The Last Round: FM Jason Wang vs IM Arthur Guo

FM Jason Wang vs IM Arthur Guo
Denker Invitational
D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 Re8 8. a3 Bf8 9. Rd1 Ne7 10. Qc2 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bd3 Ng6 13. e4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a5 15. Rb1 axb4 16. axb4 Ra3 17. Bd3 Rxc3 18. Bxc3 Nf4 19. Nd2 Nxg2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Bc8 23. Rg1 e5 24. dxe5 Bh3+ 25. Ke1 Ng4 26. Nf3 Ng2+ 27. Ke2 Nf4+ 28. Ke1 Bg2 29. e6 fxe6 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Nxg4 Qxg4 32. Be5 Nh3 33. f3 Qg5 34. Rxg2 Qxe5 35. Rg3 Nf4 36. Kf1 b5 37. Be2 Rc8 38. Qd2 Rc7 39. Rd1 Rf7 40. Rc1 Nh5 41. Rh3 Nf4 42. Rg3 Nh5 43. Rh3 Nf6 44. Kg1 Bxb4 45. Qc2 Bd6 46. Qxc6 b4 47. Rd1 Bc5+ 48. Kh1 Rc7 49. Qb5 Bd6 1/2-1/2 (9…Ne7 appears to be a TN)

In the last round of the recently completed Denker Invitational FM Jason Wang

USCS 43: St. Louis (June 2018)
uschessschool.com

faced IM Arthur Guo with a first place on the line. Arthur was a half point ahead of the contenders, one of whom was Jason Wang. After move forty it looked as though the game would end in a draw after the position was repeated, but Arthur eschewed the draw when playing 43…Nf6 in lieu of returning the knight to h5. FM Wang then blundered by playing 44 Kg1? This allowed Arthur to take a pawn with impunity while attacking the white Queen. I thought the game was over because the two passed pawns will devastate white in the long run. This is the position:

Position after 45 Qc2

It was more than a little obvious Arthur would play 46…Rc7 because every Chess player knows that ROOKS BELONG BEHIND PASSED PAWNS. I had a heart palpation after seeing Arthur’s next move of 45…Bd6. The Stockfish program at Lichess.com gives the move not one, but two question marks. The move is so bad it defies comprehension. What could have caused such a budding star to make such a horrible move? I decided to put the game up to after white played 46 Qc2 into the analysis program at Lichess.com and this is best play by Stockfish after 45 Qc2:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 Re8 8. a3 Bf8 9. Rd1 Ne7 10. Qc2 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bd3 Ng6 13. e4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a5 15. Rb1 axb4 16. axb4 Ra3 17. Bd3 Rxc3 18. Bxc3 Nf4 19. Nd2 Nxg2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Bc8 23. Rg1 e5 24. dxe5 Bh3+ 25. Ke1 Ng4 26. Nf3 Ng2+ 27. Ke2 Nf4+ 28. Ke1 Bg2 29. e6 fxe6 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Nxg4 Qxg4 32. Be5 Nh3 33. f3 Qg5 34. Rxg2 Qxe5 35. Rg3 Nf4 36. Kf1 b5 37. Be2 Rc8 38. Qd2 Rc7 39. Rd1 Rf7 40. Rc1 Nh5 41. Rh3 Nf4 42. Rg3 Nh5 43. Rh3 Nf6 44. Kg1 Bxb4 45. Qc2 (Stockfish analysis begins here) Rc7 46. Kh1 Bd6 47. Rd1 Bf8 48. Qa2 g6 49. Bd3 Kh8 50. Bf1 Nh5 51. Qa8 Kg7 52. Qb8 Be7 53. Rh4 Bd6 54. Qd8 Be7 55. Qb8 Nf6 56. Rh3 Qf4 57. Ra1 Nd7 58. Qe8 Nf8 59. Rd1 Bf6 60. Rg3 Be5 61. Be2 b4 62. Bc4 c5 63. Rf1 Ra7 64. Rg2 Bd4 65. Rg4 Qe3 66. Rg3 Rf7 67. Qa8 Qf4 68. Qc6 Re7 69. Rg4 Qb8 70. Bb3 h5 71. Rg5 Qc7 72. Qxc7 Rxc7 73. Rg2 c4 74. Rc1 c3 75. f4 Nd7 76. Rd1 e5 77. fxe5 Bxe5 78. Rd5 Nc5 79. Bd1 Bf4 80. e5 b3 81. e6 Rb7 82. Rxc5 b2 83. Rxg6+ Kxg6 84. Bc2+ Kf6 85. Rxc3 b1=R+ 86. Bxb1 Rxb1+ 87. Kg2 Rb2+ 88. Kf3 Bd6 89. Rc4 Rxh2 90. Re4 Rh3+ 91. Kg2 Rg3+ 92. Kh1 Ke7 93. Re1 Rg5 94. Re3 Bg3 95. Re2 Be5 96. Rd2 Rg4 97. Rd1 Kxe6 98. Rf1 Bg3 99. Kg2 Bf4+ 100. Kh3 Rg3+ 101. Kh4 Kf5 102. Rd1 Rb3 103. Rf1 Ra3 and it is checkmate in 25

Winning a won game is difficult, and like Ringo sang, “It don’t come easy.” Almost every day at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center one would frequently hear, “I blew a WON GAME.” or, “If only I had won more WON GAMES I would be a Master (or Expert, or class A, etc. player).”

After reading the following at ChessLifeOnline in an excellent article by JJLang, dated August 3, 2022, understanding was found:

Denker

Following the old tiebreak adage of ‘lose last, laugh last,’ tournament leader Georgia’s IM Arthur Guo drew his final game against Ohio’s FM Jason Wang to win first place on tiebreaks. By not losing any games, Guo had stronger pairings throughout the tournament than his rivals, meaning tiebreaks would likely come out in his favor were he to draw his final game. Indeed, after failing to find anything concrete on the attacking side of a sharp Ragozin, Guo took the draw and, fortunately for him, the math played out in his favor.
https://new.uschess.org/news/day-4-rancho-mirage-invitationals-end-6-day-begins

Therein lies the problem. It is not as if there are not enough draws in Chess these daze. Now the pooh-bahs have made rules that only INCREASE the likelihood of a draw! Arthur needed only a DRAW to “WIN” the event. The fact is that Arthur did NOT win the tournament! He finished in a THREE WAY TIE for FIRST PLACE! The three players each scored the same number of points, five. Reading further in the aforementioned article one finds: “Northern Californian GM Andrew Hong and Arizonian FM Sandeep Sethuraman each won their final round games to finish second and third, respectively, on tiebreaks.” Simply put, that is a crock of excrement! As it stands now, tiebreaks are MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE RESULT OF THE GAME! What if there had been a three-way tie for first place? That would mean at least three times as much publicity for the Royal Game because the publicity director (USCF has a publicity director, does it not? If not, why not?!) could have articles on all three of them in local newspapers and on local TV news programs in three different cities. This ain’t the Highlander, where there can be only ONE!

The same could be said for the recently completed US Senior, where there was a FIVE-WAY TIE! Unfortunately, the brain trust at the USCF decided to have a souped-up heebe-jeeb speed tournament after the conclusion of almost TWO WEEKS of playing what now passes for classical Chess. The playoff was not the next day, but only a short time after the players had spent at least five hours playing over the board. We are talking about SENIORS here, ladies and gentlemen. Why does USCF FORCE Seniors to play nerve-wracking speed games but not force the JUNIORS to do the same? As a Senior I can tell you that a speed tournament to determine the “winner” was much more difficult on the Seniors than it would have been on the Juniors. My hat is off to GM Alexander Shabalov for winning the speed tournament, but he won more than TWICE AS MUCH MONEY as the other four for winning a SPEED TOURNAMENT! ‘Back in the day’ tournaments held five minute speed tournaments as an ancillary event, not the main event. The fact that there were tiebreaks irrevocably altered the Denker event, as it does every event in which it is used. Because of the plethora of draws Chess is unlike Go or Backgammon, where there is only ONE WINNER!
Just sayin’…

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