Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #561
November 23, 2011
I think our players are at a very high level, but they don’t manage to get in the mood for individual tournaments. If you take Gabi (Sargissian) or Vova (Akopian), somehow they don’t have that mood when they play for themselves. I can sense that. Well, it’s just another tournament. But at the Olympiad and team events they’ve got a whole different level of responsibility – they treat those tournaments as the most important of their lives.
Levon Aronian, talking about Armenia’s success in team competitions.
1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News
The Fall Tuesday Night Marathon is set up for an exciting finish, after front-runners IM Elliott Winslow and NM Hayk Manvelyan drew a spirited game last game. This enabled FM Andy Lee and Expert Steven Gaffagan to join them with 5 from 6. Three rounds remain for the 63 contestants.
Sicilian Scheveningen B85
IM Elliott Winslow – NM Hayk Manvelyan
Fall TNM (6) 2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 Be7 7.f4 Nc6 8.Be3 0–0 9.0–0 Bd7 10.Nb3 a6 11.a4 b6
IM Winslow prepares a possible Rd2 with this move. Similar and more common prophylactic moves are 12.Bf3 and 12.Kh1.
13.g4 was more aggressive.
The other plan in this position is 14...Bc8, preparing ...Na5, which is quite thematic in Classical Scheveningen lines with Nb3. If White captures on a5 Black has excellent play on the b-file for his hard-to-exploit doubled a-pawns.
15.Rd1 Rfd8 16.Bd4 Bc8 17.e5 Ne8 18.Be4
Hayk until recently was a French player, and here he correctly changes the pawn structure to something akin to that opening.
19...Bc5 20.Qe3 Bxd4 21.Qxd4 Nc6
This prepares to force White to sacrifice a piece.
23.Qh3 dxc3 24.Qxh7+ Kf8 25.bxc3
It’s better to recapture first and see how Black organizes his defense. Trying to immediately force a draw by 25.Qh8+ Ke7 26.Qh4+ might possibly allow 26...f6.
Alternatives are 25...f5 and; 25...Ne7. In both these variations White has equal chances, and the maneuver Nb3-d2-f3-g5 is often what he is aiming for—keeping the tension, and gradually improving the position of his one poorly-placed piece.
26.Qh8+ Ke7 27.Qh4+ Kf8
Now 27...f6 makes less sense, as after 28.Re1 Black’s bishop is no longer protecting e6.
28.Qh8+ Ke7 29.Qh4+ Kf8 Draw
This was a correctly-played game by both players.
Sicilian Accelerated Dragon B35
Peter Grey – Ethan Chamberlain
Fall TNM (6) 2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0–0 0–0 9.Bb3 d6 10.h3 Bd7 11.Re1 Rfe8 12.Qe2
This move, trying to exploit White’s control of d4, is quite common in the Accelerated, but here it should fail. It’s possible that Black confused this position with 12.Qd2?!, which can be met by 12...Nxe4 13.Nxc6 Qxc3! with instant equality. Black can find solace in that several strong players have fallen into this trap.
Missing 13.Nxc6! Bxc6 (13...Nxc3 14.Nxa5 1–0, Sigurjonsson-Karlsson, Gausdal 1982) 14.Nxe4 Bxe4 15.Bd2 1–0, Espig-Radulov, Raach (zt) 1969.
13...Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Bxf7+ Kh8?
15...Kxf7 16.Qc4+ Be6 17.Qxd4 Rac8, with ...Kg8 soon to follow, is only a little better for White, as Black’s loose central pawn structure is compensated for by his piece activity.
16.Bxe8 Rxe8 17.c3 Bg7?
17...Be5 had to be tried, with some practical chances in the bishop pair for the exchange.
Well played by Peter Grey. Now Black is slowly but surely ground down.
18...exd6 19.Qxe8+ Bxe8 20.Rxe8+ Bf8 21.Rxf8+ Kg7 22.Rf3
22...Qb6 23.b4 d5 24.Rd1 a5
This loses without a struggle. Houdini suggests some tricks to stave off the loss of the d-pawn in the short-term, but eventually Black must lose material. For example, 24...Qc6 25.Rd4 h5 26.Rfd3 Qe6 27.g4 hxg4 28.hxg4. One good idea for White would be to follow up with a4-a5, if permitted.
25.a3 axb4 26.axb4 Qc6 27.Rd4 h5 28.Rfd3 Qe6
Peter is patient, and takes his time, allowing Black no opportunities to get back in the game.
29...Qc6 30.h4 b6 31.g3 Kh6 32.Red3 Qe6 33.Kg2 Kg7 34.Rf3 Kh6 35.Rdf4 Kg7
If 36...Kg8, White has 37. R7f6, winning more material.
37.Rxf7+ Kxf7 38.Kf3 1–0
NM Hayk Manvelyan took a half point bye in round one of the 10th Saint Amant Memorial G/45 last Saturday. He might have been regretting that decision when he entered round five a half point behind tournament leader IM Ricardo DeGuzman, but then he played the following must-win game.
Hayk Manvelyan – Ricardo De Guzman
10th Saint Amant Memorial (5) 2011
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bd2 Bg4 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.0–0 Qc7 9.Ne5 Be6 10.Bf4 Qa5 11.Qd2 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 0–0–0 13.Bg3 g5 14.Rfd1 h5?
This was the last chance for Black to finish his development with 14...Bg7.
15.b4! Qxb4 16.Rab1 Qa5?
16...Qa3 was more stubborn, although 17.d5 Nxd5 (17...Bxd5 18.Qe3 Be6 19.Rxd8+ Kxd8 20.Rxb7) 18.Rb3 Qa5 19.Nb5 leads to something akin to the game continuation, albeit not quite as crushing.
This leads to a winning position by force.
17...Qxd2 18.Nxa7+ Kd7 19.Rxb7+ Ke8 20.Rxd2 Ne4 21.Nxc6!
The point is 21....Nxd2 22.Nxd8 Kxd8 23.Rc8+ Kd7 (23...Bc8 24.Ba6 only prolongs the agony) 24.Bb5 mate!
If 21...Rc8 22.Bb5 and now
A. 22... Bd7 23.Rxd7 Kxd7 24.Na5+ Ke6 (24...Kd8 25.Nb7 mate!) 25.Re2 f5 26.f3.
B. 22...Nxd2 23.Ne5+ Kd8 24.Nxf7+ Bxf7 25.Rd7+ Ke8 26.Rd5+.
In both cases White wins quite easily.
22.Bb5 Bd7 23.Rd3 Bg7 24.Ra3 Rc8 25.Raa7 Nxg3 26.hxg3 1–0
1. NM Manvelyan 4.5/5
2. IM DeGuzman 4
=3-5. Siddarth Banik, Edward Li and Rodell Mapp 3.5.
Hello everyone. It’s Wednesday! Time for the weekly blitz chess tournament at Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club. As always, it starts no later than 6:40 pm, with sign-up beginning at 6:20 pm. Entry is $10 with clock, $11 without clock. Prizes are 50%, 30%, 20% of entry fees. Time control preferably is 3 minute, increment 2 seconds; otherwise 5 minutes, no increment.
Last week’s winners were
1st - Jules Jelinek
2nd - Carlos D’Avila
3rd - Merim Mesic
Look forward to seeing you tonight.
Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator
Congratulations to former MI member IM Jeremy Silman, whose 4th edition of How To Reassess Your Chess recently won the Guardian’s chess book-of-the-year award, judged by Ronan Bennett and GM Daniel King. The 650-page behemoth is completely reworked, and bears little resemblance to earlier editions.
2) A chess poem by Dennis Fritzinger
was the berkeley
way back when.
really it was
but it had a tolerance
until the day it closed.
i played blitz there
with jim buff
and reynaldo johnson,
and drank a fair amount
i remember taking refuge
there once, from tear gas,
during the anti-war riots.
they boarded up the front door
so the tear gas wouldn’t get in.
came a knocking. insistent. some poor soul
pounding on the door.
we opened it, and he
followed by a cloud of tear gas.
that was hardcastle’s.