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)
This is not a post I wanted to write, but it needs to be written. I followed the action at the 2021 US Open last week and immensely enjoyed the time spent watching. There were several interesting articles posted at the USCF website by J.J. Lang (https://new.uschess.org/author/jj-lang) during the event. I found an interesting game from round seven which became a post (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/08/09/nm-steven-cookley-vs-im-victor-matviishen-us-open-round-7-bishops-opening/). In addition I managed to utilize two games from the last round which became the two previous posts. To do so I had to transfer all of the moves from the online DGT board to the analysis board at 365Chess (https://www.365chess.com/analysis_board.php). It would have made my task easier if the USCF had broadcast the games at ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/), or Chess24 (https://chess24.com/en). The Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy broadcast all their tournaments at Chess24, and also at the ChessBomb, as does the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco for their Tuesday Night Marathon (https://www.milibrary.org/chess). Yet the National Chess Organization, the United States Chess Federation broadcast the games on DGT in lieu of the much more popular previously named venues. Go figure…This matters because there is an immediacy today that was lacking ‘back in the day’. For example, back in that day and age one waited until the next issue of Chess Life appeared to see the games. During the Karpov vs Kasparov clashes, while driving a taxi for Buckhead Safety Cab overnight, I would nab the early edition of the New York Times newspaper, knowing which hotel was the first stop, to see the moves from the World Championship match. There is no waiting today, as one can watch the games in real time. Therefore, it is really true that by tomorrow everything is “yesterday’s news.”
While watching the last round of the US Open online I had a brainstorm, or fart, depending on how one looks at it, I suppose. Thing is, I have recently been helping a father of two children who were captivated by The Queen’s Gambit to learn the ropes, so to speak. One day he asked about the names of the openings and I was attempting to explain how an opening could start with one name but change to another by transposition. With that in mind I decided to go to 365Chess and copy the new names of the opening with the twelve games given on the DGT boards. My intention was to wait until they were posted at the USCF website and download them, saving me all the time necessary to transcribe all twelve games. As stated, I did record the two aforementioned games, which can be found in the two previous posts. Unfortunately, the games were not forthcoming. They did not appear Monday, the day after the event and neither did the final article at the USCF website. Ditto for Tuesday, the tenth of August. Finally, Wednesday morning, there was an article concerning the 2021 US Open, but it was not at the USCF website, but at Chessbase! The title read, U.S. Open: Chess games, awards, signings, meetings, by Alexy Root. (https://en.chessbase.com/post/u-s-open-chess-games-awards-signings-meetings) Hooray! I thought, but was soon disabused of that euphoric feeling when reading the article and finding only three, THREE!, games out of the many thousands of Chess games played during the US Open! Frankly, the article, although well written and somewhat interesting, was far below the usual Chessbase standard of excellence. The article contains what the title proclaims, which is much fluff; the kind of thing one expects from Chess Life magazine, or an USCF online article. I refuse to bore you with the details. After a quick check at the USCF website I see an article by J.J. Lang has finally been posted. (https://new.uschess.org/news/victor-goes-spoils) It is dated August 11, but I did not see it on the website yesterday, but I did turn in about eleven, leaving an hour for it to be posted…Seriously, I cannot recall the time the last time I looked for the article, so maybe it was posted earlier, but I would not wager on that being the case. I did not check this morning as was done each previous day because, frankly, I had given up all hope of ever seeing a final article on the 2021 US Open…
Every day I went to the USCF webpage looking for the last round, the ninth round, games to be posted. I just looked at four pm, August 12, 2021 and the last round games have still NOT BEEN POSTED! Check for yourself here (http://www.uschess.live/). It is sad…pitiful, really…In addition, the fifth round games cannot be downloaded, and have never been able to be downloaded…I asked someone to check and he, too, was unable to download the fifth round games.
So here’s the deal…What I am about to give you is my working notes, excepting the two aforementioned games already posted, to what would, and could have been a post about the top twelve games of the 2021 US Open. There were some interesting games and theoretical novelties in the opening, but you would not have known that if up to the USCF. That has got to say something about the organization, and I use the word loosely. Someone dropped the King, or Queen, or Rook, or even the Bishop and Knight, along with the pawns, and even the CLOCK, on this one.
Before reading the following please keep this in mind:
Board one: C01 French, exchange variation
Board two: B12 Caro-Kann, advance variation
Board three: After move 2: A48 King’s Indian, East Indian defence After White move 3: E60 King’s Indian, 3.Nf3 After Black move 4: D90 Gruenfeld, Three knights variation After White move 5: D91 Gruenfeld, 5.Bg5
Board four: After Black first move: B06 Robatsch (modern) defence. Timur came up with TN of 4…Nf6!
Board five: After Black 3…Nf6: C11 French defence After White 4 e5: C11 French, Steinitz variation After White 7 Be3: C11 French, Steinitz, Boleslavsky variation
Board six: After first move: C20 King’s pawn game After White second move: C40 King’s knight opening After Black second move: C44 King’s pawn game After White third move: C60 Ruy Lopez (Spanish opening) After White fourth move: C70 Ruy Lopez After Black fourth move: C77 Ruy Lopez, Morphy defence After White fifth move: C78 Ruy Lopez, 5.O-O After Black fifth move: C78 Ruy Lopez, Moeller defence
Board seven: After first White move: A10 English opening After first Black move: A20 English opening
Board nine: After Black first move: B20 Sicilian defence After White second move: B27 Sicilian defence After Black second move: B30 Sicilian defence After White third move: B30 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rossolimo attack (without …d6) After black third move: B31 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rossolimo attack (with …g6, without …d6)
Board ten: After Black second move: B30 Sicilian defence
Board eleven: After first White move: A40 Queen’s pawn After first Black move: D00 Queen’s pawn game After second White move: D06 Queen’s Gambit After second Black move: D10 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav defence After third White move: D10 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav defence, exchange variation
Board twelve: After third White move: C03 French, Tarrasch After third black move: C05 French, Tarrasch, closed variation After sixth black move: C05 French, Tarrasch, Botvinnik variation
10 a4 by IM Alexander Katz appears to be new move.
There were four separate Chess tournaments held from Jul 28-Aug 1, 2021, at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. Together they were called the, Summer 2021 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational. There was the Grandmaster A; GM B; and the International Master A, and IM B. Each tournament consisted of ten players, some of whom paid an entry fee of $850 for a chance at obtaining a norm toward actually earning a title. I have no other details as they were not disclosed on the website.
In the top GM A tournament, IM Joshua Sheng (2453),
of the USA, scored the required 6 1/2 points by defeating, with the black pieces, FM Gauri Shankar (2369),
from India, in the last round. FM Shankar finished last managing only four draws to go with his five losses.
also of the USA, tied for first place, each with a score of 5 1/2 out of 9. From the website is does appear that FM Liang earned an IM norm with a half point to spare. In addition, NM Tianqi Wang (2336),
of the USA, appears to have qualified for an IM norm with his score of 5 out of 9.
The International Master C tournament saw NM Aydin Turgut (2275),
USA, take clear first place with a score of 7/9, which also gained him an IM norm. He did it with this heroic battle:
USA, won the IM D tournament with a score of 7/9, one half point ahead of NM Alex Kolay (2203),
USA, who missed out on earning a IM norm by 1/2 point.
When one clicks on the IM D board to be taken to the game score he is instead taken to the IM C games. I therefore had to again use the game score from the ChessBomb (What would a journalist do without the Bomb?!)
Lev Paciorkowski (2262) USA vs Ming Lu (2174)
Charlotte IM Norm D 2021 round 09 ECO: C00 French, Chigorin variation
Here is the deal…heading into the last round Lev Paciorkowski, after losing to NM Akira Nakada (2199)
in the penultimate round, could not have earned a norm with a win. After Lev played 15 Bf4 Ming Lu should have played the MOST FORCING MOVE, which was 15…Nd4. Instead, Lu played a weak, anti-positional move, 15…b4. Then Lev let go of the rope with at least one hand by playing the retrograde move16 Nb1, when moving the knight to a4 would have given him a substaintial advantage. With his last move, another lemon, Lev offered the peace pipe, which was gladly smoked by Ming Lu!
In the above game, after 1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Qe2, I checked with the ChessBaseDataBase and was ASTOUNDED to learn Stockfish 12 @depth 52 would play 3 c3! The exclam is for my surprise, not because it is an outstanding move. Fact is, there is not one example of the move having been played in the CBDB! There are, though, four examples found at 365Chess. None of the players have a rating (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=6&n=10504&ms=e4.e6.d3.d5.c3&ns=220.127.116.11.10504). The Stockfish program 270321 shows 3 Nd2. The “new engine” does show 3 Qe2, for what it’s worth. After 3…Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 (SF plays the most often played move, 4…Be7) 5. g3 (SF 13 @depth 32 would play 5 c4, a move yet to be attempted by a human) 5…Nc6 (The most often played move but SF would play 5…Be7) 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O (By far the most often played move, and SF 260271 @depth 42 would also castle, but the same program left running until depth 49 would play 7 a4. There are only 3 examples of the move in the CBDB) 7…0-0 (SF plays 7…b5) 8. e5 (SF 13 plays this move but SF 14 prefers the seldom played 8 a4. Just sayin’…) 8…Ne8 (SF plays 8…Nd7) 9 c4 (Houdini plays the game move, but the smellyFish prefers 9 c3) 9…Nc7 10. Nc3 (Deep Fritz plays this, the most often played move, but Stockfish 11 @depth 31 plays 10 Re1; SF 13 at the same depth would play 10 b3, which is food for thought…) 10…Rb8 (SF plays this move but Komodo prefers 10…a6) 11. Rd1 (SF 12 @depth 41 plays the little played 11 Bf4) 11…b5 (Komodo plays the game move but StockFish comes up with a Theoretical Novelty with 11…b6. How about them fish?!) 12. b3 a6 13. h4 (TN)
had a poor performance in the IM D tournament. I have no idea why. I did reach out to him but have yet to receive a reply. The Grandmaster only scored 3 points in the 9 round event. He drew 6 games while losing 3. All games were against much lower rated players. GM Zapata has played solidly for many years since moving to Atlanta, Georgia, but he is no longer a spring chicken. Everyone wondered what would happen when players were once again battling over the Chessboard after a long layoff. GM Zapata lost a long game in the 3rd round (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-im-norm-d/03-Nakada_Akira-Zapata_Alonso) and followed it up with the following game which certainly helped NM Ming Lu (2174) in his attempt at gaining a norm:
Position from the Zapata v Lu game after black played 21…Ne6
What move would you make?
When attempting to teach Chess to youngsters I became known for constantly saying, “EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!” Sometimes it took a jackhammer, but there were times when I realized the drillin’ had worked. One of those times was when I was walking along Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky, one of the truly great thoroughfares in America, and as I neared a traffic light I heard, “Hey coach…EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!!!” That put a huge smile on the face of the ol’ coach and made my day!
I took the time to copy some of the games from all four tournaments for your edification and/or amusement. They were copied from ChessBomb and I did not want to waste my time imputing ratings where you will find a (01). Frankly, when a player produces such excrement over the board they do not deserve to be rated as anything other than a player wearing “Maggies Drawers” I suppose.
But hey, the good thing is that you do not need a board to review most of the games that follow! I am hated by those who run the CCC&SA in the way a roach hates it when you come into a room and turn on a light. Actually, it may have been better to have used “loathed and detested” in lieu of “hated.” As far as those responsible in Charlotte are concerned, it was stated best by Grant Oen in an email to me in response to an earlier post (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/the-serial-drawer/) when Mr. Oen wrote, “If he is fine with several quick draws, that is acceptable for with us as long as the rules are followed.” Several? Maybe the rules need to be changed. Other tournaments have a 30 move rule in which no game can be drawn until at least 30 moves have been made. Since Charlotte has become the quick draw capital of the USA,
if not the world, maybe they should consider such a “new rule.” After all, the name of the place is the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. Obviously there are those at the CCC&SA who find it acceptable to teach children to not play Chess.
Banawa, Joel (01) – Panchanathan, Magesh Chandran (01)
The following game was contested in the “C” section of the Summer 2021 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. After losing to the only Grandmaster in the “C” section, Ulvi Bajarani, FM Putnam ripped off three straight wins, with the game below being the third, to put himself in position to become an International Master if he can rip the heads off of today.
IM Roberto Abel Martin Del Campo Cardenas (2297)
vs FM Liam Putnam (2182)
Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 07
B15 Caro-Kann defence
e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qd3 (Every Chess player who has studied the classics will, after seeing 5 Qd3, immediately think of the famous game between Richard Reti
and Dr. Saviely Tartakower,
played in Vienna one hundred and eleven years ago, which concluded with: 5…e5 6.dxe5 Qa5+ 7.Bd2 Qxe5 8.O-O-O Nxe4 9.Qd8+ Kxd8 10.Bg5+ Kc7 11.Bd8# 1-0 With the way Chess is being played these days, especially at the CCC&SA, one would not be criticized for thinking that 1-0 was a misprint and should be 1/2-1/2. (https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2636005&m=11)
I am reminded of something read recently in the best Chess magazine in the world today, and possibly of all time, the 2021 #1 issue of New In Chess. In answer to the question, “Who is your favorite chess player of all time?” in the ‘Just Checking’ section at the end of each issue, former US Woman Champion Jennifer Yu answered, “I never had a favorite player. I always looked at a variety of players’ games. However, I’m following a lot of live events now now plan on studying the classics, so that may change soon!”
How can any player not have a favorite Chess player? Even more astounding it the fact that Jennifer became the female Chess Champion of the USA WITHOUT STUDYING THE CLASSICS! The very thought is anathema to those of us who devoured the classics.
The above book looks to be in very good condition compared to other copies seen over the years. It brings to mind a comment by Senior Master Brian McCarthy
when someone ridiculed one of his books sans cover, saying it should be thrown in the trash can. “What’a you mean, man? It’s still got the MEAT!”
I am reminded of the National Master who some years ago said, “You old guys just don’t get it. Every thing has changed with the computer. There is no longer any reason to study anything that happened before the computer age.”
“Oh yeah? I said. “If that’s the case then how come you’re still only a NM?” He glared at me without saying anything as some of the other “old” guys laughed, so I asked, “How long have you been stuck as NM?” Now there was fire in his eyes to go with the glare, but still he remained silent as the other oldsters continued laughing, so I added, “Looks like you would have at least made it to Senior Master by now.” That brought the house down and was too much for him, so he turned and stalked away…The oldies but goodies were slappin’ me on the back while saying things like, “You told him!” I put an end to it by saying, “Remember, I am no match for that young fellow, and neither are you. Matter of fact, he could probably beat all of us in a simultaneous exhibition, so stop your laughing.” The grins were immediately wiped off pf their faces. The next day the young fellow walked up to me informing that what I had said after he left had gotten back to him. He stuck out his hand, which I took, as we both stood there grinning…
The following notice is on the website of the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy:
NOTICE: Per yesterday’s CDC announcement and rise of COVID cases, this event will now require masks in the tournament hall. (https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/norm) Unfortunately it is not shown on the main page, but can be located at the GM/IM NORM INVITATIONAL- SUMMER page after clicking on “events” at the home page. Nevertheless, I applaud those enlightened people at the CCCSA for making such an OUTSTANDING MOVE, on the Chessboard of life.
The Great State of North Carolina is one of the Southern states. It, along with the Great State of Georgia, my home state, are also considered to be part of the “Southeast.” After checking the latest Covid statistics I learned that Georgia is tenth in the USA with nine deaths per day on a seven day moving average (https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spread-map/). North Carolina is right below, tied with Arizona with a seven day moving average of eight deaths. When it comes to cases North Carolina is seventh, showing 1926. Georgia is tenth with 1675 cases on a seven day moving average. When it comes to total cases thus far in the pandemic, NC is eighth in the nation with 1,041,620; Georgia is eleventh with a total of 926,707 cases. Unfortunately for my state, 21,654 have died of the virus, which is eight in the nation, compared with the 13,606 humans who have died, ranking NC fourteenth in the country.
When it comes to illness and death being ranked in, or near the top ten is not good. It is a fact that Republican states lead the USA in both cases and deaths. Our country at this time needs to become more UNITED and less STATE. It is extremely difficult to go against the grain and buck the norm, especially in the South. Unfortunately, what should be a normal and natural thing that has been done at the CCCSA could be condemned by some members of the community. I commend FM Peter Giannatos,
the Executive Director and Founder, and Grant Oen,
the Assistant Director/Events Manager, of the CCCSA, and everyone at the CCCSA for taking a stand for We The People!
I do this because just a few days ago I watched a man in a hospital bed, with hoses attached to his nose and other places, who had Covid, but was still defiant, claiming he had a “right” to not take the possibly life saving vaccine if he did not want to take it, even if it killed him. He was a “good ol’ boy” from the South, and did not want anyone telling him what to do. The interviewer asked the man if he thought he had a duty to his fellow humans to take the vaccine in order to not give the virus to anyone. “Hell no!” he replied. “We’re all in this alone.”
The following day there was another gentleman on the television all hooked up to tubes in a hospital bed, and he was being interviewed. He was from Arizona, and did not have any particular reason for not taking the possibly life saving vaccine, but said, “Sure wished I had.” The interviewer asked, “Why didn’t you take it?” He said, “I dunno…didn’t have any reason for not taking it, I guess. I mean, it’s like getting the virus was like what was happening to other people, not to me.”
I know people like both of these two individuals. They are both playing Russian roulette with their lives, and the LIVES OF THOSE WITH WHOM THEY COME IN CONTACT! Both are members of the Chess community. With one old, ornery, and cantankerously recalcitrant Chess coach almost everyone with whom he comes in contact has been vaccinated, yet he refuses to take the vaccine, so its not like there is peer pressure for him to not take the shot. The other is a Grandmaster who writes a blog replete with anti-vax madness. He has obviously become a strident right (wrong) winger as he has aged. Many people fear the government. While running for the office of POTUS the former actor Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” The line elicited a big laugh, and has been repeated endlessly by Republicans running for office ever since. It is, arguably, the most famous thing the man said during his entire life that was not a line from a movie.
It caused me to think, “Why would anyone in their right mind say such a thing if he wants to lead the government?” Think about it…The thought that followed was a line from a Bob Dylan song: “Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.” (https://www.bobdylan.com/songs/subterranean-homesick-blues/)
If— Rudyard Kipling – 1865-1936
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run— Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! https://poets.org/poem/if
This morning there was an email from Mr. Grant Oen, Chief Arbiter and Organizer of the two Chess tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Club and Scholastic Academy, where he is, “Assistant Director, Charlotte Chess Center, and a National Tournament Director, International Arbiter.” The entire email is located at the end of this post. Mr. Oen concludes with, ” Please do the right thing and remove your post and let your mailing list know.”
I will do no such thing, Mr. Oen.
After receiving the following email I surfed on over to the Chessbomb website “Almost no one still uses,” according to Mr. Oen, and copied these “games” from the GM section of the recent Charlotte CLT GM 2021 for your amusement and edification:
Mr. Oen writes, “Accusing us and the players of cheating and collusion is in extremely bad form, and we need your post be corrected or removed, and your mailing list be advised.”
I have accused no one of anything! Mr. Oen obviously did not see the “?” at the end of the title of the post.
Mr. Oen writes, “You can check the games and results of our other conditioned players from this event (GM Prohaszka, GM Ringoir, GM Paragua, IM Matros, IM Del Campo) to see if you think that we are asking our players to make quick draws. I am particularly shocked that you are jumping to these conclusions based on downloading the PGN. Moves and games are not proof of anything.”
I could not find any place in the post where I had accused anyone of asking players to make quick draws. In addition, I have jumped to no conclusions. I was not in Charlotte and have no idea what transpired over the Memorial day weekend. On the other hand, I would argue that, “Moves and games ARE PROOF OF EVERYTHING!”
As for the Tsay-Andrianov game, I stand corrected. I have been away from Chess for a year, which was spent sans computer while reading books and magazines. There have been many changes and I am attempting to get up to speed. I was unaware that, “Almost no one still uses ChessBomb.” I like ChessBomb, and do not particularly care for the format at Chess24.
Mr. Oen begins his email with, “In other tournaments around the world, it is well known that some games are played “only on paper,” meaning that the players just fill out a scoresheet from their hotel rooms and submit them to the organizer, who fills out a false PGN by the end of the tournament with 30+ move “games”.”
Show us the proof, Mr. Oen. Which one of us is, “Accusing us and the players of cheating and collusion.”
Mr. Oen writes, “People spreading lies and insinuating negative things about our tournaments with no basis is disheartening and is very negative for the future of American chess.”
Which one of us is, “spreading lies and insinuating negative things?” All I did was question “moves and games.” Mr. Oen is now on record of accusing games “In other tournaments around the world…” of being, “…played “only on paper,” meaning that the players just fill out a scoresheet from their hotel rooms and submit them to the organizer, who fills out a false PGN by the end of the tournament with 30+ move “games”.” There was absolutely NO PROOF WHATSOEVER contained in the email received this morning! SHOW US THE PROOF, Mr. Oen!
Mr. Oen writes:
“Nikolay Andrianov is a seasoned IM who has defeated Garry Kasparov, David Bronstein, Alexey Suetin, and many other top GMs throughout his career. However, as he is turning 60, he is mostly coaching, and his playing level in certainly much lower than what it was. As you know, many strong players around his age have already retired from chess for decades, but Nikolay still enjoys visiting chess clubs, new cities, and playing in strong tournaments.
If he is fine with several quick draws, that is acceptable for with us as long as the rules are followed. Everyone shows up for the games (which are not pre-arranged (sic)), and moves are made. In our events, no one plays their games at different times, agrees to results before games, or breaks FIDE rules. Here is (Although highlighted in blue, nothing happened when I clicked on it) a very recent round robin tournament in Mexico where Nikolay made many quick draws to substantiate our claim that he enjoys traveling to tournaments, but perhaps lacks the energy to fight in every round, especially while wearing a mask.”
Please define “several” Mr. Oen. Maybe the time has come for the IM to consider playing in only Senior events? Maybe the rules need to be changed?! IM Adrianov began the tournament with a six move draw. He battled for 74 moves before losing in the second round. He obviously never recovered because he agreed to another six move draw in the third and fourth rounds before playing seven moves in the fifth round. It was back to six moves in the sixth round. Evidently still not recovered, the IM could only manage five moves in the seventh round. The aforementioned eighth round game with Vincent Tsay must have taken about all he had left. Those ninety something moves must have almost killed the poor old dude. Still, he managed to make it to the round on time for the last round, where it was back to form and another six move draw.
There is a reason IM Nikolay, or Nikolai, Adrianov was in the field. Fortunately, he survived the battles.
Maybe the problem is not with IM Adrianov but with the organizers finding a proliferation of short draws “acceptable.” Maybe it is time to consider awarding on 1/4 point for a draw. Think of it this way, if a game is won the two players combined earn one point. If a game is drawn, whether six moves or sixty, one point is awarded to both players combined. The way things are now a draw is equal to a win; the same total is awarded to each board no matter the outcome. Cut that half point in half and you may no longer see tournaments like the ones in Charlotte. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/drawing-at-the-charlotte-chess-center-scholastic-academy/) You will no longer see young players ready and willing to “split the point.” There will no longer be last round “group hugs,” and Chess will be a better game!
We have become aware of your recent blog post which insults the Charlotte Chess Center’s events and one particular player, IM Nikolay Andrianov. Furthermore, the post has been emailed to many people for whatever reason.
In other tournaments around the world, it is well known that some games are played “only on paper,” meaning that the players just fill out a scoresheet from their hotel rooms and submit them to the organizer, who fills out a false PGN by the end of the tournament with 30+ move “games”. This is one of the reasons that we provide live games and send them to every top chess site for broadcasting. We also take pictures during the events and post them to our Facebook page. In all of our norm tournaments, all games are played the right way, at the same time, and under FIDE rules.
We have never asked or pressured any player in any tournament to offer a quick draw (or lose, or anything else). Not having cash prizes in our round robin events also decreases the chances of cheating of collusion. Nikolay Andrianov is a seasoned IM who has defeated Garry Kasparov, David Bronstein, Alexey Suetin, and many other top GMs throughout his career. However, as he is turning 60, he is mostly coaching, and his playing level in certainly much lower than what it was. As you know, many strong players around his age have already retired from chess for decades, but Nikolay still enjoys visiting chess clubs, new cities, and playing in strong tournaments.
If he is fine with several quick draws, that is acceptable for with us as long as the rules are followed. Everyone shows up for the games (which are not pre-arranged), and moves are made. In our events, no one plays their games at different times, agrees to results before games, or breaks FIDE rules. Here is a very recent round robin tournament in Mexico where Nikolay made many quick draws to substantiate our claim that he enjoys travelling to tournaments, but perhaps lacks the energy to fight in every round, especially while wearing a mask.
Accusing us and the players of cheating and collusion is in extremely bad form, and we need your post be corrected or removed, and your mailing list be advised. There are no prizes, and no norms were achieved this time in the IM section (no one was even close to the norm score of 7/9), so clearly any “collusion” clearly did not accomplish anything. Norms require a high winning percentage (6.5/9 or 7/9), so early draws do not really help players. Draw agreements are the decision of the two players in the game, and have nothing to do with the organizer or people watching on the internet.
You can check the games and results of our other conditioned players from this event (GM Prohaszka, GM Ringoir, GM Paragua, IM Matros, IM Del Campo) to see if you think that we are asking our players to make quick draws. I am particularly shocked that you are jumping to these conclusions based on downloading the PGN. Moves and games are not proof of anything.
This is obviously the real IM Andrianov. I believe that Nikolay may use the more formal spelling “Nikolai” when being official, and that may be why the USCF and FIDE spelling differs by one letter. He is not the only one with a minor difference between how people address him and how his name is written on documents after immigrating to the states.
Below, find a picture of Nikolay from round 1 of this tournament (Myers-Andrianov). It is certainly the same player as the one you posted a picture of, the Russian IM now living in Arizona, not an 1800 from Russia. I am also including another picture from a previous Charlotte Chess Center event without masks, and you can also see other pictures from our events including Nikolay from our Facebook page.
Regarding the Vincent Tsay game, the DGT broadcast occasionally catches moves that players analyze after the game is finished if the broadcast is not stopped at the right time. This is tough when the players make moves after the game before “setting the kings.”
An arbiter corrected the end of the game to move 91 after the fact and most modern sites (chess24, Follow Chess, lichess) picked up the correct end of the game – 91.Kb3 was the final move, with a draw. See the chess24 game link with the correct end of Tsay-Andrianov here. ChessBomb did not pick up the correction because that site is outdated and no longer fully functional after being purchased and rebranded to Chess.com/events. Almost no one still uses ChessBomb.
The Charlotte Chess Center has made a name of itself with 21 norm tournaments which have produced 54 norms, including 8 final (third) GM norms for American GMs Tang, Burke, Zierk, Checa, Brown, Jacobson, Niemann, and Balakrishnan. However, if you reviewed the crosstables, you will see that many more people have missed the norm in the final rounds. If we were cheating or colluding, surely the “Armchair Warrior” would not be the first one to notice.
In the past, American players had to fly to Europe to play norm round robins, but Charlotte is providing consistent opportunities, even during COVID, for players to gain experience and FIDE titles. People spreading lies and insinuating negative things about our tournaments with no basis is disheartening and is very negative for the future of American chess. Please do the right thing and remove your post and let your mailing list know.
Grant Oen Chief Arbiter and Organizer
— Grant Oen Assistant Director, Charlotte Chess Center National Tournament Director, International Arbiter
There were a “”whole lotta” short draws in the recently completed Charlotte Invitational held at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. Have you noticed that this century every “Chess Center” also is some kind of “Scholastic” something or other? Back in the day one went to a “Boys Club,” after first going to a “Scholastic Center,” which was known as a “school.”
I decided to cut and paste the draws “earned” in less than twenty moves, with the “winner,” the shortest draw first. The “winner” is:
IM ANGELO YOUNG vs NM BENJAMIN MOON
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bd3 Bg7 4. O-O Nc6 1/2-1/2
This transpired in the last round. It must be a terrible imposition on the players, after eight arduous rounds, to be forced to actually come to the board, fill out the scoresheet, and then make all of those moves when they would like to get on with their lives doing better things than playing Chess. Major League Baseball has discontinued the practice of forcing the pitcher to actually make a pitch when the manager chooses to issue an intentional walk, so why are Chess “players” forced to make a few moves when all they wanna do is go have some fun?
Notice all those games ended in under twenty moves? Since Jerry Lee Lewis continues to shake, rattle, and roll, I’ll give another couple of short draws so as to be able to include a few more “numbers.”
The situation could not have been better going into the last round of the 2014 Southeastern FIDE Championship at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy (http://www.charlottechesscenter.org/) Sunday afternoon. The grizzled veteran GM Ben Finegold was a perfect 4-0 and his opponent, the young IM Kassa Korley, was a half-point behind. IM Korley had White and needed a win; there would be no early draw for the GM, who would have to stand and fight the young upstart in the way an old lion must face his much younger rival on the plains of Africa. Earlier this year in the Great State of North Carolina, at the Ron Simpson Memorial, GM Maurice Ashley lost a dramatic last round game against upstart Expert Sanjay Ghatti of Georgia.
Expert William Coe tested IM Korley in the second round by playing what 365chess.com (http://www.365chess.com/) has named the “Tennison (Lemberg, Zukertort) gambit.” The variation has been tested previously, but 5…Nbd7 is not shown on 365chess. After this move it is obvious that since Black has blocked the c8 Bishop, a piece sacrifice on e6 should be considered. The CBDB (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) shows a few games with 5…Nbd7, but only one with 6 Bxe6.
William Coe (2166) – IM Kassa Korley (2474)
Rd 2 A06 Tennison (Lemberg, Zukertort) gambit
Meanwhile, GM Finegold beat FM William Fisher in a QGA. Black varied from the game Milton Kasuo Okamura (2191) vs Ronny Knoch Gieseler, Brazil Championship, 2009, with 11…Nde7 in lieu of 11…Ncxe7.
Rd 4 D20 Queen’s gambit accepted
This brings us to the decisive last round battle, which followed the recent game Akshat Chandra (2472) vs Illya Nyzhnyk (2639) from the 3rd Washington Int 2014, played 08/13/2014, when Chandra played 14. a3.
IM Kassa Korley (2474) vs GM Benjamin Finegold (2581)
I watched this game with interest. It appeared the younger man had a small advantage, but was uncertain how to proceed. 39 f4 looked suspect, but the real culprit was the next move, 40 h3, when 40 fxe5 was expected. The IM vacillated and although there were many vicissitudes, from this point on Ben Finegold outplayed his opponent, showing why he is a GM. He took clear first and the $1000 prize.
Akshat Chandra (2472) vs Illya Nyzhnyk (2639)
3rd Washington Int 2014 Rd 8
Reese Thompson, who represented Georgia in the Denker at the US Open, lost to FM William Fisher in the first round and drew with the volatile Expert Patrick McCartney (2185) in the third round, to go with his win over Saithanu Avirneni (1865) in the second round and Kevin Wang (1906) in the penultimate round. As things turned out a win in his last round game would tie for second place.
Reece Thompson (2116) vs Jonathan McNeill (2154)
Rd 5 C77 Ruy Lopez, Morphy defence
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d4 ( (365chess shows this position has been reached most often by GM Alonso Zapata, with 22 games) Nxe4 6.Qe2 (! Regular readers know I applaud this move! Reese, my MAN!) f5 7. d5 Ne7 (The engines prefer 7…Na5) 8. Nxe5 g6 (And here the Houdini plays 8…Nxd5) 9. g4 (?! Reese decides to play fast and loose in this last round game. 9 f3 is more circumspect. For example, 9. f3 Nf6 10. d6 cxd6 11. Nc4 Kf7 12. Nxd6+ Kg7 13. Bh6+ Kg8 14. Bb3+ Ned5 15. Ne8 Bxh6 16. Nxf6+ Qxf6 17. Bxd5+ Kg7 18. Nc3 Rb8 19. O-O b5 20. Bb3 Qd4+ 21. Kh1 Qe3 22. Rae1 Qxe2 23. Rxe2 Bg5 Blaich,G-Strugies, S/Waldshut 1991/GER/1-0 (41) 9…Nc5? (9…c6!) 10. gxf5 Nxa4? (With this move he lets go of the rope. 10…Bg7 is much better. Now it is all over but the shouting.) 11. f6 Bg7 12. fxg7 Rg8 13. d6 cxd6 14. Nc4 Qc7 15. Bf4 Qc6 16. Nxd6+ Kd8 17. Rg1 Rxg7 18. Qe5 Qc5 19. Qxg7 Qb4+ 20. Bd2 Qxd6 21. Qf8+ 1-0
With this win Mr. Thompson tied for second place, along with five others, Kassa Korley; Edward J Lu; Peter Bereolos; Samuel S Copeland; and Aaron S Balleisen. They all took home $275 for their efforts.
Grant Oen, the owner of the Atlanta Kings, lost to Peter Bereolos in the first round, then lost to Atlantan Carter Peatman in the second round. That was followed by a win and a draw with another Atlanta area player, Arthur Guo, in the penultimate round. Mr. Oen took out veteran Keith Eubanks in the last round, winning more money than the players who finished a half-point ahead of him, tied for second place! Grant tied for eleventh place, along with three others, who also went home empty-handed.
Chacha Nugroho sends this report on the Southeastern FIDE Championship, which will be held at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy (http://www.charlottechesscenter.org/). The first round is Friday, October 31, 2014; 7:30PM. The website (http://www.charlottechesscenter.org/#!southeast-fide-championship/cxan) shows 31 players on the Pre-Registered List, heading by GM Ben Finegold. IM’s Ronald Burnett and Kassa Korley have entered, along with FM’s William Fisher, the number two seed, and Peter Bereolos. Georgia players include Benjamin Moon; Reece Thompson; Grant Oen; Kapish Potula; Arthur Guo; & Carter Peatman.
Just want to give you information that Peter Giannatos will broadcast games from Southeastern FIDE Championship.
And in ChessStream.com as well. He as at least 1 DGT board, but we trying to provide 3 DGT boards for 3 live games. I probably will ask Peter to have scan of scoresheets during the tournament, so crowd may help to convert to PGN as well, like in US Masters.
Joe Cocker – Watching The River Flow (LIVE in Berlin) HD