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

Fellow Georgian IM Arthur Guo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Position after 9 Bd2

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

IM Arthur Guo vs FM Sandeep Sethuraman
US Open

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

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

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

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

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

Weiqi (Go) Versus Chess

“Using a universally relevant metaphor, Zbigniew Brzezinski,

former National Security Adviser to US president Jimmy Carter,

wrote in The Grand Chessboard,

published in 1997 ( “Eurasia is the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played.” China’s New Silk Road strategy certainly integrates the importance of Eurasia but it also neutralizes the US pivot to Asia by enveloping it in a move which is broader both in space and in time: an approach inspired by the intelligence of Weiqi has outwitted the calculation of a chess player.”
“The chronicle by Japanese writer Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972) of an intense intellectual duel, translated in English as The Master of Go,

contributed to the popularity of the game in the West, but Weiqi is a product of the Chinese civilization and spread over time in the educated circles of Northeast Asia. Kawabata, who viewed the Master as one of his favorite creations, knew that for China the game of “abundant spiritual powers encompassed the principles of nature and the universe of human life,” and that the Chinese had named it “the diversion of the immortals.”

Several years ago I contrasted the number of players in the US Chess Open with the number of players in the US Go Congress, posting the findings on the United States Chess Federation forum, and was excoriated for so doing, except for one person, Michael Mulford, who put the nattering nabobs of negativism to shame by congratulating me for “good work.” Basically, the numbers showed Chess losing players while Go had gained enough to have caught up with, and surpassed, Chess. It has continued to the point that if one thinks of it as a graph, with Chess in the top left hand corner; and Go in the bottom left hand corner, an “X” would appear.

I have spent some time recently cogitating about why this has come to pass. Certainly world Chess (FIDE) being administered as a criminal enterprise for at least a quarter of a century has not helped the cause of the Royal game. It has not helped that members of the USCF policy board have stated things like it being better to work within a corrupt system than to leave the corrupt system. See my post, Scott Parker Versus Allen Priest, of November 29, 2017 (

Now that the bank account of FIDE, the world governing body of Chess, has been closed I do not foresee anything but further decline for the game of Chess. IM Malcolm Pein,

Mr. Everything tin British Chess, commented for Chessdom, “The statement from the FIDE Treasurer was alarming to say the least, but not totally unexpected. As the statement said, we had been warned. All legal means should be used to remove Ilyumzhinov

from office as soon as possible. Taking away his executive authority has not been good enough for the bank and FIDE will experience difficulty finding another institution to handle it’s accounts and this threatens the viability of the organisation. ((

Although both Weiqi (Go in America) and Chess are board games there are major differences between the two. The following encapsulates the drastic difference between the two games:

R. Saxon, Member of a GO club in Tokyo (3k). USCF B rated at chess
Updated Mar 14 2017

From my experience, GO players are far friendlier and more polite than Chess players, who are prone to both trash talk and to gloating after a win. This is especially true for club players and younger players. Chess players may engage in gamesmanship to psych out their opponent. I’ve known quite a few superb Chess players that were real nut cases. More than just a few, actually.

That has not been my experience with GO players. GO players are almost always successful and well-adjusted outside of GO. GO players are willing to say with sincerity that they enjoyed a game that they just lost. I don’t recall a Chess player ever being so gracious.

The nature of the game is a good indicator of the personality of the players that like them. Chess is an attacking game in which you try to control the center. It’s very direct and may be over quickly if a player makes a mistake. The idea of a “Checkmate” is like a home run or a touchdown. It’s a sudden and dramatic moment that appeals to a particular type of person.

Chess appeals to people who like to attack and who savor the win over the process.

GO, on the hand, is a slower game which starts at the corners and edges and only gradually moves to the center. It’s extremely complicated, but in a subtle way. GO strategy is indirect. It’s a game of influence and efficiency more than a game of capture. The best players are those that know how to sacrifice pieces for territory elsewhere or to take the initiative. Making tradeoffs are key. There’s usually no “checkmate” type moment or fast victory.

GO is a game of patience and position. It appeals to very bright people who don’t expect to win quickly but who are willing to earn success one small step at a time. GO players enjoy the process as much as the win.

There are many Chess players involved with Go. Natasha Regan,

a Woman Chess International Master who has represented the English women’s team at both Chess and Go, says: “When I learnt Go I was fascinated. It has a similar mix of strategy and tactics that you find in Chess and, with just a few simple rules, Go uncovers a whole new world of possibilities and creativity. Chess players may also find that they can use their Chess experience to improve in Go very quickly. I highly recommend learning this ancient but ever new game!” (

Consider, for example, this by Mike Klein: “Many cultures have nationally popular strategy games, but rarely do top chess players “cross the streams” and take other games seriously. That is not the case with GMs Tiger Hillarp Persson and Alexander Morozevich,

who long ago claimed the top title in chess, and who both now take go somewhat seriously.” ( Check out Tiger’s website and you will see annotated Go games along with Chess games ( Chess Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich

plays in Go tournaments,

and holds Go classes.


AlphaGo has done for the game of Go in America what Bobby Fischer did for the game of Chess when he defeated the World Chess Champion, Boris Spassky, in 1972.

The number of people playing Go has increased dramatically in the past few years. After the world-wide release of a new movie about Go, The Surrounding Game,

the number of people playing Go will increase exponentially. In a very short period of time the game of Go will be unrivaled, leaving all other board games in its wake.

Sometime around 1980 a place named Gammons opened in the Peachtree Piedmont shopping center located in the section of Atlanta called Buckhead, the “high-end” district of Atlanta. In was a restaurant/bar, which contained tables with inlaid Backgammon boards.

I quit my job at a bookstore and began punching the proverbial time clock at Gammons, which closed at four am. The Backgammon craze burned brightly for a short period of time, as do most fads, such as putt-putt. Few remember the time when putt-putt was so popular it was on television, and the professional putters earned as much, if not more, that professional golfers.

Although quite popular for centuries, Chess lost its luster after the human World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov, was defeated by a computer program known as Deep Blue,

a product of the IBM corporation. The defeat by AlphaGo, a computer program from Google’s Deep Mind project, of first Lee Sedol,

one of the all-time great Go players, and then Ke Jie,

currently the top human Go player in the world, has, unlike Chess, been a tremendous boon for the ancient game of Go, which is riding a crest of popularity, while interest in Chess has waned.

I have wondered about the situation in the world considering the rise of China and the decline of the USA.

For example, consider these headlines:

China’s Rise, America’s Fall by Tyler Durden (

China’s rise didn’t have to mean America’s fall. Then came Trump. By Zachary Karabell(

Is China’s Rise America’s Fall? by Glenn Luk (

Also to be considered is the stark difference between the two games. It could be that the people of the planet are moving away from the brutal, war like, mindset of a war like game such as Chess and toward a more cerebral game such as Go.

“While in chess or in Chinese chess (xiangqi)

the pieces with a certain preordained constraint of movement are on the board when the game begins, the grid is empty at the opening of the Weiqi game. During a chess game, one subtracts pieces; in Weiqi, one adds stones to the surface of the board. In the Classic of Weiqi, the author remarks that “since ancient times, one has never seen two identical Weiqi games.”

“In Written in a Dream, the polymath and statesman Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072), a magister ludi, captures the depth and mystery of Weiqi: “The Weiqi game comes to an end, one is unaware that in the meantime the world has changed.”