One of the special attractions of online chess (at least on the major portals such as Lichess) is to play against a FIDE titled player in a tournament. What happens very rarely to the amateur player over the board is much more common in online chess (especially in Lichess Arena tournaments, where titled players also enter later and are thus paired against nominally weaker opponents with the same number of points).

The Dark Knight System must also hold its own against titled players as a serious and solid opening system, because if it were a pure “spoof system” it would be torn apart against these opponents.

In the last three years I have played a total of 32 games 1… Nc6 against titled players on Lichess, from Bullet to Blitz and Rapid to Classical: 8 * NM, 7 * CM, 11 * FM, 5 * IM, 1 * GM (Viacheslav Tilicheev).

The result:

  • 6 victories
  • 4 draws
  • 22 defeats

Makes a point yield of 25%. For an amateur player against titled players (all games logically with Black) a good result (as an amateur I consider every half point against such opponents a success).

More interesting for the practical evaluation of the TDKS is not only the result at the end of the game (especially in Blitz games, a tragic time trouble can overturn the whole play), but also the analysis of the game development, especially in the moment of the transition from the opening to the middlegame. That’s why I have summarised all games in a Lichess study and subjected them to a quick analysis with Lichess’ own server engine (Stockfish 11+).

Below each game you can follow the progress of the score graphically; this is practical and helpful at first sight. Here the graph of my rapid chess game against GM Tilicheev:

As you can see, Tilicheev came out of the opening with an advantage (+0.9), built on it in the middle game, made a blunder (is that even allowed to say at a GM?) in the 19th move and took advantage of a blunder of mine in the 33rd move to win the game.

The graph of my draw against IM Sergey Klimenko is a visualisation of the wishful thinking of a TDKS game:

Admittedly, Klimenko made a typical TDKS careless mistake on the 4th train, but it’s good to know that this can even happen to titled players in the TDKS.