Mission 360 Bay Area Making a Mockery of Chess Tournament

I love the Bay area and have previously written about it and the Mechanic’s Institute Chess Room many times on this blog. I love the South, and Charlotte is in North Carolina, a Southern state, and I would love to visit the Charlotte Chess Center someday. Nevertheless, like the story about an argument between three umpires. The first umpire says, “I calls ’em like I sees ’em.” The second one says, “I calls ’em like they was.” And the third one says, “They ain’t nothin’ till I calls ’em.”

These games were…what word should be used for the excremental games to follow? One calls them “games” for lack of a better word, for none of these so-called “games” were games in any sense of the word. To each and every player appearing on this blog post today I ask, “Why do not you play Chess?”

I do not know what to say about the first game. The first thought after replaying the moves was, “This must be some kind of joke.” Unfortunately, the game can still be found at LiChess days later… The AW has been playing Chess for over half a century and I have never, ever, seen any game like it…

Round 7: Sivakumar, Shaaketh – Sivakumar, Shaashwath
1.g4 d5 2.e4 Bf5 3.Qf3 Qd6 4.Qb3 Bc8 5.Qb5+ Kd8 6.Bd3 Na6 7.f4 Nb4 8.Na3 Nxa2 9.e5 Qg6 10.Bf1 Qd3 11.Bg2 Qe2+ 1/2-1/2

1 g4
2 e4
2 Bf5
3 Qf3
4 Qb3
5 Qb5+
5 Kd8
6 Bd3
7 f4
7… Nb4
8 Na3
9 e5
10 Bf1
11 Bg2


Round 6: Zaloznyy, Mike – Sevillano, Enrico

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. e3 c5 3. b3 g6 4. Bb2 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O Nc6 1/2-1/2

Round 6: Yanayt, Eugene – Andrianov, Nikola

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 1/2-1/2

Round 7: Sevillano, Enrico – Yanayt, Eugene

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O d6 6. c4 Nc6 1/2-1/2

Round 7: Andrianov, Nikolay – Yu, Jaingwei

  1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bf4 1/2-1/2

How To Draw A Chess Game

Chess is a difficult game, and it has become more difficult to win as the players have become stronger. The best players of today are exponentially stronger than their predecessors, which is only natural because today’s players stand on the shoulders of those who played in the past. When one adds what the computer programs have brought to the game it is obvious the top players of today would crush the best players of yesteryear.

The following games were played in the eight round of the Superbet Romania GCT tournament today. I give only the final position of the games and the number of moves to show how hard and long these players fought trying to win:

GM Wesley So vs GM Alireza Firouzja after White’s 38th move 1/2-1/2 (https://live.followchess.com/#!superbet-romania-gct-2022/919461025)
GM Levon Aronian vs GM Ian Nepomniachtchi after 85…Kc7 1/2-1/2 (https://live.followchess.com/#!superbet-romania-gct-2022/-702608188)
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac after 56…Kxg4 (https://live.followchess.com/#!superbet-romania-gct-2022/-715444276)
GM Fabiano Caruana vs GM Richard Rapport after 51…Kxf5 (https://live.followchess.com/#!superbet-romania-gct-2022/-39248169)

Contrast these games with the three and four move draws consummated at the most recent tournament at the Charlotte Chess Center (https://wordpress.com/post/xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/11582).

There was one decisive game played at the Superbet tournament today:

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs GM Leinier Dominguez Perez 0-1 43 moves (https://live.followchess.com/#!superbet-romania-gct-2022/-90636053)

How To Draw A Chess Game At The Charlotte Chess Center

This can be found in the Charlotte Chess Center GM/IM Norm Invitational – Regulations:

Organizer, Chief Arbiter: IA, IO Grant Oen grant@charlottechesscenter.org

*** Players may not agree to a draw before move 5. *** (https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/_files/ugd/7c12d5_6cae182e15e249a69fc2b69f8e575330.pdf)


Regular readers will know what a terrible hardship those in command of the CCC have imposed upon some of the usual suspect serial drawers who have made a home out of the place where Chess has gone to draw. How then can these “games”, and I use the word loosely, be explained? These pusillanimous punks could not get it up long enough to make FIVE MOVES!

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5

Round 7 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nc4 Nxe4

The above two award winning games and all of the following games have been copied from: (https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/TournamentGames.aspx)

IM Andrianov, (https://chessstream.com/profile/nikolay-andrianov-132053) born in 1961, set the tone for the tournament in the very first round with this gem:

Round 1 | 2022.05.04 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. c4 c6 6. O-O d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Ne5 Ne4 9. Nc3

That insult to Caissa was followed by this in round two:

Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. b3 g6 4. Bb2 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Qc2 Nc6 7. a3 d6 8. Be2 e5 9. d3 a6 10. Nc3 Rb8 11. O-O b5 12. Ne4 bxc4 13. bxc4 Nxe4 14. dxe4 f5 15. Bc3 f4 16. Rab1 fxe3 17. fxe3 Bh6 18. Qd3 Be6 19. Rxb8 Qxb8 20. Nd2

This must have completely worn out the older gentleman (I am not disparaging the IM because of his age because I was born in 1950) as this was all he could muster for the next round:

Round 3 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. dxe5 dxe5

By the fourth round IM Andrianov was tanned, rested, and ready…

Round 4 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Bf5 3. Bb2 e6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 h6 6. O-O Be7 7. c4 c6

What can I say? Back to the old drawing board…

Here is a list of the serial draws agreed to by pusillanimous players who obviously do not want to play Chess. Kinda makes one wonder why they entered the tournament, does it not? The good thing about viewing these games is that one does not need a board and pieces!

Round 1 | 2022.05.04 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. c4 c6 6. O-O d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Ne5 Ne4 9. Nc3

Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. b3 g6 4. Bb2 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Qc2 Nc6 7. a3 d6 8. Be2 e5 9. d3 a6 10. Nc3 Rb8 11. O-O b5 12. Ne4 bxc4 13. bxc4 Nxe4 14. dxe4 f5 15. Bc3 f4 16. Rab1 fxe3 17. fxe3 Bh6 18. Qd3 Be6 19. Rxb8 Qxb8 20. Nd2

Round 3 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. dxe5 dxe5

Round 3 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. g4 e5 7. Nf5 h5

Round 4 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Bf5 3. Bb2 e6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 h6 6. O-O Be7 7. c4 c6

Round 5 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bb5+

Round 5 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 a6 6. O-O

Round 5 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. b3 d6 3. d4 Nbd7 4. Bb2 g6 5. e3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O

Round 5 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Nbd2 Nbd7 7. c4 c6 8. Qc2 b6 9. e4 Nxe4 10. Nxe4 dxe4 11. Qxe4 Bb7 12. Rd1 Qc8 13. Qe2 Re8 14. Bg5 Bf8

Round 6 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 O-O 5. e4 d6 6. Be2 e5 7. dxe5 dxe5 8. Qxd8

Round 6 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 e6 3. Bg2 d5 4. O-O Be7 5. d4 O-O 6. c4 c6

Round 6 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O c5 5. d3 Nc6 6. Nbd2 Be7 7. e4 O-O

Round 6 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 c5 4. c3 e6 5. Bd3 Nc6 6. Nbd2 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. Re1 Qc7 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. e4 h6

Round 6 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O f6 6. d4 exd4 7. Nxd4 c5 8. Nb3 Qxd1 9. Rxd1

Round 7 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nc4 Nxe4

Round 7 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8 9. a4

Round 7 | 2022.05.07 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Nd2 d5 5. Bg2 O-O 6. Ngf3 b6 7. a3 Be7 8. O-O

Round 8 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 O-O 6. cxd5 exd5

Round 8 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Bf4 Nc6 6. e3 a6

Round 8 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e4 b5 6. e5

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 Bf5 4. Nc3 h6 5. g3 c6 6. Bg2 Ne4

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 b6 4. e3 Be7 5. h3 Bb7 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bf4 c6

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d6 3. Bg2 Nbd7 4. O-O e5 5. d3 Be7 6. e4 O-O

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O Nd4 6. Nxd4

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 dxc4 4. e4 b5 5. a4 c6 6. b3 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Bxd2+ 8. Qxd2 cxb3 9. axb5 cxb5 10. Bxb5+ Bd7 11. Bc4 Ne7

Round 9 | 2022.05.08 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 a6 6. O-O b5 7. Bd3 Bb7 8. Qe2 Nbd7 9. a4 b4 10. e4 Be7 11. Nbd2 c5 12. e5 Nd5 13. Nb3 cxd4 14. Nfxd4 Qb8 15. Re1 O-O

Some of these players paid $850 to create these non-games! Those “…foreign federation norm hunters” caught a break in having to fork over only $600. With entry fees that high it seems the younger players would at least try to play and learn something so their time and money would not be wasted, but what do I know? The Charlotte Chess Center has dropped the “& Scholastic” part of the name which may be a good thing because would you want your child emulating these non-Chess playing non-players?

GM Alonso Zapata vs FM Todd Andrews in French Defense Battle at the May 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina

Years ago FM Todd Andrews

Photo Gallery from the 2005 World Open (USA)

relocated from Music City to the Phoenix city, Atlanta, Georgia. It happened that by happenstance I was at Todd’s apartment after he moved in and again later as he was getting ready to return to Nashville, Tennessee. There was an obvious disparity between how the apartment looked on those two occasions, kind of like one of those ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.

Todd was young, and strong, at that time, and was the “Big Dog” at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, kickin’ ass and takin’ names. He was also an extremely personable and animated fellow. After being beaten by Todd one regular habitué of the House of Pain vociferously and demonstrably said to any and everyone within earshot, “That Todd has a BIG HEAD!” To which Bob Bassett replied, “Yeah, and if you ever get your rating up to 2400 you will have a big head.” Another wag added, “Fat chance.” The loser hit the door… The name stuck, although no one ever called Todd “Big Head” to his face. After yet another player had been battered and bloodied, metaphorically speaking, of course, over the Chess board by Todd, the loser would be asked about the result and the reply would invariably be, “Big Head got me.” About this time there was a popular music group, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, who were quite popular. Todd traveled to a music festival in another state and I considered asking if Big Head Todd and the Monsters were there, but refrained from so doing…

These days Todd is the man with the Big Head at the Nashville Chess Center:


FM Andrews drew with fellow FM James Canty in the opening round of the May 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational at the Charlotte Chess Center and followed that with a victory over GM Alonso Zapata, now a citizen of Georgia living in the metro Atlanta area. A couple of losses set him back before he was paired with serial drawer IM Nikolay Andrianov,


“…who became the Soviet Junior Champion in 1980. He beat GM Gary Kasparov in their junior years and maintains a plus score against the world champion. After that, he chose to focus on chess training. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chess training from the Moscow Central Physical Culture and Sports Institute, considered the top chess school globally at the time. He has since then trained students, many of them becoming masters in Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States. Currently, he teaches chess in Arizona and online with Ashburn Chess Club.” (https://ashburnchessclub.com/nikolay-andrianov)

These are the games produced by IM Nikolay Andrianov in the first four rounds:



Round 1 | 2022.05.04 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. c4 c6 6. O-O d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Ne5 Ne4 9. Nc3 1/2-1/2



Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. b3 g6 4. Bb2 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Qc2 Nc6 7. a3 d6 8. Be2 e5 9. d3 a6 10. Nc3 Rb8 11. O-O b5 12. Ne4 bxc4 13. bxc4 Nxe4 14. dxe4 f5 15. Bc3 f4 16. Rab1 fxe3 17. fxe3 Bh6 18. Qd3 Be6 19. Rxb8 Qxb8 20. Nd2 1/2-1/2



Round 3 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. dxe5 dxe5 1/2-1/2



Round 4 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Bf5 3. Bb2 e6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 h6 6. O-O Be7 7. c4 c6 1/2-1/2

What happened in the second round? It looks as though Tianqi Wang actually considered attempting to try and play for a win, but after making a very weak move that gave the advantage to his opponent changed his mind and offered a draw, which was accepted by the player with little fight left in him. It takes two to tango, and make a draw, so all the blame cannot go to IM Andrianov. Some of the blame must be taken by the pusillanimous pussies so ready to accept a draw offer from an old and weak IM. Todd Andrews came to play Chess and forced the ineffectual IM to play to the death. Unfortunately, it was Todd who lost, but he went down fighting, like a man, and my hat is off to FM Todd Andrews. In losing Todd Andrews comes away a winner from one of the Charlotte Drawing Tournaments.





Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 0-1 ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 c5 6. Ndf3 Nc6 7. Bd3 cxd4 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 10. Ne2 Qc7 11. O-O Bd6 12. Nc3 a6 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rc1 h6 15. Bh4 Bf4 16. Rc2 Qf7 17. Ne2 Bb8 18. Bg3 Bd7 19. Rc3 Ne4 20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Nd2 e5 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. Bxe5 Nxe5 24. Nxe4 Bc6 25. Qb1 Rad8 26. N2g3 Qf4 27. f3 Qh4 28. Qc2 Kh8 29. Rc5 Nd3 30. Rh5 Qf4 31. h3 Qe3+ 32. Kh2 Bxe4 33. Nxe4 Rc8 34. Qb3 Qe2 35. Ng3 Qc2 36. Kg1 Nf4 37. Qxc2 Rxc2 38. Rf5 Rxg2+ 39. Kh1 Rxf5 40. Nxf5 Rxb2 41. Rd1 0-1
  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 (Stockfish 14 and 15 both play 3 Nc3, as does Komodo) 3…Nf6 (According to the ChessBaseDataBase, Komodo, Houdini, and Deep Fritz prefer 3…c5) 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 (SF 8 @depth 46 plays the move played in the game, but SF 13 @depth 44 goes with the most often played move of 5 Bd3. SF 14.1 @depth 47 will play 5 f4) 5…c5 6. Ndf3 (SF 311221 plays 6 Bd3 which has been far and away the most often played move with 8421 games in the CBDB; SF 14.1 will play 6 f4, the second most often played move (1924). The move played in the game has only been attempted in 54 games) 6…Nc6 7. Bd3 cxd4 (This move has been played most often with 130 games in the CBDB, but SF 14.1 and Komodo will play 7…Qa5. The reason could be that 7…cxd4 has resulted in a 66% score for players of the White pieces as opposed to only 42% in 31 games for 7…Qa5) 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 (SF 12 plays this move, but SF 070222 will take the pawn with the Queen with 9…Qxf6. Houdini will fire a TN with 9…Bb4+. 9…Nxf6 has been played in 84 games; 9…Qxf6 in only 8. White has scored 64% versus the former, but only 38% against the latter move) 10. Ne2 Qc7 (SF 130121 @depth 59 plays 10…Bd6, as do two different Fritz programs) 11. O-O Bd6 12. Nc3 (Fritz 16 plays this move, but Deep Fritz will play will play 12 g3. SF 170821 prefers 12 h3) 12…a6 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rc1 (SF 14.1 plays 14 Bh4 and so should you) 14…h6 (14…Bd7 has been played most often, and one of the “New Engines” @depth 42 likes it, but left running a little longer it changes its whatever @depth 43 to 14…Ng4, which is what Komodo will play @depth 26) 15. Bh4 Bf4 (There is only one prior game with the game move. Komodo 8 @depth 14 plays 15…Bd7, but SF 261120 will play 15…Nh5, as will Komodo 9)

Kurt Petschar (2310) vs Peter Roth (2325)
Event: AUT-ch
Site: Wolfsberg Date: ??/??/1985
Round: 8
ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.O-O Qc7 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Nc3 a6 14.Rc1 h6 15.Bh4 Bf4 16.Bg3 Nh5 17.Rc2 g5 18.Bg6 Nxg3 19.hxg3 Bd6 20.Bh5 Qg7 21.Rd2 Bd7 22.Re1 b5 23.Rde2 b4 24.Na4 g4 25.Bxg4 Qxg4 26.Nb6 Rad8 27.Nxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxe6 Qg7 29.Qc1 Nxd4 30.Rxh6 Nxf3+ 31.gxf3 Bf4 0-1

Expert Anthony Parker vs National Master Dominique Myers: C45 Scotch, Pulling counter-attack

The Charlotte Chess Center


deserves praise for hosting a different kind of Chess tournament, the ALTO (At Least Twenty-One) tournament held recently. During the first decades of this century I was working at the Atlanta Chess and Game Center, aka, the “House of Pain.” That decade saw the “youth movement” in Chess. The skittles room was eventually taken over by parents of the children playing Chess upstairs, leaving no room for skittles, or for going over a game recently played. Disgruntled older players did not care for the changes and some of them stopped coming during tournament weekends and then stopped coming altogether. The parents of the children brought their laptops and some complained about there not being enough outlets into which they could plug their laptops. During one tournament with a large number of players I had to literally step between two men who were shouting at each other over the only outlet not in use. As they yelled and screamed at each other another person plugged into the not in use outlet which almost caused a brawl! I kid you not… It was a cold and wet winter day so the outside outlets could not be used. During periods of good weather, mostly spring and autumn parents would bring lawn chairs and fight over the outside outlets.

When I began playing as a twenty year old adult things were much different. There was only one child playing regularly then, Randy Kolvick. His older brother, Bob, played tournament Chess. Randy did not act like a child, but comported himself as would an adult. The tournaments could be thought of as “sedate.” Before the House of Pain closed the description changed to “madhouse,” because most children have a high energy level and often run around like a chicken after its head has been cut off. When the weather was nice the children were able to burn off some of that excess energy by running around outside. Unfortunately, there would be screaming and yelling which could be heard in the upstairs playing rooms, which never had enough air conditioning, so the windows would often be open, and everything that happened outside could be heard inside the playing rooms. You would often hear an old(er) player say something like, “Things were better in my day,” or some such. During one such discussion at the House of Pain I interjected, “I dunno…maybe things were different, but I don’t know about better because the children have brought money into Chess that was lacking ‘back in the day’. Funny looks and silence followed…

I would, therefore, like to give plaudits to the folks at the Charlotte Chess Center for hosting a tournament for adults only, although it may have been better for the age limit to have been set at eighteen. I write this because ‘back in the day’ much was made of the fact that a young boy could be drafted and forced into going into the Army to fight and possibly die in Viet Nam, but could not legally drink an adult beverage of his choosing, since one had to be twenty-one to legally drink an alcoholic beverage. Because of the outcry the law was lowered to eighteen before being changed again. Most college students begin their first year of college at the age of eighteen. They are going to drink (think “Animal House”)

‘Animal House’ Anniversary: 15 Movies That Make Men Look …
Flounder From Animal House Quotes. (quotesgram.com)

so boosting the legal age made criminals out of each and every one of them. One can vote after turning eighteen; drive at sixteen. An eighteen year old Chess player should be allowed to play in an “adult only” event.

Anthony Parker 2141 vs Dominique Myers 2202

Dominique Myers https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/staff

Charlotte Chess Center ALTO (At Least Twenty-One)
ECO: C45 Scotch, Steinitz variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Nb5 Nf6 7.Bd3 Ba5 8.O-O a6 9.Na3 b5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Ne5 12.Be2 Bb6 13.d6 Bb7 14.Bd3 O-O 15.h3 Qg3 0-1

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 (Chess.com has named this the: C45 Scotch, Pulling counter-attack. The Warrior has been around the Royal Game for over five decades and this is the first time learning there is a name for this move. It could not be located at “Chess Gambits Guide: Ultimate List of Gambits Every Chess Player Should Know” (https://www.chessjournal.com/chess-gambits/) 5.Nc3 (This move turns it into a “C45 Scotch, Steinitz variation”) 5…Bb4 6.Nb5 (Three different SF programs play 6 Be2, and so should you) 6…Nf6 (All 3 Stockfish programs play 6…Ba5, and so should you) 7.Bd3 (What the fork is this? This move is not in the CBDB; there is a reason. Three different programs play 7 Nxc7+ and so should you!)

Lukas Lang vs Dietmar Hiermann (2269)
Event: Finkenstein op
Site: Finkenstein Date: ??/??/1999
Round: ?
ECO: C45 Scotch, Steinitz variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Nb5 Nf6 7.Bd3 Ba5 8.O-O a6 9.Na3 b5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Ne7 12.c4 O-O 13.Rb1 d6 14.Bd2 Bb6 15.Qc2 Ng6 16.Rbe1 Ne5 17.Re4 Qh5 18.Be2 Qg6 19.Rf4 Qxc2 20.Nxc2 bxc4 21.Bc3 Bb7 22.Bxe5 dxe5 23.Rxc4 Bxd5 24.Ra4 a5 25.Ne3 Be6 26.Rc1 Rad8 27.Nc4 Bxc4 28.Raxc4 Rd2 29.R4c2 Rxc2 30.Rxc2 Rd8 31.Rc1 Kf8 32.Rd1 Bd4 33.b3 Ke7 34.Kf1 Rd6 35.f3 Rc6 36.Bd3 h6 37.Ke2 Rc3 38.Kd2 Rc5 39.Ke2 g6 40.Rd2 f5 41.Rc2 Rxc2+ 42.Bxc2 Bg1 43.h3 Kf6 44.g3 Bc5 45.g4 Kg5 46.h4+ Kxh4 47.gxf5 g5 48.f6 g4 49.fxg4 Kxg4 50.Be4 Kf4 51.Bf3 e4 52.Bg2 h5 53.f7 h4 54.a4 Bb4 55.Kf2 Bd6 56.Bf1 Bc5+ 57.Kg2 Ke3 58.Kh3 Kf2 0-1

ALTO (AT LEAST 21) Chess With Ben & Karen Finegold

GM Magesh Panchanathan and GM Elshan Moradiabadi scored 4/5 points to tie for the first place in the main championship. Moradiabadi had better tiebreaks but the two players shared the trophy and the prize. https://www.chessdom.com/gm-elshan-moradiabadi-triumphs-alto-tournament-in-charlotte/

Class A Patrick McCartney vs GM Ben Finegold
ALTO (At Least Twenty One)
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Nh6 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nc6 13.c3 Qd8 14.Qe2 Be7 15.Bd2 Qc7 16.O-O g6 17.a3 b3 18.Rae1 h5 19.g5 O-O-O 1/2-1/2

This game was played in the first round. I was unaware of the video that follows until searching for something to go with the post. I have yet to watch it…There is a nice report which can be found at Chessdom, from which the picture was taken. (https://www.chessdom.com/gm-elshan-moradiabadi-triumphs-alto-tournament-in-charlotte/)

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 (Stockfish 8 @depth 47 plays this move, but SF 14.1 @depth 60 prefers 2…d6) 3.g3 (SF 14 and Deep Fritz both play 3 Nf3, which has been the most often played move. SF 14.1 plays the move played in the game) 3…b5 (This is the move of Komodo 14 & SF 15. There are over one thousand examples of it contained in the bowels of the ChessBaseDataBase. Fritz 16 plays 3…d6. There are 24 games with the move that can be found in the CBDB) 4.Bg2 Bb7 (SF 13 @depth 52 and SF 14.1 @depth 42 both play the game move, but Deep Ftitz 14 @depth 29 will play a NEW MOVE, 4…e5) 5.d3 (Three different SF programs, 14.1; 15; and 151121 all play 5 Nge2. In 300 games with 5 Nge2 White has scored 53%. In the 620 games in which 5 d3 has been played it has scored only 45%) 5…e6 6.f4 (Two different SF programs, 12 & 151121 both play 6 Nf3, as does Deep Fritz 14. Makes you wonder, does it not?) 6…b4 (Three different SF programs, 13, 14.1; and 190322 all play 6…Nc6. The CBDB contains only 14 games in which 6…Nc6 has been tried. 6…Nf6, with 83 games tops the list, followed by 6…b4 with 40 games, and 6…d6 with 28) 7.Nce2 (Although this move has been most frequently played, SF 13; 14.1; and Fritz 16 all play 7 Na4, which has only scored 10% in 5 games. In 27 games 7 Nce2 has scored 39%) 7…d5 8.e5 (Although Komodo and Deep Freeze, err, excuse me, Deep Fritz both play 8 exd5, SF 14.1 plays the move played in the game) 8…Nh6 (SF 190322 and SF 14.1 both play 8…Ne7. SF 220422 plays 8…g6) 9.Nf3 Nf5 (The three programs shown, SF 13; Komodo 13; and Houdini, all play 9…Be7. See Lyell vs Yao below) 10.g4 (The CBDB shows SF 14.1; SF 13; and Houdini, each play the move made by Mr. McCartney, which turns out to be a THEORETICAL NOVELTY! I kid you not…The CBDB contains 3 games in which 10 d4 was attempted, each game a loss for White, and one game with 10 c3, which was won by White)

Mark Lyell (2193) vs Lan Yao (2253)
Event: BSSZ Aranytiz IM 2017
Site: Budapest HUN Date: 08/21/2017
Round: 3.3
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Nh6 9.Nf3 Be7 10.O-O Nc6 11.Kh1 Nf5 12.g4 Nh4 13.Nxh4 Bxh4 14.Be3 Be7 15.Ng3 Qc7 16.Qe2 Na5 17.Bg1 Bh4 18.Nh5 g6 19.Nf6+ Bxf6 20.exf6 d4 21.a3 b3 22.Rae1 Kd7 23.cxb3 Nxb3 24.f5 Rhe8 25.Qc2 Bxg2+ 26.Qxg2 gxf5 27.gxf5 Qc6 28.fxe6+ Rxe6 29.Qxc6+ Kxc6 30.Rxe6+ fxe6 31.h3 Rf8 32.Kg2 Kd5 33.Kg3 e5 34.Kg4 Ke6 35.f7 Rxf7 36.Rxf7 Kxf7 37.Kf5 c4 38.dxc4 d3 39.Be3 d2 40.Bxd2 Nxd2 41.c5 e4 42.Kf4 Ke6 43.Ke3 Nc4+ 44.Kxe4 Nxb2 45.Kd4 Nd1 46.h4 Nf2 47.Ke3 Ng4+ 48.Kf4 Ne5 49.Kg5 Nf3+ 50.Kg4 Nxh4 0-1

Janina Remy (1927) vs Amy Officer(1815)
Event: EU-ch U16 Girls 17th
Site: Sibenik Date: 09/20/2007
Round: 7
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nc6 13.Be3 h5 14.gxh5 Rc8 15.Qd2 Rxh5 16.O-O-O Rh8 17.Bf2 Qd8 18.Qe2 Qc7 19.Rde1 a5 20.f5 Nd4 21.Qg4 a4 22.fxe6 Nxe6 23.Nf5 Qa5 24.Nd6+ Bxd6 25.exd6 Kf8 26.Bh4 b3 27.a3 bxc2 28.Rxe6 c4 29.d7 Rxh4 30.Qxh4 fxe6 31.Rf1+ Kg8 32.dxc8=Q+ Bxc8 33.dxc4 Ba6 34.Bh3 Qb6 35.Qe7 Qe3+ 36.Kxc2 Qxh3 37.Qf7+ Kh7 38.Rf3 Qxh2+ 39.Rf2 Qh3 40.cxd5 Qd3+ 41.Kc1 Qe3+ 42.Kd1 Qb3+ 43.Kc1 Qe3+ 44.Kd1 Qb3+ ½-½

Andre Lupor (2284) vs Konstantin Kunz (2179)
Event: Bad Woerishofen op
Site: Bad Woerishofen Date: 03/24/2006
Round: 8
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.g3 a6 4.Bg2 b5 5.d3 Bb7 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nd7 13.Qe2 Be7 14.O-O h5 15.g5 Qg4 16.Bf3 Qh3 17.Bd2 h4 18.Nh5 f5 19.exf6 Nxf6 20.Nxf6+ Bxf6 21.Bg4 Bd4+ 22.Kh1 Qg3 23.Qxe6+ 1-0

IM Arthur Guo Wins Spring 2022 GM Norm Invitational!

Hometown hero Arthur Guo


took first place in the just completed Spring 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational extravaganza held at the Charlotte Chess Center by winning both the penultimate, and last rounds today while scoring six points, one half point ahead of GM Kamil Dragun and IM Raja Panjwani, who was the opponent of the young IM Guo, winner of the 2021 National Open, which was his first GM norm. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/im-arthur-guo-wins-national-open/) Even though Arthur won the tournament he will not earn a norm because he had to garner 6 1/2 points for a norm. This makes no sense. The player wins by finishing alone in first place and he earns no norm? Go figure…that’s FIDE.

Arthur began the day by winning with the Black pieces versus the boy who became the youngest Grandmaster in history, Abhimanyu Mishra, about whom much has been written. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/07/14/chess-dirty-laundry-begins-to-smell/)

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O h6 7. Re1 a6 8. a4 Ba7 9. Nbd2 g5 10. b4 Nh7 11. Kh1 O-O 12. Rf1 Ne7 13. Bb2 Ng6 14. Ne1 g4 15. d4 c6 16. f3 g3 17. hxg3 Qg5 18. Kh2 d5 19. Bb3 Bb8 20. Nd3 Nf6 21. dxe5 Nxe5 22. Nf4 Nh5 23. Ne2 Nxg3 24. Nxg3 Qh4+ 25. Kg1 Ba7+ 26. Rf2 Qxg3 27. Qe2 Nd3 28. c4 Qxf2+ 29. Qxf2 Bxf2+ 30. Kf1 Nxb2 31. Kxf2 Nxc4 32. Nxc4 dxc4 33. Bxc4 Be6 34. Be2 f5 35. exf5 Bxf5 36. Rd1 Rad8 0-1

The move 21…Nxe5? was enough to lose the game but just to make sure the young boy next fired off a “Howler” when playing 22…Nf4?? A move like that when played by an older player would cause one to wonder if there had been some kind of brain infarction. Do children have brain infarction?

In the last round Arthur had the White pieces against IM Raja Panjwani, who was leading the field heading into the ultimate round.

IM Arthur Guo 2412 USA vs Raja Panjwani 2436 CAN

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Nxd4 7. Qxd4 d6 8. Be2 Bg7 9. Be3 O-O 10. Qd2 a5 11. f3 a4 12. Rc1 Qa5 13. Kf2 Be6 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. Qxa5 Rxa5 16. cxd5 Nd7 17. Rc7 Nc5 18. Rb1 Rfa8 19. Ke1 Bf6 20. Kd1 Kg7 21. g3 b6 22. Bd2 R5a7 23. Rc6 Rb7 24. Bb5 Bd4 25. Kc2 f5 26. exf5 gxf5 27. Re1 Kf7 28. g4 fxg4 29. fxg4 Kg7 30. Rf1 Be5 31. h4 h6 32. Rf5 Ne4 33. Bxh6+ Kxh6 34. Rxe5 Nc5 35. Rf5 a3 36. b4 Nd7 37. Rc3 Rg8 38. Rh5+ Kg7 39. Rg5+ Kf7 40. Bxd7 1-0

The players traded inaccuracies around move twenty but when Raja played the weak move 31…h6? his tenuous position was teetering on the abyss. With his next move IM Panjwani let go of the rope completely…

Congratulations to future GM Arthur Guo!

Arthur Guo Let One Go

It was Saturday night and almost all was right, until young Arthur Guo let one go…like a hooked fish that somehow gets offa the hook…There I was, watching the action from Charlotte while listening to my man, H. Johnson, spin vinyl on his Saturday night program Jazz Classics on WABE FM from Atlanta, Georgia, a program to which I have listened since it’s inception way back in 1978.


One of the best things about the internet is being able to listen to a program from home while in another part of the country. While listening I was also watching the Chess games being contested at the Charlotte Chess Center. One game in particular captured my attention, keeping my eyes transfixed on the screen for far too long, I’m sad to report, because my eyes were blurred upon awakening and even after a mid-morning ‘nap’ to rest them they are still somewhat out of focus. That’s OK though, because it was worth the time spent watching the game, which follows. At one point I eschewed the other games and gave my full attention to this game exclusively, rooting for Arthur while thrusting my fist in the air and shouting, “YES!,” or sometimes, “NO,” or “Oh No,” with a “What The Fork?” thrown in for good measure. WHAT A GAME!!! As far as this reporter is concerned this game was THE GAME of the tournament. Granted, I have not reviewed all the games, but of those that I’ve seen this was THE ONE! I’m telling you the game gave me HEART PALPITATIONS! At the conclusion of the game I was EXHAUSTED as if it had been me making the moves. Chess, and life, don’t get any better than that, I’m here to tell you, that is if you are a Chess Fan. At times the AW was yellin’, “Go Authur Guo, GO!” I’ve heard something about those that can no longer do, watch…Yes, I admit to living last night vicariously through the moves of future Grandmaster, and fellow Georgian Arthur Guo. The game can be found all over the internet, and I have provided a link to FollowChess, and would like to recommend this one from Lichess.com (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-charlotte-chess-gm-norm-invitational/round-7/BamwVdbA)
I will also recommend you play over the game at followchess.com and make notes before surfin’ on over to Lichess.

IM Arthur Guo (2412)


vs GM Aleksander Mista (2541)


Charlotte Spring GM A (round 7)
C50 Giuoco Pianissimo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (The ChessBaseDataBase gives Fritz 17 @depth 42 playing 3 Bc4, and it gives it twice in lieu of another program. Wonder why? The other program shown, Stockfish 300121 @depth 85[!] considers 3 Bb5 best) 3…Bc5 (Fritz 17 will play this move, but Stockfish 070215 @depth 48, and SF 14.1 @depth 62[!] will play 3…Nf6) 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 (SF 14.1 @depth 59 castles) 5…d6 6. a5 a6 (The CBDB contains 16 games in which this move has been played; one with 6…h6. Stockfish 080222 @depth 36 will play 6…h6, SF 14.1 @depth 35 will play 6…0-0) 7. c3 (Again the most often played move according to the CBDB, with 17 examples and only 4 games showing 7 0-0. Fritz 16 plays the move, but Stockfish 11 [Eleven? Why does the CBDB show a move from such an antiquated program? Obviously the CBDB needs an upgrade] will castle) 7…h6 (The most often played move, with 11 games at the CBDB. There are 7 games containing the move 7…Ba7, and it is the choice of Fritz 18. Stockfish 14.1 will play 7…0-0, and so should you. There is only one game in which the player behind the Black pieces castled and it was found only at the CBDB:

Alexandra Kosteniuk 2516 (RUS) vs Ryan Hamley 2077 (USA)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.a4 a6 6.a5 d6 7.c3 O-O 8.O-O Ba7 9.Re1 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Qb3 Qd7 12.Nbd2 Rab8 13.Nf1 Rfe8 14.Be3 Bxe3 15.Nxe3 d5 16.Qc2 h6 17.h3 Kh8 18.Ra4 Qf7 19.Ng4 Nxg4 20.hxg4 Qg6 21.g5 hxg5 22.exd5 exd5 23.Rg4 e4 24.dxe4 Rxe4 25.Rexe4 dxe4 26.Nxg5 Nxa5 27.Qa4 b6 28.Rh4+ Kg8 29.Qa2+ Kf8 30.Rh8+ Ke7 31.Rxb8 Qxg5 32.Qb1 Qf4 33.Qd1 Nc6 34.Rh8 Kf6 1-0)

  1. O-O O-O 9. h3 (The most often played move, but SF 14.1 @depth 40 will play 9 Nbd2) 9…Be6 (9…There are 10 games at the CBDB in which the move 9…Ba7 was played, and it is the choice of SF 191221 @depth 34 plays the move, but SF 14.1 @depth 39 will play the move played in the game) 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11. Be3 (Although this move is the choice of SF 14 @depth 37, SF 14.1
    @depth 49 will play 11 Nbd2, which will be a TN if’n it’s ever played by a human. The move 11 b4 was seen in the following game, found only at the CBDB:

Kirill Alekseenko (2699) (RUS) vs Alexander Zubov 2598 (UKR)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op 2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O a6 7.a4 h6 8.a5 O-O 9.h3 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.b4 Ba7 12.Re1 Qe8 13.Be3 Nh5 14.g3 Rf6 15.Ra2 Qf7 16.Nbd2 Rf8 17.Kg2 Qg6 18.Kh2 Qf7 19.Kg2 g5 20.Qe2 Qg6 21.Rf1 Kh7 22.Bxa7 Nxa7 23.Nh2 R6f7 24.Nc4 Nf6 25.Ne3 h5 26.Rb2 Nb5 27.Rc2 Kg8 28.Qd2 g4 29.hxg4 Nxg4 30.Nexg4 hxg4 31.Qe2 Rf3 32.Qd1 d5 33.Re1 d4 34.c4 Nc3 35.Qd2 Kg7 36.Rh1 R3f6 37.Qe1 b6 38.axb6 cxb6 39.Qc1 a5 40.c5 a4 41.cxb6 Qh5 42.Nf1 Qf7 43.Qg5+ Qg6 44.Qxe5 Kg8 45.Qxd4 Nd1 46.Rd2 Nxf2 47.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 48.Qxf2 Rxf2+ 49.Kxf2 Qf6+ 50.Ke1 Qc3+ 51.Nd2 Qxb4 52.Ke2 Qxb6 53.Rb1 Qa7 54.Nc4 a3 55.Ra1 a2 56.Ne3 Qa3 57.Nc4 Qb3 58.Rf1 Qc3 0-1

Fork the Russians. Score one for UKRAINE!!!

The Return of Mr. Hankey

In the recently completed Holiday CCCSA GM 2021 Chess tournament held in Charlotte, North Carolina, Grandmaster Tanguy Ringoir,

Charlotte Chess Center Blog: CCCSA Norm Invitational …

recipient of the now infamous Mr. Hankey award (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/the-charlotte-chess-center-mr-hankey-award/) was invited to return even though he was still stinking to high heaven after his abysmal non performance in the Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 tournament. In the first round GM Ringoir had the black pieces versus GM Alex Lenderman,

a higher rated player, and one who has been playing very well recently. The game began as a E 60 King’s Indian (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=8&n=77&ms=d4.Nf6.c4.g6.Nf3.Bg7.Nc3&ns= but after 4…d5 became a D90 Gruenfeld, Three knights variation (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=9&n=325&ms=d4.Nf6.c4.g6.Nf3.Bg7.Nc3.d5&ns= The players took no chances while playing solid moves while circling each other like beasts of prey hoping to live another day, and in a bishop of opposite color ending with an equal number of pawns, a draw was agreed on move 36. This was almost double the number of moves, on average, played per game in the aforementioned tournament.

In the second round GM Ringoir again had the black pieces and after thirty moves had what IM Boris Kogan was fond of calling, a “Beeg Pawn!” Then FM Miland Maiti


blundered horribly before doing it again…and it was on to round three.

The third round opponent was Gauri Shankar, only a FIDE Master, the kind of player a Grandmaster would usually defeat while trimming his nails, especially with having the White pieces for the first time.

GM Tanguy Ringoir (BEL) vs FM Shankar Gauri (IND)


Holiday CCCSA GM 2021 round 03

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5 9. Be2 Bb7 10. Qc2 Nh5 11. Rd1 Nxg3 12. hxg3 Na6 13. b3 cxb3 14. Qxb3 Bg7 15. e5 O-O 16. Kf1 ½-½ (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-holiday-cccsa-gm/03-Ringoir_Tanguy-Gauri_Shankar)

Playing so many moves early in the tournament obviously had a deleterious effect upon GM Ringoir as shown by the above game, and the one below:

WIM Stavroula Tsolakidou 2379 (GRE)


vs GM Tanguy Ringoir (BEL)

Holiday CCCSA GM 2021 round 04

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bg5 Bg7 4. Nbd2 O-O 5. e3 d5 6. Be2 Nbd7 7. O-O Re8 8. c3 e5 9. h3 c6 ½-½

Let’s give the so-called Grandmaster a break as he did have black, and everyone knows it has become virtually impossible to win with the black pieces, so why sit there all day beating a dead skunk? Surely after all the accumulated rest our Guy will come out of the gate Tan, rested, and ready for the next round, right?

GM Tanguy Ringoir (BEL) vs FM Edward Song (USA)


Holiday CCCSA GM 2021 round 05

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Qc2 Nbd7 9. Bf4 a5 10. Rd1 a4 11. Ne5 Nh5 12. Bc1 Nhf6 13. Bf4 Nh5 14. Bc1 Nhf6 15. Bf4 ½-½

In the course of the life of a Grandmaster it is inevitable that he will encounter a young whipper-snapper who will refuse a draw offer because he is only an International Master and the only way he can become a Grandmaster is by beating players like YOU!

IM Jason Liang (USA)


vs GM Tanguy Ringoir (BEL)
Holiday CCCSA GM 2021 round 06

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1 O-O 9. h3 h6 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. b4 Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Rb1 d5 14. Qc2 d4 15. c4 Qe7 16. Qb3 a5 17. Ba3 Nd7 18. b5 Nb4 19. Bxb4 axb4 20. a5 Nc5 21. Qc2 Rg6 22. g3 Rf8 23. Nb3 Na4 24. Nbxd4 Bxd4 25. Nxd4 Nc5 26. Nf5 Qd7 27. Rxb4 Nxd3 28. Qd2 Rd6 29. Nxd6 Nxe1 30. Qxe1 Qxd6 31. Ra4 Qd3 32. a6 bxa6 33. bxa6 Qc2 34. Ra1 Qxc4 35. Qb1 Kh7 36. a7 Qc6 37. Qb8 Qc3 38. Ra4 1-0 https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-holiday-cccsa-gm/06-Liang_Jason-Ringoir_Tanguy

What’s worse than a Chess Grandmaster who has just lost in the prior round and has the White army against his next opponent, especially when that opponent is a middle aged IM?

GM Tanguy Ringoir (BEL) vs IM Alexander Kaliksteyn (USA)


Holiday CCCSA GM 2021 round 07

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qf3 Nf6 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Qg3 Qxg3 10. hxg3 Rb8 11. b3 Bb4 12. Bd2 d5 13. Bd3 h6 14. f3 O-O 15. O-O-O Rd8 16. Bf4 Ra8 17. Na4 Nd7 18. g4 Bb7 19. g5 hxg5 20. Bxg5 f6 21. Be3 Kf7 22. c4 e5 23. exd5 cxd5 24. cxd5 Bxd5 25. Kb2 Be7 26. Rd2 Bc6 27. Bc4+ Kg6 28. Bd5 Bxd5 29. Rxd5 f5 30. Nc3 Bf6 31. Rhd1 Nf8 32. Rxd8 Rxd8 33. Rxd8 Bxd8 34. b4 Kf6 35. a4 Ke6 36. a5 Nd7 37. b5 Nb8 38. Ba7 Bxa5 39. Bxb8 Bxc3+ 40. Kxc3 axb5 41. Ba7 Kd5 42. Be3 g6 43. g3 Ke6 44. Kb4 f4 45. gxf4 exf4 46. Bxf4 Kf5 47. Bh2 Kg5 48. Bg3 Kf5 49. Kxb5 g5 50. Kc4 g4 51. f4 Ke4 52. Bh2 1-0

At this point the atavistic tendency of Mr. Ringoir reared its ugly head and he reverted to type:

GM Cemil Can Ali Marandi (TUR)

vs GM Tanguy Ringoir (BEL)
Holiday CCCSA GM 2021 round 08

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Be7 10. Nc3 Nh4 11. Nd4 Nf5 12. Nf3 Nh4 13. Nxh4 Bxh4 14. f4 Bf5 15. Rd1+ Ke8 16. g4 Bc8 17. Kg2 h5 18. f5 g6 19. Kf3 ½-½

GM Tanguy Ringoir (BEL) vs IM Raja Panjwani (CAN)


Holiday CCCSA GM 2021 round 09

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O ½-½

There is a reason those in charge at the Charlotte Chess Center invited the Mr. Hankey award winner to return.

FM Richard Francisco’s Amazing Comeback

When the Chess world went scholastic Richard Francisco

Richard Francisco

was one of the first children in the Atlanta area to become a strong player. Mr. Francisco represented Atlanta, and Georgia, when playing for the Atlanta Kings.

Atlanta Kings 2016-17 | Georgia Chess News

He is a likeable gentleman about whom I have never heard a discouraging word.

Therefore it was painful to watch local favorite lose his first three games in the ongoing Charlotte Holiday IM norm tournament. In the fourth round Richard, playing black, stopped the bleeding by drawing a hard fought game with fellow FM Doug Ekhart,


rated 2206 FIDE; 2306 USCF. Tell me again why there is such a disparity between the World Chess rating and the US Chess rating?

FM Doug Eckert (USA) vs FM Richard Francisco (USA)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 04
E71 King’s Indian, Makagonov system (5.h3)

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. h3 O-O 6. Be3 c5 7. d5 b5 8. cxb5 a6 9. bxa6 Qa5 10. Qd2 Nbd7 11. Nf3 Rb8 12. Rb1 Nb6 13. b3 Bxa6 14. Bxa6 Nfd7 15. Rc1 Qxa6 16. Qe2 Ra8 17. Qxa6 Rxa6 18. a4 f5 19. exf5 Rxf5 20. O-O Nxd5 21. Nxd5 Rxd5 22. Rb1 h6 23. Rfc1 Kf7 24. Bd2 Rd3 25. a5 Rxd2 26. Nxd2 Rxa5 27. b4 cxb4 28. Rxb4 Nc5 29. Rbc4 Ra2 30. R1c2 Ra1+ 31. Rc1 Ra2 32. R1c2 Ra1+ 33. Rc1 ½-½

In the fifth round Richard had the white pieces versus USCF Master Matan Prilleltensky,


rated only 2166 FIDE, thirty four points below Master level. The game was a long back and forth struggle in which both players were at times winning the game, which culminated in a draw.

Richard Francisco (USA) vs Matan Prilleltensky (USA)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 05
A20 English opening

  1. c4 e5 2. g3 c6 3. d4 e4 4. Nc3 d5 5. Bg2 Bb4 6. Qb3 a5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. f3 Nc6 9. fxe4 Nxd4 10. Qd1 dxe4 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Qxd8+ Nxd8 13. Bxe4 Nf6 14. Bd3 O-O 15. a3 Bxc3+ 16. bxc3 Nc6 17. Nf3 Re8 18. Bc1 Bh3 19. Ng5 Bg2 20. Rg1 Ne5 21. Rxg2 Nxd3+ 22. Kd2 Nxc1 23. Rxc1 Rad8+ 24. Ke1 Nd5 25. Rf2 f6 26. Nh3 Rc8 27. Rf3 Ne3 28. Nf4 b5 29. h3 Nc4 30. Ra1 a4 31. Nd3 Rc7 32. Ra2 Rec8 33. Rf4 Ne3 34. Rb4 Nd5 35. Rd4 Nxc3 36. Rb2 f5 37. g4 fxg4 38. hxg4 Rc4 39. e3 Rxd4 40. exd4 Re8+ 41. Ne5 Rd8 42. Kd2 Ne4+ 43. Ke3 Nd6 44. Rc2 h5 45. d5 hxg4 46. Kd4 Nf5+ 47. Ke4 Nd6+ 48. Kd4 Nf5+ 49. Ke4 Nd6+ 50. Kd4 ½-½

The sixth round saw Richard paired with the only Grandmaster in the field, Jose Gonzalez Garcia,


from Spain, rated 2483 FIDE; 2583 USCF. The game was relatively even until the Grandmaster lurched in playing 24 exf5, a horribly bad move. After many vicissitudes Richard slammed the GM to the mat!

Jose Gonzalez Garcia (ESP) vs Richard Francisco (USA)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 06
E90 King’s Indian, 5.Nf3

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 Na6 7. O-O e5 8. Be3 Qe8 9. dxe5 Ng4 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bd2 Nxe5 12. h3 Kh7 13. Re1 Be6 14. Nxe5 dxe5 15. a3 Rd8 16. Qc2 f5 17. b4 Qf7 18. Na4 Nb8 19. b5 b6 20. Bb4 c5 21. bxc6 Nxc6 22. Bxf8 Nd4 23. Qb1 Rxf8 24. exf5 Bxf5 25. Bd3 Bd7 26. Nc3 Qxf2+ 27. Kh1 Bxh3 28. Bf1 Qg3 29. Ra2 Bf5 30. Ne4 Bxe4 31. Rxe4 Rf4 32. Bd3 Qh4+ 33. Kg1 Qg3 34. Kh1 Ne6 35. Rae2 Nc5 36. Rxf4 exf4 37. Bxg6+ Qxg6 38. Qxg6+ Kxg6 39. Re7 a5 40. Rc7 Na4 41. Rd7 Bb2 42. Rd3 Kf5 43. Kh2 Ke4 44. Rb3 Kd4 45. Rf3 Bc1 46. Rf2 Be3 0-1

In the following round seven game Richard had the white pieces against International Master Roberto Abel Martin Del Campo Cardenas,


Richard outplayed the IM in the opening, then gave the advantage away, before obtaining another advantage which he pressed home for another victory!

Richard Francisco (USA) vs Roberto AbelMartin Del Campo Cardenas, (MEX)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 07
B90 Sicilian, Najdorf

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. g4 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. g5 Nd7 13. f5 Bxg5+ 14. Kb1 Ne5 15. Qh5 Qd8 16. h4 Bf6 17. fxe6 g6 18. exf7+ Kxf7 19. Qh6 Ng4 20. Qf4 Kg7 21. Nd5 Rf8 22. Qd2 h5 23. Bh3 Bd7 24. Rdg1 Re8 25. Bxg4 Bxg4 26. Nc6 Qd7 27. Nxf6 Kxf6 28. Qd4+ Kf7 29. Nb4 Qe6 30. Rf1+ Kg8 31. Nd5 Qe5 32. Nf6+ Kh8 33. Qd2 Kg7 34. Nxe8+ Rxe8 35. Rf4 Be6 36. Rg1 Rc8 37. Rg5 1-0

The eight round saw Richard sitting behind the black pieces versus Evan S Rosenberg,


a USCF Master, rated 2099 FIDE. In the first four rounds Mr. Rosenberg won two and drew and lost one each. The wheels came off in the fifth round as Rosenberg lost three games consecutively before playing a horrific blunder on move 18, after which he was beaten and battered unmercifully before throwing in the towel.

Evan S Rosenberg (USA) vs Richard Francisco (USA)
Holiday CCCSA IM 2021 round 08
A04 Reti opening

  1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. e3 Nf6 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Qh4 Be6 11. Rd1 Rc8 12. Rb1 a6 13. a4 Qa5 14. Bd2 Qc7 15. b3 d5 16. Nxd5 Nxd5 17. cxd5 Bxd5 18. b4 Bf6 19. Qh6 Qe5 20. Qh3 Be4 21. f4 Qb8 22. Rbc1 Bc2 23. Rf1 Rfd8 24. Be1 Bxa4 25. Bf2 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 Qd6 27. Qf3 Bc6 28. e4 Qxb4 29. Bc4 Bb2 30. Rc2 Bd4 31. Bf1 Bxe4 0-1

To come back to even against this competition after starting a round robin tournament with three straight goose eggs is an outstanding result. Mr. Francisco has shown that he can take the blows and and do it his way. Unlike some Chess players, like the recent challenger for the title of human World Chess Champion, who shatter completely when hit with a punch, Richard managed to keep it together, remain resilient, and come back strong.

Breaking news! The last round has begun and Richard and his opponent 2321 FIDE rated opponent Tianqi Wang


have “phoned it in” by agreeing to split the point after only 5 moves had been played. What the hell, it’s the holidaze and neither player had anything for which to play, so they did a little dance so they could get down tonight rather than taking that midnight train to Georgia, and I’m sure the wife will be happy to see Richard while the sun is still shining.