Chess Room Newsletter #637 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #637

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #637
July 17, 2013

Yes, he is very practical and so on and so forth. He is undoubtedly a very strong chess player and an enormous talent. I am not trying to diminish his achievements. However, I believe that his rating advantage over everyone else is non-chess based. It is due to other qualities. In the chess sense I was absolutely confident that I can compete against him. This is what I always do. So far I have maintained a positive score against Carlsen. Also, I had an advantage in the mini-match at the Candidates, so he should be happy with the two draws that he earned. Everyone (including me) thought that he was pretty much invincible in terms of energy, nerves and the like. At this tournament he got into real trouble for the first time in his life. In an extremely important event everything was not going exactly as expected. Something went wrong after his game with Ivanchuk. All of a sudden, it turned out that he is quite vulnerable. When I was his age, I also used to twitch at decisive moments, glance at the other boards. Such moments were definitely not his cup of tea.

It is natural for a young player. I used to act the same way, but over the years I have become stronger in this respect. I can win or lose, but my loss in the final round was not caused by nervousness in any way. I felt calm and played quite decently.

—Vladimir Kramnik, talking about Magnus Carlsen
Interviewed by Marina Makarycheva

The MI Newsletter will take a break for a few weeks until the Tuesday Night Marathon resumes on August 6.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

19-year-old Fremont Master Hayk Manvelyan scored a rare 8-0 to win the 90-player Summer Tuesday Night Marathon. A perfect score has been seen in only a handful of Marathons in the series going back to the early 1970s. Young Art Zhao was clear second with an undefeated 6½ points, while Experts Demetrius Goins, Alexander Ivanov, Bryon Doyle and Farid Mark Watson shared third place with scores of 6-2. The next TNM starts August 6th.

NMs Vignesh Panchanatham, Nicholas Karas and Paul Gallegos tied for first at 4½ from 5 in the 72-player Charles Bagby Memorial held last Saturday. Tying for fourth with four points were Tanuj Vasudeva, Neel Apte, Steven Rand and Hemang Jangle.

The turnout was two players short of the all-time record set for these events set in March 2004. Prior to 2013 average attendance for the monthly G/45 was around 40 players, but things have picked up this year.

January 55
February 56
March 41
Konig 60
Powell 49
Addison 64
Bagby 72

Add to this that the last three Tuesday Night Marathons have drawn respectively 88, 93 (the all-time record) and (current) 90 players, and it is clear that attendance is up.

Thanks to Colin Ma, Charles James and John Braley for their donations to the MI Chess Club.

Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics’ are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics’ are tax deductible, due to the M.I.’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics’. You will not only get a tax write-off, but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.

Alexander Kassil took top honors in the 6th Annual Mechanics’ Scholastic Championship held July 7 with a score of 4½ from 5. Matt Stecklow was second with four points.

Yian Liou of Alamo, the second highest-rated player in the country on the July USCF rating list for the top 15-year-olds at 2469, is now almost 2500 after strong performances at the DC International and World Open.

2) Carl Pilnick 1923-2013

We only recently learned about the passing of National Master Carl Pilnick, who passed away on March 7 at age 89. Pilnick, who played in the 1942 US Championship at the age of 18, was featured in Newsletter #542 (later reprinted in issue #207 of the Chess Journalist).

The following comes from Inside Bay Area.

Carl Pilnick, born in New York City, died at home in Oakland after several years of declining health.

A chess prodigy in his teens, he won the 1971 American Open Championship and was awarded the status of Life Master by the United States Chess Federation.

Mr. Pilnick founded and served as president of Telecommunications Management Corp. of Los Angeles. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Anna Pilnick; his wife, Shirley-May Pilnick; and his sister, Floraine Medvin. He is survived by his daughters, Rosemary Balsley and Laura Pilnick; his granddaughter, Rachel Balsley; and his great-grandson, Miles Pape.

He will be deeply missed as a loving and generous family man and remembered for his dry wit, direct speaking, and love of movies, politics, and good food.

3) Daniel Naroditsky—Grandmaster at 17

17-year-old Foster City International Master Daniel Naroditsky made his third and final GM norm in Benasque, Spain this past weekend by scoring an undefeated 7 from 10, and scoring plus one against the seven GMs he faced. Daniel’s performance rating of 2617 netted him 17 rating points to bring him over 2500 FIDE, the other requirement to become a Grandmaster. He will formally receive the title in the next few months. Daniel is now playing in the Balaguer Open, where he is off to a good start, having won his first game.

Daniel Naroditsky –GM Julen Arizmendi Martinez (2580)
Benasque (5) 2013

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bd3 c5 7.c3 b6 8.Ne4 a5 9.Nd6+ Bxd6 10.exd6 Ba6 11.Bf4 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Nc6 13.O-O c4 14.Qe2 b5 15.b3 O-O 16.a4 Nb6 17.axb5 Na7 18.Qb2 Nxb5 19.bxc4 Nxd6 20.c5 Nbc4 21.Qc2 Nb5 22.Qb3 Na7 23.Qa4 Qe8 24.Ne5 Qxa4 25.Rxa4 Nxe5 26.Bxe5 Nb5 27.Rc1 f6 28.Bf4 Rfc8 29.Bd2 e5 30.Rca1 Rcb8 31.Kf1 Kf7 32.Ke2 Ke6 33.Kd3 Nc7 34.Rxa5 Rxa5 35.Rxa5 Kd7 36.Kc2 Ra8 37.c4 dxc4 38.Rxa8 Nxa8 39.dxe5 fxe5 40.Kc3 Kc6 41.Kxc4 Nc7 42.Bc3 Ne6 43.Bxe5 g5 44.Bd6 g4 45.f4 gxf3 46.gxf3 Ng5 47.f4 Ne4 48.Kd4 Nxd6 49.cxd6 Kxd6 50.f5 Ke7 51.Ke5 Kf7 52.f6 h5 53.h4 1-0

4) Early San Francisco Chess History

Luke Honey’s website has the following item for sale.

A rare commemorative folding black leather chess board, inscribed in gilt: “SAN FRANCISCO...MAY 20-31 1884...IN MEMORIAM” to the reverse, chess squares in tan and black to the other side, with gilt tooling and decorative gilt borders, 51cm long, 25.5cm wide (when closed), 51cm square (when open), each chess square 5cm wide.

Kerry Lawless has found mention of a tournament to be held in an old issue of the San Francisco Argonaut from 1884 that might be linked to the board.

Our Chess Column
The Argonaut, SF, January 26, 1884

“Interest in the tournament to be inaugurated at the Mechanics’ Library Association chess-rooms next week grows apace.  Everybody who understands chess is on the qui-vive, and the best and most satisfactory methods of conducting tournaments are the subject of daily discussion among prominent players.  It is suggested that a handicap committee of three be appointed by the players intending to enter, and that any player demanding odds of another shall accept the award of such committee, as to the amount of odds to be given, with cheerfulness and good faith.  It has been suggested that each person entering shall contribute two dollars toward the amount necessary for the purchase of a suitable mementos of victory.  Each player is to play two games with every opponent--the time limit to be fifteen moves per hour.  The general rules governing play which obtained at the recent international London tournament are to be observed as far as circumstances will permit.  All players resident upon the Pacific Coast are cordially invited to enter, becoming for the time guests of the members of the Mechanics’ Library.”

5) Here and There

National Master Michael Aigner of Davis, California, is featured in the July issue of Chess Life that focuses on disabled chess players. One of the key developers of Bay Area chess talent, Aigner has a very interesting blog that can be found at

Stephen Wright of Vancouver, British Columbia, has been producing the first-rate BCCF Bulletin, which is produced every two weeks, for almost ten years. It can be found at His own website is devoted to the history of chess in BC, and can be found at

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