Opening Strategies for Chess Novices, by Roland Bleyer

About the Author: Business mogul Roland Bleyer enjoys playing chess, often referred to as “the sport of kings.”

Although chess is often justifiably considered to be a sport reserved for the intellectually elite, it can also be a satisfying game for anyone who enjoys challenging their critical thinking skills. Since it typically takes many years of practice to attain a truly powerful playing style, you might consider this introductory primer as your first step towards a potentially fulfilling new hobby for life. Here are some of the most elementary concepts that you can use to start familiarizing yourself with chess’ tactical underpinnings.

1. Typically, the most sensible opening gambit is to advance one of the pawns fronting your king or queen. This will create the simplest route to propel your major pieces from the board’s back squares into the more useful regions of the board.

2. Although moving the pawn is a safe initial move, you will want to limit your subsequent pawn usage during your opening plays. Moving these auxiliary pieces around without a clear directive will weaken your defense.

3. Instead of advancing more pawns, a good strategy is to move as many of your pieces from the back row into play as possible. In chess parlance, this is known as “developing.” The more major pieces that you can develop early in the game, the more mobility options you have later on. Generally, it is best to develop your knights in preference to your bishops, since it is more difficult to situate the bishops.

4. During this phase, your main directive in developing those pieces that you have advanced from the back is to dominate the middle of the board. If you can establish control over the four squares in the exact center, you have usually earned considerably more options in terms of mobility than in any other region. This is the stage of the game where the real action starts.

5. At this point you will want to try to combine your strategic positioning with a maneuver that threatens one of your opponent’s key pieces.

Although this is only an introduction for the initial phase of play, deft execution of these basic principles early in the game will lay the foundation for highly favorable mobility and tactical flexibility later on.

Timely Aid for the People of Queensland, by Roland Bleyer

About the Author: Noted businessman and philanthropist Roland Bleyer dedicates a substantial portion of his resources to charity, typically across a variety of organizations. Recently, however, Mr. Bleyer has focused his donations on a cause close to many Australians’ hearts: the Queensland Flood Relief Fund.

Early in 2011, the Queensland region on Australia’s northeastern coast was battered by Cyclone Yasi, wreaking massive damage across the state. This storm was classified as a Category Five meteorological event, the highest denomination possible. Ultimately, Cyclone Yasi proved to be even more powerful than the devastating Hurricane Katrina that ravaged New Orleans in 2005.

Extraordinary planning and contingency preparation efforts on the part of local officials resulted in zero casualties from the disaster, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The primary evacuation sites in Townsville and Cairns ultimately sheltered more than 10,000 residents without injury. Although this phenomenal preservation of Queensland’s inhabitants is both lucky and laudable, the material damage caused by the storm was immense, with 75% of the state classified as a disaster area. Yachts were lifted out of their harbor moorings, power lines were downed across major thoroughfares, huge trees were uprooted throughout suburban areas, and numerous streets were flooded beyond remedy. Many families whose homes were located at the heart of the cyclone’s trajectory were literally left bereft of all their belongings.

Relief efforts through the government have been generous but remain insufficient to mend the full breadth of the storm’s damage. Forty thousand of those homes hit worst by the cyclone’s effects have received a combined total of $272 million toward repairs, and the charitable Society of St. Vincent de Paul dispersed an additional $18 million to affected families. The Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal will remain open for donations through December 2011 and accept funds through the mail, the Internet, in person, or over the phone. If you would like to contribute to Queensland’s recovery from this disastrous incident, please visit the fund’s website at http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html.

Roland Bleyer’s Philanthropic Conditional Non-Repayable Loans

A successful business professional, Roland Bleyer has developed innovative structured-finance products to meet the needs of promising young companies. Mr. Bleyer also utilizes his expertise to provide financial support to worthy causes, such as the construction of infrastructure or the amelioration of water supplies in developing nations. One of the ways in which he supports these projects is through the provision of conditional non-repayable loans (or grants).

Conditional loans of this nature can be designed in a wide variety of ways, but two of the most common approaches rely on the principles of underwriting or of fund matching to stimulate the recipient’s own fundraising activities.

In an underwriting approach, the organization is offered a loan conditional upon the accomplishment of certain types of activities. The organization must make a good-faith effort to raise funds through other channels, but if they fail through no fault of their own, then the loan is granted. The terms of the conditional loan are typically laid out in detail ahead of time, and the organization must show definitively what actions it has taken to raise the required funds. Oftentimes, having the conditional loan in place is enough to attract other investors, as they see that the project will go ahead regardless of whether or not the full fundraising goal is met.

In a fund-matching approach, the loan is granted to the organization on the condition that the funds are matched by other donors. Therefore, a $10 million loan would require the organization to fund raise an additional $10 million from other sources. Again, with the conditional loan in place, donors are often more willing to contribute to the cause.

Both of these approaches rely on leveraging goodwill or reputation. The conditional loan serves as a validation of the activities of the recipient organization and helps to build positive attention among potential donor groups.

Introduction to Trichology, Roland Bleyer’s First Profession

Roland Bleyer began his career in trichology before entering the finance profession. Trichology is the branch of medicine concerned with the health of the hair and scalp. Trichologists are primarily involved in treating hair loss and scalp issues, although some also specialize in forensic hair analysis.

Trichologists undergo specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of hair conditions. They hold expertise in hair loss, itchy scalp, breaking hair, plus dry and oily hair or scalp. Not all trichologists are registered physicians, but many doctors specializing in hair treatments take supplementary trichology courses in order to sharpen their knowledge.

A visit to a trichologist often involves detailed hair analysis, which may involve an examination of the mineral content of the hair or an assessment of specific types of physical damage. Blood tests may also be requested in certain instances. Through these approaches, trichologists can identify pest, fungi, genetic issues, or other factors influencing hair or scalp conditions.

Trichologists employ a range of conventional and natural remedies to solve hair and scalp issues. When the problem can be easily resolved via natural means, the trichologist will provide the patient with the necessary remedies. Alternatively, the trichologist can identify the specific type of care required by the patient and refer him or her to the appropriate medical specialist.