Jennifer Ishee vs Dan Bock: B25 Closed Sicilian

Jennifer Ishee (1660)

vs Dan Bock (1764)

Alto Round 5
B25 Sicilian, closed

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 g6 5. d3 Bg7 6. Nge2 e6 7. O-O Nge7 8. Be3 O-O 9. Qd2 Rb8 10. Bh6 b5 11. Bxg7 Kxg7 12. Nf4 b4 13. Nce2 e5 14. Nd5 Nxd5 15. exd5 Nd4 16. c3 bxc3 17. bxc3 Nxe2+ 18. Qxe2 Bd7 19. Rab1 Qa5 20. c4 Rb4 21. f4 Rxb1 22. Rxb1 Re8 23. fxe5 Rxe5 24. Qf2 Bc8 25. Rf1 Qc7 26. Qb2 Qe7 27. Re1 f6 28. Rxe5 Qxe5 29. Qxe5 fxe5 30. Kf2 Kf6 31. Bf3 Kg5 32. Ke3 h6 33. Kf2 Kf6 34. Ke3 Bd7 35. Kf2 Ba4 36. Ke3 a5 37. Kd2 g5 38. Ke3 Kg6 39. Ke4 Bd7 1/2-1/2 (

‘Back in the day’ 2 Nc3 was the choice of the AW. There were two reasons for playing the closed variation. The Nadjorf was my choice when beginning to play the game, therefore there was no desire to face MY opening. The other was there was so much theory one needed to know to play against all the different Sicilian defenses and I did not have enough time to devote to studying the best way to play against the myriad Sicilian variations.

After 2…d6 Stockfish shows 2…a6 as best. That it may be, but ‘back in the day’ we ‘humans’ did not play the move. The numbers at 365Chess show almost 50,000 games in which the second move was 2…Nc6. All other moves total about 30,000. 2…d6 and 2…e6 have each been played in about 12,000 games. Then comes 2…a6, showing about 3,000 games.

Then we come to the third move, 3 g3. It was de rigueur to move the g-pawn one square with the third move. Stockfish shows 3 Nge2 best. According to 365Chess the second choice, according to the numbers, has been 3 f4 (4332), with 3 g3 (4169) close behind. The bronze move is 3 Nf3 (1346). The choice of SF, 3 Nge2, comes next with 1089 games. The move did not appear in the above game until move 6.

Then we come to the third move, 3 g3. It was de rigueur to move the g-pawn one square with the third move. Stockfish shows 3 Nge2 best. According to 365Chess the second choice, according to the numbers, has been 3 f4 (4332), with 3 g3 (4169) close behind. The bronze move is 3 Nf3 (1346). The choice of SF, 3 Nge2, comes next with 1089 games. The move did not appear in the above game until move 6.

Position after 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 g6 5. d3 Bg7

The above position has been on a board in front of me on numerous occasions. It was the reason for playing the Closed Sicilian. White plays 6 Be3, follows with Qd2, and you can say, “Kingside ATTACK!” In the above position the Stockfish program at plays 6 Be3, and so should you. Jennifer played 6. Nge2. Mr. Bock answered with 6…e6 when the best move is 6…e5. After Jennifer castled kingside with her seventh move the following position was reached:

Position after 7 0-0

Dan Bock played 7…Nge7. There was a better move. Can you find it? The moved played in the game looks natural but when the position is examined closely one sees that the player of the white pieces has left herself open to the dangerous thrust, 7…h5! Now in lieu of white attacking it is Mr. Bock who would be attacking on the kingside, something no player with the white pieces wants to see this early in the game. If the knight that moved to e2 had been played to f3 there would be no h-pawn storm with which to contend. After 7…Nge7 things were “back to normal” so to speak, and Jennifer was allowed to play the thematic Be3; Qd2; and Bh6, to attack the black king.

Then we come to the position after 11…Kxg7:

Position after 11…Kg7

We again have a thematic position. From much personal experience this former player of the Closed variation of the Sicilian Defense knows the move played in the game, 12 Nf4, is not good. Although most players are taught to “go forward” there are times when a retreat is called for, and this is one of those occasions. Jennifer should have played the retrograde 12 Nd1. Although black obtained an advantage that grew to alarming proportions, the General of the white pieces somehow kept it together enough to hold the draw in this hard fought game.

Jennifer Ishee Defeats the French Defense: Horwitz Attack, Papa-Ticulat Gambit

After seeing the name of the opening, which was new to these eyes, I was compelled to post this game…

Jennifer Ishee

is married to Mark Ishee, whom I know from the old daze, a strong player who once hosted the Fugitive Chess Club in Brentwood, Tennessee, if memory serves.

In the third round of the recently completed ALTO (At least twenty one) Chess tournament the 1660 rated Jennifer Ishee had the black pieces against fellow class B player Nathan Heck (1765). After Heck opened with 1 e4 Jennifer opted to defend with the French defense by playing 1…e6. Her opponent opted for 2 b3. The opening then became the “C00 French, Reti (Spielmann) variation” according to Nevertheless, names it the “French Defense: Horwitz Attack, Papa-Ticulat Gambit.” I have absolutely no idea why. Anyone with a clue please leave a comment or drop me an email. Replaying the game was enjoyed immensely, and I would urge you to play over the game sans annotations, while asking, and hopefully answering, questions.When one is unfamiliar with an opening it is best to cogitate at length to become familiar with the ideas and concepts, prior to learning what The Program, no matter what program, “thinks.” I know it does not “think”, but “computes.” What do you “think” of that?!

Nathan Heck (1765) vs Jennifer Ishee (1660)
French Defense: Horwitz Attack, Papa-Ticulat Gambit

  1. e4 e6 2. b3 d5 3. Bb2 dxe4 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Qe2 Bb4 6. O-O-O O-O 7. g4 Nc6 8. Nxe4 e5 9. c3 Be7 10. f3 Nd5 11. h4 Nf4 12. Qh2 Nd3+ 13. Kc2 Nxb2 14. Kxb2 a5 15. Bb5 Bd6 16. Ne2 Qe7 17. g5 Ba3+ 18. Kc2 Bd7 19. Bd3 b5 20. Qg3 Kh8 21. g6 f5 22. Ng5 h6 23. Qg2 Nd8 24. Ng3 Ne6 25. Nf7+ Rxf7 26. gxf7 Nf4 27. Qf1 Nxd3 28. Qxd3 Qxf7 29. Rde1 Bd6 30. Rhg1 a4 31. Ra1 Bc5 32. Rgb1 Bf2 33. Ne2 f4 34. Kc1 Bf5 35. Qxb5 a3 36. d3 Rd8 37. Kc2 Rxd3 38. Qxd3 Bxd3+ 39. Kxd3 Qd5+ 40. Kc2 Qxf3 0-1
  1. e4 e6 2. b3 d5 3. Bb2 dxe4 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Qe2 Bb4 6. O-O-O O-O 7. g4 (365Chess contains three games in which 7 Nxe4 was played and that’s it…but here’s the deal, the move played by Mr. Heck is the choice of the Stockfish program at! What the Heck is up with that?!

B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack

Since the move 6 h3 in the Najdorf is known as the “Adams attack” I went to to find examples of Weaver Adams playing the move named after him. This was the only game located:

Weaver Warren Adams

vs Max Pavey

Event: US op
Site: Baltimore Date: ??/??/1948
Round: 10 Score: 1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 Qc7 7.g4 e6 8.Bg2 Nc6 9.Be3 Na5 10.Qe2 Bd7 11.Rd1 h6 12.Bc1 Be7 13.f4 O-O-O 14.O-O Kb8 15.g5 Ne8 16.h4 Qc8 17.f5 hxg5 18.hxg5 Nc6 19.fxe6 Nxd4 20.Rxd4 fxe6 21.Rf7 Qc5 22.Qc4 Qxc4 23.Rxc4 Bf8 24.g6 Rc8 25.Rxc8+ Kxc8 26.Bg5 Nf6 27.Bxf6 gxf6 28.g7 Bxg7 29.Rxg7 1-0

The opening moves were plugged into the Stockfish program used at and this was what came out:

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 h5 8. g3 b5 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Nec3 Bb7 11. Be3 Be7 12. Bg2 Nxd5 13. Nxd5 h4 14. O-O Rc8 15. c3 O-O 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. gxh4 Rc4 18. Re1 Qe6 19. f3 f5 20. Bg5 f4 21. Kh2 Nb6 22. Rc1 Rc6 23. b3 d5 24. Qe2 Qf7 25. exd5 Nxd5 26. Qxe5 Ne3 27. Qe7 Qxe7 28. Bxe7 Rfc8 29. Bg5 Rxc3 30. Rxc3 Rxc3 31. Bxf4 Nxg2 32. Kxg2 Rxf3 33. Re7 Rxf4+ 34. Rxb7 Rd4 35. Kg3 Rd2 36. a4 bxa4 37. bxa4 Rd4 38. a5 Ra4 39. h5 Rxa5 40. Rb6 Ra3+ 41. Kh4 Kh7 42. Kg5 Rxh3 43. Rxa6 1/2-1/2

11 Be3 is not shown at making the move a Theoretical Novelty of sorts, I suppose…


This game was played TODAY!

Giga Quparadze vs Jules Moussard
23rd European Individual Championship 2023 Last Round
B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 h6 8. Bg2 Be7 9. b3 Nc6 10. Bb2 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 e5 12. Qd3 Be6 13. O-O-O O-O 14. Kb1 b5 15. Ne2 Qc7 16. f4 exf4 17. Nxf4 Rac8 18. Nh5 Nxh5 19. gxh5 f5 20. Rhg1 f4 21. Bf3 Bf6 22. Rg6 Bxb2 23. Kxb2 Bf7 24. Rxd6 Qc5 25. Rd2 a5 26. Rg2 b4 27. Qd4 Qc3+ 28. Qxc3 Rxc3 29. Bg4 Re3 30. Ra6 Rxe4 31. Rxa5 Be6 32. Rf2 Re3 33. Ra4 Bxg4 34. hxg4 Rg3 35. Rxb4 f3 36. Rd4 Rg2 37. Rdd2 Rxg4 38. Rd3 Rgf4 39. a4 Kh7 40. a5 g5 41. hxg6+ Kxg6 42. a6 Kg5 43. Rd7 R4f6 44. a7 Kf4 45. Rf1 h5 46. b4 h4 47. b5 Ke3 48. Rb7 Ra8 49. b6 Ke2 50. Ra1 f2 51. Rb8 f1=Q 52. Rxf1 Rxb6+ 53. Rxb6 Kxf1 54. Rh6 Rxa7 55. Rxh4 Ke2 56. Rd4 Ke3 57. c3 Rb7+ 58. Kc2 Rh7 59. Rg4 Kf3 60. Rd4 Ke3 61. Kb3 Rb7+ 62. Rb4 Rh7 63. Rb5 Rd7 64. c4 Kd4 65. Kb4 Rd8 66. Rb6 Ke5 67. Kb5 Rc8 68. c5 Kd5 69. Rd6+ Ke5 70. Rd1 Ke6 71. Kb6 Rb8+ 72. Kc7 1-0 (

Upsetting First Round at the European Individual Chess Championship 2023

The first round of a large Chess tournament is interesting for the fan because of the disparity in the level of play. Combine that with coming out of the pandemic and the difficulty of playing when out of form and the possibility of upsets increases exponentially. Todaze game features the Upset of the Day.

GM Bartosz Socko (2618)

vs FM Matyas Palczert (2304)
European Individual Chess Championship 2023
B47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.f4 a6 7.Nxc6 Qxc6 8.Bd3 b5 9.Qe2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Bc5 11.O-O-O Ne7 12.a3 O-O 13.Rhf1 f5 14.g4 Rae8 15.Kb1 d5 16.gxf5 exf5 17.e5 Qe6 18.Qe1 d4 19.Ne2 Nd5 20.Rg1 Kh8 21.Rg5 Re7 22.Qg1 Bc8 23.h4 Qc6 24.Qg3 Be6 25.Rg1 Qd7 26.Qe1 Rb8 27.Bb4 Nxb4 28.axb4 Bb6 29.Ng3 Rf8 30.Nh5 g6 31.Ng3 Qd5 32.b3 Rc8 33.h5 Rxc2 34.Kxc2 Qxb3+ 35.Kd2 Qb2+ 36.Bc2 d3 37.Qb1 Qd4 38.Bxd3 Qe3+ 39.Kd1 Rd7 40.Rg2 Rxd3+ 0-1

GM Bartoz Socko, born in 1978, was the number 36 seed to begin the tournament. His opponent, FM Matyas Palczert was, born in 2007, was seeded #278. On paper it was a walk over for the GM, but the daze coming out of the pandemic have shown the paper can be chunked into the trash bin, especially when one of the opponents is an improving young player, and the older player has some built up rust from lack of play. After the youngster made his 21st move the GM had a winning position, which he then ruined with his 22nd move, allowing the spud back into the game. After the youngster played 23…Qc6 (given a “?” by the Stockfish program at this was the position on the board:


Unfortunately for the older player his next move was what can only be called a “howler.” The move is given in red, which is never a good thing. It is rare to see any GM make a move bad enough to be presented in red, especially when it is followed by not one, but two question marks, as is 24 Qg3?? What move should have been made?

The game continued bouncing around equality for awhile until this position was reached:

Position after 32…Rc8

It is not often we fans of Chess see a Grandmaster make two “Big Red” moves in one game but that is what we were treated with by the GM, who was Sockoed by yet another double question mark move prior to yet another double question mark “Big Red” move prior to going down in flames.

Ilia Smirin (2657) vs Ram Soffer (2492)
Event: 13th EICC
Site: Plovdiv BUL Date: 03/25/2012
Round: 6.80 Score: 1-0
ECO: B47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.f4 a6 7.Nxc6 Qxc6 8.Bd3 b5 9.Qe2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Bc5 11.O-O-O Ne7 12.a3 O-O 13.Rhf1 f5 14.g4 Rae8 15.Kb1 d5 16.gxf5 exf5 17.e5 d4 18.Na2 Nd5 19.Rg1 Ne3 20.Bxe3 dxe3 21.Rg3 Qh6 22.Rf1 Rc8 23.Nc3 Bxa3 24.Nd1 Bc5 25.Nxe3 Bxe3 26.Qxe3 Qe6 27.Rfg1 Rc7 28.Rg5 Bc8 29.h4 Qc6 30.h5 Be6 31.Qg3 Rff7 32.h6 Qd5 33.b3 Qd4 34.Rd1 Rfd7 35.Be2 Qc5 36.Rxg7+ Kf8 37.Rgxd7 Qxc2+ 38.Ka1 Rxd7 39.Rxd7 Qc1+ 40.Ka2 Qc2+ 41.Ka3 Qc5+ 42.Kb2 Bxd7 43.Qg7+ Ke8 44.Qh8+ Qf8 45.Bh5+ Ke7 46.Qxf8+ Kxf8 47.b4 Be8 48.Bxe8 Kxe8 49.Kc3 Kd7 50.Kd4 Kc6 51.e6 Kd6 52.e7 Kxe7 53.Ke5 Kf8 54.Kxf5 Kf7 55.Ke5 Kg6 56.Ke6 Kxh6 57.f5 1-0

B93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4

Todaze focus is on the sixth move of f4 versus the venerable Najdorf Sicilian. There are six thousand games contained in the database with the move, about half the number of the previous post, which focused on 6 Bc4. The next move according to the numbers, 6 f3, began this series because it is the choice of the Stockfish program utilized at “the reason for the internet,” at least as far a Chess is concerned, The database shows over five thousand games with 6 f3, but that is heading upward since it is the choice of the Fish.

Stockfish vs Stockfish

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f4 e5 7. Nb3 Nc6 8. Bd3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Kh1 h6 11. h3 Bd7 12. a3 Rc8 13. fxe5 Nxe5 14. Be3 Re8 15. Qe2 Be6 16. Nd4 Nh7 17. a4 Bg5 18. Bg1 Qa5 19. Rab1 Nf6 20. Qf2 Nh5 21. Bh2 Qb6 22. a5 Qc5 23. Ra1 Bf6 24. Nce2 Bd7 25. Rad1 Qxa5 26. g4 d5 27. gxh5 Bxh3 28. Bxe5 Rxe5 29. Rg1 Rxh5 30. Nf4 dxe4 31. Nxh5 Qxh5 32. Be2 Bg4+ 33. Qh2 Bxe2 34. Nxe2 Qf3+ 35. Qg2 Qh5+ 36. Qh2 1/2-1/2

Balaji Daggupati (2486) vs David Brodsky (2484)
Event: Saint Louis Congress GM
Site: Saint Louis USA Date: 05/22/2022
Round: 7.4 Score: 1-0
ECO: B93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 e5 7.Nb3 Nc6 8.Bd3 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Nd5 h6 11.f5 b5 12.Qf3 Bb7 13.Bd2 Re8 14.Qg3 Kh8 15.Qh3 Kg8 16.Bxh6 gxh6 17.Qxh6 Nxd5 18.Rf3 Bg5 19.Rg3 f6 20.exd5 Ra7 21.h4 Ba8 22.hxg5 Rh7 23.gxf6+ Kh8 24.Qxh7+ Kxh7 25.Kf2 Qb6+ 26.Ke2 Nd4+ 27.Nxd4 exd4+ 28.Kf2 1-0

Vassily Ivanchuk (2710) vs Garry Kasparov (2805)
Event: Amsterdam VSB Euwe mem
Site: Amsterdam Date: 05/16/1994
Round: 4 Score: 1-0
ECO: B93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 Qc7 7.Qf3 g6 8.Be3 Bg7 9.h3 e5 10.fxe5 dxe5 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxf6 O-O 13.Nd5 Qa5+ 14.b4 Qd8 15.Ne7+ Qxe7 16.Qxe7 exd4 17.Bc4 Nc6 18.Qc5 Be3 19.Rf1 Nd8 20.Rf3 Be6 21.Rxe3 dxe3 22.Bxe6 Nxe6 23.Qxe3 a5 24.b5 Rac8 25.O-O-O Rc5 26.Rd5 b6 27.Qg3 Rc7 28.Qd6 Rfc8 29.Rd2 Rb7 30.g4 Nc5 31.Qf6 h6 32.e5 Re8 33.h4 Kh7 34.h5 g5 35.Rd6 Re6 36.Qd8 Kg7 37.a3 a4 38.Kb2 Rbe7 39.Rxb6 1-0

B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Lipnitzky attack

‘Back in the day’ the Najdorf variation with 6 Bc4 was called the “Sozin” variation, which was a favorite of Bobby Fischer.

Position after 6 Bc4

Times change and names change, but it is still called the “Bobby Fischer” variation by most players, but there are exceptions:

Stockfish vs Stockfish

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Qc7 8. Qe2 Be7 9. a4 O-O 10. a5 Nbd7 11. Bd3 Ne5 12. f4 Nxd3 13. cxd3 b5 14. axb6 Qxb6 15. Be3 Qb7 16. g4 e5 17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. gxf5 Rfb8 19. Rf2 Bd8 20. Rg2 Bb6 21. fxe5 dxe5 22. Kh1 Kh8 23. Bg5 Bd4 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Qh5 Rg8 26. Rxg8+ Rxg8 27. Qh6 Qxb2 28. Qxf6+ Rg7 29. Qd8+ Rg8 30. Qf6+ 1/2-1/2

Prior to beginning this series I wonder what type player would feature prominently in coming closest to playing as many moves played by the Stockfish program used at Please note one of the following players was unrated at the time the game was played. What makes this game so remarkable is that it was drawn!

Sam Jay Orton vs Paul Obiamiwe (2065)
Event: BCF-ch 87th
Site: Millfield Date: 08/08/2000
Round: 8 Score: ½-½
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Lipnitzky attack
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.O-O Qc7 8.Qe2 Be7 9.a4 O-O 10.Be3 b6 11.Rad1 Nc6 12.Kh1 Ne5 13.Bb3 Bb7 14.Bc1 Rac8 15.f3 Nc4 16.g4 Rfe8 17.h4 d5 18.Bxc4 dxc4 19.Qg2 Red8 20.Be3 Ne8 21.g5 g6 22.Qg4 Ng7 23.Nde2 Nh5 24.Nf4 Nxf4 25.Bxf4 Qc5 26.h5 b5 27.hxg6 hxg6 28.Kg2 Bf8 29.axb5 axb5 30.Qg3 Bg7 31.Bd6 Rxd6 32.Qxd6 Qxg5+ 33.Qg3 Qc5 34.Qd6 Qg5+ 35.Qg3 Qc5 36.Qd6 ½-½

B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation

The reason for the series on the Najdorf is that I wanted to learn how the Stockfish Chess program used at plays for and against what has become the most popular Chess opening being used today. Anyone writing about todaze Najdorf must put the Frenchman, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, aka, “MVL” at the top of the list of leading exponents of the venerable opening. See the post that began this series ( As mentioned, this is an ongoing series of articles, so each one is put together individually. Before beginning, I wondered if, and or when, MVL would enter the picture. This is the post.

Stockfish vs Stockfish

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Qd3 Be6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O h6 11. Rfd1 Nc6 12. h3 b5 13. a3 Na5 14. Nxa5 Qxa5 15. Bd2 Qc7 16. Qg3 Kh8 17. Bd3 Bd7 18. Qf3 Qb7 19. Qe2 Bc6 20. b4 Kg8 21. f3 Rfd8 22. Be3 Nh5 23. Qf2 Nf6 24. Qg3 Nh5 25. Qf2 Nf6 26. Qe2 Nh5 27 Qf2 1/2-1/2

Hikaru Nakamura (2787) vs Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2785)
Event: Gibraltar Masters TB
Site: Caleta ENG Date: 01/26/2016
Round: 4 Score: ½-½
ECO: B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3

Position after 8 Qd3 (365Chess contains only 34 games in which this move, considered best by Stockfish, has been played. 8 0-0 has been seen in almost six thousand games. Wonder where Hikaru found the idea to play 8 Qd3?)

Be6 9.Be3 Nc6 10.a3 d5 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Qxd5 Bxd5 14.O-O O-O 15.Rad1 Be4 16.Nc5 Bxc2 17.Rd2 Bf5 18.Nxb7 Nd4 19.Bxd4 exd4 20.Rxd4 Bf6 21.Rb4 a5 22.Rb5 Bd7 23.Rb6 Rab8 24.Bf3 Rfc8 25.Rd1 Be6 26.h3 a4 27.Rb4 Bb3 28.Rb1 Rc2 29.Nc5 Rxb4 30.axb4 Rxb2 31.Rxb2 Bxb2 32.Nxb3 axb3 33.Bd1 Bc3 ½-½

The following video was published with the first, aforementioned post, but I decided to include it again, for an obvious reason. In hindsight it maybe would have been better to have waited on using the video, but these posts are being put together individually, so this writer is “winging it.”

The Najdorf with 6 Bg5

This is the second part of an ongoing look at what Stockfish “thinks” of the legendary Najdorf variation. Part one was published a few daze ago (, with a focus on the move Stockfish considers best for white against the Najdorf system, 6 f3. shows a total of twenty seven different moves having been played by those with the white pieces against the Najdorf. The most often played move by humans has been 6 Bg5, and it has been played in 20,902 games. I utilized the 365Chess database because it includes games by everyone regardless of rating. The first game score you see emanate from the fertile algorithms of Stockfish vs Stockfish. The game most closely matching the moves of Stockfish follows.

This game was ‘contested’ by the Stockfish program on 2/20/23:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Nc6 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 e5 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. fxe5 Ng4 14. Bg3 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 dxe5 16. Bc4 Bc5 17. Rf1 O-O 18. O-O-O Qe7 19. Kb1 Rb8 20. Ka2 Be6 21. Bxe6 Qxe6+ 22. b3 Bd4 23. Na4 c5 24. Qe2 c4 25. Qxc4 Qxc4 26. bxc4 Rfc8 27. Rb1 Rxb1 28. Rxb1 Rxc4 29. Rb8+ Kh7 30. Kb3 Rc7 31. c3 Bg1 32. c4 h5 33. h3 h4 34. Kb4 Kg6 35. Re8 Rb7+ 36. Ka5 Rc7 37. Kb4 1/2-1/2

Eline Roebers (2344) vs Evgeny Zanan (2521)
Event: Serbia Open 2022
Site: Novi Sad SRB Date: 07/01/2022
Round: 4.28 Score: 0-1
ECO: B96 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7.f4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 h6 8.Bh4 Qb6 9.a3 Nc6 10.Bf2 Qc7 11.Qf3 e5 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.f5 d5 14.O-O-O d4 15.Nb1 c5 16.Nd2 Bb7 17.Bc4 h5 18.g3 Be7 19.Kb1 Ng4 20.Bd3 c4 21.Nxc4 Nxf2 22.Qxf2 Rh6 23.Rhg1 a5 24.a4 Ba6 25.Qe2 Rb8 26.b3 Rc6 27.Nb2 Bxd3 28.Rxd3 Rc8 29.Rg2 Bb4 30.Nd1 Rc5 31.g4 Qb7 32.c4 dxc3 33.Qc2 Qxe4 34.Ne3 Qf4 35.f6 Qxf6 36.Rf2 Qg6 37.gxh5 Qxh5 38.Nf5 Kf8 39.Rd7 R5c7 40.Qd3 Qg5 41.Rxc7 Rxc7 42.Kc2 g6 43.Ne3 Bc5 44.Rf3 Bxe3 45.Rxe3 Kg7 46.Re2 Rc5 47.Rf2 Qe7 48.Qg3 Qb7 49.Qh4 f5 50.Re2 e4 51.Qg5 Qd7 52.Rg2 Rc6 53.h4 Qd3+ 54.Kc1 Qd6 55.h5 Qa3+ 56.Kd1 Qxb3+ 57.Ke1 Qb1+ 58.Kf2 e3+ 59.Kg3 Qe4 60.h6+ Kh7 61.Qd8 Qe5+ 62.Kh3 Qc7 0-1

For more information on the man behind the video see (

The Grob’s Attack

According to the opening move of 1 g4 is known as the A00 Grob’s attack. ‘Back in the day’ it was simply known as “The Grob.”

Henry Grob en Barcelona (1960)(

Any Chess player reaching class B, which is a rating between 1600 and 1799, knows he should defeat any player dumb enough to attempt playing the Grob’s attack. I played the Grob several times in rated tournaments, losing only to IM Boris Kogan.

Why would I have played 1 g4 versus an International Master of Grandmaster strength? After losing to Boris three times in OTB play when playing a more conventional opening the decision was made to try something a little different. OK, that should be “a lot different.” Sure, I lost the game, but the loss was worth something just to see the look on my opponent’s face! The fact is that a decent middle game position was reached prior to my blundering the exchange. Still, it was the only time playing Boris I had the feeling of being in the game. Players do not like facing the Grob attack because they know anything less that a win is tantamount to a loss…of face and credibility. After losing to the Grob one of my Stein Club ( opponents had to listen to an onlooker ask, “You lost to the Grob? How the hell does anyone lose to the Grob?” At that point my opponent emptied his beer stein into the face of the kibitzer before exiting the Stein Club… How bad is Grob’s attack? To put it into perspective, after 1 e4 e5 2 Qh5 the SF program at shows white with a disadvantage of -0.4. Before the move white had a +0.4 advantage. You do the math…

According to the Big Database at 365Chess ( the thirteenth most often opening move made by those in charge of the white brigade has been 1 g4. The Grob. The Grob spelled backwards is:

The Borg Queen/

Anyone can occasionally play what has come to be known as the, C20 KP, Patzer opening.

GM Magnus Carlsen (2835) – IM Shamsiddin Vokhidov (2480)
World Rapid 2018 St Petersburg RUS, 2018.12.26

1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 g6 4.Qf3 Qe7 5.Ne2 Nf6 6.d3 Bg7 7.Nbc3 h6 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 Na5 10.d6 cxd6 11.Bd5 Nc6 12.Bd2 Qf6 13.Qe4 O-O 14.O-O Ne7 15.Nc3 Qf5 16.Qb4 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Kh7 18.Nc7 Rb8 19.Qxd6 b6 20.f3 Bb7 21.Rae1 Rfc8 22.Bc3 Bf8 23.Nb5 Bxd6 24.Nxd6 Qe6 25.Nxc8 Rxc8 26.Rxe5 Qd6 27.Rfe1 Bd5 28.a4 Be6 29.a5 bxa5 30.Kf1 Rc5 31.Rxc5 Qxc5 32.Ra1 d5 33.Rxa5 Qc7 34.Ra4 Qxh2 35.Rxa7 Qh1+ 36.Kf2 d4 0-1

It takes a special type of player to open with the Grob’s Attack. There are those who highly tout Grob’s Attack. For instance:

Most Underrated Chess Opening: Grob’s Attack

So today we’ll learn another underrated chess opening called the Grob’s Attack, which starts with the unusual 1.g4. The opening takes its name from Swiss International Master Henri Grob (1904–1974) who analysed it extensively and played hundreds of correspondence games with it.

A great thing about this opening is that the White’s first move 1.g4 is so rare that most of your opponents will be shocked to see it. Therefore, you get them out of their opening preparation giving you a great chance of winning the game!

Before getting to the most underrated chess opening, let me remind you that the special offers we’re providing you with in honour of our upgraded training portal and new shop is expiring TOMORROW (31 March).

Yes, this is the LAST chance for you to get a massive 64% discount (or more) on all the RCA courses and packages. Grab your favourite courses and you can even study them on your mobile now! (

Have you ever felt like you stepped into a pile of hyperbole?

In the first round of the Caplin Hastings Masters 2022 a chap named Stellio Jerome, rated 1501, opened with the A00 Grob’s attack versus Expert Matthew J Payne, rated 2116. The result will come as no surprise:

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 h5 3. g5 e5 4. h4 Ne7 5. Bg2 Nbc6 6. e3 Be6 7. Ne2 Qd7 8. d4 e4 9. c4 dxc4 10. Bxe4 Bd5 11. Nbc3 Bxe4 12. Nxe4 Nd5 13. a3 O-O-O 14. Bd2 Re8 15. f3 f5 16. gxf6 gxf6 17. N2c3 Bg7 18. Kf2 f5 19. Nc5 Qf7 20. Qa4 Nb6 21. Qc2 Nxd4 22. Qd1 Qe7 23. N5a4 Nb3 24. Nxb6+ axb6 25. Nd5 Qf7 26. e4 fxe4 27. Bf4 Bd4+ 28. Be3 Qxd5 29. Qe2 exf3 30. Qxf3 Bxe3+ 0-1

Imagine the surprise seeing that Mr. Jerome decided in the third round to play it again, Sam:

Stellio Jerome (1501) vs Nick Faulks (1802)
Hastings 2022 Round 3
The Grob Attack

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. c4 d4 5. d3 e5 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Nbd2 Qe7 8. Ne4 Bc7
  2. Bd2 h6 10. Ng3 Bd7 11. Qc2 g6 12. g5 hxg5 13. Nxg5 f5 14. Bd5 Nf6 15. Bf7+
    Kf8 16. Bxg6 f4 17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. Bxf5 Nd8 19. O-O-O Ne8 20. Rdg1 Nd6 21. Be4 Rh5
  3. h4 Nxe4 23. Nxe4 Rxh4 24. f3 Ne6 25. Qd1 Rxh1 26. Rxh1 Qg7 27. Qf1 Ke7 28.
    Be1 Rg8 29. Bh4+ 1-0

1. g4? (-1.5) d5 (-0.9) 2. h3?! (-1.6)(2 Bg2) 2…c5?! (-1.0)(2…h5) 3. Bg2 (-0.9 )(3 e5) 3…Nc6 (-0.8)(3 e5) 4. c4 (-0.8) 4…d4 (-0.9)(e5) 5. d3 (-0.8) (5 Bxc6+) 5…e5 (-0.5)(Bd7) 6. Nf3?! (-1.4)(6 Bxc6+) 6…Bd6 (-1.2)(h5) 7. Nbd2 (0.9) 7…Qe7?! (+0.1)(7…Nf6)

Position after 7…Qe7

It has taken Nick only seven moves to go from having a winning advantage to having an even game. Things obviously went downhill from here… If you are a class A player and you lose to anyone opening with the Grob you must ask yourself some serious questions, beginning with, “Why am I playing Chess?”

In the fifth round Stellio Jerome did it again:

Stellio Jerome (1501) vs Sanjit S Kumar, (1965)
Hastings 2023 Round 5
The Grob Attack

  1. g4 d5 2. h3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. c4 e6 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Nc3 Nge7 8. d4 Be6 9. Bg5 f6 10. Be3 b6 11. Rc1 a6 12. O-O O-O 13. dxc5 bxc5 14. Na4 c4 15. Bb6 Bc7 16. Bc5 Rb8 17. Nd4 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 Ng6 19. e3 Ne5 20. Nc5 Bf7 21. Nxa6 Nd3 22. Rc2 Ra8 23. Nxc7 Qxc7 24. Qxd3 Bg6 25. Bxd5+ Kh8 26. Qxc4 Qxc4 27. Rxc4 Bd3 28. Rfc1 Bxc4 29. Bxc4 Rfc8 30. Rc3 Rab8 31. Bb3 Rd8 32. Kg2 h6 33. f4 Kh7 34. h4 Kh8 35. g5 hxg5 36. hxg5 Rd6 37. gxf6 gxf6 38. Rc7 Rf8 39. Kf3 Ra6 40. e4 Rb8 41. Bd5 Re8 42. e5 Rxa2 Rxa2 43. e6 Ra3+ 44. bxa3 Rxe6 45. Rc8+ 1-0
Position after 8…Be6

After only eight moves he Stockfish program utilized at shows the game to be even, Steven.

Do not let this happen to YOU! Give the Grob a chance and open with 1 g4 in an off-hand game or several. No matter what opening your opponent fires at you, a player should have at least an idea about how to play against any, and every opening. To help you down that path here are the opening moves preferred by Stockfish:

1. g4 d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. c4 c6 4. Qb3 e6 5. Qxb7 Nd7 6. Nc3 Ne7 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Qb4 Nf6…

Seventh Move Novelty In The Najdorf

‘Back in the day’ I was known for playing The Najdorf. It was my main defense to the king pawn move because the opening was played by Bobby Fischer. With this in mind it will come as no surprise to learn I have been a fan of the Frenchman, MVL, aka Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, because he has been todaze leading exponent of The Najdorf. It was surprising to learn the “M” did not stand for “Miguel.”

For some time consideration has been given to imputing each opening move versus The Najdorf into the Stockfish program at in order to learn how the program replies to each of the over two dozen different opening moves that have been attempted. ‘Back in the day’ it was de rigueur to reach the Najdorf by playing 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6. Stockfish differs when playing 3 Nc3, as can be seen below. The Stockfish program at preferred 6 f3, so it was the first move put into the machine…

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. f3 e6 (The most often played move has been 6…e5, but the Fish prefers moving the pawn only one square) 7. a3

Position after 7 a3

According to a dozen different seventh moves have been played here, none of which is the move produced by Stockfish! This makes the seventh move a theoretical novelty, which can only be described as amazing…

7…Nc6 8. Be3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Qd2 Bd6 12. O-O-O O-O 13. g4 Re8 14. Kb1 Qf6 15. g5 Qe5 16. Bf2 Qf4 17. Qxf4 Bxf4 18. h4 Be3 19. Re1 Nxd4 20. Rxe3 Rxe3 21. Bxe3 Nc6 22. Rh2 d4 23. Bf4 Bf5 24. b3 d3 25. cxd3 Nd4 26. Kb2 Be6 27. Rf2 Nxb3 28. Rc2 Nd4 29. Rc7 b5 30. h5 Bf5 31. Be3 Nxf3 32. h6 Rc8 33. Ra7 gxh6 34. gxh6 f6 35. Rxa6 Kf7 36. Ra7+ Ke6 37. d4 Kd5 38. Bxb5 Rc2+ 39. Kb3 Nxd4+ 40. Bxd4 Kxd4 41. a4 Rh2 42. Kb4 Rxh6 43. a5 Rh2 44. a6 Bc8 45. Rf7 Bxa6 46. Bxa6 Rb2+ 47. Ka3 Rb6 48. Bc8 h5 49. Ka4 Rc6 50. Bh3 Rc4+ 51. Kb5 Rc3 52. Bd7 Rf3 53. Kb6 f5 54. Rxf5 Rxf5 55. Bxf5 h4 and I called it a draw.