FM Todd Andrews Versus Grandmasters Robert Hungaski and David Arenas at the American Continental Chess Championship 2023

In the fourth round of the ongoing American Continental Chess Championship 2023 FM Todd Andrews

faced fellow American GM Robert Hungaski.

Episode 149- GM Robert Hungaski — The Perpetual Chess Podcast

After the latter made his eighth move this position was reached:

White to move

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.

Position after 9 g4

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 (
A13 English opening (365Chess)

  1. 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 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:

Position after 20…e5. White to move.

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

  1. 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? ( 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?”

IM Arthur Guo At The 2023 US National High School Chess Championship

Atlantan IM Arthur Guo

finished in a tie for third place with many other players in the recent 2023 US National High School Championship, a half point behind the two leaders. I would like to inform you of the names of the winners, but after being unable to access the USCF webpage contained the information I contacted my friend, Mulfish, who reported, “The US Chess website has had service outages off and on for the last two days. Once it’s up you should be able to get to the crosstable. Once it’s working again you shouldn’t have any trouble.” Some things never change…

Arthur Guo vs Avi Harrison Kaplan

2023 US National High School Championship Rd 4
B40 Sicilian defense

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 a6 3. g3 b5 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. d3 d6 6. Nh3 e6 7. O-O Be7 8. g4 Nf6 9. g5 Nfd7 10. f4 Nc6 11. Ne2 Nb6 12. Ng3 d5 13. f5 exf5 14. exf5 g6 15. f6 Bd6 16. Re1+ Kd7 17. Nf4 Ne5 18. c3 Re8 19. d4 Nec4 20. b3 Na5 21. Nd3 c4 22. Ne5+ Bxe5 23. dxe5 Qc7 24. Bf4 Kd8 25. Ne4 Nc8 26. b4 Qd7 27. Nc5 Qc6 28. Nxb7+ Qxb7 29. bxa5 1-0

Stockfish still considers 2 Nf3 best. In reply to the game move, 2 Nc3, SF considers the move played in the game, 2…a6, best. The move 2…Nc6 has long been favored by we humans, with showing almost 50,000 games with the move. 2…d6 and 2…e6 are almost tied with each showing over 12,000 games. The best move, according to the ‘Fish, 2…a6, has only been seen in about 3,000 games. 3 g3 has been the far and away favored by humans in 1344 games. Then come 3 Nf3 with 485 games, followed by 3 f4 with 469 games. 3 a4 shows 417 games, while the SF best, 3 Nge2 has only been seen in 2015 games. 3…b5 has been the most often played move, and SF considers it best. Ditto for 4 Bg2, and 4…Bb7. Arthur played 5 d3, as have most other players, but SF will play 5 Nge2. Mr. Kaplan played 5…d6, but 5…e6 has been seen in ten times more games, possibly because SF considers it best. Mr. Guo played 6 Nh3, and SF considers it best, but 6 f4 has been the most often played move. SF will play 6…g6. After 7 0-0, the move 7…Nd7 has been played in 9 games; 7…Nf6 (8); 7…Nc6 (5); 7…Be7 (3); followed by the only game featuring the move SF considers best:

Alexandr Predke (2632) vs Sergey A Fedorchuk (2633)
Event: Tal Memorial Rapid 2019
Site: Riga LAT Date: 07/17/2019
Round: 10.6 Score: 0-1
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.Nh3 d6 7.O-O b4 8.Ne2 Nf6 9.f4 Nbd7 10.Nf2 h5 11.h3 Qc7 12.a3 a5 13.c3 bxc3 14.bxc3 Be7 15.a4 Rb8 16.c4 Rd8 17.Nc3 Nb8 18.Nb5 Qc8 19.Bb2 Nc6 20.e5 dxe5 21.fxe5 Nd7 22.Qe2 h4 23.g4 O-O 24.Rae1 Qb8 25.Bc3 Nd4 26.Bxd4 cxd4 27.Nxd4 Nc5 28.Nc6 Bxc6 29.Bxc6 Nxd3 30.Nxd3 Qb6+ 31.c5 Qxc6 32.Rc1 Rd4 33.Qf3 Qxf3 34.Rxf3 Rfd8 35.c6 Rc8 36.Nb2 Rd5 37.Rb3 Rc5 38.Rxc5 Bxc5+ 39.Kg2 Bd4 40.Nc4 Rxc6 41.Nxa5 Ra6 42.Rb5 Bc3 43.Nc4 Rxa4 44.Nd6 Rf4 45.g5 Kh7 46.Nc8 Kg6 47.Nb6 Kxg5 48.Nd7 Kg6 49.Nf8+ Kf5 50.Nd7 Bd4 51.Ra5 Rf2+ 52.Kh1 Rf3 53.Kg2 Rg3+ 54.Kh2 Bg1+ 55.Kh1 Be3 56.Nb8 Rxh3+ 57.Kg2 Rg3+ 58.Kh2 Bf4 59.Kh1 h3 60.Nc6 Rd3 61.Ra1 g5 0-1

Gus Huston

vs Arthur Guo
2023 US National High School Championship Rd 5
B40 Sicilian defense

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c3 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. Na3 a6 7. Nc4 Nbd7 8. Be2 Qc6 9. O-O Qc7 10. a4 b6 11. Nfe5 Nxe5 12. Bf4 Nd5 13. Bxe5 Qc6 14. Bf3 f6 15. Bg3 cxd4 16. Bxd5 exd5 17. Re1+ Kd8 18. Qxd4 Bc5 19. Qd2 Ra7 20. b4 Rd7 21. Ne5 fxe5 22. bxc5 bxc5 23. Rxe5 Bb7 24. Rae1 Kc8 25. Qf4 Rd6 26. Re6 d4 27. f3 Rxe6 28. Rxe6 1-0

The third move of the game by Mr. Houston has been seen in 9504 games. 3 d4 has been played in almost 100,000 games. 3 c3 is second with 9504 games. 3 Nc3 has been played 9,259 times. It is the move favored by Stockfish. After 4… Qxd5 the move played in the game, 5 d4 has been played in 1844 games. The move favored by Stockfish, 5 Be2 has been seen in action only 43 times. 5…Nf6 followed. Stockfish would play 5…cxd4, which would be a Theoretical Novelty. After 7…Nbd7 Gus played 8 Be2. Stockfish would play 8 a4, for what should be obvious reasons. That brings us to this position:

Position after 8 Be2

I expected Arthur to play 8…b5, which is the choice of SF. The move played, 8…Qc6, was shocking. Stockfish says, “Inaccuracy. b5 was best.” Stockfish gives the move played in the game a dubious (?!) distinction. After 8 Be2 the ‘Fish shows white with an advantage of +0.3. After moving the Queen for the second time in the opening, SF shows the white advantage improving to +0.9. Granted, that is not much of an increase, but it caused me to think of something one Legendary Atlanta area Chess Coach is more than a little fond of saying when a student retreats a piece that has no business retreating: “There you go running back scared again!” Sometimes he will exchange “scared” to “crazy” depended on the student. One of the “rules” of Chess is to not move an already developed piece the second time before completing development. The computer Chess programs have shown that particular reasoning needs to be rethought, but when teaching neophytes, it is best for them to learn the rules before teaching them when to break the rules. Arthur’s game went downhill from here. Stockfish shows him with a lost game, down by -1.8, after only eleven moves. After his 12th move, Arthur was down by -2.5. It was all over but the shoutin’… This is one of the worst games Arthur has played in some time. Let us hope it is an aberration.

The Freak Attack Vs The Najdorf with 6 Rg1

Continuing with the series on the Najdorf we now come to those much lesser played sixth moves. shows only 482 games having been contested with 6 Rg1, which has scored remarkably well, albeit in a very limited sample size. There is no pretense with 6 Rg1. White immediately signals his intention to ATTACK! White gives up castling on the kingside in order to thrust his g-pawn forward. It is ‘Cave man’ Chess at it’s finest.

Stockfish vs Stockfish

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Rg1 b5 7. a4 b4 8. Nd5 Nxe4 9. Bc4 e6 10. Qe2 Nc5 11. Bf4 Be7 12. Nxe7 Qxe7 13. O-O-O e5 14. Qf3 Ra7 15. Bxe5 dxe5 16. Nc6 Nxc6 17. Bxf7+ Qxf7 18. Qxc6+ Bd7 19. Qxc5 Rb7 20. Rge1 Kd8 21. Qc6 Rc7 22. Qa8+ Rc8 23. Qb7 b3 24. c3 Rc7 25. Qb8+ Rc8 26. Qa7 Re8 27. Qb6+ Rc7 28. Qb8+ 1/2-1/2

MVL is todaze leading exponent of the Najdorf Sicilian. Since he is an inveterate 1 e4 player he must face his favorite opening, which was something I was loath to do, so I played the Closed variation of the Sicilian Defense.

Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2784)

vs Liren Ding (2791)

Event: Opera Euro Rapid Prelim
Site: INT Date: 02/08/2021
Round: 14.2 Score: 1-0
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1 b5 7.a4 b4 8.Nd5 Nxe4 9.Bc4 e6 10.Qe2 Nc5 11.c3 Be7 12.Nxe7 Qxe7 13.cxb4 Ncd7 14.Bd2 Ne5 15.Bb3 O-O 16.O-O-O Nbc6 17.Nc2 Rb8 18.Bc3 Ng6 19.g3 e5 20.Bd5 Qd7 21.f4 Bb7 22.Bb3 exf4 23.gxf4 Qf5 24.Qd2 1-0

Then there is Shabba, who gives Atlanta’s own Arthur Guo a lesson, albeit a long one, in how to attack the venerable Najdorf:

Alexander Shabalov (2528)

vs Arthur Guo (2286)

Event: National Open 2019
Site: Las Vegas USA Date: 06/16/2019
Round: 9 Score: 1-0
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1 Qc7 7.g4 e6 8.g5 Nfd7 9.h4 b5 10.a3 Bb7 11.h5 g6 12.Be3 Nc5 13.Qg4 Nbd7 14.O-O-O O-O-O 15.Kb1 Kb8 16.h6 Nb6 17.Nb3 Be7 18.Be2 Rc8 19.Rc1 Rhd8 20.Rgd1 Ncd7 21.f4 d5 22.exd5 exd5 23.Bd4 Nc4 24.Rf1 f5 25.gxf6 Bxf6 26.f5 gxf5 27.Rxf5 Rg8 28.Qf4 Qxf4 29.Rxf4 Bg5 30.Rf7 Bxc1 31.Kxc1 Nf8 32.Nc5 Rc7 33.Rg7 Rcxg7 34.hxg7 Ng6 35.Nd7+ Ka8 36.Bg4 Nge5 37.Nxe5 Rxg7 38.Be2 Re7 39.Nd3 Ne3 40.Bc5 Re6 41.Nf4 Re5 42.Bd4 Re7 43.Bd3 Nc4 44.b3 Re1+ 45.Nd1 Ne5 46.Bxh7 Nf3 47.Bf2 Rh1 48.Bd3 Ng5 49.Ne2 Bc8 50.Ng3 Rh2 51.Be3 Nf3 52.Be2 Ne5 53.Bd4 Nc6 54.Bf2 Ne5 55.Nf1 Rh7 56.Kd2 Bg4 57.Bxg4 Nxg4 58.Bd4 Kb7 59.b4 Rh3 60.Nfe3 Nxe3 61.Nxe3 Kc6 62.Kc3 Rh1 63.Nf5 Ra1 64.Kb2 Rf1 65.Ne3 Rf4 66.c3 Kd6 67.Kb3 Rf7 68.a4 Ke6 69.axb5 axb5 70.Kc2 Rh7 71.Kd3 Rh3 72.Ba7 Kd6 73.Bb8+ Kc6 74.Kd2 Rh8 75.Bg3 Rg8 76.Nf5 Rg4 77.Nd4+ Kb6 78.Bd6 Re4 79.Bc5+ Ka6 80.Kd3 Re1 81.Nf5 Rd1+ 82.Kc2 Rh1 83.Ne7 Rh5 84.Kd3 Kb7 85.Kd4 Kc7 86.Nxd5+ Kc6 87.Ne3 Rh4+ 88.Kd3 Rf4 89.Kc2 Rh4 90.Kb3 Kb7 91.Kc2 Rh2+ 92.Kd3 Rh4 93.Bd4 Kc6 94.c4 bxc4+ 95.Kxc4 Rh5 96.Ng4 Rh1 97.Ne5+ Kd6 98.Nd3 Rh4 99.b5 Re4 100.Nc5 Rh4 101.Nb3 Rh5 102.Bc5+ Kd7 103.Kb4 Ke6 104.b6 Rh8 105.Kb5 Kd5 106.b7 Rb8 107.Na5 Ke6 108.Ba7 Rg8 109.Nc6 Kd7 110.Bb6 Rg5+ 111.Ka6 Rg8 112.Nd8 1-0

The Last Round: FM Jason Wang vs IM Arthur Guo

FM Jason Wang vs IM Arthur Guo
Denker Invitational
D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 Re8 8. a3 Bf8 9. Rd1 Ne7 10. Qc2 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bd3 Ng6 13. e4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a5 15. Rb1 axb4 16. axb4 Ra3 17. Bd3 Rxc3 18. Bxc3 Nf4 19. Nd2 Nxg2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Bc8 23. Rg1 e5 24. dxe5 Bh3+ 25. Ke1 Ng4 26. Nf3 Ng2+ 27. Ke2 Nf4+ 28. Ke1 Bg2 29. e6 fxe6 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Nxg4 Qxg4 32. Be5 Nh3 33. f3 Qg5 34. Rxg2 Qxe5 35. Rg3 Nf4 36. Kf1 b5 37. Be2 Rc8 38. Qd2 Rc7 39. Rd1 Rf7 40. Rc1 Nh5 41. Rh3 Nf4 42. Rg3 Nh5 43. Rh3 Nf6 44. Kg1 Bxb4 45. Qc2 Bd6 46. Qxc6 b4 47. Rd1 Bc5+ 48. Kh1 Rc7 49. Qb5 Bd6 1/2-1/2 (9…Ne7 appears to be a TN)

In the last round of the recently completed Denker Invitational FM Jason Wang

USCS 43: St. Louis (June 2018)

faced IM Arthur Guo with a first place on the line. Arthur was a half point ahead of the contenders, one of whom was Jason Wang. After move forty it looked as though the game would end in a draw after the position was repeated, but Arthur eschewed the draw when playing 43…Nf6 in lieu of returning the knight to h5. FM Wang then blundered by playing 44 Kg1? This allowed Arthur to take a pawn with impunity while attacking the white Queen. I thought the game was over because the two passed pawns will devastate white in the long run. This is the position:

Position after 45 Qc2

It was more than a little obvious Arthur would play 46…Rc7 because every Chess player knows that ROOKS BELONG BEHIND PASSED PAWNS. I had a heart palpation after seeing Arthur’s next move of 45…Bd6. The Stockfish program at gives the move not one, but two question marks. The move is so bad it defies comprehension. What could have caused such a budding star to make such a horrible move? I decided to put the game up to after white played 46 Qc2 into the analysis program at and this is best play by Stockfish after 45 Qc2:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 Re8 8. a3 Bf8 9. Rd1 Ne7 10. Qc2 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bd3 Ng6 13. e4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a5 15. Rb1 axb4 16. axb4 Ra3 17. Bd3 Rxc3 18. Bxc3 Nf4 19. Nd2 Nxg2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Bc8 23. Rg1 e5 24. dxe5 Bh3+ 25. Ke1 Ng4 26. Nf3 Ng2+ 27. Ke2 Nf4+ 28. Ke1 Bg2 29. e6 fxe6 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Nxg4 Qxg4 32. Be5 Nh3 33. f3 Qg5 34. Rxg2 Qxe5 35. Rg3 Nf4 36. Kf1 b5 37. Be2 Rc8 38. Qd2 Rc7 39. Rd1 Rf7 40. Rc1 Nh5 41. Rh3 Nf4 42. Rg3 Nh5 43. Rh3 Nf6 44. Kg1 Bxb4 45. Qc2 (Stockfish analysis begins here) Rc7 46. Kh1 Bd6 47. Rd1 Bf8 48. Qa2 g6 49. Bd3 Kh8 50. Bf1 Nh5 51. Qa8 Kg7 52. Qb8 Be7 53. Rh4 Bd6 54. Qd8 Be7 55. Qb8 Nf6 56. Rh3 Qf4 57. Ra1 Nd7 58. Qe8 Nf8 59. Rd1 Bf6 60. Rg3 Be5 61. Be2 b4 62. Bc4 c5 63. Rf1 Ra7 64. Rg2 Bd4 65. Rg4 Qe3 66. Rg3 Rf7 67. Qa8 Qf4 68. Qc6 Re7 69. Rg4 Qb8 70. Bb3 h5 71. Rg5 Qc7 72. Qxc7 Rxc7 73. Rg2 c4 74. Rc1 c3 75. f4 Nd7 76. Rd1 e5 77. fxe5 Bxe5 78. Rd5 Nc5 79. Bd1 Bf4 80. e5 b3 81. e6 Rb7 82. Rxc5 b2 83. Rxg6+ Kxg6 84. Bc2+ Kf6 85. Rxc3 b1=R+ 86. Bxb1 Rxb1+ 87. Kg2 Rb2+ 88. Kf3 Bd6 89. Rc4 Rxh2 90. Re4 Rh3+ 91. Kg2 Rg3+ 92. Kh1 Ke7 93. Re1 Rg5 94. Re3 Bg3 95. Re2 Be5 96. Rd2 Rg4 97. Rd1 Kxe6 98. Rf1 Bg3 99. Kg2 Bf4+ 100. Kh3 Rg3+ 101. Kh4 Kf5 102. Rd1 Rb3 103. Rf1 Ra3 and it is checkmate in 25

Winning a won game is difficult, and like Ringo sang, “It don’t come easy.” Almost every day at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center one would frequently hear, “I blew a WON GAME.” or, “If only I had won more WON GAMES I would be a Master (or Expert, or class A, etc. player).”

After reading the following at ChessLifeOnline in an excellent article by JJLang, dated August 3, 2022, understanding was found:


Following the old tiebreak adage of ‘lose last, laugh last,’ tournament leader Georgia’s IM Arthur Guo drew his final game against Ohio’s FM Jason Wang to win first place on tiebreaks. By not losing any games, Guo had stronger pairings throughout the tournament than his rivals, meaning tiebreaks would likely come out in his favor were he to draw his final game. Indeed, after failing to find anything concrete on the attacking side of a sharp Ragozin, Guo took the draw and, fortunately for him, the math played out in his favor.

Therein lies the problem. It is not as if there are not enough draws in Chess these daze. Now the pooh-bahs have made rules that only INCREASE the likelihood of a draw! Arthur needed only a DRAW to “WIN” the event. The fact is that Arthur did NOT win the tournament! He finished in a THREE WAY TIE for FIRST PLACE! The three players each scored the same number of points, five. Reading further in the aforementioned article one finds: “Northern Californian GM Andrew Hong and Arizonian FM Sandeep Sethuraman each won their final round games to finish second and third, respectively, on tiebreaks.” Simply put, that is a crock of excrement! As it stands now, tiebreaks are MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE RESULT OF THE GAME! What if there had been a three-way tie for first place? That would mean at least three times as much publicity for the Royal Game because the publicity director (USCF has a publicity director, does it not? If not, why not?!) could have articles on all three of them in local newspapers and on local TV news programs in three different cities. This ain’t the Highlander, where there can be only ONE!

The same could be said for the recently completed US Senior, where there was a FIVE-WAY TIE! Unfortunately, the brain trust at the USCF decided to have a souped-up heebe-jeeb speed tournament after the conclusion of almost TWO WEEKS of playing what now passes for classical Chess. The playoff was not the next day, but only a short time after the players had spent at least five hours playing over the board. We are talking about SENIORS here, ladies and gentlemen. Why does USCF FORCE Seniors to play nerve-wracking speed games but not force the JUNIORS to do the same? As a Senior I can tell you that a speed tournament to determine the “winner” was much more difficult on the Seniors than it would have been on the Juniors. My hat is off to GM Alexander Shabalov for winning the speed tournament, but he won more than TWICE AS MUCH MONEY as the other four for winning a SPEED TOURNAMENT! ‘Back in the day’ tournaments held five minute speed tournaments as an ancillary event, not the main event. The fact that there were tiebreaks irrevocably altered the Denker event, as it does every event in which it is used. Because of the plethora of draws Chess is unlike Go or Backgammon, where there is only ONE WINNER!
Just sayin’…

Tommy Wen vs Arthur Guo: “Ready, Aim…”

In the fourth round of the recently completed 2022 Denker Invitational, Expert, soon to be Master, Tommy Wen sat down behind the white pieces after scoring 2 1/2 out of 3 possible points facing IM Arthur Guo,

who had earlier drawn with FM Sandeep Sethuraman. After 38 moves this position was reached:

Position after 38…Nhg7

It is rare to see the knight on g7 and the bishop on f6. The same can be said of the same pieces on the queenside of the board. Most, if not all, players who have made it to class “B” would tell you white has an advantage. For those readers who do not understand the reason I will explain by first saying white has a POSITIONAL advantage because he controls more space, In addition, his pieces are better placed. Contrast the white knights with those of the black army. Then there is the unfortunate black squared bishop, jailed by pawns of the same color. which the white prelate is well positioned IN THE EVENT THE POSITION IS OPENED. Therefore, both players need the position opened to free the black squared bishops. Given the opportunity black will play h5 followed by g4. Unfortunately for black it is white to move.

I was riveted to the screen after having stopped looking at any other game as I awaited Mr. Wen’s next move. For the younger, and new to Chess, readers I would highly suggest you take some time to cogitate on the position, preferably on a real set and pieces. It would be even better if you would take time to go over the whole game, taking notes as you go, before checking the game out at, one of the greatest gifts ever given to the Royal Game.

While waiting for the next move I reflected upon a time many decades ago when a similar position was reached and I did not pull the trigger. After showing the game to the man who became the only player to earn the title of Georgia Chess Champion and Georgia Senior Chess Champion, NM David Vest, the High Planes Drifter, the first coach of young Mr. Guo, said “You have a problem with trying to hold on to your material. How about we play and I will make an sacrifice in every game,” Dave said. Well now, the AW was always up for a challenge ‘back in the day’ so we sat down to play. One fifteen minute game after another followed and damned if the Drifter did not make a sacrifice in each and every game! I learned the lesson and after that day I was always looking out for the possibility of making a sacrifice.

In Chess there comes a time when your position is as good as it is ever gonna get and there is one move, and only one move to be made. If you do not play that move your position will deteriorate. You are locked and loaded and simply MUST PULL THE TRIGGER! The position above is one of those occasions. Expert Wen, a non-titled player, by only six points, had an opportunity that was missed. He will undoubtedly learn from the missed opportunity.

I could attempt showing you what move should have been played and explain why, but what is the point when the Stockfish program at Lichess can do a much better job? I give the game, followed by something using the analysis board at Lichess;Stockfish vs Stockfish. By now you should know what move should have been played, what with all the hints, so what I did was utilize the SF program to play out how the game could possibly have gone, with best play, so you can see how the position is transformed after the sacrifice.

Wen (2194) vs IM Arthur Guo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 d6 9. c3 h6 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. a3 Bd7 13. Bc2 g6 14. Nf1 Bg7 15. Ng3 a5 16. d5 Ne7 17. b3 Nc8 18. Be3 c6 19. c4 Nb6 20. Nd2 a4 21. Bd3 bxc4 22. bxc4 Qc7 23. Rb1 Reb8 24. Qc2 Rb7 25. Rb2 Rab8 26. Reb1 Nc8 27. Ne2 c5 28. Nc3 Rxb2 29. Rxb2 Ra8 30. Nb5 Qd8 31. Nb1 Nh5 32. N1c3 Nf4 33. Bf1 f5 34. f3 Nh5 35. Nxa4 f4 36. Bf2 g5 37. Nac3 Bf6 38. a4 Ng7 39. Be2 h5 40. Qd1 Ra6 41. Kf1 Ne7 42. Ke1 Kh7 43. Kd2 Ng8 44. Kc1 Nh6 45. Kb1 Qc8 46. Be1 Bd8 47. Ra2 Ne8 48. Ra3 Nf7 49. Na2 Nf6 50. Nc1 Kg7 51. Nb3 g4 52. hxg4 hxg4 53. Nd2 Qa8 54. fxg4 Ba5 55. Bf3 Bb4 56. Ra2 Qc8 57. Nf1 Ng5 58. Bh4 Nfxe4 59. Qc2 Be8 60. Kc1 Bg6 61. Qe2 Qh8 62. Bxg5 Nxg5 63. Nxd6 Rxd6 64. Qxe5+ Kh7 65. Qxd6 Qc3+ 66. Kd1 Qe1#

Wen vs Guo with Stockfish analysis from move 39

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 d6 9. c3 h6 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. a3 Bd7 13. Bc2 g6 14. Nf1 Bg7 15. Ng3 a5 16. d5 Ne7 17. b3 Nc8 18. Be3 c6 19. c4 Nb6 20. Nd2 a4 21. Bd3 bxc4 22. bxc4 Qc7 23. Rb1 Reb8 24. Qc2 Rb7 25. Rb2 Rab8 26. Reb1 Nc8 27. Ne2 c5 28. Nc3 Rxb2 29. Rxb2 Ra8 30. Nb5 Qd8 31. Nb1 Nh5 32. N1c3 Nf4 33. Bf1 f5 34. f3 Nh5 35. Nxa4 f4 36. Bf2 g5 37. Nac3 Bf6 38. a4 Ng7 (SF vs SF begins here) 39. Nxd6 Nxd6 40. Bxc5 Nf7 41. Bb6 Qf8 42. c5 Bd8 43. Kh2 Bc8 44. d6 g4 45. fxg4 f3 46. Bc4 Ne6 47. Qf2 fxg2 48. Qf5 Neg5 49. Qg6+ Qg7 50. Qxg7+ Kxg7 51. Kxg2 Ne6 52. Bd5 Bxb6 53. Rxb6 Ra5 54. Nb5 Nxc5 55. Rc6 Nxa4 56. Rxc8 Nb6 57. Bxf7 Kxf7 58. Nc3 Nd7 59. Rh8 Ra3 60. Nd5 Kg6 61. Re8 Ra6 62. Re6+ Kg5 63. Kf3 Ra3+ 64. Ne3 Rd3 65. Re7 Rxd6 66. h4+ Kf6 67. Rh7 Rd3 68. Rxh6+ Ke7 69. Ke2 Rb3 70. Nf5+ Ke8 71. g5 Nc5 72. Rh8+ Kd7 73. Rh7+ Kc6 74. g6 Ne6 75. Kf2 Rd3 76. Re7 Nc5 77. Ke2 Rd8 78. Rxe5 Nb3 79. Ke3 Kb6 80. g7 Nc1 81. h5 Rd3+ 82. Kf4 Rd8 83. Kg5 Nb3 84. h6 Nd4 85. Nxd4 Rg8 86. Re7 Rd8 87. h7 Rxd4 88. h8=Q Rd1 89. Qc8 Rg1+ 90. Kf6 Rf1+ 91. Ke6 Rf6+ 92. Kxf6 Ka5 93. Rb7 Ka4 94. Qa8#

IM Arthur Guo In Three Way Tie For First At The Denker Tournament of High School Champions

Fellow Georgian IM Arthur Guo

IM Arthur Guo at the 2022 U.S. Open. Photo: Mark Cieslikowski

tied for first with GM Andrew Hong and FM Sandeep Sethuraman in the Denker Tournament of HS Champions, each scoring five out of a possible six points.

Denker Winners (L to R) IM Arthur Guo, GM Andrew Hong, FM Sandeep Sethuraman at the 2022 U.S. Open. Photo: Mark Cieslikowski

This will be the first of three posts devoted to three games in which Arthur was involved. Before beginning I would like to give kudos to the folks at the “New” United States Chess Federation website. The coverage has been exceptional and the article from which the picture of young Mr. Guo was obtained is an excellent example ( The picture of the three winners was also taken from an article from the USCF website that appeared as I was putting this post together. With the Chess Olympiad ongoing there is currently much Chess activity the world over. In addition, the 2022 U.S. Go Congress ( is happening concurrently.

There is simply not enough time to follow everything even though the AW has been burning the midnight oil in a futile attempt to stay abreast of all things games, and has blurry vision to show for it. Nevertheless, here I sit, punchin’ & pokin’ while spending even more time looking at a computer screen. That is OK since I can no longer get my kicks on Route 66 they come vicariously when watching the action while keeping the brain’s neuron synapses firing. It can also be called having the time of my life. Those that cannot do, watch. Let me tell you watching is much easier!

There I was minding my own business when this position was reached in the game between IM Arthur Guo and FM Sandeep Sethuraman the third round of the Denker Tournament of High School Champions:

Position after 9 Bd2

8 Qd3 was a shock, and it can be found in only 31 games in the Big Database at 365Chess. In reply black castled before IM Guo played a move I cannot ever recall seeing played, 9 Bd2. The question is, why would Arthur play such a tepid move?

IM Arthur Guo vs FM Sandeep Sethuraman
US Open

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Qd3 O-O 9. Bd2 Nc6 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. exd5 Nb8 12. O-O f5 13. f4 Bf6 14. c4 e4 15. Qc2 Qb6+ 16. Kh1 a5 17. c5 Qc7 18. Bc3 a4 19. cxd6 Qxd6 20. Nd2 Nd7 21. Nc4 Qc5 22. Qd2 Bxc3 23. bxc3 b5 24. Ne3 Nb6 25. Qd4 Qxd4 26. cxd4 Bd7 27. Rfc1 Nc8 28. Rc7 Rd8 29. g4 fxg4 30. Nxg4 Nd6 31. Rg1 Bxg4 32. Bxg4 Kh8 33. Be6 g6 34. h4 Ne8 35. Rf7 Nd6 36. Re7 Nf5 37. Bxf5 gxf5 38. Rgg7 h6 39. Rh7+ Kg8 40. Reg7+ Kf8 41. Rb7 Kg8 42. Rbg7+ Kf8 43. Rc7 Kg8 44. h5 b4 45. Rhg7+ Kh8 46. Rh7+ Kg8 47. Rcg7+ Kf8 48. Rb7 Kg8 49. Rxh6 b3 50. Rg6+ Kh8 51. Rh6+ Kg8 52. Rg6+ Kh8 53. Rh6+ 1/2-1/2 (

Rout Padmini (2345) vs Anastasya Paramzina (2260)
Event: World Blitz Women 2021
Site: Warsaw POL Date: 12/30/2021
Round: 14.25
ECO: B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 O-O 9.Bd2 Qc7 10.O-O-O b5 11.Kb1 Nbd7 12.g4 b4 13.g5 bxc3 14.gxf6 Nxf6 15.Bxc3 Bb7 16.f3 d5 17.Na5 dxe4 18.Qc4 Qxc4 19.Bxc4 Bc8 20.fxe4 Nxe4 21.Bxe5 Be6 22.Bxe6 fxe6 23.Nc6 Bf6 24.Rhe1 Bxe5 25.Nxe5 Nf6 26.Rd6 Rfd8 27.Rxe6 Re8 28.Rxe8+ Rxe8 29.Nd3 Rxe1+ 30.Nxe1 Ng4 31.Nf3 Kf7 32.a4 Kf6 33.b4 Kf5 34.b5 axb5 35.axb5 Nf6 36.c4 Nd7 37.Kc2 Kg4 38.Nd4 Kh3 39.Ne6 g6 40.c5 Kxh2 41.c6 1-0

Terje Hagen 2382 (NOR) vs Fausto Mo Mesquita 2341 (BRA)
WS MN/072 email 2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 O-O 9.Bd2 Nc6 10.a3 Be6 11.Rd1 d5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.O-O Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Qb6 15.Qg3 Rfd8 16.Nd2 f6 17.Bd3 Qc7 18.Kh1 b5 19.f4 exf4 20.Rxf4 Bd6 21.Qe3 Bxf4 22.Qxe6+ Kf8 23.Bxh7 Ne7 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Qxf6+ Ke8 26.Re1 Qd6 27.Re6 Qxe6 28.Qxe6 Rxd2 29.g3 Bd6 30.Bd3 Rc8 31.Qe1 Rcxc2 32.Bxc2 Rxc2 33.Qd1 Rc6 34.Kg2 Kd7 35.h4 Rc4 36.Qf3 Ke6

Hikaru Nakamura (2802) vs Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2723)
Event: 3rd Norway Chess 2015
Site: Stavanger NOR Date: 06/24/2015
Round: 8.4
ECO: B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 b5 9.a4 b4 10.Nd5 Bb7 11.Nxf6+ Bxf6 12.Bd2 a5 13.c3 bxc3 14.Bxc3 O-O 15.O-O Nc6 16.Rfd1 Re8 17.Bf3 Be7 18.Qb5 Qc8 19.Bg4 Qxg4 20.Qxb7 Rec8 21.Nxa5 Nxa5 22.Qxe7 Nb3 23.f3 Qf4 24.Ra3 Nd4 25.Raa1 Ne2+ 26.Kh1 Nxc3 27.bxc3 h5 28.Qxd6 Rxc3 29.Qd5 Ra6 30.Qb5 Rac6 31.Qf1 h4 32.h3 Rc2 33.Re1 Qd2 34.Red1 Qg5 35.Re1 Qd2 36.Rad1 Qb4 37.Qd3 Kh7 38.Qd8 Rf6 39.Rc1 Qxa4 40.Rxc2 Qxc2 41.Qd1 Qf2 42.Rf1 Qg3 43.Qd7 Rg6 44.Rg1 Rf6 45.Rf1 Rg6 46.Rg1 Rf6 47.Rf1 ½-½

IM Edward Song vs IM Arthur Guo and Non-Stop Chess

Edward Song (2383)

vs Arthur Guo (2432)

New York Spring Invitational GM A 2022
C28 Vienna game

  1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Na5 5. Bb3 Be7 6. f4 Nxb3 7. axb3 d6 8. Nf3
    exf4 9. Bxf4 O-O 10. O-O c6 11. h3 d5 12. e5 Ne8 13. Qd2 Nc7 14. Ne2 Ne6 15. Be3
    c5 16. d4 b6 17. Ng3 f5 18. exf6 Rxf6 19. Nh5 Rf8 20. Nf4 Nxf4 21. Bxf4 Bf5 22.
    Ne5 Bf6 23. c3 Be4 24. Ng4 Bh4 25. Be5 Qe7 26. Qe2 h5 27. Nf2 Bg6 28. Nd3 Bg3
  2. Qd2 Bxd3 30. Rxf8+ Rxf8 31. Bxg3 Be4 32. Be5 Qf7 33. Qe2 a5 34. dxc5 bxc5
  3. Bd6 Rc8 36. Rxa5 Rc6 37. Bxc5 Bxg2 38. Ra8+ Kh7 39. Rf8 Qg6 40. Qxg2 Qxg2+
  4. Kxg2 Rxc5 42. b4 Rb5 43. Rf5 Kg6 44. Re5 Kf6 45. Rxh5 g6 46. Rh4 Rb8 47. Kf3
    Ke5 48. Ke3 Ra8 49. b5 g5 50. Rg4 Kf5 51. Kf3 Rh8 52. Kg2 Rb8 53. Rb4 Rb6 54.
    Kf3 Rh6 55. Kg3 Rb6 56. b3 1-0–gm-a/round-1/dMxkwdNQ

1.e4 e5 2. Nc3 (C25 Vienna game) 2…Nc6 (You will not be surprised to learn Stockfish 14.1 plays 2…Nf6. For what it’s worth, Deep Fritz 13 will play the game move… This move makes it a C25 Vienna game, Max Lange defence) 3. Bc4 Nf6 (Now it has become the C28 Vienna game) 4. d3 (According to 365Chess the opening is still the C28 Vienna game but ‘back in the day’ it was called a “Bishop’s Opening”) 4…Na5 (Stockfish 14 preferred 4…Bb4, but SF 14.1 plays the move made in the game) 5. Bb3 (For 5 Qf3 and a discussion of the position see the recent post: Esipenko vs Nakamura Bishops Opening Battle 5…Be7? (I was surprised to learn this move has been attempted in 16 games, with White to score 66%. There are 126 games contained in the ChessBaseDataBase in which 5…Nxb3 was played culminating in a 50% score. There are only 47 games in which other moves have been attempted with White scoring 60+%. Arthur’s move is very passive. It is one thing to play a move taking your opponent out of book, but this move is another thing entirely) 6. f4 Nxb3 (The programs all prefer 6…d6) 7. axb3 d6 8. Nf3 (The programs all prefer 8 fxe5, yet the move made in the game is the only move shown at the CBDB!) 8…exf4 9. Bxf4 O-O 10. O-O c6 11. h3 (Although SF 14.1 will, given the chance, play this move, no human has yet to make it over the board so that makes 11 h3 a THEORETICAL NOVELTY! Or is it? A game featuring the move was located at Unfortunately the player sitting behind the Black pieces needed ten points to break the Master level of 2200…but wait! The player who actually made the TN move of 11 h3 WAS A RATED MASTER! Therefore, Arthur’s move of 11…d5 is the THEORETICAL NOVELTY!

Michael Schulz (2222) vs Juergen Schmidt (2190)
Event: Berlin-ch op
Site: Berlin Date: ??/??/1999
Round: 8
ECO: C30 King’s gambit
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 Be7 5.O-O Nf6 6.d3 O-O 7.Nc3 exf4 8.Bxf4 Na5 9.Bb3 Nxb3 10.axb3 c6 11.h3 Nh5 12.Bh2 g6 13.Qd2 Be6 14.Kh1 d5 15.exd5 Bxd5 16.Nxd5 Qxd5 17.Ra5 Qd8 18.g4 Ng7 19.Be5 f6 20.Bc3 b6 21.Ra6 Qc8 22.Rfa1 Qb7 23.Qf4 Rf7 24.Qc4 h5 25.Kg2 hxg4 26.hxg4 Bd6 27.b4 Bb8 28.Bxf6 Ne8 29.g5 Nxf6 30.gxf6 Qc7 31.Qh4 Qf4 32.Rxb6 Qxf6 33.Qxf6 Rxf6 34.b5 Bd6 35.Rxc6 g5 36.Nd2 Rh6 37.Rh1 1-0

It was a back and forth kinda game until Arthur Guo let go…of the rope, that is, when blundering horribly with his 37th move, which was so bad Arthur could have resigned on the spot after his opponent made his next move. Instead, he made his opponent “play it out,” while no doubt suffering with each and every move made…

In addition to the picture, the following was found at

Hi, I’m Arthur Guo. I just turned 14 and I’m an IM. I’m a three-time National Chess Champion. I won 2018 National Junior High (K-9) Championship as a 6th grader and won 2016 National Elementary (K-6) Championship as a 4th grader. I’m also a three-time International Youth/Junior Chess Tournament Gold Medalist/Co-Champion for Team USA. I was the Co-Champion for 2018 Pan American Junior U20, Champion for Pan American Youth U12 and U8. I placed 4th place (tied for 2nd) in 2018 World Cadets Chess Championship in Spain. I also love playing golf.

Arthur Guo is still a child. He is a teenager, but still too young to obtain the learner’s permit to drive a car. He has recently been playing non-stop Chess. Back in the days before Bobby Fischer

seats at the board were taken by grown men. Chess has changed so drastically that now the few men who occupy those seats are facing boys young enough to be their sons, or grandsons. After two years of the Covid pandemic things have changed and there has been an explosion of Chess activity. Things have reached a point where sixteen year old phenom Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa

© Provided by Free Press Journal R Praggnanandhaa

went from winning the Reykjavik Open in Iceland to playing THE NEXT DAY at the La Roda International Open in Spain! Now that Chess has become one continuous tournament with no time between tournaments to rest, relax, and review the games played, a question must be asked. Is this good for the children and younger players, or will it be deleterious to their mental health?

In a little over one month young Mr. Guo has participated in three Chess tournaments: SPRING 2022 CCCSA GM/IM NORM INVITATIONAL (NC); 2022 NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP (TN); and the NEW YORK SPRING INVITATIONALS (NY) ( Arthur played nine games in winning the first event; seven in winning the second event; and nine more in the last event, for a total of 25 games between March 16 until April 18. The quality of the moves made by Arthur Guo dropped dramatically in the last tournament, as should be expected. Arthur played what appeared to be “tired Chess.”

Burnout in Chess has been a problem for decades but it has now become exponentially more dangerous for the young(er) players. Organizers need to ask themselves, “What the fork are we doing?”

IM Kevin Wang vs IM Arthur Guo

The AW burned the midnight oil watching the game that follows. It looked as though our Georgia hero, Arthur Guo, was on the ropes and going down, but the game, as are many, if not most, of the games played by the winner of the National Open, was full of vicissitudes that kept me enraptured for hours. I will say that this kid is fun to watch because he plays to win! It was amazing watching Arthur somehow hold it all together as the house was burning… Young Mr. Guo is resilient if nothing else… In lieu of annotating the game I want to do something different and present the game to you in diagram form, showing what I thought were the critical positions. At one point late into the night I stopped surfin’, closed all other windows, and sat in the quiet, vicariously watching only the game…and WHAT A GAME IT WAS!

IM Kevin Wang (2389)

vs Arthur Guo (2432)

New York April Invitational GM A
D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Bd7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 O-O 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Qe7 12. e3 Bg4 13. Bd3 Qe6 14. O-O Bxf3 15. gxf3 Ne7 16. c4 Rac8 17. cxd5 Nfxd5 18. Bg3 c6 19. Rab1 b6 20. Rfe1 Nf6 21. e4 Nh5 22. Rbd1 Qf6 23. Be2 Nf4 24. Bf1 Ne6 25. Be5 Qxf3 26. Re3 Qh5 27. Rh3 Qg6+ 28. Rg3 Qh7 29. Bh3 Ng6 30. Bf5 Rfe8 31. Qb3 Nef8 32. Bxc8 Rxc8 33. Bd6 Ne6 34. Qe3 Rd8 35. e5 Ngf4 36. Re1 Qf5 37. Kh1 Rc8 38. Qe4 Qh5 39. Qf3 Qxf3+ 40. Rxf3 g5 41. Rd1 Kg7 42. Rd2 Nd5 43. Kg1 Kg6 44. Kf1 Nef4 45. Rc2 Kf5 46. e6 fxe6 47. Bxf4 Nxf4 48. Re3 Rd8 49. Re5+ Kg4 50. Re4 Rd6 51. Rc3 Kf5 52. f3 h5 53. Kf2 h4 54. Rc4 Kf6 55. Ke3 c5 56. Rc2 Rd5 57. a4 Ke7 58. Rd2 Kf6 59. Rc2 h3 60. Rd2 cxd4+ 61. Rdxd4 Rc5 62. Rc4 Rd5 63. Red4 Re5+ 64. Re4 Ra5 65. Rc8 Rd5 66. Rf8+ Ke7 67. Rh8 Rd3+ 68. Kf2 Rd2+ 69. Kg1 Rd1+ 70. Kf2 Rd2+ 71. Ke3 Rxh2 72. Rh7+ Kf6 73. Kd4 Kg6 74. Rh8 Kg7 75. Ra8 Rd2+ 76. Kc4 Rd1 77. Rxa7+ Kg6 0-1!new-york-spring-invitationals-gm-a-2022/-555666883

The first position arises in the transition to the middle game:

Black to move after 15 gxf3

Although the Black pawn structure is better White has the two Bishops and must be better. My thoughts turned to something like g5 and Knight to the rim before taking the Prelate in order to get rid of one of the nasty Bishops. Granted, Nxg3 would enhance the White pawn structure, but he would no longer have the dreaded two Bishops versus the two Knights. It may be time to move a Rook, but where, and which one? The only other alternative was to move the Knight on c6, but that would mean moving it to the rim, where it is said it is “grim.” Who am I to argue? That leaves the move chosen by Arthur, 15…Ne7.

Next we have the position after 22…Qf6:

position after 22…Qf6 with White to move

I was expecting 23 e5 and had to check again after the move played to be sure the pawn on f3 could not be captured. As a general rule the Bishops are much better at attacking than defending, so the retreat of the Bishop was rather limp-wristed.

Position after 25 Be5
Position after 25…Qxf3

At the top level this is a game losing move. The next position vividly illustrates why this is so:

Position after 30 Bf5

While watching I was having thoughts about what to call this game and “The Entombed Queen” came to mind. This game is SO WON. All IM Wang has to do is move the King and replace it with the Rook and after preparation fire the h-pawn…all contingent on how Black responds. There were thoughts of turning in early last night…and then…

Position after 31…Nef8

No doubt hoping IM Wang will take the bait. But what Chess player would trade that strong Bishop on f5 that completely dominates the game?

Position after 32 Bxc8

Thank you, IM Wang. If you had not played the unbelievably bad move we would not have seen what follows!

Position after 34 Qe3

I did not understand this move last night and still don’t understand it…

Position after LIBERATION!

Wow, have things changed since the last diagram. The Queen is FREE! I’m thinking, “If anyone has an advantage it would be Arthur.”

Position after move 40…g5

Back in the day the game would have been adjourned here. Have you ever wondered how players of the past would fare under todaze conditions? How about watching Bobby Fischer play Mikhail Tal sans adjournment…

Position after 66…Ke7

This seems to be the place to stop writing and allow you to see what comes next, and if I have done a good job, you will do just that and do it here:–gm-a/round-3/k2iftQci

Here is the opening rundown:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 (Stockfish prefers taking the pawn with 4 cxd5) 4…Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. a3 (SF plays 6 e3 as do most humans) 6…Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Bd7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 (Three different SF programs prefer 9 Bg5 and so should you) 9…O-O (SF 14.1 prefers 9…Na5) 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Qe7 (Two games were found with this move the second game was located only at the ChessBaseDataBase)

Santiago Suarez P
Valente Arguelles Ovando
Event: Yucatan-ch
Site: Merida Date: 08/02/1998
Round: 6
ECO: D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Bd7 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Qc2 O-O 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 Qe7 12.e3 Qe6 13.c4 Ne7 14.Ne5 Bc8 15.Bd3 c6 16.O-O Ne4 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Rfc1 Bf5 21.Qc7 Qxc7 22.Rxc7 b6 23.Nc6 Be6 24.d5 Bc8 25.d6 Be6 26.d7 1-0

GM Valentina Guinina 2471 (RUS) vs Ronaldo A Moreira 2088 (BRA)
Titled Tuesday intern op
ECO: D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 O-O 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Bd7 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Qc2 Qe7 12.e3 Rfe8 13.Bd3 Qd6 14.Bg3 Qe6 15.Bxc7 Rac8 16.Bg3 Na5 17.O-O Ne4 18.Bxe4 dxe4 19.Nd2 Bb5 20.Rfe1 Bd3 21.Qb2 b6 22.f3 exf3 23.gxf3 Nc4 24.Nxc4 Qxc4 25.Rac1 Re6 26.e4 Rec6 27.Re3 f5 28.Qd2 fxe4 29.fxe4 Qxd4 30.cxd4 Rxc1+ 31.Re1 R8c2 32.Qxd3 1-0

IM Arthur Guo Wins Spring 2022 GM Norm Invitational!

Hometown hero Arthur Guo

took first place in the just completed Spring 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational extravaganza held at the Charlotte Chess Center by winning both the penultimate, and last rounds today while scoring six points, one half point ahead of GM Kamil Dragun and IM Raja Panjwani, who was the opponent of the young IM Guo, winner of the 2021 National Open, which was his first GM norm. ( Even though Arthur won the tournament he will not earn a norm because he had to garner 6 1/2 points for a norm. This makes no sense. The player wins by finishing alone in first place and he earns no norm? Go figure…that’s FIDE.

Arthur began the day by winning with the Black pieces versus the boy who became the youngest Grandmaster in history, Abhimanyu Mishra, about whom much has been written. (

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O h6 7. Re1 a6 8. a4 Ba7 9. Nbd2 g5 10. b4 Nh7 11. Kh1 O-O 12. Rf1 Ne7 13. Bb2 Ng6 14. Ne1 g4 15. d4 c6 16. f3 g3 17. hxg3 Qg5 18. Kh2 d5 19. Bb3 Bb8 20. Nd3 Nf6 21. dxe5 Nxe5 22. Nf4 Nh5 23. Ne2 Nxg3 24. Nxg3 Qh4+ 25. Kg1 Ba7+ 26. Rf2 Qxg3 27. Qe2 Nd3 28. c4 Qxf2+ 29. Qxf2 Bxf2+ 30. Kf1 Nxb2 31. Kxf2 Nxc4 32. Nxc4 dxc4 33. Bxc4 Be6 34. Be2 f5 35. exf5 Bxf5 36. Rd1 Rad8 0-1!charlotte-spring-gm-a-2022/-327477079

The move 21…Nxe5? was enough to lose the game but just to make sure the young boy next fired off a “Howler” when playing 22…Nf4?? A move like that when played by an older player would cause one to wonder if there had been some kind of brain infarction. Do children have brain infarction?

In the last round Arthur had the White pieces against IM Raja Panjwani, who was leading the field heading into the ultimate round.

IM Arthur Guo 2412 USA vs Raja Panjwani 2436 CAN

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Nxd4 7. Qxd4 d6 8. Be2 Bg7 9. Be3 O-O 10. Qd2 a5 11. f3 a4 12. Rc1 Qa5 13. Kf2 Be6 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. Qxa5 Rxa5 16. cxd5 Nd7 17. Rc7 Nc5 18. Rb1 Rfa8 19. Ke1 Bf6 20. Kd1 Kg7 21. g3 b6 22. Bd2 R5a7 23. Rc6 Rb7 24. Bb5 Bd4 25. Kc2 f5 26. exf5 gxf5 27. Re1 Kf7 28. g4 fxg4 29. fxg4 Kg7 30. Rf1 Be5 31. h4 h6 32. Rf5 Ne4 33. Bxh6+ Kxh6 34. Rxe5 Nc5 35. Rf5 a3 36. b4 Nd7 37. Rc3 Rg8 38. Rh5+ Kg7 39. Rg5+ Kf7 40. Bxd7 1-0!charlotte-spring-gm-a-2022/-1395680198

The players traded inaccuracies around move twenty but when Raja played the weak move 31…h6? his tenuous position was teetering on the abyss. With his next move IM Panjwani let go of the rope completely…

Congratulations to future GM Arthur Guo!

Arthur Guo Let One Go

It was Saturday night and almost all was right, until young Arthur Guo let one go…like a hooked fish that somehow gets offa the hook…There I was, watching the action from Charlotte while listening to my man, H. Johnson, spin vinyl on his Saturday night program Jazz Classics on WABE FM from Atlanta, Georgia, a program to which I have listened since it’s inception way back in 1978.

One of the best things about the internet is being able to listen to a program from home while in another part of the country. While listening I was also watching the Chess games being contested at the Charlotte Chess Center. One game in particular captured my attention, keeping my eyes transfixed on the screen for far too long, I’m sad to report, because my eyes were blurred upon awakening and even after a mid-morning ‘nap’ to rest them they are still somewhat out of focus. That’s OK though, because it was worth the time spent watching the game, which follows. At one point I eschewed the other games and gave my full attention to this game exclusively, rooting for Arthur while thrusting my fist in the air and shouting, “YES!,” or sometimes, “NO,” or “Oh No,” with a “What The Fork?” thrown in for good measure. WHAT A GAME!!! As far as this reporter is concerned this game was THE GAME of the tournament. Granted, I have not reviewed all the games, but of those that I’ve seen this was THE ONE! I’m telling you the game gave me HEART PALPITATIONS! At the conclusion of the game I was EXHAUSTED as if it had been me making the moves. Chess, and life, don’t get any better than that, I’m here to tell you, that is if you are a Chess Fan. At times the AW was yellin’, “Go Authur Guo, GO!” I’ve heard something about those that can no longer do, watch…Yes, I admit to living last night vicariously through the moves of future Grandmaster, and fellow Georgian Arthur Guo. The game can be found all over the internet, and I have provided a link to FollowChess, and would like to recommend this one from (
I will also recommend you play over the game at and make notes before surfin’ on over to Lichess.

IM Arthur Guo (2412)

vs GM Aleksander Mista (2541)

Charlotte Spring GM A (round 7)
C50 Giuoco Pianissimo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (The ChessBaseDataBase gives Fritz 17 @depth 42 playing 3 Bc4, and it gives it twice in lieu of another program. Wonder why? The other program shown, Stockfish 300121 @depth 85[!] considers 3 Bb5 best) 3…Bc5 (Fritz 17 will play this move, but Stockfish 070215 @depth 48, and SF 14.1 @depth 62[!] will play 3…Nf6) 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 (SF 14.1 @depth 59 castles) 5…d6 6. a5 a6 (The CBDB contains 16 games in which this move has been played; one with 6…h6. Stockfish 080222 @depth 36 will play 6…h6, SF 14.1 @depth 35 will play 6…0-0) 7. c3 (Again the most often played move according to the CBDB, with 17 examples and only 4 games showing 7 0-0. Fritz 16 plays the move, but Stockfish 11 [Eleven? Why does the CBDB show a move from such an antiquated program? Obviously the CBDB needs an upgrade] will castle) 7…h6 (The most often played move, with 11 games at the CBDB. There are 7 games containing the move 7…Ba7, and it is the choice of Fritz 18. Stockfish 14.1 will play 7…0-0, and so should you. There is only one game in which the player behind the Black pieces castled and it was found only at the CBDB:

Alexandra Kosteniuk 2516 (RUS) vs Ryan Hamley 2077 (USA)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.a4 a6 6.a5 d6 7.c3 O-O 8.O-O Ba7 9.Re1 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Qb3 Qd7 12.Nbd2 Rab8 13.Nf1 Rfe8 14.Be3 Bxe3 15.Nxe3 d5 16.Qc2 h6 17.h3 Kh8 18.Ra4 Qf7 19.Ng4 Nxg4 20.hxg4 Qg6 21.g5 hxg5 22.exd5 exd5 23.Rg4 e4 24.dxe4 Rxe4 25.Rexe4 dxe4 26.Nxg5 Nxa5 27.Qa4 b6 28.Rh4+ Kg8 29.Qa2+ Kf8 30.Rh8+ Ke7 31.Rxb8 Qxg5 32.Qb1 Qf4 33.Qd1 Nc6 34.Rh8 Kf6 1-0)

  1. O-O O-O 9. h3 (The most often played move, but SF 14.1 @depth 40 will play 9 Nbd2) 9…Be6 (9…There are 10 games at the CBDB in which the move 9…Ba7 was played, and it is the choice of SF 191221 @depth 34 plays the move, but SF 14.1 @depth 39 will play the move played in the game) 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11. Be3 (Although this move is the choice of SF 14 @depth 37, SF 14.1
    @depth 49 will play 11 Nbd2, which will be a TN if’n it’s ever played by a human. The move 11 b4 was seen in the following game, found only at the CBDB:

Kirill Alekseenko (2699) (RUS) vs Alexander Zubov 2598 (UKR)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op 2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O a6 7.a4 h6 8.a5 O-O 9.h3 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.b4 Ba7 12.Re1 Qe8 13.Be3 Nh5 14.g3 Rf6 15.Ra2 Qf7 16.Nbd2 Rf8 17.Kg2 Qg6 18.Kh2 Qf7 19.Kg2 g5 20.Qe2 Qg6 21.Rf1 Kh7 22.Bxa7 Nxa7 23.Nh2 R6f7 24.Nc4 Nf6 25.Ne3 h5 26.Rb2 Nb5 27.Rc2 Kg8 28.Qd2 g4 29.hxg4 Nxg4 30.Nexg4 hxg4 31.Qe2 Rf3 32.Qd1 d5 33.Re1 d4 34.c4 Nc3 35.Qd2 Kg7 36.Rh1 R3f6 37.Qe1 b6 38.axb6 cxb6 39.Qc1 a5 40.c5 a4 41.cxb6 Qh5 42.Nf1 Qf7 43.Qg5+ Qg6 44.Qxe5 Kg8 45.Qxd4 Nd1 46.Rd2 Nxf2 47.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 48.Qxf2 Rxf2+ 49.Kxf2 Qf6+ 50.Ke1 Qc3+ 51.Nd2 Qxb4 52.Ke2 Qxb6 53.Rb1 Qa7 54.Nc4 a3 55.Ra1 a2 56.Ne3 Qa3 57.Nc4 Qb3 58.Rf1 Qc3 0-1

Fork the Russians. Score one for UKRAINE!!!