Does Gata Kamsky Read The AW?

Imagine my surprise upon seeing the Gata Kamsky playing Qe2 versus the French defense in the eight round of the Barcelona Open. First he plays the Leningrad Dutch and then the Chigorin against the French. It is enough to make one wonder if the Gator has been reading the Armchair Warrior…

Gata Kamsky (2685)

vs Salvador G. Del Rio De Angelis (2488)

Barcelona Open 2019 round 08

1 e4 e6 2 Qe2 c5 3 Nf3 (SF plays 3 g3) 3…Nc6 4 g3 (The most often played move but Komodo would play 4 d3. What SF would play is not shown at the CBDB) 4…d6 (SF prefers 4…g6) 5 Bg2 (Although Komodo plays this SF & Houdini choose 5 c3) 5…Nf6 (The most often played move, but SF would play 5…g6; Komodo plays 5…e5) 6 O-O (The most often played move to date but SF would play 6 c3) 6…Be7 (Earlier versions of SF chose this move but SF 10 @ depth 34 plays 6…e5, expecting 7 c3 Be7) 7 c3 (The most often move chosen but SF 10 would play the little played 7 e5) 7…O-O (Although SF 9 shows this move, SF 10 would play the seldom played 7…Qb6, expecting 8 Na3 0-0) 8 Rd1 (The SF move, but Houdini would play the most often played move, 8 d4) 8…b6 (A plethora of moves have been tried in this position. SF 10 would play 8…e5; SF 090519 prefers 8…d5) 9 d4 cxd4 (Komodo plays this move but SF 010719 likes 9…d5, which is not shown at the CBDB) 10 Nxd4 (For 10 cxd4 see Kobalia vs Grachev below) 10…Nxd4 11 cxd4 a5 (For 11…Bb7 see Erdos vs Jianu below) 12. Nc3 Ba6 13. Qe1 Rc8 14. Bg5 Nd7 15. Be3 Qc7 16. a4 Rfe8 17. Rac1 Qb8 18. h3 Bf8 19. Kh2 Nf6 20. f3 Nd7 21. Qf2 Bc4 22. Bf1 Qb7 23. Bxc4 Rxc4 24. d5 Rec8 25. dxe6 fxe6 26. Rd4 Rxd4 27. Bxd4 Nc5 28. Rd1 Qc6 29. Qc2 Nd7 30. Qd3 Qc4 31. Kg2 Qb3 32. Rd2 Rc4 33. f4 Nc5 34. Bxc5 bxc5 35. Rf2 Rxa4 36. f5

Black has played well up to this point and has an extra pawn to show for his effort. What move would you play?

36…Rd4 37. Qf3 e5 38. f6 Qf7 39. Nd5

39…gxf6? (With this move black lets go of the rope…) 40. Nxf6+ Kh8 41. Qg4 Bh6 42. Qc8+ Qf8 43. Qd7 Qg7 44. Qe6 1-0

Mikhail Kobalia (2608) vs Boris Grachev (2621)

73rd Moscow Blitz


B40 Sicilian defense

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.Qe2 d6 6.O-O Be7 7.c3 O-O 8.Rd1 b6 9.d4 cxd4 10.cxd4 d5 11.e5 Nd7 12.Nc3 a5 13.a4 Ba6 14.Nb5 Rc8 15.Bd2 Nb4 16.Bc3 Nb8 17.Bf1 N8c6 18.Qd2 Qd7 19.h4 Na7 20.Nxa7 Qxa7 21.Ng5 Bxf1 22.Rxf1 Qa6 23.f4 Qd3 24.Qxd3 Nxd3 25.Rfd1 Nb4 26.Nf3 h5 27.Kf2 g6 28.Ke2 Rc4 29.Nd2 Rc6 30.Nf1 Rfc8 31.Ne3 Kf8 32.Kd2 Ke8 33.Rdc1 Kd7 34.Rd1 R8c7 35.Rdc1 Kc8 36.Nc2 Kb7 37.Bxb4 axb4 38.Ne3 b3 39.Rxc6 Rxc6 40.a5 bxa5 41.Kd3 Kb6 42.Nd1 Bb4 43.Ne3 Kb5 44.Ke2 a4 45.Kd3 Ra6 46.Nd1 Ra7 47.Rc1 Be1 48.Nc3+ Bxc3 49.

Viktor Erdos (2650) vs Vlad Cristian Jianu (2550)

TCh-ROU 2013

B40 Sicilian defense

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 d6 6. O-O Be7 7. c3 b6 8. Rd1 O-O 9. d4 cxd4 10. Nxd4 Nxd4 11. cxd4 Bb7 12. Nc3 Qc7 13. Bf4 Rad8 14. Rac1 Qb8 15. g4 Rfe8 16. g5 Nd7 17. h4 Bf8 18. Bg3 a6 19. d5 exd5 20. Nxd5 Rc8 21. Qd2 b5 22. b3 Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Rc8 24. Rd1 Ne5 25. Kh1 Bxd5 26. exd5 Re8 27. Re1 g6 28. Be4 Qc8 29. Kg2 h6 30. f3 hxg5 31. hxg5 Qd8 32. Bf4 Nd7 33. Bb1 Rxe1 34. Qxe1 Bg7 35. Qd2 Qe7 36. Be3 1/2-1/2

So this is how it ends
And no, it’s not fair
They say life goes on
But I’m not sure where
Move forward, forget
Just doesn’t feel right
If I’m still losing sleep
Every night

But I’ll make myself believe
That I’m not a coward
When it’s all I’ll ever be

But here I am
Burning at both ends
Playing the victim
When I know I’ll never win
I’ll never win
And I can’t get out
Of my own head
So tell me

How to make myself believe
That I’m not a coward
When it’s all I’ll ever be
Tonight I’m laying myself down
While I’m still bleeding out

This ends now

Mikhail Kobalia Wins with the Leningrad Dutch

P. Iniyan IM (2460) India

vs Mikhail Kobalia GM (2599) Russia

A89 Leningrad Dutch

Aeroflot Open 2018 Rd 8

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nc3 (This is the main line of the A87 Dutch, Leningrad. Black now has a choice between three moves, Qe8, the move most often chosen by the man who wrote the book on the Leningrad, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, as it is the only move he considers in his excellent book, The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1 d4, 1 c4, 1 Nf3;

Nc6, my move; and c6, the move Stockfish considers best at the CBDB. Yet the Fish shows Nc6 best in the analysis to this game at the ChessBomb (!

Nc6 8. d5 (The main move, although Houdini at CBDB considers the seldom played Qc2 equal to d5)

Ne5 (There is disagreement about this move. The Stockfish and Houdini programs at CBDB show Ne5 best, while Komodo prefers Na5. The Stockfish program at ChessBomb has Na5 as much superior.)

9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. e4 (SF has this as first move at DaBomb, while the Dragon considers Qb3 best)

f4 (This has been the most often played move, but SF prefers the little played e6)

11. gxf4? (Although most often played the clanking digital monsters have little respect for it. The first choice of Stockfish at both the ChessBomb and CBDB is a4, a move that has yet to be played. Houdini plays b3, while Komodo plays Qe2! If you are a regular reader of this blog you know why I attach the exclam. This move is not one of the four choices given by SF in the analysis of the game at DaBomb. The other three moves are, in order, b4;b3; & Re1)

exf4 12. e5 (The ‘main’ move, but SF does not even list it! In order we have, Bxf4, by far the best according to SF; Kh1;Rb1; & f3

Ng4 13. e6 Ne5

14. Qa4? (There is total agreement that Re1 is the best move)

f3 15. Bh3

Nd3 (15…c6 16. Rd1 Qe8 17. c5 h6 18. Qe4 g5 19. Bf5 Qh5 20. h3 Kh8 21. d6 Rxf5 22. Qxf5 Bxe6 23. Qxe6 g4 24. Kf1 gxh3 25. dxe7 1-0, Tapani Sammalvuo (2375) v Sami Petteri Pitkanen [no rating given] Espoo op1 1997)

16. Qd1 Nxc1 17. Qxc1 b6 18. Ne4 Ba6 (b5!) 19. Rd1 Be5 20. Qh6 Bg7 21. Qh4 h6 22. Kh1 Bxc4 23. Rg1 Qe8

24. Rg3 ( (24. d6! cxd6 25. Nxd6 exd6 26. Qxc4) Bxd5 25. Rag1 Bxe4 26. Qxe4 g5 27. Bf5 (Bf1 with the idea of Bd3 is better) Rd8 28. Bg6 Rf4 29. Bf7+ Kh8 30. Qxf4 gxf4 31. Rxg7 Qf8 32. R7g4 c5 33. a4 a6 34. h4 b5 35. axb5 axb5 36. Kh2 c4 37. Kh3 b4 38. Rxf4 Rc8 (c3! Passed pawns must be pushed)

39. Rxf3? (This game has been a struggle. Although understandable, as the pawn on f3 has been a constant thorn in white’s side most of the game, this move is an awful mistake. By playing 39 Rgg4, putting pressure on the queen side pawns, the game would have remained in balance. This move takes the game from even to LOST.) c3 (Turn out the lights, the party’s over) 40. Rfg3 c2 41. Rc1 Qd8 42. Rg8+ Qxg8 43. Bxg8 Kxg8 44. b3 Kg7 45. Kg4 Kf6 46. Kh5 Kxe6 47. Kxh6 Ke5 48. Kg7 0-1

Roman Martynov FM 2319 (UKR) v Mikhail Kobalia GM 2599 (RUS)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 03

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 (This system was the choice of IM Boris Kogan from whom I learned much, so I have a great deal of respect for b3 versus the Leningrad.That said, there is total agreement between the Big 3 that 6 c4 is the best move. Yet in actual practice the databases show both b3 and b4 scoring higher than the ‘best’ move))

d6 (The Dragon and the Fish both prefer 6…Ne4)

7. Bb2 Ne4 (GM Vladimir Malaniuk reached this position 45 times, but never played the game move. Although the Stockfish program at Chess Bomb has Ne4 as best, the SF, and Houdini, at the CBDB show 7…e6 as the best move.)

8. c4 (Although 8 Nbd2 is played more often, the clankin’ digital monsters all agree c4 is better.)

Nc6 (8…e5 9. dxe5 Nc6 10. Qd5+ Kh8 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe5 13. Qc5 Re8 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Qxe7 Rxe7 16. Rd2 Kg8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. e4 g5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. h3 Bg6 21. Rd7 Rae8 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Nd2 e4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Re1 Nb4 1/2-1/2, F. Baumbach (2495) v R Langeveld (2681) Mostert Memorial email tt 2006)

9. Nbd2 e5 10. dxe5 (The SF program at ChessBomb shows 10 d5 as best, but the SF program at the CBDB prefers taking the pawn, while Komodo would play a TN, Rc1)

Nxd2 (Although this is the most often played move, there is disagreement between the Big 3. SF takes the knight, but the Dragon and Houdini play 10…Nc5, the move the SF program at DaBomb has as best. Go figure…)

11. Qxd2 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 (By far the most often played move, but Houdini would play Qc5, as would the SF at DaBomb)

Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 (SF and Houey prefer 14..e4)

15. e4 (This is a TN. The SF at DABomb prefers Rab1, which would be a TN; the SF at the CBDB plays Ng5. Houdini prefers 14 Ng5. See Szmacinska v Lazarevic below. For 14 Rd2 see Izsak v Torma below. The Fish would play 14 Rad1)

f4 16. Bc3 a5 17. Rd2 h6 18. Ne1 g5 19. Nd3 Rf8 20. a3 Kh7 21. f3 b6 22. a4 h5 23. Rf1 Be6 24. gxf4 exf4 25. Bxg7 Kxg7 26. h4 gxh4 27. Kh2 Rad8 28. Rfd1 Kh6 29. Bh3 Bg8 30. Kg2 Rd4 31. Kf2 Rd6 32. Ne1 Rfd8 33. Rxd6+ Rxd6 34. Nd3 Ne5 35. Ke2 Rxd3 36. Rxd3 Nxd3 37. Kxd3 Kg5 38. Kd4 Kf6 39. Kd3 Ke5 40. Bc8 Bf7 41. Bd7 Kd6 42. Bh3 c6 43. Bc8 Be8 44. Bh3 b5 45. axb5 cxb5 46. Kd4 bxc4 47. bxc4 Bd7 48. e5+ Ke7 49. Bxd7 Kxd7 50. Kd5 h3 0-1

Gyula Izsak (2436) v Robert Torma (2455)

TCh-HUN 2015-16 Hungary HUN 04/17/2016

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 d6 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Rd2 a5 16. Ne1 e4 17. Bxg7+ Kxg7 18. Nc2 a4 19. Rad1 axb3 20. axb3 Ra6 21. Ne3 Nb4 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. cxd5 c6 24. dxc6 Rxc6 25. f3 Rb6 26. Rd8 Rxd8 27. Rxd8 exf3 28. Bxf3 Be6 29. Rb8 Bxb3 30. Rxb7+ Rxb7 31. Bxb7 1/2-1/2

Grazyna Szmacinska (2120) v Milunka Lazarevic (2170)
Event: Naleczow (Women) 1985

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. b3 Bg7 5. Bb2 O-O 6. Bg2 d6 7. O-O Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Ng5 e4 16. Rab1 h6 17. Nh3 g5 18. Kf1 Be6 19. f4 g4 20. Nf2 a5 21. a4 Rad8 22. Bxg7+ Kxg7 23. e3 Nb4 24. Ke1 Kf6 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rd1 Nc2+ 27. Ke2 Rxd1 28. Nxd1 Na1 29. Nc3 Nxb3 30. Bxe4 fxe4 31. Nxe4+ Ke7 32. Nf2 Bxc4+ 33. Kd1 h5 0-1

F. Baumbach (2495) v R Langeveld (2681)
Mostert Memorial email tt 2006

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 d6 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. c4 e5 9. dxe5 Nc6 10. Qd5+ Kh8 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe5 13. Qc5 Re8 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Qxe7 Rxe7 16. Rd2 Kg8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. e4 g5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. h3 Bg6 21. Rd7 Rae8 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Nd2 e4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Re1 Nb4 1/2-1/2

Mikhail Kobalia Plays The Dutch

Tran, Tuan Minh GM 2522 (VIE)

– Kobalia, Mikhail GM 2599 (RUS)

Aeroflot Open 2018 round 02

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 (After white plays Bg5 this move is appropriate. That said, Houdini prefers e6)

5. e3 (Qc2 has been the most played move, but Stockfish plays the move in the game)

e6 (Why did Kobalia play this move? The usual idea when playing the Leningrad Dutch is to play e5 ASAP. Stockfish at ChessBomb, and CBDB, has it as the best move, followed by g6; h6, and only then e6. The latter move is not found at 365Chess, and the Chessbase Database shows it having been played only four times. Da Bomb shows this line: (5… e5 6. Bd3 e4 7. Be2 Be7 8. Nh3 O-O 9. Nf4 Nb6 10. O-O Bd7 11. Qb3 c5 12. dxc5 dxc5 13. Rad1 Qe8 14. Nb5 Bd8; See Williams v Wall below for 6 Qc2)

6. Bd3 g6 (This is a Theoretical Novelty. The other three games at the CBDB feature the move Houdini prefers, Be7. The Fish would play 6…h6, which has yet to appear in the CBDB.)

7. Nge2 (Why not bust in the center with 7. e4? There follows a plausible line culminating in an advantage for white: fxe4 8. Bxe4 Be7 9. Bc2 Nh5 10. Be3 Ng7 11. Nf3 Nf5 12. Bd2 Bf6 13. Bxf5 exf5 14. Qe2+ Qe7 15. Nd5 Qxe2+ 16. Kxe2)

e5 8. f3 (b4) Bg7 9. O-O (Qb3 & e4 are possible alternatives) O-O (h6!?) 10. Qc2 c6 (h6!) 11. Rad1 (b4!) Qe7 (In The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1 d4, 1 c4, 1 Nf3,

the Grandmaster of the LD, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, focuses on the move of the Queen to e8 exclusively in the main line. With the bishop on g5 this would seem to be an appropriate move in the current position.)

12. b4 (This move could have been played earlier, but now is a mistake. If one is going to move the b-pawn, it should only move one square forward. That said, Stockfish considers 12 Qd2 best. What? Move the Queen again? Computer programs have no preconceived notions about not moving the same piece twice in the opening if it is the best move in the position!)

Re8 (Qe7) 13. Qb3 (e4) Kh8 (A common move for a human to make under the circumstances. Not so for a program! Stockfish shows 13…exd4; h6; a5; & Qf7, in that order. Consider this line produced by the clanking digital monster: 13… exd4 14. c5+ d5 15. exd4 Nf8 16. Rfe1 Qf7 17. Bh4 Ne6 18. b5 Nh5 19. Bf2 Bd7 20. Bc2 Nf6 21. Qb2 Rab8 22. a4, which limits white to a small advantage)

14. Bc2 (Rfe1) Nb6 (a5 or exd4) 15. d5 (e4) a5 (cxd5; h6; & Bd7 are better) 16. bxa5 Nbd7 17. dxc6 ( Na4!)

bxc6 18. Na4 (Qb4) Ba6 19. Rfe1 Qe6 20. Qb4 (Qd3!?)

c5 21. Qd2

Bf8? (This is a RED MOVE! These are the kinds of moves from which one MUST refrain . What makes it so difficult to understand is that black had an obviously better move with taking the pawn by 21…Bxc4. Now black is in serious difficulties after…)

22. Bb3 Rab8 23. Bxf6+ Nxf6 24. Nb6 Red8 25. Nc3 e4 26. f4 h6 27. Rf1 Rb7 28. Qf2 Ra7 29. Qd2 g5 30. Ncd5 Rf7 (g4 needs to be played) 31. h3 (31. fxg5! Nxd5 32. cxd5 Qg6 33. Bc4 Bxc4 34. Nxc4 hxg5 35. Rb1 Kg8 36. a6 Ra8 37. Rb6 Rfa7 38. g4 Rxa6 39. Rxa6 Rxa6 40. gxf5 Qf6 41. Qc2 Qf7 42. Qxe4 Rxa2 43. f6)

Bg7 32. Qf2 g4 (32… Nxd5 33. cxd5 Qf6 hangs tougher)

33. Nxf6 Bxf6 (Qxf6 is somewhat better) 34. hxg4 Rg7 35. gxf5

Qf7 ( (35… Qxf5 36. Rd5 Qg6 is better) 36. Bc2 Qh5? (It is all over now, baby blue. Why he did not capture the pawn on c4 boggles the mind, but then, it is difficult to resist when one bad move follows another, as I can say from experience. Some some of the best players can make things as difficult as possible for their opponent when in a worse position. GM Karjakin comes to mind as one who has this ability)

37. Bxe4 Bh4 38. Qf3 Rg4 39. Qh3 Rg3 40. Bf3 (RED MOVE! It is easy to become complacent when in a much better position. A much better move is…Qh1! One does not see a move like this played every day! White rights his ship after this inaccuracy.)

Rxh3 41. Bxh5 Rxe3 42. Rf3 Re4 43. Bf7 Bf6 44. Kh2 Re2 45. a4 Bd4 46. Rh3 Kh7 47. Bh5 Re4 48. Bf3 Rxf4 49. Nd5 Rxf3

50. Rxf3 (Not the best, but still good enough to win; gxf3 is best. I, too, would have taken with the rook, almost without thinking.Maybe it’s a human thing…) Bxc4 51. Rxd4? (Simply Nf4) cxd4 52. Nb6 Ba6 53. Rf4 d3 54. Rd4 Rf8? (Black has chances to hold with Kg7) 55. Rd5 Rf7 56. g4 Re7 57. Kg3 Re2 58. Rxd6 d2 59. Rd7+ Kh8 60. Rd8+ (Kf3) Kg7 61. Rd7+ Kf6 62. Nd5+ Ke5 63. Nb4 Re3+ (Bb7!) 64. Kf2 Re2+ 65. Kf3 Bc4 66. a6 Kf6 67. a7 Re7 68. Rd6+ Ke5 69. Rxd2 (( a8=Q, not that it matters) 1-0

Simon Williams 2493 v Gavin Wall 2325

London Classic Open 2010

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 e5 6. Qc2
g6 7. O-O-O c6 8. h3 Be7 9. g4 exd4 10. exd4 h6 11. Bd2 Nf8 12. f3 Ne6 13. Nge2
Ng7 14. Nf4 Kf7 15. Bd3 g5 16. Nfe2 a6 17. h4 gxh4 18. gxf5 Nfh5 19. f6 Nxf6
20. Bg6+ Ke6 21. d5+ Kd7 22. dxc6+ bxc6 23. Bf4 Qa5 24. Nd4 Kc7 25. Rhe1 Bf8
26. Qd2 Kb7 27. Nb3 Qb4 28. Bxd6 Bxd6 29. Qxd6 Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Nge8 31. Re7+ Kb6
32. c5# 1-0

Andrew Ledger (2363) – Roderick M McKay, (2312)
4NCL 2017-18 England ENG 01/13/2018

ECO: A41 Old Indian defence

1. d4 d6 2. c4 f5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 c6 6. Bd3 g6 7. e4 fxe4 8. Nxe4 Bg7 9. Nf3 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Nf6 11. Bd3 Bg4 12. O-O O-O 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Qa5 15. Qe3 Rae8 16. b4 Qc7 17. Qe6+ Rf7 18. Rad1 Nd7 19. h4 Nf8 20. Qg4 a5 21. b5 c5 22. dxc5 Qxc5 23. Be3 Qc7 24. b6 Qc6 25. h5 gxh5 26. Qxh5 a4 27. Qd5 Qc8 28. Be4 e6 29. Qb5 Qd7 30. Rxd6 Qxd6 31. Qxe8 Rd7 32. Qa8 Qe7 33. Qxa4 Bd4 34. Re1 Qc5 35. Qb3 Rd6 36. Bxd4 Qxd4 37. Qg3+ Kh8 38. Qf3 1-0