Chess Room Newsletter #572 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #572

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #572
February 22, 2012

In chess so much depends on opening theory, so the champions before the last century did not know as much as I do and other players do about opening theory. So if you just brought them back from the dead they wouldn’t do well. They’d get bad openings. You cannot compare the playing strength; you can only talk about natural ability. Memorization is enormously powerful. Some kid of fourteen today, or even younger, could get an opening advantage against Capablanca, and especially against the players of the previous century, like Morphy and Steinitz. Maybe they would still be able to outplay the young kid of today. Or maybe not, because nowadays when you get the opening advantage not only do you get the opening advantage, you know how to play, they have so many examples of what to do from this position. It is really deadly, and that is why I don’t like chess any more.

—Bobby Fischer

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

International Master
Elliott Winslow won the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon by defeating Expert Todd Rumph last night. A 7-1 score earned the 59-year-old Winslow $400, and brought his rating up to 2386. National Master Russell Wong and soon-to-be Master Daniel Liu drew their round 8 games to finish second and third at 6.5 and 6 points respectively. The 67-player Winter Tuesday Night Marathon was held from January 3 to February 21. The next TNM starts on March 13.

Prize winners:

1st: Winslow-$400
2nd: Wong-$260
3rd: Liu-$185
Best Under-2200: Fuentes,Rumph,Traub,Goins and Gaffagan-$34.20 each
Best Under-2000, -1800 and -1600: Sherwood, Matsuda and Morton-$169 each
Best Under-1400: Wishard, Frank and Graham-$55.66 each

2) 2012 US Championship and US Women’s Championship

Fields set for 2012 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship

ST. LOUIS, February 22, 2012 -- The fields are set for both the 2012 U.S. Championship and 2012 U.S. Women’s Championship, scheduled to be held simultaneously May 7 through May 20 in St. Louis. Grandmaster Gata Kamsky and International Master Anna Zatonskih will each look to defend their respective titles against strong and determined fields.

For the fourth consecutive year, these prestigious events will be held at Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

The 2012 U.S. Championship will feature an elite field of 12 grandmasters, and a guaranteed prize fund of more than $160,000. With an average USCF rating of 2714 according to the USCF’s January rating supplement, this marks the strongest field in the history of the event.

After sitting out of the 2011 U.S Championship, GM Hikaru Nakamura, ranked No. 6 in the world, has accepted an invitation to participate this year. Nakamura, 24, is seeking his third U.S. Championship title. GM Yasser Seirawan, who came out of retirement to play in last year’s U.S. Championship, has accepted the final invitation for the U.S. Championship. Seirawan had a stellar performance at the 2011 World Team Championship in Ningbo, China, where he defeated three top-30 players on his way to a silver medal performance.

The field for the 2012 U.S. Championship is as follows:

GM Hikaru Nakamura (2848)
GM Gata Kamsky (2804)
GM Alexander Onischuk (2736)
GM Yasser Seirawan (2723)
GM Robert Hess (2717)
GM Varuzhan Akobian (2709)
GM Alexander Stripunsky (2700)
GM Ray Robson (2674)
GM Alejandro Ramirez (2668)
GM Yury Shulman (2666)
GM Aleksandr Lenderman (2665)
GM Gregory Kaidanov (2658)

The CCSCSL also will sponsor the $64K Fischer Bonus, to be awarded to anyone who scores a perfect 11-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer’s 11-0 result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship.

Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Camilla Baginskaite, the 2000 U.S. Women’s Champion, and 17-year-old Alena Kats, who was the youngest female to become a master in 2010, at age 15, have accepted the final two invitations for the women's event. The 2012 U.S. Women's Championship will feature a guaranteed prize fund of $64,000 and 10 players, including

IM Anna Zatonskih (2563)
IM Irina Krush (2500)
WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2419)
WGM Sabina Foisor (2413)
WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (2350)
WIM Viktorija Ni (2349)
IM Rusudan Goletiani (2337)
FM Alisa Melekhina (2321)
WIM Iryna Zenyuk (2298)
NM Alena Kats (2233)

Tickets for the opening ceremony, which will take place on May 7, and the closing ceremony, scheduled for May 20, will be available soon. Round one for each event begins on May 8.

The U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women's Championship will both be classic round-robin tournaments, in which each participant will play every other participant exactly once.

For more information, visit, or call (314) 361-CHESS (2437).

3) Here and There
Eric Hansen won the Jerry Hanken Memorial, held February 18-20 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Canadian International master won all 8 games to finish two points ahead of Alexandra Botez. Tying for third in the 48-player event were former USCF President Jim Berry and Fide Master Mike Langer at 5.5. IA Frank Berry organized and directed the event for the Oklahoma Chess Foundation.
Ted Castro writes: 

Last month, NorCal House of Chess hosted the most elite chess tournament in Northern California. It was very successful, it was all over the news, and everyone is eager to find out when the next event will be. We are pleased to announce that we are hosting an IM-norm event (round-robin) on March 17, 18, 23, 24, & 25. It’s a 10-player round-robin tournament that gives players a chance to earn an IM Norm. We have a long list of players who want to participate, but here’s a list of players who are confirmed to play.
IM Enrico Sevillano (USA) 2490 Fide Rating
IM Ricardo De Guzman (PHI) 2393
IM Ray Kaufmann (USA)/ IM Angelo Young (PHI) 2325
FM Ronald Cusi (USA) 2313
FM Bela Evans (USA) 2262
FM Tigran Ishkanov (USA) 2350
FM Richard Lobo (UK) 2251
WFM Uyanga Byambaa (MGL) 2118
IM-Elect Faik Aleskerov (AZE) 2362

Ankit Gupta

Metropolitan Chess, Inc. is hosting an International Master norm round robin tournament from February 22nd to 26th of 2012. The tournament is sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc,, MonRoi, LawyerFy, and Betty Bottom Metropolitan Chess, Inc. is hosting an International Master norm round robin tournament from February 22nd to 26th of 2012. This tournament is the 16th in its series and is being held in Suite C1002 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street in Los Angeles.
The tournament is being organized by
Ankit Gupta, FA, IO,  and the chief arbiter is Randy Hough, IA.

The participants include

IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ)
IM Andranik Matikozyan (ARM)
IM Larry Remlinger (USA)
FM Alexandre Kretchetov (RUS)
FM Konstantin Kavutskiy (USA)
FM Kayden Troff (USA)
Alexander King (USA)
CM Giovanni Carreto (MEX)
NM Michael Bodek (USA)
FM Philip Xiao Wang (USA)

The IM norm requirement is 6.5/9.0.

The tournament will be a 10-player round-robin (all-play-all), with rounds scheduled as follows - 22nd: 7:00 PM, 23rd: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 24th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 25th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 26th: 10:00 AM & 4:00 PM. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to come to watch the games in person at the tournament site.

The standings can be found on the Metropolitan Chess, Inc. website at: 

4) Bunratty Masters

English Grandmasters Michael Adams, Nigel Short and Gawain Jones won the 2012 edition of the Bunratty Masters, an event on the short list for the honor of being the strongest 3-day weekend event in the world this year. Adams, who won title in a blitz playoff, had a performance rating for the event just short of 2800.

The multi-section tournament, one of Ireland’s strongest, attracted a large number of titled players including 10 GMs and 10 IMs in the top group. They were attracted by not only the chance to face first rate opposition, but also the excellent hotel and traditional Irish hospitality. Chief Arbiter
Gerry Graham and tournament director Paul Caray made sure that the event ran smoothly.

The Bunratty Masters is not just for professional players. Those at the club level would find this a nice addition to a vacation in Ireland which has much milder weather than continental Europe in February.

For more information on this event go to

Donaldson,John W - Arkell,Keith C [A40]
Bunratty Masters Bunratty (4), 19.02.2012

1.Nf3 b5

The text is not as bad as it looks and even Spassky has played this way. Bunratty was not FIDE rated which allowed participants the chance to experiment more than they might normally (for example Michael Adams opened 1.d4 and 2.c4 in all three games as White), but the Polish is actually part of Arkell's normal repertoire.

2.e4 Bb7 3.Bxb5 Bxe4 4.0–0 Nf6 5.d4 e6 6.c4 Be7 7.Nc3 Bb7 8.Ba4 0–0 9.d5 a5 10.Re1 Na6 11.Bc2 Nc5 12.Nd4 Re8 13.Qf3 a4 14.Be3 Bf8 15.Rad1 Ra6 16.Qh3 g6 17.dxe6



17...Nxe6 would have kept White’s advantage to a minimum.

18.Bg5 Bg7 19.Ndb5 d6 20.Qh4 Rf8 21.Be3



21...Ncd7 was forced.

22.Qxd8 Rxd8 23.Nxc7 Rc6 24.N7b5 Nb6 25.b3 axb3 26.axb3 Nc8 27.Ne4 Na6 28.Ng5 d5 29.Be4!

This should win easily.

29...Ne7 30.Na7 Rcd6 31.c5 R6d7 32.Nxe6 Ra8 33.c6 Nxc6



34.Bxd5 was even easier.

34...Re7 35.Rd6 Ncb4 36.Bxb7 Rxb7 37.Nxg7 Kxg7 38.Red1



38...Raxa7 39.Bxa7 Rxa7 40.Rd7+ Rxd7 41.Rxd7+ not only wins, but is very easy to play with very little time on the clock. Grandmaster Arkell prefers to play several pawns down and attempt to take advantage of White’s time pressure and jet lag.

39.Rd7+ Re7 40.Rxe7+ Rxe7 41.Nc8 Rc7 42.Nd6 Rc6 43.Nc4 Rc7 44.Kf1 Nc2 45.Bb6 Re7 46.Ne3 Ncb4 47.Ke2 Rb7 48.Bd4+


48...Kf7 49.Nc4 Ke6 50.Ra1 Nb8 51.Ra7 Rb5 52.Rxh7 N4c6 53.Be3 Rxb3 54.Rg7 Ne7 55.Bg5 Nbc6 56.Bxe7 Nxe7 57.Ne3 Kf6 58.Rh7 Nc6 59.Kf3 Nd4+ 60.Ke4 Nc6 61.Nd5+ Ke6 62.Rg7


The third pawn! At this point I expected my illustrious opponent to resign, but he must have seen from the lack of color in my face and the glazed look in my eyes that I was a regular on The Walking Dead!

62...Kd6 63.Rxg6+ Kc5 64.Rg5 Kd6 65.h4 Ra3 66.h5

White is utterly and completely winning, but managed to first hang a piece, and then failed to win with three pawns against the knight! ½–½

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