The Land of the Sky

The Land of the Sky Chess tournament has a special place in the hearts of every Southern Chess player because of the organizer, Wilder Wadford, who, for whatever reason, took it upon himself to host the tournament, which began in 1992. The 2023 edition will take place again in one of the most beautiful cities on the planet, Asheville, North Carolina. After surfin’ to the tournament website (https://landofthesky.us/) one finds: “The People’s Chess Tournament.” I can attest that it is! This year’s event will be the 35th edition of the tournament known as the “LOTS.”

Wilder may not be aware of this but in certain circles he is thought of, and called, “The Impresario,” and it it said with the utmost respect. “Wild Man Wilder” has also been heard on occasion, although Wilder is anything but a “wild man.” He is a respected attorney who lives in Weaverville, who hails from the Great State of Virginia. Wilder is, or maybe I should say was, a tournament Backgammon player. I have never, ever, heard anyone say anything derogatory about the man also known as “WW.” He is the epitome of a gentleman and scholar. There is one tale that was told to me about Wilder when I was residing in the mountains I will share. At a Chess tournament in New York city a thief nabbed the bag of someone WW was with on the sidewalk and without hesitating, WW took off after the thief, caught him, and returned with the bag! In NEW YORK CITY!

One year the fellow who took care of the wall board for the first board could not attend because his wife booked a cruise for the date of the LOTS. WW called this writer, who had not planned on attending, and asked if I would come up and man the wall board. The answer was, “I am honored by your request and will certainly be there, my friend.” It turned out to be one of the most pleasurable visits to the LOTS because I did not have to suffer the agony of defeat! It was interesting to watch, listen, and learn from a different perspective. The task was taken seriously and watching the top board, while attempting to predict the next move, was interesting. There was time to walk around and check out the games of my friends and frenemies while awaiting the next move made on the top board. WW comped the room, which meant I could stay Sunday night without having to drive after the tournament ended. This was nice because by that time I qualified for “Senior” status.

The most memorable and vivid memory was of an incident which will tell you about what kind of man is Mr. Wadford. I was in the TD room, talking with WW, when a well-known “live wire” player entered and began reading some papers as WW and I talked. Let me add here that some, if not most, would classify this writer as somewhat of a “live wire,” so I do not disparage the man when using the term “live wire.” I was about to take leave of the TD room when, all of a sudden, the live wire began arguing with WW about the prize fund. He was not happy about something and accused WW of who knows what. All I recall is that Mr. Live Wire thrust the papers he was holding into the face of WW! For a few seconds I was STUNNED… After looking at Wilder’s impassive face, and then taking a look at the live wire, I, as was told by a bystander, “Grabbed live wire by the throat with his left hand and shoved live wire out of the door and into the hallway wall, while balling up his right fist!” What can I say? I was LIVID! The thought of Wilder being attacker that way was “beyond the pale.” Fortunately I did not slug the cretin because the look of fear on his face told me there was no need to hit him. I did, though, give the live one the boot… After returning to the room WW was still sitting there with an impassive look on his face… After gathering the papers that had been strewn about the floor after leaving WW’s face I asked if he were OK. Wilder had the strangest look on his face as he nodded, so I figured maybe he wanted, or needed, to be alone, so I headed out of the TD room. It needs to be mentioned here that Mr. Live Wire was later one of only two players that had to be ordered out of the Atlanta Chess and Game Center by this writer.

Some time later as I was headed into the tournament room there were Wilder and Live Wire standing in the hallway, talking. That’s the way it is in Chess…

To prepare for writing this post I went to the LOTS website (https://landofthesky.us/) where this was found:

Please take the Land of the Sky Survey
Land of the Sky XXXV
The People’s Chess Tournament
February 3-5, 2023 (Weekend before Super Bowl)
Downloadable Flier
Registration: https://achievementtesting.info/wp/product-category/land-of-the-sky/

I urge everyone reading this to go to the website and take the survey. Over the years I have heard some bitch, whine, and complain, about organizers who will not listen to them. Wilder Wadford listens, and wants your feedback. Please honor the man and give him your two cents worth! As noted above, he can take it…

In preparing to write this post I went to the LOTS website where four games from the 2022 LOTS can be found. Each of them was replayed. The following game stood out:

Sheehan, Ethan Thomas (2288) – Smith, Bryan (2540)
Land of the Sky XXXIV (Asheville NC) [5] 2022.02.06
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 Na6 7.O-O e5 8.Qc2 Nb4 9.Qd1 a5 10.a3 Nc6 11.d5 Ne7 12.Nd2 Bd7 13.b3 Nc8 14.Bb2 c5 15.Nb5 Bh6 16.Bd3 Nh5 17.Re1 Nf4 18.Bf1 Qg5 19.Kh1 f5 20.Bc3 Nh5 21.b4 b6 22.bxa5 bxa5 23.exf5 gxf5 24.Nf3 Qg6 25.Rxe5 Nf6 26.Re2 Ne4 ½-½
https://landofthesky.us/

Final position

This writer first wrote about GM Bryan Smith

store.chessclub.com

on the long defunct BaconLOG in the post Louisville Chess (https://baconlog.blogspot.com/2009/11/louisville-chess.html) many years ago. The most recent post, The Najdorf in Black and White: A Review, can be found here: (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/the-najdorf-in-black-and-white-a-review/).

Upon reaching the final position it was obvious NM Ethan Thomas Sheehan had an advantage at the time of the draw. Much time was spent looking at the position in an attempt to learn how much of an advantage… This writer, and Chess fan, has gotten pretty good at guessing the numerical advantage, or disadvantage, the Stockfish program at lichess.com assigns a position, but still… Grandmasters do not usually offer a draw to a much lower rated unless maybe it is the last round, so I checked the cross table and it was the last round game. Because it ended in a draw GM Smith only tied for first with his last round opponent, and another National Master, Donald Johnson, from North Carolina. A Grandmaster would not offer a draw in that particular situation unless there was a good reason. The longer I looked at the position the less understanding was found. White is a pawn up, and the Black King is out in the open. It became obvious that it was incumbent for NM Thomas to reject the draw offer and at least make an attempt to defeat his GM opponent. No guts, no glory. For the rest of his life NM Thomas can tell others he drew with a GM, but when they say, “Oh yeah, let’s see the game,” he will not show it because it is proof positive he was chicken excrement that day. It is also positive proof of what is wrong with the Royal Game. There are no draw offers allowed in the Great Game of Go, which is why it is light-years better than Chess. It is also another reason all draw offers should be abolished. I do not know which is worse, agreeing to a three or four move draw or offering a draw when winning the game, but I do know that both should be consigned to oblivion. By the way, I finally estimated NM Thomas had an advantage of +1.5. The Stockfish program at lichess.com shows the advantage to be +2.4, which is considered having a winning advantage. Maybe the affinity developed for GM Smith after spending time with him in Louisville, and the well-placed Knight on e4, entered into my thinking a little too much…

Last Round GM vs GM Battle at the 8th Annual Gulf Coast New Year’s Open

GM Nikola Mitkov vs GM Vladimir Georgiev
8th Annual Gulf Coast New Year’s Open Rd 5
Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation, Wing Attack

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 b5 6. Bd3 Bb7 7. O-O Qb6 8. Nb3 Qc7 9. Qe1
Position after 9 Qe1

To these eyes the move 9 Qe1 looks strange, but then again these daze these eyes see all kind of moves produced by AI that may look strange, but are strong enough to bring the house down… After watching the game I used the analysis program at lichess.com while checking out the moves contained at 365Chess.com, where it was surprising to see the most often played move has been 9 Qe2! OK, I put the exclam there and regular readers know why. Frankly, the Queen looks better placed on e2 than e1 to these eyes, but I was attracted to the move 9 f3, not because it is the move I would make, but in watching, and replaying myriad games recently the move f3 has featured prominently in many different Sicilian openings. Only one game with 9 f3 was found at 365Chess and it did not turn out well, making 9 Qe2! look even better:

Martin Ludwig (1395) vs Alexander Foermes (1885)
Event: Bad Zwesten op 7th
Site: Bad Zwesten Date: ??/??/2003
Round: 3
ECO: B40 Sicilian defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Qc7 6.Nc3 a6 7.Bd3 b5 8.O-O Bb7 9.f3 d6 10.Bf4 Nd7 11.Qd2 Ngf6 12.Ne2 Rc8 13.a4 e5 14.Bg5 b4 15.Qxb4 d5 16.Qa5 dxe4 17.Qxc7 Rxc7 18.fxe4 Nxe4 19.Be3 Nd6 20.c3 e4 21.Bc2 Nc4 22.Bf4 Rc8 23.Ra2 Be7 24.Nd2 Nxd2 25.Bxd2 Bc5+ 26.Kh1 O-O 27.b4 Bd5 28.Rb2 Bb6 29.b5 axb5 30.axb5 Ne5 31.h3 Nc4 32.Bxe4 Bxe4 33.Ra2 Nxd2 34.Rxd2 Rfd8 35.Rfd1 Rxd2 36.Rxd2 Rd8 37.Rxd8+ Bxd8 38.Kg1 Bb6+ 39.Kf1 Bd3 40.Ke1 Bxb5 41.Kd2 Bxe2 42.Kxe2 Kf8 43.Kd3 Ke7 44.Kc4 Kd6 45.Kb5 Bf2 46.c4 f5 47.Kb4 g5 48.Kc3 Kc5 49.Kd3 h5 50.Ke2 Bd4 51.Kf3 Kxc4 52.Ke2 Be5 53.Kf3 Kd3 54.Kf2 g4 55.hxg4 hxg4 56.Kf1 Ke3 57.Kg1 Ke2 58.Kh1 Kf1 59.g3 Ke2 60.Kg2 Bxg3 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=18456&m=18

Only one game was found with 9 Qe1:

Fabrice Wantiez (2315) vs Vladimir Chuchelov (2545)
Event: BEL-chA
Site: Gent Date: 07/??/2000
Round: 3 Score: ½-½
ECO: B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 b5 6.Bd3 Bb7 7.O-O Qb6 8.Nb3 Qc7 9.Qe1 Nc6 10.Bd2 Nf6 11.a4 b4 12.Ne2 d5 13.exd5 Nxd5 14.f4 Be7 15.f5 exf5 16.Rxf5 Ne5 17.Nf4 f6 18.Qg3 O-O-O 19.Nxd5 Bxd5 20.Bxa6+ Kb8 21.Be3 Bd6 22.Qf2 Ng4 23.Qe2 Nxe3 24.Qxe3 Bxh2+ 25.Kh1 Be5 26.Qe2 Ka7 27.Bd3 Rhe8 28.Qf2+ Ka8 29.Nc5 Qb6 30.Be4 Bxe4 31.Nxe4 Qxf2 32.Nxf2 Rd2 33.Nd3 b3 34.Nxe5 Rxe5 35.Rxe5 fxe5 36.cxb3 Rxb2 37.Re1 Rxb3 38.Rxe5 Rg3 39.Re7 h5 40.Kh2 Rg5 41.Kh3 g6 42.Rg7 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=616725&m=18

According to SF the best move is 9 f4, and it is second on the list with 118 games showing. The most often played move has been 9 Qe2.

The GM answered with 9…d6 and I wondered why…

Afyer 9…d6

White has developed three pieces, castled, and moved his Queen in a sort of sideways development, shall we say. Black has only two pieces developed. Although it is difficult to question a Grandmaster, if the GM plays weak moves he must be questioned. ‘Back in the day’ the moves made by Grandmasters were all we had and they were considered the final word. As Bob Dylan sang, things have changed… If the game were shown by a student it would be incumbent upon any teacher to question the lack of development, would it not? The numbers, or titles, matter not if you do not develop your pieces. Later SF agreed, showing 9…Be7 best. 10 Bd2 is a really strange looking move, versus a Sicilian. SF plays 10 a4, and so should you. The Fish agrees with all the moves played until 12…Nbd7, when it would develop the knight to c6. Most Chess coaches teach their students to develop their knights to the third rank unless there is a good reason to not do so. Although it does look inviting to play the knight to d7, because it leaves the Queen and Bishop unblocked, the knight is usually better placed at c6.

After 12…Nbd7

After replaying myriad games using the Stockfish program at lichess.com if there is one thing learned from the experience it is that the SF program will attack, and as IM Boris Kogan was fond of saying, “He attack, you defend. You attack, he better defend!” After seeing the move move 13 Na5 I ‘just knew’ SF would have played 13 Ba5 to attack the Queen. SF rarely misses a chance to attack the opponent’s Lady… GM Mitkov then takes the Bishop on b7 which is what, given the chance, I would have played. Not StockFish! It plays 14 f4. After 14 Nxb7 Qxb7 15 f4 we reach this position:

After 15 f4

What move would you make? Although a case could be made for castling the best move is 15…e5 to counter the previous thrust by White. The GM played 15…g6, which only looks weakening to these eyes.

After 15…g6

Could it be the GM wanted to stop, or at least impede 16 f5? Frankly, it is difficult to believe any GM would play such a weakening move as 15…g6. The next move, 16 Qe2, could, and may have been played by this writer, given the chance. I liked how it seemed to ‘fit’ behind the Bishop and took control of the g4 square while possibly preparing the move g4! with an attack. The move advocated by SF is a move I have noticed the program playing regularly. It is the consummate ‘positional’ move of simply tucking your King safely away by sliding the sovereign into the corner with 16 Kh1, the kind of move I should have played more often, but was usually reluctant to ‘waste’ a move. Do not let this happen to you! King safety is PARAMOUNT! After 16…0-0 17 c4, Georgiev played 17…Rab8, and the SF program shows white up by +1.4. Since +1.5 is considered to be ‘winning’ GM Georgiev is on the precipice, with another weak move causing him to fall into the abyss. SF would play 17…Nb8 to reposition the steed after 18 b4 Nc6. Think about it, that is the knight that should have been developed to c6 when it went to d7. After the Rook moved to b8 GM Mitkov then tucked his King into the corner with 18 Kh1. SF would have played 18 b4, taking away squares from the black Queen. If he had played the b4 move how would you reply? After 18 Kh1 GM Georgiev played 18…Nh5, the move that SF would have made if 18 b4 had been played. SF played 18…Rfe8. Then comes the SF approved sequence of 19 b4 e5.

After 19…e5

After 19…e5 SF shows an advantage for White of +1.7, so in the above position White has a winning advantage. What’s that said about having a won game?! With his next move GM Mitkov jettisoned his advantage and we again have a game.

After 20…c5

It is difficult to understand Mitkov’s 20 c5, which is given a ? by SF. What makes it even more interesting is much time, about 15 minutes, was used to make the questionable move. Thematic would have been 20 fxe5. I expected black to play 20…Nxf4, which seems logical, but GM Georgiev decided to protect the a-pawn by playing 20…Ra8, which is given not one, but two question marks by SF, as Georgiev went down by +2.3, meaning the GM completely let of the rope, and it was all over but the shouting.

GM Nikola Mitkov vs GM Vladimir Georgiev
8th Annual Gulf Coast New Year’s Open Rd 5
Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation, Wing Attack

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 b5 6. Bd3 Bb7 7. O-O Qb6 8. Nb3 Qc7 9. Qe1 d6 10. Bd2 Nf6 11. a4 bxa4 12. Nxa4 Nbd7 13. Na5 Be7 14. Nxb7 Qxb7 15. f4 g6 16. Qe2 O-O 17. c4 Rab8 18. Kh1 Nh5 19. b4 e5 20. c5 Ra8 21. Nc3 Nxf4 22. Bxf4 exf4 23. Nd5 Rfe8 24. Bxa6 Rxa6 25. Qxa6 Qxa6 26. Rxa6 dxc5 27. Ra7 1-0

The game was followed in real time, sans analysis. It is not often one sees two Grandmasters paired in the last round and not draw the game. Both players had previously won two, and drawn two games heading into the final round, meaning a draw would bring them little, if anything. This caused me to recall the story told by one legendary Georgia player of the time he bellied up to the bar after the last round and noticed GM X, a player from the Soviet Union, who had emigrated to the USA along with many other former Soviet players. He took a seat next to the GM and asked what had happened in his last round game, which had ended decisively in favor of GM X’s opponent. “It looked like a sure draw,” said the legendary one. After downing another shot the GM said, “Someone needed to have accident,” and grinned like the cat who had eaten the canary. Then his last round opponent, another ex-Soviet player, smiled and said, “Today he have an accident; next time it is me has accident!” Uproarious laughter ensued. Then it was, “Hey bartender… How ’bout another round!”

The Chess.com Computer Game Of The Year Award

Today Chess.com published their “2022 Chess.com Awards Winners.”

“Over 10,000 members chimed in with their votes this year, and Chess.com is happy to announce the winners of the 2022 Chess.com Awards! These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic year 2022 has been for chess. They are also a way for the community to recognize and reminisce on the great games, moves, players, creators, and other highlights this year brought us.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/2022-chesscom-awards-winners)

Chess.com writes: “At Chess.com, our members played more than 3.5 billion games throughout the year, and that’s not even counting the over 1.5 billion games played against bots. We’ve also surpassed 100,000,000 members—if Chess.com were a country, we’d be the 15th most populous on Earth!”

Do tell… The ten thousand members who “chimed in with their votes this year…” divided by the one hundred million members tells us only .0001 members did the chiming.

What will be written about is the “Computer Game Of The Year.” (https://www.chess.com/news/view/2022-chesscom-awards-winners#computer-game)

One reads: “Watching top chess engines playing chess is a unique experience. No other chess games are as beautiful—and, at times, chaotic—as engine chess. This year, Stockfish’s unbelievable tactical victory over Leela Chess Zero takes the prize for Computer Game of the Year. Stockfish sacrificed material left and right to roll over its silicon nemesis in a game filled with ideas that no human mind could ever come up with.”

Stockfish vs. Lc0, TCEC Season 23 - Superfinal
Stockfish vs. Lc0, CCC 17 Blitz: Finals
Stockfish vs. Lc0, CCC 17 Blitz: Semifinals

Who wrote that crap? Could it maybe be the collective “wisdom” of Chess.com? Let us break it down by sentence.

“Watching top chess engines playing chess is a unique experience.”

Say what?! Watching “top chess engines playing chess” may have been a “unique experience” way ‘back in the day’ when computer programs were new, but those days ended when Kasparov tanked against one of the programs. Today it is an every day occurrance.

The next sentence states: “No other chess games are as beautiful—and, at times, chaotic—as engine chess.”

One often hears that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” means that everyone’s view of beauty is subjective, and there is no general standard of beauty. What one person finds beautiful, others may find ugly, and vice versa.”

The origin of the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” comes from the author, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton). Hamilton would use the pseudonym “The Duchess” for much of her career. Her book “Molly Brawn,” published in 1878, features the saying in its modern format.

While this might be the first modern appearance of the saying in literature, experts think it has a much deeper root in language. Some experts believe it extends back to at least 3 BC in the times of the Ancient Greeks.” (https://english-grammar-lessons.com/beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder-meaning/)

This needs repeating: “No other chess games are as beautiful—and, at times, chaotic—as engine chess.”

The unnamed person, or persons, who wrote the above obviously have never replayed any game by the Magician from Riga, Mikhail Tal!

https://www.chess.com/article/view/mikhail-tals-last-classical-game

No one in his, or her right mind who has replayed the games of Tal would ever write such nonsense. Unfortunately, it continues:

“This year, Stockfish’s unbelievable tactical victory over Leela Chess Zero takes the prize for Computer Game of the Year. Stockfish sacrificed material left and right to roll over its silicon nemesis in a game filled with ideas that no human mind could ever come up with.”

BULL EXCREMENT! I loathe and detest nattering nabobs who sell we humans short. Many of the games of Mikhail Tal prove the obviously ignorant humans at Chess.com wrong.

There follows:

  1. Stockfish vs. Lc0, TCEC Season 23 – Superfinal
  2. Stockfish vs. Lc0, CCC 17 Blitz: Finals
  3. Stockfish vs. Lc0, CCC 17 Blitz: Semifinals

I attempted to click onto the first, hoping to watch the game chosen as the “Computer Game of the Year” but is was not possible. After reading the whole damn article the game was not found. Therefore I did a search and found what may be, or may not be the game in question:

StockFish vs Mikhail Tal?| It’s 2022 and StockFish still can’t solve this puzzle. 118,818 views Aug 13, 2022
Hi guys! Today I brought a super famous puzzle that I adapted a few more pieces and apparently StokFish can’t solve it. Is that even possible? Only the legend, Mikhail Tal can crack this position. As always, I hope you enjoy the video and have an awesome day!

Cutting Edge Theory in the C00 French, Chigorin variation

‘Back in the day’ this writer tried everything against the French defense, and it was like banging your head against a brick wall. I particularly recall losing several games to NM Rex Blalock, who if I recall correctly, came from France (not really, but it sure seemed that way). Memory fails, but I probably played 2 Qe2 versus his French at least once, and it was probably a loss. Nevertheless, it was my preferred method of playing against the venerable French defense, always a tough nut to crack, and theresults were much better than with more common lines. There was some success with the line 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 cxd4 6. O-O, the C02 French, advance, Nimzovich system, which was used as a surprise weapon when first beginning play. The first time the move 2 Qe2 versus the French defense appeared on the AWDAR it was found appealing. What can I say? I love the offbeat. During the Stein Club daze I went into a Qe2 versus any and everything period.

After 1 e4 e6 one finds the most often played move, 2 d4, has scored 56% in 118490 games according to the ChessBaseDataBase (https://database.chessbase.com/). The move 2 c4 has been played in only 902 games, and is the only move to outscore 2 d4, showing a 57% rate of success. In 2122 games the move of the Queen to e2 has also scored 56%. What did Chigorin know and when did he know it?

Antique Soviet Chess Book Chigorin.Vintage Russian chess books (https://crealandia.com/shop/antique-soviet-chess-book-chigorin-chess-ussr/)

An article entitled, French Defense Chigorin Attack, by misterbasic, published Jul 10, 2016 (https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-openings/french-defense-chigorin-attack) begins: “When someone plays French Defense (1.e4 e6), they always have something prepared and I know nothing about that opening, so I have started playing the Chigorin Attack, which is the move 2.Qe2.” The first comment was by the aggressivesociopath: “Your opponents are rather militant about avoiding the critical lines. If this is to be a serious discussion, then you should focus on 2..c5 3. g3 Nc6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7.” The “aggressivesociopath” must have meant 5. Bg2, the move played by passivesociopaths.

Position after 1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7

This is a key position not only in the Chigorin French, but in any opening in which black has developed the Bishop to g7 and the King Knight to e7. In the main game being presented the player with the white pieces essayed the most often played move according to 365Chess.com, 7 d3, the preferred move of Deep Fritz 13, according to the CBDB. Yet Stockfish 10 shows a predilection for 7 c3, as does Stockfish 14+NNUE at lichess.com. From the position it is obvious the dark squared prelate on g7 is exerting HUGE pressure on the white position. The move 7 c3 blunts the projected force. In addition, the move prepares the possible move of the pawn move d2-d4. But wait, there’s more! After playing 7 c3 white can now develop the Queen Knight to a3, possibly followed by again moving that Knight to c2 in preparation for the move of the d pawn. What’s not to like?!

FM Austin Mei vs GM Joshua Sheng
Winter 1000GM Bay Area IM Norm Invitational Rd 7
French Defense: Chigorin Variation

  1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 O-O 8. h4 e5 9. Be3 d6 10. Nc3 f5 11. exf5 gxf5 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Nd2 d5 15. f4 e4 16. dxe4 fxe4 17. Rad1 Qe8 18. Nb3 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Qg6 20. Qe1 Bg4 21. Rd2 Rae8 22. Nxc5 Qb6 23. Qf2 Rc8 24. Nxe4 dxe4 25. Qxb6 axb6 26. Bxe4 Rxc3 27. Kh2 Nf5 28. Rb1 Rxg3 29. Rxb6 Rh3+ 30. Kg1 Bf3 31. Bxf5 Rxf5 32. Rxh6 Rxf4 33. Rg6+ Kf7 34. Rg5 Bc6 35. Rh2 Rxh2 36. Kxh2 Rxh4+ 37. Kg3 Rc4 38. Ra5 Rxc2 39. Kf4 Ke6 40. Ke3 Rc4 41. Kd3 Ra4 42. Rxa4 Bxa4 43. Kc4 Kd6 44. Kb4 b5 45. Ka3 Kc5 46. Kb2 Kb4 47. Ka1 Kc3 48. Kb1 Bc2+ 49. Ka1 b4 50. a3 b3 0-1 (https://lichess.org/study/twjlOJV6/oI2GlI9W)

The game was downloaded and, to my surprise, there were annotations, the first time I can recall anything but the game moves being found after clicking on “import.”

  1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 O-O 8. h4 e5 9. Be3 d6 10. Nc3 f5 11. exf5 (11. Qd2) 11… gxf5 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Nd2 d5 15. f4 e4 16. dxe4 fxe4 17. Rad1 Qe8 18. Nb3 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Qg6 20. Qe1 Bg4 21. Rd2 Rae8 22. Nxc5 (22. c4 Nf5) 22… Qb6 23. Qf2 Rc8 (23… Nf5 24. Rxd5 e3 25. Qe1 e2 26. Rf2 Ne3 27. Nd3 Nxc2 28. Qd2 Qb1+ 29. Kh2 Qd1 30. Rxe2) 24. Nxe4 dxe4 25. Qxb6 axb6 26. Bxe4 Rxc3 27. Kh2 Nf5 28. Rb1 (28. Re1) 28… Rxg3 29. Rxb6 Rh3+ 30. Kg1 Bf3 31. Bxf5 (31. Bxf3 Rxf3 32. Rf2 Rc3 33. Rxb7 Nxh4 34. a4 Ra3 35. c4 Rxa4 36. Rc7 Rf7 37. Rxf7 Kxf7) 31… Rxf5 32. Rxh6 Rxf4 33. Rg6+ Kf7 34. Rg5 Bc6 35. Rh2 Rxh2 36. Kxh2 Rxh4+ 37. Kg3 Rc4 38. Ra5 Rxc2 39. Kf4 Ke6 40. Ke3 Rc4 41. Kd3 Ra4 42. Rxa4 (42. Rh5 Kd6 43. Kc3 Rxa2 44. Kb3 Re2 45. Kc3 Re4 46. Rh8 Kc5 47. Rh7 b5 48. Rc7 Rf4) 42… Bxa4 43. Kc4 Kd6 44. Kb4 b5 45. Ka3 Kc5 46. Kb2 Kb4 47. Ka1 (47. Kb1 Kc3 48. Kc1 Bc2 49. a3 Ba4 50. Kb1 Bb3 51. a4 b4 52. a5 Bc2+ 53. Ka2 b3+) 47… Kc3 48. Kb1 Bc2+ 49. Ka1 b4 50. a3 b3 0-1

1 e4 e6 2 Qe2 (OK, we all know the Fish sets Stock in 2 d4, but where is the fun in that?) 2…c5 (According to the Stockfish program 14+ NNUE at depth 47 at lichess.com the move should be 2…e5, but the Stockfish 15 program at the CBDB at depth 51 plays 2…c5) 3 Nf3 (Stockfish 14+ NNUE at depth 48 plays 3 g3, with 396 games in the CBDB. With 1030 games the move played in the game has been played three times as often as 3 g3. SF 15 at depth 46 will play 3 d3, as have only 19 other players in the CBDB. Then there is Stockfish 061022 which will play 3 b3, as have 84 human players) 3…Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 (Nge7) 6. O-O Nge7 (e5) 7. d3 (c3) O-O (d6) 8. h4 (c3) e5

Fjodor Zugaj (2180) vs Pregarac, V.
Event: Portoroz op
Site: Portoroz Date: ??/??/1996
Round: ?
ECO: C00 French, Chigorin variation
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 c5 3.g3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.O-O Nge7 7.d3 O-O 8.h4 h6 9.Re1 d6 10.c3 b6 11.Nbd2 Ba6 12.Nf1 Ne5 13.Rd1 Qd7 14.Ne3 Nxf3+ 15.Bxf3 Nc6 16.Bg2 b5 17.Ng4 h5 18.Nh2 Qe7 19.Bg5 Bf6 20.Be3 Rac8 21.d4 c4 22.Bf3 Kg7 23.Bd2 Qc7 24.Kg2 b4 25.Qe3 Rh8 26.Be2 d5 27.e5 Be7 28.Nf3 bxc3 29.bxc3 Rb8 30.Re1 Qa5 31.Ng5 Rb2 32.Qf3 Nd8 33.Red1 Rxa2 34.Rxa2 Qxa2 35.Nh3 Bb5 36.Bg5 Bxg5 37.Nxg5 Qc2 38.Qf6+ Kh6 39.Qxh8# 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=1371482&m=17

The three games below were all found at the CBDB, meaning your writer had to transcribe each and every one of them. Enjoy.

Haik M Martirosyan 2633 ARM vs Conrad Holt 2553 USA
Titled Tuesday intern open 22nd Feb Late

  1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 O-O 8. h4 e5 9. h5 d5 10. hxg6 hxg6 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Nc3 Bg4 13. Nxd5 Qxd5 14. Qe3 Qd7 15. Bd2 Rac8 16. Rfe1 Rfe8 17. Qg5 e4 18. dxe4 Bxb2 19. Rab1 Bg7 20. e5 b6 21. Bf4 Qf5 22. Qh4 Bxf3 23. Bxf3 Nd4 24. Bg4 Qxc2 25. Rbd1 Rcd8 26. Bg5 Rd5 27. Bf6 Qxa2 28. Kg2 Nf5 29. Bxf5 Rxd1 30. Rxd1 Bxf6 31. exf6 Qe2 32. Qh6 1-0

SF prefers 25 Qh1!

FM Ricardo B Franca 2278 BRA vs IM Kirill Shubin 2429 RUS
Titled Tuesday intern op 25th AUG

  1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 O-O 8. h4 e5 9. h5 d6 10. hxg6 fxg6 11. Nh4 Nd4 12. Qd1 Bf6 13. c3 Ne6 14. Bh6 Rf7 15. Bh3 Bxh4 16. gxh4 Nf4 17. Bxc8 Qxc8 18. Qf3 Nh3+ 0-1

GM Evgeni Janev 2487 BUL vs FM Joao Francisco ANG
Loures YM 9th

  1. e4 e6 2. d3 c5 3. Qe2 g6 4. g3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Bg2 Nge7 7. O-O O-O 8. h4 e5 9. c3 d6 10. Nh2 f5 11. exf5 gxf5 12. f4 Kh8 13. Na3 Be6 14. Nf3 Qd7 15. fxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 Bxc4 17. dxc4 h6 18. Nh2 Qd6 19. Be3 e4 20. Bf4 Ne5 21. Bh3 N7g6 22. Be3 Nxc4 23. Kh1 Qxg3 24. Bxc5 Qxh3 25. Bxf8 Rxf8 26. Qxc4 Be5 27. Rf2 Nxh4 28. Qf1 Qg3 29. Qg1 e3 30. Re2 Qxg1+ 31. Rxg1 Bf4 32. Rf1 Bg5 33. Ng4 Re8 34. Nf2 f4 35. Nd3 Nf5 36. Kg2 Ng3 37. Rfe1 Nxe2 38. Rxe2 Rd8 39. Ne5 Rd2 40. Kf3 Rxe2 41. Kxe2 Kg7 42. Kf3 Kf6 43. Nc4 h5 0-1
picclick.com

The Time Has Come For Chess

This position was reached in the game recent game between GM Matthias Bluebaum (2651)

https://www.sportschau.de/schach/dpa-matt …

and GM Hans Noke Niemann (2699)

https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/06/sport/hans-niemann-cheating-allegations-us-chess-championship-spt-intl/index.html

played at the III Elllobregat Open played in Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain, during the sixth round:

Draw?!

GM Matthias Bluebaum (2651) vs GM Hans Moke Niemann (2699)
III Elllobregat Open Chess
E10 Indian Defense: Anti-Nimzo-Indian

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 c6 9. Rd1 b6 10. Bf4 Ba6 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Ng4 14. h3 Rc8 15. Nc3 Nxf2 16. Kxf2 Bc5+ 17. Be3 Bxe3+ 18. Kxe3 b5 19. Qd2 Qb6+ 20. Qd4 Qb8 21. Qb4 Qb6+ 22. Qd4 Qb8 1/2-1/2

The game could, should, and would have continued if Blueballs Bluebaum had played the move considered best by the Stockfish program at lichess.com, 21 b3, or the move preferred by the Stockfish analysis program at lichess.com, 23 Kf2, which can be seen below. Take another look at the position. When one inputs the position into the analysis program at lichess.com the Stockfish program there considers the best move to be 21 Kf2, a move that has been attempted four times according to 365Chess.com. (https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=41&n=6443377&ms=d4.Nf6.c4.e6.Nf3.d5.g3.Bb4.Bd2.Be7.Bg2.O-O.O-O.Nbd7.Qc2.c6.Rd1.b6.Bf4.Ba6.cxd5.cxd5.Ne5.Nxe5.dxe5.Ng4.h3.Rc8.Nc3.Nxf2.Kxf2.Bc5.Be3.Bxe3.Kxe3.b5.Qd2.Qb6.Qd4.Qb8&ns=7.14.11.33.21.15.350.399.524.773.741.3884.4834.13665.25112.5108.96517.101597.92280.121215.1465584.1537134.3753891.4022735.4632820.5688926.5487095.5833862.5093340.5161433.5093341.5161434.5258499.5269428.5258500.5269429.6830753.6802484.6471716.6443377)

The same moves as played in the Bluebaum vs. Niemann game had been played in an earlier game:

GM Santosh Gujrathi Vidit vs GM Sergey Karjakin
Event: Tata Steel India Blitz
Site: Kolkata IND Date: 11/13/2018
Round: 4.5
ECO: D02 Queen’s pawn game
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Qc2 c6 9.Rd1 b6 10.Bf4 Ba6 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Rc8 14.Nc3 Ng4 15.h3 Nxf2 16.Kxf2 Bc5+ 17.Be3 Bxe3+ 18.Kxe3 b5 19.Qd3 Qb6+ 20.Qd4 Qb8 21.Qb4 Qb6+ 22.Qd4 Qb8 23.Qb4 Qb6+ 24.Qd4 ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4153624&m=42

I decided to input the game into the analysis program at lichess.com and this is what came out the other end:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 c6 9. Rd1 b6 10. Bf4 Ba6 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Ng4 14. h3 Rc8 15. Nc3 Nxf2 16. Kxf2 Bc5+ 17. Be3 Bxe3+ 18. Kxe3 b5 19. Qd2 Qb6+ 20. Qd4 Qb8 21. Qb4 Qb6+ 22. Qd4 Qb8 23. Kf2 b4 24. Nxd5 exd5 25. Rac1 Rce8 26. Rc5 Rxe5 27. Bf3 Rfe8 28. Rxd5 Rxe2+ 29. Bxe2 Rxe2+ 30. Kf3 Qb7 31. Qxa7 Re8 32. Qxb7 Bxb7 33. Kf4 Bxd5 34. Rxd5 Ra8 35. Rb5 h5 36. Rxb4 Rxa2 37. Rb5 f6 38. Kf5 Kh7 39. g4 Kh6 40. Ke6 h4 41. Rh5+ Kg6 42. b4 Ra3 43. b5 Rxh3 44. Kd7 Kf7 45. b6 Rb3 46. Kc6 g5 47. b7 Ke6 48. Rh8 Rc3+ 49. Kb5 Rb3+ 50. Kc6 Rxb7 51. Kxb7 Ke5 52. Rf8 Kf4 53. Rxf6+ Kxg4 54. Kc6 h3 55. Kd5 h2 56. Rh6 Kg3 57. Ke5 Kg2 58. Ke4 h1=Q 59. Rxh1 Kxh1 60. Kf3 Kh2 61. Kg4 1/2-1/2

Games like the one “played” between Bluebaum and Niemann are the reason the Royal Game has increasingly become less interesting. Whether or not there was any conclusion prior to the game being “played” cannot be ascertained, but games like this lend credence to what Oscar Al Hamilton believed when saying, “Everything’s rigged!”

This writer has followed Chess for over half a century and has watched as Chess has become less and less interesting because of the plethora of draws. The time has come for those involved with Chess to randomly choose the opening to be played prior to the round so the players will have no time to “book up” on one particular opening.

FM James Canty vs GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami 2022 US Masters

FM James Canty (2158)

https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2022/05/31/jeffery-xiong-nets-another-chicago-title/

vs GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami (2511)

https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2019/07/04/2046699/iran-gm-ehsan-ghaemmaghami-wins-world-open


2022 US Masters
Round 1

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. g4 h6 7. h4 Nc6 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Qf3 Rb8 10. b3 d5 11. exd5 exd5 12. g5 Ng4 13. Bf4 Bd6 14. O-O-O O-O 15. Qg3 Bxf4+ 16. Qxf4 Qb6 17. gxh6 Qxf2 18. h7+ Kh8 19. Qxb8 Ne3 20. Bd3 Nxd1 21. Rxd1 Qc5 22. Ne2 1-0
    https://live.followchess.com/#!us-masters-2022/19829551

In the very first round of the US Masters FM James Canty set the tone for the tournament by defeating Iranian Grandmaster Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, playing out of California these daze, after the GM blundered horribly. It is not often we Chess fans see a GM go down hard, like rot-gut whiskey. After move five it was a B40 Sicilian, Anderssen variation. 5…d6 turned the opening into a B80 Sicilian, Scheveningen variation. 6. g4 made it a B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres attack. The eighth move, 8. Nxc6, has only six examples showing at 365Chess.com. According to the Fish the best move in the position is 8. Rg1. 9 Rb8 is not the recommended move, which is 9 d5. Canty’s 10 b3 was lame. He should have asked his illustrious GM opponent a question with 10 g5!. Canty’s next move, 11. exd5, was given a ?! by the Stockfish program at Lichess.com, with good reason, as it gave an advantage to black. After 12. g5 the GM returned the favor when playing the weak 12…Ng4. Canty should have played 12 gxh6, but chose to attack the undefended Rook with 12 Bf4. The GM chose to black with 12…Bd6, but SF computes 12…Rb4 as best. The Stockfish program agrees with the next few moves, until the GM helps his opponent by taking the Bishop with 15…Bxf4+ when he should have EXAMINED ALL CHECKS and played 15…Ba3, at least according to the exponentially rated program know as Stockfish. Then we come to 16…Qb6, which is given a dubious ?! distinction, as the program would play 16…Rb7, expecting 17. gxh6. But here’s the deal…there is a line from the Bishop on c8 that stops at e6. So which move is best? After the move played in the game Canty decided to play 17. gxh6?! SF preferred 17. Rd4. By this point I had become fascinated with the game, wondering what would come next. This was the position:

Black to move after 17. gxh6

It was at this point the Grandmaster played a move that would not have been played if the GM had simply “examined all checks.” I realize there may be more currently living “Grandmasters” today than all previous GMs combined, which has REALLY cheapened the title, but still it is almost unbelievable any GM would play the move 17…Qxf2??, which is given not one, but two question marks for a reason. The “GM” hung around a few move moves, probably in a state of shock, before giving up the ghost, or maybe to make it until move twenty so it would not look as bad as it appeared. The GM finished with six points, half a point out of chump change. FM Canty only scored 3 1/2 points, but scored far more points in “entertainment value,” as far as I am concerned, because each and every one of his games during the event were thoroughly enjoyed.

Lucas Beaudry vs Mihnea Voloaca (2071)
Event: CAN-ch U18
Site: Montreal Date: ??/??/2001
Round: 1
ECO: B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres attack
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.g4 h6 7.h4 Nc6 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.Qf3 Rb8 10.g5 hxg5 11.hxg5 Rxh1 12.Qxh1 Nd7 13.Bc4 Rb4 14.Bb3 Nc5 15.Be3 Qa5 16.O-O-O g6 17.Qh8 Nxb3+ 18.cxb3 Qc7 19.e5 Bd7 20.Rxd6 c5 21.Rxd7 Kxd7 22.Qxf8 Qxe5 23.Qxf7+ Kc6 24.Qxa7 Rg4 25.Qa6+ Kc7 26.Nb5+ Kd7 27.Qb7+ Kd8 28.Qb6+ Kd7 29.Qb7+ Kd8 30.Qh1 Kc8 31.Qc6+ Kd8 32.Qd6+ Qxd6 33.Nxd6 Kc7 34.Nc4 Rg1+ 35.Kc2 Ra1 36.a4 Rg1 37.Ne5 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=359273&m=19

https://www.chess.com/article/view/streamer-of-the-month-james-canty

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
showme.missouri.edu

had the black pieces against GM Tigran K. Harutyunyan.

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

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
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2693930&m=13

Magnus Carlsen Cheated Women’s World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk

The Mechanic’s Institute Newsletter appeared this morning after moving from a weekly to a monthly newsletter. Regular readers know I have been an inveterate reader for many decades. FM Paul Whitehead has published an outstanding editorial in the #1030 issue of October 8, 2022. After reading this writer had trouble with what to print and what to leave out. After deliberation the decision was made to publish the entire editorial as is, with media added by yours truly:

Hans Niemann: Chess at the Top

By FM Paul Whitehead

https://www.milibrary.org/chess/fm-paul-whitehead-chess-class

“Money Changes Everything” – The Brains

This is Tom Gray, the guy who wrote the song “Money Changes Everything”. He was in a little ol’ Atlanta band called “The Brains” from “back in the day”! On this night he was backed up by the Atlanta band “Swimming Pool Q’s”. Also in attendance was the drummer for The Brains, Charles Wolff. And as Anne Boston of the Q’s said:(paraphrased) “Tom and Charles comprise half a Brain”

By now we are all familiar with the scandal engulfing the chess world, boiled down to this:
lame-duck World Champion Magnus Carlsen loses a game in the Sinquefield Cup to 19-
year-old American up-start GM Hans Niemann. He then withdraws from the tournament,
at the same time making a vague insinuation that Niemann has cheated. A couple of weeks
later in the online Julius Baer Generation Cup, Carlsen loses yet another game to Hans,
resigning before playing his 2 nd move. Shortly afterwards he makes a statement on social
media, asserting that Hans had cheated during their encounter at the Sinqufield Cup –
and offers not a single shred of evidence.
I want to offer my own opinion, based on long experience in the chess world plus my own
interactions with Hans when he was an up-and-coming player at the Mechanics’ Institute.
It is not an easy path to the top of the chess world. It takes great fighting spirit and single-
minded determination. Magnus Carlsen, like every other World Champion before him, has
demonstrated those qualities. Other top players I have observed, like GM Walter Browne (one of Hans’ early coaches), manifest that desire to win in an almost visceral and physical
way.


I have no doubt whatsoever that the will to win (and not to lose!) can cloud a chess
players moral compass. Ashamedly, I remember engaging in fisticuffs with my own
brother over a disputed game.
With that said, I’m curious what the reader might think of the following example.
Captured on video, Carlsen attempts to take a move back against GM Alexandra
Kosteniuk in the 2009 World Blitz Championship, and then leaves the table without a
word or a handshake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeyXKTVYenA&t=161s


If this was not an attempted cheat, then I don’t know what is.
Perhaps even more damning is the following video, Carlsen’s own live-stream of the
Lichess Titled Arena in December 2021. The World Champion clearly takes the advice of
GM David Howell to trap GM Daniel Naroditsky’s queen. I understand the tournament
had a 1st place of $500. The critical moment is at the 1:44:00 mark:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRdrf1Ny3x8


I am not trying to throw just Magnus Carlsen under the bus here. Both of these videos
show very typical displays of fighting spirit. Sadly, they also display not particularly rare
examples of un-sportsmanlike behavior.
For the World Champion to accuse Niemann of what he himself is clearly guilty of is, in
my opinion, just flat out wrong. If Niemann has cheated, then so has Carlsen. And
many, many others.
Thirty years ago (and more) it was a common sight to see chess masters and
grandmasters walking the hallways together, whispering in each other’s ears. I don’t
believe the majority of players were outright cheating perse, but innocent questions or
statements such as: “What do you think of my position?” or “Maybe it’s time to go
home!” accompanied by frowns, raised eyebrows, coughing, laughing, et cetera, were
quite common. Of course, this is different information than one can get nowadays. After
all, a grandmaster is only human, and their suggestions and advice will only take you so
far.
But Stockfish is a God.
Nowadays the top players are electronically frisked, and their trips to the bathroom are
monitored – all under the smoky pall of large prize funds, large appearance fees, and
generous corporate sponsorship.
While the top players and streamers, and the private interests that sponsor them
(purporting to speak for the regular player), wring their hands worrying over the
“integrity of the game” and the “existential threat” posed by cheaters, they are living in
a chess world unimaginable only 30-40 years ago.
Back then, top players might have lived out of their cars or crashed on a friend’s couch,
all the while waiting for a few paltry bucks from their chess federation or a miserable
cash prize to pay their expenses. Chess lacked the glitz that corporate sponsorship and
lots of money can buy: the glamorous world of The Queen’s Gambit,

trash-talking streamers angling for a date with one of the Botez sisters,

or better yet: the chance to
be rich and/or the subject of world-wide attention.
Chess at the top looks, sounds, and tastes very different now than it did not so long ago.
The players are younger, have nice haircuts, and pay respect (if not outright homage) to
their master, World Champion Magnus Carlsen. It looks quite cozy from the outside: for
almost ten years now, the same 15–20 players have competed against each other over
and over again in countless tournaments, over the board and online. Rarely are
outsiders permitted into this precious circle, which helps to keep their ratings inflated
just enough to keep the invites and appearance fees coming and the sponsorships rolling
in.
But cracks are starting to appear.
Almost all of the top players lost rating points at the recent Olympiad in Chennai, where
they had to compete with lower rated players.
A younger generation is muscling in, in the shape of players like Hans Niemann, India’s
Dommaraju Gukesh, and Nodirbek Abdusattorov from Uzbekistan. The latter became the
World Rapid Champion earlier this year, defeating not only Carlsen, but Carlsen’s two
most recent World Champion challengers, Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi.
The young may also seem to lack the “proper respect,” which leads us back to what I
see as the whole crux of this sorry Carlsen/Niemann affair.
Right now, with the lack of any evidence that Niemann cheated in that over-the-board
game against Carlsen, I think the only conclusion we can reach is the one staring us all
in the face: Hans Niemann beat Magnus Carlsen fair and square at the Sinquefield Cup.
I believe Hans has gotten under Magnus’ skin big-time, and, as is well documented here
and elsewhere, Magnus hates losing. And to what extent, we are just now finding out.
With Carlsen also abdicating the World Championship, I am reminded somewhat of an
angry child that destroys his own sandcastle when told that it’s time to leave the beach.
Hans Niemann played a lot at the Mechanics’ Institute as a youngster (11-12 years old
in 2013 and 2014), and his progress was meteoric. As I outlined in our last newsletter,
his rating jumping from 1200 to 2200 in just under two years.
I myself played Hans a bunch of times, and his father recently sent me a video of Hans
and I battling it out in a blitz game at the Mechanics’ Institute. I am totally winning for
ages and ages, and his only hope is that I will lose on time. Hans hangs in there though,
crying “Flag, flag, flag!” over and over. Both of us are enjoying the contest immensely…
and I lose on time before I can mate him. His joy at winning is a sight to see.
Not everyone appreciated Han’s brash and cheeky demeanor. It was either IM John
Donaldson

https://new.uschess.org/news/cover-stories-chess-life-38-im-john-donaldson

or I who (affectionately) started calling him “Niemann the Demon,” but there
were (and are still) players at the club who, perhaps, have forgotten what it was like to
have been young once.
When I see Hans in those post-game interviews at the Sinquefield Cup, I feel I am
watching exactly the same person that I knew back then: a person with a great love for
chess, supremely confident in his abilities, and with respect for no one.
A stone-cold chess killer.
Hans acts in a rough and tumble manner that surprises us nowadays, and harkens back
to earlier times – perhaps strongly influenced by older coaches like GMs Walter Browne,


Max Dlugy,

https://showbizcorner.com/why-hans-niemanns-coach-maxim-dlugy-banned-from-chess-com-for-cheating

and IM John Grefe.

https://www.milibrary.org/games/MemGames.html

These are no-nonsense and worldly fellows, and Hans’
development was tempered in steel.
I think the time has passed, if it ever really existed, when chess could lay claim to
completely fair-play. Ruy Lopez de Segura (c.1530 – c.1580) a founding father of modern
chess and a Catholic priest, advised his students to “place the board such that the light
shines in your opponent’s eyes.”
Behind the brouhaha surrounding Carlsen and Niemann, there are other factors and
interests playing out. As we follow chess celebrities, minor and major (because that is
what they are now) we should also follow the money. Is it a coincidence that Niemann was
banned anew from chess.com whilst the Play Magnus Group was acquired by that selfsame
chess.com? I find it fascinating to see who is lining up to defend Carlsen’s accusations,
and why.
There will always be attempts to cheat at over-the-board chess – some have been caught,
others not. With the money pouring in, attempts to cheat will not stop, ever. Chess has
entered the world of all other sports and games where these problems exist, whether it’s
baseball or poker.
The online world thrived like nobody’s business during the pandemic: perhaps the real
“existential threat” to wealthy streamers and online platforms is not cheaters – it’s the
return to over-the-board play.
The chess world at the top has waited a long time for this moment – they’ve made it. They
have world-wide attention, and they are rolling in the dough. In a sense they have gotten
what they wished for, yet in another sense they are paying the price for those wishes
coming true.
But back here, for the rest of us in the clubs, in our homes and schools, I believe chess
will thrive and continue to be enjoyed for the skillful, interesting, and fascinating game
that it is – untainted by money and enjoyed for its own sake.
The same way Hans and I enjoyed playing together, not so very long ago. (https://www.milibrary.org/sites/default/files/1030.pdf)

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
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4308407&m=23

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.

https://www.firstpost.com/sports/double-blunder-game-carlsen-crushes-anand-leads-one-point-1804783.html

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.”

(https://chess24.com/en/read/news/sinquefield-cup-4-fabi-wins-so-leads-as-life-goes-on-without-magnus)

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.

Three Way Tie for First Place at the Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+

https://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/chessable-british-chess-championships-week-one/

GM Paul Motwani (above left) shared the lead throughout the tournament and finished with shared top place with FM Chris Duncan (middle) and Phil Crocker (right), all on 5.5 points.

Heading into the last round of the Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+ five players were tied for first place with each having scored 4 1/2 points in the first six rounds. Board one featured FM Chris Duncan (2178) vs Paul Townsend (2177).

Black to move after 21 Nc3xb5

FM Chris Duncan vs M Paul Townsend
Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+
Final Round Seven
D37 Queen’s Gambit Declined, classical variation (5.Bf4)

  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 c6 8. Bd3 b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ba6 11. O-O Qc8 12. h3 Qb7 13. Rb1 axb4 14. axb4 Bxd3 15. Qxd3 Ra3 16. Ra1 Rfa8 17. Rxa3 Rxa3 18. Qc2 b5 19. Nd2 Bd8 20. Re1 Bc7 21. Nxb5 Qxb5 22. Bxc7 Qxb4 23. Rb1 Qc3 24. Qxc3 Rxc3 25. Nb3 Ne8 26. Bg3 1-0

After noticing the Stockfish program at Lichess.com has proclaimed 1 Nf3 the best opening move I have taken notice of the percentage of games in which the knight move has been chosen recently., and was therefore not surprised by the move in this game. 16 Ra1 is a TN. Stockfish shows 16 Qc2 as best and other players have agreed as 365Chess.com shows it having been previously played in eleven games. Ju Wenjun played 16 Nd2 against former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov at the Cap d’Agde in France in 2012, but lost the game (https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=3833042&m=32). That is fifteen moves of theory produced by Seniors in what 365Chess.com calls the “D37 Queen’s Gambit Declined, classical variation (5.Bf4).” The rest of the game lasted less than a dozen moves…

Position after 27…Qxe8

CM Paul AG Dargan vs Philip J Crocker
Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+
Final Round Seven
B07 Pirc, Byrne variation

  1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Bg5 c6 5. f4 Bg7 6. Qd2 b5 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Nf3 Bg4 9. O-O Qb6 10. Ne2 c5 11. e5 d5 12. Ng3 c4 13. Be2 Ne4 14. Nxe4 dxe4 15. Bxe7 exf3 16. Bxf3 Bxf3 17. Bxf8 Bxf8 18. Rxf3 Nc6 19. c3 Rd8 20. Qf2 Ne7 21. g4 f5 22. exf6 Qxf6 23. Re1 Nd5 24. f5 Bd6 25. fxg6 Qxg6 26. h3 Re8 27. Rxe8+ Qxe8 28. Qh4 Bf4 29. g5 Qe4 30. Qg4 Qe1+ 31. Rf1 Qxf1+ 0-1

The following game varied at move twenty, but Stockfish prefers 20 Qf2. Paul Dargan was doing fine after Philip Crocker played the weak 24…Bd6, and then let go of the rope with one hand when playing 25…Qg6. Mr. Dargan then had a ‘won’ game. Unfortunately his 26th move moved the game back into anyone’s game until Dargan again let go of the rope with one hand with 28 Qh4, which is given not one, but two question marks by the Stockfish program. After that move, Mr. Dargan was obviously rattled

before letting go of the rope completely by playing 29 g5…and began…

Nguyen Thi Thanh An (2249) vs Tan, Zhongyi (2475)
Event: Olympiad Women 2016
Site: Baku AZE Date: 09/04/2016
Round: 3.1
ECO: B07 Pirc, Byrne variation
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.f4 c6 6.Qd2 b5 7.Bd3 O-O 8.Nf3 Bg4 9.O-O Qb6 10.Ne2 c5 11.e5 d5 12.Ng3 c4 13.Be2 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Bxe7 exf3 16.Bxf3 Bxf3 17.Bxf8 Bxf8 18.Rxf3 Nc6 19.c3 Rd8 20.Kh1 Ne7 21.Re1 Qe6 22.Qf2 Rd7 23.Rg1 h5 24.h3 f5 25.exf6 Qxf6 26.Re1 Nf5 27.Re5 h4 28.Rxb5 Bd6 29.Qe2 Qf7 30.Qf2 Re7 31.Kg1 Ng3 32.Re5 Bxe5 33.fxe5 Nf5 34.Qd2 Kh7 35.Qg5 Rb7 36.Rf2 Qd5 37.Qg4 Rf7 38.Rf3 a5 39.Rf2 a4 40.a3 Kh6 41.Rf3 Rb7 42.Rf2 Rb6 43.Qf4+ Kh7 44.Qg4 Qd8 45.Qf4 Qd5 46.Qg4 Qb7 47.Qe2 Qc6 48.Qg4 Qd5 49.Kh2 Rb7 50.Kg1 Rf7 51.Rf3 Kg7 52.Kh2 Qb7 53.Rf2 Qe7 54.Kg1 Kh6 55.Qe2 Qe6 56.Qe4 Rd7 57.Qa8 Rf7 58.Qxa4 Ne3 59.Qa8 Rxf2 60.Kxf2 Nd1+ 61.Ke2 Nxb2 62.Qh8+ Kg5 63.Qd8+ Kh5 64.Qh8+ Kg5 65.Qd8+ Kh5 66.Qh8+ Kg5 67.Qd8+ Kh5 68.Qh8+ ½-½
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=4008322&m=24

Board three featured the top rated player, GM Paul Motwani, who began the tournament rated two hundred points higher than his closest opponent, CM Mark Josse, rated 2220. On paper is should have been a cakewalk for Motwani, but this is Senior Chess, at it’s best, and numbers have less relation to strength in Senior Chess. A perfect example would be the player GM Motwani faced in the last round, class A player Nigel J Moyse, rated all of 1976, a number with special meaning to this writer, as that is the year I won the Atlanta Chess Championship for the second time, while scoring a perfect 5-0. Just sayin’…

Position after 8 Nxd4

GM Paul Motwani (2420) vs Nigel J Moyse (1976)
Chessable British Chess Championships: Seniors 50+
Final round seven
B09 Pirc, Austrian attack

  1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Nf3 c5 6. e5 Nfd7 7. exd6 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Qb6 9. Ndb5 Bxc3+ 10. Nxc3 O-O 11. b3 Nf6 12. Bb2 Rd8 13. Na4 Qb4+ 14. Qd2 Qxd2+ 15. Kxd2 Ne4+ 16. Ke3 Nxd6 17. Be2 Bd7 18. Nc3 Nc6 19. a3 Nf5+ 20. Kf2 Ncd4 21. Bd3 Bc6 22. Rhd1 h5 23. Ne2 Nxe2 24. Bxe2 Rac8 25. Rxd8+ Rxd8 26. Rd1 Rxd1 27. Bxd1 Kf8 28. g3 Ke8 29. h3 Nd6 30. g4 hxg4 31. hxg4 Kd7 32. Ke3 f5 33. g5 Nf7 34. c4 Kd6 35. b4 e5 36. Bb3 exf4+ 37. Kxf4 Ke6 38. Bd4 a6 39. a4 Be4 40. b5 axb5 41. axb5 Bg2 42. Bf6 Be4 43. b6 Kd7 44. c5 Nd8 45. Bxd8 Kxd8 46. Bf7 Bb1 47. Ke4 1-0

The game was even, Steven, before Nigel Moyse blundered horribly by playing 8…Qb6, when he should have simply castled. After moving the Queen the Stockfish program shows Moyse down by -4.0. Nevertheless, the game lasted forty more moves due to weak play from GM Motwani. That’s Senior Chess!

After 5 Nf3 the opening is a B09 Pirc, Austrian attack. 5…c5 turns it into a B09 Pirc, Austrian attack, dragon formation

  1. d4 d6 2. e4 (2 Nf3) 2…Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 (3…e5) 4. f4 (4 Be3) 4…Bg7 5. Nf3 c5 6. e5 (6 dxc5) 6…Nfd7 7. exd6 (7 dxc5) 7…cxd4 (7…0-0) 8. Nxd4 (8 Nb4) 8…Qb6?? (-4.0)