Gabriela Antova vs Alex Leningrad Lenderman

Grandmaster Alex Lenderman

has been playing excellent Chess recently but one would not know it after watching the following game in which Lenderman snatched victory from the jaws of defeat several times against Gabriela Antova,

a FIDE Master (FM) from Bulgaria. Because of her sex she is also a “Woman International Master.” The fact that there is a separate rating list for women is an insult to Caissa.

It was a rainy day and after checking out the openings from Charlotte this writer was enthralled to see GM Lenderman play the Leningrad Dutch, which was appropriate since Alex is originally from Leningrad. The game did not begin with the usual 1 d4 f5, but transposed into a Leningrad Dutch when Lenderman decided to play 4…f5. This caused me to think…

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I first began wondering about how the game was being played when Alex moved his King into the corner on move 8. Stockfish and Komodo both show 8…Na6 as best, and moves like 8…a5, or 8…Qc7, or 8…Qe8 have been popular. Maybe it would have been an OK move if the woman had played her Queen to b3 in lieu of c2 on the previous move, but still…8…Kh8 is a weak and vacillating move. It was difficult to see the move 10…Nb4? appear on the screen. It did, though, give the woman a choice of where to place her Lady, and she chose one of the, shall we say, “least best” squares for the Queen, which might have had something to do with the thinking of the GM. I was watching a few other games, and doing other things, but kept returning for more of the Antova and Lenderman show. Keep in mind I was spectating at the website because there is no analysis. After seeing the woman not take the pawn on f4 but retreat her knight to e2 instead I was tempted to surf on over to to learn what Stockfish had to say about the position, but I eschewed temptation and stayed straight with no chaser. This lasted until seeing 19…Nh5? It was at this time the realization struck that the moves being shown on the screen did not appear to be coming from Masters, much less a Grandmaster. Then the realization struck that the game being followed could have been one of the games I played ‘back in the day’ when first learning how to play the Leningrad Dutch. It also caused me to question my concept of Chess as I expected the move 19…fxg3 to be played, just as I had expected the woman to play 19 gxf4. Nevertheless I again refrained from heading over to the Bomb. After seeing the move 20…Kxg7 onscreen I thought possibly there were transmission problems, like those affecting recently. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining, because ‘back in the day’ we had to wait months to obtain the moves that now miraculously and instantly appear after being played. Then the thought occurred that Alex knew what he was doing and wanted to trade Queens and grind her down in an endgame and maybe expected her to give the check on c3 with the Queen, which is exactly what transpired. I expected Alex to block the check with 21…Qf6 and was shocked to see 21…Qe5 appear onscreen. After 22 Nd4 I expected 22…fxg3 and was flummoxed to see Alex had retreated his King by moving it back to h8. When Alex finally played 24…fxg3 it had come too late and he had a ‘lost’ position. After playing 27…Nf6 the GM was BUSTED, Buster.

White to move

And then the fun began…I will not spoil any more of it for you and let you play over the rest of the game for yourself.

Gabriela Antova (BUL) vs Aleksandr Lenderman (USA)
Charlotte Open 2021 round 04

A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6

  1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 f5 5. O-O Nf6 6. c4 O-O 7. Nc3 c6 8. Qc2 Kh8 9. b3 Na6 10. Bb2 Nb4 11. Qb1 Rb8 12. a3 Na6 13. d5 e5 14. dxe6 Bxe6 15. Qc2 Qe7 16. Rfe1 Nc5 17. Ng5 Bg8 18. e4 f4 19. Ne2 Nh5 20. Bxg7+ Kxg7 21. Qc3+ Qe5 22. Nd4 Kh8 23. Ngf3 Qg7 24. e5 fxg3 25. hxg3 Rbd8 26. Rad1 dxe5 27. Nxe5 Nf6 28. b4 Ncd7 29. Nef3 Ng4 30. Rd2 Nb6 31. c5 Nd5 32. Qc2 a6 33. Rde2 Rd7 34. Re4 Ndf6 35. Ne6 Bxe6 36. Rxe6 Qh6 37. Qc3 Rff7 38. Re8+ Kg7 39. Nh4 Qd2 40. Qxd2 Rxd2 41. R8e2 Rd3 42. Nf3 h6 43. Rd2 Rxa3 44. Nd4 h5 45. Ne6+ Kh6 46. f3 Ne3 47. Nd8 Rh7 48. Rd6 Nfd5 49. Bh3 Nc4 50. Rd7 Rxd7 51. Bxd7 Rxf3 52. Kg2 Rd3 0-1
  1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 f5 5. O-O Nf6 6. c4 O-O 7. Nc3 c6 (Komodo plays this but Stockfish 011121 @depth 52 plays 7…a5. See former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov give a recent lesson below) 8. Qc2 (Stockfish 100221 @depth 33 would play 8 Qb3) 8…Kh8 9. b3 Na6 10. Bb2 (In this position Komodo @depth 23 would play 10…Rb8, a move not contained in the Chessbase Database. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 31 shows 10…Bd7, another move not shown at the CBDB. Stockfish 310720 @depth 33 shows 10…Qc7, yet another move not contained in the CBDB. There are three games having been played with 10…Nc7, one of which is the game below played by David Bronstein, who drew a match with Mikhail Botvinnik,contested during the first year of my life.

Anatoly Karpov (2617) vs David Paravyan (2631)
Event: Smyslov Region Group Cup
Site: Moscow RUS Date: 08/16/2021
Round: 9.5 Score: 1-0
ECO: A80 Dutch
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 a5 8.Rb1 Na6 9.b3 c6 10.Bb2 Nc7 11.Qd3 Rb8 12.Rfe1 b5 13.Nd2 d5 14.cxb5 cxb5 15.Nf3 f4 16.Rbc1 Bf5 17.Qd1 Bh6 18.gxf4 Bxf4 19.e3 Bd6 20.Ne5 Qe8 21.Ne2 b4 22.Ng3 Be6 23.Re2 Nb5 24.Rec2 Rc8 25.Rxc8 Bxc8 26.Qd3 Bb7 27.Rc2 Ba6 28.Qd1 Qa8 29.Bh3 Bc8 30.Bg2 Bb7 31.Qc1 Na3 32.Bxa3 bxa3 33.Qd2 Bb4 34.Qc1 Bd6 35.Qd2 a4 36.b4 Qa6 37.Bf1 Qb6 38.b5 Kg7 39.Rc1 Rc8 40.Rxc8 Bxc8 41.Qc2 Qb8 42.Qxa4 h5 43.Nc6 Qc7 44.Qa7 Bb7 45.Qa5 Qd7 46.Qb6 h4 47.Ne5 Bxe5 48.dxe5 Ng4 49.e6 Qc8 50.Ne2 Nf6 51.Nd4 Ba8 52.Qa7 Qf8 53.f3 g5 54.Bh3 g4 55.Bxg4 Nxg4 56.fxg4 h3 57.Qc7 Qf6 58.Qf4 Qh4 59.Nf5+ 1-0

Stefan Brzozka vs David Bronstein
Event: Asztalos mem
Site: Miskolc Date: ??/??/1963
Round: 6
ECO: A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6
1.c4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.d4 d6 7.Nc3 c6 8.Qc2 Kh8 9.b3 Na6 10.Bb2 Nc7 11.Rad1 Bd7 12.e3 Qe8 13.Rfe1 Rd8 14.Rd2 Nh5 15.d5 Qf7 16.dxc6 bxc6 17.Ne2 c5 18.Nf4 Nf6 19.Ng5 Qg8 20.Bc3 Rde8 21.Ba5 Ne6 22.Ngxe6 Bxe6 23.Nxe6 Qxe6 24.Qd3 Ne4 25.Qd5 Qxd5 26.Rxd5 Bc3 27.Bxc3+ Nxc3 28.Rd2 Ne4 29.Rb2 a5 30.f3 Nf6 31.Kf2 Rb8 32.Ke2 Rb6 33.Kd3 e5 34.f4 e4+ 35.Kc3 Kg7 36.Bf1 h5 37.h4 Rfb8 38.Be2 a4 39.Reb1 a3 40.Rd2 Kf7 41.Rbd1 Ke7 42.Rd5 Ne8 43.R1d2 Nc7 44.Bd1 Na6 45.Bc2 Nb4 46.Bb1 Ra6 47.Rd1 Nxd5+ 48.Rxd5 Rxb3+ 49.Kxb3 Rb6+ 50.Kc2 Rb2+ 51.Kc1 Re2 52.Rd1 Rxe3 53.Rg1 Rc3+ 54.Kd2 Rxc4 55.Bc2 d5 56.Rb1 d4 57.Bd1 Rc3 58.Rb3 e3+ 59.Ke2 Rc1 60.Rxa3 c4 61.Ra7+ Kd6 62.Ba4 Rh1 63.Rd7+ Kc5 64.Rc7+ Kb4 65.a3+ Kc3 66.Bb5 Rh2+ 67.Kf1 d3 0-1

Liubov Yakir vs Klaara Skegina
Event: URS-chT
Site: Moscow Date: ??/??/1959
Round: ?
ECO: A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6
1.d4 f5 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.g3 O-O 6.Bg2 d6 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 Kh8 9.b3 Na6 10.Bb2 Nh5 11.Rfd1 f4 12.d5 Bf5 13.Qd2 c5 14.Nh4 Bd7 15.Ne4 Qc8 16.Bxg7+ Kxg7 17.Ng5 Nc7 18.Qd3 Qe8 19.Bf3 Nf6 20.gxf4 Bg4 21.Bxg4 Nxg4 22.e3 Nh6 23.Kh1 Nf5 24.Nxf5+ Rxf5 25.Rg1 Qf8 26.Rg3 Qf6 27.Rag1 Rf8 28.Rh3 Rh8 29.Ne4 Qb2 30.Nxd6 Rff8 31.Rxh7+ Rxh7 32.Qxg6+ Kh8 33.Nf7+ Rhxf7 34.Qh6+ 1-0