Four Way Tie at the 2022 Charlotte Classic

In the last round of the recently concluded Carolinas Classic GM Daniel Naroditsky faced IM Dean Ippolito.

Both players had won three games and drawn one for a total of 3 1/2 points. They were in a must win situation because GM Elshan Moradiabadi had won his first four games and taken a half-point bye in the last round. Say what?! The dude was given a 1/2 point bye in THE LAST ROUND! Say what?! For those of you new to the Royal game, the half-point bye began many decades ago when three games, usually with a time control of 40 moves in two hours, would be taken in the third round, which was the third game to be played on Saturday. Some players would take a half-point bye in the first round, with others taking a half-point bye in the fourth round in order to attend church. As the Legendary Ironman of Georgia Chess so eloquently put it once, “When I’m sitting at the board on Sunday morning I am in my church.” The excretory awarding of a half-point bye for not playing the last round game is abhorrent and should never, ever have been allowed. The awarding of a free half-point bye in the last round blasphemes Caissa and should be abolished. If a player cannot, or will not play in the final round for any reason he should be given the result he deserves, a ZERO! The games are played earlier in the tournament to arrive at the final round. It is, obviously, the most important round of the event. The awarding of a half-point for not playing the last round should never have been allowed, and it being allowed speaks volumes about those in charge of Chess these daze…

GM Naroditsky defeated IM Dean Ippolito easily when the latter played like a complete beginner by bringing out his Queen early in the game, then later retreated the Lady for no reason, and it was all over but the shouting after that ill-fated move.

Daniel Naroditsky vs Dean Ippolito
C43 Petrov, modern attack, Symmetrical variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4 8.c4 O-O-O 9.c5 g6 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Be3 f5 13.Qd2 h6 14.a4 Qf6 15.Nb5 Qa6 16.d5 Bxb5 17.axb5 Qxb5 18.Rxa7 g5 19.d6 Kd7 20.Qd5 1-0

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 (Although Stockfish 14.1 plays this move, SF 15 will play the most often played move, 3 Nxe5) 3…Nxe4 4.Bd3 (The most often played move, and the choice of SF 14.1, @depth 55, but SF 150007 @depth 55 will play 4 Nxe5, expecting 4…d5 5 Bd3. Then again, at the same depth SF 150007, the James Bond of programs, also shows 4 Bd3 d5 5 Nxe5) 4…d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4 (SF 14 @depth 53 will play 7…Bd6, by far the most often played move, but SF 280322 will play 7…Be7, a move that has appeared in only 127 games while holding white to 62% versus 2462 opposition. In 817 games 7…Bd6 has held white to 57% against 2465 opposition. In 291 games against 2409 opposition the move played in the game, 7…Qh4 has allowed a theoretical opponent rated 2409 to score 70% in 291 games. This was the last round game and IM Dean Ippolito was rated 240 points below GM Naroditsky, rated 2695, so maybe the lower rated IM felt he needed to pull a rabbit out of his whatever, but how could any Chess player with any four digit rating advocate any player in his right mind play a move like 7…Qh4?

Position after Ippolito leads with his chin, err, Queen

Imagine you were giving a young student a lesson when they suggested a move like 7…Qh4? How would you respond? That is exactly my point. I knew, you knew, and GM Naroditsky knew IM Ippolito was going down after bring out the Queen that early. What? You think you are going to trick a player about to enter the elite world of 2700 rated Grandmasters by playing a second rate Chess move? Dude shoulda played a solid, “seemple” move, as IM Boris Kogan was so fond of saying, like 7…Bd6, and maybe have a shot at drawing the game. The move is so ridiculous that a Chess teacher would excoriate a student unmercifully for playing such a poor move. I lost interest in the game after seeing this move, and you have probably lost interest in this post…and I do not blame you!) 8.c4 O-O-O 9.c5 g6 (The most often played move has been g5, with 151 games showing at the ChessBaseDataBase, against which white has scored 67%. In the 53 games with 9…g6 having been played white has scored 75%) 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Bxe4 (The CBDB contains 23 games with 11 g3; 15 with 11 Ne2; 6 with 11 Be2; and only 2 with the move played in the game, 11 Bxe4, but it is the choice of SF 14.1. 365Chess does not contain the move considered best by Stockfish) 11…dxe4 12.Be3 f5 13.Qd2 (This is a TN. One game has been played with 13…h6 having been attempted. SF 14.1 will, given the chance, play a TN of its own with 13…Bc6)
I usually stop here but let us continue a few moves further on up the road…the game continued with 14.a4 before IM Ippolito played a horrible move, retreating his Queen with 14…Qf6?

Position after Ippolito retreated his Queen from h4 to f6 for no reason

The game, for all intents and purposes, was over when Ippo removed his grip from the Queen. The comment at is, “Blunder. 14…a6 was best.” The it shows 14…a6 15.Nd5. But here’s the deal…There is an arrow in the position showing the Rook moving from h8 to f8, and a line beginning with 14…Rhf8 15 g3 Qh5, etc. So which is it, Lichess, 14…a6 or 14…Rhf8? Inquiring minds want to know the TRUTH, as it was known in those long ago days… Where have I heard that before?…–championship-section/round-5/E2tBybjJ

Heinz Offenborn 2098 (GER) vs Bernd Bachmann 2030 (GER)
GER T224-C43-S email 2015
C43 Petrov, modern attack, Symmetrical variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4 8.c4 O-O-O 9.c5 g6 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Be3 f5 13.Qd2 h6 14.a4 c6 15.Rfc1 a6 16.Nb5 cxb5 17.c6 Bxc6 18.axb5 axb5 19.g3 Qe7 20.d5 Be5 21.Bb6 Rd6 22.Rxc6+ bxc6 23.Ra8+ 1 – 0

Milan Horvat 2203 (SLO) vs Frantisek Sochor 2437 (CZE)
ICCF Slav Cup3 email 2008
C43 Petrov, modern attack, Symmetrical variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4 8.c4 O-O-O 9.c5 g6 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Be3 f5 13.Qd2 h6 14.a4 c6 15.Rfc1 a6 16.Nb5 cxb5 17.c6 Bxc6 18.axb5 axb5 19.d5 Be5 20.g3 Qe7 21.Ra7 Bc7 22.Rxc6 bxc6 23.Qc3 Qd7 24.Bf4 Rh7 25.Rxc7+ Qxc7 26.Bxc7 Rxc7 27.dxc6 e3 28.fxe3 Ra7 29.Kg2 Kc7 30.Qf6 Rd2+ 31.Kh3 g5 32.Qxf5 Kxc6 33.b4 Rad7 34.Qc5+ Kb7 35.Qxb5+ Kc7 36.e4 R7d4 37.Qc5+ Kb7 38.b5 g4+ 39.Kh4 Rxh2+ 40.Kxg4 Rxe4+ 41.Kf3 Ree2 42.Qc6+ Kb8 43.b6 Rhf2+ 44.Kg4 Rf7 45.Qd6+ Kc8 46.Qd5 1 – 0

GM Alexander Shabalov and IM David Brodsky also finished in a tie for first place, with each winning $600. The plaque went to the dude who received a half point bye for not playing a game in the final round, GM Elshan Moradiabadi, aka, the ‘Hat Man’:

GM Elshan Moradiabadi on the Magnus Carlsen Tour Finals | US

Last Round (In)Action at the 2022 Saint Louis Norm Congress

When GM Vladimir Belous

sat down to play in the last round he had already won the tournament as he had seven points after winning six games and drawing two. His opponent, IM David Brodsky,

was tied for third place with a 5-3 score. I have no idea if a win by IM Brodsky would have earned him a GM norm or not, but can tell you from over half a century following the Royal Game it is difficult for anyone who has nothing to play for to play for something. In all that time I have seen numerous players with nothing for which to play lose. David Brodsky is not yet a Grandmaster, and may never earn the title. He really had nothing to lose, and much to gain by defeating the winner of the tournament, even if a GM norm was not possible. Since he is young and still has much to learn, what better way to gain experience by at least attempting to win. This was the result:

Vladimir Belous 2525 vs David Brodsky 2484

  1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. g3 1/2-1/2!saint-louis-norm-congress-gm-2022/310589946

One cannot call it a game, but it counts just as if it were a one hundred mover. Never would have thought I would live long enough to see the Chess Mecca that is the St. Louis Chess Campus defiled as it was during this event. I will hand it to the women because they were not passing out buddy-buddy draws like the men, and I use the word “men” loosely.

I do not want to end coverage of this event with the premature ejaculation masquerading as a game above, so I will again present another game in which IM Aaron Grabinsky plays the B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation, the third time he trotted out the opening to battle the Caro-Kann ( Before the round began FM Posthuma, with 6 1/2 points, had a half point lead over IM Grabinsky. IM Matyas Marek was in third place with 5 1/2 points, which went to 6 1/2 points when his last round opponent, Julien Proleiko, forfeited.

IM Aaron Grabinsky 2401 vs FM Joshua Posthuma 2405

  1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Be6 7. c4 Nd7 8. d4 Nf6 9. Qh4 Bf5 10. Be2 e6 11. O-O Be7 12. Qf4 O-O 13. h3 a5 14. Rd1 Bc2 15. Re1 Qb6 16. Qe3 Rfd8 17. Bd3 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 a4 19. Qc2 Qa6 20. Be3 b5 21. Rac1 bxc4 22. Qxc4 Rdb8 23. Qc2 Nd5 24. a3 Rb5 25. Rcd1 Qb7 26. Bc1 Bf6 27. Ne5 Ne7 28. Re4 Nf5 29. Qxc6 Rc8 30. Qxb7 Rxb7 31. g4 Nd6 32. Re2 h6 33. Kf1 Bxe5 34. Rxe5 Nc4 35. Rc5 Rxc5 36. dxc5 Rc7 37. Rd3 Rxc5 38. Rc3 f5 39. gxf5 exf5 40. Ke2 g5 41. h4 gxh4 42. Rh3 Nxb2 43. Bxh6 Rc2+ 44. Kf1 Nc4 45. Rxh4 Kf7 46. Ke1 Nxa3 47. Rxa4 Nb5 48. Ra6 Nd4 49. Be3 Ne6 50. Kf1 f4 51. Ba7 Rc8 52. Rd6 Rd8 53. Rc6 Ra8 54. Bb6 Ra6 55. Kg2 Ng5 56. Rc7+ Kg6 57. Rb7 Ra2 58. Bd4 Kf5 59. Rb8 Rd2 60. Rb4 Ne4 61. Ba7 Ra2 62. Rb7 Ng5 63. Bb8 f3+ 64. Kg3 Ne4+ 65. Kxf3 Rxf2+ 66. Ke3 Rc2 67. Re7 Nf6 68. Kd3 1/2-1/2!saint-louis-norm-congress-im-2022/-1059380010

1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Qe2 Nxe4 6.Qxe4 Be6 (The most often played move has been 6…Nd7. In 343 games it has held white to 49%. It is the choice of Fritz 16 @depth 36. Stockfish 13 @depth 60 plays 6…Qa5, which also shows 49% in 183 games. Then comes SF 14.1 which likes the second most often played move, 6…Qd5. Yet in 295 games it shows 58%! The move in the game, 6…Be6, has been attempted in 99 games, resulting in holding white to only 45%) 7.c4 (7 b3 has been most played and in 54 games has scored 47%. All three programs shown will play 7 b3. The game move has been seen in 15 games while scoring only 33%) 7…Nd7 (The 13 games in which this move has been played have held white to 27%, and it is the choice of SF 14 @depth 42. SF 100222 @depth 55 will play 7…g6. The CBDB contains only two games with the move…) 8.d4 Nf6 9.Qh4 (SF 11 @depth 45 plays 9 Qd3; SF 14 @depth 27 plays 9 Qf4; SF 050621 @depth 33 will play 9 Qe3) 9…Bf5 10.Be2 e6 11.O-O Be7 12. Qf4 (This is the choice of Stockfish 170921. For 12 Qg3 see below:

Jules Moussard (2571) vs Tigran Gharamian (2626)
Event: 3rd IF Payroll Blitz 2017
Site: Sanem LUX Date: 09/23/2017
Round: ?
ECO: B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation
1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Qe2 Nxe4 6.Qxe4 Be6 7.c4 Nd7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Qh4 Bf5 10.Be2 e6 11.O-O Be7 12.Qg3 O-O 13.Rd1 Re8 14.Ne5 Nd7 15.Bh6 Bg6 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Be3 Nf6 18.h3 Qa5 19.Qe5 Bd8 20.a3 Bc7 21.Qxa5 Bxa5 22.b4 Bb6 23.a4 a6 24.Bf3 Red8 25.Rab1 Rac8 26.b5 axb5 27.axb5 Ba5 28.bxc6 bxc6 29.Ra1 Bb4 30.Rd3 c5 31.Rad1 cxd4 32.Rxd4 Rxd4 33.Rxd4 Bc5 34.Bb7 Bxd4 35.Bxc8 Bxe3 36.fxe3 Kf8 37.Kf2 Ke7 38.Bb7 Nd7 39.Ke2 Nc5 40.Bf3 Kd6 41.Kd2 Ke5 42.Kc3 g5 43.Bh5 g6 44.Bf3 Kd6 45.Kb4 Nd3+ 46.Kb5 Nc5 47.Be2 Ne4 48.Bf3 Nc5 49.Be2 f5 50.Bf3 Nd7 51.Kb4 Nc5 52.Kb5 Nd3 53.Be2 Nc5 54.Bf3 Nd7 55.Bc6 Ne5 56.c5+ Kc7 57.Be8 0-1