Chess Room Newsletter #386 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #386

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #386, 3/10/2008
"Fischer will be remembered as the Mozart of chess, taking Capa's style and sharpening it. He was my childhood inspiration and is the reason I play chess today. We must separate the man who had repugnant views from the artist."
~IM Cyrus Lakdawala
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Peoples Replacement Open by Michael Aigner
3) Eric Schiller on the Peoples Replacement Open
4) Here and There
5) New England Masters
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
The Winter Tuesday Night Marathon had an exciting finish as NM Sam Shankland defeated World Under 12 Champion Daniel Naroditsky to finish alone in first with 6.5 from 8. There was a five-way-tie for second at 6-2 between IM John Grefe, FM Frank Thornally, and Experts Nicholas Nip, Steve Gaffagan and James Jones. The next Marathon starts March 18th.

Two key games from round seven
Thornally,Frank - Naroditsky,Daniel [B26]
Winter TNM San Francisco (7) 2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 g6 5.d3 Bg7 6.Be3 e6 7.Qd2 Nge7 8.Bh6 0-0 9.h4 Bxh6 10.Qxh6 f6 11.Qd2 d5 12.h5 g5 13.h6 d4 14.Nd1 e5 15.f4 exf4 16.gxf4 Ng6 17.Ne2 Bg4 18.f5 Nge5 19.Nf2 Bf3 20.Kf1 Bxe2+ 21.Kxe2 Qd6 22.Bf3 c4 23.Rag1 c3 24.Qc1 cxb2 25.Qxb2 b6 26.Qb3+ Kh8 27.Bh5 Rac8 28.Rc1 Rc7 29.Rhe1 Rfc8 30.a3 Na5 0-1
Shankland,Sam - Grefe,John [C85]
Winter TNM San Francisco (7) 2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.d3 Nd7 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.b3 Re8 10.Bb2 Bf8 11.Nc4 f6 12.Qe1 Nc5 13.h3 Be6 14.Ne3 a5 15.Nd2 a4 16.f4 exf4 17.Rxf4 axb3 18.axb3 Rxa1 19.Bxa1 Bd6 20.Rf1 Nd7 21.Kh1 Nf8 22.Ndc4 b5 23.Nxd6 Qxd6 24.Qa5 Nd7 25.Bc3 Nb6 26.Qb4 c5 27.Qxb5 Bd7 28.Qa5 Ra8 29.e5 fxe5 30.Nc4 Qe7 31.Nxb6 Rxa5 32.Nxd7 Ra2 33.Rf8+ Qxf8 34.Nxf8 Kxf8 35.Bxe5 Rxc2 36.Bxc7 Ke7 37.Bb6 g6 38.d4 c4 39.bxc4 Rxc4 40.Kh2 Ke6 41.Kg3 Rc2 42.Kf3 Kf5 43.g4+ Ke6 44.h4 h6 45.d5+ Kxd5 46.Be3 Rc3 47.Kf2 h5 48.gxh5 gxh5 49.Bg5 Ke4 50.Kg2 Kf5 51.Kf2 Kg4 52.Bd8 Ra3 53.Bg5 ½-½Nine year old Nicholas Nip will be around 2185 after the Tuesday Night Marathon is rated. The past two weekends he played six game matches at a G/60 time control against Expert Romulo Fuentes (2113) and NM Emmanuel Perez (2282), beating Fuentes by a score of 5.5-0.5 and Perez 4.0-2.0. The lack of tournaments in the Western US is something that Nicholas's mother, Sophia, is acutely aware of. There is no USCF Grand Prix tournament within 1000 miles of San Francisco the next two weeks so Nicholas will be likely be playing more matches at the Mechanics' the next few weeks in his quest to reach 2200 before he turns 10. He would have likely made it already if he had not had a sub par result at Agoura Hills in January while playing with the flu.

Should Nicholas beat Hikaru Nakamura's record for youngest Master he will be in good company. As Michael Aigner points out if he is successful he will become the third local youngster to hold this esteemed record. Back in 1995, young rivals Jordy Mont-Reynaud (10 years and 209 days) and Vinay Bhat (10 years and 176 days) both became the youngest USCF master in short succession. Jordy earned the FIDE Master title but never managed to maintain a rating much above 2300. Vinay now holds the Grandmaster title and is still active as a player.
2) Peoples Replacement Open by Michael Aigner
The annual People’s Chess Tournament in February is one of the oldest traditions of NorthernCalifornia chess. Its history dates back to the topsy-turvy era of free speech and free love inBerkeley around the early 1970s. Normally the tournament takes place in magnificent PauleyBallroom looking out at Sproul Plaza and the Campanile (Sather Tower) on the campus of UCBerkeley. The spirit of the counterculture remains alive today, symbolized by the incessant noisegenerated by the bongo drummers that spend each afternoon in the plaza.

Unfortunately, a scheduling snafu robbed us chess players of this tradition in 2008, for thesecond time in three years. When it appeared there would be no People’s Tournament at all, SouthBay organizer Salman Azhar stepped up to the plate despite only three week’s notice. The People’sReplacement Tournament was definitely not the Real Thing, but it would have to suffice. The eventwas moved 50 miles south to the library of a grade school in Santa Clara. Only four rounds wereplayed over two days, instead of the usual three-day schedule. And at least one veteran playercomplained about the lack of drums. On the bright side, the new venue allowed easy freeway accessand plenty of free parking.

About 80 players showed up for the 1200+ sections while another 40 kids played in the one-day sideevent restricted to players rated under 1200. These attendance figures allowed Dr. Azhar toincrease the advertised prize fund slightly to $2500, a respectable 71% of last year’s payout inBerkeley despite having 45 fewer players. Players competed in four sections: Master/Expert, ClassA, Class B and Class C/D. In an era of G/30, G/45 and G/60 tournaments, the People’s time controlwas slow enough for classical chess: 30/90, G/60. In fact, some parents remarked how pleased theywere to see their kids actually take their time to think while playing chess!

The top section featured local IM Ricardo DeGuzman as the top seed, followed by two FMs and twoNMs. Upsets began rolling in as early as the first round: fifth grader Yian Liou (1900) crushedFM Eric Schiller’s anti-Dutch system within 20 moves and high school student NM Sam Shanklandcould only draw against extensive opening preparation by adult expert Brendan Purcell (2023). Inthe third round, reigning world U12 champion FM Danya Naroditsky calmly held DeGuzman to a draw.That left this reporter as the only player with a perfect 3-0 score going into the final round,with DeGuzman, Shankland and Naroditsky tied for second at 2.5 each.

That set up my critical round 4 pairing with IM DeGuzman. We had played many times before, withDeGuzman scoring a lopsided 23.5/27 = 87%. I had never won, achieving just seven draws despiteseveral completely winning positions. Our typical game saw DeGuzman overcoming an openingdisadvantage through his creative and aggressive middle and endgame play.
Aigner, Michael (2242) vs IM DeGuzman, Ricardo (2457)
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 e6 6. Be3 Nd4 7. Nce2 Ne7 8. c3 Nxe2 9. Nxe2 d6 10.d4 cxd4 11. Bxd4 e5 12. Be3 O-O 13. Qd3 Qc7 14. Rd1 Rd8 15. c4 Be6 16. b3 Qa5+ 17. Qd2 Qc7 18. O-Oa6 19. Nc3 Qa5 20. Nd5 Qxd2 21. Nxe7+ Kf8 22. Nxg6+ hxg6 23. Rxd2 b5 24. c5 dxc5 25. Bxc5+ Ke8 26.Rxd8+ Rxd8 27. Be3 Bf8 28. h4 Ba3 29. Kh2 Rc8 30. Rd1 Rc2 31. Rd2 Rc8 32. Re2 Bc1 33. Bb6 Rc6 34.Ba7 f6 35. Bh3 Bf7 36. Kg2 a5 37. Bg4 a4 38. bxa4 bxa4 39. Re1 Bxa2 40. Be2 Rc3 41. Bb5+ Kf7 42.Bxa4 Be6 43. Be3 Bxe3 44. Rxe3 Rxe3 45. fxe3 Bg4 46. Bb3+ Ke7 47. Kf2 Kf8 48. Ke1 Bf3 49. Bc2 Ke750. Kf2 Bg4 51. Bd3 Kf8 52. Be2 Bd7 53. Ke1 Bc6 54. Bd3 Kg7 55. g4 Kh6 56. Kd2 Bb7 57. Kc3 Bc8 58.Be2 Bb7 59. Bf3 Kg7 60. Kc4 f5 61. g5 Kf7 62. Kd3 Ba6+ 63. Kd2 Bb7 64. Ke2 fxe4 65. Bg4 Bd5 66.Bc8 Ke7 67. Kf2 Bb3 68. Bb7 Bc2 69. Ke2 Ke6 70. Kd2 Bb1 71. Kc3 Bd3 72. Bc6 Ke7 73. Kb4 Bb1 74.Kc5 Ba2 75. Bxe4 Bf7 76. Bd5 Be8 77. Bg8 Ba4 78. Bc4 Bd7 79. Bd3 1-0The game in Santa Clara was no different; I achieved a huge opening advantage from the white sideof the Maroczy bind. The veteran IM meekly lost a pawn with 19… Qa5 allowing the thematic tactic20.Nd5, but the game had just begun. Surely a clear pawn up should be enough to win. However,after two inaccuracies (I should have played 32.Bh3 instead of Re2 and 34.Ba5 instead of Ba7),history was well on its way to repeat. Was this the DeGuzman Curse?

Fortunately, history would not repeat itself. Known for impeccable play in the late middlegameand endgames, the sly magician blundered with the greedy 39… Bxa2 when the pawn push a3 would havesufficed for an advantage. The brilliant retreat 40.Be2 threatens three black targets on thea5-e8 diagonal and, from this point forth, black was in trouble. The bishop of same color endgameup a pawn that resulted from further trades on moves 44 and 45 was merely a matter of techniquedespite white’s doubled pawns. After nearly seven years since our first meeting, the monkey isoff my back!

Approximately a quarter of the players in the tournament won a part of the prize fund. Much hasbeen said about the rise of scholastic chess in our area, with many adults dropping out simplybecause they no longer can keep up with the tactical skill of underrated kids. In fact, the threeplayers who tied for second place in the Master/Expert section were age 12, 14 and 16. But thereis still a glimmer of hope for the older generation: the Class A and Class C winners were alladults! Hopefully this success by George Mandrusov, Harold Parker and Kenneth Voss can inspireplayers at their age not to quit but rather to keep fighting on.

List of WinnersMaster: 1st NM Michael Aigner; 2nd NM Sam Shankland and FM Danya Naroditsky
Expert: Rohan Agarwal
Class A: George Mandrusov
Class B: Kartik Chillakanti and Chris Tsai
Class C: Harold Parker and Kenneth Voss
Class D: Muhammed Mohideen
U1200: Daniel Liu, Stephen Leung and Rahul Swaminathan
U900: Linus Wang and Malik Khalil
U500: Muzammil Khan

Results: rated: rated: photos: photos:
3) Eric Schiller on the Peoples Replacement Open
A game from Santa Clara with a nice mate (after White resigned.)
Brendan Purcell - Eric Schiller (round 4)
Caro Kann B19
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bf4 Bb4+ This is a sacrifice of a tempo to encourage White to weaken the queenside by advancing the c-pawn. I like it a lot.12.c3 Be7 13.Ne4 Ndf6 14.O-O-O Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Nf6 16.Qe2 Qd5 A typical theme in this variation.17.c4 Qa5 18.Ne5 Hoping for tricks at f7 and e6 after Re1.18.a3 is probably best. Nxh5 19.Be5 Nf6 20.d5!? cxd5 21.cxd5 Nxd5 22.Bxg7 Rg8 23.Be5 Rxg2 - Black is ahead, Hungaski vs. Vescovi, 2005.18... Qxa2 19.Rhe1 O-O 20.g4 a5 Attack? I think I will! The Caro-Kann can be as exciting as any Sicilian, when Black castles on the opposite wing from White.21.Rd3 ? My opponent forgot that my bishop owns a3.21.g5 was the move that had to be played. No time for defense! 21...hxg5 22.Bxg5 a4 23.Ng6 ! It doesn't work, but causes Black the most problems.23...Bb4 ! (Only this! 23...fxg6 24.Qxe6+ Kh8 25.hxg6 Nh5 26.Qxe7a3 ! 27.bxa3 Qxc4+ 28.Kb2 Qb5+ 29.Kc1 Rxf2 30.Qe8+ ! Rf8 31.Qe7 and Black might have to settle for a perpetual check draw)21... a4 22.c5 a3 ! 23.bxa3 Rxa3 24.Qxa2 Rxa2 25.Bg3 Rfa8 26.Rb3 Ra1+ 27.Rb1 Nd5 28.Kd2?? 28.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 29.Kd2 Bg5+30.Ke2 Ra4 -White has serious problems but can resist for some time.28...R1a2+ 0-1 29.Kd3 would have led to a spectacular finish.29...R8a3+ 30.Ke4 Nf6+ 31.Kf4 Rxf2+!! 32.Bxf2 Nxh5+!! 33.gxh5 Bg5+ 34.Kg4 f5# ) ( 29.Kd1 Nc3+ 30.Kc1 Nxb1 31.Kxb1 Ra1+ 32.Kc2 Rxe1 ) ( 29.Kc1 Bg5+ ) 0-1
4) Here and There
Congratulations to former Mechanics' member IM Jeremy Silman for winning the ChessCafe book of the year award for Silman's Complete Endgame Course.

NM Michael Aigner has just started a very good blog. Check it out at

MI Chess Director John Donaldson tied for first with NM Carl Haessler at 4.5 from 5 in the 67 player David Collyer Memorial last weekend in Spokane

IM Josh Friedel turned in a good result in the A2 group section of the Aeroflot Open, scoring 5.5 from 9.
5) New England Masters
Dear Chess Player,

The New England Masters 2008 will take place over the week of August 11-15, 2008, in Pawtucket (near Providence), Rhode Island, USA.

The tournament will be a 9 round Swiss open to players with a FIDE rating of at least 2100. The time control for all rounds will be 40/2 hours, SD/30 minutes. Round times will be at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm each day, apart from the first day which will have only one round at 6:00 pm.

This year's event will see a distinct push to try and attract more non-USA players to our shores in an attempt to increase the norm opportunities for everyone. For instance, non-USA IMs will receive a free entry and a discounted rate on accommodation (just $200 for a half-room), while all non-USA players receive a $100 discount off their relevant entry fees!

Talking about entry fees, all of them have been reduced from last year's event! This is thanks to allowing a new class of players (2100-2199) to participate in the event, benefiting all of the players above, especially those rated 2500 or higher who can now also play for free!

The event will be held at the To Kalon Club, 65 Main Street, Pawtucket. The To Kalon Club is home to the Blackstone Chess Academy who will be holding their own open weekend Swiss straight after the Masters event. (Further details to be announced.)

The Comfort Inn in Pawtucket has given us an $89/night room rate, which is a significant discount off their regular rates. They also include a free breakfast, free wireless internet, exercise room and a heated indoor pool. What more could a chess player need?

For more details on this exciting event, please visit the New England Masters 2008 website at and please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions regarding this event.


Chris Bird
New England Masters 2008

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