Chess Room Newsletter #576 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #576

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics� Institute Chess Club Newsletter #576

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #576

March 19, 2012

Chess no longer seems important, but it remains extremely interesting, and though it may never again feel meaningful, it will always be beautiful.

—Retired Scottish Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson (New In Chess #2, 2012, page 11)

This newsletter is coming out early because Mechanics’ Institute Chess Director John Donaldson will play this weekend in Ireland, in the 20th Cork Chess Congress.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

International Master Elliott Winslow won the March 14th edition of the Mechanics’ Wednesday Night Blitz with a score of 13 from 15, followed by Carlos D’Avila with 11 and Joe Urquhart with 8½ points.

The Spring Mechanics’ Tuesday Night Marathon is up to 67 entries, headed by International Masters
Elliott Winslow and Ganbold Odondoo and FIDE Masters Andy Lee and Frank Thornally. It is still possible to enter the 8-round event with half-point byes for rounds one and two.

National Master
Val Zemitis of Davis has contributed to the Royal Game for over 60 years, as a player, writer, teacher, publicist, blindfold specialist, photographer and historian. He has been a good friend of the Mechanics’ Institute since settling in California in 1952 to study at the University of California at Berkeley.

Now in the final stage of his life, Val recently contributed several interesting items to
Edward Winter’s outstanding Chess Notes -

One of them concerns the all-but-forgotten Oldenburg 1946, which included players from Germany, Latvia and Lithuania. This was Val’s international debut, at the age of 21.

Photo of players

Oldenburg, held 10-25 August 1946, was won jointly by Sämisch and Ahues, ahead of Rellstab:

Standing (left to right): Ozols, Endzelîns, Liepnieks, Skema, Arlauskas, Krûmiòð, Darznieks, Sneiders, Rankis, Dartavs, Tautvaiðas, N.N, Zemitis.
Seated: N.N. (a tournament official), Rellstab, Sämisch, Ahues.’
Below is the crosstable which Val Zemitis prepared at the time. Oldenburg is not included in reference works by Jeremy Gaige or Gino Di Felice.

Tournament cross-table

2) Yasser Seirawan King of the Hill at Dordrecht

Yasser Seirawan has once again proved that he possesses one of the quickest minds and some of the fastest hands on the planet by repeating his 2011 win in the marathon blitz tournament at Dordrecht. This time he did it against a field of roughly 200 players, including 9 GMs rated over 2600 FIDE. As René Olthof reports, the battle for first place was only decided at the very end when Yasser defeated top seed Arkady Naiditsch 1.5-.5 in the last round, while Eduardo Iturrizaga, who had been in the lead throughout, drew Namig Guliev 1-1.

Top Scores:

1. Seirawan (2647) 24 from 34
2-3. Fressinet (2693) and
Iturrizaga (2649) 23.5
4-6. Naiditsch (2702), Bauer (2679) and Sumets (2569) 22.5

For more information go to:

3) Curiosities – The Encircled Pawn

The noted chess researcher and historian Eduardo Bauzá Mercére recently came across the following game which features a dramatically encircled pawn – White pawn on e4 and Black pawns on d6, c5, e3 and f4.

French C15
Nelson Barki- Rodolfo Argentino  
18th Cordoba Championship (5) 1968

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd2 c5 5.a3 Nc6 6.axb4 cxd4 7.Na4 dxe4 8.Nc5 Nf6 9.b5 Ne7 10.Bg5 Qd5 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Nb3 e5 13.Ra4 0–0 14.Bc4 Qd6 15.Ne2 Be6 16.Bxe6 Qxe6 17.Ng3 f5 18.0–0 Rfd8 19.Qh5 Qg6 20.Qxg6+ hxg6 21.c4 b6 22.Re1 Nc8 23.f3 e3 24.Kf1 Kg7 25.Ke2 f4 26.Ne4 f5 27.Nc1 fxe4 28.fxe4


28...Nd6 29.Kf3 Nf7 30.Nd3 Ng5+ 31.Ke2 Nxe4 32.Rea1 Nc5 33.Rxa7+ Rxa7 34.Rxa7+ Kf6 35.b4 Nxd3 0–1

This is hardly (!) an everyday occurrence, but amazingly Tim Krabbé, the preserver par excellence of chess curiosities, has 43 examples in his files, including the following example played in a World Championship match.

QGD Semi-Slav D15
David Bronstein – Mikhail Botvinnik
Moscow (18) 1951

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 a6 6.Bd3 b5 7.b3 Nbd7 8.0–0 Bb7 9.c5 Be7 10.a3 a5 11.Bb2 0–0 12.Qc2 g6 13.b4 axb4 14.axb4 Qc7 15.Rae1 Rfe8 16.Ne2 Bf8 17.h3 Bg7 18.Ne5 Nf8 19.f3 N6d7 20.f4 f6 21.Nf3 Re7 22.Nc3 f5 23.Ra1 Ree8 24.Ne5 Rxa1 25.Rxa1 Ra8 26.Qb1 Qc8 27.Bxb5 Nxe5 28.fxe5 Bh6 29.Bc1 cxb5 30.Nxb5 Nd7 31.Nd6 Rxa1 32.Qxa1 Qa8 33.Qc3 Bf8 34.b5 Bxd6 35.exd6 Qa4 36.Qb2 Kf7 37.Kh2 h6 38.e4 f4 39.e5 g5 40.Qe2 Kg7 41.Qd3 Nb8 42.h4 Qc4 43.Qh3 Qxb5 44.hxg5 hxg5 45.Qxe6


45...Qd3 46.Qf6+ Kh7 47.Qf7+ Kh8 48.Qf6+ Kh7 49.Bxf4 gxf4 50.Qf7+ Kh8 51.Qe8+ Kg7 52.Qe7+ Kh8 53.Qe8+ Kg7 54.Qe7+ Kh8 55.Qf8+ Kh7 56.Qf7+ Kh8 57.Qxb7 Qg3+ 58.Kh1 ½–½

William Winter and R. G.Wade in their book on the 1951 World Championship match (p. 111), write: This is probably the finest game of this match and one of the most exciting ever seen in a world championship contest.

The topic of the encircled pawn raises the question as to what the rarest of rare positions are. International Master Nikolay Minev has long thought positions in which only pieces occupy all eight squares of a file have to be strong candidates for consideration.

4) Here and There

The UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational was held as a double round Scheveningen system tournament. Ray Robson showed the best individual result and continues his run of excellent performances the past year.

Grandmaster Team - 29½
GM Robson (USA, 2606) - 7 out of 10
GM Kacheishvili (GEO, 2612) - 6
GM Lenderman (USA, 2581) - 6
GM Leon Hoyos (MEX, 2569) - 5½
GM Panchanathan (IND, 2557) - 5

UT Dallas - 20½
GM Iotov (BUL, 2560) - 5½
IM Holt (USA, 2499) - 5
GM Sadorra (PHI, 2525) - 4

IM Milos M. Pavlovic (SRB, 2478) – 3

Ted Castro writes:

NorCal House of Chess will be conducting a FIDE-qualifier event on March 24 & 25. This event is both a USCF and FIDE RATED tournament. The FIDE qualifier will have 4 rounds: Saturday, 11:00 & 4:00 pm, Sunday 10:30 & 3:30 pm, with a time control of 30/90, SD/30, d5. The entry fee for the FIDE qualifier is $80.00. We will limit the number of players, so those who are interested should email us right away at
[email protected] or [email protected].

1st-place winner – earns a seat at NorCal House of Chess Invitational
Our next IM Norm event will be in May
2nd-place winner – earns a seat at the next FIDE QUALIFIER EVENT
3rd-place winner – earns a seat at the next FIDE QUALIFIER EVENT

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