Can You Play Like a Saint Louis Arch Bishop?

The Saint Louis Arch Bishops won the inaugural season of the PRO Chess League, scoring some dazzling victories on Championship weekend (March 25-26) against the Montreal ChessBrahs (semifinals) and the Norway Gnomes (finals). Board one Wesley So earned MVP Gold with 36.5/41 points and a tournament performance of 2848. In FM Mike Klein's  final report for, he quotes Arch Bishop GM Ben Finegold "Wesley, the best chess player on earth, was totally awesome every match and always made the team confident of victory." Wesley, officially ranked #2 in the World defeated #3 player in the World in a nailbiter double overtime semifinal vs the Montreal ChessBrahs:

[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2017.03.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "FabianoCaruana"]
[Black "Wesley_So"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2782"]
[PlyCount "178"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. h4 Qc7 8. Nf3
b6 9. Bb5+ Bd7 10. Bd3 Ba4 11. h5 cxd4 12. cxd4 Qc3+ 13. Bd2 Qxd3 14. cxd3 Bxd1
15. Kxd1 h6 16. Ke2 Nbc6 17. g4 Kd7 18. Rhg1 f6 19. Bf4 Raf8 20. Ke3 Rf7 21.
Rg3 g5 22. hxg6 Nxg6 23. exf6 Nxf4 24. Kxf4 Rxf6+ 25. Ke3 Kd6 26. Rh1 Rg8 27.
Rh5 Rgf8 28. Rgh3 Rf4 29. Rg3 R8f6 30. g5 hxg5 31. Rhxg5 b5 32. Rg7 Rf7 33.
Rxf7 Rxf7 34. Rg6 Ne7 35. Rg1 Nf5+ 36. Kd2 a6 37. Ne5 Rh7 38. Nf3 Rb7 39. Rg8
b4 40. axb4 Rxb4 41. Ra8 Ra4 42. Kc3 Ra3+ 43. Kb4 Rxd3 44. Rxa6+ Ke7 45. Ne5
Rxd4+ 46. Kc5 Re4 47. f4 Kf6 48. Ng4+ Kg6 49. Ne5+ Kf6 50. Ng4+ Ke7 51. Ne5 Re2
52. Ra7+ Ke8 53. Ra8+ Ke7 54. Ra7+ Kf8 55. Kc6 Re4 56. Kd7 Nd4 57. Ra1 Kg7 58.
Ke7 Rxf4 59. Rg1+ Kh6 60. Rh1+ Kg5 61. Rg1+ Kf5 62. Nf7 Ke4 63. Ng5+ Kf5 64.
Nf7 Rh4 65. Rf1+ Ke4 66. Ng5+ Kd3 67. Rd1+ Kc4 68. Rc1+ Kd3 69. Kd6 Rh5 70. Nf7
Nb3 71. Re1 Nd4 72. Ne5+ Kc3 73. Re3+ Kc2 74. Re1 Kd2 75. Ra1 Rh6 76. Ra2+ Ke3
77. Ra3+ Ke4 78. Ra4 Rf6 79. Rb4 Rf4 80. Nc6 Kd3 81. Ne5+ Ke4 82. Nc6 Ke3 83.
Rb1 Nxc6 84. Kxc6 d4 85. Kc5 d3 86. Re1+ Kf2 87. Rxe6 d2 88. Rd6 Ke2 89. Re6+
Kd3 0-1

Find more Wesley So endgames in our previous report. But now for an example with queens: How did Wesley convert in this position against Elias Oussedik, also of the ChessBrahs?
Show Solution
29.Rxe7! (29.Nc6 immediately allows 29...Bf6 but still wins-the text is quicker) Rxe7 30.Nc6! and Black resigned
A rare low point for Wesley's season was his loss to Magnus Carlsen, which the World Champion was quite proud of.

[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2017.03.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "gmwesley_so"]
[Black "MagnusCarlsen"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2782"]
[BlackElo "2857"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 a5 5. a3 Bxd2+ 6. Qxd2 b6 7. Nc3 Bb7 8.
g3 O-O 9. Bg2 Ne4 10. Nxe4 Bxe4 11. O-O a4 12. Qe3 Bb7 13. Qd3 f5 14. Ne5 Bxg2
15. Kxg2 d6 16. Nf3 Qf6 17. e4 Nc6 18. Rae1 Ra5 19. d5 fxe4 20. Qxe4 exd5 21.
cxd5 Ne7 22. Rd1 Qf5 23. Qxe7 Qxf3+ 24. Kg1 Rc5 25. Rd2 h6 26. Re1 Rf5 27. Re3
Rc1+ 28. Re1 Rxe1+ 29. Qxe1 Re5 30. Qc1 b5 31. h3 Kf8 32. h4 Ke8 33. Kh2 Kd8
34. Qh1 Qb3 35. Qg2 Re1 36. Qh3 Qf3 37. Qg2 Qf5 38. Qh3 Rh1+ 0-1

Magnus Carlsen earned the silver MVP award for his performance, 31/36 and a performance of 2801. Arch Bishop Nicholas Rosenthal also turned in an award winning performance of 2362, good for the Under 2200 prize. Can you see how sealed the deal in this position?
Show Solution
30.Qc1! is a crushing double attack- the pawn on h6 is threatened as well as Nxe5 dxe5 Rxc5.
Another big win for Rosenthal vs. The ChessBrahs, was this blistering attack vs. Elias Oussedik.

[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2017.03.25"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Oussedik, Elias"]
[Black "Rosenthal,Nicky"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2200"]
[BlackElo "2136"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Qc2 d5 5. e3 c6 6. Bd3 Ne4 7. Nge2 Bd6 8. h4
O-O 9. Bd2 Nd7 10. f3 Ng3 11. Rh3 Nxe2 12. Nxe2 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Nb6 14. Bd3 Nd5
15. a3 e5 16. Rh1 exd4 17. exd4 Qc7 18. O-O-O Be6 19. Kb1 a5 20. h5 b5 21. g4
Nb4 22. Bxb4 axb4 23. gxf5 b3 24. Qc3 b4 25. Qd2 Rxf5 26. Be4 bxa3 27. Nc3 axb2
28. Kxb2 Rfa5 29. Ra1 Rxa1 30. Rxa1 Rxa1 31. Kxa1 Qa5+ 32. Kb2 Ba3+ 33. Kb1 Bb4
34. Qf4 Bxc3 35. Qb8+ Kf7 36. Qf4+ Ke7 37. Qh4+ Kd7 38. Bxc6+ Kxc6 39. Qe4+ Qd5
40. Qd3 Bf5 41. Kc1 Bxd3 42. h6 0-1

GM Varuzhan Akobian is another key team member, a frequent GM in residence at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which sponsors the Arch Bishops.
What's the best path for Saint Louis Arch Bishop GM Varuzhan Akobian? Show Solution
29.Bd2! and Black's defenses should collapse, despite his extra exchange. The game continued 29...Rxe1+ 30.Bxe1 Be5 bringing us to our follow up problem 
How could Akobian have won most quickly here?
Show Solution
31.d6! splits Black's defenses into two. 31...Qxd6 allows mate on h7 while 31...Bxd6 allows the crushing 32.Bc3+ This did not happen in the game, though Akobian still won after 31. Bc3 Bxc3 32. bxc3 Rf8 33.d6 
Popular STL Chess Club YouTube host GM Ben Finegold is also an Arch Bishop to admire: In a crucial battle in the Gnomes-Arch Bishop final, Ben Finegold turned the game around vs. FM Sebastian Mihajlov after 40.Rb8+. FM Mike Klein called this a tipping point: "You can of course isolate any number of moments that decide a sporting event, but this one proved especially visceral for the Gnomes."

[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2017.03.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Finegold, Ben"]
[Black "Mihajlov, Sebastian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2493"]
[BlackElo "2356"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Nc3 O-O 8. O-O
Nc6 9. Ne5 Ng4 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. h3 Nh6 12. Bxh6 Bxh6 13. e3 Rb8 14. Na4 Qd6
15. Rc1 Bd7 16. b3 e5 17. dxe5 Qxe5 18. Nc5 Bf5 19. g4 Bc8 20. Qd3 f5 21. g5
Bg7 22. f4 Qe7 23. a3 a5 24. Rc2 Kh8 25. Kh1 Re8 26. Re1 Rb5 27. Rec1 Qxe3 28.
Qxe3 Rxe3 29. Bf1 Rb6 30. Nd3 Bd7 31. b4 axb4 32. Nxb4 d4 33. Nd3 Be6 34. Kg1
Bd5 35. a4 Rb3 36. Rd2 h6 37. h4 hxg5 38. hxg5 Rc3 39. Rb1 c5 40. Rb8+ Bf8 41.
Rxf8+ Kg7 42. Rd8 Be4 43. Ne5 Rg3+ 44. Kf2 Ra3 45. Rd7+ Kf8 46. Nxg6+ Ke8 47.
Ne5 Raf3+ 48. Ke1 Re3+ 49. Re2 Ra3 50. Rb2 Rge3+ 51. Kf2 Rf3+ 52. Kg1 Rg3+ 53.
Kh2 Rgb3 54. Rxb3 Rxb3 55. Bc4 Rb2+ 56. Kh3 Bc6 57. Rc7 Bxa4 58. g6 1-0

Find more details at the PRO Chess League guide here, and find detailed wrap-ups by Peter Doggers and Mike Klein on the semifinals and the final match, where you can also download full pgn files and browse MVP prizes. Also find our previous US Chess pieces on the PRO Chess League by Jennifer Shahade and Vanessa West. Till next season! 


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The already legendary chess media survivor/ fashionista certainly knows what is grand snap crackle and pop in world chess promotion. THE JENNIFER will soon broadcast TWO incredible frenzied summer St. Louis, Missouri world top 10 player tourneys..yes, back to back.. 21 straight days/21 fashionista outfits for THE JENNIFER!... with world champion Carlsen and the entire US world chess championship team staring at YOU in the coffee house, in the hallway and in the St. Louis Scholastic and Chess center kitchen...Just watch, THE JENNIFER WILL NEVER WANT TO SEE A CHESS FIGURE OR VIDEO CAMERA AGAIN! The willingly admitted, massive worldwide chess cheating during world rated play will largely be eliminated by never allowing a player to leave the chessboard for one minute in these Prochess mode one half hour games..period. This will be one hundred percent of all world rated play soon..It is watchable by millions instantly. USCF and Fide play never has been... You play one game with white pieces, one with black in EVERY ROUND -the whole round is over in one hour flat....even the world title 2016 Carlsen- Karjakin duel was finally decided in sudden death quick play. Skip the "non chess" phony fraudulent NON GAME grandmaster or fix -the tournament fraud -by -draw in the last round preliminaries..It absolutely does not really matter what I or USA readers would prefer in the future... facing legal liability..worldwide big money sponsors are never going to permit a player to walk out of the room during multi million dollar chess...NOT FOR ONE SECOND. It is coming swiftly. Hundreds of self admitted/ CAUGHT RED HANDED/ BANNED chess cheaters have surfaced. Grandmaster teaching legend Benjamin Finegold , yes the same gentleman whose sea change sensational 11th hour play decided the Prochess world team internet championship.. warned us long ago "Anyone who thinks grandmasters will not cheat if permitted to do so doesn't know what they are talking about." Curiously it is this very same PROCHESS mode play which also will save the US chess federation from itself despite all the federation's horrendous promotional snafus make millions for chess. You simply close down all USCF programs great organizational genius.. William Goichberg and Russel Miller each two hundred thousand dollars a year, put them in a car with all expenses paid starting with Maine in the first Sunday in January at 1pm../64 players only/10 games in 5 hours flat decide Maine's US championship QUALIFIER entrant(home town hero- all chess is local- their guy or gal is in the hunt)..NEXT state week two at 1pm a gigantic storm the giants move across the entire country on subsequent Sundays at 1pm / (all 50 US states on consecutive Sundays ...ONE BY ONE WITH MILLER AND GOICHBERG APPROACHING LIKE HANNIBAL!!!)causing an absolute earthquake of chess promotion everywhere.. many people would come just to see Russell Miller and William Gochberg in the flesh (they both like to hide in the corner while doing absolutely everything imaginable)and watch them in smooth Cadillac USCF chess play operation .. only 64 players can register at any state Sunday tourney..first come first serve. YOU CAN TRAVEL FROM STATE TO STATE IF YOU ARE ABLE TO REGISTER ..ALL ENTRIES ARE ABSOLUTELY NON REFUNDABLE AND YOU MUST BE A PAID IN ADVANCE USCF MEMBER TO EVEN TRY TO REGISTER ANYWHERE.After qualifying 50 home town hero players FROM 50 clockwork on SUNDAYS AT 1PM ONLY... they join the top 14 seeded US grandmasters and ..readers you take it from there. Every single state knows TEN YEARS IN ADVANCE!!!!! when its qualifier Sunday is. That GUARANTEES MASSIVE LOCAL INVOLVEMENT ,absolute promotion, sponsorship, media involvement. All chess is local..every state has their Bradford, Ardaman, Hall, Cleghorn, KR Smith, Root,Rouselle, Bick, Momic,Fedorowitz, Benjamin,Commons,Finegold... Laugh if you will..Having done more than 1,ooo chess appearances in 47 states and 9 countries including two monster GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS exhibitions ...I know that only the ONE DAY family/internet right now friendly/ WORLD RAPID CHESS RATED PLAY that any professional teacher, ems worker, fireman, policeman adult/ parent can play in... IS TOTALLY THE FUTURE of the American chess ( "sponsor chess tournaments and nothing but chess tournaments everywhere..that is the business of the U.S. CHESS FEDERATION... get rid of everything else"- i.e FRANK BERRY,the late former US chess president who personally financed two US national title tourneys)......Competition just to register would be a quite exciting and frenzied experience ..and a world ONE DAY INSTANT RAPID chess rating with Fide/One Rating would be instantly absolutely guaranteed to every single player all across the country as the two Bob -Dylan -of -chess giants travel...Knock knock! ("Every player should have a fide rating" Kasparov.) When you suddenly give a 10 year old black kid with nothing in Atlanta Georgia a world chess rating you change a young person's life. Chess does that.I should know. I would never have survived an on paper tragic series of childhood events that chess cheerfully auto powered me through effortlessly.It was just everything. The chess literature, the chess players, the Royal Game... goodness gracious...The gift that keeps on giving. Jude Acers/ New Orleans

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

CORRECTION I am informed by by Mr. Bauer that the 2006 era US chess championships engineered /totally financed by the Berry Brothers working as a team was a product of USCF President JIM BERRY, the brother of Frank Berry. I apologize for the error. Jude Acers/ New Orleans

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