Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky Is The New York Times New Chess Columnist

Meet The Times’s New Chess Columnist

For Daniel Naroditsky, a career in the royal game may not be as lucrative as one at a hedge fund, but he is exactly where he wants to be.

Daniel Naroditsky at his home in Charlotte, N.C.Credit…Travis Dove for The New York Times

By Deb Amlen
Published June 12, 2022

Daniel Naroditsky is a chess grandmaster, the highest title given to competitors by the International Chess Federation, and he has used that talent to parlay it into a career. In addition to working as a commentator, author and chess tutor, he will be publishing his first chess puzzle on Monday in The New York Times.

Mr. Naroditsky settles his 6-foot-2 frame into a chair at his home in Charlotte, N.C., so we can chat over Google Meet. He is sipping an iced tea and is eager to talk, especially if the conversation has anything to do with chess.

We chat for a while about mundane subjects to get to know each other, and I learn that he loves spicy food and horror movies. He is also a sports fanatic, particularly when it comes to basketball. He is devoted to the Golden State Warriors and says that he never misses a game.

The first thing you notice about Mr. Naroditsky is how amiable he is. He smiles easily and likes to explain the topics we talk about thoroughly. It is important to him that he communicates effectively, so that I can come away from our chat with everything I need.

One of his private chess students, Ryan Amburgy of Tulsa, Okla., said that this quality was what made him a good teacher. Mr. Amburgy, who is 18, has been studying with Mr. Naroditsky since 2019.

“His knowledge of chess is incredible,” Mr. Amburgy said in an email, “and he is able to explain concepts in ways that are easy to understand and put into practice. He also has an amazing sense of humor, which makes the learning process fun.”

All of the people interviewed for this article — including Mr. Naroditsky’s mother, Lena Schuman of San Mateo, Calif. — agreed on this point: He has a unique ability to break ideas down into palatable chunks for those who want to learn more but see the game as impenetrable.

It’s really not that opaque, he insisted in the interview, but there are a few personality traits that help a player polish the game.

“You need extreme patience,” he said, “because, more so than in any other game, you’re going to suck for a while.”

Mr. Naroditsky set up a position on a chess board in his home office in June.Credit…Travis Dove for The New York Times

Persistence also helps when someone is in training. “I don’t know if this is a personality trait,” Mr. Naroditsky continued, “but if you want to get good at the game, you have to have the willingness to do the same thing over and over and over again.”

“You have to be very goal-oriented because of that,” he added. “Sometimes, all that sustains you is knowing where you want to be.”

Mr. Naroditsky said that the best players had highly analytical and logical minds. Skilled chess players can see several moves ahead, and that’s where the logic comes in.

“My opponent goes there,” he demonstrated, looking at the ceiling as if he were really calculating his next move. “That means that I have to go here because of this, this and this.”

Most important, however, is a love for chess. “Even at my level,” Mr. Naroditsky said, “I can still discover beautiful things about the game every single time I train, teach, play or am a commentator at a tournament.”

That quality comes across strongly to others. “Danya unabashedly oozes love for the game,” said Robert Hess, a fellow grandmaster and a commentator for Chess.com, using Mr. Naroditsky’s nickname. “You can’t fake that. That authenticity is a magnet for chess fans who regard Danya’s commentary as must-see TV. When a variation excites him, he enthusiastically shows the line (even if it contains a blunder) and the viewers latch on to that enthusiasm.

“He’s the perfect blend of edutainment,” Mr. Hess continued. “Danya dispenses nuggets of information that will help you improve while also entertaining the masses with his spot-on impressions of Garry Kasparov.”

Growing Up to Be a Grandmaster

Mr. Naroditsky first encountered a chess board at age 6, when his older brother, Alan, brought a variety of board games to a birthday party to help entertain the other children. Alan, who was proficient at the rules of the game but still a beginner, taught his younger brother to play and, for at least the first six months, thrashed him regularly. The future grandmaster was picking things up as he went along, but, at first, there was no great epiphany about the game and its place in his life.

“I think a lot of people want to imagine that it was love at first sight and that my brother couldn’t pull me away from the chessboard,” Mr. Naroditsky said. “It was more of a gradual process, where chess slowly entered the battery of stuff we did to pass the time. A lot of my best memories are just doing stuff with my brother.”

With the help of his father, Vladimir Naroditsky, who played a big part in teaching his sons the game, and a handful of coaches, Mr. Naroditsky’s Elo number, a method for calculating the relative skill of players, jumped approximately 500 points in less than a year. His family realized that he had a considerable talent for the game, but their son, who was 9 at the time, remained unfazed.

“As far as I was concerned, I was just playing games with my brother,” Mr. Naroditsky said, laughing.

He is being modest, his mother said in an interview. When he was 9, he was already ranked No. 1 in the United States. That year, he came in fifth in the Boys Under 10 category at the World Youth Chess tournament. By 2007, he was the world champion in the Boys Under 12 category.

Mr. Naroditsky at the desk where he records his videos and live streams.Credit…Travis Dove for The New York Times

But Can You Make a Living at It?

Fast-forward through thousands of games and many miles of travel to tournaments. Mr. Naroditsky, who earned his grandmaster title at 17, landed at Stanford University. By then, he was fully committed to the game.

There weren’t many opportunities to play anyone at his level in school, but chess was never far from his mind.

His parents, who had strongly supported their sons’ early interest in the game by driving them to countless tournaments and paying for coaches for their younger son, wanted him to pursue a business degree. While chess was a respectable hobby, they felt that a corporate career was far more promising.

While he was at Stanford, Mr. Naroditsky found a summer job as a teacher at the prestigious Castle Chess Camp, held at Emory University, where he met Peter Giannatos. The two were among the youngest of the camp’s instructors, and they formed a bond.

“I already knew that he was one of the most talented junior players in the United States,” Mr. Giannatos said in an interview. “I had never met him personally, but he was superfriendly and easy to get along with.”

After Mr. Naroditsky graduated from Stanford in 2019, the question of a paying job remained.

Mr. Giannatos, who is a few years older than Mr. Naroditsky, had founded the Charlotte Chess Center in North Carolina a few years earlier

Mr. Naroditsky moved from his mother’s house in the Bay Area — his father died in December 2019 — to Charlotte. Mr. Giannatos offered Mr. Naroditsky a job as resident grandmaster at the chess center, which was expanding to include clubs for all levels, school outreach and hosting of national events.

Now 26, Mr. Naroditsky is making that living his parents were concerned about. When he is not teaching at the Charlotte Chess Center, he takes on private students.The coronavirus pandemic has inspired many to take up new hobbies, and now people want to improve their skills, he said.

His largest audience, however, is online. “He’s been one of the top-rated online blitz and bullet players for several years,” Mr. Amburgy said.

Mr. Naroditsky is also a respected commentator for high-level tournaments on Chess.com, and he has a considerable social media following because of his down-to-earth nature and ability to analyze chess games and explain them to other players. His Twitch and YouTube channels — which have more than 200,000 followers each — guide viewers through notable plays.

When he is not teaching at the Charlotte Chess Center, Mr. Naroditsky works from his home in North Carolina.Credit…Travis Dove for The New York Times

Teaching Chess for The New York Times

Mr. Naroditsky is intent on making sure that readers of his Times column feel as if they are getting something out of it, just as he does on his social media channels.

“I feel like that’s my God-given responsibility,” he said, laughing. “I’ve resisted the pull of using clickbait and appealing video titles. However entertaining it is, I also want it to be instructive.”

The emphasis is on learning and building interest in the game.

“I also want the readers to feel like they couldn’t just go online and search for that puzzle,” he added. “I really want them to feel like this enriched their day, whether they’re beginners or advanced players.”

To emphasize the fact that he speaks to players of all levels, Mr. Naroditsky said that his favorite quote about chess was one best known as an Italian proverb but most likely traceable to a 1629 collection of writings by John Boys, who was the Dean of Canterbury in England:

“At the end of the game, both the king and the pawn go into the same box.”

Chess Replay: You Versus Frumkin

Take on Edward A. Frumkin in a recreation of a tournament game in New York, 1987.

By Daniel Naroditsky
June 13, 2022

White to move

Today’s puzzle features Josh Waitzkin, an international master and the protagonist of the 1993 film “Searching for Bobby Fischer.” Based on a memoir written by Josh’s father, Fred, the film depicts and dramatizes Josh’s meteoric rise. Josh Waitzkin is often overlooked, and today’s puzzle, in which he defeats a national master for the first time, is one of many scintillating wins in his long chess career. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/13/crosswords/chess/chess-replay-you-versus-frumkin.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article)

What Color Is Your Chessboard?

Until today I had never, ever, considered what the board ‘theme’ said about me. To be honest, I have never, ever, until today, considered what constitutes a board ‘theme’. In over fifty years playing the Royal Game never has anyone asked, “What do you think of my board theme?” If asked, I would probably responded, “Say what?” After hearing it repeated I would have probably responded, “Who the fork cares?”

I have played on all kind of boards, including one game for a C-note in a bar upon which we battled on one of those red and black cardboard sets with the little plastic pieces. The most games have been played on a green board, but I have also battled on a field of black; blue; brown; and red. I have never seen a pink board, but I suppose they are in existence what with all the females playing Chess these daze. No self-respecting male would have ever brought out a pink board, even the player known as the effeminate heterosexual, who will, for obvious reason, remain nameless…

I write this because of an article read earlier today at Chess.com, a website at which I surf to each day, spending less and less time there with each passing day. I have come to think of it as a “fluffy” type website. I am like former Senior Master Brian McCarthy, who, when hearing a disparaging remark about his Informant without a cover, replied, “It’s still got the MEAT!” I will give it to Chess.com; they have the “fluff.” I write this because of an article appearing today by lularobs, What Your Board Theme Says About You (https://www.chess.com/article/view/what-your-chess-board-theme-says-about-you).

https://www.chess.com/article/view/what-your-chess-board-theme-says-about-you#IcySea

There is no doubt about the influx of the female players bringing change to the Royal Game. Nothing typifies that change better then the aforementioned article. I simply cannot imagine any male Chess player at the House of Pain ever asking, “What do you think of my board theme?” The ensuing laughter may have brought the old, rickety House of Pain down!

Chess is a war-like game. Chess is a battle, sometimes to the death. One does not have to be big to play Chess, but one must be strong. I don’t know about you but to me pink does not set the tone for a battle to the death.

The article by the pretty young thing I think of as “Lulu” begins with the sentence, “A board theme says a lot about a person… like, it says which color board you like.” I like, like that. It continues, “But more than that, it gives important insight into your personality and play style.” I like think that should be “playing” style, but Chess.com is not known for proof reading. The paragraph culminates with, “We looked at some of the most popular and some of the most divisive board themes on Chess.com. Prepare to feel seen.” This is followed by “Jump to:

Green, Brown, Dark Wood / Walnut, Icy Sea, Tournament
Blue, Bubblegum, Marble, Glass, Lolz, 3D”

I liked the “Tournament Blue.” After clicking onto it I wondered what was the difference between “Blue” and “Tournament Blue”? Why is there no “Tournament Bubblegum,” I wondered…

“Green”

“You totally knew you could change your board color (yup, you can, right here) but you kept it to the classic Chess.com green anyway. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” right? I bet you haven’t changed your coffee order, haircut, or favorite pair of shoes for a while either. No. Your green board says you don’t like to rock the boat.”

“Brown”

“Chess.com really said “what if we yassified Walnut or Dark Wood?” when they created the Brown board. Honestly, it’s kind of an offbeat choice; the feeling of playing on a real board, but without the pesky wood grain that reminds you the offline world exists. It’s the neo-classical choice—no really, please tell me about the new line you’re learning in the Grunfeld.”

What Chess.com needs to do is provide the definition of “yassified,” because I checked with three different dictionaries and could not find the word. I paid particular attention to this one because after checking out the myriad colored boards at a website (https://svg_experimenten.deds.nl/diagrammakermenu/diagram_maker_menu.html) for the blog I decided on a brown board. Does that make me “yassified”? Oh well, I’ve been called worse…much worse. I did, though, like the part about it being a “kind of an offbeat choice.” Regular readers know how much the AW likes the “offbeat.”

“Dark Wood or Walnut”

“As a true admirer of the classics, you probably prefer playing over-the-board chess, but acknowledge that this is as close as it gets. You think it’s impolite to decline a rematch, and you prefer replaying through annotated games books to doing online puzzles. I won’t tell anyone you sleep with Capablanca’s My Chess Career on your bedside table.”

How did she know? The part about Capa’s book, I mean. This would be my choice of board color.

“Icy Sea”

“Icy Sea has all the class of one of those frosted glass chess sets that people display in their homes, but without the constant worry that you’ll drop a rook mid-blitz game and shatter it into a thousand pieces. Yet another case where online is just better… but you use the Icy Sea set, so you’ve known that for a while. Fancying yourself as someone who can play any opening, you’re pretty cold-blooded in blitz, and you’ve banked way too many games of 3+0.”

It may be a “case where online is just better” than what, exactly? How can online Chess possibly be better than OTB Chess? There is absolutely nothing better than watching your opponent squirm after you have placed that Bishop on the ultimate square and given it a twist, just like after inserting the blade and twisting…

“Tournament”

“The dark green of the Tournament board gives the feeling of playing a weekend congress without having to be sat across from someone who kicks you under the table every time you make a good move. This is a nostalgic board theme, not used by anyone who learned to play the game post-Pogchamps. Reminiscent of the plastic roll-up sets at your local chess club, it’s trying to be a serious board, just like you’re trying to be a serious player.”

I was only kicked underneath the table once. It was at the US Open and I said nothing. My opponent, an Expert, was smaller than am I, and I am considered a small man, so that is saying something. After the second time he kicked me I went to talk with Carol Jarecki and she had a talk with him. After losing the game several other players informed me the man was known for under the table kicking and some of them had been kicked by the dude. We played on a green board.

“Blue”

“Sitting somewhere between Green and Icy Sea, the Blue board is refined but plain. You didn’t want the default, but weren’t ready to stray too far from it. It’s like ordering the same latte as always, but with an extra shot of vanilla. No one’s judging you for it, don’t worry.”

Blue has always been my favorite color, but not as a board for playing Chess.

“Bubblegum”

“Using the Bubblegum chessboard makes you the Elle Woods of your Chess.com league division. You know what they say, underrated board color… underrated player? Yeah, people definitely say that. You show up, blitz out 15 moves of theory (or at least, 15 moves of… something), and win on the board in style. What, like it’s hard?”

I thought “Bubblegum” was music? The color sure looks a lot like pink to this writer. If the board color had been “Bubblegum” I would not be writing the words because I would never have played Chess! I will admit having had to go to DuckDuckGo to search for “Elle Woods.” It’s sad, really…seems like just yesterday I was “hip,” and maybe even a “hipster”. Now I have a bad “hip.”

I could tell Lulu was a Bubblegum kinda girl, but it was real nice of her to prove it…

“Marble”

“You picked one of the most dignified board styles on Chess.com. This design was practically made for longer games of 15+10 in classical mainlines. Every move played on this board theme feels kind of weighty, and even the Botez gambit comes with some heft and grandeur here. You definitely have a full bookcase of chess books at home, and you wouldn’t be caught dead playing 1.b3.”

Marble? I did not know a marble board existed. See what one can learn from reading Chess.com… My grandmother was fond of telling the story of how her young daughter won all the marbles from the boys in the neighborhood, and was forced into returning them…so she could do it again! You go, girl! Especially when the girl is your Mother…

“Glass”

“The Glass board may be niche, but it’s pretty sophisticated. You drink your coffee black and all of your phone apps are on dark mode. You’re a 1.e4 player because you think it’s “best by test,” and I’ll bet 10+0 is your favorite time control.”

Lulu got all that from glass? You go, girl!

“Lolz”

“Players with the Lolz board should truly be feared. Anyone who thrives on this amount of glitter is a force to be reckoned with. Lolz board users have no regard for pawns or material in general, favoring activity and chaos. In this way, they are the opposite of Bubblegum board users. The silver sparkles of the Lolz board serve a Y2K aesthetic that reminds you chess is actually supposed to be fun, with a clear message that “I’d rather play 1.g4 every game than ever face a Berlin.”

Once again the internetofallthings had to be consulted in order for this writer to find understanding:

What Does LOLZ Mean?
LOLZ means “Laugh Out Loud (A Lot).” (https://www.cyberdefinitions.com/definitions/LOLZ.html)
Hold on, that’s not a color! Nevertheless, is this a LOLZ article, or what?!

“3D”

“3D board users grew up playing Battle Chess on CD-Rom, and probably have Arcade Animations enabled for their pieces. The top-down view gives the full board game experience, while the board color is left up to the player (and although I’m personally biased towards Bubblegum, all the best board colors also look great in 3D). Plus, the knight pieces that come with this board style have no eyes, so at the very least they can’t see when you blunder.

While the 3D look may not be the most popular choice, you can finally say you’ve found a way to play bullet chess “over the board” without knocking the pieces off the table.”

IM Edward Song vs IM Arthur Guo and Non-Stop Chess

Edward Song (2383)

https://chessstream.com/profile/edward-song-5760

vs Arthur Guo (2432)

https://www.chess.com/member/arthurguo


New York Spring Invitational GM A 2022
C28 Vienna game

  1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Na5 5. Bb3 Be7 6. f4 Nxb3 7. axb3 d6 8. Nf3
    exf4 9. Bxf4 O-O 10. O-O c6 11. h3 d5 12. e5 Ne8 13. Qd2 Nc7 14. Ne2 Ne6 15. Be3
    c5 16. d4 b6 17. Ng3 f5 18. exf6 Rxf6 19. Nh5 Rf8 20. Nf4 Nxf4 21. Bxf4 Bf5 22.
    Ne5 Bf6 23. c3 Be4 24. Ng4 Bh4 25. Be5 Qe7 26. Qe2 h5 27. Nf2 Bg6 28. Nd3 Bg3
  2. Qd2 Bxd3 30. Rxf8+ Rxf8 31. Bxg3 Be4 32. Be5 Qf7 33. Qe2 a5 34. dxc5 bxc5
  3. Bd6 Rc8 36. Rxa5 Rc6 37. Bxc5 Bxg2 38. Ra8+ Kh7 39. Rf8 Qg6 40. Qxg2 Qxg2+
  4. Kxg2 Rxc5 42. b4 Rb5 43. Rf5 Kg6 44. Re5 Kf6 45. Rxh5 g6 46. Rh4 Rb8 47. Kf3
    Ke5 48. Ke3 Ra8 49. b5 g5 50. Rg4 Kf5 51. Kf3 Rh8 52. Kg2 Rb8 53. Rb4 Rb6 54.
    Kf3 Rh6 55. Kg3 Rb6 56. b3 1-0
    https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-new-york-april-invitational–gm-a/round-1/dMxkwdNQ

1.e4 e5 2. Nc3 (C25 Vienna game) 2…Nc6 (You will not be surprised to learn Stockfish 14.1 plays 2…Nf6. For what it’s worth, Deep Fritz 13 will play the game move… This move makes it a C25 Vienna game, Max Lange defence) 3. Bc4 Nf6 (Now it has become the C28 Vienna game) 4. d3 (According to 365Chess the opening is still the C28 Vienna game but ‘back in the day’ it was called a “Bishop’s Opening”) 4…Na5 (Stockfish 14 preferred 4…Bb4, but SF 14.1 plays the move made in the game) 5. Bb3 (For 5 Qf3 and a discussion of the position see the recent post: Esipenko vs Nakamura Bishops Opening Battle https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/03/31/esipenko-vs-nakamura-bishops-opening-battle/) 5…Be7? (I was surprised to learn this move has been attempted in 16 games, with White to score 66%. There are 126 games contained in the ChessBaseDataBase in which 5…Nxb3 was played culminating in a 50% score. There are only 47 games in which other moves have been attempted with White scoring 60+%. Arthur’s move is very passive. It is one thing to play a move taking your opponent out of book, but this move is another thing entirely) 6. f4 Nxb3 (The programs all prefer 6…d6) 7. axb3 d6 8. Nf3 (The programs all prefer 8 fxe5, yet the move made in the game is the only move shown at the CBDB!) 8…exf4 9. Bxf4 O-O 10. O-O c6 11. h3 (Although SF 14.1 will, given the chance, play this move, no human has yet to make it over the board so that makes 11 h3 a THEORETICAL NOVELTY! Or is it? A game featuring the move was located at 365Chess.com. Unfortunately the player sitting behind the Black pieces needed ten points to break the Master level of 2200…but wait! The player who actually made the TN move of 11 h3 WAS A RATED MASTER! Therefore, Arthur’s move of 11…d5 is the THEORETICAL NOVELTY!

Michael Schulz (2222) vs Juergen Schmidt (2190)
Event: Berlin-ch op
Site: Berlin Date: ??/??/1999
Round: 8
ECO: C30 King’s gambit
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 Be7 5.O-O Nf6 6.d3 O-O 7.Nc3 exf4 8.Bxf4 Na5 9.Bb3 Nxb3 10.axb3 c6 11.h3 Nh5 12.Bh2 g6 13.Qd2 Be6 14.Kh1 d5 15.exd5 Bxd5 16.Nxd5 Qxd5 17.Ra5 Qd8 18.g4 Ng7 19.Be5 f6 20.Bc3 b6 21.Ra6 Qc8 22.Rfa1 Qb7 23.Qf4 Rf7 24.Qc4 h5 25.Kg2 hxg4 26.hxg4 Bd6 27.b4 Bb8 28.Bxf6 Ne8 29.g5 Nxf6 30.gxf6 Qc7 31.Qh4 Qf4 32.Rxb6 Qxf6 33.Qxf6 Rxf6 34.b5 Bd6 35.Rxc6 g5 36.Nd2 Rh6 37.Rh1 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=721235&m=22

It was a back and forth kinda game until Arthur Guo let go…of the rope, that is, when blundering horribly with his 37th move, which was so bad Arthur could have resigned on the spot after his opponent made his next move. Instead, he made his opponent “play it out,” while no doubt suffering with each and every move made…

In addition to the picture, the following was found at Chess.com:

Hi, I’m Arthur Guo. I just turned 14 and I’m an IM. I’m a three-time National Chess Champion. I won 2018 National Junior High (K-9) Championship as a 6th grader and won 2016 National Elementary (K-6) Championship as a 4th grader. I’m also a three-time International Youth/Junior Chess Tournament Gold Medalist/Co-Champion for Team USA. I was the Co-Champion for 2018 Pan American Junior U20, Champion for Pan American Youth U12 and U8. I placed 4th place (tied for 2nd) in 2018 World Cadets Chess Championship in Spain. I also love playing golf.
https://www.chess.com/member/arthurguo

Arthur Guo is still a child. He is a teenager, but still too young to obtain the learner’s permit to drive a car. He has recently been playing non-stop Chess. Back in the days before Bobby Fischer

https://fightingmonarch.com/2019/12/03/bobby-fischer-targeted-by-the-new-world-order/

seats at the board were taken by grown men. Chess has changed so drastically that now the few men who occupy those seats are facing boys young enough to be their sons, or grandsons. After two years of the Covid pandemic things have changed and there has been an explosion of Chess activity. Things have reached a point where sixteen year old phenom Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa

© Provided by Free Press Journal R Praggnanandhaa

went from winning the Reykjavik Open in Iceland to playing THE NEXT DAY at the La Roda International Open in Spain! Now that Chess has become one continuous tournament with no time between tournaments to rest, relax, and review the games played, a question must be asked. Is this good for the children and younger players, or will it be deleterious to their mental health?

In a little over one month young Mr. Guo has participated in three Chess tournaments: SPRING 2022 CCCSA GM/IM NORM INVITATIONAL (NC); 2022 NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP (TN); and the NEW YORK SPRING INVITATIONALS (NY) (http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlTnmtHst.php?14772092). Arthur played nine games in winning the first event; seven in winning the second event; and nine more in the last event, for a total of 25 games between March 16 until April 18. The quality of the moves made by Arthur Guo dropped dramatically in the last tournament, as should be expected. Arthur played what appeared to be “tired Chess.”

Burnout in Chess has been a problem for decades but it has now become exponentially more dangerous for the young(er) players. Organizers need to ask themselves, “What the fork are we doing?”

Vishy Anand Dances With The Devil

Evidently former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has lost his mind. This writer was stupefied after seeing this headline at Chess24: Vishy Anand joins Dvorkovich’s bid for second term as FIDE president (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/vishy-anand-joins-dvorkovich-s-bid-for-second-term-as-fide-president). Since the article was dated April 1, 2022, April Fools’ Day, I assumed it was some kind of sick April Fools’ joke. Unfortunately it was not a joke.

Of all the living former World Champions, Vishy, as he is known in the Chess world, had the best reputation of the small, select group. That reputation has been incontrovertibly tarnished. Russia has become a pariah country. Russia has committed, and continues committing, unimaginable atrocities in Ukraine, and will continue so doing until Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is deposed. The aftereffects of the needless war will linger for decades, if not centuries, especially when the truth of what kind of monster is the Russian state is revealed. Why would Vishy Anand smear his own reputation by aligning himself with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich? What’s in it for Vishy?

Who is Arkady Dvorkovich?

Arkady Dvorkovich once served as a deputy prime minister and is currently chair of the International Chess Federation, or FIDE. He criticized the war with Ukraine in comments made to Mother Jones magazine on March 14 and came under fire from the Kremlin’s ruling party. (https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2022/03/chess-grandmasters-putin-russia-ukraine-war/)

“Wars are the worst things one might face in life. Any war. Anywhere. Wars do not just kill priceless lives. Wars kill hopes and aspirations, freeze or destroy relationships and connections. Including this war,” he said.

Putin shakes hands with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich during a meeting at the Kremlin in April 2018. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press)

Dvorkovich added that FIDE was “making sure there are no official chess activities in Russia or Belarus, and that players are not allowed to represent Russia or Belarus in official or rated events until the war is over and Ukrainian players are back in chess.”

FIDE banned a top Russian player for six months for his vocal support of Putin and the invasion.

Two days after Dvorkovich’s comments, a top official in the United Russia party demanded that he be fired as chair of the state-backed Skolkovo Foundation. Last week, the foundation reported that Dvorkovich decided to step down. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/prominent-anti-war-russians-1.6398505)

In an article at Chess24, Vishy Anand joins Dvorkovich’s bid for second term as FIDE president, one reads: “Indian great Vishy Anand has made a dramatic entrance into chess politics by joining Arkady Dvorkovich’s campaign to be re-elected as FIDE President, it was announced today. The five-time World Champion was pictured alongside Dvorkovich at an event in Delhi today to sign the contract for the 2022 Chess Olympiad, which will start in Chennai this July. Dvorkovich later said India’s most decorated chess player will be a “huge part of our team”. It follows FIDE’s decision to strip Russia of its flagship international team event on February 25, one day after Russia invaded Ukraine. The Olympiad was subsequently awarded to India at a meeting of the FIDE Council on March 15, following a swift bidding process. (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/vishy-anand-joins-dvorkovich-s-bid-for-second-term-as-fide-president)

No doubt former World Chess Champion Anand will “…be a “huge part of our team”. The Russians will use Vishy Anand as a “showpiece.” Vishy will become the “face” of FIDE. Everyone admires and respects Anand, so what’s not to like, especially if you are a Russian.

In an article by Peter Doggers, at Chess.com, Dvorkovich To Run For 2nd Term, Supported By Anand,

Dvorkovich (left) and Anand on Friday in New Delhi. Photo: FIDE. (https://www.chess.com/news/view/dvorkovich-to-run-for-2nd-term-supported-by-anand)

one finds: GM Viswanathan Anand is supporting FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich in his bid for a second term as FIDE President. Both were present at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday, where Dvorkovich announced that he will be running for re-election.

The decision to run for a second term is somewhat controversial in light of Dvorkovich’s recent statements on the war in Ukraine and his background as a Russian politician. Initially, the FIDE President seemed to be holding an anti-war point of view, saying to the American website Mother Jones on March 14: “Wars are the worst things one might face in life… including this war. My thoughts are with Ukrainian civilians.”

A day later, however, a different and rather nationalistic statement was published, and Dvorkovich said he was “sincerely proud of the courage of our soldiers” and that there is “no place for either Nazism or the dominance of some countries over others.” He made the latter statement as the chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, a position Dvorkovich no longer holds.

The Ukrainian Chess Federation and some Ukrainian top players have called for a full ban on Russia and expressed a desire for a new FIDE leadership, but they seem to have received little support for their—however understandable—point of view.

“Yes, I am committed to run for re-election and Anand will be a huge part of our team,” said Dvorkovich today.

Anand said he would be actively supporting the FIDE President, but at the moment it’s not exactly clear how. “We have had a good discussion, but we haven’t decided yet in what role or capacity I will be involved,” said Anand.

“I am willing and determined to work with this team. It is a wonderful team led by Dvorkovich, and they have done a lot for the sport. As and when a decision is taken, I will let you know.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/dvorkovich-to-run-for-2nd-term-supported-by-anand)

Reading the above almost caused me to hurl…especially the part about there being “no place for either Nazism or the dominance of some countries over others.” It is more than a little obvious Dvorkovich will say and/or do anything to stay in power at FIDE. The Dork, as he is known in the world of Chess, talks out of both sides of his mouth. It is difficult for Dvorkovich to express what Anand will do because how does one say, “We want to use the good reputation of Vishy Anand because the recent damage done to the Russian reputation is irreversible.”

In another article, Statement by Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation Arkady Dvorkovich,

https://sk.ru/news/zayavlenie-predsedatelya-fonda-skolkovo-arkadiya-dvorkovicha/

which had to be translated by Google translate, one reads:

“Today, Russia continues to live under harsh but senseless sanctions. But we will rise to this challenge. We are ready to respond with technological breakthroughs and our own development. It has always been so.

While working in the government, I did everything to ensure that sanctions were not an obstacle, but an opportunity to create our own economy. And the results of this work in many sectors have made it possible to create the springboard for ensuring national security that we have today – in agriculture and construction, in energy and petrochemistry, in infrastructure development.

I cannot respect foreign companies that have left the Russian market. Some of them lost him for a very long time, perhaps forever. Our main task is to get rid of technological dependence. This can only be achieved through teamwork, in which everyone who is capable of being a leader will be involved – each in his own place.

Skolkovo has always been at the forefront of innovation in Russia, and today it is ready to make every effort to build its own competitive economy in our country.” (https://sk.ru/news/zayavlenie-predsedatelya-fonda-skolkovo-arkadiya-dvorkovicha/)

The Russians in Chess are like termites in the woodwork of the House of Chess. They, and all of their fellow travelers, like Vishy Anand, must be eradicated from the Chess House, known as FIDE. The Russian infestation of Chess must end and it must end NOW! All Russians, and those who support them, must be cast out of the House of Chess for the good of the game. To allow the nefarious, genocidal Russians to remain involved with Chess will end the recent Chess boom and send it to where one now finds Checkers, if Chess is fortunate. It will be ironic if a former World Chess Champion began the down hill slide into oblivion for Chess. What the hell could Vishy Anand have been thinking? Maybe Vishy will attempt an explanation in the near future. Vishy, my man, if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.

Slava Ukraini

Like most of you the AW spent his morning transfixed by what was being seen on the internet. The question is why has the United States Chess Federation NOT left the Russian controlled FIDE?

As things stand there are what I have come to think of as the “Big Three” Chess websites; Chessbase, Chess24, and Chess.com. Two of the three have articles concerning the naked aggression demonstrated by Russia when invading Ukraine. Chessbase, based in Germany, has published absolutely nothing on the crisis, which could quickly develop into World War III. This writer cannot help but wonder why?

Chess24.com led with an excellent article, FIDE under pressure to strip Russia of Chess Olympiad (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/fide-to-review-moscow-olympiad-as-pressure-grow-to-act-on-ukraine-invasion), in which many Grandmasters condemned the action of Vladimir Putin on behalf of the Russian people. From the article:

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/fide-to-review-moscow-olympiad-as-pressure-grow-to-act-on-ukraine-invasion

Chess.com displays the Ukraine flag in an excellent article, In Support of Ukraine:

https://www.chess.com/blog/CHESScom/in-support-of-ukraine

The lead article found at Chessbase this morning was:

Averbakh on Averbakh: How it all began (https://en.chessbase.com/)

It contains this picture of the Russian GM Yuri Averbakh:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/averbakh-on-averbakh-how-it-all-began

Today this writer visited Chessbase for the last time.

Modern Chess Is Experienced Through The Eyes Of A Computer

The AW was sitting in front of a laptop last Friday evening, surfin’ away, as they say…All week I had been following the games emanating from the 5th Marcel Duchamp Cup Chess tournament (http://fuajedrez.org/Torneos/Duchamp)

http://www.billwallchess.com/articles/duchamp.htm

being played in Montevideo, Uruguay. The first few moves caused me to reflect upon a time when the Mad Dog, or better, as he was called frequently, “Augie, the Mad Doggie.” The Dog liked to play against the Sicilian with the system seen in the following game, and frankly, the Dog’s results were not good, at least when facing higher rated opposition, yet he continued trotting out the same old beaten and battered nag and I could not help but wonder why…Then the American Grandmaster, Robert Hungaski, played his beautiful fifth move, leaving the path of the Mad Dog to enter the world of those of us who prefer to break the rule of never moving the Queen early, hoping to reel in his young opponent, IM Lucas Cora of Argentina, but it was this writer who was hooked, lined, and sinkered.

While watching the game I had reason to use the Duck,Duck,Go search engine while looking for something that escapes me now…when, Lo & Behold, there was something about the tournament being shown at lichess.org. Granted, I was a little late to the party at lichess.org, probably because when one ages he tends to go with the familiar. I had previously been to lichess.com, and had even looked for games being shown, but was unable to see them because I did not click onto “Broadcasts,” thinking a “broadcast” was a couple of announcers, which MUST include both a male and a female, no matter how lame the comments of the much lower rated female, usually named Eye Candy. I no longer watch, or listen to, broadcasts because the commentary is all about the “engine”. It was much better ‘back in the day’ when the analysis was by humans. So what if their analysis was inferior to what is being spouted by the programs; we still learned something, as did the broadcasters after being “corrected” by the all seeing and all knowing contraptions. Chess is vastly different than it was half a century ago, and not all of the changes have been good. What has been lost is human interaction. ‘Back in the day’ we would argue over moves and positions while learning something, and having a find ol’ time. Now all players invariably go to the oracle. Players have stopped thinking for themselves and play moves while having no clue why, other than the machine made the same move…

When watching games on most websites there is usually some kind of something moving about to inform the watcher what kind of move was just made. What follows is taken from the second chapter, Chess, of the excellent new book by Oliver Roeder, Seven Games,

https://free.4reads.live/show/book/58085257/seven-games-a-human-history/12505176/be80a798/14f9b3ff943b5ba/#

which will be reviewed here later, after all of the book has been completely read:

“The pros aren’t the only ones the machines affect. For the viewer, the amateur chess fan (me very much included), modern chess is experienced through the eyes of a computer. Abutting the image of the professionals’ board on match broadcasters such as Chess.com, Chess24.com, and Lichess.com is a simple diagram, a sort of thermometer, filled to some extent with white and to some extent with black. This represents, a powerful computer’s evaluation of the position measured in the equivalents of a pawn. A reading like +2.3 means whiter is clearly ahead; something like -0.5 means perhaps black has a small edge.”

“This has democratized chess fandom. Without a computer, I don’t have much hope of understanding the intricate lines in a game between two grandmasters, or the exact implications of this move versus that move. With a computer, I have a quantitative lens through which to view the game. I can see exactly what threats are looming and whom the computer deems to be winning. I can watch the thermometer twitch up or down with each move and pass some quasi-informed judgement on the pros. But this understanding is often hollow. Take the computer and its thermometer away, and I risk being more lost than I ever was.”

“TAKE THE COMPUTER AND ITS THERMOMETER AWAY, AND I RISK BEING MORE LOST THAN I EVER WAS.”

Cogitate on that statement briefly while asking yourself what it means…It appears there is now a generation of human beings who no longer think for themselves. Millions of players now make moves having little, if any, knowledge or understanding of the game. Monkey see, monkey do.

Sometime during the early middlegame I stopped surfin’ and focused only on the game, straining my tired, old brain in a vain attempt to find a move. It was then I fell in love with Lichess, because unlike other Chess websites, at Lichess one can CLICK OFF the THERMOMETER! That’s right, now one can watch the game as it was meant to be displayed. Or to say it the way it was so eloquently said by SM Brian McCarthy, “Just give me the meat!” Any time you want to check your analysis against that of Stockfish you can just simply click onto the analysis. I like followchess.com, but if you happen to miss a round there is no way to return to those games, which can easily be accomplished at Lichess.com. Sorry, followchess, but you have lost me to lichess. There are myriad websites giving the moves and there is a struggle to see which website is the most fit and will stand the test of time. Like Stockfish, Lichess is an open source website, so it will be around for some time. The websites that charge an arm and a leg to join are in a death struggle and it will be interesting to see which one(s) survive.

IM Lucas Coro 2355 vs GM Robert Hungaski 2537
5th Marcel Duchamp Cup
B40 Sicilian defence

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be7 8. Rd1 Qb6 9. d3 O-O 10. c4 Nf6 11. Nc3 Rd8 12. Rb1 Bd7 13. a3 Be8 14. h4 a6 15. Qe1 Qb3 16. Be3 Ng4 17. Bg5 Bf6 18. Ne4 Bxg5 19. Nfxg5 Qb6 20. b4 cxb4 21. axb4 h6 22. Nf3 Qc7 23. d4 Ne7 24. Nc5 Nf6 25. Ne5 Ra7 26. Ra1 Nf5 27. Nb3 Nd7 28. Na5 Nxe5 29. dxe5 Rxd1 30. Qxd1 b6 31. Nb7 Rxb7 32. Bxb7 Qxb7 33. Qd8 Kf8 34. b5 axb5 35. Ra8 Qe7 36. Qxb6 g5 37. hxg5 bxc4 38. gxh6 Nxh6 39. Qc6 Nf5 40. Qxc4 Kg8 41. Qg4+ Ng7 42. Kh2 Qd7 43. Qg5 Qc6 44. Rd8 Qa4 45. Qe7 Kh7 46. Rb8 Qd4 47. Kg2 Bc6+ 48. Kh3 Qxe5 49. Qh4+ Nh5 50. Rb4 Qf5+ 51. Qg4 Qd5 52. Kh4 Nf6 0-1
    (https://live.followchess.com/#!copa-marcel-duchamp-2022/-626801633)(https://lichess.org/broadcast/5th-montevideo-open–marcel-duchamp-cup-2022/round-8/ckCnjhfB)
  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 (According to the ChessBaseDataBase this move has been played in 1108 games, and it is the choice of Deep Fritz 14 x64. It has scored 51% against 2440 opposition. The second most popular move, 5 d3, has scored 52% versus 2429 rated opponents, and Stockfish 14 @depth 47 figures it best. The third most popular move has been 5 Nc3, with 329 examples contained within the CBDB, which together have scored only 49% facing some guys averaging 2411. Oh yeah, AND Stockfish 14.1 @depth 51 considers it to be the best move in the position) 5…d5 (This has been the third most often played move according to the CBDB, with 310 examples that have scored a collective 59% for White versus a composite 2409 rated opponent. The second most popular move has been 5…d6, holding that hypothetical 2435 dude playing White to 53% in 347 games. Then there is the most popular move, 5…e5, which has held opponents with an average rating of 2480 playing White to only 45%!) 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be7 8. Rd1 Qb6 9. d3 (This move cannot be found at either 365Chess or the CBDB, which can mean only one thing…Theoretical Novelty! The most often played move has been 9 c3. Stockfish 14 would play 9 a4, a move yet to be attempted by a titled human Chess player…)

Tata Steel Chess Tournament Marred By Officials Lunacy

For the second year in a row the Tata Steel Chess tournament has been marred by the ineptitude of the officials. This is shocking because, “Known as the “Wimbledon of Chess”, the Tata Steel Chess Tournament is one of the most prestigious events on the international chess calendar. It attracts the best chess Grandmasters in the world, along with amateur players, live event visitors and online visitors from around the world.” (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tata+steel+&t=newext&atb=v270-1&ia=web&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fchess24.com%2Fen%2Fread%2Fnews%2Ftata-steel-7-dubov-mask-forfeit-overshadows-magnus-move&pn=1)

The morning was spent searching for answers on the internet. The result was a dearth of information concerning the latest debacle has become the Tata Steel Chess tournament. The tournament was formerly known as “Wijk aan Zee” because that is the name of the city in the Netherlands, formerly known as “Holland,” where the famous, now infamous Chess tournament has been held for decades. Tata Steel changed the name of the tournament in an attempt to gain more publicity for the company. For the second consecutive year everyone involved with the Chess tournament has brought Tata Steel more publicity than could have been imagined. Unfortunately, all of the publicity has been negative because again the tournament has been turned into a farce. This writer has completely lost interest in the tournament, and I am not alone.

Chess.com purchased the rights to broadcast the event via the internet and the website has led the way in covering the event. In an article by Peter Doggers, “Tata Steel Chess R3: Vidit Defends Brilliantly To Grab Sole Lead,” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/tata-steel-chess-2022-round-3), one learns, “While the third round saw some lovely, tactical chess and it felt like the 84th Tata Steel Chess Tournament was really taking off, behind the scenes the organizers had other worries. Even without the presence of amateurs, there’s always a risk of a Covid outbreak when holding an event in the middle of the pandemic. Like last year, players, coaches, and crew are required to wear face masks (players can take them off while at the board) and are tested regularly. So far, none of the players tested positive for the coronavirus, knock on wood.”

“However, before the start of the round, two seconds of players tested positive and went into quarantine. The organizers informed Chess.com that, according to close contact tracing, the players for whom the seconds work have been retested as a precaution and tested negative for Covid-19.”

“One of the two seconds is GM Ramesh R.B., who assists GM Praggnanandhaa R. in Wijk aan Zee. The Indian coach revealed on Twitter that he had tested positive. Luckily, from the very start, his pupil has been one of the few players who is wearing his face mask at the board all the times.”

The part about Praggnanandhaa being “lucky” to have been “…one of the few players who is wearing his face mask at the board all the times,” is bull excrement! Regular readers know that “I Took The Vaccine” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/04/28/i-took-the-vaccine/). In addition, I have also taken the third, or “booster” shot, because at my age I like to hedge my bets. That said, it is, or should be common knowledge that wearing a mask does not prevent one from obtaining Covid, but it does lessen the odds of imparting it to anyone else. If one wears the best mask, the N-95, there is still a 5% chance that person will be infected; that’s the “95” part of the name. If one compares the N-95 with the flimsy mask being worn by GM Praggnanandhaa, there is a much larger chance of obtaining, or spreading the virus because there are wide open areas around the mask making it virtually useless in combating the virus.

Peter Doggers concludes his comments with, “With the high transmissibility of the omicron variant and the Netherlands registering another record of new corona cases this Monday, it wouldn’t be unlikely that more cases will pop up in Wijk aan Zee as well. Let’s hope not, and let’s quickly move to the games.”

Covid is everywhere and the Netherlands obviously abounds with the virus.

In his next article, “Tata Steel Chess 2022 R7: Carlsen Grabs Sole Lead; Dubov Forfeits Game,” by PeterDoggers (Updated: Jan 23, 2022, 7:26 AM/Chess.com News), Mr. Doggers writes, “GM Daniil Dubov forfeited his game vs. GM Anish Giri as the Russian GM refused to play with a face mask.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 R7: Carlsen Grabs Sole Lead; Dubov Forfeits Game
Anish Giri wouldn’t see his opponent Daniil Dubov arriving at the board today. Photo: Tata Steel Chess.

The organizers had requested him to do so after someone in his inner circle had tested positive for Covid-19.” Then he adds, “Last year, the organizers managed to hold their tournament in Wijk aan Zee in the middle of the pandemic without any issues.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/tata-steel-chess-2022-round-7)

This is patently absurd. Where the hell was Peter Doggers last year during the Tata Steel tournament? How quickly they forget…

Tata Steel 2021 Drama – Alireza Firouzja vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek – R13

Hi Friends,

Extremely disrespectful and very unprofessional from the organizers to distract Alireza during the final game. They asked him to move! Alireza blundered soon after that discussion, and the game ended in a draw.

Kourosh A (https://chessmood.com/forum/main-channel/alireza-firouzja-vs-radoslaw-wojtaszek-tata-steel-chess-2021-r13)

Mr. Doggers continues in the aforementioned article: “In hindsight, one could add miraculously. This year, with the highly contagious omicron variant raging, it was sheer impossible.”

“After the two cases of corona in the morning of the third round, when two seconds (coaches) of players tested positive, there was another case on Saturday morning: someone close to Dubov. Awaiting a PCR test result for Dubov, the organizers requested the Russian GM to wear a mask during play, even though the general rule at the tournament is that face masks are obligatory everywhere except when sitting at the board. Dubov refused to do so and called it “a matter of principle.” When he hadn’t arrived at the board half an hour into the round, the game was declared a win by forfeit for Giri.”

“Unsurprisingly, the whole situation was widely discussed on social media. One question was whether it was communicated to the players beforehand that the mask would be a necessity at the board as well in case of close contact to a Covid-positive person. Another interesting point that was made was whether the organizers could have postponed the Dubov-Giri game to the next rest day.”

GM Sergey Karjakin, who had criticized Dubov recently for helping Carlsen in the world championship,

this time supported his compatriot as he tweeted after finishing his own game:

“Robert Moens (Tata Steel Communications & Public Affairs) commented to Chess.com: “This specific situation wasn’t discussed beforehand, no. However, the players’ contract does include a clause that the organizers can take the necessary measures in case unexpected situations regarding Covid arise. Because the tournament doctor deemed it unwise for Dubov to play without a face mask, we as organizers made this request to Dubov, who fully understood our decision but decided not to play the game out of principle. We did not consider postponing the game because Dubov could have played today, albeit with a face mask. It was his decision not to play.”

“The situation currently is that Dubov can continue playing the tournament without a face mask in case the results of his latest PCR and antigen tests come out negatively. If he gets tested positive, he won’t be able to play any more games and all his results will be removed from the tournament crosstable because the tournament wasn’t halfway through yet for him.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/tata-steel-chess-2022-round-7)

This is all a crock of excrement! None of the crapola emanating from the mouth of Robert Moens matters. The bottom line is “…the organizers requested the Russian GM to wear a mask during play, even though the general rule at the tournament is that face masks are obligatory everywhere except when sitting at the board.” (!!!)

The organizers and officials (in other words, the Head Honchos What Be In Charge) had absolutely no right to “ask” Dubov to wear a mask. If not asked to wear a mask Danill would have been at the board, ready to play Chess. If one player was asked to wear a mask then ALL PLAYERS SHOULD HAVE BEEN ASKED TO WEAR A MASK! The problem is that the best Chess players in the world cannot come together as a group, like, for example, the Major League Baseball players union, to combat the ding-bats in charge of Chess! What top level Chess needs is a Chess Spartacus.

Certainly the players know that what affects the one also affects the many. Magnus Carlsen is currently the nonpareil Chess player and should be the de facto leader of all Grandmasters. What affects his contemporaries also affects Mr. Carlsen. If Magnus Carlsen also refused to play after learning what had happened to one of his fellow Grandmasters it would have reverberated, sending shock waves throughout the Chess community. Instead, Magnus swallowed the bile and meekly and subserviently acquiesced to the ridiculous “new rule” made up as the organizers reacted to something that should have been foreseen, and for which they should have been prepared. Those in charge of the Tata Steel Chess tournament should award a full point to Grandmaster Danill Dubov, and then we may see the Chess Champion of the World react. Then again, maybe not…

Was Daniil Dubov a Secret Agent?

When Norway’s Magnus Carlsen

https://en.chessbase.com/post/world-championship-2021-g11

clinched victory over Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi

Nepomniachtchi: What Went Wrong?
https://www.chess.com/article/view/nepomniachtchi-what-went-wrong

it was revealed that Russian Grandmsaster Daniil Dubov

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/dubov-hits-back-at-accusations-of-betrayal

had once again been a key part of the World Chess Champion’s team of helpers. That saw instant criticism led by Sergey Karjakin, with Sergey Shipov adding that Dubov would “rightly” now never play for the Russian team again. (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/dubov-hits-back-at-accusations-of-betrayal)

In an interview journalist, and FM, Mike Klein asked Nepo the question:

Mike: Is he a double-agent? Is that what you’re saying?

Ian: No, I don’t know. I don’t think he’s a double-agent, obviously, but the results of his work were quite favorable for us.
https://www.chess.com/news/view/ian-nepomniachtchi-on-the-world-chess-championship

Hold on there, Nepo. If the results of his work were favorable why did you lose? Surely Mother Russia must have known Dubov was working with team Magnus because…

Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/sergey-karjakin-magnus-can-psychologically-crumble

was a citizen of Ukraine until relocating to Russia, the country with 175000 troops poised on the border of Ukraine as the world collectively holds its breath at the possible coming of World War III.

Karjakin infamously said, “Magnus “can psychologically crumble.”

What pluses and minuses do you see for both opponents?

“Magnus has more match experience, he’s a more balanced chess player, without visible flaws. He plays almost equally well positionally and tactically, in a dull endgame and in sharp attacking positions.”

“But he does have flaws. When he doesn’t like what’s happening in a tournament he can psychologically collapse, as my match against Magnus showed. He missed wins in two games, and then he started to play significantly worse. He can psychologically crumble if something isn’t going right — he loses confidence in himself and he starts to perform less well than usual.”
https://chess24.com/en/read/news/sergey-karjakin-magnus-can-psychologically-crumble

Nepo was asked, “Were you involved in any psychological preparation during this period?”

“I don’t really understand what psychological preparation means. If it’s needing to have the correct attitude within yourself, then I’ve been preparing since childhood.”

Do you consider the match against Carlsen the match of your life?

“I don’t know. That will depend on the result. After I play it, I’ll tell you.”

Are there nerves?

“Nerves, as a rule, are before the start. From experience I can say that you get them in the first round when you sit down at the board and don’t yet know what kind of form you’re in. In such cases you usually make 2-3 moves and then your body readjusts to its working mode. Nerves, it seems me, also go at that moment. No doubt there will also be nerves when the finish is approaching, but now, before it begins, it’s early to talk about that.”
https://chess24.com/en/read/news/ian-nepomniachtchi-the-result-is-much-more-important-than-the-prize

Let us be honest, Nepo cracked. Before the match everyone knew Nepo had a fragile psyche. The World Chess Champ put it best:

“We spoke a bit during these tournaments, but didn’t have much contact for years, until 2011, when we had a training session together. He was a lowly-rated 2700 player and struggled a bit to make it to the very top. He complained that he didn’t get enough invitations to the best tournaments, and felt that the players at the very top were not better than him. I told him that his problem was that he wasn’t disciplined. He had one good tournament, followed by two bad ones. He could start an event with three wins in the first four rounds, then in his fifth game he would not win a better position, leading to a collapse. A very moody player.”

Carlsen talks about their history and why Nepomniachtchi failed to break through.

As usual, Magnus is less filtered when speaking in his native language. On Nepomniachtchi’s biggest challenge in Dubai, he says:

“In Norway Chess he seemed very strong for the first 3-4 rounds, he had a small setback, and then he collapsed. That’s not something he can allow himself in a World Championship match. I am not going to fall even if I am hit in the face once. Perhaps that will be his biggest challenge, to handle the setbacks that will come, regardless of whether it’s a good position he fails to convert, or a game that he should have held to a draw but ends up losing, or opening preparation that goes wrong — that will be a huge challenge for him.”

The World Champion, who has reigned since 2013 and been the world no. 1 consecutively since 2011, doesn’t think Nepomniachtchi would have won the Candidates if the event hadn’t been split in two.

“Because he lost the last game in the first half of the tournament. He rarely plays well after having lost. Now he managed it eventually and has started to become more pragmatic.”

Carlsen says he considers Nepomniachtchi, the world no. 5, to be “a wild card” and still thinks the no. 3 Fabiano Caruana and no. 2 Ding Liren would pose a bigger challenge for him.

“I would say they are the best. I thought beforehand that anyone else would be a good outcome for me, and I still feel that way.”
https://chess24.com/en/read/news/carlsen-good-outcome-to-face-nepo-not-fabi-or-ding

The one word to describe Magnus Carlsen would be “consistent.” The word to describe Ian Nepomniachtchi would be “erratic.”

Maybe is Nepo had devoted more time to Chess and less to other interests the match result would have been different. Maybe…

Who is Ian Nepomniachtchi, the biggest nerd to ever …
[Search domain gamelevate.com] https://gamelevate.com › who-is-ian-nepomniachtchi
Beyond his excellent skills at the chessboard, Ian Nepomniachtchi is also notable for being the biggest nerd ever to challenge for the world championship title. The Russian has played Dota 2 in a semi-professional capacity around the time of its release and was heavily involved in the original Dota scene as well.

The Chess world needs to come to terms with the fact that the way a challenger is chosen has been corrupted by the Russians. Because the nefarious Russians control world Chess they managed to have a player who was not worthy play in the Candidates tournament. The Candidates match “wild card” 22-year-old Russian Kirill Alekseenko said, “The Candidates wild card should be abolished.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/alekseenko-the-candidates-wild-card-should-be-abolished)

Think about it for only a moment…If Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ordered Alekseenko to lose do you really think there would be any other result?

The fact is the Candidates tournament should not have been started during a pandemic. Then, after it had to be stopped, it should not have been resumed a year later. There has got to be a better way of choosing a challenger. How about a match between the second and third highest rated players? What about a double round robin between the top eight players; The Elite Eight?

Chess Is Weird At The Charlotte Chess Center

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,

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…

In an article at Chess.com dated 9/2/21, How Chess Can Make You Better At Business, written by “Chesscom” begins: “When you see chess in movies, it’s always associated with great minds—and there’s a good reason for this: chess is the ultimate intellectual game.” (https://www.chess.com/article/view/how-chess-can-make-you-better-at-business)

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:

Emanuel Lasker Quote: "While the Baroque rules of Chess ...

And this:

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,

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.v5RlqwVR0GXupLN6HGehnAAAAA%26pid%3DApi&f=1
senseis.xmp.net

9-dan professional Go player and former Honinbo title holder.

Go, ultimate strategic game (https://dragallur.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/go-ultimate-strategic-game/)

Billionaire Res Sinquefield

https://media2.fdncms.com/riverfronttimes/imager/u/blog/3007837/sinquefieldupi.jpg?cb=1454775102
UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt
Rex Sinquefield has been a major donor to institutions in the city, including the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis — and a host of conservative politicians.

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)

D14 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, exchange variation, 6.Bf4 Bf5

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. e3 e6 8. Bd3 Bxd3 9. Qxd3 Bd6

If you go to the Big database at 365Chess.com you will find that 99.4% of games that reached this position were drawn! (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=19&n=5693&ms=d4.d5.c4.c6.Nc3.Nf6.cxd5.cxd5.Nf3.Nc6.Bf4.Bf5.e3.e6.Bd3.Bxd3.Qxd3.Bd6&ns=7.8.23.36.307.350.965.868.130.49.50.50.51.51.4988.5186.5593.5693)

The “game” concluded after:

  1. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Rfc1 Rfc8 13. h3 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/01-Dragun_Kamil-Ali_Marandi_Cemil_Can

The opponents rank first and second in the event. It is more than a little obvious they did not come to play; they came to draw. It makes me wanna PUKE!

Then in the first round (FIRST ROUND!) of the Charlotte Labor Day GM B this game was recorded:

IM Levy Rozman 2353 (USA) vs GM Mark Paragua 2475 (PHI)

Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 01

D92 Gruenfeld, 5.Bf4

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. Rc1 Be6 7. e3 dxc4 8. Ng5 Bd5 9. e4 h6 10. exd5 hxg5 11. Bxg5 Nxd5 12. Bxc4 Nb6 13. Bb3 Nc6 14. Ne2 Qd7 15. O-O Rad8 16. Qd2 Bxd4 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-b/01-Rozman_Levy-Paragua_Mark

What did the fans of Chess think about the game? This is from the CHAT at ChessBomb:

ZikoGG: they agreed to a draw


jphamlore: Well that was an abrupt ending.


Nero: what the


Nero: chess is weird

And you know it makes me wonder what’s going on…

Levy Rozman

WHO AM I?

My name is Levy Rozman, also known as “GOTHAMCHESS.”

I’m an International Master, Twitch Streamer, Content Creator on YouTube and former scholastic chess coach.

I have been playing chess for almost 20 years, and teaching it for nearly 10 years. 

During my time as a scholastic chess coach I learned how to best teach the game to players of all levels.

This includes players that fall between ‘Beginner’ and ‘Intermediate.’

I’ve learned all the methods and strategies that help players in that level range advance to the intermediate level and beyond. 

This course is my attempt at compiling this knowledge and making it accessible to anyone in the world!

Chess Websites

A disgruntled reader took exception to the post, USCF Drops Set & Clock (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/uscf-drops-set-clock/). He defended the USCF for not having posted the last round games along with the other eight rounds. Only seven of those rounds can be found at the USCF website. There was/is an error with the fifth round and when clicks on the round this is found:

This screenshot was taken from the USCF website a moment ago (http://uschess.live/2021USO/round-5/games.pgn).

There are still no last round games posted…

The disgruntled one excoriated the AW for not finding the games at lichess (https://lichess.org/). I will admit to missing the notification in the article by Alexy Root,

https://new.uschess.org/sites/default/files/wp-thumbnails/Alexey-Root-Author-Photo-e1515093279560.png
Family Chess Challenge in Denton with WIM Dr. Alexey Root …
new.uschess.org

U.S. Open: Chess games, awards, signings, meetings, as I sort of glanced at the pictures on the way to the games, of which there were only three. Although I had previously been to the lichess website, I returned, finding the same page. From what was displayed I thought the website was only for playing online Chess. What do you think

https://lichess.org/

Yesterday while watching the coverage of the Sinquefield Cup

https://saintlouischessclub.org/sites/default/files/styles/slideshow/public/slideshow/2021%20Sinquefield%20Cup_Chess%20Club%20Homepage%20Slideshow.png?itok=BmhbwnSw
https://saintlouischessclub.org/

I noticed GM Maurice Ashley

https://i1.wp.com/tim.blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/maurice_ashley_illo-1-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C900&ssl=1
https://tim.blog/2020/07/28/maurice-ashley/

using a lichess board to display moves played in the ongoing games, so I returned to lichess and there was the same page as above. I did not want to waste time looking at the website because I was enjoying watching the gentlemen. Frankly, it was excellent having three Grandmasters analyze the games live without having a much lower rated woman onscreen.

There are many Chess websites and they are in competition. Like the Highlander,

https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/51755727/there-can-be-only-one.jpg

From the look of Chessdom (https://www.chessdom.com/) another one has bitten the dust.

The same screen has been up since the conclusion of the TCEC (https://tcec-chess.com/) match, won convincingly by Stockfish over LcZero. Although I visit most every Chess website the surfing begins with The Week In Chess (https://theweekinchess.com/), moving to Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/), then on over to Chess24 (https://chess24.com/en), and when there is Chess action, I go to the ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/), and also use Chess24. The best place to view is TWIC because the board contains only moves, unlike ChessBomb, which color codes moves, and Chess24 which has some ridiculous white strip on the side of the board that moves up or down depending on the current move. It reminds me of a thermometer. Wonder why the two websites did not make the ancillary accoutrements optional? They broadcast most of the same events, but the Bomb has been running all games played in the World Chess Championship matches, and is now up to the 1981 Karpov vs. Korchnoi match. (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/1981-karpov-korchnoi) I am still enjoying replaying the Bobby Fischer versus Boris Spassky match. (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/1972-spassky-fischer) Although I like the darker background found at Chess.com I agree with a gentleman with children who said, “Chess.com is geared toward children.” And why should it not be “geared toward children”? Children are the future and the battle rages for their little hearts, minds, souls, and their parents money.