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Member since Aug-09-04
Mariano Sana, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (I am exactly five years GM Alexey Shirov 's senior), living in the US since 1995. Since summer 2009, I am an associate professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University: Previously, I was at Louisiana State University (2003-2009).

My published academic work can be seen here:

My avatar comes from a cartoon of mine drawn by a friend. My username, besides the pasta, is my cat's name, inspired by this cartoon:

My first tournament was at age 12 in 1979 in Argentina, and in that first stage of my chess life I played until the early 1990s. I finished 8th in the Argentine junior championship in 1985. So, I was good enough, but not great. (That same evaluation is apt today.) Unfortunately, no game scores survived from those years.

I started to play again when I finished grad school in Philadelphia in 2003. I play between zero and five tournaments a year.

I won the Louisiana State Championship in 2007. My playing wasn't that great, but I was mentally well prepared, slept well, and had a touch of luck. I played the Swiss gambit... Lost the first game and then won six in a row. This was my last round win, where I got lucky after playing the opening pretty terribly: J Rousselle vs M Sana, 2007.

More recently, I won the under 2200 section of the US Open in 2014. Again, Swiss gambit. Lost the first one, then won five in a row. Then I lost game 7, but won games 8 and 9. My last round win was featured as a Tuesday puzzle: K Gulamali vs M Sana, 2014. (I think this is my best game since I started to play again in 2003.)

I'd say that I am essentially a good but inconsistent player. For years I've been hovering around 2200. On a good day, well rested and inspired, I can collect an FM or IM scalp (T Bartell vs M Sana, 2009, R Burnett vs M Sana, 2012, M Sana vs C Blocker, 2014, M Sana vs R Burnett, 2015). But on a bad day, I can play horribly and lose against whoever is sitting in front of me, losing tons of rating points at once.

I hold the title of National Master. My FIDE rating is 2132. Whenever I have a really good tournament, it is not FIDE rated!

When I was a teenager I studied briefly with IM Jaime Emma, who was Argentine champion in 1978. Mostly, I studied alone, but I didn't study much. I also attended group classes at my club, taught by FM Mariano Varga (there's no game of his in this database). He was a great coach, actually.

In the summer I am likely to hit the road and play an open tournament or two. In particular, I like the World Open and the US Open. I also like to play the city championship here in Nashville. If you see me at a tournament, feel free to say hi. I am a friendly fellow!

When I post comments on this website, I always disclose if I am checking with my engine. Since I often do not, I may post flawed suggestions.

My participation on this website goes through ebbs and flows. It can be addictive and distract me from work, so I need to regulate that!

On August 9, 2014, I had my 10th year anniversary on Cheers!

IMPORTANT: Please do not post politically partisan or angry comments on my forum. Social commentary is welcomed if presented in an analytical and respectful way. (Although, as a general principle, I think those topics have a better home in other pages of this website.) Thank you.

>> Click here to see fusilli's game collections. Full Member

   Fusilli has kibitzed 4126 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jan-20-19 Zhao Zong-Yuan vs Tomashevsky, 2011
Fusilli: Que paliza! Yeah, 25...Bc5 is an awesome move. It's fun to play through the various mate sequences after 26.Qxc5 Qe2 27.Kg2 Qxf1+ On ICC, Larry C. said of 26.Ra2 "What a pathetic move. I would rather resign."
   Jan-14-19 Tata Steel Masters (2019) (replies)
Fusilli: <AylerKupp> <The only problem I see with short usernames is when one wants to find out if some other user has asked them a question or addressed a comment to him.> I agree with that. As an occasional user, sometimes I search for my username for this very reason. Nobody ...
   Jan-10-19 Kasparov vs Portisch, 1983
Fusilli: Fantastic Kasparov. One wonders how much he saw at the time of playing the bishop sac, since what followed wasn't forced at all. Yet, one leaves with the impression that Portisch, who was always admirable in defense, played the best defense. 24...Bd6 would fail to 25.Qf6. I had to ...
   Jan-05-19 OhioChessFan chessforum (replies)
Fusilli: <Count Wedgemore> <There are already studies that indicate that people's attention span get gradually shorter, our ability to focus and concentrate suffers.> I see this in myself, and I am no slave of social media. I think it applies to all ages, not just young people. ...
   Dec-12-18 Botvinnik vs Geller, 1955 (replies)
Fusilli: <HC> Looks like it. It's hard to understand why Botvinnik preferred to lose the pawn. He got totally outplayed here.
   Dec-02-18 E Torre vs Tseshkovsky, 1976 (replies)
Fusilli: What a fine endgame. The white king is, basically, in the worst possible square, and black exploited that masterfully.
   Nov-24-18 Carlsen vs Caruana, 2018 (replies)
Fusilli: 15...Rfd8 would meet 16.Ng6, winning the bishop pair, right?
   Nov-09-18 Caruana vs Carlsen, 2018 (replies)
Fusilli: <Vladimir Zukhar: So now the 'book' says to keep the white King on 8th rank and let the white King deal with the pawn s> What?
   Sep-29-18 Theobald Hess (replies)
Fusilli: <Jean> Maybe you can provide a little bit of translation? Anything that can be added to his (currently empty) bio?
   Sep-28-18 J Tomczak vs Kramnik, 2018 (replies)
Fusilli: Poor Tomczak,'s coverage of his victory totally ignores him! The title of the article: <Chess Olympiad: Poland Beats Russia, Kramnik Gets Checkmated>. There is a photo with this caption: <Kramnik (middle) got checkmated, and ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

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  Fusilli: <Dionysius1> <TheFocus> Thank you!

She is so awesome. She ended up in 21st place in the category unrated (out of 25 kids or so) and was so excited about the 21st place medal she got!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: The good news is I won my last 4 games and someone showed me the queen sacrifice smothered mate with the Night, which I'd never seen before. That's so charming <fusilli> - children are great fun with how they see life.
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  Fusilli: <OCF> I don't get it...
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  OhioChessFan: Sometimes in blue link magic, the first line is a subject, topic, etc, and all the subsequent lines are related to that topic. So, main topic = "Pool". What do you find at a swimming pool? The other links I posted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <OCF> Ah! Got it now!

Happy Sunday!

May-14-18  Knight13: <Fusilli> Are you still friends with <hms123>?
May-18-18  Knight13: <Fusilli> Got it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <K13> I don't know how to answer! We didn't have a fallout or anything like that, but my last attempts at reaching him were not returned. I know he was very much into bridge now.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Getting married in five hours!

Crazy busy, but life is awesome!

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Getting married in five hours!>


Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Felicitáciones <Fusilli>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <chancho>, <tpstar>, thank you! It's done! En route to Venice!
Jun-05-18  Boomie: <Fuselli: Getting married>


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Just noticed <Facerook Wall>, good 'un.

Oh, and congrats, live long and prosper.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Boomie>, <zanz>, thank you! Cheers from Venice!
Aug-09-18  parisattack: The 14th for us <Fusilli>. Not a very happy one with Daniel's passing. Between old age, health and the continuing fratricide on I am not on very often. My interest in chess has waned some, but we all know it is like the Hotel California.Take care; I hope all is well your way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <parisattack> Oh, you are right! Happy CG anniversary to you too!

I am not here too often either. Or maybe often enough, but never too long. The incivility often makes it unpleasant.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Este sitio se ha vuelto en un circo, <Fusilli>. Hay que admitir que siempre ha tenido algo de lo absurdo, pero ha descendido a peor. Discusiones hasta en la pagina de Freeman. La gente dudando de un poster que alega ser la madre de el difunto. Esto es un verdadero desastre.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <chancho> Gente que no tiene nada que hacer.

Once you see that @#$%*&!# posts occupy many times the space that chess posts occupy, you've got a problem!

I took a quick look at Freeman's page and felt very sad at the mess it's become.

Aug-09-18  technical draw: <chancho> Tienes razón. Yo iba a retirarme en Noviembre cuando vence mi membresía pero con todo lo que ha pasado creo que me voy antes. (especialmente si cierta persona asume (o mas bien, usurpa) el control.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <tech draw> No se a quien te refieres, lo cual probablemente es bueno! Yo pagué hasta abril de 2019... veremos cual es la situación entonces.

Daniel's death must have been totally unexpected. I imagine he would have made minimal provisions for the survival of his website had he seen it coming. But who knows, just speculating here.

It always feels more personal when someone who shares my birth year dies. Thankfully, it doesn't happen often. Yet.

Aug-26-18  Knight13: Hope she never changes.
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  Penguincw: What <OCF> said. ^
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