Posts Tagged ‘Viktor Korchnoi’

The Fabulous 10s: Amanov vs Amanov Tangle in the USCL

October 3, 2011

Modern Benoni Debate

In the US Chess League, two Amanovs recently played one another.   They have the same last name, but are not related.  Mesgen playing white  is from Turkmenistan and Zhanibek playing black  is from Kazakhstan.

From the Chicago Blaze team’s blog, this entry by the winner, Chicago’s GM Mesgen Amanov.  He defeated IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA).  My comments in purple.

See this Stuff on an iPhone or iPad

My expanded comments are part of an iPhone/iPad app called “Chess U”.  It’s available from iTunes. 

Chess U is a free publishing platform and the Amanov battle is part of the “USCL 2011 – Volume 1″ course.  This app also contains courses by guest authors such as Levon Altounian and Marcel Martinez.

M. Amanov (CHC) – Z. Amanov (LA)  USCL 2011   notes by M Amanov

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. g3  I like Bishop fianchetto against Benoni

On the other hand the g2-g3 move is not one most aggressive lines; white has also e4, Bd3, Nf3, h3 (central strategy) which theory likes although GM Gashimov has upheld the black side a few times.

g6 7. Bg2 Bg7 8. Nf3 O-O 9. O-O

Here we reached a tabiya of Benoni with a bishop fianchetto. Black has 3 options here:


[9… Nbd7 ;9… Re8 ]

It’s funny that Mesgen does not mention the weak 9… Na6? played by no less than ex-World Champ GM Mikhail Tal vs GM Korchnoi.  Korchnoi was rightfully critical of the move in his Best Games with White Volume.  Korchnoi rolled over Tal in a rather one-sided rout, but 9… Na6 still deserves a place in the list as the fourth move.

10. a4 Nbd7

[10… Re8 ]

11. Nd2 This position remind me a pleasant moment in my life when GM N. De Firmian played: Rb8?

Re8 [11… Rb8? 12. Nc4 Nb6?? Simply enough mistake, my opponent forgot to play Re8, let’s see what could happen if you do forget. 13. Nxd6! After this move game is over, due 13…Qxd6 14. Bf4 and the absence of Re8 doesn’t give black chance to block diagonal. But this is another story.  Ouch ]

12. h3 Rb8 13. Nc4 Ne5 This is what is considered the main line. Another option is Nb6 which leads to an absolutely different position where both sides playing on the queen side, black is preparing b5 and white is preventing it, if white knows what they are going they ended up in a better position. I recommend the “The Grandmaster Repertoire 1. d4 Volume 2” book by GM Boris Avrukh to see other variations.

14. Na3

This opening is a classic battle of chess ideas.  White moves his knight far aside in order to drive black’s knight back and then reoccupy the center with his knight.  The only question becomes, can black do anything with this gain of time before white realizes his plan and achieves total strategic domination?

14… Nh5 15. e4 f5   This variation leads to a temporary piece sacrifice.

The move f7-f5 is not necessary as black has non-sacrificial alternatives but a good choice at the USCL time control.

16. exf5 Bxf5 17. g4 Bxg4 18. hxg4 Qh4 19. gxh5 Now black sacrificed already 2 pieces, but soon white will be the one who will sacrifice something and black will remain balanced material


Sharp stuff

20. h6! This move is known and without it white would be simply lost

This is an interesting moment.  White is up two minor pieces and has the option here of 20. Bg5!? Qxg5 21. Ne4 Qh4 with further complications. I am not sure if white is lost here.  However, 20. h6!? may be the best move, but don’t rule out 20. Bg5 just yet until we check it further.  I’ll leave this placeholder to remind us to check 20. Bg5 more.  

20… Bh8 21. Ne4   We have followed a main line of the Benoni and only here in afore-mentioned book Avrukh volume 2, author recommends Nc4 with a little trap 21…Nxc4? 22.Qd3! White’s Queen transfers to h3 and kills Black’s attack. I could do that but was pretty sure my opponent would play the same move and position simply transposes to the main line.

Ng4 22. Qxg4 There is no other way of stopping checkmate; white has to give up the Queen.

Qxg4 23. Nc4 This moment is the first point when my opponent decided to take a serious thought, but I was sure he knows the position. The only question I had was “Did he analyze this position very deep over the board with a book say another 10-15 moves or he just looked at another 3-4 moves and checked with computer” As I knew computer gives advantage to black by -0.54 Houdini. Silicon brain does not understand this position. It is well known that engines are bad with a material imbalance like here with the Queen for 3 minor pieces.

There’s another factor here:  in the fast USCL time control, an active queen can wreak havoc in conjunction with other active pieces, even when faced by an army of three minor pieces.  This position may well be practically easier for black, keeping in mind the improvement on the next move.  The conclusion may be that this opening is a good choice by black in the USCL!

Key moment

23…b5   (?) It’s funny that Mesgen passed by this move without comment, but it’s a terrible move for black.   And as we see from Mesgen’s prior note, this was the first moment that Zhanibek had paused to think! This was one of the key moments.

23…b6! is much stronger to deny the a-file to white’s queen rook!  Take a look, black has excellent play!  White’s king is still not entirely comfortable. I will return to this in more depth soon.

24. axb5 axb5 25. Ncxd6 So far, I had played quick. I had analyzed this position maybe 6 monthes ago or more and did not exactly remember what would I do next

It’s funny that Mesgen had analyzed this position because it involves a black blunder, 23… b5?   Although it “seems normal” for black to expand with the typical b5 move, in this situation it’s weak because it gives white queen rook key perspectives to attack the black king.  Take that chance away, and black’s chances are significantly improved.

25…Be5 I kinda remembered what I shoud do here because I remembered that my King goes for a little walk to g3 in the main line and the only way to do so is to play f4.

26. f4 Bd4+ 27. Kh2 Rb6  This move was payed in a correspondence game.

28. Ra7 And here I am on my own. It took me 10 min to find this move, it turned out to be the best move! c4 29. Rc7N This move is novelty, but I woudn’t say a brilliant one. On the human level it’s a probably the best one, because if I play like in the correspondence game

when players can

check their analysis on the computer I should calculate next: [29. Bh3 Qe2+ 30. Rf2 Qh5 (30… Bxf2 31. Be6+ Kh8 32. Nf7+ Kg8 33. Nf6# ) 31. Rd2 Be3 32. Rg7+ Kh8 33. Nf7+ Rxf7 34. Rxf7 Kg8 35. Re7! only move, which impossible to find without computer on the deep depth. (35. Rg7+ Kf8 36. Rxh7 Bxf4+ 37. Kg2 Bxd2 38. Rh8+ Ke7 39. Bxd2 Qe2+ 40. Kg1 Qxe4 41. Bb4+ Rd6 42. Rh7+ Kf6 43. Bxd6 Qd4+ 44. Kh2 Qf2+ Leads to a preputual check! ) 35… Bxf4+ 36. Kg2 Kf8 37. Ra7 Bxd2 38. Bxd2 Qe2+ 39. Kg1 Qd1+ 40. Bf1 Qg4+ 41. Bg2 Qd1+ 42. Kh2 Qh5+ 43. Kg3+- Maybe next I’ll play it )) ]

29… Rd8? I felt this is a mistake, but for a long time, I could not find a refutation. I spent about 15 minutes before I found the best move! [29… Qh5+ 30. Bh3 (30. Kg3 g5 31. fxg5 Rxd6 32. Nxd6 Be5+ 33. Bf4 Qxg5+ ) 30… Rxd6 31. Nxd6 Be5 32. Rd7 g5 33. Nf7 g4 34. Nxe5 Qxh3+ 35. Kg1 with a prepetual Qg3+ ]

Black also has the immediate 29… Rxd6!? with interesting play.  Many tactical motifs involving g5 break and Be5 trick.   Black appears to be equal in both situations either checking with queen right away or taking on d6 first.

30. Bh3! Qh5 [30… Qh4 31. Nc8 Ra6 32. Ng5 Bf6 33. Ne7+ Bxe7 34. Rxe7 Qxh6 35. Rfe1 Qh4 36. Re8+ Rxe8 37. Rxe8+ Kg7 38. Be3 Rf6 39. Re7+ Kf8 40. Rxh7 Qe1 41. Bc5+ Kg8 42. Be6+ Rxe6 43. dxe6 c3 44. Rb7 Qh4+ 45. Nh3 c2 46. Rb8+ Kh7 47. Bd4 g5 48. Rh8+ Kg6 49. Rxh4 c1=Q 50. Rg4 Qd2+ 51. Nf2 Qxd4 52. f5+ Of Course I saw it ;30… Qe2+ 31. Rf2!! ]

31. Be3!! Very strong move! After this black is losing.

This was a nice shot and probably what Zhanibek missed.  Otherwise he would have thought again and found one of the drawing moves on move 29.

Qe2+ What else to do? Bxe3? Nf6+

32. Rf2 Qxe3 33. Be6+ Kh8 34. Nf7+ Kg8 35. Nfd6+ Pretending that I’am a professoinal. Before go any further I’am gaining some time.

Kh8 36. Nf7+ Kg8 I guess my opponent’s heart was squezed here with a hope of me playing Nd6+ with a 3 fold repetition.

37. Nxd8+ Kf8 38. Rf7+ Ke8 39. d6! If I wouldn’t see this move while playing Be3 or if I would not have this move position is equal according to a computer Qxf2+ probably desperation, but there is nothing left, as you can see in the following line: [39… Qxe4 40. d7+ Kxd8 41. Rf8+ Kc7 42. d8=Q+ Kb7 43. Qa8+ Kc7 44. Qc8+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Ke7 46. Qd7+ Kf6 47. Rf8# ]

40. Nxf2 Rxd6 41. Ne4 Now it looks like I’m a simply piece up, but it is not true,

I’m threatening checkmate which is almost impossible to stop. Rxd8 42. Rb7 Bxb2 43. Bf7+ Here I premoved Ng5 with unstoppable checkmate,

but my opponent resigned. 1-0


This is a very interesting opening variation.  The way Mesgen played, with 20. h6!?, is not at all convincing, and after my improvement 23… b6! for black (instead of b5)I believe black has great play.  Check it out for yourselves!  Come back to this spot soon, I will provide additional lines.


The Fabulous 00s: 2008 USCL Season Starts

August 26, 2008

USCL Madness

Whoah.  The Arizona Scorpions battled the Chicago Blaze on August 25, 2008 at Levon Altounian’s house in a thriller that was sure to please the Commish, IM Greg Shahade..

Photos of the Arizona players are here.

Not a match for the faint of heart.  First let’s see some pre-match predictions.

First, from BionicLime.   The Lime guessed 3-1 Arizona.  No word yet on IndestructibleKiwi’s or MetallicMango’s thoughts.

“Saturday, August 23, 2008

USCL Season: Week 1 Monday Predictions

The United States Chess League season starts next week, and I have been asked to participate in this year’s prediction contest! I am very excited and honored to be part of it.

For most of the games and matches, I will be drawing heavily from my unofficial USCL ratings list, which I am planning to maintain throughout the year.

However, since the Monday match is between the two expansion teams, nobody on those teams has a USCL rating.

So, I suppose, I could predict a 2-2 tie, but I think I’ll do something a little more intelligently.

Both boards 1 and 3 of Arizona have white, and outrate (USCF ratings) their opponents by about 80 points or so. Therefore I expect at least 1.5 out of those boards.

On board 2, IM Mehmed Pasalic (Chicago) is white against IM Mark Ginsburg (Arizona). Although Ginsburg is a little higher rated, Pasalic plays a lot in the North America Chess Association’s FIDE norm tournaments, so he’s probably in a good form.  This is funny, because in Pasalic’s final norm tournament a few months ago, he and I drew at yes, you guessed it, a North America Chess Assoc. Sevan Muradian FIDE event in Chicago.  In that game too, I was black in a Sicilian.  Pasalic won that event and Tate and I trailed a half-point behind.  (A Taimonov there, here I try a Kan).

On board 4, Warren Harper outrates his opponent by over 150 points, and although he has black, he’s got a better shot to pull it out.

Thus, my prediction is Arizona over Chicago 3-1.

At the USCL mothership site, Arun “Please don’t squeeze the …” Sharma actually got it right with the statistically “safer” prediction of 2.5 – 1.5 Arizona.  But as we will see, the final result was very much up in the air.

Monday Night Prediction — Week 1

The inaugural match of the USCL season is always by nature one of the most interesting, treating us to a display by players generally unknown to us (at least in the league aspect). This match is a strangely unbalanced one rating-wise, with most past expansion teams looking to get a good jump off the starting blocks to help ease any initial butterflies and signify that they are for real. Nevertheless, this match is what it is. While one team has a distinct rating advantage, there are nevertheless two things which I really feel to be true:(1) Never take anything for granted in the USCL(2) A player’s OTB strength can definitely vary quite a bit (either higher or lower) in comparison to their internet strength.Of course, taking these considerations together might suggest that guessing match results in general is a fair crap shoot, and in a league as balanced as this, it probably is! But me and the other predictors (Bioniclime and OrangeKing) don’t get paid to not try. However, given as I said these players are completely unfamiliar in the league, I’ll simply go with the purely mathematical approach for guessing the board results for this match.
Board 1: Slight Edge AZ
Board 2: Even

Board 3: Edge AZ
Board 4: Slight Edge AZ

So I suppose it won’t be hard to guess who I’ll be picking to win from that. But given the variance I think is involved with expansion teams in general, you simply can never know how people will react in their first ever match, I’ll go with the variance happy approach of the smallest victory margin and pick Arizona 2.5 – 1.5.

all adamson-a

Observing 3 [(Adamson-ARZ) vs. (Burgess-CHC)]: (Sele) Lipsome123 Sea-Hawk Micawbr aToutLeMonde deppis MorphyMadness ChessFM KingDestroyer Big-King Fluxcapacitor THUNDAR Lalu IrishGambit kklinheib Rosewood therealwizard Urk mastershake Flying-Tiger Morr louis darrellmac bioniclime USCL DukeBishop Paul kjkormick nemasters LikeClockwork ScottM Ktsofjd MrBob tenor jechess Andrews-TEN NashvilleChess MAGICKOFCHESS Rensch-ARZ XR Shankland-SF jsemmens molokai GrandmasterFinn island sengir Iridium24 pjj Old-Guard bhima pcornelius MASTERCHEF androp StarJock jkjell85 imgm easycure adamredsox vkpanch elizabeth littlestz MrHat frank001 carbide BadBeats giggy EyeAm icecream-smilez putt4dough ShadyMoves Nimzo40 MysteryMan tessie Phlox PlymArg supernova pawnforce93 junkmaster SamsBlockade

79 people

all altounian

Observing 1 [(Altounian-ARZ) vs. (vandeMortel-CHC)]: Bumbly samod1 BertrandRussell (Sele) Lipsome123 Thor5581 Silluger Sea-Hawk Micawbr aToutLeMonde badmove deppis CapitalG bughouseprod MorphyMadness ChessFM KingDestroyer Big-King Fluxcapacitor DWANG THUNDAR Lalu IrishGambit GunSlinger kklinheib Rosewood therealwizard Urk mastershake Flying-Tiger dantas Morr apollo53 louis Zornorph darrellmac bioniclime USCL DukeBishop kjkormick nemasters ArthurianLegend LikeClockwork ScottM DanFerrer Ktsofjd MrBob chigato tenor jechess Andrews-TEN NashvilleChess MAGICKOFCHESS Rensch-ARZ XR Shankland-SF RoJac88 jsemmens Memphischess molokai GrandmasterFinn island sengir Iridium24 LouCKE smarks lepomis hpjj Old-Guard bhima pcornelius impregmate MASTERCHEF androp StarJockell85 imgm Smearinov easycure adamredsox vkpanch elizabeth phoenix10q72 littlestz MrHat frank001 carbide wisebard777 BadBeats giggy EyeAm WillThrash chess1 icecream-smilez putt4dough Gandalf ShadyMoves Nimzo40 alec-805 MysteryMan tessie PorkChopsTamer Phlox PlymArg The-Freak TSMag pawnforce93 Darnoc Player1521 SamsBlockade bamileke79

111 people

all ginsburg

Observing 2 [(Pasalic-CHC) vs. (Ginsburg-ARZ)]: (Sele) Lipsome123 Silluger Sea-Hawk Micawbr aToutLeMonde deppis CapitalG MorphyMadness ChessFM KingDestroyer Big-King Fluxcapacitor THUNDAR Lalu IrishGambit GunSlinger kklinheib Rosewood therealwizard Urk mastershake Flying-Tiger Morr louis darrellmac bioniclime Rebellious USCL DukeBishop kjkormick nemasters LikeClockwork ScottM DanFerrer Ktsofjd MrBob tenor jechess Andrews-TEN NashvilleChess MAGICKOFCHESS Rensch-ARZ XR Shankland-SF jsemms GrandmasterFinn island sengir Iridium24 LouCKE smarks hpjj Old-Guard bhima pcornelius impregmate MASTERCHEF DrinkBeer androp StarJock jkjell85 imgm easycure adamredsox vkpanch elizabeth littlestz MrHat frank001 carbide BadBeats giggy EyeAm icecream-smilez putt4dough ShadyMoves Nimzo40 MysteryMan tessie Phlox PlymArg GeertM pawnforce93 SamsBlockade

85 people

all harper

Observing 4 [(Meerovich-CHC) vs. (Harper-ARZ)]: (Sele) Lipsome123 Sea-Hawk  Micawbr aToutLeMonde deppis MorphyMadness ChessFM KingDestroyer Big-King Fluxcapacitor THUNDAR Lalu IrishGambit kklinheib Rosewood therealwizard Urk mastershake Flying-Tiger Morr louis darrellmac bioniclime USCL DukeBishop kjkormick nemasters LikeClockwork chessdude64 ScottM Ktsofjd MrBob tenor jechess Andrews-TEN NashvilleChess MAGICKOFCHESS Rensch-ARZ XR Shankland-SF jsemmens GrandmasterFinn island sengir Iridium24 LouCKE koolhand bitachi hpjj Old-Guard bhima pcornelius MASTERCHEF DrinkBeer androp StarJock jkjell85 imgm Sandeen easycure adamredsox vkpanch elizabeth littlestz MrHat frank001 carbide BadBeats giggy EyeAm icecream-smilez putt4dough Gupta ShadyMoves Nimzo40 guest1382 MysteryMan ScotchMAN tessie Phlox PlymArg supernova TSMag pawnforce93 junkmaster SamsBlockade

87 people

A lot of spectators!

Let’s pick up the action in IM Pasalic – IM Ginsburg and try to match up the move to kibitzer comments.

1. e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Qb6 6.Nb3 Qc7 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Qe2 d6 9.f4 Nbd7 10.c4 b6 11.Nc3 Bb7 12.Bd2 Be7 13.Rae1 Rd8!?

An interesting defense. I saw it once in a Dzindzi game. Black exploits the temporary logjam on the d-file to stop e4-e5 for the time being.

14.Kh1 g6?

Correct is the natural 14…O-O! 15. Bb1 g6 16. Nd4 Rfe8 17. Nf3 Nh5! with equal chances.

15.Nd4! Logical.  15. f5! Ne5 16. fxe6 fxe6 17. Nd4 Qd7 18. Bc2 O-O 19. Na4 is also a white edge.


A smart Rybka computer program showed me this defensive motif once.  But I have the exact position wrong.  In this position, I must play 15…O-O 16. f5 Nc5 and try to hold on.


White had the exceedingly dangerous thematic blow to exploit black’s uncastled king: 16. Nd5! exd5 17. exd5 O-O 18. Nc6! Bxc6 19. b4! Qd4 20. dxc6 d5 and black maybe, might, be able to hold.


Continuing with my altogether faulty plan.

Position after 16..Qh5.  Queen on a limb (crazy) variation.

Black’s play is quite illogical and as the computer shows, the thematic shot 17. Nd5! is terrible for me.  If I play 17…exd5 18. exd5 O-O 19. Qxe7, d6 hangs and I am lost.

17.Bc2 I get a reprieve. 0-0 18.b4 e5

I would estimate this as being roughly balanced.

19.a3 exf4 20.Bxf4 Rfe8 21.Qd3 Ne5

I don’t adore this move as it gives white a simple plan of action.

22.Bxe5 dxe5 23.Nd5 Nxd5 24.cxd5 Bf8

Position after 24…Bf8.  Time for a Reshevsky-like draw offer.

After the initial vicissitudes, here I offered a draw from what I thought was a solid enough position to see what he would do.  Levon looked += on board 1 and Warren on board 4 had already lost for us, but Robby on board 3 had already won with an amazing 38 seconds left on his clock thus refuting Korchnoi’s dictum “in time pressure, there are no heroes.”   Of course, Pasalic has no reason to accept and plays on.

— Game 2: Pasalic-CHC vs Ginsburg-ARZ —

WhiteKnightAR whispers: lol

Ginsburg-ARZ offers a draw to Pasalic-CHC in game 2.

bioniclime whispers: hmm… draw offer?

Lalu(DM) whispers: he must feel they have the beter chances on board 1

Lalu(DM) whispers: so draw here would then be a good thing

bioniclime whispers: Sure, but then Arizona can’t win 3-1 like I predicted…

Lalu(DM) whispers: once they were upset on board 4

Lalu(DM) whispers: i probably would have given up hope on that anyway :0

Lalu(DM) whispers: but he didn’t take it, so u’re off the hook for now!

WhiteKnightAR whispers: you predicted AZ, bioniclime?

Lalu(DM) whispers: everyone did

bioniclime whispers: I just remember in a New Jersey match last year — I think it was Hess-Zlotnikov — Hess offered draws and Zlotnikov never noticed…

Lalu(DM) whispers: yes i recall that

USCL(IM) whispers: yea that happens a lot because people turn off their sound

WhiteKnightAR whispers: but chicago has the better logo!

Lalu(DM) whispers: or they have a relayer

USCL(IM) whispers: good for the fans, who wants to see draws anyway 🙂

WhiteKnightAR whispers: very true; just say “no’ to draws 😉

GunSlinger kibitzes: i believe the offer wascorrect, and declining was likely also correct

carbide kibitzes: does uscl have a 30 move draw rule?

Lalu(DM) whispers: no there is no rule

USCL(IM) whispers: whats a 30 move draw rule?

carbide whispers: i dont know

Lalu(DM) whispers: uscl has much more creative ways to stop draws

Lalu(DM) whispers: just ask him

carbide whispers: lol

USCL(IM) whispers: draws are good for the uscl, otherwise too many 2-2 tied matches 🙂

carbide kibitzes: its 1-1

carbide kibitzes: with last 2 games unclearish?

GunSlinger kibitzes: oh

ShaqCosteau kibitzes: what happened in other games

carbide kibitzes: adamson was playing flash and uscl at same time i heard

checkm8 whispers: how did adamson do

carbide kibitzes: rf2 and ref1 and lock n load?

carbide kibitzes: adamson won after an attack for the ages

bioniclime whispers: Adamson solved a relatively simple “Mate in 3” puzzle.

carbide kibitzes: lol

Rosewood whispers: what happened in the Adamson game

StarJock whispers: But what counts, is he solved it!

bioniclime whispers: Adamson solved a relatively simple “Mate in 3” puzzle.

carbide kibitzes: bc8?

bioniclime whispers: that his opponent unfortunately set up rather nicely for him.

carbide kibitzes: but then bg4

Rosewood kibitzes: darn wnated to see the end the games just disappered

25.Ba4! b5 26.Bd1 Qh6 27.h3 Bd6 Weirdly, the computer likes the rook lift Rd8-d6-f6 here.  That’s not so easy for a human to play.


Most annoying.

Position after 28. Nh2.

carbide kibitzes: ng4 looks like some pain

Lalu(DM) whispers: bc8 forced right

Lalu(DM) whispers: can’t have ng4-f6

carbide whispers: dunno

carbide whispers: bc8 bg4

carbide kibitzes: then bb7

sangen whispers: f5?!

Lalu(DM) whispers: yeah maybe

Lalu(DM) whispers: qg7 ng4 be7 is possible

Lalu(DM) whispers: then u have h5

carbide whispers: this feels bad for black

carbide whispers: but who knows

carbide whispers: rf2 and ref1

GunSlinger kibitzes: sac rook on f7

carbide kibitzes: in time pressure we tend to open stuff we shouldnt..that for black here might not work

Rosewood whispers: quick Bc8 before white plays Ng4

WhiteKnightAR whispers: lol Gun

carbide kibitzes: B going to b3 wriong side?

carbide kibitzes: bd1 bg4

GunSlinger kibitzes: B on B3 is freezing d6

28 … Qg7 Yes, I am feeling uncomfortable.

darrellmac whispers: finchetto queen Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm:::::)

carbide kibitzes: qb6?

GunSlinger kibitzes: both sides are as uncoordinated as a Jerry Lewis movie

darrellmac whispers: hahahahahahahahahaha

carbide kibitzes: rc7 maybe

StarJock whispers: Who’s Jerry Lewis 🙂

GunSlinger kibitzes: Rc5 is interesting

Danya(FM) whispers: Rc7

Danya(FM) whispers: +-   Danya sees blood.

GunSlinger kibitzes: yes better

carbide whispers: rc7 bc7 d6 kg7

Danya(FM) whispers: more lik winning oh and Rc6 also wins

Danya(FM) whispers: Qc7 then carbidce

carbide whispers: is that all good?

carbide kibitzes: ok

29.Bb3 Bc8 30.Rc1 Bd7

30…f5 is playable but I was worried about the squares it would leave behind in a vacuum.

31.Qe3 h5 32.Nf3 f6 I need to get the queen to e7 post-haste.

33.Qb6 Qe7 34.Ne1 Rb8

Again, 34…f5 was quite playable but not fitting into the “solid” persona I had selected for myself in this difficult time control.

35.Qe3 Kg7 36.Nd3

White is shwoing off good maneuvering skillz. I am starting to get bad feelings.  I never wanted to play …f5 fearing I would get too loose.

Danya(FM) whispers: oh ne3-nc5

carbide kibitzes: nd3 nc5

carbide kibitzes: N on c5 looks brutal too

Danya(FM) whispers: a5

sangen whispers: f5

carbide whispers: white plays with great patience

Danya(FM) whispers: f5 ef

sangen whispers: gf

carbide kibitzes: can black play f5?

Danya(FM) whispers: Nc5 after gf

Danya(FM) whispers: black collapses

carbide kibitzes: f5 and ef g5 then?

carbide kibitzes: just nc5?

sangen whispers: black can’t just sit around  I can!

carbide kibitzes: white has reorganized nicely  Yes, he has.

Danya(FM) whispers: Nxd7 Rxf6 !?!>

Danya(FM) whispers: and Qh6

Danya(FM) whispers: oh rc1


The computer likes 36…a5 straightaway for me.

37.Nc5 a5 My b5 pawn is now weak.  But what to do?

38.Qf3 axb4 39.axb4 Ra8

Position after 39…Ra8.  It’s all down to this board.  (Arizona leading 2-1).

carbide kibitzes: f5 now?

carbide kibitzes: apparently not

Valeriya kibitzes: Qc5 then claim mouslip

carbide kibitzes: whites better but how to increase pressure?

Lalu(DM) whispers: no mouseslips pls

USCL(IM) whispers: ok looks liek arizona will take a 2-1 lead and it all comes down to this

USCL(IM) whispers: with pasalic needing the win

Lalu(DM) whispers: don’t need any of those this season

Valeriya kibitzes: u gotta try something

Lalu(DM) whispers: ok official AZ up 2 – 1

Lalu(DM) whispers: pasalic must win

ShadyMoves whispers: do the players know the situation with the match score? Are they informed?

BadBeats whispers: yes

Lalu(DM) whispers: yes

Lalu(DM) whispers: everyone plays at same site

Lalu(DM) whispers: they know exactly

40.Rc3 Rf8 41.Rfc1 Ra7 42.Bc2 Rfa8 43.Bb1 Rf8 44.Bd3 Rfa8 45.Qf1 White has patiently arranged the win of a pawn.  But the battle continues!


Of course, black could have simply defended the pawn with 45…Rb8 here!  I had a bit of a hallucination and thought the pawn was a goner so I went for activity.

46.Rxa3 Rxa3 47.Bxb5 Bc8

Position after 47…Bc8.

In chess there is the weird property that sometimes the win of a pawn doesn’t hurt the defending side as they retain chances.  This is one of those cases.  Black can play on and fight with the bishop pair, looking for pesky counterplay.

48.Be2 Qa7 49.Bf3 Qb6 50.Qc4

At this point, I knew 50…Bxh3 might be “on” but it was a scary thing to do in mutual time trouble.  If I did it, the dispassionate Computer Engine would either show me later that it is fine or I lose. 🙂

Position after 50. Qc4.  Can I do …Bxh3?

USCL(IM) whispers: hey btw whats going on in this chess game?

RLH2(IM) whispers: its getting tight

RLH2(IM) whispers: time trouble

RLH2(IM) whispers: bh3

vcs whispers: Bxh3

RLH2(IM) whispers: blundered it

RLH2(IM) whispers: i was waiting for it

vcs whispers: i guess he gets Ne6 tho

carbide kibitzes: ruhroh

Smearinov kibitzes: well a knight move to threaten rc6 looked kewl

carbide kibitzes: bh3

USCL(IM) whispers: is bh3 so good?

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

GunSlinger kibitzes: white queen heads for e8

Lalu(DM) whispers: bh3 gh3 rf3 ne6 and qc8

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: all the genius league predicters made Ginsburg out to be a punk in their analysis    I was very interested to see those geniuses, but I could not find their writings!  The only ones I saw gave me as about equal chances.  Curiously, I had just battled Pasalic recently (also on the black side of a Sicilian, NA FIDE Chicago 2008) – the result?  An accurate draw.

USCL(IM) whispers: we can do some ne6 then

StarJock whispers: On TV on “In Plain Sight”, the witnesses move to New Mexico.

PushingPawns whispers: Bh3 Bh5

carbide kibitzes: true dat

adamredsox whispers: Ne6?

Lalu(DM) whispers: made him out to be a punk?

adamredsox whispers: more lik eKg2

RLH2(IM) whispers: bh3 is forced

Lalu(DM) whispers: how did I do taht

Lalu(DM) whispers: i don’t think i even mentioned him

USCL(IM) whispers: bh3 gh3 rf3 ne6 seems v dangouers whats black do’

vcs whispers: i agree USCL.

RLH2(IM) whispers: kh7

RLH2(IM) whispers: after ne6

USCL(IM) whispers: ok qc8

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: it seemed that everyone favored Chicago on board two

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: Ginsburg, at one point or another in his life, could have played for all teams! …he lives everywhere

Lalu(DM) whispers: i didn’t lol

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

Smearinov kibitzes: lol finegold

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: well, what do you know?

carbide kibitzes: ginsburg gonna have to dig deep ( sports cliches are really stupid no?)

RLH2(IM) whispers: rxh3+

Smearinov kibitzes: he lived in maryland didnt he

bioniclime whispers: I didn’t — I thought it was a toss up

RLH2(IM) whispers: in that line

mthal513 whispers: wow

RLH2(IM) whispers: kg2 rh2+

RLH2(IM) whispers: and qf2 sealed a draw    Good line!!!

Smearinov kibitzes: ginsburg goes where the ladies are  (exclam strategy)

RLH2(IM) whispers: if you followed

USCL(IM) whispers: yea maybe

Lalu(DM) whispers: then ginsburg will be playing in TN soon

Lalu(DM) whispers: following ehlvest obv

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: he lives in MD, Chicago, Boston, AZ, NY, and everywhere in between

Darnoc kibitzes: white can play kg2 before ne6

vcs whispers: na4?

MJP whispers: 2-1 for AZ right?

Smearinov kibitzes: aries2 we’ll never here him shut up if he wins but if he loses he might not log on this week   (I might venture the occasional logon to talk to my lady friends)

ExMachina whispers: why not … Bx h3?

carbide kibitzes: uscl tbhis game could go on for hours…maybe at move 100 u could subtract time for each move made

RLH2(IM) whispers: ra1+ followed by f5 ideas/!

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: Tennessee – Tennessee there aint no place I’d rather be

therealwizard whispers: what a dumb idea carbide

carbide kibitzes: lol

USCL(IM) whispers: nb3 threat sort of?

carbide kibitzes: of course it is

USCL(IM) whispers: im dumb nevermind

carbide kibitzes: f5?

USCL(IM) whispers: im liek 1200 when analyzing these games

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: for more of carbide’s dumb moves, tune in 8 PM eastern on Wednesday

Lalu(DM) whispers: don’t be so generous to yourself uscl

RLH2(IM) whispers: rxb3.

DrinkBeer whispers: for people who know ginsburg personally is he sort of…off a little…maybe? i mean not in a bad way but not the kind of guy who has a PHD  (I was actually feeling spot on as I munched down a couple of red seedless Altounian grapes.)

carbide kibitzes: crap i cant see anything

Lalu(DM) whispers: u know u’re lower

Smearinov kibitzes: no ur 1450 uscl

Smearinov kibitzes: 🙂

champ whispers: blunder?

dannyhodo whispers: this looks drawish

FlirtyMegan1991 whispers: drawn

TheChessKid whispers: b4 hangs

TheChessKid whispers: oh c8

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: this game reminds me of Blake-Young except the tennis is exciting  (isn’t there beach volleyball on *some* cable channel somewhere?)

USCL(IM) whispers: qc8

carbide kibitzes: rb3?

TheChessKid whispers: then Qh8 maybe

bioniclime whispers: Rxb3

USCL(IM) whispers: tennis much more boring than chess, just hitting ball back and forth over and over!

Sea-Hawk(IM) kibitzes: yeah blake isn’t playing too well

RLH2(IM) whispers: rxb3 nb3 qb4 qc8 qb3 qh8+ kg5 h4+.. and white wins

therealwizard whispers: this game reminds me of time trouble


Oh no!  I *did* have 50…Bxh3!! 51. gxh3 Rxf3 52. Ne6+ Kf7! (The move I missed) 53. Qc8 Rxh3+ 54. Kg2 Rh2+!! 55. Kxh2 Qf2+ with a perpetual, the nice variation pointed out in kibs by RLH2!!


51. Na4 is crushing.  After 51…Rxa4 52. Qxc8 white is winning in the long run, e.g 52….Qb8 53. Qxb8 Bxb8 54. Rc6 Rxb4 Rxf6.

Ra1+ 52.Kh2 Rb1 53.Rb3

Position after 53. Rb3.  I miss a great zwischenzug.

RLH2(IM) whispers: oh ba6 here   Great shot!

53…Rxb3? 54.Nxb3 I never even considered 53…Ba6! with total equality; what a nice move.

PushingPawns whispers: Missed Ba6 instead of Rb3

carbide kibitzes: pawns dropping like snowflakes

ShadyMoves whispers: great chess and tennis tonight

whis he missed ba6

Adamson-ARZ(FM) whispers: he missed ba6

(whispered to 149 observers)

RLH2(IM) whispers: ba6 now

ShadyMoves whispers: go Donald Young!

RLH2(IM) whispers: …

USCL(IM) whispers: yea looked kind of shaky for white for a bit…

whis before

Adamson-ARZ(FM) whispers: before

(whispered to 149 observers)

RLH2(IM) whispers: ba6 now robby

carbide kibitzes: ba6 qc6?

whis better before

Adamson-ARZ(FM) whispers: better before

(whispered to 148 observers)

USCL(IM) whispers: maybe just ba6 now hard for white to lose

USCL(IM) whispers: black to lose


therealwizard whispers: Qc1+

dpruess(IM) kibitzes: qc1 and nc5?

Shankland-SF whispers: qc1 and nc5

mthal513 whispers: Qc1 if nothing else

Smearinov kibitzes: wow

FlirtyMegan1991 whispers: ugh

Smearinov kibitzes: white busted

RLH2(IM) whispers: whoa i missed qc1

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: challenges in tennis are great, we need challenges in chess

FlirtyMegan1991 whispers: these so called masters are blunbdering    We’re allowed to ‘blunbder’ with crazed paparazzi, screaming babies, and Amanda Mateer hovering around.

FlirtyMegan1991 whispers: all games

Smearinov kibitzes: lol qc1 i did too

carbide kibitzes: and nc5 again

KingDestroyer kibitzes: lol flirty masters never bludner

carbide kibitzes: and ne6 coming

therealwizard whispers: it is time trouble and late at night so layoff

55.Qc1+ Check!   White has time for Nc5 next!  Back to the drawing board.  Get it? Heh heh.

Smearinov kibitzes: b4 still falls no?

carbide kibitzes: wheeeeeeeee

RLH2(IM) whispers: g5?

TheChessKid whispers: Nc5 I guess

carbide kibitzes: oh yeah..g5 is good

vcs whispers: nc5

g5 56.Nc5 Bc8 57.Qc4

Once again, 57. Na4! is best. After 57…Qb8 58. Qc6 black will not survive.

mthal513 whispers: what happened to guessthemovve?

Smearinov kibitzes: or nc5 qb4 ne6 i guess

RLH2(IM) whispers: bc8.

vcs whispers: qa3?

carbide kibitzes: its a 2 minute blitz game..its just who blunders least

therealwizard whispers: Na4

carbide kibitzes: qc4?

RLH2(IM) whispers: na4 qc4 g4?!

USCL(IM) whispers: we need guessthemove obv

USCL(IM) whispers: woohoo

mthal513 whispers: yay!

Smearinov kibitzes: what happens if g4

carbide kibitzes: g4


A useful space gaining move opening lines to white’s king! At this point, I felt I was pretty much out of the woods.  But it’s not true  – white is still much better.

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 57…g4: carbide USCL sangen (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

RLH2(IM) whispers: g4 with potential on h4-e1 diag?

carbide kibitzes: and we get some three mile island chess

Tiger17 whispers: tell geussthemove 0-0-0 🙂

Smearinov kibitzes: i guess we’ll find out

mthal513 whispers: why g4?

RLH2(IM) whispers: whoa

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

RLH2(IM) whispers: gxh3

mthal513 whispers: qc1 ideas again

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: tell guessthemove Blake

RLH2(IM) whispers: qa7 as well

vcs whispers: f5 coming?

Smearinov kibitzes: f5?

Smearinov kibitzes: open diagonal?

RLH2(IM) whispers: f5 looks bad

Darnoc kibitzes: f5 fails

carbide kibitzes: f5 doesnt pass the sniff test

USCL(IM) whispers: will be hard for black to lose this

MJP kibitzes: isn’t this position just terrible for black?

USCL(IM) whispers: really?

Smearinov kibitzes: lol sniff test

carbide whispers: wow bold claim from uscl

USCL(IM) whispers: ok maybe not so hard

PushingPawns whispers: In blitz the only terrible position is a lost position.

KingDestroyer kibitzes: hard for white to lose this?

MJP whispers: I know nothing but I was thinking black is screwed

carbide whispers: now if he does that quote will be publsihed widely

USCL(IM) whispers: but few moves ago was very ok for black

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: can’t real chess players kib, and not USCL?

USCL(IM) whispers: still seems like it should be fine

PushingPawns whispers: Plenty of schwindle opportunities here.

USCL(IM) whispers: i have special account they can see my kibs

Smearinov kibitzes: is this the guy who plays at UTD?

USCL(IM) whispers: so i have to whisper always

MJP kibitzes: no these are both older guys

Smearinov kibitzes: oh ok

Smearinov kibitzes: well old guys play college chess

Smearinov kibitzes: just ask umbc

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

carbide kibitzes: this is just hard position

MJP kibitzes: haha yeah but not these old guys

carbide kibitzes: good for us bad for them

therealwizard whispers: pasalic is not old

Smearinov kibitzes: oh ok 🙂

WhiteKnightAR whispers: lol

58.Be2 Qa7 59.hxg4 Black is starting to see the happy contours of draw harbor.

59. Qc1+ Kg6 60. hxg4 hxg4 61. Bd3 keeps a white plus.

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 59.hxg4: therealwizard (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

USCL(IM) whispers: i feel like 30 second increment is most nervewracking thing, perpetual time scramble that never ends

mthal513 kibitzes: and then qc1 and kg3?

carbide kibitzes: kg3?

KingDestroyer kibitzes: I agree

hxg4 60.Qc1+

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 60.Qc1+: Darnoc (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

USCL(IM) whispers: and you are also even expected to make good moves

Andrews-TEN(FM) kibitzes: RZA would be 4 hours late to each match

chicagosevan whispers: Marc Arnold needs 2/4 for his IM norm

carbide kibitzes: we will see many more..stay tuned

chicagosevan whispers: no he drew

chicagosevan whispers: with Angelo

Smearinov kibitzes: lol andrews

mthal513 kibitzes: he just needs all draws now?

chicagosevan whispers: yes

RLH2(IM) whispers: almost a sure-fire norm

chicagosevan whispers: he has 2 more IM’s, 1 FM, and the lowest seeded player left

MJP kibitzes: god ginsburg’s position so depressing   I thought I stood OK here.

GunSlinger kibitzes: Kg1!

carbide kibitzes: tick tock

Kg7 61.Qe3 Qf7 I spotted the nasty blitz Ne6+ trick.


GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 62.Kg1: Darnoc (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

chicagosevan whispers: he’s get it

MJP kibitzes: can keep struggling forever

carbide kibitzes: wow

chicagosevan whispers: and it will be his 3rd IM norm

Adrenaline whispers: who has the best team in USCL ?

chicagosevan whispers: all three done at my tournaments

carbide kibitzes: white plays like altounian   He didn’t blunder yet as in Lev’s game. 🙂

mthal513 kibitzes: queens

mthal513 kibitzes: no doubt

RLH2(IM) whispers: yeah he took his norms at your series

Lalu(DM) whispers: that’s why we play the league adrenaline

MJP kibitzes: LOL

Smearinov whispers: not even gonna try to analyze this

Lalu(DM) whispers: to figure that out

ROCKET34 whispers: az scorpians

carbide kibitzes: very partient and solid


Smearinov kibitzes: qh5 threatening what?  Just hanging out.  Maybe white will fall for b5 Qh4 g3 Bxc5.  Stranger things have happened.

champ whispers: b5?

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: I am moving the team after this season…who wants to buy a franchise?

carbide kibitzes: qh3

carbide kibitzes: move of the century

Lalu(DM) whispers: depends where u move

Tiger17 whispers: how much todd?

WhiteKnightAR whispers: how much? lol

therealwizard whispers: he’s moving to east st.louis

mthal513 kibitzes: just b5 here?

chicagosevan whispers: i’ll buy it todd – hamburger happy meal and i’d like some change

RLH2(IM) whispers: b5?! qh4

Lalu(DM) whispers: st. louis has a darn nice club to play in at least

MJP whispers: what the?

Lalu(DM) whispers: too bad i doubt they have the player base

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: I wouldnt trade you the team for that entire chess center you guys play in, Sevan

Position after 62…Qh5.  White decides to take action.


No doubt exhausted by the lengthy struggle, white blunders back the pawn and the game becomes level.  Worse, white cannot make any threats going forward and the game and match swiftly conclude.  After 63. g3 white can continue to press.

Smearinov whispers: bx forced?

carbide kibitzes: so whats going on here?

StarJock whispers: Moving Team includes those hot Tenn. women?

Lalu(DM) whispers: yeah

chicagosevan whispers: we’re at the Holiday Inn Northshore Hotel

Lalu(DM) whispers: but if u take the women

Lalu(DM) whispers: u have to take ehlvest then too

Lalu(DM) whispers: since that’s why he’s tehre

Bxe6 64.dxe6

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 63…Bxe6: TheChessKid therealwizard Smearinov (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

RLH2(IM) whispers: bxe6 de qh4..

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 64.dxe6: therealwizard (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: not at the Touch move Center huh

Smearinov whispers: chicagosevan any hot chicks in the crowd?

Britt kibitzes: is this love or hate you chess center guys

WhiteKnightAR whispers: you’ll lose Ehlvest

champ whispers: Bxb4   The champ is onto something.

PushingPawns whispers: pawn is a pawn

carbide kibitzes: i feel some perp in the future qh4 qe1

Smearinov whispers: 🙂 lol

ExMachina whispers: Qh3

blitzmaniac whispers: sevan doesnt swing that way

blitzmaniac whispers: 😀

champ whispers: why not Bxb4?

PushingPawns whispers: Looks like white lost the thread somewhere.

champ whispers: ooooooooo Qa7

Smearinov whispers: qa7 + then qb8+

64…Bxb4! Gaining c5 for the bishop in some positions.  It’s now totally drawn. Some kibitzers posited it might be a blunder but it is a safe capture.

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 64…Bxb4: therealwizard champ TheChessKid KNVB (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Smearinov whispers: bf8 e7

carbide kibitzes: qa7 kh6

Smearinov whispers: wtf

carbide kibitzes: here we go

therealwizard whispers: and draw

mastershake whispers: king can move up too lol

65.Qa7+ The check is not scary but some spectators were still caught up in the fervor.

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 65.Qa7+: carbide therealwizard KNVB (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Smearinov whispers: qa7 kg6 qf7

GunSlinger kibitzes: Qa7 wins   If my king had to go back, yes.

Smearinov whispers: k6

Smearinov kibitzes: h6

MJP whispers: Bxb4 looks like it was a blunder from ginsburg   Ye of Little Faith.

carbide kibitzes: qa7 and e7 in some lines  Fortunately Ms. Queen covers e8, so no.

RLH2(IM) whispers: ===========

Adrenaline whispers: super draw

Kh6 66.Qe3+

Nothing else to do.  But some spectators were flummoxed.

carbide kibitzes: wtf?..qg5?

PushingPawns whispers: Bb4 is fine

therealwizard whispers: draw time

USCL(IM) whispers: weird

mthal513 kibitzes: black shouldn’t repeat

MJP whispers: qe3+ looks terrible to me

White could even lose if he “did nothing” in time trouble.  Black’s queen and bishop can coordinate to make inroads.

For example, 66. g3 Qh3! 67. Qf2 Kg7 68. Bf1 Qh8 69. Qa7+ Kg6 70. Qf7+ Kg5 71. e7 Bc5+ 72. Kg2 Qh3 mate!


GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 66…Qg5: TheChessKid (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

GunSlinger kibitzes: just gaining seconds

champ whispers: draw

USCL(IM) whispers: what was he doing taht for?

Smearinov kibitzes: now has to

Lalu(DM) whispers: huh

67.Qxg5+ Kxg5

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 67…Kxg5: KNVB TheChessKid (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Smearinov kibitzes: opp color bishops

Lalu(DM) whispers: now it’s just dead

MJP kibitzes: ok dead draw

therealwizard whispers: lol draw

mthal513 kibitzes: strange decision

carbide kibitzes: what in the world is he thinking??

Smearinov kibitzes: g3

MJP kibitzes: white blew it with qe3+   No, he had no threats and couldn’t even make any.

carbide kibitzes: lol


GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 68.g3: Smearinov TheChessKid (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Lalu(DM) whispers: f5

therealwizard whispers: white blew it with Ne6  Sort of, but it was a tough slog in the mire of zeitnot.

carbide kibitzes: lol

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 68.g3: Smearinov TheChessKid (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Lalu(DM) whispers: f5

therealwizard whispers: white blew it with Ne6

champ whispers: f5

carbide kibitzes: lalu predicted 2.5 for az

Rensch-ARZ whispers: Way to Go Mark!!! Go Scorpions!!!

carbide kibitzes: perfecto

Andrews-TEN(FM) kibitzes: goodnight

USCL(IM) whispers: f5 seems simple enough

Smearinov kibitzes: f5 is draw

therealwizard whispers: 63 …. Ne6??

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: see you Wednesday

carbide kibitzes: oh so now danny chimes in


GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 68…f5: Lalu TheChessKid champ USCL Smearinov (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

MJP kibitzes: where do the scorpions play? Phoenix or Tucson?

Lalu(DM) whispers: both

USCL(IM) whispers: whoa if u just kibitz the move it counts for guessthemove, thats awesome

champ whispers: exf5

Lalu(DM) whispers: they have site at both moves

Lalu(DM) whispers: at both locations that is


GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 69.exf5: KNVB TheChessKid champ therealwizard (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Smearinov kibitzes: yea greg lol

USCL(IM) whispers: they play in phoenix+tuscon…they alternate

champ whispers: Kxf5

USCL(IM) whispers: from week to week

Rensch-ARZ whispers: don’t worry carbide… I listened to every word you said…

Kxf5 70.Kf2

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 69…Kxf5: TheChessKid therealwizard champ (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Adrenaline whispers: 0-1

MJP kibitzes: ok presumably this is tucson

ROCKET34 whispers: the Scorpions will not be denied!

MJP kibitzes: since these are all tucson players

carbide kibitzes: why are they still playing?

Game drawn by mutual agreement 1/2-1/2

USCL(IM) whispers: yes its tuscon

mastershake whispers: how can you play qe3 and trade queens haha

therealwizard whispers: draw

therealwizard whispers: it was drawnalready by then

Smearinov kibitzes: its aries2 that’s why  Hmmm.

therealwizard whispers: Ne6 is the mistake

Smearinov kibitzes: 🙂

USCL(IM) whispers: never give up

mastershake whispers: still enough on the board to push

MJP kibitzes: here comes a humorous update on, I predict

Safe prediction.

Rensch-ARZ whispers: no draw is GREG’s league… 🙂

bioniclime whispers: In this league, you play until its officially dead

carbide whispers: snore

{Game 2 (Pasalic-CHC vs. Ginsburg-ARZ) Game drawn by mutual agreement} 1/2-1/2

Lalu(DM) whispers: he’s only a figurehead remember

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: boo! fix!

Smearinov kibitzes: its all about who offers

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

Postscript:  Victory Party Insanity

The crew headed over to Applebee’s on Grant and Swan.  Levon had a Pina Colada.  Leo Martinez was a rum and coke man.  Warren, being a freshman, had a water.  The agua helped him drown out his internal demons and re-center his chi.

Dark and Fuzzy is how we like it.  This is Robby Adamson, happy winner, with squad fotog and part-time relayer Amanda Mateer.   Also perhaps somewhat visible are Benjamin Marmont (l.) and Warren Harper (below).

And Elsewhere in the League

An excellent journalistic moment as Ilya Krasik alludes to some dark fisticuffs that might have been: “Besides welcoming David Vigorito, I was quite surprised to see another fellow with him, FM Braden Bournival. Last year it was simply unthinkable that he would come to watch our games unless he planned to leave on a stretcher but of course one cannot keep old grudges forever and sometimes circumstances force you to become more amenable as well.” Those nutty Beantowners! Boston una Sumus!

And on the mothership site, the headline was “Blood was Flying in Week 1.”

I’ve heard of the Fur Flying and Blood Being Spilled, but Blood Flying is a new and intriguing mixed metaphor from the non-liberal-arts boys at the mothership.

Week 1 Action

In the Week 1 games themselves, there were some weird moments.  Shabalov chose the worst opening possible (psychologically speaking) against Sammour-Hasbun who likes to doggedly defend with extra material and calculate.  That’s what Shabalov’s gambit made him do. The NY Knights should have a pre-match prep session to discuss these delicate matters.  I would recommend on move 6 the tricky 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. Qb3 and g3 next – a no lose, maybe win scenario great for match play.  Sammour-Hasbun’s style in such situations is computer-y (surprisingly similar to Nakamura’s).  So if you force him into computer-y calculations, he will succeed.  Of course, this led to speculation he was using a computer – but it’s just the Intel inside!   Note paradoxically how Shabalov’s ill-chosen gambit (forcing Sammour-Hasbun into a comfort zone) acted as an unseen force, sucking white’s creative juices dry (he was reduced to craven pawn grabs here and there while Sammour remained at all times the better centralized).

In another weird moment, in the tight SF-Dallas match, one player (Igor Schneider) made a “virtual forfeit” – played as if he never showed up (i.e. a thousand points below his playing strength) and SF took it with a “plus one” 2.5 – 1.5.  These things happen.  In the Boston-NY match Boston moved up to “plus 2” when Krasik’s opponent similarly was conspicuously absent.    Nerves?

The Fabulous 00s: Dos Hermanas OTB 2008

April 24, 2008

Topalov-Vallejo – What the Dealio in this Classical Ruy Lopez?

This game from Dos Hermanas OTB (G/20), 2008, (not the ICC cyber-blitz tourney), is interesting. I had never heard of the “Benelux” (Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg) variation before. It features the age-old question of when is h6 and g5 chasing away a white bishop on g5 too weakening?

GM V. Topalov – GM P. Vallejo Ruy Lopez, Classical. Benelux Variation. G/20 + 10 sec increment. Dos Hermanas 2008.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. d4 Bb6 7. Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 d6 9. Qd3 Bd7 10. Nbd2 g5?! TN? This is a key moment. To …g5 or not to …g5?, i.e. wait for later? Vallejo plays this right away and it might be new? Salov played the less committal 10…a6!? and drew against Ehlvest after 10….a6 11. Bc4 Qe7 12. Rfe1 Kh8!? (very mysterious), and 1/2 in 82 moves, Ehlvest-Salov, Moscow 1988, USSR Ch.

Anand tried to improve against Leko: 10…a6 11. Bxc6!? Bxc6 12. Rfe1, but after 12…Bb5! black would have been fine. Leko eventually lost (Anand-Leko, Frankfurt 2000) but it had nothing to do with the opening. Here is a humorous sample line: 12…Bb5! 13. Qc2 exd4 14. Nxd4 Re8 15. Nxb5 axb5 16. Nf3 g5 17. Bg3 Nh5 18. Qd3 Nxg3 19. hxg3 Qd7 20. e5 g4 21. Nh4 Qe6! 22. exd6 Qxe1+ 23. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 24. Kh2 Bxf2 25. d7 Bg1+ and perpetual check!

There is also the interesting and logical 10…Re8. After 11. Rad1, black could have played 11…exd4!? TN with an unclear game. The surprising point is that 12. cxd4 a6! 13. Bc4 Bg4 creates counter-pressure on the center. If 14. Rfe1 Bh5! the game is very sharp. On the other hand, 13…g5? is ruinous: 14. Nxg5! hxg5 15. Bxg5 Bxd4 16. e5! Bxe5 17. Qg6! and wins. There was a game 10…Re8 11. Rad1 Qe7!? and after 12. Rfe1 black missed a good chance with 12…exd4!? 13. cxd4 g5! and here this move works. He played 12…Rad8?! and eventually lost in Morozevich-Zhurov, Moscow 1992.

11. Bxc6?! A “soft” move in Stohl’s parlance. More testing is 11. Bg3 g4 12. Nh4 exd4 (there’s no other way to justify black’s 10th except by being greedy) 13. cxd4 Nxd4 14. Bxd7 Nxd7 15. Nb3! Qf6 16. Nxd4 Bxd4 17. Nf5 Bb6 and white has good compensation. The text prepares an adventurous sacrifice.

11…Bxc6 12. Nxg5 After 12. Bg3 Re8 black is OK after 13. d5 Bd7 or even 13. d5 Bxd5 14. exd5 e4. Black also has the crazy looking 12. Bg3 Nxe4!!? 13. Nxe4 f5 with decent chances. The text should lead to a draw.

12…hxg5 13. Bxg5 Kg7 Forced.

14. a4 a5 14…a6 is less committal.

15. Nc4 Qc8! 15…Qd7 16. Bxf6+ Kxf6 17. d5! Bxa4 18. Nxb6 cxb6 19. f4! with a clear edge. With the text, black eyes g4 as a defensive square for the queen and gives his queen bishop more scope.

16. Nxb6 It looks like a Cochrane Gambit after 16. Bxf6+ Kxf6 17. f4. However, black is OK as long as he is careful. The right line is 17…cxd4 18. Nxb6 cxb6 19. e5+ (or 19. cxd4 d5! 20. e5+ Ke7 21. f5 Kd8! 22. Qg3 Qd7 with a nice light square blockade) 19…dxe5 20. fxe5+ Ke7 and black is fine.

16…cxb6 17. f4 Nxe4! Correct.

18. d5 Nc5??? A horrific blunder, tossing the game away. The draw was there for the taking with the simple 18…Bxd5! (quite obvious) 19. Qxd5 (forced) Qc5+ getting the queens off with a good game. For example, 20. Qxc5 bxc5 21. Bh4 f5! and black is happy.

19. Qg3! Winning. Black must have felt sick.

19…Ne4 20. Bf6+! Maybe black missed this move; it is a KO punch.

20...Kxf6 21. fxe5+ Ke7 22. Qh4+ f6 23. exf6+ Kd8 24. Qxe4 Bd7 25. Qe7+ Kc7 26. Rf4 Qe8 27. Re1 Qxe7 28. Rc4+ Kb8 29. Rxe7 Bf5 30. Rcc7? White could have saved a lot of time with the obvious 30. f7! keeping this important pawns – it wins immediately: 30…Bc2 (or 30…Ka7 31. g4, same thing) 31. g4 Ka7 32. g5 and wins. Black can’t defend against the avalanche.

30…Rxf6 31. Rxb7+ Kc8 32. Rec7+ Kd8 33. Rg7 Kc8? Another bad blunder. The outcome is in doubt after the more active defense, 33…Ke8. For example, 34. Rg8+ Rf8 35. Rxf8+? Kxf8 36. Rxb6 Ke7! and black has enough counterplay. Of course white should not trade a pair of rooks at this juncture.

34. Rxb6 Now white is completely winning again. The rest of the game has no surprises.

34…Bd7 35. c4 Kc7 36. Rc6+ Kd8 37. Rg8+ Be8 38. c5 Ke7 39. Rc7+ Kd8 40. Rh7 dxc5 41. d6 Rxd6 42. Rxe8+ Kxe8 43. Rh8+ Kd7 44. Rxa8 Rd1+ 45. Kf2 Rd2+ 46. Kf3 Rd3+ 47. Kf4 Rb3 48. Rxa5 Rxb2 49. Kf3 Kd6 50. Ra8 c4 51. Rc8 Kd5 52. h4 Ra2 53. h5 Rxa4 54. h6 Ra7 55. g4 Ke5 56. g5 Kf5 57. Rc5+ Kg6 58. Kg4 Ra1 58…Ra6 59. Rc7 forces mate.

59. Rc6+ Kh7 60. Rc7+ Kg8 61. Kh5 c3 62. Rxc3 Ra6 {White wins} 1-0

Another Dos Hermanas Game

A perplexing Modern Benoni in an old favorite of mine (7. Bf4, 8. Qa4+) in the 1980s.   It turns out the player with the black pieces is named ‘Vugar’ not ‘Vulgar’ as I originally thought.

GM Ernesto Inarkiev – GM Vulgar Gashimov (Vulgar is a great name!)

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 d6 5. Nc3 exd5 6. cxd5 g6 7. Bf4 Bg7?! It is more careful to play 7….a6 8. a4 Bg7 as has occurred in dozens of games.   The text is an important inaccuracy.

8. Qa4+! This is the point of the set-up. Black has fallen into a disguised positional trap!

8…Bd7 Former Candidate GM Borislav Ivkov destroyed D. Sahovic after 8…Kf8? 9. e4 Nh5 10. Be3, white won in 35 moves, Zemun 1980. The move 8…Nbd7? is simply unsound and Joel Benjamin beat GM Y. Kraidman with 9. Bxd6 Qb6 10. Nb5! and white is already completely winning, 1-0, 24 moves, Jerusalem 1986.

9. Qb3 Qc7 10. e4 O-O 11. Nd2 Uhlmann and Petrosian have been successful with 11. Be2. However, Ljuobjevic managed to trick Timman in Amsterdam 1972 and win as black with 11. Be2 Nh5 12. Be3 Bg4 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 Nd7!? 15. Bxh5 gxh5 16. O-O Rae8 with murky play, 0-1, 37 moves.

11…Nh5 12. Be3 f5 “Active” but very weakening.

13. exf5 gxf5 Dearly departed GM Lembit Oll beat David Norwood in Groningen 1988 after 13…Bxf5 14. Be2 Nf6 15. h3 Na6 16. a3! playing consistently to restrict black’s knights and white retains a small plus.

14. Be2 Be8 The mainline of the 11. Nd2 variation, but doesn’t this move look artificial? At any rate, the main alternative, 14…f4?, is dealt with harshly after 15. Bxc5! Qxc5 16. Bxh5! and white is hugely better, or 15…f3? 16. Bxf3 Rxf3 (just unsound) 17. gxf3 Qxc5 18. Qxb7 and white won easily, Korchnoi-Nunn, London 1984. Lastly, 15. Bxc5 Na6 16. Ba3! and white consolidated and won in Malaniuk-Norwood, Lvov 1986. The tactics just don’t work for black after 14…f4.

15. O-O!? Very rare. White has an edge and indeed has scored heavily with 15. Nf3!, for example he gave up material for a big attack after 15…f4 16. Bd2 Qe7 17. O-O! Bxc3 18. Bxc3 Qxe2 19. Qxb7 Qa6 20. Qe7! Bg6 21. Rfe1 with a crushing edge; white won in 26 moves, Lputian-San Segundo, Chicago 1983. In this line, he even triumphed with the craven 20. Qxa8 Bd7 21. Rfe1 Nc6 22. Qxf8 Kxf8 23. dxc6 with a big edge, Spraggett-Norwood, Toronto 1985, 1-0, 35 moves. As we can see from this note and the prior note, David Norwood was busy exploring many avenues of this bad variation!

15…a6 16. Qd1 Nf6 17. Nf3! White was unsuccessful with 17. a4 Nbd7 18. Nc4 Nb6 19. Na3?! Ne4 and black won in 47 moves, K. Burger – J. Nun, Brighton 1983. But the departed American (Brooklyn, actually) International Master Dr. Karl Burger had the right instincts in steering for this position! All he needed to do was play Inarkiev’s strong move, aiming for g5, and this looks great for white!

17…b5 18. Ng5! White has a huge edge.  The simple 18. a3!, with similar ideas, also gives a big edge.

18…Bf7 19. Bd3 Qc8 20. Qf3 Bg6 21. Ne6 The move 21. Bf4 is also strong (it occurred in the game one move later).  21…Nbd7 22. Bf4 b4 23. Nd1?! 23. Na4 wins easily.  The pawn on d6 is hanging so black has no time to move the rook.  Black can’t defend: the simple trick 23. Na4 Qb8 24. Naxc5! spells finis.  This was white’s best chance to put Vulgar   Vugar away in short order.

23...Ne5 24. Bxe5 dxe5 25. Bc4?! 25. Nxf8! 25…Ne4 26. Qe2?! 26. Nxf8! 26…Re8 27. Rc1 Nd6 28. Bb3 f4 29. Rxc5 Qb8 30. Rc6 Ra7 31. Re1 a5 32. Ba4?! 32. Bc2 wins.

32…Ree7 33. Qd2?? Both 33. Nxg7 and 33. Qg4 are very strong.

33…Be8! Black is OK now.

34. Nc5 Kh8 35. b3 Nf5 36. Nb2 Nd4 37. Nc4 Bxc6 38. dxc6 Qc7 39. Ne4 Nxc6 40. Qd5 Nd4 41. Ned6 Ra6 42. h3 h6 43. Kh1 Re6 44. Ne8 Qe7 45. Bd7 Qh4! Holding the balance.

46. Nxe5 Qxf2 47. Nf7+ Kh7 48. Rxe6 Rxe6 49. Bxe6 Qe1+ 50. Kh2 Qg3+ 51. Kh1 Qe1+ 52. Kh2 Qg3+ Acquiescing to the repetition. Black can take on e6 with the queen, but that is equal anyway.  Poor Inarkiev.  Did you know his first name Ernesto is taken from the famous revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara?  Well, it’s true.


Appendix: A Gruenfeld Blitz Chestnut Played 4/24/08

Aries2 – ChessMedic ICC G/5 English/Gruenfeld Bf4

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Qb3 Nb6 I had an exceptionally pleasant memory of 5…c6?! 6. e4 Nb6 7. h4!? – MG – Lonoff, Midwest Masters 1987, 1-0 45 moves. In that game, I established a pawn phalanx at the cost of a piece.

6. d4 Bg7 7. Bf4!? An interesting anti-Gruenfeld treatment made possible by this move order. I have had good experiences with this (example vs Pieta Garrett, Az St Champ 2004), and also some reverses from good positions, for example vs GM V. Mikhalevski, Las Vegas, 2005. I will post the latter game when I find it.

7…Be6 8. Qc2 Nc6 9. Rd1 Nd5?!
9…O-O looks better.

10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. e4 Qxa2 12. d5 Nb4 13. Qxc7 Now the game is completely crazy. Objectively white is doing well.

13…O-O 14. dxe6 Rac8 15. Qxb7 Nc2+ Somehow in the game I barely get my King to safety then proceed to attack. A typical confusing blitz game.

16. Kd2 Rfd8+ 17. Bd3 Bxb2 If 17…Qxe6, 18. Ke2 wins.

18. exf7+ Kxf7 Of course not 18…Qxf7 19. Qxb2.

19. Ng5+ Kg8 20. Qxe7?? Correct is 20. Ke2 h6 21. Nf3 and wins easily. Now black has his moment in the sun.

20…Bc3+?? A reciprocal blunder. Black wins with the brutal 20…Rxd3+!! 21. Kxd3 Ne1+!!. This is forced mate after 22. Rhxe1 Rc3+ 23. Ke2 (23. Kd2 Ba1#! discovered checkmate, an unusually nice mate!) 23…Qc4+ 24. Kd2 Qd3 mate. Another sadistic mate is 23. Kd4 Qc4+ 24. Ke5 Rd3# discovered checkmate.

If white does not capture the far-flung knight and instead plays 22. Ke2, then black simply picks up the white queen with 22…Ba3+ and Bxe7 next, winning.

If 21. Ke2 declining, that doesn’t help: 21…Nd4+ 22. Kxd3 Qb3+ 23. Kd2 Qc3 is mate. The text move hands the game back to white.

21. Ke2 Ne3+ 22. Kf3 No reason not to play the cold-blooded 22. Kxe3! Bd4+ 23. Kf3 and the king has an escape hatch; that wins too and more easily.

22…Nxd1 23. Qxh7+ Kf8 24. Rxd1 Qb3 25. Bc2! Deflection; of course if 25…Qxc2 26. Qf7 mate.

25…Qc4 26. Bd6+ Nicer is the obstruction shot 26. Rd5! and mates.

26…Ke8 27. Qe7# {Black checkmated} 1-0

The Fabulous 80s: Lugano, Switzerland

October 27, 2007

Nobody can say this site doesn’t have cool photos. Let’s go back to 1984, the Open tournament in the beautiful Swiss-Italian (Tyrolian) Alps town of Lugano, for this classic.


The hoodie guy with his back to the camera is indefatigable, indomitable IM Jay Whitehead. Of course the person he is analyzing with is the one and only GM Viktor Korchnoi. But look at the all-star kibitzers! Ex-World Champ Boris Spassky is seated next to Korchnoi. GM Florin Gheorghiu is standing next to Spassky. Sergey Kudrin is standing between Spassky and Korchnoi. I don’t know who the two fellows behind Kudrin and Gheorghiu are.  The photo is by French photographer Catherine Jaeg. Quite a nice shot, don’t you think?

Why was I playing in this pretty, exotic but rather expensive locale? Because Jay had won enough money for both of us to go with an incredible backgammon streak one evening in New York City. He had gone downtown from our crash pad in Washington Heights and he took a big win away from a Jazz Club owner (I think a famous club, such as Kenny’s Castaways or The Village Gate).  As a spiritual footnote, he had previously informed me that his Hare Krishna temple had given him permission to gamble (his other moniker was Jaya Krishna). When he got back, he woke me up to count the 50’s and 100’s bulging out of every one of his pockets. We were on a flight to Milan, Italy only two days later. So we get to Milan. We transfer to a train that will take us from Italy across Lake Como and on into Switzerland. On this train, I meet a panicky Malcolm Pein in the club car. “Mark, there is the most dreadful fellow on this train!” I asked why and he said “he is going on and on about vegetarian food options in Lugano!” I knew right away this was my patron saint, Jay. Malcolm was feeling probably a wee bit put upon but, amusingly, there were decent vegetarian options in meat-crazed Switzerland. Once we got to Lugano, there were a whole bunch of Brits. Glenn Flear, and many more. They had an economy cottage rental and bought enough groceries for the week – very clever. I was rooming with John Fedorowicz. One day we had a surprise visitor: Spassky. More on this later.

Watch this space for some good Lugano 1984 games, including a win over Dutch blabbermouth Erik Knoppert.  It’s too bad they discontinued this classic annual Open.