The American Variation

This game was played in the 13th Bergamo Open July 19:

Giulio Lagumina (2337) – Gerhard Spiesburger (2102)
13th Bergamo Open 2014.07.19
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qe5+ 4. Be2 Bg4 5. d4 Bxe2 6. Ngxe2 Qh5 7. Bf4 c6 8. Qd3 Nf6 9. O-O-O e6 10. Be5 Nbd7 11. f4 O-O-O 12. Ng3 Qg6 13. Qf3 Be7 14. Kb1 Nxe5 15. dxe5 Nd5 16. Nce4 f5 17. exf6 Bxf6 18. Nc5 Be7 19. Nd3 Rhf8 20. Ne4 Qh6 21. g3 g5 22. c4 Nc7 23. Qe3 gxf4 24. Qxa7 Qg6 25. Rhe1 f3 26. Ka1 Rxd3 27. Rxd3 f2 28. Nxf2 Rxf2 29. Qxf2 Qxd3 30. a3 Qxc4 31. Qf7 Kd7 32. Qxh7 b5 33. Qe4 Qb3 34. Re3 Qd1+ 35. Ka2 Qh5 36. h4 b4 37. axb4 Qb5 38. Kb3 Nd5 39. Qxe6+ Kc7 40. Qe5+ Kb7 41. Rf3 Qxb4+ 42. Kc2 Qc5+ 43. Kd1 Qg1+ 44. Ke2 Bb4 45. Rf7+ Ka6 46. Rf1 Qg2+ 47. Rf2 Qg1 48. Rf1 Qg2+ 49. Rf2 Qg1 1/2-1/2
The standard move is 4…c6. After reading an article about the move in Chess Monthly I tried 3…Qe5+ at the House and it caused me Pain. My Knights were developed in reverse order and I was punished. My opponent played d5 and opened my position like a can of sardines. As you can imagine, after an early round knockout I was not in the best of moods when the Legendary Georgia Ironman asked, “What’s the name of that opening?” I replied, “The Patzer.” A big grin came over Tim’s face as he said, “There’s a reason.”
The name of the article was “The Patzer.” Most would have passed it over after skimming, but I was drawn to the move; more so to the position after 4 Be2 c6 5 d4 Qc7.
I do not think “The Patzer” is a good name for this opening because it is the the name of another, discredited opening which begins, 1e4 e5 2 Qh5 (http://www.killegarchess.com/forum/3-chess-openings/1206-re-the-patzers-opening-wayward-queen-attackparham-attack.html). There are those who teach this opening to youngsters as part of their curriculum and when the little Spud defeats his opponent in four moves tell the parent it is proof that their “Spud” has learned how to play chess and has the potential to become a “champion.” This is a disservice to the Royal game. It also begs the question of why anyone who cannot defend against “The Patzer” is playing in an organized chess tournament. Granted, IM Boris Kogan said, “One can play any opening.” but he also said, when I opened with 1 g4 against him and reminded him of what he said earlier, “But not that opening.” Playing “The Patzer” falls into the category of moves not to be played.

Preston Ware played the move seven times at Vienna, 1882, winning against Weiss, but losing the other six games against Winawer; Zukertort; Steinitz; Meitner; Paulsen; and the man called “Black death.”

Blackburne, Joseph Henry – Ware, Preston
Vienna 1st 1882
ECO: B01
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qe5+ 4. Be2 c6 5. Nf3 Qc7 6. O-O Bf5 7. d4 e6 8. Re1 Be7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Nf6 11. Ne4 Nbd7 12. Neg5 Rd8 13. Nxf7 O-O 14. Nxd8 Rxd8 15. Ng5 Nf8 16. g3 Qd7 17. Qb3 Nd5 18. c4 Nf6 19. Nf3 b6 20. Ne5 Qb7 21. Be3 Bd6 22. Bg5 Be7 23. Rad1 h6 24. Bxf6 Bxf6 25. c5 b5 26. Qf3 Rd5 27. Qg4 Qc8 28. Nf3 Qd7 29. Ne5 Qc8 30. h4 Qe8 31. h5 Bxe5 32. Rxe5 Qd7 33. b3 a5 34. Rxd5 Qxd5 35. Re1 a4 36. Re5 Qd7 37. b4 Qf7 38. f4 Qd7 39. f5 exf5 40. Rxf5 Nh7 41. Qe4 Nf6 42. Rxf6 gxf6 43. Qg6+ Qg7 44. d5 1-0
http://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?search=1&m=6&n=4796&ms=e4.d5.exd5.Qxd5.Nc3.Qe5&bid=162238

“Preston Ware Jr. (August 12, 1821 – January 29, 1890) was a US chess player. He is best known today for playing unorthodox chess openings. Ware was born in Wrentham, Massachusetts, and died in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Boston Mandarins, a group of chess players in the late 19th century.
Ware was an avid tournament player and played in the Second International Chess Tournament, Vienna 1882, the finest chess tournament of its time. He finished in sixteenth place of eighteen scoring a total of 11 points out of 34, but he did beat Max Weiss and the winner of the tournament, Wilhelm Steinitz in a game lasting 113 moves. At the time, Steinitz had not lost or drawn a game for nine years prior to this tournament and was the unofficial World Champion. Ware also competed in the first, second, fourth and fifth American Chess Congresses.
Ware’s other claim to fame was his eccentric opening play. He used the Ware Opening (then known as the Meadow Hay Opening), the Corn Stalk Defence (sometimes known as the Ware Defence), and the Stonewall Attack. Around 1888 he reintroduced the Stone-Ware Defence to the Evans Gambit, named also for Henry Nathan Stone (1823–1909). (It had originally been played by McDonnell against La Bourdonais in 1843.)”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_Ware

I would be remiss in my duties if I did not give the game in which an American bested the acknowledged World Champion:

Ware, Preston – Steinitz, William
Vienna 1882
ECO: A40 Queen’s pawn
1. d4 e6 2. f4 d5 3. Nf3 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. Bd2 c4 9. Bc2 b5 10. Be1 a5 11. Bh4 b4 12. Nbd2 Rb8 13. Ne5 Na7 14. e4 Be7 15. exd5 exd5 16. f5 Rb6 17. Qf3 Nb5 18. Rae1 bxc3 19. bxc3 Nd6 20. Rb1 Nde8 21. g4 h6 22. Qe2 Ba3 23. Rxb6 Qxb6 24. Rb1 Qc7 25. Ndf3 Nd6 26. Nd2 Nd7 27. Qf3 Re8 28. Bg3 Nf6 29. h4 Bb7 30. g5 Nfe4 31. Nxe4 dxe4 32. Qf4 hxg5 33. hxg5 Bd5 34. g6 f6 35. Ng4 Rb8 36. Rf1 Rb2 37. Ne3 Qb7 38. Qh4 Kf8 39. Bxd6+ Bxd6 40. Nxd5 Qxd5 41. Bxe4 Rh2 42. Bxd5 Rxh4 43. Bxc4 Rh3 44. Rc1 Rf3 45. Be6 Ke7 46. Kg2 Rd3 47. Bc4 Rg3+ 48. Kf2 Bf4 49. Rc2 Kd8 50. Bf1 Re3 51. Be2 Kd7 52. Bf3 Rd3 53. a4 Kd8 54. Bg2 Kd7 55. Bf3 Kd6 56. Be2 Rh3 57. Bf1 Re3 58. Bb5 Bh6 59. Be2 Bf4 60. Bf3 Kd7 61. Bd5 Kd6 62. Bf3 Kd7 63. Be2 Kd8 64. Bb5 Bh6 65. Kg2 Kc7 66. Kf2 Kd8 67. Bc4 Kc7 68. Bg8 Rh3 69. Bb3 Rh5 70. Ke2 Rxf5 71. Kd3 Kd6 72. Bf7 Rf3+ 73. Kc4 f5 74. Kb5 Rf1 75. Kxa5 Rb1 76. Rh2 Bg5 77. Ka6 f4 78. Rh5 Bd8 79. Rb5 Rc1 80. c4 Ra1 81. a5 f3 82. Rf5 Ra3 83. Bd5 Bxa5 84. c5+ Kc7 85. Rf7+ Kb8 86. Kb5 Bc3 87. Rxf3 Ra5+ 88. Kc4 Ba1 89. Bc6 Ra2 90. Rb3+ Kc7 91. Be8 Rc2+ 92. Kd3 Rc1 93. Ra3 Rd1+ 94. Kc2 Re1 95. d5 Be5 96. d6+ Bxd6 97. cxd6+ Kxd6 98. Rd3+ Ke7 99. Kd2 Re5 100. Bf7 Re4 101. Ra3 Re5 102. Kd3 Kf6 103. Kd4 Re1 104. Ra6+ Kf5 105. Bc4 Re4+ 106. Kc5 Re3 107. Rd6 Re7 108. Kc6 Re1 109. Kd7 Re3 110. Kd8 Kg5 111. Bf7 Kf5 112. Be8 Re1 113. Rd7 1-0
http://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=2692406

Because Preston Ware was the first player to adopt the move and play it against the best players in the world at the time, and since there are other moves named “Ware,” I hereby name the move 3…Qe5+ the “American” opening. I would rather tell my friend I lost with the “American” than the “Patzer.” How about you?

Alexandre Drozdov has played 3…Qe5+ seven times, losing four while winning only three, but two of the wins were against a strong Grandmaster.

Timofeev, Artyom (2675) – Drozdov, Alexandre (2305)
Event: EU-ch Internet qual
Site: playchess.com Date: 11/08/2003
Round: 2
ECO: B01 Scandinavian (centre counter) defence
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qe5+ 4. Be2 c6 5. d4 Qc7 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. O-O Bg4 8. Bg5 Nbd7 9. Qd2 Bxf3 10. Bxf3 e6 11. Rfe1 Be7 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. Bg3 O-O 14. Rad1 Rad8 15. a3 Nb6 16. Qe2 Bxg3 17. hxg3 Nbd5 18. Nb1 Qb6 19. c4 Ne7 20. c5 Qc7 21. b4 Nf5 22. Qc4 Rd7 23. g4 Nh4 24. Be2 Rfd8 25. g3 Ng6 26. Nc3 Ne7 27. Bf3 Ned5 28. Ne2 h6 29. Kg2 Nh7 30. Be4 Ng5 31. Bc2 Nf6 32. f3 a6 33. Nc3 h5 34. f4 Ngh7 35. g5 Ng4 36. Ne4 Nf8 37. Nd6 b5 38. Qd3 g6 39. Qe4 Rxd6 40. cxd6 Qxd6 41. Bb3 a5 42. Rc1 axb4 43. Rxc6 Qxd4 44. Qxd4 Rxd4 45. axb4 Rxb4 46. Rb1 Ne3+ 47. Kf2 Nf5 48. Bc2 Rd4 49. Bxf5 gxf5 50. Rxb5 h4 51. Rb7 hxg3+ 52. Kxg3 Rd3+ 53. Kf2 Rd4 54. Ke3 Re4+ 55. Kf3 Ng6 56. Rc8+ Kg7 57. Rcc7 Rxf4+ 58. Kg3 Rg4+ 59. Kf2 Ne5 60. Rb5 Re4 61. Ra7 Kg6 62. Raa5 Ng4+ 63. Kg3 Kxg5 64. Ra7 Re3+ 65. Kg2 Kf6 66. Rbb7 Ne5 67. Rb4 Re4 68. Rb8 f4 69. Rh8 f3+ 70. Kf2 Re2+ 71. Kg3 Rg2+ 72. Kh3 Rg1 73. Ra2 Rh1+ 74. Rh2 Rxh2+ 75. Kxh2 Kf5 76. Kg3 Ke4 77. Ra8 f5 78. Ra4+ Ke3 79. Ra3+ Nd3 80. Kh2 f2 81. Kg2 e5 82. Kf1 e4 83. Ra2 Kf3 84. Rd2 Ke3 85. Re2+ Kd4 86. Rd2 f4 87. Ra2 Ne5 88. Rd2+ Ke3 89. Re2+ Kd4 90. Rxf2 f3 91. Rd2+ Ke3 92. Ra2 Kf4 93. Ra4 Ng4 94. Rb4 Ne3+ 95. Kf2 Ng4+ 96. Kf1 Nf6 97. Kf2 Nd5 98. Ra4 Nc3 99. Rc4 Nd1+ 100. Ke1 Ne3 101. Rc3 Ng2+ 102. Kf1 e3 103. Rxe3 Nxe3+ 104. Kf2 Nf5 105. Ke1 Nd6 106. Kf2 Ne4+ 107. Ke1 f2+ 108. Ke2 Kg3 109. Ke3 Ng5 110. Kd4 Kg2 111. Ke5 f1=Q 112. Kd5 Qf2 113. Ke5 Qf3 114. Kd4 Kf2 115. Ke5 Qe4+ 116. Kd6 Kf3 117. Kc5 Qe6 118. Kd4 Kf4 119. Kd3 Qe5 120. Kc4 Qe4+ 121. Kc5 Ke3 122. Kd6 Qd4+ 123. Kc7 Ke4 124. Kc6 Qd5+ 125. Kb6 Ke5 126. Kc7 Ke6 0-1

Timofeev, Artyom (2575) – Drozdov, Alexandre (2313)
Event: EU-ch Internet qual
Site: playchess.com INT Date: 11/08/2003
Round: 2
ECO: B01 Scandinavian (centre counter) defence
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qe5+ 4. Be2 c6 5. d4 Qc7 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. O-O Bg4 8. Bg5 Nbd7 9. Qd2 Bxf3 10. Bxf3 e6 11. Rfe1 Be7 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. Bg3 O-O 14. Rad1 Rad8 15. a3 Nb6 16. Qe2 Bxg3 17. hxg3 Nbd5 18. Nb1 Qb6 19. c4 Ne7 20. c5 Qc7 21. b4 Nf5 22. Qc4 Rd7 23. g4 Nh4 24. Be2 Rfd8 25. g3 Ng6 26. Nc3 Ne7 27. Bf3 Ned5 28. Ne2 h6 29. Kg2 Nh7 30. Be4 Ng5 31. Bc2 Nf6 32. f3 a6 33. Nc3 h5 34. f4 Ngh7 35. g5 Ng4 36. Ne4 Nf8 37. Nd6 b5 38. Qd3 g6 39. Qe4 Rxd6 40. cxd6 Qxd6 41. Bb3 a5 42. Rc1 axb4 43. Rxc6 Qxd4 44. Qxd4 Rxd4 45. axb4 Rxb4 46. Rb1 Ne3+ 47. Kf2 Nf5 48. Bc2 Rd4 49. Bxf5 gxf5 50. Rxb5 h4 51. Rb7 hxg3+ 52. Kxg3 Rd3+ 53. Kf2 Rd4 54. Ke3 Re4+ 55. Kf3 Ng6 56. Rc8+ Kg7 57. Rcc7 Rxf4+ 58. Kg3 Rg4+ 59. Kf2 Ne5 60. Rb5 Re4 61. Ra7 Kg6 62. Raa5 Ng4+ 63. Kg3 Kxg5 64. Ra7 Re3+ 65. Kg2 Kf6 66. Rbb7 Ne5 67. Rb4 Re4 68. Rb8 f4 69. Rh8 f3+ 70. Kf2 Re2+ 71. Kg3 Rg2+ 72. Kh3 Rg1 73. Ra2 Rh1+ 74. Rh2 Rxh2+ 75. Kxh2 Kf5 76. Kg3 Ke4 77. Ra8 f5 78. Ra4+ Ke3 79. Ra3+ Nd3 80. Kh2 f2 81. Kg2 e5 82. Kf1 e4 83. Ra2 Kf3 84. Rd2 Ke3 85. Re2+ Kd4 86. Rd2 f4 87. Ra2 Ne5 88. Rd2+ Ke3 89. Re2+ Kd4 90. Rxf2 f3 91. Rd2+ Ke3 92. Ra2 Kf4 93. Ra4 Ng4 94. Rb4 Ne3+ 95. Kf2 Ng4+ 96. Kf1 Nf6 97. Kf2 Nd5 98. Ra4 Nc3 99. Rc4 Nd1+ 100. Ke1 Ne3 101. Rc3 Ng2+ 102. Kf1 e3 103. Rxe3 Nxe3+ 104. Kf2 Nf5 105. Ke1 Nd6 106. Kf2 Ne4+ 107. Ke1 f2+ 108. Ke2 Kg3 109. Ke3 Ng5 110. Kd4 Kg2 111. Ke5 f1=Q 112. Kd5 Qf2 113. Ke5 Qf3 114. Kd4 Kf2 115. Ke5 Qe4+ 116. Kd6 Kf3 117. Kc5 Qe6 118. Kd4 Kf4 119. Kd3 Qe5 120. Kc4 Qe4+ 121. Kc5 Ke3 122. Kd6 Qd4+ 123. Kc7 Ke4 124. Kc6 Qd5+ 125. Kb6 Ke5 126. Kc7 Ke6 0-1
http://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?search=1&m=6&n=4796&ms=e4.d5.exd5.Qxd5.Nc3.Qe5&bid=21348

365Chess.com shows Expert Daniele Sautto has played the move thirteen times, winning six, drawing four, while losing three.

Godena, Michele (2505) – Sautto, Daniele (2166)
Event: ITA-ch final g/5′ 1st
Site: playchess.com INT Date: 03/01/2006
Round: 2
ECO: B01 Scandinavian (centre counter) defence
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qe5+ 4. Nge2 c6 5. d4 Qa5 6. g3 Bg4 7. Bg2 e6 8. h3 Bf5 9. O-O Nf6 10. Re1 Bd6 11. Bd2 Qc7 12. Nf4 O-O 13. Rc1 Nbd7 14. Qf3 Nb6 15. g4 Bg6 16. h4 Nc4 17. Be3 Nxe3 18. fxe3 Bxf4 19. exf4 h5 20. g5 Nd5 21. Nxd5 cxd5 22. c3 Be4 23. Qg3 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 g6 25. Re5 Qd6 26. Rce1 b5 27. Qd3 Rab8 28. Rxe6 Qxf4 29. Rxg6+ fxg6 30. Qxg6+ Kh8 31. Qh6+ Kg8 32. Qg6+ Kh8 33. Qxh5+ Kg8 34. Qg6+ Kh8 35. Qh6+ Kg8 36. Qg6+ Kh8 37. Qh6+ Kg8 38. Qg6+ 1/2-1/2
http://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?search=1&m=6&n=4796&ms=e4.d5.exd5.Qxd5.Nc3.Qe5&bid=22329

Check out this video: “The Patzer Variation survives,” by YMChessMaster:

The Chess Book Critic

It is ironic that in one respect we seem to be living in a golden age of chess books. It is ironic because “books” are giving way to “digits” on a machine, not to mention the possible diminution of chess because of so many negative facets of the game in this new century. There is the problem of so many non-serious drawn games, and the cheating crisis, not to mention the possibility of Kirsan the ET “winning” yet another term as FIDE President. Any one blow could be fatal. All three could mean oblivion for the Royal game. Today I put all of that out of my mind and write about chess books.
Decades ago I had an opening notebook in which games were written by my hand, along with clippings and copies of games in my esoteric choice of openings, such as the Fantasy variation against the Caro-Kann, 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 f3!?, a move played by World Champion Vassily Smyslov. The Legendary Georgia Ironman called my notebook “Bacon’s book of ‘Death Lines’.” The cover came off but like LM Brian McCarthy said, “It still has the meat!” Like most all of what I had collected over the years, it too, alas, is gone with the wind. There were no databases then, and no books on such an obscure variation. A line such as this would be given maybe a line or two in an opening encyclopedia. Over the years I have seen a book published on just about all of the openings I used to play to “get out of the book,” such as the the Bishop’s opening, “The truth- as it was known in those far-off days,” or so said Dr. Savielly Tartakover in his book, “500 Master Games of Chess.” There were half a dozen books devoted to the BO on the shelves of The Dump. A quick check shows a new one, “The Bishop’s Opening (Chess is Fun)” by Jon Edwards appeared at the end of 2011 in what is called a “Kindle edition.” I have often wondered if it is possible to change a digit on one of those gizmo’s. For example, is it possible to “hack” one of the digital monsters and change one digit in ALL of the digital monsters? Like changing a move for Black from Bd6 to Bb6? Then when your opponent follows “book” and plays his bishop to b6 and loses, he may say something like, “I don’t understand it, Bb6 is the “book” move…” That is when you come from Missouri and say, “Show me.” When he brings out his reading machine you say, “That was not a ‘book’ move, it was a ‘gizmo’ move!”
This book has been on my ’roundtoit’ list since it was published in April: The Extreme Caro-Kann: Attacking Black with 3.f3, by Alexey Bezgodov and published by New In Chess. The books published by NiC are usually exceptional, and from what I have seen, this one is no exception.
Another book on my list is “The Enigma of Chess Intuition: Can You Mobilize Hidden Forces in Your Chess?” by Valeri Beim, published in June of 2012 and also by NiC. I have always been intrigued by those fortunate enough to have chess intuition. I thought I had this book in a box but could not find it: “Secrets of Chess Intuition” by Alexander Beliavsky and Adrian Mikhalchishin. This was published by Gambit way back in 2001. While researching this book online I managed to find it in downloadable form, and it is now a bunch of digits inside Toby, my ‘puter. GM Mikhalchishin was a student of IM Boris Kogan, so who knows, I may find a little of his wisdom passed down therein.
I have many books that came after the flood that are still waiting to be read, so I do not need another chess book. At least that was what I thought until reading the Book Review of June 18, 2014, by Steve Goldberg of “John Nunn’s Chess Course” by John Nunn. “Illuminating and clear, and informative and entertaining.” That is succinct. Steve gives it six stars and you can find it here: http://www.chesscafe.com/Reviews/review943.htm
The last thing I need at my age is any kind of “chess course.” I forget most of what I have learned by game time, so I have to go with what I know, Joe. Memorizing an opening variation is out of the question. But I was hooked after reading the first sentence, “In John Nunn’s Chess Course, Grandmaster John Nunn presents 100 of Emanuel Lasker’s games and twenty-four exercises taken from Lasker’s games.” That is good enough for me. With one of the best chess writer’s of all time, GM John Nunn, writing about the Great Man, Dr. Emanuel Lasker, what is not to like? Above the table where I study chess and Go is a picture of the Great Man himself. It is a color painting of Lasker in a suit, sitting with pen in hand while writing.
Wanting to know more about the book I surfed on over to the Gorilla, finding there were three reviews and a composite score of four and a half stars. Skrolling down showed two reviewers had given the book all five stars, while one had given it only three stars. I read this review last.
The first review was by Derek Grimmell who said, “A games collection both good to read and educational.” It is stated on the page that “20 of 21 people found the following review helpful.”
The next review is by AltitudeRocks, who writes, “Here, here! Or is it “hear here!” (or some other permutation)?” I have no idea what AR means by this, but he did follow it succinctly with, “Reviewer Grimmell deserves five stars for his review, and I cannot improve upon it.” 2 of 3 people found it helpful. Each of these reviewers used a “Kindle Edition” gizmo in lieu of an actual book, but the last reviewer, David, read a paperback, or so it says. The first review appeared May 23, but the two following popped up the same day, June 7.
David writes, “Not really with verbal explanations…” He then proceeds with his review, all of which I present:
“I will not describe the book, since that is done already by the publisher. What I will describe is my impression, and why I give 3 stars to Nunn’s books.
Nunn shows over and over in all his books, that the truth in chess exists. He doesn’t explain “how” to reach it (e.g did he use different engines plus his GM Level evaluation? Or he just analyses everything by himself, and then ask to someone else to check the analysis with an engine? or…? And “how” would the reader reach the same “truth” if he is not at Nunn’s level?), but he shows the faulty analyses of previous commentators, and also many authors who just copied and paste. In his book is shown how some publishers don’t have editors to correct mistakes like when the author of another book writes “Black” and means “White.” Of course shame on those authors, but evidently the chess field is full of snake-oil salesmen. Now, also when Nunn just tries to give a comment, without going into deep analyses, well feel ready to open your computer, and use your database program, because Nunn will go deep to prove the point. Example. I bought the book on Alekhine’s game, written by Alekhine, and with effort I could follow Alekhine’s comments and lines without moving the pieces on the board. With Nunn I cannot do so. The lines he gives are too long to be visualized, and there are many under-lines which need to be checked. (This has been synthesized well, by another reader of the book saying that if one wants analyses 40 plies long, it is just enough to click the engine button)
The real problem with Nunn is that he writes and check his analyses like a scholar, a professor of the field, while most other authors are amateurs trying to make some bucks out of their books. I don’t know if the average player, the one who plays blitz all day long online, and whose favorite authors have IM titles gained long time ago (maybe out of luck) deserve such precise and difficult books.
While I praise Nunn for writing this book, I honestly don’t like it, and I feel cheated by the publisher which writes: “explanation focus on general ideas rather than detailed analysis” This phrase is only partly true. The analysis are detailed like the one of Kasparov in his great predecessor series, and if I had known that, I wouldn’t have bought it.
Still, Nunn’s job is monumental, but as a reader, I don’t really think I will improve, because he made all the analysis, and in the end I can only agree with them, without using much of my brain (also because his analysis are good, and correct, not like the authors mentioned above who just make a copy and paste of other writers before).
The humor is that Nunn choose Lasker, because his games should be easier for the reader to understand.
For example, I’d like to take the first position given in the book. Houdini after 7 minutes, using 4 cpus, goes back from Qxe4 (chosen after 10-15 seconds) to Pc4, to Qxe4, all with numerical evaluations which are ridiculous, like + or – 0.13 or 0.20. Now honestly as reader how would I understand which move is better and why? Not from Nunn who doesn’t explain how he came to choose one over the other. After 12 minutes thinking Houdini at 27 moves deep (54 plies) agrees with the moves played in the game from move 24 to 26, changing move 27. But as a reader, I didn’t learn anything from Houdini, or from Nunn’s analysis, also if they are correct, and once again praise to GM Nunn for such an amazing job. If the publisher after reading this review, wants to give me back the money, I will gladly send the book back! (just add 3.99 for the S&H thanks! something like 20$ total, or just send me another book, so I can sell it and get the money back, because I already know, I will not be able to read this book)” (http://www.amazon.com/John-Nunns-Chess-Course-Nunn/dp/1906454825/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403116508&sr=1-1&keywords=John+Nunn%27s+Chess+Course)
Make of it what you will…Only “2 of 8 people found the review helpful.” I clicked on “David” to find he has reviewed seven different items, six of which he awarded ONE star. Only the Nunn book received more than one star. The other book reviewed by “David” is “The Alekhine Defence: Move by Move by Cyrus Lakdawala.” He asks, “Why Lakdawala hates President Bush?” Then he writes, “I didn’t buy the book, but I was interested in buying it. What stopped me was an offensive political/historical comparison made by Mr. Lakdawala upon President Bush.”
After reading the above you KNOW I was COMPELLED to read the rest!
“Mr. Lakdawala comparison with previous wars made by dictators and self-centered ego maniac like Hitler and Napoleon, is unfair toward President Bush, and should be removed by its publisher Everyman chess.
Thanks to Amazon “Look Inside” feature we can see Mr. Lakdawala political agenda. Mr. Lakdawala begins with a faulty assumption, saying that all history great military failures follow this equation: “temptation + undermining = Overextension.” Of course, Mr. Lakdawala is NOT a historian, and fails to prove the point, showing us if that did actually happen in ALL military failures, or if this is just his opinion, not based on actual research, which I believe is the case.
Mr.Lakdawala continues saying that “the aggressor” please keep in mind this term because will be referred to President Bush too, seizes power and territory (here Mr. Lakdawala forgets 9/11, and the tragedy brought upon United States, and equal the war in Afghanistan, and Iraq to the wars made by Hitler and Napoleon) instead of consolidating gains, the aggressor continues to expand with unbridled ambition (Did President Bush do that Mr. Lakdawala??) and then Mr. Lakdawala finishes his faulty syllogism with: “the aggressor overextends, retreats in disarray, and bungles the war.”
Now we come to the salient part, where Mr. Lakdawala needs to attack President Bush: “If you don’t believe me, just asks Napoleon, Hitler, and Bush how well their campaigns worked for them!”
I’m sorry but I don’t accept that someone compares the imperialist warmongers, like Hitler, and Napoleon, with President Bush, a president elected by hundred of millions of Americans, who had to lead the nation through a terrible tragedy.
First of all, also at superficial level we could notice that Hitler killed himself in a bunker, and one of his strict collaborators, Goebbels, also killed himself with all his family. Then we could notice that most of nazi leaders have been condemned for crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg trial, did Bush have the same fate? Have the congress and senate of the United States of America, who voted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who has been elected also with the vote of Mr. Lakdawala, have been indicted and put under trial for crimes against humanity? Is United States a country divided in two parts, controlled by China, and some European countries, like it happened to Germany after the end of the Second World War?
Of course I could continue for hours to show the ignorance of politics and history Mr. Lakdawala shows in his light comment, but I believe here there is also a failure from the publisher, and its editors into correcting mr. Lakdawala’s political views, and keep them confined to his blog, his facebook, his twitter, or whatever other forms of social media he uses to communicate with his buddies. A book, about chess, and about a chess opening, should talk about that subject, let’s leave politics, and historical judgments, to those who write in those field as professionals.

Then let’s speak also of the Alekhine defence, an opening who has the name from someone who was a Nazi collaborator, and Mr. Lakdawala, so fond of comparisons with Napoleon, Hitler, and Bush, forgets to mention it. Does really White loses all his games due to overextension? Because if this doesn’t happen, then also the beginning “universal equation” fails. For example did Mr. Lakdawala showed us examples of Houdini, one of the best chess engines, losing a single game against him, due to overextension? No. Mr. Lakdawala fails to show us that. Because a “scholar” of a subject should prove his statements through some statistical analysis. But I don’t find this in his book. In Chessgames.com there are about 1618 games with the Alekhine defence, and they are divided in 37.3% of the times wins by White, 33.1% wins by Black, and a 29.5% draws. This fails to illustrate the point that the “universal” equation works, because in fact we don’t know if White overextended in those 33.1% of the times, but it would have made more sense, than instead of knowing Mr. Lakdawala political agenda against President Bush, his publisher and editors would have steered him toward the realm of chess data, and asked to answer that question.”
My first thought after finishing the above was, “There’s something happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. David.”
“6 of 24 people found the review helpful.” Did they now? I found it highly entertaining in a Rush Limbaugh kind of way, but helpful? No. Although I have not taken the time to ascertain what the average number is for those clicking on whether or not the review was helpful, it seems to me the total must be something like at least 70%-80% helpful. For “David’s” two book reviews it is 8 out of 32, or 25%. For all seven of his reviews 78 out of 262 considered his reviews “helpful.” That is a batting average of .298 folks, which is 3 out of 10.
If you are still with me you may have surmised that I JUST HAD to go to the page of the book and have a “Look Inside.” I liked the first sentence, “The only openings worth playing are the ones that reflect our inner nature.” As for an author using the military and war to make a point about chess…who would do something like that? Surf on over and read it for yourself.
If you are into chess books there is this interesting article on Chess.com, “Best chess masters biographies?” (http://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/best-chess-masters-biographies)

10th Annual Georgia Senior Open

The Georgia Senior is scheduled to be played the weekend of Sept. 28-29. The tournament announcement on the GCA website states registration is limited to 50 players, a pipe dream if ever there was one. Checking today the website shows 46 places left. I am not surprised. I refused to play last year and will not participate again this year. What’s more, I do not know anyone else planning on playing. The poor choice of venue was discussed in my last post, so the format of the tournament will be discussed in this post.
The President of the GCA, Fun Fong, insisted on a format for the 2012 Georgia Senior against the wishes of many, if not most, of those eligible to participate. He decided to have only one prize, a $500 stipend to the winner to be used only toward playing in the US Senior. Only NINE players participated, the lowest number of all other Georgia Senior tournaments to date. It was, obviously, a miserable failure. The winner of the tournament decided not to make the trip to upstate New York, at the strong urging of his wife. The winner, NM Alan Piper, has received nothing for winning the tournament. Alan has no idea what happened to the $500, which should have gone to him. I have been unable to learn what happened to the money. This is an open plea for any member of the GCA board to leave a comment on this blog informing the chess community of the disposition of the $500.
During an interview with the Legendary Georgia Ironman, NM Tim Brookshear, it was stated the President of the GCA reached out, asking Tim for his input on how the 2013 Ga Senior should be changed. Tim said a relative newcomer to chess, Parnell Watkins, was also consulted by the President. Tim suggested a committee of stewards be brought on board as consultants, with such Senior luminaries as former Georgia Champion and Georgia Senior Champion David Vest; former Ga Senior Champion and former President of the GCA board, Scott ‘The Sheriff’ Parker; Dr. Orlando Cano; and Kelly Hollins, along with others, being mentioned. Tim wanted to plan a good tournament that would attract Senior players from other states, such as Wayne Christiansen and Klaus Pohl from the Great State of South Carolina, Tim ‘The Dude’ Bond, along with Rex Blalock and his wife, from the Great State of Alabama. That was the last Tim heard from Fun Fong concerning the Georgia Senior. The suggestions of the Legendary Georgia Ironman, who has been involved with chess in Georgia continually for four decades, fell on deaf ears. Tim was as shocked as everyone else to learn the tournament had been planned for this fall. Word is Fun Fong wanted to hold the tournament in conjunction with the other tournaments scheduled that weekend. Could this have been his response to the recent Carolinas Chess Festival?
Fun Fong obviously liked his idea of awarding a $500 stipend because it is back again this year. The entry fee has been raised to accommodate other prizes, which were not there last year. I do not recall specifically, but it seems the entry fee is almost double this year compared to last. Fun Fong obviously thinks a large increase in the entry fee will bring in more players. The $500 stipend idea proved a disaster last year, yet Fun Fong, and make no mistake, this is Fun Fong’s tournament, insists on keeping it for this tournament. Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
The Ga Senior has been divided into three sections, the Open, Under 1800, and unrated. This makes absolutely no sense because there will barely be enough players for one section. The time control is G/100 with a 30 second increment. I have yet to find a Senior player who likes this time control. We Seniors played for decades with a time control of 40/2, or even 40/90, with additional time added. FIDE has announced the first time control should end at move 40. Over the years organizers have tried various first time controls, such as 30, or 35, but best by test is move 40. Most games are decided at, or after, move 40. Seniors realize the chess world has moved forward with increasingly faster time controls at a time when we are slowing down. Our pleas to hold the line have fallen on deaf ears, with the younger people forcing Seniors to follow their dictates, or else not play. Most have chosen to opt out. LM David Vest said, “My game used to be predicated on putting the pressure on around move 32.” Seniors played for DECADES with the crisis coming around or near move 40. Our motto is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Everything changes, but change just for the sake of change is not good. Sometimes “progress ain’t,” and this is one of those times. Seniors resent the changes being forced upon them. Some still play for the love of the game, but do not like it. Most have given up the game.
The fact is that the body of a Senior player is not the same as a young person. In the movie, “The Bucket List”, the character played by legendary actor Jack Nicholson enumerates three rules for an older man. One of them is to “Never pass up a men’s room.” The reason for that Seniors know only too well. Every male Senior will have to deal with the fact his prostate gland will enlarge and press on his bladder. This means Seniors must go to the men’s room far more often than when younger. With any open ended time control it may not be possible to go to the men’s room. Forcing such a situation on a Senior is uncivilized. A Senior playing on any increment may be forced to lose on time if he goes to answer the call, or piss his pants. This happened to me once because I chose to sit there in pain in lieu of going to the men’s room. Playing with a delay, although a pawn up, I lost the game and upon getting out of my chair, could not make it to the men’s room in time. I vowed then and there to never again put myself in such a situation! What Seniors desire is a time limit whereby additional time will be added, as it was “back in the day,” in order for us to be able to answer the call when nature knocks. Why is it organizers cannot understand this simply fact? It is not only their sanity I question when it comes to the matter of bodily functions. These open ended time controls seem like something the man from the “dark side,” Darth Cheney, would have dreamed up. Waterboarding sounds like fun compared to these ridiculous time controls! IM Boris Kogan told me it was important to get up after making time control in order to “clear one’s head.” That is not possible with these open ended time controls. Some have mentioned the possibility of “shooting out several really quick moves in order to build up time,” so as to be able to “run to the men’s room.” First, shooting off even one quick move in chess can lead to an immediate loss. Second, Seniors no longer have the capacity to run without possibly inducing a heart attack, or a stroke.
The first round is at noon, Saturday the 28th. I assume this is to accommodate all the players from out of town who will not be coming. This means the second round will begin at 5:30. In an email several years ago from the CCA promoter, Bill Goichberg, I was told he would not play a round beginning after four (or was it five?) PM. Not to mention the fact that the second round could be delayed by a long Queen & Pawn, or other such, ending, and possibly begin even later. From what I learned about the venue of the tournament, I would not want to be heading to the parking lot after dark. The fact is, I would not want to go to that place during broad daylight! A woman was murdered in the area during the day. See the previous post for details.
There is a picture of Fun Fong on the website of the NCCA in an article on the North Carolina Gambit titled, “Random Thoughts and Observations on the Carolinas Chess Festival,” posted September 17, 2013, by the webmaster, Gary Newsome.(http://www.ncchess.org/wordpress/) Gary writes, “On Friday afternoon, Fun Fong (President of the Georgia Chess Association) and his entourage came in to start working on the NC Open.” I mentioned this during my interview with the Legendary Georgia Ironman and his comment was, “Fun travels to tournaments such as the US Open and World Open, so he knows what a good tournament is, yet he brings us nothing but crap tournaments, and you can quote me on that.” I will leave you with a quote by former Vice President of the US, Dan Qualye: “People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.”