Upsetting Time at the 1980 US Chess Open in Hot Atlanta, Georgia

A confluence of events, or synchronicity has brought this post together. It began when the United States Chess Federation put older issues of Chess Life magazine online for anyone to peruse. Then there was a post I posted at Facebook, at the Chess Mess page.
Chess Mess at Manuel’s Tavern

The Chess Mess is the name of the meeting at the venerable Manuel’s Tavern ( in Atlanta, Georgia,

View from the bar at Manuel’s Tavern

which happens to be the bar at which I enjoyed my first adult beverage. I have bellied-up to the bar on numerous occasions since, including the Manuel’s Tavern formerly located on Memorial Road, which was near the residence of the Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear. It was the main watering hole for the Ironman and I rarely went there without being with Tim. This Manuel’s Tavern would host a Christmas party for only the regulars, and Tim was included in the all you can eat and drink, within reason, limit. Tim had invited me and by the time I arrived there was a crowd outside the front door. There were no cell phones ‘back in the day’ so I had to fight my way to a window, where I saw Tim but I was the last thing on his mind. The crowd was badly wanted inside. As I was about to leave the door opened and it was our favorite bartender, Buddy Bob. “COME ON, MIKE!!!” he yelled. I somehow managed to battle my way through the crowd and was able to once again belly up to the bar. “What happened to your shirt, Mike?” Tim asked. “Looks like it got ripped.” Buddy Bob said, “Yeah, the crowd’s turning ugly out there. Don’t think I’m gonna open the door again.” Ah, those were the daze!

I recall walking into the Manuel’s on Highland one evening after a long absence to be greeted by Bobby, who said, “Howdy, stranger! What’ll you have?” I said, “How about a Buddy’s special?” Bobby’s eyebrows shot up before saying, “Wow, you’ve been away awhile. That’s no longer on the menu and hasn’t been for some time now.” Hearing this, Bill McCloskey walked over and smiled before shaking my hand and saying, “Anybody comes in here asking for a Buddy’s gets what he wants and it’s on me.” It was good to be home…

Bobby and McCloskey

Earlier this month I posted something unrelated to Chess at the Facebook page of the Chess Mess. Being new to the book of faces I had no idea that the nattering nabobs from Etiquette Hell ( would excoriate me unmercifully for posting something about the pandemic on the page. One of those doing the excoriating was a female who wanted the Mess to remain purely about Chess while being unsullied by anything other than Chess, especially anything about Covid. Later Thad Rogers, bless his heart, posted something in reply about Kasparov’s former trainer dying of Covid. And Thad shocked me when he left a “like” on the now infamous “Mr. Hankey” post (, which proves he has a decent sense of humor.
Another who left a comment was a fellow known ‘back in the day’ as Billy Noyes, who let me know he now wants to be known as “Bill” and only “Bill.” Bill was calling for an administrator like one of the girls in grammar school calling for the teacher, saying, “Mrs. Suttles, that awful Michael Bacon just hit me with a SPITWAD!!!

I recalled “Bill” as a long-time class D player, to which he took offense, letting me know in no uncertain terms that he had been over 1500 many times, topping out at 1583. I replied, “I don’t know if that is a number of which to be proud. Back in the day it was thought that a player was not taken seriously until he became a class B player,” which is 1600. I see Bill has left a few “likes” about my posts recently, so let’s hear it for Mr. Bill Noyes! It is not my intention to disparage any player of the Royal Game no matter how low his rating. After all, I lost all six games at my very first USCF rated event, and had a triple digit rating to prove it. I was no kid, other than at heart, at the time, as I was twenty, and old enough to know better.

Then there was something posted on Facebook by Greg Maness in reply to Rocha Harris: “Is it possible That GM might loss a chess Match to Under Rated Player ?? What are? Or What is the Percentage??”

Greg Maness: “I once beat a ~2390 and HAD a ~2250 beat in the same tournament — and I was only rated ~1775 at the time .. .. so — anything is possible …..”

I decided to give my two cents worth by depositing this: “A snowballs chance in hell…”

About this time I checked the stats at the AW blog when I noticed someone had clicked onto an earlier post: Bradley Scott Cornelius R.I.P. ( I could not recall the name or the post, so I clicked on over finding Michael Mulford, the Mulfish, had notified me of the death of Mr. Conelius. He wrote: I headed to the USCF website ( in an attempt to locate where, exactly, this was posted, but was unable to do so. It is possible the notification was posted, then taken down, before I searched the website. This is rather strange, considering the fact that Mr. Cornelius died in battle across the Chess board. I have, therefore, decided to publish the notice. I did not know Bradley Scott Cornelius, but he was one of us. He was a class ‘B’ player. For many years the demarcation line between being consider a quality player was crossing the 1600 barrier. It appears 1600 is still considered some kind of line to be crossed to be taken seriously as a Chess player. When a player becomes a class ‘B’ player he has stopped making piece losing and game losing moves with regularity. It does not happen often but class ‘B’ players have been known to upset GM’s. Ask GM John Fedorowicz.

1980 US Open

Hot Time In Atlanta

Not since Sherman visited Atlanta has there been so much burning – the weather, the competition, and sometimes even the hotel

By Alison Burt

A FIRE, A DOWNPOUR, AND AN extraordinary number of early upsets were not enough to throw the 1980 U.S. Open off course. A few hours after the third-ranked contender was demolished by a category II player in the first round of this annual event, the tournament hall, concessionaires’ rooms and hotel rooms of the 385 participants appeared likely to go up in smoke in what could have been the shortest U.S. Open in history.

At 2 a.m., tournament organizer and director Thad Rogers

May be an image of 1 person

smelled smoke and alerted the staff at the Dunfey’s Atlanta Hotel that their new luxury manor, which only recently reopened after being destroyed by a blaze more than a year ago, was once again on fire. Hotel employee’s were slow to believe Thad’s story until he opened an elevator door and smoke poured into the hallway. Many players refused to believe the alarm which sounded in the middle of the night, and the now frantic hotel staff began banging on doors, with news that the hotel was indeed on fire.
Although all halls filled with smoke, the flames were fortunately confined to a single evevator shaft and were brought under control by the Atlanta Fire Department. No one was injured. Meanwhile, guest had to wait outside the building for two hours – most in their night clothes. Arnold Denker with his Panama hat (to keep the sun out) and ever present cigar.
Gallows humor prevailed among the directing staff. Rogers was chastised for saving his wallet but not the wall charts; Joe Lux calculated that if one point was indeed enough to win the U.S. Open, then every player who won his first-round game would receive $72 and a handshake.
After the fire and the unprecedented July-August heat spell, most of us were hoping for rain. Our wishes were granted. Periodically during the first part of the tournament, pipes above the ballroom ceiling leaked, producing scattered showers – and one downpour – in the tournament hall. But further natural disasters were avoided, and the favored players performed pretty much as expected, with Grandmaster Florin Gheorghiu and International Master John Fedorowicz ultimately tying for first. The first half of the tournament was characterized by numerous upsets on the top boards. In fact, by the end of round 6, no player had a perfect score, and, after eight rounds, the five highest-rated entrants had given up at least a full point.
The upsets began as early as Round 1 when Stanley Davis, a local category II player, defeated Fedorowicz.

Upset prize The Firebug Confesses

By W. Stanley Davis

This is one of those encounters between drastically unequal players that characterizes the starting rounds of the swiss torture. The official tournament bulletin, invoking the quaint folkways and picturesque manners of the Old South, described the game as a “barnburner.”
Alekhine complained that chessplayers rarely speak, in their published notes, of their states of mind when making particular moves. But, in this place, I feel obligated, faute de mieux, to do exactly that. Since even Grandmasters have been known, once in a great while, to make teeny slips in annotating each other’s games, it would be presumptuous of a lower ranked player to hide behind columns of analysis. Here, instead, are my thought processes, warts and all.

Round 1
Nimzovich Attack

Davis/1621 John Fedorowicz/2479

  1. Nf3 (As this is my first tournament game since the 1973 Continental Open, and my first game ever against a player of this caliber, I feel that something solid and non-committal is in order.) 1…e6 2. e3 b6 3. b3 (Not 3. d4. Fedorowicz is the author of legendary exploits in the Queen’s Indian, and I am not anxious to find out he has in store for me. But suppose I turn his own weapon against him? Fischer used this tactic against Spassky in their sixth game at Reykjavik and brought off a winning attack. Going further back, I recall that Weaver Adams, the 1948 U.S. Open Champion who greatly favored the Vienna Game, had a terrible time defending against the Vienna as Black. At least my opponent cannot smash me up very quickly in a Nimzovich formation, so I decide to try it.) 3…Bb7 4. Bb2 c5 5. Be2 Nf6 6. d3 (Both positionally and psychologically, this sequence is more aggressive than it seems to the casual eye. On the positional side, it invites Fedorowicz to commit his QP so that the attack I plan may be precisely targeted. On the psychological side, perhaps it will lull him into thinking I am a timid and unadventurous who yearns for a draw.) 6…d5 7. Nbd2 Be7 8. Ne5 (This is getting interesting. Thanks to John’s sixth move, my Knight cannot be easily dislodged from its outpost on e5. That will give him something to think about, but there is another string to the bow.) 8…0-0 9. 0-0 Re8 10. f4

(And the hedgehog becomes a tiger! With this transposing move, my Nimzovich Attack fuses the strategic notions of the Great Blockader with Kingside attacking themes pioneered by such British stars of the last century as Staunton, Bird, Owen, Elijah Williams, and Skipworth. With so many names of power to call on, I have visions of putting up a real fight. En Passant, I wonder, carnivorously, whether John knows these old British lines of play.) 10…Bf8 11. Qe1 a5 (Fedorowicz knows he can open the Queenside by getting rid of both a-pawns. After that I will no longer have the classic means to prevent an incursion of his Queen Knight, with the intent of attacking my Queen. No matter. My Queen is destined for another part of the board, and I think he is insufficiently concerned with the position in general, as my next move shows.) 12 g4 a4 (“Ist der Laufer geschuzt?” {“Is the Bishop defended?”}) 13 Rc1 axb3 14. axb3 Ra2 15. Ba1 ( “Ja,der Laufer geschuzt” {“Yes, the Bishop is defended.”}) 15…Na6 (The old refrain. With his Queen Rook firmly planted on a2, he will use the Knight to attack the backward pawns on b3 and e3. As far as I am concerned, he can come right ahead. I shall now proceed to mount a formidable attack against his castled King.) 16. g5 Nd7 17. Bh5 Nxe5 18. Bxe5 Nb5 19. 19. Qh4 Nxc2 20. Rf3 Nxe3 21. Rxe3 Rxd2

(After these exchanges I feel I have come out quite well. He has won two pawns, which would be fatal to me in the endgame, but I hope we will not have to play that long. In return, I have three pieces and two pawns all bearing down on his King. Now to wheel up more cannon.) 22. Rh3 c5 23. Bf6! (“Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark!” If he takes my Bishop it is mate in five.) 23…Bc5+ (“We count it death to falter, not to die!”) 24. Kf1 Bf2 (“She picked up the nasty frog and she threw him against the wall as hard as she could.”) 25. Bxf7+ Kf8 26. Qxh7 (“As he fell to the ground, however, he was longer a frog but a handsome prince.”) 26…gxf6 27. Bg6, Black resigns.

I took the time to transcribe this from the PDF of the December 1980 issue of Chess Life magazine. First, a word about the author of the excellent article, which states, “Alison Burt, a student and professional classical guitarist, played in the 1979 U.S. women’s Championship.” Alison was a very intelligent and talented girl to whom I gave lessons. We were later paired in a tournament and she won. After the game ended she had a rather incredulously horrid look on her face that at the same time was sad even though she had just won the game. It was obvious she had no idea what to say, so I said, “Just goes to prove what a fine teacher I am, does it not?” Alison’s face lit up like a Christmas tree on Sunday morning, displaying a huge smile. When I returned her smile she bolted over, giving me a hug. “I was afraid you’d be mad at me, Michael.”

“I’m proud of you, my dear.” After returning home later that night I told Gail what had happened and she hugged me tightly before saying, “Sometimes you amaze me.” I replied, “Yeah, sometimes I amaze myself…”

Blue Harvest Moon

After learning there would be a Blue Moon on the night of September 20, tonight, I reached out to my friend Dennis Fritzinger, the poet who was profiled here earlier (, asking permission to use one of his poems:

Blue Moon

was my Auny Shirley’s favorite song
i have a picture of her
at a penny arcade
with her first or second husband
it had a moon theme going.
i still remember her
singing a few bars of it,
“Blue moon…
I saw you shining alone…”
it was a very romantic song,
about love and all that stuff;
it went way over my head,
but she seemed to like it.
“Blue moon…” she’d sing,
“Blue moon…”.

from his book, Nuclear Family:

In addition I mentioned possibly putting in a plug for the book on the blog because I very much liked Nuclear Family. His response:

Dennis Fritzinger
To:Michael Bacon
Mon, Sep 6 at 8:43 PM

Hi Michael,

You have my permission to use “Blue Moon”.

Also, thank you for your wonderful story. I hoped my book would trigger memories in its readers, and I’m glad to see it has!

All the Best,


Here’s how to order “Nuclear Family” (Ordering information and cover photo below).

Send $20 to:

Dennis Fritzinger

2220 Piedmont Ave.

Haas School of Business

University of California

Berkeley, CA 94720-1900

And here is the song chosen to go with the post:

While researching the song this was discovered:

Blue Moon THE SONG

The fascinating true story you never heard


“Blue Moon,” the classic American ballad that is one of the most universally recognized songs of the 20th century, is not what you think it is.

History tells us that it was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

In reality, “Blue Moon” was composed in 1931 by a 17-year-old, the son of Polish immigrants, after an evening of moonlit skating on a pond in upstate New York. This is the previously untold true story.

NY Times Interview On Blue Moon With Liz Roman Gallese

Blue Moon. The Real Story.
By Rodgers & Hart? Not Really.

From the Memoir:

“. . .the history of ‘Blue Moon,’ for all of its known convolutedness and remarkableness, actually begins earlier. Its unknown origins are even more remarkable and convoluted, and its agency lies at that very intersection of those final Hart lyrics being either his ‘simplest or most banal.’”

“. . .the lyrics. . .weren’t written by Hart, nor the melody by Rodgers. Rather the song was composed in 1931 by a 17-year-old, the son of Polish immigrants, in Troy, on the East bank of the Hudson River in upstate New York. His name was Edward W. Roman.”

Photo of Edward W. Roman with his ice skates
Photo of Edward W. Roman with his ice skates

“I know because I am his daughter, and because I have always known this story. It was part of the family lore for all of my growing-up years, the source of whispers about ‘that “Blue Moon” thing’ among the adults. . .a matter of curiosity among the more curious of the youngsters, of which I was perhaps the most curious.”

If you click onto this link you can hear Billie Holiday sing Blue Moon (

But wait…there’s MORE! Todaze moon is not a blue moon, but a HARVEST MOON! I kid you not…

Traditional Full Moon Names

Wolf Moon – January
Snow Moon – February
Worm Moon – March
Pink Moon – April
Flower Moon – May
Strawberry Moon – June
Buck Moon – July
Sturgeon Moon – August
Harvest Moon – September or October
Full Corn Moon (Harvest) – September
Hunter's Moon (Harvest) – October
Beaver Moon – November
Cold Moon – December 

It would appear that what we have tonight is a moon full of corn.

A Full Moon shines over a field of corn ready to be harvested. Dark blue night sky in the background.

Wait a minute! I do not see anything about a “Blue Moon” in the list? Inquiring minds wanna know, so…

Full Moons with No Name

Some years have 13 Full Moons, which makes at least one of them a Blue Moon, as it doesn’t quite fit in with the traditional Full Moon naming system. However, this is not the only definition of a Blue Moon.

About every 19 years, there is no Full Moon in February. This is one of several definitions of the term Black Moon. The other definitions refer to a New Moon which does not fit in with the equinoxes or solstices, similar to a Blue Moon. (

Time to put the wrap on another post, and who better to bring in the harvest than…

660,000 White Flags Represent the Staggering Death Toll of the Coronavirus Pandemic in the United States

660,000 white flags and climbing: This artist shows what America’s COVID-19 death toll looks like

Flags will be added during the memorial’s 17-day run as more people die

Volunteers plant white flags on the National Mall on Wednesday for the "In America: Remember" public art installation commemorating all Americans who have died from COVID-19.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Volunteers plant white flags on the National Mall on Wednesday for the “In America: Remember” public art installation commemorating all Americans who have died from COVID-19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By Chris Cioffi Posted September 16, 2021 at 1:28pm

Jeneffer Haynes is among the roughly 300 volunteers planting a crop of more than 660,000 white flags on the National Mall — it’s a physical representation of the staggering death toll of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. 

The Battle of Antietam

It’s the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, along the banks of Antietam Creek (1862). It was the bloodiest single day in American military history, with nearly 23,000 casualties, and it ended in a tactical draw. One regiment, the First Texas Infantry, lost 82 percent of its men.

Fighting ‘Too Fast’: The Texas Brigade paid a high price …

The 12-hour battle began at dawn in a cornfield on David Miller’s farm. It was the first Civil War battle fought in Union Territory; the second, the Battle of Gettysburg, would happen less than a year later. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had brought troops into Maryland — which was still part of the Union even though it was a slave state — to try to replenish his dwindling supplies. Encouraged by word of Stonewall Jackson’s

capture of Harpers Ferry Lee decided to make a stand in Sharpsburg rather than return to Confederate Virginia.

had brought troops into Maryland — which was still part of the Union even though it was a slave state — to try to replenish his dwindling supplies. Encouraged by word of Stonewall Jackson’s capture of Harpers Ferry Lee decided to make a stand in Sharpsburg rather than return to Confederate Virginia.

Union Major General George B. McClellan

commanded twice as many troops as Lee. Not only that, but he also had a copy of Lee’s battle plan. But McClellan fumbled these advantages, failing to fully collapse the Confederates’ flanks and advance his center — which meant that more than a quarter of McClellan’s men never entered the battle. In the afternoon Union troops advanced and a victory seemed imminent until late-arriving Confederate reinforcements held them off. By sundown both sides simply held their own ground. A veteran of the battle later recalled, “[The cornfield] was so full of bodies that a man could have walked through it without stepping on the ground.”

In the South it is known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. (

Another Anti-Vaccine Radio Host Bites The Dust

Another Anti-Vaccine Radio Host Is Killed By Covid—Adding To A Growing List

Tommy Beer Forbes Staff

Bob Enyart, a conservative radio talk show host in Denver who urged listeners to boycott Covid-19 vaccines and vowed never to get a shot, has lost his life after contracting the virus, one of his co-hosts announced earlier this week, in what is but the latest instance of a right-wing radio pundit succumbing to the coronavirus.

Bob Enyart reportedly used to “gleefully read obituaries of AIDS sufferers while cranking ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen,” and called for women who received an abortion to be sentenced to death. DP

Key Facts

On his show, entitled Real Science Radio, Enyart falsely claimed the vaccines were developed using aborted fetal cells and wrote on the show’s website blog in August advising “everyone to boycott Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson to further increase social tension and put pressure on the child killers.”

According to a Washington Post report, Enyart “used to gleefully read obituaries of AIDS sufferers while cranking ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen,” and repeatedly called for women who received an abortion to be sentenced to death.

At least four other right-wing radio hosts have died of Covid-19 since early August after each previously cast doubt on the safety of vaccines or fought against mask mandates and other public health initiatives.

Dick Farrel, a Florida-based conservative radio host and anchor on Newsmax TV who had called vaccines “bogus bullsh*t” and characterized Dr. Anthony Fauci as a “lying freak,” died on August 4 due to complications from Covid-19.

In late August, Marc Bernier, who spoke out against Covid-19 vaccines and even called himself “Mr. Anti-Vax” on his radio show from Daytona Beach, died after battling the virus for weeks.

Jimmy DeYoung Sr., a religious radio broadcaster from Tennessee who published an interview advancing a conspiracy theory that the Pfizer vaccine would make women sterile and asked if the virus and vaccines were forms of governmental control, died on August 18 after contracting Covid.

Phil Valentine, a popular conservative talk radio host in Nashville who voiced vaccine skepticism and mocked Democrats’ efforts to encourage people to get the jab, was killed by the virus in mid-August after reportedly telling his brother he regretted not being a “more vocal advocate” of getting inoculated.

Tuesday Night Marathon Games

After having been “nutted-up” for almost a year and a half because of the pandemic it was good, after having been vaccinated to be able to get out a little before being hit with the second, Delta, wave. One of the people encountered was a middle-aged gentleman with a wife and two children, Mr. G. His business is nearby and we began talking and one of the subjects was Chess. He has never played a rated game but has learned the basics from the internet and has been following some of the action online. Now Mr. G is not going to enter a USCF rated tournament and take home first prize in any section but he will be able to play a decent game against lower rated players. Mr. G also plays piano professionally. It was interesting hearing him relate how his students are not beginners because they learn the basics from a computer program. He begins teaching after they have acquired a modicum of proficiency. He wondered why so many people take Chess lessons when there is a plethora of information on the internet. I have wondered the same thing myself…Many years ago a gentleman did not want to take Chess lessons from me because I was not a titled player. “You took golf lessons from the club pro, did you not?” He nodded his head in agreement. The fact is that some very strong Chess players do not make good teachers because they cannot teach. The same could be said about a few of the teachers I had ‘back in the day’. Mr. Stuart, for example, was a brilliant mathematician, but a lousy teacher. Some teachers have a knack for imparting knowledge and wisdom; some don’t. My younger sister taught third grade. Lynnette once told me that she knew from the moment entering first grade she wanted to become a teacher. I visited her third grade classroom once and was amazed to see how beautiful was the room compared to the prison like surroundings we suffered in when young. There were big, brightly colored, fluffy pillows on the floor, and each and every student was engaged in something. There were myriad items on the walls and the room was BRIGHT, unlike the dark, dingy and foreboding cells in which we were imprisoned. The children were smiling and laughing and having a fine ol’ time. There was none of that when I attended school. The surroundings were dismal and austere at best. The frowns on the face of the teachers spoke loudly. As Bob Dylan wrote, “Things have changed.” In this case they have changed for the better.

I have told budding players to replay games of lesser players to learn because non-titled players make the same kind of mistakes they will make. In addition, they will play more of the type of openings you will face. I mentioned to one young bud that maybe he should consider playing over the games of the top women players because they make more mistakes that the top men players. “I don’t wanna see any mistakes because then I will make the same mistakes!” he said. “But you learn from the mistakes, do you not?” He returned fire with the salvo, “Yeah, but then I will be PLAYING LIKE A GIRL.” He frowned after I said, “Dude, you have about a snowballs chance in Hell of ever becoming as good as the woman who finishes in last place in some of those tournaments.”

I enjoy replaying the games from the Tuesday Night Marathon at the venerable Mechanic’s Institute Chess Room in San Francisco, ( which surely must be on every Chess player’s ‘bucket list’ boy or girl. The games are available at the ChessBomb live and some of the games are annotated when the Mechanic’s Institute Newsletter (It is FREE! Join the mailing list here: is published on Saturday. I usually go over the games Wednesday morning while having coffee, after cut and pasting them so I have nothing but the moves, and look at them on an actual board with pieces one can hold in a hand. Later I look at them at the ChessBomb website (, checking my moves with those of the Stockfish program, which I admit, at times can be painful. The following games, are from the first round. The second round was last night and I will wait until the MIN hits the internet before writing them through the Armchair Wringer, and hopefully fire them next Tuesday. These games were not annotated at the MIN but you can find all the answers to your questions at ChessBomb. On with the games!

Teodoro Porlares 1749 (USA) vs Natan Gimelfarb, 1139 (USA)
Tuesday Night Marathon September 2021 round 01
A52 Budapest, Adler variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. e6 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 dxe6 7. Qxd8+ Nxd8 8. g3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Nc6 10. Nd4 Nce5 11. h3 Nf6 12. Nb5 O-O 13. Nxc7 Rb8 14. Nb5 a6 15. Bf4 Nxc4 16. Bxb8 axb5 17. Bg2 Bd7 18. Bf4 Bc6 19. O-O Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Nd5 21. Rfc1 Nxf4+ 22. gxf4 Nb6 23. e4 f5 24. e5 Nd5 25. Kf3 Rc8 26. Rab1 Nc7 27. a4 bxa4 28. Rxb7 Nd5 29. c4 a3 30. Ra7 Nb6 31. Rxa3 Nxc4 32. Rac3 Nxe5+ 33. fxe5 1-0

1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 (It will come as no surprise that Stockfish prefers 2…e6, but where’s the fun in that?! The move played in the game makes the opening the: A51 Budapest defence declined) 3. dxe5 (After taking the pawn white has scored 63% against an average opposition of 2422, which formerly was known as Senior Master. These daze it is International Master territory and sometimes even Grandmasters have a rating beginning with a “24”. And there are those who say there has been no rating inflation. Ha, ha!) 3…Ng4 (With this move it becomes the: A52 Budapest defence) 4. Nf3 (This make it the: A52 Budapest, Adler variation. I cannot recall Adler, can you? If so, leave it in a comment on the blog. Please do not send an email, unless you are a friend, or at least friendly. Things get interesting here with the ChessBaseDataBase, which shows SF 12 @depth 47 playing the most often played move, 4 Bf4, which has scored 64% versus 2431 opposition in 1131 games. SF 14 @depth 51 plays 4 e3, which has scored 65% against 2433 opposition in 248 games. Meanwhile, SF 270821 @depth 41 plays 4 Nf3, the second most played move in 775 games, scoring only 60% against a composite player rated 2415. The choice is yours) 4…Nc6 (Here is the deal…SF 12 & 13 going way deep to depths in the 50s and 60s play the most often played move 4…Bc5, which has scored 57% vs 2375 opposition in 586 games, but the move played in the game has scored 67% in 180 games vs 2347 opposition! Makes you wonder, don’t it?…) 5. e6 (5 Bf4 has been played in an astounding 720 games, or 83% of games contained in the CBDB, scoring 65% against and ELO average of 2434 opposition, yet StockFish does not play the move! Ain’t that some excrement? SF 13 @depth 47 plays 5 Bg5, a move that has been seen in only 30 games against opposition rated 2450, but it has scored a phenomenal 82%! Whoa, Nelly…But wait, there’s MORE! SF 311220, diggin’ real DEEP, all the way to depth 58, produces 5 Nc3, a move having been attempted only 26 times, scoring 60% versus opposition rated 2389. The move played in the game was pulled outta his ass but is NOT a Theoretical Novelty. I kid you not…There are eleven (ELEVEN!) games at 365Chess in which some “player” thrust his e-pawn into the heart of the black defense, while no doubt regretting it later. Therefore, move 8 g3 is a TN. Previously played was 8 Bf4 in the following game:

Felix Schmekel (770) vs Martin Otto (1737)
Event: Ueckermuende op 6th
Site: Ueckermuende Date: 08/31/2007
Round: 1
ECO: A52 Budapest, Adler variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e6 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 dxe6 7.Qxd8+ Nxd8 8.Bf4 c6 9.Bd2 Nf6 10.O-O-O O-O 11.e3 Ba5 12.Bd3 Bc7 13.Ng5 e5 14.e4 Ne6 15.Nxe6 Bxe6 16.Rhf1 Rad8 17.Be2 b6 18.f4 exf4 19.Bxf4 Rxd1+ 20.Bxd1 Bxc4 21.Be2 Bxe2 22.Nxe2 Bxf4+ 23.Rxf4 Re8 24.Ng3 Re6 25.h4 h6 26.h5 g6 27.hxg6 fxg6 28.e5 Nd7 29.Rg4 Nxe5 30.Rh4 Kg7 31.Ne4 g5 32.Rh3 Ng4 33.Ng3 Kg6 34.Nf1 Re1+ 35.Kd2 Rxf1 36.Ke2 Rf2+ 37.Ke1 Rxg2 38.Kf1 Rxb2 39.Rg3 Kf5 40.Rf3+ Ke4 41.Rg3 h5 42.Rc3 c5 43.Rc4+ Kf3 44.Rc3+ Ne3+ 45.Kg1 g4 46.Rc1 h4 47.Re1 h3 48.Ra1 Rg2+ 49.Kh1 Nf5 50.Rf1+ Ke4 51.Re1+ Kd3 52.Rd1+ Ke2 53.Rg1 Ng3# 0-1

After the game during the post mortem Felix said, “I should have played 8 e6,” and his opponent agreed with him. Then Mr. Schmekel withdrew from the tournament vowing to never, ever play Chess again. The last time anyone saw him he was muttering, “I should’ve played e6…”
OK, I made that up, but being a Chess player, I KNOW you believed it, at least for a moment!

Steven Svoboda 1936 (USA) vs Adam F Stafford 1665 (USA)
Tuesday Night Marathon September 2021 round 01
D08 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Albin counter-gambit

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4. a3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. b4 Qe7 7. Bb2 O-O-O 8. Nbd2 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5 10. Nb3 c5 11. bxc5 Bxc5 12. Nxc5 Qxc5 13. Qb3 Nf6 14. h3 Bf5 15. Qb5 Qxb5 16. cxb5 Rhe8 17. O-O-O Kb8 18. Bxd4 Rc8+ 19. Kb2 Rc2+ 20. Kb3 Rec8 21. Be5+ Ka8 22. e4 Be6+ 23. Kb4 Rxf2 24. Bd3 Nd7 25. Bxg7 f6 26. Rb1 Nc5 27. Rhd1 Nxd3+ 28. Rxd3 Rc4+ 29. Kb3 Kb8 30. Rd6 Rc6+ 31. Rxe6 Rxe6 32. Rc1 Rxg2 33. Bf8 Rg3+ 34. Kc4 Rg8 35. Bc5 b6 36. Be3 Rc8+ 37. Kd5 Re5+ 38. Kd4 Rxc1 39. Bxc1 Kc8 40. Bb2 Rxb5 0-1
  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4. a3 (SF plays 4 Nf3 and so should you) 4….Nc6 (SF 13 @depth 47 would play 4…c5. There is one game in the CBDB in which that particular move has been played. The Big database at 365Chess contains a dozen games with that move. SF 12 & 14 both prefer 4…Ne7, a move not found at either the CBDB or 356Chess) 5. Nf3 Bg4 (5…Nge7 has been the most often played move and is the choice of Fritz, but StockFISH 13 & 14 both show 5…g6 as best. There are 17 examples contained in the CBDB; none at 365Chess) 6. b4 (6 Nbd2 is THE move) 6…Qe7 7. Bb2 (7 Nbd2 is the move. The move played in the game is not good TN. The databases contain no games with the move played in the game, but there was one game found in which a future World Chess Champion found himself facing the position after 6…Qe7:

Tigran V Petrosian

vs Giorgio Porreca

Giorgio Porreca - Wikipedia

Event: Belgrade
Site: Belgrade Date:1954
Round: 1
ECO: D08 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Albin counter-gambit
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.a3 Bg4 6.b4 Qe7 7.Qa4 O-O-O 8.Bf4 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Kb8 10.Nd2 Nxe5 11.Qb3 Ng6 12.Bg3 f5 13.f4 Nf6 14.Qd3 Ne4 15.Bh3 Nxd2 16.Kxd2 Nxf4 17.Bxf4 g5 18.Bxc7+ Qxc7 19.Bxf5 Qf4+ 20.Kc2 Qxf2 21.Raf1 Qe3 22.Be4 Re8 23.Qxe3 dxe3 24.Kd3 Re7 25.Rf5 h6 26.Rhf1 Bg7 27.Rf7 Rd8+ 28.Bd5 Rdd7 29.Rxe7 Rxe7 30.h3 Be5 31.Rf8+ Kc7 32.c5 Bb2 33.a4 Rd7 34.Kc4 Rd8 35.Rxd8 Kxd8 36.Bxb7 Kc7 37.Bf3 Be5 38.b5 Bb2 39.a5 Be5 40.b6+ axb6 41.cxb6+ 1-0

I Want A New Drug

Tourists Are Now Smoking Toad Venom in Mexico’s Hipster Town Tulum

Observers are split on the consequences of “speed-toading” using the venom, called bufo, as a cure for the ills of the modern world.

by Mattha Busby September 14, 2021, 8:00am

Collage by Cathryn Virginia | Images from Getty

TULUM, Mexico — The smoking of a powerful hallucinogenic toad venom in short retreats, a practice known as “speed-toading,” is exploding in the Caribbean tourist hub of Tulum, where it’s now a sought-after New Age healing tool. 

Bufo alvarius, which contains the fast-acting psychedelic 5-MeO-DMT—regarded by many as the world’s most powerful psychoactive substance—and often referred to simply as bufo, is touted by some of its purveyors as a miracle cure for the ills of the modern world and mental health issues. 

Emerging research suggests it reliably brings about mystical experiences, reduces depression, and relieves anxiety. But a significant minority of users report serious mental health difficulties after smoking the so-called “God molecule.” 

“I was falling into nothing. I was doing flips. My arms and legs were going in different directions, dancing crazily. I was laughing hysterically because I was so happy, all while floating above my physical body. It was literally the best feeling ever,” recalled 23-year-old former pharmaceutical factory worker “Charlotte”, who asked VICE World News not to use her real name, of her experience with bufo.

Just think, there were some who thought we Hippies were weird to smoke marijuana…

No Time For Armageddon

a. Bible In the book of Revelation, the place of the gathering of armies for the final battle before the end of the world.
b. The battle involving these armies.

  1. A decisive or catastrophic conflict.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. (

Does anyone know who had the brain cramp responsible for producing the idea of an Armageddon Chess game? That must have been one hellofa seizure, with blood clots bursting like fireworks on the fourth of July. There has got to be a better way to determine a “winner” in Chess than the use of the abominable Armageddon game. The fact is that Armageddon Chess means one side can, and probably should, PLAY FOR A DRAW from the get go! In an attempt to decrease the percentage of draws the fools in power have actually INCREASED the chances of a draw! Makes one wonder why the general public considers Chess players to be “smart,” does it not?

The fact that the best human Chess players in the world acquiesce to being made to look clownish while denigrating themselves for money turns them into trained seals. Armageddon is only the symptom, not the disease. Having to resort to Armageddon is the beginning of the end for Chess. Anything would be preferential; even flipping a coin. It would be better to have the opening for each round chosen at random, thereby precluding players from being “booked-up” in their favorite opening as they would then need to know something about everything. MVL would look good when the Najdorf came up, but how would he fare if forced to play the Scandinavian? The players could play two games against an opponent, having white in one and black in the other, playing same opening. Sure, it might be difficult for a GM booked, err, programed up on Queen side type openings to be forced to play the move Bobby Fischer called, “Best by test,” 1 e4, but that is the point.

After that you will wonder why I am presenting the Armageddon game between Karjakin and Nepo played today. Answer is: It is a Bishop’s opening! “The truth as it was known in those long ago days.” If you still have a question punch and poke “Bishop’s Opening” into the box above and be amazed at the theory you will find that would have satiated SM Brian McCarthy, at least for an evening.

Karjakin, Sergey 2758 vs Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2792
Norway Chess Tournament
C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 a5 6. a4 Bb4+ 7. c3 Bd6 8. exd5 cxd5 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Na3 Nbd7 11. Nb5 Bb8 12. O-O O-O 13. Bh4 h6 14. Re1 Re8 15. d4 e4 16. Nd2 Ra6 17. c4 dxc4 18. Bxc4 Bxc4 19. Nxc4 Qe7 20. d5 Qb4 21. b3 Ne5 22. d6 Nxc4 23. bxc4 Bxd6 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Qg4+ Kf8 26. Rxe4 Rxe4 27. Qxe4 Bc5 28. Nc7 Bxf2+ 29. Kf1 Qd2 30. Qf3 Rd6 31. Nb5 Qb2 32. Nxd6 Qxa1+ 33. Kxf2 Qd4+ 34. Ke2 Qxd6 35. Qxb7 Qe5+ 36. Kd3 Qf5+ 37. Qe4 Qf1+ 38. Kd4 Qd1+ 39. Kc5 Qxa4 40. Qb1 Qa3+ 41. Kb5 Kg7 42. c5 a4 43. Qb4 Qb3 44. c6 Qd5+ 45. Kb6 Qb3 46. Kc5 Qe3+ 47. Kb5 Qb3 48. c7 Qd5+ 49. Qc5 Qd7+ 50. Qc6 Qc8 51. Kxa4 h5 52. Kb5 h4 53. Kb6 h3 54. g3 f5 55. Ka7 1-0!norway-chess-2021/1592152566

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 (This is the main line of the venerable Bishop’s opening, an opening near and dear to my heart as everyone who has followed the AW knows. Nevertheless, if ever faced with the main line again the AW will play a seondary move (at least it’s in second place at 365Chess!) which again, will come as no surprise to regular readers, 4 Qe2! What can I say? I just love to see the look on my opponent’s face any and every time I move the Queen to e2! Insert excrement eatin’ grin here…) 4…d5 5. Bb3 a5 (The choice of StockFish, therefore, main line) 6. a4 6…Bb4+ (Again, the move of the Fish) 7. c3 Bd6 8. exd5 (SF 13 @depth 70(!) takes the pawn, but SF 14 @depth 41 castles) 8…cxd5 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Na3 Nbd7 (Although the most played, 14 games, move, and played by Houdini, SF 13 @depth 73(!) plays 10…Nc6; SF 14 @depth 37 plays 10…h6. There is only one game with this move shown the ChessBaseDataBase until one clicks on. Then digging deeper one finds five games in which both players were at least 2200+ and all were drawn. See Lu vs Yu from the 2020 Chinese Championship below. 10…Nbd7 has held white to 68%; White has brutilized 10…Nc6 to the tune of 75%) 11. Nb5 Bb8 12. O-O (SF plays 12 d4) 12…O-O 13. Bh4 (SF 13 plays 13 Re1; SF 290420 @depth 48 would play 13 Nd2, which would be a NEW MOVE!) 13…h6 14. Re1 Re8 (SF 13 plays 14…Ra6) 15. d4 (SF and Komodo agree that 15 Nd2 is the move)

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Yu, Yangyi (2709)
Event: ch-CHN 2020
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 12/29/2020
Round: 10.5
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Na3 h6 11.Bh4 Nc6 12.Nb5 Bb8 13.O-O O-O 14.Re1 Ra6 15.h3 Re8 16.Rc1 Qd7 17.Bg3 Bf5 18.d4 e4 19.Bxb8 Rxb8 20.Ne5 Qe7 21.f4 Be6 22.c4 dxc4 23.Bxc4 Bxc4 24.Rxc4 Rd8 25.Qc1 Rb6 26.Nc3 Nxd4 27.Nxe4 Ne6 28.f5 Nd4 29.Qf4 Rb4 30.Rxb4 axb4 31.Ng4 ½-½

Lu, Shanglei (2619) vs Liu, Guanchu (2366)
Event: TCh-CHN 2016
Site: China CHN Date: 04/14/2016
Round: 3.6
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a3 a4 7.Ba2 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Nc3 Ra5 11.O-O Nc6 12.Re1 O-O 13.h3 h6 14.Bh4 Re8 15.Qd2 d4 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.Ne4 Qd8 18.Bxe6 Rxe6 19.c3 dxc3 20.bxc3 Bf8 21.Qc2 Rd5 22.Red1 f5 23.Ng3 g6 24.h4 Qd7 25.h5 Be7 26.Qxa4 1-0

Lu, Shanglei (2640) vs Liu, Guanchu (2459)
Event: ch-CHN 2018
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 04/28/2018
Round: 10.2
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Na3 Nbd7 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.O-O O-O 13.Re1 h6 14.Bh4 Re8 15.d4 e4 16.Nd2 Ra6 17.c4 dxc4 18.Bxc4 Bf4 19.Bxe6 Raxe6 20.d5 R6e7 21.Nc4 g5 22.d6 Re6 23.Bg3 Nb6 24.Ne3 1-0

Klabis, Rokas (2251) vs Sulskis, Sarunas (2546)
Event: ch-LTU 2016
Site: Vilnius LTU Date: 05/05/2016
Round: 9.4
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Bb3 a5 5.a4 d5 6.Qe2 (! AW) Bd6 7.Bg5 dxe4 8.dxe4 Nbd7 9.Nd2 Nc5 10.Bc4 h6 11.Bh4 O-O 12.Ngf3 Qe7 13.O-O Ne6 14.Bg3 Nh5 15.Bxe6 Bxe6 16.Nc4 f6 17.Nh4 Nxg3 18.hxg3 Bc5 19.Rfd1 Rfd8 20.Ne3 Qf7 21.b3 Kh7 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Rd1 Rxd1+ 24.Nxd1 Qd7 25.Nf3 Bf7 26.Nc3 Kg8 27.Kf1 Kf8 28.Qd2 Qc7 29.Ne1 h5 30.Nd3 Bd4 31.Ne2 Ba7 32.Qc3 Kg8 33.Nb2 Kh7 34.Qd3 b5 35.Nc3 Qb6 36.Nbd1 bxa4 37.Nxa4 Qb5 38.Ke2 Be6 39.c4 Qb4 40.Qc3 Bd4 41.Qxb4 axb4 42.Ne3 g5 43.Nc2 Ba7 44.Nxb4 Bd7 45.c5 Kg7 46.Nb6 Be8 47.Kd2 1-0

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Liu, Yan (2524)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/08/2021
Round: 2.1 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.O-O O-O 10.Nbd2 Bg4 11.Nc4 Qc7 12.d4 e4 13.h3 Bh5 14.g4 Bg6 15.Nfe5 Bxe5 16.Nxe5 Nd7 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Qe2 f5 19.f4 Kf7 20.c4 Nb4 21.c5+ Nd5 22.Ra3 Nf6 23.Bc4 Qd7 24.Rg3 Rh8 25.Qg2 Rh7 26.gxf5 gxf5 27.Kf2 Kf8 28.Ke2 Nb4 29.Rd1 Rd8 30.Rg6 Nbd5 31.Rg1 e3 ½-½

Lu, Shanglei (2624) vs Liu, Yan (2504)
Event: 18th Asian Continental
Site: Xingtai CHN Date: 06/10/2019
Round: 4.3 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.O-O d6 6.Re1 O-O 7.h3 b5 8.Bb3 Nbd7 9.c3 a5 10.d4 a4 11.Bc2 Qc7 12.Bg5 Re8 13.Nbd2 h6 14.Bh4 Nf8 15.Nf1 Ng6 16.Bg3 Bf8 17.Ne3 Qb6 18.Nf5 c5 19.N5h4 Nxh4 20.Bxh4 Nh5 21.Nh2 Nf4 22.Bg3 Ng6 ½-½