Archive for the ‘Robert Hess’ Category

#Chess Lesson of the Week: Fabiano Caruana vs. Robert Hess II (Argentina, 2001)

April 1, 2018

Big Thanks to Robert Hess for allowing me to share his Facebook post on this blog!


After seeing Robert Hess II’s post on Facebook, I became curious about his chess adventures with Fabiano Caruana in Argentina. After a quick search of my database, I found this superb chess game played by the two young chess prodigies. Below is the lesson from the game that I have prepared for my students this week.

[Event “Ch Pan-American”]
[Site “Guaymallen (Argentina)”]
[Date “2001”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Caruana, Fabiano (USA)”]
[Black “Hess, Robert L (USA)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C57”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ TWO KNIGHTS’ def.,C57] Caruana Fabiano +1 =0 -0 Hess Robert L (USA) +0 =0 -1 Caruana Fabiano-Hess Robert L (USA) +1 =0 -0}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bc4 Nf6

4.Ng5 d5

5.exd5 Nd4 {Robert Hess chooses the double-edged Fritz Variation.}

( 5…Nxd5 6.Nxf7 {The original Fried Liver Attack.} Kxf7 7.Qf3+
Ke6 8.Nc3 Nce7 9.d4 c6 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bxe7 Bxe7 12.O-O-O Rf8 13.Qe4
Rxf2 14.dxe5 Bg5+ 15.Kb1 Rd2 16.h4 Rxd1+ 17.Rxd1 Bxh4 18.Nxd5
cxd5 19.Rxd5 Qg5 20.Rd6+ Ke7 21.Rg6 {1-0, Polerio G – Dominiko V, Rome 1602})


Position after 5… Nd4

6.c3 b5

7.cxd4 {Another American chess prodigy preferred 7. Bf1 which is the main line.}

( 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.cxd4 Qxg5 9.Bxb5+ Kd8 10.Qf3 e4 11.Qxe4 Bd6 12.O-O
Bb7 13.d3 Nf4 14.Bxf4 Qxb5 15.d5 Qxb2 16.Bxd6 cxd6 17.Re1 Qf6
18.Nc3 Rc8 19.Qb4 Re8 20.Qa5+ Kd7 21.Qa4+ {1-0, Fischer Robert J (USA) 2780 – NN (ITA), Montreal 1964 Simultan})


Position after 7. cxd4

7… bxc4

8.dxe5 Qxd5


( 9.O-O Bb7 10.Nf3 Nd7 11.Re1 O-O-O 12.Nc3 Qd3 13.Re3 Qg6 14.d4 cxd3 15.Rxd3 Bc5
16.Nd5 Qe4 17.Bg5 f6 18.exf6 gxf6 19.Be3 Rhg8 20.Ne1 Ne5 21.Bxc5
Bxd5 22.Rg3 Rxg3 23.hxg3 Bb7 24.Qb3 Nd3 25.Qc2 Nxc5 26.Qxc5 Re8
27.Nf3 Qc6 28.Qxa7 Qc2 {…1-0, Bollek Jan – Godena Michele (ITA) 2527 , Caorle 1982 It (open)})

( 9.Nf3 {?!} {Seems to favor black.} Qe4+ 10.Qe2
( 10.Kf1 Qd3+ 11.Kg1 Nd7 ) Qxe2+ 11.Kxe2 Nd5 )


Position after 9. exf6

9… Qxg5


( 10.Qf3 Rb8 11.O-O Qxf6 12.Re1+ Be7 13.Qxf6 gxf6 14.b3
cxb3 15.axb3 Rxb3 16.Ba3 Be6 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.f4 Kd7 19.Rxa7 Rb2
20.Rc1 Kd6 21.Nc3 f5 22.d4 c6 23.Ra6 Rc8 24.Ra5 Rd2 25.Ra6 Ke7
26.Ra4 Rd8 27.Ra7+ Kf6 28.Ra6 R8xd4 29.g3 Rc4 30.Ra3 Kg6 31.Raa1
Rb4 32.Rd1 Rc2 33.Rac1 Rbb2 34.Rxc2 Rxc2 35.Rd3 Kf6 36.h3 Ke7
37.Nd1 c5 38.Rc3 Rxc3 39.Nxc3 c4 40.Kf2 Kd6 41.Ke3 Kc5 42.Ne2
h5 43.Nc3 Kb4 44.Kd2 Kc5 45.Ke3 Bd5 46.Ne2 Bg2 47.h4 Kb4 48.Kd2
Bf1 49.Nc3 Bd3 50.Nd1 Kc5 51.Ke3 Bc2 52.Nc3 Bd3 53.Nd1 Kb4 54.Kd2
Kb3 55.Nc3 Be4 56.Ne2 Kb4 57.Nc3 Kc5 58.Ke3 Bc2 59.Ne2 Bd3 60.Nc3
Kb4 61.Kd2 Kb3 62.Nd1 Be4 63.Nc3 Bf3 64.Nb1 Kb2 65.Nc3 Kb3 66.Nb1
Kb4 67.Nc3 Bg4 68.Nb1 Kc5 69.Ke3 {1/2-1/2, Paramzina Anastasya (RUS) 1830 – Sunyasakta Satpathy (IND) 1899, Porto Carras (Greece) 2010.10.24})

10… Be6

11.Qe4 Rb8

12.O-O Qxf6 {Fabiano Caruana and Robert Hess are dead even in a position with some serious imbalances.}


Position after 12… Qxf6

13.Qc6+ {Fabiano takes away black’s ability to castle.}

13… Kd8 {Robert Hess has an exposed king but much better development.}

14.Nc3 Bd6

15.g3 {?!} {Fearing black’s tactics on h2, Caruana plays g3 which is dangerously slow in such a sharp position. Better was:}
( 15.Ne4 Qd4 16.Nxd6 Qxd6 17.Qe4 {Which forces black to exchange his dangerous dark bishop.})

15… h5 {!} {Robert Hess launches his h-pawn toward the newly created weakness and in doing so activates his final piece.}


Position after 15… h5

16.h4 {Fabiano’s best defense creates even more weak squares around his king.}
( 16.Ne4 {??} {No longer works.} Qf3 {!} 17.h4 Bh3 )

16… Qd4 {Threatening Bxg3.}

17.Qe4 {Fabiano’s strongest move which leaves Robert Hess with a complicated choice as to how to continue his attack.}

17… Qf6 {?!} {Placing the queen on the same diagonal as his king was not the best choice. Better was:} ( 17…Bc5 18.d3 {I’m sure Fabiano would’ve been willing to temporarily lose some material to obtain must needed development.}
cxd3 19.Bf4 Rxb2 20.Be5 Qxe4 21.Nxe4 Rc2 22.Bxg7 Rg8 23.Nxc5
Rxc5 24.Bh6 Bg4 {and it’s black who is playing for a win.} )


Position after 17… Qf6

18.d3 {!} {Fabiano takes the initiative by threatening to play Bg5!}

18… Qe5

19.dxc4 Qxe4

20.Nxe4 Bxc4 {?}

{Hess wins a pawn and attacks Caruana’s rook. However, Caruana can respond by
playing Nxd6! which threatens Nxf7+ forking Hess’ king and rook. An improvement
for black would have been playing 20… Be5 which creates a threat and preserves the bishop pair for the ensuing endgame.}
( 20…Be5 21.Rb1 ( 21.Re1 Re8 22.Rb1 Bxc4 ) Bxc4 )


Position after 20… Bxc4

21.Nxd6 {!} {Removing the bishop pair and threatening Nxf7+.}

21… cxd6

22.Rd1 {Fabiano develops his rook with a threat.}

22… Kc7 {?}

{Chess can be so brutal. Had Hess played his king to the adjacent square the result of the game would have been much different.}
( 22…Kd7 23.Bf4 Rb6 24.Rd2 Be6 25.Rc1 Ra8 {and black is fine.} )


Position after 22… Kc7

23.Bf4 {!}

{Developing the bishop to a diagonal that threatens a pawn with a pin to the king and the king with a skewer to the rook.}

23… Rhd8 {?} {Robert Hess tries in vain to hold onto the pawn. Better was abandoning it.}
( 23…Kb7 24.Bxd6 Rbc8 {and black still has trouble, though not nearly as severe.})

24.Rac1 {!} {All of Fabiano’s remaining pieces entered the game in the most brutal fashion.}


Position after 24. Rac1

24… Rxb2 {Hess might as well take a pawn as there is no way to defend his pinned bishop.}
( 24…Rb4 25.b3 Kb7 26.Rd4 {!} Rd7 27.Bd2 {!} Rb6 28.Rcxc4 )
25.Rxc4+ Kb7

26.Rxd6 Re8

27.Rd7+ Ka6

28.Rcc7 Ree2 {Even with a 99.9% chance of defeat, Robert Hess still manages to create one more threat.}

29.Rxa7+ Kb6

30.Rdb7+ Kc6

31.Rxb2 Rxb2


Final Position

{Black resigns. Truly a superb chess game played by two incredible young prodigies!}



2011 United States Chess Championship: Scotch Game Novelty

April 20, 2011

Robert Hess contributed a new move to the theory of the Scotch Game in a surprisingly quick victory over Alexander Shabalov at the 2011 United States Chess Championship. According to my sources, Hess’ “10…Nb6” is indeed a novelty.  After the novelty, Robert Hess played a very clean game while his opponent played a dubious “16. a4.” Shabalov’s “a4” was a little late and not as precise as the obvious “16. exf6 Qc5+ 17. Qf2 Qxf2 18. Kxf2 Bxf6 19. Rad1 dxc4.” Shabalov’s play continued with second best moves while Hess essayed the dangers of a passed pawn.
   Only time will tell the overall quality of Robert Hess’ invention. Should anyone face 10…Nb6 on the board, I propose responding with 15. 0-0-0!

[Event “US Championship (Group B)”]
[Site “Saint Louis USA”]
[Date “2011.04.18”]
[EventDate “2011.04.15”]
[Round “4”]
[Result “0-1”]
[White “Alexander Shabalov”]
[Black “Robert Hess”]
[ECO “C45”]
[WhiteElo “2590”]
[BlackElo “2565”]
[PlyCount “50”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Ba6 9. b3 g6 10. f4 Nb6 11. g3 O-O-O 12. Bb2 Bg7 13. Nc3 d5 14. Bg2 Rhe8 15. O-O f6 16. a4 fxe5 17. f5 gxf5 18. Rxf5 Kb8 19. Qf2 e4 20. a5 e3 21. Qe1 Nc8 22. cxd5 e2 23. Kh1 Rf8 24. g4 Nd6 25. Qf2 0-1

Another classic Scotch Game:

[Event “London”]
[Site “London”]
[Date “1881.??.??”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “?”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Joseph Henry Blackburne”]
[Black “Johannes Zukertort”]
[ECO “C45”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[PlyCount “41”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.b3 O-O-O 10.Qe4 Nf6 11.Qe2 Re8 12.f4 d5 13.Nc3 Qd7 14.Bd2 d4 15.Na4 Nd5 16.Qf3 Nb4 17.O-O-O Qf5 18.Bxb4 Bxb4 19.Bd3 Qd7 20.c5 Bb5 21.Bxb5 1-0

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