Chess Room Newsletter #619 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #619

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #619
March 13, 2013

He is by far the best technician of any chess player. Once he gets a small advantage, he seems to hold it. Strategically, his play may not be as good as some of the other leading players, but somehow, there are always chances for him to do something. He is always alert to every opportunity to shift the game in his favor and doesn’t get off on the wrong track very often.

—Duncan Suttles, giving his opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of the late World Champion
in the University of British Columbia alumni magazine in the Autumn of 1972.

The Spring Tuesday Night Marathon starts next Tuesday, March 19.
GM Jesse Kraai will give a special guest lecture starting at 5:15 pm.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club

Michael Lum
was the winner of the 13th Annual A.J. Fink Amateur Open held the weekend of March 9th and 10th with a score of 6-0. This rating restricted event, open only to players below Expert ranking, set an attendance record with 65 competitors. You can find a crosstable and list of winners at Standings

Jules Jelinek, Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator, writes:

It is time for the weekly blitz tournament starts at Mechanics Institute Chess Club. As always, the last entry is accepted at 6:40 pm, with sign-up beginning at 6:20 pm. Entry is $7 with clock; $8 without clock. Non-member entry is $9 with clock; $10 without clock. Prizes are 50%, 30%, 20% of base entry fees ($7 per player) collected. Time control preferably is 3 minute, increment 2 seconds; otherwise 5 minutes, no increment.
Last week we had 8 players in the Blitz. The winners were:
1st - Jules Jelinek 12 pts
2nd - Carlos D’Avila 11
3rd/4th tie - Arnold Hua
and IM Elliott Winslow 8

GM Jesse Kraai will be the special guest lecturer for the opening round of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon next Tuesday, March 19. The next GM guest lecturer will be Ian Rogers on June 4.

The M.I. Chess Club now offers classes on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday , along with evening lectures when the Tuesday Night Marathon is in session. Three summer camps in June-July round out a full program of activities. For more information please go to

The Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club recently got two nice write-ups.
The first was for hosting the US Chess School:

The second was at IM Jeremy Silman’s site, where he wrote about his lecture at the MICC.

The House of Staunton offers a commemorative set patterned after the traditional Mechanics’ Institute design. The sets are offered in four versions, depending on one’s taste in the type of wood used. The MICC receives 10 percent of the proceeds. Go to for more information.

2) A Chess Poem from Dennis Fritzinger

the murk

swimming in a sea of darkness,
you and your opponent.
the position’s murky,
and yet you have to move.
later, questioning
why “such-and-such” a move
was made,
give your opponent
some credit—
he probably had
good reason
for making it,
so don’t discount it
look deeper.
diving into the murk,
don’t forget to bring
your diving helmet,
and a strong headlight!

3) Women’s World Team Championship

This recently concluded event, held in Astana, Kazakhstan, followed the form charts, as the three top-seeded teams won the medals. The United States, seeded fifth, had a mixed result: mostly disappointing, but with some bright spots.

Focusing on the positive, the US squad beat a weakened (no Kosintseva sisters), but still formidable, Russian team 2.5-1.5 in the seventh round of the event, with Irina Krush defeating former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. The very next day Krush made it 2 for 2 as she defeated the reigning champ Anna Ushenina, but the US narrowly lost to Ukraine 2.5-1.5. Krush, who won the prize for the top score on board 2, finished with 7 from 9 for a performance rating of 2602—only missing a GM norm because she met one short of the required 3 GMs.

Unfortunately Krush was the only US player in form, and she very nearly outscored the rest of team, which collectively scored 8.5 from 27. The team played much better the second half of tournament, scoring 50 percent the last four rounds, but it was too late to recover from early 3.5-.5 losses to China and Georgia.

1. Ukraine - 16 (24½)
2. China - 15 (25½)
3. Russia - 13 (24)
4. Georgia - 12 (21½)
5. India - 9 (18)
6. USA - 8 (15½)
7. Kazakhstan - 6 (15½)
8. Romania - 6 (14½)
9. France - 4 (12)
10. Turkey - 1 (9)

4) Here and There

Lovers of hard-to-find chess literature are in for a treat this weekend, as GM Alex Baburin hosts another of his famous chess auctions. He writes:

Dear chess collector,
Please note that our next auction will start this Thursday and finish next Saturday (16 March). As usual, there will be many interesting items on sale. Lots will be posted soon. For 2-3 days you can still see how bidding went in our auction No 38 (31 Jan - 2 Feb 2013). You can download its catalogue here:
Word -

Chess has been portrayed many times in movies and on television. Everyone has their favorite (Max Van Sydow playing the Grim Reaper in The Seventh Seal!?) and for IM Jeremy Silman that is the scene in the TV LEXX. You can find a review of it by Vance Aandahl at

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