Richard Rapport Wins With Glek Variation

The erratic Richard Rapport continued riding the roller-coaster by losing again today. Sandwiched between his half point ‘gift’ to Nepo and todaze loss to Alireza Firouzja was a nice win with the Glek variation of the C46 Four knights versus Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

Richard Rapport vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda
2022 Candidates Tournament Round 8
C46 Four knights game Glek variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 Bc5 5. Bg2 d6 6. d3 a5 7. O-O h6 8. b3 O-O 9. h3 Nd4 10. Be3 c6 11. Kh2 Re8 12. a3 Nxf3+ 13. Qxf3 Bxe3 14. fxe3 b5 15. g4 Ra7 16. Qg3 h5 17. g5 h4 18. Qxh4 Nh7 19. Qg3 Nxg5 20. h4 Nh7 21. Bh3 Bxh3 22. Rg1 Ng5 23. hxg5 Bc8 24. Rg2 Rae7 25. Qf3 g6 26. Rh1 f5 27. Kg1 b4 28. exf5 gxf5 29. Ne4 1-0
  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 Bc5 5. Bg2 d6 6. d3 a5 7. O-O h6 (SF 200622 @depth 42 plays this move, but SF 070622 @depth 48 castles, as does SF 14 @depth 37. The CBDB shows only one game with 7…h6, yet there are several more on which one can click, which makes no sense. Why does it show only one game when there are many?) 8. b3 (SF 070622 @depth 53 plays the game move, but SF 15 @depth 43 plays 8 Nd5, a move yet to be tried in practice)

Igor Glek (2467) vs Igor Lysyj (2596)
Event: ch-RUS Rapid 2019
Site: Sochi RUS Date: 10/16/2019
ECO: C46 Four knights game Glek variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.d3 a5 7.O-O Be6 8.Ne2 Bb6 9.d4 Bg4 10.d5 Ne7 11.h3 Bd7 12.Nd2 Qc8 13.Kh2 h5 14.Nc4 h4 15.g4 Ba7 16.f4 b5 17.Ne3 Bxe3 18.Bxe3 Bxg4 19.fxe5 dxe5 20.Bg5 Bh5 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Rxf6 Ra6 23.Rxa6 Qxa6 24.Qd3 Qb6 25.Rf1 Bg6 26.Nc3 b4 27.Na4 Qd6 28.Qb5+ Kf8 29.Qxa5 Kg7 30.Qc5 f5 31.Qxd6 cxd6 32.Nb6 fxe4 33.Re1 e3 34.Nc4 Rc8 35.b3 Ra8 36.Nxd6 Rxa2 37.Nc4 Rxc2 38.d6 Nc6 39.Nxe3 Ra2 40.Kg1 e4 41.Rc1 Ne5 ½-½

Sergey Solovjov IM 2434 RUS vs Konstantin Kazakov 2154 KAZ
Peterhof open 2008
C46 Four knights game Glek variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.d3 a5 7.O-O h6 8.Be3 Bxe3 9.fxe3 Ne7 10.Nh4 c6 11.d4 O-O 12.Nf5 Nxf5 13.exf5 Qe7 14.Qd2 Rd8 15.h3 d5 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.g4 b5 18.Qd4 Re8 19.Rae1 b4 20.Na4 Ba6 21.Rf4 Nd7 22.c3 Bb5 23.Nc5 Nxc5 24.Qxc5 bxc3 25.Qxc3 Qxc3 26.bxc3 a4 27.a3 Rab8 28.Rb4 Kf8 29.Kf2 c5 30.Rbb1 Bc4 31.Red1 Bb3 32.Rd2 Re5 33.Rxd5 Ree8 34.Rxc5 Rbd8 35.Rb2 Rc8 36.Rxc8 Rxc8 37.Rd2 Rxc3 38.Be4 Ke7 39.Kf3 Bc4 40.Rc2 Rxc2 41.Bxc2 Bb3 42.Bd3 Kd6 43.Ke4 Kc5 44.f6 g5 45.Ke5 Ba2 46.Ba6 Bb3 47.e4 Ba2 48.Bb7 Bc4 49.Bc8 Ba2 50.Bd7 1-0 (ChessBaseDataBase)

FM Emil Risteski 2363 MKD vs GM Igor Lysyj 2603 RU
Titled Tuesday intern op 11th Jan 2022
C46 Four knights game Glek variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.O-O a5 7.d3 h6 8.h3 Be6 9.Nd2 a4 10.Nc4 Nd4 11.Kh2 b5 12.Ne3 c6 13.f4 a3 14.f5 axb2 15.Bxb2 Bd7 16.a4 b4 17.Ne2 Nxe2 18.Qxe2 Bxe3 19.Qxe3 c5 20.g4 Rxa4 21.Qf3 O-O 22.h4 Nh7 23.Qg3 f6 24.Rxa4 Bxa4 25.Qf2 Qd7 26.Ra1 Ra8 27.Bf3 Bc6 28.Rxa8+ Bxa8 29.Qe1 Qa4 30.Qb1 Bc6 31.Bd1 Qa5 32.Bc1 Nf8 33.g5 hxg5 34.hxg5 c4 35.gxf6 gxf6 36.Bf3 Qc5 37.Kg2 d5 38.Bd2 dxe4 39.dxe4 c3 40.Bh6 Qc4 41.Qe1 Kf7 42.Qg3 Ke8 43.Qg7 Qf7 44.Qh8 Ke7 45.Bh5 Bxe4+ 46.Kf2 Qa2 47.Qxf8+ Kd7 48.Qe8+ Kc7 49.Qe7+ Kc8 50.Qe6+ Qxe6 51.fxe6 Kd8 52.Bf8 Bc6 53.e7+ Kc8 54.e8=Q+ Bxe8 55.Bxe8 f5 56.Ba4 e4 57.Bb3 1-0 (ChessBaseDataBase)

Teaching Children Chess

Short games are a must for teaching Chess in almost any circumstance because of the time factor. When time is a factor a teacher must opt for the slash and dash of Mikhail Tal

over that of the ultimate grinder, Ulf Andersson.
Boken om Ulf Anderssons karriär och hans partier är skriven av Robert Okpu och Thomas Engqvist. ”Schackets mästare – i huvudet på Ulf Andersson” ges ut av Sportförlaget i Europa. Foto: Lars OA Hedlund och Sportförlaget i Europa.

There are many books containing short games, and most have seen action, but I have recently been adding short games to a folder and it was the resource used at the last minute when pressed into service with the clock ticking. Unfortunately, I did not copy the url and had no idea how it made it to the folder. This was disconcerting, to say the least. The game was played over a century ago. After the lesson my brain was racked in a futile attempt to locate the origin of the game. I put the game into both 365Chess and the ChessbaseDatabase in a futile attempt to locate the origin of the game, and was shocked to discover it was not found in either database. Flummoxed, I went to bed, still thinking about the game. After telling myself to put it outta my mind I was ready for sleep…When drifting off to nod heaven it hit me! It had to have come from the excellent website of Mark Crowther,
Mark Crowther, who founded The Week In Chess 25 years ago today.

The Week In Chess, ( the granddaddy of them all. Just about every morning the first Chess website to which I surf is the venerable TWIC, and each and every day there is a new Chess Puzzle which I attempt to solve. What follows are the pithy comments made to the youngsters as this writer attempted to teach the children well in a very limited amount of time.

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 (4 d4 is the move) 4…Nxe4 5.O-O (Nxe4 is best) 5…Nxc3 6.bxc3 (Taking with the d-pawn is better) 6…d6 (6…e4!) 7.Re1 (7 Qe2!) 7…Be7 (“Castling looks good”) 8.d4 Bg4 (“Why not castle?”) 9.h3 Bxf3 (I would retreat the prelate to h5. Then comes the question, “What’s a prelate?”) 10.Qxf3 O-O 11.Bb5 (“I would play Be3 or Rb1.” Then comes feedback. “Which one”?) 11…Na5 (“11…exd4 must be examined”) 12.Bd3 (“How about 12 dxe5?”) 12…g6 13.Bh6 (“Again, 12 dxe5 is possible”) 13…Re8 14.dxe5 dxe5 (“Maybe 14…Bg5 or how about Bf8?”) 15.Rxe5

Black to move

15…Nc6 (“Looks like 15…Bf8 had to be played)

White to move

This is when the AW was ASTOUNDED when a little girl, who rarely speaks unless spoken to, erupted with, “QUEEN TAKES PAWN!!!” After gathering myself I asked, “Queen takes pawn, where?” She answered, “On f7.” I replied with another question, “And what does Queen takes pawn do?” She blurted, “It checks the King!” So I followed with, “Now say it right.” And she said, “Queen takes pawn on f7 with check!” All I said was, “YES! Ma’am.” That may have been the first time she had ever been addressed as “Ma’am.” She was giddy with excitement…and so was the AW.

16.Qxf7+ Kxf7 17.Bc4+ Kf6 18.Re6+ Kf7 19.Rd6#

Oskar Naegeli vs Emil Mayer
Zuerich CC Zuerich, 1908
C46 Four knights, Italian variation

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 Nxe4 5.O-O Nxc3 6.bxc3 d6 7.Re1 Be7 8.d4 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 O-O 11.Bb5 Na5 12.Bd3 g6 13.Bh6 Re8 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Rxe5 Nc6 16.Qxf7+ Kxf7 17.Bc4+ Kf6 18.Re6+ Kf7 19.Rd6#

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 (C25 Vienna game) 2…Nf6 (C26 Vienna, Falkbeer variation) 3.Nf3 (C42 Petrov three knights game) 3…Nc6 (C46 Four knights game) 4.Bc4 (According to every Stockfish program, all three of them shown at the ChessbaseDatabase, 4 d4 is de rigueur, yet in 5191 games 5 d4 has scored only 49% against an average opponent rated 2434, while the move 5 Bb5 has scored 54% in 6164 games against 2408 rated opposition. The move played in the game has only scored 44%. My recommendation is to give them the Glek and play 5 g3! Let me ad that after black’s 3rd move appeared onscreen one of the girls squealed, “That allows the fork trick!” This made the AW smile, thinking they had at least learned something…) 4…Nxe4 5.O-O (All three SF programs play 5 Nxe4, yet it has only scored 38% in 126 games versus an average opponent rated 2376. Castles has scored 43% versus 69 opponents rated 2371 on average) 5…Nxc3 6.bxc3 (This move was not found at the CBDB and you know what that means…It was a different story over at 365Chess with a total of eight games located in which the move was 6 bxc3) 6…d6 (This move was not one of the three moves having been attempted in this particular position. There are six examples of 6…d5; one each of 6…Be7 and 6…Be6) 7.Re1 (If you do not know what move the AW would make you have not read enough of the blog. For you without a clue, it has something to do with the title of that recent extremely popular Chess video with Gambit in the title) 7…Be7 8.d4 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 O-O 11.Bb5 Na5 12.Bd3 g6 13.Bh6 Re8 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Rxe5 Nc6 16.Qxf7+ Kxf7 17.Bc4+ Kf6 18.Re6+ Kf7 19.Rd6# 1-0

The Glek Variation According to TCEC

In the marathon 64 game match between the two “engines” left standing to battle it out for the TCEC championship, Komodo 1333 and Stockfish 141214, both rated over 3200, the Glek variation of the Four Knights was the opening chosen by humans for the two titans in games 37 & 38. The first game began early enough that I was able to follow it live. I opened the CBDB ( and 365Chess ( in order to check out which variation would be used. After 4 g3, 365Chess shows the database contains 99 games by GM Igor Glek, the man for whom the variation is named. Surely, I thought, the variation chosen by the TCECers would feature one of the variations promulgated by GM Glek.

The first surprise was 4…d5 since 4…Bc5 is played more often, but the former move is one of the standard moves. It would have been wonderful to see which move the “engine,” left to its own devices, would have played. 4 g3 signals the Glek variation and one would assume the humans would have forced the “engines” to begin the game by answering it with the move the “engine” playing Black considered best. We all know what happens when one makes an assumption…

The next moves through White’s 7th move are all standard, but Black’s 7…Be7 is not standard, as 7…Bc5, and 7…Bd6, have been played far more often, and with better results. GM Glek has faced 7…Bc5 seventeen times, and 7…Bd6 eleven times, while having faced 7…Be7 on only four occasions. Hummmm…

For the final “forced” move, the humans chose 8 0-0, and it has been the most played move by far, but has been outscored, by far, in limited action, by a move near and dear to my heart, Qe2! The last forced move was 8…0-0.

Stockfish 141214 (3218) vs Komodo 1333 (3210)
TCEC Season 7 – Superfinal 37
Four Knights: Glek, 4…d5

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Bf6 10. d3 Be6 11. Ba3 Re8 12. Nd2 Qd7 (12…Rb8 13. Qc1 Bg5 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. Rxe5 Bh3 16. Rxe8+ Qxe8 17. Qd1 f5 18. Rb1 Rxb1 19. Nxb1 c5 20. c4 Qc6 21. f3 Qe6 22. Kh1 Qe3 23. Nc3 Qf2 0-1, Benoit Lepelletier 2480 vs David Marciano 2470, 1997 FRA-ch) 13. Ne4 Be7 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Nd2 Qc5 16. c4 Rab8 17. Ne4 Qe7 18. a4 a5 19. c3 h6 20. Qf3 f5 21. Nd2 Rbd8 22. Qe2 Bf7 23. Bxc6 bxc6 24. Nb3 Rb8 25. Qd1 Rb6 26. Nxa5 Reb8 27. d4 e4 28. d5 cxd5 29. cxd5 Rd8 30. Nc4 Rxd5 31. Qe2 Rb7 32. a5 Ra7 33. Ne3 Rdxa5 34. Nxf5 Qf6 35. Rxa5 Rxa5 36. Nh4 Qxc3 37. Qxe4 Ra1 38. Rxa1 Qxa1+ 39. Kg2 Qf6 40. Qa8+ Kh7 41. Qe4+ g6 42. f4 c5 43. Nf3 Qb2+ 44. Kg1 c4 45. Qe7 Qa1+ 46. Kf2 Qa2+ 47. Ke3 Qb3+ 48. Kf2 c3 49. Ne5 Qa2+ 50. Ke3 Qd2+ 51. Ke4 Qe2+ 52. Kd4 Qf2+ 53. Kxc3 Qe3+ 54. Kc2 Qe2+ 55. Kb1 Qd1+ 56. Kb2 Qd2+ 57. Kb1 Qe1+ 58. Kc2 1/2-1/2

Komodo 1333 (3210) vs Stockfish 141214 (3218)
TCEC Season 7 – Superfinal 38

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Bf6 10. d3 Bg4 11. Rb1 Rb8 12. h3 Be6 13. c4 Re8 14. Bb2 Bf5 15. Nh2 Nd4 16. Bxd4 Qxd4 17. Ng4 Bxg4 18. Qxg4 b6 19. a4 Qc3 20. Qd1 g6 21. h4 h5 22. Bd5 Kg7 23. Re2 Qa3 24. Qe1 a5 25. Bc6 Re6 26. Rb3 Qa2 27. Bd7 Rd6 28. Bb5 Rbd8 29. c5 bxc5 30. Rb1 Rb8 31. Rb3 Rbd8 32. Qxa5 e4 33. Rxe4 Qxc2 34. Bc4 Rd4 35. Qxc7 R8d7 36. Qc6 Rxe4 37. Qxe4 Re7 38. Qf3 Bd4 39. a5 Qd2 40. a6 Bxf2+ 41. Qxf2 Re1+ 42. Kg2 Re2 43. Qxe2 Qxe2+ 44. Kg1 Qe1+ 45. Kg2 Qe2+ 46. Kh3 Qd1 47. Rb2 Qa1 48. Ra2 Qh1+ 1/2-1/2

From the comments left in the “chat” window it was obvious the fans did not care for the choice of opening because some spiced their comments with profanity. How are these eight moves chosen, and who makes the choice? If the Glek variation is chosen, why not stop the forced moves as soon as it becomes a Glek variation when White plays 4 g3? What is the point of forcing the top chess playing things in the universe to play additional moves they may, or may not, play on their on volition?

Here is a recent game played by GM Igor Glek:

Igor Glek, (2438) vs Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2700)
FIDE World Rapid 2014 06/17/2014

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Bf6 10. Rb1 Re8 11. h3 g6 12. Nh2 h5 13. d3 e4 14. d4 Qd5 15. Bf4 Qxa2 16. Nf1 Qd5 17. Nd2 Kg7 18. Nxe4 Bxh3 19. Bxh3 Rxe4 20. Rxe4 Qxe4 21. Bg2 Qf5 22. Rxb7 Ne7 23. Rxc7 Rd8 24. Rxa7 Nd5 25. Bd2 Rc8 26. Ra5 Ne3 27. Qa1 Nxc2 28. Rxf5 Nxa1 29. Rb5 Nc2 30. Rb3 Ra8 31. Bxa8 1-0

Here is a game that began as a Paulson Vienna before transposing, played by one of my favorite female players, Melanie Ohme (OhMy!):

Melanie Ohme (2315) vs Karina Szczepkowska Horowska (2376)
GER-POL w Match 2012 07/21/2012

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 d5 4. exd5 Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Be7 7. Nf3 Nc6 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Bf6 10. d3 Rb8 11. Nd2 Re8 12. Rb1 Bd7 13. Ne4 Be7 14. Be3 b6 15. d4 Qc8 16. Qd3 h6 17. Rbd1 exd4 18. cxd4 Nb4 19. Qd2 Bf5 20. Bf4 Qd7 21. c4 Rbd8 22. Qb2 Bg4 23. Rd2 Nc6 24. d5 Na5 25. Rc2 f5 26. Nd2 Bf6 27. Qc1 Rxe1+ 28. Qxe1 Re8 29. Qc1 c5 30. h3 Bh5 31. Nb3 Nb7 32. Be3 Nd6 33. Qd2 a5 34. Qd3 Qe7 35. Nc1 g5 36. a4 Kg7 37. Kh2 f4 38. gxf4 Bg6 39. Qd2 Bxc2 40. Qxc2 gxf4 41. Bxf4 Be5 42. Nd3 Bf6 43. Qd1 Nxc4 44. Qg4+ Kh8 45. Qg6 Ne5 46. Qxh6+ Kg8 47. d6 Qg7 48. Qxg7+ Kxg7 49. Nxe5 Rxe5 50. Bxe5 Bxe5+ 51. Kg1 Bxd6 52. Kf1 Kf6 53. Ke2 Bf4 54. Kd3 Ke5 55. Kc4 Bd2 56. Bd5 Be1 57. f3 Bh4 58. Be4 Bd8 59. Bd5 1/2-1/2

Timofey Galinsky (2424) vs Denis Shilin (2424)
UKR-ch 2000

1. e4 Nc6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Be7 8. Qe2 O-O 9. O-O Bf6 10. d3 Re8 11. Nd2 e4 12. d4 Bf5 13. Nc4 Qd7 14. Ne3 Bh3 15. Bxh3 Qxh3 16. Nd5 Bxd4 17. Nf4 Qc8 18. cxd4 Nxd4 19. Qh5 Re5 20. Qh3 Nxc2 21. Qxc8+ Rxc8 22. Bb2 Ra5 23. Rac1 Na3 24. Rfd1 b5 25. Rxc7 Rb8 26. Rdd7 1-0

This is the oldest game found, and it makes me wonder why the variation is not called the “Nimzowitsch variation.” Could it be that there are so many other variations named after Nimzo that it would be too confusing to have another one? Or is it a variation is not named after a player who loses the initial game?

Aaron Nimzowitsch vs Ernst Gruenfeld
Karlsbad 1923

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. d3 Bg4 10. h3 Bd7 11. Rb1 Rb8 12. Re1 Re8 13. Ng5 h6 14. Nxf7 Kxf7
15. Qh5+ Kg8 16. Bxh6 Qf6 17. Bg5 Qf7 18. Qh4 Ne7 19. Rxb7 Rxb7 20. Bxb7 Qxa2
21. Bxe7 Rxe7 22. Be4 Qe6 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. Qh8+ Qg8 25. Qh5 Be8 26. Qg5 Qe6 27.
Ra1 c6 28. Kg2 Qh6 29. Qg4 Qd2 30. Qh4 Qh6 31. Qg4 Rf7 32. Qe2 Bc5 33. Bf3 Bd7
34. g4 Qf4 35. Ra5 Bb6 36. Rxe5 Bc7 37. Re4 Qh2+ 38. Kf1 Qxh3+ 39. Bg2 Qh6 40.
Qe1 Bg3 41. Re2 Qh4 42. c4 Kg8 43. g5 Qxg5 44. Kg1 Bd6 45. d4 Bh3 0-1

I Am a Hou YiFAN!

When I began playing chess seriously what now seems like a lifetime ago the French defense gave me trouble. The defense also gave Bobby Fischer trouble; the loss to Edmar Mednis comes to mind. I experimented with all the “tried and true” variations, but did not feel comfortable with any of them. then Branko Vujakovic, an exchange student in Atlanta from Yugoslavia, and a strong player, showed me the variation, 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 Bd3!? White usually plays 5 c3, or even 4 c3. the idea is to sac a pawn for development after 5…cxd4 6 0-0. Although it has been called the Milner-Barry, it actually has no name, as far as I can ascertain. NiC has it listed under “C02,” while http://www.365chess also has it as “C02, advance, Nimzovich system.” I liked the variation because it was little known. Because of that I was able to score several knock-outs, including one over Roger Sample, may he R.I.P. The game was played in a tournament in the Great State of Tennessee. We both smoked cigarettes then and Roger suggested we play in his hotel room so we could smoke, and I wholeheartedly agreed. The TD allowed us to do so, with the proviso that, “If there any problems you are on your own as to how to settle it. I just want to know the outcome.” I sacked a Knight on f7 and attacked Roger like a wild man, winning the game. When I saw Roger decades later he said, “I still have Knightmares about your move.” I also recall being on the road with Branko somewhere, sometime, and playing the variation against an expert (with my being a class “D” player). I played like Branko had taught me, advancing my h-pawn, opening up his castled position. Someone my opponent knew was standing, looking at the position, when my opponent looked up and plaintively said, “Would you look at that. Hardly out of the opening and I’m busted…”
My chess “bible” was “Chess Openings: Theory and Practice” by I.A. Horowitz. This particular opening was listed under “UNUSUAL VARIATIONS.” I found that appealing. A variation from Alekhine-Euwe from Nottingham, 1936 is mentioned in the notes, but there was one full game:
Igor Bondarevsky v Mikhail Botvinnik
Absolute Championship Leningrad/Moscow 1941
Round: 2 Score: 0-1
ECO: C02 French, advance, Nimzovich system
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 cxd4 6. O-O Bc5 7. a3 Nge7 8. Nbd2 Ng6 9. Nb3 Bb6 10. Re1 Bd7 11. g3 f6 12. Bxg6+ hxg6 13. Qd3 Kf7 14. h4 Qg8 15. Bd2 Qh7 16. Bb4 g5 17. Qxh7 Rxh7 18. exf6 gxf6 19. hxg5 e5 20. gxf6 Kxf6 21. Bd6 Re8 22. Nh4 Rg8 23. Kh2 Bf5 24. Re2 d3 25. Rd2 dxc2 26. f4 Be3 27. Bxe5+ Nxe5 28. fxe5+ Ke7 29. Rf1 c1=Q 0-1
This loss did not deter me from essaying the Nimzovich system. But my opponents began to study the opening and I needed to find another variation with which I was comfortable. “Seek and you shall find.” I sought, and found, the answer in “Theory and Practice.” You will not be surprised to learn I “discovered” the variation once again in the “UNUSUAL VARIATIONS” section. This is the only complete game with my new variation contained in T&P:
Mikhail Chigorin – Hermann Von Gottschall
Barmewi, 1905
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. f4 Nc6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Nc3 d5 6. d3 d4 7. Nd1 Nf6 8. g3 b5 9. Bg2 Ba6 10. O-O Rc8 11. b3 c4 12. Ne1 cxd3 13. cxd3 O-O 14. Bd2 Qb6 15. Nf2 Nb4 16. Qd1 Bb7 17. a3 Nc6 18. g4 a5 19. g5 Nd7 20. Ng4 b4 21. a4 Nc5 22. Rf3 f5 23. gxf6 Bxf6 24. Rh3 Bd8 25. Rc1 Rc7 26. Rh5 Nb8 27. Ne5 Nbd7 28. Nc4 Qa6 29. Rb1 Nf6 30. Rh3 Ncd7 31. Nf3 Qa7 32. Qe2 Nc5 33. Nfe5 Ncd7 34. Kh1 Nxe5 35. fxe5 Ne8 36. Rg1 Rcf7 37. Qh5 g6 38. Bf3 Rg7 39. Qg4 Bc8 40. Bh6 Qe7 41. Be2 Bc7 42. Bxg7 Qxg7 43. Qg5 Bd7 44. Rhg3 Rf7 45. h4 Kh8 46. h5 gxh5 47. Bxh5 Qxg5 48. Rxg5 Rf8 49. Bf7 1-0
I was hooked. Who was Mikhail Chigorin? I tried to discover as much as possible about the player, and it was not easy “back in the day.” It took months, YEARS, to find all I could about the man responsible for 2 Qe2. Who would play such a move? What would GM Reuben Fine, PhD, say about a player who moves the Queen to e2 leaving the King in her rear? I managed to locate the games of the famous match between Siegbert Tarrasch and Chigorin in which the move Qe2 was played eleven times by the latter, scoring six wins, two draws, with three losses. 365Chess shows an astounding FIFTY games played by Chigorin with 2 Qe2 ( For this Mikhail had twenty five wins, ten draws, and fifteen losses.
After reading the above you may have an idea of how elated I was upon discovering Hou Yifan essayed Qe2 against Harika at the recently completed Lopata Women’s Grand Prix. It is rare to see a game with the early Quees move by such a strong player.
Hou Yifan – Dronavalli Harika
Lopota WGP 2014 Lopota GEO , Rd 8 2014.06.27
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 c5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d6 5.Bg2 g6 6.O-O Bg7 7.c3 e5 8.a4 Nge7 9.Na3 O-O 10.Nc4 h6 11.d3 Be6 12.Bd2 Re8 13.h3 b6 14.Rfe1 Qd7 15.b4 cxb4 16.cxb4 d5 17.exd5 Bxd5 18.Nfxe5 Nxe5 19.Nxe5 Qb7 20.f4 Nf5 21.Qf2 Nd4 22.Rac1 Rad8 23.Bc3 Qa8 24.b5 Nb3 25.Rc2 Nc5 26.Bb4 Bxe5 27.Bxc5 Bxg2 28.Rxe5 Rxe5 29.fxe5 Bxh3 30.Bd6 Qd5 31.Qe3 Re8 32.Re2 Bg4 33.Qe4 Qxe4 34.Rxe4 Bf5 35.Rc4 Bxd3 36.Rc7 Ra8 37.Kf2 Bf5 38.Ke3 Be6 39.Kd4 g5 40.Rb7 h5 41.Rb8+ Rxb8 42.Bxb8 h4 43.gxh4 gxh4 44.Ke3 Bb3 45.Bxa7 Bxa4 46.Bxb6 Bxb5 47.Kf4 Bd7 48.Bd8 h3 49.Kg3 Be6 50.Bf6 Bf5 51.Bd8 Be6 52.Bf6 Bf5 53.Bd8 ½-½
8 a4 appears to be a TN. While researching the opening on and I found two games in which GM Kevin Spraggett, the man responsible for the best chess blog, “Spraggett on Chess” ( had to face 2 Qe2.
Lawrence A Day v Kevin Spraggett
C00 Toronto Summer op 2000
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 g6 6. O-O Bg7 7. c3 e5 8. a3 Nge7 9. b4 O-O 10. Bb2 b6 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. d3 h6 13. Nbd2 Bb7 14. Nc4 Rad8 15. b5 Nb8 16. a4 d5 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Re1 Rfe8 19. Qc2 Nd7 20. Qb3 N7f6 21. Nfxe5 Nh5 22. d4 Re6 23. Nc6 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 Bxc6 25. bxc6 cxd4 26. cxd4 Qxc6 27. Ne5 Qe6 28. Rc1 Ndf4 29. Qxe6 Nxe6 30. Nc6 Rd7 31. Ne5 Rd8 32. Nc6 Rd7 33. Ne5 1/2-1/2
Igor Ivanov v Kevin Spraggett
C00 Montreal m 1981
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 g6 6. O-O Bg7 7. c3 e5 8. b4 cxb4 9. cxb4 Nxb4 10. Nc3 Ne7 11. Rb1 Nbc6 12. Ba3 O-O 13. Nb5 Bg4 14. Nxd6 b6 15. Qc4 h6 16. h3 Be6 17. Qc2 Qd7 18. Kh2 Rfb8 19. Rfe1 Nc8 20. Nb5 a6 21. Nc3 b5 22. Nd5 N8e7 23. Rec1 Rb7 24. Qc5 Rab8 25. Bb2 Kh7 26. Nxe7 Nxe7 27. Bxe5 Rc8 28. Qe3 Bxa2 29. Rxc8 Qxc8 30. Ra1 Be6 31. Bxg7 Kxg7 32. d4 Rb8 33. d5 Bd7 34. Qd4+ Kh7 35. Qf6 Qf8 36. Rxa6 Ng8 37. Qf4 b4 38. Ra7 1-0
Jaan Ehlvest – Robert Huebner
C00 Rubinstein mem 32nd 1995
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O d6 7. c3 e5 8. d3 Nge7 9. Nh4 O-O 10. f4 f5 11. Nd2 exf4 12. gxf4 Kh8 13. Ndf3 Be6 14. Ng5 1/2-1/2
Ian Nepomniachtchi (2704) v David Navarra (2722)
Event: 28th European Club Cup
Site: Eilat ISR Date: 10/12/2012
Round: 2
ECO: B40 Sicilian defence
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Qe2 Nc6 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 g6 6. O-O Bg7 7. c3 e5 8. Na3 Nge7 9. Nc2 O-O 10. Rd1 Qb6 11. b3 Be6 12. Bb2 c4 13. Ng5 cxb3 14. Ne3 bxa2 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Ba3 Qb3 17. Bxd6 Rfd8 18. Bxe7 Nxe7 19. Qc4 Qxc4 20. Nxc4 b5 21. Ne3 a5 22. Rxa2 b4 23. Rda1 b3 24. Rxa5 Rxa5 25. Rxa5 b2 26. Rb5 Rxd2 27. Bf1 Nc6 28. Nc4 Rc2 29. Rxb2 Rxc3 30. Bh3 Nd4 31. Rb8+ Kf7 32. Rb7+ Kf8 33. Bf1 Nf3+ 34. Kg2 Ne1+ 35. Kh3 h5 36. Rb1 Nf3 37. Kg2 Ng5 38. Rb8+ Ke7 39. Rb7+ Kf8 40. Nd6 h4 41. h3 Kg8 42. Be2 hxg3 43. h4 Bf8 44. Rb8 Nf7 45. Nxf7 Kxf7 46. fxg3 Rc2 47. Kf3 Bc5 48. Rb7+ Kf6 49. Bb5 Rf2+ 50. Kg4 Rb2 51. Bc6 Rxb7 1/2-1/2
Igor Glek (2575) v Stephen Brady (2320)
Event: EU-Cup 21st
Site: Saint Vincent Date: 09/20/2005
Round: 3 Score: 1-0
ECO: C00 French, Chigorin variation
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 g6 6. c3 Bg7 7. h4 h5 8. d3 Bd7 9. Na3 Nh6 10. Nc4 Qc7 11. a4 Ng4 12. Ng5 Bh6 13. O-O Nge5 14. Ne3 f6 15. Nh3 Ne7 16. d4 Nf7 17. f4 cxd4 18. cxd4 Rc8 19. Bd2 Qb6 20. Bc3 Bg7 21. f5 gxf5 22. Nf4 Bh6 23. exf5 e5 24. Ned5 Nxd5 25. Nxd5 Qd8 26. dxe5 dxe5 27. Kh2 Bf8 28. Nf4 Be7 29. Ng6 1-0
I discovered Stoltz played Qe2 eleven times, winning four, losing five, with two draws. (
Goesta Stoltz – Mikhail Botvinnik
Staunton mem 1946
1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nge7 5. Nc3 g6 6. d3 Bg7 7. Be3 d5 8. exd5 Nd4 9. Qd2 exd5 10. Nce2 h6 11. Qc1 Bf5 12. c3 Nxe2 13. Nxe2 d4 14. Bd2 Bxd3 15. Bxb7 O-O 16. Bf3 g5 17. O-O Ng6 18. Re1 Ne5 19. Bg2 Ba6 20. Qd1 Nd3 21. Qa4 Qf6 22. f4 Rae8 23. Bc6 Nxe1 24. Bxe8 Nf3+ 25. Kf2 Nxd2 26. Bc6 Bxe2 27. Kxe2 dxc3 28. bxc3 Qxc3 29. Rd1 Rd8 30. Be4 gxf4 31. gxf4 Qh3 32. Rg1 Qh5+ 33. Ke3 Qh3+ 34. Ke2 Qxh2+ 35. Rg2 Qh5+ 36. Ke3 Qh3+ 37. Ke2 Qe6 0-1
White may not win every game, but every game will be interesting!