Rock and Roll on the Chessboard

by Mike Papapavlou, Founder of Guitar Guide Guru 

  • When the men on the chess board
    Get up and tell you where to go…..

    -White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane 

    1. Love for the Challenge

    A true chess player & guitarist, in other words, someone committed and passionate, both love the challenges of each form. They both smile when they realize they’re in over their heads.
    You can’t get better at anything unless you take on a challenge that’s above your skill set. Playing stronger opponents will lead to improvement and learning a jazz guitar solo when you’ve mainly played rock & roll is like learning a complicated opening, for example.

    2. Love for Experimentation

    Trying new things out and taking a chance or two, in short experimenting, is the second thing a true chess player & guitarist have in common. They wouldn’t settle on one opening or genre before exploring as many as possible!

    3. They both INSPIRE us to be our Greatest Self!

    As human beings, we are not truly happy unless we are constantly growing and both the guitar & chess are forms that can keep us busy for many many lifetimes.

    Many legendary guitarists and other musicians have also loved chess with equal passion and commitment.

    Here are a few:

    Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) was an avid chess player. He once carved his own chess set. He once mentioned that he hadn’t been writing too much music because he was playing so much chess.

    Bob Dylan (1941- ) plays chess. He is an avid chess player who used to play chess for hours at the Cafe Figaro in Greenwich Village in New York.

    Graham Nash (1942- ) of Crosby, Stills, and Nash plays chess. He participated in a celebrity chess tournament in Mazatlan, Mexico in 1988 and played Helen Reddy.

  • Phish is an American rock band whose members play chess. In one concert, the band challenged its audience to two games of chess. Phish won one game and the audience won the other.

  • Sting (1951- ), Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, plays chess. His original ambition in life was to be a chess grandmaster. He has played chess with Gary Kasparov, lasting 45 moves. Sting’s estate in France has a giant chess board in the grounds.

  • Willie Nelson (1933- ) plays chess. He once played Ray Charles in the dark! 

  • Guitar Guide Guru is one of our esteemed education partners. Join their weekly Tell Your Guitar Story Hangout tomorrow at 6pm EST, where guitarists brainstorm and jam. 

Let’s Host a Fundraiser For Your Non-Profit or School

Did you raise enough money on Giving Tuesday? If you are like most non-profits, no amount is ever enough. Would you like an easy way for us to help you raise money and also give your supporters a fun and meaningful activity?

We are donating 1-hour virtual group lessons, for parents and children of all levels.

Process is simple:

1) Schedule time and date that would be good for community for a 1-hour virtual class for all ages/levels via our Calendly link.

2) You decided suggested donation amount and spread the word of event.

3) You send us registration list so we can share Zoom link and we will be good to go.

How Window Treatments Relate to Chess

by Harriett Erskine-Joseph, Founder of Interiors by Harriett 

Window treatment and chess have a process that the user has to get familiar with. Here are some similarities when selecting window treatments vs playing chess:

1. Benefits: Just like the game of chess, window treatment has user benefits.

2. Purpose: Just like chess, what’s the purpose for your window treatment?

3. Goal: What’s your end goal for playing chess vs buying window treatment?

4. Results: What results have you gained since playing chess vs using your window treatments?

5. ROI: What’s your return on investment from playing chess vs buying window treatments?6. An Investment: Just as chess is an investment in yourself, window treatment is an investment in your home.

6. Investment: Just as chess is an investment in yourself, window treatment is an investment in your home.

For more about Interiors Harriet’s window treatment services, see this recent podcast episode

Sing Along And Shine Presentation, 5/12

“Sing Along And Shine” Presentation: Learn about The Adrienne Process, the multiple award-winning children’s album, Heartsongs of the Rainbow, and the accompanying online course, “The Heartsongs Curriculum: 7 Days to Create and Experience Joy with your Uniquely-abled Child” on May 12, 2020 at 5pm on Zoom!

 Are you and your uniquely-abled child a bit stir-crazy right about now during these unprecedented and challenging times? Is the anxiety and stress so overwhelming that you are physically and mentally exhausted all the time? Do you and your child both need a smile or perhaps a virtual hug? How about a daily dose of fun? Look no further if you answered “YES” to any of these questions!

Register and join Adrienne Murphy’s “Sing Along and Shine” Free  Zoom Presentation with your child! Adrienne Murphy, MA CCC-SLP, Creator and Founder of The Adrienne Process is a veteran pediatric speech-language pathologist and multiple award-winning Children’s Recording Artist (2020 Parent Choice Award; 2020 National Parenting Product Award).

Since music is one of the best ways to reduce stress, increase joy and have some good ol’ fashioned fun, Adrienne will be offering parents the free opportunity to get to know her work, music and online course while kids will have the opportunity to sing along with the music videos from the first three tracks of The Adrienne Process’ award-winning album, “Heartsongs of the Rainbow”.

As an added bonus, Adrienne will also describe her online course: “The Heartsongs Curriculum: The 7 Day Curriculum to Create and Experience Joy With Your Uniquely-abled child Using Heartsongs of the Rainbow Music Album” that is now available for purchase on The Adrienne Process’ website. Hope to see you there!

Learn more about Adrienne Murphy on this podcast episode.

Email with name and title to register.






Four Great Causes to Support on Giving Tuesday

Class with Make a Difference Now in Tanzania

Many of you know, today is GivingTuesdayNow, introduced due to the emergency needs many non profits have given the Covid-19 situation. Here are four wonderful choices to consider donating to:

1) Chess in the Schools :

Chess in the Schools runs programs in 50+ title one schools in New York and conducts tournaments. During this wild time, their instructors are continuing to work full-time, conducting virtual classes and running daily tournaments.

2) Make a Difference Now :

Make a Difference Now, which we partner with every year to teach chess in Tanzania, definitely has its challenges during this time. All of the Tanzanian schools are closed so the students they support are back home in their villages. The organization has organized a Youth Covid-19 taskforce, where students are educating others in their villages about the disease. It’s director Theresa Grant is raising money for the villages to develop water taps.

3) The Philadelphia Chess Society

While the Spring Nationals are all canceled, the Philadelphia Chess Society, which empowers underrepresented youth though chess is teaching students virtually and already organizing tournaments later in the fall and in 2021.

4)Manhattan Jewish Experience

Since mid-September I have had the honor being an Manhattan Jewish Experience fellow, in which we learn for 3 hours every Wednesday night. While we are not meeting in person, Founder Rabbi Mark Wildes and team are doing a great time contiuining to inspire young Jewish professionals in their 20s and 30s, virtually, through the fellowship program, daily lunch and learns, evening lectures, 1-1 learning and much more.

I realize many people’s are budgets for the time being, but every dollar counts so please consider supporting these or any other non-profit of your choice today.


Electrical Contracting and Chess

How would I compare the electrical contracting industry to a game of chess, easy

Start with a sales strategy                                                                        Start with a game strategy

Make your first move                                                                                Make your first move

Study and observe your client                                                                 Study and observe you opponent

Revisit your sales strategy                                                                       Revisit your game strategy

Sell to win                                                                                                   Play to win

Close the sale                                                                                            Win the game

-Ira S. Ketive, VP of Engineering at Absolute Electrical Contracting of NY, Inc.

Follow us on Twitch!

Will be forever grateful to Liza Orlova for design of background!

I recently started streaming on Twitch! Check out our account and consider following to keep up with tournaments, matches, lessons and casual games.

I would like to thank four streamers, who helped me get started:

National Master Todd Bryant of Strong Chess  : Inspired me to get started

Candidate Master Andrew Koenigsberg : Helped with initial set up

Liza Orlova, Author of Chess for Beginners: Made massive improvements to stream and made it look semi-professional. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Liza Orlova to set up streams and perform any of your other graphic design needs. Contact her here.

I am looking foward to playing  a match against National Master Jesse Lozano of Complete Chess   tomorrow night at 8:30 PM. I am open to challenges to send email to if you’d like to play a match!