GM Daniel Naroditsky Vs IM Semen Khanin

Daniel A Naroditsky

is a Chess Grandmaster rated 2699, one point shy of the Chess “elite.” World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is rated 2864. The last two are Chess numbers! I cannot make this stuff up ( In Chess the classes are two hundred points apart, therefore it would seem anyone rated within two hundred points of the World Champ should be considered part of the “elite,” but human minds like to begin numbers with a zero, or two, at the end of any sequence. GM Naroditsky is also the “Resident Grandmaster/Head Coach” of the Charlotte Chess Center ( One can read this at the website: “As CCC Resident Grandmaster, Daniel takes the lead on coaching the areas top junior players along with the CCC’s top competitive school programs.” It is obvious from the above that GM Naroditsky is an example and role model for young players, who will naturally attempt to emulate the man, as well they should. Daniel is from the left coast and is probably the highest rated player residing in the South. For these reasons, and more, as he plays interesting games, I pay attention when the GM plays.

GM Naroditsky is currently participating in the US Open taking place on the left coast, in Rancho Mirage, California. He chose to play in the six day schedule, so had to play multiple games early on. After winning his first three games Daniel faced fellow left coaster Eduard Hakobyan, an untitled player rated only 2393. The game went seventy moves, but was really over after Hakobyan made his ill-fated sixty second move. Before that move the SF program at showed Hakobyan with an advantage. The game had many twists and turns and was a pleasure to watch, and was enjoyed immensely. I urge you to click onto this link and judge for yourself ( In the next round Daniel faced IM Balaji Daggupati, rated 2492, putting him number 765 in the world. Daniel dispatched him in only 24 moves. The next round, the sixth, saw Daniel paired with a young Russian, IM Semen Khanin, number 368 in the FIDE rating list. Here is the game:

IM Semen Khanin

vs GM Daniel A Naroditsky
2022 US Open
B10 Caro-Kann defence

  1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. d3 Qc7 4. exd5 cxd5 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6 7. a3 a6 8. g3 dxc4 9. dxc4 Bd6 10. Bg2 1/2-1/2

Well, that certainly was disappointing. David Spinks at the House of Pain (aka Atlanta Chess & Game Center) was fond of saying, “You gotta PULL for SOMEBODY, man!” It was difficult for the tall man some called “Slenderman” to come to grips with the fact that anyone could watch a ball game, or anything for that matter, and NOT “pull for somebody.” Daniel Naroditsky currently resides in the South, and I am a born and bred Southerner. I want GM Naroditsky to win every game he plays. I cannot be impartial when it comes to Southern Chess players. I watched my friend IM Ron Burnett

IM Ron Burnett

play in the Irwin Senior tournament and unabashedly admit to pulling HARD for Ron in each and every game watched.

After the game ended thought was given to going to the Stockfish program at and letting the program battle itself, but then decided to surf over to and check out the opening. Imagine my surprise upon seeing the following game, which shows the path the game may have taken if not being agreed drawn:

Pavel Ponkratov (2624) vs Volodar Murzin (2542)
Event: TCh-RUS Premier 2022
Site: Sochi RUS Date: 05/02/2022
Round: 2.2
ECO: B10 Caro-Kann defence
1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d3 Qc7 4.exd5 cxd5 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.a3 a6 8.g3 dxc4 9.dxc4 Bd6 10.Bg2

b6 11.O-O Bb7 12.Qd3 Nc6 13.Be3 Rd8 14.Na4 Ne5 15.Qe2 Qxc4 16.Qxc4 Nxc4 17.Bxb6 Nxb6 18.Nxb6 O-O 19.b4 Rb8 20.Nc4 Bc7 21.Nd4 Bb6 22.Nb3 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 Nd5 24.Rac1 Rfd8 25.Rc2 Bc7 26.Rfc1 g6 27.Nca5 Bxa5 28.Nxa5 Rb6 29.Rc8 Rf8 30.Kf3 h5 31.R1c6 Kg7 32.Rxf8 Kxf8 33.Ke4 Ke8 34.Rxb6 Nxb6 35.Nc6 f6 36.Kd4 Nd7 37.a4 g5 38.a5 f5 39.h4 g4 40.b5 axb5 41.a6 Nb6 42.Kc5 Na8 43.Nd4 Nc7 44.a7 Kd7 45.Nxb5 Na8 46.Nd4 Nc7 47.Kb6 1-0

Not being there and not knowing the reason for the short draw I was willing to give GM Nardoitsky the benefit of the doubt. There is, for example, the fact that maybe GM Naroditsky contracted Covid, or something…anything…caused the truncated game. Then in the antepenultimate round came this “game”:

GM Daniel Naroditsky vs GM Elshan Moradiabadi
2022 US Open
C84 Ruy Lopez: Closed, Martinez Variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a3 O-O 9. Nc3 Bg4 10. Be3 Nd4 11. Bxd4 exd4 12. Nd5 Nd7 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 c6 15. Nf4 Bf6 16. g4 1/2-1/2

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