2018 North Carolina Closed Championship

Each morning one of the Chess websites I visit is Mark Crowther’s The Week In Chess (http://theweekinchess.com/). I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see under Other events today this: North Carolina Closed Charlotte USA

Clicking on took me to:

2018 North Carolina Closed Championship
November 16, 2018 – November 18, 2018
Charlotte, North Carolina
5 Round Swiss; USCF Rated; $4,000 Guaranteed!
New Seniors Trophies Added!

I added the bold to the last part about Seniors because I am, and have been for almost two decades, a Senior. In addition, there will be a Trophy Given to Top Seniors (50+) in Each Class.

I have no idea why the folks in the Great state of North Carolina have decided to do this for Senior players. How many Seniors will be participating in the tournament? Whatever the reason it is a nice touch in recognition of Senior players and I applaud the gesture.

Information can be found here: https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/2018-nc-closed

LIVE coverage can be found here: http://chessstream.com/tournaments/2018-North-Carolina-Closed-Championship/

The tournament begins tonight at 7:30 EST.

The 2018 North Carolina Closed Championship will take place November 16 – 18, 2018 in Charlotte, NC. The NC Closed determines the overall State Champion as well as Class Champions from class A – E. The NC Closed is restricted to participants who reside in North Carolina.

Take advantage of discount on entry for those staying at the hotel. Enjoy your stay at the lakeside Hilton Charlotte University Place. Take a walk on the lake, shop, dine and more.

The tournament is a Charlotte Chess Center and North Carolina Chess Association (NCCA) (http://ncchess.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1287) collaboration. NCCA membership is required. To vote in the NCCA election you must be a member in good standing.

If NCCA dues are paid with this tournament the cost will be $8 with membership good until December 31, 2019

(Adults: $8 per year; Children: FREE) Dues can also be paid at http://www.ncchess.org

GM Elshan Moradiabadi


GM Moradiabadi playing simul

heads the Pre Registration list.

Plagiarizing Ltisitsin’s Gambit

While researching the Lisitsin gambit for the previous article I found an interesting article which brought back memories. The article was in the Kingpin Chess Magazine, The Satirical Chess Magazine. (http://www.kingpinchess.net/)

I was surprised to see it is still in existence, though it appears now to be only online. Back issues can still be purchased. If only I could recall the issue shown to me by Thad Rogers many years ago. The particular issue contained a picture of a buxom lassie, nude from the waist up. Thad snickered when showing the then risque picture, informing he had to remove it from the table when shown the page containing the bountiful boobies. Today such a picture would not even rate a second glance, but things were much different ‘back in the day’ before the internet. The magazine was definitely the Kingpin of that tournament, if you get my drift. I recall a later discussion about the picture with one player, a religious type, asking, “Wonder why Thad did not show it to me?”

The article found concerning the Litsitsin gambit is dated February 25, 2010:

The Sincerest Form of Flattery?

This item deals with an accusation of plagiarism leveled against GM Raymond Keene

in the magazine Inside Chess: May 3rd, 1993, pages 24-25; June 14th 1993, page 19 and February 7th 1994, page 3. We are grateful to Inside Chess, now owned by Chess Café, for permission to reproduce this material and would refer the reader to the website http://www.chesscafe.com where Yasser Seirawan contributes a regular Inside Chess article.

Inside Chess, May 3 1993

The Sincerest Form of Flattery?

By IM John Donaldson

Examples of plagiarism are not unknown in chess literature, but Raymond Keene has set a new standard for shamelessness in his recent work, The Complete Book of Gambits (Batsford, 1992). True, the work of completely original nature is rare in the field of opening theory. The conscientious author typically collects material from a large number of sources (in itself a time consuming but useful task) and offers some new ideas of his own. Unfortunately, Mr. Keene has done nothing less than steal another man’s work and pass it off as his own.

Blatant

A glance at pages 128-132 of his recent book, The Complete Book of Gambits, and a comparison with my two-part article on Lisitsin’s Gambit, which appeared in Inside Chess, Volume 4, Issue 3, page 25-26, and Issue 4, page 26, early in 1991, reveals that not only did Mr. Keene have nothing new to say about Lisitsin’s Gambit, he could hardly be bothered to change any of the wording or analysis from the articles that appeared in Inside Chess, other than to truncate them a bit. What’s more, no mention of the original source was given in the The Complete Book of Gambits, misleading the reader as to the originality of Mr. Keene’s work.

Just how blatant was the plagiarism? Virtually every word and variation in the four-and-a-half pages devoted to Lisitsin’s Gambit in Keene’s book was stolen. Take a look at the following example: In Inside Chess, Volume 4, Issue 3, page 26 the following note is given after the sequence 1.Nf3 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Ng5 Nf6 4.d3 e5;

Accepting the gambit is foolhardy – 4…exd3 5.Bxd3 (The position is exactly the same as From’s Gambit: 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 with the exception that White’s Knight is already on g5, which spells a quick end for Black) 5…g6 (5…d5? 6.Bxh7) 6.h4 (Botvinnik gives 6.Nxh7! Rxh7 7.Bxg6+ Rf7 8.g4! [For 8.Nd2 see Supplemental Games next issue] 8…d5 9.g5 Ne4 10.Qh5 Nd6 [10…Be6 11.Bxf7+ Bxf7 12.g6] 11.Bxf7+ Nxf7 12.g6 winning) 6…d5 (6…e6 7.h5 Rg8 8.Nxh7 with a winning game Dorfman-Villareal, Mexico 1977) 7.h5 Bg4 8.f3 Bxh5 9.g4 Qd6 10.gxh5 Nxh5 11.Rxh5! Qg3+ (11…gxh5 12.f4 Qf6 13.Qxh5+ Kd7 14.Nf7 Rg8 15.Qxd5+) 12.Kf1 gxh5 13.f4 Qh4 14.Qf3 c6 15.Ne6 Kd7 16.Bf5 Bh6 17.Be3 Na6 18.Nc3 Nc7 19.Nc5+ Ke8 20.Bf2 Qf6 21.Qxh5+ Qf7 22.Bd7+ winning) – analysis by “King’s Pawn” in a 1956 issue of Chess.

Besides 4…e5 Black has two important alternatives in 4…e3 and 4…d5. For the former see issue 4. After the latter White gets the edge via 5.dxe4 h6 6.Nf3 dxe4 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8.Ne5 Ke8 (8…Be6 9.Nc3 Nbd7 10.Bf4 c6 11.O-O-O Ke8 12.Nxd7 Bxd7 13.Bc4 Bf5 14.h3 g5 15.Be5 Bg7 16.g4 Bg6 17.Rhe1 and White is better in Sergievsky-Chistyakov, USSR 1964) 9.Bc4 e6 10.Ng6 Rg8 11.Nxf8 Rxf8 12.Nc3 and White is better in Podzielny-Castro, Dortmund 1977.

In The Complete Book of Gambits the following note is given after 4…e5;

Accepting the gambit is foolhardy – 4…exd3 5.Bxd3 (The position is exactly the same as From’s Gambit: 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 with the exception that White’s Knight is already on g5, which spells a quick end for Black) 5…g6 (5…d5? 6.Bxh7) 6.h4 (Botvinnik gives 6.Nxh7! Rxh7 7.Bxg6+ Rf7 8.g4! d5 9.g5 Ne4 10.Qh5 Nd6 [10…Be6 11.Bxf7+ Bxf7 12.g6] 11.Bxf7+ Nxf7 12.g6 winning) 6…d5 (6…e6 7.h5 Rg8 8.Nxh7 with a winning game Dorfman-Villareal, Mexico 1977) 7.h5 Bg4 8.f3 Bxh5 9.g4 Qd6 10.gxh5 Nxh5 11.Rxh5! Qg3+ (11…gxh5 12.f4 Qf6 13.Qxh5+ Kd7 14.Nf7 Rg8 15.Qxd5+) 12.Kf1 gxh5 13.f4 Qh4 14.Qf3 c6 15.Ne6 Kd7 16.Bf5 Bh6 17.Be3 Na6 18.Nc3 Nc7 19.Nc5+ Ke8 20.Bf2 Qf6 21.Qxh5+ Qf7 22.Bd7+ ) – analysis by King’s Pawn in a 1956 issue of Chess.

Besides 4…e5 Black has two important alternatives in 4…e3 and 4…d5. The former is considered in the text game whilst after the latter White gets the edge via 4…d5 5.dxe4 h6 6.Nf3 dxe4 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8.Ne5 Ke8 (8…Be6 9.Nc3 Nbd7 10.Bf4 c6 11.O-O-O Ke8 12.Nxd7 Bxd7 13.Bc4 Bf5 14.h3 g5 15.Be5 Bg7 16.g4 Bg6 17.Rhe1 and White is better in Sergievyky-Chistyakov, USSR 1964) 9.Bc4 e6 10.Ng6 Rg8 11.Nxf8 Rxf8 12.Nc3 as in Podzielny-Castro, Dortmund 1977.

Fairness Called For

To be fair to Mr. Keene, he did some original work on Lisitsin’s Gambit – or perhaps he just miscopied. Consider the note after the moves 5.dxe4 Bc5 6.Bc4 Qe7 7.Bf7+. The Inside Chess article gives:

“The inaugural game in this variation, Lisitsin-Botvinnik, saw 7.Nc3 Bxf2+ 8.Kxf2 Qc5+ 9.Kg3 Qxc4 10.Rf1 O-O 11.Rxf6! gxf6 12.Qh5 Rf7 13.Nxf7 Qxf7 14.Qg4+ Kh8 15.Nd5 Na6 16.Qh4 d6 17.Bh6 Be6 18.Qxf6+ with equal chances.”

Photocopy Would Be Better

The note in The Complete Book of Gambits is exactly the same except that “with equal chances” is changed to “with equal success.” A burst of originality in Mr. Keene’s part, or just Fingerfehler? More originality is seen as “Sergievsky” at Keene’s hands. Perhaps he would do better to just photocopy other people’s work and print that.

Mr. Keene’s behavior is absolutely inexcusable.

Batsford Replies

Dear Mr. Donaldson,

Thank you for your recent letter regarding The Complete Book of Gambits. I have discussed this matter with Raymond Keene who informs me that a full credit for yourself and Inside Chess was prepared with the manuscript to go into the book. However, due to an oversight on his part this became detached and failed to appear in the book. It was not his intention to publish the piece without due acknowledgement.

Mr. Keene offers his full apologies for this unfortunate oversight, which will be put right on the second edition (or the whole piece dropped if you prefer). Furthermore, he is happy to offer you, or any nominated charity of your choice, a share of the UK royalties on the book equivalent to the share that the Lisitsin section occupies in the book. We hope that such a settlement will be amenable to you.

On another matter, Mr. Keene will be the organiser of the 1993 World Championship match between Kasparov and Short and will be happy to supply your excellent magazine with full accreditation if you contact him directly. His fax number is (fax number given).

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Kinsman

Chess Editor (Batsford)

Donaldson Replies

Dear Mr. Kinsman,

Thank you for your prompt and courteous reply.

I would prefer that my work be omitted from any second edition of The Complete Book of Gambits and I suspect that if all the other victims of Mr. Keene’s “unfortunate oversights” are accorded the same privilege, it will be a slender work indeed.

(The complete lack of any bibliography for this book is typical of Keene.)

As for your generous offer of a share of the UK royalties, I would prefer a flat payment of $50 per-page ($200) be sent to me at this address.

Finally, I am afraid Inside Chess will have to cover the Kasparov-Short match without benefit of Mr. Keene’s accreditation which, no doubt, would somehow “detach” itself and “fail to appear” due to an “unfortunate oversight.”

Yours sincerely,

John Donaldson

Associate Editor, Inside Chess

http://www.kingpinchess.net/2010/02/the-sincerest-form-of-flattery/

There is more, much more, that can be found by clicking the link above.

As for GM Raymond Keene, the author of Chess Notes, Edward Winter, (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/index.html) basically ripped Keene a new one at his website. It is sad, really, when one contemplates GM Keene authored one of the best Chess books I have ever read, and many others have had it one their list of the best Chess books of all time.

A word about Inside Chess

magazine from Dennis Monokroussos at The Chess Mind:

A Review of Inside Chess, 1988-2000

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 9:58PM

For large chunks of its history, Chess Life and Review was provincial, very slow to report on international events, and aimed at a very low readership in terms of skill. There was no internet though, and it had something pretty close to a monopoly in the United States, so strong club players (and up) were stuck. We could get the Informant twice a year (pretty late), and some lucky few of us could occasionally get photocopies of tournament bulletins Walter Browne would bring from overseas.

It was this vacuum that Yasser Seirawan’s

Inside Chess filled in a wonderful way from 1988 to 2000. For most of its run, the magazine came out every two weeks, and it included tournament reports from all over the world, with a special focus on super-tournaments. Sometimes Seirawan himself was a participant in those tournaments, but whether he was or not the reports were timely, colorful, and full of games commented on by the man himself. As an elite grandmaster, he certainly knew what he was talking about, and what was even better was his commentary style.

Seirawan could sling variations with the best of them, but his commentaries were primarily verbal. They were lively, insightful, and highly opinionated. Seirawan was no respecter of persons when it came to annotating a move, and if a move offended his aesthetic sensibilities he could award it a “??”, even if it was played (and praised!) by Garry Kasparov. One may dispute Seirawan’s judgments, but because of his forthrightness the reader is engaged and will both learn and be entertained.

The magazine wasn’t just Seirawan, though it was his baby. Many other players on both sides of the Atlantic helped out over the years, most of all American (by way of Bulgaria) IM Nikolay Minev, who wrote numerous articles from opening theory to chess history to various subtle tactical themes. (Others include GMs John Nunn, Nigel Short and Walter Browne; IMs Jeremy Silman, John Donaldson and Zoran Ilic, and there were many many more.) Nor was the magazine only games and analysis: there were tournament reports (with pictures and crosstables), interviews, discussions of chess politics, news briefs (often fascinating, as we see players who are famous today making their first tiny splashes on the world scene), and ads. (You might think of it as a sort of non-glossy, biweekly version New In Chess.)

That there were advertisements shouldn’t be surprising – bills must be paid. But one might not expect them to have survived into the current product. As an American who remembers many of the tournaments, companies and products advertised from the time, they have a small nostalgic value to me, but in all honesty a format that eliminated them wouldn’t have bothered me a bit. The format, however, gives us no choice: what we have are PDFs of scanned hard copies of the magazine’s issues.

There are three disks in the set: one for 1988-1990, a second for 1991-1995, and a third for 1996-2000. Each issue has its own PDF file, and while the issues are searchable the games can’t be successfully copied-and-pasted into ChessBase. Two handy features are a pair of PDFs: one with an index for the whole series, the other concatenating all 284 issues’ tables of contents. Not ideal, perhaps, but a decent compromise to having one gigantic PDF that would take a long time to load and search.

Maybe the product could have been better, but even so I’m very glad to own a copy, and I can heartily recommend it to chess fans everywhere and of all strengths (especially but not only to those rated over 1700-1800), and to fans of chess of history.

(Ordering information here; and many samples of Inside Chess articles can be found on the Chess Cafe website – type “Inside Chess” [without the quotation marks] in the site’s search box to find lots of sample articles.)
http://www.thechessmind.net/blog/2013/2/6/a-review-of-inside-chess-1988-2000.html

Litsitsin’s Gambit on Planet Ivanchuk

It is an off day in the World Human Chess Championship. My intention was to take a break from the Royal Game. Every day I surf to the usual websites leaving Chess sites for last. Today I eschewed the Chess sites and read a book by Peter Dale Scott, Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House.

I read until needing a break and then kicked back and closed my eyes, listening to the rain. This is the third day of rain and tomorrow will be the same before the sun shines again and the temperature increases. It is a wet and miserable day, perfect for Chess!

After resting I was restless and decided to surf the Chess websites with my second cup of coffee. There is was, found at TWIC, what I had been searching for without knowing it, the lead game from the Zagreb Tournament of Peace 2018 being held in Croatia. Vladimir Malakov versus Vassily Ivanchuk in a Litsitsin’s Gambit! Since I played the Leningrad Dutch the gambit has been on my board more than a few times over the years. With Chucky having to battle the Litsitsin this was special. Vassily has grown older and his Chess skill has diminished with age, but he is still Ivanchuk, the man who once repeatedly banged his head against a wall after losing a Chess game. Just thinking about it caused me to go to startpage.com in a futile attempt to find something about it on the internet. I found something at Quora.com (https://www.quora.com/Chess-What-are-some-interesting-stories-about-Vassily-Ivanchuk), but it was not about the head banging episode. To the right I found: “Is Vassily Ivanchuk really a weird and eccentric genius, or does he just act like one?” Clicking on gave me two options to reach the page. I could either use my Facebook account, but I have no, and have never, ever, had a F___book account, and will go to my brave without a F__book account, or I could use Google. I try very hard to stay away from Big Brother, er, Google. In order to obtain the page I would be forced to allow Google to use my information and then transfer it to Quora. If you want the aforementioned question answered YOU can jump through those hoops.

I did, though, find this: What do Ivanchuk’s Grandmaster colleagues think of him?

Here’s former World Champion Vishy Anand

speaking on Ivanchuk:

“He’s someone who is very intelligent … but you never know which mood he is going to be in. Some days he will treat you like his long-lost brother. The next day he ignores you completely.

The players have a word for him. They say he lives on “Planet Ivanchuk”. (Laughs) … I have seen him totally drunk and singing Ukrainian poetry and then the next day I have seen him give an impressive talk.

His playing style is unpredictable and highly original, making him more dangerous but sometimes leading to quick losses as well.”

http://www.chessncognac.com/vassily-ivanchuk-eccentric-chess-genius-free-pdf/

Vladimir Malakhov (2654)

vs Vassily Ivanchuk (2714)

Tournament of Peace 2018 round 03

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 (The only move I ever played in this position is 2…d6, the Lenigrad move) 3. e4 e5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. exf5 d5 6. d4 e4 7. Bg5 Be7 8. Bxe7 Ngxe7 9. Nh4 Bxf5 10. Qh5+ g6 11. Qh6 Qd6 12. Bb5

There was a legendary Georgia player who would tell anyone who would listen about the efficacy of “connecting your rooks.” Although I try not to think of the guy I could not help myself when seeing this position. If one teaches Chess it is a no brainer to inform your student he should castle and complete development. Certainly it must be the best move on the board, and one does not need a 3500 rated Chess program to know that fact.

Rf8 (12… O-O-O 13. Bxc6 Qxc6 14. O-O-O b5 15. a3 a5 16. Nxf5 Nxf5 17. Qd2 Kb7 18. Kb1 Rhf8 19. h3 Nd6 20. b3 Kb8 21. Rhe1 b4 22. axb4. This can be found at https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-mira-tournament/03-Malakhov_Vladimir-Ivanchuk_Vassily) 13. Bxc6+ Nxc6 14. O-O-O O-O-O 15. f3 exf3 16. Nxf3 Bg4 17. Rhf1

17… Bxf3 (There was no reason to make this trade. Simply 17…Qd7 retains an advantage) 18. Qh3+ Qd7 19. Rxf3 Qxh3 20. Rxh3 Rd7 21. Re3 b6 22. Re2 Rf5 23. Red2 Rdf7 24. Ne2 Rf2 25. Nc3 Ne7 26. Re1 Kd7 27. Nd1 Rf1 28. Rde2 Rxe1 29. Rxe1 Nf5 30. c3 Re7 ½-½

Incidentally, Vladimir Malakhov may be the only Grandmaster who is also a nuclear physicist:

Vladimir Malakhov: chess player, nuclear physicist

By mishanp on September 5, 2010

http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/vladimir-malakhov-chess-player-nuclear-physicist/

IM Y. Dzhumagaliev (2424) FM v I. Bocharov 2472 IM

Novosibirsk, Siberia 2015

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 3. e4 e5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. exf5 d5 6. d4 e4 7. Bg5 Be7 8. Bxe7 Ngxe7 9. Nh4 O-O 10. g4 g6 11. Qd2 Nxf5 12. Nxf5 gxf5 13.gxf5 Bxf5 14. O-O-O Be6 15. Rg1+ Kh8 16. Rg6 Rf6 17. Rg3 Qf8 18. Bh3 Bxh3 19. Rxh3 Rxf2 20. Qg5 Qf5 21. Rh5 Qxg5+ 22. Rxg5 e3 23. Rxd5 Rg8 24. Re1 Nb4 25.Re5 Nxc2 26. Re2 Nxd4 27. R2xe3 Rxh2 28. Rd3 c5 29. Re7 b5 30. Rxa7 b4 31. Nd1 Rd8 32. Re7 Rh1 33. Rd2 b3 34. a4 Ra8 35. Rg2 Nc6 36. Rc7 Ne5 37. Rd2 c4 38. Rd5 Ng4 39. Rdd7 Ne3 40. Rxh7+ Rxh7 41. Rxh7+ Kxh7 42. Nxe3 Re8 43. Nd5 Kg6 44. a5 Kf5 45. Nb6 Ke4 46. Kd2 Kd4 47. a6 Re7 48. Nc8 Rc7 49. Nd6 Kc5 50. Nb7+ Kb6 51. Kc3 Kxa6 52. Nd6 Ka5 53. Ne4 Kb5 54. Nd6+ Kc5 55. Ne4+ Kd5 56. Nf6+ Ke5 57. Ng4+ Kf5 58. Ne3+ Ke4 59. Nd1 Kf3 60. Kd4 Rd7+ 61. Kxc4 Rxd1 62. Kxb3 Ke4 63. Kc4 Rc1+ 64. Kb5 Kd5 65. b4 Rb1 0-1

GM Stefan Bromberger (2481) vs GM Dimitri Reinderman (2493)

Gausdal Classics GM-A 04/29/2006

A04

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 3. e4 e5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. exf5 d5 6. Bg5 Nf6 7. d4 Qe7 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5+ 10. Qe2 Qxe2+ 11. Kxe2 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Ne4 13. Bd2 Bxf5 14. f3 Nd6 15. Bf4 O-O-O 16. Bxd6 Rxd6 17. Kd2 d4 18. Bd3 dxc3+ 19. Kxc3 Bxd3 20. cxd3 Rhd8 21. Rhd1 Rc6+ 22. Kd2 Rd5 23. Re1 Kd7 24. a4 a5 25. Re4 Rcd6 26. Ra3 Rd4 27. Rc3 b6 28. Kc2 R6d5 29. f4 c6 30. Rb3 Kc7 31. f5 h5 32. Rc3 Rxe4 33. dxe4 Rd4 34. Rg3 Rxe4 35. Rxg7+ Kd6 36. Rg6+ Kd5 37. Rg5 Rxa4 38. f6+ Ke6 39. Rf5 Kf7 40. Rxh5 Ra2+ 41. Kb3 Rxg2 42. Rh7+ Kxf6 43. Rc7 Kf5 44. Rxc6 Rg6 45. Rc8 Ke5 46. Rh8 Kd5 47. h4 Kc5 48. Rh5+ Kc6 49. Rh8 Rg3+ 50. Ka4 Rg4+ 51. Kb3 Kb5 52. Rh5+ Ka6 53. Rh8 a4+ 54. Kc3 Ka5 55. h5 Rg3+ 56. Kc2 Rh3 57. h6 Kb4 58. h7 b5 59. Kc1 Rh1+ 60. Kc2 Rh2+ 61. Kd1 a3 62. Kc1 a2 63. Ra8 Kb3 0-1

The Computer: A Phantom Specter Haunting Chess

Computers Are Haunting The World Chess Championship (Which, Yes, Is Still Tied)

By Oliver Roeder

Game 3 of the World Chess Championship in London, like the two games that came before it, ended in a draw — 49 moves and a touch more than four hours. The best-of-12 championship is currently level at 1.5 points apiece in a race to 6.5 points and the game’s most important prize.

On Monday, Caruana controlled the white pieces and Carlsen the black.

The pair began Game 3 with an opening called the Sicilian Defence, specifically its Rossolimo Variation. It was the same opening they played in Game 1 — which ended in an epic seven-hour draw — and the first five moves exactly matched those from that earlier game. But they deviated dramatically from this familiar ground on move 6, when Carlsen moved his queen to the c7 square. Caruana glanced around the soundproof glass room in which they played, looking slightly befuddled.

A quick word on this opening’s eponymous Rossolimo himself seems warranted, given that Monday’s game was lacking in fireworks and Rossolimo’s name has figured more prominently thus far in this world championship than any but Caruana and Carlsen. He was Nicolas Rossolimo, Renaissance man:

one of the U.S.’s 12 grandmasters at the time, fluent in Russian, Greek, French and English, and the “proprietor of a chess studio,” which became a second home to some players. He was also a judo master and a New York City cab driver and recorded an album of Russian folk songs, according to The New York Times. He died in 1975 after a fall near the storied Marshall Chess Club in Manhattan.


Fabiano Caruana at the Marshall Chess Club


http://www.marshallchessclub.org/


Magnus Carlsen at the Marshall Chess Club

https://www.chess-site.com/chess-clubs/marshall-chess-club/

There is another figure, aside from the colorful Rossolimo, casting its shadow over this championship: The Computer. Most livestreams of the match feature instant computer engine analyses, whose cold numbers instantly assess the humans’ tiniest inaccuracies down to hundredths of a pawn. Those judgments ripple through the commentary. Full disclosure, I rely heavily on a chess engine running on my laptop to aid my understanding as I watch the games. One popular site during recent world championships features live analysis showing arrows pointing out a supercomputer’s favored moves. (http://analysis.sesse.net/)

The principals in the match have also commented on The Computer’s somewhat spooky influence.

“I’m facing not only Fabiano and his helpers, but also his computer help,” Carlsen said in a press conference after Game 2. (He was referring to Caruana’s deep preparation for the game, although Carlsen surely uses a computer to prep, too.)

“It’s like you’re playing against a phantom,” Judit Polgar,

a grandmaster providing official commentary on the match, said today.

The Computer can often seem like a phantom, a specter haunting the games. It can seem like an overlord that has rendered the human game obsolete and small. But it’s important to remember that man made the machines. Garry Kasparov lost to the supercomputer Deep Blue,


World Chess champion Garry Kasparov barely acknowledges the handshake from Dr. C.J. Tan head of the IBM Deep Blue computer team which defeated Kasparov in the six-game series that ended on May 11, 1997.
Credit: Roger Celestin/Newscom

but a team of humans sweated and bled to built it. In these technological gaming battles, man plays two roles: builder and performer.

At the world championship in London, we are witnessing the performance of two of the best players in the history of the game. That stronger computers exist, and have helped Caruana and Carlsen get to London, does not detract from their feat.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/computers-are-haunting-the-world-chess-championship-which-yes-is-still-tied/

Game One World Chess Human Chess Championship Commentary

There is a massive amount of analysis on the games of the 2018 World Human Chess Championship which you will not find here. What you will find are comments about the commentary delivered by some of the announcers during the first game played yesterday.

I began watching the commentary of Peter Svidler

because Yaz, Maurice, and Jen only appeared a couple of hours into the match. The wife of GM Anish Giri, Sopiko Guramishvili,

was sitting beside Peter. GM Alexander Grischuk

was included via a box which was probably via Skype. When the show began Sopiko giggled often, which was disconcerting. When Grischuk appeared she, thankfully, sat there silently as the two GMs analysed. I have always enjoyed Svidler’s commentary. Some of the wrap up videos he has produced after commenting on games all day are truly amazing. Unfortunately for Sopiko, in a live broadcast one either adds to or detracts from the broadcast. She was included only because of political correctness as she is a woman and many people involved with Chess deem it necessary to include a woman, any woman, in a futile attempt to attract more women to the game.

After turning them off I waited until the “A” team appeared. GMs Yasser Seriwan

and Maurice Asheley

did not disappoint. Once again NM Jennifer Shahade

joined Yasser to deliver a female perspective. The men wore normal clothing while Jennifer wore something with a strategic split along the top which looked like someone had taken a knife and slashed the top part of her clothing. This allowed a small amount of her ample cleavage to be shown in an attempt, one assumes, at attracting more male viewers. Have you ever noticed a man wearing anything similar? In the year of the “Me Too” movement it may have been better for the only female on the broadcast to have worn something more business like and less revealing. Can you imagine Yasser or Maurice wearing a top with an open rip in order to reveal part of their breast area? Me neither…

This was heard on the broadcast: “Magnus said he did not have the energy now at 28 that he had when he won the WCC.”

The human body replaces each and every cell every seven years. This is the year in which Magnus will replace his cells. I wonder if that may have something to do with his comment? I have been researching Major League Baseball players and age recently and one thing learned thus far is that a players peak year, once thought to be thirty, is now thought to be twenty eight. The highest amount of time on the disabled list is between ages twenty nine and thirty. I cannot help but wonder if there is also a correlation between the brain and body as far as ageing goes…

Magnus beat the hell out of a dead horse for 115 moves yesterday in a futile attempt to squeeze blood out of a turnip. His attempt failed and it is possible the attempt may come back to haunt him as he could be the one weakened, not his younger opponent. Once again Magnus had a winning game he did not win. The same thing has occurred against Fabiano in their recent encounters, but Caruana has held firm, just as Sergei Karjakin did against Magnus in the last match for the World Human Chess Championship. Has Magnus, the ultimate grinder, lost his grinding machine driving wheel?

During the critical part of the game Garry Kasparov

appeared on the program as a “special” guest via Skype. As Kasparov droning on and on I thought about a quote about Bob Dylan found in the book, Another Side of Bob Dylan: A Personal History on the Road and off the Tracks by Victor Maymudes.

A party was being planned and someone mentioned inviting Bob Dylan. “Don’t do that,” someone said, “Bob sucks all the air out of the room.” Kasparov sucked all the life out of the broadcast so I had to mute the sound and head over to the ChessBomb until Garry finally exited the stage.

As Magnus continued squeezing the turnip the talk turned to the format of the World Human Chess Championship. There was total agreement speed Chess should not be used to decide a WHCC but the gang seemed to like the idea of what is now called “rapid” Chess being used after “classical” games to decide a WHCC. There is currently a tournament, the Tata Steel India Rapid, being touted as the, “The first super tournament on Indian soil.” (https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-first-super-tournament-on-indian-soil-begins)

I loathe and detest any kind of tiebreak, especially for a World Champioship match. To become World Human Champion a player should beat the title holder in a classical time control. Period. If the challenger cannot beat the champ then what is the purpose of playing a match? If the challenger can only tie with the champion then the champion should remain Champion. Ask David Bronstein.

The future of Chess has arrived, I am sad to report. It was inevitable because of rampant cheating. The Royal game will live or die with rapid. I cannot wait to hear Peter Svidler attempt to explain what is going on in a half dozen rapid games being played at the same time. The calm and relaxed Yasser who usually goes with a slow flow will be forced to pick up the pace considerably in the way a Major League Baseball announcer must adjust to the frenzied pace of a National Basketball Association game. Yasser is not getting any younger and it is often difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. The highly intense Maurice, on the other hand, may be able to adapt quite well. Give Jennifer a low cut blouse and with her smile she will do quite nicely at any pace.

Biothythms of Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana

Upon learning I played tournament Chess in the late 1970’s the father of a new girlfriend mentioned a book he had read, Biorhythm: A Personal Science, by Bernard Gittelson, going on to say Bobby Fischer had been profiled during the match with Boris Spassky. Naturally this peaked my interest. I read the book, learning the importance of critical days. For example, the Japanese did not allow any professional driver to work on a double critical day, or allow any to pilot fly on those days and it cut the number of accidents tremendously. Over the course of my life while in a relationship with a woman I have charted their moods by jotting down simple notes such as, “bitchy day,” or “good mood day.” Hold off on those nasty comments and emails, please, as I have done the same for me. In addition I have focused on not only my individual day but on different periods in an attempt to understand biorhythms and whether of not they have anything to do with my state of being. I have come to the conclusion there is something to biorhythms, especially physically. A critical day is when one is changing from one phase to another. One can go from a low to a high phase, or the reverse. It has been my experience that it is much worse to go from a high phase to a low phase, and it becomes increasingly pronounced as one ages. It has been extremely difficult to understand the other two phases, emotional and intellectual. I can, though, say with authority that several woman in my life have sent me to the biorhythm chart when having a…how to describe it…let us say an “overly emotional” type of day. It has also been my experience over the last four decades that it is better to be in an emotionally low phase than a high phase. Being in a high phase is akin to being what is commonly known as “wound too tightly.” Beginning at birth everyone’s day of birth will be a critical day followed by either a peak or floor day. For example, I was born on a Monday, so every other Monday is an emotional critical day for me.

Some years ago I put something on the USCF forum concerning a World Championship match and biorhythms. The nattering nabobs ripped me a new one. I recall “pseudo-science” and “akin to astrology” among other remarks. For this reason I ask the reader to be open-minded and kind when commenting or sending an email.

Magnus Carlsen

Fabiano Caruana

https://www.biorhythm-calculator.net/

When the match begins the graph shows Magnus at his physical nadir while Fabiano is near his physical zenith. It is almost the exact opposite for the two combatants intellectually. Magnus will be going through an emotional critical day, transferring from high to low. Fabi will coming off of his emotional nadir. This illustrates how different are the two players, biorhythmically speaking. This is dramatically shown with this:

Relationship Compatibility

Name: Carlsen
Date of birth 1990-11-30

Name: Caruana
Date of birth 1992-7-30

Physical: 13%
Emotional: 42.9%
Intellectual: 15.2%

Spiritual: 5.7%
Awareness: 33.3%
Aesthetic: 72.1%
Intuition: 100%

http://www.procato.com/biomatch/

The lack of compatibility between the two players in the three main facets is striking. I left the latter part in for illustration purposes only because of the 100% match in intuition. Ordinarily I only look at the ‘Big 3’ but the total match had to be shown even though I have no idea what it means. When I learned about biorhythms there were only the top three.

The physical match up shows Carlsen playing most of the match in a physical high phase, while it is the opposite for Caruana. This could be a major factor, especially in light of the fact Fabiano has played so much Chess leading up to the match. Magnus has demonstrated throughout his career just how much endurance and stamina he possesses. No current player can match Carlsen in this regard. It would be wonderful to step into an alternate universe where the physical cycles are reversed, would it not?

If FIDE president I would strongly advocate a sixteen game match. With only a twelve game match I would advocate a tie match at the end of regulation would require another match one year later. If that match was also tied after regulation, then the champion would remain the champion. The challenger would have had two chances to beat the champ. To obtain another chance the challenger would have to again win the candidates tournament.

The World Champ will begin the match intellectually high before declining into a low phase the second half of the match. The challenger will begin the match low intellectually, but spend the majority of the match in a high phase.

Magnus will play most of the match in an emotionally low phase while Fabiano will only be in an emotional low period at the beginning of the match with the latter two-thirds being in a high phase.

Simply put, the two contestants biorhythms could not be more disparate.

The critical period of the match will be games three through six. One look at the chart of the challenger vividly illustrates this fact. Caruana will be undergoing biorhythmic changes in all three phases. His biorhythms will be going every which a way…

The chart of the World Champion looks much “smoother” in contrast.

I did this comparison in an attempt to make a prediction according to biorhythm theory. After studying the charts I am unable to do so as the disparity is simply too great. How much of a factor will it be that Magnus will be physically high during the latter part of the match? How much will it matter that Fabi will be high intellectually? In a longer match of even sixteen games, the number many time World Chess Champion Mikhail Botvinnik said was needed to determine a winner, the physical factor would play a larger part, but this is a shorter match. They are both young so the physical aspect may not mean as much as the intellectual, but how does one quantify the intellectual biorhythm? As I have grown older the physical factor is much easier to quantify, for example. Some physical critical days, especially transferring from high to low, are pronounced in a way that can be felt and understood. It may take a huge amount of information to demonstrate the kind of impact an intellectual critical day produces. I just do not know…One thing I do know, though, is that this will be an extremely interesting match, biorhythmically speaking.

If my life were on the line I would have to go with the current Champion because of the tiebreak issue. If the match is even then Magnus will be a heavy favorite.

Hypothetically speaking, if there were no tiebreak and my life depended on only the biorhythms of the players, again I would be forced to go with Magnus because of the critical period between games three and six for the challenger and his physical high phase toward the end of the match.

That was from the logical ‘Spock’ part of my brain. The ‘Captain Kirk’ emotional part from my heart will be hanging on every move Fabiano Caruana makes during the course of the match.

I would also like to mention I plan on spending much time watching, and listening, to the best Chess internet broadcasting trio, Yasser Seirwan, Maurice Ashley, and Jennifer Shahade, which can be found here (https://www.uschesschamps.com/2018-today-in-chess/world-chess-championship).

Let the games begin!

Chess Cheating: The Eternal Battle Between Good And Evil

A subject on which I have received much response from readers is cheating in Chess, and the number of emails received has increased over the years. Cheating at Chess is a subject that is not going away any time soon. Much has been written about the subject recently, including the following, but I want to mention an email received from a Chess dad. He mentioned talking with another father of a young Chess player about the subject of cheating in Chess and the man told him he needed to read the Armchair Warrior because the AW questions everything. Maybe I should have called the blog the ChessX-Files

Or maybe Mcully and Sculder…

The gentleman did get in touch, writing that his son, who was considered a promising player, had stopped playing Chess. When asked why he no longer wanted to play the game the son said, “Half the kids CHEAT, dad!”

The stunned father was taken aback. He wrote it took a few moments to gather himself. Then he questioned the number saying, “Surely it is not as bad as that?” The son replied his friend had also decided to quit the game because of the rampant cheating.

I have not been involved in playing Chess the past few years and have been away from tournament action. All I know is what I read on the Chess websites and what is sent to me via email, such as the following:

“This also goes past the actual cheating..I have beaten several GMs..so has (Name withheld)(even in his 70s)…of course the results are consider “upsets”…however If go to the US Masters and have a similar “upset win”..I am going to be accused of cheating..the organizers are going to strip search me looking for evidence..maybe call in DHS!…and if I was to have two “upset wins”… the GMS will pass around a letter asking that I should be removed from the US Masters…I would never get my reputation back…it’s kinda like be accused of a child abuse charge.. and notice that number of Masters that do not play anymore?… Chess at least in the US is doomed…and of course these are my personal comments and should not be connected to my name..you can use my concerns but please not my name or the state that I live in…”

This was received in the spring of this year. Reading it again caused me to think of the US Open this year in which only one IM participated…(This comes from memory; I did no research so I may have it confused with another large tournament) Make of it what you will…

How prevalent has cheating in Chess become?

Canadian Arbiter Caught Cheating

by kevinspraggettonchess · Published September 22, 2018 · Updated September 28, 2018

Claude Lessard is a popular and well respected arbiter, organizer and promoter in the Quebec City area chess community. Earlier in the month the Quebec Chess Federation (FQE) took the unprecedented step to ban him for 2 years following an investigation into multiple longtime allegations of cheating using a cellphone chess app during his games.

Questions of whether this cheating was just the tip of the iceberg amongst members of the popular chess club he ran and owned remain unanswered.

Cheating is destroying the game

I don’t play so much these days, but in the relatively few international tournaments that I have played in during the past 5 years here in Europe, I have witnessed a significant number of examples of cheating. Even amongst 2700-plus players, not just the lowly amateur.

Some of these methods used are quite sophisticated, and implicate outside help. All require the tournament arbiters to close their eyes and look the otherway. As I wrote several times here on this blog, a good rule of thumb is that at any given time in any tournament as many as 20% of the participants are cheating in one way or the other. Not just with apps.

Now that it is well established that parents, spectators, arbiters and even organizers are participating in this ‘epidemic’, that rule of thumb must be updated and increased.

Organized chess can not continue this way. Perhaps it is time for FIDE to stop listening to arbiters and organizers, or to start expelling some arbiters and organizers that players have already noticed can not be trusted.

http://www.spraggettonchess.com/canadian-arbiter-caught-cheating/

“If a player is determined to cheat, it will happen”

by Davide Nastasio

10/20/2018 – In the United States, there are many weekend tournaments, thanks to the efforts of many independent tournament organizers nationwide. Some of these tournaments provide significant prize money, over USD $12,000, and the chance to play against strong master level players. Georgia-based DAVIDE NASTASIO recently spoke to one such veteran organizer, Walter High,

and sent this brief interview along with annotated games from the North Carolina Open.

Walter High: I started playing because my two sons, David and Zachary, were becoming very good players and I got tired of sitting in the hallways of hotels and schools waiting for them to finish their games. I thought: “I can play this game! How hard could it be?” I found out the answer to that very, very quickly!

DN: What about cheating? The technology has made falling into temptation definitely easier, how are the USCF and US tournament organisers dealing with such a big problem?

WH: I sincerely doubt that there was ever a time when cheating did not exist in chess. Technology has just changed the methods used to cheat and also the methods used to prevent cheating. If a player is determined to cheat, it will happen. We cannot prevent it other than by making players face off naked in isolation from other players and all spectators! Technology is also used to help prevent cheating; metal detectors and wands are used to eliminate electronic devices from entering the playing venue. There is a point at large tournaments where anti-cheating measures can only go so far without making the tournament experience disagreeable for too many players. It is a trade-off we cannot escape. This problem will be as timeless as the eternal battle between good and evil.

https://en.chessbase.com/post/north-carolina-open-2018

Isle of Man Chess International, Round 2, 21 October 2018. Photo by John Saunders

Born On A Blue Day

The man to whom I have referred to as “Louisville Lefty” on this blog was autistic. He was what was called a “high functioning autistic” in the time before it was known as Asperger’s syndrome. After reading an article in the last decade of the previous century I called Lefty to inform him of the article. He chuckled when telling me he was aware of Asperger’s and had been recruited for studies, but had turned them down. “They tell me I am a perfect specimen,” Lefty said, “but I have no desire to be a guinea pig.” Asperger’s became part of one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5) in 2013. (https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-asperger-syndrome) Designations change, but the thing remains the same…

After reading the book, Shadow Syndromes: The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us, by John J. Ratey,

I mentioned it to Lefty. “Freud once said that nobody is “normal,” and after reading Shadow Syndromes, you may well be convinced of that. While more than 50 million Americans suffer from full-fledged mental illnesses such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, millions more suffer from milder forms–yet they likely don’t realize it.” – Erica Jorgensen review from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Syndromes-Mental-Disorders-Sabotage/dp/0553379593/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1541186705&sr=1-1&keywords=shadow+syndromes)
Louisville Lefty read the book later and a long phone discussion ensued. Lefty had earlier mentioned he thought I showed traits of Asperger’s, at which I scoffed. After reading Shadow Syndromes I was no longer scoffing. As a matter of fact Lefty mentioned most game players probably have some form of Asperger’s Syndrome.

Reading the book, Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, by Daniel Tammet,

recently has caused me to reflect on what Lefty said decades ago…

Daniel Tammet –

a “high functioning autistic savant” from East London, England. To sort of set a benchmark as to his mind’s capabilities for the curious among you, Daniel once successfully recited the constant Pi (a circles circumference divided by its diameter) to 22,514 digits – a feat that took over five hours and ended on his own accord (not by mistake). (https://www.synesthesiatest.org/blog/daniel-tammet)

From the book:

“Take the following example:

A bird in the hand
is worth two in the
the bush

Read quickly, most people don’t spot the second, superfluous “the” in the sentence above.”

I am one of those who do spot the the.

“I find it very hard to filter out external noise and regularly put my fingers in my ears to help me concentrate,” writes Daniel.

It is something I could have written. Other players are much better than I at blocking out distractions. In addition, it usually takes me far longer ‘settle back in’, shall we say, than other players.

At a Chess tournament in Atlanta, probably in the ’80s, I played a Bishop’s opening against Mark Coles. I cannot recall his rating at the time of the game but he was either a 2100+ Expert or a 2200+ Master. Big Mark played weakly in the opening, allowing me to lam into him with the Bxf7+ move when the bishop could not be taken, and Kf8 was the only move. For all intents and purposes the game was over. Mark attempted everything he could to destroy my concentration, to no avail, and I won the game. The last time I saw Mark he was dying of cancer. He was only forty years of age and looked good, better than I remembered him, as he, at one time, was very much overweight. He came by the House of Pain and some of the old crowd, some still into Chess, and some not, came by to see Mark, who had moved back to Georgia from the left coast. We went to the pizza joint next door and food and beer were ordered. The last four were the legendary Georgia Ironman, his high school Chess teammate Jason Whitehead, Mark and yours truly. Jason was in conversation with the Ironman, while Mark and I had a chance to talk privately. Mark apologized for his “reprehensible” behavior during that long ago game. I told Mark it had been forgotten a long time ago. “Not by me,” said the dying Mark Coles. “You were a stepping stone, Mike,” said Mark. “If we could beat you we figured we were on our way,” he said. I will admit to putting more than my share of younger players “on their way.”

“Writing was always a chore,” Tammet writes. “Even today I write most of the letters in a word individually one after the other.”

I began printing many decades ago and can print words much faster than writing in longhand. Many years ago I read something about what it means when a person prints in lieu of using cursive, and it was not good, so I just did a search using http://www.startpage.com and this was found:

“Using print also reflects personal characteristics of the user. The absence of connectors (connected writing) symbolizes difficulty to communicate and to talk about feelings.”

Psychology of Print

Handwriting Interpretation. From the psychological point of view, those who use print reflect that is hard for them to express emotions.They do not allow their feelings to come out spontaneously. They need to have everything under control, avoiding unexpected events. Difference must be made in interpretation according to the type of print or to the “degree” of evolution of each one, since there are different levels.” (http://www.handwriting-graphology.com/handwriting-interpretation/)

This is something of which more than a few women have accused me.

From the book:

“My father taught me how to play chess when I was thirteen. One day he showed me the chessboard and pieces that he used when he played with friends and asked if I wanted to learn. I nodded, so he demonstrated how each of the pieces moved on the board and explained the basic rules of the game. My father was self-taught and only played occasionally to pass the time. Even so, it was a surprise to him when I beat him in our first game together. “Beginner’s luck,” he said and put the pieces back in their starting positions and we played another game. Again, I won. At this point my father had the idea that I might benefit from playing socially at a chess club. He knew of one nearby and told me he would take me to play there the following week.”

“I liked going to the club each week to play. It wasn’t noisy and I did not have to talk or interact very much with the other players. When I wasn’t playing chess at the club, I was reading about it at home in books I had borrowed from the local library. Soon, all I could talk about was chess-I even told people I wanted to be a professional player when I got older.”

“After each match, I would take my sheet of paper home with me and replay the moves on my own chessboard while sitting on the floor of my bedroom, analyzing the positions reached to try and find ways of improving. It was advice I had read in one of my chess books and it helped me to avoid repeating mistakes and to become familiar with various common positions during a game.”

“The hardest part of playing chess for me was trying to maintain a deep level of concentration over a long game that could last two or three hours. I tend to think deeply in short bursts, followed by longer periods when my ability to concentrate on something is much reduced and less consistent. I also find it hard to switch off from small things happening around me and this affects my concentration.: someone exhaling noisily across the room from me, for example. There were games where I would play myself into an advantageous position and then lose my concentration, play a weak move or series of moves and end up losing. That was always frustrating for me.”

“Each month I read the latest chess magazine at my local library. In one issue I read an ad for an upcoming tournament not far from my home.”

“The games were timed and I started my first match confidently and played quickly. Soon I had a strong position on the board and a big time advantage against my opponent as well. I was feeling very positive. Then suddenly my opponent made his move, pressed the button on the clock and stood up quickly. I watched him as he paced up and down the hall while he waited for me to respond. I had not expected him to do this and found that I could not concentrate well while he walked up and down, his shoes squeaking on the hard, shiny floor. Totally distracted, I played a series of poor moves and lost the game. I felt thoroughly disappointed, but also unable to go on with the other games because I just could not get my concentration back. I walked out of the hall and went home, deciding that tournament play was not for me.”

These are excerpts from pages 103-107, and these words were chosen for a reason. Some of these words could have been mine.