The Tortured Face of an International Tournament Chess Photographer

An article, The Tortured Faces of International Tournament Chess Players by Michael Hardy, was published in Wired “1.22.18 09:00 AM.”

It begins:

“In 1987, Russian grandmasters Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov faced off in Seville, Spain for the World Chess Championship. David Lloda, then a nine-year-old boy growing up the small northern town of Asturias, remembers being captivated by a newspaper photograph of the two chess geniuses. “Two grown men, playing a mysterious game, with those little figures carved in wood?” he recalls thinking. “That seemed interesting.”

Unfortunately the author of the article, which is about a recently published book of photographs of Chess players, The Thinkers, misspelled the name of the photographer who authored the book, David Llada. Adding insult to injury, Michael Hardy did it again in the next paragraph:

“A few days later, a teacher at Lloda’s school taught him the basic chess moves, sparking a lifelong passion for the game that has persisted throughout stints as a journalist, author, entrepreneur, and money manager—and, most recently, photographer. About five years ago, Lloda began traveling the world to shoot chess tournaments, who then hired him to help them get publicity.”

After skipping a paragraph which does not include Llada’s name, Michael Hardy does it again but also gets it right once in the fourth paragraph:

Lloda has included over a hundred of his portraits in his new book The Thinkers, which was published earlier this month by Quality Chess Books. Llada’s favorite photos in the book are the ones he took of his childhood heroes, Kasparov and Karpov. He particularly liked Kasparov’s picture: “I think it captured his soul, all that energy in him.”

The last paragraph:

Although chess might not appear the most exciting sport to the average viewer, Lloda captures the game’s intensity through the often tortured faces of its players. “Only those who have played it know how tense a chess game is,” he says. “You spend five or six hours ‘fighting’ with someone, but you can’t touch him, you can’t talk, you can barely move…. All that pent-up tension can be felt by the observer, and I thought it could be captured, too.”

https://www.wired.com/story/photos-tournament-chess-players/

David Llada must feel like Rodney Dangerfield…

Chessbase has an excellent article about the book in which they spell David Llada correctly:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/master-class-with-david-llada


David Llada with new book from Chessbase article

SOUTHEAST CHESS DECEMBER OPEN

78 players entered the SOUTHEAST CHESS DECEMBER OPEN held at Emory University 2014-12-05 thru 2014-12-07. There were a dozen players entered in the Open section, including GM Alonso Zapata along with IMs Ronald Burnett and Emory “Wild Man” Tate.

The GM was nicked for a draw by IM Tate after misplaying a much better position:

GM Alsonso Zapata vs IM Emory Tate
SOUTHEAST CHESS DECEMBER OPEN
Rd 2

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6.
Bc4 e6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qe2 Bd7 9. O-O-O Na5 10. Bd3 Rc8 11. g4 h5 12. h3 g6 13.
Nb3 e5 14. g5 Nh7 15. h4 Be6 16. Bb5+ Nc6 17. Nc5 Qc7 18. Nxe6 fxe6 19. f4 exf4
20. Bxf4 O-O 21. Qh2 Rfd8 22. Bc4 Nf8 23. Nb5 Qa5 24. Nxd6 Bxd6 25. Bxd6 Nb4
26. Bb3 Nxc2 27. Kb1 Ne3 28. Rc1 Qa6 29. Bxf8 Rxf8 30. Qe5 Nc4 31. Bxc4 Rxc4
32. a3 Rxc1+ 33. Rxc1 Rf1 34. Qb8+ Kf7 35. Qc7+ Ke8 36. Rxf1 Qxf1+ 37. Ka2 Qb5
38. Qc3 a5 39. Qh8+ Kd7 40. Qd4+ Kc6 1/2-1/2

Philippe Christophe (2431) v Arthur Kogan (2541)
2010 Andorra Open

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6.
Bc4 e6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qe2 Bd7 9. O-O-O Na5 10. Bb3 Rc8 11. f3 O-O 12. g4 Nxb3+
13. axb3 Qa5 14. Kb1 Rfd8 15. g5 Nh5 16. f4 g6 17. f5 Bf8 18. Rhf1 Bg7 19. f6
Bf8 20. Rd2 b5 21. Ndxb5 Rc6 22. Rd4 Rb8 23. Ra4 Qd8 24. Rxa7 Bc8 25. Nd4 Rc5
26. Rd1 Qe8 27. Nf3 Rc6 28. Rd4 Bb7 29. Rb4 Rc7 30. Rb6 d5 31. e5 d4 32. Nxd4
Bc5 33. Ndb5 Bxb6 34. Bxb6 Rc6 35. Nd6 Qd7 36. Be3 Rxd6 37. exd6 Qxd6 38. Qb5
Bc6 39. Qc5 Qxc5 40. Bxc5 h6 41. h4 Rc8 42. Bd6 Bf3 43. Bc7 Re8 44. Be5 hxg5
45. hxg5 Rc8 46. Rc7 Rd8 47. b4 Rd2 48. Rc8+ Kh7 49. Rf8 Rd7 50. b5 Rb7 51. Ka2
Bg4 52. Kb3 Bf5 53. Rb8 Rd7 54. b6 Rd2 55. b7 Bxc2+ 56. Ka3 1-0

Also in the second round Expert, and Atlanta King member, Lawrence White agreed to a draw with IM Burnett in a somewhat better position. Keep in mind the time control was a head ’em up, move ’em out, G/2.

Expert Lawrence White vs IM Ronald Burnett

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. Qb3 dxc4 6.
Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Nfd7 8. Bf4 Nc6 9. Rd1 Nb6 10. Qd3 Nb4 11. Qb1 f5 12. e5 Be6 13.
Ng5 Qd7 14. Nxe6 Qxe6 15. Be2 N4d5 16. Bd2 Rad8 17. O-O c6 18. Nxd5 Nxd5 19.
Qc1 f4 20. Bf3 g5 21. h3 Nc7 22. Ba5 b6 23. Bb4 Nd5 24. Ba3 Qg6 25. Qb1 Qf7 26.
Be4 Bh6 27. Rd3 Kh8 28. Qd1 Rg8 29. Qg4 b5 30. Bc5 e6 31. Rc1 Bf8 32. Bxf8 h5
33. Qd1 Rgxf8 34. Bf3 Qh7 1/2-1/2

Wild Man Tate took a half-point bye in the third round while GM Zapata bested LW. The big game of the fourth round was between GM Zapata and IM Burnett:

1. e4 g6 2. d4 d6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Be3 c6 5. Qd2 b5 6. f3
Nd7 7. h4 h6 8. Nge2 a6 9. g3 Qc7 10. Bg2 e5 11. O-O Ngf6 12. dxe5 dxe5 13. Nc1
Bb7 14. Qf2 O-O 15. Nb3 Rfd8 16. Rfc1 Bf8 17. Nd1 a5 18. a4 Ba6 19. Bf1 bxa4
20. Rxa4 Bb5 21. Raa1 Bxf1 22. Kxf1 a4 23. Nd2 Bc5 24. Nc4 Bd4 25. c3 Bxe3 26.
Qxe3 Qb8 27. Kg2 Qb5 28. Na3 Qa6 29. Nf2 Kg7 30. Rd1 Rab8 31. Rd2 Nf8 32. Nd3
Ne6 33. Rad1 Ne8 34. Nb4 Rxd2+ 35. Rxd2 Qc8 36. Nc4 Rb5 37. Qa7 N6c7 38. Nxc6
Qe6 39. N6xe5 Rxe5 40. Nxe5 Qxe5 41. Qxa4 Ne6 42. f4 Qb8 43. f5 gxf5 44. exf5
Qb7+ 45. Kh2 N6c7 46. Qg4+ Kf8 47. Qd4 Qc6 48. Qh8+ Ke7 49. Qe5+ Kf8 50. b4 h5
51. Qh8+ Ke7 52. Re2+ Kd7 53. Qxh5 Nd6 54. Rd2 Qxc3 55. Qxf7+ Kc6 56. Qa2 Qxb4
57. Qc2+ Kb5 58. Qd3+ Kc6 59. f6 Ne4 60. Rc2+ Kb7 61. f7 Nf6 62. Qc4 Qd6 63.
Qxc7+ 1-0

Thomas Luther (2470) vs Joerg Weidemann, (2300)
Bundesliga 1991
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. Qd2 Nd7 6. f3 b5 7. h4 h6 8. Nge2 Nb6 9. Ng3 h5 10. Bd3 1/2-1/2

While playing over the game I was struck by the one-sided position after move 40, the move that was considered the end of the first time-control “back in the day.” At this point GM Zapata was up an exchange and two pawns, and it became three after the GMs next move. I have no idea of the time situation in the game, but I do know that “back in the day” games like this were not continued another twenty plus moves. This is one of the major changes in how the Royal game is played these daze. With a first time control at move forty one would formerly take a break and survey the battlefield, and most likely, resign, as a show of respect for such a formidable opponent. I have come to think of the chess played today as “Rodney Dangerfield” chess.

After GM Zapata dispatched his opponent, Rachelle Pascua, who made it to the top board in the final round with three draws and a loss. Such are the vagaries and vicissitudes of a weekend swiss with too few players in a section. This left the two IMs, Tate with three points and Burnett with only 2 1/2, and playing Black, to battle it out for a second place tie with LW, who dispatched class “A” Kapish Potula, who had only drawn one of his first four games. Therefore LW was in the clubhouse with 3 1/2 points.

IM Tate vs IM Burnett
Final Round

1. e4 g6 2. d4 d6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Ne2 Nd7 5. Nec3 e5 6. d5
Bh6 7. Nd2 Ngf6 8. Be2 O-O 9. h4 Nc5 10. Qc2 Kg7 11. b4 Na6 12. a3 c6 13. Bb2
cxd5 14. cxd5 Bg4 15. Bxa6 bxa6 16. Nc4 Rc8 17. Na5 Nh5 18. Nc6 Qb6 19. Bc1
Bxc1 20. Rxc1 Bd7 21. Ne2 f5 22. O-O fxe4 23. Qxe4 Nf6 24. Qd3 Bxc6 25. dxc6
Rxc6 26. Rxc6 Qxc6 27. Qe3 Rf7 28. Rc1 Qb5 29. Ng3 Qd7 30. Qd3 d5 31. Qxa6 Qg4
32. Qe2 Qf4 33. Rc5 e4 34. h5 d4 35. hxg6 hxg6 36. Nf1 Ng4 37. f3 exf3 38. Qxf3
Qxf3 39. gxf3 Rxf3 40. Rc7+ Rf7 41. Rxf7+ Kxf7 42. Kg2 Ne5 43. Kg3 Nc4 44. a4
Ke6 45. Kf3 Kd5 46. Ng3 Ne5+ 47. Ke2 Kc4 48. b5 Kb4 49. Kd2 Kxa4 50. Ne2 Nf3+
51. Kd3 g5 52. Ke4 g4 53. Kf4 d3 54. Nc3+ Kb3 55. Nd1 Nd2 56. Kxg4 Ne4 57. b6
axb6 0-1

Carlos Lopez Hernandez (2275) v Manuel Eugenio Li Torres (2295)
Havana-B 1992

1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. e4 d6 4. Ne2 Nd7 5. Nec3 e5 6. d5
a5 7. Be2 h5 8. Be3 Bh6 9. Qd2 Nc5 10. O-O Qe7 11. Na3 Bxe3 12. Qxe3 Nf6 13. f3
Kf8 14. Nab1 h4 15. Nd2 Nh5 16. Rfc1 f5 17. Bf1 h3 18. g3 f4 19. Qf2 fxg3 20.
hxg3 Qg5 21. g4 Nf4 22. Rc2 Nfd3 23. Bxd3 Nxd3 24. Qe2 Nf4 25. Qf1 Kg7 26. Kh2
Ng2 27. Qf2 Ne3 28. Nf1 Nxc2 29. Qxc2 Qf4+ 30. Ng3 Qxf3 31. Rf1 Qg2+ 0-1

IM Tate could have played 21 Na4 and if the answer is Qb5, then 22 Na4, but such an end to the game in the situation, with Emory needing a win to take clear second place, would be anathema for the Wild One.
The loss left Wild Man Tate in clear fourth place with three points, while Ron tied for 2nd-3rd with future NM Lawrence White. Details can be found on the Southeast Chess website (http://www.southeastchess.com/home.html), including more games. Grant Oen has also written another fine article for the Georgia Chess News. (http://georgiachessnews.com/2014/12/08/southeast-chess-december-open-results/)

Knowing When to Fold ‘Em

While watching the first board game during the last round of the Ga Open I noticed there was one other game still going and checked it out. This was the game:

Jason Robert Wright (1302) vs Rachel Doman (1139)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. cxd4 Nxd4 7. Nxd4 Qf6 8. Be3 Ne7 9. Nc3 c6 10. O-O O-O 11. Rc1 Ng6 12. Nc2 Bxe3 13. Nxe3 Ne5 14. Bb3 Rd8 15. Qd2 Be6 16. Bxe6 Qxe6 17. b3 Rd7 18. Rfd1 Rad8 19. Qc2 b5 20. Ne2 Rc7 21. Nd4 Qd7 22. Nxb5 Rdc8 23. Rxd6 Qe7 24. Nf5 Qe8 25. Nxc7 Rxc7 26. Rcd1 Rc8 27. f4 g6 28. fxe5 gxf5 29. exf5 Qxe5 30. Rd8 Rxd8 31. Rxd8 Kg7 32. Rd1 Qe3 33. Qf2 Qg5 34. Qg3 h6 35. Qxg5 hxg5 36. Rd7 Kf6 37. Rxa7 Kxf5 38. Rxf7 Kg6 39. Rc7 c5 40. a4 Kf6 41. a5 Ke6 42. Rxc5 Kd6 43. Rc1 Ke5 44. a6 Kf4 45. a7 Kf5 46. a8=Q Kg4 47. Qf3 Kh4 48. Qh3 1-0

When looking at the game the Queens had just been traded, leaving White up a Rook and a pawn. The game continued another dozen moves until it ended in checkmate. Granted, these were two lower rated players, but Rachel is a veteran at a young age, having played 174 USCF rated games since her first rated tournament since 2010.

What to make of this game?

Jhonel Baldago Baniel (1912) vs Damir Studen (2373)
Ga Open Rd 5

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. g3 Bf5 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nxc4 Nb6 8. Ne3 Bg6 9. Bg2 e6 10. O-O Qd7 11. Qd2 Rd8 12. Rd1 Bb4 13. a3 Ne4 14. Qe1 Nxc3 15. bxc3 Ba5 16. a4 Nd5 17. Nxd5 cxd5 18. Ba3 Rc8 19. Bb4 Bxb4 20. cxb4 O-O 21. b5 Rc4 22. e3 Rfc8 23. Rdc1 Qc7 24. Rxc4 Qxc4 25. Bf1 Qc3 26. Qxc3 Rxc3 27. Be2 Kf8 28. Kf1 Ke7 29. Ke1 Kd6 30. Bd1 f6 31. Kd2 Rd3 32. Ke2 e5 33. Bc2 Rc3 34. Bxg6 hxg6 35. Kd2 exd4 36. exd4 Rf3 37. Ke2 Rb3 38. Ra2 g5 39. h3 Rb1 40. Ra3 f5 41. f4 Rh1 42. fxg5 Rxh3 43. Kf3 Rh2 44. Kf4 g6 45. Ke3 Rh1 46. Ra2 Re1 47. Kf3 Re4 48. b6 axb6 49. Rb2 Kc7 50. Rc2 Kb8 51. Rb2 Ka7 52. Rb4 Ka6 53. Kf2 b5 54. Rxb5 Rxd4 55. Ke3 Rg4 56. Kf3 Rxg5 57. Rxd5 Rg4 58. a5 Ra4 59. Rd6 Kxa5 60. Rxg6 Rc4 61. Rg5 Rc5 62. Kf4 b5 63. Rxf5 Rxf5 64. Kxf5 b4 65. Kf6 b3 66. g4 b2 67. g5 b1=Q 68. g6 Qb6 69. Kf7 Qc7 70. Kf8 Qf4 71. Ke7 Qg5 72. Kf7 Qf5 73. Kg7 Kb6 74. Kh8 Qh5 75. Kg7 Kc7 76. Kf6 Kd7 77. Kf7 Qf5 78. Kg7 Ke7 79. Kh8 Qf8 80. Kh7 Kf6 0-1

Mr. Studen, a former Georgia state champion, needs no introduction. It is more than obvious this game should have been resigned far earlier, as a show of respect for such a strong player. Is it really possible a 1900 player did not know the game was beyond hope after, say, 63 Rxf5? I leave it to the reader to determine when these games should have been resigned.

One of the major changes to the Royal game since it has moved to ever faster time controls is that games are continued long after they should have been given up as lost. Damir Studen must have felt like Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Dangerfield. Is it any wonder stronger players have given up the game? How interesting can it be for the best players to be forced to sit at the board playing out a clearly won game? It was not always this way because “back in the day” it was frowned upon for a much lower player to force his much stronger opponent to demonstrate a simple checkmate. There was a time when the time control was move forty and then additional time was added to the clock. The vast majority of games were concluded around move forty because after reaching time control a player would have time to survey the ruins of his position, and would then resign.
What is being taught to the children? Maybe consideration should be given to teaching the of showing respect for ones opponent.

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler