Chess Room Newsletter #408 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #408

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #408, 7/30/2008
"People put too much trust in words...They string empty words together to create an illusion of understanding. Everyone can spout generalities about the essence of a position, but nobody profits from it."

~ Simon Alapin (as quoted in Jonathan Rowson's Chess for Zebras, page 80)
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) New England Masters by Chris Bird
3) 2008 Pan American - Continental Championship
4) Kansas Crowns New Chess Champion by Wes Fisk
5) Here and There

The Irving Chernev Tuesday Night Marathon starts on August 5th.
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
Vinay Bhat turned in another fine performance in Spain. This time, in Balaguer, he finished =4th (5th on tiebreak) with 7 from 10 (4 wins and 6 draws) gaining 12 FIDE rating points leaving no doubt he will be awarded the GM title very soon (he was 2499.9 after his previous event in Benasque and needed to cross 2500). Since winning the Samford Scholarship (along with Irina Krush) this past spring Vinay has gained close to 30 points in the two events he has played in and is up over 100 points from the July 2006 list. I predict Vinay will be over 2600 FIDE in the next two years if not sooner.

One of Vinay's draws in Balaguer was with the always well prepared 2600+ GM Aleksander Delchev.
Delchev,Aleksander (2618) - Bhat,Vinay S (2483) [D46]
XIII Balaguer op Balaguer (9.3), 22.07.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bd6This variation, sometimes credited to Zvaginsev, is become increasingly popular as 8...b4, 8...Bb7 and 8...a6 have been heavily analyzed. Vinay faced it as White in his previous tournament (see Bhat-Bruzon, Benasque 2008, in Newsletter #407.9.0-0 0-09...a6 10.a3 0-0 11.Qc2 Qc7 12.b4 Bb7 13.Bb2 Rfe8 14.Rac1 Rac8 15.Rfd1 h6 16.h3 Qb8 17.Qb1 Qa8 18.Nd2 Bc7 19.Nce4 e5 20.dxe5 Nxe4 21.Bxe4 Bxe5 22.Bxe5 Rxe5 23.Nf3 Re7 24.Bh7+ Kh8 25.Bf5 gave White a clear positional advantage in Delchev-Abergel, Benasque 2008. Amazingly the game with Vinay was the third time Delchev had faced 8...Bd6 in less than two weeks.10.Qc2Vinay played 10.a3 Bb7 11.h3 against Bruzon10... Bb7 11.a3This position can also arise from 6.Qc2 but usually White's Bishop goes to e2 (6...Bd6 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Be2 or Bd3 then 10... Bb7)

11.e4 e5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.h3 is a more straightforward approach favored by IM Jay Bonin that is not without venom.For example:


The theoretical move that has been responsible for putting 10.Bd3 out of favor. Earlier continuations did not fare so well and illustrate Bonin's great experience in this variation:

(A) 14...Qe7 15.Be3 Rfe8 16.Rae1 a6 17.Ne2 Bd6 18.Nd4 g6 19.Nb3 Nd7 20.Na5 Ne5 21.Nxb7 Qxb7 22.Be2 Rac8 23.f4 Nd7 24.Bg4 Rc7 25.e5 Bb4 26.Rd1 Nf8 27.Bf3 Rcc8 28.Rc1 Re6 29.Bd5 and White went on to victory in Bonin-Shabalov, New York 1992.

(B) 14...Re8 15.Be3 Qe7 16.Ne2 Bc7 17.Rad1 Bb6 18.Nd4 and White had a clear advantage, Bonin-Alexopolous, New York 1994.

15.Na4 Bd4

(Black intends ...c5, ...Qe7 and ...Rfe8 with strong counterplay.)


This is Jay's very interesting idea in which he cripples his pawn structure in return for activity. Odds are strong that he will lose the front e-pawn but compensation will come in the form of more active pieces.

16...Bxe3 17.fxe3 Nd7 18.e5 h6 19.e6 fxe6 20.Bc4 Qe7 21.Qg6 Rf6 22.Rxf6 Nxf6 23.Rc1 Rd8 24.Nc5 Bc8 25.Nd3 Rf8 26.Nf4 with excellent compensation for the pawn, Bonin-Shabalov, Marshall CC Championship 2003.11...Qe711...Qe7 12.Ne2 exd4 13.e4 e5 14.Nexd4 Ne5 15.Re1 Nfg4 16.Nf5 Qf6 17.Nxe5 Qxe5 18.g3 Bc5 19.Re2 Bb6 20.h3 Nf6 21.Bf4 Qe6 22.Bd6 g6 23.e5 gxf5 24.Bxf5 Qd5 26.Qc1 winning, Delchev-C.Van Oosterom, Benasque 2008.

11...a6 12.b4 a5 13.Rb1 axb4 14.axb4 Qe7 15.e4 e5 16.Ne2 Bxb5 17.Ng3 g6 18.dxe5 Ng4 19.Bg5 Qc5 20.e6 gave White the initiative in Svidler-Karjakin, Baku 2008, a game that attracted people to this line against 8...Bd6.12.e4 e5Vinay had this to say about the rest of the game.

The game was a Semi-Slav Meran with 8…Bd6, although the game left my preparation after 13.Ne2. He said after the game that he has analyzed this position a bit, and thought that white was just better – during the game, I thought it was rather unclear to me but probably about equal.

He soon sent all his pieces to the kingside, and on every move, there was the possibility of f2-f4 or Nh4-f5. With the clocks running down to about 20 minutes apiece though, he decided to play it safe with 18.Nf3. This shouldn't have posed any problems, but a few inaccuracies from me, compounded by 24…Qe7? left me in a difficult position. He played two very strong moves with 25.Qf4! and 26.Nf5!, after which black’s position looks extremely shaky and objectively, it is. However, I was confident in my defensive chances and I didn’t see any win for him. As it turns out, neither did he. I consolidated the extra piece and with 39…Rf5, I would have sealed the win. But alas, I played 39…Qc5, which threw the win away as I had missed 44.Bg4.

With the cold, objective analysis of a computer, it turns out his sacrifice with 26.Nf5 is winning, but he has to find a series of amazing moves – 30.Qh4 (instead of 30.Qf5) Kh8!? 31.g3!!. While somewhat logical, it'd be hard to find many chessplayers who could find such moves with a minute on their clock.
13.Ne2 Rfe8 14.Ng3 g6 15.Bg5 a6 16.Nh4 Qe6 17.Rae1 Bf8 18.Nf3 c5 19.dxe5 Nxe5 20.Nxe5 Qxe5 21.Qc1 c4 22.Bb1 Nd7 23.Bd2 Nc5 24.Bc3 Qe7 25.Qf4 Bg7 26.Nf5 gxf5 27.exf5 Qf8 28.f6 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 Bh6 30.Qf5 Nd3 31.Re7 Bc8 32.Qh5 Be6 33.g3 Rd8 34.Qh4 Rd5 35.Qe4 Qc8 36.Bc2 Bf8 37.Qe3 h6 38.h4 Qc6 39.Bd1 Qc5 40.Rxe6 fxe6 41.Qxe6+ Kh8 42.f7+ Kh7 43.Qe4+ Rf5 44.Bg4 Qxf2+ 45.Kh1 Qf1+ 46.Kh2 Qf2+ 47.Kh1 Qf1+ 48.Kh2 Qf2+ ½-½The Naroditsky brothers shined in the giant Czech Open (more players than the World Open) in Pardubice. 12-year-old Daniel nearly made an IM norm, scoring 5.5 from 9 against an average rating of 2362 (2371 average was needed to have a 2450 performance). He gained 20 FIDE rating points for his near miss. Older brother Alan, a piano virtuoso, scored 6.5 from 9 in the B-group. Rated 2136 FIDE going in he performed at 2239 and drew with a 2350 FM in the last round. At 2037 USCF he is definitely underrated .
2) New England Masters by Chris Bird
Dear Chess Player,

There are now just 5 places remaining in the upcoming New England Masters which takes place near Providence, Rhode Island, USA, from August 11-15, 2008.

The tournament will be capped at the first 50 entries recevied and there are currently 45 registered players.

Norms are definitely attainable with the current field of 20 foreign (non-USA) players with 4 GMs, 9 IMs, 10 FMs and 1 WFM making up the current total of 24 titled players.

To confirm your entry into the New England Masters, please visit our website at ; There is an online entry system which takes all major credit cards.

Please also remember that there is a weekend event, the Blackstone Open, that will take place immediately after the New England Masters on August 16-17, 2008. Free entry is provided to all GMs and IMs and all New England Masters participants are eligible to pay a reduced entry fee of just $50. More info on this tournament can be found at


Chris Bird
New England Masters 2008
3) 2008 Pan American - Continental Championship
2008 Pan American - Continental Championship (Boca Raton, Florida, USA

(Qualifier to the 2009 FIDE World Cup)
November 1 - 7, 2008

The Confederation of Chess for America (CCA), the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF), and Chess Educators, LLC are pleased to invite all National Federations of the Americas to the 2008 Pan American – Continental Championship.

The 2008 Pan American – Continental Championship will be held at the Marriott Boca Raton Hotel, located in Boca Raton, Florida in the United States of America from November 1-7, 2008. Please see the schedule for round times.

The event was planned in Boca Raton and to take place prior to the Chess Olympiad in Dresden to allow players from different countries in the Americas to participate in the Championship as well as in the Chess Olympiad.

Characteristic: Each National Federation may register as many players as it wishes. These players must have a minimum FIDE rating of 2000 or USCF rating of 2100.

All participants must be endorsed by their FIDE recognized, national federations.

Tournament Format: 9 Rounds, Swiss System.

Entry fee: $175 due by September 30. Entry Fees received after September 30 are $200.

Make Checks Payable to: Checks must be payable to Chess Educators, LLC and mailed to P.O. Box 160 New York, NY 10028.

On-line Registration: On line registration will also be available at as of August 1st 2008.

Deadline for Registration:

Hotel registrations for all players should also be made directly with the Hotel. Information will be provided in as of August 1st, 2008.

The registrations will have to be formalized by the National Federation via e-mail by October 15, 2008.

Information should include the players: Names, FIDE titles, FIDE code, ELO FIDE, Date of Birth, Category and Country.

Please send this information to: and

Only registrations from the National Federations will be accepted. The registrations must be signed by the President or Secretary.

For U.S. players, the endorsements will be submitted to the USCF office for further approval.

If you need assistant with a letter for the purpose of applying for a VISA to enter into the United States of America, please request this information to us in advance.

For Complete Details - Click Here for the 2008 Pan American - Continental Championship Invitation (English & Spanish Version)

The Official Tournament website - will launch on August 1st, 2008!

If you have any questions - Please contact the Tournament Organizer - Beatriz Marinello at
4) Kansas Crowns New Chess Champion by Wes Fisk
Chess players from throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Missouri competed in the Kansas Open Chess Tournament last weekend at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. Chris Purdy, 18, a camp counselor for the Karpov Chess School, thought he would enjoy the weekend by entering the Kansas Open Chess Tournament. After two days of intense play, Purdy narrowly edged out fellow Kansan, Maxx Coleman, Derby, to become the new Kansas State Chess Champion. “It was gratifying to see Chris win this event; he’s a tough competitor,” said Karpov Chess School President Marck Cobb.

Maxx Coleman took home the second place trophy, and Conrad Holt, from Andover, Kansas won third place. Holt recently won the U.S. Cadet Chess Championship, which was held at the Karpov Chess School. He also won a full scholarship to the University of Maryland. Holt went to the World Open the following week in Philadelphia where he tied for first place in his section. The first place prize was $12,000.

William Teague, Topeka, won first place in the Reserve Section of the Kansas Open. The Reserve Section is for players rated 1800 and below by the United States Chess Federation (USCF). Teague attended several chess camps at the Karpov Chess School, and he finished his last game at the Kansas Open in time to come down to the chess school to register for this year’s camp.

“Our number of players is down quite a bit from last year,” said Kansas Chess Association President Laurence Coker. “Last year we had several players from Colorado, but I didn't see that many this year. It must have something to do with the price of gas.”

In other chess news, 22 students registered on Sunday to attend the second session of the Karpov Chess Camp that is being held this week. Students came from as far away as Memphis, Tennessee to attend this week’s camp. Grandmaster Var Akobian, North Hollywood, California, will also be teaching the second session of the camp. Akobian is one of the top ranked chess players in the United States, and he has been selected to be one of the five U.S. players who will represent the United States in the upcoming Chess Olympiads that will be held in Dresden, Germany in November.

This coming weekend will mark the start of the U.S. Junior Open Chess Championships, which will be held at the Smoky Valley High School, Lindsborg. The event was also held in Lindsborg in 2004. The Junior Open is one of the annual national events sanctioned by the USCF. About 100 students from throughout the country are expected to enter the event. Additional information can be found on the Karpov School’s Web site:
5) Here and There
NM Ed Labate of Alabama points out the excellent 37 minute BBC documentary on Fischer and Spassky's 1972 match can be found at . This is a serious work with some great historical clips and many thoughtful insights by the likes of Robert Byrne and Frank Brady. The interview with Spassky on his recollections of the match is very well done.

One of the Icelanders interviewed remarked that after winning the match Fischer confided to him that chess was the only thing he could do well, though he quickly added he could do it very well! Footage in the film suggests differently. Bobby might well have been a really excellent bowler. The BBC documentary only gives a few seconds of Fischer bowling in Reykjavik but what is seen is quite impressive, both for the strike Fischer throws but also for the smooth powerful technique he exhibits. Does anyone know what his average was?

The second leg of the FIDE Grand Prix runs July 30-- August 15th in Sochi, Russia. Gata Kamsky is representing the United States.

The Berkeley Chess BCS summer camp will have 6-time U.S. Champ Walter Browne give a scholastic simul on Monday, August 4. IM David Pruess is teaching the BCS “Master Class” August 4th-8th from 1-5 pm each day with FM Sam Shankland leading the “Advanced Class”.

Northern California recently elected its six USCF delegates. They are in the order of votes received:

John Donaldson 97
Michael Aigner 76
Elizabeth Shaughnessy 73
Richard Koepcke 70
Mike Goodall 63
John McCumiskey 54

Alan Kirshner 52
James Eade 48
Salman Azhar 40

FM Erik Kislik (FIDE 2302) had a tough time in his debut in the GM norm section of the July First Saturday series as he finished last with 2.5 from 13 (GM Zlatko Ilinic won with 9.5 with Yifan Hou second with 9.) but the former San Jose player has made tremendous progress since last summer when he was rated 2000 USCF.

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