FM Doug Eckert Versus GM Alonso Zapata in Charlotte, North Carolina

Doug Eckert 2165

https://chess.stream/invitational/Default

vs Alonso Zapata 2378

https://chess.stream/invitational/Default


A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6
2022 Charlotte Chess IM (D) Norm Invitational Round 4

  1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nf3 d6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. d5 Kh8 9. Rb1 e5 10. dxe6 Bxe6 11. b3 Na6 12. Bb2 Qe7 13. Nd4 Bg8 14. e3 Nc5 15. Qc2 a5 16. Rfd1 Rac8 17. Qd2 Rfd8 18. Nde2 Ra8 19. Qc2 h6 20. Rbc1 Bh7 21. Nd4 Nfe4 22. a3 Re8 23. b4 axb4 24. axb4 Nxc3 25. Bxc3 Na4 26. Nxc6 bxc6 27. Bxg7+ Qxg7 28. Bxc6 Nb2 29. Rd4 Nxc4 30. Bxe8 Nxe3 31. fxe3 Rxe8 32. Qc3 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!charlotte-spring-im-d-2022/141884326025
  1. d4 f5 2. c4 (Stockfish 250022 @depth 54 plays the game move, but SF 14 @depth 52 will play 2 Nf3. Then there is SF 14.1, the latest and greatest…until 14.2, or whatever name will be chosen for the next incarnation, appears, which will play 2 Bg5(!?) Could that be the reason GM Titas Stremavicius, one of todaze leading exponents of the Leningrad, err, strike that… The dude recently essayed e6 in lieu of d6… [https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/03/12/the-saint-louis-spring-classic-tournaments/] …has had to face 2 Bg5 in sixteen games in the past few years? (https://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?submit_search=1&eco=A80&bid=211209) 2…Nf6 (SF 14 shows 2…e6 at the ChessBaseDataBase. It has been the most often played move with 5037 games in the CBDB and it has scored 58% for white against a composite player rated 2409. The second most popular move has been 2…Nf6 and in 3786 games it has held a mythical white player rated 2410 to a 56% score. Earlier on this blog I advocated black playing the move d6 in response to the d4 + c4 moves when they are played in the Leningrad Dutch. In only 51 games white has scored 58% against players rated on average 2416) 3. g3 (SF 290112 @depth 50 plays this move, as does Houdini, but SF 14 @depth 35 will play 3 Nc3) 3…g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 ((There are 2026 games in which Black has played the game move and in those games it has scored 56%. In 181 games versus a composite player rated 2419 the move 4…d6 has held White to scoring only 53%. Just sayin’..) 5. Nf3 (Three different SF programs each play 5 Nc3) 5…d6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O c6 (SF 14.1 and 250112 each play this move, as does Komodo…) 8. d5 (The CBDB shows this move having been played more than any other move in this position. In addition, 365Chess also shows it as the most played move, but is it best? Stockfish 100221 @depth 47 will play 8 Qb3, a move having been attempted in 137 games, scoring 52% against 2444 opposition. SF 14 @depth 49 will play 8 Bg5. There are only 9 examples of the move contained in the CBDB and White has scored only 39% versus a composite player rated 2387. Then there is SF 14.1, which, given the chance, will play 8 Be3. There are only two examples in the CBDB) 8…Kh8 (This move is a Theoretical Novelty. 8 e5 has been the most often played move, by far, and it is the choice of SF 14 & Houdini)
    The game can be found in annotated form at various locations on the internet. I suggest the free website: (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-charlotte-chess-im-d-norm-invitational/round-4/96ZmD4uj)

Grandmaster Zapata recently won the Georgia Senior but no game scores can be found at the GCA website (http://georgiachess.org/), and that includes the “magazine”, and I use the word only because that is the name of the “Georgia Chess News,” (http://georgiachessnews.com/) which for many years has been nothing but a venue for book reviews by Davide Nastasio.

Alonso Zapata has thus far shown poor form in this tournament and one cannot help wonder if his recent battle with Covid has had anything to do with his poor play. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/08/25/gm-alonso-zapatas-battle-with-covid/) Frankly, GM Zapata was unrecognizable in the above game. I write this because the move 25…Na4

Position after 25…Na4?

was what GM Yasser Seirawan

would call a “howler.” One of GM Zapata’s strengths has been his ability to play solid, consistent Chess while staying away from “howler” moves. The move was so bad I thought there had been some kind of transmission problem, as the move 25…Ne4 suggests itself as it moves the steed to the middle of the board. 25…Na4 proves the axiom, “A knight on the rim is grim.” Indeed, the knight placed on a4 sure ’nuff looked grim, and dim.

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