The Last Round: FM Jason Wang vs IM Arthur Guo

FM Jason Wang vs IM Arthur Guo
Denker Invitational
D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 Re8 8. a3 Bf8 9. Rd1 Ne7 10. Qc2 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bd3 Ng6 13. e4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a5 15. Rb1 axb4 16. axb4 Ra3 17. Bd3 Rxc3 18. Bxc3 Nf4 19. Nd2 Nxg2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Bc8 23. Rg1 e5 24. dxe5 Bh3+ 25. Ke1 Ng4 26. Nf3 Ng2+ 27. Ke2 Nf4+ 28. Ke1 Bg2 29. e6 fxe6 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Nxg4 Qxg4 32. Be5 Nh3 33. f3 Qg5 34. Rxg2 Qxe5 35. Rg3 Nf4 36. Kf1 b5 37. Be2 Rc8 38. Qd2 Rc7 39. Rd1 Rf7 40. Rc1 Nh5 41. Rh3 Nf4 42. Rg3 Nh5 43. Rh3 Nf6 44. Kg1 Bxb4 45. Qc2 Bd6 46. Qxc6 b4 47. Rd1 Bc5+ 48. Kh1 Rc7 49. Qb5 Bd6 1/2-1/2 (9…Ne7 appears to be a TN)

In the last round of the recently completed Denker Invitational FM Jason Wang

USCS 43: St. Louis (June 2018)
uschessschool.com

faced IM Arthur Guo with a first place on the line. Arthur was a half point ahead of the contenders, one of whom was Jason Wang. After move forty it looked as though the game would end in a draw after the position was repeated, but Arthur eschewed the draw when playing 43…Nf6 in lieu of returning the knight to h5. FM Wang then blundered by playing 44 Kg1? This allowed Arthur to take a pawn with impunity while attacking the white Queen. I thought the game was over because the two passed pawns will devastate white in the long run. This is the position:

Position after 45 Qc2

It was more than a little obvious Arthur would play 46…Rc7 because every Chess player knows that ROOKS BELONG BEHIND PASSED PAWNS. I had a heart palpation after seeing Arthur’s next move of 45…Bd6. The Stockfish program at Lichess.com gives the move not one, but two question marks. The move is so bad it defies comprehension. What could have caused such a budding star to make such a horrible move? I decided to put the game up to after white played 46 Qc2 into the analysis program at Lichess.com and this is best play by Stockfish after 45 Qc2:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 Re8 8. a3 Bf8 9. Rd1 Ne7 10. Qc2 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bd3 Ng6 13. e4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a5 15. Rb1 axb4 16. axb4 Ra3 17. Bd3 Rxc3 18. Bxc3 Nf4 19. Nd2 Nxg2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Bc8 23. Rg1 e5 24. dxe5 Bh3+ 25. Ke1 Ng4 26. Nf3 Ng2+ 27. Ke2 Nf4+ 28. Ke1 Bg2 29. e6 fxe6 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Nxg4 Qxg4 32. Be5 Nh3 33. f3 Qg5 34. Rxg2 Qxe5 35. Rg3 Nf4 36. Kf1 b5 37. Be2 Rc8 38. Qd2 Rc7 39. Rd1 Rf7 40. Rc1 Nh5 41. Rh3 Nf4 42. Rg3 Nh5 43. Rh3 Nf6 44. Kg1 Bxb4 45. Qc2 (Stockfish analysis begins here) Rc7 46. Kh1 Bd6 47. Rd1 Bf8 48. Qa2 g6 49. Bd3 Kh8 50. Bf1 Nh5 51. Qa8 Kg7 52. Qb8 Be7 53. Rh4 Bd6 54. Qd8 Be7 55. Qb8 Nf6 56. Rh3 Qf4 57. Ra1 Nd7 58. Qe8 Nf8 59. Rd1 Bf6 60. Rg3 Be5 61. Be2 b4 62. Bc4 c5 63. Rf1 Ra7 64. Rg2 Bd4 65. Rg4 Qe3 66. Rg3 Rf7 67. Qa8 Qf4 68. Qc6 Re7 69. Rg4 Qb8 70. Bb3 h5 71. Rg5 Qc7 72. Qxc7 Rxc7 73. Rg2 c4 74. Rc1 c3 75. f4 Nd7 76. Rd1 e5 77. fxe5 Bxe5 78. Rd5 Nc5 79. Bd1 Bf4 80. e5 b3 81. e6 Rb7 82. Rxc5 b2 83. Rxg6+ Kxg6 84. Bc2+ Kf6 85. Rxc3 b1=R+ 86. Bxb1 Rxb1+ 87. Kg2 Rb2+ 88. Kf3 Bd6 89. Rc4 Rxh2 90. Re4 Rh3+ 91. Kg2 Rg3+ 92. Kh1 Ke7 93. Re1 Rg5 94. Re3 Bg3 95. Re2 Be5 96. Rd2 Rg4 97. Rd1 Kxe6 98. Rf1 Bg3 99. Kg2 Bf4+ 100. Kh3 Rg3+ 101. Kh4 Kf5 102. Rd1 Rb3 103. Rf1 Ra3 and it is checkmate in 25

Winning a won game is difficult, and like Ringo sang, “It don’t come easy.” Almost every day at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center one would frequently hear, “I blew a WON GAME.” or, “If only I had won more WON GAMES I would be a Master (or Expert, or class A, etc. player).”

After reading the following at ChessLifeOnline in an excellent article by JJLang, dated August 3, 2022, understanding was found:

Denker

Following the old tiebreak adage of ‘lose last, laugh last,’ tournament leader Georgia’s IM Arthur Guo drew his final game against Ohio’s FM Jason Wang to win first place on tiebreaks. By not losing any games, Guo had stronger pairings throughout the tournament than his rivals, meaning tiebreaks would likely come out in his favor were he to draw his final game. Indeed, after failing to find anything concrete on the attacking side of a sharp Ragozin, Guo took the draw and, fortunately for him, the math played out in his favor.
https://new.uschess.org/news/day-4-rancho-mirage-invitationals-end-6-day-begins

Therein lies the problem. It is not as if there are not enough draws in Chess these daze. Now the pooh-bahs have made rules that only INCREASE the likelihood of a draw! Arthur needed only a DRAW to “WIN” the event. The fact is that Arthur did NOT win the tournament! He finished in a THREE WAY TIE for FIRST PLACE! The three players each scored the same number of points, five. Reading further in the aforementioned article one finds: “Northern Californian GM Andrew Hong and Arizonian FM Sandeep Sethuraman each won their final round games to finish second and third, respectively, on tiebreaks.” Simply put, that is a crock of excrement! As it stands now, tiebreaks are MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE RESULT OF THE GAME! What if there had been a three-way tie for first place? That would mean at least three times as much publicity for the Royal Game because the publicity director (USCF has a publicity director, does it not? If not, why not?!) could have articles on all three of them in local newspapers and on local TV news programs in three different cities. This ain’t the Highlander, where there can be only ONE!

The same could be said for the recently completed US Senior, where there was a FIVE-WAY TIE! Unfortunately, the brain trust at the USCF decided to have a souped-up heebe-jeeb speed tournament after the conclusion of almost TWO WEEKS of playing what now passes for classical Chess. The playoff was not the next day, but only a short time after the players had spent at least five hours playing over the board. We are talking about SENIORS here, ladies and gentlemen. Why does USCF FORCE Seniors to play nerve-wracking speed games but not force the JUNIORS to do the same? As a Senior I can tell you that a speed tournament to determine the “winner” was much more difficult on the Seniors than it would have been on the Juniors. My hat is off to GM Alexander Shabalov for winning the speed tournament, but he won more than TWICE AS MUCH MONEY as the other four for winning a SPEED TOURNAMENT! ‘Back in the day’ tournaments held five minute speed tournaments as an ancillary event, not the main event. The fact that there were tiebreaks irrevocably altered the Denker event, as it does every event in which it is used. Because of the plethora of draws Chess is unlike Go or Backgammon, where there is only ONE WINNER!
Just sayin’…

Tommy Wen vs Arthur Guo: “Ready, Aim…”

In the fourth round of the recently completed 2022 Denker Invitational, Expert, soon to be Master, Tommy Wen sat down behind the white pieces after scoring 2 1/2 out of 3 possible points facing IM Arthur Guo,

https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2015/05/20/2015-chicago-open-wheeling-il/

who had earlier drawn with FM Sandeep Sethuraman. After 38 moves this position was reached:

Position after 38…Nhg7

It is rare to see the knight on g7 and the bishop on f6. The same can be said of the same pieces on the queenside of the board. Most, if not all, players who have made it to class “B” would tell you white has an advantage. For those readers who do not understand the reason I will explain by first saying white has a POSITIONAL advantage because he controls more space, In addition, his pieces are better placed. Contrast the white knights with those of the black army. Then there is the unfortunate black squared bishop, jailed by pawns of the same color. which the white prelate is well positioned IN THE EVENT THE POSITION IS OPENED. Therefore, both players need the position opened to free the black squared bishops. Given the opportunity black will play h5 followed by g4. Unfortunately for black it is white to move.

I was riveted to the screen after having stopped looking at any other game as I awaited Mr. Wen’s next move. For the younger, and new to Chess, readers I would highly suggest you take some time to cogitate on the position, preferably on a real set and pieces. It would be even better if you would take time to go over the whole game, taking notes as you go, before checking the game out at Lichess.com, one of the greatest gifts ever given to the Royal Game.

While waiting for the next move I reflected upon a time many decades ago when a similar position was reached and I did not pull the trigger. After showing the game to the man who became the only player to earn the title of Georgia Chess Champion and Georgia Senior Chess Champion, NM David Vest, the High Planes Drifter, the first coach of young Mr. Guo, said “You have a problem with trying to hold on to your material. How about we play and I will make an sacrifice in every game,” Dave said. Well now, the AW was always up for a challenge ‘back in the day’ so we sat down to play. One fifteen minute game after another followed and damned if the Drifter did not make a sacrifice in each and every game! I learned the lesson and after that day I was always looking out for the possibility of making a sacrifice.

In Chess there comes a time when your position is as good as it is ever gonna get and there is one move, and only one move to be made. If you do not play that move your position will deteriorate. You are locked and loaded and simply MUST PULL THE TRIGGER! The position above is one of those occasions. Expert Wen, a non-titled player, by only six points, had an opportunity that was missed. He will undoubtedly learn from the missed opportunity.

I could attempt showing you what move should have been played and explain why, but what is the point when the Stockfish program at Lichess can do a much better job? I give the game, followed by something using the analysis board at Lichess;Stockfish vs Stockfish. By now you should know what move should have been played, what with all the hints, so what I did was utilize the SF program to play out how the game could possibly have gone, with best play, so you can see how the position is transformed after the sacrifice.

Wen (2194) vs IM Arthur Guo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 d6 9. c3 h6 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. a3 Bd7 13. Bc2 g6 14. Nf1 Bg7 15. Ng3 a5 16. d5 Ne7 17. b3 Nc8 18. Be3 c6 19. c4 Nb6 20. Nd2 a4 21. Bd3 bxc4 22. bxc4 Qc7 23. Rb1 Reb8 24. Qc2 Rb7 25. Rb2 Rab8 26. Reb1 Nc8 27. Ne2 c5 28. Nc3 Rxb2 29. Rxb2 Ra8 30. Nb5 Qd8 31. Nb1 Nh5 32. N1c3 Nf4 33. Bf1 f5 34. f3 Nh5 35. Nxa4 f4 36. Bf2 g5 37. Nac3 Bf6 38. a4 Ng7 39. Be2 h5 40. Qd1 Ra6 41. Kf1 Ne7 42. Ke1 Kh7 43. Kd2 Ng8 44. Kc1 Nh6 45. Kb1 Qc8 46. Be1 Bd8 47. Ra2 Ne8 48. Ra3 Nf7 49. Na2 Nf6 50. Nc1 Kg7 51. Nb3 g4 52. hxg4 hxg4 53. Nd2 Qa8 54. fxg4 Ba5 55. Bf3 Bb4 56. Ra2 Qc8 57. Nf1 Ng5 58. Bh4 Nfxe4 59. Qc2 Be8 60. Kc1 Bg6 61. Qe2 Qh8 62. Bxg5 Nxg5 63. Nxd6 Rxd6 64. Qxe5+ Kh7 65. Qxd6 Qc3+ 66. Kd1 Qe1#
    https://lichess.org/broadcast/us-open-championship-and-invitationals-2022/round-4/vpkwzK46

Wen vs Guo with Stockfish analysis from move 39

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 d6 9. c3 h6 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. a3 Bd7 13. Bc2 g6 14. Nf1 Bg7 15. Ng3 a5 16. d5 Ne7 17. b3 Nc8 18. Be3 c6 19. c4 Nb6 20. Nd2 a4 21. Bd3 bxc4 22. bxc4 Qc7 23. Rb1 Reb8 24. Qc2 Rb7 25. Rb2 Rab8 26. Reb1 Nc8 27. Ne2 c5 28. Nc3 Rxb2 29. Rxb2 Ra8 30. Nb5 Qd8 31. Nb1 Nh5 32. N1c3 Nf4 33. Bf1 f5 34. f3 Nh5 35. Nxa4 f4 36. Bf2 g5 37. Nac3 Bf6 38. a4 Ng7 (SF vs SF begins here) 39. Nxd6 Nxd6 40. Bxc5 Nf7 41. Bb6 Qf8 42. c5 Bd8 43. Kh2 Bc8 44. d6 g4 45. fxg4 f3 46. Bc4 Ne6 47. Qf2 fxg2 48. Qf5 Neg5 49. Qg6+ Qg7 50. Qxg7+ Kxg7 51. Kxg2 Ne6 52. Bd5 Bxb6 53. Rxb6 Ra5 54. Nb5 Nxc5 55. Rc6 Nxa4 56. Rxc8 Nb6 57. Bxf7 Kxf7 58. Nc3 Nd7 59. Rh8 Ra3 60. Nd5 Kg6 61. Re8 Ra6 62. Re6+ Kg5 63. Kf3 Ra3+ 64. Ne3 Rd3 65. Re7 Rxd6 66. h4+ Kf6 67. Rh7 Rd3 68. Rxh6+ Ke7 69. Ke2 Rb3 70. Nf5+ Ke8 71. g5 Nc5 72. Rh8+ Kd7 73. Rh7+ Kc6 74. g6 Ne6 75. Kf2 Rd3 76. Re7 Nc5 77. Ke2 Rd8 78. Rxe5 Nb3 79. Ke3 Kb6 80. g7 Nc1 81. h5 Rd3+ 82. Kf4 Rd8 83. Kg5 Nb3 84. h6 Nd4 85. Nxd4 Rg8 86. Re7 Rd8 87. h7 Rxd4 88. h8=Q Rd1 89. Qc8 Rg1+ 90. Kf6 Rf1+ 91. Ke6 Rf6+ 92. Kxf6 Ka5 93. Rb7 Ka4 94. Qa8#

GM Joel Benjamin Did Not Do His Homework

In the fourth round of the US Senior Chess Championship being held at the St. Louis Chess Campus International Master Igor Khmelnitsky,

Igor Khmelnitsky wins Irwin en.chessbase.com

with the white pieces, faced Grandmaster Joel Benjamin.

The game began:

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Qa5 5.Qe2

Position after 5 Qe2

Regular readers know of my predilection for this particular move of the Queen, but that stems from the famous Chigorin move in the French defense after 1 e4 e6 2 Qe2, and not because the move putting the Queen in front of the King should be played just because it is possible. After Joel played 4…Qa5 Igor had a small advantage which was larger than if his opponent had played the choice of Stockfish, 4…Qb6. Igor’s choice of 5 Qe2 jettisoned the advantage. Why would any titled player make such a move? The SF program at Lichess.com shows the best move is 5 Bd2. Here’s the deal, after 5…e5 6.dxe5 dxe5, white plays 7 Bd2. After the following moves, 7…Na6 8.a3 Be6 9.Nf3 O-O-O 10.Nd5 Qa4 11.Nxf6 gxf6 12.b3 this position is reached:

Position after 12 b3

Yasser Seirawan, Christian Chirila, and Alejandro Ramirez, were big on the exchange sacrifice after the move 12…Rxd2, which they, and the ‘engine’ liked. The question was would Joel pull the trigger?

The plan had been to use this game in the previous post in lieu of the game with Shabalov so there would be two exchange sacrifices rather than the possible sacrifice of the knight on f7, which Joel declined. That was prior to my doing the due diligence that should have been done earlier. I did not go to 365Chess.com and check out the opening because, well, you know, who in his right mind would play such a lame move as 5 Qe2 in that position? What was found rocked the AW. Not only had the move of the Queen been previously played but it had been played against non other than GM Joel Benjamin!

Cemil Can Ali Marandi (2552) vs Joel Benjamin (2526)
Event: St Louis Winter B 2018
Site: Saint Louis USA Date: 11/07/2018
Round: 3.3
ECO: A45 Queen’s pawn game
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Qa5 5.Qe2 e5 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Bd2 Bg4 8.f3 Be6 9.g4 Nbd7 10.h4 b5 11.Nd5 b4 12.Qa6 Qxa6 13.Nc7+ Kd8 14.Nxe6+ fxe6 15.Bxa6 Nc5 16.Bc4 a5 17.a3 Rb8 18.axb4 axb4 19.Nh3 Bd6 20.Ra7 Nfd7 21.Ke2 h6 22.g5 Ke7 23.gxh6 gxh6 24.Rg1 Kf6 25.Nf2 h5 26.Bg5+ Kf7 27.Be3 Rb7 28.Raa1 Be7 29.Bg5 Nb6 30.Bd3 b3 31.Bxe7 Rxe7 32.Rg5 Kf6 33.Rag1 Rhh7 34.f4 Reg7 35.Nh3 Nxd3 36.cxd3 Rxg5 37.hxg5+ Kg6 38.fxe5 Rf7 39.Ke3 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4152899&m=10

It was then obvious why Igor had played the move of the Queen. Joel had lost the game played years ago, so Igor, after doing his due diligence, decided to play it again while putting the question to GM Benjamin. Had Joel done his homework? One would assume GM Benjamin would have spent much time replaying and annotating the lost game because even lower rated players will scrutinize their losses, so that in the event the same position occurs on the board in a future game they will be prepared and have an answer. Obviously, this did not happen in this case, and it cost Joel dearly. This position was reached in both games after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Qa5 5.Qe2 e5 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Bd2:

Position after 7 Bd2

When seeing the position for the first time GM Benjamin played 7…Bg4. He played a different move against Igor:

IM Igor Khmelnitsky vs GM Joel Benjamin
2022 US Senior Chess Championship
ECO: A45 Queen’s pawn game
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Qa5 5.Qe2 e5 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Bd2 Na6 8.a3 Be6 9.Nf3 O-O-O 10.Nd5 Qa4 11.Nxf6 gxf6 12.b3 Qb5 13.Qxb5 cxb5 14.Be3 Bc5 15.Bxb5 Bxe3 16.fxe3 Nc5 17.Nd2 Rhg8 18.g3 h5 19.b4 Nd7 20.Bd3 h4 21.Kf2 Nb6 22.a4 hxg3+ 23.hxg3 Kd7 24.a5 Nc8 25.Rh6 Ke7 26.Rf1 Rh8 27.Rfh1 Rxh6 28.Rxh6 Nd6 29.Rh1 Rc8 30.Ke1 Ba2 31.Kd1 Be6 32.Kc1 Rg8 33.Rg1 Rh8 34.Kb2 Rh2 35.Kc3 Bd7 36.a6 b6 37.Nc4 Nb5+ 38.Kb2 Nc7 39.Na3 Bc8 40.b5 Ne6 41.Kc3 Nc5 42.g4 Rh8 43.g5 fxg5 44.Rxg5 Kf6 45.Rg2 Bd7 46.Rg1 Rc8 47.Kb4 Be6 48.Nc4 Bxc4 49.Rf1+ Kg7 50.Bxc4 Rc7 51.Bd5 Rd7 52.Ra1 Rc7 53.Ra3 Kf8 54.Bc6 Ke7 55.Ra1 Kd6 56.Bd5 Ke7 57.Rh1 f6 58.Rh8 Rd7 59.Rc8 Rd8 60.Rc7+ Rd7 61.Rxc5 bxc5+ 62.Kxc5 Rd6 63.c4 Kd7 64.Kb4 Kc7 65.c5 Rd8 66.b6+ Kb8 67.c6 axb6 68.c7+ 1-0
https://lichess.org/broadcast/us-senior-championship-2022/round-4/SuM3mEGU

After surfin’ on over to the analysis program at Lichess.com it was learned the best move in the position, according to the Stockfish program, is 7…Bc5, something Joel should have known. I have previously written about how the programs are revolutionizing the opening phase of the game and how older players who refuse to do their homework are being cut to pieces, metaphorically speaking, over the board (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/06/04/ben-finegold-loses-to-alexander-shabalov-before-drawing-out-the-string/). It is not my intention to judge any player too harshly because we are still in a pandemic. The play has been erratic, if not atrociously abominable, replete with what Yasser likes to call “howler” moves being made with regularity. Still, coming to the board without being prepared is unforgivable. Older players simply MUST forget most of what they have learned about the openings they play and look at them with “new eyes.” The days of getting by with what you know, Joe, are over. It is no longer possible for older players to “wing it.” Seniors can no longer say, “I’ve had this position a million times!” It no longer matters how well one thinks he knows the opening because, as Bob Dylan sang, “Things Have Changed.”

blindwilliehighlight

The Boys and Girls Are Back In St. Louis Pulling The Trigger

It is the much needed rest day at the St. Louis Chess Campus which means time for the AW to put together a post. Much time has been spent the past five days watching the excellent coverage of the three ongoing tournaments. Having three Grandmasters use the Stockfish “engine” at Lichess.com does seem somewhat superfluous. I can access the SF program at Lichess.com without watching and listening to the GMs pontificate, but then I would miss the wonderful anecdotes, stories and tales related by Yasser Seirawan,

which are worth the price of admission. Still, I cannot help but wonder why Yaz does not play in the event?

It is difficult to comment on the play of the players because of the abnormality of playing during a pandemic. Some players have scraped off some the rust by playing recently while others are covered with the crusty brown stuff. In addition, it is apparent some of the players are not ready for prime time. An example would be that of International Master Igor Khmelnitsky

https://new.uschess.org/news/when-boards-become-blades-round-4-senior-and-juniors

in the third round when facing GM Max Dlugy

Max Dlugy presented the trophy by David Hater | Photo: Vanessa Sun (https://en.chessbase.com/post/twenty-grandmasters-highlight-charity-chess-event-4)

in the seldom played D00 Queen’s pawn, Mason variation, Steinitz counter-gambit. After 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 c5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e4 dxe4 5. dxc5 the IM played what the Stockfish program at Lichess.com call a “blunder” 5…Bg4?? The move appears to be a theoretical novelty, and not a good one. After playing the move Stockfish considers white to have a won game. It was no surprise when Igor went down…

IM Carissa Yip

IM Carissa Yip in round 2 of the 2022 Junior Championship. Photo: Bryan Adams/SLCC (https://new.uschess.org/news/fight-begins-day-two-us-senior-and-junior-championships)

is playing with the boys in the US Junior in lieu of playing in the US Girls Junior and it has not turned out well for the girl, who has drawn two games while losing three, and is in last place, one half point behind Pedro Espinosa,

https://new.uschess.org/news/fight-begins-day-two-us-senior-and-junior-championships

to whom she lost yesterday. Pedro is the lowest rated competitor in the tournament, sporting a 2130 rating, almost three hundred points less than Carissa. One cannot help but wonder what she is doing playing with the back in town boys when there is a separate tournament for the girls.

The US Junior girls tournament is far weaker since at least one of the girls who took Carissa’s place in the event has shown she is not ready for prime time. The event would have been much more interesting had Carissa played with the girls. This begs the question of why there is a completely separate tournament for the girls? Chess would be much better if there were only tournaments in which everyone, if qualified, could play. Wait a minute, you say, that is the way it is currently. Chess tournaments are open to all, so why segregate female players? Segregation says women are inferior to men, which is the reason female tournaments are open only to women.

Consider the following position emanating from the third round game between Ellen Wang

and Jennifer Yu:

http://chessib.com/chess-queens-beautiful-girls-olympiad-2018-batumi.html?i=1
Position after 31 Rb2

The question is whether Jennifer Yu should play 31…Rg3? Would YOU play the move? Would I play the move? In this kind of position it is virtually impossible for a human, even a Grandmaster, to calculate all the possibilities, which is where the computer program has a distinct advantage over we humans. This is the kind of position in which humans must use intuition to discover the best move. After 31 Rb2 Jennifer had eighteen minutes remaining to reach move 40. She used about half of her remaining time to make her move. For those of you who have not seen the game it can be found here, along with the answer to the question of how much Jennifer Yu trusted her Chess intuition (https://lichess.org/broadcast/us-girls-junior-championship-2022/round-3/EnME23UK)

immortalchessforum.com

In the first round GM Joel Benjamin had the white pieces versus GM Alexander Shabalov, who had recently competed in the World Open and must have been tired and it has shown in his tepid play. Shabba is, after all, a Senior, and Seniors require more rest than juniors, or even middle-aged players. The following position was reached early in the game:

White to move

GM Shabalov’s last move was to move the Queen from d8 to d7. It would have been better for Shabba to have played 18…Nh6. Would you pull the trigger? Find the answer here: (https://lichess.org/broadcast/us-senior-championship-2022/round-1/z8SVUmvb)

https://en.chessok.net/books/572-secrets-of-chess-intuition-free-download-book.html

Paco Versus Sam The Sham Shankland In Prague

In the fifth round of the Masters section of the Prague Chess Festival American GM Sam Shankland

https://new.uschess.org/2022-us-olympiad-open-team

sat behind the black pieces facing Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo Pons.

https://viralcasino.blogspot.com/2018/04/spanish-chess-grandmaster-hounded-by.html

The previous day had been an off day in the tournament so it would be natural to expect both players were tanned, rested, and ready for battle.

Francisco Vallejo Pons 2703 1:12:56 vs Sam Shankland 2718 (USA) 1:19:06
Prague Chess Festival | Masters
Round 5
ECO: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 10. Nh4 Bd7 11. Nf3 Bf5 12. Nh4 Bd7 13. Nf3 Bf5 1/2-1/2
    https://live.followchess.com/#!prague-chess-chp-masters-2022/748137683

I have included the time given by followchess.com. The players were at the board maybe half an hour, if that… Wondering what may have happened if either player had a backbone, I put the opening moves into the analysis program at Lichess.com and this was the result:

1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 10. Nh4 Bd7 11. Nf3 Rb8 12. Re1 Re8 13. Be3 exd4 14. cxd4 Qf6 15. c4 Bb4 16. Rf1 b6 17. Rc1 h6 18. d5 Na5 19. Bd4 Qf5 20. c5 Bb5 21. Nh4 Qh7 22. d6 cxd6 23. cxb6 axb6 24. Rc7 Bxf1 25. Bxf1 Qe4 26. Bxg7 Kxg7 27. Qh5 Qe6 28. Nf5+ Kf8 29. Rxf7+ Qxf7 30. Qxh6+ Kg8 31. Qg5+ Kf8…

Sam Shankland is a member of the United States Olympic team. Hikaru Nakamura

https://misfitsgaming.gg/hikaru-nakamura-signs-with-mgg/

is about to participate in the Candidates tournament, which is held to determine a challenger for the title of World Chess Champion, and he is NOT a part of the Olympic team. Am I missing something here? Makes on wonder, does it not?

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 (The Glek variation, named for GM Igor Glek. The programs prefer 4 d4. The programs do not approve of first moving a pawn before moving the bishop, but we humans ask, “Where’s the fun in that?”) 4…d5 (Both Stockfish 14.1 and 15 play 4…Bc5) 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bd6 (SF 311221 @depth 56 prefers 7…Bc5; SF 14 @depth 50 will play 7…h6. The ChessBaseDataBase contains 362 games with 7…Bc5 and white has been held to scoring only 52%. In 251 games 7…Bd6 has allowed 56%. 7…h6 has yet to be played) 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Bf5 (SF 12 plays 9…Re8)1.

Rauf Mamedov (2709) vs Francisco Vallejo Pons (2707)
Event: World Blitz 2017
Site: Riyadh KSA Date: 12/30/2017
Round: 16.18 Score: 1-0
ECO: C26 Vienna, Paulsen-Mieses variation
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.O-O O-O 9.Re1 Re8 10.d3 Bg4 11.h3 Bh5 12.Rb1 Rb8 13.g4 Bg6 14.Ng5 h6 15.Ne4 Qd7 16.Qf3 f5 17.gxf5 Bxf5 18.Qg3 Kh8 19.Qh4 Rf8 20.Ng3 Bh7 21.Qa4 Bc5 22.Be3 Bb6 23.Qg4 Qf7 24.Be4 Bxe3 25.fxe3 Qf2+ 26.Kh1 Bxe4+ 27.Nxe4 Qxc2 28.Rg1 Rf7 29.Rbf1 Re7 30.Qh4 Qxd3 31.Rf6 Qd5 32.Rxh6+ gxh6 33.Qxh6+ 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4089773

IM Kevin Wang vs IM Arthur Guo

The AW burned the midnight oil watching the game that follows. It looked as though our Georgia hero, Arthur Guo, was on the ropes and going down, but the game, as are many, if not most, of the games played by the winner of the National Open, was full of vicissitudes that kept me enraptured for hours. I will say that this kid is fun to watch because he plays to win! It was amazing watching Arthur somehow hold it all together as the house was burning… Young Mr. Guo is resilient if nothing else… In lieu of annotating the game I want to do something different and present the game to you in diagram form, showing what I thought were the critical positions. At one point late into the night I stopped surfin’, closed all other windows, and sat in the quiet, vicariously watching only the game…and WHAT A GAME IT WAS!

IM Kevin Wang (2389)

https://lichess.org/coach/kwchez

vs Arthur Guo (2432)

https://new.uschess.org/news/back-us-chess-school-im-craig-hilby-50-saint-louis


New York April Invitational GM A
D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Bd7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 O-O 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Qe7 12. e3 Bg4 13. Bd3 Qe6 14. O-O Bxf3 15. gxf3 Ne7 16. c4 Rac8 17. cxd5 Nfxd5 18. Bg3 c6 19. Rab1 b6 20. Rfe1 Nf6 21. e4 Nh5 22. Rbd1 Qf6 23. Be2 Nf4 24. Bf1 Ne6 25. Be5 Qxf3 26. Re3 Qh5 27. Rh3 Qg6+ 28. Rg3 Qh7 29. Bh3 Ng6 30. Bf5 Rfe8 31. Qb3 Nef8 32. Bxc8 Rxc8 33. Bd6 Ne6 34. Qe3 Rd8 35. e5 Ngf4 36. Re1 Qf5 37. Kh1 Rc8 38. Qe4 Qh5 39. Qf3 Qxf3+ 40. Rxf3 g5 41. Rd1 Kg7 42. Rd2 Nd5 43. Kg1 Kg6 44. Kf1 Nef4 45. Rc2 Kf5 46. e6 fxe6 47. Bxf4 Nxf4 48. Re3 Rd8 49. Re5+ Kg4 50. Re4 Rd6 51. Rc3 Kf5 52. f3 h5 53. Kf2 h4 54. Rc4 Kf6 55. Ke3 c5 56. Rc2 Rd5 57. a4 Ke7 58. Rd2 Kf6 59. Rc2 h3 60. Rd2 cxd4+ 61. Rdxd4 Rc5 62. Rc4 Rd5 63. Red4 Re5+ 64. Re4 Ra5 65. Rc8 Rd5 66. Rf8+ Ke7 67. Rh8 Rd3+ 68. Kf2 Rd2+ 69. Kg1 Rd1+ 70. Kf2 Rd2+ 71. Ke3 Rxh2 72. Rh7+ Kf6 73. Kd4 Kg6 74. Rh8 Kg7 75. Ra8 Rd2+ 76. Kc4 Rd1 77. Rxa7+ Kg6 0-1
    https://live.followchess.com/#!new-york-spring-invitationals-gm-a-2022/-555666883

The first position arises in the transition to the middle game:

Black to move after 15 gxf3

Although the Black pawn structure is better White has the two Bishops and must be better. My thoughts turned to something like g5 and Knight to the rim before taking the Prelate in order to get rid of one of the nasty Bishops. Granted, Nxg3 would enhance the White pawn structure, but he would no longer have the dreaded two Bishops versus the two Knights. It may be time to move a Rook, but where, and which one? The only other alternative was to move the Knight on c6, but that would mean moving it to the rim, where it is said it is “grim.” Who am I to argue? That leaves the move chosen by Arthur, 15…Ne7.

Next we have the position after 22…Qf6:

position after 22…Qf6 with White to move

I was expecting 23 e5 and had to check again after the move played to be sure the pawn on f3 could not be captured. As a general rule the Bishops are much better at attacking than defending, so the retreat of the Bishop was rather limp-wristed.

Position after 25 Be5
Position after 25…Qxf3

At the top level this is a game losing move. The next position vividly illustrates why this is so:

Position after 30 Bf5

While watching I was having thoughts about what to call this game and “The Entombed Queen” came to mind. This game is SO WON. All IM Wang has to do is move the King and replace it with the Rook and after preparation fire the h-pawn…all contingent on how Black responds. There were thoughts of turning in early last night…and then…

Position after 31…Nef8

No doubt hoping IM Wang will take the bait. But what Chess player would trade that strong Bishop on f5 that completely dominates the game?

Position after 32 Bxc8

Thank you, IM Wang. If you had not played the unbelievably bad move we would not have seen what follows!

Position after 34 Qe3

I did not understand this move last night and still don’t understand it…

Position after LIBERATION!

Wow, have things changed since the last diagram. The Queen is FREE! I’m thinking, “If anyone has an advantage it would be Arthur.”

Position after move 40…g5

Back in the day the game would have been adjourned here. Have you ever wondered how players of the past would fare under todaze conditions? How about watching Bobby Fischer play Mikhail Tal sans adjournment…

Position after 66…Ke7

This seems to be the place to stop writing and allow you to see what comes next, and if I have done a good job, you will do just that and do it here: https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-new-york-april-invitational–gm-a/round-3/k2iftQci

Here is the opening rundown:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 (Stockfish prefers taking the pawn with 4 cxd5) 4…Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. a3 (SF plays 6 e3 as do most humans) 6…Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Bd7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 (Three different SF programs prefer 9 Bg5 and so should you) 9…O-O (SF 14.1 prefers 9…Na5) 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Qe7 (Two games were found with this move the second game was located only at the ChessBaseDataBase)

Santiago Suarez P
Valente Arguelles Ovando
Event: Yucatan-ch
Site: Merida Date: 08/02/1998
Round: 6
ECO: D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Bd7 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Qc2 O-O 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 Qe7 12.e3 Qe6 13.c4 Ne7 14.Ne5 Bc8 15.Bd3 c6 16.O-O Ne4 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Rfc1 Bf5 21.Qc7 Qxc7 22.Rxc7 b6 23.Nc6 Be6 24.d5 Bc8 25.d6 Be6 26.d7 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=992155&m=23

GM Valentina Guinina 2471 (RUS) vs Ronaldo A Moreira 2088 (BRA)
Titled Tuesday intern op
ECO: D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 O-O 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Bd7 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Qc2 Qe7 12.e3 Rfe8 13.Bd3 Qd6 14.Bg3 Qe6 15.Bxc7 Rac8 16.Bg3 Na5 17.O-O Ne4 18.Bxe4 dxe4 19.Nd2 Bb5 20.Rfe1 Bd3 21.Qb2 b6 22.f3 exf3 23.gxf3 Nc4 24.Nxc4 Qxc4 25.Rac1 Re6 26.e4 Rec6 27.Re3 f5 28.Qd2 fxe4 29.fxe4 Qxd4 30.cxd4 Rxc1+ 31.Re1 R8c2 32.Qxd3 1-0

Arthur Guo Let One Go

It was Saturday night and almost all was right, until young Arthur Guo let one go…like a hooked fish that somehow gets offa the hook…There I was, watching the action from Charlotte while listening to my man, H. Johnson, spin vinyl on his Saturday night program Jazz Classics on WABE FM from Atlanta, Georgia, a program to which I have listened since it’s inception way back in 1978.

https://www.wabe.org/people/h-johnson/

One of the best things about the internet is being able to listen to a program from home while in another part of the country. While listening I was also watching the Chess games being contested at the Charlotte Chess Center. One game in particular captured my attention, keeping my eyes transfixed on the screen for far too long, I’m sad to report, because my eyes were blurred upon awakening and even after a mid-morning ‘nap’ to rest them they are still somewhat out of focus. That’s OK though, because it was worth the time spent watching the game, which follows. At one point I eschewed the other games and gave my full attention to this game exclusively, rooting for Arthur while thrusting my fist in the air and shouting, “YES!,” or sometimes, “NO,” or “Oh No,” with a “What The Fork?” thrown in for good measure. WHAT A GAME!!! As far as this reporter is concerned this game was THE GAME of the tournament. Granted, I have not reviewed all the games, but of those that I’ve seen this was THE ONE! I’m telling you the game gave me HEART PALPITATIONS! At the conclusion of the game I was EXHAUSTED as if it had been me making the moves. Chess, and life, don’t get any better than that, I’m here to tell you, that is if you are a Chess Fan. At times the AW was yellin’, “Go Authur Guo, GO!” I’ve heard something about those that can no longer do, watch…Yes, I admit to living last night vicariously through the moves of future Grandmaster, and fellow Georgian Arthur Guo. The game can be found all over the internet, and I have provided a link to FollowChess, and would like to recommend this one from Lichess.com (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-charlotte-chess-gm-norm-invitational/round-7/BamwVdbA)
I will also recommend you play over the game at followchess.com and make notes before surfin’ on over to Lichess.

IM Arthur Guo (2412)

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

vs GM Aleksander Mista (2541)

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

Charlotte Spring GM A (round 7)
C50 Giuoco Pianissimo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (The ChessBaseDataBase gives Fritz 17 @depth 42 playing 3 Bc4, and it gives it twice in lieu of another program. Wonder why? The other program shown, Stockfish 300121 @depth 85[!] considers 3 Bb5 best) 3…Bc5 (Fritz 17 will play this move, but Stockfish 070215 @depth 48, and SF 14.1 @depth 62[!] will play 3…Nf6) 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 (SF 14.1 @depth 59 castles) 5…d6 6. a5 a6 (The CBDB contains 16 games in which this move has been played; one with 6…h6. Stockfish 080222 @depth 36 will play 6…h6, SF 14.1 @depth 35 will play 6…0-0) 7. c3 (Again the most often played move according to the CBDB, with 17 examples and only 4 games showing 7 0-0. Fritz 16 plays the move, but Stockfish 11 [Eleven? Why does the CBDB show a move from such an antiquated program? Obviously the CBDB needs an upgrade] will castle) 7…h6 (The most often played move, with 11 games at the CBDB. There are 7 games containing the move 7…Ba7, and it is the choice of Fritz 18. Stockfish 14.1 will play 7…0-0, and so should you. There is only one game in which the player behind the Black pieces castled and it was found only at the CBDB:

Alexandra Kosteniuk 2516 (RUS) vs Ryan Hamley 2077 (USA)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.a4 a6 6.a5 d6 7.c3 O-O 8.O-O Ba7 9.Re1 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Qb3 Qd7 12.Nbd2 Rab8 13.Nf1 Rfe8 14.Be3 Bxe3 15.Nxe3 d5 16.Qc2 h6 17.h3 Kh8 18.Ra4 Qf7 19.Ng4 Nxg4 20.hxg4 Qg6 21.g5 hxg5 22.exd5 exd5 23.Rg4 e4 24.dxe4 Rxe4 25.Rexe4 dxe4 26.Nxg5 Nxa5 27.Qa4 b6 28.Rh4+ Kg8 29.Qa2+ Kf8 30.Rh8+ Ke7 31.Rxb8 Qxg5 32.Qb1 Qf4 33.Qd1 Nc6 34.Rh8 Kf6 1-0)

  1. O-O O-O 9. h3 (The most often played move, but SF 14.1 @depth 40 will play 9 Nbd2) 9…Be6 (9…There are 10 games at the CBDB in which the move 9…Ba7 was played, and it is the choice of SF 191221 @depth 34 plays the move, but SF 14.1 @depth 39 will play the move played in the game) 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11. Be3 (Although this move is the choice of SF 14 @depth 37, SF 14.1
    @depth 49 will play 11 Nbd2, which will be a TN if’n it’s ever played by a human. The move 11 b4 was seen in the following game, found only at the CBDB:

Kirill Alekseenko (2699) (RUS) vs Alexander Zubov 2598 (UKR)
Titled Tuesday Intern Op 2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O a6 7.a4 h6 8.a5 O-O 9.h3 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.b4 Ba7 12.Re1 Qe8 13.Be3 Nh5 14.g3 Rf6 15.Ra2 Qf7 16.Nbd2 Rf8 17.Kg2 Qg6 18.Kh2 Qf7 19.Kg2 g5 20.Qe2 Qg6 21.Rf1 Kh7 22.Bxa7 Nxa7 23.Nh2 R6f7 24.Nc4 Nf6 25.Ne3 h5 26.Rb2 Nb5 27.Rc2 Kg8 28.Qd2 g4 29.hxg4 Nxg4 30.Nexg4 hxg4 31.Qe2 Rf3 32.Qd1 d5 33.Re1 d4 34.c4 Nc3 35.Qd2 Kg7 36.Rh1 R3f6 37.Qe1 b6 38.axb6 cxb6 39.Qc1 a5 40.c5 a4 41.cxb6 Qh5 42.Nf1 Qf7 43.Qg5+ Qg6 44.Qxe5 Kg8 45.Qxd4 Nd1 46.Rd2 Nxf2 47.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 48.Qxf2 Rxf2+ 49.Kxf2 Qf6+ 50.Ke1 Qc3+ 51.Nd2 Qxb4 52.Ke2 Qxb6 53.Rb1 Qa7 54.Nc4 a3 55.Ra1 a2 56.Ne3 Qa3 57.Nc4 Qb3 58.Rf1 Qc3 0-1

Fork the Russians. Score one for UKRAINE!!!

The Saint Louis Spring Classic Tournaments

A remarkable thing happened in St. Louis the past couple of weeks during the playing of the 2022 Spring Classic at the St. Louis Chess Club.

https://www.hisour.com/world-chess-hall-of-fame-saint-louis-missouri-united-states-5153/

There were two different Chess tournaments, the “A” and the “B”. In the top section there were twenty three (23) decisive games played out of the forty five (45) total games contested, which is over 50%. There were even more decisive games, twenty eight (28) in the “B” tournament! That means 62% of the games ended in a victory for one player! This is unheard of in todaze Chess world what with the plethora of drawn games dominating play. The “A” section saw white score twelve (12) wins, with the general of the black army winning eleven (11) games! In round three there were three (3) black wins to go with two draws. Round five (5) saw three (3) black wins with only one (1) win for the player of the white pieces. In the “second section” there were nineteen (19) victories scored by players of the white pieces, with nine (9) games won by the player in command of the black pieces. These two tournaments were truly “fighting” tournaments. This should not be Big News but is because of the unbelievably large number of drawn games in most tournaments these daze, such as tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Club, where players go to draw. There is a reason for the great disparity between the two Chess havens. Simply put, if a player comes to St. Louis with a case of “shakeitus” he is not again invited. In Charlotte they “Follow the rules.” In St. Louis they make their own rules, which happen to engender fighting Chess. If a player comes to St. Louis with his hand extended, ready to accept a draw at any time, that player deservedly suffers opprobrium from the community.

The time spent watching the games from St. Louis was time well spent. What with the Russian monster killing machine laying waste to Ukraine time was needed for escapism, and nothing is a better escape outlet than the Royal Game, especially when the players come to the board with their knives unsheathed.

The first featured game involves one of my favorite players, GM Titas Stremavicius.

He must be the only Grandmaster who plays with the f-pawn, both f-pawns. Certainly Titas is the leading exponent of the Bird’s opening (1 f4), and after 1 d4 Sid Vicious, as I think of him, plays 1…f5 with regularity. Sid is an imaginative and interesting player who usually plays to win. Until this tournament Sid, given the chance, usually played the Leningrad Dutch. For some reason Titas decided to play differently in his round six game with GM Robert Hungaski.

ajedrez-riogalleguense.blogspot.com

After, 1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2, Stremavicius played the move 3…e6?! in lieu of 3…d6. Why, Sid, why? Sid tripped and fell all over his blade. Sid must have “booked up” on 3…e6 in order to surprise his opponents in this tournament because he played the same move against GM Elshan Moradiabadi

in round eight. Unfortunately, the vicious one was the player surprised. Sid came out of the opening with a decent position, but in the transition to the middle game Sid Vicious first put one foot in it before putting the other foot in it before falling face first into the slime pit. Those two losses with black were sandwiched between a loss with white to GM Arman Mikaelyan,

Arman Mikaelyan (GM armeno, 23 anni) https://unoscacchista.com/2019/12/13/roma-capitale-degli-scacchi/

making it three losses in a row heading into the last round. Keep this in mind as you read on…

The following game was contested in the last round. GM Christopher Repka

2022 Spring Chess Classic: Chris Repka Interview | Round 4

started the tournament with four (4) straight wins, and after a couple of draws defeated Christopher Woojin Woo

2022 Spring Chess Classic: Christopher Yoo Interview | Round 8

in round seven while General of the white army. At one point I recall Repka being two full points ahead of the player in second place. The youngest human to become a Grandmaster, Abhimanyu Mishra (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/07/14/chess-dirty-laundry-begins-to-smell/),

2022 Spring Chess Classic: Abhi Mishra Interview | Round 9

won four (4) games in a row after a second round loss with black versus GM Cemil Can Ali Marandi.

Cemil Can Ali Marandi | ChessStreamers .com

After a draw in the antepenultimate round with GM Elshan Moradiabadi the two players, Mishra and Repka, were tied for first place and were to meet in the penultimate round. It was the game of the event as Mishra, in charge of the black army, handed Repka his first loss. In the last round Stremavicius, who had lost three games in a row, had white versus Repka, who now desperately needed a win…

Titas Stremavicius (2520) vs Christopher Repka (2508)
Saint Louis Spring Classic “B”
A21 English, Kramnik-Shirov counterattack

  1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Qc2 d6 4. e3 c5 5. g3 Ne7 6. Bg2 Nbc6 7. Nge2 Bf5 8. d3 Qd7 9. h3 O-O 10. Bd2 Bxc3 11. bxc3 Be6 12. Rd1 f5 13. Bc1 Rad8 14. O-O f4 15. exf4 Bxh3 16. d4 Bxg2 17. Kxg2 Qf5 18. Qxf5 Nxf5 19. g4 Nfe7 20. f5 Na5 21. Bg5 Kf7 22. Rfe1 Rfe8 23. dxe5 dxe5 24. Rxd8 Rxd8 25. Nf4 Nxc4 26. Ne6 Re8 27. Re4 b5 28. Nc7 Rb8 29. a4 Nc6 30. Nxb5 N6a5 31. Nxa7 Rb2 32. Nc6 Ra2 33. Nxa5 Nxa5 34. Bd8 Nc6 35. Bb6 Ne7 36. Bxc5 Nd5 37. Rxe5 Nxc3 38. g5 Nxa4 39. Re7+ Kf8 40. Re2+ Nxc5 41. Rxa2 h6 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!spring-chess-classic-b-2022/-1909464958

Stockfish 14 @depth 47 will take the Knight with 4…Bc3. The only other game with the same move order follows, which makes 5 g3 a Theoretical Novelty. There were several turning points and I suggest you surf on over to Lichess.com (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-spring-chess-classic/round-9/TYTT0kRI) and reply the game. The following position captured my attention:

Position after 17 Kxg2 with Black to move

I was expecting 17…Qg4 because there is no way I would trade Queens when my opponent had an ‘open air’ King!

Klaus Bischoff (2504) vs Rene Stern (2521)
Event: Bundesliga 2016-17
Site: Berlin GER Date: 11/19/2016
Round: 3.5 Score: ½-½
ECO: A21 English, Kramnik-Shirov counterattack
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4 3.Qc2 d6 4.e3 c5 5.Nge2 Nc6 6.a3 Ba5 7.d3 f5 8.Bd2 Nf6 9.g3 O-O 10.Bg2 Bd7 11.O-O Rb8 12.f4 Qe8 13.Nd5 Bxd2 14.Qxd2 Ne7 15.Nxf6+ Rxf6 16.fxe5 dxe5 17.Nc3 Be6 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.cxd5 Nc8 20.Qc3 b6 21.b4 cxb4 22.Qxb4 Nd6 23.Rac1 Rd8 24.Rc6 e4 25.dxe4 Nxe4 26.Bxe4 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4022571&m=9

Abhimanyu Mishra won the “B” section of the tournament with seven (7) points, one more than Christopher Repka, who finished a point and a half ahead of a group of four with 4 1/2.

GM Abhimanyu Mishra (2505) vs GM Christopher Woojin Yoo (2514)
Saint Louis Spring Classic “A” Round 9
C03 French, Tarrasch

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Be7 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bd3 c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. O-O g5 9. Nb1 b6 10. Be3 Bb7 11. a3 c4 12. Bc2 h5 13. Ne1 Qc7 14. f4 gxf4 15. Bxf4 O-O-O 16. Nd2 Rdf8 17. Qe2 f6 18. exf6 Bd6 19. Bxd6 Qxd6 20. Nef3 Rxf6 21. Ng5 Qe7 22. Ndf3 Re8 23. h4 Qd6 24. Nd2 e5 25. Bf5 Rff8 26. Bxd7+ Kxd7 27. Qxh5 Rxf1+ 28. Rxf1 exd4 29. cxd4 b5 30. Ndf3 Qe7 31. Re1 Qxe1+ 32. Nxe1 Rxe1+ 33. Kf2 Re8 34. Qf7+ Re7 35. Qxd5+ Kc8 36. Qf5+ Kc7 37. Qf4+ Kc8 38. Ne4 Nd8 39. Nd6+ Kd7 40. Nf5 Rf7 41. g4 Nc6 42. d5 Ne7 43. Qd6+ Ke8 44. Qb8+ Nc8 45. Kg3 a5 46. Nd6+ 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!spring-chess-classic-b-2022/-289612928
Now that’s a Chess MOVE! Position after 8…g5

9…b6 was a weak move for many reasons, foremost in that it blocked the Queen. 9…Qb6 was best. Mishra hald an advantage even after playing the weak 11 a3. At Lichess the move is given as 11 a3?!, with “Inaccuracy. Ne1 was best.” Then a few moves later Mishra played 13 Ne1? “Mistake. a4 was best.” after that move the game was even…until Yoo took the pawn with 14…gxf4. Stockfish preferred 14…g4. (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-spring-chess-classic/round-9/TYTT0kRI) The game was lost after Yoo played 17…f6? What would Ben Finegold say?

In the top section, “A”, GM Samuel Sevian and GM Illya Nyzhnyk tied for first place with each scoring six (6) points. Unfortunately, they were forced to play some kind of quick game that is inherently unfair to decide which player “won” the tournament. It is sad, really, when one thinks about it… Show the players some RESPECT!

GM Ray Robson (2676)

2021 U.S. Chess Championships: Ray Robson Interview | Round 11

vs GM Illya Nyzhnyk

2022 Spring Chess Classic: Illya Nyzhnyk Interview | Round 8


Saint Louis Spring Classic “A”
C43 Petrov, modern attack, Symmetrical variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 Bc5 5. Bc4 Nxf2 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Qd5+ Kg6 8. Qxc5 Nxh1 9. Nc3 h6 10. Qd4 d6 11. Nd5 Nc6 12. Qe4+ Kf7 13. Be3 Re8 14. Bxh6 Rxe5 15. Nxe5+ Nxe5 16. O-O-O Nf2 17. Rf1 Qf6 18. Nxf6 Nxe4 19. Nxe4+ Kg8 20. Bf4 Ng6 21. Ng5 Bd7 22. Be3 b6 23. Bd4 Rf8 24. Rxf8+ Nxf8 25. Kd2 Ne6 26. Nxe6 Bxe6 27. a3 Kf7 28. h4 Bf5 29. c3 c5 30. Be3 Ke6 31. Bf4 Be4 32. g3 Bf3 33. Ke3 Bd1 34. Kd2 Bf3 35. Ke3 Bd1 36. Kd2 Bf3 1/2-1/2
    https://live.followchess.com/#!spring-chess-classic-a-2022/861379315
Position after 9…h6 with White to move
  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 (SF 14.1 @depth 55 and SF 250222 @depth 56 will play 4 Bd3. Houdini @depth 27 will play the move made in the game) 4…Bc5 5. Bc4 Nxf2 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Qd5+ Kg6 8. Qxc5 Nxh1 9. Nc3 h6 10. Qd4 (The game is still in “book” theory, but this is not “book.” The only move played until now has been 10 Qc4 and eleven examples can be found here, if’n you’re of a mind to delve deeply into the opening: https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=19&n=3249145&ms=e4.e5.Nf3.Nf6.d4.Nxe4.dxe5.Bc5.Bc4.Nxf2.Bxf7.Kxf7.Qd5.Kg6.Qxc5.Nxh1.Nc3.h6&ns=3.5.5.221.765.909.766.19757.80384.104065.395428.558033.1231410.1527481.1249477.1542437.2519503.3249145)