e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 (I should not have to inform you the programs all frown on the move g3 because it requires two moves to develop the Bishop in lieu of the one move it takes to place the prelate on a square like c4. When growing older I gravitated toward, shall we say, more “positional” type openings, and the Vienna was one of them. In addition, the Sicilian that had been “open” became “closed.” Here’s the deal…The move preferred by the programs, 3 Nf3 has scored 56% in the 3809 games in the Chessbase Database; in 1803 games the move 3 g3 has scored 55%) 3…Bc5 4 Bg2 d6 (Deep Fritz 13 @depth 35 plays this move, but StockFish 041221 @depth 52 and StockFish 151121 @depth 65 both castle) 5. h3 (Deep Fritz 13 @depth 31 plays the most often played move, 5 Nge2, which has scored at a high rate of 70%. Left crunching a little longer it changes its whatever to 5 Nf3 @depth 33. Stockfish 14 @depth 42 plays 5 Na4, moving the steed to the rim where it may be grim, but it also attacks the Bishop. In only ten games 5 h3 has also scored 70%) 5…a6 (Houdini @depth 25 plays the move played in the game; there are five examples contained in the CBDB. Komodo @depth 30 castles. There is only one example of 5…0-0. Stockfish 14 @depth 45 plays 5…Nc6, and so should you because it has scored 56% in the 16 games found in the CBDB) 6. Nge2 Nc6 7. d3 (Komodo prefers this move, the most often played move by far in 89 games, and it has scored 63% in battle. The next most frequently played move with 40 games showing, 7 0-0, has only scored 50%. Nevertheless, Stockfish 14 castles…) 7…h6 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 38 plays 7…Be6) 8. O-O Be6 (Deep Fritz 13 castles, but Stockfish 13 @depth 36 would spring the Theoretical Novelty 8…b5 on the Chess world. The game move has been most frequently played) 9. Nd5 (Although the most often played move, given the chance Stockfish will play 9 Kh2) 9…Bxd5 10. exd5 Ne7 (This is the only move found at the CBDB, but Houdini and two different Stockfish programs would play 10…Nd4, and so should you…) 11. d4 exd4 12. Nxd4 O-O 13. c4 Re8 (This is a TN. The only move seen in the position is 13…Qd7, which happens to be the choice of Stockfish 14 and Komodo)
Sometimes Chess viewing is like a box of chocolates…Such was the Gumpian thought when seeing a tournament being played in the sunny and warm climate of the Gulf Coast was being broadcast at FollowChess.com. Although what is called a “weekend swiss” it is a weekend Chess tournament sending moves all over the world thanks to modern technology. The following round two game was found while surfing and much time was spent watching the game, and the others, one of which developed from a Bishop’s opening, and if you are a regular reader you know what that means. You may, though, be surprised to learn the B.O. game may, or may not be posted, depending, because the AW decided to post a Caro-Kann, Exchange variation today.
Brejesh Chakrabarti 2039 vs Julio Becerra Rivero 2491
7th Gulf Coast New Year (round 2) B13 Caro-Kann, exchange variation
e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 (Stockfish 13 @depth 61 played 3 e5, the advance variation; SF 14 @depth 60 prefers 3 Nc3) cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 (Stockfish 11 @depth 50 played 5…Nf6, still the most often played move according to the Chessbase Database, but SF 14 @depth 51 has moved on to the solid 5…e6, of which there are only 33 games found in the CBDB. There are 2212 games with 5…Nf6. There are 1417 games containing the move played in the game, 5…Qc7, and it has held white to only a 47% winning percentage. After 5…Nf6 white has scored 51%. The solid 5…e6 has held white to scoring only 44%) 6. Ne2 (The most often played move, but is it the best? The move has scored only 47% for white. SF 14 & 14.1 both play 6 h3, with which white has scored 53% in 471 games. Deep Fritz 13 shows 6 Nf3, a move that has scored only 38% in 78 games) 6…Bg4 (For as long as I have been playing the Royal game this move was “it”, but that has changed with the advent of computer Chess playing programs. The CBDB contains 601 games with the move chosen by GM Becerra Rivero. The second most played move has been 6…e6, which has been seen in 46 games, while scoring 38%. The best move in the position according to StockFish 14 @depth 49, and Stockfish 14.1 @depth 46 is 6…e5, a move having appeared to date in only 10 games while scoring 50%) 7. Bf4? (Stockfish 180821 @depth 52 simply castles, and so should you! The move chosen by the Expert has been seen in 15 games while scoring only 43%. When facing much higher rated opposition some players look for a way, any way, of trading Queens, which is a dumb move if you cogitate awhile, because the Grandmaster will, most probably, grind you down into a fine losing powder. On the other hand there are players like this writer who preferred keeping the Queens on the board, as was the case in a victory over Senior Master Klaus Pohl. The next time we played Klaus played a variation in which the Queens left the board early and the AW was given a endgame lesson. Cheap tricks do not usually work on the Chess board, or life) 7…Qxf4 8. Nxf4 Bxd1 9. Kxd1 e6
IM of GM strength Boris Kogan was fond of saying, “Why be afraid of playing an even position?” After 10 Bb5 Stockfish 14.1 @depth 32 says the game is triple zeros, aka, “even Steven”) 10. Nd2 Bd6 11. Nh5 (SF 12 brought the knight to e2, but SF 14 placed the steed on h3) 11…g6 12. Ng3 Nge7 (For the choice of Stockfish, 12…Nf6, see Guzman vs Spata below)