The Rest Of The Story

Kudos to Walter High for finding the answer to this conundrum!

From: Walter High

Walter High with his organiser ‘hat’ on | Photo: Davide Nastasio

To: Michael Bacon

Jan 19 at 9:14 PM

Hello Michael,

I believe I have solved the confusion about the questionable Paul/Zapata game in round 9. First a correction for GM Zapata: he identified the tournament as the 2020 NC Open when, in fact, it was the 2020 Charlotte Open. The 2020 NC Open will take place in August! Now, on to the problem of the mysterious game score which is denied by GM Zapata. When I began to review the game that ChessBomb posted for Paul/Zapata game (based on the DGT board record), it bore absolutely no resemblance to the game that GM Zapata has submitted to you. It clearly is not a matter of an error in score-keeping or a DGT board mis-recording of the moves. They are completely different games.

I went back and looked at the board next to Paul/Zapata which was Grant Xu/Christopher Yoo. Lo and behold: that game also matched move for move the game that ChessBomb used for Paul/Zapata. It appears that somehow the Xu/Yoo game got pasted on top of the Paul/Zapata game, thus erasing the true game score of Paul/Zapata and moves for the Xu/Yoo game were used as the DGT record for both matches. I am copying Peter Giannatos, Grant Oen, and Anand Dommalapati who were operating the DGT boards. They can follow your link below and see the true game score as submitted by GM Zapata. Maybe they can paste it into the results, or possibly Paul/Zapata will just have to be deleted from the DGT record. I don’t know how these things work. Note to Giannatos, Oen, Dommalapati: I found the DGT board score for Paul/Zapata on Chessstream.

Walter High

Boomer 1 Zero 0

The title of this post was considered, but rejected,  for use with the previous post. After posting I sent an email to the subject of the post, GM Alsonso Zapata. His reply shocked me:

From: Alonso Zapata
To: Michael Bacon
Jan 17 at 8:15 PM

Dear Michael Bacon.

Thanks for your kind article! Although my game against Justin Paul is wrong – at the NC Open in Charlotte-. You will find attached (in ChessBase format) the real game I played.

Warm regards,

Alonso Zapata

WHAT?! I took the game from the ChessBomb, usually a reliable source of Chess games. (

How could this happen?

Then another email was received from a regular reader, an older gentleman of distinction, in which he wrote:

“I do not understand your reference to his opponent, 16 year old Justin Paul, as Zero. I am assuming this is derogatory. Is there a reason to disparage him thusly?”

Oh Boy! It was my turn to “assume” and you know what happens when one decides to “ass-u-me.” I assumed everyone would think of Time’s person of the year, Greta Thunberg,

and her replying to an older person with, “OK, Boomer.” My reply explained this and in return came this:

“Thank you for the clarification! Although I was aware of the young lady and her cause, I did not follow any of it in detail, thus missing the reference to those born in this century as “zeros.” I find most news these days not worthy of more than fleeting attention. That is why I thought calling someone a zero was a disparaging remark as I suppose it would have been 20 years ago. I appreciate your time in helping me edge toward the 21st century!!”

We Boomers obviously need all the help we can get…

This morning I opened my email and read this one first:

From: Walter High
To: Michael Bacon
Jan 18 at 9:06 PM.


I believe I have discovered where the ChessBomb game record originated. I have just played through the game as it was recorded by the DGT board that was in use. It matches the ChessBomb record of the game. If GM Zapata has a different game score, then somehow either the DGT board recording of the moves is incorrect or his scorekeeping is incorrect.
Not sure what happens with the DGT if they make a mistake and have to take back moves or change the location of pieces during the game.


I am still attempting to ascertain exactly what happened, and why, and so are other people. If anyone reading this works with ChessBomb, or knows someone, anyone, who is affiliated with ChessBomb, please inform them of this. With the above in mind, here is the actual game played in the final round sent by GM Zapata:

Paul v Zapata

2020 NC Open

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 Bg7 4. c4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8.Be2 d6 9. O-O Bd7 10. Qd2 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bc6 12. f3 a5 13. Rab1 Nd7 14. Be3 a4 15. Rfc1 Nc5 16. Bf1 f5 17. exf5 gxf5 18. Nd5 Rf7 19. Re1 e5 20. Rbd1
Qa5 21. Nc3 Rf6 22. Nb5 Qxd2 23. Rxd2 Bxb5 24.cxb5 b6 25. Bc4+ Kh8 26. Bd5 Rb8 27.Rc1 Bh6 28. Bxh6 Rxh6 29. Bc6 Rd8 30. Rd5 Re6 31. Kf1 Kg7 32. Rc3 Kf6 33. b4 axb3 34. axb3 Re7 $11 35. f4 Ne6 36. fxe5+ dxe5 37. Rxd8 Nxd8 38. Ba8 Ne6 39.Rc8 Nd4 40. Bd5 Rd7 41. Bc4 e4 42. Kf2 f4 43. Rf8+ Kg5 44. Rg8+ Kh5 45. Rf8 e3+ 46. Kf1 Ra7 0-1

This is how it looks in Chessbase form:

[Event “2020 NC Open”]
[Site “Charlotte”]
[Date “2020.01.05”]
[Round “9”]
[White “Paul, Justin “]
[Black “Zapata, Alonso”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “B21”]
[Annotator “Zapata,Alonso”]
[PlyCount “92”]
[EventDate “2020.??.??”]
[EventCountry “USA”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 Bg7 4. c4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8.
Be2 d6 9. O-O Bd7 10. Qd2 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bc6 12. f3 a5 13. Rab1 Nd7 14. Be3 a4 (
14… Nc5 15. Rfd1 Be5 16. b3 e6 17. Bd4 Qb6 18. Kh1 Rfd8 19. a3 Qc7 20. b4
axb4 21. axb4 Na4 22. Bxe5 dxe5 23. Qe3 Nxc3 24. Qxc3 Ra2 25. Bf1 Rxd1 26. Rxd1
b6 27. Qd3 Ba4 28. Qd8+ Qxd8 29. Rxd8+ Kg7 30. Ra8 Kf6 31. Kg1 Bb3 32. Rxa2
Bxa2 33. Kf2 Bb3 34. Ke3 Ke7 35. Kd2 Kd6 36. h4 {1/2-1/2 (36) Sumets,A (2568)
-Vorobiov,E (2547) Nova Gorica 2018}) 15. Rfc1 Nc5 16. Bf1 f5 $2 $146 (16…
Re8 17. Rc2 e5 18. Rd1 Bf8 19. Nd5 Bg7 20. Bg5 f6 21. Be3 Ne6 22. Nb6 Rb8 23.
Qxd6 Qxd6 24. Rxd6 f5 25. c5 Nd4 26. Rd2 fxe4 27. fxe4 Bf8 28. Bc4+ Kh8 29.
R2xd4 Bxd6 30. Rxd6 Bxe4 31. Bg5 h5 32. Bf6+ Kh7 33. Rd7+ Kh6 34. h4 g5 35.
Bxg5+ Kg6 36. Bf7+ Kf5 37. Bxe8 Rxe8 38. Nc4 {1-0 (38) Larrea,M (2274)
-Saralegui Cassan,M (2111) Montevideo 2017}) (16… Qa5 17. Kh1 (17. b4 axb3
18. axb3 Qa3 $11) 17… Rfe8 $11) 17. exf5 gxf5 18. Nd5 Rf7 19. Re1 e5 (19…
e6 20. Nf4 e5 21. Nd5 (21. Nh5 f4 22. Bxc5 (22. Bf2 Bh8 23. Rbd1 Rd7 (23… Qg5
24. Ng3 Rd7 $11)) 22… dxc5 23. Qxd8+ Rxd8 24. Nxg7 Rxg7 25. Rbd1 Re8 $11) (
21. Bxc5 dxc5 22. Nd5 Qh4 $132) 21… e4 $132 22. f4 Qf8 23. Red1 $14) 20. Rbd1
Qa5 21. Nc3 (21. Ne7+ Rxe7 22. Qxd6 Ree8 23. Qxc5 Qxc5 24. Bxc5 e4 25. fxe4
Bxe4 26. b4 axb3 27. axb3 Bc3 28. Re3 Be5 $14) 21… Rf6 $2 (21… a3 $1 22. b3
e4 23. Nxe4 fxe4 24. Qxa5 Rxa5 25. b4 Bc3 26. bxa5 exf3 27. gxf3 Bxa5 28. Rxd6
Bxe1 29. Rd8+ Kg7 30. Bxc5 Rf5 31. Bd4+ Kf7 $11) 22. Nb5 Qxd2 23. Rxd2 Bxb5 24.
cxb5 b6 (24… Rc8) (24… Bh6 25. Bxh6 Rxh6 26. Red1 Rd8 27. Rd5 $16) 25. Bc4+
Kh8 26. Bd5 (26. Bxc5 dxc5 (26… bxc5 27. Red1 Bf8 28. Rd3 $16)) 26… Rb8 27.
Rc1 Bh6 28. Bxh6 Rxh6 29. Bc6 Rd8 30. Rd5 Re6 31. Kf1 Kg7 32. Rc3 Kf6 33. b4
axb3 34. axb3 Re7 $11 35. f4 Ne6 36. fxe5+ dxe5 37. Rxd8 Nxd8 38. Ba8 Ne6 39.
Rc8 Nd4 (39… e4) 40. Bd5 Rd7 (40… e4 41. Rb8 e3 42. Rxb6+ Kg5 43. Ke1 Nc2+
44. Ke2 Nd4+ 45. Ke1 Re5 $14) 41. Bc4 e4 42. Kf2 f4 43. Rf8+ Kg5 44. Rg8+ Kh5
45. Rf8 (45. Be2+ Kh6 46. Rb8 e3+ 47. Kf1 Kg5 48. Rg8+ Kf6 49. Rf8+ Ke5 50.
Re8+ Kd6 51. Re4 Kc5 52. Rxf4 Ra7 53. b4+ Kd5 54. Bf3+ Kc4 $19) 45… e3+ $19
46. Kf1 Ra7 0-1

That is…











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. (

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

The Ugly Chess Move

White to move

Take a good look at this position and enough time to chose a move before reading further…Details about the game will follow later.

How did you assess the position?

Let us look at the position from the eyes of a Chess teacher. If a student showed me this game expecting comment I would begin by saying, “This is a dream position for the General of the white pieces for many reasons. White has a preponderance of material on the king side because his two rooks are on the e-file whereas the two black rooks are on the queen side. In addition, the bishop on d3 is exerting pressure on the black king side, specifically the g6 pawn. The white queen is working in coordination with the black squared bishop, which is ready to move into enemy territory. Take the two black squared bishops off of the board and replace the white bishop with the queen on f4, for example, and you will see the entire white army is either on the king side, or exerting force toward the king side, which is where the king resides in this position. The entire white army is opposed by a lone, lonely knight of f6. Therefore the natural move for white would be Bh6.”

I chose this position because I happened to be watching the game in progress. The game was played in the third round of the recently completed Charlotte Open, which began on the first day of the new year and ended January 5, 2020. Atlanta area player FM Benjamin Moon

was in charge of the white pieces. His opponent was GM Ulvi Ilqar Oglu Bajarani,

from Azerbaijan. These are the moves that brought us to the position:

1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 c5 3 e3 Nc6 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Be2 cxd4 6 exd4 g6 7 c3 Bg7 8 O-O O-O 9 Nbd2 Bg4 10 h3 Bxf3 11 Nxf3 a6 12 Re1 e6 13 Bd3 Nd7 14 Qd2 Re8 15 Re2 b5 16 a3 Qb6 17 Rae1 a5 18 h4 Nf6 19 Nh2 b4 20 g4 Rec8 21 h5 bxc3 22 bxc3 a4. According to ChessBomb the last move was a mistake. When the white move 23 appeared on the board I thought there had been some kind of transmission problem because it was so UGLY! Ben played 23 Re3?

I could not help but wonder if Ben had developed a case of Grandmasteritis. It often happens that players, for whatever reason, do not play up to their usual level when sitting across from a titled player. After the move 23…Na5 appeared on the board I realized Ben had, in fact, blundered horribly by playing one of the most ugly moves ever played on a chess board. I have no idea what was in Ben’s mind upon playing such a weak move, but maybe he wanted to move the ugly rook on e3 to h3?! The Stockfish program  at the ChessBomb gives this variation as an improvement: 23. Bh6 Qb3 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Qf4 h6 26. Bxg6 Qb8 27. Qf3 Qc7 28. Bd3 Rh8 29. Rxe6 fxe6 30. Rxe6 Qf7 31. Rxc6 Rac8 32. Ra6 Rhe8 33. Qf5 Rxc3.

The game ended after 23. Re3 Na5 24. hxg6 hxg6 25. Rh3 Nb3 26. Qb2 Qa5 27. Bb1 Nxd4 28. Qb7 Qb5 29. Qe7 Nc6 30. Qd6 Rd8 31. Bd3 Qb6 32. Qc7 Qxc7 33. Bxc7 Rdc8 34. Bf4 Na5 35. g5 Nh5 36. Be5 Bxe5 37. Rxe5 Rxc3 38. Ng4 Kg7 39. Rf3 Nc6 40. Ree3 Nd4 41. Rf6 Rh8 0-1




Playing The Dutch Against Any And Everything

Marc A Bryant (1823) vs Carsten Byrn (1919)

Hastings Masters 2019 round 04

1. a3 f5

(My first thought upon seeing this move was, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Former President of the Georgia Chess Association, and many other state organizations, not to mention USCF mover and shaker, Don Schultz,

Testing the New Polgar Chess Clock – Front: Anatoly Karpov and Susan Polgar – Back: Karpov Chess School President Marck Cobb, Vice-President and Secretary Irwin “Wes” Fisk, USCF Vice-President Don Schultz, U.S. Chess Trust Director Barbara DuMaro and USCF Vice-President Joel Channing

played 1 a3 against me in a tournament game, and lost. After the game Don informed he decided to play the move because, “I’ve played everything else against you, so why not?” Why not, indeed. Don and I played many 15 minute games ‘back in the day’ and, for some reason, I seemed to have Don’s number. We were both class A players who had crossed the 2000 threshold. SF 270919 @depth 50 plays 1…c5, as does Komodo 13.2 @depth 44. There are only two games with 1…f5 at the CBDB. After mentioning the first two opening moves to the Legendary Georgia Ironman he said, “I guess it stops e4.”) 2. e4 fxe4 3. d3 e3

(This move is, unsurprisingly, a TN. Over at the ChessBomb ( the move is also one of the reddest of red moves. SF 200419 @depth 30 plays 3…exd3, as does Houdini, but SF 10 @depth 29 plays 3…Nf6) 4. Qh5+?

(This move caused me to think of the poplar saying, “Patzer sees a check, patzer gives a check.” The move is also a “bright Red move. The thought of something a local Chess teacher mentioned about the early Qh5+ move occurred. He said a new boy had come to one of his groups and was beating all the local players with, you guessed it, 2 Qh5. “He was one of Steve’s boys.” “Steve” being Steve Schneider, the owner of Championship Chess, whom I have written about previously. ( Upon completion of laugh the tale continued with my asking, “I thought you taught these kids how to defend against the Queen’s Raid.” His response was, “Evidently not enough.” This time I, as we say down South, busted a gut laughing! After gathering myself I said, “It looks like with someone who not only teaches the Queen’s Raid, but owns a company that goes into schools and teaches nothing but the Queen’s Raid, everyone in the state would teach their spuds how to defend against the Queen’s Raid.” He nodded in agreement… 4 Bxe3 looks like a good enough move) 4…g6 5. Qe5? (One of the possible legal moves in this position is 5 Qe2. Just sayin’…) 5…exf2+ 6. Kxf2 Nf6 7. Nc3?

Ng4+ (Sticking the fork in deeply) 8. Ke1 0-1

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” ( 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!

Rawhide Chess

Taking time to check out what was happening in the world of Chess found me surfin’ to the ChessBomb, where the Salamanca Chess Festival was on top of the list. The round seven games had been completed. The last game looked interesting because Yifan Hou, with the black pieces, had defeated none other than the man who accelerated the demise of the Royal game when he falsely accused Vladimir Kramnik of cheating, Vladimir Topalov. What made it so interesting is that word on the street had it that Topalov had been cheating in consort with his manager, Silvio Danilov. Topalov once held the title of FIDE world champion, a title with huge import ‘back in the day’. These daze there seems to be a plethora of so-called, “world champions.” What with age groups, each broken down into male and female, and other forms of the formerly Royal game, it would take a calculator to count all of them.

Where was I… Oh yeah…

Topalov, Veselin

– Hou, Yifan

Salamanca Chess Festival 2019 round 07

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 0-1 (

I have no idea…

This caused me to go to the beginning where I noticed, and began to replay, the game Hou vs Ponomariov. Do not ask me why…

Hou, Yifan – Ponomariov, Ruslan

Salamanca Chess Festival 2019 round 01

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Bg4 7. Nc4 Nd7 8. h3 Be6 9. Na5 Rb8 10. O-O f6 11. Qe1 O-O 12. Be3 Bxe3 13. Qxe3 c5 14. a3 c6 15. b4 Qc7 16. Nd2 b6 17. Nab3 Qd6 18. bxc5 Nxc5 19. Nxc5 bxc5 20. Rfb1 Rb6 21. a4 Rfb8 22. Rxb6 axb6 23. a5 Ra8 24. Nb3 Bxb3 25. cxb3 Rxa5 26. Rxa5 bxa5 27. Qe2 Kf8 28. Qg4 Qxd3 29. Qc8+ Kf7 30. Qxc6 Qd4 31. g4 h6 32. Qc7+ Kg6 33. Qxa5 Qxe4 34. Qxc5 Qb1+ 35. Kg2 Qxb3 36. Qc6 Qd3 37. h4 e4 38. Qe6 Qf3+ 39. Kg1 Qf4 40. Kg2 Qe5

Now any Chess player other than Allen Priest would know it is imperative in this position to keep your queen on the board. The woman played, I kid you not…

41. Qxe5?? A Bomb RED MOVE, if ever there was one…

After taking the queen with 41…fxe5 black is soooooooooooo won.

Hou played 42 Kf1 and I wondered why. Then I noticed she only had eighteen seconds time remaining while her opponent still had over five minutes on his clock. Ponomariov (Did he, too, win some kind of Chess World Championship?), with all the time in the world to win a completely won position produced the move 42…h5?? BIG RED!

And we now have a completely drawn game that any Chess player, other than Allen Priest, could hold with a nano second on the clock.

43. gxh5+ Kf5 44. Ke1 Kg4 45. Ke2 Kf4 46. h6 gxh6 47. h5 e3 48. f3 e4 49. fxe4 Kxe4 50. Ke1 Kf3 51. Kf1 Kg4 52. Ke2 Kf4 53. Ke1 Kf3 54. Kf1 e2+ 55. Ke1 Ke3 ½-½

I will admit it took me some time to learn the above game was a rapid game. Still…

Chess is rapidly (couldn’t help myself) changing, and not for the better. The above game is only a taste of the excrement being provided to the Chess fans of the world. Back in the day any form of speed Chess was considered an exhibition. We marveled when Bobby Fischer decimated the competition, “In April 1970, Bobby scored 19-3 (+17 -1 =4) to win the unofficial “Speed Chess Championship of the World,” which was held in Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia.” (

That was then and this is now and it is obvious speed kills. Yet, because of the Chess programs Chess has no choice other than to hold the time limit of a game to the human bladder. It is either that or having every player wear a diaper. What, you think I’m kidding? How do you think a NASCAR driver disposes of waste material during a four or five hour race? Needing petrol is not the only reason a driver looks forward to a pit stop.

Back in the day we would play around the clock on Saturday and return for another possibly ten hours, AND WE LIKED IT!

These daze it seems the Chess people in charge are moving toward rawhide Chess. As in “Head ’em up Move ’em out, Rawhide.”

As I was wondering why anyone in their right mind would watch Rawhide Chess the answer was provided today by GM Kevin Spraggett on his excellent blog, Spraggett on Chess:

“We have all noticed this phenomenon from Day#1 of our very first visit to the tournament hall. A densely packed crowd gathers about a board, and when you investigate you find that one of the players is about to lose.
The expectation is palpable in the spectators’ facial expressions. It does not matter if the players are masters or beginners: the coming ‘execution’ is worth the wait!
It is difficult to explain this phenomenon, I suppose it has to do with human nature. And probably also explains why more people are willing to watch a blitz game than a slow game. A blitz game allows for faster executions!”

Reading this caused me to recall something former Georgia, and Georgia Senior, Chess Champion David Vest said to me around the turn of the century. “You only watch NASCAR to watch the wrecks.” The retort was, “You only watch the horses because they crash and burn on the track.” I was afraid of the Drifter sending me into the High Planes, but fortunately, he kept it together…

Yu Vs Maghsoodloo: Cutting Edge Dutch Theory

Computer programs have revolutionized opening theory in the game of Go with new books being published with regularity. The same is true for the Royal game but without the new books being published acknowledging how the new moves were obtained. For example:

The impact upon the Royal game has been great but what about the acknowledgement? How extensively have the computer Chess programs changed the way the game is played? Do human players find new moves these daze or do they sit back and let the programs crunch the numbers and use what is found?

Yangyi Yu (2763)

vs Parham Maghsoodloo (2644)

FIDE Grand Swiss 2019 round 07

1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 b6 7. c4 Bb7 8. Nc3 e6 9. Bf4 a5 10. Rc1 Na6 11. d5 Nc5 12. dxe6 Nxe6 13. Be5 Bh6 14. e3 Ng4 15. Nd5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 d6 17. Nd3 Rb8 18. a3 Re8 19. b4 axb4 20. axb4 Ng5 21. b5 Bg7 22. N3b4 Ne4 23. Nc6 Bxc6 24. bxc6 Nf6 25. Nc3 Kh8 26. Ra1 Ne4 27. Nxe4 fxe4 28. Ra7 b5 29. cxb5 Rxb5 30. Qa4 Rbe5 31. Bh3 Rf8 32. Bd7 h5 33. Qa6 Rc5 34. Qb7 Rc2 35. Qb3 Rb2 36. Qe6 Qg5 37. Qxe4 d5 38. Qe6 d4 39. Rb7 dxe3 40. Rxb2 Bxb2 41. fxe3 Rxf1+ 42. Kxf1 Qf6+ 43. Qxf6+ Bxf6 44. Ke2 Kg7 45. Kf3 Be5 46. Ke4 Kf6 47. Be8 h4 48. gxh4 Bxh2 49. Kd5 Bg3 50. Ke4 ½-½

1 d4 f5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 O-O O-O 6 b3 (SF 250919 @ depth 46 plays 6 c4, expecting 6…d6 7 Nc3, which is the Leningrad Dutch. The CBDB shows SF 10 @ depth 43 also playing 6 c4, but SF 260819 prefers the move in the game)

(Until recently 6…d6, known as the Leningrad Dutch, was invariably played. The CBDB shows 6…d6 having been played in 1100 games. 6…b6 has only been attempted a paltry 22 times. The game move, 6…b6, is the move of Stockfish 021019 @ depth 75; SF 10 @ depth 41 plays 6…Na6 with 7 c4 Rb8 following) 7 c4 Bb7 8 Nc3 e6

(The choice of Stockfish, which is a completely different way to play. IM Boris Kogan played 6 b3 but I cannot recall him ever facing an early b6 and would like to know what the Hulk would have thought of the mirror move. For 8…Na6 see Lemos vs Alvarado Diaz below) 9 Bf4 TN (This move, the choice of Komodo, is not shown at the CBDB or 365Chess. 9 Bb2 has been the most often played move. StockFish 10 plays 9 Rb1 while SF 120919 would play 9 Bg5, neither move has yet been seen in action) 9…a5 10. Rc1 Na6 11. d5 Nc5 12. dxe6 Nxe6 13. Be5 Bh6 14. e3 Ng4 15. Nd5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 d6 17. Nd3 Rb8 18. a3 Re8 19. b4 axb4 20. axb4 Ng5 21. b5 Bg7 22. N3b4 Ne4 23. Nc6 Bxc6 24. bxc6 Nf6 25. Nc3 Kh8 26. Ra1 Ne4 27. Nxe4 fxe4 28. Ra7 b5 29. cxb5 Rxb5 30. Qa4 Rbe5 31. Bh3 Rf8 32. Bd7 h5 33. Qa6 Rc5 34. Qb7


(At the ChessBomb Stockfish gives 34…d5 as best, showing 34…Qh6; h4; and Be5. The following variation is shown: 34… d5 35. Qxc7 Qf6 36. Qf4 Qe7 37. Qh4 Bf6 38. Qh3 Qd6 39. g4 h4 40. g5 Bxg5 41. Qg4 d4 42. c7 Rxc7 43. Rxc7 Qxc7 44. Qxg5 Qxd7 45. Qxh4+ Kg7 46. Qxe4 dxe3 47. Qe5+ Kg8 48. fxe3 Qg4+ 49. Qg3 Qe4 50. Rxf8+ Kxf8 51. Qf4+ Qxf4 52. exf4 Kf7)

35. Qb3?

(As is often the case in top level Chess these daze one ‘red move’ follows another ‘red move’ over at DaBomb. Back to back, or double blunders by the best human players happens with regularity. I’ve no idea why this is happening. Maybe double vision

is the cause. Any ideas? This is the best variation according to the Fish after crunching numbers for all of fifteen seconds) 35. Qxc7 Qxc7 36. Rxc7 Bf6 37. Be6 Bd8 38. Rc8 Be7 39. Rxf8+ Bxf8 40. Bd5 Rc5 41. Bxe4 g5 42. Rd1 Be7 43. f4 Kg7 44. Bd5 gxf4 45. gxf4 Bd8 46. Kf2 Kf6 47. e4 Rc3 48. Rb1 Rc2+ 49. Ke3 Ba5 50. Rb7 Rxh2 51. Rf7+ Kg6) Rb2 36. Qe6 Qg5 37. Qxe4 d5 38. Qe6 d4 39. Rb7 dxe3 40. Rxb2 Bxb2 41. fxe3 Rxf1+ 42. Kxf1 Qf6+ 43. Qxf6+ Bxf6 44. Ke2 Kg7 45. Kf3 Be5 46. Ke4 Kf6 47. Be8 h4 48. gxh4 Bxh2 49. Kd5 Bg3 50. Ke4 ½-½

Damian Lemos (2482) vs Alejandro Alvarado Diaz (2399)

Event: 1st La Palma GM 2019

A80 Dutch

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.b3 b6 7.c4 Bb7 8.Nc3 Na6 9.Ba3 Ne4 10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.Rc1 c5 12.e3 e6 13.Qe2 Qe7 14.Rfd1 d6 15.Ne1 Bxg2 16.Nxg2 Rad8 17.Rd2 e5 18.dxe5 dxe5 19.Rcd1 Nc7 20.Bb2 Ne6 21.Rd5 Nc7 22.R5d2 Ne6 23.Rd5 Nc7 24.R5d2 ½-½

Gata Kamsky Plays Both Sides of the Leningrad Dutch

Gata Kamsky (2685)

vs Jules Moussard (2608)

Barcelona Open 2019
round 04

1 d4 f5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 d6 4 Nf3 g6 5 O-O Bg7 6 b3 (Although Houdini plays this move Komodo and SF play 6 c4) 6…O-O (The most often played move but would play the little played 6…a5, expecting 7 c4 a4) 7 Bb2 c6 (7…Qe8 has been played a few more times than 7…c6, but SF 250819 at depth 49 plays 7…Ne4, expecting 8 Nbd2 c6. SF 10 @ depth 48 prefers the seldom played 7…e6, expecting 8 c4 Nc6) 8 c4 (SF 9 @ depth 42 plays 8 Nbd2) 8…a5 (SF 120119 @ depth 37 plays the most often played move, 8…Na6, but SF 10 @ depth 37 would play 8…Re8, a move not shown at the ChessBaseDataBase) 9 a3 (Both SF & Komodo play 9 Nc3) 9…Ne4 (This is a TN. Komodo plays Na6, the most often played move in the position. Houdini would play the new move played in the game, 9…Ne4, expecting 10 Nbd2 d5) 10. Nbd2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 Nd7 12. Rfd1 Nf6 13. Qc2 Ne4 14. Ne1 Qe8 15. d5 Bxb2 16. Qxb2 g5 17. Qd4 Qg6 18. Rac1 c5 19. Qe3 Rf7 20. Nd3 Bd7 21. f3 Nf6 22. f4 h6 23. b4 axb4 24. axb4 b6 25. Ra1 Rxa1 26. Rxa1 Ng4 27. Qc1 Qf6 28. e3 gxf4

Reaching a critical position. What would you play as white?

29. gxf4? (According to the ChessBomb this is a dreaded BRIGHT RED MOVE. If this was your move you need to contemplate longer) Qh4 30. h3 Nf6 31. Qe1 Qh5 32. Ra8+ Kh7 33. bxc5 bxc5 34. Kh2 Rg7 35. Ra7 Bc8 36. Nc1 Ne4 37. Ne2 Qg6 38. Bf3 Qf6 39. Ra8 Bb7 40. Ra7 Bc8 41. Ra8 Bd7 42. Ra7 e6 43. dxe6 Qxe6 44. Qc1 Qf6 45. Bxe4 fxe4 46. Qf1 Qb2 47. f5 Qe5+ 48. Qf4 Qxf5 49. Qxf5+ Bxf5 50. Ra6 Be6 51. Rxd6 Bxc4 52. Ng3 Bd3 53. Rc6 Rg5 54. h4 Re5

55. h5? (ChessBomb shows this as a RED MOVE, but not as RED as the earlier RED MOVE, so we will call this one a BLOOD RED MOVE, because the Gator, as Gata is known in the Southern part of the USA, just caused a SELF INFLICTED WOUND)

c4 56. Kh3 Rg5 57. Kh4 Kg7 58. Rc7+ Kh8 59. Rc6 Kh7 60. Rc7+ Rg7? (Yet another BLEEDING MOVE. 60 Kg8 keeps the advantage. Now the game is even, according to the ChessBomb) 61. Rc6 (61 Rc5. Again black has an advantage) 61…Rf7 (61…Rg5 retains the advantage) 62. Kg4 Rf2 63. Rc7+ Kg8 64. Rc6 Kf7 65. Rxh6 c3 66. Rc6 c2 67. Rc7+ Kg8 68. h6 Rg2 69. Kf4 Rg1 70. Nh5 (Rc8+ is equal) 70…c1=Q (70…Rf1+ is strong) 71. Nf6+ Kf8 72. Nh7+ Ke8 73. Nf6+ Kd8 74. Rxc1 Rxc1 75. h7 Rh1 76. Kg5 Be2 77. Kg6 Ke7 78. Ng8+ Kf8 79. Nh6 Rg1+ 80. Kf6 Rf1+ 81. Kg6 Bh5+ 82. Kxh5 Kg7 83. h8=Q+ Kxh8 84. Kg6 Rg1+ 85. Kf5 Kg7 86. Ng4 Rg2 87. Ne5 Rg3 88. Kxe4 Rxe3+ ½-½

Adolfo Diaz Nunez (2145) vs Francisco Vallejo Pons (2415)

Mondariz op

A04 Reti opening

1.Nf3 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.d4 f5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.O-O O-O 6.b3 d6 7.Bb2 a5 8.a3 c6 9.c4 e5 10.dxe5 Ng4 11.Qc2 Nxe5 12.Nbd2 Na6 13.Rad1 Qe7 14.Bc3 Nc7 15.Qb2 Re8 16.Rfe1 Bd7 17.Nxe5 dxe5 18.e4 f4 19.gxf4 Ne6 20.Bxe5 Nxf4 21.Nf3 Bxe5 22.Rxd7 Bxb2 23.Rxe7 Rxe7 24.a4 Rd8 25.h4 Rd3 0-1

Elina Danielian (2476) vs Viktorija Cmilyte (2524)

SportAccord Blitz Women 2012

Beijing CHN 2012

A04 Reti opening

1.Nf3 g6 2.d4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.b3 d6 7.Bb2 c6 8.c4 a5 9.a3 Qc7 10.Nbd2 Re8 11.Qc2 e5 12.c5 e4 13.cxd6 Qxd6 14.Ne5 Be6 15.Ndc4 Qc7 16.b4 axb4 17.axb4 Na6 18.Ba3 Nd5 19.Qd2 Bf8 20.Rfb1 Red8 21.b5 cxb5 22.Rxb5 Bxa3 23.Rxa3 Ne7 24.Qb2 Rab8 25.Rc3 Rxd4 26.Ne3 Qd8 27.h4 b6 28.Ra3 Nc5 29.Ra7 Qd6 30.Rxe7 Qxe5 31.Rxe6 Qg7 32.Rexb6 Rc8 33.Rb8 Rdd8 34.Qxg7+ Kxg7 35.Rxc8 Rxc8 36.Rb1 Ne6 37.Nd5 Nd4 38.e3 Ne6 39.Bf1 Rc2 40.Nf4 Nc5 41.Ra1 Nb3 42.Ra7+ Kf6 43.Ra6+ Kg7 44.Rb6 Nd2 45.Rb7+ Kf6 46.Rd7 Nf3+ 47.Kg2 Ne1+ 48.Kg1 Nf3+ 49.Kh1 Rxf2 50.Bg2 Ra2 51.Bxf3 exf3 52.Rd1 Ra3 53.Re1 Ke5 54.Kg1 Ra2 55.Rf1 Ke4 56.Re1 f2+ 57.Kf1 fxe1=Q+ 0-1

Alexander Donchenko (2631)

vs Gata Kamsky (2685)

Barcelona Open 2019 round 05

1. Nf3 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. c4 Bg7 5. Nc3 d6 6. d4 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. d5 e5 9. dxe6 Bxe6 10. b3 Na6 11. Ng5 Bc8 12. Bb2 h6 13. Nf3 Be6 14. Nd4 Bf7 15. Qc2 Nc5 (15…Nb4! A FORCING MOVE!) 16. Rad1 Qb6 17. e3 a5 18. Nde2 Rfd8 (18…a4 would seem to be the logical rejoinder) 19. Ba3 Qc7 20. Bxc5 dxc5 21. Rxd8+ Rxd8 22. Rd1 Rd6 23. h3 Qd8 24. Rxd6 Qxd6 25. Kf1 ½-½

1 Nf3 f5 2 g3 Nf6 (SF & Komodo both prefer 2…g6) 3 Bg2 g6 4 c4 Bg7 5 Nc3 (SF plays 5 d4; Komodo 5 0-0) 5…d6 (Komodo plays this move but SF would castle) 6 d4 O-O 7 O-O c6 (7…Qe8 was the move of choice by GM Vladimir Malaniuk and is analyzed extensively in his book. At one time or another I attempted the Malaniuk move, and the game move, but settled on 7…Nc6. All of the top programs show 7…c6 as best) 8 d5 (SF 10 @ depth 53 would play 8 Rb1; SF 110719 @ depth 48 prefers 8 b3) 8…e5 9 dxe6 Bxe6 10 b3 Na6 11 Ng5 Bc8 (SF 9 @ depth 28 plays 11…Qe7 expecting 12 Nxe6 Qxe6; Komodo 12 @ depth 26 would play 11…Nc5 showing 12 Bb2 Qe7 to follow) 12 Bb2 (SF says 12 Rb1) 12…h6 13 Nf3 Be6 14 Nd4 (SF 010719 @ depth considers 14 Qc2 superior. The CBDB does not show the game move, but one game with the move was found at

Armin Kranz (2145) vs Christoph Renner (2425)
Schwarzach op-A 1999

A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6

1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 g6 5.g3 Bg7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.d5 e5 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.b3 Na6 11.Ng5 Bc8 12.Bb2 h6 13.Nf3 Be6 14.Nd4 Bf7 15.e3 Re8 16.Qc2 d5 17.cxd5 Nb4 18.Qd2 Nbxd5 19.Nde2 Qe7 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qd4+ Qf6 23.Rad1 Red8 24.Rd2 Nc3 25.Qxf6+ Kxf6 26.Rc2 Nxe2+ 27.Rxe2 a5 28.Rb1 Rd7 29.e4 fxe4 30.Bxe4 Re8 31.Rbe1 Rd4 32.f3 a4 33.bxa4 Rxa4 34.Rb1 Re7 35.Rbb2 Rd7 36.Kf2 Ra3 37.Rec2 Ke7 38.Re2 Kd8 39.f4 Ra5 40.g4 Re7 41.Rb4 g5 42.Rd2+ Kc7 43.a4 gxf4 44.Kf3 Be6 45.Kxf4 Rf7+ 46.Kg3 Rf1 47.Rdb2 Ra7 48.h4 Ra1 49.g5 hxg5 50.hxg5 R1xa4 51.g6 b5 52.Kf4 Rxb4 53.Rxb4 Kd6 54.Rd4+ Kc5 55.Rd8 b4 56.Ke5 Bd5 57.Kf6 b3 58.Rb8 Ra1 59.g7 Rg1 60.Bh7 Rg2 61.g8=Q Bxg8 62.Bxg8 Rxg8 63.Rxg8 Kc4 64.Ke5 b2 65.Rb8 Kc3 ½-½

Stinking It Up At The Sinquefield Cup

The players continue to making headlines at the Sinquefield Cup:

Sinquefield Cup: 6 Games, 6 Draws In 6th Round

By IM Rakesh

After yesterday’s rest day, everyone expected some action at the 2019 Sinquefield Cup! But round six saw an anti-climatic end to a round…

Sinquefield Cup Sees Another All-Draw Day In Round 7

By IM Rakesh

It was a new day, a new round but sadly the same old story at the 2019 Sinquefield Cup. Round seven again ended with all draws. (

What do We The Fans of Chess think of the death of Chess by draw demonstrated in St. Louis? The chatterers over at the ChessBomb weighed in with these thoughts:

Sasori: if you look at teh mini match of caruana, nakamura, dominguez and so, it was all drawn

Sasori: no suprise

Sasori: BUT: Naka hasnt won a single classical game against a decent palyer in whole 2019!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

columbeau: thos who preach peace don’t have peace

kambodja: soon they will exhaust, and mistakes will follow

shtighnits: 42 games, 38 draws.

oneEfour: one of the worst tournaments I’ve seen in a long time

oneEfour: draw draw draw

cappiness: if all players become tired and exhausted now, the games are draw anyway

Rambus: Rex has been taken to the cleaners

Rambus: I wonder if he can press charges against them for conspiring to defraud him

jphamlore: Not far off from the decisive result of the Petrosian Memorial 1999.

Petrosian Memorial (1999)

So here’s the idea. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the death of former World Champion Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and the 70th of his birth, a memorial tournament was organized in Moscow featuring ten of his contemporaries:
Yuri Balashov (50); Svetozar Gligoric (76); Vlastimil Hort (55); Borislav Ivkov (65); Bent Larsen (64); Lajos Portisch (62); Vasily Smyslov (78); Boris Spassky (62); Mark Taimanov (73); Vitaly Tseshkovsky (54).
Sounds nice, but think about it. Ten players, ranging in age from 50 to 78, playing in a . So how do you best honor Tigran Petrosian?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts
01 Ivkov * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.0
02 Portisch ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0
03 Taimanov ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5
04 Spassky ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5
05 Smyslov ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5
06 Hort ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5
07 Balashov ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 4.5
08 Tseshkovsky 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ 4.5
09 Gligoric ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ 4.0
10 Larsen ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 4.0

This could be regarded as the Least Interesting Tournament in the World, with 42 draws in 45 games and five of the ten players drawing every game.
So who stepped out of line? Larsen, of course, but you have to expect that. The big offender was the youthful Tseshkovsky, with two decisive results in the first four rounds. I imagine his elders sat him down and told him to get with the program, and he took the advice: every game in the last five rounds was drawn.
But mocking and criticizing this tournament is the wrong attitude to take. Instead, it should probably be regarded more as an exhibition than a truly serious competition. Many sports will have “Old-Timers” games, where retired players will dress up in their uniforms and go through the motions. The attraction is not who wins or loses or what the final score is, but just watching the legends of long ago gathered together – here, in tribute to a fallen comrade.
Original collection: Game Collection: Petrosian Memorial 1999, by User: Phony Benoni.

Phony Benoni seems to consider the Petrosian Memorial 1999 an aberration, attributing it to the age of the participants. The players stinking it up at the Sinquefield Cup are still mostly young men half the age of those who battled at the Petrosian Memorial. What is their excuse?

Losers In The Game

The endless years and hardluck tales,
and some that have just moved on,
I guess it could be envy
when I wonder what’s gone wrong
Fingers point at all the problems,
but that won’t change my mind
I must have been held back
in hardknox school a few more times

A few more years, a few more tears,
are we the losers in the game?
When time is done and kingdom come,
we’ll not be losers in the game!

No one ever said it’s easy to watch the world go by
Console myself by trying and trying,
and trying just one more time
Put on a smile and fake your way in through another door
But only if you have more luck than a thousand times before

A few more years, a few more tears,
are we the losers in the game?
When time is done and kingdom come,
we’ll not be losers in the game!

Try again, change direction, spend more money,
new horizons, what’s it gonna be?
Take your hits, I hate my job, live like who,
think like what, no thanks I’ll just stay me

A few more years, a few more tears,
are we the losers in the game?
When time is done and kingdom come,
we’ll not be losers in the game!

All Your Sorrows

Metal Church

[D. Wayne / K. Vanderhoof]

Times like these to people please
Fables spread like some disease
New age gods like old facades
Write a book
You’ll like the odds
Inventing gods
Old facades

Take apart human heart you will start
Through the doorway of all your sorrows
Beginning to pull you away

In the night the sometimes light
The seasons which run out of time
When I press this game of chess
I always end with something less

You’ve made a mess
Of your Sunday best

In search of the answers, what never should be
Laughter erupts from primordial sea
Standing there naked with bended knee
All of your works face eternity

So though I play the same each day
When faced with pain I often pray
Take my hand you’ll understand
The place we go is no-mans land