Shanglei Lu Seeks Bishop’s Opening Truth

In the recently completed Chinese Chess Championship Shanglei Lu played the Bishop’s opening four times out of the five games in which he had the white pieces. In round six, facing Yi Wei, after 1 e4 e5, Lu played 2 Nf3. I wondered why…or if there had been a history of the Bishop’s opening being played previously between the two players, but could find no earlier encounters with the opening at the page devoted to the games between the two players at 365Chess ( What I found was that there have been twenty games contested between the two players since 2013, only thirteen being classical. Six games either rapid or blitz games, with no score given for the 2014 Kings Tournament Blitz. This means an astounding 35% of the games for perusal are quick games!

It brought a tear to my eye to see that at the ChessBomb, after 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 is a colorful move…”The truth, as it was known in those far off days,” ( according to Tartakower, in the preface to a Bishop’s opening game between Bowdler and Conway, on page 244, played in London way back in 1788 in the book, 500 Master Games of Chess,

by Dr. S. Tartakower and J. Dumont. 2 Bc4 is not the brightest red move, nor is it the second brightest shade, but it appears to be what I would call the third grade shade. How bad is the move numerically speaking? After 2 Nf3 white, according to the Stockfish program at ChessBomb, enjoys an advantage of +0.73. After playing “the truth,” 2 Bc4, black enjoys a minuscule advantage of -0.15 if he plays 2…Nf6. Learning this brought a tear to my other eye.

Oh well, I still have memories of playing “the truth” with regularity at the Stein Club

Whatever happened to Atlanta’s Hippies?

Super soft t-shirt inspired by The Stein Club in Atlanta.

Opened in 1961, the Stein Club was a beloved neighborhood bar located at 929 Peachtree Street. For a time, regulars could even bring in their own steins (mugs) to store in the cooler, ready for their next visit in for a cold beer.

After 39 years of fun, the Stein Club closed its doors in June 2000. Two 21-story residential and retail towers called Metropolis now sit over top of where the Stein Club once was.

Made and printed in the USA. We’re very proud to help you share Atlanta memories.

Stein Club — Smoky, grubby and utterly without pretension, the tiny Peachtree Street bar provided a cozy refuge from trendiness and posers for nearly 40 years before the walls came down to developers in 2000.↵↵ ↵Twelfth Gate Coffee House — It represented relaxed bohemia in Midtown; Wet Willie played free on Wednesdays. (

located on Peachtree street near tenth, ‘back in the day’.

"The Strip," looking north on Peachtree Street from 10th Street in 1977.

This was around 1970 and the area was known as “The Strip,” which was the “counter-culture” area of the city, where we hippies hung out because of all the “counter-culture” shops, known as “head shops,” short for “pot head.” It was a very colorful area, full of beautiful hippie chicks,

and there I was, enthralled with the Royal game, inside the Stein Club, looking for an opponent.

There was a rotund gentleman, Bill Bush, who wore suspenders and had played in USCF tournaments, who would come in after work, order a pitcher of beer, and take on all comers. I was one of the “comers.” He beat me like a drum until one day I played “the truth.” Bill sat back, paused to take a large gulp of beer, and then looked me straight in the eye before saying, “There’s no disguising intentions when you play that move.” The game took a long time for a Stein Club game and as other players entered they began talking about the game. “What opening was it?” one of the later arriving players would ask. “The newcomer played 1 Pawn to king four, and Bill responded with his usual Pawn to King five. Then the new guy played 2 Bishop to Queen Bishop four.”
“The new guy played the Bishop’s opening?! Well I’ll be damned…”
The “new guy” defeated Bill Bush for the first time ever and now had a name. Bill had drained his pitcher during the game so he got up and left…We played a few more times but he never scored again.

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 (I find it interesting that Komodo at the ChessBaseDataBase prefers 4 Bb3. Stockfish plays the game move) 4…d5 5. Bb3 a5 (In the fourth round Jinshi Bai played 4…Bb4+, which is the choice of Komodo, but in the other three games played with this opening 5…a5 was played)
  2. a4 Bb4+ 7. c3 Bd6 8. exd5 cxd5 (This is the choice of SF, but 8…Nxd5 was played by Yan Liu in the second round) 9. Bg5 (This is the choice of all the engines) 9…Be6 10. Na3 Nbd7 (This move was played by Wenjun Ju in the 8th round, with the game ending in a draw, and by Di Li in the 10th round, with the game being won by Di Li. But here’s the deal…although 10 Nbd7 has been the most often played move, SF would play 10…Nc6; while Komodo would play 10…h6, which was seen in the following game:

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vsYu, Yangyi (2709)
Event: ch-CHN 2020
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 12/29/2020
Round: 10.5 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Na3 h6 11.Bh4 Nc6 12.Nb5 Bb8 13.O-O O-O 14.Re1 Ra6 15.h3 Re8 16.Rc1 Qd7 17.Bg3 Bf5 18.d4 e4 19.Bxb8 Rxb8 20.Ne5 Qe7 21.f4 Be6 22.c4 dxc4 23.Bxc4 Bxc4 24.Rxc4 Rd8 25.Qc1 Rb6 26.Nc3 Nxd4 27.Nxe4 Ne6 28.f5 Nd4 29.Qf4 Rb4 30.Rxb4 axb4 31.Ng4 ½-½

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Liu, Yan (2524)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/08/2021
Round: 2.1 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.O-O O-O 10.Nbd2 Bg4 11.Nc4 Qc7 12.d4 e4 13.h3 Bh5 14.g4 Bg6 15.Nfe5 Bxe5 16.Nxe5 Nd7 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Qe2 f5 19.f4 Kf7 20.c4 Nb4 21.c5+ Nd5 22.Ra3 Nf6 23.Bc4 Qd7 24.Rg3 Rh8 25.Qg2 Rh7 26.gxf5 gxf5 27.Kf2 Kf8 28.Ke2 Nb4 29.Rd1 Rd8 30.Rg6 Nbd5 31.Rg1 e3 ½-½

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Bai, Jinshi (2618)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/09/2021
Round: 4.1 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Nbxd2 a5 8.c3 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 a4 11.Bc2 O-O 12.O-O Nbd7 13.Rfe1 Re8 14.a3 h6 15.exd5 cxd5 16.d4 Qb6 17.Rab1 exd4 18.Rxe8+ Rxe8 19.Bxa4 Re7 20.Bxd7 Rxd7 21.cxd4 Qxd4 22.Nb3 Qb6 23.Qd3 Ne4 24.Nd4 Rc7 25.Qe3 Rc3 26.Qe1 Rd3 27.Nf5 Rd2 28.Ne7+ Kf8 29.Nxd5 Qd4 30.Ne3 Nxf2 31.Rc1 g6 32.Rc4 Qd3 33.Rc3 Qd4 ½-½

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Ju, Wenjun (2560)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/12/2021
Round: 8.1 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Na3 Nbd7 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.O-O O-O 13.Re1 Re8 14.Nd2 h6 15.Bh4 Nc5 16.Bc2 Bd7 17.d4 exd4 18.Rxe8+ Qxe8 19.Nxd4 Nfe4 20.Nf1 Qe5 21.f3 Nf6 22.Qd2 Ba7 23.Bf2 Ne6 24.Re1 Qc7 25.Ng3 Nxd4 26.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 27.Qxd4 Ra6 28.Bd3 Re6 29.Kf2 b6 30.b3 Qd6 31.Re3 Kf8 32.h4 Qc5 33.Ne2 Ke7 34.g4 g6 35.Qf4 Rxe3 36.Qxe3+ Qxe3+ 37.Kxe3 Kd6 ½-½

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Li, Di (2561)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/14/2021
Round: 10.1 Score: 0-1
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Na3 Nbd7 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.O-O O-O 13.Re1 Ra6 14.d4 e4 15.Nd2 h6 16.Bh4 Bf4 17.c4 g5 18.Bg3 Bxd2 19.Qxd2 dxc4 20.Bc2 Nc5 21.f3 Bf5 22.h4 e3 23.Rxe3 Bxc2 24.Qxc2 Nd5 25.Re2 Nd3 26.Qxc4 gxh4 27.Bh2 N5f4 28.Rd2 Rc6 29.Qb3 Qg5 30.Kh1 Re8 31.d5 Nc1 32.Qd1 Nfe2 33.Rd4 f5 34.f4 Ng3+ 35.Bxg3 Qxg3 36.dxc6 Re1+ 37.Qxe1 Qxe1+ 38.Kh2 Qg3+ 39.Kh1 h3 0-1

This entry in the Flashback Fotos series takes a look at Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood during a generation of change and growth from 1970-1990 as seen through the lenses of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's photographers and others archived in the Georgia State University Digital Collections Department. In this September 1968 photo, a group of hippies hang out in front of a Midtown Atlanta building. Other Flashback galleries: Auburn Ave. | Ponce de Leon Ave. | Cabbagetown
Atlantans Leigh Bunkins and Tom Duggins campaign for the environment in Hurt Park on April 23, 1970.

 Peace and love came to the Strip in the 1960’s. Then it vanished.

 By Rick Briant Dandes

Peace and love came to the Strip in the 1960’s. Then it vanished.

Then it was gone with the wind…

3 thoughts on “Shanglei Lu Seeks Bishop’s Opening Truth

  1. […] Opening ‘back in the day’, especially during the swashbuckling Stein Club daze ( ‘Back in the day’ it was de rigueur to play 3…Nc6, but Stockfish informs us that […]

  2. […] played 12 g4, the move I would have played at the Stein Club in the 1970s. ( Truth be told, I would probably have played that move in a USCF tournament ‘back in the […]

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