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Jonathan Sarfati
Member since Sep-27-06 · Last seen May-27-16
FM, Ph.D. (physical chemistry), New Zealand Champion 1988, author of five books and co-author of two more, club captain of the Wellington Chess Club in New Zealand and Logan City Chess Club in Queensland, Australia for over a decade each, This site also has ~260 of my games, a mixed bag ;) See also bio I admire Capablanca and Karpov. Full Member

   Jonathan Sarfati has kibitzed 1153 times to chessgames   [more...]
   May-26-16 Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1957
Jonathan Sarfati: See this section of Chess Notes where Wolfgang Heidenfeld showed up the superficiality of the Harry Golombek annotations of this game in his book of the match:
   May-26-16 Wolfgang Heidenfeld (replies)
Jonathan Sarfati: Surely this is a notable game W Heidenfeld vs Euwe, 1955
   May-26-16 W Heidenfeld vs Euwe, 1955
Jonathan Sarfati: Heidenfeld totally outplayed his famous opponent, locking his Ba7 out of play.
   May-22-16 Maroczy vs Teichmann, 1905
Jonathan Sarfati: Maybe Tartakover had overlooked that he couldn't take with 14... ♕xe5 because 15.♗f4 ♕f5 16.♗d3 forces the ♕ to move to either g4 or h5, whereupon White exchanges ♕s then forks the ♗s with ♖d7.
   May-18-16 Jonathan D Sarfati
Jonathan Sarfati: <Avun Jahei:> See , which covers: * How did animals get to Australia? * How did the animals get from remote countries to the Ark? * After the Flood, did kangaroos hop all the way to Australia? * What did koalas eat on the way?
   May-06-16 J Sarfati vs P Frost, 2003
Jonathan Sarfati: <Benzol:> I don't think so. Tim Frost is the son of the late Ted ( Edward G A Frost ), and was President of the Wellington Chess Club for many years and was on the NZCF council.
   May-05-16 Stanley Jebb
Jonathan Sarfati: Rev. Stanley Jebb is minister of Cumnock Baptist Church, Cumnock, Scotland (as at 2014) and is a well regarded theologian. His own site is
   May-05-16 Van der Wiel vs J Sarfati, 1992
Jonathan Sarfati: <rainingpieces:> Good question. I learned not to allow this in future game.
   May-05-16 E Frost vs J Sarfati, 1980
Jonathan Sarfati: This was actually played in 1980. Ted Frost made a brief comeback and showed that he still had his touch. Later he came back again for longer, and played a very important role in organization of both the Wellington Chess Club and the NZ Chess Federation.
   May-05-16 J Sarfati vs R J Dive, 1986
Jonathan Sarfati: White plays 65.♕h5. This was a last-round game, and I made the ♖ endgame much harder for myself than necessary. 9.♗e3 is too passive, and found the right square on move 15.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
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  playground player: <Travis Bickle> Chess site? Have you seen my page lately?
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Jonathan Sarfati> Welcome aboard, and salutations. Don't worry--I won't even try to draw you into any of the non-chess controversies that are ongoing in my forum. I'm sure you have other things to do.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: New opening trap that's a variant on a well known Cambridge Springs theme:

1. d4 d5 2.c4 ♘f6?! 3.cxd5 ♘xd5 4.♘f3 ♘c6 5. e4 ♘f6 6.♘c3 ♗g4 7. d5 ♗xf3 [7... ♘e5 8. ♘xe5! ♗xd1 9. ♗b5+ c6 10. dxc6 , and Black will have to give back the Q because of 11. cxb7 or c7 discovered checks, remaining at least a piece down. This is a good simul trap.] 8. ♕xf3 ♘d4 9. ♕d1 c5 10. e5 ♘xd5 11. ♕xd4! cxd4 12. ♗b5+ ♕d7 13. ♗xd7+ ♔xd7 14. ♘xd5 and won easily with the extra N.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: [Site " "]
[Date "2013.10.28 "]
[Round "NA"]
[White "Sarfati_FM"]
[Black "ron123"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2240"]
[BlackElo "1533"]
[Board "9004125"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. ♘c3 ♗f5? (Exposing the ♗ to what Cecil John Seddon Purdy called ‘biff’) {4. e4 Bg6 5. Bxc4 e6 6. Nf3 Nc6 (Now the ♘ gets ‘biffed’ as well) 7. d5 exd5 8. exd5 ♘e7 9. ♕b3 b6? (White now has a forced win) 10. ♗b5 c6 11. dxc6 ♕c7 12. ♗f4! ♕xf4 13. c7+ ♘c6 14. ♗xc6 ♔e7 15. ♘d5+ 1-0
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: [Date "2013.10.31"]
[White "maraton"]
[Black "Sarfati_FM"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Termination "White resigned"]
[WhiteElo "1568"]
[BlackElo "2240"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[DateLastMove "2013.11.1"]
[Board "9011405"]

1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗c4 ♘f6 4.d3 ♗c5 5.O-O d6 6.h3? h6! (The difference between these superficially identical moves is that White has castled. So White's move is just a target, while Black's is the forerunner to aiming at the target) 7.♗d2 g5 8.♘h2 ♖g8 9.♘c3 h5 10.♘d5 g4 11.♘xf6+ ♕xf6 12.hxg4 hxg4 13.♖e1 ♕xf2+ 14.♔h1 ♖h8 15.♖e2 g3 16.♖xf2 ♖xh2+ 17. ♔g1 ♗xf2+ 18. ♔f1 ♖h1+ 19.♔e2 ♘d4# (White resigned at B15) 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Kevin Bonham points out a quicker win by 15...Rxh2+ 16.Kxh2 Qh4#, and a way for White to hold out a few more moves: “16.Bh6! vacating its square for the king 16...Rxh6 17.Rxf2 Rxh2+ 18.Kg1 Bxf2+ 19.Kf1 Nd4 Closing the net but now white has the move. 20.Bxf7+ Kf8 21.Qh5 Bg4! Forcing the queen off the only square where it defends the mate yet is itself defended 22.Qh8+ [22.Qxh2 Be2#] 22...Rxh8 23.Bh5 Be2+ 24.Bxe2 Rh1# ”
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Time-wasting P mmoves can be weakening as well:

[Event " server game"]
[Site " "]
[Date "2013.10.31"]
[Round "NA"]
[White "Sarfati_FM"]
[Black "arted"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Termination "Black king mated"]
[WhiteElo "2240"]
[BlackElo "1493"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[DateLastMove "2013.11.5"]
[Board "9012665"]

1.c4 ♘c6 2.d4 a6 3.♘f3 h6 4.d5 ♘a7 5.e4 d6 6.♘c3 ♗d7 7.♗e3 c6 8.♗d3 c5 9.e5 dxe5 10.♘xe5 e6 11.♘xf7 ♔xf7 12.♕h5+ ♔e7 13.♗xc5+ ♔f6 14.♘e4+ ♗lack king mated 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Jonathan> Take a look now at Craig Laird
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Jonathan> Hope this might help you. Cheers matey.

Game Collection: Craig Laird at the 85th NZ Ch


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Very good, thanks <Benzol>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Player of Gor!
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <Jonathan Sarfati> Merry Christmas!
Jul-15-15  chessmaster102: hello Johnathan, i am doing some research on Ortvin sarapu and you seem to have known him much more personally than anyone else on this site judging from your comments on his page. Did you too ever study together or do post-mortem ? what was his upbringing as a chess player if you know by any chance ? (coached by anyone , favorite books etc..)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <G'day, chessmaster102:> Yes, we did plenty of post-mortems together after games, and we corresponded for a time. His autobiography Mr Chess explains more of his pre-NZ career which was considerable for a young man. Unfortunately, he was 40 years older than I.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Jonathan Sarfati> Wow! Thank you for the autopsy report.

Capa had what is commonly called a hypertensive thalamic hemorrhage. Most of the big ones I have seen (such as described) are invariably fatal.

Small background: The ascending reticular activating system are neuronal cell bodies that run from the upper pons to mesencephalon to the diencephalon on either side of the ventricular system (4th ventricle, aqueduct of sylvius, and third ventricle). Severe damage to an ipsilateral aspect of it results in permanent coma. Apparently Capa had a big one (5cm by 5cm in the thalamus is big) on the right thalamus. <Right thalamus almost totally destroyed, with some pieces in the anterior horn of the right lateral ventricle. Where the thalamus was, there was a hematoma 5 cm wide and 5 cm high.> The last statement implies that the volume was approximately 60cc.

The big thalamic hemorrhages typically rupture into the medial adjacent third ventricle, which is why <The whole ventricular system was flooded with blood>

The internal capsule where the motor controlling cortico spinal tract runs is adjacent to the thalamus and further down crosses to the opposite side in the cervico medullary junction, and so the contralateral side is paralyzed. Thus <paralyzed his left face, left side>

I don't understand this though: <with the left pupil dilated and unresponsive to light.> It should be the ipsilateral pupil that should dilate first, which is the right pupil in this case. Probably a typo in the autopsy report? The dilated pupil indicates that the uncus, the medial part of the temporal lobe, had herniated into the tentorial fossa because of pressure from the blood clot.

In any case, once a patient comes in comatose with a dilated pupil in a case of hypertensive thalamic hemorrhage with rupture into the ventricles, he is doomed. I have never seen one survive. I have operated on perhaps a dozen of these, the last one a few months ago, and I try to remove the hemorrhage (usually via a large frontal cortisectomy which is the least bloody approach), and also the drain the bloody CSF from the ventricular system via a tube ventriculostomy, but every one of the cases with the large hemorrhages have died or gone into a persistent vegetative state. (The results are so discouraging that nowadays, I just do it if the family insists, and it's really just to console them with the thought that everything including an operation was done.)

The smaller ones that rupture into the ventricular system usually result in hydrocephalus, and I usually do emergency drainage via a tube ventriculostomy. Most of them survive, but usually with hemiparesis of the contralateral side. However, in Capa's case, it was a huge bleed.

Such a hemorrhagic stroke usually occurs after years and years of hypertension. Small micro aneurysms develop in thalamostriate arteries, and if the hypertension remains uncontrolled, they typically eventually rupture, and you get a thalamic hemorrhage. This comprises around 15% of hypertensive hemorrhage cases, but the larger ones carry a very poor prognosis.

I hope Capa became unconscious quickly. Patients with brain hemorrhages suffer from the biggest intolerable headache of their lives, and the survivors who happen to have no amnesia tell me that they felt that their heads were exploding.

Unfortunately, during that era, there was no effective anti hypertensive drug. Unlike most other ailments, headaches associated with hypertension severely affects concentration and thus chess playing ability. I believe that Capa first became symptomatic in 1924, when he sought medical consult during the New York tournament. Beginning that year, he began missing tactics in his calculations, a tendency that grew worse later in his career.

It's regretful that the greatest genius the chess world has ever produced had to suffer from familial hypertension. At his best I feel that Capablanca's game was the epitome of chess perfection (as close as a human can achieve).

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Jonathan Sarfati> I just operated on a patient with Kernohan's eye sign. From my forum

<19M drove his motorcycle into a parked truck 3 days ago in a neighboring province. Comatose, he was referred next day to me. I intubated him in PrH2 ER and transferred him to the public CiH because of lack of family finances. He exhibited the rare Kernohan's sign. He had an acute subdural hematoma on his right hemisphere, yet his left pupil was more dilated than his right (3mm and 2.5mm respectively).>

We discussed Kernohan's sign in the Capablanca page.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <visayanbraindoctor>, thanks for that. Seems like patients with Kernohan's have low chance of recovery. Would even a quick op have had a chance with this young motorbike accident victim? I didn't realize that an external injury could produce something similar to the deeply internal injury of a hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Would even a quick op have had a chance with this young motorbike accident victim?>

Yes, but there was a time delay. He came from a neighboring province that has no Neurosurgeons.

The fastest and cleanest but late brain operation always 'loses' to the slowest and messiest but early one, all other things being equal.

<I didn't realize that an external injury could produce something similar to the deeply internal injury of a hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage.>

Sometimes they do. A trauma may cause basal ganglia hemorrhages, thalamic hemorrhages, mid brain hemorrhages if they damage the same blood vessel whose ruptures are usually associated with hemorrhagic strokes.

More commonly, bleeding caused by trauma results in more superficially located epidural hematomas, subdural hematomas, and lobar hemorrhages.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Jonathan Sarfati: Oh dear, so he was basically born with this ticking time bomb in his brain, but the ticks were undetectable unless there had been a reason to perform CT or MRI?>

I do not know exactly what disease GM Bukavsin suffered from. Based on what I have read from his page, He had a stroke. A stroke below age 40 is regarded as 'stroke in the young', and the most common lethal one is an arterio-venous malformation.

Unfortunately you are right. It's a congenital ticking time bomb in an apparently healthy person. A CT scan usually shows mass of whitish worm-like structures inside the brain.

I see them sporadically and have operated on perhaps a dozen or so (can't recall the exact number anymore). When you open up the brain, you see large abnormal vessels that spurt out blood if you cut them. The book recommends clipping them, and I did so when I was a resident. In my place, there are no clips, but I have found out that cauterizing the feeder vessels carefully with bipolar suffices to control the bleeding. The hard part is to visually expose these vessels properly. If you cut them while they are still buried deep in brain tissue, you will have blood spurting out and painting your field an opaque red. You realize to your horror that you don't know exactly where the bleeding is coming from, and that you can't cauterize what you do not accurately see. You just have to suction the blood as fast as you can and brain tissue as well in order to visually expose the buried vessels, before your patient dies on you of exsanguination. What I do is to suction a bit of brain around the undisturbed vessels in order to visually expose them properly and make sure I don't cut them by accident or carelessness.

As a rule, the patient is young, more males than females, and leading a normal life, often quite active as most young people are. Then they get intolerable headaches, and lose consciousness. In the worst cases, they just drop down unconscious without any warning sign.

If GM Bukavshin, had an AVM, then he could have been one of those who never even made it to the hospital in time for an operation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: I just did an AVM operation. You could read it up in my forum.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Thanks <visayanbraindoctor>, went and read this. If that family had consented earlier, would the prognosis have been good?

Referring to another post, any permanent damage to 13M from the delay in getting blood to him?

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: < If that family had consented earlier, would the prognosis have been good?>

Yes I think he would have survived. He has already died. (See latest entry in my forum.)

<Referring to another post, any permanent damage to 13M from the delay in getting blood to him?>

Fortunately, he woke up. It was quite a pleasant surprise. I have discharged him. (See latest entry in my forum.)

Apr-17-16  GreenLantern: <Jonathan Sarfati: thank you for posting that page. As I am interested in the game of go/weichi/baduk as well, although not to the same degree as chess, it was interesting to see the similar video go players.>

You're very welcome <JS> - though I must admit I did not watch the GO video. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the game apart from the fact that it has not yet been taken over by computer engines - which I guess is a good thing ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <GreenLantern: Unfortunately, I know nothing about the game apart from the fact that it has not yet been taken over by computer engines - which I guess is a good thing ;-)>

That was true until a month ago, unfortunately.

Apr-19-16  GreenLantern: OMG - I had no idea. While I can sympathize with members of the Go community who lament this development, I think it is a remarkable achievement by the AI community. Hopefully, this will lead to more practical applications of this technology. I am not surprised that Google is taking a lead role here, but I guess should no longer be surprised that Facebook is also deeply involved.

It won't be long before Skynet becomes self-aware ;-)

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