The intended title of this was to be “The Grob Opening.” That was prior to researching the opening, and the man responsible for the opening, Henri Grob. “Henri Grob (4 June 1904 – 5? July 1974) was a Swiss chess player, artist and painter. He pioneered eccentric chess openings, such as 1.g4 (book Angriff g2–g4, Zurich 1942), sometimes known as Grob’s Attack. He was awarded the title of International Master in 1950 at its inauguration.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Grob)
The fact is that Henri intended to move the f-pawn two squares but grabbed the g-pawn by mistake after being slapped on the back by a friend. OK, I made that up, but it’s as plausible as any other reason for how the opening came to be, is it not? Prior to writing I did a not so extensive search of Grob and his opening. The most amazing thing learned was what was not found; not one game featuring Henry Grob playing his opening could be located in the 365Chess.com Big Database! I kid you not. There are 24 games featuring the Grob played by GM Michael Basman,
and it should surprise no one that there are two games featuring GM Timur Gareyev,
one a loss to Jan Krzysztof Duda
at the 2018 World Rapid, featuring the “Romford counter-gambit,” which is a new one to this writer, and another against Marat Makarov
at the same tournament, a game won by Timur. After losing Makarov had to be restrained from jumping out of a window. OK, I made that one up, too, but who could have blamed him? How would you like to be the Grandmaster known for losing to the Grob? Players have jumped for less reason…
Mark Hyland (1875) vs Josef Behrends (UNR) 9th Cherry Blossom Classic round 7 A00 Grob’s attack
g4 d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. c4 c6 4. Qb3 Bc8 5. cxd5 cxd5 (Komodo, Fritz, and Deep Fritz, and his bro, Deep Freezer, all play 5…Nf6) 6. Bxd5 e6 7. Bg2 (All three programs will play 7 Bxb7, as in the game below)
Until today I had never, ever, considered what the board ‘theme’ said about me. To be honest, I have never, ever, until today, considered what constitutes a board ‘theme’. In over fifty years playing the Royal Game never has anyone asked, “What do you think of my board theme?” If asked, I would probably responded, “Say what?” After hearing it repeated I would have probably responded, “Who the fork cares?”
I have played on all kind of boards, including one game for a C-note in a bar upon which we battled on one of those red and black cardboard sets with the little plastic pieces. The most games have been played on a green board, but I have also battled on a field of black; blue; brown; and red. I have never seen a pink board, but I suppose they are in existence what with all the females playing Chess these daze. No self-respecting male would have ever brought out a pink board, even the player known as the effeminate heterosexual, who will, for obvious reason, remain nameless…
I write this because of an article read earlier today at Chess.com, a website at which I surf to each day, spending less and less time there with each passing day. I have come to think of it as a “fluffy” type website. I am like former Senior Master Brian McCarthy, who, when hearing a disparaging remark about his Informant without a cover, replied, “It’s still got the MEAT!” I will give it to Chess.com; they have the “fluff.” I write this because of an article appearing today by lularobs, What Your Board Theme Says About You (https://www.chess.com/article/view/what-your-chess-board-theme-says-about-you).
There is no doubt about the influx of the female players bringing change to the Royal Game. Nothing typifies that change better then the aforementioned article. I simply cannot imagine any male Chess player at the House of Pain ever asking, “What do you think of my board theme?” The ensuing laughter may have brought the old, rickety House of Pain down!
Chess is a war-like game. Chess is a battle, sometimes to the death. One does not have to be big to play Chess, but one must be strong. I don’t know about you but to me pink does not set the tone for a battle to the death.
The article by the pretty young thing I think of as “Lulu” begins with the sentence, “A board theme says a lot about a person… like, it says which color board you like.” I like, like that. It continues, “But more than that, it gives important insight into your personality and play style.” I like think that should be “playing” style, but Chess.com is not known for proof reading. The paragraph culminates with, “We looked at some of the most popular and some of the most divisive board themes on Chess.com. Prepare to feel seen.” This is followed by “Jump to:
I liked the “Tournament Blue.” After clicking onto it I wondered what was the difference between “Blue” and “Tournament Blue”? Why is there no “Tournament Bubblegum,” I wondered…
“You totally knew you could change your board color (yup, you can, right here) but you kept it to the classic Chess.com green anyway. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” right? I bet you haven’t changed your coffee order, haircut, or favorite pair of shoes for a while either. No. Your green board says you don’t like to rock the boat.”
“Chess.com really said “what if we yassified Walnut or Dark Wood?” when they created the Brown board. Honestly, it’s kind of an offbeat choice; the feeling of playing on a real board, but without the pesky wood grain that reminds you the offline world exists. It’s the neo-classical choice—no really, please tell me about the new line you’re learning in the Grunfeld.”
What Chess.com needs to do is provide the definition of “yassified,” because I checked with three different dictionaries and could not find the word. I paid particular attention to this one because after checking out the myriad colored boards at a website (https://svg_experimenten.deds.nl/diagrammakermenu/diagram_maker_menu.html) for the blog I decided on a brown board. Does that make me “yassified”? Oh well, I’ve been called worse…much worse. I did, though, like the part about it being a “kind of an offbeat choice.” Regular readers know how much the AW likes the “offbeat.”
“Dark Wood or Walnut”
“As a true admirer of the classics, you probably prefer playing over-the-board chess, but acknowledge that this is as close as it gets. You think it’s impolite to decline a rematch, and you prefer replaying through annotated games books to doing online puzzles. I won’t tell anyone you sleep with Capablanca’s My Chess Career on your bedside table.”
How did she know? The part about Capa’s book, I mean. This would be my choice of board color.
“Icy Sea has all the class of one of those frosted glass chess sets that people display in their homes, but without the constant worry that you’ll drop a rook mid-blitz game and shatter it into a thousand pieces. Yet another case where online is just better… but you use the Icy Sea set, so you’ve known that for a while. Fancying yourself as someone who can play any opening, you’re pretty cold-blooded in blitz, and you’ve banked way too many games of 3+0.”
It may be a “case where online is just better” than what, exactly? How can online Chess possibly be better than OTB Chess? There is absolutely nothing better than watching your opponent squirm after you have placed that Bishop on the ultimate square and given it a twist, just like after inserting the blade and twisting…
“The dark green of the Tournament board gives the feeling of playing a weekend congress without having to be sat across from someone who kicks you under the table every time you make a good move. This is a nostalgic board theme, not used by anyone who learned to play the game post-Pogchamps. Reminiscent of the plastic roll-up sets at your local chess club, it’s trying to be a serious board, just like you’re trying to be a serious player.”
I was only kicked underneath the table once. It was at the US Open and I said nothing. My opponent, an Expert, was smaller than am I, and I am considered a small man, so that is saying something. After the second time he kicked me I went to talk with Carol Jarecki and she had a talk with him. After losing the game several other players informed me the man was known for under the table kicking and some of them had been kicked by the dude. We played on a green board.
“Sitting somewhere between Green and Icy Sea, the Blue board is refined but plain. You didn’t want the default, but weren’t ready to stray too far from it. It’s like ordering the same latte as always, but with an extra shot of vanilla. No one’s judging you for it, don’t worry.”
Blue has always been my favorite color, but not as a board for playing Chess.
“Using the Bubblegum chessboard makes you the Elle Woods of your Chess.com league division. You know what they say, underrated board color… underrated player? Yeah, people definitely say that. You show up, blitz out 15 moves of theory (or at least, 15 moves of… something), and win on the board in style. What, like it’s hard?”
I thought “Bubblegum” was music? The color sure looks a lot like pink to this writer. If the board color had been “Bubblegum” I would not be writing the words because I would never have played Chess! I will admit having had to go to DuckDuckGo to search for “Elle Woods.” It’s sad, really…seems like just yesterday I was “hip,” and maybe even a “hipster”. Now I have a bad “hip.”
I could tell Lulu was a Bubblegum kinda girl, but it was real nice of her to prove it…
“You picked one of the most dignified board styles on Chess.com. This design was practically made for longer games of 15+10 in classical mainlines. Every move played on this board theme feels kind of weighty, and even the Botez gambit comes with some heft and grandeur here. You definitely have a full bookcase of chess books at home, and you wouldn’t be caught dead playing 1.b3.”
Marble? I did not know a marble board existed. See what one can learn from reading Chess.com… My grandmother was fond of telling the story of how her young daughter won all the marbles from the boys in the neighborhood, and was forced into returning them…so she could do it again! You go, girl! Especially when the girl is your Mother…
“The Glass board may be niche, but it’s pretty sophisticated. You drink your coffee black and all of your phone apps are on dark mode. You’re a 1.e4 player because you think it’s “best by test,” and I’ll bet 10+0 is your favorite time control.”
Lulu got all that from glass? You go, girl!
“Players with the Lolz board should truly be feared. Anyone who thrives on this amount of glitter is a force to be reckoned with. Lolz board users have no regard for pawns or material in general, favoring activity and chaos. In this way, they are the opposite of Bubblegum board users. The silver sparkles of the Lolz board serve a Y2K aesthetic that reminds you chess is actually supposed to be fun, with a clear message that “I’d rather play 1.g4 every game than ever face a Berlin.”
Once again the internetofallthings had to be consulted in order for this writer to find understanding:
“3D board users grew up playing Battle Chess on CD-Rom, and probably have Arcade Animations enabled for their pieces. The top-down view gives the full board game experience, while the board color is left up to the player (and although I’m personally biased towards Bubblegum, all the best board colors also look great in 3D). Plus, the knight pieces that come with this board style have no eyes, so at the very least they can’t see when you blunder.
While the 3D look may not be the most popular choice, you can finally say you’ve found a way to play bullet chess “over the board” without knocking the pieces off the table.”
Having taken up Chess at the advanced age of twenty your writer did not have as much time to spend on the game as would a much younger person. Initially I did what many other American players did and followed Bobby Fisher, playing openings like the Najdorf and Gruenfeld, because those are the openings played by Bobby. Later I began playing openings that are now called “offbeat” openings, as regular readers know. One of those openings was the Chigorin, which I played before beginning a love affair with the Leningrad Dutch. In the first round of the ongoing Chicago Open Grandmaster Ben Finegold trotted out the Queen’s horse on the second move. Before sitting down to compose this post I went to 365Chess.com, learning it contained 21 games in which Ben has played the Chigorin (https://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?wid=&bid=8072&wlname=&open=61&blname=Finegold%2C+Benjamin&eco=&nocolor=on&yeari=&yeare=&sply=1&ply=&res=&submit_search=1). From the years spent researching the opening phase of the game with computer programs I have learned much of what humans thought about some openings was incorrect, if not downright wrong. The following game is a case in point.
Ethan Sheehan 2075 vs GM Benjamin Finegold 2424
31st Annual Chicago Open D07 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Chigorin defence
1.d4 d5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 (SF 15 @depth 55 plays 3 cxd5, but @depth 62 changes to 3 Nf3) 3…e5 (SF 14.1 @depth 48 will play 3…e6. SF 040522 @depth 49 plays 3…Nf6, which appears in 387 games at the ChessBaseDataBase. The CBDB contains only 75 games with 3…e6, but does contain 748 games in which the inferior 3…dxc4 has been played. The move played in the game has been seen in 92 games) 4. cxd5 Nxd4 (The CBDB contains 82 games with this move and only one with 4…exd4, the choice of Houdini at a lower level; SF 13 at a higher level, and SF 14.1 at a mid-level depth 43) 5. e3 Nf5 6. Nf3 (Until now this has been the preferred move, with 51 examples in the CBDB, but Houdini, Komodo, and Stockfish 14.1 all show 6 e4 as best in the 8 games in which it has been tried the move has scored 69% compared to the 63% scored by the move played in the game) 6…Bd6 7. Bb5+ (This move is the choice of Fritz 17, so you know it is suspect. Both Houdini and SF 14.1 play 7 e4, and so should you) 7…Bd7 (Fritz 13 SE will play 7…Kf8. I kid you not…) 8. Bxd7 (SF 14.1 and SF 221221 both play 8 e4, and so should you in the event you play badly enough to reach this position) 8…Qxd7 9. e4 Nfe7 10. O-O (The CBDB shows only 8 games having reached this position; 4 with Nf6; 3 with Ng6; and 1 with f6. Houdini, and SF 7 & 11 show 10…h6 as being the best move. The game move has been the most often played move according to the 365Chess Big Database) 10…Ng6 11. Qb3 (SF 14 will play 11 Be3. See Pohlers vs Maahs below) 11…b6 (See Farago vs Plat below)
Children called for help from inside classrooms in Uvalde. The police waited.
UVALDE, Texas — Furtively, speaking in a whisper, a fourth-grade girl dialed the police. Around her, in Room 112 at Robb Elementary School, were the motionless bodies of her classmates and scores of spent bullet casings fired by a gunman who had already been inside the school for half an hour.
She whispered to a 911 operator, just after noon, that she was in the classroom with the gunman. She called back again. And again. “Please send the police now,” she begged.
J. David Goodman, Edgar Sandoval, Karen Zraick and Rick Rojas
Hymn for the Hurting May 27, 2022, 5:17 p.m. ET
By Amanda Gorman
Everything hurts, Our hearts shadowed and strange, Minds made muddied and mute. We carry tragedy, terrifying and true. And yet none of it is new; We knew it as home, As horror, As heritage. Even our children Cannot be children, Cannot be.
Everything hurts. It’s a hard time to be alive, And even harder to stay that way. We’re burdened to live out these days, While at the same time, blessed to outlive them.
This alarm is how we know We must be altered — That we must differ or die, That we must triumph or try. Thus while hate cannot be terminated, It can be transformed Into a love that lets us live.
May we not just grieve, but give: May we not just ache, but act; May our signed right to bear arms Never blind our sight from shared harm; May we choose our children over chaos. May another innocent never be lost.
Maybe everything hurts, Our hearts shadowed & strange. But only when everything hurts May everything change.
is a poet and the author of “The Hill We Climb,” “Call Us What We Carry” and “Change Sings.”
Stockfish wins the jubilee edition of the TCEC Cup
By Sergio Posted on May 27, 2022
Indomitable engine Stockfish, having already won the TCEC Season 22, won the TCEC Cup 10 by defeating Komodo Dragon in the finals. After Stockfish’s dominant performance in Premier Division and record-setting victory against Komodo Dragon in the Superfinal, few people would bet against Stockfish winning the Cup. The short matches of the Cup meant that small sample size effects are magnified, and it is possible another engine will score an upset. Still, Stockfish lived up to its billing. (https://www.chessdom.com/stockfish-wins-the-jubilee-edition-of-the-tcec-cup/)
So there I was, surfin’ the interwovenwebofallthings, landing at the website of chessdom.com, home of the computer program Chess, TCEC (https://tcec-chess.com/). A new game had just begun and it was a Dutch. I watched in amazement as the opening moves were played: 1 d4 f5 2 e4. According to 365Chess.com 2 e4 made it a A82 Dutch, Staunton gambit. As you will see from the two games which follow, the same opening can have many names. The time limit was game 30, plus three seconds added. After ruminating I could not recall playing against even one Staunton gambit. It is one of those rare openings for which you have your prepared, pet line that you never get to use until an opponent fires 2 e4 at you the realization hits that you cannot recall said pet line. Don’t ‘cha just hate it when that happens?! Since it was to be a quick game, and it was late, and I was tired, too tired to think, I decided to just watch the game. When it ended another Staunton gambit appeared, and I watched that one, too, before collapsing into bed, heading straight to the land of nod…
1.d4 f5 2. e4 (The ChessBaseDataBase contains 711 games with this move and it has not scored well, showing only 48% versus 2363 opposition. The five moves above it in number of games played, 2 g3; Nf3; c4; Nc3; and Bg5, have all scored between 56% and 59% against opposition rated at least 2400+) 2…fxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 (In 613 games this move has scored 49%, and it is the choice of SF 14.1. Fritz 17 @depth 26 will play 4 f3, a move made in 64 games while scoring only 38%) 4…b6 (Stockfish and two Fritz programs all play 4…g6, a move having been played in 105 games. 4…Nc6, with 376 games showing has been the most often played move while holding white to only 48%, followed by the 190 games of 4…e6, a move having taken quite a few lumps as it has allowed white to score 68%. The move played in the game, 4…b6, has only been attempted in 11 games. Makes one wonder what inept human forced the program to play such an inferior move, does it not?) 5. f3 e3 6. Qc1 (The CBDB shows only 2 games for 6 Bxe3, the move played by Fritz 16. SF 14.1 will play the game move, making it a TN of sorts, I suppose…)
sat down to play in the last round he had already won the tournament as he had seven points after winning six games and drawing two. His opponent, IM David Brodsky,
was tied for third place with a 5-3 score. I have no idea if a win by IM Brodsky would have earned him a GM norm or not, but can tell you from over half a century following the Royal Game it is difficult for anyone who has nothing to play for to play for something. In all that time I have seen numerous players with nothing for which to play lose. David Brodsky is not yet a Grandmaster, and may never earn the title. He really had nothing to lose, and much to gain by defeating the winner of the tournament, even if a GM norm was not possible. Since he is young and still has much to learn, what better way to gain experience by at least attempting to win. This was the result:
One cannot call it a game, but it counts just as if it were a one hundred mover. Never would have thought I would live long enough to see the Chess Mecca that is the St. Louis Chess Campus defiled as it was during this event. I will hand it to the women because they were not passing out buddy-buddy draws like the men, and I use the word “men” loosely.
1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Qe2 Nxe4 6.Qxe4 Be6 (The most often played move has been 6…Nd7. In 343 games it has held white to 49%. It is the choice of Fritz 16 @depth 36. Stockfish 13 @depth 60 plays 6…Qa5, which also shows 49% in 183 games. Then comes SF 14.1 which likes the second most often played move, 6…Qd5. Yet in 295 games it shows 58%! The move in the game, 6…Be6, has been attempted in 99 games, resulting in holding white to only 45%) 7.c4 (7 b3 has been most played and in 54 games has scored 47%. All three programs shown will play 7 b3. The game move has been seen in 15 games while scoring only 33%) 7…Nd7 (The 13 games in which this move has been played have held white to 27%, and it is the choice of SF 14 @depth 42. SF 100222 @depth 55 will play 7…g6. The CBDB contains only two games with the move…) 8.d4 Nf6 9.Qh4 (SF 11 @depth 45 plays 9 Qd3; SF 14 @depth 27 plays 9 Qf4; SF 050621 @depth 33 will play 9 Qe3) 9…Bf5 10.Be2 e6 11.O-O Be7 12. Qf4 (This is the choice of Stockfish 170921. For 12 Qg3 see below:
Click on “Females” and one discovers how the four female players have fared against their male counterparts. Segregating the “females” sets them apart, making it appear they are different and not part of the group. Is this good for the “females” or for Chess? Is it necessary to separate the women players because of their gender? Does this help or hurt their chances of being accepted as part of the group? Let me ask another question. What if there were enough players to have a similar tournament with four players with dark skin pigmentation and the word “Black” was used in lieu of “Female”? Would that be acceptable to people with darker skin pigmentation? Would that be acceptable to the people in charge of the St. Louis Chess Club? Would it be acceptable to the larger Chess community of the world? If the answer is “no” then why is it acceptable for the people at the St. Louis Chess Campus to segregate any one particular group?
After informing a National Master that I have been avidly following the two tournaments currently being held at the St. Louis Chess Campus he replied, “Why would you waste your time watching those chumpy-lumpies when you could be watching games from the Sharjah Masters? There are thirty of the best players in the world competing and they are fighting.” I said nothing while thinking about the proliferation of draws, most of them short, afflicting top level Chess these daze. Short draws have been anathema at the St. Louis Chess mecca. The options for a Chess fan these days are almost unlimited; this fan prefers watching games emanating from the Chess Capital of America no matter who is playing because short draws are not acceptable in St. Louis, or at least were not until seeing this insult to the St. Louis Chess Campus and Chess in general:
This game “wowed” the fans, or at least one of them, who left this at the “Chat” with the game:
Neverness Board 1: What a fighting game! 😀
Neverness Wow, just wow! 😀
Neither one of these “players”, and I use the word loosely, is a Grandmaster yet they felt compelled to make a “Grandmaster draw.” What are the odds either one of these losers will ever be invited to return to the St. Louis Chess Campus? Games like this appear with regularity at tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Center, and in the Bay area at San Jose. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/05/19/mission-360-bay-area-making-a-mockery-of-chess-tournament/). Never thought I would be writing about a three and a have move game from St. Louis…
On to the good stuff abounding from this tournament!
After four rounds FM Jennifer Yu
was +2 after two wins and two draws. In the fifth round she had the white pieces versus fellow FM Joshua Posthuma (2404).
After the latter made a weak ninth move and followed it up with what is called a “mistake” at LiChess, she was winning. The game was a real battle and could have ended in a draw, but Ms. Yu let go of the rope with her 39th move, a passive retreat when she could have continued checking, and the lights were turned out. The game must have taken something out of her because she played weakly in the opening in the following game and was lost before move ten…but fought back to an even game later before both players blundered with their thirtieth move and it was back to even, Steven, until Ms. Yu again let go of the rope with her thirty second move and it was all over but the shouting…In the next, seventh round, she had the black pieces against one of the three co-leaders, IM Aaron Grabinsky, who had won his first four games before drawing the next two games. Not many people who gamble would have wagered on Jennifer. This writer was hoping she would not fall apart completely and do the goose-egg shuffle on her way out of St. Louis. Many players would have lost their fighting spirit and consented to “making a draw,” and who could, or would, blame her if she did exactly that? Then, on move 24 her opponent made a vacillating move in retreating his Queen and Jennifer gained an advantage. Solid move followed solid move until IM Grabinsky again retreated his Queen on his 29th move. Unfortunately, Jennifer did not make the best move in reply, but still had an advantage, albeit small. Then her opponent blundered on his 31st move and Jennifer punished him for it, winning in 35 moves. What a fighter is Jennifer Yu! I urge you to replay the game, which can be found here> (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress-im/round-7/Aq7DF3WV).
While watching the action in round six I put two games into the opening grinder and one of them was the game of the tournament. When young FM Alice Lee sat down to play IM Aaron Grabinsky in round six she had a total of 1 1/2 points, earned in the three previous rounds with draws after losing her first two games. Her opponent was leading the field with 4 1/2 points. Alice had the white pieces, but her opponent grabbed an positional advantage and began squeezing the life out of Ms. Lee, but she refused to let go of the rope, finding good move after good move for many moves. Several times IM Grabinsky achieved the maximum from his position, but refused to bring the hammer down and continued playing vacillating moves; he simply could not pull the trigger. After one hundred and eight moves (!) IM Grabinsky gave up the ghost and FM Alice Lee had scored a well earned and hard fought draw with the leader of the tournament!
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 (111865 games with this move can be found in the ChessBaseDataBase, and it is the choice of SF 15 @depth 68 and and SF 040522 @depth 74, but SF 14.1 @depth 64 preferred 3 Nc3. In 80101 games it has scored 53%. 3 Nf3 has scored 55%) 3…Bb4+ (SF 14.1 @depth 66 plays 3…d5) 4.Bd2 (This has been the most often played move with 11966 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Fritz 16-you know what that means-both SF 14.1 and 15 will play 4 Nbd2) 4…Bxd2+ (SF 15 plays 4…Be7, a move with only 165 games that have shown a score of 60%. Here’s the deal, Fritz 16 also plays the move! Deep Fritz 13 likes 4…a5, in third place with 3096 games in the CBDB. 5538 players have chosen 4…Qe7 with a score 57%; 2247 players have tried 4…c5 resulting in 53%. The move played in the game has scored 58% in 1212 games) 5.Qxd2 d6 (There are only 92 examples of this move contained in the CBDB with a resulting 62%. Fritz 16 @depth 31 will play 5…Nc6. There is only one game with the move. Komodo @depth 30 will play 5…b6. The 93 games in which this move has been played have resulted in 65% for the players of the white pieces. SF 14.1 @depth 55 castles. With 493 games it has been the most often played move, resulting in a 59% score) 6.Nc3 (With this move the CBDB shows us the progression of the computin’ of SF 14.1. At depth 38 it favors 6 e3. There is only one game with this move in the CBDB… then comes 6 g3 @depth 39. It has scored 50% in 15 games. Then @depth 47 the program moves to the move made in the game, which has resulted in a strong 63% for white) 6…Nbd7 (This move has been played in 22 games, scoring 61%. SF 190322 @depth 27 will play 6…Qe7. In 20 games it has scored 65%. Then there is SF 14.1 @depth 40 which will, given the opportunity, play 6…d5, a NEW MOVE!) 7.e4 e5 8.Be2 (There is only one game with this move in the CBDB, and it is the move of Deep Fritz 13 @depth 17 [17? The Fritz limbo; how low can you go?] which ought to give you pause…Komodo 14 @depth 31 and SF 130222 @depth 27 both 0-0-0) The CBDB contains only two games here, one with 8 d5 and the other with 8 Be2. Don’t know about you but I’m sticking with Stockfish!)
FM Gabriela Antova,
from Bulgaria, got off to a good start in the first round by defeating FM Alice Lee with black. Then she lost three in a row before drawing in the fifth round. In the sixth round she faced IM Pedro Rivera Rodriguez,
from Cuba, who, although an International Master, is rated below Master level at 2199. How is that possible? What has happened to the rating system? 2199 is below Master level, as 2000-2199 is, or was considered Expert level.
Round 6 FM Antova, Gabriela 2282 vs IM Rodriguez Rivera, Pedro 2199 A53 Old Indian defence
d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 56 will play 3 Nc3) 3…Nbd7 (Three different SF programs all going very deep will play 3…g6) 4. g3 (Two SF programs and one Komodo all play 4 Nc3) 4…e5 (Far and away the most often played move with 354 games, and advocated by Fritz 16 @depth 30, but SF 8 [8? Did SF 8 first appear last century?] @depth 27 will play the second most played move according to the ChessBaseDataBase, 4…c6, with 74 games showing. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 30 plays 3…g6, the third most popular move with only 51 moves contained in the CBDB) 5. Nc3 c6 (SF 7 @depth 29 will play this, the most often played move with 452 games in the database, but Fritz 16 @depth 35 AND Stockfish 14.1 @depth 44 both prefer 5…exd4. The CBDB contains on three games with pawn takes pawn) 6. Bg2 Be7 (With 432 games contained in the CBDB this has been the most frequently played move, and it is the choice of Houdini, but Fritz 16 @depth 28, and Stockfish 14.1 @depth 43 will play 6…e4, a move having been attempted in only 103 games) 7. O-O (The 495 games in which players have castled are more than double the 213 games in which 7 e4 has appeared. Both Houdini and Fritz castle, but SF 14.1 will play 7 Qc2, a move only seen in 51 games, although it has scored highest at an astounding 72%! Castling has scored 58% while 7 e4 has scored 63%) 7…0-0 (This move has been played in over one thousand games, 1033 to be exact, and has scored 58%, and it is the choice of Houdini, albeit at a low depth of only 24 fathoms. Yet Komodo and SF14.1 @depth 53 both will play 7…e4, a move having only been tried in 14 games) 8. Qc2 (The move of both Houdini and Fritz, but SF 14.1 will play the most often played move, 8 e4) 8…a6 (Komodo and Fritz play the most often played move, 8…Re8; SF 14.1 plays 8…Qc7) 9. Rd1 (SF 14.1 @depth 39 plays 9 h3. There is only one game containing the move found at the CBDB) 9…Qc7 10 dxe5 (This move cannot be located at either 365Chess or the CBDB, therefore FM Antova played a Theoretical Novelty)
e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 (SF 14.1 prefers 3 d4) 3…dxe4 (SF121050 @depth 47 will play this move, the second most often played move, with 2210 examples in the ChessBaseDataBase, but SF 15 @depth 44 prefers 3…Nf6, a move having been made only 840 times, according to the CBDB. Then there is the most often played move of 3…Bg4, the favorite of Komodo @depth 33, which can be found in 4536 games at the CBDB) 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 (The most played move thus far with 1166 examples contained within the bowels of the CBDB, but is it the best move? Fritz 17 @depth 29 calculates it best, as does Komodo @depth 34. Then there is the Big Fish, Stockfish 15 @depth 64, which has come to the conclusion 5 Nxf6+ is better than any other move. In 596 games it has scored only 51%; Qe2 shows 52%. Then there is 5 Ng3, a move yet to be mentioned, that has been attempted in 150 games while scoring 56%! I like the smelly Fish, but regular readers will know only a meat cleaver would prevent me from moving the Lady to e2, where she belongs…) 5…Na6 (Stockfish 9 [Nine? Are you kidding me?] @depth 41 plays the move, and it has scored very well, holding white to only 44% in the 27 games contained in the CBDB. Fritz 16 @depth 38 will play the most often played move, 5…Nxe4, which has scored 52% in 928 games. Fritz 18 will play 5…Bg4. In 84 games it has scored 55%) 6. Nxf6+ (With 18 games this has been the most often played move, and it has scored 50%, but SF 14 @depth 37 and SF 14.1 @depth will play 6 a3, a move yet to be tested by a human. Komodo 14 @depth 36 will play a TN of its own, 6 c3) 6…gxf6 7. h3 (SF 13 plays the most often played move, 7 d4, which has only scored 31%; SF 14 plays 7 a3, a move not found in the CBDB; and SF 15 will play 7 d3, and so should you)
1.e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Nd7 (Fritz 16 @depth 36 will play the game move, which has scored 49% in 343 games; SF 13 @depth 60 will play 6…Qa5, the third most often played move with 183 games in the CBDB. SF 14.1 @depth will play 6…Qd5, with a resulting 58% in 295 games) 7. Bc4 Nf6 8. Ne5 e6 9. Qe2 b5 10. Bb3 Qc7 11. d4 Bd6 12.Bg5 O-O (Komodo @depth 26 will castle, but SF 14.1 @depth 44 will play 12…a5
Guy Playing Chess Thrown Out of Checkers Tournament
BY Mark Roebuck ON May 3, 2022
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A crafty, forward thinking participant was tossed out of the local checkers tournament, when it was revealed he had been playing chess the whole time.
“You think you’ve outsmarted me?” cried Doyle Ross as he was carried out of the local checkers tournament being held at the Holiday Park Community Center. “You haven’t seen the last of me! I’ve been planning this all for months, years even! While you sit around with your pathetic little tournament and rankings, I’ve got the brains to see the bigger picture!”
The raving entrant was escorted out by police and told to stay away from the premises. The tournament continued on successfully, although the unfortunate incident continued to dominate the discussion of the day.
“Wow, you gotta hand it to the guy,” said Matt Greene, who competed in the tournament. “He was really out here playing chess while we were all playing checkers. I’m not sure there was any reason to do it. I mean, it was quite odd, really, the way he’d shoot his one checker up the board and say, ‘This is my rook.’ You can’t really do that. That doesn’t make you smart.”
I love the Bay area and have previously written about it and the Mechanic’s Institute Chess Room many times on this blog. I love the South, and Charlotte is in North Carolina, a Southern state, and I would love to visit the Charlotte Chess Center someday. Nevertheless, like the story about an argument between three umpires. The first umpire says, “I calls ’em like I sees ’em.” The second one says, “I calls ’em like they was.” And the third one says, “They ain’t nothin’ till I calls ’em.”
These games were…what word should be used for the excremental games to follow? One calls them “games” for lack of a better word, for none of these so-called “games” were games in any sense of the word. To each and every player appearing on this blog post today I ask, “Why do not you play Chess?”
I do not know what to say about the first game. The first thought after replaying the moves was, “This must be some kind of joke.” Unfortunately, the game can still be found at LiChess days later… The AW has been playing Chess for over half a century and I have never, ever, seen any game like it…