Battle of the Sexes 2022

Although a ridiculous, contrived tournament like this one is regrettable and forgettable, it does contain a nice website with many beautiful pictures, such as this:

https://www.gibchess.com/uploads/slides/bos22/51841153727_17b6448c4d_k.jpg
https://www.gibchess.com/

A much better format would have been the top ranked male players versus the top ranked female players. The tournament could be a regular, yearly event. Sure, the females would be completely devastated, but Chess aficionados would be able to gauge the progress made by the women players over time as they were continually drubbed.

Nino Batsiashvili (GEO)

Nino Batsiashvili (Georgia)
Reserve Player: Nino Batsiashvili (Georgia). GM, rating 2491, aged 35. Nino had two outstanding achievements in 2015: winning a team gold medal with Georgia in the Women’s World Team Championship in China; and in December 2015 she drew with world champion Magnus Carlsen in the first round of the Qatar Masters. She qualified for the grandmaster title in 2018. She played in the four most recent Gibraltar Masters tournaments. She scored 6/10 in 2017, and again in 2018, 5½ in 2019 and again in 2020. She has a number of scalps of higher rated players, including Hou Yifan in the Isle of Man in 201https://www.gibchess.com/player-bios-20227.

vs Gillan Bwalya (ZAM)

Gillan Bwalya (Zambia)
Gillan Bwalya (Zambia). IM, rating 2410, age 33. Gillan learnt chess aged 11. He made his Olympiad debut in 2010 and scored a creditable 7/10 on board 3 for Zambia at the 2012 Istanbul Olympiad, including a win against Australia’s IM Alex Wohl. He followed this by winning the African Zonal tournament, gaining him the IM title. This qualified him for a first round pairing in the 2013 FIDE World Cup in Tromso with ex-world champion Vladimir Kramnik, which was quite an experience. Since then most of Gillan’s OTB chess has been played in the growing number of tournaments held in Africa, with steadily improving results. In May 2021 he finished 5th equal with GM Bilel Bellahcene and others in the Pan-African Championship in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 6/9 behind joint winners GMs Ahmed Adly and Bassem Amin and two other Egyptian GMs. He has not played previously in Gibraltar. https://www.gibchess.com/player-bios-2022


Gibraltar Chess Festival | Battle of the Sexes 2022 round 05
A80 Dutch

  1. d4 f5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 d6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. h3 h6 7. g4 g5 8. Bg3 Bg7 9. gxf5 exf5 10. d5 Ne7 11. Bc4 a6 12. Nd4 b5 13. Bb3 b4 14. Nce2 Bd7 15. Ne6 Bxe6 16. dxe6 O-O 17. h4 d5 18. hxg5 hxg5 19. c4 bxc3 20. Nxc3 c6 21. Qf3 Ra7 22. Be5 Qc8 23. Bd4 Rb7 24. Na4 Rb5 25. Nc5 Qe8 26. Qg3 Qg6 27. Qc7 Re8 28. f3 f4 29. Nd7 Qf5 30. O-O-O Qxe6 31. Nxf6+ Bxf6 32. Rh6 Rf8 33. Rdh1 Rxb3 34. axb3 fxe3 35. Bxf6 Rxf6 36. Rh8+ Kg7 37. R1h7+ 1-0
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2022-gibraltar-chess-festival-battle-of-the-sexes/05-Batsiashvili_Nino-Bwalya_Gillan

1.d4 f5 2. Bf4 (After having played the Dutch defense for decades I have never faced this move anywhere, at any time, in any Chess game. 365Chess.com shows over 400 games; the Chessbase database contains 287 games. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 53 considers 2 Bg5 the best move) 2…Nf6 (This, by a wide margin, has been the most often played move. The move of the Kings Knight has 271 examples in the CBDB. The second most popular move, 2…e6, shows 56 games in the CBDB. The move Stockfish considers best, 2…d6, shows only 13 games) 3. e3 (This move has been the most popular choice, with 263 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Deep Fritz. 3 Bg5 has been played in 217 games, while 3 Nf3, the choice of Rybka, has been seen in 185 games. There are 44 games in which 3 Nc3 has been attempted. There are three games with 3 h3; one with 3 c4. There are absolutely no games showing with the move Stockfish 14.1 considers best, 3 a3. Nor are there any games with 3 a3 at 365Chess.com. The AW has a feeling things will change after this salvo is fired…) 3…d6 (3…e6, the choice of Komodo and Fritz 17, has been the most often played move. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 42 plays the move played in the game) 4 Nc3 (Houdini would play 4 c3. The are two games with the move contained in the CBDB , both losses. Stockfish 13 @depth 50 would play the most often played move, 4 Nf3. SF 14.1 @depth 39 plays the second most often played move 4 Nc3) 4…e6 5. Nf3 (The CBDB contains only 2 examples of this move in action, but it is the choice of Fritz 17; SF 14, and SF 060720. 365Chess contains nary an example of 5 Nf3) 5…Nc6 (Three different Stockfish programs all play 5…Be7, and so should you. There are no examples of the move played in the game, which can mean only one thing: Theoretical Novelty! The only game found with the best move, 5…Be7, can be found below. The game can be located in the Chess Base Database))

GM Rameshbab Praggnanandhaa 2608 (IND) vs IM Stefan Pogosyan 2442 (RUS)
RUS-Gurukul U16 Online Battle
A80 Dutch
1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 d6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Nf3 Be7 6.h3 O-O 7.Bd3 b6 8.Bh2 Bb7 9.O-O c5 10.Nd2 Nc6 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.e4 fxe4 13.Ndxe4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 d5 15.Bd3 Nb4 16.a3 Nxd3 17.cxd3 Bd6 18.Qe2 Bxh2+ 19.Kxh2 Qd6+ 20.Kg1 Rf6 21.Rae1 Raf8 22.Qe5 Qb6 23.Re2 Ba6 24.Rd1 Rg6 25.Rdd2 Rf5 26.Qh2 h6 27.h4 Kh7 28.Qh3 Qd6 29.b4 Rh5 30.bxc5 Qf4 31.Qh2 Qd4 32.g3 Qxc3 33.Re1 Qxd2 0-1

Nona Gaprindashvili vs Milunka Lazarevic

At the end of 2021 Chessbase published an outstanding two part article by Diana Mihajlova

https://en.chessbase.com/portals/all/2021/12/milunka-lazarevic/part-2/Milinka%20Merlini.jpg
Milinka Merlini, on the left while still in Yugoslavia; on the right, in Paris commenting on the 1972 Fischer – Spassky match | Photo: Heritage des Echecs Francais

concerning Milunka Lazarević and former World Woman Chess Champion Nona Gaprindašvili. The first is entitled, Milunka Lazarević, the female Tal (https://en.chessbase.com/post/milunka-lazarevic-female-tal-part-1). The second: Milunka Lazarević: “Tal is my Zeus” (https://en.chessbase.com/post/milunka-lazarevic-female-tal-part-2) This is Chess history at its best. The two-part series is so excellent it should receive some kind of award. With that in mind, the Armchair Warrior has decided to take it upon himself to declare the articles the best Chess historical articles of 2021.

Both articles begin: “Nona Gaprindashvili

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse3.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIF.26SFFVrFw8k7pVhe%252fsOFcg%26pid%3DApi&f=1
https://et.eturbonews.com/3003624/Gruusia-malet%C3%A4ht-kaebas-netflixi-kohtusse%2C-kuna-ta-nimetas-teda-venelaseks/

wrote referring to Milunka Lazarevic:

Milunka Lazarevic
https://en.chessbase.com/post/milunka-lazarevic-female-tal-part-1

“A literary person by profession, lively and impressionable, Lazarevic is one of the brightest figures in women’s chess of the sixties”. Milunka attracted attention by her exciting, uncompromising style: sacrificing pawns and pieces and despising draws, which made her famous and endeared her to chess audiences!”

Pictured: Lazarevic, Tengiz Giorgadze and Gaprindashvili (National Parliamentary Library of Georgia) https://en.chessbase.com/post/milunka-lazarevic-female-tal-part-1

After spending an afternoon reading the articles and replaying every game I thought nothing about the articles until reading that FIDE, in its wisdom, decided to declare 2022 “the year of the woman in chess.” (https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-year-of-the-woman-in-chess-2022) The best writing on the subject can be found at the website of GM Kevin Spraggett in a piece titled, FIDE: Gender Equality, Equity and Breast Implants (http://www.spraggettonchess.com/thursday-coffee-16/). Kevin parses the phrases, ‘gender equality’ and ‘gender equity’ by breaking down the difference between the two words, “equality” and “equity.” Having worked for an attorney known as the “Wordsmith” this writer is well aware of what a difference there can be depending on which word is chosen.

Arkady Dvorkovich

https://www.celebsages.com/wp-content/uploads/age/dvorkovich-arkady-image.jpg.webp
https://www.celebsages.com/arkady-dvorkovich/

is the President of FIDE and “He is famous for being a Politician.” (https://www.celebsages.com/arkady-dvorkovich/)

Eva Repkova

Eva Repková.
https://lifestyle.livemint.com/news/talking-point/its-more-natural-for-men-to-pick-chess-111634531864348.html

is FIDE’s Women’s Commission Chair. I have no idea of what she is famous for or even how famous is she. I do know that there is internecine warfare being waged between ‘gender equality’ and ‘gender equity’ in the world of FIDE and who wins the battle will have a HUGE impact upon the world of Chess in the future.

Nona Gaprindashvili (2326) vs Milunka Lazarevic, (2160)
Event: Cheliabinsk Seniors (Women)
Site: Cheliabinsk Date: 12/21/2005
Round: 5
ECO: A80 Dutch
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.d5 Ne4 7.c4 e5 8.b3 d6 9.Bb2 Nd7 10.Nbd2 Nxd2 11.Qxd2 f4 12.gxf4 Rxf4 13.e3 Rf5 14.Qe2 Nf6 15.Nd2 Rh5 16.f3 Bd7 17.Rf2 Qe7 18.Nf1 Rc8 19.Re1 Rh4 20.Ng3 Nh5 21.Nf1 Bh6 22.Qd1 Qf7 23.Ree2 Rf8 24.Qe1 Qe7 25.Bc1 Bh3 26.Bxh3 Rxh3 27.Nd2 e4 28.fxe4 Bxe3 29.Rxe3 Qg5+ 30.Rg3 Rxg3+ 31.hxg3 Qxg3+ 32.Kf1 Qd3+ 33.Kg1 Qg3+ 34.Kf1 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=3278207

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.d5 (This is not the best move and you know the woman who was the woman World Chess champion from 1962-1978 knew this, so there must be a reason Nona played a second, or third rate move. One can only speculate as to the reason…The last time these two women had met for combat across the board was at the Medellin Olympic (Women) (https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=2433694) way back in 1974, the year I came from nowhere to win the Atlanta Chess Championship. Nona won the first two games contested but Milunka fought back, winning the next two games. After a couple of draws in 1964 they did not meet again until 1966, at which time Nona asserted herself, winning the next three games over the next eight years, and they did not meet again until this game. In limited action, forty games, the move 6 d5 has not fared well) 6…Ne4 (This move is not in the Chessbase Database, but there are two games with the move found at 365Chess. The second follows:

Ricardo Galindo (2275) vs Gustavo Albarran (2192)
Event: Metropolitano-ch
Site: Buenos Aires Date: 06/24/2000
Round: 4 Score: ½-½
ECO: A04 Reti opening
1.Nf3 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.d4 f5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.O-O O-O 6.d5 Ne4 7.Nbd2 Nd6 8.c4 c5 9.e3 e5 10.Rb1 e4 11.Ne1 Na6 12.a3 b5 13.b3 Rb8 14.Qc2 Qb6 15.f3 exf3 16.Bxf3 Nf7 17.Nd3 d6 18.Bb2 Bxb2 19.Qxb2 Bd7 20.Bg2 Rbe8 21.e4 Ne5 22.Qc2 Qd8 23.Nxe5 Rxe5 24.cxb5 Bxb5 25.Nc4 Bxc4 26.bxc4 fxe4 27.Bxe4 Rxf1+ 28.Rxf1 Qe8 29.Bf3 Re1 30.Qf2 Rxf1+ 31.Qxf1 Qe3+ 32.Kg2 Nc7 33.Bg4 Kg7 34.Qa1+ Kh6 35.h4 Ne8 36.Qh8 Qe4+ 37.Bf3 Qe7 38.Kh3 Qf7 39.Kg2 Nf6 40.Qd8 Nd7 41.Be4 Kg7 42.a4 Nf6 43.Bf3 Qd7 44.Qb8 a5 45.Qb6 Qxa4 46.Qxd6 Qc2+ 47.Kh3 Qf5+ 48.Kg2 Qc2+ 49.Kh3 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=612940&m=14

7th Gulf Coast New Year: Expert Brejesh Chakrabarti vs GM Julio Becerra Rivero

Sometimes Chess viewing is like a box of chocolates…Such was the Gumpian thought when seeing a tournament being played in the sunny and warm climate of the Gulf Coast was being broadcast at FollowChess.com. Although what is called a “weekend swiss” it is a weekend Chess tournament sending moves all over the world thanks to modern technology. The following round two game was found while surfing and much time was spent watching the game, and the others, one of which developed from a Bishop’s opening, and if you are a regular reader you know what that means. You may, though, be surprised to learn the B.O. game may, or may not be posted, depending, because the AW decided to post a Caro-Kann, Exchange variation today.

Brejesh Chakrabarti 2039 vs Julio Becerra Rivero 2491

https://xpertchesslessons.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/8b713-334-2bbecerra.jpg
https://ajedrezlaluchacontinua.blogspot.com/2019/03/coleccion-grandes-maestros-n-334-julio.html


7th Gulf Coast New Year (round 2)
B13 Caro-Kann, exchange variation

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. Bf4 Qxf4 8. Nxf4 Bxd1 9. Kxd1 e6 10. Nd2 Bd6 11. Nh5 g6 12. Ng3 Nge7 13. Nf3 Rb8 14. a4 a6 15. Re1 Kd7 16. Ke2 h6 17. Kf1 Rhc8 18. Re2 Rc7 19. Ke1 Na5 20. Kd1 Nc8 21. Nf1 Nc4 22. Bxc4 Rxc4 23. Ne5+ Bxe5 24. Rxe5 Rc7 25. Nd2 Nd6 26. Re2 a5 27. f3 g5 28. Ke1 Rg8 29. Nb3 b6 30. Kf1 h5 31. Nc1 Nf5 32. Nd3 Kd6 33. Kg1 g4 34. f4 Ke7 35. Ra3 Rb8 36. Ra2 Kf6 37. Ra1 Nd6 38. Kh1 Ne4 39. Kg1 g3 40. h3 Kf5 41. Kf1 h4 42. Ra2 b5 43. axb5 Rxb5 44. Ra3 Rcb7 45. Ra2 Rb8 46. Ra1 Kf6 47. Ra2 Kg7 48. Ke1 Rc8 49. Kf1 Nd6 50. Ke1 Rcb8 51. Kd1 Kf6 52. Ke1 Ne4 53. Kd1 R8b7 54. Ke1 Kf5 55. Kd1 Ra7 56. Ra4 Rc7 57. Ra3 Rcb7 58. Ra2 Rb8 59. Ke1 f6 60. Kd1 a4 61. Rxa4 Nf2+ 62. Nxf2 gxf2 63. Rxf2 Rxb2 64. Ra2 Rxa2 65. Rxa2 Rb1+ 66. Kc2 Rf1 67. Kd3 Kxf4 68. Ra6 Re1 69. Ra8 Re3+ 70. Kd2 Rg3 71. Rh8 Rxg2+ 72. Kd1 Kg3 73. Re8 f5 74. Rxe6 f4 75. Ke1 f3 76. Rg6+ Kxh3 77. Rf6 Kg4 78. Rg6+ Kf4 79. Rf6+ Ke3 80. Re6+ Kd3 81. Rh6 Rh2 82. Rc6 h3 83. Rf6 Kxc3 84. Rf4 Kd3 85. Rxf3+ Kxd4 86. Kf1 Ke4 87. Ra3 d4 88. Kg1 Rg2+ 89. Kf1 d3 90. Ra8 Rb2 91. Re8+ Kf5 92. Rf8+ Ke6 93. Re8+ Kf7 94. Re3 Rb1+ 95. Kf2 h2 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!7th-gulf-coast-new-year-2022/1623420428
  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 (Stockfish 13 @depth 61 played 3 e5, the advance variation; SF 14 @depth 60 prefers 3 Nc3) cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 (Stockfish 11 @depth 50 played 5…Nf6, still the most often played move according to the Chessbase Database, but SF 14 @depth 51 has moved on to the solid 5…e6, of which there are only 33 games found in the CBDB. There are 2212 games with 5…Nf6. There are 1417 games containing the move played in the game, 5…Qc7, and it has held white to only a 47% winning percentage. After 5…Nf6 white has scored 51%. The solid 5…e6 has held white to scoring only 44%) 6. Ne2 (The most often played move, but is it the best? The move has scored only 47% for white. SF 14 & 14.1 both play 6 h3, with which white has scored 53% in 471 games. Deep Fritz 13 shows 6 Nf3, a move that has scored only 38% in 78 games) 6…Bg4 (For as long as I have been playing the Royal game this move was “it”, but that has changed with the advent of computer Chess playing programs. The CBDB contains 601 games with the move chosen by GM Becerra Rivero. The second most played move has been 6…e6, which has been seen in 46 games, while scoring 38%. The best move in the position according to StockFish 14 @depth 49, and Stockfish 14.1 @depth 46 is 6…e5, a move having appeared to date in only 10 games while scoring 50%) 7. Bf4? (Stockfish 180821 @depth 52 simply castles, and so should you! The move chosen by the Expert has been seen in 15 games while scoring only 43%. When facing much higher rated opposition some players look for a way, any way, of trading Queens, which is a dumb move if you cogitate awhile, because the Grandmaster will, most probably, grind you down into a fine losing powder. On the other hand there are players like this writer who preferred keeping the Queens on the board, as was the case in a victory over Senior Master Klaus Pohl. The next time we played Klaus played a variation in which the Queens left the board early and the AW was given a endgame lesson. Cheap tricks do not usually work on the Chess board, or life) 7…Qxf4 8. Nxf4 Bxd1 9. Kxd1 e6
White to move

IM of GM strength Boris Kogan was fond of saying, “Why be afraid of playing an even position?” After 10 Bb5 Stockfish 14.1 @depth 32 says the game is triple zeros, aka, “even Steven”) 10. Nd2 Bd6 11. Nh5 (SF 12 brought the knight to e2, but SF 14 placed the steed on h3) 11…g6 12. Ng3 Nge7 (For the choice of Stockfish, 12…Nf6, see Guzman vs Spata below)

Maxim Novikov (2513) vs Alexander Riazantsev (2646)
Event: 69th ch-RUS HL 2016
Site: Kolomna RUS Date: 06/23/2016
Round: 2.13
ECO: B13 Caro-Kann, exchange variation
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Ne2 Bg4 7.Bf4 Qxf4 8.Nxf4 Bxd1 9.Kxd1 e6 10.Bb5 Bd6 11.Nd3 Ne7 12.Nd2 a6 13.Bxc6+ Nxc6 14.f4 f6 15.a4 b6 16.Nb3 a5 17.Nd2 h6 18.h4 h5 19.Nf3 Kf7 20.Re1 Ne7 21.Ke2 Nf5 22.Kf2 Rh6 23.g3 Rc8 24.Rg1 Be7 25.Rge1 Bd6 26.Rg1 Rc7 27.Rge1 Rh8 28.Re2 Re8 29.Ree1 Bf8 30.Nd2 Rb8 31.Ra2 Bd6 32.Nf3 Ra7 33.Rh1 Bc7 34.Re1 Raa8 35.Rg1 Rg8 36.Raa1 Rab8 37.Rge1 Nd6 38.Nd2 Rge8 39.Re2 Re7 40.Kg2 Rh8 41.Rh1 Rg8 42.Kf2 Ke8 43.Rhe1 Kf7 44.Rh1 Nf5 45.Nf3 Rh8 46.Rg1 Rh6 47.Rge1 Bb8 48.Rg1 Re8 49.Rge1 Bd6 50.Rg1 Bc7 51.Rge1 Bb8 52.Rg1 Nd6 53.Nd2 Rg6 54.Ree1 Rc8 55.Kf3 Rh6 56.Re2 Rhh8 57.Rge1 Rhe8 58.Kf2 Rc7 59.Kf3 Ra7 60.Kf2 Rb7 61.Ra1 Nf5 62.Nf3 Bd6 63.Ree1 Ra8 64.Ra2 Bc7 65.Raa1 Bd6 66.Ra2 Rc8 67.Raa1 Bf8 68.Ra2 Rbb8 69.Re2 Rc7 70.Re1 Nd6 71.Nd2 Nc4 72.Re2 Nd6 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3997485&m=20

The following game was found only at the Chessbase Database (https://database.chessbase.com/)

FM Christoph Guzman 2258 (DOM) vs FM German Spata 2257 )ARG)
Rio Grande Domingo op 20th

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Ne2 Bg4 7.Bf4 Qxf4 8.Nxf4 Bxd1 9.Kxd1 e6 10.Nd2 Bd6 11.Nh5 g6 12.Ng3 Nf6 13.f3 h5 14.Rc1 Ke7 15.Kc2 Rhc8 16.Kb1 Rab8 17.Rhe1 b5 18.Ne2 Bxh2 19.g3 h4 20.gxh4 Rh8 21.Rh1 Rxh4 22.Nf1 Rbh8 23.Bxb5 Na5 24.b3 g5 25.c4 dxc4 26.bxc4 Bc7 27.Rg1 g4 28.f4 Nh5 29.f5 exf5 30.Ne3 Rh2 31.Nc3 Ng7 32.c5 Kd8 33.d5 Bf4 34.Ncd1 R8h3 35.c6 Kc7 36.d6+ Bxd6 37.Nd5+ Kd8 38.c7+ Bxc7 39.Rxc7 Rh1 40.Rd7+ Kc8 41.Rxh1 Rxh1 42.Rc7+ Kb8 43.Ba6 Rxd1+ 44.Kc2 Nb7 45.Rxb7+ Kc8 46.Kxd1 Ne6 47.Rxf7+ Kd8 48.Rxf5 g3 49.Ne3 Nd4 50.Rd5+ 1-0

Gabriela Antova vs Alex Leningrad Lenderman

Grandmaster Alex Lenderman

https://ha.chesschest.com/doke-budapest-gambit-gm-lenderman-wasa-da-mutane/

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,

https://www.schachbund.de/news/jewgenij-schtembuljak-und-polina-schuwalowa-sind-junioren-weltmeister.html

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…

Not Worthy GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
giphy.com

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 FollowChess.com 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 ChessBomb.com 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 FollowChess.com 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
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-open/04-Antova_Gabriela-Lenderman_Aleksandr
  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
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4300056

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
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2573719&m=21

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
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2547853&m=21

The Gombac Variation

After checking the moves, 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Bd6

The Gombac Variation

at 365Chess.com it was shocking to see the Bishop move, clogging up the works, has been played in 102 games! Granted, the 365Chess database includes myriad games played by the hoi polloi, but still, over one hundred games? The Chessbase Database contains only 2 games with the Bishop move having been played. From which game can more be learned?

GM Marko Tratar 2505 SLO

http://chess959.com/?p=401

vs FM Jan Gombac 2324 SLO

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bd6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.O-O Nf6 5.Re1 O-O 6.Nc3 Re8 7.a3 1/2-1/2

Martin Giron Guevara COL vs Jhon Greg Ramirez Sanchez 1489 COL

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bd6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 O-O 5.d3 Bc5 6.Bg5 c6 7.Nxe5 d5 8.exd5 Qb6 9.O-O Qxb2 10.Qd2 Bd4 11.Rab1 Qa3 12.Rb3 Qa5 13.Nf3 Qc7 14.Nxd4 Ng4 15.g3 f6 16.d6+ Qf7 17.Bxf7+ Rxf7 18.Be3 c5 19.Ndb5 a6 20.Nc7 b5 21.Nxa8 Bb7 22.f3 1-0

Both StockFish and Komodo have determined the best move to be 3 d4. 365Chess contains 18 games in which the d-pawn was pushed forward two squares. Then Stockfish says 3…Nc6 is best. After that SF 13 @depth 57 plays 4 dxe5. SF 14 @depth 51 prefers 4 c3.

We humans are supposed to learn from our mistakes. It is difficult to teach Chess to neophytes using games of the best players because they make far fewer mistakes than lesser players. How can a young student know what constitutes a bad move when all the moves are good?

Eva Katharina Hahn (931) vs Anika Keller (1058)
Event: Wuerttemberg-ch U14 Girls
Site: Lindau Date: 04/02/2002
Round: 1
ECO: C44 Scotch opening
1.Nf3 Nc6 2.e4 e5 3.d4 Bd6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Be3 O-O 6.Nb5 a6 7.Nxd6 cxd6 8.Bd3 Qe7 9.O-O h6 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Nh4 Nxe4 12.Nf5 Qf6 13.Bxe4 d5 14.Qxd5 Bxf5 15.Bxf5 Qxf5 16.f4 Rad8 17.fxe5 Qxf1+ 18.Rxf1 Rxd5 19.e6 f6 20.Re1 Re5 21.Kf2 Rxe6 22.Bc5 Rfe8 23.Rxe6 Rxe6 24.Kg1 Re5 25.Ba3 Rf5 26.Kh1 Rf1# 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=192568

Veronika Giricz, (1116) vs Anika Keller (1058)
Event: Wuerttemberg-ch U14 Girls
Site: Lindau Date: 04/03/2002
Round: 3
ECO: C44 Scotch opening
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Bd6 4.Nc3 a6 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Bg5 O-O 7.O-O h6 8.Bh4 b5 9.Bd5 Bb7 10.Bxc6 Bxc6 11.dxe5 Be7 12.exf6 Bxf6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.Re1 Rfe8 15.Re3 b4 16.e5 Qe6 17.Nd4 Qg6 18.Rg3 Qh7 19.Nce2 Bb7 20.Nf5 Qxf5 21.Qd2 Qxe5 22.Re1 a5 23.Rg4 Ba6 24.Qxh6 Qxb2 25.Qd2 a4 26.Rxb4 Qxa2 27.Rg4 Bxe2 28.Rxe2 Qa1+ 29.Qe1 Qxe1+ 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=192580

Batchimeg Tuvshintugs (2227) vs Bert G Dennison (2024)
Event: Stillwater Winter op
Site: Stillwater Date: 02/17/2007
Round: 1
ECO: B00 KP, Nimzovich defence
1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 3.c3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Bd3 O-O 6.O-O b6 7.Nbd2 Bb7 8.Nc4 exd4 9.e5 dxc3 10.exf6 cxb2 11.Bxb2 Re8 12.Qb1 gxf6 13.Bxh7+ Kg7 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3477540&m=14

Chris Fincham (2060) vs Jeremy Hende (1432)
Event: Internet Section 15-B
Site: Dos Hermanas Date: 03/15/2003
Round: 1
ECO: C44 Scotch opening
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Bd6 4.c3 Nf6 5.Bd3 O-O 6.O-O b6 7.Re1 Bb7 8.d5 Ne7 9.h3 Re8 10.Nh2 Bc5 11.Ng4 Nh5 12.b4 Bd6 13.Nh6+ gxh6 14.Qxh5 Ng6 15.Bxh6 a6 16.Nd2 Nf4 17.Qg4+ Ng6 18.Nf1 b5 19.Ng3 c6 20.Nh5 Be7 21.f4 Bh4 22.g3 Be7 23.f5 Bc5+ 24.bxc5 a5 25.fxg6 fxg6 26.Ng7 Rf8 27.Ne6 dxe6 28.Bxf8 Qxf8 29.Qxe6+ Kh8 30.Qxe5+ Kg8 31.Rf1 Re8 32.Rxf8+ Rxf8 33.dxc6 Bxc6 34.Qe6+ 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=38946&m=14

The Kopec System

It has been my experience teaching Chess to children that they “make the darnest moves.”

Kids Say The Darndest Things
“Kids Say The Darndest Things” hosted by Art Linkletter http://dovemediaworks.net/kids-say-the-darndest-things/

A prime example would be when after the opening moves of 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3, the student suggests playing 2…Bd6. After moving the bishop to d6 I asked a precocious girl, with the mellifluous name Haripria, why she had made that particular move. The answer came, “Because it protects the pawn, dummy.” That remark set me aback. After gathering myself the response was, “But it also blocks the d-pawn, and clogs up the works, dummy.” She howled with laughter. As we sat there smiling I recalled the Kopec System, based on White playing an early Bd3, blocking the d-pawn.

https://i0.wp.com/www.quantumgambitz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/middle-game-pawn-play-kopec-1.jpg
http://www.quantumgambitz.com/blog/chess/danny-kopec-im-february-28-1954-june-12-2016

If you are a regular reader you know what comes next, but for you newbies, inquiring minds wanna know, so I went to the ChessBaseDataBase to learn it contains 45 games in which 3 Bd3 has been played, showing it has scored an astounding 66% against a very high average opposition of 2544! This is INCREDIBLE! I went to 365Chess.com finding it contained 97 games with a 70.1% score. My mind has been blown…

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bd3 Nc6 4 c3 Bg4 (The move of Stockfish; Komodo and Deep Fritz castle. 4…Nf6 has been played in 700 games with a winning percentage of only 49%. It is the choice of Deep Fritz 13 @depth22. 4…e5 is the choice of Houdini and there is only one game in the CBDB. Stockfish 14 @depth 29 plays 4…Bg4, of which there are two games contained within the CBDB) 5. h3 Bxf3 6. Qxf3 Nf6 (Houdini & Critter like 6…g6, but Fire prefers 6…e6. I miss Stockfish…) 7 Bc2 (There it is, the Kopec system. Unfortunately, the CBDB shows it has only scored 48% against an average rating of 2416) 7…g6 8. O-O Bg7 9 Qe2! (OK, I put the exclam there, and you regular readers and Chigorin fans understand why. This is the move chosen by SF 14 @depth 27, but I must report SF 12 going down to depth 46 likes 9 d3) 9…0-0 10 d3 (After this move 10…b5 has almost invariably been played. The CBDB shows two games in which the move was 10…Nd7; one each for 10…Qc7 and Rc8. The latter is the choice of Komodo. See game below. StockFish comes at you with a TN, 10…d5)

Khaled Mahdy (2390) vs Manfred Freitag (2285)
Event: AUT-chT 9697
Site: Austria Date: ??/??/1996
Round: 2
ECO: B50 Sicilian
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.Bc2 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 g6 8.d3 Bg7 9.O-O O-O 10.Qe2 Rc8 11.a4 a6 12.Be3 b5 13.axb5 axb5 14.Nd2 Nd7 15.Nf3 Qb6 16.Qd2 Qc7 17.Bh6 e5 18.Bb3 Nb6 19.Rfd1 Ra8 20.Be3 Rfb8 21.Ng5 Nd8 22.h4 Rxa1 23.Rxa1 h6 24.Nf3 Kh7 25.Qe2 Ne6 26.g3 Qd7 27.h5 g5 28.Bxe6 fxe6 29.Nh2 Rb7 30.Qg4 Na4 31.Bc1 c4 32.Nf3 cxd3 33.b3 Nxc3 34.Bxg5 Qe8 35.Bd2 Ne2+ 36.Kg2 Bf6 37.Ra6 Rg7 38.Qh3 Qd7 39.Kf1 Qb7 40.Qxe6 Qxe4 41.Ng1 Qh1 42.Qf5+ Kh8 43.Ra8+ Qxa8 44.Qxf6 Qa1+ 45.Be1 Nd4 46.Qxd6 Qb1 47.Nf3 Nxf3 48.Qf8+ Kh7 49.Qf5+ Kg8 50.Qc8+ Kf7 51.Qf5+ Ke7 52.Qxf3 Qxb3 53.Qb7+ Kf6 54.Qf3+ Ke6 55.Qc6+ Ke7 56.Qb7+ Kf6 57.Qf3+ Ke6 58.Qc6+ Kf7 59.Qf3+ Kg8 60.Qa8+ Kh7 61.Qe4+ Kh8 62.Qxe5 Qc4 63.Kg1 b4 64.Bd2 Qg4 65.Bxh6 Kh7 66.Bf4 Rf7 67.Qe4+ Qf5 68.Qxb4 Qxh5 69.Qe4+ Qf5 70.Qh1+ Kg7 71.Qc6 Kg8 72.Qa8+ Rf8 73.Qa2+ Qf7 74.Qa5 Qg6 75.Qd5+ Rf7 76.Qa8+ Kg7 77.Be5+ Kh6 78.Qh1+ Qh5 79.Qc6+ Qg6 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=1262776&m=21

Jordan vs Michel Sivan
Event: Lyon op
Site: Lyon Date: ??/??/1999
Round: ?
ECO: B30 Sicilian defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 d6 4.Bd3 Bg4 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 Ne5 7.Bb5+ Nc6 8.O-O Qc7 9.d4 a6 10.Ba4 b5 11.Bb3 c4 12.Bc2 g6 13.a4 Rb8 14.axb5 axb5 15.e5 e6 16.exd6 Bxd6 17.Nd2 Nge7 18.Ne4 Nf5 19.Nxd6+ Nxd6 20.Bf4 Qd7 21.d5 Ne7 22.dxe6 fxe6 23.Rad1 Nd5 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Qxd5 Rb6 26.Re1+ Kd8 27.Qd4 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=751625&m=13)

Peter Svidler (2714) vs Alan Pichot (2630)
Event: FTX Crypto Cup Prelim
Site: chess24.com INT Date: 05/24/2021
Round: 8.5
ECO: B50 Sicilian
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bd3 Nf6 4.c3 Bg4 5.Bc2 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.d4 d5 8.exd5 Qxd5 9.Bb3 Qe4+ 10.Be3 Bxf3 11.gxf3 Qf5 12.Nd2 cxd4 13.Bxd4 Nc6 14.Ba4 Be7 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qb3 O-O 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.O-O-O Rab8 19.Qc4 Rb5 20.Kc2 Rfb8 21.b3 Rd5 22.Qe4 Re5 23.Qd3 g6 24.Ne4 Qf4 25.Rhe1 Rf5 26.Qd7 Bf8 27.Qxa7 Rbb5 28.Rd8 Ra5 29.Qe7 Qh6 30.a4 Rxf3 31.Red1 Rd5 32.R1xd5 cxd5 33.Nf6+ Rxf6 34.Qxf6 Qh5 35.Qe7 Qe2+ 36.Kc1 Kg7 37.Qxf8+ Kf6 38.Qc5 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4287223

Danny Kopec (2405) vs Maxim Dlugy (2550)
Event: Saint John op-1
Site: Saint John Date: ??/??/1988
Round: ?
ECO: B30 Sicilian defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bd3 g6 4.c3 Bg7 5.O-O d5 6.exd5 Qxd5 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.Bc4 Qd8 9.d3 O-O 10.Re1 b6 11.Bg5 Bb7 12.Nbd2 Qd7 13.Rad1 Rae8 14.a4 h6 15.Bh4 Nh5 16.Qe3 e5 17.Ne4 Kh8 18.Nf6 Nxf6 19.Bxf6 Kh7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Bb5 f6 22.a5 Qd6 23.axb6 axb6 24.Nd2 Rd8 25.h4 h5 26.Ne4 Qc7 27.Rf1 Ne7 28.g3 Nd5 29.Qe1 Qe7 30.f3 f5 31.Ng5 f4 32.Rd2 Ne3 33.Re2 Qd6 34.Rxe3 fxe3 35.Qxe3 Rf5 36.Re1 Rdf8 37.Bc4 Bd5 38.Bxd5 Qxd5 39.f4 exf4 40.gxf4 Kh8 41.Qe7 Qg8 42.Re4 R5f6 43.Qc7 Rc8 44.Qb7 Rb8 45.Qc7 Rc8 46.Qb7 ½-½

Wei Yi’s Closed Sicilian vs Kaido Kulaots

Yesterday Chessbase published an article, How 62nd seed Kaido Kulaots won the Aeroflot Open 2019 Part II, (https://en.chessbase.com/post/interview-with-aeroflot-winner-kaido-kulaots-part-ii) which contained the game between Aeroflot Open winner Kaido Kulaots


Winner of Aeroflot Open 2019 — Kaido Kulaots from Estonia | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

and the top seed of the event Wei Yi.

The game was a Closed Sicilian, an opening I played often while scoring well against higher rated opposition. The game began with the usual moves, 1 e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6, but then Wei Yi played 3 Nge2 in lieu of what had become almost routine, 3 g3, the move invariably played by many, including yours truly. This sent me to the ChessBase DataBase because this inquiring mind had to know…I learned it is currently the best move according to SF 9 & 10, and Houdini. Until the next generation of self learning programs appears on the CBDB 3 Nge2 will stand as the best way to play the Closed variation against the Sicilian defense, which means my favored 1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 d6 3 g3 Nc6 4 Bg2 g6 5 d3 Bg7 6 Be3 with which I stunned quite a few Experts and Masters is considered second-rate. Then comes, 4. g3 (SF 10 at depth 35 plays this move, but at depth 42 plays 4 d4) Nc6 (SF 10 at depth 38 plays this move, but SF 010219 at the same depth plays 4…g6) 5. Bg2 g6 6. d3 (SF 9 at depth 36 plays this move, but going deeper to depth 44 shows 6 a3, a move yet to be played, followed by Bg7 7 Rb1, while Komodo plays the most often played move in practice, 6 0-0 Bg7 7 Nd5) Bg7 7. 0-0 0-0 (SF 260219 at depth 39 shows 7…Rb8 8 Nd5 Nxd5) 8. Bg5 (SF 9 & 10 play 8 a3 , but Komodo shows 8 Nd5 Nd7 9 Ne3) 8…Bd7 (SF 9 at depth 40 shows 8…Rb8 9 a4 h6) 9. Qd2 (This is the SF choice but Komodo plays 9 Nd5) 9…Nd4 (Komodo shows 9…Rb8 10 Nd5 Ng4 or 9…Re8 10 h3 Rc8 both at depth 31).

The complete game can be found at the Chessbase website and the article is excellent. I give the complete game below:

Wei, Yi (CHN) 2733 – Kulaots, Kaido (EST) 2542

Aeroflot Open 2019 round 07

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. Nge2 Nf6 4. g3 Nc6 5. Bg2 g6 6. d3 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 Bd7 9. Qd2 Nd4 10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. Ne2 e5 12. c3 dxc3 13. Nxc3 a5 14. f4 Bc6 15. f5 b5 16. Rac1 b4 17. Nd5 Bxd5 18. exd5 Qb6+ 19. Kh1 Qb5 20. Rc6 Rad8 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. Be4 g5 23. Rfc1 Kg7 24. Qd1 Rd7 25. Kg2 Rh8 26. Qh5 Qb7 27. Kf3 Qa7 28. R6c4 Qb6 29. Ke2 Qa7 30. Kf3 Qb6 31. Ke2 Qa7 32. h4 h6 33. Qf3 Rg8 34. hxg5 hxg5 35. Rh1 Rh8 36. Rxh8 Kxh8 37. Qh1+ Kg7 38. Qc1 Qb6 39. Rc6 Qd4 40. Rc4 Qb6 41. Rc6 Qd4 42. Ra6 Rd8 43. Kf1 Rd7 44. Kg2 b3 45. axb3 Rb7 46. Ra8 Ra7 47. Rb8 Rd7 48. Ra8 Rd8 49. Rxa5 Qb6 50. Ra3 Rh8 51. Qd2 Rb8 52. Qf2 Qc7 53. Qd2 Qc5 54. Bf3 Rb7 55. Ra5 Qb6 56. Bd1 Qd4 57. Qc3 Qe3 58. Ra4 Rb8 59. Re4 Qa7 60. b4 Rh8 61. Bb3 Qd7 62. g4 Qa7 63. Qd2 Rh4 64. Qe1 Qb8 65. Qg3 Qa7 66. Qe1 Qb8 67. Bc4 Qh8 68. Qg3 Bd8 69. d4 exd4 70. Rxd4 Bf6 71. Re4 Qb8 72. Be2 Be5 73. Rxe5 dxe5 74. b5 Qd6 75. Qe3 Kf6 76. b6 Qxd5+ 77. Bf3 Qd4 78. Qxd4 exd4 79. b7 Rh8 80. Bc6 Ke5 81. Bd7 Rb8 82. Bc8 Ke4 83. Kf2 Ke5 0-1

Werner Hug (2435) vs John Nunn (2565)

Luzern ol (Men) 1982

B25 Sicilian, closed

1.e4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.g3 c5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.d3 d6 6.Nge2 Nf6 7.O-O O-O 8.Bg5 Bd7 9.Qd2 Rc8 10.Bh6 Bxh6 11.Qxh6 Nd4 12.Qd2 Qb6 13.Rab1 Bg4 14.Nxd4 cxd4 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Rc7 17.c4 dxc3 18.bxc3 Qa5 19.Rb4 Bf5 20.Rfb1 Rfc8 21.R1b3 b6 22.h3 e5 23.dxe6 Bxe6 24.Rb5 Qa6 25.c4 Rc5 26.Qb2 Rxb5 27.Rxb5 Rc5 28.Rxc5 dxc5 29.h4 h5 30.Be4 Qa5 31.Kg2 Qa4 ½-½

Thomas Flindt (2179) vs Martin Baekgaard (2294)

47th XtraCon TCh-DEN 2008-9

B24 Sicilian, closed

1.Nc3 c5 2.e4 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nge2 Nf6 6.O-O O-O 7.d3 d6 8.Bg5 Bd7 9.Qd2 Qa5 10.Bh6 Nd4 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.h3 Qb4 13.Rab1 Rac8 14.f4 Bc6 15.g4 Nd7 16.f5 Nxe2+ 17.Qxe2 Qd4+ 18.Kh1 f6 19.g5 fxg5 20.Qg4 h6 21.fxg6 Ne5 22.Qe6 Nxg6 23.Nd5 Qe5 24.Qg4 e6 25.Ne3 b5 26.Qd1 Rxf1+ 27.Qxf1 Rf8 28.Qe1 h5 29.Qa5 Rf7 30.Rf1 Nf4 31.Qd8 d5 32.Nf5+ exf5 33.Qxg5+ Ng6 34.exf5 Qf6 35.Qxg6+ Qxg6 36.fxg6 Rxf1+ 37.Bxf1 d4+ 38.Bg2 Bxg2+ 39.Kxg2 Kxg6 40.h4 Kf5 41.Kf3 a5 42.Kg3 a4 43.b3 Ke5 ½-½

The Laws of the Najdorf

My subscription to the best Chess magazine ever published in the history of the Royal Game, New In Chess, expired with the 2017/6 issue. Although I would like to renew financial conditions due to health issues, etc., are such that the decision was made for me. Living on a fixed income requires sacrifice. I had extra money after deciding to postpone dental work until spring and there were these two Chess books I’ve wanted to read for quite some time, Insanity, passion, and addiction: a year inside the chess world, by GM Danny Gormally, and Ivan’s Chess Journey: Games and Stories, by GM Ivan Sokolov. Greg Yanez of Chess4Less.com sent out an email announcing his Black Friday sale on Thursday evening and I was about to clear everything in order to listen to the weekly edition of Phenomenon Radio with Linda Moulton Howe (http://kgraradio.com/phenomenon-radio/) so I clicked on and examined all ninety pages of Chess items for sale, while listening to the program, ordering the above mentioned books and the new issue of New In Chess magazine because not only is it the best Chess magazine in the universe, but I am 67 and tomorrow is today. Alas, the issue contains book reviews by GM Matthew Sadler of two books on my wish list, The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein, by Genna Sosonko, and Guyla Breyer, by Jimmy Adams (published by New In Chess), both of which earned five, count’em, FIVE STARS! Two more books, or another subscription to the best Chess magazine in the universe? Oh well, I can take solace in that no matter how I choose to spend my money I cannot go wrong!

Before continuing, let me say that I met Greg at one of the National tournaments for children at the Hyatt in downtown Atlanta, Georgia some years ago. I purchased a stack of books while enjoying talking with Greg and the fellow with him, whose name I simply cannot recall. I spent most of my time while there in the book room, and returned the next day and did the same. The next year another group, USCF sales, had the book concession. I talked with Aviv Friedman, who was there to write an article for the USCF. I mentioned we had played a tournament game but he did not recall it. When told I answered his French with 2 Qe2 his face erupted in a big grin as he interjected, “And I played 2…e5!”
“You do remember it?” I asked. “No,” he said, “I always answer 2 Qe2 with 2…e5! Who won?” I told him he had won the game and that made him smile even more. “It is the only time anyone has ever played that move,” I said, “and I played 3 f4 because I had seen it recommended somewhere.”
Upon mentioning I had just returned from the book room he said, “Oh yeah? What did you think of it?”
When I replied, “Not much,” he said, “Really? Why is that?” Saying I had only purchased one book compared with a stack from Chess4Less the previous year, provoked another, “Really?”
“Yeah,” said I, “The place was moribund compared to last year. Man, that Chess4Less room was really hopping!” I said. Aviv responded, “Really?” Then some USCF official came up to Aviv and I took my leave, heading to the food court. Aviv did not mention this exchange in the article…

I sent my order that night and had it with the US Mail Monday at noon! I worked at the Oxford Bookstore on Peachtree road in the Buckhead section of Atlanta in the late 70’s-early 80’s, and at Oxford Too, a place for used and remaindered books and things like old magazines, later in the 80’s, and once managed a Mr. K’s bookstore on Peachtree road in the same area of town, before quitting to play Backgammon full time. I sold books and equipment with Thad Rogers on the road, and also at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, aka, the House of Pain, so I know more than a little about selling Chess stuff, and I am here to tell you that one simply cannot go wrong dealing with Chess4Less!

The 2017/7 issue of NIC is a wonderful issue. I recall the Nashville Strangler’s wife telling me that when a new issue of NIC arrived she would tell her children, “We have lost daddy for a couple of days.” This issue is a prime example of why.

What I would like to share with you is the opening of the very first game in this magnificent magazine, the game between former World Chess Champion Vishy Anand and GM Anton Kovalyov from the World Cup. That is the tournament in which the latter knocked out the former, but was then “knocked out” by ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili when Zurab verbally accosted and abused the young GM from Canada, who is in college in the USA, only a few minutes before the next round was to begin. Anton left for the airport immediately. From what I read at Chessbase, the bombastic Zurab brings lotsa cash into Chess so he can abuse anyone at any time with impunity and without any kind of reprimand from FIDE. Proof that, “Money talks and bullshit walks.”

Viswanathan Anand (2794) vs Anton Kovalyov (2649)
Event: FIDE World Cup 2017
Site: Tbilisi GEO Date: 09/06/2017
Round: 2.1 Score: 0-1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack

Notes by Anish Giri

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 h5 (“This move is typical in the Najdorf, when White has a pawn of f3 and the knight on b3, stopping his pretty much only plan of g2-g4, or when White’s pawn is on h3 and the knight is on e2, hindering the g4/Ne2-g3 set-up and the natural development of the f1-bishop. With the knight on be and the pawn on h3, this move is poor. It is easy for White to prepare f4 in one go (which is more often than not his main plan in this variation anyway), and the pawn on h5 is a minor weakening of Black’s kingside pawn structure.”) 9 Be2 Nbd7 (Black’s set-up looks ‘normal’, but since it is not the 6 f3 variation but the 6 h3 variation and White gets f2-f4 in one go, Black is essentially a tempo down. You may get away with a tempo down in a Giuoco Piano, but not in a sharp Sicilian.”) 10 0-0?! (Vishy plays a little timidly, but he will get another chance to punish Black for not obeying the laws of the Najdorf later on. 10 f4! at once would have been stronger. Black has to deal with the threat of f4-f5, but neither allowing or stopping it will solve his issues: 10…Qc7!? 11 0-0 Be7 12 a4 and one doesn’t need to be Efim Petrovich Geller to see that things are not going well for Black here. To begin with, he can’t castle kingside so easily, since the h5-pawn is vulnerable.) 10…Rc8 11 Qd2 (Again, too timid. 11 f4!? was still strong. Vishy was satisfied to get a good version of the Karpov Variation in the 6 Be2 Najdorf, but the nature of that line is such that, bad version or good, the position is still perfectly playable for Black. White’s plans there are slow and manoeuvring.) 11…b5? (Another ‘normal-looking’ move that is completely out of context.)

Although I would like to give the complete game, including commentary, right out of New In Chess I must stop the comments here, because there are copyright laws and the last thing I need on my limited, fixed income is a lawyer breathing down my neck! I suggest you purchase this issue as it would truly be “cheap at twice the price.” Think of it this way…back in 1968 we would skip the awful lunch at our high school and drive to Mrs. Jackson’s, where we would obtain a meal consisting of a meat, three veggies, roll, iced tea, and dessert, all for only a buck. A meal like that will set you back ten dollars these daze, so an individual copy of the greatest Chess magazine in history will cost you about the same as that meal at Mrs. Jackson’s because that ten spot in your pocket has the purchasing power of that single dollar bill “back in the day.” If you purchase a subscription, you are making out like a bandit! I mean, where else can you obtain this kind of teaching for so little money? If you play the Najdorf, or play against it, you have just increased your understanding exponentially, and the magazine gives this to you each and every issue, plus so much more!

I will, though, provide the remaining moves of the game, sans comment, which can be found all over the internet: (This comes from 365chess.com)
9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O Rc8 11. Qd2 b5 12. Rfd1 Nb6 13. Bxb6 Qxb6 14. a4 b4 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bd7 17. a5 Qb7 18. Qe3 Be7 19. Qb6 Qxb6 20. axb6 Rb8 21. Rxa6 Bd8 22. b7 Ke7 23. Nc5 dxc5 24. d6+ Kf6 25. Bf3 Kf5 26. Bd5 e4 27. Re1 Bf6 28. Bxe4+ Kg5 29. Ra5 Bxb2 30. Rxc5+ Kf6 31. Re3 g6 32. Rf3+ Ke6 33. Rd3 Rhd8 34. Ra5 f5 35. Bf3 Bc3 36. h4 Kf6 37. g3 f4 38. Be4 Bf5 39. Bxf5 gxf5 40. Rb5 Ke6 41. Kf1 Rd7 42. gxf4 Rbxb7 43. Re3+ Kf6 0-1

I went to the Chessbase Database, a fantastic FREE resource, (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) and learned much: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 (Here Komodo prefers 8…Be7, expecting 9 Qf3 to which it will reply 9…0-0; Stockfish would play 8…Nc6, expecting 9 Qf3 Rc8) h5?! 9 Be2 (Stockfish plays 9 f4, while Houdini would play 9 Nd5) Nbd7 10 0-0?! (Stockfish would play an immediate 10 f4, but Komodo would play 10 0-0, as did Vishy, and after 10…Rc8 then play 11 f4)

This is the only other game (found at 365chess.com) with the line:

Ruifeng Li (2404) vs Guillermo Vazquez (2394)

Event: Spring Break UT GM
Site: Brownsville USA Date: 03/06/2015
Round: 1.3 Score: ½-½
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Byrne (English) attack

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. h3 h5 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. f4 g6 11. O-O exf4 12. Bxf4 Qb6+ 13. Qd4 Be7 14. Rad1 Qxd4+ 15. Nxd4 Ne5 16. Nf3 Nfd7 17. Nd5 Rc8 18. c3 Rc5 19. Be3 Rc8 20. Ng5 Bxd5 21. Rxd5 Nc5 22. Nf3 Ned7 23. e5 dxe5 24. Nxe5 Nxe5 25. Rxe5 Rc7 26. Bc4 Rh7 27. Bg5 f5 28. Bd5 Kf8 29. Bf4 Nd3 30. Re6 Nxf4 31. Rxf4 Bc5+ 32. Kf1 Rhd7 33. c4 1/2-1/2

The Najdorf was my favorite opening with Black “back in the day.” I won the 1976 Atlanta Championship using the Najdorf in the last round, when I was 4-0 while my opponent, Earle Morrison, was a half point back. I recall someone saying, “The Najdorf is not an opening. It is a SYSTEM,” but I can no longer recall by whom it was said…

Larry (Kaufman): “We have been seeing Komodo on its own, without a book, play the Najdorf Sicilian, which of course many people would say might be the best opening in chess for both sides.” (http://www.chessdom.com/interview-with-robert-houdart-mark-lefler-and-gm-larry-kaufman/)

While researching Chess quotes about the Najdorf I found this, which is right in line with one of the books sent by Greg:

Shock and Awe 1 – Destroying the Najdorf GM Danny Gormally
https://www.gingergm.com/blog/shock-and-awe-1-destroying-the-najdorf

GM Levon Aronian and his new bride, Arianne Caoili are pictured on the cover of NIC 2017/7 in wedding garb.

In the event you do not know what part GM Gormally plays in this story surf on over to Chessbase and read all about it: https://en.chessbase.com/post/party-time-at-the-che-olympiad

or, http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2006/06/swing-of-things.htm; or, http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/chess-beauty-triggers-feud/2006/06/07/1149359787726.html

Or, BUY THE MAGAZINE!

Led Zeppelin – Thank You (The Wedding Song)

The Horse’s Ess

The Legendary Georgia Ironman recently brought in two new volumns, #’s 109 & 110, of the New In Chess Yearbook. Earlier he had procured #111 and I thought he might cry when telling me of how it had fallen out of the bag and gotten scuffed when he attempted to bring it into the Fortress. “Now it’s only VG,” I said, harkening back to our days of selling sports cards. From the look on his face I immediately realized it was an inappropriate thing to say, so I added, “At least it still has the meat.” This is an inside joke concerning something LM Brian McCarthy said when someone made a comment about an Informant that had lost its cover because of the heavy use.

While perusing the books I mentioned one contained two Survey’s of the Leningrad Dutch, and the other had one, adding that the one in the “Jobava” (#110) was on the 4 Nh3 variation, while the two in the “Magnus” (#109) were on the 7…Qe8 line with the other being on what is now being called the “improved” Lisitsin Gambit, with 2 d3!?, according to Viktor Moskalenko in his book, The Diamond Dutch. “That ought to keep you busy,” said the Ironman.

The next day Tim asked about the Leningrad games in the NIC’s and was informed I had not gotten to the Survey section because there were three Dutch games in the Forum and one included in Kuzmin’s Corner. In addition I mentioned there were two games by Moskalenko, versus Michael Krasenkow and the lovely Tania Sachdev, with both being the “improved” Lisitsin Gambit with 2 d3. That reminded the Ironman of a game he had previously played using the Lisitsin Gambit against NM Marc Esserman in the 2007 Southern Open in Orlando. This brought forth the tale of the 2004 US Open in Weston, Florida, and the first game the Ironman had contested with Esserman. That was the US Open in which I could not play because of a bad back. As we reminisced about the event the Ironman was still upset about what occurred before the first round. He asked me to locate the hotel and I found it in the phone book, providing him with the address. He went to the spot and there was the hotel, but there was no chess tournament! He was directed to another hotel of the same chain in an outlying area many miles away. As it turned out, the hotel where the US Open was held was located in Weston, not Fort Lauderdale, as the USCF had listed. This caused the Ironman to arrive late for the round, which he managed to draw. To make matters worse, the hotel in Weston had the exact same address as the one in Fort Lauderdale! All I can remember is the heat. One day I decided to go for a walk in the afternoon and went into some place seeking AC. “You must not be from around here,” the lady said. “What makes you say that?” I asked. “Because no one who lives here goes out in the afternoon.”

Then the Ironman produced the scoresheet of the Esserman game at the Southern Open, and told me about his loss to the big man with a large head at the US Open. It seems Esserman made a move that led to mate and stood up, towering over the board, while extending his hand, an egregious breach of comportment. It was with this in mind the Legendary Georgia Ironman sat down to play NM Marc Esserman in the first round of the 2007 Southern Open…

Tim Brookshear (2001) vs Marc Esserman (2256)

1. Nf3 f5 2. b3 (After glancing at the scoresheet I said, “Hey Ironman, what’s this? You played 2 b3?!” He nabbed the scoresheet saying, “Well I thought it was a Lisitsin’s Gambit. I played e4 on the next move.” I shot back, “But you never played d3.” Tim thought for a moment before saying, “That’s right, I played d4, improving on the improvement!” What could I say other than, “Well, I dunno about that. I will have to take a look at it…”) d6 3. e4 (I was unable to find this in the Chessbase Database, or at 365chess.com, so I will call it the “Ironman Gambit.”) e5 (Esserman did not wish to allow a real gambit with 3… fxe4 4. Ng5 Nf6 5. d3!) 4. d4 (4. exf5 Bxf5 5. Nc3 Nc6 looks reasonable) fxe4 5. Ng5 (5. Nxe5!?) exd4 6.Qxd4 (6. Nxe4!?) Nf6 (6… d5!) 7. Nc3 (7. Nxe4!) d5 8. Bb2 h6 9. Nh3 Nc6? (After 9… Bxh3 I do not need a ‘puter to know the Ironman would be holding onto the rope by his fingernails) 10. Bb5 Kf7 (Once again Black should play 10…Bxh3 and White would have only a tenuous hold on his tattered position) 11. Qd2 (The Ironman decides to “advance to the rear,” but it would have been much better to have played 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Nf4, saving the Knight and the pawn structure as the Queen retreat allows 11…d4!) Ne7 (I do not know what to say…Guess my understanding of chess is not deep enough to comprehend some of the moves made by Esserman.) 12. O-O-O c6 13. Be2 Ng6 (But it is deep enough to understand Black should take the Knight) 14. Nf4 (The program known as Houdini wants to play 14 f3!? obviously “thinking” along the lines of, “If the human has not taken the Knight by now, it ain’t ever gonna take that sucker!”) Nxf4 15. Qxf4 Bd6 16. Qd2 Qc7 17. Kb1 Re8 18. Rdf1 Bf5 (According to Charley Hertan, who wandered through Atlanta with a backpack decades ago, Esserman should play the Forcing Move, 18…Bf4!) 19.h3 (19. Nd1) Rad8 (Again 19… Bf4) 20. g4 Bf4 21. Qd1 (21. Qd4!?) Bg6 22. h4 (The “engine” makes a case for 22. Na4. Who am I to argue?) d4 (22… b5 !) 23. Bc4+ Kf8 24. Ne2 Bf7 (24… Be5) 25. Bxf7 Kxf7 26. Rfg1 (I am taking the Bishop offa the board with 26. Nxf4 and I don’t care what any machine says) g5 (I wanted to play a positional move like 26…c5, but Houdini advocates 26…Rh8) 27. hxg5 hxg5 (I was thinking along the lines of taking the pawn with the Prelate, and so, it turns out, was Houey. I thought the Ironman was back in the game now, after struggling all game to get a grip. After looking at the game, I plugged it in the “engine” and it, too, thought White was slightly better. It is difficult to understand why a NM would open the Rook file like this…) 28. Rh6 (This looks like a natural move, and the kind of move I would make, but Houdini likes 28. Rf1!?) Kg7 29. Rgh1 c5 30. Qf1 (30.Nxf4!) Rh8 31. Qh3 (31.Nxf4!) Rxh6 32.Qxh6+ Kf7 33. Ng3 (33.Nxf4!) Bxg3 34. fxg3 Rg8 35. Rf1 Qe7 (35…Qe5!?) 36. Qh7+ (36.c3!?) Rg7 (36…Ke8!?) 37. Qf5 e3 38. b4 b6 39. bxc5 bxc5 (The last chance to play for an advantage is 39…e2) 40. Qd5+ Ke8 41. Qc6+ Nd7 42. Qa8+ Qd8 43. Qe4+ Qe7 44.Qa8+ Qd8 45. Qe4+ 1/2-1/2

When the game ended Tim mentioned something to Marc about it being a good game, which caused Esserman to erupt with, “You played like shit! I played like shit! It was ALL SHIT!!!”
Stunned, the Ironman said something about the previous game between them at the 2004 US Open and was shocked to hear Marc say, “We have never played before!”
This caused the Ironman to give Esserman the moniker, the “Horse’s Ess.” Any time anyone mentions Marc Esserman the Ironman says, “You mean the Horse’s Ess?”

What I did not mention to the Legendary Georgia Ironman is that the now IM Marc Esserman featured prominently in an article, Where Oddballs, Hustlers and Masters Meet, by Olimpiu G. Urcan, who “went undercover as a chess junkie in Boston’s iconic Harvard Square,” in the last issue of 2014/8 of the New In Chess magazine, the best chess magazine ever published. The article culminates with a sub-heading of “A Boisterous Enfant Terrible.” This refers to IM Esserman. It is written, “If confronted on various chess matters, he gets really loud and aggressive, disturbing the other games in progress. ‘It’s unheard of to pass by the Harvard Square and not play Billy Collins!’ he exclaimed one evening trying to arrange a blitz match for stakes between Collins and a New York acquaintance. Almost unable to stand it anymore, one of my opponents exclaimed while desperate to extricate himself from a difficult position: ‘Oh, c’mon, Marc. Can you please stop being such a bitch?’

the-world_s-top-10-best-images-of-animals-playing-chess-6

Reece Thompson in Fantasy Land

In the second round of the “Move First, Think Later” Georgia Open, Georgia Denker representative, Expert Reece Thompson, played this game:

Reece Thompson (2116) vs Arish Virani (1711)
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 e6 4. Nc3 Bd6 5. Be3 Ne7 6. Qd2 O-O 7. O-O-O Nd7 8. g4 b5 9. e5 Bc7 10. Bd3 a5 11. h4 Bb6 12. f4 Nb8 13. Nf3 a4 14. h5 b4 15. Ne2 b3 16. cxb3 axb3 17. a3 Ba5 18. Nc3 Qb6 19. Ng5 h6 20. Nf3 Na6 21. f5 exf5 22. Bxh6 gxh6 23. Qxh6 Bxc3 24. Ng5 Bxb2 25. Kb1 Rd8 26. Qh7 Kf8 27. Qxf7#

This is called the “Fantasy” or “Tartakower” variation. The Chessbase database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/)
shows White doing quite well with 3 f3, scoring 59%, higher than the four much more frequently played moves , Nc3; exd5; e5; & Nd2.
3…e6 is the most often played move, holding White to 56%, and is the choice of both Stockfish and Houdini.
4…Bd6 is rarely played and the average ELO of the 23 games is quite low, 1736. Houdini 3 x64 prefers 4…Qb6, which has held White to only 44%, far lower than any other move. A new one me, Deep Houdini 1.5 x64, shows 4…Nf6. The most played move is 4…Bb4.

I found this game at http://www.365chess.com:

Valiullina, Natalia – Kol, Aida ½-½
B12 RUS-ch U10 Girls
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 e6 4. Nc3 Bd6 5. Be3 Ne7 6. Bd3 b6 7. Nce2 Bb7 8. e5 Bc7 9. f4 Nd7 10. Nf3 Rc8 11. O-O c5 12. c3 c4 13. Bc2 Bb8 14. Qd2 a6 15. b3 cxb3 16. axb3 b5 17. Bd3 Nb6 18. Rac1 h6 19. Qa2 Qd7 20. c4 dxc4 21. bxc4 Nxc4 22. Bxc4 bxc4 23. Rxc4 Rxc4 24. Qxc4 O-O 25. Nc3 Rd8 26. Nd2 Ba7 27. Nb3 Nf5 28. Qd3 Nxe3 29. Qxe3 Bxd4 30. Nxd4 Qxd4 31. Qxd4 Rxd4 32. Rb1 Rd7 33. Na4 Rc7 34. Rb2 Kf8 35. Kf2 Ke7 36. Ke3 f6 37. Kd4 Kf7 38. Nc5 Bd5 39. g3 fxe5+ 40. fxe5 Kg6 41. Rb4 Kf5 42. h3 h5 43. Nxa6 Rc2 44. g4+ hxg4 45. hxg4+ Kg5 46. Ra4 Rg2 47. Kc5 Rxg4 48. Ra1 Kf5 49. Kd6 Bc4 50. Nc5 Rd4+ 51. Ke7 g5 52. Rg1 Rd5 53. Nxe6 Rxe5 54. Rxg5+ 1/2-1/2

Fantasy – Earth Wind And Fire (Lyrics) HQ