Chess Room Newsletter #553 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #553

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #553

October 2, 2011

Chess players may be divided into three classes: those who don’t know the principles, and are therefore very weak; those who know the principles and are less weak; and those who know how weak the principles are, and are strong.

C. J. S. Purdy

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Dan Litowsky Tuesday Night Marathon had an exciting finish this week, with many decisive games. This event quite often ends in multiple ties for first, second and third, but this time, because of all the last round carnage, the first three finishers stood out from the rest of the 58-player-field. Hayk Manvelyan not only took top honors honors with 7.5 from 9, but also regained his Master’s rating. FM Andy Lee was second with 7, followed by Expert Steve Gaffagan with 6.5.

The latter has sent in annotations to his last round game.        

Bogo Indian E11
Todd Rumph -Steve Gaffagan
Dan Litowsky TNM 2011

Notes by Steve Gaffagan

Todd and I have played several coffee-house games over the years. Facing his White Catalan Attack is a tough assignment.

1. c4 Nf6 2. g3 e6 3. Bg2 d5 4. Nf3 c6 5. d4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Qc2 Nbd7 9. Bf4 c5

A novel idea, however the move has been played before. More typical is 9... b6 10. Rd1 (10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Nc3 Bb7 12. Qd3) 10... Bb7 (10... Ba6 11. b3 Rc8 12. Nc3) 11. Nc3 dxc4 12. Nd2 Nd5  13. Nxc4 Nxf4 14. gxf4. Also possible is 9... Nh5 10. Bc1 Nhf6.

10. dxc5 Nxc5

10... Bxc5 - Todd thinks this is the more natural recapture, maintaining the Nd7 to control the e5 square. During the game, I wanted to relieve some congestion, and fight for e4 by playing 10...Nxc5.

11. Rd1 Bd7

11... Qb6 12. Nc3 dxc4 13. Ne5 Qa6 14. b4 gave White a promising Catalan attack in Pak-Nakhbayeva, Pavlodar op 2007.

12. b4

An unfortunate error. I expected 12. Nc3 dxc4 13. Ne5 and planned 13...Qb6. On the immediate 12. Ne5 I have 12...Bc6.

12... Ba4 13. Qb2 Bxd1 14. bxc5 Ba4

If 14... Nd7 then 15. Nc3 Ba4 16. Nxa4 Bf6 17. Nc3 Nxc5 18. Be5 .

15. Qxb7 Bxc5 16. Nc3 Qb6

Finding this strong reply, exchanging queens, satisfied me.

17. Rb1

17. Qxb6 axb6 defends a4 and opens the a file for Ra8.

17... Qxb7

I wondered whether the tempting move 17... Bxf2+ was winning, despite giving back some material. 18. Kf1 Qxb7 19. Rxb7 Bc6 20. Rc7 Rac8 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Kxf2 dxc4 I thought this was a bit generous, and difficult to evaluate. The passer at c4 may indeed be strong, but somehow I wanted a brighter future for Rc8.

18. Rxb7 Bc6 19. Rc7 Rac8

White likely will have a very difficult game after his lone rook is removed. My rook will dominate the c file.

20. Rxc8 Rxc8 21. Ne5

21. cxd5 Nxd5and another pair of minor pieces is exchanged.

21... Bd4

Many moves are winning here, but after some “thought and consideration”, my computer agrees with me that this is the strongest. Black is clearing the c file for the rook.

22. cxd5 Bxd5

This “simple” move prolongs the game.22... Be8 wins more material. The idea is simple: the knight on c3 is doomed.

23. Nxd5 Nxd5 24. Bxd5 exd5 25. e3 Bc5 26. Nd3 Ba3

Fixing the target at a2.

27. Be5 Rc2 28. Bd4 a6 29. Nf4 Rxa2 30. Nxd5 Bd6 31. Kg2 f6 32. Kf3 Kf7 33. h3 Rc2 34. g4 Ke6 35. e4 a5

I thought quite awhile here, examining 35... Bc5 36. Nc7+ Kd7 37. Bxc5 Rxc5 38. Nxa6 Rb5 39. Ke3 Kc6 40. Kd4 Rb6 41. Nc5 Rb4+ - I overlooked this move! Todd revealed after the game that he was not about to let his knight get trapped on the queenside. Good intuition!

36. Ne3 Rc8 37. g5 Bc5 38. Bb2 a4 39. gxf6 a3 40. Ba1 Bxe3 41. Kxe3 Rc1 42. fxg7 Kf7 43.Bd4 a2 44. e5 Kxg7 45. e6+ Kf8 46. f4 a1=Q 47. Bxa1 Rxa1 48. Kf3 Ke7 49. f5 Ra4 50. Kg3 Kf6 51. h4 h5 52. Kh3 Rg4 53. Kh2 0-1

The Fall Tuesday Night Marathon, a 9-rounder, starts October 18th and end December 13th.

IM Ray Kaufman and Jules Jelinek shared first in the September 27th MI Wednesday Night Blitz with scores of 8-4. Carlos D’Avila was third with 7 points.

2) San Francisco 2 - Seattle 2 in US Chess League Action

Last night (September 28th) the two West Coast rivals contested a hard fought match with IM Daniel Naroditsky, the Mechanics’ top scorer with 3 from 4 this season, leading the way.

San Francisco vs Seattle

GM Jesse Kraai (SF) vs GM V. Akobian (SEA)  1/2-1/2
FM Slava Mikhailuk (SEA) vs IM D.Naroditsky (SF)  0-1
IM David Pruess (SF) vs NM Dereque Kelley (SEA)  1/2-1/2
NM David Golub (SEA) vs NM Samuel Sevian (SF)  1-0



LGame PointsOpps Avg RatingOpps Record


0.016.0/20 (80%)23599.5 - 10.5 (48%)
San Francisco


2.011.0/20 (55%)23939.0 - 11.0 (45%)


2.510.0/20 (50%)23818.0 - 11.0 (42%)
Los Angeles


2.59.5/20 (48%)244211.0 - 8.0 (58%)


3.09.5/20 (48%)240210.0 - 9.0 (53%)
Miami2.03.09.5/20 (48%)23919.0 - 10.0 (47%)


3.08.0/20 (40%)240111.5 - 8.5 (58%)
St. Louis


4.06.5/20 (33%)242310.0 - 10.0 (50%)


2011 MVP Leader board



GM Ben Finegold (STL)



GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY)



IM Conrad Holt (DAL)



NM William Fisher (PHI)



SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS)



GM Sam Shankland (NE)



NM Ian Schoch (BAL)



GM Dmitry Gurevich (CHC)



FM Jorge Pelaez (MIA)



IM Daniel Naroditsky (SF)



FM Ron Simpson (CAR)



IM Levon Altounian (ARZ)

Formula for MVP Points:

A win on Board 1 is worth 4 points, a loss on Board 1 is worth -4 points
A win on Board 2 is worth 3 points, a loss on Board 2 is worth -3 points
A win on Board 3 is worth 2.5 points, a loss on Board 3 is worth -2.5 points
A win on Board 4 is worth 2 points, a loss on Board 4 is worth -2 points
If you draw or win with the Black pieces (on any board) you receive 1 bonus point.

Ties are broken by:

1. Total games played
2. Overall team record
3. Average board number. 1st beats 2nd, and so on.
4. Average opponent’s rating

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