Chess Room Newsletter #584 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #584

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News #584
May 15, 2012

No one owned him. He was a force that could not be contained.
Genius is dangerous. Those that think it can be packaged are fools.

—Patti Smith on Bobby Fischer

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Mechanics’ member 16-year-old Daniel Naroditsky will play in the 1st Grand European Open, to be held in Golden Sands near Varna, Bulgaria from June 4-12. The event promises to be plenty strong with 40 GMs pre-registered. Seeded #39 at 2479 FIDE, Daniel will be aiming to make his second GM norm.

Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator Jules Jelinek writes:

Hello everyone,

As always, the weekly blitz tournament 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.

The winners last week were
1st -
Carlos D’Avila
2nd -
IM Eliott Winslow
3rd -
Jules Jelinek

Look forward to seeing you tonight.

The Summer Tuesday Night Marathon starts next week, on May 22.
A nice tie-in with the TNM is the following class.

Thursday Evening Class with Former U. S. Champion Nick de Firmian,
starting Thursday May 24, 2012

8 weeks (May 24, 31; June 7, 14, 21, 28; and July 5, 12) 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

This class, limited to a maximum of eight students, is aimed at players below 2000, and is a perfect fit for the Tuesday night regular who has been stuck for a long time at the same rating. Three-time U.S. Champion de Firmian, will offer hands-on instruction, including an in-depth analysis of the students’ games.

The cost for the eight classes is $240 for Mechanics’ Institute members and $270 for non-members.

2) International Master Anthony Saidy turns 75!

Dr. Anthony Saidy turned 75 today. On the short list of the strongest chess-playing medical doctors of all time, Saidy has played in nine U.S. Championships, and represented his country in four student Olympiads (including the 1960 gold-medal winners) and the 1964 Olympiad.

The author of the well-received
Battle of Chess Ideas and The World of Chess (Norman Lessing), Saidy is best remembered in the chess world for his efforts in helping his friend Bobby Fischer get to Iceland to play the 1972 World Championship match with Boris Spassky. Saidy’s invaluable efforts in this regard were remembered in the documentary Bobby Fischer vs. The World.

One of the great ambassadors of the game for over 60 years, Saidy continues to play, primarily in rapid and blitz events. He is busy at work on his memoirs.

3) New book on Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer might have died four years ago but interest in his life continues unabated. The latest work on him is Bobby Fischer Comes Home, published by New in Chess. Written by the Icelandic Grandmaster Helgi Olafsson, this 143-page paperback is all about Iceland and Bobby, both in 1972, and after his return in 2005.

This sympathetic book gives an insider’s view of how Bobby spent the last few years of his life. One very pleasant surprise is that the godmother of punk, Patti Smith, went out of her way to meet with Bobby when she visited Iceland and that the two of them got along very well.

On her site ( there is the following remembrance of Bobby that captures a side of him that was not well known to the chess world.


(March 9, 1943 - January 17, 2008)

I met with him in Iceland at midnight in a dark corner of an empty dining hall. Our designated body guards were appointed to stand vigil outside. We were not to speak of chess. What we did speak of, until dawn, was rock-and-roll. It was his boyhood passion.

Through the night we must have sung a hundred songs. He knew every lyric to every fifties rock song, to every Motown song. He had all the dance moves.

He still possessed the heart of the kid who dressed in sharkskin. The kid who beat the old fellows at chess in Washington Square for money to buy tickets to the Brooklyn Fox and Paramount.

We had a good time. I watched him pull on his parka as we said goodbye. He was somewhat shattered and paranoiac yet within those dark eyes the intelligence, rage and humor that he possessed as a young Grandmaster still burned.

No one owned him. He was a force that could not be contained. Genius is dangerous. Those that think it can be packaged are fools.

Farewell, Bobby. I mourn you gone. If we meet again I will not mention chess. I will sing your favorite Buddy Holly song. You know the words.

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