Polish (Sokolsky) Versus Dutch!

At the 365Chess Chess Opening Explorer we find an “Engine Eval.” for the top seven moves played against the “A00 Polish (Sokolsky) opening.” 1…f5 is the eighth most often played move, with 57 games in the database.

Gabriel Barandiaran 1834 vs Alvaro Guerrero 2094

Duchamp Cup 2020 round 09

1. b4 f5 2. Bb2 Nf6 3. Nf3 c6 4. e3 d5 5. c4 e6 6. c5 b6 7. d4 a5 8. a3 Be7 9. Ne5 O-O 10. Be2 Qc7 11. Nd2 Na6 12. cxb6 Qxb6 13. Qa4 axb4 14. Qxc6 Rb8 15. a4 Qa7 16. Bb5 Rb6 17. Qc2 Nb8 18. O-O Ba6 19. Bxa6 Rxa6 20. Rfc1 Bd6 21. Ndf3 Ne4 22. Ne1 f4 23. exf4 Bxe5 24. dxe5 Rxf4 25. Nd3 Rf8 26. Qc7 Nd2 27. Qxa7 Rxa7 28. Nc5 Kf7 29. Bd4 Rc7 30. a5 Nc4 31. a6 Nc6 32. Nb3 Ra8 33. f4 Kg6 34. Bc5 Kf5 35. g3 g5 36. fxg5 Kxg5 37. Bd6 Rca7 38. Nc5 N6xe5 39. Nxe6+ Kf6 40. Nc7 Nxd6 41. Nxd5+ Kg5 42. Nxb4 Nf5 43. Ra5 Nf3+ 44. Kf2 Nd4 45. g4 Kxg4 46. Rg1+ Kh4 47. Rga1 Kg5 48. Re1 Kg6 49. Re4 Rb8 50. Nd5 Rb2+ 51. Ke1 Nf3+ 52. Kd1 N5d4 53. Nf4+ Kf7 54. Kc1 Rc2+ 55. Kd1 Rd2+ 0-1
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2020-duchamp-cup/09-Barandiaran_Gabriel-Guerrero_Alvaro

1 b4 f5 2 Bb2 (e3 SF) Nf6 3 Nf3 (SF 10 @depth 34 shows 3 e3, but going deeper to depth 40 prefers 3 b5, a TN) 3…c6
(SF 3…e6)

The only other game found with 3…c6

Camilla Baginskaite (2336) vs Michael Aigner (2263)
Franett mem San Francisco  01/03/2005
A04 Reti v Dutch

1.Nf3 f5 2.b4 Nf6 3.Bb2 c6 4.c4 d6 5.d4 g6 6.g3 Bg7 7.Bg2 O-O 8.O-O Na6 9.Qb3 Nc7 10.a4 Ne4 11.b5 c5 12.e3 Ne8 13.Nbd2 N8f6 14.Rad1 Qc7 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Nd2 Be6 17.d5 Nxd2 18.Rxd2 Bd7 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qc3+ Rf6 21.a5 Rf8 22.Rfd1 Kg8 23.f4 R8f7 24.Re1 Qd8 25.Rde2 Qf8 26.e4 fxe4 27.Rxe4 Qg7 28.Qe3 Kf8 29.h3 h5 30.Kh2 Bc8 31.Re6 Ke8 32.h4 Kd8 33.Bh3 Bd7 34.Re2 Qf8 35.Bg2 Rg7 36.Qc3 Bc8 37.Bh3 Bd7 38.Rxf6 Qxf6 39.Qxf6 exf6 40.Be6 Re7 41.f5 gxf5 42.Kg2 Bxe6 43.dxe6 Rg7 44.Rf2 Ke7 45.Rxf5 Rh7 46.a6 b6 47.Kf3 Kxe6 48.Ke4 Rh8 49.Rd5 Rh7 50.Rf5 Rh8 51.Rd5 Rh7 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3101776&m=7

Chess Non-Players Wearing Maggie’s Drawers

GM Alexander Motylev, the top seeded player, deservedly finished tied for second place in a large, eight player group hug at the recently completed Portugal Open, only one half-point behind the winner, GM Karen H. Grigoryan. After winning his first two games against much lower rated players, Mustafa Atakay, only rated 1886, representing the USA, and IM Rafael Rodriguez Lopez of Spain, rated only 2212, Motylev faced IM Ismael Alshameary Puente, rated 2385, also from Spain. Before the opening had been completed the game ended in a perpetual check after move fifteen. As it turned out Motylev could have used the extra half point. Under ordinary circumstances Motylev would have had Mustafa for lunch, even playing with the black pieces. Motylev, as the notes will show, made no attempt to win. THAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH CHESS! Motylev, and all the other players wearing short drawers, have ruined the Royal game. If a guy like yours truly, who has been playing Chess for half a century now has lost interest in the game because of the proliferation of draws, Chess has a MAJOR PROBLEM! The fact is that there is no incentive for players to strive for a win, so they will continue to embarrass Caissa, and themselves, until Chess is consigned to the dust bin of history.

What if a player received on 1/4 point for a draw? How many GMs would be looking for an opportunity to finagle an early draw?

If a game is decisive the two players combined receive ONE POINT. If the game is drawn the two players receive ONE POINT. If the two drawers receive only one quarter of a point the total number of points awarded to the two drawers is ONE HALF POINT! One half point is one half of the one point awarded to the two players who played a decisive game, which is the way it should be. It is way past time to change the rule because if this is not done IMMEDIATELY, Chess will die a slow death, but it will, nevertheless, be dead’ern HELL.

Because of my interest in Go I have learned of several tournaments in which children were offered the choice of Chess or Go. I have been informed the vast majority of children who have done this much prefer Go because, unlike Chess, there is always a winner. If anyone reading this doubts what I write all you have to do is to teach both games to children and then ask them which one they prefer to play. It’s that simple. Chess people want nothing to do with the idea, but people of the Go community are up for the challenge.

IM Ismael Alshameary Puente (2385)

vs GM Alexander Motylev (2640)

Portugal Open 2020 round 03

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 h6 8. Bh4 c6 9. Rd1 a6 10. a3 b5 11. c5 Re8 12. Bg3 Nh5 13. Be5 Nhf6 14. Bg3 Nh5 15. Be5 Nhf6 ½-½

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 (SF 10 @depth 58 plays 4…Bb4; Komodo @depth 43 prefers 4…c5) 5. Bg5 (Although the most often played move, Stockfish and Houdini show 5 Bf4) 5…O-O (In order of games played at the venerable ChessBaseDataBase 5…h6, Komodo’s move, is the leader with 6037 games, followed by the move in the game, castles, showing 5607 games. Stockfish advocates 5…Nbd7, which has been played in 1331 games) 6 e3 (This move, the choice of Komodo, has been played about nine times as often as any other move. With 6428 games played it dwarfs the second most played move, 6 Qc2, which shows only 471 games. SF 10 would play 6 Rc1, a move having been played in only 112 thus far. After this post expect that to change! Insert smiley face here…) 6…Nbd7 (The most often played move, but is it the best? SF 10 @depth 42 plays 6…h6, as does Komodo 13.1 @depth 45, but the same engine @depth 42 plays the seldom played 6…b6) 7. Qc2 (Komodo 13.01 @depth 42 plays the game move, but Komodo 13.25 @depth 46 would play the most often played move, 7 Rc1) 7…h6 8 Bh4 c6 9 Rd1 (The most often played move, but Komodo 13.2 @depth 42 plays 9 a3) 9…a6 (The programs prefer 9…b6) 10. a3 (By far the most often played move but SF 090519 @depth 29 plays 10 Bd3. Komodo 10.2 @depth 28 plays 10 Be2) 10…b5 (The machines prefer 10…b6) 11. c5 Re8 (SF & Houey play 11…Nh5)
12. Bg3 (The Fish & the Dragon both play 12 Bd3) 12…Nh5 13. Be5 Nhf6 (SF plays 13…f6) 14. Bg3 Nh5 15. Be5 Nhf6 ½-½

Mark Van der Werf (2423) vs Rick Duijker (2222)

NED-ch open 07/25/2003

D11 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, 3.Nf3

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.c4 e6 4.Qc2 Nf6 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 O-O 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Rd1 a6 9.a3 h6 10.Bh4 b5 11.c5 Re8 12.b4 e5 13.dxe5 Ng4 14.Bg3 Bf8 15.Nd4 Ngxe5 16.Be2 Qf6 17.O-O Nc4 18.Bxc4 bxc4 19.e4 Bb7 20.f4 Nxc5 21.e5 Qd8 22.bxc5 Bxc5 23.Bf2 Bxa3 24.Rb1 Qc7 25.Nce2 c5 26.Nf5 d4 27.Qxc4 Qc6 28.Rxb7 Qxb7 29.Nd6 Qd7 30.Nxe8 Qxe8 31.Qb3 Bb4 32.Nxd4 a5 33.Nf5 Qe6 34.Qf3 Ra7 35.Nd6 a4 36.Qc6 a3 37.Bxc5 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=86126&m=24

Theo D Van Scheltinga vs Johannes Van den Bosch

NED-ch10 1938

D61 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Orthodox defence, Rubinstein variation

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 O-O 7.Qc2 h6 8.Bh4 c6 9.Rd1 a6 10.a3 b5 11.c5 Re8 12.h3 e5 13.dxe5 Nh7 14.Bg3 Bxc5 15.Be2 Ng5 16.Nd4 Bxd4 17.exd4 f6 18.O-O fxe5 19.dxe5 Qb6 20.Kh1 Nc5 21.Bh5 Rf8 22.f4 Nge4 23.Nxe4 Nxe4 24.Bf2 Qc7 25.Bh4 Bf5 26.Qc1 g5 27.fxg5 hxg5 28.Be1 Qh7 29.Qxc6 Qxh5 30.Rxf5 Rxf5 31.Qxa8+ Kg7 32.Rxd5 Rf1+ 33.Kh2 Qf7 34.Rd7 Qxd7 35.Qxe4 Qf7 36.Bg3 Qe6 37.Qb7+ Kh6 38.Qe4 Kg7 39.Be1 Rf4 40.Qb7+ Kg6 41.Bg3 Rc4 42.Qf3 Qc6 43.Qxc6+ Rxc6 44.Be1 Rc2 45.Bc3 Kf5 46.Kg3 a5 47.Kf3 b4 48.axb4 Rxc3+ 49.bxc3 a4 50.b5 Kxe5 51.b6 Kd6 52.b7 Kc7 53.Kg4 a3 54.Kxg5 a2 55.g4 a1=Q 56.h4 Qxc3 57.Kg6 Qc6+ 58.Kg5 Qd7 59.h5 Qg7+ 60.Kf5 Qh6 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2666502&m=24

 

 

 

 

 

The World Of Championship Chess

During the meeting of the Ironman Chess Club Tuesday, July 16, 2019 I was able to question the owner of Championship Chess, (https://www.championshipchess.net/) Steve Schneider,

a man I have known since the 1970’s, and for whom I once worked teaching Chess to children in an after school program. Our ‘conversation’ turned into an interview. There were others listening to our discussion. Without those witnesses I would be unable to publish this interview. It began after Steve, who is elderly, and like many older people, battling myriad health issues, including life threatening blood clots in his legs, stated, “I spend eighteen hours a day on Chess.” I did not question this because it is common knowledge Steve ‘burns the midnight oil’, sending emails into the wee hours of the night. I was holding a Championship Chess flyer for the 8th annual K-12 Summer Scorcher Chess tournament, which includes, on the back, the first twenty moves of the game between World Human Chess Co-Champion (at classical Chess) Magnus Carlsen and Sharsidden Vokhidov from the 2018 World Rapid Championship, titled “The Queen’s Raid.”

Me: “I see you are still teaching the Queen’s Raid.”

Steve: “There is nothing wrong with teaching the Queen’s Raid. It’s a good opening. Look at who plays it!”

Me: “Come on, Steve.”

Steve: “All the computers say it’s a playable opening!”

Me: “Which computers?”

Steve: “Stockfish, and all the top programs! Stockfish says white is better in the game!” (Referring to the aforementioned game printed on the back of the flyer. For years a Championship Chess flyer contained Chess puzzles chosen by NM Tim Brookshear. The Queen’s Raid game appears because Tim, for various reasons, decided to no longer produce the puzzles, allowing Steve’s atavistic tendencies to rear their ugly head. Hence the Queen’s Raid, something near and dear to the heart of the owner of Championship Chess. A case can be made that Championship Chess was predicated upon the Queen’s Raid, which has become synonymous with Championship Chess. The Queen’s Raid is the foundation of Championship Chess. Steve Schneider will invariably be known as the “Queen’s Raid guy.”)

Me: “When, exactly, is white better according to Stockfish, Steve?”

Steve: “In all the diagrams!”

Me: “Come on, Steve.”

Steve: Except where Magnus missed the best move in the last diagram.”

Me: “But the diagram is before Carlsen, as you say, ‘…missed the best move.'”

Steve: “Then he’s better there, too!”

(All I could do was shake my head as I muttered “unbelievable.” I then decided to move to a different subject. Granted, Magnus was better but only after his opponent played a theoretical novelty that was an extremely weak move, 4…Qe7. The Patzer is so bad that even with the inclusion of the weak move Qe7 the game is considered about even by “all of the programs.”)

Me: “What’s the deal with the World of Chess?” (Steve has spent much money having someone develop a program for beginners to which he sells access to unknowing parents of children who are in Championship Chess after school programs. I had previously seen a flyer for The World of Chess at the Ironman CC)

Steve: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Is it operational?”

Steve: “Yes.”

Me: “I looked for it on the internet but could not locate it.”

Steve: “Not just anyone can get to it.”

Me: “I would like to review it, Steve.”

Steve: “I DO NOT WANT IT REVIEWED!”

Me: “You don’t want it reviewed?” (Asked with incredulity)

Steve: “Why would I want others to see it?”

Me: “When a new product is developed it is usually reviewed…”

Steve: “You have to pay first.”

Me: “You must pay before even checking it out?”

Steve: “Yes.”

Me: “I understand it is similar to Mike Klein’s ChessKid, (https://www.chesskid.com/) which is free.”

Steve: “It’s NOT free. You must pay!”

Me: “I checked out ChessKid and there is much free content for anyone to see and use…”

Steve: “ChessKid really took off after he came to one of my lectures and stole my ideas.”

Me: “Who came to your lecture?”

Steve: “Mike Klein came to a lecture in Alabama. Most of what’s on ChessKid he took from me!”

Me: “But Steve, ChessKid has been around since long before you developed The World of Chess.”

Steve: “And you have to pay.”

Me: “But you can check it out before paying.”

Steve: “I’m not giving anything away. You must pay first!”

At this point Steve’s face was beet red and he was in a highly agitated state, so there were no further questions as others began to query “Coach Steve.”

This is my attempt to reproduce the Championship Chess flyer:

ECO20 The Queen’s Raid (At the 365Chess.com website you will find this-C20 KP, Patzer opening) (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=4&n=332&ms=e4.e5.Qh5&ns=3.5.332)

Carlsen, Magnus (2835)
Vokhidov, Shamsiddin (2480)
World Rapid Championship 12.2018

1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 g6 4.Qf3 Qe7 5.Ne2 Nf6 6.d3 Bg7 7.Nbc3

Typical opening moves where the players are even. h6 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 Na5 10.d6

Carlsen prevents Black from trading his Bishop. He sacrifices a Pawn for better development.cxd6 11.Bd5 Nc6 12.Bd2 Qf6 13.Qe4 O-O 14.O-O Ne7 15.Nc3 Qf5 16.Qb4 Nxd5

Black trades a Knight for a Bishop. 17.Nxd5 Kh7 18.Nc7 Rb8 19.Qxd6

White is better. b6 20.f3 Here Carlsen missed the best move Ne8! 0-1

I went to 365Chess and the “Big Database” contains 281 games with white winning 36.3% while losing 50.9%. The ChessBaseDataBase contains only 35 games because it is more selective, containing mostly games by titled players. It shows white scoring only 44%.

The CBDB shows what the engines ‘thought’ of the opening moves played in the Carlsen v Vokhidov game.

1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 (After this move SF 10 at D43 shows an evaluation of -0.50 for white after black plays 2…Nc6 ; Komodo 12 has it -0.20)

Nc6 3.Bc4 g6 4.Qf3 (Although Stockfish at Depth 43 plays the game move Komodo 12 at D42 prefers 4 Qd1)

4…Qe7? (There is only one game with this move in the CBDB. Komodo has it -0.02 after 5 Ne2. There are 25 games with 4…Nf6, SF has it -0.56. Vokhidov did not know the opening, which may have contributed to the thinking of Magnus Carlsen before playing The Patzer. Magnus has never played it again. There is a reason…) 5.Ne2 Nf6 (The Fish and the Dragon both play 5…Na5) 6.d3 (SF 10 plays 6 Nbc3) 6…Bg7 (Komodo and Houdini play the game move but Stockfish plays 6…h6, which will be a Theoretical Novelty if and when a titled human player makes the move on a board) 7.Nbc3 (SF 10 shows an advantage of -0.39 after 7…Nd4) 7…h6 8.Nd5 (SF 8 h3; Houdini 8 Be3) 8…Nxd5 9.exd5 Na5 ( According to both SF and Houdini 9…Nb4 is better) 10.d6 cxd6 11.Bd5 Nc6 (SF 11…Rb8) 12.Bd2 (This is Komodo’s move; Houdini plays 12 Qe4) 12…Qf6 (SF 10 castles)

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

Qe2 Versus The Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Qe2

According to the ChessBaseDataBase sixteen moves have been played more often against the Najdorf than 6 Qe2 yet the move Qe2 on the sixth move has outscored all of the other moves. Granted the Qe2 move has only been tried 58 times but has scored at a 62% level. The next closest move would be 6 a3 at 59% in the 123 games in which it has been the move of choice. The most often played sixth move for white has been 6 Be3 and there are currently over 19,000 games in which Be3 was played while scoring 55%.

In reply to 6 Qe2 both Stockfish and Komodo show 6…e5 as best. Although both Stockfish and Komodo have 7 Nb3 as best Houdini shows 7 Nf3, a move yet to appear, as the best move in the position. The move 7 Nb3 has only been played, as yet, one time!

P.R. Watson vs Alec Aslett

Combined Services-ch
England 2002
Round: 7 Score: 1-0
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Qe2 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.g3 Qc7 10.Bg2 Rc8 11.O-O-O Bc4 12.Qd2 b5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Bxb3 15.axb3 h6 16.Be3 f5 17.h4 Be7 18.Kb1 Nf6 19.Bh3 g6 20.h5 O-O 21.hxg6 Ne4 22.Qd3 Nc5 23.Bxc5 e4 24.Qd2 dxc5 25.d6 Bxd6 26.Qxd6 Qg7 27.Bxf5 c4 28.Bxc8 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=202700&m=14

The most often played move currently is 7 Nf5 and it has scored at a rate of 60%. Although 7…g6 has been the most often chosen move, the world computer program champion, Stockfish, prefers 7…d5.

Alfonso Romero Holmes (2501)- Pentala Harikrishna (2682)

ESP-chT Honor Gp2 2006

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Qe2 e5 7. Nf5 g6 8. Ne3 Be6 9. g3 h5 10. Bg2 h4 11. O-O Bh6 12. Rd1 hxg3 13. hxg3 Nc6 14. Qd3 Nd4 15. Ne2 Nxe2+ 16. Qxe2 Qe7 17. b3 Bxe3 18. Qxe3 Bh3 19. Bf3 Ng4 20. Qg5 Qxg5 21. Bxg5 f6 22. Bd2 O-O-O 23. Bb4 Kc7 24. Rd3 Nh6 25. Rad1 Nf7 26. Bg2 Bxg2 27. Kxg2 f5 28. Rc3+ Kd7 29. Re3 Ke6 30. c4 Rh7 31. Rh1 Rxh1 32. Kxh1 fxe4 33. Rxe4 g5 34. Kg2 b5 35. Bd2 Kf5 36. f3 Rc8 37. g4+ Kf6 38. Kf2 Nd8 39. Bb4 Rc6 40. Ke3 Ne6 41. Kd3 Nf4+ 42. Kd2 Ke6 43. Bc3 Rc8 44. Kc2 Ng6 45. cxb5 axb5 46. Rb4 Nf4 0-1

Attila Czebe (2487) – Vladimir Vojtek (2295)

TCh-SVK Extraliga 2010-11

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Qe2 e5 7. Nf5 d5 8. Bg5 d4 9. O-O-O Nc6 10. Qf3 Be6 11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. Bxf6 Bxe4 13. Qxe4 Qxf6 14. Nxd4 Nxd4 15. Rxd4 g6 16. Bc4 Bh6+ 17. Kb1 O-O 18. Rd7 Rad8 19. Rxd8 Rxd8 20. Qxb7 Rd2 21. a4 a5 22. Re1 Rxf2 23. Qb8+ Kg7 24. Qxe5 Qxe5 25. Rxe5 Rxg2 26. Rxa5 Rxh2 27. Ra7 Rf2 28. a5 Be3 29. Re7 Bc5 30. Rc7 Rf5 31. a6 g5 32. Bd3 Re5 33. Rxc5 Rxc5 34. b4 Rc7 35. b5 g4 36. b6 g3 37. bxc7 g2 1-0

Here is a recent game played by The Gorm,

author of arguably the most honest Chess book ever written:

Daniel Gormally (2477) vs Richard Bates (2378)

Event: London CC Superblitz KO

London ENG 12/10/2017

B90 Sicilian, Najdorf

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qe2 Nbd7 7.g4 g6 8.Be3 Bg7 9.O-O-O O-O 10.h4 Ne5 11.f3 b5 12.h5 b4 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Qa5 15.Kb1 Qxd5 16.Nf5 Qe6 17.hxg6 fxg6 18.Nxg7 Kxg7 19.Bh6+ Kg8 20.Bxf8 Kxf8 21.Rxh7 Nf7 22.Qxe6 Bxe6 23.Bd3 g5 24.Re1 Ne5 25.Be4 Rc8 26.Rf1 Bg8 27.Rh5 Rc5 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4084218&m=13

The Fantasy Variation

IM Dorsa Derakhshani (2306)

vs WGM Anna Sharevich (2281)

U.S. Womens Championship 2018 round 01

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 (One of the things I like about 365Chess.com is learning who is the leading practitioner of an opening and/or particular variation. Heather Richards has played 3 f3, the opening FM Kazim Gulamali, called the “Little Grandmaster” at the House of Pain when still a child, proclaimed the “Caro-Kann Crusher,” in twenty-two games. GM Nikola Mitkov has used the weapon eighteen times; and Artyom Timofeev is credited with playing the Crusher on sixteen occasions. The thing about playing so-called “offbeat” openings is that one can compare the play of other, stronger, players with that of your own play. Chess is a language of sorts. The moves “talk” to you if you will listen. The game you are replaying contains ideas of the players producing the moves. The beauty of Chess is “understanding” those ideas, and possibly incorporating them into your own play. With tools like the 365Chess.com and the CBDB (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) how can players not be better than their predecessors? If one wanted to learn this opening a good start would be to replay the above mentioned fifty-six games. With only that one would be well-armed for battle in a weekend tournament. Stockfish ‘thinks’ little of the Fantasy variation. If white played 3 Nd2 SF shows an advantage of +0.47. After playing 3 f3 it shows black with a small advantage of -0.2)

3…g6 (After this move Heather leads with ten, scoring seven wins; two draws; and only one loss. GM Julian Hodgson has faced 3…g6 five times, scoring three wins and two draws. Stockfish 8, at depth 49, plays 3…e6, which is a tough not to crack. Houdini 3 x 64 at depth 30 plays 3…dxe4. The CBDB shows white scoring only 52% against 3…e6, but an astounding 64% after 3…dxe4!)

4. c3

(After reading an article advocating this move it was my choice the next time facing 3…g6, something soon regretted because of the lack of development. The Fish at the CBDB has 4 Nc3, but the Fish at ChessBomb shows 4 Be3.)

Bg7 5. Bf4 (Komodo plays 5 Na3 [Najer v Rozum below] or Bg5. The Fish at ChessBomb plays 5 Na3, but I prefer it’s second choice…Qe2!)

5…dxe4

(This move is not shown so it is an unsound Theoretical Novelty. Komodo & Stockfish play 5…Nd7. See Mitkov v Azmaiparashvili below for 5…Qb6.)

6. fxe4 e5 (6…Nf6) 7. dxe5

7…Qxd1+ (7… Nd7 is better. If 8. Qd6 Qe7 9. Qxe7+ Nxe7, for example.)

8. Kxd1

Be6 (Stockfish “thinks” black should play 8…f6, with this to follow: 9. Nf3 fxe5 10. Bxe5 Bxe5 11. Nxe5 Nd7 12. Nf3 Ngf6. Black is down a pawn, but the isolated e-pawn can be attacked. It may be the best hope for black.)

9. Nf3 Nd7 10. Nbd2 h6 (There is no reason to delay developing with 10…Ne7)
11. Nc4 (11 Bc4 is better)

11…g5 (She should take the knight with 11…Bxc4)

12. Bg3 Ne7 (SF shows 12..Kf8; Bxc4; g4; & 0-0. The move played in the game is not shown.)

13. Nd6+ (White has a ‘won’ game)

Kf8 14. Kc2 Rb8 (14…Ng6)

15. Nd4 (Why not develop with Bc4?)

Ng6 (SF prefers 15…Bxe5)

16. Be2 (The Fish prefers 16 Rd1)

Bxe5 17. Nxe6+ fxe6 18. Rhf1+ Nf4 19. Nc4 Bc7

20. e5 (And there goes the advantage…20 Rfd1 or a4 keep the advantage)

Ke7 21. Bxf4 gxf4 22. Rxf4 b5 (Why not take the pawn with 22…Nxe5?)

23. Raf1 (I’m “advancing to the rear” with 23 Nd2)

Rbf8 ((23… bxc4 looks strong)

24. Rxf8 (24 Nd2) Rxf8 25. Rxf8 Kxf8 26. Ne3 Nxe5 27. Ng4 Nxg4 28. Bxg4 Bxh2 29. Bxe6 Ke7 30. Bg4 Kd6 ½-½

Derakhshani- Sharevich

U.S. Womens Championship 2018 round 01

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. Bf4 dxe4 6. fxe4 e5 7. dxe5 Qxd1+ 8. Kxd1 Be6 9. Nf3 Nd7 10. Nbd2 h6 11. Nc4 g5 12. Bg3 Ne7 13. Nd6+ Kf8 14. Kc2 Rb8 15. Nd4 Ng6 16. Be2 Bxe5 17. Nxe6+ fxe6 18. Rhf1+ Nf4 19. Nc4 Bc7 20. e5 Ke7 21. Bxf4 gxf4 22. Rxf4 b5 23. Raf1 Rbf8 24. Rxf8 Rxf8 25. Rxf8 Kxf8 26. Ne3 Nxe5 27. Ng4 Nxg4 28. Bxg4 Bxh2 29. Bxe6 Ke7 30. Bg4 Kd6 ½-½

Evgeniy Najer (2706) v Ivan Rozum (2573)

Event: TCh-TUR Super League 2017 07/30/2017

B12 Caro-Kann, Tartakower (fantasy) variation

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. Na3 e5 6. dxe5 Bxe5 7. exd5 cxd5 8. Bf4 Bxf4 9. Qa4+ Nc6 10. Qxf4 Nge7 11. O-O-O Be6 12. Ne2 a6 13. Nc2 Qa5 14. a3 O-O-O 15. Ned4 Qc7 16. Qf6 Bf5 17. Nxf5 Qf4+ 18. Rd2 Qxf5 19. Qh4 Rd6 20. g3 Qxf3 21. Bh3+ Nf5 22. Rhd1 Kb8 23. Qa4 Qh5 24. Bg4 Qg5 25. h4 Qf6 26. Rf1 Qe5 27. Bxf5 gxf5 28. g4 fxg4 29. Qxg4 Rf6 30. Rxf6 Qxf6 31. Rxd5 Re8 32. Rf5 Qe6 33. Rg5 Qf6 34. Rg8 Qf1+ 35. Kd2 Qf2+ 36. Kd1 Qf1+ 37. Kd2 Qf2+ 38. Kd1 1/2-1/2

Nikola Mitkov (2495) vs Zurab Azmaiparashvili (2625)

Event: Moscow ol (Men) 1994

B12 Caro-Kann, Tartakower (fantasy) variation

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. Bf4 Qb6 6. Qb3 Be6 7. Qxb6 axb6 8. Nd2 Nd7 9. Bd3 O-O-O 10. Ne2 dxe4 11. fxe4 Bg4 12. h3 Bxe2 13. Bxe2 e5 14. Bg5 Re8 15. Nc4 Kc7 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. O-O f6 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. Bxf6 Nxf6 20. Rxf6 Rd8 21. Kf2 Rd2 22. Re6 Nd3+ 23. Ke3 Rxe2+ 24. Kxd3 Rxg2 25. Rf1 Rd8+ 26. Ke3 Rg3+ 27. Rf3 Rxf3+ 28. Kxf3 Rf8+ 29. Ke3 Kd7 30. Re5 h6 31. b4 Kd6 32. Kd4 Rc8 0-1

Games Have Been Terminated!

The thing about writing a blog is that one never knows what an email will bring. After spending an inordinate amount of time in front of Toby, the ‘puter, yesterday learning how to insert diagrams, and then putting together the post in order to have something in which to insert them, I determined that today I would spend time with the Daniel Gormally book, Insanity, passion and addiction: a year inside the chess world, while playing over Chess games on an actual board with pieces one can feel, and possibly “working” on the openings intended for the Senior Championship of the Great State of South Carolina, which is only ten days away, by going to the CBDB and 365Chess. Wrong, Ke-mo sah-bee! An email from my friend Mulfish arrived at 11:42 am, upsetting the Bacon cart…

“Looking forward to the AWs take on AlphaZeros stunning win over Stockfish,” was the message. “What’s this?” I thought, wondering if Mike was referring to the TCEC Computer Chess Championship that is in the final stretch. “But Stockfish is not participating in the Super Final,” I thought. I therefore fired off an immediate response: “To what, exactly, are you referring?” His reply was, “Look in the all things Chess forum.”

Although there are not as many incoming as there were before taking a long break from blogging, I have received several emails directing my attention here and there, and they are greatly appreciated. Checking the AW stats today showed many people in countries other than the USA reading the AW. In particular I noticed that today, as every day, there is one, and only one, reader in the Maldives. Thank you, whoever you are, and feel free to send an email, as I am curious by nature.

Keep ’em coming: xpertchesslessons@yahoo.com

This is the post found on the USCF forum that prompted Mulfish to fire a salvo at the AW:

Postby billbrock on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:16 am #321974

“AlphaZero learned to play chess by playing against itself. After just FOUR HOURS of self-learning, it was able to decisely (sic) defeat Stockfish 8.0! (EDIT: this statement is slightly misleading. See downthread.) (100 games match: +28 =72 -0)
What’s really impressive: Stockfish was calculating far more deeply than AlphaZero (at least in terms of nodes per second). AlphaZero is just “smarter.”

After reading only this I thought, “Whoa! This will change not only my day, but possibly the future course of history!” The more I read the more convinced was I of the latter.

Bill Brock provided a link to a PDF paper, Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm
(https://arxiv.org/pdf/1712.01815.pdf) which I read immediately, blowing my mind…

Every morning I read while drinking my first cuppa coffee, and today was no exception. Toby is not fired-up until time to sit down and eat breakfast. I check my email, then the quotes of the day, followed by the poem of the day, which was The Writer’s Almanac, by Garrison Keillor, but it has been discontinued, so I’ve moved on to Poem-a-Day (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem-day) & The Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/). Next I click on the Drudge Report in order to understand what the enemy is thinking, and doing. Then it is the newspapers in digital form, the NYT, WaPo, and AJC. For you readers outside the USA, that would be the New York Times, the Washinton Post, and the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. Then I check out the word of the day (https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day), before heading to check what was on the nightly radio programs broadcast while I am sleeping, Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis (http://www.groundzeromedia.org/), and the Granddaddy of them all, Coast to Coast AM (https://www.coasttocoastam.com/). You may think that Chess comes next, but you would be mistaken. I check out The Hardball Times at Fangraphs (https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/). Then I check out what’s happening in the world of Go (http://www.usgo.org/).

Then it is time for Chess! My routine is to check in at Chess24 (https://chess24.com/en) first in order to learn if there is a new article I will want to return to after checking out Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/), where there is usually something interesting to peruse. (Today is no exception because the lead article is, How XiangQi can improve your chess, which will be read. https://en.chessbase.com/). During the TCEC Championships it is then on to Chessdom (http://www.chessdom.com/), where I click onto TCEC (http://tcec.chessdom.com/). And then it is on to the Chess Granddaddy of them all website, TWIC, aka The Week In Chess (http://theweekinchess.com/), which is Mark Crowther’s wonderful website which contains a Daily Chess Puzzle, which I attempt to solve, in hopes it will keep my mind sharp. Why was I writing all this?…Just kidding!

The point is that I read so long this morning (Why Bob Dylan Matters, by Richard F. Thomas; Cover Me: The stories behind the GREATEST COVER SONGS of all time, by Ray Padgett, who has a wonderful website (http://www.covermesongs.com/); and Murder on the Death Star: The assassination of Kennedy and its relevance to the Trump era, by Pelle Neroth) in order to finish the latter. The point being that by the time I got to the email by Mulfish I would ordinarily have already seen the momentous news.

DeepMind’s AlphaZero crushes chess

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/deepmind-s-alphazero-crushes-chess

The excellent article by Colin McGourty begins: “20 years after DeepBlue defeated Garry Kasparov in a match, chess players have awoken to a new revolution. The AlphaZero algorithm developed by Google and DeepMind took just four hours of playing against itself to synthesise the chess knowledge of one and a half millennium and reach a level where it not only surpassed humans but crushed the reigning World Computer Champion Stockfish 28 wins to 0 in a 100-game match. All the brilliant stratagems and refinements that human programmers used to build chess engines have been outdone, and like Go players we can only marvel at a wholly new approach to the game.”

Colin ends with: “And where do traditional chess programmers go from here? Will they have to give up the refinements of human-tuned evaluation functions and all the existing techniques, or will the neural networks still require processing power and equipment not easily available? Will they be able to follow in DeepMind’s footsteps, or are there proprietary techniques involved that can’t easily be mastered?

There’s a lot to ponder, but for now the chess world has been shaken!”

“Shaken?” More like ROCKED TO ITS FOUNDATION!

If games people play are to survive they will be something like that described in the novel I consider the best I have read, Das Glasperlenspiel, or Magister Ludi, aka, The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse. (http://www.glassbeadgame.com/)

Or maybe a book, The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks, which is not only one of my favorite Sci-Fi books, but also one of my favorite book about games.

The stunning news also caused me to reflect on a Canadian Sci-Fi television program I watched, Continuum, in which mega-corporations dominate the world in the future as time-travelers fight one of the largest corporatocratic entities, SadTech, which sounds an awful lot like Google. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1954347/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_6)

The Brave New World is here. The Science Fiction books I read as a youngster are no longer fiction.

The Terminator has arrived.

We are all doomed. DOOMED!

R.E.M. – It’s The End Of The World

The End of the World

The Horse’s Ess

The Legendary Georgia Ironman recently brought in two new volumns, #’s 109 & 110, of the New In Chess Yearbook. Earlier he had procured #111 and I thought he might cry when telling me of how it had fallen out of the bag and gotten scuffed when he attempted to bring it into the Fortress. “Now it’s only VG,” I said, harkening back to our days of selling sports cards. From the look on his face I immediately realized it was an inappropriate thing to say, so I added, “At least it still has the meat.” This is an inside joke concerning something LM Brian McCarthy said when someone made a comment about an Informant that had lost its cover because of the heavy use.

While perusing the books I mentioned one contained two Survey’s of the Leningrad Dutch, and the other had one, adding that the one in the “Jobava” (#110) was on the 4 Nh3 variation, while the two in the “Magnus” (#109) were on the 7…Qe8 line with the other being on what is now being called the “improved” Lisitsin Gambit, with 2 d3!?, according to Viktor Moskalenko in his book, The Diamond Dutch. “That ought to keep you busy,” said the Ironman.

The next day Tim asked about the Leningrad games in the NIC’s and was informed I had not gotten to the Survey section because there were three Dutch games in the Forum and one included in Kuzmin’s Corner. In addition I mentioned there were two games by Moskalenko, versus Michael Krasenkow and the lovely Tania Sachdev, with both being the “improved” Lisitsin Gambit with 2 d3. That reminded the Ironman of a game he had previously played using the Lisitsin Gambit against NM Marc Esserman in the 2007 Southern Open in Orlando. This brought forth the tale of the 2004 US Open in Weston, Florida, and the first game the Ironman had contested with Esserman. That was the US Open in which I could not play because of a bad back. As we reminisced about the event the Ironman was still upset about what occurred before the first round. He asked me to locate the hotel and I found it in the phone book, providing him with the address. He went to the spot and there was the hotel, but there was no chess tournament! He was directed to another hotel of the same chain in an outlying area many miles away. As it turned out, the hotel where the US Open was held was located in Weston, not Fort Lauderdale, as the USCF had listed. This caused the Ironman to arrive late for the round, which he managed to draw. To make matters worse, the hotel in Weston had the exact same address as the one in Fort Lauderdale! All I can remember is the heat. One day I decided to go for a walk in the afternoon and went into some place seeking AC. “You must not be from around here,” the lady said. “What makes you say that?” I asked. “Because no one who lives here goes out in the afternoon.”

Then the Ironman produced the scoresheet of the Esserman game at the Southern Open, and told me about his loss to the big man with a large head at the US Open. It seems Esserman made a move that led to mate and stood up, towering over the board, while extending his hand, an egregious breach of comportment. It was with this in mind the Legendary Georgia Ironman sat down to play NM Marc Esserman in the first round of the 2007 Southern Open…

Tim Brookshear (2001) vs Marc Esserman (2256)

1. Nf3 f5 2. b3 (After glancing at the scoresheet I said, “Hey Ironman, what’s this? You played 2 b3?!” He nabbed the scoresheet saying, “Well I thought it was a Lisitsin’s Gambit. I played e4 on the next move.” I shot back, “But you never played d3.” Tim thought for a moment before saying, “That’s right, I played d4, improving on the improvement!” What could I say other than, “Well, I dunno about that. I will have to take a look at it…”) d6 3. e4 (I was unable to find this in the Chessbase Database, or at 365chess.com, so I will call it the “Ironman Gambit.”) e5 (Esserman did not wish to allow a real gambit with 3… fxe4 4. Ng5 Nf6 5. d3!) 4. d4 (4. exf5 Bxf5 5. Nc3 Nc6 looks reasonable) fxe4 5. Ng5 (5. Nxe5!?) exd4 6.Qxd4 (6. Nxe4!?) Nf6 (6… d5!) 7. Nc3 (7. Nxe4!) d5 8. Bb2 h6 9. Nh3 Nc6? (After 9… Bxh3 I do not need a ‘puter to know the Ironman would be holding onto the rope by his fingernails) 10. Bb5 Kf7 (Once again Black should play 10…Bxh3 and White would have only a tenuous hold on his tattered position) 11. Qd2 (The Ironman decides to “advance to the rear,” but it would have been much better to have played 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Nf4, saving the Knight and the pawn structure as the Queen retreat allows 11…d4!) Ne7 (I do not know what to say…Guess my understanding of chess is not deep enough to comprehend some of the moves made by Esserman.) 12. O-O-O c6 13. Be2 Ng6 (But it is deep enough to understand Black should take the Knight) 14. Nf4 (The program known as Houdini wants to play 14 f3!? obviously “thinking” along the lines of, “If the human has not taken the Knight by now, it ain’t ever gonna take that sucker!”) Nxf4 15. Qxf4 Bd6 16. Qd2 Qc7 17. Kb1 Re8 18. Rdf1 Bf5 (According to Charley Hertan, who wandered through Atlanta with a backpack decades ago, Esserman should play the Forcing Move, 18…Bf4!) 19.h3 (19. Nd1) Rad8 (Again 19… Bf4) 20. g4 Bf4 21. Qd1 (21. Qd4!?) Bg6 22. h4 (The “engine” makes a case for 22. Na4. Who am I to argue?) d4 (22… b5 !) 23. Bc4+ Kf8 24. Ne2 Bf7 (24… Be5) 25. Bxf7 Kxf7 26. Rfg1 (I am taking the Bishop offa the board with 26. Nxf4 and I don’t care what any machine says) g5 (I wanted to play a positional move like 26…c5, but Houdini advocates 26…Rh8) 27. hxg5 hxg5 (I was thinking along the lines of taking the pawn with the Prelate, and so, it turns out, was Houey. I thought the Ironman was back in the game now, after struggling all game to get a grip. After looking at the game, I plugged it in the “engine” and it, too, thought White was slightly better. It is difficult to understand why a NM would open the Rook file like this…) 28. Rh6 (This looks like a natural move, and the kind of move I would make, but Houdini likes 28. Rf1!?) Kg7 29. Rgh1 c5 30. Qf1 (30.Nxf4!) Rh8 31. Qh3 (31.Nxf4!) Rxh6 32.Qxh6+ Kf7 33. Ng3 (33.Nxf4!) Bxg3 34. fxg3 Rg8 35. Rf1 Qe7 (35…Qe5!?) 36. Qh7+ (36.c3!?) Rg7 (36…Ke8!?) 37. Qf5 e3 38. b4 b6 39. bxc5 bxc5 (The last chance to play for an advantage is 39…e2) 40. Qd5+ Ke8 41. Qc6+ Nd7 42. Qa8+ Qd8 43. Qe4+ Qe7 44.Qa8+ Qd8 45. Qe4+ 1/2-1/2

When the game ended Tim mentioned something to Marc about it being a good game, which caused Esserman to erupt with, “You played like shit! I played like shit! It was ALL SHIT!!!”
Stunned, the Ironman said something about the previous game between them at the 2004 US Open and was shocked to hear Marc say, “We have never played before!”
This caused the Ironman to give Esserman the moniker, the “Horse’s Ess.” Any time anyone mentions Marc Esserman the Ironman says, “You mean the Horse’s Ess?”

What I did not mention to the Legendary Georgia Ironman is that the now IM Marc Esserman featured prominently in an article, Where Oddballs, Hustlers and Masters Meet, by Olimpiu G. Urcan, who “went undercover as a chess junkie in Boston’s iconic Harvard Square,” in the last issue of 2014/8 of the New In Chess magazine, the best chess magazine ever published. The article culminates with a sub-heading of “A Boisterous Enfant Terrible.” This refers to IM Esserman. It is written, “If confronted on various chess matters, he gets really loud and aggressive, disturbing the other games in progress. ‘It’s unheard of to pass by the Harvard Square and not play Billy Collins!’ he exclaimed one evening trying to arrange a blitz match for stakes between Collins and a New York acquaintance. Almost unable to stand it anymore, one of my opponents exclaimed while desperate to extricate himself from a difficult position: ‘Oh, c’mon, Marc. Can you please stop being such a bitch?’

the-world_s-top-10-best-images-of-animals-playing-chess-6

The Stoltz Variation

One of the games at the 90th Hastings Congress began 1 e4 c5 2 Bc4 e6 3 Qe2. Naturally, this caught my eye. Regular readers know of my fondness for the Bishop’s opening, and also for the Chigorin variation against the French, or any opening containing the move Qe2. How could I not pay attention when both moves are played in the same opening? The game was between David Sedgwick (1995) and Ali R Jaunooby (2175), and was played in the eight round. The latter played 3…Nc6. I considered only 4 Nf3 or 4 c3, but Sedgwick played 4 d3, which I did not understand. A quick consultation with the Chessbase database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) shows only those two moves having been played, so 4 d3 must be a TN. The game continued: 4…b5 5.Bb3 Nd4 6.Qd1 d5 7.c4 bxc4 8.Ba4+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.Nf3 cxd3 11.Qxd3 Nf6 12.e5 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Ne4 14.Nd2 f5 15.Nxe4 fxe4 16.Qg3 Qb5 17.a4 Qa6 18.Bg5 Rb8 19.Qc3 h6 20.Bd2 Be7 21.Qg3 Kf7 22.Qf4+ Kg8 23.b4 Bg5 24.Qg3 Bxd2+ 25.Kxd2 Rxb4 26.Rhb1 Rd4+ 27.Ke1 Kh7 28.Rb5 Rf8 29.Rab1 Rf7 30.h4 h5 31.Qg5 Rf5 32.Qe7 e3 33.fxe3 Rxa4 34.Qxc5 Rxh4 35.Qc2 Re4 36.R1b3 Qa1+ 37.Qb1 Qxe5 38.Qc1 Qg3+ 0-1

Because of my experience playing 2 Qe2 versus the French I would never play a move like 4 d3, allowing the Knight to come to d4, attacking the Queen, so I checked out 4 Nf3 on the CBDB, learning that both Komodo and Stockfish play the Knight move. After 4 Nf3 both Komodo 8 and Houdini 4×64 play 4…Nf6, which would be a TN, as the CBDB contains no games with the move. It does show that Komodo 6 plays 4…Nge7, which is a move that has been previously played. Finding no games at the CBDB, I surfed on over to 365Chess (http://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=9&n=75620&ms=e4.c5.Bc4.e6.Qe2.Nc6.Nf3.Nf6&ns=3.3.195.572.2485.4268.4065.75620) finding two games with 4…Nf6, so we do have a “main line.” Both games were played last century, back in 1972, the year I met Bobby Fischer at the Church’s Fried Chicken tournament in San Antonio after Bobby bested Boris, winning the World Chess Championship.

Slavoj Kupka (2375) vs Josef Pribyl (2435)
CSR-ch 1972

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d3 Be7 6. Bb3 O-O 7. c3 e5 8. O-O d6 9. Rd1 Qc7 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Be6 12. Nbd2 Rad8 13. Nc4 Nh5 14. Bg3 Nxg3 15. hxg3 Rfe8 16. Ne3 Bxb3 17. axb3 Bf8 18. g4 f6 19. g3 Qf7 20. Nd2 a5 21. Ndc4 Ra8 22. Nb6 Ra6 23. Ned5 Be7 24. Kg2 Bd8 25. Nc4 Qe6 26. Rh1 Rf8 27. Nce3 Rf7 28. Nf5 Kf8 29. Qd2 Ke8 30. b4 cxb4 31. cxb4 axb4 32. Qc2 Rxa1 33. Rxa1 Rd7 34. Ra8 Kf7 35. Qa4 Be7 36. Rc8 Bd8 37. Ra8 Kg6 38. Nfe3 Kh7 39. Nxb4 Bb6 40. Nc4 Bd4 1/2-1/2

Jiri Malis (2220) vs Ivan Jankovec (2320)
CSR-ch 1972

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d3 Be7 6. Bb3 d5 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. c3 dxe4 9. dxe4 Qc7 10. O-O b6 11. e5 Nd7 12. Re1 Bb7 13. h4 Rfe8 14. h5 Bf8 15. Nf1 g6 16. Bc2 Bg7 17. Bf4 Ne7 18. Rad1 Rad8 19. N1h2 a6 20. Bg5 b5 21. h6 Bh8 22. Ng4 Nb6 23. Bf6 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 Ned5 25. Bxh8 Kxh8 26. Qd2 Qe7 27. Be4 Nc4 28. Qc2 Rd8 29. b3 Ncb6 30. c4 Nb4 31. Rxd8+ Qxd8 32. Qe2 Bxe4 33. Qxe4 Qc7 34. Ng5 Nxa2 35. Qf3 Qe7 36. Qf6+ 1-0

Further research shows this is not the first time Mr. Sedgwick has played this opening, having had the temerity to play this way against a future World Champion of Women.

David Sedgwick (2095 ) vs Alex Longson (2135)
7th Monarch Assurance 1998

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Be7 4. d3 d5 5. Bb3 Nc6 6. c3 Nf6 7. Bg5 O-O 8. Nd2
b5 9. f4 a5 10. Ngf3 a4 11. Bc2 d4 12. O-O a3 13. bxa3 dxc3 14. Nb3 Nd4 15.
Nbxd4 cxd4 16. e5 Nd5 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Nxd4 Qc5 19. Qf2 Rxa3 20. Bb3 Ne7 21.
Nc2 Qxf2+ 22. Rxf2 Ra8 23. Nb4 Rd8 24. Rd1 Bb7 25. g4 g6 26. d4 Bd5 27. Rc2
Bxb3 28. axb3 Rac8 29. Kf2 Nd5 30. Nxd5 Rxd5 31. b4 Rc4 32. Ke3 Rxb4 33. Rxc3
Ra4 34. Rc8+ Kg7 35. Rc7 Ra8 36. f5 gxf5 37. gxf5 exf5 38. Kf4 Rad8 39. Rg1+
Kf8 40. Kg5 Rxd4 41. Kf6 R4d7 42. Rgc1 Rxc7 43. Rxc7 Kg8 44. Rb7 Re8 45. Rxb5
Re6+ 46. Kxf5 Rh6 47. Rb2 Rg6 48. h4 Rg1 49. h5 Kg7 50. Rf2 h6 51. Ke4 Ra1 52.
Kf5 1/2-1/2

David Sedgwick (2091) vs Alexandra Kosteniuk (2398)
9th Monarch Assurance 2000

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. c3 Be7 5. d3 d5 6. Bb3 Nf6 7. Bg5 O-O 8. Nf3
b6 9. e5 Nd7 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. d4 a5 12. Nbd2 Ba6 13. Qe3 cxd4 14. cxd4 Nb4 15.
O-O-O a4 16. Bc2 Rfc8 17. Ne1 Bd3 18. Nxd3 Nxc2 19. Qg3 Na3+ 20. Nc5 Nb5 21.
Qd3 Na7 22. b4 axb3 23. Ndxb3 bxc5 0-1

These were the oldest games found:

Goesta Stoltz vs Jan Foltys
Karlovy Vary 1948

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. c3 Be7 5. d3 d5 6. Bb3 Nf6 7. Nf3 dxe4 8. dxe4
O-O 9. e5 Nd5 10. Bc2 Qc7 11. h4 f5 12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Nbd2 e5 14. Ng5 g6 15. h5
Nxh5 16. Nxh7 Nf4 17. Bb3+ Kg7 18. Ne4 Rh8 19. Bxf4 exf4 20. O-O-O Bf5 21. Neg5
Ne5 22. Bc2 Bxg5 23. Nxg5 Kf6 24. Ne4+ Kg7 25. Rxh8 Rxh8 26. Nd6 Kf6 27. Bxf5
gxf5 28. Rd5 Qe7 29. Kc2 Rh2 30. Qd2 Rh4 31. Rxc5 f3 32. gxf3 Qd7 33. b3 Nxf3
34. Ne4+ Ke7 35. Qxd7+ Kxd7 36. Nd2 Rf4 37. Kd1 Nxd2 38. Rd5+ Kc6 39. Rxd2 Rf3
40. c4 a5 41. Ke2 Rc3 42. Kd1 Rf3 43. Rc2 a4 44. b4 Rd3+ 45. Ke2 Ra3 46. Kf1
Rd3 47. Kg2 b5 48. Kf1 bxc4 49. Rxc4+ Kb5 50. Rf4 Ra3 51. Rxf5+ Kxb4 52. Rf4+
Kc5 53. Rf5+ Kc4 54. Rf4+ Kd5 55. Ke1 Rxa2 56. Kd1 a3 1/2-1/2

Goesta Stoltz vs Gedeon Barcza
Karlovy Vary 1948

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 a6 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4 d5 8. Bb3
dxe4 9. Qxe4 Na5 10. Bc2 Qd5 11. Qe2 Qc4 12. Qd1 Nd5 13. a3 Bd7 14. Ne5 Qc7 15.
Nxd7 Qxd7 16. O-O Rc8 17. Nd2 Qc7 18. Be4 Nf6 19. Bf3 Be7 20. b4 Nc6 21. Bb2
O-O 22. Rc1 Qd7 23. Nc4 Rcd8 24. Qb3 Nd5 25. g3 Bf6 26. Rfd1 Nce7 27. Ne5 Bxe5
28. dxe5 Rc8 29. Be4 Rxc1 30. Rxc1 Rc8 31. Rd1 Qb5 32. Bd4 g6 33. Bd3 Qc6 34.
Bc5 Qc7 35. Qb2 Qd7 36. Be4 Qa4 37. Re1 b6 38. Bd4 a5 39. bxa5 bxa5 40. Bd3 Nc6
41. Be3 Rb8 42. Qa1 Nxe3 43. Rxe3 Ne7 44. Be4 Rd8 45. Qc3 Rd1+ 46. Kg2 Nd5 47.
Bxd5 Rxd5 48. Qc7 Rd7 49. Qb6 Kg7 50. h4 h5 51. Qc5 Rb7 52. Kh2 Qd1 53. Qd6
Qxd6 54. exd6 Kf6 55. f4 1-0

I propose this opening be named the “Stoltz variation.”

Ilia Smirin (2664) vs Vitezslav Rasik (2436)
CZE-chT 2003

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. c3 Be7 5. Bb3 d5 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O
b5 9. Bg5 c4 10. dxc4 bxc4 11. Ba4 dxe4 12. Bxc6 exf3 13. Bxf3 Rb8 14. Bf4 Rb5
15. b4 Nd5 16. Bg3 Bf6 17. a4 Rxb4 18. cxb4 Bxa1 19. Qxc4 Bb7 20. Na3 Bc3 21.
Rd1 Bxb4 22. Rxd5 Bxd5 23. Qxb4 a5 24. Qd6 Qxd6 25. Bxd6 Rc8 26. Kf1 Bb3 27.
Ke2 Bxa4 28. Ke3 Bc6 29. Bxc6 Rxc6 30. Be7 f6 31. Kd4 Rc1 32. h4 Rf1 33. Ke3
Rd1 34. Nc4 a4 35. Nb2 Ra1 36. Nc4 Rb1 37. Kd3 Kf7 38. Ba3 Kg6 39. Bb2 Rxb2 0-1

Slavko Cicak (2497) vs Bengt Lindberg (2420)
35th Rilton Cup 2006

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. Nf3 d6 5. c3 Nf6 6. Bb3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. d4
cxd4 9. cxd4 e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Rd1 Qb6 12. h3 Bc5 13. Bg5 Nd4 14. Nxd4 Bxd4
15. Nd2 Be6 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Nf3 Bxb3 18. axb3 Rad8 19. Nxd4 Rxd4 20. Rxd4
exd4 21. Rd1 Rd8 22. Rd3 Qc6 23. Qd2 Qxe4 24. Rg3+ Kf8 25. Qb4+ Ke8 26. Re3 1-0

GM Ben Finegold Wins 2014 Southeastern FIDE Championship

The situation could not have been better going into the last round of the 2014 Southeastern FIDE Championship at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy (http://www.charlottechesscenter.org/) Sunday afternoon. The grizzled veteran GM Ben Finegold was a perfect 4-0 and his opponent, the young IM Kassa Korley, was a half-point behind. IM Korley had White and needed a win; there would be no early draw for the GM, who would have to stand and fight the young upstart in the way an old lion must face his much younger rival on the plains of Africa. Earlier this year in the Great State of North Carolina, at the Ron Simpson Memorial, GM Maurice Ashley lost a dramatic last round game against upstart Expert Sanjay Ghatti of Georgia.

Expert William Coe tested IM Korley in the second round by playing what 365chess.com (http://www.365chess.com/) has named the “Tennison (Lemberg, Zukertort) gambit.” The variation has been tested previously, but 5…Nbd7 is not shown on 365chess. After this move it is obvious that since Black has blocked the c8 Bishop, a piece sacrifice on e6 should be considered. The CBDB (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) shows a few games with 5…Nbd7, but only one with 6 Bxe6.

William Coe (2166) – IM Kassa Korley (2474)
Rd 2 A06 Tennison (Lemberg, Zukertort) gambit

1. e4 d5 2. Nf3 dxe4 3. Ng5 Nf6 4. Bc4 e6 5. Nc3 Nbd7 6. Ngxe4 Nb6 7. Bb3 Bd7 8. O-O Bc6 9. Re1 Nxe4 10. Nxe4 Qh4 11. Qe2 Be7 12. d4 O-O-O 13. c3 Qxe4 14. Qxe4 Bxe4 15. Rxe4 Bf6 16. a4 Nd5 17. Bf4 Nxf4 18. Rxf4 Rd6 19. Bc2 h5 20. h4 c5 21. dxc5 Rd2 22. Rc1 Rhd8 23. Kf1 R8d7 24. g3 Rc7 25. Rc4 g5 26. b4 gxh4 27. gxh4 Rcd7 28. Ke1 Kc7 29. b5 Bg7 30. a5 Bh6 31. c6 bxc6 32. Rxc6 Kd8 33. b6 axb6 34. axb6 Rxf2 35. b7 Rxb7 36. Rd1 Ke7 37. Kxf2 Rb2 38. Rc7 Kf6 39. Kg3 Rxc2 40. Rf1 Kg6 41. Rfxf7 Rxc3 42. Rxc3 Kxf7 43. Kf3 Bg7 44. Rc5 1/2-1/2

In the penultimate round IM Korley dispatched NM Sam Copeland after 1 e4 g6 2 h4!? d5 3. exd5 Nf6 4. Nc3 when he decided to make it a gambit by playing 4…c6, a TN.

NM Sam Copeland – IM Kassa Korley
Rd 4 B06 Robatsch (modern) defence

1. e4 g6 2. h4 d5 3. exd5 Nf6 4. Nc3 c6 5. dxc6 Nxc6 6. Be2 Nd4 7. Nf3 Nxe2 8. Qxe2 Bg7 9. Qb5 Qd7 10. Qxd7 Bxd7 11. d3 Rc8 12. Be3 b5 13. Kd2 b4 14. Ne2 a5 15. a3 Ng4 16. axb4 axb4 17. c3 Bc6 18. cxb4 Bxb2 19. Rab1 Bg7 20. b5 Bb7 21. Rhc1 Kd7 22. Ne1 f5 23. Rc4 Bd5 24. Ra4 Ra8 25. Rxa8 Rxa8 26. Nc3 Bb7 27. Bc5 Ke6 28. f3 Ne5 29. Nc2 Rd8 30. Nb4 Nc4 31. Kc2 Na3 32. Kb3 Nxb1 33. Nxb1 Bf6 34. Na3 Bxh4 35. Nc4 Be1 36. d4 Bxb4 37. Kxb4 h5 38. Na5 Bd5 39. Nc6 Bxc6 40. bxc6 Kd5 41. Kb5 Rc8 0-1

Meanwhile, GM Finegold beat FM William Fisher in a QGA. Black varied from the game Milton Kasuo Okamura (2191) vs Ronny Knoch Gieseler, Brazil Championship, 2009, with 11…Nde7 in lieu of 11…Ncxe7.
Rd 4 D20 Queen’s gambit accepted

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bxc4 e6 5. Nf3 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Bd3 cxd4 8. exd4 Be7 9. Nc3 Nc6 10. Bg5 Nd5 11. Bxe7 Ndxe7 12. Re1 h6 13. Be4 O-O 14. Rc1 Bd7 15. Na4 Ra7 16. Nc5 b6 17. Nxd7 Qxd7 18. Ne5 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Rd8 20. Qb3 Qb5 21. Qxb5 axb5 22. Red1 Rad7 23. Rxd7 Rxd7 24. Kf1 Rd2 25. Rc2 Rd4 26. f3 g5 27. Ke2 Nd5 28. g3 Kg7 29. Rd2 Ra4 30. Bxd5 exd5 31. Rxd5 b4 32. Rb5 Rxa2 33. Rxb4 Ra6 34. Ke3 Kg6 35. Ke4 Kg7 36. Kf5 Kf8 37. f4 gxf4 38. gxf4 Kg7 39. Rb5 Kf8 40. Kf6 Kg8 41. f5 1-0

This brings us to the decisive last round battle, which followed the recent game Akshat Chandra (2472) vs Illya Nyzhnyk (2639) from the 3rd Washington Int 2014, played 08/13/2014, when Chandra played 14. a3.

IM Kassa Korley (2474) vs GM Benjamin Finegold (2581)
Rd 5

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. Re1 a6 6. Bf1 d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. d4 Nf6 9. Be3 cxd4 10. Nxd4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Be7 12. c4 Bd7 13. Nc3 Bc6 14. Qd3 O-O 15. Rad1 Qa5 16. Re5 Qc7 17. Qh3 Rfd8 18. Rg5 Kf8 19. Qe3 Rd7 20. Be5 Qd8 21. Rxd7 Bxd7 22. Qg3 g6 23. Bc7 Qe8 24. Bd6 Bxd6 25. Qxd6 Qe7 26. Qe5 Bc6 27. Rg4 Kg8 28. Rd4 Nd7 29. Qc7 Kf8 30. a3 a5 31. Nb5 a4 32. Qf4 Kg7 33. Qd2 e5 34. Rd6 Nc5 35. Qb4 Ne6 36. Nc3 Qg5 37. Nd5 Nd4 38. Qc3 Re8 39. f4 Qg4 40. h3 Qd1 41. Qd3 Qxd3 42. Bxd3 exf4 43. Nb4 Ne2 44. Kf2 Nc1 45. Bf1 Be4 46. Nd5 Bxd5 47. Rxd5 Nb3 48. Be2 Re3 49. Bd1 b6 50. Rb5 Nc5 51. Bc2 Re6 52. Kf3 g5 53. Rb4 h5 54. Kf2 g4 55. hxg4 hxg4 56. Kf1 g3 0-1

I watched this game with interest. It appeared the younger man had a small advantage, but was uncertain how to proceed. 39 f4 looked suspect, but the real culprit was the next move, 40 h3, when 40 fxe5 was expected. The IM vacillated and although there were many vicissitudes, from this point on Ben Finegold outplayed his opponent, showing why he is a GM. He took clear first and the $1000 prize.

Akshat Chandra (2472) vs Illya Nyzhnyk (2639)
3rd Washington Int 2014 Rd 8

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. Re1 a6 6. Bf1 d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. d4 Nf6 9. Be3 Be7 10. c4 cxd4 11. Nxd4 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bd7 13. Nc3 Bc6 14. a3 a5 15. Qd3 Qc7 16. Be5 Qb6 17. Qg3 O-O 18. Rad1 Rfd8 19. Rxd8+ Qxd8 20. Rd1 Qb6 21. Bd4 Qb3 22. Rd3 Qc2 23. b4 axb4 24. axb4 Nh5 25. Qe5 Bf6 26. Qxh5 Bxd4 27. Rxd4 Qxc3 28. Qa5 Re8 29. Qb6 e5 30. Rd6 Be4 31. b5 h6 32. h3 Ra8 33. Rd8+ Rxd8 34. Qxd8+ Kh7 35. Qd7 f5 36. Qd6 f4 37. c5 f3 38. g3 Qc1 39. h4 Qc3 40. h5 Qc1 41. c6 bxc6 42. bxc6 Qxc6 1/2-1/2

Reese Thompson, who represented Georgia in the Denker at the US Open, lost to FM William Fisher in the first round and drew with the volatile Expert Patrick McCartney (2185) in the third round, to go with his win over Saithanu Avirneni (1865) in the second round and Kevin Wang (1906) in the penultimate round. As things turned out a win in his last round game would tie for second place.

Reece Thompson (2116) vs Jonathan McNeill (2154)
Rd 5 C77 Ruy Lopez, Morphy defence

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d4 ( (365chess shows this position has been reached most often by GM Alonso Zapata, with 22 games) Nxe4 6.Qe2 (! Regular readers know I applaud this move! Reese, my MAN!) f5 7. d5 Ne7 (The engines prefer 7…Na5) 8. Nxe5 g6 (And here the Houdini plays 8…Nxd5) 9. g4 (?! Reese decides to play fast and loose in this last round game. 9 f3 is more circumspect. For example, 9. f3 Nf6 10. d6 cxd6 11. Nc4 Kf7 12. Nxd6+ Kg7 13. Bh6+ Kg8 14. Bb3+ Ned5 15. Ne8 Bxh6 16. Nxf6+ Qxf6 17. Bxd5+ Kg7 18. Nc3 Rb8 19. O-O b5 20. Bb3 Qd4+ 21. Kh1 Qe3 22. Rae1 Qxe2 23. Rxe2 Bg5 Blaich,G-Strugies, S/Waldshut 1991/GER/1-0 (41) 9…Nc5? (9…c6!) 10. gxf5 Nxa4? (With this move he lets go of the rope. 10…Bg7 is much better. Now it is all over but the shouting.) 11. f6 Bg7 12. fxg7 Rg8 13. d6 cxd6 14. Nc4 Qc7 15. Bf4 Qc6 16. Nxd6+ Kd8 17. Rg1 Rxg7 18. Qe5 Qc5 19. Qxg7 Qb4+ 20. Bd2 Qxd6 21. Qf8+ 1-0

With this win Mr. Thompson tied for second place, along with five others, Kassa Korley; Edward J Lu; Peter Bereolos; Samuel S Copeland; and Aaron S Balleisen. They all took home $275 for their efforts.
Grant Oen, the owner of the Atlanta Kings, lost to Peter Bereolos in the first round, then lost to Atlantan Carter Peatman in the second round. That was followed by a win and a draw with another Atlanta area player, Arthur Guo, in the penultimate round. Mr. Oen took out veteran Keith Eubanks in the last round, winning more money than the players who finished a half-point ahead of him, tied for second place! Grant tied for eleventh place, along with three others, who also went home empty-handed.

The Tokens – The Lion Sleeps Tonight