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 365Chess.com)

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) (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=19&n=282498&ms=e4.c5.Nf3.e6.d4.cxd4.Nxd4.a6.Bd3.Nf6.O-O.d6.a4.Be7.Nc3.Nc6.Nb3.b6&ns=

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

Eradicating the Book of Faces

I came to Facebook rather late in life and there were reasons for so doing. One of the reasons was to learn how the life of the love of my life developed after we parted. Initially I thought the book of faces was a good thing as I was in contact with many people involved with Chess from all over the world. People post pictures and write about their life and in some cases one feels as if he knows them better than when only knowing them from the old Atlanta Chess and Game Center or email. One example of this would be Professor Mark Taylor,

Mark Taylor day tripping in Macon, Georgia

the best editor of the Georgia Chess News magazine during the half century of my involvement in Georgia Chess.

Because of the book of faces I was able to communicate with Grandmaster Danny Gormally in England


about his book, one of the most honest Chess books ever written,


and GM Keith Arkell, another Brit.

Arkell's Endings - GM Keith Arkell - ImmortalChessForum

We had a lengthy discussion concerning the rising price of older Chess books. I was able to see the bread Helen Milligan

Surprising winner at the Sydney Open | ChessBase

has baked in New Zealand. I saw many pictures of the publisher of Elk & Ruby, Ilan Rubin, in Moscow,

Ilan Rubin

the man responsible for many of the books reviewed on this blog. I could go on and on…

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to the book of faces. I have recently been in touch with a gentleman I have only seen once, that at the twenty year reunion of my high school class of 1968. After mentioning Facebook Richard cut me off, saying, “I don’t do social media, especially Facebook, because it is only dividing America.” That particular conversation started the questioning of my decision to join the book of faces…

Then there were the negative posts appearing on my screen, many filled with vitriol. Some posts spewed venom like a snake. One such screed was by a fellow who was a regular at the House of Pain, Richard Staples. There were a few obviously strident right-wingers among the players at the ACC, and Richard was one of them. Fortunately, he was smart enough, unlike some others, to take care when and where he spewed his wrong-wing vitriol. Richard is a big and tall fellow and he was the only player who wore a knife, kept in a holster on his belt, while at the House of Pain. There was another fellow at the Center who carried a knife but no one knew because it was kept in an ankle holster. That person would be this writer. The House was not located in the best of areas and there were numerous vehicles broken into during the two decades the House was rockin’. Mr. Staples posted some ill chosen negative words about a certain segment of our society. I was so new to the book of faces that I did not know how to “unfriend” someone. After contacting my friend Mike Mulford he gave me the skinny on Facebook etiquette, or maybe ‘lack thereof’ would be more appropriate, infroming me he had previously “unfriended” Richard. I immediately “unfriended” the first of what would become “many” of what I thought of as “Forkbookers”.

I had met a gentleman, Davide Nastasio,

Jon Speelman's Agony Column #25 | ChessBase

at the 2019 Castle Chess Grand Prix tournament at Emory University, the last Chess tournament in which Senior Master Brian McCarthy played, who is the editor of the online Georgia Chess Magazine, which is basically a place where books are reviewed. There was a pleasant conversation near the area where Thad Rogers was selling books. Davide was extremely knowledgeable about Chess books and the conversation is fondly recalled. After being appalled at some of what was directed at me on the book of faces, I eradicated him, too.

Then there was Rick Rothenberg, a gentleman befriended while living in Louisville, Kentucky. Rick was a few years younger than am I and a weak Chess player, but he was interesting enough that we would get together for lunch, and sometimes breakfast, in different parts of the city. He once asked me to go with him to Indiana, which was right over the Kentucky state line, and he showed me the house in which he had raised a family until being divorced. Another time I rode with Rick for a day trip to the US Open Chess tournament in Indianapolis. When I noticed his name on the book of faces I immediately clicked on the friend request and the next time I went to Facebook there were posts by Mr. Rothenberg. Unfortunately, what he had put on Facebook shocked and appalled me to such an extent I immediately unfriended him after sending a note which read, “If I had known you were splattering this kind of excrement all over Facebook I would not have become your friend.” I have, fortunately, forgotten most of what was read that day, but I do vividly recall that in response to something Rick had written about the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris,

Kamala Harris: What her experience tells us about US ...
Kamala Harris: What her experience tells us about US …

some woman had used the pejorative, “Ho.” I had seen, and read, enough. Rick was eradicated.

I have surfed to the book of faces for the last time. Facebook is not the solution; it is the problem. Since Facebook owns YouTube I will no longer put anything having to do with the Tube of You on this blog. In my world Facebook has been eradicated. I have chosen this path because:


US Chess Queen

There is an article, “The Queen Within Opens in Saint Louis,” by Jennifer Shahade on the USCF website. http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12393/343/
I began the third sentence, “As I wrote in the Beacon…,” and stopped to click on the link in order to read the earlier published article in the St. Louis newspaper. The Beacon article, “On Chess: Hall of Fame exhibit focuses on the power of the queen,” begins, “You may want to try a more subdued red,” the hairstylist told me. “It will work better for the office.” Obviously I never went to that salon again. Luckily I don’t need toned down style to edit articles for uschess.org/clo, arrange wacky photo and video shoots, play poker tournaments, or do commentary for the Sinquefield Cup. To the contrary, fire engine red pops very well on camera. As my brother IM Greg Shahade wrote recently in his blog, the life of a chess player affords an unusual degree of freedom.” https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/33286/on_chess_fashion_101713?coverpage=4159
I focused on the words, “…the life of a chess player…” She is obviously a busy woman judging from the list of things she does, but I see nothing about actually playing the game of chess in the list. I clicked on the “players & ratings” section of the USCF website and typed in her name. Jennifer has played in only one real tournament since 2004! She participated in the St. John’s Masters at the Marshall Chess Club in 2008. The next year her page shows she played in a ten minute tournament that was quick rated and that is all, folks. For all intents and purposes, the lady has retired from playing chess. Yet we learn in the penultimate sentence that, “When I begin my stint as GM-in-residence on Oct. 20, I signed on to also lead “Queen Power” workshops and Thursday night Ladies Chess classes at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.” Jennifer is not a Grandmaster. She is a Life Master with a USCF rating floor of 2200. She is though, according to FIDE, a “Woman Grandmaster.” For a male to earn a GM title his rating must be at least 2500. Why are women different? Helen Milligan of New Zealand, in an email exchange, mentioned she was opposed to separate titles for women.
Getting back to the aforementioned sentence, it continues after, “As I wrote in the Beacon, a major point of the show is to attract more girls to our game, through “Queen Power” initiatives.”
There have been many “initiatives” recently trying to attract more girls, and more boys, for that matter, but what about the segment that has turned its back on chess, the adults? After what has become known as the “Fischer boom” the number of members stabilized at around 70,000, the vast majority of whom were adults. Maybe 6 out of 7 were adults. It is still 6 out of 7, but those comprising the group of 60,000 are CHILDREN! Imagine for a moment if USCF had kept the 60,000 adults while attracting an additional 60,000 children. Now imagine what the number would be today if USCF had been able to add an additional ten percent to each group since the Fischer boom. The number boggles the mind. I am like Robert F. Kennedy who said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why..I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” I make absolutely no apology for being the same way. USCF would be a much larger, and stronger, organization if there had only been one driving force with the vision of a RFK in lieu of the visionless leaders with which USCF has been saddled.