Armed and Dangerous Females at the 2022 Saint Louis Norm Congress

When one surfs over to the website of the St. Louis Chess Club to check out the upcoming pairings this is what one finds for the IM tournament:

2022 Saint Louis Norm Congress

Pairings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Rankings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

List by federation
Cross table

Click on “Females” and one discovers how the four female players have fared against their male counterparts. Segregating the “females” sets them apart, making it appear they are different and not part of the group. Is this good for the “females” or for Chess? Is it necessary to separate the women players because of their gender? Does this help or hurt their chances of being accepted as part of the group? Let me ask another question. What if there were enough players to have a similar tournament with four players with dark skin pigmentation and the word “Black” was used in lieu of “Female”? Would that be acceptable to people with darker skin pigmentation? Would that be acceptable to the people in charge of the St. Louis Chess Club? Would it be acceptable to the larger Chess community of the world? If the answer is “no” then why is it acceptable for the people at the St. Louis Chess Campus to segregate any one particular group?

After informing a National Master that I have been avidly following the two tournaments currently being held at the St. Louis Chess Campus he replied, “Why would you waste your time watching those chumpy-lumpies when you could be watching games from the Sharjah Masters? There are thirty of the best players in the world competing and they are fighting.” I said nothing while thinking about the proliferation of draws, most of them short, afflicting top level Chess these daze. Short draws have been anathema at the St. Louis Chess mecca. The options for a Chess fan these days are almost unlimited; this fan prefers watching games emanating from the Chess Capital of America no matter who is playing because short draws are not acceptable in St. Louis, or at least were not until seeing this insult to the St. Louis Chess Campus and Chess in general:

IM Matyas Marek 2363 vs FM Joshua Posthuma 2405

Round 6

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 1/2-1/2!saint-louis-norm-congress-im-2022/1216272321

This game “wowed” the fans, or at least one of them, who left this at the “Chat” with the game:

Chat room

Neverness Board 1: What a fighting game! 😀

Neverness Wow, just wow! 😀

Neither one of these “players”, and I use the word loosely, is a Grandmaster yet they felt compelled to make a “Grandmaster draw.” What are the odds either one of these losers will ever be invited to return to the St. Louis Chess Campus? Games like this appear with regularity at tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Center, and in the Bay area at San Jose. ( Never thought I would be writing about a three and a have move game from St. Louis…

On to the good stuff abounding from this tournament!

After four rounds FM Jennifer Yu

was +2 after two wins and two draws. In the fifth round she had the white pieces versus fellow FM Joshua Posthuma (2404).

After the latter made a weak ninth move and followed it up with what is called a “mistake” at LiChess, she was winning. The game was a real battle and could have ended in a draw, but Ms. Yu let go of the rope with her 39th move, a passive retreat when she could have continued checking, and the lights were turned out. The game must have taken something out of her because she played weakly in the opening in the following game and was lost before move ten…but fought back to an even game later before both players blundered with their thirtieth move and it was back to even, Steven, until Ms. Yu again let go of the rope with her thirty second move and it was all over but the shouting…In the next, seventh round, she had the black pieces against one of the three co-leaders, IM Aaron Grabinsky, who had won his first four games before drawing the next two games. Not many people who gamble would have wagered on Jennifer. This writer was hoping she would not fall apart completely and do the goose-egg shuffle on her way out of St. Louis. Many players would have lost their fighting spirit and consented to “making a draw,” and who could, or would, blame her if she did exactly that? Then, on move 24 her opponent made a vacillating move in retreating his Queen and Jennifer gained an advantage. Solid move followed solid move until IM Grabinsky again retreated his Queen on his 29th move. Unfortunately, Jennifer did not make the best move in reply, but still had an advantage, albeit small. Then her opponent blundered on his 31st move and Jennifer punished him for it, winning in 35 moves. What a fighter is Jennifer Yu! I urge you to replay the game, which can be found here> (

While watching the action in round six I put two games into the opening grinder and one of them was the game of the tournament. When young FM Alice Lee sat down to play IM Aaron Grabinsky in round six she had a total of 1 1/2 points, earned in the three previous rounds with draws after losing her first two games. Her opponent was leading the field with 4 1/2 points. Alice had the white pieces, but her opponent grabbed an positional advantage and began squeezing the life out of Ms. Lee, but she refused to let go of the rope, finding good move after good move for many moves. Several times IM Grabinsky achieved the maximum from his position, but refused to bring the hammer down and continued playing vacillating moves; he simply could not pull the trigger. After one hundred and eight moves (!) IM Grabinsky gave up the ghost and FM Alice Lee had scored a well earned and hard fought draw with the leader of the tournament!

Round 6
FM Lee, Alice 2334

vs IM Grabinsky, Aaron 2401

Coquille resident makes name for himself in international chess …

E11 Bogo-Indian defence
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d6 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.e4 e5 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O c6 10.Rfd1 Re8 11.Qc2 a5 12.Rd2 Qe7 13.Rad1 g6 14.d5 c5 15.Ne1 Nb6 16.Nb5 Rf8 17.Qd3 Ne8 18.Bf1 f5 19.f3 Bd7 20.Nc3 f4 21.Rc1 Nf6 22.Kf2 Qe8 23.Nc2 g5 24.h3 Qh5 25.Ke1 Ne8 26.Kd1 Nc7 27.Na3 Qe8 28.Kc2 Nc8 29.Kb1 Na7 30.Qe2 Kf7 31.Qf2 Ke7 32.Bd3 Qg6 33.Rh1 h5 34.Be2 Rh8 35.Rdd1 Rag8 36.Rh2 Ne8 37.Rdh1 Rh7 38.Nc2 Rgh8 39.a4 Nf6 40.Ne1 b6 41.Rg1 Rg8 42.Rgh1 Nc8 43.Nd3 Rhg7 44.g4 fxg3 45.Qxg3 h4 46.Qf2 Nh5 47.Bd1 Qf6 48.Qd2 Kd8 49.Rg1 Nf4 50.Nf2 Rf7 51.Rhh1 Nh5 52.Re1 Qg6 53.Qe3 Ne7 54.Rh2 Qf6 55.Ne2 Ng3 56.Ng1 Rgf8 57.b3 Qg7 58.Kc2 Kc7 59.Kb1 Rf4 60.Nd3 R4f6 61.Nf2 Be8 62.Ng4 Rf4 63.Nf2 Bh5 64.Nd3 R4f6 65.Nf2 Ng8 66.Ka2 R6f7 67.Kb1 Nf6 68.Kc2 Nh7 69.Kb1 Rf6 70.Kc2 R8f7 71.Ng4 Rf4 72.Kc1 Qf8 73.Qd3 Nf6 74.Nf2 Nd7 75.Ng4 Bg6 76.Nf2 Nf6 77.Kb2 Bh5 78.Kc1 Qg7 79.Qe3 Bg6 80.Bc2 Qf8 81.Kb2 Nfh5 82.Bd1 Qg7 83.Ka2 Rf8 84.Bc2 Qf6 85.Bd1 Qf7 86.Kb2 Ng7 87.Qd3 N3h5 88.Qe3 Qe7 89.Nd3 R4f7 90.Nf2 Ng3 91.Bc2 Bh5 92.Bd1 Qf6 93.Ng4 Qg6 94.Nf2 Ne8 95.Ka2 Rf4 96.Nd3 Nf6 97.Nf2 Qf7 98.Kb2 Qg7 99.Ka2 Rf7 100.Bc2 Qf8 101.Bd1 Qh6 102.Kb2 Nh7 103.Qd3 Qf8 104.Re3 Bg6 105.Re1 Nf6 106.Ka2 Bh7 107.Kb2 Nfh5 108.Qe3 1/2-1/2

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 (111865 games with this move can be found in the ChessBaseDataBase, and it is the choice of SF 15 @depth 68 and and SF 040522 @depth 74, but SF 14.1 @depth 64 preferred 3 Nc3. In 80101 games it has scored 53%. 3 Nf3 has scored 55%) 3…Bb4+ (SF 14.1 @depth 66 plays 3…d5) 4.Bd2 (This has been the most often played move with 11966 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Fritz 16-you know what that means-both SF 14.1 and 15 will play 4 Nbd2) 4…Bxd2+ (SF 15 plays 4…Be7, a move with only 165 games that have shown a score of 60%. Here’s the deal, Fritz 16 also plays the move! Deep Fritz 13 likes 4…a5, in third place with 3096 games in the CBDB. 5538 players have chosen 4…Qe7 with a score 57%; 2247 players have tried 4…c5 resulting in 53%. The move played in the game has scored 58% in 1212 games) 5.Qxd2 d6 (There are only 92 examples of this move contained in the CBDB with a resulting 62%. Fritz 16 @depth 31 will play 5…Nc6. There is only one game with the move. Komodo @depth 30 will play 5…b6. The 93 games in which this move has been played have resulted in 65% for the players of the white pieces. SF 14.1 @depth 55 castles. With 493 games it has been the most often played move, resulting in a 59% score) 6.Nc3 (With this move the CBDB shows us the progression of the computin’ of SF 14.1. At depth 38 it favors 6 e3. There is only one game with this move in the CBDB… then comes 6 g3 @depth 39. It has scored 50% in 15 games. Then @depth 47 the program moves to the move made in the game, which has resulted in a strong 63% for white) 6…Nbd7 (This move has been played in 22 games, scoring 61%. SF 190322 @depth 27 will play 6…Qe7. In 20 games it has scored 65%. Then there is SF 14.1 @depth 40 which will, given the opportunity, play 6…d5, a NEW MOVE!) 7.e4 e5 8.Be2 (There is only one game with this move in the CBDB, and it is the move of Deep Fritz 13 @depth 17 [17? The Fritz limbo; how low can you go?] which ought to give you pause…Komodo 14 @depth 31 and SF 130222 @depth 27 both 0-0-0) The CBDB contains only two games here, one with 8 d5 and the other with 8 Be2. Don’t know about you but I’m sticking with Stockfish!)

FM Gabriela Antova,

Jewgenij Schtembuljak und Polina Schuwalowa sind Junioren-Weltmeister …

from Bulgaria, got off to a good start in the first round by defeating FM Alice Lee with black. Then she lost three in a row before drawing in the fifth round. In the sixth round she faced IM Pedro Rivera Rodriguez,

from Cuba, who, although an International Master, is rated below Master level at 2199. How is that possible? What has happened to the rating system? 2199 is below Master level, as 2000-2199 is, or was considered Expert level.

Round 6
FM Antova, Gabriela 2282 vs IM Rodriguez Rivera, Pedro 2199
A53 Old Indian defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 Nbd7 4.g3 e5 5.Nc3 c6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Qc2 a6 9.Rd1 Qc7 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Nh4 g6 12.b3 Re8 13.Bb2 a5 14.Nf3 Bf8 15.Na4 Nc5 16.Nxc5 Bxc5 17.e3 Bf5 18.Qe2 a4 19.h3 axb3 20.axb3 Rxa1 21.Bxa1 Be4 22.Qb2 Bxf3 23.Bxf3 Qe7 24.Kg2 Bb4 25.h4 h5 26.Be2 Ba3 27.Qc2 Bb4 28.Qa2 Ne4 29.Qc2 Nc5 30.Rh1 Rd8 31.Rd1 Re8 32.Rh1 Rd8 33.Rd1 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 56 will play 3 Nc3) 3…Nbd7 (Three different SF programs all going very deep will play 3…g6) 4. g3 (Two SF programs and one Komodo all play 4 Nc3) 4…e5 (Far and away the most often played move with 354 games, and advocated by Fritz 16 @depth 30, but SF 8 [8? Did SF 8 first appear last century?] @depth 27 will play the second most played move according to the ChessBaseDataBase, 4…c6, with 74 games showing. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 30 plays 3…g6, the third most popular move with only 51 moves contained in the CBDB) 5. Nc3 c6 (SF 7 @depth
    29 will play this, the most often played move with 452 games in the database, but Fritz 16 @depth 35 AND Stockfish 14.1 @depth 44 both prefer 5…exd4. The CBDB contains on three games with pawn takes pawn) 6. Bg2 Be7 (With 432 games contained in the CBDB this has been the most frequently played move, and it is the choice of Houdini, but Fritz 16 @depth 28, and Stockfish 14.1 @depth 43 will play 6…e4, a move having been attempted in only 103 games) 7. O-O (The 495 games in which players have castled are more than double the 213 games in which 7 e4 has appeared. Both Houdini and Fritz castle, but SF 14.1 will play 7 Qc2, a move only seen in 51 games, although it has scored highest at an astounding 72%! Castling has scored 58% while 7 e4 has scored 63%) 7…0-0 (This move has been played in over one thousand games, 1033 to be exact, and has scored 58%, and it is the choice of Houdini, albeit at a low depth of only 24 fathoms. Yet Komodo and SF14.1 @depth 53 both will play 7…e4, a move having only been tried in 14 games) 8. Qc2 (The move of both Houdini and Fritz, but SF 14.1 will play the most often played move, 8 e4) 8…a6 (Komodo and Fritz play the most often played move, 8…Re8; SF 14.1 plays 8…Qc7) 9. Rd1 (SF 14.1 @depth 39 plays 9 h3. There is only one game containing the move found at the CBDB) 9…Qc7 10 dxe5 (This move cannot be located at either 365Chess or the CBDB, therefore FM Antova played a Theoretical Novelty)

Dutch Defense Opening Theory SHOCKER!

[Event “Round 6: Pierre Goosen – Andrew Southey”]
[Site “”%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 []. 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

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.

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. (

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

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!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, [] 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!”)

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

Weird Wimpy Wesley So Lets One Go

In the game between Grandmasters Amin Tabatabaei and Wesley So

in the 2022 FIDE Grand Prix yesterday the latter resigned the game after his opponent played 30 a4. This was the final position:

A local Chess coach was showing the ongoing game to a student. When the above position was reached the Ironman kept hitting the key that would have ordinarily shown the next move only there were no more moves made after Tabatabaei played his thirtieth move because Wimpy Wesley So RESIGNED! Try explaining that to any neophyte student attempting to learn how to correctly play Chess. The material is balanced, but White no doubt has a huge positional advantage. The Stockfish 14+ NNUE program used at (–knockout-stage/semifinals-game-2/d5hX2IQ7) shows White with an advantage of 4.8. Nevertheless, the game should have continued, and it would have continued if a less than wimpy player had been sitting behind the Black position. From

You might reasonably ask why Wesley resigned when material was equal, but the US Champion explained: “It’s not going to be equal for a long time. Basically anybody who plays chess knows it’s lost, because White has the bishop pair, better pawn structure, active rook and Black cannot move. The rook is on the 6th rank, so all the technical pluses are for White. You just have to learn the basics to know it’s lost!” (

Wesley So is an extremely strong Chess player, but he is not a fighter. Many fighting Grandmasters, like Victor Korchnoi

Viktor Korchnoi Credit: Mary Delaney Cooke/Corbis via Getty Images 

for example, would have sat there many hours making life as difficult as possible for their opponent.

“What makes you a coward?” asked Dorothy, looking at the great beast in wonder, for he was as big as a small horse.

“It’s a mystery,” replied the Lion.

“I suppose I was born that way. All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I’ve met a man I’ve been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go. If the elephants and the tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me, I should have run myself—I’m such a coward; but just as soon as they hear me roar they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them go.”

“But that isn’t right. The King of Beasts shouldn’t be a coward,” said the Scarecrow.

“I know it,” returned the Lion, wiping a tear from his eye with the tip of his tail. “It is my great sorrow, and makes my life very unhappy. But whenever there is danger, my heart begins to beat fast.”

“Perhaps you have heart disease,” said the Tin Woodman.

“It may be,” said the Lion.

“If you have,” continued the Tin Woodman, “you ought to be glad, for it proves you have a heart. For my part, I have no heart; so I cannot have heart disease.”

“Perhaps,” said the Lion thoughtfully, “if I had no heart I should not be a coward.”

“Have you brains?” asked the Scarecrow.

“I suppose so. I’ve never looked to see,” replied the Lion.

“I am going to the Great Oz to ask him to give me some,” remarked the Scarecrow, “for my head is stuffed with straw.”

“And I am going to ask him to give me a heart,” said the Woodman.

“And I am going to ask him to send Toto and me back to Kansas,” added Dorothy.

“Do you think Oz could give me courage?” asked the Cowardly Lion.

“Just as easily as he could give me brains,” said the Scarecrow.

“Or give me a heart,” said the Tin Woodman.

“Or send me back to Kansas,” said Dorothy.

“Then, if you don’t mind, I’ll go with you,” said the Lion, “for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.”

“You will be very welcome,” answered Dorothy, “for you will help to keep away the other wild beasts. It seems to me they must be more cowardly than you are if they allow you to scare them so easily.”

“They really are,” said the Lion, “but that doesn’t make me any braver, and as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy.” (

Before heading up the stairs at the old Atlanta Chess & Game Center, owned by L. Thad Rogers, a proud member of the United States Chess Federation Hall of Fame, the players would see a drawing of the following, which was put there by Thad:

M. Amin Tabatabaei 2623 vs Weird Wesley So 2778
Fide GP 3 Berlin – Playoffs
E21 Nimzo-Indian, three knights variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. g3 b6 8. Bg2 Bb7 9. d5 d6 10. O-O Qe7 11. Nh4 Nbd7 12. Re1 Ne5 13. e4 Nxc4 14. Bf1 Ne5 15. c4 Ng6 16. Ng2 b5 17. cxb5 exd5 18. exd5 Qd7 19. Ne3 Rfe8 20. Bb2 Nxd5 21. Nxd5 Rxe1 22. Qxe1 Bxd5 23. Rd1 Nh4 24. Rd3 Qg4 25. Qc3 Be4 26. Be2 Qg5 27. Rxd6 Nf5 28. Qe5 Qe7 29. Qxe7 Nxe7 30. a4 1-0!fide-gp-3-berlin—playoffs-2022/1357841333
  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 (According to the name of the opening after this move was the E20 Nimzo-Indian defence) 4. Nf3 (This move made it the E21 Nimzo-Indian, three knights variation. The two most often played moves are 4 e3 and 4 Qc2. The question is, do you play the former and allow your opponent to play Bishop takes Knight on c3 ripping apart your pawn structure? This writer prefers the latter. Komodo 11 @depth 47 plays the move played in the game, but Stockfish 14.1 @depth 73(!) will play 4 e3) 4…O-O (There are 10884 games in the ChessBaseDataBase in which Black has played 4…d5. There are 5197 games where Black played 4…b6, and both show a 54% score for White. Fritz 18 @depth 29 will play 4…b6. Stockfish 14 @depth 61 will castle, as will SF 14.1 @depth 62) 5. a3 (This move is not found at the CBDB. There are thirty examples contained in the ‘Big Database’ at 365Chess. Stockfish 13 @depth 60 plays 5 Qc2. SF 191221 @depth 66 plays 5 e3. The CBDB shows 1992 games of the former and 758 for the latter) 5…Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. g3 b6 (SF 14.1 @depth 41 will play 7…d5 and so should have Weird Wesley)

“Coward Of The County”

Lyrics by Kenny Rogers

Everyone considered him
The coward of the county.
He’d never stood one single time
To prove the county wrong.
His mama named him Tommy,
But folks just called him Yellow.
Something always told me
They were reading Tommy wrong.

He was only ten years old
When his daddy died in prison.
I looked after Tommy
‘Cause he was my brother’s son.
I still recall the final words
My brother said to Tommy,
“Son, my life is over,
But yours has just begun.

Promise me, son,
Not to do the things I’ve done.
Walk away from trouble if you can.
It won’t mean you’re weak
If you turn the other cheek.
I hope you’re old enough to understand:
Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man.”

There’s someone for everyone,
And Tommy’s love was Becky.
In her arms he didn’t have to prove he was a man.
One day while he was working
The Gatlin boys came calling.
They took turns at Becky.
There was three of them.

Tommy opened up the door
And saw his Becky crying.
The torn dress, the shattered look
Was more than he could stand.
He reached above the fireplace
And took down his daddy’s picture.
As his tears fell on his daddy’s face
He heard these words again,

“Promise me, son,
Not to do the things I’ve done.
Walk away from trouble if you can.
Now it won’t mean you’re weak
If you turn the other cheek.
I hope you’re old enough to understand:
Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man.”

The Gatlin boys just laughed at him
When he walked into the bar room.
One of them got up
And met him half way ‘cross the floor.
When Tommy turned around they said,
“Hey, look, old Yellow’s leaving.”
But you could’ve heard a pin drop
When Tommy stopped and locked the door.

Twenty years of crawling
Was bottled up inside him.
He wasn’t holding nothing back,
He let ’em have it all.
When Tommy left the bar room
Not a Gatlin boy was standing.
He said, “This one’s for Becky,”
As he watched the last one fall.
N’ I heard him say,

“I promised you, Dad,
Not to do the things you’ve done.
I walk away from trouble when I can.
Now please don’t think I’m weak.
I didn’t turn the other cheek.
And, Papa, I sure hope you understand:

Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man.”

Everyone considered him
The coward of the county.

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.

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 (
I will also recommend you play over the game at and make notes before surfin’ on over to Lichess.

IM Arthur Guo (2412)

vs GM Aleksander Mista (2541)

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!!!

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 ( 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

Battle of the Sexes 2022

Although a ridiculous, contrived tournament like this one is regrettable and forgettable, it does contain a nice website with many beautiful pictures, such as this:

A much better format would have been the top ranked male players versus the top ranked female players. The tournament could be a regular, yearly event. Sure, the females would be completely devastated, but Chess aficionados would be able to gauge the progress made by the women players over time as they were continually drubbed.

Nino Batsiashvili (GEO)

Nino Batsiashvili (Georgia)
Reserve Player: Nino Batsiashvili (Georgia). GM, rating 2491, aged 35. Nino had two outstanding achievements in 2015: winning a team gold medal with Georgia in the Women’s World Team Championship in China; and in December 2015 she drew with world champion Magnus Carlsen in the first round of the Qatar Masters. She qualified for the grandmaster title in 2018. She played in the four most recent Gibraltar Masters tournaments. She scored 6/10 in 2017, and again in 2018, 5½ in 2019 and again in 2020. She has a number of scalps of higher rated players, including Hou Yifan in the Isle of Man in 201

vs Gillan Bwalya (ZAM)

Gillan Bwalya (Zambia)
Gillan Bwalya (Zambia). IM, rating 2410, age 33. Gillan learnt chess aged 11. He made his Olympiad debut in 2010 and scored a creditable 7/10 on board 3 for Zambia at the 2012 Istanbul Olympiad, including a win against Australia’s IM Alex Wohl. He followed this by winning the African Zonal tournament, gaining him the IM title. This qualified him for a first round pairing in the 2013 FIDE World Cup in Tromso with ex-world champion Vladimir Kramnik, which was quite an experience. Since then most of Gillan’s OTB chess has been played in the growing number of tournaments held in Africa, with steadily improving results. In May 2021 he finished 5th equal with GM Bilel Bellahcene and others in the Pan-African Championship in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 6/9 behind joint winners GMs Ahmed Adly and Bassem Amin and two other Egyptian GMs. He has not played previously in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar Chess Festival | Battle of the Sexes 2022 round 05
A80 Dutch

  1. d4 f5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 d6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. h3 h6 7. g4 g5 8. Bg3 Bg7 9. gxf5 exf5 10. d5 Ne7 11. Bc4 a6 12. Nd4 b5 13. Bb3 b4 14. Nce2 Bd7 15. Ne6 Bxe6 16. dxe6 O-O 17. h4 d5 18. hxg5 hxg5 19. c4 bxc3 20. Nxc3 c6 21. Qf3 Ra7 22. Be5 Qc8 23. Bd4 Rb7 24. Na4 Rb5 25. Nc5 Qe8 26. Qg3 Qg6 27. Qc7 Re8 28. f3 f4 29. Nd7 Qf5 30. O-O-O Qxe6 31. Nxf6+ Bxf6 32. Rh6 Rf8 33. Rdh1 Rxb3 34. axb3 fxe3 35. Bxf6 Rxf6 36. Rh8+ Kg7 37. R1h7+ 1-0

1.d4 f5 2. Bf4 (After having played the Dutch defense for decades I have never faced this move anywhere, at any time, in any Chess game. shows over 400 games; the Chessbase database contains 287 games. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 53 considers 2 Bg5 the best move) 2…Nf6 (This, by a wide margin, has been the most often played move. The move of the Kings Knight has 271 examples in the CBDB. The second most popular move, 2…e6, shows 56 games in the CBDB. The move Stockfish considers best, 2…d6, shows only 13 games) 3. e3 (This move has been the most popular choice, with 263 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Deep Fritz. 3 Bg5 has been played in 217 games, while 3 Nf3, the choice of Rybka, has been seen in 185 games. There are 44 games in which 3 Nc3 has been attempted. There are three games with 3 h3; one with 3 c4. There are absolutely no games showing with the move Stockfish 14.1 considers best, 3 a3. Nor are there any games with 3 a3 at The AW has a feeling things will change after this salvo is fired…) 3…d6 (3…e6, the choice of Komodo and Fritz 17, has been the most often played move. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 42 plays the move played in the game) 4 Nc3 (Houdini would play 4 c3. The are two games with the move contained in the CBDB , both losses. Stockfish 13 @depth 50 would play the most often played move, 4 Nf3. SF 14.1 @depth 39 plays the second most often played move 4 Nc3) 4…e6 5. Nf3 (The CBDB contains only 2 examples of this move in action, but it is the choice of Fritz 17; SF 14, and SF 060720. 365Chess contains nary an example of 5 Nf3) 5…Nc6 (Three different Stockfish programs all play 5…Be7, and so should you. There are no examples of the move played in the game, which can mean only one thing: Theoretical Novelty! The only game found with the best move, 5…Be7, can be found below. The game can be located in the Chess Base Database))

GM Rameshbab Praggnanandhaa 2608 (IND) vs IM Stefan Pogosyan 2442 (RUS)
RUS-Gurukul U16 Online Battle
A80 Dutch
1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 d6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Nf3 Be7 6.h3 O-O 7.Bd3 b6 8.Bh2 Bb7 9.O-O c5 10.Nd2 Nc6 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.e4 fxe4 13.Ndxe4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 d5 15.Bd3 Nb4 16.a3 Nxd3 17.cxd3 Bd6 18.Qe2 Bxh2+ 19.Kxh2 Qd6+ 20.Kg1 Rf6 21.Rae1 Raf8 22.Qe5 Qb6 23.Re2 Ba6 24.Rd1 Rg6 25.Rdd2 Rf5 26.Qh2 h6 27.h4 Kh7 28.Qh3 Qd6 29.b4 Rh5 30.bxc5 Qf4 31.Qh2 Qd4 32.g3 Qxc3 33.Re1 Qxd2 0-1

WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova and WIM Anastasiya Rakhmangulova In Wonderland

Evgeniya Doluhanova

is a chess player from Ukraine, rated 2264. Because she is female she “earned” the title of Woman Grandmaster. Anastasiya Rakhmangulova

Anastasiya Rakhmangulova (Romania, 2016)

is also a chess player from Ukraine. She holds the title of International Master even though rated only 2174. A male player with a rating between 2000 and 2199 is considered to be an “Expert” player. In round four of the 2021 Ukrainian Women’s Chess Championship Final they sat down opposite each other and embarked upon a wondrous adventure…

WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova 2264 (UKR) vs WIM Anastasiya Rakhmangulova 2174 (UKR)
Ukrainian Women’s Chess Championship Final 2021 round 04
A01 Nimzovich-Larsen attack, modern variation

  1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e4
Black to move

After seeing this move I began asking students what move they would make after 2…Nc6, and to a girl they all replied, “e4!”

3…Bc5 4. Qg4??

Black to move

Is that a Grandmaster move, or what?!

4…Nf6 5. Qe2 O-O 6. d3 d5 7. Nd2 Nb4 8. Ndf3 dxe4 9. dxe4 Ng4 10. Nh3 a5 11. a3 Nc6 12. Qd2 Qe7 13. Bd3 h6 14. Qe2 Rd8 15. Bb5 Rd6 16. Bxc6 Rxc6 17. O-O b6 18. b4 Bd6 19. b5 Rc5 20. Ne1 Be6 21. a4 Rc4 22. Nd3 Rd8 23. Kh1 Nf6 24. f3 Nd7 25. Nhf2 c6 26. bxc6 Rxc6 27. Nd1 Rdc8 28. Ne3 Qg5 29. Rfd1 Nc5 30. Ne1 Na6 31. Nd5 Nc7 32. Bc1 Qh4 33. Be3 Na8 34. Bf2 Qd8 35. Rab1 Bxd5 36. Rxd5 Qe7 37. Rbd1 Bb4 38. Rd7 Qe6 39. Rd8+ Kh7 40. Rxc8 Qxc8 41. Qb5 Bxe1 42. Bxe1 Rc5 43. Qb3 f6 44. c3 Kg6 45. h3 Qc6 46. Kh2 Nc7 47. Rd8 b5 48. axb5 Rxb5 49. Qa3 Rb1 50. Bf2 Ne6 51. Rd6 Qc4 52. Qxa5 Nf4 53. Qxe5 Rh1+ 54. Kg3 Ne2+ 55. Kh4 Qc8 56. Qh5+ Kh7 57. Qf5+ Qxf5 58. exf5 Nxc3 59. Rd2 Rb1 60. g4 Rb5 61. Kg3 Rd5 62. Rc2 Nb5 63. Rc8 Nd6 64. Rc7 Nb5 65. Rb7 Nd6 66. Ra7 Nc4 67. Kf4 Ne5 68. Bh4 Rd7 69. Rxd7 Nxd7 70. Ke4 Kg8 71. Bf2 Kf7 72. Bd4 Nf8 73. Kd5 Nh7 74. f4 h5 75. gxh5 Nf8 76. Kc6 Ke8 77. Bc5 Nd7 78. Bd6 Kd8 79. h4 Kc8 80. Be7 Nb8+ 81. Kd6 1-0

1 b3 e5 (Komodo, @depth 52, and Houdini @depth 37, play the move played in the game, but Stockfish 13 @depth 68 prefers 1…d5) 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e4 (The Chessbase Database contains only 18 games in which this has been played, scoring all of 28%. 3 e3 is the most often played move by a multiple of four over 3 c4. Houdini and Fritz like 3 e3, but Stockfish 9 @depth 26 plays 3 Nf3, which has scored 54%; 3 c4 has scored 55%. 3 e3 has only scored 52%) 3…Bc5 (Although Stockfish12 @depth 44 plays the game move, SF 14 @depth 37, SF 190621 @depth 48 play 3…Nf6) 4.Qg4 (This is the kind of move that would elicit, “Now there’s a move,” at the Stein Club. One would think this move had never been seen previously, but sometimes one is wrong) 4…Nf6 is a TN. See below:

Inge Liland vs Paul Johansen
Event: Tromsoe op-C
Site: Tromsoe Date: ??/??/1996
Round: ?
ECO: C20 King’s pawn game
1.e4 e5 2.b3 Nc6 3.Bb2 Bc5 4.Qg4 Qf6 5.Qf3 Qe7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.O-O-O d6 8.h3 Be6 9.Bb5 O-O 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.g4 d5 12.exd5 cxd5 13.g5 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Qxe4 Qxg5 16.Nf3 Qe7 17.Qxe5 f6 18.Qg3 Rad8 19.d4 Bd6 20.Qh4 Bf5 21.Rhe1 Qd7 22.d5 c6 23.dxc6 Qxc6 24.Nd4 Qc8 25.Nxf5 Qxf5 26.Kb1 Rc8 27.Qe4 Qc5 28.Qd5+ Qxd5 29.Rxd5 Rcd8 30.Red1 Bc7 31.c4 Rfe8 32.Bc1 Bb6 33.f3 a5 34.R1d3 Rxd5 35.cxd5 g5 36.d6 h6 37.Ba3 Re1+ 38.Kc2 a4 39.bxa4 Ba5 40.d7 Re2+ 41.Kb3 Bd8 42.a5 Bxa5 43.d8=Q+ Bxd8 44.Rxd8+ Kg7 45.Bf8+ Kg6 46.Rd3 Rh2 47.a4 Rxh3 48.Kc4 Rh4+ 49.Rd4 f5 50.Bd6 f4 51.Bxf4 gxf4 52.a5 Rh5 53.Rd5 Rh1 54.a6 h5 55.Ra5 Rc1+ 56.Kb5 Rc8 57.a7 Ra8 58.Kb6 h4 59.Kb7 h3 60.Kxa8 h2 61.Ra1 Kg5 62.Rh1 1-0

Katalin Mravik vs Gabor Szamoskozi (2201)
Event: Budapest FS10 FM-A
Site: Budapest Date: 10/05/2002
Round: 1
ECO: A01 Nimzovich-Larsen attack, modern variation
1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.e4 Bc5 4.Qe2 (!) d6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.d3 Ng4 7.Nbd2 Bxf2+ 8.Kd1 Bb6 9.Kc1 O-O 10.Nc4 f5 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.h3 Nf6 13.exf5 Bxf5 14.Bc3 Nd5 15.Qd2 b5 16.d4 e4 17.Ne1 e3 18.Qe2 Nxc3 19.Qxe3 b4 20.Kb2 Rxa2+ 21.Rxa2 Nd1+ 0-1

B90 Najdorf Sicilian 6 Nb3

IM Matyas Marek 2372 (CZE)

vs IM Harshit Raja 2494 (IND)

U.S. Masters 2021 round 06
B90 Sicilian, Najdorf

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nb3 g6 7. Be2 Bg7 8. g4 h5 9. g5 Nfd7 10. Be3 Nc6 11. Qd2 O-O 12. O-O-O b5 13. f4 Bb7 14. e5 Re8 15. Bf3 Rc8 16. Rhe1 Na5 17. Bxb7 Nxb7 18. Qd5 b4 19. e6 fxe6 20. Qxe6+ Kh8 21. Nd5 Nf8 22. Qf7 Qd7 23. Nb6 Qc6 24. Nxc8 Rxc8 25. Re2 e6 26. Nd4 Qd5 27. f5 gxf5 28. Qxh5+ Kg8 29. Qf3 Qxa2 30. Qxb7 Rc4 31. Rd3 Qa1+ 32. Kd2 Qxb2 33. Qxa6 d5 34. Rb3 Rxc2+ 35. Ke1 Rxe2+ 36. Qxe2 Qa1+ 37. Qd1 Qa2 38. Qc2 Qa1+ 39. Rb1 Qa5 40. Qd2 Ng6 41. Qxb4 Qa2 42. Qb2 Qa6 43. Qe2 Qd6 44. Nf3 Qc7 45. Rc1 Qb8 46. h4 Qg3+ 47. Bf2 Qd6 48. Rc8+ Kh7 49. h5 Qb4+ 50. Kf1 Nf4 51. g6+ Kh6 52. Be3 Kxh5 53. Qh2+ Kg4 54. Qxf4+ Qxf4 55. Bxf4 Kxf4 56. Rg8 Bc3 57. Ke2 d4 58. Rd8 1-0

IM Marek finished with five wins, three losses, and a draw, for a performance rating of 2372. His FIDE rating is 2372. His opponent, IM Harshit Raja, also finished with 5 1/2 points, for a performance rating of 2393, 101 points lower than his FIDE rating.

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nb3 g6 (6…e6 has been the most often played move and in 147 games against an average opponent rated 2422 has scored 57%. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 69 and SF 14 @depth 50 play 6…e6, but Komodo @depth 33 plays the move played in the game) 7. Be2 (Although SF 12 @depth 33 plays this move the same program left running a little longer, to depth 42, decides upon 7 f3, the same move SF 14.1 @depth 40 plays) 7…Bg7 8. g4 (SF 200221 @depth 42 plays 8 Be3. In 34 games it has scored only 47%) In 39 games 8 g4 has scored only 45%. 8…h5 (This is the choice of Stockfish and Houdini, and this is the first time this move has been played, according to the ChessBaseDataBase, so it is a Theoretical Novelty, or is it? The following game was found at

Maxence Godard (2377) vs Nicolas Basilevitch
Event: Naujac op
Site: Naujac Date: ??/??/2001
Round: 4
ECO: B70 Sicilian, dragon variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Nb3 a6 8.g4 h5 9.gxh5 Nxh5 10.Bg5 Nc6 11.Qd2 Be6 12.O-O-O Bxb3 13.cxb3 Qa5 14.Kb1 Nf6 15.a3 Qb6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nd5 Qd4 18.Qc2 Qa7 19.Nxf6+ exf6 20.Rxd6 Ke7 21.Rd2 Rac8 22.Qd1 Rhd8 23.Bc4 Ne5 24.Bd5 Qb6 25.f4 Nc6 26.h4 Qe3 27.h5 gxh5 28.Rxh5 Qxf4 29.Rf5 Qh6 30.Rdf2 Rd6 31.Rf1 Rf8 32.Qc2 Rfd8 33.Qc5 Rd7 34.Bxc6 bxc6 35.Rxf6 1-0

Frank Sawatzki, (2393) vs Rolf Luckow (2220)
Event: 2nd Bundesliga Nord 19-20
Site: Germany GER Date: 11/23/2019
Round: 3.5
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bd3 e6 7.a4 Nc6 8.Nb3 d5 9.O-O Bb4 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.Qg4 g6 13.Be4 f5 14.Bxd5 fxg4 15.Be4 Bd7 16.Be3 O-O-O 17.Rfd1 Be7 18.Nc5 e5 19.Nxd7 Rxd7 20.Rxd7 Kxd7 21.c3 Kc8 22.Rd1 Rd8 23.Rxd8+ Nxd8 24.Bd5 g5 25.Be4 h6 26.Bf5+ Kc7 27.Bxg4 a5 28.Kf1 b6 29.Ke2 Nb7 30.Bf5 Nd6 31.Bc2 Nc4 32.Bc1 Bc5 33.b3 Nd6 34.h4 gxh4 35.Bxh6 Kd7 36.Bg5 b5 37.Bxh4 Ke6 38.g4 bxa4 39.bxa4 Kd7 40.f3 1-0

Aleksander Kaczmarek (2389) vs Ignacy Leskiewicz (2146)
Event: 3rd Irena Warakomska Mem
Site: Suwalki POL Date: 08/05/2019
Round: 1.31
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nb3 g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.g4 Nc6 9.g5 Nh5 10.Be3 a5 11.Nd5 O-O 12.c3 Bh3 13.Nd2 e6 14.Nb6 Nf4 15.Bxf4 Qxb6 16.Nc4 Qd8 17.Nxd6 Qc7 18.Qd3 e5 19.Nb5 Qc8 20.Bd2 Rd8 21.Qf3 a4 22.Be3 a3 23.bxa3 Nd4 24.cxd4 exd4 25.Rc1 Qe6 26.Nc7 Qxa2 27.Nxa8 dxe3 28.fxe3 Qxa3 29.Kf2 Bd7 30.Nb6 Bc6 31.Nd5 Qd6 32.Rcd1 1-0

During research for this post this was found:

  1. Be3 0-1, Kamsky (2725) vs. Topalov (2796)
  2. Kh1 0-1, Milligan Scott (1835) vs. Bellin (2240) (

I thought nothing of “Scott Milligan” but did wonder if the “Bellin” was GM Juan Manuel Bellin, the husband of Pia Cramling, until finding his name is spelled, “Bellon.” Clicking showed it was Jana Bellin and her opponent was none other than Helen Milligan, who currently resides in New Zealand.

Gata Kamsky (2725) vs Veselin Topalov (2796)
Event: 18th Amber Blindfold
Site: Nice FRA Date: 03/25/2009
Round: 10
ECO: B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.O-O Be7 8.a4 Nc6 9.Nb3 b6 10.Be3 O-O 11.f3 Bb7 12.Rf2 Qc7 13.Bf1 Rac8 14.Qe1 Ne5 15.Rd2 Nfd7 16.Rad1 Rfe8 17.Kh1 Bf8 18.Qg3 Nc5 19.Nd4 Qb8 20.Rf2 Ncd7 21.Bc1 Nf6 22.Re2 Ng6 23.Ree1 Be7 24.Qf2 Bd8 25.Nde2 Bc7 26.Qg1 d5 27.exd5 Nxd5 28.Nxd5 Bxd5 29.Nc3 Bb7 30.Be3 Ne5 31.Be2 Bc6 32.Bxa6 Nxf3 33.gxf3 Bxf3+ 0-1

Helen Milligan Scott (1835)

vs Jana Bellin (2240)

WGM Dr. Jana Bellin

Event: Luzern ol (Women)
Site: Luzern Date: ??/??/1982
Round: 10
ECO: B42 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Bd3
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.O-O d6 7.a4 Be7 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.Nb3 b6 10.Kh1
(Stockfish 040621 @depth 35 plays 10 f4. Komodo 9.02 @depth 24 would play the TN 10 Qf3. Deep Rybka, in the shallow water at only depth 17, advocates 10 Be3) 10…Bb7 11.f4 O-O 12.f5 Ne5 13.Nd4 Nxd3 14.cxd3 e5 15.Nf3 d5 16.Nxe5 dxe4 17.dxe4 Qc7 18.Nf3 Nxe4 19.Be3 Rad8 20.Qc1 Nc5 21.Nd4 Bf6 22.Qd1 Qe5 23.Re1 Rxd4 24.Bxd4 Qxd4 25.Qxd4 Bxd4 26.Rad1 Bxc3 27.bxc3 Nxa4 28.c4 Bc8 29.g4 h5 30.h3 hxg4 31.hxg4 Bb7+ 32.Kh2 Rc8 33.Rd4 Nc5 34.Rd6 Bc6 35.Rb1 Nd7 36.Rbd1 f6 37.Rb1 a5 38.Kh3 Ba4 39.Rc1 Rc5 40.Kg3 Bc6 0-1