Chess Room Newsletter #1007 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #1007

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #1007

February 19, 2022


Table of Contents




2022 IM Walter Shipman TNM Round Seven Report

by FM Paul Whitehead

[email protected]


IM Elliott Winslow is the deserved winner of the top section in the 2nd IM Walter Shipman Memorial, winning a pawn in the middle-game against NM Yusheng Xia and then mating with B + N vs King. His score of 6 -1 was a half point better than rising star Jayden Xu. Rated only 1755 and finishing in clear second place, Xu didn’t drop a game and drew his individual encounter with Winslow. He was a bit lucky in his last round game against Expert Edward Lewis, dropping a piece but then bravely hanging on in the ensuing complications. Xu finished a clear point ahead of Kristian Clemens, Joshua Lamstein and Jim Ratliff, all at 4.5 points.


The Under 1800 section also saw its share of drama, as Romeo Barreyro could only draw his final game with Matt Long, guaranteeing a tie for 1st place with the absent Ashwin Vaidyanathan.  Neither Sebastian Suarez nor Stephen Parsons could catch them, as the former lost a heart-breaker to Yorgos Tsolios and the latter couldn’t win with Queen vs Knight against Anton Maliev, the second time we observed this ending in as many weeks.  


Final Results:

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 Prize
1 Elliott Winslow 10363365 2251 W24 (b) W3 (w) D2 (b) W9 (w) W8 (b) D7 (w) W6 (b) 6.0 313.00
2 Jayden Xu 15918365 1765 W11 (w) W14 (b) D1 (w) D10 (b) W13 (w) H--- W8 (b) 5.5 219.00
3 Kristian Clemens 13901075 1934 W20 (w) L1 (b) W5 (w) D16 (b) D9 (w) W13 (b) H--- 4.5 104.33
4 Jim Ratliff 11163831 1719 H--- H--- H--- D20 (w) W15 (b) D10 (w) X13 4.5 104.33
5 Joshua Lamstein 15487526 1605 L16 (w) X25 L3 (b) W24 (w) H--- W17 (b) X11 4.5 104.33
6 Yusheng Xia 13471910 2294 H--- F15 H--- W17 (b) W14 (w) W9 (b) L1 (w) 4.0  
7 Christophe Bambou 12734479 2106 D15 (w) L13 (b) W12 (w) W22 (b) W16 (w) D1 (b) U--- 4.0  
8 Edward Lewis 12601629 2017 W19 (w) W21 (b) W16 (w) D13 (b) L1 (w) D11 (b) L2 (w) 4.0  
9 Luke Widjaja 16010621 1792 D13 (w) W17 (b) W11 (w) L1 (b) D3 (b) L6 (w) W14 (b) 4.0  
10 David Askin 13776967 2035 W12 (w) L16 (b) W18 (w) D2 (w) H--- D4 (b) U--- 3.5  
11 Lucas Lesniewski 17039584 2025 L2 (b) W23 (w) L9 (b) W12 (w) W20 (b) D8 (w) F5 3.5  
12 Adam Mercado 16571026 1774 L10 (b) D24 (w) L7 (b) L11 (b) B--- W23 (w) W16 (w) 3.5  
13 Michael Walder 10345120 2085 D9 (b) W7 (w) W15 (b) D8 (w) L2 (b) L3 (w) F4 3.0  
14 William Gray 13217831 1971 W23 (b) L2 (w) D20 (b) D15 (w) L6 (b) W16 (b) L9 (w) 3.0  
15 Ranen Lardent 12614986 1827 D7 (b) X6 L13 (w) D14 (b) L4 (w) D20 (b) D19 (w) 3.0  
16 Kayven Riese 12572270 1906 W5 (b) W10 (w) L8 (b) D3 (w) L7 (b) L14 (w) L12 (b) 2.5  
17 Guy Argo 12517167 1856 H--- L9 (w) W19 (b) L6 (w) W23 (b) L5 (w) U--- 2.5  
18 Abel Talamantez 12465386 1804 H--- H--- L10 (b) H--- U--- B--- U--- 2.5  
19 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1740 L8 (b) H--- L17 (w) H--- X22 U--- D15 (b) 2.5  
20 Joel Carron 16600505 1671 L3 (b) B--- D14 (w) D4 (b) L11 (w) D15 (w) U--- 2.5  
21 James J Mahooti 12621393 1867 W25 (w) L8 (w) H--- H--- U--- U--- U--- 2.0  
22 Daniel Austi Wang 15361305 1737 H--- H--- H--- L7 (w) F19 U--- U--- 1.5  
23 Charles Faulkner 12559529 1720 L14 (w) L11 (b) D24 (b) B--- L17 (w) L12 (b) U--- 1.5  
24 Fredrick Dutter 12343420 1900 L1 (w) D12 (b) D23 (w) L5 (b) U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
25 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1917 L21 (b) F5 U--- U--- U--- U--- 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 Prize
1 Romeo Barreyro 17018168 1631 W24 (w) D6 (b) W3 (w) W17 (b) D2 (w) W8 (b) D4 (w) 5.5 219.00
2 Ashwin Vaidyanathan 30205719 1444 W16 (w) W17 (b) W18 (w) W7 (w) D1 (b) H--- H--- 5.5 219.00
3 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1629 W11 (b) W4 (w) L1 (b) W5 (w) W10 (b) D7 (w) D9 (b) 5.0 39.25
4 Matt Long 13377410 1519 W31 (w) L3 (b) W25 (b) D19 (w) W20 (b) W15 (w) D1 (b) 5.0 39.25
5 Yorgos Tsolias 17266862 1512 H--- H--- X21 L3 (b) X29 W10 (w) W7 (b) 5.0 39.25
6 Paul Reed 13373197 1474 W14 (b) D1 (w) L10 (b) D11 (w) W28 (b) W20 (w) W16 (b) 5.0 39.25
7 Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1565 W25 (w) W13 (b) W8 (w) L2 (b) W9 (w) D3 (b) L5 (w) 4.5  
8 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1521 X21 W22 (w) L7 (b) W16 (b) H--- L1 (w) W15 (b) 4.5  
9 Anton Maliev 30250562 1429 H--- X15 W19 (b) D10 (w) L7 (b) W17 (b) D3 (w) 4.5  
10 Dean Guo 30257083 1554 W12 (b) H--- W6 (w) D9 (b) L3 (w) L5 (b) W18 (w) 4.0  
11 Jp Fairchild 30150098 1229 L3 (w) W31 (b) H--- D6 (b) L17 (w) W23 (w) W20 (b) 4.0 31.50
12 Pratyush Hule 16317000 1104 L10 (w) H--- H--- X--- W19 (b) U--- X17 4.0 31.50
13 Simone Pagan Griso 17322263 1329 W32 (b) L7 (w) F16 H--- L14 (w) W30 (b) W19 (b) 3.5  
14 David Nichol 12934283 982 L6 (w) D24 (b) L15 (w) X32 W13 (b) U--- W23 (b) 3.5  
15 Thomas Gu 17005685 958 H--- F9 W14 (b) W24 (b) W18 (w) L4 (b) L8 (w) 3.5  
16 Ambrogino Giusti 30223021 unr. L2 (b) X29 X13 L8 (w) D23 (b) W28 (w) L6 (w) 3.5  
17 Adam Ginzberg 30268083 1576 W20 (b) L2 (w) W28 (b) L1 (w) W11 (b) L9 (w) F12 3.0  
18 Albert Starr 12844781 1522 W26 (w) X28 L2 (b) L20 (w) L15 (b) W25 (w) L10 (b) 3.0  
19 Richard Hack 12796129 1500 W29 (b) H--- L9 (w) D4 (b) L12 (w) W26 (b) L13 (w) 3.0  
20 Benjamin Anderson 30235937 1172 L17 (w) X30 W27 (b) W18 (b) L4 (w) L6 (b) L11 (w) 3.0  
21 Prasanna Chandramouli 30279272 1002 F8 W23 (b) F5 L28 (w) W30 (w) D27 (b) D26 (w) 3.0  
22 Matthew Grange 30403587 unr. W23 (w) L8 (b) L24 (w) L29 (b) L26 (w) B--- W27 (w) 3.0  
23 David R Olson 13913131 1400 L22 (b) L21 (w) X32 W25 (b) D16 (w) L11 (b) L14 (w) 2.5  
24 Deandre Stallworth 30255378 1294 L1 (b) D14 (w) W22 (b) L15 (w) W27 (b) U--- U--- 2.5  
25 Danny Cao 16939797 1142 L7 (b) X32 L4 (w) L23 (w) X32 L18 (b) H--- 2.5  
26 Richard Ahrens 16953298 1091 L18 (b) L27 (w) L29 (w) B--- W22 (b) L19 (w) D21 (b) 2.5  
27 Nick Casares Jr 10424364 1600 L28 (w) W26 (b) L20 (w) D30 (b) L24 (w) D21 (w) L22 (b) 2.0  
28 Vittorio Banfi 30308530 1227 W27 (b) F18 L17 (w) W21 (b) L6 (w) L16 (b) U--- 2.0  
29 Timothy Bayaraa 15616166 1149 L19 (w) F16 W26 (b) W22 (w) F5 U--- U--- 2.0  
30 Christian Brickhouse 30261226 452 U--- F20 H--- D27 (w) L21 (b) L13 (w) W32 (b) 2.0  
31 Eli Chanoff 12898987 993 L4 (b) L11 (w) B--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
32 Marcus Casaes 30290420 unr. L13 (w) F25 F23 F14 F25 U--- L30 (w) 0.0  


A full list of the prize-winners, the final standings, and PGN files from every round can be found here:

Please join us for the Falconer Memorial TNM, starting Tuesday March 1st and running to Tuesday April 12th.  Participation is limited to 60 entries, so reserve your spot now! More information here: and the link to register is here:


Annotated games by GM Nick de Firmian

(1) Gray,William - Widjaja,Luke [A06]
TNM, 15.02.2022

1.Nf3 d5 2.b3 c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.Bb5 e6 5.Bb2 Nf6 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.Ne5 Qc7 8.0-0 Bd6 9.f4 Bb7 10.d3 h5 11.Nd2

William has played a classic Nimzovich/Larsen attack with White. Luke now decides to spice up the game with opposite side castling. 11...0-0-0 12.Ndf3 Ng4 13.Nxg4 hxg4 14.Ng5 f5!? A bold move, sacrificing the exchange for attacking chances. 15.Nxe6 Qe7 16.Nxd8 Qxe3+ 17.Rf2


17...Bxf4! 18.Qe1 [18.g3? Rxh2! 19.Kxh2 Qxf2+ 20.Kh1 Qxg3 21.Qe2 Qh3+ 22.Kg1 Be3+] 18...Qxe1+?! [18...g3 19.Qxe3 Bxe3 20.hxg3 Rxd8] 19.Rxe1 Bxh2+ 20.Kf1 Kxd8 21.Bxg7 White has a clear edge in the endgame, but even better was [21.Rxf5! Bg3 22.Re3] 21...Rh5 22.Be5 Bxe5 23.Rxe5 Bc8 24.Ke2 Kc7 25.Ke3 Kd6 26.Re8 Be6 27.Kf4 d4?! 28.Rd8+ Kc7 29.Rf8 Kd6 30.Re2 Bd7 31.Rf6+ Kc7 32.Re7 Rh8 33.Rff7 Rd8 34.Rxf5 Kd6 35.Rff7 Be6 36.Rg7 Rf8+ 37.Kg3 Rf1 38.Re8 Bd5 39.Rd8+ Ke6 40.Re8+ Kd6 41.Rh8 Rf6 42.Rd8+ Ke6 43.Rxg4 Rf1 44.Re8+ Kd7 45.Ra8 Rc1 46.Rxa7+ Ke6 47.Rf4 Rxc2 48.Rf2 Rc3 49.Re2+ Kf5 50.Rd2 c4! White should still be winning but this gives Black dynamic chances. 51.bxc4 Bxc4 52.Ra5+ Ke6 53.Rc5 Rxd3+ 54.Rxd3 Bxd3 55.Rxc6+ Kd5 56.Rc8 Bf5


57.Kf2?? A tragedy for William as he forgets about his rook on c8. He was still winning with 57. Rd8+ 57...Bxc8 0-1


(2) Mercado,Adam - Riese,Kayven [C06]
TNM, 15.02.2022

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Ngf3 f6 [The classic response is to pressure the d-pawn with 7...Qb6 when 8.0-0 cxd4 9.cxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qxd4 11.Nf3 is a well known pawn sacrifice] 8.exf6 Nxf6 9.0-0 Bd6 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Nb3 Bd6 12.Bg5 e5!? [12...0-0] 13.Re1!

White has gotten a slight edge out of the opening with speedy development. 13...0-0 [13...e4 14.c4 0-0 15.cxd5 is also a little better for White] 14.Bc2 [14.Bb5] 14...Be6 15.Nfd4 Bf7 [15...Bg4 16.f3 exd4 17.fxg4 dxc3 18.bxc3 Be5 is about equal] 16.Nf5 Bc7 [16...Kh8!?] 17.Qf3 Qc8?

this causes trouble 18.Bxf6! gxf6 19.Nh6+ Kg7 20.Nxf7 winning a key central pawn since d5 is now hanging 20...e4 21.Qh5 Rxf7 22.Qxd5 f5 23.Nc5! piling on the pressure 23...Nd8 [23...Rf6] 24.Rad1

Adam is winning with an extra pawn, wonderfully centralized pieces and the safer king. 24...Bb6 25.Qe5+ Kg6?! ending the game quickly. Perhaps that's for the best since [25...Kg8 26.Nd7! is overwhelming] 26.Rd6+ Kg5 27.Qg3+ 1-0


(3) Lewis,Edward (2017) - Xu,Jayden (1765) [D37]
MI 2nd Shipman mem TNM: u1800 San Francisco (7.2), 15.02.2022

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.e3 d5 4.d4 Be7 5.Bd3 dxc4 6.Bxc4 Nbd7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nc3 c5

9.e4 An aggressive try but Black is okay. 9...cxd4 10.Nxd4 Ne5 11.Be2= Bc5?! [11...Bb4=] 12.Nc2?! [12.Nb3! Bb6 13.Na4! (13.a4 Qxd1 14.Rxd1 Neg4 15.Rf1+/=) 13...Qxd1 14.Rxd1 Nxe4 15.Nxb6 axb6 16.Be3+/-] 12...Bd7 13.Kh1 Bc6 14.f3 Qb6


15.b4 Ed might have thought he was better, but it's already slipped away. 15...Bxb4 16.Nxb4 Qxb4 17.Qc2?! [17.Qb3=/+ The bishops and better central pawns compensate some for the pawn.] 17...Rac8 18.Bd2 Qd4 19.Rad1

19...Ba4?? Ä big oversight should cost him the game! [19...Ng6-/+ will make it very hard to advance on the kingside -- if g2-g3 is necessary, then the long diagonal will be a serious problem!; Also a clear plus: 19...a6] 20.Qxa4 Oops 20...Qxa4 21.Nxa4+- A clear piece up in the endgame should be an easy win. 21...Rc2 22.f4? Many normal moves consolidate; [22.Kg1; 22.Nc3 Rc8 23.a4; 22.Bf4! Trickiest but also solving the tangle 22...Ng6 (22...Rxa2 23.Nc3 Ra5 24.Nb5) 23.Rd2] 22...Nxe4! 23.fxe5 Nxd2 24.Rf4

24...f5?! 25.Bb5?


25...Ne4?! [25...Rd8! with no clear advantage for White.] 26.Kg1 [26.Rd4!] 26...Rxa2 27.h4?! [27.Rf3; 27.Rff1] 27...h6

28.Rd4 Trying to hold onto everything. [28.Bc4!? eliminates the extreme imbalance to reach a mere B v N ending with rooks. 28...Rxa4 29.Bxe6+ Kh8 30.Rxf5 Rxf5 31.Bxf5 g6 32.Bxg6 Nc5 Black has resisted, but White is solidly better.; 28.Rff1! g5 29.h5! Ng3 30.Bd7!+- (30.Rf2+-) ; 28.h5!?; 28.g4!? g5 29.Bc4! Rxa4 30.Bxe6+ Kg7 31.hxg5 hxg5 32.Rd7+ Kh6 33.Rxf5+/- The pawn is a lot less meaningful than the mess Black's king is in.] 28...g5 29.hxg5 hxg5 30.Rf1 Ng3 31.Re1 Kg7 32.Rd3 [32.Rd7+! Kg6 33.Nc3 Rc2 34.Ne2!] 32...f4?! [32...Ne4 33.Nc3 Nxc3 34.Rxc3 Rd2+/- Black's king is safer now, and all those pawns could cause some trouble.] 33.Nc5! Rh8

Looks scary! But White can force the enemy king to the h-file, avoiding mate. 34.Rd7+ Kg6 35.Bd3+ Kh5 36.Nxe6 Kg4 37.Bh7! Ne2+ 38.Kh2! Kh4?! [38...f3 39.gxf3+ Kh4 (39...Kxf3?! 40.Rf1+ Kg4 (40...Ke3 41.Rd3#) ) 40.Kh1 Ng3+ 41.Kg1 Ne2+ 42.Rxe2 Rxe2 43.Nd4!+- Not easy to find though...] 39.Bf5 f3

[39...Ng3 40.Bh3] 40.Nd4?= Why is it that bad to merit two question marks? It was the last chance to, as it turned out, take clear second! [40.Rb1!!+- is *the only* winning move. 40...Nf4 (40...Nc3 41.Rb4+ Kh5 42.Kg3) ] 40...g4!

41.Nxe2? Desperation, but there was a draw! But we'll just give it one "?" after the last one (and it cost him a lot less in prize money). [41.Nxf3+! gxf3 42.Rg7! Nf4 43.Rg4+ Kh5 44.Kg3!! fxg2 else White wins! (44...Rxg2+? 45.Kxf4 Rxg4+ 46.Bxg4+ Kg6 47.Bxf3+-) 45.-- White has four moves now that "zero" the game: (0.00) (45.Kxf4; 45.Rxf4; 45.Rh4+; 45.Kf3) ] 41...Rxe2 42.Rg1 g3+ 43.Kh1 Kg5+ 44.Bh7 f2 45.Rg7+ Kh6 46.Rf7 fxg1Q+ Overlooking mate in four! Two of them! (But it's still mate soon enough... [46...Rxe5; 46...Rxh7] 47.Kxg1 Re1+ 48.Rf1 Rxf1+ 49.Kxf1 Rxh7 50.Ke2 Re7 51.Kf3 Rxe5 0-1


(4) Xia,Yusheng (2294) - Winslow,Elliott (2251) [E94]
MI 2nd Shipman mem TNM: u1800 San Francisco (7.1), 15.02.2022

The game to decide first place. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Na6 8.Re1 [8.Be3] 8...c6 9.Be3 Ng4 [9...Qe7 10.c5 dxc5 11.dxe5 Ng4 12.Bg5 Qe8 13.Bxa6 bxa6 14.Na4 Nxe5 15.Nxc5 Nxf3+ 16.Qxf3 Qe5 17.Be3 Qxb2 18.a4 Qxa1 19.Rxa1 Bxa1 20.h4 h5 21.Qd1 Be5 22.Qc1 Rd8 23.Bf4 Bg7 24.Bh6 Bh8 25.Bg5 Re8 26.Bd2 Be6 27.Bc3 Bxc3 28.Qxc3 Rab8 29.Kh2 Rb1 30.Kg3 Bc8 31.f3 Rd1 32.Kf4 Rd6 33.Qa5 Re7 34.Qb4 f6 35.Nb7 Rdd7 36.Nc5 Rd8 37.Nxa6 Kf7 38.Nc5 Kg7 39.Qc3 Cheparinov,I (2664)-Firouzja,A (2804) Warsaw 2021 1/2-1/2] 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4 g5 12.Bg3 Nh6 13.dxe5

13...dxe5N [Predecessor: 13...fxe5 14.h4 gxh4 15.Bxh4 Bf6 16.Bg3 Qe7 17.Rb1 Nf7 18.Nh2 Nc5 19.Bg4 Kh8 20.Bxc8 Raxc8 21.Ng4 Bg5 22.Ne3 Bxe3 23.Rxe3 Ne6 24.b4 Rg8 25.Rf3 Rcd8 26.b5 Nfg5 27.Re3 c5 28.Nd5 Qg7 29.Qh5 Rdf8 30.Qh2 Rf7 31.Kh1 Qf8 32.Qh4 Rg6 33.Rbb3 Rh6 34.Kg1 0-1 (34) Heinis,V (2270)-Ehlvest,J (2610) New York 1998] 14.Qxd8 Rxd8 15.Rad1 Be6

"1/2?" draw offer [15...Nf7!?] 16.a3?! Better would be to trade all the rooks now, or move a rook or knight to d2. 16...Nc5!-/+ Black jumps on the weakened b3 with a clear advantage. 17.b4 Nb3 18.Rxd8+ Rxd8


19.Rd1? Drops a pawn to a surprising move. [19.Rb1 Nd4 20.Nxd4 exd4 21.Na4 b6 (...f5 is next on any move) (21...d3 22.Bxd3! (22.Rd1? f5!-+ (22...dxe2?? 23.Rxd8+ Kf7 24.f3+/-) ) 22...Rxd3 23.Nc5 Bxc4 24.Nxd3 Bxd3 25.Rd1 Bb5 is two pieces for a rook and a solid plus) 22.Bd3 f5 23.exf5 Nxf5=/+] 19...Rxd1+ 20.Nxd1 g4! getting the d2 square for the black knight 21.Ne1 Nd2 This knight has done well. 22.f3 Nxc4 [22...Bxc4! 23.Kf2 Nf7; 22...gxf3 23.gxf3 Bxc4! clarifies -- the White bishop is hardly "bad". 24.Bxc4+ Nxc4 25.Bf2 and it's all winning for Black: 25...a6 (25...Nxa3) ] 23.Nc2 gxf3 24.gxf3 Nf7 25.Bf2 b6 26.Nde3 Nfd6 27.Nxc4 Nxc4 [27...Bxc4! 28.Bxc4+ Nxc4 29.Kf1 Bf8 30.a4 a6-+] 28.a4 Bf8 29.a5! more pawns off, more likely to find a draw... 29...bxa5 [29...c5! 30.axb6 axb6 31.bxc5 Bxc5 trade off the suspect bishop] 30.bxa5 Nxa5 31.Bxa7 Nb3 32.Kf2 Kf7 33.Ne3 Nd4?! [33...Bc5!] 34.Bc4 [34.Bd3!?] 34...Bxc4 35.Nxc4 Ke6 [35...c5!?] 36.Ke3? [36.f4! c5 37.f5+ Kd7 38.Bb6 Black has his work cut out for him with the fixed weakness on f6.] 36...c5! 37.f4 Bh6


38.Bxc5 [38.Kd3!] 38...Bxf4+ [38...Nb3!-+ before the bishop can defend the h-pawn: Black just wins two pawns now.] 39.Kd3 Nf3 40.h3 h5? Start of a flawed plan. 41.Bf2?!

[41.Nd6!] 41...h4? [41...Ng5 42.h4 Nf7] 42.Ke2?? [42.Na5! Bg3 43.Be3!= Black's bishop is the last piece Black wants to be left with.] 42...Ng5! looking for connected passed pawns. 43.Bxh4 Nxe4-+

44.Bxf6!? White realizes how lost the ending is, and decides to test out Black's technique. Which turns out to be not so bad (but plenty of innacuracies!). 44...Kxf6 45.Nxe5!? Kxe5 46.Kd3 Nf2+ 47.Kc4 Nxh3

aaStarting the 50-move rule counter... (it's mate in 26 with "best" play) 48.Kd3 Kd5 49.Kc3 Ng5 50.Kd3 Kc5 51.Kc3 Be5+ 52.Kd3 Bd4 53.Ke2 Kc4 54.Kd2 Bc5 55.Ke2 Kc3 56.Kf1 Kd2 57.Kg2 Bd6 58.Kf2 Bf4 59.Kf1 Ke3 60.Ke1 Ne4 61.Kd1 Be5 62.Kc2 Nc5 63.Kd1 Bc3 64.Kc2 Kd4 65.Kc1 Kd3 66.Kd1 Na4 67.Kc1 Nb2 68.Kb1 Kd2 69.Ka2 Kc2 70.Ka3 Bd2 71.Ka2 Bb4 72.Ka1 Nd3 73.Ka2 Nc1+ 74.Ka1 Bc3# 0-1




Please read out short report on the 2022 Falconer Award in Chess Life Online:
link coming soon.

Holding his award, GM Andrew Hong is flanked by former MI Chess Room Directors IM John Donaldson and Abel Talamantez on his right, with GM in Residence Nick de Firmian and Dr. Judit Sztaray, MI General Manager of Youth Outreach and Events on his left.


Mechanics' Championship Quads -- 2022 February

We had another successful Mechanics' Championship Quads this past weekend. 64 players were divided into 16 quads, and they made sure we were not short on excitement.

Nathan Fong tied the top quad with Austin Mei and continues to climb towards the 2100. Other notable performances: Aryan Achuthan crossed the 1900, Alexander Su crossed the 1800 line and Arjun Shankar gained enough rating points to cross 1600 and thus eligible to play up to the 1800+ section in future tournaments. Glenn Kaplan showed a strong performane which put him back into the 1700 USCF range.

If you want to be part of the action, it's never too early to register for our next Mechanics' Championship Quads that's Saturday, March 12.
More information:


Weng,Nicholas (1998) - Narendra,Rithwik (1968) [C78]
February Championship Quads San Francisco (3), 12.02.2022

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.c3 d6 8.d4

The players play classical Ruy Lopez theory. The Deep Blue team had prepared to play like this as White in the last match against Kasparov. 8...Bb6 9.a4 Rb8 [The immediate 9...Bg4 is also reasonable] 10.axb5 axb5 11.Na3 0-0 12.Nxb5 Bg4 13.Be3 exd4 14.cxd4 Nxe4 15.Bd5 Qe8 16.Qc2?!


16...Bxf3! 17.Bxc6?! tempting, but Black has a fine tactical followup [17.gxf3 Nb4 18.Qxe4 Qxb5 is a clear edge to Black with the broken white kingside pawns; relatively best is 17.Qxc6 Be2 18.Qxe8 Rfxe8 19.Bc6 Bxf1 20.Bxe8 Bxg2 21.Bxf7+ Kxf7 22.Kxg2 with just a slight edge to Black in the endgame] 17...Qe6! 18.Nc3? [18.gxf3 Qg6+ 19.Kh1 Ng3+ wins the white queen on c2. White though could survive for a while with 19. Bg5!] 18...Qg6 [a quick end was 18...Qg4 19.g3 Qh3] 19.g3 Ng5!

Black wins the queen as 20. Qxg6 Nh3 is mate! White resigned. A fine game by Rithwik. 0-1



Meet Our Club Players #2

Lisa Willis

I'm Lisa Willis. I was born in Panorama City, CA, grew up in Pasadena, CA, moved to Reno, NV in 2007, and to San Francisco last September. I joined the Mechanics' Institute during the pandemic lockdown in 2020. I quickly became extremely fond of the entire staff! They are warm, genuine people who care about their community, including their members. For over 10 years, I couldn't leave my house because of illness without great pain. But I had chess. I could sit in front of my computer and play, and boy did I - lol. I have close to 60,000 online games played in just over 5 years, most of them blitz.

The irony is I became healthy again just as the lockdown started, so I was still stuck at home. But that's when I discovered the Mechanics' Institute, and they welcomed me as I played in several of their online tournaments. I finally got to meet them in person in August, during my first trip to San Francisco! My Mom lived here in the early 60's, and my older sister was born here. But by the time I came along my parents had moved back to LA, hence my only flaw, I'm a Dodger fan! I moved here because it's the greatest city in the world! Its beautiful to the eyes, but  I have found most of the people to be even better! I love this city, and the Mechanics Institute is its crown jewel!

Note from the editor: Lisa is expected to play in the upcoming Falconer Tuesday Night Marathon. Event details and registration list -- Click HERE. Capacity is limited to 60 players, so register soon!


Tony's Teasers

Mate-in-2 with white to move.




FM Paul Whitehead's Column

Chess is Everywhere
[email protected]


We haven’t heard much from World Champion Magnus Carlsen this week, but GM Raymond Keene manages to throw him into an article, alongside Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Professor Moriarity:


GM Anish Giri had his Twitter account hacked, with much vulgarity ensuing:


Are you a fan of anime and Cowboy Bebop?  Then you might want to know that the character of Chessmaster Hex is based on that very real life legend, the one and only Paul Morphy:


The chess world mourns the death of Arthur Feuerstein, and celebrates his remarkable life:


A new chess scene on the streets of Berkeley is on hold because of the presence of a 12-guage shotgun:


We love chess clubs, and here’s a really nice profile of the chess club at Lafayette College, in Easton Pennsylvania:


Vladimir Putin, chess and poker - here we go again:


You know you really want and need that Harry Potter chess set.  Well, now you buy it for ½-off the list price:


As reported by Leonard Barden in the Financial Times, British over the board play is staging a strong come-back, as 80 teams compete in-person:


Drop by Callee 1945 in Oneida, New York on a Saturday, and visit the newly formed Chess and Cheese club:


A wonderful remembrance of Yugoslav (Serbian) GM Boris Ivkov (1933-2022):


A terrific look inside the legendary Marshall Chess Club, the second-oldest chess club in the United States (full credit for naming the oldest!):


Vladimir Putin is putting on the chess:


But of course it’s Joe Biden who’s only playing the checkers:


Finally, Prince Harry has been dubbed a “grand-master chess player” by a body language expert, due to his “calculated moves in public appearances”:



Chess. It really is everywhere.



GM Nick de Firmian's Column

Glory for Americans


Watching the Winter Olympics, we see the small nation of Norway leading the medal count and bringing fame and respect to a country with little more than one percent of the population of the USA. One of the big stories of these Olympic games is the San Franciscan Eileen Gu, who decided to choose the Chinese team and bring glory to China for her gold medal free style skiing performance. Gu has received some criticism for not representing the USA, but we Americans cannot complain as we are a nation of immigrants who bring people and ideas from all over the world to mix in our big melting pot. 

Nowhere is that seen more than in top level chess and especially in the current FIDE Grand Prix being played in Berlin. The semi-finals had three of the four players representing American. Not one was born in this country but they now proudly represent it and boost the level of our Olympic team (usually captained by the MI’s own John Donaldson). The semi-finals saw a resurgent Hikaru Nakamura defeat Hungary’s Richard Rapport.  While Naka has lived in America since he was a small kid, the other semi-final match was a battle of the two recent Americans. Lenier Dominguez came over from Cuba three years ago and was a welcome addition, rated #13 in the world. His opponent, Levon Aronian, only officially started representing America in this tournament. Rated #4 in the world, he brings extra firepower to an already stocked Olympic team.  As Aronian defeated Dominguez in Berlin we have an all American final between Nakamura and Aronian. There is certainly glory for American in this Grand Prix, but also some very exciting games which we show below.


(1) Aronian,Levon (2772) - Dominguez Perez,Leinier (2752) [D20]
FIDE Chess Grand Prix 1 2022 | Knockout (1), 12.02.2022

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 The Queen's Gambit Accepted. This produces a wide open game with free piece play. Aronian plays aggressively with 3.e4 instead of the more restrained 3.e3. 3...b5 Dominguez holds onto the gambit pawn, which is known to be risky since 1490. 4.a4 c6 5.axb5 cxb5 6.Nc3! Qb6!? A provacative move. [6...b4?! 7.Nb5! is very good for White] 7.Nd5 Qb7 8.Bf4 e5! The best move. Giving back a pawn to let the bishop on f8 develop. [8...Nf6 9.Nc7+ Kd8 10.Be2 is great for White] 9.Bxe5 Nd7

10.Bf4 [not 10.Nc7+?! Kd8 11.Nxa8? Bb4+ 12.Ke2 Qxe4#] 10...Ngf6 11.Nc7+ Kd8 12.Nxa8 Qxe4+ 13.Ne2 Qxa8 Black has given up the exchange for a pawn. He has good queenside pawns and some central squares but White is still for choice. 14.f3 [14.Nc3!?] 14...Nd5 15.Bg5+ f6 16.Bd2 Bd6 17.Ng3 Qb8 18.Kf2 Re8 19.Be2 Bc7 20.Re1 Bb6?!

21.Kg1! A fine move from Aronian, placing king safety over material. Now the white king can hide in the corner while its counterpart is stuck in the center. 21...Ne5 [21...Bxd4+ 22.Kh1 opens the d-file where the loose black pieces and king are] 22.Kh1 Nc6 23.b3 c3 24.Bxb5! Bd7?! [24...Rxe1+ 25.Bxe1 Nxd4 26.Bc4 Qe5 is an improvement but still much better for White] 25.Rxe8+ Bxe8 26.Be1 [26.Bxc6! Bxc6 27.Be1] 26...Nxd4 27.Bxe8 c2 28.Qd3 Kxe8 29.Bd2?! [29.Rc1] 29...Qe5! making a fight of it by this centralization 30.Rc1 f5 31.Qc4 Ne3? The decisive mistake. Black is still in the game after [31...f4 32.Ne4 Ne3] 32.Qc8+ Kf7 33.Qd7+ Kg6

34.f4! Qe6 Black must accept the trade of queens since he loses the knight on e3 otherwise. If [34...Qxf4 35.Qe8+] 35.Qxe6+ Nxe6 36.Ne2 Ng4 37.g3 Taking away all the danger. White will round up the c2 pawn and have an easily won exchange up ending. 37...Nc5 38.b4 Nd3 39.Rxc2 Ngf2+ 40.Kg2 Ne4 41.Nc1! Dominguez resigned. On 41...Nxd2 42. Nxd3. A great battle between our newest Americans. 1-0


(2) Nakamura,Hikaru (2736) - Aronian,Levon (2772) [C88]
FIDE Chess Grand Prix 1 2022 | Knockout (2), 13.02.2022

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nakamura chooses the classic Ruy Lopez instead of 3. Bc4 which is trendy with the young players. 3...a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.h3 Avoiding the Marshall Gambit, 8. c3 d5, which Aronian likes to play. 8...Bb7 9.d3 d6 10.a3 Qd7 11.Nc3 Nd8 12.Nh2 Ne6 13.Ng4 Kh8

The opening is equal and we have all pieces and pawns still on the board. Now begins some exchanges and action. 14.Nxf6 Bxf6 15.Qg4 Rae8 16.a4 b4 17.Ne2 Qd8 18.c3 bxc3 19.bxc3 g6 20.Bd5 Bxd5 21.exd5 Nc5 22.Bh6?!


Safer was to defend the d3 pawn. Aronian siezes the chance to get an edge. 22...Nxd3! 23.Bxf8 Nxe1 24.Rxe1 Rxf8 25.Qc4 Qa8 26.Rb1 Rb8 27.Rb4 [27.Rxb8+ Qxb8 28.Qxa6 Qb1+ 29.Kh2 e4 gives Black real attacking chances against the white king] 27...Kg7 [27...a5! would keep the advantage] 28.Ng3 h5 29.Ne4 Bd8 30.a5 Qa7 31.g3 f5 32.Nd2 Rxb4 33.cxb4 e4 34.Nb3 Bf6 35.Kg2 h4 36.gxh4 Kf7 37.h5 gxh5 38.b5 White is getting a dangerous passed a-pawn. 38...e3 39.f4 Qb8 40.Kf1! [40.bxa6 Qg8+ 41.Kf3 Qg1! gives the advantage back to Black] 40...axb5 41.Qc6

Black is two pawns up but the white a-pawn is a terror. Aronian needs to play decisively. 41...e2+! 42.Kxe2 Qa7 43.a6 Qg1! 44.Qxc7+ Kg6 45.Nd2 [45.a7 Qg2+ 46.Ke1 Qe4+ is a draw] 45...Qh2+ 46.Kd1 Qxf4 47.a7 Bg5 48.Qa5 b4 49.Qa2 b3 50.Qa5 White has defended mate and is ready to queen. 50...Qe3! 51.a8Q Qg1+ 52.Ke2 Qe3+ 53.Kd1 Qg1+ 54.Ke2 Qe3+

A great battle. 1/2-1/2


Mechanics' Institute Chess Events Schedule
March 2022 


Next Tuesday Night Marathon:
Falconer Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon, 

March 1 - April 122022, 6:30PM FIDE Rated. 7SS G/120;d5
Mechanics' Institute March Championship Quads
March 12, 2022, 3PM USCF Rated. 3RR G/30;d5



Solution to Tony's Teaser

1 Nd2!   if
1...Kxd4 2. Bb2 mate
if 1...Kf4 2. e5 mate
1...Kf6 2. e5 mate
1...Nf6 2. Nf3 mate


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