The Milner-Barry Gambit

  1. e4 (365Chess designates this the “B00 King’s pawn opening”) 1…e6 (This move signifies the opening has become the “C00 French defence) 2. d4 d5 3. e5 (After this move it becomes the “C02 French, advance variation”) 3…c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 (Now it is the “C02 French, advance, Paulsen attack”) 5…Qb6 6. Bd3 (And now we have the “C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit” [https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=12&n=712&ms=e4.e6.d4.d5.e5.c5.c3.Nc6.Nf3.Qb6.Bd3&ns=3.16.12.17.453.525.454.526.711.742.712] or do we?)
The Milner-Barry Gambit

Already an adult when playing in my first USCF rated tournament, I was a bad, but persistently tenacious, player. It was my good fortune to have had International Master Branko Vujakovic travel to Atlanta from Yugoslavia to attend college. My first out of state Chess tournament, in New Orleans, Louisiana, was with Branko. It was in that tournament I used a version of the Milner-Barry taught by Branko against an Expert only a few rating points below National Master, Glenn Ruiz in the very first round. That game featured 4 Nf3 in lieu of 4 c3 in the main line. I recall being on move when one of the local players walked by our board and stopped dead in his tracks. “Would you look at that..” my opponent lamented about his broken and battered position while shaking his head.

We also drove to the Church’s Fried Chicken Chess Tournament in San Antonio, Texas, in 1972, where I met Bobby Fischer after his recent victory over Boris Spassky to win the title of World Chess Champion.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FUPaI5rM2COs%2Fmaxresdefault.jpg&f=1&nofb=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPaI5rM2COs

One of the things recalled about the trip was that the night before the first round we were soundly sleeping when there was a knock on the door. After opening the door there stood two women, one of whom asked, “Would you like a date?” I modestly replied, “No ma’am, but thank you anyway.” After closing the door Branko asked, “Who was that?” After telling him what had transpired he asked, “Does that happen often?” Now here’s a guy who has been around the world and he is asking a young dude for whom a road trip to Savannah, Georgia, had been one of the highlights of his life a question like that…”How should I know?” was the answer.

Branko showed me the opening moves of what he called the “Milner-Barry Gambit,” which were, 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 cxd4 6. O-O. According to 365Chess.com the fourth move makes the variation the “C02 French, advance, Nimzovich system” (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=12&n=4274&ms=e4.e6.d4.d5.e5.c5.Nf3.Nc6.Bd3.cxd4.O-O&ns=3.16.12.17.453.525.1942.2541.4273.4841.4274). We called it the “Milner-Barry Gambit.” If you go to the page at 365Chess you will find the opening having been played by World Chess Championship contender Nigel Short and fellow British countryman GM Julian Hodgson, along with GM Artur Kogan. The idea is simple enough with white sacrificing a pawn for development in order to attack on the Kingside.

In the second round of the recently completed US Women’s Chess Championship the eventual winner, Carissa Yip

Eighteen-year-old International Master Carissa Yip was crowned U.S. Women’s Champion with a...
Eighteen-year-old International Master Carissa Yip was crowned U.S. Women’s Champion with a round to spare, finishing with an incredible 8.5/11 score. The tournament was held at the Saint Louis Chess Club in Saint Louis, Mo.

faced the French defense played by former US Women’s Chess Champ Tatev Abrahamyan:

https://chessterra.com/2021/10/16/slash-and-burn-style-interview-with-wgm-tatev-abrahamyan/
  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 (StockFish 13, going way deep to depth 82 proclaims 3 Nc3 best) 3…c5 4. c3 (According the Chess24.com this is the only move with which White can show an advantage. The Stockfish program at ChessBomb.com shows the game equal. SF 030721 at the ChessBaseDataBase, @depth 57, shows White with a miniscule advantage) 4…Nc6 (SF 130721 @depth 57 plays this move but SF 13 @depth 69 would play 4…Qb6) 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3? (SF, along with everyone else, plays 6 a3, and so should you. Why would the new Women’s Champ play an inferior move? This game may have had something to do with why she played the move:

Magnus Carlsen (2863) vs Pentala Harikrishna (2732)
Event: Saint Louis Blitz 2020
Site: lichess.org INT Date: 09/19/2020
Round: 15.1
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Nbd2 Rc8 9.Nb3 dxc3 10.bxc3 Qc7 11.Re1 Nge7 12.h4 Ng6 13.Qe2 Be7 14.h5 Ngxe5 15.Nxe5 Qxe5 16.Qxe5 Nxe5 17.Rxe5 Bf6 18.Re3 Rxc3 19.Rb1 d4 20.Rg3 O-O 21.Bb2 Rfc8 22.Bxc3 dxc3 23.Rd1 Bc6 24.Bc2 Kf8 25.Re3 b6 26.Nd4 Bd5 27.a4 g6 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Nb5 Rc4 30.Nxa7 Rb4 31.Nb5 Rb2 32.Rc1 Bg5 33.Nxc3 Bxe3 34.fxe3 Bc6 35.Be4 Bd7 36.Bd3 Bc6 37.Rc2 Rb4 38.Bb5 Bxb5 39.axb5 Rc4 40.Kf2 Ke7 41.Ke2 f5 42.Kd3 Rb4 43.Ra2 Kf6 44.Ra6 Rb2 45.Rxb6 Rxg2 46.Nd5+ Ke5 47.Nf4 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4270402)

Back to the game: 6…cxd4 7. O-O (7 cxd4 is best according the Fritz 15, 16, and 17, for what it’s worth. Unfortunately, there is no word from the best program, or any other, better, program. All we have to go on is the human mind of Magnus Carlsen and the fact that in the 38 games contained by the CBDB White has scored an astounding 66%, while the move 7 cxd4 has scored only 42% in 203 games. Back in the day the move played by a World Champ would have been enough. I miss those daze…) 7…Bd7 8. Re1 (Ms. Yip varies from the World Champ. The most popular move has been 8 cxd4, with 308 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Houdini, and the overwhelming choice of most human players even though it has only scored 43%! I kid you not…The move played in the game has only been attempted 40 times, scoring 64%. It is also the choice of SF 11 @depth 47. But SF 14 @depth 48 would play what is invariably almost no doubt the best move on the board whenever it is played, 8 Qe2!!! According to the CBDB the move 8 Qe2 has only been attempted TWICE. That will most certainly change after this post is read by Chess players all over the world looking for any kind of advantage. Pardon me, I sometimes get carried away when Qe2 is played, in case you have not noticed…Where we’re we? Oh yeah, my new hero, who has played THREE games using 8 Qe2, my Man, Adrian Flitney:

Adrian Flitney (1999) vs Daniel Baider (2032)
Event: Nelson op
Site: Nelson Date: 10/05/2007
Round: 5
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Qe2 Nge7 9.Rd1 dxc3 10.Nxc3 Ng6 11.Be3 Qd8 12.Bg5 Be7 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.g3 O-O 15.Rac1 f5 16.h4 Be8 17.Ng5 h6 18.Nxe6 Qxe6 19.Nxd5 Qxe5 20.Qd2 Kh8 21.Bc4 f4 22.Re1 Qd4 23.Qxd4 Nxd4 24.Kg2 fxg3 25.fxg3 Bc6 26.h5 Nf3 27.hxg6 Nxe1+ 28.Rxe1 Rf5 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3599055&m=18

Wait a minute…what if Adrian is a woman?

I checked, learning Mr. Flitney is an Australian male who was born in 1961 and played a total of 134 games between 1981 and 2009 (https://www.365chess.com/players/Adrian_Flitney). For some reason Adrian faced an inordinate number of French defenses and, to be kind, did not score all that well. Nevertheless, I will replay each and every game because one can usually learn more from a loss than a win.)

Again, where were we? Oh yeah, Ms. Yip has just played 8 Re1 in lieu of the 8.Nbd2 played in a blitz game. This was answered with 8…Nge7 9 h4 a6 (Although SF 13 @depth 50 would play the move played in the game, SF 14 @depth 54 goes with 9…Rc8, as in the following game:

Piroska Palotai (2055) vs Attila Barva (2335)
Event: HUN-ch univ
Site: Hungary Date: 2000
Round: ?
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Qb6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.c3 Bd7 7.O-O cxd4 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 Rc8 10.a3 (SF 14 gives 10 Nbd2 as best) 10…a6 11.Qe2 dxc3 12.Nxc3 Nd4 13.Nxd4 Qxd4 14.g3 Nc6 15.Bf4 Be7 16.Rad1 Qb6 17.Bb1 g6 18.Bh6 Nd4 19.Qg4 Qxb2 20.Nxd5 exd5 21.Qxd4 Qxd4 22.Rxd4 Be6 23.a4 Rc3 24.Ba2 Bc5 25.Rd2 Rxg3+ 26.Kh2 Rg4 27.Bg5 Bb4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=526031&m=20

Alessio Valsecchi (2432) vs Luca Moroni Jr (2321)
Event: 17th Padova Open 2014
Site: Padova ITA Date: 12/17/2014
Round: 5.11
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 Rc8 10.h5 a6 11.Bc2 h6 12.a3 dxc3 13.Nxc3 Na5 14.Ra2 Nec6 15.Be3 Qc7 16.Bf4 Qd8 17.Bb1 Nc4 18.Bd3 b5 19.Bg3 Qb6 20.Nh4 Qd4 21.Nf3 Qg4 22.Ne2 Bc5 23.Qa1 Bb6 24.b3 N4a5 25.Qd1 O-O 26.Bb1 Ne7 27.Ned4 Rc3 28.Qd2 Rfc8 29.Rb2 Qxh5 30.Rd1 Qg4 31.b4 Bxd4 32.Qxd4 Qxd4 33.Nxd4 Nc4 34.Rb3 Nxa3 35.Bd3 Rc1 36.Rf1 R8c3 37.Bf4 Rxf1+ 38.Kxf1 Rxb3 39.Nxb3 Nc6 40.Bd2 Nxe5 41.Be2 Nec4 42.Bc3 e5 43.Nc5 Bc8 44.Bd3 d4 45.Ba1 a5 46.bxa5 Nxa5 47.f4 f6 48.fxe5 fxe5 49.Kf2 N3c4 50.Be4 Kf8 51.Nd3 Bb7 52.Bf5 Nb3 53.Bd7 Nxa1 54.Bxb5 Nd6 55.Ba4 e4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3923226&m=20)

If you are still with me we have come to the only other game found in which 9…a6 was found:

Rauf Mamedov (2654) vs Boris Markoja (2453)
Event: Online Olympiad Top DivB 2021
Site: chess.com INT Date: 09/10/2021
Round: 7.3 Score: 1-0
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 a6 10.h5 g6 11.h6 Ng8 12.cxd4 Nxh6 13.Nc3 Nf5 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Bg5 Nfxd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.Bf6 Rg8 18.Rc1 Nc6 19.Nc5 Qb6 20.b4 Nxb4 21.Nxd7 Kxd7 22.Qa4+ Nc6 23.Rb1 Qc7 24.Rec1 Be7 25.Bxe7 Kxe7 26.Qa3+ Ke8 27.Bb5 Qe7 28.Bxc6+ bxc6 29.Qe3 Qc7 30.Rb6 Kd7 31.Qf4 Rgf8 32.Rcb1 Ra7 33.Qh6 Ke7 34.Qc1 Kd7 35.Qf4 h5 36.a4 a5 37.R1b2 Kc8 38.Qe3 c5 39.Rb8+ Qxb8 40.Qxc5+ Qc7 41.Qxf8+ Kd7 42.Qxf7+ Kd8 43.Qf8+ Kd7 44.Rb8 Qxe5 45.Qd8+ Kc6 46.Qb6+ 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4304033&m=19

10. h5 (SF plays 10 Nbd2) 10…h6 (SF prefers 10…g6, putting the question to White. It will be a TN if and when played by a human. 365Chess shows no games with 10…h6, but the CBDB has 4 games with the move) 11. Qe2 (The StockFish programs at Chess24 and the CBDB show 11 Nbd2 as best. The weaker SF program at the ChessBomb shows the move played in the game.) 11…f5? (StockFish shows 11…dxc3 as best. 11…f5? is a RED MOVE at ChessBomb. In computer numerical terms Black has just tossed a pawn. If you do not understand why please STOP! Go set up a real 3D set and pieces and look at the position as long as it takes for you to acquire understanding of the position, grasshopper, then return to the AW for, hopefully, more understanding) 12. exf6? (Because of being taught this particular opening a half century ago I had a modicum of understanding of the rudiments of this position. This weekend I was assisting a Chess Coach because his antiquated laptop needs to have “cool down” time. When this happens the AW takes control of the group. The Coach said nothing after 11…f5 so I stayed silent, but after he made the move 12 exf6 on the board and erupted effusively with, “I love this move! It just rips black apart! What do you think of the move, Mike?” Rock…Hard Place…I actually thought of a song, which will probably not surprise regular readers, even if it did surprise me:

For readers who do not know much about the Royal Game, in Chess there is one thing that is paramount: The Truth. For this reason I was compelled to either feign a heart attack or answer truthfully. Although only taking a few seconds to answer it seemed like HOURS had elapsed before I stated, “Pawn takes pawn en passant is an awful move, Coach.”

Silence followed before the Coach gathered himself enough to inquire, “Why would you say that, Mike?” The answer came immediately. “Because the White e-pawn is a bastion in the center of the board, Coach. When it goes Black will be left with three pawns in the center of the board that will be like Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Eugene “Mercury ” Morris, the three running backs for the only undefeated NFL team in history, rolling forward over any and every thing in their path.”

The Coach was stunned speechless. Therefore I added, “If you go back to the position after 11 Qe2 was played you will see that 11…f5 was also a bad move. Black should have played 11…dxc3.”

The Coach finally responded with, “Well Mike, we don’t have much time and I’m only trying to give the students an overview of the game and not so much detail.”

The kids are LOVING THIS!

“But now I gotta know so I’ll go over to the Bomb and check it out.”

And that is exactly what I expect you to do because inquiring minds want to know (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-us-womens-chess-championship/02-Yip_Carissa-Abrahamyan_Tatev).

BTW, in lieu of 12 exf6 StockFish would play 12 Na3. Just sayin’…

12…gxf6 13. cxd4 (Komodo plays 13 Nxd4 while the Fish plays 13 Qd1) 13…Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Qxd4

White to move

15. Be3 (Truth be told I did not question this move and we discussed what a natural move was this, as it attacks the Queen thereby “developing with tempo,” which is a good thing in Chess, especially if one is behind in development. As luck would have it the next night I was again called upon and was showing the game to another group when the Coach returned just in time to hear me say this was a bad move. “What?” the Coach erupted. Then he gives the students all the reasons enumerated above before saying to me, “Why would you say that, Mike?!”

“Oh no, Mister Bill,” I’m thinking. It was kinda like being called on in class when the teacher knows you’ve been sitting there zoning out while dreaming about that last bell so you could get home and to the Boys Club ASAP… Nevertheless enough gumption was mustered to say, “I spent some time reviewing the game for a possible blog post and checked with all the usual websites and was just as shocked as you to learn that although StockFish 8 played the move, SF 14 finds 15 Nc3 superior.”

Silence. Then, “Well, 15…Qe5 looks like a good move. What do you think, Mike?” I actually thought about having a power failure, but decided to inform the coach that the Fish proclaimed 15…Qh4 best. The coach moved the Queen to e5 before saying, “Well, it looks like Nc3 is out of the question because of the pawn fork, and Nd2 drops the b-pawn, but it looks like White gets counter play by moving the Rook to b1, so how about 16 Na3?” I knew one of the programs (Houdini) would have played Nd2 but kept quiet, but when the Coach asked, “What do you think, Mike?” I was again on the spot, so I said, “f4.” Yip played 16 Nd2)

15…Qe5 16. Nd2 Rg8 17. f4 Qd6 18. Qf2 Rc8 19. Rad1 (19 Nf3 SF) 19…Bc6 (The Coach liked this move, using arrows to show the Bishop and Rook firing on g2. Unfortunately he again asked me to weigh in, so I had not choice but to point out how bad was the move, a move from which Tatev never recovered. “Well, what the hell should the woman have played, Mike?!” I answered “f5.” The coach continued moving the pieces until reaching the position after 20. Bh7 Rg7, asking the students to find a good move for White. By this point the poor things were afraid to utter a sound, so the Coach showed the next move: 21. Ne4 explaining what a good move was this and explaining why, before saying, “We’re running out of time so I’m just gonna run through the rest of the moves before ending the session.”

And I am thinking “Oh Happy Day”

21…Qc7 (Qd8) 22. Bb6 (Nxf6+) dxe4 23. Bxc7 Rxh7 24. Bd6 Rg7 25. Rc1 Nf5 (f5) 26. Bxf8 Kxf8 27. Rxe4 Rd8 (Ke7) 28. Rxc6 bxc6 29. Rxe6 Ng3 (Kg8) 30. Rxf6+ Ke7 31. Qc5+ (Rg6) Kxf6 32. Qe5+ Kf7 33. Qc7+ 1-0

Robert Ris’ Fast and Furious: The Improved Milner-Barry Gambit
(https://en.chessbase.com/post/robert-ris-fast-and-furious-the-improved-milner-barry-gambit)

In Chess Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do

The headline in an article by by André Schulz at Chessbase says it all:

Kasimdzhanov after ending collaboration with Caruana: “It has a lot to do with the pandemic”

9/2/2021 – Fabiano Caruana and his second Rustam Kasimdzhanov formed a very successful team. However, their best year together (2018) ended in disappointment after many successes. The last Candidates Tournament did not go as desired either. “The pandemic year did not do our relationship any good”, says Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Now Fabiano Caruana and Rustam Kasimdzhanov are going their separate ways. (https://en.chessbase.com/post/rustam-kasimdzhanov-interview-2021-no-longer-caruana-second)

When asked, “And how are things going between you two now?” the Katzenjammer Kid

Comics Clasicos: KatzenJammer Kids #5

replied, “It’s strange. It’s like a divorce.”

Dedicated to George Ziberna and Gail Childs, may she R.I.P.

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.

USCF Drops Set & Clock

This is not a post I wanted to write, but it needs to be written. I followed the action at the 2021 US Open last week and immensely enjoyed the time spent watching. There were several interesting articles posted at the USCF website by J.J. Lang (https://new.uschess.org/author/jj-lang) during the event. I found an interesting game from round seven which became a post (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/08/09/nm-steven-cookley-vs-im-victor-matviishen-us-open-round-7-bishops-opening/). In addition I managed to utilize two games from the last round which became the two previous posts. To do so I had to transfer all of the moves from the online DGT board to the analysis board at 365Chess (https://www.365chess.com/analysis_board.php). It would have made my task easier if the USCF had broadcast the games at ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/), or Chess24 (https://chess24.com/en). The Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy broadcast all their tournaments at Chess24, and also at the ChessBomb, as does the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco for their Tuesday Night Marathon (https://www.milibrary.org/chess). Yet the National Chess Organization, the United States Chess Federation broadcast the games on DGT in lieu of the much more popular previously named venues. Go figure…This matters because there is an immediacy today that was lacking ‘back in the day’. For example, back in that day and age one waited until the next issue of Chess Life appeared to see the games. During the Karpov vs Kasparov clashes, while driving a taxi for Buckhead Safety Cab overnight, I would nab the early edition of the New York Times newspaper, knowing which hotel was the first stop, to see the moves from the World Championship match. There is no waiting today, as one can watch the games in real time. Therefore, it is really true that by tomorrow everything is “yesterday’s news.”

While watching the last round of the US Open online I had a brainstorm, or fart, depending on how one looks at it, I suppose. Thing is, I have recently been helping a father of two children who were captivated by The Queen’s Gambit to learn the ropes, so to speak. One day he asked about the names of the openings and I was attempting to explain how an opening could start with one name but change to another by transposition. With that in mind I decided to go to 365Chess and copy the new names of the opening with the twelve games given on the DGT boards. My intention was to wait until they were posted at the USCF website and download them, saving me all the time necessary to transcribe all twelve games. As stated, I did record the two aforementioned games, which can be found in the two previous posts. Unfortunately, the games were not forthcoming. They did not appear Monday, the day after the event and neither did the final article at the USCF website. Ditto for Tuesday, the tenth of August. Finally, Wednesday morning, there was an article concerning the 2021 US Open, but it was not at the USCF website, but at Chessbase! The title read, U.S. Open: Chess games, awards, signings, meetings, by Alexy Root. (https://en.chessbase.com/post/u-s-open-chess-games-awards-signings-meetings) Hooray! I thought, but was soon disabused of that euphoric feeling when reading the article and finding only three, THREE!, games out of the many thousands of Chess games played during the US Open! Frankly, the article, although well written and somewhat interesting, was far below the usual Chessbase standard of excellence. The article contains what the title proclaims, which is much fluff; the kind of thing one expects from Chess Life magazine, or an USCF online article. I refuse to bore you with the details. After a quick check at the USCF website I see an article by J.J. Lang has finally been posted. (https://new.uschess.org/news/victor-goes-spoils) It is dated August 11, but I did not see it on the website yesterday, but I did turn in about eleven, leaving an hour for it to be posted…Seriously, I cannot recall the time the last time I looked for the article, so maybe it was posted earlier, but I would not wager on that being the case. I did not check this morning as was done each previous day because, frankly, I had given up all hope of ever seeing a final article on the 2021 US Open…

Every day I went to the USCF webpage looking for the last round, the ninth round, games to be posted. I just looked at four pm, August 12, 2021 and the last round games have still NOT BEEN POSTED! Check for yourself here (http://www.uschess.live/). It is sad…pitiful, really…In addition, the fifth round games cannot be downloaded, and have never been able to be downloaded…I asked someone to check and he, too, was unable to download the fifth round games.

So here’s the deal…What I am about to give you is my working notes, excepting the two aforementioned games already posted, to what would, and could have been a post about the top twelve games of the 2021 US Open. There were some interesting games and theoretical novelties in the opening, but you would not have known that if up to the USCF. That has got to say something about the organization, and I use the word loosely. Someone dropped the King, or Queen, or Rook, or even the Bishop and Knight, along with the pawns, and even the CLOCK, on this one.

Before reading the following please keep this in mind:

https://quotefancy.com/media/wallpaper/3840x2160/2360539-George-R-R-Martin-Quote-Writing-is-like-sausage-making-in-my-view.jpg

Board one: C01 French, exchange variation

Board two: B12 Caro-Kann, advance variation

Board three: After move 2: A48 King’s Indian, East Indian defence
After White move 3: E60 King’s Indian, 3.Nf3
After Black move 4: D90 Gruenfeld, Three knights variation
After White move 5: D91 Gruenfeld, 5.Bg5

Board four: After Black first move: B06 Robatsch (modern) defence. Timur came up with TN of 4…Nf6!

Board five: After Black 3…Nf6: C11 French defence
After White 4 e5: C11 French, Steinitz variation
After White 7 Be3: C11 French, Steinitz, Boleslavsky variation

Board six: After first move: C20 King’s pawn game
After White second move: C40 King’s knight opening
After Black second move: C44 King’s pawn game
After White third move: C60 Ruy Lopez (Spanish opening)
After White fourth move: C70 Ruy Lopez
After Black fourth move: C77 Ruy Lopez, Morphy defence
After White fifth move: C78 Ruy Lopez, 5.O-O
After Black fifth move: C78 Ruy Lopez, Moeller defence

Board seven: After first White move: A10 English opening
After first Black move: A20 English opening

Schmakel played 8…h5 (TN)

Nakamura, Hikaru (2746)
Caruana, Fabiano (2832)
Event: 10th London Classic 2018
Site: London ENG Date: 12/13/2018
Round: 1.3 Score: ½-½
ECO: A20 English opening
1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.Nf3 e4 5.Nd4 Qb6 6.Nc2 d5 7.O-O dxc4 8.Nc3 Na6 9.d3 exd3 10.exd3 Be7 11.Re1 Be6 12.dxc4 O-O 13.Be3 Qa5 14.Bd2 Qb6 15.Na4 Qd8 16.b3 Re8 17.Bc3 Nc5 18.Bxf6 Qxd1 19.Raxd1 gxf6 20.Nc3 f5 21.Ne2 Bf6 22.Ned4 Rad8 23.Bh3 f4 24.Nxe6 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Nxe6 26.Bxe6 Rxe6 27.Kf1 b5 28.cxb5 cxb5 29.gxf4 Re4 30.f5 Kg7 31.Rd5 a6 32.Rd6 Rh4 33.Ne3 a5 34.Ra6 a4 35.bxa4 bxa4 36.Kg2 Rd4 37.Kf3 h5 38.Ra5 Rh4 39.Kg2 Rf4 40.Kg3 Rb4 41.Nd5 Bh4+ 42.Kg2 Rd4 43.f6+ Kg6 44.Kf3 Bg5 45.h3 h4 46.Rb5 Bxf6 47.Ke3 Rd1 48.Nf4+ Kg7 49.Ra5 Rh1 50.Kf3 Rh2 51.Nh5+ Kg6 52.Nf4+ Kg7 53.Rxa4 Be5 54.Kg4 Rxf2 55.Nd3 Rg2+ 56.Kf5 Bg3 57.Nf4 Rf2 58.Kg4 Bxf4 59.Rxf4 Rxa2 60.Kxh4 Ra6 61.Rg4+ Kh7 62.Rf4 Kg7 63.Rg4+ Kh7 64.Rf4 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4158698&m=15

Board eight: After White first move: A04 Reti opening
Aftere White second move: A07 Reti, King’s Indian attack (Barcza system)

7 Bb2 is a TN by FM Dov Gorman

Ladva, Ottomar (2513)
Sorensen, Hampus (2364)
Event: European Rapid 2019
Site: Tallinn EST Date: 12/05/2019
Round: 2.29 Score: 1-0
ECO: A07 Reti, King’s Indian attack (Barcza system)
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nd7 3.d4 Nb6 4.Bg2 Bf5 5.O-O e6 6.b3 c6 7.Nbd2 h6 8.Bb2 Nf6 9.a4 Bb4 10.c3 Be7 11.Ne5 Nbd7 12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.a5 O-O 14.b4 Qc7 15.Qb3 Rfc8 16.Rfe1 Bh7 17.e3 Bd3 18.c4 dxc4 19.Nxc4 Bxc4 20.Qxc4 Nd5 21.Ba3 b6 22.e4 Nf6 23.Rec1 Qd8 24.Bb2 Rab8 25.axb6 Qxb6 26.d5 exd5 27.exd5 Nxd5 28.Bxd5 cxd5 29.Qxc8+ Rxc8 30.Rxc8+ Kh7 31.Rd1 Bxb4 32.Bd4 Qe6 33.Rcc1 a5 34.Rb1 h5 35.h4 Qe4 36.Ra1 Qc2 37.Be3 Qf5 38.Bb6 Bc3 39.Rac1 Qe5 40.Rd3 d4 41.Rcd1 g6 42.Bxd4 Bxd4 43.Rxd4 Kg7 44.Ra4 f5 45.Rd7+ Kh6 46.Ra7 Qe1+ 47.Kg2 Qc3 48.Ra6 Qc2 49.R6xa5 Qc6+ 50.Kh2 Qb6 51.Ra2 f4 52.Ra6 fxg3+ 53.fxg3 Qe3 54.Ra7 Qd4 55.Rf7 Qd5 56.Raa7 Qd2+ 57.Kh3 1-0

Board nine: After Black first move: B20 Sicilian defence
After White second move: B27 Sicilian defence
After Black second move: B30 Sicilian defence
After White third move: B30 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rossolimo attack (without …d6)
After black third move: B31 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rossolimo attack (with …g6, without …d6)

Ennsberger, Ulrich (2368)
Breder, Dennis (2438)
Event: TCh-AUT 2012-13
Site: Hohenems AUT Date: 11/04/2012
Round: 3.5 Score: 0-1
ECO: B31 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rossolimo attack (with …g6, without …d6)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.O-O Bg7 6.d3 e5 7.a3 a5 8.a4 Ne7 9.Nbd2 d6 10.Nc4 f5 11.Bg5 f4 12.h3 Be6 13.Ra3 h6 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Re1 g5 16.Nh2 h5 17.f3 Kf7 18.Rb3 Ra7 19.Qe2 Bf6 20.c3 Qc7 21.Ra3 Rb7 22.Ra2 Kg7 23.Raa1 Re8 24.Rad1 Rbb8 25.Rd2 Re7 26.Qd1 Kh8 27.Rf1 Rg7 28.Qe1 Rbg8 29.g4 Rh7 30.Rg2 Rb8 31.Rff2 Kg7 32.Qd1 Kg6 33.Qc2 hxg4 34.hxg4 Rbh8 35.Qb3 d5 36.Nd2 c4 37.Qc2 cxd3 38.Qxd3 Kg7 39.Qa6 Bc8 40.Qd3 Qb6 41.Ndf1 Ba6 42.Qc2 Be7 43.exd5 cxd5 44.Qf5 Qf6 45.Qd7 Qd6 46.Qf5 Rf8 47.Qb1 Qg6 48.Qd1 Bd3 49.Rd2 e4 50.Rxd3 exd3 51.Rd2 Rfh8 52.Rxd3 Qb6+ 53.Kg2 Qh6 54.Rxd5 Qxh2+ 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3833698&m=14

Board ten: After Black second move: B30 Sicilian defence

Board eleven: After first White move: A40 Queen’s pawn
After first Black move: D00 Queen’s pawn game
After second White move: D06 Queen’s Gambit
After second Black move: D10 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav defence
After third White move: D10 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav defence, exchange variation

Board twelve: After third White move: C03 French, Tarrasch
After third black move: C05 French, Tarrasch, closed variation
After sixth black move: C05 French, Tarrasch, Botvinnik variation

10 a4 by IM Alexander Katz appears to be new move.

https://quotefancy.com/media/wallpaper/1600x900/28999-John-Greenleaf-Whittier-Quote-Of-all-sad-words-of-tongue-or-pen.jpg

Kasparov Goes Down Like Rotgut!

Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov at 58 years of age continues to make news at the Chess board. Whether it being the first World Chess Champion to lose a match to a computer program, (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/garry-kasparov-tangled-up-in-deep-blue/) or cheating against the strongest female Chess player of all time, Judit Polgar, (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/confirmation-garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/)

Kasparov refuses to go gently into that good night…

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov
Garry Kasparov | Photo: Lennart Ootes

lost in without getting out of the opening playing black against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

https://xpertchesslessons.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/c1197-mamedyarovface.jpg

A phone call from an excited Ironman, who happened to be between online lessons, and was watching some of the “action,” gave notice that something big was happening in the world of Chess. I care nothing for blitz Chess, or anything other than what has come to be called “classical” Chess, because playing good Chess requires thought, and if you do not have time to cogitate what is the point? Nevertheless, when a former World Chess Champ losses like a beginner it makes news all around the world. I decided to wait until after having my morning cuppa coffee before checking the usual suspects, TWIC, Chessbase, Chess24, and Chessdom. Sometimes I surf on over to Chess.com and today was one of those days, which was a good thing because the first video found during a search at duckduckgo.com proclaimed erroneously that Kasparov had lost in 10 moves:

This is false. As ignominious as it sounds, Garry Kasparov actually lost after playing only 6 moves:

[Event “GCT Blitz Croatia 2021”]
[Site “Zagreb CRO”]
[Date “2021.07.10”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Mamedyarov,S”]
[Black “Kasparov,G”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2782”]
[BlackElo “2812”]
[EventDate “2021.07.05”]
[ECO “D20”]

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 e5 4. Nf3 exd4 5. Bxc4 Nf6 6. Qb3 Qe7 7. O-O 1-0

This was found at The Week In Chesswebsite: https://theweekinchess.com/live

Below you can find all the gory details, which was located at Chess.com, including a very short loss by former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand

Still got it — Vishy Anand | Photo: Lennart Ootes

to a player who now resides in the Great State of Georgia, GM Alonso Zapata,

https://georgiachessnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CHESS-Zapata-State-Champion-2014-192x200.jpg
Play a Grandmaster at the Atlanta Chess Club | Georgia …
georgiachessnews.com

explained by the Australian GM Max Illingworth:

Illingworth Chess

Garry Kasparov was born in 1963. He was eligible to play in the World Senior Championship eight years ago. I have often wondered why a player such as Kasparov, or Anatoly Karpov, has not deigned to participate in a Senior event for the good of Chess. Maybe it is time Garry consider playing in a Senior event.

In the 1983 Candidates Finals a young Garry Kasparov faced former World Chess Champion Vassily Smyslov for the right to contest a World Championship match with the then World Champ Anatoly Karpov. The fact that Smyslov made it to the final was almost beyond belief. The Chess world was astounded that someone so old could play well enough to face the young whipper-snapper, Kasparov. Granted, Smyslov was given no chance of defeating Kasparov by the pundits, but just getting to the finals was a victory of sorts. The older I have become the more amazing it seems…

Open Response to Vladimir Putin

Vladimir,

I applaud your decision to end the 2020 Candidates tournament while regretting the tournament has only been postponed in lieu of terminated. As I posted in a comment at ChessBase:

The tournament should have been declared null and void. As far as what happens in the future that should be determined in the future because the sad fact of the matter is that one, or some, of the participants may not be alive in the aftermath of the COVID-19 devastation. In addition, there is the question of whether or not Chess will survive in the future. People of the future may have much more important things, such as survival, to occupy their time.
https://en.chessbase.com/post/breaking-news-fide-stops-the-candidates-tournament

You and I are old, Vladimir. There is much more sand in the bottom of our hour glasses than the top. For those we leave behind I think of the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King,

https://projects.seattletimes.com/mlk/assets/triplet3.jpg

“We shall overcome.” (https://www.smu.edu/News/2014/mlk-at-smu-transcript-17march1966) Hopefully, the people of this planet will overcome this latest challenge.

I urge you to turn your swords into plowshares (https://biblehub.com/isaiah/2-4.htm), as I urge each and every other country to do the same. Be a force for good, not evil. It is time for the leaders of the world to, as the Beatles sang, “come together” in a spirit of cooperation. Give peace a chance. Be a force for construction, not destruction. As John F. Kennedy so eloquently said:

“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

John F. Kennedy
http://www.humanity.org/voices/commencements/john.f.kennedy-american-university-speech-1963

Sincerely,

Armchair Warrior

‘We Are the World’: A Minute-by-Minute Breakdown

End The Candidates Tournament Now!

The FIDE Candidates tournament should never have been started. The tournament was begun because Russian dictator Vladimir Putin craves attention in a way only superseded by POTUS Donald John Trump.

https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180717132942-02-trump-putin-summit-0716-opinion-exlarge-169.jpg

Why is it Putin is invariably the only one smiling in pictures taken with Trump?

The Russians cheat at everything they attempt. Because of Russian interference in the previous Presidential election, Hillary Clinton

https://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Hillary+Clinton+yn8UZVJ7oV2m.jpg

was cheated out of becoming POTUS. Everyone other than the thirty something percent of people who support the obviously deranged Trump knows this fact, including the Hitlerian thirty something percent of deranged people who support any clown foisted on them by the Republican party.

The Russians have been banned from participating in the Olympic games in the coming years for cheating. This was a terrible for the ego of Vlad the Impaler because without attention he is nothing. Other than petrol and Chess Russia has nothing. Vlad the Impaler has previously said, “Chess is our Baseball.” Putin would like nothing better than for a Russian to face World Human Chess Co-Champion of Classical Chess Magnus Carlsen.

https://i.pinimg.com/236x/27/a8/8a/27a88adda64a1d4875d7d3cf2cc4d114.jpg

Two of the players, one quarter of the players, currently participating in the 2020 Candidates tournament were not eligible to participate. Kirill Alekseenko,

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/alekseenko-the-candidates-wild-card-should-be-abolished

a Russian, and by far the lowest rated player in the tournament, was a “wild card.” This was, and is, ridiculous to the point of absurdity because the Candidates tournament is played to choose a challenger for the title of World Human Chess Champion. The tournament is far too prestigious to have some local yokel battling against the very best Chess players in the world who have devoted their lives to the game and who have earned entry to the tournament with that hard work over the course of many years.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave,

https://www.mvlchess.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/mvl-1.jpg

from France, was chosen to replace the only sane Chess player involved with the ill-fated Candidates, Teimur Radjabov,

https://thumb.tildacdn.com/tild3836-3335-4465-b537-626162323965/-/contain/760x500/center/center/-/format/webp/11_Tata2019_PHC00098.JPG

from Azerbaijan, who declined to travel to Russia because of the COVID-19 virus. The tournament should have been called off at that moment. If the Chess community felt strongly enough to hold the tournament, then certainly the young player Alekseenko should have been dropped, leaving six players who did qualify to play. But why would Putin agree to such an outcome when having an extra Russian player with no chance of winning the event to possibly take orders, directly from Vlad the Impaler, to intentionally lose to whomever Putin desired? As Chess player Oscar Al Hamilton was fond of saying, “Everything is rigged.” History shows us that is certainly true of Russia.

The tournament continues even with players saying things like this:

“Referring to the worldwide crisis we are going through, Caruana expressed his doubts as to whether he will be able to return to the United States by the time the tournament is over, while Giri is putting all his hopes on the International Chess Federation:

I have faith in a private jet of FIDE, that will fly all players to their houses.

This was certainly the least exciting game of the round. Grischuk did get a little pressure with White, but Ding played it safe once he realized he could get in trouble. After the game, the players were asked about their form. The Coronavirus crisis had a strong impact on Grischuk:

My form is terrible. I don’t want to play at all with all this situation. I mean, when it was beginning I did not have a big opinion, but now for several days I have a very clear opinion: that the tournament should be stopped. I mean, the whole atmosphere is very hostile.

Ding, on the other hand, is enjoying having made an adjustment to his living conditions in Yekaterinburg:

My form is much better comparing to the first two days. Since I moved to a new hotel, I got some fresh air and life became more beautiful.”

https://en.chessbase.com/post/candidates-2020-r5

Anyone who “…has faith in FIDE…” is a fool. Just because Anish Giri

is one of the best human Chess players on the planet does not mean he is intelligent in other facets of life.

How can Fabiano Caruana

https://en.chessbase.com/Portals/all/thumbs/086/86486.jpeg

concentrate on playing Chess when he has “…expressed his doubts as to whether he will be able to return to the United States by the time the tournament is over?” The United States government should send a plane IMMEDIATELY to bring Fabi home! If that is not possible how about the billionaire, who must be losing money as fast as a crazed gambler in Las Vegas, Rex Sinquefield,

https://static.politico.com/dims4/default/fb9ec96/2147483647/resize/1160x/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fs3-origin-images.politico.com%2F2014%2F06%2F20%2F140620_fang_rex_proechel.jpg

sending a plane to Russia to save Caruana. Mr. Sinquefield could possibly pull some strings with other people from the super-wealthy class to make it happen. We are perilously close to a time like the Russian revolution of a century ago with Doctor Zhivago having to share his family mansion with the hoi poi.

Fabiano Caruana deserves a rematch with World Human Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. I call upon Rex Sinquefield to organize a match between the two Co-Classical World Human Chess Champions, as Magnus Carlsen stated, played in the opulent St. Louis Chess Club,

https://s3-media0.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/K0npFO8B2KuaxaHGF9xPCw/o.jpg

in the future, if we make it out of these dire times, played OUTSIDE OF FIDE auspices. The match could be of sixteen games, the number, if memory serves, chosen by former World Chess Champion Mikhail Botvinnik,

who ought to know as he played more matches for the World Chess Championship than any other player, I believe. If tied at the end of regulation then two game mini-matches could be played until there is a winner. Only Mr. Sinquefield could do this because there would be no obstacle to having a match that goes into overtime if held in St. Louis.

We are in the early days of a revolution. Chess will having little meaning in the aftermath of the virus that is changing the world. No matter how this plays out things will NEVER be the same. Certainly Chess will never return to even the weakened status currently held in society. Chess, like other games and sports, will take a back seat to SURVIVAL.

Much was expected of Ding Liren before the tournament but he was forced into isolation because of the COVID-19 virus. That in itself should have been enough for at least a postponement of the 2020 Candidates tournament. Ding said, “My form is much better comparing to the first two days. Since I moved to a new hotel, I got some fresh air and life became more beautiful.” Consider this when considering what isolation has already done to this person:

Man falls to his death from 16th floor of luxury flats during coronavirus isolation

By Andrew Gilpin

22 MAR 2020

A man has fallen to his death from the 16th floor of a luxury apartment block as people self isolate due to coronavirus.

The horror incident in the Tribeca Park apartment block in New York saw him die instantly when he hit the courtyard.

Shocked neighbours said the 64-year-old’s death has left them shaken as they are in quarantine from the deadly disease.

One woman saw what happened when we she went outside to smoke a cigarette told the New York Post: “You have to be mentally strong to take on isolation.

“The uncertainty of what’s going to happen is scary.”

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/man-falls-death-16th-floor-21735275

How can any human play Chess when “The uncertainty of what’s going to happen is scary.”

Where is the outrage from the American Chess community? Surf on over to the USCF website and try finding one word from any leader of US Chess concerning the sordid situation in which We The People find ourselves. I have gone to many Chess website, such as Chessbase, Chess.com, and Chess24, in a futile attempt to read the thoughts of any person in authority. The silence is deafening.

I have expected little from the current leadership of the USCF and have rarely been disappointed. That said, I now call on the Chess community to get “up in arms,” metaphorically speaking, and SPEAK OUT. Now is not the time to remain silent, people.

Like Mrs. Robinson, the world turns it’s lonely eyes to you. (https://genius.com/Simon-and-garfunkel-mrs-robinson-lyrics)

END THE CANDIDATES TOURNAMENT NOW!

 

Keith Arkell vs Alexander Shabalov: Leningrad Dutch, main variation with c6

After putting the game between Keith Arkell

Keith Arkell vs Mike Healey (https://hammerchess.co.uk/2019/12/12/gm-keith-hammer-arkell/)

and Alexander Shabalov

(https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/squirrel-hill-chess-grandmaster-stays-sharp-on-eve-of-first-ever-u-s-senior-championship/)

through the grinder for use on this blog I read yet another excellent article by Alex Yermolinsky at Chessbase, finding the game annotated by Shabby, which can be found @ Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/post/u-s-team-at-the-2020-world-senior-team-championship).

Keith C Arkell vs Alexander Shabalov

World Senior Team Championship 2020 round 04

A88 Leningrad Dutch main variation with c6

1. Nf3 f5 2. d4 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. c4 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. Nc3 d6 7. O-O c6 8. Re1 Na6 9. e4 Nxe4 10. Nxe4 fxe4 11. Rxe4 Bf5 12. Re1 e5 13. dxe5 dxe5 14. Qxd8 Raxd8 15. Bg5 Rde8 16. Be3 Nb4 17. Bc5 Nc2 18. Bxf8 Rxf8 19. Rad1 e4 20. Ng5 Nxe1 21. Rxe1 Bxb2 22. Bxe4 Bc3 23. Rd1 Bg4 24. f3 Bc8 25. Kg2 Bf6 26. h4 Kg7 27. Bc2 Rd8 28. Rxd8 Bxd8 29. Ne4 b5 30. cxb5 cxb5 31. Bb3 Bb6 32. g4 Bb7 33. g5 Bc6 34. Nf6 a5 35. Bd5 Bxd5 36. Nxd5 Ba7 37. Kh3 b4 38. Kg4 Bc5 39. Nf4 Kf7 40. Nd3 Bd6 41. Nb2 Ke6 42. h5 Be5 43. Nc4 a4 44. hxg6 hxg6 45. f4 Bd4 46. f5+ gxf5+ 47. Kf4 b3 48. axb3 axb3 49. g6 b2 50. Nd2 Kf6 0-1

1 Nf3 f5 (Giving the general of the white pieces the chance to play the Lisitsin gambit with 2 e4) 2 d4 Nf6 3 g3 g6 4 c4 Bg7 5 Bg2 O-O 6 Nc3 d6 7 O-O c6 (Considered the main line by the programs) 8 Re1 (SF 220220 @depth 48 plays 8 Rb1; SF 11 @depth 53 plays 8 b3. Most humans have played 8 d5) 8…Na6 9 e4 (9 b3 has been the most often played move by humans, but SF 11 @depth 33 plays 9 a3, while SF 10 @depth 30 prefers 9 Rb1) 9…fxe4 10 Nxe4 Nxe4 11 Rxe4 Bf5 12 Re1 (The most often played move but SF 170119 @depth 33 plays 12 Re2) 12…e5 (SF 260819 plays this move, but SF 10 @depth 36 plays 12…Qd7) 13 dxe5 (SF 10 @depth 29 plays 13 d5. SF 011019 @depth 29 plays 13 Bg5. The only game found with 13 Bg5:

Kimmo Katajainen  (2011) vs Tuomo Halmeenmaki
Event: FIN-chT Qualifier
Site: Finland Date: 01/21/2001
Round: 1
ECO: A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6

1.Nf3 g6 2.d4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 c6 8.Re1 Na6 9.e4 fxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Rxe4 Bf5 12.Re1 e5 13.Bg5 Qc7 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Nh4 Be6 16.Qe2 Qf7 17.Bf1 Nc5 18.Be3 Nd7 19.Rac1 e4 20.Bf4 Nc5 21.Bd6 Nd3 22.Bxf8 Rxf8 23.Qe3 Nxc1 24.Rxc1 Bxb2 25.Rc2 Qf6 26.Qxe4 Bd4 27.Qe2 Bc5 28.Ng2 Bf5 29.Rd2 Qe6 30.Qd1 Be4 31.Nf4 Qe5 32.Rd8 Qe7 33.Rd7 Qf6 34.Rxb7 g5 35.Qg4 Bf5 36.Qh5 gxf4 37.g4 Qg6 38.Bg2 Qxh5 39.gxh5 Rf6 40.Bd5+ cxd5 41.cxd5 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=360186&m=26

The following game varies from the Arkell vs Shabby game with 16 Nd2

Alain Defize vs Rolf Lekander
WchT U26 1974

A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6
1.d4 g6 2.c4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 d6 6.Nf3 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Re1 Na6 9.e4 fxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Rxe4 Bf5 12.Re1 e5 13.dxe5 dxe5 14.Qxd8 Raxd8 15.Bg5 Rde8 16.Nd2 Nb4 17.Be4 h6 18.a3 Nd3 19.Bxd3 Bxd3 20.Be3 b6 21.b3 Rf7 22.Bd4 Ref8 23.Bxe5 Bxe5 24.Rxe5 Rxf2 25.Ra2 g5 26.Re1 Kg7 27.Re7+ Kg6 28.Re6+ Kh5 29.h3 c5 30.Ne4 Rf1+ 31.Kg2 Bxe4+ ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2436638&m=28

If anyone happens to have a copy of this book, even if battered and tattered and is willing to sell it cheap, I am your man! I simply cannot afford to spend fifty US dollars for a small book with limited pages, but would like to read it. I will even pay to read and return the book. Contact me @ xpertchesslessons@yahoo.com

A review of the book can be found @ http://marshtowers.blogspot.com/2013/01/chess-reviews-210.html

After writing the above I was elated to see the book in stock at Chess & Bridge in England, priced at sixteen pounds. Unfortunately it will cost TWENTY pounds for shipping! Oh well, so many books, so little time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chess and Clocks

Back in the day a very strong Chess player, Mike Lucas, moved from Alabama to Atlanta. At the USCF website Michael Lucas is shown as a National Master, 1st Category. IM of GM strength Boris Kogan said Mike was one of the most talented, creative and inventive players he had known. Unfortunately, Mike loved time pressure. “Crazy”, was the moniker bestowed on Mike because of his  time trouble addiction. He won most of the games we played, whether classical or fifteen minute. Mike deferred to me in playing fifteen minute games because his love was speed Chess, which meant five minutes on the clock without any delay or time added. There was, though, a tournament game that found Mike in severe time pressure, and me with time to spare. All I can recall now is the opening, with Mike having the white pieces, which went 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nf6 5 Ng3.

It was the first time in any game an opponent had not taken the knight with 5 Nxf6+. The game ended in a flurry of moves before a draw was agreed. “That was really exciting, wasn’t it,” Mike said. Heart pounding all I could muster was, “Maybe for you…” Mike grinned.

Yet another excellent article appeared at Chessbase today which brought the memory of the Lucas game to the fore.

Grandmaster tips on how to fight time-pressure by Swapnil Dhopade

2/18/2020 – When we learn the rules of chess as a youngster we are told about the chess board, the chess pieces and how each of the pieces move. Once we master these basics, we can proudly tell everyone that we have learnt the game of chess. However, when you go to a tournament, there is one more element that is added, one which plays just as important a role as the board and the pieces: the chess clock! Time is one of the most crucial factors when playing a game, and somehow this is one of the things that chess players pay the least attention to. It doesn’t come as a surprise that many strong chess players handle the clock and time in a very poor manner, losing several games due to time pressure. How do we avoid this problem? In this article GM SWAPNIL DHOPADE tries to acquaint you with the causes and solutions of this perennial problem.

A nightmare for every chess player

Have you ever lost a winning position in time-pressure? I am sure the answer is a resounding yes! Every chess player has lost winning or equal positions in their games due to time trouble.

Imagine a situation:

You have prepared for hours before the game.
The efforts are paying dividends as your opponent falls into something that you have prepped for.
You get a slightly better position and also some extra minutes on the clock.
You invest your time on every move and slowly but steadily build up a clearly better / winning position until move 25-30.
But then you have around 3 minutes left on the clock with 30 seconds increment for the entire game. You being low on time, your opponent tries to create some mess on the board and you have to find that one single move, a deceptive one that wins on the spot!
With your time ticking away, unfortunately, you do not find it and the tables are turned against you. You either lose the game or draw a winning position.
The emotions after such a game of chess are felt by most of us at some point or the other in our careers. It further turns into agitation and you may end up cursing your luck or blaming yourself. You come out and tell your friends, coaches and parents that you played a nearly flawless game but only if you had some extra time at that exact moment, you would have found the required winning move and crushed your opponent. Doh!

Does this story sound familiar to you? If this happens once in a while, maybe it’s not that big an issue but if it happens game after game then it is high time to do something about it. Unless, of course, you enjoy playing under time pressure and find reasonably good moves without too many errors even in the most complicated of the positions. If this is the case, then, congratulations! You are the next Grischuk!

https://en.chessbase.com/post/grandmaster-tips-on-how-to-fight-time-pressure-gm-swapnil-dhopade

Or Crazy Lucas…

There is more, much more, of this excellent article. I suggest you click on over and read it, now, without getting into “time trouble.”

 

Vlastimil Hort Remembers Tony Miles

I have a bad back and it has flared up this week, making it difficult to sit for any period of time. This happened about the time I noticed a picture, which brought back memories at, Chessbase, in an article, Hort stories: Wrong place wrong time (https://en.chessbase.com/post/hort-stories-wrong-place-wrong-time) which is the second part of
Hort stories: Remembering Tony Miles, by Vlastimil Hort. (https://en.chessbase.com/post/vlastimil-hort-remembers-tony-miles)

The picture of Tony Miles lying flat while playing Ljubomir Ljubojevic, “…who played lying down, suffering from back pain, caused a stir — and not only in the chess world.”

An unusual position | Photo: Persbureau van Eindhoven

Tony won that game, and the other game versus Ljubo, which helped him to finish in a three way tie for first place at Tilburg in 1985 with Robert Huebner and Victor Korchnoi.

“This time the German grandmaster protested against GM Miles playing the tournament on a stretcher. During the tournament Anthony Miles suffered back pain; therefore he played some of his games lying down on a massage table.”

“Many participants of the tournament protested in their own unique way. When GM Dzindzichashvili played his game vs. Miles, he spent the whole game standing in front of the British grandmaster. GM Ljubojevic used a different approach. He was sitting the whole game; however, he was sitting at a totally separate table from the one where Miles played their game!”

GM Robert Huebner decided to play a prearranged draw where his moves would look ridiculous. When Miles learned about Huebner’s idea, he said, “I’ll play sensible moves, you play what you like, and I’ll offer a draw on move five.”

“And that’s how that outlandish game was born.” (https://www.chess.com/article/view/when-chess-players-protest)

The article also contains one of the most famous Chess games of my half century of Chess, the game Tony won against the current World Chess Champion, Anatoly Karpov.

Hort writes: “His most famous game will probably remain the one against Karpov in 1980 in Skara, Sweden. Miles defeated the World Champion with the extravagant move 1…a6?! and proved that even the “Soviet giants” could be beaten.”

The sensational win against Karpov with 1…a6 in the 1980 European Team Championship | Photo: “It’s only me”

If you are unfamiliar with the game please do yourself a favor and click on over to Chessbase and enjoy. You can thank me later…