Chess Room Newsletter #1000 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #1000

Gens Una Sumus!



Newsletter #1000

January 1, 2022


Table of Contents

O Me! O Life!

by Walt Whitman

O Me! O life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?


That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.


A Special Thank You To The Mechanics' Chess Community, Mechanics' Chess Team, and to John Donaldson

by Abel Talamantez

I want to first and foremost congratulate and send a special thank you to IM John Donaldson. He started the Mechanics' Institute chess newsletter over 20 years ago, and here we are at number 1000. For more than 850 issues, John wrote about Mechanics' chess history, events around the club and the world, and brought a historical element to readers who learned a great deal about the people that made up the club through all its years as much as the chess itself. I am thankful he contributed to this newsletter in writing about another former MI Chess Director, William Addison. The newsletter has served as a way to keep the community informed and keep the community together, and it was crucial during the past two years during the pandemic in serving as a connection between the club and the people when we could not all gather in the same physical location. We knew we could all gather through the newsletter, and through the newsletter, we helped gather the community online, and now again, live. Congratulations to John Donaldson for creating a way for history to be passed on through the newsletter, and I want to thank the committed and talented team in the chess department for helping continue it through their contributions in writing and organizing events: Judit Sztaray, FM Paul Whitehead, and GM Nick de Firmian, as well as the other team members throughout the Institute that support chess in various ways from accounting to membership to the library. It's always a team effort, and I could not be more lucky and grateful for the talent, expertise, experience, and sheer will of the team. I could not think of a better group of people to be around and work with, and I'll always be grateful for their friendship, comaraderie and support.

Abel Talamantez, December 28, 2021.

My First Day at Mechanics' and the Value of Connecting

by Abel Talamantez

On my first day of work as the new Chess Director at the Mechanics' Institute, I arrived at 8am on Monday morning December 3, 2018. I was not new to the business of chess, I had organized events, taught scholastic classes, and managed programs in the South Bay, but I was a complete stranger to the larger Mechanics' chess community and to the city of San Francisco itself.

Outside of sporting events, I never really had reason to visit San Francisco since I lived in San Jose. Ralph Lewin was the Executive Director of the Mechanics' Institute at that time, and he hired me. At about 9 am that Monday morning, I received a call on my office phone and it was him, asking if I had time to take a walk. I said sure and asked what time. He said now, and I said I would meet him downstairs. He knew I was a stranger to the city, so he walked me around the area surrounding Mechanics' Institute, which sits in the heart of the financial district in downtown San Francisco. He took me to Sam's Grill and told me that if I ever met a potential donor and wanted to discuss support for Mechanics', that would be the place to go. He told me they are "friends of Mechanics,'" and a couple weeks later, I found it what he meant. He took the staff at Mechanics' out to lunch there as he had just announced that he himself would be leaving soon for another position closer to home, and wanted to thanks the staff. The entire staff at Sam's knew him and were friendly to all of us. It was clear he had a personal connection, not only to the staff of the restaurant, but also to the staff who worked with him.

He next showed me a great place to get coffee and where to grab lunch. The whole walk lasted about 40 minutes. Along with showing me the spots, we talked about the job itself and my role within the Institute, and he shared some thoughts and ideas. We got back to Mechanics' and I went to the office, preparing for everything I wanted to get started on, and most importantly, my first day directing the TNM the next day. I worked with Ralph about a grand total of a month, yet this morning walk is something that will remain with me always. He made a stranger feel welcome, and he showed me with actions something very important and personal: the value of connecting with people. It's one thing to know your job, but if you don't understand the values of a group and aren't able to connect with the people that make up the community you serve, then something valuable is lost, and there will be a disconnect. I remember the next day prior to the TNM 6:30pm round start. I introduced myself to the full room as the new Chess Director. I remember telling everyone that I had some ideas of how we can all move forward together and that I would be hard at work on them. I asked the people in the room to give me a chance, and not to take the words of what I wanted to do at face value, that I intended to earn their respect, and I would demonstrate with actions that I will back up what I say. Being accepted into this wonderful community felt easy, its an amazing group of some of the best, most loyal and generous people I've ever known, and extremelly welcoming to all. Leading this chess community is different, I knew I'd have to earn it. I knew it would take time, especially considering all those who have come before me. 

If I have earned it - and only the chess community can be the judge - the lesson of the first day played a crucial role. Being with the people, talking to them, playing with them, laughing with them, and sharing coffee, lunch, or drinks with them, that is what I most enjoyed of this whole experience, even more so than all the events and classes we have done, because the human connection lasts far beyond the events. Thank you to everyone for accepting me in, it has been a great honor being a part of this community these past three years. 

In reference to the poem by Walt Whitman at the beginning of this newsletter, I'm proud to have contributed my verse to the history of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, I honor those who did so before (players, members, and staff), and look forward to those who will do so after me. 

William Addison – The Strongest San Franciscan

by IM John Donaldson

William Addison at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club, circa 1957 (Photo: MI Chess Club Archive).

Outside of greater New York City, and more recently the St. Louis metropolitan area, Northern California can make a claim to being the strongest chess region in the United States. As one piece of evidence, consider that Walter Browne, Nick de Firmian, John Grefe, and Sam Shankland have collectively won 11 U.S. Championship titles while living in the Bay Area.

Punching well above its weight is Berkeley, home to the above-named titleholders except Sam. Add in the many Grandmasters and International Masters who have also lived there over the years (Grandmasters Vinay Bhat, Jesse Kraai and James Tarjan as well as International Masters Joshua Cheng, John Donaldson, Julio Kaplan, Marc Leski, Yan Liou, Vince McCambridge, David Pruess, John Watson and Elliott Winslow are names that come readily to mind) and it’s clear Berkeley is unquestionably one of the strongest chess playing cities in the US per capita.

Its larger neighbor to the West also has a rich tradition, but determining who is the best ever player from San Francisco can be complicated depending on what criteria is used. Does one need to be born in The City?  Or, should their primary development as a player and major career achievements have occurred while a resident?

If being a native is a requirement, the list of candidates might start with the giants of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Walter Lovegrove and A. J. Fink (also a world class problemist). They were both recognized masters at a time when few were to be found West of the Mississippi.  

The end of WW2 ushered in a wave of junior talents across the United States. The top San Franciscans in this group were Earl Pruner, fourth in the 1949 US Junior, and Gilbert Ramirez who won the 1956 California State Championship. The latter did this while still in high school and was second behind Bobby Fischer in the U.S. Junior the following year.

The latest San Francisco junior to shine on the national stage was two-time US Junior Champion (2008 and 2011) Gregory Young who would undoubtedly have become an International Master, and maybe a Grandmaster, if he had kept playing.

Knowledgeable observers will note I have not yet mentioned two Grandmasters born in The City. That would be Duncan Suttles (b. 1945) and Hans Niemann (b. 2003). The former’s parents left town soon after his birth, but Suttles returned to play many tournaments in Northern California in 1964-65 while a student at the University of Nevada at Reno.

Hans had a very late start by today’s standards, only playing in his first USCF rated tournament when he was 9 ½ years old, but look where he is today – the seventh rated junior in the world at 2645 FIDE! Hans only played in the Bay Area for roughly two years but they were memorable ones. In the first year he gained almost 1000 rating points to go from 1075 to over 2000.

To my mind, for a player to be eligible for the title of the strongest San Franciscan, they need to have both lived there for a significant period of time as well as developed there as a player. This eliminates Suttles, Niemann and two-time US Champion Patrick Wolff who is a long-time resident, but was long-retired from the game when he first arrived. The same holds true for International Master David Strauss. Grandmaster Peter Biyiasas played part-time for a few years while living in San Francisco, but his days as a professional player were already in the past.

Four candidates who meet the afore-mentioned criteria are the Whitehead brothers (Paul and Jay), Jeremy Silman and William Addison. The first three all developed into strong players in the 1970s.  Paul (b. 1960) and Jay (1961-2011) are one of the strongest ever brother combinations in American chess with US Junior Closed and American Open titles (Paul) and US Grand Prix winner and two-time US Championship participant (Jay) credentials to their names.

Silman, who is older (b. 1954) than Jay and Paul, grew up in San Diego, and was rated 2052 when he arrived in San Francisco in late 1973. Within a year, he was a master and got as high as 2556 (July 1982) while in the Bay Area. He reached his peak of 2593 on the May 1990 USCF rating list while a resident in Los Angeles, but his best result occurred during his San Francisco days–a tie for first in the 1981 U.S. Open.

Despite the considerable achievements of these three, in my opinion, the strongest player to develop in San Francisco was the late William Addison (1933-2008) who served as the Mechanics’ Chess Director from 1965-1969. I had the opportunity to correspond with him in 2007 and some of the information which follows comes from these e-mail exchanges.

William Addison, was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and started to play at the age of 12 at the local YMCA. Early on, young Bill showed an ability to play blindfold chess (up to 12 opponents at once) and, sixty years later, recalled reading Nimzowitsch’s My System cover to cover without a board or pieces.

Addison’s first national tournament was the 1949 US Junior Open in Fort Worth, Texas, where he scored 5 ½ from 9 (in the same event Earl Pruner scored 7 ½). This performance, and some local results, gave him an initial rating of 2008. Some of these early efforts can be found in the Mechanics’ Institute Newsletter #211.

When Addison settled in San Francisco in 1952, after a stint in the Air Force, it would have been hard to predict just how strong he would become – how many 21-year-old Experts end up being rated in the top 100 players in the world? Progress was slow but steady, and a decade after arriving on the West Coast, he qualified to play in the US Championship at the age of 29. He lost to the top two finishers (Fischer and Bisguier) in his debut, but scored +4 against the rest of the field enabling him to share third with Reshevsky and Evans. This was to be the first of five such events Addison competed in. His lifetime score of 19 wins, 16 losses and 20 draws, or 29 points from 55 games played is more than respectable. Addison’s best result in a U.S. Championship was in 1969 where he finished second and qualified for the Interzonal.

John Donaldson and William Addison

Addison represented the United States in the 1964 and 1968 Chess Olympiads and was the top U.S. scorer in the former (7½ from 9 as second reserve which earned him an individual bronze medal) and won team silver in the latter. He received the International Master title in 1967, long after he was IM strength. Norm events were few and far between in the 1960s and pretty much only held in Europe.

Among Addison’s victims were Sammy Reshevsky (twice), three-time Soviet Champion Leonid Stein and Svetozar Gligoric. He drew individual games with Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov.

How did Addison get good when he was living in San Francisco, far from the center of US chess? In an e-mail written on 5/27/07, he wrote “I read everything at the MI Library, most especially the old editions of British Chess Magazine from which I copied the scores of match games between famous players. I did not consciously model my play on anyone, although I did strive to be Nimzowitschian (to my regret) on occasion. The two players I most admired were Capablanca and Alekhine and I considered their Buenos Aires match the pinnacle of match chess (I stopped following championship chess after Fischer-Spassky).”

“My progress in playing chess was somewhat aided by the caliber of chess in San Francisco in the early 1950s. My greatest enjoyment and source of development as a player in SF chess was my “skittles” games with Dimitri Poliakoff, playing whom was like facing Chigorin (or so I imagined).”

“For all the advantages of SF, I needed to play outside the Bay Area. I settled in Manhattan for nine months in 1960 and set a new record for consecutive first place finishes in the Manhattan Club Friday night rapid transit tournament, winning twelve weeks in a row. The previous record holder was another Westerner, Arthur Dake.”

Besides the stay in New York, Addison lived in Los Angeles in 1963-64 when he worked for the Piatigorsky Foundation teaching chess to children, veterans and the physically challenged.

William Addison retired from chess in late 1970 with a FIDE rating of 2490, ranked equal 83rd in the world.

In the following game, played in the U.S. Championship, he defeats the always hard to beat Larry Evans in a fine attacking effort.

(5) Addison,William - Evans,Larry Melvyn [D46]
USA-ch New York (2), 12.1965
[Donaldson, de Firmian]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bb4


7.0-0 0-0 8.Qe2!? [8.Qc2; 8.a3] 8...dxc4 [8...Qe7!?] 9.Bxc4 Bd6 10.Rd1 Qe7 11.e4 e5 12.d5+/= cxd5


[12...Nb6 13.dxc6 bxc6 14.Bb3 Bg4 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Qxf3+/=] 13.Nxd5?! [13.Bxd5! is the best way to secure an opening edge] 13...Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Nf6 [14...Nb6?! 15.Bg5! causes trouble; 14...h6 may be best] 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.h3 White has secured a comfortable edge with control of the d5 square. 17...Rb8 18.Rac1 Rd8 [18...Qe7!? /\19...Be6/ 19.Qd3 Rd8 20.Qb3 Be6 21.Bxe6 Qxe6 22.Rd5; 18...Be6?! 19.Bxb7 (19.Bxe6 Qxe6 20.Rd5 Rbc8 21.Rcd1 Bc7; 19.Qe3 b6 20.Bxe6 Qxe6) 19...Bxa2 20.Rc6 Rxb7 (20...Rfd8? 21.Qa6+-) 21.Rdxd6 Qe7 22.Qd2+/-] 19.Rc3 Bd7?!


[>=19...Be6 20.Rcd3 Bxd5 21.Rxd5+/= with the nice d5 outpost] 20.Nh2!+/- A fine maneuver to clear the third rank for the rook and relocate the knight to a more aggressive post. 20...Qe7 21.Qh5 One can see the attack building as the white pieces shift over the the kingside. 21...Be8?! [21...Be6 22.Rg3 Kf8+/- is uncomfortable for Black but at least the king gets some safety] 22.Rf3 Rd7 23.Ng4+- Kh7?!


[23...Qg5 24.Nf6+ gxf6 25.Rg3 may be the best defense though it loses the queen for rook and knight] 24.Rf6! Qf8 [24...gxf6 25.Qxh6+ Kg8 26.Nxf6++- is finished] 25.Rxh6+! gxh6 26.Nf6+ Kg7 27.Qf5 Rbd8 [27...Qe7 28.Qh7+ Kxf6 29.Qxh6#; 27...Be7 28.Nxd7+-] 28.Rd3+- Getting the last attacker to join in spells doom for Black. 28...Qh8 29.Rg3+ Kf8 30.Nh7+ Ke7


31.Rg8! Qxh7 [31...Qxg8 32.Qf6#] 32.Qxh7 Evans resigned in this hopeless position. A great game by our former MI chessclub director. 1-0

The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club During Fischer's Run to the World Championship!

by NM Kerry Lawless

1970: Near the end of March, after almost a two-year hiatus, GM Robert Fischer returned to play in the USSR vs The Rest of the World team match. He was slated to play on 1st Board, but Bent Larsen objected. He had been playing and winning tournaments and considered himself the best player in the Western world. Fischer didn't argue; he stepped down to 2nd Board. He beat former world champion, GM Tigran Petrosian, 2 wins and 2 draws. Then Fischer played a 5-minute tournament at Herceg Novi; he came in 1st with a score of 17 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss (to GM Victor Korchnoi). He was 4.5 points ahead of 2nd place GM Mikhail Tal, who had 14.5 points. Bobby then proceeded to win two major tournaments in a row. In April, he won Rovinj/Zagreb with a score of 13-4, GM Vlastimil Hort, GM Svetozar Gligoric, GM Vasily Smyslov, and GM Viktor Korchnoi were tied for 2nd with 11 points. The Buenos Aires Tournament, held in July, was won with a score of 15-2, 3.5 points ahead of 2nd place finisher IM Vladimir Tukmakov.

Playing 1st Board for the US team at the Siegen Olympiad in September, he scored 8 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss (to GM Boris Spassky.) His last tournament of the year in November, the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal, was the most important; he won it with a score of 15 wins, 7 draws, and 1 loss (to GM Bent Larsen.) He was 3.5 points ahead of 2nd place Larsen, who had 15 points!


Fischer's run of wins sparked chess interest around the world. Chess players became cool! Of course the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, the premier Northern California chess club for over a century, was bursting at the seams with new and old players alike. Over the next couple of years, the MICC became even more crowded. During the day, business men came to play during their lunch and stayed for hours; they played for points on the ladder board. In the evening, players occupied most of the playing tables with clock and skittle games. Prodigies and older talents started soaking up rating points like sponges. The chess boom was just beginning!

(January 17-18) The Mechanics' Institute Amateur Tournament was won by Takashi Kurosaki (1897) (SF), Barry Kraft (1954) (San Rafael), and Rick Swanson (1695) (SF) who all tied for 1st with 4.5-.5. They won $55 each. Anthony Hanak (SF) and David Obstfeldt (1878) (SF) both scored 4-1 to win $15 each. The 60 player event was directed by Chess Room Director, Alan Bourke. The prize fund of $320 was divided among 23 winners.


(January to May) The M.I. entered two teams into the 1970 San Francisco Bay Area Chess League. 140 Total players competed in the league. 

(July 3-5) The 7th Annual Arthur B. Stamer Tournament was won by IM Julio Kaplan (2408) (Berkeley), Gilbert Ramirez (2227) (Daly City), Dennis Fritzinger (2158) (SF), and Jairo Gutierrez (2108) (SF) who all tied for 1st with a score of 5.5-.5. They received $137.50 each. The tourney had 101 players and was directed by Mike Goodall. It had a total prize fund of $1190.

Expert: Art Wang (2122) (Oakland), Aki Kanamori (2109) (SF), Ed Syrett (2097) (Stanford) all had a score of 4.5-1.5 and received $53.33 each.

A: John Farwell (1820) (Ft. Ord) won with a score of 5-1 and received $60. Al Raymond (1964) (SF) and Anthony DiMilo (1830) (Rancho Cardova) tied for 2nd with scores of 4-2 and received $27.50 each.

B: Charles Pardini (1765) (SF) won with a score of  4.5-1.5 and received $45; Charles Maddigan (1796) (Oakland) came in 2nd with 3.5-2.5 and received $30. Kerry Lawless (1722*) (San Leandro), Elmo Mugnani (1704) (SF), Earle Ipsen (1698) (SF), Paul McEntire (Palo Alto), and Laroy O'Doan (1676) (Vallejo) had scores of 3-3 and received $3 each.

C: Lee Henderson (1527*) (Rohnert Park) won with a score of  3.5-2.5 and received $30. George Currie (1466#) (SF), Larry Shapiro (1403#) (SF), King Low (1593) (SF), and John Narcisi (1576) (Oakland) scored 2-4 and received $7.50 each.


(September) George Kane (2107) and Jude Acers (2136) played a match. George won with a score of 3.5-1.5. They played in a little room, in the outer hallway, opposite the office door. The room is no longer there.

(October 10-11) MI Fall Rating Tournament. C. Bill Jones (2033) and J. Wallan tied for 1st with 3.5-.5.

(November 7-8) The Northern California Qualifying Tournament for the State Championship was won by Dennis Fritzinger (2205) (SF) with a score of 5-0; he received $175. GM Walter Browne (2475) (Berkeley) and John Grefe (2188) (Berkeley) tied for 2nd with a score of 4.5-.5 and received $52.50 each. 51 Players competed in the event. The tournament was directed by Charles Savery.

Expert: William Bills (2188) (SF), David Blohm (2162) (Berkeley), Peter Gould (2157) (Palo Alto), and C. Bill Jones (2033) (Redwood City) scored 4-1 and received $16.25 each.

A: Bernard Lainson (1978) (Monterey) won with a score of 4-1; he received $35. Craig Barnes (1886) (Berkeley) and Rod Bobo (1874) (Fresno) both scored 3.5-1.5 and received $10 each.

B: Bradley Mills (1663) (Santa Cruz) won with a score of 3-2 and received $18. Curtis Wilson (Lafayette) and Eugene Lien (1778) (Berkeley) both scored 2.5-2.5 and received $8 each.

C: Marcos Costa (1579*) (Albany) and Ronald Smith (1547*) (Mt. View) scored 3-2 and received $18 each.

Unrated: Gency Anima (SF) scored 3-2 and received $25.

(November 14) GM Walter Browne (2475) gave a 32 game, 4 hour, simultaneous exhibition.  He won 28, drew Luis Givt and Randell Feliciano (1678), and lost to Charles Pardini (1765) and Gary Johnson.

(December 12-13) The San Francisco City Championship was won by GM Walter Browne (2493) (Berkeley) with a 5-0 score and he received $175. Tied for 2nd were James Tarjan (2354), Ted Syrett (2097), Donald Dean (2086), C. Bill Jones (2109), and Larry Hughes who scored 4-1 and  $35 each. Michael Goodall directed the 58 players. The tourney had a prize fund of $515.

A: Max Wilkerson (1996) and Anthony DiMilo (1975) both scored 3.5-1.5 and received $27.50 each.

B: Charles Pardini (1765) scored 3.5-1.5 and received $25. Geremy Ets-Hokin (1671) and Curtis Wilson (1798) both scored 2.5-2.5 and received $7.50 each.

C: Gary Tuttle (1538) scored 2.5-2.5 and received $20. Marcos Costa (1541) and Frank Flynn (1565*) both scored 2-3 and received $5 each.

Unrated: Gency Anima scored 3.5-1.5 and received $25. Theodore Sailor scored 3-2 and received $15.


SF City Championship, December 12, 1970

GM Walter Browne (2493)-Takashi Kurosaki (2092)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 Qc7 9. f3 a6 10. Qd2 b5 11. O-O-O Bb7 12. h4 Na5 13. h5 Nxb3+ 14. axb3 Rac8 15. Kb1 Bc6 16. Nf5 gxf5 17. h6 b4 18. hxg7 Rfd8 19. Bd4 f4 20. Bxf6 exf6 21. Qf2 bxc3 22. Qh4 Kxg7 23. Qh6+ Kg8 24. Rh4 f5 25. exf5 1-0

Position after Black's move, 15...Bc6. White to move.

(December 27-29) California State Championship was won by Dennis Fritzinger (2264) (SF) and Charles Henin (2199) (Sherman Oaks) who tied for 1st with scores of 6-3 and each received $125. The total prize fund was $600.

Julius Loftsson (2160) (LA) 5.5-3.5

Harry Mayer (2156) (Oakland) 5.4

Ross Stoutenborough (2288) (Riverside) 5-4

Donald Dean (2086) (Oakland) 4.5-4.5

Erik Osbun (2184) (San Jose), 4.5-4.5

Kim Commons (2212) (LA), 3.5-5.5

William Bragg (1967) (Santa Monica), 3-6

Michael Ewell (2007) (Monterey), 2-7

Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Director, Raymond J. Conway, and Guthrie McClain directed the 10 player event, held under the auspices of the California State Chess Federation. Martin E. Morrison, USCF Region VIII Vice-President, said, "Henin, the previous years champion, lost his chance for a clear win by an unsound sacrifice in the final round."

1971: GM Robert Fischer shutout of GM Mark Taimanov, in May, by a score  of 6-0 was totally unexpected. Even the Soviets expected Bobby to win, but not like this. The Candidate results started appearing in the local newspapers. The second Candidates match in July, with GM Bent Larson, ended with an unprecedented second score of 6-0. The chess world went crazy. Bent later admitted that he tried to win drawn positions; definitely a bad idea. In the third match, from late September and into October, GM Tigran Petrosian managed to break Bobby's winning streak, but still lost the match 6.5-2.5.


Many times Northern California and San Francisco champion, and long time MI member, Carroll Mather Capps died on January 15.

(January-April) San Francisco Bay Area Team Tournament results. There were still unfinished games still to be played.

(June 5-6) The Mechanics' Institute Summer Rating Tournament was won by Dennis Fritzinger (2265), Craig Barnes (2081), and Charles Pardini (2003) who tied for 1st with 4-0. Richard Shorman directed the event.

(July 3-5) The 8th Annual Arthur B. Stamer Memorial was won by Jim McCormick (2199) and David Blohm (2135) who tied for 1st with 5.5-.5. They each received $225. Charles Pardini directed the 94 player, $1,000 prize fund event.

(August 23) GM Florin Gheorghiu gave a simultaneous exhibition and scored 20 wins and 4 draws; with Alan Benson (2028) (Oakland), Fred Demanuele (Toronto, Canada), Roger Gabrielson (1816) (Berkeley), and John Peterson (1868) (San Jose).

(September 17) IM Hans Ree (The Netherlands) gave a 30-board simul scoring 19 wins, 5 loses, and 6 draws. Winners were Rendon Holloway (1691*) (Newark), William Bills (2172) (SF), Marcos Costa (1725) (Albany), Walter Heaton (1871) (SF), and Martin Sullivan (1432#) (San Leandro). Players with half-points were Alan Benson (2028) (Oakland), Harry Overholtzer (1816) (SF), Kevin Fong (1639) (SF), Albert Curz (SF), Romulo Aguilar (SF), and Steve Sawyer (1989) (SF).

(October 23-25) The 1st Annual Carroll M. Capps Memorial was directed by Alan Benson and Charles Pardini. 81 Players participated in the event which had a $1,100 prize fund.

Open: IM J. Kaplan (2438) (Berkeley) won with a score of 5.5-.5, he received $300. Dennis Fritzinger (2214) (Berkeley) and Eleuterio Alsasua (Unrated) (SF) tied for 2nd with a 5-1 score; they received $100 each.

Expert: David Forthoffer (2116) (Berkeley) and Rex Wilcox (2195) (SF) tied with a 5-1 score and received $100 each. William Bills (2170) (SF), C. Bill Jones (2115) (Redwood City), Max Burkett (2083) (SF), and Tom Maser (Berkeley) scored 4.5-1.5 and received $7.50 each.

A: Norman Wood (1998) (Vallejo), John Jaffray (1932) (SF), Randall Hough (1895) (Stockton), Gencey Anima (1969) (SF) all scored 4-2 and received $28.75 each.

B: Marcos Costa (1729) (Albany) won the 1st B prize of $45 with a scored of 4-2. Randall Feliciano (1705) (SF), Ronald Watson (1692#) (SF), Andy Rood (1771#) (Stanford), Earl Phillips (San Bernardino), and Gary Kobliska (1682*) (Berkeley) all scored 3-3 and received $9 each.

C: Michael Koblentz (1505#) (Berkeley) scored 4-2 and received $30. Michael Pool (1459) (SF), Martin Sullivan (1432#) (San Leandro), and Jack Nitzberg (1335#) (San Rafael) all scored 2.5-3.5 and received $10 each.

Unrated: Romulo Aguilar (SF) and Alan Hawkins (Hayward) scored 3-3 and received $22.50 each.

Senior: Boris Popov (SF) won with a score of 4-2; he received $30.

Brilliancy Award: Borel Menas (2013) (SF) who only scored 3-3, receive the award because of two games he played.

(December 2) Alan Bourke (2215) - Jude Acers (2408) Third match game at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club. (The ratings were supplied by Jude.)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9. Na3 d5 10. exd5 Bxa3 11. bxa3 Qa5 12. Qd2 Nd4 13. Bd3 Bh3 14.O-O Nf3+ 15. gxf3 Rg8+ 0-1

Position after White's move, 13. Bd3. Black to move.

(December 4-5) The Northern California Championship was won by Jim Tarjan (2403) (Berkeley) and Dennis Fritzinger (2202) (Redwood City) with scores of 4.5-.5. It was directed by Alan Benson.

1972: GM Robert Fischer beat GM Boris Spassky, 12.5-8.5, to win the World Championship, held from July into September. Fischer fever raised chess popularity, in the US, to levels never seen before or since.


 (May 13-14) The Summer Rating Tournament was 4-Round tourney with 63 players, and it was directed by Charles Pardini. (The time control was 40 moves in 2 hours and it had a $5 entry.)

 (May 28) At the 1972 California State Chess Federation meeting, held at the Mechanics' Institute,  MI members Guthrie McClain and Henry Gross, and Chess Room Director Ray Conway were elected to the Northern California Board of Directors for 1972.

(June 17) Larry Gilden (2313), chess master and philosopher,  gave a very interesting lecture and simultaneous exhibition on 26 boards, losing to Frank Eng (SF) and drawing with Eugene S. Lien (1681) (Berkeley), David H. Krause (2050) (Mill Valley), Joe Tracy (SF), and  Elsie Lee (SF).

 (June 21) James Tarjan (2374) gave a 14-board simultaneous exhibition and scored 13 wins and 1 draw to Kevin Fong (1716) (SF).

(July 1-4) The 9th Annual Arthur B. Stamer Memorial Open was won by Rex Wilcox by a score of 7-1. Alan Benson directed the event which had a prize fund of $1500. It was played at the rate of 40/2.

(October 21-23) 2nd Carrol M. Capps Memorial Open  was won by Craig Barnes by a score of 6-0. The 102 player event was directed by Roy Hoppe with assistance by Raymund Conway, Director of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Room. The prize fund was $1,130.

When I came back from a Navy tour of duty in late 1972, I was astounded by the number of chess players a the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club. The chess room was so packed that it was difficult walking from one side of the room to the other. I remember a crowd around chessmaster Larry Gilden. He was expounding on a game and he was explaining the moves in philosophic terms; not chess jargon. Players were eating it up. A few days later I had a chess lesson from him. He gave me insight into the full power of a fiancettoed Bishop; i.e., potential control along the entire long diagonal. In payment, I took him to an all you can eat Chinese deli, around the corner. Except for Jude Acers, Larry was the most prodigious eater I have ever seen! I was based on Treasure Island, so as I was going home to celebrate Christmas, on Christmas day, I took a little detour to the MI Chess Room. I expected the room to be empty, but to my surprise Expert Robert Hammie was playing over games. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing speed chess. I had recently zoomed up to 1990 USCF after doing well in some A sections. But, couldn't hold my own in our 5-minute games. I remember losing 3 out of 5, or it might have been 3.5 out of 5; he was a very good speed player. It was one of the best Christmases I ever had!

Paul and Jay Whitehead in front of the ladderboard.

Abel and the Botvinnik Laureate

by Jude Acers

JUDE ACERS REMEMBERS  1000 ISSUES ……The little ole chess bulletin that could… from San Francisco….… how the  venerable 170 year old Mechanics Institute chess club “simply got unspeakably off the chart lucky beyond  words or treasure” 

..THE LAST GOODBYE-  GRANDMASTER CHESS LONE PINE 1975…   knowing it was all over… COLLOSSAL California Chess editor-publisher  McClain  certainly was unprepared, never believed an epic last hurrah  was coming that would take him into another world….my world ..The Jude Acers experience.I was grateful for his friendship.I do not think he really knew this……so secretly I decided do something totally for free…hundreds of hours of work..… I hit him with the nuclear bomb. Most people promise .alas  nothing  eventful  comes up the elevator of the California Chess Reporter office. I of course being  the true hero of the century, an epic literary stud …  stage prepared the bomb. I knew he was all alone up there…I  seized the day…. And for 60 frenzied days around the clock at my new playboy Jude 2000 Broadway apartment, I uncorked the entire core typed manuscript in perfectly proofread international abc algebraic notation.  GRANDMASTER CHESS The 1975 Lone Pine California  international tourney book..ONLY MUCH LATER …. later editions would carry wonderful tributes to is like no other chess book, takes the whole chess world along for the ride… and like a true ghost ship sailing through time …. the ancient tome mysteriously sells forever in reprint… Guthrie McClain sold out in 90 days flat all over the world… and Walter Tevis author of the Hustler and the Queens Gambit immortal film archive was  just a roamin’ around the Mechanics Institute chess rooms to boot..Go ask Kevin! (Fong)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

There of course had to be a theatrical Shakespearian ending -In two acts..up the elevator the  manuscript came. The door opened automaticly and for the last time , in total shock ,   alone at high noon lunch hour ,  the silver haired fox McClain, dean of California chess,  stared at me in the elevator. With not one word spoken I gave the classic gentleman a formal royal bow ,  huge smile and walked the manuscript  swiftly into his outstretched hands…then whirled and vanished . NOT A SINGLE WORD WAS EVER SPOKEN. HE WAS SHOCKED OUT OF HIS SHOES……wanting what he already  knew would be a  classic final monster book of world chess name drops like crazy….. the last  grand hurrah… published immediately in  the only form McClain    thought would sell… McClain  secretly held a three day ( chess problem wizard Robert E. Burger’s  home made spirits!) house  binge party to change the entire book back into American chess old style notation! As Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan’s  favorite saying for all perilous occasions goes “Oh My”. …Promising me the    original algebraic  international edition later. Ha! Ha! Ha!. Tipsy with spirits aplenty the book cycled  into a bumpier  ride for the reader.  (Ahem..readers  most  kindly note   the clear civilizing effects of  the  Abel /Donaldson /Seirawan   classy diplomacy -  their world class manners  liberally applied  and sorely  needed  hereabouts  by yours most truly Jude Acers)  ….but  Grandmaster Chess Lone Pine 1975 lives through time.. at my world chess table in New Orleans…People still come out of the  dark night with pen in hand eyes aglow..please ..  sign it.  Well of course Madame. Shall we adjourn for oysters at the world famous New Orleans French Market seafood restaurant  which personally saved my donkey following Hurricane Katrina?... most conveniently  located “just a shout away.’.step right this way!  

 JUDE ACERS REMEMBERS 1000 issues  .Do not expect me  to issue  any  stupid silly gee whiz thanks guys words …expect sheer awe.                                                                                       1973.”We were young then .We were chess players then”-all time legendary chess master /road runner creature - Ferlinghetti City Lights published poet Dennis Fritzinger ….. And the  titanic historian chess shadow John Donaldson had to  actually clue me in half a century later…”I still remember  the excitement as a schoolboy in Spokane Washington  when  a famous chess master was coming to our school”Oh.  I met WILLIAM JOHN DONALDSON only once in the New Orleans train depot 1988..

He crept through the chess world with perfect manners, scholastic chess writing , terrific interest in super grandmaster A,Rubinstein , an incredible unbelievable fiery  international media   covered romance…   and of course his mind boggling  Fischer books …millions will read them through time… winning big time while all other played the hero, and the Mechanics Institute chess room got an absolute miracle 22 years later…The shadow.

Long before 1000 issues of the Mechanics Institute bulletin cranked out like caramel popcorn… there was the staggering 25 year notebook THE CALIFORNIA CHESS REPORTER  published 200 yards from the epic 170 year old historical chess club … and its final bulletin GRANDMASTER CHESS : LONE PINE 1975  which went worldwide… sold out every single copy in 90 days flat. The editor publisher… the one the only the titanic silver haired Guthrie  McClain, a rated  chess master/bridge player  who had world champion Alekhine sign his  boyhood 1929 chessbook .His people skills were subtle , off the chart.  Yes THAT MCCLAIN. Mr. smoothie. 244 Kearny  street, chess mecca…./The man who walked over to the Mechanics to check up on that little traveling chess  boy Bobby Fischer (US junior chess championships)…phoned by his worried mother Regina 5,000 miles away ”Mr.Mclain would you look after him..see that he is o.k. ?Yes of course  he would indeed ma’am. )                                                                                                                                                                         

and yes befriended that weird totally crazy totally homeless Louisiana po-boy Jude Acers   who promptly almost in front of him… drew a  chess  match with USA#2 grandmaster Walter Browne, appeared 20 times in the New York Times chess column… ..hit 40 million copies of the Guinness book of world  chess records   with TWO monster jam packed  exhibitions versus 117 opponents ( lloyds Centre Portland, Oregon 1973)  and the 18,000 door count mega killer 179 opponents  /Mid Isle Plaza /Long Island New York exhibition ..and every single year 1968-1975  /amidst  hundreds of chess appearances …wrote for the California Chess Reporter…wages were PRINCELY…..stellar chess vibration  and -my goodness gracious-  all those  egg salad sandwiches at Chinatown groceries outside the door!.                                                                               

I  I I was king of the world and most importantly I  ABSOLUTELY knew it.I was envious of no one …lived totally in my own world /crashing at twice nationally rated  chessmaster / incredibly understanding   Max Burkett’s place (BURKETT EVERYWHERE ..chess host to the world) on Haight avenue three blocks -believe it or not -above Bill Grahams rock emporium Fillmore West  where Jim Morrison of the Doors was waiting  to play pickup basketball at the old gym floor there…believe me   I had no idea at the time  ..i thought he was a road crew   equipment man…and giving 5 portland model James R.Schroeder cardboard prison pocket chess sets to Francis Ford ‘the godfather’Coppola  for his  chess playing family while I was also writing a chess column for Coppola’s  San Francisco magazine. Watching with utter astounded silence as Herb Caen, Pulitzer prize winner had me and  there fore chess  in daily gossip column all over the place…walking into Specs bar and he makes me coffee  for the po boy as I never drink smoke or do dope EVER. I plug him a postcard to Herb Caen which he used I 48 hours flat..he barely knows me but is so    kind..he is totally unprepared for hundreds of fun calls when the Caen column hits..I am very quiet reading Imre Konigs  theory chess book Morphy to Botvinnik in the back when Specs gets the third you are in Herb Caens column today call.HE IS SHOCKED DADDY-O..suddenly he realizes that the person he has been so kind to might be the guy….he turns around…Screams out “you are wonderful” and I stand UP and give Specs Adler a royal  theatrical bow ala the Beatles What goes around comes around…….….This  then was my world,  my bulletin …but before we leave…I had wanted more than anything to give Abel Talamantez  somehow a crazy thank you /never published / something really special… how it all came down…THE END… for all his kindness to chess/ EPIC Everest logistical wizardry  THE SIR  ABEL SHEER FORCE OF WILL   makes MI Bulletin snap crackle and  pop:    

1975.. I knew it was all over.  R. J. Fischer would forfeit the world  title as I was sitting by the phone (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)…Fischer  absolutely told Arnold S. Denker  (1944 US chess chess champion) that FIscher had told the US Chess federation to quit sending him money, that Fischer  had scheduled no chess training of any kind …  Fischer  would never defend his world chess championship ice cold.  I had to leave now  and…. I had had to say goodbye to Guthrie McClain.

A  profile of  two wonderous  people in different worlds understandably  had hazy outlines first..but Mechanics Institute chess bulletin readers already  knew long ago  how it all  must end..with Problem Tony.Throughout it all…. in 67 years of chess road running.. the simple elegant   Jude Acers chess tours  demonstration board -  the great  teaching problems of all time…the  SIMPLE ALL TIME GREAT grandmaster MECHANICS INSTITUTE NEWSLETTER CHALLENGE   ‘SIMPLE AS ABC’ CHESS TEST!…BLINDFOLDED You are White to move and have a Queen at c5…White rook f8 and your …WHITE KING IS AT E2…BLACK KING IS AT e4 You will make a move and checkmate next move …(mate in two moves](American Chess Monthly 1890/courtesy Lou Hays)…..and finally in how many ways THE EXACT NUMBER PLEASE .. (NO PEEKING !..NO  TOUCHEEE THE PIECES NOW!  -KR SMITH)move for move can you checkmate in two moves /White to move….White rooks at a1 and c1 White king at  b6        Black king b8…Only perfect answers without touching the pieces count…CAN YOU SURVIVE THIS ELEGANT SIMPLE GRANDMASTER TEST? Not one player in one  hundred is able to.  Simple enough for all to understand amidst  grasping wonder. That is it..there is no second act/encore…the best of the best… go  ask Tony   …feed your head. Thank you and goodbye.#####...

White to move and mate in 2. Solutions at end of newsletter

Jude Acers 1974, Lloyd Center Portland.

Spreading the Love of Chess to Our Children

aka How Chess Enrichment Grew and Continues to Grow at Mechanics' 

by Judit Sztaray

"Children are our future." I bet you’ve heard this phrase before. It's true in all areas of our lives, and chess is no exception. We all know the benefits of chess: critical thinking, ability to plan, memorization, and pattern recognition. With enough care, attention, time, energy, and patience, we can make a difference in kids' lives using chess as a tool. 

It was no surprise, therefore, that Mechanics' Institute started its own outreach program in the mid-to late 1980s. MI Trustee, Neil Falconer, was entrusted by the American Chess Foundation to administer activities at schools in San Francisco and Richmond. The Saturday Kids' class was started by Anthony Corrales in the early 2000s and continued by IM Elliott Winslow. The Mechanics' also funded a Thursday afternoon class that was taught in various schools around Hunters Point and continued for roughly a decade.

GM Nick de Firmian expanded the outreach program greatly after he was hired in the 2010, bringing in more than 20 schools to offer Free Youth Outreach classes during lunch recess and in the afternoons. GM Patrick Wolff had a vision in 2019 to expand the current scholastic programs and recruited a manager to help make it happen. Fee-based classes and camps were started at selected schools and scholastic tournaments were organized. In March 2020, online programming was quickly set up and delivered during the pandemic, keeping engagement with the kids ongoing even during the many months of lockdown.

So, what does scholastic chess currently feel like at Mechanics'?

It's one of the most fulfilling and satisfying experiences one can have, because investing in our youngsters always pays off. It feels amazing to walk into the oldest chess club in the United States and see our children getting ready to play in the tournament on Saturday morning. I enjoy seeing them excited to put all those skills they learned during our classes into action: touch move, castling, notating, executing tactics, and delivering beautiful checkmates. It is wonderful to see watch them win their section just a few months after they were losing all of their games, seeing them make it to their first national scholastic championship after getting enough practice at Mechanics', and experiencing their growth from learning the moves to arriving at our historic Tuesday Night Marathon and playing in the same room as legends, with their names recorded in the game archives and Mechanics’ Institute history.

Children are our future, and we must do everything in our power to encourage them to learn, to strive to find solutions and get better, and most importantly to instill the same enthusiasm towards chess as we ourselves share. We do this with hope that if we do our job right, one day they will pay it forward.


NM Michael "fpawn" Aigner

NM Michael "fpawn" Aigner (left) playing against GM Walter Browne at the Mechanics' Institute.

My affiliation with the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club began with a one-day G/45 tournament in September 1997. The Institute had recently completed renovations, installing an accessible stall in the men's restroom. Over nearly a quarter century, I participated in some 60 tournaments. My victories included the Stamer Memorial twice, a trio of Tuesday Night Marathons, and two sponsored weekenders restricted to Masters and Experts. 
Above all, the historic club was the place to meet and compete against masters. I crossed swords with Grandmasters Walter Browne and Enrico Sevillano, plus a Murder's Row of International Masters young and old: Ricardo DeGuzman (over 20 games), Odondoo Ganbold, John Grefe, David Pruess, Walter Shipman, and Dmitry Zilberstein to mention just a few. 
Naturally, the best juniors in Northern California flocked to San Francisco to sharpen their teeth against the best. I battled the rising talents Vinay Bhat, Daniel Naroditsky, Sam Shankland and Steven Zierk before they earned the highest title in chess. The Institute also hosted free instructional lectures featuring Grandmasters visiting from far and near, either public or for a class of juniors. Even the prestigious US Chess School frequented the club over the years. By my count, 20 Bay Area juniors and young adults became International Masters in the 21st century - and every single one played at least once at the Mechanics. 
Indeed, the tournaments at 57 Post became an unofficial meeting place for my flock of students - and many of their rivals. While explaining the penalty for parents violating the cell phone policy, one director exaggerated that when Fpawn's phone rang, everyone in the room would lose 10 minutes off their clock. 
The Institute organized FIDE rated events throughout the 2000s, at a time when opportunities to earn an international rating were scarce in California. I joined a half dozen round-robins of 10 to 12 players, three merely to obtain FIDE ratings and three competing for IM norms. However, the strongest event I attended in the chess room was a week-long nine round swiss in December 2000. The Koltanowski International featured four Grandmasters, seven International Masters, and another 20 masters. The Belarusian-American GM Yuri Shulman won ahead of the legendary Estonian GM Jaan Ehlvest.
As the oldest chess club in the country, it seems appropriate that the San Francisco Mechanics' Institute team became one of the founding teams of the US Chess League. Over eleven seasons, the Mechanics qualified for three semifinals and, behind the lineup of GM Josh Friedel, GM Bhat, IM Pruess and then-NM Shankland became champions in 2006. Future seasons saw the emergence of "Gggg" lineups - one experienced Grandmaster followed by three talented yet underrated juniors. After 2015, the USCL morphed into an international format, albeit still with a competitive San Francisco team. 
No doubt the Mechanics' Institute had a pivotal role in the development of many chess players, including myself. While I live near Sacramento, I certainly left my chess heart in San Francisco.

An Open Letter to the Mechanics' Institute

by NM Mike Walder

An Open Letter to the Mechanics' Institute:

I want to express my gratitude to the Mechanics’ Institute on it’s 1000th Newsletter for doing what I think it does best: bringing chess players together. Just showing up to the Chess Room, one can enjoy the comradery while playing or kibitzing a game of chess.  One can make friends, find classes, meet study partners, and hire coaches. Pre-COVID-19, I regularly played in the Tuesday Night Marathon and some weekend events.

In 2020, over the board play was put on hold by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which made meeting people in public quite hazardous.  While sheltering in place gave me an opportunity to really hit the books and modernize my openings, I was afraid my play would atrophy from not getting serious games.  But the Mechanics’ management team led by Abel took care of that by hosting on-line tournaments.  Not only were there the usual IMs, FMs and NMs, we now got ourselves GMs.  For me that made the challenge of preparing openings more exciting as I didn’t want to embarrass myself by getting massacred in 19 moves because I made an opening blunder. It paid off in ways I never would have expected.

The strongest GM we had during this period was Gadir Guseinov. I recognized his name as his games are in many of my books as model opening and endgame play. I worked for several weeks preparing the Botvinnik English and two lines of the Taimanov Sicilian to play against him, and sure enough, he played right into my preparation.  My pawn sac on the Black side of the Sicilian gave us a seesaw game until we got to an even endgame where I got outplayed in time pressure. Judit told me Gadir said I played like a GM; that made my month.  Our next game I played the Botvinnik English, but he played something I didn’t see him play before and got a worse game before he blundered, and I was winning.  Did I mention he is a strong GM? I went from being a rook up and winning to equal to walking into a help mate. We started talking and I approached him for lessons.  We played a couple more games where my opening prep held up, resulting in me offering and him accepting my draw offers (before I could screw it up).  I started to work with him on all aspects of my game, but mostly plugging holes in my repertoire and on how to build up advantages.

Together we often work on my opening prep. He helps refine many of my opening ideas.

As this year’s European Team Chess Championship was approaching, I held my breath and offered to help him with any opening preparation he might want.  To my delight, he asked for a fresh idea in two specific openings that would be different from what he has played and were not ones that are currently being hashed out and on everyone’s radar.  It took me two weeks, but I came up with a novel idea that I introduced to him after one of our lessons.  He liked it and we spent another two and a half hours working and refining my novelty. This was every bit as educational as our paid lesson!  He said he would use it if I could find something for two different sub-variations. I found a game that addressed one concern and a novelty that addressed the other. What a fantastic exercise for me!

During the match I sent in fresh ideas in other lines that were played and was told that my submissions were useful. He shared the new lines with his teammates, and I got to see one played out in the tournament.

Our discussions often went into topics other than chess.  We talked about taxes, COVID vaccines, family life and travel. All of this made possible because the Mechanics’ held online tournaments and continued to do what it does best: bringing chess players together.

Thank you, Abel, Judit, and whomever else was involved for making this happen. I hired an excellent coach and made a great friend.


Michael Walder

3rd IM John Donaldson Championship Report

by Abel Talamantez

The 3rd IM John Donaldson Championship was a phenomenal success. During a time where many chess players and families may have been battling in the stores rather than the chessboard trying to capture last minute gifts, 68 players still filled the historic chess room at the Mechanics' Institute for the last event of the year. This would be a 5-round FIDE rated event, with a G/90+30 time control. 

It turns out that youth reigned supreme for this event, as 2021 Rockefeller Elementary Tournament of National Champions winner Henry Deng and Xuli Dai tied for 1st in the top section with 4/5. Adelynne Yang won the under 2000 section with a very solid performance with 4.5/5, including a wild game annotated by GM Nick de Firmian below. Muradhan Sabyrov won the under 1600 section with 4.5/5. Congratulations to all the winners!

(1) Yao,Hanchi - Yang,Adelynn [D10]

1.d4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.Nc3 Bf5!? Very provacative. It's a good developing move normally but what happens on... 5.Qb3! Hitting d5 and b7. 5...Nc6!


If you play such an opening with Black you have to play it actively to give your opponent hard decisions. 6.Qxb7? Taking this pawn too fast, leading to trouble. White would have a clear edge after the safer [6.Nf3 Rc8 7.Qxb7] 6...Nxd4 Big problems on c2. 7.e3 Rb8! [Not 7...Nc2+ 8.Kd1 Nxa1 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.Qxa8+ and White is winning.] 8.Qxa7 Nc2+ 9.Kd1 Nxa1 10.Bb5+


10...Rxb5 This is forced, but Black still remains a piece ahead. Of course it's very tricky with both sides so undeveloped. 11.Nxb5 Qc8? [11...f6! gives the black king an escape route and so remains a piece ahead] 12.Bd2? [12.Nc7+ Kd8 (12...Kd7 13.Nxd5+ Ke8 14.Nc7+ could be a draw) 13.Bd2! has 14. Ba5 coming up and leaves White with a clear edge.] 12...Qc2+ The black queen invades with decisive effect. 13.Ke1 Qb1+ 14.Ke2 Qd3+!


The right check. There is no way out for the poor white king. 15.Kd1 Qf1+ 16.Be1 Bc2+


White resigned. It is mate in two after 17. Kd2 Qd3+ 18. Kc1 Qd1. A real slugfest! Credit to both players for such an all out battle. 0-1

We had the pleasure of having IM John Donaldson stop by and lend his support, as well as his analysis during the broadcast with FM Paul Whitehead. To watch that round 2 coverage, click on this link HERE.

SwissSys Standings. 3rd Annual Donaldson Championship: Open

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total Prize
1 Henry Deng 16681298 2095 W12 (w) W20 (b) D2 (w) D6 (b) W8 (w) 4.0 335.00
2 Xuli Dai 15931956 2027 W18 (b) W17 (w) D1 (b) W16 (w) D4 (b) 4.0 335.00
3 Phillip Seitzer 12687814 2143 L17 (b) W5 (w) H--- W12 (b) W11 (w) 3.5 112.00
4 Sricharan Pullela 15580337 1943 D16 (b) D9 (w) W10 (b) W15 (w) D2 (w) 3.5 112.00
5 Aiden Liu 16850092 1893 D11 (w) L3 (b) W18 (b) W13 (w) W17 (b) 3.5 112.00
6 Theodore Biyiasas 13989054 2183 H--- D13 (w) W17 (b) D1 (w) D7 (b) 3.0  
7 Advay Bansal 16068511 2012 D14 (w) D8 (b) W20 (w) D11 (b) D6 (w) 3.0  
8 NM Michael Aigner 12595730 2200 H--- D7 (w) D13 (b) W21 (w) L1 (b) 2.5  
9 Tanmay Khattar 13833487 2106 H--- D4 (b) L14 (w) D20 (b) W18 (w) 2.5  
10 Manas Paldhe 16418854 2019 D22 (w) L14 (b) L4 (w) W19 (b) W20 (w) 2.5  
11 Kevin Fong 16070663 2016 D5 (b) W21 (w) D16 (b) D7 (w) L3 (b) 2.5  
12 Nathan Yan 16430495 1972 L1 (b) D18 (w) W19 (b) L3 (w) W16 (b) 2.5  
13 Patrick Liu 16667410 1955 D15 (w) D6 (b) D8 (w) L5 (b) W21 (b) 2.5  
14 Vincent Qin 16571968 1886 D7 (b) W10 (w) W9 (b) U--- U--- 2.5  
15 Pranav Senthilkumar 14020007 2035 D13 (b) W19 (w) H--- L4 (b) U--- 2.0  
16 Nathan Fong 13001390 2033 D4 (w) W22 (b) D11 (w) L2 (b) L12 (w) 2.0  
17 Jacob Chiang 16093205 2002 W3 (w) L2 (b) L6 (w) W22 (b) L5 (w) 2.0  
18 Ethan Guo 16761994 1925 L2 (w) D12 (b) L5 (w) B--- L9 (b) 1.5  
19 Sam Sloan 11115292 1900 H--- L15 (b) L12 (w) L10 (w) W22 (b) 1.5  
20 Jeffery Wang 16291100 1880 B--- L1 (w) L7 (b) D9 (w) L10 (b) 1.5  
21 Gary Harris 12834452 1865 H--- L11 (b) W22 (w) L8 (b) L13 (w) 1.5  
22 Jacob Wang 17083655 1903 D10 (b) L16 (w) L21 (b) L17 (w) L19 (w) 0.5  

SwissSys Standings. 3rd Annual Donaldson Championship: 1600-1999

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total Prize
1 Adelynne Yang 15661335 1721 W12 (b) W6 (w) W5 (b) W9 (w) D2 (b) 4.5 268.00
2 Dylan Tang 16551237 1694 D4 (b) W8 (w) W15 (b) W5 (w) D1 (w) 4.0 168.00
3 Thomas Zhu 15488164 1625 L18 (w) W13 (b) D14 (w) W16 (b) W9 (b) 3.5 84.00
4 Axel Joseph 30240086 1463 D2 (w) W16 (b) L9 (w) W11 (b) W6 (b) 3.5 84.00
5 Hanchi Yao 16512998 1732 W10 (w) W17 (b) L1 (w) L2 (b) W14 (w) 3.0  
6 Mohammad Soltani 12889183 1698 W13 (w) L1 (b) W11 (w) W12 (b) L4 (w) 3.0 33.50
7 Matt Long 13377410 1426 L17 (w) B--- H--- D14 (b) W12 (w) 3.0 33.50
8 Cailen Melville 14006141 1897 D16 (w) L2 (b) L10 (w) W17 (b) W15 (b) 2.5  
9 James Mahooti 12621393 1867 H--- W11 (w) W4 (b) L1 (b) L3 (w) 2.5  
10 Neil Bhaduri 16717750 1570 L5 (b) L12 (w) W8 (b) D15 (w) W16 (w) 2.5  
11 Aaron Craig 12872385 1582 W19 (w) L9 (b) L6 (b) L4 (w) B--- 2.0  
12 Ella Guo 16380657 1545 L1 (w) W10 (b) W17 (w) L6 (w) L7 (b) 2.0  
13 Daniel Perlov 16465203 1523 L6 (b) L3 (w) L16 (w) B--- W17 (b) 2.0  
14 Serena Yuan 16843308 1523 H--- D15 (w) D3 (b) D7 (w) L5 (b) 2.0  
15 Kevin Sun 16898540 1742 H--- D14 (b) L2 (w) D10 (b) L8 (w) 1.5  
16 Jashith Karthi 30016333 1598 D8 (b) L4 (w) W13 (b) L3 (w) L10 (b) 1.5  
17 Cesar Tamondong 12439091 1600 W7 (b) L5 (w) L12 (b) L8 (w) L13 (w) 1.0  
18 Ruyi Hu 16659933 1433 W3 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
19 Adam Stafford 14257838 1760 L11 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. 3rd Annual Donaldson Championship: Under1600

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total Prize
1 Muradhan Sabyrov 30028106 1035 W9 (w) W2 (w) H--- W16 (b) W5 (b) 4.5 268.00
2 Brian Ho 30188032 1495 W26 (w) L1 (b) W12 (w) W15 (b) W16 (w) 4.0 112.00
3 Adithya Chitta 16695036 1307 W14 (w) D20 (b) D18 (w) W9 (b) W6 (b) 4.0 112.00
4 Prescott Yu 16009618 1296 W22 (b) D15 (w) H--- W21 (b) W8 (w) 4.0 112.00
5 Arjun Sankar 14542170 1574 W17 (b) W13 (w) D16 (w) W7 (b) L1 (w) 3.5  
6 John Chan 12561007 1500 D18 (w) W10 (b) D8 (w) W19 (b) L3 (w) 3.0  
7 Samuel Agdamag 14874734 1431 H--- D12 (b) W14 (w) L5 (w) W20 (b) 3.0  
8 Andrew Ballantyne 17079795 1362 H--- W27 (w) D6 (b) W20 (w) L4 (b) 3.0  
9 Drew Clark 30178041 1339 L1 (b) W26 (w) D13 (b) L3 (w) W22 (b) 2.5  
10 Simone Pagan Griso 17322263 1329 H--- L6 (w) W27 (b) D13 (w) H--- 2.5  
11 Swaminathan Sankar 14080777 1249 L15 (b) W22 (w) L19 (b) W17 (w) D14 (b) 2.5  
12 Shengjie Fan 16963081 1208 D21 (b) D7 (w) L2 (b) H--- W19 (w) 2.5  
13 Skylar Kallinsky 30321876 1042 W23 (w) L5 (b) D9 (w) D10 (b) D15 (w) 2.5 16.75
14 Thomas Gu 17005685 982 L3 (b) W25 (w) L7 (b) W24 (w) D11 (w) 2.5 16.75
15 Kairat Sabyrov 30362207 unr. W11 (w) D4 (b) H--- L2 (w) D13 (b) 2.5 16.75
16 Omkar Govil-Nair 30298339 unr. B--- W24 (w) D5 (b) L1 (w) L2 (b) 2.5 16.75
17 Danny Cao 16939797 1064 L5 (w) H--- H--- L11 (b) W23 (w) 2.0  
18 Jimmy Fan 17303750 1042 D6 (b) W23 (w) D3 (b) U--- U--- 2.0  
19 Tianmu Wang 16996027 845 L24 (b) B--- W11 (w) L6 (w) L12 (b) 2.0  
20 Prashanth Ramachandran 30081021 unr. W25 (b) D3 (w) H--- L8 (b) L7 (w) 2.0  
21 Steven Hicks 15109093 unr. D12 (w) H--- W24 (b) L4 (w) U--- 2.0  
22 Shenghan Fan 16963886 895 L4 (w) L11 (b) W23 (b) H--- L9 (w) 1.5  
23 Albert Starr 12844781 1500 L13 (b) L18 (b) L22 (w) W27 (w) L17 (b) 1.0  
24 Jordan Kaplan 14940346 1260 W19 (w) L16 (b) L21 (w) L14 (b) U--- 1.0  
25 Mannansh Nayyar 15697026 1219 L20 (w) L14 (b) W26 (b) U--- U--- 1.0  
26 Anantiga Ramesh 16918785 1040 L2 (b) L9 (b) L25 (w) U--- H--- 0.5  
27 Vincent Seguin 30231214 988 H--- L8 (b) L10 (w) L23 (b) U--- 0.5  

TNM Round 8 Report

by Abel Talamantez

IM Elliott Winslow finished off 2021 with a big win against Christopher Bambou to win the Tuesday Night Marathon with a score of 7/8. Despite the loss, Bambou still tied for 2nd place with 5.5/8 with Nathan Fong. Yuvraj Sawhney had a breakthrough tournament in the under 1800 section, winning with 7/8. He drew his first 2 games and then went 6/6 the rest of the way.

Congratulations to the winners and a special thank you to all the players for participating in our flagship event. We will be celebrating 50 years in 2022 for the Tuesday Night Marathon, an event begun during the Fischer boom by then Chess Director Ray Conway. We look forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary with a special TNM, stay tuned for more details!

Here are some games from the round, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.

(1) Winslow,Elliott (2252) - Bambou,Christophe (2097) [D15]
MI Nov-Dec TNM 1800+ San Francisco (8.1), 21.12.2021

Last round, board 1, half point difference, everyone else is way behind (well, some players are a point behind Bambou). Does Christophe play for gold? 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 a6 It's hard to say: this is what Bambou plays anyway! 5.c5 [5.e3 b5 6.c5; 5.Ne5; 5.cxd5 cxd5 was more or less happening on Board] 5...Bf5 Black has popular alternatives: [5...Nbd7; 5...g6] 6.Nh4 And the same for White: [6.Bf4; 6.Qb3 Ra7!? (6...Qc8!?) 6...Be6?! This blocks the e-pawn; Black playing ...e5 is one of White's biggest concerns in this line. [6...Bg6 is the "main move."; It's funny to see 6...Bc8 scoring better than 50% in the database, since it's mainly an offer to repeat! And given the tournament situation, this is maybe a hint to what he was thinking. Or maybe it was just another day at the Slav factory. 7.Nf3 (But 7.Bf4 seems to successfully take advantage of Black's "offer".7...Bf5 8.Nh4 Bc8 9.Nf3] 7.Bf4 Nbd7 8.e3 h6! 9.Nf3N [9.Bg3 g5 10.Nf3 Nh5 11.Be2 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Bg7 13.Qc2 Qc7 14.0-0-0 0-0-0 15.b4 Bg4 16.a4 e6 17.Qb3 Bf5 18.Rd2 Rde8 19.Na2 Kd8 20.b5 Ke7 21.b6 Qc8 22.Bd3 Bxd3 23.Qxd3 f5 24.Nc3 Rhf8 25.g4 fxg4 26.Nh2 Nf6 27.e4 dxe4 28.Nxe4 Nxe4 29.Qxe4 h5 30.Nf1 h4 31.Ne3 Rf4 32.Qg6 Bf6 33.Re1 Kd7 34.g3 hxg3 35.fxg3 Rf3 36.Nxg4 Qb8 37.Nxf6+ Rxf6 38.Qxf6 Qxg3 39.Qe5 1-0 (39) Bykhovsky, Anatoly (2487)-Bykhovsky,Avigdor (2396), Yoel Geva (5) Tel Aviv 2009] 9...Bg4 10.Be2


10...e6?! [This would be a good moment for 10...Nh5! 11.Be5 (11.Ne5!?) 11...Nhf6] 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 The two bishops don't mean much now, but wait... 12...Be7 13.0-0 Possibly a mistiming -- what if Black throws pawns up the kingside? [13.b4 0-0 14.0-0 is safer.] 13...b6 [13...g5!? 14.Bh2 h5 is scary! But White can just turn lemons into lemonade with 15.Be2 g4 16.Kh1! when the g-file cuts both ways!] 14.cxb6 [14.b4 is sensible. 14...a5?? (14...0-0 15.Rc1 Qc8 Black pulls the Slav version of a Hedgehog, but White is surely doing well.15.b5!+- is a by-now well-known breakthrough.] 14...Qxb6 15.Na4 Black's queen has no happy square. 15...Qa5 [15...Qb5 16.Be2 Qb7 17.Rc1 makes the breaks problematic.] 16.a3 [16.Rc1 Nb6 17.Nc5+- Qxa2? 18.Ra1 Qxb2 19.Rb1] 16...c5? [16...0-0 17.b4 Qd8 18.Nc5 is just a queenside grind.] 17.dxc5 Nxc5 18.Nxc5 Qxc5


19.Qa4+! Qb5 20.Qxb5+ axb5 21.Be2 White just picks up a pawn. 21...b4?! Trying to get something for the pawn. [21...0-0 22.Bxb5 Ne4 imagines some play but White is on the road to victory.] 22.axb4 [22.Bb5+ is slightly better. 22...Kf8 23.axb4 Rxa1 24.Rxa1 g5 25.Be5 Kg7 26.Be2 Bxb4 27.Ra4 Bc5 28.b4 when Black is no longer a pawn down -- but it's in fact worse.] 22...0-0 23.b5 Bc5 24.Ra6 Ra7?! This loses quickly, but there was no good move. 25.Rc1! Nd7 [25...Rxa6 26.bxa6 Ba7 27.b4 is hopeless for Black] 26.Rxa7 Bxa7 27.Rc7 Ne5 There is nothing to be done. 28.Bxe5 Bb8


29.b6 The two bishops! 29...f6 30.Bd6 Rd8 31.Be7 Bxc7 32.bxc7 Ra8 33.Ba6 Kf7 34.Ba3 Black resigns. So Winslow comes out one and a half points ahead to close out a year of TNMs. 1-0

(2) Gimelfarb,Natan - Ahrens,Richard [C50]
TNM, 22.12.2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 h6 This is alright but lags development. 3...Be7 is a little more helpful. 4.d4 Nc6?! getting in trouble or losing a pawn. Black should play [4...exd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Be7 with a decent game, though White is more active] 5.dxe5


5...Nxe5?! [5...Qe7! plans 6.exd6 Qxe4+ White should instead play 6. Nc3 with a clear advantage.] 6.Nxe5 dxe5 7.Bxf7+! A now well known trick. The black king must defend the queen so cannot take the bishop. 7...Ke7 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Bxg8 This bishop is a little better than the black knight, so the trade helps the defense. 9...Rxg8 10.0-0 g5 11.Be3 Bd6 12.Nc3 Be6 13.Rad1 Black is down a pawn but has the bishop pair. Kramnik would choose 13...Kc8! to avoid the pins and let the dark-squared bishop have a retreat square. 13...Kd7 14.Bc5 b6?! 15.Bxd6 cxd6 16.Nb5?


16...Bxa2? [16...Bc4! 17.Nxd6 (17.Rxd6+?! Ke7 18.Rd5 Bxd5 19.exd5 Rgc8) 17...Bxf1 18.Kxf1 Ke6 is material equality and an even game] 17.b3! Rgc8 18.Na3 b5 19.Ra1 b4 20.Nc4 Rxc4 21.bxc4 Bxc4


22.Rfd1? [22.Rfb1! a5?! 23.Rxb4!] 22...a6? [22...a5! and the endgame is very good for Black! It is two pawns for the exchange and the a-pawn could we march down to a2.] 23.Ra4 a5 24.Rda1 Suddenly White is just winning. The a-pawn goes and then the exchange up makes t.he difference 24...Rb8 25.Rxa5 b3 26.cxb3 Bxb3 27.f3 Bf7 28.Rd1 Rb6 29.Rc1 Ke6 30.Ra8 Kf6 31.Rc7 Rb1+ 32.Kf2 Rb2+ 33.Kg3 h5?! losing the bishop, but even on [33...Be6 34.Rh8 Kg6 35.Rch7 will win without difficulty] 34.Rf8 h4+ 35.Kh3 Kg6 36.Rfxf7 g4+ 37.Kxh4 gxf3 38.Rfd7 Rb6


39.g4! d5 40.g5 f2 [40...dxe4 41.Kg4] 41.Rg7# A fighting game which left chances for both sides at a few key moments. 1-0

(3) Ratliff,Jim - Starr,Albert Martin (1492) [D00]
MI TNM Nov-Dec U1800 San Francisco CA USA (8.11), 21.12.2021
[Jim Ratliff]

1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Bf4 A London System with the white knight on c3. 3...Bd6 4.e3! Accepting the doubled pawns is the best way to hold the center squares. 4...Bxf4 Black doesn't need to capture right away. The white pawn on f4 helps control e5 and Black is left with the light-squared bishop which is the worse of the two. 5.exf4 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bd7 7.a3 Nge7 8.Bd3


White has just a small edge from the opening, but it is a nice position to play. 8...a6 9.Ne2 Na7 10.Ng3 Bb5 Albert exchanges off the inferior bishop. A good positional plan yet it has taken some time. 11.0-0 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 0-0 13.Ng5 g6 14.h4 This is good use of the h-pawn. The black kingside is solid and must be weakened if White wants to attack. 14...h6 15.Nf3 Nac6?! [15...h5 would stop White's next move and keep the kingside more solid] 16.h5! f5?! This is an over reaction to the attack and causes more weakenesses. Preferable was [16...Qd6] 17.Rfe1 Rf6 18.Re2 Qe8 19.Rae1 The pressure is building. 19...Nd8 20.Nh4 gxh5?!


21.Ngxf5! White breaks through by use of the pin on the e-file. 21...Nxf5 22.Nxf5 Qf7! In a difficult position Albert keeps his cool and makes a good defense. 23.Nh4 Rxf4 24.Ng6 Rf6 25.Ne5 Qg7 26.Re3 h4 27.Rh3 Qg5 [perhaps 27...Nf7 28.Rxh4 Nxe5 29.Rxe5 Rg6] 28.Nf3 Qf5 29.Qxf5 Rxf5 30.Rxh4 Rf6 31.Re3 Nf7 32.Nh2 Ng5? losing a pawn [32...Kg7 keeps material equality] 33.Ng4 Rg6 34.Nxh6+ Kg7 35.Ng4 Rh8 36.Rxh8 Kxh8 37.Ne5 Rg7 38.Rg3 Ne4 39.Rxg7 Kxg7 White has one pawn ahead in a knight ending. That is always good winning chances - easier than a rook ending. 40.f3 Nd6 41.g4 b6 42.Kg2 Nb5 43.c3 c5 44.dxc5 bxc5 45.f4 Nd6 46.Kf3 a5 47.Ke3 a4 48.Nd7 Nc4+ 49.Kf3 Nxb2 50.Nxc5 Kf7 51.Kg3 Nc4 52.Nxa4 Nxa3 Good play by both side. Black has traded pawns and hopes to trade two more before sacrificing the knight for the last pawn. The white kingside pawns are advancing though. 53.Kh4 Nb5 54.Kh5 Nd6 [54...d4!?] 55.Kh6 Ne4 56.g5 Nd6 57.Kh7 Ne8 58.Nc5 Ke7 59.Nd3 Kf8 60.Ne5 Nc7 61.Ng4 Ne8 62.g6 Ng7


Black is one pawn down and holding for the moment, but Rarliff finds a way through the defense. 63.Nf6 Nf5 64.Nh5 Ke7 [64...Ne7 65.Ng7! is no better] 65.g7 Nxg7 66.Kxg7 Kd6 67.Kf6 Kc5 68.Kxe6 Black resigns. 1-0

(4) Clemens,Kristian (1954) - Askin,David (2023) [D13]
MI Nov-Dec TNM 1800+ San Francisco (8.2), 21.12.2021

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bf4 Nc6 7.e3 Somehow White has a negative score in the big database with this natural move. [7.Rc1 and; 7.Ne5 are good alternatives] 7...Bg4 This could be the reason. 8.Be2 e6 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Bd6 11.Bxd6 Qxd6 12.0-0 0-0 Black has a very comfortable position with the pair of knights. 13.Qd2 b5 [No surprise is the quick 13...Rac8 14.Rfd1 ½-½ of Agdestein,S (2570)-Huebner,R (2560) Havana 1998] 14.Rfc1 Rfc8


15.a3N [Previously seen was 15.Rab1 Rc7 16.a3 Nd7 17.e4 Nb6 18.exd5 exd5 19.Rd1 Re7 20.Qg5 h6 21.Qg3 Qxg3 22.fxg3 Rd8 23.Kf2 Rd6 24.Rd3 Kf8 25.b3 Ke8 26.g4 Nd8 27.Nd1 Ne6 28.Rc1 Kd7 29.Ne3 g6 30.h4 Rc6 31.Rxc6 Kxc6 32.Rc3+ Kd6 33.Nc2 Ra7 34.Ke2 Re7 35.Kf2 Rb7 36.Ke3 a5 37.g3 Nc7 38.Rc5 Nd7 39.Rc3 Rb8 40.Kd2 Ne6 41.Re3 Nb6 42.Re1 Rc8 43.Re3 a4 44.Bd1 Nd7 Degro,H (2041)-Nordenbaek,J (2228) Barcelona 2014 1/2-1/2 (68)] 15...Qd8 16.b4 Qb6 So far all is equal. 17.Qb2 Ne7 18.a4 Nf5 19.axb5 axb5 20.Rxa8 Rxa8 21.Ra1 Rc8 22.Ra5 Nd6


23.Qa1?! [probably a better try is 23.Be2 when Black needs to be aggressive 23...g5! (or 23...h5! 24.Bxb5 Qc7 25.Ra3 Nxb5 26.Nxb5 Qc1+ 27.Qxc1 Rxc1+ 28.Kh2 Ne4 29.f3 Nd2 30.Kg3 Nc4 31.Rb3 Ra1 Is this really nothing special? Stockfish thinks so.In the first second or so Stockfish made White a clear favorite, probably because it fixed on 23...Nc4? 24.Bxc4 bxc4 25.Qa3+/- Ne4? 26.Nxe4 dxe4 27.Rc5+-) 24.Bxb5 Qc7! 25.Ra3 Nxb5 26.Nxb5 Qc1+ 27.Qxc1 Rxc1+ 28.Kh2 Ne4 29.f3 Nd2=] 23...Qc6 24.Ra6 Qc7 [24...Qxc3 25.Qxc3 Rxc3 26.Rxd6 Rc1+ 27.Kh2 g5=/+ is some slight plus after ...Rf1] 25.Ra8 g6 26.Be2 Nfe4 27.Rxc8+ Qxc8 28.Nxb5 Nxb5 29.Bxb5 Qc2 30.Qe1 Nc3=


White has temporarily won a pawn but Black's activity compensates for it. 31.Bf1 Qb2 32.b5 Nxb5 33.Bxb5 Qxb5 With a completely level game that could be agreed drawn here. Yet the players fight on. 34.Qc1 h5 35.Qc8+ Kg7 36.Qc7 Qb1+ 37.Kh2 Qb2 38.Qe5+ Kg8 39.Qf6 Qe2 40.Kg3 Qf1 41.Kh2 Qb5 42.Qe5 Qe8 43.Qf6 Qb8+ 44.Kg1 Qb4 45.Kh2 Qf8 46.Kg1 Qd6 47.h4 Qb4 48.Kh2 Qb1 49.Qf4 Qc2 50.Qb8+ Kh7 51.Qf4 Kg8 1/2-1/2

SwissSys Standings. Nov-Dec 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: 1800+

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Total Prize
1 Elliott Winslow 10363365 2252 W15 (w) W12 (b) W13 (w) D14 (b) W10 (b) W16 (w) D3 (b) W2 (w) 7.0 475.00
2 Christophe Bambou 12734479 2097 L16 (b) W18 (w) W27 (b) W9 (w) D7 (b) W10 (w) W8 (b) L1 (b) 5.5 261.50
3 Nathan Fong 13001390 2032 H--- W16 (w) D9 (b) H--- W14 (w) W6 (b) D1 (w) H--- 5.5 261.50
4 David Askin 13776967 2023 W28 (w) D7 (b) L14 (w) W15 (b) L6 (w) W17 (b) W16 (w) D5 (b) 5.0  
5 Kristian Clemens 13901075 1954 W25 (w) D21 (b) L6 (w) W13 (b) D8 (w) W14 (b) H--- D4 (w) 5.0 71.50
6 Guy Argo 12517167 1884 H--- W20 (w) W5 (b) L10 (w) W4 (b) L3 (w) W13 (b) D11 (w) 5.0 71.50
7 Daniel Wang 15361305 1700 W24 (b) D4 (w) D16 (b) W12 (b) D2 (w) L8 (w) W9 (b) H--- 5.0 143.00
8 Nicholas Weng 15499404 2001 L10 (w) W28 (b) H--- W22 (w) D5 (b) W7 (b) L2 (w) H--- 4.5  
9 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1917 H--- X26 D3 (w) L2 (b) W27 (w) D11 (b) L7 (w) W13 (w) 4.5  
10 Adam Stafford 14257838 1745 W8 (b) H--- W21 (w) W6 (b) L1 (w) L2 (b) W14 (w) U--- 4.5  
11 Joel Carron 16600505 1670 D14 (w) D17 (b) L12 (w) W26 (b) W18 (b) D9 (w) H--- D6 (b) 4.5  
12 Ako Heidari 15206848 1955 W23 (b) L1 (w) W11 (b) L7 (w) L16 (b) W18 (w) U--- X20 4.0  
13 Edward Lewis 12601629 2017 H--- W22 (w) L1 (b) L5 (w) B--- W20 (b) L6 (w) L9 (b) 3.5  
14 Kayven Riese 12572270 1900 D11 (b) W19 (w) W4 (b) D1 (w) L3 (b) L5 (w) L10 (b) D18 (w) 3.5  
15 James Mahooti 12621393 1867 L1 (b) D23 (w) W20 (b) L4 (w) H--- H--- W25 (w) U--- 3.5  
16 Lucas Lesniewski 17039584 1855 W2 (w) L3 (b) D7 (w) W21 (b) W12 (w) L1 (b) L4 (b) U--- 3.5  
17 Samuel Brownlow 12747074 1832 H--- D11 (w) F24 H--- W22 (b) L4 (w) L20 (b) W27 (w) 3.5  
18 Ilia Gimelfarb 17158733 1760 L21 (w) L2 (b) W25 (w) W19 (b) L11 (w) L12 (b) W28 (w) D14 (b) 3.5  
19 Teodoro Porlares 12773115 1746 H--- L14 (b) H--- L18 (w) W23 (w) L25 (b) X22 H--- 3.5  
20 Marty Cortinas 12590374 1706 D29 (w) L6 (b) L15 (w) B--- W28 (b) L13 (w) W17 (w) F12 3.5  
21 Brandon Estolas 12869947 2003 W18 (b) D5 (w) L10 (b) L16 (w) H--- X27 U--- U--- 3.0  
22 Andre Persidsky 12545869 1814 H--- L13 (b) W26 (w) L8 (b) L17 (w) D23 (b) F19 X28 3.0  
23 Kevin Sun 16898540 1744 L12 (w) D15 (b) L28 (w) H--- L19 (b) D22 (w) W27 (b) H--- 3.0  
24 Steven Svoboda 10451671 1914 L7 (w) W25 (b) X17 H--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 2.5  
25 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1735 L5 (b) L24 (w) L18 (b) H--- W26 (w) W19 (w) L15 (b) U--- 2.5  
26 Anthony Acosta 12633251 1787 H--- F9 L22 (b) L11 (w) L25 (b) W28 (w) U--- H--- 2.0  
27 Charles Faulkner 12559529 1720 H--- H--- L2 (w) W28 (b) L9 (b) F21 L23 (w) L17 (b) 2.0  
28 Tony Lama 12328450 1800 L4 (b) L8 (w) W23 (b) L27 (w) L20 (w) L26 (b) L18 (b) F22 1.0  
29 Krish Matai 16444206 1937 D20 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5  

SwissSys Standings. Nov-Dec 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: Under1800

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Total Prize
1 Yuvraj Sawhney 17095004 1593 D26 (w) D24 (b) W19 (w) W21 (w) W7 (b) W10 (b) W2 (w) W5 (b) 7.0 380.00
2 Adam Mercado 16571026 1746 W34 (b) W17 (w) D21 (b) W8 (w) W15 (b) W13 (w) L1 (b) W9 (w) 6.5 285.00
3 Jim Ratliff 11163831 1632 H--- H--- W26 (b) L7 (w) W34 (b) W27 (w) W29 (b) W13 (w) 6.0 143.00
4 Romeo Barreyro 17018168 1649 W19 (b) W7 (w) W13 (b) L15 (w) D17 (b) W6 (w) L8 (b) X24 5.5  
5 Adam Ginzberg 30268083 1540 W41 (b) W22 (w) D29 (b) H--- W32 (w) H--- W18 (b) L1 (w) 5.5 31.67
6 John Chan 12561007 1500 H--- L29 (w) W48 (b) W37 (b) W25 (w) L4 (b) W32 (w) X15 5.5 31.67
7 Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1474 W47 (w) L4 (b) W30 (w) W3 (b) L1 (w) W24 (b) W10 (w) H--- 5.5 31.67
8 JP Fairchild 30150098 1229 W53 (b) H--- W14 (w) L2 (b) D33 (w) W25 (b) W4 (w) H--- 5.5 47.50
9 Timothy Bayaraa 15616166 1149 H--- H--- H--- W23 (w) W21 (b) W11 (w) W17 (b) L2 (b) 5.5 47.50
10 Dean Guo 30257083 1549 W40 (b) W39 (w) W33 (b) H--- H--- L1 (w) L7 (b) W17 (w) 5.0  
11 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1542 W45 (w) L32 (b) L24 (w) W28 (b) W41 (w) L9 (b) W33 (w) X21 5.0  
12 Georgios Tsolias 17266862 1511 W46 (w) L33 (b) W44 (w) L18 (b) L24 (w) X47 W27 (b) W30 (w) 5.0  
13 Albert Starr 12844781 1500 W28 (w) W23 (b) L4 (w) X39 W22 (b) L2 (b) W26 (w) L3 (b) 5.0  
14 Andrew Imbens 30102682 1400 H--- W48 (w) L8 (b) H--- W43 (w) D20 (b) W16 (w) H--- 5.0  
15 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1611 W44 (w) W16 (b) D32 (w) W4 (b) L2 (w) L18 (b) W20 (w) F6 4.5  
16 Richard Hack 12796129 1500 W20 (b) L15 (w) W31 (b) L22 (w) D29 (b) W42 (w) L14 (b) W35 (w) 4.5  
17 Aaron Craig 12872385 1491 W52 (w) L2 (b) W28 (w) W24 (b) D4 (w) W32 (b) L9 (w) L10 (b) 4.5  
18 Matt Long 13377410 1478 L29 (b) W20 (w) W49 (b) W12 (w) D36 (b) W15 (w) L5 (w) U--- 4.5  
19 Noah Chambers 16694473 1219 L4 (w) X52 L1 (b) D30 (b) F44 W49 (w) W43 (b) W29 (w) 4.5  
20 Prasanna Chandramouli 30279272 921 L16 (w) L18 (b) W45 (w) W44 (b) X50 D14 (w) L15 (b) W32 (b) 4.5  
21 Ronald Allen 30086796 1501 W27 (b) W25 (w) D2 (w) L1 (b) L9 (w) H--- W22 (b) F11 4.0  
22 David Olson 13913131 1400 W31 (w) L5 (b) W35 (w) W16 (b) L13 (w) L26 (b) L21 (w) X39 4.0  
23 Deandre Stallworth 30255378 1399 W49 (b) L13 (w) H--- L9 (b) F31 H--- W45 (w) X36 4.0  
24 Tobiahs Rex 30164211 1278 H--- D1 (w) W11 (b) L17 (w) W12 (b) L7 (w) W39 (w) F4 4.0  
25 Benjamin Anderson 30235937 1172 W37 (w) L21 (b) W38 (w) H--- L6 (b) L8 (w) W34 (b) H--- 4.0  
26 Ian Atroshchenko 30214657 1135 D1 (b) X53 L3 (w) X50 H--- W22 (w) L13 (b) U--- 4.0  
27 Thomas Gu 17005685 997 L21 (w) L37 (b) W40 (b) X38 W39 (w) L3 (b) L12 (w) W43 (w) 4.0  
28 Pratyush Hule 16317000 970 L13 (b) W34 (w) L17 (b) L11 (w) W37 (w) L39 (b) W51 (w) X38 4.0  
29 Eli Chanoff 12898987 839 W18 (w) W6 (b) D5 (w) L32 (b) D16 (w) W33 (b) L3 (w) L19 (b) 4.0  
30 Ambrogino Giusti 30223021 unr. H--- H--- L7 (b) D19 (w) W35 (b) W31 (w) H--- L12 (b) 4.0  
31 Christopher Hallacy 30310731 unr. L22 (b) B--- L16 (w) H--- X23 L30 (b) X41 H--- 4.0  
32 Samuel Agdamag 14874734 1448 W42 (b) W11 (w) D15 (b) W29 (w) L5 (b) L17 (w) L6 (b) L20 (w) 3.5  
33 Ashwin Vaidyanathan 30205719 1444 W43 (b) W12 (w) L10 (w) H--- D8 (b) L29 (w) L11 (b) H--- 3.5  
34 Cloe Chai 16315197 1254 L2 (w) L28 (b) W46 (w) W47 (b) L3 (w) D41 (b) L25 (w) W44 (b) 3.5  
35 Marcus Casaes 30290420 unr. L39 (b) W41 (w) L22 (b) H--- L30 (w) W51 (b) W37 (w) L16 (b) 3.5  
36 Erika Malykin 12910007 1693 H--- H--- H--- X43 D18 (w) U--- U--- F23 3.0  
37 Nick Casares Jr 10424364 1600 L25 (b) W27 (w) L43 (b) L6 (w) L28 (b) W40 (w) L35 (b) W49 (b) 3.0  
38 Daniel Massop 30328281 1600 H--- H--- L25 (b) F27 F47 X48 W49 (w) F28 3.0  
39 Michael Hilliard 12279170 1447 W35 (w) L10 (b) W47 (w) F13 L27 (b) W28 (w) L24 (b) F22 3.0  
40 Natan Gimelfarb 16757673 1125 L10 (w) L47 (b) L27 (w) L46 (b) X52 L37 (b) X52 W45 (w) 3.0  
41 Maria Obrien 15300977 1036 L5 (w) L35 (b) W52 (b) W49 (w) L11 (b) D34 (w) F31 H--- 3.0  
42 Christian Brickhouse 30261226 452 L32 (w) L44 (b) B--- H--- W51 (w) L16 (b) U--- H--- 3.0  
43 Vittorio Banfi 30308530 unr. L33 (w) W45 (b) W37 (w) F36 L14 (b) H--- L19 (w) L27 (b) 2.5  
44 Don Chambers 16694467 1219 L15 (b) W42 (w) L12 (b) L20 (w) F19 L45 (b) B--- L34 (w) 2.0  
45 Richard Ahrens 16953298 1091 L11 (b) L43 (w) L20 (b) W52 (w) L49 (b) W44 (w) L23 (b) L40 (b) 2.0  
46 William Thibault 16716976 1014 L12 (b) L49 (w) L34 (b) W40 (w) W48 (b) U--- U--- U--- 2.0  
47 Cathal Dayton 12930548 784 L7 (b) W40 (w) L39 (b) L34 (w) X38 F12 U--- U--- 2.0  
48 Maxwell Fleming 30329285 unr. H--- L14 (b) L6 (w) H--- L46 (w) F38 U--- W51 (b) 2.0  
49 Juan Elias 30325735 unr. L23 (w) W46 (b) L18 (w) L41 (b) W45 (w) L19 (b) L38 (b) L37 (w) 2.0  
50 Enile Ahmed 17110092 1356 H--- H--- H--- F26 F20 U--- U--- U--- 1.5  
51 William Deegan 30390500 unr. H--- H--- H--- U--- L42 (b) L35 (w) L28 (b) L48 (w) 1.5  
52 Andrejs Gulbis 16741331 845 L17 (b) F19 L41 (w) L45 (b) F40 B--- F40 U--- 1.0  
53 Charles Faulkner 12559529 1720 L8 (w) F26 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Nov-Dec 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: Extra Games

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Total
1 Alexander Pa Chin 17050697 1859 U--- U--- W31 (w) U--- U--- W30 (w) W32 (w) L10 (b) 3.0
2 Erika Malykin 12910007 1693 U--- U--- W37 (b) W33 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- 2.0
3 Drew H Clark 30178041 1339 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L16 (w) W38 (w) W35 (w) 2.0
4 Christopher Hallacy 30310731 unr. U--- W39 (w) U--- U--- W40 (w) U--- U--- U--- 2.0
5 Zachary Siskind 30397364 unr. U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W48 (b) W48 (w) 2.0
6 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1917 D27 (b) W34 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.5
7 Edward Lewis 12601629 2017 W28 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
8 Teodoro Porlares 12773115 1746 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W16 (b) U--- 1.0
9 Romeo Barreyro 17018168 1649 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W14 (w) 1.0
10 Arjun Sankar 14542170 1574 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W1 (w) 1.0
11 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1542 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W36 (b) 1.0
12 Georgios Tsolias 17266862 1511 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W28 (b) U--- U--- 1.0
13 Albert Starr 12844781 1500 U--- U--- U--- W41 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
14 John Chan 12561007 1500 W47 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L9 (b) 1.0
15 Reka Sztaray 14656444 1498 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W22 (b) U--- 1.0
16 Alex Langrog 12636476 1489 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W3 (b) L8 (w) U--- 1.0
17 Anton Maliev 30250562 1459 U--- U--- U--- U--- W43 (w) U--- U--- U--- 1.0
18 Swaminatha Sankar 14080777 1249 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W42 (b) 1.0
19 Don Chambers 16694467 1219 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W40 (b) U--- 1.0
20 Pratyush Hule 16317000 970 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W46 (w) 1.0
21 Prasanna Chandramouli 30279272 921 U--- U--- U--- U--- W22 (w) U--- U--- U--- 1.0
22 Judit Sztaray 14708926 749 U--- U--- U--- L26 (b) L21 (b) U--- L15 (w) W44 (b) 1.0
23 Willia Fitzgerald 17048414 680 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W44 (b) U--- 1.0
24 Christian Brickhouse 30261226 452 U--- U--- W39 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
25 Eli Albukerk 30219969 128 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W45 (b) U--- 1.0
26 William Deegan 30390500 unr. U--- U--- U--- W22 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
27 Andre Persidsky 12545869 1814 D6 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5
28 Daniel Massop 30328281 1600 L7 (w) D29 (b) U--- U--- U--- L12 (w) U--- U--- 0.5
29 Ian Atroshchenko 30214657 1135 U--- D28 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5
30 Brandon Estolas 12869947 2003 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L1 (b) U--- U--- 0.0
31 Steven Svoboda 10451671 1914 U--- U--- L1 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
32 Sam H Sloan 11115292 1900 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L1 (b) U--- 0.0
33 Abel Talamantez 12465386 1800 U--- U--- U--- L2 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
34 Charles Faulkner 12559529 1720 U--- L6 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
35 David Olson 13913131 1400 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L3 (b) 0.0
36 Deandre Stallworth 30255378 1399 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L11 (w) 0.0
37 Enile Ahmed 17110092 1356 U--- U--- L2 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
38 Taras Smetanyue 30065395 1200 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L3 (b) U--- 0.0
39 Timothy Bayaraa 15616166 1149 U--- L4 (b) L24 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
40 Natan Gimelfarb 16757673 1125 U--- U--- U--- U--- L4 (b) U--- L19 (w) U--- 0.0
41 Thomas Gu 17005685 997 U--- U--- U--- L13 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
42 Ashkon Tabatabai 16316838 956 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L18 (w) 0.0
43 Cathal Dayton 12930548 784 U--- U--- U--- U--- L17 (b) U--- U--- U--- 0.0
44 Toby Waters 30217896 419 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L23 (w) L22 (w) 0.0
45 Lauren Yani Ahmed 30247240 103 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L25 (w) U--- 0.0
46 Carson Mayer   unr. U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L20 (b) 0.0
47 Maxwell Fleming 30329285 unr. L14 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
48 Adrian Lee 30397375 unr. U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L5 (w) L5 (b) 0.0

Tony's Teasers

Tony is back and ready to challenge you to solve this problem: white to move and mate in 3. Happy New Year from Tony!

Mechanics' Institute Events Schedule

Don't Miss our Exciting Upcoming Events!!

The Mechanics' Institute will continue to hold regular and online events. Here is our upcoming schedule for players:

IM Walter Shipman Tuesday Night Marathon. January 4 - February 15, 2022, 6:30PM FIDE Rated. 7SS G/120;d5:

Bob Burger Memorial Championship. January 8, 2022, 10AM USCF Rated. 4SS G/45;d5:

Mechanics' Institute January Championship Quads. January 22, 2022, 3PM USCF Rated. 3RR G/30;d5:

Mechanics' Institute Class Schedule

Click HERE to see our full slate of specialty chess classes, we offer something for everyone!

Scholastic Chess Bulletin

The scholastic news is covered in a dedicated publication:
Mechanics' Institute Scholastic Chess Bulletin

Fresh New 
Scholastic Chess Bulletin #8 is out!

In this issue:

  •  2021 National K-12 Grades Championships

  • Monthly Scholastic In-Person Tournament - 2021 December Report

  • Enrichment Highlight: Hoover Elementary

  • December Chess Camps

  • Understanding Tournaments: Colors

  • Upcoming Tournament Schedule

  • Tournament Results & Featured Games analyzed by GM Nick de Firmian

Please click the following LINK to read our latest edition.
Interested in reading the past issues? Click here to see the list of all issues.

All of us at Mechanics' Institute would like to thank you for your support of our scholastic chess programming.

FM Paul Whitehead

[email protected]

One Thousand

One thousand is a lot of anything.

In chess, a rating of 1000 is a threshold to pass over, and getting one’s rating over 1000 is an indication that you are improving -  no one can call you a “duffer” anymore.  In order to make this kind of progress you need to start solving problems such as this mate in two moves, which happens to be position #1000 from Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games, by Laszlo Polgar:

A bit more technical knowledge is needed to defend this position to a draw, #1000 in Reuben Fine’s classic Basic Chess Endings:

If you enjoy puzzles, then there are quite a few 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles featuring the Royal Game, including this one found on Pinterest:

Another classic chess book is 1000 Best Short Games of Chess, by Irving Chernev.  I tried to find that book (and the 1000th game!), but it had been checked out of the Mechanics’ Library.  And 1000 Checkmate Combinations by Victor Khenkin has been lost.

Another nice book I did find was Chess Gems: 1000 Combinations You Should Know, by Igor Sukhin.  Naturally I turned to example 1000.  Black to play and win:

Timman - Karpov. London 1984.

After 1…Rxe5! 2.Qxe5 Qf3+ 3.Kh2 (or 3.Kh3 Bc8+) 3…Qf2+ 4.Kh3 Bc8+ 0-1. If 5.g4 Rf3+.

On a lark I went to one of my favorite chess sites,, to look up Garry Kasparov’s 1000th game.  I found this amusing struggle:

Kasparov – Short. Immopar Rapid 1990

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Rb1 f5 6.b4 e4 7.Bb2 Nf6 8.b5 Ne5 9.d3 d6 10.Nh3 O-O 11.O-O Kh8 12.Nf4 a6 13.a4 axb5 14.axb5 Bd7 15.Ra1 Rxa1 16.Bxa1 g5 17.Nfd5 Nxd5 18.Nxd5 c6 19.bxc6 bxc6 20.Nb4 Qb6 21.Nc2 exd3 22.exd3 f4 23.Bxe5 Bxe5 24.Qh5 fxg3 25.hxg3 Bxg3 26.Be4 Bf5 27.Bxf5 Rxf5 28.Qe8+ Kg7 29.Ne3 Re5 30.Qd7+ Kg6 31.Qxd6+ Kh5 32.Kg2 Rxe3 33.Rh1+ Kg4 34.Qd7+ Kf4 35.Qf7+ Ke5 36.Qe7+ Kf4 37.fxe3 Qxe3 38.Rf1+ Bf2 39.Rxf2+ Qxf2+ 40.Kxf2.

And Short played on!

40…g4 41.Qe4+ Kg5 42.Kg3 h5 43.Qe5+ Kg6 44.Kh4 Kf7 45.Kxh5 c5 46.Kxg4 Kg6 47.Qxc5 Kf7 48.Kf5 Ke8 49.Qc7 Kf8 50.Kf6 Kg8 1-0

Finally, this article (and others) appears in the 1000th edition of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter.  I am proud and humbled to make this contribution.  As random as the examples I have given are, they are bound together by my love and respect for the game and the people who play it.

Nick de Firmian’s Column

Out with the Old! In with the New!

Each year brings new changes, and we certainly hope 2022 will bring different and better things than 2021. Of course, most of us are praying for an end to the pandemic and return to a “normal” life with a few new twists discovered during the lock down. The plentiful rains of the last weeks could also bring a new and better year without the drought and with few worries of fires ravaging our golden state. Chess will also have its changes and the end of 2021 brings us interesting considerations of what will happen in 2022.

The World Rapid Chess Championship in Warsaw ended with victory for the young and the thought that the complete dominance of the “old” guard may be nearing its end. A brilliant young player won the event and beat the “old” king, Magnus, along the way. You may think surely that would be the new superstar Alireza Firouzja, but you would be wrong. This was previously unheralded Nordirbek Abdusattorov, a 17 year old teenager from Uzbekistan. This is a great victory for Nordirbek and will surely bring him invitations to the elite events of the chess world. It is just one of the breakthroughs of the of the very young (in fact teenage) chess players this last year. Firzouzja scored many fine tournament victories and advanced to number two on the rating list with a 2804 year end rating. The great traditional Wijk aan Zee tournament was won by young Jorden van Foreest, and the World Open won by 18 year old Hans Niemann.  We take particular interest in Hans as he spent many developmental years at our club and played many Tuesday Night Marathons. He was also in Warsaw and we give one of his games along with Abdusattorov’s below.

(1) Abdusattorov,Nordirbek - Carlsen,Magnus [A28]
World Rapid, 28.12.2021

Young 17 year old Abdusattorov gets the honor of playing the World Champion. Does he just "play well" and lose? No, he plays without fear and does his best. 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e4 This loses some dark square control for the gain of a central grip on the white squares. 4...Bb4 5.d3 d6 6.a3 Bc5 7.b4 Bb6 8.Na4 Bg4 9.Nxb6 axb6 10.Bb2

The opening is roughly equal. White has the bishop pair while Black has good development and good knights. 10...Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Nd7 12.g3 Qf6 Magnus never fears an endgame. 13.Qd1 Nf8 14.Bg2 Ne6 15.0-0 g5!? aggressive play from the old champ 16.Bh3 h5 17.Bxe6 Necessary so the knights don't control the d4 square. 17...Qxe6 18.b5 Nb8!? Taking time to get the knight to the square he wants. It's slow though. 19.f4 gxf4 20.gxf4 Nd7 21.Kh1 Qg4 22.Qf3 Everything is still pretty even. Young Nordirbek is not giving any ground. 22...f6 23.Qe3 0-0-0 24.f5 h4 25.Rg1 Qh5 26.Rg6?! Rdg8 27.Rag1 Rxg6 28.fxg6 Rg8 29.g7 Qh7?! too direct trying to win the pawn. With [29...Nc5! Black would have a nice edge.] 30.Qh3! Rxg7 31.Rxg7 Qxg7 32.Qxh4 Nc5 33.Bc1 c6 [33...Nxd3?? 34.Qh3+] 34.bxc6 bxc6 35.Qh3+ Kb7 36.Qf3 We have a fairly simple even endgame. Carlsen though must have felt he needed to beat his less experiance opponent. 36...Qh7 37.Bd2 Ka6 38.Kg2 Qg7+ 39.Kf1 Qh7 40.h3 Take note of this move. It is the first step of this brave pawn. 40...d5!? 41.Qf5 Qg8 [41...Qxf5+ 42.exf5 Nxd3 43.cxd5 cxd5 44.h4! and the h-pawn is hard to stop] 42.cxd5 cxd5 43.exd5 Qxd5 44.Ke2 Kb5 45.Be3 Qg2+ 46.Bf2 Ka4 47.h4 e4 48.dxe4 Nxe4 49.Qf3 Qg6 50.h5 Qe8 51.Be3
51...f5?! Magnus has too little respect for his young opponent. [51...Qxh5 52.Qxh5 Ng3+ 53.Kf3 Nxh5 54.Bxb6 would be a draw] 52.h6 only two steps to queen. Magnus must watch out. 52...Qe5 53.Kf1 Qd5 54.Kg2 Qg8+ 55.Kh3 Ng5+ 56.Bxg5 Qxg5 57.Qc6+! Kxa3 58.Qc3+ Ka4 59.Qc4+ Ka5 60.Qc3+ Ka4 61.Qg7!
Black has two pawns to White's one, but White has all the winning chances with the advanced pawn. In rapid chess it's hard to defend this position. 61...Qe3+ 62.Kh4 f4? [62...b5! 63.h7 Qf4+ 64.Kh5 Qh2+ 65.Kg5 Qg3+ 66.Kf6 Qc3+ 67.Kg6 Qg3+ holds the draw] 63.Qd7+ b5 64.h7 Only one more step to go! 64...Qe5?! [64...Qg1!] 65.Kg4?! [65.Qd1+! Kb4 66.Qd8!] 65...f3 66.Kxf3 Qf6+ 67.Ke4 Qh4+ 68.Kd5 Qh5+ 69.Kc6 Qg6+ 70.Kc7 Qg3+ 71.Kb7 can White escape the checks? 71...Qf3+ 72.Ka6 Qf6+ 73.Ka7 Qf2+ 74.Kb7 Qf3+ 75.Qc6 Qf7+ 76.Qc7 Qf3+ 77.Ka6 Qa8+ 78.Kb6 Qh8 79.Qc2+ Ka3 80.Qd3+ Ka2 81.Kc5 b4? [81...Qc8+ has reasonable drawing chances] 82.Qd2+! Ka1 83.Qd4+
The champ resigns as the king ending is lost. A long hard battle, and perhaps a sign of things to come for the new year, 1-0

(2) Amin,Bassem - Niemann,Hans [A05]
World Rapid, 27.12.2021

1.Nf3 c5 2.e4 d6 3.g3 Nf6 4.d3 In the old days this would have been considered wimpy, but current opening plans are often slower to develop and don't aim for a big advantage. 4...Nc6 5.Bg2 g6 6.0-0 Bg7 7.Re1 0-0 8.c3 e5!

Hans plays principled chess (probalby what he learned in the Mechanics'). Black stakes out squares in the center and has at least equality. 9.a4 h6 10.Na3 Re8 11.Bd2 d5 12.b4?! [12.exd5 would be a King's Indian position reversed and about equal chances] 12...dxe4 13.dxe4 Be6 14.Qb1 Rc8 15.Be3!? [15.bxc5 Qe7] 15...cxb4 16.cxb4 Ng4! 17.Rd1 Qf6 White's dark squared bishop will be traded for a knight, leaving Black the edge. 18.Bc5 b6 19.b5 Na5 20.Bb4 Nb3 21.h3
Black is winning the exchange but his knight on g4 is trapped. 21...Nxa1 22.Qxa1 Nxf2! 23.Kxf2 Red8 materially White is a little ahead with bishop and knight against rook and pawn. Black though is well developed and well centralized. 24.Bf1 Bb3 25.Rxd8+ Qxd8 26.Qb2 Be6 [26...Bxa4 is possible even though the black bishp is stuck in a bad square for a while] 27.Nd2 h5 28.Nac4 h4 29.g4 Qf6+ 30.Kg2?! [30.Kg1 is a safer square] 30...Qf4 The black queen is causing trouble on the kingside with the help of the h4 pawn. 31.Qb3 f5 32.gxf5 gxf5 33.Qe3 fxe4!
This grabs another pawn even though it is doubled. White shouldn't exchange queens and correct the black pawn structure. 34.Bd6 Bd5 35.Be2 Bh6 Now the pressure is too much and White must give something up. 36.Bg4 Rxc4 37.Nxc4 Bxc4 38.Qf2 Bd5 39.Qxh4 e3+ 40.Kg1 Bg5 41.Qe1

41...e2! 42.Bxe2 material is equal but White is pushed away from defending his king [42.Qxe2 Qg3+ 43.Kf1 Be3] 42...Bh4 It's mate or Black wins the queen. Amin resigned. 0-1

Solution to Tony's Teaser

1. Nd7!! Kd2 2. Nc5 Ke3 3. Nc4#

If 2...Kc1 3. Nb3#

If 2...Ke1 3. Bc3#

Solution to Jude Acer's Problems

Problem 1: Qa5!! Kd4 2. Rf4#

Problem 2: 1. Ra8+!! Kxa8 2. Rc8#

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