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Fusilli
Member since Aug-09-04 · Last seen Dec-01-22
Mariano Sana, Argentinian by birth, in the US since 1995. Naturalized US citizen in 2015. I hold a PhD in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, and I am an associate professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University: https://as.vanderbilt.edu/sociology.... Previously, I was at Louisiana State University (2003-2009).

My published academic work can be seen here: https://vanderbilt.academia.edu/Mar.... My review of Gary Alan Fine's "Players and Pawns" is here: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/d....

My avatar comes from a cartoon of mine drawn by a friend. My username, besides the pasta, is my late cat's name (he died in March 2021, age 19), inspired by this cartoon: http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/F....

My first tournament was at age 12 in 1979. I finished 8th in the Argentine junior championship in 1985. So, I was good enough, but not great. (That same evaluation might still be apt today, on a good day.) Unfortunately, no game scores survived from those years. I started to play again after grad school. I haven't played OTB since 2019.

I won the Louisiana State Championship in 2007, featuring the Swiss gambit. I 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.

I also won the under 2200 section of the US Open in 2014. Again, Swiss gambit. Lost the first one, then won five in a row, lost game 7, and won games 8 and 9. My last round win was featured as a Tuesday puzzle: K Gulamali vs M Sana, 2014.

I'd say that I am essentially a good but inconsistent player. My playing style is a mix of strategic and tactical. I'm usually very willing to sac a pawn or allow positional weaknesses in exchange for active piece play. For years I hovered around 2200, down to mid 2100s a few years ago. On a good day, I can score wins like these: (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 was diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2011, but it didn't cause me trouble until a few years ago. I have a weak right leg (I often use a cane now) and I fatigue easily. The latter may mean that it's time for me to retire from chess competition. My last tournament, the summer before the pandemic, was a total disaster that cost me 50 rating points (the World Open, where I scored +1 -6).

My participation on this website goes through ebbs and flows, and 80+ percent of my posts are about chess. I often post on my own forum just to keep records, for myself. Everyone is welcome to visit and share! (But please don't post about politics here.)

>> Click here to see Fusilli's game collections.

Chessgames.com Full Member

   Fusilli has kibitzed 5117 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Dec-01-22 E Lazarev vs R Ermakov, 1962
 
Fusilli: <sea7kenp: Was White's Bishop Sacrifice (18 Bxe6) sound? What happens if Black responds 18 ... fxe6? Thanks!> Answering three years after the question was asked, but what I see is a forced white win: 18...fxe6 19.Nb3 (forking queens, forcing black's response) Qxd1 20.Rxd1 ...
 
   Dec-01-22 Fusilli chessforum (replies)
 
Fusilli: I'm skipping the games today. This WC thing is bad for productivity! I'll watch the recaps later. Enjoy!
 
   Nov-29-22 Paulsen vs Mayet, 1864
 
Fusilli: <stone> <I do think it can always be asked - what's the best move - even if there's no one "right" answer.> Botvinnik would have certainly agreed!
 
   Nov-28-22 Anthony Saidy (replies)
 
Fusilli: <FSR: Saidy appears to be the oldest player to defeat a GM in a tournament game at standard time controls.> Right! And then there is this: Najdorf vs Denker, 1996 , and possibly other games from the same tournament... But all the players were fairly old! Belous, on the other ...
 
   Nov-27-22 Teyss chessforum
 
Fusilli: Hi there! I appreciate your response to my answer on V Antonov vs C Kamp, 1989 . The puzzle in your blurb is great! I wonder about that Kasparov simul. I suspect someone must have asked you already!
 
   Nov-18-22 V Antonov vs C Kamp, 1989 (replies)
 
Fusilli: <Teyss: <Fusilli> You mean nobody cares about such topics any more?> No, I meant that many of us were taken aback but chose to express our disapproval with silence rather than pick another anonymous internet fight. After all, <GrahamClayton>, who submitted the pun,
 
   Nov-18-22 Mariano Sana
 
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 ...
 
   Nov-17-22 perfidious chessforum (replies)
 
Fusilli: <perf> Do you want to take me up on this: Mariano Sana I bet you have an answer.
 
   Nov-17-22 Kenneth Rogoff (replies)
 
Fusilli: Vodopyanov vs Kantsyn, 1962: Black to play: [DIAGRAM]
 
   Nov-15-22 Panno vs Diez del Corral, 1973
 
Fusilli: <DWINS> Insightful analysis.
 
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

My Facerook Wall

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 73 OF 73 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-27-22  Keyser Soze: <So, right, can't compare them.>

That's right. Especially because Richarlison kicked the ball coming from a MUCH faster speed than your weird example. If so, Van Basten's goal in 1988 against Russia is also comparable. You never played soccer it seems.

Nov-27-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <You never played soccer it seems.>

No personal jabs on my forum please.

Nov-28-22  areknames: <Well done, Brazil.> It was almost like watching that '82 side again, complete domination. Only difference is that they now care about defence ;)
Nov-28-22  areknames: I would never have thought that I would be rooting for Iran at a WC but I did and I went "yes!" when they scored. What a magnificent effort against Wales, they really deserved the win. Great that Costa Rica's still alive also.
Nov-28-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Absolutely brilliant goal from Brazil (the one that counted) against Switzerland. Great teamwork and great shot.

I love watching that.

Nov-28-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I had to miss all games today so far. I have Portugal v Uruguay opened on a different window, but can't watch it. Too busy. I'll watch the 5-min FIFA videos later.

It seems that it is a super-exciting World Cup day.

<areknames> <Great that Costa Rica's still alive also.> That is great, although from what I could see of that game, it was sheer luck, wasn't it? (Both good luck for CR and bad luck for Japan.)

Nov-29-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: I got up early to watch the games only to find out that the games will be played simultaneously. Two games at 11am and two games at 3pm. They do this to avoid shenanigans like not playing to win because you have already secured a spot in the next round. Sounds like chess and the prearranged draws. And they will take the phones away from the participants so they can't find out who's winning. I think that's much ado about nothing and will just sour more people on the WC. Too many rules spoil the game.
Nov-29-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <TD> Actually, there is a good reason for the simultaneity of the last games in the group stage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disgr.... It was discussed some posts ago.
Nov-29-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <Fusilli> I remember that game. My point is that FIFA is using a hammer to remove a feather. They should remember that soccer is a spectator sport. Without spectators there is no point in playing. There are other ways to prevent cheating.
Nov-29-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Work break for a blitz game on chess.com. I am white and I am totally lost:


click for larger view

64.Re1


click for larger view

The idea is that if black moves the knight, Rf1+ trades rooks and the king captures the pawn, drawing. Black wins in many ways... except if he moves the knight

64...Ne3


click for larger view

The knight controls the f1 square now... and yet...

Pretty, isn't it?

Nov-29-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Nice job, US! Especially the first half!
Nov-29-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <The knight controls the f1 square now... and yet...>

Ouch!

Nov-30-22  areknames: WORLD CUP TRIVIA

Watching Denmark play, one realizes that their gk Kasper Schmeichel is of course the son of Peter Schmeichel, the legendary gk of Manchester Utd and Denmark. The only other father/son duo who both have played in the World Cup that I could think of are Italy's Cesare and Paolo Maldini. How many duos can you name? There are many more than I would have thought, there's even a duo where father and son played in the WC but for different countries!

Dec-01-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Does anyone here really believe that Tunisia beat France? Something fishy is going on with this World Cup. I am losing interest.
Dec-01-22  optimal play: <technical draw: Does anyone here really believe that Tunisia beat France?>

No.

Although it was apparently a second string French side, most of the French team are Tunisians themselves, aren't they?

When Tunisia scored and went up 1-0 the message came through to the Australian coach that we had to beat Denmark to progress, so that at least seemed to spur us on.

Anyway, Mariano won't have to worry too much. There's no chance we can beat Argentina.

Dec-01-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <op> <Anyway, Mariano won't have to worry too much. There's no chance we can beat Argentina.>

Well, that's what Saudi Arabia thought but they pulled the biggest surprise so far by beating Argentina.

If France did not play their best players so as to give them a rest (since they had already secured advancement) it's still makes this a bad thing. It's like playing an pre-agreed draw in chess, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

Dec-01-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Yes, Argentina is expected to beat Australia but I think no Argentine takes anything for granted anymore.

Argentina played very well and Poland was passive, nonambitious, and apparently even petty, happy with qualifying with a loss. France should send them packing.

I concede the penalty was a bad call. Can't believe the ref would call it even after checking the screen. That it wasn't a goal was divine justice, but Argentina won deservedly.

Dec-01-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: How about this one?

White to play and win


click for larger view

I saw it on Instagram, with no attribution.

Dec-01-22  areknames: <White to play and win> Took me a couple of minutes, but Ra4! should do it. No effective checks for Black, if Qxa4 then Rh3+ and Rh4+ winning the Q, if Qc8 covering the mate on h3 then Rh3+! all the same. Nice one.
Dec-01-22  areknames: <There's no chance we can beat Argentina>

I agree, this is Australia's 5th consecutive appearance at the WC and never before has there been a squad so devoid of real talent. Yet they've managed 2 wins so Arnold and his boys must be doing something right, but unfortunately for the Aussies there's no risk of underestimation after Argentina's debacle with the Saudis. And honestly, Mooy and Leckie rather than Kewell and Cahill? I don't think so.

Dec-01-22  optimal play: <technical draw: <op> <Anyway, Mariano won't have to worry too much. There's no chance we can beat Argentina.> Well, that's what Saudi Arabia thought but they pulled the biggest surprise so far by beating Argentina.>

Yes, it's funny how things sometimes work out. Despite beating Argentina, the Saudi's haven't made it out of the first round.

Also, Saudi Arabia and Japan finished ahead of Australia in our regional qualifying group, which meant they automatically qualified while Australia had to play off against Peru.

<areknames: <There's no chance we can beat Argentina> I agree, this is Australia's 5th consecutive appearance at the WC and never before has there been a squad so devoid of real talent. Yet they've managed 2 wins so Arnold and his boys must be doing something right, but unfortunately for the Aussies there's no risk of underestimation after Argentina's debacle with the Saudis. And honestly, Mooy and Leckie rather than Kewell and Cahill? I don't think so.>

Totally agree.

That 2006 side was our best ever and was unlucky not to beat Italy in the second round (who went on to win it).

Quite honestly, we were very lucky to even make it to this World Cup and yet we've managed to get to the second round, but it will come to an end against Argentina.

Dec-01-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <areknames: <White to play and win> Took me a couple of minutes, but Ra4! should do it. No effective checks for Black, if Qxa4 then Rh3+ and Rh4+ winning the Q, if Qc8 covering the mate on h3 then Rh3+! all the same. Nice one.>

Right on!

Dec-01-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I'm skipping the games today. This WC thing is bad for productivity! I'll watch the recaps later. Enjoy!
Dec-01-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I hope Vanderbilt has smarter students than UCLA.

https://youtu.be/QsDVwYqs0ws

Dec-01-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Spain/Japan game was very good. Also the fact that everyone was also waiting for the results of the Germany/Costa Rica game made it all the more exciting. Spain and Japan are in and Germany is out...goal difference.
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