Paco Versus Sam The Sham Shankland In Prague

In the fifth round of the Masters section of the Prague Chess Festival American GM Sam Shankland

https://new.uschess.org/2022-us-olympiad-open-team

sat behind the black pieces facing Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo Pons.

https://viralcasino.blogspot.com/2018/04/spanish-chess-grandmaster-hounded-by.html

The previous day had been an off day in the tournament so it would be natural to expect both players were tanned, rested, and ready for battle.

Francisco Vallejo Pons 2703 1:12:56 vs Sam Shankland 2718 (USA) 1:19:06
Prague Chess Festival | Masters
Round 5
ECO: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 10. Nh4 Bd7 11. Nf3 Bf5 12. Nh4 Bd7 13. Nf3 Bf5 1/2-1/2
    https://live.followchess.com/#!prague-chess-chp-masters-2022/748137683

I have included the time given by followchess.com. The players were at the board maybe half an hour, if that… Wondering what may have happened if either player had a backbone, I put the opening moves into the analysis program at Lichess.com and this was the result:

1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 10. Nh4 Bd7 11. Nf3 Rb8 12. Re1 Re8 13. Be3 exd4 14. cxd4 Qf6 15. c4 Bb4 16. Rf1 b6 17. Rc1 h6 18. d5 Na5 19. Bd4 Qf5 20. c5 Bb5 21. Nh4 Qh7 22. d6 cxd6 23. cxb6 axb6 24. Rc7 Bxf1 25. Bxf1 Qe4 26. Bxg7 Kxg7 27. Qh5 Qe6 28. Nf5+ Kf8 29. Rxf7+ Qxf7 30. Qxh6+ Kg8 31. Qg5+ Kf8…

Sam Shankland is a member of the United States Olympic team. Hikaru Nakamura

https://misfitsgaming.gg/hikaru-nakamura-signs-with-mgg/

is about to participate in the Candidates tournament, which is held to determine a challenger for the title of World Chess Champion, and he is NOT a part of the Olympic team. Am I missing something here? Makes on wonder, does it not?

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 (The Glek variation, named for GM Igor Glek. The programs prefer 4 d4. The programs do not approve of first moving a pawn before moving the bishop, but we humans ask, “Where’s the fun in that?”) 4…d5 (Both Stockfish 14.1 and 15 play 4…Bc5) 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 (SF 311221 @depth 56 prefers 7…Bc5; SF 14 @depth 50 will play 7…h6. The ChessBaseDataBase contains 362 games with 7…Bc5 and white has been held to scoring only 52%. In 251 games 7…Bd6 has allowed 56%. 7…h6 has yet to be played) 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 (SF 12 plays 9…Re8)1.

Rauf Mamedov (2709) vs Francisco Vallejo Pons (2707)
Event: World Blitz 2017
Site: Riyadh KSA Date: 12/30/2017
Round: 16.18 Score: 1-0
ECO: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.O-O O-O 9.Re1 Re8 10.d3 Bg4 11.h3 Bh5 12.Rb1 Rb8 13.g4 Bg6 14.Ng5 h6 15.Ne4 Qd7 16.Qf3 f5 17.gxf5 Bxf5 18.Qg3 Kh8 19.Qh4 Rf8 20.Ng3 Bh7 21.Qa4 Bc5 22.Be3 Bb6 23.Qg4 Qf7 24.Be4 Bxe3 25.fxe3 Qf2+ 26.Kh1 Bxe4+ 27.Nxe4 Qxc2 28.Rg1 Rf7 29.Rbf1 Re7 30.Qh4 Qxd3 31.Rf6 Qd5 32.Rxh6+ gxh6 33.Qxh6+ 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4089773

GM Ben Finegold Plays The Chigorin Defense

Having taken up Chess at the advanced age of twenty your writer did not have as much time to spend on the game as would a much younger person. Initially I did what many other American players did and followed Bobby Fisher, playing openings like the Najdorf and Gruenfeld, because those are the openings played by Bobby. Later I began playing openings that are now called “offbeat” openings, as regular readers know. One of those openings was the Chigorin, which I played before beginning a love affair with the Leningrad Dutch. In the first round of the ongoing Chicago Open Grandmaster Ben Finegold trotted out the Queen’s horse on the second move. Before sitting down to compose this post I went to 365Chess.com, learning it contained 21 games in which Ben has played the Chigorin (https://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?wid=&bid=8072&wlname=&open=61&blname=Finegold%2C+Benjamin&eco=&nocolor=on&yeari=&yeare=&sply=1&ply=&res=&submit_search=1). From the years spent researching the opening phase of the game with computer programs I have learned much of what humans thought about some openings was incorrect, if not downright wrong. The following game is a case in point.

Ethan Sheehan 2075 vs GM Benjamin Finegold 2424

https://www.cameo.com/gmbenjaminfinegold


31st Annual Chicago Open
D07 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Chigorin defence

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. cxd5 Nxd4 5. e3 Nf5 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Bb5+ Bd7 8. Bxd7+ Qxd7 9. e4 Nfe7 10. O-O Ng6 11. Qb3 b6 12. a4 a6 13. Be3 Nf6 14. h3 O-O 15. Rac1 h6 16. Rfd1 Nh5 17. Ne2 f5 18. exf5 Rxf5 19. Nd2 1/2-1/2
    https://live.followchess.com/#!31st-annual-chicago-open-2022/2068768054

1.d4 d5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 (SF 15 @depth 55 plays 3 cxd5, but @depth 62 changes to 3 Nf3) 3…e5 (SF 14.1 @depth 48 will play 3…e6. SF 040522 @depth 49 plays 3…Nf6, which appears in 387 games at the ChessBaseDataBase. The CBDB contains only 75 games with 3…e6, but does contain 748 games in which the inferior 3…dxc4 has been played. The move played in the game has been seen in 92 games) 4. cxd5 Nxd4 (The CBDB contains 82 games with this move and only one with 4…exd4, the choice of Houdini at a lower level; SF 13 at a higher level, and SF 14.1 at a mid-level depth 43) 5. e3 Nf5 6. Nf3 (Until now this has been the preferred move, with 51 examples in the CBDB, but Houdini, Komodo, and Stockfish 14.1 all show 6 e4 as best in the 8 games in which it has been tried the move has scored 69% compared to the 63% scored by the move played in the game) 6…Bd6 7. Bb5+ (This move is the choice of Fritz 17, so you know it is suspect. Both Houdini and SF 14.1 play 7 e4, and so should you) 7…Bd7 (Fritz 13 SE will play 7…Kf8. I kid you not…) 8. Bxd7 (SF 14.1 and SF 221221 both play 8 e4, and so should you in the event you play badly enough to reach this position) 8…Qxd7 9. e4 Nfe7 10. O-O (The CBDB shows only 8 games having reached this position; 4 with Nf6; 3 with Ng6; and 1 with f6. Houdini, and SF 7 & 11 show 10…h6 as being the best move. The game move has been the most often played move according to the 365Chess Big Database) 10…Ng6 11. Qb3 (SF 14 will play 11 Be3. See Pohlers vs Maahs below) 11…b6 (See Farago vs Plat below)

Frank James Marshall

https://www.redhotpawn.com/chess-blog/the-planet-greenpawn/frank-james-marshall.125

vs R. Guckemus
Event: Sylvan Beach
Site: Sylvan Beach Date: ??/??/1904
Round: 4
ECO: D07 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Chigorin defence
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 exd4 5.dxc6 dxc3 6.Qxd8+ Kxd8 7.cxb7 Bxb7 8.bxc3 Bd6 9.f3 Nf6 10.e4 Re8 11.Bb5 c6 12.Bc4 Ke7 13.Rb1 Rab8 14.Be3 Bc8 15.Rxb8 Bxb8 16.Bc5+ Bd6 17.Bxa7 Be6 18.Bxe6 Kxe6 19.Nh3 h6 20.Bd4 c5 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Kd2 Ra8 23.Ra1 Bxh2 24.f4 Rg8 25.Kd3 Rxg2 26.Kc4 Rg3 27.Nf2 f5 28.a4 Rf3 29.a5 Bxf4 30.a6 Bb8 31.Nd3 Ba7 32.exf5+ Kxf5 33.Rb1 Ke4 34.Rb7 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2631013&m=14

Benjamin Leussen vs Aaron Nimzowitsch

azquotes.com


Event: Barmen-B
Site: Barmen Date: ??/??/1905
Round: ?
ECO: D07 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Chigorin defence
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 exd4 5.dxc6 dxc3 6.Qxd8+ Kxd8 7.bxc3 Nf6 8.g3 bxc6 9.Bg2 Nd5 10.Bd2 Be7 11.Nf3 Bf6 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.e4 Nb4 14.cxb4 Bxd4 15.Rd1 Kc8 16.O-O c5 17.Bf4 Bb5 18.bxc5 Bc3 19.Bh3+ Kb7 20.Rb1 Kc6 21.Rfc1 Bd4 22.e5 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=2631771

Juergen Pohlers (2133) vs Erich Maahs (2200)
Event: Bad Woerishofen op 18th
Site: Bad Woerishofen Date: ??/??/2002
Round: 8
ECO: D07 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Chigorin defence
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 Nxd4 5.e3 Nf5 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.e4 Nfe7 10.O-O Ng6 11.Be3 Nf6 12.h3 O-O 13.Rc1 a6 14.Qd3 Nh5 15.Ne2 h6 16.g4 Nhf4 17.Nxf4 exf4 18.Bd4 Rae8 19.Rfe1 f6 20.Qb3 b6 21.Qc4 h5 22.Qc6 Qc8 23.Nh2 f3 24.Qxd6 cxd6 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.Nxf3 Nf4 27.gxh5 Rc2 28.Kh2 b5 29.h6 Ne2 30.hxg7 Kxg7 31.Be3 Rxb2 32.Nh4 Rd8 33.Kg2 Rxa2 34.Kf3 Nc3 35.Nf5+ Kh7 36.Bb6 Rd7 37.Bd4 b4 38.Bxf6 Rf7 39.Bxc3 bxc3 40.Rc1 Ra3 41.Ke2 Kg6 42.Rg1+ Kf6 43.Nxd6 Rc7 44.Ne8+ Ke5 45.Nxc7 Kd4 46.d6 Ra2+ 47.Kf3 Ke5 48.d7 Rd2 49.Nd5 c2 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=173524&m=22

Ivan Farago (2340) vs Vojtech Plat (2556)
Event: FSGM May 2021
Site: Budapest HUN Date: 05/08/2021
Round: 7.4
ECO: D07 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Chigorin defence
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 Nxd4 5.e3 Nf5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.Bxd7+ Qxd7 8.Nf3 Bd6 9.e4 Nfe7 10.O-O Ng6 11.Qb3 b6 12.h3 Nf6 13.Bg5 Nh5 14.Qb5 Nhf4 15.Rfe1 h6 16.Bxf4 Nxf4 17.Kh2 a6 18.Qxd7+ Kxd7 19.Rad1 g5 20.g3 Ng6 21.Kg2 f6 22.Nh2 h5 23.Nf1 b5 24.Ne3 h4 25.Ng4 Raf8 26.Re3 Ne7 27.Rf3 b4 28.Nb1 f5 29.exf5 e4 30.Rb3 Nxf5 31.Nd2 e3 32.Nxe3 hxg3 33.Nxf5 Rxf5 34.Ne4 gxf2 35.Nxf2 a5 36.Ng4 Bc5 37.Rbd3 Re8 38.R3d2 Kd6 39.b3 Re4 40.Nh6 Rff4 41.Rc2 Bd4 42.Ng4 Bc3 43.Rd3 Bd4 44.Rc6+ Kxd5 45.Rxc7 Re2+ 46.Kg3 Ke4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4286317&m=23

Since the tournament is still ongoing Ben has not had time to produce his latest youtube apologia explaining why he could only draw versus a much lower rated player so here is a pertinent video:

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

When GM Vladimir Belous

https://www.uschesschamps.com/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress/the-field

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,

https://www.uschesschamps.com/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress/the-field

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
    https://live.followchess.com/#!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 (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/05/22/im-aaron-grabinsky-scores-two-at-the-2022-saint-louis-norm-congress-with-the-b10-caro-kann-defense-two-knights-attack/). 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
    https://live.followchess.com/#!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
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4071249&m=16

Hans Niemann Wins Capa Memorial With Carlsen-esque Style

Grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann

https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/07/18/hans-niemanns-world-open-trifecta/

drew in his penultimate round game after winning his antepenultimate round game, which can be found in the previous post, and was a full point in front of the pack with one game to play. GM Niemann defeated his opponent in the final round to win the tournament two points ahead of Shekhar Ganguly of India, and Cubans Vasif Durarbayli and Luis Ernesto Quesada Perez Surya. His performance rating was 2857. The current World Human Champion, Magnus Carlsen, is rated 2864.

Hans Moke Niemann (2637) USA vs Mustafa Yilmaz CUB (2626)
Capablanca Mem. Elite (round 9)
B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Nimzovich-Rossolimo, Moscow) attack

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. O-O a6 5. Bd3 Ngf6 6. Re1 e6 7. Bf1 b6 8. c4 Bb7 9. Nc3 Ne5 10. d4 Nxf3+ 11. gxf3 Be7 12. d5 e5 13. f4 Bc8 14. fxe5 dxe5 15. f4 Bd6 16. Qf3 Qc7 17. f5 Be7 18. Bg5 Qd6 19. Bh3 Bd7 20. a4 Nxd5 21. exd5 Bxg5 22. f6 Bxf6 23. Ne4 Qe7 24. d6 Qd8 25. Bxd7+ Kxd7 26. a5 Rc8 27. Qh3+ Kc6 28. Qf3 Kd7 29. Qh3+ Kc6 30. Qd3 Kb7 31. Qd5+ Kb8 32. d7 Rc7 33. Red1 Rb7 34. axb6 Qxb6 35. Nxf6 Rd8 36. Qxe5+ Ka7 37. Rd6 gxf6 38. Qxf6 Rg8+ 39. Kh1 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!capablanca-mem-elite–2022/556086478
    https://lichess.org/broadcast/capablanca-in-memoriam–elite/round-9/vRxolTEV
  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. O-O (Stockfish 14 @depth plays 4 c4, as does SF 301221, but SF 070222 @depth 36 prefers 4 d4) 4…a6 5. Bd3 (SF 220521 @depth 59 plays this move, but SF 301221 @depth 66 will play 5 Bxd7+. For the record SF 9 @depth 40 plays 5 Be2, how do you do…) 5…Ngf6 (SF 14, SF 14.1, and some “New Engine” all play 5…e6) 6. Re1 (SF 13 @depth 60 will play the game move, and just to be sure you know what it will play the CBDB shows it TWICE! Then there is my new favorite little ‘engine’ that could, can, and does play 6 Qe2! Just sayin’…) 6…e6 (SF 14 @depth 51 and SF 310821 both play the game move, but Fat Fritz @depth 6 [That is NOT a misprint! What did I say about a tune-up for the CBDB?] will play 6…g6) 7. Bf1 (SF 13 @depth 59 plays the most often played move, 7 c3, which has scored only 44%. SF 12 @depth 44 plays the game move. Fritz 16 @depth 28 will play 7 b3. The ChessBaseDataBase contains only two examples of the move and both game were lost by White, so it has scored Zero; Zip, Nada, 0.0. Maybe the CBDB is in need of an upgrade. The only other game located with 7 Bf1 can be found below) 7…b6 8. c4 (This is a TN. The three antiquated programs shown at the CBDB, Fritz 16; Stockfish 8; and SF 14, all play 8 d4)

Jan Smeets (2585) vs Vincent Keymer (2568)
Event: ch-Schachbundesliga 2020
Site: Karlsruhe GER Date: 09/20/2020
Round: 7.2
ECO: B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Nimzovich-Rossolimo, Moscow) attack
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.O-O a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 e6 7.Bf1 b6 8.d3 Bb7 9.Nbd2 Be7 10.c3 b5 11.d4 O-O 12.h3 Qb6 13.Bd3 Rfc8 14.Nf1 Bf8 15.Ng3 g6 16.Be3 b4 17.cxb4 cxd4 18.Nxd4 Qxb4 19.a3 Qa5 20.b4 Qd8 21.Nb3 d5 22.Na5 Rcb8 23.Bf4 e5 24.Bd2 d4 25.Rc1 Bd6 26.Qf3 Bc7 27.Nxb7 Rxb7 28.Rc6 Rb6 29.Rec1 Bd6 30.Nf1 Rxc6 31.Rxc6 Nb8 32.Rc2 Nbd7 33.Rc6 Nb8 34.Rc2 Nbd7 35.Bc4 Qe7 36.Nh2 Kg7 37.Ng4 Ng8 38.Nh2 Ngf6 39.Ng4 Ng8 40.Qd3 h5 41.Nh2 a5 42.Bd5 Ra7 43.bxa5 Ngf6 44.Bc6 Nc5 45.Qb5 Ncxe4 46.Nf3 Nxd2 47.Rxd2 Bc7 48.a6 Qxa3 49.Bb7 e4 50.Nh2 e3 51.Rd1 exf2+ 52.Kh1 Bxh2 53.Kxh2 Qd6+ 54.g3 h4 55.Qg5 Rxa6 56.Bxa6 Qxa6 57.Kg2 Qc6+ 58.Kh2 Qf3 59.Rf1 Ne4 60.Qxh4 d3 61.Qf4 Qxf4 62.gxf4 d2 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4270627&m=14

IM Kevin Wang vs IM Arthur Guo

The AW burned the midnight oil watching the game that follows. It looked as though our Georgia hero, Arthur Guo, was on the ropes and going down, but the game, as are many, if not most, of the games played by the winner of the National Open, was full of vicissitudes that kept me enraptured for hours. I will say that this kid is fun to watch because he plays to win! It was amazing watching Arthur somehow hold it all together as the house was burning… Young Mr. Guo is resilient if nothing else… In lieu of annotating the game I want to do something different and present the game to you in diagram form, showing what I thought were the critical positions. At one point late into the night I stopped surfin’, closed all other windows, and sat in the quiet, vicariously watching only the game…and WHAT A GAME IT WAS!

IM Kevin Wang (2389)

https://lichess.org/coach/kwchez

vs Arthur Guo (2432)

https://new.uschess.org/news/back-us-chess-school-im-craig-hilby-50-saint-louis


New York April Invitational GM A
D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Bd7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 O-O 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Qe7 12. e3 Bg4 13. Bd3 Qe6 14. O-O Bxf3 15. gxf3 Ne7 16. c4 Rac8 17. cxd5 Nfxd5 18. Bg3 c6 19. Rab1 b6 20. Rfe1 Nf6 21. e4 Nh5 22. Rbd1 Qf6 23. Be2 Nf4 24. Bf1 Ne6 25. Be5 Qxf3 26. Re3 Qh5 27. Rh3 Qg6+ 28. Rg3 Qh7 29. Bh3 Ng6 30. Bf5 Rfe8 31. Qb3 Nef8 32. Bxc8 Rxc8 33. Bd6 Ne6 34. Qe3 Rd8 35. e5 Ngf4 36. Re1 Qf5 37. Kh1 Rc8 38. Qe4 Qh5 39. Qf3 Qxf3+ 40. Rxf3 g5 41. Rd1 Kg7 42. Rd2 Nd5 43. Kg1 Kg6 44. Kf1 Nef4 45. Rc2 Kf5 46. e6 fxe6 47. Bxf4 Nxf4 48. Re3 Rd8 49. Re5+ Kg4 50. Re4 Rd6 51. Rc3 Kf5 52. f3 h5 53. Kf2 h4 54. Rc4 Kf6 55. Ke3 c5 56. Rc2 Rd5 57. a4 Ke7 58. Rd2 Kf6 59. Rc2 h3 60. Rd2 cxd4+ 61. Rdxd4 Rc5 62. Rc4 Rd5 63. Red4 Re5+ 64. Re4 Ra5 65. Rc8 Rd5 66. Rf8+ Ke7 67. Rh8 Rd3+ 68. Kf2 Rd2+ 69. Kg1 Rd1+ 70. Kf2 Rd2+ 71. Ke3 Rxh2 72. Rh7+ Kf6 73. Kd4 Kg6 74. Rh8 Kg7 75. Ra8 Rd2+ 76. Kc4 Rd1 77. Rxa7+ Kg6 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!new-york-spring-invitationals-gm-a-2022/-555666883

The first position arises in the transition to the middle game:

Black to move after 15 gxf3

Although the Black pawn structure is better White has the two Bishops and must be better. My thoughts turned to something like g5 and Knight to the rim before taking the Prelate in order to get rid of one of the nasty Bishops. Granted, Nxg3 would enhance the White pawn structure, but he would no longer have the dreaded two Bishops versus the two Knights. It may be time to move a Rook, but where, and which one? The only other alternative was to move the Knight on c6, but that would mean moving it to the rim, where it is said it is “grim.” Who am I to argue? That leaves the move chosen by Arthur, 15…Ne7.

Next we have the position after 22…Qf6:

position after 22…Qf6 with White to move

I was expecting 23 e5 and had to check again after the move played to be sure the pawn on f3 could not be captured. As a general rule the Bishops are much better at attacking than defending, so the retreat of the Bishop was rather limp-wristed.

Position after 25 Be5
Position after 25…Qxf3

At the top level this is a game losing move. The next position vividly illustrates why this is so:

Position after 30 Bf5

While watching I was having thoughts about what to call this game and “The Entombed Queen” came to mind. This game is SO WON. All IM Wang has to do is move the King and replace it with the Rook and after preparation fire the h-pawn…all contingent on how Black responds. There were thoughts of turning in early last night…and then…

Position after 31…Nef8

No doubt hoping IM Wang will take the bait. But what Chess player would trade that strong Bishop on f5 that completely dominates the game?

Position after 32 Bxc8

Thank you, IM Wang. If you had not played the unbelievably bad move we would not have seen what follows!

Position after 34 Qe3

I did not understand this move last night and still don’t understand it…

Position after LIBERATION!

Wow, have things changed since the last diagram. The Queen is FREE! I’m thinking, “If anyone has an advantage it would be Arthur.”

Position after move 40…g5

Back in the day the game would have been adjourned here. Have you ever wondered how players of the past would fare under todaze conditions? How about watching Bobby Fischer play Mikhail Tal sans adjournment…

Position after 66…Ke7

This seems to be the place to stop writing and allow you to see what comes next, and if I have done a good job, you will do just that and do it here: https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-new-york-april-invitational–gm-a/round-3/k2iftQci

Here is the opening rundown:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 (Stockfish prefers taking the pawn with 4 cxd5) 4…Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. a3 (SF plays 6 e3 as do most humans) 6…Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Bd7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 (Three different SF programs prefer 9 Bg5 and so should you) 9…O-O (SF 14.1 prefers 9…Na5) 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Qe7 (Two games were found with this move the second game was located only at the ChessBaseDataBase)

Santiago Suarez P
Valente Arguelles Ovando
Event: Yucatan-ch
Site: Merida Date: 08/02/1998
Round: 6
ECO: D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Bd7 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Qc2 O-O 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 Qe7 12.e3 Qe6 13.c4 Ne7 14.Ne5 Bc8 15.Bd3 c6 16.O-O Ne4 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Rfc1 Bf5 21.Qc7 Qxc7 22.Rxc7 b6 23.Nc6 Be6 24.d5 Bc8 25.d6 Be6 26.d7 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=992155&m=23

GM Valentina Guinina 2471 (RUS) vs Ronaldo A Moreira 2088 (BRA)
Titled Tuesday intern op
ECO: D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 O-O 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Bd7 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Qc2 Qe7 12.e3 Rfe8 13.Bd3 Qd6 14.Bg3 Qe6 15.Bxc7 Rac8 16.Bg3 Na5 17.O-O Ne4 18.Bxe4 dxe4 19.Nd2 Bb5 20.Rfe1 Bd3 21.Qb2 b6 22.f3 exf3 23.gxf3 Nc4 24.Nxc4 Qxc4 25.Rac1 Re6 26.e4 Rec6 27.Re3 f5 28.Qd2 fxe4 29.fxe4 Qxd4 30.cxd4 Rxc1+ 31.Re1 R8c2 32.Qxd3 1-0

Class A Tyrell Harriott Defeats Grandmaster Ben Finegold At Foxwoods

Many people have asked why I do not annotate games. The answer is usually that there are many websites where games are annotated by Chess programs that are vastly superior to Grandmasters, so how can I compete? Granted, over half a century in Chess gives me a modicum of credence, but still… I usually dig out the dirt on the opening and leave the heavy lifting to the programs, but someone special asked me to share my thoughts, and it turned out to be the impetus needed to annotate a game for the blog. In addition, this was a relatively easy game to annotate because it features some of the same kind of mistakes I have made, and it is not every day a class player defeats a GM. And no, I do not know Tyrell Harriott. The Drueke travel set was brought out and a pen and paper were used, just like in the old “BC” daze. BTW, that’s “Before Computer.” It was a labor of love, as I enjoyed the game immensely, and hope you do, too.

Tyrell Harriott (1920) vs GM Benjamin Finegold (2446)

Grandmaster Ben Finegold can’t be tricked, he tricks you …


2022 Foxwoods Open
A45 Queen’s pawn game

  1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 g6 3. f4 Bg7 4. Nf3 O-O 5. Bd3 d6 6. O-O c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. Bc2 Bf5 9. Nbd2 Bxc2 10. Qxc2 Rc8 11. f5 b5 12. fxg6 hxg6 13. Ne4 b4 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. Qf2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Qa5 17. Bd2 Qa6 18. Kh1 Rb8 19. e4 cxd4 20. cxd4 Rb2 21. Qe3 Rxa2 22. Rae1 Qa3 23. Bc3 Rc2 24. Rc1 Rxc1 25. Rxc1 Rc8 26. Ra1 Qb3 27. Nd2 Qc2 28. Rf1 Nd8 29. Ba1 a5 30. e5 dxe5 31. dxe5 Bg7 32. Ne4 Qc4 33. Qf3 Qe6 34. Qg3 Rc4 35. Qd3 Qc8 36. Bb2 Ne6 37. h3 Qc6 38. Re1 Rc2 39. Bc3 Rxg2 40. Qf3 Ng5 41. Nf6+ Qxf6 42. Qa8+ 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!14th-annual-open-2022/-416885650
  1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 (The two most often played moves are 2 c4, with 351454 examples in the ChessBaseDataBase, and 2 Nf3, with 121652 games. There are only 310 examples of the move played in the game, and it has not scored well, with White scoring only 36%. This is an excellent example of a vastly superior, rating wise, getting out of the book ASAP) 2…g6 (This move has been the most often played move at the ‘Big Database’ at 365Chess, with 1461 games, twice as many as the next most often played moves of 2…e6 and 2…d5. It is a different story over at the CBDB. Titled players have preferred 2…c5 in 340 games, scoring 47%, and 2…d5, scoring 48% in 271 games. The game move is third, and in 144 games it has held White to only 31%. Komodo 12 @depth 33 will play 2…d5; Stockfish 14.110 will play 2..b6. The CBDB contains only 18 examples of 2…b6, and it has only scored 25%) 3. f4 (At depth 35 Stockfish 14 will play 3 c4. In 14 games it has only scored 14%. At depth 44 it changes to 3 Nf3. Stockfish 290721 @depth 41 also plays 3 Nf3, by far the most often played move with 755 examples in the CBDB, though it has only scored 45%. The second most popular move has bee 3 Bd3, though it has only been seen in 39 games) 3…Bg7 (This has been the most often played move at both databases, but is it the best move? Stockfish 14 @depth 32 will play 3…c5, but SF 14.1 @depth 40, and SF 130122 @depth 47 both prefer 3…d5. There are 5 examples of 3…d5 and it has scored only 10%) 4. Nf3 (Fritz 15 @depth 41 will play the most often played move, 4 Nf3, but Houdini and SF 130122 @depth 49 both play 4 c4, a move not found at the CBDB) 4…0-0 (SF 14.1 @depth 34 plays 4…c5. SF 130112 @depth 47 plays the most often played move 4…d5) 5. Bd3 (The CBDB contains 23 games in which this move has been played and it has scored only 33%. SF 130112 @depth 46 plays 5 c4. There are only 6 games with the move at the CBDB. It seemed obvious that Big Ben played his Bishop to d3 in order to support the pawn moving to e4 on the next move) 5…d6 (The CBDB shows 63 games with 5…d5 and it has scored 46%. 5…d6 has been seen in 26 games, scoring 35%. The choice of Stockfish, 5…c5, has been utilized 15 times, scoring only 27%) 6. O-O (Well, you know, Big Ben is a GM and I am not, but still, I would have moved the d pawn one square. The second most often played move, scoring 35% in 24 games. The most often played move has been 6 Be2. I kid you not…In 40 games it has scored all of 31%. Stockfish 11 and Houdini at lower depths both play 6 e4, a move not contained in the CBDB) 6…c5 7. c3 (I must stop here because the CBDB contains the computing of only two old Fritz programs and one of Houdini, all at lower depths. I can tell you that after 8 Bc2 the move 8…Bf5 is not found at 365Chess, [https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=16&n=108623&ms=d4.Nf6.e3.g6.f4.Bg7.Nf3.O-O.Bd3.d6.O-O.c5.c3.Nc6.Bc2&ns=7.14.216.544.2267.4196.2666.4197.8168.1346.1268.1347.1504.104501.108623] or at the CBDB. In addition, I am qualified to inform you that the move played by the Grandmaster, 8 Bc2, is weak, because it violates the rule of moving the same piece twice in the opening before completing development. This is one of the rules most often broken by players new to the game. I realize Ben is a GM, and GM, as a rule, make their own rules. Yet the title of a player matters not if he plays a bad move because no matter what title precedes a players name, a bad move is still a bad move, and 8 Bc2 stinks…) 8…Bf5 (8…cxd4 looks natural) 9. Nbd2 (I would take the prelate with 9 Bxf5) 9…Bxc2 10. Qxc2 Rc8 11. f5 (This has gotta be premature, but I will give Mr. Harriott credit for coming after the GM!) 9…b5 (Well, you know, the thing is that if I were going over the game with a student I would have to ask, “What piece has yet to be developed? 9…Qb6 looks natural, does it not?”) 12. fxg6 hxg6 13. Ne4 b4 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. Qf2 (15 d5 looks interesting) 15…bxc3 16. bxc3 Qa5 17. Bd2 Qa6 18. Kh1 (I would be forced to excoriate a poor student unmercifully for this “nothing” move. This is the kind of move made when one has no idea what to do. Granted, the GM has an advantage. Still, 18 Qg3 is possible, as is 18 h4, but I am uncertain about playing the latter move, which although thematic, still weakens the Kingside pawn structure, but still may be best because White has a preponderance of material on the Kingside, so should give strong consideration to playing on that side of the board. How bad is the King move? I would venture it was so weak that Black now has a won game) 18…Rb8 (The legendary man from the High Planes, the only man to have been both Georgia Chess Champion and Georgia Senior Chess Champion, David Vest, was very fond of saying, “Chess is a battle for squares.” The GM’s last move garnered many squares) 19. e4 cxd4 (I would have to give this move a question mark. 19…Rb2 is STRONG!) 20. cxd4 Rb2 21. Qe3 Rxa2 22. Rae1 (Take a look at this position:
Black to move after 22 Rae1

Although Black has won a pawn, his pieces languish on the Queenside while the White army is mustered on the Kingside, where the Black King resides. Black must be extremely careful in this position or else he will be overrun on the Kingside) 22…Qa3 (After reading the above you must certainly understand the motivation behind this move) 23. Bc3 (The IM of GM strength, Boris Kogan, about whom this writer has written so much, was fond of saying, “Chess is a simple game. You attack, he defend. He attack, you better defend!” Boris would have played 23 Rc1) 23…Rc2 24. Rc1 (WOW! Now the Bishop is REALLY pinned! It would probably have been better for White to simply drop the Bishop back to a1) 24…Rxc1 (Not my move…I would play 24…Nb4! The move played actually helps White…) 25. Rxc1 Rc8 26. Ra1 (26 Bd2 and the Knight is pinned, and if you have yet to hear, “Pin to WIN,” you will eventually hear it, if you stay with the Royal game) 26…Qb3 27. Nd2? (What happened to the preponderance of material on the Kingside? 27 Bd2 has got to be better. Black is winning here) 27…Qc2 (Here’s the deal…if Black simply brings the Queen back to b6 he will exert much pressure on the d-pawn) 28. Rf1 (f3 looks like a fine square for the Knight, does it not?) 28…Nd8 (Frankly, I was shocked by this retrograde move. How about 28…Ne5?!!) 29. Ba1 a5 30. e5? (This is not a good move. Remember what I said about a “preponderance of material” on the Kingside earlier? That should be an indication to play on the Kingside. Now would be the time to launch an attack on the Black King with 30 h5! I will be like the famous Cajun cook, Justin Wilson, who was fond of saying, “I will guaRONtee it!”)

https://justinwilson.com/

30…dxe5 31. dxe5 Bg7 (Well, there goes White’s pawn structure. Now he has a weak, isolated pawn in the middle of the board and a lost game, positionally speaking) 32. Ne4 Qc4 33. Qf3 Qe6 (Why not 33…Nc6 to attack that aforementioned weak, isolated pawn on e5?) 34. Qg3 Rc4 35. Qd3 (Defending AND attacking. You gotta love it!) 35…Qc8 36. Bb2 Ne6 37. h3? (At the beginning of each and every game the pawns on f2 and f7 are weak because they are protected by only the King. A Chess teacher will hammer this point home as long as it takes so his student will not be mated on f7, or f2. White should play his Queen to f3 now to attack that vulnerable f7 pawn) 37…Qc6 (After this White is toast…) 38. Re1 Rc2? (This has got to be a mistake because every Russian cab driver knows that “Passed pawns must be pushed.” This move is bad because it allows White to play his next move, breaking the coordination between the Queen and Rook) 39. Bc3 (White is still lost, but not as ‘lost’ as he was earlier…) 39…Rxg2?? (I have no idea what the time was but I do have an idea about how bad was this move. GM Yasser Seriwan would call it a “howler.”

GM Yasser Seirawan howling

Playing a move like this, turning an obviously won game into a complete disaster has got to be devastating to the psyche of any Chess player. I mean, to turn a completely won game into a devastating loss by playing a move like this can potentially drive a player insane. What could GM Finegold have been thinking?) 40. Qf3 Ng5 41. Nf6+ (Is that a beautiful move, or what? How would you like to have a chance to play a move like that against a Grandmaster, even an aged, over the hill, Grandmaster?!) 41…Qxf6 42. Qa8+ 1-0

IM Arthur Guo Wins Spring 2022 GM Norm Invitational!

Hometown hero Arthur Guo

new.uschess.org

took first place in the just completed Spring 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational extravaganza held at the Charlotte Chess Center by winning both the penultimate, and last rounds today while scoring six points, one half point ahead of GM Kamil Dragun and IM Raja Panjwani, who was the opponent of the young IM Guo, winner of the 2021 National Open, which was his first GM norm. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/im-arthur-guo-wins-national-open/) Even though Arthur won the tournament he will not earn a norm because he had to garner 6 1/2 points for a norm. This makes no sense. The player wins by finishing alone in first place and he earns no norm? Go figure…that’s FIDE.

Arthur began the day by winning with the Black pieces versus the boy who became the youngest Grandmaster in history, Abhimanyu Mishra, about whom much has been written. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/07/14/chess-dirty-laundry-begins-to-smell/)

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. O-O h6 7. Re1 a6 8. a4 Ba7 9. Nbd2 g5 10. b4 Nh7 11. Kh1 O-O 12. Rf1 Ne7 13. Bb2 Ng6 14. Ne1 g4 15. d4 c6 16. f3 g3 17. hxg3 Qg5 18. Kh2 d5 19. Bb3 Bb8 20. Nd3 Nf6 21. dxe5 Nxe5 22. Nf4 Nh5 23. Ne2 Nxg3 24. Nxg3 Qh4+ 25. Kg1 Ba7+ 26. Rf2 Qxg3 27. Qe2 Nd3 28. c4 Qxf2+ 29. Qxf2 Bxf2+ 30. Kf1 Nxb2 31. Kxf2 Nxc4 32. Nxc4 dxc4 33. Bxc4 Be6 34. Be2 f5 35. exf5 Bxf5 36. Rd1 Rad8 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!charlotte-spring-gm-a-2022/-327477079

The move 21…Nxe5? was enough to lose the game but just to make sure the young boy next fired off a “Howler” when playing 22…Nf4?? A move like that when played by an older player would cause one to wonder if there had been some kind of brain infarction. Do children have brain infarction?

In the last round Arthur had the White pieces against IM Raja Panjwani, who was leading the field heading into the ultimate round.

IM Arthur Guo 2412 USA vs Raja Panjwani 2436 CAN

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Nxd4 7. Qxd4 d6 8. Be2 Bg7 9. Be3 O-O 10. Qd2 a5 11. f3 a4 12. Rc1 Qa5 13. Kf2 Be6 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. Qxa5 Rxa5 16. cxd5 Nd7 17. Rc7 Nc5 18. Rb1 Rfa8 19. Ke1 Bf6 20. Kd1 Kg7 21. g3 b6 22. Bd2 R5a7 23. Rc6 Rb7 24. Bb5 Bd4 25. Kc2 f5 26. exf5 gxf5 27. Re1 Kf7 28. g4 fxg4 29. fxg4 Kg7 30. Rf1 Be5 31. h4 h6 32. Rf5 Ne4 33. Bxh6+ Kxh6 34. Rxe5 Nc5 35. Rf5 a3 36. b4 Nd7 37. Rc3 Rg8 38. Rh5+ Kg7 39. Rg5+ Kf7 40. Bxd7 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!charlotte-spring-gm-a-2022/-1395680198

The players traded inaccuracies around move twenty but when Raja played the weak move 31…h6? his tenuous position was teetering on the abyss. With his next move IM Panjwani let go of the rope completely…

Congratulations to future GM Arthur Guo!

Arthur Guo Let One Go

It was Saturday night and almost all was right, until young Arthur Guo let one go…like a hooked fish that somehow gets offa the hook…There I was, watching the action from Charlotte while listening to my man, H. Johnson, spin vinyl on his Saturday night program Jazz Classics on WABE FM from Atlanta, Georgia, a program to which I have listened since it’s inception way back in 1978.

https://www.wabe.org/people/h-johnson/

One of the best things about the internet is being able to listen to a program from home while in another part of the country. While listening I was also watching the Chess games being contested at the Charlotte Chess Center. One game in particular captured my attention, keeping my eyes transfixed on the screen for far too long, I’m sad to report, because my eyes were blurred upon awakening and even after a mid-morning ‘nap’ to rest them they are still somewhat out of focus. That’s OK though, because it was worth the time spent watching the game, which follows. At one point I eschewed the other games and gave my full attention to this game exclusively, rooting for Arthur while thrusting my fist in the air and shouting, “YES!,” or sometimes, “NO,” or “Oh No,” with a “What The Fork?” thrown in for good measure. WHAT A GAME!!! As far as this reporter is concerned this game was THE GAME of the tournament. Granted, I have not reviewed all the games, but of those that I’ve seen this was THE ONE! I’m telling you the game gave me HEART PALPITATIONS! At the conclusion of the game I was EXHAUSTED as if it had been me making the moves. Chess, and life, don’t get any better than that, I’m here to tell you, that is if you are a Chess Fan. At times the AW was yellin’, “Go Authur Guo, GO!” I’ve heard something about those that can no longer do, watch…Yes, I admit to living last night vicariously through the moves of future Grandmaster, and fellow Georgian Arthur Guo. The game can be found all over the internet, and I have provided a link to FollowChess, and would like to recommend this one from Lichess.com (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-charlotte-chess-gm-norm-invitational/round-7/BamwVdbA)
I will also recommend you play over the game at followchess.com and make notes before surfin’ on over to Lichess.

IM Arthur Guo (2412)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/spring-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

vs GM Aleksander Mista (2541)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/spring-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

Charlotte Spring GM A (round 7)
C50 Giuoco Pianissimo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (The ChessBaseDataBase gives Fritz 17 @depth 42 playing 3 Bc4, and it gives it twice in lieu of another program. Wonder why? The other program shown, Stockfish 300121 @depth 85[!] considers 3 Bb5 best) 3…Bc5 (Fritz 17 will play this move, but Stockfish 070215 @depth 48, and SF 14.1 @depth 62[!] will play 3…Nf6) 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 (SF 14.1 @depth 59 castles) 5…d6 6. a5 a6 (The CBDB contains 16 games in which this move has been played; one with 6…h6. Stockfish 080222 @depth 36 will play 6…h6, SF 14.1 @depth 35 will play 6…0-0) 7. c3 (Again the most often played move according to the CBDB, with 17 examples and only 4 games showing 7 0-0. Fritz 16 plays the move, but Stockfish 11 [Eleven? Why does the CBDB show a move from such an antiquated program? Obviously the CBDB needs an upgrade] will castle) 7…h6 (The most often played move, with 11 games at the CBDB. There are 7 games containing the move 7…Ba7, and it is the choice of Fritz 18. Stockfish 14.1 will play 7…0-0, and so should you. There is only one game in which the player behind the Black pieces castled and it was found only at the CBDB:

Alexandra Kosteniuk 2516 (RUS) vs Ryan Hamley 2077 (USA)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.a4 a6 6.a5 d6 7.c3 O-O 8.O-O Ba7 9.Re1 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Qb3 Qd7 12.Nbd2 Rab8 13.Nf1 Rfe8 14.Be3 Bxe3 15.Nxe3 d5 16.Qc2 h6 17.h3 Kh8 18.Ra4 Qf7 19.Ng4 Nxg4 20.hxg4 Qg6 21.g5 hxg5 22.exd5 exd5 23.Rg4 e4 24.dxe4 Rxe4 25.Rexe4 dxe4 26.Nxg5 Nxa5 27.Qa4 b6 28.Rh4+ Kg8 29.Qa2+ Kf8 30.Rh8+ Ke7 31.Rxb8 Qxg5 32.Qb1 Qf4 33.Qd1 Nc6 34.Rh8 Kf6 1-0)

  1. O-O O-O 9. h3 (The most often played move, but SF 14.1 @depth 40 will play 9 Nbd2) 9…Be6 (9…There are 10 games at the CBDB in which the move 9…Ba7 was played, and it is the choice of SF 191221 @depth 34 plays the move, but SF 14.1 @depth 39 will play the move played in the game) 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11. Be3 (Although this move is the choice of SF 14 @depth 37, SF 14.1
    @depth 49 will play 11 Nbd2, which will be a TN if’n it’s ever played by a human. The move 11 b4 was seen in the following game, found only at the CBDB:

Kirill Alekseenko (2699) (RUS) vs Alexander Zubov 2598 (UKR)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op 2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O a6 7.a4 h6 8.a5 O-O 9.h3 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.b4 Ba7 12.Re1 Qe8 13.Be3 Nh5 14.g3 Rf6 15.Ra2 Qf7 16.Nbd2 Rf8 17.Kg2 Qg6 18.Kh2 Qf7 19.Kg2 g5 20.Qe2 Qg6 21.Rf1 Kh7 22.Bxa7 Nxa7 23.Nh2 R6f7 24.Nc4 Nf6 25.Ne3 h5 26.Rb2 Nb5 27.Rc2 Kg8 28.Qd2 g4 29.hxg4 Nxg4 30.Nexg4 hxg4 31.Qe2 Rf3 32.Qd1 d5 33.Re1 d4 34.c4 Nc3 35.Qd2 Kg7 36.Rh1 R3f6 37.Qe1 b6 38.axb6 cxb6 39.Qc1 a5 40.c5 a4 41.cxb6 Qh5 42.Nf1 Qf7 43.Qg5+ Qg6 44.Qxe5 Kg8 45.Qxd4 Nd1 46.Rd2 Nxf2 47.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 48.Qxf2 Rxf2+ 49.Kxf2 Qf6+ 50.Ke1 Qc3+ 51.Nd2 Qxb4 52.Ke2 Qxb6 53.Rb1 Qa7 54.Nc4 a3 55.Ra1 a2 56.Ne3 Qa3 57.Nc4 Qb3 58.Rf1 Qc3 0-1

Fork the Russians. Score one for UKRAINE!!!

2021 SENIOR’S CHAMPIONSHIP

For some time this writer has attempted to glean information concerning the recent 2022 Georgia Senior Championship, to no avail.

Mike Bacon

Tue, Feb 22

to president, 1vp, treasurer, secretary, member1, member2

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been unable to locate anything concerning the recent Georgia Senior on the website of the GCA. Was the tournament held? If so, will anything be posted at the GCA website? I ask because the next post in the AW will concern Senior Chess, and the recent GCA Senior will be a good tie in for the post.

All the Best in Chess!

AW

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Tue, Feb 22

to me, president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad

facebook.com/216656311686961/posts/5226764027342806/

Mike Bacon

Tue, Feb 22, 4:48 PM (19 hours ago)

to Jr., president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad,

I no longer visit the Book of Faces and have not since being hacked, and will never, ever again go to Facebook for any reason whatsoever.
I would, though, like to know why there is something concerning the GCA at Facebook in lieu of the WEBSITE OF THE GEORGIA CHESS ASSOCIATION?

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Tue, Feb 22

to me
Only because we are still seeking volunteers to fill all responsibilities. We have individuals who are willing to post to the GCA magazine, to twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but I do not currently have anyone other than myself who knows how to post to the GCA website. If you are willing to volunteer, I would be happy to train you.

Regards,
Parnell

Mike Bacon

to Jr.
How the hell did you turn my attempt to learn if the Georgia Senior was held into a plaintive plea for help? I want nothing to do with the GCA, sir! You took time to post something at Facebook rather than the GCA website, did you not? There must be a reason. Is there anyone involved with the GCA who can, and will give me the information?

That is where it stands as of this writing…

Not all of the board members have been so obstinate. For example, Kevin Schmuggerow was nice enough to send the following:

Kevin Schmuggerow

Wed, Feb 16

to me
Hey Mike,

Good to hear from you!

I hope you are doing well through these crazy times.

I didn’t receive your email until just now?

Not sure what’s going on with the GCA server, I know Parnell has made some changes that effected Keith Sewell’s old account as well.

Regarding the Senior Open, I agree, with you, I previously had sent an email regarding the round times being too close together (10:00 – 2:00) no time for lunch…

I wasn’t planning on playing do to another conflict.

Stay safe!!

Kevin later fired this salvo my way:

Mike,

Below was the agenda for the the 1/26 meeting. The February meeting is next week.

One of the other board members also expressed displeasure at the format for the 2021 Senior, but asked for anonymity. It appears there is already much dissension on the board of the GCA.

The 2021 Senior championship was held in 2022, which should mean there will be another Georgia Senior later this year, was located at the USCF website (http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?202202202382.0). It shows that GM Alonso Zapata

http://eacchess.com/news/alonso-zapata-international-grand-master-and-fide-senior-trainer/

cut through the field like a hot knife through cold butter. The Grandmaster was rated almost four hundred points higher than the second highest rated player, Expert James Altucher, from Florida. He was joined in second place by Georgians Jeffery Rymuza, Ramchandra Nadar, Christopher Ferrante, all scoring 3-1. Eighteen players competed in the Georgia Senior.

The AW was surprised, and pleased, to see the tournament was directed by Anna Christina Baumstark,

https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Anna-Baumstark/2361492263

a former member of the board of the GCA, and a woman well known for her Chess teaching in and around the Atlanta area. Anna would visit, and often play, at the Ironman Chess Club in those halcyon days before the pandemic struck. She is a lovely lady who loves Soccer, and is quite opinionated, which is one of the reasons conversations with her were so lively. As it happens, I recently found a game played by Anna over at FollowChess.com.

Barr Perry vs Anna C Baumstark
B01 Scandinavian (centre counter) defence
US Amateur Team Championship

  1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bd3 c6 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. O-O e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Qc1 Be7 10. Bf4 Qd8 11. f3 Bh5 12. Rd1 Nbd7 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nf6 15. Bd3 O-O 16. c3 h6 17. Bd2 Bg6 18. Bxg6 fxg6 19. Nf4 Bd6 20. Nxg6 Rf7 21. Re1 Qd7 22. Ne5 Bxe5 23. Rxe5 Re8 24. Bxh6 gxh6 25. Qxh6 Nh7 26. Rae1 Rf6 27. Qh3 Re7 28. R1e4 Kf8 29. c4 Ke8 30. f4 Nf8 31. Rh5 Rh7 32. Qf3 Rfh6 33. Rxh6 Rxh6 34. f5 Qd6 35. g3 Rf6 36. Qh5+ Ke7 37. Qg5 Kf7 38. Qh5+ Ke7 39. Qh4 Kf7 40. g4 exf5 41. gxf5 Rh6 42. Qf2 Qd8 43. Qe3 Rf6 44. Qf3 Qd7 45. Rf4 Ke8 46. Qe3+ Kf7 47. Qe4 Qd6 48. Qe2 Qxf4 49. Qh5+ Ke7 50. Qe2+ Kf7 51. Qh5+ Kg8 52. Qe2 Qxf5 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!us-amateur-team-chp-2022/2128237610

1.e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nf6 (Stockfish 14 @depth 44 plays 3…Nc6. Leave the thing crunchin’ for one more ply and it changes its algorithm to 3…e5) 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bd3 (The most often played, and best move is 5 Nf3) 5….c6 (Three different Stockfish programs all play 5…Nc6, and so should you) 6. Ne2 (Komodo @depth29 plays 6 Bd2; Stockfish 2.3.1, a new program to me, prefers 6 a3) 6…Bg4 (SF plays 6…Na6; Houdini shows 6…g6) 7. O-O e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Qc1 (This appears to be a new move: https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=17&n=287004&ms=e4.d5.exd5.Qxd5.d4.Nf6.Nc3.Qa5.Bd3.c6.Nge2.Bg4.O-O.e6.Bd2.Qc7&ns=3.20.27.56.3367.5267.3708.1609.17041.9873.22103.56015.157738.148060.246703.287004. Which means that Ladies & Gentlemen, it’s time to start your engines!)

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)

http://www.billwallchess.com/articles/duchamp.htm

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,

https://free.4reads.live/show/book/58085257/seven-games-a-human-history/12505176/be80a798/14f9b3ff943b5ba/#

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.”

“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
    (https://live.followchess.com/#!copa-marcel-duchamp-2022/-626801633)(https://lichess.org/broadcast/5th-montevideo-open–marcel-duchamp-cup-2022/round-8/ckCnjhfB)
  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…)