Mikhail Kobalia Wins with the Leningrad Dutch

P. Iniyan IM (2460) India

vs Mikhail Kobalia GM (2599) Russia

A89 Leningrad Dutch

Aeroflot Open 2018 Rd 8

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nc3 (This is the main line of the A87 Dutch, Leningrad. Black now has a choice between three moves, Qe8, the move most often chosen by the man who wrote the book on the Leningrad, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, as it is the only move he considers in his excellent book, The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1 d4, 1 c4, 1 Nf3;

Nc6, my move; and c6, the move Stockfish considers best at the CBDB. Yet the Fish shows Nc6 best in the analysis to this game at the ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-aeroflot-open/08-Iniyan_P-Kobalia_Mikhail)!

Nc6 8. d5 (The main move, although Houdini at CBDB considers the seldom played Qc2 equal to d5)

Ne5 (There is disagreement about this move. The Stockfish and Houdini programs at CBDB show Ne5 best, while Komodo prefers Na5. The Stockfish program at ChessBomb has Na5 as much superior.)

9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. e4 (SF has this as first move at DaBomb, while the Dragon considers Qb3 best)

f4 (This has been the most often played move, but SF prefers the little played e6)

11. gxf4? (Although most often played the clanking digital monsters have little respect for it. The first choice of Stockfish at both the ChessBomb and CBDB is a4, a move that has yet to be played. Houdini plays b3, while Komodo plays Qe2! If you are a regular reader of this blog you know why I attach the exclam. This move is not one of the four choices given by SF in the analysis of the game at DaBomb. The other three moves are, in order, b4;b3; & Re1)

exf4 12. e5 (The ‘main’ move, but SF does not even list it! In order we have, Bxf4, by far the best according to SF; Kh1;Rb1; & f3

Ng4 13. e6 Ne5

14. Qa4? (There is total agreement that Re1 is the best move)

f3 15. Bh3

Nd3 (15…c6 16. Rd1 Qe8 17. c5 h6 18. Qe4 g5 19. Bf5 Qh5 20. h3 Kh8 21. d6 Rxf5 22. Qxf5 Bxe6 23. Qxe6 g4 24. Kf1 gxh3 25. dxe7 1-0, Tapani Sammalvuo (2375) v Sami Petteri Pitkanen [no rating given] Espoo op1 1997)

16. Qd1 Nxc1 17. Qxc1 b6 18. Ne4 Ba6 (b5!) 19. Rd1 Be5 20. Qh6 Bg7 21. Qh4 h6 22. Kh1 Bxc4 23. Rg1 Qe8

24. Rg3 ( (24. d6! cxd6 25. Nxd6 exd6 26. Qxc4) Bxd5 25. Rag1 Bxe4 26. Qxe4 g5 27. Bf5 (Bf1 with the idea of Bd3 is better) Rd8 28. Bg6 Rf4 29. Bf7+ Kh8 30. Qxf4 gxf4 31. Rxg7 Qf8 32. R7g4 c5 33. a4 a6 34. h4 b5 35. axb5 axb5 36. Kh2 c4 37. Kh3 b4 38. Rxf4 Rc8 (c3! Passed pawns must be pushed)

39. Rxf3? (This game has been a struggle. Although understandable, as the pawn on f3 has been a constant thorn in white’s side most of the game, this move is an awful mistake. By playing 39 Rgg4, putting pressure on the queen side pawns, the game would have remained in balance. This move takes the game from even to LOST.) c3 (Turn out the lights, the party’s over) 40. Rfg3 c2 41. Rc1 Qd8 42. Rg8+ Qxg8 43. Bxg8 Kxg8 44. b3 Kg7 45. Kg4 Kf6 46. Kh5 Kxe6 47. Kxh6 Ke5 48. Kg7 0-1

Roman Martynov FM 2319 (UKR) v Mikhail Kobalia GM 2599 (RUS)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 03

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 (This system was the choice of IM Boris Kogan from whom I learned much, so I have a great deal of respect for b3 versus the Leningrad.That said, there is total agreement between the Big 3 that 6 c4 is the best move. Yet in actual practice the databases show both b3 and b4 scoring higher than the ‘best’ move))

d6 (The Dragon and the Fish both prefer 6…Ne4)

7. Bb2 Ne4 (GM Vladimir Malaniuk reached this position 45 times, but never played the game move. Although the Stockfish program at Chess Bomb has Ne4 as best, the SF, and Houdini, at the CBDB show 7…e6 as the best move.)

8. c4 (Although 8 Nbd2 is played more often, the clankin’ digital monsters all agree c4 is better.)

Nc6 (8…e5 9. dxe5 Nc6 10. Qd5+ Kh8 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe5 13. Qc5 Re8 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Qxe7 Rxe7 16. Rd2 Kg8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. e4 g5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. h3 Bg6 21. Rd7 Rae8 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Nd2 e4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Re1 Nb4 1/2-1/2, F. Baumbach (2495) v R Langeveld (2681) Mostert Memorial email tt 2006)

9. Nbd2 e5 10. dxe5 (The SF program at ChessBomb shows 10 d5 as best, but the SF program at the CBDB prefers taking the pawn, while Komodo would play a TN, Rc1)

Nxd2 (Although this is the most often played move, there is disagreement between the Big 3. SF takes the knight, but the Dragon and Houdini play 10…Nc5, the move the SF program at DaBomb has as best. Go figure…)

11. Qxd2 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 (By far the most often played move, but Houdini would play Qc5, as would the SF at DaBomb)

Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 (SF and Houey prefer 14..e4)

15. e4 (This is a TN. The SF at DABomb prefers Rab1, which would be a TN; the SF at the CBDB plays Ng5. Houdini prefers 14 Ng5. See Szmacinska v Lazarevic below. For 14 Rd2 see Izsak v Torma below. The Fish would play 14 Rad1)

f4 16. Bc3 a5 17. Rd2 h6 18. Ne1 g5 19. Nd3 Rf8 20. a3 Kh7 21. f3 b6 22. a4 h5 23. Rf1 Be6 24. gxf4 exf4 25. Bxg7 Kxg7 26. h4 gxh4 27. Kh2 Rad8 28. Rfd1 Kh6 29. Bh3 Bg8 30. Kg2 Rd4 31. Kf2 Rd6 32. Ne1 Rfd8 33. Rxd6+ Rxd6 34. Nd3 Ne5 35. Ke2 Rxd3 36. Rxd3 Nxd3 37. Kxd3 Kg5 38. Kd4 Kf6 39. Kd3 Ke5 40. Bc8 Bf7 41. Bd7 Kd6 42. Bh3 c6 43. Bc8 Be8 44. Bh3 b5 45. axb5 cxb5 46. Kd4 bxc4 47. bxc4 Bd7 48. e5+ Ke7 49. Bxd7 Kxd7 50. Kd5 h3 0-1

Gyula Izsak (2436) v Robert Torma (2455)

TCh-HUN 2015-16 Hungary HUN 04/17/2016

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 d6 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Rd2 a5 16. Ne1 e4 17. Bxg7+ Kxg7 18. Nc2 a4 19. Rad1 axb3 20. axb3 Ra6 21. Ne3 Nb4 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. cxd5 c6 24. dxc6 Rxc6 25. f3 Rb6 26. Rd8 Rxd8 27. Rxd8 exf3 28. Bxf3 Be6 29. Rb8 Bxb3 30. Rxb7+ Rxb7 31. Bxb7 1/2-1/2

Grazyna Szmacinska (2120) v Milunka Lazarevic (2170)
Event: Naleczow (Women) 1985

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. b3 Bg7 5. Bb2 O-O 6. Bg2 d6 7. O-O Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Ng5 e4 16. Rab1 h6 17. Nh3 g5 18. Kf1 Be6 19. f4 g4 20. Nf2 a5 21. a4 Rad8 22. Bxg7+ Kxg7 23. e3 Nb4 24. Ke1 Kf6 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rd1 Nc2+ 27. Ke2 Rxd1 28. Nxd1 Na1 29. Nc3 Nxb3 30. Bxe4 fxe4 31. Nxe4+ Ke7 32. Nf2 Bxc4+ 33. Kd1 h5 0-1

F. Baumbach (2495) v R Langeveld (2681)
Mostert Memorial email tt 2006

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 d6 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. c4 e5 9. dxe5 Nc6 10. Qd5+ Kh8 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe5 13. Qc5 Re8 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Qxe7 Rxe7 16. Rd2 Kg8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. e4 g5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. h3 Bg6 21. Rd7 Rae8 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Nd2 e4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Re1 Nb4 1/2-1/2

Mikhail Kobalia Plays The Dutch

Tran, Tuan Minh GM 2522 (VIE)

– Kobalia, Mikhail GM 2599 (RUS)

Aeroflot Open 2018 round 02

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 (After white plays Bg5 this move is appropriate. That said, Houdini prefers e6)

5. e3 (Qc2 has been the most played move, but Stockfish plays the move in the game)

e6 (Why did Kobalia play this move? The usual idea when playing the Leningrad Dutch is to play e5 ASAP. Stockfish at ChessBomb, and CBDB, has it as the best move, followed by g6; h6, and only then e6. The latter move is not found at 365Chess, and the Chessbase Database shows it having been played only four times. Da Bomb shows this line: (5… e5 6. Bd3 e4 7. Be2 Be7 8. Nh3 O-O 9. Nf4 Nb6 10. O-O Bd7 11. Qb3 c5 12. dxc5 dxc5 13. Rad1 Qe8 14. Nb5 Bd8; See Williams v Wall below for 6 Qc2)

6. Bd3 g6 (This is a Theoretical Novelty. The other three games at the CBDB feature the move Houdini prefers, Be7. The Fish would play 6…h6, which has yet to appear in the CBDB.)

7. Nge2 (Why not bust in the center with 7. e4? There follows a plausible line culminating in an advantage for white: fxe4 8. Bxe4 Be7 9. Bc2 Nh5 10. Be3 Ng7 11. Nf3 Nf5 12. Bd2 Bf6 13. Bxf5 exf5 14. Qe2+ Qe7 15. Nd5 Qxe2+ 16. Kxe2)

e5 8. f3 (b4) Bg7 9. O-O (Qb3 & e4 are possible alternatives) O-O (h6!?) 10. Qc2 c6 (h6!) 11. Rad1 (b4!) Qe7 (In The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1 d4, 1 c4, 1 Nf3,

the Grandmaster of the LD, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, focuses on the move of the Queen to e8 exclusively in the main line. With the bishop on g5 this would seem to be an appropriate move in the current position.)

12. b4 (This move could have been played earlier, but now is a mistake. If one is going to move the b-pawn, it should only move one square forward. That said, Stockfish considers 12 Qd2 best. What? Move the Queen again? Computer programs have no preconceived notions about not moving the same piece twice in the opening if it is the best move in the position!)

Re8 (Qe7) 13. Qb3 (e4) Kh8 (A common move for a human to make under the circumstances. Not so for a program! Stockfish shows 13…exd4; h6; a5; & Qf7, in that order. Consider this line produced by the clanking digital monster: 13… exd4 14. c5+ d5 15. exd4 Nf8 16. Rfe1 Qf7 17. Bh4 Ne6 18. b5 Nh5 19. Bf2 Bd7 20. Bc2 Nf6 21. Qb2 Rab8 22. a4, which limits white to a small advantage)

14. Bc2 (Rfe1) Nb6 (a5 or exd4) 15. d5 (e4) a5 (cxd5; h6; & Bd7 are better) 16. bxa5 Nbd7 17. dxc6 ( Na4!)

bxc6 18. Na4 (Qb4) Ba6 19. Rfe1 Qe6 20. Qb4 (Qd3!?)

c5 21. Qd2

Bf8? (This is a RED MOVE! These are the kinds of moves from which one MUST refrain . What makes it so difficult to understand is that black had an obviously better move with taking the pawn by 21…Bxc4. Now black is in serious difficulties after…)

22. Bb3 Rab8 23. Bxf6+ Nxf6 24. Nb6 Red8 25. Nc3 e4 26. f4 h6 27. Rf1 Rb7 28. Qf2 Ra7 29. Qd2 g5 30. Ncd5 Rf7 (g4 needs to be played) 31. h3 (31. fxg5! Nxd5 32. cxd5 Qg6 33. Bc4 Bxc4 34. Nxc4 hxg5 35. Rb1 Kg8 36. a6 Ra8 37. Rb6 Rfa7 38. g4 Rxa6 39. Rxa6 Rxa6 40. gxf5 Qf6 41. Qc2 Qf7 42. Qxe4 Rxa2 43. f6)

Bg7 32. Qf2 g4 (32… Nxd5 33. cxd5 Qf6 hangs tougher)

33. Nxf6 Bxf6 (Qxf6 is somewhat better) 34. hxg4 Rg7 35. gxf5

Qf7 ( (35… Qxf5 36. Rd5 Qg6 is better) 36. Bc2 Qh5? (It is all over now, baby blue. Why he did not capture the pawn on c4 boggles the mind, but then, it is difficult to resist when one bad move follows another, as I can say from experience. Some some of the best players can make things as difficult as possible for their opponent when in a worse position. GM Karjakin comes to mind as one who has this ability)

37. Bxe4 Bh4 38. Qf3 Rg4 39. Qh3 Rg3 40. Bf3 (RED MOVE! It is easy to become complacent when in a much better position. A much better move is…Qh1! One does not see a move like this played every day! White rights his ship after this inaccuracy.)

Rxh3 41. Bxh5 Rxe3 42. Rf3 Re4 43. Bf7 Bf6 44. Kh2 Re2 45. a4 Bd4 46. Rh3 Kh7 47. Bh5 Re4 48. Bf3 Rxf4 49. Nd5 Rxf3

50. Rxf3 (Not the best, but still good enough to win; gxf3 is best. I, too, would have taken with the rook, almost without thinking.Maybe it’s a human thing…) Bxc4 51. Rxd4? (Simply Nf4) cxd4 52. Nb6 Ba6 53. Rf4 d3 54. Rd4 Rf8? (Black has chances to hold with Kg7) 55. Rd5 Rf7 56. g4 Re7 57. Kg3 Re2 58. Rxd6 d2 59. Rd7+ Kh8 60. Rd8+ (Kf3) Kg7 61. Rd7+ Kf6 62. Nd5+ Ke5 63. Nb4 Re3+ (Bb7!) 64. Kf2 Re2+ 65. Kf3 Bc4 66. a6 Kf6 67. a7 Re7 68. Rd6+ Ke5 69. Rxd2 (( a8=Q, not that it matters) 1-0

Simon Williams 2493 v Gavin Wall 2325

London Classic Open 2010

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 e5 6. Qc2
g6 7. O-O-O c6 8. h3 Be7 9. g4 exd4 10. exd4 h6 11. Bd2 Nf8 12. f3 Ne6 13. Nge2
Ng7 14. Nf4 Kf7 15. Bd3 g5 16. Nfe2 a6 17. h4 gxh4 18. gxf5 Nfh5 19. f6 Nxf6
20. Bg6+ Ke6 21. d5+ Kd7 22. dxc6+ bxc6 23. Bf4 Qa5 24. Nd4 Kc7 25. Rhe1 Bf8
26. Qd2 Kb7 27. Nb3 Qb4 28. Bxd6 Bxd6 29. Qxd6 Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Nge8 31. Re7+ Kb6
32. c5# 1-0

Andrew Ledger (2363) – Roderick M McKay, (2312)
4NCL 2017-18 England ENG 01/13/2018

ECO: A41 Old Indian defence

1. d4 d6 2. c4 f5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 c6 6. Bd3 g6 7. e4 fxe4 8. Nxe4 Bg7 9. Nf3 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Nf6 11. Bd3 Bg4 12. O-O O-O 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Qa5 15. Qe3 Rae8 16. b4 Qc7 17. Qe6+ Rf7 18. Rad1 Nd7 19. h4 Nf8 20. Qg4 a5 21. b5 c5 22. dxc5 Qxc5 23. Be3 Qc7 24. b6 Qc6 25. h5 gxh5 26. Qxh5 a4 27. Qd5 Qc8 28. Be4 e6 29. Qb5 Qd7 30. Rxd6 Qxd6 31. Qxe8 Rd7 32. Qa8 Qe7 33. Qxa4 Bd4 34. Re1 Qc5 35. Qb3 Rd6 36. Bxd4 Qxd4 37. Qg3+ Kh8 38. Qf3 1-0

“Chess helped me in Academics”

There are so many multifarious ways to play the Caro Kann without constantly playing the same old, same ol’ 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 Bf5, and I am pleased to see the younger generation finding new moves in old openings in lieu of once again trotting out the same old moves played by earlier generations of players. I recall former US Chess Champion Stuart Rachels writing about why one must follow main line theory, but where is the fun in so doing?

The featured game is between two youngsters not afraid to blaze new trails.

Vladislav Artemiev 2697(RUS) vs

Murali Karthikeyan 2585 (IND)

Aeroflot Open 2018 round 02

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2
Bf5 (Stockfish takes the knight; Houdini plays the game move) 6. Nxf6+ gxf6 7. d4 (Stockfish & Komodo prefer 7 d3)
Qd5 8. c4 (Houdini & Komodo play 8 Be3. See game below) Qe4 9. Qxe4 Bxe4 10. Nh4 (Komodo prefers 10 Be2) Na6 11. f3 Bc2 12. Be3 (When replaying this game I jotted down 12 Ke2, thinking along the lines of “If he comes into my house, I want to kick him out ASAP!” Then when going over it with the ChessBomb it pleased me no end to see the Fish had it as the first choice!)
e5 (Having played the gxf Kann over the years I would be inclined to castle; so too would the fish) 13. dxe5 (I made it three in a row when jotting down 13 d5!) fxe5 14. Rc1 Bg6 15. a3 Bc5 16. Bxc5 Nxc5 17. b4 Ne6 18. c5 a5 (The logical 18…Ke7 appealed to me while sitting at home with all the time in the world, as white is lagging in development and the move advance of the King gives way for the rooks. The Fish agrees.) 19. Bc4 Ke7 (I could not help but wonder why Artemiev did not preface this with first taking with 19…axb4. So did the Fish…) 20. O-O axb4 (SF has 20… Rhd8 best) 21. axb4 Rhd8 (Now there are, according to the Fish, better moves with 21… f5, and even 21…f6)

White to move

22. f4? (Simply 22. Rfe1 is better, with about an even game. This gives an advantage to black.) Nxf4 23. Rce1 Kf8 24. Nxg6+ (24 g3 is better) hxg6 25. Rxe5 Rd4 26. Bxf7 Kxf7 27. g3 Kf6 28. gxf4 Rxb4 29. Rg5 Rh8 (29… Ra2!) 30. Rg2 (30. Rf2) Rh5 31. Rd1 Rxc5 32. Rd6+ Ke7 33. Rgxg6 Rxf4 34. Kg2 (34. h4, says the Fish) Rg5+ 35. Rxg5 Kxd6 36. Rg8 (36. Kg3 Forcing moves!) b5 37. Kg3 Rf1 38. Ra8 (White is lost, but 38. Kg2, another Forcing move, would make the opponent have to work)
b4 39. h4 c5 40. Rb8 Kd5 41. h5 Rh1 42. Kg4 Kc4 43. Kg5 b3 0-1

Tingjie Lei (2531) v S. Swapnil (2533)

Seville Open 2018

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Bf5 6.Nxf6+ gxf6 7. d4 Qd5 8. Be3 Bg4 9. c4 Qh5 10. O-O-O Nd7 11. Qd2 Bxf3
12. gxf3 e6 13. f4 a5 14. Be2 Qf5 15. Bd3 Qh5 16. f5 e5 17. dxe5 fxe5 18. Bc2 Rd8 19.Qxa5 Bh6 20. Qc7 Bxe3+ 21. fxe3 Qg5 22. Kb1 Qe7 23. Qxb7 O-O 24. Rd2 e4 25. Qc7 Ra8 1-0

Vladislav Artemiev (2524) v Alexey Zenzera (2387)

Event: Somov Memorial 2013
Site: Kirishi RUS Date: 05/16/2013
ECO: B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Qe2 e6 6. g3 Nf6 7. d3 Nxe4 8. dxe4 Bg4 9. Bg2 e5 10. Be3 Be7 11. O-O O-O 12. h3 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 Bg5 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Bxg5 Qxg5 16. Qc4 Qe7 17. Bg4 g6 18. h4 h5 19. Bh3 Rd8 20. Rxd8+ Qxd8 21. Qb3 b6 22. c3 Na6 23. Qa4 Nc5 24. Qxc6 Qe8 25. Qxe8+ Rxe8 26. Rd1 Kf8 27. f3 Ke7 28. Kf2 Rd8 29. Rxd8 Kxd8 30. b3 Ke7 31. Ke3 Kd6 32. b4 Na6 33. Bf1 Nc7 34. f4 f5 35. Bc4 exf4+ 36. Kxf4 fxe4 37. Kxe4 Ke7 38. Ke5 Ne8 39. Bd3 Kf7 40. c4 1-0

Nastassia Ziaziulkina (2369) v Jovana Rapport (2327)

Event: 21st European Teams Women
Site: Hersonissos GRE Date: 11/04/2017
ECO: B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Bf5 6. Nxf6+ gxf6 7. d4 Bg4 8. Qe4 Bxf3 9. gxf3 e6 10. Bf4 Qa5+ 11. Bd2 Bb4 12. c3 Be7 13. Bc4 Nd7 14. Rg1 O-O-O 15. Rg7 f5 16. Qe3 Rhg8 17. Rxf7 Rg1+ 18. Bf1 Bg5 19. f4 Bxf4 20. Qxf4 Qb5 21. O-O-O Rxf1 22. Rxf1 Qxf1+ 23. Kc2 h5 24. Re7 Qc4 25. b3 Qa6 26. a4 c5 27. dxc5 Qc6 28. Be3 Nxc5 29. Qc4 Rd5 30. Bxc5 Rxc5 31. Qxe6+ Qxe6 32. Rxe6 Rd5 33. Rh6 Re5 34. Kd3 b5 35. axb5 Rxb5 36. Kc4 Re5 37. Rxh5 Re4+ 38. Kd3 Rf4 39. Ke3 Re4+ 40. Kf3 Re5 41. Kf4 Re2 42. Kxf5 Rxf2+ 43. Ke4 a5 44. Rxa5 Rxh2 45. Ra7 Kb8 46. Rg7 Rb2 47. b4 Rd2 48. c4 Rd1 49. b5 Kc8 50. c5 Kb8 51. b6 Re1+ 52. Kd5 Rd1+ 53. Kc6 Rd8 54. Kb5 Rd5 55. Ka6 1-0

GM Karthikeyan Murali: “Chess helped me in Academics”


Modern Chess with the Clanking Digital Monsters

Vladislav Artemiev (RUS) 2697 versus

Alan Pichot (ARG) 2552

Aeroflot Open 2018 round 01


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 Nf6 (Houdini & Stockfish prefer an immediate 4…d5) 5. Bg2 d5 6. Qe2 6 Nbd2 is most often played, yet Komodo Stockfish prefer immediate castling) Be7 7. O-O (The most often played move but there is disagreement between the Big Three, with the Dragon choosing 7 c3; the Fish 7 Bf4; and the escape artist 7 e5) O-O 8. e5 Nd7 9. c4

b5 (There is a reason this move has been rarely played, yet is has been played by top GMs. 9…Nb6 and d5 have most often been the choice, but Komodo considers 9…a6 best) 10. cxb5 (SF plays cxd5) Na5

11. Nc3? (This is the kind of ‘natural’ move from which one must not play as it hands over the advantage to the opponent. Both Houdini & Fish advocate 11 Qc2, a move that has yet to be played by a human. An alternative would be 11 Nfd2, as in Kryvoruchko v Svetushkin below) a6 12. Bf4 (Dragon & Fish prefer bxa6) axb5 13. Nxb5 Ba6 14. Nc3 Nc6 15. h4 Qb6 (Fish & Dragon play 15…h6; Houdini Nd4) 16. b3 (The choice of Stockfish-16. Rfd1 Nd4 17. Qd2 Rfb8 18. Rdb1 1/2-1/2, Alexander Stripunsky (2536) v Axel Bachmann (2653) 2017 World Open)

We are now in uncharted territory. My thinking is development has been almost completed with only finding a good home for the rooks needed for completion.

16…Rfe8? (Black could have retained a small advantage with 16…h6; Qa5; or Nb4, according to Stockfish. Komodo would play 16…Qd8)

17. Rac1? (17. Nxd5! is given by the Stockfish program at ChessBomb, with the following amazing line, 17…exd5 18. e6 Nce5 19. exd7 Nxd7 20. Rfe1 Nf6 21. Qd2 Bc8 22. Be3 Be6 23. d4 cxd4 24. Qxd4 Qb7 25. Ne5 Ne4 26. Rec1 Bb4 27. Rc2 f6 28. Nd3 Ba3 as the only way for white to retain an advantage)

17…Qa5 (SF gives, in order, 17…h6; Qb7; Qa7; & Nb4, as holding a small advantage)

18. Rfd1 (Once again SF gives 18. Nxd5 exd5 19. e6 Nf6 20. exf7+ Kxf7 21. Ng5+ Kf8 22. Qe6 Nd8 23. Qf5 Nf7 24. Bxd5 Nxg5 25. hxg5 Bc8 26. Be6 Bxe6 27. Qxe6 Nh5 28. Bd6 g6 29. Rxc5 Qd8 30. Bxe7+ Qxe7 31. Qc4 Rxa2 32. g4 Ng7 33. b4 holding the game in balance)

18…Nd4 (Nb4 or h6) 19. Qd2 (Qe1!) Bf8 (Qb6!) 20. Na4 (g4; Qe1; & Qe3 with an equal game)

Nxf3+ ((20… Qxd2 -+) 21. Bxf3 Qxd2 22. Rxd2 Reb8 23. Bg2 Rb4 (h6=) 24. Rdd1 (Be3 +=) Bb5 25. Nc3 Bc6 (Ba6) 26. Rc2 g6 (Bb7) 27. Ne2 Bb5 28. Nc1 Ba6 29. Be3 Nxe5? (h5 or Be7) 30. Bxc5 Rbb8 (Bxc5) 31. Bxf8 (+-) Kxf8 32. d4 Nd7 33. Bf1 Rb4 (Nf6)

34. Rc6? (34. Bxa6 Rxa6 35. f3 Nf6 36. Kf2 Ra3 37. Ke3 Rb8 38. Nd3 Ne8 39. g4 Rba8 40. Rdd2 Nd6 41. Kf4 Kg7 42. Rc6 Ne8 43. Nb4 Nf6 44. Rdc2 h5 45. g5 Ng8 46. Rc8 Rxc8 47. Rxc8 Ne7 48. Rb8)

34…Bb7 (Bxf1 holds white to a small advantage)

35. Rc7 Ke8 36. Nd3 Rb6 37. Nc5 Bc8 38. Rd2 Kd8 39. Nxd7 Bxd7 40. Rc5 h6 41. f4 Ke7 42. Kf2 g5 43. Ke3 Kd6 44. Rcc2 Rg8 45. Rg2 Rb4 46. Bd3 f6 (f5 is better) 47. Rcf2 (fxg5 fxg5) e5 (f5) 48. hxg5 exd4+ 49. Kd2 hxg5 50. fxg5 fxg5 51. Rf6+ Kc7 52. Rh2 (Rgf2) Rbb8 53. Rf7 (Kc1 or Bf5)
Rbf8 54. Rfh7 Kd6 55. R7h6+ Kc7 56. Be2 Ra8 57. a4 Rgb8 58. Bd1 Bf5 59. Rf6 Be4 60. Rhh6 Rf8 61. Rc6+ Kb7 62. Rb6+

Ka7? (This move is a huge mistake. The most amazing thing about modern Chess is that players today have ‘clanking digital monsters’ that show a line proving what a large difference there can be between two similar moves. To play Chess well at the top-level players must make PRECISE moves. The difference now is that one can, at the touch of a button, see a line produced by the ‘clanking digital monster’ illustrating how much difference there is, when ‘back in my day’ we would argue endlessly over such moves, and produce far worse lines. I recall human World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen saying in an interview that he only looked at Chess on a board and pieces when he was with other humans. Humans playing Chess today should be far superior to those from the BC (Before Computer) age. Check out this line if you do not believe me: (62… Kc7 63. Rhc6+ Kd8 64. Rb7 Rh8 65. Bg4 Rh2+ 66. Kc1 Rh1+ 67. Kb2 Rb1+ 68. Ka3 Ra1+ 69. Kb4 R8xa4+ 70. bxa4 Rb1+ 71. Kc5 Rxb7 72. a5 Rc7 73. Rxc7 Kxc7 74. Kxd4 Kc6 75. Be2 Bf5 76. Ke5 Be4 77. Bf1 Kb7 78. Bb5 Ka7 79. Kd4 Kb7)

63. Ra6+ Kb7 64. Rhb6+ Kc7 65. Rc6+ Kb7 66. Rab6+ Ka7 67. a5

Rfc8? (Black was no doubt losing but this move lets go of the rope completely. The only move to continue the game was to EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!) 68. Re6 Re8 69. Ra6+ Kb7 70. Reb6+ Kc7 71. Rc6+ Kd7 72. Bg4+ Ke7 73. Rc7+ Kf8 74. Rf6+ Kg8 75. Be6+ 1-0

I would like to thank the ChessBomb for making this information available to people, like me, who have no CDM (Clanking Digital Monster)! https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-aeroflot-open/01-Artemiev_Vladislav-Pichot_Alan

Lastly, I would like you to know that I played over this game on a board with pieces one can touch, and move about, while taking notes, before going to, as I think of it, Da Bomb’. I will admit to finding about half of the better moves given by Da Bomb, and would be ashamed to print most of the “variations” found with my brain. At my age, and with my simple understanding, I am thrilled when somehow finding the first moves of most of these variations.