e4 c5 2. Nf3 (Interesting is that Stockfish 14.1 @depth 65 will play the game move, but Stockfish 14.1677, a new one to me, will play 2 Nc3, which was the move I played when facing a Sicilian) 2…e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 Nf6 (Both SF 14.1 and Komodo play 4…d5) 5. Bg2 (SF 14 plays 5 Qe2! And so does the AW. In 16 games the move has scored 66% against 2430 ELO averaged players. Just sayin’…) 5…d5 6. Nbd2 (SF 14.1 plays 6 Qe2. SF 141221 @depth 60 castles, but @depth 61 changes its something or other to 6 Qe2) 6…dxe4 (SF 14.1 @depth 57 will play 6…Be7 as have 1493 other players according to the CBDB) 7. dxe4 e5 (Deep Fritz likes this move, but SF 14.1 will play 7…Be7) 8. O-O (Deep Fritz castles, but Fritz 17 and SF 14 will play 8 c3, a move not contained in the CBDB. Ten games can be found at 365Chess ) 8…Qc7 9. c3 Be7 10. Re1 (This move has been most often played but the Stockfish 14+NNUE program at LiChess shows 10 Nc4 best) 10…h6
The above position was seen on the board of a round five game from the Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival. Sitting behind the white army is 2699 rated Grandmaster Anton Korobov,
the four time Chess Champion of Ukraine, and top rated player in the Sunway Sitges tournament. In the colloquial language most often used at the House of Pain it would have been said that GM Korobov was “Busted!” His opponent was Grandmaster Christian Camilo Rios,
rated 2460, who is from Colombia. He was born in 1993, earned the FM title in 2007; the IM title in 2013; and finally garnered the GM title in 2019. GM Rios obviously worked long and hard to become a Grandmaster. According to Chessbase (https://players.chessbase.com/en/player/rios_cristhian%20camilo/217838) the highest rated player GM Rios had defeated until this game was 2611 rated Erik Van den Doel. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is rated 2856, which is 396 points higher than GM Rios. The rating categories in Chess are in 200 point intervals, which means GM Rios is almost two levels below the World Chess Champion. A player becomes a National Master when his rating hits 2200. Subtract 396 from 2200 and you obtains 1804, which is 5 points into class A. It takes 2000 to become an Expert, so GM Rios is clearly at least one level below GM Korobov. Ordinarily this would mean GM Rios would be an International Master. The FIDE rating system has become so out of whack that it is now meaningless.
One of the things for which I have become known in the world of teaching the Royal Game is “EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!” Any player worth his salt is always aware of any possible checks to his King, or of any possible checks to the opponents King. In the above position the move Bf2+ would have to be considered, so I will assume GM Rios saw the move. Why he did not play the move is beyond my comprehension. From the FollowChess (https://live.followchess.com/), and ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-sunway-sitges/05-Korobov_Anton-Rios_Cristhian_Camilo) websites lack of time was not the cause of how the game ended. Therefore the question must be asked if any “threat” was made or “inducement” offered to the much lower rated Rios to get him to end the game with a perpetual check.
Anton Korobov 2699 (UKR) vs Cristhian Camilo Rios 2460 (COL) Sunway Sitges 2021 round 05 B33 Sicilian, Pelikan (Lasker/Sveshnikov) variation
There will be a playoff for the title of 2021 US Chess Champion between three players, two of them world class. Fabiano Caruana
is currently ranked third in the world after losing two games, back to back, in the recently completed 2012 US Chess Championship. Wesley So
is ranked eighth in the world. Then there is Sam Sevian…There is a saying in Poker that is applicable here: “If you don’t see a sucker at the table, you’re it.” Sam was ranked 91st on the top list compiled by FIDE before the tournament, and he did gain points for his good performance. Being one of the top 100 Chess players in the world is a tremendous achievement for any player, but Caruana drew a match with the World Chess Champion in which he was not defeated in the only games that count, those played with a classical time limit. The quick play playoff to determine the “champion” is a joke and terrible insult to the players who just spent almost two weeks vying for the title because Chess is inherently unfair since there is an odd number of rounds and some players sit behind the White army in more games than other players, which gives them a HUGE advantage. Caruana and Sevian each had the White pieces in six games while Wesley So had the White pieces in only FIVE games. Therefore, Wesley So should be crowned as the 2021 US Chess Champion. Congratulations to the Champ, Wesley So!
The tournament was Sam Sevian’s for the taking. In the penultimate round he was a pawn up and could have played 27 Kc2 in lieu of repeating the position but for whatever reason Sam decided to play poltroon Chess. You can bet your sweet bippy Bobby Fischer
would have played 27 Kc2. Then in the last round this “game”, and I use the word loosely, was “played.”
If ever there were a time to play for a win it was this game because victory could possibly bring the coveted title of United States Chess Champion and probably entry into the US Chess Hall of Fame. His opponent had just lost a game the previous round and his testosterone level had to be low. Naroditsky had already lost FOUR GAMES! Do you think Bobby Fischer would have played the above game in the LAST ROUND of a US Chess Championship? In the post game interviews Naroditsky was obviously happy with the short draw, saying something about how he “…should have drawn the day before.” When it came time for Sam to explain his decision to acquiesce to the repetition he explained by saying, “Before the tournament my plan was to play solidly with Black…” Translated that says he was “…playing to draw with black and win with white.” The young man should not even be called a “Co-Champion.” No matter what happens for the remainder of his Chess career Sam Sevian will continue to wonder what might have been if only he had
The question will haunt him until he takes his last breath.
The sixth round game between Ashritha Eswaran
and Megan Lee
reached this position after the moves: 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O e5 5. d3 Ne7 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. e4 c6 8. Re1 Qd6 9. c3 f5
Eswaran played 10 d4 and Maurice obviously very much liked the move, calling it “…an outstanding move!” I was following the action at FollowChess (https://live.followchess.com/) because only the moves are displayed and I had my doubts. Still, Maurice has some kind of computer Chess program, so I thought it must be OK…Nevertheless, inquiring minds want to know, so I surfed on over to ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/) where a Red move was showing…Chess24 says White goes from being “much better” to “equal.” Maybe the “engine”, as they are so fond of calling the computer program, had a glitch, or was turned off…
I took note of the following because it was so hilarious, coming as it did from a player not known for playing 1 e4 during his illustrious career: Yaz: “Nobody likes to play against the Najdorf because the variations are so lengthy…” Round 8 2:45 into the game. You know that put a smile on the face of Mr. Najdorf, French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave!
The thing is that I stopped playing the Najdorf over four decades ago after hearing a Grandmaster talk about those players “Who study the Najdorf but not Chess.” Still, I learned much about the Royal game by playing the Najdorf. One never forgets his first love…
During the final game of the event, between Bruzon Batista
and Alex Lenderman
which lasted for 127 moves, Maurice said, “If only we could be paid by the move.” Cracked me up…I will admit to have been “pulling” for Lenderman, and evidently not the only one. If only he had found 38 Qa1, challenging the Black Queen, in lieu of 38 Rc8 against Caruana in round 10…
phamlore: What could Lenderman do? He needed a win today, and he never had a position where a win for Black was that doable? ArcticStones: Lenderman has had an impressive tournament, imho. jphamlore: Lenderman tried at least. It’s just his opponent played a decent game himself. Terugloper: @Arctic –> Could be, but Imho your commentaries during this tournament are way more impressive ArcticStones: You jest. Commenters such as jphamlore know far more about chess than I do! Terugloper: Lol!!! ArcticStones: I’m serious. KJBellevue: The evaluation here is totally wrong Terugloper: Why? KJBellevue: Tablebase clearly indicates a draw Terugloper: I see Terugloper: So 74. … Kh2 was an acceptable move? KJBellevue: Yes, still drawn Terugloper: Okay Terugloper: Long Live Lenderman, folks! Terugloper: I would play 78. Kc6 to have square d6 available for possible Q-trades KJBellevue: But Black can still check on the white squares Terugloper: Yes Terugloper: Lenderman know his stuff Terugloper: *knows Terugloper: Black Queen Symphony Terugloper: Black Queen Symphony on white squares jphamlore: Lenderman the king of instructional endgames this event. Terugloper: Yeah – Endgame King Lenderman Terugloper: But still I give all of you the following strict advice –> Don’t try this at home Terugloper: Lenderman feeling so comfortable now that he attacks on the black squares now KJBellevue: He knows this ending well jphamlore: Unfortunately, even if White touched the wrong piece, I’m not sure Lenderman has any way to win this. Terugloper: Lenderman – The living table base on two legs I_LUV_U: a table base is three or four legs Terugloper: Why not five legs? Terugloper: You met one in the subway? mrlondon: What the record for most number of checks in a game? Terugloper: Good question – I will ask Tim Krabbé Terugloper: https://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess/check.html Terugloper: In the 200-move game Wegner – Johnsen, Gausdal 1991 a total of 141 checks were given, of which 98 by White alone. Terugloper: https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/wegner—johnsen-gausdal-1991 mrlondon: Interesting. Thanks! mrlondon: It’s not going to happen here. Terugloper: Yep Terugloper: Just 10 moves to go now for 50-rule move draw claim Terugloper: 5 moves Terugloper: Minus 2 moves KJBellevue: 🙂 Terugloper: Bellevue! My main man!!! Rhinegold: eval also indicates draw, noob, lol https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-us-chess-championship/11-Bruzon_Batista_Lazaro-Lenderman_Aleksandr
The coverage was excellent even though Jennifer Shahade
was missing. She does bring a terrific smile and is the perfect foil to the understated Yasser Seirawan as she has occasionally given him perfect opportunities for a SNL moment that Yaz used so effectively with the previous female to accompany him:
One of my favorite features was the “Parkside Chats” between Yaz and Maurice. Although they are all good, the one that follows is my favorite because I worked at a Chess Club:
The next one is great in a historical sense as the guys discuss what it was like ‘back in the day’ when Bobby Fischer put the Royal game on the front page of every newspaper and every broadcast of the nightly new on television. After watching these videos I realized how much laughter has been missing in the pandemic era. Sometimes one really does need to laugh to keep from crying…
I urge you to take a few more minutes to watch this video which is an interview with one of the top players of the game of Scrabble in the world, who lives near the St Louis Chess Campus. You can thank me for bringing it to your attention by leaving a comment:
The last move played was 34 Kh3-g2. White has the better position. I know this, you know this, and every Chess player who has made it to class ‘B’ knows this, and possibly every player who has made it to class ‘C’ and no longer plays the Queen’s Raid knows this fact. If you are teaching the Royal game to a neophyte it could be explained by beginning with the fact that white has more space. In addition, each and every white piece is better placed than each black counterpart. Then there is the fact that the white Queen and Rook are working together whereas the black Queen and Rook are separated while being tied down to the defense of the weak a-pawn. Even the white King is better placed than its counterpart. Even after suffering a brain cramp the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen
would win this position 99 44/100 percent of the time against the other nine elite players in the top ten. The decision to repeat the position three times, thereby forcing the game to end in a draw was one of the most pusillanimous ever made considering it came in the third round of the 2021 US Women’s Chess Championship, played Friday, October 8, 2021.
is higher rated by almost 200 points, and is one of the favorites to win the tournament. Knowing little about Megan Lee I went to the website of the US Championships to find this:
“Megan Lee is a chess Woman International Master. She completed her BFA in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design with a minor in Art History. Most recently, she won the 2020 Washington State Championships and the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open. Other highlights include winning the 2013 North American Youth U18 Girls Championship and the 2009 Kasparov All-Girls Nationals Championship. Outside of chess, Megan runs two small businesses, an embroidery shop and a lifestyle brand, Snippet Studios. She also enjoys playing board games, skating, clam digging, and making things.” (https://uschesschamps.com/bio/megan-lee)
I can only speculate as to why Megan Lee let her clam get away… What I can say is that this game vividly illustrates why the three time repetition rule MUST BE ABOLISHED! It is terribly sad that any Chess player must be forced to attempt winning a game when having a huge advantage, but something, anything, must be done to at least mitigate the slow death by draw that is plaguing the Royal Game. There is no three time repetition rule in the game of Wei Chi, or Go, as it is called in the West, which is the main, or at least one of the major reasons Go is a better game than is Chess. Go is played to WIN. A draw in Go is anathema, as it should be in Chess. Any Chess player repeating the position for the third time should LOSE THE GAME! Period. What makes this even worse is that during the game Anna Sharevich
versus Irina Krush
played the previous day in the second round, after Irina lost her mind in a completely won position and blundered horribly when playing 66…Bf7, the two players battled until each had only a Rook and pawn left on the board. Then they shook hands, agreeing to a draw, but because of the rules in force during the tournament the women were forced to sit there and play many moves until finally finding a position in which a three fold repetition could be played, thus ending the game which should have ended long earlier. This is ridiculous to the point of absurdity. To be taken seriously in the world of games and ideas Chess needs to get its act together.