In the fourth round of the ongoing American Continental Chess Championship 2023 FM Todd Andrews
faced fellow American GM Robert Hungaski.
After the latter made his eighth move this position was reached:
We will return to this position momentarily.
It seems like only yesterday this writer heard it said that, “The Nashville Strangler has found him one.” The Strangler was, and still is, FM Jerry Wheeler. To give you an example of what it means for a Chess coach to have “found him one,” can best be explained by the time the Legendary Georgia Ironman informed me that, “Mr. Vest has found him one.” That “one” turned out to be Georgian IM Arthur Guo. When teaching Chess grizzled ol’ veterans “know” when a child “has it,” whatever “it” is… These children are special. Although I have taught Chess to many children the special “one” “with it” was never found. Without that whatever it is, let us call it a “spark”, a young player can still become a Chess Master, or even a titled player, especially today when there are so many titled players because the title has been cheapened to the point of ridiculousness. Without that ‘spark’ it is almost impossible for a Chess player to earn the Grandmaster title, unless that player is a woman. Even then there are female Chess players who have earned a “male” Grandmaster title, which is GM. The WGM title is only for women. The WGM title is laughed and scoffed at by most in the Chess community, for obvious reasons.
This is being written because ‘back in the day’ g4 was the kind of move for which I was known, I am sad, but honest enough to report. The AW was famously known for “lashing out” prematurely while playing wild and crazy Chess. Hey, it worked at the Stein Club…
FM Todd Andrews vs GM Robert Hungaski
American Continental Chess Championship 2023 Rd 4
English Opening: Agincourt Defense (lichess.org)
A13 English opening (365Chess)
- c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e3 c5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d3 Nc6 6. a3 Be7 7. Qc2 O-O 8. h3 a6 9. g4 b5 10. g5 Ne8 11. cxd5 exd5 12. Bg2 Nc7 13. h4 Bf5 14. e4 Bg4 15. Ne2 Ne6 16. Be3 Rc8 17. Rd1 d4 18. Bc1 Bxf3 19. Bxf3 Ne5 20. Bg2 c4 21. dxc4 bxc4 22. O-O d3 23. Qc3 Qc7 24. Ng3 Bc5 25. Be3 g6 26. Bh3 Nf3+ 27. Kg2 Nxh4+ 28. Kh2 Bd4 29. Bxd4 Nf3+ 30. Kg2 Nexd4 31. Rh1 Rb8 32. b4 Nb5 33. Qf6 Nh4+ 34. Kf1 Rb6 35. Qa1 c3 36. Bg4 c2 37. Rxh4 d2 38. Ne2 Rc6 0-1
1…e6 is a rather tepid response to the English. If one is going to push the e-pawn why not push it all the way to e5? 3 e3 is a rather tepid response. If one is going to push the d-pawn why not push it all the way to d4? 4 Nf3 (?! SF) is so lame it gives the advantage to black. The Stockfish program at lichess.org shows, “Inaccuracy. d4 was best.” GM Hungaski replied with 4…Nf6, to which Stockfish responded with, “Inaccuracy. d4 was best.” After Todd played 5 d3, Stockfish responded with, “Inaccuracy. d4 was best.” I cannot make this up…
In yesterday’s round six game Todd faced GM David Arenas with the white pieces. After twenty moves this position was reached:
After only twenty moves Todd had fallen behind on time with a little less than twenty seven minutes remaining. His opponent had more than twice as much time. Todd used almost one third of his remaining time to produce his move. This writer knows how difficult it is when returning to the board after not having played serious OTB Chess in some time. When “not in form” even the pros will take more time than when “in form.” Scraping off the rust can be difficult. ‘Back in the day’ when Todd ruled at the House of Pain his moves came quickly and easily. These daze they are more difficult and are coming more slowly. Because Todd took so much time this writer, and Chess fan, had time to cogitate at length on the above position. Everything was considered. The first thought was not wanting the pawn coming to e4. Nevertheless I checked 21 cxd5 and did not like anything about the move, so I concentrated on 21 dxe5. I could “see” 21 Bxe5, followed by 21…Nxe5 22 dxe5 Rxe5 23 Nf3, attacking the Rook. That is about as far my Chess vision allows. I can “see” that because it is all forced. Then it hit me…”What if he plays 22…d4?” I certainly did not like the looks of 23 Nf5 followed by 23…Bxg2, but what else is there to play? I stopped looking and decided the move to make had to be 21 Bxe5.
As you will see, Todd made several questionable moves but the most questionable was not moving his Knight to f5. Then GM Arenas made a very questionable move with 24…f4?! and it was back to square one, as Todd was back in the game. Unfortunately, Todd refused to accept the gift when moving the Knight to the rim, where it was dim, and then followed up with the game losing 23 Qg4?
FM Todd Andrews vs GM David Arenas
American Continental Chess Championship 2023 Round 6
A45 Queen’s pawn game
- d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 e6 3. e3 c5 4. c3 cxd4 5. exd4 b6 6. Nf3 Bb7 7. Nbd2 Be7 8. h3 O-O 9. Bd3 a6 10. a4 d6 11. Bh2 Nbd7 12. O-O h6 13. Re1 Qc7 14. Nc4 Rfe8 15. Ne3 Bc6 16. Nd2 Bf8 17. Qe2 Qb7 18. c4 d5 19. b3 Bb4 20. Rec1 e5 21. cxd5 Nxd5 22. Nxd5 Bxd5 23. Ne4 f5 24. Ng3 f4 25. Nh5 exd4 26. Qg4 Ne5 27. Qf5 Nxd3 28. Qxd3 Bc3 29. Bxf4 Qf7 30. g4 Bxa1 31. Rxa1 g6 32. Ng3 Qxf4 33. Qxg6+ Kh8 34. Nf5 Qg5 35. Qxb6 Re6 36. Qxd4+ Qf6 37. Qxd5 Qxa1+ 38. Kg2 Rae8 39. Nd6 Qe1 40. a5 Rf8 0-1
Lars Karlsson (2501) vs Leif Erlend Johannessen (2564)
Event: Rilton Cup 35th
Site: Stockholm Date: 12/30/2005
Round: 4 Score: ½-½
ECO: A45 Queen’s pawn game
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 b6 4.Nd2 Bb7 5.Ngf3 Be7 6.h3 c5 7.c3 cxd4 8.exd4 O-O 9.Bd3 a6 10.a4 d6 11.Qe2 Nbd7 12.O-O Re8 13.Bh2 Nf8 14.Rfd1 Ng6 15.c4 d5 16.b3 Bb4 17.Qe3 Rc8 18.Ne5 Qe7 19.Ndf3 Nxe5 20.Bxe5 Ne4 21.Bf4 f6 22.Rac1 e5 23.Bh2 exd4 24.Nxd4 Qf7 25.Qf3 Bc5 26.Bf1 Kh8 27.Bf4 Rcd8 28.Be3 Qg6 29.Qg4 Qxg4 30.hxg4 dxc4 31.Bxc4 Bc8 32.Be2 g6 33.Bf3 Bb7 34.Nc2 Kg7 35.b4 Bxe3 36.Nxe3 Rxd1+ 37.Rxd1 Re7 38.Bxe4 Bxe4 39.Rd6 Rb7 40.a5 bxa5 41.bxa5 Ra7 42.f3 Ba8 43.Nc2 Kf7 44.Nd4 Ke7 45.Re6+ Kf7 46.Rd6 Ke7 47.Rb6 Kf7 48.Nb3 Bd5 49.Nc5 Rc7 50.Nxa6 Rc1+ 51.Kh2 Ra1 52.Rb5 Bc4 53.Rb7+ Kg8 54.Nc5 Rxa5 55.Ne4 Ra6 56.g5 fxg5 57.Nxg5 h6 58.Ne4 Bd5 59.Rb4 Bxe4 60.Rxe4 Kf7 ½-½
What has happened to the Todd with the Big Head? (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2023/04/17/big-head-todd-the-monster-in-iceland/) This is not the kind of Chess FM Todd Andrews played ‘back in the day’. It is almost as if another entity has taken over Todd’s big head, because his play recently has been unrecognizable. When discussing this with the Legendary one, Tim said, “Todd ain’t no spring chicken, Mike. He will be eligible for the Senior in less than a decade, and he’s got a house full of children… He runs the Nashville Chess Center and gives lessons all the time. How much time does he have to work on his game?”