The 2022 US Chess Championships

This writer was able to watch most, not all, of the coverage of the 2022 US Chess Championships. When unable to watch the live broadcast for various reasons I went back and watched what was missed earlier during the first twelve rounds. There were many “technical problems” with the last round so I turned it off and watched the games the old fashioned way by watching the moves played at Lichess.com. I did not later watch what was missed during the last round. Yasser mentioned something about the broadcast emanating from philanthropy and I realize the broadcast is not like any for profit broadcast, such as a Baseball game, or golf tournament, etc. Nevertheless, the broadcasts emanating from the St. Louis Chess Campus have been ongoing for many years, long enough for those broadcasting to have their collective act together. At the beginning of the broadcasts the commentators would focus on one game for a length of time, which was disconcerting, because there were fourteen ongoing games. I thought an overview of all the games should be given and from the emails received, so did many other viewers. One day the guys and girl focused almost exclusively on one game, which caused me to fire a salvo at the folks in St. Louis. After it happened again another salvo was fired, but no response was received from the Campus. I simply turned off the volume and watched the opening moves of all the games at Lichess.com.

I realize the commentators are not ‘professional’ media types, but they are getting paid, so maybe they could be considered “untrained” professionals. In one salvo fired at the StLCC I asked if there was a director, but have yet to receive an answer. A director could inform the commentators of where there was “action” in another game and they could switch to it immediately. I recall one instance when they were following an endgame in the open while there was a very interesting game with lieelt time remaining being contested in the women’s championship. I also recall Yasser saying something about, “We’re staying right here!” I tuned the sound off and watched the women’s game on Lichess.com.

Anastasiya Karlovich

(born 29 May 1982) is a Ukrainian chess player and journalist. She achieved the FIDE titles Woman International Master in 2000 and Woman Grandmaster in 2003. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastasiya_Karlovich) Her accent often made it hard to understand what she was saying. In addition, she had a disconcerting habit of talking over Yasser. It is impossible to understand what is being said when two people are talking, which happened all too often.

That said, I still give the StLCC a B+ for the effort. There were too many positives for a lower grade to be given. Please understand this old Warrior is still amazed at being able to watch something like this, which was unheard of ‘back in the day’. “Shelbourne Richard Lyman (October 22, 1936 – August 11, 2019) was an American chess player and teacher known for hosting a live broadcast of the 1972 World Chess Championship for the PBS television station Channel 13 in New York. This broadcast became the highest-rated public television program ever at that time, far surpassing viewership expectations.” In addition, Shelby also, “…later hosted a two-hour broadcast covering the World Chess Championship 1986. This segment was recorded at WNYE-TV in Brooklyn and aired on 120 public television stations.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_Lyman) It was during the latter time the woman with whom I lived, after watching the first broadcast, facetiously called him, “Mr. Charisma.” Chess broadcasts have come a long way, baby.

When there was a break in the action I would glance at some of the comments left by those watching. I was surprised when reading some that questioned Yasser Seirawan’s penchant for telling stories of the past. “you cannot understand where you are at unless you know where you have been,” I thought. One of the pleasures of my childhood was watching the Baseball Game of the Week on Saturday afternoon. Former Major League Baseball players Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese

https://jimmiekepler.com/2016/05/16/dizzy-dean-and-pee-wee-reese-2/

would regale we neophytes with stories of bygone days, just as Yasser does during the broadcast. To this writer those stories are one of the best facets of the broadcasts. One was so good I took notes, realizing words would not come near describing how good was the tale. Imagine the elation when the segment was found! It concerns former World Chess Champ Gary Kasparov and to just read the words, or even listen to them, would not contain the visceral response shown by Yasser. All the hours spent spectating, and listening to the broadcasts were worth it just to be able to see Yasser when describing the story.

Seirawan, Yasser – Kasparov, Garry 1-0
D91 Dubai ol (Men)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 Nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.b4 Qd6 10.a3 O-O 11.e3 c6 12.Be2 Bf5 13.O-O Nd7 14.Na4 a5 15.Qb3 b5 16.Nc5 a4 17.Qc3 Nb6 18.Nd2 Rae8 19.Rfe1 Re7 20.Bf3 Rfe8 21.g3 Bh3 22.Bg2 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 f5 24.h4 Nc4 25.Nf3 Bf6 26.Re2 Rg7 27.Rh1 Qe7 28.Ree1 h6 29.Qd3 Rf8 30.Nd2 Qe8 31.Nxc4 dxc4 32.Qd1 Re7 33.Ref1 Qf7 34.Qf3 Qd5 35.Qxd5+ cxd5 36.Kf3 Bg7 37.Rd1 Rff7 38.Rd2 Re8 39.Rdd1 Bf8 40.Rdg1 Bg7 41.Rd1 Kf8 42.Rd2 Ke7 43.Rdd1 Kd6 44.Rh2 Kc6 45.Rhh1 Bf8 46.Rd2 Bd6 47.Rdd1 Bxc5 48.dxc5 Re4 49.Rhe1 Rd7 50.Rd4 g5 51.hxg5 hxg5 52.Red1 Rxd4 53.Rxd4 Rh7 54.Ke2 Rh3 55.g4 f4 56.exf4 Rxa3 57.fxg5 Ra2+ 58.Kf3 c3 59.Rd1 d4 60.g6 d3 61.Ke3 Rxf2 62.g7 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?wid=8111&bid=6404&wlname=Seirawan%2C+Yasser&open=&blname=Kasparov%2C+Garry&eco=&nocolor=on&yeari=&yeare=&sply=1&ply=&res=&submit_search=1#

Kasparov, Garry – Seirawan, Yasser 1-0
D21 Thessaloniki ol (Men)
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.c4 dxc4 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Qxd4 6.Nxd4 Bd7 7.Ndb5 Na6 8.e4 Nf6 9.f3 Bxb5 10.Nxb5 e5 11.Be3 Bb4+ 12.Kf2 Ke7 13.Bxc4 Rhc8 14.Rac1 Bc5 15.Rhd1 Bxe3+ 16.Kxe3 Ne8 17.Bb3 Rxc1 18.Rxc1 f6 19.a3 Nd6 20.Bd5 Nxb5 21.Bxb7 Nbc7 22.Bxa8 Nxa8 23.Rc8 Nb6 24.Rg8 Kf7 25.Rh8 Nc5 26.Rb8 Ke7 27.b4 Nc4+ 28.Ke2 Nd7 29.Rg8 g5 30.a4 a5 31.bxa5 Nxa5 32.Ra8 Nc6 33.a5 Kd6 34.g3 h5 35.h4 gxh4 36.gxh4 Nc5 37.a6 Kc7 38.a7 Nb7 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?wid=8111&bid=6404&wlname=Seirawan%2C+Yasser&open=&blname=Kasparov%2C+Garry&eco=&nocolor=on&yeari=&yeare=&sply=1&ply=&res=&submit_search=1#

The 2022 US Chess Championships were inherently unfair. The player of the white pieces has an advantage, which is more apparent in the Open than with the Women. Someone was overheard saying to a student, “Fabiano Caruana played the best Chess in the tournament.” I begged to differ, saying Ray Robson played the best Chess. He knew how much time I had spent on viewing the action, so respected my opinion, but still questioned the statement. “Fabi had the white pieces in seven games; Robson in only six,” I said.

It is long past the time those in the Chess world come to terms with the fact that the way tournaments are structured favors one half of the field. The only way to remedy the problem is to have a US Chess Championship in which each player has an equal number of games with both colors. This could be done by having an eight player field, the Elite Eight, with two games versus each of the seven opponents, making for a fourteen round tournament. The fact is there were too many players who should not have been playing in the tournament.

The games are too long. The time for the games should be shortened because there are many games which do not begin until the players have spouted out twenty moves of opening theory in only a few minutes. Give the players ninety minutes with some kind of increment and have them play two games each day. It would be like going to work an eight hour day job. After the first game there would be a two hour break and the second game could then begin.

Deciding a championship by playing speed (kills) Chess is ludicrous, especially when a so-called “champion” is determined by some abomination called, appropriately enough, “Armageddon”. One of the definitions of Armageddon is: “A decisive or catastrophic conflict.” (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Armaggedon). On second thought maybe it is appropriate after the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, in an unprecedented act, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after losing a badly played game to Hans Niemann. There is nothing worse than for a player to withdraw in a round robin tournament, unless there was some major reason for so doing, such as having a stroke, or going blind, etc. The action of sore loser Carlsen was an affront to the Royal Game, the Singuefield Cup, and to the St. Louis Chess Club. In addition, it was a slap in the face to the man responsible for the philanthropy, Rex Sinquefield. Tony Rich, Executive Director of the St. Louis Chess Campus,

said Magnus would be welcomed back to the STLCC, but he will never be welcomed by this writer. It is possible his ill-advised action will bring down the House of Chess. Magnus will not be the Chess champion of the world much longer and he should be classified as persona non grata everywhere, forced to sit home and ‘stream’ like Hikaru Nakamura

https://www.youtube.com/c/GMHikaru

and Ben Finegold.

https://www.youtube.com/c/GMBenjaminFinegold

The Hans Niemann Lawsuit Speaks For Itself

After posting the previous post a few days ago news concerning a lawsuit filed by Hans Niemann hit the internet like a tidal wave. Like most people involved with the Royal Game I read everything there was to be read concerning the issue.

ChessSpawn Vermont (Attorney Brian Lafferty)
Niemann’s complaint is well drafted and pleaded alleging Slander; Libel; Sherman Anti-Trust Act Violations; Tortious Interference with Contract and Business Opportunities; and Civil Conspiracy.The complaint sets out a number of previously unknown or little known alleged defamatory statements to third parties and actions of a collusive nature between defendants directed at Niemann. Damages in the amount of $100 million are sought on a number of the causes of action and unspecified damages on one cause of action to be determined at trial.This is the real deal. These defendants will have a difficult time escaping liability for their actions. Hopefully, this will also lead the US Department of Justice to examine the acquisition of Play Magnus Group by Chess . com in relation to US Anti-Trust/Restraint of Trade Laws.
https://en.chessbase.com/post/breaking-news-hans-niemann-is-suing#discuss

After considering writing something my mind was changed by the fact that I wanted to leave Herschel Walker is the Punchline up for a few days, possibly through the weekend, because it seemed more important to have a decent, reasonable, calm, and level headed candidate win the upcoming election in lieu of yet another Trumpster wanna be type goofball elected to the office of Senator from the state of Georgia. The polls are close, which is alarming to any reasonable person, so the thinking was that in an extremely close election maybe one vote could be the difference, and just maybe someone reading the post might change their vote. Things changed this morning after reading two articles. The first was, Hans Niemann Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Magnus Carlsen, Chess.com Over Cheating Allegations (https://www.wsj.com/articles/chess-cheating-hans-niemann-magnus-carlsen-lawsuit-11666291319).

https://www.chessbase.in/news/Hans-Niemann-files-a-lawsuit

The second article, Merenzon: For chess Hans Niemann’s lawsuit is the perfect PR opportunity (https://www.chessdom.com/merenzon-for-chess-hans-niemanns-lawsuit-is-the-perfect-pr-opportunity/) caused me to make a second cuppa Joe and sit down at the keyboard.

Ilya Merenzon is the CEO of WorldChess.

https://africanchessconfederation.com/2022/10/21/merenzon-for-chess-hans-niemanns-lawsuit-is-the-perfect-pr-opportunity/

He tweeted, “For chess, Hans‘ lawsuit is probably the perfect PR opportunity. It has everything: millions of dollars (rarity for the sport!), drama, cheating allegations, Carlsen and Nakamura in one sentence, and a big takeover deal on the line.” (https://twitter.com/merenzon/status/1583346826198982656)

Many people have said, “All publicity is good publicity.” The earliest attribution found was from Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/617883-all-publicity-is-good-publicity). This writer is uncertain about the thought behind the quote. To agree with Pierre one must believe “Bad publicity is good publicity.” The feeling of this writer is all the negative publicity will, or already has, had a deleterious effect upon the Royal Game. How can it possibly be good to have something tarnished by dragging it through the mud? It is more than a little obvious that there is a disconnect between some Chess officials and reality. An example occurs any time anyone involved with the GAME of Chess calls it a “sport.” The definition of “sport” is: “An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.” (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/sport)

The way these eyes see Chess these daze is that Chess is like the Titanic after hitting an iceberg.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120338/mediaviewer/rm2055451137?ref_=ttmi_mi_all_sf_284

FIDE, the official governing body of Chess, will continue partying and dancing until it is too late to matter, oblivious to the fact their world has changed drastically, at which time there will be a mad scramble for the too few remaining lifeboats. You know what comes next.

The Chess.com Community Update On Recent Events: A Confederation Of Dunces

This is not the post planned for the last rest day of the US Chess Championships. That post will be made after the conclusion of the event.

This post is being written because of something extraordinary posted by “Danny

Answering YOUR Questions About Cheating In Chess | IM Daniel Rensch …
chessterra.com

and Erik”

https://www.sramanamitra.com/2021/11/29/solo-student-entrepreneur-to-over-50m-revenue-chess-com-ceo-erik-allebest-part-1/

at Chess.com. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess.com) A “Community Update On Recent Events” was published at CHESScom on Oct 14, 2022, 2:36 PM. What is remarkable about this document is that the boys, “Danny and Erik” ASKED, and ANSWERED the questions. This is an affront to every Chess player on the planet. What is even more remarkable is that I have yet to read anyone in the Chess community taking the blues brothers, “Danny and Erik”, to task for asking, and answering their own questions! In every other facet of life journalists ask the questions. Imagine what would happen if politicians asked and answered their own questions.

The mea culpa begins with, “We imagine that most of you, like us, have had more friends than ever who are outside the chess community come and ask you about chess, cheating, Hans, Magnus, and everything else that is going on.”

The blues bros are right about the above statement as this was received from my favorite librarian, Heather: “So, what’s this scandal rocking the chess world?”

Rockin in the free world. New concert may 22nd 2022!! https://www.dgbvn.com

Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to answer, so a link to the blog was sent. Hopefully the subject can be discussed during lunch in the near future.

The opening paragraph continues, “Every news outlet on the planet seems to have written a “take” on chess in the last few weeks. It’s been a bewildering time for chess fans and our community. So, as an update to our recent report and the events going on in the chess community, we (Danny and Erik) wanted to take the time and answer some of the questions we see being asked. We appreciate your voice and your questions, and while we know that the opinions in the chess community are divided on many of these topics, we are doing our best to protect and grow the game.”

Translated that becomes, “And cover our ASSets.”

https://archive.org/details/spinningbluesint00coho

I was transfixed by the use of the word “bewildering”, which sent me to the Free Dictionary, where this definition was found: 1. To confuse or befuddle, especially by being complicated or varied. (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/bewildering)

From the myriad comments read on the subject over the past month it is apparent the only two people in the world of Chess who are confused and befuddled are obviously the blues bros, Danny and Erik.

I will not print anything else written by the blues brothers. If you would like to read what they want you to read it can be found here: https://www.chess.com/blog/CHESScom/community-update-on-recent-events

Much more important is what the Chess community thinks about what was written by the blues bros, and since I am a part of the Chess community, and write a blog which concerns Chess, and readers have asked for my opinion, it will be delivered at the end of this post.

Alcalientre

Ridiculous. NO excuse for violating your agreements to keep documents confidential in some cases but keeping them private for others. Obvious favoritism and bias and disgusting lying to the people you promised confidentiality to. I hope everyone reading this stops using this site since it’s run by a couple of creeps with no ethics, unless by “ethics” you mean “guzzling Magnus’s ‘output’ at every opportunity”.

kingHag007

I wish all will move away from this site
Exposing private e-mails from maxim and damaging him with no clear reason is just another crime this site does (and the list is long

equationist

The reasoning for why you won’t release any information on other cheaters and why you claim to have released information on Hans doesn’t square with your stated reason for releasing information on Dlugy. Are you letting Magnus decide who gets thrown under the bus?

http://bojidarmarinov.com/blog/the-zimmerman-lessons/

rivuchess

“We believe that there should be zero tolerance for cheating in chess in any venue or format.” This contradicts the whole report.

KMRc4e6

Chess.com quote: “…we often lean ever more conservative in our findings when it comes to young players.” (In response to the question: Why did you not close Hans’ account earlier when you knew he cheated? Why did you let this get to the 100 or so games mentioned in your report?)

Wow. Ageism Writ Large! Especially odd in the ‘Chess World’ as the Youth Dominate! (Oh yeah, and ‘Cutting slack’ seems to be encouraging, regardless of one’s age, cheating!)

tryingtolearn1234

I don’t know about legal aspects, but you promised people confidentiality in exchange for confessions and then you broke the promise. That behavior is wrong, even if it is legally permissible.

Rook_Handler

Unicorn wrote:

While I kind of understand that Chess.com wants their statements to be accurate and “professional”, I, however, do not believe this is the answer. Your answers were board (sic), general, and unrevealing, as hinted in the terms “not up to us”, “we don’t know”, “we’re not revealing more”. I would like to see more open information. But meanwhile, this is a big step from the days when you keep everything secret.

Just wondering, let’s say the same cheating situation, but with two different players. Would you still do the same or you only did this because Magnus/Hans was involved?
Chess.com doesn’t want to get sued. It’s that simple.

SnipingBadass

This article pretends that Hans is the one who brought his Chess.com cheating to the public, when in reality it was HIkaru who first did it (and then Eric Hansen did, followed by others). In fact, he did it on the same day that Magnus withdrew, probably without Chess.com’s permission. This was supposed to stay private, and I’m guessing that Hikaru didn’t receive even a reprimand for this, because he’s Chess.com’s beloved mascot.

Why is Chess.com pretending that Hans is the one who brought the private cheating topic to the limelight first, when it was really their own sponsored partners?

HexStone

What about the rest of the story?

Are we supposed to beleive Hikaru had a full production release set to go minutes after the story was released to the Press. Same with Levy.
Sure looks like a leak to most of the world and collaboration between Chess.com & Streamers it’s hired and supported.
Chess.com didn’t act as an independent arbiter in any of this.

ttorin

Yet another shameful “no-statement”.
They say: “We have 4 kids each, so we trusted in Hans in 2020, then nothing happened in between 2020-2022, yet we banned him in 2022 just because Magnus withdrew!”
This is a shame.

quantum_mechanic

I am sure chess.com is going to close magnus’s account for receiving outside help from david howell in a prize game.

It is not a 1\1000 probability, magnus was caught in tape doing it.
We should ban all cheaters for life. No excuse.

elilapp

your silloquey’s are getting old. study endgames, and zwischenzug instead.

elilapp

my neighbor had a horse to plow his fields. one day he came out and found his horse dead. he was really pissed off. he started beating this dead horse, and kept beating this dead horse with no result. then he started beating his head against the wall all he got was a headache. yawn dudes find something else to do. study endgames and in between moves.

llama36

As Finegold put it, there are no consequences for cheating on chess.com. You apologize and they let you come back to cheat again and again.

M3t4PhYzX

What a mess.. -.-

Swamp-chan

Lichess

To this observer it appears the Chess.com blues bros are sitting at a poker table with $84,000,000 in the pot and their hand contains only a pair of dunces.

Chess Has Been Rear Ended

What with the recent onslaught of negative publicity concerning the obviously rampant cheating in Chess I had not intended on watching the US Chess Championships thinking it akin to watching a train wreck. Then again, inquiring minds wast to know and there I was, again glued to the screen watching, and listening, to the action. Younger people accustomed to seeing the game as it is being played will not understand what it means to we wily ol’ veterans who had to be there, as I was in San Antonio in 1972,

to watch the action. To not watch the US Chess Championships emanating from the house that Rex built and miss all the drama and excitement when the first round began was simply not possible. After all, how many train wrecks have been seen with these old eyes? I did not want to read about it, but wanted to see for myself what has become a soap opera, “As The Chess World Turns.” As round time approached my thinking gravitated to something my friend Brian McCarthy was so fond of saying, “Just get me to the round on time!” The coverage of the US Chess Championships has again been excellent and I have immensely enjoyed watching the games.

The plan for today was to show the picture that follows with a headline of, “Is that a banana in your pocket or are trying to cheat me?”

There was a picture of players still in line waiting to be checked out by Mr. Security after the round had already started. Irena Krush was pacing like a caged animal with Hans Niemann standing near her, also waiting to be examined. “Trust, but verify” is obviously the M.O. of the Chess tournament.

That was prior to seeing the headline of the lead article at Chessdom, which has become one of, it not the best sources of information on the internet:

Hikaru Nakamura: Hans Niemann is trying to play the victim (https://www.chessdom.com/hikaru-nakamura-hans-niemann-is-trying-to-play-the-victim/)

Yeah, well, Hans Niemann is playing for the title of US Chess Champion, Naka, and where are you?

https://www.chessdom.com/hikaru-nakamura-hans-niemann-is-trying-to-play-the-victim/

Then there is GM Ivan Sokolov:

https://chess4less.com/products/ivans-chess-journey-games-and-stories-ivan-sokolov?_pos=4&_sid=4ee385f60&_ss=r

Cheating in chess discussions… Many claim cheating online is not as bad as OTB. Sorry! It is exactly the same! The ONLY reason online cheaters do not do OTB is they did not (yet) figure out how to do it but -would LOVE to! Cheating – life time ban! Game has to be clean!

from Mayrhofen, Austria·Twitter for Android (https://www.chessdom.com/ivan-sokolov-cheating-in-chess-online-is-as-bad-as-cheating-otb/)

Sounds nice, Ivan, until you realize that if the true numbers are ever published by Chess.com there would not be enough players left for the game to survive because if one wants to win at Chess.com one MUST CHEAT! GM Solokov obviously lives in a fantasy world, oblivious to the current situation at Chess.com.

Then there was the article seen this morning with my first cuppa Joe: KNIGHT MARE Chess ‘cheat’ goes through full body scan at US Championships – including his BUM

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6386433/chess-cheat-bum-scan-championships/

“A TEEN chess champ accused of cheating got a full body scan — including his bum — before his latest tournament.

A security guard checked out Hans Niemann and raised a laugh when he got to his rear.”

Chess has been pilloried and ridiculed in the press and made a laughingstock by the media, yet I still love the game and cannot wait to see what today will bring. How about you?

Comments on the Magnus Carlsen Affair

I often wonder how many viewers actually read the responses left by Chess fans in the comments section. I admit to having occasionally read comments, and used a few on this blog, but have not made a habit of reading the comments, but an exception was made because of the firestorm caused when the current World Chess Champion withdrew after losing to the young American Hans Moke Niemann in the ongoing 2022 Sinquefield Cup at the St. Louis Chess Campus. What follows are only a few of the myriad comments left, and still being left at Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-carlsen-niemann-affair). If you have not read the article you may want to do so before reading any further. In addition, there is a link provided in the article, the best I have ever read at Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/), and that is really saying something because Chessbase has featured an untold number of excellent articles over the years, to another excellent and thought provoking article, Paranoia and insanity, by GM Jacob Aagaard (https://forum.killerchesstraining.com/t/paranoia-and-insanity-by-jacob-aagaard/856/1).

The first comment, and arguably the most pertinent, is from Brian Lafferty, a well known contributor to the USCF Forum:

ChessSpawnVermont 9/8/2022 01:33
As a semi-retired US litigation attorney (NY State and Federal Bars), former Assistant District Attorney and Judge, I find it fascinating to watch Mr. Nakamura dig the defamation of character litigation hole that he now finds himself sitting in. Unless he can demonstrate with specificity how Mr. Niemann actually cheated in his otb game against Mr. Carlsen, he will likely have no viable defense should Mr. Niemann sue him for defamation of character seeking monetary damages for injury to his reputation and career. What Mr. Niemann may have done as a twelve or sixteen year old in online competition will likely not be probative at trial and may well be ruled inadmissible at trial. Likewise, suggestions that Mr. Niemann subject himself to a polygraph examination will not be probative. Polygraph examinations are not reliable and are generally not admissible as evidence at trial. (I have seen people lie and pass polygraphs. It’s a skill that is taught and can readily be learned)

Chess.com has also created needless potential liability for itself by barring Mr. Niemann from its site and competitions absent a clear finding that Mr. Niemann cheated otb against Mr. Carlsen. Note also, that at a trial, it is likely that Chess.com will be forced in discovery to reveal to Mr. Niemann’s experts any algorithm used by them forming the basis of a cheating accusation against Mr. Niemann.

I suspect that Mr. Carlsen has received the benefit of legal counsel as he has clearly refrained from making a direct charge of cheating against Mr. Niemann.

Thanks you for an excellent and comprehensive article.
https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-carlsen-niemann-affair/1#discuss

Leavenfish
At this point, this is all on King Magnus. Will he offer proof…or are we witnessing the sad undoing drama worthy of a Shakespearean King?

  1. He does the one thing any professional would unlikely do: abdicates his crown.
  2. His business empire started crumbling – so much so that PMG seemed ‘forced’ to sell itself to the ‘evil empire’ that is chess.com. How much of a slap in the face must this feel?
  3. Young Princes from different parts of the world (Praggnanandhaa, Niemann…) are mortally and routinely wounding him on the battlefield he once dominated. Some treachery must be afoot!

All this in just the past few months. Have the walls of the castle… simply begun to crack?

Yannick Roy
Great article. But to those throwing stones at Carlsen, let’s remember that chess, to a certain extent, induces paranoia. It pitches a mind against another mind. Losing to a young prodigy on a meteoric and quite atypical rise has to be very hard. It is true that after looking into the game and hearing all the declarations of those involved, it is becoming more and more difficult to believe that there was cheating. Carlsen’s mistake on the board pretty much dispels the suspicions one might have had.

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/buffalospringfield/forwhatitsworth.html

Mel Griffin
I agree with aleenyc2015 and Soprano.I can’t remember the last time Carlsen lost in a mature manner. If it’s not slamming down pens, or storming off from the podium when Ivanchuk was crowned Rapid Champion. Disrespectful. When Sergey Karjakin was the first to win a game in the World Championship Magnus left the press conference before Sergey even arrived.
If Carlsen wasn’t fined for that he damn well should have been.
Champs like Fischer, Kasparov and the current one have all gotten away with certain things that no other would. Pointed out by Kramnik years back( he was in fact talking exclusively about Kasparov). Talk to Judit

and Naka about Kasparov’s touch rule ignorance. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/)(https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/confirmation-garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/) In an interview with Nakamura after Kasparov released the piece during a game and then picked it up again and moved it to another square. Naka shrugged his shoulders in a dismissive manner and stated something along the lines of “Its Kasparov”…whatcha gonna do attitude. The DGT board actually registered Garry’s first move.


However, he’s all in for roasting Hans with ZERO proof.
It’s obvious that Magnus quit the tournament believing Neimann cheated.
If he does not believe this, he should have made a statement to clear up this witch hunt and slander. Magnus need to step up to the plate and be a man.
However, being 31. Living with your parents and reading Donald Duck comics…I don’t expect this anytime soon. Pathetic.
So Hans blew a couple of analysis lines with the commentator. Big f#%king deal. How many times has Svidler corrected Seirawan during this tourny alone. As far as social media goes. Regardless of subject, it explodes with a plethora of experts who irresponsibly hang a young man’s future in their hands.
This is so sad for the world of chess.

fede666 9 hours ago
I find this article by far the most informative and unbiased one on this matter on all chess sites … great work

Cato the Younger Cato the Younger
Kudos to the author for a superb article.

The impressions left of the two bad actors in this saga are not particularly flattering. Magnus, no doubt acting on the advice of his attorney, heading for the tall grass following his hit-and-run non-accusation. And Hikaru, maniacally pouring gasoline on a campfire

and engaging in what seemed like Schadenfreude. Neither of them expressing the slightest regret or admission of culpability. Well, nobody’s perfect.

But to me the worst villainy emanates from Chess.com. The public expects that a mature, serious business–a behemoth in the sport–would be run with wisdom and probity. But no, instead we see their senior policymaker(s) ‘privately’ imposing dire career-limiting sanctions on a teenager who has been tried and convicted of doing what, exactly? This is an unbelievably gratuitous and unjust action that needs to be reversed immediately with a humble apology, not that this would fully compensate for the damage done. Otherwise, Chess.com’s position amounts to gross misconduct.

Cato is not the only Chess fan who feels strongly about the “villainy” of Chess.com:

Toro Sentado
@tweeterbull
·
19h
Replying to
@DanielRensch
and
@chesscom
And you just happened to do this to him the day after Magnus withdrew and you offer no explanation as to why? Incredibly tone deaf – yes. Also incredibly unprofessional. Did Magnus order this? Why is this being done in public? Awful awful awful. (https://twitter.com/danielrensch/status/1568033316347203584)

How has Mr. Rensch responed to the vast number of Chess fans criticizing him and his company?

Daniel Rensch
@DanielRensch
Replying to
@DanielRensch
and
@chesscom
My intention was to add some humor 🤷🏻‍♂️ not be vindictive. Sorry to everyone if it was tone deaf. Despite the hate and opinions all around, I legitimately want what’s best for Hans (and chess).

Hoping to hear from him…
8:27 PM · Sep 8, 2022
·Twitter for iPhone

https://www.chessdom.com/susan-polgar-about-niemann-carlsen-case-the-professional-reputation-of-many-parties-is-at-stake/

The reputation of the Royal Game is on the line and this clown wanted to “…add some humor.”

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying
But I didn’t see that the joke was on me, oh no
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/beegees/istartedajoke.html

If you are a paying customer of Chess.com my question to you is, why are you paying to play online when you can play free at Lichess.com?

IM Arthur Guo In Three Way Tie For First At The Denker Tournament of High School Champions

Fellow Georgian IM Arthur Guo

IM Arthur Guo at the 2022 U.S. Open. Photo: Mark Cieslikowski https://new.uschess.org/news/day-3-rancho-mirage-drama-builds-invitationals

tied for first with GM Andrew Hong and FM Sandeep Sethuraman in the Denker Tournament of HS Champions, each scoring five out of a possible six points.

Denker Winners (L to R) IM Arthur Guo, GM Andrew Hong, FM Sandeep Sethuraman at the 2022 U.S. Open. Photo: Mark Cieslikowski https://new.uschess.org/news/day-4-rancho-mirage-invitationals-end-6-day-begins

This will be the first of three posts devoted to three games in which Arthur was involved. Before beginning I would like to give kudos to the folks at the “New” United States Chess Federation website. The coverage has been exceptional and the article from which the picture of young Mr. Guo was obtained is an excellent example (https://new.uschess.org/news/day-3-rancho-mirage-drama-builds-invitationals). The picture of the three winners was also taken from an article from the USCF website that appeared as I was putting this post together. With the Chess Olympiad ongoing there is currently much Chess activity the world over. In addition, the 2022 U.S. Go Congress (https://www.usgo.org/) is happening concurrently.

https://www.usgo.org/news/2022/08/a-day-at-the-go-congress/

There is simply not enough time to follow everything even though the AW has been burning the midnight oil in a futile attempt to stay abreast of all things games, and has blurry vision to show for it. Nevertheless, here I sit, punchin’ & pokin’ while spending even more time looking at a computer screen. That is OK since I can no longer get my kicks on Route 66 they come vicariously when watching the action while keeping the brain’s neuron synapses firing. It can also be called having the time of my life. Those that cannot do, watch. Let me tell you watching is much easier!

There I was minding my own business when this position was reached in the game between IM Arthur Guo and FM Sandeep Sethuraman the third round of the Denker Tournament of High School Champions:

Position after 9 Bd2

8 Qd3 was a shock, and it can be found in only 31 games in the Big Database at 365Chess. In reply black castled before IM Guo played a move I cannot ever recall seeing played, 9 Bd2. The question is, why would Arthur play such a tepid move?

IM Arthur Guo vs FM Sandeep Sethuraman
US Open

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Qd3 O-O 9. Bd2 Nc6 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. exd5 Nb8 12. O-O f5 13. f4 Bf6 14. c4 e4 15. Qc2 Qb6+ 16. Kh1 a5 17. c5 Qc7 18. Bc3 a4 19. cxd6 Qxd6 20. Nd2 Nd7 21. Nc4 Qc5 22. Qd2 Bxc3 23. bxc3 b5 24. Ne3 Nb6 25. Qd4 Qxd4 26. cxd4 Bd7 27. Rfc1 Nc8 28. Rc7 Rd8 29. g4 fxg4 30. Nxg4 Nd6 31. Rg1 Bxg4 32. Bxg4 Kh8 33. Be6 g6 34. h4 Ne8 35. Rf7 Nd6 36. Re7 Nf5 37. Bxf5 gxf5 38. Rgg7 h6 39. Rh7+ Kg8 40. Reg7+ Kf8 41. Rb7 Kg8 42. Rbg7+ Kf8 43. Rc7 Kg8 44. h5 b4 45. Rhg7+ Kh8 46. Rh7+ Kg8 47. Rcg7+ Kf8 48. Rb7 Kg8 49. Rxh6 b3 50. Rg6+ Kh8 51. Rh6+ Kg8 52. Rg6+ Kh8 53. Rh6+ 1/2-1/2 (https://lichess.org/broadcast/us-open-championship-and-invitationals-2022/round-3/Q8c7gsFg)

Rout Padmini (2345) vs Anastasya Paramzina (2260)
Event: World Blitz Women 2021
Site: Warsaw POL Date: 12/30/2021
Round: 14.25
ECO: B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 O-O 9.Bd2 Qc7 10.O-O-O b5 11.Kb1 Nbd7 12.g4 b4 13.g5 bxc3 14.gxf6 Nxf6 15.Bxc3 Bb7 16.f3 d5 17.Na5 dxe4 18.Qc4 Qxc4 19.Bxc4 Bc8 20.fxe4 Nxe4 21.Bxe5 Be6 22.Bxe6 fxe6 23.Nc6 Bf6 24.Rhe1 Bxe5 25.Nxe5 Nf6 26.Rd6 Rfd8 27.Rxe6 Re8 28.Rxe8+ Rxe8 29.Nd3 Rxe1+ 30.Nxe1 Ng4 31.Nf3 Kf7 32.a4 Kf6 33.b4 Kf5 34.b5 axb5 35.axb5 Nf6 36.c4 Nd7 37.Kc2 Kg4 38.Nd4 Kh3 39.Ne6 g6 40.c5 Kxh2 41.c6 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4326908

Terje Hagen 2382 (NOR) vs Fausto Mo Mesquita 2341 (BRA)
WS MN/072 email 2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 O-O 9.Bd2 Nc6 10.a3 Be6 11.Rd1 d5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.O-O Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Qb6 15.Qg3 Rfd8 16.Nd2 f6 17.Bd3 Qc7 18.Kh1 b5 19.f4 exf4 20.Rxf4 Bd6 21.Qe3 Bxf4 22.Qxe6+ Kf8 23.Bxh7 Ne7 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Qxf6+ Ke8 26.Re1 Qd6 27.Re6 Qxe6 28.Qxe6 Rxd2 29.g3 Bd6 30.Bd3 Rc8 31.Qe1 Rcxc2 32.Bxc2 Rxc2 33.Qd1 Rc6 34.Kg2 Kd7 35.h4 Rc4 36.Qf3 Ke6
½–½
From: https://database.chessbase.com/

Hikaru Nakamura (2802) vs Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2723)
Event: 3rd Norway Chess 2015
Site: Stavanger NOR Date: 06/24/2015
Round: 8.4
ECO: B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 b5 9.a4 b4 10.Nd5 Bb7 11.Nxf6+ Bxf6 12.Bd2 a5 13.c3 bxc3 14.Bxc3 O-O 15.O-O Nc6 16.Rfd1 Re8 17.Bf3 Be7 18.Qb5 Qc8 19.Bg4 Qxg4 20.Qxb7 Rec8 21.Nxa5 Nxa5 22.Qxe7 Nb3 23.f3 Qf4 24.Ra3 Nd4 25.Raa1 Ne2+ 26.Kh1 Nxc3 27.bxc3 h5 28.Qxd6 Rxc3 29.Qd5 Ra6 30.Qb5 Rac6 31.Qf1 h4 32.h3 Rc2 33.Re1 Qd2 34.Red1 Qg5 35.Re1 Qd2 36.Rad1 Qb4 37.Qd3 Kh7 38.Qd8 Rf6 39.Rc1 Qxa4 40.Rxc2 Qxc2 41.Qd1 Qf2 42.Rf1 Qg3 43.Qd7 Rg6 44.Rg1 Rf6 45.Rf1 Rg6 46.Rg1 Rf6 47.Rf1 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3946153&m=17

World Chess Championship Candidates Biorhythms

I have previously written about biorhythms on this blog in a post titled, End The World Chess Championship Match NOW! (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/12/08/10063/) If you surf on over you will find this: “Below you will find the biorhythm of Nepo, who is in a triple low period approaching the bottom, where he will remain for the next week. Nepo’s biorhythms are about as bad as it gets, biorhythm wise.” If any member of the Russian ‘team’ had bothered to check Nepo’s biorhythms prior to signing the agreement to play the match they would not have allowed their man to play during such an adverse time, at least in regard to his biorhythms.

For those new to the blog, or new to biorhythms, the father of the love of my life was a Senior VP at one of the largest banks in Georgia. He gave me a book about biorhythms by Bernard Gittelson:

Kasutatud raamatud, Vanaraamat, teema: Eneseabi, psühholoogia …
vanaraamat.ee

He brought it to my attention because it featured the biorhythms of Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky during the 1972 match for the World Chess Championship.

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/spasskyfischer.html

It was learned the Japanese take it very seriously, seriously enough to not allow pilots or bus drivers to work when having a physical critical day. After so doing the accident rate fell dramatically.

I once posted something about biorhythms on the United States Chess Federation forum for which I was excoriated unmercifully by the ignorant, nattering nabobs of negativism. One called it a “pseudo-science.” None of the nabobs knew anything about biorhythms, and were too lazy, or ignorant, to check into biorhythms, yet they were ready to condemn this writer for even bringing it to their attention.

From what has been learned over the last half century the most pronounced aspect of biorhythms is the physical aspect. Every two weeks a human body changes, going from a high to low phase, or low to high phase. Your body cleans itself and you began the new phase. From my experience changing from the high phase to the low phase is not a good day. Transitioning from a low to high phase is usually not as bad a day, but still, one can feel “out of sorts” or maybe feel “out of phase.” On the days one transitions from high to low physically it is best to stay home.

It is terribly difficult to quantify the intellectual and emotional aspects of biorhythms. It can be made more understandable if one keeps a record of how one feels each and every day and reviews it later. From a lifetime of following my biorhythms I have come to think of the emotional aspect as being different from the other two aspects because it seems better to be emotionally ‘low’ than ‘high’. Think of it as being “low key” as opposed to “high strung.” The thing about the emotional aspect is that if your long loving wife were to inform you she wants a divorce, it matters not where you are in relation to your emotional biorhythms. Whether on top of the world, or bottomed out, one would immediately have a bad day, unless, that is, you, too, were ready to end the relationship.

The biorhythms of the eight players follow. I considered writing a post prior to the start of the Candidates tournament, but changed my mind. After seeing such horrendous play during the first part of the tournament my thinking changed. The physical aspect is the blue line; red is emotional; and green designates the intellectual aspect of biorhythms. For those of you interested, and objective, enough to want to know more, please begin with the aforementioned blog post written during the ill-fated World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepo. I chose to use the date of June 26, two days from now, as the mid-point because it is the day the second half of the match begins. Rather than attempting an explanation for each of the players I have made the choice to let you review the material and come to your own conclusion(s), with one caveat. After reviewing each and every biorhythm of the players prior to the start of the tournament it was obvious Fabiano Caruana would have the best chart of the group, and therefore the best odds of winning the tournament. After comparing the charts of the players I believe even the “nattering nabobs” would be forced to agree with the statement that Caruana will again face Magnus Carlsen with the title of World Champion on the line, if, that is, Magnus decides to again defend his title.

Nepo slapp naumlega á móti Nakamura – efstur eftir 5 umferðir | Skak.is
skak.is
Ian Nepomniachtchi (born 14 July 1990)
Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Fabiano Luigi Caruana (born July 30, 1992)
Hikaru Nakamura, photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage
Hikaru Nakamura (born December 9, 1987)
Magnus on Richard Rapport: “His understanding of the game is just superb” | photo: Stev Bonhage, FIDE
Richard Rapport (born 25 March 1996)
An excellent game by Ding Liren. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Ding Liren (born 24 October 1992)
Pierwsza porażka Jana-Krzysztofa Dudy w turnieju kandydatów
flashsport.pl
Jan-Krzysztof Duda (born 26 April 1998)
A huge missed chance to score for Teimour Radjabov, photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage
Teimour Radjabov (born 12 March 1987)
Firouzja and Caruana before their game. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Alireza Firouzja (born 18 June 2003)

Paco Versus Sam The Sham Shankland In Prague

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IM Kevin Wang vs IM Arthur Guo

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

IM Kevin Wang (2389)

https://lichess.org/coach/kwchez

vs Arthur Guo (2432)

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


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

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

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

Black to move after 15 gxf3

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

Next we have the position after 22…Qf6:

position after 22…Qf6 with White to move

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

Position after 25 Be5
Position after 25…Qxf3

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

Position after 30 Bf5

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

Position after 31…Nef8

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

Position after 32 Bxc8

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

Position after 34 Qe3

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

Position after LIBERATION!

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

Position after move 40…g5

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

Position after 66…Ke7

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

Here is the opening rundown:

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

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

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

American Chess Magazine #11: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

When the first issue of the American Chess Magazine debuted I mentioned something about it being expensive, writing the price of the magazine, twenty five dollars, was as much as a book. My intention was to read, and then review, the first issue. After contacting someone at the ACM about receiving a review copy I was informed it would only be possible to receive the first copy if I anted up twenty five dollars, for which I would receive the first two issues. I turned down the “offer.”

It was only a few months ago upon returning to the Atlanta area that I got a chance to peruse past issues, which were wonderful. The new issue, issue #11, the second issue of 2019,

was the second issue after increasing from four issues to six issues per year. The new US Women’s Chess Champion, Jennifer Yu, graces the cover, surrounded by a pink background. This is my review.

I will be completely honest and say that before taking the magazine out of the plastic wrap I was hooked, and not because of the picture of a very pretty young lady on the cover, although I can see what a wonderful hook is Jennifer Yu!

It is a shame the ACM is not sold at book stores or newspaper and magazine stands because the cover would attract much interest. This on the cover is what “hooked” me:

American Civil War
A Dying Southern Diarist
Theodore P. Savas

I read the article immediately before even scanning the magazine and it brought tears to my eyes. I was born in the back seat of a ’49 Ford convertible on the way to Emory University Hospital in Decatur, Georgia, which means I was born a Southerner, as is often heard in the South, “By the grace of God.” The diarist, “Leroy Wiley Gresham, was born in 1847 to an affluent family in Macon, Georgia.” His mother’s name, Mary, was the same as my Mother’s name. The title of the article is, An Elegant Game: The American Civil War, a Dying Southern Diarist, and a Fascination with Chess. Leroy Wiley Gresham wrote his diary during the War of Northern Aggression, while he was dying. It is an elegant piece. I could end the review now and give it five stars, but there is more, much more, contained in this elegant issue!

Although I have read extensively about the War Between the States during the course of my life, it has been some time since I have read a book on the subject. This will be remedied when the book upon which the article is based, The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of Leroy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1864, edited by Janet Kroon, which I have ordered, arrives.

The focus of the magazine is the most recent US Chess Championships. The annotations of the final round game are by the loser, Jeffery Xiong,

Isle of Man Chess International, Round 5, 24 October 2018. Photo by John Saunders

and they are excellent! For example, look at this position:

Jeffery writes, “21. Qb1 Preventing any …a4xb3 and Ra8-a2 ideas. But 21 Rfe1, quickly preparing Nf1-d2 and e2-e4, might have been more to the point.” Some annotators provide Lubomir Ftacnik

style reams of analysis when all that is needed is something simple. At the conclusion of the game Jeffery writes, “It was as clean a win as you can get with the black pieces. The opening experiment proved to be golden as my inexperience in this type of position was revealed to its fullest extent. Nakamura

played truly inspiring chess, especially with the black pieces, and his will to win in this game made him the deserved champion. He has amply demonstrated his greatness, being one of the perennial top-10 players in the world. Any player can win games, but at top level only great players are capable of consistently winning must-win games!”

GM Jeffery Xiong has shown his class as a gentleman with what he has written about what must have been a tough game to lose.

The honesty continues when Xiong annotates his win with the black pieces against the now dethroned US Chess Champion, Sam Shankland,


https://www.milibrary.org/chess-newsletters/872

when Jeffery writes at the end of the game, “At first I was quite pleased with my play as I felt I had found some nice ideas. However after heading back to my hotel room and opening ChessBomb, I saw a sea of red moves! Nonetheless, I was now leading the tournament with 2 1/2/3, yet fully aware that the quality of my play was not entirely satisfactory.”

This is amazingly honest writing.

A few pages further into the magazine one turns the page to see a beautiful picture of the new US Women’s Champion, Jennifer Yu, sitting at a Chessboard behind the black pieces while flashing a gorgeous smile. The title above reads, Lady With A Torch, which is appropriate because Jennifer torched the field this year! One reads, “Exclusive annotations and an interview by WGM Jennifer Yu.” The following page contains the game between former many time Women’s Champion Irina Krush,

playing white, and Jennifer, which happens to be an opening I have played, the B13 Caro-Kann, which begins 1 c4 c6 2 e4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 d4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Bg5 Be6. While visiting the Nashville Chess Center (http://www.nashvillechess.org/content.aspx?page_id=0&club_id=164844) earlier this decade FM Todd Andrews,

the Music City Master, gave a lecture which happened to be this very variation. After 7 a3 Qd7 Jennifer writes, “Not 7…dxc4?, when after 8 Bxf6! exf6 9 d5 Black loses a piece.” I recall raising my hand during the early part of Todd’s lecture asking about the early move c5 for White. Todd was nice enough to illustrate what was behind the move c5 for the audience, while letting me know in a nice way it was a lecture, not a Q&A. The game continued, 8 Be2 Rd8 9 Bxf6 exf6 10 c5. Ms. Yu writes, “Although a general principle of chess is to maintain tension in the center during the opening, this is a good move that prevents any…dxc4 tricks. It locks up the center and challenges the wisdom of my piece placement, making the bishop on e6 and the rook on d8 look silly, since these pieces no longer have any prospects against c4 and d4. 10 Bf3 doesn’t work because after 10…dxc4 11 d5 Qe7! the threat to the white king, as well as the pin on the white d-pawn, provides the black knight and bishop with immunity against the fork.” The annotations are exceptional.

I could go on and on, but this is a blog post. Still, I must mention an article by GM Alex Fishbein,

Secrets Of Same-Color Bishop Endings, which is superlative! And then there is the wonderful article, Beauties of Underpromotion, by IM Boroljub Zlatanovic, which was enjoyed immensely!

Unfortunately, not everything included in the magazine is rosy. Fresh Leaves from the Bookshelf is the title of the book review column by FM Carsten Hansen.

In this issue the FM has “reviewed,” and I use the word rather loosely, ten books. As he did in the previous issue Mr. Hansen reviewed ten books for the ACM. Beginning with the previous issue the ACM went from being published quarterly to bi-monthly. It may have been possible to review ten books quarterly, but how is it possible for anyone to read ten Chess books every other month? The answer is contained in the review of Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Korchnoi,

by Andy Soltis,

published by McFarland. (https://mcfarlandbooks.com/) Hansen writes, “When I first saw the description of this book, (There is no need for the comma) I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it. (“Upon first seeing description I did not know how to feel about the book.” THE ACM needs a good editor.) However, having now received a copy and read a fair amount of the text…” Let us pause in the middle of the sentence to reflect. Many years ago someone mentioned something about coming to the House of Pain “soon.” This caused David Vest, the only man to have won both the Georgia Chess Championhip and Georgia Senior Championship, to pose the question, “How long, exactly, is soon?” He added, “I hate those nebulous words…” This began a discussion concerning nebulous words. A short time (Nebulous!) later Mr. Vest, heading out the door, said, “Tell Murphy I will be back in a little while.” He was half way out of the door when someone asked, “How long is ‘a little while’, Dave?” This brought the House down! What is a “fair amount” of the book? Your “fair amount” may not be the same as my “fair amount.” Can you imagine a New York Times book reviewer revealing they only read a “fair amount” of a book? I usually pay little attention to these short book reviews by writers who obviously simply scan the book reviewed. It would be better for Mr. Hansen to review only a few books he has actually read as opposed to scanning ten books before writing a review. It seems many reviewers spend more time writing the review than actually reading the book being reviewed.

Then there is the article, 50 is the new 40, by Jon Edwards, an ICCF Senior IM. Reading the article caused me to reflect upon the words written by GM Nigel Short

in New In Chess magazine 2019 #2

in his piece, Obsolescence, which concerns correspondence chess. “If ever an activity should have long ago expired and been buried with dignity, it is surely correspondence chess.” This caused Kirill Oseledets to write a letter to the editor of NIC in which he expressed his unfavorable opinion of NIC for publishing the Short column. Kirill wrote, “I was sincerely surprised and deeply disappointed to see that in New In Chess 2018/2 you published Nigel Short’s article with the provocative title ‘Obsolescence.’ Later he writes, “One thing that Nigel Short fails to recognize is that correspondence chess is first of all a research laboratory for chess.”

Mr. Edwards begins, “Chess players do not yet have access to AlphaZero and so we are left to peruse more conventional chess technologies. It is tempting to focus primarily upon new databases, new videos, and new online chess services, all of which keep me feeling young and invigorated, but the fact is that chess is experiencing another profound change that has gradually but inexorably changed chess forever.” Then the article begins and Jon writes, “Just a few years ago, patiently permitting a desktop computer to run for day or longer might net an evaluation depth of 35-40 ply, each ply representing a single half move.”

He continues, “With new hardware , it is not uncommon (Don’t ‘cha just hate it when a writer uses a double negative and the editor prints it?) today for such runs to reach a depth of 50 ply or even much higher, depending obviously upon the position, the number of viable moves for each player, and the chess engine being employed. Those depths are high enough to predict accurately the future endgames, which themselves become trivial to evaluate. These long runs in typical positions are producing a slew of draws in Correspondence chess. I present here the current crosstable of the Spanish Masters, a tournament in which I am competing. With just 8 games still unfinished, the crosstable creates quite an impression, a veritable sea of draws.”

The crosstable shows a tournament with fifteen players almost complete. There is only one decisive result, and the only ‘1’ and lonely ‘0’ stand out like Bo Derek!

Jon continues, “You might indeed conclude prematurely that correspondence chess is therefore fully dead or dying.”

Duh, ya think?!

“But that’s not the point or the end of the story. The reality is that it is becoming very hard to win, but it is still possible!”

The CC IM writes this because the only game won in the “veritable sea of draws,” was won by the author…

He continues, “Those long runs are turning up interesting finds.”

Indeed.

“I parlayed one such discovery into a win over the reigning Russian correspondence chess champion, the only win so far in this crosstable.”

The game is given, along with a game played later by former World Chess Champion Vishy Anand,

who was unable to produce the move found by a computer Chess program after a “long run.” At the Isle of Man Anand faced Artemiev

with white and these moves were played: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2 e6 7 f4 Be7 8 Be3 0-0 9 g4 d5 10 e5 Nfd7 11 g5 Nc6.

“Undoubtedly unaware of the game I had recently completed, Anand tried 12 Qd2.”

“I reached the diagram position through a different move order: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e6 7 Be2 Be7 8 f4 0-0 9 g4 d5 10 e5 Nfd7 11 g5 Nc6

Edwards continues, “I reached the diagramed position in December 2017 through a different move order: : 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e6 7 Be2 Be7 8 f4 0-0 9 g4 d5 10 e5 Nfd7 11 g5 Nc6. Sensing an opportunity for White, I ran Robert Houdart’s Houdini 6.02 Pro x64 for 35 days(!) on an Intel Xeon CPU E5-2687W @3.00 GHz with 32 GB of installed RAM. At depth 45, 12 Bd3 emerged not simply as the best move, as I had anticipated (Where is that darn comma when you need it?) but also with a completely winning advantage!”

“Edwards – Lobanov instead continued: 12 Bd3!! (Please note the ICCF Senior International Master gives not one but TWO exclamation marks for a move found by a Chess engine after doing whatever it is it does for over a MONTH of computing!!) Qb6 13 Na4 Qa5+ 14 c3

“I suspect the engines at lower depth had rejected this line owing to 14…Nxd4 15 Bxd4 b5 trapping the knight, but at higher depth, the engines easily find: 16 Bxh7+!! (Once again one exclam is not enough!!) 16…Kxh7 17 Qh5+ Kg8 18 0-0+ with a transfer of the Rf1 to h3. On 18…g6 (the toughest defense) 19 Qh4 Re8 20 Rf3 Bf8 21 Rh3 Bg7 22 f5! gxf5 23 Nb6 Nxb6 24 B5 with mate to follow. Without that line at his disposal, Lobanov chose instead to sacrifice a knight for two pawns but achieved insufficient compensation. Here’s the rest of the game.”

I will spare you the remainder of the game. Mr. Edwards adds this at the end of the game: “Not long after the game ended, I shared it with a GM friend of mine, the second for a world top-player, who ran 12 Bd3 on a very powerful mainframe overnight. He concluded that Black was already lost and he added White’s new idea into their collective repertoire. The translation: Our world’s best players fully understand the need for world class computing. He was able to do in half a day what took me more than a month! I do not know what hardware they are running but it clearly surpasses my setup. I am also proud that analysis of this game appeared in New in Chess Yearbook 129 (itl), pp33-35.
While it is clearly getting much tougher to win correspondence games and to achieve Correspondence IM and GM norms, any correspondence wins that doe occur clearly deserve considerable attention. Just ask Anand. I therefore recommend that strong players involve the Games Archive at iccf.com as a key part of their opening preparation. You will gain access to the archive after you sign up (for free).”

What, no double exclam after “free?”

Reading, “…correspondence chess is first of all a research laboratory for chess,” caused me to stop reading and start thinking about what was being read. I thought the computer championships, such as the TCEC Chess tournaments, were Chess laboratories. Jon and his ilk input a position into a computer and let it do it’s thing for a month and call it Chess. Jon, and all other correspondence players would be much better off if they would go to a club or tournament and use their brain to actually play CHESS!

Jon was right when he wrote, “…chess is experiencing another profound change that has gradually but inexorably changed chess forever.”

With that sentence Jon Edwards just KILLED CHESS!

Consider the last theoretical novelty you saw from one of the top ten players in the world. Did it spring from the fertile imagination of a human like, for instance, the Magician of Riga, Mikhail Tal?

Or did it emanate from the bowels of some hellish mainframe? If it has gotten to the point where a computer can provide a world class Chess player a move early in the game with which any world class player will win, what is the point of Chess? Has it gotten to the point where, “Those depths are high enough to predict accurately the future endgames, which themselves become trivial to evaluate?”

If Jon is correct there is no point in watching Chess because one will never know how the ‘beautiful’ move was produced. A Chess fan will never know if the “tremendous move” emanated from a human brain or from the machinations of a computer program. What we currently have is some kind of symbiotic relationship between human and machine kind of like the ‘Borg’ depicted in the television show, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The first World Chess Champion to lose a match to a computer program, Garry Kasparov,

became an advocate of some kind of Chess in which both players have access to a program, which, thankfully, did not become popular. It appears what happened is the symbiotic relationship was kept behind closed doors. The computers and programs were there all the time, like some kind of Wizard of Oz.

Because they were out of sight they were also out of mind.

What is the point of the folks at the Chess Informant awarding a prize for the “best” theoretical novelty if the TN was found by a computer program? It has reached the point where a Grandmaster without access to a mainframe computer has little chance against another GM with access to a powerful computer. Who is actually winning the Chess game, the human or the program?

Chess will continue to be played just as Checkers continues to be played by a small number of people. When was the last time you were aware of the world Checkers champion?

Then there is the last page, 5×5 Q&A “Where Grandmasters Advise Young Players.”

The advice being given is by Susan Polgar. What the woman did to the USCF was UGLY!