Posts Tagged ‘Christiansen’

The Fabulous 10s: The US Championship Begins!

May 14, 2010

The US Championship is underway in St. Louis!

Rex Sinquefield’s gala event has started at the new USA Chess Mecca, St. Louis!

Let’s first take a look at the Ben Finegold of yesteryear (Belgium, 1989).

Ben Finegold and Marc Geenen, Belgium, 1989

Let’s kick things off with two cagey veterans battling:

[Event “US Champ 2010”]
[Site “St Louis”]
[Date “2010.05.14”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Christiansen, Larry”]
[Black “Gurevich, Dmitry”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B60”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 Dmitry remains true to his Classical Sicilian.

6. Bg5 Larry also has lots of experience with the Sozin 6. Bc4.

6…Qb6 7. Nb3 e6 8. Qe2!? Unusual.  I think GM Lanka used to teach people like Shirov to put queens on e2 in Sicilians.


Black misses a very cute potential tactic.  Stronger is 8…Be7! hoping for 9. O-O-O O-O 10. g4 – plausible, right?

This would seem to be the idea of 8. Qe2, since it occurred in the game too. Take a look at this for a second.

Position after 10. g4 - analysis.

Now black has the amazing shot 10…Nd5!! and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that move in this type of position.  It at least equalizes in all lines!  Rybka points out here the ingenious 10…Nd5!!  11. Nxd5 Bxg5+ 12. f4 exd5 13. fxg5 and now guess the right move that leads to a small edge for black!  Hint: it’s not obvious.  Also note the nice positional line 10…Nd5!! 11. Bd2 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 e5! with …Bc8-e6 coming and black is very happy.  Finally, 10…Nd5!! 11. Bxe7? Nxc3 is terrible for white.

9. O-O-O Be7 10. g4 Qc7 11. Be3 b5 12. f4 b4 13. Na4 Rb8 14. Bg2 Na5 15. g5 Nd7 16. Nxa5 Qxa5 17. b3 Bb7 18. Kb1 Bc6?! A little dubious.  18…Qb5 is better.

19. Nb2 Bb5 20. Qf2 Qc7 21. h4 Rc8 22. Rd2 a5 23. h5 a4 24. bxa4 Ba6 25. Bf1 Bxf1 26. Qxf1 Qb7 27. Qg2 Nc5 28. Bxc5 Rxc5 29. Rf1 O-O 30. f5 Re8 31. Qg4?

It was very unLarry-like to miss 31. f6!! Bf8 (31… Bd8 32. Rxd6 wins prosaically) 32. g6!! (Very aesthetic!) and wins.  This position deserves a diagram.

Position after 32. g6!! - analysis. White wins.

That would have been a real cruncher!  The bone crushing conclusion would likely have won white the round’s brilliancy prize (I am saying this not knowing if there is one):  32. g6!! hxg6 33. hxg6 gxf6 (what else) 34. gxf7++ Kxf7 35. Rxf6+! (Of course!) 35…Kxf6 (35…Ke7 36. Rdf2 wins) 36. e5+! and wins the black queen – clearance motif!  I will leave it as an exercise to the readers to work out the win after 32. g6!! Rc7.

31… exf5 32. exf5 Bf8 33. g6 Re4? Now black is lost again. The centralizing 33… Qe4! puts up a good fight and the issue is not yet resolved.  If white trades queens or avoids it he’s only working with a small edge.

34. Qg2 hxg6 35. hxg6 fxg6 36. fxg6 Rf5 37. Qh3 Rxf1+ 38. Rd1 1-0

In Other Round 1 Action

GM Stripunsky uncorked a howler on move 2 vs Nakamura:


1. e4 e6 2. f4?? White crumbles on move 2, losing a tempo. Memo to Nakamura’s future opponents;  see what winning chances he can generate after 2. d4! d5 3. Nd2!.  If the goal in the Championship is to maximize points, the 3. Nd2! variation fits the bill.    Play it for white, it’s not scary!  The goal is not to make an ugly pawn move right out of the gate!  Naturally, Nakamura went on to win this game.  I’ve noticed quite often that players deviate vs. high rated opposition.  But as Yermo teaches us, the main lines are the best lines!    This lesson was also learned the hard way by Joel Benjamin who avoided Closed Ruy main lines for no reason against Onischuk, choosing a deferred exchange sideline which might be good in blitz but is not good to maximize result expectation in a serious game.  Joel got nothing and went on to lose later.  Play into the main Closed Ruys!  They are not scary!

And for Something Different

Twilight: New Moon

I got this photo from ChessBase covering the Corus “C” group in 2010.  It’s Nils Grandelius from Sweden; wouldn’t he fit into the Twilight series?

Room for some Comedy Here?

Philosophy Comedy

Click several times to enlarge until the riotous comedy emerges.   Source article.

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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: US Chess League Opening Surprises

August 28, 2009

Shock and Awe:  Winning USCL Openings

In the fast time control of the USCL, opening surprises assume center stage.

Let’s look at some 2008 entries as the 2009 season prepares to start. First off, the 2008 Game of the Year,

GM Christiansen (BOS) – IM Marko Zivanic (DAL)  Sicilian Taimanov

1.e4  c5  2.Nf3  e6  3.d4  cxd4  4.Nxd4  Nc6  5.Nc3  Qc7  6.Be3  a6  7.f4  b5 A standard Taimanov position.

8.Bd3!? Offering an extremely unusual gambit and perfect for USCL play.  Its objective strength doesn’t matter that much.  More popular in this position are a whole handful of moves: 8. Nxc6 (the most popular), 8. Be2, 8. Qf3, and 8. a3.  8. Bd3 is fifth!  However, black is by no means required to enter into gambit territory.

Offering a snack on f4

Offering a snack on f4

8…Nxd4?! The dubious symbol ?! for pragmatic reasons.  If black was completely surprised, then the quiet side-step of the gambit with 8…Bb7 was in order. The first order of business in a USCL game is not to enter into a whirlpool of complications IF it is likely the opponent is prepped.  The time handicap is too great.

Note here that in one game, black held a draw with 8…b4? but his position was very bad.   In Bellon Lopez-Kurajica, Surakarta 1982, 8…b4? 9. Na4! Bb7 10. Nb3! d6 occurred and now white missed the powerful and aesthetic 11. Bb6! Qb8 12. Bf2! aiming at b6 with his knight. He played 11. Qe2 keeping a much smaller edge.  It’s instructive how white can turn entirely to the queenside if black leaves too big a vacuum.

9.Bxd4  Qxf4?!

Again, a dubious ?! symbol for pragmatic reasons although the move itself is fine. A person no less than Mark Taimanov himself played the more circumspect 9…Bb7! here.  After the lackadaisacal 10. O-O? Bc5! 11. Bxc5 Qxc5+ 12. Kh1 Ne7  black was completely equal and went on to win by outplaying his opponent in the middlegame, Kozakov-Taimanov, Lvov 2000.   It is the sign of a good player (think Karpov) to avoid debacles with development when surprised.  Correct for white after 9….Bb7! is 10. Qd2! waiting events and keeping a small edge.


From this position, black had lost 4 and won one in prior games.  Not very encouraging, but this position is fully defensible!  It just needs an unusual outlook and nerves of steel.  It is very hard, though, for black to orient if this is a brand-new position in the high-pressure USCL arena.

Oh where, oh where, should the black queen go?

Oh where, oh where, should the black queen go?

From a purely psychological standpoint, unless black was prepared, he should not be looking at this on the board!  There is the potential to lose a sacrificial blitzkrieg that (horrors) might be elected USCL Game of the Year!

10…Qc7? Essentially the losing moment (and so soon!).  Forcing an early crisis is perfect USCL strategy on white’s part.

Weirdly, although this is very weak (the queen is needed on the kingside for defense), it unjustly scored the only black win in the prior games.  Let’s first look at 10…Qh4+.  After 11. g3 Qh3 12. Qf3! Nh6 13. e5 Rb8 black’s position looks very bad.  Now let’s try 10… Qg5! – in fact, the right move.  11. Qf3 Nh6! (forced but adequate) 12. e5 (12. Be3 Qf6=) 12…Rb8 13. Ne4 and it’s looking scary, but this is just an illusion.  After 13…Qg4 (can also throw in the Qh4+ check then go to g4)  15. Qf2 Bb7! black is unraveling and is OK.  Interestingly, 12. e5 Rb8 13. Ne4 (13. Be4 b4! =) 13…Qh4+!? might be more accurate. 14. g3 Qg4

Pesky Defense from the Wings

Pesky Defense from the Wings

Position after 14…Qg4! (analysis)

15. Qf2 Bb7! deprives white of the possibility of h2-h3 and may be even more accurate.  The defensive construction of a floating queen and a knight on the rim at h6 is not for the faint of heart and shows the value of white’s surprise.  What’s the chance of black realizing this formation OTB?  Very little!  So we have to conclude that black is best, in USCL encounters, to avoid the early surprise – see note to Black’s 9th move.

See the comments section for the interesting suggestion of 15. Qg2!? here.  One sample line: 15. Qg2!? Bb7! 16. h3 Qg5! Oooh!  with equal chances.

11.Qh5! After 11. Qf3 Nh6 12. O-O-O Bb7 white played the lame 13. Qf2? f6! and lost in Traczewski-Kolar, Plzen op. 2003.  Naturally, 13. Qh5! kept some edge. In this game, GM Larry goes to the right square right away and black is suffering mightily.

11…Nf6? This “natural” Sicilian move is just losing as white breaks through to the black king right away.   It is a common phenomenon to see complete disorientation when the battlefield takes on unfamiliar appearances. 11…Nh6 struggles on.

12.Bxf6  gxf6  13.Rxf6  d6  14.0-0-0  Bg7  15.Bxb5+! Obvious and nice.  As Reinfeld or Chernev used to say, “as natural as a baby’s smile” to Larry.  The rest is a hideous butchery with white capturing everything in sight with tempo, (think the retreat from Corregidor in the Pacific Theater, World War II) well enjoyed by USCL judges.  Subtlety counts for nothing in USCL quality evaluations! 

15…Kf8  16.Rf3  Qe7  17.Rxd6  Bf6  18.Rxf6  Qxf6  19.Nd5  Qg6  20.Rd8+  Kg7  21.Qe5+  f6  22.Qc7+  Bd7  23.Rxd7+  Kh6  24.Qf4+  Qg5  25.Bc6  Rac8  26.Rd6  Rhd8  27.Qxg5+  Kxg5  28.Rxe6  Rf8  29.Kd2  f5  30.Ke3  fxe4  31.Kxe4  Rf2  32.Ne3  Rcf8  33.Re5+  Kg6  34.Kd4  Black resigns 1-0

Moving Forward -What Surprises will the 2009 Season Bring?

Look to this column to explore surprises from the 2009 USCL Season! Here’s a potential idea in the Pirc Holmov Attack:

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Qe2!? One of the sharpest anti-Pirc treatments and it has the advantage of some long, highly complicated lines in store.

5…Nc6!? The most testing response.  5…c6 6. e5 Nd5 or 6…dxe5 7. fxe5 Nd5 are both playable.  5…O-O is also playable.

6. e5 Nd7 Black shies away from 6…Nxd4 7. exf6 with immense complications where white has 3 mnor pieces versus a queen and a mass of pawns; perfect for a USCL surprise!  I don’t know the theoretical final verdict after 6…Nxd4 7. exf6, but the better prepared player will probably win easily in the USCL. 6…Ng4 is strange looking but also playable.

7. Nf3 dxe5? In a USCL game, black might calculate ahead now and figure that he is safe after 9 moves.  Is he?  Well, he is, *almost*.  Let’s look at the obvious sacrifice on f7.

8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. Ng5+ Ke8 and now white to play and ‘win’ – or can he?.  Don’t let this up to chance, in the USCL you might uncork the awful 10. Ne6?? Nxd4 and black wins!  So look at it now, before the season starts!

White to Play and Win

White to Play and Win

Hint:  don’t do 10. Ne6?? Nxd4 and you lose;  your USCL teammates will be angry.

Mind-Bending Postscript

The hidden moral and virtue of this Holmov Attack mini-quiz is:  there is no forced win! What optically looks like a win in the above diagram is met by some amazing defensive shots. Your task is to work out all of black’s resources (after your best move) and prove a small edge! The true value of preparation: you can stick to the straight and narrow 15 or 20 moves deep playing to maximize your result even in a crazy position like the above diagram.

The Fabulous 00s: Different Ways to Engage Tactically

May 14, 2009

This just in from Round 6 US Championship action.   A crazy struggle where it would appear pre-game computer cycles played a major role.
GM L. Christiansen – IM R. Robson  Slav Crazy (Computer-Oriented) Gambit Line

1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 Different Way to Play #1: It’s quite possible now to play a tactical, attacking game (!) after 3. cxd5 as Kasparov showed many times.  The computer would play less of a role.

3. d4 c6 Different Way to Play #2: And here, Khalifman used to have good results with the soft, slow-motion gambit of 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. g3!? dxc4 6. Bg2.  Shabalov tried this line vs. Sevillano and lost in an earlier round of the ’09 Championship, but the opening was not to blame.  That line offers a rich mother-lode for human creativity.

4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Ne2 Na6 Both players are following a fairly narrow mainline in this insanely tactical, inhuman (thus computer-oriented) melee.

9. Bf8 Ne7 10. Bxg7 Nb4 11. Qd6 Nc2+ 12. Kd2 Nxa1 13. Bxh8 Qc2+ 14. Ke1 Qxc4 15. Nc3 Qb4 Cute, but computer ho-hum, black exploits the fork on c2 to move the queen to this active square.

16. Qd2 e5 Does anyone doubt that at least one of the players had this in the computer before the game? 

17. Qc1 Bg4! The best.  I doubt black has had to think on his own yet. Rybka 3.1 says this is equal.

Addendum May 16, 2009:  IM Fluffy reminded me to say this is good prep by Robson, the article is not a knock on Robson.

Computer Chess

Computer Chess

18. f3? In a not very illumating computer “finding”, Rybka 3.1 likes 18. h3 but at the same time believes black is OK after 18. h3. The mainline is a humorous, absurd, repetition draw: 18…Bh5 19. g4 Bg6 20. Qxa1 Qf4! 21. Ne2 Qb4+ 22. Nc3 Qf4! 23. Ne2 and drawn!   Note that 21…Qe4?! is met by 22. f3! Qxf3 23. Rg1 and white has an edge.

18…Bxf3! Not very difficult but pleasing.  White’s king loses protection.  

19. Bf6 19. gxf3 Qh4+ 20. Ke2 Ng6! 21. Qxa1 O-O-O gives black a big attack.  Queen and knight is a very dangerous attacking duo.

19…Nd5 20. Bxe5? A fatal second miscue.  20. gxf3 Nxf6 21. Qxa1 O-O-O with a black edge but not yet decisive was necessary.

20…Qe7! Now white’s king cannot get out of the danger zone and no more resistance is possible.  A depressing result of the battle of computers. Perhaps black’s computer had been going a lot longer on this variation.   Psychologically, the two deviations given at the start of the game would yield better chances versus a tactical junior than engaging in a full-on irrational position computer war.

21. gxf3 Qxe5+ 22. Kf2 Qd4+ 23. Kg3 Ne3 24. Bh3 Nac2 25. Nd1 f5 26. Nxe3 f4+ 27. Kf2 fxe3+ 28. Kg3 Qd6+ 29. f4 Qd3 30. Rd1 Qg6+ 31. Kf3 Qh5+
32. Bg4 Qxh2 33. Rd6 Qf2+ 34. Ke4 e2 35. Bxe2 Qxe2+ 36. Kf5 Ke7

Kind of a depressing game in general where the “gee, look at that moves” were prepared already.   To put it another way, not much work at the board for black to achieve a winning game versus a strong player. I’d rather have both players on their own devices in an original, not analyzed setting, to create something nice in this important tournament.

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The Fabulous 00s: Leningrad Dutch Players are Irrational

May 10, 2009

Leningrad Players: What’s with them?

Maybe they are just masochistic.  They get such bad positions in the opening!  Here is GM Onischuk (2736 USCF!) creating for himself a dreadful position right out of the gate then somehow winning a miniature.  Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Hughes, Tylor 2293 – Onischuk, Alexander 2736
US Championship, Round 2  Leningrad Dutch, Bad Subvariation [E81]

Young Tyler had just defeated Boris Gulko in a sharp struggle in Round 1.  Gulko did not pay attention to the axiom “trade queens against a junior” and fell prey to tactics. He is going for a second upset in a row.  With black’s assistance, he becomes well-positioned immediately to get it!

1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d6 4. Nh3! g6 5. c3! An excellent sequence of moves from young Hughes. Qd1-b3 becomes intensely annoying.  Antoneta Stefanova crushed Mikhail Gurevich in an analogous setup, Gibraltar 2008.

5… e5?! This move admits a bad game  However, the more natural 5… Bg7 6. O-O c6  (to ward off Qb3) 7. Nd2 O-O 8. Qb3+ d5 (what else?) 9. Nf4 is a simple edge for white. Black outrates white by more than 400 points. But at this stage, if we had to guess blind, we would assign the higher-rated player the white pieces.

Position after 5....e5?! - A Sick Joke?

Position after 5....e5?! - A Sick Joke?

6. dxe5 dxe5 7. Qxd8+ White doesn’t even need this move (which 99.9% of scholastic players would play).  He can play the strong 7. Qb3!  (the primary idea of the setup) 7…e4 (7… c6 8. Ng5 Qe7 9. O-O h6 10. Nf3 Be6 11. c4 Bc8 12. Rd1 Nbd7 13. Nc3 Bg7 14. Nh4! is great for white; a motif well worth remembering to hit the weakened kingside pawns) 8. O-O Bg7 9. Rd1 Qe7 10. Na3 with a big edge.  It’s just an embarrassment of riches for young Hughes.   The text doesn’t ruin anything; see the note to white’s 9th.

7… Kxd8 8. Nd2 Bd6 9. e4?! Again, white doesn’t need this.  He maintains a big edge with the simple 9. Nc4! Ke7– see next diagram.

White could not ask for more

White could not ask for more

Position after 9…Ke7 (analysis)

10. Nxd6 (or the equivalent 10. Bh6 Rd8 11. O-O-O) 10… cxd6 11. Bh6 Rd8 12. O-O-O Nc6 13. Rd2 Be6 14. Kb1 Ng4 15. Bg5+ Nf6 16. Rhd1 and black is suffering.  White has the initiative and the bishop pair, what more could a player want from an opening?  Back to the drawing board for Leningrad players.

9… Nc6 10. exf5 gxf5 11. Nc4 Ke7 12. Bxc6?! White could have done without this.

12…bxc6 13. f4 e4 14. Be3 Indicated was 14. Ne5 c5 15. b3 Bb7 but now black has no problems.

14… c5 15. Nxd6? Positional butchery, fixing black’s pawns.   White’s moves didn’t fit together. The rest of the game is no fun at all for white.

15…cxd6 16. c4 h5 17. O-O-O? The last straw, castling into a winning attack for black.  White might as well put his knight somewhere more useful with 17. Ng5 and try to tough it out with a significant disadvantage. However, black would likely win with no problems given white’s planless shuffling.

17… Ng4 17… Be6 also wins quite easily.  Onischuk must have been totally shocked at this incredibly rapid reversal of fortunes.  Might he try this setup again?  I would like to see that.
18. Bd2 Be6 19. Bc3 Rhb8 20. b3 a5 21. Rd2 a4 22. Rb2 axb3  23. Rxb3 Bxc4 24. Rxb8 Rxb8 25. a4 d5 0-1

It seems unjust that white should lose so quickly from such a great move order in the opening. On the other hand, if we believe in chess underlying logic, we can just say that white’s play was completely disjointed after receiving such a great edge on move 6.

The Next Time

The next time this variation appears on the board, I want someone to repeat Hughes’ crafty setup and get things done!

In Other Round 2 News

In the what-the-hell-is-this category, we have Sevillano-Lawton.  Play this game over for some good ol-timey wincing including a “what?” result. And to what can we attribute Shabalov’s 2nd consecutive loss?  Perhaps someone is hexing him. Old Fox Joel Benjamin somehow benefited from a Krush Kollapse (TM) and Gulko also went down to an improbable second defeat. Hess’s win over Becerra was enjoyable but Christiansen seems off-form so far.  Someone from the Old Guard needs to step up.

In Unrelated News

It’s over 100 degrees in Tucson, AZ currently in the daytimes.  I found this package outside.

A Mysterious Box

A Mysterious Box