5 Norms Scored at the Charlotte Labor Day Norm Invitational

This was obtained from the Charlotte Chess Center Facebook page:

5 norms scored at the Charlotte Labor Day Norm Invitational!
IM’s Nikolas Theodorou (Greece) and Andrew Hong (USA) earned their 3rd and final GM norms and will be crowned Grandmasters at the next FIDE congress.
IM Christopher Yoo (USA) earned his 2nd GM norm.
FM Robert Shlyakhtenko (USA) earned his 3rd IM norm and will be crowned an IM once he reaches 2400.
NM Sandeep Sethuraman (USA) earned his first IM Norm.

These pictures can also be found at the website. Unfortunately there are no names to go with the pictures. The gentleman with his thumb up and wide grin is the Executive Director and Founder of the CCC, Peter Giannatos.

May be an image of 2 people, people standing and indoor
May be an image of 2 people, people standing and indoor
May be an image of 2 people, people standing and indoor

This next picture is of Christopher Woojin Yoo:

May be an image of 1 person and standing
Christopher Woojin Yoo

In future years when asked to show the game that garnered his third and final GM norm now Grandmaster Andrew Hong can proudly present this win made even more special because it came with the black pieces:

IM 2411 Kassa Korley (DEN) vs IM Andrew Hong 2494 (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 09
E04 Catalan, open, 5.Nf3

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 a5 7. Qc2 Bxd2+ 8. Nbxd2 b5 9. O-O O-O 10. b3 cxb3 11. Nxb3 Bb7 12. Nc5 Bd5 13. e4 Bc4 14. Rfd1 Nc6 15. a4 Nb4 16. Qd2 bxa4 17. Rxa4 Bb5 18. Ra3 Qe7 19. Rda1 Nc6 20. Qc3 Rfb8 21. Nd2 e5 22. Nf3 exd4 23. Nxd4 Nxd4 24. Qxd4 Rd8 25. Qc3 a4 26. e5 Nd5 27. Qd4 c6 28. Nxa4 Nb4 29. Qb2 Nd3 30. Qc3 Nxe5 31. Nc5 Rxa3 32. Qxa3 h5 33. Qe3 Qf6 34. Re1 h4 35. gxh4 Ng6 36. Qg5 Nxh4 37. Qxf6 gxf6 38. Bh1 f5 39. h3 Rd2 40. Nb3 Rd3 41. Re3 Rd1+ 42. Kh2 Rf1 43. Nd4 f4 44. Re8+ Kg7 45. Nxb5 cxb5 46. Re4 Rxf2+ 47. Kg1 Rb2 48. Rxf4 Ng6 49. Rf5 f6 50. Rc5 Nf4 51. h4 b4 52. Be4 Ne2+ 53. Kf2 Nc3+ 54. Kf3 Rf2+ 55. Ke3 Re2+ 56. Kd4 0-1

When asked to show the game that brought him the title of Grandmaster Nikolas Theodorou, who came all the way from Greece, must show this “game” and I use the word extremely loosely because it is an insult to Caissa:

GM Mark Paragua 2475 (PHI) vs IM Nikolas Theodorou 2569 (GRE)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 09
E60 King’s Indian, 3.Nf3

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Nc6 ½-½

Christopher Yoo needed a draw for his second GM norm and got it with this “gift”:

Christopher Woojin Yoo 2466 (USA) vs Irakli Beradze 2479 (GEO)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 09
E18 Queen’s Indian, old main line, 7.Nc3

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2 Nxd2 9. Nxd2 Bxg2 10. Kxg2 d5 11. e3 c6 12. Rc1 Nd7 13. Qa4 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/09-Yoo_Christopher_Woojin-Beradze_Irakli 12…Nd7 was not a good move. I can see it; you can see it; and so can the programs at ChessBomb and Chess24. The Stockfish program at the latter shows white up a pawn. Maybe the Grandmaster thought it was time to “make his move” and offer a draw to the kid while he held the upper hand, which is exactly what he did. The boy had no reason to play on, and obviously the pusillanimous Grandmaster has no pride. There was a time in Chess when the GM title was so exclusive that Grandmasters wanted to keep it that way and made an aspirant “earn it.” Chess has come a long way, “Bay Bee.”

In the IM D section FM Robert Shyakhtenko earned an IM norm and will become an International Master if he ever attains a rating of 2400. Say what? I don’t know about you but it seems one should either earn the norm or not. What is this with the waiting? Is that weird, or what? If you play in a tournament and meet the norm requirement you have not met the requirement if your rating does not meet the minimum rating required, or am I missing something?

FM Robert Shlyakhtenko 2313 (USA) vs Shelev Oberoi 2175 (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM D 2021 round 09
E70 King’s Indian, Kramer system

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nge2 O-O 6. Ng3 a6 7. Be2 h5 8. O-O c5 9. d5 h4 10. Nh1 h3 11. g4 e6 12. a4 exd5 13. cxd5 Nbd7 14. Ng3 Nh7 15. f4 Bd4+ 16. Kh1 Qh4 17. Bf3 Qe7 18. Qe2 Re8 19. Be3 Bg7 20. Rf2 Rb8 21. g5 Bd4 22. Rd1 Bxe3 23. Qxe3 b5 24. axb5 axb5 25. Bg4 b4 26. Nb1 Nb6 27. Qf3 Bd7 28. Rg1 Ra8 29. Bxd7 Nxd7 30. Nd2 Nb6 31. f5 c4 32. f6 Qe5 33. Nf5 gxf5 34. Qh5 Kh8 35. Qxf7 Rg8 36. g6 Rxg6 37. Qxg6 Qxf6 38. Qxf6+ Nxf6 39. Rxf5 Rf8 40. Rc1 Kg7 41. Nxc4 Nxc4 42. Rxc4 Ra8 43. Kg1 Kg6 44. Rf3 Ng4 45. Rxh3 Ra4 46. Rg3 Kh5 47. Rc8 1-0

I was unfamiliar with the “Kramer system”


but did find one game, only one, in which 7…h5 was previously played:

Dragan Kosic (2528) vs Dejan Antic (2479)
Event: YUG-ch
Site: Belgrade Date: ??/??/1999
Round: 4
ECO: E70 King’s Indian, Kramer system
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nge2 O-O 6.Ng3 a6 7.Be2 h5 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.Qd2 c6 10.O-O b5 11.cxb5 axb5 12.b4 Nb6 13.Rfc1 Be6 14.Bh6 h4 15.Nf1 Bc4 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Ne3 Bxe2 18.Qxe2 Qd7 19.Rc2 ½-½

Sandeep Sethuraman won five games and drew four to win the IM C section by 1 1/2 points. He needed to win to garner his first norm on the way to the International Master title and did just that, after the following battle in which it was anyone’s game for the taking until the lady played the natural looking, but lame, 31st move, after which she was pounded into submission like a punch drunk fighter and went down like rot gut whiskey, hard.

FM Gabriela Antova 2313 (BUL) vs Sandeep Sethuraman 2286 (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM C 2021 round 09
D37 Queen’s Gambit Declined, 4.Nf3

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e4 b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. Nxb5 Nb6 8. Be2 Nc6 9. O-O Be7 10. Qd2 O-O 11. Qf4 Nb4 12. Qg3 Kh8 13. Rd1 Qd7 14. Nc3 Ba6 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Ne4 Na4 18. Rd2 Nd5 19. Rc2 Nb4 20. Rd2 Nd5 21. Rc2 Rab8 22. Bxc4 Bxc4 23. Rxc4 Nxb2 24. Rc2 Nd3 25. Nfd2 N3f4 26. Qf3 Qb4 27. Nb3 a5 28. Rd1 Qa3 29. Qg4 Rfd8 30. g3 a4 31. Nbd2 Qd3 32. Rc4 Ne2+ 33. Kg2 Nec3 34. Rc1 Nxa2 35. R1c2 Nab4 36. Rc1 a3 37. Nf3 a2 38. Ne1 Qxc4 0-1

How Not To Play The Dutch

I enjoy the first round of open tournaments more than any other round as the chance for upsets abound. I managed to draw with an IM,
Andrzej Filipowicz,

from Poland, in the first round of a tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1980. He was there for the FIDE congress, and decided to play in a weekend event, where I was at the top of the bottom half of the tournament. While looking forward to being paired with much higher rated players, I will admit to having, as Bobby said, “Taken many lessons.” The thing about facing stronger players is that they are not usually going to lose a game in the opening. If you are a lower ranked player you simply must know the opening or else when playing titled players there will not be a middle-game, or endgame, as in, “He ended the game in the opening,” something heard at the House of Pain shortly after the round had started.

Irakli Beradze IM

2464 (GEO) – Ruslan Ponomariov GM 2697 (UKR)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 01

1. Nf3 d6 2. d4 g6 3. c4 f5 4. e3 (Only a few examples of this move in the databases) Bg7 5. Nc3 Nd7

(I was unable to find this move on the Chessbase Data Base, or at 365Chess, and there is a reason…The knight belongs on c6 in this position. 5… Nc6 6. Be2 e5 7. d5 Nce7 8. O-O Nf6 9. b3 O-O 10. Ba3 h6 11. Qc2 a6 12. h3 b5 13. Rfe1 Bd7. Development is complete and looks like a fight! [Analysis from the StockFish at ChessBomb.] This is a plausible line that I could have produced, but then you would want to run it by your clanking digital monster, and now you do not have to do any inputing…Maybe the 2700 GM decided to “Blaze his own path,” or “Invent the wheel.” Who knows? The fact is it is a horribly terrible move. It shows a complete lack of understanding of the opening. Not to mention it is a Theoretical Novelty.)

6. Be2 (6. e4 fxe4 7. Nxe4 Ndf6 8. Nc3 Nh6 and with his better pawn structure and better placed knights white is better)

e5 (Ngf6 should be played. It is unfathomable anyone in his right mind would play the e5 advance before playing Nf6. Moving the queen’s knight to f6 would have been better, but Ngf6 is best. Black has dug himself a hole from which he is unable to extricate himself.)

7. dxe5 (7. e4 is better. If then fxe4 8. Ng5 the misplaced knight must ‘advance to the rear’ with Nb8)

dxe5 (Unbelievable! Certainly the pawn MUST be taken with the KNIGHT!)

8. e4 Ngf6 9. exf5 gxf5 10. Nh4 f4 (Yet another weak move when the wandering knight could have been moved to c5. Go figure…)

11. Nf5 O-O 12. Nxg7 Kxg7 13. g3 Nc5 14. Qxd8 Rxd8 15. gxf4 e4 16. Be3 Nd3+ 17. Bxd3 Rxd3 18. Rg1+ Kf7 19. Rd1 a6 20. Rxd3 exd3 21. Kd2 Be6 22. b3 Rd8 23. f3 b6 24. Ne4 h6 25. f5 Bxf5 26. Nxf6 Kxf6 27. Bxh6 Re8 28. Be3 Kf7 29. h4 Rh8 30. Bg5 c6 31. Re1 Re8 32. Rxe8 Kxe8 33. Be3 b5 34. Kc3 Bg6 35. Kb4 bxc4 36. Kxc4 Kd7 37. Kc5 Kc7 38. Bf4+ Kb7 39. Bd2 Kc7 40. Ba5+ Kd7 41. Bd2 Kc7 42. f4 Bh7 43. h5 Bf5 44. h6 Bg6 45. a4 Bh7 46. Ba5+ Kd7 47. Kb6 d2 48. Bxd2 Bd3 49. f5 Bxf5 50. Kxa6 1-0

A well played game. The favorite played weakly in the opening and the underdog held on to the advantage like a pit bull!

When looking for a picture of Ponomariov

I came across this article at Chessbase:

Ponomariov: ‘Probably I became world champion too early’


After racking my aged brain I simply could not recall him becoming World Chess Champion. Could he be one of those players Garry Kasparov, a real World Champion, called a “tourist?”

Akopian and the Revenge of the Tourists

Dennis Monokroussos writes:

“During the knockout event that was the 1999 FIDE World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, there were upsets a-plenty. Nisipeanu knocked out Ivanchuk and Shirov; Fedorov defeated Timman (after Timman had beaten a very young Aronian); Movsesian beat Leko; Georgiev beat Svidler; Adams beat Kramnik; Akopian beat Adams; Khalifman beat Kamsky, Gelfand and Polgar – and on and on it went. Around the time of the semi-finals, when only Adams, Akopian, Nisipeanu and Khalifman were left, Garry Kasparov – then still in possession of the other world championship title – infamously and dismissively dubbed most of the participants in the FIDE event “tourists”.

No mention of Ruslan…Exactly how many “tourist” World Chess Champions have there been recently? Seriously…

For the record, Chessgames.com shows this opening named, Zukertort Opening: Pirc Invitation (A04).