Chess Room Newsletter #1003 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #1003

Gens Una Sumus!



Newsletter #1003

January 22, 2022


Table of Contents


 2022 IM Walter Shipman TNM Round 3 Report

by Abel Talamantez

Round 3 of the TNM turned out to be somewhat of an early birthday present for Jayden Xu on the top board, who celebrated his 15th birthday on board 1 earning a hard fought draw against IM Elliott Winslow. This has been a great tournament for Jayden thus far, winning his first two games and showing nerves of steel against the very cagey veteran in round 3. This draw opened the door for Edward Lewis to take over sole 1st place after a win over Kayven Riese. Lewis leads with 3/3, with 4 players at 2.5 including Winslow, Xu, NM Michael Walder and Luke Widjaja. 

Jayden Xu draws IM Elliott Winslow on board 1. Judit Sztaray hard at work entering the PGN's of theTNM scoresheets.

In the under 1800 section, Sebby Suarez won on board 6 against Nursultan Uzakbaev to stay perfect. Ashwin Vaidyanathan defeated Albert Starr to keep pace with Sebby, and both lead the section with 3/3. Strong competition is only a half point behind, including Romeo Barreyro, Dean Guo, and Anton Maliev, 

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

(1) Grange,Matthew - Stallworth,Deandre (1294) [B00]
2nd Shipman mem TNM: u1800 San Francisco (3.21), 18.01.2022

1.d4 b6 Offfering to play the Owen's Defense after 2. e4 Bb7. Matthew sticks to his London System plan for the moment, but then shortly transposes. 2.Bf4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 Bb4 5.Bd3 Nf6


This is a main line of the Owen's Defense with White having played the unusual move Bf4. Black has full equalilty here. 6.Bg5 [6.f3!?] 6...h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Nf3 0-0 9.0-0 Ba6 [9...c5 hitting the center would be more thematic] 10.Ne2 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Qd8 Black is losing a little time with 9..Ba6 and this move and White now has the opening edge due to his center. 12.Rad1 d5 13.e5 Be7 14.Ne1?! [14.Nf4! brings the forces forward] 14...c5 15.c3 Nc6 16.f4 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Nxd4 18.cxd4 a6 [18...Rc8] 19.Rc1 [19.f5 exf5 20.Rxf5 Qd7 is about even] 19...Qd7! 20.Rf2 b5 21.Rfc2 Rac8 22.g4 f6 23.exf6 Bxf6 24.Kg2 Bh4 25.Nf3 Rxc2+ 26.Rxc2


26...Rxf4!= This fine tactic siezes the moment to make use of the loose White kingside. The piece offer is temptint to White. 27.Nxh4? He couldn't resist, but he shouldn't take the bishop. [27.Qg6! Bf6 28.h3= Bxd4?! 29.g5!? Rf5! 30.gxh6 Bf6=] 27...Rxg4+ 28.Kh3 e5!-+


29.Nf5 something had to be done against the deadly discovered check. Not [29.Qf5? Rxh4+] 29...Rxd4! 30.Qf1 Rf4 winning the piece back with three extra pawns and a fierce attack. White is toast. 31.Qd3 Qxf5+ Choosing a sure winning ending. 31...Rxf5 is also very strong 32.Qxf5 Rxf5 33.Kg3 Kf7 34.Rc7+ Ke6 35.h4 e4 36.Rxg7 e3 37.Rg8 Ke5 38.Kh2 [38.Re8+ Kd4 39.Re6 Re5 is a simple finish] 38...Kd4 39.Rg4+ Kd3 40.Rg3 Kd2 41.Rg1 e2 42.Kg2 e1Q 43.Rxe1 Kxe1 A fine game from Deandre! 0-1

(2) Guo,Dean (1554) - Reed,Paul (1474) [C52]
2nd Shipman mem TNM: u1800 San Francisco (3.14), 18.01.2022

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Dean plays in the swashbuckling style of the great 19th Century players. He follows the lead of Captain Evans with this gambit. 4...Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 exd4 7.0-0 d6 8.Qb3 Qf6 8...Qe7 is safer 9.Bg5 [9.cxd4 has a lot of point since Black can't take on d4 with f7 in need of protection] 9...Qg6 10.e5!? perhaps hasty, but certainly aggressive 10...h6 [10...dxe5 11.Re1 e4 12.Nbd2 e3 is a sharp and complicated defense] 11.Bf4 dxe5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5


13.Re1! nicely delaying the capture to get the best piece placement. 13...f6 would leave the g8 knight hanging 13...Bb6 14.Rxe5+ Ne7 15.Nd2 Qf6?! [15...dxc3 16.Qxc3 Qf6] 16.Rae1 [16.Bg3] 16...0-0! Good defense! Getting the king out of the center just in time. 17.Rxe7 Qxf4 18.Bxf7+


18...Kh8! [18...Rxf7 19.Rxf7 Qxd2 (19...Qxf7 20.Re8+ Kh7 21.Qxf7) 20.Re8+ Kh7 21.Rxg7+ Kxg7 22.Qg8+ Kf6 23.Qf8+ Kg6 24.Qg8+ looks like a draw] 19.Nf3 dxc3 20.Bg6 Bg4?! [20...Qf6! is a nice edge for Black in this sharp game] 21.Qxc3 Now the game is about even. Black needs to defend mate on g7 so 21...Qf6 would be good. 21...Bd4? Oh no! A miscalculation in the complications. 22.Qxd4 [Perhaps Black was hoping for 22.Nxd4? Qxf2+ 23.Kh1 Qf1+ 24.Rxf1 Rxf1#] 22...Bxf3 Black was losing a piece going into the endgame anyway. Paul saw 23. Qxg7 mate was coming and resigned. A highly entertaining game in the style of the romantic era players! 1-0

(3) Xu,Jayden (1765) - Winslow,Elliott (2251) [A61]
2nd Shipman mem TNM: 1800+ San Francisco (3.1), 18.01.2022

Jayden Xu plays an opponent 500 point higher rated. A severe test. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Bf4 Bg7 8.h3 Jayden has a system in mind. Theoretically sharper is [8.Qa4+ Bd7 9.Qb3] 8...0-0 9.e3 a6 [9...Ne8 10.Be2 Nd7 11.0-0 Ne5 12.Nd2 Rb8?! (12...a6!? 13.a4 b6!?; 12...Bd7; 12...f5) 13.a4 b6 14.Bg3 f5 15.Rb1 Nc7 16.Nb5 Nxb5 17.axb5 Bd7 18.f4 Nf7 19.Qb3 a6 20.bxa6 b5 21.Qa3 Qb6 22.b4 Ra8 23.bxc5 dxc5 24.Nc4 Qxa6 25.Qxa6 Rxa6 26.Ne5 Rd6 27.Nxd7 Rxd7 28.Rfc1 c4 29.Rxb5 Nd6 30.Rb6 Re8 31.Bf2 Bd4 32.exd4 Rxe2 33.Be1 Ne4 34.Bb4 c3 35.Bxc3 Nxc3 36.Rxc3 Re4 37.Rc4 Kf7 38.g3 Rxd5 39.Rb7+ Re7 40.Rxe7+ Kxe7 41.Kf2 Ra5 42.g4 Kd6 43.Kg3 Ra3+ 44.Kh4 Rf3 45.d5 Kxd5 46.Rc7 Rxf4 47.Kg5 Ra4 48.Rxh7 fxg4 49.Rh4 Ra3 50.hxg4 Ra4 51.Rh6 Ke6 52.Rxg6+ Kf7 53.Kh6 Ra1 54.Rg7+ Kf8 55.g5 Ra6+ 56.Kh7 Ra5 57.Rg8+ Ke7 58.g6 Ra1 59.Kg7 Ra7 60.Rf8 Ke6+ 61.Kh8 Kd5 1-0 (61) Niemann,H (2439)-Makarian,R (2386) Wch u16 (7), Mumbai 2019] 10.a4 Nh5 11.Bh2 f5 12.Be2 f4 13.0-0 [So thought 13.Qd2 was inaccurate but won anyway: 13...Bh6 14.e4 Bg7 15.0-0 Nd7 16.Ne1 Ndf6 17.Nd3 Qe8 18.Rfe1 g5 19.e5 dxe5 20.d6 Kh8 21.Bd1 g4 22.Rxe5 Qg6 23.Nxf4 Nxf4 24.Bxf4 gxh3 25.Rg5 Qf7 26.Be5 Bd7 27.Bb3 Be6 28.Bxe6 Qxe6 29.Re1 Qf7 30.Nd5 Nh5 31.Bxg7+ Nxg7 32.Re7 1-0 (32) So,W (2762)-Van Wely,L (2667) Wijk aan Zee 2015 CBM 165 [So,Wesley]] 13...Qe7 14.Nd2 fxe3 15.Bxh5 exd2


16.Bf3N [Predecessor: 16.Bg4 Bxg4 17.Qxg4 Rf5 18.Rad1 Bxc3 19.bxc3 Rxd5 20.Qf4 Qe2 21.Qe3 Qxe3 22.fxe3 Nc6 23.e4 Rd3 24.Rf3 Rxf3 25.gxf3 b5 26.Rxd2 bxa4 27.Bxd6 Rd8 28.f4 Na5 29.e5 Nc4 30.Ra2 Nxd6 31.exd6 Rxd6 32.Rxa4 Kf7 33.Ra5 Rc6 34.Kf2 Ke6 35.Ke3 Kd5 36.Kd3 Rb6 37.h4 Rc6 38.c4+ Kd6 39.Ke4 Ke6 40.Ke3 Kf5 41.Kf3 h5 42.Ke3 Kg4 43.Ke4 Rf6 44.Rxc5 Rxf4+ 45.Kd5 Kxh4 Gullaksen,E (2349)-Beckett,C (2165) London 2018 0-1] 16...Nd7 17.Qxd2 Ne5 18.Be2 g5 19.f4 gxf4 20.Bxf4 Bf5


Black has developed well and has a good Benoni positon. Yet White has no weakenesses and need not be worse. 21.Bh6 Qh4 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Qf4 Qxf4 24.Rxf4 Bc2 25.Raf1 Rxf4 26.Rxf4 Rc8 27.Kf2= The ending is quite equal. 27...c4 This is ok but now the pawn is stuck on a light square and the white king can use d4. [27...Re8!?=; 27...Ng6=; 27...Rb8=] 28.Ke3 Rc5 29.Kd2 Bg6


30.b4! Rc7? [30...cxb3 31.Rb4 Rc7 (31...b5 32.axb5 axb5 33.Rxb3 Nc4+=; 31...Kf6 32.Rxb3 Nc4+ 33.Bxc4 Rxc4 34.Rxb7 Ke5=) ] 31.Ke3?= [31.a5!+/- White controls the dark squares on the queenside.] 31...Bd3 32.Bg4 Ng6 33.Rf2 b6 34.Bh5 Re7+ 35.Kd4 Re5 36.Bg4 Re7 37.Bc8 Ra7 38.Bg4 Ne5 39.Rf4 Bg6 40.Be2 Rc7 41.Ke3 Be8 42.Kd4 a5?! 43.b5?! [43.bxa5 bxa5 44.Rf1 Rb7 45.Ne4 Nf7 46.Bh5 is good for White] 43...Bg6 44.Ke3 Rc5 45.Kd4 Bd3 46.Bh5 Rc7 47.Ke3 Bg6 48.Be2 Bd3 49.Bh5 Re7 50.Kd4 Nd7 51.Bg4 Nc5 52.Bd1 Re1 53.Rg4+ Kf6 54.Rf4+ Ke7 55.Rg4 Kf7 56.Rf4+ Kg7 57.Rg4+ Kf6 draw agreed. A great achievement for Jayden! 1/2-1/2

(4) Hack,Richard (1500) - Maliev,Anton (1429) [B35]
2nd Shipman mem TNM: u1800 San Francisco (3.15), 18.01.2022

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 a6 This is unusual in this positon. Black usually does better playing in the center with 8...d6 9.f3 Na5?!


10.Qd2?! White misses an idea of the great Bobby Fisher - [10.e5! Ne8? (10...Nxb3 11.exf6 Nxa1 12.fxg7 Kxg7 13.Qxa1 is very good for White) 11.Bxf7+!! Kxf7 12.Ne6!


wins the queen as taking the knight with the king gets checkmated. See Fischer's famous win against Reshevesky with this idea.] 10...Nxb3 11.Nxb3 [11.axb3!] 11...b5 12.0-0-0 Qc7 13.Bh6 d6 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Qd4 Be6 16.g4 Kg8 17.h4 h5 18.gxh5 Nxh5 19.Rhg1 Rfc8 20.Qd2 Bxb3 21.axb3 Kh7?+- [21...e6!? 22.Qxd6 Qa7+/- could distract White from the attack] 22.Nd5 Qb7 23.Nf4?! still some advantage, but it's letting Black get away. [Of all the sharper and stronger continuations, most to the point is 23.f4! e6 24.f5! exd5 25.fxg6+ fxg6 26.Rxg6!! is a mating attack (if taken) 26...Ng7 27.Rdg1 Rc7 28.exd5+- (Qg5, h5-h6)] 23...Nxf4? Back in the hole. [23...Rc5! 24.Rg5 Rac8 25.Nxh5 Rxc2+ 26.Qxc2 Rxc2+ 27.Kxc2 f6! 28.Nxf6+ exf6 29.Rgd5 Qc8+ and into h3; White is better, but Black is getting annoying.] 24.Qxf4 White is ready to run again. 24...f6 25.h5 Qc7 [25...g5 26.Qf5+] 26.hxg6+ Kg7 27.Rg2 [27.Qd2! Rh8 28.Rh1 Raf8 29.Rh7+! Rxh7 30.gxh7 is totally won] 27...Qa5?! [27...Rh8 28.Qf5 Qc8 put up more fight.] 28.Kb1 Rh8 29.Qf5! Qc7 30.Qd5 [30.Qe6! Raf8 31.Rgg1 Rh2 32.c3 and Rh1 is the end.] 30...Raf8 [30...e5!? (still pretty lost)] 31.f4 Rh4 32.f5


Richard has done a pretty good job of locking up a won game! [32.Qe6!] 32...Qc5 33.Qxc5 [33.Qb7! Re8 (33...Qe5 34.Re2) 34.Rgd2] 33...dxc5 34.Re2 Re8 35.Rd7 Kh6 36.e5 Kg5 37.g7 Kxf5 38.exf6 [38.Rxe7! Rg8 39.Rf2+ would be the coup de grace.] 38...Kxf6


39.Rg2? After all that, this slip-up! [39.Rdxe7!; 39.Rexe7!] 39...Rg8+/= Now it's more drawn than won. 40.Ra7 Rxg7 [40...Rh1+ 41.Ka2 Rxg7 42.Rxa6+ Kf7 43.Rxg7+ Kxg7 44.Ra5 Rh2=] 41.Rxa6+ Kf7 42.Rf2+ Ke8 Now White just has to do something -- anything -- to provide for the safety of his king. 43.Rf5?? Rh1+ 44.Ka2 Rgg1 45.b4 c4 [45...Ra1+ 46.Kb3 Rh3+ 47.c3 c4+ 48.Kc2 Rh2+ is a few moves faster] 46.b3 c3 White runs out of checks and it's mate on a1. A fine game by Richard until some slips at the end. 0-1

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

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total
1 Edward Lewis 12601629 2017 W22 (w) W11 (b) W8 (w)         3.0
2 Elliott Winslow 10363365 2251 W18 (b) W7 (w) D5 (b)         2.5
3 Michael Walder 10345120 2085 D4 (b) W9 (w) W13 (b)         2.5
4 Luke Widjaja 16010621 1792 D3 (w) W12 (b) W17 (w)         2.5
5 Jayden Xu 15918365 1765 W17 (w) W10 (b) D2 (w)     H---   2.5
6 David Askin 13776967 2035 W21 (w) L8 (b) W19 (w)   H---     2.0
7 Kristian Clemens 13901075 1934 W15 (w) L2 (b) W20 (w)       H--- 2.0
8 Kayven Riese 12572270 1906 W20 (b) W6 (w) L1 (b)         2.0
9 Christophe Bambou 12734479 2106 D13 (w) L3 (b) W21 (w)         1.5
10 William Gray 13217831 1971 W23 (b) L5 (w) D15 (b)         1.5
11 James J Mahooti 12621393 1867 W24 (w) L1 (w) H---         1.5
12 Guy Argo 12517167 1856 H--- L4 (w) W22 (b)         1.5
13 Ranen Lardent 12614986 1827 D9 (b) X16 L3 (w)         1.5
14 Jim Ratliff 11163831 1719 H--- H--- H---         1.5
15 Joel Carron 16600505 1671 L7 (b) B--- D10 (w)         1.5
16 Yusheng Xia 13471910 2294 H--- F13 H---         1.0
17 Lucas Lesniewski 17039584 2025 L5 (b) W23 (w) L4 (b)         1.0
18 Fredrick Dutter 12343420 1900 L2 (w) D21 (b) D23 (w)         1.0
19 Abel Talamantez 12465386 1804 H--- H--- L6 (b)         1.0
20 Joshua Lamstein 15487526 1605 L8 (w) X24 L7 (b)         1.0
21 Adam Mercado 16571026 1774 L6 (b) D18 (w) L9 (b)         0.5
22 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1740 L1 (b) H--- L12 (w)         0.5
23 Charles Faulkner 12559529 1720 L10 (w) L17 (b) D18 (b)         0.5
24 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1917 L11 (b) F20 U---         0.0

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

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total
1 Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1565 W24 (w) W21 (b) W9 (w)         3.0
2 Ashwin Vaidyanathan 30205719 1444 W13 (w) W7 (b) W8 (w)     H--- H--- 3.0
3 Romeo Barreyro 17018168 1631 W16 (w) D15 (b) W6 (w)         2.5
4 Dean Guo 30257083 1554 W25 (b) H--- W15 (w)         2.5
5 Anton Maliev 30250562 1429 H--- X18 W14 (b)         2.5
6 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1629 W17 (b) W10 (w) L3 (b)         2.0
7 Adam Ginzberg 30268083 1576 W12 (b) L2 (w) W22 (b)         2.0
8 Albert Starr 12844781 1522 W31 (w) X22 L2 (b)         2.0
9 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1521 X26 W28 (w) L1 (b)         2.0
10 Matt Long 13377410 1519 W27 (w) L6 (b) W24 (b)         2.0
11 Yorgos Tsolias 17266862 1512 H--- H--- X26         2.0
12 Benjamin Anderson 30235937 1172 L7 (w) X30 W19 (b)         2.0
13 Ambrogino Giusti 30223021 unr. L2 (b) X23 X21         2.0
14 Richard Hack 12796129 1500 W23 (b) H--- L5 (w)         1.5
15 Paul Reed 13373197 1474 W29 (b) D3 (w) L4 (b)         1.5
16 Deandre Stallworth 30255378 1294 L3 (b) D29 (w) W28 (b)         1.5
17 Jp Fairchild 30150098 1229 L6 (w) W27 (b) H---         1.5
18 Thomas Gu 17005685 958 H--- F5 W29 (b)         1.5
19 Nick Casares Jr 10424364 1600 L22 (w) W31 (b) L12 (w)         1.0
20 David R Olson 13913131 1400 L28 (b) L26 (w) X32         1.0
21 Simone Pagan Griso 17322263 1329 W32 (b) L1 (w) F13         1.0
22 Vittorio Banfi 30308530 1227 W19 (b) F8 L7 (w)         1.0
23 Timothy Bayaraa 15616166 1149 L14 (w) F13 W31 (b)         1.0
24 Danny Cao 16939797 1142 L1 (b) X32 L10 (w)     H--- H--- 1.0
25 Pratyush Hule 16317000 1104 L4 (w) H--- H---         1.0
26 Prasanna Chandramouli 30279272 1002 F9 W20 (b) F11         1.0
27 Eli Chanoff 12898987 993 L10 (b) L17 (w) B---         1.0
28 Matthew Grange 30403587 unr. W20 (w) L9 (b) L16 (w)         1.0
29 David Nichol 12934283 982 L15 (w) D16 (b) L18 (w)         0.5
30 Christian Brickhouse 30261226 452 U--- F12 H---         0.5
31 Richard Ahrens 16953298 1091 L8 (b) L19 (w) L23 (w)         0.0
32 Marcus Casaes 30290420 unr. L21 (w) F24 F20         0.0

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

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total
1 Ranen Lardent 12614986 1827 U--- W9 (w) U---         1.0
2 Abel Talamantez 12465386 1804 W11 (b) L3 (b) U---         1.0
3 Joshua Lamstein 15487526 1605 U--- W2 (w) U---         1.0
4 Yorgos Tsolias 17266862 1512 U--- U--- W14 (b)         1.0
5 Daniel Wang 15117223 1493 U--- U--- W12 (b)         1.0
6 Anton Maliev 30250562 1429 U--- W10 (w) U---         1.0
7 Benjamin Anderson 30235937 1172 U--- W13 (b) U---         1.0
8 Judit Sztaray 14708926 723 U--- W14 (b) U---         1.0
9 Joel Carron 16600505 1671 U--- L1 (b) U---         0.0
10 Albert Starr 12844781 1522 U--- L6 (b) U---         0.0
11 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1521 L2 (w) U--- U---         0.0
12 Ashwin Vaidyanathan 30205719 1444 U--- U--- L5 (w)     H--- H--- 0.0
13 Danny Cao 16939797 1142 U--- L7 (w) U---     H--- H--- 0.0
14 Ambrogino Giusti 30223021 unr. U--- L8 (w) L4 (w)         0.0

Tony's Teasers

Tony is back and ready to challenge you to solve this problem: white to move and mate in 2

White to move and mate in 2. Kenneth Howard, 1904.

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]

The world is a chess board


We are back, with more wild tales from the world of chess.   But, before we get on to the juicy stuff, I should mention that the legendary Tata Steel Masters is underway.  After four rounds the leader is Indian GM Santosh Gujrathi Vidit with 3.0 points.  If you want to follow the action I strongly recommend the mad-cap duo of GM Jan Gustafsson and GM Peter Svidler commenting for Chess24

They are simply the best.


It’s now an open secret that World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen wants to push his rating over 2900.  Many observers feel this is impossible, and as The Guardian points out, he needs to score 9/13 at Tata Steel just to gain one rating point:


Jobs in chess are scarce, but Golden State Warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga has a vital position locked up.  It’s on him to carry super-star Klay Thomson’s chess board around:


Chess sets are an endless source of inspiration for artists and designers.  Maybe a concrete set(!) inspired by Brutalism will make you a tougher opponent:


Chess and Bitcoin.  Please don’t ask me to explain PowChess to you, although it seems to be a way for its creators and users to make and gamble their hard-earned dough:


Chess Chief is the name of a race horse.  He won the Tenacious Stakes and the New Orleans Classic last year, and his dad is Into Mischief.  If he enters the Tuesday Night Marathon we’d all better watch out:


The hashtag #ChessTok on TikTok is trending with 198 million views and counting:


MI Chess Room Director Abel Talamantez tossed this one in, informing us that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow knows the diagonals on a chess board almost as well as the plays on the field:


For politicians, this “Putin plays chess while we play checkers” thing never gets old:


Incredibly (for me), this year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Fischer vs. Spassky match in Iceland.  A short prelude to what I’m sure are many celebrations to come:


Over in Brazil super-GM Henrique Mecking claims to be the “Prophet of the Apocalypse”:


Kazakhstan might be in the news for all the wrong reasons right now, but 17-year old IM Bibi Assaubayeva is the Women’s World Blitz Champion and is a hero back home:


Finally, we make a full circle back to the Tata Steel Masters, where the official Norwegian TV2 broadcast has invited a convicted bank-robber on as commentator:


Next week: more of the same!

Nick de Firmian’s Column

Tata Steel Underway

Always one of the biggest events of the year, the traditional tournament in Wijk aan Zee (sponsored by Tata Steel) kicks off the 2022 chess season. The cast of characters include the usual suspects – King Magnus, Fabiano Caruana, Giri, Duda, Karjakin. Mechanics’ Institute members will be particularly interested in following our man Sam Shankland, who scored an invite to this prestigious event.

The early lead was a bit surprising as the Indian Santosh Vidit nosed ahead with victories over our Sam and Duda. Yet the pack is chasing and its early. We give below a great game from the champ, who took down the invincible Giri. Also below a game from Mamedyarov – we count the Shakh as a friend of the Mechanics’ after his entertaining simul at the club.

(1) Carlsen,Magnus - Giri,Anish [E05]
Tata Steel, 16.01.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Na3!?

After giving up the c4 pawn Magnus lets his a-pawns get doubled. 7...Bxa3 8.bxa3 Bd7 9.a4 Bc6 10.Ba3 Re8 11.Qc2 Nbd7 12.Rac1 a6 13.Qxc4 Nb6 14.Qc3 Nxa4 Now this is a real gambit. White has the bishop pair and more central control for the pawn minus. 15.Qb3 Qd5?!
16.Rxc6! Qxc6 forced 17.Ne5 Qb5 18.Qc2 with Rb1 coming Magnus will win the black b-pawn. Still he is the exchange down, though has good play for it. 18...Nd5? The knight on a4 will now be loose and need protection for the next moves. Needed was 18...Nb6 to stay about even. 19.Rb1 Qa5 20.Bxd5 exd5 21.Rxb7 Bb4 trapping the queen is threatened. White is much better despite the exchange down with the powerful knight on e5. 21...c5 22.Qf5! Now Magnus goes over the the direct attack on the king. 22...Rf8 23.Nxf7 Qd8 24.dxc5 Qf6 25.Qxf6! The correct path, trading into the ending. 25...gxf6 26.Nh6+ Kh8 27.c6
Black is still slightly ahead materially yet the white pieces dominate. The advanced c-pawn now ties down the black rooks. 27...Rfc8 28.c7 Nc3 29.Bb2 d4 [29...Nb5 30.Bxf6#] 30.Nf7+ Kg7 31.Nd6 White wins back the exchange with a winning advantage. Magnus doesn't slip in such a position. 31...Kg6 32.Kf1 Nb5 33.Nxc8 Rxc8 34.a4 Nxc7 35.Bxd4 Ne6 36.Be3
Two pawns down in a hopeless position, Giri resigned. A very creative game from the champ. 1-0

(2) Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar - Duda,Jan-Krzysztof [D41]

Tata Steel, 18.01.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 cxd4 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.e4! This energetiv move gives White the opening edge. 7...dxe4 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Ng5 Be6 10.Nxe6+ fxe6 11.Bg5 h6 12.0-0-0+ Ke7 13.Bxf6+ gxf6 14.Nxe4

White has a little edge in the endgame but it gets tricky here. 14...f5 15.Ng3 h5!? [15...Nc6] 16.Bc4 Nd7 17.Kb1?! [17.Rhe1 is more forcing] 17...Ne5 18.Bb3 Kf6 19.Rhe1 Re8 20.Ba4 Re7 21.h4 Ng6 22.Rd4 Rc7 23.Bb3 e5 fine play by Duda. His king is in the center but the pawns there control important squares. 24.Rd8?! Nxh4! 25.Re8 Ng6 26.Re6+ Kg5 27.Bc2 h4 28.Re3 The game has gotten to a critical point. Shakh is attacking in the endgame. Black should be better but it is hard to play against the white onslaught 28...e4 29.Nxf5
29...Kxf5 30.R3xe4 Rxc2 31.Kxc2 Bc5?! [31...Rh7 would keep the advantage for Black, the bishop and knight being more powerful that the white rook] 32.g4+ Kg5

33.f4+! Nxf4 34.R6e5+ Kxg4 35.Rxc5 White has won the bishop. Black has counterplay based on the dangerous h-pawn 35...Kf3 36.Rb4 h3? [36...Ng2 would keep Black in the game. Now this knight gets pinned.] 37.Rc3+ Kg4 38.Rcc4! Rf8 Black had to go on the defensive. Shakh wraps it up now 39.Rxb7 h2 40.Rh7 Kg3 41.Kb3 Duda can't find any way to unravel and help the h-pawn. He resigned 1-0

Solution to Tony's Teaser


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