Jennifer Yu Losing The Won Game

Ah, the Chess players lament upon losing a won game…This writer has lost his share of so-called “won” games. Truth be told, I have lost more than my share of “won” games, because

After half a century playing Chess there is one particular tournament game that stands out in my memory. The game was with National Master Paul Linxwiler, of the Great State of Tennessee. I bungled the opening and butchered the middle game to the point it was only a matter of time before Paul landed the blow causing me to resign. Fortunately, that blow was not forthcoming. Move after move I had to sit there seeing all these winning moves that were not being made. This went on for many moves and much time. It was TORTURE! I refused to allow the thought that the man would continue to play second and/or third rate moves, but that is just what he did, until finally offering a draw. I broke my hand bringing it from underneath the table to take his proffered hand, metaphorically speaking, of course… When we went over the game I pointed out each and every better move he had not played as Paul sat there shaking his head, mortified at what he was seeing…

Jennifer Yu

had one of those “won” games in the third round of the 2021 US Masters. I was watching the action at, where you get it straight, without analysis or some thermometer type thingamajig bouncing up and down when a move is made. After seeing bad move after bad move being played I will admit to having gone to to check out the, shall we say, ‘colorful’ moves being made by Ms. Yu. It was difficult to believe what was being seen, as Jennifer continued playing weak moves, with a generous supply of what GM Yasser Seiriwan would call “Howlers,” thrown into the mix to keep one amazed. No pleasure was taken seeing her torturous moves being played as I reflected on the Linxwiler game… After playing over the game I understood why Jennifer withdrew from the tournament:

IM Josiah Stearman 2413 (USA) vs WGM Jennifer Yu 2247 (USA)
U.S. Masters 2021 round 03
D19 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch variation

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. e3 e6 7. Bxc4 Bb4 8. O-O Nbd7 9. Qe2 O-O 10. e4 Bg4 11. e5 Nd5 12. Nxd5 cxd5 13. Bd3 Bh5 14. Qe3 Be7 15. a5 Nb8 16. Bd2 a6 17. h3 Nc6 18. g4 Bg6 19. Bxg6 fxg6 20. Ne1 g5 21. Nd3 Qe8 22. Rac1 Qg6 23. f3 Rac8 24. Rc3 Na7 25. f4 Rxc3 26. bxc3 gxf4 27. Qf3 Nc6 28. Ra1 Qe8 29. Qd1 g5 30. Bc1 Qg6 31. Qf3 Bd8 32. Ba3 Bxa5 33. Bxf8 Bxc3 34. Rc1 Bxd4+ 35. Kg2 Kxf8 36. h4 Be3 37. Rc3 Nd4 38. Qd1 Qe4+ 39. Kh3 Nb5 40. Rc8+ Ke7 41. hxg5 Ba7 42. g6 hxg6 43. Kh4 g5+ 1-0
  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. e3 e6 7. Bxc4 Bb4 8. O-O Nbd7 9. Qe2 O-O 10. e4 Bg4 (Although Deep Fritz 13 likes this move, Komodo plays 10…Bg6, as have 1165 humans, compared to the 116 who preferred 10…Bg4) 11. e5? (The ChessBaseDataBase contains only 19 games in which this move has been played; it has only scored 45%. 11 Rd1 has been played 119 times, and is the choice of Stockfish, Komodo, and Houdini while scoring 55% of the time, therefore the question mark) 11…Nd5 12. Nxd5 (Houdini @depth 25 plays 12 h3, as does Stockfish 14 @depth 20. SF 270919 @depth 23 plays 12 Bd2) 12…cxd5 (SF plays12…exd5) 13. Bd3 (Komodo and Fritz play the game move, but SF 11 @depth 23 plays 13 Bb5, a TN) 13…Bh5 (According to the CBDB this move has been played 445 times, which could be a mistake as 365Chess shows only 5 games. SF 13 @depth 37 and SF 221121 @depth 38 both prefer 13…f6. For those of you new to the game, the reason for the move of the f-pawn is to confront the white outpost on e5, which is in your territory and must be dealt with sooner or later, so why not now? Then again, Deep Fritz would play 13…Rc8. The vacillating move made in the game is weak. Allowing your opponent a free move when one begins the game down a move is not to be recommended) 14. Qe3 Be7 15. a5 Nb8 16. Bd2 a6 (Komodo @depth 38 plays this move but SF 240321 @depth 56 plays 16…Nc6) 17. h3 is a TN. (SF & Komodo agree 17 Ne1 is best)

Jan Smejkal (2540) vs Eduard Meduna (2485)
Event: Hradec Kralove
Site: Hradec Kralove
Date: ??/??/1981
Round: 11
ECO: D19 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch variation
1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Qe2 O-O 10.e4 Bg6 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 Be7 15.Bd2 Nb8 16.a5 a6 17.Ne1 Bg6 18.f4 Nc6 19.g4 f5 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Bc3 Qe8 22.Nf3 Bxd3 23.Qxd3 Qg6 ½-½

Elshan Moradiabadi (2485) vs Vadim Malakhatko (2556)
Event: Paris-ch
Site: Paris
Date: 07/16/2005
Round: 8
ECO: D19 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch variation
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Qe2 Bg6 10.e4 O-O 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 Be7 15.Bd2 Nb8 16.a5 a6 17.Ne1 Bg6 18.f4 Nc6 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.Nd3 ½-½

The Chess Game Of The Year: The Raven Versus Lucky Luka

To begin we must enter the time machine and go back…to the blog post of July 15, “2 Qe2, here we go!” (
It had been my intention to post this immediately after the above post, but circumstances changed…This was how the post was to begin:

Raven Sturt Leads Paracin Open

American IM Raven Sturt,h_563,q_75,strp/teen_titans_wallpaper___raven_by_wood3nh3art_d86yawc-fullview.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwiaXNzIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsIm9iaiI6W1t7ImhlaWdodCI6Ijw9NTYzIiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvZmUwZmM5NDktODhkMS00ZmJhLWE5MjktNTRlZjUxMTQ0MDg1XC9kODZ5YXdjLTQ5YjE3ODBlLTcwYzYtNDliMy1iZGY3LWFlMDE0ZDRlZDFhNS5qcGciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9OTAwIn1dXSwiYXVkIjpbInVybjpzZXJ2aWNlOmltYWdlLm9wZXJhdGlvbnMiXX0.B6wqvjrahkCve2pgssVxkXS0odkvup7V_xbA54_01Iw

just moments ago defeated his Grandmaster opponent Luka Budisavljevic (2509)
Lucky Luke : Shoot & Hit (2014) – Jeu vidéo – SensCritique

of Serbia to take sole possession of first place in the Paracin Open taking place in Serbia ( After returning from the grocery store and resting I became enraptured with the game; transfixed for hours while swilling coffee. This was a thrilling game with more vicissitudes than the saga of the Trumpster! At one point I was yelling out loud, “Oh NO, Mr. Bill!!!” There were other moves that brought out a, “YES!” There may even have been a, “Take that, Luka!” There were times where I was pumping my fist and then feeling deflated like a balloon…You know it was one hellofa fight when the winner comes out looking like this:
Raven Sturt

As in pugilism when two players decide to fight it out in lieu of agreeing to a pusillanimous draw there is the combatant who lost the game,

but he is no loser because the only losers are those who do not play, because, as the song by Jackson Browne says: “The only time that seems too short/Is the time that we get to play” (

I have been following Raven Sturt for the first five rounds of the Paracin Open. What can I say? Raven is carrying the colors in a foreign land, and has been playing some good Chess that has been worth watching. I got caught up in the game and had a wonderful time today, the first in a week!
I wish the game had been at The Week In Chess ( because although it appeared at and, I would prefer to watch a game without any kind of commentary or analysis. One can block the analysis at Chess24, but there is some white thing that moves around informing you of how good, or bad is the move. I cut a piece of cardboard and taped it on the computer screen to block out the needless, and useless moving thingamajig…Why is it necessary to go through those contortions?

After the Z Man’s 2 Qe2 put down the young Ravi Haria my complete attention was focused on the Raven’s game with Lucky Luka. Watching the two games was about all I did that day, and I am still here to tell you that I am a fortunate man to have been able to do so…What can I say? I got into it like watching Joe Frazier battle the G.O.A.T., Muhammad Ali.

The game transpired in at the Paracin Open in Serbia.
Great location

Paracin has excellent location in the middles of Serbia. Distance from Belgrade Airport is app. 170 km and from Nis Airport app. 80 km. We  can offer transfer to all interested participants.

I urge you to play over this game and THINK FOR YOURSELF. Break out the Chess board and move the pieces around while you take notes before going to one of the aforementioned websites and being spoon fed…You will learn more and be better for it in the long run…

These are the combatants:

I’m Luka Budisavljevic, the youngest Serbian Grandmaster ever. I fulfilled the conditions for GM Title at the age of 16. I was Serbian youth champion 6 times (U8 to U14) from 2012 to 2017 and Serbian U20 vice champion twice, at the age of 14 and 15. I represented Serbia on numerous European and World youth chess championships, as well as U16 World Youth Olympiads 2018 and 2019.

I’m IM Raven Sturt from the USA. I like chess, working out, and learning languages. Some career highlights include making International Master in 2017 and being the most recent (2019) champion of the Catalan Circuit. Currently some of my goals are to make Grand Master, learn Turkish, and, Corona-permitting, doing the 2021 Iron Man. (
Montclair Sopranos – PRO CHESS LEAGUE

IM Raven Sturt (2500) USA vs GM Luka Budisavljevic (2509) GM SRB

Paracin Open 2021 round 06

A61 Benoni, Nimzovich (knight’s tour) variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 d6 5. Nc3 exd5 6. cxd5 g6 7. Nd2 Bg7 8. e4 O-O 9. Be2 Re8 10. O-O a6 11. a4 Nbd7 12. Re1 Ne5 13. f4 Neg4 14. Bf3 h5 15. Nc4 Nh7 16. Bxg4 Bxg4 17. Qd3 Bd4+ 18. Be3 Qf6 19. h3 Bd7 20. Nb6 Bxe3+ 21. Qxe3 Rad8 22. Rad1 Qg7 23. Nc4 Bc8 24. Qg3 f6 25. a5 Kh8 26. Kh2 g5 27. f5 Qe7 28. Kg1 Rg8 29. Re3 h4 30. Qh2 Rg7 31. Rde1 Qc7 32. Kh1 Qe7 33. R1e2 Rgg8 34. Kg1 Rg7 35. Kf1 Rgg8 36. Ke1 Rg7 37. Kd2 Nf8 38. Kc2 Nh7 39. Re1 Qc7 40. Kc1 Qe7 41. Rh1 Qf8 42. g3 Bd7 43. gxh4 Bb5 44. Nb6 gxh4 45. Qf2 Qe7 46. Qxh4 Qe5 47. Rf3 Rdg8 48. Rd1 Rg1 49. Qf2 R1g2 50. Qe3 Qh2 51. Nba4 Rc2+ 52. Kb1 Rgg2 53. Ka1 Qe5 54. Rg1 Bxa4 55. Rxg2 Rxg2 56. Nxa4 Qe8 57. Nc3 Qd8 58. Rg3 Qxa5+ 59. Kb1 Rxg3 60. Qxg3 Qc7 61. h4 Qe7 62. Qe3 Nf8 63. Ne2 Kh7 64. Nf4 Nd7 65. Ne6 Ne5 66. Qb3 b5 67. Qa3 Qa7 68. Qa5 Nf7 69. h5 c4 70. Qe1 Ne5 71. Qg3 Qe7 72. Qa3 Qf7 73. Qxa6 Qxh5 74. Qb7+ Nf7 75. Ka2 c3 76. bxc3 Kh6 77. Qxb5 Qd1 78. Ka3 Qa1+ 79. Kb4 Qb2+ 80. Ka5 Qxc3+ 81. Ka6 Qc8+ 82. Qb7 Qe8 83. Qc6 Qe7 84. Qc3 Ng5 85. Qg3 Kh7 86. Qh4+ Kg8 87. Qf4 Kf7 88. Qh4 Kg8 89. Kb6 Qe8 90. Nxg5 Qd8+ 91. Kc6 fxg5 92. Qh5 Qc8+ 93. Kxd6 Qd8+ 94. Ke6 Qc8+ 95. Kf6 Qd8+ 96. Kg6 Qe8+ 97. Kxg5 Qe7+ 98. Kf4 Qc7+ 99. Kg4 Qc2 100. Kg5 Qc1+ 101. Kg6 Qc7 102. f6 Qd7 103. Qf5 Qf7+ 104. Kg5 Kh8 105. Qh3+ Kg8 106. Qe6 Kh8 107. Qe7 Qg6+ 108. Kxg6 1-0
  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 (There is a battle between Stockfish 13, Stockfish 14, and Stockfish 110521, as to the best third move. SF 13 @depth 64, and SF 14 @depth 55, play the game move, but SF110521 going about as deep as possible without blowing circuits, all the way to depth 73, would play 3 Nc3) 3…c5 (According to the CBDB SF 13 @depth 75 would play 3…d5, but going down one more fathom it changes its computing, switching to 3…b6. Go figure…) 4. d5 d6 (Two different Stockfish programs and Deep Fritz all play 4…b5, which oughta tell you something…) 5. Nc3 exd5 6. cxd5 g6 7. Nd2 (Komodo, Fritz & Deep Fritz all play 7 Bf4. No word from the Fish…) 7…Bg7 8. e4 O-O 9. Be2 Re8 (SF 11 @depth 45 plays this move, but the same program going 3 ply deeper changes to 9…Ne8. Meanwhile, SF 080121 @depth 52 plays 9…Na6) 10. O-O a6 (Komodo plays the most often played move, 10…Nbd7; Two different SF programs prefer 10…Na6) 11. a4 Nbd7 (SF 310720 & Fritz 15 play this, but SF 12 would play 11…h6, a move not contained in the CBDB) 12. Re1 (SF 280421 @depth 50 shows 12 h3; SF 310720 @depth 42 plays 12 f3. There are only 15 examples of this move in the CBDB) 12…Ne5 (SF plays this; Komodo prefers 12…Rb8) 13. f4 (SF 10 @depth 37 plays 13 Nf1; SF 12 @depth 29 gives 13 h3) 13…Neg4 14. Bf3 h5 (Although recommended by Stockfish there are no games with this move having been played contained in the CBDB) 15. Nc4 Nh7 (TN)

Gheorghiu, Florin (2535) vs Liu Wenzhe (2400)
Event: Luzern ol (Men)
Site: Luzern Date:1982
Round: 5
ECO: A61 Benoni, Nimzovich (knight’s tour) variation

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.Nd2 Nbd7 8.e4 Bg7 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O Re8 11.a4 Ne5 12.Re1 a6 13.f4 Neg4 14.Bf3 h5 15.Nc4 Nxe4 16.Rxe4 Bd4+ 17.Rxd4 cxd4 18.Ne4 Qh4 19.Ncxd6 Qxh2+ 20.Kf1 Bf5 21.Nxf5 gxf5 22.Nf2 d3 23.Qxd3 h4 24.Qxf5 Qg1+ 0-1

Dedicated to the Legendary Georgia Ironman

Cowardly Chess

I had not intended to post today because there are book reviews to write and games being played all over the world to follow, which is marvelous. Unfortunately, some of the games being contested are anything but marvelous. For example, take this just ended game:

Nils Grandelius (2670)

vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek (2687)

Prague International Chess Festival Masters 2021 round 05

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. a4 Bd7 10. Bc2 Re8 11. Re1 h6 12. Nbd2 Bf8 13. h3 Rb8 14. axb5 axb5 15. Nf1 b4 16. Ng3 bxc3 17. bxc3 Ra8 18. Rb1 d5 19. Bb3 dxe4 20. Nxe4 Be6 21. Be3 Nd5 22. Bd2 Nb6 23. Bc2 Nd5 24. Ba4 Bd7 25. Bb3 Nf6 26. Ng3 Bd6 27. Qc2

The game ended after: 27…Be6 28. Ba4 Bd7 29. Bb3 Be6 30. Ba4 Bd7 31. Bb3 ½-½

The pawn structure is unbalanced and White has a slight edge. You know it, I know it, the players know it, and so does the Stockfish program at Do you think Magnus Carlsen,

famous for grinding out wins from a position such as the above, would have agreed to make a three time repetition? Me neither, which is why these two cowardly lions

are local heroes and not playing for the World Championship as is Magnus Carlsen.

What if Chess decided to adopt the Ko rule seen in the magnificent game of Go, or Wei Chi? ( Repeating a position is simply not allowed, which is one of the reasons Go is a much better game than is Chess. The idea of offering a draw is anathema when playing Go!

What if only 1/4 point was awarded to each player in the above game, and in each and every game that was drawn? How many “buddy-buddy” draws would be seen then? Just asking…

What if a Chess player only received payment for winning? Just wondering…

Caruana Fires Qe2 at the Berlin Wall!

I give Fabiano Caruana

full credit for trying something considered different against the dreaded Berlin defense,

especially when the move was previously played by none other than Bobby Fischer!

In an article at Chess24, Superbet Chess Classic 5: Shakh attack!, by Colin McGourty, one finds: “The other games in Round 5 of the Superbet Chess Classic were all drawn, with Fabiano Caruana’s 8.Qe2!? against the Berlin Defence the only one that’s likely to be remembered.”

“Anish Giri

had in the previous round explained that his Chessable course on the Sicilian Dragon had come about through some desperate brainstorming over how to win on demand with the black pieces in the Candidates Tournament.”

Whoa! Let us stop right there in the middle of a well written paragraph by Mr. McGourty for some editorial comment. Anish Giri playing the Dragon?! ‘Back in the day’ it was said that books about the Dragon variation were, “written in disappearing ink” because the theory was rapidly changing. Isn’t “Giri” and “win on demand” with either color, but especially black, oxymoronic? Over at the ChessBomb this was found at the “chat” during the second round games:

bobp55: Done – 3 draws today so far. So that’s 8 for 8 in the tourney.
lentil: Amish Girl will always find the draw.
GiriWillFindTheDraw: of course he will (

Like it or not Mr. Giri has the reputation of being his generations Master of the Draw. The only thing Anish can do to eradicate the reputation is win the World Championship, as did a previous Grandmaster with a reputation as a drawing master, Tigran Petrosian.

Unfortunately, putting up the Berlin wall will do nothing to eradicate his reputation and the drawmeister.

We return to the paragraph by Colin: “Perhaps some similar logic had gone into a way to surprise someone in that most solid of all variations, the Berlin Defence. Just when queens were about to leave the board for the infamous ending, Fabi veered off course with 8.Qe2!?, a move almost 30 times less popular.”

The game can be found at Chess24, and a plethora of other websites on the web, so I will present other games to complement the Chess24 article. First we will begin with a picture of Bobby Fischer playing Neikirkh, at Portorož 1958, posted by Douglas Griffin @dgriffinchess at Twitter:

Fischer, Robert James vs Neikirkh, Oleg
Event: Portoroz Interzonal
Site: Portoroz Date: ??/??/1958
Round: 1
ECO: C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence, open variation

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qe2 Nd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Nc3 Bg4 11.Qe3 Qxe3 12.Bxe3 Bb4 13.Ne4 Bf5 14.c3 Bxe4 15.cxb4 a5 16.bxa5 Rxa5 ½-½

Qe2 can and has been played on the fifth move:

Nepomniachtchi, Ian (2792) vs Radjabov, Teimour (2765)
Event: FTX Crypto Cup KO 2021
Site: INT Date: 05/30/2021
Round: 3.12
ECO: C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence, open variation

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Qe2 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.Qxe5+ Qe7 8.Qa5 Qd8 9.Qe5+ Qe7 10.Qa5 Qd8 11.Qe5+ ½-½

Although played with much less time for the game at the Crypto (Didn’t that stuff kill Superman?) Cup, it would have fit right in at the Superbet what with the “New Rule” in place at this tournament:

To promote competitive play during all GCT events, it will not be permitted for players to offer or agree to a draw in any game of a 2021 GCT event, including playoff games. In the event of a claim for a draw under Article 9.2 of the Laws (three-fold repetition) or under Article 9.3 of the Laws (50 move rule), one of the Event Arbiters must be asked by the players to verify the claim.

As Mr. Mr. McGourty wrote earlier:

“That doesn’t stop draws by 3-fold repetition of the position, however, which is how all the games were drawn in Round 2.”

Giri is not the only Grandmaster who will find a way…

Here is another game, a real rarity, played with Oe2 on the fifth move:

Naiditsch, Arkadij (2727) vs Akopian, Vladimir (2681)
Event: World Teams 2013
Site: Antalya TUR Date: 12/02/2013
Round: 6.3
ECO: C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence, open variation

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Qe2 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.Qxe5+ Qe7 8.Qa5 Qd8 9.Qc3 Be6 10.Re1 Qd7 11.Ng5 O-O-O 12.Nxe6 fxe6 13.d3 Be7 14.Nd2 Bf6 15.Qb3 Nf5 16.Ne4 Be7 17.Bd2 Qd5 18.Bc3 Rhe8 19.Re2 b5 20.Ng3 Nxg3 21.hxg3 Bf6 22.Bxf6 gxf6 23.Qc3 e5 24.a4 a6 25.axb5 axb5 26.Ra7 Kd7 27.Qa5 Rc8 28.Re4 Re7 29.Qd2 Rg8 30.c4 Qd6 31.Rh4 e4 32.cxb5 cxb5 33.Qa5 Rg5 34.dxe4 Rc5 35.Kh2 Qd3 36.Qe1 Rc2 37.Ra1 Qe2 38.Qb4 Qxf2 39.Qxb5+ c6 40.Qb7+ Ke6 41.Qc8+ Kd6 42.e5+ Kxe5 43.Rh5+ f5 44.Ra5+ Ke4 45.Rh4+ Ke3 46.Ra3+ Ke2 47.Qa6+ Ke1 48.Ra1+ Kd2 49.Qa5+ 1-0

Here is a game located at the ChessBaseDataBase, which is an even more rare event in the Berlin world, a win with black!

N. Illijan (2290) vs D. Sifrer (2240)

SLO chT 1993

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qe2 Nd4 9. Nxd4 Qxd4 10. h3 Be6 11. Rd1 Qc4 12. Rd3 Be7 13. b3 Qh4 14. Bg2 Bg5 15. Rd4 g4 16. Ba3 Rd8 17. Rxd8+ Bxd8 18. hxg4 h5 19. g5 Rg8 20. Bc1 Bxg5 21. Nd2 Bf4 22. Qf3 Bd5 23. Ne4 Bxe4 24. Qxf4 Rxg2+ 25. Kf1 Rg1+ 0-1

Now a couple of games found only after a trip in the Wayback time machine:

Mr Peabody's Wayback Machine |

Mackenzie, George Henry vs Riemann, Fritz
Event: DSB-04.Kongress
Site: Hamburg Date: ??/??/1885
Round: 4
ECO: C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d4 Nxe4 5.O-O Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qe2 Nd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.c3 Qh4 11.Be3 Be6 12.Nd2 Be7 13.f4 Bf5 14.Nf3 Qh5 15.Qf2 O-O 16.h3 Qg6 17.Kh2 h5 18.Rad1 Rfd8 19.Bd4 Rd7 20.Rde1 Rd5 21.c4 Rdd8 22.b3 b6 23.e6 fxe6 24.Ne5 Qe8 25.g4 hxg4 26.hxg4 Bxg4 27.Rh1 Bf6 28.Nxg4 Bxd4 29.Qc2 Qh5+ 30.Kg3 Qf5 31.Qe2 Rd6 32.Rh5 Qxh5 33.Nf6+ Bxf6 34.Qxh5 Rad8 35.c5 Rd2 36.Re2 R2d3+ 37.Kg2 R3d5 38.Qg4 Rxc5 39.Qxe6+ Kf8 40.Kf3 Rh5 41.Qxc6 Rh3+ 42.Kg4 Rh4+ 43.Kf5 Rh5+ 44.Kg4 Rh4+ ½-½

Mackenzie, George Henry vs Berger, Johann Nepomuk
Event: DSB-04.Kongress
Site: Hamburg Date: ??/??/1885
Round: 6 Score: ½-½
ECO: C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d4 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.O-O Nd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Kh1 Be7 11.Nc3 Be6 12.Rd1 Qc4 13.Qe1 Rd8 14.Be3 O-O 15.b3 Qa6 16.Rxd8 Rxd8 17.Ne2 Bf5 18.c4 Qa3 19.Nd4 Bg6 20.f4 Bc5 21.Qf2 Bxd4 22.Bxd4 Bf5 23.h3 b6 24.Re1 Qa5 25.Rc1 Qa3 26.Be3 Qe7 27.g4 Be4+ 28.Kh2 c5 29.Re1 Bb7 30.Bc1 Rd3 31.Be3 h6 32.Qg3 Qd7 33.f5 Qc6 34.Qf2 Qf3 35.Qxf3 Bxf3 36.Bf4 Rd7 37.Kg3 Bb7 38.h4 Rd3+ 39.Be3 Kf8 40.Kf4 g6 41.e6 Ke7 42.exf7 Kxf7 43.g5 h5 44.Ke5 gxf5 45.Kxf5 Rd6 46.Kf4 Bc8 47.Rf1 Kg6 48.Kg3 Bf5 49.Bf4 Rd3+ 50.Kf2 Rd4 ½-½

Cheating and Collusion in Charlotte?

The Memorial Day 2021 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational, held over the Memorial day holiday, May 27-31, 2021, two separate and distinct Chess tournaments were held at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. The Grandmaster event was written about yesterday. The International Master event is the focus of this post.

One of the participants in the IM event, Nikolay Andrianov,

played as an International Master from Russia. These are the “games” played by the IM at the CCC&SA in the IM event:

NM Dominique Myers (1985) vs IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 01

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 ½-½

NM Eddy Tian (2204) vs IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 02

d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. a4 Bd7 9. Ne5 Bc6 10. Nxc6 Nxc6 11. e3 Na5 12. Nd2 c5 13. Nxc4 cxd4 14. Nxa5 Qxa5 15. Bxb7 Rab8 16. Bf3 Rfc8 17. Qe2 Bc5 18. Bd2 Qb6 19. exd4 Bxd4 20. Bf4 Qxb2 21. Bxb8 Qxe2 22. Bxe2 Bxa1 23. Rxa1 Rxb8 24. Bxa6 Ra8 25. Bb5 Ra5 26. Kf1 Nd5 27. Rc1 Kf8 28. Rc6 Ke7 29. Ke2 Kd8 30. Rd6+ Kc8 31. Kd3 Nc7 32. Bd7+ Kb8 33. Kc4 Rf5 34. Rb6+ Ka7 35. Rb2 Na6 36. Bb5 Rc5+ 37. Kd4 Rd5+ 38. Kc4 Rc5+ 39. Kb3 Nc7 40. Kb4 Rc1 41. Bd3 Nd5+ 42. Ka3 f5 43. Rc2 Ra1+ 44. Kb3 Rb1+ 45. Rb2 Rc1 46. Bb5 Rc3+ 47. Ka2 e5 48. Rd2 Rc5 49. Kb3 Rc3+ 50. Kb2 Rc5 51. Bd7 g6 52. Be6 Nb6 53. Kb3 e4 54. Bg8 h6 55. Kb4 Re5 56. a5 Nc8 57. Rd7+ Kb8 58. a6 Ne7 59. Bc4 Nc6+ 60. Kc3 e3 61. fxe3 Rxe3+ 62. Kd2 Re7 63. Rd6 Ne5 64. Bb5 Nf3+ 65. Kc3 Nxh2 66. Bc6 g5 67. Kc4 Ka7 68. Kb5 Rc7 69. Rd8 Rxc6 70. Kxc6 Nf3 71. Kb5 f4 72. gxf4 gxf4 73. Rd7+ Ka8 74. Kb6 1-0

IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365) vs FM Robby Adamson (2250)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 03

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. O-O d6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 ½-½

IM Alexander Matros (2373) vs Nikolay Andrianov (2365)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 04

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 6. d3 ½-½

IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365) vs NM Matan Prilleltensky (2136)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 05

  1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. dxc5 Ng8 ½-½

IM Roberto Abel Martin Del Campo Cardenas (2290) vs IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 06

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 ½-½

IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365) vs FM Carlos Sandoval Mercado (2252)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 07

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. c4 ½-½

FM Vincent Tsay (2285) vs IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 08

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 a6 7. Ne5 e6 8. e3 Nxe5 9. Bxe5 Be7 10. Bd3 O-O 11. O-O b5 12. a4 b4 13. Nb1 a5 14. Nd2 Bd6 15. Qc2 Ba6 16. Bxa6 Rxa6 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. Rfc1 e5 19. dxe5 Qxe5 20. Nf3 Qh5 21. Qd3 Raa8 22. Rc6 h6 23. h3 Ne4 24. Rac1 Rfd8 25. Rc7 Qf5 26. R1c6 Rd7 27. Rxd7 Qxd7 28. Qb5 Qf5 29. Rc7 Ng5 30. Nxg5 hxg5 31. Qd7 Qxd7 32. Rxd7 Rc8 33. Rxd5 Rc1+ 34. Kh2 Rc2 35. Kg3 f6 36. b3 Rc3 37. Rxa5 Rxb3 38. Rb5 Rb2 39. a5 b3 40. a6 Ra2 41. Rxb3 Rxa6 42. h4 gxh4+ 43. Kxh4 Ra2 44. Kg3 Ra7 45. e4 Kf7 46. Rb5 g5 47. Rb4 Ra2 48. f3 Kg6 49. Kh3 Ra6 50. Kg4 Ra2 51. g3 Ra6 52. Rb5 Rc6 53. Rd5 Ra6 54. Rf5 Re6 55. Ra5 Rb6 56. Ra3 Re6 57. Re3 Re5 58. Rd3 Re6 59. Kh3 Ra6 60. Rd2 Rb6 61. Kg2 Ra6 62. Kf2 Ra3 63. Rd6 Kf7 64. Rb6 Rc3 65. Rb5 Kg6 66. g4 Rc2+ 67. Ke3 Rc3+ 68. Ke2 Ra3 69. Rd5 Kf7 70. Rd3 Ra2+ 71. Ke3 Ra4 72. Rb3 Ra6 73. Kd3 Ra4 74. Rb7+ Kg6 75. Rd7 Ra3+ 76. Ke2 Rb3 77. Rd3 Rb2+ 78. Ke3 Rb4 79. Rd5 Rb3+ 80. Kf2 Rb2+ 81. Kg3 Re2 82. Rf5 Kg7 83. e5 Rxe5 84. Rxe5 fxe5 85. Kf2 Kf6 86. Ke3 Ke7 87. Kd3 Kd7 88. Kc3 Kc7 89. Kb3 Kb7 90. Kc3 Kc7 91. Kb3 Kd6 92. Kc4 e4 93. fxe4 Ke5 94. Kd3 Kf4 95. Kd4 Kxg4 96. e5 Kf5 97. Kd5 g4 ½-½

IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365) vs FM Doug Eckert (2165)

Charlotte CLT IM 2021 round 09

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 ½-½

Here is the deal…The creek began emanating a malodorous scent during the second round but by the penultimate round the stench was stinging and overwhelming the olfactory region. Granted, some of the Russian players have been known to bend the rules to the breaking point, often not only shattering the bat but breaking it into two pieces. As has been heard by more than one or two players in the last round when two Russian players were paired and a full point was needed to garner the most prize money, “One of us had an accident. Today it was me, tomorrow it will be him!” Spend enough time late into the night at the bar with Igor and the guys and one learns much about the Russian way to play Chess…

I can only speculate, but could it be that NM Eddy Tian refused the draw offer of the Russian? But what the hell happened in the eight round? According to the moves given at the ChessBomb, the game ( between FM Vincent Tsay (2285) vs IM Nikolay Andrianov (2365) was a well played, evenly matched game until the IM lost his mind and played 92…e4, a bright RED MOVE! The move is so bad that it throws away the draw and loses on the spot! Yet the game ENDED IN A DRAW after the IM made his 97th move. Why? The position is, as Sherlock Holmes would say, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” The Stockfish program at the ChessBomb gives these move: (98. e6 Kg6 99. Kd6 g3 100. e7 Kf7 101. Kd7 Kf6 102. e8=Q Kf5 103. Qe3 g2 104. Kd6 g1=Q 105. Qxg1 Ke4 106. Qg3 Kd4 107. Qe1 Kc4 108. Qe3 Kb4 109. Qd3 Ka5 110. Kc5 Ka4 111. Qe3 Ka5 112. Qa3#)
Why would Mr. Tsay agree to a draw in a won position? Even the 1400 rated Coach Steve would be able to demonstrate the win!

Now things begin to get really strange…I went to the FIDE website and located a “Nikolay” Andrianov, a male born in 1962. His federation is “Russia.” His FIDE ID number is: 24125482. He is rated 1862! (

There is another player from Russia with almost the same name, one “Nikolai” Andrianov, born in 1961, who is an International Master with a rating of 2359. His FIDE ID is: 4101642 (

There is no picture included on either FIDE webpage.

Will the real Nikolay Andrianov please stand up?

Polish (Sokolsky) Versus Dutch!

At the 365Chess Chess Opening Explorer we find an “Engine Eval.” for the top seven moves played against the “A00 Polish (Sokolsky) opening.” 1…f5 is the eighth most often played move, with 57 games in the database.

Gabriel Barandiaran 1834 vs Alvaro Guerrero 2094

Duchamp Cup 2020 round 09

1. b4 f5 2. Bb2 Nf6 3. Nf3 c6 4. e3 d5 5. c4 e6 6. c5 b6 7. d4 a5 8. a3 Be7 9. Ne5 O-O 10. Be2 Qc7 11. Nd2 Na6 12. cxb6 Qxb6 13. Qa4 axb4 14. Qxc6 Rb8 15. a4 Qa7 16. Bb5 Rb6 17. Qc2 Nb8 18. O-O Ba6 19. Bxa6 Rxa6 20. Rfc1 Bd6 21. Ndf3 Ne4 22. Ne1 f4 23. exf4 Bxe5 24. dxe5 Rxf4 25. Nd3 Rf8 26. Qc7 Nd2 27. Qxa7 Rxa7 28. Nc5 Kf7 29. Bd4 Rc7 30. a5 Nc4 31. a6 Nc6 32. Nb3 Ra8 33. f4 Kg6 34. Bc5 Kf5 35. g3 g5 36. fxg5 Kxg5 37. Bd6 Rca7 38. Nc5 N6xe5 39. Nxe6+ Kf6 40. Nc7 Nxd6 41. Nxd5+ Kg5 42. Nxb4 Nf5 43. Ra5 Nf3+ 44. Kf2 Nd4 45. g4 Kxg4 46. Rg1+ Kh4 47. Rga1 Kg5 48. Re1 Kg6 49. Re4 Rb8 50. Nd5 Rb2+ 51. Ke1 Nf3+ 52. Kd1 N5d4 53. Nf4+ Kf7 54. Kc1 Rc2+ 55. Kd1 Rd2+ 0-1

1 b4 f5 2 Bb2 (e3 SF) Nf6 3 Nf3 (SF 10 @depth 34 shows 3 e3, but going deeper to depth 40 prefers 3 b5, a TN) 3…c6
(SF 3…e6)

The only other game found with 3…c6

Camilla Baginskaite (2336) vs Michael Aigner (2263)
Franett mem San Francisco  01/03/2005
A04 Reti v Dutch

1.Nf3 f5 2.b4 Nf6 3.Bb2 c6 4.c4 d6 5.d4 g6 6.g3 Bg7 7.Bg2 O-O 8.O-O Na6 9.Qb3 Nc7 10.a4 Ne4 11.b5 c5 12.e3 Ne8 13.Nbd2 N8f6 14.Rad1 Qc7 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Nd2 Be6 17.d5 Nxd2 18.Rxd2 Bd7 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qc3+ Rf6 21.a5 Rf8 22.Rfd1 Kg8 23.f4 R8f7 24.Re1 Qd8 25.Rde2 Qf8 26.e4 fxe4 27.Rxe4 Qg7 28.Qe3 Kf8 29.h3 h5 30.Kh2 Bc8 31.Re6 Ke8 32.h4 Kd8 33.Bh3 Bd7 34.Re2 Qf8 35.Bg2 Rg7 36.Qc3 Bc8 37.Bh3 Bd7 38.Rxf6 Qxf6 39.Qxf6 exf6 40.Be6 Re7 41.f5 gxf5 42.Kg2 Bxe6 43.dxe6 Rg7 44.Rf2 Ke7 45.Rxf5 Rh7 46.a6 b6 47.Kf3 Kxe6 48.Ke4 Rh8 49.Rd5 Rh7 50.Rf5 Rh8 51.Rd5 Rh7 ½-½

The Immoral Chess Game

The 2019 Jerusalem Grand Prix began yesterday. Every game was drawn. The following “game”, and I use the word loosely,  was the first to finish.

Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Boris Gelfand

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. Bc4 Be7 5. d3 d6 6. Nd2 Nf6 7. Nd5 O-O 8. Nf1 Nxd5 9. Bxd5 Be6 10. Ne3 ½-½

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 (SF 10 @depth 60 plays the game move; SF 180516 @depth 42 plays 3…e6, the most often played move. Komodo prefers 3…g6) 4. Bc4 Be7 (SF 10 @depth 49 plays the move in the game, while SF 261119 prefers 4…d6) 5. d3 d6 (Houdini plays this move but Stockfish prefers 5…Nf6) 6. Nd2 (Houdini plays the most often played move according to the CBDB, 6 0-0. Stockfish 10 plays the seldom played 6 h3) 6…Nf6 (SF 8 @depth 39 plays the game move, but SF 220619 @depth 50 prefers 6…Bg5. See Petrosian vs Smirnov below) 7. Nd5 (This is a TN. 7 Nf1 is the choice of Stockfish and 99% of human players. There must be a reason…)

Tigran L Petrosian (2573) vs Pavel Smirnov (2623)

Event: EU-Cup 22nd

ECO: B30 Sicilian defence

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Bc4 Be7 5.d3 d6 6.Nd2 Bg5 7.h4 Bh6 8.Qh5 Qd7 9.Nd5 Rb8 10.c3 Qd8 11.Ne3 Qf6 12.Ndf1 Nge7 13.Ng4 Bxg4 14.Qxg4 Bxc1 15.Rxc1 b5 16.Bb3 c4 17.Bc2 cxd3 18.Bxd3 b4 19.cxb4 Nxb4 20.Bb1 Nxa2 21.Bxa2 Rxb2 22.Rc8+ Nxc8 23.Qxc8+ Qd8 24.Qc6+ Ke7 25.Qd5 Qc8 26.Bc4 Rb1+ 27.Ke2 Qe6 28.Ne3 Rb2+ 29.Kf3 Rc8 30.Ra1 Qxd5 31.Nxd5+ Kd8 32.Bd3 Rb7 33.h5 Rc5 34.Ra6 Kd7 35.g3 f5 36.Ke3 g5 37.h6 f4+ 38.Kf3 Rb3 39.Rxa7+ Kd8 40.Kg4 Rxd3 41.Rxh7 fxg3 42.fxg3 Rc4 43.Rh8+ 1-0

What the fans of the Royal game thought about the Nepo v Gelfand game can be found in the “chat” section of the ChessBomb:

1UpliftMofo: first!
Manolo: Go Boris ! Pas de cadeau !
190tkc: Boris!!
shtighnits: Congrats. This game was a real masterpiece.
Owy: inspiring game
VLADACVAL: bad, Ian, very bad
VSyl23: Ian is really not Candidates material…
Owy: maybe we can call this “Gelfand’s immortal”?
LeVieuxKorsoerer: Rather “Gelfand’s immoral one”
LeVieuxKorsoerer: But Ian is to blame all the same
shtighnits: Games like these should be sent to all organizers and financial supporters of chess tournaments.
Arbitru: Fighting spirit…
Feanor: Nepo n’a pas l’air motivé
Bonifratz: brilliancy prize candidate
da96103: Ian draws so fast with white? He needs at least 11 points from this tourney, or is he counting on the wildcard.
Sasori: nepo just wants to go to rapid as quickly as possbile, needs to win event
kosnik: Nepo will be the wild card
rofl: he’s just trying to avoid trouble in Israel
Seneca: What an absolute shame!
shtighnits: My sixty miserable draws.

New In Chess magazine, still the best Chess magazine on the planet, posed this question to Simen Agdestein in the “Just Checking” section that ends every issue:

If you could change any thing in the chess world, what would it be?

Simen Agdestein: “Stop agreed draws. That’s match-fixing and cheating and not OK.”


Ian Nepomniachtchi Interview: ‘I Dislike Players Who Buy And Sell Games’‎










Chess Death By Draw

Dubov, Daniil – Dominguez Perez, Leinier

Netanya Chess Festival Masters 2019 round 08

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxc4 5. e4 c5 6. Bxc4 h6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. d5 exd5 9. Bxd5 Be7 10. Nc3 Nc6 11. O-O ½-½

WhiteIsClearlyBetter: Vamos Leinier!

BlauerBauer: Daniil seems to have no motivation to fight for the tournament victory.

botvinnik64: strange…

BlauerBauer: Penultimate round, the young reigning Rapid World Champion has white ag. the tournament leader…

BlauerBauer: …and draws after 11 moves.

BlauerBauer: Why is there not more sponsorship for chess??? :-))

agant: amen