Shanglei Lu Seeks Bishop’s Opening Truth

In the recently completed Chinese Chess Championship Shanglei Lu played the Bishop’s opening four times out of the five games in which he had the white pieces. In round six, facing Yi Wei, after 1 e4 e5, Lu played 2 Nf3. I wondered why…or if there had been a history of the Bishop’s opening being played previously between the two players, but could find no earlier encounters with the opening at the page devoted to the games between the two players at 365Chess (https://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?wlname=lu&wname=&open=&blname=wei&bname=&eco=&nocolor=on&yeari=&yeare=&sply=1&ply=&res=&submit_search=1). What I found was that there have been twenty games contested between the two players since 2013, only thirteen being classical. Six games either rapid or blitz games, with no score given for the 2014 Kings Tournament Blitz. This means an astounding 35% of the games for perusal are quick games!

It brought a tear to my eye to see that at the ChessBomb, after 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 is a colorful move…”The truth, as it was known in those far off days,” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/jennifer-yu-learns-the-truth/) according to Tartakower, in the preface to a Bishop’s opening game between Bowdler and Conway, on page 244, played in London way back in 1788 in the book, 500 Master Games of Chess,

https://sep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-137970348157658_2616_419962469

by Dr. S. Tartakower and J. Dumont. 2 Bc4 is not the brightest red move, nor is it the second brightest shade, but it appears to be what I would call the third grade shade. How bad is the move numerically speaking? After 2 Nf3 white, according to the Stockfish program at ChessBomb, enjoys an advantage of +0.73. After playing “the truth,” 2 Bc4, black enjoys a minuscule advantage of -0.15 if he plays 2…Nf6. Learning this brought a tear to my other eye.

Oh well, I still have memories of playing “the truth” with regularity at the Stein Club

https://i0.wp.com/www.thestripproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/img175-900x1024.jpg

Whatever happened to Atlanta’s Hippies?

Super soft t-shirt inspired by The Stein Club in Atlanta.

Opened in 1961, the Stein Club was a beloved neighborhood bar located at 929 Peachtree Street. For a time, regulars could even bring in their own steins (mugs) to store in the cooler, ready for their next visit in for a cold beer.

After 39 years of fun, the Stein Club closed its doors in June 2000. Two 21-story residential and retail towers called Metropolis now sit over top of where the Stein Club once was.

Made and printed in the USA. We’re very proud to help you share Atlanta memories.

Stein Club — Smoky, grubby and utterly without pretension, the tiny Peachtree Street bar provided a cozy refuge from trendiness and posers for nearly 40 years before the walls came down to developers in 2000.↵↵ ↵Twelfth Gate Coffee House — It represented relaxed bohemia in Midtown; Wet Willie played free on Wednesdays. (https://creativeloafing.com/content-184564-cover-story-30-years-of-the-good-the-bad-a)

located on Peachtree street near tenth, ‘back in the day’.

"The Strip," looking north on Peachtree Street from 10th Street in 1977.

This was around 1970 and the area was known as “The Strip,” which was the “counter-culture” area of the city, where we hippies hung out because of all the “counter-culture” shops, known as “head shops,” short for “pot head.” It was a very colorful area, full of beautiful hippie chicks,

Lisa_wedding-11-7-71.sm

and there I was, enthralled with the Royal game, inside the Stein Club, looking for an opponent.

There was a rotund gentleman, Bill Bush, who wore suspenders and had played in USCF tournaments, who would come in after work, order a pitcher of beer, and take on all comers. I was one of the “comers.” He beat me like a drum until one day I played “the truth.” Bill sat back, paused to take a large gulp of beer, and then looked me straight in the eye before saying, “There’s no disguising intentions when you play that move.” The game took a long time for a Stein Club game and as other players entered they began talking about the game. “What opening was it?” one of the later arriving players would ask. “The newcomer played 1 Pawn to king four, and Bill responded with his usual Pawn to King five. Then the new guy played 2 Bishop to Queen Bishop four.”
“The new guy played the Bishop’s opening?! Well I’ll be damned…”
The “new guy” defeated Bill Bush for the first time ever and now had a name. Bill had drained his pitcher during the game so he got up and left…We played a few more times but he never scored again.

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 (I find it interesting that Komodo at the ChessBaseDataBase prefers 4 Bb3. Stockfish plays the game move) 4…d5 5. Bb3 a5 (In the fourth round Jinshi Bai played 4…Bb4+, which is the choice of Komodo, but in the other three games played with this opening 5…a5 was played)
  2. a4 Bb4+ 7. c3 Bd6 8. exd5 cxd5 (This is the choice of SF, but 8…Nxd5 was played by Yan Liu in the second round) 9. Bg5 (This is the choice of all the engines) 9…Be6 10. Na3 Nbd7 (This move was played by Wenjun Ju in the 8th round, with the game ending in a draw, and by Di Li in the 10th round, with the game being won by Di Li. But here’s the deal…although 10 Nbd7 has been the most often played move, SF would play 10…Nc6; while Komodo would play 10…h6, which was seen in the following game:

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vsYu, Yangyi (2709)
Event: ch-CHN 2020
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 12/29/2020
Round: 10.5 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Na3 h6 11.Bh4 Nc6 12.Nb5 Bb8 13.O-O O-O 14.Re1 Ra6 15.h3 Re8 16.Rc1 Qd7 17.Bg3 Bf5 18.d4 e4 19.Bxb8 Rxb8 20.Ne5 Qe7 21.f4 Be6 22.c4 dxc4 23.Bxc4 Bxc4 24.Rxc4 Rd8 25.Qc1 Rb6 26.Nc3 Nxd4 27.Nxe4 Ne6 28.f5 Nd4 29.Qf4 Rb4 30.Rxb4 axb4 31.Ng4 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4277249&m=21)

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Liu, Yan (2524)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/08/2021
Round: 2.1 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.O-O O-O 10.Nbd2 Bg4 11.Nc4 Qc7 12.d4 e4 13.h3 Bh5 14.g4 Bg6 15.Nfe5 Bxe5 16.Nxe5 Nd7 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Qe2 f5 19.f4 Kf7 20.c4 Nb4 21.c5+ Nd5 22.Ra3 Nf6 23.Bc4 Qd7 24.Rg3 Rh8 25.Qg2 Rh7 26.gxf5 gxf5 27.Kf2 Kf8 28.Ke2 Nb4 29.Rd1 Rd8 30.Rg6 Nbd5 31.Rg1 e3 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4286102

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Bai, Jinshi (2618)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/09/2021
Round: 4.1 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Nbxd2 a5 8.c3 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 a4 11.Bc2 O-O 12.O-O Nbd7 13.Rfe1 Re8 14.a3 h6 15.exd5 cxd5 16.d4 Qb6 17.Rab1 exd4 18.Rxe8+ Rxe8 19.Bxa4 Re7 20.Bxd7 Rxd7 21.cxd4 Qxd4 22.Nb3 Qb6 23.Qd3 Ne4 24.Nd4 Rc7 25.Qe3 Rc3 26.Qe1 Rd3 27.Nf5 Rd2 28.Ne7+ Kf8 29.Nxd5 Qd4 30.Ne3 Nxf2 31.Rc1 g6 32.Rc4 Qd3 33.Rc3 Qd4 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4286114

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Ju, Wenjun (2560)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/12/2021
Round: 8.1 Score: ½-½
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Na3 Nbd7 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.O-O O-O 13.Re1 Re8 14.Nd2 h6 15.Bh4 Nc5 16.Bc2 Bd7 17.d4 exd4 18.Rxe8+ Qxe8 19.Nxd4 Nfe4 20.Nf1 Qe5 21.f3 Nf6 22.Qd2 Ba7 23.Bf2 Ne6 24.Re1 Qc7 25.Ng3 Nxd4 26.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 27.Qxd4 Ra6 28.Bd3 Re6 29.Kf2 b6 30.b3 Qd6 31.Re3 Kf8 32.h4 Qc5 33.Ne2 Ke7 34.g4 g6 35.Qf4 Rxe3 36.Qxe3+ Qxe3+ 37.Kxe3 Kd6 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4286613

Lu, Shanglei (2615) vs Li, Di (2561)
Event: ch-CHN 2021
Site: Xinghua CHN Date: 05/14/2021
Round: 10.1 Score: 0-1
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Na3 Nbd7 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.O-O O-O 13.Re1 Ra6 14.d4 e4 15.Nd2 h6 16.Bh4 Bf4 17.c4 g5 18.Bg3 Bxd2 19.Qxd2 dxc4 20.Bc2 Nc5 21.f3 Bf5 22.h4 e3 23.Rxe3 Bxc2 24.Qxc2 Nd5 25.Re2 Nd3 26.Qxc4 gxh4 27.Bh2 N5f4 28.Rd2 Rc6 29.Qb3 Qg5 30.Kh1 Re8 31.d5 Nc1 32.Qd1 Nfe2 33.Rd4 f5 34.f4 Ng3+ 35.Bxg3 Qxg3 36.dxc6 Re1+ 37.Qxe1 Qxe1+ 38.Kh2 Qg3+ 39.Kh1 h3 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4286625

This entry in the MyAJC.com Flashback Fotos series takes a look at Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood during a generation of change and growth from 1970-1990 as seen through the lenses of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's photographers and others archived in the Georgia State University Digital Collections Department. In this September 1968 photo, a group of hippies hang out in front of a Midtown Atlanta building. Other MyAJC.com Flashback galleries: Auburn Ave. | Ponce de Leon Ave. | Cabbagetown
Atlantans Leigh Bunkins and Tom Duggins campaign for the environment in Hurt Park on April 23, 1970.

 Peace and love came to the Strip in the 1960’s. Then it vanished.

 By Rick Briant Dandes

Peace and love came to the Strip in the 1960’s. Then it vanished.

Then it was gone with the wind…

Jeffery Xiong Teaches The Truth

GM Jeffery Xiong


Jeffery Xiong is a fighter at heart | Photo: FIDE

had his back to the wall and was in a must win situation facing GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda

in the FIDE World Cup. Fortunately, the American had the white pieces for the coming battle. In that situation, after the opening moves of 1 e4 e5, what would you play? Jeffery Xiong decided to play “The truth-as it was known in those far-off days.” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/?s=the+truth+as+it+was+known+in+those+far+off+days)

Jeffery Xiong (2707) vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2730)

2019 FIDE World Cup

C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defense

1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 Nf6 3 d3 c6 4 Nf3 d5 5 Bb3 Bb4+ (SF plays 5…a5 first, with 6 a4 then Bb4+) 6 Bd2 (Komodo prefers 6 c3, but the Fish goes with the move played in the game) 6…Bxd2+ 7 Qxd2 (SF 010719 @ Depth 38 plays the game move, but SF 010119 @D 44 prefers 7 Nbxd2) 7…Qd6 (Fritz 15 @D 15 plays this move, but Komodo @D 41 castles) 8 Qg5 Nbd7 9 exd5 cxd5 10 d4 e4 (Both Stockfish and Komodo would play 10…exd4, a move that does not appear at the CBDB or 365Chess!)

11 Ne5 O-O 12 Nc3 Nb6 13 f3 Be6 14 O-O-O Rac8 15 Qd2 a6 16 Rhe1 exf3 17 gxf3 Nfd7 18 h4

18… f6? (Former US Chess champ Sam Shankland writes in his book


(https://samshankland.com/store/)

that one should be extremely careful about moving a pawn forward because it cannot retreat. Maybe Duda should have read the book?

19 Nd3 Bf7 20 Qf4 Rc6 21 Qxd6 Rxd6 22 Nc5 Rb8 23 Re7 Kf8 24 Rde1 Nxc5 25 dxc5 Rd7 26 Rxf7+ Kxf7 27 cxb6 Rbd8 28 Nxd5 Kg6 29 c4 Kh5 30 Re4 Rc8 31 Kd2 g5 32 Ke3 Rf7 33 hxg5 fxg5 34 Ba4 Kh6 35 Be8 Rf8 36 Bd7 Rb8 37 b4 Kg6 38 Nc7 Rfd8 39 Re7 Rh8 40 Be8+ Kf6 41 Nd5+ 1-0

Duda had recent experience facing “The Truth”:

Peter Svidler (2737) vs Jan Krzysztof Duda (2729)

Riga FIDE Grand Prix 2019

C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defense

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 Qd6 8.Qg5 Nbd7 9.exd5 cxd5 10.d4 e4 11.Nh4 Nb6 12.Qxg7 Qf4 13.Qxh8+ Ke7 14.Nc3 Qxh4 15.Qg7 Bg4 16.Bxd5 Nbxd5 17.Nxd5+ Nxd5 18.Qe5+ Be6 19.c4 f6 20.Qg3 Nf4 21.d5 Nd3+ 22.Kd2 Qxg3 23.hxg3 Bf5 24.f3 exf3 25.gxf3 Nxb2 26.Rae1+ Kd7 27.g4 Bg6 28.Kc3 Nd3 29.Re6 Rf8 30.g5 fxg5 31.Rxg6 hxg6 32.Rh7+ Kd6 33.Kxd3 Rxf3+ 34.Ke2 Rc3 35.Rxb7 Rxc4 36.Rxa7 Kxd5 37.Ra5+ Rc5 38.Rxc5+ Kxc5 39.Kf3 Kb4 40.Kg4 Ka3 41.Kxg5 Kxa2 42.Kxg6 ½-½

Dejan Pikula (2461) vs Ivan Leventic (2454)

E TCh-CRO Div 1a 2014

ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defense

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 Qd6 8.Qg5 Nbd7 9.Qxg7 Rg8 10.Qh6 Rxg2 11.Nh4 Rxf2 12.Nf5 Qc5 13.Nc3 Ng4 14.Ng7+ Ke7 15.Qh4+ Ndf6 16.O-O-O Qe3+ 17.Kb1 Qh6 18.Qxh6 Nxh6 19.exd5 Bg4 20.Rde1 Rg8 21.Rxe5+ Kf8 22.dxc6 bxc6 23.h3 Bf3 24.Ne6+ fxe6 25.Rhe1 Rg7 26.Rxe6 Nhg8 27.R6e5 Re7 28.a4 Bg2 29.R1e3 Nd7 30.Rxe7 Nxe7 31.Rg3 Nf6 32.Ka2 Nf5 33.Rg5 Bxh3 34.Ne4 Nxe4 35.dxe4 Ne7 36.Rh5 Bg4 37.Rxh7 Ke8 38.Rh8+ Kd7 39.Rb8 Kc7 40.Re8 Nc8 41.Rg8 Rf4 42.e5 Re4 43.Rg7+ Kd8 44.Rg8+ Kd7 45.Ka3 Bf5 46.c3 Rxe5 47.Bc4 Nb6 48.Bb3 Kd6 49.Rd8+ Kc7 50.Rg8 Be6 51.Rg7+ Nd7 52.Bc2 Kd6 53.Bh7 Re1 54.Kb4 Ra1 55.Rg6 Nf8 56.Rh6 Ra2 57.b3 Nxh7 58.Rxh7 a5+ 59.Kxa5 Bxb3 60.Rh4 Kc5 61.Rg4 Bc4 62.Rg5+ Bd5 63.Rg4 Rg2 64.Rxg2 Bxg2 65.Ka6 Kc4 66.Kb6 c5 67.a5 Bh1 0-1

Igor Malakhov (2425) vs Alexander Beliavsky (2657)

11th EICC Men
Round 2
03/07/2010
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defense

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 Qd6 8.Qg5 Nbd7 9.exd5 cxd5 10.Qxg7 Rg8 11.Qh6 Rxg2 12.Nc3 d4 13.Nh4 Rg4 14.Nf5 Qc6 15.Ne4 Rxe4+ 16.dxe4 Qxe4+ 17.Kd2 Qxf5 18.Rae1 Ng4 19.Qg7 Qf4+ 20.Ke2 b6 21.Bxf7+ Kd8 22.Bc4 Bb7 23.Bb5 Bf3+ 24.Kd3 Nc5+ 0-1

Nikita Vitiugov (2721) vs Alexander Zubov (2612)

17th ch-EUR Indiv 2016

05/19/2016
Round: 7.4

C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defense

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 Qd6 8.Qg5 Nbd7 9.exd5 cxd5 10.d4 e4 11.Ne5 O-O 12.Nc3 Nb6 13.f3 Be6 14.Qe3 exf3 15.gxf3 Nh5 16.Qg5 f6 17.Qxh5 fxe5 18.Qxe5 Qxe5+ 19.dxe5 Rxf3 20.O-O-O Rd8 21.Nb5 Re3 22.Rde1 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 a5 24.c3 Kf8 25.Nd6 Rb8 26.Kd2 Ke7 27.Ke3 Rf8 28.Bc2 Nc4+ 29.Nxc4 dxc4 30.Be4 Bf5 31.Bd5 Be6 32.Be4 Bf5 33.Bd5 Be6 34.Be4 ½-½

Jennifer Yu Learns “The Truth”

It is written in the book, 500 Master Games of Chess by Savielly Tartakower and Julius Du Mont,

in a Bishop’s opening game on page 244, between Bowdler and Conway, played in London way back in 1788, after 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4, “The truth-as it was known in those far-off days.”

Joshua Sheng (2449)

vs Jennifer Yu (2341)

U.S. Junior Championship 2019 round 09

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 a5 6. a4 Bd6 (6…Bb4+ is best) 7. exd5 Nxd5 (SF & Komodo play 7…cxd5) 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 (Olav Sepp played 9.Nc3 vs Robert Sevtsenko below) Nd7 10. Bg5 Qc7 11. Na3 (11 d4) 11…Bxa3 (When looking at this position several moves looked plausible: either knight to b6; h6 and Re8. I would have been surprised, and pleased to see this move because white now has the advantage of the two bishops) 12. Rxa3 f6? (12…Nc5) 13. Bh4 Nb6 (13…Nc5) 14. d4 Bg4 15. dxe5 fxe5 16. Ba2 Kh8 17. h3 Bxf3 18. Rxf3

Nxa4? (18…Nf4 should be played. After this move the game is, for all intents and purposes, over…) 19. Rxf8+ Rxf8 20. c4 Nxb2 21. Qc2 Nxc4 22. Bxc4 Nf4 23. Bg3 Qd6 24. Ba2 b5 25. Bb1 g6 26. Qc3 b4 27. Qa1 Qd5 28. Be4 Qb5 29. Bxc6 Qxc6 30. Qxe5+ Qf6 31. Bxf4 Qxe5 32. Bxe5+ Kg8 33. Rc1 b3 34. Rc7 Re8 35. f4 a4 36. Rg7+ Kf8 37. Rb7 Rc8 38. Rxh7 Rc1+ 39. Kh2 a3 40. Bd6+ Kg8 41. Bxa3 Ra1 42. Rg7+ 1-0

Olav Sepp (2440) vs Robert Sevtsenko

Estonia Team Championship 1996

C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a4 Bd6 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.O-O O-O 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Bg4 11.h3 Bh5 12.Re1 Nd7 13.g4 Bg6 14.Bg5 Qc7 15.Nh4 Nc5 16.Bc4 Nxa4 17.Bd2 Nb2 18.Qe2 Nxc4 19.Nxg6 hxg6 20.dxc4 Rfe8 21.Be3 Qe7 22.Reb1 e4 23.c5 Bxc5 24.Bxc5 Qxc5 25.Rxb7 Qxc3 26.Ra4 e3 27.Rf4 exf2+ 28.Qxf2 Re1+ 29.Kg2 Rae8 30.Rf3 Qa1 31.Ra3 Rg1+ 32.Kh2 Rf1 33.Rxa1 Rxf2+ 34.Kg3 Rxc2 35.Rxa5 Re3+ 36.Kf4 Rxh3 0-1

In the first round of one of the only two games played with a time limit called “Classical Chess” these daze, GM Rustam Kasimdzanov opened by playing The Truth against GM Evgeny Bareev. It was my intention to incorporate the game into this post, but after seeing the game excellently annotated by GM Kevin Spraggett on his blog the decision was made to send you to his fantastic blog, which can be found by clicking the link: http://www.spraggettonchess.com/world-cup-gets-started/

The “Truth” At The Ironman Chess Club

Earlier this week at the Ironman Chess Club the Legendary Ironman, NM Tim Brookshear,

who has been hosting the ICC for over nineteen years, asked me to play one of his students, Sofia, a young, intelligent (MENSA member), Class D player. All I knew about her was she liked playing gambit-type openings. Unlike some Chess organizations which tell students what openings to play, coach Tim allows his students to chose their own openings before offering input. I figured, since Sofia liked gambits, she would be an aggressive player. After playing 1 e4 Sofia replied instantly with 1…e5. If you are a regular reader of this blog you probably know what came next, which was, “The truth as it was known in those long ago days,” 2 Bc4. When the young lady played 2…c6

I was somewhat flummoxed because c6 is not usually played until after 2…Nf6 3 d3. Because of her unusual move order I had to stop and cogitate for a few moments…I decided to play 3 Nf3 to put immediate pressure on my opponent, knowing I would have played Nc3 if she had prefaced c6 with Nf6, later learning it was not the best move. Although she resigned some time later, the game was not easy because she continually set traps that had to be avoided, causing me to use time like a turkey gobbling food. For example after playing Bd6 she backed it up with Qc7, which meant that after I played Bg5 she kicked my bishop with h6, so I dropped back with Bh4, before being forced to drop back again with Bg3 to counter her queen and bishop battery. Then Sofia took my bishop, softening my kingside as I had to reply hxg3. There is another young female, Jade, I have previously played who shows promise. I sat there wondering if we will one day in the future be watching them playing in the US Women’s Championship at the St. Louis Chess Club.
What with the intermittent internet connections from the from AT&T it was only some time later I was able to get to 365Chess.com and the ChessBaseDataBase to learn everything to be learned about the move 2…c6.

This was the first game found with my dubious 3 Nf3:

Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2425) vs Yuuki Tanaka

Asia-ch Boys
Macau
1996

ECO: C23 Bishop’s opening, Philidor counter-attack

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 c6 (A seldom played move according to the CBDB, which shows 39 games, but but it does show 2…c6 scoring better than any other move, albeit with a severely limited sample size. Stockfish and Houdini both play the most often played, by far, the move, 2…Nf6) 3.Nf3 d5 4.Bb3 Bd6 5.d4 Bg4 6.dxe5 Bxe5 7.exd5 Nf6 8.O-O O-O 9.dxc6 Qc7 10.cxb7 Qxb7 11.h3 Bh5 12.g4 Nxg4 13.hxg4 Bxg4 14.Bd5 Nc6 15.Bxc6 1-0

The Nepo man is the highest rated player to have played 2…c6:

Sergei Rublevsky (2688) vs Ian Nepomniachtchi (2707)

Siberian Bank Cup, Novosibirsk RUS 11/18/2012
C23 Bishop’s opening, Philidor counter-attack

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 c6 3.d4 (This was SF 9s move but has been superceded by SF 10s 3. Nc3 expecting 3…Bc5 4. Qg4) d5 4.exd5 cxd5 5.Bb5+ Nc6 6.dxe5 Bc5 7.Nf3 Qb6 8.Nc3 Bxf2+ 9.Kf1 d4 10.Ne4 Qxb5+ 11.Kxf2 Qb6 12.Nd6+ Kf8 13.Rf1 Be6 14.Bf4 h6 15.Kg1 Nge7 16.Bg3 Nd5 17.Bf2 Ne3 18.Nxd4 Qxd4 19.Qxd4 Nxd4 20.Bxe3 Nxc2 21.Bc5 Nxa1 22.Nxf7+ Kg8 23.Nxh8 Kxh8 24.Rxa1 b6 25.Bb4 Rd8 26.h3 Kg8 27.a3 Rd5 28.Bc3 Kf7 29.Rf1+ Ke7 30.Bb4+ Kd7 31.Bf8 g6 32.Bxh6 Rxe5 33.Rf2 Bc4 34.Rd2+ Ke6 35.Kf2 Rd5 36.Rc2 b5 37.Bg7 a5 38.Bc3 a4 39.Kg3 Bd3 40.Rf2 Rg5+ 41.Kh4 Rh5+ 42.Kg4 Rf5 43.Rd2 Rd5 44.Kg3 Bc4 45.Rf2 Rf5 46.Rc2 Bd3 47.Rd2 Rd5 48.Kf2 Bc4 49.Bd4 Rf5+ 50.Ke3 Rf1 51.Bc3 Re1+ 52.Kf4 Re2 53.Rxe2+ Bxe2 54.g4 Kf7 55.Ke4 ½-½

Nikola Mitkov (2455) vs Walter Arencibia (2550)

ESP-chT 1997
C23 Bishop’s opening, Philidor counter-attack

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 c6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 d6 5.d4 Qa5 6.Qd3 Nf6 7.Bd2 O-O 8.a3 d5 9.Ba2 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 Qb6 11.Nxe5 Nxe4 12.O-O Na6 13.Rfe1 Bf5 14.Qf3 Be6 15.b4 Nc7 16.Bb2 a5 17.c3 axb4 18.cxb4 Nb5 19.Qe3 Rfe8 20.Bb1 f6 21.Nd3 Ned6 22.Nc5 Bf5 23.Qc1 Rxe1+ 24.Qxe1 Re8 25.Qd1 Bxb1 26.Rxb1 Nc4 27.h3 Nbxa3 28.Bxa3 Nxa3 29.Rb3 Nb5 30.Rg3 Qc7 31.Qg4 Qf7 32.Kh2 h5 33.Qf4 b6 34.Na4 Re4 35.Qb8+ Kh7 36.Nc3 Rxd4 37.Nxb5 cxb5 38.Qd6 Re4 39.Rd3 Re2 40.Qxd5 Qc7+ 41.Rg3 Re5 42.Qd3+ f5 43.Qd1 g6 44.Kg1 Qe7 45.Qd4 Re1+ 46.Kh2 h4 47.Re3 Qc7+ 48.f4 Rxe3 49.Qxe3 Qd6 50.Kh1 Qxb4 51.Qxb6 Qb1+ 52.Kh2 Qd3 53.Qf6 Qg3+ 54.Kh1 Qe1+ 55.Kh2 Qe8 56.Qxh4+ Kg8 57.Qf6 Kh7 ½-½

(SF 10 plays 3…Bc5 expecting 4. Qg4 g6 to follow. There is no game with 3…Bc5 found at the CBDB, but there is one game with 3…Bc5 found at 365Chess.com:

Sarah Hegarty vs Meri Grigorian (2036)

Ron Banwell mem 08/26/2002
C23 Bishop’s opening, Philidor counter-attack

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 c6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nf3 b5 5.Bb3 Qb6 6.O-O d6 7.a4 b4 8.Ne2 Nf6 9.d3 a5 10.h3 h6 11.c3 Ba6 12.Ng3 bxc3 13.bxc3 O-O 14.Rb1 Qa7 15.Qe2 d5 16.c4 Nbd7 17.Bb2 Rab8 18.Bc2 dxc4 19.dxc4 Rb4 20.Nd2 Rfb8 21.Bc3 Rxb1 22.Rxb1 Bb4 23.Qf3 Qc5 24.Qd3 Nb6 25.Bb3 Rb7 26.Bxb4 axb4 27.Nf5 Rd7 28.Qe2 Kh7 29.Nf3 g6 30.Qe3 Qxe3 31.Nxe3 Nxe4 32.Nxe5 Rd2 33.Bc2 Nxf2 34.Rxb4 Nc8 35.Kf1 Nd6 36.Nf3 Rxc2 37.Nxc2 Nd3 38.Rb6 Bxc4 39.Nd2 Bd5 40.Ne3 Ne4 41.Nxe4 Bxe4 42.a5 Nc5 43.Ng4 Kg7 44.Ne5 Kf6 45.Ng4+ Ke6 46.Nxh6 f5 47.Ke2 Kf6 48.a6 Nd3 49.Ke3 Ne5 50.Ng4+ 1-0

Truth Hits Everybody
The Police
Album: Outlandos d’Amour

[Verse 1]
Sleep lay behind me like a broken ocean
Strange waking dreams before my eyes unfold
You lay there sleeping like an open doorway
I stepped outside myself and felt so cold
Take a look at my new toy
It’ll blow your head in two, oh boy

[Chorus]
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Oh, oh, oh
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone

[Verse 2]
I thought about it and my dream was broken
I clutch at images like dying breath
And I don’t want to make a fuss about it
The only certain thing in life is death
Take a look at my new toy
It’ll blow your head in two, oh boy

[Chorus]
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Oh, oh, oh
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone

[Bridge]
Where you want to be
Won’t you ever see

[Chorus]
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Oh, oh, oh
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
Truth hits everybody
Truth hits everyone
https://genius.com/The-police-truth-hits-everybody-lyrics

Can You Handle the Truth?

Yesterday Mike Murray started a new thread in the “All Things Chess” section of the USCF Forum. The title of his thread is a question, “Does chess develop transferable skills ?” (http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=21185&sid=fc8aa899349128eec2cc1414646786be) Mike begins his post answering the question by writing, “Evidently, not so much.” He then quotes from this blog by copying something I copied verbatim:

“…recent research into expertise has clearly indicated that, the higher the level of expertise in a domain, the more limited the transfer [of skills to other fields] will be… Moreover, reaching a high level of skill in domains such as chess, music or mathematics requires large amounts of practice to acquire the domain specific knowledge which determines expert performance. Inevitably, the time spent in developing such skills will impair the acquisition of other skills.”

Mr. Murray then gives a link to my post, and adds a link with which I was unfamiliar:
“see also” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126200/

I would like to express my thanks to Mike Murray for drawing my attention to this paper.

Before deciding to write about what is currently known in regard to the question of whether or not chess is beneficial for children I took the time to read several papers pertaining to what has been learned by those who study these types of questions. These are the papers:

Facing facts about deliberate practice

David Z. Hambrick1*, Erik M. Altmann1, Frederick L. Oswald2, Elizabeth J. Meinz3 and Fernand Gobet4
1 Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
2 Department ofPsychology, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA
3 Department of Psychology, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, USA
4 InstituteofPsychology, Health, and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
*Correspondence: hambric3@msu.edu
Editedby:
Michael H. Connors, Macquarie University, Australia
Reviewed by:
Lena Rachel Quinto, Macquarie University, Australia
Michael H. Connors, Macquarie University, Australia

The Role of Domain-Specific Practice, Handedness, and Starting Age in Chess

Fernand Gobet and Guillermo Campitelli
Brunel University

The genetics of music accomplishment: Evidence for gene–environment correlation and interaction

David Z. Hambrick & Elliot M. Tucker-Drob

Accounting for expert performance: The devil is in the details

David Z. Hambrick a,⁎, Erik M. Altmann a, Frederick L. Oswald b, Elizabeth J. Meinz c, Fernand Gobet d, Guillermo Campitelli e
a Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, United States
b Department of Psychology, Rice University, United States
c Department of Psychology, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, United States
d Institute of Psychology, Health, and Society, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
e School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Does high-level intellectual performance depend on practice alone? Debunking the Polgar sisters case

Robert W. Howard∗
School of Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia

Longitudinal Effects of Different Types of Practice on the Development of Chess Expertise

ROBERT W. HOWARD*
University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education, and Professions: A Meta-Analysis

Psychological Science published online 1 July 2014
Brooke N. Macnamara, David Z. Hambrick and Frederick L. Oswald
DOI: 10.1177/0956797614535810

Intelligence and chess

Fernand Gobet, & Guillermo Campitelli

Educational benefits of chess instruction: A critical review

Fernand Gobet & Guillermo Campitelli
University of Nottingham

What put me on this path was the flap over what Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book. “In Gladwell’s bestselling “Outliers” he discusses the “10,000-hour rule”: If you practice the necessary 10,000 hours you can reach the zenith of your field.” (http://www.salon.com/2014/07/15/is_malcolm_gladwell_wrong_scientists_debate_the_10000_hour_rule/)

In the same article Zach answers, “We found that, yes, practice is important, and of course it’s absolutely necessary to achieve expertise,” Hambrick told the Times. “But it’s not as important as many people have been saying.”

The article, Is Malcolm Gladwell wrong? Scientists debate the “10,000-hour rule: The argument between talent versus practices deepens with the release of a new study, by Sarah Gray, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. This particular article begins:

“A new study, published in the journal Psychological Science, is fueling the practice-versus-talent debate. The study was co-authored by Zach Hambrick, of Michigan State University, Brooke Macnamara, who is currently at Case Western Reserve University, and Rice University’s Frederick Oswald. According to the New York Times, this study is the “most comprehensive review of relevant research to date.”

“The paper, which looked at 88 different studies, covering a wide range of activities, from chess to music to sports, found that only 20 to 25 percent of a person’s ability — in music, sports and chess — came from practice. In academics, the Times reports, it is even lower; only 4 percent of a person’s academic ability came from practice. However, the authors note that academic skill was more difficult to measure, because it was tough to gauge how much people knew beforehand.”

The book by Malcolm Gladwell was a best-seller and the author, no doubt, made much money. Unfortunately for him, his theory has been refuted. Even so, their are many people who have not gotten the word. For example, I was sitting at a table in a Barnes & Noble with a chess board in front of me while reading a copy of the best chess magazine in the world, New In Chess, when an older fellow walked up and asked, “Putting in your 10,000 hours?” I asked if he were referring to Gladwell’s book and he answered in the affirmative. As he took a seat I told him Gladwell’s theory had been refuted. Having read the book, he was in disbelief. “The man would not have written the book if it were not true,” he said. Nothing I said could disabuse him of his belief. Fortunately, someone whom he knew arrived and he took his leave, but not before telling his friend that I was a “party pooper.” I have been called far worse…

This kind of thing happens all the time in our society. An example would be what the Bushwhackers said happened to Private First Class Jessica Dawn Lynch during the invasion of Iraq. Initial reports by the Bushwhackers said that before being captured and brutalized, PFC Lynch, in her best Rambo imitation, fired all the rounds in her weapon until the weapon was so hot it burned her hands, but still she continued, in great pain, to hold onto the weapon, using it to club Iraqi soldiers until there were so many of them she could no longer swing said weapon…or some such. I will admit to paraphrasing here, but you get the idea. The truth came out later, and I quote, “Initial official reports on Lynch’s capture and rescue in Iraq were incorrect. On April 24, 2007, she testified in front of Congress that she had never fired her weapon, her M16 rifle jammed, and that she had been knocked unconscious when her vehicle crashed. Lynch has been outspoken in her criticism of the original stories reported regarding her combat experience. When asked about her heroine status, she stated “That wasn’t me. I’m not about to take credit for something I didn’t do… I’m just a survivor.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Lynch#Further_reading) See The authorized biography, I Am A Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg.” See also, “The truth about Jessica.” (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/may/15/iraq.usa2) People can still be found who will tell you all about the brave woman during the invasion of Iraq who made Rambo look like a wuss…

The lies the Bushwhackers told about former NFL star Pat Tillman are even more egregious, and the truth still has not been told to WE THE PEOPLE. I do not mean to single out the Bushwhackers. “Presidential aide Arthur Schlesinger has written that President Kennedy said just days before the assassination that Johnson was a man “incapable of telling the truth.” (See Robert F. Kennedy and His Times, page 655. I have taken this from the masterful work by Douglas P. Horne, Chief Analyst for Military Records, Assassination Records Review Board, “Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK – Volume 5.”)

Another example would be the prosecutor who, while the defandant is on the stand, looks the jury in the eye and says, “The defendant is obviously a scurrilous scumbag!” The public defender then leaps to his feet saying, “Your Honor, I most strenuously object.” At which time the judge says to the prosecutor, “The objection is sustained. Mr. Prosecutor. I cannot believe a man with your credentials would would say such a thing.” To which the prosecutor says, “Yes Your Honor. Forgive me. It will not happen again.” The judge then say, “That last remark will be stricken from the record and the jury will disregard the comment made by the esteemed prosecutor.”
When the trial ends and the jury is marched into chambers to decide the fate of the accused, the only question to be decided is which one will be chosen foreman. Once a foreman is chosen he will say, “Do we really need to spend any time voting? It is more than a little obvious the defendant is a scurrilous scumbag.”
Someone will mention the judge said to disregard the remark and will be turned on by the rest of the pack while the foreman says forcefully, “What the hell do you mean? The ESTEEMED prosecutor said the defendant was a scurrilous scumbag, and he would not have said it if it were not true!” Meanwhile the rest of the pack will nod in agreement, saying, “Uh huh, uh huh, right on, right on, right on.” The poor defendant will be lucky to have a show of hands before being declared guilty.

US Senior: Larry C. vs The Kentucky Lion

While the majority of the attention of the Chess World has been focused on the World Cup I have been focusing my attention on the US Senior, and US Junior, championships being contested in St. Louis, which is now considered a Covid “hot spot.” St. Louis County Is Now A ‘Red Zone’ For COVID-19, According To The CDC. A third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming, the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force warned yesterday. (https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2021/07/21/st-louis-county-is-now-a-red-zone-for-covid-19-according-to-the-cdc)

The hottest Chess spot in the USA is at the St. Louis Chess Club, where the intrepid boys, girls, and Men are battling it out over a Chess board in three separate tournaments, the US Senior; US Junior; and a completely separate “US Girls Junior Championship.”

Before the US Senior began I predicted the winner to be either Alexander Shabalov, or Larry Christiansen,

https://store.chessclub.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/t/attack-larry-store-reg.jpg
ATTACKING CHESS MEGA BUNDLE by GM LARRY CHRISTIANSEN …
store.chessclub.com

a man with whom I stayed up all night playing Backgammon, after he beat me handily at a simultaneous exhibition sponsored by Church’s Fried Chicken in the 1970s. I won the Backgammon battle. Larry kept looking at me with a look that said, “I beat this chumpy-lumpy like a drum at Chess. Why am I losing to the guy at Backgammon?” The stake was only a quarter a point, far below the stake for which I usually played, but it was Larry C., and Chess players don’t have much money, even those traveling the country giving simuls. Larry spent the night at the home of former Georgia Chess Champion Michael Decker, which is where we “rolled the bones.” Still, that twenty five cents would now be worth about two bucks, Chuck, if you get my drift…

Yesterday Larry had to face the Kentucky Lion, Gregory Kaidanov,

https://ewscripps.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/8010f06/2147483647/strip/true/crop/1200x675+0+113/resize/1280x720!/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fewscripps-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2F19%2Ff5%2F53117af44e67abfed44bd2a23793%2Fgregory-kaidanov.jpg
https://www.lex18.com/lexington-chess-player-wins-second-place-in-chess-championship Photo by: Claire Crouch

who had run away from the field, scoring 5 1/2 points in the first 6 rounds! He was a full point ahead of Larry C. at 4 1/2, who was a point and a half ahead of the four players with 3 points. Larry C. was in need of a victory. What do you play against an opponent who is obviously in form in that situation? You bring out “The truth as it was known in those far off days.”

Larry Christiansen (2634) Age: 65 vs Gregory Kaidanov (2626) Age: 61

U.S. Senior Championship 2021 round 07

C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Ne2 d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be6 8. Bxd5 Bxd5 9. f4 f6 10. fxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxd5 Qxd5 12. c3 Bd6 13. Nf4 Qf7 14. d4 O-O-O 15. Qa4 a6 16. dxe5 Bc5+ 17. Kh1 fxe5 18. Re1 exf4 19. Bxf4 Rhf8 20. Be5 g6 21. Qg4+ Qd7 22. Qc4 Qd5 23. Qg4+ Qd7 24. Qc4 Qd5 25. Qg4+ ½-½
  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 (SF plays 3…c6) 4. Nc3 (SF plays 4 Nf3) 4….Bb4 5. Ne2 (SF 080221 @depth50 plays this move, but the same engine chuggin’ only one more ply would play 5 Nf3) 5…d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be6 8. Bxd5 Bxd5 9. f4 f6 (SF 13 @depth 41 plays the game move, but SF 14 @depth 33 would play 9…Bxc3) 10. fxe5 Nxe5 (SF takes with the knight, but Houdini would take with the pawn. There is only one game, found at 365Chess, with 10…fxe5, which can be found below) 11. Nxd5

(Komodo shows this move, but Deep Fritz would play 11 d4, which was played in:

GM Alexander Zaitsev 2473 RUS vs GM Klementy Sychev 2537 RUS

Wch Blitz 2018

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.d3 Bb4 5.Ne2 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.O-O Be6 8.Bxd5 Bxd5 9.f4 f6 10.fxe5 Nxe5 11.d4 Nc6 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.c3 Bd6 14.Nf4 Bxf4 15.Bxf4 O-O-O 16.Qf3 Qxf3 17.Rxf3 Rhe8 18.Kf2 Rd7 19.Re3 Rxe3 20.Bxe3 a5 21.a4 Re7 22.g4 Kd7 23.Rg1 Rf7 24.h4 Ne7 25.c4 Nc6 26.Bd2 Nxd4 27.Bxa5 Nc6 28.Bc3 f5 29.g5 g6 30.b4 Re7 31.Rd1+ Kc8 32.Bf6 Re8 33.b5 Ne5 34.c5 Ng4+ 35.Kf3 Ne5+ 36.Kf2 c6 37.h5 Nd7 38.Bd4 Re4 39.hxg6 hxg6 40.Kf3 Rg4 41.bxc6 bxc6 42.Bf6 Nxc5 43.Rc1 Ne6 44.Rxc6+ Kd7 45.Ra6 Nxg5+ 46.Ke2 Ne4 47.Be5 Nc5 48.Rd6+ Ke7 49.a5 Re4+ 50.Kf3 Rxe5 51.Rxg6 Ne6 52.Rg8 Rxa5 0-1) 11.Qxd5 12. c3 Bd6 13. Nf4 (SF and Houey play 13 d4) 13….Qf7 14. d4 O-O-O 15. Qa4 (SF 12 @depth 43 would play a move near and dear to my heart, 15 Qe2!) 15…a6 16. dxe5 (SF 31 @depth 31 would play 16 Qb3, but the SF program churning at ChessBomb would play the move Larry played in the game)
16…Bc5+ 17. Kh1 fxe5 18. Re1 (This is a TN, but not the best move. 18 Qe4 was played in the Mons vs Raggar game given below. Given the chance SF 170521 @depth 49 would play 18 Rf3)

Risto Eskola (2153) vs Antti Lehto
Event: FIN-chT 0203
Site: Finland Date: 10/20/2002
Round: 3
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Ne2 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.O-O Be6 8.Bxd5 Bxd5 9.f4 f6 10.fxe5 fxe5 11.Ng3 Bf7 12.Nce4 O-O 13.Qg4 Bg6 14.Be3 Qc8 15.Qxc8 Raxc8 16.a3 Be7 17.Rxf8+ Bxf8 18.Rf1 Nd4 19.Rf2 b6 20.Nc3 c6 21.Nge4 Rd8 22.Ng5 h6 23.Nge4 Be7 24.Kf1 Rd7 25.Kg1 Nf5 26.Bc1 Bh4 27.g3 Be7 28.Kg2 Nd4 29.Be3 Rd8 30.h3 Be8 31.g4 c5 32.g5 h5 33.Ng3 Bc6+ 34.Nce4 g6 35.Kf1 Kg7 36.Ke1 Rf8 37.Bxd4 exd4 38.h4 Rxf2 39.Kxf2 Kf7 40.b3 Ke6 41.a4 Ke5 42.Kf3 Bd5 43.Nf1 a6 44.Nd2 b5 45.axb5 axb5 46.Kg3 Ke6 47.Kf4 Bc6 48.Nf1 Be8 49.Nfd2 Bf7 50.Nf3 Be8 51.b4 cxb4 52.Nxd4+ Kd5 53.Nf3 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=267347&m=21

Leon Mons (2554) vs Markus Ragger (2701)
Event: TCh-AUT 2018-19
Site: Austria AUT Date: 01/18/2019
Round: 6.5
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Ne2 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.O-O Be6 8.Bxd5 Bxd5 9.f4 f6 10.fxe5 Nxe5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.Nf4 Qf7 13.c3 Bd6 14.d4 O-O-O 15.Qa4 a6 16.dxe5 Bc5+ 17.Kh1 fxe5 18.Qe4 Bd6 19.Rf3 exf4 20.Bxf4 Bxf4 21.Rxf4 Qd5 22.Qxd5 Rxd5 23.Raf1 Re8 24.R4f2 Kd7 25.g3 a5 26.Kg2 Re7 27.Rf7 a4 28.h4 h5 29.Rxe7+ Kxe7 30.Rf4 Rd2+ 31.Rf2 Rd1 32.Rf1 Rd5 33.Rf4 Rd2+ 34.Rf2 Rd1 35.Rf1 Rd6 36.Rf4 b5 37.Re4+ Kf6 38.Kf3 Rd3+ 39.Re3 Rd1 40.Re4 c5 41.Re2 Kf5 42.Rf2 Ke5 43.g4 Rh1 44.Kg2 Rxh4 45.Rf5+ Ke4 46.Rxc5 Rxg4+ 47.Kh3 g6 48.Rxb5 Kf3 49.Rd5 Rg3+ 50.Kh4 Rg2 51.Rd3+ Kf4 52.Rd4+ Kf5 53.Rd5+ Kf6 54.Rd6+ Ke5 55.Rb6 Kf5 56.Rb5+ Kf4 57.Rb4+ Kf3 58.Rb5 Rg4+ 59.Kh3 Rg1 60.Kh4 Rg4+ 61.Kh3 Kf2 62.Rd5 Rg3+ 63.Kh4 Rg4+ 64.Kh3 g5 65.Rf5+ Ke3 66.b4 Kd3 67.Rc5 a3 68.b5 Rg1 69.b6 g4+ 70.Kh4 Rb1 71.Rxh5 Rxb6 72.Ra5 Kxc3 73.Rxa3+ Kb4 74.Rb3+ Ka5 75.Rxb6 Kxb6 76.Kxg4 Ka5 77.Kf3 Ka4 78.Ke4 Ka3 79.Kd5 Kxa2 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4171736&m=24

https://d1w8c6s6gmwlek.cloudfront.net/halloffameshirts.com/products/186/733/18673317.png
https://www.halloffameshirts.com/view/24016/gregory-kaidanov-because-badass-isnt-official-chess-hall-of-fame-t-shi

Four Way Tie at the 2022 Charlotte Classic

In the last round of the recently concluded Carolinas Classic GM Daniel Naroditsky faced IM Dean Ippolito.

newyorkmasters.com

Both players had won three games and drawn one for a total of 3 1/2 points. They were in a must win situation because GM Elshan Moradiabadi had won his first four games and taken a half-point bye in the last round. Say what?! The dude was given a 1/2 point bye in THE LAST ROUND! Say what?! For those of you new to the Royal game, the half-point bye began many decades ago when three games, usually with a time control of 40 moves in two hours, would be taken in the third round, which was the third game to be played on Saturday. Some players would take a half-point bye in the first round, with others taking a half-point bye in the fourth round in order to attend church. As the Legendary Ironman of Georgia Chess so eloquently put it once, “When I’m sitting at the board on Sunday morning I am in my church.” The excretory awarding of a half-point bye for not playing the last round game is abhorrent and should never, ever have been allowed. The awarding of a free half-point bye in the last round blasphemes Caissa and should be abolished. If a player cannot, or will not play in the final round for any reason he should be given the result he deserves, a ZERO! The games are played earlier in the tournament to arrive at the final round. It is, obviously, the most important round of the event. The awarding of a half-point for not playing the last round should never have been allowed, and it being allowed speaks volumes about those in charge of Chess these daze…

GM Naroditsky defeated IM Dean Ippolito easily when the latter played like a complete beginner by bringing out his Queen early in the game, then later retreated the Lady for no reason, and it was all over but the shouting after that ill-fated move.

Daniel Naroditsky vs Dean Ippolito
2022 CAROLINAS CLASSIC
C43 Petrov, modern attack, Symmetrical variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4 8.c4 O-O-O 9.c5 g6 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Be3 f5 13.Qd2 h6 14.a4 Qf6 15.Nb5 Qa6 16.d5 Bxb5 17.axb5 Qxb5 18.Rxa7 g5 19.d6 Kd7 20.Qd5 1-0
https://view.livechesscloud.com/#b15199a4-99fa-4ef8-bba5-0861e07d5f2e

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 (Although Stockfish 14.1 plays this move, SF 15 will play the most often played move, 3 Nxe5) 3…Nxe4 4.Bd3 (The most often played move, and the choice of SF 14.1, @depth 55, but SF 150007 @depth 55 will play 4 Nxe5, expecting 4…d5 5 Bd3. Then again, at the same depth SF 150007, the James Bond of programs, also shows 4 Bd3 d5 5 Nxe5) 4…d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4 (SF 14 @depth 53 will play 7…Bd6, by far the most often played move, but SF 280322 will play 7…Be7, a move that has appeared in only 127 games while holding white to 62% versus 2462 opposition. In 817 games 7…Bd6 has held white to 57% against 2465 opposition. In 291 games against 2409 opposition the move played in the game, 7…Qh4 has allowed a theoretical opponent rated 2409 to score 70% in 291 games. This was the last round game and IM Dean Ippolito was rated 240 points below GM Naroditsky, rated 2695, so maybe the lower rated IM felt he needed to pull a rabbit out of his whatever, but how could any Chess player with any four digit rating advocate any player in his right mind play a move like 7…Qh4?

Position after Ippolito leads with his chin, err, Queen

Imagine you were giving a young student a lesson when they suggested a move like 7…Qh4? How would you respond? That is exactly my point. I knew, you knew, and GM Naroditsky knew IM Ippolito was going down after bring out the Queen that early. What? You think you are going to trick a player about to enter the elite world of 2700 rated Grandmasters by playing a second rate Chess move? Dude shoulda played a solid, “seemple” move, as IM Boris Kogan was so fond of saying, like 7…Bd6, and maybe have a shot at drawing the game. The move is so ridiculous that a Chess teacher would excoriate a student unmercifully for playing such a poor move. I lost interest in the game after seeing this move, and you have probably lost interest in this post…and I do not blame you!) 8.c4 O-O-O 9.c5 g6 (The most often played move has been g5, with 151 games showing at the ChessBaseDataBase, against which white has scored 67%. In the 53 games with 9…g6 having been played white has scored 75%) 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Bxe4 (The CBDB contains 23 games with 11 g3; 15 with 11 Ne2; 6 with 11 Be2; and only 2 with the move played in the game, 11 Bxe4, but it is the choice of SF 14.1. 365Chess does not contain the move considered best by Stockfish) 11…dxe4 12.Be3 f5 13.Qd2 (This is a TN. One game has been played with 13…h6 having been attempted. SF 14.1 will, given the chance, play a TN of its own with 13…Bc6)
I usually stop here but let us continue a few moves further on up the road…the game continued with 14.a4 before IM Ippolito played a horrible move, retreating his Queen with 14…Qf6?

Position after Ippolito retreated his Queen from h4 to f6 for no reason

The game, for all intents and purposes, was over when Ippo removed his grip from the Queen. The comment at Lichess.org is, “Blunder. 14…a6 was best.” The it shows 14…a6 15.Nd5. But here’s the deal…There is an arrow in the position showing the Rook moving from h8 to f8, and a line beginning with 14…Rhf8 15 g3 Qh5, etc. So which is it, Lichess, 14…a6 or 14…Rhf8? Inquiring minds want to know the TRUTH, as it was known in those long ago days… Where have I heard that before?…
https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-carolinas-chess-classic–championship-section/round-5/E2tBybjJ

Heinz Offenborn 2098 (GER) vs Bernd Bachmann 2030 (GER)
GER T224-C43-S email 2015
C43 Petrov, modern attack, Symmetrical variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4 8.c4 O-O-O 9.c5 g6 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Be3 f5 13.Qd2 h6 14.a4 c6 15.Rfc1 a6 16.Nb5 cxb5 17.c6 Bxc6 18.axb5 axb5 19.g3 Qe7 20.d5 Be5 21.Bb6 Rd6 22.Rxc6+ bxc6 23.Ra8+ 1 – 0

Milan Horvat 2203 (SLO) vs Frantisek Sochor 2437 (CZE)
ICCF Slav Cup3 email 2008
C43 Petrov, modern attack, Symmetrical variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4 8.c4 O-O-O 9.c5 g6 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Be3 f5 13.Qd2 h6 14.a4 c6 15.Rfc1 a6 16.Nb5 cxb5 17.c6 Bxc6 18.axb5 axb5 19.d5 Be5 20.g3 Qe7 21.Ra7 Bc7 22.Rxc6 bxc6 23.Qc3 Qd7 24.Bf4 Rh7 25.Rxc7+ Qxc7 26.Bxc7 Rxc7 27.dxc6 e3 28.fxe3 Ra7 29.Kg2 Kc7 30.Qf6 Rd2+ 31.Kh3 g5 32.Qxf5 Kxc6 33.b4 Rad7 34.Qc5+ Kb7 35.Qxb5+ Kc7 36.e4 R7d4 37.Qc5+ Kb7 38.b5 g4+ 39.Kh4 Rxh2+ 40.Kxg4 Rxe4+ 41.Kf3 Ree2 42.Qc6+ Kb8 43.b6 Rhf2+ 44.Kg4 Rf7 45.Qd6+ Kc8 46.Qd5 1 – 0

GM Alexander Shabalov and IM David Brodsky also finished in a tie for first place, with each winning $600. The plaque went to the dude who received a half point bye for not playing a game in the final round, GM Elshan Moradiabadi, aka, the ‘Hat Man’:

GM Elshan Moradiabadi on the Magnus Carlsen Tour Finals | US Chess.org
new.uschess.org

Vishy Anand Dances With The Devil

Evidently former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has lost his mind. This writer was stupefied after seeing this headline at Chess24: Vishy Anand joins Dvorkovich’s bid for second term as FIDE president (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/vishy-anand-joins-dvorkovich-s-bid-for-second-term-as-fide-president). Since the article was dated April 1, 2022, April Fools’ Day, I assumed it was some kind of sick April Fools’ joke. Unfortunately it was not a joke.

Of all the living former World Champions, Vishy, as he is known in the Chess world, had the best reputation of the small, select group. That reputation has been incontrovertibly tarnished. Russia has become a pariah country. Russia has committed, and continues committing, unimaginable atrocities in Ukraine, and will continue so doing until Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is deposed. The aftereffects of the needless war will linger for decades, if not centuries, especially when the truth of what kind of monster is the Russian state is revealed. Why would Vishy Anand smear his own reputation by aligning himself with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich? What’s in it for Vishy?

Who is Arkady Dvorkovich?

Arkady Dvorkovich once served as a deputy prime minister and is currently chair of the International Chess Federation, or FIDE. He criticized the war with Ukraine in comments made to Mother Jones magazine on March 14 and came under fire from the Kremlin’s ruling party. (https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2022/03/chess-grandmasters-putin-russia-ukraine-war/)

“Wars are the worst things one might face in life. Any war. Anywhere. Wars do not just kill priceless lives. Wars kill hopes and aspirations, freeze or destroy relationships and connections. Including this war,” he said.

Putin shakes hands with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich during a meeting at the Kremlin in April 2018. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press)

Dvorkovich added that FIDE was “making sure there are no official chess activities in Russia or Belarus, and that players are not allowed to represent Russia or Belarus in official or rated events until the war is over and Ukrainian players are back in chess.”

FIDE banned a top Russian player for six months for his vocal support of Putin and the invasion.

Two days after Dvorkovich’s comments, a top official in the United Russia party demanded that he be fired as chair of the state-backed Skolkovo Foundation. Last week, the foundation reported that Dvorkovich decided to step down. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/prominent-anti-war-russians-1.6398505)

In an article at Chess24, Vishy Anand joins Dvorkovich’s bid for second term as FIDE president, one reads: “Indian great Vishy Anand has made a dramatic entrance into chess politics by joining Arkady Dvorkovich’s campaign to be re-elected as FIDE President, it was announced today. The five-time World Champion was pictured alongside Dvorkovich at an event in Delhi today to sign the contract for the 2022 Chess Olympiad, which will start in Chennai this July. Dvorkovich later said India’s most decorated chess player will be a “huge part of our team”. It follows FIDE’s decision to strip Russia of its flagship international team event on February 25, one day after Russia invaded Ukraine. The Olympiad was subsequently awarded to India at a meeting of the FIDE Council on March 15, following a swift bidding process. (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/vishy-anand-joins-dvorkovich-s-bid-for-second-term-as-fide-president)

No doubt former World Chess Champion Anand will “…be a “huge part of our team”. The Russians will use Vishy Anand as a “showpiece.” Vishy will become the “face” of FIDE. Everyone admires and respects Anand, so what’s not to like, especially if you are a Russian.

In an article by Peter Doggers, at Chess.com, Dvorkovich To Run For 2nd Term, Supported By Anand,

Dvorkovich (left) and Anand on Friday in New Delhi. Photo: FIDE. (https://www.chess.com/news/view/dvorkovich-to-run-for-2nd-term-supported-by-anand)

one finds: GM Viswanathan Anand is supporting FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich in his bid for a second term as FIDE President. Both were present at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday, where Dvorkovich announced that he will be running for re-election.

The decision to run for a second term is somewhat controversial in light of Dvorkovich’s recent statements on the war in Ukraine and his background as a Russian politician. Initially, the FIDE President seemed to be holding an anti-war point of view, saying to the American website Mother Jones on March 14: “Wars are the worst things one might face in life… including this war. My thoughts are with Ukrainian civilians.”

A day later, however, a different and rather nationalistic statement was published, and Dvorkovich said he was “sincerely proud of the courage of our soldiers” and that there is “no place for either Nazism or the dominance of some countries over others.” He made the latter statement as the chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, a position Dvorkovich no longer holds.

The Ukrainian Chess Federation and some Ukrainian top players have called for a full ban on Russia and expressed a desire for a new FIDE leadership, but they seem to have received little support for their—however understandable—point of view.

“Yes, I am committed to run for re-election and Anand will be a huge part of our team,” said Dvorkovich today.

Anand said he would be actively supporting the FIDE President, but at the moment it’s not exactly clear how. “We have had a good discussion, but we haven’t decided yet in what role or capacity I will be involved,” said Anand.

“I am willing and determined to work with this team. It is a wonderful team led by Dvorkovich, and they have done a lot for the sport. As and when a decision is taken, I will let you know.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/dvorkovich-to-run-for-2nd-term-supported-by-anand)

Reading the above almost caused me to hurl…especially the part about there being “no place for either Nazism or the dominance of some countries over others.” It is more than a little obvious Dvorkovich will say and/or do anything to stay in power at FIDE. The Dork, as he is known in the world of Chess, talks out of both sides of his mouth. It is difficult for Dvorkovich to express what Anand will do because how does one say, “We want to use the good reputation of Vishy Anand because the recent damage done to the Russian reputation is irreversible.”

In another article, Statement by Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation Arkady Dvorkovich,

https://sk.ru/news/zayavlenie-predsedatelya-fonda-skolkovo-arkadiya-dvorkovicha/

which had to be translated by Google translate, one reads:

“Today, Russia continues to live under harsh but senseless sanctions. But we will rise to this challenge. We are ready to respond with technological breakthroughs and our own development. It has always been so.

While working in the government, I did everything to ensure that sanctions were not an obstacle, but an opportunity to create our own economy. And the results of this work in many sectors have made it possible to create the springboard for ensuring national security that we have today – in agriculture and construction, in energy and petrochemistry, in infrastructure development.

I cannot respect foreign companies that have left the Russian market. Some of them lost him for a very long time, perhaps forever. Our main task is to get rid of technological dependence. This can only be achieved through teamwork, in which everyone who is capable of being a leader will be involved – each in his own place.

Skolkovo has always been at the forefront of innovation in Russia, and today it is ready to make every effort to build its own competitive economy in our country.” (https://sk.ru/news/zayavlenie-predsedatelya-fonda-skolkovo-arkadiya-dvorkovicha/)

The Russians in Chess are like termites in the woodwork of the House of Chess. They, and all of their fellow travelers, like Vishy Anand, must be eradicated from the Chess House, known as FIDE. The Russian infestation of Chess must end and it must end NOW! All Russians, and those who support them, must be cast out of the House of Chess for the good of the game. To allow the nefarious, genocidal Russians to remain involved with Chess will end the recent Chess boom and send it to where one now finds Checkers, if Chess is fortunate. It will be ironic if a former World Chess Champion began the down hill slide into oblivion for Chess. What the hell could Vishy Anand have been thinking? Maybe Vishy will attempt an explanation in the near future. Vishy, my man, if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.

The Escape Artist

The Legendary Georgia Ironman and I had time last night for a brief discussion of the chess action happening this weekend. One of the topics discussed was the fact that the human World Champion played the Bishop’s Opening proper yesterday against Fabiano Caruano. As regular readers know, the BO, “The truth– as it was known in those far-off days,” according to Savielly Tartakower, has been one of my favorite openings ever since reading his quote in “500 Hundred Master games of Chess.” (see the book in GM Bryan Smith’s excellent article http://www.chess.com/article/view/my-bookshelf-quot500-master-games-of-chessquot-by-savielly-tartakower-and-j-du-mont). Magnus played the opening horribly, and lost. GM Yasser Seirawan questioned the moves of the World Human Champion, especially the move 11 Bg3. I questioned 13 h3, which allowed the Bishop to take the Knight, forcing White to capture with the f-pawn, disrupting the pawn structure in a horrible way. It is obvious things have gone terribly wrong after 14 fxg3. When Magnus played the move Qd8, after 1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Qxd5 3 Nc3, against Caruano at the Olympiad, I mentioned to Tim that players would now start playing the move, long discredited since Bobby Fischer beat Karl Robatsch in 20 moves at the Olympiad in Varna in 1962 and William Addison in 24 moves at the Interzonal at Palma de Mallorca in 1970, since Magnus had won the game. I also brought up the fact that before the HWC played the move, I had mentioned the possibility of purchasing the book, “The 3…Qd8 Scandinavian: Simple and Strong” by Daniel Lowinger and Karsten Müller, which brought ridicule from the Ironman. Last night I wondered aloud if players would now begin to play the BO because Magnus had played it. Before the Ironman could respond, I added, “Probably not since he lost.” Tim said, “The opening did not let Magnus down, Magnus let the opening down.”
One of the great things about chess is that a lesser player can question the moves of the great players. We may not often be right, but like that blind squirrel, we will occasionally find an acorn. Back in the day “BC” (before computers), we had to try and figure it out for ourselves. If a GM played a move, we accepted it as gospel. Today we turn on our “engine” and the “truth” is right in front of us. In a way this is a wonderful thing in that we now know if our move is better than the human World Champion. On the other hand, we now know that even the best human player is, well, human, and we humans make mistakes. As the Discman said, back in the day Grandmasters were “Gods.” Which makes me think of the famous speech by JFK in which he said, “…and we are all mortal.”

Schmuggy sent me an email last night after his game with Damir Studen, which I opened after noon:
Kevin Schmuggerow
Today at 1:09 AM
I had this one Michael, let it get away….
> e4 d5 ed Qd5 Nc3 Qa5 d4 c6 Bc4 Nf6 Ne2 g6 Bf4 Nd7 Qd2 Nb6 Bb3 Nbd4 Be5 Nc3 Nc3 Bg7 OOO OO h4 h5 f3 Ne8 Qg5 e6 Rhe1 Kh7 Qe7 Kg8 g4 Be5 Re5 Qc7 Qg5 Kg7 gh5 Rh8 Qg2 Rh6 Rg5 Qf4+ Kb1 Qh4 hg6 Rg6 Ne4 Rg5 Ng5 Kf6 f4 Nd6 Qf3 Qh6 Rh8 a5 a4 Ra6 Qc3 Ke7 Qc5 Bd7….Ne4 wins!! Mate in 7 (I played Rb8 and eventually got my rook trapped)

Looks strange without the numbers, does it not? Thinking the game would most likely have to be transcribed, I decided to hold off on going to the US Masters website until later. Fortunately, the whole game was provided. I broke out my trusty small wooden board and pieces and played over the game. Here are my thoughts…

Kevin Schmuggerow (1971) vs Damir Studen (2264)
USM Rd 3
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 5. Bc4 Nf6 6. Nge2 g6 7. Bf4 Nbd7 8. Qd2 Nb6 9. Bb3 Nbd5 10. Be5 Nxc3 11. Nxc3 Bg7 12. O-O-O O-O 13. h4 h5 14. f3 Ne8 15. Qg5 e6 16. Rhe1 Kh7 17. Qe7 Kg8 18. g4 Bxe5 19. Rxe5 Qc7 20. Qg5 Kg7 21. gxh5 Rh8 22. Qg2 Rh6 23. Rg5 Qf4 24. Kb1 Qxh4 25. hxg6 Rxg6 26. Ne4 Rxg5 27. Nxg5 Kf6 28. f4 Nd6 29. Qf3 Qh6 30. Rh1 Qg6 31. Rh8 a5 32. a4 Ra6 33. Qc3 Ke7 34. Qc5 Bd7 35. Rb8 Qf5 36. Qe5 f6 37. Qxf5 exf5 38. Nh7 Bc8 39. c4 Be6 40. d5 cxd5 41. c5 Ne4 42. Rxb7 Bd7 43. c6 Rxc6 44. Nf8 Nc5 45. Ng6 Kd6 46. Rb5 Ra6 47. Bc2 Bxb5 48. axb5 Rb6 0-1

Wow, Damir was sooooooo busted! Poor Schmuggy…This game reminds me of many I played. If only IM Charles Hertan’s award winning book, “Forcing Moves” had been published in the 1970’s… Two things kept me from becoming a stronger player, one is not winning enough “won” games. The other will be discussed in a future post.
Damir’s 14th move looks weak. After 15 Qg5, white is all over him. After the obligatory 15…e6 Schmuggy played 16 Rhe1. I have to question this move. I mean, White is attacking the Kingside and threatening to open up the castled King position, so why move the Rook? I sat looking at this position quite a while…Obviously 16 g4 must be considered, but I wonder if this is one of those positions where a world class player would simply make a move like 16 Kb1? Then the thought hit me that Schmuggy could have played maybe 16 a3, but I like Kb1 better, but what do I know? One thing I have always taught my students is to count the total number of points one has in a sector, especially when one is on the attack. As it now stands White has a Queen, Rook, and Bishop, or 17 points, on the Kingside. Black has only a Rook, Bishop, and Knight, or 11 points. If White were to play 16 Ne4 he would have an additional 3 points, for a total of 20 points, versus 11. That is a huge disparity. And since Black has been forced to weaken himself with his last move, the Knight move takes advantage of the weakened dark squares. 16 Ne4 would be my move. Black would then be in “deep do.”
Schmuggy is right, 35 Ne4 brings the house down. It wins because it is a FORCING MOVE. The knight on d6 is PINNED. Another thing all chess teachers say is, “Pin to win.”

After going over the game I first went to the Chess Base database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/onlinedb/) and 365chess (http://www.365chess.com/) to check out the opening. What I found was that Damir’s 7…Nbd7 is a TN. All games show 7…Bg7. Since the Scandinavian is Damir’s main (only?) defense to 1 e4 it is difficult to believe he came up with this move over the board. I must assume it was “home cooking.” It often happens that one can be burned while cooking at home.
Next it was put it into my now antiquated Houdini. I am sure you will do the same because that is what is done these daze. Some even put it into the machine before looking at it and thinking for themselves. Where is the fun in that? I find it shameful. After analyzing the game, my Houdini said, “The player with the Black pieces was the real Houdini in this game!”
What? Your computer program does not talk to you?

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes

Classical Chess

“Bill James is the best known baseball analyst in the world” (http://sabr.org/about/bill-james). Bill began his writing career by questioning the assumptions in baseball, something commonly called, “The Book.” For questioning some of the commonly held beliefs in baseball Bill was excoriated by the MLB establishment. His books, and the thinking contained therein, caught on with many and his books became very successful. Many other baseball fans began to question things like the sacrifice bunt, held dear by the MLB establishment. Decades later Bill was hired by the Boston Red Sox as an analyst and the Red Sox became the World Champions. Now every MLB team has an analyst, or team of analysts.

Bill’s latest book is, “Fools Rush Inn: More Detours on the Way to Conventional Wisdom.” One of the essays is, “Classical Sport.” As is often the case, while reading the essay my thoughts would drift to chess and I would substitute the word “chess” for “classical music.” Read on and you will understand why.

Bill writes, “Classical music has very, very serious problems as an industry. The number of people who enjoy classical music is small compared to the market for other kinds of music and the market is composed primarily of old people.

“Classical music survives, or has survived so far, because it has advantages over the marketplace, rather than advantage in the marketplace. Classical music is perceived by a very large cadre of musical professionals as the highest form of music, and these people have integrated themselves and their music into the society in ways that insulate it from extinction by economic forces. High schools do not teach young musicians to play rock and roll, as a rule; they teach them to play “instruments,” which are in truth the instruments of classical music. Millions of small children take violin lessons, which their parents get for them because this is how music is taught. The perception that this form of music is “classy” -widely accepted in our culture- keeps the form alive by giving it these advantages, and many similar and related advantages. At the symphony I am below the median age and, I suspect, well below the median income. Those old people who go to the symphony have more-than proportional power because they have more-than proportional wealth. There is something much more than that going on here. It has to do with the perception of rectitude, of value and of virtue.”

“Music, like sport, is instinctive to us, exists in all cultures, and will never disappear. There are primal and sophisticated forms of music and of sport, which could also be called vibrant and calcified, or youthful and moribund. There is a spectrum in these activities that runs from vibrant, primal and youthful to sophisticated, calcified and moribund. All sports and all forms of music move across that spectrum, crawling toward obsolescence.”

I have always thought of chess as a form of the “Glass Bead Game,” made popular by the greatest novel ever written, “The Glass Bead Game,” also published as “Magister Ludi,” Latin for “Master of the Game,” by Hermann Hesse, who won a Nobel Prize in Literature for the book. The Glass Bead Game takes place centuries into the future. It concerns the place the game occupies in the culture. “As the novel progresses, Knecht begins to question his loyalty to the order; he gradually comes to doubt that the intellectually gifted have a right to withdraw from life’s big problems. Knecht comes to see Castalia as a kind of ivory tower, an ethereal and protected community, devoted to pure intellectual pursuits but oblivious to the problems posed by life outside its borders.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Glass_Bead_Game)

The game of chess can be thought of in the way Bill James writes of classical music. Chess has always been thought of as important because it requires thought, something some very wealthy people have valued highly enough to become patrons of the game. I am thinking of Gregor Piatigorsky and his wife, Jacqueline, and the famous tournaments they funded in Los Angeles in 1963 and 1966, called the Piatigorsky Cup. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piatigorsky_Cup) Every chess player knows of these tournaments, and if you encounter anyone involved with chess who has never heard of the Piatigorsky tournaments the question becomes, “What is this person doing in chess?” In 1961 the Piatigorsky’s sponsored a match between Bobby Fischer and Sammy Reshevsky. It ended prematurely when the wealthy couple wanted to change the scheduled time of one of the games because of a conflict Gregor had with a musical performance. Bobby refused because he had signed a contract that specified the round time of each game. The wealthy couple must have felt like Ronald Raygun, when running for POTUS, and he was heckled from the audience. Ronnie famously yelled, “I am paying for this microphone!” In actuality he was not paying. The people contributing money toward his campaign were paying, but why quibble? It was a great sound bite for the Gypper. The Piatigorsky’s were paying and thought Bobby should jump through any hoop provided. Bobby provided them with what is called a “rude awakening” when he “just said no.” Extraordinarily wealthy people are not used to being refused. They are also not used to being told “no” because they surround themselves with “yes men.”
I mention this because without the patronage of very wealthy people there may not be future chess as we have known it until now. Consider for a moment the state of chess without the largess provided by the latest patron, billionaire Rex Sinquefield. Rather than being held in the state of the art St. Louis Chess Club & Scholastic Center the US Championships may have been held in some room in a college, as has been the case previously. The STLCC&SC is an artificial construct. I mean that because St. Louis was never known as a hot-bed of chess in the way New York city was known to be a hot-bed of chess. The game of chess developed naturally in New York, San Francisco, and other cities without some fantastically wealthy individual building it so they would come. Please do not take me wrong; I am not saying this is a bad thing, just that it is a “thing.”

Chess is in a fight for its life in the marketplace. The common perception among adults is that chess is dead, and that it died when the computer program “defeated” human World Chess Champ Garry Kasparov. In order to survive chess has been “sold” as a wonderful game to help children “think.” Chess is a wonderful tool to help children learn how to think, but so are literature and math The game of Wei-Chi, popularly known as “Go” in the west, is also a wonderful game and in many ways it is better than chess because a computer program is not yet as strong as the best human players (I will discuss this in a planned future post). Go is exponentially more complicated than chess and it is much simpler to learn, with no “weird” moves such as castling or en passant. A draw in go is about as common as leap year. One of the major problems afflicting chess is non-serious games. It will be terribly difficult to explain the worth of a game in which he is asked to contribute after being shown a game such as the one played today in the British Championship:

Pert, Richard G – Pert, Nicholas
101st ch-GBR 2014 Aberystwyth WLS (8.2), 2014.07.27
1.e4 e5 ½-½

To those who may say they are related I say, “Go talk to Venus and Serena Williams.” To those who may say it is near the end of the Championship and they were tired I say, “It is only one game per day and the previous day was an OFF DAY!”

In reply to the post “Has Cheating Affected Chess?” my friend the Discman sent me an email in which he wrote, “Interesting discussion and on point. However, cheating isn’t the biggest problem facing chess. Computers have taken the mystery out of the game. GM’s used to be gods with almost super-natural powers. Now any schmo with a smartphone can figure out the best move. Technology and the public’s need for instant gratification have left chess behind. It is no longer relevant in the public consciousness. Yes, cheating and the potential of cheating are contributing factors, but not the root cause.”

Chris has hit the nail on the head. The Royal game no longer has mystique. Most adults without children consider chess an anachronism, much in the same way they think of the game of checkers, a hugely popular game once upon a time. Consider these comments, first from Ron Suarez on the USCF forum: “We have seen a big drop in adult participation and membership.” (http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=20209&sid=98f50abff42e50fe2fc1e9553255a7cd)
Gary Maltzman wrote this on the NCAA forum: “Seems like some of the big NC Tournaments are on an attendance downswing.” (http://www.ncchess.org/Discussion/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=856&sid=4d93659f883d9f10934dba14bd4e056b)

These kinds of comments proliferate on the web these days.

I have no solution to offer other than those previously written. The chess world has to look toward those in positions of power, for better or worse. A quote attributed to Albert Einstein to mind: “The thinking it took to get us into this mess is not the same thinking that is going to get us out of it.”