Chess Room Newsletter #612 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #612

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Newsletter #612
January 6, 2013

“A win always seems shallow: it is the loss that is so profound and suggests nasty infinities.” 

—E.M. Forster, 1919

The Mechanics’ Institute Winter Tuesday Night Marathon starts this coming Tuesday—January 8.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

International Master Daniel Naroditsky has won the Neil Falconer Award for the third year in a row. The 17-year-old resident of Foster City wins $2553, equal to his United States Chess Federation rating this past December. This is the highest rating ever attained in the 14 year history of the Falconer, which is awarded annually to the top player under 18 in Northern California.

The competition this year was particularly tough, as Daniel was challenged by 15-year-old Yian Liou of Walnut Creek and World under 12 Champion Samuel Sevian of Santa Clara, who are both rated over 2450 USCF. All three youngsters played this season on the Mechanics’ Institute team in the US Chess League.

Mr. Falconer, a strong player who won the California Open in 1951, established this award with the aim of promoting excellence among young Northern California players, and has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, with two winners (Bhat and Shankland) now holding the Grandmaster title and two more (Zierk and Naroditsky) the International Master title.

Neil Falconer will be on hand to honor Daniel’s accomplishment on Tuesday, January 15, at 5:30 pm. Besides the check presentation, Daniel will also give a short talk on his new book, Mastering Complex Endgames, which was recently published by New in Chess.

Previous Winners:

2000 Vinay Bhat
2001 Vinay Bhat
2002 Vinay Bhat
2003 Michael Pearson
2004 Nicholas Yap
2005 Matthew Ho
2006 Matthew Ho
2007 Nicholas Yap
2008 Sam Shankland
2009 Sam Shankland
2010 Steven Zierk
2011 Daniel Naroditsky
2012 Daniel Naroditsky

Addresses of famous San Francisco chess players of the past.

E. J. Clarke 1717 Hyde (Russian Hill)
W. H. Donnelly 1329 Green St. (Russian Hill)
A. J. Fink 111 Vienna  (Excelsior) 

Walter Lovegrove 2001 Lyon (Pacific Heights)
Vladimir Pafnutieff 3880 California (Presidio Heights)
H.J. Ralston 184 Edgewood (Ashbury Heights)
Arthur Stamer 1156 Fell (Hayes Valley)

Mechanics’ Wednesday Night Blitz

December 12                                December 19

1st - Jules Jelinek                        1st - Jules Jelinek
2nd - Joe Urquhart                       2nd – James Jones
3rd - Merim Mesic                        3rd – Bryon Doyle

Metropolitan GM tournament, by Ankit Gupta

Metropolitan Chess, Inc. hosted a Grandmaster norm round-robin tournament December 19–23, 2012. 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 23rd in its series and was held in Suite C855 of the California Market Center, 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles 90079. The tournament was organized by Ankit Gupta, FA, IO. The participants included GM Artur Chibukhchian (ARM), GM Alejandro Ramirez (USA), GM Melikset Khachiyan (USA), IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ), IM Andranik Matikozyan (ARM), IM Roman Yankovsky (RUS), IM Keaton Kiewra (USA), IM Victor Shen (USA), Samuel Sevian (USA), and IM Darwin Yang (USA).

The tournament was a 10-player round-robin (all-play-all), with rounds on the 19th: 7:00 PM, 20th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 21st: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 22nd: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 23rd: 10:00 AM & 4:00 PM. 

The tournament had an IM norm, achieved by Samuel Sevian, who thereby completed all his IM norm requirements, making him IM-elect. He also tied for first in the event with a strong performance of 6.0/9.0, narrowly missing the GM norm by half a point.

Keep updated with events by Metropolitan Chess, Inc, by visiting

3) McKinley Williams / John Easterling 2nd Annual Community Chess Tournament by Trendell Ball

Community Chess Tournament Recap

The McKinley Williams / John Easterling  2nd Annual Community Chess Tournament was a tremendous success, attracting 32 chess players, their families and friends to a day of chess at the Richmond Recreation Department on Macdonald Avenue. Once again the tournament was to honor retiring Contra Costa College President McKinley Williams and the late John Easterling’s contributions to chess in Richmond and West County. Mr. Williams and the wife of John Easterling were both presented tournament T-shirts. The tournament was made possible by the sponsorship of the City of Richmond Parks and Recreation Department, Contra Costa College, and the West Coast Chess Alliance.

The tournament format was a Quad, with 4 players per table, playing 3 games (a round robin) to determine a Quad winner.  Each Quad winner received a trophy. The tournament was unique and maybe the first of its kind in the Bay Area because it featuring both rated and non-rated sections, and included scholastic sections or Quads. Hence the term Community Chess Tournament: non-rated or causal chess players rarely get an opportunity to compete in tournaments. We attracted players from Richmond, each west county city, El Cerrito, Albany, Oakland, Berkeley, Vallejo, and as far as Suisun. Students from Ford, Albany Middle School, Marin Elementary, Wagner Ranch, St. Cornelius and Valley View Elementary Schools participated in the tournament. There was also a group of chess players from Richmond and San Pablo Senior Centers.

The tournament was really diverse in every demographic: age, race, sex, rated/non-rated chess players. The age range was 6 to 79 years old, and there were several young girls playing in the tournament. The first board had an average chess rating over 1900, which is A-level of playing strengths by United States Chess Federation standards.
We, West Coast Chess Alliance, are truly honored to be part of this chess event; it was a first-class chess tournament. The chess sets were set up on the tables; when player arrived, we served coffee for Cathoula Coffee and light refreshments, catered by CCC Culinary Department.

The City of Richmond has generated a lot of good will in the chess community. I overheard participants saying “wow” when they came into the tournament hall. The main feedback I received from chess players and parents was “when will there be another tournament in Richmond”.

As lead tournament Director, I want to thank the city of Richmond, the Parks and Recreation Department, Contra Costa College and West Coast Chess Alliance tournament directing team (Will Delaney and Gerl Jenkins). I would also like to acknowledge Jerry Anderson and Johann Frazier for their input. I want to give a special thanks to Troy Porter, for his creative ideas that really increased the production and promotional valve of the tournament. Also Eric Yee, for the photos and videotaping the events; this documentation will be valuable for future tournaments.

Trendell (TC) Ball
Community Outreach Coordinator
West Coast Chess Alliance

A selection of photos from this event can be found at

4) California Chess Reporter Reprinted

All issues of the California Chess Reporter from 1951 to 1971 have been reprinted by Ishi Press.

Thanks to Kerry Lawless, who spent years collecting these back issues, and then assembling them into bound volumes, it has been possible to reprint these issues:

You can now buy or order these volumes at almost any bookstore, and especially at Barnes & Noble or you can purchase them on Amazon by their ISBN numbers.

The numbers are

California Chess Reporter 1951-1953    ISBN 4-87187-550-4
California Chess Reporter 1953-1955    ISBN 4-87187-551-2
California Chess Reporter 1955-1958    ISBN 4-87187-552-0
California Chess Reporter 1958-1961    ISBN 4-87187-553-9
California Chess Reporter 1961-1964    ISBN 4-87187-554-7
California Chess Reporter 1964-1967    ISBN 4-87187-555-5
California Chess Reporter 1967-1971    ISBN 4-87187-556-3

You can order them from Barnes and Noble bookstores from the following links:

You may also order them from Amazon. You will find especially interesting the “Look Inside” feature that Amazon provides with a summary of much of the contents of the publication:

5) Here and There

The 22nd North American Open took place in Las Vegas between the 26th and the 30th of December 2012. Grandmaster Timur Gareev had a fantastic tournament, scoring 8 points in 9 games and earning nearly $10,000.

Mechanics’ Member Yian Liou had an outstanding tournament. The 15-year-old made his second IM norm in 2012 and raised his USCF rating to 2469. His score of 6½ from 9 included a win against IM Yankovsky, and draws with GMs Shabalov, Lenderman and Gurevich and IM Krush.

Final standings:

1. GM Gareev (2660)—8/9,
2. FM Bryant (2416)—7/9,
3-6. GMs Li Chao (2670), Shankland (2595), Ramirez (2554) and IM Amanov (2359)—6½/9,
7-12. GMs Kacheishvili (2602), Erenburg (2637), Chibukhchian (2448), D. Gurevich (2485) and Friedel (2494), FM Liou—6/9

FIDE January 2013 rating list.

1. Carlsen NOR 2861
2. Kramnik RUS 2810
3. Aronian ARM 2802
4. Radjabov AZE 2793
5. Caruana ITA 2781
6. Karjakin RUS 2780
7. Anand IND 2772
8. Topalov BUL 2771
9. Nakamura USA 2769
10. Mamedyarov AZE 2766

6) Upcoming Events

Northern California

Jan. 17-21, 18-21, 19-21 or 20-21   4th annual Golden State Open

Trophies Plus Grand Prix Points: 150 (Enhanced)

Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord, CA 94520 (free BART shuttle). OPEN SECTION: 9SS, Jan 17-21 only, 40/90, SD/30, inc/30; GM & IM norms may be possible. U2200, U1900, U1600, U1300 SECTIONS: 7SS, Jan 18-21, 19-21 or 20-21, 40/2, SD/1, d5 (3-day option, rds. 1-2 G/75, d5, 2-day option, rds. 1-4 G/40, d5). U1000 SECTION: 7SS, Jan 20-21 only, G/40, d5. $25,000 prize fund unconditionally guaranteed. In 6 sections. Open, open to all. $3000-1500-1000-600-500-400, clear or tiebreak winner $100, top FIDE U2400/Unr $1000-500. FIDE. Under 2200: $1500-1000-500-400-300, top U2000 $600-300. Under 1900: $1500-1000-500-400-300, top U1700 $500-250. Under 1600: $1200-700-400-300-300, top U1400 $500-250. Under 1300: $1000-600-400-300-200, top U1100 $400-200. Under 1000: $300-200-100, trophies to first 3, top U800, U600, Unr. Unrated (0-3 lifetime games rated) may enter any section, with maximum prize U1000 $150, U1300 $400, U1600 $600, U1900 $800, Open EF: GMs, IMs & WGMs free; $150 deducted from prize. $700 minimum prize to first 5 foreign GMs to enter if playing all 9 games; entry fee deduction will not reduce prize to below $700. Free entries who enter in advance must confirm entry on 1/17 in person at hotel by 6:30 pm Jan 17. Foreign FIDE rated players: $65 online by 1/14 or mailed by 1/3, $80 at site; $100 deducted from prize. US players rated 2100/over by FIDE: $165 online by 1/14 or mailed by 1/9, $180 at site. Others: $235 online by 1/14 or mailed by 1/9, $250 at site. U2200 through U1300 sections EF: All $133 online by 1/14, 4-day $134, 3-day $133, 2-day $132 mailed by 1/9, $150 at site. U1000 Section EF: $53 online by 1/14 or mailed by 1/9, $70 at site. All: Online late entry accepted until 2 hours before your first game; same fee as at site. Phone EF ($5 more than online EF) accepted through 1/14 (406-896-2038, entry only, no questions). Special 1 yr USCF dues with paper magazine if paid with entry. Online at, Adult $30, Young Adult $20, Scholastic $15. Mailed, phoned or paid at site, Adult $40, Young Adult $30, Scholastic $20. Re-entry (except Open) $60. Online or mailed EF $5 less to CalChess members. 5-day Open schedule: Late reg. ends Thu 6 pm, rds. Thu 7 pm, Fri 12 & 7, Sat 11 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. 4-day schedule: Late reg. ends Fri 6 pm, rds. Fri 7 pm, Sat 11 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. 3-day schedule: Late reg. ends Sat 10 am, rds Sat 11, 2:30 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. 2-day schedule: Late reg. ends Sun 9:30 am, rds Sun 10 am, 12 noon, 2 pm, 3:45 pm & 6 pm, Mon 10 am & 4:30 pm. Under 1000 schedule: Late reg. ends Sun 9:30 am, rds Sun 10, 12, 2 & 3:45, Mon 10, 12 & 2. Byes: OK all, limit 2; Open must commit before rd 2, others before rd 4. Unofficial ratings usually used if otherwise unrated. FIDE ratings used in Open Section. Foreign player ratings in U2200/below sections: See HR: $89-89, 877-276-4600, 925-825-7700, reserve by 1/3 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633. Ent: Continental Chess, c/o Goichberg, Box 661776, Arcadia, CA 91066 (, DirectorAtChess.US). $15 service charge for refunds. Advance entries posted at Bring set, board, clock if possible; none supplied.

Southern California

Century West Open (January 11-13, 2013)
A Renewed Southern California Chess Federation Event

FIDE Rated
5SS, 40/2, SD/1, d/5 (2-day option, rds 1-2 G/75, d/5). 
Site: Radisson LAX, 6225 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045
Prizes: $$10,000 b/165, 80% of each prize guaranteed! 5 sections.
Open: $$1700-750-400-300-200, U2400 400, U2200 700-300-200. 
Premier (under 2000): $$750-300-200-100. 
Amateur (Under 1800): $$750-300- 200-100. 
Reserve (Under 1600): $$750-300-200-100. 
Booster (Under 1400/unrated): $$400-200-100, U1200 150, Unr 150. (Unrated may win Unrated prizes only.) 
3-day schedule: Reg ends Fri 6 pm, rds. Fri 7 pm, Sat 11 & 6, Sun 10 & 4:15. 
2-day schedule: Reg ends Sat 10 am, rds. Sat 11, 2:30 & 6, Sun 10 & 4:15. 
Info: [email protected]. Web site, On-line entry:  Ent: Metropolitan Chess, PO Box 25112, Los Angeles, CA 90025-0112. 

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