Paco Versus Sam The Sham Shankland In Prague

In the fifth round of the Masters section of the Prague Chess Festival American GM Sam Shankland

sat behind the black pieces facing Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo Pons.

The previous day had been an off day in the tournament so it would be natural to expect both players were tanned, rested, and ready for battle.

Francisco Vallejo Pons 2703 1:12:56 vs Sam Shankland 2718 (USA) 1:19:06
Prague Chess Festival | Masters
Round 5
ECO: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 10. Nh4 Bd7 11. Nf3 Bf5 12. Nh4 Bd7 13. Nf3 Bf5 1/2-1/2!prague-chess-chp-masters-2022/748137683

I have included the time given by The players were at the board maybe half an hour, if that… Wondering what may have happened if either player had a backbone, I put the opening moves into the analysis program at and this was the result:

1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 10. Nh4 Bd7 11. Nf3 Rb8 12. Re1 Re8 13. Be3 exd4 14. cxd4 Qf6 15. c4 Bb4 16. Rf1 b6 17. Rc1 h6 18. d5 Na5 19. Bd4 Qf5 20. c5 Bb5 21. Nh4 Qh7 22. d6 cxd6 23. cxb6 axb6 24. Rc7 Bxf1 25. Bxf1 Qe4 26. Bxg7 Kxg7 27. Qh5 Qe6 28. Nf5+ Kf8 29. Rxf7+ Qxf7 30. Qxh6+ Kg8 31. Qg5+ Kf8…

Sam Shankland is a member of the United States Olympic team. Hikaru Nakamura

is about to participate in the Candidates tournament, which is held to determine a challenger for the title of World Chess Champion, and he is NOT a part of the Olympic team. Am I missing something here? Makes on wonder, does it not?

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 (The Glek variation, named for GM Igor Glek. The programs prefer 4 d4. The programs do not approve of first moving a pawn before moving the bishop, but we humans ask, “Where’s the fun in that?”) 4…d5 (Both Stockfish 14.1 and 15 play 4…Bc5) 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 (SF 311221 @depth 56 prefers 7…Bc5; SF 14 @depth 50 will play 7…h6. The ChessBaseDataBase contains 362 games with 7…Bc5 and white has been held to scoring only 52%. In 251 games 7…Bd6 has allowed 56%. 7…h6 has yet to be played) 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 (SF 12 plays 9…Re8)1.

Rauf Mamedov (2709) vs Francisco Vallejo Pons (2707)
Event: World Blitz 2017
Site: Riyadh KSA Date: 12/30/2017
Round: 16.18 Score: 1-0
ECO: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.O-O O-O 9.Re1 Re8 10.d3 Bg4 11.h3 Bh5 12.Rb1 Rb8 13.g4 Bg6 14.Ng5 h6 15.Ne4 Qd7 16.Qf3 f5 17.gxf5 Bxf5 18.Qg3 Kh8 19.Qh4 Rf8 20.Ng3 Bh7 21.Qa4 Bc5 22.Be3 Bb6 23.Qg4 Qf7 24.Be4 Bxe3 25.fxe3 Qf2+ 26.Kh1 Bxe4+ 27.Nxe4 Qxc2 28.Rg1 Rf7 29.Rbf1 Re7 30.Qh4 Qxd3 31.Rf6 Qd5 32.Rxh6+ gxh6 33.Qxh6+ 1-0

Julio Playing Chess Down By The Gulf Coast

Pedro Hernandez Perez (2176) vs GM Julio Becerra Rivero (2491)
7th Gulf Coast New Year 2022
C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Bc5 4. Bg2 d6 5. h3 a6 6. Nge2 Nc6 7. d3 h6 8. O-O Be6 9. Nd5 Bxd5 10. exd5 Ne7 11. d4 exd4 12. Nxd4 O-O 13. c4 Re8 14. Be3 Qd7 15. Qc2 Ng6 16. a3 a5 17. Rab1 a4 18. b4 axb3 19. Rxb3 b6 20. Ra1 Ra4 21. Nf5 Re5 22. Nd4 Re8 23. Ne6 Bxe3 24. Rxe3 Ne5 25. Nf4 Rxc4 26. Qb3 Qa4 27. Qxa4 Rxa4 28. Rc3 g5 29. Nd3 Nxd3 30. Rxd3 Rc4 31. Bf3 h5 32. a4 Rc5 33. Rda3 Ra8 34. Rd1 Kf8 35. Rd4 Re8 36. Kf1 Rc1+ 37. Rd1 Rc5 38. Rd4 Kg7 39. Be2 Re5 40. Rad3 Rexd5 41. Rxd5 Rxd5 42. Ke1 0-1!7th-gulf-coast-new-year-2022/-257325680
Black to move
  1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 (I should not have to inform you the programs all frown on the move g3 because it requires two moves to develop the Bishop in lieu of the one move it takes to place the prelate on a square like c4. When growing older I gravitated toward, shall we say, more “positional” type openings, and the Vienna was one of them. In addition, the Sicilian that had been “open” became “closed.” Here’s the deal…The move preferred by the programs, 3 Nf3 has scored 56% in the 3809 games in the Chessbase Database; in 1803 games the move 3 g3 has scored 55%) 3…Bc5 4 Bg2 d6 (Deep Fritz 13 @depth 35 plays this move, but StockFish 041221 @depth 52 and StockFish 151121 @depth 65 both castle) 5. h3 (Deep Fritz 13 @depth 31 plays the most often played move, 5 Nge2, which has scored at a high rate of 70%. Left crunching a little longer it changes its whatever to 5 Nf3 @depth 33. Stockfish 14 @depth 42 plays 5 Na4, moving the steed to the rim where it may be grim, but it also attacks the Bishop. In only ten games 5 h3 has also scored 70%) 5…a6 (Houdini @depth 25 plays the move played in the game; there are five examples contained in the CBDB. Komodo @depth 30 castles. There is only one example of 5…0-0. Stockfish 14 @depth 45 plays 5…Nc6, and so should you because it has scored 56% in the 16 games found in the CBDB) 6. Nge2 Nc6 7. d3 (Komodo prefers this move, the most often played move by far in 89 games, and it has scored 63% in battle. The next most frequently played move with 40 games showing, 7 0-0, has only scored 50%. Nevertheless, Stockfish 14 castles…) 7…h6 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 38 plays 7…Be6) 8. O-O Be6 (Deep Fritz 13 castles, but Stockfish 13 @depth 36 would spring the Theoretical Novelty 8…b5 on the Chess world. The game move has been most frequently played) 9. Nd5 (Although the most often played move, given the chance Stockfish will play 9 Kh2) 9…Bxd5 10. exd5 Ne7 (This is the only move found at the CBDB, but Houdini and two different Stockfish programs would play 10…Nd4, and so should you…) 11. d4 exd4 12. Nxd4 O-O 13. c4 Re8 (This is a TN. The only move seen in the position is 13…Qd7, which happens to be the choice of Stockfish 14 and Komodo)

Yakubboev vs Eljanov: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation

GM Nodirbek Yakubboev 2621(UZB)

vs GM Pavel Eljanov 2691(UKR)

Photo: ECC/David Llada

FIDE Grand Swiss 2021 round 05
C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation

1.e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Bc5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. d3 d6 6. Na4

Black to move

6…Bb6 7. Ne2 Ba5+ 8. Nac3 Bg4 9. O-O Qd7 10. Bg5 Bxc3 11. bxc3 Ng8 12. f3 Bh3 13. c4 Bxg2 14. Kxg2 h6 15. Be3 Nge7 16. f4 f5 17. Nc3 O-O 18. Qd2 fxe4 19. Nxe4 Nf5 20. Rae1 b6 21. Nc3 Rae8 22. Nd5 Nce7 23. fxe5 Nxd5 24. cxd5 dxe5 25. c4 c6 26. dxc6 Qxc6+ 27. Kg1 e4 28. Rf4 exd3 29. Qxd3 Nxe3 30. Rxe3 Qc5 31. Re4 Rxe4 32. Qxe4 Rc8 33. Qd5+ Qxd5 34. cxd5 Rc1+ 35. Kf2 Rd1 36. Re7 a5 37. Rd7 Rd2+ 38. Ke3 Rxa2 39. Rb7 Kf8 40. Rxb6 Rxh2 41. Ke4 ½-½

1.e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Bc5 4. Bg2 Nc6 (SF castles) 5. d3 (There are 771 games in the ChessBasseDataBase in which the move 5 Nf3 has been played and it has scored 55%; There are 268 games in which 5 Nge2 has been played and it has scored 60%, and it is the choice of SF 9 @depth 43…but SF 13, going deeper to depth 53 would play 5 d3. In the 182 games played in which the modest move of the Queen’s pawn was played it has scored only 53%. Then there is Komodo 14 @depth 64 which would play 5 Na4. There are only 5 games in which the Dragon’s move has been played) 5…d6 (SF 260221 @depth 60 castles. There are 18 games in which Black has castled and White has scored 64% in those games. There are 81 games in which 5…a6 has been played, with White scoring 57%. Fritz prefers 5…d6 and in 80 games it has scored only 47% for White. SF 170921 plays 5…a5. There are 3 games in which that salvo has been fired…) 6. Na4 Bb6 (SF plays 6…Bg4, and so should you) 7. Ne2 (7 Nxb6 has been almost invariably played until now. SF & Komodo both prefer the move played in the game) 7…Ba5+ (The choice of Stockfish. The following game, found only at the ChessBaseDataBase, appears to be the game in which the move was played)

IM Milan Mrdja 2296 CRO vs FM Matej Blazeka 2329 CRO
Zagreb Damjanovic Memorial 2nd 2018

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 Bc5 5.d3 d6 6.Na4 Bb6 7.Ne2 Ba5+ 8.c3 b5 9.b4 Bxb4 10.cxb4 bxa4 11.Qxa4 Bd7 12.b5 Ne7 13.Qc4 a6 14.bxa6 Qc8 15.d4 Nc6 16.d5 Na5 17.Qd3 Qxa6 18.Qxa6 Rxa6 19.Rb1 Ke7 20.Nc3 Raa8 21.O-O Rhb8 22.Rxb8 Rxb8 23.Re1 Nc4 24.Bf1 Nb6 25.f3 Na4 26.Re3 Nc5 27.Re2 Nd3 28.Be3 Be8 29.Rd2 Nc5 30.Rc2 Rb4 31.Kf2 c6 32.Rd2 cxd5 33.Nxd5+ Nxd5 34.Rxd5 Na4 35.Rd2 Bb5 36.Bh3 Nc3 37.Ba7 Ba4 38.Bf1 Rb7 39.Be3 Nd1+ 40.Ke2 Rb1 0-1

IM Dmitry Sumaneev 2450 RUS vs WIM Fiona Steil Antoni 2129 LUX
Titled Tuesday intern op 02nd Mar 3021

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Bc5 5.Nge2 d6 6.Na4 Bb6 7.d3 Be6 8.O-O Qd7 9.Nxb6 axb6 10.c4 Bh3 11.Nc3 h5 12.Bg5 Nd4 13.f3 c6 14.Be3 h4 15.g4 Nxg4 16.Bxh3 Nxe3 17.Bxd7+ Kxd7 18.Qd2 Nxf1 19.Rxf1 Rh6 20.Qf2 h3 21.Kh1 Rf6 22.Qg3 Rh8 23.Qxg7 Rhh6 24.Qg4+ Ke7 25.f4 Rfg6 26.Qd1 Rg2 27.Rg1 Rhg6 28.Rxg2 Rxg2 29.fxe5 dxe5 30.a3 f5 31.exf5 Kf6 32.Ne4+ Kxf5 33.Ng3+ Kf4 34.Nf1 Nf3 35.Ng3 Rxh2# 0-1