The Berserk g-Pawn Attack

It is a problem most Chess players have faced, the early attack of the g-pawn. Although frowned on by theory one can see this type of move played in the lower sections of tournaments. It is rare to see it played in the higher levels of Chess. This is not the kind of thing most players spend time studying so it was shocking to see a Grandmaster with an opportunity to ‘punish’ his impudent opponent, as was the case in the final round of the recently concluded Portuguese Team Championship.

GM Kevin Spraggett (2523)

vs GM David Larino Nieto (2438)


GM David Larino Nieto (ESP) receiving the first prize and the organizer Mr Tarik Ourouadi | Photo: cosmopolitana.blog

1 c4 e6 2 Nf3 g5?!?

3 d4 (Komodo and Stockfish at the CBDB prefer this move, but 3 h3 is given by SF at ChessBomb. GM Nieto faced 3 h3 earlier this year:

Romain Edouard (2613) vs David Larino Nieto (2464)

Gibraltar Masters 2018 01/24/2018

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. h3 d6 4. d4 h6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Nc3 Ne7 7. Bd3 Nd7 8. Be3 b6 9. Qe2 Bb7 10. O-O-O a6 11. h4 g4 12. Nd2 h5 13. f3 c5 14. Nb3 cxd4 15. Bxd4 Bxd4 16. Nxd4 Ng6 17. Qe3 Nxh4 18. Nf5 exf5 19. exf5+ Ne5 20. Be4 Nxg2 21. Qd2 Nxf3 22. Qxg2 Qg5+ 23. Kb1 Bxe4+ 24. Nxe4 Qxf5 25. Qc2 Kf8 26. Rd5 Qf4 27. Nxd6 Rd8 28. Rhd1 Rh6 29. Nf5 Re8 30. Qc3 Rh7 31. Ka1 Ne5 32. Qb4+ Kg8 33. Qe7 Qxf5 34. Qxe8+ Kg7 35. Rxe5 Qf4 36. Re4 Qf6 37. Ree1 g3 38. Qe3 h4 39. Rf1 1-0)

3…h6 (In for a penny, in for a pound. Black should “bring it on” with 3…g4 if he is going to move his g-pawn this early in the game. SF and Houdini concur)

4 Nc3 (Since black did not move his advanced g-pawn forward again, I wonder if the white general should play 4 g4!?) 4…Bg7 5 h3 (This is a TN. Komodo would play 5 g4, which would be a Theoretical Novelty. Stockfish would play 5 e4, which was played in a rapid game between Bu and Lu:

Xiangzhi Bu (2698) vs Shanglei Lu (2616)

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. h3 Bg7 4. d4 h6 5. e4 Ne7 6. Nc3 d6 7. Be2 Nd7 8. O-O Ng6 9. Re1 b6 10. Be3 Bb7 11. Qc2 Qe7 12. Nb5 Nf6 13. e5 dxe5 14. Nxe5 Nh4 15. d5 O-O 16. Nf3 Nf5 17. Bd2 c6 18. dxe6 fxe6 19. Bd3 cxb5 20. Bxf5 Bxf3 21. Bxe6+ Kh8 22. Bd5 Be4 23. Bxe4 Nxe4 24. Rxe4 Qf7 25. Bc3 bxc4 26. Rxc4 Rad8 27. Rc6 1-0)

5…d6 (Both the Fish and Dragon would play a TN here with 5…Ne7) 6 g4 (Komodo plays 6 e3) 6…Nc6 (The Dragon plays 6…f5!?, which has yet to be played in practice) 7 e3 (The CBDB shows Houdini playing 7 h4, followed by black playing 7…h5!?) 7…e5 (Komodo plays 7…Bd7)

Here is the full game, which was quite interesting. The game remained about even until the Senior player let go of the rope with one hand on move 39, then let go with the other when playing 48 Qd2. These things happen frequently to players with a touch of grey.

1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 g5 3. d4 h6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. h3 d6 6. g4 Nc6 7. e3 f5 8. Rg1 fxg4 9. hxg4 Nge7 10. Be2 O-O 11. Bd2 Bd7 12. a3 Be8 13. Qb3 Bg6 14. Rg3 Qd7 15. Kf1 Rf7 16. Kg1 Raf8 17. Rf1 b6 18. Qd1 Nb8 19. b4 c5 20. bxc5 bxc5 21. dxc5 dxc5 22. Na4 Qc7 23. Bc3 e5 24. Nd2 Nd7 25. Rh3 Nf6 26. Rg3 Ne4 27. Nxe4 Bxe4 28. Ba1 Ba8 29. Nc3 e4 30. Rh3 Rd8 31. Qc2 Qc6 32. Nd5 Bxa1 33. Rxa1 Qe6 34. Rf1 Rc8 35. Nxe7+ Rxe7 36. Qc3 Rf8 37. Rh2 Rd7 38. Rb1 Kh7 39. a4 Bc6 40. a5 Rfd8 41. Kg2 Rf7 42. Kg1 Kg8 43. a6 Rfd7 44. Kg2 Rf8 45. Kg1 Rd6 46. Rb2 Bd7 47. Rb7 Rxa6 48. Qd2 Ra1+ 49. Kg2 Qf6 50. Bd1 Bc6 51. Rc7 Rb1 0-1

The game can be found at ChessBomb. (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-portuguese-team-championship/09-Kevin_Barry_Spraggett-Larino_Nieto_David)

Stamatis Kourkoulos Arditis (2343) vs Himal Gusain (2461)

10th Paleochora Open 2017
Paleochora GRE 07/26/2017

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. d4 g4 4. Ne5 h5 5. h3 d6 6. Nd3 Bg7 7. e3 e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Be2 gxh3 10. gxh3 Nc6 11. Nc3 Bf5 12. e4 Bg6 13. Be3 Nd4 14. Qa4+ c6 15. O-O-O Ne7 16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17. Bxd4 Bxd4 18. c5 Nf5 19. exf5 Qg5+ 20. f4 Qxf4+ 21. Rd2 O-O-O 22. fxg6 Be3 23. Qxf4 Bxf4 24. Ne4 Bxd2+ 25. Nxd2 fxg6 26. Rg1 Rhe8 27. Bd1 Re5 28. b4 Re3 29. Bc2 Rd4 30. Bxg6 Rxb4 31. Bf5+ Kd8 32. Nb3 a5 33. Rg8+ Ke7 34. Nxa5 Kf6 35. Rf8+ Kg5 36. Bc8 Rc3+ 37. Kd2 Rxc5 38. Nxb7 Rd5+ 39. Ke3 Ra4 40. Nd8 Ra3+ 41. Ke4 Ra4+ 42. Ke3 Ra3+ 43. Ke4 Ra4+ 1/2-1/2

S.P. Sethuraman (2640) vs David Anton Guijarro(2634)
World Rapid 2015
Berlin 10/11/2015

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. d4 g4 4. Ne5 h5 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. e3 c5 7. Nd3 cxd4 8. exd4 Bxd4 9. Nb5 Nc6 10. Be2 d6 11. Qa4 Kf8 12. Qa3 Kg7 13. Nxd6 Nf6 14. Be3 Ne8 15. Nb5 Bxe3 16. fxe3 Qg5 17. Nf4 a6 18. O-O Qe5 19. Rad1 Rb8 20. Nd4 Nf6 21. Kh1 Bd7 22. Qc3 Rbd8 23. Nd3 Qg5 24. Nc5 e5 25. Ndb3 Bf5 26. Nxb7 Rxd1 27. Bxd1 Ne4 28. Qe1 h4 29. N3c5 Ng3+ 30. Kg1 Nxf1 31. Kxf1 Bg6 32. Qd2 Nd4 33. Ke1 g3 34. h3 Nf5 35. e4 Ne3 36. Bf3 Qf4 37. Nd6 Rd8 38. Ncb7 Rb8 39. c5 Rxb7 40. Nxb7 Bxe4 41. Bxe4 Qf1# 0-1

Francisco Jose Jimenez Villena (2239) vs Francisco Javier Garcia Jimenez (2159)
Alicante op 5th 2001

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. e4 Bg7 4. d4 h6 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. Be3 d5 7. Qb3 dxe4 8. Nxe4 f5 9. Ng3 f4 10. Nh5 O-O 11. Bd2 Bh8 12. Be2 Nf5 13. Bc3 g4 14. Ne5 Nxd4 15. Bxd4 Qxd4 16. Nxg4 Qxb2 17. Nxh6+ Kh7 18. Qd3+ Kxh6 19. O-O Qc3 20. Qe4 Qd4 21. Qc2 f3 22. Bxf3 Rxf3 23. gxf3 Qh4 0-1

Since this is the earliest game found, maybe the opening after 2…g5 should be called the “Jimenez” opening?

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2018 Women’s World Championship Game Five

GM Kevin Spraggett had this to say concerning the lack of interest in the Women’s World Championship match recently concluded:

“Witness the Women’s World Championship being played this week. Does MSM report on it? No way!” (http://www.spraggettonchess.com/friday-coffee-chess-and-potpourri/. See also, https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/kevin-spraggetts-whipping-post/)

The fact is that the two women who played the match for the women’s crown are at least one category lower than Hou Yifan, undoubtedly the strongest woman Chess player on the planet. I was completely unfamiliar with Zhongyi Tan. It is extremely difficult to have interest in such a meaningless so-called “title match.” Still, having been an exponent of the venerable Bishop’s opening, there was interest in the one game played using the opening.

Zhongyi Tan (CHN) 2522

vs Wenjun Ju (CHN) 2571

FIDE Women’s World Championship 2018 round 05

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 a5 6. a4 Bb4+ 7. c3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. exd5 cxd5 10. Na3 Nbd7 11. Re1 h6 12. Nb5 Bb8 13. d4 e4 14. Nd2 Nb6 15. f3 Re8 16. Bc2 Bd7 17. Rb1 exf3 18. Nxf3 Ne4 19. Ne5 Bxe5 20. dxe5 Bxb5 21. axb5 Rxe5 22. Be3 Re6 23. Bd4 Nc4 24. Bd3 Qg5 25. b3 Ncd6 26. Rb2 Rae8 27. Rbe2 Nf5 28. Bc2 Nh4 29. Qd3 Ng6 30. Be3 Qh5 31. c4 Ne5 32. Qd4 Rg6 33. Bxe4 dxe4 34. Kf1 Nf3 35. Qd7 Nxh2+ 0-1

C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 (The CBDB shows this move, “The truth as it was known in those long ago days,” scoring 56%, higher than any other second move!) Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 a5 (This move has gained in popularity because Komodo has it best. Next is 5…Bb4+. The move Houey considers best, 5…Bd6, has been the most often played move, and is the only move I encountered) 6. a4 Bb4+ (This gives the white general a pleasant choice of the game move, or 7 Bd2)

7. c3 Bd6 8. O-O (All three Stockfish programs at the CBDB show 8 exd5 best, and the SF program used by ChessBomb prefers taking the pawn. The idea is to play, after 8 exd5 cxd5, 9 Bg5, a move preferred by GM Bent Larsen in the B.O.)

8…O-O ( Both the Fish and Dragon play 8…dxe4 which has not been tested in top level play)

9. exd5 (The choice of SF & Houdini, this move is a TN) cxd5

10. Na3 (The beginning of Tan’s troubles. 10. Bg5 Be6 then 11. Na3 h6 12. Bh4 Nc6 13. Nb5 Bb8 14. Re1 b6 15. Bg3 Nd7 16. h3 Kh7 17. h4 f6, a plausible line given by SF)

Nbd7 (10… h6 to prevent Bg5. Stockfish at ChessBomb gives this line, culminating in a possible perpetual 11. Nb5 Nc6 12. Be3 Bb8 13. h3 Re8 14. Bc5 Bf5 15. Be3 Be6 16. Bc5 Bf5)

11. Re1 (11. Bg5 h6 12. Bh4 Bb8 13. Re1 Re8 14. Nb5 g5 15. Bg3 b6 16. Bc2 Bb7 17. Nd2 Nf8 18. h3 Ng6 would leave white with a small advantage) 11…h6 (The game is even) 12. Nb5 Bb8

13. d4? (This move hands the advantage to black. I have previously mentioned on this blog the difficulties encountered in my early days learning the game with the transition from the opening to the middle-game centered around move 13. Notice in the line given by SF below the move d4 is played a couple of moves later. I set up a board when going over the game before checking with the program analysis, spending a considerable amount of time looking at the position before 13 d4? was played. Three moves stood out; 13 Be3; 13 h3; and 13 Qe2. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will not be surprised by the latter move. Thing is, I was uncertain in what order the moves should be played. The Fish shows them in this order: 13 Be3; 13 h3; and 13 Qe2. SF shows this line after 13 Qe2 b6 14. Be3 Re8 15. h3, with the three moves all being played. The best line, according to SF, is 13. Be3 Re8 14. h3 b6 15. d4 e4 16. Nd2 Bb7 17. c4 Qe7 18. Nc3 dxc4 19. Nxc4 Nd5 20. Nxd5 Bxd5 21. Bd2)

e4 14. Nd2 Nb6

15. f3? (Yet another weak move in the opening. Look at the position…white has only a rook on the king side defending the king. Although black has only a knight more on the king side, the queen and both bishops are poised to move to the open king side in the beat of a heart. Something will have to be done about the pawn dagger on e4, but white is undeveloped, with the knight on d2 clogging up the white position. 15. Nf1 is much better)

Re8 16. Bc2 Bd7 (16… Bf5)

17. Rb1? (17. Re2) exf3? (17… Nc8 is much better) 18. Nxf3 Ne4 (18… Bg4 is possible) 19. Ne5 (Although SF shows 19. Bd3 as best, after 19…f5 black is for choice) 19…Bxe5 (19… Bxb5 first, then after 20. axb5, play Bxe5)
20. dxe5 Bxb5 21. axb5 Rxe5 22. Be3 Re6 23. Bd4 (23. Qd4) Nc4 24. Bd3 Qg5 (24… Qh4 25. Re2) 25. b3 Ncd6 26. Rb2 (Why not an attacking move like 26. Be3) Rae8 27. Rbe2 Nf5 (Look at the position. Every black piece is on the king side menacing the white king, while the white queen and both bishops are on the queenside. White will not last long…)

28. Bc2 Nh4 29. Qd3 Ng6 (29… f5!) 30. Be3 (30. Qf3 is the only chance) Qh5 31. c4? (Turn out the lights, the party’s over…31. Qd4 or 31 Bd1 should have been played) Ne5 32. Qd4 Rg6 33. Bxe4 dxe4 34. Kf1 Nf3 35. Qd7 Nxh2+ 0-1

Quite frankly, this was pitifully weak opening play by Tan. Her understanding of the venerable Bishop’s opening was sorely lacking.

Vadim Zvjaginsev (2661) vs Manuel Petrosyan (2546)

18th ch-EUR Indiv 2017
Minsk 05/31/2017
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 a5 6. a4 Bb4+ 7. c3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 dxe4 10. dxe4 Na6 11. Bc2 Nc5 12. Na3 Qe7 13. Nc4 Bc7 14. b3 Rd8 15. Qe2 b6 16. Ba3 Ba6 17. Rad1 Nfd7 18. b4 Qe6 19. bxc5 Bxc4 20. Qe3 h6 21. Nd2 1/2-1/2

Na3 did not turn out well in the next game…

Vladimir Onischuk (2608) vs Alexander Motylev (2665)

18th ch-EUR Indiv 2017
Minsk 06/07/2017
ECO: C24 Bishop’s opening, Berlin defence

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 a5 6. a4 Bb4+ 7. c3 Bd6 8. exd5 cxd5 9. Na3 Nc6 10. Nb5 Bb8 11. Bg5 Be6 12. O-O h6 13. Bh4 O-O 14. Re1 g5 15. Bg3 Bg4 16. Qd2 Bxf3 17. gxf3 Qd7 18. Kg2 Qf5 19. h4 Ne7 20. hxg5 hxg5 21. Rh1 Ng6 22. Rae1 Rd8 23. c4 d4 24. c5 Ra6 25. Bc4 Nd5 26. Bxd5 Rxd5 27. Rh5 Rf6 28. Qe2 Rxc5 29. Reh1 Rc8 30. Na3 Rc5 31. Nc4 Bc7 32. b3 Kg7 33. R1h3 Bd6 34. Rh2 Bc7 35. Rh1 Bd6 36. Rh7+ Kf8 37. R7h5 Kg7 38. Qd1 Bc7 39. Rh7+ Kf8 40. R7h3 Rcc6 41. Rh5 Ke7 42. Qe2 Ke6 43. Re1 Rc5 44. Qd1 Kd7 45. Re4 Ne7 46. Rg4 Rg6 47. Qe2 Nc6 48. Rh8 Qe6 49. Rh7 Kc8 50. Rh8+ Kd7 51. Rh7 Rg8 52. Nd2 Rc2 53. Rh5 Bd8 54. Qd1 Rxd2 55. Qxd2 Qg6 56. b4 Qxh5 57. b5 f5 58. bxc6+ bxc6 59. Rxd4+ exd4 60. Qb2 f4 61. Qxd4+ Kc8 0-1

A. Patel (2410) v Jennifer Yu (2279)

2017 North American Ch U20

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 a5 6. a4 Bb4+ 7. c3 Bd6 8. exd5 cxd5 9. O-O O-O 10. Bg5 Be6 11. Na3 Nbd7 12. Nb5 Bb8 13. Re1 Ra6 14. d4 e4 15. Nd2 h6 16. Bh4 g5 17. Bg3 Ng4 18. c4 dxc4 19. Nxc4 f5 20. Ncd6 Qf6 21. Bxe6+ Qxe6 22. d5 Qf6 23. Nxe4 Qxb2 24. d6 Qg7 25. h3 fxe4 26. hxg4 Re8 27. Rb1 Qf7 28. Qd4 Nf6 29. Rbd1 Rd8 30. f3 exf3 31. Rf1 Ne8 32. Rxf3 Qa2 33. Ra1 Qe6 34. Re1 Qa2 35. d7 Nd6 36. Bxd6 1-0

Is Nakamura Over The Hill?

This was the most “colorful” game of the seventh round. “Colorful” because half of the first the first fourteen moves shown at ChessBomb were “colorful,” which is NOT a good thing, at least for the players involved playing the game. “Colorful” moves will be shown in bold.

Zviad Izoria (2599)

v Hikaru Nakamura (2787)

1. Nf3 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. d4 d6 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Qe2! (Look no further to ascertain the seeds of defeat. Seriously, all programs show this as the best move in the posiion) 5…O-O 6. O-O Nc6 (Although 6…Bg4 has been the most often played move, Komodo and Stockfish play 6…c6) 7. e5

Ng4? (The Fish and the Dragon both show 7…Nh5 as the best move, with 7…Ne8 as a strong second. 7…Nd7 and 7…dxe5 are lesser moves. Nakamura’s poor move does not rate and is not even shown at the ChessBase DataBase! Only one game with 7…Nh5 is shown at 365Chess.com: Nh5 8. h3 dxe5 9. dxe5 Nd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd4 11. e6 Bxe6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Qxe6+ Rf7 1/2-1/2, Theodor Ghitescu v Dragoljub Minic, Reggio Emilia 1968, B06 Robatsch (modern) defence. When Minic played the move favored by the clancking digital monsters I had only “played” and I use the word loosely, a few games of Chess, and it would be another couple of years before playing in my first USCF rated tournament, which, as it turned out, was not rated because the organizer absconded with the funds!)

8. h3 Nh6 (For 8…d5 see Pioch v Drozd below)

9. Nc3? (For 9 a4 see Wilger v Graelken below. The Fish shows 9 Rd1 as the best move, followed by, in order, 9 Re1; c3; and Nbd2. The move is more than a little questionable because the knight does not belong on c3).

9…Kh8? What kind of “Dilly Dally” move is this? What has happened to Naka? In this tournament he is producing all kinda dreadful moves. It is almost as if one is watching a player age before our eyes…9…Nf5 was what I was expecting, and it turns out to be the best move. Naka’s move does not even rate. SF shows that if 9…Nf5 had been played white would have a small advantage of about a quarter of a pawn. Naka’s ill chose move puts him down a pawn and a quarter.)

10. Rd1 a6 11. a3 b5 12. Bd5 Bb7

13. Bf4? (After a series of reasonable moves white shows atavism. 13 Qe4, or first 13 Bxh6 Bxh6 followed by Qe4 is much better)

13…Qc8? (13…e6 is best) 14. Be4? (14 Qe4!) 14…Rb8? (14…f6 or dxe5)

I can take it no longer…the damage has been done. Frankly, the opening of this game reminds me of some of the games played by triple-digit neophytes in grammar school I had to go over when teaching Chess. Some of those younger players could have produced better moves than the Grandmasters in this opening…

There followed:

15. Re1 dxe5 16. dxe5 Nd8 17. Rad1 Ne6 18. Bc1 Ng8 19. Bxb7 Rxb7 20. Qe4 c5 21. Nd5 c4 22. Ng5 Nxg5 23. Bxg5 Qf5 24. Nc3 Rfb8 25. Bc1 a5 26. g4 Qc8 27. Qf3 e6 28. Bf4 Ne7 29. Ne4 Rc7 30. Bg3 Qf8 31. Nf6 Rbc8 32. Rd6 g5 33. Nd7 Qe8 34. Nf6 Qf8 35.
Red1 h6 36. Nd7 Qe8 37. Nf6 Bxf6 38. exf6 Ng6 39. Qe4 c3 40. b3 a4 41. bxa4 bxa4 42. Ra6 e5 43. Qxa4 Qxa4 44. Rxa4 Rc6 45. Ra5 Re8 46. Rdd5 Rxf6 47. Rxe5 Nxe5 48. Bxe5 Rxe5 49. Rxe5 Ra6 50. Rc5 Rxa3 51. Kf1 Kg7 52. Ke2 Kf6 53. Kd3 Ra6 54. Rxc3 Ke6 55. Ke4 Ra4+ 56. Ke3 f6

57. f3? (And there goes the advantage. 57 Kd3; Ke2; Kd2; and even Rc6+ are much better options. Naka is back in the game, then he plays a Trump-like, LOSER move)

57 Ra1? (Pitiful…even I saw 57…h5…) 58. f4 gxf4+ 59. Kxf4 Ra4+ 60. Kg3 Kf7 61. Rc5 Ra3+ 62. c3 Ra1 63. Kf4 Rh1 64. Kg3 Rg1+ 65. Kf2 Rh1 66. Kg2 Rc1 67. h4 Ke6 68. h5 Kd6 69. Rf5 Ke6 70. Rf3 Ke5 71. Kf2 Rc2+ 72. Kg3 Ke6 73. Kf4 Kf7 74. Ke4 Rd2 75. c4 Ke6 76. Rc3 Rg2 77. Kf3 Rg1 78. c5 Kd7 79. c6+ Kc7 80. Kf4 Rf1+ 81. Ke4 Rf2 82. Rf3 Re2+ 83. Kf5 Re5+ 84. Kxf6 Rg5 85. Kf7 Rxg4 86. Rf6 Rg5 87. Rxh6 Rc5 88. Rh8 Rxc6 89. Kg7 Rc1 90. h6 Rg1+ 91. Kh7 Kd7 92. Rg8 Re1 1-0

There is some really bad Chess being played at the US Chess Championship this year. What do Chess fans think? Excerpts from the chat box at the Chess Bomb follow:

Sasori: can naka finally win a game?
Horse: seems he lacks the interest

jphamlore: Just win a game, Nakamura.

azertyloulou: still no win for 2787 elo nakamura. he should study real chess and quit playing bullet chess online

jphamlore: Nakamura’s problem isn’t that he plays bullet imo. It’s that he has never had a solid opening repertoire he can hang his hat on when has to draw.
jphamlore: He’s lost 3 straight times in World Cup for example as Black to the first player from the former Soviet Union who has any game.
Execute: Naka only has that 2100 guy as assistant….
jphamlore: @Execute: Yes I am totally baffled by that. It’s just ridiculous.
jphamlore: I’m not sure there is a single player over 2400 Nakamura can bounce ideas off of.
Execute: I think he earns enough to afford a better second
Execute: He wins his games largely on talent, but it won’t be enough.
sakredkow: Trust Naka.

Archimedes: naka so boring this tournament
Archimedes: not doing a damn thing
Archimedes: is naka over the hill at this point?
TurnovdeCompeval: reddish shades of grey this game
TurnovdeCompeval: sf interpretation of naka provoking for mistakes
ChessExpress1: needs more red bull
ChipPan: he’s already full of bull
ChessExpress1: true
Execute: Izoria’s time is ticking away….might blunder
Execute: We are still at move 12
attm: Izoria could win all big 3 in this tournament?
Execute: By trying not to get provoked, White may end up being worse. Psychology…
congrandolor: oh, so much red is hurting my eyes
ChipPan: Amazing. no pawns exchanged and the engine assessment is 1.5. Obviously not home preparation.
Wizboy: i think we said goodbye to prep with Ng4
attm: Naka sucks…

IronLion: naka plays like he is already in retirement

patzerforlife: Naka in decline since reaching the big three oh.

physica: he looks very angry
shtighnits: Angry about himself?
physica: and no handshake
shtighnits: Rude.
physica: naka the drama queen

koutsalogo: really? flagged in dead lost position and no handshake?!?

koutsalogo: what an ugly way to end such an embarrassing game

jdm: Replayed the video. Naka did shake hands. The shake was just blocked by the arbiter, but you

azertyloulou: nakamura IS A JOKE in this tournament as i said earlier. i was right guys
cardio: Naka shaked shoulders
Sasori: Hahahahahahahahahaha
osvaldo: At least a decisive game by Nakamura in this tournament

Zygmunt Pioch v Ryszard Drozd
POL-ch 31th 1974
B06 Robatsch (modern) defence

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Qe2 O-O 6. O-O Nc6 7. e5 Ng4 8. h3 d5 9. Bb3 Nh6 10. c3 Na5 11. Bd1 b6 12. Bf4 Kh8 13. Re1 Ng8 14. Nbd2 c5 15. Rc1 Bd7 16. Bc2 Qc8 17. g4 Nc6 18. Nf1 cxd4 19. cxd4 Qb7 20. Qd2 Na5 21. b3 Rac8 22. Ng3 Nc6 23. Bd3 a5 24. a3 Na7 25. Qe2 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 Rc8 27. Ng5 Nh6 28. Re1 Rc3 29. e6 fxe6 30. Qd2 Qc8 31. b4 a4 32. Bb1 Nb5 33. Be5 Bxe5 34. Rxe5 Kg7 35. Nxh7 Rc1+ 36. Kg2 Rxb1 37. Nh5+ Kxh7 38. Qd3 Qc1 39. Nf4 Qh1+ 40. Kg3 Rb3 0-1

Frank Wilger (2071) v Matthias Graelken (2179)
Muensterland Verbandsklasse-B 0304
Germany 03/06/2004
ECO: A40 Modern defence

1. d4 g6 2. Nf3 Bg7 3. e4 d6 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Qe2 O-O 6. O-O Nc6 7. e5 Ng4 8. h3 Nh6 9. a4 Nf5 10. c3 d5 11. Ba2 Kh8 12. Qb5 e6 13. Bg5 f6 14. exf6 Bxf6 15. Bxf6+ Qxf6 16. Nbd2 Nd6 17. Qd3 Bd7 18. b4 Nf7 19. Rae1 Rae8 20. b5 Ne7 21. c4 g5 22. Nb3 Bc8 23. Bb1 Qg7 24. Ne5 dxc4 25. Qxc4 Nd5 26. Nc5 Nxe5 27. Rxe5 Nf4 28. Nd3 Nd5 29. Qc1 Rg8 30. g3 Ref8 31. Qd1 Qf7 32. Qg4 h5 33. Qe2 b6 34. Rc1 Rg7 35. Rc6 Bd7 36. Rc1 Bc8 37. Ba2 Rd8 38. Rc6 Kg8 39. Qd2 g4 40. h4 Qg6 41. Bxd5 Rxd5 42. Rxd5 Bb7 43. Rg5 1-0

Is Nakamura the New Giri?

Hikaru Nakamura

v Jeffery Xiong

U.S. Championship 2018 round 06

C25 Vienna game

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 d5 4. exd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bc5 7. Nf3 Nc6 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Qf6 10. d3 h6 11. Rb1 Bb6 12. Be3 Bg4 13. h3 Be6 14. c4 e4 15. Nd2 exd3 16. c5 Ba5 17. Rxb7 Nb4 18. cxd3 Bd5 19. Rxb4 Bxg2 20. Rf4 Qc6 21. Qa4 Bxd2 22. Bxd2 Rfe8 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Qxc6 Bxc6 25. Kf1 Rb8 26. Rb4 Rxb4 27. Bxb4 Bd7 28. h4 f6 29. d4 Be6 30. a3 g5 31. Ke1 ½-½

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 (The Vienna, a discredited opening I have often played which dates to the early days of Chess. Nothing like seeing Naka play an interesting opening to whet ones appetite for the coming round! Jacques Mieses

played 2 Nc3 122 times; Wilhelm Steinitz, 64.

Jana Krivec

played it on 70 occasions around the turn of this century)

2…Nf6 (After this move Steinitz drops out, replaced by Alexander Alekhine, who sat behind the white pieces 40 times)

3. g3 (Now we see Jana Krivec leading with 35 games, followed by Rauf Mamedov (27), and Peter Rahls with 26 games)

3…d5 (Now Alexander Finkel leads having faced 3…d5 18 times. Peter Rahls is second with 15; Jana shows 14)

4. exd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nxc3 6. bxc3 (The standard position. Finkel and Rahls hold first and second, but our girlfriend, Heather Richards, has had this position ten times, which means more Heather games to replay!)

6…Bc5 (6…Bd6 has been the most often played move, but the Stockfish at ChessBomb and the CBDB show the game move best, but there is a caveat…the Stockfish program that shows the game move best is Stockfish 8 at a depth of 36. The CBDB shows that when Stockfish 9 goes one depth further it switches to 6…Nc6, the move Houdini prefers)

7. Nf3 Nc6 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Qf6 (SF likes 9…Bb6) 10. d3 h6 (The Fish likes 10…Bb6) 11. Rb1 (There is total agreement that 11 Be3 is the best move)

11…Bb6 12. Be3 Bg4 13. h3 Be6 (Theoretical Novelty! The gloves are off and we are fighting in the street! See games below for 13…Bh5.
It appears someone has done his homework as all the clanking digital monsters proclaim Be6 the best move in the position)

The hoi polloi in the ‘chat’ room at ChessBomb thought little of Hikaru’s choice of opening:

patzerforlife: another Nakamura draw
congrandolor: what happens with this guy? his chess used to be thrilling
congrandolor: now almost as boring as So´s
faustus: Go Jeffery!
Wizboy: nakamura is the new giri
Jeh: Yeah, this position is totally innocuous….

14. c4 e4 15. Nd2 exd3 16. c5 Ba5 17. Rxb7 Nb4 (Stockfish at Da Bomb gives this line: 17… Nb4 18. cxd3 Nxd3 19. Ne4 Qg6 20. Qxd3 Bxe1 21. Rxc7 Rad8 22. Qe2 Bb4 23. Rxa7 Bxh3 24. Nd6 Bxg2 25. Kxg2 Bxc5 26. Bxc5 Rxd6 27. Bxd6 Qxd6 28. Qc4 Qd2 29. Rb7 Qa5 30. Rb2 Qf5)

18. cxd3

18…Bd5? (An awful, game losing type move, gifting white a large advantage. 18… Nxd3 19. Re2 looks normal)

19. Rxb4? (Nakamura returns the favor. What is causing the proliferation of back to back blunders in recent years? Stockfish gives this line: 19. Nb3 Bxb7 20. Bxb7 Nc6 21. Bxc6 Bxe1 22. Bxa8 Bxf2+ 23. Bxf2 Rxa8 24. g4 Qb2 25. Qd2 Qxd2 26. Nxd2 Rb8 27. Nb3 Rb4 28. Bg3 Ra4 29. Bxc7 Rxa2 30. d4 Ra3 31. Na5 Rxh3 32. Kf2 Rc3 33. Nc6 Rd3 34. Ne7+ Kf8 35. Bd6)

The nattering nabobs ‘chatting’ had a field day with Naka’s last move:

CheshireDad: Nb3 seems a very tough move to find otb
Wizboy: Nb3 protects the pawn, attacks 2 pieces – any 2000 player would see this
Wizboy: i mean, idea is, Nb3 attacks a B which is trapped and has nowhere to go, and after Bxb7 Bxb7 white is still attacking that B and the black R. If R runs to safety Nxa5 and white wins 2 pieces for R. Nc6 Bc6 Be1 Ba8 Bf2 Bf2
Wizboy: okay, maybe too long. 2100-2200. Still Naka should be able to see this
attm: any 2100-2200 here?
kramnikaze: Nb3 doesn’t attack 2 pieces. it defends the white bishop after: 19. Nb3 Bxb7 20. Bxb7 Rb8 21. Nxa5
congrandolor: BBBBLUNNDERR
kramnikaze: Iguess Naka isn’t 2100-2200 ….
congrandolor: hehe
congrandolor: maybe he is drunk
congrandolor: or high
kramnikaze: or both 😉
patzerforlife: In 10 years Naka will be walking the streets begging for spare change

ChessHulk: too much poker 🙂
Bonifratz: Nakamura is very underwhelming so far in this event
Wizboy: honestly that line was not so hard to see

Bxg2 20. Rf4 Qc6 21. Qa4 Bxd2 22. Bxd2 Rfe8 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Qxc6 Bxc6 25. Kf1 Rb8 26. Rb4 Rxb4 27. Bxb4 Bd7 28. h4 f6 29. d4 Be6 30. a3 g5 31. Ke1 ½-½

cycledan: white is a clear pawn up, I am sure eval doesn’t see through to end where it may be winning
gracz: Nakamura = Giri 🙂
kirxan: looks drawn to me
kirxan: and no, I don’t get the reason for not playing 19.Nb3

(https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-us-championship/06-Nakamura_Hikaru-Xiong_Jeffery)

Vjekoslav Biliskov (2332) v Davorin Kuljasevic (2561)

19th Zadar Open A CRO 12/16/2012

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 Bc5 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Qf6 10. d3 h6 11. Rb1 Bb6 12. Be3 Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. g4 Bg6 15. Nd2 Rad8 16. Qe2 (16 Ne4 Qe7 17 c4 1/2-1/2, Gil Ravelo (2331) v A. Bezanilla (2300), Havana 1999)
Rfe8 17. Ne4 Qe7 18. a4 Rb8 19. Rb3 Bxe3 20. Qxe3 b6 21. Ng3 Qd7 22. Rbb1 Re6 23. f4 exf4 24. Qxf4 Rbe8 25. Ne4 Ne7 26. Qf2 Nd5 27. Qd2 Bxe4 28. Rxe4 Rxe4 29. dxe4 Nf6 30. Qxd7 Nxd7 31. a5 Ne5 32. axb6 cxb6 33. Kf2 Rc8 34. Rb3 f6 35. Bf1 Kf7 36. Ba6 Rc7 37. Ke3 Ke6 38. Ra3 g5 39. Bb5 Ng6 40. Kd4 Nf4 41. c4 Kd6 42. Rf3 Rc8 43. h4 Ke6 44. hxg5 hxg5 45. Ra3 a5 46. Ra1 Rd8+ 47. Ke3 Rh8 48. c5 bxc5 49. Rxa5 Rh3+ 50. Kd2 Ke5 51. Bd7 Kd4 52. Ra4+ c4 53. Bb5 Rh2+ 54. Kc1 Kxe4 55. Rxc4+ Kf3 56. Bd7 Ne2+ 57. Kb2 Rh7 58. Bc6+ Kg3 59. Be4 Re7 60. Bf5 Rb7+ 61. Ka3 Rb6 62. Re4 Kf3 63. Ra4 Ke3 64. Re4+ Kf3 1/2-1/2

Vjekoslav Biliskov (2353) v Nikola Nestorovic (2440)

20th Zadar Open A 2013

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 Bc5 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Qf6 10. d3 Bb6 11. Rb1 h6 12. Be3 Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. g4 Bg6 15. Nd2 Rad8 16. Nc4 e4 17. d4 Qe6 18. Qe2 f5 19. gxf5 Bxf5 20. Kh2 Ne7 21. Bd2 Nd5 22. a4 a5 23. Rb5 Qc8 24. Nxb6 Nxb6 25. Rxa5 c6 26. Re5 Nd7 27. Rxf5 Rxf5 28. Bxe4 Rf6 29. c4 Qc7+ 30. Kg2 Rdf8 31. f3 Nb6 32. Rb1 Nc8 33. Be1 Nd6 34. Bg3 Qf7 35. Bxd6 Rxd6 36. d5 Kh8 37. Qe3 Re8 38. Qd3 cxd5 39. cxd5 b6 40. Qd4 Qf4 41. Rxb6 Qg5+ 42. Kf2 Rxb6 43. Qxb6 Qd2+ 44. Kf1 Qd1+ 45. Kg2 Qd2+ 46. Kf1 Qd1+ 47. Kg2 Qd2+ 48. Kf1 Qd1+ 49. Kg2 1/2-1/2

The Fantasy Variation

IM Dorsa Derakhshani (2306)

vs WGM Anna Sharevich (2281)

U.S. Womens Championship 2018 round 01

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 (One of the things I like about 365Chess.com is learning who is the leading practitioner of an opening and/or particular variation. Heather Richards has played 3 f3, the opening FM Kazim Gulamali, called the “Little Grandmaster” at the House of Pain when still a child, proclaimed the “Caro-Kann Crusher,” in twenty-two games. GM Nikola Mitkov has used the weapon eighteen times; and Artyom Timofeev is credited with playing the Crusher on sixteen occasions. The thing about playing so-called “offbeat” openings is that one can compare the play of other, stronger, players with that of your own play. Chess is a language of sorts. The moves “talk” to you if you will listen. The game you are replaying contains ideas of the players producing the moves. The beauty of Chess is “understanding” those ideas, and possibly incorporating them into your own play. With tools like the 365Chess.com and the CBDB (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) how can players not be better than their predecessors? If one wanted to learn this opening a good start would be to replay the above mentioned fifty-six games. With only that one would be well-armed for battle in a weekend tournament. Stockfish ‘thinks’ little of the Fantasy variation. If white played 3 Nd2 SF shows an advantage of +0.47. After playing 3 f3 it shows black with a small advantage of -0.2)

3…g6 (After this move Heather leads with ten, scoring seven wins; two draws; and only one loss. GM Julian Hodgson has faced 3…g6 five times, scoring three wins and two draws. Stockfish 8, at depth 49, plays 3…e6, which is a tough not to crack. Houdini 3 x 64 at depth 30 plays 3…dxe4. The CBDB shows white scoring only 52% against 3…e6, but an astounding 64% after 3…dxe4!)

4. c3

(After reading an article advocating this move it was my choice the next time facing 3…g6, something soon regretted because of the lack of development. The Fish at the CBDB has 4 Nc3, but the Fish at ChessBomb shows 4 Be3.)

Bg7 5. Bf4 (Komodo plays 5 Na3 [Najer v Rozum below] or Bg5. The Fish at ChessBomb plays 5 Na3, but I prefer it’s second choice…Qe2!)

5…dxe4

(This move is not shown so it is an unsound Theoretical Novelty. Komodo & Stockfish play 5…Nd7. See Mitkov v Azmaiparashvili below for 5…Qb6.)

6. fxe4 e5 (6…Nf6) 7. dxe5

7…Qxd1+ (7… Nd7 is better. If 8. Qd6 Qe7 9. Qxe7+ Nxe7, for example.)

8. Kxd1

Be6 (Stockfish “thinks” black should play 8…f6, with this to follow: 9. Nf3 fxe5 10. Bxe5 Bxe5 11. Nxe5 Nd7 12. Nf3 Ngf6. Black is down a pawn, but the isolated e-pawn can be attacked. It may be the best hope for black.)

9. Nf3 Nd7 10. Nbd2 h6 (There is no reason to delay developing with 10…Ne7)
11. Nc4 (11 Bc4 is better)

11…g5 (She should take the knight with 11…Bxc4)

12. Bg3 Ne7 (SF shows 12..Kf8; Bxc4; g4; & 0-0. The move played in the game is not shown.)

13. Nd6+ (White has a ‘won’ game)

Kf8 14. Kc2 Rb8 (14…Ng6)

15. Nd4 (Why not develop with Bc4?)

Ng6 (SF prefers 15…Bxe5)

16. Be2 (The Fish prefers 16 Rd1)

Bxe5 17. Nxe6+ fxe6 18. Rhf1+ Nf4 19. Nc4 Bc7

20. e5 (And there goes the advantage…20 Rfd1 or a4 keep the advantage)

Ke7 21. Bxf4 gxf4 22. Rxf4 b5 (Why not take the pawn with 22…Nxe5?)

23. Raf1 (I’m “advancing to the rear” with 23 Nd2)

Rbf8 ((23… bxc4 looks strong)

24. Rxf8 (24 Nd2) Rxf8 25. Rxf8 Kxf8 26. Ne3 Nxe5 27. Ng4 Nxg4 28. Bxg4 Bxh2 29. Bxe6 Ke7 30. Bg4 Kd6 ½-½

Derakhshani- Sharevich

U.S. Womens Championship 2018 round 01

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. Bf4 dxe4 6. fxe4 e5 7. dxe5 Qxd1+ 8. Kxd1 Be6 9. Nf3 Nd7 10. Nbd2 h6 11. Nc4 g5 12. Bg3 Ne7 13. Nd6+ Kf8 14. Kc2 Rb8 15. Nd4 Ng6 16. Be2 Bxe5 17. Nxe6+ fxe6 18. Rhf1+ Nf4 19. Nc4 Bc7 20. e5 Ke7 21. Bxf4 gxf4 22. Rxf4 b5 23. Raf1 Rbf8 24. Rxf8 Rxf8 25. Rxf8 Kxf8 26. Ne3 Nxe5 27. Ng4 Nxg4 28. Bxg4 Bxh2 29. Bxe6 Ke7 30. Bg4 Kd6 ½-½

Evgeniy Najer (2706) v Ivan Rozum (2573)

Event: TCh-TUR Super League 2017 07/30/2017

B12 Caro-Kann, Tartakower (fantasy) variation

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. Na3 e5 6. dxe5 Bxe5 7. exd5 cxd5 8. Bf4 Bxf4 9. Qa4+ Nc6 10. Qxf4 Nge7 11. O-O-O Be6 12. Ne2 a6 13. Nc2 Qa5 14. a3 O-O-O 15. Ned4 Qc7 16. Qf6 Bf5 17. Nxf5 Qf4+ 18. Rd2 Qxf5 19. Qh4 Rd6 20. g3 Qxf3 21. Bh3+ Nf5 22. Rhd1 Kb8 23. Qa4 Qh5 24. Bg4 Qg5 25. h4 Qf6 26. Rf1 Qe5 27. Bxf5 gxf5 28. g4 fxg4 29. Qxg4 Rf6 30. Rxf6 Qxf6 31. Rxd5 Re8 32. Rf5 Qe6 33. Rg5 Qf6 34. Rg8 Qf1+ 35. Kd2 Qf2+ 36. Kd1 Qf1+ 37. Kd2 Qf2+ 38. Kd1 1/2-1/2

Nikola Mitkov (2495) vs Zurab Azmaiparashvili (2625)

Event: Moscow ol (Men) 1994

B12 Caro-Kann, Tartakower (fantasy) variation

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. Bf4 Qb6 6. Qb3 Be6 7. Qxb6 axb6 8. Nd2 Nd7 9. Bd3 O-O-O 10. Ne2 dxe4 11. fxe4 Bg4 12. h3 Bxe2 13. Bxe2 e5 14. Bg5 Re8 15. Nc4 Kc7 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. O-O f6 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. Bxf6 Nxf6 20. Rxf6 Rd8 21. Kf2 Rd2 22. Re6 Nd3+ 23. Ke3 Rxe2+ 24. Kxd3 Rxg2 25. Rf1 Rd8+ 26. Ke3 Rg3+ 27. Rf3 Rxf3+ 28. Kxf3 Rf8+ 29. Ke3 Kd7 30. Re5 h6 31. b4 Kd6 32. Kd4 Rc8 0-1

Magnus Carlsen Plays the Bishop’s Opening with Qe2!

Magnus Carlsen

vs Hou Yifan

Grenke Classic 2018 round 02

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 (The ChessBase DataBase shows this move with a better percentage than the most often played move, Nf3.) Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Qe2!

(Magnus, MY MAN! Does Magnus read the AW? Stats show many Norwegian readers… Nf3 is the most often played move, with Bb3 lagging way behind, while Stockfish at DaBomb has Nc3 listed above Qe2.)

Be7 (Houdini and Stockfish at the CBDB prefer 4…Bc5, but Komodo considers the little played 4…d5 best. Meanwhile, the SF at DaBomb has the game move #1)

5. Nf3 d6 (5…O-O is the most often played move) 6. c3 (Houdini and Komodo would castle. Stockfish plays h3, a TN) Nbd7 (6…O-O 7. Bb3 Qc7 8. Nbd2 b6 9. Nf1 Nbd7 10. Ng3 Nc5 11. Bc2 Re8 12. O-O Ba6 13. Re1 Bf8 14. Bg5 Nfd7 15. Qd2 Ne6 16. d4 Nxg5 17. Nxg5 h6 18. Nh3 c5 19. Bb3 Rad8 20. Rac1 Bb7 21. Ba4 a6 22. Bxd7 Qxd7 23. d5 Kh7 24. f3 g6 25. Nf2 h5 26. Qc2 Bh6 27. Rcd1 Qe7 28. Nh3 Bc8 29. Nf2 Qg5 30. Nf1 Bd7 31. Ne3 b5 32. Kh1 Rb8 33. Ra1 Qh4 34. Nf1 a5 35. Qe2 c4 36. Rab1 Rec8 37. Nd1 Rc7 38. Nde3 Kh8 39. g3 Qe7 40. Nd2 1/2-1/2, Dusan Tatalovic (2271) v Akos Pletl (2131), Bajmok-ch op 8th, 2005)

7. Bb3 O-O 8. O-O a5 9. d4 a4 10. Bc2 Re8 11. Re1 Bf8 12. Qd1 b5 13. Nbd2 Qc7 14. Nf1 g6 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bd2 Bg7 (Black has a decent game. 16…Nb6 would keep it that way.)

17. Ng3 ( (17. Qc1 Kh7 18. b3 axb3 19. axb3 Rxa1 20. Qxa1 Bb7 and only then 21 Ng3) Nb6 18. b3 axb3 19. axb3 Rxa1 20. Qxa1 Bg4 21. Qc1 (Because of the threat of taking the knight with the bishop, either 17 Nh4, or 17 Bd1 appear to be better)

Bxf3 22. gxf3 h5 23. Bh6 Qe7 (23…Nbd7 improves)

24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Qg5 Kh7 26. f4 (26 Ra1 taking the open rook file is better)

Nfd7 (26…exf4! and the game is even, Steven)

27. Qxe7 Rxe7 28. fxe5 dxe5 29. Rd1 Re8 (29…Kg7, a subtle move simply improving the position of the worst placed piece, is better)

30. dxe5 Nxe5 (h4!) 31. f4 Ng4 32. Rd6 Re6 33. Rd8 Kg7 (33…Ne3!?)

34. Nf1 (This move tosses the advantage. 33 Bd1; Ne2; Bd3; and h3 were all better moves)

Rf6? (This move gives Magnus advantage enough to win the game. Simply 34…Nf6 kept the game even, as would 34…c5. Now Hou is in deep doo…)

35. h3 Nh6 36. f5 gxf5 37. Ng3 Rg6

38. Kf2? (This is a huge mistake, once again tossing away the advantage. I would have made the move, but then, I am not the human World Champion. Although it seems natural to move the King toward the ‘action’ such is not the case. Consider the line, 38 Kh2 fxe4 39 Nxh5+ Kh7 40 Nf4 Rg5 41 Bxe4+)

fxe4? (Stockfish shows this line: 38… Rg5 39. Bd1 fxe4 40. Nxh5+ Kh7 41. Nf6+ Kg7 42. Nxe4 Rd5 43. Rxd5 Nxd5, with an even game. She never gets another opportunity as Magnus keeps a firm grip while strangling the life outta the woman.)

39. Nxh5+ Kh7 40. Bxe4 f5 41. Bg2 Nf7 42. Rf8 Ne5 43. Nf4 Rd6 44. Rxf5 Nbd7 45. Ke2 Kg7 46. h4 Nf7 47. Be4 Nde5 48. Nh5+ Kh6 49. Ng3 Re6 50. Ke3 Kg7 51. Rf1 Kf8 52. Nf5 Ng4+ 53. Kf4 Nf6 54. Bf3 Nd5+ 55. Bxd5 cxd5 56. Ra1 Kg8 57. Ra8+ Kh7 58. Ra7 Rf6 59. h5 Kg8 60. Rd7 b4 61. cxb4 1-0

Mikhail Kobalia Wins with the Leningrad Dutch

P. Iniyan IM (2460) India

vs Mikhail Kobalia GM (2599) Russia

A89 Leningrad Dutch

Aeroflot Open 2018 Rd 8

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nc3 (This is the main line of the A87 Dutch, Leningrad. Black now has a choice between three moves, Qe8, the move most often chosen by the man who wrote the book on the Leningrad, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, as it is the only move he considers in his excellent book, The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1 d4, 1 c4, 1 Nf3;

Nc6, my move; and c6, the move Stockfish considers best at the CBDB. Yet the Fish shows Nc6 best in the analysis to this game at the ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-aeroflot-open/08-Iniyan_P-Kobalia_Mikhail)!

Nc6 8. d5 (The main move, although Houdini at CBDB considers the seldom played Qc2 equal to d5)

Ne5 (There is disagreement about this move. The Stockfish and Houdini programs at CBDB show Ne5 best, while Komodo prefers Na5. The Stockfish program at ChessBomb has Na5 as much superior.)

9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. e4 (SF has this as first move at DaBomb, while the Dragon considers Qb3 best)

f4 (This has been the most often played move, but SF prefers the little played e6)

11. gxf4? (Although most often played the clanking digital monsters have little respect for it. The first choice of Stockfish at both the ChessBomb and CBDB is a4, a move that has yet to be played. Houdini plays b3, while Komodo plays Qe2! If you are a regular reader of this blog you know why I attach the exclam. This move is not one of the four choices given by SF in the analysis of the game at DaBomb. The other three moves are, in order, b4;b3; & Re1)

exf4 12. e5 (The ‘main’ move, but SF does not even list it! In order we have, Bxf4, by far the best according to SF; Kh1;Rb1; & f3

Ng4 13. e6 Ne5

14. Qa4? (There is total agreement that Re1 is the best move)

f3 15. Bh3

Nd3 (15…c6 16. Rd1 Qe8 17. c5 h6 18. Qe4 g5 19. Bf5 Qh5 20. h3 Kh8 21. d6 Rxf5 22. Qxf5 Bxe6 23. Qxe6 g4 24. Kf1 gxh3 25. dxe7 1-0, Tapani Sammalvuo (2375) v Sami Petteri Pitkanen [no rating given] Espoo op1 1997)

16. Qd1 Nxc1 17. Qxc1 b6 18. Ne4 Ba6 (b5!) 19. Rd1 Be5 20. Qh6 Bg7 21. Qh4 h6 22. Kh1 Bxc4 23. Rg1 Qe8

24. Rg3 ( (24. d6! cxd6 25. Nxd6 exd6 26. Qxc4) Bxd5 25. Rag1 Bxe4 26. Qxe4 g5 27. Bf5 (Bf1 with the idea of Bd3 is better) Rd8 28. Bg6 Rf4 29. Bf7+ Kh8 30. Qxf4 gxf4 31. Rxg7 Qf8 32. R7g4 c5 33. a4 a6 34. h4 b5 35. axb5 axb5 36. Kh2 c4 37. Kh3 b4 38. Rxf4 Rc8 (c3! Passed pawns must be pushed)

39. Rxf3? (This game has been a struggle. Although understandable, as the pawn on f3 has been a constant thorn in white’s side most of the game, this move is an awful mistake. By playing 39 Rgg4, putting pressure on the queen side pawns, the game would have remained in balance. This move takes the game from even to LOST.) c3 (Turn out the lights, the party’s over) 40. Rfg3 c2 41. Rc1 Qd8 42. Rg8+ Qxg8 43. Bxg8 Kxg8 44. b3 Kg7 45. Kg4 Kf6 46. Kh5 Kxe6 47. Kxh6 Ke5 48. Kg7 0-1

Roman Martynov FM 2319 (UKR) v Mikhail Kobalia GM 2599 (RUS)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 03

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 (This system was the choice of IM Boris Kogan from whom I learned much, so I have a great deal of respect for b3 versus the Leningrad.That said, there is total agreement between the Big 3 that 6 c4 is the best move. Yet in actual practice the databases show both b3 and b4 scoring higher than the ‘best’ move))

d6 (The Dragon and the Fish both prefer 6…Ne4)

7. Bb2 Ne4 (GM Vladimir Malaniuk reached this position 45 times, but never played the game move. Although the Stockfish program at Chess Bomb has Ne4 as best, the SF, and Houdini, at the CBDB show 7…e6 as the best move.)

8. c4 (Although 8 Nbd2 is played more often, the clankin’ digital monsters all agree c4 is better.)

Nc6 (8…e5 9. dxe5 Nc6 10. Qd5+ Kh8 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe5 13. Qc5 Re8 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Qxe7 Rxe7 16. Rd2 Kg8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. e4 g5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. h3 Bg6 21. Rd7 Rae8 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Nd2 e4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Re1 Nb4 1/2-1/2, F. Baumbach (2495) v R Langeveld (2681) Mostert Memorial email tt 2006)

9. Nbd2 e5 10. dxe5 (The SF program at ChessBomb shows 10 d5 as best, but the SF program at the CBDB prefers taking the pawn, while Komodo would play a TN, Rc1)

Nxd2 (Although this is the most often played move, there is disagreement between the Big 3. SF takes the knight, but the Dragon and Houdini play 10…Nc5, the move the SF program at DaBomb has as best. Go figure…)

11. Qxd2 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 (By far the most often played move, but Houdini would play Qc5, as would the SF at DaBomb)

Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 (SF and Houey prefer 14..e4)

15. e4 (This is a TN. The SF at DABomb prefers Rab1, which would be a TN; the SF at the CBDB plays Ng5. Houdini prefers 14 Ng5. See Szmacinska v Lazarevic below. For 14 Rd2 see Izsak v Torma below. The Fish would play 14 Rad1)

f4 16. Bc3 a5 17. Rd2 h6 18. Ne1 g5 19. Nd3 Rf8 20. a3 Kh7 21. f3 b6 22. a4 h5 23. Rf1 Be6 24. gxf4 exf4 25. Bxg7 Kxg7 26. h4 gxh4 27. Kh2 Rad8 28. Rfd1 Kh6 29. Bh3 Bg8 30. Kg2 Rd4 31. Kf2 Rd6 32. Ne1 Rfd8 33. Rxd6+ Rxd6 34. Nd3 Ne5 35. Ke2 Rxd3 36. Rxd3 Nxd3 37. Kxd3 Kg5 38. Kd4 Kf6 39. Kd3 Ke5 40. Bc8 Bf7 41. Bd7 Kd6 42. Bh3 c6 43. Bc8 Be8 44. Bh3 b5 45. axb5 cxb5 46. Kd4 bxc4 47. bxc4 Bd7 48. e5+ Ke7 49. Bxd7 Kxd7 50. Kd5 h3 0-1

Gyula Izsak (2436) v Robert Torma (2455)

TCh-HUN 2015-16 Hungary HUN 04/17/2016

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 d6 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Rd2 a5 16. Ne1 e4 17. Bxg7+ Kxg7 18. Nc2 a4 19. Rad1 axb3 20. axb3 Ra6 21. Ne3 Nb4 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. cxd5 c6 24. dxc6 Rxc6 25. f3 Rb6 26. Rd8 Rxd8 27. Rxd8 exf3 28. Bxf3 Be6 29. Rb8 Bxb3 30. Rxb7+ Rxb7 31. Bxb7 1/2-1/2

Grazyna Szmacinska (2120) v Milunka Lazarevic (2170)
Event: Naleczow (Women) 1985

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. b3 Bg7 5. Bb2 O-O 6. Bg2 d6 7. O-O Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Ng5 e4 16. Rab1 h6 17. Nh3 g5 18. Kf1 Be6 19. f4 g4 20. Nf2 a5 21. a4 Rad8 22. Bxg7+ Kxg7 23. e3 Nb4 24. Ke1 Kf6 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rd1 Nc2+ 27. Ke2 Rxd1 28. Nxd1 Na1 29. Nc3 Nxb3 30. Bxe4 fxe4 31. Nxe4+ Ke7 32. Nf2 Bxc4+ 33. Kd1 h5 0-1

F. Baumbach (2495) v R Langeveld (2681)
Mostert Memorial email tt 2006

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 d6 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. c4 e5 9. dxe5 Nc6 10. Qd5+ Kh8 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe5 13. Qc5 Re8 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Qxe7 Rxe7 16. Rd2 Kg8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. e4 g5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. h3 Bg6 21. Rd7 Rae8 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Nd2 e4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Re1 Nb4 1/2-1/2