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



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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#56, 57 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284

#56 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284

Chess960 start position: 462 (RNNKQBBR)

Time control: 15+5



1. Nc3 f5 2. e4 Nc6 3. Nd3 fxe4 4. Nxe4 d6 5. f4 Nb6 6. g3 h6 7. Qe2 Bf7 8. Bh3 Bh5 9. g4 Bf7 10. a4 g6 11. a5 Nd5 12. c3 Bg7 13. Bf2 Rf8 14. O-O a6 15. b4 Nf6 16. Ng3 Qd7 17. f5 g5 18. Nb2 Rh8 19. Rae1 Kc8 20. Bg2 { Draw } 1/2-1/2



#57 Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 765 (RKNBNRBQ)

Time control: 15+5



1. f4 g6 2. g3 Ncd6 3. d3 e5 4. fxe5 Qxe5 5. Nf3 Qg7 6. Nb3 Bf6 7. c3 h5 8. Bc2 Nb5 9. d4 a5 10. Nc5 O-O-O 11. a4 Na7 12. Ne5 c6 13. Ncd3 d5 14. O-O-O Nd6 15. Qf3 Bg5+ 16. Be3 Bxe3+ 17. Qxe3 f5 18. h4 Rfe8 19. Qg5 Bf7 20. Nf4 Ne4 21. Bxe4 dxe4 22. Nxh5 Qh8 23. Nxf7 { Black resigns } 1-0

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#53, 54, 55 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

#53 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 754 (BRKNNBRQ)

Time control: 15+5



1. e4 g6 2. b3 Bg7 3. Bxg7 Qxg7 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bb5 O-O 7. h3 b6 8. O-O e5 9. Bxc6 dxc6 10. Rfe1 Nh5 11. g3 Rbd8 12. Ne2 c5 13. d3 f5 14. Nd2 Nf6 15. f3 fxe4 16. fxe4 Qh6 17. Nf1 b5 18. c4 Rxd3 19. cxb5 { White resigns } 0-1



#54 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 669 (RNKBRNBQ)

Time control: 15+5



1. g3 c6 2. e4 e5 3. f4 f6 4. Nc3 Ne6 5. Be3 Bb6 6. fxe5 Bxe3 7. Nxe3 fxe5 8. Nc4 Kc7 9. Nxe5 g6 10. Nf3 d6 11. Be2 Nd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. Bxb5 cxb5 14. Nxb5+ Kc6 15. Qf1 Nb6 16. d4 Nc7 17. d5+ Ncxd5 18. exd5+ Bxd5 19. Nfd4+ Kd7 20. Qh3+ Kd8 21. Ne6+ { Black resigns } 1-0



#55 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 816 (BBRKNQRN)

Time control: 15+5



1. c4 Nf6 2. b3 c5 3. Ng3 Ng6 4. Nf3 e6 5. e3 Qe7 6. Qe2 O-O 7. O-O b6 8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 d5 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Bb2 Qb7 12. f3 Be5 13. a3 Qe7 14. Rfd1 Qg5 15. Nf1 h5 16. Bxg6 Qxg6 17. Rxc8 Rxc8 18. Qd3 Qxd3 19. Rxd3 Bb7 20. Rd2 Ba6 21. Ne2 Bxb2 22. Rxb2 f5 23. Kf2 Kf7 24. g3 Ke7 25. Nd2 Bxe2 26. Kxe2 Rc3 27. Nf1 a5 28. Kd2 Rc7 29. Rc2 Rd7 30. Ke2 g6 31. Nd2 b5 32. e4 Nf6 33. exf5 exf5 34. Rc5 Rd5 35. Rxd5 Nxd5 36. Kd3 f4 37. Kd4 fxg3 38. hxg3 Kd6 39. Ne4+ Kc6 40. Ke5 Ne3 41. Kf6 Nc2 42. Kxg6 Nxa3 43. f4 Nc2 44. f5 Nd4 45. Nd2 a4 46. bxa4 bxa4 47. Nb1 Kb5 48. f6 Kc4 49. f7 Ne6 50. Kf6 Nf8 51. Ke7 Nh7 52. Kd6 Kd4 53. Ke7 Ke3 54. f8=Q Nxf8 55. Kxf8 Kf3 { White resigns } 0-1

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#51, 52 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284

#51 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284

Chess960 start position: 36 (NBBNQRKR)

Time control: 15+5



1. d4 d5 2. Nc3 c6 3. e4 Nc7 4. Bf4 Nde6 5. Bxc7 Bxc7 6. Nb3 Qd8 7. e5 Bb6 8. Qd2 g6 9. Re1 h5 10. Na4 Kg7 11. Nxb6 axb6 12. O-O h4 13. f4 Rh5 14. c3 Rfh8 15. Qe3 Qg8 16. Bd3 Nf8 17. Be2 R5h6 18. Nd2 Bf5 19. Nf3 Ne6 20. Ng5 Qa8 21. a3 Kf8 22. Nxe6+ fxe6 { Draw } 1/2-1/2



#52 Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 159 (NRNQKRBB)

Time control: 15+5



1. c3 f5 2. Nc2 g6 3. d4 c6 4. g3 Nab6 5. f3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nc4 7. Bf4 d6 8. b3 N4b6 9. Nd3 Nd5 10. Bd2 Nf6 11. e4 e6 12. Qe2 Ne7 13. e5 dxe5 14. Nxe5 Nd7 15. Bf4 Nd5 16. Nxd7 Nxf4 17. Qd2 Qxd7 18. Qxf4 Rd8 19. Rf2 Bf7 20. Re2 O-O 21. Qe3 Rfe8 22. f4 Bf6 23. Kf2 h6 24. h4 Qe7 { Draw } 1/2-1/2

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An interview with Jan Gombac (FM) Part 2

chess959: Hello Jan, thanks again for accepting us for the second part of the interview we already made the first part.

jangombacJan Gombac: Yes, you are welcome.




chess959: Today we’ll touch some sensible topics and most probably someone will manipulate that information into some other, first things first: we don’t have any intention to attack someone’s religious beliefs or something else.

Chess is a “waste of time” and causes enmity between players, according to the grand mufti of S. Arabia. This is not the first time that a spiritual leader has denounced chess as a distraction from religious devotions. An Italian sage of the 11th century, Saint Peter Damian, scolded the bishop of Florence for his weakness for the game. Chess was initially outlawed by Iranian Revolution which prevailed in 1979; however in 1988, Ayatollah Khomeini said it was permissible as long as it is not combined with gambling. However a contemporary Shia leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani of Iraq, has emphatically forbidden all forms of chess, whether played online or with physical pieces, and regardless of whether betting is involved. Why do fundamentalist religious leaders feel threatened by chess?

Jan Gombac: Well, there are several options here. Firstly I would like to say that I don’t agree with the statement that chess is a waste of time-chess (despite the fact that nowadays needs an improvement in terms of its randomization) is a highly educative tool for people and it develops capability of critical thinking. The first possibility is that those leaders who prohibit it simply aren’t aware of it, but it is also possible that they are aware of it, but don’t want their nation to be capable of critical thinking. Than there is of course also the fact that every religion has it’s restrictions. Here we need to distinguish between faith/belief and religion-faith is always ok, it’s a personal belief in God, while religion is actually just a political movement. On this planet-above all-we need to be afraid of egoism, racism and chauvinism, in my opinion.

chess959: Did you know that there are 64 squares on the chessboard and 64 codons in human DNA?

Jan Gombac: No, I didn’t know. I did know about the first part, of course.

chess959: Here is my connection possibly labeled as absurd, but anyway here it is:

There is a secret code located on chessboard that allows humanity to achieve immortality. The most dramatic discontinuity (of religious traditions) will surely be when we achieve effective human immortality, which, whether it’s achieved by biology or digitally is not clear, but that is something that inevitably will be achieved.

Jan Gombac: Well, I do know that there is already a practice of freezing people when they die. In order to bring them back to life after some medical progress will be made. Anita Ryskin is such an example, but not the only one. And yes, I agree, this will be the most dramatic discontinuity of religious traditions.

chess959: Ok, lets continue with Kasparov.

Jan Gombac: Aha, here we go.

chess959: “I remember in the late seventies Tigran Petrosian was complaining, he was annoyed about the Chess Informant and all these new magazines, telling us younger players that chess is losing its beauty because there is too much preparation being done, there is so much information you should look for. It was really a different game he used to play twenty years before. And he called my generation the “Chess Informator generation”. And when I look today at the top one hundred list, of the best players, I guess that more than half of the players from that list – the top one hundred list from FIDE rating – they were some of them born, and most of them learned how to play chess after the creation of ChessBase. So I think this generation can be called the “ChessBase generation”.” ~ Kasparov

It really is hard to believe that Kasparov can so fundamentally misunderstand what Tigran Petrosian was saying:

Kasparov goes on to say how chess databases have helped chess to become more “sophisticated” and advanced. Can he be serious? I shake my head sometimes but also respect how beautifully asleep the chess world is. Tiger Petrosian was not talking about the beauty of Chess being destroyed, but that the beauty of how Chess used to be played is being destroyed. In the early days of Chess, players had to be creative and think through the moves from the start as they played. They also had to be very disciplined and creative in their study as well, because many judgement errors could be made simply in the analysis. But modern readily available database information is washing that “beautiful” way of playing and studying clean away. That was Petrosian’s point. That was Bobby Fischer’s point as well. When will Kasparov understand that?

Jan Gombac: Haha. Well, the point is that Kasparov already understands that. I don’t want to discredit his creativity as a chess player, but he is well-known for his deep opening preparation. Also, it would be interesting to know on which side is he politically-on Israeli/U.S.A. or on the Arab? And it would also be interesting to know who is taking away the oil from Arabic people? And there is of course the connection: oil-electricity-computer​s-chess engines/databases-chess opening preparation. I would also like to say that we, promoters of the random chess, aren’t anti-chess propaganda, but pro-chess propaganda. I would like to invite readers to watch Fischer’s videos about Fischer-random chess, they are on youtube, the title of videos is “Bobby Fischer is travelling from Japan to Iceland”. And, please, don’t pay any attention to his long beard or so, but instead just close your eyes and listen to his deep words. And Petrosian was also correct with his judgement, of course.

chess959: Wow Jan, you prepared well.

Jan Gombac: Well, I consider it to be my duty, but also my pleasure.

chess959: Kasparov goes on in a wishy washy fashion about the benefits of “Advanced Chess” which he has been pushing for the last fifteen years. He probably has some idea that teams of kids can play Advanced Chess together and use databases in open competition. I think that is a consistent idea, but what message is it teaching kids? That we have almost complete information to solve the problems of the future world that these kids will inherit?

The problems that these kids will have to face, cannot be solved with databases alone, because they are going to have to deal with many unresolved questions of perception. When we stare into a database we tend to see only what is familiar to us conceptually, no matter how big the information store is. Problems we will have to face right now and in the future will have to be resolved by creative and skeptical thinking, where kids should be taught not to be afraid of the genuine unknown and the complex, but in fact to actually embrace it and be challenged by it. Do Kasparov’s ideas to have kids looking up a chess database actually help that?

It is a bit like saying that giving a pocket calculator to a team of children will help them think better. He then concludes with a warning to, which will be perfectly obvious to them already, that if they do not innovate they will go under…. Kasparov simply states the obvious but offers no real ideas. He has been doing this for years. He did it with Chess960 when he offered a solution to play a few Chess960 positions but never followed it through despite that he knows that it has much to offer (just as a very simple example, SP534 is just as deep as SP518). His other idea was to create another chess superstar as he himself was by promoting Magnus Carlsen very openly. But how good an idea was that when you actually think about it?

Jan Gombac: I don’t think that Kasparov’s ideas are actually helping kids. First of all, we need to be aware that Kasparov is a very political person. He supports this so called neo-liberalism very much. He is very much pro-capitalist. It is, of course, another question how liberal the capitalism really is. I don’t think it is. But Kasparov has, of course, always his economic calculation on his mind. And then there is a problem of selection of the nature, or-maybe better to say-law of the evil: people are very open when some comfort is offered to them, but very conservative when some discomfort is offered to them. And, unfortunately, they consider chess databases/analysis to be the comfort, while they consider chess960 to be the discomfort. In reallity is of course, the other way around. After all-chess should be mostly about critical thinking. And if chess is mainly just about following computer analysis (and it goes into this direction) then I would prohibit it myself. And about Carlsen-yes, he is also mainly Garry Kasparov’s product. As we can see, he also doesn’t play/promote chess960. Anyway-the main rule for big majority of people in capitalism is the following: don’t think, just obey and everything will be alright.

In chess960 computers could be used as well, but their usage wouldn’t be essential (like in chess) and that bothers people like Kasparov, because it would ruin their economical calculation.

chess959: Interesting analysis Jan. It seems to be you’re not a regular chess player but have deep knowledge on economics and current politics. You’re very correct on capitalism and liberal ideals misconnection. And you’re totally correct on the connections of oil, electricity, computer systems and here it is ICCF. Did you know engine usage is allowed there?

Jan Gombac: You mean in correspondence chess? Yes, I knew it. It is totally ridiculous in my opinion.

chess959: Yes human correspondence chess is dead already. Only centaurs compete each other in correspondence chess.

And actually we’re talking about same things over and over: More money!

It won’t be a surprise to see a next world correspondence chess champion will be an oil-rich Arabian Sheikh or a South American drug lord or a Russian oil oligarch. The last one at least culturally chess-rich.

Jan Gombac: Yes, it’s dead already because it doesn’t really represent anything but the strenght of engines. Some will argue, of course, that it is important how a human directs a chess engine, but consider this-give a thousand times stronger processor to a non-chess player and he/she will win against anybody in correspondence chess. Of course it won’t be a surprise, since this world is all about money (power). No room for fairness, honesty and really constructive creations, when you think about it. Haha, Russia is really culturally chess rich. However, it is also true that chess comes from Arabic world-just look at the above mentioned connection from oil to chess opening preparation.

chess959: Jan thanks for your time. We know how busy you’re, hopefully we can make the third part of this interview not too distant future.

Jan Gombac: You are very much welcome and I look forward to the third part.

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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



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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#48, 49 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284

#48 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284

Chess960 start position: 547 (BRNKNQRB)

Time control: 15+5



1. b3 e6 2. g3 f5 3. Qh3 h6 4. Qh4+ Qe7 5. Qxe7+ Nxe7 6. Nf3 d6 7. e3 g5 8. Bxh8 Rxh8 9. h4 b6 10. Nd4 Kd7 11. Bxa8 Rxa8 12. Nce2 Nf6 13. f3 c5 14. Nb5 a6 15. Nbc3 { Draw } 1/2-1/2



#49 Ilic, Zoran S (IM) FIDE: 2284 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 293 (QNBBRKRN)

Time control: 15+5



1. b3 Ng6 2. e3 b6 3. Ng3 Bb7 4. f3 d6 5. O-O Nd7 6. c4 e5 7. Nc3 Bh4 8. Be2 O-O 9. Bb2 f5 10. Rc1 Bxg3 11. hxg3 Qd8 12. Nd5 c6 13. Nc3 Qg5 14. Kf2 a5 { Draw } 1/2-1/2



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#47 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Volkov, Sergey (GM) FIDE: 2611

#47 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Volkov, Sergey (GM) FIDE: 2611

Chess960 start position: 387 (BQRNNKRB)

Time control: 15+5



1. Nf3 O-O 2. b3 b5 3. h4 c5 4. h5 Qb6 5. c4 bxc4 6. Rxc4 d5 7. Rh4 d4 8. e3 Qa6+ 9. Ke1 Nc6 10. exd4 Nb4 11. Nb2 cxd4 12. Nxd4 g5 13. hxg6 Bxd4 14. gxh7+ Kh8 15. Nc4 Bxa1 16. Qxa1+ Qf6 17. Qxf6+ Nxf6 18. g3 Bxh1 19. Rgxh1 Nxa2 20. Ke2 Nb4 21. Ne3 Nbd5 22. Nf5 Rb8 23. g4 Nf4+ 24. Kf3 Ng6 25. Rh6 Rxb3+ { White resigns } 0-1

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#44, 45, 46 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

#44 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 487 (QRBNKNRB)

Time control: 15+5



1. g3 g6 2. c4 d6 3. Nfe3 e6 4. Nc3 a6 5. b4 c6 6. Bb2 b5 7. Ne4 Bxb2 8. Qxb2 Ke7 9. Qf6+ Kd7 10. Qd4 { Black resigns } 1-0


#45 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 650 (RNKRBBQN)

Time control: 15+5



1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 f6 3. f3 Nc6 4. Bf2 Ng6 5. Bb5 a6 6. Ba4 Nf4 7. Ng3 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Bb3 Bf7 10. Nxd5 Bxd5 11. Ne4 Nd4 12. Nc3 Bf7 13. Bxf7 Qxf7 14. Qf1 Rd7 15. Ne2 Nc6 16. Nc3 g6 17. a3 O-O-O 18. b4 Bh6 19. Be1 Nd4 20. b5 axb5 21. Nxb5 Nxb5 22. Qxb5 Qd5 23. Qb4 Qc6 24. a4 Rd4 25. Qb5 Rc4 26. Qxc6 Rxc6 27. Kb2 Rb6+ 28. Ka2 Rd4 { White resigns } 0-1


#46 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 783 (QRKNRNBB)

Time control: 15+5



1. g3 (In case of 1.b3?! (Trying to prevent opening of black’s h8-bishop.) black might well reply 1…e5 and then continue his development with g6, a5, etc., while white would only have dark-squared weaknesses on his queenside in this case.)

1… g6 2. f4 f5 (There is nothing more natural than the first two moves of both players. Also, since all the pawns were protected at the starting position, there was no big point in developing knights first.)

3. a4 (Already at this point I began hoping for the stratagem that lead me throughout the entire game: successfully closing in the black’s queen. However, it is possible that position demanded an immediate strike in the center by 3.e4, leading to some small spatial advantage for white. In that case after 3…fe4 4.Be4a5 5.a4!? black would still need to play precisely in order to achieve equality.)

3… Nc6?! (This is the so called “natural” developing move, but in my opinion position demanded a very concrete response. It was possible to strike in the center with 3…e5 and after 4.fe5Be5 5.a5d5 6.Nc3c6 we would reach a position where black has a clear spatial advantage in the center, but also a practical problem how to include his queen into play. Personally I would prefer white in that situation. However, I do believe that the simplest solution for black was to just play 3…a5, giving some scope to his queen, and after 4.e4 position could transpose into 3.e4.)

4. a5 a6 (It needs to be said that after this move it will be extremely difficult for black to ever move the b-pawn and how else to include black’s queen into play? But, understandably, black was probably worried about allowing the a5-a6 push since it would strengthen white’s bishop on h1. But nevertheless, the move 4…d5 was an alternative, since after that black could later play himself b7-b6, and in case of axb6 he could recapture with the a pawn, or, in case of 5.a6 b6 he would still preserve some hope to get with his queen into play, but, of course, it has to be said that light-squares on the black’s queenside would be weakened plus the knight somehow doesn’t belong to c6 in this position, since it is a loose piece on the diagonal of white’s h1-bishop. But due to the fact that black would have extra space in the center, all the battle would still be ahead.)





position after 4…a6





5. Qa4 (White takes control of the d4-square, preventing any Bh8-d4 and activates his queen.)

5… e5 6. e4?! (It was my intention to castle on queenside in this game, since it is much easier to achieve it than kingside castling, so I didn’t want to continue with 6.fe5Re5 7.b4, which would weaken my castling position on the queenside. But it looks like white doesn’t really need to castle so urgently in this position and besides-where will black castle now? In case of castling, of course, the b4-b5 push becomes extremely dangerous. So, 6.fe5 was the way to go and it would be very difficult for black to play, despite having spatial advantage in the center.)

6… fxe4! (During the game I was actually much more afraid of 6…ef4 7.gf4fe4 8.Re40-0-0, etc. And indeed white has a weak pawn on f4 in this case, but his pieces are very active, so that this shouldn’t be to big of a problem, or-better to say-lesser evil for white than in the game.)

7. fxe5 Rxe5? (I was totally unaware of the danger at this point, but black actually had a very strong possibility here: 7…Be5!, where it would be insufficient for white to sacrifice the exchange by 8.Re4?…(Not to mention 8.Be4?d5 9.Bg2Bb2! and black wins.) 8…Bd5 9.Nfe3Be4 10.Be40-0-0 and black has a clear advantage. So, in order to regain a central pawn, white would need to play the “ultra-ugly” move 8.c4 and after 8…Ne6 9.Re4 he would still preserve active pieces, but the d4-square would be terribly weakened, and thanks to the possibility of putting his bishop on d4 (making possible further development with Qa7), black would be better.)





position after 7… Rxe5?





8. Rxe4 O-O-O 9. Rxe5 Bxe5 10. Nc3 (Here I was thinking about playing for the direct squeeze of black’s position by means of advancing the central pawn with 10.d4Bg7 11.d5, but 11…Bh6 bothered me, since I didn’t want to put anything on e3 in order to not lose the bishop’s control of the a7-square and 12.Nd2, going into the pin, didn’t appeal to me neither. Also, black has an additional option of 10…Qa7!? 11.c3Bg7 12.Be3d5 13.Nf2, but here white is also better, since black’s queen-despite being already on a7-is still in a cage. Finally, I have decided that quick development and castling is more important than grabbing space by d4-d5.)

10… Ne6 11. Ne2 (Of course, not 11.0-0-0?Bd4 and black will continue with Qa7, with approximate equality. This is a good example how one “natural”, but imprecise move can ruin everything.)

11… Bg7 12. O-O-O Rf8? (It was essential to play 12…d5, obtaining space in the center.)

13. d4 Ng5 14. d5 Ne5 15. d6? (After the simple move 15.Nd2 white would have had a clear advantage. But I was eager to squeeze black even more, being once again totally unaware of the danger in this game.)

15… c6? (Looks like a miracle, but thanks to the unprotected position of white’s bishop on h1 (and white’s queen on a4) it was possible for black to attack my bishop with his queen, but-and that is the strange part-diagonally! So, after 15…b5!! the great irony would appear on the board-throughout the entire game white has played against black’s inactive queen, but at the “culmination” of his strategy, this would blow into his face. Here black would be clearly better after both, 16.ab6 Qh1, or 16.Ba8 ba4, because all his pieces are very active.)





position after 15… c6?





16. Bd4 (Not 16.Bb6?Nc4,etc. By first pinning the knight on e5, white provokes black’s next move, which will prevent black to play Nc4 later.)

16… Ne6 17. Bb6 Ng5 18. Ne3 (This position is very picturesque, because black’s queen is totally boxed-in. Of course, white is now winning.)





position after 18. Ne3





18… Nh3? (More stubborn was 18…Ne6.)

19. Nf4? (I didn’t pay the attention to the “long” move 19.Qh4-in connection with the weak square on d8-, but it would win on the spot, because after 19…Nf2 20.Rf1 the threat is Rxf2 Rxf2, Qd8mate, and 20…Nh1 doesn’t help in view of 21.Rf8 Bf8 22.Qd8mate. The move played in the game, however, doesn’t really spoil anything.)

19… Nf2 20. Rf1 Nxh1 21. Rxh1 Rf6?! (There is no time to pick up the d6-pawn, so more stubborn, but still insufficient was 21…Qb8.)

22. Re1 Rxd6?! (22…Rf8)

23. Ng4 Qb8 24. Nxe5 Bxe5 25. Rxe5 (Actually white can win here even more quickly by 25.Ng6! Rg6 26.Qh4)

25…Rd1+ 26. Kxd1 Qxe5 (Finally black’s queen is out, but black’s minor piece as well. :-) )

27. Qd4 Qb5 28. Qd6 Qf1+ 29. Kd2 { Black resigns } 1-0

(Annotations: Jan Gombac)

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