Chess Room Newsletter #379 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #379

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #379, 1/17/2008
"In chess, at least, the brave inherit the earth."
~Edmar Mednis
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) January FIDE Ratings
3) US Ch. Qualifier Details Announced by Tom Braunlich
4) US Amateur Team North by Alex Betaneli
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
NM Sam Shankland of Orinda is the 2008 Falconer Award winner. The award, given by former US Senior Champion Neil Falconer to the highest rated Bay Area player under 18, is equal to the youngster's rating - in Sam's case 2262.

Previous winners:

2000 SM Vinay Bhat
2001 SM Vinay Bhat
2002 SM Vinay Bhat
2003 NM Michael Pearson
2004 NM Nicholas Yap
2005 NM Matthew Ho
2006 NM Matthew Ho
2007 NM Nicholas Yap

The Winter TNM started last Tuesday night. 76 players are signed up including former US Champion John Grefe, FM Frank Thornally, World Under 12 champion Daniel Naroditsky and 2008 Falconer winner Sam Shankland. It is still possible to enter the event with a half point bye for round one.

The Mechanics' Institute is pleased to announce that IM Josh Friedel, the highest rated player in Northern California, will be giving a free lecture on Tuesday, January 22, from 5:15 to 6:15 pm. Don't miss this chance to hear Josh speak!

This Saturday the MI will be hosting the 8th annual Bob Burger Open.
2) January FIDE Ratings
MI member David Pruess defeated GMs in the last three rounds to tie for first with Hikaru Nakamura in the North American Open held in Las Vegas from December 26 to 29.

North American Open
Final Standings

Top 20

1. Kramnik RUS 1975 2799 9
2. Anand IND 1969 2799 3
3. Topalov BUL 1975 2780 14
4. Morozevich RUS 1977 2765 12
5. Svidler RUS 1976 2763 19
6. Mamedyarov AZE 1985 2760 35
7. Shirov ESP 1972 2755 49
8. Leko HUN 1979 2753 9
9. Ivanchuk UKR 1969 2751 30
10. Aronian ARM 1982 2739 16
11. Gelfand ISR 1968 2737 9
12. Radjabov AZE 1987 2735 20
13. Carlsen NOR 1990 2733 37
14. Karjakin UKR 1990 2732 36
15. Kamsky USA 1974 2726 32
16. Adams ENG 1971 2726 31
17. Jakovenko RUS 1983 2720 33
18. Ponomariov UKR 1983 2719 40
19. Cheparinov BUL 1986 2713 36
20. Alekseev RUS 1985 2711 35
21. Grischuk RUS 1983 2711 21

US Top 10

1. Kamsky 2726
2. Nakamura 2670
3. Onischuk 2664
4. Seirawan 2628
5. Shabalov 2622
6. Shulman 2614
7. Ibragimov 2605
8. Kaidanov 2604
9. Ehlvest 2601
10. Akobian 2599
3) US Ch. Qualifier Details Announced by Tom Braunlich
You too may qualify for the 2008 U.S. Chess Championship! Seven invitations will be up for grabs in a special Qualifier Open tournament slated for March 28-30, 2008, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In recent years the system allowing any player to win qualification into the U.S. Championship via other major tournaments throughout the year has been quite popular. Last year over half of the 36 championship contenders were qualifiers.

That tradition continues for 2008, but without qualification events throughout 2007 the championship committee has announced a new format � a single special QUALIFIER OPEN, 7-round Swiss System, at which seven players will earn an invitation to the 2008 Frank K Berry U.S. Chess Championship.

These 7 qualifiers will join 17 top-rated GMs and seeded players including defending champion GM Alex Shabalov to form a field of 24 contenders at the 2008 FKB U.S. Chess Championship to be held May 13-21 in Tulsa. Also, the top female finisher in the Qualifier Open will receive an invitation to the 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Women�s Chess Championship, to be held alongside the U.S. Championship.

To win a qualification spot a player must be eligible to play in the U.S. Championship, of course, which means he/she must be a U.S. citizen or resident with federation listed by FIDE as �USA�. (American USCF players without FIDE rating are also eligible.)

Unlike some previous years there is no additional $75 fee to be considered for qualification. Players simply enter and compete in the Qualifier Open just as in any regular large event (see details below).

The top 7 finishers each receive $1000 (Guaranteed) plus a qualification spot (which is itself of value in addition to its prestige; remember that all players in the Championship receive prize money there.).

The event is open to all players, regardless of rating, though of course it is to be expected that masters will be the primary contenders for the top spots. There are also prizes of $1000 (Guaranteed) for top U2400, top U2200, top U2000, and top female finishers.

The Entry Fee is $25 for all masters, $100 for experts, and $200 for anyone rated below 2000. But to get this low EF your entry must be received in advance by March 13. All EFs received after that or at the door cost $100 more. Send entries to: Frank K. Berry, 402 S. Willis St, Stillwater, OK 74074.

The venue is the Best Western Trade Winds Central, ($55/60; 918-749-5561 or 800-685-4564) with free airport shuttle available. See It is expected that the hotel will sell out, but note that there are three other motels within a very short walking distance of the venue � the Ramada ($60; 918-743-9811), the Howard Johnson ($55; 918-794-5156), and the Trade Winds East ($45; 800-254-7449). Ask for the chess rate.

The Time Control for the Qualifier Open will be Game/90, with 30-second delay. Two half-point byes are available for rounds 1, 2, or 5, if requested in advance. Of course, if there are players tied for the qualification places the prize money will be split normally but the qualification spots themselves will be awarded by mathematical tiebreaks.

Additional info on the Qualifier Open will be available online at or in Chess Life TLA announcements. Please direct questions to

As far as is known, this is the first time a dedicated Qualifier Open event of this type has ever been held for the prestigious U.S. Championship. We are hoping for an exciting event!

Further details on the 2008 Frank K Berry U.S. Chess Championship, including the details of the new venue and the participant lists, etc., will be forthcoming. It will be a 9-round Swiss, with 24 players and at least a $50,000 prize fund. The 2008 FKB U.S. Women�s Chess Championship will be held at the same time and place, as a 10-player round robin. (The organizing committee for the championship is Frank K. Berry, Jim Berry, and Tom Braunlich)
4) US Amateur Team North by Alex Betaneli
Dear Chess Players (and parents):

You are invited to participate in the annual national event, the 2008 U.S.Amateur Team Championships North on February 16-17. Start forming teamsnow as December supplement ratings are used for your convenience! **Hotelrate is only $69** and it includes tropical pool and free breakfast!

Any winning team can request nice trophies with their names engravedinstead of the digital clock prizes!

Alex Betaneli
WI Chess Academy

Feb. 16-17 2008 U.S. Amateur Team Championships North Wisconsin5SS, Best Western Hotel, 5105 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(414)769-2100. Special chess rate of $69, reserve early. Free hotbreakfast. Two sections: OPEN (four players plus alternate: must play inrating order, top four average rating below 2200, December supplementused. Prizes: 4 digital clocks to top two teams, 4 digital clocks to topteams with average rating u1900, u1600, and u1300.Winning team qualifiesfor national play-offs on April 12th. Prizes to top score on each board.Prizes to best team name. EF: $120 per team if received by Feb. 10th, $190thereafter. Cash only at site. TC: g/90 rds 1-3, 30/90 sd/60 rds 4-5. Latereg.: 8:30-9:30am on Saturday. Rds.: 10:30am-3pm-7pm; 10:00am-3:30pm.SCHOLASTIC (all players must be High School age or younger; average ratingu2200). Prizes: 4 digital clocks to top team overall, top two High SchoolTeams, top two Middle School Teams, top two Elementary School teams.Prizes to top club team, top team composed of all girls, and to best nameteam. EF: $116 per team if received by Feb. 10th, $190 thereafter. Cashonly at site. TC: G/90. Late reg.: 8:30-9:30am on Saturday. Rds.:10:15am-3pm-7pm; 10:00am-2pm. SIDE EVENT: blitz tournament on Saturdaynight; details at site. INFO/ENTRIES: make checks payable and send to:Alex Betaneli, POB 260122, Madison WI 53726. abetaneli@hotmail.com608-334-2574. Bring boards/sets/clocks. NC. NS. W. JGP.

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