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 https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/03/31/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 365Chess.com. 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!
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 Chess.com:
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. https://www.chess.com/member/arthurguo
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
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) (http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlTnmtHst.php?14772092). 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?”
During research for the previous post a strange game of brevity was found that required no board to play out the game but a board was needed to make sure you could believe what you saw, or at least what you thought you visualized:
is a 2541 rated Grandmaster from Belarus, who was born in 1972, the year Bobby Fischer defeated World Chess Champion Boris Spassky to become Champ.
For one who usually has too many words at this moment I still do not know what to say about the above game…I decided to do more research and, Lo & Behold! Like a BOLT from the BLUE it was, I tell you…The Most Amazin’ Chess Game of All Time! I have been replaying games for over half a century and I have never, ever seen another game quite like it, and sincerely hope I never, ever again see anything like it on the Chess board.
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” [https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=12&n=712&ms=e4.e6.d4.d5.e5.c5.c3.Nc6.Nf3.Qb6.Bd3&ns=220.127.116.11.453.525.454.526.711.742.712] or do we?)
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 365Chess.com the fourth move makes the variation the “C02 French, advance, Nimzovich system” (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=12&n=4274&ms=e4.e6.d4.d5.e5.c5.Nf3.Nc6.Bd3.cxd4.O-O&ns=18.104.22.168.453.525.1942.2541.4273.4841.4274). 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
faced the French defense played by former US Women’s Chess Champ Tatev Abrahamyan:
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 Chess24.com this is the only move with which White can show an advantage. The Stockfish program at ChessBomb.com 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:
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:
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 (https://www.365chess.com/players/Adrian_Flitney). 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:
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.”
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
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.”
They are back at it in Charlotte. The first round of four different tournaments was played last night. Before I begin let me say I have no bone to pick with the good people in Charlotte. I have written about the Charlotte Chess Center because they are located in the South, the region from which I sprang over seven decades ago. I am proud there is such a wonderful place as the CCC and the same goes for the Atlanta Chess Center, home of GM Ben Finegold, who is famous all over the world. When I began playing back in the 1970s the South was not exactly a hot bed of Chess activity. When traveling to an out of state Chess tournament I met many people who told me they had never met anyone from the South who played Chess, and some who had never met any Southerner, period. Therefore when anyone causes opprobrium down South I am not pleased. Someone who refused to give permission to use his name said, “Everyone knows Charlotte is the place to go to draw. It was that way before you began to write about it, Mike. All you did was shine a light on it.” Like it or not, that is the reputation of the Charlotte Chess Center.
Mr. Grant Oen,
who is the “Chief Arbiter and Organizer of the Chess tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Club and Scholastic Academy,” and is also the “Assistant Director, Charlotte Chess Center, and a National Tournament Director, International Arbiter,” has previously written, “If he is fine with several quick draws, that is acceptable for with us as long as the rules are followed.” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/reply-to-grant-oen/) A draw culture has been fostered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The rules do need to be changed. You may think me crazy especially since Chess is currently riding a cresting wave because of the popularity of the Queen’s Gambit movie, just a Chess enjoyed a boom after Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky to win the title of World Chess Champion. What follows a “boom”?
Back in the late seventies and early eighties the game of Backgammon “boomed” before going “bust”. I mean it busted like a poker player being dealt a 2-4-6-8-10! The Backgammon craze, or fad ended like a Chess game that ends with the word, “Checkmate!” One week Gammons was full of people every night, the next it was empty…
I beg to differ. The statement is false, and is a perfect example of the hubris shown by the Chess community. There are far more people who play, and consider the ancient game of Wei-Chi to be “the ultimate intellectual game.” I am one of them. One of the reasons what is called “Go” in the West is “the ultimate intellectual game,” is that there is a winner in 99 and 44/100, if not more, of the games played. Seriously, it is would probably be better to say 99.9%, but there was this Ivory snow commercial ‘back in the day’ that used 99.44.
To back up my point this is what World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker said about Go:
Go uses the most elemental materials and concepts — line and circle, wood and stone, black and white — combining them with simple rules to generate subtle strategies and complex tactics that stagger the imagination. Iwamoto Kaoru,
9-dan professional Go player and former Honinbo title holder.
instituted a NEW RULE in the series of Chess tournaments named after him, the Sinquefield Cup. Players are not allowed to offer a draw. Unfortunately, they can repeat the position three times and the game ends in another dreaded draw…Listen up, Rex! You have got the money and are like E.F. Hutton. When you speak people listen. How about instituting the Ko rule from Go in the next Sinquefield Cup tournaments. If a player repeats the same position for the third time YOU LOSE!!!
Now if I had a billzillion digits I would go even further and change the stalemate rule to a win for the player that forces the enemy King into a position without having a legal move at his disposal. What, you think the AW is crazy? I’ve been called worse…I would not stop there. The Royal game needs NEW LIFE! The AW would FREE THE PAWN! That’s right, folks, I would allow the pawn to RETREAT! Why not allow the pawn advance one square to the rear?!
This game was “played” in the first round of the Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 last night:
GM Kamil Dragun 2555 (POL) vs GM Cemil Can Ali Marandi 2530 (TUR)
When first starting out on the Caissa highway this writer played the Najdorf exclusively against the move 1 e4. Like many others I played the most aggressive opening because it was played by Bobby Fischer.
Prior to the advent of the computer programs that are now at least two, maybe three levels above humans in playing ability, the Najdorf was analyzed to what we thought was ‘death’. It is possible that more theory has been written on the opening foisted upon the Chess world by Miquel Najdorf
than any other opening. Nowadays players throw any and everything at the Najdorf, even some moves at which we would have scoffed ‘back in the day’. The Najdorf is not really a defense but a ‘system’. Although it was a lifetime ago it seems like only yesterday the book with the green cover, The Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence, by Svetozar Gligoric,
and Boris Spassky,
was published by R.H.M.
That would have been in 1976, the year I won the Atlanta Chess Championship with an unbeaten 5-0 score. I devoured the book. At the time I was playing correspondence Chess and one of my opponents was a young Atlanta player who later became a National Master, Tom Friedel. After reading the book there was one line I particularly did not like. In the USCF postal tournament I was paired with Tom, and he stepped right into my wheelhouse, allowing me to play my beloved Najdorf. Unfortunately for me, Tom played the aforementioned line. There was a problem with another game in that section in that the player was using one of the new computer playing machines to produce his moves. I know this because former Georgia Chess Champion Mike Decker had the same machine and I asked him about my postal game. Sure ’nuff, the machine produced each and every one of the moves sent by my opponent, so I withdrew from the event and never played another postal game. Some time later a friend said he had been talking with Tom about our postal game and that Tom was perplexed, saying something about my being able to draw even though a pawn down. After learning why I had withdrawn Tom was no longer perplexed. Tom was a very strong player, no doubt stronger than me, and I seem to recall Tom winning the USCF postal tournament. Maybe one of you readers can recall, or do the research required to learn if my memory is correct. The fact is that after all these decades in which I have not played the Najdorf, I have played over more Najforf games than any games of any other opening. It really is true that you never forget your first love. It is also the reason I have been a BIG fan of the Frenchman known as simply “MVL.”
What makes the following game remarkable is that Fabi played the weak 15 a3 two rounds AFTER LDP played the much superior 15 Nd5 against MVL in the fourth round leading to a resounding victory for Leinier Dominguez Perez in only 33 moves! It is refreshing seeing a player with even a modicum of gray hair winning these days.
1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 (SF 14 @depth 53 and Komodo 13.02 @depth 45 plays the game move, but SF 050821 @depth 58 would play the move GM Ben Finegold says one should never play, 6 f3!) 6…e5 (SF 13 @depth 59 would play the move played in the game, but SF 050821 @depth 51 prefers 6…Ng4. Komodo 13.02 @depth 44 shows 6…e6. The CBDB shows white scoring 54% against each move, so flip a coin…err, roll ‘dem bones…) 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 (Komodo 13.02 @depth 44 plays the game move, as does SF 050821 @depth 46; Komodo 14 @depth 46 would play 8 Be2, which has only scored 50% in 296 games. 8 f3 has scored 53% in 6013 games) 8….Be7 (SF 13 @depth 45 plays the game move, as does SF 050821 @depth 51; but SF 14 @depth 49 shows 8…h5, the move that has scored the best, holding white to only 47% in 1251 games. In 4002 games against 8…Be7 white has scored 54%) 9. Qd2 O-O (By far the most often played move (3272), but is it the best? but SF 14 @depth 55 plays the second most often played move of 9…Nbd7, but SF 060421 @depth 71 plays 9…h5, the move that in 521 games has scored the best for the Najdorf, holding white to even, Steven) 10. O-O-O Nbd7 11. g4 b5 12. g5 Nh5 13. Kb1 Nb6 14. Na5 Rc8 (SF 14 @depth 49 plays the game move, as does SF 050821 @depth 51, but here’s the deal…the CBDB shows the same program at the same depth also playing 14…Qc7. I don’t know about you but as for me I’m sticking with Stockfish!) 15. a3 (The most often played move in 26 games has been 15 Rg1, but it has scored an abysmal 38%. The move played in the game has scored 50% in only 7 games. The move that three different Stockfish programs rates best, 15 Nd5, has scored an outstanding 63%, albeit in only 4 games. I don’t know about you but the next time I arrive at this position that steed is leaping to d5!) 15…g6 16. h4 (SF 12 @depth 41 plays this move, but SF 050821 @depth 39 and SF 251220 @depth 67 plays 16 Rg1, which has been played in 7 games) 16…Ng3 (SF 310720 @depth 51 plays 16…Qc7)
A disgruntled reader took exception to the post, USCF Drops Set & Clock (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/uscf-drops-set-clock/). He defended the USCF for not having posted the last round games along with the other eight rounds. Only seven of those rounds can be found at the USCF website. There was/is an error with the fifth round and when clicks on the round this is found:
The disgruntled one excoriated the AW for not finding the games at lichess (https://lichess.org/). I will admit to missing the notification in the article by Alexy Root,
U.S. Open: Chess games, awards, signings, meetings, as I sort of glanced at the pictures on the way to the games, of which there were only three. Although I had previously been to the lichess website, I returned, finding the same page. From what was displayed I thought the website was only for playing online Chess. What do you think
Yesterday while watching the coverage of the Sinquefield Cup
I noticed GM Maurice Ashley
using a lichess board to display moves played in the ongoing games, so I returned to lichess and there was the same page as above. I did not want to waste time looking at the website because I was enjoying watching the gentlemen. Frankly, it was excellent having three Grandmasters analyze the games live without having a much lower rated woman onscreen.
There are many Chess websites and they are in competition. Like the Highlander,
The same screen has been up since the conclusion of the TCEC (https://tcec-chess.com/) match, won convincingly by Stockfish over LcZero. Although I visit most every Chess website the surfing begins with The Week In Chess (https://theweekinchess.com/), moving to Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/), then on over to Chess24 (https://chess24.com/en), and when there is Chess action, I go to the ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/), and also use Chess24. The best place to view is TWIC because the board contains only moves, unlike ChessBomb, which color codes moves, and Chess24 which has some ridiculous white strip on the side of the board that moves up or down depending on the current move. It reminds me of a thermometer. Wonder why the two websites did not make the ancillary accoutrements optional? They broadcast most of the same events, but the Bomb has been running all games played in the World Chess Championship matches, and is now up to the 1981 Karpov vs. Korchnoi match. (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/1981-karpov-korchnoi) I am still enjoying replaying the Bobby Fischer versus Boris Spassky match. (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/1972-spassky-fischer) Although I like the darker background found at Chess.com I agree with a gentleman with children who said, “Chess.com is geared toward children.” And why should it not be “geared toward children”? Children are the future and the battle rages for their little hearts, minds, souls, and their parents money.
full credit for trying something considered different against the dreaded Berlin defense,
especially when the move was previously played by none other than Bobby Fischer!
In an article at Chess24, Superbet Chess Classic 5: Shakh attack!, by Colin McGourty, one finds: “The other games in Round 5 of the Superbet Chess Classic were all drawn, with Fabiano Caruana’s 8.Qe2!? against the Berlin Defence the only one that’s likely to be remembered.”
had in the previous round explained that his Chessable course on the Sicilian Dragon had come about through some desperate brainstorming over how to win on demand with the black pieces in the Candidates Tournament.”
Whoa! Let us stop right there in the middle of a well written paragraph by Mr. McGourty for some editorial comment. Anish Giri playing the Dragon?! ‘Back in the day’ it was said that books about the Dragon variation were, “written in disappearing ink” because the theory was rapidly changing. Isn’t “Giri” and “win on demand” with either color, but especially black, oxymoronic? Over at the ChessBomb this was found at the “chat” during the second round games:
Like it or not Mr. Giri has the reputation of being his generations Master of the Draw. The only thing Anish can do to eradicate the reputation is win the World Championship, as did a previous Grandmaster with a reputation as a drawing master, Tigran Petrosian.
Unfortunately, putting up the Berlin wall will do nothing to eradicate his reputation and the drawmeister.
We return to the paragraph by Colin: “Perhaps some similar logic had gone into a way to surprise someone in that most solid of all variations, the Berlin Defence. Just when queens were about to leave the board for the infamous ending, Fabi veered off course with 8.Qe2!?, a move almost 30 times less popular.”
The game can be found at Chess24, and a plethora of other websites on the web, so I will present other games to complement the Chess24 article. First we will begin with a picture of Bobby Fischer playing Neikirkh, at Portorož 1958, posted by Douglas Griffin @dgriffinchess at Twitter:
Fischer, Robert James vs Neikirkh, Oleg Event: Portoroz Interzonal Site: Portoroz Date: ??/??/1958 Round: 1 ECO: C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence, open variation
Although played with much less time for the game at the Crypto (Didn’t that stuff kill Superman?) Cup, it would have fit right in at the Superbet what with the “New Rule” in place at this tournament:
To promote competitive play during all GCT events, it will not be permitted for players to offer or agree to a draw in any game of a 2021 GCT event, including playoff games. In the event of a claim for a draw under Article 9.2 of the Laws (three-fold repetition) or under Article 9.3 of the Laws (50 move rule), one of the Event Arbiters must be asked by the players to verify the claim.
As Mr. Mr. McGourty wrote earlier:
“That doesn’t stop draws by 3-fold repetition of the position, however, which is how all the games were drawn in Round 2.”
Giri is not the only Grandmaster who will find a way…
Here is another game, a real rarity, played with Oe2 on the fifth move:
Naiditsch, Arkadij (2727) vs Akopian, Vladimir (2681) Event: World Teams 2013 Site: Antalya TUR Date: 12/02/2013 Round: 6.3 ECO: C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence, open variation
I attempted to use this picture in the initial post concerning the murder of Bob Long:
but for some reason was unable to do so “for security reasons.” I sent an email to Daniel Lucas asking about use of the picture by US Chess. In a short time an email was received from John Hartmann of US Chess: “I downloaded the the picture from Long’s website and used it. Hope that helps.”
Today I had no problem with the picture of “Cowboy” Bob.
In the article you are about to read you will find the word irascible used to describe Bob. I will admit the word popped into my head during an email exchange with the Mulfish, but I was uncertain of the exact meaning of the word, so I checked it out at the Free Dictionary, learning the definition of the word, 1. “Prone to outbursts of temper; easily angered. 2. Characterized by or resulting from anger,” is too harsh a word for Bob. (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/irascible) I would prefer the word tetchy, which means “being or inclined to be cross, irritable, or touchy.” (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/tetchy)
Davenport homicide victim was well-known publisher, chess player
Tom Loewy Jan 10, 2020 Updated Jan 10, 2020
Robert Long lived in a humble home on a modest street in Davenport.
The 74-year-old’s sagging two-story faces the brick-covered 1500 block of LeClaire Street. High curbs cracked by time bulge to contain the neighborhood’s shifting yards.
There is little, if any, sign of conspicuous consumption on the block — unless you count the discarded candy wrappers and dead leaves piling up against the sewers.
No one has said why Charlie Gary allegedly chose Long’s home to rob Tuesday, Jan. 8. The 19-year-old told police he strangled Long before stealing his car.
“We’re just ordinary people on this block,” said Connie Kindig, Long’s next-door neighbor for “the last 10 or 15 years.”
Kindig said she wants “to go back to ordinary” after Long’s stunning murder in his humble home on the modest street. She’s still friendly, but tired of talking to TV cameras and people who scribble in notebooks.
While Long’s death grabbed headlines, friends and fellow chess players described a man who was anything but ordinary. Besides being an expert chess player, he was a mathematician, writer, small businessman and publisher.
He even wrote a book about internet dating for seniors.
John Beydler worked as an editor at the paper that is now the Dispatch-Argus for 48 years. He met Long in 1977.
“I decided I wanted to play a more serious level of chess,” Beydler said. “I went in search of books, and I found a place called Thinker’s Press. It was a little place up on Harrison Street.”
Thinker’s Press was a store that catered to chess players and other gamers. It featured books and equipment for chess players of all levels. It was the place where many met Long.
Beydler and a number of people tried to tell a little bit about Long’s life through posts and comments on Facebook.
Beydler sat down to offer his own take, posting a remembrance Thursday.
“Bob’s contribution to chess in the Quad-Cities and far beyond deserve to be more remembered than his end,” Beydler wrote.
“Bob was just bright — he knew something about everything and had a wide range of interests,” Beydler said Friday. “In his element, he was an outgoing guy. He could be growly — you know, irascible.
“But by God, it was fun to spend time with him.”
Thinker’s Press moved to 2nd Street and published books on chess. Long also started a mail-order business which Kindig said he converted over to online sales.
His imprint published titles from internationally known chess players. Long is said to have known famous chess recluse Bobby Fischer. Grandmaster Michael Rohde, writing under a remembrance post on Alex King’s Facebook page, said Long helped him publish.
“I had many great discussions with Bob, concerning chess and other subjects, as he helped me to create my 1997 book (‘The Great Evans Gambit Debate’) published by his company Thinkers Press,” Rohde wrote. “The genesis of the book was an article I had written about the 1995 game (between) (Garry) Kasparov and (Viswanathan) Anand — an Evans Gambit, the last game they played before their 1995 World Championship match. Bob ran with that and helped me grow it into a book.”
Long’s next-door neighbor knew a bit about Long’s chess playing and his singular business.
“He was a very smart man, you could tell that by talking to him,” Kindig said. “He was married for a while. I don’t know her name, but the sticker on her car said ‘Georgia Peach.’ And she had another sticker that said ‘I’m Bobby’s Girl.’
“Rob, that’s what we called him, was a good neighbor. He never made any noise or had wild parties, or anything like that. Sometimes we’d all stand out there in his front yard and talk about things, ordinary things. He was a good neighbor, a nice man.”
Gary made his first appearance Thursday in Scott County Court, facing first-degree charges of murder, robbery and burglary. He requested a court-appointed attorney and a preliminary hearing, set for 8:30 a.m., Jan. 13. A second preliminary hearing was scheduled for 10 a.m., Jan. 17.
Taking time to check out what was happening in the world of Chess found me surfin’ to the ChessBomb, where the Salamanca Chess Festival was on top of the list. The round seven games had been completed. The last game looked interesting because Yifan Hou, with the black pieces, had defeated none other than the man who accelerated the demise of the Royal game when he falsely accused Vladimir Kramnik of cheating, Vladimir Topalov. What made it so interesting is that word on the street had it that Topalov had been cheating in consort with his manager, Silvio Danilov. Topalov once held the title of FIDE world champion, a title with huge import ‘back in the day’. These daze there seems to be a plethora of so-called, “world champions.” What with age groups, each broken down into male and female, and other forms of the formerly Royal game, it would take a calculator to count all of them.
Now any Chess player other than Allen Priest would know it is imperative in this position to keep your queen on the board. The woman played, I kid you not…
41. Qxe5?? A Bomb RED MOVE, if ever there was one…
After taking the queen with 41…fxe5 black is soooooooooooo won.
Hou played 42 Kf1 and I wondered why. Then I noticed she only had eighteen seconds time remaining while her opponent still had over five minutes on his clock. Ponomariov (Did he, too, win some kind of Chess World Championship?), with all the time in the world to win a completely won position produced the move 42…h5?? BIG RED!
And we now have a completely drawn game that any Chess player, other than Allen Priest, could hold with a nano second on the clock.
I will admit it took me some time to learn the above game was a rapid game. Still…
Chess is rapidly (couldn’t help myself) changing, and not for the better. The above game is only a taste of the excrement being provided to the Chess fans of the world. Back in the day any form of speed Chess was considered an exhibition. We marveled when Bobby Fischer decimated the competition, “In April 1970, Bobby scored 19-3 (+17 -1 =4) to win the unofficial “Speed Chess Championship of the World,” which was held in Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia.” (https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/03/16/bobbys-blitz-chess/)
That was then and this is now and it is obvious speed kills. Yet, because of the Chess programs Chess has no choice other than to hold the time limit of a game to the human bladder. It is either that or having every player wear a diaper. What, you think I’m kidding? How do you think a NASCAR driver disposes of waste material during a four or five hour race? Needing petrol is not the only reason a driver looks forward to a pit stop.
Back in the day we would play around the clock on Saturday and return for another possibly ten hours, AND WE LIKED IT!
These daze it seems the Chess people in charge are moving toward rawhide Chess. As in “Head ’em up Move ’em out, Rawhide.”
As I was wondering why anyone in their right mind would watch Rawhide Chess the answer was provided today by GM Kevin Spraggett on his excellent blog, Spraggett on Chess:
“We have all noticed this phenomenon from Day#1 of our very first visit to the tournament hall. A densely packed crowd gathers about a board, and when you investigate you find that one of the players is about to lose.
The expectation is palpable in the spectators’ facial expressions. It does not matter if the players are masters or beginners: the coming ‘execution’ is worth the wait!
It is difficult to explain this phenomenon, I suppose it has to do with human nature. And probably also explains why more people are willing to watch a blitz game than a slow game. A blitz game allows for faster executions!” (http://www.spraggettonchess.com/todays-vintage-chess-humor-16/)
Reading this caused me to recall something former Georgia, and Georgia Senior, Chess Champion David Vest said to me around the turn of the century. “You only watch NASCAR to watch the wrecks.” The retort was, “You only watch the horses because they crash and burn on the track.” I was afraid of the Drifter sending me into the High Planes, but fortunately, he kept it together…
The review will begin with the bottom line. The book is a lovingly written, magnificent masterpiece. Anyone reading it will be richly rewarded in ways they may not even understand at the time of reading. This is most definitely not a book one reads and forgets. It is a book to savor.
I met Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson at the World Open in 2002 while assisting Thad Rogers in the book room after turning certain victory into defeat in the first round and after losing the next two games Thad needed help and the book room looked inviting. There was a discussion concerning his book, The Seven Deadly Chess Sins,
which had been read the previous year. Later I read Jonathan’s Chess For Zebras,
which was very entertaining, and while working at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center I advocated any and everyone purchase his excellent books. All I recall now about our conversation is that other books were discussed and when asked to name my favorite novel I answered immediately, “The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse.”
“Really?!” he said before continuing with a question, “Why?”
Why, indeed. I no longer remember how I answered, but do recall being taken aback, because most people with whom I have mentioned the novel have not even been aware of the book. I also recall Jonathan displaying actions which led me to believe he was about ready to leave, so the answer was truncated. In addition I recall Jonathan saying, after I answered his question, “Fascinating!”
GM Rowson tied for first at the 2002 World Open. Because of the pleasant memories of the chance encounter I will admit it is difficult for me to be completely objective. In addition, upon learning of the forthcoming publication of the book about to be reviewed I contacted the publishing company, informing them of the blog and the encounter with Jonathan, while informing them I would like to review the book. I had hoped to finish reading the book long before publication in order to review it ASAP, but life intervened. Another factor is that the book required much more thought than I had imagined, which is a very good thing. A quote from the book comes to mind: “You cannot think about thinking without thinking about thinking about something.” – cognitive scientist Martin Minsky. Therefore reading the book required much more time than I had imagined.
The book is full of wonderful quotes, which is a positive thing. Decades ago there was a show on public television, Thinking Allowed, hosted by Dr. Jeffery Mishlove.
After briefly perusing the book one long time National Master Chess player closed it before saying, “Where’s the meat?!” This meant GAMES. After explaining there were about two dozen games contained in the notes he exclaimed, “What kind of Chess book is that?!” This caused me to consider the question too long because he began talking before I could answer. I was never able to answer his question because, to his way of thinking, a Chess book with mostly words was most definitely NOT a Chess book. This has caused me to reflect upon what, exactly, is a Chess book. For example, consider Frank Brady’s book on Bobby Fischer, Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall – from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness.
Would it be considered a Chess book? Maybe what constitutes a “Chess book” is what is in the eye of the beholder…
The Moves That Matter is is a book about oh so much more than Chess. It is a book written by a man who devoted most of his early years, and maybe half of his life, to the Royal game, so therefore it does contain much Chess put into words, but, strictly speaking, it is not about Chess. It is about so much more than a mere game. The book is about life, and thinking about life. Although the reader will be entertained, it is not about entertaining per se. It is a “deep” book which will cause the reader to do some seriously deep thinking. That is to be expected since Dr. Jonathan Rowson is an applied philosopher. “The Society for Applied Philosophy was founded in 1982 with the aim of promoting philosophical work that has a direct bearing on areas of practical concern.” (https://www.appliedphil.org/)
In lieu of a review I have decided to write about the the ideas and questions contained in the book. Copious notes were taken while reading; twelve pages of college ruled note paper to be precise. What I will attempt to do is share some of the thoughts and questions in the book that caused me to question and think about those thoughts and questions.
The book contains eight chapters each broken down into another eight sub-headings. The format caused me to reflect upon one of my favorite books, The Eight,
by Katherine Neville.
Katherine Neville in 1985
A photograph of the author in San Francisco’s Marin Headlands, California, 1985.
In the first chapter, Thinking and Feeling, under sub-heading #5 Asking Pertinent Questions, one finds, “There are many different ways to frame the educational value of chess, but if I had to sum it up in one word, it would probably be: ‘questions’.
If I had three words it would be ‘questions about relationships’. As the writer Marinan Benjamin puts it, to ask a question is to invest in attentiveness, to declare a stake in the answer, and that is one of the many gifts of chess; you cease to be a passive recipient of information, and become an active learner – an intrinsically rewarding experience. Playing chess is about posing questions to the opponent, and answering the questions they pose you; the little questions are always nested inside bigger ones.”
We will move ahead to the last chapter, Life and Death, under sub-heading #64, Facing up to death. It is written, “The 2009 Acropolis Open in Greece was overshadowed by the death of a respected Greek player, Nikolaos Karapanos, who had a heart attack just before executing a winning move in his first-round game. His opponent, Israeli Grandmaster Dan Zoler, who happens to be a doctor, tried to revive him, but Karapanos stopped breathing before the ambulance arrived.
This story indicates just how stress-inducing chess can be, but the deeper point is that we never know when our time will come. All the major spiritual traditions speak about the importance of being ready for the unthinkable, and the importance of being ready for the unthinkable, and the importance of dying at peace, without undue regret.
It seems profane to point out that Zoler resigned the game, but he also withdrew from the event, stating that he no longer felt like playing chess in the circumstances. You can hardly blame him. Chess sometimes seems singularly charming and vitally important, but a brief reflection on our mortality has to lead to some searching questions. Is this it? Pushing these pieces around? Is this what I am supposed to be doing?”
Nikolaos Karapanos vs Dan Zoler
24th ICT Acropolis (2009), Chalkida, Greece, rd 1, Aug-10
Catalan Opening: General (E00)