The Angry Weasel and Stillborn Chess

With no games today in the Candidates tournament I decided to check out the “action” at the European Individual Championship. It was early in round five and several games had already finished, so I clicked on to learn why the games had prematurely ended.

Alekseev, Evgeny GM 2617 (RUS) – Jakovenko, Dmitry GM 2746 (RUS)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 05

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d6 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 ½-½

Geez, these guys did not even get out of the opening…The Chessbase Database shows over THREE THOUSAND GAMES continued with 12…Re8. 3000 games…

Kovchan, Alexander GM 2596 (UKR) – Korobov, Anton GM 2664 (UKR)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 05

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nd4 4. g3 Nxf3+ 5. exf3 Nf6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Qxd4 g6 8. b3 Bg7 9. Bb2 O-O 10. Bg2 d6 11. O-O ½-½

Looks like white has a small advantage, which is confirmed by Stockfish at ChessBomb, but he does have a doubled pawn. Why waste all that time playing Chess?

Sargsyan, Shant IM 2481 (ARM) – Hracek, Zbynek GM 2589 (CZE)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 05

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 c6 8. e4 d5 9. Bd3 dxc4 10. bxc4 e5 11. O-O exd4 12. Ne2 Nfd7 13. Nexd4 Ne5 14. Be2 Nxf3+ 15. Nxf3 O-O 16. Bc3 ½-½

Queens are about to come off of the board so who cares about white’s shattered pawn structure. Let’s make a DRAW!

Indjic, Aleksandar GM 2623 (SRB) – Santos Ruiz, Miguel IM 2488 (ESP)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 05

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. g4 h6 8. Rg1 e5 9. h4 e4 10. g5 hxg5 11. hxg5 exf3 12. gxf6 Nxf6 13. Qd1 Bh2 14. Rh1 Bg4 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Qb3 Kf8 17. Qxb7 Kg8 18. Qb3 Rh5 ½-½

Wow, looks like black has a rather large advantage. Oh well, he is only an IM and his opponent is a much higher rated GM. Hummm, maybe that’s why Santos is only an IM…

Donny Gray

wrote an article for Chessbase which posed the question, What’s the matter with draws? This also happens to be the titele of the article. We learn, “Donny achieved the title of United States National Master back in the stone age (1988). Now he teaches chess full time for the ICC (Internet Chess Club) under the name “Curmudgeon”. He also writes a monthly article for the Georgia Chess Association, georgiachessnews.com, and is in charge of the ChessThinker website, ChessThinker.com.” (https://en.chessbase.com/post/what-s-the-matter-with-draws)

Donny is known as the AngryWeasel at Chess.com (https://www.chess.com/member/angryweasel) What’cha think about these “games” Weasel? They make me ANGRY!

Since this is one of the middle rounds, not the last round, I decided to check out the previous round, finding the affliction began earlier…

Maghalashvili, Davit GM 2508 (GEO) – Safarli, Eltaj GM 2639 (AZE)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 04

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 c6 5. d4 O-O 6. O-O d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Ne5 Ng4 ½-½

These “players” did not even make it into double digits!

Fedorov, Alexei GM 2559 (BLR) – Piorun, Kacper GM 2653 (POL)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 04

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Be6 7. O-O Nd7 8. Nb3 Bb6 9. Ng5 ½-½

Ditto!

Santos Ruiz, Miguel IM 2488 (ESP) – Alekseev, Evgeny GM 2617 (RUS)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 04

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Bg6 7. Be2 Nbd7 8. g3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. b3 ½-½

Double digits!

Aleksandrov, Aleksej GM 2630 (BLR) – Zarubitski, Viachaslau FM 2425(BLR)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 04

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bf4 e6 7. e3 Bd6 8. Bxd6 Qxd6 9. Bd3 O-O 10. O-O Bd7 11. Rc1 a6 12. a3 b5 13. b4 Rfc8 14. Qe2! ½-½

Qe2 is such a strong move that black accepted the draw immediately!

Palac, Mladen GM 2546 (CRO) – Kravtsiv, Martyn GM 2685 (UKR)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 04

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. d3 Bd6 13. Re1 Bf5 14. Qf3 Re8 15. Rxe8+ Qxe8 16. Nd2 ½-½

This opening has been played too many times to count. Still, the CBDB shows 31 games in which black has played 16…Qe1+. Stockfish prefers 16…Qe6, which happened to be the choice of Al Onischuk against Alexi Shirov in 2008 at the 9th Poikovsky Karpov. There was fire on the board with the game continuing: Qe6 17. h3 Re8 18. Ne4 Bxe4 19.dxe4 Qe5 20. Kf1 Bc5 21. Bd2 Qh2 22. Ke2 Re6 23. Kd3 Rf6 24. Qg3 Qxg3+ 25. fxg3 Ne7 26. Bf4 Ng6 27. e5 Nxf4+ 28. Ke4 Rg6 29. Kxf4 Be7 30. Rd1 c5 31. Rd7 Kf8
32. Bd5 Rb6 33. Ra7 g6 34. Ra8+ Kg7 35. Ra7 Kf8 36. b3 c4 37. b4 f6 38. e6 Bd6+
39. Ke4 Be5 40. g4 Bxc3 41. e7+ Ke8 42. Rc7 Bxb4 43. Bc6+ Rxc6 44. Rxc6 Bxe7
45. Rxa6 c3 46. Kd5 Kf7 47. Rc6 b4 48. Rc7 h5 49. gxh5 gxh5 50. g4 hxg4 51.
hxg4 f5 52. gxf5 Kf6 53. Ke4 Bf8 1-0

Volokitin, Andrei GM 2639 (UKR) – Sarana, Alexey GM 2577 (RUS)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 04

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 b5 7. a4 b4 8. Nd5 e6 9. Nxf6+ Qxf6 10. g3 e5 (Houdini’s move, which is a TN) 11. Nf5 Bb7 12. Bg2 d5 13. Ne3 d4 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. exd5 Bc5 16. O-O ½-½

I considered going back to the earlier rounds, but why waste my time? There is only ONE GAME each day in this tournament, but these “players” obviously did not come to play Chess…Maybe the night life is exceptional in the city of Batumi, located in the country of Georgia?