Vest Was Best

An email concerning the previous post was received from my friend the Discman this morning. Before turning to poker (he cashed in at the World Series of Poker) Chris Chambers earned his National Master Certificate in Chess.

“Excellent description of Mr. Vest.

Looking back at my records, I never played him in a regular tournament.

I did play him 33 times in the Wednesday night Quick Chess tournaments (G/15) with a record of 8-20-5.

There were 16 players I played more than him, with (Murphy) Clay at the top of the list at 131 times played.

I played in 390 Quick Chess tournaments at the HOP from 1993-2005.”

The Discman obviously keeps meticulous records not only of Rock & Roll music. My reply was: If you give permission I will post this, providing YOU choose a song!

“Hmmm. That’s a good one.

I’d say “Investigation Blues” by Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson

(get it?? InVESTigation of Vest history?).”

Unfortunately the song could not be located in the cloud. I did, though, locate an article (http://rubbercityreview.com/2016/02/eddie-cleanhead-vinson/) containing the song, Cleanhead’s Blues:

Advertisements

Dust In The Wind

Although having not gotten far into the book by GM Daniel Gormally, Insanity, passion, and addiction: a year inside the chess world,

I have immensely enjoyed the honesty with which it is written. His opponent in this game is the current Champion of US women players. If the motto of FIDE is Gens una sumus, Latin for “We are one people,” why are there separate tournaments, and championships, for women? In theory we are one people but in practice Chess is divided into two separate, distinct divisions.

Daniel Gormally (2502)

vs Sabina Foisor (2260)

Rd 8
Villard de lans 2014

1. d4 e6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 d6 4. Nc3 g6 5. Nf3 exd5 6. cxd5
Bg7 7. e4 a6 8. h3 b5 9. a4 b4 10. Nb1 Ne7 11. Bd3 O-O 12. O-O h6 13. Nbd2 f5
14. Nc4 fxe4 15. Bxe4 Nd7 16. Nxd6 Nf6 17. Nxc8 Rxc8 18. Bd3 Qd6 19. Qe2 a5 20.
Ne5 Nfxd5 21. Nc4 Qf6 22. Nxa5 Kh8 23. Nc4 Rce8 24. Qe4 Nc7 25. Be3 Nf5 26. Qb7
Ne6 27. a5 Rd8 28. Be4 Ned4 29. Rae1 Nd6

30. Qd5?

GM Gormally writes, “Having played well until this point, I produce a very sloppy move when the win was just over the horizon. Unfortunately, I was very unprofessional here. I was aware that France vs Germany, a potential World Cup quarter-final cracker, was just about to start and so I was playing too fast, trying to get the game over with so I could get down to the pub. Rather justly I was punished for underestimating my opponent. 30. Nx6 Qxd6 31. Qb6 should be easily good enough for the win.”

My first thought after reading the above was, “At least he is honest.” Then a quote by the Greatest Chess player of my time, Bobby Fischer, came to mind: “Chess demands total concentration and a love for the game.”

Nxe4 31. Qxe4 Qa6 32. Ne5 Kh7
33. f4 Rf6 34. h4 h5 35. g4 Qa8 36. Qxa8 Rxa8 37. gxh5 gxh5 38. Bxd4 cxd4 39.
Nc4 b3 40. Re7 Kh8 41. Rc7 Bh6 42. f5 Rg8+ 43. Kh1 Rg4 44. Rf3 Bf4 45. Rc8+ Kh7
46. Rxb3 Rf7 47. f6 Rxf6 48. Rb7+ Kg6 49. Rb6 Rxh4+ 50. Kg2 Rg4+ 51. Kf3 Bd6+
52. Ke2 Rg2+ 53. Kd3 Rg3+ 54. Kc2 d3+ 55. Kc3 Bf4 56. Rg8+ Kf5 57. Rb5+ Ke4 58.
Re8+ Kf3 59. Rxh5 d2 60. Rd5 Rc6 61. b3 Rg1 62. Red8 Rc1+ 63. Kb4 Ke2 64. Rxd2+
Bxd2+ 65. Rxd2+ Kf3 66. Ne5+ Ke3 67. Nxc6 Kxd2 68. Kb5 Kc3 69. b4 Rh1 70. a6
Rh5+ 71. Kb6 Kc4 72. a7 Rh8 73. b5 Rg8 74. Ka6 Kc5 75. Nb8 Rg6+ 76. Ka5 Rg1 77.
Na6+ 1-0

After completing the game I sat back and reflected upon the far too many times I had cheated Caissia. Two came to mind immediately. I do not recall the tournament, and after checking my MSA page at USCF, which begins in December of 1991, I am unable to say for certain, but for some reason I want to think it was at a tournament in the Great State of Alabama. The date was July 28, 1991, a Saturday night. Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Expos pitched a perfect game, and being a big fan of baseball I was constantly heading to the bar to watch the game, until the ninth inning when I stopped playing Chess and stayed in the bar to watch the rest of the game. As it turns out it was only the thirteenth perfecto hurled in the history of MLB. The Los Angeles Dodgers were the victims. As for my Chess game versus a National Master…I lost.

Then there was the first round of the 2002 World Open…I was old enough to be eligible to play in the US Senior and playing in the class A section. IM Boris Kogan had once given me advice to “Get up and go to the men’s room, or just walk around to clear your head,” after making time control at move forty, or whatever move was time control. I had played a decent game and felt like I had a won game after making time control, so I took the Hulk’s advice and went to the men’s room. On the return trip to the tournament hall I encountered a friend and stopped to speak. In retrospect, this was a huge mistake as it broke my concentration. I returned to the board thinking only of getting together with my friend while allowing the game “to play itself.” After at least one weak move, possibly more, I had to dig deep and try to get back in concentration mode. You know the story…we all know the story…by then it was too late, and I went down in flames.

Something good came out of it, though. Many people had promised Thad Rogers they would come to Philadelphia and help him in the book room. Only one showed up in Philly, the man from the High Planes, LM David Vest. David was a smoker who rolled his own. I realized he would not be able to maintain sitting behind a cash register for hours on end, so I withdrew from the tournament in order to help out. Upon returning to Atlanta, and the House of Pain, I learned the High Planes Drifter had told anyone who would listen that, “Bacon saved the day!”

As luck would have it while putting this post together in my mind I went to GM Kevin Spraggett’s excellent blog (http://www.spraggettonchess.com/) where I noticed a box in the upper right hand corner, “Chess D B.” Underneath reads, “The biggest chess database.” There is much on his website, and I have clicked on most of it, but for some reason had never clicked on it previously. I clicked this day and found only one of my games, and it was the aforementioned lost game from the 2002 World Open:

Michael Bacon vs. Leon Shernoff

(England, 1805 [This is the ELO rating at the time the game was played] ) 0 – 1 (USA, 1905 [This is the ELO rating at the time the game was played] )
Event: World Open U, 2002.07.01, Spielmann Attack, Bishop (C24)

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Bc5 4. Nc3 c6 5. Nf3 d6 6. O-O Be6 7. Bb3 Nbd7 8. Ng5 Qe7 9. Nxe6 fxe6 10. Bd2 O-O 11. Na4 b5 12. Nxc5 Nxc5 13. Qe2 a5 14. c3 a4 15. Bc2 Qb7 16. d4 exd4 17. cxd4 Ncd7 18. e5 dxe5 19. dxe5 Nd5 20. Qh5 g6 21. Bxg6 hxg6 22. Qxg6+ Kh8 23. Qh6+ Kg8 24. Qxe6+ Rf7 25. Rae1 Nf8 26. Qg4+ Rg7 27. Qe4 Re8 28. f4 c5 29. Rf3 Ng6 30. Rg3 Re6 31. Qf3 Nh4 32. Qf2 Qe7 33. Rxg7+ Kxg7 34. g3 Nf5 35. Qg2 Qd7 36. Qf2 Qe7 37. Qg2 Qd7 38. Qe2 Nd4 39. Qg4+ Kf8 40. f5 Re7 41. Bh6+ Rg7 42. Bxg7+ Qxg7 43. Qxg7+ Kxg7 44. f6+ Kf7 45. Kf2 Nb4 46. Re4 Nd3+ 47. Ke3 Nxb2 48. Rg4 Ne6 49. h4 b4 50. h5 b3 51. axb3 a3 52. Rh4 c4 53. Rh1 cxb3 54. h6 Kg8 55. Ke4 Na4 56. Kf5 Nac5 57. g4 a2 58. g5 b2 59. g6 b1=Q+ 60. Rxb1 axb1=Q+ 61. Kg4 Qxg6+ 0-1

Let me state I am not now, nor have I ever been, from “England.” I am from the Great Southern State of Georgia. Although I have lived in several other states, I have lived the majority of my life in Georgia, and will be buried, per my Mother’s wishes, next to her and her Mother, the rock upon which my family was built, a woman we called, “Mama.”

I have yet to look at this game. There are not many of my games left, I am sad to report. One of my cousin’s, a woman I now call crazy cousin Linda, allowed them to become water logged, along with my collection of books. A friend, NM Chris Chambers, did put many of my games versus Experts and Masters on a floppy disc, but the floppy’s went the way of dinosaurs, so they are gone forever, which is probably just as well…

Chambiz on the GCA Board

I devote this post to my friend the Discman, aka NM Chris Chambers. As will become obvious, this is a reply to my last post.

“Good stuff Bacon, but it’s not a crisis.

The ship has broken apart and sunk. The pieces are beginning to settle on the bottom.

A crisis implies that something could still be done to fix the problems if those in charge acted quickly and appropriately.

In reality the leaders are long gone and the janitor, assistant cook and a couple of rats have assumed the leadership roles (in name only).

Rex brings up an important point as it relates to tournament chess – the concept of Critical Mass.

You need more than a handful of players to have a meaningful tournament, for the following reasons:

1) To make it an interesting competition.
2) To generate enough entry fees to be able to give meaningful prizes
3) To generate enough money to be able to take out a little bit for tournament administrative expenses associated with putting on a tournament

To do this you need at least 32 players in a Swiss tournament, in my estimation.

In addition to computers, the class tournament structure has also KILLED tournament chess.

If there are fewer than 32 players in a section, sections should be combined until there are at least 32 in the top section.

The idea of having a tournament with 5 different sections with 8-10 players in each section makes absolutely no sense.

I remember when people began structuring tournaments in this format and I knew then that it was a bad idea.

At most you should have 2 sections, an Open section with everybody half-way decent and better (say >1599) and a Novice section for those still learning the game.

You can have an open section and give class prizes, but if you split everybody into classes with less than 32 players per section you are fragmenting the field for no good reason.”

chambiz

Gordon Lightfoot – The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (’79)

Classical Chess

“Bill James is the best known baseball analyst in the world” (http://sabr.org/about/bill-james). Bill began his writing career by questioning the assumptions in baseball, something commonly called, “The Book.” For questioning some of the commonly held beliefs in baseball Bill was excoriated by the MLB establishment. His books, and the thinking contained therein, caught on with many and his books became very successful. Many other baseball fans began to question things like the sacrifice bunt, held dear by the MLB establishment. Decades later Bill was hired by the Boston Red Sox as an analyst and the Red Sox became the World Champions. Now every MLB team has an analyst, or team of analysts.

Bill’s latest book is, “Fools Rush Inn: More Detours on the Way to Conventional Wisdom.” One of the essays is, “Classical Sport.” As is often the case, while reading the essay my thoughts would drift to chess and I would substitute the word “chess” for “classical music.” Read on and you will understand why.

Bill writes, “Classical music has very, very serious problems as an industry. The number of people who enjoy classical music is small compared to the market for other kinds of music and the market is composed primarily of old people.

“Classical music survives, or has survived so far, because it has advantages over the marketplace, rather than advantage in the marketplace. Classical music is perceived by a very large cadre of musical professionals as the highest form of music, and these people have integrated themselves and their music into the society in ways that insulate it from extinction by economic forces. High schools do not teach young musicians to play rock and roll, as a rule; they teach them to play “instruments,” which are in truth the instruments of classical music. Millions of small children take violin lessons, which their parents get for them because this is how music is taught. The perception that this form of music is “classy” -widely accepted in our culture- keeps the form alive by giving it these advantages, and many similar and related advantages. At the symphony I am below the median age and, I suspect, well below the median income. Those old people who go to the symphony have more-than proportional power because they have more-than proportional wealth. There is something much more than that going on here. It has to do with the perception of rectitude, of value and of virtue.”

“Music, like sport, is instinctive to us, exists in all cultures, and will never disappear. There are primal and sophisticated forms of music and of sport, which could also be called vibrant and calcified, or youthful and moribund. There is a spectrum in these activities that runs from vibrant, primal and youthful to sophisticated, calcified and moribund. All sports and all forms of music move across that spectrum, crawling toward obsolescence.”

I have always thought of chess as a form of the “Glass Bead Game,” made popular by the greatest novel ever written, “The Glass Bead Game,” also published as “Magister Ludi,” Latin for “Master of the Game,” by Hermann Hesse, who won a Nobel Prize in Literature for the book. The Glass Bead Game takes place centuries into the future. It concerns the place the game occupies in the culture. “As the novel progresses, Knecht begins to question his loyalty to the order; he gradually comes to doubt that the intellectually gifted have a right to withdraw from life’s big problems. Knecht comes to see Castalia as a kind of ivory tower, an ethereal and protected community, devoted to pure intellectual pursuits but oblivious to the problems posed by life outside its borders.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Glass_Bead_Game)

The game of chess can be thought of in the way Bill James writes of classical music. Chess has always been thought of as important because it requires thought, something some very wealthy people have valued highly enough to become patrons of the game. I am thinking of Gregor Piatigorsky and his wife, Jacqueline, and the famous tournaments they funded in Los Angeles in 1963 and 1966, called the Piatigorsky Cup. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piatigorsky_Cup) Every chess player knows of these tournaments, and if you encounter anyone involved with chess who has never heard of the Piatigorsky tournaments the question becomes, “What is this person doing in chess?” In 1961 the Piatigorsky’s sponsored a match between Bobby Fischer and Sammy Reshevsky. It ended prematurely when the wealthy couple wanted to change the scheduled time of one of the games because of a conflict Gregor had with a musical performance. Bobby refused because he had signed a contract that specified the round time of each game. The wealthy couple must have felt like Ronald Raygun, when running for POTUS, and he was heckled from the audience. Ronnie famously yelled, “I am paying for this microphone!” In actuality he was not paying. The people contributing money toward his campaign were paying, but why quibble? It was a great sound bite for the Gypper. The Piatigorsky’s were paying and thought Bobby should jump through any hoop provided. Bobby provided them with what is called a “rude awakening” when he “just said no.” Extraordinarily wealthy people are not used to being refused. They are also not used to being told “no” because they surround themselves with “yes men.”
I mention this because without the patronage of very wealthy people there may not be future chess as we have known it until now. Consider for a moment the state of chess without the largess provided by the latest patron, billionaire Rex Sinquefield. Rather than being held in the state of the art St. Louis Chess Club & Scholastic Center the US Championships may have been held in some room in a college, as has been the case previously. The STLCC&SC is an artificial construct. I mean that because St. Louis was never known as a hot-bed of chess in the way New York city was known to be a hot-bed of chess. The game of chess developed naturally in New York, San Francisco, and other cities without some fantastically wealthy individual building it so they would come. Please do not take me wrong; I am not saying this is a bad thing, just that it is a “thing.”

Chess is in a fight for its life in the marketplace. The common perception among adults is that chess is dead, and that it died when the computer program “defeated” human World Chess Champ Garry Kasparov. In order to survive chess has been “sold” as a wonderful game to help children “think.” Chess is a wonderful tool to help children learn how to think, but so are literature and math The game of Wei-Chi, popularly known as “Go” in the west, is also a wonderful game and in many ways it is better than chess because a computer program is not yet as strong as the best human players (I will discuss this in a planned future post). Go is exponentially more complicated than chess and it is much simpler to learn, with no “weird” moves such as castling or en passant. A draw in go is about as common as leap year. One of the major problems afflicting chess is non-serious games. It will be terribly difficult to explain the worth of a game in which he is asked to contribute after being shown a game such as the one played today in the British Championship:

Pert, Richard G – Pert, Nicholas
101st ch-GBR 2014 Aberystwyth WLS (8.2), 2014.07.27
1.e4 e5 ½-½

To those who may say they are related I say, “Go talk to Venus and Serena Williams.” To those who may say it is near the end of the Championship and they were tired I say, “It is only one game per day and the previous day was an OFF DAY!”

In reply to the post “Has Cheating Affected Chess?” my friend the Discman sent me an email in which he wrote, “Interesting discussion and on point. However, cheating isn’t the biggest problem facing chess. Computers have taken the mystery out of the game. GM’s used to be gods with almost super-natural powers. Now any schmo with a smartphone can figure out the best move. Technology and the public’s need for instant gratification have left chess behind. It is no longer relevant in the public consciousness. Yes, cheating and the potential of cheating are contributing factors, but not the root cause.”

Chris has hit the nail on the head. The Royal game no longer has mystique. Most adults without children consider chess an anachronism, much in the same way they think of the game of checkers, a hugely popular game once upon a time. Consider these comments, first from Ron Suarez on the USCF forum: “We have seen a big drop in adult participation and membership.” (http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=20209&sid=98f50abff42e50fe2fc1e9553255a7cd)
Gary Maltzman wrote this on the NCAA forum: “Seems like some of the big NC Tournaments are on an attendance downswing.” (http://www.ncchess.org/Discussion/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=856&sid=4d93659f883d9f10934dba14bd4e056b)

These kinds of comments proliferate on the web these days.

I have no solution to offer other than those previously written. The chess world has to look toward those in positions of power, for better or worse. A quote attributed to Albert Einstein to mind: “The thinking it took to get us into this mess is not the same thinking that is going to get us out of it.”

GCA Hegemonic Designs

An email making the rounds in the local chess community has reached the AW. The sources are impeccable. It appears the GCA board has decided to hold a chess tournament about every other weekend in the coming year. To set the stage one should know the players in this drama.
The GCA board consists of three women, Laura Doman, Katie Hartley, and Pam Little, who do not play chess; Ben Johnson, who thinks he plays chess; Fun Fong, who plays mediocre chess; and Tim Payne and Frank Johnson, who are, or have been, rated expert. These are the committees found on the GCA website (http://www.georgiachess.org/contact):
GCA Committees
By-Law Task Force: Fun Fong, Katie Hartley, Mike Mulford, Scott Parker, Jeanne Ward
Communications: Laura Doman (Director)
Membership: Parnell Watkins
Open Events: WIM Carolina Blanco (Chair), Frank Johnson, Carolyn Lantelme, Greg Maness, Tim Payne, Bryan Rodeghiero, Thad Rogers, Parnell Watkins
Scholastic: Laura Doman, Katie Hartley (Co-Chair), Tricia Hill, Ben Johnson (Co-Chair), Susan Justice, Tim Payne, Steve Schneider, Ted Wieber
Volunteer Coordinator: Frank Johnson
Web Team: Laura Doman, Katie Hartley, Vijay Jayaram, Jagadeesh Rathnasabapathy, Keith Sewell
Committee members are volunteers who can commit to a year of working on the team.
In addition there the GCA has a “Task Force”:
GCA By-Law Task Force: Fun Fong (President), Katie Hartley (2nd VP), Mike Mulford (USCF delegate, Past Treasurer), Scott Parker (Past President), Jeanne Ward (Non-profit consultant)
Suggested By-Law Revisions to be voted on June 21st by GCA Members (http://www.georgiachess.org/bylaws)
These are the current “movers and shakers” of the Georgia Chess Association.

The GCA has myriad committees. The President of the GCA, Fun Fong, posted his, “From the President: GCA May 2014 Update” (http://georgiachessnews.com/2014/05/03/from-the-president-gca-may-2014-update/) on the new online magazine, “Georgia Chess News” on May 3, 2014, in which he writes about today’s committees and those to come. I asked two respected chess luminaries, NM Chris Chambers, and former GCA President and Georgia Senior Champion Scott Parker, for their thoughts on the President’s message. This was recieved from the Discman:
Happy Monday Bacon.
“Yes I’m fine with you using my stuff on blogs.
Regarding the GCA message, he sure seems to be planning to put together lots of committees.
Are there even enough dues-paying adult GCA members to man all the spots in those committees?
At this point they’re talking about forming committees to decide how to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. Virtually all of the passengers (actual tournament players) have boarded the life boats and are long gone, leaving only the wanna-be TD’s to train each other how to run tournaments that nobody will attend.”
CC
Mr. Parker sent an polished, insightful and obviously well-thought-out reply:
Michael,
“Fun is very high on the concept of working through committees. I am not, nor was my predecessor, Ted Wieber. That doesn’t mean it is wrong. There is more than one way to accomplish a task. My preference, and Ted’s too, I believe, was to find a committed volunteer and put a heavy workload on him/her. Committees tend to be slow and cumbersome things, and they lack direction. Each member wants to pull it in a different direction. You’ve heard the old joke, “A platypus is an animal designed by a committee.” It’s funny because there is an underlying truth to it. Committees do tend to come out with proposals that look like they ordered from a take-out menu – something from column A, something from column B, something from colunmn C, etc.
I’m also not sure that it makes sense to operate through committees in an orgainzation that has about 200 voting members. For USCF, which has over 10,000, that’s one thing, It’s another thing for GCA. We don’t have that many committed volunteers. I prefer to work with a small number of committed people rather than a large number of casually interested people.
All this being said, I will freely admit that I didn’t do a great job of identifying those committed volunteers, and ended up doing way too much of the grunt work myself. I was so busy doing the mundane stuff that I had little time to be President. It’s hard to concentrate on your plan to drain the swamp when you’re up to your a** in aligators. My impression is that as long as I was President that probably wasn’t going to change. As long as I was President and things were getting done a crisis didn’t exist. Without a crisis, not many people jumped up to volunteer. Perhaps in the long run it would have been better if I had refused to do the grunt work and let some tournaments and projects die so that a crisis situation would exist. Maybe that would have stimulated a few volunteers to step forward. For better or worse, I was not willing to do that.
Anyway, Fun’s idea of working through committees seems to be working pretty well for him. There has been some short term dislocation, and not everything is flowing smoothly, but in general the GCA is healthy. His way may not be my way, but if it works for him, that’s all that counts. “It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” – Deng Xiao Ping.
Best Wishes, Scottt
P.S. You have my permission to use any or all of this in any way you see fit, or to copy it to anyone you choose.”

Both of these replies from my friends were received May 12, 2014. Although I tend to agree with the Discman, listening to a person who has the respect of all the chess community, as does Scott Parker, gives one a different perspective. There are always two sides of an issue and one must try, as difficult as it may be, to understand the other side.

Emails are being fired at such a rate the NSA is having trouble keeping up with the heavy volume…The first email is from WIM Carolina Blanco, Georgia Chess Open Event ( Chair).
On Monday, July 7, 2014 6:24 PM, Carolina Blanco wrote:
“Hello Everybody
Please find attached the update information for all the Open event tournaments to be organized by Georgia Chess Association from September 2014-July 2015.
Dates and location were verified according last Board meeting at Emory University on June 21st, 2014. Please note that the flyer still need to pass for one more review correction by the committee however with all these information we can see more organized our goal in maintain the tournaments organized in the past calendar year and adding two more new tournaments and new locations for the convenient and benefits of the chess community.
* Only event missing in this email ( but going to be added) is the Collegiate tournament. I am waiting for Ted Wieber to give us all the information for next year since he is the coordinator for this event.
* Location for Senior’s Open and Women’s Open is TBA since the Rivers Academy and Mrs. Justice proposal are in discussion, however the date that we saw more convenient at the board meeting in June for this event is September 20th, 2014.
* There are 4 tournaments to be held at the Wyndham Galleria Hotel and the dates in the flyer are the one that we are committed in the contract with the except of the Georgia State Championship that instead to be held on May 1st 2015. It was moved to April 18th 2015
* there are 2 new Class championship tournament added on February 27th and July 24th 2015. Beside the Class Championship on November 2014.
We are in the process to contact to Continental chess to try to extend our Open event activity from 6 tournaments a year to 12 tournaments a year for the next calendar period.
Questions?. Please feel free to email me.”
Greetings,
WIM Carolina Blanco
Georgia Chess Open Event ( Chair)

Ms. Blanco’s email evoked this response from former GCA President, International Arbiter, and chess business owner L. Thad Rogers:
On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 6:45 PM, thad rogers wrote:
“Why is the Georgia Chess Association trying to put
American Chess Promotions and Championship Chess
out of business.”
I have 6 weekend tournaments scheduled with the dates
with Katie.
The Georgia Chess Association is to support chess in Georgia and not put other chess companies out of business.
This is the only way I try to make a meager income. I guess you all wouldn’t mind it if a nonprofit company came along and put all of your jobs and living out the window in order to satisfy them-selves.
No board in 40 years ever tried to do such a thing. I am very proud of such a caring Georgia Chess Association. I have tried tto do nothing but help the Georgia Chess Association for 40 years.
I have five or six people tell me that Fun said he is trying to put Georgia vendors out of business. If this goes through, then I guess he will get his wish.
All my tournaments are getting to have a signed contract. If Southeast holds tournaments. Then how in the heck can anybody make any money with about 26 weekend tournaments.
Like I said, the GCA Board and Volunteers don’t have to worry because you all aren’t risking any of your personal money. You are using State Association Funds. That is something to be proud of.
Sincerely,
Thad Rogers
American Chess Promotions
I am suppose to be on the Open Events committee. I never hear a word about meetings or issues until after the fact.”

The next email is from the POTGCA:
From: Fun Fong
Date: 07/09/2014 2:49 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: thad rogers
Thad,
“It seems that there’s an unfortunate – and false – rumor circulating that the GCA is looking to put you or any other Georgia chess organization out of business. I can understand why you would be upset. You have a long personal relationship with the GCA, which we all appreciate, and many of our members have enjoyed playing in American Chess tournaments for many years. As president, my mission is to serve the greater chess community by providing a full calendar of quality events for both adult and scholastic members. It is not, nor has it ever been, to destroy another’s livelihood through the power of the GCA. There is absolutely no way that the GCA could put anyone out of business, even if it wanted to, which is certainly no one’s intentions. You will not find any legitimate conversation anywhere that has even hinted of this. Somehow, facts are becoming distorted by the time they get to you, and I am greatly troubled by the prospect of a malicious rumor mill.
It is my belief that more chess is better chess, and that the chess community will eventually expand as opportunities expand, much as have road races greatly expanded in the Metro Atlanta area. GCA does endeavor to raise the bar for quality, so that other organizers will continue to innovate in their offerings, giving the Georgia player more choices and a better selection of events to participate. This initiative should provide a better experience overall for Georgia players. I know that you have been constantly thinking of new events and ways to execute them, and I think this endeavor is working for the benefit of the Georgia player.
Still, it is my responsibility as president to promote chess and to offer our players with as many opportunities to play good competitive chess as the market will support. Besides American Chess and Championship Chess, there is the North Georgia Chess Center, Vibha, and other organizations that host all sorts of tournaments, ranging from afternoon tournaments for young beginners to multi-day events for top-rated competitive players. I believe that there is room for all because we have a large, diverse community of chess players, and tournaments by virtue of their competitive level, time requirements, or location cannot all appeal to all types of players at all times. The chess community today is not the same as it was in the past. As GCA president, I must listen to our members and respond to their demands: to expand, support, and promote opportunities for competitive, quality play.
I understand and respect your concern that an outside group may be stronger or better financed, and potentially threaten your business. We will not tolerate any organization trying to drive another out of business. On the other hand, the GCA will not act as the personal agent for a business seeking to keep others out of their “turf.” I will tell you that the GCA will be advising Continental Chess (or any other organization that we may approach or that approaches us) that we must have a balanced calendar. Similar events need to be coordinated in advance, so that they don’t overlap too often.
The GCA cannot carry out its mission if we are beholden to vendor interests – any vendor. We must maintain the balance of support to our valued vendor organizations with our responsibilities to the chess playing public. If a vendor is involved in a GCA endeavor that could be perceived as a conflict of interest, then the vendor should recuse itself from voting or debate on such an issue. As an example, and I say this with due respect, it seems that whenever the GCA proposes dates in a modest expansion of our programs, we have heard you state that the GCA has no right to do so, presumably because the proposal conflicts with your own business’ plans or calendar. We cannot function as an organization if we cannot maintain impartiality. And under my leadership, this will cease to be a problem.
Thad, I continue to honor and value your long commitment and dedication to the GCA. We are all glad to have you involved and hope that you will want to do so for a long time to come. Regarding the Open Events committee meetings, there has actually not been a full meeting of the Open Events committee yet. Some committee members are changing their commitments to some degree, and while we’re managing this, I would anticipate a full meeting this month. You’ll certainly be advised when the meeting is scheduled.
As always, I welcome your feedback and look forward to talking with you about this or any other area of concern.”
Fun

The POTGCA writes about having a “balanced calendar.” Since the GCA has plans for a tournament every other weekend, that can only mean half for the GCA and half for everyone else.
As far as “…advising Continental Chess…”, I question why the GCA would want any other tournaments here along with their two dozen. Is the chess community large enough to support just the GCA tournaments? It is well known that Bill Goichberg, from New York, has intentionally stayed out of the South. Yes, he has held tournaments in Orlando, but how many tournaments has he held in other Southern states? The Ironman mentioned one in Nashville. One. The most famous was the Continental Open, a CCA tournament in Atlanta back in May of 1973 in which Mr. Six Time, GM Walter Browne flew in from the west coast. GM Browne was on the cover of the May, 1973 “Chess Life & Review.” Walter was treated to some “Southern hospitality,” drawing with Rueben Shocron and losing to Milan Momic, and Robert Burns, before leaving to catch a much earlier flight than anticipated. As GM Browne was leaving someone asked him why he was leaving. The Legendary Georgia Ironman was present to hear what came next, now Tim’s ALL-TIME FAVORITE chess quote. Walter turned on the man like a cobra, yelling, “I DID NOT COME HERE FOR YOUR BENEFIT!”
I realize the World Open was held in the Great State of Virginia this year, but how many tournaments has the CCA brought to the Deep South in the last forty plus years? Of all the tournaments the CCA has held since the 1970’s I will be kind and say that if one includes Louisville, although having lived there I cannot imagine anyone would, the CCA has held maybe five percent in the South, probably less. The “pooh-bahs” should consider leaving the CCA alone and concentrate on holding the conjectured GCA tournaments to the best of their ability. I would like to warn the GCA of over saturation. The Ironman and I were in the sports card business in the late 1980’s, early 90’s, before over saturation and the MLB strike of 1994. When we began there were only a few monthly shows in the metro area. Then a few were added, and then there were card shows every other weekend. More were added until it became a card show every weekend in many locations. In those halcyon days the action was fast and furious. I recall being involved in major deals that were so involved that when another customer would pick a card and pay the advertised price without haggling. I would stuff the bill in my pocket and carry on with the deal. Then the customers stopped coming because they knew there would be another show the next weekend, and the next. Near the end it was so bad at one show I told the Ironman I would not eat lunch until I made a sale. My stomach was growling all afternoon until after the show when Tim took pity on me and bought me a beer and a sammy at Spondivits, saying, “A man who don’t make even one sale shouldn’t have to pay the tab.”

Has Cheating Affected Chess?

I posted a link to my last post on cheating on the USCF forum. In response Ron Suarez left a long comment culminating with, “So cheating can be a potential issue. However I think it quite extreme to say it is currently the most important issue facing the chess world.”
He was answered in the following post by William H. Stokes who wrote, “Is it really so extreme to claim that cheating is currently the most important issue facing the chess world. If class players exit the game in droves because they are convinced a program will win the event rather than the ubiquitous ringer (who at least used his own brain) , I just can’t see the sunny personalities of the great players making up for this shortfall in revenue.”
I do not know why my friend the Discman stopped playing chess because I never asked him, but there are clues. Like so many adults he was at the House of Pain playing in the Wednesday night event like every Wednesday night and then he missed a week, and we missed him. After missing for a few weeks we stopped missing him. Chris, like so many other adults, took his game to poker, and did well enough to cash in the World Series of Poker. This century the game of poker found great popularity. Something similar happened with the game of backgammon in the late 1970’s, early 80’s. The craze fizzled, and the same thing has happened with poker. There was no generally agreed reason for the sudden loss of interest in backgammon, but poker is a different story. Cheating, especially in online poker, has killed the game. The Discman told me that at the height of the poker craze there were many poker games in his neck of the woods each and every night. Now there are only a few games the way it was before the craze. Only a few years ago books on poker crowded out chess books in the games section, but now there are as few poker books as chess, because neither are selling. Most bars hosted a poker night, especially Texas Hold’em, but that is no longer the situation. Do a search on “Feds Poker Crackdown” and you will see page after page of articles on the demise of poker. To say the popularity of poker has waned would be a tremendous understatement.
If you are even a sporadic reader, you know the Discman, NM Chris Chambers, and I communicate regularly, and have for many years. Here are some comments the Discman has sent recently.
This was during a discussion of how few adult members are left in the USCF.
May 12, 2014
“There are between 90,000 and 100,000 ALTA adult dues-paying members – the Atlanta Tennis organization. Most of these people are also dues-paying members of USTA, the United States Tennis Association. They run many major events across the country, including the U.S. Open in Flushing, NY. I don’t know how many USTA members there are but I’m guessing over 1M.”
Chris was the first to inform me many years ago about the coming of a chess program strong enough to beat the World Champion coming to the hand-held gizmo.
May 12, 2014
“We saw this coming back in the ’90’s. The tremendous dedication and devotion required to become a top GM is not worth it, as there is not a tournament circuit to make a living playing in.
Without a viable reason to become a world-class GM there is no reason to pursue the game. It’s like cutting off the head of the snake; only the wiggling extremeties (scholastic chess) remain, serving no real purpose.
I have heard it argued that the scholastic chess machine could produce a champion by virtue of numbers. This argument is flawed, as chess champions are prodigies and should/would be playing against adults by the age of 10.
Saying ‘I see no reason chess cannot be as popular as tennis or golf’ is delusional. The reason is obvious – virtually nobody plays OTB chess competitively. In my neighborhood there are 575 dues-paying ALTA (Atlanta Lawn & Tennis Association) members, and 37 teams last year. Granted, there are 2,700 homes in my neighborhood, but still there are probably more ALTA members than there are dues-paying adult GCA members in the entire state of GA.
Sadly, I have to say “I told ya so…”
chambiz
May 13, 2014
“It’s hopelessly easy to cheat at a chess tournament, and with GM-strength chess engines available for less than $100 and $1,000+ class prizes it’s a safe bet that more than half of the top class prizes go to cheaters at a major open tourney.”
And here is one from last year:
Sep 30, 2013
“It’s still too easy to cheat – even in FIDE rated events. All you would need is a device that could send a pulse, for example a device in your shoe. An outside agent could then send moves to you through sequenced pulses via this device. A spectator could very easily signal in moves to a player simply by standing there – both arms hanging loosely at your side means “knight.” Left hand clenched means “bishop” etc.
Until you send every player through a screening device and allow nobody else access to the room I’m not going to be convinced that cheating isn’t possible. Nobody wants to play in an environment like that.”

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!