Armed and Dangerous Females at the 2022 Saint Louis Norm Congress

When one surfs over to the website of the St. Louis Chess Club to check out the upcoming pairings this is what one finds for the IM tournament:

2022 Saint Louis Norm Congress

Pairings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Rankings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

List by federation
Females
Cross table
https://www.uschesschamps.com/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress/pairings-results-im

Click on “Females” and one discovers how the four female players have fared against their male counterparts. Segregating the “females” sets them apart, making it appear they are different and not part of the group. Is this good for the “females” or for Chess? Is it necessary to separate the women players because of their gender? Does this help or hurt their chances of being accepted as part of the group? Let me ask another question. What if there were enough players to have a similar tournament with four players with dark skin pigmentation and the word “Black” was used in lieu of “Female”? Would that be acceptable to people with darker skin pigmentation? Would that be acceptable to the people in charge of the St. Louis Chess Club? Would it be acceptable to the larger Chess community of the world? If the answer is “no” then why is it acceptable for the people at the St. Louis Chess Campus to segregate any one particular group?

After informing a National Master that I have been avidly following the two tournaments currently being held at the St. Louis Chess Campus he replied, “Why would you waste your time watching those chumpy-lumpies when you could be watching games from the Sharjah Masters? There are thirty of the best players in the world competing and they are fighting.” I said nothing while thinking about the proliferation of draws, most of them short, afflicting top level Chess these daze. Short draws have been anathema at the St. Louis Chess mecca. The options for a Chess fan these days are almost unlimited; this fan prefers watching games emanating from the Chess Capital of America no matter who is playing because short draws are not acceptable in St. Louis, or at least were not until seeing this insult to the St. Louis Chess Campus and Chess in general:

IM Matyas Marek 2363 vs FM Joshua Posthuma 2405

Round 6

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 1/2-1/2
    https://live.followchess.com/#!saint-louis-norm-congress-im-2022/1216272321

This game “wowed” the fans, or at least one of them, who left this at the “Chat” with the game:

Chat room

Neverness Board 1: What a fighting game! 😀

Neverness Wow, just wow! 😀

Neither one of these “players”, and I use the word loosely, is a Grandmaster yet they felt compelled to make a “Grandmaster draw.” What are the odds either one of these losers will ever be invited to return to the St. Louis Chess Campus? Games like this appear with regularity at tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Center, and in the Bay area at San Jose. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/05/19/mission-360-bay-area-making-a-mockery-of-chess-tournament/). Never thought I would be writing about a three and a have move game from St. Louis…

On to the good stuff abounding from this tournament!

After four rounds FM Jennifer Yu

https://new.uschess.org/news/botezlive-match-featuring-jennifer-yu-benefit-online-education

was +2 after two wins and two draws. In the fifth round she had the white pieces versus fellow FM Joshua Posthuma (2404).

https://joshchess.com/in-session

After the latter made a weak ninth move and followed it up with what is called a “mistake” at LiChess, she was winning. The game was a real battle and could have ended in a draw, but Ms. Yu let go of the rope with her 39th move, a passive retreat when she could have continued checking, and the lights were turned out. The game must have taken something out of her because she played weakly in the opening in the following game and was lost before move ten…but fought back to an even game later before both players blundered with their thirtieth move and it was back to even, Steven, until Ms. Yu again let go of the rope with her thirty second move and it was all over but the shouting…In the next, seventh round, she had the black pieces against one of the three co-leaders, IM Aaron Grabinsky, who had won his first four games before drawing the next two games. Not many people who gamble would have wagered on Jennifer. This writer was hoping she would not fall apart completely and do the goose-egg shuffle on her way out of St. Louis. Many players would have lost their fighting spirit and consented to “making a draw,” and who could, or would, blame her if she did exactly that? Then, on move 24 her opponent made a vacillating move in retreating his Queen and Jennifer gained an advantage. Solid move followed solid move until IM Grabinsky again retreated his Queen on his 29th move. Unfortunately, Jennifer did not make the best move in reply, but still had an advantage, albeit small. Then her opponent blundered on his 31st move and Jennifer punished him for it, winning in 35 moves. What a fighter is Jennifer Yu! I urge you to replay the game, which can be found here> (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress-im/round-7/Aq7DF3WV).

While watching the action in round six I put two games into the opening grinder and one of them was the game of the tournament. When young FM Alice Lee sat down to play IM Aaron Grabinsky in round six she had a total of 1 1/2 points, earned in the three previous rounds with draws after losing her first two games. Her opponent was leading the field with 4 1/2 points. Alice had the white pieces, but her opponent grabbed an positional advantage and began squeezing the life out of Ms. Lee, but she refused to let go of the rope, finding good move after good move for many moves. Several times IM Grabinsky achieved the maximum from his position, but refused to bring the hammer down and continued playing vacillating moves; he simply could not pull the trigger. After one hundred and eight moves (!) IM Grabinsky gave up the ghost and FM Alice Lee had scored a well earned and hard fought draw with the leader of the tournament!

Round 6
FM Lee, Alice 2334

https://www.uschesschamps.com/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress/the-field

vs IM Grabinsky, Aaron 2401

Coquille resident makes name for himself in international chess …
theworldlink.com


E11 Bogo-Indian defence
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d6 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.e4 e5 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O c6 10.Rfd1 Re8 11.Qc2 a5 12.Rd2 Qe7 13.Rad1 g6 14.d5 c5 15.Ne1 Nb6 16.Nb5 Rf8 17.Qd3 Ne8 18.Bf1 f5 19.f3 Bd7 20.Nc3 f4 21.Rc1 Nf6 22.Kf2 Qe8 23.Nc2 g5 24.h3 Qh5 25.Ke1 Ne8 26.Kd1 Nc7 27.Na3 Qe8 28.Kc2 Nc8 29.Kb1 Na7 30.Qe2 Kf7 31.Qf2 Ke7 32.Bd3 Qg6 33.Rh1 h5 34.Be2 Rh8 35.Rdd1 Rag8 36.Rh2 Ne8 37.Rdh1 Rh7 38.Nc2 Rgh8 39.a4 Nf6 40.Ne1 b6 41.Rg1 Rg8 42.Rgh1 Nc8 43.Nd3 Rhg7 44.g4 fxg3 45.Qxg3 h4 46.Qf2 Nh5 47.Bd1 Qf6 48.Qd2 Kd8 49.Rg1 Nf4 50.Nf2 Rf7 51.Rhh1 Nh5 52.Re1 Qg6 53.Qe3 Ne7 54.Rh2 Qf6 55.Ne2 Ng3 56.Ng1 Rgf8 57.b3 Qg7 58.Kc2 Kc7 59.Kb1 Rf4 60.Nd3 R4f6 61.Nf2 Be8 62.Ng4 Rf4 63.Nf2 Bh5 64.Nd3 R4f6 65.Nf2 Ng8 66.Ka2 R6f7 67.Kb1 Nf6 68.Kc2 Nh7 69.Kb1 Rf6 70.Kc2 R8f7 71.Ng4 Rf4 72.Kc1 Qf8 73.Qd3 Nf6 74.Nf2 Nd7 75.Ng4 Bg6 76.Nf2 Nf6 77.Kb2 Bh5 78.Kc1 Qg7 79.Qe3 Bg6 80.Bc2 Qf8 81.Kb2 Nfh5 82.Bd1 Qg7 83.Ka2 Rf8 84.Bc2 Qf6 85.Bd1 Qf7 86.Kb2 Ng7 87.Qd3 N3h5 88.Qe3 Qe7 89.Nd3 R4f7 90.Nf2 Ng3 91.Bc2 Bh5 92.Bd1 Qf6 93.Ng4 Qg6 94.Nf2 Ne8 95.Ka2 Rf4 96.Nd3 Nf6 97.Nf2 Qf7 98.Kb2 Qg7 99.Ka2 Rf7 100.Bc2 Qf8 101.Bd1 Qh6 102.Kb2 Nh7 103.Qd3 Qf8 104.Re3 Bg6 105.Re1 Nf6 106.Ka2 Bh7 107.Kb2 Nfh5 108.Qe3 1/2-1/2
(https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress-im/round-6/2cdKISbf)

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 (111865 games with this move can be found in the ChessBaseDataBase, and it is the choice of SF 15 @depth 68 and and SF 040522 @depth 74, but SF 14.1 @depth 64 preferred 3 Nc3. In 80101 games it has scored 53%. 3 Nf3 has scored 55%) 3…Bb4+ (SF 14.1 @depth 66 plays 3…d5) 4.Bd2 (This has been the most often played move with 11966 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Fritz 16-you know what that means-both SF 14.1 and 15 will play 4 Nbd2) 4…Bxd2+ (SF 15 plays 4…Be7, a move with only 165 games that have shown a score of 60%. Here’s the deal, Fritz 16 also plays the move! Deep Fritz 13 likes 4…a5, in third place with 3096 games in the CBDB. 5538 players have chosen 4…Qe7 with a score 57%; 2247 players have tried 4…c5 resulting in 53%. The move played in the game has scored 58% in 1212 games) 5.Qxd2 d6 (There are only 92 examples of this move contained in the CBDB with a resulting 62%. Fritz 16 @depth 31 will play 5…Nc6. There is only one game with the move. Komodo @depth 30 will play 5…b6. The 93 games in which this move has been played have resulted in 65% for the players of the white pieces. SF 14.1 @depth 55 castles. With 493 games it has been the most often played move, resulting in a 59% score) 6.Nc3 (With this move the CBDB shows us the progression of the computin’ of SF 14.1. At depth 38 it favors 6 e3. There is only one game with this move in the CBDB… then comes 6 g3 @depth 39. It has scored 50% in 15 games. Then @depth 47 the program moves to the move made in the game, which has resulted in a strong 63% for white) 6…Nbd7 (This move has been played in 22 games, scoring 61%. SF 190322 @depth 27 will play 6…Qe7. In 20 games it has scored 65%. Then there is SF 14.1 @depth 40 which will, given the opportunity, play 6…d5, a NEW MOVE!) 7.e4 e5 8.Be2 (There is only one game with this move in the CBDB, and it is the move of Deep Fritz 13 @depth 17 [17? The Fritz limbo; how low can you go?] which ought to give you pause…Komodo 14 @depth 31 and SF 130222 @depth 27 both 0-0-0) The CBDB contains only two games here, one with 8 d5 and the other with 8 Be2. Don’t know about you but I’m sticking with Stockfish!)

FM Gabriela Antova,

Jewgenij Schtembuljak und Polina Schuwalowa sind Junioren-Weltmeister …
schachbund.de

from Bulgaria, got off to a good start in the first round by defeating FM Alice Lee with black. Then she lost three in a row before drawing in the fifth round. In the sixth round she faced IM Pedro Rivera Rodriguez,

https://ratings.fide.com/profile/3500292

from Cuba, who, although an International Master, is rated below Master level at 2199. How is that possible? What has happened to the rating system? 2199 is below Master level, as 2000-2199 is, or was considered Expert level.

Round 6
FM Antova, Gabriela 2282 vs IM Rodriguez Rivera, Pedro 2199
A53 Old Indian defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 Nbd7 4.g3 e5 5.Nc3 c6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Qc2 a6 9.Rd1 Qc7 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Nh4 g6 12.b3 Re8 13.Bb2 a5 14.Nf3 Bf8 15.Na4 Nc5 16.Nxc5 Bxc5 17.e3 Bf5 18.Qe2 a4 19.h3 axb3 20.axb3 Rxa1 21.Bxa1 Be4 22.Qb2 Bxf3 23.Bxf3 Qe7 24.Kg2 Bb4 25.h4 h5 26.Be2 Ba3 27.Qc2 Bb4 28.Qa2 Ne4 29.Qc2 Nc5 30.Rh1 Rd8 31.Rd1 Re8 32.Rh1 Rd8 33.Rd1 1/2-1/2
https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress-im/round-6/2cdKISbf

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 56 will play 3 Nc3) 3…Nbd7 (Three different SF programs all going very deep will play 3…g6) 4. g3 (Two SF programs and one Komodo all play 4 Nc3) 4…e5 (Far and away the most often played move with 354 games, and advocated by Fritz 16 @depth 30, but SF 8 [8? Did SF 8 first appear last century?] @depth 27 will play the second most played move according to the ChessBaseDataBase, 4…c6, with 74 games showing. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 30 plays 3…g6, the third most popular move with only 51 moves contained in the CBDB) 5. Nc3 c6 (SF 7 @depth
    29 will play this, the most often played move with 452 games in the database, but Fritz 16 @depth 35 AND Stockfish 14.1 @depth 44 both prefer 5…exd4. The CBDB contains on three games with pawn takes pawn) 6. Bg2 Be7 (With 432 games contained in the CBDB this has been the most frequently played move, and it is the choice of Houdini, but Fritz 16 @depth 28, and Stockfish 14.1 @depth 43 will play 6…e4, a move having been attempted in only 103 games) 7. O-O (The 495 games in which players have castled are more than double the 213 games in which 7 e4 has appeared. Both Houdini and Fritz castle, but SF 14.1 will play 7 Qc2, a move only seen in 51 games, although it has scored highest at an astounding 72%! Castling has scored 58% while 7 e4 has scored 63%) 7…0-0 (This move has been played in over one thousand games, 1033 to be exact, and has scored 58%, and it is the choice of Houdini, albeit at a low depth of only 24 fathoms. Yet Komodo and SF14.1 @depth 53 both will play 7…e4, a move having only been tried in 14 games) 8. Qc2 (The move of both Houdini and Fritz, but SF 14.1 will play the most often played move, 8 e4) 8…a6 (Komodo and Fritz play the most often played move, 8…Re8; SF 14.1 plays 8…Qc7) 9. Rd1 (SF 14.1 @depth 39 plays 9 h3. There is only one game containing the move found at the CBDB) 9…Qc7 10 dxe5 (This move cannot be located at either 365Chess or the CBDB, therefore FM Antova played a Theoretical Novelty)

Dutch Defense Opening Theory SHOCKER!

[Event “Round 6: Pierre Goosen – Andrew Southey”]
[Site “https://lichess.org/study/QxFUfJlF/MphMaOKh”%5D
[White “Pierre Goosen”]
[Black “Andrew Southey”]
[UTCDate “2022.05.11”]
[Opening “Dutch Defense”]
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.O-O Nf6 6.b3 O-O 7.Bb2 c6 8.c4 Na6 9.Qc2 Qe8 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Rfe1 Qf7 12.a3 Nc7 13.Nh4 e6 14.f4 g5 15.Nhf3 Qh5 16.Kf2 Ng4+ 17.Kg1 Ne3 18.Qd3 Nxg2 19.Kxg2 Ne8 20.e4 fxe4 21.Qxe4 gxf4 22.Nh4 fxg3 23.hxg3 Nf6 24.Qg6 Bd7 25.Qxh5 Nxh5 26.Ne4 c5 27.Rad1 Bc6 28.d5 Bxb2 29.dxc6 bxc6 30.Nxd6 e5 31.Ng6 Rf6 32.Nxe5 Bd4 33.Ne4 Bxe5 34.Nxf6+ Bxf6 35.Rh1 Ng7 36.Rxh6 Bd4 37.Rxc6 Nf5 38.Re1 Ne3+ 39.Kh3 Kg7 40.g4 Rf8 41.g5 Rf3+ 42.Kh2 Nf1+ 43.Kg2 Rf2+ 44.Kh3 1/2-1/2
https://lichess.org/broadcast/south-african-closed-championship-seniors/round-6/QxFUfJlF

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 (Stockfish 14 @depth 52 plays the game move, but in a real SHOCKER one sees SF 15 will play 2 e3!

Position after Stockfish 15 recommended 2 e3

The exclam is for the shock value because the ChessBaseDataBase shows 2 e3 has only been attempted in 23 games. I kid you not… White has scored 63% against 2387 opposition, which is higher than any other move, although the sample size is rather limited. If you play the Dutch defense you simply MUST be prepared for the move 2 e3 because after this is posted every player and his brother will be playing the move, sister. The move played in the game, 2 Nf3, has scored 56% versus 2406 oppo. The most often played move has been 2 g3, with 8973 games which have scored 59% against a hypothetical player rated 2436) 2…g6 (SF 14.1 plays 2…Nf6) 3.g3 (SF 14.1 plays 3…Nc3) 3…Bg7 (SF 14.1 plays 3..Nf6) 4.Bg2 d6 (SF 14 plays the game move, but SF 14.1 will play 4…Nf6) 5.O-O (The latest version of Stockfish shown at the CBDB is the now antiquated SF 11. I kid you not…@depth 43 it plays either 5 Nc3 or 5 c4. Fritz 16 @depth 29 plays 5 c4) 5…Nf6 6.b3 (SF 14.1 @depth 44 plays 6 c4; SF 220422 will, given the chance, play the move made in the game) 6…O-O (In this position castles has been played in 1206 games, yet two different Stockfish programs, 14.1 @depth 45, and 220422 @depth 35 both play 6…a5, a move having been attempted in only 4 (FOUR!) games. In those games against opponents averaging 2513 ELO points it has held White to only 38%. The CBDB shows that six different moves have been played in only 18 (EIGHTEEN!) games) 7.Bb2 c6 (There are 626 examples of this move contained in the CBDB and it shows a 62% score; the second most often played move has been 7..Qe8 with 594 examples and 57%; next comes 7…Ne4 with 329 games and 59%. SF 081121 @depth 50 plays 7…e6; SF 220422 @depth 41 will play 7…a5; with SF 14.1 @depth 56 playing 7…Ne4) 8.c4 (SF 14.1 will play the game move, a departure from SF 14 which preferred the second most often played move of 8 Nbd2. Check this out, SF 061121, given the chance, will play 8 a3, which will, maybe, someday be a TN if and when it is played by a titled player) 8…Na6 (This has been the most often played move and it was the choice of SF 10 [TEN?!] resulting in a 60% result versus 2417 opposition. SF 14.1 plays 8…a5 @depth 46 and it has held White to only 51%) 9.Qc2 (SF 14 @depth 44 will play the second most often played move [154 games] 9 Nbd2) 9…Qe8 (SF 14.1 and Komodo both play 9…Qc7) 10.Nbd2 (The CBDB shows Deep Fritz @depth 21 will play the game move, but Houdini 6.02 @depth 25 will play 10 a3. There is only one game with the move contained in the CBDB) 10…h6 11.Rfe1 (11 Rae1 has been the most often played move with 20 games in the CBDB which have scored an astounding 78% versus 2474 oppo; the second most popular move, 11 a3 has been seen in 15 games, scoring 57%, and it is the choice of Fritz 15 @depth 16, which is pretty darn shallow, is it not? SF 14 @depth 33 would play 11 Nh4, and it woulda been a TN if’n it had ever been played…SF 14.1 @depth 24 will play 11 Bc3. In the 5 games at the CBDB is has only scored 40%, albeit against 2489 oppo) 11…Qf7 (SF 8 @depth 18 and Komodo 13.2 @depth 26 both play the move played in the game, but SF 14.1 @depth 17 will play 11…g5) 12.a3 (SF 8 @depth 17 will play 12 Bc3, as will the SF program at LiChess [https://lichess.org/broadcast/south-african-closed-championship-seniors/round-6/QxFUfJlF]. SF 160215 @depth 17 will play a new move, 12 Rec1. Deep Fritz, playing the CBDB “How low can you go?” limbo, @depth 15 will play 12 Bc3. Blind squirrel? Acorn?)

Nikola Stajcic, (2302) vs Martin Riedner (2169)
Event: Vienna op 14th
Site: Vienna Date: 08/19/2003
Round: 4
ECO: A81 Dutch defence
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.b3 Bg7 5.Bb2 O-O 6.Nd2 c6 7.Ngf3 d6 8.O-O Na6 9.c4 Qe8 10.Qc2 h6 11.Rfe1 Qf7 12.a3 Bd7 13.Nh4 Nh5 14.e4 f4 15.e5 g5 16.Nhf3 Bf5 17.Qc1 g4 18.Nh4 f3 19.Bf1 dxe5 20.Nxf5 Qxf5 21.dxe5 Nc5 22.Qb1 Rad8 23.Qxf5 Rxf5 24.Bc3 Nd3 25.Bxd3 Rxd3 26.Rac1 Bxe5 27.Bxe5 Rxd2 28.Re4 Kf7 29.Bc3 Rd3 30.Rxg4 Nf6 31.Rd4 Rxd4 32.Bxd4 c5 33.Be3 h5 34.h3 Nd7 35.Rd1 Ke6 36.g4 hxg4 37.hxg4 Rf8 38.g5 b6 39.Kh2 Ne5 40.Kg3 Kf5 41.Rd5 e6 42.Rd1 Nf7 43.Kxf3 Nxg5+ 44.Ke2 Rf7 45.f3 Rh7 46.Bxg5 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=98078&m=24

Vilmos Balint (2252) vs Andres Gallego Alcaraz (2523)
Event: FSGM April 2022
Site: Budapest HUN Date: 04/02/2022
Round: 1.1
ECO: A80 Dutch
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.b3 d6 6.Bb2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.c4 Qe8 9.Qc2 Na6 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Rfe1 Qf7 12.Nh4 Nh5 13.e3 e5 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.e4 f4 16.Ndf3 Re8 17.Rad1 g5 18.Nf5 Bxf5 19.exf5 e4 20.Rxe4 Rxe4 21.Bxg7 Nxg7 22.Qxe4 Re8 23.Qd4 Nxf5 24.Qxa7 g4 25.Nh4 Nxh4 26.gxh4 f3 27.Bf1 c5 28.Qb6 Kg7 29.h5 Re7 30.Qd6 Nb4 31.Qxc5 Nc6 32.b4 Ne5 33.Re1 Qf6 34.Qd4 Qg5 35.Qc5 Qf6 36.b5 Kf7 37.Qd5+ Qe6 38.Rxe5 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4340832&m=24

Nenad R Jovanovic (2318) vs Aurelian Ciobanu (2290)
Event: Bucharest-B
Site: Bucharest Date: ??/??/2000
Round: 2
ECO: A04 Reti opening
1.Nf3 d6 2.d4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 f5 5.c4 Nf6 6.b3 O-O 7.Bb2 c6 8.O-O Qe8 9.Qc2 Na6 10.a3 h6 11.Nbd2 d5 12.Ne5 g5 13.e3 Be6 14.f3 Nd7 15.f4 Nf6 16.fxg5 hxg5 17.Rxf5 Bxf5 18.Qxf5 Bh6 19.cxd5 cxd5 20.Bxd5+ Nxd5 21.Qe6+ Kg7 22.Qxd5 b6 23.Qe4 Rd8 24.Rc1 Kg8 25.Qg4 e6 26.Ne4 Rf5 27.Nc6 Rdd5 28.Nd2 Rd6 29.Ne5 Rxe5 30.Nc4 Rxe3 31.Nxd6 Qd7 32.Qh5 Kh7 33.Rf1 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=580126&m=22

Raine Heuer vs Tom E Wiley (2273)
Event: Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann 6th
Site: Bad Wiessee Date: 10/26/2002
Round: 1
ECO: A80 Dutch
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.b3 Bg7 5.Bb2 O-O 6.Bg2 d6 7.O-O Qe8 8.c4 c6 9.Qc2 Na6 10.a3 h6 11.h4 Qf7 12.e3 Be6 13.Nbd2 Rab8 14.b4 b5 15.Rac1 Rfc8 16.Qd3 Nc7 17.c5 Bd5 18.Nh2 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 d5 20.Rce1 Ne6 21.f3 Nh5 22.g4 Nhf4+ 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=281440&m=22

GM Alonso Zapata vs FM Todd Andrews in French Defense Battle at the May 2022 GM/IM Norm Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina

Years ago FM Todd Andrews

Photo Gallery from the 2005 World Open (USA)
thechessdrum.net

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:

https://ncc.clubexpress.com/

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,

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

“…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)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx


Round 1 | 2022.05.04 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. c4 c6 6. O-O d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Ne5 Ne4 9. Nc3 1/2-1/2

TIANQI WANG (2331)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

vs IM NIKOLAY ANDRIANOV (2317)
Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. b3 g6 4. Bb2 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Qc2 Nc6 7. a3 d6 8. Be2 e5 9. d3 a6 10. Nc3 Rb8 11. O-O b5 12. Ne4 bxc4 13. bxc4 Nxe4 14. dxe4 f5 15. Bc3 f4 16. Rab1 fxe3 17. fxe3 Bh6 18. Qd3 Be6 19. Rxb8 Qxb8 20. Nd2 1/2-1/2

IM NIKOLAY ANDRIANOV (2317) vs IM ROBERTO MARTIN DEL CAMPO (2263)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx


Round 3 | 2022.05.05 | 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. dxe5 dxe5 1/2-1/2

IM NIKOLAY ANDRIANOV (2317) – ALEXANDER KING (2283)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx


Round 4 | 2022.05.06 | 1/2-1/2

  1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Bf5 3. Bb2 e6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 h6 6. O-O Be7 7. c4 c6 1/2-1/2

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)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx

vs FM TODD ANDREWS (2209)

https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/Default.aspx


Round 2 | 2022.05.05 | 0-1 ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 c5 6. Ndf3 Nc6 7. Bd3 cxd4 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 10. Ne2 Qc7 11. O-O Bd6 12. Nc3 a6 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rc1 h6 15. Bh4 Bf4 16. Rc2 Qf7 17. Ne2 Bb8 18. Bg3 Bd7 19. Rc3 Ne4 20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Nd2 e5 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. Bxe5 Nxe5 24. Nxe4 Bc6 25. Qb1 Rad8 26. N2g3 Qf4 27. f3 Qh4 28. Qc2 Kh8 29. Rc5 Nd3 30. Rh5 Qf4 31. h3 Qe3+ 32. Kh2 Bxe4 33. Nxe4 Rc8 34. Qb3 Qe2 35. Ng3 Qc2 36. Kg1 Nf4 37. Qxc2 Rxc2 38. Rf5 Rxg2+ 39. Kh1 Rxf5 40. Nxf5 Rxb2 41. Rd1 0-1
    https://chess.stream/Invitational/may-2022-gm-im-norm-invitational/TournamentGames.aspx#
  1. 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)

Kurt Petschar (2310) vs Peter Roth (2325)
Event: AUT-ch
Site: Wolfsberg Date: ??/??/1985
Round: 8
ECO: C06 French, Tarrasch, closed variation, main line
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.O-O Qc7 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Nc3 a6 14.Rc1 h6 15.Bh4 Bf4 16.Bg3 Nh5 17.Rc2 g5 18.Bg6 Nxg3 19.hxg3 Bd6 20.Bh5 Qg7 21.Rd2 Bd7 22.Re1 b5 23.Rde2 b4 24.Na4 g4 25.Bxg4 Qxg4 26.Nb6 Rad8 27.Nxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxe6 Qg7 29.Qc1 Nxd4 30.Rxh6 Nxf3+ 31.gxf3 Bf4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2131963&m=31

ALTO (AT LEAST 21) Chess With Ben & Karen Finegold

GM Magesh Panchanathan and GM Elshan Moradiabadi scored 4/5 points to tie for the first place in the main championship. Moradiabadi had better tiebreaks but the two players shared the trophy and the prize. https://www.chessdom.com/gm-elshan-moradiabadi-triumphs-alto-tournament-in-charlotte/

Class A Patrick McCartney vs GM Ben Finegold
ALTO (At Least Twenty One)
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Nh6 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nc6 13.c3 Qd8 14.Qe2 Be7 15.Bd2 Qc7 16.O-O g6 17.a3 b3 18.Rae1 h5 19.g5 O-O-O 1/2-1/2

This game was played in the first round. I was unaware of the video that follows until searching for something to go with the post. I have yet to watch it…There is a nice report which can be found at Chessdom, from which the picture was taken. (https://www.chessdom.com/gm-elshan-moradiabadi-triumphs-alto-tournament-in-charlotte/)

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 (Stockfish 8 @depth 47 plays this move, but SF 14.1 @depth 60 prefers 2…d6) 3.g3 (SF 14 and Deep Fritz both play 3 Nf3, which has been the most often played move. SF 14.1 plays the move played in the game) 3…b5 (This is the move of Komodo 14 & SF 15. There are over one thousand examples of it contained in the bowels of the ChessBaseDataBase. Fritz 16 plays 3…d6. There are 24 games with the move that can be found in the CBDB) 4.Bg2 Bb7 (SF 13 @depth 52 and SF 14.1 @depth 42 both play the game move, but Deep Ftitz 14 @depth 29 will play a NEW MOVE, 4…e5) 5.d3 (Three different SF programs, 14.1; 15; and 151121 all play 5 Nge2. In 300 games with 5 Nge2 White has scored 53%. In the 620 games in which 5 d3 has been played it has scored only 45%) 5…e6 6.f4 (Two different SF programs, 12 & 151121 both play 6 Nf3, as does Deep Fritz 14. Makes you wonder, does it not?) 6…b4 (Three different SF programs, 13, 14.1; and 190322 all play 6…Nc6. The CBDB contains only 14 games in which 6…Nc6 has been tried. 6…Nf6, with 83 games tops the list, followed by 6…b4 with 40 games, and 6…d6 with 28) 7.Nce2 (Although this move has been most frequently played, SF 13; 14.1; and Fritz 16 all play 7 Na4, which has only scored 10% in 5 games. In 27 games 7 Nce2 has scored 39%) 7…d5 8.e5 (Although Komodo and Deep Freeze, err, excuse me, Deep Fritz both play 8 exd5, SF 14.1 plays the move played in the game) 8…Nh6 (SF 190322 and SF 14.1 both play 8…Ne7. SF 220422 plays 8…g6) 9.Nf3 Nf5 (The three programs shown, SF 13; Komodo 13; and Houdini, all play 9…Be7. See Lyell vs Yao below) 10.g4 (The CBDB shows SF 14.1; SF 13; and Houdini, each play the move made by Mr. McCartney, which turns out to be a THEORETICAL NOVELTY! I kid you not…The CBDB contains 3 games in which 10 d4 was attempted, each game a loss for White, and one game with 10 c3, which was won by White)

Mark Lyell (2193) vs Lan Yao (2253)
Event: BSSZ Aranytiz IM 2017
Site: Budapest HUN Date: 08/21/2017
Round: 3.3
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Nh6 9.Nf3 Be7 10.O-O Nc6 11.Kh1 Nf5 12.g4 Nh4 13.Nxh4 Bxh4 14.Be3 Be7 15.Ng3 Qc7 16.Qe2 Na5 17.Bg1 Bh4 18.Nh5 g6 19.Nf6+ Bxf6 20.exf6 d4 21.a3 b3 22.Rae1 Kd7 23.cxb3 Nxb3 24.f5 Rhe8 25.Qc2 Bxg2+ 26.Qxg2 gxf5 27.gxf5 Qc6 28.fxe6+ Rxe6 29.Qxc6+ Kxc6 30.Rxe6+ fxe6 31.h3 Rf8 32.Kg2 Kd5 33.Kg3 e5 34.Kg4 Ke6 35.f7 Rxf7 36.Rxf7 Kxf7 37.Kf5 c4 38.dxc4 d3 39.Be3 d2 40.Bxd2 Nxd2 41.c5 e4 42.Kf4 Ke6 43.Ke3 Nc4+ 44.Kxe4 Nxb2 45.Kd4 Nd1 46.h4 Nf2 47.Ke3 Ng4+ 48.Kf4 Ne5 49.Kg5 Nf3+ 50.Kg4 Nxh4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4066178&m=19

Janina Remy (1927) vs Amy Officer(1815)
Event: EU-ch U16 Girls 17th
Site: Sibenik Date: 09/20/2007
Round: 7
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.d3 e6 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nc6 13.Be3 h5 14.gxh5 Rc8 15.Qd2 Rxh5 16.O-O-O Rh8 17.Bf2 Qd8 18.Qe2 Qc7 19.Rde1 a5 20.f5 Nd4 21.Qg4 a4 22.fxe6 Nxe6 23.Nf5 Qa5 24.Nd6+ Bxd6 25.exd6 Kf8 26.Bh4 b3 27.a3 bxc2 28.Rxe6 c4 29.d7 Rxh4 30.Qxh4 fxe6 31.Rf1+ Kg8 32.dxc8=Q+ Bxc8 33.dxc4 Ba6 34.Bh3 Qb6 35.Qe7 Qe3+ 36.Kxc2 Qxh3 37.Qf7+ Kh7 38.Rf3 Qxh2+ 39.Rf2 Qh3 40.cxd5 Qd3+ 41.Kc1 Qe3+ 42.Kd1 Qb3+ 43.Kc1 Qe3+ 44.Kd1 Qb3+ ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3592259&m=25

Andre Lupor (2284) vs Konstantin Kunz (2179)
Event: Bad Woerishofen op
Site: Bad Woerishofen Date: 03/24/2006
Round: 8
ECO: B23 Sicilian, closed
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.g3 a6 4.Bg2 b5 5.d3 Bb7 6.f4 b4 7.Nce2 d5 8.e5 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nf5 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 12.Ng3 Nd7 13.Qe2 Be7 14.O-O h5 15.g5 Qg4 16.Bf3 Qh3 17.Bd2 h4 18.Nh5 f5 19.exf6 Nxf6 20.Nxf6+ Bxf6 21.Bg4 Bd4+ 22.Kh1 Qg3 23.Qxe6+ 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3325004&m=25

In The Last Round Some Gotta Win, Some Gotta Lose

Alex Malekan vs Mel Goss (2180)
27th Space Coast Open (round 5)
B40 Sicilian defence

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nbd2 dxe4 7. dxe4 e5 8. O-O Qc7 9. c3 Be7 10. Re1 h6 11. Nc4 Be6 12. Qe2 O-O 13. Nh4 Rfd8 14. Ne3 Rd7 15. Nef5 Bf8 16. Qf3 Nh7 17. Bf1 Rad8 18. Be3 a6 19. g4 b5 20. Qg2 Ng5 21. Bxg5 hxg5 22. Nf3 f6 23. h4 gxh4 24. g5 Ne7 25. Qg4 Nxf5 26. exf5 Bd5 27. g6 c4 28. Qh5 Bc5 29. Qh7+ Kf8 30. Qh8+ Bg8 31. Re4 Rd1 32. Rxd1 Rxd1 33. Kg2 Qd7 34. Nxh4 Qd5 35. f3 Qd2+ 36. Be2 Re1 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!27th-space-coast-open-2022/-1809779182
  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 (Interesting is that Stockfish 14.1 @depth 65 will play the game move, but Stockfish 14.1677, a new one to me, will play 2 Nc3, which was the move I played when facing a Sicilian) 2…e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 Nf6 (Both SF 14.1 and Komodo play 4…d5) 5. Bg2 (SF 14 plays 5 Qe2! And so does the AW. In 16 games the move has scored 66% against 2430 ELO averaged players. Just sayin’…) 5…d5 6. Nbd2 (SF 14.1 plays 6 Qe2. SF 141221 @depth 60 castles, but @depth 61 changes its something or other to 6 Qe2) 6…dxe4 (SF 14.1 @depth 57 will play 6…Be7 as have 1493 other players according to the CBDB) 7. dxe4 e5 (Deep Fritz likes this move, but SF 14.1 will play 7…Be7) 8. O-O (Deep Fritz castles, but Fritz 17 and SF 14 will play 8 c3, a move not contained in the CBDB. Ten games can be found at 365Chess ) 8…Qc7 9. c3 Be7 10. Re1 (This move has been most often played but the Stockfish 14+NNUE program at LiChess shows 10 Nc4 best) 10…h6

Siegfried Klausner (2120) vs Dieter Blaickner
Event: AUT-chT3 9899
Site: Austria Date: 11/06/1998
Round: 4
ECO: A07 Reti, King’s Indian attack (Barcza system)
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.O-O Be7 5.d3 c5 6.Nbd2 Nc6 7.e4 dxe4 8.dxe4 Qc7 9.Re1 e5 10.c3 h6 11.Nc4 Be6 12.Nfd2 Rd8 13.Qc2 O-O 14.a4 Rfe8 15.b3 b6 16.Ne3 Bf8 17.Bb2 a6 18.c4 Nd4 19.Qc3 b5 20.axb5 axb5 21.Nd5 Bxd5 22.exd5 b4 23.Qd3 Bd6 24.Ra6 Ra8 25.Rea1 Rxa6 26.Rxa6 Qd7 27.Qb1 Qe7 28.Qa1 Nc2 29.Qa4 Ne1 30.Ne4 Nxe4 31.Bxe4 Rf8 32.Qc6 f5 33.Bb1 Bb8 34.d6 Qg5 35.Qd5+ Kh8 36.Kf1 Qg4 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=906476&m=22

FM Zdenek Ramik 2288 (CZE) vs IM Ladislav Langner 2398 (CZE)
Tatry Open 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 d5 4.Nbd2 Nf6 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.O-O h6 8.Re1 Qc7 9.c3 dxe4 (9…0-0 SF 14.1 & SF 15) 10.dxe4 e5 11.Nc4 Be6 12.Qe2 O-O-O 13.Nfd2 h5 14.Nf3 Nd7 15.Ng5 Bxg5 16.Bxg5 f6 17.Be3 h4 18.Red1 hxg3 19.hxg3 Nb6 20.Rxd8+ Nxd8 21.Nxb6+ axb6 22.b4 g5 23.bxc5 Qh7 24.g4 b5 25.Qxb5 Bxg4 26.c6 Nxc6 27.Rb1 Qh2+ 28.Kf1 Rh7 29.Qb3 Bh3 30.Qg8+ Nd8 31.Bxh3+ Qxh3+ 32.Ke2 Qg4+ 33.f3 Rh2+ 34.Bf2 Qe6 35.Qxe6+ Nxe6 36.Rb6 Nf4+ 37.Kf1 Rh3 38.Rxf6 Rxf3 39.Rf8+ Kd7 40.Rg8 Rxc3 41.Rxg5 Rc1+ 42.Be1 Nd3 43.Ke2 Nxe1 44.Rxe5 Ng2 45.Rd5+ Kc6 46.Rd2 Nf4+ 47.Ke3 Ne6 48.Rh2 Rc3+ 49.Kd2 Ra3 50.Kc1 Re3 51.Kb2 Rxe4 52.Rh5 Re3 53.Rh6 Kb5 54.Rh5+ Nc5 55.Rg5 Kb4 56.Rg4+ Re4 57.Rg2 Nd3+ 0-1 (From the chessBaseDataBase)

Dedicated to Jim ‘Fingers’ Kraft (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/10/25/just-like-bob-dylans-bill-kirchens-and-dr-zwigs-blues/)

TCEC Championship Leningrad Dutch Battles

The Chess program known as Stockfish is in the process of drubbing the Chess program known as Komodo in the latest battle for supremacy of the “engines.” What is the point? To make things worse, some obviously inept human has chosen the openings for the “players.” I can understand assigning a particular opening, such as the Sicilian, and making the opening moves of 1 e4 c5 for the programs and let them go from there. I could even understand forcing the programs to play the Najdorf, far and away the most often played Sicilian, by beginning the game with White choosing the sixth move after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6. I cannot understand a game beginning after ten inferior moves, as is the case in the following examples. The TCEC show seems to be a complete exercise in futility. The only interesting thing about TCEC is what move the top programs will play in the opening when out of ‘book’. That said, you know this writer found interest in the two Leningrad Dutch games which follow. I must add that the move 7…Nc6 is no longer the “main variation” of the Leningrad Dutch. Stockfish prefers 7…c6, and so should you.

KomodoDragon vs Stockfish
TCEC match game 51.1
A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 11. Be3 Ng4 12. Bd2 e4 13. Rad1 a5 14. Kh1 Kh7 15. Qc2 Qd6 16. f3 e3 17. Be1 Nf2+ 18. Bxf2 exf2 19. f4 e5 20. dxe6 Qc5 21. Na4 Qb4 22. a3 Qe7 23. Rxf2 Bxe6 24. Bxb7 Rad8 25. Rff1 Bd7 26. Bf3 Bxa4 27. Qxa4 Bxb2 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Qxa5 Bxa3 30. Rb1 Bc5 31. Kg2 Bb6 32. Qb5 h5 33. h4 Kh6 34. Qa4 Qe8 35. Qc2 Qe3 36. Qb2 Bd4 37. Qb7 Qe7 38. Qc6 Rd6 39. Qa8 Rd8 40. Qa5 Bb6 41. Qb5 Qd6 42. Qa6 Bd4 43. Qa5 Bb6 44. Qa1 Bd4 45. Qa2 Be3 46. Kh3 Bf2 47. Qa4 Qd7 48. Qb3 Qd6 49. Kg2 Bd4 50. Qa4 Be3 51. Bd5 Qc5 52. Qa6 Bd4 53. Kh3 Qe7 54. Bf3 Qd6 55. Qa4 Bf2 56. Qa5 Qc5 57. Qxc5 Bxc5 58. Rb5 Ba3 59. Re5 Rd7 60. Re6 Re7 61. Rc6 Bb2 62. Kg2 Bd4 63. Kf1 Bb2 64. Bd5 Kg7 65. c5 Bd4 66. Be6 Kh7 67. Bc4 Kg7 68. Kg2 Kh7 69. Kf1 Kg7 70. Bd3 Be3 71. Bc2 Bd4 72. Bd1 1/2-1/2

1.d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 (The was the last ‘book’ move. I kid you not. Some inept human forced the programs to begin playing in this position. It makes me wonder what’s going on…I was curious, so regular readers know what comes next…Let us begin anew…)

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 (Although Stockfish 14 @depth 52 prefers the move played in the game, SF 14.1 will fire 2 Bg5 at you! Is that amazin’, or what? If you play the Dutch you had better come to the board armed with the latest ideas after 2 Bg5 or you will go down HARD, like rot-gut whiskey. According to the ChessBaseDataBase the most often played move has been 2 g3, with the CBDB containing 8954 games with the move. Deep Fritz 13 prefers this move, which has scored 59%. The game move shows 5006 games with white scoring 56%. 3 c4 comes in third with 4240 examples scoring 56%. In fourth place is the move 2 Nc3. In 2923 games it has scored 57%. 2 Bg5 comes next with 1895 games that have scored 58% for white. The move 2 e4 is next and it has scored only 48% for white in 707 games) 2…Nf6 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 48 will play this move, as will Fritz 17 @depth 28, but leave it running a little longer and at depth 29 the program plays 2…e6, which is proof positive there is something amiss in the bowels of Fritz 17) 3. g3 g6 (Although Sockfish 14 plays 3…e6, SF 14.1 corrected the obvious problem by switching to 3…d6, which has scored the highest, 58%, albeit in limited action of only 555 games. The game move has been the most often played move while scoring 55% in 2409 games) 4. Bg2 (According to the CBDB this move has been played far more than all other moves shown combined and it is not even close, as the game move has been played 5094 times while scoring 56%. With 863 games the move 4 c4 is next, and it, too, has scored 56%. It is indeed interesting that Stockfish 14.1 @depth 47 will play 4 Bg2, but @depth 51 shows 4 b3, a move having been seen in only 108 games while scoring 59%. But then at depth 60 it reverts to 4 Bg2. It makes me wonder, why?) 4…Bg7 (This move has been played in 5496 games and has scored 57%, but in 1079 games 4…d6 has scored 59% for white. Here’s the deal…@depth 44 Stockfish will play 4…Bg7, but leave it running only a short time and @depth 45 it changes it’s algorithm to 4…d6…) 5. c4 d6 (5…0-0 has been the most often played move, and it is the choice of Stockfish 10 [TEN? What happened to the latest programs? The CBDB is in dire need of a tune-up!]. Fritz 17 will play the second most often played move of 5…d6. Deep Fritz 13 will play 5…c5. The CBDB contains only ONE GAME with the move 5…c5) 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 (As has been written on this blog previously, 7…c6 is the best move in the position. 7…Qe8 was the choice of the leading exponent of the Leningrad Dutch, GM Vladimir Malaniuk.
https://de.chessbase.com/post/vladimir-malaniuk-und-tatiana-zatulovskaya-gestorben
https://www.twirpx.com/file/2926788/

ForwardChess.com sent two new books

chess4less.com

which were downloaded onto the laptop, and were the first two books read via computer. Unfortunately, the author, Mihail Marin,

gainesvillechesstraining.com

focused exclusively on the above mentioned, second-rate move, 7…Qe8 for the Leningrad Dutch. Not wanting to write a negative review, I eschewed writing about the book. Marin dedicated the book “To my late mother, who used to tell me: “Play beautifully, Bobita!” The author writes, “…I became so deeply involved in the world of the Leningrad that in five consecutive tournaments I played 1…f5 in all my games, except those starting with 1 e4. I actually adopted a similar strategy with White, starting all my games in those tournaments with 1 f4.” Regular readers know what that meant to the AW! Before reading the books I ‘just had’ to replay each and every one of those games, while making notes for the review that never was…You, too, can reply the games, which are easy to locate at 365Chess.com. Let me say that the book was enjoyed immensely, but I have trouble recommending any book using an antiquated line as the basis for the book. On the other hand, his other Dutch book, Dutch Sidelines, is an EXCELLENT book that I highly recommend, and it should be read prior to any player attempting to play the Leningrad Dutch, or any opening beginning with 1…f5, because the players sitting behind the White pieces will throw everything including the kitchen sink at you before you ever get to play a Leningrad Dutch proper, so you better be prepared for all the sidelines, and this is a FANTASTIC book for just that purpose! See (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/09/08/a-chess-game-begins-with-the-opening/) You can thank me later…) 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 (In 128 games this move has allowed White to score 64%. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 46, and Komodo 14 @depth 37, will play 10…e6, a move shown in only 24 games at the CBDB. White has scored 69% against the move, so if you intend on playing the Leningrad Dutch you need to produce better moves before reaching this position.

White to move after 10…h6

Stockfish vs KomodoDragon
TCEC match game 52.1
A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 11. Bd2 e6 12. e4 f4 13. Rac1 Kh7 14. Rfd1 exd5 15. cxd5 Ng4 16. f3 Ne3 17. Bxe3 fxe3 18. Ne2 h5 19. Qxe3 Bh6 20. f4 Bg4 21. Bf3 Bd7 22. Rc3 a5 23. d6 c6 24. Rb3 Rb8 25. Rbd3 h4 26. b3 Qf6 27. Rf1 hxg3 28. hxg3 g5 29. fxe5 Qxe5 30. g4 Kg6 31. Kg2 Bg7 32. Ng3 Rf4 33. Nh5 Rf7 34. a4 Rbf8 35. Ng3 Rh8 36. Nh5 Rhf8 37. Ng3 Rh8 38. Rf2 Rh4 39. Rc2 1/2 – 1/2

I wondered about the move 11 Be3 in the first game and was therefore not surprised when Stockfish varied. 11 Bd2 (varies from 11 Be3 in the first game of the mini-match. Komodo 14 @depth36 will play 11 Rd1. The CBDB contains 48 games with the move and it has scored 66% versus 2445 opposition. Going one fathom deeper to depth 37 Komodo 14 plays 11 Bd2. There are only 4 games in which this move has been attempted while scoring 50% against a composite player rated 2433. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 41 prefers the move 11 a4. Only two games are shown at the CBDB, and both ended in wins for players of the White. At depth 39 Stockfish 11 [SF 11?! How many years has it been since SF 11 was state of the art?] will play 11…e4. Going one fathom deeper the same antiquated ‘engine’ plays 11…e6…

Pavel Eljanov (2680) vs Gary William Lane (2358)
Event: Gibraltar Masters 2019
Site: Caleta ENG Date: 01/22/2019
Round: 1.20
ECO: A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.Qb3 h6 11.a4 g5 12.a5 a6 13.Be3 Qe8 14.Bc5 Qf7 15.Qa3 Re8 16.e3 g4 17.Rad1 Rb8 18.Rfe1 Nd7 19.Bb4 e4 20.Ne2 Ne5 21.Qb3 Nf3+ 22.Bxf3 gxf3 23.Nf4 e5 24.dxe6 Bxe6 25.Bc3 Bxc4 26.Qa3 Bf8 27.b4 Rbd8 28.Ba1 Bd6 29.Qc3 Kh7 30.Rd4 Bb5 31.Red1 Be5 32.Rxd8 Bxc3 33.Bxc3 Bd3 34.Rd4 Re7 35.Nxd3 Qb3 36.Nf4 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4171953&m=22

Class A Tyrell Harriott Defeats Grandmaster Ben Finegold At Foxwoods

Many people have asked why I do not annotate games. The answer is usually that there are many websites where games are annotated by Chess programs that are vastly superior to Grandmasters, so how can I compete? Granted, over half a century in Chess gives me a modicum of credence, but still… I usually dig out the dirt on the opening and leave the heavy lifting to the programs, but someone special asked me to share my thoughts, and it turned out to be the impetus needed to annotate a game for the blog. In addition, this was a relatively easy game to annotate because it features some of the same kind of mistakes I have made, and it is not every day a class player defeats a GM. And no, I do not know Tyrell Harriott. The Drueke travel set was brought out and a pen and paper were used, just like in the old “BC” daze. BTW, that’s “Before Computer.” It was a labor of love, as I enjoyed the game immensely, and hope you do, too.

Tyrell Harriott (1920) vs GM Benjamin Finegold (2446)

Grandmaster Ben Finegold can’t be tricked, he tricks you …


2022 Foxwoods Open
A45 Queen’s pawn game

  1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 g6 3. f4 Bg7 4. Nf3 O-O 5. Bd3 d6 6. O-O c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. Bc2 Bf5 9. Nbd2 Bxc2 10. Qxc2 Rc8 11. f5 b5 12. fxg6 hxg6 13. Ne4 b4 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. Qf2 bxc3 16. bxc3 Qa5 17. Bd2 Qa6 18. Kh1 Rb8 19. e4 cxd4 20. cxd4 Rb2 21. Qe3 Rxa2 22. Rae1 Qa3 23. Bc3 Rc2 24. Rc1 Rxc1 25. Rxc1 Rc8 26. Ra1 Qb3 27. Nd2 Qc2 28. Rf1 Nd8 29. Ba1 a5 30. e5 dxe5 31. dxe5 Bg7 32. Ne4 Qc4 33. Qf3 Qe6 34. Qg3 Rc4 35. Qd3 Qc8 36. Bb2 Ne6 37. h3 Qc6 38. Re1 Rc2 39. Bc3 Rxg2 40. Qf3 Ng5 41. Nf6+ Qxf6 42. Qa8+ 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!14th-annual-open-2022/-416885650
  1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 (The two most often played moves are 2 c4, with 351454 examples in the ChessBaseDataBase, and 2 Nf3, with 121652 games. There are only 310 examples of the move played in the game, and it has not scored well, with White scoring only 36%. This is an excellent example of a vastly superior, rating wise, getting out of the book ASAP) 2…g6 (This move has been the most often played move at the ‘Big Database’ at 365Chess, with 1461 games, twice as many as the next most often played moves of 2…e6 and 2…d5. It is a different story over at the CBDB. Titled players have preferred 2…c5 in 340 games, scoring 47%, and 2…d5, scoring 48% in 271 games. The game move is third, and in 144 games it has held White to only 31%. Komodo 12 @depth 33 will play 2…d5; Stockfish 14.110 will play 2..b6. The CBDB contains only 18 examples of 2…b6, and it has only scored 25%) 3. f4 (At depth 35 Stockfish 14 will play 3 c4. In 14 games it has only scored 14%. At depth 44 it changes to 3 Nf3. Stockfish 290721 @depth 41 also plays 3 Nf3, by far the most often played move with 755 examples in the CBDB, though it has only scored 45%. The second most popular move has bee 3 Bd3, though it has only been seen in 39 games) 3…Bg7 (This has been the most often played move at both databases, but is it the best move? Stockfish 14 @depth 32 will play 3…c5, but SF 14.1 @depth 40, and SF 130122 @depth 47 both prefer 3…d5. There are 5 examples of 3…d5 and it has scored only 10%) 4. Nf3 (Fritz 15 @depth 41 will play the most often played move, 4 Nf3, but Houdini and SF 130122 @depth 49 both play 4 c4, a move not found at the CBDB) 4…0-0 (SF 14.1 @depth 34 plays 4…c5. SF 130112 @depth 47 plays the most often played move 4…d5) 5. Bd3 (The CBDB contains 23 games in which this move has been played and it has scored only 33%. SF 130112 @depth 46 plays 5 c4. There are only 6 games with the move at the CBDB. It seemed obvious that Big Ben played his Bishop to d3 in order to support the pawn moving to e4 on the next move) 5…d6 (The CBDB shows 63 games with 5…d5 and it has scored 46%. 5…d6 has been seen in 26 games, scoring 35%. The choice of Stockfish, 5…c5, has been utilized 15 times, scoring only 27%) 6. O-O (Well, you know, Big Ben is a GM and I am not, but still, I would have moved the d pawn one square. The second most often played move, scoring 35% in 24 games. The most often played move has been 6 Be2. I kid you not…In 40 games it has scored all of 31%. Stockfish 11 and Houdini at lower depths both play 6 e4, a move not contained in the CBDB) 6…c5 7. c3 (I must stop here because the CBDB contains the computing of only two old Fritz programs and one of Houdini, all at lower depths. I can tell you that after 8 Bc2 the move 8…Bf5 is not found at 365Chess, [https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=16&n=108623&ms=d4.Nf6.e3.g6.f4.Bg7.Nf3.O-O.Bd3.d6.O-O.c5.c3.Nc6.Bc2&ns=7.14.216.544.2267.4196.2666.4197.8168.1346.1268.1347.1504.104501.108623] or at the CBDB. In addition, I am qualified to inform you that the move played by the Grandmaster, 8 Bc2, is weak, because it violates the rule of moving the same piece twice in the opening before completing development. This is one of the rules most often broken by players new to the game. I realize Ben is a GM, and GM, as a rule, make their own rules. Yet the title of a player matters not if he plays a bad move because no matter what title precedes a players name, a bad move is still a bad move, and 8 Bc2 stinks…) 8…Bf5 (8…cxd4 looks natural) 9. Nbd2 (I would take the prelate with 9 Bxf5) 9…Bxc2 10. Qxc2 Rc8 11. f5 (This has gotta be premature, but I will give Mr. Harriott credit for coming after the GM!) 9…b5 (Well, you know, the thing is that if I were going over the game with a student I would have to ask, “What piece has yet to be developed? 9…Qb6 looks natural, does it not?”) 12. fxg6 hxg6 13. Ne4 b4 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. Qf2 (15 d5 looks interesting) 15…bxc3 16. bxc3 Qa5 17. Bd2 Qa6 18. Kh1 (I would be forced to excoriate a poor student unmercifully for this “nothing” move. This is the kind of move made when one has no idea what to do. Granted, the GM has an advantage. Still, 18 Qg3 is possible, as is 18 h4, but I am uncertain about playing the latter move, which although thematic, still weakens the Kingside pawn structure, but still may be best because White has a preponderance of material on the Kingside, so should give strong consideration to playing on that side of the board. How bad is the King move? I would venture it was so weak that Black now has a won game) 18…Rb8 (The legendary man from the High Planes, the only man to have been both Georgia Chess Champion and Georgia Senior Chess Champion, David Vest, was very fond of saying, “Chess is a battle for squares.” The GM’s last move garnered many squares) 19. e4 cxd4 (I would have to give this move a question mark. 19…Rb2 is STRONG!) 20. cxd4 Rb2 21. Qe3 Rxa2 22. Rae1 (Take a look at this position:
Black to move after 22 Rae1

Although Black has won a pawn, his pieces languish on the Queenside while the White army is mustered on the Kingside, where the Black King resides. Black must be extremely careful in this position or else he will be overrun on the Kingside) 22…Qa3 (After reading the above you must certainly understand the motivation behind this move) 23. Bc3 (The IM of GM strength, Boris Kogan, about whom this writer has written so much, was fond of saying, “Chess is a simple game. You attack, he defend. He attack, you better defend!” Boris would have played 23 Rc1) 23…Rc2 24. Rc1 (WOW! Now the Bishop is REALLY pinned! It would probably have been better for White to simply drop the Bishop back to a1) 24…Rxc1 (Not my move…I would play 24…Nb4! The move played actually helps White…) 25. Rxc1 Rc8 26. Ra1 (26 Bd2 and the Knight is pinned, and if you have yet to hear, “Pin to WIN,” you will eventually hear it, if you stay with the Royal game) 26…Qb3 27. Nd2? (What happened to the preponderance of material on the Kingside? 27 Bd2 has got to be better. Black is winning here) 27…Qc2 (Here’s the deal…if Black simply brings the Queen back to b6 he will exert much pressure on the d-pawn) 28. Rf1 (f3 looks like a fine square for the Knight, does it not?) 28…Nd8 (Frankly, I was shocked by this retrograde move. How about 28…Ne5?!!) 29. Ba1 a5 30. e5? (This is not a good move. Remember what I said about a “preponderance of material” on the Kingside earlier? That should be an indication to play on the Kingside. Now would be the time to launch an attack on the Black King with 30 h5! I will be like the famous Cajun cook, Justin Wilson, who was fond of saying, “I will guaRONtee it!”)

https://justinwilson.com/

30…dxe5 31. dxe5 Bg7 (Well, there goes White’s pawn structure. Now he has a weak, isolated pawn in the middle of the board and a lost game, positionally speaking) 32. Ne4 Qc4 33. Qf3 Qe6 (Why not 33…Nc6 to attack that aforementioned weak, isolated pawn on e5?) 34. Qg3 Rc4 35. Qd3 (Defending AND attacking. You gotta love it!) 35…Qc8 36. Bb2 Ne6 37. h3? (At the beginning of each and every game the pawns on f2 and f7 are weak because they are protected by only the King. A Chess teacher will hammer this point home as long as it takes so his student will not be mated on f7, or f2. White should play his Queen to f3 now to attack that vulnerable f7 pawn) 37…Qc6 (After this White is toast…) 38. Re1 Rc2? (This has got to be a mistake because every Russian cab driver knows that “Passed pawns must be pushed.” This move is bad because it allows White to play his next move, breaking the coordination between the Queen and Rook) 39. Bc3 (White is still lost, but not as ‘lost’ as he was earlier…) 39…Rxg2?? (I have no idea what the time was but I do have an idea about how bad was this move. GM Yasser Seriwan would call it a “howler.”

GM Yasser Seirawan howling

Playing a move like this, turning an obviously won game into a complete disaster has got to be devastating to the psyche of any Chess player. I mean, to turn a completely won game into a devastating loss by playing a move like this can potentially drive a player insane. What could GM Finegold have been thinking?) 40. Qf3 Ng5 41. Nf6+ (Is that a beautiful move, or what? How would you like to have a chance to play a move like that against a Grandmaster, even an aged, over the hill, Grandmaster?!) 41…Qxf6 42. Qa8+ 1-0

Weird Wimpy Wesley So Lets One Go

In the game between Grandmasters Amin Tabatabaei and Wesley So

in the 2022 FIDE Grand Prix yesterday the latter resigned the game after his opponent played 30 a4. This was the final position:

A local Chess coach was showing the ongoing game to a student. When the above position was reached the Ironman kept hitting the key that would have ordinarily shown the next move only there were no more moves made after Tabatabaei played his thirtieth move because Wimpy Wesley So RESIGNED! Try explaining that to any neophyte student attempting to learn how to correctly play Chess. The material is balanced, but White no doubt has a huge positional advantage. The Stockfish 14+ NNUE program used at lichess.org (https://lichess.org/broadcast/fide-grand-prix-2022-leg-3–knockout-stage/semifinals-game-2/d5hX2IQ7) shows White with an advantage of 4.8. Nevertheless, the game should have continued, and it would have continued if a less than wimpy player had been sitting behind the Black position. From Chess24.com:

You might reasonably ask why Wesley resigned when material was equal, but the US Champion explained: “It’s not going to be equal for a long time. Basically anybody who plays chess knows it’s lost, because White has the bishop pair, better pawn structure, active rook and Black cannot move. The rook is on the 6th rank, so all the technical pluses are for White. You just have to learn the basics to know it’s lost!” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/nakamura-wins-grand-prix-both-semis-go-to-tiebreaks)

Wesley So is an extremely strong Chess player, but he is not a fighter. Many fighting Grandmasters, like Victor Korchnoi

Viktor Korchnoi Credit: Mary Delaney Cooke/Corbis via Getty Images 

for example, would have sat there many hours making life as difficult as possible for their opponent.

“What makes you a coward?” asked Dorothy, looking at the great beast in wonder, for he was as big as a small horse.

“It’s a mystery,” replied the Lion.

“I suppose I was born that way. All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I’ve met a man I’ve been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go. If the elephants and the tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me, I should have run myself—I’m such a coward; but just as soon as they hear me roar they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them go.”

“But that isn’t right. The King of Beasts shouldn’t be a coward,” said the Scarecrow.

“I know it,” returned the Lion, wiping a tear from his eye with the tip of his tail. “It is my great sorrow, and makes my life very unhappy. But whenever there is danger, my heart begins to beat fast.”

“Perhaps you have heart disease,” said the Tin Woodman.

“It may be,” said the Lion.

“If you have,” continued the Tin Woodman, “you ought to be glad, for it proves you have a heart. For my part, I have no heart; so I cannot have heart disease.”

“Perhaps,” said the Lion thoughtfully, “if I had no heart I should not be a coward.”

“Have you brains?” asked the Scarecrow.

“I suppose so. I’ve never looked to see,” replied the Lion.

“I am going to the Great Oz to ask him to give me some,” remarked the Scarecrow, “for my head is stuffed with straw.”

“And I am going to ask him to give me a heart,” said the Woodman.

“And I am going to ask him to send Toto and me back to Kansas,” added Dorothy.

“Do you think Oz could give me courage?” asked the Cowardly Lion.

“Just as easily as he could give me brains,” said the Scarecrow.

“Or give me a heart,” said the Tin Woodman.

“Or send me back to Kansas,” said Dorothy.

“Then, if you don’t mind, I’ll go with you,” said the Lion, “for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.”

“You will be very welcome,” answered Dorothy, “for you will help to keep away the other wild beasts. It seems to me they must be more cowardly than you are if they allow you to scare them so easily.”

“They really are,” said the Lion, “but that doesn’t make me any braver, and as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy.” (https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/158/the-wonderful-wizard-of-oz/2752/chapter-6-the-cowardly-lion/)

Before heading up the stairs at the old Atlanta Chess & Game Center, owned by L. Thad Rogers, a proud member of the United States Chess Federation Hall of Fame, the players would see a drawing of the following, which was put there by Thad:

failuretolisten.com

M. Amin Tabatabaei 2623 vs Weird Wesley So 2778
Fide GP 3 Berlin – Playoffs
E21 Nimzo-Indian, three knights variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. g3 b6 8. Bg2 Bb7 9. d5 d6 10. O-O Qe7 11. Nh4 Nbd7 12. Re1 Ne5 13. e4 Nxc4 14. Bf1 Ne5 15. c4 Ng6 16. Ng2 b5 17. cxb5 exd5 18. exd5 Qd7 19. Ne3 Rfe8 20. Bb2 Nxd5 21. Nxd5 Rxe1 22. Qxe1 Bxd5 23. Rd1 Nh4 24. Rd3 Qg4 25. Qc3 Be4 26. Be2 Qg5 27. Rxd6 Nf5 28. Qe5 Qe7 29. Qxe7 Nxe7 30. a4 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!fide-gp-3-berlin—playoffs-2022/1357841333
  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 (According to 365Chess.com the name of the opening after this move was the E20 Nimzo-Indian defence) 4. Nf3 (This move made it the E21 Nimzo-Indian, three knights variation. The two most often played moves are 4 e3 and 4 Qc2. The question is, do you play the former and allow your opponent to play Bishop takes Knight on c3 ripping apart your pawn structure? This writer prefers the latter. Komodo 11 @depth 47 plays the move played in the game, but Stockfish 14.1 @depth 73(!) will play 4 e3) 4…O-O (There are 10884 games in the ChessBaseDataBase in which Black has played 4…d5. There are 5197 games where Black played 4…b6, and both show a 54% score for White. Fritz 18 @depth 29 will play 4…b6. Stockfish 14 @depth 61 will castle, as will SF 14.1 @depth 62) 5. a3 (This move is not found at the CBDB. There are thirty examples contained in the ‘Big Database’ at 365Chess. Stockfish 13 @depth 60 plays 5 Qc2. SF 191221 @depth 66 plays 5 e3. The CBDB shows 1992 games of the former and 758 for the latter) 5…Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. g3 b6 (SF 14.1 @depth 41 will play 7…d5 and so should have Weird Wesley)

“Coward Of The County”

Lyrics by Kenny Rogers

Everyone considered him
The coward of the county.
He’d never stood one single time
To prove the county wrong.
His mama named him Tommy,
But folks just called him Yellow.
Something always told me
They were reading Tommy wrong.

He was only ten years old
When his daddy died in prison.
I looked after Tommy
‘Cause he was my brother’s son.
I still recall the final words
My brother said to Tommy,
“Son, my life is over,
But yours has just begun.

Promise me, son,
Not to do the things I’ve done.
Walk away from trouble if you can.
It won’t mean you’re weak
If you turn the other cheek.
I hope you’re old enough to understand:
Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man.”

There’s someone for everyone,
And Tommy’s love was Becky.
In her arms he didn’t have to prove he was a man.
One day while he was working
The Gatlin boys came calling.
They took turns at Becky.
There was three of them.

Tommy opened up the door
And saw his Becky crying.
The torn dress, the shattered look
Was more than he could stand.
He reached above the fireplace
And took down his daddy’s picture.
As his tears fell on his daddy’s face
He heard these words again,

“Promise me, son,
Not to do the things I’ve done.
Walk away from trouble if you can.
Now it won’t mean you’re weak
If you turn the other cheek.
I hope you’re old enough to understand:
Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man.”

The Gatlin boys just laughed at him
When he walked into the bar room.
One of them got up
And met him half way ‘cross the floor.
When Tommy turned around they said,
“Hey, look, old Yellow’s leaving.”
But you could’ve heard a pin drop
When Tommy stopped and locked the door.

Twenty years of crawling
Was bottled up inside him.
He wasn’t holding nothing back,
He let ’em have it all.
When Tommy left the bar room
Not a Gatlin boy was standing.
He said, “This one’s for Becky,”
As he watched the last one fall.
N’ I heard him say,

“I promised you, Dad,
Not to do the things you’ve done.
I walk away from trouble when I can.
Now please don’t think I’m weak.
I didn’t turn the other cheek.
And, Papa, I sure hope you understand:

Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man.”

Everyone considered him
The coward of the county.
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/kennyrogers/cowardofthecounty.html

FM Doug Eckert Versus GM Alonso Zapata in Charlotte, North Carolina

Doug Eckert 2165

https://chess.stream/invitational/Default

vs Alonso Zapata 2378

https://chess.stream/invitational/Default


A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with c6
2022 Charlotte Chess IM (D) Norm Invitational Round 4

  1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nf3 d6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. d5 Kh8 9. Rb1 e5 10. dxe6 Bxe6 11. b3 Na6 12. Bb2 Qe7 13. Nd4 Bg8 14. e3 Nc5 15. Qc2 a5 16. Rfd1 Rac8 17. Qd2 Rfd8 18. Nde2 Ra8 19. Qc2 h6 20. Rbc1 Bh7 21. Nd4 Nfe4 22. a3 Re8 23. b4 axb4 24. axb4 Nxc3 25. Bxc3 Na4 26. Nxc6 bxc6 27. Bxg7+ Qxg7 28. Bxc6 Nb2 29. Rd4 Nxc4 30. Bxe8 Nxe3 31. fxe3 Rxe8 32. Qc3 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!charlotte-spring-im-d-2022/141884326025
  1. d4 f5 2. c4 (Stockfish 250022 @depth 54 plays the game move, but SF 14 @depth 52 will play 2 Nf3. Then there is SF 14.1, the latest and greatest…until 14.2, or whatever name will be chosen for the next incarnation, appears, which will play 2 Bg5(!?) Could that be the reason GM Titas Stremavicius, one of todaze leading exponents of the Leningrad, err, strike that… The dude recently essayed e6 in lieu of d6… [https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/03/12/the-saint-louis-spring-classic-tournaments/] …has had to face 2 Bg5 in sixteen games in the past few years? (https://www.365chess.com/search_result.php?submit_search=1&eco=A80&bid=211209) 2…Nf6 (SF 14 shows 2…e6 at the ChessBaseDataBase. It has been the most often played move with 5037 games in the CBDB and it has scored 58% for white against a composite player rated 2409. The second most popular move has been 2…Nf6 and in 3786 games it has held a mythical white player rated 2410 to a 56% score. Earlier on this blog I advocated black playing the move d6 in response to the d4 + c4 moves when they are played in the Leningrad Dutch. In only 51 games white has scored 58% against players rated on average 2416) 3. g3 (SF 290112 @depth 50 plays this move, as does Houdini, but SF 14 @depth 35 will play 3 Nc3) 3…g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 ((There are 2026 games in which Black has played the game move and in those games it has scored 56%. In 181 games versus a composite player rated 2419 the move 4…d6 has held White to scoring only 53%. Just sayin’..) 5. Nf3 (Three different SF programs each play 5 Nc3) 5…d6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O c6 (SF 14.1 and 250112 each play this move, as does Komodo…) 8. d5 (The CBDB shows this move having been played more than any other move in this position. In addition, 365Chess also shows it as the most played move, but is it best? Stockfish 100221 @depth 47 will play 8 Qb3, a move having been attempted in 137 games, scoring 52% against 2444 opposition. SF 14 @depth 49 will play 8 Bg5. There are only 9 examples of the move contained in the CBDB and White has scored only 39% versus a composite player rated 2387. Then there is SF 14.1, which, given the chance, will play 8 Be3. There are only two examples in the CBDB) 8…Kh8 (This move is a Theoretical Novelty. 8 e5 has been the most often played move, by far, and it is the choice of SF 14 & Houdini)
    The game can be found in annotated form at various locations on the internet. I suggest the free website: (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-charlotte-chess-im-d-norm-invitational/round-4/96ZmD4uj)

Grandmaster Zapata recently won the Georgia Senior but no game scores can be found at the GCA website (http://georgiachess.org/), and that includes the “magazine”, and I use the word only because that is the name of the “Georgia Chess News,” (http://georgiachessnews.com/) which for many years has been nothing but a venue for book reviews by Davide Nastasio.

Alonso Zapata has thus far shown poor form in this tournament and one cannot help wonder if his recent battle with Covid has had anything to do with his poor play. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/08/25/gm-alonso-zapatas-battle-with-covid/) Frankly, GM Zapata was unrecognizable in the above game. I write this because the move 25…Na4

Position after 25…Na4?

was what GM Yasser Seirawan

would call a “howler.” One of GM Zapata’s strengths has been his ability to play solid, consistent Chess while staying away from “howler” moves. The move was so bad I thought there had been some kind of transmission problem, as the move 25…Ne4 suggests itself as it moves the steed to the middle of the board. 25…Na4 proves the axiom, “A knight on the rim is grim.” Indeed, the knight placed on a4 sure ’nuff looked grim, and dim.

2021 SENIOR’S CHAMPIONSHIP

For some time this writer has attempted to glean information concerning the recent 2022 Georgia Senior Championship, to no avail.

Mike Bacon

Tue, Feb 22

to president, 1vp, treasurer, secretary, member1, member2

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been unable to locate anything concerning the recent Georgia Senior on the website of the GCA. Was the tournament held? If so, will anything be posted at the GCA website? I ask because the next post in the AW will concern Senior Chess, and the recent GCA Senior will be a good tie in for the post.

All the Best in Chess!

AW

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Tue, Feb 22

to me, president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad

facebook.com/216656311686961/posts/5226764027342806/

Mike Bacon

Tue, Feb 22, 4:48 PM (19 hours ago)

to Jr., president, Ben, Katie, Keith, member1, Thad,

I no longer visit the Book of Faces and have not since being hacked, and will never, ever again go to Facebook for any reason whatsoever.
I would, though, like to know why there is something concerning the GCA at Facebook in lieu of the WEBSITE OF THE GEORGIA CHESS ASSOCIATION?

J Parnell Watkins, Jr.

Tue, Feb 22

to me
Only because we are still seeking volunteers to fill all responsibilities. We have individuals who are willing to post to the GCA magazine, to twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but I do not currently have anyone other than myself who knows how to post to the GCA website. If you are willing to volunteer, I would be happy to train you.

Regards,
Parnell

Mike Bacon

to Jr.
How the hell did you turn my attempt to learn if the Georgia Senior was held into a plaintive plea for help? I want nothing to do with the GCA, sir! You took time to post something at Facebook rather than the GCA website, did you not? There must be a reason. Is there anyone involved with the GCA who can, and will give me the information?

That is where it stands as of this writing…

Not all of the board members have been so obstinate. For example, Kevin Schmuggerow was nice enough to send the following:

Kevin Schmuggerow

Wed, Feb 16

to me
Hey Mike,

Good to hear from you!

I hope you are doing well through these crazy times.

I didn’t receive your email until just now?

Not sure what’s going on with the GCA server, I know Parnell has made some changes that effected Keith Sewell’s old account as well.

Regarding the Senior Open, I agree, with you, I previously had sent an email regarding the round times being too close together (10:00 – 2:00) no time for lunch…

I wasn’t planning on playing do to another conflict.

Stay safe!!

Kevin later fired this salvo my way:

Mike,

Below was the agenda for the the 1/26 meeting. The February meeting is next week.

One of the other board members also expressed displeasure at the format for the 2021 Senior, but asked for anonymity. It appears there is already much dissension on the board of the GCA.

The 2021 Senior championship was held in 2022, which should mean there will be another Georgia Senior later this year, was located at the USCF website (http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?202202202382.0). It shows that GM Alonso Zapata

http://eacchess.com/news/alonso-zapata-international-grand-master-and-fide-senior-trainer/

cut through the field like a hot knife through cold butter. The Grandmaster was rated almost four hundred points higher than the second highest rated player, Expert James Altucher, from Florida. He was joined in second place by Georgians Jeffery Rymuza, Ramchandra Nadar, Christopher Ferrante, all scoring 3-1. Eighteen players competed in the Georgia Senior.

The AW was surprised, and pleased, to see the tournament was directed by Anna Christina Baumstark,

https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Anna-Baumstark/2361492263

a former member of the board of the GCA, and a woman well known for her Chess teaching in and around the Atlanta area. Anna would visit, and often play, at the Ironman Chess Club in those halcyon days before the pandemic struck. She is a lovely lady who loves Soccer, and is quite opinionated, which is one of the reasons conversations with her were so lively. As it happens, I recently found a game played by Anna over at FollowChess.com.

Barr Perry vs Anna C Baumstark
B01 Scandinavian (centre counter) defence
US Amateur Team Championship

  1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bd3 c6 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. O-O e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Qc1 Be7 10. Bf4 Qd8 11. f3 Bh5 12. Rd1 Nbd7 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nf6 15. Bd3 O-O 16. c3 h6 17. Bd2 Bg6 18. Bxg6 fxg6 19. Nf4 Bd6 20. Nxg6 Rf7 21. Re1 Qd7 22. Ne5 Bxe5 23. Rxe5 Re8 24. Bxh6 gxh6 25. Qxh6 Nh7 26. Rae1 Rf6 27. Qh3 Re7 28. R1e4 Kf8 29. c4 Ke8 30. f4 Nf8 31. Rh5 Rh7 32. Qf3 Rfh6 33. Rxh6 Rxh6 34. f5 Qd6 35. g3 Rf6 36. Qh5+ Ke7 37. Qg5 Kf7 38. Qh5+ Ke7 39. Qh4 Kf7 40. g4 exf5 41. gxf5 Rh6 42. Qf2 Qd8 43. Qe3 Rf6 44. Qf3 Qd7 45. Rf4 Ke8 46. Qe3+ Kf7 47. Qe4 Qd6 48. Qe2 Qxf4 49. Qh5+ Ke7 50. Qe2+ Kf7 51. Qh5+ Kg8 52. Qe2 Qxf5 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!us-amateur-team-chp-2022/2128237610

1.e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nf6 (Stockfish 14 @depth 44 plays 3…Nc6. Leave the thing crunchin’ for one more ply and it changes its algorithm to 3…e5) 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bd3 (The most often played, and best move is 5 Nf3) 5….c6 (Three different Stockfish programs all play 5…Nc6, and so should you) 6. Ne2 (Komodo @depth29 plays 6 Bd2; Stockfish 2.3.1, a new program to me, prefers 6 a3) 6…Bg4 (SF plays 6…Na6; Houdini shows 6…g6) 7. O-O e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Qc1 (This appears to be a new move: https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=17&n=287004&ms=e4.d5.exd5.Qxd5.d4.Nf6.Nc3.Qa5.Bd3.c6.Nge2.Bg4.O-O.e6.Bd2.Qc7&ns=3.20.27.56.3367.5267.3708.1609.17041.9873.22103.56015.157738.148060.246703.287004. Which means that Ladies & Gentlemen, it’s time to start your engines!)