Posts Tagged ‘aries2’

The Fabulous 10’s: Channeling A Vague Memory of a Friedel Game

February 10, 2011

A Familiar Schliemann

An ICC Blitz game in which I had to recall a miniature victory by White  where Josh Friedel beat Ray Kaufman convincingly in a Schliemann.   All I “knew” was that I had seen it via the USCL web page.  But, clearly, I had not (see below).

I tried to follow it!

IM Aries 2- GM Mandragoro  Schliemann

Before we start, a little about GM Mandragoro:

1: Account of GM Gerhard Schebler.Greetings from Duisburg Germany to everyone
2: No Takebacks please,i will never ask you too.
3: I am a chessteacher now for about 19 years and new students are always
wellcome :o)
4: I am still looking for a chessclub in France,Austria and maybe in your
country too.
5: Since i saw the film “Money as debt” i got interested in the biggest secret
called “capitalism”
6: No mass media is mentioning the biggest problem of our times.”exponential
7: “We can change”Obama said but can we change the system without seeing
another war?
8: Fur kleinere Einsichten :o)besucht bitte :Liebeangelamerkel de.Es lonht
9: There is much more truth inside of chess than in real life but maybe “we
can change”
10: When the nature strikes back we shouldnt ask why.Development doesnt always
mean progress !G.S.

Postscript Feb. 22, 2011 – curious about some reader comments, I ran Rybka 4 on this game and inserted some Rybka 4 evaluations.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Qe2 fxe4 6. Nxe4 d5 7. Nxf6+
gxf6 8. d4 Bg7 9. dxe5 O-O 10. e6 Ne5 11. Bf4 c6 12. Nxe5!  (?! – Rybka 4)

A Good Idea!

This was the key idea I got from Friedel-R. Kaufman.  White hangs the bishop on b5 (ignoring the threat of Qa5+).  I do not see any reasonable continuation for black.  What has gone wrong?

Rybka 4 is not so optimistic.  It gives 12. Bd3! as the best move, +=, and this sacrifice leading to equality.  The unaesthetic variations backing up 12. Bd3! are not pleasing at all, whereas the enterprising text is great especially in blitz.  Caissic injustice?   So in conclusion this “key idea” I remembered from a prior game is only sufficient for a draw, if black is prepared.


13. Bxe5 cxb5 (!)  It turns out (see below) that Ray Kaufman captured on e5 here with the bishop, but black lost quickly in that game.  Clearly unplayable of course is 13…Qa5? 14. c3 Qxb5 15. Qg4! and wins.

Rybka 4 likes the text move 13…cxb5 and says black is equal here.

14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. e7 Qa5+ 16. c3 Re8 17. O-O-O

Black’s king is just too exposed.  Something like this happened in the Friedel game. And after checking — indeed it did; the last (winning) move in the Friedel game was a rook lift!

Rybka 4 disagrees with all this.  It says both 17…Qc7 and 17…Qxa2 now are sufficient for equality!   Actually, it’s pretty clear that 17…Qc7! is a good move, since 18. Rhe1 (what else?) is met by 18…Qf4+ and now if 19. Kb1 Qe4+! gets the queens off and all danger disappears!

Qxa2 18. Qe5+ Kf7 19. Rhe1 b4 ? – Rybka 4

As a reader pointed out (see the Comments section), the ingenious 19..Qa1+! 20. Kc2 Qa4+ 21. Kb1 Qg4!! saves black (gives equal chances).  This is a very tough line for a human to find in blitz.

20. Rd4 (?!) {Black resigns} 1-0 As a curiosity, Rybka 4 gives 20. Rd3! as much stronger, although 20. Rd4 does win (takes longer).

I know a rook lift was employed too in the Friedel game.  OK enough vague memories, now I actually look up the Friedel game…

… … …

And … ta-dah!! Found it.  OK it wasn’t the USCL.  It was Foxwoods 2008!

[Event “Foxwoods Open”]
[Site “Connecticut”]
[Date “2008.03.21”]
[EventDate “2008.??.??”]
[Round “5”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Joshua E Friedel”]
[Black “Raymond S Kaufman”]
[ECO “C63”]
[WhiteElo “2531”]
[BlackElo “2369”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 4. Nc3 fxe4 5. Nxe4 Nf6 6. Qe2
d5 7. Nxf6+ gxf6 8. d4 Bg7 9. dxe5 O-O 10. e6 Ne5 11. Bf4 c6
12. Nxe5 fxe5 13. Bxe5 Bxe5 14. Qxe5 Qa5+ 15. c3 Qxb5 16. Qg5+
Kh8 17. e7 Re8 18. O-O-O Qc4 19. Qf6+ Kg8 20. Rhe1 Qxa2
21. Re5 1-0

This pair of games leaves me wondering about the Schliemann, it can’t be this bad for black, can it?


The Fabulous 10s: Accidental Brilliancies born of blitz

April 9, 2010

9. Nd2 King’s Indian Confuzzlement

Sometimes blitz games create confusion and in the cauldron of confusion bubble forth novelties and “brilliancies.”  Here is a case in point.

IM Aries2 – GM Fier  ICC 5 minute blitz

According to Fier’s finger notes, he is 22 years old, from Brazil, and has a 2581 FIDE rating.  What does one do against a high rating?  Just play directly!

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 O-O 5. e4 d6 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. Nd2! Somehow the most logical looking move.  I recently made notes to Beliavsky-Nakamura, indicating where white could have played more strongly (Al reached a great game as white then went wrong in the complications).

9…Nd7 Kasparov’s “old” 9…a5 might be better.

10. b4 f5 11…a5 would transpose to a game I won vs GM Peter Biyiasis in Philadelphia 1982 after 12. bxa5 Rxa5 13. a4.  White stands better there.

11. c5 Nf6 11…dxc5 12. bxc5 Nxc5 13. Ba3 offers white great play for the pawn.

12. f3 f4 13. Nc4 g5 14. a4

The course of the game suggests white might be able to do better dispensing with this move and playing 14. Ba3 straightaway.

14…h5 15. Ba3 Ne8 16. Nb5! a6

Pull the trigger!

17. Nxc7! The accidental blitz brilliancy!  This doesn’t regain the piece back right away, but it does set black difficult problems.

Qxc7 18. b5 In blitz, this is almost impossible to solve as black!

18…dxc5 The problem is that a normal defensive move, 18…Rf6, (trying to get white’s dark square bishop off the board), is met by 19. cxd6 Nxd6 20. Nxd6 Rxd6 21. Rc1 Qb8 22. b6! establishing a crushing bind!  A very aesthetic line – white disdains material and keeps his queen bishop.  Feast your eyes on some more moves here: 22…Bf8 23. Qb3 Ng6 24. Rc7! Rd7 25. d6+ Kg7 26. Rfc1! and wins!

19. d6 Nxd6 20. Qxd6 Qxd6 21. Nxd6 b6 22. a5?! Too fancy.  White had “chess memory” of Ginsburg-Christiansen, US Championship 2006, (see position after move 37W) where pawns opposed each other like this with great force for white (also, curiously, Ginsburg-Kriventsov, US Ch. 2006 – after move 23W).  The correct line was the simple mundane 22. Nxc6 Rfxc8 23. bxa6 and white is completely winning.

22…axb5 23. axb6 b4 24. Bc4+ Kh7 25. Bb2 Rb8 26. b7?? Another huge lemon and this one more serious.  The obvious 26. Ra7! won.  The reason being 26…Rxb6 27. Rxe7 Rxd6 28. Bxe5! and wins.

26…Bxb7 27. Ra7 Rfd8? 27…Nc8! would have turned the tables and black would get good winning chances!

28. Rxb7 Rxb7 29. Nxb7 Rd2 30. Rb1 g4 31. Be6 Interesting technical note: the computer points out here 31. fxg4! hxg4 32. Bf1! not giving black ideas against the f3-pawn that happened in the game.

31…gxf3 32. gxf3 c4? Panicky.  32…Ng6 was tougher.

33. Bxc4 Ng6 34. Kf1? 34. Bf7! ended it because 34…Nh4 35. Bxh5 protects f3!  At this point, white didn’t have much time left.

Nh4 35. Be2 Bf8 36. Na5? 36. Bxe5 won but white was just trying not to lose on time.

Ng6 37. Nc4 Rc2 38. Bxe5 Rxc4 39. Bxc4 Nxe5 40. Be2 Bc5 41. Rc1 Bd4 42. Rc7+ Kg6 43. Rb7 Bc3 44. h4 Kf6 45. Bd1 Ng6 46. Rb5 Nxh4 47. Rxh5 Ng6 48. Rb5 White should play 48. Rf5+ then run the king up.

48…Ne5 49. Ke2 Kg5 50. Bb3 Kh4 51. Rb8 Kg3 52. Rg8+ Kh3 53. Be6+ Kh2 54. Rf8 Kg3 55. Rg8+ Kh2 56. Rf8 Kg3 57. Rg8+ {Game drawn by mutual agreement}

A good blitz fight, don’t you think.  And some possible theoretical importance in the Nd2 King’s Indian!

From The Archives of Chess Today

Try this study!  (Golubev,  1984).

White to play and win.

The Fabulous 00s: Almost a Curious Double Manufactured at Biel 2009

July 29, 2009

Game One

In our first game, we get one hot off the Presses at Biel 2009:

[Event “Biel 2009”]
[Date “2009.07.28”]
[White “Alexander Morozevich”]
[Black “Maxime Vachier-Lagrave”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “B80”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f3 e6 7. Be3 b5 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. g4 h6 10. O-O-O b4 11. Nce2 Qc7 12. h4 d5 13. Nf4 e5 14. Nfe6!

This is not the first time Vachier-Lagrave has stepped on a land mine opponent preparation.  Nakamura demolished him spectacularly with homework in the Benko Gambit at Cap D’Agde, 2009.  Having sharp, narrow repetoires makes it fairly easy for nasty accidents to occur.

14… fxe6 15. Nxe6 Qa5 16. exd5 Qxa2 17. Qd3 Kf7 18. g5 Nxd5 19. Bh3 Nxe3 20. Nd8+ Ke7 21. Nc6+ Kf7 22. g6+?

This was the first golden chance to put away the young French player who so far, had just been carried along by the tide.

22. Be6+!!

This would have been one of the best games of 2009

This would have been one of the best games of 2009

Position after 22. Be6+!! (analysis)

It’s a chessic shame that Moro missed this amazing, deep shot.

22…Kxe6 (clearly 22…Qxe6 23. Nd8+ wins)  23. Qg6+ Nf6 24. gxf6 gxf6 25. Qe8+ Kf5 26.  Nd4+!! Kf4 27. Ne2+ Kf5 28. Ng3+ Kf4 29. Nh5+!

This is a fantastic pendulum!

Pendulum .... Guillotine

Pendulum .... Guillotine

29…Kxf3 (29… Kf5 30. Rd4 Qa1+ 31. Kd2 wins) 30. Qc6+ e4 31. Qxf6+ Bf5 32. Rh3+ Kg2 33. Rh2+ Kf3 34. Rf1+ Nxf1 35. Qxf5+ Ke3 36. Qf2 mate!   This would have been a fitting end to the game.  Of course, it’s a Caissic horror that Moro goes on to miss a more banal and crude win on move 26.  Pauvre Moro.

22… Kg8 23. Qxe3 Bc5 24. Qe4 Nf8 25. Rd8 Bb7 26. Rxa8? Another big miscue.   White had the rather crude 26. Rxf8+! Rxf8 (26… Kxf8 27. Qf5+ Ke8 28. Qxe5+ wins; 26…Bxf8 27. Qxe5 hits c5 and threatens Be6+, this wins too.   If 27. Qxe5 Bc8, 28. Qe8! mates!  Let’s play over the rest of the sickness without comment because I want you to compare the positions arising from 22. Be6+!! to Game 2!

26… Bxa8 27. h5 Rh7 28. Re1 (28. gxh7!+ Kh8 29. Kd2) 28… Bxc6 29. Qxc6 Bd4 30. Kd2 Qxb2 31. Qc4+ Kh8 32. Kd3 a5 33. Qc8 Qa3+ 34. Ke4 b3 35. cxb3
a4 36. Rb1 Qb4 37. Qc4 Qb7+ 38. Qd5 Qb4 39. Qc4 Qd2 40. Bg4 a3 41. Qf7 Qc2+ 42. Kd5 Qc5+ 43. Ke4 a2 44. Rc1 a1=Q 45. Rxc5 Bxc5 46. Qd5 Qe1+ 47. Kd3 Qd1+ 48.
Kc4 Qxd5+ 49. Kxd5 Ba3 50. Bf5 Kg8 51. Kxe5 Rh8 52. Kd5 Nh7 53. gxh7+ Kf7 54. Bg6+ Kf6 55. f4 Bc1 56. f5 Bd2 57. Kd6 Be1 58. Kd7 Bb4 59. Kc7 Ke5 60. Kd7 Ba3
61. Kc6 Kd4 62. Kc7 Kc3 63. Kd7 Kb4 64. Kd6 Kxb3+ 65. Kd5 Bb2 66. Kd6 Bf6 67. Kc5 Kc3 68. Kd6 Kd4 69. Kc6 Rd8 70. Kb6 Kd5 71. Kc7 Kc5 72. Bf7 g5 73. fxg6 Rd6
74. Be8 Be5 75. Kb7 Rb6+ 76. Kc8 Kd6 0-1

Game 2

Here’s the Doppelganger, note the very curious positions of the Kings.

IM Ginsburg – NM Jack Young, New England 199?

Dutch Defense, Sjödin Gambit

1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. e4 fxe4 4. Ng5!?

The strange Sjödin Gambit (so named, as explained to me by GM Ferdinand Hellers, after a Swedish amateur player). Sjödin is a tough word to pronounce! It’s something like “Shuhhh-DEEN.” Joel Benjamin tried this move versus a Russian 2400+ and was successful, although his game was not without chances for black.

4…Nf6 5. f3



Black must seriously consider 5…h6 6. Nh3, one of the main alternatives to drive the menacing WN offside. In addition, I think Joel’s opponent played 5…c5!? to challenge the dark squares and got a good game; the trick is 6. fxe4 cxd4 7. e5?? Qa5+! picking up the e5-pawn.

6. Qxf3 Nc6 7. Bd3?

7. c3 was circumspect. The wild text move is unsound. But if it had not been played, we wouldn’t have the following (possibly unique? – see below) crazy game. Them’s the breaks.

7…Nxd4 Of course. If your opponent hangs center pawns, take them.

8. Qh3 d5! Refuting white’s coffeehouse antics.

9. Nxh7 Nxh7 10. Bxh7 Nxc2+ 11. Ke2 Kd7!


Very convincing. White has very few resources left.

12. Rf1 Nxa1 13. Rf7+ Kc6?! A fairly easy win is 13…Be7 14. Bg5 Re8 15. Qc3 b6 and white runs out of steam. Black is still winning after the text, but he’ll need to find a tough move shortly.

14. Qc3+ Kb6 15. Be3+ c5 16. b4 At least white is making a little trouble now. The game is starting to take on very strange overtones. Watch the black king double back now and head into the center!



Finally black goes wrong. The difficult deflection, using a ‘doomed piece’, 16…Nb3!! still wins. For example, 17. axb3 d4! and white doesn’t have the b2 queen check as in the game. Or, 17. Qxb3 Bd7 18. bxc5++ Kc7 and black wins as well.

17. bxc5+ Bxc5 18. Qb2+ Kc6 19. Nc3? Too fancy, I was carried away. Correct is 19. Be4+! Kd6 20. Bxd4 and white wins.

19…Qb6? 19…dxc3 loses simply to 20. Be4+ Kd6 21. Bxc5+ Kxc5 22. Qxc3+ Kb6 23. Qb4+ Ka6 24. Rxb7 and mates. Black needed to play 19…a6! to take b5 away from white. For example, 20. Be4+ Kd6 21. Bf4+ e5 and there’s nothing more white can do. Now white is back on track again.

20. Be4+ Kd6 21. Nb5+ Ke5 22. Bf3!


Black’s king finds himself in a really bizarre mating net. His attempts to avoid it just lead the game into more and more surrealistic situations without changing the verdict: black’s king is trapped and cannot wriggle free. Enjoy this sideline: 22. Kd3! Rh4 23. Bf2 Rf4 24. Bg3 g5 25. Bxf4+ gxf4 26. Bc6!! (protecting the N on b5 temporarily is an important point)


Position after 26. Bc6!! (Analysis)

26…Qxc6 27. Qe2+ Kd5 28. Qe4 mate!

Or this, even more amusing: 22. Kd3! Rh4 23. Bf2 Rxe4 24. Kc4!!! and mate is forced in 10 moves! It’s really strange to have both kings participating in the center in the middlegame, with one king sealing the mating net on the other. Perhaps it’s unique in the history of chess!?? (readers??) Can you imagine this game played in the 19th century and some bearded fellow such as Steinitz announcing Mate in 10 in a grovelly voice?


Position after 24. Kc4!!! (Analysis) – Unique Tableau?

Here’s one of the shorter mates from this position: 24…g5 25. Bg3+ Rf4 26. Qe2 mate.

22…Rh4 23. g4! Caveman chess, brutally effective. White doesn’t need his queen anymore.

23…g5 24. Bxg5 Rxh2+ 25. Kd1 Rxb2 26. Bf4 mate

Not quite a pure mate; the N on b5 is not needed (guarding d6 twice).


It’s always nice to end a game with a queen sacrifice. This game was really way out there in deep orbit. It doesn’t stand up to serious analysis, but it did produce some unique situations.


If Moro had found 22. Be6+, there would have been a whole set of weird similarities between the two games!  Alas, Vachier-Lagrave (the modern day Dus-Chortimirski, bad openings and resourceful fighting in middlegame) went on to carry the day.

Some More Blitz

Let’s take our mind off the previous absurdities with two absurd blitz games.

Aries2(IM) – Smallville(GM) ICC 5 minute game, March 2009.   ‘Smallville” is Nakamura’s ICC alias.

1. e4 a6 2. d4 h6 Don’t worry, the game returns to normal channels soon.

3. Nc3 e6 4. Nf3 b5 A truly hypermodern opening.  White hits upon a good blitz plan of getting a minor piece near black’s king.

5. a4 b4 6. Ne2 Bb7 7. Ng3! One exclamation point covering moves 5 to 7.  When playing a stronger player, it is incumbent to try to mate!

7…d5 8. Bd3 Nf6 9. Qe2 Nbd7?! 9…dxe4 is correct with a fully acceptable game. At this point,  after black’s actual 9th move 10. e5! is obviously strong and I can’t explain why I didn’t do it.

10. O-O?! c5! Now the game is double-edged.

11. exd5 Bxd5 12. Re1 Qc8 13. b3 cxd4 14. Nxd4 Bc5 15. Ndf5 O-O White to play.  Is the sacrifice on g7 correct?

Sacrifice?  Yes, it is time.

Sacrifice? Yes, it is time.

16. Nxg7! Answer:  yes it is correct, because black’s king doesn’t have very many defenders at the moment.  But this is a good tactical quiz position, because some of the follow-up lines are not totally straightforward.

16…Kxg7 17. Bxh6+? The wrong way to do it.  As a GM kibitzer told me immediately after the game, 17. Nh5+! is right.   Black cannot take that knight due to forced checkmate.  17. Nh5+! Nxh5? and now 18. Bxh6+! (a clever move inversion from the game) forces mate.  So on 17. Nh5+, the black king must move.  17…Kh8?! 18. Nxf6 Nxf6 19. Bb2 looks insanely risky, so that leaves 17…Kg8.   In that case, the computer thinks black holds on after 18. Bxh6 Qd8! 17.  Rad1 Kh8! but it’s really necessary in blitz to make black find all these moves.

17…Kh8 18. Nh5?? This is an even worse lemon.  18. Bxf8 Qxf8 19. Be4 and both sides have chances.  Now black assumes the attack and white is lost.

Rg8 19. Nf4 Qc6 {White resigns} C’est la vie.


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Be7 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Bb3 Be6 8. Re1 8. Bxe6 fxe6 9. Qb3 Qc8 is all right for black.

8…Bxb3 9. Qxb3 Rb8 10. d4 Nd7?! 10…Qd7 and 10…a6 are less clumsy.

11. Na3 Bf6 12. Be3 a6 13. d5 Ne7 14. Ba7 Nc5 If I was white, I’d just take that horse and get a structural edge.

Snap the Horse

Snap the Horse

15. Qd1(?! but white gets another chance next move) Rc8 16. b4 Same comment; I’d snap off the horse on c5 and be happy.

16…Nd7 17. Be3 Ng6 18. c4 Nh4? Weak.  18…Be7 is solid and fine.  Black can get counterplay on the queenside with a later c6 and/or a5.

19. c5 Nxf3+ 20. Qxf3 Bg5 21. Nc4 Bxe3 22. Qxe3 Qe7 23. c6 bxc6 24. dxc6 Nf6 25. a4 Rb8 26. Rab1 Qe6 27. Qd3 Nxe4? Not good, but exciting and leading us to the fabulous quiz position after black’s 31st.  Just the normal 27…Rfd8 to keep going.

28. Qxe4 d5 29. Qxe5 dxc4 30. Qxc7 Rxb4 31. Rbd1 Qf6 This is a great tactical quiz position, pretty much impossible for humans to solve in blitz.

Quiz Time

Quiz Time

32. Rd6?? Correct is the rather difficult 32. Qd7! Rc2 33. Qd4! getting a winning ending.  The deep point (hard to work out in blitz) is that 33…c3 34. Qxf6 gxf6 35. Rc1 Rb3 36. Re3! uses all pieces to maximum effect breaking black’s resistance.

Another variation that pulls up lame but hard to fully see in blitz is 32. Rc1? c3 33. Qd7 (too late!) Rc4! 34. c7 Qf4! and the pawn on c7 is lost!

The text gives black an unexpected loophole.  So unexpected that I blitz out a weak reply not exploiting my chance.

32…Qc3?? When presented with a gift horse… well, find out about the gift!   32…Qe5!! leads to a black edge after 33. Rf1 c3; 33. Red1?? just loses to 33…c3.  33. Red1?? c3 34. Qc8 is a typical last-ditch attempt, but it’s rudely met by 34…Qxd6! using white’s back rank yet again.  Positions with mutually weak bank ranks and mutually threatening passed pawns are the sharpest in the pantheon of heavy piece middlegames!  Now all is silence.

33. Qe7 g6 34. c7 {Black resigns} 1-0

Postscript – US Car History

Some curious stuff I learned about the Ford Edsel. The more diverse factoids a chess player knows, the better he or she is off?!?!

Quoting from the Time.Com “50 Worst Cars of All Time” story,

“That’s why we’re all here, right? To celebrate E Day, the date 50 years ago when Ford took one of the autodom’s most hilarious pratfalls. But why? It really wasn’t that bad a car. True, the car was kind of homely, fuel thirsty and too expensive, particularly at the outset of the late ’50s recession. But what else? It was the first victim of Madison Avenue hyper-hype. Ford’s marketing mavens had led the public to expect some plutonium-powered, pancake-making wondercar; what they got was a Mercury. Cultural critics speculated that the car was a flop because the vertical grill looked like a vagina. Maybe. America in the ’50s was certainly phobic about the female business. How did the Edsel come to be synonymous with failure? All of the above, consolidated into an irrational groupthink and pressurized by a joyously catty media. Interestingly, it was Ford President Robert McNamara who convinced the board to bail out of the Edsel project; a decade later, it was McNamara, then Secretary of Defense, who couldn’t bring himself to quit the disaster of Vietnam, even though he knew a lemon when he saw one.”

Change of Pace Poll

The Fabulous 00s: Amour

July 19, 2009

Romance is in the air courtesy of


How are you? I saw your profile today at( and feel like contacting you.I feel we may become matches.(

)  is my contact. Kindly make a contact if you are that I can give you my picture for you to know who i am.

My name is Celine. I will appreciate it if you give a good responds.

Thanks and remain blessed.

(Remeber the distance,colour or age does not matter but love matters alot in life)

Enough Fluff, Some Chess

An amusing finish in an error-filled (making it more amusing) ICC 5 minute game:

aries2 – sekere  ICC 5 minute July 09

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 e6 4. g3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 d5 6. Bg2 Nc6 7. O-O Bc5 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Qc2 Bb6 10. b3 O-O 11. Bb2 Bb7 12. Rd1 Re8 13. Nc3 Ng4 14. e3

Bxe3?! Instead of this violence, 14…Qg5! was a good move.  If white reacts correctly, he has an edge now.

15. fxe3 Nxe3 16. Qf2 Nxd1 17. Rxd1 f6 18. Na4 Qc7 19. Nc5?! On both the 18th and 19th move, white misses the strong 19. Qc5! This is an unusual counter-example to the chess precept that knights are better blockaders.  In this case, the knight maneuver to c5 is definitely second-best.

19…Rad8 20. Re1 e5 21. Nxb7 Qxb7 22. cxd5 cxd5 23. Qc5 Kh8 24. Rd1 Qa6 25. Rxd5? Weak.  25. Bxd5 is correct with balanced play.

25…Rxd5 26. Bxd5 Qxa2? 26…Qe2! was much stronger with a big edge.

27. Bc3? A comedy of errors.  27. Qc6 is equal.

27…Qb1+ 28. Kg2 Qc2+ 29. Kg1? Qd1+? 29…Rd8 would have been decisive.

30. Kg2 e4 31. Bd4?? What’s going on?  31. Bf7 is correct.

31…Qd2+?? 31…Qe2+! followed by e3 wins easily.  We now get to the fantasy tactic I had been trying to set up the whole time.

32. Kh3  e3 33. Qc6 Rd8 34. Qxf6!

A Cruncher

A Cruncher

After some thought, black gave up after this blow. 1-0

But to show how incoherent my play was, I thought 34…Rg8 was a defense here.  The point being 35. Bxg8?? gxf6! and it’s no longer mate!  However, after 34…Rg8, white has the obvious 35. Qf7 or even 35. Qe6 winning.  The latter leads to 35…Rb8 36. Bxg7+! Kxg7 37. Qf7+ Kh6 38. Qf6+ Kh5 39. Bf3 mate.

So in fact my 34th does win immediately (mate in 4 at most, actually).

When A Grandmaster is a Vehicle

Information about THETRUCK(GM) (Last disconnected Sat Jul 25 2009 04:32):

rating [need] win  loss  draw total   best

Bullet          2238  [8]    10     4     0    14

Blitz           2660  [8]    48    20     4    72   2677 (02-Aug-2008)

5-minute        2551         28     7     2    37   2567 (25-Jul-2009)

1-minute        2388  [8]    13     3     0    16


2: I’m getting old…

3: WIM strength at best

Pretty imposing!  OK I do battle with THETRUCK in a 5 minute game.

THETRUCK(GM) – Aries2(IM)   Sicilian Keres Attack ICC 5 Minute

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. g4 Nc6 7. g5 Nd7 8.  Bg2 I don’t like this move and would prefer not moving that bishop yet.

8…Be7 9. h4 O-O This quick castling setup, an old recommendation of Kasparov and Nikitin, is great in 5 minute as a time-saver!

10. Be3 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 e5 12. Qd2 Nb6 13. Bxb6 axb6 Black “pre-moved” this capture anticipating white’s 13th.  I have a big edge on time now and a decent position.

14. Nd5 Be6

Getting out the opening in good shape vs The Truck

Getting out the opening in good shape vs The Truck

15. Ne3?! Since the computer likes 15. a3 here, black must be all right.

15…Ra4!? An original activation.

16. b3 Rd4 Now the game revolves around this – can the rook be trapped for free or can black get an attack?

17. Qc1 f5!? Note on 17. Qe2 black had 17…Qc8! 18. c4 b5! with a good game.   My 17th move is not bad.  But the computer is fast to point out 17…Qc8! 18. c3 Rd3 hitting c3 and forcing c4:  19. c4 Qc5! and black has a small edge.

18. gxf6? A very bad miscue.  White had to take on f5 with the pawn after which he is all right; the game is even.

18…Bxf6 19. c3 Bxh4! A typical zwischenzug. At the time, I wasn’t sure what was going on since white had clearly steered for this.  But the computer says this is a decisive edge for me!  What could go wrong?

20. Rxh4 Qxh4 21. Qc2 Rd3? Even now, looking at it, it’s hard to see why the computer is so excited by black’s prospects after white’s 21st.  Its recommendation is something I never considered:  21…Rc8.  How bizarre that white cannot unravel effectively after that quiet move! This needs elaboration.  What’s the nature of black’s edge after 21…Rc8 (note the computer considers it a HUGE edge)?   Rybka 3 really outdoes itself here pointing out black’s crushing LONG-TERM advantage. A sample line:

21…Rc8!!  22. Ke2 b5! 23. Rc1 b4! (really aesthetic!) 24. c4 b5! 25. Qb1 Rf8! (black works with all the pieces) 26. Rf1 bxc4 27. bxc4 Bxc4 28. Nxc4 Qg4+!! 29. Ke1 Qxg2 30. Nd2 d5! 31. exd5 Rxd2 32. Kxd2 Rxf2 and white must resign – the truck hitting the proverbial rain of hail, shattering its windshield, it capsizes, and so on.    It’s amazing that white cannot unravel after this quiet 21…Rc8!! and the computer is rating black more than 3 points ahead.  Humans have much to learn from these humble programs! At first glance, it just looks like white has an extra piece and black has random chances, maybe.

22. Qxd3! Of course!  Black only has a tiny edge now.

21…Qxf2+ 23. Kd1 Qb2?! Not the best.  Correct was 23…Rg1+! 24. Bf1 Rf2! and if 25. Qxd6 Bxh3!, or if 25. Ke1 h5! in both cases black retains the initiative.

24. Rc1 Qxa2 25. c4 Bg4+? Another lame move.  25…Rf2! is correct with equal chances.  26. Rc2?? Qb1+! would be embarrassing for white!

26. Nxg4 Qxg2 27. Ne3 Qh2?! The continuation of a spiral down.  Black is oblivious to white’s idea.  Best was 27…Qf3+ or even 27…Qg3 and the issue is still open. However, the text has the benefit of setting up a devilish trap – see the note to my next move.

28. Nf5 g6?? The last straw!  I had mentally given up. After 28…Ra8!! once again black puts up quite unexpected resistance.  Believe it or not, white’s best is now 29. Qg3! trading the queens and keeping some ending edge – since he’s down on time in a 5 minute game the issue would be totally up in the air.  Attempts to attack the black king with 28…Ra8!! 29. Qxd6? are met with 29….h6! and the computer sees no advantage whatsoever for white, an amazing line!  The moral is that even really bad positions sometimes offer unusually strong defensive resources.

29. Qd5+ Kh8 30. Qxd6 Qh1+ 31. Kd2 Qg2+ 32. Kc3 Qf3+ 33. Kb2 {Black resigns} 1-0

Wow.  I had the feeling that I had missed chances, but only later did it turn out I had more than I thought!

The Danish Newspaper Columnist

Information about DrainYou(GM) (Last disconnected Mon Jul 27 2009 14:08):

rating [need] win  loss  draw total   best
Wild            1800  [6]    10    10     2    22   1800 (27-May-2001)
Bughouse        2422  [6]     2     0     0     2
Crazyhouse      2306  [6]   325   319     1   645   2306 (30-Sep-2001)
Bullet          2400  [8]  1119  1139   149  2407   2749 (04-May-2001)
Blitz           3097  [8]  2219  2010   394  4623   3173 (07-Jul-2003)
Standard        2388  [6]     1     1     1     3
5-minute        2625  [4]  7417  2809  1356 11582   2667 (14-Jul-2009)
1-minute        2231  [8]  5607  3498   560  9665   2504 (29-Aug-2002)

1: Not really in zen.
2: Don’t give lessons or takebacks (and don’t ask for ’em either)
3: Danish Champion 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 n 2009
4: I write a daily chesscolumn in Politiken.
5: Elo 2542
6: Very interested in playing (chess) outside Europe. Mess me a good offer or
7: Rabudja(GM) tells you: jeg ville hellere sælge stoffer end at spille skak
8: Poker is taking over – nothing to do about it.
9: Now with blog:

Name   : Sune Berg Hansen
Groups : Denmark GMs IBCO

Let’s see what happened when I tangled with DrainYou in blitz.

DrainYou (GM) – Aries2 (IM)  King’s Indian Attack

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. Nbd2 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Re1
b5 9. e5 Ne8 10. Nf1
Bobby Fischer’s old favorite.  I’m also defending in the old school style, emulating GM Uhlmann and others.  Black’s defensive line (using Ne8 to c7 gto b5) is surprisingly hard to break.

10…b4 11. h4 Nc7 12. N1h2 Nb5

When the Two Sides Ignore Each Other

When the Two Sides Ignore Each Other

It’s always fun when the two sides carry on with their own plans, oblivious to the other.  We see here it and we see it in sharper situations too, e.g. the Sicilian Dragon.  White now decides upon h4-h5-h6 and it’s unclear if that’s the best plan.  It certainly leads to lively play though.

13. h5 Nbd4 14. h6 g6 15. Bf4 Probably more accurate is 15. Ng4 f5 (probably more solid is 15… Nxf3+ 16. Qxf3 Nd4 17. Qd1 a5 18. Bf4 Bd7 19. c3 Nf5 20. Qc2
a4 with a tough struggle in prospect) 16. exf6 Bxf6 17. Nxf6+ Qxf6 18. Bf4 Nxf3+ 19. Qxf3 Bd7 20. Rab1 Rae8 21. Qe3 d4 22. Qd2 e5 23. Bg5 Qd6 24. a3 a5 25. c3 and white is happy.

15… a5 16. Qd2 Here, again, it’s probably more accurate to hurry the N to g4: 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. Ng4 although black has pesky defenses, e.g. 17…Ba6 18. a3 b3! 19. cxb3 Rb8! with counterplay.

16… a4 17. Bg5 Nxf3+ The thematic expansion 17… a3!? has a cute tactical idea:  18. b3 Bxg5 19. Nxg5 Nxe5! 20. Rxe5 f6 results in unclear play.

18. Nxf3 f6 Once again black has the good alternative 18… a3!? 19. b3 Nd4 20. Bxe7 Nxf3+ 21. Bxf3 Qxe7 22. c3!? with a full struggle ahead.  The text is OK.

19. exf6 Bxf6 20. c3?! Significantly better is 20. Bxf6! Qxf6 21. c4! and white has reasons to be optimistic.

20… a3! Maybe white missed or underestimated this.  Black strikes at the base of the pawn chain and white is very uncomfortable.

So far, so good

So far, so good

21. Bxf6 Qxf6 22. cxb4 axb2 23. Rab1 Rxa2?! Not very impressive. 23… Nxb4! 24. Ne5 Ra3 keeps pressure.

24. bxc5 Nd4 A crazy tactical line is 24… Ba6 25. d4 Rb8 26. Ne5 Nxe5 27. Rxe5 Qxe5 28. dxe5 Ra1  (apparently decisive) 29. Be4!! (saving the game!) dxe4 30. Qd7 Rxb1+ 31. Kg2 Rg1+ 32. Kh2 Rh1+ 33. Kg2 Rxh6 (a winning try, black can also give perpetual) 34. Qxe6+ Kg7 35. Qf6+ with a perpetual check this time by white!

25. Nxd4 Qxd4 26. c6 Ba6?? Fundamentally wrong. 26… Ra1 and nothing better for white than 27. Rf1 or 27. Qc2 Rf7! with equal chances.

27. Bh3! I completely missed that one.  But to show how back my last move was, white can also take 27. Rxe6 with a winning game!

27…Qxd3 28. Bxe6+ Kh8 29. Qb4 Qf3 30. Rxb2 Here I resigned since my game is dead lost and also I was disgusted going from “happy” to this in a few moves.  But white had a nicer shot, 30. Bf5!! mating!  For example, 30…Qxf5 31. Qd4+ Qf6 32. Qxf6+ Rxf6 33. Re8+ Rf8 34. Rxf8 mate.  A nice multiple interference tactic and a suitable punishment for black who left his king and back rank totally alone.

Some More Chess

Reylear (IM) – Aries2 (IM)  ICC 5 minute blitz; theoretical QGD 5. Bf4 line

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 Be7 4. Nc3 d5 5. Bf4 c6 I like this solid way more than the loosening ….c5.  I achieved a good game with it OTB vs Georgian GM Guganishvili.

6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5(?!)  b6! 8. b4 I am not a fan of white’s early c5 and b4 as played. But black has to be accurate.  I am not; but then white is not in turn.. and we get an exciting blitz game!

8…a5 9. a3 A key moment.  This is the moment of truth for 7. c5.

Simplify on the queenside or not?

Simplify on the queenside or not?

9…axb4? My friend Rybka informs me that is wrong.  Correct is simply 9…O-O and 10…Ba6 with equality.  My move is an instructive mistake.

10. axb4 Rxa1 11. Qxa1 bxc5 12. bxc5 Ne4 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Nd2? A very bad mistake.  After 14. Ne5! black is intensely suffering. Such is blitz; white lets black right back into it… and more!

14…e5! 15. Bg3 exd4 16. exd4 Nf6?! 16…O-O is more accurate.  After 17. Nxe4 f5 18. Bc4+ Kh8 19. Nd6 f4, black is very happy.

17. Nc4 O-O 18. Nd6?! 18. Ne5 is correct with a small edge.

18…Nh5! The small edge is now on black’s side.

19. Be5 e3!? Interesting, but simply 19…Be6 20. Nxe4 f6 21. Bd6 Bd5 leaves white with a bad game.

20. fxe3 Bg5? A terrible followup.  Black had the obvious 20…Bxd6! 21. Bxd6 Re8 or 21…Qg5 with a good game in either case. I am playing like I have the Lights of Zetar occupying me (see next photograph).

21. Be2 Nf6 22. Qa3 Nd5 23. e4 Ne3 24. Kf2 f5?? This really was the last straw.  After 24…Be6 black keeps counter-chances.

25. Qa2+ Kh8 26. Nf7+ Now it’s quite over.  Boo.

26…Rxf7 27. Qxf7 Bh6 28. Bh5 fxe4 29. Qe8+ Qxe8 30. Bxe8 Ng4+ 31. Kg3 Bd2 32. Bxc6 e3

33. Bf3 Nxe5 34. dxe5 Bc3 35. Kf4 g5+ 36. Kxe3 Bxe5 37. c6 Kg7 38. h3 Kf6

39. Rd1 Ke7 40. Bg4 Ba6 41. Rd7+ Ke8 42. c7 Bf6 43. Rxh7 {Black resigns} 1-0

Playing a Romper

I had never heard of my opponent, Oliver Barbosa, before this ICC blitz game.  I later Googled and learned he is a Filipino IM and he is romping in the US. Sometimes it helps not to know a player; I am unfettered by prior knowledge and can play freely.  Everything was going well up to a point…

IM Aries2 – IM Spark ICC 5 minute blitz  French Defense, Gambit Variation

1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e5 c5 4. b4!? An interesting line, especially in blitz.

4…cxb4 5. a3 Qa5 This is certainly legal, but it would never cross my mind playing black.  A matter of “cultural differences” across many oceans?

6. Bb2 Nh6 7. axb4 Qxb4 8. Ba3 Qb6 9. Bxf8 Kxf8



10. d4 The computer says 10. Nc3 here is the best.   Weirdly, I get positional compensation after 10…Nc6 11. Bb5 and I gain dark square control.  For some reason, I reflexively went with 10. d4.

10…Bd7 11. Nc3 Nf5 Black was playing all these moves, which don’t look that great taken together, at lightning speed and I actually suspected he was a total patzer at this point.

12. g4 Ne7 13. Bd3 h5 Strangely, 14. g5! is the right move now.  14. g5 Nbc6 15. Rb1 with compensation.

14. Rg1?! hxg4 15. Rxg4 Nbc6 16. Nb5 Nf5 Here black had 16…Nb4! — a nice shot.  17. Nd6 Nc8! – a very computer-like line and black is well on top.

17. c3 Nce7 18. Nd6 Feeling frisky, I give up another pawn without much thought to gain e5 for the other horse.

18…Nxd6 19. exd6 Qxd6 20. Ne5 Be8?! 20…Nc6! is right, challenging the central horse.

21. Qf3 f6 A quiz position that is not hard to solve.

Unsound rook sac or not?

Unsound rook sac or not?

22. Rxg7?? My position (before this crude lemon) looked really juicy and full of promise.  The kind Tal in his heyday or Shirov now would love. Even though I spent some time here, I must have been in “beat the passive French player” mode.  Obvious is to bring up the reserves with 22. Kd2 and prepare to bring the other rook over to g1.   The chance that he will find the right defense in blitz (22…Rh6 23. Rag1 Qa3!!) is very small!  Black also has 22. Kd2 Nf5!? (another tough move in blitz) to reach approximate equality. The text is an unsound sacrifice of the worst kind (the unforced kind).

22…Kxg7 23. Qg3+ Bg6 24. Bxg6 fxe5 25. Bh5+ Kf8 26. Qg5 Rxh5 27. Qxh5 exd4 28. Qh8+ Ng8 29. Ke2 d3+ 30. Kxd3 Qf4

{White forfeits on time} Well, I guess I contributed to his “romping”.


Star Trek – The Lights of Zetar Episode (1969)

A cool special effect when Lt. Romaine is taken over by aliens.



Ladies’ (Women’s) Uproar (Brouhaha?) in Merrie Olde England…

I kid you not, this controversy is really happening. Seems more suitable for 1809 or 1909 rather than 2009 but here you go…

“As many of our readers presumably know, the 2009 British Chess Championships start in Torquay on Sunday. As many may not know, an apparent change to the status of women in these championships has caused some English chessplayers to emit shrieks of protest. The change has been described as “kowtowing”, as being “pushed around by politicians”: a poster on the English Chess Forum added that “I had hoped that English chess might escape unscathed”. Another, possibly with a problem rather wider than the one being immediately addressed, found himself invoking Patricia Hewitt, Margaret Hodge and somebody he called “Mad Hatter Harman” in a series of responses attacking “outdated” feminism and comparing the change to proposals to change the rape laws.

What, you may wonder, is this clearly controversial change that has caused these gentlemen such anguish? What injustice, what act of positive discrimination has caused them to react so angrily? What horror of political correctness could bring them to the point where they respond in such an outraged and aggressive tone? As English chess has not, apparently, “escaped unscathed” – to what degree has it actually been scathed? Have men been barred from the Championships? Have women been awarded bonus points for turning up? Have protesting men been threatened? Been beaten up by the police? Been dragged off to prison?

None of these. Not quite. What has actually happened, as I understand it, is that the name of the title for which women players are contending will no longer be that of Ladies’ Champion. We will now have a Women’s Champion instead.

Quelle horreur.

Now to my mind the only genuinely noteworthy thing about this change is that nobody thought to make it thirty years ago. Ladies is old-fashioned and outmoded, and for a reason: it’s the equivalent, not of Men but of Gentlemen, a term which nobody would think of using, in contemporary sport, in its capitalised form. These terms no longer describe the people for whom they were devised. That is what language does. It changes, over time, as the subjects of a language also change.

It’s not so important in itself. It’s just a small, overdue correction that somebody has finally thought to make. Had they not made the change now, nobody would very much have minded: they would surely, however, have made it in the end. As one sane voice on the Forum says:

While the change itself is rather inconsequential, this is no reason in itself not to do it if it’s appropriate

It could not be better put. It is a small thing but an appropriate one. A reasonable one.

Except in the minds of some chessplayers – to whom, apparently, it is neither appropriate or reasonable. It is an outrage, an imposition, a piece of grotesquery, an oppressive act to be compared with relaxing the laws on rape or murder, or even with taking people off to Nazi concentration camps. These are the terms in which people have, themselves, chosen to respond. These are comparisons which they have seen fit to make.

This is hysterical. But not in a good way.

Of course, the men who have responded in this way are keen, at the same time, to stress that they have nothing against women, indeed not, and nor in fact does any other male chessplayer that they are aware of. Writes one of the loudest protestors:

chess is open and welcomes people of all sorts

and that they are

utterly unaware of any male resentment to women playing chess

Utterly unaware is a good term, here, since they are also utterly unaware of the impression they are giving of themselves.

It is not really, if truth be told, a discussion about whether we should say ladies or women. That would be the issue if the responses were temperate, and thoughtful, and proportionate to the importance of the act. Proportionate is what the responses are not. Nor temperate, nor thoughtful. They range to the embarrassing to the wild and foaming. Some are extraordinary in tone. They are not just unreasonable but unreasoned. They are not the tones of a discussion or a disagreement. They are the tones of resentment and fear.

It’s true, the men who respond like this, with their resentment and their fear, are not bad men. Nor are they thoughtless, nor stupid. Except, that is, for the idiot who thought it would be an appropriate response to quote Pastor Niemöller. Really. Somebody actually did that. Some cretinous individual actually did that. Some cretinous individual actually thought it was appropriate to compare a change in wording of a sporting title to people being sent in their millions to Nazi death camps.

You know, I’ve long since abandoned the idea that chessplayers are necessarily intelligent, but even I was surprised. One sees the most extraordinary stupidity on the internet and I have seen my share in full, but even I was forced to ask myself – just how ignorant and stupid is it possible for somebody to be?

Still, with the exception of the idiot Alex Holowczak, they are not ignorant men (though given that one of them is a Sun journalist, not all have an aversion to ignorance as such.) I’ve seen most of them comment thoughtfully and usefully on other aspects of chess.

But though they are not ignorant men, they are men nevertheless. And it seems, as it has always seemed, that at the first hint of feminism, many men lose their heads. Or, at least, that portion of their heads which contains the qualities of thought and reason. In the face of feminism the thoughtful become fools. Foolish men, full of needless, ludicrous resentment at an enemy who is present only in their fearful imagination. Men who have no idea that their own reactions demonstrate that they, themselves, are the problem – the problem that they insist does not exist.

They think of “feminism” as “outdated”. Of course they do. And they show exactly why it is not.

Is it more ludicrous than it is extraordinary, or more extraordinary than it is ludicrous? Change the word ladies to women and some men respond as if they were being dragged off to the guillotine by a horde of wild-eyed feminists with Harriet Harman playing Madame Defarge. Or to an appointment with Valerie Solanas.

Hey ho. I really ought to be old enough not to be surprised by this sort of thing, but in truth I find it depressing, and troubling, especially if I think (as I do) that it reflects attitudes that are common within chess. I’m forty-four years old (old enough, it occurs to me, to have read Marilyn French’s novel almost when it came out) and I can remember what a struggle it was, years ago but lasting years, to allow women to refer to themselves as Ms, if they so wished, not Miss or Mrs according to whether or not they had a husband.

Long and loud was the shrieking whenever this small change was proposed. Great were the insults heaped upon the feminists who proposed it. Dire were the predictions of calamity for humanity if the feminists got their way. Frequent were the accusations of tokenism laid at the door of the feminists for apparently believing that all you had to do to change something for real was to change its name. (You might think that people could either be accused of tokenism or of threatening calamity, but not both at the same time. You might receive the answer: “Quite”.)

Of course, the usage Ms is now taken for granted, forms and forms of address have long since changed and nobody gives a damn if anybody prefers Ms, still less expects to heavens to fall when it does. If you’re much younger than I am, you probably can’t imagine what the fuss was about. Good. You’ve grown up in a world which is more grown-up – in that respect at least – than it was before. And similarly, in a few years somebody will understand what all this fuss was about. And the people who have written embarrassing things will be embarrassed that they wrote them.

So I hope. In the meantime, I hope these people do no damage. I hope, for instance, that the sheer stupidity of using phrases like “being pushed around by politicians”, when the namechange is suggested by one of the few political figures who cares about chess and has been supportive of it, does not have the effect of losing chess those few political supporters.

I also hope that I am mistaken that these clowns represent a serious current of thinking (or indeed “thinking”) within chess. It is never, of course, hard to find, on any subject, a small number of people speaking high-pitched paranoid nonsense on the internet, and it is tempting to believe that they represent no-one but themselves. I do not want to think, and I do not want other people to think, that chess – male-dominated though it is – is dominated by the sort of man who behaves like this. I do not want chess to be like that. I do not want chess to be thought of like that.

But I don’t know. If they react like this over something so unimportant – what are they going to be like about that really matters? If it takes something as small as this to bring fear and resentment so very quickly to the surface – what is really going on in the minds of some male chessplayers?

There was a question asked on the Forum.

What does substituting one word, “lady,” with another word, “woman,” actually achieve by way of improving the participation and profile of women in chess?

It’s not much of a question: as a rhetorical point it is a specious one, since nobody will be put off either. But what might well put women off – and Lord knows there are few enough of them in chess – is the reaction they get from men who play chess and the impression they get about what those men are like. They know that chess is overwhelmingly played by men – but what if they decide that it is not just overwhelmingly men, but whining, bitter and resentful men at that?

What will happen is that we have fewer of the women and no fewer of the whining, bitter and resentful men. What a depressing prospect that would be.

It doesn’t have to be that way. If English chess does what it needs to do. English chess needs to grow up.”

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