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Old October 27th 16, 11:26 PM posted to
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Default International Chess Master Jay Whitehead Has Died

El domingo, 16 de octubre de 2011, 9:22:03 (UTC-7), samsloan escribió:
International Master Jay Whitehead Has Died

International Chess Master Jay Whitehead has died of cancer on October
4, 2011. He died in the Zen Hospice Guest House in San Francisco after
a long battle with cancer.

Jay Whitehead was born in 1961 in New York. He was one of the
strongest chess players ever to be born in the USA. He would easily
have been grandmaster strength, but he never got the title as he quit
playing chess actively before he reached his prime and concentrated on
researching old chess games played before 1850. He is survived by an
elder brother, Paul Whitehead, who is slightly weaker at chess with a
FIDE rating of 2350, and by his mother. The Whitehead Family holds the
distinction of harboring Bobby Fischer in their home in San Francisco
in the early 1980s when Fischer was hiding out. (See Searching for
Bobby Fischer. Now you know where he really was.)

Jay Whitehead holds the distinction of being the only US player ever
to finish ahead of Garry Kasparov in a chess tournament. Whitehead
finished second in the 1977 World Youth Championship in France and
Garry Kasparov finished third. Here is their game from that event:

Kasparov,Garry - Whitehead, Jay [D02]
Cagnes sur Mer, 1977

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.Bf4 Bb7 4.e3 e6 5.Nbd2 c5 6.c3 Be7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.h3
d5 9.0-0 Nbd7 10.a4 a6 11.Qb1 Rc8 12.b4 cxd4 13.cxd4 Rc3 14.b5 a5
15.Rc1 Rxc1+ 16.Qxc1 Qa8 17.Ra2 Bb4 18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.Bxe5 Rc8 20.Rc2
Rxc2 21.Qxc2 Qc8 22.Nf3 Qxc2 23.Bxc2 Ne8 24.g4 f6 25.Bb8 Bd6 26.Bxd6
Nxd6 27.h4 Bc8 28.Kg2 Bd7 ½-½

Jay Whitehead converted to the Hare Krishna Religion some time in the
1980s. He quickly became an outcast or a member of a dissident group.
He told me the whole story but I could not follow it. He said that the
founder of the Hare Krishna religion, His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, had been murdered by his devoted
followers. Whitehead wrote several articles about this which I agreed
to publish on my website, but in 2006 he send me a desperate email
asking me to remove his name from the article on my website, but to
keep the article up:

Jay Whitehead was constantly being kicked out or expelled from various
Hare Krishna groups and during the period 1997-2000 he kept coming
back to one of my places in Brooklyn looking for a free place to stay.
He always offered to give me chess lessons or to work around the house
such as cut the grass in return for the free place to stay, but as I
already know everything I need to know about chess nor did I have any
grass that needed cutting, I just let him stay as a service to the
chess community, as I often have done.

The reason he wanted to stay in my residence in Brooklyn was he was
going to the New York Public Library every day to research old chess
manuscripts. The New York Public Library is the largest library in the
world and has many documents that no other library has. Whitehead had
a list of newspapers that had published chess columns in the period
around 1830-1850 and every day Whitehead was going there to write down
every game he could find. One of these newspapers was the Bristol
Mercury from Bristol, England.

In 2001, I had to tell him that he could no longer stay at my place
because I had gotten married and had a child, so I could not keep any
men in my family home. About a year later, I received an email from
him saying that he was living in the San Francisco Bay Area, but the
hard disk on his computer had gone bad so he had lost all the data he
had collected. Since he had been using my computers in my home in
Brooklyn New York, he asked me to send him his computer file that he
had left on my computer. Fortunately, I still had the file, so I sent
it to him. I am sure that I still have the file on one of my old
computers and I will search for it when I have time.

Jay Whitehead often spoke about going back to Thailand and/or Korea to
visit his old “girlfriends”, whom I suspect were women of less than
perfect virtue. I wonder if he left any children back there (for us to
worship). I also wonder if this contributed to his early death at age

Jay Whitehead wrote several articles that were posted on my websites.
One was a sarcastic article about the fact that Kasparov seemed to be
dumping his 2000 World Chess Championship match to Kramnik by agreeing
to quick draws while Kramnik was a leading the match. Here is what Jay
Whitehead wrote at :

Garry Kasparov Quiz: Do you have what it takes to play like him?
Do you have what it takes to be like Garry Kasparov, the World Chess
Do you have what it takes to play chess like Garry Kasparov? Here is a
quiz devised by International Chess Master Jay Whitehead based upon
the results of the Kasparov Kramnik match. Take this test and you will
know whether you too have what it takes to defend the world chess
title: 1. Let's see, now. I'm White. I absolutely HAVE to win, and I
wrote the book, "Fighting Chess." Why not (1) Play a drawish line
which Kramnik is expecting, has thoroughly prepared for, and plays
like a rock (2) Exchange Queens as early as humanly possible (3) Come
up with no improvements whatsoever and achieve less than nothing in
the opening (4) Offer a draw after 14 moves so everyone knows I
couldn't care less if I'm World Champion or not. 2. Last White. Time
to take off the gloves. Got a good track record with "risky" openings
like Scotch, Evans, and other sharp lines like A3 vs. the Queen's
Indian. There are ample ways to mix it up, especially with White, so
that the Win window expands. Besides, my reputation is at stake.
People will say I was a coward if I draw another dull game. Nothing to
lose. I know, why not play the CATALAN? After all, I kept the title in
Seville in 1987 using such tactics, even if though it goes against my
style. Kramnik is sure to crack under the pressure. Even if he is the
best in the world at defending slightly inferior positions, at least I
won't lose. Wait a minute--a draw loses the match! 1. Play e4 and go
for the Scotch Opening. 2. Play e4 followed by the Evans Gambit 3.
Play d4 followed by a3 against the Queen's Indian 4. Play the
Let's see, now. I'm White. I absolutely HAVE to win. I will:
Play a drawish line which Kramnik is expecting, has thoroughly
prepared for, and plays like a rock
Exchange Queens as early as humanly possible
Come up with no improvements whatsoever and achieve less than nothing
in the opening
Offer a draw after 14 moves so everyone knows I couldn't care less if
I'm World Champion or not
Last White. Time to take off the gloves. I will:
Play e4 and go for the Scotch Opening
Play e4 followed by the Evans Gambit
Play d4 followed by a3 against the Queen's Indian
Play the Catalan
Congratulations. If you scored 100, you too are ready to defend the
World Chess Championship!

At his request, I also posted on my website an appeal for funds to
help him with his chess research.

“Definitive Work on Chess History in Progress!
“For the last decade, International Master Jay Whitehead has been
researching old newspaper archives from before 1867 and has been
collecting chess games that have never been published within the last
hundred years. He has been researching weekly chess columns in obscure
publications such as the Bristol Mercury, for example.
“So far, he has collected more than eight thousand chess games from
English language publications.
“Now, he needs French, German, Dutch, Romanian, Spanish (and possibly
other) translators to bring to fruition a lifelong dream.
“Every Known Chess Result and Every Traceable Chess Game, including
all available dates, conditions, etc., prior to 1867, will soon appear
to satisfy the cravings of every true chessaholic.
“Not only that, he plans that a complete rating list, with EVERY
RATABLE RESULT, 1798-1866 (about 50,000 games), will soon be within
your grasp.
“NEVERMORE will you wonder, "How shall I fritter away my valuable
life, today?"
“You will know at last:
* Which version of "The Immortal Game" really occurred!
* How many Lowenthal vs. Morphy games are fakes!
* The true status of the so-called World Championship of 1843!
* How Staunton kept his prestige after winning that match!
* Anderssen's minus scores against all his rivals!
* The modest world #1, 1841-49, who you've never heard of!
* The "first-played" of every opening!
* A Morphy loss, without odds, vs. a "top-10," no one has seen!
* Which version of "The Evergreen Game" actually occurred!
And that's just a taste of what's coming IF he gets the translating
help he needs.
So what are you waiting for? Be a part of this glorious tribute to the
Royal Game!
Write to Jay Whitehead at

It happens that I wrote to Jay Whitehead on October 2, 2011, just two
days before he died. I did not know that he was sick. He did not
reply, as he was quite ill. Here is my letter to him:

“Dear Jay Whitehead,

“Ishi Press will publish the Bhagavad Gita

“Ishi Press has expanded to become a major book publisher. We now have
271 books in print and plan to reach 300 by Christmas.

“Do you have any books you would like to have published, including
Hare Krishna books or chess books?


Like so many authors, Jay Whitehead has died without ever getting
around to publishing the results of his research. Now I will have to
look around and see if he has left behind anything that can be

Sam Sloan
Ishi Press

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