Chess Room Newsletter #1002 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #1002

Gens Una Sumus!



Newsletter #1002

January 15, 2022


Table of Contents

Chess Director Abel Talamantez Stepping Down January 31, 2022

I want to let everyone know that I will be stepping down as Chess Director of the Mechanics' Institute on January 31, 2022. These past 3+ years have been an incredible ride and a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the glorious history of the Mechanics' Institute's chess club. I'm proud of all the work we have accomplished in expanding events, growing scholastic programs, and creating program offerings like classes for the chess community, as well as our broadcasting of live events. Among my my most memorable moments are the 2019 Mechanics' Institute Rapid Championship sponsored by the PRO Chess League which drew 37 titled players, including 13 Grandmasters that included world #2 GM Fabiano Caruana and US Champion GM Sam Shankland. The broadcast of the event can be found HERE. US Chess article on the event is HERE. Also on the list is the tandem simul event with super GM's Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Rauf Mamedov, broadcast can be found HERE

My proudest moment was keeping our community together through the pandemic when everything was in lockdown through our online events. The value of the chess club can not be measured in words, and during a time of immense uncertainty and fear, where everyone was indoors, the chess club was accessible to all, with weekly events and programming, which included tournaments, arenas, interviews, classes, and chats. 

Of course all of this would not have been possible without the hard work of the greatest chess team anyone could ask for. I am forever grateful to Judit Sztaray, FM Paul Whitehead, and GM Nick de Firmian for the their friendship, camaraderie, and teamwork throughout these years. We faced many challenges, and we met those challenges together as one. I can tell you that the energy, fun, passion and love for what we do in truly genuine, and it has been an honor to be a part of that at the club. We will always be a team, and I am forever grateful for that.

One of my biggest regrets in not doing more for the stronger scholastic players in the community through norm events or regular FIDE events that encouraged participation from stronger players. Perhaps this can be something to be considered in moving forward, as the chess community clearly needs this. It would be wrong to discuss the successes without touching on some of the regrets.

Most of all, I want to thank the amazing chess community at the Mechanics' Institute. My goal in coming here was to bring communities together through chess, but the lessons I learned from the community has been a greater education for me than I could ever have imagined. Thank you all for accepting me in, for giving a stranger a chance, and allowing me to learn and love the chess culture and people. It has given me a strong sense of perspective regarding the value of the history of the club, and the power of the newsletter and broadcasts as a source of connection between the people and history. 

The number of people there are to thank are too numerous to list, and I'll be doing that separately. I will continue to be a part of the club, either in helping where needed or participating in events. This is not a farewell, but rather a new beginning, as I will begin an exciting new challenge taking everything I learned here and throughout my life to use chess as a social empowerment and community building tool for kids. 

Thank you for all your support, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve as the 10th Chess Director of the Mechanics' Institute.

Abel Talamantez, January 13, 2022.

Photo: NM Kerry Lawless

 Bobby and the Summer of 1957

by IM John Donaldson

Bobby Fischer, after winning the US Junior held in the Castro at the Spreckels Dairy, spent a month in California. He then headed East in a car supplied by Guthrie McClain. William Addison was at the wheel with Fischer, Gil Ramirez, John Rinaldo and William Rebold as passengers. This was just before the establishment of the Interstate system so the 2500-mile journey was even more of a grind than normal. Driving through Nevada and Utah in the middle of the summer could not have been a picnic, especially with no air conditioning. At some point tempers flared, and the young Bobby, who got tired of being compared to Crusader Rabbit, lunged at his tormentor John Rinaldo, but accidentally sank his teeth into Ramirez's arm instead. Gil automatically responded by swinging at Bobby who showed up at the US Open with a black eye. Fischer went on to make his big breakthrough by winning the event.

A half century later Fischer's will was contested requiring him to be disinterred for his DNA. The test did not support the claim of a Filipino women that her daughter was Bobby's child, but maybe Gil Ramirez still has Bobby's DNA in him?

On page 119 of Bobby Fischer and His World, an endgame study is given which Fischer showed to the late Bill Haines of Vallejo and other participants in the 1957 US Junior. Haines couldn't recall who composed the study which is a perfect illustration that a queen cannot win by itself. Low and behold a few days ago, while studying Chess Tactics for Advanced Players by Yury Averbakh (a great book that is in the MI library and available for only $5 at US Chess sales in the clearance bin), I stumbled upon the exact study on pages 245-46. It was composed by P. Ilyin in 1947.

White to play and draw.

How can the pawn be stopped? Hint- it can’t!

1.Ne7+ Kh7 2.g6+ Kh8 3.Kb4 e2 4.Kc5 e1Q 5.Kd6

The blockade of the king cannot be lifted and the queen cannot win by itself. For example: 5…Qe4 6.Kd7 Qe5 7.Kd8 Qe6 8.Ke8 Qd6 9.Kf7 Qd7 10.Kf8 Qd8+ 11.Kf7 and no progress.

2022 IM Walter Shipman TNM Round 2 Report

by Abel Talamantez

Round 2 of the TNM is in the books, and IM Elliott Winslow continues to be one of the leaders with a win against Mechanics' veteran Kristian Clemens. Christophe Bambou walked into NM Michael Walder's preparation as Walder gets the win to go to 1.5/2 for the tournament. Jayden Xu continued his wizardry for a second week in a row, as he won on time again when his opponent William Gray began a calculation of the position and lost track of time. Larry Snyder emailed me last week and mentioned that this phenomenon should be referred to as chess rapture. His reasoning is as follows, in reference to last week's game against Lucas Lesniewski, "It is akin to the common term, rapture of the deep, one form of which occurs when scuba divers get so fascinated with and engrossed in their surroundings, they lose track of their tank's oxygen supply, with sometimes fatal consequences. Instead of being immersed in water, Lesniewski was immersed in chess, in the position on the board". I think a good case can be made that this term should be included in the chess vocabulary, and now it has happened two weeks in a row. Xu joins Winslow, Edward Lewis and Kayven Riese at 2/2.

In the under 1800 section, five players still have perfect scores, including Stephen Parsons, Sebby Suarez, Albert Starr, Nursultan Uzakbaev, and Ashwin Vaidyanathan, 

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

(1) Gray, William - Xu, Jayden [D03]
TNM, 11.01.2022

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 e6 3.Bg5 The Torre Attack. A good way to avoid a lot of theory. 3...d5 4.Nbd2 c5 5.e3 Bd6


6.e4! normally you don't want to move a pawn twice in the early opening. Here though it works - 6...Be7 [6...dxe4?! 7.Nxe4 is clearly better for White] 7.e5 Nfd7 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.c3 Now we have transposed into a French Defense. White has a little edge here. 9...Nc6 10.Bd3 cxd4 11.cxd4 0-0 12.0-0 f6 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.Re1 Bd7 15.a3 White's pawns are well placed on the dark squares. The backward black e-pawn and the somewhat passive black bishop on d7 are the negatives for Black. Yet the developed black pieces and open f-file is open give chances for activity. 15...Rac8 16.Rc1 Qd6 17.Rc3 [17.Nb3] 17...Qf4 18.g3 Qh6 19.Bf1 Ng4 20.h3 Nf6 21.h4 Ng4 22.Bh3!? [again 22.Nb3 is very solid] 22...e5!


starting the action. This gives Black equal chances. 23.Qb3 Rcd8? [23...Nxd4 24.Qxd5+ Be6 25.Qxb7 Rb8 would be a dynamically balanced postion] 24.dxe5 now White wins a pawn 24...Ncxe5? [24...Ngxe5 25.Qxd5+ Kh8 26.Nxe5 Nxe5 27.Bxd7 Rxd7 28.Qxe5 Qxd2 is just a pawn ahead for White] 25.Bxg4? [25.Rxe5! Nxe5 26.Qxd5+ Kh8 27.Nxe5 is a winning material advantage for White.] 25...Nxg4 26.Rd3 [26.Qxd5+!] 26...Bc6 27.Rd4 Qh5 28.Qd1 Qf5 29.Rf4 Qd7


The game is back to even material and even chances. 30.Rd4 Rde8 31.Rxe8 Rxe8 32.Rf4 Ne5 33.Nxe5 Rxe5 34.Nf3 Re7 35.Rd4 Qf5 36.Rf4 Qh5 [36...Qd7 is equal] 37.Qd4! Nicely centralizing the queen and blockading the d-pawn 37...Re2 38.Ng5 h6 39.Nf3 a6 40.Qc5 Qg6 41.Nd4


41...Rxb2? Jayden couldn't resist the tempting pawn. This takes the black rook away from the defense of the king and allows White a winning attack. 42.Qe7?! [42.Qf8+ Kh7 43.Rf7! Rb1+ 44.Kh2 Rb2 45.Re7 followed by 43 Ne6 wins by hitting g7. The players were in serious time pressure though so this would be hard to see.] 42...Rd2?! [42...Kh7 43.Ne6 Rb1+ 44.Kh2 d4! would hold a draw 45.g4 Rh1+ 46.Kg3 Rg1+ 47.Kh2 Rh1+] 43.Ne6 Re2


White is winning after 44. Qd8+ Be8 45 Re8+ Kh7 46 Qxe8, but William tragically lost on time. An intense and hard fought battle. 0-1

(2) Reed, Paul - Barreyro, Romeo [B08]
TNM, 11.01.2022

1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bf4 Nh5 8.Be3 c6 9.Qd2 Kh7 10.h3 b5 11.Bd3 Nf6


I like this position as a spectator. Both sides have chosen aggressive play and we have a full scale battle in the works with White looking to storm the kingside. Objectively White has an edge, but Black has lots of possibilites. 12.Rd1 Na6 13.a3 b4 14.Ne2 bxa3 15.bxa3 Rb8 16.0-0 Ng8?! 17.e5! Taking more central territory. 17...d5 18.Nh2 Nc7 19.f4 [19.Nf4!] 19...e6 20.Nf3 Ba6 21.Bxa6 Nxa6 22.h4!? Qe7 [22...Ne7] 23.Qc1 Rb7 24.g4 Rfb8 25.Nc3 Rb2 26.Rd3 c5


27.Na4! R2b5?! [objectively better was 27...Rb1 28.Qxb1 Rxb1 29.Rxb1 c4 with about equal chances] 28.dxc5 Nxc5?! A practical decision to sacrifice the exchange. White has objectively a big advantage but it's not so easy to play as the black minor pieces work well with the pawn structure. 29.Nxc5 Rxc5 30.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 31.Kg2 Bf8 32.h5 Ne7 33.Rh1 Rc8 34.Nd4 Nc6? [34...gxh5 35.Rxh5 Nc6] 35.hxg6+ fxg6 36.Nxe6 winning the e-pawn should be a clear win for White now 36...Qc4 37.Nxf8+ Rxf8 38.Rf1 [38.Kg3!] 38...Qe4+ 39.Kg3 d4 40.Qe1 Qd5 keeping play in the postion [40...Rxf4 41.Qxe4 Rxe4 42.c3 should be a winning endgame] 41.c3 Qc4 42.Qd2?


42...Nxe5! A great shot, winning back the exchange! 43.Rd1?! [43.fxe5 Rxf1 44.Rxd4 is still an edge for White] 43...Nxd3 44.Qxd3 Qxd3+ 45.Rxd3 dxc3 46.Rxc3 Rf7 The dust has settled and we have an even rook ending with 3 pawns each. 47.a4 Re7 48.f5 gxf5 49.gxf5 Kg7 50.Rc4 Kf6 51.Kf4 Rd7 52.Rc6+ Kg7 53.Ke5 h5 54.Ke6 Rf7 55.Rc4 Rf6+ 56.Ke5 Rf7 57.Rh4 Kh6 58.Ke6 Rb7 59.Rd4 Kg5 60.Rd6 Rb4 61.f6 Re4+?! [61...Kg6!] 62.Kf7 Rxa4 63.Kg7 Rf4 64.f7


64...Rxf7+! 65.Kxf7 h4 66.Ra6 h3 67.Rxa7 Kg4 68.Ke6 h2 69.Rh7 Kg3 70.Ke5 Kg2 71.Rxh2+ A great battle down to just kings in the end. 1/2-1/2

(3) Winslow, Elliott (2251) - Clemens, Kristian (1934) [D37]
MI 2nd Shipman mem TNM: 1800+ San Francisco (2.1), 11.01.2022

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bf4 c6 6.e3 Nbd7 7.h3 0-0 8.Qc2 Winslow-Clemens, TNM 11.2019 reached the same position only with the bishop on g5. 8...dxc4 Not waiting for a bishop move, but it was played once by Vaganian. [8...b6 was Karpov's choice against Dreev: 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.0-0 a6 12.a4 h6 13.Rfc1 Nb8 14.Ne5 Nfd7 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.Qb3 Qd8 17.a5 b5 18.Na4 Nc6 19.Nc5 Bxc5 20.Rxc5 Nxa5 Black has a pawn; White has a solid advantage; the pawn won out: 0-1 (64) Dreev,A (2607)-Karpov,A (2670) Moscow 2007] 9.Bxc4 b5 [9...Nb6 10.Be2 Nbd5 11.Bh2 Nxc3 12.bxc3 b6 13.0-0 Bb7 14.a4 c5 15.Qb2 cxd4 16.cxd4 Qd5 0-1 (46) Tunik,G (2469)-Vaganian,R (2662) Moscow 2002] 10.Bd3 Not an easy choice, but the most played. 10...Bb7 11.0-0 Not aggressive enough. [Here's a more convincing game, if only by White's rating: 11.e4 b4 12.Na4 h6 13.0-0 Rc8 14.Qe2 c5 15.e5 Nh7 16.Rad1 Qa5 17.b3 Rfd8 18.Rfe1 Nhf8 19.Bg3 a6 20.Nd2 cxd4 21.Nc4 Qc7 22.Qg4 Nc5 23.Nxc5 Qxc5 24.Bf4 Kh8 25.Rc1 Qd5 26.Kh2 Rc5 27.Nb6 Qc6 28.Na4 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 Qd5 30.Rc7 Nd7 31.Bc4 Nxe5 32.Bxd5 Nxg4+ 33.hxg4 Bxd5 34.Rxe7 d3 35.Nb2 Be4 36.Nc4 g5 37.Bd2 Bd5 38.Ne5 Kg8 39.Nxf7 Rc8 40.Nxh6+ 1-0 (40) Fressinet,L (2676)-Senff,M (2468) Germany 2008] 11...a6


[Nobody has ventured 11...b4] 12.Ng5!? [12.e4 was rewarded with a miniature: 12...h6 13.e5 Nd5 14.Nxd5 exd5 15.Bf5 c5 16.e6 fxe6 17.Bxe6+ Kh8 18.Bxd7 Qxd7 19.Ne5 1-0 (19) Fridman,D (2661)-Mazarov,J (2164) Oberhausen 2011; Stockfish 14.1 goes with the straightforward 12.Rfd1] 12...h6 13.Nge4 Nxe4? [13...c5! 14.dxc5 Nxc5 15.Nxc5 Bxc5 and Black has all but equalized.] 14.Nxe4 Nf6?! [For better or worse, Black has to try 14...c5 15.Nd6!+/-] 15.Nc5


15...Bc8N [Predecessor: 15...Bxc5 16.Qxc5 Qd5 17.Qxd5 Nxd5 18.Bg3 and White ground out a win: 1-0 (39) Saenz,C (2008)-Arias Arias,Y Coliseo Menor 2011] 16.a3 White has a stranglehold on the queenside. 16...Nd5 17.Bh2 Bd6 18.Bxd6 Qxd6 19.Ne4 Qc7 20.Rac1 Bb7 The black bishop on b7 is doing the work of a pawn. The queenside dark squares are under White's control. 21.Nc5 Rac8 22.Qd2 Rfd8 23.f4 Nf6 24.Bb1 Nd7 25.Qc2 Nxc5?!


[25...Nf6 26.f5 exf5 27.Rxf5 Rd6 28.Rxf6! Rxf6 29.Qh7+ Kf8 30.Qh8+ Ke7 31.Qxg7 is very good for White anyway but at least Black has a rook for knight] 26.Qh7+! Kf8 27.Rxc5 Rd5 28.Qh8+ Ke7 29.Qxg7 Rxc5 30.dxc5 It's not just the pawn down. Black is hard pressed to meet the coming f4-f5 30...b4 31.axb4 a5 32.f5! e5 33.f6+ Ke6 34.Ba2+ Kd7 35.Qxf7+ Kd8 36.Rd1+ 1-0

(4) Riese, Kayven (1906) - Askin, David (2035) [B14]
MI 2nd Shipman mem TNM: 1800+ San Francisco (2.2), 11.01.2022

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Bb4 7.Bd2 0-0 8.a3


8...Be7?! [8...Bxc3 9.Bxc3 b6 would be a more direct opening plan for Black] 9.c5 Ne4 [9...b6!?] 10.Bd3+/= Nxd2 [10...f5!?] 11.Qxd2 b6 12.b4 bxc5 13.dxc5


13...e5? too aggressive! The center pawn are great- if they don't get taken. 14.Nxd5!+- Bb7 15.Be4! Nc6 16.Nxe7+ Qxe7 17.0-0 f5 18.Bd5+ Kh8 19.Qa2 e4 White is a clear pawn up with a big advantage but Black's e4 pawn causes some discomfort. 20.Rfe1 a6 21.Rad1 Rad8 22.Bxc6 exf3?!


23.Bxb7! Qxb7 24.Rxd8 Rxd8 25.Qe6 h6 26.Qxf5 Qe7! Objectively White is winning with the extra pawns, yet David makes it difficult with back rank threats. 27.Rc1 Rf8 28.Qg4 Qe2 29.Qc4?!


[29.c6 Qd2 30.Qc4 fxg2 31.Qc2 (or 31.Qc5 wins) ] 29...Rd8! 30.gxf3! anything else is winning for Black! 30...Qxf3 31.c6! Rd5? [31...Rd2 32.Qh4 Rd1+ 33.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 34.Kg2 Qd5+ 35.f3 Qxc6+/-] 32.h4? [32.c7! and run with the king - 32...Rg5+ 33.Kf1 Qh3+ 34.Ke2 Re5+ 35.Kd2+-] 32...Rd6? [32...Rd2!= 33.Rf1 (33.Qc5 Qg4+ 34.Kf1 Qe4 35.Kg1=) 33...Rc2! 34.Qxc2 Qg4+=] 33.c7! Rg6+ 34.Kf1 Qh3+ 35.Ke2 now Kayven has the right idea to run with the king 35...Re6+ 36.Kd2 Rd6+ 37.Kc2 Qc8 38.Rd1 Qf5+ [38...Rxd1 39.Kxd1 h5 40.Kd2 Qd7+ 41.Kc1 Qc8 42.Qf7] 39.Kc1 The white pawn on c7 ties Black down completely. The rest is just technique. 39...Rxd1+ 40.Kxd1 Qc8 41.Kc2 Kh7 42.Qe4+ Kh8 43.Qe5 Kg8 44.Kb3 Kf7 45.Ka4 g5 46.hxg5 hxg5 47.Ka5 g4 48.Qf4+ Ke7 49.Qg5+ Kf7 50.Qe5 Kg6 51.Kb6 Kf7 52.Qd5+ Kg6 53.Qd6+ Kf7 54.Ka7 Qf5 55.Kb8 Qb5+ 56.Ka7 Qc4 [56...Qf5 57.Qc6] 57.Qd7+ 1-0

(5) Walder, Michael (2085) - Bambou, Christophe (2106) [B01]
MI 2nd Shipman mem TNM: 1800+ San Francisco (2.5), 11.01.2022

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bd2 Bg4!? 6.f3 Bd7 7.f4?! [7.Bc4] 7...Qb6 8.Bc4


The position is more than equal for Black 8...Qxd4?! [Better is 8...Nc6!-/+ 9.Nge2 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qxd4] 9.Qe2+/= Qb6N [9...Qc5+/=; Previously seen was 9...Bg4 10.Nf3 Bxf3 11.gxf3 Qd8 12.0-0-0 c6 13.Rhe1 Nbd7 14.f5 Qc7 15.h3 h6 0-1 (51) Vlachynska,L (1224)-Gregurkova,N (1642) Kouty nad Desnou 2020] 10.0-0-0 Bg4 11.Nf3 And now Na4 threatens to win 11...c6?


This move loses the game for Black. [11...Nbd7+/- was necessary] 12.Bxf7+!+- Decoy 12...Kxf7 13.Ne5+ Discovered Attack, Double Attack 13...Ke8 14.Nxg4 White has an extra pawn, better development and safer king. 14...Nbd7 15.Rhe1 g6 16.Nxf6+ Nxf6 17.Qe5 Kf7 18.Qe6+ Kg7 19.Ne4 c5 Christophe plays the best defense to get the queens off. Unfortunately it's still not enough. 20.Nxf6 Qxe6 21.Rxe6 exf6 22.Bc3 The endgame is effortless for Mike. 22...Rg8 23.Rd7+ Kh6 24.Bxf6 Threatening mate with Bg5+. 24...Bg7


25.Ree7! Rad8


[25...Kh5 26.h3] 26.Bxg7+ 1-0

SwissSys Standings. 2nd Shipman Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon: 1800+

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Total Prize
1 Elliott Winslow   10363365 2251 W19 (b) W11 (w) 2.0  
2 Edward Lewis   12601629 2017 W22 (w) W12 (b) 2.0  
3 Kayven Riese   12572270 1906 W16 (b) W8 (w) 2.0  
4 Jayden Xu   15918365 1765 W9 (w) W10 (b) 2.0  
5 Michael Walder   10345120 2085 D7 (b) W18 (w) 1.5  
6 Ranen Lardent   12614986 1827 D18 (b) X17 1.5  
7 Luke Widjaja   16010621 1792 D5 (w) W20 (b) 1.5  
8 David Askin   13776967 2035 W21 (w) L3 (b) 1.0  
9 Lucas Lesniewski   17039584 2025 L4 (b) W24 (w) 1.0  
10 William Gray   13217831 1971 W24 (b) L4 (w) 1.0  
11 Kristian Clemens   13901075 1934 W15 (w) L1 (b) 1.0  
12 James J Mahooti   12621393 1867 W23 (w) L2 (w) 1.0  
13 Abel Talamantez   12465386 1804 H--- H--- 1.0  
14 Jim Ratliff   11163831 1719 H--- H--- 1.0  
15 Joel Carron   16600505 1671 L11 (b) B--- 1.0  
16 Joshua Lamstein   15487526 1605 L3 (w) X23 1.0  
17 Yusheng Xia   13471910 2294 H--- F6 0.5  
18 Christophe Bambou   12734479 2106 D6 (w) L5 (b) 0.5  
19 Fredrick Dutter   12343420 1900 L1 (w) D21 (b) 0.5  
20 Guy Argo   12517167 1856 H--- L7 (w) 0.5  
21 Adam Mercado   16571026 1774 L8 (b) D19 (w) 0.5  
22 Glenn Kaplan   12680193 1740 L2 (b) H--- 0.5  
23 Gaziz Makhanov   16828914 1917 L12 (b) F16 0.0  
24 Charles Faulkner   12559529 1720 L10 (w) L9 (b) 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. 2nd Shipman Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon: u1800

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Total Prize
1 Stephen Parsons   16566932 1629 W16 (b) W13 (w) 2.0  
2 Sebastian Suarez   16875347 1565 W19 (w) W15 (b) 2.0  
3 Albert Starr   12844781 1522 W29 (w) X17 2.0  
4 Nursultan Uzakbaev   17137317 1521 X20 W22 (w) 2.0  
5 Ashwin Vaidyanathan   30205719 1444 W21 (w) W12 (b) 2.0  
6 Romeo Barreyro   17018168 1631 W23 (w) D9 (b) 1.5  
7 Dean Guo   30257083 1554 W24 (b) H--- 1.5  
8 Richard Hack   12796129 1500 W28 (b) H--- 1.5  
9 Paul Reed   13373197 1474 W25 (b) D6 (w) 1.5  
10 Anton Maliev   30250562 1429 H--- X26 1.5  
11 Nick Casares Jr   10424364 1600 L17 (w) W29 (b) 1.0  
12 Adam Ginzberg   30268083 1576 W18 (b) L5 (w) 1.0  
13 Matt Long   13377410 1519 W30 (w) L1 (b) 1.0  
14 Yorgos Tsolias   17266862 1512 H--- H--- 1.0  
15 Simone Pagan Griso   17322263 1329 W32 (b) L2 (w) 1.0  
16 Jp Fairchild   30150098 1229 L1 (w) W30 (b) 1.0  
17 Vittorio Banfi   30308530 1227 W11 (b) F3 1.0  
18 Benjamin Anderson   30235937 1172 L12 (w) X31 1.0  
19 Danny Cao   16939797 1142 L2 (b) X32 1.0  
20 Prasanna Chandramouli   30279272 1002 F4 W27 (b) 1.0  
21 Ambrogino Giusti   30223021 unr. L5 (b) X28 1.0  
22 Matthew Grange   30403587 unr. W27 (w) L4 (b) 1.0  
23 Deandre Stallworth   30255378 1294 L6 (b) D25 (w) 0.5  
24 Pratyush Hule   16317000 1104 L7 (w) H--- 0.5  
25 David Nichol   12934283 982 L9 (w) D23 (b) 0.5  
26 Thomas Gu   17005685 958 H--- F10 0.5  
27 David R Olson   13913131 1400 L22 (b) L20 (w) 0.0  
28 Timothy Bayaraa   15616166 1149 L8 (w) F21 0.0  
29 Richard Ahrens   16953298 1091 L3 (b) L11 (w) 0.0  
30 Eli Chanoff   12898987 993 L13 (b) L16 (w) 0.0  
31 Christian Brickhouse   30261226 452 U--- F18 0.0  
32 Marcus Casaes   30290420 unr. L15 (w) F19 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. 2nd Shipman Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon: Extra Games Shipman

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Total Prize
1 Ranen Lardent   12614986 1827 U--- W7 (w) 1.0  
2 Abel Talamantez   12465386 1804 W9 (b) L3 (b) 1.0  
3 Joshua Lamstein   15487526 1605 U--- W2 (w) 1.0  
4 Anton Maliev   30250562 1429 U--- W8 (w) 1.0  
5 Benjamin Anderson   30235937 1172 U--- W10 (b) 1.0  
6 Judit Sztaray   14708926 723 U--- W11 (b) 1.0  
7 Joel Carron   16600505 1671 U--- L1 (b) 0.0  
8 Albert Starr   12844781 1522 U--- L4 (b) 0.0  
9 Nursultan Uzakbaev   17137317 1521 L2 (w) U--- 0.0  
10 Danny Cao   16939797 1142 U--- L5 (w) 0.0  
11 Ambrogino Giusti   30223021 unr. U--- L6 (w) 0.0  

Bob Burger Memorial Report

by Abel Talamantez

43 players participated in the Bob Burger Memorial on Saturday January 8th. Joshua Lamstein was the winner of the 1800+ section with 3.4/4, which included a very impressive victory over Lucas Lesniewski. Lesniewski and Alejandro Canales tied for 2nd with 3/4. In the u/1800 section, it was a 3-way tie for 1st between Daniel Perlov, Andrew Ballantyne, and Jan Erik Solem with 3.5/4. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the participants for their support of the Mechanics' Institute.

SwissSys Standings. 21st Bob Burger Memorial Championship: 1800+

# Place Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Total Prize
1 1 Joshua Lamstein 15487526 1605 B--- W8 W2 H--- 3.5 252.00
2 2-3 Lucas Lesniewski 17039584 2025 W3 W10 L1 W6 3.0 107.50
3   Alejandro Canales 16913725 1776 L2 B--- W10 W8 3.0 107.50
4 4-6 Sean Kelly 16962568 2006 L8 W11 D9 W12 2.5  
5   Alexander Su 12857329 1793 D11 W13 L6 W9 2.5  
6   Zachary Filler 14040236 1635 W7 D9 W5 L2 2.5  
7 7-11 Aaron Thompson 14004907 1937 L6 W12 L8 W13 2.0  
8   Ethan Mei 16090467 1717 W4 L1 W7 L3 2.0  
9   Yuelin Shi 16286905 1626 W14 D6 D4 L5 2.0  
10   Axel Joseph 30240086 1621 W12 L2 L3 B--- 2.0  
11   Jeff Andersen 11296106 1586 D5 L4 W13 H--- 2.0  
12 12 James Mahooti 12621393 1867 L10 L7 B--- L4 1.0  
13 13 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1740 H--- L5 L11 L7 0.5  
14 14 Fredrick Dutter 12343420 1900 L9 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. 21st Bob Burger Memorial Championship: u1800

# Place Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Total Prize
1 1-3 Jan Erik Solem 30270432 1602 W22 W14 W7 D2 3.5 96.33
2   Daniel Perlov 16465203 1567 W23 W24 W8 D1 3.5 96.33
3   Andrew Ballantyne 17079795 1295 H--- W27 W19 W5 3.5 96.33
4 4-8 Sebby Suarez 16875347 1565 L24 W23 W21 W16 3.0  
5   Arjun Sankar 14542170 1558 W10 W25 W16 L3 3.0  
6   Pavel Kolesnikov 30194161 1485 W26 L16 W24 W12 3.0  
7   Ruyi Hu 16659933 1474 W28 W17 L1 W14 3.0  
8   Eliott Leblond 30332894 830 B--- W9 L2 W18 3.0  
9 9-10 Nelson Sowell 11103405 1700 H--- L8 W22 W21 2.5  
10   Jayden Lee 30137668 1001 L5 W20 D13 W19 2.5  
11 11-17 Adam Ginzburg 30268083 1576 L21 L15 W23 W25 2.0  
12   Mannansh Nayyar 15697026 1358 L16 W26 W25 L6 2.0  
13   Prescott Yu 16009618 1296 L17 W28 D10 H--- 2.0  
14   Michael Bailey 14170433 1267 W18 L1 W17 L7 2.0  
15   Jeffrey Dallatezza 30264869 1258 L19 W11 H--- H--- 2.0  
16   Austin Bourdier 30032406 unr. W12 W6 L5 L4 2.0  
17   Aidan Latham 30364347 unr. W13 L7 L14 W24 2.0  
18 18-21 Nick Casares Jr 10424364 1600 L14 D22 W27 L8 1.5  
19   Nikhil Pimpalkhare 30179081 1581 W15 D21 L3 L10 1.5  
20   Albert Starr 12844781 1522 L25 L10 D28 W26 1.5  
21   JP Fairchild 30150098 1229 W11 D19 L4 L9 1.5  
22 22-26 DeAndre Stallworth 30255378 1294 L1 D18 L9 H--- 1.0  
23   Swaminathan Sankar 14080777 1189 L2 L4 L11 W27 1.0  
24   Matthew Ma 30022553 1010 W4 L2 L6 L17 1.0  
25   Yinuo Hu 17219612 860 W20 L5 L12 L11 1.0  
26   Ethan Ma 30021432 836 L6 L12 B--- L20 1.0  
27 27-28 Shubhankar Sharan 30358414 1239 H--- L3 L18 L23 0.5  
28   Callum Anderson 30235133 unr. L7 L13 D20 U--- 0.5  

SwissSys Standings. 21st Bob Burger Memorial Championship: Extra_Rated

# Place Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Total Prize
1 1 Abel Talamantez 12465386 1804 U--- W4 1.0  
2 2-3 Nelson Sowell 11103405 1700 D3 U--- 0.5  
3   Joshua Lamstein 15487526 1605 D2 U--- 0.5  
4 4 Alejandro Canales 16913725 1776 U--- L1 0.0  

Tony's Teasers

Tony is back and ready to challenge you to solve this problem: white to move and mate in 3

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:

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

Henry Gross Memorial Championship. February 5, 2022, 10AM USCF Rated. 4SS G/45;d5:

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]

Ear to the Chess Board

It was a quiet week in chess, at least for those in the 2700+ bracket.  The next elite event is Tata Steel Masters in Holland which starts on January 15thSan Francisco Bay Area maven GM Sam Shankland will be mixing it up with Carlsen and Caruana, et al.  The official website is here:

So on we go, bringing news of chess around the world.  The strange, the amusing, the sporting and the scientific.  The Royal Game is everywhere.


Do you like wasting time on your phone, but want to look smart?  The Onion suggests chess!

Making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth in Los Angeles:

We can never get enough of those chess and sport metaphors:

A new game apparently mixes chess, murder and time travel:

The ongoing fusion of man and machine is explored in Forbes:


The United States Chess Federation is moving to Saint Louis:


We love outdoor chess tables, and we love Ireland


Lyricist Tim Rice plans to bring back Broadway smash Chess:


Paris Hilton, and chess in the slums of Africa:

Why is this one especially cool? We had Tunde Onakoya on our Mechanics'Chess Social September 4, 2020!


“The board is not set up correctly.”  Baywatch actress Alexandra Daddario gets called out by Indonesian IM Irene SudankarGM Ian Nepomniatchi chimes in as well, and an invitation from FIDE ensues:


Next week: more of the same!

Nick de Firmian’s Column

Predictions for 2022

What will the new year bring for chess? I will give you a few predictions here – to start it should be a brighter, more interesting year than the last two. We will get lots of live events and the return of many classic traditional tournaments.

Who will win the Candidate’s Tournament this June in Madrid? The usual bet is to go with youth – the highly motivated up and coming players who live and breath chess. I’m betting against that. As good as world #2 Alireza Firouzja is and the great success of brilliant young Nordirbek Abdusattorov, I will anyway go with a veteran. My pick is our own Fabiano Caruana. After a narrow failure in the 2018 world championship match and a miss in the 2020 Candidates, I think Fabiano will be set to give his all this time for the quest. He certainly has the experience and talent and I believe his motivation will be peaked as his time is running out. The youngsters will be great, yet they are not ready for the ultimate battle this time.

The biggest question is who will win the year’s most important event? That’s not the Candidate’s or any super-event with Magnus. No, the great important tournament is the 50th anniversary of the Tuesday Night Marathon! Our club takes priority over those foreign events. You can also predict the winner and you may go with the all time leader of TNM victories, IM Elliott Winslow. I predict instead an unknown dark horse. Perhaps John Donaldson will decide to dust off his boots and enter the arena. Will Paul Whitehead venture into the melee? The TNM will be very special this year and even more exciting than usual. The under 1800 section will also be exciting. Will longtime trustee Mike Hilliard take a victory? The under 1800 section is even tougher though as new improving talents make their mark here first. I believe young Keven Sun will have a breakthrough year. My one surely accurate prediction is that this year will be a lot of fun at our club! We give a couple games below of these possible tournament victors.

(1) Anand,Vishy - Caruana,Fabiano [C79]
Gashimov Mem., 21.12.2021

This is a battle of former World Champion Anand against Fabiano, who is more than 20 years his junior. Anand is still a force to be reckoned with, particularly when playing the white pieces. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Of course the Ruy Lopez is a fine opening but it may be a sign of his age that Anand plays this instead of the now trendy 3. Bc4. 3...a6 4.Ba4 d6 A slightly unusual Modern Steinitz variation. It is certainly respectable even if not in fashion. 5.0-0 Bd7 6.c3 g6 7.d4 Bg7 8.Re1 Nf6 9.h3 [9.Bxc6 Bxc6 10.dxe5 Nxe4 is alright for Black] 9...0-0 10.Bc2 Re8 11.d5 Closing the center makes the game like a King's Indian Defense where White will press on the queenside and Black on the kingside. 11...Ne7 12.c4 h6 13.Nc3 Nh7 14.b4 f5 15.c5 f4

16.Nd2 [16.Ba4! would have given White a slight edge as the light-squared bishop is Black's "good" bishop - on the opposite color of the pawns in the central chain.] 16...Rf8 17.Ba4 Bc8 Fabiano saves this bishop now as it is helps with the attack, covering the g4 and h3 squares. 18.cxd6 cxd6 19.b5 g5 20.bxa6 Rxa6 21.Bb5 Ra8 22.Be2 Ng6 23.Rb1 Nh4 24.a4?! [Once again he should have used an opportunity to trade the light-squared bishops with 24.Bg4] 24...Nf6 25.Ba3 Rf7 26.Nc4 clearly White has a powerful queenside initiative with control of many squares. Is Black too slow on the kingside? 26...Bf8 27.Nb6
27...Rg7! Going for glory! Caruana sacrifices a whole rook to jump start the kingside attack. 28.Nxa8?! It's difficult not to grab a whole rook when offered, but perhaps Vishy should have declined it and played 28. g4 with more defensive chances. 28...g4 29.hxg4?! very natural but now the black attack gathers more steam. Perhaps better was [29.g3 gxh3 30.Qd3] 29...Nxg4 30.Bf3 The defense is tough here. Black has two knights, a bishop, queen and rook bearing down on the white king's position. There are simply more attackers than defenders. Still, black needs to break through. 30...Qg5
31.Nb6 [running doesn't solve the problem - 31.Kf1 Nxf3 32.gxf3 Nxf2! 33.Qc2 Qg2+ 34.Ke2 Rg3 35.Kd2 Qxf3 36.Re2 Bg4 37.Rbe1 Rg2 38.Nb6 Qg3 39.Nc4 f3 wins] 31...Nh2!!
A crushing shot! The knight gives its life to keep the white king in the deadly zone of the g and h files. 32.Kxh2 [32.Nxc8 N2xf3+] 32...Nxg2 Anand resigned as there is no way out. 33. Rg1 Qh4 is mate. If 33. Rh1 Qh4+ 34 Kg1 Ne3+ 0-1

(2) Jorge E Sammour-Hasbun - John William Donaldson [B22]
Mermaid Beach Club Bermuda Bermuda (5), 01.1997

This game was played at the beautiful Mermaid Beach Club resort in Bermuda. A wonderful place for a chess vacation. 1.Nf3 c5 2.e4 Nc6 John is always ready to play the black side of the Accelerated Dragon after 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6. 3.c3 Jorge is wary of John's theoretical knowledge and chooses a tame line. 3...d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.d4 Nf6 6.Na3 Bg4! 7.Bc4 Qe4+ 8.Be3 cxd4 9.cxd4 e6

Anyway John is well versed in the theory and gets a very comfortable position with black. White has the isolated d-pawn but not so much of the usual activity to accompany it. 10.Nc2?! [10.0-0!] 10...Be7 11.Be2 0-0 12.0-0 Rfd8 13.h3 Bf5 There is certainly no need to trade the fine black bishop for the knight on f3. 14.Rc1 Qd5 15.b3 Rac8
We set a diagram here to take a look at the black set-up. It is a classic well developed position with every piece in a good place. This is the style of your former chess director, who plays a very principled game. 16.Bc4 Qd6 17.Bd3 Ne4! The black knight threatens to jump into c3 and cause trouble. 18.Bxe4?! Giving up the light-squared bishop is a permanent disadvantage. 18...Bxe4 19.Nd2 Bg6 20.Nf3 Bf6 21.Qe2 Ne7 22.Bg5 Bxg5 23.Nxg5 Qf4 24.Nf3 Be4 John uses the strong light-squared bishop to create serious trouble. The white f-pawns may get doubled and the d4 pawn weak. Black keeps the options. 25.Ne3 Rxc1 26.Rxc1 Nc6 27.Nd2? White is losing the d-pawn anyway but should get something better than the game. [27.a3 Bxf3 28.Qxf3 Qxf3 29.gxf3 Rxd4 30.b4 at least has some hope in the endgame] 27...Nxd4 28.Qc4 Bc6!
Again Black's positon is a picture of harmony. Every black piece is extremely well placed, and there is a pawn plus to boot. 29.Ndf1 h5 30.Rd1 Rd7 A wonderful calm move to place the rook on a better (and defended) square. 31.Rd2?!

31...Nf3+! A tactic to finish this fine positional buildup. 32.gxf3 Qxf3 The light-squared bishop shows its strength. White resigned as 33. Kh2 Rxd2 34. Nxd2 Qxf2 is mate next. I hope we see John playing again soon. Anywhere is good, but the TNM would be best. 0-1

Solution to Tony's Teaser

1. Qd4!! cxd4 2. Rf7 Kc5 3. Rc7#

If 1...Kb7 2. Rf7+ Kb8 3. Qh8#

If 2...Ka6 3. Qa1#

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