The Evil Empire Battles Ukraine

I usually do not comment on a knock-out type tournament, especially one so-called a “world championship,” but the final match between a Russian and a Ukrainian with the situation, Russian encroachments and troops and tanks one the border, is the closest thing the chess world has seen to the situation when American Bobby Fischer challenged the Russian Boris Spassky for the World Championship in 1972 during the Cold War. GM Kevin Spraggett wrote about Natalia Pogonina and Mariya Muzychuk, “…who I understand are friends.” (https://kevinspraggettonchess.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/pogonina-unstoppable/) That friendship may last no matter which player wins the match, but it will not last when the real war with weapons of destruction begins.

Make no mistake, if the insane Rootin’ Tootin’ Pootin’ does not back down, there will be war. The West has no choice but to call Putin’s bluff. “Let us not forget that Ukraine has been guaranteed, in 1994, the protection of its territorial integrity by the United States. Ukraine gave up nukes! Very few people remember it was the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. [Not honouring the gurantee] is very bad, not only for the United States – Bill Clinton’s signature was there. Ukraine gave up twelve hundred nuclear warheads, more than England, France and China combined, in exchange for guarantees from America and Great Britain. This will have implications way beyond Ukraine’s borders, because it destroys the credibility of the White House, it destroys the credibility of the free world, and it sends a message, let’s say to Iran, that you need nukes to protect your borders. Same can apply to Japan, South Korea, countries that are facing a rising threat from China. It will be a totally different world unless we follow the promises written on paper and signed by the leaders of the free world.” -Garry Kasparov
(http://en.chessbase.com/post/kasparov-on-putin-ukrainian-nukes-nemtsov)

The lead story in the magazine Modern War #16, March-April 2015, is Visegrad: The Coming War in Eastern Europe, by David March. (http://modernwarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/MW16-v5F-TOC.pdf)
It is also possible to play a board game before the real war begins. (http://shop.decisiongames.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VASS19)

I have followed the games of the Muzychuk sisters because they play the Leningrad Dutch, most of which I have played over in recent years, so I would be predisposed to pulling for Mariya in this prelude to war. After reading the article, and Putin as Warlord, by Gilberto Villahermosa, in the same magazine, I believe Russia will lose World War III, just as I expect the Russian, Pogonina, to be stopped and lose the match with the Ukrainian, Mariya Muzychuk.

rd4-04

Advertisements

The Leningrad Dutch

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

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