Chess Room Newsletter #624 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #624

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News #624
April 17, 2013

Robert Byrne was a pillar of US chess. In the middle of his career he switched from playing 1.d4 to 1.e4 which was tantamount to the driver of a Ford switching to a racing car. This, however, helped him to get closer to the top of the chess world.

—Anthony Saidy

Saidy was writing about his friend Robert Byrne (1928-2013), who died on April 12. Many remember Byrne’s best result, the 1973 Leningrad Interzonal, where he finished third behind Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Kortchnoi, but forget he was almost a two-time Candidate, as he finished half a point out of second at Biel in 1976.

A memorial service will be on Sat., April 20, at 1 pm at Dorsey Funeral Home, 15 M Wilton Place, Ossining, NY 10562. Attendees are welcome. RSVP to [email protected]. Also welcome are verbal messages that can be read out.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

International Master Ricardo De Guzman won the 13th Annual Imre Konig Memorial G/45, held this past Saturday. The former member of the Filipino Olympiad team scored 5-0 to top the 60-player field, which included seven players rated over 2200. Tying for second were NM Mike Arne (returning after a long absence from the tournament arena) and Experts Alan Beilin, Uyanga Byambaa, Tim Kokesh and Patrick Mihelich. The next MI G/45, the Charles Powell Memorial, will be held Saturday, May 4.

Oleg Shakhnazarov is the leader of the Spring Tuesday Marathon and the only remaining perfect score after 5 of the 8 rounds. His opponent in round 6 will be NM Romy Fuentes, who currently is in clear second with 4.5 points. There is a large group at 4, which includes IM Elliott Winslow, FM Andy Lee and NM Natalyia Tsodikova. The surprise of the 90-player field, which ties an all-time attendance record for this event (established in the last TNM), is Richard Newey.

A regular attendee of Mechanics’ Institute Grandmaster-in-Residence Nick de Firmian’s Thursday Night Class since its inception a year ago, Richard has been playing tournament chess since the 1970s and once was rated 1899, but it has been almost 15 years since he was last over 1800.

He started this year rated 1673 and is currently 1749, but that does not include his performance in the Spring TNM (3.5 out of 5, including a draw with a FM and two wins over Experts) or the current Berkeley Chess Club Marathon (2 from 3 with draws against two Experts and a win over an 1800). Richard’s performance rating over his last eight games is over 2200. We wish him well on his long-time goal of reaching an Expert rating.

Bay Area youngsters made a good showing in the SuperNationals held in Nashville, with congratulations going to Siddharth Banik (K-8), Rayan Taghizadeh (K-5) and Chinguun Bayaraa (K-1). Andrew Hong (K-3) scored 6.5/7, but was unlucky, as that was only good for 2nd place. All four youngsters have played in Mechanics’ events in the past, with Siddarth and Chinguun particularly active.

Hello everyone,

The annual Schutt Memorial Blitz tournament is scheduled for Sunday May 5. Entries accepted between 1 pm and 1:45 pm. $10 entry. 5-round double Swiss. TC 4 minutes + 2 second increment. Free to GMs and IMs. Prizes: $300-$200-$100-$75-$50-$25. Light refreshments will be served at the event.

Why not stop by tonight (Wednesday) to continue whipping your blitz skills into shape for this exciting event.

Every Wednesday evening is the time for the weekly round-robin blitz tournament at Mechanics Institute Chess Club. As always, the last entry is accepted at 6:40 pm, with sign-up beginning at 6:20 pm and games starting soon after. 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 minutes, increment 2 seconds; otherwise 5 minutes, no increment.

Last week we had 8 players in the Blitz. The winners were

1st - Carlos D’Avila - 12pts
2nd - Jules Jelinek - 9.5 pts
3rd/4th - James Jones - 7.5 pts

Look forward to seeing you tonight.

Jules Jelinek
Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator

2) Browne, Ivanov, Kudrin and Kaufman tie for first in Reno

The 2013 Larry Evans Memorial ended in a four-way tie for first at 5-1. The 6-section tournament held in Reno from March 29th to 31st attracted 171 players.

Six-time US Champion Walter Browne kindly annotates one of his games from the event. Walter, who won all four games he played in Reno (he took two half-point byes), will be playing in the Ray Schutt Blitz on May 5 at the Mechanics’ and will have copies of his memoir The Stress of Chess: My Life, Career and 101 Best Games for sale.

If you miss Walter at the MI you can catch him at the National Open this June where he will be playing in the G/10 Championship and book signing.

Ruy Lopez C84
Walter Browne (2517) – Ganbold Odondoo (2324)
Larry Evans Memorial (6), 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 b5 6.Bb3 Be7 7.d3 0–0 8.a4 Rb8 9.axb5 axb5 10.Nc3!? d6 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.Bxd5 Nb4 13.Bb3 c5 14.c3 Nc6

14...Nxd3!? 15.Qxd3 c4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Qxc4 Be6 and I’m sure Larry Evans would like White as I do, but according to Houdini it’s equal!

15.Bd5 Qc7 16.Be3 Be6?! 17.Qb3

17.b4!? cxb4 18.cxb4 Qd7 19.Qb3 Rfc8=

17...Bxd5 18.Qxd5

My original intention is likely best: 18.exd5! Na5 19.Qa2 Nb7 20.b4 with a small advantage.

18...Qb7 19.h3

19.g3 Ra8 20.Kg2 h6 21.b4 and White is a little better.


19...Ra8 20.Bg5 Rxa1 21.Rxa1 Bxg5 22.Nxg5 favors White.

20.Kh2 Nd8 21.b4! Qxd5

21...Nc6 22.Rfb1 with a minute edge.

22.exd5 cxb4 23.cxb4

With the a-line and the c6 square plus a vulnerable b-pawn I had high hopes!

23...f5 24.Ra7 Bf6 25.Rc1 Rf7

25...f4 26.Bd2 Nf7 27.g3! fxg3+ 28.Kxg3 Nh8 29.Rc6 and I have a small pull.

26.Ra6 Rfb7

26...Rd7 27.g4! e4 28.dxe4 fxe4 29.Nd4 Nf7 30.Nc6 Re8 31.Rb6 is clearly in White’s favor.


27.g4!? was an interesting alternative.

27...Nf7 28.Nd2


28...Ng5 29.Kg2

29.Rxd6? Be7 30.Ra6 Bxb4 gives too much counterplay.

29...Be7 30.Nb3 Nh7 31.Na5 Rd7 32.Nc6

A tempo!


32...Re8 33.Rb6 Bg5 34.Bxg5 hxg5 35.Rxb5 Nf6 36.Na5 f4 37.gxf4 (37.Rc6 fxg3 38.fxg3 e4 39.dxe4 Rxe4 40.Nc4 Rd4=) 37...gxf4 38.Rc6 and white has a clear advantage.

33.Ra8+ Kf7

33...Bf8 34.Nd8 Rbc7 35.Rc6 Re7 36.Ne6 with a lethal constriction that would put a boa to shame!; 33...Nf8 34.Na5 Rbc7 35.Rc6 is winning.

34.Na5 Rbc7 35.Rc6 Nf6 36.Bb6 Rb7 37.Nxb7 Rxb7 38.Bc7 Nxd5 39.Bxd6 Nxb4

39...Bxd6 40.Rxd6 Nxb4 41.Rdd8 Nc6 42.Rdc8 Nd4 43.Rf8+ Ke6 44.Rfe8+ Re7 45.Ra6+ Kf7 46.Rxe7+ Kxe7 47.Rb6 is clearly better for White.

40.Bxb4 Bxb4 41.Raa6

41.Rac8 Be7 (41...Ba5 42.Rc5+-) 42.R8c7 Rb8 43.Ra7 Kf8 44.Rcc7 Bf6 45.Rf7+ Ke8 46.Rfb7 wins.

41...Be7 42.Rab6 Rd7

42...Rxb6 43.Rxb6 b4 44.Kf3 is much better for White.

43.Rxb5 Bf6 44.Rb3 h5 45.Kf3 h4 46.g4 Kg6 47.Rc4 Ra7 48.gxf5+ Kxf5 49.Rb5 Ra3

49...Ra1 50.d4 Re1 51.dxe5 Rxe5 (51...Bxe5 52.Rxh4+-) 52.Rf4+ Ke6 53.Re4 wins.

50.Ke3 Kg6

50...Ke6 51.Rc6+ Kd7 52.Rbc5, winning.

51.Rg4+ Kh6 52.Ke4 Ra1 53.f4

After the exchange of pawns I’ll have an outside passed pawn.

53...Re1+ 54.Kf3 exf4

54...Rf1+ 55.Ke3 exf4+ 56.Rxf4 Bg5 57.Rxg5 Re1+ 58.Kf2 Kxg5 59.Rg4+ wins, but I needed to see this check many moves before.

55.Rxf4 Rg1 56.Ke2 Rg2+ 57.Rf2 Rg3 58.Rf3 Rg1 59.Rb4 Ra1 60.d4 Ra2+ 61.Kd3 Kg6 62.d5

Now I’m cruising!

62...Kf7 63.Rb7+ Kg6

63...Ke8 64.Ke4 Kd8 65.d6 Ra5 66.Rd3 wins.

64.d6 Ra3+ 65.Ke4 Rxf3 66.Kxf3 Kf5 67.Re7! 1–0

3) 2013 U.S. Championships Celebrate 5 Years in Saint Louis, by Mike Wilmering

SAINT LOUIS, April 11, 2013 -- The fields are set for both the 2013 U.S. Championship and 2013 U.S. Women’s Championship, scheduled to be held simultaneously May 2 through May 13 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

This marks the fifth consecutive year that each of these prestigious events will be held in Saint Louis. The opening ceremony takes place on May 2, and the first round for both events will kick off at 1 p.m. CDT on May 3.

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 expanded field is sure to encourage fighting chess with many decisive results.

“With such a dynamic field, this year’s event is shaping up to be our most exciting U.S. Championship to date,” Rich said.

GM Hikaru Nakamura, the reigning U.S. Champion, declined his invitation to play in this year’s event, opting instead to compete in the Norway Chess 2013 super tournament featuring World Championship challenger GM Magnus Carlsen.

With Nakamura out, a number of youthful challengers hope to usher in a changing of the guard including reigning World Champions IM Kayden Troff (U-14 World Champion) and IM-elect Sam Sevian (U-12 World Champion). Among other new faces at the U.S. Championship is GM Timur Gareeev, who recently transferred federations from Uzbekistan and is coming off of an undefeated, first-place finish at the North American Open in Las Vegas this past December.

The complete list of players and their current USCF ratings is as follows:

  • GM Gata Kamsky (2815)
  • GM Timur Gareev (2766)
  • GM Alexander Onischuk (2732)
  • GM Ray Robson (2698)
  • GM Sam Shankland (2698)
  • GM Varuzhan Akobian (2690)
  • GM Alex Stripunsky (2680)
  • GM Gregory Kaidanov (2673)
  • GM Alexander Ivanov (2664)
  • GM Robert Hess (2661)
  • GM Larry Christiansen (2657)
  • GM Yury Shulman (2639)
  • GM Alex Shabalov (2633)
  • GM Marc Arnold (2626)
  • GM Melikset Khachiyan (2625)
  • FM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (2621)
  • GM Joel Benjamin (2618)
  • IM-elect Yaacov Norowitz (2612)
  • GM Alejandro Ramirez (2606)
  • GM Conrad Holt (2591)
  • GM Ben Finegold (2570)
  • FM John Bryant (2542)
  • IM Kayden Troff (2505)
  • IM-elect Sam Sevian (2467)

In addition to the $180,000 prize fund, the CCSCSL again 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.

The 2012 U.S. Women’s Championship will feature 10 players and a guaranteed prize fund of $65,000. IM Irina Krush looks to defend her U.S. Women’s Championship crown. Invitations for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Championship are as follows:

  • IM Anna Zatonskih (2506)
  • IM Irina Krush (2489)
  • WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (2409)
  • WGM Sabina Foisor (2397)
  • WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2358)
  • WIM Viktorija Ni (2353)
  • WIM Iryna Zenyuk (2341)
  • WGM Anjelina Belakovskaia (2334)
  • WFM Sarah Chiang (2238)
  • WFM Alena Kats (2229)

For the first time in the five years the CCSCSL has hosted the event, organizers are bringing in three commentators to provide even more extensive live coverage of the games and more in-depth player interviews and post-game analysis. GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade will provide live play-by-play coverage of the event via

Additionally, the live coverage will be picked up by FOX Sports Midwest online, with a special hour-long recap of the event airing on FOX Sports Midwest on May 25.

Franc Guadalupe will be the chief arbiter for the U.S. Championship with Carol Jarecki helming the U.S. Women’s Championship.

Check for the latest updates, full player bios, info about past U.S. Championships and news about the top players in the U.S.

4) Hikaru Nakamura is back in action

Here is the press release from the FIDE GP in Zug, which has just started. Both American stars, Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky, are playing.

FIDE and Renova Group are pleased to announce the third stage of the FIDE Grand Prix Series will be held in Zug (Switzerland) between the 17th of April and 1st of May 2013.

The opening ceremony will take place at the SwissEver Hotel Zug 6.30 p.m. on 17th of April. The games start at 14:00h local time except the last round. The Prize Fund to be shared by the players totals 240,000 Euros.

Among 12 participants there are two former world champions Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria). Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), the rating favorite of the 3rd stage, will take part in the current GP cycle for the first time. Gata Kamsky (USA) replaced Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan) for the rest of the cycle.


Radjabov Teimour AZE 2793
Karjakin Sergey RUS 2786
Caruana Fabiano ITA 2772
Topalov Veselin BUL 2771
Nakamura Hikaru USA 2767
Mamedyarov Shakriyar AZE 2766
Morozevich Alexander RUS 2758
Leko Peter HUN 2744
Kamsky Gata USA 2741
Ponomariov Ruslan UKR 2733
Giri Anish NED 2727
Kasimdzhanov Rustam UZB 2709

Hikaru will also be playing in the Norway Chess tournament (May 7-18 ) and the Tal Memorial (12-24 June).

5) Upcoming Events

Super GM Timur Gareev will be doing a blindfold simultaneous exhibition at Chess Palace, 5246 Lampson Ave, Garden Grove 92845, at 11 am, Saturday, April 20. See details at

April 26-28, 2013
Western Pacific Open
A Heritage SCCF 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.)
EF: $99 by 03/10, $105 by 04/0123 $109 at door. GM/IM free, $99 from prize. Booster (U1400) section EF: $80 by 03/10, $87 by 04/0123, $95 door. Re-entry $60 in all sections.
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.
All: Half point byes OK all, limit 2, must commit before rd 3. SCCF membership ($18, $13 jrs [or $3 no magazine junior version] required for rated Southern Californians.)
HR: $99-99, 1-(800) 333-3333, code Metropolitan, reserve by April 23rd. Parking $11/day. Free wireless in public areas, 24-hour airport shuttle.
Info: [email protected].
Web site, On-line entry:
Ent: Metropolitan Chess, PO Box 25112, Los Angeles, CA 90025-0112. $15 service charge for refunds.

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