Chess Room Newsletter #579 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #579

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #579
April 11, 2012

I always considered him to be a colossal talent, one of the greatest in the whole history of chess. Each champion has had some sort of specialty, and his is creating counterplay in any position out of absolutely nowhere. He’s got an amazing ability to constantly stretch himself so that even in some kind of Exchange Slav he nevertheless manages to attack something and create something. He also plays absolutely brilliantly with knights, even better than Morozevich—if his knights start to jump around, particularly towards the king, then that’s that, it’s impossible to play against and they’ll just sweep away everything in their path. I noticed it’s better to get rid of them when you’re playing against him. In general, he’s improved a great deal in recent years, at some point after 2002. He’s a chess player of genius, but previously he didn’t work enough, by and large.

—Vladimir Kramnik, talking about World Champion Viswanathan Anand

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

National Master
Romy Fuentes defeated IM Elliott Winslow last night to take sole possession of first place in the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon with 4.5 from 5. Seven players are tied for second at 4 in the 71-player field, including FIDE Masters Frank Thornally and Andy Lee.

Here is the critical game from last night.

Najdorf B99
Romulo Fuentes (2205) - Eliott Winslow (2380)
Mechanics’ Spring TNM (5) 2012

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bh4 Qc7 10.0-0-0 Nbd7

This variation was popular in the 1970s, but Black suffered some serious setbacks. One famous example is Grefe-Browne, 1973 US (ch), where White won a brilliancy-prize game.

11.Be2! Rg8


This is relatively best; 11...Rb8, 11...b5 and 11...g5 have all been found wanting.


More commonly seen are 12.Bg3 and 12.Qg3. The latter was used to good effect by Mechanics’ Institute Trustee Vince McCambridge in his miniature against American IM Larry D. Evans: 12...g5 13.fxg5 Ne5 14.Kb1 Bd7 15.Nf3 hxg5 16.Bxg5 Rc8 17.Nxe5 Nxe4 18.Nxe4 Qxc2+ 19.Ka1 Qxe4 20.Nxf7 1-0 McCambridge- L.D. Evans, Copenhagen 1981.




13.Bg3! is not typical for this variation, but works well here. For example: 13...gxf4 14.Qxf4 e5 (otherwise White has a huge lead in development). 15.Nd5 Qc5 16.Qf2 exd4 17.b4 Qa7 ( or 17...Qc6 18.Rxd4 Bd8 19.Rc4 Qa4 20.Kb2 with Nc3 to follow) 18.Nxe7 Kxe7 19.e5, with a crushing attack.

13...Ne5 14.Qf2 hxg5 15.Bg3 Bd7 16.Nf3 b5 17.Nxe5 dxe5 18.a3



is a flashy computer move but doesn’t lead anywhere: 18...exd5 19.Nxd5 Qd6 20.Nxf6+ Bxf6 21.Qxf6 Qxf6 22.Rxf6, with equal chances.

18...Rc8 19.Rd3 Rg7

19...Rg6 was another way of fortifying Black’s position. Elliott’s move protects f7, so he has the possibility of moving his knight.

20.Kb1 Bc6 21.Qe3 Nd7

21...b4 22.axb4 Rb8 was more active, but also loosens Black’s position. The text is quite reasonable.

22.Bh5 Nf6 23.Be2 Nd7 24.Bh5



24...Nf6, a tacit offer of a draw, might have been more prudent.

25.Bg4 Nf8

25...a5, intending ...b4, was certainly possible.

26.Qd2 Bd7 27.Rd1 Rd8 28.h3



This is suicide. 28...Ng6 was normal, and would have left White only slightly better after 29.Bf2 Nf4 30.Bb6 Qxb6 31.Rxd7 Rb8.

29.exf5 exf5 30.Nd5

This is the primary reason why 28...f5?? was unplayable—White gets the use of the d5 square.

30...Qb7 31.Nxe7 fxg4 32.Bxe5 Rxe7 33.Bf6 Ne6 34.Bxe7 Kxe7 35.Qb4+ 1-0

Mechanics’ Members fared well in the Philadelphia Open that ended last Sunday. Grandmaster
Sam Shankland was always among the leaders, and ended up tied for second. His undefeated score of 6½ from 9 should put him a short stone’s throw from 2600 FIDE. Daniel Naroditsky lost only to the Norwegian GM Jon Lugwig Hammer in scoring 6 from 9, and won the blitz tournament.

Hello everyone,

It’s Wednesday! It’s time for the weekly blitz chess tournament at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club.

Come join us on Wednesday nights and sharpen your blitz skill for the upcoming
Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Tournament on Sunday May 6th, 1-5pm. It should be noted that many of the prize winners last year also participate in the Wednesday night blitz tournament.

As always, it starts no later than 6:40pm with sign-up beginning at 6:20pm. 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.

The winners last week were:

1st Arthur Ismakov
2nd Elliott Winslow
3rd Carlos D’Avila

Look forward to seeing you tonight.
Jules Jelinek

2) My friend Arthur Wang, Juvenilia, Part 1 of 3 by Erik Osbun

We wrote of National Master Art Wang’s death on December 11 last year in MI Newsletter #564. Now we are honored to present the first of a three-part tribute, by Arthur’s friend Erik Osbun.

In 1959 the Chess Friends of Northern California took an unprecedented step for the promotion of youth chess by holding the First CFNC Experts’ Tournament in Daly City, a round-robin event. The idea was no doubt that of George Koltanowski, and the venue was the same Spreckels-Russell Dairies building as for the U.S. Junior Championship of 1957.

The entrants qualified from the CFNC Open Championship held during March,1959 in Oakland.

They were David Krause (who won the open with a perfect 5-0 ), Roy Hoppe, Ronald Thacker, Arthur Wang (who first appeared in the pages of the venerable California Chess Reporter, July 1957, as a participant in the U.S. Junior with a score of 5½ - 3½ ), Robert Dickinson, David Bogdanoff ,Peter Cleghorn, William Crabtree, Robert Turner, and myself. The first six named had played in the U.S. Junior.

Although Art and I had played in a few of the same tournaments (including the Cal Open at Santa Barbara, 1958), we had not yet played a game until the First CFNC Experts’. That’s where we got acquainted. I was fortunate to win the round robin with 7½ - 1½, and I’ll never forget Arthur’s comment after our game finished: “Don’t you ever make a mistake?” Not really, and I lost my last game to William Crabtree, answering Arthur’s question in the negative. Arthur tied for second place with David Krause at 6½ by beating David in the next to last round.

Arthur Wang - David Krause, First CFNC Experts’ Tournament, Daly City, 1959, Sicilian Defense:

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 d6 6. Be3 Nf6

The king’s knight at f6 gets in the way of the task to control d4. Thus, 6...e5 followed by 7...Nge7 deserves consideration, a plan introduced by Botvinnik in his 1954 match with Smyslov.

7. h3 0-0 8. Qd2 Nd4?!

Rather facilitates White’s plan to carry out the advance d4, so even now 8...e5 makes sense. It is either that or the standard plan of 8...Rb8 9.f4 Bd7 10.a4 a6 11.Nf3 b5 12.axb5 axb5 13.0-0 b4 14.Ne2 Ne8, getting the king’s knight out of the way.

9. N3e2! Qb6?

Black should acquiesce to the fact that his knight is to be ejected from d4, and trade now: 9...Nxe2.

10. c3 Nc6? 11. d4

White’s goal is achieved much too early for those optimistic of Black’s chances.


Or 11...cxd4 12.cxd4 Qb4 13.Nc3 Na5 14.b3, and Black has little to show for his queen’s adventure.

12. b3 Be6 13. d5 Bd7 14. Rd1 Rfc8?

Black is still fully committed to his fruitless queenside operation. He should have tried instead 14...Ne8, in order to meet 15.f4 with f5.

15. f4 Ne8 16. Nf3 Qc7

Now 16...f5 is met by 17.e5.

17. 0-0 b5?

Since 17...f5 is still met by 18.e5!, Black continues with his desperate plan. 17...Rab8 might be a little more circumspect.

18. Nh4 Nb7 19. f5 a5 20. Bh6 Bf6 21. Bg5 c4

White’s attack cannot be deflected by any means now.

22. fxg6 hxg6 23. Bxf6 Nxf6 24. Qh6 Qd8

Black tries to defend against the future Rxf6, but it avails nothing.

25. e5! dxe5 26. d6 Nxd6

Or 26...Rab8 27.Nxg6! fxg6 28.Qxg6+ Kh8 29.dxe7 Qxe7 30.Rxf6, and White wins comfortably.

27. Bxa8 Rxa8 28. Nxg6! fxg6 29. Qxg6+ Kh8 30. Rxf6 Qb6+ 31. Kh2 exf6 32. Qxf6+ Kg8 33. Rxd6 Qe3 34. Qg6+ Kf8 35. Rf6+ Ke7 36. Qf7+ Kd8 37. Qf8+ Kc7 38. Qd6+
Black resigns.

David got his revenge for this loss at the U.S. Junior, Omaha, 1959.

In July of 1959, Californians Gilbert Ramirez, David Krause, Arthur Wang, John Blackstone, Walter Cunningham, John Mortz and I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska for the U.S. Junior Championship. This was to be my first tournament outside of California, meeting juniors from all parts of the USA, and especially from the East Coast. The event could actually be called international, because a Canadian and two Cuban boys competed. The latter informed us about the revolution taking place in their homeland. The director was the Rev. Howard Ohman, winner of the Minor tournament at Pasadena, 1932 and director of the first U.S. Junior at Chicago, 1946.

Robin Ault of New Jersey and Gilbert Ramirez tied for first at 7-2. Larry Gilden of D.C. and Raymond Weinstein (the 1958 U.S. Junior Champion) of New York tied for third at 6½. Walter Harris of New York, Victor Palciauskas (destined to become the 10th World Postal Champion) of Illinois, and Arthur Wang tied for 5th at 6-3. David Krause, Larry Mason of Illinois, William Lukowiak of New Jersey, and I tied for 8th place at 5½.

The tournament was hard going for me, only 50% through round 7, possibly because I spent an inordinate amount of my spare time playing 5-minute chess with Larry Gilden and Bernard Zuckerman of New York. By contrast, neither Gil nor Art took part in this form of chess, and their higher score probably reflects that they were better rested. I learned there how to excel at speed chess, but most entertaining was Larry’s habit of smoking a cigar, drinking the local “Thickashake”, moving a piece and punching his clock almost simultaneously. Some of the cigar ashes wound up in the milk shake and were drunk down! Bernard’s regular chant “easy winning PO-sition” remains in my memory. During the event there was a pillow fight between our dormitory rooms, and the door to our room was broken down in the laughing melee of several pillow fighters. We were lectured by Rev. Ohman, and all of us pitched in to pay for the broken door.

Arthur did rather well, scoring the big upset of Raymond Weinstein in round 2.

Raymond Weinstein - Arthur Wang, U.S. Junior Championship, Omaha, 1959, Nimzo-Indian Defense.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 0-0 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. 0-0 Nc6 8. a3 dxc4

Arthur avoids the 8...Bxc3 9.bxc3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Qc7 tabiya that was so very popular at that time.

9. Bxc4 Ba5

This is the variation practiced by Larsen in the mid- to late- 60s. I wonder where Arthur learned of it?

10. Ne2

10.Qd3 a6 11.Rd1 b5 12.Rd1 b5 13.Ba2 c4 14.Qe2 Qe8 15.e4 e5 16.d5 Nd4!? 17.Nxd4 exd4 18.Rxd4 Qe5 19.Be3 Ng4 20.f4 Qb8 21.Rad1 is a far more exciting way to play(Gligoric - Gheorghiu, Skopje/Ohrid, 1968). White sacrifices the exchange for a powerful pawn center.


Notice that now 10...Bb6 11.dxc5 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Bxc5 13.b4 Be7 14.Bb2 Bd7 reaches the 1st Match Game, Spassky - Fischer, Reykjavik, 1972, and now White could essay Botvinnik’s line: 15.e4! Rfd8 16.e5 Ne8 17.Ng3 Nc7 18.Ne4, with advantage to White.

Arthur’s move is probably best.

11. exd4 h6 12. b4?!

12.Bf4 Bc7 led to an equal game in Balashov - Langeweg, Wijk aan Zee, 1973. Ray’s idea seems to be inferior, in that square d5 falls into Black’s hands.

12....Bc7 13. Bb2 Ne7 14. Ba2 b6 15. Rc1 Bb7 16. Ne5 N7d5 17. Qd3??

Ray wants to prepare an attack, but overlooks Black’s reply. He should have played 17.Ng3.

17....Nxb4! 18. axb4 Bxe5 19. Ng3 Bd6 20. f4 Bd5 21. Bb1 Re8 22. b5 Rc8 23. f5 e5!

Dashing the White hope of opening lines with 24.fxe6.

24. dxe5 Bxe5 25. Qa3 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 Bf4! 27. Rf1

The threat was 27...Be3+ followed by a check with the other Bishop.

27....Be3+ 28. Kh1 Ng4

This attack is decisive.

29. f6

White must prevent 29...Qh4.

29....Nf2+ 30. Kg1 Nd3+ 31. Kh1 Qa8! 32. h4 Bxg2+ 33. Kh2 Bxf1 34. Nxf1 Nf4
35. Be4 Qxe4 36. Nxe3 Qxe3 37. Qxe3 Rxe3 38. Bd4 Rh3+ 39. Kg1 Ne6 40. Kg2 Rd3
, and time pressure is over so White resigns.

So the tournament favorite, and 1958 U.S. Junior Champion, had a second round setback. He was to go on to the U.S. Open, following the U.S. Junior in Omaha that year, and tie for 2nd and 3rd with Benko behind his uncle and winner, Arthur Bisguier.

3) GM Norm Tourney Begins in Saint Louis

The Saint Louis Invitational, a GM norm tournament, is being held April 9 through April 13 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. This marks the second norm tournament held at the CCSCSL (outside of U.S. Championship events) in as many years.

 The field is as follows:

1GM Margvelashvili, GiorgiGEO2547
2GM Moradiabadi, ElshanIRI2542
3GM Finegold, BenjaminUSA2505
4IM Sevillano, EnricoUSA2502
5IM Arnold, Marc TUSA2502
6IM Gerzhoy, LeonidCAN2489
7IM Molner, MackenzieUSA2465
8IM Brooks, Michael AUSA2456
9IM Yang, DarwinUSA2448
10IM Young, AngeloPHI2321

Last year’s GM norm tournament required a score of 6.5/9 and produced no norms, but this year’s event is stronger, with an average FIDE rating of 2478, and will require a score of 6/9 to achieve a GM norm.

4) Here and There

Metropolitan Chess, Inc. is hosting an International Master norm round-robin tournament from April 11th to April 15th of 2012. The tournament is sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc, Law Offices of Steinfl & Bruno,, MonRoi, LawyerFy, and Betty Bottom Showroom.

This tournament is the 18th in its series and is being held in Suite C1002 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles 90079. The tournament is organized by
Ankit Gupta, FA, IO and the chief arbiter is Randy Hough, IA. The participants include: IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ), IM Roman Yankovsky (RUS), IM Larry Remlinger (USA), FM Mark Duckworth (USA), FM Visweswaran Kameswaran (IND), FM Harutyun Akopyan (USA), Yian Liou (USA), NM Brendan Purcell (USA), and NM Garush Manukyan (ARM). The IM norm is 6.5/9.0.

The tournament will be a 10 player round-robin (all play all), with rounds scheduled as follows - 11th: 7:00 PM, 12th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 13th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 14th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 15th: 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:

Best Regards,
Ankit Gupta, NM

Steve Fabian has just finished a first-rate history of the Spokane Chess Club (founded in 1899), which can be found at

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