2021 US Masters: GM Alexander Shabalov vs NM Deepak Aaron

GM Shabalov should need no introduction but if one is needed the reader can check out the introductory remarks found here (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/11/27/us-masters-first-round-nm-matthew-puckett-vs-gm-alex-shabalov/)

NM Deepak Aaron


Deepak Aaron is a solid National Master player who was once the Georgia Tech Chess Club President (http://georgiachessnews.com/a-letter-from-the-georgia-tech-chess-club-president/). Deepak is known for giving charity simultaneous exhibitions (https://www.uschess.org/index.php/April/Deepak-Aaron-Gives-Charity-Simul-at-Georgia-Tech.html).

GM Alexander Shabalov (USA) vs Deepak Aaron (USA)
U.S. Masters 2021 round 02
A80 Dutch

  1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. c4 c6 7. b3 Qe7 8. Ne5 O-O 9. Bb2 Bd7 10. Nd2 Be8 11. Ndf3 Bh5 12. Nd3 Nbd7 13. Nfe5 g5 14. f3 Rad8 15. Qc2 Bg6 16. Rae1 Qg7 17. Qc1 f4 18. gxf4 Bxd3 19. Nxd3 Qh6 20. e3 gxf4 21. exf4 Ne8 22. Rf2 Ng7 23. Bf1 Bxf4 24. Nxf4 Rxf4 25. Ba3 Nf6 26. Rg2 Kf7 27. Qe3 Rh4 28. Qf2 Nf5 29. cxd5 Nxd5 30. Bc1 Nf4 31. Rg4 Rg8 32. h3 Rxh3 33. Bg2 Rh1+ 34. Bxh1 Nh3+ 35. Kf1 Nxf2 36. Bxh6 Nxg4 37. Bf4 Nf6 38. Be5 Nd7 39. Bg2 Nxe5 40. dxe5 Nh4 41. Bh1 Rd8 0-1
  1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. g3 (3 c4 was the choice in 1501 games at the ChessBaseDataBase, resulting in a 54% outcome for white. The 1239 games in which 3 g3 was played is the second most often played move, but the result has been better at 56% for white. Stockfish 14 @depth 49 and SF 220521 @depth 51 will play 3 Bf4, which has seen action in only 173 games. I kid you not…Even more astounding is that the result has been an incredible 62%!) 3…Nf6 4. Bg2 (SF and Komodo play 4 c4) 4…d5 5. O-O (SF goes with 5 c4) 5…Bd6 6. c4 c6 7. b3 (SF says Ne5) 7…Qe7 8. Ne5 (In almost one half of the games played [844] 8 Bb2 has been the move played even though it has only scored 51%. Go figure… One Komodo program prefers 8 Nc3 [45 games; 57%], while another prefers 8 Qc2 [67 games; 57%]. Then there is Houdini…who would play 8 Ne5, as has been played in 253 games while scoring a fantastic 60% against the highest rated opposition!) 8…O-O (Komodo castles but SF prefers 8…Nbd7) 9. Bb2 (Fritz plays the game move but Komodo plays 9 Bf4) 9…Bd7 (SF 14 plays 9…b6. Deep Fritz plays 9…Nbd7) 10. Nd2 Be8 (Komodo and Deep Fritz 13 play this but SF 8 plays 10…Rd8) 11. Ndf3 (The most often played move and the choice of Komodo, but SF 14 plays 11 Nd3) 11…Bh5 (SF 12 @depth 38 plays 11…Bg6) 12. Nd3 (SF 8 plays the game move but SF 13 @depth 35 plays 12 Ne1 a NEW MOVE, and a TN if and when it is played over the board against a human opponent…) 12…Nbd7 13. Nfe5 g5 (Fritz likes 13…Bc7; SF 8 plays 13…Ba3, both of which will be a TN if and when…)

13…g5 was a surprising choice by Mr. Aaron and certainly must say something about the kind of player who would fire the g-pawn salvo at his esteemed Grandmaster opponent. A player does not make such a move in an attempt to draw. Things got interesting quickly after GM Shabba pushing his e-pawn only one square in lieu of two on move twenty. Then after 20…gxf4 Shabba should probably taken the pawn with his knight with 21 Nxf4. It was at this moment Deepak could have taken control of the game by playing 21…Nh5, but played the retrograde and limp-writsted 21…Ne8 giving the advantage to Shabba. Only a couple of moves later Shabba played a limp-wristed move himself when easing the Bishop back to f1. Deepak answered by taking the pawn on f4, which was the reddest move possible according to the Bomb; big advantage to Shabba. After the exchanges on f4 on move 24 the GM had a won game. With all the action taking place on the king side Shabba, for some reason, decided to move his Bishop to a3, tossing away his advantage. For the next several moves there was punching and counter punching with the game staying about even, Steven, until the GM played 32 h3, again a BRIGHT RED move, the kind of move GM Yasser Seriwan would call a “howler” and it was time to turn out the lights because the party was over…

GM Lev Polugaevsky (2610) vs GM Borislav Ivkov (2485)
Event: Oviedo rapid
Site: Oviedo Date: ??/??/1991
Round: 9
ECO: A40 Queen’s pawn
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d5 5.O-O Bd6 6.c4 c6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 O-O 9.Nbd2 Bd7 10.Ne5 Be8 11.Ndf3 Nbd7 12.Nd3 Bh5 13.Nfe5 g5 14.f3 Rad8 15.Qd2 Qg7 16.Bc3 Bb8 17.h3 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Ne4 19.fxe4 dxe4 20.g4 Bg6 21.gxf5 Bxf5 22.Rxf5 exf5 23.e6 Qe7 24.Bb2 exd3 25.Qc3 Qc5+ 26.Kf1 dxe2+ 27.Kxe2 Be5 28.Qxe5 Qxe5+ 29.Bxe5 Rfe8 30.Bc3 Rxe6+ 31.Kf2 Rd3 32.Bb4 Kf7 33.Bf1 Rd4 34.Be2 Kg6 35.Rf1 h5 36.Bd1 Rd3 37.Bc2 Rxh3 38.Kg2 Re2+ 39.Kxh3 Rxc2 40.Rd1 f4 41.Rd2 Rxd2 42.Bxd2 Kf5 43.Bb4 Ke4 44.Be7 g4+ 45.Kg2 b6 46.a4 Kd3 47.Kf2 0-1

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