Gata Kamsky Plays Both Sides of the Leningrad Dutch

Gata Kamsky (2685)

vs Jules Moussard (2608)

Barcelona Open 2019
round 04

1 d4 f5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 d6 4 Nf3 g6 5 O-O Bg7 6 b3 (Although Houdini plays this move Komodo and SF play 6 c4) 6…O-O (The most often played move but would play the little played 6…a5, expecting 7 c4 a4) 7 Bb2 c6 (7…Qe8 has been played a few more times than 7…c6, but SF 250819 at depth 49 plays 7…Ne4, expecting 8 Nbd2 c6. SF 10 @ depth 48 prefers the seldom played 7…e6, expecting 8 c4 Nc6) 8 c4 (SF 9 @ depth 42 plays 8 Nbd2) 8…a5 (SF 120119 @ depth 37 plays the most often played move, 8…Na6, but SF 10 @ depth 37 would play 8…Re8, a move not shown at the ChessBaseDataBase) 9 a3 (Both SF & Komodo play 9 Nc3) 9…Ne4 (This is a TN. Komodo plays Na6, the most often played move in the position. Houdini would play the new move played in the game, 9…Ne4, expecting 10 Nbd2 d5) 10. Nbd2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 Nd7 12. Rfd1 Nf6 13. Qc2 Ne4 14. Ne1 Qe8 15. d5 Bxb2 16. Qxb2 g5 17. Qd4 Qg6 18. Rac1 c5 19. Qe3 Rf7 20. Nd3 Bd7 21. f3 Nf6 22. f4 h6 23. b4 axb4 24. axb4 b6 25. Ra1 Rxa1 26. Rxa1 Ng4 27. Qc1 Qf6 28. e3 gxf4

Reaching a critical position. What would you play as white?

29. gxf4? (According to the ChessBomb this is a dreaded BRIGHT RED MOVE. If this was your move you need to contemplate longer) Qh4 30. h3 Nf6 31. Qe1 Qh5 32. Ra8+ Kh7 33. bxc5 bxc5 34. Kh2 Rg7 35. Ra7 Bc8 36. Nc1 Ne4 37. Ne2 Qg6 38. Bf3 Qf6 39. Ra8 Bb7 40. Ra7 Bc8 41. Ra8 Bd7 42. Ra7 e6 43. dxe6 Qxe6 44. Qc1 Qf6 45. Bxe4 fxe4 46. Qf1 Qb2 47. f5 Qe5+ 48. Qf4 Qxf5 49. Qxf5+ Bxf5 50. Ra6 Be6 51. Rxd6 Bxc4 52. Ng3 Bd3 53. Rc6 Rg5 54. h4 Re5

55. h5? (ChessBomb shows this as a RED MOVE, but not as RED as the earlier RED MOVE, so we will call this one a BLOOD RED MOVE, because the Gator, as Gata is known in the Southern part of the USA, just caused a SELF INFLICTED WOUND)

c4 56. Kh3 Rg5 57. Kh4 Kg7 58. Rc7+ Kh8 59. Rc6 Kh7 60. Rc7+ Rg7? (Yet another BLEEDING MOVE. 60 Kg8 keeps the advantage. Now the game is even, according to the ChessBomb) 61. Rc6 (61 Rc5. Again black has an advantage) 61…Rf7 (61…Rg5 retains the advantage) 62. Kg4 Rf2 63. Rc7+ Kg8 64. Rc6 Kf7 65. Rxh6 c3 66. Rc6 c2 67. Rc7+ Kg8 68. h6 Rg2 69. Kf4 Rg1 70. Nh5 (Rc8+ is equal) 70…c1=Q (70…Rf1+ is strong) 71. Nf6+ Kf8 72. Nh7+ Ke8 73. Nf6+ Kd8 74. Rxc1 Rxc1 75. h7 Rh1 76. Kg5 Be2 77. Kg6 Ke7 78. Ng8+ Kf8 79. Nh6 Rg1+ 80. Kf6 Rf1+ 81. Kg6 Bh5+ 82. Kxh5 Kg7 83. h8=Q+ Kxh8 84. Kg6 Rg1+ 85. Kf5 Kg7 86. Ng4 Rg2 87. Ne5 Rg3 88. Kxe4 Rxe3+ ½-½

Adolfo Diaz Nunez (2145) vs Francisco Vallejo Pons (2415)

Mondariz op

A04 Reti opening

1.Nf3 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.d4 f5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.O-O O-O 6.b3 d6 7.Bb2 a5 8.a3 c6 9.c4 e5 10.dxe5 Ng4 11.Qc2 Nxe5 12.Nbd2 Na6 13.Rad1 Qe7 14.Bc3 Nc7 15.Qb2 Re8 16.Rfe1 Bd7 17.Nxe5 dxe5 18.e4 f4 19.gxf4 Ne6 20.Bxe5 Nxf4 21.Nf3 Bxe5 22.Rxd7 Bxb2 23.Rxe7 Rxe7 24.a4 Rd8 25.h4 Rd3 0-1

Elina Danielian (2476) vs Viktorija Cmilyte (2524)

SportAccord Blitz Women 2012

Beijing CHN 2012

A04 Reti opening

1.Nf3 g6 2.d4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.b3 d6 7.Bb2 c6 8.c4 a5 9.a3 Qc7 10.Nbd2 Re8 11.Qc2 e5 12.c5 e4 13.cxd6 Qxd6 14.Ne5 Be6 15.Ndc4 Qc7 16.b4 axb4 17.axb4 Na6 18.Ba3 Nd5 19.Qd2 Bf8 20.Rfb1 Red8 21.b5 cxb5 22.Rxb5 Bxa3 23.Rxa3 Ne7 24.Qb2 Rab8 25.Rc3 Rxd4 26.Ne3 Qd8 27.h4 b6 28.Ra3 Nc5 29.Ra7 Qd6 30.Rxe7 Qxe5 31.Rxe6 Qg7 32.Rexb6 Rc8 33.Rb8 Rdd8 34.Qxg7+ Kxg7 35.Rxc8 Rxc8 36.Rb1 Ne6 37.Nd5 Nd4 38.e3 Ne6 39.Bf1 Rc2 40.Nf4 Nc5 41.Ra1 Nb3 42.Ra7+ Kf6 43.Ra6+ Kg7 44.Rb6 Nd2 45.Rb7+ Kf6 46.Rd7 Nf3+ 47.Kg2 Ne1+ 48.Kg1 Nf3+ 49.Kh1 Rxf2 50.Bg2 Ra2 51.Bxf3 exf3 52.Rd1 Ra3 53.Re1 Ke5 54.Kg1 Ra2 55.Rf1 Ke4 56.Re1 f2+ 57.Kf1 fxe1=Q+ 0-1

Alexander Donchenko (2631)

vs Gata Kamsky (2685)

Barcelona Open 2019 round 05

1. Nf3 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. c4 Bg7 5. Nc3 d6 6. d4 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. d5 e5 9. dxe6 Bxe6 10. b3 Na6 11. Ng5 Bc8 12. Bb2 h6 13. Nf3 Be6 14. Nd4 Bf7 15. Qc2 Nc5 (15…Nb4! A FORCING MOVE!) 16. Rad1 Qb6 17. e3 a5 18. Nde2 Rfd8 (18…a4 would seem to be the logical rejoinder) 19. Ba3 Qc7 20. Bxc5 dxc5 21. Rxd8+ Rxd8 22. Rd1 Rd6 23. h3 Qd8 24. Rxd6 Qxd6 25. Kf1 ½-½

1 Nf3 f5 2 g3 Nf6 (SF & Komodo both prefer 2…g6) 3 Bg2 g6 4 c4 Bg7 5 Nc3 (SF plays 5 d4; Komodo 5 0-0) 5…d6 (Komodo plays this move but SF would castle) 6 d4 O-O 7 O-O c6 (7…Qe8 was the move of choice by GM Vladimir Malaniuk and is analyzed extensively in his book. At one time or another I attempted the Malaniuk move, and the game move, but settled on 7…Nc6. All of the top programs show 7…c6 as best) 8 d5 (SF 10 @ depth 53 would play 8 Rb1; SF 110719 @ depth 48 prefers 8 b3) 8…e5 9 dxe6 Bxe6 10 b3 Na6 11 Ng5 Bc8 (SF 9 @ depth 28 plays 11…Qe7 expecting 12 Nxe6 Qxe6; Komodo 12 @ depth 26 would play 11…Nc5 showing 12 Bb2 Qe7 to follow) 12 Bb2 (SF says 12 Rb1) 12…h6 13 Nf3 Be6 14 Nd4 (SF 010719 @ depth considers 14 Qc2 superior. The CBDB does not show the game move, but one game with the move was found at 365Chess.com:

Armin Kranz (2145) vs Christoph Renner (2425)
Schwarzach op-A 1999

A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6

1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 g6 5.g3 Bg7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.d5 e5 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.b3 Na6 11.Ng5 Bc8 12.Bb2 h6 13.Nf3 Be6 14.Nd4 Bf7 15.e3 Re8 16.Qc2 d5 17.cxd5 Nb4 18.Qd2 Nbxd5 19.Nde2 Qe7 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qd4+ Qf6 23.Rad1 Red8 24.Rd2 Nc3 25.Qxf6+ Kxf6 26.Rc2 Nxe2+ 27.Rxe2 a5 28.Rb1 Rd7 29.e4 fxe4 30.Bxe4 Re8 31.Rbe1 Rd4 32.f3 a4 33.bxa4 Rxa4 34.Rb1 Re7 35.Rbb2 Rd7 36.Kf2 Ra3 37.Rec2 Ke7 38.Re2 Kd8 39.f4 Ra5 40.g4 Re7 41.Rb4 g5 42.Rd2+ Kc7 43.a4 gxf4 44.Kf3 Be6 45.Kxf4 Rf7+ 46.Kg3 Rf1 47.Rdb2 Ra7 48.h4 Ra1 49.g5 hxg5 50.hxg5 R1xa4 51.g6 b5 52.Kf4 Rxb4 53.Rxb4 Kd6 54.Rd4+ Kc5 55.Rd8 b4 56.Ke5 Bd5 57.Kf6 b3 58.Rb8 Ra1 59.g7 Rg1 60.Bh7 Rg2 61.g8=Q Bxg8 62.Bxg8 Rxg8 63.Rxg8 Kc4 64.Ke5 b2 65.Rb8 Kc3 ½-½

Just Checking The End Of The Line

Each issue of the best Chess magazine in the universe, New In Chess, culminates with Just Checking, which is a series of questions for various strong players from various parts of the world. Since I am not a titled player NIC will never interview me, yet I have sometimes fantasized about answering the questions posed. Some of the answers are surprising and each and every answer tells you something about the person providing the answer. Since it is a magazine with limited space most of the answers are short. Since this is a blog I can elaborate at length. Don’t get me started! I hope you enjoy what follows.

What is your favorite city?

Decatur, Georgia, the city of my birth.

What was the last great meal you had?

Something beautiful in its simplicity prepared by the woman with whom I was in love.

What drink brings a smile to your face?

Which book would you give to a dear friend?

I have no “dear friend.”

What book are you currently reading?

Just finished reading, Presumed Guilty: How and why the Warren Commission framed Lee Harvey Oswald, by Howard Roffman. Although it was published in the mid-seventies it had somehow escaped my attention. Although I had read a few books before beginning to work at the Oxford bookstore in Atlanta, my serious reading began a few years after the book was published, yet I missed it. I ordered the book after reading about it in Volume 20, #3 of the JFK/DEEP POLITICS QUARTERLY, published in August of 2018 by Walt Brown and Tim Smith (info @ kiasjfk@aol.com). Upon opening the package and reading the front of the dust jacket I turned to the back and was taken aback, no, ASTOUNDED, to see a picture of a young Justin Morrison, now owner of Kid Chess in Atlanta, Georgia (https://www.kidchess.com/). I kid you not! The picture of the the young man bears an uncanny resemblance to the young Justin Morrison, who was one of my opponents in the 1976 Atlanta Chess Championship. From the jacket: “Howard Roffman, now 23, was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa., where he attended public school. His interest in the assassination of President Kennedy began when he was fourteen, and he read everything he could lay his hands on on the subject. By 11th grade he had bought all 26 volumes of the Warren Report ($76), and, convinced of the inadequacy of the conclusions, he went to the National Archives and studied the files – the youngest researcher ever to see them. Alarmed at what he discovered, he writes, “I can’t think of anything more threatening than when the government lies about the murder of its leader.” It is a fine book and a clear refutation of the US Government’s “official” finding that Lee Harvey Oswald murdered the POTUS, John F. Kennedy.

What is your favorite novel?

The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

Do you have a favorite artist?

Maxfield Parrish

Way back in the 1970’s a girlfriend, Cecil Jordan, who was from California, and came to Atlanta to become a stewardess for Delta Air Lines, took me to some place in San Francisco where the paintings of Maxfield Parrish were being shown. The colors, especially blue, were so very vibrant it was like they jumped out at you in a spectacular way. I fell in love with the artists work. The pictures one sees in a book or magazine are nice, but absolutely nothing like what one sees if fortunate enough to see the real McCoy.

What is your favorite color?

What is your all-time favorite movie?

When young it was Cool Hand Luke,

then came One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,

but I cannot watch either of them now because they are too depressing. The English Patient

became a candidate, but only one movie has stood the test of time. When channel surfing and the movie flashes upon the screen it matters not what is on any other channel as the surfing ends immediately. That movie is Casablanca.

What is your all-time favorite TV series?

Who is your favorite actor?

Humphrey Bogart.

And actress?

Kim Basinger

and Blair Brown.



To what kind of music do you listen?

Because of tinnitus I now listen to mostly what is called “ambient,” or “electronic,” or “New Age,” or “space” music. (https://www.hos.com/)

I have, at one time or another, listened to every kind of musical genre.

Who is your favorite composer?

Duke Ellington.

Favorite male singer/songwriter?

Bob Dylan

Female?

Joni Mitchell.

Best Rock & Roll song of all-time?

Like a Rolling Stone.

Like A Rolling Stone

Written by: Bob Dylan

Once upon a time you dressed so fine

You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?

People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”

You thought they were all kiddin’ you

You used to laugh about

Everybody that was hangin’ out

Now you don’t talk so loud

Now you don’t seem so proud

About having to be scrounging for your next meal

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be without a home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely

But you know you only used to get juiced in it

And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street

And now you find out you’re gonna have to get used to it

You said you’d never compromise

With the mystery tramp, but now you realize

He’s not selling any alibis

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes

And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns

When they all come down and did tricks for you

You never understood that it ain’t no good

You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you

You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat

Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat

Ain’t it hard when you discover that

He really wasn’t where it’s at

After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people

They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made

Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things

But you’d better lift your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe

You used to be so amused

At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used

Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose

You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music
http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/rolling-stone/

Favorite Rock & Roll song of all-time?

The Night They Drove Old Dixe Down.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

The Band

Produced by John Simon

Virgil Caine is the name and I served on the Danville train
‘Til Stoneman’s cavalry came and tore up the tracks again
In the winter of ’65, we were hungry, just barely alive
By May the tenth, Richmond had fell
It’s a time I remember, oh so well

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “La, la, la”

Back with my wife in Tennessee
When one day she called to me
“Virgil, quick, come see, there go the Robert E.Lee”
Now I don’t mind choppin’ wood
And I don’t care if the money’s no good
Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest
But they should never have taken the very best

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “La, la, la”

Like my father before me, I will work the land
And like my brother above me, who took a rebel stand
He was just eighteen, proud and brave
But a Yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the mud below my feet
You can’t raise a Caine back up when he’s in defeat

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “La, la, la”
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “La, la, la”

Best Rock & Roll band of all-time?

George Harrison of the Beatles said The Band was the best band in the universe. Who am I to argue with him?

What is your all-time favorite album?

The Romantic Warrior.

What is the best piece of advice ever given to you?

“Life is like the Bataan death march. Your best buddy might fall down but you cannot help him up because he will only drag you down so you gotta keep high-steppin’.”

Is there something you would love to learn?

The meaning of life.

What is your greatest fear?

Fear itself.

And your greatest regret?

Regrets? I’ve had a few…

Who is your favorite Chess player of all-time?

Robert J. Fischer.

Is there a Chess book that had a profound influence on you?

Chess Openings in Theory and Practice by I. A. Horowitz

I would also like to mention a Grandmaster for whom I much admiration, Vladimir Malaniuk,

because he devoted his entire life to playing the Leningrad Dutch, and with much success. For anyone desiring to play the Leningrad Dutch his book is de rigueur.

What does it mean to be a Chess player?

Nothing.

Is a knowledge of Chess useful in everyday life?

No.

Do you have any superstitions concerning Chess?

No.

If you could change one thing in the chess world what would it be?

End the offering of a draw, award more points for a win, especially with the black pieces, and rid Chess of all the people in positions of power who do not, and have not, played Chess, most of whom do not even like the game, and only want to “run things.”

That is three things.

You want me to go on?

No.

That’s what I thought…

What is the best thing ever said about Chess?

Before the advent of the computer programs:

I believe in magic … There is magic in the creative faculty such as great poets and philosophers conspicuously possess, and equally in the creative chessmaster. – Emanuel Lasker

After the advent of the computer programs:

“The ability to combine skillfully, the capacity to find in each given position the most expedient move, is the quickest way to execute a well-conceived plan, and is in fact the only principle in the game of chess”- Mikhail Chigorin

What is the most exciting Chess game you have ever watched?

Keep in mind we were unable to “watch” most games ‘back in the day’. Even the World Championship games were replayed from the next days newspaper, which was usually the New York Times. Therefore, I am limited in the number of games I have “seen” in real time. That said, I was working the demo board the day the following game was played at the Church’s Fried Chicken tournament in San Antonio 1972 and managed to watch every move. It was “exciting” to me, and some of the home town crowd, to watch Ken Smith,

who had been manhandled by the GM’s (Ken did manage to draw earlier with Mario Campos Lopez, and beat former World Junior champion Julio Kaplan in the previous round eleven) draw with GM Paul Keres.

After the game someone mentioned something about Ken drawing because Keres was old and obviously tired. I responded, “What? You think Ken was fresh as a daisy? He has probably sat at the board longer and played more moves than any other player during the event because he was the lowest rated player, and the other players were going to test him in the endgame in each and every game.” Ken, known as the “Capablanca of the cattle country,” heard this, and was nice, and gracious to me from that day forward. Some years later I entered an elevator after losing a game in a big tournament, such as the World Open, or maybe the Western States Chess festival in Reno. There were three people on the elevator, one of whom was Ken. “How did you do, Mike?” He asked. I hung my head and answered, “I lost, Ken.”
“What opening did you play?” He asked. “It was a Leningrad Dutch,” I said. “Ah, at least you played a fighting opening!” For some reason that made me feel better and as he exited I smiled in response to his smile. It is difficult to make a player who has just lost a Chess game smile.

Paul Keres vs Kenneth Ray Smith
San Antonio (1972), San Antonio, TX USA, rd 12, Dec-04
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen’s Knight Variation (A16)

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. fxg7 cxd2+ 7. Bxd2 Bxg7
8. Qc2 Nd7 9. Ne2 Nf6 10. Ng3 Qc7 11. Bd3 Bd7 12. Bc3 O-O-O 13. O-O-O Ne8 14.
Rhe1 e6 15. Bxg7 Nxg7 16. Qc3 Nf5 17. Qf6 Rhf8 18. Re5 Kb8 19. Bxf5 exf5 20.
Qd6 Be6 21. Qxc7+ Kxc7 22. b3 Rxd1+ 23. Kxd1 Rg8 24. f4 Rg4 25. Ke2 Rxf4 26. h3
Kd6 27. Ra5 a6 28. Ke3 Rh4 29. Nxf5+ Bxf5 30. Rxf5 Ke6 31. Rg5 Rh6 32. Ke4 Rh4+
33. Ke3 Rh6 34. Kd4 Rg6 35. Re5+ Kd6 36. c5+ Kd7 37. g4 Rh6 38. Rf5 Ke6 39. Rf3
Rf6 40. Re3+ Kd7 41. Re5 Rh6 42. Re3 Rf6 43. Ke4 Ke6 44. Rd3 Rf2 45. Rd6+ Ke7
46. Rd4 Rxa2 47. Rb4 Ke6 48. Rxb7 Re2+ 49. Kd4 Rd2+ 50. Kc4 Rc2+ 51. Kb4 a5+
52. Kxa5 Rxc5+ 53. Kb4 Rc1 54. Rc7 Kf6 55. Ka3 Kg6 56. Kb2 Rc5 57. h4 h6 58.
Rd7 f6 59. Rd6 Kg7 60. h5 f5 61. Rg6+ Kh7 62. gxf5 Rxf5 63. Rxc6 Rxh5 64. b4
Rg5 65. Rc5 Rg8 66. b5 Kg6 67. Kc3 h5 68. b6 h4 69. Kd4 Rd8+ 70. Kc4 h3 71. Kb5
h2 72. Rc1 Kg5 73. b7 Rb8 1/2-1/2

What was your best result ever?

Winning the 1976 Atlanta Chess Championship 5-0.

What was the best game you played?

A win with the black pieces vs Mark Pinto, or possibly a win vs the sour Kraut, LM Klaus Pohl which was published in Chess Life magazine.

FM Mark Pinto

vs Bacon

1986 US Open rd 4

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6
6. c3 Qd5 7. Ne2 Bg4 8. f3 Bf5 9. Ng3 Bg6 10. Qb3 Qxb3 11. axb3 e6 12. Be3 Nd7
13. b4 f5 14. Bc4 Nb6 15. Bb3 Nd5 16. Bd2 Be7 17. O-O h5 18. Ne2 h4 19. Nf4
Nxf4 20. Bxf4 h3 21. g3 a6 22. Be5 Rg8 23. Kf2 Bg5 24. f4 Be7 25. Bc7 Kd7 26.
Bb6 Bh5 27. Rfe1 Bd6 28. Rg1 Rg6 29. Bc4 Rag8 30. Rae1 Bxf4 31. gxf4 Rg2+ 32.
Rxg2 Rxg2+ 33. Ke3 Rxh2 34. Bd3 Ke7 35. Bc5+ Kf6 36. Bf8 Rg2 37. Bf1 Rg3+ 38.
Kf2 Rf3+ 39. Kg1 Bg4 40. Bh6 Kg6 41. Bg5 f6 42. Rxe6 h2+ 43. Kxh2 Rxf1 44.
Rxf6+ Kg7 45. Rd6 Rf2+ 46. Kg1 Rxb2 47. Rd7+ Kg6 48. Rxb7 Bf3 49. Rb6 Kh5 50.
Rxa6 Kg4 51. Ra1 Kg3 0-1

The game was annotated by GM Jon Speelman:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/jon-speelman-s-agony-column-23

What is your most memorable game?

You and your Chess program will have a field day with this game. After making my twenty third move, which threatened checkmate, in addition to attacking the Queen, and knowing there were four ways my knight could be taken, all of which lose, I sat back and folded my arms with a smug look on my face, expecting my opponent to resign. It is the most beautiful move I have ever played on a Chess board. Instead, he did what a player is supposed to do, he put his head in his hands and “hunkered down.” Although I do not recall, it is highly probable I got up and strutted around the room, waiting for the resignation that did not come… I should have simply taken the knight. I did, though, learn a valuable lesson which I have attempted to teach everyone to whom I have given lessons. “Examine ALL CHECKS.”
The game was played in Midland, Texas, in the Halliburton Open, 1974. If I recall correctly, it was played in the second round, after I had lost to a NM named Gary Simms. I also recall that after I came back to win my last three games Mr. Simms was nice enough to say, “You showed us something by not withdrawing.”

T. Thompson vs Michael Bacon

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2
Qxb2 9. Nb3 Qa3 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Be2 h5 12. f5 Nc6 13. O-O Bd7 14. fxe6 fxe6
15. Rxf6 Qb4 16. a3 Qb6+ 17. Kh1 Ne5 18. Rb1 Qc7 19. Nd4 Rc8 20. Qg5 Be7 21.
Bxh5+ Kd8 22. Rb3 Qc4 23. Rxb7

Nf3?!!?

24. Nxe6+ Bxe6 25. Rf8+ 1-0

A close second would be a game in which I drew with IM Andre Filipowicz

with the black pieces in the first round of a weekend swiss tournament in Atlanta during the FIDE congress. IM Boris Kogan


Boris Kogan with raised hand at Lone Pine

and NM Guillermo Ruiz became excited with the possibility of my nicking an IM for a half-point to begin the tournament. I graciously accepted the draw offer in an even position, which brought relief to the other titled players because they knew I usually disdained a draw, preferring to play on in what was usually a futile effort.

Going back to my first blog, the BaconLOG (http://baconlog.blogspot.com/) I have been blogging, off and on, for over a decade. You cannot please all of the people but evidently, judging from some of the comments received, you can please some of the people. An example of the former would be this email received from the Ol’ Swindler:

raj kipling
To:Michael Bacon
Jul 19 at 9:27 AM
Michael,
PLEASE remove my email address from any of you “blog” notifications…you are heading for a fall and I do not want to be dragged down with you…in fact do not email me under any circumstances…do not even respond to this email…forget that you even knew me…good luck…neal harris

Judging by the date it would appear Mr. Harris

did not care for my post of the previous day (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/fuck-you-mr-president/). When we were together politics was never discussed. Why would we discuss politics when there was Chess to discuss? I did, though, travel with the Ol’ Swindler to Waynesville to attend the Smoky Mountain Chess Club once and Neal did stop at a survivalist store where it could be gleaned from the very right of center conversation all of the votes there would go to Republican candidates…

Fortunately most of the email responses received have been positive. For example:

Kevin Spraggett

To:Michael Bacon
Nov 3 at 10:02 PM
Great Article, Michael. You have become a wonderful writer!

Kevin

Karen
To:Michael Bacon
Dec 10 at 6:05 AM
Great article! You are a very good writer ( I was an English major and went to grad school so I notice these things!).

Best,
Karen

That would be Karen Boyd, wife of GM Ben Finegold.

“A man who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” I cannot recall when or where I heard, or read, that, but know it is true. I have had enough blogging. We, dead reader, have reached…

End of the Line
The Traveling Wilburys
Featuring Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne & 2 more
Produced by Nelson Wilbury (George Harrison) & Otis Wilbury (Jeff Lynne)
Album Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1

[Chorus 1: George Harrison]
Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand

[Verse 1: Tom Petty]
You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring
Waiting for someone to tell you everything
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring
Maybe a diamond ring

[Chorus 2: Jeff Lynne]
Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it’s all right, everyday is Judgement Day

[Verse 2: Tom Petty]
Maybe somewhere down the road away
You’ll think of me, and wonder where I am these days
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays
Purple haze

[Chorus 3: Roy Orbison]
Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line

[Verse 3: Tom Petty]
Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don’t matter if you’re by my side
I’m satisfied

[Chorus 4: George Harrison]
Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say

[Jeff Lynne]
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive
Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please

[George Harrison]
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line

https://genius.com/The-traveling-wilburys-end-of-the-line-lyrics

After a sports memorabilia show about three decades ago the self-proclaimed Legendary Georgia Ironman and I were at Spondivits, a bar with a seafood motif, when one of the songs, from the album, Tweeter and the Monkey Man began blasting from the excellent sound system. The late afternoon, early evening crowd broke into song, and we were with them. “Wow Mike,” the smiling Tim Brookshear, schooner filled with beer, said, “I’ve never been in a bar when everyone in the place sang along with the song!”

For that reason alone I nominate Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 for best Rock & Roll album of all-time.

Born On A Blue Day

The man to whom I have referred to as “Louisville Lefty” on this blog was autistic. He was what was called a “high functioning autistic” in the time before it was known as Asperger’s syndrome. After reading an article in the last decade of the previous century I called Lefty to inform him of the article. He chuckled when telling me he was aware of Asperger’s and had been recruited for studies, but had turned them down. “They tell me I am a perfect specimen,” Lefty said, “but I have no desire to be a guinea pig.” Asperger’s became part of one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5) in 2013. (https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-asperger-syndrome) Designations change, but the thing remains the same…

After reading the book, Shadow Syndromes: The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us, by John J. Ratey,

I mentioned it to Lefty. “Freud once said that nobody is “normal,” and after reading Shadow Syndromes, you may well be convinced of that. While more than 50 million Americans suffer from full-fledged mental illnesses such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, millions more suffer from milder forms–yet they likely don’t realize it.” – Erica Jorgensen review from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Syndromes-Mental-Disorders-Sabotage/dp/0553379593/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1541186705&sr=1-1&keywords=shadow+syndromes)
Louisville Lefty read the book later and a long phone discussion ensued. Lefty had earlier mentioned he thought I showed traits of Asperger’s, at which I scoffed. After reading Shadow Syndromes I was no longer scoffing. As a matter of fact Lefty mentioned most game players probably have some form of Asperger’s Syndrome.

Reading the book, Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, by Daniel Tammet,

recently has caused me to reflect on what Lefty said decades ago…

Daniel Tammet –

a “high functioning autistic savant” from East London, England. To sort of set a benchmark as to his mind’s capabilities for the curious among you, Daniel once successfully recited the constant Pi (a circles circumference divided by its diameter) to 22,514 digits – a feat that took over five hours and ended on his own accord (not by mistake). (https://www.synesthesiatest.org/blog/daniel-tammet)

From the book:

“Take the following example:

A bird in the hand
is worth two in the
the bush

Read quickly, most people don’t spot the second, superfluous “the” in the sentence above.”

I am one of those who do spot the the.

“I find it very hard to filter out external noise and regularly put my fingers in my ears to help me concentrate,” writes Daniel.

It is something I could have written. Other players are much better than I at blocking out distractions. In addition, it usually takes me far longer ‘settle back in’, shall we say, than other players.

At a Chess tournament in Atlanta, probably in the ’80s, I played a Bishop’s opening against Mark Coles. I cannot recall his rating at the time of the game but he was either a 2100+ Expert or a 2200+ Master. Big Mark played weakly in the opening, allowing me to lam into him with the Bxf7+ move when the bishop could not be taken, and Kf8 was the only move. For all intents and purposes the game was over. Mark attempted everything he could to destroy my concentration, to no avail, and I won the game. The last time I saw Mark he was dying of cancer. He was only forty years of age and looked good, better than I remembered him, as he, at one time, was very much overweight. He came by the House of Pain and some of the old crowd, some still into Chess, and some not, came by to see Mark, who had moved back to Georgia from the left coast. We went to the pizza joint next door and food and beer were ordered. The last four were the legendary Georgia Ironman, his high school Chess teammate Jason Whitehead, Mark and yours truly. Jason was in conversation with the Ironman, while Mark and I had a chance to talk privately. Mark apologized for his “reprehensible” behavior during that long ago game. I told Mark it had been forgotten a long time ago. “Not by me,” said the dying Mark Coles. “You were a stepping stone, Mike,” said Mark. “If we could beat you we figured we were on our way,” he said. I will admit to putting more than my share of younger players “on their way.”

“Writing was always a chore,” Tammet writes. “Even today I write most of the letters in a word individually one after the other.”

I began printing many decades ago and can print words much faster than writing in longhand. Many years ago I read something about what it means when a person prints in lieu of using cursive, and it was not good, so I just did a search using http://www.startpage.com and this was found:

“Using print also reflects personal characteristics of the user. The absence of connectors (connected writing) symbolizes difficulty to communicate and to talk about feelings.”

Psychology of Print

Handwriting Interpretation. From the psychological point of view, those who use print reflect that is hard for them to express emotions.They do not allow their feelings to come out spontaneously. They need to have everything under control, avoiding unexpected events. Difference must be made in interpretation according to the type of print or to the “degree” of evolution of each one, since there are different levels.” (http://www.handwriting-graphology.com/handwriting-interpretation/)

This is something of which more than a few women have accused me.

From the book:

“My father taught me how to play chess when I was thirteen. One day he showed me the chessboard and pieces that he used when he played with friends and asked if I wanted to learn. I nodded, so he demonstrated how each of the pieces moved on the board and explained the basic rules of the game. My father was self-taught and only played occasionally to pass the time. Even so, it was a surprise to him when I beat him in our first game together. “Beginner’s luck,” he said and put the pieces back in their starting positions and we played another game. Again, I won. At this point my father had the idea that I might benefit from playing socially at a chess club. He knew of one nearby and told me he would take me to play there the following week.”

“I liked going to the club each week to play. It wasn’t noisy and I did not have to talk or interact very much with the other players. When I wasn’t playing chess at the club, I was reading about it at home in books I had borrowed from the local library. Soon, all I could talk about was chess-I even told people I wanted to be a professional player when I got older.”

“After each match, I would take my sheet of paper home with me and replay the moves on my own chessboard while sitting on the floor of my bedroom, analyzing the positions reached to try and find ways of improving. It was advice I had read in one of my chess books and it helped me to avoid repeating mistakes and to become familiar with various common positions during a game.”

“The hardest part of playing chess for me was trying to maintain a deep level of concentration over a long game that could last two or three hours. I tend to think deeply in short bursts, followed by longer periods when my ability to concentrate on something is much reduced and less consistent. I also find it hard to switch off from small things happening around me and this affects my concentration.: someone exhaling noisily across the room from me, for example. There were games where I would play myself into an advantageous position and then lose my concentration, play a weak move or series of moves and end up losing. That was always frustrating for me.”

“Each month I read the latest chess magazine at my local library. In one issue I read an ad for an upcoming tournament not far from my home.”

“The games were timed and I started my first match confidently and played quickly. Soon I had a strong position on the board and a big time advantage against my opponent as well. I was feeling very positive. Then suddenly my opponent made his move, pressed the button on the clock and stood up quickly. I watched him as he paced up and down the hall while he waited for me to respond. I had not expected him to do this and found that I could not concentrate well while he walked up and down, his shoes squeaking on the hard, shiny floor. Totally distracted, I played a series of poor moves and lost the game. I felt thoroughly disappointed, but also unable to go on with the other games because I just could not get my concentration back. I walked out of the hall and went home, deciding that tournament play was not for me.”

These are excerpts from pages 103-107, and these words were chosen for a reason. Some of these words could have been mine.

Trump Declares April ‘Sexual Assault Awareness’ Month


At least 20 women have accused Donald Trump of engaging in sexual assault or harassment prior to becoming president (AFP Photo/Michael B. Thomas)

Trump declares April ‘Sexual Assault Awareness’ month

Washington (AFP) – US President Donald Trump — who has himself been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct — on Friday designated April 2018 “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month” amid a national debate over the issue.

“Sexual assault crimes remain tragically common in our society, and offenders too often evade accountability,” said a proclamation from Trump released by the White House. “These heinous crimes are committed indiscriminately: in intimate relationships, in public spaces, and in the workplace.”

“Too often, however, the victims of assault remain silent. They may fear retribution from their offender, lack faith in the justice system, or have difficulty confronting the pain associated with the traumatic experience,” it continued.

“My administration is committed to raising awareness about sexual assault and to empowering victims to identify perpetrators so that they can be held accountable.”

At least 20 women have publicly accused Trump of engaging in sexual assault or harassment prior to becoming president. The White House has maintained that the women are lying.

In February, allegations of domestic abuse led two Trump staffers to resign. The Republican leader came under fire for lamenting the “shattered” lives of those accused, saying the allegations could be false.

The 2016 presidential campaign that launched Trump to the White House saw the unearthing of an infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which the real estate tycoon bragged about groping women.

“I don’t even wait,” Trump says in the clip. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.”
https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-declares-april-sexual-assault-awareness-month-230244986.html

A typical reaction from a woman:

Chess and Luck

One of my favorite Chess places on the internet is the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter, by IM John Donaldson. If you are new to Chess and unaware, the Mechanics’ Institute is located at 57 Post Street, in San Francisco, California. The newsletter is published almost every Friday, unless IMJD, as he is known, is out of town, as in being a team captain for the US Olympiad squad. The MIN is a veritable cornucopia of Chess information, and it continues to get better and better, if that is possible. The edition this week, #809, is no exception. For example we learn, “An article at the singer Joni Mitchell’s web site mentions she polished her talent at the Checkmate coffeehouse in Detroit in the mid-1960s.” I have just finished reading, Joni: The Anthology, edited by Barney Hoskins, and the just published, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, by David Yaffe, awaits.

John writes, “Few have done as much as Jude Acers to promote chess in the United States the last fifty years and he is still going strong. View one of his recent interviews here.” I love the sui generis Jude the Dude! For the link to the interview you must visit the MIN.

We also learn that, “Noted book dealer National Master Fred Wilson will open his doors at his new location at 41 Union Square West, Suite 718 (at 17th Street) on December 20.” In MIN # 804 we learned that, “Fred Wilson earns National Master at 71.”(!) Way to go Fred! Congratulations on becoming a NM while giving hope to all Seniors, and on the opening of your new location. There is also a nice picture of Fred included, along with many other pictures, some in color, which has really added pizazz to the venerable MIN!

There is more, much more, but I want to focus on: 2) Top Individual Olympiad Performers. John writes: “Outside of the World Championship the biannual Chess Olympiad is the biggest stage in chess. Although it is primarily a team event, individual accomplishment is noted, and no player better represented his country than the late Tigran Petrosian. The former World Champion scored 103 points in 129 games (79.8 percent) and lost only one individual game (on time) in a drawn rook ending to Robert Hubner in the 1972 Olympiad.

Garry Kasparov is not far behind with 64½ points in 82 games (78.7 percent), and unlike Petrosian his teams took gold in every Olympiad he played. Garry won gold but he did lose three games.

Two of the players who defeated Kasparov in Olympiads were present during the Champions Showdown in St. Louis last month: Yasser Seirawan and Veselin Topalov. The latter had an interesting story to tell about the third player to defeat Garry—Bulgarian Grandmaster Krum Georgiev.

According to Topalov, one could not accuse his countryman of being one of Caissa’s most devoted servants. Lazy is the word he used to describe Krum, who loved to play blitz rather than engage in serious study. However it was precisely this passion for rapid transit which helped him to defeat Garry.

Before the Malta Olympiad Georgiev was losing regularly in five-minute chess to someone Veselin referred to as a total patzer. He got so frustrated losing with White in the same variation, over and over again, that he analyzed the line in the 6.Bg5 Najdorf inside and out and came up with some interesting ideas. You guessed it—Garry played right into Georgiev’s preparation. Who says there is no luck in chess.”

The game is given so click on over to the MIN and play over a Kasparov loss in which he let the Najdorf down. (http://www.chessclub.org/news.php)

I want to focus on the part about there being no luck in Chess. After reading this I something went off in my brain about “Chess” & “Luck.” I stopped reading and racked my aging brain. Unfortunately, I could not recall where I had seen it, but it definitely registered. After awhile I finished reading the MIN and took the dog for a walk, then returned to rest and take a nap. I could not sleep because my brain was still working, subconsciously, I suppose, on why “Chess” & “Luck” seemed to have so much meaning to me…It came to me in the shower. I have been a fan of Baseball since the age of nine, and I am also a Sabermetrician.

Sabermetric Research

Phil Birnbaum

Chess and luck

In previous posts, I argued about how there’s luck in golf, and how there’s luck in foul shooting in basketball.

But what about games of pure mental performance, like chess? Is there luck involved in chess? Can you win a chess game because you were lucky?

Yes.

Start by thinking about a college exam. There’s definitely luck there. Hardly anybody has perfect mastery. A student is going to be stronger in some parts of the course material, and weaker in other parts.

Perhaps the professor has a list of 200 questions, and he randomly picks 50 of them for the exam. If those happen to be more weighted to the stuff you’re weak in, you’ll do worse.

Suppose you know 80 percent of the material, in the sense that, on any given question, you have an 80 percent chance of getting the right answer. On average, you’ll score 80 percent, or 40 out of 50. But, depending on which questions the professor picks, your grade will vary, possibly by a lot.

The standard deviation of your score is going to be 5.6 percentage points. That means the 95 percent confidence interval for your score is wide, stretching from 69 to 91.

And, if you’re comparing two students, 2 SD of the difference in their scores is even higher — 16 points. So if one student scores 80, and another student scores 65, you cannot conclude, with statistical significance, that the first student is better than the second!

So, in a sense, exam writing is like coin tossing. You study as hard as you can to learn as much as you can — that is, to build yourself a coin that lands heads (right answer) as often as possible. Then, you walk in to the exam room, and flip the coin you’ve built, 50 times.

——

It’s similar for chess.

Every game of chess is different. After a few moves, even the most experienced grandmasters are probably looking at board positions they’ve never seen before. In these situations, there are different mental tasks that become important. Some positions require you to look ahead many moves, while some require you to look ahead fewer. Some require you to exploit or defend an advantage in positioning, and some present you with differences in material. In some, you’re attacking, and in others, you’re defending.

That’s how it’s like an exam. If a game is 40 moves each, it’s like you’re sitting down at an exam where you’re going to have 40 questions, one at a time, but you don’t know what they are. Except for the first few moves, you’re looking at a board position you’ve literally never seen before. If it works out that the 40 board positions are the kind where you’re stronger, you might find them easy, and do well. If the 40 positions are “hard” for you — that is, if they happen to be types of positions where you’re weaker — you won’t do as well.

And, even if they’re positions where you’re strong, there’s luck involved: the move that looks the best might not truly *be* the best. For instance, it might be true that a certain class of move — for instance, “putting a fork on the opponent’s rook and bishop on the far side of the board, when the overall position looks roughly similar to this one” — might be a good move 98 percent of the time. But, maybe in this case, because a certain pawn is on A5 instead of A4, it actually turns out to be a weaker move. Well, nobody can know the game down to that detail; there are 10 to the power of 43 different board positions.

The best you can do is see that it *seems* to be a good move, that in situations that look similar to you, it would work out more often than not. But you’ll never know whether it’s 90 percent or 98 percent, and you won’t know whether this is one of the exceptions.

——

It’s like, suppose I ask you to write down a 14-digit number (that doesn’t start with zero), and, if it’s prime, I’ll give you $20. You have three minutes, and you don’t have a calculator, or extra paper. What’s your strategy? Well, if you know something about math, you’ll know you have to write an odd number. You’ll know it can’t end in 5. You might know enough to make sure the digits don’t add up to a multiple of 3.

After that, you just have to hope your number is prime. It’s luck.

But, if you’re a master prime finder … you can do better. You can also do a quick check to make sure it’s not divisible by 11. And, if you’re a grandmaster, you might have learned to do a test for divisibility by 7, 13, 17, and 19, and even further. In fact, your grandmaster rating might have a lot to do with how many of those extra tests you’re able to do in your head in those three minutes.

But, even if you manage to get through a whole bunch of tests, you still have to be lucky enough to have written a prime, instead of a number that turns out to be divisible by, say, 277, which you didn’t have time to test for.

A grandmaster has a better chance of outpriming a lesser player, because he’s able to eliminate more bad moves. But, there’s still substantial luck in whether or not he wins the $20, or even whether he beats an opponent in a prime-guessing tournament.

——

On an old thread over at Tango’s blog, someone pointed this out: if you get two chess players of exactly equal skill, it’s 100 percent a matter of luck which one wins. That’s got to be true, right?

Well, maybe you’re not sure about “exactly equal skill.” You figure, it’s impossible to be *exactly* equal, so the guy who won was probably better! But, then, if you like, assume the players are exact clones of each other. If that still doesn’t work, imagine that they’re two computers, programmed identically.

Suppose the computers aren’t doing anything random inside their CPUs at all — they have a precise, deterministic algorithm for what move to make. How, then, can you say the result is random?

Well, it’s not random in the sense that it’s made of the ether of pure, abstract probability, but it’s random in the practical sense, the sense that the algorithm is complex enough that humans can’t predict the outcome. It’s random in the same way the second decimal of tomorrow’s Dow Jones average is random. Almost all computer randomization is deterministic — but not patterned or predictable. The winner of the computer chess game is random in the same way the hands dealt in online poker are random.

In fact, I bet computer chess would make a fine random number generator. Take two computers, give them the same algorithm, which has to include something where the computer “learns” from past games (otherwise, you’ll just get the same positions over and over). Have them play a few trillion games, alternating black and white, to learn as much as they can. Then, play a tournament of an even number of games (so both sides can play white an equal number of times). If A wins, your random digit is a “1”. If B wins, your random digit is a “0”.

It’s not a *practical* random number generator, but I bet it would work. And it’s “random” in the sense that, no human being could predict the outcome in advance any faster than actually running the same algorithm himself.

http://blog.philbirnbaum.com/2013/01/chess-and-luck.html