2022 New York Fall Invitational Draw Tournaments

After being taken to task by a reader from the Carolinas for not publishing short games from tournaments not in Carolina I went to the website of the 2022 New York Fall Invitational only after explaining to the Carolinian the decision had earlier been made to stop watching all so called “Norm” tournaments. After being lambasted for “picking on” the norm tournaments contested at the Charlotte Chess Center this writer reached out to several Chess friends, asking for their thoughts on “Norm” tournaments. The replies were along the lines of, “Why do you waste your time watching those things?” and, “I have absolutely no interest in those things.” The quotes are from two different people. It is ironic both consider a “Norm” tournament to be a “thing.” The reason I have not written about “Norm” tournaments is the decision was made to stop wasting my time watching tournaments in which there appears to be hanky panky. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/the-charlotte-chess-center-mr-hankey-award/) In the interest of fairness I decided to follow the tournaments held in New York, and this will be the last time I ever waste my time watching Chess not being played.

Some of the “players”, and I use the word loosely, at the 2022 New York Fall Invitational are the same people who were written about in the posts concerning the plethora of short draws at the Charlotte Chess Center, such as IM Nikolai Andrianov, who should have his passport revoked and be sent packing to whatever hole out of which he crawled. Andrianov is no spring chicken, which may be why he has decided to rest on his limited laurels. The most disappointing player who has decided to stop playing Chess to make short draws is GM Titas Stremavicius (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/05/09/how-to-draw-a-chess-game-at-the-charlotte-chess-center/), who has obviously become a serial drawer, and who, like Andrianov, has become known for wearing “Maggie’s Drawers” when he “plays.” When Titus first began playing I checked him out, finding he played some of the same openings as I once played. Many of his games were replayed, finding him to be a “vicius” player. What happened Titus? When and why did you decide to embarrass yourself, and Caissa, and become a non-Chess player? Maybe if we Americans are lucky the passports of this serial drawer will be revoked.

Let me be as clear as a sunny day, all these short draws proliferating “norm” tournaments smack of collusion, and give the appearance of cheating. It smacks of selling “norms” to the highest bidder. The practice should have been stopped long ago, but since it was not it should be stopped NOW!

The low-life non-players and organizers accept no blame while saying they are “just following the rules.” This is done while they deposit digits into their bank accounts. It does not take a genius, or Grandmaster Chess player, to see what they do is harmful to Chess in the long run. These kind of people could care less about what happens to the Royal Game in the future as long as they can continue to stuff their bank accounts with inflated digits. Obviously, the rules should be changed. They should consider taking a page out of Rex Sinquefield’s book and institute their own rules, using the rules in play at the American Chess Mecca, the St. Louis Chess Campus as a guideline. The “go along to get along” Chess politicians at the United States Chess Federation need to grow some cojones and institute new rules.

Just sayin’, because someone needs to step up and tell it like it is. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/07/29/gm-jacob-aagaard-blasphemes-caissia-at-the-charlotte-chess-center-gm-norm-invitational/)

2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A

Rd 1

Stremavicius, Titas (2527) – Kevlishvili, Robby (2536)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 09.11.2022

1.c4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Nf3 dxc4 4.Qa4+ Nd7 5.Bg2 a6 6.Qxc4 b5 7.Qb3 Bb7 8.O-O Ngf6 9.d3 Be7 10.Nc3 O-O 11.a4 1/2-1/2

Rd 2

Kaliksteyn, Alexander (2389) – Stremavicius, Titas (2527)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 10.11.2022

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.Nbd2 1/2-1/2

Korley, Kassa (2451) – Nagy, Gabor (2482)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 10.11.2022

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b6 3.Bg2 Bb7 4.O-O e6 5.c4 c5 6.b3 Be7 7.Bb2 d6 8.Nc3 O-O 9.d4 cxd4 10.Qxd4 Nc6 11.Qf4 Qb8 1/2-1/2

Rd 3

No short games

All those long games must have really taken a toll on the players because they more than made up for all that expended engrgy in the following round.

Rd 4

Siddharth, Jagadeesh (2407) – Kevlishvili, Robby (2536)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 11.11.2022

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 a6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 c6 6.e4 dxe4 7.Ng5 Be7 8.Bc4 Nh6 9.Ngxe4 Nf5 10.d5 O-O 11.O-O b5 12.Bb3 b4 13.Na4 cxd5 1/2-1/2

Chasin, Nico (2429) – Stremavicius, Titas (2527)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 11.11.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 1/2-1/2

Nagy, Gabor (2482) – Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr (2371)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 11.11.2022

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.O-O Nb6 7.b3 Be6 8.Bb2 f6 9.Nc3 Qd7 10.Rc1 O-O-O 11.Qc2 Kb8 12.Rfd1 Nd4 13.Nxd4 exd4 14.Ne4 d3 15.exd3 1/2-1/2

Rd 5

Kaliksteyn, Alexander (2389) – Siddharth, Jagadeesh (2407)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 11.11.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bf4 e6 4.e3 c5 5.Nbd2 Qb6 6.Rb1 Bd6 7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.dxc5 Qxc5 9.c4 1/2-1/2

Rd 6

Jimenez Fraga, Pedro (2477) – Siddharth, Jagadeesh (2407)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.c4 Nc6 6.Nc3 Nxc3 7.dxc3 Bf5 8.Be2 Be7 9.Qb3 b6 10.Qa4 Qd7 11.O-O O-O 12.Bf4 Nd4 13.Qd1 Nxe2+ 14.Qxe2 Bf6 15.Bg5 Rfe8 16.Qd2 1/2-1/2

Korley, Kassa (2451) – Kevlishvili, Robby (2536)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bg4 3.Bg2 Nd7 4.O-O c6 5.d3 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.c4 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 dxc4 9.d4 Ngf6 10.Nd2 Nb6 11.e3 Bb4 12.Qc2 Bxd2 13.Bxd2 O-O 14.Ba5 Re8 15.Rfd1 Nfd7 16.a4 Qg5 17.Bxb6 1/2-1/2

Nagy, Gabor (2482) – Stremavicius, Titas (2527)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.b3 1/2-1/2

I add the following, decisive, game as a prelude to the next round game by Mr. Williams.

Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr (2371) – Williams, Justus (2395)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.Qg4 g6 8.Qe2 d6 9.O-O Nf6 10.Bh6 Nc6 11.h3 Nh5 12.N1d2 Ne5 13.Nc4 Nxc4 14.Bxc4 b5 15.Bd3 Bg5 16.Bxb5+ 1-0

Rd 7

Williams, Justus (2395) – Jimenez Fraga, Pedro (2477)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 1/2-1/2

Stremavicius, Titas (2527) – Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr (2371)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.h5 Bh7 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 1/2-1/2

Kevlishvili, Robby (2536) – Nagy, Gabor (2482)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 1/2-1/2

Rd 8

No short games. Makes one wonder…

Rd 9

Kaliksteyn, Alexander (2389) – Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr (2371)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c3 e6 4.Bf4 Bd6 5.e3 O-O 6.Nbd2 c5 1/2-1/2

Siddharth, Jagadeesh (2407) – Nagy, Gabor (2482)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM A (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Bd3 O-O 8.h3 Re8 9.Qc2 Nbd7 10.Nf3 Nf8 11.O-O Be6 12.Ne5 1/2-1/2

2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B

Rd 1

Mandizha, Farai (2359) – Javakhadze, Zurab (2481)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 09.11.2022

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 Nbd7 7.a3 c5 8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Nxd5 1/2-1/2

Rd 2

All decisive! Proving they can actually FIGHT. Still, it makes me wonder…

Rd 3

Paragua, Mark (2466) – Khamrakulov, Djurabek (2490)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 10.11.2022

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Re1 c6 8.a4 Qc7 9.h3 b6 10.Bg5 Bb7 1/2-1/2

Rd 4

Yudasin, Leonid (2401) – Khamrakulov, Djurabek (2490)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 11.11.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.c3 b6 5.h3 Bb7 6.e3 c5 7.Be2 O-O 8.O-O d6 9.Bh2 Nbd7 10.a4 a6 11.Nbd2 Re8 12.Qb1 Rc8 13.Rd1 cxd4 14.exd4 Rc7 15.Ne1 1/2-1/2

Rd 5

Paragua, Mark (2466) – Javakhadze, Zurab (2481)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 11.11.2022

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.Bd2 1/2-1/2

Rd 6

Javakhadze, Zurab (2481) – Khamrakulov, Djurabek (2490)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 Nf6 4.Bxc4 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.O-O 1/2-1/2

Paragua, Mark (2466) – Mandizha, Farai (2359)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bc4 e6 1/2-1/2

Rd 8

Yudasin, Leonid (2401) – Javakhadze, Zurab (2481)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.e3 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Qc2 Nxc3 10.Qxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 c5 12.O-O Nc6 13.dxc5 Qxc5 14.Rac1 Bd7 15.Rfd1 Rfd8 1/2-1/2

Mandizha, Farai (2359) – Khamrakulov, Djurabek (2490)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c3 c6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Qb3 e6 7.O-O O-O 8.Bf4 d6 9.Qa3 Ne8 10.Nbd2 Rf7 11.e4 h6 12.exf5 exf5 13.h4 Be6 1/2-1/2

Rd 9

Believe it or not, four out of the five games ended decisively. Must have been something in the water…

Oberoi, Shelev (2328) – Yudasin, Leonid (2401)
2022 New York Fall Invitational GM B (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 d6 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 c4 7.Bc2 Nc6 8.exd6 Qxd6 9.Na3 Qe6+ 10.Kf1 Qd5 11.d4 cxd3 12.Qxd3 Qxd3+ 13.Bxd3 Bg4 14.Be4 O-O-O 15.Be3 Nd5 16.Nb5 Nxe3+ 17.fxe3 f6 18.Nfd4 Nxd4 19.cxd4 Bd7 20.Rc1+ Kb8 21.Nc3 e6 22.Ke2 Be7 23.Bd3 f5 24.Rhf1 g6 25.Bb5 Bxb5+ 26.Nxb5 e5 27.dxe5 1/2-1/2

2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C

Rd 1

Andrianov, Nikolai (2297) – Rama, Tejas (2189)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 09.11.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 O-O 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.O-O b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.Bb3 h6 16.Qf4 1/2-1/2

Rd 2

Lee, Justin (2113) – Andrianov, Nikolai (2297)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 10.11.2022

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 b5 9.Bd3 Bb7 10.O-O O-O 11.e4 e5 12.h3 Qe7 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bh4 g5 15.Bg3 Nh5 16.Bxe5 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.dxe5 Qxe5 19.Rac1 Rad8 1/2-1/2

Rd 3

Andrianov, Nikolai (2297) – Akylbekov, Nasyr (2208)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 10.11.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Qe7 5.g3 b6 6.Bg2 Bb7 7.O-O 1/2-1/2

Rd 4

Andrianov, Nikolai (2297) – Antova, Gabriela (2302)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 11.11.2022

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bf4 a6 1/2-1/2

Rd 7

Managadze, Nikoloz (2383) – Rama, Tejas (2189)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 12.11.2022

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.O-O O-O 5.d3 d5 6.Nbd2 c5 7.e4 Nc6 8.Re1 b6 9.c3 dxe4 10.dxe4 Bb7 11.Qc2 Qc7 12.Nf1 Rad8 13.Bf4 Qc8 14.Rad1 1/2-1/2

Rd 8

Lee, Justin (2113) – Managadze, Nikoloz (2383)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 1/2-1/2

Andrianov, Nikolai (2297) – Berczes, David (2446)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bf4 1/2-1/2

Rd 9

Berczes, David (2446) – Antova, Gabriela (2302)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 Bg4 4.h3 Bh5 5.O-O Nd7 6.d4 Ngf6 7.c4 e6 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Qb3 Qb6 10.Qe3+ Be7 11.Nh4 Bg6 12.Nc3 Nf8 13.Nxg6 hxg6 14.Rd1 Ne6 15.Qd3 Rd8 16.h4 O-O 17.Rb1 a5 18.a3 Qa7 19.Bh3 1/2-1/2

Managadze, Nikoloz (2383) – Andrianov, Nikolai (2297)
2022 New York Fall Invitational IM C (Long Island City, NY), 13.11.2022

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.d3 1/2-1/2

Make no mistake, all the players listed above are cheaters. They have cheated Caissa and the spirit of the game. It is long past time for the USCF pooh-bahs to STEP UP and SPEAK UP. Someone, anyone, in power needs to do something, anything, about those who blaspheme against the Royal Game! If the current Fools In Power do not do something immediately their heads should roll so they can be replaced by someone, anyone who cares about CHESS! This “go along to get along” crap ain’t working. It is long past time for someone, anyone, in power to GROW A PAIR and STEP UP TO THE PLATE! If, that is, they are not too busy taking cash to stuff into their pockets…

Winning, Losing, And The Psychology of Chess

Because it has become so difficult to win a Chess game in Grandmaster tournaments these days a loss in the first round can be devastating. In the first round of the recently completed 2022 Fall Chess Classic B, held at the St. Louis Chess Campus, GM Ioan-Cristian Chirila

Pawn broker // Show Me Mizzou // University of Missouri

had the black pieces against GM Tigran K. Harutyunyan.

Harutyunyan wins Georgian Chess Club Championship – Sport.mediamax.am

As it turned out the game was one of, if not the most interesting game of the event.

Position after 39…Bxe4 with White to move.

There had already been a few twists and turns in the game at this point, but this is where the fun really begins. We will move along to a later position:

Position after 51 Rec1 with Black to move

The 51st move made by White was not good. Prior to the move Black was much better but now he is winning. The hardest game to win is a won game. What move would you make?

Position after 55 Qc3 with Black to move.

As Robert Zimmerman sang, things have changed. I’ll say! The black advantage has dissipated and it is now an even game, according to the Stockfish program at Lichess.com. The move that should be made looks rather obvious, but then we are not at the board with the clock ticking…

I will leave the remainder of the game for your amusement…

[Event “St Louis Fall B 2022”]
[Site “Saint Louis USA”]
[Date “2022.11.02”]
[Round “1.1”]
[White “Harutyunyan, Tigran K.”]
[Black “Chirila, Ioan-Cristian”]
[WhiteElo “2504”]
[BlackElo “2536”]
[ECO “A15”]
[Opening “English opening”]

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. e3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. Bc4 Nb6 7. Be2 Nc6 8.
    O-O e5 9. d3 Be7 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. b3 Re8 12. Bb2 Bf8 13. Rc1 Nd5 14. Qc2 b6 15.
    Qb1 Qc7 16. Rfe1 Qb7 17. a3 Rad8 18. Qa2 Nc7 19. Qa1 f6 20. Qb1 Nd5 21. Bd1 Be6
  2. Bc2 g6 23. Qa1 Bf7 24. Ne4 Bg7 25. Ng3 Rc8 26. h4 Qd7 27. h5 Qg4 28. Bd1 Qd7
  3. Qb1 a5 30. Be2 g5 31. Bd1 h6 32. Nh2 Nde7 33. e4 Rcd8 34. Re3 Be6 35. Bc3 f5
  4. exf5 Nxf5 37. Nxf5 Bxf5 38. Bf3 Nd4 39. Be4 Bxe4 40. dxe4 Qf7 41. b4 axb4
  5. axb4 c4 43. Nf1 Rf8 44. Qb2 Qxh5 45. b5 Qe8 46. Ng3 h5 47. Bb4 Qxb5 48. Nxh5
    Rf7 49. Nxg7 Kxg7 50. Qc3 Rc8 51. Rce1 Kg6 52. Rg3 Qd7 53. Qe3 Rf4 54. Bd2 g4
  6. Qc3 Kg5 56. f3 Kf6 57. Bxf4 exf4 58. Rxg4 b5 59. Rxf4+ Ke6 60. Rh4 Qg7 61.
    Qe3 c3 62. e5 Nc6 63. Qxc3 Qa7+ 64. Kh2 Qf2 65. Qb3+ 1-0

It is always difficult to lose a Chess game, especially when that game is the first game of a tournament. When one has a winning advantage, and blows it, how it affects a player is exacerbated. To the male psyche it can be devastating. After losing a won game one is often told to “Put it out of your mind.” That is something easier said than done. It is also difficult to sleep the night after a loss, which will have a deleterious effect on play later in the tournament. Only the strong survive, and only the exceptionally strong comeback for such a devastating loss. GM Chirila is one of those players because he returned from the dead to tie for third place in the event while having the third highest performance rating to show for it. He sort of stabilized himself with a draw with the white pieces in round two, but let go of the rope again against with the black pieces versus young Christopher Yoo in round three. With only one half point after the first three rounds some, if not most, players would go into the tank and be happy to, hopefully, make a few draws while playing out the string. Christian Chirila is not one of those players. He defeated the eventual winner of the tournament, Aleksandr Linderman,

The Lenderman Method – GM Aleksandr Lenderman

with the black pieces in the final round. Lindy ran away with the tournament by scoring 6 1/2 points to finish one point in front of the second place finisher, GM Raunak Sadhwani, from India. I cannot count the number of times a player who had an insurmountable lead lost in the last round. It happens so frequently that it would seem to be better if the player who has already clinched first place would simply refuse to play the meaningless last round game. Nevertheless, my hat is off to both of these players, especially Chirila, for showing his measure as a player and as a man. Even with the last round loss, the winner, Lucky Lindy, over performed his rating by 167. The number two player was Christian Chirila, who finished with a performance rating of 2596, which is 60 points more than his rating.

The other game being presented was played in the first round and the opening was one of my favorite openings, “The truth as it was known in those long ago days.” Christopher, I love Yoo, Man!

[Event “St Louis Fall B 2022”]
[Site “Saint Louis USA”]
[Date “2022.11.02”]
[Round “1.2”]
[White “Yoo, Christopher Woojin”]
[Black “Jacobson, Brandon”]
[WhiteElo “2573”]
[BlackElo “2551”]
[ECO “C24”]
[Opening “Bishop’s opening”]

  1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Bc5 4. Nc3 O-O 5. Nf3 d6 6. Na4 Bb6 7. O-O h6 8. b4
    Re8 9. Bb2 Nc6 10. Nxb6 axb6 11. a3 Be6 12. Bb5 Bd7 13. Re1 Ne7 14. Bxd7 Qxd7
  2. d4 Ng6 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. Qxd7 Nxd7 18. Red1 Ndf8 19. Nd2 f6 20. Nc4 Red8 21.
    f3 Kf7 22. Kf2 Ne6 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. a4 Ne7 25. g3 Nc6 26. c3 h5 27. Bc1 Ra8 28.
    Ra3 Rd8 29. Ra1 Ra8 30. Ra3 Rd8 31. Ra1 Ra8 32. Ra3 1/2-1/2

1.e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 (SF plays 3 Nc3) Bc5 (3…c6) 4. Nc3 (4 Nf3) O-O (4…c6) 5. Nf3 (SF plays 5 a4, a move yet to be played by a human)

George Hatfeild Gossip

vs Siegbert Tarrasch

Event: DSB-06.Kongress
Site: Breslau Date: ??/??/1889
Round: 4 Score: 0-1
ECO: C25 Vienna game
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Bc4 Bb4 7.O-O Bxc3 8.bxc3 h6 9.Ba3 Nbd7 10.Qd2 O-O 11.Rae1 Re8 12.Nf5 Ne5 13.Bb3 Bxf5 14.exf5 Qd7 15.f4 Nc6 16.Qd3 Ne7 17.Be6 fxe6 18.fxe6 Qa4 19.c4 Qa5 20.f5 Nc6 21.Bb2 Qb6+ 22.c5 Qxb2 23.cxd6 cxd6 24.Qxd6 Qd4+ 25.Qxd4 Nxd4 0-1

The 2022 US Chess Championships

This writer was able to watch most, not all, of the coverage of the 2022 US Chess Championships. When unable to watch the live broadcast for various reasons I went back and watched what was missed earlier during the first twelve rounds. There were many “technical problems” with the last round so I turned it off and watched the games the old fashioned way by watching the moves played at Lichess.com. I did not later watch what was missed during the last round. Yasser mentioned something about the broadcast emanating from philanthropy and I realize the broadcast is not like any for profit broadcast, such as a Baseball game, or golf tournament, etc. Nevertheless, the broadcasts emanating from the St. Louis Chess Campus have been ongoing for many years, long enough for those broadcasting to have their collective act together. At the beginning of the broadcasts the commentators would focus on one game for a length of time, which was disconcerting, because there were fourteen ongoing games. I thought an overview of all the games should be given and from the emails received, so did many other viewers. One day the guys and girl focused almost exclusively on one game, which caused me to fire a salvo at the folks in St. Louis. After it happened again another salvo was fired, but no response was received from the Campus. I simply turned off the volume and watched the opening moves of all the games at Lichess.com.

I realize the commentators are not ‘professional’ media types, but they are getting paid, so maybe they could be considered “untrained” professionals. In one salvo fired at the StLCC I asked if there was a director, but have yet to receive an answer. A director could inform the commentators of where there was “action” in another game and they could switch to it immediately. I recall one instance when they were following an endgame in the open while there was a very interesting game with lieelt time remaining being contested in the women’s championship. I also recall Yasser saying something about, “We’re staying right here!” I tuned the sound off and watched the women’s game on Lichess.com.

Anastasiya Karlovich

(born 29 May 1982) is a Ukrainian chess player and journalist. She achieved the FIDE titles Woman International Master in 2000 and Woman Grandmaster in 2003. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastasiya_Karlovich) Her accent often made it hard to understand what she was saying. In addition, she had a disconcerting habit of talking over Yasser. It is impossible to understand what is being said when two people are talking, which happened all too often.

That said, I still give the StLCC a B+ for the effort. There were too many positives for a lower grade to be given. Please understand this old Warrior is still amazed at being able to watch something like this, which was unheard of ‘back in the day’. “Shelbourne Richard Lyman (October 22, 1936 – August 11, 2019) was an American chess player and teacher known for hosting a live broadcast of the 1972 World Chess Championship for the PBS television station Channel 13 in New York. This broadcast became the highest-rated public television program ever at that time, far surpassing viewership expectations.” In addition, Shelby also, “…later hosted a two-hour broadcast covering the World Chess Championship 1986. This segment was recorded at WNYE-TV in Brooklyn and aired on 120 public television stations.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_Lyman) It was during the latter time the woman with whom I lived, after watching the first broadcast, facetiously called him, “Mr. Charisma.” Chess broadcasts have come a long way, baby.

When there was a break in the action I would glance at some of the comments left by those watching. I was surprised when reading some that questioned Yasser Seirawan’s penchant for telling stories of the past. “you cannot understand where you are at unless you know where you have been,” I thought. One of the pleasures of my childhood was watching the Baseball Game of the Week on Saturday afternoon. Former Major League Baseball players Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese


would regale we neophytes with stories of bygone days, just as Yasser does during the broadcast. To this writer those stories are one of the best facets of the broadcasts. One was so good I took notes, realizing words would not come near describing how good was the tale. Imagine the elation when the segment was found! It concerns former World Chess Champ Gary Kasparov and to just read the words, or even listen to them, would not contain the visceral response shown by Yasser. All the hours spent spectating, and listening to the broadcasts were worth it just to be able to see Yasser when describing the story.

Seirawan, Yasser – Kasparov, Garry 1-0
D91 Dubai ol (Men)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 Nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.b4 Qd6 10.a3 O-O 11.e3 c6 12.Be2 Bf5 13.O-O Nd7 14.Na4 a5 15.Qb3 b5 16.Nc5 a4 17.Qc3 Nb6 18.Nd2 Rae8 19.Rfe1 Re7 20.Bf3 Rfe8 21.g3 Bh3 22.Bg2 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 f5 24.h4 Nc4 25.Nf3 Bf6 26.Re2 Rg7 27.Rh1 Qe7 28.Ree1 h6 29.Qd3 Rf8 30.Nd2 Qe8 31.Nxc4 dxc4 32.Qd1 Re7 33.Ref1 Qf7 34.Qf3 Qd5 35.Qxd5+ cxd5 36.Kf3 Bg7 37.Rd1 Rff7 38.Rd2 Re8 39.Rdd1 Bf8 40.Rdg1 Bg7 41.Rd1 Kf8 42.Rd2 Ke7 43.Rdd1 Kd6 44.Rh2 Kc6 45.Rhh1 Bf8 46.Rd2 Bd6 47.Rdd1 Bxc5 48.dxc5 Re4 49.Rhe1 Rd7 50.Rd4 g5 51.hxg5 hxg5 52.Red1 Rxd4 53.Rxd4 Rh7 54.Ke2 Rh3 55.g4 f4 56.exf4 Rxa3 57.fxg5 Ra2+ 58.Kf3 c3 59.Rd1 d4 60.g6 d3 61.Ke3 Rxf2 62.g7 1-0

Kasparov, Garry – Seirawan, Yasser 1-0
D21 Thessaloniki ol (Men)
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.c4 dxc4 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Qxd4 6.Nxd4 Bd7 7.Ndb5 Na6 8.e4 Nf6 9.f3 Bxb5 10.Nxb5 e5 11.Be3 Bb4+ 12.Kf2 Ke7 13.Bxc4 Rhc8 14.Rac1 Bc5 15.Rhd1 Bxe3+ 16.Kxe3 Ne8 17.Bb3 Rxc1 18.Rxc1 f6 19.a3 Nd6 20.Bd5 Nxb5 21.Bxb7 Nbc7 22.Bxa8 Nxa8 23.Rc8 Nb6 24.Rg8 Kf7 25.Rh8 Nc5 26.Rb8 Ke7 27.b4 Nc4+ 28.Ke2 Nd7 29.Rg8 g5 30.a4 a5 31.bxa5 Nxa5 32.Ra8 Nc6 33.a5 Kd6 34.g3 h5 35.h4 gxh4 36.gxh4 Nc5 37.a6 Kc7 38.a7 Nb7 1-0

The 2022 US Chess Championships were inherently unfair. The player of the white pieces has an advantage, which is more apparent in the Open than with the Women. Someone was overheard saying to a student, “Fabiano Caruana played the best Chess in the tournament.” I begged to differ, saying Ray Robson played the best Chess. He knew how much time I had spent on viewing the action, so respected my opinion, but still questioned the statement. “Fabi had the white pieces in seven games; Robson in only six,” I said.

It is long past the time those in the Chess world come to terms with the fact that the way tournaments are structured favors one half of the field. The only way to remedy the problem is to have a US Chess Championship in which each player has an equal number of games with both colors. This could be done by having an eight player field, the Elite Eight, with two games versus each of the seven opponents, making for a fourteen round tournament. The fact is there were too many players who should not have been playing in the tournament.

The games are too long. The time for the games should be shortened because there are many games which do not begin until the players have spouted out twenty moves of opening theory in only a few minutes. Give the players ninety minutes with some kind of increment and have them play two games each day. It would be like going to work an eight hour day job. After the first game there would be a two hour break and the second game could then begin.

Deciding a championship by playing speed (kills) Chess is ludicrous, especially when a so-called “champion” is determined by some abomination called, appropriately enough, “Armageddon”. One of the definitions of Armageddon is: “A decisive or catastrophic conflict.” (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Armaggedon). On second thought maybe it is appropriate after the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, in an unprecedented act, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after losing a badly played game to Hans Niemann. There is nothing worse than for a player to withdraw in a round robin tournament, unless there was some major reason for so doing, such as having a stroke, or going blind, etc. The action of sore loser Carlsen was an affront to the Royal Game, the Singuefield Cup, and to the St. Louis Chess Club. In addition, it was a slap in the face to the man responsible for the philanthropy, Rex Sinquefield. Tony Rich, Executive Director of the St. Louis Chess Campus,

said Magnus would be welcomed back to the STLCC, but he will never be welcomed by this writer. It is possible his ill-advised action will bring down the House of Chess. Magnus will not be the Chess champion of the world much longer and he should be classified as persona non grata everywhere, forced to sit home and ‘stream’ like Hikaru Nakamura


and Ben Finegold.


The Player of Games

After vowing to leave the games played by the so-called “Super” Grandmasters alone my mind was changed after watching a game from the ongoing Sinquefield Cup Chess tournament being played at the St. Louis Chess Campus. Although it seems like yesterday when GM Caruana was equal to World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the only games that really matter, classical games, the fact is that was a pandemic ago. Fabiano has not been the same player, while Magnus has become the G.O.A.T. You can argue for your favorite Chess player of all time but the fact is that every generation is better than its predecessor because they stand on the shoulders of the giants who preceded them. In addition, Magnus has tools of which former World Champions could only dream. Because of the computer programs my understanding is much better because of the games played by the best programs, even if I cannot demonstrate it over the board because of my advanced age.

One can only speculate, but for my money if there had not been a pandemic and a Alireza Firouzja, GM Caruana would have had another chance to play for the World Championship. After the young Firouzja went full tilt and completely melted down in the most recent Candidates tournament Fabiano began flinging pawns at his opponents like they were spears. He began playing wildly aggressive Chess like that seen decades ago. Unfortunately, it has continued… Examine this position and determine what move you would make after first listing your candidate moves, then return to the blog:

White to move

The position emanates from the game between Fabiano Caruana and Lenier Dominguez in the second round of the ongoing Sinquefield Cup Chess tournament being played at the St. Louis Chess Campus.

Fabiano Caruana let a first win slip from his grasp against Leinier Dominguez | photo: Lennart Ootes, Grand Chess Tour https://chess24.com/en/read/news/sinquefield-cup-2-niemann-catches-carlsen

Caruana played 12 g4, the move I would have played at the Stein Club in the 1970s. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2021/06/06/shanglei-lu-seeks-bishops-opening-truth/) Truth be told, I would probably have played that move in a USCF tournament ‘back in the day’. 12 Rhe1 was a candidate move, as was 12 Kb1. If I could speak to IM of GM strength Boris Kogan about now I would say, “It has taken a lifetime, Boris, but I have finally found understanding, or at least some understanding.” He would laugh uproariously. The Stockfish program at LiChess.com gives 12 a3 as best. It was not one of my choices. The diagram contains an arrow showing the pawn to be moved, and 12 a3 is given in the note up top, but down below the Stockfish program shows this: “Inaccuracy. Rhe1 was best”, and it gives a line six moves deep to prove it. What I want to know is, which is it? By the way, according to the analysis program at LiChess the best move is 12 Bb5. I cannot make this up. In the only game found at 365Chess.com the move 12 Kb1 was played, and it was on my short list of candidate moves.

Stefan Mazur (2417) vs Juraj Druska (2501)
Event: ch-SVK 2021
Site: Podhajska SVK Date: 09/28/2021
Round: 8.5
ECO: C42 Petrov, Nimzovich attack
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qd2 Re8 9.O-O-O Nd7 10.Bd3 Nf6 11.h3 c5 12.Kb1 Bd7 13.Rhe1 Bc6 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bf4 Bf8 16.Rxe8 Qxe8 17.Nh4 Ne4 18.Bxe4 Qxe4 19.Re1 Qh7 20.Bg3 g5 21.Nf3 Qf5 22.h4 f6 23.Nh2 Re8 24.Rxe8 Bxe8 25.Nf1 Bc6 26.Ne3 Qe6 27.c4 Kf7 28.f3 f5 29.hxg5 hxg5 30.Nd5 f4 31.Bf2 b5 32.b3 bxc4 33.bxc4 Bg7 34.Qd3 Qe5 35.Kc1 Bd7 36.Kd2 Be6 37.Nc7 Bf5 38.Qd5+ Ke7 39.Nb5 Be6 40.Qb7+ Kf6 41.Qc6 Bxc4 42.Qxd6+ Qxd6+ 43.Nxd6 Bxa2 44.Bxc5 a6 45.Kd3 Ke6 46.Ne4 Kd5 47.Be7 Bc4+ 48.Kd2 g4 49.Bg5 Bf1 50.Bxf4 Bxg2 51.c4+ Kxc4 52.Nd6+ Kb3 53.fxg4 a5 54.Nf5 Bc3+ 55.Kc1 Bb2+ 56.Kd2 Bc3+ 57.Kc1 a4 58.Bd6 Be4 59.Ne3 Bf3 60.g5 Be4 61.Nd1 Be1 62.Ne3 Bh4 63.Be7 a3 64.Nc4 a2 65.Nd2+ Ka4 66.Kb2 Bd5 67.Ne4 Be1 68.Bf6 Bxe4 69.Kxa2 ½-½

Consider this position:

Position after 26…Rf8

The position is taken from the same game, and GM Lenier Dominguez has just played his Rook to f8 attacking the white Queen. Nevertheless, it is a losing move after Caruana plays the Queen to d7. Unfortunately, Fabiano lost the thread and played 27 Qe4, which is, like the previous move made by GM Dominguez, given not one, but two question marks. It seems we Chess fans have seen an inordinate number of “double blunders” since Magnus Carlsen, in his World Championship match with Vishy Anand, blundered horribly, but was let off of the hook when Anand immediately returned the favor.


Surely Caruana must have seen Qd7, yet played the much inferior move. Why? Consider this recent quote by Fabiano Caruana: “I realised something, which is that, even though I played pretty awfully recently, I do destroy one opening, which is the Najdorf. All my wins are in this one opening.”


When a player, not just a Chess player, but any ‘player’, is “in form” good moves seem to flow, but when a player is not in form he begins to second guess himself. My father was fond of saying, “Think long, think wrong.” There is much to be said for it because the longer one thinks the less intuition is involved. The number of times I saw the right move intuitively but allowed the ‘logical’ part of my thought process to make a weaker move could not be counted without a calculator. Talking yourself out of listening to yourself is a bad place to be for any player of games.

GM Joel Benjamin Did Not Do His Homework

In the fourth round of the US Senior Chess Championship being held at the St. Louis Chess Campus International Master Igor Khmelnitsky,

Igor Khmelnitsky wins Irwin en.chessbase.com

with the white pieces, faced Grandmaster Joel Benjamin.

The game began:

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Qa5 5.Qe2

Position after 5 Qe2

Regular readers know of my predilection for this particular move of the Queen, but that stems from the famous Chigorin move in the French defense after 1 e4 e6 2 Qe2, and not because the move putting the Queen in front of the King should be played just because it is possible. After Joel played 4…Qa5 Igor had a small advantage which was larger than if his opponent had played the choice of Stockfish, 4…Qb6. Igor’s choice of 5 Qe2 jettisoned the advantage. Why would any titled player make such a move? The SF program at Lichess.com shows the best move is 5 Bd2. Here’s the deal, after 5…e5 6.dxe5 dxe5, white plays 7 Bd2. After the following moves, 7…Na6 8.a3 Be6 9.Nf3 O-O-O 10.Nd5 Qa4 11.Nxf6 gxf6 12.b3 this position is reached:

Position after 12 b3

Yasser Seirawan, Christian Chirila, and Alejandro Ramirez, were big on the exchange sacrifice after the move 12…Rxd2, which they, and the ‘engine’ liked. The question was would Joel pull the trigger?

The plan had been to use this game in the previous post in lieu of the game with Shabalov so there would be two exchange sacrifices rather than the possible sacrifice of the knight on f7, which Joel declined. That was prior to my doing the due diligence that should have been done earlier. I did not go to 365Chess.com and check out the opening because, well, you know, who in his right mind would play such a lame move as 5 Qe2 in that position? What was found rocked the AW. Not only had the move of the Queen been previously played but it had been played against non other than GM Joel Benjamin!

Cemil Can Ali Marandi (2552) vs Joel Benjamin (2526)
Event: St Louis Winter B 2018
Site: Saint Louis USA Date: 11/07/2018
Round: 3.3
ECO: A45 Queen’s pawn game
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Qa5 5.Qe2 e5 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Bd2 Bg4 8.f3 Be6 9.g4 Nbd7 10.h4 b5 11.Nd5 b4 12.Qa6 Qxa6 13.Nc7+ Kd8 14.Nxe6+ fxe6 15.Bxa6 Nc5 16.Bc4 a5 17.a3 Rb8 18.axb4 axb4 19.Nh3 Bd6 20.Ra7 Nfd7 21.Ke2 h6 22.g5 Ke7 23.gxh6 gxh6 24.Rg1 Kf6 25.Nf2 h5 26.Bg5+ Kf7 27.Be3 Rb7 28.Raa1 Be7 29.Bg5 Nb6 30.Bd3 b3 31.Bxe7 Rxe7 32.Rg5 Kf6 33.Rag1 Rhh7 34.f4 Reg7 35.Nh3 Nxd3 36.cxd3 Rxg5 37.hxg5+ Kg6 38.fxe5 Rf7 39.Ke3 1-0

It was then obvious why Igor had played the move of the Queen. Joel had lost the game played years ago, so Igor, after doing his due diligence, decided to play it again while putting the question to GM Benjamin. Had Joel done his homework? One would assume GM Benjamin would have spent much time replaying and annotating the lost game because even lower rated players will scrutinize their losses, so that in the event the same position occurs on the board in a future game they will be prepared and have an answer. Obviously, this did not happen in this case, and it cost Joel dearly. This position was reached in both games after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Qa5 5.Qe2 e5 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Bd2:

Position after 7 Bd2

When seeing the position for the first time GM Benjamin played 7…Bg4. He played a different move against Igor:

IM Igor Khmelnitsky vs GM Joel Benjamin
2022 US Senior Chess Championship
ECO: A45 Queen’s pawn game
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Qa5 5.Qe2 e5 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Bd2 Na6 8.a3 Be6 9.Nf3 O-O-O 10.Nd5 Qa4 11.Nxf6 gxf6 12.b3 Qb5 13.Qxb5 cxb5 14.Be3 Bc5 15.Bxb5 Bxe3 16.fxe3 Nc5 17.Nd2 Rhg8 18.g3 h5 19.b4 Nd7 20.Bd3 h4 21.Kf2 Nb6 22.a4 hxg3+ 23.hxg3 Kd7 24.a5 Nc8 25.Rh6 Ke7 26.Rf1 Rh8 27.Rfh1 Rxh6 28.Rxh6 Nd6 29.Rh1 Rc8 30.Ke1 Ba2 31.Kd1 Be6 32.Kc1 Rg8 33.Rg1 Rh8 34.Kb2 Rh2 35.Kc3 Bd7 36.a6 b6 37.Nc4 Nb5+ 38.Kb2 Nc7 39.Na3 Bc8 40.b5 Ne6 41.Kc3 Nc5 42.g4 Rh8 43.g5 fxg5 44.Rxg5 Kf6 45.Rg2 Bd7 46.Rg1 Rc8 47.Kb4 Be6 48.Nc4 Bxc4 49.Rf1+ Kg7 50.Bxc4 Rc7 51.Bd5 Rd7 52.Ra1 Rc7 53.Ra3 Kf8 54.Bc6 Ke7 55.Ra1 Kd6 56.Bd5 Ke7 57.Rh1 f6 58.Rh8 Rd7 59.Rc8 Rd8 60.Rc7+ Rd7 61.Rxc5 bxc5+ 62.Kxc5 Rd6 63.c4 Kd7 64.Kb4 Kc7 65.c5 Rd8 66.b6+ Kb8 67.c6 axb6 68.c7+ 1-0

After surfin’ on over to the analysis program at Lichess.com it was learned the best move in the position, according to the Stockfish program, is 7…Bc5, something Joel should have known. I have previously written about how the programs are revolutionizing the opening phase of the game and how older players who refuse to do their homework are being cut to pieces, metaphorically speaking, over the board (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/06/04/ben-finegold-loses-to-alexander-shabalov-before-drawing-out-the-string/). It is not my intention to judge any player too harshly because we are still in a pandemic. The play has been erratic, if not atrociously abominable, replete with what Yasser likes to call “howler” moves being made with regularity. Still, coming to the board without being prepared is unforgivable. Older players simply MUST forget most of what they have learned about the openings they play and look at them with “new eyes.” The days of getting by with what you know, Joe, are over. It is no longer possible for older players to “wing it.” Seniors can no longer say, “I’ve had this position a million times!” It no longer matters how well one thinks he knows the opening because, as Bob Dylan sang, “Things Have Changed.”


The Boys and Girls Are Back In St. Louis Pulling The Trigger

It is the much needed rest day at the St. Louis Chess Campus which means time for the AW to put together a post. Much time has been spent the past five days watching the excellent coverage of the three ongoing tournaments. Having three Grandmasters use the Stockfish “engine” at Lichess.com does seem somewhat superfluous. I can access the SF program at Lichess.com without watching and listening to the GMs pontificate, but then I would miss the wonderful anecdotes, stories and tales related by Yasser Seirawan,

which are worth the price of admission. Still, I cannot help but wonder why Yaz does not play in the event?

It is difficult to comment on the play of the players because of the abnormality of playing during a pandemic. Some players have scraped off some the rust by playing recently while others are covered with the crusty brown stuff. In addition, it is apparent some of the players are not ready for prime time. An example would be that of International Master Igor Khmelnitsky


in the third round when facing GM Max Dlugy

Max Dlugy presented the trophy by David Hater | Photo: Vanessa Sun (https://en.chessbase.com/post/twenty-grandmasters-highlight-charity-chess-event-4)

in the seldom played D00 Queen’s pawn, Mason variation, Steinitz counter-gambit. After 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 c5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e4 dxe4 5. dxc5 the IM played what the Stockfish program at Lichess.com call a “blunder” 5…Bg4?? The move appears to be a theoretical novelty, and not a good one. After playing the move Stockfish considers white to have a won game. It was no surprise when Igor went down…

IM Carissa Yip

IM Carissa Yip in round 2 of the 2022 Junior Championship. Photo: Bryan Adams/SLCC (https://new.uschess.org/news/fight-begins-day-two-us-senior-and-junior-championships)

is playing with the boys in the US Junior in lieu of playing in the US Girls Junior and it has not turned out well for the girl, who has drawn two games while losing three, and is in last place, one half point behind Pedro Espinosa,


to whom she lost yesterday. Pedro is the lowest rated competitor in the tournament, sporting a 2130 rating, almost three hundred points less than Carissa. One cannot help but wonder what she is doing playing with the back in town boys when there is a separate tournament for the girls.

The US Junior girls tournament is far weaker since at least one of the girls who took Carissa’s place in the event has shown she is not ready for prime time. The event would have been much more interesting had Carissa played with the girls. This begs the question of why there is a completely separate tournament for the girls? Chess would be much better if there were only tournaments in which everyone, if qualified, could play. Wait a minute, you say, that is the way it is currently. Chess tournaments are open to all, so why segregate female players? Segregation says women are inferior to men, which is the reason female tournaments are open only to women.

Consider the following position emanating from the third round game between Ellen Wang

and Jennifer Yu:

Position after 31 Rb2

The question is whether Jennifer Yu should play 31…Rg3? Would YOU play the move? Would I play the move? In this kind of position it is virtually impossible for a human, even a Grandmaster, to calculate all the possibilities, which is where the computer program has a distinct advantage over we humans. This is the kind of position in which humans must use intuition to discover the best move. After 31 Rb2 Jennifer had eighteen minutes remaining to reach move 40. She used about half of her remaining time to make her move. For those of you who have not seen the game it can be found here, along with the answer to the question of how much Jennifer Yu trusted her Chess intuition (https://lichess.org/broadcast/us-girls-junior-championship-2022/round-3/EnME23UK)


In the first round GM Joel Benjamin had the white pieces versus GM Alexander Shabalov, who had recently competed in the World Open and must have been tired and it has shown in his tepid play. Shabba is, after all, a Senior, and Seniors require more rest than juniors, or even middle-aged players. The following position was reached early in the game:

White to move

GM Shabalov’s last move was to move the Queen from d8 to d7. It would have been better for Shabba to have played 18…Nh6. Would you pull the trigger? Find the answer here: (https://lichess.org/broadcast/us-senior-championship-2022/round-1/z8SVUmvb)


Last Round (In)Action at the 2022 Saint Louis Norm Congress

When GM Vladimir Belous


sat down to play in the last round he had already won the tournament as he had seven points after winning six games and drawing two. His opponent, IM David Brodsky,


was tied for third place with a 5-3 score. I have no idea if a win by IM Brodsky would have earned him a GM norm or not, but can tell you from over half a century following the Royal Game it is difficult for anyone who has nothing to play for to play for something. In all that time I have seen numerous players with nothing for which to play lose. David Brodsky is not yet a Grandmaster, and may never earn the title. He really had nothing to lose, and much to gain by defeating the winner of the tournament, even if a GM norm was not possible. Since he is young and still has much to learn, what better way to gain experience by at least attempting to win. This was the result:

Vladimir Belous 2525 vs David Brodsky 2484

  1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. g3 1/2-1/2

One cannot call it a game, but it counts just as if it were a one hundred mover. Never would have thought I would live long enough to see the Chess Mecca that is the St. Louis Chess Campus defiled as it was during this event. I will hand it to the women because they were not passing out buddy-buddy draws like the men, and I use the word “men” loosely.

I do not want to end coverage of this event with the premature ejaculation masquerading as a game above, so I will again present another game in which IM Aaron Grabinsky plays the B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation, the third time he trotted out the opening to battle the Caro-Kann (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/05/22/im-aaron-grabinsky-scores-two-at-the-2022-saint-louis-norm-congress-with-the-b10-caro-kann-defense-two-knights-attack/). Before the round began FM Posthuma, with 6 1/2 points, had a half point lead over IM Grabinsky. IM Matyas Marek was in third place with 5 1/2 points, which went to 6 1/2 points when his last round opponent, Julien Proleiko, forfeited.

IM Aaron Grabinsky 2401 vs FM Joshua Posthuma 2405

  1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Be6 7. c4 Nd7 8. d4 Nf6 9. Qh4 Bf5 10. Be2 e6 11. O-O Be7 12. Qf4 O-O 13. h3 a5 14. Rd1 Bc2 15. Re1 Qb6 16. Qe3 Rfd8 17. Bd3 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 a4 19. Qc2 Qa6 20. Be3 b5 21. Rac1 bxc4 22. Qxc4 Rdb8 23. Qc2 Nd5 24. a3 Rb5 25. Rcd1 Qb7 26. Bc1 Bf6 27. Ne5 Ne7 28. Re4 Nf5 29. Qxc6 Rc8 30. Qxb7 Rxb7 31. g4 Nd6 32. Re2 h6 33. Kf1 Bxe5 34. Rxe5 Nc4 35. Rc5 Rxc5 36. dxc5 Rc7 37. Rd3 Rxc5 38. Rc3 f5 39. gxf5 exf5 40. Ke2 g5 41. h4 gxh4 42. Rh3 Nxb2 43. Bxh6 Rc2+ 44. Kf1 Nc4 45. Rxh4 Kf7 46. Ke1 Nxa3 47. Rxa4 Nb5 48. Ra6 Nd4 49. Be3 Ne6 50. Kf1 f4 51. Ba7 Rc8 52. Rd6 Rd8 53. Rc6 Ra8 54. Bb6 Ra6 55. Kg2 Ng5 56. Rc7+ Kg6 57. Rb7 Ra2 58. Bd4 Kf5 59. Rb8 Rd2 60. Rb4 Ne4 61. Ba7 Ra2 62. Rb7 Ng5 63. Bb8 f3+ 64. Kg3 Ne4+ 65. Kxf3 Rxf2+ 66. Ke3 Rc2 67. Re7 Nf6 68. Kd3 1/2-1/2

1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Qe2 Nxe4 6.Qxe4 Be6 (The most often played move has been 6…Nd7. In 343 games it has held white to 49%. It is the choice of Fritz 16 @depth 36. Stockfish 13 @depth 60 plays 6…Qa5, which also shows 49% in 183 games. Then comes SF 14.1 which likes the second most often played move, 6…Qd5. Yet in 295 games it shows 58%! The move in the game, 6…Be6, has been attempted in 99 games, resulting in holding white to only 45%) 7.c4 (7 b3 has been most played and in 54 games has scored 47%. All three programs shown will play 7 b3. The game move has been seen in 15 games while scoring only 33%) 7…Nd7 (The 13 games in which this move has been played have held white to 27%, and it is the choice of SF 14 @depth 42. SF 100222 @depth 55 will play 7…g6. The CBDB contains only two games with the move…) 8.d4 Nf6 9.Qh4 (SF 11 @depth 45 plays 9 Qd3; SF 14 @depth 27 plays 9 Qf4; SF 050621 @depth 33 will play 9 Qe3) 9…Bf5 10.Be2 e6 11.O-O Be7 12. Qf4 (This is the choice of Stockfish 170921. For 12 Qg3 see below:

Jules Moussard (2571) vs Tigran Gharamian (2626)
Event: 3rd IF Payroll Blitz 2017
Site: Sanem LUX Date: 09/23/2017
Round: ?
ECO: B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation
1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Qe2 Nxe4 6.Qxe4 Be6 7.c4 Nd7 8.d4 Nf6 9.Qh4 Bf5 10.Be2 e6 11.O-O Be7 12.Qg3 O-O 13.Rd1 Re8 14.Ne5 Nd7 15.Bh6 Bg6 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Be3 Nf6 18.h3 Qa5 19.Qe5 Bd8 20.a3 Bc7 21.Qxa5 Bxa5 22.b4 Bb6 23.a4 a6 24.Bf3 Red8 25.Rab1 Rac8 26.b5 axb5 27.axb5 Ba5 28.bxc6 bxc6 29.Ra1 Bb4 30.Rd3 c5 31.Rad1 cxd4 32.Rxd4 Rxd4 33.Rxd4 Bc5 34.Bb7 Bxd4 35.Bxc8 Bxe3 36.fxe3 Kf8 37.Kf2 Ke7 38.Bb7 Nd7 39.Ke2 Nc5 40.Bf3 Kd6 41.Kd2 Ke5 42.Kc3 g5 43.Bh5 g6 44.Bf3 Kd6 45.Kb4 Nd3+ 46.Kb5 Nc5 47.Be2 Ne4 48.Bf3 Nc5 49.Be2 f5 50.Bf3 Nd7 51.Kb4 Nc5 52.Kb5 Nd3 53.Be2 Nc5 54.Bf3 Nd7 55.Bc6 Ne5 56.c5+ Kc7 57.Be8 0-1

Armed and Dangerous Females at the 2022 Saint Louis Norm Congress

When one surfs over to the website of the St. Louis Chess Club to check out the upcoming pairings this is what one finds for the IM tournament:

2022 Saint Louis Norm Congress

Pairings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Rankings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

List by federation
Cross table

Click on “Females” and one discovers how the four female players have fared against their male counterparts. Segregating the “females” sets them apart, making it appear they are different and not part of the group. Is this good for the “females” or for Chess? Is it necessary to separate the women players because of their gender? Does this help or hurt their chances of being accepted as part of the group? Let me ask another question. What if there were enough players to have a similar tournament with four players with dark skin pigmentation and the word “Black” was used in lieu of “Female”? Would that be acceptable to people with darker skin pigmentation? Would that be acceptable to the people in charge of the St. Louis Chess Club? Would it be acceptable to the larger Chess community of the world? If the answer is “no” then why is it acceptable for the people at the St. Louis Chess Campus to segregate any one particular group?

After informing a National Master that I have been avidly following the two tournaments currently being held at the St. Louis Chess Campus he replied, “Why would you waste your time watching those chumpy-lumpies when you could be watching games from the Sharjah Masters? There are thirty of the best players in the world competing and they are fighting.” I said nothing while thinking about the proliferation of draws, most of them short, afflicting top level Chess these daze. Short draws have been anathema at the St. Louis Chess mecca. The options for a Chess fan these days are almost unlimited; this fan prefers watching games emanating from the Chess Capital of America no matter who is playing because short draws are not acceptable in St. Louis, or at least were not until seeing this insult to the St. Louis Chess Campus and Chess in general:

IM Matyas Marek 2363 vs FM Joshua Posthuma 2405

Round 6

  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 1/2-1/2

This game “wowed” the fans, or at least one of them, who left this at the “Chat” with the game:

Chat room

Neverness Board 1: What a fighting game! 😀

Neverness Wow, just wow! 😀

Neither one of these “players”, and I use the word loosely, is a Grandmaster yet they felt compelled to make a “Grandmaster draw.” What are the odds either one of these losers will ever be invited to return to the St. Louis Chess Campus? Games like this appear with regularity at tournaments held at the Charlotte Chess Center, and in the Bay area at San Jose. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2022/05/19/mission-360-bay-area-making-a-mockery-of-chess-tournament/). Never thought I would be writing about a three and a have move game from St. Louis…

On to the good stuff abounding from this tournament!

After four rounds FM Jennifer Yu


was +2 after two wins and two draws. In the fifth round she had the white pieces versus fellow FM Joshua Posthuma (2404).


After the latter made a weak ninth move and followed it up with what is called a “mistake” at LiChess, she was winning. The game was a real battle and could have ended in a draw, but Ms. Yu let go of the rope with her 39th move, a passive retreat when she could have continued checking, and the lights were turned out. The game must have taken something out of her because she played weakly in the opening in the following game and was lost before move ten…but fought back to an even game later before both players blundered with their thirtieth move and it was back to even, Steven, until Ms. Yu again let go of the rope with her thirty second move and it was all over but the shouting…In the next, seventh round, she had the black pieces against one of the three co-leaders, IM Aaron Grabinsky, who had won his first four games before drawing the next two games. Not many people who gamble would have wagered on Jennifer. This writer was hoping she would not fall apart completely and do the goose-egg shuffle on her way out of St. Louis. Many players would have lost their fighting spirit and consented to “making a draw,” and who could, or would, blame her if she did exactly that? Then, on move 24 her opponent made a vacillating move in retreating his Queen and Jennifer gained an advantage. Solid move followed solid move until IM Grabinsky again retreated his Queen on his 29th move. Unfortunately, Jennifer did not make the best move in reply, but still had an advantage, albeit small. Then her opponent blundered on his 31st move and Jennifer punished him for it, winning in 35 moves. What a fighter is Jennifer Yu! I urge you to replay the game, which can be found here> (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-saint-louis-norm-congress-im/round-7/Aq7DF3WV).

While watching the action in round six I put two games into the opening grinder and one of them was the game of the tournament. When young FM Alice Lee sat down to play IM Aaron Grabinsky in round six she had a total of 1 1/2 points, earned in the three previous rounds with draws after losing her first two games. Her opponent was leading the field with 4 1/2 points. Alice had the white pieces, but her opponent grabbed an positional advantage and began squeezing the life out of Ms. Lee, but she refused to let go of the rope, finding good move after good move for many moves. Several times IM Grabinsky achieved the maximum from his position, but refused to bring the hammer down and continued playing vacillating moves; he simply could not pull the trigger. After one hundred and eight moves (!) IM Grabinsky gave up the ghost and FM Alice Lee had scored a well earned and hard fought draw with the leader of the tournament!

Round 6
FM Lee, Alice 2334


vs IM Grabinsky, Aaron 2401

Coquille resident makes name for himself in international chess …

E11 Bogo-Indian defence
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d6 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.e4 e5 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O c6 10.Rfd1 Re8 11.Qc2 a5 12.Rd2 Qe7 13.Rad1 g6 14.d5 c5 15.Ne1 Nb6 16.Nb5 Rf8 17.Qd3 Ne8 18.Bf1 f5 19.f3 Bd7 20.Nc3 f4 21.Rc1 Nf6 22.Kf2 Qe8 23.Nc2 g5 24.h3 Qh5 25.Ke1 Ne8 26.Kd1 Nc7 27.Na3 Qe8 28.Kc2 Nc8 29.Kb1 Na7 30.Qe2 Kf7 31.Qf2 Ke7 32.Bd3 Qg6 33.Rh1 h5 34.Be2 Rh8 35.Rdd1 Rag8 36.Rh2 Ne8 37.Rdh1 Rh7 38.Nc2 Rgh8 39.a4 Nf6 40.Ne1 b6 41.Rg1 Rg8 42.Rgh1 Nc8 43.Nd3 Rhg7 44.g4 fxg3 45.Qxg3 h4 46.Qf2 Nh5 47.Bd1 Qf6 48.Qd2 Kd8 49.Rg1 Nf4 50.Nf2 Rf7 51.Rhh1 Nh5 52.Re1 Qg6 53.Qe3 Ne7 54.Rh2 Qf6 55.Ne2 Ng3 56.Ng1 Rgf8 57.b3 Qg7 58.Kc2 Kc7 59.Kb1 Rf4 60.Nd3 R4f6 61.Nf2 Be8 62.Ng4 Rf4 63.Nf2 Bh5 64.Nd3 R4f6 65.Nf2 Ng8 66.Ka2 R6f7 67.Kb1 Nf6 68.Kc2 Nh7 69.Kb1 Rf6 70.Kc2 R8f7 71.Ng4 Rf4 72.Kc1 Qf8 73.Qd3 Nf6 74.Nf2 Nd7 75.Ng4 Bg6 76.Nf2 Nf6 77.Kb2 Bh5 78.Kc1 Qg7 79.Qe3 Bg6 80.Bc2 Qf8 81.Kb2 Nfh5 82.Bd1 Qg7 83.Ka2 Rf8 84.Bc2 Qf6 85.Bd1 Qf7 86.Kb2 Ng7 87.Qd3 N3h5 88.Qe3 Qe7 89.Nd3 R4f7 90.Nf2 Ng3 91.Bc2 Bh5 92.Bd1 Qf6 93.Ng4 Qg6 94.Nf2 Ne8 95.Ka2 Rf4 96.Nd3 Nf6 97.Nf2 Qf7 98.Kb2 Qg7 99.Ka2 Rf7 100.Bc2 Qf8 101.Bd1 Qh6 102.Kb2 Nh7 103.Qd3 Qf8 104.Re3 Bg6 105.Re1 Nf6 106.Ka2 Bh7 107.Kb2 Nfh5 108.Qe3 1/2-1/2

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 (111865 games with this move can be found in the ChessBaseDataBase, and it is the choice of SF 15 @depth 68 and and SF 040522 @depth 74, but SF 14.1 @depth 64 preferred 3 Nc3. In 80101 games it has scored 53%. 3 Nf3 has scored 55%) 3…Bb4+ (SF 14.1 @depth 66 plays 3…d5) 4.Bd2 (This has been the most often played move with 11966 games in the CBDB, and it is the choice of Fritz 16-you know what that means-both SF 14.1 and 15 will play 4 Nbd2) 4…Bxd2+ (SF 15 plays 4…Be7, a move with only 165 games that have shown a score of 60%. Here’s the deal, Fritz 16 also plays the move! Deep Fritz 13 likes 4…a5, in third place with 3096 games in the CBDB. 5538 players have chosen 4…Qe7 with a score 57%; 2247 players have tried 4…c5 resulting in 53%. The move played in the game has scored 58% in 1212 games) 5.Qxd2 d6 (There are only 92 examples of this move contained in the CBDB with a resulting 62%. Fritz 16 @depth 31 will play 5…Nc6. There is only one game with the move. Komodo @depth 30 will play 5…b6. The 93 games in which this move has been played have resulted in 65% for the players of the white pieces. SF 14.1 @depth 55 castles. With 493 games it has been the most often played move, resulting in a 59% score) 6.Nc3 (With this move the CBDB shows us the progression of the computin’ of SF 14.1. At depth 38 it favors 6 e3. There is only one game with this move in the CBDB… then comes 6 g3 @depth 39. It has scored 50% in 15 games. Then @depth 47 the program moves to the move made in the game, which has resulted in a strong 63% for white) 6…Nbd7 (This move has been played in 22 games, scoring 61%. SF 190322 @depth 27 will play 6…Qe7. In 20 games it has scored 65%. Then there is SF 14.1 @depth 40 which will, given the opportunity, play 6…d5, a NEW MOVE!) 7.e4 e5 8.Be2 (There is only one game with this move in the CBDB, and it is the move of Deep Fritz 13 @depth 17 [17? The Fritz limbo; how low can you go?] which ought to give you pause…Komodo 14 @depth 31 and SF 130222 @depth 27 both 0-0-0) The CBDB contains only two games here, one with 8 d5 and the other with 8 Be2. Don’t know about you but I’m sticking with Stockfish!)

FM Gabriela Antova,

Jewgenij Schtembuljak und Polina Schuwalowa sind Junioren-Weltmeister …

from Bulgaria, got off to a good start in the first round by defeating FM Alice Lee with black. Then she lost three in a row before drawing in the fifth round. In the sixth round she faced IM Pedro Rivera Rodriguez,


from Cuba, who, although an International Master, is rated below Master level at 2199. How is that possible? What has happened to the rating system? 2199 is below Master level, as 2000-2199 is, or was considered Expert level.

Round 6
FM Antova, Gabriela 2282 vs IM Rodriguez Rivera, Pedro 2199
A53 Old Indian defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 Nbd7 4.g3 e5 5.Nc3 c6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Qc2 a6 9.Rd1 Qc7 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Nh4 g6 12.b3 Re8 13.Bb2 a5 14.Nf3 Bf8 15.Na4 Nc5 16.Nxc5 Bxc5 17.e3 Bf5 18.Qe2 a4 19.h3 axb3 20.axb3 Rxa1 21.Bxa1 Be4 22.Qb2 Bxf3 23.Bxf3 Qe7 24.Kg2 Bb4 25.h4 h5 26.Be2 Ba3 27.Qc2 Bb4 28.Qa2 Ne4 29.Qc2 Nc5 30.Rh1 Rd8 31.Rd1 Re8 32.Rh1 Rd8 33.Rd1 1/2-1/2

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 56 will play 3 Nc3) 3…Nbd7 (Three different SF programs all going very deep will play 3…g6) 4. g3 (Two SF programs and one Komodo all play 4 Nc3) 4…e5 (Far and away the most often played move with 354 games, and advocated by Fritz 16 @depth 30, but SF 8 [8? Did SF 8 first appear last century?] @depth 27 will play the second most played move according to the ChessBaseDataBase, 4…c6, with 74 games showing. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 30 plays 3…g6, the third most popular move with only 51 moves contained in the CBDB) 5. Nc3 c6 (SF 7 @depth
    29 will play this, the most often played move with 452 games in the database, but Fritz 16 @depth 35 AND Stockfish 14.1 @depth 44 both prefer 5…exd4. The CBDB contains on three games with pawn takes pawn) 6. Bg2 Be7 (With 432 games contained in the CBDB this has been the most frequently played move, and it is the choice of Houdini, but Fritz 16 @depth 28, and Stockfish 14.1 @depth 43 will play 6…e4, a move having been attempted in only 103 games) 7. O-O (The 495 games in which players have castled are more than double the 213 games in which 7 e4 has appeared. Both Houdini and Fritz castle, but SF 14.1 will play 7 Qc2, a move only seen in 51 games, although it has scored highest at an astounding 72%! Castling has scored 58% while 7 e4 has scored 63%) 7…0-0 (This move has been played in over one thousand games, 1033 to be exact, and has scored 58%, and it is the choice of Houdini, albeit at a low depth of only 24 fathoms. Yet Komodo and SF14.1 @depth 53 both will play 7…e4, a move having only been tried in 14 games) 8. Qc2 (The move of both Houdini and Fritz, but SF 14.1 will play the most often played move, 8 e4) 8…a6 (Komodo and Fritz play the most often played move, 8…Re8; SF 14.1 plays 8…Qc7) 9. Rd1 (SF 14.1 @depth 39 plays 9 h3. There is only one game containing the move found at the CBDB) 9…Qc7 10 dxe5 (This move cannot be located at either 365Chess or the CBDB, therefore FM Antova played a Theoretical Novelty)