Chess Room Newsletter #613 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #613

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #613
January 16, 2013

I need someone who can find ideas. I can do this myself, but I have noticed that after several hours working with the computer, looking at games and analyzing with an engine, my head starts to work less well... You don’t absorb the positions. When you have an assistant who can show some promising ideas, which can then be fine-tuned, things go much quicker.

—Russian Champion Dmitry Andreikin, in answer to the question of what type of second he needs: a strong grandmaster-theoretician, or just a hard worker.
From an interview at WhyChess -

The Newsletter will take a break with this issue, resuming February 6.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Winter Tuesday Tuesday Night Marathon, with 80 participants, is near the all-time attendance record of 86. This event has been held since the early 1970s.
Eleven players have perfect scores after two rounds, led by FIDE Master Andy Lee and National Master Russell Wong. It is still possible to enter the eight-round event with half-point byes for the first two rounds.

Todd Rumph sends in annotations to one of his games from the last marathon.

Two Knights’ C56
Romy Fuentes (2217) – Todd Rumph(2188)
Mechanics’ Fall TNM (5) 2012

Annotations by Todd Rumph

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6

Another move order to get to this Two Knights’ position is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4.


Other common moves are 5.0–0 and 5.Ng5?!. 5.e5 is the modern treatment of the 4.d4 Two Knights'. Sveshnikov has played the white side occasionally.


This response to e5 makes the most sense, but both 5...Ne4 and 5...Ng4 are playable.

6.Bb5 Ne4 7.Nxd4 Bd7

7...Bc5 is fun, but often transposes to the variation seen in the game. Black has to be ready to invest a couple of pieces after 8.Nxc6 Bxf2+ 9.Kf1 Qh4 10.Nd4+ c6 11.Nf3 Ng3+! 12.Kxf2 Ne4+ 13.Ke3 Qf2+ 14.Kd3 Bf5, king hunting!

8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.0–0

White has two dangerous plans in this position: 1. f3 and f4 to set a kingside pawn storm in motion. Black can perish quickly; 2. Grab control of the dark squares on Black’s queenside with moves like Be3, Nbd2, and N2b3. This can quickly lead to a positional crush. Black needs to play aggressively: either advance the queenside pawns (without dropping, say, the d-pawn!), attack the white pawn wedge with f6 (without allowing e6 and f5), or both.

9...Bc5 10.f3

10.Be3 is the “book” move.

10...Ng5 11.f4

I found myself wondering why 10.Be3 was book, so....

11...Bg4!? 12.Qd3?

The only try for an advantage was 12.Qxg4 Bxd4+ 13.Kh1 Ne4 (13...Ne6? 14.f5 winning) 14.Qxg7 I wasn’t sure whether to venture 14...Qh4!? or 14...Rf8, followed by ...Qe7 and ...0–0–0.

12...Bf5! 13.Qe3

13.Qxf5? Bxd4+ 14.Kh1 Ne4, and the white queen is just in the way.


Black is slightly better: he has successfully blockaded White’s kingside pawns and the white queen is clumsy at e3.

14.c3 0–0 15.Nd2 Qe7?!

A lost tempo. 15...Bb6 or 15...Qd7 were better.

16.Kh1 Qd7 17.Nxe4 Bxe4 18.Qg3 Bxd4!

The start of a dangerous plan: Black will create an attack based on the strong bishop on e4 and the white king way over on h1. Black’s rooks will get to the kingside via e8 and e6. White has to find a few good defensive moves in a row to survive.

19.cxd4 f5

What a bishop!


White can’t possibly play 20.exf6? Rxf6 and survive.


I thought about 20...c5, but didn’t want White to get d4 for his bishop. In addition, White would be one pawn push away from activating the bishop along the a1–h8 diagonal.

21.Rf2 Re6 22.Ba3 Qd8

To prevent Qh4 and Qe7 (after Black’s anticipated ...Rg6).

23.Rc1 Rg6 24.Qe3 Qh4 25.Rc3 Re8 26.Bc5?

The bishop doesn’t do much here. White should have started running his king to the queenside with 26.Kg1.


Surprisingly, Black is just winning here.

27.Kg1 Rg4?

Missing the win! Crushing was: 27...Bxg2! 28.Rxg2 Rxg2+ 29.Kxg2 Rg6+ 30.Kf1 (30.Kh1 Qg4! with mate or massive material loss.) 30...Qxh2 and White will lose material trying to stop Rg2 followed by Qh1 mate.

28.h3! Rh6 29.Kf1

29.hxg4?? Qh1 mate


Not really the right punctuation - maybe @?#*$! is correct. This rook sac is unsound but works in all but one variation...

30.hxg4 Qxg4

30...Qh1+? 31.Ke2 Qb1 32.Rc1! Qxa2+ 33.Qd2 Qa6+ 34.Ke3 wasn’t at all convincing - White’s winning.


Another plausible candidate, 31.Kg1 , fails to 31...Qh5! 32.Qh3 (It’s too late to go back with 32.Kf1? Qd1+ 33.Qe1 Rh1 mate) 32...Qd1+ 33.Rf1 Rxh3 34.Rxd1 Rxc3 35.Rd2 g4! and Black has all the winning chances.; 31.Ke1! is the only winning move: 31...Rh1+ 32.Rf1 Qxg2 33.Rxh1 Qxh1+ 34.Kd2 g4 leaves Black wondering where his compensation went.

31...Rh1+ 32.Kf2 Qh4+ 33.Rg3 Kf7!

33...Kh8? 34.Be7! is embarrassing.


The computer suggests a ridiculously non-obvious defense: 34.Be7!! Kxe7 (34...Rd1 35.Rc1! gxf4 36.Bxh4 fxe3+ 37.Kxe3 Rxc1 38.Bf6 gives White easily enough activity to draw.) 35.Rxc6 gxf4 36.Rxc7+ Kd8 37.Rc8+! Kxc8 38.Qc3+ Kd7 39.e6+! drawing.

34...f4 35.Qxf4+

35...Qxf4+ 36.Rcf3 Bxf3 37.Rxf3 Qxf3+ 38.gxf3!

My opponent defends well in a technically losing position.

38...Rh2+ 39.Kg3 Rxa2 40.f4?

Losing quickly. FM Andy Lee, playing at the next board, suggested after the game that White could try to hold this by keeping the pawn at f3 and moving the king between f4 and g4. If Black plays the rook to the g-file, then move the bishop to protect the g-pawn. But.. .. 40.Kf4 Kg6! 41.b4 (preventing ...a5 followed by ...Rb2) 41...Rg2 42.Be7 c5!! Fantastic -- now White only gets to decide which Black pawn will queen: 43.dxc5 (43.bxc5 a5 and the a-pawn is running.; 43.Bxc5 Rxg5 44.Be7 Rg2 and the h-pawn is running.) 43...Re2! and the d-pawn is running. I’m not sure I would have found this breakthrough with 7 minutes on my clock!

40...Ke6 41.Kg4 Rg2+ 42.Kf3 Rg1 43.Bxa7

This pawn doesn’t matter.

43...Kf5 44.Bb8 Rg4 45.Bxc7

Nor does this one.

45...Rxf4+ 46.Ke3 Re4+

46...Re4+ 47.Kd3 Kxg5 and the black h-pawn matters!


International Master Ricardo DeGuzman won the 13th Bob Burger Open last weekend with a score of 4.5 from 5. De Guzman has won many one-day G/45 events at the Mechanics’, but rarely had to come from behind. That was the case in the 54-player Burger, as he was nicked for a draw by Canadian Expert Jamieson Pryor in round 3 and entered the last round trailing German Fide Master Hennig Silber by half a point.

Here is the deciding game of the event:

Queen Pawn D02
Ricardo  DeGuzman - Hennig Silber
13th Bob Burger G/45 (5), 2013

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 c5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.h4 h6 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.e3 Nf6 8.Nbd2 Bd7 9.Ne5 Nc6 10.f4 h5 11.Be2 Nxe5 12.fxe5 Ne4 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.g3 g6 15.Qb3 0–0–0 16.Qa3 Bc6 17.Qxa7 cxd4 18.cxd4 f6??

18...Qb4+ 19.Kf2 f6 was the right move order.

19.0–0 fxe5 20.Rac1! Kd7 21.Rxc6! 1–0

1. DeGuzman 4.5/5 2-7. H. Silber, A. Beilin, K. Morrison, P. Mihelich, A. Ivanov, A. Hua 4.

Jules Jelinek sends in the top finishers in last week’s Wednesday Night Blitz:
1st - Jules Jelinek
2nd - William Gray 

3rd - Joe Urquhart & Merim Mesic

The Mechanics’ hosted the US Chess School in early January, and besides organizer and chief instructor International Master Gregory Shahade, the session featured lectures by Grandmasters Sam Shankland and Jesse Kraai, as well as International Master David Pruess. Among the chess royalty who dropped by the club during the five-day event were Grandmasters Georg Meier of Germany and Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway. Last night the club was visited by International Master Mark Ginsburg, who was a regular at the M.I. when he and Grandmaster Ilya Gurevich lived in San Francisco around ten years ago.

Rusty Miller of Vancouver, Washington, passes along the following article which appeared in the January 16, 1893 edition of the Idaho Statesman published in Boise.

Living Chessmen in Frisco

Living chess is the novelty that is stirring up San Francisco people at present. The games were planned by Dr. R. McNeil, of tug-of-war fame, whose latest enterprise is a national candle contest and baby show. Thirty-two pretty girls, handsomely costumed represent the pieces, and the game is played on a chessboard fifty feet square. The games are conducted by prominent players of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club, with a solid silver cup representing the chess championship of San Francisco as the trophy to be won.

2) The First Female Chess Star in Florida

Who was the first female ches star in Florida? Most chessplayers today would immediately guess Alexandria Kosteniuk, the former Womens World Champion, who lives in Florida while continuing to represent her native Russia, but they would be wrong. The first chess Amazon to call the Sunshine State home was Mary Bain (1904-1972), a two-time winner of the US Women’s Championship—sharing the crown in 1939, and winning outright in 1951.

Bain, who was born in Hungary (in an area that later became part of Czechoslovakia), was a late-comer to the game, only starting to play when she was 15. She came to the United States when she was 17 and her chess career soon took off, as much a promoter of the game as a player.

3) Chess Columns in San Francisco, by H. J. Ralston

The late H. J. Ralston (1906-1993) was a pioneer in researching the development of chess in San Francisco, and his work provided the background for Guthrie McClain’s definitive “Chess in the San Francisco Bay Area”, published in Chess Life (July 1981, pages 28-32). The following material, found in Ralston’s notes, supplements this article. We are again indebted to the Ralston family for their generosity in sharing this material.

The first regular chess column I (Ralston) have come across appeared in the San Francisco Argonaut January 5, 1884, edited by J. Fennimore Welsh, who was very active in S.F. chess circles. It was a very good column, but like so many, did not survive very long. J. E. Tippett of S.F. succeeded Welsh as editor; in the issue of March 6, 1886, the editor regretfully announced that the column was being discontinued because Tippett was leaving S.F. for Boston. It was during this period (July 1884) that the famous master J. H. Zukertort visited San Francisco and astonished the natives with his blindfold play.

There was a very good column in the S. F. Bulletin during 1916, but it also survived only about a year. The editor was not named in the issues I have consulted. but I believe it was J. O. Chilton, well-known at the Mechanics’s Institute.

As mentioned earlier, Stasch Mlotkowski of Los Angeles was an important source of chess news during the years 1916-1925. He conducted a column in several different papers and club bulletins, chief of these being in the L.A. Examiner, which he finally turned over to Harry Borochow in 1921. Mlot sent many items to the British Chess Magazine during the same period, which I have been able to use.

For much of the period 1920-1930, the column by E.J. Clarke in the S.F. Chronicle is a rich source of information, including news from the South as well as the North. A. J. Fink was the problem editor.

This material can be supplemented by that appearing in Ken Whyld’s Chess Columns (Olomouc 2002) which lists the following columns for San Francisco. Whyld cautions in his introduction that his list is a work in progress and should be treated as such and some of his information has been updated here.

Argonaut (1884-1886) - Welsh and Tippett; (1952-1953) - H. J. Ralston
California Spirit of the Times
Golden Era
San Francisco Call (1913-1917) - Clarke and Fink
San Francisco Chronicle (1921 to roughly 1930) - Clarke; (1948-2000) - Koltanowski; Lyman (2000 to present)
San Francisco Journal (1903)
San Francisco News (1953-55)
- H.J. Ralston

4) Here and There

The well-received Chess! Lessons From a Grandmaster by Grandmaster Yury Shulman & Rishi Sethi, which has been reprinted several times, is now available for download on your iPad with iBooks or on your computer with iTunes.

Go to to!-lessons-from-grandmaster/id589939284?mt=11 to learn more.

Pan-American Team Championship will be held in Campinas, Brazil, from January 24-31. Competing in the double-round-robin event are top seed Cuba, led by 2700 GMs Dominguez and Bruzon, the United States (1.Onischuk, 2. Akobian, 3. Robson, 4. Lenderman, 5. Shankland), Brazil (led by Henrique Mecking, who is still rated over 2600 at age 60) and Uruguay. Yury Shulman is the U. S. team coach, John Donaldson the captain, and Tony Rich Head of Delegation. The winner of the event qualifies for the 2012 World Team Championship.

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