RepublicaNazi’s

One of the things I liked about playing Chess was the people whom I met along the Chess road. The road led me to twenty five states in which I participated in a USCF tournament. Some people make a point of attempting to play in every state. In my case it was happenstance.

I came of age in the South. You can take a boy out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the boy. My father was a Southern Baptist; my Mother was not. My father said he “knew” he was going to heaven. My Mother asked, “How can he know? Nobody knows…” I am agnostic.

Southern Baptists are very conservative people who feel threatened by change, or by anyone who is “not like us.” They do not like anyone who is “different.” The people among whom I came of age did not like John F. Kennedy because he as a “Catholic.” They hated “Jews” because they had killed Jesus Christ. I pointed out Jesus was a Jew and was turned on with venom. “Jesus was NOT A JEW! Jesus was GOD!”

My parents voted for Barry Goldwater

because he was a “conservative,” which was a code word for “racist.” My father worked for a new newspaper, the Atlanta Times, because it was an alternative to the “liberal” (pronounced “liBRUL”-as in “He’s one of ‘dem damned liBRULs!) Atlanta Journal & Constitution, for whom my father once worked. The newspaper was ahead of its time and went belly-up, and so did my father, who had put EVERYTHING into the paper.

I can still recall the first time I saw an American of African descent. An older, dark-skinned woman was walking on our street, about to head up what we called, “the hill.” One of my sisters noticed her and yelled for us to come to the picture window. There were black people living within walking distance of us, but we never saw them because that’s just the way it was in those dark days. The high school I attended, College Park, was integrated the year after I graduated.

Chess helped expand my horizons. I met a fellow whom we called “Mad Dog” with affection. He was really a meek and mild kinda guy, except when sitting across from you at a Chess board. Someone said he played the Alekhine defense “like a mad dog,” and it stuck. I, too, would play the Alekhine defense in those days, and invariably had difficulty playing against the Mad Dog’s Alekhine defense.

Mad Dog was Jewish, but had been excommunicated from his family when he married a gentile, with whom he had a daughter. Like my father, the Mad Dog worked for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. We would sometimes get together and play Chess in the Central City Park, located at Five Points in the heart of the city of Atlanta. Former Georgia Chess Champion Bob Joiner also worked downtown in the office of the Public Defender. John “Smitty” Smith worked for the state downtown, and we would play Chess during lunch hour. Years later Chess tables were put in the park, which had a different name. I had to travel to Grady hospital to participate in a memory study in my sixties and walked around our old stompin’ grounds, surprised to see one of those really large Chess sets, in addition to the usual size tables, which were full of players.

Mad Dog was my friend. We did things (he was then divorced) like get together after work at a bar called “The Beer Slug,” which was actually named The Beer Mug. The Slug provided free wings and held things like trivia night. One time a legendary Chess player was with us and we were leading with only one question left to answer. We were having trouble coming up with the answer because they were distracted by two pretty young women. I was racking my brain to no avail when I had to hit the head. “I’ll be back in a moment guys, so do not answer until I return.” They agreed, all smiles as they turned back to the pretty girls. I had a “eureka” moment while whizzing and returned with the correct answer, only to learn they had already turned in our answer, which had been provided by one of the girls. Unfortunately, it was WRONG! I will admit being a prick about it, but, what the hell, I thought later, these two guys, not exactly ladies men, were having the time of their lives…One time the three of us went to a tennis court to hit the ball around, or so I thought. The legendary one and I were attempting to warm up, but the Mad Dog would have none of it. “Let’s PLAY!” he yelled. “Don’t you want to warm up, Mad Dog?” asked the legendary one. “Hell no. Let’s PLAY!” Mad Dog served and I hit a wicked return that caused him to move quickly and…he went down like he had been SHOT! He was crumpled up on the court, writhing in pain. That ended our evening of tennis…Mad Dog was tuff, though, as he refused going to the emergency room. I spent the night on his couch in case he needed help later…

Mad Dog and I would discuss all kinds of different subjects, but the one I recall most vividly is the time he discussed his Jewishness. When he told me his grandparents had been in Nazi concentration camps and had the serial numbers on their bodies to prove it, I was SHOCKED! I mean, it’s one thing to read about such things, but to know someone descended from concentration camp survivors is another thing entirely. The words to a Dylan song came immediately to mind:

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side

http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/god-our-side/

The Dog became interested in Bob Dylan

rather late, relatively speaking, but when he did, he almost became a Bob Cat. He may have liked to quit his job and travel with the Bob Cats, but the Dog limited his shows to a reasonable number. He knew I had been a fan since early teenage years and, after he became a fan, thought more of me. The Dog asked me to drive him to a Dylan concert in Bristol, Virginia. The venue turned out to be what looked like some medieval castle, which we thought was appropriate, but which was a local school of some sort. The Dog had gotten involved with other “Bob Cats” online, with whom he hooked up, having the time of his life. I, on the other hand, was under the weather, but nevertheless made the best of the situation, and have wonderful memories for proof.

The last time I saw Mad Dog we were at the 350 Pizza joint across from the House of Pain, which was the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, for those of you who are unaware. His father had passed away and the Mad Dog was attempting to inform me that since his father had died, he was now the man of the family. “It’s a Jewish thing,” I recall him saying. He was telling me this life was over and a new one beginning. I told him I understood, though the legendary one never got his mind wrapped around that fact. Mad Dog enriched my life, and I am a better person for having known him. People come and go throughout one’s life, but sometimes the memory lingers…

In an interview promoting his new book,

David Cay Johnston

was asked about support of the Trumpster by Joy Reid,

“Why aren’t those numbers getting worse. They seem to have stayed exactly the same.” She was talking about the mid-thirty percent where his support seems to hover.

“Well Joy, as we begin season two of Trump: The White House Reality Show, we are getting a very good measure that there is a segment of the populace who are going to support Donald Trump no matter what… I mean if the worst possible thing could happen, if Robert Mueller

proves Donald Trump is a traitor, you’re going to see a segment of the population supporting him for an entirely different reason. Unfortunately there are people in this country who hate the civil rights movement and those people are going to be with Donald till the end of his life.”

http://www.msnbc.com/am-joy/watch/david-cay-johnston-trump-book-recaps-president-s-first-year-1141632579707

Adolph Hitler

had about the same kind of support when he became leader of Germany as the Trumpster has now. Hitler never had a majority of the people behind him, and neither does the TrumPet. His support emanates from a little above one third of the people of the United States of America. Do not forget THREE MILLION MORE Americans voted for Hillary Clinton

than voted for the Trumpster. If EVERY VOTE COUNTED in our country Donald Trump would NOT BE PRESIDENT! If every voted counted in our country, George Dubya Bushwhacker

would not have become POTUS! A war was fought in this country in the 1860’s to decide whether we would be ONE COUNTRY or FIFTY STATES. Why is it that some, if not most, of those states are “not in play.” If you happen to live in a “red” state, such as Georgia, it matters not for whom you vote. Why vote? This will change only when young people become mad as hell and decide to not take it anymore. Now is the time, but where is the outrage?

Donald poppinJay Trump

is a Republican, or as I think of them, RepublicaNazi. The RepublicaNazi party spawned poppinJay, just as they have accepted “Nazi-avowing Holocaust-denier Arthur Jones

who is running unopposed in the March 20 Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District.” (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/opinion/ct-sta-slowik-gop-nazi-st-0207-20180206-story.html)

There is a reason this man is running as a Republican. Unfortunately, he is not alone.

All The White Supremacists Running For Office In 2018

Plus candidates who’ve said white supremacist things, hung out with white supremacists, or talked to anti-Semitic publications.

By Christopher Mathias

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-supremacists-running-for-office-2018_us_5a7da926e4b0c6726e1285c1

The leader of any country sets the tone. One does not need a weatherman to know which way the RepublicaNazi wind is blowing.

When young there were so-called, “liberal” Republicans. Now there are no longer even any “moderate” Republicans. The party has become the RepublicaNazi party. You are either, as we say in the South, “With ’em,” or “Against ’em.” I want the world to know I stand with the latter group. The RepublicaNazi’s need to be eradicated like the German Nazi’s were during the second world war.

‘Year One’: A visual reflection of the first year of the Trump presidency

Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures

A gathering of hundreds of white nationalists in Virginia took a deadly turn when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters and killed one person on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. The state’s governor blamed neo-Nazis for sparking the unrest in the college town of Charlottesville, where rival groups fought pitched battles using rocks and pepper spray after far-right protesters converged to demonstrate against a plan to remove a statue of a Confederate war hero. The violence was the latest clash between white supremacists – some of whom have claimed allegiance to Donald Trump – and the president’s opponents since his January inauguration. (Photograph by Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/one-visual-reflection-first-trump-slideshow-wp-130638742.html

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The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein: A Review

Ilan Rubin, founder and CEO, LLC Elk and Ruby Publishing House (www.elkand ruby.ru) read the post, The Laws of the Najdorf (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/the-laws-of-the-najdorf/) in which I mentioned having a desire to read the book published by his company, The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein,

by Genna Sosonko

then contacted me wanting to know if I would be interested in writing a book review. I answered in the affirmative and the book was on its way. I have recently purchased another book published by his company, Team Tal: An Inside Story,

by Valentin Kirillov

and Alexei Shirov,

which has arrived and is on top of a stack of books to be read. So many books, so little time…

David Bronstein

gave a simul at the House of Pain which I have always regretted missing. The owner of the Atlanta Chess Center, Thad Rogers, had some awful things to say about the Bronstein visit. After reading the book I have a better understanding of why Mr. Rogers said those things.

The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein, by Genna Sosonko, is a extremely disquieting book. Yet I was riveted, reading all two hundred seventy one pages in only a few days. I have spent much more time thinking about the book than time spent reading it.

I have read all of the books by the author, and in addition, many articles. Genna is one of the best writers on the game of Chess. This book could be his best work. I write that knowing some may find the subject matter upsetting. The book concerns the aging of a Giant of the Chess world. “Colleague champion” was how former World Chess Champion Max Euwe

addressed David Bronstein in a telegram after the 1951 World Championship match between Bronstein and Mikhail Botvinnik,

the man who called himself, “First among peers,” which ended in a 12-12 tie. There can be no higher compliment.

Certainly there should have been a return match for the crown, but there was no match. When Botvinnik lost his crown, first to Mikhail Tal,

then to Vassily Smyslov,

there was a return match in which Botvinnik regained the title.

“You know, Botvinnik should have allowed me a return match; he was obliged to. In truth, though, I’m glad that I’m not hanging in the gallery at the chess club. Do you realize it was just half a point, half a point? And then, everything would have been completely different. Chess history and everything else. You see, Botvinnik and I had totally different outlooks on chess, and we were quite different people, too.”

The book left me wondering if Bronstein would have won a return match. Bronstein was afraid to win the match with Botvinnik for many of the same reasons Bobby Fischer

was afraid to play a match for the Chess championship of the world against any Russian. At the time of the 1951 match Bronstein’s father was being held in a Soviet gulag. How can one play his best while wondering what the “authorities” might do in reprisal if one wins? When living in a totalitarian system one tends to want to appease those who run the system, or at least not upset the Darth Vader’s in control.

One of the themes of the book considers the mental health of the Colleague champion. It caused me to consider a book read many years ago: Shadow Syndromes: The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us by John J. Ratey.

No human is perfect; we all have a certain percentage of different kinds of mental illness. The question is what percentage constitutes a full blown mental illness? Those who judge must determine if, for example, someone who has 49% of a particular mental illness, is considered mentally ill. What if that person rates in at 51%? Where is the line drawn? Who draws the line? While working at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center I had several people ask me if I thought this or that person was mentally ill. My answer was invariably the same. “I am not the one to ask that question.” When asked why, the reply would be, “On more than one occasion I have heard it said in the skittles room, “That guy Bacon is NUTS!”

“Botvinnik never took Bronstein seriously. His diary was full of negative and sarcastic commentary on his future opponent’s style: “neurotic and probably plagued by obsessive thoughts, but hard-working,” is one comment.

“Disregarding the fundamental truth that several different excuses always sound less convincing than one, Bronstein found a number of scapegoats and reasons for his loss: his hatred-filled opponent, the atmosphere of that time, fear for his father, his seconds, who neglected their duties, walks with a girlfriend who didn’t care about his career, and the hardships he had endured.”

“Psychologists say that you need to separate the ‘here and now’ from the ‘there and then’. They advise you to stop feeling regret about what was in the past and not to fool yourself. Bronstein didn’t want to come to terms with his past and nobody close to him dared to tell him that the match with Botvinnik was in the past, that life hadn’t stopped, and it was time to move on. Nobody dared to hit him over the head with the facts, to bring him back to reality. I admit to not knowing how such an attempt would have turned out, but nobody even attempted it, and everybody who regularly interacted with him shares responsibility for him remaining in such a state until the very end.”

“Bronstein the philosopher and Bronstein the talker had pushed aside Bronstein the chess player, and he increasingly seemed to be almost at odds with himself.”

“Ideas were bubbling in his head,” Yuri Averbakh

recalled. “He literally breathed them, couldn’t stop talking about everything that came to his mind. ‘How does your wife put up with your fountain of language?’ I once asked him. ‘She goes to visit the neighbours once she can’t put up with it any longer,’ David admitted with a guilty smile.”

Tom Furstenberg wrote: “David has so much to talk about he constantly ‘harasses’ organisers, sponsors, arbiters, and players with his ideas, even to the point of annoying them. This is why organisers occasionally do not want him in their tournaments and people sometimes do not take him seriously.”

“Furstenberg states that Bronstein also had other offers at the time, but none of them came to anything for the same reason. When Tom strongly recommended that he speak less, and especially stop repeating himself, Davy would answer, “I like people.” Of course, that wasn’t quite true. He liked people when they listened to him in admiration. Others, though, interested him only as an outlet to revisit Davy’s past.”

“It would probably have been useful for him to visit a therapist. The latter would have asked about something, and Davy would have talked for hours without even politely inquiring “how are you?” He never asked anybody that question. I can’t ever recall him asking me how things were or what plans I had. It was always about him, himself, and his chess. His place in chess was the meaning and substance of his entire life.”

“His listeners (including me) wouldn’t ask difficult questions out of respect for this great chess player and highly insecure person. As such, we strengthened his conceit and intoxication with his own uniqueness. If my opinion wasn’t the same as his, I would rarely disagree with him openly, although I could have argued frequently. I was constantly aware that I was talking with an outstanding chess player and, at the same time, a slightly unhinged person.”

“Psychotic symptoms are a normal part of human development, and everybody has a genetic inclination to experience them. Particular risk factors, though, are childhood traumas, and a psychotic state or neurosis may fuel or intensify genius.”

It got back to me that the owner of the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, Thad Rogers, said I was a “Small, insecure man.” I have probably been called worse. It made me wonder why someone would say that about me. I am, like Bronstein, a small man. Like most children who were bullied I have reason to be insecure. Bullies pick smaller boys as their targets because they are cowards. I learned boxing at a Boys Club and fought back against the cowards, and feel I have been fighting all my life. Reading this book caused empathetic feelings to be evoked.

“Viktor Korchnoi

invited Bronstein to Brussels in 1991 to his match with Jan Timman,

but he never engaged his services. “He talks so much that it gives me a headache,” Viktor explained to his seconds.

“He would trustingly take his ‘victim’ aside and he would start to fire off his ideas, thoughts, and views in a quiet, nearly toneless voice. Sometimes, they were interesting, sometimes amusing or moralizing, but always original, unexpected, and paradoxical, and Bronstein would experience genuine satisfaction if he sensed he had been able to ensnare his listener in a web of his monologue, filled with complicated twists and turns,” Mark Taimanov

recalled.

"Among his repeat stories, the endless refrain was, of course, his match with Botvinnik, and he constantly talked about what had been and what might have been had what happened not happened. His other monologue subjects included: reforming the rules of chess, including allowing the pieces to be set up freely behind the row of pawns, reducing the time allowed for thinking, the compulsory use of charts showing how much time is spent on thinking, as well as the idea that young players who think that they are the first to comprehend the game's subtleties and who receive enormous prized for doing so, dance on living classics' graves."

I could not help but wonder if a better word would have been "soliloquy" in lieu of "monologue."

"Although conversing with Bronstein was a tough challenge, the reward, when the grandmaster was in the mood, came in the form of brilliant flashes of colorful comparisons, clever thoughts and unusual conclusions that his listeners would never forget."

"Bronstein didn't like the fact that computers brought the truth in chess closer, that memorization had replaced improvisation: "By inventing computers, they wiped the wonderful game of chess from the face of the Earth. Chess is in crisis because it has been analyzed to death. The sense of mystery has disappeared. Chess today has nothing to do with the chess that my generation played."

A friend who stopped playing Chess, turning to Poker, said much the same thing, "GMs used to be thought of as some kind of mysterious Gods. Now there are considered to be nothing more than mere mortals."

Botvinnik was Bronstein's bête noire.

"Moreover, just like in all of Bronstein's deliberations, there was no avoiding the main wrongdoer. He criticized the 'computer' way of Botvinnik's thinking, claiming that the latter "reacted painfully to another man's genius and wrote with pretend disdain about chess as an art. Let's quote Botvinnik here: "Sometimes (and maybe often!) the thinking of a chess player is surrounded by mystique: the workings of a player's brains are presented as some sort of wonder, a magical and totally inexplicable phenomenon. Further, it is claimed that not only is the thinking of chess 'geniuses' a mystery, but that advantage is gained at the board thanks to some magical laws of chess art. We need to accept that unidentified laws of the chess battle do indeed exist, but that they can and will be identified just like the as yet unidentified way a grandmaster thinks. Moreover, it's fair to assume that these laws and the ways of thinking are relatively elementary – after all, youngsters play chess, and fairly well?" Botvinnik wrote in 1960."

"When he began, yet again, to claim: Believe me, that champion's title was of no interest to me," I said, "do you know David, how Toulouse-Latrec's grandfather informed his wife, born a duchess, at the breakfast table just what they had lost in the revolution of 1789?"
Bronstein looked at me nonplussed. "When his wife replied that she didn't give a damn, the artist's grandfather smiled sarcastically and stated, 'you certainly do give a damn, Citizen Duchess, because you wouldn't have talked about it every day if you didn't give a damn.' "
"Let me assure you," said David pulling me by the arm, "that I really don't care at all about this. Do you really think that I missed Na7 in game 23? Such an obvious move? Do you really believe that?"
I realized that any criticism on this matter was pointless and never again interrupted him when he got going about his match with Botvinnik.
The fear embedded in the minds of Soviet citizens who had lived through that terrible era was one reason for his unfinished thoughts, his hints, and his reticence…
How can one express the atmosphere of 1951 – when he was already an adult and a public figure – in words? How much willpower and which subtle hints are required to recreate the darkness of the time?"

Another time, "What ideas did Botvinnik have, I ask? Do you really think I didn't see that I shouldn't have taken the pawn and given white the advantage of two bishops versus two knights in game 23? Do you really think I missed that?"

Still later, "How was I supposed to play chess anyway, when I had this constant feeling of terror? Not facing Botvinnik, although I overestimated him at the time, I thought he was better than he turned out to be. No, it was terror facing my personal situation, the country I lived in, everything together. You experienced something similar, even if it wasn't for long. So you must understand what I'm talking about."

Reading the book made me think of David Bronstein as the Don Quixote of Chess.

"The functionaries did indeed dislike this now professional troublemaker, but realizing he was an oddball, they allowed him to play the role of frondeur, dreamer, village idiot, and eccentric maverick waving a toy sword.”

“That was the case with David Bronstein, too. In the half-century that followed, his tournaments included some brilliant games, elegant moves and original ideas, but there were no consistently strong results, or continual flow of inspiration. The formidable, ingenious player left him long before his actual death.You could perceive his abilities of old here and there in the games, but most of them were lacking in both joy and vigour.”

“At the very end, he became even more irritable and complained about everything. About his life ruined by chess and lived in vain. And of course, Davy complained about this Sosonko dude, who was just waiting pen in hand for him to kick the bucket so that he could publish his memoirs about the near world champion. The interesting thing, though, is that all of Davy’s complaints, although frequently unfair and exaggerated, and sometimes even absurd, had a grain of truth to them.”

“The fate of those long in the tooth is loneliness. Besides illnesses and adversity, the loss of friends and relatives, the horror of living without witnesses was tougher for him to bear than perhaps for anybody else. After all, there is no soul more desolate than an idol whose name was once on everybody’s lips.”

“Once, however, after repeating for the umpteenth time that Botvinnik had been utterly right all along, he added with a childlike smile: “Though that was still one hell of an imagination I possessed.”

“My heart began to ache at those words, however, and a powerful thought pierced my mind: “why did I write all that stuff about this great chess player who suffered so much at the end of his life? Why? What was the point of all that philosophizing and those attempted explanations? Who was all that for?” You see, I knew deep own that I shouldn’t have tried to recall anything. I should have left the departed alone in their graves and should have allowed the living to keep their illusions.”

This “Sosonko dude” was obviously troubled and full of doubt. In deciding to publish the book he has done the Chess world a great service.

“When Vladimir Nabokov

died, his niece scolded his wife, Vera, for apparently allowing her husband to die. The writer’s wife responded: “Vladimir died exactly when he was supposed to die. He was no longer able to do what he enjoyed: thinking and writing.”

After reading those words I realized my life, too, will end when I am unable to do those things.

“Let’s repeat these harsh words here: David Bronstein died exactly when he was supposed to die. He was no longer able to do what he enjoyed most of all – to play, discuss, and think about chess.”

This is a magnificent book, written with love for the subject. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Purchase and read this stunning, thought provoking book.

AlphaGo and the Hand of God

I watched the eagerly anticipated documentary movie AlphaGo

on Netflix (https://www.netflix.com/title/80190844) last night. The IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6700846/) gives it a rating of only 8.1. I would give it a 9.9, but then I have never jumped through the hoops required to rate a movie on the website. This reminds me of David Spinks, who lived and worked at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center,

as he did jump through the hoops and relished arguing about how to rate a movie. Upon learning I would rate it so highly David would, no doubt, exclaim, “What? Have you lost your mind? Nobody rates any movie higher than a 9.5!”

I spent an inordinate amount of time watching each and every game during March of 2016 while greatly enjoying the commentary of 9 dan Michael Redmond,

an American who is the highest ranking Western player ever, and Chris Garlock, the editor of the American Go Journal.

If I had to use only one word to describe the movie it would be “poignant.” Many people with no interest in the game of Go, or any game for that matter, would have little, if any, interest in watching a movie, especially a documentary, about a mere game, possibly considering it dry and uninteresting. They would be sorely mistaken. Games are played by human beings and we humans are emotional creatures. Only a psychopath could watch this movie without having feelings evoked. When something is gained something is also lost. The computer program known as AlphaGo gained a victory for artificial intelligence when man lost yet another battle with a machine.

Lee Sedol,

a 9-dan, the highest rank, professional Go player, who has won 18 World Titles, and is considered to be one of the all-time great Go players, lost the match to AlphaGo, 1-4, but won our hearts. Lee Sedol said, “I want my style of Go to be something different, something new, my own thing, something that no one has thought of before.” Unfortunately it was the silicon monster that showed something new, something that no one had thought of before. It is now known all the world over as “Move 37!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNrXgpSEEIE)

“In Game Two, the Google machine made a move that no human ever would. And it was beautiful,” writes Cade Metz in Wired.

The move reminded me of the great Go Seigen,

considered to be one of the strongest players of all time, if not the greatest, because it was played on the inside, near the middle of the board, a type of move he made famous.


Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo Move 37 reactions and analysis

In the movie one hears, “Move 37 begat move 78.” From the aforementioned Wired article: “But in Game Four, the human made a move that no machine would ever expect. And it was beautiful too. Indeed, it was just as beautiful as the move from the Google machine—no less and no more. It showed that although machines are now capable of moments of genius, humans have hardly lost the ability to generate their own transcendent moments.” (https://www.wired.com/2016/03/two-moves-alphago-lee-sedol-redefined-future/)

Move 78 has become known as the Hand of God move.


Lee Sedol Hand of God Move 78 Reaction and Analysis

Lee Sedol won the fourth game, striking a glorious blow for humans. Unfortunately he lost the final game in a close, hard fought battle. It may have been the last game a human will ever win against any program as the next incarnation of AlphaGo beat the current world No. 1 ranking player Ke Jie,

3-0 in the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, China, played on 23, 25, and 27 May 2017.

Before the match it was commonly accepted that it would be at least a decade before any program was able to challenge the best human players. Beating Kasparov at Chess was considered child’s play to beating a human at Go. “The Game of Go is the holy grail of artificial intelligence. Everything we’ve ever tried in AI, it just falls over when you try the game of Go.” – Dave Silver Lead Researcher for AlphaGo

While watching the movie the thought crossed my mind that what I was watching was a watershed moment in the history of mankind, analogous to Neal Armstrong’s “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

“We think of DeepMind as kind of an Apollo program effort for AI. Our mission is to fundamentally understand intelligence and recreate it artificially.” – Demis Hassabis Co-Founder & CEO, DeepMind

A comment from a member of the AlphaGo team has stuck with me: “We do not understand enough about Go to understand what AlphaGo is doing.” I cannot help but wonder if, in the future when programs are exponentially more powerful, humans will allow the programs to make decisions for them while not understanding why those decisions have been made…

This is a great movie. The Chess player IM Boris Kogan said, “The measure of a man is how he comes back after a defeat.” In the two months after Lee Sedol lost to the computer program known as AlphaGo he won every match he played against human opponents.

We have truly entered a Brave New World.

The Laws of the Najdorf

My subscription to the best Chess magazine ever published in the history of the Royal Game, New In Chess, expired with the 2017/6 issue. Although I would like to renew financial conditions due to health issues, etc., are such that the decision was made for me. Living on a fixed income requires sacrifice. I had extra money after deciding to postpone dental work until spring and there were these two Chess books I’ve wanted to read for quite some time, Insanity, passion, and addiction: a year inside the chess world, by GM Danny Gormally, and Ivan’s Chess Journey: Games and Stories, by GM Ivan Sokolov. Greg Yanez of Chess4Less.com sent out an email announcing his Black Friday sale on Thursday evening and I was about to clear everything in order to listen to the weekly edition of Phenomenon Radio with Linda Moulton Howe (http://kgraradio.com/phenomenon-radio/) so I clicked on and examined all ninety pages of Chess items for sale, while listening to the program, ordering the above mentioned books and the new issue of New In Chess magazine because not only is it the best Chess magazine in the universe, but I am 67 and tomorrow is today. Alas, the issue contains book reviews by GM Matthew Sadler of two books on my wish list, The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein, by Genna Sosonko, and Guyla Breyer, by Jimmy Adams (published by New In Chess), both of which earned five, count’em, FIVE STARS! Two more books, or another subscription to the best Chess magazine in the universe? Oh well, I can take solace in that no matter how I choose to spend my money I cannot go wrong!

Before continuing, let me say that I met Greg at one of the National tournaments for children at the Hyatt in downtown Atlanta, Georgia some years ago. I purchased a stack of books while enjoying talking with Greg and the fellow with him, whose name I simply cannot recall. I spent most of my time while there in the book room, and returned the next day and did the same. The next year another group, USCF sales, had the book concession. I talked with Aviv Friedman, who was there to write an article for the USCF. I mentioned we had played a tournament game but he did not recall it. When told I answered his French with 2 Qe2 his face erupted in a big grin as he interjected, “And I played 2…e5!”
“You do remember it?” I asked. “No,” he said, “I always answer 2 Qe2 with 2…e5! Who won?” I told him he had won the game and that made him smile even more. “It is the only time anyone has ever played that move,” I said, “and I played 3 f4 because I had seen it recommended somewhere.”
Upon mentioning I had just returned from the book room he said, “Oh yeah? What did you think of it?”
When I replied, “Not much,” he said, “Really? Why is that?” Saying I had only purchased one book compared with a stack from Chess4Less the previous year, provoked another, “Really?”
“Yeah,” said I, “The place was moribund compared to last year. Man, that Chess4Less room was really hopping!” I said. Aviv responded, “Really?” Then some USCF official came up to Aviv and I took my leave, heading to the food court. Aviv did not mention this exchange in the article…

I sent my order that night and had it with the US Mail Monday at noon! I worked at the Oxford Bookstore on Peachtree road in the Buckhead section of Atlanta in the late 70’s-early 80’s, and at Oxford Too, a place for used and remaindered books and things like old magazines, later in the 80’s, and once managed a Mr. K’s bookstore on Peachtree road in the same area of town, before quitting to play Backgammon full time. I sold books and equipment with Thad Rogers on the road, and also at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, aka, the House of Pain, so I know more than a little about selling Chess stuff, and I am here to tell you that one simply cannot go wrong dealing with Chess4Less!

The 2017/7 issue of NIC is a wonderful issue. I recall the Nashville Strangler’s wife telling me that when a new issue of NIC arrived she would tell her children, “We have lost daddy for a couple of days.” This issue is a prime example of why.

What I would like to share with you is the opening of the very first game in this magnificent magazine, the game between former World Chess Champion Vishy Anand and GM Anton Kovalyov from the World Cup. That is the tournament in which the latter knocked out the former, but was then “knocked out” by ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili when Zurab verbally accosted and abused the young GM from Canada, who is in college in the USA, only a few minutes before the next round was to begin. Anton left for the airport immediately. From what I read at Chessbase, the bombastic Zurab brings lotsa cash into Chess so he can abuse anyone at any time with impunity and without any kind of reprimand from FIDE. Proof that, “Money talks and bullshit walks.”

Viswanathan Anand (2794) vs Anton Kovalyov (2649)
Event: FIDE World Cup 2017
Site: Tbilisi GEO Date: 09/06/2017
Round: 2.1 Score: 0-1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack

Notes by Anish Giri

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 h5 (“This move is typical in the Najdorf, when White has a pawn of f3 and the knight on b3, stopping his pretty much only plan of g2-g4, or when White’s pawn is on h3 and the knight is on e2, hindering the g4/Ne2-g3 set-up and the natural development of the f1-bishop. With the knight on be and the pawn on h3, this move is poor. It is easy for White to prepare f4 in one go (which is more often than not his main plan in this variation anyway), and the pawn on h5 is a minor weakening of Black’s kingside pawn structure.”) 9 Be2 Nbd7 (Black’s set-up looks ‘normal’, but since it is not the 6 f3 variation but the 6 h3 variation and White gets f2-f4 in one go, Black is essentially a tempo down. You may get away with a tempo down in a Giuoco Piano, but not in a sharp Sicilian.”) 10 0-0?! (Vishy plays a little timidly, but he will get another chance to punish Black for not obeying the laws of the Najdorf later on. 10 f4! at once would have been stronger. Black has to deal with the threat of f4-f5, but neither allowing or stopping it will solve his issues: 10…Qc7!? 11 0-0 Be7 12 a4 and one doesn’t need to be Efim Petrovich Geller to see that things are not going well for Black here. To begin with, he can’t castle kingside so easily, since the h5-pawn is vulnerable.) 10…Rc8 11 Qd2 (Again, too timid. 11 f4!? was still strong. Vishy was satisfied to get a good version of the Karpov Variation in the 6 Be2 Najdorf, but the nature of that line is such that, bad version or good, the position is still perfectly playable for Black. White’s plans there are slow and manoeuvring.) 11…b5? (Another ‘normal-looking’ move that is completely out of context.)

Although I would like to give the complete game, including commentary, right out of New In Chess I must stop the comments here, because there are copyright laws and the last thing I need on my limited, fixed income is a lawyer breathing down my neck! I suggest you purchase this issue as it would truly be “cheap at twice the price.” Think of it this way…back in 1968 we would skip the awful lunch at our high school and drive to Mrs. Jackson’s, where we would obtain a meal consisting of a meat, three veggies, roll, iced tea, and dessert, all for only a buck. A meal like that will set you back ten dollars these daze, so an individual copy of the greatest Chess magazine in history will cost you about the same as that meal at Mrs. Jackson’s because that ten spot in your pocket has the purchasing power of that single dollar bill “back in the day.” If you purchase a subscription, you are making out like a bandit! I mean, where else can you obtain this kind of teaching for so little money? If you play the Najdorf, or play against it, you have just increased your understanding exponentially, and the magazine gives this to you each and every issue, plus so much more!

I will, though, provide the remaining moves of the game, sans comment, which can be found all over the internet: (This comes from 365chess.com)
9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O Rc8 11. Qd2 b5 12. Rfd1 Nb6 13. Bxb6 Qxb6 14. a4 b4 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bd7 17. a5 Qb7 18. Qe3 Be7 19. Qb6 Qxb6 20. axb6 Rb8 21. Rxa6 Bd8 22. b7 Ke7 23. Nc5 dxc5 24. d6+ Kf6 25. Bf3 Kf5 26. Bd5 e4 27. Re1 Bf6 28. Bxe4+ Kg5 29. Ra5 Bxb2 30. Rxc5+ Kf6 31. Re3 g6 32. Rf3+ Ke6 33. Rd3 Rhd8 34. Ra5 f5 35. Bf3 Bc3 36. h4 Kf6 37. g3 f4 38. Be4 Bf5 39. Bxf5 gxf5 40. Rb5 Ke6 41. Kf1 Rd7 42. gxf4 Rbxb7 43. Re3+ Kf6 0-1

I went to the Chessbase Database, a fantastic FREE resource, (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) and learned much: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 (Here Komodo prefers 8…Be7, expecting 9 Qf3 to which it will reply 9…0-0; Stockfish would play 8…Nc6, expecting 9 Qf3 Rc8) h5?! 9 Be2 (Stockfish plays 9 f4, while Houdini would play 9 Nd5) Nbd7 10 0-0?! (Stockfish would play an immediate 10 f4, but Komodo would play 10 0-0, as did Vishy, and after 10…Rc8 then play 11 f4)

This is the only other game (found at 365chess.com) with the line:

Ruifeng Li (2404) vs Guillermo Vazquez (2394)

Event: Spring Break UT GM
Site: Brownsville USA Date: 03/06/2015
Round: 1.3 Score: ½-½
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Byrne (English) attack

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. h3 h5 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. f4 g6 11. O-O exf4 12. Bxf4 Qb6+ 13. Qd4 Be7 14. Rad1 Qxd4+ 15. Nxd4 Ne5 16. Nf3 Nfd7 17. Nd5 Rc8 18. c3 Rc5 19. Be3 Rc8 20. Ng5 Bxd5 21. Rxd5 Nc5 22. Nf3 Ned7 23. e5 dxe5 24. Nxe5 Nxe5 25. Rxe5 Rc7 26. Bc4 Rh7 27. Bg5 f5 28. Bd5 Kf8 29. Bf4 Nd3 30. Re6 Nxf4 31. Rxf4 Bc5+ 32. Kf1 Rhd7 33. c4 1/2-1/2

The Najdorf was my favorite opening with Black “back in the day.” I won the 1976 Atlanta Championship using the Najdorf in the last round, when I was 4-0 while my opponent, Earle Morrison, was a half point back. I recall someone saying, “The Najdorf is not an opening. It is a SYSTEM,” but I can no longer recall by whom it was said…

Larry (Kaufman): “We have been seeing Komodo on its own, without a book, play the Najdorf Sicilian, which of course many people would say might be the best opening in chess for both sides.” (http://www.chessdom.com/interview-with-robert-houdart-mark-lefler-and-gm-larry-kaufman/)

While researching Chess quotes about the Najdorf I found this, which is right in line with one of the books sent by Greg:

Shock and Awe 1 – Destroying the Najdorf GM Danny Gormally
https://www.gingergm.com/blog/shock-and-awe-1-destroying-the-najdorf

GM Levon Aronian and his new bride, Arianne Caoili are pictured on the cover of NIC 2017/7 in wedding garb.

In the event you do not know what part GM Gormally plays in this story surf on over to Chessbase and read all about it: https://en.chessbase.com/post/party-time-at-the-che-olympiad

or, http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2006/06/swing-of-things.htm; or, http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/chess-beauty-triggers-feud/2006/06/07/1149359787726.html

Or, BUY THE MAGAZINE!

Led Zeppelin – Thank You (The Wedding Song)

IM Daniel Gurevich Second Place Tie at the St Louis Invitational

IM Daniel Gurevich “cut his eye teeth,” as we say in the South, at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, aka, the House of Pain.

I made a point to be near the first board game of the last round of the K-6 section when Daniel took clear first in the Supernationals at Opryland in Nashville back in 2009 and I was the first one to congratulate him. He was beaming and his face broke into a big smile as he took my proffered hand. His score of six and a half out of seven games raised his rating from 2075 to 2104, and it has not stopped rising. His FIDE page shows his current FIDE rating as 2471. It will continuing heading upward after his second place finish, tied with four others, in the GM section of the recently concluded St. Louis Invitational, with a undefeated score of plus two, both wins coming with the black pieces. The final crosstable shown at the website of the STLCC (https://www.uschesschamps.com/2017-saint-louis-invitational/pairings-results-gm) shows Daniel with the second highest performance rating (2563) behind only that of tournament winner IM John Burke (2606).

I would like to present all of Daniel’s games at the tournament, some of which I was fortunate enough to watch (“You GOTTA pull for somebody, man!” – David Spinks); all of which I have played over.

Two games annotated by his opponents follow below the games. The first game, which I enjoyed immensely, could be called a “real barn burner!” The ChessBomb shows a plethora of “red moves,” but then most fighting games are repleat with “off-color” moves, are they not?

IM Daniel Gurevich (2471) v IM Aman Hambleton (2484)

Rd 1

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 O-O 8. e3
Bf5 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 c6 11. a3 Be7 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. h4 g6 14. h5 g5 15.
Ne2 Nd7 16. Ng3 Bg7 17. Nf5 a5 18. Nd2 Re8 19. f3 c5 20. O-O Qb6 21. f4 g4 22.
dxc5 Nxc5 23. Qe2 Qxb2 24. Qxg4 Kh8 25. Rab1 Qf6 26. Rb5 Bf8 27. Rf3 Ne4 28.
Nxe4 dxe4 29. Rg3 Bxa3 30. Rb6 Re6 31. Rxb7 a4 32. Ra7 Ree8 33. Rc7 Bb2 34. Nd6
Qxd6 35. Rxf7 Rg8 36. Qf5 Bg7 37. Rg6 Qxg6 38. hxg6 a3 39. Qh5 Rge8 40. Rxg7
Kxg7 41. Qd5 Kxg6 42. Qd6+ Kf7 43. Qd7+ Kf6 44. Qd4+ Kf7 45. Qd7+ Kf6 46. Qd4+
1/2-1/2

White: IM Raven Sturt (2449)

Rd 2

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. Bxc4 Nc6 6. Ne2 Nb6 7. Bb3 Bf5 8.
Nbc3 e6 9. O-O Qd7 10. Be3 O-O-O 11. a3 f6 12. exf6 gxf6 13. Ng3 Bg6 14. Qf3
Be7 15. Rfd1 Na5 16. Ba2 Nac4 17. d5 e5 18. Bxb6 Nxb6 19. a4 a5 20. Bb1 Rhg8
21. Bf5 Bxf5 22. Nxf5 Rg5 23. Nxe7+ Qxe7 24. Ne4 Rg6 25. d6 cxd6 26. Qc3+ Kb8
27. Qxa5 f5 28. Ng3 d5 29. Nxf5 Qg5 30. Ng3 h5 31. Qb5 h4 32. a5 hxg3 33. hxg3
Nc8 34. Rxd5 Rxd5 35. Qxd5 Rh6 36. Re1 Rh5 37. Qe6 Qg7 38. Rc1 Qh8 39. Rxc8+
Qxc8 40. Qd6+ Ka8 41. Qd2 Qh8 42. f3 Rh1+ 43. Kf2 Qc8 44. g4 Qc5+ 45. Kg3 Qd4
46. Qg5 Ka7 47. b4 Qc3 0-1

Black: GM Julio Catalino Sadorra (2554)

Rd 3

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O c5 5. c4 Nc6 6. cxd5 exd5 7. d4 Be7 8.
dxc5 Bxc5 9. a3 O-O 10. b4 Bb6 11. Bb2 Ne4 12. Nc3 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Bg4 14. e3 d4
15. exd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 Bxd4 18. Rad1 Qb6 19. Qxb7 Rad8 20. Qxb6
axb6 21. Rfe1 Bb2 22. a4 Bc3 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. Re4 g6 25. Bf1 Rd1 26. Kg2 Kg7
27. Rc4 Be1 28. Re4 Bc3 29. Bc4 Re1 30. Rxe1 Bxe1 31. b5 f5 32. f4 Kf6 33. Kf3
Bb4 34. h3 h5 35. g4 hxg4+ 36. hxg4 fxg4+ 37. Kxg4 Bd6 1/2-1/2

White: IM John Bartholomew (2442)

Rd 4

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O Nc6 7. a3 a6 8. dxc5
Qxd1 9. Rxd1 Bxc5 10. b4 Be7 11. Bb2 O-O 12. Nbd2 b5 13. Be2 Bb7 14. Nb3 Rfd8
15. Nfd2 Nd7 16. Bf3 Rab8 17. Rac1 Nde5 18. Bxe5 Nxe5 19. Bxb7 Rxb7 20. Ne4
Rxd1+ 21. Rxd1 Nc4 22. Nec5 Ra7 23. g3 g5 24. Rd7 Rxd7 25. Nxd7 Nxa3 26. Ndc5
Nc2 27. Nxa6 Bd6 28. Nd4 Nxd4 29. exd4 g4 30. f4 Kf8 31. Kf2 Ke7 32. Nc5 Kd8
33. Ke3 Kc7 34. Ke4 Kc6 35. Na6 f5+ 36. Kd3 Kd5 37. Nc5 h5 38. Ke3 Be7 39. Kd3
Bf6 40. Na6 Bd8 41. Ke3 Kd6 42. Nc5 Bf6 43. Na6 h4 44. Kd3 h3 45. Ke3 Kc6 46.
Nc5 Kd5 47. Kd3 Bh4 48. gxh4 0-1

Black: GM Ioan-Cristian Chirila (2557)

Rd 5

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 f6
8. Be3 e5 9. Nd2 Be6 10. Bc4 Kf7 11. Kc2 Nd7 12. Rad1 Nb6 13. Bxe6+ Kxe6 14. b3
Nc8 15. f3 Nd6 16. c4 b6 17. Nb1 Nb7 18. Nc3 c6 19. g3 Bb4 20. Kb2 Rad8 21. a3
Bc5 22. Bxc5 Nxc5 23. b4 Nd3+ 24. Kc2 Nf2 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rf1 Nh3 27. Nd1 f5
28. exf5+ gxf5 29. Ne3 f4 30. gxf4 exf4 31. Ng4 h5 32. Nf2 Ng5 33. h4 Nxf3 34.
Nh3 Nd4+ 35. Kb2 f3 36. Ng5+ Kf5 37. Nxf3 Kg4 38. Ne5+ Kg3 39. Rg1+ Kh3 40.
Rh1+ Kg3 41. Rg1+ Kh3 42. Rh1+ Kg2 43. Rd1 Ne6 44. Re1 Nf4 45. Re4 Re8 46. Rxf4
Rxe5 47. Rf7 a5 48. Rf6 axb4 49. axb4 c5 50. Rxb6 cxb4 51. Rxb4 Re4 52. Kc3
Rxh4 53. Rb2+ Kg3 54. c5 Ra4 55. Rb3 h4 56. c6 Ra8 57. Kd4+ Kg2 58. Rb2+ Kg3
59. Rb3+ Kg2 60. Rb2+ 1/2-1/2

White: IM Atulya Shetty (2403)

Rd 6

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nc3 Nb6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8.
b3 O-O 9. Bb2 Re8 10. Rc1 Bg4 11. d3 Qd7 12. Ne4 f6 13. Nc5 Bxc5 14. Rxc5 Bh3
15. Bxh3 Qxh3 16. b4 a6 17. a4 Qe6 18. a5 Nd5 19. Ba3 b6 20. Rc1 Rad8 21. Qb3
Nd4 22. Nxd4 exd4 23. Bb2 bxa5 24. bxa5 Kh8 25. Bxd4 Qxe2 26. Qd1 Qe6 27. Re1
Qxe1+ 28. Qxe1 Rxe1+ 29. Rxe1 Kg8 30. Bc5 Rb8 31. Be3 Rb3 32. Rc1 Rxd3 33. Rc6
Nxe3 34. fxe3 Rd6 35. Rxc7 Rd5 36. Kg2 Rxa5 37. Ra7 h5 38. h4 Kh7 39. e4 Kg6
40. Kf3 Ra1 41. Kf2 a5 42. Kf3 a4 43. Kf2 a3 44. Kg2 a2 45. Kh2 Kh7 46. Ra8 g6
47. Ra7+ Kg8 48. Kg2 Kf8 49. Kh2 Ke8 50. Kg2 Kd8 51. Kh2 Kc8 52. Kg2 Kb8 53.
Ra3 Kb7 54. Ra4 Kb6 55. Ra8 Kb5 56. Rb8+ Kc4 57. Rc8+ Kd3 58. Rd8+ Ke3 59. Ra8
Rd1 60. Rxa2 Rd2+ 61. Rxd2 Kxd2 62. Kf2 Kd1 63. Kf1 1/2-1/2

Black: IM Steven Zierk (2493)

Rd 7

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 O-O 8.
O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Qd3 Rb8 11. Bg5 Be6 12. Rac1 a6 13. b3 Re8 14. Rfd1 Qa5
15. Bd2 Qh5 16. a4 Nd7 17. Nd5 Ne5 18. Qe4 Bf5 19. Nf4 Bxe4 20. Nxh5 Bxg2 21.
Nxg7 Kxg7 22. Kxg2 Nd7 23. Be3 Rbc8 24. Rd5 Rc6 25. Rcd1 Rec8 26. f4 f5 27. Kf3
Kf7 28. a5 Nf6 29. R5d3 Ne4 30. Bb6 Nf6 31. h3 Nd7 32. Be3 Nc5 33. Bxc5 Rxc5
34. Rd5 R8c6 35. e4 Rxd5 36. Rxd5 e6 37. Rd4 Ke7 38. g4 fxe4+ 39. Kxe4 b6 40.
axb6 Rxb6 41. Rd3 Rb8 42. f5 Rf8 43. Rf3 gxf5+ 44. gxf5 Rg8 45. fxe6 Kxe6 46.
Kd4 a5 47. Re3+ Kd7 48. Kc3 Rg2 49. Rd3 Kc6 50. Rd5 Rg3+ 51. Kb2 a4 52. bxa4
Rxh3 53. a5 Re3 54. Rh5 Re5 55. Rxh7 Rxa5 56. Kc3 1/2-1/2

White: IM John M Burke (2502)

Rd 8

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e5 Ne4 5. Ne2 Qb6 6. d4 e6 7. Ng3 c5 8. Bd3
Nxg3 9. fxg3 c4 10. Be2 Be7 11. O-O Nc6 12. g4 Bd7 13. c3 f6 14. exf6 gxf6 15.
g5 O-O-O 16. gxf6 Bxf6 17. Kh1 Rhg8 18. b3 cxb3 19. axb3 e5 20. dxe5 Nxe5 21.
Nxe5 Bxe5 22. Qxd5 Qg6 23. Bf3 Bc6 24. Qc4 Rdf8 25. Bxc6 Qxc6 26. Qxc6+ bxc6
27. Be3 Bxc3 28. Rxf8+ Rxf8 29. Rc1 Bb2 30. Rb1 Re8 31. Bxa7 Re2 32. g3 Kb7 33.
Bg1 Kc7 34. Rf1 Kd6 35. Rf7 h6 36. Bf2 Bc1 37. Kg2 Rb2 38. Rf3 Ke5 39. h4 Ke4
40. g4 Bf4 41. Rh3 Be5 42. g5 hxg5 43. hxg5 Kf5 44. Rd3 1/2-1/2

Black: GM Jayaram Ashwin (2474)

Rd 9

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O Bg4 5. h3 Bh5 6. c4 e6 7. d4 Be7 8. cxd5 cxd5 9. Qb3 Qb6 10. Qxb6 axb6 11. Nc3 Nc6 12. Be3 Nd7 13. Nb5 O-O 14. Rfc1 Rfc8 15. a3 Na5 16. Rxc8+ Rxc8 17. Rc1 Rc6 18. Rc3 Kf8 19. g4 Bg6 20. Nd2 Bc2 21. b4 Rxc3 22. Nxc3 Nc6 23. f4 Nf6 24. Kf2 Ne8 25. Nf3 Nd6 26. Bc1 Ne4+ 27. Nxe4 dxe4 28. Ne5 Nxd4 29. Ke3 Nb3 30. Bb2 f5 31. g5 b5 32. Bc3 Bd6 33. Bf1 Bxe5 34. Bxe5 g6 35. Bb2 Ke7 36. h4 Kd6 37. Bh3 Kd5 38. Bg2 Bb1 39. Bh3 Kc4 40. Bf1 Bc2 41. Bg2 b6 42. Bf1 Bb1 43. Bg2 Ba2 44. Bf1 Kd5 45. Bg2 Kc6 46. Bh3 Kd6 47. Bg2 Kd5 48. Bh3 Bb1 49. Bg2 Kc4 50. Bf1 Ba2 51. Bg2 Bb1 52. Bf1 Bc2 53. Bg2 Bb1 ½-½

IM Daniel Gurevich vs. IM Aman Hambleton [Round 1]

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/202166652

IM Bartholomew vs. IM Daniel Gurevich [Round 2]

“The World Open Has Become a Cheat Paradise”

This comment, from Jack Lee, was sent earlier this month in reply to my post of July 13, 2013, “Players Expelled from World Open!” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/players-expelled-from-world-open/)
It has been posted there, but because cheating has been prominently featured recently I decided to publish it today.
Submitted on 2014/05/12
“I played the Under 1800 and lost to “”David Zhou”” from Quebec (QC) who was “unrated”, with 7 games in Canada, assigned under 1800 section instead of being unrated. He tied for first, clearly master strength. Wonder what his real name and rating is.
I also lost to “Michael Quan” whose moves matched Fritz 12 when I analyzed the game. For 25+ moves in a row. Quan left the hall on his move several times and talked to a guy outside, I followed him. He, Quan, has never played since World Open. Computer Cheat!
Another in the under 1800 was a Nigerian (Nwoye Nnamdi), unrated, won 6 drew 3, tied for first.
Other sections – 1600/1400/1200 had unrated players winning top prizes.
Full standings:
http://www.chesstournamentservices.com/cca/tag/world-open-2013-standings/
The whole unrated thing is a joke. There should be no prizes for unrated players, just return the entry fee.
The World Open has become a cheat paradise. I won’t be back until it’s cleaned up.”
A recent conversation at a coffee shop caused me to reflect on the comments of Mr. Lee.
The Atlanta Chess & (What other Game?) Center may have been called The Dump, but the coffee was wonderful because one of the members worked for Starbucks and would pay for his membership and other things, like books, etc., with freshly ground Starbucks coffee. I have kept in touch with the gentleman and every now and then stop by for a cuppa java and a game of chess. My friend and I have time for a quick game when he is able to take a break. After finishing a game recently a distinguished gentleman who had been watching us while reading a NY Times came over to talk. He told me he played chess in school many decades ago and had kept up with the game by reading the chess column in the NY Times. He never had time to play, but said he would break out his pocket chess set and play over the game from the Times chess column and had done so “Since before Bobby Fischer beat Boris Spassky the first time.” We had been talking for some time when he asked, “Why do people still play chess?” Startled, I asked what he meant by his question. He told me it was obvious to him that chess was on its way out and had been since “Kasparov lost to Deep Blue.” He went on to say there had always been a mystique about chess that was not there now that the “Best players are accusing each other of using a computer to cheat as in the ‘Toiletgate’ incident.” As we continued talking I was unsure of how to answer the gentleman’s question. I told him chess was different now because of the effect computer programs have had on the game in that it used to be the top GM’s were the final word, but now a program known as Stockfish was the final word. He said, “Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it can never be put back in. No one can ever know for certain whether or not a player has cheated because the threat will always be stronger than its execution.”

The Discman

One of the good things about chess is the friendships that develop because of a mutual interest. In most cases the interest would be chess, but sometimes it goes beyond just the game. For instance, a friendship developed with NM Chris Chambers because of mutual interests in Rock & Roll music and baseball. Although Chris is a decade and a half younger his music is what mine was around the time he was born. That was when I would go to bed with a transistor radio under my pillow with which to listen to the “Top Ten at Ten.” I rarely went to sleep without knowing what song was #1 that night. My parents wondered why it was so difficult to roust me out of bed in the morning. Like most boomers I started out listening to the sound of Motown, like The Platters (“The Great Pretender” was one of my favorites); the Four Tops, & The Temptations. Rock & Roll came after Motown, made popular by shows like “American Bandstand,” with forever young host Dick Clark. I lived through the era and have shared many memories with my friend, The Discman. I began called Chris The Discman whild working at the Atlanta Chess & (What other?) Game Center when he told me about his “rotation.” Like most people in Atlanta, Chris was spending an inordinate amount of time in his car on his way to and from work, so he began burning disc’s to play. He told me when he reached disc number one thousand. “What I do is start with the first one and by the time I finish the last one I’ve forgotten what was on the first one!” That was when I said, “You are truly The Discman!”
I have known for many years now that The Discman has enough knowledge of Rock & Roll that he could earn a PhD in R&R if there were such a thing. He has continued to amaze me with his erudition over the years. This time he has astounded me and it began with a simple question found in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine…
I noticed an article, “20 Best Second Albums of All Time,” on the website (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/20-best-second-albums-of-all-time-20140324#ixzz2xI6j3B72) and began cogitating. An email to The Discman followed: 20 Best Second Albums of All Time
Take a few moments, Discman, and cogitate on what you consider the best 20 to be…I will admit to having trouble deciding which albums were #2…Of those I did, my list was more like my faves…
A knockout debut album is like love at first sight. But classic second records are like amazing second dates, the ones when you really get to know each other. Here are 20 artists that never knew the meaning of “sophomore slump.” By Richard Gehr and Keith Harris.
I heard nothing from The Discman for a few weeks, thinking he must be busy with work and life, so I sent him this: Discman,
Concerning the 20 best second albums….I obviously nailed Bob & The Band….also hit with Led Zep & Jimi….Although I considered Neal Young, did could not come up with his second disc, I am honest enough to report…After going to allmusic.com I figured it would make the cut…I was SHOCKED to see Van the Man’s Astral Weeks was NOT his first album! I would have wagered HEAVILY, as I have always thought of it as his first album… I also thought TAPESTRY was CK’s first….I missed the Beatles…shat can I say? I did not even consider them! I liked, “And once the Beatles covered Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” and Smokey Robinson’s “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” they stayed covered.”
Although I liked Elvis Costello, I was never a big fan and would have had no idea…and most of the others fall into the category of “I ain’t gotta clue.”
Nocab
Then I received an email saying, “I’m still researching my response.”
Weeks later I was hit with this broadside:
Wow Bacon that’s a tough one. Don’t ever ask me a question like that!

After extensive research, I couldn’t narrow it down to just 20 so here are my top 40 Second albums, plus a bunch of Honorable Mentions plus even more others that I considered, so make sure you scroll all the way down…

The Greatest:

1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold as Love (1967)
2. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
3. Taj Mahal – Taj Mahal (1968)
4. Led Zeppelin – II (1969)
5. Santana – Abraxis (1970)
6. The Band – The Band (1969)
7. Crosby Stills & Nash – Deja Vu (1970)
8. The Allman Brothers – Idlewild South (1970)
9. Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
10. Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967)
11. Love – Da Capo (1967)
12. Merle Haggard – Swinging Doors and the Bottle Let Me Down (1966)
13. Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)
14. Muddy Waters – At Newport (1960)
15. Elvis Presley – Elvis (1956)
16. Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
17. Albert King – Born Under a Bad Sign (1967)
18. Bush – Razorblade Suitcase (1996)
19. Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, the Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle (1973)
20. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2006)
21. The Rolling Stones – 12×5 (1964)
22. Elvis Costello & the Attractions – This Year’s Model (1978)
23. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
24. N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton (1988)
25. The Beatles – With the Beatles (1963)
26. Carole King – Tapestry (1971)
27. Rod Stewart – Gasoline Alley (1970)
28. The Doors – Strange Days (1967)
29. Dave Matthews Band – Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
30. Gram Parsons – GP (1973)
31. Elmore James – Blues After Blues (1960)
32. Joe Satriani – Surfing With the Alien (1987)
33. Joni Mitchell – Clouds (1969)
34. The Yardbirds – Having a Rave Up (1965)
35. Metallica – Ride the Lightning (1984)
36. R.E.M. – Reckoning (1984)
37. Run-D.M.C. – King of Rock (1985)
38. Jimmy Reed – Rockin’ With Reed (1959)
39. Bonnie Raitt – Give it Up (1972)
40. Eminem – The Slim Shady LP (1999)

Honorable Mention:

3 Doors Down – Away From the Sun (2002)
Alice in Chains – Dirt (1992)
The Animals – Animal Tracks (1965)
Aretha Franklin – Aretha (1961)
The Average White Band – AWB (1974)
B.B. King – The Blues (1960)
Paul McCartney – Ram (1971)
Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)
Blood, Sweat & Tears – Blood, Sweat & Tears (1969)
Bootsy Collins – Ahh…The Name is Bootsy Baby! (1977)
Boz Scaggs – Boz Scaggs (1969)
Brian Eno – Here Come the Warm Jets (1974)
Buddy Guy – It’s My Life, Baby! (1966)
Budgie – Squawk (1972)
Buffalo Springfield – Buffalo Springfield Again (1967)
The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn! (1966)
Cake – Fashion Nugget (1996)
The Cars – Candy-O (1978)
Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole (1997)
Chicago – Chicago II – (1970)
Chocolate Watchband – Inner Mystique (1968)
Chuck Berry – One Dozen Berrys (1958)
Clannad – Clannad 2 (1974)
The Clash – Give ’em Enough Rope (1978)
Country Joe & the Fish – I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die (1967)
The Cowboy Junkies – Trinity Session (1988)
The Cranberries – No Need to Argue (1994)
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bayou Country (1969)
The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry (1980)
Curtis Mayfield – Roots (1971)
The Doobie Brothers – Toulouse Street (1972)
Doug Sahm – Texas Tornado (1973)
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show – Sloppy Seconds (1972)
Dwight Yoakam – Hillbilly Deluxe (1987)
The Eagles – Desperado (1973)
Don Henley – Building the Perfect Beast (1984)
Earl Hooker – Two Bugs and a Roach (1969)
Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Tarkus (1971)
Emmylou Harris – Pieces of the Sky (1975)
The Bluesbreakers – The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (1966)
Etta James – At Last! (1961)
The Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (1983)
The Everly Brothers – Songs our Daddy Taught Us (1958)
The Small Faces – Small Faces (1967)
The Faces – Long Player (1971)
The Fixx – Reach the Beach (1983)
The Flying Burrito Brothers – Burrito Deluxe (1970)
The Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape (1997)
The Four Seasons – The Four Seasons Greeting (1962)
Frank Zappa – Absolutely Free (1967) [Brown Shoes Don’t Make it]
Gerry Rafferty – City to City (1978)
Gordon LIghtfoot – The Way I Feel (1967)
The Good Rats – Tasty (1974)
The Grateful Dead – Anthem of the Sun (1968)
Jerry Garcia – Garcia (1972)
Iggy Pop – Lust for Life (1977)
Incubus – Enjoy Incubus (1997)
Iron Butterfly – In-A-Godda-Da-Vida (1968)
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul (1969)
The James Gang – Rides Again (1970)
James Taylor – Sweet Baby James (1970)
Jethro Tull – Stand Up (1969)
Jimmy Buffett – A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacian (1973)
Joe Walsh – The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get (1973)
John Mayall – Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (1966)
Johnny Shines – Johnny Shines with Big Walter Horton (1969)
Joy Division – Closer (1980)
Jr. Walker & the All-Stars – Road Runner & Home Cookin’ (1966)
Leon Redbone – Double Time (1977)
Leonard Cohen – Songs from a Room (1969)
Lindisfarne – Fog on the Tyne (1971)
Little Charlie & the NIghtcats – Disturbing the Peace (1988)
Little Feat – Sailin’ Shoes (1972)
Loggins & Messina – Sittin’ In (1972)
Luther Allison – Bad News is Coming (1973)
Lyle Lovett – Pontiac (1987)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Second Helping (1974)
Mahavishnu Orchestra – Birds of Fire (1973)
The Mamas & the Papas – The Mamas & the Papas (1966)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Memphis Slim – At the Gate of the Horn (1959)
Michelle Shocked – Short Sharp Shocked (1988)
Mississippi Fred McDowell – My Home is in the Delta (1965)
My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2004)
Leslie West – The Great Fatsby (1975)
Neil Young – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (1969)
New York Dolls – Too Much Too Soon (1974)
Nick Drake – Bryter Layter (1970)
Omar & the Howlers – I Told You So (1984)
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – East-West (1966)
Phish – A Picture of Nectar (1991)
Pinetop Perkins – After Hours (1988)
Pixies – Doolittle (1989)
Pure Prairie League – Bustin’ Out (1972)
Randy Newman – 12 Songs (1970)
Robert Cray – Bad Influence (1983)
Robin Trower – Bridge of Sighs (1974)
The Faces – Long Player (1971)
Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure (1973)
Roy Buchanan – Buch & the Snake Stretchers (1972)
Roy Wood – Boulders (1973)
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Next (1974)
Paul Simon – Paul Simon (1972)
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)
Smokin’ Joe Kubek – Steppin’ Out Texas Style (1991)
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee – Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry Sing (1958)
Spooky Tooth – Spooky Two (1969)
Steppenwolf – Steppenwolf the Second (1968)
Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare (1990)
Stone Temple Pilots – Purple (1994)
System of a Down – Toxicity (2001)
Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978)
Tammy Wynette – Stand By Your Man (1969)
The Blue Nile – Hats (1989)
Todd Rundgren – Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren (1971)
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1976)
Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night (1974)
Tommy Bolin – Private Eyes (1976)
Tool – Aenima (1996)
Trapeze – Medusa (1970)
Van Halen – Van Halen 2 (1979)
The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat (1968)
Ugly Kid Joe – America’s Least Wanted (1992)
The Wallflowers – Bringing Down the Horse (1996)
Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy (1978)
Weather Report – Live in Tokyo (1972)
Weezer – Pinkerton (1996)
The White Stripes – De Stijl (2000)
Widespread Panic – Widespread Panic (1991)
Wire – Chairs Missing (1978)

Other Candidates:

The 13th Floor Elevators – Easter Everywhere (1967)
Aerosmith – Get Your Wings (1974)
The Alan Parsons Project – I Robot (1977)
Albert Hammond – It Never Rains in Southern California (1973)
The Amazing Rhythm Aces – Too Suffed to Jump (1976)
The Amboy Dukes – Journey to the Center of the Earth (1968)
America – Homecoming (1973)
The Association – And Then…Along Comes the Association (1966)
Atomic Rooster – Death Walks Behind You (1970)
Bachman-Turner Overdrive – BTO II (1973)
Bad Company – Straight Shooter (1975)
Badfinger – No Dice (1970)
The Beach Boys – Surfin’ USA (1963)
The Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
John Lennon – John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band (1970)
Billie Holliday – Billie Holliday Sings (1950)
Billy Joel – Piano Man (1973)
Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992)
The Blackbyrds – The Blackbyrds (1974)
Al Kooper – Super Session (1968)
Blue Cheer – Outsideinside (1968)
Blue Oyster Cult – Tyranny and Mutation (1973)
Blues Project – Projections (1966)
Bo Diddley – Go Bo Diddley (1959)
Bob Marley – Catch a Fire (1973)
Bobby Blue Bland – Two Steps From the Blues (1961)
The Bonzo Dog Band – The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse (1968)
Boston – Don’t Look Back (1978)
Brenda Lee – This is…Brenda (1960)
Buddy Holly – Buddy Holly (1958)
Bukka White – Memphis Hot Shots (1968)
Camel – Mirage (1974)
Can – Soundtracks (1970)
Canned Heat – Boogie With Canned Heat (1968)
Captain Beyond – Sufficiently Breathless (1973)
Caravan – If I Could do it Over Again I’d do it All Over You (1970)
The Carpenters – Close to You (1970)
Cassandra Wilson – Point of View (1986)
Charlie Musselwhite – Stone Bules (1968)
Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977)
Chris Thomas King – Cry of the Prophets (1990)
Clarence Carter – The Dynamic Clarence Carter (1969)
Coco Montoya – You’d Think I’d Know Better (1996)
Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels (1983)
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen – Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Truckers Favorites (1972)
The Commodores – Caught in the Act (1975)
Daniel Lanois – For the Beauty of Wynona (1993)
Dave Brubek Trio with Cal Tjader, Vol. 2 (1950)
Dave Mason – Dave Mason & Cass Elliott (1971)
David Bromberg – Demon in Disguise (1972)
Def Leppard – High ‘N Dry (1981)
The Dixie Dregs – Free Fall (1977)
Don McLean – American Pie (1971)
Donna Summer – Love to Love You Baby (1975)
Dream Theater – Images and Words (1992)
The Drifters – Rock & Roll (1957)
Duran Duran – Rio (1982)
Glenn Frey – The Allnighter (1984)
The Easybeats – It’s 2 Easy (1966)
Echo & the Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here (1981)
Eddie Rabbitt – Rocky Mountain Music (1976)
Edie Brickell – Ghost of a Dog (1990)
The Electric Prunes – Underground (1967)
Eloy – Inside (1973)
Elton John – Elton John (1970)
Elvin Bishop – Feel It! (1970)
Eric Clapton – Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert (1973)
Everclear – Sparkle and Fade (1995)
Fairport Convention – What We Did on Our Holidays (1969)
Family – Family Entertainment (1969)
Firefall – Luna Sea (1977)
Five Man Electrical Band – Good-Byes and Butterflys (1970)
The Flamin’ Groovies – Flamingo (1970)
Focus – Moving Waves (1971)
Foreigner – Double Vision (1978)
The Four Tops – Second Album (1965)
Frank Sinatra – Sing and Dance with Frank Sinatra (1950)
Free – Free (1969)
The Fugs – Virgin Fugs (1966)
Funkadelic – Funkadelic (1970)
Furry Lewis – Back on My Feet Again (1961)
Garth Brooks – No Fences (1990)
Gene Vincent – Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps (1957)
Steve Hackett – Please Don’t Touch! (1978)
Gentle Giant – Acquiring the Taste (1971)
George Thorogood & the Deleware Destroyers – Move it on Over (1978)
Godsmack – Godsmack (1998)
Gov’t Mule – Live at the Roseland Ballroom (1996)
Graham Parker – Heat Treatment (1976)
Grand Funk Railroad – Grand Funk (1970)
The Grass Roots – Let’s Live for Today (1967)
Griffin Hill – Lost & Found (2004)
Gryphon – Midnight Mushrumps (1974)
Guitar Shorty – Topsy Turvy (1993)
Hall & Oates – Abandoned Luncheonette (1972)
Hank Snow – Hank Snow Salutes Jimmie Rodgers (1953)
Hank Williams – Hank Williams as Luke the Drifter (1955)
Harry Chpin – Sniper & Other Love Songs (1972)
Harry Nilsson – Pandamonium Shadow Show (1967)
Heart – Little Queen (1977)
Heatwave – Central Heating (1977)
Henry Cow – Leg End (1973)
Herbie Handcock – My Point of View (1963)
Honeymoon Suites – The Big Prize (1986)
The Hooters – Nervous Night (1985)
Hootie & the Blowfish – Cracked Rear View(1994)
Hot Chocolate – Hot Chocolate (1975)
Hound Dog Taylor – Natural Boogie (1973)
Howlin’ Wolf – The Rockin’ Chair Album (1962)
Humble Pie – Town and Country (1969)
Ian Dury – Do it Yourself (1979)
The Incredible String Band – The 5000 Spirits or the Layer of the Onion (1967)
Iron Maiden – Killers (1981)
J Geils Band – The Morning After (1971)
Jack Bruce – Things We Like (1970)
Jackson Browne – For Everyman (1973)
James Brown – Please, Please, Please (1959)
Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking (1988)
J.B. Lenoir – Crusade (1970)
Jeff Beck – Beck-ola (1969)
JIm Croce – Croce (1969)
Jimmy Rushing – Jimmy Rushing Sings the Blues and All That Jazz (1955)
Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (1981)
Joe Cocker – Joe Cocker! (1969)
Joe Ely – Honky Tonk Masquerade (1978)
Joe Jackson – I’m the Man (1979)
Joe Louis Walker – The Gift (1988)
Joe Tex – The New Boss (1966)
John Prine – Diamonds in the Rough (1972)
John Stewart – California Bloodlines (1969)
Johnny Cash – The Fabulous Johnny Cash (1958)
Johnny Winter – The Progressive Blues Experiment (1969)
Jonathan Edwards – Honky-Tonk Starburst Cowboy (1972)
Jonny Lang – Lie to Me (1997)
Junior Parker – Driving Wheel (1962)
Keb’ Mo’ – Just Like You (1996)
Kenny Neal – Big News from Baton Rouge!! (1988)
Kim Wilson – That’s Life (1994)
King Crimson – Lizard (1970)
The Kingston Trio – Stereo Concert (1958)
KISS – Hotter than Hell (1974)
Klaatu – Klaatu (1976)
Kool & the Gang – Live at the Sex Machine (1971)
Kraftwerk – Kraftwerk 2 (1972)
Robert Plant – The Principle of Moments (1983)
The Left Banke – The Left Bank Too (1968)
Lenny Kravitz – Mama Said (1991)
Lightnin’ Hopkins – Lightnin’ Hopkins (1959)
Little Anthony & the Imperials – Shades of the ’40’s (1961)
Little Richard – Little Richard (1958)
Little Willie John – Talk to Me (1959)
Living Colour – Time’s Up (1990)
Kenny Loggins – Nightwatch (1978)
Louis Jordan – Let the Good Times Roll (1963)
Loverboy – Get Lucky (1981)
Lovin’ Spoonful – Daydream (1966)
Lowell Fulson – Soul (1966)
Magic Sam – Black Magic (1968)
Mark Hummel – Hard Rockin’ 1990’s (1992)
Marshall Tucker Band – Where We All Belong (1974)
MC5 – Back in the USA (1970)
Michael Franks – The Art of Tea (1976)
The Jackson 5 – ABC (1970)
Michael Nesmith – Magnetic South (1970)
The Michael Stanly Band – Friends & Legends (1973)
Midnight Oil – Head Injuries (1979)
Mike + the Mechanics – The Living Years (1988)
Modern English – After the Snow (1983)
Molly Hatchet – Flirtin’ with Disaster (1979)
The Monkees – More of the Monkees (1967)
Justin Hayward – Songwriter (1977)
Mother’s Finest – Another Mother Further (1977)
Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil (1983)
Motorhead – Overkill (1979)
Mountain – Nantucket Sleighride (1971)
Nantucket – Your Face or Mine (1979)
Natalie Cole – Natalie (1976)
Neil Diamond – Just for You (1967)
Nektar – A Tab in the Ocean (1972)
New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies (1983)
New Riders of the Purple Sage – Powerglide (1972)
The Nice – Ars Longa Vita Brevis (1968)
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – The Firstborn is Dead (1985)
Night Ranger – Midnight Madness (1983)
Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (1994)
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Ricochet (1967)
The Ohio Players – Pain (1972)
The O’Jays – Soul Sounds (1967)
Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark – Organisation (1980)
The Outlaws – Lady in Waiting (1976)
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils – It’ll Shine When it Shines (1974)
Parliament – Up for the Down Stroke (1974)
Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion (1980)
Paul Weller – Wild Wood (1993)
Pavlov’s Dog – At the Sound of the Bell (1975)
Pearl Jam – Vs. (1993)
Pere Ubu – Dub Housing (1978)
Peter Frampton – Frampton’s Camel (1973)
Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (1978)
Pink – M!zzundaztood (1991)
Poco – Poco (1970)
The Police – Reggatta de Blanc (1979)
Sting – The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985)
The Pretty Things – The Pretty Things (1965)
Procol Harum – Shine on Brightly (1968)
Professor Longhair – Live on the Queen Mary (1978)
The Psychedelic Furs – Talk Talk Talk (1981)
Puddle of Mudd – Come Clean (2001)
Quicksilver Messenger Service – Happy Trails (1969)
The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely (2008)
Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire (1996)
Rainbow – Rising (1976)
Ram Jam – Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram (1978)
The Ramones – Leave Home (1977)
The Raspberries – Raspberries (1972)
Ray Charles – Soul Brothers (1957)
Red Rider – As Far as Siam (1981)
The Replacements – Hootenanny (1983)
The Residents – The Third Reich & Roll (1976)
Return to Forever – Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973)
Richard Thompson – Henry the Human Fly (1972)
Rick Derringer – Spring Fever (1975)
R.L. Burnside – Too Bad Jim (1994)
Robert Lockwood Jr. – Contrasts (1974)
Robert Randolph – Unclassified (2003)
Rod Piazza – Harpburn (1986)
The Small Faces – From the Beginning (1967)
Rory Gallagher – Deuce (1971)
Taste – On the Boards (1970)
The Move – Shazam (1970)
Ry Cooder – Into the Purple Valley (1971)
Sade – Promise (1985)
Sarah McLachlan – Solice (1991)
Seal – Seal (1994)
Seatrain – Seatrain (1970)
Sheryl Crow – Sheryl Crow (1996)
Simon & Garfunkel – Sounds of Silence (1966)
Simple Minds – Real to Real Cacophony (1979)
Sinead O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)
Sister Hazel – …Somewhere More Familiar (1997)
Snoop Dogg – Murder Was the Case (1994)
Soft Cell – Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing (1982)
Soft Machine – Volume Two (1969)
Son Seals – Midnight Son (1976)
Sonny Landreth – Down in Louisiana (1993)
Southside Johnny – I Don’t Want to go Home (1976)
Sparks – A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing (1972)
The Spinners – The Spinners (1972)
Spirit – The Family that Plays Together (1968)
Squeeze – Cool for Cats (1979)
Stanley Clarke – Stanley Clarke (1974)
Steely Dan – Countdown to Ecstacy (1973)
Steve Miller Band – Sailor (1968)
Stone the Crows – Stone the Crows (1970)
The Stylistics – Round 2 (1972)
The Supremes – Where Did Our Love Go (1964)
Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing (1987)
The Sweet – The Sweet (1973)
Television – Adventure (1978)
The Temptations – The Temptations Sing Smokey (1965)
They Might be Giants – Lincoln (1988)
Three Dog Night – Suitable for Framing (1969)
Tim Buckley – Goodbye and Hello (1967)
The Time – What Time is it? (1982)
Toad the Wet Sprocket – Pale (1990)
The Nazz – Nazz Nazz (1969)
Tori Amos – Under the Pink (1994)
Townes Van Zandt – Our Mother the Mountain (1969)
Traffic – Heaven is in Your Mind (1967)
Triumph – Triumph (1979)
Twisted Sister – You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n Roll (1983)
Van der Graaf Generator – The Least We can do is Wave to Each Other (1970)
Victoria Spivey – Idle Hours (1961)
Violent Femmes – Hallowed Ground (1984)
Warrant – Cherry Pie (1990)
Waylon Jennings – Folk-Country (1966)
Weird Al Yankovic – In 3-D (1984)
The Who – A Quick One (Happy Jack) (1966)
Pete Townshend – Rough Mix (1977)
Wishbone Ash – Pilgrimage (1971)
Yaz – You and Me Both (1983)
Rick Wakeman – Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974)
The Young Rascals – Collection (1967)
This was followed immediately by this salvo:
Bacon – I purposely didn’t check Rolling Stone’s list while putting mine together.

A comparison:

#20: Pixies – Dolittle. I had this one as Honorable Mention

#19: Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. I’m not familiar with this album

#18: Neil Young – Everyone Knows This is Nowhere. I had this one as honorable mention.

#17: The Stooges – Fun House. I thought about this one but went with Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life instead as a honorable mention

#16: Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique. I considered this album but it’s nowhere near License to Ill.

#15: A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory. I’m not familiar with this album.

#14: Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, the Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle. I had this one as #19.

#13: Black Sabbath – Paranoid. I had this one as honorable mention.

#12: Kanye West – Late Registration. Ummm, no.

#11: Radiohead – The Bends. I looked at Radiohead but didn’t think this was one of their better albums.

#10: Elvis Costello & the Attractions – This Year’s Model. I had this one as #22.

#9: Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. I had this one #2.

#8: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold as Love. I had this one #1.

#7: Led Zeppelin – II. I had this one #4.

#6: The Beatles – With the Beatles. I had this one #25. There are many better Beatles albums.

#5: Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. I had this one #23.

#4: The Band – The Band. I had this #6.

#3: Carole King – Tapestry. I had this one #26.

#2: Van Morrison – Astral Weeks. I had this one #13.

#1: Nirvana – Nevermind. I had this one #9.
As an addendum I received a third, and last, email, in which he asked, “How could they possibly NOT have Abraxis, Deja Vu, Disrali Gears ???” How indeed!
That is why I call him The Discman!