No Time For Armageddon

Armageddon
n
1.
a. Bible In the book of Revelation, the place of the gathering of armies for the final battle before the end of the world.
b. The battle involving these armies.

  1. A decisive or catastrophic conflict.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Armageddon)

Does anyone know who had the brain cramp responsible for producing the idea of an Armageddon Chess game? That must have been one hellofa seizure, with blood clots bursting like fireworks on the fourth of July. There has got to be a better way to determine a “winner” in Chess than the use of the abominable Armageddon game. The fact is that Armageddon Chess means one side can, and probably should, PLAY FOR A DRAW from the get go! In an attempt to decrease the percentage of draws the fools in power have actually INCREASED the chances of a draw! Makes one wonder why the general public considers Chess players to be “smart,” does it not?

The fact that the best human Chess players in the world acquiesce to being made to look clownish while denigrating themselves for money turns them into trained seals. Armageddon is only the symptom, not the disease. Having to resort to Armageddon is the beginning of the end for Chess. Anything would be preferential; even flipping a coin. It would be better to have the opening for each round chosen at random, thereby precluding players from being “booked-up” in their favorite opening as they would then need to know something about everything. MVL would look good when the Najdorf came up, but how would he fare if forced to play the Scandinavian? The players could play two games against an opponent, having white in one and black in the other, playing same opening. Sure, it might be difficult for a GM booked, err, programed up on Queen side type openings to be forced to play the move Bobby Fischer called, “Best by test,” 1 e4, but that is the point.

After that you will wonder why I am presenting the Armageddon game between Karjakin and Nepo played today. Answer is: It is a Bishop’s opening! “The truth as it was known in those long ago days.” If you still have a question punch and poke “Bishop’s Opening” into the box above and be amazed at the theory you will find that would have satiated SM Brian McCarthy, at least for an evening.

https://ruchess.ru/upload/resize_cache/iblock/9db/600_400_1/rnhrkyglyfuumz8d0k27h748iqjyxls7.jpeg
ruchess.ru

Karjakin, Sergey 2758 vs Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2792
Norway Chess Tournament
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. Bh4 h6 14. Re1 Re8 15. d4 e4 16. Nd2 Ra6 17. c4 dxc4 18. Bxc4 Bxc4 19. Nxc4 Qe7 20. d5 Qb4 21. b3 Ne5 22. d6 Nxc4 23. bxc4 Bxd6 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Qg4+ Kf8 26. Rxe4 Rxe4 27. Qxe4 Bc5 28. Nc7 Bxf2+ 29. Kf1 Qd2 30. Qf3 Rd6 31. Nb5 Qb2 32. Nxd6 Qxa1+ 33. Kxf2 Qd4+ 34. Ke2 Qxd6 35. Qxb7 Qe5+ 36. Kd3 Qf5+ 37. Qe4 Qf1+ 38. Kd4 Qd1+ 39. Kc5 Qxa4 40. Qb1 Qa3+ 41. Kb5 Kg7 42. c5 a4 43. Qb4 Qb3 44. c6 Qd5+ 45. Kb6 Qb3 46. Kc5 Qe3+ 47. Kb5 Qb3 48. c7 Qd5+ 49. Qc5 Qd7+ 50. Qc6 Qc8 51. Kxa4 h5 52. Kb5 h4 53. Kb6 h3 54. g3 f5 55. Ka7 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!norway-chess-2021/1592152566

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 (This is the main line of the venerable Bishop’s opening, an opening near and dear to my heart as everyone who has followed the AW knows. Nevertheless, if ever faced with the main line again the AW will play a seondary move (at least it’s in second place at 365Chess!) which again, will come as no surprise to regular readers, 4 Qe2! What can I say? I just love to see the look on my opponent’s face any and every time I move the Queen to e2! Insert excrement eatin’ grin here…) 4…d5 5. Bb3 a5 (The choice of StockFish, therefore, main line) 6. a4 6…Bb4+ (Again, the move of the Fish) 7. c3 Bd6 8. exd5 (SF 13 @depth 70(!) takes the pawn, but SF 14 @depth 41 castles) 8…cxd5 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Na3 Nbd7 (Although the most played, 14 games, move, and played by Houdini, SF 13 @depth 73(!) plays 10…Nc6; SF 14 @depth 37 plays 10…h6. There is only one game with this move shown the ChessBaseDataBase until one clicks on. Then digging deeper one finds five games in which both players were at least 2200+ and all were drawn. See Lu vs Yu from the 2020 Chinese Championship below. 10…Nbd7 has held white to 68%; White has brutilized 10…Nc6 to the tune of 75%) 11. Nb5 Bb8 12. O-O (SF plays 12 d4) 12…O-O 13. Bh4 (SF 13 plays 13 Re1; SF 290420 @depth 48 would play 13 Nd2, which would be a NEW MOVE!) 13…h6 14. Re1 Re8 (SF 13 plays 14…Ra6) 15. d4 (SF and Komodo agree that 15 Nd2 is the move)

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Yu, Yangyi (2709)
Event: ch-CHN 2020
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 12/29/2020
Round: 10.5
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
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4277249

Lu, Shanglei (2619) vs Liu, Guanchu (2366)
Event: TCh-CHN 2016
Site: China CHN Date: 04/14/2016
Round: 3.6
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a3 a4 7.Ba2 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Nc3 Ra5 11.O-O Nc6 12.Re1 O-O 13.h3 h6 14.Bh4 Re8 15.Qd2 d4 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.Ne4 Qd8 18.Bxe6 Rxe6 19.c3 dxc3 20.bxc3 Bf8 21.Qc2 Rd5 22.Red1 f5 23.Ng3 g6 24.h4 Qd7 25.h5 Be7 26.Qxa4 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=3989798

Lu, Shanglei (2640) vs Liu, Guanchu (2459)
Event: ch-CHN 2018
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 04/28/2018
Round: 10.2
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 h6 14.Bh4 Re8 15.d4 e4 16.Nd2 Ra6 17.c4 dxc4 18.Bxc4 Bf4 19.Bxe6 Raxe6 20.d5 R6e7 21.Nc4 g5 22.d6 Re6 23.Bg3 Nb6 24.Ne3 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4113151

Klabis, Rokas (2251) vs Sulskis, Sarunas (2546)
Event: ch-LTU 2016
Site: Vilnius LTU Date: 05/05/2016
Round: 9.4
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Bb3 a5 5.a4 d5 6.Qe2 (! AW) Bd6 7.Bg5 dxe4 8.dxe4 Nbd7 9.Nd2 Nc5 10.Bc4 h6 11.Bh4 O-O 12.Ngf3 Qe7 13.O-O Ne6 14.Bg3 Nh5 15.Bxe6 Bxe6 16.Nc4 f6 17.Nh4 Nxg3 18.hxg3 Bc5 19.Rfd1 Rfd8 20.Ne3 Qf7 21.b3 Kh7 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Rd1 Rxd1+ 24.Nxd1 Qd7 25.Nf3 Bf7 26.Nc3 Kg8 27.Kf1 Kf8 28.Qd2 Qc7 29.Ne1 h5 30.Nd3 Bd4 31.Ne2 Ba7 32.Qc3 Kg8 33.Nb2 Kh7 34.Qd3 b5 35.Nc3 Qb6 36.Nbd1 bxa4 37.Nxa4 Qb5 38.Ke2 Be6 39.c4 Qb4 40.Qc3 Bd4 41.Qxb4 axb4 42.Ne3 g5 43.Nc2 Ba7 44.Nxb4 Bd7 45.c5 Kg7 46.Nb6 Be8 47.Kd2 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3991991&m=10

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
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4286102

Lu, Shanglei (2624) vs Liu, Yan (2504)
Event: 18th Asian Continental
Site: Xingtai CHN Date: 06/10/2019
Round: 4.3 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.O-O d6 6.Re1 O-O 7.h3 b5 8.Bb3 Nbd7 9.c3 a5 10.d4 a4 11.Bc2 Qc7 12.Bg5 Re8 13.Nbd2 h6 14.Bh4 Nf8 15.Nf1 Ng6 16.Bg3 Bf8 17.Ne3 Qb6 18.Nf5 c5 19.N5h4 Nxh4 20.Bxh4 Nh5 21.Nh2 Nf4 22.Bg3 Ng6 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4197862

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