Collected from Interviews with Sheikhmat, Nadzat Young Chess, reposted here with permission and analysis.
Some of these comments have been taken from Brandon’s words, some are by our analysis.
This is one of the games that first became popular on a Russian server of maybe 9-10k players, at the time he was registered as a 1940 player but shared exciting games.
The way we play the game of chess says something about our approach to life. If we are risk-averse and timid in our dealings with our fellows, it is likely that we would play solid chess, try to accumulate a positional advantage with long term operations. Theoretically, risktakers and excitement seeking personalities or thrillseekers might gamble; that is, making unsound moves that have a refutation, yet the master bets on his opponent’s inability to figure out the only proper response. This is sometimes called hope chess, that is to play a move that is good all the way up to and including the moment your opponent finds the same way to punish it you found in calculation.
What makes this game special is perhaps that, though he will often sacrifice material in an unsound fashion to complicate the position and then try to capitalize on a mistake, the following game is without mistakes or blunders, and Lichess evaluates it as follows:
Explaining how he evaluates a position before considering a sacrifice, sacrificial attack or exchange Brandon told us that there are a few things to consider. The first consideration should be relative safety, king placement and piece activity; this would be more of a process than a single question to ask of the position. If your own pieces see more space, and your opponent is lacking in development, chances are it is to your benefit to trade material for ti
me, like the Russians did in the early months of their Great Patriotic War; they traded pieces for time and long term strategic weaknesses that are exposed with a sacrifice. Giving away a piece is usually a question of combinations that win material or result in mate. Though he admitted, it is often intuitive, and that when a number of pieces are in the area of the king, sometimes he will sacrifice a piece and then consider the options of further targeting the weakness that would have been made to expose.
The following game began with the most disgusting pawn structure, and an off-balance game against a player whose games were characterized by his willingness to move a single piece over and over in the opening, while Brandon is of the opinion that the only time you should move a piece twice in a row, in the first 15 moves, is for punishing a blunder or executing a tactic presented by an opponent’s careless play. OTherwise, you should find a place for and future of the position of your own pieces. Where they are and how they can get there, the influence they have and what they are doing, what they can do. Sometimes a piece is doing a job, sometimes it is doing nothing. Therefore the better you can coordinate effectively and target a position and weaknesses within more precisely the more likely a sacrifice is to pay off. But the following game would give Brandon his first brilliancy, a move notated with double, blue exclamation points!! It is for a move that one might not expect, and long after the game is decided; not a sacrifice – though it seems our Pagan cannot resist himself, whether he win or lose he must hate a draw.
So while we enter the top five, we will look at honorary mentions and discuss what cost them the top spot and what made the other a better example of good play. At the time of this game, Brandon was rated 1958 and his opponent 2246. His name contains the Russian word for “b*tch* – Cadeksoka – and so Brandon treated him as one. He swears that he does not prefer the black pieces, but it seems that his results reflect that this was a lie.
If it is true that we can have a style in chess, or that the way we play reflects to some extent our personality and disposition, what does such play from a relative up-and-comer reflect? These games were screened and games against opponents under the rating of 2000 were excluded from all games in this top 5; with the added condition that the positional evaluation after the game show no blunders, mistakes or centipawn loss greater than 20.
We believe, from this style of play, that as much as he kills his horses, he is most likely a Druid, a Keltic priest come back to give offering and homage to Caissa, the Goddess of Chess in her glory.
Follow the madness from the moment Brandon took leave of his senses: