2021 US Masters: GM Alexander Shabalov vs NM Deepak Aaron

GM Shabalov should need no introduction but if one is needed the reader can check out the introductory remarks found here (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/11/27/us-masters-first-round-nm-matthew-puckett-vs-gm-alex-shabalov/)

NM Deepak Aaron

https://nique.net/sports/2014/09/19/aaron-looks-to-re-brand-tech-chess-club/

Deepak Aaron is a solid National Master player who was once the Georgia Tech Chess Club President (http://georgiachessnews.com/a-letter-from-the-georgia-tech-chess-club-president/). Deepak is known for giving charity simultaneous exhibitions (https://www.uschess.org/index.php/April/Deepak-Aaron-Gives-Charity-Simul-at-Georgia-Tech.html).

GM Alexander Shabalov (USA) vs Deepak Aaron (USA)
U.S. Masters 2021 round 02
A80 Dutch

  1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. c4 c6 7. b3 Qe7 8. Ne5 O-O 9. Bb2 Bd7 10. Nd2 Be8 11. Ndf3 Bh5 12. Nd3 Nbd7 13. Nfe5 g5 14. f3 Rad8 15. Qc2 Bg6 16. Rae1 Qg7 17. Qc1 f4 18. gxf4 Bxd3 19. Nxd3 Qh6 20. e3 gxf4 21. exf4 Ne8 22. Rf2 Ng7 23. Bf1 Bxf4 24. Nxf4 Rxf4 25. Ba3 Nf6 26. Rg2 Kf7 27. Qe3 Rh4 28. Qf2 Nf5 29. cxd5 Nxd5 30. Bc1 Nf4 31. Rg4 Rg8 32. h3 Rxh3 33. Bg2 Rh1+ 34. Bxh1 Nh3+ 35. Kf1 Nxf2 36. Bxh6 Nxg4 37. Bf4 Nf6 38. Be5 Nd7 39. Bg2 Nxe5 40. dxe5 Nh4 41. Bh1 Rd8 0-1
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-us-masters/02-Shabalov_Alexander-Aaron_Deepak
  1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. g3 (3 c4 was the choice in 1501 games at the ChessBaseDataBase, resulting in a 54% outcome for white. The 1239 games in which 3 g3 was played is the second most often played move, but the result has been better at 56% for white. Stockfish 14 @depth 49 and SF 220521 @depth 51 will play 3 Bf4, which has seen action in only 173 games. I kid you not…Even more astounding is that the result has been an incredible 62%!) 3…Nf6 4. Bg2 (SF and Komodo play 4 c4) 4…d5 5. O-O (SF goes with 5 c4) 5…Bd6 6. c4 c6 7. b3 (SF says Ne5) 7…Qe7 8. Ne5 (In almost one half of the games played [844] 8 Bb2 has been the move played even though it has only scored 51%. Go figure… One Komodo program prefers 8 Nc3 [45 games; 57%], while another prefers 8 Qc2 [67 games; 57%]. Then there is Houdini…who would play 8 Ne5, as has been played in 253 games while scoring a fantastic 60% against the highest rated opposition!) 8…O-O (Komodo castles but SF prefers 8…Nbd7) 9. Bb2 (Fritz plays the game move but Komodo plays 9 Bf4) 9…Bd7 (SF 14 plays 9…b6. Deep Fritz plays 9…Nbd7) 10. Nd2 Be8 (Komodo and Deep Fritz 13 play this but SF 8 plays 10…Rd8) 11. Ndf3 (The most often played move and the choice of Komodo, but SF 14 plays 11 Nd3) 11…Bh5 (SF 12 @depth 38 plays 11…Bg6) 12. Nd3 (SF 8 plays the game move but SF 13 @depth 35 plays 12 Ne1 a NEW MOVE, and a TN if and when it is played over the board against a human opponent…) 12…Nbd7 13. Nfe5 g5 (Fritz likes 13…Bc7; SF 8 plays 13…Ba3, both of which will be a TN if and when…)

13…g5 was a surprising choice by Mr. Aaron and certainly must say something about the kind of player who would fire the g-pawn salvo at his esteemed Grandmaster opponent. A player does not make such a move in an attempt to draw. Things got interesting quickly after GM Shabba pushing his e-pawn only one square in lieu of two on move twenty. Then after 20…gxf4 Shabba should probably taken the pawn with his knight with 21 Nxf4. It was at this moment Deepak could have taken control of the game by playing 21…Nh5, but played the retrograde and limp-writsted 21…Ne8 giving the advantage to Shabba. Only a couple of moves later Shabba played a limp-wristed move himself when easing the Bishop back to f1. Deepak answered by taking the pawn on f4, which was the reddest move possible according to the Bomb; big advantage to Shabba. After the exchanges on f4 on move 24 the GM had a won game. With all the action taking place on the king side Shabba, for some reason, decided to move his Bishop to a3, tossing away his advantage. For the next several moves there was punching and counter punching with the game staying about even, Steven, until the GM played 32 h3, again a BRIGHT RED move, the kind of move GM Yasser Seriwan would call a “howler” and it was time to turn out the lights because the party was over…

GM Lev Polugaevsky (2610) vs GM Borislav Ivkov (2485)
Event: Oviedo rapid
Site: Oviedo Date: ??/??/1991
Round: 9
ECO: A40 Queen’s pawn
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d5 5.O-O Bd6 6.c4 c6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 O-O 9.Nbd2 Bd7 10.Ne5 Be8 11.Ndf3 Nbd7 12.Nd3 Bh5 13.Nfe5 g5 14.f3 Rad8 15.Qd2 Qg7 16.Bc3 Bb8 17.h3 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Ne4 19.fxe4 dxe4 20.g4 Bg6 21.gxf5 Bxf5 22.Rxf5 exf5 23.e6 Qe7 24.Bb2 exd3 25.Qc3 Qc5+ 26.Kf1 dxe2+ 27.Kxe2 Be5 28.Qxe5 Qxe5+ 29.Bxe5 Rfe8 30.Bc3 Rxe6+ 31.Kf2 Rd3 32.Bb4 Kf7 33.Bf1 Rd4 34.Be2 Kg6 35.Rf1 h5 36.Bd1 Rd3 37.Bc2 Rxh3 38.Kg2 Re2+ 39.Kxh3 Rxc2 40.Rd1 f4 41.Rd2 Rxd2 42.Bxd2 Kf5 43.Bb4 Ke4 44.Be7 g4+ 45.Kg2 b6 46.a4 Kd3 47.Kf2 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2026569&m=29

The Leningrad Dutch

After the penultimate round of the 50th USSR Championship, Anatoly Karpov was in the lead by half a point over his last round opponent, Vladimir Tukmov, who had scored 8 ½. Karpov had white and the game was drawn in 15 moves. Lev Poluagaevsky also had 8 ½ points, and had white against Vladimir Malaniuk, who, along with, Lerner, Azmaiparashvili, and Razuvaev were the qualifying winners of the four Otborochny tournaments. Malaniuk was at minus one with 6 ½ points. Vaganian beat Yusupov in 52 moves to score 9 points and tie with Tukmakov for second, while all eyes turned to the Polugaevsky vs Malaniuk game. A win for Polugaevsky would mean sharing first place with Karpov. With the Azmaiparashvili-Petrosian lasting only 11 moves, and Balashov-Lerner 16, there were plenty of eyes to watch those like Agzamov-Beliavsky who battled to move 40 before splitting the point, and the other aforementioned games.
The game was a Dutch, although chessgames.com (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1112474) calls it the, “Rat Defense: See also: Modern Defense (for lines with …g6 (A41).”
365chess.com (http://www.365chess.com/view_game.php?g=2360197) calls it the “Old Indian defense.”
Take a look at the game and decide for yourself what it should be called. Keep in mind that GM Vladimir Malaniuk has been the most prolific player of the Leningrad Dutch. For example, after 1 d4 f5 Malaniuk has 328 games listed at http://www.365chess.com, more than twice the total of the next two players combined.
This game made a big impression on me. A player from the old days would come to the House of Pain sporadically, each time asking, “You still playing that LENINGRAD?” I would always respond with, “Every chance I get.” He would smile as if everything was still right in the chess world.
I have followed Anna Muzychuk with interest because she plays the Dutch. Her younger sister, Mariya, has made the Leningrad Dutch a family affair. Compare this game played by Mariya with the previous game: http://www.365chess.com/view_game.php?g=3850722
My favorite Star Trek episode is “Court Martial.” It aired 2/2/67, or in Trek terms, Stardate: 2947.3. Captain Kirk finds himself on trial for the death of Lieutenant Commander Ben Finney. Kirk’s former girlfriend, Lt. Areel Shaw, is assigned to prosecute him, but tells him she has arranged for a lawyer. Samuel T. Cogley is the attorney. Later Kirk was asked if he had an attorney. After mentioning Samuel T. Cogley, the questioner said, “What did you hire him for? He still uses BOOKS!”
Samuel T. was a curmudgeon; someone who looked as if he belonged in the library. He went to one of the myriad shelves and took down a dusty tome, blew a cloud of dust, and found the answer in it. The episode is from season one, number 20. This is the episode in which Spock explains that having programmed the computer for chess himself just months before, the best he should have been able to do is stalemate. If you would like to read more about the episode, click here: (http://www.startrek.com/database_article/court-martial).
Although I looked long and hard, I was unable to find the next game online. I’m sure it is up there in the cloud somewhere, but it escaped me. That sent me to the shelves, well actually, box, where I located one of my all-time favorite books, “The Leningrad Dutch,” by T. D. Harding, published in 1976. I had previously gone to a certain page enough that it opened at the page containing the game between Anatoly Karpov and Jacobsen in the USSR vs Scandinavia junior match in 1968. This is my all-time favorite Leningrad game.
Karpov vs Jacobsen, USSR vs Scandinavia junior match 1968

1.d4 f5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.0–0 0–0 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.e4 f4 11.b3 g5 12.f3 Qd6 13.g4 h5 14.h3 hxg4 15.fxg4 Bd7 16.a4 Qb6+ 17.Kh2 Kf7 18.Bf3 Rh8 19.Kg2 Rh4 20.a5 Qc5 21.Ba3 Qe3 22.Qe1 Bxg4 23.hxg4 Nxg4 24.Rh1 Rxh1 25.Qxe3 Nxe3+ 26.Kxh1 g4 27.Be2 f3 28.Bc5 Bh6 29.Re1 b6 30.Bxf3 bxc5 31.Bd1 Kg6 32.Nb5 Bf4 33.Rxe3 Bxe3 34.Nxc7 Rh8+ 35.Kg2 Rh4 36.a6 Bf4 37.Kg1 g3 38.Bf3 Rh2 39.Bg2 Kf7 40.Kf1 Rh6 41.Ke2 Rb6 0-1