Chess Room Newsletter #540 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #540

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #540 


A grandmaster will never become a grandmaster while he has not explored the
Spanish Game to the minutest detail....Leonid Stein ignored the opening till 1960,
but a
s soon as had studied all its nuances, he became an outstanding grandmaster.

                           Efim Geller

                                                from V. Bagirov's "White Fischer" (page 43)

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Steve Stubenrauch (1956-2011)
3) Sam Shankland wins Northern California Championship Title - Part 1
4) Here and There

5) Upcoming Special Events at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club

6) Upcoming Events  

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News   

Berkeley Expert Todd Rumph is the sole remaining perfect score at the mid-way point
of the Mechanics' Summer Tuesday Night Marathon after defeating master Robin
Cunningham last night. Tied for second a half point behind Rumph at 3.5 from 4 are
NM Evan Sandberg and Experts Oleg Shakhnazarov and Igor Traub. Leading the group
with 3 points are NMs Peter Zavadsky and Sevan Buscara.  

Uyangaa Byambaa - Sevan Buscara
Summer Tuesday Night Marathon (4) 2011
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7
The text and 3...e5 are the modern move orders to reach the Phildor.


4.Nf3 e5 5.Bc4 is most common seen.

4...e5 5.Nf3 exd4 6.Qxd4 c6 7.Bc4
7.Be3 often followed by castling queenside is the strongest challenge to Black's setup.
The text allows the second player to quickly obtain a strong position.

7...d5! 8.exd5 Bc5 9.Qd3 0-0 10.Bd2 Re8+ 11.Ne2 cxd5 12.Bxd5 Nxd5
All this has been seen before. Black has tremendous compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

13...Qe7 14.0-0-0 Nf6 15.Qc4 b5
15...Be6 16.Qa4 Bd7 17.Qc4 b5 was a strong alternative

16.Qxb5 Bd7 17.Qc4 Qxe2 18.Qxc5 Rac8 19.Qa5 Qxg2 20.Nd4 Bg4
21.Rdg1 Qe4 22.h3 Qxd4 23.hxg4 Ne4 24.Re1
24.Rg2 Nf2!

24...Red8 25.Rh2 Nf2 26.Kb1 Qxd2 27.Re8+
This looks like a stock combination but after ...

 27...Rxe8 28.Qxd2 Rcd8
...the trapper is trapped.

29.Qc1 Rd1 0-1

19-year-old Sevan Buscara, a recent arrival from France, won the 11th William Addison
Memorial G/45 held on June 11th scoring 4.5 from 5 including a fourth round draw with
top-seed IM Ricardo DeGuzman and a last round win over NM Evan Sandberg. De Guzman
was second with 4 points (drawing Sandberg) while Sandberg was third at 3.5 including a
win over NM Emmanuel Perez.

A large contingent of  Mechanics' members ventured south to play in the National Open in
Las Vegas. Newly-minted GM Sam Shankland had an excellent performance scoring 4.5
from 6 to raise his USCF rating to 2624 and was just half a point behind the winners, GMs
Loek Van Wely and Varuzhan Akobian. 10-year-old Cameron Wheeler turned in a 2300 plus
performance while scoring 3 points. Mechanics' Trustees IM Vince McCambridge and
FM Mark Pinto saw action as did 82-year-old IM Walter Shipman.


  A recent story about the Mi Chess Club can be found at:


2) Steve Stubenrauch (1956-2011)   

One of the kindest and gentlest of  American chess players died this past Thursday,
June 9th, in Flagstaff. The cause was a devastating blood clot which followed a stroke
suffered last October.

Life Master (300 USCF rated games played with a rating over 2200) Steve Stubenrauch
was a noted herbalist and acupuncturist with deep knowledge of medicinal plants of the
Americas. Steve had a devoted group of patients that he attended to at the Village Healing
Center in Flagstaff for close to two decades.

Steve Stubenrauch was raised in Santa Barbara and it was there that he first became
acquainted with chess during the Fischer boom of the early 1970s along with a group
of other promising juniors that included
future GM Nick deFirmian.

During his studies Steve lived all over the West from Sonoma, to Ashland (Oregon), to
Albuquerque and finally Flagstaff. He always made many friends wherever he lived with his
easy going manner which belied a love of sharp attacking chess.

The following game, played long after Steve's strongest chess years, shows he was still
capable of holding his own against strong opposition.

Amon Simutowe (2468) - Steve Stubenrauch (2140)  

Western States Open - Reno (5) 2005

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 5.dxc5 Na6 6.Nf3 Nxc5 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 Nce4  

9.Qc2 b6 10.b4 Bb7 11.e3 0-0 12.Bb2 Rc8 13.Qa4 Qc7 14.Be2 Bc6 15.Qb3 d5 16.Ne5 dxc4

17.Qxc4 Bb7 18.f3 Qe7 19.Qb3 Bd5 20.Qd3 Nd6 21.0-0 Nc4 22.Qc3 Nxb2 23.Qxb2 Bb7  

24.e4 Rc7 25.Rfd1 Rfc8 26.Qd4 h6 27.a4 Nh5 28.a5 Nf4 29.Bf1 Rc2 30.axb6 Rxg2+ 31.Kh1

Rxh2+ 32.Kxh2 Qh4+ 33.Kg1 Qg3+ 34.Kh1 Qh4+ 35.Kg1 �-�


Steve Stubenrauch is survived by his daughters Amy and Tara. A memorial service will be held Monday, Hune 20th at 10am, at Unity Church in Flagstaff. 

3) Sam Shankland wins Northern California Championship Title - Part 1  
Thanks To Sam Shankland and Salman Azhar for the following material.


            Bay Area Chess hosted the 2011 CalChess State Championship at the Fremont
Marriott. 188 players participated in six sections during May 28-30. The tournament paid out a prize fund $12,000. GM Sam Shankland earned $2,000 of that for his first place finish. The total
attendance, the total prize fund, and Shankland's earnings all set a record for a locally
organized tournament in the recent history.



This is the first time that CalChess State Championship was held on Memorial Day weekend but the change in schedule dates did not reduce the attendance, in fact, the attendance increased
by more than 20 players from last year's championship on Labor Day weekend. Despite the
large number of entrants this year, the tournament staff did a great job. Senior TD Salman
Azhar organized the event while NTD John McCumiskey served as the Chief TD and Senior
TD Tom Langland served as the Assistant Chief TD.


The fight for CalChess State Champion title was intense as several titled players battled to
 determine who would replace 2010 winner GM Jesse Kraai. Going into the final round, both
GM Shankland and IM Vladmir Mezentsev led the field with four points each. GM Shankland
won against NM Sevan Buscara, but IM Mezentsev lost out to IM Emory Tate. GM
Shankland finished with an impressive score of 5.0, a full point ahead of four-way tie for
second place between IM Mezentsev, IM Joel Banawa, IM Emory Tate, and NM Michael


GM Shankland won the CalChess State Championship in 2008 and 2009 (with GM Jesse
Kraai) as well, and did not play in 2010. The turning point of the tournament came when he
overcame IM Emory Tate, one of the best tacticians in the world who collects GM scalps for
a hobby. Despite playing all over the world,  GM Shankland says, "I always love to play in
Bay Area tournaments because they are well organized and it is like coming home."


Bay area teenager Evan Sandberg won the Expert section with a 5.0 score. He was followed
closely by Jeff McCann, Benjamin Dy, and State's Barber representative Neel Apte, with
scores of 4.0 each.


The A-section was dominated by James Benett and Yuan Wang, co-champions with  with
5.0 points each. Damon Moskaoyama trailed close behind with a score or 4.5. The B-section featured a three-way tie for first between FM Tanuj Vasudeva, Jimmy Revelino, and Cailen Melville, each with 5.0. In the C-section Solomon Ge and Faeiq Jfouf dominated, each with 5.5. In the D/E section,
David Deng won a clear first with an impressive 6.0.


Long weekends in Northern California are known for great chess tournaments. July 4th
weekend in Sacramento, Labor Day weekend in San Francisco, Thanksgiving weekend in
Burlingame, and New Year Weekend in Santa Clara offer opportunities to play on more boards in more places.   


Shankland,Sam (2524) - Tate,Emory (2300) [A43]

State Championship 2011, 30.05.2011


Notes by GM Sam Shankland 


Playing Emory Tate is usually an interesting experience, even when he loses he  

tends to put up a serious fight and create messes all over the board for the player to  

try to sort out. However, this particular game was actually my smoothest of the tournament,  

and I was very happy to win a clean positional game after playing some really lousy  

moves in the rapid games of the 2 day schedule.


1.d4 c5


The Old Benoni has been one of Tate's main weapons for many years


2.d5 g6 3.e4 d6 4.Bb5+


With this move White tries to disrupt the coordination of the black pieces




4...Bd7 5.a4 Is similar.


5.a4 a6?!


Not a terrible move, but very committal- Black has weakened the b6 square


6.Be2 Bg7 7.Nf3


Oddly enough the Black knight would be much better placed on b8 here - the  

bishop could get to g4 and exchanging a pair of minor pieces will relieve a lot of black's  

problems with his lack of space.


7...Ngf6 8.Nc3 0-0


8...b6 could be considered to stop a5, but even still after 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nd2  

followed by Nc4 and Be3, I strongly prefer White's position




Fixing the Black queenside.


9...Ne8 10.0-0 Nc7


10...Bxc3!? This anti-positional looking move actually caused me some  

mild concern during the game. After 11.bxc3 Ndf6 12.Qd3 Bg4 Black gets  

some relief by trading pieces, but the open bfile and strong center promises  

White a clear advantage. Clearly my concern was ill-conceived and irrational.


11.Be3 h6?!


This doesn't seem particularly useful. An alternative was 11...Bxc3 12.bxc3 f5. This  

hyper-aggressive lunge falls on its face. For example 13.exf5 Rxf5 14.c4 with a  

clear advantage or 11...f5 12.exf5 Rxf5 13.Bd3! when Black's rook must  

leave the 5th rank and White will have a clear structural advantage. 11...Rb8  

Would be my choice.




White starts preparing his main plan of playing b4


12...Rb8 13.c3 Kh7


Draw offered. Possible was 13...b5 but unfortunately for Black the nature of  

the queenside pawn structure removes the desired effect of this active  

lunge - 14.axb6 Nxb6 15.Nxb6 Rxb6 16.Qd2! (winning a key tempo on

the h6 pawn) 16...Kh7 17.b4 and Black is getting blasted apart.




White calmly prepares b4 (14.b4? cxb4 15.cxb4 Bxa1 Is much less effective!). I considered  

14.Nd2 but the ridiculous looking 14...f5 15.exf5 gxf5!?  concerned me for some reason,  

although I don't think this is what Bronstein had in mind when he said "Every Russian  

schoolboy knows to recapture on f5 with  the pawn". After 16.Nc4 (16.g3 Nxd5) 16...f4  

17.Bc1 I didn't like letting  my pieces get passive but Black has made a whole  

truckload of new weaknesses and White has a colossal advantage.




After the game my opponent told me that he intended to play ...Nf6 first  

and only then ...Nb5, but got a step ahead of himself. On14...Nf6 15.Nd2  

Nb5 16.Nb6. While this is better than the game continuation for Black, White  

is still in the driver's seat with a space advantage and the possibility of a b4 break.  

14...f5? trying for active play fails to - 15.exf5 Rxf5 16.c4 Ne5 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.Bd3.


15.c4 Nc7


15...Nd4? 16.Bxd4 cxd4 17.b4! does not bring Black relief.




White does not need to prepare this move as Black will not be able to defend his b4 pawn. 16.Qd2? allows 16...Nf6 and White no longer has Nd2 available.


16...Nf6 17.Nd2 cxb4 18.Qb3 e6


18...Ng4 19.Ba7 Ra8 20.Bb6 f5 21.Qxb4 and Black's counterplay is optical at best.


19.Qxb4 exd5 20.cxd5 Re8?


Eschewing the last practical chance. 20...Ncxd5! 21.exd5 Nxd5 22.Qb3 Be6!  

(22...Nxe3 23.fxe3 Qxa5 24.Nb6 Qg5 25.Bf3 Be6 26.Bd5� Black's pawns are not  

accomplishing anything and White should be able to bring the point home.) 23.Bc4  

Nxe3 24.Qxe3 d5 25.Bb3 White is much better but he is running out of pawns and  

Black has some practical chances.


21.Nc3� /+-


White has more space, better central control,soon full domination of the open c-file,  

a healthier pawn majority, weaknesses to attack on b7 and d6, and better pieces.  

Black's position is strategically lost.




However, care must be taken!




22.Bf4?? meets a shocking respite: 22...Nfxd5! 23.exd5 (23.Nxd5 Nxd5  

24.exd5 Qxe2) 23...Bxc3 24.Qxc3 Nxd5 25.Qd4 Qxe2 (25...Nxf4 26.Qxf4  

Qxe2 27.Qxf7+ Kh8 28.Qxg6 (28.Nc4) ) 26.Bxd6 (26.Qxd5 Be6) 26...Ra8

And if anything Black is slightly better.


22...Bd7 23.Rac2!


Very methodical, just improving my position one step at a time. 23.Ba7?!  

Rbc8 24.Qxb7? Nb5 and the pawn is taboo: 25.Bxb5 Bxb5 26.Qxe7 Rxe7  

With a7 and e4 hanging and a nasty pin on the c-file the tables have turned.


23...Ng4 24.Bd4


This move seemed so natural and obvious that I completely overlooked  

the possibility of 24.Bxg4 Bxg4 25.e5! with a discovery on the g4 bishop,  

but I probably would have gone with Bd4 anyway. [24.Bxg4 Bxg4 25.e5  

The computer is overwhelmed with enthusiasm 25...Bf5 (25...Qd7 26.e6)

26.exd6 Qf8 27.Bc5 Bxc3 28.dxc7 Bxb4 29.Bxf8 Rxf8 30.cxb8Q; 24.Ba7!? Bxc3  

25.Rxc3 Nxd5 26.exd5 Qxe2 looked like more hassle than I wanted to deal  

with, but the computer found Qf4 here and says White is still winning. But  

still, whenever you get a chance to press a huge positional edge with no  

counterplay at all, it's hard to even consider such variations!


24...Bxd4 25.Qxd4 Qf6?


The final nail in Black's coffin, although the position was probably beyond  

saving anyway. 25...Qe5? 26.Qxe5 Nxe5 (26...dxe5 27.d6 Nb5 28.Nxb5  

axb5 29.Rc7; 26...Rxe5 27.Nc4) 27.f4 Ng4 28.Nc4 Was even worse;  

25...Nf6 Was probably best, but the result still is basically decided.


26.Qxf6 Nxf6 27.Nc4+-


White wins the d6 pawn; the rest is agony.




27...Nxe4 28.Nxe4 Rxe4 29.Nxd6 Re7 (29...Rxe2 30.Rxe2 Nxd5 31.Nxf7)  

30.Rxc7 Rxe2 31.Rxd7.


28.Nxd6 Nce8 29.Nxe8 Bxe8


29...Nxe8 Hoping to blockade from d6 and break the pawns apart with f5  

was perhaps more stubborn, but after transferring a rook to b6 it's hard to

believe Black can resist for too long.


30.f3 b5 31.axb6 Rxb6 32.Ra2 Bb5 33.Rb1 Reb7 34.Rab2 Ne8 35.Na4


35.Bxb5 Nd6 36.Bxa6 was another way to bring the game to its logical



35...Rd6 36.Bxb5 axb5 37.Rxb5 Re7 38.Rb7 Rxb7 39.Rxb7 Ra6 40.Nc5 Ra1+ 41.Kf2 Ra2+ 42.Kg3 Ng7 43.Rxf7 Kg8 44.Rc7 Nh5+ 45.Kh3 Nf4+ 46.Kg4


It was still not too late to blunder!  46.Kh4?? Rxg2 With g5 on the way


46...Nxg2 47.d6 1-0

I would like to thank Salman Azhar for organizing such a wonderful state championship with a  

generous prize fund, and look forward to seeing what the future brings for California Chess.

4) Here and There

The first US Junior Open was held in 1946 and the participants that year and the following included many future stars such as Larry Evans, Walter Shipman, James Cross, Eliot Hearst, Hans Berliner and Paul Poschel but none of them won either event.

The honors were taken in Chicago 1946 and Cleveland 1947 by Larry Friedman, who is all but forgotten today except by the doyen of American chess historians, IM Walter Shipman of San Francisco who remembers Friedman as a great talent that never had a chance to fully blossom.

Chess Review (August-September 1946, pages 10-11) notes that Larry Friedman was 4th in the 1945 Ohio State Championship while a sophomore at  Shaw High School in Cleveland and that he was a product of the Pawns Chess Club which met in the John G. White Collection at the Cleveland Public Library. Another player of note produced by the Pawns Chess Club at the same time was James Harkins Jr., who would become a 2300 rated player and a mainstay of Cleveland chess for over 60 years and  going.

IM Walter Shipman, who played in the 1947 event, points out that Friedman effectively retired from tournament chess after his two US Junior crowns. He appears on the first USCF rating list (July 31, 1950) at 2284. This list included results back to 1947 so quite likely it only reflects his result in the 1947 US Junior. Shipman remembers that Friedman came out of retirement to play in the 1958 New Jersey Open held in East Orange. Tibor Weinberger won the event with a score of 6 1/2 - 1/2 with Charles Kalme second with 6 points. Friedman did quite well tying with Weaver Adams as the top New Jersey resident with a score of 5.5-1.5. Future Washington State champion Ray Fasano, who was to die in a motorcycle accident in Seattle in the mid-1980s, was one of the top scoring juniors at age 13.

William Anderson writes:

Mr. Donaldson,

Given the research that you have done on Bobby Fischer, resulting in two excellent books, I thought that you might find the following of some interest.

In game 21 of the 1972 match vs. Spassky Bobby played the Paulsen variation and his move 8...exd5 instead of the previously played 8...Nxd5 was pronounced a novelty.  Several of the English language books on the match mention that Fischer attributed the idea to Adolph Anderssen however, to my knowledge, none of the books followed up on Fischer's comment to explore the origins of the "novelty".

In the book Master of Attack, The Chess Games of Adolph Anderssen  edited by Sid Pickard, I found the relevant games.  Game #713, page 261 Anderssen v. Minckwitz 1866, informal:  Minckwitz had Black and reached the relevant position.After 9.0-0 Bd6  Anderssen played the recommended (in 1972) 10. h3  in stead of NXN chosen by Spassky but lost.  I looked at the game with a strong A player, former expert John Peters, whom you might remember from your visits to Alaska and in our admittedly amateur opinions, it seems like Mincwitz handled the position in a very "modern" way.

The second, and final time the position occurs in Anderssen's games is Goring v. Anderssen Leipzig 1877 (game 219 page 108).  Goring plays the other recommendation 10. Bf5.  Anderssen reaches a winning position but blunders and is mated.

While this is not, strictly speaking, a new discovery, it always bothered me that no one appeared to have followed up on Fischer's comment and researched the source of his "novelty". 

Those looking for a interesting tournament in a beautiful city noted for its excellent summer weather may wish to venture this August to Portland, Oregon.

Portland Chess Club Centennial Open
$10,000 Guaranteed
August 12, 13 & 14, 2011   
Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel, Portland, OR
TYPE: 6-round Swiss in 2 sections.
TC: 40/120; SD 60

5-GAME SCHEDULE: Players rated 2200 and above
may enter 2nd round with 1 point.
All others: one irrevocable half-point bye
available for any rounds 1-6 if requested
before round 2.

ROUND TIMES: Friday 11 & 7; Saturday 9 & 7;
Sunday 10 & 5;

REGISTRATION: Friday, 9:00am-10:45 am.

ENTRIES: $110. Pre-registration received by August 8
deduct $10. Free entry to GM's and IM's
($100 deducted from any prizes);
Refund of $20 to guests registered at hotel for
at least 2 nights, payable at end of tournament
(one refund per room).

USCF & OCF/WCF membership required;
OSA or out-of-Northwest pay $5 OCF
tournament fee. USCF August list used to
determine ratings. FIDE ratings used for
foreign players without USCF ratings.
Unrated players limited to place prizes
in Championship Section and
U1200/unr in Amateur Section.

Open to all; total prize fund $4500
PRIZES: $2000-1000-500
U2200: $500-300-200
AMATEUR SECTION-Open to all under 2000;
total prize fund $5500
PRIZES: $1000-600-400
U 1800: $500-300-200
U1600: $500-300-200
U 1400: $500-300-200
U 1200/unr: $300-200

SIDE EVENT: Saturday Afternoon Blitz start 3:30 pm;
8 double-round Swiss $20 entry fee; 80% of
entries returned as prizes: 1st 50%; 2nd 25%;
U2000 25%

Saturday afternoon 10-board clock simul
Sunday morning breakfast topic, "The Bobby
Fischer I Knew."

HOTEL: Lloyd Center Doubletree
1000 N.E. Multnomah; special chess
rate (mention tournament); single
occupancy $99; double occupancy
$109; plus tax. For hotel reservations
call 1-800-996-0510.

Name (Last, First):____________________________________________________________________________________

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