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Don Wedding vs Barak
"No You Can't" (game of the day Mar-08-2011)
Telecomm theme corr (1994)
Grob Opening: Grob Gambit. Declined (A00)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: This game is widely considered to represent ideal play against the Grob = M Basman vs Keene, 1981 Note the set-up with ... Bd6 & ... Ne7 avoids any problems with g4-g5 kicking a Nf6.

Historically the database has been slanted toward 1. g4 due to the specific composition of the original five databases, especially regarding the wins of Claude Frizzel Bloodgood . For years, 1. g4 had the highest winning percentage of all White openings, although the current leaders are 1. Na3 (#1) and 1. Nh3 (#2) which proves that you can't just blindly trust statistics. =)

Opening Explorer

Mar-08-11  Bdellovibrio: <Chessmensch> :-)
Mar-08-11  scormus: I think there must be something I dont understand. Why dont they (the game controllers) mark the compulsory move phase so I can see what moves the players cant be blamed for, and the ones they chose.

Anyway, even if it was a poor game, it was a fun game. And if Barak was a much better player back then he probably would never have got to be President ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <scormus> And the thing I don't understand is, if this was correspondence, why did black play a move that allowed mate in one?
Mar-08-11  scormus: <Once ... # in 1> I wondered about that too, in a way why I posted. I mean, you cant blame B(arak) for allowing # if the opening was prescribed all the way to move 16 ;)

Mind, I once played a correspondance, never wanted to again. Believe it or not, my opponent blundered R for N ... and whats worse, I missed it :O But in true Jim Bridger style, I got it the following move after he left it still on. Yeah, straight up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: That was a good Wedding!
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: Black was slightly better until he played the lemon, 10... Bg4. This move weakened b7 and was the beginning of the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Who invented the Grob Opening anyways?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <scormus> The more I look at this game, the more I am sure that Claude Bloodgood was behind it somewhere.

Here's the evidence for the prosecution m'lud. We all know that Bloodgood was a notable felon who manipulated tournaments whilst behind bars to boost his own ratings. And his speciality was the grob 1. g4.

If we look at the profile for Dan Wedding, we see that he is only in the CG database for this one correspondence tournament in 1994 (when Bloodgood's rating was near its peak). All of his games have him playing as 1. g4 as white and his opponents are mostly players who are only in the database for one game. And most of his opponents are just given by their surnames as in today's Barak and the wonderfully named Dangerman and Argue.

One of the few exceptions to this is H. Erwin who also played ... Claude Bloodgood in 1972 and 1973.

So here's theory number 1. This was a tournament arranged by Bloodgood to help boost his ratings. It was themed around his favourite opening (1. g4) and "featured" several old lags from prison who barely knew the moves. Naturally, Bloodgood won most if not all of his games, helping to lift his ELO to ridiculous levels.

But here's theory number 2. Maybe "Dan Wedding" was really ... Claude Bloodgood himself. After all, it's a correspondence tournament, right? So no-one knows who they were really playing. Maybe Bloodgood invented the Dan Wedding character to help increase the size of the tournament and give him someone else to beat.

All in all, I think that explains the poor quality of the game. It could all be part of a con, played by cons.

That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it!

Incidentally, all of Dan Wedding's games start 1. g4 d5 2. Bg2 and then vary from that point. So that looks to be the set part of the opening theme. And coincidentally that sets up a pawn sac (2...Bxg5) which was a Bloodgood trademark. If you were going to arrange a themed tournament, it stands to reason that you would invite your favourite trap.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Cute pun. :-D
Mar-08-11  scormus: <Once> You've convinced me. Had there been any doubt before, I'll never play CC again. Just imagine, I could be playing against a criminal. Or worse, against a thoroughly bad player and lose. The game might even find its way into CG and be picked apart by people like <Phony Benoni> and <Once> who conclude that I was some rubbish player who was put in just to inflate someones rating.

No, I want to see my opponent, even if he is a criminal. Especially if ...

Mar-08-11  David2009: D Wedding vs Barak, 1994 Black 14...?

click for larger view

Try 14...Bxc1 etc (e.g. 15.Bxf7+ Ke7 16.Bxg8 Qxd4)

<Once,Phony Benoni>: Good insights. <If the white king stays in the centre or goes to the queenside, then g4 can be just another attacking move. [snip] Instead, black should develop carefully, grab the centre, get his bits out, find a safe home for his king.> Very well put. I remembered getting hammered on FICS with the Grob: FICS game 5 August 2009 strelka (2061) vs. DavidMMIX (1446), rated blitz match 2 12. After 1 g4 I had a little think: my plan was to castle Queens side because g4 signalled an intention to attack on the King side and Nf6 is vulnerable to g5. Things then went horribly wrong. 1 g4 e5 2.d3 Nc6 3.h3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.Bg2 g6 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.Bg5 f6 8.Bd2 Nge7 9.h4 d5 10.h5

click for larger view

10...Qd7? (gxh5!) 11.g5 0-0-0? 12.h6 Bf8 13.gxf6 Nf5 14.e4 Nxh6 15.Bxh6 Bxh6 16.Bh3 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <scormus> Oh, could I tell you a story here!

In the 1970s, I carried a large postal load, upwards of 100 games at a time. Tournaments would often start with just two or three players. If you joined later, you sent a postcard to the earlier players in the section to announce your arrival.

One day, I got a card from NN (I'd better not use his real name, just in case), but couldn't quite read the name. So for the first few moves, I used a less-than-flattering variation of his name until he finally corrected me.

Then I got curious about the "S.C.F." that appeared in his address. Turns out that stood for "State Correctional Facility". He was doing ten years for aggravated assault.

I grew very careful.

So we putzed along until reaching a position something like this with White (myself) to play:

click for larger view

Of course I saw that I could play 1.0-0-0 and trap his bishop. I don't miss moves like that! He wrote back angrily that the move was illegal because my rook would pass over an attacked square.

Very, very respectively, I referred him to the rulebook. NN was not happy, and resigned in a huff.

After that, whenever I walked into the club, some of my alleged friends would go into news anchor mode: "Flash Bulletin from the Newsroom! Convict NN has escaped from the State Correctional Facility! As he fled, he was screaming fiendishly <"MOODY! MOODY! MOODY!">

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Back in old days, we here in the States didn't name opening after Swiss painters, even if they were IMs. Too sissy. We gave them robust American names, and 1.g4 was <The Spike!>.

In round 4 of the 1983 US Open in Pasadena, two USCF masters tried 1.g4 against IMs. Herewith the messy details:

[Event "US Open"]
[Site "Pasadena, Calif."]
[Date "1983.08.10"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "4"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Duckworth, William Mark"]
[Black "McCambridge, Vincent"]
[ECO ""]
[WhiteElo "2256"]
[BlackElo "2520"]

1.g4 g6 2.Bg2 Bg7 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nxd5 Bxg4 5.c4 c5 6.Qb3 Bc8 7.Qb5+ Nd7 8.d3 Nh6 9.Bg5 Nf5 10.Nf3 h6 11.Bf4 Nd6 12.Qb3 0-0 13.e4 Nb8 14.h4 Nc6 15.Bh3 e6 16.Ne3 Ne8 17.Ng4 h5 18.Ngh2 Qf6 19.Bc1 Nc7 20.Rb1 Qe7 21.Bg5 Qd6 22.Rd1 Rb8 23.0-0 e5 24.Bxc8 Rbxc8 25.Be3 b6 26.Nd2 Ne6 27.Nhf3 f5 28.exf5 gxf5 29.Ng5 f4 30.Nde4 Qd7 31.Bd2 Ncd4 32.Qa3 Nxg5 0-1

click for larger view

If White recaptures, he gets slaughtered on the light squares on the king side.

[Event "US Open"]
[Site "Pasadena, Calif."]
[Date "1983.08.10"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "4"]
[Result ""]
[White "Alonso, Francisco"]
[Black "Shipman, Walter"]
[ECO ""]
[WhiteElo "2212"]
[BlackElo "2418"]

1.g4 d5 2.h3 e5 3.d3 Nc6 4.Bg2 Nge7 5.Nc3 Be6 6.e4 h6 7.f4 exf4 8.Bxf4 Ng6 9.Bg3 Bb4 10.a3 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 dxe4 12.Rb1 b6 13.c4 f5 14.gxf5 Bxf5 15.Rb5 0-0 16.Rxf5 Rxf5 17.Bxe4 Rf6 18.Qh5 Qe8 19.Rh2 Rd8 20.Re2 Qf8 21.Bxg6 Rf1+ 22.Kd2 Rxg1 23.Bxc7 Rg5 24.Qxg5 hxg5 25.Bxd8 Qf4+ 26.Kc3 Qd4+ 27.Kd2 Ne5

click for larger view

28.Bh5 (Missing the point; 28.Rxe5 is forced to stay in the game.) 28... Nxc4+ 29.Kd1 Qa1# 0-1

Note that after 29.Kc1 or 29.Ke1, Black also mates on a dark square.

In the tournament bulletins, Jim Marfia simply wrote: < "Spike 0, John Henry 2">.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < Penguincw: Who invented the Grob Opening anyways? >

Well,here's the first example in the database:A Fritz vs R Schlenker, 1866.

Mar-08-11  picard: Ah, i love the grob! I think it can be played at the highest level. I dont care what anyone says. I only wish i was good enough to prove it! here is a great article on it:
Mar-09-11  scormus: <Phony Benoni ... NN> I love it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Phony Benoni> Fabulous story! I enjoyed it very much.
Mar-09-11  kellmano: Yes good story.

In response to the earlier comment aboout allowing a mate in one, I assumed that in correspondence both players just acknowledged a mate as one of the many losing variations so decide to record the game as ending in this manner a few moves before.

Mar-14-12  soberknight: Good pun. bad game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Wedding consummates the attack with a fatal invasion of the 7th rank
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Once> Here is part I of an interview with Claude Bloodgood; In part II it seems to be established that Don Wedding was a real person:

Fascinating stuff, sort of

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Once: If we look at the profile for Dan Wedding....Maybe "Dan Wedding" was really.....Maybe Bloodgood invented the Dan Wedding character...all of Dan Wedding's games >

Uh, I think you better show some respect to the Don.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Barak to the drawing board
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phony Benoni.....After that, whenever I walked into the club, some of my alleged friends would go into news anchor mode: "Flash Bulletin from the Newsroom! Convict NN has escaped from the State Correctional Facility! As he fled, he was screaming fiendishly "MOODY! MOODY! MOODY!">

And still, he lived to tell the sordid tale....very amusing one at that.

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