Cool Hand Luke Widjaja Vs Yusheng Xia

The following game was contested at the venerable Mechanic’s Institute Chess Room, and can be found annotated by GM Nick DeFirmian at the Mechanic’s Institute Newsletter (https://www.milibrary.org/chess-newsletters/1006). I had every intention of presenting the game until seeing it annotated by Nick and, not wanting to step on the Grandmaster’s toes, decided to not publish the game. For various reasons, as Bob Dylan sang:

Luke Widjaja (1792) vs Yusheng Xia (2294) [C00]
MI 2nd Shipman mem TNM: 1800+ San Francisco (6.3), 08.02.2022
C00 French, Reti (Spielmann) variation
1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 6.Nxe4 Be7 7.0-0-0 0-0 8.Nf3 a5 9.a4 Nb4 10.d4 b6 11.c3 Nbd5 12.c4 Nb4 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Qe4 Rb8 15.h4 Bb7 16.Qe3 c6 17.Kb1 Ba6 18.Ng5 b5 19.Bd3 Nxd3 20.Qxd3 g6 21.Ne4 bxc4 22.bxc4 Rb4 23.h5 Bxc4 24.Qe3 Bg7 25.hxg6 Qb6 26.gxh7+ Kh8 27.Rd2 Rb8 28.Qc3 Bd3+ 29.Qxd3 Rxb2+ 30.Ka1 Rxd2 0-1

1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 (The ChessBaseDataBase contains 507 games in which the game move has been played. It has scored 53% against an ELO average opponent rated 2366. The next most often played move has been 3 exd5. In 7 games against an ELO average opponent rated only 2272, it has scored an abysmal 43%. Deep Fritz and Stockfish 11 both play the move played in the game. Nevertheless, Stockfish 14.1 @depth 48 will play 3 exd5!! Where is Leela Zero when you need her?) 3…dxe4 (There are 258 games in the CBDB in which this move has been made, showing a 56% score against 2361 opposition; 3…Nf6 has been seen in 184 games, scoring 49% versus a mythical player rated 2383; 3…c5 has only been seen in 52 games while scoring 58%, the highest of all games showing double digit moves. Then there is 3…Nc6…The move has been attempted on 11 occasions in which it has ‘scored’ every bit of 27% facing that composite player rated 2358. “Why is the AW wasting his time and mine informing me of that last factoid?” you ask?) Because Stockfish 14.1 @depth 52 will play…drum roll please…3…Nc6!!!!!!!!!) 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2! (If you do not know why the inclusion of the exclamation mark you have not read anywhere near enough of the AW) 5…Nc6 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 48 will play 5…Bb4) 6.Nxe4 (Three different Stockfish programs would 0-0-0, and so should you) 6…Be7 (Fritz and Deep Hiarcs prefer the move played in the game move, but SF 11 will take the Knight with 6…Nxe4)

White to move

7.0-0-0 (SF 14 plays 7 Nf3) 7…0-0 (Stockfish 13 & 14 prefer 7…a5. See Fylypiu vs Sanchis Gil below) 8.Nf3 a5 9.a4 (Komodo and Deep Fritz play 9 Nxf6, but the ol’ Fish will play 9 a3) 9…Nb4 (Deep Fritz plays this move, but Stockfish 13 and Komodo will play 9…b6) 10.d4 (The Fish and the Dragon both play 10 Nxf6+. Therefore the move played in the game is a Theoretical Novelty!)

Position after Theoretical Novelty 10 d4

Dmitre Fylypiu vs Salvador Sanchis Gil
Event: Valencia Sur Clubs tt
Site: Valencia Date: ??/??/2003
Round: ? Score: 0-1
ECO: C00 French, Reti (Spielmann) variation
1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Be7 6.Nxe4 Nc6 7.O-O-O a5 8.Nxf6+ gxf6 9.g4 Qd5 10.Qf3 Qxf3 11.Nxf3 Rg8 12.Rg1 Bd7 13.h3 a4 14.Bb5 Nb4 15.Bxd7+ Kxd7 16.d3 Nd5 17.b4 c5 18.c4 Nf4 19.b5 Ne2+ 20.Kc2 Nxg1 21.Rxg1 h5 22.d4 cxd4 23.Bxd4 hxg4 24.hxg4 Rac8 25.Kc3 e5 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2817677&m=15

Luis Ernesto Rodi (2243) vs Emilio Ramirez (2293)
Event: Olavarria Magistral op 4th
Site: Olavarria Date: 02/27/2004
Round: 4.8 Score: 0-1
ECO: C00 French, Reti (Spielmann) variation
1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Nc6 6.Nxe4 Be7 7.O-O-O O-O 8.d4 a5 9.g4 a4 10.g5 Nxe4 11.Qxe4 axb3 12.axb3 Bxg5+ 13.Kb1 Qd5 14.Qg4 Bh6 15.Bg2 Qa5 16.f4 e5 17.Qe2 Bxf4 18.c4 exd4 19.Bxc6 bxc6 20.Bxd4 Bf5+ 21.Kb2 c5 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Qg2+ Bg6 24.Qd5 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2878718&m=16

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