GM Akshat Chandra vs FIDE Candidate Master Bryan Xie: Round one, 2021 US Masters

GM Akshat Chandra 2483 (USA)

vs Bryan Xie 2124 (USA)

Player Pic

U.S. Masters 2021 round 01
B40 Sicilian defence

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 e5 6. O-O Be7 7. Nc3 d6 8. Nd5 Be6 9. Ng5 Bxd5 10. exd5 Nb4 11. c3 Na6 12. d4 Nd7 13. h4 O-O 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Qc2 Bxg5 16. hxg5 c4 17. Be4 g6 18. f4 Nd7 19. Be3 Re8 20. Bd4 Nac5 21. Bf3 f6 22. gxf6 Nxf6 23. Rae1 Rxe1 24. Rxe1 Qf8 25. b4 cxb3 26. axb3 Re8 27. Rxe8 Nxe8 28. b4 Nd7 29. Bg4 Qe7 30. Be6+ Kf8 31. Qa4 Ndf6 32. Qxa7 Ne4 33. Kg2 Qc7 34. Qa1 Qc4 35. Qe1 Qd3 36. Bg4 Nc7 37. Be2 Qc2 38. c4 b5 39. cxb5 Nxb5 40. Bf2 Nc7 41. Bf3 Nf6 42. Qa1 Kf7 43. Qa7 Ne4 44. Qd4 Nd2 45. Be2 Qa2 46. b5 Nxd5 47. Be1 Nb1 48. Qc4 Qa8 49. Bf3 1-0

1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2

After 5 Qe2

Is that a beautiful position, or what?!

(This has been the most often played move with 1074 games in the CBDB, and it is the move favored by Fritz, but SF 14 @depth 47 plays the second most often move chosen by humans in 811 games, 5 d3. Then there is SF 141220 @depth 61 preference for 3 Nc3, the third in number of game with 312) 5…e5 6. O-O (Although SF 12 & 13, going deep into the 50s, would castle, as have 263 players in the CBDB, SF 14 @depth 43 shows 6 Nc3, a move having been played in only 7 previous games!) 6…Be7 7. Nc3 d6 8. Nd5 (Nd1 SF) 8…Be6 9. Ng5 (SF 12 @depth 44 plays the game move, but @depth 50 plays 9 c4, a TN. The same program going one fathom deeper decides upon 9 Nh4, another Theoretical Novelty) 9… Bxd5 10. exd5 Nb4? (10…Nd4 is a superior move because it threatens the Queen. This move is so weak that at the top level of the Royal Game white now has a winning advantage) 11. c3 (11 d4 could, and probably should be played immediately) 11…Na6 12. d4 Nd7?

White to make move 13

The last move made by black was a horrendous, game losing move. Black has yet to complete development and he just moved an already developed piece for the second time and did not improve the position of the piece. Granted, the Knight is attacked twice, but White now has a game ending shot.

13. h4? (Can you find the move the young GM missed?) 13…O-O 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Qc2 Bxg5 16. hxg5 c4 17. Be4 g6 18. f4

Black to move

18…Nd7? (He moved the dancing and prancing knight again!)

  1. Be3 Re8 20. Bd4 Nac5 21. Bf3 f6 22. gxf6 Nxf6 23. Rae1 Rxe1 24. Rxe1 Qf8 25. b4 cxb3 26. axb3 Re8 27. Rxe8 Nxe8 28. b4 Nd7 29. Bg4 Qe7 30. Be6+ Kf8 31. Qa4 Ndf6 32. Qxa7 Ne4 33. Kg2 Qc7 34. Qa1 Qc4 35. Qe1 Qd3 36. Bg4 Nc7 37. Be2 Qc2 38. c4 b5 39. cxb5 Nxb5 40. Bf2 Nc7 41. Bf3 Nf6 42. Qa1 Kf7 43. Qa7 Ne4 44. Qd4 Nd2 45. Be2 Qa2 46. b5 Nxd5 47. Be1 Nb1 48. Qc4 Qa8 49. Bf3 1-0

Murali Karthikeyan (2426) vs Adam Horvath (2491)
Event: 8th Vezerkepzo GM 2021
Site: Budapest HUN Date: 08/26/2021
Round: 6.5
ECO: B40 Sicilian defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.Qe2 e5 6.O-O Be7 7.Nc3 d6 8.Nd5 Be6 9.Ne1 O-O 10.c3 Re8 11.Nc2 Bf8 12.d3 g6 13.Bg5 Bxd5 14.exd5 Nb8 15.f4 Nbd7 16.f5 h6 17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.fxg6 fxg6 19.Ne3 h5 20.Bh3 Bh6 21.Be6+ Kg7 22.Rf3 Rf8 23.Raf1 b5 24.R1f2 a6 25.Nc2 c4 26.Kg2 cxd3 27.Rxd3 Qe7 28.Nb4 Nh7 29.Nc6 Qc7 30.h4 Rxf2+ 31.Qxf2 Rf8 32.Rf3 Nf6 33.Qe2 Re8 34.Rf1 Rf8 35.Nb4 Qb6 36.Nd3 Kh7 37.Nf2 Kh8 38.Ne4 Nxe4 39.Rxf8+ Bxf8 40.Qxe4 Kg7 41.g4 hxg4 42.h5 gxh5 43.Qf5 Qd8 44.Qxh5 Qf6 45.Qxg4+ Qg6 46.Kf3 Qxg4+ 47.Bxg4 Kf6 48.b4 Bh6 49.Ke4 Bd2 50.Kd3 Be1 51.Bc8 e4+ 52.Kc2 e3 53.Bxa6 e2 54.Bxb5 Bxc3 55.Bxe2 Bxb4 56.Kb3 Bc5 57.Kc4 Ke7 58.a3 Bxa3 ½-½

Kirill Shubin (2429) vs Evgeny A Levin (2505)
Event: 93rd ch-St Petersburg
Site: St Petersburg RUS Date: 09/29/2020
Round: 8.3
ECO: B40 Sicilian defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.Qe2 e5 6.O-O Be7 7.Nc3 d6 8.Nd5 Be6 9.Ne1 Nd4 10.Qd1 Nxd5 11.exd5 Bd7 12.c3 Nf5 13.d3 O-O 14.f4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Bg5 16.Qd2 Bxf4 17.Qxf4 Qb6 18.Rf2 Ne7 19.Qd2 Rae8 20.b3 Qc7 21.Nc2 Ng6 22.Ne3 Ne5 23.Be4 Qd8 24.Bf5 g6 25.Bxd7 Qxd7 26.Rf4 f5 27.Raf1 Qe7 28.R4f2 Qg5 29.d4 cxd4 30.Qxd4 b6 31.Qd2 Qe7 32.Re1 Qg5 33.Ref1 Qe7 34.Re1 Qg5 35.Ref1 Qe7 ½-½

US Masters First Round: NM Matthew Puckett vs GM Alex Shabalov

Matthew Puckett is a National Master from the Great State of Alabama, where he is currently the highest rated player. Mr. Puckett is strong enough to have bested a Grandmaster, Sam Palatnik. The battle, featuring a Leningrad Dutch, was contested at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center. Not many, if any, GMs lost at the House of Pain.

Alexander Shabalov is enshrined in the US Chess Hall of Fame.

Matthew Puckett 2138 (USA) vs GM Alexander Shabalov 2496 (USA)
U.S. Masters 2021 round 01
D30 Queen’s gambit declined

White to make eighth move
White to make twelfth move
White to make sixteenth move
  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 a5 6. Qc2 O-O 7. Bg2 c5 8. dxc5? (Players are taught it is usually better to capture toward the center. Although a small mistake, it would have been much better to play 8. cxd5)

8…d4 9. Bxb4 axb4 10. Nbd2 Nc6 11. O-O e5 12. Rfd1? (12 Ng5 must be played as it is the only move not causing disadvantage) 12… Qe7 13. Nb3 h6 14. Ne1 Bg4 15. Qd2 Rfd8 16. Nd3? (The game, for all intents and purposes is over after this egregious mistake. When deciding upon a move a player will ask himself before making the move, “With which move will my opponent reply?” In this case the answer is obvious, which means that after the expected 16…e4, Matthew planned to play 17 Nxb4, because what kind of player would move the Knight to d3 if he were intending on retreating immediately? Yet that is the move Mr. Puckett should have played, but by then he had completely lost his objectivity and carried on with his ill-fated plan…) 16…e4 17. Nxb4 Nxb4 18. Qxb4 d3 19. f3 dxe2 20. Rxd8+ Rxd8 21. fxg4 Rd1+ 22. Kf2 e1=Q+ 23. Qxe1 Nxg4+ 24. Kg1 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 f5 26. Bf1 Ne5 27. Be2 Qg5 28. Kf2 f4 0-1


The movie Casablanca premiered in New York City 79 years ago today, in 1942. The film starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, with notable support by Claude Rains and Paul Henreid. It’s the story of a cynical American expat, Rick Blaine, who runs a bar in Morocco’s largest city during World War II. He’s unexpectedly reunited with his former love, Ilsa, who is now married to a leader of the French Resistance. By the end of the movie, Rick finds he still has a selfless heart under his bitter exterior. The movie was originally intended for release in January 1943, and that is when it came out in the rest of the country, but the producers moved up the New York premiere to take advantage of the free publicity surrounding the landing of Allied forces in North Africa.

The film was based on an unproduced play called Everybody Comes to Rick’s, by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. A story analyst called it “sophisticated hokum,” but recommended it to Warner Bros. anyway. Unlike most movies, Casablanca was filmed in story order rather than out of sequence, because the screenplay was only half done by the time filming began. Ingrid Bergman wrote in her autobiography, My Story (1980): “We were shooting off the cuff. Every day they were handing out dialogue and we were trying to make some sense of it. Every morning we would say, ‘Well, who are we? What are we doing here?’ And [director] Michael Curtiz would say, ‘We’re not quite sure, but let’s get through this scene today and we’ll let you know tomorrow.’” She didn’t know which man her character ended up with until the final scene was filmed.

The movie was filmed almost entirely indoors, because a Japanese submarine had been spotted off the coast of California and everyone was worried that Japan might attack the mainland. The production crew also had to cope with war rationing and shortages of things like rubber and aluminum. They couldn’t use nylon or silk in the costumes, so Ingrid Bergman wore cotton.

Casablanca received great reviews, but at the time most people just seemed to think it was going to be one of many boilerplate movies intended to raise American morale during World War II. The New York Times wrote, “Yes, indeed, the Warners here have a picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap.” The Hollywood Reporter called it “a drama that lifts you right out of your seat” and added, “Certainly a more accomplished cast of players cannot be imagined.” Variety wrote, “Casablanca will take the [box offices] of America just as swiftly as the AEF took North Africa.” Another reviewer said, “It certainly won’t make Vichy happy — but that’s just another point for it.” It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won three of them: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Not every critic since the movie’s release has considered it a masterpiece, however. Pauline Kael said, “It’s far from a great film, but it has a special appealingly schlocky romanticism, and you’re never really pressed to take its melodramatic twists and turns seriously.” (

Pentagon Drops UFO Bomb!


MYSTERY WIRE — The Pentagon dropped a UFO surprise late Tuesday night. A new office will be created to track and assess unidentified aerial phenomena spotted over military ranges, according to a memo from Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.

The office was given an unwieldy name, the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group, with an unpronounceable acronym AOIMSG. The memo from Hicks specified that the new office has the job to “detect, identify, and attribute” unidentified objects and to assess any possible threat to aviation safety and/or national security.

For decades, the Department of Defense has ridiculed and dismissed UFO incidents and reports. It has thwarted attempts by Congress and the public to access information and files related to military encounters with UFOs, including those seen over sensitive military facilities and assets, including nuclear weapons storage areas and missile bases.


Today is the birthday of the philosopher Benedict Spinoza,

born in Amsterdam in 1632. Spinoza was the descendent of Portuguese Jews who immigrated to the Netherlands seeking religious tolerance. Young Spinoza studied Hebrew, the Old Testament, the Talmud, and Cabala’s traditions of mysticism and miracle. Fluent in five languages, Spinoza wrote in Latin, which he learned from Christian teachers who introduced the young scholar to mathematics and philosophy.

By age 24, Spinoza had developed his own ideas. He asserted that everything in the universe was made from the same divine substance, possessing infinite characteristics. He defined God and the laws of nature as one and the same, a part of this infinite substance. All of this was too far-flung from the dominant vision of an almighty, singular godhead for Spinoza’s religious contemporaries to tolerate, and Spinoza was excommunicated.

This did not deter him from his intellectual pursuits. He said, “Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.” He left Amsterdam and supported himself grinding lenses while writing books of philosophy. He lived in solitude and studied the work of Bacon, Boyle, Descartes, and Huygens. Spinoza published three books while he was alive, though more of his writings were published later by friends. The only book that named him as an author was Principles of the Philosophy of René Descartes (1663). He withheld much of his work because he feared retribution from a group of theologians who had publicly accused him of atheism.

For more than a century after his death, Spinoza’s work was widely considered heretical and atheistic. But toward the end of the 18th century, his ideas underwent a revival. Thinkers called him “holy” and “a man intoxicated with the divine,” and he influenced philosophers such as Goethe, Herder, Lessing, and Novalis. According to the philosopher Hegel, “to be a philosopher, one must first become a Spinozist.”

Spinoza said, “The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”

And, “If you want the future to be different from the present, study the past.”

Why Don’t We Do It In A Squad Car?

Police: Couple Had Sex In Patrol Car

“Baby, we should record an OnlyFans video back here.”

NOVEMBER 22–While seated in the rear of a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser, Summer Watkins had a brilliant idea. “Baby, we should record an OnlyFans video back here,” the 24-year-old yelled to her male companion, who would soon join her in the squad car.

Watkins and Yordan Noa, 24, were seated in the police vehicle after Noa’s BMW was pulled over early Thursday since he was driving with a suspended license. Cops planned to transport the duo to nearby Shell station in Naples where they could “make arrangements to get home,” according to an arrest report.

When Noa joined her in the patrol car, Watkins asked a cop, “What if I suck his dick back here?” The officer replied that she could not do that. Watkins, however, persisted: “Can I suck his dick back here?” The officer responded, “No.”

When the cop closed the vehicle’s rear door and walked away for a few minutes, Watkins and Noa–neither of whom was handcuffed–engaged in sexual activity that was recorded by the “prisoner compartment camera.”

After Noa exposed his penis, Watkins began performing oral sex on him. Watkins, cops noted, “can be heard saying ‘fuck Five-O’ while giving oral sex.”

Noa, cops say, used his phone to memorialize Watkins pleasuring him. “Can ya’ll hear me? She’s sucking dick in the back of a State Trooper right now,” Noa exclaimed while recording. When Noa later used FaceTime to talk with a friend, Watkins interjected, “I just sucked his dick in the back of a police car.”

The sexual encounter was discovered an hour later when a patrolman reviewed video footage of the couple in the police vehicle. At that point, “It was discovered that the defendant had performed oral sex on” Noa, reported Trooper J.D. Perez-Morales.

Since Watkins had already been dropped off, the cop returned to the gas station and arrested her for lewd and lascivious behavior and breach of peace, both misdemeanors. She later bonded out of jail and is scheduled for arraignment on December 16.

Noa, who was arrested after cops found marijuana and a controlled substance in his car, was also charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, breach of peace, and exposure of sexual organs. Free on bond, he is scheduled to be arraigned on December 13.

Oliver Stone Calls Out President Biden For Acting Like Trump

The filmmaker, whose new documentary ‘JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass’ examines additional evidence about John F. Kennedy’s death, says Biden is acting just like his predecessor Trump with a delay in releasing records.

By Oliver Stone November 22, 2021 9:18am

Camelot Productions JFK
‘JFK Revisited’ Camelot Productions

On the matter of openness about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, there is not much difference between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden.

In 1991, there was a huge controversy over JFK, a film I directed and co-wrote. One reason for this was at the end of the film, I alerted the public that the files of the last inquiry into Kennedy’s murder — the House Select Committee on Assassinations — were sealed until the year 2029. This created an outcry, and congressional hearings and legislation followed. Under the 1992 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), a five-person citizens panel appointed by the president to oversee the release of classified records on the JFK case, was formed.

From 1994 to 1998, the ARRB declassified about 60,000 documents and 2 million total pages of records. But the four-year mandate was not adequate to fulfill their mission to release everything, and there was no congressional oversight to ensure the completion of the ARRB’s mandate of full disclosure.

The 1992 legislation decreed that everything would be declassified by Oct. 26, 2017. On that day, President Trump was visited by the CIA and FBI. He was the only person allowed by law to further delay the process. He did so, twice. First, a six-month delay on the grounds the agencies had “insufficient time” to finish the job required by the JFK Records Act. In April of 2018, he granted a three-year delay.

President Trump also added a layer of bureaucracy to the law which is not there: The National Archives was never foreseen as an arbiter of what should be withheld or released. Yet, agencies apparently continue to make postponement requests to the archivist, even after President Trump’s arbitrary three-year “extension.”

The JFK Records Act also stated that if any record was still being withheld in 2017, the president had to state, in writing, the reasons why. That did not happen.

Most people thought that Biden would break with Trump and declassify everything immediately on the due date of Oct. 26. He didn’t. He has now given the CIA and FBI until Dec. 15, 2022, to comply with the law. Between Trump and Biden, the total delay will be more than five years. In other words, the public will have waited 59 years since Kennedy’s assassination for the declassification of the last of the JFK records.

One last point should be made about Biden’s decision: Back in 1992, he was part of a unanimous Senate which passed the JFK Records Collection Act. Now, he agrees with his predecessor that nearly three decades was not enough time to fulfill the act’s mandate.

Oliver Stone is a director, screenwriter, producer and best-selling author. He won his first Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for Midnight Express (1978) and won his second and third as best director for Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989), respectively. Other notable projects include JFK (1991), W. (2008), Savages (2012) and Snowden (2016).

This Is Where Oliver Stone Got His Loony JFK Conspiracies From

The origin story for the CIA-killed-Kennedy myth is twistier than a magic bullet

By Tim Weiner

How Al-Qaeda Bomb Plot was Foiled | Public Radio International

November 22, 2021 9:34AM ET

President John Kennedy rides in a motorcade from the Dallas airport into the city with his wife Jacqueline and Texas Governor Johhn Connally.
President John Kennedy with his wife Jacqueline and Texas Governor Johhn Connally minutes before he was assassinated, on November 22nd, 1963.
Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Oliver Stone once made brilliant movies like Platoon, which won Oscars for best picture and best director. These days, he’s a tinfoil-hatted fabricator. His new documentary — JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, premiering on Showtime on, you guessed it, Nov. 22 — is rooted in a big lie. It comes 30 years after the premiere of JFK, a film unrivaled in the annals of American cinematic propaganda. Both are based on the undying delusion that President Kennedy was murdered by the Deep State: The Central Intelligence Agency, backed by the military-industrial complex.

Do you believe that the CIA killed JFK? Millions of Americans suspect so. Let me ask you, then: Why do they believe it?

The tale can be traced to a Russian disinformation operation. It came from the same arsenal of political warfare that convinced half the world that the U.S. Army created AIDS. The one that monkey-wrenched the 2016 election for Donald Trump. The one now flooding the internet with deadly lies about the coronavirus and vaccines. The goals of these campaigns were one and the same: to divide Americans, to pour salt in our self-inflicted wounds, and ultimately to convince you that there is no truth. That crackpot fantasies are cold hard realities. That “conspiracy theories are now conspiracy facts,” as Stone proclaims in JFK Revisited.

Disinformation works best when it contains a kernel of truth. And, in truth, the Kennedy assassination is the black hole of American history. It has sucked better minds than Stone’s down into darkness. It has taught generations of Americans to be highly skeptical of the Official Government Version of events. It made the grassy knoll our town commons.

But what you believe about it boils down to this: Either Lee Harvey Oswald, trained by the United States Marines as a sharpshooter before he defected to the Soviet Union, got off a million-to-one shot in Dallas. He acted alone. Or he was an instrument of a conspiracy so immense that it staggers the mind.

As the new documentary opens, Stone paces down Dealey Plaza in Dallas, where President Kennedy was killed, the same place where QAnon crazies gathered recently to await the miraculous resurrection of JFK Jr. and the divine reinauguration of Trump. The director promises his audience that he is about to solve the murder mystery, to “piece together what really happened that day and discover the reasons why.”

Brace yourself: he doesn’t.

The dark beast of JFK Revisited is Allen Dulles, a founding father of the CIA and its director from February 1953 to November 1961. I know a fair amount about Dulles; my history of the CIA, Legacy of Ashes, lays a multitude of sins at his feet. Dulles often grievously misled Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. He oversaw CIA coups in Iran and Guatemala which ushered in dictatorships. His top officers tried to kill Fidel Castro, enlisting the Mafia. He blithely convinced JFK to carry out the disastrous invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, which was his downfall as Director of Central Intelligence.

Stone pegs Dulles as a presiding genius of the plot against the president. To begin building this case, he tells us that Dulles and the CIA backed a failed military coup aimed at assassinating President Charles de Gaulle of France. That’s another lie spun by Moscow.

Like the cold-war CIA, the KGB paid editors and reporters around the world to print stories that could advance the Kremlin’s international agendas. In the late 1950’s, it created a directorate to undermine America. Department D — D as in dezinformatsiya — aimed to bend and shape public opinion, and above all to defame the United States. The Department of Disinformation was the world’s first industrial factory of fake news.

A KGB-scripted story about the CIA’s plot to kill De Gaulle first appeared in a daily newspaper, Paese Sera, published in Rome and backed by the Italian Communist Party, a few days after the Bay of Pigs. It was republished in Moscow by the Soviet party organ, Pravda; then in France, and finally across the globe. That was, and is, the M.O. of Russian disinformation operations: start a fire, fan the flames, and blow the smoke around the world.

Six years later, Paese Sera planted the seed that flowered into JFK. And therein lies a tale. (One first told in 2001 by the historian Max Holland in The Wilson Quarterly, a now-defunct political science journal.)

On March 1, 1967, the New Orleans district attorney, Jim Garrison, arrested Clay Shaw, the director of the city’s International Trade Mart and a somewhat-closeted gay man, and charged him with a central role in a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy. The D.A. told reporters that what happened in Dallas had been “a homosexual thrill-killing.” Three days later, Paese Sera named Shaw as a conduit for CIA funds for espionage and dirty tricks in Rome. The story, crafted by the KGB, ricocheted around the world, landing in New York on the front page of a New Left weekly, the National Guardian, on March 18.

Garrison seized upon it. He fed the falsehood to a friendly newspaper reporter in New Orleans and it landed on page one. He told the world that Shaw was a longtime CIA operative. (He wasn’t, though he had been a casual part-time contact on questions of commerce, one among some 150,000 Americans who volunteered information to the cold-war CIA.) The prosecutor then doubled down. He proclaimed that the CIA had plotted to kill Kennedy and then covered up the conspiracy, that Oswald had been under its control, that the agency was “infinitely more powerful than the Gestapo,” and that it had masterminded a coup d’etat in America in the name of anticommunism.

On Feb. 6, 1969, Garrison put Clay Shaw on trial. His witnesses were a parade of perjurers from the seamier quarters of New Orleans. He presented no evidence tying the CIA to his case. But in his summation, he asked the jurors to strike a righteous blow against the Deep State’s “murder of the truth.” They took 54 minutes to acquit.

Garrison’s tragicomedy had two lasting effects on the United States. The first was immediate: After he announced his charges, the number of Americans who believed that there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy skyrocketed. A majority still believe it. The second took 20 years.

Garrison spent a decade turning his case into a book called On The Trail Of The Assassins: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Murder of President Kennedy. The co-conspirators in this opus included the CIA, the FBI, the Dallas police department, the Warren Commission, the Secret Service, anti-Castro Cubans, the United States Army, and the Navy pathologists who autopsied JFK. Fifteen publishers rejected it until it was picked up by William Schaap and Ellen Ray at Sheridan Square Press in 1988. (The couple had worked with Phillip Agee, a CIA defector, publishing Covert Action Information Bulletin, a magazine devoted to exposing the Agency’s operations and officers. Agee received a strong assist from Russian intelligence, according to KGB records. No evidence whatsoever links Schaap and Ray, now both deceased, to the Russians.)

On The Trail Of The Assassins would prove to be a hit with the public. Shortly before its publication, as Schaap later recounted, “at a film festival in Havana, we ran into Oliver Stone. And Ellen said to him, ‘Have I got a property for you!’ Because we knew he was an assassination freak, we gave him an advance copy of the book…. Of course, Oliver Stone won’t admit to any of this!”

JFK and its new sequel are, with artistic embellishments, cinematic transcriptions of Jim Garrison’s delusions. The original movie convinced millions more Americans that the version of history wrought by Stone and Garrison was true. National surveys taken after JFK was released showed that three-quarters of those polled believed the CIA had murdered the President. And that, along with the end of the cold war, provoked Congress to begin declassifying millions of records relating to the assassination — a task that remains incomplete nearly three decades later. Both Trump and President Biden have delayed disclosures required under law, though a new set of documents is set to be unwrapped before Christmas.

I’ve spent half my life reporting, writing, and reading about the CIA and American intelligence. I remember the Kennedy assassination; I’ve studied the evidence. And I can’t tell you that there wasn’t a conspiracy. Maybe it was the Russians. Could have been the Cubans. Might have been the Mafia. Maybe there’s a mind-blowing bombshell in the still-classified archives of the government. But I seriously doubt it.

I can tell you for a fact that our democracy is suffocating under an avalanche of disinformation. Trump won the 2020 election! Covid vaccines are seeded with microchips! Democrats are blood-sucking pedophile communists! 9/11 was an inside job! Our body politic is being poisoned by lies. They stalk the land like brain-eating zombies. And we can’t seem to kill them.

We have a moral obligation to call bullshit when we see it. Especially when public figures promote lies for profit. Stone’s JFK films are fantasies. Conspiracy theories are not facts. They’re a kind of collective psychosis. And they’re driving our country down the road to hell.

The Most Amazing Chess Game of All Time!

During research for the previous post a strange game of brevity was found that required no board to play out the game but a board was needed to make sure you could believe what you saw, or at least what you thought you visualized:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O e5 6.d3 Nge7 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Qd2 d6 9.Qd1 Be6 10.Bf4 0-1

This is the notation for the game between:
Ahmad, Abdul Khaliq (2217) vs Fedorov, Alexei (2555)
Event: 4th Mersin Open 2019
Site: Mersin TUR Date: 11/16/2019
Round: 1.7 Score: 0-1
ECO: B30 Sicilian defence

Abdul Khaliq Ahmad

is a FIDE Master from Iraq who was born in 1963, the year POTUS John Fitzgerald Kennedy was ASSASSINATED, and his current rating is 2222. (

Alexei Fedorov

is a 2541 rated Grandmaster from Belarus, who was born in 1972, the year Bobby Fischer defeated World Chess Champion Boris Spassky to become Champ.

For one who usually has too many words at this moment I still do not know what to say about the above game…I decided to do more research and, Lo & Behold! Like a BOLT from the BLUE it was, I tell you…The Most Amazin’ Chess Game of All Time! I have been replaying games for over half a century and I have never, ever seen another game quite like it, and sincerely hope I never, ever again see anything like it on the Chess board.

Ahmad, Abdul Khaliq (2217) vs Akash, G (2456)
Event: 4th Mersin Open 2019
Site: Mersin TUR Date: 11/17/2019
Round: 3.13 Score: 0-1
ECO: B50 Sicilian
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 e5 5.O-O g6 6.d3 Bg7 7.Nc3 Nge7 8.Nd2 O-O 9.Nc4 Rb8 10.a4 Nb4 11.Nb5 d5 12.exd5 a6 13.Nbd6 Nbxd5 14.Nxc8 Qxc8 15.Re1 Qc7 16.Qe2 Rfe8 17.a5 Rbd8 18.c3 Nc6 19.h4 h6 20.h5 g5 21.Qe4 Qd7 22.Ne3 Nf4 23.Rd1 Nxh5 24.Qc4 Nf4 25.Be4 Ne7 26.Ng2 Nf5 27.f3 Nxg3 28.Bd2 Qh3 29.Kf2

Black to move

29…Nxe4+ 30.dxe4 Qg3+ 31.Kg1 Qxf3 32.Rf1 Qg4 33.Bxf4 exf4 34.Rxf4 Qg3 35.Rff1 Qg4 36.Rf4 Rd5 37.Raf1 f5 38.R1f2 Re7 39.Qe2 Kh7 40.Kf1 Re6 41.Nh4 0-1

G. Akash,

a 2495 rated Grandmaster from India, born in 1996. (

Closed Sicilian Girlfight!

GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant 2376 (SCO)

vs IM Nataliya Buksa 2409 (UKR)

FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss 2021 round 07
B25 Sicilian, closed

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 d6 6. Nf3 e5 7. O-O Nge7 8. Nh4 O-O 9. f4 exf4 10. gxf4 f5 11. Kh1 Nd4 12. Nf3 Nec6 13. Nd5 Nxf3 14. Qxf3 Rb8 15. c3 Be6 16. Qg3 fxe4 17. dxe4 Bxd5 18. exd5 Ne7 19. Bd2 Nf5 20. Qd3 Bh6 21. Rae1 Rf6 22. Re4 Qb6 23. b4 Rbf8 24. Bh3 Qc7 25. Rfe1 Qb6 26. Qe2 Ng7 27. Rf1 Nh5 28. Be6+ Kh8
White to move
  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 (5 d3 is the most often played move to the tune of 5386 games in the ChessBaseDataBase and it has scored only 44%. 5 Nge2 shows 476 games in which White has scored 46%. Stockfish 13 @depth 50 is conflicted, torn between the two moves; Komodo breaks the tie, leaning toward 5 d3) 5…d6 6. Nf3 (‘Back in the day’ I played the Closed Sicilian because I did not have the time to study each and every possible defense Black can play against the open Sicilian. There were some good and memorable games won and/or drawn against higher rated players, but there were also losses to lesser lites. Michael “Mad Dog” Gordon, like me a player who bounced around between class A and Expert, liked to play 6 Nf3 versus the Closed Sicilian, a move I never played, much preferring to play 5 Nge2. Although Rybka and Deep Fritz prefer 6 Nf3, Stockfish 14 @ depth 47 play 6 Nge2, I am happy to report. The Dog did not have good results against my Sicilian in the many 15 minute games we contested over the years, and from what I recall, his tournament games with 6 Nf3 did not produce good results, yet for some reason the Dog continued to beat his head against the Sicilian wall. The ChessBaseDataBase shows White has scored only 37% in 110 games after firing the 6 Nf3 salvo. We will not talk about the miserable score amassed against the Dog’s beloved Alekhine defense. Mike beat me like a drum with the Alekhine until I started playing 2 Nc3…) 6…e5 (Stockfish 170121 @depth 51 plays the move played in the game but SF 14 @depth 44 and Komodo 14 @depth 50 play 6…Nf6, against which White has scored only 27%! 6…e5 has scored 44%) 7. O-O (Houdini castles, as has 192 players in the CBDB, but SF 14 @depth 35 plays 7 Nd2. There are only 5 games in the CBDB with 7 Nd2) 7…Nge7 8. Nh4 (SF 14 @depth 40 plays 8 Nd2, the only move showing a positive score at 54% in 90 games. In 54 games 8 Nh4 has scored only 35%) 8… O-O 9. f4 (The CBDB shows 77 games reaching the position after 8…0-0. In 66 of those games White has played the move played in this game, scoring only 36%, which makes one wonder why top players continue trotting the the f-pawn, especially considering none of the top three programs favor the move…SF 13 @depth 36 plays 9 Be3, as have six other players. Komodo @depth 27 plays 9 Nf3. There is only one game with that move having been played. Houdini play 9 a3, another move having been played in only one game) 9…exf4 10. gxf4 (Houdini and Fritz both play 10 Bxf4, and there are 50 examples of that move contained in the CBDB, with the move scoring only 30%. SF 14 @depth 36 plays 10 gxf4. There are only 3 games in which the better move has been played. Someone has not done their homework)10…f5 11. Kh1(TN) (Stockfish 150821 @depth 30 would play 11 Ne2, which will be a TN just as soon as a human makes the move)

From the diagram:

  1. Qg4? (White has a winning game because she has complete control over the e-file, and the Bishop on e6 is soooo much better placed than the Black Knight stranded over on h5. The conflict between the white b-pawn and the black c-pawn would indicate the play may revolve around the jousters, would it not? The move 29 bxc5 would seem to suggest itself because it attacks the most powerful piece on the board. One would think every Chess player would at least examine the move, and after seeing 29…Qxc5 30. Be3 Qxc3 31. Bd4, play it! ) 29…Qa6 30. c4 Qa3 31. bxc5 Bxf4 32. Bxf4 Nxf4 33. cxd6 Nh3 34. Rxf6 Rxf6 35. Qe2 Nf2+ 36. Kg2 Nxe4 37. d7 Rf8 38. Qxe4 Qxa2+ 39. Kh3 Qa3+ 40. Kg2 Qb2+ 41. Kh3 Kg7 42. Bg4 Qf6 43. c5 Qf1+ 44. Qg2 Qd3+ 45. Kh4 h6 46. d8=Q g5+ 47. Qxg5+ hxg5+ 48. Kxg5 Qe3+ 49. Kh4 Qf2+ 50. Qg3 Rh8+ 51. Bh5+ Qxg3+ 52. hxg3 Rc8 53. c6 bxc6 54. dxc6 Rxc6 0-1

The Address at Gettysburg

On this date in 1863Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was four and a half months after the devastating battle, and it was a foggy, cold morning. Lincoln arrived about 10 a.m. Around noon, the sun came out as the crowds gathered on a hill overlooking the battlefield. A military band played, a local preacher offered a long prayer, and the headlining orator, Edward Everett, spoke for more than two hours. Everett described the Battle of Gettysburg in great detail, and he brought the audience to tears more than once. When Everett finished, Lincoln spoke.

Now considered one of the greatest speeches in American history, the Gettysburg Address ran for just over two minutes, fewer than 300 words, and only 10 sentences. It was so brief, in fact, that many of the 15,000 people that attended the ceremony didn’t even realize that the president had spoken, because a photographer setting up his camera had momentarily distracted them. The next day, Everett told Lincoln, “I wish that I could flatter myself that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”

There are several versions of the speech, and five different manuscript copies; they’re all slightly different, so there’s some argument about which is the “authentic” version. Lincoln gave copies to both of his private secretaries, and the other three versions were re-written by the president some time after he made the speech. The Bliss Copy, named for Colonel Alexander Bliss, is the only copy that was signed and dated by Lincoln, and it’s generally accepted as the official version for that reason. The Bliss text, our poem today, is inscribed on the Lincoln Memorial:

Gettysburg Address
by Abraham Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

“Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln. Public Domain.

One of the reasons the address by the President of the divided States of America is now considered “one of the greatest speeches in American history” is its brevity. ‘Back in the day’ other POTUS spent hours speaking, something for which politicians are infamous. Consider the fate of the ninth POTUS:

The president who served the shortest period of time after being elected to office was William Henry Harrison. Harrison was president for only 30 days, 12 hours and 32 minutes before keeling over at age 68. The circumstances under which President Harrison, the first ever to die in office, died are disputed until this day.

Harrison was elected in 1840 running as a rugged, tested and weathered war hero. The day that Harrison was sworn into office was rainy and cold, and to make matters worse, the newly elected president chose to deliver his entire 8,444-word speech to the assembled crowd (and this was after it had been edited for length by a friend). The speech, which still ranks as the longest inaugural speech in American history, took two hours to read. Perhaps this was not the smartest choice in retrospect. Also not so smart of him: refusing to wear a hat or even a coat in the pouring rain.

A month later he was dead of pneumonia, which he may have contracted while he was savoring every moment of his inauguration day out in the rain. It’s unclear whether he came down with the illness at the inauguration or afterwards, but what is known is that the cures of the day, which included opium, snakes and caster oil.

His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, later became the 23rd president of the United States. On the day that the younger Harrison was sworn in, he reportedly wore a full suit of leather armor— just in case. He lived on to serve a complete term, although later ironically died of pneumonia as well. (

There have been many critics of the short speech given at Getttysburg.

My Great-Great-Grandfather Hated the Gettysburg Address. Now He’s Famous For It

It’s hard to imagine anyone could pan Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, but one cantankerous reporter did just that

Doug Stewart
November 18, 2013

An editorial that critiqued Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as “silly remarks.”
An editorial that critiqued Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as “silly remarks.” Image courtesy of Doug Stewart

Late last week, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, newspaper, now called the Patriot-News, issued a tongue-in-cheek retraction of its 150-year-old snub of President Abraham Lincoln’s heralded Gettysburg Address. The editorial page informed its readers:

“Seven score and ten years ago, the forefathers of this media institution brought forth to its audience a judgment so flawed, so tainted by hubris, so lacking in the perspective history would bring, that it cannot remain unaddressed in our archives.”

The editors mused that their predecessors had likely been “under the influence of partisanship, or of strong drink.” Waiving the statute of limitations, the newspaper ended its announcement in time-honored fashion: “The Patriot-News regrets the error.” The news was picked up by a wide swath of publications, but none were more surprising than the appearance of a “Jebidiah Atkinson” on “Saturday Night Live:”

But of course there was no “Jebidiah Atkinson.” The author of the thumbs-down review was Oramel Barrett, editor of what was then called the Daily Patriot and Union. He was my great-great-grandfather.

The “few appropriate remarks” President Abraham Lincoln was invited to deliver at the dedication of a national cemetery in Gettysburg are remembered today as a masterpiece of political oratory. But that’s not how Oramel viewed them back in 1863.

“We pass over the silly remarks of the President,” he wrote in his newspaper. “For the credit of the nation, we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall no more be repeated or thought of.”

My ancestor’s misadventure in literary criticism has long been a source of amusement at family gatherings (and now one for the entire nation.) How could the owner-editor of a daily in a major state capital have been so utterly tone deaf about something this momentous?

Oddly enough, Oramel’s put-down of the Gettysburg Address—though a minority view in the Union at the time—didn’t stand out as especially outrageous at the time. Reaction to the speech was either worshipful or scornful, depending on one’s party affiliation. The Republicans were the party of Lincoln, while the Democrats were the more or less loyal opposition (though their loyalty was often questioned).

Here’s the Chicago Times, a leading Democratic paper: “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly flat dishwatery utterances of a man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.”

It wasn’t just the Democrats. Here’s the Times of London: “The ceremony was rendered ludicrous by some of the sallies of that poor President Lincoln.”

In the South, naturally, Lincoln was vilified as a bloodthirsty tyrant. But his opponents in the North could be almost as harsh. For years, much of the Democratic press had portrayed him as an inept, awkward, nearly illiterate bumpkin who surrounded himself with sycophants and responded to crises with pointless, long-winded jokes. My ancestor’s newspaper routinely referred to Lincoln as “the jester.”

My Great-Great-Grandfather Hated the Gettysburg Address. Now He’s Famous For It
A caricature of Lincoln as the “National Joker.” Image courtesy of Doug Stewart

Like Oramel Barrett, those who loathed Lincoln the most belonged to the radical wing of the Democratic Party. Its stronghold was Pennsylvania and the Midwest. The radical Democrats were not necessarily sympathetic to the Confederacy, nor did they typically oppose the war—most viewed secession as an act of treason, after all. Horrified by the war’s gruesome slaughter, however, they urged conciliation with the South, the sooner the better.

To the Lincoln-bashers, the president was using Gettysburg to kick off his re-election campaign—and showing the poor taste to do so at a memorial service. According to my bilious great-great-grandfather, he was performing “in a panorama that was gotten up more for the benefit of his party than for the glory of the Nation and the honor of the dead.”

Worse, for Lincoln’s opponents, was a blatant flaw in the speech itself. In just 10 sentences, it advanced a new justification for the war. Indeed, its first six words—”Four score and seven years ago”—were enough to arouse the fury of Democratic critics.

A little subtraction shows that Lincoln was referring not to 1787, when the Constitution, with its careful outlining of federal rights and obligations (and tacit acceptance of slavery), was drawn up, but to 1776, when the signers of the Declaration of Independence had proclaimed that “all men are created equal.”

The Union war effort had always been aimed at defeating Southern states that had rebelled against the United States government. If white Southerners wanted to own black slaves, many in the North felt, that was not an issue for white Northern boys to die for.

My Great-Great-Grandfather Hated the Gettysburg Address. Now He’s Famous For It
A British cartoon paints an unflattering picture of Lincoln and the Civil War. Image courtesy of Doug Stewart

Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation at the start of 1863. Now, at Gettysburg, he was following through, declaring the war a mighty test of whether a nation dedicated to the idea of personal liberty “shall have a new birth of freedom.” This, he declared, was the cause for which the thousands of Union soldiers slain here in July “gave the last full measure of devotion.” He was suggesting, in other words, that the troops had died to ensure that the slaves were freed.

To radical Northern Democratics, Dishonest Abe was pulling a bait-and-switch. His speech was “an insult” to the memories of the dead, the Chicago Times fumed: “In its misstatement of the cause for which they died, it was a perversion of history so flagrant that the most extended charity cannot regard it as otherwise than willful.” Worse, invoking the Founding Fathers in his cause was nothing short of libelous. “They were men possessing too much self-respect,” the Times assured its readers, “to declare that negroes were their equals.”

Histories have generally played down the prevalence of white racism north of the Mason-Dixon Line. The reality was that Northerners, even Union soldiers battling the Confederacy, had mixed feelings about blacks and slavery. Many, especially in the Midwest, abhorred abolitionism, which they associated with sanctimonious New Englanders. Northern newspaper editors warned that truly freeing the South’s slaves and, worse, arming them would lead to an all-out race war.

That didn’t happen, of course. It took another year and a half of horrific fighting, but the South surrendered on the North’s terms—and by the time Lee met Grant at Appomattox in April 1865, both houses of Congress had passed the 13th Amendment, banning slavery. With Lincoln’s assassination just six days later, the criticism ceased. For us today, Lincoln is the face on Mount Rushmore, and the Gettysburg Address one of the greatest speeches ever delivered.


Doug Stewart also wrote about his cantankerous great-great-grandfather, Oramel Barrett, in the November 2013 issue of America’s Civil War. (

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, If He Had Been More Honest
Gary North – January 06, 2021

At the ceremony honoring half of the fallen dead at Gettysburg, Lincoln delivered a speech justifying the slaughter. It became the most memorable speech in American history — surely the most famous Presidential speech. I had to memorize it in the fifth grade in 1952, in the town of Marietta, Ohio.

We need to remember it for what it really was: a political speech. Political speeches are not noted for their full disclosure. So, I have re-written it. Here is the Gettysburg Address, decoded in terms of Republican Party politics in the fall of 1863.

Here is the text.

Back in 1776, a group of regional politicians launched an illegal revolt in North America to create a far more lucrative tax jurisdiction, which was then sold to the voters by the marketing slogan of “liberty.” It was officially dedicated to the proposition that all males are created equal, other than kidnapped Africans and their descendants.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether this tax jurisdiction, or any tax jurisdiction so justified and so marketed, can long endure, especially in the face of another group of regional politicians who are trying to pull off a similar stunt in the name of the same slogan.

We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for members of the Union Army who here gave their lives, that this tax jurisdiction might expand. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not sanctify this ground. Half of the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which half of those who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this jurisdiction, under penalty of perjury, shall have a new birth of revenues, and that government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations, shall not perish from the earth. (