Chess Room Newsletter #411 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #411

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #411, 8/21/2008
"The difference between an IM and GM varies with each individual. One IM can be great tactically while another may excel in positional areas. For example, yesterday I played a simultaneous which had, among others, six national masters. One swindled me beautifully and others find nice tactical ideas. Clearly these masters were not weak tactically! There is no general difference. Grandmaster openings tend to be better, but overall the differences vary from player to player."

~ Mikhail Tal ( How to Get Better At Chess: Chess Masters On Their Art , pages 86-87)
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) A poem from Dennis Fritzinger
3) 2009 US Championship
4) 14th North American FIDE Invitational
5) Here and There

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
Three rounds into the Irving Chernev Tuesday Night Marathon the only perfect scores in the 58-player field belong to Evan Sandberg and Dante Argishti.
Sean McLaren on British Columbia ( no relation to Brian) won the 4th Annual Bernardo Smith Amateur open to players under 1800 last weekend. A point behind his 5.5 from 6 score were Daniel Liu and Vignesh Panchanthan.
MI Members Sam Shankland and Gregory Young attended the latest class of the US Chess School taught by GM Joel Benjamin and held at the Ippolito Chess Academy in Branchburg, New Jersey. The US Chess School is the brainchild of IM Greg Shahade who does a lot of good things for US chess.
MI member Josh Friedel finished tied for fourth with 6 from 9 in the recently concluded New England Masters won by Israeli GM Sergey Erenburg with an impressive 7.5 from 9.
This coming Wednesday the Mechanics' Institute entry in the US Chess League will open its season against the defending champions from Dallas starting at 5:30 pm. Spectators are welcome.
IM Ricardo DeGuzman leads the Alan Benson IM norm event being held at the MI with 4 from 5 followed by IM Vladimir Mezentsev and 2008 co-US Junior Champion Gregory Young with 3 from 4. The tournament will feature non-stop action this weekend and next week. Thanks to MI member William Gray for his donation supporting this event.
GM-elect Josh Friedel will teach the MI's master class for top Bay Area prospects this Saturday.
MI member Peter Sherwood has been diligently entering games from the latest TNM. A selection will appear in upcoming Newsletters with all games eventually making there way to the MI website ( where an online viewer is in the works.

2) A poem from Dennis Fritzinger
Berkeley NM Dennis Fritzinger contributes the following poem.
back in the ring again.
today i
played in my first blitz tournament
in many years,
and my last actual game
of lightning chess
(or blitz, as we call it)
was 6 months ago,
give or take a few.
and it was one. only.
i was telling everybody
it felt like the first tournament
i ever played in—
tot ally at sea,
trying to keep score,
make moves, punch the clock,
i was completely inept.
and lost. like i lost my
first three games today—
the only thing worse
than my board sense was my clock sense.
still, i survived,
hung on, and managed to
rack up the next seven games
and finish in the money.
what luck--what dumb luck!
i'm looking forward
to doing it again
The Fighter Reminisces first appeared in ASK GM EVANS (Chess Life For Kids, August 2008. page 8).

3) 2009 US Championship
Sometimes the bad news about who is suing who in the USCF tends to obscure the fact that a lot of good stuff is happening in American chess including Greg Shahade's US Chess School and US Chess League, the huge number of talented juniors who are developing and the following announcement concerning the 2009 US Championship.

For more information contact:

Mark Bretz, Slay & Associates

314-838-9371 or

ST. LOUIS, August 19, 2008 -- The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which Steve Goldberg called in Chess Life Online "certainly one of the most impressive chess centers" in the country, has been selected by the United States Chess Federation to host the 2009 U.S. Championship. The U.S. Chess Championship dates back to 1845.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center, which was founded by retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield and opened in July 2008, is located at 4657 Maryland Avenue in St. Louis’ fashionable and historic Central West End neighborhood. The three-level, 6,000-square-foot facility possesses an array of customized features, including DGT chess boards, hand-made wooden chess tables, LCD-screen televisions, video installation art, overhead paging and an adjustable lighting system. The primary colors of the club are black and white, the colors of a traditional chessboard.

The players’ room is private and enclosed with its own kitchen and restroom. There is ample natural lighting with windows along two walls and two skylights in the space. Recessed adjustable lighting fixtures cover the ceiling to ensure an even light with appropriate brightness.

"We are proud to bring the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship to St. Louis," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. "I am certain that the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis and the United States Chess Federation will make this an event unlike any other. The USCF has done an exemplary job of promoting chess nationally, and now we can bring that same national perspective to St. Louis."

The championship will be held in May 2009. It will be a 9-round event, using the Swiss system with one round per day and a rest day between rounds 5 and 6. Time controls will be the classical 40 moves in two hours, with the remaining moves in one hour.

Invitations to potential tournament participants will be issued to some of the top-rated U.S. players, the top-rated women, among other qualifiers and wild card participants, who will be announced later.

The championship will have a purse of $100,000, with $30,000 awarded to the winner, twice the amount of last year’s tournament. In case of even scores, no tie-breakers will be used. Instead, prize funds will be evenly divided between winners.

The underlying goal of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is to create a world class destination for chess players, both beginning and advanced and to elevate the game of chess throughout the Saint Louis metropolitan area. Additionally, the Center financially supports existing local scholastic chess programs while providing new programs, at no cost, to local schools currently without programs.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization. For more information, please visit

The United States Chess Federation is the official, not-for-profit U.S. membership organization for chess players and chess supporters of all ages and strengths, from beginners to grandmasters. Founded in 1939 with the merger of the American Chess Federation and the National Chess Federation, USCF has grown to more than 80,000 members and nearly 1,200 affiliated chess clubs and organizations.

Under the management of a professional staff headquartered in Crossville, Tennessee, USCF sanctions thousands of tournaments with more than 500,000 officially rated games annually, 25 National Championships award titles to both amateurs and professionals, ranging from elementary school students to senior citizens.

USCF promotes the study and knowledge of the 1,500-year-old game of chess, for its own sake as an art and enjoyment, but also as a means for the improvement of society. It encourages the development of a network of institutions devoted to enhancing the growth of chess, from local clubs to state and regional associations, and it promotes chess in American schools

4) 14th North American FIDE Invitational
Sevan Muradian writes:
The 14th North American FIDE Invitational is about to begin!
For events specifics including round times visit -
All games will be held at the Holiday Inn Northshore Hotel in Skokie, IL
Round times are 1pm and 6:30pm Chicago time on Sat & Sun; 6:30pm Chicago time Mon - Fri.
Participants include:
IM Kirill Kuderinov (KAZ)
IM Mesgen Amanov (TKM)
IM Angelo Young (PHI)
FM Florin Felecan (USA) - holds 1 IM norm
FM Marc T. Arnold (USA) - holds 2 IM norms scored at this tournament seriesFM Teddy Coleman (USA) - holds 1 IM normFM Aleksander Stamnov (MKD)
Parker Zhao (USA) - holds 1 IM norm
Michael Lee (USA)
Robert Loncarevic (USA)
IM Norm - 6.5/9
Spectators are welcome!Games will be available LIVE on the MonRoi World Databank of Chess.
DGT XL clock donated by Cajun Chess -

5) Here and There
The 2nd FIDE Grand Prix event in Sochi ended with Gata Kamsky near the top.
Final Standings:
1. Aronian - 8½,
2. Radjabov - 8,
3-4. Wang Yue and Kamsky - 7½,
5-7. Svidler, Jakovenko and Karjakin -7,
8-9. Ivanchuk and Gashimov - 6½,
10-11. Grischuk and Cheparinov - 6,
12. Gelfand - 5½,
13-14. Navara and Al-Modiahki - 4
Gata is now playing in the even stronger Tal Memorial in Moscow where Daniel and Alan Naroditsky are spectating.
Standings after 3 rounds:1. Morozevich - 2½2-3. Ivanchuk and Leko - 24-7. Mamedyarov, Gelfand,Ponomariov, Kramnik and Kamsky -1½9. Alekseev - 110. Shirov - 0.
Marc Newman from the Berkeley Chess Club writes: Our latest BCC tournament just finished. Steve Gaffagan and Steven Krasnov tied for first with David Petty clear third. Go to for the complete standings.We always skip a week before the next tournament but due to the CalChess Labor Day Championships we’re skipping two weeks. So the next BCC tournament starts Sept. 5th. Again, this is on Fridays now.
The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter is not the place to look for advice but we did notice the recent interview with GM (and former IMF chief) Ken Rogoff who has long been a professor at Harvard University. Below are a few quotes. Caveat emptor!
"The US is not out of the woods. I think the financial crisis is at the halfway point, perhaps. I would even go further to say the worst is to come," Prof Rogoff said at a conference in Singapore.
In an ominous warning, he added: "We’re not just going to see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months, we're going to see a whopper, we're going to see a big one — one of the big investment banks or big banks," he said.
The professor also sounded a warning over rising US inflation, which rose last month to its highest since 1991, and criticized the Federal Reserve for having cut American interest rates too drastically. "Cutting interest rates is going to lead to a lot of inflation in the next few years in the United States," he said.
Longtime MI Newsletter reader Michael Bacon has a new address for his blog

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