ChessLecture Milestone

by admin on April 24, 2013

I didn’t even notice it until this morning, but ChessLecture hit a pretty big milestone three weeks ago — we now have more than two thousand recorded lectures! As of today (April 24) there are 2015, in fact. The two thousandth lecture was a very appropriate one: a lecture on “Anand’s Immortal Game” by David Vigorito. This was a game from earlier this year where Anand beat Aronian with multiple piece sacrifices. There were some questions as to how much of Anand’s brilliancy was preparation (possibly computer-aided) and how much was discovered over the board, but it is nevertheless a fabulous and inspiring game.

Another reason this was an appropriate 2000th lecture is that David Vigorito has recorded more lectures for CL than anybody else. But it’s extremely close. Little did I realize that he and Bill Paschall are having a nip-and-tuck battle for the top spot, which they took over not too long ago from the currently-on-hiatus Jesse Kraai. There’s also a pretty close race going on for the #4 through #6 spots.

Here’s a scorecard of all the ChessLecturers and how many lectures they’ve recorded:

  1. David Vigorito — 308
  2. Bill Paschall — 307
  3. Jesse Kraai (inactive) — 287
  4. Eugene Perelshteyn — 190
  5. Valeri Lilov — 185
  6. Dennis Monokroussos — 182
  7. Bryan Smith — 149
  8. John-Paul Wallace (inactive) — 137
  9. Dana Mackenzie — 129
  10. Leonid Kritz — 62
  11. Josh Friedel (inactive) — 20
  12. Mark Diesen (deceased) — 17
  13. John Watson (inactive) — 11
  14. Roman Dzindzichashvili (inactive) — 9

Kind of amusing to see Dzindzichashvili on the bottom of this list. He’s actually a very good lecturer and you can catch his lectures on I don’t really know why it didn’t work out for him at ChessLecture, and I will keep any speculations to myself.

Segueing into a slightly different topic, does anyone have any suggestions or ideas on how ChessLecture can improve its marketing or attract more subscribers? I have a few ideas: Bring back Jesse Kraai. Make the website more dynamic and/or interactive. Bring back Jesse Kraai. Offer special package plans for chess coaches. Bring back Jesse Kraai. Any other ideas?

I’m not on the management, so I can only make suggestions. It seems to me that the real problem is that we’re a boutique store competing with supermarkets (, Internet Chess Club) that offer the same product we do (lectures) but also a whole lot more (forums, blogs, online chess). The only way that ChessLecture can prosper, I think, is to make the case that our product is better or unique. But I’m not sure how to do that, and not sure if it’s even true.

Finally, for anybody who might wonder what I’m up to on ChessLecture, I have a nice surprise in store for you! I have started recording a new series called “Awesome State Champions.” I’ve recorded the first two lectures in the series, which will probably air a month or two from now. The first lecture features John Curdo (17 Massachusetts championships over a 37-year span, 1948-1985) and the second features Orest Popovych (4 New Jersey championships, spanning 42 years, 1959-2001! This may be a record for the longest time between a person’s first and last state championship.) One pleasure I did not expect is that their opponents have been almost as interesting as the state champions themselves. This is truly a forgotten slice of American chess history. I hope you’ll enjoy this series as much as I have so far.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Phille April 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

In what kind of world do you live, where the preparation of the world champion is only “possibly” computer-aided? 😉

And yes, Jesse Kraai’s lectures are awesome. But Vigorito is very good as well and I play a recommendation of Paschall against 1.c4.
It’s funny how with some people you are getting increasingly annoyed with their idiosyncratic expressions and with other commentators you just get to like their typical phrases more and more. I cannot help but smile every time Jesse Kraai says “and (insert move) is also not so hot”.


Brian Wall April 25, 2013 at 1:10 am

Brian Wall, 7 time Colorado Champion spanning from 1977 Colorado Open ( won on tiebreaks over David Jellison ) to the 2013 Colorado Closed ( clear first ) – 36 years ).

To be fair I ignore tiebreaks and count ties and I also ignore when Yermolinsky won the 2012 Colorado Open since he was not a resident.

So my honest record is:

I have at least tied for first with any Colorado resident in 7 State Championships.

OK you can throw in a Massachusetts State blitz title in 1993 if you have to.


admin April 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Hi Brian,
I would love to do a ChessLecture about one of your games… but do you have a favorite one? Or maybe you could send me three or four favorites, so that I can pick one.


Jason April 29, 2013 at 4:03 am

Donald Griffith, by my count, has 12 (including ties) WV State Chess Titles spanning from 1975-2006.
But the great WV Champion is probably Seigfried Werthammer, winning 14 titles from 1943-1965.

Dana– great choice of article series. The State Champions include some really strong players like Curdo who only are known locally, so should be fascinating!


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