After seven rounds in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the MEMORIAL DAY CCCSA GM/IM NORM INVITATIONAL, two young players (https://www.chesspuzzles.com/blog/usas-youngest-international-chess-master) had a chance at nabbing the prize of a coveted GM norm. Christopher Woojin Yoo
had won four games and drawn three, giving him a score of 5 1/2. Arthur Guo
had won and drawn three games, with one loss, for a total of 4 1/2 points. To earn a GM norm a player needed to earn 6 1/2 points. Yoo was obviously in the better position to gain the norm. The players were paired in the penultimate round, with Mr. Guo, from Georgia, having the white pieces. I recall the neophyte youngster Arthur Guo being talked about as “special.” If memory serves, NM David Vest was Arthur’s first Chess coach.
Arthur Guo (2359) vs Christopher Woojin Yoo (2455)
Charlotte CLT GM 2021 round 08
- e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 (Stockfish at the ChessBaseDataBase prefers 4…Nc6) 5. Nc3 d6 (SF also prefers 5…Nc6) 6. Be3 (Both SF & Komodo prefer 6 g4) 6…Be7 (The same two programs both prefer 6…a6) 7. Be2 (SF plays 7 f3) 7…O-O (Houdini prefers the most often played move, 7…Nc6) 8. O-O (SF plays the pawn thrust 8 g4) 8…Nc6 (Although the most often played move, SF plays 8…a6) 9. Nb3 (Komodo 12 @depth 28 plays the most played move, 9 f4, but Komodo 14 @depth 35 plays 9 Qe1, which will be a TN when played by a human) 9…e5 (SF 10 @depth 34 plays 9…a6; SF 12 at the same depth prefers 9…b6) 10. f4 (Although far and away the most often played move, both SF & Houdini would play a move yet to be seen, at least at the CBDB, 10 f3!) 10…exf4 11. Bxf4 Be6 (Although SF 150121 @depth 43, and SF 11 @depth 58 play this move, SF 13 @depth31 would play 11…Re8, a TN!) 12. Qe1 d5 13. e5 (SF prefers 13 Rd1; Komodo plays 13 exd5) 13…Ng4 (The move in the game, 13…Ng4, is better than 13…Nd7 in the game below according to Komodo and Houdini) 14. Bxg4 Bxg4 15. Qg3 Bf5 16. Rad1 Bxc2 17. Rxd5 Qc8 18. Rd2 Bg6 19. Nd5 Bd8 20. Rc1 Bb6+ 21. Be3 Bxe3+ 22. Nxe3 Qe6 23. Nc4 Qe7 24. Re1 a5 25. Nb6 Rad8 26. Nd5 Qe8 27. Nf6+ gxf6 28. exf6 Ne5 29. Qxe5 Qc6 30. Rxd8 Rxd8 31. Nxa5 Qb6+ 32. Kh1 h5 33. h3 Kh7 34. Rf1 Rc8 35. Nb3 Rc2 36. Rf3 Qa6 37. Nd4 Rd2 38. Kh2 Qxa2 39. Rf5 Qa8 40. Rxh5+ Kg8 41. Rg5 Kh7 42. Rxg6 fxg6 43. Qc7+ Kh6 44. Qf4+ Kh5 45. Qg4+ 1-0
Elizaveta Borisova (2198) vs Veronika Avdeeva (2141)
Event: RUS-ch (Women) 1st League
Site: Kolontaevo Date: 01/2005
ECO: B83 Sicilian, modern Scheveningen, main line
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Be2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Be3 Nc6 9.f4 e5 10.Nb3 exf4 11.Bxf4 Be6 12.Qe1 d5 13.e5 Nd7 14.Qg3 Bh4 15.Qe3 Qb6 16.Rad1 Qxe3+ 17.Bxe3 Ndxe5 18.Nxd5 Bg4 19.Bxg4 Nxg4 20.Bc5 Rfd8 21.Rf4 Nf6 22.Nc3 Rxd1+ 23.Nxd1 Bg5 24.Rf5 h6 25.Nc3 Re8 26.Nb5 b6 27.Bf2 g6 28.Rf3 Ne5 29.Rh3 Neg4 30.Rd3 Re2 31.N3d4 Rxf2 32.h3 Rd2 33.hxg4 Rxd3 34.cxd3 a6 0-1 (https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3100166&m=26)
After this game the two youngsters were tied with 5 1.2 points, both needing a full point in the last round to obtain that coveted GM norm, which was what the tournament was all about, was it not? Christopher Yoo would have the white pieces versus Tanguy Ringoir, a Grandmaster rated 2474, playing under the flag of the Republic of Belarus, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest, which, under the circumstances, with Vladimir Putin on the verge of war to annex Ukraine, does not sound like the place to be. Tanguy was having a decent tournament with two wins and six draws, and was only one half point behind the leaders.
Meanwhile, young Mr. Guo would be sitting behind the black pieces, facing International Master Kassa Korley, rated 2441. Mr. Korley was having a mediocre tournament with only one win to go with his four draws and three losses. He was destroyed by Christopher Yoo in the seventh round:
Christopher Woojin Yoo (2455) vs Kassa Korley (2441)
Charlotte CLT GM 2021 round 07
- d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 a6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. e3 O-O 8. Bd3 Be6 9. Qb3 b6 10. Qc2 h6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Bh7+ Kh8 13. Bf5 c5 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. O-O Nc6 16. Rad1 Qe8 17. Ne2 cxd4 18. Nf4 Nb4 19. Qb3 Nc6 20. Qc2 Nb4 21. Qd2 dxe3 22. Qxb4 e5 23. Qxf8+ 1-0 (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-clt-gm/07-Yoo_Christopher_Woojin-Korley_Kassa)
Arthur Guo needed to pull out all the stops in order to win this game and earn the coveted prize of a GM norm. I do not wish to criticize the youngster too harshly because there are myriad factors that go into the choice of an opening in the last round, especially with so much at stake. In addition, the young fellow must have been elated, higher than a kite on a windy day, after winning in the penultimate round, and having little time between rounds, an hour less than the other rounds. I have no idea who is his coach, or if he even has a coach to assist him with such a difficult decision. With those caveats in mind, I could not help but think about hearing things like, “It’s the last round, man, you’ve got to PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS!” Then there is the one about, “It don’t matter if you FALL ON YOUR SWORD, because it’s the last round and you’ve GOT TO WIN AT ALL COSTS!” And you know what? Brian McCarthy was correct. Therefore I thought about the last round of the 2019 US Chess Championship when Hikaru Nakamura shocked, SHOCKED, the Chess world (all except yours truly!) and his opponent, Jeffery Xiong, by playing one of my favorite openings, the Leningrad Dutch, earning a well deserved title when young Mr. Xiong wilted under the pressure.
Granted, Nakamura had experience playing the risky opening, and maybe young Mr. Guo is risk adverse. But if that’s the case, why is he playing Chess?
Kassa Korley (2441) – Arthur Guo (2359)
Charlotte CLT GM 2021 round 09
- d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 (Stockfish & Komodo both play 3…Bb4 here, and under the circumstances, it would have been a much better choice) 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 c6 (SF castles here) 7. Bd3 Nbd7 (Again SF castles) 8. Nf3 (SF plays 8 Qc2) 8…Nh5 (Never before has the old chess adage, “Knights on the rim are grim” been more appropriate. I lost interest in the game after this move. Stockfish 221020 @depth 51, and SF 13 @depth 47 both play 8…Ne4, showing the follow-up 9 Bf4 Ndf6, which has got to be much better than the lame move played in the game. There are two games, both losses, given below, both with the grim move of the knight to the dim rim) 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. O-O O-O 11. Qb1 Nhf6 12. b4 b6 (SF plays 12…a5, see below) 13. a4 a5 14. b5 c5 15. Rd1 Bb7 16. Bf5 Rad8 17. Qb2 g6 18. Bh3 Rfe8 19. Rac1 Nf8 20. Ne5 Ne6 21. Bxe6 Qxe6 22. Ne2 Ne4 23. Nf4 Qf6 24. f3 Nd6 25. dxc5 bxc5 26. Ned3 Qe7 27. Rxc5 Qxe3+ 28. Qf2 Qxf2+ 29. Kxf2 Nc4 30. Rc7 Ba8 31. Nc5 Nb6 32. Ra7 Rc8 33. Nfd3 Nc4 34. Rb1 Rb8 35. Nd7 Re7 36. Nf6+ Kf8 37. Nxh7+ Ke8 38. Re1 Rxe1 39. Nf6+ Kd8 40. Kxe1 Bb7 41. Nc5 Kc7 42. Nfd7 Re8+ 43. Kf2 Nd6 44. Nf6 Re5 45. Rxa5 d4 46. Nxb7 Kxb7 47. Ra6 Nc4 48. Rc6 Nb2 49. Ne4 Nxa4 50. Nd6+ Kb8 51. b6 Rc5 52. Rxc5 Nxc5 53. Nxf7 Nd3+ 54. Kf1 Kb7 55. Nd8+ Kxb6 56. Ne6 Kc6 57. Nxd4+ Kd5 58. Nc2 Ke5 59. Ne1 Nc5 60. Kf2 Kf4 61. g3+ Kf5 62. h4 Ke5 63. Ke3 Ne6 64. Nd3+ Kf6 65. g4 Nc7 66. Nb4 Nb5 67. f4 Nc3 68. Kd3 Nd1 69. Nd5+ Ke6 70. Ne3 Nf2+ 71. Kd4 Nh3 72. Ke4 Nf2+ 73. Kf3 Nd3 74. Nc2 Nc5 75. Ke3 Kf6 76. Nd4 Kf7 77. g5 Ke7 78. f5 gxf5 79. Kf4 Kf7 80. Kxf5 Nb7 81. Nb5 Kg7 82. h5 Nc5 83. h6+ Kh7 84. Nc7 Nd7 85. Ne6 Nb8 86. Nc5 Nc6 87. Kf6 Nb4 88. Kf7 Nc6 89. Nd7 Kh8 90. Kg6 Ne7+ 91. Kf6 Ng8+ 92. Kg6 Ne7+ 93. Kh5 Kh7 94. Nf8+ Kg8 95. Nd7 Kh7 96. Ne5 Nf5 97. g6+ Kg8 98. Nf7 Ng3+ 99. Kg4 1-0 (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-clt-gm/09-Korley_Kassa-Guo_Arthur)
Mustafa Yilmaz (2594) vs Robert Ris (2412)
Event: 18th Dubai Open 2016
Site: Dubai UAE Date: 04/13/2016
ECO: D37 Queen’s Gambit Declined, 4.Nf3
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.d4 d5 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 c6 7.e3 Be7 8.Bd3 Nh5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.O-O O-O 11.Qb1 Nhf6 12.b4 b6 13.Re1 g6 14.a4 a5 15.bxa5 Rxa5 16.Nd2 Bb7 17.Nb3 Ra7 18.a5 b5 19.e4 dxe4 20.Nxe4 Nxe4 21.Bxe4 Qd6 22.Qc2 Rc8 23.Rac1 c5 24.dxc5 Bxe4 25.Qxe4 Nxc5 26.Qe5 Qxe5 27.Rxe5 Nxb3 28.Rxc8+ Kg7 29.Rxb5 Nxa5 30.g3 Nb7 31.Rb6 Na5 32.Rb5 Nb7 33.Rb6 Na5 34.Kg2 Rd7 35.Ra6 Nb3 36.Raa8 h5 37.Rab8 Na5 38.Ra8 Nb3 39.Ra2 Nd2 40.Re8 Nc4 41.Re4 Nb6 42.Rc2 Ra7 43.Rd2 Rc7 44.Red4 Ra7 45.R2d3 Rc7 46.Rd6 Nc8 47.Rd7 Rc6 48.R3d4 Re6 49.Rd8 Ne7 50.Re8 Kf6 51.Rd7 Re1 52.Rd6+ Kg7 53.Ra6 Re4 54.Kf1 Re5 55.Ra2 Kf6 56.Re2 Rxe2 57.Kxe2 Nf5 58.Kf3 Nd4+ 59.Ke4 Nb5 60.Rb8 Nd6+ 61.Kd5 Nf5 62.Rb6+ Kg7 63.Ke5 Ne7 64.Ra6 Nf5 65.Ra7 Nh6 66.h3 Nf5 67.g4 hxg4 68.hxg4 Nh6 69.f3 Ng8 70.g5 Kf8 71.Kd6 Kg7 72.f4 Kf8 73.Kd7 f6 74.Ke6 1-0
Yilmaz, Mustafa (2607) vs Natalija Pogonina (2479)
Event: Gibraltar Masters 2020
Site: Caleta ENG Date: 01/27/2020
ECO: D35 Queen’s Gambit Declined, exchange, positional line, 5…c6
1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Be7 7.Bd3 Nbd7 8.Nf3 Nh5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.O-O O-O 11.Qb1 Nhf6 12.b4 a5 13.bxa5 Rxa5 14.a4 Qd6 15.Rc1 Re8 16.Nd2 Ra8 17.a5 h5 18.Nf3 g6 19.Qc2 Kg7 20.Ne2 Ra7 21.Nf4 Ng8 22.a6 Ne7 23.axb7 Rxa1 24.Rxa1 Bxb7 25.Bf1 Ra8 26.Rb1 Bc8 27.Rc1 Rb8 28.Qa2 Qb4 29.Nd3 Qb3 30.Qa5 Qb6 31.Qa3 Qd8 32.h3 Nf6 33.Nfe5 Bd7 34.Nc5 Be8 35.Ra1 Nd7 36.Ncxd7 Bxd7 37.Qc5 Be8 38.Bd3 Kf8 39.Ra7 g5 40.Bf5 Ra8 41.Rxa8 Qxa8 42.Qd6 g4 43.Qh6+ Kg8 44.Bh7+ Kh8 45.Bg6+ Kg8 46.Qh7+ Kf8 47.Bxf7 1-0
IM Christopher Woojin Yoo (2455) vs
GM Tanguy Ringoir (2474)
Charlotte CLT GM 2021 round 09
- e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. O-O Be7 7. e5 Ne4 8. Nxd4 O-O 9. Re1 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 Nc5 11. Nc3 d6 12. Bb3 c6 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 d5 15. Qf3 Qd7 16. c4 dxc4 17. Bxc4 Qg4 18. Qb3 b5 19. Be2 Qe4 20. Qe3 Qg6 21. Qg3 Qxg3 22. hxg3 Be6 23. Bf3 Rac8 24. Be3 Rfd8 25. a4 Bd5 26. axb5 Bxf3 27. gxf3 axb5 28. Rec1 h5 29. Ra7 Bf8 30. Rb7 Rd5 31. f4 b4 32. Rb6 f6 33. e6 c5 34. Rxb4 Re8 35. Rb6 Kh7 36. Rc6 f5 37. Bxc5 Bxc5 38. R1xc5 Rxc5 39. Rxc5 Rxe6 40. Rxf5 Rb6 41. Rxh5+ Kg6 42. Re5 Rxb2 43. Kg2 Kf6 44. Kf3 g6 45. Re2 Rb4 46. Ra2 Rc4 47. Kg4 Rb4 48. Ra6+ Kf7 49. Kh4 Rc4 50. Rd6 Rb4 51. Kg4 Ra4 52. Kf3 Ra2 53. Ke3 Rb2 54. g4 Ra2 55. f3 Ra3+ 56. Ke4 Rb3 57. Rd3 Rb5 58. Rd5 Rb4+ 59. Ke5 Rb3 60. Rd7+ 1-0 (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-clt-gm/09-Yoo_Christopher_Woojin-Ringoir_Tanguy)
Congratulations to Mr. Yoo for his well deserved GM norm, especially overcoming the earlier loss prior to the above game!