It's actually a problem of modern chess, that computer programs are getting stronger and stronger and are neutralizing lots of opening that were considered rich and varied, and had been played for years. And that's quite sad, from the point of view of the game. I can't say I like it, but we're professionals and we have to deal with it. You have to learn to live with it somehow. It's a sport. You have to try and win. Before it was easier, it has to be said, particularly if you wanted, first and foremost, to play chess, and not to compete in analysis.
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter
2) Nakamura and Robson win in Saint Louis
3) Here and There
4) Upcoming Events
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter
6-time US Champion Walter Browne, who turned 62 this past January, and 15-year-old Daniel Naroditsky shared top honors in the 5th Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz held May 14th at the Mechanics' Institute. The two winners, who scored 9 from 10, each received $250 for their efforts.
Tying for third at 8 points in the 50-player event (an MI attendance record for a blitz tournament and possibly for the Bay Area as well) ahead of many GMs and IMs were NMs Sevan Buscara and Andy Lee and experts Carlos D'Avila and Arthur Ismakov. The latter, is a well-known blitz aficionado and he proved it again at the Schutt defeating both GM Jesse Kraai and IM Vladimir Mezentsev by scores of 2-0.
Other top finishers:
GM Jesse Kraai, NMs Michael Pearson and Dennis Fritzinger 7
GM Vinay Bhat, IM Jacek Stopa, NMs Arun Sharma and Yian Liou 6.5
Among those on 6 points were NMs Craig Mar, Samuel Sevian and FM Eric Schiller.
Three GMs and four IMs were among the 19 players competing who were rated over 2200.
This event was made possible by the generosity of the Schutt family and a good time was had by all.
Six pages of photos taken by Mark Shelton at this event can be found at http://www.chessdryad.com/photos/sanfran/mech_rayschutt_11/index.htm .
The next big MI blitz tournament will be the Neil Falconer on Sunday July 31st.
Bhat,Vinay (2525) - Browne,Walter (2450) [E15]
Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz (5), 2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5
8.0-0 0-0 9.Nc3 Na6 10.Bf4 Be7 11.Rfd1 Nc5 12.Qc2 Qc8 13.Rd4 d5 14.cxd5
14.Ne5 dxc4 15.Bxb7 Qxb7 16.Nxc4 Rfd8 17.Rad1 with a slight pull for White was preferable.
14...exd5 15.Be5?! Nce4 16.Rdd1 Bc5 17.e3
17.Bd4 Re8 18.Rac1 Ng4 19.Bxc5 Qxc5 20.Nxe4 Qxc2 21.Rxc2 dxe4 22.Nd4 was a little better for White.
Maybe better was 17...Nxf2 18.Qxf2 Ng4 19.Bh3 (19.Qe2 Bxe3+ 20.Kf1 Re8 21.Nb5 Ba6 22.a4 Bc5 23.b4 Ne3+ wins.) 19...f5 20.Qe2 Bxe3+ 21.Kg2 Re8 with a clear advantage for Black.
18.Nxd5?! Ngxf2 19.b4 Bxd5 20.bxc5
20.Rxd5 Bxe3 21.Qxc8 Ng4+ 22.Kf1 Raxc8 23.Bh3 f5 is better for Black.
20...Nxd1 21.Rxd1 Qe6 22.Ba1
On 22.Bf4 Rad8 23.Bc7 Rc8 and 22.Bb2 bxc5 23.Ng5 Nxg5 24.Qc3 Qg6 25.Bxd5 Rfd8 26.Rd2 Rab8 Black is winning.
22...Rad8 23.Nd4 Qg6 24.c6?
24.Rf1 f5 25.c6 was the last chance to put up resistance though after 25...Rf7 Black clearly has all the chances.
24...Bxc6 25.Nxc6 Rxd1+ 26.Qxd1 Qxc6 and ... 0-1
Browne,Walter (2450) - Bhat,Vinay (2525) [C84]
Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz (5), 15.05.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Nc3!? Na5 10.Ba2 b4 11.Nd5! Nxd5 12.Bxd5 c6 13.Ba2 c5 14.Bd5 Rb8 15.c3 0-0 16.h3 Bc6 17.c4 Kh8 18.Nh2 Bxd5 19.exd5 g6 20.f4 f5 21.b3 Bf6 22.Ra2 Re8 23.Re1 Qc7 24.Nf3 e4 25.dxe4 fxe4? 26.Rae2 Bc3 27.Bd2 Bxd2 28.Qxd2 Qg7 29.Rxe4 Rxe4 30.Rxe4 Qa1+ 31.Kh2 Rf8 32.Ng5 and ... 1-0
Winslow,Elliott (2400) - Browne,Walter (2450) [B33]
Ray Schutt Blitz (4), 15.05.2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.c3 Bg7 12.exf5 Bxf5 13.Nc2 0-0 14.Nce3 Be6 15.g3 Rb8 16.a3 a5 17.b4?! f5 18.f4 exf4 19.gxf4 Qh4+ 20.Kd2 Rfe8 21.Qf3 Ne7 22.Rg1 Kh8 23.Rg2?
23.Rxg7! Kxg7 24.Nc7 would have left things balanced.
23...Nxd5 24.Nxd5 Bxd5 25.Qxd5 Qxf4+ 26.Kc2 Rbc8 and ... 0-1
IM Ricardo DeGuzman won the 11th Charles Powell Memorial G/45 at the Mechanics' Institute on May 14. The former Philippine Olympiad team member scored 4.5 from 5. Tying for second in the 31-player event were NM Paul Gallegos, Daniel Liu and Michael Lin.
The Spring Tuesday Night Marathon started two weeks ago and will run until July 12. It is still possible to enter with half point byes for rounds one and two.
Tops seeds in the 59-player, eight round Swiss, are NMs Peter Zavadsky Sevan Buscara and Robin Cunnigham.
Berkeley Expert Todd Rumph, who is among the early leaders at 2-0, sends in the following game from round one.
9.Nxe5! Nxe5 10.Bf4 Nfd7 11.dxe5 looks better.
2) Nakamura and Robson win in Saint Louis
The following game decided the battle between two of the world's elite.
Nakamura,Hikaru (2774) - Ponomariov,Ruslan (2754) [D31]
Match St.Louis (6), 22.05.2011
Notes based on the player's comments immediately after the game.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 6.Qc2
6.e3 Bf5 was seen in game four. The text, aiming to stop Black's Bishop from coming to f5, is more ambitious.
6...Nf6 7.e3 Nh5 was used by Aronian to defeat Grischuk in a rapid game in their recent match in Kazan. Ruslan mentioned after this game that he expected Hikaru had an improvement in store for White in this variation.
7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.e3 Qg6
Jakovenko has experimented several times with 8...Ne7 9.Bd3 b6 10.Nf3 Ba6 Black can also play;
Ruslan pinned his hopes on the text slowing down the play but he quickly finds himself in a passive position without prospects.
White has previously chosen 9.Qd2 and 9.Qb3 which were the moves that Ruslan and his second Ivan Salgado Lopez spent most of their time preparing for. Hikaru played the text instantly.
9...hxg6 10.b4 a6?
The text, slowing down White's minority attack with b4-b5 looks very natural but in the post-mortem Hikaru criticized it as possibly the losing move. He said that he realized this might sound a little pretentious but in fact ...a7-a6 gravely weakens Black's queenside pawn structure making the squares c5 and b6 available to White's knights as well as permitting opportunities to play a4-a5 clamping down on Ruslan's potential play on that wing.
White has all the play here with possibilities of e3-e4 and b4-b5.
11...Nd7 12.Bd3 Ne7 13.Nge2 g5 14.Kf2 Nf6 15.g4
A third break for White, h2-h4, has also emerged.
15...Kd8 16.Kg3 Bd7 17.a4 Nc8 18.h3 Re8 19.Kf2
19.e4 dxe4 20.fxe4 Nd5! was Black's idea with decent counterplay as 21.exd5 is met by 21...Re3+.
Black's pieces all look to be on decent squares but he has nothing to do but wait until White initiates action.
Hikaru forgoes b4-b5 in favor of clamping down on Black's queenside. The "fixed" pawns on b7 and a6 will remain targets until the end of the game.
Afterwards Ruslan suggested that maybe his rook should have returned to the h-file here with 20...Rh8 but this also takes the pressure off the e-file and allows White to play 21.e4 under favorable circumstances.
Black would like to bring his rook on a8 into play but 21...Kc7?? is strong met by 22.h4! when Black is losing material due to the indirect threats against d5.
22.Ng3 g6 23.h4! gxh4 24.Rxh4 f5?
GM Ponomariov gets tired of waiting and makes an understandible bid for some counterplay but the text only hastens the end. A more solid try was 24...Nc7 but after 25.Rh7 White slowly but surely increases the pressure.
25.gxf5 Nxf5 26.Nxf5 gxf5 27.Rh8 Rb8 28.Na4 Kc7 29.Nb6 Be6 30.Rf8 Rf7
As 30...Nd6 is met by 31.Na8+! winning.
31.Rxf7+ Bxf7 32.Bxf5 Nd6 33.Bd3
A pawn up and with a considerable positional advantage for White - look at Black's pawns on a6 and b7 - the final result is no longer in doubt.
33...Rh8 34.Rg1 Kd8 35.Na4 Nc4 36.Nc5 Rh2+ 37.Rg2 Rxg2+ 38.Kxg2 Kc7 39.Bxc4 dxc4 40.Na4 Be8 41.Nc3 b6 42.e4 Kb7 43.Kf2 c5 44.bxc51-0
Hikaru stated after the match that he felt that going into game six he was dissatisfied with his play in four and a half of the previous five games. He certainly brought his "A" game to the fore when it counted and with this smooth and powerful victory won the match 3.5-2.5 and gained three FIDE rating points to move ahead of Sergey Karjakin into sixth place on the FIDE rating list only four points out of fourth.
This was only the second visit to the United States (Las Vegas 1999 being the first) for Ruslan Ponomariov and he won many new fans in Saint Louis for his friendly manner, good sportsmanship and insightful comments.
These matches were made possible by the generosity of Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield.
3) Here and There
Ankit Gupta writes about the following event in which Berkeley IM David Pruess finished third with 6 points.
The 5th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational dedicated to Sean Christian Reader concluded this weekend on May 15th. It was organized by Ankit Gupta and directed by Randy Hough and Michael Belcher.SM Roman Yankovsky and NM Kayden Troff both achieved IM norms with 7.0 and 6.5 out of 9.0, respectively. This is the final norm for Senior Master Roman Yankovsky, now International Master Elect, who achieved an earlier norm this year at the Berkeley International. This is NM Kayden Troff's first IM norm.
Please take a moment to visit the Metropolitan Chess, Inc website at www.metrochessla.com to keep informed of other upcoming events run by the organization.
GM Jesse Kraai and IM Enrico Sevillano tied for first in a 10-player IM norm round robin (FIDE average 2331) held May 19-23 in Calgary. The two winners scored 6.5 from 9 just ahead of IMs Edward Porper and Eric Hansen and Expert Dale Haessel who appears to have made an IM norm.
The 2011 Western States Open in Reno will be held October 21-23
Darko Sertic was first and Richard Koepcke second in the May Fremont Chess Club blitz.
Chess Masters Final 2011 Will Take Place In Bilbao And Sao Paulo
- This 4th edition will be played by six players in a double round robin
league. The first half will take place in S�o Paulo, and the second in the great glass cube that will be set up at the "Alhondiga" in Bilbao.
- The opening ceremony of the Grand Slam Masters Final will take place in
the port of Bilbao on 20 September, on board a theme cruise ship.
- The players who have already earned the right to play are Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, and Hikaru Nakamura.
- Once more, the "Sofia rules" and the "Bilbao rules" shall apply in order to
guarantee fighting spirit and entertainment in every game.
The world's best chess players will fight each other in this fourth edition
of the Grand Slam Masters Final in Bilbao and S�o Paulo from 25
September to 11 October. The Grand Slam Chess Association is once again relying on Bilbao after the success achieved in the previous three
editions. The title will be decided in the glass cube set up for the event at
the Alhondiga in Bilbao.
The opening ceremony of the Grand Slam Masters Final will take place in
the port of Bilbao on 20 September on board the chess theme cruise ship
MSC Opera, which will set sail immediately afterwards. Its journey
will last from 20 to 28 September, sailing the route Bilbao-Gibraltar-
Tunisia-Dubrovnik-Venice, and it will be open to all amateurs interested
through the agency Romotour.
This 4th edition will be played in a double round robin league, the first
half of which will take place in S�o Paulo, and the second in the glass
cube at the "Alhondiga" in Bilbao.
The players that have already earned the right to play are the Indian
Viswanathan Anand (world champion), the Norwegian Magnus
Carlsen (2nd-ranked player in the world and winner of Nanjing
tournament, in China) and the American Hikaru Nakamura (8th-
ranked player in the world and winner of Tata tournament in Wijk aan Zee, in
the Netherlands). There will be one more spot for the winner of Bazna
tournament (Romania) in June. The remaining two spots will be
announced further on.
The organizers have confirmed that the Bilbao Masters Final will keep all
the elements that helped achieve the excellent results of years 2008, 2009,
2010, as well as the success amongst the local and the international
audience. There will be a varied program of parallel activities, the area
of analysis and commentary for all types of audiences, big screens, live
games available on the Internet, and delegations of media from all
continents. And, of course, elite chess will once more be on the streets,
accessible to the general public, since all visitors will be able to watch these great champions playing live.
This 4th edition of the Masters Final will once more use the innovative
rules that try to guarantee fighting spirit and entertainment in every
game. Thus, "Sofia rules" shall apply once again. These establish that only
the arbiter can determine whether a game is drawn, avoiding agreements
between players. Moreover, a points system similar to that of football will
still be used, meaning three points will be obtained per won game, one per
draw, and zero per loss. This system was first used in an elite tournament at the Bilbao Masters Final 2008 and is already known as "the Bilbao rules".
Bilbao, 20 May 2011
4) Upcoming Special Events at the Mechanics'
Robsons visit June 14th
Ray and Gary Robson will lecture at the Mechanics' on Tuesday, June 14th, from 5:15 to 6:15 pm. This event is free to all.
5) Upcoming Events
5th Annual Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz - May 15
Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 4-5
William Addison Open - June 11