Dutch Defense Opening Theory SHOCKER!

[Event “Round 6: Pierre Goosen – Andrew Southey”]
[Site “https://lichess.org/study/QxFUfJlF/MphMaOKh”%5D
[White “Pierre Goosen”]
[Black “Andrew Southey”]
[UTCDate “2022.05.11”]
[Opening “Dutch Defense”]
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.O-O Nf6 6.b3 O-O 7.Bb2 c6 8.c4 Na6 9.Qc2 Qe8 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Rfe1 Qf7 12.a3 Nc7 13.Nh4 e6 14.f4 g5 15.Nhf3 Qh5 16.Kf2 Ng4+ 17.Kg1 Ne3 18.Qd3 Nxg2 19.Kxg2 Ne8 20.e4 fxe4 21.Qxe4 gxf4 22.Nh4 fxg3 23.hxg3 Nf6 24.Qg6 Bd7 25.Qxh5 Nxh5 26.Ne4 c5 27.Rad1 Bc6 28.d5 Bxb2 29.dxc6 bxc6 30.Nxd6 e5 31.Ng6 Rf6 32.Nxe5 Bd4 33.Ne4 Bxe5 34.Nxf6+ Bxf6 35.Rh1 Ng7 36.Rxh6 Bd4 37.Rxc6 Nf5 38.Re1 Ne3+ 39.Kh3 Kg7 40.g4 Rf8 41.g5 Rf3+ 42.Kh2 Nf1+ 43.Kg2 Rf2+ 44.Kh3 1/2-1/2

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 (Stockfish 14 @depth 52 plays the game move, but in a real SHOCKER one sees SF 15 will play 2 e3!

Position after Stockfish 15 recommended 2 e3

The exclam is for the shock value because the ChessBaseDataBase shows 2 e3 has only been attempted in 23 games. I kid you not… White has scored 63% against 2387 opposition, which is higher than any other move, although the sample size is rather limited. If you play the Dutch defense you simply MUST be prepared for the move 2 e3 because after this is posted every player and his brother will be playing the move, sister. The move played in the game, 2 Nf3, has scored 56% versus 2406 oppo. The most often played move has been 2 g3, with 8973 games which have scored 59% against a hypothetical player rated 2436) 2…g6 (SF 14.1 plays 2…Nf6) 3.g3 (SF 14.1 plays 3…Nc3) 3…Bg7 (SF 14.1 plays 3..Nf6) 4.Bg2 d6 (SF 14 plays the game move, but SF 14.1 will play 4…Nf6) 5.O-O (The latest version of Stockfish shown at the CBDB is the now antiquated SF 11. I kid you not…@depth 43 it plays either 5 Nc3 or 5 c4. Fritz 16 @depth 29 plays 5 c4) 5…Nf6 6.b3 (SF 14.1 @depth 44 plays 6 c4; SF 220422 will, given the chance, play the move made in the game) 6…O-O (In this position castles has been played in 1206 games, yet two different Stockfish programs, 14.1 @depth 45, and 220422 @depth 35 both play 6…a5, a move having been attempted in only 4 (FOUR!) games. In those games against opponents averaging 2513 ELO points it has held White to only 38%. The CBDB shows that six different moves have been played in only 18 (EIGHTEEN!) games) 7.Bb2 c6 (There are 626 examples of this move contained in the CBDB and it shows a 62% score; the second most often played move has been 7..Qe8 with 594 examples and 57%; next comes 7…Ne4 with 329 games and 59%. SF 081121 @depth 50 plays 7…e6; SF 220422 @depth 41 will play 7…a5; with SF 14.1 @depth 56 playing 7…Ne4) 8.c4 (SF 14.1 will play the game move, a departure from SF 14 which preferred the second most often played move of 8 Nbd2. Check this out, SF 061121, given the chance, will play 8 a3, which will, maybe, someday be a TN if and when it is played by a titled player) 8…Na6 (This has been the most often played move and it was the choice of SF 10 [TEN?!] resulting in a 60% result versus 2417 opposition. SF 14.1 plays 8…a5 @depth 46 and it has held White to only 51%) 9.Qc2 (SF 14 @depth 44 will play the second most often played move [154 games] 9 Nbd2) 9…Qe8 (SF 14.1 and Komodo both play 9…Qc7) 10.Nbd2 (The CBDB shows Deep Fritz @depth 21 will play the game move, but Houdini 6.02 @depth 25 will play 10 a3. There is only one game with the move contained in the CBDB) 10…h6 11.Rfe1 (11 Rae1 has been the most often played move with 20 games in the CBDB which have scored an astounding 78% versus 2474 oppo; the second most popular move, 11 a3 has been seen in 15 games, scoring 57%, and it is the choice of Fritz 15 @depth 16, which is pretty darn shallow, is it not? SF 14 @depth 33 would play 11 Nh4, and it woulda been a TN if’n it had ever been played…SF 14.1 @depth 24 will play 11 Bc3. In the 5 games at the CBDB is has only scored 40%, albeit against 2489 oppo) 11…Qf7 (SF 8 @depth 18 and Komodo 13.2 @depth 26 both play the move played in the game, but SF 14.1 @depth 17 will play 11…g5) 12.a3 (SF 8 @depth 17 will play 12 Bc3, as will the SF program at LiChess [https://lichess.org/broadcast/south-african-closed-championship-seniors/round-6/QxFUfJlF]. SF 160215 @depth 17 will play a new move, 12 Rec1. Deep Fritz, playing the CBDB “How low can you go?” limbo, @depth 15 will play 12 Bc3. Blind squirrel? Acorn?)

Nikola Stajcic, (2302) vs Martin Riedner (2169)
Event: Vienna op 14th
Site: Vienna Date: 08/19/2003
Round: 4
ECO: A81 Dutch defence
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.b3 Bg7 5.Bb2 O-O 6.Nd2 c6 7.Ngf3 d6 8.O-O Na6 9.c4 Qe8 10.Qc2 h6 11.Rfe1 Qf7 12.a3 Bd7 13.Nh4 Nh5 14.e4 f4 15.e5 g5 16.Nhf3 Bf5 17.Qc1 g4 18.Nh4 f3 19.Bf1 dxe5 20.Nxf5 Qxf5 21.dxe5 Nc5 22.Qb1 Rad8 23.Qxf5 Rxf5 24.Bc3 Nd3 25.Bxd3 Rxd3 26.Rac1 Bxe5 27.Bxe5 Rxd2 28.Re4 Kf7 29.Bc3 Rd3 30.Rxg4 Nf6 31.Rd4 Rxd4 32.Bxd4 c5 33.Be3 h5 34.h3 Nd7 35.Rd1 Ke6 36.g4 hxg4 37.hxg4 Rf8 38.g5 b6 39.Kh2 Ne5 40.Kg3 Kf5 41.Rd5 e6 42.Rd1 Nf7 43.Kxf3 Nxg5+ 44.Ke2 Rf7 45.f3 Rh7 46.Bxg5 ½-½

Vilmos Balint (2252) vs Andres Gallego Alcaraz (2523)
Event: FSGM April 2022
Site: Budapest HUN Date: 04/02/2022
Round: 1.1
ECO: A80 Dutch
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.b3 d6 6.Bb2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.c4 Qe8 9.Qc2 Na6 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Rfe1 Qf7 12.Nh4 Nh5 13.e3 e5 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.e4 f4 16.Ndf3 Re8 17.Rad1 g5 18.Nf5 Bxf5 19.exf5 e4 20.Rxe4 Rxe4 21.Bxg7 Nxg7 22.Qxe4 Re8 23.Qd4 Nxf5 24.Qxa7 g4 25.Nh4 Nxh4 26.gxh4 f3 27.Bf1 c5 28.Qb6 Kg7 29.h5 Re7 30.Qd6 Nb4 31.Qxc5 Nc6 32.b4 Ne5 33.Re1 Qf6 34.Qd4 Qg5 35.Qc5 Qf6 36.b5 Kf7 37.Qd5+ Qe6 38.Rxe5 1-0

Nenad R Jovanovic (2318) vs Aurelian Ciobanu (2290)
Event: Bucharest-B
Site: Bucharest Date: ??/??/2000
Round: 2
ECO: A04 Reti opening
1.Nf3 d6 2.d4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 f5 5.c4 Nf6 6.b3 O-O 7.Bb2 c6 8.O-O Qe8 9.Qc2 Na6 10.a3 h6 11.Nbd2 d5 12.Ne5 g5 13.e3 Be6 14.f3 Nd7 15.f4 Nf6 16.fxg5 hxg5 17.Rxf5 Bxf5 18.Qxf5 Bh6 19.cxd5 cxd5 20.Bxd5+ Nxd5 21.Qe6+ Kg7 22.Qxd5 b6 23.Qe4 Rd8 24.Rc1 Kg8 25.Qg4 e6 26.Ne4 Rf5 27.Nc6 Rdd5 28.Nd2 Rd6 29.Ne5 Rxe5 30.Nc4 Rxe3 31.Nxd6 Qd7 32.Qh5 Kh7 33.Rf1 1-0

Raine Heuer vs Tom E Wiley (2273)
Event: Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann 6th
Site: Bad Wiessee Date: 10/26/2002
Round: 1
ECO: A80 Dutch
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.b3 Bg7 5.Bb2 O-O 6.Bg2 d6 7.O-O Qe8 8.c4 c6 9.Qc2 Na6 10.a3 h6 11.h4 Qf7 12.e3 Be6 13.Nbd2 Rab8 14.b4 b5 15.Rac1 Rfc8 16.Qd3 Nc7 17.c5 Bd5 18.Nh2 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 d5 20.Rce1 Ne6 21.f3 Nh5 22.g4 Nhf4+ 0-1

GM Alonso Zapata vs FM Todd Andrews in French Defense Battle at the May 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina

Years ago FM Todd Andrews

Photo Gallery from the 2005 World Open (USA)

relocated from Music City to the Phoenix city, Atlanta, Georgia. It happened that by happenstance I was at Todd’s apartment after he moved in and again later as he was getting ready to return to Nashville, Tennessee. There was an obvious disparity between how the apartment looked on those two occasions, kind of like one of those ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.

Todd was young, and strong, at that time, and was the “Big Dog” at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, kickin’ ass and takin’ names. He was also an extremely personable and animated fellow. After being beaten by Todd one regular habitué of the House of Pain vociferously and demonstrably said to any and everyone within earshot, “That Todd has a BIG HEAD!” To which Bob Bassett replied, “Yeah, and if you ever get your rating up to 2400 you will have a big head.” Another wag added, “Fat chance.” The loser hit the door… The name stuck, although no one ever called Todd “Big Head” to his face. After yet another player had been battered and bloodied, metaphorically speaking, of course, over the Chess board by Todd, the loser would be asked about the result and the reply would invariably be, “Big Head got me.” About this time there was a popular music group, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, who were quite popular. Todd traveled to a music festival in another state and I considered asking if Big Head Todd and the Monsters were there, but refrained from so doing…

These days Todd is the man with the Big Head at the Nashville Chess Center:


FM Andrews drew with fellow FM James Canty in the opening round of the May 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational at the Charlotte Chess Center and followed that with a victory over GM Alonso Zapata, now a citizen of Georgia living in the metro Atlanta area. A couple of losses set him back before he was paired with serial drawer IM Nikolay Andrianov,


“…who became the Soviet Junior Champion in 1980. He beat GM Gary Kasparov in their junior years and maintains a plus score against the world champion. After that, he chose to focus on chess training. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chess training from the Moscow Central Physical Culture and Sports Institute, considered the top chess school globally at the time. He has since then trained students, many of them becoming masters in Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States. Currently, he teaches chess in Arizona and online with Ashburn Chess Club.” (https://ashburnchessclub.com/nikolay-andrianov)

These are the games produced by IM Nikolay Andrianov in the first four rounds:



Round 1 | 2022.05.04 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. c4 c6 6. O-O d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Ne5 Ne4 9. Nc3 1/2-1/2



Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. b3 g6 4. Bb2 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Qc2 Nc6 7. a3 d6 8. Be2 e5 9. d3 a6 10. Nc3 Rb8 11. O-O b5 12. Ne4 bxc4 13. bxc4 Nxe4 14. dxe4 f5 15. Bc3 f4 16. Rab1 fxe3 17. fxe3 Bh6 18. Qd3 Be6 19. Rxb8 Qxb8 20. Nd2 1/2-1/2



Round 3 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. dxe5 dxe5 1/2-1/2



Round 4 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Bf5 3. Bb2 e6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 h6 6. O-O Be7 7. c4 c6 1/2-1/2

What happened in the second round? It looks as though Tianqi Wang actually considered attempting to try and play for a win, but after making a very weak move that gave the advantage to his opponent changed his mind and offered a draw, which was accepted by the player with little fight left in him. It takes two to tango, and make a draw, so all the blame cannot go to IM Andrianov. Some of the blame must be taken by the pusillanimous pussies so ready to accept a draw offer from an old and weak IM. Todd Andrews came to play Chess and forced the ineffectual IM to play to the death. Unfortunately, it was Todd who lost, but he went down fighting, like a man, and my hat is off to FM Todd Andrews. In losing Todd Andrews comes away a winner from one of the Charlotte Drawing Tournaments.





Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 0-1 ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 c5 6. Ndf3 Nc6 7. Bd3 cxd4 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 10. Ne2 Qc7 11. O-O Bd6 12. Nc3 a6 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rc1 h6 15. Bh4 Bf4 16. Rc2 Qf7 17. Ne2 Bb8 18. Bg3 Bd7 19. Rc3 Ne4 20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Nd2 e5 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. Bxe5 Nxe5 24. Nxe4 Bc6 25. Qb1 Rad8 26. N2g3 Qf4 27. f3 Qh4 28. Qc2 Kh8 29. Rc5 Nd3 30. Rh5 Qf4 31. h3 Qe3+ 32. Kh2 Bxe4 33. Nxe4 Rc8 34. Qb3 Qe2 35. Ng3 Qc2 36. Kg1 Nf4 37. Qxc2 Rxc2 38. Rf5 Rxg2+ 39. Kh1 Rxf5 40. Nxf5 Rxb2 41. Rd1 0-1
  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 (Stockfish 14 and 15 both play 3 Nc3, as does Komodo) 3…Nf6 (According to the ChessBaseDataBase, Komodo, Houdini, and Deep Fritz prefer 3…c5) 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 (SF 8 @depth 46 plays the move played in the game, but SF 13 @depth 44 goes with the most often played move of 5 Bd3. SF 14.1 @depth 47 will play 5 f4) 5…c5 6. Ndf3 (SF 311221 plays 6 Bd3 which has been far and away the most often played move with 8421 games in the CBDB; SF 14.1 will play 6 f4, the second most often played move (1924). The move played in the game has only been attempted in 54 games) 6…Nc6 7. Bd3 cxd4 (This move has been played most often with 130 games in the CBDB, but SF 14.1 and Komodo will play 7…Qa5. The reason could be that 7…cxd4 has resulted in a 66% score for players of the White pieces as opposed to only 42% in 31 games for 7…Qa5) 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 (SF 12 plays this move, but SF 070222 will take the pawn with the Queen with 9…Qxf6. Houdini will fire a TN with 9…Bb4+. 9…Nxf6 has been played in 84 games; 9…Qxf6 in only 8. White has scored 64% versus the former, but only 38% against the latter move) 10. Ne2 Qc7 (SF 130121 @depth 59 plays 10…Bd6, as do two different Fritz programs) 11. O-O Bd6 12. Nc3 (Fritz 16 plays this move, but Deep Fritz will play will play 12 g3. SF 170821 prefers 12 h3) 12…a6 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rc1 (SF 14.1 plays 14 Bh4 and so should you) 14…h6 (14…Bd7 has been played most often, and one of the “New Engines” @depth 42 likes it, but left running a little longer it changes its whatever @depth 43 to 14…Ng4, which is what Komodo will play @depth 26) 15. Bh4 Bf4 (There is only one prior game with the game move. Komodo 8 @depth 14 plays 15…Bd7, but SF 261120 will play 15…Nh5, as will Komodo 9)

Kurt Petschar (2310) vs Peter Roth (2325)
Event: AUT-ch
Site: Wolfsberg Date: ??/??/1985
Round: 8
ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.O-O Qc7 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Nc3 a6 14.Rc1 h6 15.Bh4 Bf4 16.Bg3 Nh5 17.Rc2 g5 18.Bg6 Nxg3 19.hxg3 Bd6 20.Bh5 Qg7 21.Rd2 Bd7 22.Re1 b5 23.Rde2 b4 24.Na4 g4 25.Bxg4 Qxg4 26.Nb6 Rad8 27.Nxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxe6 Qg7 29.Qc1 Nxd4 30.Rxh6 Nxf3+ 31.gxf3 Bf4 0-1

ALTO (AT LEAST 21) Chess With Ben & Karen Finegold

GM Magesh Panchanathan and GM Elshan Moradiabadi scored 4/5 points to tie for the first place in the main championship. Moradiabadi had better tiebreaks but the two players shared the trophy and the prize. https://www.chessdom.com/gm-elshan-moradiabadi-triumphs-alto-tournament-in-charlotte/

Class A Patrick McCartney vs GM Ben Finegold
ALTO (At Least Twenty One)
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Nh6 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nc6 13.c3 Qd8 14.Qe2 Be7 15.Bd2 Qc7 16.O-O g6 17.a3 b3 18.Rae1 h5 19.g5 O-O-O 1/2-1/2

This game was played in the first round. I was unaware of the video that follows until searching for something to go with the post. I have yet to watch it…There is a nice report which can be found at Chessdom, from which the picture was taken. (https://www.chessdom.com/gm-elshan-moradiabadi-triumphs-alto-tournament-in-charlotte/)

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 (Stockfish 8 @depth 47 plays this move, but SF 14.1 @depth 60 prefers 2…d6) 3.g3 (SF 14 and Deep Fritz both play 3 Nf3, which has been the most often played move. SF 14.1 plays the move played in the game) 3…b5 (This is the move of Komodo 14 & SF 15. There are over one thousand examples of it contained in the bowels of the ChessBaseDataBase. Fritz 16 plays 3…d6. There are 24 games with the move that can be found in the CBDB) 4.Bg2 Bb7 (SF 13 @depth 52 and SF 14.1 @depth 42 both play the game move, but Deep Ftitz 14 @depth 29 will play a NEW MOVE, 4…e5) 5.d3 (Three different SF programs, 14.1; 15; and 151121 all play 5 Nge2. In 300 games with 5 Nge2 White has scored 53%. In the 620 games in which 5 d3 has been played it has scored only 45%) 5…e6 6.f4 (Two different SF programs, 12 & 151121 both play 6 Nf3, as does Deep Fritz 14. Makes you wonder, does it not?) 6…b4 (Three different SF programs, 13, 14.1; and 190322 all play 6…Nc6. The CBDB contains only 14 games in which 6…Nc6 has been tried. 6…Nf6, with 83 games tops the list, followed by 6…b4 with 40 games, and 6…d6 with 28) 7.Nce2 (Although this move has been most frequently played, SF 13; 14.1; and Fritz 16 all play 7 Na4, which has only scored 10% in 5 games. In 27 games 7 Nce2 has scored 39%) 7…d5 8.e5 (Although Komodo and Deep Freeze, err, excuse me, Deep Fritz both play 8 exd5, SF 14.1 plays the move played in the game) 8…Nh6 (SF 190322 and SF 14.1 both play 8…Ne7. SF 220422 plays 8…g6) 9.Nf3 Nf5 (The three programs shown, SF 13; Komodo 13; and Houdini, all play 9…Be7. See Lyell vs Yao below) 10.g4 (The CBDB shows SF 14.1; SF 13; and Houdini, each play the move made by Mr. McCartney, which turns out to be a THEORETICAL NOVELTY! I kid you not…The CBDB contains 3 games in which 10 d4 was attempted, each game a loss for White, and one game with 10 c3, which was won by White)

Mark Lyell (2193) vs Lan Yao (2253)
Event: BSSZ Aranytiz IM 2017
Site: Budapest HUN Date: 08/21/2017
Round: 3.3
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Nh6 9.Nf3 Be7 10.O-O Nc6 11.Kh1 Nf5 12.g4 Nh4 13.Nxh4 Bxh4 14.Be3 Be7 15.Ng3 Qc7 16.Qe2 Na5 17.Bg1 Bh4 18.Nh5 g6 19.Nf6+ Bxf6 20.exf6 d4 21.a3 b3 22.Rae1 Kd7 23.cxb3 Nxb3 24.f5 Rhe8 25.Qc2 Bxg2+ 26.Qxg2 gxf5 27.gxf5 Qc6 28.fxe6+ Rxe6 29.Qxc6+ Kxc6 30.Rxe6+ fxe6 31.h3 Rf8 32.Kg2 Kd5 33.Kg3 e5 34.Kg4 Ke6 35.f7 Rxf7 36.Rxf7 Kxf7 37.Kf5 c4 38.dxc4 d3 39.Be3 d2 40.Bxd2 Nxd2 41.c5 e4 42.Kf4 Ke6 43.Ke3 Nc4+ 44.Kxe4 Nxb2 45.Kd4 Nd1 46.h4 Nf2 47.Ke3 Ng4+ 48.Kf4 Ne5 49.Kg5 Nf3+ 50.Kg4 Nxh4 0-1

Janina Remy (1927) vs Amy Officer(1815)
Event: EU-ch U16 Girls 17th
Site: Sibenik Date: 09/20/2007
Round: 7
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nc6 13.Be3 h5 14.gxh5 Rc8 15.Qd2 Rxh5 16.O-O-O Rh8 17.Bf2 Qd8 18.Qe2 Qc7 19.Rde1 a5 20.f5 Nd4 21.Qg4 a4 22.fxe6 Nxe6 23.Nf5 Qa5 24.Nd6+ Bxd6 25.exd6 Kf8 26.Bh4 b3 27.a3 bxc2 28.Rxe6 c4 29.d7 Rxh4 30.Qxh4 fxe6 31.Rf1+ Kg8 32.dxc8=Q+ Bxc8 33.dxc4 Ba6 34.Bh3 Qb6 35.Qe7 Qe3+ 36.Kxc2 Qxh3 37.Qf7+ Kh7 38.Rf3 Qxh2+ 39.Rf2 Qh3 40.cxd5 Qd3+ 41.Kc1 Qe3+ 42.Kd1 Qb3+ 43.Kc1 Qe3+ 44.Kd1 Qb3+ ½-½

Andre Lupor (2284) vs Konstantin Kunz (2179)
Event: Bad Woerishofen op
Site: Bad Woerishofen Date: 03/24/2006
Round: 8
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.g3 a6 4.Bg2 b5 5.d3 Bb7 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nd7 13.Qe2 Be7 14.O-O h5 15.g5 Qg4 16.Bf3 Qh3 17.Bd2 h4 18.Nh5 f5 19.exf6 Nxf6 20.Nxf6+ Bxf6 21.Bg4 Bd4+ 22.Kh1 Qg3 23.Qxe6+ 1-0

TCEC Championship Leningrad Dutch Battles

The Chess program known as Stockfish is in the process of drubbing the Chess program known as Komodo in the latest battle for supremacy of the “engines.” What is the point? To make things worse, some obviously inept human has chosen the openings for the “players.” I can understand assigning a particular opening, such as the Sicilian, and making the opening moves of 1 e4 c5 for the programs and let them go from there. I could even understand forcing the programs to play the Najdorf, far and away the most often played Sicilian, by beginning the game with White choosing the sixth move after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6. I cannot understand a game beginning after ten inferior moves, as is the case in the following examples. The TCEC show seems to be a complete exercise in futility. The only interesting thing about TCEC is what move the top programs will play in the opening when out of ‘book’. That said, you know this writer found interest in the two Leningrad Dutch games which follow. I must add that the move 7…Nc6 is no longer the “main variation” of the Leningrad Dutch. Stockfish prefers 7…c6, and so should you.

KomodoDragon vs Stockfish
TCEC match game 51.1
A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 11. Be3 Ng4 12. Bd2 e4 13. Rad1 a5 14. Kh1 Kh7 15. Qc2 Qd6 16. f3 e3 17. Be1 Nf2+ 18. Bxf2 exf2 19. f4 e5 20. dxe6 Qc5 21. Na4 Qb4 22. a3 Qe7 23. Rxf2 Bxe6 24. Bxb7 Rad8 25. Rff1 Bd7 26. Bf3 Bxa4 27. Qxa4 Bxb2 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Qxa5 Bxa3 30. Rb1 Bc5 31. Kg2 Bb6 32. Qb5 h5 33. h4 Kh6 34. Qa4 Qe8 35. Qc2 Qe3 36. Qb2 Bd4 37. Qb7 Qe7 38. Qc6 Rd6 39. Qa8 Rd8 40. Qa5 Bb6 41. Qb5 Qd6 42. Qa6 Bd4 43. Qa5 Bb6 44. Qa1 Bd4 45. Qa2 Be3 46. Kh3 Bf2 47. Qa4 Qd7 48. Qb3 Qd6 49. Kg2 Bd4 50. Qa4 Be3 51. Bd5 Qc5 52. Qa6 Bd4 53. Kh3 Qe7 54. Bf3 Qd6 55. Qa4 Bf2 56. Qa5 Qc5 57. Qxc5 Bxc5 58. Rb5 Ba3 59. Re5 Rd7 60. Re6 Re7 61. Rc6 Bb2 62. Kg2 Bd4 63. Kf1 Bb2 64. Bd5 Kg7 65. c5 Bd4 66. Be6 Kh7 67. Bc4 Kg7 68. Kg2 Kh7 69. Kf1 Kg7 70. Bd3 Be3 71. Bc2 Bd4 72. Bd1 1/2-1/2

1.d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 (The was the last ‘book’ move. I kid you not. Some inept human forced the programs to begin playing in this position. It makes me wonder what’s going on…I was curious, so regular readers know what comes next…Let us begin anew…)

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 (Although Stockfish 14 @depth 52 prefers the move played in the game, SF 14.1 will fire 2 Bg5 at you! Is that amazin’, or what? If you play the Dutch you had better come to the board armed with the latest ideas after 2 Bg5 or you will go down HARD, like rot-gut whiskey. According to the ChessBaseDataBase the most often played move has been 2 g3, with the CBDB containing 8954 games with the move. Deep Fritz 13 prefers this move, which has scored 59%. The game move shows 5006 games with white scoring 56%. 3 c4 comes in third with 4240 examples scoring 56%. In fourth place is the move 2 Nc3. In 2923 games it has scored 57%. 2 Bg5 comes next with 1895 games that have scored 58% for white. The move 2 e4 is next and it has scored only 48% for white in 707 games) 2…Nf6 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 48 will play this move, as will Fritz 17 @depth 28, but leave it running a little longer and at depth 29 the program plays 2…e6, which is proof positive there is something amiss in the bowels of Fritz 17) 3. g3 g6 (Although Sockfish 14 plays 3…e6, SF 14.1 corrected the obvious problem by switching to 3…d6, which has scored the highest, 58%, albeit in limited action of only 555 games. The game move has been the most often played move while scoring 55% in 2409 games) 4. Bg2 (According to the CBDB this move has been played far more than all other moves shown combined and it is not even close, as the game move has been played 5094 times while scoring 56%. With 863 games the move 4 c4 is next, and it, too, has scored 56%. It is indeed interesting that Stockfish 14.1 @depth 47 will play 4 Bg2, but @depth 51 shows 4 b3, a move having been seen in only 108 games while scoring 59%. But then at depth 60 it reverts to 4 Bg2. It makes me wonder, why?) 4…Bg7 (This move has been played in 5496 games and has scored 57%, but in 1079 games 4…d6 has scored 59% for white. Here’s the deal…@depth 44 Stockfish will play 4…Bg7, but leave it running only a short time and @depth 45 it changes it’s algorithm to 4…d6…) 5. c4 d6 (5…0-0 has been the most often played move, and it is the choice of Stockfish 10 [TEN? What happened to the latest programs? The CBDB is in dire need of a tune-up!]. Fritz 17 will play the second most often played move of 5…d6. Deep Fritz 13 will play 5…c5. The CBDB contains only ONE GAME with the move 5…c5) 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 (As has been written on this blog previously, 7…c6 is the best move in the position. 7…Qe8 was the choice of the leading exponent of the Leningrad Dutch, GM Vladimir Malaniuk.

ForwardChess.com sent two new books


which were downloaded onto the laptop, and were the first two books read via computer. Unfortunately, the author, Mihail Marin,


focused exclusively on the above mentioned, second-rate move, 7…Qe8 for the Leningrad Dutch. Not wanting to write a negative review, I eschewed writing about the book. Marin dedicated the book “To my late mother, who used to tell me: “Play beautifully, Bobita!” The author writes, “…I became so deeply involved in the world of the Leningrad that in five consecutive tournaments I played 1…f5 in all my games, except those starting with 1 e4. I actually adopted a similar strategy with White, starting all my games in those tournaments with 1 f4.” Regular readers know what that meant to the AW! Before reading the books I ‘just had’ to replay each and every one of those games, while making notes for the review that never was…You, too, can reply the games, which are easy to locate at 365Chess.com. Let me say that the book was enjoyed immensely, but I have trouble recommending any book using an antiquated line as the basis for the book. On the other hand, his other Dutch book, Dutch Sidelines, is an EXCELLENT book that I highly recommend, and it should be read prior to any player attempting to play the Leningrad Dutch, or any opening beginning with 1…f5, because the players sitting behind the White pieces will throw everything including the kitchen sink at you before you ever get to play a Leningrad Dutch proper, so you better be prepared for all the sidelines, and this is a FANTASTIC book for just that purpose! See (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/09/08/a-chess-game-begins-with-the-opening/) You can thank me later…) 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 (In 128 games this move has allowed White to score 64%. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 46, and Komodo 14 @depth 37, will play 10…e6, a move shown in only 24 games at the CBDB. White has scored 69% against the move, so if you intend on playing the Leningrad Dutch you need to produce better moves before reaching this position.

White to move after 10…h6

Stockfish vs KomodoDragon
TCEC match game 52.1
A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 11. Bd2 e6 12. e4 f4 13. Rac1 Kh7 14. Rfd1 exd5 15. cxd5 Ng4 16. f3 Ne3 17. Bxe3 fxe3 18. Ne2 h5 19. Qxe3 Bh6 20. f4 Bg4 21. Bf3 Bd7 22. Rc3 a5 23. d6 c6 24. Rb3 Rb8 25. Rbd3 h4 26. b3 Qf6 27. Rf1 hxg3 28. hxg3 g5 29. fxe5 Qxe5 30. g4 Kg6 31. Kg2 Bg7 32. Ng3 Rf4 33. Nh5 Rf7 34. a4 Rbf8 35. Ng3 Rh8 36. Nh5 Rhf8 37. Ng3 Rh8 38. Rf2 Rh4 39. Rc2 1/2 – 1/2

I wondered about the move 11 Be3 in the first game and was therefore not surprised when Stockfish varied. 11 Bd2 (varies from 11 Be3 in the first game of the mini-match. Komodo 14 @depth36 will play 11 Rd1. The CBDB contains 48 games with the move and it has scored 66% versus 2445 opposition. Going one fathom deeper to depth 37 Komodo 14 plays 11 Bd2. There are only 4 games in which this move has been attempted while scoring 50% against a composite player rated 2433. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 41 prefers the move 11 a4. Only two games are shown at the CBDB, and both ended in wins for players of the White. At depth 39 Stockfish 11 [SF 11?! How many years has it been since SF 11 was state of the art?] will play 11…e4. Going one fathom deeper the same antiquated ‘engine’ plays 11…e6…

Pavel Eljanov (2680) vs Gary William Lane (2358)
Event: Gibraltar Masters 2019
Site: Caleta ENG Date: 01/22/2019
Round: 1.20
ECO: A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.Qb3 h6 11.a4 g5 12.a5 a6 13.Be3 Qe8 14.Bc5 Qf7 15.Qa3 Re8 16.e3 g4 17.Rad1 Rb8 18.Rfe1 Nd7 19.Bb4 e4 20.Ne2 Ne5 21.Qb3 Nf3+ 22.Bxf3 gxf3 23.Nf4 e5 24.dxe6 Bxe6 25.Bc3 Bxc4 26.Qa3 Bf8 27.b4 Rbd8 28.Ba1 Bd6 29.Qc3 Kh7 30.Rd4 Bb5 31.Red1 Be5 32.Rxd8 Bxc3 33.Bxc3 Bd3 34.Rd4 Re7 35.Nxd3 Qb3 36.Nf4 1-0

Modern Chess Is Experienced Through The Eyes Of A Computer

The AW was sitting in front of a laptop last Friday evening, surfin’ away, as they say…All week I had been following the games emanating from the 5th Marcel Duchamp Cup Chess tournament (http://fuajedrez.org/Torneos/Duchamp)


being played in Montevideo, Uruguay. The first few moves caused me to reflect upon a time when the Mad Dog, or better, as he was called frequently, “Augie, the Mad Doggie.” The Dog liked to play against the Sicilian with the system seen in the following game, and frankly, the Dog’s results were not good, at least when facing higher rated opposition, yet he continued trotting out the same old beaten and battered nag and I could not help but wonder why…Then the American Grandmaster, Robert Hungaski, played his beautiful fifth move, leaving the path of the Mad Dog to enter the world of those of us who prefer to break the rule of never moving the Queen early, hoping to reel in his young opponent, IM Lucas Cora of Argentina, but it was this writer who was hooked, lined, and sinkered.

While watching the game I had reason to use the Duck,Duck,Go search engine while looking for something that escapes me now…when, Lo & Behold, there was something about the tournament being shown at lichess.org. Granted, I was a little late to the party at lichess.org, probably because when one ages he tends to go with the familiar. I had previously been to lichess.com, and had even looked for games being shown, but was unable to see them because I did not click onto “Broadcasts,” thinking a “broadcast” was a couple of announcers, which MUST include both a male and a female, no matter how lame the comments of the much lower rated female, usually named Eye Candy. I no longer watch, or listen to, broadcasts because the commentary is all about the “engine”. It was much better ‘back in the day’ when the analysis was by humans. So what if their analysis was inferior to what is being spouted by the programs; we still learned something, as did the broadcasters after being “corrected” by the all seeing and all knowing contraptions. Chess is vastly different than it was half a century ago, and not all of the changes have been good. What has been lost is human interaction. ‘Back in the day’ we would argue over moves and positions while learning something, and having a find ol’ time. Now all players invariably go to the oracle. Players have stopped thinking for themselves and play moves while having no clue why, other than the machine made the same move…

When watching games on most websites there is usually some kind of something moving about to inform the watcher what kind of move was just made. What follows is taken from the second chapter, Chess, of the excellent new book by Oliver Roeder, Seven Games,


which will be reviewed here later, after all of the book has been completely read:

“The pros aren’t the only ones the machines affect. For the viewer, the amateur chess fan (me very much included), modern chess is experienced through the eyes of a computer. Abutting the image of the professionals’ board on match broadcasters such as Chess.com, Chess24.com, and Lichess.com is a simple diagram, a sort of thermometer, filled to some extent with white and to some extent with black. This represents, a powerful computer’s evaluation of the position measured in the equivalents of a pawn. A reading like +2.3 means whiter is clearly ahead; something like -0.5 means perhaps black has a small edge.”

“This has democratized chess fandom. Without a computer, I don’t have much hope of understanding the intricate lines in a game between two grandmasters, or the exact implications of this move versus that move. With a computer, I have a quantitative lens through which to view the game. I can see exactly what threats are looming and whom the computer deems to be winning. I can watch the thermometer twitch up or down with each move and pass some quasi-informed judgement on the pros. But this understanding is often hollow. Take the computer and its thermometer away, and I risk being more lost than I ever was.”


Cogitate on that statement briefly while asking yourself what it means…It appears there is now a generation of human beings who no longer think for themselves. Millions of players now make moves having little, if any, knowledge or understanding of the game. Monkey see, monkey do.

Sometime during the early middlegame I stopped surfin’ and focused only on the game, straining my tired, old brain in a vain attempt to find a move. It was then I fell in love with Lichess, because unlike other Chess websites, at Lichess one can CLICK OFF the THERMOMETER! That’s right, now one can watch the game as it was meant to be displayed. Or to say it the way it was so eloquently said by SM Brian McCarthy, “Just give me the meat!” Any time you want to check your analysis against that of Stockfish you can just simply click onto the analysis. I like followchess.com, but if you happen to miss a round there is no way to return to those games, which can easily be accomplished at Lichess.com. Sorry, followchess, but you have lost me to lichess. There are myriad websites giving the moves and there is a struggle to see which website is the most fit and will stand the test of time. Like Stockfish, Lichess is an open source website, so it will be around for some time. The websites that charge an arm and a leg to join are in a death struggle and it will be interesting to see which one(s) survive.

IM Lucas Coro 2355 vs GM Robert Hungaski 2537
5th Marcel Duchamp Cup
B40 Sicilian defence

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be7 8. Rd1 Qb6 9. d3 O-O 10. c4 Nf6 11. Nc3 Rd8 12. Rb1 Bd7 13. a3 Be8 14. h4 a6 15. Qe1 Qb3 16. Be3 Ng4 17. Bg5 Bf6 18. Ne4 Bxg5 19. Nfxg5 Qb6 20. b4 cxb4 21. axb4 h6 22. Nf3 Qc7 23. d4 Ne7 24. Nc5 Nf6 25. Ne5 Ra7 26. Ra1 Nf5 27. Nb3 Nd7 28. Na5 Nxe5 29. dxe5 Rxd1 30. Qxd1 b6 31. Nb7 Rxb7 32. Bxb7 Qxb7 33. Qd8 Kf8 34. b5 axb5 35. Ra8 Qe7 36. Qxb6 g5 37. hxg5 bxc4 38. gxh6 Nxh6 39. Qc6 Nf5 40. Qxc4 Kg8 41. Qg4+ Ng7 42. Kh2 Qd7 43. Qg5 Qc6 44. Rd8 Qa4 45. Qe7 Kh7 46. Rb8 Qd4 47. Kg2 Bc6+ 48. Kh3 Qxe5 49. Qh4+ Nh5 50. Rb4 Qf5+ 51. Qg4 Qd5 52. Kh4 Nf6 0-1
  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 (According to the ChessBaseDataBase this move has been played in 1108 games, and it is the choice of Deep Fritz 14 x64. It has scored 51% against 2440 opposition. The second most popular move, 5 d3, has scored 52% versus 2429 rated opponents, and Stockfish 14 @depth 47 figures it best. The third most popular move has been 5 Nc3, with 329 examples contained within the CBDB, which together have scored only 49% facing some guys averaging 2411. Oh yeah, AND Stockfish 14.1 @depth 51 considers it to be the best move in the position) 5…d5 (This has been the third most often played move according to the CBDB, with 310 examples that have scored a collective 59% for White versus a composite 2409 rated opponent. The second most popular move has been 5…d6, holding that hypothetical 2435 dude playing White to 53% in 347 games. Then there is the most popular move, 5…e5, which has held opponents with an average rating of 2480 playing White to only 45%!) 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be7 8. Rd1 Qb6 9. d3 (This move cannot be found at either 365Chess or the CBDB, which can mean only one thing…Theoretical Novelty! The most often played move has been 9 c3. Stockfish 14 would play 9 a4, a move yet to be attempted by a titled human Chess player…)

Cool Hand Luke Widjaja Vs Yusheng Xia

The following game was contested at the venerable Mechanic’s Institute Chess Room, and can be found annotated by GM Nick DeFirmian at the Mechanic’s Institute Newsletter (https://www.milibrary.org/chess-newsletters/1006). I had every intention of presenting the game until seeing it annotated by Nick and, not wanting to step on the Grandmaster’s toes, decided to not publish the game. For various reasons, as Bob Dylan sang:

Luke Widjaja (1792) vs Yusheng Xia (2294) [C00]
MI 2nd Shipman mem TNM: 1800+ San Francisco (6.3), 08.02.2022
C00 French, Reti (Spielmann) variation
1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 6.Nxe4 Be7 7.0-0-0 0-0 8.Nf3 a5 9.a4 Nb4 10.d4 b6 11.c3 Nbd5 12.c4 Nb4 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Qe4 Rb8 15.h4 Bb7 16.Qe3 c6 17.Kb1 Ba6 18.Ng5 b5 19.Bd3 Nxd3 20.Qxd3 g6 21.Ne4 bxc4 22.bxc4 Rb4 23.h5 Bxc4 24.Qe3 Bg7 25.hxg6 Qb6 26.gxh7+ Kh8 27.Rd2 Rb8 28.Qc3 Bd3+ 29.Qxd3 Rxb2+ 30.Ka1 Rxd2 0-1

1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 (The ChessBaseDataBase contains 507 games in which the game move has been played. It has scored 53% against an ELO average opponent rated 2366. The next most often played move has been 3 exd5. In 7 games against an ELO average opponent rated only 2272, it has scored an abysmal 43%. Deep Fritz and Stockfish 11 both play the move played in the game. Nevertheless, Stockfish 14.1 @depth 48 will play 3 exd5!! Where is Leela Zero when you need her?) 3…dxe4 (There are 258 games in the CBDB in which this move has been made, showing a 56% score against 2361 opposition; 3…Nf6 has been seen in 184 games, scoring 49% versus a mythical player rated 2383; 3…c5 has only been seen in 52 games while scoring 58%, the highest of all games showing double digit moves. Then there is 3…Nc6…The move has been attempted on 11 occasions in which it has ‘scored’ every bit of 27% facing that composite player rated 2358. “Why is the AW wasting his time and mine informing me of that last factoid?” you ask?) Because Stockfish 14.1 @depth 52 will play…drum roll please…3…Nc6!!!!!!!!!) 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2! (If you do not know why the inclusion of the exclamation mark you have not read anywhere near enough of the AW) 5…Nc6 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 48 will play 5…Bb4) 6.Nxe4 (Three different Stockfish programs would 0-0-0, and so should you) 6…Be7 (Fritz and Deep Hiarcs prefer the move played in the game move, but SF 11 will take the Knight with 6…Nxe4)

White to move

7.0-0-0 (SF 14 plays 7 Nf3) 7…0-0 (Stockfish 13 & 14 prefer 7…a5. See Fylypiu vs Sanchis Gil below) 8.Nf3 a5 9.a4 (Komodo and Deep Fritz play 9 Nxf6, but the ol’ Fish will play 9 a3) 9…Nb4 (Deep Fritz plays this move, but Stockfish 13 and Komodo will play 9…b6) 10.d4 (The Fish and the Dragon both play 10 Nxf6+. Therefore the move played in the game is a Theoretical Novelty!)

Position after Theoretical Novelty 10 d4

Dmitre Fylypiu vs Salvador Sanchis Gil
Event: Valencia Sur Clubs tt
Site: Valencia Date: ??/??/2003
Round: ? Score: 0-1
ECO: C00 French, Reti (Spielmann) variation
1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Be7 6.Nxe4 Nc6 7.O-O-O a5 8.Nxf6+ gxf6 9.g4 Qd5 10.Qf3 Qxf3 11.Nxf3 Rg8 12.Rg1 Bd7 13.h3 a4 14.Bb5 Nb4 15.Bxd7+ Kxd7 16.d3 Nd5 17.b4 c5 18.c4 Nf4 19.b5 Ne2+ 20.Kc2 Nxg1 21.Rxg1 h5 22.d4 cxd4 23.Bxd4 hxg4 24.hxg4 Rac8 25.Kc3 e5 0-1

Luis Ernesto Rodi (2243) vs Emilio Ramirez (2293)
Event: Olavarria Magistral op 4th
Site: Olavarria Date: 02/27/2004
Round: 4.8 Score: 0-1
ECO: C00 French, Reti (Spielmann) variation
1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Nc6 6.Nxe4 Be7 7.O-O-O O-O 8.d4 a5 9.g4 a4 10.g5 Nxe4 11.Qxe4 axb3 12.axb3 Bxg5+ 13.Kb1 Qd5 14.Qg4 Bh6 15.Bg2 Qa5 16.f4 e5 17.Qe2 Bxf4 18.c4 exd4 19.Bxc6 bxc6 20.Bxd4 Bf5+ 21.Kb2 c5 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Qg2+ Bg6 24.Qd5 0-1

7th Gulf Coast New Year: Expert Brejesh Chakrabarti vs GM Julio Becerra Rivero

Sometimes Chess viewing is like a box of chocolates…Such was the Gumpian thought when seeing a tournament being played in the sunny and warm climate of the Gulf Coast was being broadcast at FollowChess.com. Although what is called a “weekend swiss” it is a weekend Chess tournament sending moves all over the world thanks to modern technology. The following round two game was found while surfing and much time was spent watching the game, and the others, one of which developed from a Bishop’s opening, and if you are a regular reader you know what that means. You may, though, be surprised to learn the B.O. game may, or may not be posted, depending, because the AW decided to post a Caro-Kann, Exchange variation today.

Brejesh Chakrabarti 2039 vs Julio Becerra Rivero 2491


7th Gulf Coast New Year (round 2)
B13 Caro-Kann, exchange variation

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. Bf4 Qxf4 8. Nxf4 Bxd1 9. Kxd1 e6 10. Nd2 Bd6 11. Nh5 g6 12. Ng3 Nge7 13. Nf3 Rb8 14. a4 a6 15. Re1 Kd7 16. Ke2 h6 17. Kf1 Rhc8 18. Re2 Rc7 19. Ke1 Na5 20. Kd1 Nc8 21. Nf1 Nc4 22. Bxc4 Rxc4 23. Ne5+ Bxe5 24. Rxe5 Rc7 25. Nd2 Nd6 26. Re2 a5 27. f3 g5 28. Ke1 Rg8 29. Nb3 b6 30. Kf1 h5 31. Nc1 Nf5 32. Nd3 Kd6 33. Kg1 g4 34. f4 Ke7 35. Ra3 Rb8 36. Ra2 Kf6 37. Ra1 Nd6 38. Kh1 Ne4 39. Kg1 g3 40. h3 Kf5 41. Kf1 h4 42. Ra2 b5 43. axb5 Rxb5 44. Ra3 Rcb7 45. Ra2 Rb8 46. Ra1 Kf6 47. Ra2 Kg7 48. Ke1 Rc8 49. Kf1 Nd6 50. Ke1 Rcb8 51. Kd1 Kf6 52. Ke1 Ne4 53. Kd1 R8b7 54. Ke1 Kf5 55. Kd1 Ra7 56. Ra4 Rc7 57. Ra3 Rcb7 58. Ra2 Rb8 59. Ke1 f6 60. Kd1 a4 61. Rxa4 Nf2+ 62. Nxf2 gxf2 63. Rxf2 Rxb2 64. Ra2 Rxa2 65. Rxa2 Rb1+ 66. Kc2 Rf1 67. Kd3 Kxf4 68. Ra6 Re1 69. Ra8 Re3+ 70. Kd2 Rg3 71. Rh8 Rxg2+ 72. Kd1 Kg3 73. Re8 f5 74. Rxe6 f4 75. Ke1 f3 76. Rg6+ Kxh3 77. Rf6 Kg4 78. Rg6+ Kf4 79. Rf6+ Ke3 80. Re6+ Kd3 81. Rh6 Rh2 82. Rc6 h3 83. Rf6 Kxc3 84. Rf4 Kd3 85. Rxf3+ Kxd4 86. Kf1 Ke4 87. Ra3 d4 88. Kg1 Rg2+ 89. Kf1 d3 90. Ra8 Rb2 91. Re8+ Kf5 92. Rf8+ Ke6 93. Re8+ Kf7 94. Re3 Rb1+ 95. Kf2 h2 0-1
  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 (Stockfish 13 @depth 61 played 3 e5, the advance variation; SF 14 @depth 60 prefers 3 Nc3) cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 (Stockfish 11 @depth 50 played 5…Nf6, still the most often played move according to the Chessbase Database, but SF 14 @depth 51 has moved on to the solid 5…e6, of which there are only 33 games found in the CBDB. There are 2212 games with 5…Nf6. There are 1417 games containing the move played in the game, 5…Qc7, and it has held white to only a 47% winning percentage. After 5…Nf6 white has scored 51%. The solid 5…e6 has held white to scoring only 44%) 6. Ne2 (The most often played move, but is it the best? The move has scored only 47% for white. SF 14 & 14.1 both play 6 h3, with which white has scored 53% in 471 games. Deep Fritz 13 shows 6 Nf3, a move that has scored only 38% in 78 games) 6…Bg4 (For as long as I have been playing the Royal game this move was “it”, but that has changed with the advent of computer Chess playing programs. The CBDB contains 601 games with the move chosen by GM Becerra Rivero. The second most played move has been 6…e6, which has been seen in 46 games, while scoring 38%. The best move in the position according to StockFish 14 @depth 49, and Stockfish 14.1 @depth 46 is 6…e5, a move having appeared to date in only 10 games while scoring 50%) 7. Bf4? (Stockfish 180821 @depth 52 simply castles, and so should you! The move chosen by the Expert has been seen in 15 games while scoring only 43%. When facing much higher rated opposition some players look for a way, any way, of trading Queens, which is a dumb move if you cogitate awhile, because the Grandmaster will, most probably, grind you down into a fine losing powder. On the other hand there are players like this writer who preferred keeping the Queens on the board, as was the case in a victory over Senior Master Klaus Pohl. The next time we played Klaus played a variation in which the Queens left the board early and the AW was given a endgame lesson. Cheap tricks do not usually work on the Chess board, or life) 7…Qxf4 8. Nxf4 Bxd1 9. Kxd1 e6
White to move

IM of GM strength Boris Kogan was fond of saying, “Why be afraid of playing an even position?” After 10 Bb5 Stockfish 14.1 @depth 32 says the game is triple zeros, aka, “even Steven”) 10. Nd2 Bd6 11. Nh5 (SF 12 brought the knight to e2, but SF 14 placed the steed on h3) 11…g6 12. Ng3 Nge7 (For the choice of Stockfish, 12…Nf6, see Guzman vs Spata below)

Maxim Novikov (2513) vs Alexander Riazantsev (2646)
Event: 69th ch-RUS HL 2016
Site: Kolomna RUS Date: 06/23/2016
Round: 2.13
ECO: B13 Caro-Kann, exchange variation
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Ne2 Bg4 7.Bf4 Qxf4 8.Nxf4 Bxd1 9.Kxd1 e6 10.Bb5 Bd6 11.Nd3 Ne7 12.Nd2 a6 13.Bxc6+ Nxc6 14.f4 f6 15.a4 b6 16.Nb3 a5 17.Nd2 h6 18.h4 h5 19.Nf3 Kf7 20.Re1 Ne7 21.Ke2 Nf5 22.Kf2 Rh6 23.g3 Rc8 24.Rg1 Be7 25.Rge1 Bd6 26.Rg1 Rc7 27.Rge1 Rh8 28.Re2 Re8 29.Ree1 Bf8 30.Nd2 Rb8 31.Ra2 Bd6 32.Nf3 Ra7 33.Rh1 Bc7 34.Re1 Raa8 35.Rg1 Rg8 36.Raa1 Rab8 37.Rge1 Nd6 38.Nd2 Rge8 39.Re2 Re7 40.Kg2 Rh8 41.Rh1 Rg8 42.Kf2 Ke8 43.Rhe1 Kf7 44.Rh1 Nf5 45.Nf3 Rh8 46.Rg1 Rh6 47.Rge1 Bb8 48.Rg1 Re8 49.Rge1 Bd6 50.Rg1 Bc7 51.Rge1 Bb8 52.Rg1 Nd6 53.Nd2 Rg6 54.Ree1 Rc8 55.Kf3 Rh6 56.Re2 Rhh8 57.Rge1 Rhe8 58.Kf2 Rc7 59.Kf3 Ra7 60.Kf2 Rb7 61.Ra1 Nf5 62.Nf3 Bd6 63.Ree1 Ra8 64.Ra2 Bc7 65.Raa1 Bd6 66.Ra2 Rc8 67.Raa1 Bf8 68.Ra2 Rbb8 69.Re2 Rc7 70.Re1 Nd6 71.Nd2 Nc4 72.Re2 Nd6 ½-½

The following game was found only at the Chessbase Database (https://database.chessbase.com/)

FM Christoph Guzman 2258 (DOM) vs FM German Spata 2257 )ARG)
Rio Grande Domingo op 20th

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Ne2 Bg4 7.Bf4 Qxf4 8.Nxf4 Bxd1 9.Kxd1 e6 10.Nd2 Bd6 11.Nh5 g6 12.Ng3 Nf6 13.f3 h5 14.Rc1 Ke7 15.Kc2 Rhc8 16.Kb1 Rab8 17.Rhe1 b5 18.Ne2 Bxh2 19.g3 h4 20.gxh4 Rh8 21.Rh1 Rxh4 22.Nf1 Rbh8 23.Bxb5 Na5 24.b3 g5 25.c4 dxc4 26.bxc4 Bc7 27.Rg1 g4 28.f4 Nh5 29.f5 exf5 30.Ne3 Rh2 31.Nc3 Ng7 32.c5 Kd8 33.d5 Bf4 34.Ncd1 R8h3 35.c6 Kc7 36.d6+ Bxd6 37.Nd5+ Kd8 38.c7+ Bxc7 39.Rxc7 Rh1 40.Rd7+ Kc8 41.Rxh1 Rxh1 42.Rc7+ Kb8 43.Ba6 Rxd1+ 44.Kc2 Nb7 45.Rxb7+ Kc8 46.Kxd1 Ne6 47.Rxf7+ Kd8 48.Rxf5 g3 49.Ne3 Nd4 50.Rd5+ 1-0

The Kopec System

It has been my experience teaching Chess to children that they “make the darnest moves.”

Kids Say The Darndest Things
“Kids Say The Darndest Things” hosted by Art Linkletter http://dovemediaworks.net/kids-say-the-darndest-things/

A prime example would be when after the opening moves of 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3, the student suggests playing 2…Bd6. After moving the bishop to d6 I asked a precocious girl, with the mellifluous name Haripria, why she had made that particular move. The answer came, “Because it protects the pawn, dummy.” That remark set me aback. After gathering myself the response was, “But it also blocks the d-pawn, and clogs up the works, dummy.” She howled with laughter. As we sat there smiling I recalled the Kopec System, based on White playing an early Bd3, blocking the d-pawn.


If you are a regular reader you know what comes next, but for you newbies, inquiring minds wanna know, so I went to the ChessBaseDataBase to learn it contains 45 games in which 3 Bd3 has been played, showing it has scored an astounding 66% against a very high average opposition of 2544! This is INCREDIBLE! I went to 365Chess.com finding it contained 97 games with a 70.1% score. My mind has been blown…

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bd3 Nc6 4 c3 Bg4 (The move of Stockfish; Komodo and Deep Fritz castle. 4…Nf6 has been played in 700 games with a winning percentage of only 49%. It is the choice of Deep Fritz 13 @depth22. 4…e5 is the choice of Houdini and there is only one game in the CBDB. Stockfish 14 @depth 29 plays 4…Bg4, of which there are two games contained within the CBDB) 5. h3 Bxf3 6. Qxf3 Nf6 (Houdini & Critter like 6…g6, but Fire prefers 6…e6. I miss Stockfish…) 7 Bc2 (There it is, the Kopec system. Unfortunately, the CBDB shows it has only scored 48% against an average rating of 2416) 7…g6 8. O-O Bg7 9 Qe2! (OK, I put the exclam there, and you regular readers and Chigorin fans understand why. This is the move chosen by SF 14 @depth 27, but I must report SF 12 going down to depth 46 likes 9 d3) 9…0-0 10 d3 (After this move 10…b5 has almost invariably been played. The CBDB shows two games in which the move was 10…Nd7; one each for 10…Qc7 and Rc8. The latter is the choice of Komodo. See game below. StockFish comes at you with a TN, 10…d5)

Khaled Mahdy (2390) vs Manfred Freitag (2285)
Event: AUT-chT 9697
Site: Austria Date: ??/??/1996
Round: 2
ECO: B50 Sicilian
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.Bc2 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 g6 8.d3 Bg7 9.O-O O-O 10.Qe2 Rc8 11.a4 a6 12.Be3 b5 13.axb5 axb5 14.Nd2 Nd7 15.Nf3 Qb6 16.Qd2 Qc7 17.Bh6 e5 18.Bb3 Nb6 19.Rfd1 Ra8 20.Be3 Rfb8 21.Ng5 Nd8 22.h4 Rxa1 23.Rxa1 h6 24.Nf3 Kh7 25.Qe2 Ne6 26.g3 Qd7 27.h5 g5 28.Bxe6 fxe6 29.Nh2 Rb7 30.Qg4 Na4 31.Bc1 c4 32.Nf3 cxd3 33.b3 Nxc3 34.Bxg5 Qe8 35.Bd2 Ne2+ 36.Kg2 Bf6 37.Ra6 Rg7 38.Qh3 Qd7 39.Kf1 Qb7 40.Qxe6 Qxe4 41.Ng1 Qh1 42.Qf5+ Kh8 43.Ra8+ Qxa8 44.Qxf6 Qa1+ 45.Be1 Nd4 46.Qxd6 Qb1 47.Nf3 Nxf3 48.Qf8+ Kh7 49.Qf5+ Kg8 50.Qc8+ Kf7 51.Qf5+ Ke7 52.Qxf3 Qxb3 53.Qb7+ Kf6 54.Qf3+ Ke6 55.Qc6+ Ke7 56.Qb7+ Kf6 57.Qf3+ Ke6 58.Qc6+ Kf7 59.Qf3+ Kg8 60.Qa8+ Kh7 61.Qe4+ Kh8 62.Qxe5 Qc4 63.Kg1 b4 64.Bd2 Qg4 65.Bxh6 Kh7 66.Bf4 Rf7 67.Qe4+ Qf5 68.Qxb4 Qxh5 69.Qe4+ Qf5 70.Qh1+ Kg7 71.Qc6 Kg8 72.Qa8+ Rf8 73.Qa2+ Qf7 74.Qa5 Qg6 75.Qd5+ Rf7 76.Qa8+ Kg7 77.Be5+ Kh6 78.Qh1+ Qh5 79.Qc6+ Qg6 ½-½

Jordan vs Michel Sivan
Event: Lyon op
Site: Lyon Date: ??/??/1999
Round: ?
ECO: B30 Sicilian defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 d6 4.Bd3 Bg4 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 Ne5 7.Bb5+ Nc6 8.O-O Qc7 9.d4 a6 10.Ba4 b5 11.Bb3 c4 12.Bc2 g6 13.a4 Rb8 14.axb5 axb5 15.e5 e6 16.exd6 Bxd6 17.Nd2 Nge7 18.Ne4 Nf5 19.Nxd6+ Nxd6 20.Bf4 Qd7 21.d5 Ne7 22.dxe6 fxe6 23.Rad1 Nd5 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Qxd5 Rb6 26.Re1+ Kd8 27.Qd4 1-0

Peter Svidler (2714) vs Alan Pichot (2630)
Event: FTX Crypto Cup Prelim
Site: chess24.com INT Date: 05/24/2021
Round: 8.5
ECO: B50 Sicilian
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bd3 Nf6 4.c3 Bg4 5.Bc2 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.d4 d5 8.exd5 Qxd5 9.Bb3 Qe4+ 10.Be3 Bxf3 11.gxf3 Qf5 12.Nd2 cxd4 13.Bxd4 Nc6 14.Ba4 Be7 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qb3 O-O 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.O-O-O Rab8 19.Qc4 Rb5 20.Kc2 Rfb8 21.b3 Rd5 22.Qe4 Re5 23.Qd3 g6 24.Ne4 Qf4 25.Rhe1 Rf5 26.Qd7 Bf8 27.Qxa7 Rbb5 28.Rd8 Ra5 29.Qe7 Qh6 30.a4 Rxf3 31.Red1 Rd5 32.R1xd5 cxd5 33.Nf6+ Rxf6 34.Qxf6 Qh5 35.Qe7 Qe2+ 36.Kc1 Kg7 37.Qxf8+ Kf6 38.Qc5 1-0

Danny Kopec (2405) vs Maxim Dlugy (2550)
Event: Saint John op-1
Site: Saint John Date: ??/??/1988
Round: ?
ECO: B30 Sicilian defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bd3 g6 4.c3 Bg7 5.O-O d5 6.exd5 Qxd5 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.Bc4 Qd8 9.d3 O-O 10.Re1 b6 11.Bg5 Bb7 12.Nbd2 Qd7 13.Rad1 Rae8 14.a4 h6 15.Bh4 Nh5 16.Qe3 e5 17.Ne4 Kh8 18.Nf6 Nxf6 19.Bxf6 Kh7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Bb5 f6 22.a5 Qd6 23.axb6 axb6 24.Nd2 Rd8 25.h4 h5 26.Ne4 Qc7 27.Rf1 Ne7 28.g3 Nd5 29.Qe1 Qe7 30.f3 f5 31.Ng5 f4 32.Rd2 Ne3 33.Re2 Qd6 34.Rxe3 fxe3 35.Qxe3 Rf5 36.Re1 Rdf8 37.Bc4 Bd5 38.Bxd5 Qxd5 39.f4 exf4 40.gxf4 Kh8 41.Qe7 Qg8 42.Re4 R5f6 43.Qc7 Rc8 44.Qb7 Rb8 45.Qc7 Rc8 46.Qb7 ½-½

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

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