#82, 83 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

#82 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 687 (QRKNNRBB)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/8Lb8rZcz


1. f4 f5 2. g3 g6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Nf3 e5 5. fxe5 Nxe5 6. Nxe5 Bxe5 7. e4 a5 8. exf5 O-O-O 9. O-O-O gxf5 10. d4 Bg7 11. a4 Nd6 12. Nd5 Qa6 13. Qa3 Rfe8 14. Qc5 Bxd5 15. Bxd5 Re2 16. Bf3 Re7 17. Rfe1 Rde8 18. Rxe7 Rxe7 19. Bf2 Kb8 20. Kb1 Qa7 21. Qd5 Qb6 22. Rd3 Ka7 23. Rb3 Qa6 24. Qc5+ Kb8 25. Rb5 b6 26. Qd5 Re8 27. Ka2 Nxb5 28. axb5 Qa7 29. Qxd7 Rg8 30. Qf7 Rd8 31. Qxg7 a4 32. Qe7 Rc8 33. Qd7 a3 34. b4 Rf8 35. Be3 Rc8 36. Bf4 Qa4 37. Qc6 Qa7 38. h3 Rd8 39. Bxc7+ { Black resigns } 1-0


#83 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position: 687 (QRKNNRBB)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/wI35q1YD


1. f4 g6 2. e4 Nc6 3. Nf3 a5 4. Nc3 Qa6 5. O-O-O a4 6. d4 f5 7. e5 Bc4 8. Rfe1 e6 9. Kb1 Bd5 10. g3 Ne7 11. Nxd5 exd5 12. b3 Ng7 13. Qb2 Ne6 14. Bg2 c6 15. Bf1 b5 16. b4 Kc7 17. c3 Nc8 18. Be3 Nb6 19. h3 Bg7 20. Qd2 Bh6 21. Bd3 Rf7 22. Re2 Rg8 23. Rg1 Qc8 24. Rf2 Qf8 25. Rgf1 Qe7 26. Nh2 Rgf8 27. g4 Nc4 28. Bxc4 bxc4 29. gxf5 Rxf5 30. Ng4 Qh4 31. Qd1 Bxf4 32. Qxa4 Bxe3 33. Qa7+ Kd8 34. Qb8+ Ke7 35. Qd6+ Ke8 36. Rxf5 gxf5 37. Nxe3 Qxh3 38. Re1 Qg3 39. Re2 Qf3 40. Re1 f4 41. Nc2 Qg2 42. b5 cxb5 43. Nb4 Qd2 44. Rc1 f3 45. Nxd5 Qg5 46. Nf6+ Rxf6 47. exf6 Qxf6 48. Rg1 f2 49. Rf1 Qf5+ 50. Kb2 Qf3 51. Qb8+ Ke7 52. Qe5 d6 53. Qxb5 Qe2+ 54. Ka3 Qxf1 55. Qb7+ Kf6 56. Qf3+ Kg5 57. Qg3+ Kf5 58. Qf3+ Nf4 59. Qe3 Qe1 { White resigns } 0-1

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#80, 81 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

#80 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 407 (RQBNNKRB)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/uJQLnUW3


1. d4 c5 2. dxc5 Qxh2 3. g3 d6 4. cxd6 Nxd6 5. Bf3 Nc6 6. c3 Bf5 7. e4 Bh3+ 8. Bg2 Bxg2+ 9. Nxg2 Ne5 10. Ne1 Qh3+ 11. Ke2 O-O-O 12. b3 g6 13. Qc2 f5 14. exf5 gxf5 15. Bf4 Ng6 16. Bxd6 Rxd6 17. Nf3 f4 18. Nb2 Rgd8 19. Nd4 Bxd4 20. cxd4+ Kb8 21. Nc4 Rxd4 22. Rad1 Qe6+ { White resigns } 0-1


#81 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position: 407 (RQBNNKRB)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/CTYSoLV7


1. c4 Nf6 2. O-O O-O 3. g3 c5 4. Nd3 d6 5. b4 cxb4 6. Nxb4 Be6 7. Ne3 Qc7 8. Bb2 Nc6 9. Nbd5 Bxd5 10. Nxd5 Nxd5 11. Bxd5 Rab8 12. Rc1 e6 13. Bg2 Rfc8 14. h4 Qb6 15. Bc3 Qc5 16. e3 Qh5 17. Qb5 Qg4 18. Qb2 Qxc4 19. Bxg7 Bxg7 20. Qxg7+ Kxg7 21. Rxc4 Na5 22. Rg4+ Kf6 23. Be4 h6 24. Rf4+ Ke7 25. Bd3 Rc5 26. Rb1 b6 27. Kg2 Rbc8 28. g4 Rd5 29. Ba6 Rc2 30. d4 Nc4 31. Kg3 Ra5 32. Bxc4 Rxc4 33. Rb2 b5 34. h5 b4 35. f3 f6 36. Re4 Rb5 37. Rf4 a5 38. Kf2 a4 39. Ke2 b3 40. axb3 Rxb3 41. Ra2 a3 42. d5 Rxf4 43. exf4 Rb2+ 44. Rxb2 axb2 { White resigns } 0-1

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#76, 77 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

#76 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 468 (RBBNNKRQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/ilomcwrr


1. c4 c5 2. b3 g6 3. Bb2 Be5 4. Nc3 Ne6 5. e3 Nd6 6. f4 Bf6 7. Nf3 b5 8. cxb5 Nxb5 9. Be4 Rb8 10. Rc1 Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Ba6+ 12. Kf2 O-O 13. g4 Rfd8 14. Ba5 d5 15. Bb1 Rd7 16. h4 d4 17. Qh2 dxe3+ 18. dxe3 c4 19. f5 Rf8 20. fxe6 fxe6 21. Qh3 Be5 22. g5 Rd6 23. Be4 c3 24. Rgd1 Re8 25. h5 Qg7 26. hxg6 hxg6 27. Rh1 Rf8 28. Kg2 Be2 29. Nxe5 { Black forfeits on time } 1-0


#77  Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position: 468 (RBBNNKRQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/9SH1sKFm


1. c4 b6 2. d4 g6 3. Bh6+ Ng7 4. Be4 c6 5. Nc3 f5 6. Bd3 Nf7 7. Bd2 e5 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nf3 O-O 10. O-O-O Ne6 11. h4 Ng4 12. Rdf1 Bb7 13. h5 c5 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. cxd5 Nd4 16. e3 Nxf3 17. gxf3 Ne5 18. Bc2 Nc4 19. Bc3 Be5 20. hxg6 hxg6 21. Rxg6+ Kf7 22. Qxh8 Rxh8 23. Bxf5 Rh5 24. Bc2 Rah8 25. Rfg1 Rh1 26. f4 Rxg1+ 27. Rxg1 Bxc3 28. bxc3 Rh2 29. Rf1 d6 30. Bd3 Na5 31. Kd2 c4 32. Bc2 Nb7 33. Ke2 Nc5 34. Rg1 b5 35. Rb1 a6 36. Ra1 Rh5 37. e4 Rh4 38. Ke3 Rh3+ 39. Ke2 Rxc3 40. Kd2 Rf3 41. e5 Rxf4 42. e6+ Kf6 43. Ke3 Rh4 44. Rg1 Rh3+ 45. f3 Rh5 46. Rg6+ Ke7 47. Rg7+ Kf8 48. Rf7+ Ke8 49. Bg6 Re5+ 50. Kd4 Nxe6+ 51. dxe6 Rxe6 52. Rf6+ Ke7 53. Rxe6+ Kxe6 54. Be4 a5 55. Bc6 b4 56. Kxc4 Ke5 57. Kb5 Kd4 58. Kxa5 Kc5 59. Be8 d5 60. Ka4 d4 61. Bb5 { Black resigns } 1-0


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#69 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

#69 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 118 (NQBRNBKR)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/DSgrnRTL


1. c3 Nf6 2. d4 d5 {good move, stopping e4 which would be favorable for white.}

3. Bf4 {kind of making the game a London system.}

3… g6 {Bg4 with Bh5, Bg6 idea is also good. }

4. e3 Bf5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Nxd3 Bg7 7. Ne5 Qc8 {Nd7 right away was easier, kicking out the e5-knight.}

8. Nb3 {with Nd2, Nf3 to follow}

8… Nb6 9. Qc2 O-O 10. O-O-O {White wants to play for an attack with g4, etc.}

10… Nbd7 11. Nd2 Nh5 12. Ndf3 Nxf4 {maybe f6, trying to play e5 is better for black to try to gain some counter-play.}

13. exf4 Nxe5 {again f6 might be better.}

14. Nxe5 c5 {a good move that white missed. Now, black should be equal.}

15. h4 {White didn’t want to play dxc5 and weaken the e5 knight’s support.}

15… cxd4 16. cxd4 Qxc2+ {Bxe5 was interesting. If fxe5, then Qg4 hitting the g2 pawn and threatening Rc8. Black might be better here.}

17. Kxc2 {Now it’s equal.}

17… Rc8+ 18. Kd3 Rc7 19. Rc1 {White thought it best not to allow a doubling on the c-file.}

19… Rfc8 20. Rxc7 Rxc7 21. h5 {trying to play on the king-side, but there’s really not much.}

21… Bxe5 22. fxe5 Kg7 {g5 straight away was interesting.}

23. f4 e6 24. g4 h6 25. Rg1 {trying to play f5.}

25… Rc6 26. f5 exf5 {even g5 right away is fine }

27. gxf5 g5 28. f6+ {slightly inaccurate. It was better to leave the pawn on f5, keeping the black king out. White missed black’s king march to f5.}

28… Kf8 29. a4 Ke8 30. Ra1 {being as annoying as possible, as white can’t just sit and wait. Ra3, Rb3, and Rb5, targeting the weak d-pawn is white’s idea.}

30… Kd7 31. Ra3 Rb6 {good move, forcing b3 which is annoying.}

32. b3 Ke6 33. a5 Rc6 {Rb5 is much better I think, when it should be a draw. Notice then black can’t really make progress as if the king goes too far forward, then e6! wins.}

34. Ra4 {Now white gets what he wants.}

34… Kf5 35. Rb4 b6 36. Rb5 Ke6 37. Kd2 bxa5 {probably helping white a bit, but black was rather short on moves!}

38. Rxa5 Rc7 {a6 is much safer, limiting the white rook.}

39. Kd3 Rb7 40. b4 Rc7 {now, black is unfortunately losing the thread. He has been driven into a passive position after some inaccuracies.}

41. Ra6+ Kf5 42. Rd6 Kg4 {Kf4 maybe, but black’s position is getting bad. The white pawns are stronger than black’s king-side pawns.}

43. Rxd5 Kh3 {Kxh5 would have held a bit longer, trying to stay close to the middle with Kg6, Kf5.}

44. Rd8 {Now it’s over.}

44… g4 45. Rg8 g3 46. d5 {White can sac his rook for the g-pawn if need be, and the passers in the middle easily beat the rook.}

46… g2 47. e6 fxe6 48. dxe6 {Good game though! Was probably a draw if black played Rb5 move 33, or a6 move 38.}

{ Black resigns } 1-0

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)

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#62 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

#62 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position:  260 (NBBRKNQR)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/gMyKXqlbo9D5


1. Nb3 b6 2. d4 Ba6 {e2 looked weak in some positions.}

3. c3 c6 4. Nfd2 d5 5. Nf3 {Bd3 was worth considering, in view of how strong black’s bishop later becomes.}

5… e6 6. Bg5 {maybe g3 and Bf4 is interesting, as well.}

6… Rc8 7. Bh4 {same idea, but a little slower. The rook wanted to go to c8 regardless.}

7… Nd7 {swinging round to f6, eyeing e4 is natural.}

8. Bg3 f5 {The ensuing “stonewall” set-up is probably favorable for black, as the Nb3 is misplaced and white’s e2 pawn is still a problem.}

9. Bxb8 Rxb8 10. h4 {g4! is worth considering. White’s attack might yield him some open king-side lines, activating his light-squared bishop and queen. Also, Bd3 is again, worth
looking at.}

10… Qf7 11. Qh2 {nice maneuver by white nonetheless, eyeing e5.}

11… O-O 12. Ng5 {maybe Ne5 is better, looking to trade pieces.}

12… Qe7 13. f4 Nf6 14. Qg3 {Again Bd3!}

14… Nc7 {aiming for b5 (or e8) and d6 with full control over e4.}

15. Rd2 {Illustrating how powerful black’s bishop is. White struggles to get castled.}

15… Nb5 16. Rc2 {Qe3 or 0-0 might be better, the rook could probably go to d1 later, keeping the light-squared bishop more active. Also, it is more prone to hits down the c-file.}

16… Nd6 {threatening h6, and a knight to e4.}

17. Nd2 Rbc8 {eyeing c5 with some pressure.}

18. Rc1 c5 {now cxd4 is a threat.}

19. e3 {now things are turning sour for white. His king is stranded due to black’s monster on a6.}

19… Kh8 {maybe not the best by black, Qe8 immediately is more pointed.}

20. Ndf3 h6 21. Ne5 Qe8 {yea, here the king should just be on g8.}

22. Nh3 Kg8 23. Nf2 Qb5 {here black should be close to winning.}

24. Bd3 {Maybe a knight to d3 covers b2. Then if c4, Nb4! and white is hanging on. It’s still unpleasant though.}

24… Qxb2 25. O-O {finally castled, but alas, too late!}

25… Nde4 {and in black storms, a loss of material is inevitable.}

26. Nxe4 Nxe4 27. Bxe4 {If the queen moves then just Bxd3 and Qd2 and white’s pawns fall quickly.}

27… Bxf1 28. Rb1 {more or less equivalent to the alternatives.}

28… Qxc3 29. Bxd5 exd5 30. Rxf1 cxd4 {yea, this is over. So, earlier white should have probably have traded the light-squared bishops to avert some of the pressure. The structure that came about is very static, but in some lines, white can be quite justified in going g4! With king-side pressure. }

{ White resigns } 0-1

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)

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An interview with Aaron Grabinsky (NM)

chess959: I would like start with a very tricky question:


Aaron Grabinsky: Sure.







chess959: Which one is a chess variant: Chess960 or SP#518 (RNBQKBNR)?

Aaron Grabinsky: SP#518? though not exactly sure. What exactly is SP#518?

chess959: The chess we already knew: Rooks at the corner…

Aaron Grabinsky: oh, lol, then no, chess960 right? yea, chess960 would be the variant

chess959: Just think about it for a moment.

Aaron Grabinsky: Okay :) I guess in a funny way, SP#518 would actually be the variant.. huh, never thought about it that way.

chess959: We now know that some people intentionally misdescribe chess960 as a chess variant. What could be the main reason for this?

Aaron Grabinsky: Maybe because chess960 isn’t as popular as SP#518? that would be my guess, so people assume it’s the variant.

chess959: That’s the point. People assume it a chess variant. But it is not. Chess960 is a generalization of chess. If Chess960 were a variant of chess, then chess could not be a position within the variant. But it is! Chess960 encompasses chess. We have a chess centric point of view I think.

Aaron Grabinsky: yes :) chess 959 doesn’t include normal right?

chess959: Yes, chess959 means no more SP518

Aaron Grabinsky: yea, well that makes sense, about the variants, I mean,,, which is which

chess959: Carry out this simple thought experiment that questions our Chess centric way of thinking: “In an alternative reality, hundreds of years ago the game of  Chess960 was invented. Then late in the 21st century, a small movement began to only play SP518 (Chess). But players all around the world asked the simple question, why would you want to dumb down Chess960 like that?”

AND Chess (SP518) is a variant of Chess960 and so are the other 959 positions. There is no difference that I can tell. Chess960 is not a variant. It is a generalised set of rules that determine all the possible positions of pieces on the back rank without violating any past rule. Not a single rule of chess is violated in the process, not one.

Aaron Grabinsky: hmm, I didn’t know about that! I’ve always played chess, lol.. Pretty new to 960

chess959: But you’re playing so creative…

Aaron Grabinsky: But it sounds cool! Yes, thank you! I actually like chess 960 better!,,, in a way

chess959: I can only compare your games with Sergey Volkov (GM) or very strong FM Jan Gombac: my main training partners currently.

Aaron Grabinsky: How did they compare?

chess959: I mean the quality of your playing very close to GM level.

Aaron Grabinsky: Cool :) that’s nice, minus the theory advantage in normal chess. I’m much closer to GM level then… well, that’s interesting.

chess959: Bobby Fischer was a genius and so often he used language in a way that we are not familiar with. We think we understood him but actually we were not listening, we were just operating off our own assumptions of what we think he meant. One of the biggest controversies is what Bobby meant when he talked about “pre-arranged” chess games…..

It sounds like match fixing……..I used to get confused about what Bobby was talking about. But Bobby was talking about “pre-arrangement” in the sense that both players have organised what they are going to play on the board before they get there (independently from each other).

The idea of “pre-arrangement” is that as Bobby noted, it should be stated up front (acknowledged rather than blindly accepted). What is the difference between playing from an opening book in your mind, compared to if both players actually used a physical opening book as they were playing through the opening?

Aaron Grabinsky: Well, I suppose it would be more beneficial to use the one in your mind,,, as your memory would be stimulated. But, I’m a little confused, lol. Physical opening book?

chess959: It means the books you can open in your OTB games.

Aaron Grabinsky: Oh, I’d say the difference is sight vs memory.

chess959: In Chess960, memorization is laterally spread rather than longitudinally deep.

Because there are small subsets of critical start positions that need to be memorized in Chess960, players will memorize variations laterally across a subset of positions rather than longitudinally deep in one position as we do in traditional chess. Therefore the overall memory burden is no greater than traditional chess. In fact I can predict already that in future generations of Chess960 players, the total quantity of memorization that we now see in traditional Chess (SP518) will be exactly mirrored in Chess960. There will be great benefits in memorizing certain start positions. However, this practice of memorizing openings will never be at the expense of general creative over-the-board opening play as we see today in traditional chess, because the memory task in Chess960 is so monumental that conceptual thinking in the opening will always be the dominant mode of thinking.

Aaron Grabinsky: This sounds like an improved form of chess, it could be the future! Very interesting.

chess959: Exactly. It is the future.

Aaron Grabinsky: It might just replace chess.

chess959: You are a smart guy.

Aaron Grabinsky: In fact, I think it will! cool :)

chess959: But there is one problem: and a big one.

Aaron Grabinsky: What?

chess959: Very very big one: MONEY

Aaron Grabinsky: How so?

chess959: Sponsors and current chess oligarchy.

Aaron Grabinsky: Oh, well it will have to be advertised and promoted and I hope it will come through though.

chess959: Ok Aaron. Thanks for talking to us.

Aaron Grabinsky: Well, I really like 960! Thanks for being interested in it and introducing me to it more :) Good talking with you too, and see you Tuesday for more 960! :)

chess959: yeah,,, have a good day!

Aaron Grabinsky: okay, cya later! you too.

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#58 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

#58 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position:  819 (BRKNQRNB)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/nKxrTPvNOOEQ


1. b3 b6 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 e5 4. d3 {e4 is probably better. Allowing black to get total central control cannot be right. Now when black plays d5, e4 will be met with d4! and white is cramped.}

4… d5 5. e3 {even here, e4 is probably to be preferred, as white’s severe lack of central space will begin to tell quite soon.}

5… f5 {mine as well grab more space! Black enjoys a clear edge here.}

6. Qe2 {Nd2 and e4 for white is interesting. If black plays e4, then d4 limits the damage and white shouldn’t be doing to badly.}

6… Nf6 7. O-O {Staying on the queen-side is probably better.}

7… Nf7 8. Nd2 Qe6 9. g3 {d4 or f4, trying to force a locking of the center is safer, maybe then later g3.}

9… O-O-O {of course, playing for a quick attack on white’s king is the easiest way to win here. White’s opening play was a bit too passive.}

10. Nb5 {even here, d4 or f4 is better, trying to shut down black’s fluid center pawns.}

10… a6 11. Nc3 {Na3 even with c4 idea might be a better way to go, although at this point it’s probably too late. White has just lost too much time.}

11… h5 12. Na4 g5 {this attack should be decisive.}

13. c4 {e4 is more annoying for black, even then f4 for black looks strong. Then exd5 and white might be able to use the e4 square for defense.}

13… g4 14. cxd5 Ng5 {a cool move :)}

15. Rfe1 {better is e4 when it is highly unclear, but black remains on top.}

15… Bxd5 16. Bxd5 Qxd5 17. h4 {alternatives do not help, d3 is hanging at the very least, when black will be technically winning anyway.}

gxh3 18. Kh2 {f3 or e4 avoid mate, but the result is not in doubt. Black simply takes d3 and has a winning position with two extra pawns and better pieces. So earlier, white definitely had to be more aggressive with his stakes in the center. The huge amount of space that black was given, and thus the flexibility he enjoyed, spelled white’s doom. } { White resigns } 0-1

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)

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#50 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

#50 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position: 682 (QRKNBBNR)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/TKCzCYM1


1. e4 e6 {Black tries to steer the game into a French type position}

2. Nc3 Ne7 3. Nf3 d5 4. d3 {maybe ex5 immediately is better, as then white’s light-squared bishop opens up.}

4… c5 5. exd5 exd5 6. Bd2 Ne6 7. Be2 {Ng5 here, trading off the knight and aiming for a quick Bf4 threat, is better.}

7… h6 8. h4 {probably unnecessary, as black was not intending g5}

8… b6 {protecting d5 with the queen so Ne7 can move for the bishop to be developed.}

9. O-O {maybe Ne5 here is better}

9… Ng6 10. Rbe1 Bd6 11. Qc1 {a4 immediately is more accurate, as the queen can be developed better on a2 hitting d5.}

11… Bc6 12. a4 {a good idea though with Nb5 plan.}

12… Qb7 {black missed white’s idea, a6 is better here.}

13. Nb5 Be7 14. h5 Ngf8 {black probably stands worse here, his pieces are cramped.}





position after 14… Ngf8





15. Bf4 Ra8 16. b3 {much better is d4 with energetic play, white can secure an advantage. b3 is too passive}

16… Nd7 17. Nd6+ {even here d4! cracking open the middle is stronger.}

17… Bxd6 18. Bxd6 Nf6 {and now, all of a sudden, h5 is weak! White clearly needed to act with d4! earlier.}

19. Nh2 d4 {now black should be fine with the center closed. Also, white has concrete problems with the h-pawn.}

20. Bf3 {probably forced.}

20… Bxf3 21. Nxf3 Nxh5 {Black is now better.}

22. Re4 {Re2 with the same idea, but not getting hit with Nf6, is stronger.}

22… Nf6 23. Re2 Qd5 24. Bh2 Kb7 25. Re5 Qc6 26. Re2 h5 {Black’s trying to play h4, h3 and undermine the knight, however, he missed Ne5!}

27. Ne5 Qe8 28. f4 {much stronger is Rfe1! with Nxf7 to come. This is what black had under-estimated with h5. White should then be back to slightly better again.}





position after 28. f4





28… Nd5 29. f5 {Now Rfe1 runs into Nc3!}

29… Nec7 30. Rfe1 Nc3 31. Rf2 Rg8 32. Nc4 {white’s position looks threatening, but black only needs to show some precision to avoid the worst of it.}

Qd7 33. Nd6+ Ka6 {The king is quite safe on a6.}

34. Nc4 N7d5 35. Qg5 {maybe Ne5 here?}

35… Rae8 {taking over the crucial e-file, as black’s powerful knight on c3 prevents Rfe2.}

36. Rxe8 Rxe8 37. Bg3 Ne3 38. Qxh5 Nxc4 {preparing Ne4 with a decisive edge.}

39. dxc4 Ne4 40. Rf3 Nxg3 {This should be winning for black now.}

41. Rxg3 Re1+ 42. Kh2 {Kf2, Qe7 is dangerous at the very least.}

42… Qd6 {very strong, pinning the rook very unpleasantly and threatening Re3.}

43. Qf3 Re3 44. Qf2 Qe5 45. Kh3 g6 {This is hopeless.}

46. Rxe3 dxe3 {So, earlier white probably should have played d4! striking in the middle with a good game. Also, d3 in the opening was weaker than an immediate exd5 and then d4 for white, keeping the light-squared bishop active.} { White resigns } 0-1

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)



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#43 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

#43 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 778 (QRKNBBRN)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/s7M7xvlnvUlX


1. e4 b6 2. Nc3 {On second thought, white should probably play Ba6+! here, with an annoying bind. b6 is probably inaccurate.}

2… a6 {Yes, now a6 is covered. But it seems like black is wasting time as a result of b6.}

3. f3 {Intending Bf2 and maybe d4.}

3… e5 4. Bf2 Ne6 5. Nd5 {a good outpost, taking advantage of the fact that c6 is hard to achieve right away.}

5… Ng6 6. Ng3 Bc5 {Maybe Ne7 is better, knocking back the d5-knight. With the text, black loses the right to castle.}

7. Bxc5 Nxc5 8. Nf5 Kd8 {Maybe going the other way, with Kb7 is safer.}

9. g3 {Just stopping Nf4, and contemplating Bh3.}

9… c6 10. Nde3 d5 {probably not a good idea with black’s king stuck in the center unable to castle. Better is Ne7, trying to trade and keep things  closed. Piece trades relieve black’s position somewhat here.}

11. exd5 cxd5 12. d4 {So now black is worse I think as a result of d5. The center is being opened very quickly.}

12… Ne6 13. b3 {If dxe5, maybe d4 is troublesome. The text keeps everything under control.}

13… exd4 14. Nxd4 {The d-pawn is now weak as well as black’s exposed king.}

14… Ne5 {A blunder, unfortunately losing immediately. However, black’s position wasn’t great anyway. d5 and Kd8, as well as b6, were probably errors. Finally, black could probably have held the balance with Kb7 on move 8. And even before d5, black’s position was tenable. }

15. Nxe6+ { Black resigns } 1-0

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)

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#35 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

#35 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position: 304 (BBNQRKRN)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/HnjPoii6FCAl


1. c4 Ng6 2. b3 {A good idea for white, like I mentioned in an earlier game, the bishops are strong.}

2… c5 3. Ng3 b6 4. d4?! {possibly premature. Maybe e3 and then d4, maintaining the pawn center. It’s not that big a deal, but I do have an extra pawn in the center now. (D & E for me vs E for white)}

4… cxd4 5. Bxd4 d6 {e6 might allow c5 for White, so d6 first.}

6. Be4!? {interesting decision by white. Makes sense though.}

Bxe4 7. Nxe4 e5 {This might look counter-intuitive, based on my now weak d6 pawn, but my potential center with e5 and f5 most likely makes up for that. There are similar positions in the
mainline Najdorf.}

8. Bb2 f5 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Nd5 {maybe Nd3 with idea of Nb4, clamping down on d5 is good. If I stop this with a5, then b5 is weak, as well as d5.}

10… Nce7 11. e3 Kh8! {This move is good in that I’m planning to rid myself of my weakness by playing Nxd5 Qxd5 Ne7 and d5. Notice Qxd5 is not check now.}

12. Ne2 {Maybe Nc3, simply retreating, is better. Then my knights are kind of stepping on their toes. They both want to be on e7, and my d-pawn isn’t going anywhere.}

12… Nxd5 13. Qxd5 {If pawn takes, then d6 is covered and black can turn his attention to the king side.}

13… Ne7 14. Qd2 d5 {mission accomplished!}

15. O-O-O? {This move is bad, as White c-pawn will now be isolated at the very least. Much better is cxd5 and then after Nxd5 white might castle short or possibly long, as his king will be safer than in the game.}

15… dxc4 16. Qb4 Qc8 17. bxc4 Nc6 {with Na5 to come, most probably winning the c-pawn.}

18. Qc3 Na5 19. Ba3 Rf7 20. c5 Qa6 {Things are getting dangerous for white. Nc4 is a problem (not to mention white’s hanging knight), and white’s king is wishing he were on the other side of the board!}

21. Qd3 {I’m not sure what else.}

21… Nc4 22. Bb2 Qxa2 {So yea, this is probably resign-able. White’s king is getting ambushed, and he is down material.} { White resigns } 0-1

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)

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