The Najdorf with 6 Bg5

This is the second part of an ongoing look at what Stockfish “thinks” of the legendary Najdorf variation. Part one was published a few daze ago (, with a focus on the move Stockfish considers best for white against the Najdorf system, 6 f3. shows a total of twenty seven different moves having been played by those with the white pieces against the Najdorf. The most often played move by humans has been 6 Bg5, and it has been played in 20,902 games. I utilized the 365Chess database because it includes games by everyone regardless of rating. The first game score you see emanate from the fertile algorithms of Stockfish vs Stockfish. The game most closely matching the moves of Stockfish follows.

This game was ‘contested’ by the Stockfish program on 2/20/23:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Nc6 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 e5 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. fxe5 Ng4 14. Bg3 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 dxe5 16. Bc4 Bc5 17. Rf1 O-O 18. O-O-O Qe7 19. Kb1 Rb8 20. Ka2 Be6 21. Bxe6 Qxe6+ 22. b3 Bd4 23. Na4 c5 24. Qe2 c4 25. Qxc4 Qxc4 26. bxc4 Rfc8 27. Rb1 Rxb1 28. Rxb1 Rxc4 29. Rb8+ Kh7 30. Kb3 Rc7 31. c3 Bg1 32. c4 h5 33. h3 h4 34. Kb4 Kg6 35. Re8 Rb7+ 36. Ka5 Rc7 37. Kb4 1/2-1/2

Eline Roebers (2344) vs Evgeny Zanan (2521)
Event: Serbia Open 2022
Site: Novi Sad SRB Date: 07/01/2022
Round: 4.28 Score: 0-1
ECO: B96 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7.f4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 h6 8.Bh4 Qb6 9.a3 Nc6 10.Bf2 Qc7 11.Qf3 e5 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.f5 d5 14.O-O-O d4 15.Nb1 c5 16.Nd2 Bb7 17.Bc4 h5 18.g3 Be7 19.Kb1 Ng4 20.Bd3 c4 21.Nxc4 Nxf2 22.Qxf2 Rh6 23.Rhg1 a5 24.a4 Ba6 25.Qe2 Rb8 26.b3 Rc6 27.Nb2 Bxd3 28.Rxd3 Rc8 29.Rg2 Bb4 30.Nd1 Rc5 31.g4 Qb7 32.c4 dxc3 33.Qc2 Qxe4 34.Ne3 Qf4 35.f6 Qxf6 36.Rf2 Qg6 37.gxh5 Qxh5 38.Nf5 Kf8 39.Rd7 R5c7 40.Qd3 Qg5 41.Rxc7 Rxc7 42.Kc2 g6 43.Ne3 Bc5 44.Rf3 Bxe3 45.Rxe3 Kg7 46.Re2 Rc5 47.Rf2 Qe7 48.Qg3 Qb7 49.Qh4 f5 50.Re2 e4 51.Qg5 Qd7 52.Rg2 Rc6 53.h4 Qd3+ 54.Kc1 Qd6 55.h5 Qa3+ 56.Kd1 Qxb3+ 57.Ke1 Qb1+ 58.Kf2 e3+ 59.Kg3 Qe4 60.h6+ Kh7 61.Qd8 Qe5+ 62.Kh3 Qc7 0-1

For more information on the man behind the video see (

The Grob’s Attack

According to the opening move of 1 g4 is known as the A00 Grob’s attack. ‘Back in the day’ it was simply known as “The Grob.”

Henry Grob en Barcelona (1960)(

Any Chess player reaching class B, which is a rating between 1600 and 1799, knows he should defeat any player dumb enough to attempt playing the Grob’s attack. I played the Grob several times in rated tournaments, losing only to IM Boris Kogan.

Why would I have played 1 g4 versus an International Master of Grandmaster strength? After losing to Boris three times in OTB play when playing a more conventional opening the decision was made to try something a little different. OK, that should be “a lot different.” Sure, I lost the game, but the loss was worth something just to see the look on my opponent’s face! The fact is that a decent middle game position was reached prior to my blundering the exchange. Still, it was the only time playing Boris I had the feeling of being in the game. Players do not like facing the Grob attack because they know anything less that a win is tantamount to a loss…of face and credibility. After losing to the Grob one of my Stein Club ( opponents had to listen to an onlooker ask, “You lost to the Grob? How the hell does anyone lose to the Grob?” At that point my opponent emptied his beer stein into the face of the kibitzer before exiting the Stein Club… How bad is Grob’s attack? To put it into perspective, after 1 e4 e5 2 Qh5 the SF program at shows white with a disadvantage of -0.4. Before the move white had a +0.4 advantage. You do the math…

According to the Big Database at 365Chess ( the thirteenth most often opening move made by those in charge of the white brigade has been 1 g4. The Grob. The Grob spelled backwards is:

The Borg Queen/

Anyone can occasionally play what has come to be known as the, C20 KP, Patzer opening.

GM Magnus Carlsen (2835) – IM Shamsiddin Vokhidov (2480)
World Rapid 2018 St Petersburg RUS, 2018.12.26

1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 g6 4.Qf3 Qe7 5.Ne2 Nf6 6.d3 Bg7 7.Nbc3 h6 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 Na5 10.d6 cxd6 11.Bd5 Nc6 12.Bd2 Qf6 13.Qe4 O-O 14.O-O Ne7 15.Nc3 Qf5 16.Qb4 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Kh7 18.Nc7 Rb8 19.Qxd6 b6 20.f3 Bb7 21.Rae1 Rfc8 22.Bc3 Bf8 23.Nb5 Bxd6 24.Nxd6 Qe6 25.Nxc8 Rxc8 26.Rxe5 Qd6 27.Rfe1 Bd5 28.a4 Be6 29.a5 bxa5 30.Kf1 Rc5 31.Rxc5 Qxc5 32.Ra1 d5 33.Rxa5 Qc7 34.Ra4 Qxh2 35.Rxa7 Qh1+ 36.Kf2 d4 0-1

It takes a special type of player to open with the Grob’s Attack. There are those who highly tout Grob’s Attack. For instance:

Most Underrated Chess Opening: Grob’s Attack

So today we’ll learn another underrated chess opening called the Grob’s Attack, which starts with the unusual 1.g4. The opening takes its name from Swiss International Master Henri Grob (1904–1974) who analysed it extensively and played hundreds of correspondence games with it.

A great thing about this opening is that the White’s first move 1.g4 is so rare that most of your opponents will be shocked to see it. Therefore, you get them out of their opening preparation giving you a great chance of winning the game!

Before getting to the most underrated chess opening, let me remind you that the special offers we’re providing you with in honour of our upgraded training portal and new shop is expiring TOMORROW (31 March).

Yes, this is the LAST chance for you to get a massive 64% discount (or more) on all the RCA courses and packages. Grab your favourite courses and you can even study them on your mobile now! (

Have you ever felt like you stepped into a pile of hyperbole?

In the first round of the Caplin Hastings Masters 2022 a chap named Stellio Jerome, rated 1501, opened with the A00 Grob’s attack versus Expert Matthew J Payne, rated 2116. The result will come as no surprise:

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 h5 3. g5 e5 4. h4 Ne7 5. Bg2 Nbc6 6. e3 Be6 7. Ne2 Qd7 8. d4 e4 9. c4 dxc4 10. Bxe4 Bd5 11. Nbc3 Bxe4 12. Nxe4 Nd5 13. a3 O-O-O 14. Bd2 Re8 15. f3 f5 16. gxf6 gxf6 17. N2c3 Bg7 18. Kf2 f5 19. Nc5 Qf7 20. Qa4 Nb6 21. Qc2 Nxd4 22. Qd1 Qe7 23. N5a4 Nb3 24. Nxb6+ axb6 25. Nd5 Qf7 26. e4 fxe4 27. Bf4 Bd4+ 28. Be3 Qxd5 29. Qe2 exf3 30. Qxf3 Bxe3+ 0-1

Imagine the surprise seeing that Mr. Jerome decided in the third round to play it again, Sam:

Stellio Jerome (1501) vs Nick Faulks (1802)
Hastings 2022 Round 3
The Grob Attack

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. c4 d4 5. d3 e5 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Nbd2 Qe7 8. Ne4 Bc7
  2. Bd2 h6 10. Ng3 Bd7 11. Qc2 g6 12. g5 hxg5 13. Nxg5 f5 14. Bd5 Nf6 15. Bf7+
    Kf8 16. Bxg6 f4 17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. Bxf5 Nd8 19. O-O-O Ne8 20. Rdg1 Nd6 21. Be4 Rh5
  3. h4 Nxe4 23. Nxe4 Rxh4 24. f3 Ne6 25. Qd1 Rxh1 26. Rxh1 Qg7 27. Qf1 Ke7 28.
    Be1 Rg8 29. Bh4+ 1-0

1. g4? (-1.5) d5 (-0.9) 2. h3?! (-1.6)(2 Bg2) 2…c5?! (-1.0)(2…h5) 3. Bg2 (-0.9 )(3 e5) 3…Nc6 (-0.8)(3 e5) 4. c4 (-0.8) 4…d4 (-0.9)(e5) 5. d3 (-0.8) (5 Bxc6+) 5…e5 (-0.5)(Bd7) 6. Nf3?! (-1.4)(6 Bxc6+) 6…Bd6 (-1.2)(h5) 7. Nbd2 (0.9) 7…Qe7?! (+0.1)(7…Nf6)

Position after 7…Qe7

It has taken Nick only seven moves to go from having a winning advantage to having an even game. Things obviously went downhill from here… If you are a class A player and you lose to anyone opening with the Grob you must ask yourself some serious questions, beginning with, “Why am I playing Chess?”

In the fifth round Stellio Jerome did it again:

Stellio Jerome (1501) vs Sanjit S Kumar, (1965)
Hastings 2023 Round 5
The Grob Attack

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. c4 e6 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Nc3 Nge7 8. d4 Be6 9. Bg5 f6 10. Be3 b6 11. Rc1 a6 12. O-O O-O 13. dxc5 bxc5 14. Na4 c4 15. Bb6 Bc7 16. Bc5 Rb8 17. Nd4 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 Ng6 19. e3 Ne5 20. Nc5 Bf7 21. Nxa6 Nd3 22. Rc2 Ra8 23. Nxc7 Qxc7 24. Qxd3 Bg6 25. Bxd5+ Kh8 26. Qxc4 Qxc4 27. Rxc4 Bd3 28. Rfc1 Bxc4 29. Bxc4 Rfc8 30. Rc3 Rab8 31. Bb3 Rd8 32. Kg2 h6 33. f4 Kh7 34. h4 Kh8 35. g5 hxg5 36. hxg5 Rd6 37. gxf6 gxf6 38. Rc7 Rf8 39. Kf3 Ra6 40. e4 Rb8 41. Bd5 Re8 42. e5 Rxa2 Rxa2 43. e6 Ra3+ 44. bxa3 Rxe6 45. Rc8+ 1-0
Position after 8…Be6

After only eight moves he Stockfish program utilized at shows the game to be even, Steven.

Do not let this happen to YOU! Give the Grob a chance and open with 1 g4 in an off-hand game or several. No matter what opening your opponent fires at you, a player should have at least an idea about how to play against any, and every opening. To help you down that path here are the opening moves preferred by Stockfish:

1. g4 d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. c4 c6 4. Qb3 e6 5. Qxb7 Nd7 6. Nc3 Ne7 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Qb4 Nf6…

Seventh Move Novelty In The Najdorf

‘Back in the day’ I was known for playing The Najdorf. It was my main defense to the king pawn move because the opening was played by Bobby Fischer. With this in mind it will come as no surprise to learn I have been a fan of the Frenchman, MVL, aka Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, because he has been todaze leading exponent of The Najdorf. It was surprising to learn the “M” did not stand for “Miguel.”

For some time consideration has been given to imputing each opening move versus The Najdorf into the Stockfish program at in order to learn how the program replies to each of the over two dozen different opening moves that have been attempted. ‘Back in the day’ it was de rigueur to reach the Najdorf by playing 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6. Stockfish differs when playing 3 Nc3, as can be seen below. The Stockfish program at preferred 6 f3, so it was the first move put into the machine…

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. f3 e6 (The most often played move has been 6…e5, but the Fish prefers moving the pawn only one square) 7. a3

Position after 7 a3

According to a dozen different seventh moves have been played here, none of which is the move produced by Stockfish! This makes the seventh move a theoretical novelty, which can only be described as amazing…

7…Nc6 8. Be3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Qd2 Bd6 12. O-O-O O-O 13. g4 Re8 14. Kb1 Qf6 15. g5 Qe5 16. Bf2 Qf4 17. Qxf4 Bxf4 18. h4 Be3 19. Re1 Nxd4 20. Rxe3 Rxe3 21. Bxe3 Nc6 22. Rh2 d4 23. Bf4 Bf5 24. b3 d3 25. cxd3 Nd4 26. Kb2 Be6 27. Rf2 Nxb3 28. Rc2 Nd4 29. Rc7 b5 30. h5 Bf5 31. Be3 Nxf3 32. h6 Rc8 33. Ra7 gxh6 34. gxh6 f6 35. Rxa6 Kf7 36. Ra7+ Ke6 37. d4 Kd5 38. Bxb5 Rc2+ 39. Kb3 Nxd4+ 40. Bxd4 Kxd4 41. a4 Rh2 42. Kb4 Rxh6 43. a5 Rh2 44. a6 Bc8 45. Rf7 Bxa6 46. Bxa6 Rb2+ 47. Ka3 Rb6 48. Bc8 h5 49. Ka4 Rc6 50. Bh3 Rc4+ 51. Kb5 Rc3 52. Bd7 Rf3 53. Kb6 f5 54. Rxf5 Rxf5 55. Bxf5 h4 and I called it a draw.

IM Harriet Hunt is the Queen of e2

In the sixth round of the recently completed Cambridge International Open, International Master (I believe that is IM without the “W”, meaning she is considered an IM on the same level as male Chess players, but could be mistaken) Dr. Harriet Hunt (please note there is no “WDr.” title), five time British women Chess champion,


faced the 1985 rated Supratit Banerjee, who answered Harriet’s opening move of 1 e4 with 1…e6, the French defense. Dr. Hunt’s 2 Qe2 put a smile on my face, which invariably happens when anyone plays the Chigorin Variation.

Harriet V Hunt (2349) vs Supratit Banerjee (1985)
The Cambridge International Open (University Arms Hotel, Cambridge), 17.02.2023
C00 French, Chigorin variation

1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 d6 3.d4 Ne7 4.Nf3 b6 5.c4 Bb7 6.Nc3 a6 7.g3 Nd7 8.Bg2 g6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Rd1 O-O 11.Bf4 Nc6 12.e5 Qe7 13.Qe3 Rad8 14.Bg5 f6 15.exf6 Nxf6 16.Re1 Rde8 17.Qd2 Qf7 18.Bf4 Nh5 19.Ng5 Qf6 20.Be3 Kh8 21.Nce4 Qd8 22.d5 exd5 23.cxd5 Ne5 24.Ne6 Rxe6 25.dxe6 Qe7 26.Rac1 d5 27.Ng5 d4 28.Bxd4 Bxg2 29.Bxe5 Ba8 30.Rxc7 Qe8 31.Bxg7+ Nxg7 32.Qc3 Rf6 33.Qxf6 Qg8 34.Nf7+ Qxf7 35.Rxf7 Bb7 36.Rf8# 1-0

Position after 7…Ne7 contains only 13 games with 2…d6. Far and away the most often played move has been 2…c5, yet it is not the choice of the Stockfish program used at SF will play 2…e5. There are about 200 examples to be found at 365Chess, about 10% of the over 2200 games in which 2…c5 has been played. After 2…d6 Harriet replied with the top choice of SF, 3 d4. Bannerjee played 3…Ne7, which must be a theoretical novelty, but not a good one. SF would play 3…c5, and so should you… After Banerjee played 7…Nd7 the SF program shows a winning advantage for white, so obviously Supratit had no clue how to respond and decided to, shall we say, ‘wing it’. Even more disturbing is that little time was taken when making the second, and third rate moves. I could maybe understand if this were some kind of ‘rapid’ or ‘speed’ type time control, but this was a what passes for classical time control these daze. Go figure…

Amro El Jawich (2314) vs Gil Teixeira, (1741)
Event: 44th Olympiad 2022
Site: Chennai IND Date: 08/09/2022
Round: 11.54 Score: 1-0
ECO: C00 French, Chigorin variation
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 d6 3.d4 e5 4.Nf3 Nd7 5.Nc3 Ngf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.O-O-O exd4 8.Nxd4 O-O 9.Nf5 Qe8 10.Qd2 Bd8 11.Bh6 gxh6 12.Qxh6 Nh5 13.Qxh5 Qe6 14.Rd3 Kh8 15.Rg3 Rg8 16.Qxh7+ Kxh7 17.Rh3+ Kg6 18.Rh6+ Kg5 19.h4+ Kf4 20.g3+ Rxg3 21.fxg3+ Ke5 22.Rxe6+ fxe6 23.Ne3 Nf6 24.Bg2 Kd4 25.Kd2 e5 26.b4 Nxe4+ 27.Nxe4 1-0

Stunning Reconstruction Reveals ‘lonely boy’ With Deformed Skull Who Died In Norway Cave 8,300 Years Ago Looks Like George Santos!

Stunning reconstruction reveals ‘lonely boy’ with deformed skull who died in cave in Norway 8,300 years ago

By Laura Geggel

A new reconstruction of one of Norway’s oldest known skeletons shows a teenager with an unusual skull who may have died alone in a cave.

About 8,300 years ago, a teenage boy with an unusual skull and short stature may have scampered along the rocky coast of what is now Norway, pausing to regain his balance as he clutched a fishing rod. Now, a new full-body reconstruction of the Stone Age teenager — nicknamed Vistegutten, Norwegian for “the boy from Viste” — is on display at the Hå Gamle Prestegard museum in southern Norway.

The boy’s reconstruction was a months-long project, but researchers have known about Vistegutten since 1907, when archaeologists found his remains in a Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age, cave in Randaberg, along Norway’s western coast.

A few things stand out about the 15-year-old boy: At 4 feet, 1 inch (1.25 meters) tall, he was short for his age, even by Mesolithic standards; a condition known as scaphocephaly meant that his skull had fused too early, forcing his head to grow backward instead of sideways; and he may have died alone, as his remains were found as if he had been leaning against a cave wall.

“Either he was placed like this after his death, or he actually died in this position,” Oscar Nilsson, a forensic artist based in Sweden who created the boy’s likeness, told Live Science in an email. “This can give the impression of a lonely boy, waiting in vain for his friends and family to show up … but we know nothing about how he died.”

The boy from Viste lived along the windy Norwegian coast, “so I worked quite a lot to make it look as if the wind blows in his hair and clothes,” Nilsson said. (Image credit: Oscar Nilsson)
The reconstruction depicts the boy from Viste wearing a necklace made of a broken shell and salmon vertebrae.  (Image credit: Oscar Nilsson)

Cambridge International Open First Round: No Guts, No Glory

In the first round of the ongoing Cambridge International Open, Henry Adams, born in 2005, sat down behind the white pieces to play the dean of British Chess, long time British number one, Grandmaster Michael Adams. Because of the huge rating disparity of almost 800 points, on paper it looked like a walk over for the now Senior eligible GM, who was born in 1971. The younger Adams sports a 1963 British Chess rating. His International FIDE rating is only 1738. Mickey Adams is rated 2757. With all the talk, including from Rex Sinquefield ((, concerning the future prospects of wagering on Chess going Big Time in a Big Way in the near future, one could have gotten BIG odds on the much younger, but much less accomplished, Adams.

The following position was reached after the GM made his 23rd move:

Position after 23…Rxf4

It appears the Grandmaster offered his much lower rated opponent a draw. Put yourself into the position facing the much younger player. How would you respond? The game ended here so we know the young player has no guts and therefore, obtained little glory. The young fellow had a chance to make a name for himself in the world of Chess by possibly defeating one of, if not the best player in the history of British Chess. Instead, he wimped out…That, more than anything else, illustrates what is wrong with Chess. If this were a game of Go the young player would be forced to play on because the offer of a draw is not allowed. The youngster would have been FORCED TO GO FOR THE GLORY! So what if he had lost? At least in that event he would have learned something that may have later helped him along the Chess road.

In case you are wondering, the Stockfish program at shows white with an advantage of an ASTOUNDING +3.4!!! !!!!

Henry Adams (1963) vs Michael Adams (2757)

The Cambridge International Open (University Arms Hotel, Cambridge), first round
ECO: C55 Two knights defence (Modern bishop’s opening)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.O-O O-O 6.Re1 d6 7.a4 Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.c3 a5 10.Nbd2 Nd7 11.Nf1 d5 12.exd5 exd5 13.Ng3 b6 14.Be3 Kh8 15.Qc2 Bd6 16.Rad1 Qf6 17.Qb3 Qf7 18.Ng5 Qg8 19.Qb5 Ncb8 20.d4 e4 21.Qe2 h6 22.Qh5 Bf4 23.Bxf4 Rxf4 1/2-1/2

Mathias Womacka (2439) vs Gregory S Kaidanov (2546)
Event: Gibraltar Masters 2020
Site: Caleta ENG Date: 01/30/2020
Round: 10.38 Score: ½-½
ECO: C55 Two knights defence (Modern bishop’s opening)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.O-O O-O 6.Re1 d6 7.a4 Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.c3 a5 10.Nbd2 d5 11.exd5 Qxd5 12.Qe2 Rad8 13.Nc4 Qxd3 14.Qxd3 Rxd3 15.Nfxe5 Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Rd5 17.Nf3 Bd6 18.h3 Nd7 19.Be3 Bc5 20.Nd4 Bxd4 21.Bxd4 c5 22.Be3 c4 23.Rad1 Kf7 24.Rd4 Rc8 25.Red1 Nf6 26.g4 Rcd8 27.Re1 Rxd4 28.Bxd4 Nd5 29.Re5 g6 30.Kh2 Ke7 31.Kg3 ½-½

Stockfish gives 10 Na3, as in the following game, as the best move:

Conor E Murphy (2382) vs Ananthanarayanan Balaji, (2273)
Event: Muswell Hill IM 2021
Site: London ENG Date: 08/12/2021
Round: 6.1 Score: ½-½
ECO: C55 Two knights defence (Modern bishop’s opening)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.O-O O-O 6.Re1 d6 7.a4 Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.c3 a5 10.Na3 Qd7 11.Nb5 Rae8 12.d4 exd4 13.Nbxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Bd8 15.Nb3 c6 16.f3 e5 17.Be3 Kh8 18.Qc2 Nh5 19.Rad1 Qe6 20.Nc1 Qg6 21.Rf1 Rf7 22.Qd2 Re6 23.Nd3 h6 24.c4 Bg5 25.Bxg5 hxg5 26.Nf2 Nf6 27.Qxa5 g4 28.Rd3 g3 29.hxg3 Qxg3 30.f4 Qxf4 31.Rf3 Qg5 32.Qd8+ Re8 33.Qxd6 Rd7 34.Qb4 Red8 35.c5 Rf7 36.Qb3 Rfd7 37.Rf5 Qh4 38.g3 Qh7 39.Kg2 Qg8 40.Rh1+ Nh7 41.Qxg8+ Kxg8 42.Rxe5 Nf6 43.Kf3 Rd2 44.Rf5 Rf8 45.e5 Rxf2+ 46.Kxf2 Ng4+ 47.Kf3 Rxf5+ 48.Kxg4 Rxe5 49.Rc1 Re4+ 50.Kf5 Rxa4 51.Ke6 Rd4 52.Rc3 Kh7 53.Rb3 Rd5 54.Rxb7 Rxc5 55.Rb3 Rc2 56.Kf5 Rc5+ 57.Ke4 Kg6 58.Rf3 Kg5 ½-½

Letter Arrives More Than 100 Years After Being Posted

Letter Arrives More Than 100 years After Being Posted

By Christian Edwards, CNN
February 16, 2023

Post doesn’t always show up on time. But it rarely shows up this late.

London CNN —

A letter has finally been delivered to its destination – more than a century after it was written.

Sent in February 1916, the correspondence arrived at its intended address in Hamlet Road, south London, much to the bewilderment of the current occupants.

“We noticed that the year on it was ’16. So we thought it was 2016,” Finlay Glen told CNN Thursday. “Then we noticed that the stamp was a King rather than a Queen, so we felt that it couldn’t have been 2016.”

Glen told CNN that the letter arrived at the property a couple of years ago, but he has only recently taken it to the local historical society, so they can research it further.

The envelope has a 1 pence stamp bearing the head of King George V. The letter was sent in the middle of World War I – more than a decade before Queen Elizabeth II was born.

“Once we realized it was very old, we felt that it was okay to open up the letter,” said Glen, 27.

Under the Postal Services Act 2000, it is a crime to open mail not addressed to you. But Glen said he can “only apologize” if he’s committed a crime.

The Return of GM Jonathan Rowson

An article, Rowson Returns!, appeared at the website of the United States Chess Federation dated February 7, 2023 (, which was written by John Hartmann. The article includes a nice picture of the older, pensive, Rowson, obviously lost in thought.

Jonathan Rowson (courtesy Brendan O’Gorman)

Event: Mindsports Masters GM
Site: London ENG Date: 09/13/2022
ECO: E20 Nimzo-Indian defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd2 c5 5.d5 O-O 6.f3 d6 7.e4 exd5 8.cxd5 Nh5 9.g4 (Jahn Hartmann attaches a !?, to the move, which means “A move deserving attention.” I’ll say!

Position after 9 g4

It is difficult to believe any GM, or any titled player for that matter, would play such a weak, losing move. The Rowson page at shows he only played nine games between 2014 and 2017. There is a gap from then until 2022. Any player returning after such a long layoff could be considered “out of form.” Let us think of him as “Rusty” Rowson. Still, no matter how out of form was Rusty Rowson, the fact is that no Grandmaster, whether in, or out of, form, would play such a move, violating as it does many Chess ‘rules’. If teaching the Royal Game to a student any Chess teacher would CRINGE upon seeing such a move. With that in mind, why did the Rusty one play a losing move? Your guess is as good as mine… Maybe someone will bring this post to the attention of Rusty and he will leave a comment explaining why he played a losing move so early in the game.

In his annotations to the game John Hartmann writes, “A remarkable concept. White gives up the exchange for hamstringing the black queen.” Say WHAT? After this move white is BUSTED, Buster! Mr. Hartmann needs to replace that exclamation mark with a second question mark.

9…Qh4+ (Duh) 10.Ke2 Ng3+ 11.hxg3 Qxh1 12.Kf2

Position after 12. Kf2

(The annotator gives the move a “!?” and writes, “A remarkable concept. White gives up the exchange for hamstringing the black queen.” Say WHAT? After this move white is BUSTED, Buster! Mr. Hartmann needs to replace that exclamation mark with a second question mark.) 9…Qh4+ (Duh) 10.Ke2 Ng3+ 11.hxg3 Qxh1 12.Kf2 (I had quickly gotten to this position in my mind because there is a pause for, “This position is well worth analyzing without an engine because there are options at every turn.” Say WHAT? That sentence is the definition of superfluous as it could be said about most Chess moves. Regardless, the fact is that while reading and replaying the game on the USCF website I noticed colorful variations, not in the sense of a “colorful” Chess variation, but variations in different colors. Being a straight, no chaser, kinda guy

I decided to input the moves up to this point into 365Chess and play it out on a board sans annotations. After imputing 9 g4 I saw there were two games in the database so I clicked on and… It was necessary to click onto all the moves until 12.Kf2, which was when this game, in addition to “Aronian v Efimenko,” was found, blowing what’s left of my mind… Not one, but TWO, different GMs had played a losing move on the ninth move of the game! Inquiring minds MUST KNOW, so off I went to see the Fish, Stock, that is. After thrusting the g pawn Stockfish gives -2.0. Like I said earlier, BUSTED! No doubt a doubly remarkable concept.)

Rowson, Jonathan (2561)
Willow, Jonah B (2385)
Event: Mindsports Masters GM
Site: London ENG Date: 09/13/2022
Round: 8.5 Score: ½-½
ECO: E20 Nimzo-Indian defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd2 c5 5.d5 O-O 6.f3 d6 7.e4 exd5 8.cxd5 Nh5 9.g4 Qh4+ 10.Ke2 Ng3+ 11.hxg3 Qxh1 12.Kf2 c4 13.Be3 h5 14.Bg2 Qh2 15.Nb5 Nd7 16.Ne2 hxg4 17.f4 Nc5 18.Kf1 Nd3 19.Qc2 Bc5 20.Bxc5 Nxc5 21.Nxd6 b6 22.b4 cxb3 23.axb3 Ba6 24.Rxa6 Nxa6 25.e5 Rad8 26.Nf5 Rfe8 27.d6 Qh5 28.Ned4 Nc5 29.b4 Ne6 30.Nc6 g6 31.Nfe7+ Kg7 32.Nd5 Qh2 33.Qf2 Rh8 34.b5 Rh3 35.f5 gxf5 36.Nxd8 Nxd8 37.Qxf5 Rh6 38.Nf4 Qxg3 39.Qg5+ Rg6 40.Nxg6 Qd3+ 41.Kg1 Qd4+ 42.Kh1 fxg6 43.Qf6+ Kh7 44.Qe7+ Kh6 45.Qh4+ Kg7 46.Qf6+ Kh7 47.Kh2 Qe3 48.Qe7+ Kh6 49.Qh4+ Kg7 50.Qf6+ Kh7 51.Qe7+ ½-½

Aronian, Levon (2693)
Efimenko, Zahar (2620)
Event: EU-ch 6th
Site: Warsaw Date: 06/28/2005
Round: 10 Score: 1-0
ECO: E20 Nimzo-Indian, Kmoch variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 c5 5.d5 O-O 6.e4 d6 7.Bd2 exd5 8.cxd5 Nh5 9.g4 Qh4+ 10.Ke2 Ng3+ 11.hxg3 Qxh1 12.Kf2 Nd7 13.Bg2 Qh2 14.a3 Bxc3 15.Bxc3 Qh6 16.f4 Qg6 17.Bf3 Re8 18.Kg2 f6 19.Qc2 b5 20.Nh3 Nb6 21.f5 Qf7 22.b3 Nd7 23.Nf4 Ne5 24.Rh1 h6 25.Ne6 Bxe6 26.dxe6 Qc7 27.Rd1 Nxf3 28.Kxf3 a5 29.Bd2 Ra6 30.Rh1 d5 31.exd5 Qb7 32.Qe4 Rd8 33.Re1 Qxd5 34.Qxd5 Rxd5 35.e7 Ra8 36.e8=R+ Rxe8 37.Rxe8+ Kf7 38.Re2 Rd3+ 39.Be3 Rxb3 40.Rc2 Rxa3 41.Rxc5 Rb3 42.Rc8 a4 43.Ke4 a3 44.Ra8 Rb4+ 45.Bd4 Ra4 46.Rxa4 bxa4 47.Kd3 a2 48.Kc2 Ke7 49.Bc5+ 1-0

Grandmaster Rowson is a very interesting fellow whom I had the pleasure to meet and talk at a World Open. One of the book reviews found at this blog concerns one of his books, and the multi-part review elicited this from a reader concerning the review. “This is, with a doubt, the longest, and best, book review I have ever read!” That may, or may not, be hyperbole, but I will take it because more condemnation has been received concerning what has been written on the blog than praise…Check out part one here:

The Moves That Matter: A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life: Part One