Chess Room Newsletter #614 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #614

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #614

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #614
February 6, 2013

Yes, I knew exactly. In the first place, of course, it is opening preparation. I know that many of the top players have huge computer databases, and extensive “forests” of variations, in which there is no weak spot. I also have my own forest, but it would be an exaggeration to describe it as having no weaknesses. It is probably not even worthy of my current rating, let alone a rating of around 2800.

In other respects, though, with the possible exception of technique, I don’t feel that the top players significantly outstrip me. In recent times, I have played several games against elite players, and they have not surprised me in any great way. Somewhere inside I think I already understand that I can fight with absolutely anyone.

—Russian Champion Dmitry Andreikin, in answer to the question
of what separates him from the top ten players in the world.
From an interview at WhyChess:

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

IM Ricardo DeGuzman won the 13th Annual Henry Gross Memorial G/45 tournament last Saturday in convincing fashion by scoring 5-0. Tied for second at 4-1 in the 56-player event were NMs Romy Fuentes and Paul Gallegos and young Experts Siddarth Banik, Tanuj Vasudeva and Rayan Taghizadeh. German FM Hennig Silber, a graduate student at Stanford, was among those of 3.5 points.

Congratulations to Rayan Taghizadeh, who crossed over 2000 after a year stuck between 1970 and 1995, and Johanna Flashman, who picked up 150 points for her 2.5-2.5 score attained against five higher-rated players.

The next Mechanics’ weekend events are the A. J. Fink Amateur (open to players under 2000) March 9-10, and the Max Wilkerson Memorial G/45 on March 23.

Romy Fuentes defeated fellow Master Russell Wong, and Berkeley Expert Farid Watson upset Oleg Shakhnazarov to join FM Andy Lee (who took a bye) in the lead with 4.5 from 5, with three rounds remaining in the 85-player event.

Top seed IM Elliott Winslow came close to being upset for the second time in the event, but utilized all his chances and more in a R+P endgame to beat Uyanga Byambaa, who played the first part of the game very well.

Sicilian Najdorf B87
Uyanga Byamba (2094) - Elliott Winslow (2319)
Mechanics’ Winter TNM (5) 2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.Bg5 Be7 9.Qf3 Qd7 10.0–0–0 Bb7 11.Qh3 b4 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Na4 Bxd4 14.Rxd4 Nc6 15.Rd2 Qc7 16.Qg3 0–0–0 17.Rhd1 Ne5 18.f4 Nc6 19.Qe3 Kb8 20.Nb6 Na5 21.Kb1 Bxe4 22.Nd7+ Rxd7 23.Qxe4 Nc6 24.Ba4 d5 25.Qe3 Rc8 26.f5 Re7 27.Qc5 Qa7 28.Qd6+ Qc7 29.Qc5 Ne5 30.Qxb4+ Ka8 31.Re2 exf5 32.Rxd5 f6 33.Rd6 Qc4? 34.Bc6+! Qxc6 35.Rxc6 Nxc6 36.Qxe7?

36.Qc4 was a much easier win.

36...Nxe7 37.Rxe7 Rg8 38.c4 h5 39.Kc2 f4 40.b4 h4 41.h3 g5 42.Rf7 g4 43.Rxf6??

43.hxg4 Rxg4 44.Rxf6 Rxg2+ 45.Kd3 and White plays for only two results, but Black holds with best play.(45.Kb3? f3)

43...f3! 44.gxf3 g3 45.Rxa6+ Kb7 46.Re6 g2 47.Re1 g1Q 48.Rxg1 Rxg1 49.Kd3 Rg3 50.Ke2 Rxh3 51.Kf2 Rg3 0–1

Black won on time.

There were many upsets last night including the following pretty miniature.

Jerry Simpkins (1339) – Julian Standen (1649)
Mechanics’ Winter TNM (5) 2013

1.e4 c6 2.e5 d5 3.f4 e6 4.d4 c5 5.c3 Nc6 6.Nf3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Bb4+ 8.Nc3 Nge7 9.Bd3 0–0 10.Bxh7+!?

This is an unusual version of the classic Greek sacrifice, in that with best play it is neither unsound nor a knockout blow.

10...Kxh7 11.Ng5+ Kg6

The correct decision, as 11...Kg8 is met by 12.Qh5 Re8 13.f5 Nxf5 14.Qxf7+ Kh8 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.0–0 Qd7 17.Nxd5 exd5 18.Qh7+ Kf8 19.e6 Rxe6 20.Rxf5+ with a decisive attack.

12.Qg4 f5 13.Qg3 Kh6??

This loses on the spot. Black had to try 13...Qe8, when 14.Nxe6+ Kf7 15.Nxf8 Qxf8 16.Be3 produces a position where White has a rook and two pawns, but Black’s pair of minor pieces have the potential to become active.

14.Qh4+ Kg6 15.Qh7# 1–0

MI Wednesday Night Blitz Results

January 23rd

1st - Jules Jelinek
2nd - Merim Mesic
3rd - Joe Urquhart 

January 30th

1st - Ross Tsodikov
2nd - Jules Jelinek
3rd - Felix Rudiyak

Jules Jelinek, Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator, writes:

Please spread the word. During the months of February and March, non-members will be allowed to play in the Wednesday Night Blitz Tournament. Non-members will have to pay $2 extra, which will go to Mechanics Institute. The entry fee for members, at the same time, will be lowered to $7 (w/clock) / $8 (without clock) from its current $10 / $11 level.

News from the Past

At the newly-formed Chess, Checker and Whist Club in San Francisco the Hungarian Boris Kostic recently engaged in two games with Solomon Rubinstein, formerly of this city and now the manager of the San Francisco club. The score of the first game is appended.

It seems likely that Solomon Rubinstein is the same chess player who participated in New York 1913 and died in Los Angeles in 1931.

Two Knights C59
Solomon Rubinstein – Bora Kostic
San Francisco 1915

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Be2 h6 9.Nf3 e4 10.Ne5 Bd6 11.f4 Qc7

The modern way of handling this variation is to give Black’s bishops more air by 11...exf3 12.Nxf3 0–0 13.0–0 Qc7 or 13...c5.

12.d4 0–0 13.0–0 c5 14.c3 Rb8 15.Kh1 Nc6 16.Nxc6 Qxc6 17.Nd2 Rd8 18.Nc4 cxd4 19.cxd4 Bc7 20.Ne5 Qb6 21.Bc4 Be6 22.Bxe6 Qxe6 23.Qe2 Rxd4 24.Be3 Rdb4 25.b3 a5 26.Nc4 a4 27.f5 Qa6 28.Bd4 Qc6 29.Bxf6 Qxf6 30.Qxe4 axb3 31.axb3 Rxb3 32.Ra8

32.Ra7 was more active.

32...Rxa8 33.Qxa8+ Kh7 34.Qe4 Rb4 35.Qd3??

35.Rc1 leaves Black with only a very small advantage.

35...Qh4 0–1

New York Tribune, September 15, 1920, page 11.

Mechanics’ member and French Winawer enthusiast Sean Coffey has just started a free online newsletter dedicated to his favorite defense.

It’s on line at

2) US Wins 2013 Pan American Team Championship

The United States, playing in its first-ever Pan American Team Championship, emerged triumphant. Minus Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky, who had prior contractual commitments, the U.S. was seeded second, behind a Cuban team led by 2700-players Dominguez and Bruzon, but used superior depth to qualify for the 2013 World Team Championship to be held in Turkey later this year.

The US team, in board order, was Alex Onischuk, Varuzhan Akobian, Ray Robson, Alex Lenderman and Sam Shankland.

Final standings for the double-round-robin event, held in Campinas, Brazil from January 24-30

1. USA - 10 (16½), 2. Cuba - 7 (15½), 3.Brazil - 6 (11½), 4. Uruguay - 1 (4½)

Boards gold medals:

1st Board: Dominguez (Cuba) 4/6
2nd Board: Bruzon (Cuba) 4½/6
3rd Board: Quesada (Cuba) 4/6
4th Board: Lenderman (USA) 4/5
Reserve: Shankland (USA) 3½/4

Orinda GM Sam Shankland was the top performer in the event, with a 3.5 from 4 score for a performance rating of 2819. This was Sam’s first time playing for the national team, and in his very first game he beat Cuban GM Ortiz (2595) in a game which won the match for the United States. Yasser Seirawan, who qualified to play on the team but graciously, declined his invitation to give younger players a chance, can be pleased that Sam made the most of his opportunity.

Tony Rich was the head of delegation for the US, with Yury Shulman coach and John Donaldson the captain.

3) Here and There

Marcel Sisniega 1959 - 2013

Grandmaster Marcel Sisniega, who taught at the Berkeley Chess School just a few years ago, died of a heart attack on January 19, 2013 in Mexico.

Sisniega, who came up in the 1970s, was the first top-rate player Mexico had produced since Carlos Torre, and represented his country at six Chess Olympiads (four times on first board and twice on second board). He stopped playing in the early 1990s and became a well-known film maker in Mexico.

Gabriel Velasco wrote a nice book on him entitled Masterpieces Of Attack: The Brilliant Games Of GM Marcel Sisniega Campbell.

Magnus Carlsen tops the February FIDE rating list with a new record of 2872.

Here is the top 10.

1. Carlsen - 2872
2. Kramnik - 2810
3. Aronian - 2809
4. Radjabov - 2793
5. Karjakin - 2786
6. Anand - 2780
7. Topalov - 2771
8. Nakamura - 2767
9. Mamedyarov - 2766
10. Grischuk - 2764

4) Chess in Richmond? by T.C. Ball

Yes, the Royal Game of Chess is alive and well in Richmond!

Join us for an exciting and relaxing evening of chess. Everyone is invited; bring the whole family, young and the young at heart. Every Friday night, beginning February 1, 2013, from 6:00 to 8:30 PM, at Recreation Department, 3230 Macdonald Avenue, Richmond. Start a chess tradition with your family this year. Free chess instruction available.

Casual, rated and speed games; chess sets and clocks provided.

Studies show that “Chess Makes Kids Smart” and help keep the “Mind Young”. It’s time to get your game on!

Family Chess Night is sponsored by the city of Richmond’s Recreation Department and the West Coast Chess Alliance.

The next move is yours!

See you there,

TC Ball, aka “The Black Knight”
West Coast Chess Alliance

5) Dates, Format Set for 2013 U.S. Championships in Saint Louis

SAINT LOUIS, January 22, 2013 -- 2013 will mark five years of checkmates and championships in Saint Louis.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) will host the 2013 U.S. Championship and 2013 U.S. Women’s Championship simultaneously May 2 through May 13. This marks the fifth consecutive year that each of these prestigious events will be held in Saint Louis.

In honor of the five-year anniversary, the 2013 U.S. Championship will feature a 24-player Swiss, the same format that was featured the first time the CCSCSL hosted a national championship in 2009. This year’s event will feature a guaranteed prize fund of more than $180,000.

Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL, said the club is honored to once again host these national championship events.

In addition to promoting the many educational benefits of chess, we also strive to raise the prominence of the game at the highest levels by hosting top-level events like the U.S. Championships, Rich said. We are working to ensure that this year’s installment is the best yet.

In addition, the CCSCSL will sponsor the $64K Fischer Prize, to be awarded to anyone that scores a perfect 9-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer’s result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship. Invitations for the 2013 U.S. Championship are as follows:

  • (1) 2012 U.S. Champion: GM Hikaru Nakamura
  • (1) 2012 U.S. Open Champion: FM John Bryant
  • (1) 2012 U.S. Junior Closed Champion: IM Marc Arnold
  • (1) 2012 U.S. Senior Open Champion: GM Alexander Ivanov
  • (15) The 15 remaining highest-rated players according to the March supplement: TBD
  • (5) Five wildcard invitations: TBD

The 2012 U.S. Women’s Championship will feature 10 players and a guaranteed prize fund of $65,000. Invitations for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Championship are as follows:

  • (1) 2012 U.S. Women’s Champion: IM Irina Krush
  • (7) The seven remaining highest-rated players according to the March supplement: TBD
  • (2) Two wildcard invitations: TBD

The U.S. Junior Closed Championship also will be held in Saint Louis once again June 13-23. This marks the fourth consecutive year the CCSCSL has hosted this prestigious event.

Check for the latest updates, info about past U.S. Championships

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