Magnus Carlsen vs Mikhail Gorozhanin Qe2 French

This game was found at the ChessBaseDataBase by happenstance. While looking at this opening I glanced over at the long list of other games having been played and noticed “Carlsen.” I know little about the PCL, but learned it is more quickie Chess, something for which I do not care. My brain stopped working at warp speed some time ago. I am comfortable at impulse speed, much preferring time to cogitate.

A younger man asked me recently, “Are the Chess players of today superior to those from ‘back in the day’?” My first thought was why he had chosen the word “superior” in lieu of “better.” My answer was, “Yes.” He was expecting more, so he asked, “You think they are better?” I responded, “You asked me if they “superior,” not “better,” I said, continuing, “They are superior because they have vastly more knowledge than 20th century players. But if you are asking if the current players actually play better Chess, the answer is “No.”

“Why do you say that?” he asked. “The older generation had more time. Still, it is difficult to compare players of different generations.” Knowing he was an avid fan of Baseball I continued, “It’s like 1972 in MLB when the Designated Hitter was added to the American League. It became impossible to compare pitchers from the two leagues. The same thing happened when Chess stopped having adjournments. The Chess game changed form. The top players do not play the endgame as well now because they do not have the time needed in the latter stages of the game. They do not have the time for the middle game so there are more weaker moves made by top players today, which is to be expected.”

I have no idea how much time the players had in this game because the quick games are published along with the longer games, which is tragic.

World Human Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen

v Mikhail Gorozhanin FM 2421

1 e4 e6 2 d3 d5 3 Qe2 Be7 4 Nf3 (Komodo’s move; Stockfish plays g3) Nf6 5 g3 c5 (SF 9, at depth 41, castles; SF 050717 SSE plays the move in the game, but Komodo 12.1 would play 5…b5)

6 Bg2 Nc6 7 O-O (Komodo plays 7 c3; SF prefers 7 Bf4)

7…b6 (Houdini is the only one of the ‘big three’ listed and it would play 7…h6) 8 e5 Nd7 9 c4 dxc4 (Houdini and SF would simply castle) 10 dxc4 Bb7 (SF and Houey would play this, but the Dragon plays 10…a6)

11 Nc3 h6

(After seeing this move I sat back and reflected…What if a student had shown this move? If he had I would have asked, “Why did you make this move?” No matter what his answer I would say, “Look at it this way, White has the first move of the game. He is ahead one tempo. Tal said all one needed to launch an attack in the opening was three tempo’s. You have just given him the second.” After returning the pawn to h7 I would point out the possibility of White playing Nb5 and point to the d6 square hopeing he would move the a-pawn one square. I would also mention the move made was weak because it was unnecessary. With the Queen and Bishop lined up the g5 square does not need protection, but if White ever played his pawn to h4, controlling the square, then h6 would be an appropriate response.)

This was written after copying the game that day, before my back went out on me yet again. Having the time to research the opening led to the game, which can be found below, between Vlastimil Jansa and Lutz Espig, in which 11…a6 was played. After White played 12 h4 Black responded with 12…h6)

12 Rd1 a6 13 h4 (Both SF and Komodo play 13 b3) Qc7 14 h5 (All three versions of SF shown play 14 Bf4) O-O-O 15 Bf4 g5 (Stockfish says 15…Kb8)

16 hxg6 fxg6

17 Nd5 (Lo & Behold, we have, by a different move order, arrived at the same position found in the aforementioned game. Lutz Espig took the knight. Gorozhanin backed down and advanced the Queen to the rear. I was left wondering why Magnus did not play 17 Bh3, which looks to be strong…For days I was unable to connect with the ChessBaseDataBase because when attempting to sign in with the Advast browser a message appeared informing the “connection was not secure.” Advast would not allow me to input my password. I was, though, able to access the CBDB using Firefox, even though it, too, was insecure, but the engine analysis did not come up, so I spent a considerable amount of time looking at the position the old fashioned way, using a set and pieces, which were moved around as I looked at different variations. This led me to settle on 17 Bh3. Why sacrifice a piece when it is not necessary? When finally able to access the CBDB it showed Stockfish and Houdini agree. Maybe the human WC came to the same conclusion and decided to have some fun. The rest requires no comment)

17…Qb8 18 Bh3 exd5 19 e6 Nf6 20 Bxb8 Kxb8 21 cxd5 Nxd5 22 Rd2 Rd6 23 Rad1 Rhd8 24 Ne5 Nd4 25 Rxd4 cxd4 26 Nf7 d3 27 Qe5 Nc7 28 Nxd6 Rxd6 29 Qg7 Nd5 30 Rxd3 Rc6 31 Rxd5 Rc1+ 32 Kh2 Bxd5 33 Qe5+ Rc7 34 Qxd5 1-0

Vlastimil Jansa 2490 vs Lutz Espig 2405

German Team 1996


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 d5 6. d3 Be7 7. O-O b6 8. e5 Nd7
9. c4 dxc4 10. dxc4 Bb7 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. Nc3 a6 13. h4 h6 14. h5 O-O-O 15. Bf4
g5 16. hxg6 fxg6 17. Nd5 exd5 18. cxd5 g5 19. e6 gxf4 20. dxc6 Bxc6 21. exd7+
Rxd7 22. Rxd7 Bxd7 23. Ne5 Bb5 24. Qe4 Qa7 25. a4 Be8 26. Qa8+ Qb8 27. Qxa6+
Kc7 28. a5 fxg3 29. fxg3 Bf6 30. Nc4 Bd4+ 31. Kh1 Rg8 32. axb6+ Kd7 33. Qb5+
Ke7 34. Ra7+ Kf6 1-0

Ekaterina Polovnikova vs Olga Zimina

RUS-ch U14 Girls 1996

B40 Sicilian defence

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 d5 4. Qe2 Be7 5. g3 Nf6 6. Bg2 Nc6 7. O-O b6 8. e5 Nd7 9. c4 dxc4 10. dxc4 Bb7 11. Nc3 a6 12. h4 Qc7 13. Bf4 O-O 14. Rad1 h6 15. h5 Rfd8 16. Nd5 exd5 17. e6 Bd6 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. exd7 Qxd7 20. cxd5 Qe7 21. Qc4 Nb4 22. Nh4 Qe5 23. Rfe1 Qxh5 24. d6 Bxg2 25. Kxg2 b5 26. Qe4 Kh8 27. a3 Re8 28. Qxe8+ Rxe8 29. Rxe8+ Kh7 30. Nf3 f6 31. Re7 Kg6 32. axb4 cxb4 33. d7 Kf5 34. d8=Q 1-0

Joao Leonardo (2237) vs Rolf Schreuder

Lisbon open 2001

C00 French, King’s Indian attack

1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Qe2 Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O b6 8. Bf4 Bb7 9. e5 Nd7 10. h4 h6 11. h5 Bg5 12. c3 Bxf4 13. gxf4 Qe7 14. Re1 O-O-O 15. Na3 a6 16. Bh3 g6 17. hxg6 fxg6 18. Nh2 Qf7 19. Nc2 Rde8 20. f5 gxf5 21. d4 Qe7 22. Kh1 Qh4 23. Bg2 cxd4 24. cxd4 Nxd4 25. Nxd4 Qxd4 26. Rad1 Qh4 27. Qe3 Rhg8 28. Rd4 Qg5 29. Qh3 Nc5 30. Nf3 Qg7 31. Re2 Ne4 32. a4 Kb8 33. Kh2 Qc7 34. Qh5 Re7 35. a5 b5 36. Rd1 d4 37. Rxd4 Rxg2+ 38. Kxg2 Ng5 39. Rf4 Qc1 40. Re3 Nxf3 0-1

Z. Andriasain 2622 vs D. Lintchevski 2555

22nd Chigorin Memorial 2014

1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Qe2 Be7 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. g3 c5 6. Bg2 Nc6 7. O-O b6 8. Bf4 Ba6 9. c4 O-O 10. e5 Ne8 11. h4 Nc7 12. Nbd2 b5 13. Rfd1
Rb8 14. b3 Re8 15. Nf1 Bf8 16. Ne3 Nd4 17. Nxd4 cxd4 18. Nc2 bxc4 19. dxc4 dxc4 20. Nxd4 Nd5 21. Nc6 Nxf4 22. gxf4 Qxh4 23. Nxb8 Rxb8 24. Qe3 Rc8 25. Qg3 Qxg3 26. fxg3 c3 27. Rac1 c2 28. Rd2 Bc5+ 29. Kh2 Be3 30. Rcxc2 Bxd2 31. Rxd2 g6 32.
Rd6 Be2 33. Rd2 Ba6 34. Rd6 Be2 35. Rd2 Ba6 1/2-1/2

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