TCEC Championship Leningrad Dutch Battles

The Chess program known as Stockfish is in the process of drubbing the Chess program known as Komodo in the latest battle for supremacy of the “engines.” What is the point? To make things worse, some obviously inept human has chosen the openings for the “players.” I can understand assigning a particular opening, such as the Sicilian, and making the opening moves of 1 e4 c5 for the programs and let them go from there. I could even understand forcing the programs to play the Najdorf, far and away the most often played Sicilian, by beginning the game with White choosing the sixth move after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6. I cannot understand a game beginning after ten inferior moves, as is the case in the following examples. The TCEC show seems to be a complete exercise in futility. The only interesting thing about TCEC is what move the top programs will play in the opening when out of ‘book’. That said, you know this writer found interest in the two Leningrad Dutch games which follow. I must add that the move 7…Nc6 is no longer the “main variation” of the Leningrad Dutch. Stockfish prefers 7…c6, and so should you.

KomodoDragon vs Stockfish
TCEC match game 51.1
A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 11. Be3 Ng4 12. Bd2 e4 13. Rad1 a5 14. Kh1 Kh7 15. Qc2 Qd6 16. f3 e3 17. Be1 Nf2+ 18. Bxf2 exf2 19. f4 e5 20. dxe6 Qc5 21. Na4 Qb4 22. a3 Qe7 23. Rxf2 Bxe6 24. Bxb7 Rad8 25. Rff1 Bd7 26. Bf3 Bxa4 27. Qxa4 Bxb2 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Qxa5 Bxa3 30. Rb1 Bc5 31. Kg2 Bb6 32. Qb5 h5 33. h4 Kh6 34. Qa4 Qe8 35. Qc2 Qe3 36. Qb2 Bd4 37. Qb7 Qe7 38. Qc6 Rd6 39. Qa8 Rd8 40. Qa5 Bb6 41. Qb5 Qd6 42. Qa6 Bd4 43. Qa5 Bb6 44. Qa1 Bd4 45. Qa2 Be3 46. Kh3 Bf2 47. Qa4 Qd7 48. Qb3 Qd6 49. Kg2 Bd4 50. Qa4 Be3 51. Bd5 Qc5 52. Qa6 Bd4 53. Kh3 Qe7 54. Bf3 Qd6 55. Qa4 Bf2 56. Qa5 Qc5 57. Qxc5 Bxc5 58. Rb5 Ba3 59. Re5 Rd7 60. Re6 Re7 61. Rc6 Bb2 62. Kg2 Bd4 63. Kf1 Bb2 64. Bd5 Kg7 65. c5 Bd4 66. Be6 Kh7 67. Bc4 Kg7 68. Kg2 Kh7 69. Kf1 Kg7 70. Bd3 Be3 71. Bc2 Bd4 72. Bd1 1/2-1/2

1.d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 (The was the last ‘book’ move. I kid you not. Some inept human forced the programs to begin playing in this position. It makes me wonder what’s going on…I was curious, so regular readers know what comes next…Let us begin anew…)

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 (Although Stockfish 14 @depth 52 prefers the move played in the game, SF 14.1 will fire 2 Bg5 at you! Is that amazin’, or what? If you play the Dutch you had better come to the board armed with the latest ideas after 2 Bg5 or you will go down HARD, like rot-gut whiskey. According to the ChessBaseDataBase the most often played move has been 2 g3, with the CBDB containing 8954 games with the move. Deep Fritz 13 prefers this move, which has scored 59%. The game move shows 5006 games with white scoring 56%. 3 c4 comes in third with 4240 examples scoring 56%. In fourth place is the move 2 Nc3. In 2923 games it has scored 57%. 2 Bg5 comes next with 1895 games that have scored 58% for white. The move 2 e4 is next and it has scored only 48% for white in 707 games) 2…Nf6 (Stockfish 14.1 @depth 48 will play this move, as will Fritz 17 @depth 28, but leave it running a little longer and at depth 29 the program plays 2…e6, which is proof positive there is something amiss in the bowels of Fritz 17) 3. g3 g6 (Although Sockfish 14 plays 3…e6, SF 14.1 corrected the obvious problem by switching to 3…d6, which has scored the highest, 58%, albeit in limited action of only 555 games. The game move has been the most often played move while scoring 55% in 2409 games) 4. Bg2 (According to the CBDB this move has been played far more than all other moves shown combined and it is not even close, as the game move has been played 5094 times while scoring 56%. With 863 games the move 4 c4 is next, and it, too, has scored 56%. It is indeed interesting that Stockfish 14.1 @depth 47 will play 4 Bg2, but @depth 51 shows 4 b3, a move having been seen in only 108 games while scoring 59%. But then at depth 60 it reverts to 4 Bg2. It makes me wonder, why?) 4…Bg7 (This move has been played in 5496 games and has scored 57%, but in 1079 games 4…d6 has scored 59% for white. Here’s the deal…@depth 44 Stockfish will play 4…Bg7, but leave it running only a short time and @depth 45 it changes it’s algorithm to 4…d6…) 5. c4 d6 (5…0-0 has been the most often played move, and it is the choice of Stockfish 10 [TEN? What happened to the latest programs? The CBDB is in dire need of a tune-up!]. Fritz 17 will play the second most often played move of 5…d6. Deep Fritz 13 will play 5…c5. The CBDB contains only ONE GAME with the move 5…c5) 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 (As has been written on this blog previously, 7…c6 is the best move in the position. 7…Qe8 was the choice of the leading exponent of the Leningrad Dutch, GM Vladimir Malaniuk. sent two new books

which were downloaded onto the laptop, and were the first two books read via computer. Unfortunately, the author, Mihail Marin,

focused exclusively on the above mentioned, second-rate move, 7…Qe8 for the Leningrad Dutch. Not wanting to write a negative review, I eschewed writing about the book. Marin dedicated the book “To my late mother, who used to tell me: “Play beautifully, Bobita!” The author writes, “…I became so deeply involved in the world of the Leningrad that in five consecutive tournaments I played 1…f5 in all my games, except those starting with 1 e4. I actually adopted a similar strategy with White, starting all my games in those tournaments with 1 f4.” Regular readers know what that meant to the AW! Before reading the books I ‘just had’ to replay each and every one of those games, while making notes for the review that never was…You, too, can reply the games, which are easy to locate at Let me say that the book was enjoyed immensely, but I have trouble recommending any book using an antiquated line as the basis for the book. On the other hand, his other Dutch book, Dutch Sidelines, is an EXCELLENT book that I highly recommend, and it should be read prior to any player attempting to play the Leningrad Dutch, or any opening beginning with 1…f5, because the players sitting behind the White pieces will throw everything including the kitchen sink at you before you ever get to play a Leningrad Dutch proper, so you better be prepared for all the sidelines, and this is a FANTASTIC book for just that purpose! See ( You can thank me later…) 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 (In 128 games this move has allowed White to score 64%. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 46, and Komodo 14 @depth 37, will play 10…e6, a move shown in only 24 games at the CBDB. White has scored 69% against the move, so if you intend on playing the Leningrad Dutch you need to produce better moves before reaching this position.

White to move after 10…h6

Stockfish vs KomodoDragon
TCEC match game 52.1
A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6

  1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 h6 11. Bd2 e6 12. e4 f4 13. Rac1 Kh7 14. Rfd1 exd5 15. cxd5 Ng4 16. f3 Ne3 17. Bxe3 fxe3 18. Ne2 h5 19. Qxe3 Bh6 20. f4 Bg4 21. Bf3 Bd7 22. Rc3 a5 23. d6 c6 24. Rb3 Rb8 25. Rbd3 h4 26. b3 Qf6 27. Rf1 hxg3 28. hxg3 g5 29. fxe5 Qxe5 30. g4 Kg6 31. Kg2 Bg7 32. Ng3 Rf4 33. Nh5 Rf7 34. a4 Rbf8 35. Ng3 Rh8 36. Nh5 Rhf8 37. Ng3 Rh8 38. Rf2 Rh4 39. Rc2 1/2 – 1/2

I wondered about the move 11 Be3 in the first game and was therefore not surprised when Stockfish varied. 11 Bd2 (varies from 11 Be3 in the first game of the mini-match. Komodo 14 @depth36 will play 11 Rd1. The CBDB contains 48 games with the move and it has scored 66% versus 2445 opposition. Going one fathom deeper to depth 37 Komodo 14 plays 11 Bd2. There are only 4 games in which this move has been attempted while scoring 50% against a composite player rated 2433. Stockfish 14.1 @depth 41 prefers the move 11 a4. Only two games are shown at the CBDB, and both ended in wins for players of the White. At depth 39 Stockfish 11 [SF 11?! How many years has it been since SF 11 was state of the art?] will play 11…e4. Going one fathom deeper the same antiquated ‘engine’ plays 11…e6…

Pavel Eljanov (2680) vs Gary William Lane (2358)
Event: Gibraltar Masters 2019
Site: Caleta ENG Date: 01/22/2019
Round: 1.20
ECO: A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.Qb3 h6 11.a4 g5 12.a5 a6 13.Be3 Qe8 14.Bc5 Qf7 15.Qa3 Re8 16.e3 g4 17.Rad1 Rb8 18.Rfe1 Nd7 19.Bb4 e4 20.Ne2 Ne5 21.Qb3 Nf3+ 22.Bxf3 gxf3 23.Nf4 e5 24.dxe6 Bxe6 25.Bc3 Bxc4 26.Qa3 Bf8 27.b4 Rbd8 28.Ba1 Bd6 29.Qc3 Kh7 30.Rd4 Bb5 31.Red1 Be5 32.Rxd8 Bxc3 33.Bxc3 Bd3 34.Rd4 Re7 35.Nxd3 Qb3 36.Nf4 1-0

Launching the h-pawn at the Leningrad Dutch

One of the best things about writing a blog is the response received from readers, most of which, fortunately, is positive. One of the emails received earlier this month, from a young man relatively new to Chess, had an influence on my deciding to continue writing the AW blog.

“I discovered your blog when looking for opening material on the Dutch opening. After reading all posts concerning the Dutch I decided to buy the book on the Leningrad Dutch

by GM Malaniuk which you have written about often. It was one of the best chess moves I have made off of the chess board. What I like about the book the most is how much of it is devoted to earlier deviations from the main lines. Most of my games venture away from the “book” moves very early in the game. Because of this I have found that to be successful in chess one must first study what is not “book” first in order to understand what is “book.” Most of my games do not reach an endgame, and if they do one side has a large advantage. Because of your blog I began playing some of the lesser played variations and found the better players were taking more time in the opening when before they would simply make their replies instantly. I have attempted to play many of the “offbeat” openings you advocate on your blog with success. For example, I have won games with the Bishop’s opening, and many of those have been won because of being able to play the Bxf7+ check. In the past year or so I have gained hundreds of rating points and now am a class D player. I attribute much of my success to your blog. It opened my mind. After looking at a game and making notes I then go to the ChessBomb and compare my notes with the variations given. Seeing the variations of how a game should have developed has helped my understanding of chess.

Before the last round of the 11th dMP Batavia GM 2019 Amsterdam (NED) IM Arthur Pijpers was tied with FM Jasel Lopez, both with 5 points. Pijpers was paired with GM Simon Williams, who had four points, and the white pieces. FM Jasel Lopez had white against Rick Lahaye, the only untitled player, who had 4 points.

The latter game began 1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6. This made me think of something you had written about always playing the move d6 when white plays both d4 and c4, so I looked it up on your blog and found you wrote, “As I recall one of the first chapters is titled, “Berzerk attacks.” This occurs when the Leningrad player allows white to fire the h4 salvo in the early opening phase of the game. Many failed experiments taught me to avoid h4 if at all possible. One of the ways to do this would be to delay playing g6 until after first playing d6, and then Nf6. White can still fire the h4 salvo, but it turns into a premature ejaculation. As a general rule I usually play d6 after the white pawns come to d4 and c4.”

Sure enough, Lopez played 4. h4 and Lahaye did not play 4…d6 but 4…Bg7. In the game mentioned above between GM Jahongir Vakhidov and GM Neil McDonald you wrote, “Vakhidov fired the h4 salvo on his fourth move, to which McDonald replied Bg7. Vak, in for a penny, in for a pound, continued pushing it in with 5 h5. Neil takes the sucker offa the board with Nxh5. When Vak fires his King pawn to e4 I am willing to wager Neil was wishing he had already played d6…At this point Stockfish, according to the CBDB would play fxe4. McDonald plays 6…e6. There follows, 7 exf5 exf5 8 Rxh5 gxh5 9 Qxh5+.”

Lopez did not play 6. e4 but a ChessBomb red move, 6. Rxh5? If Lopez had played 6. e4 he would have had a large advantage, according to ChessBomb of about a pawn and a half. Instead after taking with the rook he was down about half a pawn. That is a huge swing in the opening. What I do not understand is FM Lopez is rated 2390 and his opponent, even though untitled, is rated 2414, so they are obviously strong players. If a player is going to play an attacking line launching his h pawn, such as in this game it seems he would have at least studied the opening. If Lopez had read your post he would have known to play 6. e4! After the game moves of 6. Rxh5 gxh5 Lopez did play 7. e4 but then it was not good and he lost the game and a chance at first place. IM Arthur Pijpers was winning his game when he offered GM Williams a draw to clinch first place.

Thank you for writing such an interesting blog. I have learned about how to study and play winning chess from your blog. I hope you recover and decide to write again.”

Thank you, sir, for such positive feedback! If only all feedback were so nice…

I decided to put the opening of the game into the ChessBaseDataBase.

Jasel Lopez 2390 (ARU) – Rick Lahaye 2414 (NED)

dMP Batavia Chess Tournament 2019 round 9

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. h4 Bg7 5. h5 Nxh5 6. Rxh5 gxh5 7. e4 O-O 8. Qxh5 fxe4 9. Be3 e5 10. d5 d6 11. Nge2 Nd7 12. Ng3 Nf6 13. Qh1 c6 14. Bg5 cxd5 15. Nxd5 Be6 16. O-O-O Bxd5 17. Rxd5 Qb6 18. Bxf6 Rxf6 19. Nxe4 Rxf2 20. Nxf2 Qxf2 21. Rd2 Qe3 22. Kc2 Rf8 23. g3 e4 24. Bh3 Rf2 25. Be6+ Kh8 26. Rxf2 Qxf2+ 27. Kd1 e3 28. Qe1 Qf3+ 29. Qe2 Qe4 30. Qg4 Qd3+ 0-1

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. h4 Bg7 (Stockfish at the ChessBase Data Base show 4…d6 as the best move) 5. h5 Nxh5 6. Rxh5 (This is shown as a “red move” at the ChessBomb. Both Stockfish and Houdini at the CBDB give 6 e4 as a much superior move) gxh5 7. e4 (Now this move is not best as SF and Komodo prefer 7 Bg5, a move not shown at 365Chess. Only one game has been played with 7 Bg5:

K. Tsatsalashvili (2226) vs N. Batsiashvili (2425) Chennai Open (Women) 2013

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. h4 Bg7 5. h5 Nxh5 6.Rxh5 gxh5 7. Bg5 O-O 8. e3 c5 9. d5 d6 10. Nh3 Nd7 11. Nf4 Nf6 12. f3 a6 13.Bd3 Qe8 14. Qc2 h6 15. Bh4 e5 16. dxe6 Bxe6 17. O-O-O Bd7 18. Ncd5 Nxd5 19. Nxd5 Rf7 20. Re1 Be6 21. e4 f4 22. Qd2 Qf8 23. Nb6 Re8 24. e5 Bxe5 25. Bg6 Rf5 26. Nd5 Kg7 27. Bxe8 Qxe8 28. Ne7 Qf7 29. Nxf5+ Qxf5 30. Be7 Bd4 31. Bxd6 Be3 32. Rxe3 fxe3 33. Qxe3 Kg6 34. b3 b6 35. g3 Qf7 36. Bf8 Qxf8 37. Qxe6+ Kg7 38. Qe5+ Kg6 39. Qe6+ Kg7 40. f4 Qf6 41. Qe5 Kg6 1/2-1/2)

7…O-O 8. Qxh5 (This move, along with 8 e5 and Nh3 have been played, but Komodo and Houdini give 8 Bd3 as best)

Black, Rick Lahaye, has a huge advantage and went on the win the game which put him in a four way tie for second place, a half point behind winner IM Arthur Pijpers of the Netherlands. Tournament information can be found here:

Here are some previous posts on the Dutch:

Just Checking The End Of The Line

Each issue of the best Chess magazine in the universe, New In Chess, culminates with Just Checking, which is a series of questions for various strong players from various parts of the world. Since I am not a titled player NIC will never interview me, yet I have sometimes fantasized about answering the questions posed. Some of the answers are surprising and each and every answer tells you something about the person providing the answer. Since it is a magazine with limited space most of the answers are short. Since this is a blog I can elaborate at length. Don’t get me started! I hope you enjoy what follows.

What is your favorite city?

Decatur, Georgia, the city of my birth.

What was the last great meal you had?

Something beautiful in its simplicity prepared by the woman with whom I was in love.

What drink brings a smile to your face?

Which book would you give to a dear friend?

I have no “dear friend.”

What book are you currently reading?

Just finished reading, Presumed Guilty: How and why the Warren Commission framed Lee Harvey Oswald, by Howard Roffman. Although it was published in the mid-seventies it had somehow escaped my attention. Although I had read a few books before beginning to work at the Oxford bookstore in Atlanta, my serious reading began a few years after the book was published, yet I missed it. I ordered the book after reading about it in Volume 20, #3 of the JFK/DEEP POLITICS QUARTERLY, published in August of 2018 by Walt Brown and Tim Smith (info @ Upon opening the package and reading the front of the dust jacket I turned to the back and was taken aback, no, ASTOUNDED, to see a picture of a young Justin Morrison, now owner of Kid Chess in Atlanta, Georgia ( I kid you not! The picture of the the young man bears an uncanny resemblance to the young Justin Morrison, who was one of my opponents in the 1976 Atlanta Chess Championship. From the jacket: “Howard Roffman, now 23, was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa., where he attended public school. His interest in the assassination of President Kennedy began when he was fourteen, and he read everything he could lay his hands on on the subject. By 11th grade he had bought all 26 volumes of the Warren Report ($76), and, convinced of the inadequacy of the conclusions, he went to the National Archives and studied the files – the youngest researcher ever to see them. Alarmed at what he discovered, he writes, “I can’t think of anything more threatening than when the government lies about the murder of its leader.” It is a fine book and a clear refutation of the US Government’s “official” finding that Lee Harvey Oswald murdered the POTUS, John F. Kennedy.

What is your favorite novel?

The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

Do you have a favorite artist?

Maxfield Parrish

Way back in the 1970’s a girlfriend, Cecil Jordan, who was from California, and came to Atlanta to become a stewardess for Delta Air Lines, took me to some place in San Francisco where the paintings of Maxfield Parrish were being shown. The colors, especially blue, were so very vibrant it was like they jumped out at you in a spectacular way. I fell in love with the artists work. The pictures one sees in a book or magazine are nice, but absolutely nothing like what one sees if fortunate enough to see the real McCoy.

What is your favorite color?

What is your all-time favorite movie?

When young it was Cool Hand Luke,

then came One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,

but I cannot watch either of them now because they are too depressing. The English Patient

became a candidate, but only one movie has stood the test of time. When channel surfing and the movie flashes upon the screen it matters not what is on any other channel as the surfing ends immediately. That movie is Casablanca.

What is your all-time favorite TV series?

Who is your favorite actor?

Humphrey Bogart.

And actress?

Kim Basinger

and Blair Brown.

To what kind of music do you listen?

Because of tinnitus I now listen to mostly what is called “ambient,” or “electronic,” or “New Age,” or “space” music. (

I have, at one time or another, listened to every kind of musical genre.

Who is your favorite composer?

Duke Ellington.

Favorite male singer/songwriter?

Bob Dylan


Joni Mitchell.

Best Rock & Roll song of all-time?

Like a Rolling Stone.

Like A Rolling Stone

Written by: Bob Dylan

Once upon a time you dressed so fine

You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?

People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”

You thought they were all kiddin’ you

You used to laugh about

Everybody that was hangin’ out

Now you don’t talk so loud

Now you don’t seem so proud

About having to be scrounging for your next meal

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be without a home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely

But you know you only used to get juiced in it

And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street

And now you find out you’re gonna have to get used to it

You said you’d never compromise

With the mystery tramp, but now you realize

He’s not selling any alibis

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes

And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns

When they all come down and did tricks for you

You never understood that it ain’t no good

You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you

You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat

Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat

Ain’t it hard when you discover that

He really wasn’t where it’s at

After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people

They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made

Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things

But you’d better lift your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe

You used to be so amused

At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used

Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose

You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

Favorite Rock & Roll song of all-time?

The Night They Drove Old Dixe Down.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

The Band

Produced by John Simon

Virgil Caine is the name and I served on the Danville train
‘Til Stoneman’s cavalry came and tore up the tracks again
In the winter of ’65, we were hungry, just barely alive
By May the tenth, Richmond had fell
It’s a time I remember, oh so well

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “La, la, la”

Back with my wife in Tennessee
When one day she called to me
“Virgil, quick, come see, there go the Robert E.Lee”
Now I don’t mind choppin’ wood
And I don’t care if the money’s no good
Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest
But they should never have taken the very best

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “La, la, la”

Like my father before me, I will work the land
And like my brother above me, who took a rebel stand
He was just eighteen, proud and brave
But a Yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the mud below my feet
You can’t raise a Caine back up when he’s in defeat

The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “La, la, la”
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down
And the people were singing
They went, “La, la, la”

Best Rock & Roll band of all-time?

George Harrison of the Beatles said The Band was the best band in the universe. Who am I to argue with him?

What is your all-time favorite album?

The Romantic Warrior.

What is the best piece of advice ever given to you?

“Life is like the Bataan death march. Your best buddy might fall down but you cannot help him up because he will only drag you down so you gotta keep high-steppin’.”

Is there something you would love to learn?

The meaning of life.

What is your greatest fear?

Fear itself.

And your greatest regret?

Regrets? I’ve had a few…

Who is your favorite Chess player of all-time?

Robert J. Fischer.

Is there a Chess book that had a profound influence on you?

Chess Openings in Theory and Practice by I. A. Horowitz

I would also like to mention a Grandmaster for whom I much admiration, Vladimir Malaniuk,

because he devoted his entire life to playing the Leningrad Dutch, and with much success. For anyone desiring to play the Leningrad Dutch his book is de rigueur.

What does it mean to be a Chess player?


Is a knowledge of Chess useful in everyday life?


Do you have any superstitions concerning Chess?


If you could change one thing in the chess world what would it be?

End the offering of a draw, award more points for a win, especially with the black pieces, and rid Chess of all the people in positions of power who do not, and have not, played Chess, most of whom do not even like the game, and only want to “run things.”

That is three things.

You want me to go on?


That’s what I thought…

What is the best thing ever said about Chess?

Before the advent of the computer programs:

I believe in magic … There is magic in the creative faculty such as great poets and philosophers conspicuously possess, and equally in the creative chessmaster. – Emanuel Lasker

After the advent of the computer programs:

“The ability to combine skillfully, the capacity to find in each given position the most expedient move, is the quickest way to execute a well-conceived plan, and is in fact the only principle in the game of chess”- Mikhail Chigorin

What is the most exciting Chess game you have ever watched?

Keep in mind we were unable to “watch” most games ‘back in the day’. Even the World Championship games were replayed from the next days newspaper, which was usually the New York Times. Therefore, I am limited in the number of games I have “seen” in real time. That said, I was working the demo board the day the following game was played at the Church’s Fried Chicken tournament in San Antonio 1972 and managed to watch every move. It was “exciting” to me, and some of the home town crowd, to watch Ken Smith,

who had been manhandled by the GM’s (Ken did manage to draw earlier with Mario Campos Lopez, and beat former World Junior champion Julio Kaplan in the previous round eleven) draw with GM Paul Keres.

After the game someone mentioned something about Ken drawing because Keres was old and obviously tired. I responded, “What? You think Ken was fresh as a daisy? He has probably sat at the board longer and played more moves than any other player during the event because he was the lowest rated player, and the other players were going to test him in the endgame in each and every game.” Ken, known as the “Capablanca of the cattle country,” heard this, and was nice, and gracious to me from that day forward. Some years later I entered an elevator after losing a game in a big tournament, such as the World Open, or maybe the Western States Chess festival in Reno. There were three people on the elevator, one of whom was Ken. “How did you do, Mike?” He asked. I hung my head and answered, “I lost, Ken.”
“What opening did you play?” He asked. “It was a Leningrad Dutch,” I said. “Ah, at least you played a fighting opening!” For some reason that made me feel better and as he exited I smiled in response to his smile. It is difficult to make a player who has just lost a Chess game smile.

Paul Keres vs Kenneth Ray Smith
San Antonio (1972), San Antonio, TX USA, rd 12, Dec-04
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen’s Knight Variation (A16)

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. fxg7 cxd2+ 7. Bxd2 Bxg7
8. Qc2 Nd7 9. Ne2 Nf6 10. Ng3 Qc7 11. Bd3 Bd7 12. Bc3 O-O-O 13. O-O-O Ne8 14.
Rhe1 e6 15. Bxg7 Nxg7 16. Qc3 Nf5 17. Qf6 Rhf8 18. Re5 Kb8 19. Bxf5 exf5 20.
Qd6 Be6 21. Qxc7+ Kxc7 22. b3 Rxd1+ 23. Kxd1 Rg8 24. f4 Rg4 25. Ke2 Rxf4 26. h3
Kd6 27. Ra5 a6 28. Ke3 Rh4 29. Nxf5+ Bxf5 30. Rxf5 Ke6 31. Rg5 Rh6 32. Ke4 Rh4+
33. Ke3 Rh6 34. Kd4 Rg6 35. Re5+ Kd6 36. c5+ Kd7 37. g4 Rh6 38. Rf5 Ke6 39. Rf3
Rf6 40. Re3+ Kd7 41. Re5 Rh6 42. Re3 Rf6 43. Ke4 Ke6 44. Rd3 Rf2 45. Rd6+ Ke7
46. Rd4 Rxa2 47. Rb4 Ke6 48. Rxb7 Re2+ 49. Kd4 Rd2+ 50. Kc4 Rc2+ 51. Kb4 a5+
52. Kxa5 Rxc5+ 53. Kb4 Rc1 54. Rc7 Kf6 55. Ka3 Kg6 56. Kb2 Rc5 57. h4 h6 58.
Rd7 f6 59. Rd6 Kg7 60. h5 f5 61. Rg6+ Kh7 62. gxf5 Rxf5 63. Rxc6 Rxh5 64. b4
Rg5 65. Rc5 Rg8 66. b5 Kg6 67. Kc3 h5 68. b6 h4 69. Kd4 Rd8+ 70. Kc4 h3 71. Kb5
h2 72. Rc1 Kg5 73. b7 Rb8 1/2-1/2

What was your best result ever?

Winning the 1976 Atlanta Chess Championship 5-0.

What was the best game you played?

A win with the black pieces vs Mark Pinto, or possibly a win vs the sour Kraut, LM Klaus Pohl which was published in Chess Life magazine.

FM Mark Pinto

vs Bacon

1986 US Open rd 4

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6
6. c3 Qd5 7. Ne2 Bg4 8. f3 Bf5 9. Ng3 Bg6 10. Qb3 Qxb3 11. axb3 e6 12. Be3 Nd7
13. b4 f5 14. Bc4 Nb6 15. Bb3 Nd5 16. Bd2 Be7 17. O-O h5 18. Ne2 h4 19. Nf4
Nxf4 20. Bxf4 h3 21. g3 a6 22. Be5 Rg8 23. Kf2 Bg5 24. f4 Be7 25. Bc7 Kd7 26.
Bb6 Bh5 27. Rfe1 Bd6 28. Rg1 Rg6 29. Bc4 Rag8 30. Rae1 Bxf4 31. gxf4 Rg2+ 32.
Rxg2 Rxg2+ 33. Ke3 Rxh2 34. Bd3 Ke7 35. Bc5+ Kf6 36. Bf8 Rg2 37. Bf1 Rg3+ 38.
Kf2 Rf3+ 39. Kg1 Bg4 40. Bh6 Kg6 41. Bg5 f6 42. Rxe6 h2+ 43. Kxh2 Rxf1 44.
Rxf6+ Kg7 45. Rd6 Rf2+ 46. Kg1 Rxb2 47. Rd7+ Kg6 48. Rxb7 Bf3 49. Rb6 Kh5 50.
Rxa6 Kg4 51. Ra1 Kg3 0-1

The game was annotated by GM Jon Speelman:

What is your most memorable game?

You and your Chess program will have a field day with this game. After making my twenty third move, which threatened checkmate, in addition to attacking the Queen, and knowing there were four ways my knight could be taken, all of which lose, I sat back and folded my arms with a smug look on my face, expecting my opponent to resign. It is the most beautiful move I have ever played on a Chess board. Instead, he did what a player is supposed to do, he put his head in his hands and “hunkered down.” Although I do not recall, it is highly probable I got up and strutted around the room, waiting for the resignation that did not come… I should have simply taken the knight. I did, though, learn a valuable lesson which I have attempted to teach everyone to whom I have given lessons. “Examine ALL CHECKS.”
The game was played in Midland, Texas, in the Halliburton Open, 1974. If I recall correctly, it was played in the second round, after I had lost to a NM named Gary Simms. I also recall that after I came back to win my last three games Mr. Simms was nice enough to say, “You showed us something by not withdrawing.”

T. Thompson vs Michael Bacon

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2
Qxb2 9. Nb3 Qa3 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Be2 h5 12. f5 Nc6 13. O-O Bd7 14. fxe6 fxe6
15. Rxf6 Qb4 16. a3 Qb6+ 17. Kh1 Ne5 18. Rb1 Qc7 19. Nd4 Rc8 20. Qg5 Be7 21.
Bxh5+ Kd8 22. Rb3 Qc4 23. Rxb7


24. Nxe6+ Bxe6 25. Rf8+ 1-0

A close second would be a game in which I drew with IM Andre Filipowicz

with the black pieces in the first round of a weekend swiss tournament in Atlanta during the FIDE congress. IM Boris Kogan

Boris Kogan with raised hand at Lone Pine

and NM Guillermo Ruiz became excited with the possibility of my nicking an IM for a half-point to begin the tournament. I graciously accepted the draw offer in an even position, which brought relief to the other titled players because they knew I usually disdained a draw, preferring to play on in what was usually a futile effort.

Going back to my first blog, the BaconLOG ( I have been blogging, off and on, for over a decade. You cannot please all of the people but evidently, judging from some of the comments received, you can please some of the people. An example of the former would be this email received from the Ol’ Swindler:

raj kipling
To:Michael Bacon
Jul 19 at 9:27 AM
PLEASE remove my email address from any of you “blog” notifications…you are heading for a fall and I do not want to be dragged down with you…in fact do not email me under any circumstances…do not even respond to this email…forget that you even knew me…good luck…neal harris

Judging by the date it would appear Mr. Harris

did not care for my post of the previous day ( When we were together politics was never discussed. Why would we discuss politics when there was Chess to discuss? I did, though, travel with the Ol’ Swindler to Waynesville to attend the Smoky Mountain Chess Club once and Neal did stop at a survivalist store where it could be gleaned from the very right of center conversation all of the votes there would go to Republican candidates…

Fortunately most of the email responses received have been positive. For example:

Kevin Spraggett

To:Michael Bacon
Nov 3 at 10:02 PM
Great Article, Michael. You have become a wonderful writer!


To:Michael Bacon
Dec 10 at 6:05 AM
Great article! You are a very good writer ( I was an English major and went to grad school so I notice these things!).


That would be Karen Boyd, wife of GM Ben Finegold.

“A man who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” I cannot recall when or where I heard, or read, that, but know it is true. I have had enough blogging. We, dead reader, have reached…

End of the Line
The Traveling Wilburys
Featuring Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne & 2 more
Produced by Nelson Wilbury (George Harrison) & Otis Wilbury (Jeff Lynne)
Album Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1

[Chorus 1: George Harrison]
Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand

[Verse 1: Tom Petty]
You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring
Waiting for someone to tell you everything
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring
Maybe a diamond ring

[Chorus 2: Jeff Lynne]
Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it’s all right, everyday is Judgement Day

[Verse 2: Tom Petty]
Maybe somewhere down the road away
You’ll think of me, and wonder where I am these days
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays
Purple haze

[Chorus 3: Roy Orbison]
Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line

[Verse 3: Tom Petty]
Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don’t matter if you’re by my side
I’m satisfied

[Chorus 4: George Harrison]
Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say

[Jeff Lynne]
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive
Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please

[George Harrison]
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line

After a sports memorabilia show about three decades ago the self-proclaimed Legendary Georgia Ironman and I were at Spondivits, a bar with a seafood motif, when one of the songs, from the album, Tweeter and the Monkey Man began blasting from the excellent sound system. The late afternoon, early evening crowd broke into song, and we were with them. “Wow Mike,” the smiling Tim Brookshear, schooner filled with beer, said, “I’ve never been in a bar when everyone in the place sang along with the song!”

For that reason alone I nominate Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 for best Rock & Roll album of all-time.

Mikhail Kobalia Wins with the Leningrad Dutch

P. Iniyan IM (2460) India

vs Mikhail Kobalia GM (2599) Russia

A89 Leningrad Dutch

Aeroflot Open 2018 Rd 8

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nc3 (This is the main line of the A87 Dutch, Leningrad. Black now has a choice between three moves, Qe8, the move most often chosen by the man who wrote the book on the Leningrad, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, as it is the only move he considers in his excellent book, The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1 d4, 1 c4, 1 Nf3;

Nc6, my move; and c6, the move Stockfish considers best at the CBDB. Yet the Fish shows Nc6 best in the analysis to this game at the ChessBomb (!

Nc6 8. d5 (The main move, although Houdini at CBDB considers the seldom played Qc2 equal to d5)

Ne5 (There is disagreement about this move. The Stockfish and Houdini programs at CBDB show Ne5 best, while Komodo prefers Na5. The Stockfish program at ChessBomb has Na5 as much superior.)

9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. e4 (SF has this as first move at DaBomb, while the Dragon considers Qb3 best)

f4 (This has been the most often played move, but SF prefers the little played e6)

11. gxf4? (Although most often played the clanking digital monsters have little respect for it. The first choice of Stockfish at both the ChessBomb and CBDB is a4, a move that has yet to be played. Houdini plays b3, while Komodo plays Qe2! If you are a regular reader of this blog you know why I attach the exclam. This move is not one of the four choices given by SF in the analysis of the game at DaBomb. The other three moves are, in order, b4;b3; & Re1)

exf4 12. e5 (The ‘main’ move, but SF does not even list it! In order we have, Bxf4, by far the best according to SF; Kh1;Rb1; & f3

Ng4 13. e6 Ne5

14. Qa4? (There is total agreement that Re1 is the best move)

f3 15. Bh3

Nd3 (15…c6 16. Rd1 Qe8 17. c5 h6 18. Qe4 g5 19. Bf5 Qh5 20. h3 Kh8 21. d6 Rxf5 22. Qxf5 Bxe6 23. Qxe6 g4 24. Kf1 gxh3 25. dxe7 1-0, Tapani Sammalvuo (2375) v Sami Petteri Pitkanen [no rating given] Espoo op1 1997)

16. Qd1 Nxc1 17. Qxc1 b6 18. Ne4 Ba6 (b5!) 19. Rd1 Be5 20. Qh6 Bg7 21. Qh4 h6 22. Kh1 Bxc4 23. Rg1 Qe8

24. Rg3 ( (24. d6! cxd6 25. Nxd6 exd6 26. Qxc4) Bxd5 25. Rag1 Bxe4 26. Qxe4 g5 27. Bf5 (Bf1 with the idea of Bd3 is better) Rd8 28. Bg6 Rf4 29. Bf7+ Kh8 30. Qxf4 gxf4 31. Rxg7 Qf8 32. R7g4 c5 33. a4 a6 34. h4 b5 35. axb5 axb5 36. Kh2 c4 37. Kh3 b4 38. Rxf4 Rc8 (c3! Passed pawns must be pushed)

39. Rxf3? (This game has been a struggle. Although understandable, as the pawn on f3 has been a constant thorn in white’s side most of the game, this move is an awful mistake. By playing 39 Rgg4, putting pressure on the queen side pawns, the game would have remained in balance. This move takes the game from even to LOST.) c3 (Turn out the lights, the party’s over) 40. Rfg3 c2 41. Rc1 Qd8 42. Rg8+ Qxg8 43. Bxg8 Kxg8 44. b3 Kg7 45. Kg4 Kf6 46. Kh5 Kxe6 47. Kxh6 Ke5 48. Kg7 0-1

Roman Martynov FM 2319 (UKR) v Mikhail Kobalia GM 2599 (RUS)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 03

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 (This system was the choice of IM Boris Kogan from whom I learned much, so I have a great deal of respect for b3 versus the Leningrad.That said, there is total agreement between the Big 3 that 6 c4 is the best move. Yet in actual practice the databases show both b3 and b4 scoring higher than the ‘best’ move))

d6 (The Dragon and the Fish both prefer 6…Ne4)

7. Bb2 Ne4 (GM Vladimir Malaniuk reached this position 45 times, but never played the game move. Although the Stockfish program at Chess Bomb has Ne4 as best, the SF, and Houdini, at the CBDB show 7…e6 as the best move.)

8. c4 (Although 8 Nbd2 is played more often, the clankin’ digital monsters all agree c4 is better.)

Nc6 (8…e5 9. dxe5 Nc6 10. Qd5+ Kh8 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe5 13. Qc5 Re8 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Qxe7 Rxe7 16. Rd2 Kg8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. e4 g5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. h3 Bg6 21. Rd7 Rae8 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Nd2 e4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Re1 Nb4 1/2-1/2, F. Baumbach (2495) v R Langeveld (2681) Mostert Memorial email tt 2006)

9. Nbd2 e5 10. dxe5 (The SF program at ChessBomb shows 10 d5 as best, but the SF program at the CBDB prefers taking the pawn, while Komodo would play a TN, Rc1)

Nxd2 (Although this is the most often played move, there is disagreement between the Big 3. SF takes the knight, but the Dragon and Houdini play 10…Nc5, the move the SF program at DaBomb has as best. Go figure…)

11. Qxd2 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 (By far the most often played move, but Houdini would play Qc5, as would the SF at DaBomb)

Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 (SF and Houey prefer 14..e4)

15. e4 (This is a TN. The SF at DABomb prefers Rab1, which would be a TN; the SF at the CBDB plays Ng5. Houdini prefers 14 Ng5. See Szmacinska v Lazarevic below. For 14 Rd2 see Izsak v Torma below. The Fish would play 14 Rad1)

f4 16. Bc3 a5 17. Rd2 h6 18. Ne1 g5 19. Nd3 Rf8 20. a3 Kh7 21. f3 b6 22. a4 h5 23. Rf1 Be6 24. gxf4 exf4 25. Bxg7 Kxg7 26. h4 gxh4 27. Kh2 Rad8 28. Rfd1 Kh6 29. Bh3 Bg8 30. Kg2 Rd4 31. Kf2 Rd6 32. Ne1 Rfd8 33. Rxd6+ Rxd6 34. Nd3 Ne5 35. Ke2 Rxd3 36. Rxd3 Nxd3 37. Kxd3 Kg5 38. Kd4 Kf6 39. Kd3 Ke5 40. Bc8 Bf7 41. Bd7 Kd6 42. Bh3 c6 43. Bc8 Be8 44. Bh3 b5 45. axb5 cxb5 46. Kd4 bxc4 47. bxc4 Bd7 48. e5+ Ke7 49. Bxd7 Kxd7 50. Kd5 h3 0-1

Gyula Izsak (2436) v Robert Torma (2455)

TCh-HUN 2015-16 Hungary HUN 04/17/2016

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 d6 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Rd2 a5 16. Ne1 e4 17. Bxg7+ Kxg7 18. Nc2 a4 19. Rad1 axb3 20. axb3 Ra6 21. Ne3 Nb4 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. cxd5 c6 24. dxc6 Rxc6 25. f3 Rb6 26. Rd8 Rxd8 27. Rxd8 exf3 28. Bxf3 Be6 29. Rb8 Bxb3 30. Rxb7+ Rxb7 31. Bxb7 1/2-1/2

Grazyna Szmacinska (2120) v Milunka Lazarevic (2170)
Event: Naleczow (Women) 1985

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. b3 Bg7 5. Bb2 O-O 6. Bg2 d6 7. O-O Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. Ng5 e4 16. Rab1 h6 17. Nh3 g5 18. Kf1 Be6 19. f4 g4 20. Nf2 a5 21. a4 Rad8 22. Bxg7+ Kxg7 23. e3 Nb4 24. Ke1 Kf6 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rd1 Nc2+ 27. Ke2 Rxd1 28. Nxd1 Na1 29. Nc3 Nxb3 30. Bxe4 fxe4 31. Nxe4+ Ke7 32. Nf2 Bxc4+ 33. Kd1 h5 0-1

F. Baumbach (2495) v R Langeveld (2681)
Mostert Memorial email tt 2006

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 d6 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. c4 e5 9. dxe5 Nc6 10. Qd5+ Kh8 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 dxe5 13. Qc5 Re8 14. Rad1 Qe7 15. Qxe7 Rxe7 16. Rd2 Kg8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. e4 g5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. h3 Bg6 21. Rd7 Rae8 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Nd2 e4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Re1 Nb4 1/2-1/2

Mikhail Kobalia Plays The Dutch

Tran, Tuan Minh GM 2522 (VIE)

– Kobalia, Mikhail GM 2599 (RUS)

Aeroflot Open 2018 round 02

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 (After white plays Bg5 this move is appropriate. That said, Houdini prefers e6)

5. e3 (Qc2 has been the most played move, but Stockfish plays the move in the game)

e6 (Why did Kobalia play this move? The usual idea when playing the Leningrad Dutch is to play e5 ASAP. Stockfish at ChessBomb, and CBDB, has it as the best move, followed by g6; h6, and only then e6. The latter move is not found at 365Chess, and the Chessbase Database shows it having been played only four times. Da Bomb shows this line: (5… e5 6. Bd3 e4 7. Be2 Be7 8. Nh3 O-O 9. Nf4 Nb6 10. O-O Bd7 11. Qb3 c5 12. dxc5 dxc5 13. Rad1 Qe8 14. Nb5 Bd8; See Williams v Wall below for 6 Qc2)

6. Bd3 g6 (This is a Theoretical Novelty. The other three games at the CBDB feature the move Houdini prefers, Be7. The Fish would play 6…h6, which has yet to appear in the CBDB.)

7. Nge2 (Why not bust in the center with 7. e4? There follows a plausible line culminating in an advantage for white: fxe4 8. Bxe4 Be7 9. Bc2 Nh5 10. Be3 Ng7 11. Nf3 Nf5 12. Bd2 Bf6 13. Bxf5 exf5 14. Qe2+ Qe7 15. Nd5 Qxe2+ 16. Kxe2)

e5 8. f3 (b4) Bg7 9. O-O (Qb3 & e4 are possible alternatives) O-O (h6!?) 10. Qc2 c6 (h6!) 11. Rad1 (b4!) Qe7 (In The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1 d4, 1 c4, 1 Nf3,

the Grandmaster of the LD, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, focuses on the move of the Queen to e8 exclusively in the main line. With the bishop on g5 this would seem to be an appropriate move in the current position.)

12. b4 (This move could have been played earlier, but now is a mistake. If one is going to move the b-pawn, it should only move one square forward. That said, Stockfish considers 12 Qd2 best. What? Move the Queen again? Computer programs have no preconceived notions about not moving the same piece twice in the opening if it is the best move in the position!)

Re8 (Qe7) 13. Qb3 (e4) Kh8 (A common move for a human to make under the circumstances. Not so for a program! Stockfish shows 13…exd4; h6; a5; & Qf7, in that order. Consider this line produced by the clanking digital monster: 13… exd4 14. c5+ d5 15. exd4 Nf8 16. Rfe1 Qf7 17. Bh4 Ne6 18. b5 Nh5 19. Bf2 Bd7 20. Bc2 Nf6 21. Qb2 Rab8 22. a4, which limits white to a small advantage)

14. Bc2 (Rfe1) Nb6 (a5 or exd4) 15. d5 (e4) a5 (cxd5; h6; & Bd7 are better) 16. bxa5 Nbd7 17. dxc6 ( Na4!)

bxc6 18. Na4 (Qb4) Ba6 19. Rfe1 Qe6 20. Qb4 (Qd3!?)

c5 21. Qd2

Bf8? (This is a RED MOVE! These are the kinds of moves from which one MUST refrain . What makes it so difficult to understand is that black had an obviously better move with taking the pawn by 21…Bxc4. Now black is in serious difficulties after…)

22. Bb3 Rab8 23. Bxf6+ Nxf6 24. Nb6 Red8 25. Nc3 e4 26. f4 h6 27. Rf1 Rb7 28. Qf2 Ra7 29. Qd2 g5 30. Ncd5 Rf7 (g4 needs to be played) 31. h3 (31. fxg5! Nxd5 32. cxd5 Qg6 33. Bc4 Bxc4 34. Nxc4 hxg5 35. Rb1 Kg8 36. a6 Ra8 37. Rb6 Rfa7 38. g4 Rxa6 39. Rxa6 Rxa6 40. gxf5 Qf6 41. Qc2 Qf7 42. Qxe4 Rxa2 43. f6)

Bg7 32. Qf2 g4 (32… Nxd5 33. cxd5 Qf6 hangs tougher)

33. Nxf6 Bxf6 (Qxf6 is somewhat better) 34. hxg4 Rg7 35. gxf5

Qf7 ( (35… Qxf5 36. Rd5 Qg6 is better) 36. Bc2 Qh5? (It is all over now, baby blue. Why he did not capture the pawn on c4 boggles the mind, but then, it is difficult to resist when one bad move follows another, as I can say from experience. Some some of the best players can make things as difficult as possible for their opponent when in a worse position. GM Karjakin comes to mind as one who has this ability)

37. Bxe4 Bh4 38. Qf3 Rg4 39. Qh3 Rg3 40. Bf3 (RED MOVE! It is easy to become complacent when in a much better position. A much better move is…Qh1! One does not see a move like this played every day! White rights his ship after this inaccuracy.)

Rxh3 41. Bxh5 Rxe3 42. Rf3 Re4 43. Bf7 Bf6 44. Kh2 Re2 45. a4 Bd4 46. Rh3 Kh7 47. Bh5 Re4 48. Bf3 Rxf4 49. Nd5 Rxf3

50. Rxf3 (Not the best, but still good enough to win; gxf3 is best. I, too, would have taken with the rook, almost without thinking.Maybe it’s a human thing…) Bxc4 51. Rxd4? (Simply Nf4) cxd4 52. Nb6 Ba6 53. Rf4 d3 54. Rd4 Rf8? (Black has chances to hold with Kg7) 55. Rd5 Rf7 56. g4 Re7 57. Kg3 Re2 58. Rxd6 d2 59. Rd7+ Kh8 60. Rd8+ (Kf3) Kg7 61. Rd7+ Kf6 62. Nd5+ Ke5 63. Nb4 Re3+ (Bb7!) 64. Kf2 Re2+ 65. Kf3 Bc4 66. a6 Kf6 67. a7 Re7 68. Rd6+ Ke5 69. Rxd2 (( a8=Q, not that it matters) 1-0

Simon Williams 2493 v Gavin Wall 2325

London Classic Open 2010

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 e5 6. Qc2
g6 7. O-O-O c6 8. h3 Be7 9. g4 exd4 10. exd4 h6 11. Bd2 Nf8 12. f3 Ne6 13. Nge2
Ng7 14. Nf4 Kf7 15. Bd3 g5 16. Nfe2 a6 17. h4 gxh4 18. gxf5 Nfh5 19. f6 Nxf6
20. Bg6+ Ke6 21. d5+ Kd7 22. dxc6+ bxc6 23. Bf4 Qa5 24. Nd4 Kc7 25. Rhe1 Bf8
26. Qd2 Kb7 27. Nb3 Qb4 28. Bxd6 Bxd6 29. Qxd6 Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Nge8 31. Re7+ Kb6
32. c5# 1-0

Andrew Ledger (2363) – Roderick M McKay, (2312)
4NCL 2017-18 England ENG 01/13/2018

ECO: A41 Old Indian defence

1. d4 d6 2. c4 f5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 c6 6. Bd3 g6 7. e4 fxe4 8. Nxe4 Bg7 9. Nf3 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Nf6 11. Bd3 Bg4 12. O-O O-O 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Qa5 15. Qe3 Rae8 16. b4 Qc7 17. Qe6+ Rf7 18. Rad1 Nd7 19. h4 Nf8 20. Qg4 a5 21. b5 c5 22. dxc5 Qxc5 23. Be3 Qc7 24. b6 Qc6 25. h5 gxh5 26. Qxh5 a4 27. Qd5 Qc8 28. Be4 e6 29. Qb5 Qd7 30. Rxd6 Qxd6 31. Qxe8 Rd7 32. Qa8 Qe7 33. Qxa4 Bd4 34. Re1 Qc5 35. Qb3 Rd6 36. Bxd4 Qxd4 37. Qg3+ Kh8 38. Qf3 1-0

Reti Versus Dutch

Ravi Haria (ENG)

v Sasa Martinovic (CRO)

European Individual Championship 2018 round 04

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 (In his excellent book, The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1. d4, 1. c4, 1. Nf3,

GM Vladimir Malaniuk

gives 2…d6, writing, “This move is more precise than 2…Nf6.” When it comes to the Leningrad Dutch Malaniuk is like E. F. Hutton-when he talks, or writes, you LISTEN! The MAN, when it comes to the LD, has been playing the variation, and variations on the variation, since BC (Before Computers), with published games dating to the 1980’s. In case you are wondering, Stockfish also considers it best. It is the only move I have played. Bring on the delayed Lisitsin Gambit!)

3. d4 (The Delayed Lisitsin Gambit begins with 3 e4) e6 (The best move according to the Fish and the Dragon, but 3…Nf6 is also playable. After 4 d5 only Nb4 has been tried. Stockfish would play either Na5 or Nb8, each being a TN)

4. c4 (SF plays e3; Komodo plays g3)

Nf6 5. Nc3 (SF plays e3; Komodo plays g3) Bb4 6. Qb3 (There is a reason the Dragon plays Bd2) Ne4 (SF and Houdini consider this best. For 6… O-O see Shengelia v Neiksans below)

7. d5 (Bd2 is better) Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Na5 9. Qa4 b6 10. Nd2 (e3) Qf6 11. Qb4 c5 12. dxc6 Nxc6 13. Qa3 Ne5

(This move looks weird. I’m thinking development with Bb7, but Stockfish plays Na5)

14. e3 (This leads to a large disadvantage. 14 f4! is a FORCING MOVE)

Bb7 15. Nxe4

fxe4 (I woulda taken with the bishop as taking with the pawn just looks bad. Stockfish agrees. Black is still better after taking with the pawn, but is much better after the taking with the bishop)

16. Be2 Qe7 (Black had better alternatives with Qh4 or d6)

17. Qxe7+ Kxe7 18. Ba3+ d6 19. O-O-O Rhd8 (Rad8 is better) 20. Rd4 Rac8 21. Rhd1 Nf7

22. f3 (The game would be almost even if R4d2 had been played)

e5 23. R4d2 exf3 24. gxf3 Ba6 25. f4 exf4 26. Rd4 fxe3

27. Re4+ (Why not 27. R1d3 Kf8 28. Rxe3?)

Kf8 28. Bg4 Rxc4 29. Rdd4 Rxd4 30. Rxd4 Bc8 31. Be2 Bf5 32. Kd1 Ke7 33. Ra4 a5 34. Bc1 Rc8 35. Bxe3 Rxc3 36. Bxb6 Rc6 37. Rxa5 Rxb6 38. Rxf5 Ne5 39. Rf4 Rb2 40. Ra4 Kf6 41. Ra6 Ke6 42. Ra7 Kf6 43. Ra6 Ke6 44. Ra7 g6 45. a4 h5 46. a5 Nc6 47. Rg7 Kf6 48. Rd7 Ke6 49. Rg7 Ne7 50. a6 d5 51. Rh7 Ra2 52. Rh8 Nc6 53. Rg8 Ne5 54. Rg7 Kd6 55. a7 Kc5 56. Kc1 Kb6 57. Re7 Nc6 58. Re6 Rxa7 59. Rxg6 h4 60. Bf3 Kc5 61. Rg5 Nb4 62. Rh5 Ra1+ 63. Kd2 Ra2+ 64. Ke3 Rxh2 65. Kf4 Kc4 66. Kg4 d4 67. Be4 Nd3 68. Bf5 Ne5+ 69. Kf4 Nd3+ 70. Kg5 Ne1 71. Kg4 Ng2 72. Kf3 Ne1+ 73. Kg4 Ng2 74. Kf3 d3 75. Rh8 Ne1+ 76. Kg4 Rg2+ 77. Kh3 d2 78. Rc8+ Kd4 79. Rd8+ Ke3 80. Bg4 Rg3+ 81. Kxh4 Rxg4+ 0-1

Davit Shengelia (2551) v Arturs Neiksans (2502)
Event: 18th European Teams
Site: Porto Carras GRE Date: 11/04/2011

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 3. d4 e6 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Qb3 O-O 7. g3 Ne4 8. Bg2 b6 9. Bd2 Nxd2 10. Kxd2 Be7 11. a3 Bb7 12. e3 Na5 13. Qa2 c5 14. d5 Bf6 15. Rac1 b5 16. cxb5 a6 17. Rhd1 axb5 18. Ke1 Qb6 19. Nd2 c4 20. Kf1 b4 21. axb4 Nb3 22. Nxc4 Qxb4 23. Na3 Nxc1 24. Rxc1 Kh8 25. Rc2 Rfc8 26. dxe6 Bxg2+ 27. Kxg2 dxe6 28. Qxe6 Bxc3 29. bxc3 Qxa3 30. c4 Qd3 31. Rc1 Rc5 32. Ra1 Rac8 33. Ra5 Qe4+ 0-1

Dmitry Mischuk (2349) v Vladimir Malaniuk (2482)
Event: Bank Lviv Blitz Open 2016
Site: Lviv UKR Date: 03/14/2016

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nc6 3. d4 e6 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd2 O-O 7. e3 Qe7 8. Qc2 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 Ne4 10. Bd3 Nxc3 11. Qxc3 d6 12. O-O-O e5 13. Bc2 a5 14. a3 e4 15. Nd2 Bd7 16. f3 exf3 17. gxf3 Rae8 18. Rde1 Qf6 19. Rhg1 f4 20. Ne4 Qh6 21. Kb1 fxe3 22. Rxe3 Re7 23. Re2 Qf4 24. Reg2 Qxf3 25. Qd2 Qf4 26. Qc3 Qf3 27. Qd2 Qf4 28. Qc3 Qf3 29. Qd2 Qf4 30. Qc3 Qf3 1/2-1/2

Nukhim Rashkovsky – Vladimir Malaniuk
Alekhine Open Moscow 1996

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 d6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 e5 5. O-O c6 6. e4 Be7 7. c3 fxe4 8. dxe4 O-O 9. Qb3+ Kh8 10. Ng5 Qe8 11. Ne6 Bxe6 12. Qxe6 Nbd7 13. Be3 Qf7 14. Qxf7 Rxf7 15. h3 d5 16. Nd2 Nc5 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Bxc5 Bxc5 19. Ne4 Bb6 20. Rad1 Nf6 21. Nd6 Rd7 22. Rfe1 Rad8 0-1

Garry Kasparov (2800) v A. Nunez (2285)
Event: Galicia sim
Site: Galicia Date: 07/19/1991

1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 d6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 c6 5. O-O g6 6. e4 fxe4 7. dxe4 e5 8. Nbd2 Be7 9. Ne1 Be6 10. Nd3 Nbd7 11. b3 Qc7 12. Bb2 O-O 13. Kh1 Rae8 14. f4 Rf7 15. c4 Bg4 16. Qe1 exf4 17. gxf4 Bf8 18. Qf2 Rfe7 19. Rae1 Bg7 20. h3 Be6 21. Nf3 Nh5 22. Bxg7 Rxg7 23. Ng5 a5 24. Bf3 Nhf6 25. e5 dxe5 26. fxe5 Nh5 27. Bxh5 gxh5 28. Nxe6 Rxe6 29. Nf4 Ree7 30. e6 1-0

The Bird Attack

After having to face the Bird opening in round four, GM Peter Svidler decided to flip Jakovenko the Bird today. One can go months, years, without seeing a Bird, then the next thing you know one feels like Tippi Hedren in one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous movies.

Svidler, Peter (2743) – Jakovenko, Dmitry (2745)
67th ch-RUS 2014 Kazan RUS (7), 2014.12.05

1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 (Although this is the most often played move, I was surprised to find, according to the CBDB, Stockfish plays c4, while Komodo plays e3) Nf6 (Stockfish plays g6, which has held White to only 40%! Komodo prefers 2…Bf5, against which White has scored 58%!) 3.g3 (Depending on the version, Stockfish plays either e3 or b3) g6 (Again, depending on which version, SF plays this, or 3…c5, or Bc5)
4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O (Komodo likes d3) O-O 6.d3 (Houdini shows Nc3) c5 (SF plays b6) 7.Qe1 (All engines agree) Nc6 (While this is Komodo’schoice, Houdini plays 7…Qb6, with SF playing 7…d4) 8.h3 (All three engines play 8 e4) d4 9.Na3 (SF plays this, but Houey likes 9 e4) Nd5 10.Nc4 b6 (TN- Previously seen have been 10 b5 & Rb8. See games) 11.Bd2 Bb7 12.c3 e6 13.Rc1 Rc8 14.Qf2 Nde7 15.a4 Ba6 16.Nce5 dxc3 17.Bxc3 Nxe5 18.Bxe5 Nc6 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Ne5 Nxe5 21.fxe5 Qd4 22.Qxd4 cxd4 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.b4 b5 25.Ra1 Rc7 26.a5 f6 27.exf6+ Kxf6 28.Kf2 Bc8 29.Ke1 e5 30.Kd2 Be6 31.Rc1 Rxc1 32.Kxc1 Bd7 33.h4 g5 34.Kd2 g4 35.Be4 h6 36.Bd5 Ke7 37.e4 Kf6 38.Ke2 Ke7 39.Kd2 Kf6 40.Ke2 Ke7 ½-½

Malaniuk, Vladimir P (2532) vs Simacek, Pavel (2480)
Marianske Lazne 2006

1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 c5 5. O-O Nc6 6. d3 Nf6 7. Qe1 O-O 8. Kh1 Re8 9. Qf2 b6 10. Ne5 Bb7 11. Nc3 e6 12. e4 Qc7 13. Nxc6 1/2-1/2

Lund, D Brett (2255) vs Dineley, Richard (2270)
BCF-chT 9798 (4NCL) 1998

1. g3 d5 2. Bg2 Nf6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 c5 7. Qe1 Nc6 8. h3 d4 9. Na3 Nd5 10. Nc4 b5 11. Nce5 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Bb7 13. c4 dxc3 14. bxc3 Qc7 15. e4 Nb6 16. Rb1 a6 17. c4 Nd7 18. Ng4 Nf6 19. Ne3 e6 20. Bb2 Bc6 21. Be5 Qe7 22. Qc3 Rac8 23. Ng4 Nh5 24. Bxg7 Nxg7 25. f5 Qd6 26. fxg6 fxg6 27. Nh6+ Kh8 28. Nf7+ Rxf7 29. Rxf7 Qd4+ 30. Qxd4 cxd4 31. e5 Bxg2 32. Kxg2 bxc4 33. dxc4 Rd8 34. g4 d3 35. Rd1 Kg8 36. Rf3 1-0

Bielawski, Przemyslaw (2215) vs Pioch, Zygmunt (2285)
MK Cafe op-A 1997

1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 c5 7. Qe1 d4 8. Na3 Nc6 9. h3 Nd5 10. Nc4 Rb8 11. a4 b6 12. g4 Ncb4 13. Na3 Bd7 14. b3 Bc6 15. Ne5 Bb7 16. Qg3 Nc3 17. Rf2 Nd1 18. Rf1 Nc3 19. Rf2 Bxg2 20. Rxg2 Qc7 21. e4 dxe3 22. Bxe3 Ncd5 23. Bd2 Nc6 24. Re1 Nxe5 25. fxe5 Qd7 26. Nc4 a6 27. Ne3 Nxe3 28. Bxe3 Rbc8 29. Kh1 b5 30. axb5 axb5 31. Qf2 c4 32. bxc4 bxc4 33. d4 Qd5 34. c3 f6 35. e6 Qxe6 36. Bf4 Qd7 37. Qe3 e5 38. dxe5 fxe5 39. Bg3 Qc6 40. Kh2 Rf3 41. Qa7 e4 42. Rb1 Rf7 43. Qe3 Rd8 44. Rb6 Qd5 45. Rb4 Qd3 46. Qb6 Bxc3 47. Rxc4 Qxc4 48. Qxd8+ Kg7 49. g5 Qe6 50. Qb8 Re7 51. Rf2 h5 52. Qf8+ Kh7 53. Qh6+ Kg8 54. Rf8# 1-0

Leningrad Dutch by Vladimir Malaniuk

It should be obvious to anyone who reads this blog that I love the Leningrad Dutch. The GM who has spent most of his career playing the defense, Vladimir Malaniuk, has written a book on it, and it has been published in Europe, and is not yet for sale in the US. For that reason I decided to email the publisher, Chess Stars, to learn why it is not yet sold here in the states.
Subject: Re: Leningrad Dutch
From: Semko Semkov
Date: Tue, August 5, 2014 01:51
To: Michael
I sent the book long ago to our distributor. I will ask him to answer you.
Our US distributor is Books From Europe
I asked him to answer you, but I still have no reply from them.
Semko Semkov
Books From Europe
Aug 5
Dear Michael,
Leningrad Dutch by GM Malaniuk is available on our web-site (as most chess titles from the wide range of publishers).
Please follow the link:
We also have internet stores on the E-bay:
and Amazon:
Best Regards,
Emanuel & Irena Rasin ( Books from Europe )
Visit our website:
Fax / Toll Free 1-866-328-1523

Aug 7
Semko Semkov
Thanks a lot for letting me know that. We only send books to our distributor and we do not devise his trading policy. Before Books from Europe, we dealt with Hannon Russel from Chess Cafe. He sold less so we are relatively happy with the guy from Books from Europe.
Perhaps the main problem in our case is the expensive delivery from Europe (air cargo) and the high cost of books before production. Making a hardcover is actually cheap (1$), we do not offer them to reduce weight and postal expenses. Our authors are top Grandmasters and we publish only high quality (having in mind chess content) books. It takes a year to prepare one. Respectively their fees are higher than an author of “a really nice hardback McFarland book”. At the same time, our target audience is farly limited to strong club players and professionals. If the reader does not grasp the difference between mass production and our books, he is probably right not to buy them. They are clearly not meant for him.
We are constantly trying to make our product more affordable. That’s why we devised the electronic format Forwardchess (iOS –, Android ( . It is much more functional than any paper book since all the moves are displayed on a big board while retaining their print layout. One can also analyze with Stockfish.
The prices are the same or less (the top one is $20) than any competitor’s book. I strongly recommend Forward chess to any chess fan. In my opinion, this is the future of chess books.
Aug 8
You are welcome, Semko. I completely understand everything you have written, having worked at the Oxford bookstore in the late 70’s-early 80’s I do understand some things about the business of books. In my case it is that I am old(er) and have less money, much of which does go to books! Although New in Chess magazine is considered expensive, I enjoy it immensely and somehow manage to read every issue, whether or not I have a subscription.
I would like to use your comments in a post about the Malaniuk book and the state of the book business. I would, therefore, like to ask you if that is OK? Also, what is the retail price of the book? The folks at Chess Cafe show this:
7/12 The Leningrad Dutch (25% preorder discount!)
When one clicks on, this is shown:
Price $37.95
Sale Price $28.46
Availability Back Ordered
Is this the true retail price? Or is it $31.95?

Semko Semkov
Aug 8
Thanks a lot for letting me know that. We only send books to our distributor and we do not devise his trading policy. Before Books from Europe, we dealt with Hannon Russel from Chess Cafe. He sold less so we are relatively happy with the guy from Books from Europe.
Perhaps the main problem in our case is the expensive delivery from Europe (air cargo) and the high cost of books before production. Making a hardcover is actually cheap (1$), we do not offer them to reduce weight and postal expenses. Our authors are top Grandmasters and we publish only high quality (having in mind chess content) books. It takes a year to prepare one. Respectively their fees are higher than an author of “a really nice hardback McFarland book”. At the same time, our target audience is farly limited to strong club players and professionals. If the reader does not grasp the difference between mass production and our books, he is probably right not to buy them. They are clearly not meant for him.
We are constantly trying to make our product more affordable. That’s why we devised the electronic format Forwardchess (iOS –, Android ( . It is much more functional than any paper book since all the moves are displayed on a big board while retaining their print layout. One can also analyze with Stockfish.
The prices are the same or less (the top one is $20) than any competitor’s book. I strongly recommend Forwardchess to any chess fan. In my opinion, this is the future of chess books.
On Friday, August 8, 2014 2:31 PM, Semko Semkov wrote:
I do not know the retail price – we never put one on the cover.
Our wholesale price is $15 (including air cargo to the US). American retailers are used to at least double it. As far as I know, that’s common practice.
So there it is, the retail cost of the book is $15. Chess Cafe shows the price of the book as $37.95, on “sale” for $32.27. Although they showed it as ‘Back Ordered’ a few days ago, it is not listed as ‘in stock.’ Amazon has it listed for $31.95, plus $3.99 shipping. This is from the folks at Books From Europe. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book. Unfortunately, circumstances dictate that I must wait on a price drop.

The Beatles Paperback Writer 2009 Stereo Remaster)

Dutch Springs Leak

The Dutch dam erected earlier on Jefferson Davis Highway in DC cracked in the penultimate round of the World Open. Wins pouring through the sieve as Viktor Laznicka lost to Illia Nyzhnyk, and Isan Suarez gave way to Mark Paragua. The CCA website crashed, so I have Monroi ( to thank for the games. Nyzhnyk fianchettoed his Queen Bishop which was the favored method of IM Boris Kogan. He explained that the dark-squared Bishop often has difficulty finding a good square, so the early development takes care of that problem. The results shown at the Chessbase Database (, and 365Chess ( look good for White in this line, proving, if proof be needed, “Hulk” Kogan knew what he was taking about when it came to chess theory.
Illia Nyzhnyk vs Viktor Laznicka
2014 World Open d 8
1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 g6 5.O-O Bg7 6.b3 O-O 7.Bb2 c6 8.Nbd2 a5 9.a4 Na6 10.Re1 Qc7 (10…Nb4 11. h3 Ne4 12. Nxe4 fxe4 13. Nd2 d5 14. c3 Na6 15. f3 Qc7 16. Kh2 exf3 17. Nxf3 Bf5 18. Qd2 Be4 19. Rf1 Rf6 20. Ba3 Raf8 21. Qe3 h6 22. h4 R8f7 23. Rac1 Qd8 24. Bh3 Nc7 25. Nd2 Bf5 26. g4 Bd7 27. Nf3 Rf4 28. Ne5 Bxe5 29. Qxe5 Re4 30. Qg3 Rxf1 31. Rxf1 Ne8 32. Bc1 Nf6 33. Bxh6 Nxg4+ 34. Kh1 Bf5 35. Bf4 Qd7 36. Rg1 Nf6 37. e3 Rxf4 38. exf4 Bxh3 39. Qxg6+ Kf8 40. Qg7+ Ke8 41. Qh8+ Kf7 42. Rg7+ Ke6 43. Qb8 Qd6 44. Qxb7 Qd8 45. Qxc6+ Kf5 46. Qb7 Ng8 47. Rg5+ Ke4 48. Qb5 1-0, Lubomir Ftacnik (2430) – Ratmir Kholmov (2550) CSR-ch 1979) 11.c3 e5 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.e4 Rd8 14.Qe2 fxe4 15.Ng5 Nc5 16.Qc4 Rd5 17.Ndxe4 Ncxe4 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.Bxe4 Be6 20.Bxd5 Bxd5 21.Qe2 Qf7 22.f4 Bxb3 23.fxe5 Re8 24.Qd3 Bd5 25.Ba3 Bxe5 26.Rab1 Bc4 27.Qe3 Re6 28.Qa7 Qe8 29.Qxa5 b5 30.Rbd1 Bd5 31.Bc5 Bd6 32.Bf2 bxa4 33.c4 1-0
Taimanov, Mark E – Malaniuk, Vladimir P ½-½
A87 Baku 1983
1. Nf3 f5 2. d4 d6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 g6 5. b3 Bg7 6. Bb2 O-O 7. O-O Ne4 8. c4 Nc6 9. Nbd2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qd5+ Kh8 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Rad1 1/2-1/2
Mark Paragua (2506) vs Isan Suarez (2592)
2014 World Open d 8
1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nc3 Nh6 7.Qd2 Nf7 8.Be3 c5 9.Na4 (9. O-O-O Bxd4 10. Bxd4 e5 11. Bb5+ Nc6 12. Qe2 Qd6 13. Be3 Be6 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. c4 a6 16. Rxd5 1-0, Alexandr Kharitonov (2437) – Thomas Rendle (2240), EU-ch U18, 2003) cxd4 10.Bxd4 e5 11.Bc5 Nc6 12.Nf3 Be6 13.Bb5 Nd6 14.Ng5 Bh6 15.Be3 Bg8 16.Nf7 Bxf7 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Bxh6 Nc4 19.Qb4 Rb8 20.Qc5 Qc7 21.f4 Rb5 22.Qf2 Qa5 23.Nc3 Rxb2 24.O-O Qb6 25.Na4 Qxf2 26.Rxf2 Rb4 27.Nc5 e4 28.f5 Ke7 29.c3 Rb2 30.Rxb2 Nxb2 31.Rb1 Nd3 32.Rb7 Kf6 33.Be3 Rd8 34.Bd4 Kxf5 35.Rxf7 Kg4 36.h3 1-0

Kazim Scores with the Leningrad Dutch!

After losses to GM Yury Shulman (2568) and IM Lev Milman (2437), with a win vs unrated Siddharth Barot, who upset Justin Burgess (2160) the previous round, sandwiched in between, Kazim Gulamali sat down to begin the fourth round of the 42nd World Open, being held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, located at 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, Virginia, behind the Black pieces vs IM Justin Sarkar (2414). In reply to his the opening move of 1 d4 Kazim played 1…f5! It turned into one of the main Leningrad Dutch variations.
Kazim was known as the “Little Grandmaster” at the House of Pain. He cut his chess teeth at the House. It was thrilling to watch the game today because I LOVE the Leningrad Dutch! I was also elated to learn the Master of the Leningrad Dutch, none other than GM Vladimir Malaniuk, has written a book entitled, “The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1.d4, 1.c4, 1.Nf3” published by Chess Stars, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. Unfortunately, although it was supposedly published June 9, I cannot find it for sale. I checked with the Gorilla only to find, “Out of Print-Limited Availability.” If anyone knows how to locate a copy, please let me know!
Justin Sarkar (2414)vs Kazim Gulamali (2300)
1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 O-O 6.Nf3 d6 7.O-O Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.Qb3 Kh8 11.c5 e4 12.Rd1 b6 13.Bf4 bxc5 14.Qa3 c4 15.Qc5 Ne8 16.Qxc4 a5 17.Rac1 Nd6 18.Qc5 Bd7 19.Rc2 Qb8 20.Be3 Rc8 21.Bd4 Qb4 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Qd4 Qxd4 24.Rxd4 c5 25.dxc6 Bxc6 26.Bf1 Rab8 27.e3 Nf7 28.Ba6 Rd8 29.Ne2 Bd5 30.Ra4 Ng5 31.Kf1 Nf3 32.Nd4 Nxh2 33.Ke2 e5 34.Nb5 Nf3 35.Nc7 Bf7 36.Rxa5 Rb6 37.g4 Rbd6 38.gxf5 Rd1 39.Ne6 Kh6 0-1

Here are some other games with this variation I found on the Chessbase database and at

Monnard, Laurent (2285)- Spraggett, Kevin (2495) 0-1
A89 Andorra op 9th 1991
1. c4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. d4 d6 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Qb3 Kh8 10. Nxe5 dxe5 11. c5 h6 12. a4 a6 13. a5 g5 14. c6 bxc6 15. dxc6 e4 16. Rd1 Qe8 17. Qc4 Ng4 18. Nd5 Rb8 19. Nxc7 Qh5 20. h3 Ne5 21. Qc2 f4 22. gxf4 Bxh3 23. Qxe4 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Rb4 25. Qxb4 Qg4+ 26. Kh2 Qh4+ 27. Kg2 Ng4 28. Be3 Qh2+ 29. Kf3 Ne5+ 30. Ke4 Rxf4+ 31. Bxf4 Qxf4+ 32. Kd5 Qxb4 33. Nxa6 Qc4# 0-1

Behling, Robert (2290)- Spraggett, Kevin (2540) 0-1
A89 Vienna op 1990
1. c4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. d4 d6 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 Kh8 11. c5 h6 12. Rd1 g5 13. a4 f4 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 Qe8 16. Ra3 Qh5 17. Qd3 g4 18. Rd2 Bf5 19. Rc2 Rad8 20. gxf4 exf4 21. Bxf4 Bxe4 22. Qxe4 Rxd5 23. Rd3 Rxd3 24. exd3 g3 25. f3 gxh2+ 26. Rxh2 Qxc5+ 27. Be3 Qd6 28. Rg2 b6 29. Rg6 Rf6 30. Rg2 Qe6 31. b4 Qxe4 32. fxe4 Rf3 33.Te2 Txe3 – + 0-1

Sherwin, James T (2309)- Hague, Ben (2227) 0-1
A89 BCF-chT2 0304 (4NCL) 2004
1. Nf3 d6 2. d4 f5 3. c4 Nf6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 Kh8 11. c5 h6 12. a4 g5 13. Bd2 a6 14. Rad1 Qe8 15. Qb4 f4 16. Qa5 Qh5 17. f3 g4 18. gxf4 gxf3 19. exf3 Bh3 20. fxe5 Bxg2 21. exf6 Rxf6 22. Kxg2 Rg6+ 23. Kh1 Be5 24. Rf2 Bxh2 0-1

Novikov, Igor A (2591)- Braunlich, Tom (Unr) 1-0
A89 Portsmouth Millennium op 2000
1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 d6 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Qb3 Kh8 11. c5 a6 12. Rd1 Rb8 13. Bd2 Bd7 14. Rac1 h6 15. Qa3 g5 16. c6 Bc8 17. cxb7 Bxb7 18. Na4 e4 19. Ba5 Ne8 20. Nc5 Qd6 21. Bb4 Bc8 22. Rc4 Qg6 23. Bc3 Nd6 24. Rb4 Rb5 25. Nxa6 Bxa6 26. Qxa6 Rxb4 27. Bxb4 Bxb2 28. Qc6 f4 29. Qxc7 Qf6 30. Bxd6 exd6 31. Bxe4 Rf7 32. Qb8+ Rf8 33. Qb7 Rf7 34. Qc8+ Rf8 35. Qe6 fxg3 36. Qxf6+ Bxf6 37. hxg3 Ra8 38. Rd2 Bc3 39. Rc2 Ra3 40. Bd3 Kg7 41. Bc4 Bd4 42. Bb3 Bc5 43. Rc4 Ra7 44. Re4 Rf7 45. e3 h5 46. Kg2 g4 47. Ba4 Ra7 48. Kf1 Kf6 49. Bb3 Ba3 50. Re6+ Kg5 51. Bc2 Rg7 52. Kg2 h4 53. gxh4+ Kxh4 54. Re4 Kh5 55. Bd1 Bb2 56. Rxg4 Rxg4+ 57. Kh3 1-0

Thingstad, Even (1893) v Mikalsen, Erlend (Unr)
Arctic Chess Challenge Tromsoe
08/07/2007 Round: 4
ECO: A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6
1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. O-O d6 6. c4 O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. c5 e4 11. Qb3 Kh8 12. Rd1 b6 13. Bf4 bxc5 14. Qa3 Nh5 15. Be3 f4 16. Bxc5 f3 17. Bf1 Rf7 18. Nxe4 Bg4 19. Ng5 Rf5 20. exf3 Rxg5 21. Bxe7 Qb8 22. Bxg5 Bxb2 23. Qe3 Bxf3 24. Qxf3 Qb4 25. d6 1-0

Yannick Pelletier (2571) v Francisco Vallejo Pons (2648)
Biel 2002 A89
1. d4 f5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. c5 Kh8 11. Qb3 h6 12.Rd1 a6 13. Bd2 Qe8 14. Rac1 g5 15.Na4 e4 16. Ba5 Bd7 17. Nc3 Rc8 18. Qxb7 Rb8 19. Qxc7 Rc8 20. Qb7 Rb8 21.Qxa6Ra8 22. Qb6 Rb8 23. Qa6 Ra8 24. Qc4 Rxa5 25. c6 Bc8 26. b4 Ra8 27. b5 Qd8 28.Qc5 Ne8 29. b6 Nd6 30. Rb1 Ba6 31. a4 Qb8 32. Nb5 Bxb5 33. axb5 Ra2 34. b7 Be5 35. Rdc1 Ra4 36. e3 Kh7 37. Bh3 h5 38. Qc2 Ra5 39. Bf1 f4 40. Bg2 fxe3 41. fxe3 Kg7 42. Bxe4 Rxb5 43. Bh7 Rxb1 44. Rxb1 Ne8 45. Qg6+ Kh8 46. Qh6 Bg7 47. Qxg5 Kxh7 48. Qxe7 Rf5 49. c7 Nxc7 50. Qe4 Kg6 51. Rf1 Qxb7 52. Qxf5+ Kh6 53. d6 Nd5 54. Qe6+ Kh7 55. Qe4+ 1-0