passion for chess.......but this story is not about me.  I would like to pay tribute and share some of my interactions with a fine person and fellow chess player, Joseph Viggiano and his lovely wife. I should have written this some years ago but two issues of Chess Life, August 2011 and April 2012 (more on this later), prodded me to now share this story. I was raised in a very small town in southern Delaware. Taught by my father, I have enjoyed all things chess since about the age of 6.  Now 54, I have lost none of my love of the game nor the fondness for many of the people that I have met through chess.  One such person was Joe Viggiano. I first briefly met Mr. Viggiano at a Delaware State Chess Championship in the late 70's.  A retired teacher, Joe was a kindly older gentleman who had a fondness for always wearing a "golf" hat and carrying his chess equipment in a white bowling ball leather bag. I never really found out much about Joe's early years except that of course he was of Italian heritage, was from a family of glass blowers and that he had taught Latin. Joe and I lived about 30 minutes from each other and I next met him in the early 80's at a Central Delaware Chess Club meeting. He would later take me to my first World Open in 1987 and I was amazed at the people he knew and introduced me to. As we grew to know each other, Joe learned that my new job took me on the road occasionally through the town where he lived.  I (and other chess friends) had an open invitation to stop in for lunch or dinner and a game or two of chess. I took Joe up on his offer and was I so glad that I did.  His wonderful wife Hildred (yes, Hildred) was a fabulous cook and we had many a spirited game while having some great food on Joe's small screened porch on the front of his house. Such great memories.  Joe was always fond of saying "Well, there you go" after the surprising conclusion of  a game. While playing, Joe could lull you to sleep and he had the unfortunate habit of forgetting to punch his clock. So much so that his wife made him a small cardboard reminder to "Punch the CLOCK" that he would sometimes keep in front of him during a game. For as long as I knew him, Joe always had the same small standard analog clock. At one World Open, Joe was down two pieces to a young man who was clearly bored with the whole situation. Joe was also down on time because of the bad habit noted above. At first glance, it looked like the game would be coming to an end fast. As I looked at Joe's position, it was tricky, but with careful play, the young man should have no trouble in putting Joe away.  Frankly, I found myself checking my watch, wondering when Joe's game would end so we could grab a bite to eat. The young man constantly got up from the board after making his very quick moves. He would briskly walk over to a couple of friends huddled nearby and have a few whispers, then hurriedly return when Joe would finally move (and not punch his ever-ticking analog clock).  After one such sequence, Joe straightened up in his chair and carefully studied the board. I looked a little more closely and suddenly Joe's small remaining force looked very imposing.......I then saw it and Joe saw it too.......mate in three!  Joe made the first move of the combination and to my surprise, punched his clock! The young man returned, looked carefully, then slumped in his chair and sat still as a rock for what seemed like 30 minutes.  He finally responded and Joe did as well, again punching his was over.  The young man held out his hand and graciously acknowledged the defeat and I think he was probably wondering what hit him. Joe then looked around and true to his trademark, softly said "Well, there you go". A smile always comes to my face when I share that story. The April 2012 Chess Life issue cover features the "Winding Down" of the analog clock.........frankly........I hope not. 

To be closer to their family, Joe and his wife moved to Florida in October of 1994......I remember the day very well.  I stopped in to say goodbye to my good friends, knowing now that Joe was in his late 80's and that sadly, I probably never would see either of them again. I had tears in my eyes as I left that driveway and that small screened porch where we had many games and meals. We stayed in touch over the next couple of years and unfortunately  just a few years later in 1997, Mr. Viggiano passed away. I received a few very touching letters from Hildred and we continued to correspond for awhile. Sometime later, a large box arrived at my door.  Upon opening it, I found a nice note from Hildred stating that "Joe would want you to have these". Inside were a number of old chess books (some  autographed by famous players) and to my surprise and delight, Joe's chess clock. The stories that clock could tell. A following letter had a picture of Joe which I look at from time to time with great fondness. What cherished memento's from such fine people.  I was in Florida in the fall of 2009 and tried to look up Hildred.  I found out that sadly, she had passed away that spring.  

The final phase of this story references to the August 2011 issue of Chess Life.  You see, Mr. Viggiano was the inventor of the "Post-A-Log". Those of us familiar with postal chess know exactly what this is. A simple, yet effective way to safely store all of your postal games in one neat zippered folder. THE PIECES WILL NOT MOVE UNTIL YOU MOVE THEM! Legend has it that when analyzing at night, Joe would fall asleep with a traditional slot-type recorder album for recording postal games. While Joe was dreaming of tricks on how to remember to punch his clock, the recorder album would fall to the floor, spilling pieces everywhere from numerous games in progress. Joe came up with a great solution! The "Post-A-Log"! The August 2011 issue cover story is regarding the evolution of Correspondence Chess. Another issue that reminded me of Joe.  Postal chess, I have heard, has greatly diminished in popularity due to email and the Internet etc...... Like the analog clock, postal chess may be a thing of the past in the not too distant future........and again, I hope not. 

Many of Joe's friends and I fondly reminisce about him and as my friend Joe Collins and I always say, he is one of those unforgettable characters that will always remain with you. 

On rare occasion, my job still takes me to that same town where I shared those great games and wonderful meals with Joe and his wife. I slowly ride down the street and look to that house and screened porch and if I concentrate, I can still smell the aroma of those meals and imagine Joe in his golf hat with his bowling bag at his side saying, "Well, there you go". 

Forgive me my good friends at the Salisbury Maryland and Central Delaware Chess Clubs that knew Joe for taking so long to write this. I hope this was a fitting tribute to two great people. Folks like this are what make our game such a great one. In closing, I hope my old friend is smiling down on me and I want to softly whisper to him....... "Well Joe, there you go".

Kenneth E. Milutin

Chess Move Album for correspondence chess

... another internet article

Post-A-Log Creator Dies
According to Alex Dunne in the March 1998 issue of Chess Life, the inventor of the wonderful postal chess accessory the Post-A-Log Joe Viggiano died on May 21, 1997. Though I have no personal knowledge of this gentleman, I felt strangely touched by this announcement. Joe Viggiano touched me through his ingenious invention, which I've used religiously for many years. Even in this age of computer databases and other computer record-keeping aids for the cc competitor (and I'm a dedicated computer freak) I still maintain a current Post-A-Log diagram for every game I'm playing. Before mailing every postal chess card I compare the printed diagram with my Post-A-Log position to insure accuracy (yes, I print a current diagram on every postcard). This is an essential part of my precise postal chess methodology, which has evolved over the years and helps me play mostly error-free (not counting regular chess errors, of course).
APCT has been selling the Post-A-Log albums and extra pages for many years, and I keep replacing old pages with new ones, as the old boards and pieces get ragged from constant use. I was naturally concerned that this invaluable postal chess aid may no longer be available. However, a message to APCT provided good news. To quote Jim Warren: "Joe Viggiano did die a while back but his son is continuing the business so they are still available." So many great products of the past are no longer available. I'm thankful that we haven't lost those wonderful Post-A-Logs. I strongly recommend this great product.

Photo of Post-A-Log

Editor's Note: If anyone has chess games, photos or more stories about Mr. Joe Viggiano please e-mail me.

Contact Us: President Ken Milutin Blog Editor/Author: Darryl West

Monday, October 22, 2012

Puzzle of the Day

Contact Us: President Ken Milutin Blog Editor/Author: Darryl West

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thinking Ahead In Chess (May The Force Be With You)

A lot of people have asked "How do you think ahead in chess?"  The answer is you can't really until you understand the issue of  FORCE.   Force is a move that the rules of chess obligates you move a certain piece with or without the checking of a king.  The first thing to do in any position is for find the forcing moves.  Hint: The black king can not move without moving into check but it can capture. Solve mate in 2 move.

Instructions:  Pause the video before time expires in the video and try to solve it.

Contact Us: President Ken Milutin Blog Editor/Author: Darryl West

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Meeting Place Has Changed

Thanks again to all the Salisbury Chess Club members while we are working through the unfortunate and unannounced closing of the South End Grill.  As most of you know, we are trying out the Sage Diner, located at 917 South Salisbury Blvd, Salisbury.  Our meeting night is the same, Wednesdays, with the hours of 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM.  Both Charlie Vaughn and I thought we were told that the Sage stayed open until at least 10:00 PM but it appears that is not the case.  I did receive both positive and negative feedback about our first meeting last night at the new location  from you, so let's just call this a test run for awhile.  Some other suggestions have included SU, IHop, Break-Time, La Roma and Dayton's. Mrs. Wang and I are researching SU, while Brian Banks and I are exploring options at Break-Time.  Interestingly, as of July 1st, Break Time will allow minors in certain sectioned off areas, ideal for the club.  SU is a great location so we will see what can be worked out there.  I will check out the other suggestions going forward and report back to the club and we can weigh the positives and negatives and make a group decision.  In the interim, until we can find an ideal spot, Sage Diner it is at least in the short term.  For those of you concerned with the cramped area we were in last night, they will allow us to use the larger section (to the right when you walk in), which should hold at least 24 people.  Again, all they ask is for us to spend a little $$$ while there, as little as a cup of coffee and piece of pie.

Thanks again for all of your support and even with the negative factors and last-minute changes over the last week, interest in our club and chess in general is very high as evidenced by our 16 +- person turn-out last night.  Keep spreading the word and thanks to all of you for your suggestions and help.  Your input and assistance is invaluable. 

I will miss the next meeting (4/25) but will be there May 2nd. 

Keep playing chess!!!!    

Contact Us: President Ken Milutin Blog Editor/Author: Darryl West

Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 Delaware Capital Open

2012 Delaware Capital Open
June 9-10, 2012
At the Residence Inn Dover

A 2-day Swiss System chess tournament in the capital city of Delaware, and sponsored by the Delaware Chess Association.

Final Event in the 2012 Delaware Series Challenge!

Lots of door prizes and Give-Aways!

Format: 5 round Swiss, Game/90 time control. 2 sections: Open and Reserve (1600 and under)

Prizes: Open (Based on 25 entries):

1st = $200 2nd = $125 3rd = $75 Under 2000 = $75 Under 1800 = $75

Reserve (Based on 15 entries):

1st = $140 2nd = $90 3rd = $50 Under 1400 = $50 Under1200 = $50

Round Times: Saturday – 10, 2, 5:30 Sunday – 10, 2

Byes: Limit of 1 half-point bye, players must commit before the start of Round 3. No bye can be taken in Round 5.

Location: Residence Inn Dover, 600 Jefferic Blvd., Dover, DE 19901, call 302-677-0777 for reservations. Ask for $119/night chess rate. Skittles Room and restaurant on premises, many fine restaurants and points of interest nearby.

Entry Fee: $35 before 6/01/12, $40 afterwards.
DCA membership is required ($10 adults, $5 under 18), Other states accepted.
Day of registration starts at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 9:45 a.m.

Send Entries to: Kevin Pytel, 604 N. Walnut St. Newport, DE 19804-2624

For More Details: Contact Kevin Pytel (302-740-3442),
Email is the preferred method of communication.

Contact Us: President Ken Milutin Blog Editor/Author: Darryl West

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays


1. Watch my diet: CHECK
2. Clean out the attic: CHECK
3. Volunteer more often: CHECK
4. Drop a piece to Ken next time we play: CHECK


I hope each and every one of you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday season.
Thanks for supporting the Salisbury Chess Club!


Contact Us: President Ken Milutin Blog Editor/Author: Darryl West

Salisbury Chess Club

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Salisbury, Maryland, United States
Club President: Ken Milutin e-mail: