In the very first round of the US Masters FM James Canty set the tone for the tournament by defeating Iranian Grandmaster Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, playing out of California these daze, after the GM blundered horribly. It is not often we Chess fans see a GM go down hard, like rot-gut whiskey. After move five it was a B40 Sicilian, Anderssen variation. 5…d6 turned the opening into a B80 Sicilian, Scheveningen variation. 6. g4 made it a B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres attack. The eighth move, 8. Nxc6, has only six examples showing at 365Chess.com. According to the Fish the best move in the position is 8. Rg1. 9 Rb8 is not the recommended move, which is 9 d5. Canty’s 10 b3 was lame. He should have asked his illustrious GM opponent a question with 10 g5!. Canty’s next move, 11. exd5, was given a ?! by the Stockfish program at Lichess.com, with good reason, as it gave an advantage to black. After 12. g5 the GM returned the favor when playing the weak 12…Ng4. Canty should have played 12 gxh6, but chose to attack the undefended Rook with 12 Bf4. The GM chose to black with 12…Bd6, but SF computes 12…Rb4 as best. The Stockfish program agrees with the next few moves, until the GM helps his opponent by taking the Bishop with 15…Bxf4+ when he should have EXAMINED ALL CHECKS and played 15…Ba3, at least according to the exponentially rated program know as Stockfish. Then we come to 16…Qb6, which is given a dubious ?! distinction, as the program would play 16…Rb7, expecting 17. gxh6. But here’s the deal…there is a line from the Bishop on c8 that stops at e6. So which move is best? After the move played in the game Canty decided to play 17. gxh6?! SF preferred 17. Rd4. By this point I had become fascinated with the game, wondering what would come next. This was the position:
It was at this point the Grandmaster played a move that would not have been played if the GM had simply “examined all checks.” I realize there may be more currently living “Grandmasters” today than all previous GMs combined, which has REALLY cheapened the title, but still it is almost unbelievable any GM would play the move 17…Qxf2??, which is given not one, but two question marks for a reason. The “GM” hung around a few move moves, probably in a state of shock, before giving up the ghost, or maybe to make it until move twenty so it would not look as bad as it appeared. The GM finished with six points, half a point out of chump change. FM Canty only scored 3 1/2 points, but scored far more points in “entertainment value,” as far as I am concerned, because each and every one of his games during the event were thoroughly enjoyed.
relocated from Music City to the Phoenix city, Atlanta, Georgia. It happened that by happenstance I was at Todd’s apartment after he moved in and again later as he was getting ready to return to Nashville, Tennessee. There was an obvious disparity between how the apartment looked on those two occasions, kind of like one of those ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.
Todd was young, and strong, at that time, and was the “Big Dog” at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center, kickin’ ass and takin’ names. He was also an extremely personable and animated fellow. After being beaten by Todd one regular habitué of the House of Pain vociferously and demonstrably said to any and everyone within earshot, “That Todd has a BIG HEAD!” To which Bob Bassett replied, “Yeah, and if you ever get your rating up to 2400 you will have a big head.” Another wag added, “Fat chance.” The loser hit the door… The name stuck, although no one ever called Todd “Big Head” to his face. After yet another player had been battered and bloodied, metaphorically speaking, of course, over the Chess board by Todd, the loser would be asked about the result and the reply would invariably be, “Big Head got me.” About this time there was a popular music group, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, who were quite popular. Todd traveled to a music festival in another state and I considered asking if Big Head Todd and the Monsters were there, but refrained from so doing…
These days Todd is the man with the Big Head at the Nashville Chess Center:
FM Andrews drew with fellow FM James Canty in the opening round of the May 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational at the Charlotte Chess Center and followed that with a victory over GM Alonso Zapata, now a citizen of Georgia living in the metro Atlanta area. A couple of losses set him back before he was paired with serial drawer IM Nikolay Andrianov,
“…who became the Soviet Junior Champion in 1980. He beat GM Gary Kasparov in their junior years and maintains a plus score against the world champion. After that, he chose to focus on chess training. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chess training from the Moscow Central Physical Culture and Sports Institute, considered the top chess school globally at the time. He has since then trained students, many of them becoming masters in Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States. Currently, he teaches chess in Arizona and online with Ashburn Chess Club.” (https://ashburnchessclub.com/nikolay-andrianov)
These are the games produced by IM Nikolay Andrianov in the first four rounds:
IM NIKOLAY ANDRIANOV (2317) vs DONALD JOHNSON (2102)
What happened in the second round? It looks as though Tianqi Wang actually considered attempting to try and play for a win, but after making a very weak move that gave the advantage to his opponent changed his mind and offered a draw, which was accepted by the player with little fight left in him. It takes two to tango, and make a draw, so all the blame cannot go to IM Andrianov. Some of the blame must be taken by the pusillanimous pussies so ready to accept a draw offer from an old and weak IM. Todd Andrews came to play Chess and forced the ineffectual IM to play to the death. Unfortunately, it was Todd who lost, but he went down fighting, like a man, and my hat is off to FM Todd Andrews. In losing Todd Andrews comes away a winner from one of the Charlotte Drawing Tournaments.
GM ALONSO ZAPATA (2367)
vs FM TODD ANDREWS (2209)
Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 0-1 ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line
e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 (Stockfish 14 and 15 both play 3 Nc3, as does Komodo) 3…Nf6 (According to the ChessBaseDataBase, Komodo, Houdini, and Deep Fritz prefer 3…c5) 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 (SF 8 @depth 46 plays the move played in the game, but SF 13 @depth 44 goes with the most often played move of 5 Bd3. SF 14.1 @depth 47 will play 5 f4) 5…c5 6. Ndf3 (SF 311221 plays 6 Bd3 which has been far and away the most often played move with 8421 games in the CBDB; SF 14.1 will play 6 f4, the second most often played move (1924). The move played in the game has only been attempted in 54 games) 6…Nc6 7. Bd3 cxd4 (This move has been played most often with 130 games in the CBDB, but SF 14.1 and Komodo will play 7…Qa5. The reason could be that 7…cxd4 has resulted in a 66% score for players of the White pieces as opposed to only 42% in 31 games for 7…Qa5) 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 (SF 12 plays this move, but SF 070222 will take the pawn with the Queen with 9…Qxf6. Houdini will fire a TN with 9…Bb4+. 9…Nxf6 has been played in 84 games; 9…Qxf6 in only 8. White has scored 64% versus the former, but only 38% against the latter move) 10. Ne2 Qc7 (SF 130121 @depth 59 plays 10…Bd6, as do two different Fritz programs) 11. O-O Bd6 12. Nc3 (Fritz 16 plays this move, but Deep Fritz will play will play 12 g3. SF 170821 prefers 12 h3) 12…a6 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rc1 (SF 14.1 plays 14 Bh4 and so should you) 14…h6 (14…Bd7 has been played most often, and one of the “New Engines” @depth 42 likes it, but left running a little longer it changes its whatever @depth 43 to 14…Ng4, which is what Komodo will play @depth 26) 15. Bh4 Bf4 (There is only one prior game with the game move. Komodo 8 @depth 14 plays 15…Bd7, but SF 261120 will play 15…Nh5, as will Komodo 9)