Chess Room Newsletter #593 | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Chess Room Newsletter #593

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #593
July 18, 2012

When a player plays two back-to-back potentially six-hour games playing strength is no longer as significant a factor, because you’re incredibly tired. Tired players can start to hallucinate, and go Ng4 to Ng7.

—Ivan Sokolov

This was the explanation the 2012 World Open winner gave for his decision to take byes in rounds 6 and 8 and avoid having to play two games a day.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club has been holding monthly one-day Game-in-45-minute tournaments for 12 years.  Normally around 40 players participate, but every once in a while there is a big turnout, and that was the case last Saturday for the 12th Charles Bagby Memorial, where 69 players turned out—just short of the record 74 that showed up for the 2003 Max Wilkerson G/45.

International Master Ricardo De Guzman and National Master Kenan Zildzic tied for first with 4.5 points in the Bagby. The two winners did not meet. DeGuzman drew in round four with Expert Colin Chow, who was among 7 players who tied for third at 4 points.

Incidentally the
MI Tuesday Night Marathon attendance record is 86, which matches the maximum capacity of the club. The all-time attendance record for any event at the M.I. is the 1974 Stamer Memorial, won by the Oregon Master Clark Harmon, which attracted 117 players. This event was held in the days when the fire code for maximum number of people on the 4th floor was more loosely observed.

While Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura duke it out in the 6-player Biel Invitational run as a double round-robin, MI member GM Sam Shankland is seeded 18th in a strong field in the Open held alongside it.

Mechanics’ member 16-year-old International Master Daniel Naroditsky will play in the 2012 Quebec Open which starts July 21st.

The Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club is proud to announce that Dr. Joseph Ponterotto of Fordham University will give a lecture on August 7th, from 5:15 to 6:15 pm, on his recently-released book Psychobiography of Bobby Fischer. Dr. Ponterotto will have copies of his book to sell. All are welcome to attend this free talk.

Thursday Evening Class With Former U. S. Champion Nick de Firmian starting Thursday August 2, 2012

8 weeks: August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, September 6, 13, and 20  6:30 to 8:30 pm.

This class, limited to a maximum of 8 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) Arnold Wins 2012 U.S. Junior Closed Championship, by Mike Wilmering

SAINT LOUIS (July 16, 2012) – In the closing ceremony last night, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) crowned International Master Marc Arnold, 19, of New York City, the 2012 U.S. Junior Chess Champion.

The Junior Closed Championship is an invitation-only tournament that features the top chess players in the nation under the age of 21. Alongside the U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship, the Junior Closed Championship completes the Triple Crown of the three most prestigious chess tournaments in the country.

“I’m honored to have won this tournament because the competition was really tough,” said Arnold. “I’m looking forward to getting a chance to come back to Saint Louis to compete with the nation’s best at the U.S. Championship next year.”

Arnold beat out 16 other players in a split round-robin tournament, with a playoff final to clinch the title and the first-place prize of $4,000. As the winner of the U.S. Junior Closed Championship, Arnold will also receive an invitation to the 2013 U.S. Chess Championship, which is scheduled to be held in Saint Louis next year.

“Marc did an amazing job and fought hard throughout the entire tournament,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. “Our hope is that his passion for the game and the amazing sportsmanship he has demonstrated will encourage and inspire other young chess players across the country to become more active.”

According to the USCF’s current rating supplement, Arnold was ranked first by rating out of the 16 competitors and was considered one of the favorites coming into the tournament. The 16 players were split into two groups of eight, and the winner of each section squared off in a head-to-head playoff for the title. Arnold went undefeated in his round-robin section, scoring five points out of seven games, to secure his spot in the playoff finals.

Arnold defeated Alec Getz of New York City, who was the winner of the other round-robin section, in a two-game playoff final. Getz, who received $3,000 for second place, entered the tournament ranked ninth out of the 16 players and exceeded expectations by winning his section over a number of higher-rated players.

The junior tournament’s winnings for first through last place totaled $18,000.

The championship match between Getz and Arnold began shortly after round seven. Getz drew for colors and secured white in the first game. He employed the sharp Keres Attack in a Sicilian Scheveningen. The players followed a rapid game between Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexander Morozevich from the Melody Amber tournament in 2008 until Getz played the relatively unknown 9. Qf3. A tense position was reached just before move 14, where it appeared a typically swashbuckling attack would ensue; however, Getz released the tension on the kingside with 14. Bxg5, and after a few trades, he reached an equal endgame that was drawn by move 41.

Getz played the King’s Indian in the second game, and Arnold responded with the popular Petrosian system. He punished Getz swiftly for the provocative 10.h5, picking up material with 14. Rxh5 and mounting an attack to boot. Queens came off the board with Arnold up a pawn in a dominant position. When Arnold played 23.Bh5, skewering Getz’s rooks, it looked like he had many paths to victory. He eschewed all complications with simplifying moves like 26.Rxg7 and the solid 27.f3 (instead of 27.bxc4). When the smoke cleared, Arnold was a full three pawns ahead, and Getz resigned after 37 moves.

Arnold has had an incredibly successful summer so far; our new U.S. Junior Champion also earned a GM norm a couple weeks ago at the World Open in Philadelphia. He will return to Saint Louis next year to compete in the 2013 U.S. Championship.

CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich and WGM Jennifer Shahade contributed to this report.

3) Yian Liou and Samuel Sevian share first in Metropolitan Chess IM norm event, by Ankit Gupta

Metropolitan Chess, Inc. hosted an International Master norm round-robin tournament from July 11 to 15. The tournament was sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc,, MonRoi, LawyerFy, the Law Offices of Steinfl & Bruno, EventForte Inc, and Betty Bottom Showroom.

This tournament was the 20
th in its series and was held in Suite C855 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles 90079. The tournament was organized by Ankit Gupta, FA, IO. The participants included: IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ), IM Larry Remlinger (USA), IM Andranik Matikozyan (ARM), FM Yian Liou (USA), FM Mark Duckworth (USA), WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (USA), NM Garush Manukyan (ARM), NM Samuel Sevian (USA), Ignacio Sainz Aguirre (MEX) and Kesav Viswanadha (USA).

20th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational




1 Amanov, Zhanibek 2384 KAZ W10 D2 W3 D4 D5 D6 W7 L8 D9 5.5
2 Sevian, Sam 2281 USA D9 D1 W10 W3 D4 W5 W6 W7 D8 7.0
3 Duckworth, Mark 2302 USA W8 L9 L1 L2 W10 D4 D5 D6 L7 3.5
4 Matikozyan, Andranik 2407 ARM D7 W8 D9 D1 D2 D3 W10 D5 D6 5.5
5 Manukyan, Garush 2276 ARM D6 D7 D8 L9 D1 L2 D3 D4 D10 3.5
6 Remlinger, Larry 2333 USA D5 W10 D7 W8 D9 D1 L2 D3 D4 5.0
7 Abrahamyan, Tatev 2320 USA D4 D5 D6 W10 D8 L9 L1 L2 W3 4.0
8 Viswanadha, Kesav 2015 USA L3 L4 D5 L6 D7 D10 L9 W1 D2 3.0
9 Liou, Yian 2322 USA D2 W3 D4 W5 D6 W7 W8 W10 D1 7.0
10 Sainz Aguirre, Ignacio 1985 MEX L1 L6 L2 L7 L3 D8 L4 L9 D5 1.0

The tournament was 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.

The tournament had
two IM norms, achieved by FM Yian Liou and NM Samuel Sevian—both also tied for first. This completes Sevian’s second IM norm, and Liou’s first.

Keep updated with events by Metropolitan Chess, Inc by visiting

World Champion Viswanathan Anand will be visiting the United States next month, in his first public chess appearance in over 17 years at the 2nd Metropolitan Chess Invitational Camp over August 9–13. For more details, you can contact Ankit Gupta at

4) Chess Play in San Francisco

U.C. Berkeley student
Iris Kokish is a 1700-rated player and a promising playwright, whose “The Queen’s Gambit” will soon debut in San Francisco.

Faultline Theater presents its inaugural show, “The Queen’s Gambit” by Iris Roberta Kokish, directed by Cole Ferraiuolo.

A play about chess? Yes.

Grandmaster Vera Levitan and Grandmaster Maya Gurevich play out a single match of the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship in Philadelphia 2005, and through their game’s external and internal dialogues we get a feminine perspective on the professional chess world.

Exit Theatre
156 Eddy Street
SF, CA 94102

Show Times: Friday July 27, 8 pm; Saturday July 28, 2 pm and 8 pm.

Ticket Info: $10, UC Berkeley students; $15, regular seating; $20, premium seating. Reserve tickets by emailing

You can browse through our archived newsletters using the "next" and "previous buttons".

Want to save this newsletter for reading at a later time? Click here to learn how.

Want to be notified when the next newsletter is published? Join Our Email List →