GM Aman Hambleton vs Deepak Aaron

Last night was spent viewing the Chess games from the current US Masters tournament being contested in Charlotte, North Carolina. Earlier I had commented that it was strange to see fellow Georgian Deepak Aaron

on board six facing Grandmaster Aman Hambleton

International master Aman Hambleton needs one more GM norm to become a grand master. In March, 2017 he vowed to stop shaving until he achieves this goal. (

on board six because he was the only untitled player among the leaders. On had to go down to board twenty six to find the next untitled player. Deepak had the black pieces, which lowered the prospect of success. Music from The Hearts of Space ( was playing as I surfed… Then the surfin’ stopped as the focus went to that game only as I sat there transfixed by the game. The commentary was left untouched as I began living vicariously while rooting for Deepak. I was so into it while making sounds like, “YES!”, or, “Oh No, Mr. Bill”… If and when Deepak would make a move of which I approved (and not all of my chosen moves would be approved) a fist would be clenched that would be pumped. Only one who has sat across from a titled player can understand how difficult it is to score even a draw against a Grandmaster, or one of GM strength. Not once did I turn on the analysis, and I have still not yet gone over the game with annotations, but hope to do so later today.

GM Ben Finegold and Deepak Aaron moving pieces:

It is my pleasure to present the moves of this extremely hard fought Chess game. If you would like to see the annotations by Stockfish please click onto this link (

GM Aman Hambleton vs NM Deepak Aaron
2022 US Masters
Round 5
ECO E32 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation

1.d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. Nf3 c5 6. dxc5 Na6 7. g3 Nxc5 8. Bg2 Nce4 9. O-O Bxc3 10. bxc3 Qa5 11. Nd4 d5 12. cxd5 exd5 13. c4 Qc5 14. Bb2 Qxc4 15. Qxc4 dxc4 16. Rfc1 Bd7 17. Rxc4 Rac8 18. Rb4 b5 19. Bxe4 a5 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Rb3 a4 22. Rd3 b4 23. f3 Rc4 24. Bc1 Bc8 25. Bg5 Nd5 26. Bd2 Ba6 27. Be1 Rfc8 28. Kf2 R4c5 29. Rdd1 Nc3 30. Bxc3 Rxc3 31. Rab1 R8c4 32. Rd2 Rc1 33. Rxc1 Rxc1 34. Rb2 Rc4 35. Ke3 a3 36. Rc2 Kg6 37. h4 f5 38. g4 fxg4 39. fxg4 Kf6 40. Rd2 Ke5 41. Nf3+ Ke6 42. Nd4+ Kd5 43. h5 Rc3+ 44. Kf4 Kc4 45. e3 Rc1 46. Rh2 Rf1+ 47. Ke5 Kd3 48. g5 Rg1 49. Kf4 Rf1+ 50. Ke5 Rg1 51. Ne6 Bc4 52. h6 gxh6 53. gxh6 Rg8 54. h7 Rh8 55. e4 Bxa2 56. Rxa2 Rxh7 57. Nf4+ Kc4 58. Nd5 Ra7 59. Nxb4 Kxb4 60. Kd6 Kb3 61. Ra1 Kb2 62. Re1 Ra6+ 63. Kd7 Ra4 64. e5 Rd4+ 65. Kc7 Rc4+ 66. Kd7 a2 67. e6 Rd4+ 68. Ke7 a1=R 69. Rxa1 Kxa1 70. Kf7 Rf4+ 71. Kg7 Re4 72. Kf7 Rxe6 73. Kxe6 Kb2 1/2-1/2

13…Qc5 is a TN. SF prefers 13…Bd7

Bogdan Lalic (2500) vs Margareta Muresan (2215)
Event: GMA Baleares op
Site: Palma de Mallorca Date: ??/??/1989
Round: 1
ECO: E32 Nimzo-Indian, classical variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.Nf3 c5 6.dxc5 Na6 7.g3 Nxc5 8.Bg2 Nce4 9.O-O Bxc3 10.bxc3 Qa5 11.Nd4 d5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.c4 Bd7 14.cxd5 Rac8 15.Qb3 Ba4 16.Qa3 Rc3 17.Nb3 Bxb3 18.Qxa5 1-0

Anna Ushenina (2501) vs Humpy Koneru (2607)
Event: SportAccord Blitz Women 2013
Site: Beijing CHN Date: 12/16/2013
Round: 24.6
ECO: E32 Nimzo-Indian, classical variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.Nf3 c5 6.dxc5 Na6 7.g3 Nxc5 8.Bg2 Nce4 9.O-O Bxc3 10.bxc3 Qa5 11.Nd4 d5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.c4 Bd7 14.cxd5 Qxd5 15.Bb2 Rac8 16.Qb3 Qxb3 17.axb3 a6 18.e3 Rc7 19.Rfc1 Rfc8 20.Rxc7 Rxc7 21.b4 Nd6 22.Nb3 Nfe4 23.Bd4 Bc6 24.f3 Nf6 25.e4 Nb5 26.Be5 Re7 27.Bb2 Rd7 28.Bf1 Kf8 29.Kf2 Ne8 30.Ke3 Re7 31.Na5 Rc7 32.Rc1 f6 33.h4 Ke7 34.f4 Ned6 35.Bd3 Bd7 36.Rxc7 Nxc7 37.e5 fxe5 38.Bxe5 Nd5+ 39.Kd2 Nxb4 40.Bxh7 b6 41.Nb3 Nc4+ 42.Kc3 Nxe5 43.Kxb4 a5+ 44.Kc3 Ng4 45.Nd4 Kd6 46.Be4 Nf6 47.Bf3 b5 48.Be2 Kc5 49.Nb3+ Kb6 50.Bd3 a4 51.Nd4 Ka5 52.Nc2 Nd5+ 53.Kd4 Nf6 54.Kc5 Be8 55.f5 Nd7+ 56.Kd6 b4 57.g4 b3 58.Nd4 b2 59.g5 a3 60.Nb3+ Kb4 61.Nd4 a2 62.f6 gxf6 63.gxf6 Nxf6 64.Ke7 a1=Q 65.Nc2+ Kc3 66.Nxa1 bxa1=Q 67.Bf5 Bc6 68.Kxf6 Kc4+ 69.Kg6 Qg1+ 70.Kf6 Qd4+ 71.Kg5 Qe5 72.Kg6 Be4 73.Bxe4 Qxe4+ 74.Kg5 Kd5 75.h5 Ke6 76.h6 Qf5+ 0-1 (

Christopher Yoo in Fantasyland

In the eighth round of the US Chess Championship young Christopher Yoo uncorked the seldom played Fantasy variation by moving his f-pawn one square on his third move. Word on the Chess street is seeing the move onscreen caused GM Ben Finegold to have a conniption fit.

Seeing the move made this Chess fan smile. Unfortunately, the offbeat openings played ‘back in the day’ do not see much action these daze, so when one is essayed it is a special treat.

[Event “U.S. Chess Championship”]
[Site “Saint Louis, United States”]
[Date “2022.10.13”]
[Round “8.2”]
[White “Yoo, Christopher”]
[Black “Xiong, Jeffery”]
[Result “0-1”]
[WhiteElo “2563”]
[BlackElo “2690”]
[UTCDate “2022.10.13”]

[ECO “B12”]
[Opening “Caro-Kann Defense: Maróczy Variation”]

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 Qb6 4. Nc3 dxe4 5. fxe4 e5 6. Nf3 exd4 7. Qxd4 Be6 8. Bf4 Ne7 9. Bd6 Ng6 10. Bxf8 Rxf8 11. O-O-O Qxd4 12. Nxd4 Ne5 13. Nf5 Bxf5 14. exf5 Nbd7 15. Be2 O-O-O 16. g4 Kc7 17. g5 Rh8 18. h4 h6 19. Ne4 hxg5 20. hxg5 Nb6 21. Rxh8 Rxh8 22. f6 g6 23. c4 Nbxc4 24. Bxc4 Nxc4 25. Nc5 Nd6 26. Re1 Re8 27. Rxe8 Nxe8 28. Kd2 b6 29. Nd3 Kd6 30. Ke3 Nc7 31. Ke4 Ne6 32. Ne5 Nxg5+ 33. Kf4 Ne6+ 34. Ke4 Nd8 35. Kf4 Ke6 36. Ng4 Nb7 37. Kg5 Nc5 38. Nf2 Nd7 39. Nd3 Nxf6 40. Nb4 c5 41. Nc6 a5 42. Nd8+ Ke7 43. Nc6+ Kd7 44. Ne5+ Ke6 45. Nc4 Nd7 46. a4 Kd5 47. b3 Kd4 48. Nd6 Kc3 49. Nxf7 Kxb3 50. Kf4 Kxa4 0-1

The best moves according to the Stockfish program at are given in parenthesis.

1.e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 (The Stockfish program has determined the insipid 3 exd5 is the best move. Where is the fun in that move?!) 3…Qb6 (3…e6) 4. Nc3 dxe4 (4…e6) 5. fxe4 (5 Bc4) 5…e5 6. Nf3 exd4 7. Qxd4 (7 Nxe4) 7…Be6 (TN SF plays 7…Nf6) 8. Bf4 (a4) 8… Ne7 (Nf6) 9. Bd6 (9 Be3) 9…Ng6 (9…Nbd7) 10. Bxf8 Rxf8 (10…Qxd4) 11. O-O-O (11 Qxg7) 11…Qxd4 12. Nxd4 Ne5 13. Nf5 Bxf5 14. exf5 Nbd7 15. Be2 O-O-O (15…a5) 16. g4 (16 b4) Kc7 17. g5 Rh8 (17…Rde8) 18. h4 (18 Ne4) 18…h6 19 Ne4 (19 gxh6) 19…hxg5 20. hxg5 Nb6 21. Rxh8 (21 Re1) 21…Rxh8 22. f6 (22 Re1) 22…g6 23. c4 (23 b4) The game is, for all intents and purposes, over.

Bartlomiej Heberla (2487) vs Mikheil Mchedlishvili (2568)
Event: EU-ch 7th
Site: Kusadasi Date: 04/13/2006
Round: 9
ECO: B12 Caro-Kann, Tartakower (fantasy) variation
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 Qb6 4.Nc3 dxe4 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Qe2 Qxd4 7.Be3 Qd8 8.fxe4 Bg4 9.Nf3 e6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Qf2 Bd6 12.Rad1 Qc7 13.Rxd6 Qxd6 14.e5 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Qxe5 16.Bd4 Qc7 17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Qxf6 Rf8 19.Ne4 Bf5 20.Rxf5 exf5 21.Nd6+ Kd7 22.Nxf7 Rxf7 23.Qxf7+ Kd6 24.Qf6+ Kc5 25.Bd3 Qd7 26.Qe5+ Kb6 27.b4 a5 28.Qc5+ Kc7 29.bxa5 Rd8 30.Qb6+ Kb8 31.a6 Qd4+ 32.Qxd4 Rxd4 33.axb7 h6 34.Bxf5 Kxb7 35.Bd3 Kc7 36.Kf2 Ra4 37.Kf3 Kd6 38.g4 Ke5 39.h4 Rxa2 40.g5 h5 41.Bg6 Ra3+ 42.Ke2 Rh3 43.Bxh5 Rxh4 44.Be8 c5 ½-½

Arjun Erigaisi (2660) vs Tahsin Tajwar Zia, (2235)
Event: TCh-BAN Premier 2022
Site: Dhaka BAN Date: 03/20/2022
Round: 11.2
ECO: B12 Caro-Kann, Tartakower (fantasy) variation
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 Qb6 4.Nc3 dxe4 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Qe2 h5 7.fxe4 e5 8.dxe5 Ng4 9.Nf3 Nd7 10.e6 fxe6 11.Bxe6 Nde5 12.Bxc8 Rxc8 13.h3 Nxf3+ 14.gxf3 Ne5 15.f4 Be7 16.Kf1 Bh4 17.Kg2 O-O 18.Rf1 c5 19.Nd5 Qg6+ 20.Kh1 Nc6 21.Rg1 Nd4 22.Rxg6 Nxe2 23.Rg2 Ng3+ 24.Rxg3 Bxg3 25.Ne7+ Kf7 26.Nxc8 Rxc8 27.Kg2 Bh4 28.Be3 b6 29.Rd1 Rd8 30.Rg1 g6 31.Kf3 Kf6 32.a4 a5 33.Ra1 Ke6 34.Ke2 Bf6 35.Rg1 Rg8 36.Kf3 1-0

I began putting the moves into the analysis program at Lichess to only look at the opening moves. Next thing I know I was in the middle game and “just had” to know how the game would play out, so I opened Hearts of Space ( and listened while watching the game as time stood still for quite a while.

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 Qb6 4. Nc3 dxe4 5. Bc4 Nf6 6. fxe4 e5 7. dxe5 Ng4 8. Qe2 Nxe5 9. Bb3 Bg4 10. Nf3 Be7 11. Be3 Qd8 12. Rd1 Qa5 13. O-O Nxf3+ 14. gxf3 Bh3 15. Rfe1 Qh5 16. Kh1 Nd7 17. Rg1 Rg8 18. Rg3 g6 19. a4 a5 20. Bf4 Nc5 21. Nd5 cxd5 22. exd5 Kf8 23. Qe3 Re8 24. Bh6+ Rg7 25. Bxg7+ Kxg7 26. d6 Bxd6 27. Qxe8 Ne4 28. Qxe4 Bxg3 29. Qe2 b6 30. Bd5 Bf5 31. Qd2 Kf8 32. Rg1 Be5 33. b3 Qh4 34. Rg2 Bd7 35. Re2 Qh3 36. Re1 Bg3 37. Rg1 Bc7 38. Qf2 Qh6 39. Rd1 Bh3 40. Qd4 Qg5 41. Rg1 Qh5 42. c4 Qe5 43. Qxe5 Bxe5 44. Re1 Bc3 45. Re2 Bb4 46. Bc6 Be6 47. h4 Kg7 48. Re3 Kf6 49. Re2 Bf5 50. Bd5 h6 51. Be4 Bc8 52. Bd5 Bf5 53. Be4 Be6 54. Kg2 g5 55. h5 Bd7 56. Bd5 Kg7 57. Re3 Bc5 58. Re1 Bb4 59. Rd1 f5 60. Be4 Be6 61. Bb7 Bc5 62. Bd5 Bd7 63. Bf7 Bc6 64. Be6 g4 65. Bd5 Be8 66. fxg4 fxg4 67. Kg3 Bxh5 68. Be4 Bf7 69. Kxg4 Kf6 70. Kf4 h5 71. Bf5 h4 72. Rh1 Bf2 73. Ke4 Kg5 74. Rh2 Be1 75. Rg2+ Bg3 76. Rd2 Be1 77. Rg2+ Bg3 78. Bh3 Bh5 79. Rd2 Bf7 80. Rd7 Bg6+ 81. Kf3 Bh5+ 82. Ke3 Be8 83. Rd5+ Kf6 84. c5 bxc5 85. Ke2 Bf7 86. Rxc5 Bxb3 87. Rxa5 Ke7 88. Ra7+ Kd6 89. a5 Bc4+ 90. Ke3 Be1 91. a6 Kc6 92. Bc8 h3 93. Rh7 Bxa6 94. Bxa6 Kb6 95. Rh6+ Kc5 96. Rh5+ Kb6 97. Be2 h2 98. Rxh2 Kc5 99. Rh5+ Kc6 100. Rh1 Bb4 101. Ke4 Kd6 102. Rc1 Ba3 103. Rc2 Bb4 104. Bb5 Ke6 105. Rc6+ Bd6 106. Rb6 Ke7 107. Kf5 Bh2 108. Re6+ Kd8 109. Rc6 Ke7 110. Rc2 Bb8 111. Rd2 Bd6 112. Rd4 Bg3 113. Rd7+ Ke8 114. Ke6 Kf8 115. Rf7+ Kg8 116. Bc4 Be1 117. Kf6 Bc3+ 118. Kg6 Bg7 119. Rf3+ Kh8 120. Rh3+ Bh6 121. Rxh6#

The 2022 US Chess Championships

This writer was able to watch most, not all, of the coverage of the 2022 US Chess Championships. When unable to watch the live broadcast for various reasons I went back and watched what was missed earlier during the first twelve rounds. There were many “technical problems” with the last round so I turned it off and watched the games the old fashioned way by watching the moves played at I did not later watch what was missed during the last round. Yasser mentioned something about the broadcast emanating from philanthropy and I realize the broadcast is not like any for profit broadcast, such as a Baseball game, or golf tournament, etc. Nevertheless, the broadcasts emanating from the St. Louis Chess Campus have been ongoing for many years, long enough for those broadcasting to have their collective act together. At the beginning of the broadcasts the commentators would focus on one game for a length of time, which was disconcerting, because there were fourteen ongoing games. I thought an overview of all the games should be given and from the emails received, so did many other viewers. One day the guys and girl focused almost exclusively on one game, which caused me to fire a salvo at the folks in St. Louis. After it happened again another salvo was fired, but no response was received from the Campus. I simply turned off the volume and watched the opening moves of all the games at

I realize the commentators are not ‘professional’ media types, but they are getting paid, so maybe they could be considered “untrained” professionals. In one salvo fired at the StLCC I asked if there was a director, but have yet to receive an answer. A director could inform the commentators of where there was “action” in another game and they could switch to it immediately. I recall one instance when they were following an endgame in the open while there was a very interesting game with lieelt time remaining being contested in the women’s championship. I also recall Yasser saying something about, “We’re staying right here!” I tuned the sound off and watched the women’s game on

Anastasiya Karlovich

(born 29 May 1982) is a Ukrainian chess player and journalist. She achieved the FIDE titles Woman International Master in 2000 and Woman Grandmaster in 2003. ( Her accent often made it hard to understand what she was saying. In addition, she had a disconcerting habit of talking over Yasser. It is impossible to understand what is being said when two people are talking, which happened all too often.

That said, I still give the StLCC a B+ for the effort. There were too many positives for a lower grade to be given. Please understand this old Warrior is still amazed at being able to watch something like this, which was unheard of ‘back in the day’. “Shelbourne Richard Lyman (October 22, 1936 – August 11, 2019) was an American chess player and teacher known for hosting a live broadcast of the 1972 World Chess Championship for the PBS television station Channel 13 in New York. This broadcast became the highest-rated public television program ever at that time, far surpassing viewership expectations.” In addition, Shelby also, “…later hosted a two-hour broadcast covering the World Chess Championship 1986. This segment was recorded at WNYE-TV in Brooklyn and aired on 120 public television stations.” ( It was during the latter time the woman with whom I lived, after watching the first broadcast, facetiously called him, “Mr. Charisma.” Chess broadcasts have come a long way, baby.

When there was a break in the action I would glance at some of the comments left by those watching. I was surprised when reading some that questioned Yasser Seirawan’s penchant for telling stories of the past. “you cannot understand where you are at unless you know where you have been,” I thought. One of the pleasures of my childhood was watching the Baseball Game of the Week on Saturday afternoon. Former Major League Baseball players Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese

would regale we neophytes with stories of bygone days, just as Yasser does during the broadcast. To this writer those stories are one of the best facets of the broadcasts. One was so good I took notes, realizing words would not come near describing how good was the tale. Imagine the elation when the segment was found! It concerns former World Chess Champ Gary Kasparov and to just read the words, or even listen to them, would not contain the visceral response shown by Yasser. All the hours spent spectating, and listening to the broadcasts were worth it just to be able to see Yasser when describing the story.

Seirawan, Yasser – Kasparov, Garry 1-0
D91 Dubai ol (Men)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 Nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.b4 Qd6 10.a3 O-O 11.e3 c6 12.Be2 Bf5 13.O-O Nd7 14.Na4 a5 15.Qb3 b5 16.Nc5 a4 17.Qc3 Nb6 18.Nd2 Rae8 19.Rfe1 Re7 20.Bf3 Rfe8 21.g3 Bh3 22.Bg2 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 f5 24.h4 Nc4 25.Nf3 Bf6 26.Re2 Rg7 27.Rh1 Qe7 28.Ree1 h6 29.Qd3 Rf8 30.Nd2 Qe8 31.Nxc4 dxc4 32.Qd1 Re7 33.Ref1 Qf7 34.Qf3 Qd5 35.Qxd5+ cxd5 36.Kf3 Bg7 37.Rd1 Rff7 38.Rd2 Re8 39.Rdd1 Bf8 40.Rdg1 Bg7 41.Rd1 Kf8 42.Rd2 Ke7 43.Rdd1 Kd6 44.Rh2 Kc6 45.Rhh1 Bf8 46.Rd2 Bd6 47.Rdd1 Bxc5 48.dxc5 Re4 49.Rhe1 Rd7 50.Rd4 g5 51.hxg5 hxg5 52.Red1 Rxd4 53.Rxd4 Rh7 54.Ke2 Rh3 55.g4 f4 56.exf4 Rxa3 57.fxg5 Ra2+ 58.Kf3 c3 59.Rd1 d4 60.g6 d3 61.Ke3 Rxf2 62.g7 1-0

Kasparov, Garry – Seirawan, Yasser 1-0
D21 Thessaloniki ol (Men)
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.c4 dxc4 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Qxd4 6.Nxd4 Bd7 7.Ndb5 Na6 8.e4 Nf6 9.f3 Bxb5 10.Nxb5 e5 11.Be3 Bb4+ 12.Kf2 Ke7 13.Bxc4 Rhc8 14.Rac1 Bc5 15.Rhd1 Bxe3+ 16.Kxe3 Ne8 17.Bb3 Rxc1 18.Rxc1 f6 19.a3 Nd6 20.Bd5 Nxb5 21.Bxb7 Nbc7 22.Bxa8 Nxa8 23.Rc8 Nb6 24.Rg8 Kf7 25.Rh8 Nc5 26.Rb8 Ke7 27.b4 Nc4+ 28.Ke2 Nd7 29.Rg8 g5 30.a4 a5 31.bxa5 Nxa5 32.Ra8 Nc6 33.a5 Kd6 34.g3 h5 35.h4 gxh4 36.gxh4 Nc5 37.a6 Kc7 38.a7 Nb7 1-0

The 2022 US Chess Championships were inherently unfair. The player of the white pieces has an advantage, which is more apparent in the Open than with the Women. Someone was overheard saying to a student, “Fabiano Caruana played the best Chess in the tournament.” I begged to differ, saying Ray Robson played the best Chess. He knew how much time I had spent on viewing the action, so respected my opinion, but still questioned the statement. “Fabi had the white pieces in seven games; Robson in only six,” I said.

It is long past the time those in the Chess world come to terms with the fact that the way tournaments are structured favors one half of the field. The only way to remedy the problem is to have a US Chess Championship in which each player has an equal number of games with both colors. This could be done by having an eight player field, the Elite Eight, with two games versus each of the seven opponents, making for a fourteen round tournament. The fact is there were too many players who should not have been playing in the tournament.

The games are too long. The time for the games should be shortened because there are many games which do not begin until the players have spouted out twenty moves of opening theory in only a few minutes. Give the players ninety minutes with some kind of increment and have them play two games each day. It would be like going to work an eight hour day job. After the first game there would be a two hour break and the second game could then begin.

Deciding a championship by playing speed (kills) Chess is ludicrous, especially when a so-called “champion” is determined by some abomination called, appropriately enough, “Armageddon”. One of the definitions of Armageddon is: “A decisive or catastrophic conflict.” ( On second thought maybe it is appropriate after the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, in an unprecedented act, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after losing a badly played game to Hans Niemann. There is nothing worse than for a player to withdraw in a round robin tournament, unless there was some major reason for so doing, such as having a stroke, or going blind, etc. The action of sore loser Carlsen was an affront to the Royal Game, the Singuefield Cup, and to the St. Louis Chess Club. In addition, it was a slap in the face to the man responsible for the philanthropy, Rex Sinquefield. Tony Rich, Executive Director of the St. Louis Chess Campus,

said Magnus would be welcomed back to the STLCC, but he will never be welcomed by this writer. It is possible his ill-advised action will bring down the House of Chess. Magnus will not be the Chess champion of the world much longer and he should be classified as persona non grata everywhere, forced to sit home and ‘stream’ like Hikaru Nakamura

and Ben Finegold.

The Community Update On Recent Events: A Confederation Of Dunces

This is not the post planned for the last rest day of the US Chess Championships. That post will be made after the conclusion of the event.

This post is being written because of something extraordinary posted by “Danny

Answering YOUR Questions About Cheating In Chess | IM Daniel Rensch …

and Erik”

at ( A “Community Update On Recent Events” was published at CHESScom on Oct 14, 2022, 2:36 PM. What is remarkable about this document is that the boys, “Danny and Erik” ASKED, and ANSWERED the questions. This is an affront to every Chess player on the planet. What is even more remarkable is that I have yet to read anyone in the Chess community taking the blues brothers, “Danny and Erik”, to task for asking, and answering their own questions! In every other facet of life journalists ask the questions. Imagine what would happen if politicians asked and answered their own questions.

The mea culpa begins with, “We imagine that most of you, like us, have had more friends than ever who are outside the chess community come and ask you about chess, cheating, Hans, Magnus, and everything else that is going on.”

The blues bros are right about the above statement as this was received from my favorite librarian, Heather: “So, what’s this scandal rocking the chess world?”

Rockin in the free world. New concert may 22nd 2022!!

Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to answer, so a link to the blog was sent. Hopefully the subject can be discussed during lunch in the near future.

The opening paragraph continues, “Every news outlet on the planet seems to have written a “take” on chess in the last few weeks. It’s been a bewildering time for chess fans and our community. So, as an update to our recent report and the events going on in the chess community, we (Danny and Erik) wanted to take the time and answer some of the questions we see being asked. We appreciate your voice and your questions, and while we know that the opinions in the chess community are divided on many of these topics, we are doing our best to protect and grow the game.”

Translated that becomes, “And cover our ASSets.”

I was transfixed by the use of the word “bewildering”, which sent me to the Free Dictionary, where this definition was found: 1. To confuse or befuddle, especially by being complicated or varied. (

From the myriad comments read on the subject over the past month it is apparent the only two people in the world of Chess who are confused and befuddled are obviously the blues bros, Danny and Erik.

I will not print anything else written by the blues brothers. If you would like to read what they want you to read it can be found here:

Much more important is what the Chess community thinks about what was written by the blues bros, and since I am a part of the Chess community, and write a blog which concerns Chess, and readers have asked for my opinion, it will be delivered at the end of this post.


Ridiculous. NO excuse for violating your agreements to keep documents confidential in some cases but keeping them private for others. Obvious favoritism and bias and disgusting lying to the people you promised confidentiality to. I hope everyone reading this stops using this site since it’s run by a couple of creeps with no ethics, unless by “ethics” you mean “guzzling Magnus’s ‘output’ at every opportunity”.


I wish all will move away from this site
Exposing private e-mails from maxim and damaging him with no clear reason is just another crime this site does (and the list is long


The reasoning for why you won’t release any information on other cheaters and why you claim to have released information on Hans doesn’t square with your stated reason for releasing information on Dlugy. Are you letting Magnus decide who gets thrown under the bus?


“We believe that there should be zero tolerance for cheating in chess in any venue or format.” This contradicts the whole report.

KMRc4e6 quote: “…we often lean ever more conservative in our findings when it comes to young players.” (In response to the question: Why did you not close Hans’ account earlier when you knew he cheated? Why did you let this get to the 100 or so games mentioned in your report?)

Wow. Ageism Writ Large! Especially odd in the ‘Chess World’ as the Youth Dominate! (Oh yeah, and ‘Cutting slack’ seems to be encouraging, regardless of one’s age, cheating!)


I don’t know about legal aspects, but you promised people confidentiality in exchange for confessions and then you broke the promise. That behavior is wrong, even if it is legally permissible.


Unicorn wrote:

While I kind of understand that wants their statements to be accurate and “professional”, I, however, do not believe this is the answer. Your answers were board (sic), general, and unrevealing, as hinted in the terms “not up to us”, “we don’t know”, “we’re not revealing more”. I would like to see more open information. But meanwhile, this is a big step from the days when you keep everything secret.

Just wondering, let’s say the same cheating situation, but with two different players. Would you still do the same or you only did this because Magnus/Hans was involved? doesn’t want to get sued. It’s that simple.


This article pretends that Hans is the one who brought his cheating to the public, when in reality it was HIkaru who first did it (and then Eric Hansen did, followed by others). In fact, he did it on the same day that Magnus withdrew, probably without’s permission. This was supposed to stay private, and I’m guessing that Hikaru didn’t receive even a reprimand for this, because he’s’s beloved mascot.

Why is pretending that Hans is the one who brought the private cheating topic to the limelight first, when it was really their own sponsored partners?


What about the rest of the story?

Are we supposed to beleive Hikaru had a full production release set to go minutes after the story was released to the Press. Same with Levy.
Sure looks like a leak to most of the world and collaboration between & Streamers it’s hired and supported. didn’t act as an independent arbiter in any of this.


Yet another shameful “no-statement”.
They say: “We have 4 kids each, so we trusted in Hans in 2020, then nothing happened in between 2020-2022, yet we banned him in 2022 just because Magnus withdrew!”
This is a shame.


I am sure is going to close magnus’s account for receiving outside help from david howell in a prize game.

It is not a 1\1000 probability, magnus was caught in tape doing it.
We should ban all cheaters for life. No excuse.


your silloquey’s are getting old. study endgames, and zwischenzug instead.


my neighbor had a horse to plow his fields. one day he came out and found his horse dead. he was really pissed off. he started beating this dead horse, and kept beating this dead horse with no result. then he started beating his head against the wall all he got was a headache. yawn dudes find something else to do. study endgames and in between moves.


As Finegold put it, there are no consequences for cheating on You apologize and they let you come back to cheat again and again.


What a mess.. -.-



To this observer it appears the blues bros are sitting at a poker table with $84,000,000 in the pot and their hand contains only a pair of dunces.

Grandmasters Comment on Chess Cheating

One week ago the following email in reply to Comments on the Magnus Carlsen Affair ( was received from Grandmaster Kevin Spraggett:

Kevin Spraggett

Sat, Sep 10, 9:00 AM (7 days ago)

Great article, Mike!

Though I have stayed at arms length from this latest scandal, I should point out that the chess community, Judge or layman alike, has never been able to treat the subject of cheating seriously and with the professionalism that it deserves. In sports there are plenty of ways of ‘proving’ cheating vis a vis drugs and boosters. In chess, our chess players and politicians rush in and tamper with the evidence. FIDE has a well known history of turning every cheating accusation into a public relations scandal. No one (world championship level) is ever ‘proven’ to be cheating, and the community feels that ‘paranoia’ and Fischer-like craziness is an adequate explanation.

This time however, Carlsen’s opponent will likely see his career cut short. He has admitted to cheating. In the court of public opinion (non-chess community) Carlsen’s behavior has been vindicated.

Have a nice weekend!


I appreciate Kevin allowing me to publish his thoughts.

The following short video needs no explanation as the author is one of the most famous streamers in the world. He is also a Grandmaster, who at one time was called the world’s strongest International Master. In addition, he currently resides in the Great State of Georgia, only a short drive north from outside the city of Atlanta, in Roswell, the ninth largest city in the state.

I concur with most of what GM Ben Finegold says in the video:

Matthew Southall
3 days ago
This is why I love you Ben: you’re not afraid to express an unpopular opinion. And you backed up your view pretty well.

3 days ago
When friends asked me why I stopped playing over the board the answer is because I never played in a FIDE-rated tournament that had any anti-cheating measures in place. I have no idea why Finegold’s opinion is unpopular and it actually feels like it’s the most obvious way to handle things. Eventually cheating will define the game of chess if people keep treating like the elephant in the room; it needs to be in the limelight because if more isn’t done to prevent cheating it could literally destroy this game.

Class A Tyrell Harriott Defeats Grandmaster Ben Finegold At Foxwoods

Many people have asked why I do not annotate games. The answer is usually that there are many websites where games are annotated by Chess programs that are vastly superior to Grandmasters, so how can I compete? Granted, over half a century in Chess gives me a modicum of credence, but still… I usually dig out the dirt on the opening and leave the heavy lifting to the programs, but someone special asked me to share my thoughts, and it turned out to be the impetus needed to annotate a game for the blog. In addition, this was a relatively easy game to annotate because it features some of the same kind of mistakes I have made, and it is not every day a class player defeats a GM. And no, I do not know Tyrell Harriott. The Drueke travel set was brought out and a pen and paper were used, just like in the old “BC” daze. BTW, that’s “Before Computer.” It was a labor of love, as I enjoyed the game immensely, and hope you do, too.

Tyrell Harriott (1920) vs GM Benjamin Finegold (2446)

Grandmaster Ben Finegold can’t be tricked, he tricks you …

2022 Foxwoods Open
A45 Queen’s pawn game

  1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 g6 3. f4 Bg7 4. Nf3 O-O 5. Bd3 d6 6. O-O c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. Bc2 Bf5 9. Nbd2 Bxc2 10. Qxc2 Rc8 11. f5 b5 12. fxg6 hxg6 13. Ne4 b4 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. Qf2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Qa5 17. Bd2 Qa6 18. Kh1 Rb8 19. e4 cxd4 20. cxd4 Rb2 21. Qe3 Rxa2 22. Rae1 Qa3 23. Bc3 Rc2 24. Rc1 Rxc1 25. Rxc1 Rc8 26. Ra1 Qb3 27. Nd2 Qc2 28. Rf1 Nd8 29. Ba1 a5 30. e5 dxe5 31. dxe5 Bg7 32. Ne4 Qc4 33. Qf3 Qe6 34. Qg3 Rc4 35. Qd3 Qc8 36. Bb2 Ne6 37. h3 Qc6 38. Re1 Rc2 39. Bc3 Rxg2 40. Qf3 Ng5 41. Nf6+ Qxf6 42. Qa8+ 1-0!14th-annual-open-2022/-416885650
  1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 (The two most often played moves are 2 c4, with 351454 examples in the ChessBaseDataBase, and 2 Nf3, with 121652 games. There are only 310 examples of the move played in the game, and it has not scored well, with White scoring only 36%. This is an excellent example of a vastly superior, rating wise, getting out of the book ASAP) 2…g6 (This move has been the most often played move at the ‘Big Database’ at 365Chess, with 1461 games, twice as many as the next most often played moves of 2…e6 and 2…d5. It is a different story over at the CBDB. Titled players have preferred 2…c5 in 340 games, scoring 47%, and 2…d5, scoring 48% in 271 games. The game move is third, and in 144 games it has held White to only 31%. Komodo 12 @depth 33 will play 2…d5; Stockfish 14.110 will play 2..b6. The CBDB contains only 18 examples of 2…b6, and it has only scored 25%) 3. f4 (At depth 35 Stockfish 14 will play 3 c4. In 14 games it has only scored 14%. At depth 44 it changes to 3 Nf3. Stockfish 290721 @depth 41 also plays 3 Nf3, by far the most often played move with 755 examples in the CBDB, though it has only scored 45%. The second most popular move has bee 3 Bd3, though it has only been seen in 39 games) 3…Bg7 (This has been the most often played move at both databases, but is it the best move? Stockfish 14 @depth 32 will play 3…c5, but SF 14.1 @depth 40, and SF 130122 @depth 47 both prefer 3…d5. There are 5 examples of 3…d5 and it has scored only 10%) 4. Nf3 (Fritz 15 @depth 41 will play the most often played move, 4 Nf3, but Houdini and SF 130122 @depth 49 both play 4 c4, a move not found at the CBDB) 4…0-0 (SF 14.1 @depth 34 plays 4…c5. SF 130112 @depth 47 plays the most often played move 4…d5) 5. Bd3 (The CBDB contains 23 games in which this move has been played and it has scored only 33%. SF 130112 @depth 46 plays 5 c4. There are only 6 games with the move at the CBDB. It seemed obvious that Big Ben played his Bishop to d3 in order to support the pawn moving to e4 on the next move) 5…d6 (The CBDB shows 63 games with 5…d5 and it has scored 46%. 5…d6 has been seen in 26 games, scoring 35%. The choice of Stockfish, 5…c5, has been utilized 15 times, scoring only 27%) 6. O-O (Well, you know, Big Ben is a GM and I am not, but still, I would have moved the d pawn one square. The second most often played move, scoring 35% in 24 games. The most often played move has been 6 Be2. I kid you not…In 40 games it has scored all of 31%. Stockfish 11 and Houdini at lower depths both play 6 e4, a move not contained in the CBDB) 6…c5 7. c3 (I must stop here because the CBDB contains the computing of only two old Fritz programs and one of Houdini, all at lower depths. I can tell you that after 8 Bc2 the move 8…Bf5 is not found at 365Chess, [] or at the CBDB. In addition, I am qualified to inform you that the move played by the Grandmaster, 8 Bc2, is weak, because it violates the rule of moving the same piece twice in the opening before completing development. This is one of the rules most often broken by players new to the game. I realize Ben is a GM, and GM, as a rule, make their own rules. Yet the title of a player matters not if he plays a bad move because no matter what title precedes a players name, a bad move is still a bad move, and 8 Bc2 stinks…) 8…Bf5 (8…cxd4 looks natural) 9. Nbd2 (I would take the prelate with 9 Bxf5) 9…Bxc2 10. Qxc2 Rc8 11. f5 (This has gotta be premature, but I will give Mr. Harriott credit for coming after the GM!) 9…b5 (Well, you know, the thing is that if I were going over the game with a student I would have to ask, “What piece has yet to be developed? 9…Qb6 looks natural, does it not?”) 12. fxg6 hxg6 13. Ne4 b4 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. Qf2 (15 d5 looks interesting) 15…bxc3 16. bxc3 Qa5 17. Bd2 Qa6 18. Kh1 (I would be forced to excoriate a poor student unmercifully for this “nothing” move. This is the kind of move made when one has no idea what to do. Granted, the GM has an advantage. Still, 18 Qg3 is possible, as is 18 h4, but I am uncertain about playing the latter move, which although thematic, still weakens the Kingside pawn structure, but still may be best because White has a preponderance of material on the Kingside, so should give strong consideration to playing on that side of the board. How bad is the King move? I would venture it was so weak that Black now has a won game) 18…Rb8 (The legendary man from the High Planes, the only man to have been both Georgia Chess Champion and Georgia Senior Chess Champion, David Vest, was very fond of saying, “Chess is a battle for squares.” The GM’s last move garnered many squares) 19. e4 cxd4 (I would have to give this move a question mark. 19…Rb2 is STRONG!) 20. cxd4 Rb2 21. Qe3 Rxa2 22. Rae1 (Take a look at this position:
Black to move after 22 Rae1

Although Black has won a pawn, his pieces languish on the Queenside while the White army is mustered on the Kingside, where the Black King resides. Black must be extremely careful in this position or else he will be overrun on the Kingside) 22…Qa3 (After reading the above you must certainly understand the motivation behind this move) 23. Bc3 (The IM of GM strength, Boris Kogan, about whom this writer has written so much, was fond of saying, “Chess is a simple game. You attack, he defend. He attack, you better defend!” Boris would have played 23 Rc1) 23…Rc2 24. Rc1 (WOW! Now the Bishop is REALLY pinned! It would probably have been better for White to simply drop the Bishop back to a1) 24…Rxc1 (Not my move…I would play 24…Nb4! The move played actually helps White…) 25. Rxc1 Rc8 26. Ra1 (26 Bd2 and the Knight is pinned, and if you have yet to hear, “Pin to WIN,” you will eventually hear it, if you stay with the Royal game) 26…Qb3 27. Nd2? (What happened to the preponderance of material on the Kingside? 27 Bd2 has got to be better. Black is winning here) 27…Qc2 (Here’s the deal…if Black simply brings the Queen back to b6 he will exert much pressure on the d-pawn) 28. Rf1 (f3 looks like a fine square for the Knight, does it not?) 28…Nd8 (Frankly, I was shocked by this retrograde move. How about 28…Ne5?!!) 29. Ba1 a5 30. e5? (This is not a good move. Remember what I said about a “preponderance of material” on the Kingside earlier? That should be an indication to play on the Kingside. Now would be the time to launch an attack on the Black King with 30 h5! I will be like the famous Cajun cook, Justin Wilson, who was fond of saying, “I will guaRONtee it!”)

30…dxe5 31. dxe5 Bg7 (Well, there goes White’s pawn structure. Now he has a weak, isolated pawn in the middle of the board and a lost game, positionally speaking) 32. Ne4 Qc4 33. Qf3 Qe6 (Why not 33…Nc6 to attack that aforementioned weak, isolated pawn on e5?) 34. Qg3 Rc4 35. Qd3 (Defending AND attacking. You gotta love it!) 35…Qc8 36. Bb2 Ne6 37. h3? (At the beginning of each and every game the pawns on f2 and f7 are weak because they are protected by only the King. A Chess teacher will hammer this point home as long as it takes so his student will not be mated on f7, or f2. White should play his Queen to f3 now to attack that vulnerable f7 pawn) 37…Qc6 (After this White is toast…) 38. Re1 Rc2? (This has got to be a mistake because every Russian cab driver knows that “Passed pawns must be pushed.” This move is bad because it allows White to play his next move, breaking the coordination between the Queen and Rook) 39. Bc3 (White is still lost, but not as ‘lost’ as he was earlier…) 39…Rxg2?? (I have no idea what the time was but I do have an idea about how bad was this move. GM Yasser Seriwan would call it a “howler.”

GM Yasser Seirawan howling

Playing a move like this, turning an obviously won game into a complete disaster has got to be devastating to the psyche of any Chess player. I mean, to turn a completely won game into a devastating loss by playing a move like this can potentially drive a player insane. What could GM Finegold have been thinking?) 40. Qf3 Ng5 41. Nf6+ (Is that a beautiful move, or what? How would you like to have a chance to play a move like that against a Grandmaster, even an aged, over the hill, Grandmaster?!) 41…Qxf6 42. Qa8+ 1-0

The Saint Louis Spring Classic Tournaments

A remarkable thing happened in St. Louis the past couple of weeks during the playing of the 2022 Spring Classic at the St. Louis Chess Club.

There were two different Chess tournaments, the “A” and the “B”. In the top section there were twenty three (23) decisive games played out of the forty five (45) total games contested, which is over 50%. There were even more decisive games, twenty eight (28) in the “B” tournament! That means 62% of the games ended in a victory for one player! This is unheard of in todaze Chess world what with the plethora of drawn games dominating play. The “A” section saw white score twelve (12) wins, with the general of the black army winning eleven (11) games! In round three there were three (3) black wins to go with two draws. Round five (5) saw three (3) black wins with only one (1) win for the player of the white pieces. In the “second section” there were nineteen (19) victories scored by players of the white pieces, with nine (9) games won by the player in command of the black pieces. These two tournaments were truly “fighting” tournaments. This should not be Big News but is because of the unbelievably large number of drawn games in most tournaments these daze, such as tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Club, where players go to draw. There is a reason for the great disparity between the two Chess havens. Simply put, if a player comes to St. Louis with a case of “shakeitus” he is not again invited. In Charlotte they “Follow the rules.” In St. Louis they make their own rules, which happen to engender fighting Chess. If a player comes to St. Louis with his hand extended, ready to accept a draw at any time, that player deservedly suffers opprobrium from the community.

The time spent watching the games from St. Louis was time well spent. What with the Russian monster killing machine laying waste to Ukraine time was needed for escapism, and nothing is a better escape outlet than the Royal Game, especially when the players come to the board with their knives unsheathed.

The first featured game involves one of my favorite players, GM Titas Stremavicius.

He must be the only Grandmaster who plays with the f-pawn, both f-pawns. Certainly Titas is the leading exponent of the Bird’s opening (1 f4), and after 1 d4 Sid Vicious, as I think of him, plays 1…f5 with regularity. Sid is an imaginative and interesting player who usually plays to win. Until this tournament Sid, given the chance, usually played the Leningrad Dutch. For some reason Titas decided to play differently in his round six game with GM Robert Hungaski.

After, 1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2, Stremavicius played the move 3…e6?! in lieu of 3…d6. Why, Sid, why? Sid tripped and fell all over his blade. Sid must have “booked up” on 3…e6 in order to surprise his opponents in this tournament because he played the same move against GM Elshan Moradiabadi

in round eight. Unfortunately, the vicious one was the player surprised. Sid came out of the opening with a decent position, but in the transition to the middle game Sid Vicious first put one foot in it before putting the other foot in it before falling face first into the slime pit. Those two losses with black were sandwiched between a loss with white to GM Arman Mikaelyan,

Arman Mikaelyan (GM armeno, 23 anni)

making it three losses in a row heading into the last round. Keep this in mind as you read on…

The following game was contested in the last round. GM Christopher Repka

2022 Spring Chess Classic: Chris Repka Interview | Round 4

started the tournament with four (4) straight wins, and after a couple of draws defeated Christopher Woojin Woo

2022 Spring Chess Classic: Christopher Yoo Interview | Round 8

in round seven while General of the white army. At one point I recall Repka being two full points ahead of the player in second place. The youngest human to become a Grandmaster, Abhimanyu Mishra (,

2022 Spring Chess Classic: Abhi Mishra Interview | Round 9

won four (4) games in a row after a second round loss with black versus GM Cemil Can Ali Marandi.

Cemil Can Ali Marandi | ChessStreamers .com

After a draw in the antepenultimate round with GM Elshan Moradiabadi the two players, Mishra and Repka, were tied for first place and were to meet in the penultimate round. It was the game of the event as Mishra, in charge of the black army, handed Repka his first loss. In the last round Stremavicius, who had lost three games in a row, had white versus Repka, who now desperately needed a win…

Titas Stremavicius (2520) vs Christopher Repka (2508)
Saint Louis Spring Classic “B”
A21 English, Kramnik-Shirov counterattack

  1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Qc2 d6 4. e3 c5 5. g3 Ne7 6. Bg2 Nbc6 7. Nge2 Bf5 8. d3 Qd7 9. h3 O-O 10. Bd2 Bxc3 11. bxc3 Be6 12. Rd1 f5 13. Bc1 Rad8 14. O-O f4 15. exf4 Bxh3 16. d4 Bxg2 17. Kxg2 Qf5 18. Qxf5 Nxf5 19. g4 Nfe7 20. f5 Na5 21. Bg5 Kf7 22. Rfe1 Rfe8 23. dxe5 dxe5 24. Rxd8 Rxd8 25. Nf4 Nxc4 26. Ne6 Re8 27. Re4 b5 28. Nc7 Rb8 29. a4 Nc6 30. Nxb5 N6a5 31. Nxa7 Rb2 32. Nc6 Ra2 33. Nxa5 Nxa5 34. Bd8 Nc6 35. Bb6 Ne7 36. Bxc5 Nd5 37. Rxe5 Nxc3 38. g5 Nxa4 39. Re7+ Kf8 40. Re2+ Nxc5 41. Rxa2 h6 1-0!spring-chess-classic-b-2022/-1909464958

Stockfish 14 @depth 47 will take the Knight with 4…Bc3. The only other game with the same move order follows, which makes 5 g3 a Theoretical Novelty. There were several turning points and I suggest you surf on over to ( and reply the game. The following position captured my attention:

Position after 17 Kxg2 with Black to move

I was expecting 17…Qg4 because there is no way I would trade Queens when my opponent had an ‘open air’ King!

Klaus Bischoff (2504) vs Rene Stern (2521)
Event: Bundesliga 2016-17
Site: Berlin GER Date: 11/19/2016
Round: 3.5 Score: ½-½
ECO: A21 English, Kramnik-Shirov counterattack
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4 3.Qc2 d6 4.e3 c5 5.Nge2 Nc6 6.a3 Ba5 7.d3 f5 8.Bd2 Nf6 9.g3 O-O 10.Bg2 Bd7 11.O-O Rb8 12.f4 Qe8 13.Nd5 Bxd2 14.Qxd2 Ne7 15.Nxf6+ Rxf6 16.fxe5 dxe5 17.Nc3 Be6 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.cxd5 Nc8 20.Qc3 b6 21.b4 cxb4 22.Qxb4 Nd6 23.Rac1 Rd8 24.Rc6 e4 25.dxe4 Nxe4 26.Bxe4 ½-½

Abhimanyu Mishra won the “B” section of the tournament with seven (7) points, one more than Christopher Repka, who finished a point and a half ahead of a group of four with 4 1/2.

GM Abhimanyu Mishra (2505) vs GM Christopher Woojin Yoo (2514)
Saint Louis Spring Classic “A” Round 9
C03 French, Tarrasch

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Be7 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bd3 c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. O-O g5 9. Nb1 b6 10. Be3 Bb7 11. a3 c4 12. Bc2 h5 13. Ne1 Qc7 14. f4 gxf4 15. Bxf4 O-O-O 16. Nd2 Rdf8 17. Qe2 f6 18. exf6 Bd6 19. Bxd6 Qxd6 20. Nef3 Rxf6 21. Ng5 Qe7 22. Ndf3 Re8 23. h4 Qd6 24. Nd2 e5 25. Bf5 Rff8 26. Bxd7+ Kxd7 27. Qxh5 Rxf1+ 28. Rxf1 exd4 29. cxd4 b5 30. Ndf3 Qe7 31. Re1 Qxe1+ 32. Nxe1 Rxe1+ 33. Kf2 Re8 34. Qf7+ Re7 35. Qxd5+ Kc8 36. Qf5+ Kc7 37. Qf4+ Kc8 38. Ne4 Nd8 39. Nd6+ Kd7 40. Nf5 Rf7 41. g4 Nc6 42. d5 Ne7 43. Qd6+ Ke8 44. Qb8+ Nc8 45. Kg3 a5 46. Nd6+ 1-0!spring-chess-classic-b-2022/-289612928
Now that’s a Chess MOVE! Position after 8…g5

9…b6 was a weak move for many reasons, foremost in that it blocked the Queen. 9…Qb6 was best. Mishra hald an advantage even after playing the weak 11 a3. At Lichess the move is given as 11 a3?!, with “Inaccuracy. Ne1 was best.” Then a few moves later Mishra played 13 Ne1? “Mistake. a4 was best.” after that move the game was even…until Yoo took the pawn with 14…gxf4. Stockfish preferred 14…g4. ( The game was lost after Yoo played 17…f6? What would Ben Finegold say?

In the top section, “A”, GM Samuel Sevian and GM Illya Nyzhnyk tied for first place with each scoring six (6) points. Unfortunately, they were forced to play some kind of quick game that is inherently unfair to decide which player “won” the tournament. It is sad, really, when one thinks about it… Show the players some RESPECT!

GM Ray Robson (2676)

2021 U.S. Chess Championships: Ray Robson Interview | Round 11

vs GM Illya Nyzhnyk

2022 Spring Chess Classic: Illya Nyzhnyk Interview | Round 8

Saint Louis Spring Classic “A”
C43 Petrov, modern attack, Symmetrical variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 Bc5 5. Bc4 Nxf2 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Qd5+ Kg6 8. Qxc5 Nxh1 9. Nc3 h6 10. Qd4 d6 11. Nd5 Nc6 12. Qe4+ Kf7 13. Be3 Re8 14. Bxh6 Rxe5 15. Nxe5+ Nxe5 16. O-O-O Nf2 17. Rf1 Qf6 18. Nxf6 Nxe4 19. Nxe4+ Kg8 20. Bf4 Ng6 21. Ng5 Bd7 22. Be3 b6 23. Bd4 Rf8 24. Rxf8+ Nxf8 25. Kd2 Ne6 26. Nxe6 Bxe6 27. a3 Kf7 28. h4 Bf5 29. c3 c5 30. Be3 Ke6 31. Bf4 Be4 32. g3 Bf3 33. Ke3 Bd1 34. Kd2 Bf3 35. Ke3 Bd1 36. Kd2 Bf3 1/2-1/2!spring-chess-classic-a-2022/861379315
Position after 9…h6 with White to move
  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 (SF 14.1 @depth 55 and SF 250222 @depth 56 will play 4 Bd3. Houdini @depth 27 will play the move made in the game) 4…Bc5 5. Bc4 Nxf2 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Qd5+ Kg6 8. Qxc5 Nxh1 9. Nc3 h6 10. Qd4 (The game is still in “book” theory, but this is not “book.” The only move played until now has been 10 Qc4 and eleven examples can be found here, if’n you’re of a mind to delve deeply into the opening:

Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Atlanta R.I.P.

After hearing a rumor about the demise of the new ACC it was time to check with the man known as “The Sheriff,” aka Scott Parker, President of the Georgia Chess Association. Mr. Parker does not care for the appellation but a more fitting sobriquet does not exist. It was hung on Scott by the Legendary Georgia Ironman. When queried about the name Tim said, “Scott walks around the House (of Pain) ramrod straight, like Gary Cooper in High Noon.”

High Noon (1952) Review

Michael, Sat, Nov 13 at 3:31 PM

Sad but true.The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta will be shutting it’s doors on Nov. 24. Participation has not recovered enough from the pandemic for them to make a go of it. They’re in a nice space in a nice area of town, but the $3800/month rent is killing them. They are losing too much money, and the job is taking too much of Karen’s time. She’s really unhappy about having to do this, but she feels there is no choice.

My term of office ends on Dec. 12 at the conclusion of the annual GCA Membership Meeting. After that I will be tying up some odds and ends like the financials of the State Championship tournament and trying to smooth the transition to Parnell Watkins’ Presidency, but essentially I will be done at that time. It’s time for me to move on from the GCA, and it’s time for the GCA to move on from me.

Be well,

After replying the following was received:

Michael, Sat, Nov 13 at 6:46 PM

The 2022 GA Senior Championship is in limbo now. That event was to have been held in January along with the GA Women’s Championship at Ben and Karen’s place, but obviously that isn’t going to happen. Where and when it will be held will be up to the next GCA Board.

I doubt that I will be playing in any more tournaments, senior or otherwise. The prospect just doesn’t interest me anymore. I’d play some casual blitz, but that’s probably the extent of it. As I said, time to move on.

Be well,

A case can be made that Scott Parker was, historically speaking, the best President of the Georgia Chess Association. Then there is Chess Hall of Famer Thad Rogers, who single-handedly kept the sinking boat of the GCA afloat after Earle Morrison bankrupted the organization. For what it’s worth, Mr. Parker said he thought Ted Weiber was the best POTGCA.
GM Ben Finegold & Karen Boyd
Merchandise – Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta

The Milner-Barry Gambit

  1. e4 (365Chess designates this the “B00 King’s pawn opening”) 1…e6 (This move signifies the opening has become the “C00 French defence) 2. d4 d5 3. e5 (After this move it becomes the “C02 French, advance variation”) 3…c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 (Now it is the “C02 French, advance, Paulsen attack”) 5…Qb6 6. Bd3 (And now we have the “C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit” [] or do we?)
The Milner-Barry Gambit

Already an adult when playing in my first USCF rated tournament, I was a bad, but persistently tenacious, player. It was my good fortune to have had International Master Branko Vujakovic travel to Atlanta from Yugoslavia to attend college. My first out of state Chess tournament, in New Orleans, Louisiana, was with Branko. It was in that tournament I used a version of the Milner-Barry taught by Branko against an Expert only a few rating points below National Master, Glenn Ruiz in the very first round. That game featured 4 Nf3 in lieu of 4 c3 in the main line. I recall being on move when one of the local players walked by our board and stopped dead in his tracks. “Would you look at that..” my opponent lamented about his broken and battered position while shaking his head.

We also drove to the Church’s Fried Chicken Chess Tournament in San Antonio, Texas, in 1972, where I met Bobby Fischer after his recent victory over Boris Spassky to win the title of World Chess Champion.

One of the things recalled about the trip was that the night before the first round we were soundly sleeping when there was a knock on the door. After opening the door there stood two women, one of whom asked, “Would you like a date?” I modestly replied, “No ma’am, but thank you anyway.” After closing the door Branko asked, “Who was that?” After telling him what had transpired he asked, “Does that happen often?” Now here’s a guy who has been around the world and he is asking a young dude for whom a road trip to Savannah, Georgia, had been one of the highlights of his life a question like that…”How should I know?” was the answer.

Branko showed me the opening moves of what he called the “Milner-Barry Gambit,” which were, 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 cxd4 6. O-O. According to the fourth move makes the variation the “C02 French, advance, Nimzovich system” ( We called it the “Milner-Barry Gambit.” If you go to the page at 365Chess you will find the opening having been played by World Chess Championship contender Nigel Short and fellow British countryman GM Julian Hodgson, along with GM Artur Kogan. The idea is simple enough with white sacrificing a pawn for development in order to attack on the Kingside.

In the second round of the recently completed US Women’s Chess Championship the eventual winner, Carissa Yip

Eighteen-year-old International Master Carissa Yip was crowned U.S. Women’s Champion with a...
Eighteen-year-old International Master Carissa Yip was crowned U.S. Women’s Champion with a round to spare, finishing with an incredible 8.5/11 score. The tournament was held at the Saint Louis Chess Club in Saint Louis, Mo.

faced the French defense played by former US Women’s Chess Champ Tatev Abrahamyan:
  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 (StockFish 13, going way deep to depth 82 proclaims 3 Nc3 best) 3…c5 4. c3 (According the this is the only move with which White can show an advantage. The Stockfish program at shows the game equal. SF 030721 at the ChessBaseDataBase, @depth 57, shows White with a miniscule advantage) 4…Nc6 (SF 130721 @depth 57 plays this move but SF 13 @depth 69 would play 4…Qb6) 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3? (SF, along with everyone else, plays 6 a3, and so should you. Why would the new Women’s Champ play an inferior move? This game may have had something to do with why she played the move:

Magnus Carlsen (2863) vs Pentala Harikrishna (2732)
Event: Saint Louis Blitz 2020
Site: INT Date: 09/19/2020
Round: 15.1
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Nbd2 Rc8 9.Nb3 dxc3 10.bxc3 Qc7 11.Re1 Nge7 12.h4 Ng6 13.Qe2 Be7 14.h5 Ngxe5 15.Nxe5 Qxe5 16.Qxe5 Nxe5 17.Rxe5 Bf6 18.Re3 Rxc3 19.Rb1 d4 20.Rg3 O-O 21.Bb2 Rfc8 22.Bxc3 dxc3 23.Rd1 Bc6 24.Bc2 Kf8 25.Re3 b6 26.Nd4 Bd5 27.a4 g6 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Nb5 Rc4 30.Nxa7 Rb4 31.Nb5 Rb2 32.Rc1 Bg5 33.Nxc3 Bxe3 34.fxe3 Bc6 35.Be4 Bd7 36.Bd3 Bc6 37.Rc2 Rb4 38.Bb5 Bxb5 39.axb5 Rc4 40.Kf2 Ke7 41.Ke2 f5 42.Kd3 Rb4 43.Ra2 Kf6 44.Ra6 Rb2 45.Rxb6 Rxg2 46.Nd5+ Ke5 47.Nf4 1-0

Back to the game: 6…cxd4 7. O-O (7 cxd4 is best according the Fritz 15, 16, and 17, for what it’s worth. Unfortunately, there is no word from the best program, or any other, better, program. All we have to go on is the human mind of Magnus Carlsen and the fact that in the 38 games contained by the CBDB White has scored an astounding 66%, while the move 7 cxd4 has scored only 42% in 203 games. Back in the day the move played by a World Champ would have been enough. I miss those daze…) 7…Bd7 8. Re1 (Ms. Yip varies from the World Champ. The most popular move has been 8 cxd4, with 308 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Houdini, and the overwhelming choice of most human players even though it has only scored 43%! I kid you not…The move played in the game has only been attempted 40 times, scoring 64%. It is also the choice of SF 11 @depth 47. But SF 14 @depth 48 would play what is invariably almost no doubt the best move on the board whenever it is played, 8 Qe2!!! According to the CBDB the move 8 Qe2 has only been attempted TWICE. That will most certainly change after this post is read by Chess players all over the world looking for any kind of advantage. Pardon me, I sometimes get carried away when Qe2 is played, in case you have not noticed…Where we’re we? Oh yeah, my new hero, who has played THREE games using 8 Qe2, my Man, Adrian Flitney:

Adrian Flitney (1999) vs Daniel Baider (2032)
Event: Nelson op
Site: Nelson Date: 10/05/2007
Round: 5
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Qe2 Nge7 9.Rd1 dxc3 10.Nxc3 Ng6 11.Be3 Qd8 12.Bg5 Be7 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.g3 O-O 15.Rac1 f5 16.h4 Be8 17.Ng5 h6 18.Nxe6 Qxe6 19.Nxd5 Qxe5 20.Qd2 Kh8 21.Bc4 f4 22.Re1 Qd4 23.Qxd4 Nxd4 24.Kg2 fxg3 25.fxg3 Bc6 26.h5 Nf3 27.hxg6 Nxe1+ 28.Rxe1 Rf5 0-1

Wait a minute…what if Adrian is a woman?

I checked, learning Mr. Flitney is an Australian male who was born in 1961 and played a total of 134 games between 1981 and 2009 ( For some reason Adrian faced an inordinate number of French defenses and, to be kind, did not score all that well. Nevertheless, I will replay each and every game because one can usually learn more from a loss than a win.)

Again, where were we? Oh yeah, Ms. Yip has just played 8 Re1 in lieu of the 8.Nbd2 played in a blitz game. This was answered with 8…Nge7 9 h4 a6 (Although SF 13 @depth 50 would play the move played in the game, SF 14 @depth 54 goes with 9…Rc8, as in the following game:

Piroska Palotai (2055) vs Attila Barva (2335)
Event: HUN-ch univ
Site: Hungary Date: 2000
Round: ?
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Qb6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.c3 Bd7 7.O-O cxd4 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 Rc8 10.a3 (SF 14 gives 10 Nbd2 as best) 10…a6 11.Qe2 dxc3 12.Nxc3 Nd4 13.Nxd4 Qxd4 14.g3 Nc6 15.Bf4 Be7 16.Rad1 Qb6 17.Bb1 g6 18.Bh6 Nd4 19.Qg4 Qxb2 20.Nxd5 exd5 21.Qxd4 Qxd4 22.Rxd4 Be6 23.a4 Rc3 24.Ba2 Bc5 25.Rd2 Rxg3+ 26.Kh2 Rg4 27.Bg5 Bb4 0-1

Alessio Valsecchi (2432) vs Luca Moroni Jr (2321)
Event: 17th Padova Open 2014
Site: Padova ITA Date: 12/17/2014
Round: 5.11
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 Rc8 10.h5 a6 11.Bc2 h6 12.a3 dxc3 13.Nxc3 Na5 14.Ra2 Nec6 15.Be3 Qc7 16.Bf4 Qd8 17.Bb1 Nc4 18.Bd3 b5 19.Bg3 Qb6 20.Nh4 Qd4 21.Nf3 Qg4 22.Ne2 Bc5 23.Qa1 Bb6 24.b3 N4a5 25.Qd1 O-O 26.Bb1 Ne7 27.Ned4 Rc3 28.Qd2 Rfc8 29.Rb2 Qxh5 30.Rd1 Qg4 31.b4 Bxd4 32.Qxd4 Qxd4 33.Nxd4 Nc4 34.Rb3 Nxa3 35.Bd3 Rc1 36.Rf1 R8c3 37.Bf4 Rxf1+ 38.Kxf1 Rxb3 39.Nxb3 Nc6 40.Bd2 Nxe5 41.Be2 Nec4 42.Bc3 e5 43.Nc5 Bc8 44.Bd3 d4 45.Ba1 a5 46.bxa5 Nxa5 47.f4 f6 48.fxe5 fxe5 49.Kf2 N3c4 50.Be4 Kf8 51.Nd3 Bb7 52.Bf5 Nb3 53.Bd7 Nxa1 54.Bxb5 Nd6 55.Ba4 e4 0-1

If you are still with me we have come to the only other game found in which 9…a6 was found:

Rauf Mamedov (2654) vs Boris Markoja (2453)
Event: Online Olympiad Top DivB 2021
Site: INT Date: 09/10/2021
Round: 7.3 Score: 1-0
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 a6 10.h5 g6 11.h6 Ng8 12.cxd4 Nxh6 13.Nc3 Nf5 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Bg5 Nfxd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.Bf6 Rg8 18.Rc1 Nc6 19.Nc5 Qb6 20.b4 Nxb4 21.Nxd7 Kxd7 22.Qa4+ Nc6 23.Rb1 Qc7 24.Rec1 Be7 25.Bxe7 Kxe7 26.Qa3+ Ke8 27.Bb5 Qe7 28.Bxc6+ bxc6 29.Qe3 Qc7 30.Rb6 Kd7 31.Qf4 Rgf8 32.Rcb1 Ra7 33.Qh6 Ke7 34.Qc1 Kd7 35.Qf4 h5 36.a4 a5 37.R1b2 Kc8 38.Qe3 c5 39.Rb8+ Qxb8 40.Qxc5+ Qc7 41.Qxf8+ Kd7 42.Qxf7+ Kd8 43.Qf8+ Kd7 44.Rb8 Qxe5 45.Qd8+ Kc6 46.Qb6+ 1-0

10. h5 (SF plays 10 Nbd2) 10…h6 (SF prefers 10…g6, putting the question to White. It will be a TN if and when played by a human. 365Chess shows no games with 10…h6, but the CBDB has 4 games with the move) 11. Qe2 (The StockFish programs at Chess24 and the CBDB show 11 Nbd2 as best. The weaker SF program at the ChessBomb shows the move played in the game.) 11…f5? (StockFish shows 11…dxc3 as best. 11…f5? is a RED MOVE at ChessBomb. In computer numerical terms Black has just tossed a pawn. If you do not understand why please STOP! Go set up a real 3D set and pieces and look at the position as long as it takes for you to acquire understanding of the position, grasshopper, then return to the AW for, hopefully, more understanding) 12. exf6? (Because of being taught this particular opening a half century ago I had a modicum of understanding of the rudiments of this position. This weekend I was assisting a Chess Coach because his antiquated laptop needs to have “cool down” time. When this happens the AW takes control of the group. The Coach said nothing after 11…f5 so I stayed silent, but after he made the move 12 exf6 on the board and erupted effusively with, “I love this move! It just rips black apart! What do you think of the move, Mike?” Rock…Hard Place…I actually thought of a song, which will probably not surprise regular readers, even if it did surprise me:

For readers who do not know much about the Royal Game, in Chess there is one thing that is paramount: The Truth. For this reason I was compelled to either feign a heart attack or answer truthfully. Although only taking a few seconds to answer it seemed like HOURS had elapsed before I stated, “Pawn takes pawn en passant is an awful move, Coach.”

Silence followed before the Coach gathered himself enough to inquire, “Why would you say that, Mike?” The answer came immediately. “Because the White e-pawn is a bastion in the center of the board, Coach. When it goes Black will be left with three pawns in the center of the board that will be like Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Eugene “Mercury ” Morris, the three running backs for the only undefeated NFL team in history, rolling forward over any and every thing in their path.”

The Coach was stunned speechless. Therefore I added, “If you go back to the position after 11 Qe2 was played you will see that 11…f5 was also a bad move. Black should have played 11…dxc3.”

The Coach finally responded with, “Well Mike, we don’t have much time and I’m only trying to give the students an overview of the game and not so much detail.”

The kids are LOVING THIS!

“But now I gotta know so I’ll go over to the Bomb and check it out.”

And that is exactly what I expect you to do because inquiring minds want to know (

BTW, in lieu of 12 exf6 StockFish would play 12 Na3. Just sayin’…

12…gxf6 13. cxd4 (Komodo plays 13 Nxd4 while the Fish plays 13 Qd1) 13…Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Qxd4

White to move

15. Be3 (Truth be told I did not question this move and we discussed what a natural move was this, as it attacks the Queen thereby “developing with tempo,” which is a good thing in Chess, especially if one is behind in development. As luck would have it the next night I was again called upon and was showing the game to another group when the Coach returned just in time to hear me say this was a bad move. “What?” the Coach erupted. Then he gives the students all the reasons enumerated above before saying to me, “Why would you say that, Mike?!”

“Oh no, Mister Bill,” I’m thinking. It was kinda like being called on in class when the teacher knows you’ve been sitting there zoning out while dreaming about that last bell so you could get home and to the Boys Club ASAP… Nevertheless enough gumption was mustered to say, “I spent some time reviewing the game for a possible blog post and checked with all the usual websites and was just as shocked as you to learn that although StockFish 8 played the move, SF 14 finds 15 Nc3 superior.”

Silence. Then, “Well, 15…Qe5 looks like a good move. What do you think, Mike?” I actually thought about having a power failure, but decided to inform the coach that the Fish proclaimed 15…Qh4 best. The coach moved the Queen to e5 before saying, “Well, it looks like Nc3 is out of the question because of the pawn fork, and Nd2 drops the b-pawn, but it looks like White gets counter play by moving the Rook to b1, so how about 16 Na3?” I knew one of the programs (Houdini) would have played Nd2 but kept quiet, but when the Coach asked, “What do you think, Mike?” I was again on the spot, so I said, “f4.” Yip played 16 Nd2)

15…Qe5 16. Nd2 Rg8 17. f4 Qd6 18. Qf2 Rc8 19. Rad1 (19 Nf3 SF) 19…Bc6 (The Coach liked this move, using arrows to show the Bishop and Rook firing on g2. Unfortunately he again asked me to weigh in, so I had not choice but to point out how bad was the move, a move from which Tatev never recovered. “Well, what the hell should the woman have played, Mike?!” I answered “f5.” The coach continued moving the pieces until reaching the position after 20. Bh7 Rg7, asking the students to find a good move for White. By this point the poor things were afraid to utter a sound, so the Coach showed the next move: 21. Ne4 explaining what a good move was this and explaining why, before saying, “We’re running out of time so I’m just gonna run through the rest of the moves before ending the session.”

And I am thinking “Oh Happy Day”

21…Qc7 (Qd8) 22. Bb6 (Nxf6+) dxe4 23. Bxc7 Rxh7 24. Bd6 Rg7 25. Rc1 Nf5 (f5) 26. Bxf8 Kxf8 27. Rxe4 Rd8 (Ke7) 28. Rxc6 bxc6 29. Rxe6 Ng3 (Kg8) 30. Rxf6+ Ke7 31. Qc5+ (Rg6) Kxf6 32. Qe5+ Kf7 33. Qc7+ 1-0

Robert Ris’ Fast and Furious: The Improved Milner-Barry Gambit