Chess Room Newsletter #384 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #384

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #384, 2/02/2008
"Pruess and Friedel's chess is as uncompromising as their spartan furnishings. They are about as likely to accept a draw as Jack Bauer is to respect the Geneva Convention."
~GM Jesse Krai (From his award winning article East Bay Flight Club)
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Dick Cavett and Bobby Fischer
3) Kamsky-Topalov
4) Our Men in Moscow - Part Two
5) Evans-Steiner: 1952 US Championship Match
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
IM Ricardo DeGuzman and NM Emanuel Perez tied for first at 4.5 from 5 in the 8th Annual Henry Gross Memorial held February 9th at the Mechanics'. DeGuzman, who drew with NM Michael Pearson in round four, defeated WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs in the last round while Pearson was beaten by Perez. Expert James Jones had a chance to tie for first but drew his last game with NM Keith Vickers in the 54 player event.

IM John Grefe, FM Frank Thornally and NM Sam Shankland are tied at 5 from 6 with two rounds to go in the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon.

Go to or ( and see where it says "Chess Diva #4 is Here!") and you will find a short video clip that includes coverage of the MI's Sunday's Woman's Chess Class taught by Ewelina Krubnik which is sponsored by the Wiskemann Foundation in memory of Martin Wiskemann. The part with the MI plays after 2 minutes or so.

9-year-old Expert Nicholas Nip is looking for players rated over 2000 for matches and quads to be held at the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco on weekends. Interested parties may contact John Donaldson at

Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics' are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics' are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics'. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.
2) Dick Cavett and Bobby Fischer
Former Northwest Chess Editor and Inside Chess proof reader Dan Bailey always spoke highly of the interview skills of Dick Cavett and they stand out in Cavett's remembrance of the interviews he did with Bobby Fischer.

Here is an excerpt from the piece that recently appeared in the New York Times ( )

Until the advent of Bobby Fischer, my image of a young chess genius was not flattering. I pictured a sort of wizened and unpopular youth, small of frame, reclusive, short, with messy hair, untended acne, thick glasses and shirt sticking out in back. And also perhaps, as the great V. Nabokov wrote in describing somewhat genderless piano prodigies with eye trouble, obscure ailments, "and something vaguely misshapen about their eunuchoid hindquarters."

Getting Fischer on my show that first time, before the big match, was considered a major catch at the time. If anyone in the audience shared my image of what a chess genius probably looked like, Bobby�s entrance erased it.

Here was no Nabakovian homunculus. There appeared, somewhat disconcerted, a tall and handsome lad with football-player shoulders, impeccably suited, a little awkward of carriage and unsure how to negotiate the unfamiliarity of the set, the bright lights, the wearing of make-up, the band music, the hand-shaking and the thundering ovation � all at the same time. I had hoped to avoid the clich� "gangling," but Bobby gangled. He sort of lurched into his chair.

Once seated, he was something to behold. Six foot two (tall in those days), athletic in build, perfect in grooming, and with striking features. The face radiated intelligence. You couldn�t confuse him with anyone you�d ever seen.

And there were the eyes.

Cameras fail to convey the effect of his eyes when they were looking at you. A bit of Svengali perhaps, but vulnerable. And only the slightest hint of a sort of theatrical menace, the menace that so disconcerted his opponents.

Looking out over the audience, I could clearly see entranced women gazing at him as if willing to offer their hearts � and perhaps more � to the hunky chess master.
3) Kamsky-Topalov
Athens, 11 February 2008

FIDE has accepted an offer for the WCC Challengers Match Kamsky - Topalov 2008 by the Bulgarian Chess Federation. This offer included a net prize fund of 150,000 USD and has been approved by the FIDE Presidential Board since June 2007.

However, after the recent FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Singapore and following discussions with all parties involved, FIDE has decided the following in order to try to improve the financial terms and conditions for both players:

a) if by 11 April 2008, FIDE receives a bid with a net prize fund of 250,000 USD (minimum) from any country other than USA, Bulgaria, Russia and Spain, then the match will be organised in that country with the highest bid.

b) if by 11 April 2008, FIDE receives a bid with a net prize fund of 250,000 USD (minimum) from USA, Russia or Spain, the organisers in Bulgaria will be requested to match that bid by 30 May 2008. If Bulgaria matches the new bid, the event will be organised in Bulgaria. If Bulgaria refuses, then the match will be organised in the bidding country.

c) if by 11 April 2008 no such bids arrive, the match will be organised in Bulgaria with a net prize fund of 150,000 USD.

In order for a proposed bid to be considered, it should be accompanied by a 2-month term recognised bank guarantee covering the amount of prize fund (minimum 250,000 USD), the FIDE contribution (20% over and above the prize fund), and 35,000 USD covering expenses of FIDE as described in articles 3.17.4 and 3.17.5 of the match regulations. Within 30 days of a bidder being awarded the event, the amount of the bank guarantee should be transferred to the bank account of FIDE.

Each bid shall also contain the following particulars:a) Proposed exact dates of the event between 26 November and 11 December 2008.
b) Proposed tournament venue.
c) Proposed prize fund.
d) Commitment to cover all organisation costs, in accordance with the match regulations.
e) Special rates for hotel rooms, including meals.
f) A statement that the applicant accepts the regulations of the Match without any reservations.
g) The applicant's name, signatures and authentication.
h) An invitation for at least one member of the World Chess Championship Committee to inspect the proposed venue and examine the other conditions, with all expenses paid by the bidder.

No bidder can propose a sponsor which shall be in conflict with the regulations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The bids, including all original documents and particulars, shall arrive by registered post to the FIDE Secretariat in Athens, Greece by the deadline of 11 April 2008.
4) Our Men in Moscow - Part Two
Probably no American was completely pleased with their performance in the Moscow Open. GM Gregory Kaidanov and IM Josh Friedel finished with 5.5 from 9 and IM David Pruess ended on 4.5 while Irina Krush lost to top seed Anna Ushenina in the last round - a win would have given her equal second.On the positive side, Josh and David, who both start the Aeroflot Open today, both finished strongly. Check out the sparkling finish in Josh's last round game.
Moscow Open 2008
White: Friedel, J.
Black: Moiseev, G.
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.d4 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 exd4 10.e5 Ne8 11.Qxd4 Bb7 12.c4 c5 13.Qg4 bxc4 14.Bxc4 d5 15.exd6 Nxd6 16.Nc3 Nxc4 17.Qxc4 Bf6 18.Be3 Rc8 19.Rad1 Qb6 20.Na4 Qc6 21.f3 Be7 22.Bf2 Bd6 23.Bg3 Bxg3 24.hxg3 Rfe8 25.Nxc5 h6 26.b4 Rxe1+ 27.Rxe1 a5 28.Re7 Qd5 29.Qg4 h5 30.Qf4 Bc6 31.Ne6 Be8 32.Nc7 Qxa2 33.Nxe8 Rc2 34.Qd4 Rxg2+ 35.Kf1 Rxg3 36.Qxg7+ Rxg7 37.Nf6+ 1-0 You can find Josh's second blog from Moscow at :
5) Evans-Steiner: 1952 US Championship Match
In June and July of 1952 a match for the US Championship was held between the reigning champion Larry Evans and the previous title holder Herman Steiner, and won in decisive fashion by Evans 10-4. Games 1-10 were played in Los Angeles, game 11 was suppose to be held in San Francisco, game 12 and 13 were held in Reno and game 14 in Las Vegas. GM Evans remembers games 1-10 being played in Los Angeles, and games 12 -13 in Reno ( at Harold's Club) and Game 14 in Las Vegas ( maybe at the Silver Slipper). Coverage in Chess Review, Chess Life, the American Chess Bulletin and the California Chess Reporter was not very extensive. Would any reader be able to confirm if game 11 of the match was played in San Francisco and if so where? Dates to the games are not provided in the late Jack Spence's work on the match but GM Evans has scoresheets that indicate Game 1 in Los Angeles began on June 13, 1952. Game 13 was on July 2 and game 14 on July 3. If a game was played in San Francisco (the only US Championship game ever to be played in the city) it would likely have been in late June.

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