WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova and WIM Anastasiya Rakhmangulova In Wonderland

Evgeniya Doluhanova


is a chess player from Ukraine, rated 2264. Because she is female she “earned” the title of Woman Grandmaster. Anastasiya Rakhmangulova

Anastasiya Rakhmangulova (Romania, 2016)

is also a chess player from Ukraine. She holds the title of International Master even though rated only 2174. A male player with a rating between 2000 and 2199 is considered to be an “Expert” player. In round four of the 2021 Ukrainian Women’s Chess Championship Final they sat down opposite each other and embarked upon a wondrous adventure…


WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova 2264 (UKR) vs WIM Anastasiya Rakhmangulova 2174 (UKR)
Ukrainian Women’s Chess Championship Final 2021 round 04
A01 Nimzovich-Larsen attack, modern variation

  1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e4
Black to move

After seeing this move I began asking students what move they would make after 2…Nc6, and to a girl they all replied, “e4!”

3…Bc5 4. Qg4??

Black to move

Is that a Grandmaster move, or what?!

4…Nf6 5. Qe2 O-O 6. d3 d5 7. Nd2 Nb4 8. Ndf3 dxe4 9. dxe4 Ng4 10. Nh3 a5 11. a3 Nc6 12. Qd2 Qe7 13. Bd3 h6 14. Qe2 Rd8 15. Bb5 Rd6 16. Bxc6 Rxc6 17. O-O b6 18. b4 Bd6 19. b5 Rc5 20. Ne1 Be6 21. a4 Rc4 22. Nd3 Rd8 23. Kh1 Nf6 24. f3 Nd7 25. Nhf2 c6 26. bxc6 Rxc6 27. Nd1 Rdc8 28. Ne3 Qg5 29. Rfd1 Nc5 30. Ne1 Na6 31. Nd5 Nc7 32. Bc1 Qh4 33. Be3 Na8 34. Bf2 Qd8 35. Rab1 Bxd5 36. Rxd5 Qe7 37. Rbd1 Bb4 38. Rd7 Qe6 39. Rd8+ Kh7 40. Rxc8 Qxc8 41. Qb5 Bxe1 42. Bxe1 Rc5 43. Qb3 f6 44. c3 Kg6 45. h3 Qc6 46. Kh2 Nc7 47. Rd8 b5 48. axb5 Rxb5 49. Qa3 Rb1 50. Bf2 Ne6 51. Rd6 Qc4 52. Qxa5 Nf4 53. Qxe5 Rh1+ 54. Kg3 Ne2+ 55. Kh4 Qc8 56. Qh5+ Kh7 57. Qf5+ Qxf5 58. exf5 Nxc3 59. Rd2 Rb1 60. g4 Rb5 61. Kg3 Rd5 62. Rc2 Nb5 63. Rc8 Nd6 64. Rc7 Nb5 65. Rb7 Nd6 66. Ra7 Nc4 67. Kf4 Ne5 68. Bh4 Rd7 69. Rxd7 Nxd7 70. Ke4 Kg8 71. Bf2 Kf7 72. Bd4 Nf8 73. Kd5 Nh7 74. f4 h5 75. gxh5 Nf8 76. Kc6 Ke8 77. Bc5 Nd7 78. Bd6 Kd8 79. h4 Kc8 80. Be7 Nb8+ 81. Kd6 1-0

1 b3 e5 (Komodo, @depth 52, and Houdini @depth 37, play the move played in the game, but Stockfish 13 @depth 68 prefers 1…d5) 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e4 (The Chessbase Database contains only 18 games in which this has been played, scoring all of 28%. 3 e3 is the most often played move by a multiple of four over 3 c4. Houdini and Fritz like 3 e3, but Stockfish 9 @depth 26 plays 3 Nf3, which has scored 54%; 3 c4 has scored 55%. 3 e3 has only scored 52%) 3…Bc5 (Although Stockfish12 @depth 44 plays the game move, SF 14 @depth 37, SF 190621 @depth 48 play 3…Nf6) 4.Qg4 (This is the kind of move that would elicit, “Now there’s a move,” at the Stein Club. One would think this move had never been seen previously, but sometimes one is wrong) 4…Nf6 is a TN. See below:

Inge Liland vs Paul Johansen
Event: Tromsoe op-C
Site: Tromsoe Date: ??/??/1996
Round: ?
ECO: C20 King’s pawn game
1.e4 e5 2.b3 Nc6 3.Bb2 Bc5 4.Qg4 Qf6 5.Qf3 Qe7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.O-O-O d6 8.h3 Be6 9.Bb5 O-O 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.g4 d5 12.exd5 cxd5 13.g5 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Qxe4 Qxg5 16.Nf3 Qe7 17.Qxe5 f6 18.Qg3 Rad8 19.d4 Bd6 20.Qh4 Bf5 21.Rhe1 Qd7 22.d5 c6 23.dxc6 Qxc6 24.Nd4 Qc8 25.Nxf5 Qxf5 26.Kb1 Rc8 27.Qe4 Qc5 28.Qd5+ Qxd5 29.Rxd5 Rcd8 30.Red1 Bc7 31.c4 Rfe8 32.Bc1 Bb6 33.f3 a5 34.R1d3 Rxd5 35.cxd5 g5 36.d6 h6 37.Ba3 Re1+ 38.Kc2 a4 39.bxa4 Ba5 40.d7 Re2+ 41.Kb3 Bd8 42.a5 Bxa5 43.d8=Q+ Bxd8 44.Rxd8+ Kg7 45.Bf8+ Kg6 46.Rd3 Rh2 47.a4 Rxh3 48.Kc4 Rh4+ 49.Rd4 f5 50.Bd6 f4 51.Bxf4 gxf4 52.a5 Rh5 53.Rd5 Rh1 54.a6 h5 55.Ra5 Rc1+ 56.Kb5 Rc8 57.a7 Ra8 58.Kb6 h4 59.Kb7 h3 60.Kxa8 h2 61.Ra1 Kg5 62.Rh1 1-0

Katalin Mravik vs Gabor Szamoskozi (2201)
Event: Budapest FS10 FM-A
Site: Budapest Date: 10/05/2002
Round: 1
ECO: A01 Nimzovich-Larsen attack, modern variation
1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.e4 Bc5 4.Qe2 (!) d6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.d3 Ng4 7.Nbd2 Bxf2+ 8.Kd1 Bb6 9.Kc1 O-O 10.Nc4 f5 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.h3 Nf6 13.exf5 Bxf5 14.Bc3 Nd5 15.Qd2 b5 16.d4 e4 17.Ne1 e3 18.Qe2 Nxc3 19.Qxe3 b4 20.Kb2 Rxa2+ 21.Rxa2 Nd1+ 0-1

B90 Najdorf Sicilian 6 Nb3

IM Matyas Marek 2372 (CZE)


vs IM Harshit Raja 2494 (IND)

U.S. Masters 2021 round 06
B90 Sicilian, Najdorf

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nb3 g6 7. Be2 Bg7 8. g4 h5 9. g5 Nfd7 10. Be3 Nc6 11. Qd2 O-O 12. O-O-O b5 13. f4 Bb7 14. e5 Re8 15. Bf3 Rc8 16. Rhe1 Na5 17. Bxb7 Nxb7 18. Qd5 b4 19. e6 fxe6 20. Qxe6+ Kh8 21. Nd5 Nf8 22. Qf7 Qd7 23. Nb6 Qc6 24. Nxc8 Rxc8 25. Re2 e6 26. Nd4 Qd5 27. f5 gxf5 28. Qxh5+ Kg8 29. Qf3 Qxa2 30. Qxb7 Rc4 31. Rd3 Qa1+ 32. Kd2 Qxb2 33. Qxa6 d5 34. Rb3 Rxc2+ 35. Ke1 Rxe2+ 36. Qxe2 Qa1+ 37. Qd1 Qa2 38. Qc2 Qa1+ 39. Rb1 Qa5 40. Qd2 Ng6 41. Qxb4 Qa2 42. Qb2 Qa6 43. Qe2 Qd6 44. Nf3 Qc7 45. Rc1 Qb8 46. h4 Qg3+ 47. Bf2 Qd6 48. Rc8+ Kh7 49. h5 Qb4+ 50. Kf1 Nf4 51. g6+ Kh6 52. Be3 Kxh5 53. Qh2+ Kg4 54. Qxf4+ Qxf4 55. Bxf4 Kxf4 56. Rg8 Bc3 57. Ke2 d4 58. Rd8 1-0

IM Marek finished with five wins, three losses, and a draw, for a performance rating of 2372. His FIDE rating is 2372. His opponent, IM Harshit Raja, also finished with 5 1/2 points, for a performance rating of 2393, 101 points lower than his FIDE rating.

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nb3 g6 (6…e6 has been the most often played move and in 147 games against an average opponent rated 2422 has scored 57%. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 69 and SF 14 @depth 50 play 6…e6, but Komodo @depth 33 plays the move played in the game) 7. Be2 (Although SF 12 @depth 33 plays this move the same program left running a little longer, to depth 42, decides upon 7 f3, the same move SF 14.1 @depth 40 plays) 7…Bg7 8. g4 (SF 200221 @depth 42 plays 8 Be3. In 34 games it has scored only 47%) In 39 games 8 g4 has scored only 45%. 8…h5 (This is the choice of Stockfish and Houdini, and this is the first time this move has been played, according to the ChessBaseDataBase, so it is a Theoretical Novelty, or is it? The following game was found at 365Chess.com)

Maxence Godard (2377) vs Nicolas Basilevitch
Event: Naujac op
Site: Naujac Date: ??/??/2001
Round: 4
ECO: B70 Sicilian, dragon variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Nb3 a6 8.g4 h5 9.gxh5 Nxh5 10.Bg5 Nc6 11.Qd2 Be6 12.O-O-O Bxb3 13.cxb3 Qa5 14.Kb1 Nf6 15.a3 Qb6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nd5 Qd4 18.Qc2 Qa7 19.Nxf6+ exf6 20.Rxd6 Ke7 21.Rd2 Rac8 22.Qd1 Rhd8 23.Bc4 Ne5 24.Bd5 Qb6 25.f4 Nc6 26.h4 Qe3 27.h5 gxh5 28.Rxh5 Qxf4 29.Rf5 Qh6 30.Rdf2 Rd6 31.Rf1 Rf8 32.Qc2 Rfd8 33.Qc5 Rd7 34.Bxc6 bxc6 35.Rxf6 1-0

Frank Sawatzki, (2393) vs Rolf Luckow (2220)
Event: 2nd Bundesliga Nord 19-20
Site: Germany GER Date: 11/23/2019
Round: 3.5
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bd3 e6 7.a4 Nc6 8.Nb3 d5 9.O-O Bb4 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.Qg4 g6 13.Be4 f5 14.Bxd5 fxg4 15.Be4 Bd7 16.Be3 O-O-O 17.Rfd1 Be7 18.Nc5 e5 19.Nxd7 Rxd7 20.Rxd7 Kxd7 21.c3 Kc8 22.Rd1 Rd8 23.Rxd8+ Nxd8 24.Bd5 g5 25.Be4 h6 26.Bf5+ Kc7 27.Bxg4 a5 28.Kf1 b6 29.Ke2 Nb7 30.Bf5 Nd6 31.Bc2 Nc4 32.Bc1 Bc5 33.b3 Nd6 34.h4 gxh4 35.Bxh6 Kd7 36.Bg5 b5 37.Bxh4 Ke6 38.g4 bxa4 39.bxa4 Kd7 40.f3 1-0

Aleksander Kaczmarek (2389) vs Ignacy Leskiewicz (2146)
Event: 3rd Irena Warakomska Mem
Site: Suwalki POL Date: 08/05/2019
Round: 1.31
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nb3 g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.g4 Nc6 9.g5 Nh5 10.Be3 a5 11.Nd5 O-O 12.c3 Bh3 13.Nd2 e6 14.Nb6 Nf4 15.Bxf4 Qxb6 16.Nc4 Qd8 17.Nxd6 Qc7 18.Qd3 e5 19.Nb5 Qc8 20.Bd2 Rd8 21.Qf3 a4 22.Be3 a3 23.bxa3 Nd4 24.cxd4 exd4 25.Rc1 Qe6 26.Nc7 Qxa2 27.Nxa8 dxe3 28.fxe3 Qxa3 29.Kf2 Bd7 30.Nb6 Bc6 31.Nd5 Qd6 32.Rcd1 1-0

During research for this post this was found:

  1. Be3 0-1, Kamsky (2725) vs. Topalov (2796)
  2. Kh1 0-1, Milligan Scott (1835) vs. Bellin (2240) (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=19&n=282498&ms=e4.c5.Nf3.e6.d4.cxd4.Nxd4.a6.Bd3.Nf6.O-O.d6.a4.Be7.Nc3.Nc6.Nb3.b6&ns=

I thought nothing of “Scott Milligan” but did wonder if the “Bellin” was GM Juan Manuel Bellin, the husband of Pia Cramling, until finding his name is spelled, “Bellon.” Clicking showed it was Jana Bellin and her opponent was none other than Helen Milligan, who currently resides in New Zealand.

Gata Kamsky (2725) vs Veselin Topalov (2796)
Event: 18th Amber Blindfold
Site: Nice FRA Date: 03/25/2009
Round: 10
ECO: B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.O-O Be7 8.a4 Nc6 9.Nb3 b6 10.Be3 O-O 11.f3 Bb7 12.Rf2 Qc7 13.Bf1 Rac8 14.Qe1 Ne5 15.Rd2 Nfd7 16.Rad1 Rfe8 17.Kh1 Bf8 18.Qg3 Nc5 19.Nd4 Qb8 20.Rf2 Ncd7 21.Bc1 Nf6 22.Re2 Ng6 23.Ree1 Be7 24.Qf2 Bd8 25.Nde2 Bc7 26.Qg1 d5 27.exd5 Nxd5 28.Nxd5 Bxd5 29.Nc3 Bb7 30.Be3 Ne5 31.Be2 Bc6 32.Bxa6 Nxf3 33.gxf3 Bxf3+ 0-1

Helen Milligan Scott (1835)

vs Jana Bellin (2240)

WGM Dr. Jana Bellin

Event: Luzern ol (Women)
Site: Luzern Date: ??/??/1982
Round: 10
ECO: B42 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Bd3
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.O-O d6 7.a4 Be7 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.Nb3 b6 10.Kh1
(Stockfish 040621 @depth 35 plays 10 f4. Komodo 9.02 @depth 24 would play the TN 10 Qf3. Deep Rybka, in the shallow water at only depth 17, advocates 10 Be3) 10…Bb7 11.f4 O-O 12.f5 Ne5 13.Nd4 Nxd3 14.cxd3 e5 15.Nf3 d5 16.Nxe5 dxe4 17.dxe4 Qc7 18.Nf3 Nxe4 19.Be3 Rad8 20.Qc1 Nc5 21.Nd4 Bf6 22.Qd1 Qe5 23.Re1 Rxd4 24.Bxd4 Qxd4 25.Qxd4 Bxd4 26.Rad1 Bxc3 27.bxc3 Nxa4 28.c4 Bc8 29.g4 h5 30.h3 hxg4 31.hxg4 Bb7+ 32.Kh2 Rc8 33.Rd4 Nc5 34.Rd6 Bc6 35.Rb1 Nd7 36.Rbd1 f6 37.Rb1 a5 38.Kh3 Ba4 39.Rc1 Rc5 40.Kg3 Bc6 0-1

2021 US Masters: GM Alexander Shabalov vs NM Deepak Aaron

GM Shabalov should need no introduction but if one is needed the reader can check out the introductory remarks found here (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/11/27/us-masters-first-round-nm-matthew-puckett-vs-gm-alex-shabalov/)

NM Deepak Aaron


Deepak Aaron is a solid National Master player who was once the Georgia Tech Chess Club President (http://georgiachessnews.com/a-letter-from-the-georgia-tech-chess-club-president/). Deepak is known for giving charity simultaneous exhibitions (https://www.uschess.org/index.php/April/Deepak-Aaron-Gives-Charity-Simul-at-Georgia-Tech.html).

GM Alexander Shabalov (USA) vs Deepak Aaron (USA)
U.S. Masters 2021 round 02
A80 Dutch

  1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. c4 c6 7. b3 Qe7 8. Ne5 O-O 9. Bb2 Bd7 10. Nd2 Be8 11. Ndf3 Bh5 12. Nd3 Nbd7 13. Nfe5 g5 14. f3 Rad8 15. Qc2 Bg6 16. Rae1 Qg7 17. Qc1 f4 18. gxf4 Bxd3 19. Nxd3 Qh6 20. e3 gxf4 21. exf4 Ne8 22. Rf2 Ng7 23. Bf1 Bxf4 24. Nxf4 Rxf4 25. Ba3 Nf6 26. Rg2 Kf7 27. Qe3 Rh4 28. Qf2 Nf5 29. cxd5 Nxd5 30. Bc1 Nf4 31. Rg4 Rg8 32. h3 Rxh3 33. Bg2 Rh1+ 34. Bxh1 Nh3+ 35. Kf1 Nxf2 36. Bxh6 Nxg4 37. Bf4 Nf6 38. Be5 Nd7 39. Bg2 Nxe5 40. dxe5 Nh4 41. Bh1 Rd8 0-1
  1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. g3 (3 c4 was the choice in 1501 games at the ChessBaseDataBase, resulting in a 54% outcome for white. The 1239 games in which 3 g3 was played is the second most often played move, but the result has been better at 56% for white. Stockfish 14 @depth 49 and SF 220521 @depth 51 will play 3 Bf4, which has seen action in only 173 games. I kid you not…Even more astounding is that the result has been an incredible 62%!) 3…Nf6 4. Bg2 (SF and Komodo play 4 c4) 4…d5 5. O-O (SF goes with 5 c4) 5…Bd6 6. c4 c6 7. b3 (SF says Ne5) 7…Qe7 8. Ne5 (In almost one half of the games played [844] 8 Bb2 has been the move played even though it has only scored 51%. Go figure… One Komodo program prefers 8 Nc3 [45 games; 57%], while another prefers 8 Qc2 [67 games; 57%]. Then there is Houdini…who would play 8 Ne5, as has been played in 253 games while scoring a fantastic 60% against the highest rated opposition!) 8…O-O (Komodo castles but SF prefers 8…Nbd7) 9. Bb2 (Fritz plays the game move but Komodo plays 9 Bf4) 9…Bd7 (SF 14 plays 9…b6. Deep Fritz plays 9…Nbd7) 10. Nd2 Be8 (Komodo and Deep Fritz 13 play this but SF 8 plays 10…Rd8) 11. Ndf3 (The most often played move and the choice of Komodo, but SF 14 plays 11 Nd3) 11…Bh5 (SF 12 @depth 38 plays 11…Bg6) 12. Nd3 (SF 8 plays the game move but SF 13 @depth 35 plays 12 Ne1 a NEW MOVE, and a TN if and when it is played over the board against a human opponent…) 12…Nbd7 13. Nfe5 g5 (Fritz likes 13…Bc7; SF 8 plays 13…Ba3, both of which will be a TN if and when…)

13…g5 was a surprising choice by Mr. Aaron and certainly must say something about the kind of player who would fire the g-pawn salvo at his esteemed Grandmaster opponent. A player does not make such a move in an attempt to draw. Things got interesting quickly after GM Shabba pushing his e-pawn only one square in lieu of two on move twenty. Then after 20…gxf4 Shabba should probably taken the pawn with his knight with 21 Nxf4. It was at this moment Deepak could have taken control of the game by playing 21…Nh5, but played the retrograde and limp-writsted 21…Ne8 giving the advantage to Shabba. Only a couple of moves later Shabba played a limp-wristed move himself when easing the Bishop back to f1. Deepak answered by taking the pawn on f4, which was the reddest move possible according to the Bomb; big advantage to Shabba. After the exchanges on f4 on move 24 the GM had a won game. With all the action taking place on the king side Shabba, for some reason, decided to move his Bishop to a3, tossing away his advantage. For the next several moves there was punching and counter punching with the game staying about even, Steven, until the GM played 32 h3, again a BRIGHT RED move, the kind of move GM Yasser Seriwan would call a “howler” and it was time to turn out the lights because the party was over…

GM Lev Polugaevsky (2610) vs GM Borislav Ivkov (2485)
Event: Oviedo rapid
Site: Oviedo Date: ??/??/1991
Round: 9
ECO: A40 Queen’s pawn
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d5 5.O-O Bd6 6.c4 c6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 O-O 9.Nbd2 Bd7 10.Ne5 Be8 11.Ndf3 Nbd7 12.Nd3 Bh5 13.Nfe5 g5 14.f3 Rad8 15.Qd2 Qg7 16.Bc3 Bb8 17.h3 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Ne4 19.fxe4 dxe4 20.g4 Bg6 21.gxf5 Bxf5 22.Rxf5 exf5 23.e6 Qe7 24.Bb2 exd3 25.Qc3 Qc5+ 26.Kf1 dxe2+ 27.Kxe2 Be5 28.Qxe5 Qxe5+ 29.Bxe5 Rfe8 30.Bc3 Rxe6+ 31.Kf2 Rd3 32.Bb4 Kf7 33.Bf1 Rd4 34.Be2 Kg6 35.Rf1 h5 36.Bd1 Rd3 37.Bc2 Rxh3 38.Kg2 Re2+ 39.Kxh3 Rxc2 40.Rd1 f4 41.Rd2 Rxd2 42.Bxd2 Kf5 43.Bb4 Ke4 44.Be7 g4+ 45.Kg2 b6 46.a4 Kd3 47.Kf2 0-1

My Girl Nazi Paikidze Plays the Leningrad Dutch!

The first time the former US Women’s Chess Champion Nazi Paikidze

Is it Okay to Root for Nazi? – Tom Liberman

appeared on the Armchair Warrioradar was when she played an opening near and dear to my heart. After opening with 1 e4 at the St Louis Autumn GM 2016 her opponent, Jayram Ashwin,


answered with 1…e6, the French defense. When Nazi moved her Queen to e2, the move made famous by the father of Russian Chess, Mikhail Chigorin,

2013 Goodwin Champions Mikhail Chigorin Chess Russia | eBay

my Chess heart had been stolen. I have been a Nazi fan ever since that day. Although Nazi lost that game her opponent was India’s 39th GM. Unfortunately she has not played the opening again, but I can always hope…Nazi has faced the Leningrad Dutch as white about a half dozen times over the past decade, which makes me wonder if those games influenced her to play the Leningrad Dutch? Inquiring minds want to know so how about a Chess journalist asking Nazi the question of how she came to play the LD? I will admit it was more than her choice of openings that brought Nazi to my attention as I found her coy insouciance attractive.


David Spinks was fond of saying, “You gotta pull for somebody!” For the reasons given above there is much to admire, therefore I ‘pull’ for Nazi.

Thalia Cervantes Landeiro (USA)


U.S. Women’s Chess Championship 2021 round 05
A86 Dutch, Leningrad variation

  1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nh3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. d5 Na6 8. Nc3 Nc5 9. Be3 e5 10. dxe6 Nxe6 11. Ng5 c6 12. Nxe6 Bxe6 13. Qb3 Qe7 14. Rad1 Ng4 15. Bf4 Ne5 16. Qb4 Rfd8 17. b3 g5 18. Bd2 Rd7 19. Qa3 Rf8 20. Qc1 h6 21. f4 gxf4 22. Bxf4 Kh7 23. e4 Ng6 24. Be3 Qd8 25. Bh3 Rdf7 26. Qc2 Qe7 27. Bf4 fxe4 28. Bxe6 Qxe6 29. Nxe4 d5 30. Nc5 Qg4 31. Nd3 Bd4+ 32. Kh1 Re8 33. Rde1 Rfe7 34. cxd5 Re2 35. Rxe2 Rxe2 36. Qd1 Qh5 37. g4 Qxd5+ 0-1

1.d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. g3 g6 (There is a major internecine fight with Stockfish 180521 between 3…e6 and 3…g6. The Fish is completely divided, as if it had been filleted; split 50-50. My advice is, “When in doubt, play the LENINGRAD!”) 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nh3 (5 Nf3 has been the most often played move with 2104 games in the CBDB, and it shows a 56% success rate. 5 Nc3 has been played in 1630 games, scoring 56%. SF 14 @depth 41 shows 5 Nc3. However, SF 091021 @depth 42 plays 5 Nh3. There are only 237 examples of the move played in this game contained in the CBDB and it has only scored 50% against lower rated opposition than the two aforementioned moves. Just sayin…) 5…O-O (SF 080920 @depth 44 plays 5…c6. There are only 10 games with that move in the CBDB. The most often played move has been 5…0-0, with white scoring 54% of the time. The second most played move has been 5..d6 and it has held white to a 48% score. In the main line any time white has played d4 followed by c4 it is generally a good idea to play an early d6 if you intend on playing the Leningrad Dutch. With the early Nh3 the StockFish computations obviously change. I only faced Nh3 once, in a game with Joe Scott, who I believe was an expert on his way to National Master, but he could have been a NM. I recall Joe telling me he became a NM because of the book The Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations.


Joe moved the Knight to f4 and clamped down on my e6 square and played a fine game, choking the life out of me until I expired. The loss inspired me to devote much time to annotating the game back in BC time. That’s “Before Computer” time. I read anything and everything found on the move 5 Nh3 in order to be prepared the next time I faced the move. Next time never came…but you can bet your sweet bibby that if next time comes around in a Senior event I will be prepared!) 6. O-O (SF 12 @depth 40 plays 6 Nc3) 6…d6 7. d5 (In an article by André Schulz at Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/post/us-championships-2021-r5) this is found after 7 d5, “7. Nc3 is vanishing.” This is strange because two different Stockfish programs show 7. Nc3 as the best move. The CBDB contains 60 with 7. Nc3 and 62 with 7. d5. White has, though, scored 54% with the latter while 7. Nc3 has only scored 48% and this against roughly the same opposition) 7…Na6 (Although Komodo at only depth 18 plays the game move, two different SF programs at double the depth show 7…c6. There are 23 games with 7…Na6 and white has scored 50%; in the 22 games when 7…c6 has been the choice white has scored 59%, with this being against roughly the same level opposition. Given the opportunity to play either move I would play 7…c6, which is reason enough for you to play the move chosen by our girl!) 8. Nc3 Nc5 (The move played in the game has been the overwhelming choice, but SF 13 likes 8…Qe8; SF 14 prefers 8…Bd7. I would play the latter move to complete development) 9. Be3 (SF 13 @depth 37 plays the game move, but SF 210920 @depth 41 plays 9 Qc2, yet 9 Nf4 has been the most often played move with 43 games in the CBDB in which it has scored 63% against 2398 opposition. In 26 games the move played in the game, 9 Be3 has scored 56% against 2452 opposition in 26 games. In 27 games against opposition rated 2482 the move 9 Qc2 has scored an astounding 70%! There is a reason the move 9 Qc2 is the choice of the Fish…) 9…e5 10. dxe6 (Here’s the deal…the CBDB shows 14 games in which this move has been played and one with 10 Bxc5 having been played, yet three different Stockfish programs show 10 b4 as the best move!) 10 Nxe6 (SF 14 plays 10 Bxe6) 11. Ng5 (The aforementioned annotations at Chessbase show, “White has an edge.” There are no games found at either the CBDB or 365Chess containing the move 11 Ng5 so it appears to be a Theoretical Novelty!)

Black to move

You can find the game annotated all over the internet but since I followed the the game with something akin to religious fervor and made notes along the way I would like to share them with you.

11…c6 12. Nxe6 Bxe6 13. Qb3? This has gotta be bad. I’d be feeling pretty good sitting behind the black pieces after seeing a move like that! Maybe Thalia did not want to leave the Knight undefended with the black squared firing at the Rook on a1 after Ne4 but it does not work…Big advantage for Nazi!)

13…Qe7 14. Rad1 Ng4 15. Bf4 Ne5 16. Qb4 Rfd8? (OMG what has my girl done? Why would she not take the pawn???) 17. b3 g5 18. Bd2 Rd7? (She should play the most forcing move on the board, a5, something I watch the top players not doing as a matter of course. Makes me think of that line from the CSNY song Deja Vu…”It makes me wonder/really makes me wonder’/What’s going on…”)

  1. Qa3 Rf8? (I dunno, Qf6 looks good about now…) 20. Qc1 h6 21. f4 (I thought h6 was OK but now I’m not so sure…taking leaves me with a couple of ugly duckling pawns but bring the Knight back for defense only seems to clog up the works. Nazi has stepped into some excrement) 21…gxf4 22. Bxf4 Kh7? (Why not 22…Qf6?) 23. e4 (What a mess Nazi has stepped into…looks like one of my uncoordinated LD positions. I wanna play Rfe8 but that Rook oughta stay where it is…so maybe dropping the other Rook back to the back rank…or moving, let’s call it ‘repositioning’ the Queen is what the doctor ordered…or was that life support? Things aren’t looking so good for my favorite female player about now…not even a Houdini, or a Houdini program will help her now, I’m sad to write…) 23…Ng6 (Did not consider that move. Looks like Nazi gets opened up like a can of sardines after exf5…) 24. Be3 (What is this? Now I’m pushing the f-pawn while singing, “Save my life I’m going down for the last time…”) 24…Qd8?
White to move

(Oh no Mr. Bill, what the fork is this? From where did that idea come?) 25. Bh3 (Well that helps. Qc2 piling on the pressure looked real strong) 24…Rdf7 26. Qc2 (I dunno, taking with Bxf5 looks good. Nazi continues dodging bullets) 26…Qe7 27. Bf4 fxe4 28. Bxe6 Qxe6 29. Nxe4 d5 30. Nc5?

(White coulda come outta all the exchanges better than she did but this has gotta be wrong as it will drive the Queen over and every Black piece will be firing at the White King! What a turnaround!!! 30…Qg4 31. Nd3 Bd4+ 32. Kh1 Re8 33. Rde1 Rfe7 34. cxd5? (I cannot believe this…the woman just let go of the rope!!!) 34…Re2 35. Rxe2 Rxe2 36. Qd1 Qh5 37. g4 Qxd5+ 0-1 (Wow! That is what we call “snatching victory from the jaws of defeat…”)

Yasser Seirawan (2615) vs Mikhail Gurevich (2630)
Event: Belgrade Investbank
Site: Belgrade Date: 1991

ECO: A81 Dutch defence
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c4 Bg7 5.Nh3 c6 6.Nf4 d6 7.d5 e5 8.dxe6 Qe7 9.Nd2 O-O 10.O-O Bxe6 11.Nxe6 Qxe6 12.Rb1 Nbd7 13.b4 Nb6 14.c5 Nbd5 15.Bb2 Rad8 16.Qb3 Nc7 17.cxd6 Rxd6 18.Nc4 Rd7 19.a4 Ng4 20.h3 Nf6 21.b5 Ne4 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Qb2+ Kh6 24.Qc1+ Kg7 25.Qb2+ Rf6 26.Rfc1 Kh6 27.bxc6 bxc6 28.Bxe4 fxe4 29.Ne5 Qxh3 30.Nxd7 Rf5 31.Qd2+ Kg7 32.Qd4+ Kh6 33.Qe3+ 1-0

John P Fedorowicz (2574) vs Kamil Miton (2383)
Event: CCA ChessWise op
Site: Stratton Mountain Date: 06/13/1999
Round: 4
ECO: A81 Dutch defence
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c4 Bg7 5.Nh3 O-O 6.O-O d6 7.d5 Na6 8.Nc3 Nc5 9.Be3 e5 10.dxe6 Bxe6 11.Rc1 c6 12.b3 Qe7 13.Bd4 Bf7 14.Ng5 Kh8 15.Qd2 Bg8 16.b4 Ncd7 17.b5 c5 18.Bxf6 Nxf6 19.Qd3 Nd7 20.f4 h6 21.Nf3 ½-½

The Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy Summer 2021 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational Extravaganza

There were four separate Chess tournaments held from Jul 28-Aug 1, 2021, at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. Together they were called the, Summer 2021 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational. There was the Grandmaster A; GM B; and the International Master A, and IM B. Each tournament consisted of ten players, some of whom paid an entry fee of $850 for a chance at obtaining a norm toward actually earning a title. I have no other details as they were not disclosed on the website.

In the top GM A tournament, IM Joshua Sheng (2453),

of the USA, scored the required 6 1/2 points by defeating, with the black pieces, FM Gauri Shankar (2369),

from India, in the last round. FM Shankar finished last managing only four draws to go with his five losses.

  1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 c6 4. c4 e6 5. cxd5 Bxf3 6. Bxf3 cxd5 7. O-O Nf6 8. b3 Nc6 9. Bb2 Bd6 10. d3 O-O 11. Nc3 Rc8 12. Nb5 Be7 13. Nd4 Qa5 14. a3 Qb6 15. e3 Nd7 16. b4 Bf6 17. Nxc6 Rxc6 18. d4 Rfc8 19. Be2 Rc2 20. Rb1 Qd6 21. Bd3 R2c7 22. Qe2 Nb6 23. Rfc1 Nc4 24. Bxc4 Rxc4 25. Rxc4 Rxc4 26. Rd1 Qc6 27. Rd2 Bd8 28. Qd3 g6 29. Re2 Qb5 30. Qd1 a5 31. bxa5 Bxa5 32. Kg2 Kf8 33. h4 Ke8 34. h5 Rc6 35. a4 Qb4 36. hxg6 hxg6 37. Ba1 Qc4 38. Bb2 Bb4 39. f3 Bd6 40. e4 Ra6 41. exd5 Qxd5 42. Bc1 Rc6 43. Be3 Rc3 44. Qd2 Ra3 45. Qc2 Kd7 46. Kf2 Ra1 47. Kg2 Qh5 48. Bc1 Ba3 49. Re1 Qd5 50. Rd1 Ra2 0-1

In the GM B tournament GM Tanguy Ringoir,

of Belarus, IM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy,

of the USA, and FM Jason Liang,

also of the USA, tied for first place, each with a score of 5 1/2 out of 9. From the website is does appear that FM Liang earned an IM norm with a half point to spare. In addition, NM Tianqi Wang (2336),

of the USA, appears to have qualified for an IM norm with his score of 5 out of 9.

The International Master C tournament saw NM Aydin Turgut (2275),

USA, take clear first place with a score of 7/9, which also gained him an IM norm. He did it with this heroic battle:

Woodward, Andy (2196) vs Turgut, Aydin (2275)

Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 09

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bf4 c5 ½-½

The game score was not found at the CCC&SA website, as was the above game, so I took it from the ChessBomb website.

NM Ming Lu (2174),

USA, won the IM D tournament with a score of 7/9, one half point ahead of NM Alex Kolay (2203),

USA, who missed out on earning a IM norm by 1/2 point.

When one clicks on the IM D board to be taken to the game score he is instead taken to the IM C games. I therefore had to again use the game score from the ChessBomb (What would a journalist do without the Bomb?!)

Lev Paciorkowski (2262) USA vs Ming Lu (2174)

Charlotte IM Norm D 2021 round 09
ECO: C00 French, Chigorin variation

  1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Qe2 Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. e5 Ne8 9. c4 Nc7 10. Nc3 Rb8 11. Rd1 b5 12. b3 a6 13. h4 Bb7 14. h5 h6 15. Bf4 b4 16. Nb1 f5 17. Re1 ½-½

Here is the deal…heading into the last round Lev Paciorkowski, after losing to NM Akira Nakada (2199)

in the penultimate round, could not have earned a norm with a win. After Lev played 15 Bf4 Ming Lu should have played the MOST FORCING MOVE, which was 15…Nd4. Instead, Lu played a weak, anti-positional move, 15…b4. Then Lev let go of the rope with at least one hand by playing the retrograde move16 Nb1, when moving the knight to a4 would have given him a substaintial advantage. With his last move, another lemon, Lev offered the peace pipe, which was gladly smoked by Ming Lu!

In the above game, after 1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Qe2, I checked with the ChessBaseDataBase and was ASTOUNDED to learn Stockfish 12 @depth 52 would play 3 c3! The exclam is for my surprise, not because it is an outstanding move. Fact is, there is not one example of the move having been played in the CBDB! There are, though, four examples found at 365Chess. None of the players have a rating (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=6&n=10504&ms=e4.e6.d3.d5.c3&ns=
The Stockfish program 270321 shows 3 Nd2. The “new engine” does show 3 Qe2, for what it’s worth. After 3…Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 (SF plays the most often played move, 4…Be7) 5. g3 (SF 13 @depth 32 would play 5 c4, a move yet to be attempted by a human) 5…Nc6 (The most often played move but SF would play 5…Be7) 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O (By far the most often played move, and SF 260271 @depth 42 would also castle, but the same program left running until depth 49 would play 7 a4. There are only 3 examples of the move in the CBDB) 7…0-0 (SF plays 7…b5) 8. e5 (SF 13 plays this move but SF 14 prefers the seldom played 8 a4. Just sayin’…) 8…Ne8 (SF plays 8…Nd7) 9 c4 (Houdini plays the game move, but the smellyFish prefers 9 c3) 9…Nc7 10. Nc3 (Deep Fritz plays this, the most often played move, but Stockfish 11 @depth 31 plays 10 Re1; SF 13 at the same depth would play 10 b3, which is food for thought…) 10…Rb8 (SF plays this move but Komodo prefers 10…a6) 11. Rd1 (SF 12 @depth 41 plays the little played 11 Bf4) 11…b5 (Komodo plays the game move but StockFish comes up with a Theoretical Novelty with 11…b6. How about them fish?!) 12. b3 a6 13. h4 (TN)

Lin Chen (2477) vs Igor Naumkin (2421)
Event: 34th Boeblinger Open 2017
Site: Boeblingen GER Date: 12/29/2017
Round: 6.4
ECO: C00 French, Chigorin variation
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 Be7 3.Nf3 d5 4.d3 Nf6 5.g3 O-O 6.Bg2 c5 7.O-O Nc6 8.e5 Ne8 9.c4 Nc7 10.Nc3 Rb8 11.Rd1 b5 12.b3 a6 13.d4 bxc4 14.bxc4 Bb7 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Bg5 Be7 17.cxd5 exd5 18.Bxe7 Nxe7 19.Ne4 Ne6 20.Nd6 Qa5 21.Rac1 Bc6 22.Nd4 Nxd4 23.Rxd4 Bd7 24.h3 Be6 25.Qd2 Qb6 26.Rd3 Ng6 27.Rb3 Qa7 28.Rxb8 Rxb8 29.Re1 Qc5 30.Kh2 Qa3 31.Re2 Nxe5 32.Nxf7 Bxf7 33.Rxe5 Rb2 34.Qf4 Qxa2 35.Rf5 d4 36.Qd6 Re2 37.Qd8+ Re8 38.Qxe8+ Bxe8 39.Bd5+ Bf7 40.Bxa2 Bxa2 41.Ra5 Bb1 42.Rxa6 Kf7 43.Kg2 Be4+ 44.f3 Bc2 45.Kf2 d3 46.Ke3 g5 47.Rd6 Ke7 48.Rh6 Kf8 49.Rh5 1-0

GM Alonso Zapata

had a poor performance in the IM D tournament. I have no idea why. I did reach out to him but have yet to receive a reply. The Grandmaster only scored 3 points in the 9 round event. He drew 6 games while losing 3. All games were against much lower rated players. GM Zapata has played solidly for many years since moving to Atlanta, Georgia, but he is no longer a spring chicken. Everyone wondered what would happen when players were once again battling over the Chessboard after a long layoff. GM Zapata lost a long game in the 3rd round (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-im-norm-d/03-Nakada_Akira-Zapata_Alonso) and followed it up with the following game which certainly helped NM Ming Lu (2174) in his attempt at gaining a norm:

GM Alonso Zapata (2422) vs Ming Lu (2174)

Charlotte IM Norm D 2021 round 04

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Be7 4. Bd3 c5 5. dxc5 Nf6 6. Qe2 O-O 7. Ngf3 a5 8. O-O Na6 9. e5 Nd7 10. c3 Naxc5 11. Bc2 f6 12. Nb3 b6 13. Nxc5 Nxc5 14. exf6 Bxf6 15. Re1 Ba6 16. Qd1 Qd6 17. Ng5 Bxg5 18. Bxg5 e5 19. f4 Rae8 20. fxe5 Rxe5 21. Qd2 Ne6 22. Bh4 Nf4 23. Bg3 Qc5+ 24. Bf2 Nh3+ 25. gxh3 Rxf2 0-1

Kubik, Michael (2238) vs Rydl, Jiri (2257)
Event: 17th Olomouc IM 2014
Site: Olomouc CZE Date: 08/05/2014
Round: 9.2
ECO: C03 French, Tarrasch

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Bd3 c5 5.dxc5 Nf6 6.Qe2 O-O 7.Ngf3 a5 8.O-O Na6 9.e5 Nd7 10.c3 Naxc5 11.Bc2 f6 12.Nb3 b6 13.Nxc5 0-1

Position from the Zapata v Lu game after black played 21…Ne6

White to move

What move would you make?

Position after 23…Qc5+

When attempting to teach Chess to youngsters I became known for constantly saying, “EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!” Sometimes it took a jackhammer, but there were times when I realized the drillin’ had worked. One of those times was when I was walking along Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky, one of the truly great thoroughfares in America, and as I neared a traffic light I heard, “Hey coach…EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!!!” That put a huge smile on the face of the ol’ coach and made my day!

Black to move and put White out of his misery, and possibly his mind…

I took the time to copy some of the games from all four tournaments for your edification and/or amusement. They were copied from ChessBomb and I did not want to waste my time imputing ratings where you will find a (01). Frankly, when a player produces such excrement over the board they do not deserve to be rated as anything other than a player wearing “Maggies Drawers” I suppose.

But hey, the good thing is that you do not need a board to review most of the games that follow! I am hated by those who run the CCC&SA in the way a roach hates it when you come into a room and turn on a light. Actually, it may have been better to have used “loathed and detested” in lieu of “hated.” As far as those responsible in Charlotte are concerned, it was stated best by Grant Oen in an email to me in response to an earlier post (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/the-serial-drawer/) when Mr. Oen wrote, “If he is fine with several quick draws, that is acceptable for with us as long as the rules are followed.”
Several? Maybe the rules need to be changed. Other tournaments have a 30 move rule in which no game can be drawn until at least 30 moves have been made. Since Charlotte has become the quick draw capital of the USA,

The Quick Draw Mcgraw Show El Kabong

if not the world, maybe they should consider such a “new rule.” After all, the name of the place is the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. Obviously there are those at the CCC&SA who find it acceptable to teach children to not play Chess.

Banawa, Joel (01) – Panchanathan, Magesh Chandran (01)

Charlotte GM Norm A 2021 round 03

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. Nc3 Ne4 7. Bd2 Nxc3 8. Bxc3 d5 ½-½

Banawa, Joel (01) – Sheng, Joshua (01)

Charlotte GM Norm A 2021 round 05

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Nxe4 8. Bxb4 Nxb4 9. Bxf7+ Kxf7 10. Qb3+ Kf8 ½-½

Gauri, Shankar (01) – Banawa, Joel (01)

Charlotte GM Norm A 2021 round 07

  1. e4 e6 2. d3 c5 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 g6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. f4 Nge7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O d6 9. Be3 b6 10. d4 Ba6 ½-½

When playing over the following game ask yourself, “What would Ben Finegold say?”

Torres Rosas, Luis Carlos (01) – Cordova, Emilio (01)

Charlotte GM Norm A 2021 round 09

  1. d4 e6 2. c4 b6 3. e4 Bb7 4. f3 f5 5. exf5 Nh6 6. fxe6 Nf5 7. exd7+ Nxd7 8. Ne2 Bd6 9. Nbc3 O-O 10. h4 Qe8 11. Kf2 Rd8 12. Nb5 Ne5 13. Nxd6 Rxd6 14. b3 Nxf3 15. gxf3 Bxf3 0-1

Ringoir, Tanguy (01) – Corrales Jimenez, Fidel (01)

Charlotte GM Norm B 2021 round 03

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nc6 8. e4 ½-½

Ringoir, Tanguy (01) – Korley, Kassa (01)

Charlotte GM Norm B 2021 round 05

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 b6 8. Bg5 Nd5 9. Bxe7 ½-½

Ringoir, Tanguy (01) – Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr (01)

Charlotte GM Norm B 2021 round 07

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Bxe7 Qxe7 6. Nbd2 Nf6 7. g3 O-O 8. Bg2 b6 9. O-O Bb7 10. Rc1 Nbd7 11. cxd5 ½-½

Ali Marandi, Cemil Can (01) – Ringoir, Tanguy (01)

Charlotte GM Norm B 2021 round 08

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nbd2 d5 4. e3 Bg7 5. b4 O-O ½-½

Corrales Jimenez, Fidel (01) – Ali Marandi, Cemil Can (01)

Charlotte GM Norm B 2021 round 09

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. dxe5 Nxb5 7. a4 Nbd4 8. Nxd4 Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d5 10. exd6 Qxd6 11. Qe4+ Qe6 12. Qd4 Qd6 13. Qe4+ Qe6 14. Qd4 Qd6 15. Qe4+ ½-½

Diulger, Alexey (01) – Woodward, Andy (01)

Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 05

  1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. g3 Be7 7. Nxd5 Qxd5 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O Bg4 10. h3 Bh5 11. Be3 Qd7 12. Qb3 Rab8 13. g4 Bg6 14. Rac1 ½-½

Turgut, Aydin (01) – Diulger, Alexey (01)

Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 06

  1. e4 d6 2. d4 c6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. Qd2 b5 6. Nf3 a6 7. Bd3 Bg4 8. Ng1 e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. h3 Be6 11. Nf3 h6 12. a4 Nd7 13. Nb1 ½-½ (FollowChess at the website has it a draw after 12…Nd7)

Bajarani, Ulvi (01) – Turgut, Aydin (01)

Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 07

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. g3 dxc4 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nc6 8. a3 Be7 9. e4 a6 10. h3 Na5 11. Bg5 Nb3 12. Rb1 b5 13. Qc2 Bb7 14. Rbd1 h6 ½-½

Diulger, Alexey (01) – Tian, Eddy (01)

Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 07

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. cxd5 exd5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bg5 Qd6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 O-O 10. e3 b6 11. c4 Bb7 12. cxd5 Bxd5 13. Bd3 c5 14. O-O ½-½

Matta, Nicholas (01) – Woodward, Andy (01)

Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 07

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 a6 6. b3 Bb4 7. Bd2 O-O 8. Bd3 Nbd7 9. O-O Bd6 10. e4 dxc4 11. bxc4 e5 12. c5 Bc7 13. Na4 exd4 14. h3 Re8 15. Qc2 h6 16. Rfe1 ½-½

Jones, Craig (01) – Diulger, Alexey (01)

Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 08

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. g3 f5 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. O-O Bd6 7. b3 Qe7 8. a4 O-O 9. Ba3 Bxa3 10. Nxa3 Nbd7 11. e3 Ne4 12. Nb1 Ndf6 13. Nfd2 Bd7 14. f4 g5 ½-½

Jones, Craig (01) – Diulger, Alexey (01)

Charlotte IM Norm C 2021 round 08

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. g3 f5 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. O-O Bd6 7. b3 Qe7 8. a4 O-O 9. Ba3 Bxa3 10. Nxa3 Nbd7 11. e3 Ne4 12. Nb1 Ndf6 13. Nfd2 Bd7 14. f4 g5 ½-½

Arjun, Vishnuvardhan (01) – Nakada, Akira (01)

Charlotte IM Norm D 2021 round 02

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Nbd2 Be7 9. Rd1 O-O 10. e4 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Qxe4 Qa5 13. Bf4 Rad8 14. a3 Qa6 15. Qc2 b5 16. d5 ½-½

Paciorkowski, Lev (01) – Kolay, Alex (01)

Charlotte IM Norm D 2021 round 03

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O Bf5 5. d3 e6 6. Nbd2 h6 7. Qe1 Be7 8. e4 Bh7 9. Qe2 O-O 10. b3 a5 11. a3 Na6 12. e5 Nd7 13. Bb2 Nc7 14. a4 Nc5 15. Nd4 N5a6 16. f4 Nb4 17. Rac1 Na2 18. Ra1 Nb4 19. Rac1 Na2 20. Ra1 ½-½

“2 Qe2, here we go!”

Let me begin by returning to Tuesday morning, July 13, which began at o’dark thirty, specifically, 6:30 am. After a botched root canal exactly one week prior (it seems much longer) I had been down for the count. The spurts of energy had not been long lasting, which is why I’ve posted things that have required little time or thought. I was working on a book review that should have been out long ago, and other Chess related posts, but then a tooth began causing a problem. This was after taking the first of two shots of the Covid vaccine. I decided to ‘ride it out’ while hoping to be able to wait until two weeks after the second shot, as recommended, before seeing a dentist. By the time I made it to the dental office I was in pain, boss, The PAIN! Fortunately the pain was quelled with drugs. I was informed a root canal operation would be required, but because they were booked I would have to wait until September. Fortunately, or maybe not, depending, there was a cancellation and I was roto-rooted on Tuesday, the sixth of July, exactly one week from where we begin this story…

There was a powerful storm Monday night, July 12, that knocked out all contact with the world; no internet or TV, so I went to bed early. After breakfast I was giving strong consideration to crawling back into bed when the Ironman called, informing me that Zvjaginsev had played Qe2 against the French defense of Ravi Haria, in a “win or go home game.” Immediately I saw a post for that day in my head. I began watching the game, but then had to break in order to purchase some food at the local grocery store. Upon my return my attention was devoted to the C00 French, Chigorin variation, as it is known at 365chess.com.

The chat from Da Bomb says it all…

zluria: Z man in a must win situation. He used to play all kinds of crazy stuff back in the day
zluria: 2 Qe2, here we go!
zluria: Idea: if Black continues on autopilot with 2… d5 then after exd5 Black can’t recapture with the pawn.
zluria: Ok Black is out of book.
Rhinegold: fucky lucky vadim but ok good fighting choice
Rhinegold: very drawish, 48w
zluria: Wow, good going Z-man! see you tomorrow 🙂

I love the part about the Z-man “playing crazy stuff back in the day.” The Z man is only in his mid forties. You wanna know about ‘back in the day’? I will tell you all you wanna know about ‘back in the day’… And yes, I have followed the Z Man with interest for decades because he has played “all kinds of crazy stuff.”

Vadim Zvjaginsev (2608)


vs Ravi Haria (2440)


FIDE World Cup 2021 round 01-02

  1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 Be7 3. Nf3 d5 4. d3 Nf6 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 c5 7. g3 Nc6 8. Bg2 (TN See Kislinsky vs Polivanov below for 8 Bh3) 8…b5 9. O-O Bb7 10. Re1 h6 11. h5 b4 12. Bf4 a5 13. c4 Nb6 14. Nbd2 Qd7 15. cxd5 Nxd5 16. Ne4 Nxf4 17. gxf4 Ba6 18. Rad1 Rd8 19. Nfd2 O-O 20. Qg4 Kh8 21. Nb3 Qa7 22. Ng3 Nd4 23. Nxa5 Bb5 24. Nc4 Bxc4 25. dxc4 Qxa2 26. f5 Qxb2 27. Be4 Rde8 28. Kh1 Qxf2 29. Rf1 Qe3 30. Rxd4 cxd4 31. fxe6 Qg5 32. Qxg5 Bxg5 33. Rxf7 Bf4 34. Nf5 Bxe5 35. Ne7 Bd6 36. Ng6+ Kg8 37. Rd7 Bc5 38. e7 Bxe7 39. Nxe7+ Kf7 40. Ng6+ Kf6 41. Rd6+ Kg5 42. Rd5+ Kg4 43. Rxd4 Rf3 44. Kg2 Re3 45. Bc6+ Kxh5 46. Nf4+ Kg5 47. Bxe8 Rxe8 48. c5 b3 49. Rb4 Re3 50. c6 Rc3 51. c7 Kf5 52. Nd5 Rc2+ 53. Kf3 Ke5 54. Rb5 Kd4 55. Nf4 Rc3+ 56. Kg4 Ke4 57. Ne6 Rc4 58. Rc5 1-0

1.e4 e6 2. Qe2 (Two different Komodo programs show the most frequently played move, 2 d4, but Stockfish 13, going deep to depth 74, chooses the seldom played 2 Nc3, which has only scored 51% according to the CBDB. I kid you not!) 2…Be7 (This is Komodo’s choice; Stockfish plays 2…c5) 3. Nf3 (Both Komodo and Houdini play 3 d4, but Deep Fritz plays the game move) 3…d5 4. d3 (Houdini and Deep Fritz play this move, which has 209 games in the ChessBaseDataBase. Stockfish 13 @depth 31 would play 4 d4, a move attempted only once according to the CBDB) 4…Nf6 5. e5 (SF & the Dragon prefer 5 g3) 5…Nfd7 6. h4 c5

Vadim Zvjaginsev (2635) vs Sergey Volkov (2594)
Event: 16th TCh-RUS Premier
Site: Dagomys RUS Date: 04/08/2009
Round: 5 Score: 1-0
ECO: C00 French, Chigorin variation
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 Nf6 3.Nf3 d5 4.d3 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 b5 7.g3 c5 8.Bg2 Nc6 9.O-O a5 10.a4 b4 11.c4 bxc3 12.bxc3 Nb6 13.Bf4 c4 14.d4 Bd7 15.h5 h6 16.g4 Na7 17.Qc2 Bc6 18.Bg3 Qd7 19.Kh2 Bxa4 20.Qe2 Nb5 21.Nh4 Bb3 22.f4 a4 23.f5 a3 24.fxe6 fxe6 25.Ng6 Rg8 26.Nxe7 Qxe7 27.Nd2 Na4 28.Nxb3 Naxc3 29.Qc2 cxb3 30.Qxb3 a2 31.Be1 Ra3 32.Qb2 Qa7 33.Rf3 Rf8 34.Bxc3 Rxf3 35.Qxb5+ Qd7 36.Qb8+ Qd8 37.Qb5+ Qd7 38.Qb8+ Qd8 39.Qxd8+ Kxd8 40.Bxf3 Rxc3 41.Bxd5 exd5 42.Rxa2 Rd3 43.Ra4 Ke7 44.Kg2 Kf7 45.Kf2 g5 46.Ke2 Rg3 47.Ra7+ Kg8 48.Rd7 Rxg4 49.Rxd5 Rh4 50.Rd6 Kf7 51.Rf6+ Ke7 52.Ke3 Rxh5 53.d5 g4 54.Kf4 Rh1 55.d6+ Ke8 56.Kxg4 h5+ 57.Kf5 Kd7 58.Rf7+ Kc6 59.Ke6 h4 60.Rc7+ Kb6 61.Rc8 1-0

Vadim Zvjaginsev’s Amazing Immortal Chess Game! – “The Pearl of Wijk aan Zee” – Brilliancy!

Possible Mission?

The moves in bold are only the red colored moves as shown over at the ChessBomb. The game contains other colorful, but not red, moves. The moves in bold are what GM Yasser Seriwan

would call “Howlers.” These two women are “grandmasters,” but I am uncertain if they are grandmasters in the sense of what the GRANDMASTER title should be, meaning GM, whether male or female. It could be that each woman is only a WGM, with ChessBomb leaving off the “W”. This is only one of myriad reasons no title should begin with a “W”! As one of the denizens of the House of Pain asked, “How come a woman can be a Woman Grandmaster, but not a Grandmaster, and why can a man not become a Male Grandmaster without becoming a GM?!” Why indeed…
GM Valentina  Gunina 2461

vs GM Dronavalli Harika 2518

Cairns Cup 2020 round 05

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 d6 6. Be3 Rb8 7. Qd2 b5 8. h3 b4 9. Nd1 Bd7 10. f4 e6 11. Nf3 Nge7 12. h4 Nd4 13. h5 Ba4 14. Rc1 Nec6 15. Nxd4 cxd4 16. Bf2 Qa5 17. g4 Bb5 18. h6 Bf6 19. g5 Bd8 20. b3 Rc8 21. O-O O-O 22. Bg3 Qxa2 23. f5 Be7 24. Bh3 exf5 25. exf5 Ra8 26. Nf2 Ne5 27. Ne4 Bxd3 28. Bxe5 Bxe4 29. Bxd4 Qa5 30. Qe3 d5 31. fxg6 hxg6 32. h7+ Kxh7 33. Be6 Bxg5 34. Qxg5 Qd8 35. Bf6 Qb6+ 36. Rf2 fxe6 37. Qh4+ Kg8 38. Qh8+ 1-0


Hugh Siddeley 1974 vs Eduardo Osinaga 1697

Duchamp Cup 2020 round 07

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. Bxd7+ Qxd7 7. Ne2 h6 8. Nbc3 Nf6 9. Ng3 Be7 10. Nh5 O-O 11. Nxf6+ Bxf6 12. Nd5 Bd8 13. g4 Bh4 14. Be3 Na6 15. Rg1 f6 16. Qd2 Bg5 17. O-O-O Qa4 18. Nc3 Bxe3 19. Qxe3 Qb4 20. h4 Qc5 21. Qg3 Rf7 22. Rd2 Nc7 23. g5 fxg5 24. hxg5 hxg5 25. Qxg5 Ne6 26. Qg6 Re8 27. Rh1 Nf4 28. Rh8+ Kxh8 29. Qxf7 Re6 30. Qxb7 Rh6 31. Nd1 Qa5 32. a3 Qc5 33. Kb1 a5 34. Ne3 Kh7 35. Qf7 Rf6 36. Qc4 Qb6 37. Rd1 Rh6 38. Qf7 Nh5 39. Nf5 Qd8 40. Rh1 Qg5 41. Nxh6 Kxh6 42. Rxh5+ Qxh5 43. Qxh5+ Kxh5 44. b4 1-0


Valentina Gunina  vs Dronavalli Harika

Cairns Cup 2020 round 05

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 d6 6. Be3 Rb8 7. Qd2 (Komodo plays 7 Nge2) 7…b5 8. h3 b4 (SF 10 plays 8…a5) 9. Nd1 Bd7 (Houdini’s move. Komodo 13.25 @depth 31 plays 9…a5. Komodo 13.02 @depth 28 likes 9…Nf6)

10. f4 (SF 9 @depth 27 shows 10 a3; Komodo @depth 31 plays 10 Ne2) 10…e6 (Other moves are possible, and better, such as 10…Nf6 and 10…Qc8, but best, according to the Fish, is 10…a5)

11. Nf3 Nge7 12. h4 (12 a3) 12…Nd4 13. h5 (13 Bxd4)

13…Ba4?? (RED MOVE! Although this is a ‘forcing’ move it is a terrible move. There was nothing wrong with simply castling, or even 12…Qc7)

14. Rc1?? (RED MOVE! IM Boris Kogan was fond of saying, “He attack, you defend. You attack, he better defend.” 14. Bxd4 Bxd4 15. Nxd4 cxd4 16. b3 is easy to see and is much better for white) 14…Nec6? (14… Nxf3+ 15. Bxf3 looks normal) 15. Nxd4? (15 h6) 15…cxd4 16. Bf2

16…Qa5? (“Why Mike? Why?” Boris would ask as he moved the black pawn from g6 to g5)

17. g4 Bb5 (Stockfish shows three better moves, 17…h6; gxh5; and 0-0) 18. h6 Bf6 19. g5 (SF wants to play 19. a4 Qxa4 20. b3 Qa5 before playing 21. g5. Other, stronger, players, when annotating a game have been known to add “This is a computer move,” here, as if we humans are not strong enough to understand the program’s logic. I reject this. There is no such thing as a “computer move.” The better moves are there, even if some human Grandmasters cannot fathom the logic behind the better move. It is my contention that there is no such thing as a “computer move” except in the weak mind of the human who continues to write such nonsense)

19…Bd8 (19…Be7 looks natural, does it not?) 20. b3 Rc8? (The two best moves in the position are 20…Qxa2 and 20…e5) 21. O-O O-O (21…e5) 22. Bg3 Qxa2 (again 22…e5) 23. f5

23…Be7 (RED MOVE! 23…Ne5 is much better)

24. Bh3 (24 Nf2 or f6 are better) 24…exf5? (24…gxf5) 25. exf5 Ra8? (PINK MOVE!) 26. Nf2 (26 f6)

26…Ne5?? (RED MOVE!)

27. Ne4? (RED MOVE! 27. Bxe5 dxe5 28. Ra1 and it’s, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over…”) 27…Bxd3? (PURPLE move! 27…Qa5)

28. Bxe5? (RED MOVE! 28 fxg6) 28…Bxe4 29. Bxd4 (PURPLE move! 29. Bxd6 Bxd6 30. Qxd4) 29…Qa5 (PINK move! 29…Qa6) 30. Qe3 (30. Rce1) 30…d5? (RED MOVE! 30… Rae8 31. Qxe4 Bxg5 32. Qg4 Bxc1 33. Rxc1 has got to be better) 31. fxg6 hxg6 (RED MOVE! Not that it matters…) 32. h7+ Kxh7 33. Be6 (RED MOVE! Play 33 Bc8 and put the woman outta her misery, for crying out loud…not that it matters…) 33…Bxg5 34. Qxg5 Qd8 35. Bf6 Qb6+ 36. Rf2 fxe6 37. Qh4+ Kg8 38. Qh8+ 1-0


Hugh Siddeley 1974 vs Eduardo Osinaga 1697

Duchamp Cup 2020 round 07

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. Bxd7+ Qxd7 7. Ne2 h6 8. Nbc3 Nf6 9. Ng3 Be7 10. Nh5 O-O 11. Nxf6+ Bxf6 12. Nd5 Bd8 13. g4 Bh4 14. Be3 Na6 15. Rg1 f6 16. Qd2 Bg5 17. O-O-O Qa4 18. Nc3 Bxe3 19. Qxe3 Qb4 20. h4 Qc5

Now the fun begins…

21. Qg3? (Qh3) Rf7? (Nc7) 22. Rd2? (g5) Nc7? (Raf8) 23. g5 fxg5 24. hxg5 hxg5 25. Qxg5 Ne6? (Re8)

26. Qg6? (Qh4) Re8? (Nf4) 27. Rh1 Nf4 28. Rh8+ Kxh8 29. Qxf7 Re6 30. Qxb7 Rh6 31. Nd1 Qa5 32. a3 Qc5? (Kh7) 33. Kb1? (b4) a5? (Qa5) 34. Ne3 Kh7? (Ne6) 35. Qf7? (Rd1) Rf6? (Qc8) 36. Qc4? (Qd7) Qb6? (Qxc4) 37. Rd1 Rh6? (Qb7) 38. Qf7 Nh5? (Qd8) 39. Nf5? (Qf5+) Qd8 40. Rh1 Qg5 41. Nxh6 Kxh6 42. Rxh5+ Qxh5 43. Qxh5+ Kxh5 44. b4 1-0

Before completing this post an email was received from my friend Michael Mulford who, frankly, is one of the best reasons to be involved with Chess. Michael has been one of the “good” guys involved with the Royal game and has now become one of the “Great” guys.


Since I saw the first game live I can’t fairly take your challenge and I’m thus not copying the others. But just for the fun of it I decided to see how long the opening in the second game stayed in book. Using chess.com’s opening library I found – the whole game! And it’s just a couple days old and apparently an on-line game. So what on earth led you to select that particular game. That might make a good followup, and I suspect you plan to answer that in your story.

Since I already knew the answer, I Fritzed the games. The accuracy percentage on the first one was something like 32% for the winner and 45% for the loser. In the second game it was 62% for the winner and 26%. That’s remarkably accurate for white in an on-line game if it was a fast time control, but perhaps not so unreasonable if it was a 3 day per move game.

Feel free to use my comments when you post the answer.


First, I was unaware chess.com even had an opening library. As regular readers know I use the ChessBaseDataBase and 365Chess. I was also unaware a game could be “Fritzed.” At one time I had an older Fritz on my laptop, but it sputtered to death and I have no “engine” at all.

What led me to the game is that I played the Closed Sicilian “back in the day” and have actually had the position from the Gunina vs Harika after seven moves on a board during a regulation USCF rated tournament several times. I invariably played 8 a3, so 8 h3 looks really weird. I do not even want to contemplate what IM Boris Kogan would have said, or how he would have looked, if I had produced played such a weak move.

As for the second game, Siddeley vs Osinaga, I was attracted to the tournament because I am currently reading a new book, which will soon be reviewed, Duchamp’s Pipe: A Chess Romance–Marcel Duchamp and George Koltanowski, by Celia Rabinovitch, which is difficult to put down. Unfortunately the games from the tournament could not be found at Mark Crowther’s unbelievably excellent The Week In Chess. I prefer TWIC because there is no engine analysis to cloud my judgement. I mean, what’s the point of watching a Chess game being played if one is spoon-fed? Therefore, I watched the games at the Bomb, where even if one covers the analysis one can still see the colorful moves as they are displayed onscreen. The thing I liked is that I was unfamiliar with most of the combatants and therefore had no idea what the opponents were rated. I decided to keep it that way until the tournament ended, giving me as an objective mind as possible. I made an attempt to ascertain the rating of each player during the tournament, which was made somewhat easier by the colorful moves. I suppose there were many games I could have used for contrast, but the aforementioned game just happened to be the one used. As an example, what do you think the players who produced this opening were rated?

1 e4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bb5+ Bd7 4 Bxd7+ Qxd7 5 O-O c5

The games were played during the late afternoon into the evening in Atlanta, which was real nice. Until the last round, which was today. I was shocked, SHOCKED to discover the games were concluding when I checked earlier today. A sickening feeling came over me as I railed against stupidity of the organizers who would hold a tournament with every round beginning later in the day except the final round. Chess players get into a routine and are thrown out of it by Fools In Power! I digress…After the penultimate round I decided to surf on over to Chess-Results.com and learn the ratings of the players before watching the last round.

As for the opening…Believe it or not this game was played in the sixth round by GM Gilberto Hernandez Guerrero 2557 vs GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez 2634. You can look it up…(https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2020-duchamp-cup/06-Hernandez_Guerrero_Gilberto-Delgado_Ramirez_Neuris)

I give the full game because I want to show a position deriving from the endgame analysis by Stockfish:

1. e4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O c5 6. Re1 Nc6 7. c3 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 10. e5 Ng8 11. b3 h5 12. Ba3 Bxa3 13. Nxa3 Nge7 14. Qd2 Nf5 15. Rac1 Qe7 16. Nc2 O-O 17. g3 Rfc8 18. Kg2 Rc7 19. Ne3 Nxe3+ 20. Rxe3 a5 21. Rec3 Rac8 22. h4 Nb4 23. Rxc7 Rxc7 24. Rxc7 Qxc7 25. a3 Nc2 26. a4 (26. Qg5 Nxa3 27. Qxh5 Qc2 28. Qg5 Qc7 29. h5 Kh7 30. g4 Nb5 31. Qf4 Nc3 32. Ng5+ Kg8 33. Qe3 Ne4 34. Nxe4 dxe4 35. Qxe4 Qc3 36. Qe3 Qxe3 37. fxe3 b5 38. e4 a4 39. bxa4 bxa4 40. d5 a3 41. d6)

Nb4 27. Kf1 Qc2 28. Qxc2 Nxc2 ½-½






Chess Non-Players Wearing Maggie’s Drawers

GM Alexander Motylev, the top seeded player, deservedly finished tied for second place in a large, eight player group hug at the recently completed Portugal Open, only one half-point behind the winner, GM Karen H. Grigoryan. After winning his first two games against much lower rated players, Mustafa Atakay, only rated 1886, representing the USA, and IM Rafael Rodriguez Lopez of Spain, rated only 2212, Motylev faced IM Ismael Alshameary Puente, rated 2385, also from Spain. Before the opening had been completed the game ended in a perpetual check after move fifteen. As it turned out Motylev could have used the extra half point. Under ordinary circumstances Motylev would have had Mustafa for lunch, even playing with the black pieces. Motylev, as the notes will show, made no attempt to win. THAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH CHESS! Motylev, and all the other players wearing short drawers, have ruined the Royal game. If a guy like yours truly, who has been playing Chess for half a century now has lost interest in the game because of the proliferation of draws, Chess has a MAJOR PROBLEM! The fact is that there is no incentive for players to strive for a win, so they will continue to embarrass Caissa, and themselves, until Chess is consigned to the dust bin of history.

What if a player received on 1/4 point for a draw? How many GMs would be looking for an opportunity to finagle an early draw?

If a game is decisive the two players combined receive ONE POINT. If the game is drawn the two players receive ONE POINT. If the two drawers receive only one quarter of a point the total number of points awarded to the two drawers is ONE HALF POINT! One half point is one half of the one point awarded to the two players who played a decisive game, which is the way it should be. It is way past time to change the rule because if this is not done IMMEDIATELY, Chess will die a slow death, but it will, nevertheless, be dead’ern HELL.

Because of my interest in Go I have learned of several tournaments in which children were offered the choice of Chess or Go. I have been informed the vast majority of children who have done this much prefer Go because, unlike Chess, there is always a winner. If anyone reading this doubts what I write all you have to do is to teach both games to children and then ask them which one they prefer to play. It’s that simple. Chess people want nothing to do with the idea, but people of the Go community are up for the challenge.

IM Ismael Alshameary Puente (2385)

vs GM Alexander Motylev (2640)

Portugal Open 2020 round 03

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 h6 8. Bh4 c6 9. Rd1 a6 10. a3 b5 11. c5 Re8 12. Bg3 Nh5 13. Be5 Nhf6 14. Bg3 Nh5 15. Be5 Nhf6 ½-½

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 (SF 10 @depth 58 plays 4…Bb4; Komodo @depth 43 prefers 4…c5) 5. Bg5 (Although the most often played move, Stockfish and Houdini show 5 Bf4) 5…O-O (In order of games played at the venerable ChessBaseDataBase 5…h6, Komodo’s move, is the leader with 6037 games, followed by the move in the game, castles, showing 5607 games. Stockfish advocates 5…Nbd7, which has been played in 1331 games) 6 e3 (This move, the choice of Komodo, has been played about nine times as often as any other move. With 6428 games played it dwarfs the second most played move, 6 Qc2, which shows only 471 games. SF 10 would play 6 Rc1, a move having been played in only 112 thus far. After this post expect that to change! Insert smiley face here…) 6…Nbd7 (The most often played move, but is it the best? SF 10 @depth 42 plays 6…h6, as does Komodo 13.1 @depth 45, but the same engine @depth 42 plays the seldom played 6…b6) 7. Qc2 (Komodo 13.01 @depth 42 plays the game move, but Komodo 13.25 @depth 46 would play the most often played move, 7 Rc1) 7…h6 8 Bh4 c6 9 Rd1 (The most often played move, but Komodo 13.2 @depth 42 plays 9 a3) 9…a6 (The programs prefer 9…b6) 10. a3 (By far the most often played move but SF 090519 @depth 29 plays 10 Bd3. Komodo 10.2 @depth 28 plays 10 Be2) 10…b5 (The machines prefer 10…b6) 11. c5 Re8 (SF & Houey play 11…Nh5)
12. Bg3 (The Fish & the Dragon both play 12 Bd3) 12…Nh5 13. Be5 Nhf6 (SF plays 13…f6) 14. Bg3 Nh5 15. Be5 Nhf6 ½-½

Mark Van der Werf (2423) vs Rick Duijker (2222)

NED-ch open 07/25/2003

D11 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, 3.Nf3

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.c4 e6 4.Qc2 Nf6 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 O-O 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Rd1 a6 9.a3 h6 10.Bh4 b5 11.c5 Re8 12.b4 e5 13.dxe5 Ng4 14.Bg3 Bf8 15.Nd4 Ngxe5 16.Be2 Qf6 17.O-O Nc4 18.Bxc4 bxc4 19.e4 Bb7 20.f4 Nxc5 21.e5 Qd8 22.bxc5 Bxc5 23.Bf2 Bxa3 24.Rb1 Qc7 25.Nce2 c5 26.Nf5 d4 27.Qxc4 Qc6 28.Rxb7 Qxb7 29.Nd6 Qd7 30.Nxe8 Qxe8 31.Qb3 Bb4 32.Nxd4 a5 33.Nf5 Qe6 34.Qf3 Ra7 35.Nd6 a4 36.Qc6 a3 37.Bxc5 1-0

Theo D Van Scheltinga vs Johannes Van den Bosch

NED-ch10 1938

D61 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Orthodox defence, Rubinstein variation

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 O-O 7.Qc2 h6 8.Bh4 c6 9.Rd1 a6 10.a3 b5 11.c5 Re8 12.h3 e5 13.dxe5 Nh7 14.Bg3 Bxc5 15.Be2 Ng5 16.Nd4 Bxd4 17.exd4 f6 18.O-O fxe5 19.dxe5 Qb6 20.Kh1 Nc5 21.Bh5 Rf8 22.f4 Nge4 23.Nxe4 Nxe4 24.Bf2 Qc7 25.Bh4 Bf5 26.Qc1 g5 27.fxg5 hxg5 28.Be1 Qh7 29.Qxc6 Qxh5 30.Rxf5 Rxf5 31.Qxa8+ Kg7 32.Rxd5 Rf1+ 33.Kh2 Qf7 34.Rd7 Qxd7 35.Qxe4 Qf7 36.Bg3 Qe6 37.Qb7+ Kh6 38.Qe4 Kg7 39.Be1 Rf4 40.Qb7+ Kg6 41.Bg3 Rc4 42.Qf3 Qc6 43.Qxc6+ Rxc6 44.Be1 Rc2 45.Bc3 Kf5 46.Kg3 a5 47.Kf3 b4 48.axb4 Rxc3+ 49.bxc3 a4 50.b5 Kxe5 51.b6 Kd6 52.b7 Kc7 53.Kg4 a3 54.Kxg5 a2 55.g4 a1=Q 56.h4 Qxc3 57.Kg6 Qc6+ 58.Kg5 Qd7 59.h5 Qg7+ 60.Kf5 Qh6 0-1






GM Alonso Zapata: Professional Chess Player

Grandmaster Alonso Zapata 

is a professional Chess player. He settled in Atlanta seven years ago, coming from Columbia, where he won the Colombian Chess championship eight times. He has been a GM since 1984. He was born in August 1958 and is, therefore a Senior. Alonso Zapata comes to play Chess.

He has played in all kinds of adverse conditions, including one tournament hosted by Thad Rogers

of American Chess Promotions that has become known as one of the latest “Sweat Box Opens.” There was no air conditioning and the conditions were life threatening, but Zapata played, and won the tournament despite the heat and stench emanating from the profusely perspiring players. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/2013-hot-lanta-chess-championship/)

GM Zapata reminds me of IM of GM strength Boris Kogan because he, too, was a professional Chess player. The few times Boris lost in the first round of a tournament he did not withdraw but completed the event, finishing 4-1. He did this because it was his job and he always came to play Chess.

From December 27 through 29, 2019, GM Zapata played in the 49th Atlanta Open, another American Chess Promotions event. He tied for first with NM Matthew Puckett with a score of 4-1, after a second round draw with the up and coming NM Alexander Rutten and a fourth round draw with NM Sanjay Ghatti.

GM Zapata then hit the road traveling to the Charlotte Chess Center to play in the 2020 Charlotte Open, a grueling event of nine rounds played over a five day period from the first to the fifth of January. Because of his age one can question the efficacy of participating in both tournaments. Zapata played in both events because he is a professional Chess player. It is what he is and it is what he does. The GM won five games. Unfortunately, he lost four. There were no draws. He finished in the fifth score group, scoring 5-4. Zapata began with two wins before losing in the third round to the eventual winner of the tournament, IM Brandon Jacobson, young enough to be the grandchild of the GM. One of the most difficult things to do as a Chess player is to come back from a loss. Studies have proven that after the loss of a Chess game the testosterone of a male drops precipitously. This is mitigated somewhat if the next game is the next day, but if there are multiple games in the same day it is a different story. I can recall the time the Ol’ Swindler had been on a roll, winning many games in a row from the beginning of a tournament in New York, ‘back in the day’. The Legendary Georgia Ironman and I encountered the Swindler sitting alone away from the tournament, and were shocked to learn he had lost the previous round and withdrawn. “What?” exclaimed the Ironman. “You still have a chance to win some big money, Neal.” That mattered not to the Swindler because he had lost and simply could not face playing another game that day, or any other, for that matter.

After another win in the next round, versus FM Rohan Talukdar, Zapata the Chess player hit the proverbial wall, losing his next three games. Most Chess players, professional or not, would have withdrawn after the third loss in a row, and no one would have blamed him for withdrawing, but Alonso Zapata is not like most Chess players. Not only did he complete the event but he finished with a flourish by winning his last two games.

My hat is off to Grandmaster Alonso Zapata, who deserves the highest praise. The GM has set a tremendous example for the younger players of Georgia to emulate. The Atlanta area players have been fortunate to have such a fine example residing here and plying his trade. The young up and coming players may not realize it now but they will be much better Chessplayers for simply having been around a man like Alonso Zapata. What a boon he has been for the local Chess community. It is wonderful to have one classy Grandmaster in the Atlanta area. Every player, no matter what age, can learn from Alonso Zapata, just as those of my generation, and younger, learned from IM Boris Kogan. The Grandmaster has shown that it is how you play that matters.

This is the last round game versus Justin Paul,

a Zero born in 2003. The Professional Chess player had to face a Smith-Morra gambit.

2020 Charlotte Open

FM (2249) Justin Paul vs GM Alonso Zapata (2535)

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 d6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O a6 8. Qe2 Be7 9. Rd1 Bd7 10. Bf4 e5 11. Be3 Nf6 12. h3 O-O 13. Bg5 Be6 14. Rac1 Rc8

15. Nd5 Bxd5 16. exd5 Nb8 17. b4 Nbd7 18. Be3 Ne4 19. Nd2 Nxd2 20. Qxd2 f5 21. f4 Bf6 22. Bb3 Rxc1 23. Rxc1 exf4 24. Bxf4 Be5 25. Bg5 Qb6+ 26. Kh1

h6? (26…Nf6) 27. Be3 Qd8 28. Bc2 Qh4 29. Rf1 Qg3 30. Bg1 f4 31. Rf3 Qg5 32. Qd3 Nf6 33. Bf2 Qh5 34. Qf5 Kh8 35. Be1 Qxf5 36. Bxf5 g5 37. Rb3 b5 38. Be6 Ne8 39. Bc8 Nc7 40. Bb7 Kg7 41. Bf2 Re8 42. Kg1 Kf6 43. Rb1 Re7 44. Bb6 Ne6 45. Bxa6 Bd4+ 46. Kf1 Bxb6 47. dxe6 Ra7 48. Bxb5 Rxa2 49. Be2 Rc2 50. Bf3 Kxe6 51. b5 Kd7 52. Bc6+ Kc7 53. Re1 Rf2+ 54. Kg1

54…Be3? (54…d5! )55. Kh2 Rd2 56. Bf3 Kb6 57. Re2 Rd4 58. Rb2 d5 59. h4 Rd3 60. hxg5 hxg5 61. Ra2

61…Bc5? (61…d4) 62. Ra8 Kc7 63. Rg8 Be7 64. Rg7 Kd6 65. b6 Rb3 66. Bxd5=

Kxd5 67. Rxe7 Rxb6 68. Rg7 Rh6+ 69. Kg1 Rh5 70. g4 Rh3 71. Rxg5+ Ke4 72. Ra5 Rb3 73. Kf2 Rb2+ 74. Kf1 f3

75. Ra8??? (The Zero cracks and tosses away the draw with this horrible blunder) 75…Kf4 76. Rf8+ Kg3 77. Re8 0-1

1 e4 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 c3 dxc3 4 Nxc3 Nc6 (Far and away the most often played move, but is it the best? Komodo 19 @depth 34 plays the move, but Komodo 13.02 @depth 36 prefers 4…e6. Stockfish 10 @depth 54 plays 4 d6) 5 Nf3 d6 (SF 10 plays this move but Komodo is high on e6, which happens to be the most often played move according to the ChessBaseDataBase) 6 Bc4 e6 (The most often played move and the choice of Stockfish 310519 @depth 53, but SF 10 @depth 53 and Komodo 10 @depth 34 prefer 6…a6) 7. O-O (The most often played move but the SF program running over at the ChessBomb shows a move near and dear to the AW, 7 Qe2!) 7..a6 (7…Nf6 and 7…Be7 are the top two played moves but two different SF engines prefer the third most often played move, 7…a6 8. Qe2! (SF 050519 @depth 46 plays this move but Komodo 13.02 @depth 44 plays 8 Bf4) 8…Be7 (The only one of the top 3 engines listed at the CBDB, Komodo 10, plays 8…b5. The SF engine at ChessBomb shows 8…Nge7 best) 9. Rd1 Bd7 10. Bf4 e5 11. Be3 Nf6 12. h3 (SF 10 plays 12 Nd5) 12…O-O 13. Bg5 Be6 (The only game with 13 Bg5 shown, Senador vs Nanjo below, shows 13…Rc8. SF 10 would play 13 Rac1)

Emmanuel Senador (2380) vs Ryosuke Nanjo (2165)

Kuala Lumpur op 4th 2007

ECO: B21 Sicilian, Smith-Morra gambit, 2…cxd4 3.c3

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.O-O Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.h3 O-O 13.Bg5 Rc8 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nd5 Be6 16.Rac1 Bg5 17.Rc3 Bh6 18.a3 b5 19.Ba2 Ne7 20.Rxc8 Bxc8 21.Nc3 Qb6 22.Qd3 Nc6 23.Nd5 Qb8 24.g4 g6 25.Nf6+ Kh8 26.g5 Bg7 27.Qxd6 Qa8 28.Bd5 Bb7 29.Nd7 Rd8 30.Bxc6 Bxc6 31.Nfxe5 Bxd7 32.Nxf7+ Kg8 33.Nxd8 Qxd8 34.Qxd7 Qxg5+ 35.Kh1 Bxb2 36.Qe8+ Kg7 37.Rd7+ Kh6 38.Qf8+ 1-0

Kosteniuk Versus Koneru: Learning The Bishop’s Opening Truth

In the sixth round of the Monaco Grand Prix for inferior players of the opposite sex today the prettiest female player currently playing, Alexandra Kosteniuk,

played “The Truth” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/09/22/jeffery-xiong-teaches-the-truth/


https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/the-truth-at-the-ironman-chess-club/) against Humpy Koneru.

Kosteniuk is rated 2495; Koneru 2560. Both players are clearly at least one category below male Grandmasters, and two categories below what are now called “Super Grandmasters.” Yet because they were born female they are battling for big, in Chess terms, money. That is money that should be going to the best players regardless of sexual orientation. Because of rating we know how inferior are women at Chess when compared to men. This begs the question of why women, with only very limited exceptions, such as Hou Yifan,

are inferior to men players.

Kosteniuk (2495) vs Koneru (2560)

FIDE Women’s Grand Prix – Monaco 2019 round 06

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 Be7

(4…d5 is the best move according to both Stockfish and Komodo. The game move is second best. The Stocky shown at the ChessBomb has 4…d5 best, followed by 4…Qc7 and 4…d6) 5 Nc3

(Like Be7, 5 Nc3 is a light blue move. 5 0-0 is the best move) 5…d6 (Komodo 13.2 64-bit @depth 38 at the CBDB likes this move, but going to depth 41 changes it’s whatever and prefers 5…0-0) 6 d4?

(I will admit to being stunned upon seeing this move. It is clearly inferior and I do not need a machine to know this fact. The Stockfish program running at the Bomb shows this move forfeits whatever advantage white had with the first move of the game. Could this have really been Kosteniuk’s opening preparation or was she simply “winging it”? 6 0-0 has been the most often played move but Komodo shows the best move being 6 a4) 6…0-0?

(This is unfathomable. 6…exd4 is the only move. The move played by Humpy is not even shown at the CBDB or 365Chess. There is a reason…)

There is no longer any reason to continue this exercise in futility. It is more than a little obvious one of the reasons women are inferior to men at Chess is their extremely weak opening play. Why women are so weak playing the opening is open to conjecture, but there it is for anyone to see. This game is, unfortunately, not an anomaly.

Alexandra Kosteniuk (2495) – Humpy Koneru (2560)

FIDE Women’s Grand Prix – Monaco 2019 round 06

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Nc3 d6 6. d4 O-O 7. O-O Na6 8. a4 exd4 9. Nxd4 Nb4 10. Re1 Re8 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bh4 d5 13. exd5 Nfxd5 14. Bxe7 Rxe7 15. Rxe7 Qxe7 16. Nxd5 Nxd5 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Qe1 Qe4 19. Qd2 Bd7 20. Re1 Qg6 21. b3 Qd6 22. h3 Rc8 23. Re3 a6 24. Rd3 Qc7 25. c3 Qb6 26. Qf4 Re8 27. Re3 Rxe3 28. Qxe3 Qd6 29. Ne2 a5 30. Qd4 Qg6 31. Kh2 Qe4 32. Qd2 b5 33. axb5 Bxb5 34. Nd4 Bd7 35. Qd1 Qe5+ 36. Kg1 Qc7 37. Qf3 Qe5 38. Qd1 Qc7 39. Qd3 Qe5 40. Qd1 Qc7 ½-½

When it comes to playing Chess it is obvious the top women players are exponentially worse than the top men players, yet women play in separate tournaments with large prize funds because…I have no idea why there are separate tournaments for female players. There should be no tournaments for women only because women should play in OPEN tournaments which are OPEN TO ALL! In that event women would have to elevate their game or battle in the lower sections for a much smaller prize fund. There is not, and has never been, enough prize money in Chess to support inferior players playing for large sums of money which should go to better, and more deserving, Chess players!