Battle of the Sexes Chess Tournament

Before reading further please replay this game:

  1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Qa5 7. b4 Qf5 8. Qe3 Qe6 9. Bb2 Qxe3+ 10. fxe3 f6 11. Bc4 e5 12. a3 a5 13. bxa5 Rxa5 14. d4 e4 15. Nd2 Bf5 16. O-O Bg6 17. a4 Bb4 18. c3 Be7 19. Be6 Nd7 20. Nb3 Ra7 21. c4 Rf8 22. a5 Bf7 23. Bxf7+ Rxf7 24. g4 h5 25. h3 hxg4 26. hxg4 g6 27. Rf2 b6 28. Bc3 Bd8 29. Nd2 f5 30. Raf1 Bh4 31. Rh2 Bg5 32. Rh8+ Ke7 33. axb6 Bxe3+ 34. Kh1 Nxb6 35. Nxe4 Ra4 36. gxf5 gxf5 37. Re1 Nxc4 38. Nc5 Ra2 39. Rb1 Rc2 40. Ba1 Nd6 41. Rh2 Rxh2+ 42. Kxh2 f4 43. Nd3 Ke6 44. Kg2 Kf5 45. Kf3 Rg7 46. Rb8 Rg3+ 47. Ke2 Nc4 48. Rf8+ Kg5 49. Rg8+ Kh4 50. Rh8+ Kg4 51. Rg8+ Kh3 52. Rh8+ Kg4 53. Rg8+ Kh5 54. Rh8+ Kg5 55. Rg8+ Kh5 56. Rh8+ Kg4 57. Rg8+ 1/2-1/2

I had no intention of writing anything about the GibChess Battle Of The Sexes before checking out the games this morning. After being out of the house for several hours the games were concluded upon my return. The game just presented caught my attention. Regular readers will understand why…

Jovanka Houska

IM Jovanka Houska, courtesy of John Upham Photography
https://britishchessnews.com/event/birthday-of-im-jovanka-houska-10-vi-1980/2021-06-10/

is a WGM and was the subject of a previous post (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/11/09/find-the-worst-move/). Jovie, as she is known, has been a prolific writer about Chess, such as opening books, and even a novel, a paperback doorstop. She can be seen broadcasting Chess games. Ms. Houska has made a nice career out of Chess, the kind of career that must make a male National Master envious, if not mad as HELL, because the fact is many, if not all, men resent the favoritism shown women involved with the Royal Game. The fact is it would be almost impossible for a male 2300 player to have the income granted Ms. Houska simply because she is a woman. Name the last 2300 rated male you saw broadcasting any kind of Chess game. They would not be taken seriously. Period. How many books do you think the 2300 male about whom I am writing would sale? “WGM” is for, “Woman Grandmaster.” It does not mean Jovanka is a Grandmaster who happens to be a woman. The word alone, “Grandmaster,” signifies a Grandmaster Chess player. A Grandmaster can be of either sex. Only a woman can be a “Woman Grandmaster.” Are you confused? That’s OK, so is the Chess world. To become a “Grandmaster” a player must meet certain requirements (excepting those that do not), one of which is a minimum rating of 2500. To give you an idea of the range of a Grandmaster, the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen, is rated over 2850. A National Master of the United States must have a rating of at least 2200. A Senior Master (and that does not mean “Senior” as in older[er] player) must have a rating of at least 2400. Now that you have that straight let us move on to what it takes to become a “WGM.” It takes all of 2300 points to become a “WGM.” I kid you not. If a male reaches 2300 he is still a “NM”. In Chess circles once a player reaches 2300 he is said to be a “Solid Master.” This writer reached and went over 2000 a few times and became an “Expert.” Things were much different ‘back in the day’ because there were far fewer players and no rating inflation. For example, around the time this writer was winning the Atlanta Chess Championship, Expert players were a factor in winning many Chess tournaments, and I do not mean tournaments of the local variety. In 1974 “A master-level chess player who had been playing chess since his childhood, (Alan) Trefler

Karpov 2010 Campaign Kick-off Party
https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/a-wall-street-presence-in-the-world-of-chess-politics/?_r=0

competed in the 1975 World Open Chess Championship in New York City. Still a college student at Dartmouth, he entered the tournament with a 2075 Elo rating, 125 points below the lowest master-rated player, ranking him 115th overall in the tournament. He went on to be crowned co-champion along with International Grandmaster Pal Benko, who was rated at 2504. Trefler also placed ahead of Grandmasters such as Walter Browne and Nicolas Rossolimo, as well as future Grandmaster Michael Rohde.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Trefler#Chess_career)

It is an insult to Caissa for anyone to call any player of any sex a “Grandmaster” if rated only 2300. It is an insult to ALL GRANDMASTERS and has only served to cheapen the once lustrous title. That is why Chess now has terms such as, “Super Grandmaster,” and “Mid-Level Grandmaster,” and “Weak Grandmaster.” The vast majority of women who play the Royal Game fall into the latter category. Think of it this way, ‘Back in the day’ when women wanted to join the US Military there was a problem they could not solve; pushups. Women could not do the minimum number of push-ups, so the rules were changed allowing women to do push-ups while on their knees. Male soldiers must still do regular push-ups the old fashioned way by balancing on their toes. The battle still rages: (https://nypost.com/2021/05/11/armys-first-female-infantry-officer-blasts-lower-standards/)

Before leaving the the house last move made in the Eric Rosen (2356) vs Jovanka Houska (2365) game above was 21…Rf8. My first thought, exactly, was, “What The Fork?” I do not understand this move. It did, though, remind me of a former student in Louisville, Kentucky, who was being home schooled because he had pulled the fire alarm at school. He would make a non sequitur move like this and when asked why he made the move would invariably answer, “I dunno.” Got to be where I replied, “Just needed a move, huh.” That was about the only time the kid cracked a smile. Nevertheless, if you would like to explain the move to my readers Jovanka, please, by all means, do so by leaving an explanation in the comment section. After returning I made a strong cuppa Joe while thinking about the Too Much Coffee Man, real, actual Chess Grandmaster, and former candidate for the World Championship, Kevin Spraggett (http://www.spraggettonchess.com/),

https://i0.wp.com/fanpagepress.net/m/K/Kevin-Spraggett-new-pic-1.jpg
https://happybday.to/Kevin-Spraggett

and then sat down to replay the remainder of the game. The first move that shocked me was 33 axb6, which allows 33…Bxe3+! CHECK! Maybe there is a time when allowing your opponent to take a pawn while checking your King is a good idea. Then again, maybe not…
41 Rh2 (Turn out the lights the party is definitely O’ver)
After both moves numbered 44 I knew there would be much RED when later looking at the MOVES over at the ChessBomb. Like everyone else in the Chess world not named Allen Priest the Armchair Warrior was expecting 44…f3+, because everyone knows, “Passed pawns must be pushed.” I was uncertain after she played 45…Rg7, but I’m no Grandmaster. Then comes the move that ends the game, 47…Nc4. Ask any student and they will tell you this writer as a Chess teacher has been known to vociferously yell at the top of his lungs, “EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!!!” As I tell the children in a much softer voice later, “Always examine all checks because sometimes a check turns out to be CHECKMATE!” Before playing the ill-fated and lame Knight move Jovanka had to see the next move her opponent made would lead to a drawn game by perpetual check, yet played it anyway, thus acquiescing to the draw. What can be said other than this is pitiful Chess, and not because it was played by a player with “GM” attached to her name. Not winning a game that should have been won would be bad for any player of any sex and any rating, excepting, again, Allen Priest.

Rosen, Eric (USA) – Houska, Jovanka (ENG)
Gibraltar Chess Festival | Battle of the Sexes 2022 round 02
B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation

  1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Qa5 7. b4 Qf5 8. Qe3 Qe6 9. Bb2 Qxe3+ 10. fxe3 f6 11. Bc4 e5 12. a3 a5 13. bxa5 Rxa5 14. d4 e4 15. Nd2 Bf5 16. O-O Bg6 17. a4 Bb4 18. c3 Be7 19. Be6 Nd7 20. Nb3 Ra7 21. c4 Rf8 22. a5 Bf7 23. Bxf7+ Rxf7 24. g4 h5 25. h3 hxg4 26. hxg4 g6 27. Rf2 b6 28. Bc3 Bd8 29. Nd2 f5 30. Raf1 Bh4 31. Rh2 Bg5 32. Rh8+ Ke7 33. axb6 Bxe3+ 34. Kh1 Nxb6 35. Nxe4 Ra4 36. gxf5 gxf5 37. Re1 Nxc4 38. Nc5 Ra2 39. Rb1 Rc2 40. Ba1 Nd6 41. Rh2 Rxh2+ 42. Kxh2 f4 43. Nd3 Ke6 44. Kg2 Kf5 45. Kf3 Rg7 46. Rb8 Rg3+ 47. Ke2 Nc4 48. Rf8+ Kg5 49. Rg8+ Kh4 50. Rh8+ Kg4 51. Rg8+ Kh3 52. Rh8+ Kg4 53. Rg8+ Kh5 54. Rh8+ Kg5 55. Rg8+ Kh5 56. Rh8+ Kg4 57. Rg8+ ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2022-gibraltar-chess-festival-battle-of-the-sexes/02-Rosen_Eric-Houska_Jovanka

1 e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Qa5 (This is the old move, still played by the middle-aged ‘old guard’ players who rest on their laurals without putting in the effort to keep up with current opening theory. It was the choice of Stockfish 13, but Stockfish 14.1 @depth 49, and SF 310121 @depth 60, have progressed to the better move of 6…Nd7) 7. b4 Qf5 (Another antiquated move made by the woman better known for broadcasting Chess in lieu of playing the game. Three different SF programs all play 7…Qd5, and so should YOU!) 8. Qe3 Qe6 9. Bb2 (Fritz and Houdini both show 9 Be2 best, but Stockfish 14 would play a move yet to be played by a titled human being, 9 d4. The move is not shown at 365Chess.com. Keep in mind I am using the ‘Big’ database which includes games from chumpy lumpies, like you and me. Surprisingly, two games can be found at the Chessbase Database)

Tata Steel Chess Tournament Marred By Officials Lunacy

For the second year in a row the Tata Steel Chess tournament has been marred by the ineptitude of the officials. This is shocking because, “Known as the “Wimbledon of Chess”, the Tata Steel Chess Tournament is one of the most prestigious events on the international chess calendar. It attracts the best chess Grandmasters in the world, along with amateur players, live event visitors and online visitors from around the world.” (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tata+steel+&t=newext&atb=v270-1&ia=web&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fchess24.com%2Fen%2Fread%2Fnews%2Ftata-steel-7-dubov-mask-forfeit-overshadows-magnus-move&pn=1)

The morning was spent searching for answers on the internet. The result was a dearth of information concerning the latest debacle has become the Tata Steel Chess tournament. The tournament was formerly known as “Wijk aan Zee” because that is the name of the city in the Netherlands, formerly known as “Holland,” where the famous, now infamous Chess tournament has been held for decades. Tata Steel changed the name of the tournament in an attempt to gain more publicity for the company. For the second consecutive year everyone involved with the Chess tournament has brought Tata Steel more publicity than could have been imagined. Unfortunately, all of the publicity has been negative because again the tournament has been turned into a farce. This writer has completely lost interest in the tournament, and I am not alone.

Chess.com purchased the rights to broadcast the event via the internet and the website has led the way in covering the event. In an article by Peter Doggers, “Tata Steel Chess R3: Vidit Defends Brilliantly To Grab Sole Lead,” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/tata-steel-chess-2022-round-3), one learns, “While the third round saw some lovely, tactical chess and it felt like the 84th Tata Steel Chess Tournament was really taking off, behind the scenes the organizers had other worries. Even without the presence of amateurs, there’s always a risk of a Covid outbreak when holding an event in the middle of the pandemic. Like last year, players, coaches, and crew are required to wear face masks (players can take them off while at the board) and are tested regularly. So far, none of the players tested positive for the coronavirus, knock on wood.”

“However, before the start of the round, two seconds of players tested positive and went into quarantine. The organizers informed Chess.com that, according to close contact tracing, the players for whom the seconds work have been retested as a precaution and tested negative for Covid-19.”

“One of the two seconds is GM Ramesh R.B., who assists GM Praggnanandhaa R. in Wijk aan Zee. The Indian coach revealed on Twitter that he had tested positive. Luckily, from the very start, his pupil has been one of the few players who is wearing his face mask at the board all the times.”

The part about Praggnanandhaa being “lucky” to have been “…one of the few players who is wearing his face mask at the board all the times,” is bull excrement! Regular readers know that “I Took The Vaccine” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/04/28/i-took-the-vaccine/). In addition, I have also taken the third, or “booster” shot, because at my age I like to hedge my bets. That said, it is, or should be common knowledge that wearing a mask does not prevent one from obtaining Covid, but it does lessen the odds of imparting it to anyone else. If one wears the best mask, the N-95, there is still a 5% chance that person will be infected; that’s the “95” part of the name. If one compares the N-95 with the flimsy mask being worn by GM Praggnanandhaa, there is a much larger chance of obtaining, or spreading the virus because there are wide open areas around the mask making it virtually useless in combating the virus.

Peter Doggers concludes his comments with, “With the high transmissibility of the omicron variant and the Netherlands registering another record of new corona cases this Monday, it wouldn’t be unlikely that more cases will pop up in Wijk aan Zee as well. Let’s hope not, and let’s quickly move to the games.”

Covid is everywhere and the Netherlands obviously abounds with the virus.

In his next article, “Tata Steel Chess 2022 R7: Carlsen Grabs Sole Lead; Dubov Forfeits Game,” by PeterDoggers (Updated: Jan 23, 2022, 7:26 AM/Chess.com News), Mr. Doggers writes, “GM Daniil Dubov forfeited his game vs. GM Anish Giri as the Russian GM refused to play with a face mask.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 R7: Carlsen Grabs Sole Lead; Dubov Forfeits Game
Anish Giri wouldn’t see his opponent Daniil Dubov arriving at the board today. Photo: Tata Steel Chess.

The organizers had requested him to do so after someone in his inner circle had tested positive for Covid-19.” Then he adds, “Last year, the organizers managed to hold their tournament in Wijk aan Zee in the middle of the pandemic without any issues.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/tata-steel-chess-2022-round-7)

This is patently absurd. Where the hell was Peter Doggers last year during the Tata Steel tournament? How quickly they forget…

Tata Steel 2021 Drama – Alireza Firouzja vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek – R13

Hi Friends,

Extremely disrespectful and very unprofessional from the organizers to distract Alireza during the final game. They asked him to move! Alireza blundered soon after that discussion, and the game ended in a draw.

Kourosh A (https://chessmood.com/forum/main-channel/alireza-firouzja-vs-radoslaw-wojtaszek-tata-steel-chess-2021-r13)

Mr. Doggers continues in the aforementioned article: “In hindsight, one could add miraculously. This year, with the highly contagious omicron variant raging, it was sheer impossible.”

“After the two cases of corona in the morning of the third round, when two seconds (coaches) of players tested positive, there was another case on Saturday morning: someone close to Dubov. Awaiting a PCR test result for Dubov, the organizers requested the Russian GM to wear a mask during play, even though the general rule at the tournament is that face masks are obligatory everywhere except when sitting at the board. Dubov refused to do so and called it “a matter of principle.” When he hadn’t arrived at the board half an hour into the round, the game was declared a win by forfeit for Giri.”

“Unsurprisingly, the whole situation was widely discussed on social media. One question was whether it was communicated to the players beforehand that the mask would be a necessity at the board as well in case of close contact to a Covid-positive person. Another interesting point that was made was whether the organizers could have postponed the Dubov-Giri game to the next rest day.”

GM Sergey Karjakin, who had criticized Dubov recently for helping Carlsen in the world championship,

this time supported his compatriot as he tweeted after finishing his own game:

“Robert Moens (Tata Steel Communications & Public Affairs) commented to Chess.com: “This specific situation wasn’t discussed beforehand, no. However, the players’ contract does include a clause that the organizers can take the necessary measures in case unexpected situations regarding Covid arise. Because the tournament doctor deemed it unwise for Dubov to play without a face mask, we as organizers made this request to Dubov, who fully understood our decision but decided not to play the game out of principle. We did not consider postponing the game because Dubov could have played today, albeit with a face mask. It was his decision not to play.”

“The situation currently is that Dubov can continue playing the tournament without a face mask in case the results of his latest PCR and antigen tests come out negatively. If he gets tested positive, he won’t be able to play any more games and all his results will be removed from the tournament crosstable because the tournament wasn’t halfway through yet for him.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/tata-steel-chess-2022-round-7)

This is all a crock of excrement! None of the crapola emanating from the mouth of Robert Moens matters. The bottom line is “…the organizers requested the Russian GM to wear a mask during play, even though the general rule at the tournament is that face masks are obligatory everywhere except when sitting at the board.” (!!!)

The organizers and officials (in other words, the Head Honchos What Be In Charge) had absolutely no right to “ask” Dubov to wear a mask. If not asked to wear a mask Danill would have been at the board, ready to play Chess. If one player was asked to wear a mask then ALL PLAYERS SHOULD HAVE BEEN ASKED TO WEAR A MASK! The problem is that the best Chess players in the world cannot come together as a group, like, for example, the Major League Baseball players union, to combat the ding-bats in charge of Chess! What top level Chess needs is a Chess Spartacus.

Certainly the players know that what affects the one also affects the many. Magnus Carlsen is currently the nonpareil Chess player and should be the de facto leader of all Grandmasters. What affects his contemporaries also affects Mr. Carlsen. If Magnus Carlsen also refused to play after learning what had happened to one of his fellow Grandmasters it would have reverberated, sending shock waves throughout the Chess community. Instead, Magnus swallowed the bile and meekly and subserviently acquiesced to the ridiculous “new rule” made up as the organizers reacted to something that should have been foreseen, and for which they should have been prepared. Those in charge of the Tata Steel Chess tournament should award a full point to Grandmaster Danill Dubov, and then we may see the Chess Champion of the World react. Then again, maybe not…

Examine All Checks!

Black to move

The above position was seen on the board of a round five game from the Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival. Sitting behind the white army is 2699 rated Grandmaster Anton Korobov,

GM Neelotpal Das had an exciting game against GM Anton Korobov (UKR) | Photo: Rupali Mullick

the four time Chess Champion of Ukraine, and top rated player in the Sunway Sitges tournament. In the colloquial language most often used at the House of Pain it would have been said that GM Korobov was “Busted!” His opponent was Grandmaster Christian Camilo Rios,

Cristhian Camilo Rios (Batumi, 2018)
https://players.chessbase.com/en/player/rios_cristhian%20camilo/217838

rated 2460, who is from Colombia. He was born in 1993, earned the FM title in 2007; the IM title in 2013; and finally garnered the GM title in 2019. GM Rios obviously worked long and hard to become a Grandmaster. According to Chessbase (https://players.chessbase.com/en/player/rios_cristhian%20camilo/217838) the highest rated player GM Rios had defeated until this game was 2611 rated Erik Van den Doel. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is rated 2856, which is 396 points higher than GM Rios. The rating categories in Chess are in 200 point intervals, which means GM Rios is almost two levels below the World Chess Champion. A player becomes a National Master when his rating hits 2200. Subtract 396 from 2200 and you obtains 1804, which is 5 points into class A. It takes 2000 to become an Expert, so GM Rios is clearly at least one level below GM Korobov. Ordinarily this would mean GM Rios would be an International Master. The FIDE rating system has become so out of whack that it is now meaningless.

One of the things for which I have become known in the world of teaching the Royal Game is “EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!” Any player worth his salt is always aware of any possible checks to his King, or of any possible checks to the opponents King. In the above position the move Bf2+ would have to be considered, so I will assume GM Rios saw the move. Why he did not play the move is beyond my comprehension. From the FollowChess (https://live.followchess.com/), and ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-sunway-sitges/05-Korobov_Anton-Rios_Cristhian_Camilo) websites lack of time was not the cause of how the game ended. Therefore the question must be asked if any “threat” was made or “inducement” offered to the much lower rated Rios to get him to end the game with a perpetual check.

Anton Korobov 2699 (UKR) vs Cristhian Camilo Rios 2460 (COL)
Sunway Sitges 2021 round 05
B33 Sicilian, Pelikan (Lasker/Sveshnikov) variation

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8 9. a4 Be7 10. Be2 O-O 11. O-O Nd7 12. Bd2 f5 13. a5 a6 14. Na3 f4 15. Nc4 e4 16. f3 e3 17. Bb4 Rf6 18. Qd4 Qf8 19. g3 Ne5 20. Nb6 Rb8 21. Kg2 Rh6 22. Nxc8 Qxc8 23. g4 Qxc2 24. Qd1 Qg6 25. Qd4 Qf6 26. Qe4 Rxh2+ 27. Kxh2 Qh4+ 28. Kg2 Qg3+ 29. Kh1 Bh4 30. Bd1 Qh3+ 31. Kg1 Qg3+ 32. Kh1 Qh3+ 33. Kg1 Qg3+ 34. Kh1 Qh3+ ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-sunway-sitges/05-Korobov_Anton-Rios_Cristhian_Camilo

Was Daniil Dubov a Secret Agent?

When Norway’s Magnus Carlsen

https://en.chessbase.com/post/world-championship-2021-g11

clinched victory over Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi

Nepomniachtchi: What Went Wrong?
https://www.chess.com/article/view/nepomniachtchi-what-went-wrong

it was revealed that Russian Grandmsaster Daniil Dubov

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/dubov-hits-back-at-accusations-of-betrayal

had once again been a key part of the World Chess Champion’s team of helpers. That saw instant criticism led by Sergey Karjakin, with Sergey Shipov adding that Dubov would “rightly” now never play for the Russian team again. (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/dubov-hits-back-at-accusations-of-betrayal)

In an interview journalist, and FM, Mike Klein asked Nepo the question:

Mike: Is he a double-agent? Is that what you’re saying?

Ian: No, I don’t know. I don’t think he’s a double-agent, obviously, but the results of his work were quite favorable for us.
https://www.chess.com/news/view/ian-nepomniachtchi-on-the-world-chess-championship

Hold on there, Nepo. If the results of his work were favorable why did you lose? Surely Mother Russia must have known Dubov was working with team Magnus because…

Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/sergey-karjakin-magnus-can-psychologically-crumble

was a citizen of Ukraine until relocating to Russia, the country with 175000 troops poised on the border of Ukraine as the world collectively holds its breath at the possible coming of World War III.

Karjakin infamously said, “Magnus “can psychologically crumble.”

What pluses and minuses do you see for both opponents?

“Magnus has more match experience, he’s a more balanced chess player, without visible flaws. He plays almost equally well positionally and tactically, in a dull endgame and in sharp attacking positions.”

“But he does have flaws. When he doesn’t like what’s happening in a tournament he can psychologically collapse, as my match against Magnus showed. He missed wins in two games, and then he started to play significantly worse. He can psychologically crumble if something isn’t going right — he loses confidence in himself and he starts to perform less well than usual.”
https://chess24.com/en/read/news/sergey-karjakin-magnus-can-psychologically-crumble

Nepo was asked, “Were you involved in any psychological preparation during this period?”

“I don’t really understand what psychological preparation means. If it’s needing to have the correct attitude within yourself, then I’ve been preparing since childhood.”

Do you consider the match against Carlsen the match of your life?

“I don’t know. That will depend on the result. After I play it, I’ll tell you.”

Are there nerves?

“Nerves, as a rule, are before the start. From experience I can say that you get them in the first round when you sit down at the board and don’t yet know what kind of form you’re in. In such cases you usually make 2-3 moves and then your body readjusts to its working mode. Nerves, it seems me, also go at that moment. No doubt there will also be nerves when the finish is approaching, but now, before it begins, it’s early to talk about that.”
https://chess24.com/en/read/news/ian-nepomniachtchi-the-result-is-much-more-important-than-the-prize

Let us be honest, Nepo cracked. Before the match everyone knew Nepo had a fragile psyche. The World Chess Champ put it best:

“We spoke a bit during these tournaments, but didn’t have much contact for years, until 2011, when we had a training session together. He was a lowly-rated 2700 player and struggled a bit to make it to the very top. He complained that he didn’t get enough invitations to the best tournaments, and felt that the players at the very top were not better than him. I told him that his problem was that he wasn’t disciplined. He had one good tournament, followed by two bad ones. He could start an event with three wins in the first four rounds, then in his fifth game he would not win a better position, leading to a collapse. A very moody player.”

Carlsen talks about their history and why Nepomniachtchi failed to break through.

As usual, Magnus is less filtered when speaking in his native language. On Nepomniachtchi’s biggest challenge in Dubai, he says:

“In Norway Chess he seemed very strong for the first 3-4 rounds, he had a small setback, and then he collapsed. That’s not something he can allow himself in a World Championship match. I am not going to fall even if I am hit in the face once. Perhaps that will be his biggest challenge, to handle the setbacks that will come, regardless of whether it’s a good position he fails to convert, or a game that he should have held to a draw but ends up losing, or opening preparation that goes wrong — that will be a huge challenge for him.”

The World Champion, who has reigned since 2013 and been the world no. 1 consecutively since 2011, doesn’t think Nepomniachtchi would have won the Candidates if the event hadn’t been split in two.

“Because he lost the last game in the first half of the tournament. He rarely plays well after having lost. Now he managed it eventually and has started to become more pragmatic.”

Carlsen says he considers Nepomniachtchi, the world no. 5, to be “a wild card” and still thinks the no. 3 Fabiano Caruana and no. 2 Ding Liren would pose a bigger challenge for him.

“I would say they are the best. I thought beforehand that anyone else would be a good outcome for me, and I still feel that way.”
https://chess24.com/en/read/news/carlsen-good-outcome-to-face-nepo-not-fabi-or-ding

The one word to describe Magnus Carlsen would be “consistent.” The word to describe Ian Nepomniachtchi would be “erratic.”

Maybe is Nepo had devoted more time to Chess and less to other interests the match result would have been different. Maybe…

Who is Ian Nepomniachtchi, the biggest nerd to ever …
[Search domain gamelevate.com] https://gamelevate.com › who-is-ian-nepomniachtchi
Beyond his excellent skills at the chessboard, Ian Nepomniachtchi is also notable for being the biggest nerd ever to challenge for the world championship title. The Russian has played Dota 2 in a semi-professional capacity around the time of its release and was heavily involved in the original Dota scene as well.

The Chess world needs to come to terms with the fact that the way a challenger is chosen has been corrupted by the Russians. Because the nefarious Russians control world Chess they managed to have a player who was not worthy play in the Candidates tournament. The Candidates match “wild card” 22-year-old Russian Kirill Alekseenko said, “The Candidates wild card should be abolished.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/alekseenko-the-candidates-wild-card-should-be-abolished)

Think about it for only a moment…If Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ordered Alekseenko to lose do you really think there would be any other result?

The fact is the Candidates tournament should not have been started during a pandemic. Then, after it had to be stopped, it should not have been resumed a year later. There has got to be a better way of choosing a challenger. How about a match between the second and third highest rated players? What about a double round robin between the top eight players; The Elite Eight?

Magnus Carlsen’s Biorhythms

Four decades ago a gentleman gave me a book

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ebayimg.com%2Fimages%2Fg%2F7fwAAOSwCl5gPEDc%2Fs-l300.jpg&f=1&nofb=1
BIO-RHYTHM; A PERSONAL SCIENCE By Bernard Gittelson …
ebay.com

after informing me he found it interesting. Although skeptical one of the subjects was former American World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer, and just as Jack suspected, I was hooked.

Before the match began I had compared the biorhythms of both competitors, World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi. From a biorhythm perspective I knew the games played this weekend would be critical to the outcome of the match. After considering writing a post, I decided against it because I once posted something about biorhythms on the USCF forum and was excoriated for so doing. After the post, Biorhythms of Magnus Carsen and Fabiano Caruana (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/biothythms-of-magnus-carlsen-vs-fabiano-caruana/) some questioned my sanity. The following charts are for December 5, 2021:

biorhythm-calculator.net
Nepo
biorhythm-calculator.net
Magnus

The Milner-Barry Gambit

  1. e4 (365Chess designates this the “B00 King’s pawn opening”) 1…e6 (This move signifies the opening has become the “C00 French defence) 2. d4 d5 3. e5 (After this move it becomes the “C02 French, advance variation”) 3…c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 (Now it is the “C02 French, advance, Paulsen attack”) 5…Qb6 6. Bd3 (And now we have the “C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit” [https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=12&n=712&ms=e4.e6.d4.d5.e5.c5.c3.Nc6.Nf3.Qb6.Bd3&ns=3.16.12.17.453.525.454.526.711.742.712] or do we?)
The Milner-Barry Gambit

Already an adult when playing in my first USCF rated tournament, I was a bad, but persistently tenacious, player. It was my good fortune to have had International Master Branko Vujakovic travel to Atlanta from Yugoslavia to attend college. My first out of state Chess tournament, in New Orleans, Louisiana, was with Branko. It was in that tournament I used a version of the Milner-Barry taught by Branko against an Expert only a few rating points below National Master, Glenn Ruiz in the very first round. That game featured 4 Nf3 in lieu of 4 c3 in the main line. I recall being on move when one of the local players walked by our board and stopped dead in his tracks. “Would you look at that..” my opponent lamented about his broken and battered position while shaking his head.

We also drove to the Church’s Fried Chicken Chess Tournament in San Antonio, Texas, in 1972, where I met Bobby Fischer after his recent victory over Boris Spassky to win the title of World Chess Champion.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FUPaI5rM2COs%2Fmaxresdefault.jpg&f=1&nofb=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPaI5rM2COs

One of the things recalled about the trip was that the night before the first round we were soundly sleeping when there was a knock on the door. After opening the door there stood two women, one of whom asked, “Would you like a date?” I modestly replied, “No ma’am, but thank you anyway.” After closing the door Branko asked, “Who was that?” After telling him what had transpired he asked, “Does that happen often?” Now here’s a guy who has been around the world and he is asking a young dude for whom a road trip to Savannah, Georgia, had been one of the highlights of his life a question like that…”How should I know?” was the answer.

Branko showed me the opening moves of what he called the “Milner-Barry Gambit,” which were, 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 cxd4 6. O-O. According to 365Chess.com the fourth move makes the variation the “C02 French, advance, Nimzovich system” (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=12&n=4274&ms=e4.e6.d4.d5.e5.c5.Nf3.Nc6.Bd3.cxd4.O-O&ns=3.16.12.17.453.525.1942.2541.4273.4841.4274). We called it the “Milner-Barry Gambit.” If you go to the page at 365Chess you will find the opening having been played by World Chess Championship contender Nigel Short and fellow British countryman GM Julian Hodgson, along with GM Artur Kogan. The idea is simple enough with white sacrificing a pawn for development in order to attack on the Kingside.

In the second round of the recently completed US Women’s Chess Championship the eventual winner, Carissa Yip

Eighteen-year-old International Master Carissa Yip was crowned U.S. Women’s Champion with a...
Eighteen-year-old International Master Carissa Yip was crowned U.S. Women’s Champion with a round to spare, finishing with an incredible 8.5/11 score. The tournament was held at the Saint Louis Chess Club in Saint Louis, Mo.

faced the French defense played by former US Women’s Chess Champ Tatev Abrahamyan:

https://chessterra.com/2021/10/16/slash-and-burn-style-interview-with-wgm-tatev-abrahamyan/
  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 (StockFish 13, going way deep to depth 82 proclaims 3 Nc3 best) 3…c5 4. c3 (According the Chess24.com this is the only move with which White can show an advantage. The Stockfish program at ChessBomb.com shows the game equal. SF 030721 at the ChessBaseDataBase, @depth 57, shows White with a miniscule advantage) 4…Nc6 (SF 130721 @depth 57 plays this move but SF 13 @depth 69 would play 4…Qb6) 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3? (SF, along with everyone else, plays 6 a3, and so should you. Why would the new Women’s Champ play an inferior move? This game may have had something to do with why she played the move:

Magnus Carlsen (2863) vs Pentala Harikrishna (2732)
Event: Saint Louis Blitz 2020
Site: lichess.org INT Date: 09/19/2020
Round: 15.1
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Nbd2 Rc8 9.Nb3 dxc3 10.bxc3 Qc7 11.Re1 Nge7 12.h4 Ng6 13.Qe2 Be7 14.h5 Ngxe5 15.Nxe5 Qxe5 16.Qxe5 Nxe5 17.Rxe5 Bf6 18.Re3 Rxc3 19.Rb1 d4 20.Rg3 O-O 21.Bb2 Rfc8 22.Bxc3 dxc3 23.Rd1 Bc6 24.Bc2 Kf8 25.Re3 b6 26.Nd4 Bd5 27.a4 g6 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Nb5 Rc4 30.Nxa7 Rb4 31.Nb5 Rb2 32.Rc1 Bg5 33.Nxc3 Bxe3 34.fxe3 Bc6 35.Be4 Bd7 36.Bd3 Bc6 37.Rc2 Rb4 38.Bb5 Bxb5 39.axb5 Rc4 40.Kf2 Ke7 41.Ke2 f5 42.Kd3 Rb4 43.Ra2 Kf6 44.Ra6 Rb2 45.Rxb6 Rxg2 46.Nd5+ Ke5 47.Nf4 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?gid=4270402)

Back to the game: 6…cxd4 7. O-O (7 cxd4 is best according the Fritz 15, 16, and 17, for what it’s worth. Unfortunately, there is no word from the best program, or any other, better, program. All we have to go on is the human mind of Magnus Carlsen and the fact that in the 38 games contained by the CBDB White has scored an astounding 66%, while the move 7 cxd4 has scored only 42% in 203 games. Back in the day the move played by a World Champ would have been enough. I miss those daze…) 7…Bd7 8. Re1 (Ms. Yip varies from the World Champ. The most popular move has been 8 cxd4, with 308 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Houdini, and the overwhelming choice of most human players even though it has only scored 43%! I kid you not…The move played in the game has only been attempted 40 times, scoring 64%. It is also the choice of SF 11 @depth 47. But SF 14 @depth 48 would play what is invariably almost no doubt the best move on the board whenever it is played, 8 Qe2!!! According to the CBDB the move 8 Qe2 has only been attempted TWICE. That will most certainly change after this post is read by Chess players all over the world looking for any kind of advantage. Pardon me, I sometimes get carried away when Qe2 is played, in case you have not noticed…Where we’re we? Oh yeah, my new hero, who has played THREE games using 8 Qe2, my Man, Adrian Flitney:

Adrian Flitney (1999) vs Daniel Baider (2032)
Event: Nelson op
Site: Nelson Date: 10/05/2007
Round: 5
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Qe2 Nge7 9.Rd1 dxc3 10.Nxc3 Ng6 11.Be3 Qd8 12.Bg5 Be7 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.g3 O-O 15.Rac1 f5 16.h4 Be8 17.Ng5 h6 18.Nxe6 Qxe6 19.Nxd5 Qxe5 20.Qd2 Kh8 21.Bc4 f4 22.Re1 Qd4 23.Qxd4 Nxd4 24.Kg2 fxg3 25.fxg3 Bc6 26.h5 Nf3 27.hxg6 Nxe1+ 28.Rxe1 Rf5 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3599055&m=18

Wait a minute…what if Adrian is a woman?

I checked, learning Mr. Flitney is an Australian male who was born in 1961 and played a total of 134 games between 1981 and 2009 (https://www.365chess.com/players/Adrian_Flitney). For some reason Adrian faced an inordinate number of French defenses and, to be kind, did not score all that well. Nevertheless, I will replay each and every game because one can usually learn more from a loss than a win.)

Again, where were we? Oh yeah, Ms. Yip has just played 8 Re1 in lieu of the 8.Nbd2 played in a blitz game. This was answered with 8…Nge7 9 h4 a6 (Although SF 13 @depth 50 would play the move played in the game, SF 14 @depth 54 goes with 9…Rc8, as in the following game:

Piroska Palotai (2055) vs Attila Barva (2335)
Event: HUN-ch univ
Site: Hungary Date: 2000
Round: ?
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Qb6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.c3 Bd7 7.O-O cxd4 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 Rc8 10.a3 (SF 14 gives 10 Nbd2 as best) 10…a6 11.Qe2 dxc3 12.Nxc3 Nd4 13.Nxd4 Qxd4 14.g3 Nc6 15.Bf4 Be7 16.Rad1 Qb6 17.Bb1 g6 18.Bh6 Nd4 19.Qg4 Qxb2 20.Nxd5 exd5 21.Qxd4 Qxd4 22.Rxd4 Be6 23.a4 Rc3 24.Ba2 Bc5 25.Rd2 Rxg3+ 26.Kh2 Rg4 27.Bg5 Bb4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=526031&m=20

Alessio Valsecchi (2432) vs Luca Moroni Jr (2321)
Event: 17th Padova Open 2014
Site: Padova ITA Date: 12/17/2014
Round: 5.11
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 Rc8 10.h5 a6 11.Bc2 h6 12.a3 dxc3 13.Nxc3 Na5 14.Ra2 Nec6 15.Be3 Qc7 16.Bf4 Qd8 17.Bb1 Nc4 18.Bd3 b5 19.Bg3 Qb6 20.Nh4 Qd4 21.Nf3 Qg4 22.Ne2 Bc5 23.Qa1 Bb6 24.b3 N4a5 25.Qd1 O-O 26.Bb1 Ne7 27.Ned4 Rc3 28.Qd2 Rfc8 29.Rb2 Qxh5 30.Rd1 Qg4 31.b4 Bxd4 32.Qxd4 Qxd4 33.Nxd4 Nc4 34.Rb3 Nxa3 35.Bd3 Rc1 36.Rf1 R8c3 37.Bf4 Rxf1+ 38.Kxf1 Rxb3 39.Nxb3 Nc6 40.Bd2 Nxe5 41.Be2 Nec4 42.Bc3 e5 43.Nc5 Bc8 44.Bd3 d4 45.Ba1 a5 46.bxa5 Nxa5 47.f4 f6 48.fxe5 fxe5 49.Kf2 N3c4 50.Be4 Kf8 51.Nd3 Bb7 52.Bf5 Nb3 53.Bd7 Nxa1 54.Bxb5 Nd6 55.Ba4 e4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3923226&m=20)

If you are still with me we have come to the only other game found in which 9…a6 was found:

Rauf Mamedov (2654) vs Boris Markoja (2453)
Event: Online Olympiad Top DivB 2021
Site: chess.com INT Date: 09/10/2021
Round: 7.3 Score: 1-0
ECO: C02 French, advance, Milner-Barry gambit
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.O-O Bd7 8.Re1 Nge7 9.h4 a6 10.h5 g6 11.h6 Ng8 12.cxd4 Nxh6 13.Nc3 Nf5 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Bg5 Nfxd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.Bf6 Rg8 18.Rc1 Nc6 19.Nc5 Qb6 20.b4 Nxb4 21.Nxd7 Kxd7 22.Qa4+ Nc6 23.Rb1 Qc7 24.Rec1 Be7 25.Bxe7 Kxe7 26.Qa3+ Ke8 27.Bb5 Qe7 28.Bxc6+ bxc6 29.Qe3 Qc7 30.Rb6 Kd7 31.Qf4 Rgf8 32.Rcb1 Ra7 33.Qh6 Ke7 34.Qc1 Kd7 35.Qf4 h5 36.a4 a5 37.R1b2 Kc8 38.Qe3 c5 39.Rb8+ Qxb8 40.Qxc5+ Qc7 41.Qxf8+ Kd7 42.Qxf7+ Kd8 43.Qf8+ Kd7 44.Rb8 Qxe5 45.Qd8+ Kc6 46.Qb6+ 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4304033&m=19

10. h5 (SF plays 10 Nbd2) 10…h6 (SF prefers 10…g6, putting the question to White. It will be a TN if and when played by a human. 365Chess shows no games with 10…h6, but the CBDB has 4 games with the move) 11. Qe2 (The StockFish programs at Chess24 and the CBDB show 11 Nbd2 as best. The weaker SF program at the ChessBomb shows the move played in the game.) 11…f5? (StockFish shows 11…dxc3 as best. 11…f5? is a RED MOVE at ChessBomb. In computer numerical terms Black has just tossed a pawn. If you do not understand why please STOP! Go set up a real 3D set and pieces and look at the position as long as it takes for you to acquire understanding of the position, grasshopper, then return to the AW for, hopefully, more understanding) 12. exf6? (Because of being taught this particular opening a half century ago I had a modicum of understanding of the rudiments of this position. This weekend I was assisting a Chess Coach because his antiquated laptop needs to have “cool down” time. When this happens the AW takes control of the group. The Coach said nothing after 11…f5 so I stayed silent, but after he made the move 12 exf6 on the board and erupted effusively with, “I love this move! It just rips black apart! What do you think of the move, Mike?” Rock…Hard Place…I actually thought of a song, which will probably not surprise regular readers, even if it did surprise me:

For readers who do not know much about the Royal Game, in Chess there is one thing that is paramount: The Truth. For this reason I was compelled to either feign a heart attack or answer truthfully. Although only taking a few seconds to answer it seemed like HOURS had elapsed before I stated, “Pawn takes pawn en passant is an awful move, Coach.”

Silence followed before the Coach gathered himself enough to inquire, “Why would you say that, Mike?” The answer came immediately. “Because the White e-pawn is a bastion in the center of the board, Coach. When it goes Black will be left with three pawns in the center of the board that will be like Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Eugene “Mercury ” Morris, the three running backs for the only undefeated NFL team in history, rolling forward over any and every thing in their path.”

The Coach was stunned speechless. Therefore I added, “If you go back to the position after 11 Qe2 was played you will see that 11…f5 was also a bad move. Black should have played 11…dxc3.”

The Coach finally responded with, “Well Mike, we don’t have much time and I’m only trying to give the students an overview of the game and not so much detail.”

The kids are LOVING THIS!

“But now I gotta know so I’ll go over to the Bomb and check it out.”

And that is exactly what I expect you to do because inquiring minds want to know (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-us-womens-chess-championship/02-Yip_Carissa-Abrahamyan_Tatev).

BTW, in lieu of 12 exf6 StockFish would play 12 Na3. Just sayin’…

12…gxf6 13. cxd4 (Komodo plays 13 Nxd4 while the Fish plays 13 Qd1) 13…Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Qxd4

White to move

15. Be3 (Truth be told I did not question this move and we discussed what a natural move was this, as it attacks the Queen thereby “developing with tempo,” which is a good thing in Chess, especially if one is behind in development. As luck would have it the next night I was again called upon and was showing the game to another group when the Coach returned just in time to hear me say this was a bad move. “What?” the Coach erupted. Then he gives the students all the reasons enumerated above before saying to me, “Why would you say that, Mike?!”

“Oh no, Mister Bill,” I’m thinking. It was kinda like being called on in class when the teacher knows you’ve been sitting there zoning out while dreaming about that last bell so you could get home and to the Boys Club ASAP… Nevertheless enough gumption was mustered to say, “I spent some time reviewing the game for a possible blog post and checked with all the usual websites and was just as shocked as you to learn that although StockFish 8 played the move, SF 14 finds 15 Nc3 superior.”

Silence. Then, “Well, 15…Qe5 looks like a good move. What do you think, Mike?” I actually thought about having a power failure, but decided to inform the coach that the Fish proclaimed 15…Qh4 best. The coach moved the Queen to e5 before saying, “Well, it looks like Nc3 is out of the question because of the pawn fork, and Nd2 drops the b-pawn, but it looks like White gets counter play by moving the Rook to b1, so how about 16 Na3?” I knew one of the programs (Houdini) would have played Nd2 but kept quiet, but when the Coach asked, “What do you think, Mike?” I was again on the spot, so I said, “f4.” Yip played 16 Nd2)

15…Qe5 16. Nd2 Rg8 17. f4 Qd6 18. Qf2 Rc8 19. Rad1 (19 Nf3 SF) 19…Bc6 (The Coach liked this move, using arrows to show the Bishop and Rook firing on g2. Unfortunately he again asked me to weigh in, so I had not choice but to point out how bad was the move, a move from which Tatev never recovered. “Well, what the hell should the woman have played, Mike?!” I answered “f5.” The coach continued moving the pieces until reaching the position after 20. Bh7 Rg7, asking the students to find a good move for White. By this point the poor things were afraid to utter a sound, so the Coach showed the next move: 21. Ne4 explaining what a good move was this and explaining why, before saying, “We’re running out of time so I’m just gonna run through the rest of the moves before ending the session.”

And I am thinking “Oh Happy Day”

21…Qc7 (Qd8) 22. Bb6 (Nxf6+) dxe4 23. Bxc7 Rxh7 24. Bd6 Rg7 25. Rc1 Nf5 (f5) 26. Bxf8 Kxf8 27. Rxe4 Rd8 (Ke7) 28. Rxc6 bxc6 29. Rxe6 Ng3 (Kg8) 30. Rxf6+ Ke7 31. Qc5+ (Rg6) Kxf6 32. Qe5+ Kf7 33. Qc7+ 1-0

Robert Ris’ Fast and Furious: The Improved Milner-Barry Gambit
(https://en.chessbase.com/post/robert-ris-fast-and-furious-the-improved-milner-barry-gambit)

Pusillanimous Play at the 2021 US Women’s Chess Championship

We begin with the following position:

Draw by repetition

The last move played was 34 Kh3-g2. White has the better position. I know this, you know this, and every Chess player who has made it to class ‘B’ knows this, and possibly every player who has made it to class ‘C’ and no longer plays the Queen’s Raid knows this fact. If you are teaching the Royal game to a neophyte it could be explained by beginning with the fact that white has more space. In addition, each and every white piece is better placed than each black counterpart. Then there is the fact that the white Queen and Rook are working together whereas the black Queen and Rook are separated while being tied down to the defense of the weak a-pawn. Even the white King is better placed than its counterpart. Even after suffering a brain cramp the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.voltron.voanews.com%2FDrupal%2F01live-166%2Fstyles%2Fsourced%2Fs3%2F2019-04%2F77278705-011C-4158-A988-6CBB59D439F9.jpg%3Fitok%3DRxCq66Xj&f=1&nofb=1
Norway’s Magnus Carlsen Retains World Chess Title | Voice …
voanews.com

would win this position 99 44/100 percent of the time against the other nine elite players in the top ten. The decision to repeat the position three times, thereby forcing the game to end in a draw was one of the most pusillanimous ever made considering it came in the third round of the 2021 US Women’s Chess Championship, played Friday, October 8, 2021.

Lee, Megan (USA) – Yip, Carissa (USA)

U.S. Women’s Chess Championship 2021 round 03

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nc6 6. c3 Nf6 7. d4 e6 8. Qe2 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 10. e5 Ne4 11. Be3 Be7 12. Ne1 f5 13. f3 Ng5 14. Nd3 O-O 15. Nd2 Nf7 16. Rfc1 b6 17. a3 a5 18. Rc3 Rfc8 19. Rac1 Nfd8 20. g4 fxg4 21. fxg4 Nf7 22. Nf3 Bd8 23. Kg2 Na7 24. h4 Rxc3 25. Rxc3 Nc6 26. Nf4 Ne7 27. Nd3 a4 28. Qc2 Qb5 29. Nf4 Qd7 30. Nd3 Rb8 31. Kh3 Qe8 32. Nf4 Qd7 33. Nd3 Ra8 34. Kg2 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-us-womens-chess-championship/03-Lee_Megan-Yip_Carissa

The Stockfish program at ChessBomb shows white with an advantage of 1.41. This can be found at Chess24:

1.53 White is much better Stockfish 14 | Cloud | Depth: 22 |
https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/us-womens-championship-2021/3/1/3

At FollowChess we find the ratings of the players and the available time left to each player so you can see the lack of time was not a factor:

Lee, Megan 2211 00:16:55 v Yip, Carissa 00:26:07 2402

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nc6 6. c3 Nf6 7. d4 e6 8. Qe2 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 10. e5 Ne4 11. Be3 Be7 12. Ne1 f5 13. f3 Ng5 14. Nd3 O-O 15. Nd2 Nf7 16. Rfc1 b6 17. a3 a5 18. Rc3 Rfc8 19. Rac1 Nfd8 20. g4 fxg4 21. fxg4 Nf7 22. Nf3 Bd8 23. Kg2 Na7 24. h4 Rxc3 25. Rxc3 Nc6 26. Nf4 Ne7 27. Nd3 a4 28. Qc2 Qb5 29. Nf4 Qd7 30. Nd3 Rb8 31. Kh3 Qe8 32. Nf4 Qd7 33. Nd3 Ra8 34. Kg2 1/2-1/2
    https://live.followchess.com/#!us-championship-w-2021/999510158

Carissa Yip

https://www.uschesschamps.com/sites/default/files/styles/player_bio_photo/public/headshots/2021%20carissa_yip.jpg?itok=lKivAw48

is higher rated by almost 200 points, and is one of the favorites to win the tournament. Knowing little about Megan Lee I went to the website of the US Championships to find this:

https://www.uschesschamps.com/sites/default/files/styles/player_bio_photo/public/headshots/megan_lee.jpg?itok=8B4wWqWD

“Megan Lee is a chess Woman International Master. She completed her BFA in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design with a minor in Art History. Most recently, she won the 2020 Washington State Championships and the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open. Other highlights include winning the 2013 North American Youth U18 Girls Championship and the 2009 Kasparov All-Girls Nationals Championship. Outside of chess, Megan runs two small businesses, an embroidery shop and a lifestyle brand, Snippet Studios. She also enjoys playing board games, skating, clam digging, and making things.” (https://uschesschamps.com/bio/megan-lee)

I can only speculate as to why Megan Lee let her clam get away… What I can say is that this game vividly illustrates why the three time repetition rule MUST BE ABOLISHED! It is terribly sad that any Chess player must be forced to attempt winning a game when having a huge advantage, but something, anything, must be done to at least mitigate the slow death by draw that is plaguing the Royal Game. There is no three time repetition rule in the game of Wei Chi, or Go, as it is called in the West, which is the main, or at least one of the major reasons Go is a better game than is Chess. Go is played to WIN. A draw in Go is anathema, as it should be in Chess. Any Chess player repeating the position for the third time should LOSE THE GAME! Period. What makes this even worse is that during the game Anna Sharevich

versus Irina Krush

played the previous day in the second round, after Irina lost her mind in a completely won position and blundered horribly when playing 66…Bf7, the two players battled until each had only a Rook and pawn left on the board. Then they shook hands, agreeing to a draw, but because of the rules in force during the tournament the women were forced to sit there and play many moves until finally finding a position in which a three fold repetition could be played, thus ending the game which should have ended long earlier. This is ridiculous to the point of absurdity. To be taken seriously in the world of games and ideas Chess needs to get its act together.

The Charlotte Chess Center Mr. Hankey Award

After my most recent required Medicare physical I had to do the Cologuard (https://www.cologuard.com/) thing now required for Seniors. This is the second time I have sent my excrement to HQ where some unfortunate human must screen it for whatever. The day of the procedure, which includes more than just dumping and sending, I will spare you the details, for some reason I thought of Thad Rogers, long and many time President of the Georgia Chess Association.

Thad Rogers

On his way back from a Chess tournament the owner of the Atlanta Chess and Game Center, Thad Rogers, stopped at the House of Pain before heading south to Macon. Howls of laughter emanating from downstairs piqued my curiosity and an inquiring mind wanted to know what was causing such an uproar. Once downstairs I saw Thad holding up a T-shirt. “That looks like a turd on the shirt, Thad,” I said. There were more howls of laughter especially when Thad said, “That’s not a turd, it’s Mr. Hankey!” I thought about going next door to the pizza joint to have a beer, or maybe even something stronger, but I never drink during the day, even when it’s called for, as was the case that day. It turned out Thad was a HUGE fan of the TV show South Park. Evidently he was not alone…Thad would often bring in from the road Chess books and other Chess type things to sell at the House of Pain, but that day will long be remembered as Mr. Hankey day.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fgamesided.com%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F02%2FMrHankytheChristmasPoo.jpg&f=1&nofb=1
Mr. Hankey

Before writing this post I could not recall the name of the turd on Thad’s T-shirt, so I went to the internet and typed in “South Park feces” and there was a turd with a Christmas type hat on top of its “head.” I had found Mr. Hankey!

South Park – Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo

I mention this because the thought occurred that an award should be given to the player(s) who “play” the shortest game at one of the norm tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Center and Scholastic Academy. What better prize than a Mr. Hankey?!

For the most recently completed tournament I thought to award the prize to the player(s) agreeing to the shortest draw. After putting this together my mind was changed. What follows is the shortest draws from each of the four different tournaments held in conjunction at what has become known as the Charlotte Draw Center. The loser who wins the prize will become known at the end of the post.

GM A

Ringoir, Tanguy (BEL) – Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 07

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/07-Ringoir_Tanguy-Ostrovskiy_Aleksandr

Ringoir, Tanguy (BEL) – Dragun, Kamil (POL)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 05

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 O-O 5. Be2 d6 6. Bg5 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/05-Ringoir_Tanguy-Dragun_Kamil

Ringoir, Tanguy (BEL) – Ali Marandi, Cemil Can (TUR)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 03

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Qa4+ Bd7 5. Qd1 Bc8 6. Qa4+ Bd7 7. Qd1 Bc8 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/03-Ringoir_Tanguy-Ali_Marandi_Cemil_Can

Mardov, Dimitar (USA) – Dragun, Kamil (POL)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 09

  1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O c6 6. b3 Ne4 7. d4 d5 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/09-Mardov_Dimitar-Dragun_Kamil

Thirteen (13) was a popular number in this section when it came to agreeing to split the point. I mention this because almost half a century ago I made a study of my games, coming to the conclusion that I had made an inordinate number of questionable (OK, BAD, or HORRIBLE, moves) when producing my thirteenth move of the game. It was more than a little obvious I was having much trouble with the transition from the opening to the middle game. After deep study my game, such as it was, improved at least to the point where I won the coveted title of Atlanta Champion a couple of times.

GM Dragun, Kamil 2555 (POL) – GM Ali Marandi, Cemil Can 2530 (TUR)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 01

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. e3 e6 8. Bd3 Bxd3 9. Qxd3 Bd6 10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Rfc1 Rfc8 13. h3 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/01-Dragun_Kamil-Ali_Marandi_Cemil_Can

Dragun, Kamil (POL) – Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 03

  1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 c6 5. O-O Nf6 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. c3 Bf5 8. Re1 Nbd7 9. h3 h6 10. Nh4 Be6 11. Nhf3 Bf5 12. Nh4 Be6 13. Nhf3 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/03-Dragun_Kamil-Ostrovskiy_Aleksandr

Yoo, Christopher Woojin (USA) – Beradze, Irakli (GEO)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 09

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2 Nxd2 9. Nxd2 Bxg2 10. Kxg2 d5 11. e3 c6 12. Rc1 Nd7 13. Qa4 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/09-Yoo_Christopher_Woojin-Beradze_Irakli

This game is included because it involves Tanguy Ringoir, a serial drawer, who averaged only twenty, that’s 20, or TWO ZERO, moves per game in the tournament. Just to think the dude came all the way from Belarus to not play Chess… The most moves in any of his games were the 37 he played in defeating Arthur Guo in the fourth round. Arthur was either, “out of form” as is said about a player who is having a bad event, or ill. We do not know because nothing is written on the blog of the CCCSA informing we fans of what is happening during the tournaments.

Bora, Safal (USA) – Ringoir, Tanguy (BEL)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 09

  1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 Nf6 5. c4 c6 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Ne5 O-O 8. Nc3 Bf5 9. Bf4 Qb6 10. O-O Qxb2 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 Nc6 13. Bxc6 Bxe5 14. Bxe5 bxc6 15. Re1 f6 16. Bc7 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/09-Bora_Safal-Ringoir_Tanguy

The following game is included even though it was “played” in the last round because it was over long before it was over.

Griffith, Kyron (USA) – Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 09

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3 h5 7. c3 Qd3 8. hxg4 hxg4 9. Nxe5 Bd6 10. Nxd3 Bh2+ 11. Kh1 Bg3+ 12. Kg1 Bh2+ 13. Kh1 Bf4+ 14. Kg1 Bh2+ 15. Kh1 Be5+ 16. Kg1 Bh2+ 17. Kh1 Bd6+ ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-a/09-Griffith_Kyron-Ostrovskiy_Aleksandr

GM B

Paragua, Mark (PHI) – Theodorou, Nikolas (GRE)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 09

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Nc6 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-b/09-Paragua_Mark-Theodorou_Nikolas

Panchanathan, Magesh Chandran (IND) – Paragua, Mark (PHI)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 04

  1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O Nf6 5. c4 c6 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. d4 Nc6 8. Nc3 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-b/04-Panchanathan_Magesh_Chandran-Paragua_Mark

Roussel-Roozmon, Thomas (CAN) – Wang, Tianqi (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 05

  1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 g6 3. e4 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3 d6 7. Be2 Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Bg7 9. Bg5 O-O 10. Qd2 a5 11. O-O a4 12. Rad1 Be6 13. f3 Qb6+ 14. Be3 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-b/05-Roussel_Roozmon_Thomas-Wang_Tianqi

OK, it’s the last round, but still, look at the position. Wouldn’t you wanna know how this one played out?

Sheng, Joshua (USA) – Roussel-Roozmon, Thomas (CAN)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 09

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 d6 5. O-O g6 6. c3 Bg7 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Re1 Bd7 9. Nf1 Qe8 10. h3 Nd4 11. Bc4 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Be6 13. Bg5 Nd7 14. Ne3 h6 15. Bh4 c6 16. Qd1 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-b/09-Sheng_Joshua-Roussel_Roozmon_Thomas

In the next game GM Paragua offered a draw even though, as IM of GM strength Boris Kogan was so fond of saying, he had “BEEG pawn.”

IM Levy Rozman 2353 (USA) vs GM Mark Paragua 2475 (PHI)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 01

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. Rc1 Be6 7. e3 dxc4 8. Ng5 Bd5 9. e4 h6 10. exd5 hxg5 11. Bxg5 Nxd5 12. Bxc4 Nb6 13. Bb3 Nc6 14. Ne2 Qd7 15. O-O Rad8 16. Qd2 Bxd4 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-gm-b/01-Rozman_Levy-Paragua_Mark

Although it’s over twenty moves I must add this one because Roussel-Roozmon has a better pawn structure and the two bishops versus the two knights and yet offered a draw. Why? No guts…no glory.

Roussel-Roozmon, Thomas (CAN) – Paragua, Mark (PHI)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 08

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Qc2 dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bf5 6. g3 e6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Rd1 Qd5 10. Ne5 Qxc4 11. Nxc4 Rd8 12. Nc3 Bb4 13. e4 Bg6 14. f3 b5 15. Ne5 Nfd7 16. Nxg6 hxg6 17. Be3 Nb6 18. Bf1 Bxc3 19. bxc3 N8d7 20. Rab1 f5 21. Bg5 ½-½

Even with all the short draws Mark Paragua averaged 27.66 moves per game, which ought to tell you much about how little Chess was played by Tanguy Ringoir in the GM A section.

IM C

Martin Del Campo Cardenas, Roberto Abel (MEX) – Adamson, Robby (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM C 2021 round 03

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. c3 Bd6 6. Bd3 Nge7 7. O-O O-O 8. Re1 Bf5 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-c/03-Martin_Del_Campo_Cardenas_Roberto_Abel-Adamson_Robby

Canty, James (USA) – Adamson, Robby (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM C 2021 round 07

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bf4 a6 4. e3 e6 5. g4 Bb4 6. Ne2 Nxg4 7. Rg1 g5 8. Rxg4 gxf4 9. Nxf4 Nc6 ½-½

Della Morte, Pablo (ARG) – Martin Del Campo Cardenas, Roberto Abel (MEX)

Charlotte Labor Day IM C 2021 round 09

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4 Bf5 6. Be3 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Qxd4 9. Bxd4 a6 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-c/09-Della_Morte_Pablo-Martin_Del_Campo_Cardenas_Roberto_Abel

Martin Del Campo Cardenas, Roberto Abel (MEX) – Antova, Gabriela (BUL)

Charlotte Labor Day IM C 2021 round 08

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. f4 O-O 9. Kh1 Qc7 10. Qe1 b5 11. Bf3 Bb7 12. e5 Ne8 13. Qg3 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-c/08-Martin_Del_Campo_Cardenas_Roberto_Abel-Antova_Gabriela

Canty, James (USA) – Proleiko, Julian (USA)

Charlotte Labor Day IM C 2021 round 09

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 Be6 7. Qb3 Na5 8. Qb5+ Bd7 9. cxd5 e6 10. Qe2 Be7 11. dxe6 Bxe6 12. Qd1 O-O 13. Be2 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-c/09-Canty_James-Proleiko_Julian

In the following game Canty has the advantage. Why would he possibly offer a draw?

Adu, Oladapo (NGR) – Canty, James (USA)

Charlotte Labor Day IM C 2021 round 08

  1. g3 c5 2. Bg2 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. O-O d6 5. e4 Nc6 6. d3 e5 7. c3 Nge7 8. a3 a5 9. a4 O-O 10. Na3 h6 11. Nb5 Be6 12. Re1 d5 13. Nd2 Qd7 14. Qe2 Rad8 15. Nf3 f5 16. exf5 Bxf5 17. Nh4 Bg4 18. f3 Bh3 19. Bd2 Rf6 20. Rf1 Rdf8 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-c/08-Adu_Oladapo-Canty_James

IM D

Diulger, Alexey (MDA) – Bajarani, Ulvi (AZE)
Charlotte Labor Day IM D 2021 round 05

  1. d4 e6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bf4 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-d/05-Diulger_Alexey-Bajarani_Ulvi

Colas, Joshua (USA) – Matros, Alexander (KAZ)
Charlotte Labor Day IM D 2021 round 09

  1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Bf5 3. Bf4 e6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bd3 Bd6 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-d/09-Colas_Joshua-Matros_Alexander

Matros, Alexander (KAZ) – Prilleltensky, Matan (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM D 2021 round 04

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c6 4. Qc2 Nf6 5. Bf4 dxc4 6. Qxc4 b5 7. Qd3 Bb7 8. Nbd2 Nbd7 9. a4 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-d/04-Matros_Alexander-Prilleltensky_Matan

Matros, Alexander (KAZ) – King, Alexander (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM D 2021 round 03

  1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. d4 Nc6 7. Bb5 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bd7 9. O-O Bd6 10. b3 a6 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Bb2 O-O 13. Rc1 Qe7 ½-½

Bajarani, Ulvi (AZE) – Shlyakhtenko, Robert (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM D 2021 round 06

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 a6 6. O-O c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Rd1+ Ke7 10. Ne5 Nbd7 11. Nd3 Bd6 12. a4 b6 13. Na3 Bb7 14. Bb3 Nc5 15. Nxc5 ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-charlotte-labor-day-im-d/06-Bajarani_Ulvi-Shlyakhtenko_Robert

Amongst this nefarious group of non Chess players who will be all be execrable losers when awarded the dishonorable mention prize one player stood out among the other losers who blaspheme against Caissa. That would be Tanguy Ringoir,

Serial Drawer

a one man wrecking draw. He was bat and balls below every other player. His passport should be revoked.

What happened when Anish Giri offered a draw to Magnus Carlsen on move 4!
10,738,517 views
Nov 28, 2019
ChessBase India
761K subscribers
In round 10 of Tata Steel Chess India Blitz 2019 Magnus Carlsen offered a draw to Vidit Gujrathi on move 5 and the Indian GM accepted it. In the next round itself, round 11, Anish Giri was pitted against Carlsen. Anish played 1.d4 and offered a draw after his fourth move! If Magnus can offer a draw on move 5, why can’t Anish offer it on move 4! Did Magnus accept the draw offer or not? Check out in this exciting video!
Video: ChessBase India

The Pawn Who Roared

Momir Radovic,

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/image/C5603AQGX3SkUWSygJQ/profile-displayphoto-shrink_200_200/0/1517624149528?e=1636588800&v=beta&t=zyMSnqWihXzQRRQ4Y_WfuqTbDNTnIw9SpDaLaOI_gtQ
Chess Instructor at Kennesaw State University
Marietta, Georgia, United States

aka RoaringPawn

https://images.chesscomfiles.com/uploads/v1/user/11858696.253a4c41.160x160o.6e1a2412d43b@2x.png
RoaringPawn
Relational method originator

at Chess.com (https://www.chess.com/member/roaringpawn), wrote an interesting article, How Opening “Experts” are Ruining Growth of Developing Players, (https://www.chess.com/blog/RoaringPawn/how-opening-experts-are-ruining-growth-of-developing-players), published August 29, 2021.

Intrigued, I researched the fellow, learning he resides right here in the Great State of Georgia!

Momir Radovic – Marietta, Georgia, United States …
[Search domain linkedin.com] https://www.linkedin.com/in/chesscontact
Momir Radovic Chess Instructor at Kennesaw State University Marietta, Georgia, United States 421 connections. Join to Connect Report this profile About I’m a chess instructor at Kennesaw State …
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chesscontact

I teach chess and want to champion others to grow in it, as well as personally, using my unique teaching perspective. I strongly believe in others’ inherent qualities and enormous potential to succeed both in chess and in life
https://www.flickr.com/people/chesscontact/

Whoa now, Mr. Pawn? Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog?!!! This reminded me of an old TV commercial about websites in which a boy asks an adult, “How many hits do you get?”

At this point I emailed the President of the GCA, the honorable Scott Parker, inquiring about the man behind Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog, of which I had never heard. This was his reply:

Michael,

I know Momir Radovic personally, and have played some chess with him. We’re about equally skilled (equally unskilled might be more exact) at chess. He’s a good guy.

Be well,
Scott

The Self-deprecation was to be expected from the man known at the House of Pain as “The Sheriff.” If Scott says Momir is “a good guy” that is good enough for me. Still, that thing about having Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog makes me ready to go over the board, in lieu of into the ring, but only because of my age! On August 11, 2019, the post, Yet Another Chess Cheating Scandal, (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/yet-another-chess-cheating-scandal) went viral, garnering 5773 views that day. As of today there have been 7005 views of the post. Although not having as many “hits” on the day published, the post of April 26, 2020, Confirmation Garry Kasparov Cheated Judit Polgar, ()https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/confirmation-garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/ continues to be read with hardly a day going by without a view. It will soon top the aforementioned post in total views. I am calling you out, Mr. Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog(ger). How many hits does the Pawn that Roared receive?Momir Radovic is rated 1767 by the USCF. That would be his ‘regular’ rating. I am old enough to remember when there were only two ratings, one for Over The Board and the other for Correspondence Chess. Mr. Radovic is a class ‘B’ player who has previously crossed the line into class ‘A’. Back in the day he would be considered a ‘solid’ class ‘B’ player. With so many people, like former USCF President Allen Priest, who sported a 700 rating, having a triple digit rating these daze Momir is almost world class. Please do not take me wrong, I do not mean to demean Momir because ‘back in the day’ it was thought that anyone who made it to class ‘B’ had to be taken seriously as they had stopped dropping pieces and could play a serious game of Chess. I tied for first place in the 1974 Atlanta Chess Championship with a fellow from New York and was declared Champion while a class ‘B’ player. The class ‘B’ player W. Stanley Davis, upset GM John Federowicz

in the very first round of the 1980 US Open in Atlanta, Georgia. That said, it was still something to hear Momir call out Grandmasters in his article., which begins:

“There’s a massive, uncontrolled and unhealthy proliferation of chess opening experts of all kind and provenience. From ELO 1600 all the way up to the super GM circle (where, among others, is sitting a certain famous Twitter celebrity and acclaimed Najdorf expert).

The mushrooming of experts into all sorts of domains like, “visa consultants,” “immigration experts,” or “life coaches” sees their bold advertising services, making false promises and charging exorbitant amounts. And all of that to provide just a very basic service.”

I do not know about you but I want to know the name of that “…certain famous Twitter celebrity and acclaimed Najdorf expert.”

There follows: “In chess, this corrupt practice has been established around openings. It creates a grave disservice and has direct consequences for the average player in that it is slowing down/stopping them altogether along the growth path. Amateur players have thus become prisoners of the opening theory and their own conditioning that has been put on them and used by opening “experts.”

It gets better, or worse, depending on one’s perspective. I strongly urge you to read the remarkable article because, as Momir writes at one point, it is, “Simply astonishing, isn’t it?”

It certainly is! I was so astonished I read it again! What follows is one of the reasons I reread the piece. Chess book and video publishers are not going to like what Momir had to say, and I do not blame them. In another line of work the kind of ‘hit’ Momir received would be more along the line of something out of the Godfather,

https://xpertchesslessons.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/61b5c-iu.jpg

or Sopranos.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic3.srcdn.com%2Fwordpress%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F03%2FThe-Sopranos-vs-The-Wire.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Better learn to duck and cover, Momir, my man…See what I mean:

“Chess books publishing and chess portals are following suit. They are tirelessly producing tons of copies of invaluable content on openings. On all channels, openings count for more than HALF of all chess material delivered to you. Here’s some facts and the number of books/courses/videos as of early August.”

Chessable (“No.1 site for chess improvement and science-based learning backed by the World chess champion Magnus Carlsen..”)

https://images.chesscomfiles.com/uploads/v1/blog/574935.97a319b7.668x375o.c3652ee94ae1@2x.jpeg
World Chess Champ Magnus Carlsen reacting to the article: https://www.chess.com/blog/RoaringPawn/how-opening-experts-are-ruining-growth-of-developing-players

Openings 341
Endgames 38
Strategy 92
Tactics 227

New In Chess
Openings 412
Middlegame 68
Strategy 86
Tactics 68
Improvement 84
Attack and Defense 33
Endgames 50

Everyman Chess
Openings 277
Games Collections 69
Training books 135
Improvers 32 (5 on ops)

Quality Chess
Openings 93
Improvement 83

Gambit Publications
Openings 59
Endings 14
Puzzles and Studies 14
Training, Strategy and Improvement 37
Beginners and Intermediate 19
Tactics 19
Games Collections and General 9

He does not stop there. Momir reloads time and again. Take this for example: “The situation isn’t much better in blogging, either. The blogging space is, sadly, also overcrowded with opening enlightenments.

So it seems that, in the Brave New World of Chess, average players have basically been brainwashed

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fi.scdn.co%2Fimage%2F66585bf8775feb77d7f4fb9824fe1175274da139&f=1&nofb=1

into being one-dimensional consumerists of openings with no regard or interest in seeing chess for themselves. Or in thinking for themselves.

The chess world is filled with endless (mostly opening) distractions that keep us perpetually numb to the world of ideas.”

Wait a minute…I am a blogger and focus on the opening! One of his salvos has hit home and is now the Armchair Wounded Warrior!

The Pawn that Roared ends with this mighty blast:

ART OF FLIMFLAM. CONTINUED

“An artificially created market that demands openings as a “quick and easy” fix has a devastating effect on the developing player’s road to growth, that’s for sure. The primary victim is the player’s staying-underdeveloped, never-improving thought process.

But what all of this is telling us about its creators, opening “experts” themselves?

Do they really think they are helping us with their trifle manuals? (Do you?)

Are they doing all this to show their creativity and chess understanding, or maybe for a quick and easy profit instead?

Or perhaps the opening experts simply have nothing better to offer us? They may not be capable, without their trustworthy engines, to write about any subtler chess topics at all?”

Writing about openings is comparatively easy, because you are setting out specific lines you check with an engine. Writing about middlegames and endings is hard, because you have to communicate concepts. – Cuddles T

https://www.chess.com/blog/RoaringPawn/how-opening-experts-are-ruining-growth-of-developing-players

After reading the above my first thought was, “Who the hell is Cuddles T?”

I am going to disagree with the Killer ‘B’ but not now, because it is late and I am tired. One of the reasons is I stopped punchin’ & pokin’ to watch some of the moves being played at the Charlotte Labor Day 2021 tournament and became transfixed with one game in particular and stopped writing to concentrate on the game, but more on that tomorrow in part 2 of this post. Until then, once again I urge you to take time to read one of the most remarkable Chess articles I have read in some time, and come on back tomorrow to read part two of The Pawn Who Roared.

The Najdorf System

When first starting out on the Caissa highway this writer played the Najdorf exclusively against the move 1 e4. Like many others I played the most aggressive opening because it was played by Bobby Fischer.

https://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-but-you-see-when-i-play-a-game-of-bobby-there-is-no-style-bobby-played-perfectly-and-miguel-najdorf-87-24-27.jpg

Prior to the advent of the computer programs that are now at least two, maybe three levels above humans in playing ability, the Najdorf was analyzed to what we thought was ‘death’. It is possible that more theory has been written on the opening foisted upon the Chess world by Miquel Najdorf

https://en.chessbase.com/portals/4/files/news/2015/common/nic/najdorf.jpg

than any other opening. Nowadays players throw any and everything at the Najdorf, even some moves at which we would have scoffed ‘back in the day’. The Najdorf is not really a defense but a ‘system’. Although it was a lifetime ago it seems like only yesterday the book with the green cover, The Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence, by Svetozar Gligoric,

https://rafaelleitao.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/883e1bd0-67ad-4f78-85d4-bb79a5c60b6f.jpeg
Grandes Enxadristas: A História de Svetozar Gligoric …
rafaelleitao.com

Yefim Geller,

Lubomir Kavalek,

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2021/01/20/obituaries/Kavalek-01/merlin_182621637_64889ca1-3763-4ef7-b827-8cd9af4599d9-superJumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp

and Boris Spassky,

https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/madison.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/0e/20e12d24-a7ec-11e4-938d-33e1835238f9/54ca88655dc93.image.jpg?resize=500%2C593
cookingsblogtips.blogspot.com

was published by R.H.M.

https://cv02.twirpx.net/2561/2561165.jpg?t=20190921113626
https://www.twirpx.com/file/2561165/

That would have been in 1976, the year I won the Atlanta Chess Championship with an unbeaten 5-0 score. I devoured the book. At the time I was playing correspondence Chess and one of my opponents was a young Atlanta player who later became a National Master, Tom Friedel. After reading the book there was one line I particularly did not like. In the USCF postal tournament I was paired with Tom, and he stepped right into my wheelhouse, allowing me to play my beloved Najdorf. Unfortunately for me, Tom played the aforementioned line. There was a problem with another game in that section in that the player was using one of the new computer playing machines to produce his moves. I know this because former Georgia Chess Champion Mike Decker had the same machine and I asked him about my postal game. Sure ’nuff, the machine produced each and every one of the moves sent by my opponent, so I withdrew from the event and never played another postal game. Some time later a friend said he had been talking with Tom about our postal game and that Tom was perplexed, saying something about my being able to draw even though a pawn down. After learning why I had withdrawn Tom was no longer perplexed. Tom was a very strong player, no doubt stronger than me, and I seem to recall Tom winning the USCF postal tournament. Maybe one of you readers can recall, or do the research required to learn if my memory is correct. The fact is that after all these decades in which I have not played the Najdorf, I have played over more Najforf games than any games of any other opening. It really is true that you never forget your first love. It is also the reason I have been a BIG fan of the Frenchman known as simply “MVL.”

What makes the following game remarkable is that Fabi played the weak 15 a3 two rounds AFTER LDP played the much superior 15 Nd5 against MVL in the fourth round leading to a resounding victory for Leinier Dominguez Perez in only 33 moves! It is refreshing seeing a player with even a modicum of gray hair winning these days.

(GM) Fabiano Caruana (USA)

Carlsen-Caruana 3: Fabi squanders opening edge | chess24.com

vs (GM) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)

Côte d'Ivoire Rapid & Blitz: A three-point lead for Magnus ...

Grand Chess Tour Sinquefield Cup 2021 round 06

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 O-O 10. O-O-O Nbd7 11. g4 b5 12. g5 Nh5 13. Kb1 Nb6 14. Na5 Rc8 15. a3 g6 16. h4 Ng3 17. Rg1 Nxf1 18. Rgxf1 Na4 19. Nxa4 bxa4 20. h5 Qc7 21. Rh1 Rfe8 22. Qh2 Bf8 23. c4 Re7 24. Bd2 Bxc4 25. Bb4 Rd7 26. f4 Bb5 27. hxg6 fxg6 28. f5 Rg7 29. f6 Rf7 30. Qd2 Qd7 31. Qd5 Be2 32. Rc1 Rxc1+ 33. Rxc1 h5 34. Nc4 Bxc4 35. Rxc4 h4 36. Rc2 h3 37. Ka2 Kh8 38. Rd2 Rh7 39. Bxd6 Qxd6 40. Qxd6 Bxd6 41. Rxd6 Kg8 42. Rd8+ Kf7 43. Rd7+ Kg8 44. Rd8+ Kf7 45. Rd7+ Kg8 46. Rd8+ ½-½
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-grand-chess-tour-sinquefield-cup/06-Caruana_Fabiano-Vachier_Lagrave_Maxime

1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 (SF 14 @depth 53 and Komodo 13.02 @depth 45 plays the game move, but SF 050821 @depth 58 would play the move GM Ben Finegold says one should never play, 6 f3!) 6…e5 (SF 13 @depth 59 would play the move played in the game, but SF 050821 @depth 51 prefers 6…Ng4. Komodo 13.02 @depth 44 shows 6…e6. The CBDB shows white scoring 54% against each move, so flip a coin…err, roll ‘dem bones…) 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 (Komodo 13.02 @depth 44 plays the game move, as does SF 050821 @depth 46; Komodo 14 @depth 46 would play 8 Be2, which has only scored 50% in 296 games. 8 f3 has scored 53% in 6013 games) 8….Be7 (SF 13 @depth 45 plays the game move, as does SF 050821 @depth 51; but SF 14 @depth 49 shows 8…h5, the move that has scored the best, holding white to only 47% in 1251 games. In 4002 games against 8…Be7 white has scored 54%) 9. Qd2 O-O (By far the most often played move (3272), but is it the best? but SF 14 @depth 55 plays the second most often played move of 9…Nbd7, but SF 060421 @depth 71 plays 9…h5, the move that in 521 games has scored the best for the Najdorf, holding white to even, Steven) 10. O-O-O Nbd7 11. g4 b5 12. g5 Nh5 13. Kb1 Nb6 14. Na5 Rc8 (SF 14 @depth 49 plays the game move, as does SF 050821 @depth 51, but here’s the deal…the CBDB shows the same program at the same depth also playing 14…Qc7. I don’t know about you but as for me I’m sticking with Stockfish!) 15. a3 (The most often played move in 26 games has been 15 Rg1, but it has scored an abysmal 38%. The move played in the game has scored 50% in only 7 games. The move that three different Stockfish programs rates best, 15 Nd5, has scored an outstanding 63%, albeit in only 4 games. I don’t know about you but the next time I arrive at this position that steed is leaping to d5!) 15…g6 16. h4 (SF 12 @depth 41 plays this move, but SF 050821 @depth 39 and SF 251220 @depth 67 plays 16 Rg1, which has been played in 7 games) 16…Ng3 (SF 310720 @depth 51 plays 16…Qc7)

(GM) Leinier Dominguez Perez (USA)

Ajedrecista cubano Leinier Domínguez se cuela en puesto 14 ...

vs (GM) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)

Grand Chess Tour Sinquefield Cup 2021 round 04

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 O-O 10. O-O-O Nbd7 11. g4 b5 12. g5 Nh5 13. Kb1 Nb6 14. Na5 Rc8 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. exd5 Bxd5 17. Qxd5 Qxa5 18. c4 Nf4 19. Bxf4 exf4 20. h4 Qa4 21. Bd3 bxc4 22. Qe4 g6 23. Bc2 Qd7 24. h5 Qe6 25. hxg6 hxg6 26. Qxf4 Qe5 27. Qh4 Qg7 28. Rd2 Rc5 29. f4 f6 30. Rdh2 fxg5 31. Qe1 Bf6 32. Rh6 Qb7 33. Qe6+ 1-0
    https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-grand-chess-tour-sinquefield-cup/04-Dominguez_Perez_Leinier-Vachier_Lagrave_Maxime

Levon Aronian (2772)

Levon Aronian switches to the USA | chess24.com

vs Magnus Carlsen (2870)

Magnus Carlsen Net Worth - Biography, Life, Career and ...


Event: Tata Steel India Rapid
Site: Kolkata IND Date: 11/22/2019
Round: 3.3
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Be3 Nbd7 9.g4 Be7 10.Qd2 O-O 11.O-O-O b5 12.g5 Nh5 13.Kb1 Nb6 14.Na5 Rc8 15.a3 g6 16.h4 Ng3 17.Rg1 Nxf1 18.Rgxf1 Na4 19.Nxa4 bxa4 20.h5 Qd7 21.Rh1 Rfe8 22.Qh2 Bf8 23.Bd2 Rc7 24.Bb4 Rb8 25.Rd3 Qb5 26.Rc3 Rbc8 27.Rxc7 Rxc7 28.Rd1 Rd7 29.Rd3 Be7 30.hxg6 fxg6 31.Qd2 Qb6 32.Qc1 Bd8 33.c4 Qf2 34.Nc6 Bxg5 35.Qxg5 Qf1+ 36.Kc2 Bxc4 37.Qe3 Bxd3+ 38.Qxd3 Qxd3+ 39.Kxd3 h5 40.Ke3 Kf7 41.Bc3 Ke6 42.Nb4 g5 43.Kf2 Rf7 44.Kg2 g4 45.fxg4 Rg7 46.Nd5 Rxg4+ 47.Kf3 Rg1 48.Kf2 Rg7 49.Kf3 h4 50.Be1 h3 51.Bg3 Rb7 52.Nb4 a5 53.Nd3 Rb3 54.Ke2 Kf6 55.Bh2 Kg5 56.Bg3 Kg4 57.Bh2 Rxd3 58.Kxd3 Kf3 59.Kd2 Kxe4 60.Ke2 d5 61.Bg3 d4 62.Bh2 Kd5 63.Kd2 e4 64.Ke2 Kc4 65.Be5 Kb3 66.Kd2 d3 67.Kd1 e3 68.Kc1 Kc4 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4230897&m=34