Bird is the Word

The Bird opening is a rare bird in top level chess tournaments. Decades ago in a tournament in Atlanta word got around quickly when four players, including the AW, opened the game with 1 f4. What made it so interesting is that all four of us were seated in a row. It was not planned. The ornithologically inclined Adam Cavaney, who earned his NM title by playing the Bird, and nothing but the Bird, at the House of Pain because knows the Bird is the word, “Papa-ooma-mow-mow, papa-ooma-mow-mow
Ooma-mow-mow, papa-ooma-mow-mow”, was one of the four, but the names of the other escapes me. Anyone reading this down in Cajun country please mention this to Adam and ask him to leave a comment, if he happens to recall the tournament, and the names, of the guilty.

Nepomniachtchi, Ian (2714) – Karjakin, Sergey (2770)
67th ch-RUS 2014 Kazan RUS (2), 2014.11.29

1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 (Most often played, but Stockfish plays 2 c4, while Komodo prefers e3) g6 (Stockfish plays this, which holds White to only 40%, but Komodo plays 2…Bf5, against which White has scored 58%) 3.g3 (3 e3 has been the most often played, scoring only 39%, while the move in the game has scored 44%. Houdini plays 3 c4, which has scored 51%) Bg7 4.Bg2 c6 (SF plays 4…c5) 5.Nc3 (SF & the Dragon both play 5 0-0, which has scored only 41% in practice. The game move has scored 56%!) Nh6 (SF goes with 5 Nf6) 6.d3 (SF & Houdini 0-0) d4 (SF & Houey) 7.Ne4 Nd7 8.c3 (Cesar Becx [2295] vs Ole Jakobsen [2400] Politikin Cup 1987, reached this position after 1 f4 d5 2 Nf3 g6 3 g3 Bg7 4 Bg2 c6 5 d3 Nd7 6 Nc3 d4 7 Ne4 Nh6 when White played 8 e3 dxe3 9. c3 Ng4 10. h3 Nf2 11. Nxf2 exf2+ 12. Kxf2 Nc5 13. Bf1 Bf5 14. d4 Ne4+ 15. Kg2 Qd7 16. Be3 f6 17. Bd3 Nd6 18. Bxf5 gxf5 19. Qd3 e6 20. Rad1 O-O-O, with White winning in 53) Nf5 9.cxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Bxd4 11.e3 Bg7 12.d4 O-O 13.O-O Nb6 14.Nc5 Nd5 15.Qa4 Nc7 16.Rf2 Ne6 17.Nd3 Bd7 18.Qa3 Nc7 19.Nc5 Nb5 20.Qa4 Rb8 21.Bd2 b6 22.Nxd7 Qxd7 23.Rc1 Rfc8 24.b4 Nxd4 25.exd4 Bxd4 26.Bc3 Be3 27.Re1 Qd3 28.Be5 Ra8 29.Qb3 Bxf2+ 30.Kxf2 Qxb3 31.axb3 b5 32.Bd4 a5 33.bxa5 Rxa5 34.Rxe7 c5 35.Bf6 Ra2+ 36.Kf3 c4 37.Bh3 Rf8 38.bxc4 bxc4 39.Rc7 Rxh2 40.Bf1 1-0

GM Vladimir Kramnik is playing in the Qatar Masters and GM Kevin Spraggett (http://kevinspraggettonchess.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/how-do-you-spell-your-name/) has this to say:
“Now here is something that I can relate to, having been brought up in OPEN tournaments. This was Kramnik’s first OPEN tournament in 20-years or so…at the Qatar Masters taking place right now. LIFE in the opens is VERY different from the relaxed (not to say incestuous) atmosphere of the SUPER tournaments where each opponent KNOWS each other SO WELL! For example, when Kramnik finally played Anand for the World Championship back in 2008 (?) both players had ALREADY played each other more than 100 times! The only thing being decided in that World match was a WORLD RECORD for having played each other so many times!!”

The day after Nepo stunned Kajakin with the Bird, Vlad the Impaler saw his opponent flip him the Bird!

Vovk, Andrey (2640) – Kramnik, Vladimir (2760)
Qatar Masters Open 2014 Doha QAT (5.4), 2014.11.30

1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.e3 (Houdini & Komodo play this, but the “last word,” Stockfish, plays 3 Ne5) Nd7 (SF & Houey play 3…e6, which shows White scoring 55%. Komodo plays Nf6, holding White to 50%, but the game move shows White only scoring 36%! Looks like the top GM’s are doing their homework) 4.Be2 (The engines prefer asking the question with 4 h3) Ngf6 (Komodo’s move; Houey plays e6, while SF plays c6) 5.Ne5 (Houdini 5 b3; Komodo simply castles) Bxe2 6.Qxe2 g6 (Engines prefer e6) 7.Nc3 Bg7 (Houdini plays this, but Komodo would produce the TN 7…c6, if given the chance. Which begs the question, “Can a computer program be known for first playing a TN, or do we humans have to wait until another human plays the brand new move?)
8.Qb5 (8. d4 a6 9. g4 c6 10. b3 Qa5 11. Bd2 Qc7 12. O-O-O b5 13. h4
h5 14. g5 Ng8 15. e4 e6 16. Rhe1 Qd6 17. Nxc6 Qxc6 18. exd5 Qd6 19. dxe6 fxe6
20. Qe4 O-O-O 21. Qxg6 Bxd4 22. Rxe6 Qa3+ 23. Kb1 Nb8 24. Re8 Ne7 25. Qe6+ Nd7
26. Rxe7 Qc5 27. Ne4 Qa3 28. Bc1 1-0, Marlos de Almedia [2160] vs Marceley Martins Mariano [2046] Goiania Open, 2010)
Rb8 9.Nxd7 Qxd7 10.Qxd7+ Kxd7 11.d3 b5 12.a3 c5 13.e4 dxe4 14.dxe4 Kc6 15.Bd2 b4 16.axb4 cxb4 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.exd5+ Kxd5 19.Rxa7 Bxb2 20.Ke2 Rhc8 21.Kd3 Bf6 22.Rb1 Rd8 23.Ke2 Ke6 24.Ra6+ Kf5 25.Kf3 g5 26.g4+ Kg6 27.Rxb4 Rbc8 28.Be3 gxf4 29.Rxf4 e6 30.Ra5 Rc3 31.Rc5 Rxc5 32.Bxc5 Rc8 33.Bf2 Rc3+ 34.Kg2 Rxc2 35.Kg1 Be5 36.Rf3 f6 37.h3 h5 38.gxh5+ Kxh5 39.Rd3 Bf4 40.Kg2 e5 41.Ra3 f5 42.Kf1 e4 43.Ra5 Kg5 44.Ra3 Bc7 45.Rb3 Bd6 46.Rb5 Kf4 47.Rb3 Bc5 0-1

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