The Last Round: FM Jason Wang vs IM Arthur Guo

FM Jason Wang vs IM Arthur Guo
Denker Invitational
D38 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin variation

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 Re8 8. a3 Bf8 9. Rd1 Ne7 10. Qc2 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bd3 Ng6 13. e4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a5 15. Rb1 axb4 16. axb4 Ra3 17. Bd3 Rxc3 18. Bxc3 Nf4 19. Nd2 Nxg2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Bc8 23. Rg1 e5 24. dxe5 Bh3+ 25. Ke1 Ng4 26. Nf3 Ng2+ 27. Ke2 Nf4+ 28. Ke1 Bg2 29. e6 fxe6 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Nxg4 Qxg4 32. Be5 Nh3 33. f3 Qg5 34. Rxg2 Qxe5 35. Rg3 Nf4 36. Kf1 b5 37. Be2 Rc8 38. Qd2 Rc7 39. Rd1 Rf7 40. Rc1 Nh5 41. Rh3 Nf4 42. Rg3 Nh5 43. Rh3 Nf6 44. Kg1 Bxb4 45. Qc2 Bd6 46. Qxc6 b4 47. Rd1 Bc5+ 48. Kh1 Rc7 49. Qb5 Bd6 1/2-1/2 (9…Ne7 appears to be a TN)

In the last round of the recently completed Denker Invitational FM Jason Wang

USCS 43: St. Louis (June 2018)

faced IM Arthur Guo with a first place on the line. Arthur was a half point ahead of the contenders, one of whom was Jason Wang. After move forty it looked as though the game would end in a draw after the position was repeated, but Arthur eschewed the draw when playing 43…Nf6 in lieu of returning the knight to h5. FM Wang then blundered by playing 44 Kg1? This allowed Arthur to take a pawn with impunity while attacking the white Queen. I thought the game was over because the two passed pawns will devastate white in the long run. This is the position:

Position after 45 Qc2

It was more than a little obvious Arthur would play 46…Rc7 because every Chess player knows that ROOKS BELONG BEHIND PASSED PAWNS. I had a heart palpation after seeing Arthur’s next move of 45…Bd6. The Stockfish program at gives the move not one, but two question marks. The move is so bad it defies comprehension. What could have caused such a budding star to make such a horrible move? I decided to put the game up to after white played 46 Qc2 into the analysis program at and this is best play by Stockfish after 45 Qc2:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd2 Re8 8. a3 Bf8 9. Rd1 Ne7 10. Qc2 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bd3 Ng6 13. e4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a5 15. Rb1 axb4 16. axb4 Ra3 17. Bd3 Rxc3 18. Bxc3 Nf4 19. Nd2 Nxg2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Bc8 23. Rg1 e5 24. dxe5 Bh3+ 25. Ke1 Ng4 26. Nf3 Ng2+ 27. Ke2 Nf4+ 28. Ke1 Bg2 29. e6 fxe6 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Nxg4 Qxg4 32. Be5 Nh3 33. f3 Qg5 34. Rxg2 Qxe5 35. Rg3 Nf4 36. Kf1 b5 37. Be2 Rc8 38. Qd2 Rc7 39. Rd1 Rf7 40. Rc1 Nh5 41. Rh3 Nf4 42. Rg3 Nh5 43. Rh3 Nf6 44. Kg1 Bxb4 45. Qc2 (Stockfish analysis begins here) Rc7 46. Kh1 Bd6 47. Rd1 Bf8 48. Qa2 g6 49. Bd3 Kh8 50. Bf1 Nh5 51. Qa8 Kg7 52. Qb8 Be7 53. Rh4 Bd6 54. Qd8 Be7 55. Qb8 Nf6 56. Rh3 Qf4 57. Ra1 Nd7 58. Qe8 Nf8 59. Rd1 Bf6 60. Rg3 Be5 61. Be2 b4 62. Bc4 c5 63. Rf1 Ra7 64. Rg2 Bd4 65. Rg4 Qe3 66. Rg3 Rf7 67. Qa8 Qf4 68. Qc6 Re7 69. Rg4 Qb8 70. Bb3 h5 71. Rg5 Qc7 72. Qxc7 Rxc7 73. Rg2 c4 74. Rc1 c3 75. f4 Nd7 76. Rd1 e5 77. fxe5 Bxe5 78. Rd5 Nc5 79. Bd1 Bf4 80. e5 b3 81. e6 Rb7 82. Rxc5 b2 83. Rxg6+ Kxg6 84. Bc2+ Kf6 85. Rxc3 b1=R+ 86. Bxb1 Rxb1+ 87. Kg2 Rb2+ 88. Kf3 Bd6 89. Rc4 Rxh2 90. Re4 Rh3+ 91. Kg2 Rg3+ 92. Kh1 Ke7 93. Re1 Rg5 94. Re3 Bg3 95. Re2 Be5 96. Rd2 Rg4 97. Rd1 Kxe6 98. Rf1 Bg3 99. Kg2 Bf4+ 100. Kh3 Rg3+ 101. Kh4 Kf5 102. Rd1 Rb3 103. Rf1 Ra3 and it is checkmate in 25

Winning a won game is difficult, and like Ringo sang, “It don’t come easy.” Almost every day at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center one would frequently hear, “I blew a WON GAME.” or, “If only I had won more WON GAMES I would be a Master (or Expert, or class A, etc. player).”

After reading the following at ChessLifeOnline in an excellent article by JJLang, dated August 3, 2022, understanding was found:


Following the old tiebreak adage of ‘lose last, laugh last,’ tournament leader Georgia’s IM Arthur Guo drew his final game against Ohio’s FM Jason Wang to win first place on tiebreaks. By not losing any games, Guo had stronger pairings throughout the tournament than his rivals, meaning tiebreaks would likely come out in his favor were he to draw his final game. Indeed, after failing to find anything concrete on the attacking side of a sharp Ragozin, Guo took the draw and, fortunately for him, the math played out in his favor.

Therein lies the problem. It is not as if there are not enough draws in Chess these daze. Now the pooh-bahs have made rules that only INCREASE the likelihood of a draw! Arthur needed only a DRAW to “WIN” the event. The fact is that Arthur did NOT win the tournament! He finished in a THREE WAY TIE for FIRST PLACE! The three players each scored the same number of points, five. Reading further in the aforementioned article one finds: “Northern Californian GM Andrew Hong and Arizonian FM Sandeep Sethuraman each won their final round games to finish second and third, respectively, on tiebreaks.” Simply put, that is a crock of excrement! As it stands now, tiebreaks are MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE RESULT OF THE GAME! What if there had been a three-way tie for first place? That would mean at least three times as much publicity for the Royal Game because the publicity director (USCF has a publicity director, does it not? If not, why not?!) could have articles on all three of them in local newspapers and on local TV news programs in three different cities. This ain’t the Highlander, where there can be only ONE!

The same could be said for the recently completed US Senior, where there was a FIVE-WAY TIE! Unfortunately, the brain trust at the USCF decided to have a souped-up heebe-jeeb speed tournament after the conclusion of almost TWO WEEKS of playing what now passes for classical Chess. The playoff was not the next day, but only a short time after the players had spent at least five hours playing over the board. We are talking about SENIORS here, ladies and gentlemen. Why does USCF FORCE Seniors to play nerve-wracking speed games but not force the JUNIORS to do the same? As a Senior I can tell you that a speed tournament to determine the “winner” was much more difficult on the Seniors than it would have been on the Juniors. My hat is off to GM Alexander Shabalov for winning the speed tournament, but he won more than TWICE AS MUCH MONEY as the other four for winning a SPEED TOURNAMENT! ‘Back in the day’ tournaments held five minute speed tournaments as an ancillary event, not the main event. The fact that there were tiebreaks irrevocably altered the Denker event, as it does every event in which it is used. Because of the plethora of draws Chess is unlike Go or Backgammon, where there is only ONE WINNER!
Just sayin’…

IM Arthur Guo In Three Way Tie For First At The Denker Tournament of High School Champions

Fellow Georgian IM Arthur Guo

IM Arthur Guo at the 2022 U.S. Open. Photo: Mark Cieslikowski

tied for first with GM Andrew Hong and FM Sandeep Sethuraman in the Denker Tournament of HS Champions, each scoring five out of a possible six points.

Denker Winners (L to R) IM Arthur Guo, GM Andrew Hong, FM Sandeep Sethuraman at the 2022 U.S. Open. Photo: Mark Cieslikowski

This will be the first of three posts devoted to three games in which Arthur was involved. Before beginning I would like to give kudos to the folks at the “New” United States Chess Federation website. The coverage has been exceptional and the article from which the picture of young Mr. Guo was obtained is an excellent example ( The picture of the three winners was also taken from an article from the USCF website that appeared as I was putting this post together. With the Chess Olympiad ongoing there is currently much Chess activity the world over. In addition, the 2022 U.S. Go Congress ( is happening concurrently.

There is simply not enough time to follow everything even though the AW has been burning the midnight oil in a futile attempt to stay abreast of all things games, and has blurry vision to show for it. Nevertheless, here I sit, punchin’ & pokin’ while spending even more time looking at a computer screen. That is OK since I can no longer get my kicks on Route 66 they come vicariously when watching the action while keeping the brain’s neuron synapses firing. It can also be called having the time of my life. Those that cannot do, watch. Let me tell you watching is much easier!

There I was minding my own business when this position was reached in the game between IM Arthur Guo and FM Sandeep Sethuraman the third round of the Denker Tournament of High School Champions:

Position after 9 Bd2

8 Qd3 was a shock, and it can be found in only 31 games in the Big Database at 365Chess. In reply black castled before IM Guo played a move I cannot ever recall seeing played, 9 Bd2. The question is, why would Arthur play such a tepid move?

IM Arthur Guo vs FM Sandeep Sethuraman
US Open

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Qd3 O-O 9. Bd2 Nc6 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. exd5 Nb8 12. O-O f5 13. f4 Bf6 14. c4 e4 15. Qc2 Qb6+ 16. Kh1 a5 17. c5 Qc7 18. Bc3 a4 19. cxd6 Qxd6 20. Nd2 Nd7 21. Nc4 Qc5 22. Qd2 Bxc3 23. bxc3 b5 24. Ne3 Nb6 25. Qd4 Qxd4 26. cxd4 Bd7 27. Rfc1 Nc8 28. Rc7 Rd8 29. g4 fxg4 30. Nxg4 Nd6 31. Rg1 Bxg4 32. Bxg4 Kh8 33. Be6 g6 34. h4 Ne8 35. Rf7 Nd6 36. Re7 Nf5 37. Bxf5 gxf5 38. Rgg7 h6 39. Rh7+ Kg8 40. Reg7+ Kf8 41. Rb7 Kg8 42. Rbg7+ Kf8 43. Rc7 Kg8 44. h5 b4 45. Rhg7+ Kh8 46. Rh7+ Kg8 47. Rcg7+ Kf8 48. Rb7 Kg8 49. Rxh6 b3 50. Rg6+ Kh8 51. Rh6+ Kg8 52. Rg6+ Kh8 53. Rh6+ 1/2-1/2 (

Rout Padmini (2345) vs Anastasya Paramzina (2260)
Event: World Blitz Women 2021
Site: Warsaw POL Date: 12/30/2021
Round: 14.25
ECO: B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 O-O 9.Bd2 Qc7 10.O-O-O b5 11.Kb1 Nbd7 12.g4 b4 13.g5 bxc3 14.gxf6 Nxf6 15.Bxc3 Bb7 16.f3 d5 17.Na5 dxe4 18.Qc4 Qxc4 19.Bxc4 Bc8 20.fxe4 Nxe4 21.Bxe5 Be6 22.Bxe6 fxe6 23.Nc6 Bf6 24.Rhe1 Bxe5 25.Nxe5 Nf6 26.Rd6 Rfd8 27.Rxe6 Re8 28.Rxe8+ Rxe8 29.Nd3 Rxe1+ 30.Nxe1 Ng4 31.Nf3 Kf7 32.a4 Kf6 33.b4 Kf5 34.b5 axb5 35.axb5 Nf6 36.c4 Nd7 37.Kc2 Kg4 38.Nd4 Kh3 39.Ne6 g6 40.c5 Kxh2 41.c6 1-0

Terje Hagen 2382 (NOR) vs Fausto Mo Mesquita 2341 (BRA)
WS MN/072 email 2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 O-O 9.Bd2 Nc6 10.a3 Be6 11.Rd1 d5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.O-O Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Qb6 15.Qg3 Rfd8 16.Nd2 f6 17.Bd3 Qc7 18.Kh1 b5 19.f4 exf4 20.Rxf4 Bd6 21.Qe3 Bxf4 22.Qxe6+ Kf8 23.Bxh7 Ne7 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Qxf6+ Ke8 26.Re1 Qd6 27.Re6 Qxe6 28.Qxe6 Rxd2 29.g3 Bd6 30.Bd3 Rc8 31.Qe1 Rcxc2 32.Bxc2 Rxc2 33.Qd1 Rc6 34.Kg2 Kd7 35.h4 Rc4 36.Qf3 Ke6

Hikaru Nakamura (2802) vs Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2723)
Event: 3rd Norway Chess 2015
Site: Stavanger NOR Date: 06/24/2015
Round: 8.4
ECO: B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Qd3 b5 9.a4 b4 10.Nd5 Bb7 11.Nxf6+ Bxf6 12.Bd2 a5 13.c3 bxc3 14.Bxc3 O-O 15.O-O Nc6 16.Rfd1 Re8 17.Bf3 Be7 18.Qb5 Qc8 19.Bg4 Qxg4 20.Qxb7 Rec8 21.Nxa5 Nxa5 22.Qxe7 Nb3 23.f3 Qf4 24.Ra3 Nd4 25.Raa1 Ne2+ 26.Kh1 Nxc3 27.bxc3 h5 28.Qxd6 Rxc3 29.Qd5 Ra6 30.Qb5 Rac6 31.Qf1 h4 32.h3 Rc2 33.Re1 Qd2 34.Red1 Qg5 35.Re1 Qd2 36.Rad1 Qb4 37.Qd3 Kh7 38.Qd8 Rf6 39.Rc1 Qxa4 40.Rxc2 Qxc2 41.Qd1 Qf2 42.Rf1 Qg3 43.Qd7 Rg6 44.Rg1 Rf6 45.Rf1 Rg6 46.Rg1 Rf6 47.Rf1 ½-½

5 Norms Scored at the Charlotte Labor Day Norm Invitational

This was obtained from the Charlotte Chess Center Facebook page:

5 norms scored at the Charlotte Labor Day Norm Invitational!
IM’s Nikolas Theodorou (Greece) and Andrew Hong (USA) earned their 3rd and final GM norms and will be crowned Grandmasters at the next FIDE congress.
IM Christopher Yoo (USA) earned his 2nd GM norm.
FM Robert Shlyakhtenko (USA) earned his 3rd IM norm and will be crowned an IM once he reaches 2400.
NM Sandeep Sethuraman (USA) earned his first IM Norm.

These pictures can also be found at the website. Unfortunately there are no names to go with the pictures. The gentleman with his thumb up and wide grin is the Executive Director and Founder of the CCC, Peter Giannatos.

May be an image of 2 people, people standing and indoor
May be an image of 2 people, people standing and indoor
May be an image of 2 people, people standing and indoor

This next picture is of Christopher Woojin Yoo:

May be an image of 1 person and standing
Christopher Woojin Yoo

In future years when asked to show the game that garnered his third and final GM norm now Grandmaster Andrew Hong can proudly present this win made even more special because it came with the black pieces:

IM 2411 Kassa Korley (DEN) vs IM Andrew Hong 2494 (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 09
E04 Catalan, open, 5.Nf3

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 a5 7. Qc2 Bxd2+ 8. Nbxd2 b5 9. O-O O-O 10. b3 cxb3 11. Nxb3 Bb7 12. Nc5 Bd5 13. e4 Bc4 14. Rfd1 Nc6 15. a4 Nb4 16. Qd2 bxa4 17. Rxa4 Bb5 18. Ra3 Qe7 19. Rda1 Nc6 20. Qc3 Rfb8 21. Nd2 e5 22. Nf3 exd4 23. Nxd4 Nxd4 24. Qxd4 Rd8 25. Qc3 a4 26. e5 Nd5 27. Qd4 c6 28. Nxa4 Nb4 29. Qb2 Nd3 30. Qc3 Nxe5 31. Nc5 Rxa3 32. Qxa3 h5 33. Qe3 Qf6 34. Re1 h4 35. gxh4 Ng6 36. Qg5 Nxh4 37. Qxf6 gxf6 38. Bh1 f5 39. h3 Rd2 40. Nb3 Rd3 41. Re3 Rd1+ 42. Kh2 Rf1 43. Nd4 f4 44. Re8+ Kg7 45. Nxb5 cxb5 46. Re4 Rxf2+ 47. Kg1 Rb2 48. Rxf4 Ng6 49. Rf5 f6 50. Rc5 Nf4 51. h4 b4 52. Be4 Ne2+ 53. Kf2 Nc3+ 54. Kf3 Rf2+ 55. Ke3 Re2+ 56. Kd4 0-1

When asked to show the game that brought him the title of Grandmaster Nikolas Theodorou, who came all the way from Greece, must show this “game” and I use the word extremely loosely because it is an insult to Caissa:

GM Mark Paragua 2475 (PHI) vs IM Nikolas Theodorou 2569 (GRE)
Charlotte Labor Day GM B 2021 round 09
E60 King’s Indian, 3.Nf3

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Nc6 ½-½

Christopher Yoo needed a draw for his second GM norm and got it with this “gift”:

Christopher Woojin Yoo 2466 (USA) vs Irakli Beradze 2479 (GEO)
Charlotte Labor Day GM A 2021 round 09
E18 Queen’s Indian, old main line, 7.Nc3

  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 12…Nd7 was not a good move. I can see it; you can see it; and so can the programs at ChessBomb and Chess24. The Stockfish program at the latter shows white up a pawn. Maybe the Grandmaster thought it was time to “make his move” and offer a draw to the kid while he held the upper hand, which is exactly what he did. The boy had no reason to play on, and obviously the pusillanimous Grandmaster has no pride. There was a time in Chess when the GM title was so exclusive that Grandmasters wanted to keep it that way and made an aspirant “earn it.” Chess has come a long way, “Bay Bee.”

In the IM D section FM Robert Shyakhtenko earned an IM norm and will become an International Master if he ever attains a rating of 2400. Say what? I don’t know about you but it seems one should either earn the norm or not. What is this with the waiting? Is that weird, or what? If you play in a tournament and meet the norm requirement you have not met the requirement if your rating does not meet the minimum rating required, or am I missing something?

FM Robert Shlyakhtenko 2313 (USA) vs Shelev Oberoi 2175 (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM D 2021 round 09
E70 King’s Indian, Kramer system

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nge2 O-O 6. Ng3 a6 7. Be2 h5 8. O-O c5 9. d5 h4 10. Nh1 h3 11. g4 e6 12. a4 exd5 13. cxd5 Nbd7 14. Ng3 Nh7 15. f4 Bd4+ 16. Kh1 Qh4 17. Bf3 Qe7 18. Qe2 Re8 19. Be3 Bg7 20. Rf2 Rb8 21. g5 Bd4 22. Rd1 Bxe3 23. Qxe3 b5 24. axb5 axb5 25. Bg4 b4 26. Nb1 Nb6 27. Qf3 Bd7 28. Rg1 Ra8 29. Bxd7 Nxd7 30. Nd2 Nb6 31. f5 c4 32. f6 Qe5 33. Nf5 gxf5 34. Qh5 Kh8 35. Qxf7 Rg8 36. g6 Rxg6 37. Qxg6 Qxf6 38. Qxf6+ Nxf6 39. Rxf5 Rf8 40. Rc1 Kg7 41. Nxc4 Nxc4 42. Rxc4 Ra8 43. Kg1 Kg6 44. Rf3 Ng4 45. Rxh3 Ra4 46. Rg3 Kh5 47. Rc8 1-0

I was unfamiliar with the “Kramer system”

but did find one game, only one, in which 7…h5 was previously played:

Dragan Kosic (2528) vs Dejan Antic (2479)
Event: YUG-ch
Site: Belgrade Date: ??/??/1999
Round: 4
ECO: E70 King’s Indian, Kramer system
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nge2 O-O 6.Ng3 a6 7.Be2 h5 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.Qd2 c6 10.O-O b5 11.cxb5 axb5 12.b4 Nb6 13.Rfc1 Be6 14.Bh6 h4 15.Nf1 Bc4 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Ne3 Bxe2 18.Qxe2 Qd7 19.Rc2 ½-½

Sandeep Sethuraman won five games and drew four to win the IM C section by 1 1/2 points. He needed to win to garner his first norm on the way to the International Master title and did just that, after the following battle in which it was anyone’s game for the taking until the lady played the natural looking, but lame, 31st move, after which she was pounded into submission like a punch drunk fighter and went down like rot gut whiskey, hard.

FM Gabriela Antova 2313 (BUL) vs Sandeep Sethuraman 2286 (USA)
Charlotte Labor Day IM C 2021 round 09
D37 Queen’s Gambit Declined, 4.Nf3

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e4 b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. Nxb5 Nb6 8. Be2 Nc6 9. O-O Be7 10. Qd2 O-O 11. Qf4 Nb4 12. Qg3 Kh8 13. Rd1 Qd7 14. Nc3 Ba6 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Ne4 Na4 18. Rd2 Nd5 19. Rc2 Nb4 20. Rd2 Nd5 21. Rc2 Rab8 22. Bxc4 Bxc4 23. Rxc4 Nxb2 24. Rc2 Nd3 25. Nfd2 N3f4 26. Qf3 Qb4 27. Nb3 a5 28. Rd1 Qa3 29. Qg4 Rfd8 30. g3 a4 31. Nbd2 Qd3 32. Rc4 Ne2+ 33. Kg2 Nec3 34. Rc1 Nxa2 35. R1c2 Nab4 36. Rc1 a3 37. Nf3 a2 38. Ne1 Qxc4 0-1