Litsitsin’s Gambit on Planet Ivanchuk

It is an off day in the World Human Chess Championship. My intention was to take a break from the Royal Game. Every day I surf to the usual websites leaving Chess sites for last. Today I eschewed the Chess sites and read a book by Peter Dale Scott, Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House.

I read until needing a break and then kicked back and closed my eyes, listening to the rain. This is the third day of rain and tomorrow will be the same before the sun shines again and the temperature increases. It is a wet and miserable day, perfect for Chess!

After resting I was restless and decided to surf the Chess websites with my second cup of coffee. There is was, found at TWIC, what I had been searching for without knowing it, the lead game from the Zagreb Tournament of Peace 2018 being held in Croatia. Vladimir Malakov versus Vassily Ivanchuk in a Litsitsin’s Gambit! Since I played the Leningrad Dutch the gambit has been on my board more than a few times over the years. With Chucky having to battle the Litsitsin this was special. Vassily has grown older and his Chess skill has diminished with age, but he is still Ivanchuk, the man who once repeatedly banged his head against a wall after losing a Chess game. Just thinking about it caused me to go to startpage.com in a futile attempt to find something about it on the internet. I found something at Quora.com (https://www.quora.com/Chess-What-are-some-interesting-stories-about-Vassily-Ivanchuk), but it was not about the head banging episode. To the right I found: “Is Vassily Ivanchuk really a weird and eccentric genius, or does he just act like one?” Clicking on gave me two options to reach the page. I could either use my Facebook account, but I have no, and have never, ever, had a F___book account, and will go to my brave without a F__book account, or I could use Google. I try very hard to stay away from Big Brother, er, Google. In order to obtain the page I would be forced to allow Google to use my information and then transfer it to Quora. If you want the aforementioned question answered YOU can jump through those hoops.

I did, though, find this: What do Ivanchuk’s Grandmaster colleagues think of him?

Here’s former World Champion Vishy Anand

speaking on Ivanchuk:

“He’s someone who is very intelligent … but you never know which mood he is going to be in. Some days he will treat you like his long-lost brother. The next day he ignores you completely.

The players have a word for him. They say he lives on “Planet Ivanchuk”. (Laughs) … I have seen him totally drunk and singing Ukrainian poetry and then the next day I have seen him give an impressive talk.

His playing style is unpredictable and highly original, making him more dangerous but sometimes leading to quick losses as well.”

http://www.chessncognac.com/vassily-ivanchuk-eccentric-chess-genius-free-pdf/

Vladimir Malakhov (2654)

vs Vassily Ivanchuk (2714)

Tournament of Peace 2018 round 03

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 (The only move I ever played in this position is 2…d6, the Lenigrad move) 3. e4 e5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. exf5 d5 6. d4 e4 7. Bg5 Be7 8. Bxe7 Ngxe7 9. Nh4 Bxf5 10. Qh5+ g6 11. Qh6 Qd6 12. Bb5

There was a legendary Georgia player who would tell anyone who would listen about the efficacy of “connecting your rooks.” Although I try not to think of the guy I could not help myself when seeing this position. If one teaches Chess it is a no brainer to inform your student he should castle and complete development. Certainly it must be the best move on the board, and one does not need a 3500 rated Chess program to know that fact.

Rf8 (12… O-O-O 13. Bxc6 Qxc6 14. O-O-O b5 15. a3 a5 16. Nxf5 Nxf5 17. Qd2 Kb7 18. Kb1 Rhf8 19. h3 Nd6 20. b3 Kb8 21. Rhe1 b4 22. axb4. This can be found at https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-mira-tournament/03-Malakhov_Vladimir-Ivanchuk_Vassily) 13. Bxc6+ Nxc6 14. O-O-O O-O-O 15. f3 exf3 16. Nxf3 Bg4 17. Rhf1

17… Bxf3 (There was no reason to make this trade. Simply 17…Qd7 retains an advantage) 18. Qh3+ Qd7 19. Rxf3 Qxh3 20. Rxh3 Rd7 21. Re3 b6 22. Re2 Rf5 23. Red2 Rdf7 24. Ne2 Rf2 25. Nc3 Ne7 26. Re1 Kd7 27. Nd1 Rf1 28. Rde2 Rxe1 29. Rxe1 Nf5 30. c3 Re7 ½-½

Incidentally, Vladimir Malakhov may be the only Grandmaster who is also a nuclear physicist:

Vladimir Malakhov: chess player, nuclear physicist

By mishanp on September 5, 2010

http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/vladimir-malakhov-chess-player-nuclear-physicist/

IM Y. Dzhumagaliev (2424) FM v I. Bocharov 2472 IM

Novosibirsk, Siberia 2015

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 3. e4 e5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. exf5 d5 6. d4 e4 7. Bg5 Be7 8. Bxe7 Ngxe7 9. Nh4 O-O 10. g4 g6 11. Qd2 Nxf5 12. Nxf5 gxf5 13.gxf5 Bxf5 14. O-O-O Be6 15. Rg1+ Kh8 16. Rg6 Rf6 17. Rg3 Qf8 18. Bh3 Bxh3 19. Rxh3 Rxf2 20. Qg5 Qf5 21. Rh5 Qxg5+ 22. Rxg5 e3 23. Rxd5 Rg8 24. Re1 Nb4 25.Re5 Nxc2 26. Re2 Nxd4 27. R2xe3 Rxh2 28. Rd3 c5 29. Re7 b5 30. Rxa7 b4 31. Nd1 Rd8 32. Re7 Rh1 33. Rd2 b3 34. a4 Ra8 35. Rg2 Nc6 36. Rc7 Ne5 37. Rd2 c4 38. Rd5 Ng4 39. Rdd7 Ne3 40. Rxh7+ Rxh7 41. Rxh7+ Kxh7 42. Nxe3 Re8 43. Nd5 Kg6 44. a5 Kf5 45. Nb6 Ke4 46. Kd2 Kd4 47. a6 Re7 48. Nc8 Rc7 49. Nd6 Kc5 50. Nb7+ Kb6 51. Kc3 Kxa6 52. Nd6 Ka5 53. Ne4 Kb5 54. Nd6+ Kc5 55. Ne4+ Kd5 56. Nf6+ Ke5 57. Ng4+ Kf5 58. Ne3+ Ke4 59. Nd1 Kf3 60. Kd4 Rd7+ 61. Kxc4 Rxd1 62. Kxb3 Ke4 63. Kc4 Rc1+ 64. Kb5 Kd5 65. b4 Rb1 0-1

GM Stefan Bromberger (2481) vs GM Dimitri Reinderman (2493)

Gausdal Classics GM-A 04/29/2006

A04

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 3. e4 e5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. exf5 d5 6. Bg5 Nf6 7. d4 Qe7 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5+ 10. Qe2 Qxe2+ 11. Kxe2 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Ne4 13. Bd2 Bxf5 14. f3 Nd6 15. Bf4 O-O-O 16. Bxd6 Rxd6 17. Kd2 d4 18. Bd3 dxc3+ 19. Kxc3 Bxd3 20. cxd3 Rhd8 21. Rhd1 Rc6+ 22. Kd2 Rd5 23. Re1 Kd7 24. a4 a5 25. Re4 Rcd6 26. Ra3 Rd4 27. Rc3 b6 28. Kc2 R6d5 29. f4 c6 30. Rb3 Kc7 31. f5 h5 32. Rc3 Rxe4 33. dxe4 Rd4 34. Rg3 Rxe4 35. Rxg7+ Kd6 36. Rg6+ Kd5 37. Rg5 Rxa4 38. f6+ Ke6 39. Rf5 Kf7 40. Rxh5 Ra2+ 41. Kb3 Rxg2 42. Rh7+ Kxf6 43. Rc7 Kf5 44. Rxc6 Rg6 45. Rc8 Ke5 46. Rh8 Kd5 47. h4 Kc5 48. Rh5+ Kc6 49. Rh8 Rg3+ 50. Ka4 Rg4+ 51. Kb3 Kb5 52. Rh5+ Ka6 53. Rh8 a4+ 54. Kc3 Ka5 55. h5 Rg3+ 56. Kc2 Rh3 57. h6 Kb4 58. h7 b5 59. Kc1 Rh1+ 60. Kc2 Rh2+ 61. Kd1 a3 62. Kc1 a2 63. Ra8 Kb3 0-1

What is Chess?

The Legendary Georgia Ironman once remarked, “Chess is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” With my eye swollen shut I had time to reflect upon his statement while contemplating the question, “What is chess?”

The new people who have entered the chess world because of the scholastic craze do not seem to understand this simple fact. Their ignorance is masked by new slogans and “vision statements.” A recent example can be found on the forum of the North Carolina Chess Association. It is election time in the Great State of NC and Sara Walsh has thrown her hat into the ring, running for the post of VP. Unlike my home state of Georgia, the NCCA has a forum where mud can be slung, and from reading the comments on said forum, it is being fast and furiously flung. In her post of Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:14 pm Sara wrote, “While working on a project and looking for content, I realized that there was no About Us page on the NCCA website. So my challenge to you is to come up with a portion of an About Us page. A succinct overview of what defines the NCCA and its role in NC Chess. Think about what’s on the website, what’s in the Bylaws/Charter. One might include a Mission Statement, Vision, Objectives, a short history, possibly some highlights, or anything else you think belongs on an About Us page. Any thoughts?”
Sara

There it is again, the “vision” thing. What is it with women and a “Vision statement?” Does chess need a “vision statement” to answer the question of “What is chess?” Women evidently think it does.

The USCF has put all its eggs in the one basket of scholastic chess. Chess has become a game for children. Chess has become a “learning tool.” For example, the new Executive Director of the USCF, Jean Hoffman, writes in the August 2014 issue of Chess Life that one of the USCF goals is to, “Educate children, parents, teachers and school administrators on the benefits of chess as a part of a school curriculum and as an extra-curricular activity.” Thus far this new century has been devoted to transforming the Royal game into a frilly fun game for children in hopes it will give them a warm fuzzy feeling. Chess is anything but warm and fuzzy. The children learn chess at a young age. As they start to mature they realize what chess is in actuality and stop playing. Children are much smarter than some adults give them credit for, and are astute enough to know when adults are selling them a bill of goods.

Chess is a difficult game to learn and even more difficult to play. The game of Go, or Wei Chi in other parts of the world, has only a few rules and is much simpler to learn, and it does all the things chess people have sold to educators. The number of people on the planet who have taken to the game this century, most of whom are children, has tripled, and is increasing exponentially. Chess is a game of the past, while Go is the game of the future.

Chess is a war game. War does not instill the “warm fuzzys.” The mentally deranged yankee general, William Tecumseh Sherman, is best known for uttering, “War is hell.” Chess is hell. I have heard chess called many things, including, “Mental torture.” I have seen grown men brought to their knees by a game of chess. I have seen grown men cry after losing a game of chess. GM Vassily Ivanchuk once beat his head against a wall so hard and so long after losing a chess game that it left blood on the wall and dripping from his face. Chess is a psychic knife fight. Chess is pure and simple combat, which takes place in the mind.

Over the years I have read chess called many things by the greats of the game, and other notables. Here are some examples:

Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponents mind. – Bobby Fischer

Chess is ruthless: you’ve got to be prepared to kill people. – Nigel Short

Chess is, above all, a fight. – Emanuel Lasker

By some ardent enthusiasts Chess has been elevated into a science or an art. It is neither; but its principal characteristic seems to be – what human nature mostly delights in – a fight. – Emanuel Lasker

A chess game, after all, is a fight in which all possible factors must be made use of, and in which a knowledge of the opponent’s good and bad qualities is of the greatest importance. – Emanuel Lasker

Chess is a test of wills. – Paul Keres

Chess is a contest between two men which lends itself particularly to the conflicts surrounding aggression. – Rueben Fine

Chess is a sport. A violent sport. – Marcel Duchamp

Chess is mental torture. – Garry Kasparov

In the Soviets’ view, chess was not merely an art or a science or even a sport; it was what it had been invented to simulate: war. – Pal Benko

There is no remorse like a remorse of chess. It is a curse upon man. There is no happiness in chess. – H.G. Wells

Chess has been sold to the parents of young children as something it is not, a wonderful game where everyone goes home a winner. Life is not like that, something which the children learn the hard way. As the author Gore Vidal so eloquently put it, “It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.” Many aspire to be the best, but there can be only one World Chess Champion.

The following is taken from an episode, “Three Coaches And A Bobby” (season 3, episode 12), of the cartoon show, “King of the Hill.”

The problem with Soccer

I dedicate this version to my friend for over four decades, the Legendary Georgia Ironman, a BIG fan of…

REO Speedwagon Only The Strong Survive

I dedicate this version to myself because it was popular at the time I lost my first love and helped me out of the funk:

Jerry Butler Only the Strong Survive

And here is a live performance many years later:

Jerry Butler – Only The Strong Survive

I dedicate this cover to my crazy cousin Linda who had three passions in life, with Elvis being one, and include it because although many have been called the “King” of popular music, there can be only one King:

Elvis Presley – Only The Strong Survive ( Alt.Take,X Rated )

FM William Stewart Interview

1) Who are you?
FM William Stewart

2) Why did you leave the country and how was the experience?
I left the US after graduating from UGA in 2009, wanting to learn about new cultures and especially improve my language abilities by becoming fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese. It was a fantastic experience and really helped me gain perspective on how easy life is in the United States.

3) How did you become involved with chess?
I became involved in chess at the age of 10 because a friend’s dad ran the chess club at my elementary school (Spalding Elementary in Sandy Springs).

4) Who was your first teacher? First rating?
My first teacher was Nick Paleveda, a strong expert and multiple-time Florida State Champion. (Nick earned hisNM certificate in 1992-A.W.) Big Nick is one of the coolest guys I have ever met and I have to thank him for introducing me to chess and being a great teacher. My first rating was around 1100-1200.

5) Do you have a favorite current player? Former player? Anyone you have tried to emulate?
This is a tough one because I really like a lot of top players today. My biggest picks would be Kramnik (incredible reinvention of his style lately), Carlsen (he is just too good!), and Wang Hao (I really like his attacking style and he seems like a very normal, relaxed person). Ah – and Vassily Ivanchuk because he is incredibly creative. I’ve tried to emulate Kasparov’s extreme attacking style and ridiculously stubborn desire to win every game.

6) When did you make NM? (Where were you after playing for six years? I ask because GM Soltis wrote in his column that players usually peak after six years.)
I became an NM about 9 years after I started playing (I was about 19).

7) The best game you have played. The most exciting. Game that made greatest impression on you. Best game you’ve seen.
Well this is a very easy question for me to answer – I played a nice game against GM Ray Robson at the 2012 National Open in Las Vegas. This was in the last round (the money round!), I was having a great tournament, and I went all out to win this game. Here is a link to my game with Ray Robson from last year: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1670674
The most exciting game I have ever played was at the 2009 World Open in Philadelphia. It was round 9, I was having a great tournament, and the winner of this game would at least tie for first and win over $10,000. I won this game, co-won the Under 2200 section with Scott Low, graduated college 6 months later and used this money to travel and support myself in Brazil and Argentina over the next year.
Game that makes the most impression on me – this is too tough to say. I am a huge fan of Karpov’s game because his style is so subtle and unique. At his best, you would see the leading GMs in the world playing timid chess, trying to beg him for a draw by trading pieces into a very slightly inferior ending. And Karpov would obtain such a tiny advantage, grind them out, and win the game.

8) Best result(s).
2012 National Open was great. I very narrowly missed an IM norm at a tournament in Argentina in early 2013 (Copa la Razon), although I did pick up about 35 FIDE points there which really helped push me over 2300.

9) Talk about your education; degree’s, etc.
I graduated with a BS in Psychology and BA in Spanish from the University of Georgia in 2009. GO DAWGS!

10) Favorite food; fruit; drink; season; color; music, movie, etc.
Food – Sushi and/or Hot Wings; Fruit – Mango or Maracuya; Season – Summer, I love to hit the pool; Color – Red; Music – I like all kinds (except new country music), I’ve played drumset since I was 10 years old; Movie – King of New York

11) What is your favorite novel; writer. What about best non-fiction book? Did any book have a profound effect on you?
I used to love Stephen King books when I was a kid, but I’ve basically only read chess and business books in the last 10 years. I really like Kasparov’s “My Great Predecessors” series.

12) First chess book; favorite; best.
Man I can’t remember that far back Mike! Probably was something like “Play the Accelerated Dragon” by Daniel King. My favorite books are by Mark Dvoretsky, he is an incredibly deep writer and provides extremely challenging material.

13) What is the purpose of life; chess?
Deep stuff Mike! For me, the purpose of life is to better everyone around me. If I can do that, I know it will come back to me tenfold and contribute to my success. In chess, the answer is the opposite! I want to crush everyone I play so badly that they quit playing! Grandmaster is my ultimate goal, although I work too much right now to make that a real possibility.

14) You have a new book being published. Tell us about it; how did you decide to write it, what prompted you to write it?
“Chess Psychology: The Will To Win!” was very recently published by Everyman Chess in June 2013. I wrote this book because I thought it would be a great way to share my years of experience as a chess trainer. It is targeted at beginner and intermediate players and intended to serve as a comprehensive guide.

15) There are myriad books on chess being published. Why should someone purchase it over other books?
I have over 10 years of experience as a chess trainer and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. I combine two of my best skills with a passion for teaching. This book is very different from other chess books because I am very clear and to the point. It is also a comprehensive guide, focusing on a variety of topics – while almost always maintaining a focus from the psychological perspective. Here are links for my book:
http://www.everymanchess.com/chess/books/Chess_Psychology%3A_The_will_to_win%21

http://www.amazon.com/kindle-store/dp/B00CYIYM00

16) With what person from the past would like to converse? Living person?
This is a tough question. I guess I would say Ray Charles or James Brown for past – two of my favorite musicians. For present, it would be awesome to have a drink with Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter.

17) What would you change about chess?
I am extremely disappointed with FIDE and their lack of organization with respect to high level tournaments, the world championship cycle, and especially their blatant disregard for the widespread promotion of chess.

18) What needs to be done that is not being done to promote chess?
The 21st century is the fastest changing time ever! But chess and its’ promotion simply have not caught up. Computers are taking over the game and making chess players very bored with memorizing variations, etc.. It is very difficult to commercialize chess and I think a few very easy ideas to make it more fun for chess players and general audiences would be to:
1. Use faster time controls (non chess players cannot focus on 3 hour games, but a 5-10 minute game is short enough to maintain their attention).
2. Popularize variants (specifically Chess960 – this is a very interesting variant that would bring a lot of chess players back to the game and showing up in tournaments.)
3. The Intel Grand Prix Series in the 1990s was incredible! It combined a variety of appealing factors: the best players of the world, fast time controls, large prize money, and an exciting knockout format. I can’t understand why FIDE (or some other organizer/sponsor) won’t run another type of tournament series like this.

19) How can chess be improved in the Great State of Georgia?
More FIDE-rated tournaments will bring more titled players to Georgia. I think that is the biggest thing missing in Georgia chess – there aren’t many high-rated players here because it is impossible to compete for a FIDE title. As for scholastic chess, I think the Atlanta area has been very successfully developed in the past 15-20 years. Maybe it would help if some of these companies in the Atlanta area received support from the GCA to extend their programs to other parts of the state.

20) What do you see in your chess future?
Ah finally an easy question! I very recently confirmed the title of FIDE master as of May 2013 with a rating of 2305. My goals are to become an IM in 3 years and GM in 5 years. My biggest obstacles to these goals are very simple – I work at least 70 hours/week so I don’t have much time to study and play. And of course the United States very rarely has any FIDE-rated tournaments (and if they do, you have to travel far and pay a lot of money in entry fees and hotels) So basically I will leave the United States again to find FIDE-rated (thus IM norm and GM norm) tournaments that are realistically available. I think it is really a shame that the USCF does not do anything about this problem, because forcing your talented players to go abroad to play competitively does not really do much to promote chess here in the US…

As a chess organizer however, I am much more control! I currently operate a chess website in English (http://OnlineChessLessons.NET) and Spanish (http;//ClasesdeAjedrez.NET) with my business partner Freddy Lansky (I do the chess, he does the IT). We are working with dozens of Grandmasters now to produce high-quality chess DVDs at low prices, called the Empire Chess series (or in Spanish, Imperio Ajedrez). We also work to promote chess by releasing free promotional excerpts on our YouTube channels. We also publish free content on the blogs of these websites – check us out!
21) Thank you for an interesting interview and continued success in chess!