“2 Qe2, here we go!”

Let me begin by returning to Tuesday morning, July 13, which began at o’dark thirty, specifically, 6:30 am. After a botched root canal exactly one week prior (it seems much longer) I had been down for the count. The spurts of energy had not been long lasting, which is why I’ve posted things that have required little time or thought. I was working on a book review that should have been out long ago, and other Chess related posts, but then a tooth began causing a problem. This was after taking the first of two shots of the Covid vaccine. I decided to ‘ride it out’ while hoping to be able to wait until two weeks after the second shot, as recommended, before seeing a dentist. By the time I made it to the dental office I was in pain, boss, The PAIN! Fortunately the pain was quelled with drugs. I was informed a root canal operation would be required, but because they were booked I would have to wait until September. Fortunately, or maybe not, depending, there was a cancellation and I was roto-rooted on Tuesday, the sixth of July, exactly one week from where we begin this story…

There was a powerful storm Monday night, July 12, that knocked out all contact with the world; no internet or TV, so I went to bed early. After breakfast I was giving strong consideration to crawling back into bed when the Ironman called, informing me that Zvjaginsev had played Qe2 against the French defense of Ravi Haria, in a “win or go home game.” Immediately I saw a post for that day in my head. I began watching the game, but then had to break in order to purchase some food at the local grocery store. Upon my return my attention was devoted to the C00 French, Chigorin variation, as it is known at 365chess.com.

The chat from Da Bomb says it all…

zluria: Z man in a must win situation. He used to play all kinds of crazy stuff back in the day
zluria: 2 Qe2, here we go!
zluria: Idea: if Black continues on autopilot with 2… d5 then after exd5 Black can’t recapture with the pawn.
zluria: Ok Black is out of book.
Rhinegold: fucky lucky vadim but ok good fighting choice
Rhinegold: very drawish, 48w
zluria: Wow, good going Z-man! see you tomorrow 🙂

I love the part about the Z-man “playing crazy stuff back in the day.” The Z man is only in his mid forties. You wanna know about ‘back in the day’? I will tell you all you wanna know about ‘back in the day’… And yes, I have followed the Z Man with interest for decades because he has played “all kinds of crazy stuff.”

Vadim Zvjaginsev (2608)


vs Ravi Haria (2440)


FIDE World Cup 2021 round 01-02

  1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 Be7 3. Nf3 d5 4. d3 Nf6 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 c5 7. g3 Nc6 8. Bg2 (TN See Kislinsky vs Polivanov below for 8 Bh3) 8…b5 9. O-O Bb7 10. Re1 h6 11. h5 b4 12. Bf4 a5 13. c4 Nb6 14. Nbd2 Qd7 15. cxd5 Nxd5 16. Ne4 Nxf4 17. gxf4 Ba6 18. Rad1 Rd8 19. Nfd2 O-O 20. Qg4 Kh8 21. Nb3 Qa7 22. Ng3 Nd4 23. Nxa5 Bb5 24. Nc4 Bxc4 25. dxc4 Qxa2 26. f5 Qxb2 27. Be4 Rde8 28. Kh1 Qxf2 29. Rf1 Qe3 30. Rxd4 cxd4 31. fxe6 Qg5 32. Qxg5 Bxg5 33. Rxf7 Bf4 34. Nf5 Bxe5 35. Ne7 Bd6 36. Ng6+ Kg8 37. Rd7 Bc5 38. e7 Bxe7 39. Nxe7+ Kf7 40. Ng6+ Kf6 41. Rd6+ Kg5 42. Rd5+ Kg4 43. Rxd4 Rf3 44. Kg2 Re3 45. Bc6+ Kxh5 46. Nf4+ Kg5 47. Bxe8 Rxe8 48. c5 b3 49. Rb4 Re3 50. c6 Rc3 51. c7 Kf5 52. Nd5 Rc2+ 53. Kf3 Ke5 54. Rb5 Kd4 55. Nf4 Rc3+ 56. Kg4 Ke4 57. Ne6 Rc4 58. Rc5 1-0

1.e4 e6 2. Qe2 (Two different Komodo programs show the most frequently played move, 2 d4, but Stockfish 13, going deep to depth 74, chooses the seldom played 2 Nc3, which has only scored 51% according to the CBDB. I kid you not!) 2…Be7 (This is Komodo’s choice; Stockfish plays 2…c5) 3. Nf3 (Both Komodo and Houdini play 3 d4, but Deep Fritz plays the game move) 3…d5 4. d3 (Houdini and Deep Fritz play this move, which has 209 games in the ChessBaseDataBase. Stockfish 13 @depth 31 would play 4 d4, a move attempted only once according to the CBDB) 4…Nf6 5. e5 (SF & the Dragon prefer 5 g3) 5…Nfd7 6. h4 c5

Vadim Zvjaginsev (2635) vs Sergey Volkov (2594)
Event: 16th TCh-RUS Premier
Site: Dagomys RUS Date: 04/08/2009
Round: 5 Score: 1-0
ECO: C00 French, Chigorin variation
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 Nf6 3.Nf3 d5 4.d3 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 b5 7.g3 c5 8.Bg2 Nc6 9.O-O a5 10.a4 b4 11.c4 bxc3 12.bxc3 Nb6 13.Bf4 c4 14.d4 Bd7 15.h5 h6 16.g4 Na7 17.Qc2 Bc6 18.Bg3 Qd7 19.Kh2 Bxa4 20.Qe2 Nb5 21.Nh4 Bb3 22.f4 a4 23.f5 a3 24.fxe6 fxe6 25.Ng6 Rg8 26.Nxe7 Qxe7 27.Nd2 Na4 28.Nxb3 Naxc3 29.Qc2 cxb3 30.Qxb3 a2 31.Be1 Ra3 32.Qb2 Qa7 33.Rf3 Rf8 34.Bxc3 Rxf3 35.Qxb5+ Qd7 36.Qb8+ Qd8 37.Qb5+ Qd7 38.Qb8+ Qd8 39.Qxd8+ Kxd8 40.Bxf3 Rxc3 41.Bxd5 exd5 42.Rxa2 Rd3 43.Ra4 Ke7 44.Kg2 Kf7 45.Kf2 g5 46.Ke2 Rg3 47.Ra7+ Kg8 48.Rd7 Rxg4 49.Rxd5 Rh4 50.Rd6 Kf7 51.Rf6+ Ke7 52.Ke3 Rxh5 53.d5 g4 54.Kf4 Rh1 55.d6+ Ke8 56.Kxg4 h5+ 57.Kf5 Kd7 58.Rf7+ Kc6 59.Ke6 h4 60.Rc7+ Kb6 61.Rc8 1-0

Vadim Zvjaginsev’s Amazing Immortal Chess Game! – “The Pearl of Wijk aan Zee” – Brilliancy!

Reti Versus Dutch

Ravi Haria (ENG)

v Sasa Martinovic (CRO)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 04

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 (In his excellent book, The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1. d4, 1. c4, 1. Nf3,

GM Vladimir Malaniuk

gives 2…d6, writing, “This move is more precise than 2…Nf6.” When it comes to the Leningrad Dutch Malaniuk is like E. F. Hutton-when he talks, or writes, you LISTEN! The MAN, when it comes to the LD, has been playing the variation, and variations on the variation, since BC (Before Computers), with published games dating to the 1980’s. In case you are wondering, Stockfish also considers it best. It is the only move I have played. Bring on the delayed Lisitsin Gambit!)

3. d4 (The Delayed Lisitsin Gambit begins with 3 e4) e6 (The best move according to the Fish and the Dragon, but 3…Nf6 is also playable. After 4 d5 only Nb4 has been tried. Stockfish would play either Na5 or Nb8, each being a TN)

4. c4 (SF plays e3; Komodo plays g3)

Nf6 5. Nc3 (SF plays e3; Komodo plays g3) Bb4 6. Qb3 (There is a reason the Dragon plays Bd2) Ne4 (SF and Houdini consider this best. For 6… O-O see Shengelia v Neiksans below)

7. d5 (Bd2 is better) Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Na5 9. Qa4 b6 10. Nd2 (e3) Qf6 11. Qb4 c5 12. dxc6 Nxc6 13. Qa3 Ne5

(This move looks weird. I’m thinking development with Bb7, but Stockfish plays Na5)

14. e3 (This leads to a large disadvantage. 14 f4! is a FORCING MOVE)

Bb7 15. Nxe4

fxe4 (I woulda taken with the bishop as taking with the pawn just looks bad. Stockfish agrees. Black is still better after taking with the pawn, but is much better after the taking with the bishop)

16. Be2 Qe7 (Black had better alternatives with Qh4 or d6)

17. Qxe7+ Kxe7 18. Ba3+ d6 19. O-O-O Rhd8 (Rad8 is better) 20. Rd4 Rac8 21. Rhd1 Nf7

22. f3 (The game would be almost even if R4d2 had been played)

e5 23. R4d2 exf3 24. gxf3 Ba6 25. f4 exf4 26. Rd4 fxe3

27. Re4+ (Why not 27. R1d3 Kf8 28. Rxe3?)

Kf8 28. Bg4 Rxc4 29. Rdd4 Rxd4 30. Rxd4 Bc8 31. Be2 Bf5 32. Kd1 Ke7 33. Ra4 a5 34. Bc1 Rc8 35. Bxe3 Rxc3 36. Bxb6 Rc6 37. Rxa5 Rxb6 38. Rxf5 Ne5 39. Rf4 Rb2 40. Ra4 Kf6 41. Ra6 Ke6 42. Ra7 Kf6 43. Ra6 Ke6 44. Ra7 g6 45. a4 h5 46. a5 Nc6 47. Rg7 Kf6 48. Rd7 Ke6 49. Rg7 Ne7 50. a6 d5 51. Rh7 Ra2 52. Rh8 Nc6 53. Rg8 Ne5 54. Rg7 Kd6 55. a7 Kc5 56. Kc1 Kb6 57. Re7 Nc6 58. Re6 Rxa7 59. Rxg6 h4 60. Bf3 Kc5 61. Rg5 Nb4 62. Rh5 Ra1+ 63. Kd2 Ra2+ 64. Ke3 Rxh2 65. Kf4 Kc4 66. Kg4 d4 67. Be4 Nd3 68. Bf5 Ne5+ 69. Kf4 Nd3+ 70. Kg5 Ne1 71. Kg4 Ng2 72. Kf3 Ne1+ 73. Kg4 Ng2 74. Kf3 d3 75. Rh8 Ne1+ 76. Kg4 Rg2+ 77. Kh3 d2 78. Rc8+ Kd4 79. Rd8+ Ke3 80. Bg4 Rg3+ 81. Kxh4 Rxg4+ 0-1

Davit Shengelia (2551) v Arturs Neiksans (2502)
Event: 18th European Teams
Site: Porto Carras GRE Date: 11/04/2011

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 3. d4 e6 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Qb3 O-O 7. g3 Ne4 8. Bg2 b6 9. Bd2 Nxd2 10. Kxd2 Be7 11. a3 Bb7 12. e3 Na5 13. Qa2 c5 14. d5 Bf6 15. Rac1 b5 16. cxb5 a6 17. Rhd1 axb5 18. Ke1 Qb6 19. Nd2 c4 20. Kf1 b4 21. axb4 Nb3 22. Nxc4 Qxb4 23. Na3 Nxc1 24. Rxc1 Kh8 25. Rc2 Rfc8 26. dxe6 Bxg2+ 27. Kxg2 dxe6 28. Qxe6 Bxc3 29. bxc3 Qxa3 30. c4 Qd3 31. Rc1 Rc5 32. Ra1 Rac8 33. Ra5 Qe4+ 0-1

Dmitry Mischuk (2349) v Vladimir Malaniuk (2482)
Event: Bank Lviv Blitz Open 2016
Site: Lviv UKR Date: 03/14/2016

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 3. d4 e6 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd2 O-O 7. e3 Qe7 8. Qc2 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 Ne4 10. Bd3 Nxc3 11. Qxc3 d6 12. O-O-O e5 13. Bc2 a5 14. a3 e4 15. Nd2 Bd7 16. f3 exf3 17. gxf3 Rae8 18. Rde1 Qf6 19. Rhg1 f4 20. Ne4 Qh6 21. Kb1 fxe3 22. Rxe3 Re7 23. Re2 Qf4 24. Reg2 Qxf3 25. Qd2 Qf4 26. Qc3 Qf3 27. Qd2 Qf4 28. Qc3 Qf3 29. Qd2 Qf4 30. Qc3 Qf3 1/2-1/2

Nukhim Rashkovsky – Vladimir Malaniuk
Alekhine Open Moscow 1996

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 d6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 e5 5. O-O c6 6. e4 Be7 7. c3 fxe4 8. dxe4 O-O 9. Qb3+ Kh8 10. Ng5 Qe8 11. Ne6 Bxe6 12. Qxe6 Nbd7 13. Be3 Qf7 14. Qxf7 Rxf7 15. h3 d5 16. Nd2 Nc5 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Bxc5 Bxc5 19. Ne4 Bb6 20. Rad1 Nf6 21. Nd6 Rd7 22. Rfe1 Rad8 0-1

Garry Kasparov (2800) v A. Nunez (2285)
Event: Galicia sim
Site: Galicia Date: 07/19/1991

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 d6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 c6 5. O-O g6 6. e4 fxe4 7. dxe4 e5 8. Nbd2 Be7 9. Ne1 Be6 10. Nd3 Nbd7 11. b3 Qc7 12. Bb2 O-O 13. Kh1 Rae8 14. f4 Rf7 15. c4 Bg4 16. Qe1 exf4 17. gxf4 Bf8 18. Qf2 Rfe7 19. Rae1 Bg7 20. h3 Be6 21. Nf3 Nh5 22. Bxg7 Rxg7 23. Ng5 a5 24. Bf3 Nhf6 25. e5 dxe5 26. fxe5 Nh5 27. Bxh5 gxh5 28. Nxe6 Rxe6 29. Nf4 Ree7 30. e6 1-0