Richard Rapport Wins With Glek Variation

The erratic Richard Rapport continued riding the roller-coaster by losing again today. Sandwiched between his half point ‘gift’ to Nepo and todaze loss to Alireza Firouzja was a nice win with the Glek variation of the C46 Four knights versus Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

Richard Rapport vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda
2022 Candidates Tournament Round 8
C46 Four knights game Glek variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 Bc5 5. Bg2 d6 6. d3 a5 7. O-O h6 8. b3 O-O 9. h3 Nd4 10. Be3 c6 11. Kh2 Re8 12. a3 Nxf3+ 13. Qxf3 Bxe3 14. fxe3 b5 15. g4 Ra7 16. Qg3 h5 17. g5 h4 18. Qxh4 Nh7 19. Qg3 Nxg5 20. h4 Nh7 21. Bh3 Bxh3 22. Rg1 Ng5 23. hxg5 Bc8 24. Rg2 Rae7 25. Qf3 g6 26. Rh1 f5 27. Kg1 b4 28. exf5 gxf5 29. Ne4 1-0
  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 Bc5 5. Bg2 d6 6. d3 a5 7. O-O h6 (SF 200622 @depth 42 plays this move, but SF 070622 @depth 48 castles, as does SF 14 @depth 37. The CBDB shows only one game with 7…h6, yet there are several more on which one can click, which makes no sense. Why does it show only one game when there are many?) 8. b3 (SF 070622 @depth 53 plays the game move, but SF 15 @depth 43 plays 8 Nd5, a move yet to be tried in practice)

Igor Glek (2467) vs Igor Lysyj (2596)
Event: ch-RUS Rapid 2019
Site: Sochi RUS Date: 10/16/2019
ECO: C46 Four knights game Glek variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.d3 a5 7.O-O Be6 8.Ne2 Bb6 9.d4 Bg4 10.d5 Ne7 11.h3 Bd7 12.Nd2 Qc8 13.Kh2 h5 14.Nc4 h4 15.g4 Ba7 16.f4 b5 17.Ne3 Bxe3 18.Bxe3 Bxg4 19.fxe5 dxe5 20.Bg5 Bh5 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Rxf6 Ra6 23.Rxa6 Qxa6 24.Qd3 Qb6 25.Rf1 Bg6 26.Nc3 b4 27.Na4 Qd6 28.Qb5+ Kf8 29.Qxa5 Kg7 30.Qc5 f5 31.Qxd6 cxd6 32.Nb6 fxe4 33.Re1 e3 34.Nc4 Rc8 35.b3 Ra8 36.Nxd6 Rxa2 37.Nc4 Rxc2 38.d6 Nc6 39.Nxe3 Ra2 40.Kg1 e4 41.Rc1 Ne5 ½-½

Sergey Solovjov IM 2434 RUS vs Konstantin Kazakov 2154 KAZ
Peterhof open 2008
C46 Four knights game Glek variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.d3 a5 7.O-O h6 8.Be3 Bxe3 9.fxe3 Ne7 10.Nh4 c6 11.d4 O-O 12.Nf5 Nxf5 13.exf5 Qe7 14.Qd2 Rd8 15.h3 d5 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.g4 b5 18.Qd4 Re8 19.Rae1 b4 20.Na4 Ba6 21.Rf4 Nd7 22.c3 Bb5 23.Nc5 Nxc5 24.Qxc5 bxc3 25.Qxc3 Qxc3 26.bxc3 a4 27.a3 Rab8 28.Rb4 Kf8 29.Kf2 c5 30.Rbb1 Bc4 31.Red1 Bb3 32.Rd2 Re5 33.Rxd5 Ree8 34.Rxc5 Rbd8 35.Rb2 Rc8 36.Rxc8 Rxc8 37.Rd2 Rxc3 38.Be4 Ke7 39.Kf3 Bc4 40.Rc2 Rxc2 41.Bxc2 Bb3 42.Bd3 Kd6 43.Ke4 Kc5 44.f6 g5 45.Ke5 Ba2 46.Ba6 Bb3 47.e4 Ba2 48.Bb7 Bc4 49.Bc8 Ba2 50.Bd7 1-0 (ChessBaseDataBase)

FM Emil Risteski 2363 MKD vs GM Igor Lysyj 2603 RU
Titled Tuesday intern op 11th Jan 2022
C46 Four knights game Glek variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.O-O a5 7.d3 h6 8.h3 Be6 9.Nd2 a4 10.Nc4 Nd4 11.Kh2 b5 12.Ne3 c6 13.f4 a3 14.f5 axb2 15.Bxb2 Bd7 16.a4 b4 17.Ne2 Nxe2 18.Qxe2 Bxe3 19.Qxe3 c5 20.g4 Rxa4 21.Qf3 O-O 22.h4 Nh7 23.Qg3 f6 24.Rxa4 Bxa4 25.Qf2 Qd7 26.Ra1 Ra8 27.Bf3 Bc6 28.Rxa8+ Bxa8 29.Qe1 Qa4 30.Qb1 Bc6 31.Bd1 Qa5 32.Bc1 Nf8 33.g5 hxg5 34.hxg5 c4 35.gxf6 gxf6 36.Bf3 Qc5 37.Kg2 d5 38.Bd2 dxe4 39.dxe4 c3 40.Bh6 Qc4 41.Qe1 Kf7 42.Qg3 Ke8 43.Qg7 Qf7 44.Qh8 Ke7 45.Bh5 Bxe4+ 46.Kf2 Qa2 47.Qxf8+ Kd7 48.Qe8+ Kc7 49.Qe7+ Kc8 50.Qe6+ Qxe6 51.fxe6 Kd8 52.Bf8 Bc6 53.e7+ Kc8 54.e8=Q+ Bxe8 55.Bxe8 f5 56.Ba4 e4 57.Bb3 1-0 (ChessBaseDataBase)

Did GM Richard Rapport Go Into The Tank?

‘Back in the day’ there were Candidates matches played leading up to the World Chess Championship. Young people regularly hear some old coot say, “Things were better back in the day.” I was once young, and have now grown old. The fact is that some things may have been better ‘back in the day’ and some were most definitely not “better.” As in most things in life, it depends on one’s perspective. That said, playing matches in lieu of playing a tournament to choose an adversary for the current World Champion was much better than the tournaments played today. The ongoing Candidates tournament is a prime example.

The following was taken from Chessdom: In the post-game interview with WGM Dina Belenkaya, Richard couldn’t explain what was the factor to make him refuse the draw and play on: “I don’t know. I should probably throw away my computer. Because I am pretty sure the line is 14…Bd6 instead of 14…Bh3, and then 15.Qxh7 Bh3 is a draw, so I figured I should be better here…“

“I got really upset about this that I played on, no one knows for what reason exactly. And position clearly seems dangerous. And also many other small things which were not going maybe before the game already. So clearly, it was extremely stupid for me to play on, regardless what is the evaluation of the position.” added Richard. (

What does Richard Rapport mean by, “…no one knows for what reason exactly.”? What about, “And also many other small things which were not going maybe before the game already.” The question must be asked, “Did Richard Rapport receive any inducement to lose the game intentionally, or were any threats made to him or any member of his family causing him to intentionally lose the game?

“Determining the ethics of intentionally losing a game to gain something greater in the future—known as “tanking” or “throwing the game”—seems like a no-brainer in that the practice is just wrong. Though…deciphering the logic of this conclusion actually does require the use of a brain as it’s not immediately obvious. Yet…a handful of commentators defend it, viewing it as just another example of good strategy, listing other commonly accepted strategies in defense of the practice.” (htps://

Let us be honest here, the fact is that everyone involved with Chess knows the nefarious Russians will go to any lengths to recover what they consider “their” World Chess Championship title. FIDE is controlled by a Russian, Arkady Dvorkovich,

who does what he is told by the Mad Vlad Putin.

They know that if World Champion Magnus Carlsen

refuses to again face Ian Nepomniachtchi the title will, once again, be held by a Russian.

Rapport-Nepomniachtchi left everyone, including Richard, puzzled | photo: Steve Bonhage, FIDE (

In the article, Cracking the Candidate Code (3) by ChessBase, it is written:

“It is highly motivated and prepared players who win these events. Rapport may be motivated, but it is unlikely that he will be well-prepared. With events lined up he won’t have the time to prepare properly – he agreed to play in Norway, a tournament that finishes a mere six days before the start of the Candidates. Playing Carlsen and co. before an exhausting 14-round Candidates is not quite the best practice. Playing in Romania at the Superbet Classic wasn’t a success either, as his final score of minus two (both losses with White due to big blunders) placed him at shared-last.

Rapport’s second issue is that he is a self-confessed loner. He likes to work alone and finds it difficult to work with others. What he has achieved alone is incredible, but in order to climb the highest mountain players need teams – like it or not, the days of Fischeresque feats of ‘one against the world’ are gone and unlikely to return. Every single player who has qualified for a World Championship match has had a team that has supported him all the way. It would really be great to see Rapport find a support system to help him reach his full potential, but it seems that this won’t happen for Madrid, which is a pity, as I would have really fancied to see the best he can offer.” (

After reading the above would you have wagered anything that this player would win the Candidates tournament? It is more than a little obvious Richard Rapport was not ready for prime time and should not have been included in the event. For the rest of his life the question of his “going into the tank” will haunt Richard Rapport.

Octopus brain more similar to the human brain than thought

Octopus brain more similar to the human brain than thought: ‘Fascinating example of convergent evolution’
June 24, 2022
by Matt Higgins

Diane Picchiottino on Unsplash

Humans might have evolved from apes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t share the same characteristics with other animals. A team of international researchers made a startling discovery when they found both the human and octopus brain share the same “jumping genes.”

“Jumping genes” are active in both the human brain and in the brain of two species of octopus — Octopus vulgarisms and Octopus bimaculoides. Over 45% of the human genome is composed by sequences called transposons, or the jumping genes, that can “move from one point to another of an individual’s genome, shuffling or duplicating.”

World Chess Championship Candidates Biorhythms

I have previously written about biorhythms on this blog in a post titled, End The World Chess Championship Match NOW! ( If you surf on over you will find this: “Below you will find the biorhythm of Nepo, who is in a triple low period approaching the bottom, where he will remain for the next week. Nepo’s biorhythms are about as bad as it gets, biorhythm wise.” If any member of the Russian ‘team’ had bothered to check Nepo’s biorhythms prior to signing the agreement to play the match they would not have allowed their man to play during such an adverse time, at least in regard to his biorhythms.

For those new to the blog, or new to biorhythms, the father of the love of my life was a Senior VP at one of the largest banks in Georgia. He gave me a book about biorhythms by Bernard Gittelson:

Kasutatud raamatud, Vanaraamat, teema: Eneseabi, psühholoogia …

He brought it to my attention because it featured the biorhythms of Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky during the 1972 match for the World Chess Championship.

It was learned the Japanese take it very seriously, seriously enough to not allow pilots or bus drivers to work when having a physical critical day. After so doing the accident rate fell dramatically.

I once posted something about biorhythms on the United States Chess Federation forum for which I was excoriated unmercifully by the ignorant, nattering nabobs of negativism. One called it a “pseudo-science.” None of the nabobs knew anything about biorhythms, and were too lazy, or ignorant, to check into biorhythms, yet they were ready to condemn this writer for even bringing it to their attention.

From what has been learned over the last half century the most pronounced aspect of biorhythms is the physical aspect. Every two weeks a human body changes, going from a high to low phase, or low to high phase. Your body cleans itself and you began the new phase. From my experience changing from the high phase to the low phase is not a good day. Transitioning from a low to high phase is usually not as bad a day, but still, one can feel “out of sorts” or maybe feel “out of phase.” On the days one transitions from high to low physically it is best to stay home.

It is terribly difficult to quantify the intellectual and emotional aspects of biorhythms. It can be made more understandable if one keeps a record of how one feels each and every day and reviews it later. From a lifetime of following my biorhythms I have come to think of the emotional aspect as being different from the other two aspects because it seems better to be emotionally ‘low’ than ‘high’. Think of it as being “low key” as opposed to “high strung.” The thing about the emotional aspect is that if your long loving wife were to inform you she wants a divorce, it matters not where you are in relation to your emotional biorhythms. Whether on top of the world, or bottomed out, one would immediately have a bad day, unless, that is, you, too, were ready to end the relationship.

The biorhythms of the eight players follow. I considered writing a post prior to the start of the Candidates tournament, but changed my mind. After seeing such horrendous play during the first part of the tournament my thinking changed. The physical aspect is the blue line; red is emotional; and green designates the intellectual aspect of biorhythms. For those of you interested, and objective, enough to want to know more, please begin with the aforementioned blog post written during the ill-fated World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepo. I chose to use the date of June 26, two days from now, as the mid-point because it is the day the second half of the match begins. Rather than attempting an explanation for each of the players I have made the choice to let you review the material and come to your own conclusion(s), with one caveat. After reviewing each and every biorhythm of the players prior to the start of the tournament it was obvious Fabiano Caruana would have the best chart of the group, and therefore the best odds of winning the tournament. After comparing the charts of the players I believe even the “nattering nabobs” would be forced to agree with the statement that Caruana will again face Magnus Carlsen with the title of World Champion on the line, if, that is, Magnus decides to again defend his title.

Nepo slapp naumlega á móti Nakamura – efstur eftir 5 umferðir |
Ian Nepomniachtchi (born 14 July 1990)
Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Fabiano Luigi Caruana (born July 30, 1992)
Hikaru Nakamura, photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage
Hikaru Nakamura (born December 9, 1987)
Magnus on Richard Rapport: “His understanding of the game is just superb” | photo: Stev Bonhage, FIDE
Richard Rapport (born 25 March 1996)
An excellent game by Ding Liren. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Ding Liren (born 24 October 1992)
Pierwsza porażka Jana-Krzysztofa Dudy w turnieju kandydatów
Jan-Krzysztof Duda (born 26 April 1998)
A huge missed chance to score for Teimour Radjabov, photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage
Teimour Radjabov (born 12 March 1987)
Firouzja and Caruana before their game. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Alireza Firouzja (born 18 June 2003)

Bigfoot Went Down To Georgia

What makes this story of the most recent sighting of Bigfoot in Georgia so intriguing is the picture was taken in Decatur, a city in the Great State of Georgia, in which the AW was born and currently resides!

Bigfoot believers in frenzy over snap of bizarre figure ‘smiling’ at camera

By Ethan Blackshaw

22 JUN 2022

A bloke out photographing some forest scenery close to where he lives was shocked to discover a face “smiling” back at him in one of the snaps, with many suggesting it’s Bigfoot

A picture of a potential Bigfoot “smiling” down the lens of a camera has sent believers into a frenzy.

The chilling snap, shared to Facebook group Bigfoot Believers by Jay Willson, appears to show something’s face peering through some foliage.

Willson revealed that he captured the image seven weeks ago in Georgia, US when he “was just photographing tree structures which were everywhere”.

Bigfoot enthusiasts often say weirdly positioned broken trees, or branches broken in a way which wouldn’t occur naturally, are signs that Sasquatches may be in an area.

Willson didn’t spot the face (in the middle of the snap) at the time (Image: Jay Willson/Facebook)

Willson also said he didn’t see the figure at the time, only after he analysed the snap more closely.

He added: “I go back there every day. This is a large area of woods and I took 49 photos the day that I stumbled into it.

“I honestly have no idea exactly where I was when I snapped this photo, unfortunately. I honestly don’t care about naysayers. Couldn’t care less.”

He later joked: “Some people have told me it looks to be smiling. Say cheese…” (

Bigfoot has often been spotted in Georgia:

Bigfoot Or Skunk Ape Caught On Camera In Georgia

By Dave Basner

December 7, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Every year, there are thousands of reported sightings of Bigfoot in North America. While most take place in the Pacific Northwest, that’s not the only area where a Sasquatch has been spotted. In fact, someone recently filmed what they claim is the mysterious creature in the woods of Georgia.

The video, which was shared by the @CryptidUniversity Instagram account, shows shaky footage of what appears to be a large ape-like animal with black fur bending over behind some trees in the distance. When the creature fully stands, it looks taller and bigger than a human. It then walks off as the person filming hides behind a tree.

Commenters on the video are torn on if it is real, with some writing things like, “Best footage I’ve seen in a while – that thing was huge,” while others said, “They do all sorts of things for attention down in Georgia,” and “Filmed in 2021? With a flip phone? And no backstory, location or anything?”

However, even experts are convinced that this clip could be real. Seth Breedslove, the documentary filmmaker behind On The Trail Of Bigfoot, told the Daily Star:

“The subject seems to be very large but the movement possibly gives away the potential for some trickery. The subject seems to be looking down at the ground as it turns indicating it might be a person in a suit who is having some difficulty judging the forest floor beneath them. It makes me think this is more than likely a hoax. The thing does appear to be large though, so maybe it’s real? These videos always leave us with more questions than answers.”

It might not be Bigfoot at all, it could be something else – the Southeast has its own version of Sasquatch called a Skunk ape. Named because of its odor, the creature has been spotted in Georgia, Florida, Alabama for hundreds of years. Perhaps this is another encounter with it.

For now, there is still no word on if the video shows Bigfoot, a Skunk ape or is just a hoax.

GM Hikara Nakamura Excoriates FIDE!

In a remarkable interview with GM Irina Krush and WGM Jennifer Shahade after the fourth round of the 2022 FIDE Candidates Tournament GM Hikaru Nakamura put the shells into the chamber of the shotgun and blasted away at FIDE, giving them both barrels.

Then he reloaded and did it again…and again…and again…

The President of the Georgia Chess Association Replies

A different post was about ready to go when the decision was made to check the email, where this reply was found in the inbox:

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

4:03 PM

Well written as always. I will ask you, just how many people walk away from a tournament with prizes? How many are motivated by the prize fund to play? Am I in a minority?


J. Parnell Watkins, Jr.
President, Georgia Chess Association

I would like to thank the POTGCA for his kind words.

His questions will be answered in order:

I have no idea “…just how many people walk away from a tournament with prizes.” If anyone does have an answer please share it with the POTGCA.

“How many are motivated by the prize fund to play?” can only be answered by asking each and every player in each and every section how motivated they were by the possibility of winning money. If one does that for every tournament for a year one would probably have enough information to answer the question.

As for the last question about possibly being in a minority, once again, how large a sample size do you need? I will begin by informing you, sir, that you are, indeed, in a minority!

Then again, I will admit Chess is different in some respects, which can best be illustrated by something that happened at Gammons, in the Piedmont Peachtree Crossing shopping center, in the 1980s. One day Steve Moffitt and I were there early and began conversing about Chess. Steve was a Texas junior Chess champion, and he asked if I would like to play a game. He had a set and clock in his trunk even though he had not played in years. Once a player… We decided to do as GM David Bronstein suggested and play a fifteen minute game. Since the game was drawn we set them up again. The second game was also drawn. A backgammon player had entered and was standing there watching the conclusion of the second game. He had no idea why we were shaking hands and smiling. “Who won?” he inquired. Steve said, “It was a draw.” He looked dumbfounded before incredulously saying, “You mean you SPLIT? Nobody paid off?” After wrapping his mind around the fact that no money had changed hands he asked, “So the only way to get paid is to win?” Steve told him that was the way it was. I added, and then immediately regretted it, “We were not playing for anything other than the love of the game.”

“What?!!?” he scoffed. “You mean you weren’t playin’ for ‘nuthin at all? What’s the point of playing?”

Revolutionary Idea From The President of the Georgia Chess Association: Senior Chess Tournament Sans Prizes

The Legendary Georgia Ironman was all FIRED UP, positively OVERJOYED, when informing me he had surfed over to the website of the Georgia Chess Association and found an upcoming tournament for Seniors in August. He was ready to send the entry fee immediately. “We have got to support Senior tournaments or there will not be any Senior tournaments,” he said. This caused me to surf over and check out the announcement:

Senior’s Tournament
August 6 @ 9:00 am – August 7 @ 5:00 pm

In tribute to those who play the sport (Sport? Chess is a GAME! AW) of chess throughout life, this is one in a series of themed tournament where we honor a segment of the chess playing public. This tournament is limited to senior players only, those who have celebrated 50 or more years of life. A charcuterie board (food) is provided for the convenience of players before each round.




Open: 2-day, 4-SS, Time-Control: 30/90;SD/20+15, 10 am and 2:30 pm, both Saturday and Sunday

Sets and Clocks provided.


$50 In advance until 7 PM Friday evening. $65 On Site before 9:30 am. Free entry to titled players (GM’s, IM’s, FM’s, NM’s, WGM’s, WIM’s)

The Boardroom

© Georgia Chess Association, 2012.

All Rights Reserved.

August 06, 2022

9:00 AM
August 07, 2022

5:00 PM


The Boardroom, 1675 Peachtree Pkwy, Suite #180, Cumming Georgia 30041

After checking it out I got back to the Legendary one, saying, “There were no prizes listed, Tim.”
A look of puzzlement came over his face as he thought for a few moments before saying, “Now that you mention it, I don’t recall any prizes listed…” The wind had gone out of his sails. “Maybe Parnell forgot to include the prizes.”

After firing a salvo at the POTGCA, Mr. Watkins responded:

On Sat, Jun 18, 2022 at 1:03 PM J Parnell Watkins, Jr. wrote:

If you read the announcement, food is provided on site. Also, I do not expect to make money on this tournament, given the site costs me $500 per weekend and I only expect to make $500 on the tournament. Sorry it offends your sensibilities, but unlike the GCA, I can not fund the tournament at a loss, even a modest loss. I am funding it to break even. I am doing the best I can given the time and budget constraints of the facilities, and the fact that everyone wants long time controls.


President of the GCA Parnell Watking awarding a prize to Alex, a student of the Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear

I returned to the announcement and reread it, making note of this: “A charcuterie board (food) is provided for the convenience of players before each round.” In the next email to the POTGCA, I mentioned eating processed meat off of a board while playing did not appeal to me. In closing the email exchange I facetiously wrote, with tongue firmly in cheek, the following:

In closing let me just say that what you are attempting could revolutionize Chess. If you draw well other organizers would follow, because why pay out a prize if the chumps are gonna play for nothing? Then Chess would die and the name ‘Parnell Watkins’ would LIVE IN INFAMY!

A brief conversation from the future might go like this…”Yeah, Chess was all the rage after a movie was made from a mediocre book, The Queen’s Gambit.

The movie was so badly made it had the two players talking to each other across the board while playing a game for the Chess Championship of the World! This was during the pandemic when everyone was stuck at home fearing for their lives. Chess websites were poppin’ up like weeds after a rainy night in Georgia, and everyone was making money hand over fist giving lessons. What a time it was…”
“What happened?”
“Some idiot named Parnell Watkins had a brain fart and came up with the idea of holding a Chess tournament without paying out any prizes and there was a big turnout…I think it was in what had been called “The Great State of Georgia”…
“What’s it called now?”
“Georgia: The State Where Chess Died.”
“What happened?”
“Organizers loved it and made out like bandits initially, but eventually the players wised up and demanded prize money, but it was too late. The greedy organizers refused to return to the old days and ways and people stopped playing.”
“What happened to that Parnell guy?”
“You don’t wanna know…”

An Ongoing Review of The Best I Saw In Chess by IM Stuart Rachels

The Best I Saw In Chess,

The Best I Saw in Chess – Stuart Rachels:

by IM Stuart Rachels, is one of the best Chess books I have had the pleasure of reading. Actually, the book was devoured. With thoughts of writing a review I took copious notes for future use, which turned out to be a good thing because I have recently been reading the notes and the pages to which they refer. It had been my plan to write a review, but Covid reared it’s ugly head and the blog writing ended for a time.

Because of having known, and traveled with, Stuart’s trainer, IM Boris Kogan, I was reluctant to write and possibly put something in print that maybe should not be written. After Boris and his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, Boris and his son, Mike, were charged for the ride to their first out of state tournament, which I found appalling. They were driven to their second tournament out of state without charge by yours truly as a way of saying, “Welcome to America.” Because of my act of kindness we became friends. Boris and I were the “elder statesmen” of a group of Chess players known as the “Road Warriors.” Boris confided many things about which I was never to speak, or write, and I have honored his request. Now it is difficult to recall what was out of bounds, so I have kept it all to myself as a way of adhering to his wishes.

Some years ago Stuart asked me if I knew how to contact the son of Boris, Mike Kogan. It had something to do with the Chess notebooks Boris pocessed. I made inquires, learning the last anyone heard of Mike was that he had moved down under, to Australia. Emails were sent and the nice Aussie’s took it seriously and the whole country was turned upside down, but still no contact with Mike Kogan. After learning of Stuart’s book I could not help but wonder if he may have inquired hoping to use some of the material in the book.

There is something for anyone and everyone in Stuart’s brilliant book. Many times during the reading I would pause to reflect and philosophize. Often it was obvious Stuart understood the position POSITIONALLY better than did his opponent even if it was only seeing one move further. Boris was fond of saying, “You must see one move further.” Unfortunately, seeing that one move further escaped this writer.

The game you are about to replay was chosen because I knew Walter Browne after meeting him in San Antonio in 1972 when he participated in the tournament sponsored by Church’s Fried Chicken, which was played at the Hemisphere.

Many years later I faced off with Walter over a Backgammon board at a coffee shop in Berkeley, California. Walter had a previous commitment and as his time dwindled and the losses continued unabated Walter increased the speed of his play and started ‘steaming’. In BG terminology he began increasing the wager by giving me the cube prematurely. Just as with Grandmaster Larry Christiansen, I would glance up to see Walter looking at me with a look that said, “How can I be losing to this guy?” The stakes were considerably higher when playing Walter, who was unaccustomed to losing at anything. Larry and I played for only a quarter a point, far below what was usual at Gammons, but Larry C. was a Chess player, and everyone knew ‘back in the day’ that Chess players had little cash, so we stayed up all night playing Backgammon at the home of former Georgia Chess Champion Mike Decker, with whom Larry stayed after beating me like a drum in the simultaneous exhibition. At the conclusion of the last game Walter paid by dropping a wad of bills on the table before saying, “How can you be such a chumpy-lumpy at Chess and play Backgammon like that?”

There can be much drama and excitement contained in a single game of Chess, but when it is played by humans the story can be better than the game; think Fischer vs Spassky circa 1972. The book by Stuart Rachels, The Best I Saw In Chess, by New In Chess, is replete with myriad stories told wonderfully by the author. The book is full of stories about people I knew and some of whom were faced over the board. This will be the focus of the ongoing review, which will begin with the irrepressible Grandmaster Walter Browne. His book, “The Stress of Chess (and its infinite finesse) My Life, Career and 101 Best Games”

is full of wonderful stories of the Chess road and was enjoyed immeasurably. Stuart writes about a game contested with Walter, beginning with this position from the first round of the 1992 US Championship:

Position after 38. Re1-d1

Stuart writes, “We were both in time trouble, (Walter Browne was almost invariably in time trouble and he put on a show bouncing up and down in his chair while exuding nervous energy. AW) but I wasn’t panicked. Looking at the clock, I thought I had about 90 seconds to make the next two moves, reaching the time control. What’s happening on the board? White is a pawn up with two connected passers, but after 38…Bb3, the tactics will be telling – if White’s rook stays on the d-pawn, then Black can try to exploit White’s back rank with 39…Re8.” After a plethora of variations we find this on the next page: In practice, Browne played
and gave the clock a mighty wallop. My flag fell instantly. Stunned, I shook hands and signed the scoresheets: 0-1 (time)?? Browne offered a few words of consolation and then left the tournament hall in a hurry. He was always in a hurry, but I think he understood what had happened.
I now peered at the clock more closely. I had stopped it moments after my flag fell, yet the time on my side read halfway between 6:01 and 6:02. This was impossible; the minute hand should have been almost directly under the ’12’. It took me hours to grasp the obvious truth: the clock was defective, and I had blundered by acquiescing to the result. We were using a Master Quartz clock, and some of the other players later told me: ‘Yeah, it’s known to be defective.’
The next day, I spoke to Yasser Seirawan

about what had happened. Yasser, who is normally bubbly and forthcoming, listened to me quietly and gravely. Then he shook his head and said matter-of-factly: ‘I’m glad you didn’t protest – boy, I’d hate to be on that appeals committee!” Fourteen rounds later, when my lousy tournament was over (6 1/2 – 8 1/2), someone pointed out that I would have finished even had I beaten Browne. Seirawan piped up: ‘No no, that was round one. If Stuie had won that game, it would’ve been a completely different tournament for him!’ The terrible thing about chess is that you only have yourself to blame.”
P.S. Here is Browne’s version of the story (quoted in full): ‘In the first round I got the worse position vs. the up-and-coming GM Stuart Rachels, but in time pressure I somehow miraculously turned the tables. I wish Browne’s account were true; I wish I were a grandmaster!”
There is a footnote, appropriately enough, number 64, in which Stuart writes, “Walter Browne, The Stress of Chess… and its Infinite Finesse: My Life, Career and Best Games (Alkmaar, The Netherlands: New in Chess, 2012), p. 332. Instead of ‘up-and-coming’, Browne actually wrote ‘upcoming’ (which means ‘coming soon’) – thus Browne confused eminence with imminence.”

This brought back a horrible memory from one of the early rounds at a World Open in which I participated. I had a better, maybe winning, position approaching time control. After making a move my opponent said, “You’re down,” and stopped the clock. After looking closely at the clock it was obvious the flag had fallen prematurely because there was still white between the minute hand and ‘high noon’. The two players sitting to my left stopped playing and looked at the clock and nodded in agreement with me. Afraid to leave the board I stood up and began frantically waving for a tournament director. Jerry Bibuld

walked over and stood at the end of the table on which the clock was placed. As he stood over, and directly behind the clock, he bent over at the waist and, looking at the clock upside down, disallowed my claim. My opponent IMMEDIATELY grabbed the clock and moved the hands. One of the players on the next board said, “That’s a crock of shit!” The two players agreed to stop the clock and walk with me to see the head honcho what be in charge, Bill Goichberg.

After listening to me and the two players sitting next to our game, Bill Goichberg ruled that what the TD, Bibuld, ruled would stand because he had to back up his tournament directors. The same fellow who spoke earlier got right up in Bill’s face and again said, though with much more vehemence, “THAT’S A CROCK OF SHIT, BILL, AND YOU KNOW IT!” Nevertheless, the loss stood. It would be an understatement to say the wind went out of my sails and after playing a couple of lifeless games I withdrew from the tournament.

The following game was chosen because I knew Walter Browne after meeting him in San Antonio in 1972 when he participated in the tournament sponsored by Church’s Fried Chicken, which was played at the Hemisphere. Many years later I faced off with Walter over a Backgammon board at a coffee shop in Berkeley, California. Walter had a previous commitment and as his time dwindled, and the losses continued unabated, Walter increased the speed of his play and started ‘steaming’. In BG terminology he began increasing the wager by giving me the cube prematurely. Just as with Grandmaster Larry Christiansen,

I would glance up to see Walter looking at me with a look that said, “How can I be losing to this guy?” The stakes were considerably higher when playing Walter, who was unaccustomed to losing at anything. Larry and I played for only a quarter a point, far below what was usual at Gammons, but Larry C. was a Chess player, and everyone knew ‘back in the day’ that Chess players had little cash, so we stayed up all night playing Backgammon at the home of former Georgia Chess Champion Mike Decker, where Larry stayed after beating me like a drum in the simultaneous exhibition. At the conclusion of the last game Walter paid by dropping a wad of bills on the table before saying, “How can you be such a chumpy-lumpy at Chess and play Backgammon like that?”

Stuart Rachels (2485) vs Walter S Browne (2515)
Event: USA-ch
Site: USA Date: ??/??/1992
Round: 1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 Nc6 7.Be2 e5 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.f4 Qa5 10.O-O Be7 11.Kh1 Rb8 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Bc4 O-O 14.Qe1 Qc7 15.a5 Ne8 16.Qg3 Bb4 17.Be3 Qe7 18.Bb6 Nd6 19.Bd3 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Nb5 21.Bc4 Be6 22.Qxe5 Rfe8 23.Bd3 f6 24.Qg3 c5 25.c4 Nd4 26.Qf2 Bf7 27.Rae1 Rbc8 28.c3 Nc6 29.Bxc5 Qd8 30.Bd4 Qxa5 31.c5 Ra8 32.e5 Qd8 33.exf6 Rxe1 34.Rxe1 Nxd4 35.cxd4 Qxf6 36.Qxf6 gxf6 37.Be4 Rd8 38.Rd1 Bb3 0-1

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 (An uncommon move versus the Najdorf. It was SM Brian McCarthy’s favorite move versus the Najdorf. He called it the “Nuclear Attack.” Brian said, “Najdorf players want to play b5 but the Nuclear Attack stops then from playing it and they don’t know what to play!” The ChessBaseDataBase contains only 1795 games in which the game move has been played. There are almost 22000 games with the choice of Stockfish 15 @depth 75, 6 Be3. At depth 74 the move is 6 f3. There have been 3702 games with the move. There are more games being played than ever and many more examples of so-called “offbeat” opening moves than last century. I assume Stuart chose the move 6 a4 to get Walter out of book, because the Najdorf was Walter’s defense against 1 e4. The first choice of the Stockfish program at, SF 14.1+NNUE these daze is 6 h3) 6…Nc6 (The most often played move has been 6…e5, but white has scored 59% against it; 6…e5 is the choice of Fritz @depth 36. SF 14.1 @depth 55 plays 6…g6, with white scoring 53%. Going two ply deeper the same program shows 6…e6, which has held white to only 50%, the same as the move chosen by Mr. Six-Time) 7.Be2 (Far and away the most often played move, but in 335 games it has scored only 49%. The choice of SF 15 is 7 Nxc6, which has scored 60% in a couple of dozen games) 7…e5 (Two of the three Fritz programs shown will play the game move; the other plays 7…g6. This sent me to the SF program at, where 7…e6 is the preferred move) 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.f4 (The CBDB shows 36 games with the game move; 4 with 9 0-0. It also shows Houdini at a lower level and SF 12 @depth 35 playing 9 0-0, but going three fathoms deeper changes its whatever to 9 a5, which is what the Stockfish program used at shows) 9…Qa5 (9…a5 is the choice of Deep Fritz 14 and just to make damn sure you know it, the move is given twice. It has been the most often played move with 15 games showing. SF 240921 @depth 45 will play 9…Rb8, which will, when played, be a TN) 10.O-O Be7 11.Kh1 (At the CBDB one sees Deep Fritz at a low level playing 11 Qe1, as does SF 221121 @depth 31. The ChessBaseDataBase also shows a Rbyka 2.3 (Rybka? Now that’s a blast from the past, is it not?) program @depth 10 (TEN?! Now we’re playing the Chessbase limbo…How low can we go?) will play 11 fxe5. That’s it for the antiquated CBDB. The Stockfish program at shows Stuart’s move as best) 11…Rb8 (SF 14+NNUE will castle, and so should you…) 12.fxe5 dxe5 (SF 14+NNUE takes with the Queen)

Alexander Fishbein (2470) vs Helgi Olafsson (2575)
Event: New York op
Site: New York Date: ??/??/1990
Round: 1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 Nc6 7.Be2 e5 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.f4 Qa5 10.O-O Be7 11.Qd3 O-O 12.Bd2 exf4 13.Rxf4 Qc7 14.a5 Nd7 15.Qg3 Bf6 16.Rf3 Be5 17.Qh4 Bd4+ 18.Kh1 Ne5 19.Rff1 Be6 20.Ra4 Qa7 21.Nd1 Ng6 22.Qh5 Rae8 23.c3 Be5 24.Be3 c5 25.b4 Rc8 26.Ra3 Qb7 27.bxc5 dxc5 28.Nf2 Rfd8 29.Qf3 c4 30.Bb6 Rd2 31.Rd1 Qd7 32.Raa1 Qd6 33.Qe3 Bf4 34.Rxd2 Qxd2 35.Qxd2 Bxd2 36.Bd4 Rb8 37.Rd1 Rb2 38.Bf3 f6 39.Ng4 Nh4 40.Ne3 Kf7 41.Bh5+ g6 42.Bf3 h5 43.Rg1 Nxf3 44.gxf3 Rb3 45.Nd1 Ra3 46.Rg2 Bf4 47.Bb6 h4 48.Rg1 h3 49.Rf1 Ke8 50.Kg1 Kd7 51.Bd4 Rxa5 52.Bxf6 Ra2 53.Nf2 a5 54.Bh4 a4 55.Bg3 Bxg3 56.hxg3 a3 57.Rc1 Rb2 58.Nd1 Rg2+ 59.Kf1 Rxg3 0-1

Javier Moreno Carnero (2490) vs Elisabeth Paehtz (2330)
Event: Dresden ZMD op
Site: Dresden Date: ??/??/2002
Round: 8
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 Nc6 7.Be2 e5 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.f4 Qa5 10.O-O Be7 11.Qe1 Be6 12.Kh1 h5 13.Bd2 Qb6 14.b3 a5 15.Rd1 Qc5 16.Bf3 Kf8 17.Qe3 Qxe3 18.Bxe3 g6 19.Bc1 exf4 20.Bxf4 Ne8 21.Bc1 g5 22.Be2 Kg7 23.Bd3 Bg4 24.Ne2 Bxe2 25.Bxe2 Nc7 26.Rf5 f6 27.Bb2 g4 28.Rdf1 Rh6 29.Bc4 h4 30.h3 gxh3 31.gxh3 Rg6 32.Be2 Ne6 33.Bg4 Nc5 34.Re1 Nd7 35.Rh5 Ne5 36.Bf5 Rg5 37.Rh7+ Kf8 38.Rg1 Nf7 39.Rxg5 fxg5 40.Be6 1-0

Paco Versus Sam The Sham Shankland In Prague

In the fifth round of the Masters section of the Prague Chess Festival American GM Sam Shankland

sat behind the black pieces facing Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo Pons.

The previous day had been an off day in the tournament so it would be natural to expect both players were tanned, rested, and ready for battle.

Francisco Vallejo Pons 2703 1:12:56 vs Sam Shankland 2718 (USA) 1:19:06
Prague Chess Festival | Masters
Round 5
ECO: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 10. Nh4 Bd7 11. Nf3 Bf5 12. Nh4 Bd7 13. Nf3 Bf5 1/2-1/2!prague-chess-chp-masters-2022/748137683

I have included the time given by The players were at the board maybe half an hour, if that… Wondering what may have happened if either player had a backbone, I put the opening moves into the analysis program at and this was the result:

1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 10. Nh4 Bd7 11. Nf3 Rb8 12. Re1 Re8 13. Be3 exd4 14. cxd4 Qf6 15. c4 Bb4 16. Rf1 b6 17. Rc1 h6 18. d5 Na5 19. Bd4 Qf5 20. c5 Bb5 21. Nh4 Qh7 22. d6 cxd6 23. cxb6 axb6 24. Rc7 Bxf1 25. Bxf1 Qe4 26. Bxg7 Kxg7 27. Qh5 Qe6 28. Nf5+ Kf8 29. Rxf7+ Qxf7 30. Qxh6+ Kg8 31. Qg5+ Kf8…

Sam Shankland is a member of the United States Olympic team. Hikaru Nakamura

is about to participate in the Candidates tournament, which is held to determine a challenger for the title of World Chess Champion, and he is NOT a part of the Olympic team. Am I missing something here? Makes on wonder, does it not?

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 (The Glek variation, named for GM Igor Glek. The programs prefer 4 d4. The programs do not approve of first moving a pawn before moving the bishop, but we humans ask, “Where’s the fun in that?”) 4…d5 (Both Stockfish 14.1 and 15 play 4…Bc5) 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 (SF 311221 @depth 56 prefers 7…Bc5; SF 14 @depth 50 will play 7…h6. The ChessBaseDataBase contains 362 games with 7…Bc5 and white has been held to scoring only 52%. In 251 games 7…Bd6 has allowed 56%. 7…h6 has yet to be played) 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 (SF 12 plays 9…Re8)1.

Rauf Mamedov (2709) vs Francisco Vallejo Pons (2707)
Event: World Blitz 2017
Site: Riyadh KSA Date: 12/30/2017
Round: 16.18 Score: 1-0
ECO: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.O-O O-O 9.Re1 Re8 10.d3 Bg4 11.h3 Bh5 12.Rb1 Rb8 13.g4 Bg6 14.Ng5 h6 15.Ne4 Qd7 16.Qf3 f5 17.gxf5 Bxf5 18.Qg3 Kh8 19.Qh4 Rf8 20.Ng3 Bh7 21.Qa4 Bc5 22.Be3 Bb6 23.Qg4 Qf7 24.Be4 Bxe3 25.fxe3 Qf2+ 26.Kh1 Bxe4+ 27.Nxe4 Qxc2 28.Rg1 Rf7 29.Rbf1 Re7 30.Qh4 Qxd3 31.Rf6 Qd5 32.Rxh6+ gxh6 33.Qxh6+ 1-0