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Mariano Sana
M Sana 
Photograph courtesy of Mariano Sana.  
Number of games in database: 96
Years covered: 2003 to 2022
Last FIDE rating: 2045
Highest rating achieved in database: 2248
Overall record: +32 -29 =35 (51.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
A07 King's Indian Attack (6 games)
C45 Scotch Game (5 games)
D35 Queen's Gambit Declined (5 games)
C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer (4 games)
C77 Ruy Lopez (4 games)
A46 Queen's Pawn Game (3 games)
A15 English (3 games)
E08 Catalan, Closed (3 games)
B23 Sicilian, Closed (3 games)
E06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3 (3 games)

   🏆 Music City Open
   M Sana vs F Corrales Jimenez (Dec-11-22) 0-1
   C Meidinger vs M Sana (Dec-11-22) 1/2-1/2
   M Sana vs J Abraham (Dec-10-22) 1-0
   R Burnett vs M Sana (Dec-09-22) 1-0
   R Burnett vs M Sana (Oct-28-22) 1-0

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FIDE player card for Mariano Sana

(born Jul-04-1967, 55 years old) Argentina (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina; in the United States since 1995. Ph.D in demography, University of Pennsylvania. Professor of sociology at Louisiana State University (2003-09), and at Vanderbilt University since 2009. He is a National Master, and was Louisiana State champion in 2007. At the 2014 U.S. Open, he won the under-2200 prize with 7/9, just half a point behind the six grandmasters who tied for first.

Mariano is a kibitzer on under the screen-name User: Fusilli.

Last updated: 2022-12-13 02:13:10

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 96  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. N Rogers vs M Sana 0-1402003Liberty Bell OpenC53 Giuoco Piano
2. J S Rouleau vs M Sana 1-0412003Liberty Bell OpenC77 Ruy Lopez
3. M Sana vs D Filipovich ½-½312003Liberty Bell OpenB12 Caro-Kann Defense
4. Z Fayvinov vs M Sana ½-½612003Liberty Bell OpenA22 English
5. F Boudreaux vs M Sana 0-1282003Liberty Bell OpenE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
6. M Sana vs C Cadman ½-½462003Liberty Bell OpenC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
7. M Sana vs M Costanza 1-0222004LA ChampionshipA40 Queen's Pawn Game
8. S Owen vs M Sana ½-½342004World OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
9. M Sana vs Goran Markovic 1-0412004World OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
10. J Becerra Rivero vs M Sana 1-036200432nd World OpenB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. M Sana vs A Levina ½-½412004World OpenB01 Scandinavian
12. M W Dejmek vs M Sana ½-½55200432nd World OpenB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
13. C Locke vs M Sana 0-1292004World OpenD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. D Canda vs M Sana ½-½322006LA ChampionshipC42 Petrov Defense
15. M Sana vs W Harper 0-1322007Houston OpenA37 English, Symmetrical
16. F Brack vs M Sana 0-1442007Houston OpenC77 Ruy Lopez
17. M Sana vs J Etienne 1-0272007LA ChampA05 Reti Opening
18. M Sana vs B Bailey 1-0362007LA ChampD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
19. J Rousselle vs M Sana 0-1412007LA ChampE08 Catalan, Closed
20. C Zhu vs M Sana 0-1182008US OpenC59 Two Knights
21. M Sana vs B Endsley 1-0302008US OpenD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
22. M Sana vs A Datta 1-0412008US OpenA14 English
23. D A Yeager vs M Sana 1-0452008US OpenE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
24. M Sana vs A E Franklin ½-½802008US Class ChampA04 Reti Opening
25. T Bartell vs M Sana 0-1502009Liberty Bell OpenA15 English
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 96  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Sana wins | Sana loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-27-22  areknames: <It's 19.Qe3!> Great resource,didn't get that one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <areknames> I totally agree with your assessment of the tricky queen + knight vs queen endgame... Even with the black king nearly cornered, it's not easy to win! You are right that the winning variation is Qe1+.

And, yes, Qe3 was a good resource in the other puzzle. Lucky me my opponent had a lapse there.

Sep-28-22  areknames: <the winning variation is Qe1+>

For the sake of completeness: 1.Qe1+, if 1...Kh2 there follows 2.Qf2+ Qg2 3.Nf3+ and mates. Black must thus play 1...Kg2 2.Qe2+ Kg3 (2...Kg1 is again met by 3.Nf3+) 3.Ne4+ Kh4 (3...Kh3 loses the Q) 4.Qf2+ and wins. Almost impossible to execute with 30 seconds left, let alone with three!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <areknames> Thank you for spelling it out!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <It's 19.Qe3! It threatens the bishop AND the pretty Rb8+! followed by Qa7+ and Qa8 mate. Black has to give up the bishop.>

A nice pattern to learn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: 5-min blitz on I am white.

Black just responded to 29.Qe3+ with Kh5? (29...Kf6 was the right move, and it'd be equal.)

click for larger view

White to play.

Oct-03-22  areknames: Took me longer than it should have, but the solution is 30.g4! Kxg4 31.Rd4+ Kh5 32.Qh3+ and mates. If 31...Rf4 then simply 32.Qg3+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <areknames> That's right.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I got to use the old trick of hiding behind the enemy's pawns!

5-min blitz on I am black, in this hopelessly lost position:

click for larger view

30...Rc4. The right blitz move! Then, if my opponent plays the unnecessary, though still winning 31.g3, then there is a glimmer of hope. And that's what my opponent played.

click for larger view

31...Rc2. Now it's the right time for this.

32.b3 (how timid! Why not b4? Who knows.) 32...Kf5. Let's go!

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33.Rxf7+ (though the best move, not wise in blitz) Ke4 34.Rxg7... blunder!

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34...Kf3 35.h4

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Do you see the draw?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Follow up on my own previous post, which was, admittedly, too long.

The question that matters is this:

click for larger view

Black to play and draw. It's easy, but it is also easy to forget the principle that sometimes all you need to do is threat something.

Oct-19-22  areknames: At first glance it seems that 35...Rc1+ does the job: 36.Kh2 Rc2+ 37.Kh3 Rc1!, threatening mate in perpetuity. If 38.Kh2 then Rc2+ and we start again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <areknames> Exactly. White was careless to let the black king get behind enemy lines.
Oct-20-22  areknames: <Fusilli> I only play (rarely) online these days but I always played a lot of blitz in my active years and I suppose that having an active king, especially in inferior endings becomes very much ingrained in your style. Well done on a good save!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Blitz game on, I am black. White just played 11.b4

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I like the Botvinnik system against the English, and I usually play ...b6 and ...Rae8, so that b5 closes the position, and if bxc5, dxc5 and I can play on the kingside.

But here white played an accelerated version. If I play 11...b6 12.b5 wins the exchange. So, what to do?

One option is, well, let white get the exchange. After all, it's the LSB, he will be weak on light squares around the king, and the position is fairly closed.

So, I played 11...b6 12.b5 Nd4 13.Bxa8 Rxa8

click for larger view

The computer says +0.72. Fair enough. And good for blitz, since all the pressure is on white, and given the chance, black can generate dangerous threats. I won the game (against a player 100 rating points above me).

I assume this sac has been played before. Maybe by Botvinnik himself, who was no stranger to positional exchange sacs. Can anyone point to an example?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli>, none comes to mind, but this is an example of how computer evals are not always terribly helpful< especially when the play is unclear. At Stockfish v Rybka level, Fishie snatches the material on offer and brute-force grinds out a full point, and quite possibly also at super-GM level, but this ordinary mortal has, quite often, found such positions easier to play for Black--though more than once I played material-grubber and took home the bacon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <At Stockfish v Rybka level, Fishie snatches the material on offer and brute-force grinds out a full point, and quite possibly also at super-GM leve>

I agree. I play much more speculatively in blitz (not to say with reckless abandon) than in slow chess.

For example, in this old, sharp line of the Two Knights: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Qf3

click for larger view

...lately I've been trying the absolutely lyrical (and inferior) 8...cxb5. I got my butt kicked but I also kicked some butt.

I will note that 4.Ng5 is becoming rare, with 4.d3 being the solid, preferred choice of most players nowadays, in both blitz and slow.

And in that case, in blitz, I play the inferior 4...d5, again with ups and downs. I even got away with it in slow chess (K Gulamali vs M Sana, 2014) but got my butt kicked by Kudrin. Too reckless!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I just joined the executive board of the Nashville Chess Center: I feel honored, and I am very excited about contributing to chess in Nashville from that post!
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Congrats <fussilli> !
Dec-07-22  stone free or die: Ditto.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Thumbs up!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <moro> <stone> <perf> Thank you all!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Five new games of mine have been uploaded. One from the Tennessee Open and the other four from the Music City Open last weekend.

Thanks <stonehenge> for the quick uploads!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: 5-min blitz on I am white. Black to play.

click for larger view

Instructive position. The instinct is to go kill the b3, but in all variations Black needs to play Bf8, to avoid the position where white (with the h-pawn on h5) plays g6 and responds to hxg6 with h6. When I was a kid, my teacher liked to say "make first the move that you will make in all variations." So, the best move is 49...Bf8. It turns out that white wins anyway, the computer says, but it's complicated.


click for larger view

50. h5... and this is a mistake! The computer says 50.Bg7 is the winning move... Because White can't allow Black to play Bf8.

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50...Kxb3. Black returns the favor. Now white wins.

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51.g6 hxg6 52.h6 etc. 1-0 in some more moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli>, it is clear that Black can snatch the morsel on b3 at leisure, but as you say, must play ....Bf8 to prevent the simple winning idea you noted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: It's not too hard to figure out that Black must get the Bishop to f8, and White should try to stop him. But in a 5 minute game, the players are usually thinking in terms of the next move or 3, and 50 moves in, there's not time for "idea thinking."
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