From the above results one would think maybe there was something to the Colorado Gambit, but if so, why was this writer unaware of its potency? It was late at night when first reviewing the game, so I decided to input the first two moves into the analysis program at Lichess.com just for the hellofit, and sat there way past bedtime watching the game unfold. The result was a surprise, to say the least…
What seems a lifetime ago a fellow high school classmate who lived up the street, Jesse Pettit, said, “The way you feel about Bob Dylan is how I feel about John Denver.” This one is dedicated to Jesse.
In a Chess tournament replete with myriad short draws there were players who played to win by moving the f-pawn two squares with the opening move after white opens with 1 d4, or 1 c4, or 1 Nf3, etc. This signifies the Dutch Defense. Unfortunately, both games ended in a draw, as do most Chess games these daze. Even more disconcerting was what is written after the opening moves of 1 d4 f5 in the Xie vs La Manna game at Lichess.com, where one finds after 1…f5, “Inaccuracy. Nf6 was best.” The oracles have determined what constitutes best play in the opening and such a risky move is now frowned upon. The programs have made the openings homogeneous. Where is the fun in that? It has made play at the top level boring. The time has come to chose random openings prior to the round. Think of it, no more being booked up like Zook the Book (https://alt.chess.narkive.com/V3QAMUqo/my-wikipedia-biography-of-bernard-zuckerman).
No more having to memorize the opening moves deep into the middle game, or even into the endgame. If Chess is to survive it will have to either use random openings chosen prior to the game or some kind of randomized Chess such as what has come to be called “Fischer Random Chess,” or even better, Armchair Warrior Random Chess (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/11/01/armchair-warrior-random-chess/).
Farai Mandizha (2359) vs Djurabek Khamrakulov (2490) 2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022 Rd 8
Because it has become so difficult to win a Chess game in Grandmaster tournaments these days a loss in the first round can be devastating. In the first round of the recently completed 2022 Fall Chess Classic B, held at the St. Louis Chess Campus, GM Ioan-Cristian Chirila
had the black pieces against GM Tigran K. Harutyunyan.
As it turned out the game was one of, if not the most interesting game of the event.
There had already been a few twists and turns in the game at this point, but this is where the fun really begins. We will move along to a later position:
The 51st move made by White was not good. Prior to the move Black was much better but now he is winning. The hardest game to win is a won game. What move would you make?
As Robert Zimmerman sang, things have changed. I’ll say! The black advantage has dissipated and it is now an even game, according to the Stockfish program at Lichess.com. The move that should be made looks rather obvious, but then we are not at the board with the clock ticking…
I will leave the remainder of the game for your amusement…
[Event “St Louis Fall B 2022”] [Site “Saint Louis USA”] [Date “2022.11.02”] [Round “1.1”] [White “Harutyunyan, Tigran K.”] [Black “Chirila, Ioan-Cristian”] [WhiteElo “2504”] [BlackElo “2536”] [ECO “A15”] [Opening “English opening”]
It is always difficult to lose a Chess game, especially when that game is the first game of a tournament. When one has a winning advantage, and blows it, how it affects a player is exacerbated. To the male psyche it can be devastating. After losing a won game one is often told to “Put it out of your mind.” That is something easier said than done. It is also difficult to sleep the night after a loss, which will have a deleterious effect on play later in the tournament. Only the strong survive, and only the exceptionally strong comeback for such a devastating loss. GM Chirila is one of those players because he returned from the dead to tie for third place in the event while having the third highest performance rating to show for it. He sort of stabilized himself with a draw with the white pieces in round two, but let go of the rope again against with the black pieces versus young Christopher Yoo in round three. With only one half point after the first three rounds some, if not most, players would go into the tank and be happy to, hopefully, make a few draws while playing out the string. Christian Chirila is not one of those players. He defeated the eventual winner of the tournament, Aleksandr Linderman,
with the black pieces in the final round. Lindy ran away with the tournament by scoring 6 1/2 points to finish one point in front of the second place finisher, GM Raunak Sadhwani, from India. I cannot count the number of times a player who had an insurmountable lead lost in the last round. It happens so frequently that it would seem to be better if the player who has already clinched first place would simply refuse to play the meaningless last round game. Nevertheless, my hat is off to both of these players, especially Chirila, for showing his measure as a player and as a man. Even with the last round loss, the winner, Lucky Lindy, over performed his rating by 167. The number two player was Christian Chirila, who finished with a performance rating of 2596, which is 60 points more than his rating.
The other game being presented was played in the first round and the opening was one of my favorite openings, “The truth as it was known in those long ago days.” Christopher, I love Yoo, Man!
[Event “St Louis Fall B 2022”] [Site “Saint Louis USA”] [Date “2022.11.02”] [Round “1.2”] [White “Yoo, Christopher Woojin”] [Black “Jacobson, Brandon”] [WhiteElo “2573”] [BlackElo “2551”] [ECO “C24”] [Opening “Bishop’s opening”]
e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 (It is interesting learning the Stockfish 14 NNUE program used at Lichess will play 2…e5, moving the pawn again. According to the Big Database at 365Chess.com the move played in the game has been seen in 2196 games, dwarffing the 428 of second place 2…Be7. The move 2…Nc6 shows 231 games, with 2…b6  and 2…e5  virtually tied fourth place) 3. Nf3 (Although played most often  SF plays the second most often played move 3 g3 , which was the move invariably played played by this writer ‘back in the day’. And if you believe that, I have stock in Chess.com that I will sell you cheap!) 3…Nc6 4. g3 e5 (SF plays 4…g6, as have most humans (657) according to 365Chess.com, and so will Stockfish. Only 11 humans have played the move chosen by Awonder.) 5. Bg2 (SF says 5 d3) g6 6. O-O Bg7 7. c3 (SF 7 Na3) Nge7 8. Na3 O-O (SF 8…d6) 9. Nc2 (SF 9 d3) d5 10. d3 h6 11. a3 (11 Nh4) d4 (Be6) 12. c4 (12 dxc4 SF) a5 13. Rb1 (Nd2) a4 14. Nd2 Be6 (14…Ra6) 15. f4 Qd7 (15…Ra6) 16. Ne1 (SF says 16 b3) Qc7 (16…Rb8) 17. Ndf3 (17 b4) f6 18. Nh4 (18 b3) g5 (18 exf4) 19. Nf5 Nxf5 20. exf5 Bxf5 21. fxg5 fxg5 22. Bxg5 Bg6 23. Rxf8+ Rxf8 24. Bd2 Qe7 (24…Qb6)
Curious about the move the Stockfish program at Lichess would, given the chance, play on the second move for Black I put it into the analysis program (Why do most people call it an “engine”? Why do commentators not inform we readers of the NAME of the “ENGINE” used? Just askin’…) at Lichess.com and the following were the best moves according to the PROGRAM NAMED STOCKFISH:
In the eighth round of the US Chess Championship young Christopher Yoo uncorked the seldom played Fantasy variation by moving his f-pawn one square on his third move. Word on the Chess street is seeing the move onscreen caused GM Ben Finegold to have a conniption fit.
Seeing the move made this Chess fan smile. Unfortunately, the offbeat openings played ‘back in the day’ do not see much action these daze, so when one is essayed it is a special treat.
I began putting the moves into the analysis program at Lichess to only look at the opening moves. Next thing I know I was in the middle game and “just had” to know how the game would play out, so I opened Hearts of Space (https://v4.hos.com/this-week/program) and listened while watching the game as time stood still for quite a while.
This writer was able to watch most, not all, of the coverage of the 2022 US Chess Championships. When unable to watch the live broadcast for various reasons I went back and watched what was missed earlier during the first twelve rounds. There were many “technical problems” with the last round so I turned it off and watched the games the old fashioned way by watching the moves played at Lichess.com. I did not later watch what was missed during the last round. Yasser mentioned something about the broadcast emanating from philanthropy and I realize the broadcast is not like any for profit broadcast, such as a Baseball game, or golf tournament, etc. Nevertheless, the broadcasts emanating from the St. Louis Chess Campus have been ongoing for many years, long enough for those broadcasting to have their collective act together. At the beginning of the broadcasts the commentators would focus on one game for a length of time, which was disconcerting, because there were fourteen ongoing games. I thought an overview of all the games should be given and from the emails received, so did many other viewers. One day the guys and girl focused almost exclusively on one game, which caused me to fire a salvo at the folks in St. Louis. After it happened again another salvo was fired, but no response was received from the Campus. I simply turned off the volume and watched the opening moves of all the games at Lichess.com.
I realize the commentators are not ‘professional’ media types, but they are getting paid, so maybe they could be considered “untrained” professionals. In one salvo fired at the StLCC I asked if there was a director, but have yet to receive an answer. A director could inform the commentators of where there was “action” in another game and they could switch to it immediately. I recall one instance when they were following an endgame in the open while there was a very interesting game with lieelt time remaining being contested in the women’s championship. I also recall Yasser saying something about, “We’re staying right here!” I tuned the sound off and watched the women’s game on Lichess.com.
(born 29 May 1982) is a Ukrainian chess player and journalist. She achieved the FIDE titles Woman International Master in 2000 and Woman Grandmaster in 2003. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastasiya_Karlovich) Her accent often made it hard to understand what she was saying. In addition, she had a disconcerting habit of talking over Yasser. It is impossible to understand what is being said when two people are talking, which happened all too often.
That said, I still give the StLCC a B+ for the effort. There were too many positives for a lower grade to be given. Please understand this old Warrior is still amazed at being able to watch something like this, which was unheard of ‘back in the day’. “Shelbourne Richard Lyman (October 22, 1936 – August 11, 2019) was an American chess player and teacher known for hosting a live broadcast of the 1972 World Chess Championship for the PBS television station Channel 13 in New York. This broadcast became the highest-rated public television program ever at that time, far surpassing viewership expectations.” In addition, Shelby also, “…later hosted a two-hour broadcast covering the World Chess Championship 1986. This segment was recorded at WNYE-TV in Brooklyn and aired on 120 public television stations.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_Lyman) It was during the latter time the woman with whom I lived, after watching the first broadcast, facetiously called him, “Mr. Charisma.” Chess broadcasts have come a long way, baby.
When there was a break in the action I would glance at some of the comments left by those watching. I was surprised when reading some that questioned Yasser Seirawan’s penchant for telling stories of the past. “you cannot understand where you are at unless you know where you have been,” I thought. One of the pleasures of my childhood was watching the Baseball Game of the Week on Saturday afternoon. Former Major League Baseball players Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese
would regale we neophytes with stories of bygone days, just as Yasser does during the broadcast. To this writer those stories are one of the best facets of the broadcasts. One was so good I took notes, realizing words would not come near describing how good was the tale. Imagine the elation when the segment was found! It concerns former World Chess Champ Gary Kasparov and to just read the words, or even listen to them, would not contain the visceral response shown by Yasser. All the hours spent spectating, and listening to the broadcasts were worth it just to be able to see Yasser when describing the story.
The 2022 US Chess Championships were inherently unfair. The player of the white pieces has an advantage, which is more apparent in the Open than with the Women. Someone was overheard saying to a student, “Fabiano Caruana played the best Chess in the tournament.” I begged to differ, saying Ray Robson played the best Chess. He knew how much time I had spent on viewing the action, so respected my opinion, but still questioned the statement. “Fabi had the white pieces in seven games; Robson in only six,” I said.
It is long past the time those in the Chess world come to terms with the fact that the way tournaments are structured favors one half of the field. The only way to remedy the problem is to have a US Chess Championship in which each player has an equal number of games with both colors. This could be done by having an eight player field, the Elite Eight, with two games versus each of the seven opponents, making for a fourteen round tournament. The fact is there were too many players who should not have been playing in the tournament.
The games are too long. The time for the games should be shortened because there are many games which do not begin until the players have spouted out twenty moves of opening theory in only a few minutes. Give the players ninety minutes with some kind of increment and have them play two games each day. It would be like going to work an eight hour day job. After the first game there would be a two hour break and the second game could then begin.
Deciding a championship by playing speed (kills) Chess is ludicrous, especially when a so-called “champion” is determined by some abomination called, appropriately enough, “Armageddon”. One of the definitions of Armageddon is: “A decisive or catastrophic conflict.” (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Armaggedon). On second thought maybe it is appropriate after the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, in an unprecedented act, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after losing a badly played game to Hans Niemann. There is nothing worse than for a player to withdraw in a round robin tournament, unless there was some major reason for so doing, such as having a stroke, or going blind, etc. The action of sore loser Carlsen was an affront to the Royal Game, the Singuefield Cup, and to the St. Louis Chess Club. In addition, it was a slap in the face to the man responsible for the philanthropy, Rex Sinquefield. Tony Rich, Executive Director of the St. Louis Chess Campus,
said Magnus would be welcomed back to the STLCC, but he will never be welcomed by this writer. It is possible his ill-advised action will bring down the House of Chess. Magnus will not be the Chess champion of the world much longer and he should be classified as persona non grata everywhere, forced to sit home and ‘stream’ like Hikaru Nakamura
After vowing to leave the games played by the so-called “Super” Grandmasters alone my mind was changed after watching a game from the ongoing Sinquefield Cup Chess tournament being played at the St. Louis Chess Campus. Although it seems like yesterday when GM Caruana was equal to World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the only games that really matter, classical games, the fact is that was a pandemic ago. Fabiano has not been the same player, while Magnus has become the G.O.A.T. You can argue for your favorite Chess player of all time but the fact is that every generation is better than its predecessor because they stand on the shoulders of the giants who preceded them. In addition, Magnus has tools of which former World Champions could only dream. Because of the computer programs my understanding is much better because of the games played by the best programs, even if I cannot demonstrate it over the board because of my advanced age.
One can only speculate, but for my money if there had not been a pandemic and a Alireza Firouzja, GM Caruana would have had another chance to play for the World Championship. After the young Firouzja went full tilt and completely melted down in the most recent Candidates tournament Fabiano began flinging pawns at his opponents like they were spears. He began playing wildly aggressive Chess like that seen decades ago. Unfortunately, it has continued… Examine this position and determine what move you would make after first listing your candidate moves, then return to the blog:
The position emanates from the game between Fabiano Caruana and Lenier Dominguez in the second round of the ongoing Sinquefield Cup Chess tournament being played at the St. Louis Chess Campus.
Caruana played 12 g4, the move I would have played at the Stein Club in the 1970s. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/06/06/shanglei-lu-seeks-bishops-opening-truth/) Truth be told, I would probably have played that move in a USCF tournament ‘back in the day’. 12 Rhe1 was a candidate move, as was 12 Kb1. If I could speak to IM of GM strength Boris Kogan about now I would say, “It has taken a lifetime, Boris, but I have finally found understanding, or at least some understanding.” He would laugh uproariously. The Stockfish program at LiChess.com gives 12 a3 as best. It was not one of my choices. The diagram contains an arrow showing the pawn to be moved, and 12 a3 is given in the note up top, but down below the Stockfish program shows this: “Inaccuracy. Rhe1 was best”, and it gives a line six moves deep to prove it. What I want to know is, which is it? By the way, according to the analysis program at LiChess the best move is 12 Bb5. I cannot make this up. In the only game found at 365Chess.com the move 12 Kb1 was played, and it was on my short list of candidate moves.
The position is taken from the same game, and GM Lenier Dominguez has just played his Rook to f8 attacking the white Queen. Nevertheless, it is a losing move after Caruana plays the Queen to d7. Unfortunately, Fabiano lost the thread and played 27 Qe4, which is, like the previous move made by GM Dominguez, given not one, but two question marks. It seems we Chess fans have seen an inordinate number of “double blunders” since Magnus Carlsen, in his World Championship match with Vishy Anand, blundered horribly, but was let off of the hook when Anand immediately returned the favor.
Surely Caruana must have seen Qd7, yet played the much inferior move. Why? Consider this recent quote by Fabiano Caruana: “I realised something, which is that, even though I played pretty awfully recently, I do destroy one opening, which is the Najdorf. All my wins are in this one opening.”
When a player, not just a Chess player, but any ‘player’, is “in form” good moves seem to flow, but when a player is not in form he begins to second guess himself. My father was fond of saying, “Think long, think wrong.” There is much to be said for it because the longer one thinks the less intuition is involved. The number of times I saw the right move intuitively but allowed the ‘logical’ part of my thought process to make a weaker move could not be counted without a calculator. Talking yourself out of listening to yourself is a bad place to be for any player of games.
GM Paul Motwani (above left) shared the lead throughout the tournament and finished with shared top place with FM Chris Duncan (middle) and Phil Crocker (right), all on 5.5 points.
Heading into the last round of the Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+ five players were tied for first place with each having scored 4 1/2 points in the first six rounds. Board one featured FM Chris Duncan (2178) vs Paul Townsend (2177).
FM Chris Duncan vs M Paul Townsend Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+ Final Round Seven D37 Queen’s Gambit Declined, classical variation (5.Bf4)
After noticing the Stockfish program at Lichess.com has proclaimed 1 Nf3 the best opening move I have taken notice of the percentage of games in which the knight move has been chosen recently., and was therefore not surprised by the move in this game. 16 Ra1 is a TN. Stockfish shows 16 Qc2 as best and other players have agreed as 365Chess.com shows it having been previously played in eleven games. Ju Wenjun played 16 Nd2 against former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov at the Cap d’Agde in France in 2012, but lost the game (https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3833042&m=32). That is fifteen moves of theory produced by Seniors in what 365Chess.com calls the “D37 Queen’s Gambit Declined, classical variation (5.Bf4).” The rest of the game lasted less than a dozen moves…
CM Paul AG Dargan vs Philip J Crocker Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+ Final Round Seven B07 Pirc, Byrne variation
The following game varied at move twenty, but Stockfish prefers 20 Qf2. Paul Dargan was doing fine after Philip Crocker played the weak 24…Bd6, and then let go of the rope with one hand when playing 25…Qg6. Mr. Dargan then had a ‘won’ game. Unfortunately his 26th move moved the game back into anyone’s game until Dargan again let go of the rope with one hand with 28 Qh4, which is given not one, but two question marks by the Stockfish program. After that move, Mr. Dargan was obviously rattled
before letting go of the rope completely by playing 29 g5…and began…
Board three featured the top rated player, GM Paul Motwani, who began the tournament rated two hundred points higher than his closest opponent, CM Mark Josse, rated 2220. On paper is should have been a cakewalk for Motwani, but this is Senior Chess, at it’s best, and numbers have less relation to strength in Senior Chess. A perfect example would be the player GM Motwani faced in the last round, class A player Nigel J Moyse, rated all of 1976, a number with special meaning to this writer, as that is the year I won the Atlanta Chess Championship for the second time, while scoring a perfect 5-0. Just sayin’…
GM Paul Motwani (2420) vs Nigel J Moyse (1976) Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+ Final round seven B09 Pirc, Austrian attack
The game was even, Steven, before Nigel Moyse blundered horribly by playing 8…Qb6, when he should have simply castled. After moving the Queen the Stockfish program shows Moyse down by -4.0. Nevertheless, the game lasted forty more moves due to weak play from GM Motwani. That’s Senior Chess!
After 5 Nf3 the opening is a B09 Pirc, Austrian attack. 5…c5 turns it into a B09 Pirc, Austrian attack, dragon formation
In the last round of the recently completed Denker Invitational FM Jason Wang
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:
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:
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:
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’…
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,
who had earlier drawn with FM Sandeep Sethuraman. After 38 moves this position was reached:
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.