Hung Up

Gull 3 (3116) vs Hannibal 1.5×12 (2998)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 2
Rd 5
D41 QGD: Semi-Tarrasch, Keres Counterattack

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 cxd4 6. Qxd4 exd5 7. e4 Nc6 8. Bb5 dxe4 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. Ng5 Be6 11. O-O Kc7 12. Ngxe4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Rd8 14. Bf4+ Kb6 15. Ba4 f5 16. Nc3 Bc4 17. Rfc1 h6 18. h4 Bb4 19. a3 Be7 20. b3 Bd3 21. Bxc6 bxc6 22. Re1 Bxh4 23. Na4+ Kb7 24. Nc5+ Kb6 25. Rac1 Rd5 26. Be3 f4 27. Bxf4 Bf6 28. Be3 Bf5 29. Ne4+ Kb7 30. Nxf6 gxf6 31. Rc4 Rh7 32. Rec1 Bd7 33. Bc5 a6 34. a4 h5 35. Rf4 h4 36. Kh2 Rd3 37. Rb4+ Kc7 38. Rb6 a5 39. Ra6 Rxb3 40. Rxa5 Rg7 41. Ra7+ Kb8 42. Rd1 Rb7 43. Ra5 Rb3 44. Rd6 Rf7 45. Be3 Rb4 46. Rd3 Rh7 47. Bc5 Rb1 48. Bd4 1-0

The game ended when “Black’s connection stalls.” Black got “hung up,” as we say in the South, as in, “Honey, I got hung up at work,” or, “Honey, I got hung up in traffic,” or my favorite, “Honey, I got hung up paying the bar tab.” That is when she says, “Honey, it is obvious our connection has stalled.” This actually happened to me back in the ’70’s. It went something like this:

Blues Brothers Tunnel Scene

It is not just chess playing machines that sometimes become “hung up.” A recent example would be GM John Nunn, called “Dr. Death” at the House of Pain, by a Master level player from England, David Fletcher. In an article, “John Nunn Behind the Board Again at World Seniors,” (, Peter Doggers writes, “He played his last official game of chess in August 2006, but now he’s back at the chess board: John Nunn. The English GM and acclaimed author is playing in the 50+ World Seniors in Katerini, Greece.”

Dr. Death had produced four wins and one draw before sitting down behind the Black soldiers in the sixth round to face GM Zurab Sturua from the country of Georgia.

GM Matthew Sadler left a comment on October 28, 2014, “However, this is not a dream story as of yet. Nunn’s first tournament in eight years is a tough one with no less than 11 rounds scheduled. Besides, yesterday he suffered a devastating loss”:

Sturua, Zurab (2523) vs. Nunn, John D M (2602)
World Senior 50+ 2014 | Katerini GRE | Round 6.1 | 29 Oct 2014 | ECO: E60 |

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 d5 6. Qb3 O-O 7. O-O Qb6 8. Nc3 Na6 9. Qxb6 axb6 10. Na4 Nd7 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Bd2 e6 13. Rfc1 b5 14. Nc3 b4 15. Nb5 Nb6 16. b3 Rd8 17. Ne5 Bf8 18. Nd3 Bd7 19. Nc7 Rac8 20. Bg5 1-0

The Chess Bomb ( showed this possible line leaving White up “only” 1.1 (20… Nb8 21. Nc5 Bc6 22. Bxd8 Rxd8 23. a4 bxa3 24. N7xe6 fxe6 25. Nxe6 Re8 26. Nxf8 Rxf8). In the modern chess world this game would have been played to checkmate, but Dr. Nunn comes from the chess world of last century. One of the kibitzers on the Bomb explained the decision to resign as ” self-disgust.” This is the kind of thing that happens to a 59 year old player who has not played in almost a decade. Fatigue takes a toll and the brain gets “hung-up.” A Senior begins playing moves that look good to him in his mind, but once played on the board he soon realizes his “connection has stalled.” This leads to what is popularly called a “brain cramp.” Nearing 60 a man realizes that out of a week of days he will have one or two when things just do not seem to compute. He is working just as hard at the board as the day before but realizes things are not quite right because his brain is “hung-up.” This is disconcerting to a Senior in the same way as when he calls on the Old Soldier to jump to “Ten Hut!” but it remains “at ease.” In addition, Dr. Nunn’s biorhythms ( ) show he was, and is, at his low ebb intellectually and will stay there for the duration of the tournament. This is mitigated somewhat by his being in a high phase physically, or it could be made worse because when one has much energy it is more difficult to understand why such poor moves are being produced.

Madonna – Hung Up (Official Music Video)


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