Chess Room Newsletter #638 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #638

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #638
August 7, 2013

...a guideline, which has very many exceptions and yet is still a useful thing to ponder over the board, is the idea of improving the position of one’s worst piece.

—John Watson, in Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

NM Hayk Manvelyan (2340), the winner of the last Tuesday Night Marathon with a 8-0 score, will face a stronger field as he tries to win the event again. Among his competitors in the Neil Falconer Tuesday Night Marathon are top-seed Paul Whitehead (2385) and fellow FM Andy Lee (2316), plus IM Elliott Winslow (2298). 72 players are in the field after the first of nine rounds, but more are expected to join in the next week. Half-point byes are available to those who missed the first round.

IMs Cyrus Lakdawala and Wen Liang Li were the top seeds in the 48-player Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial G/45 held August 3, but neither finished in the winners’ circle. For most of the tournament visiting Serbian FM Milos Nikolic was the front runner, especially after defeating rapidly-improving 13-year-old NM Kesav Viswanadha in round four, but he was defeated in the final round by German GM Henning Silber. Silber, a graduate student at Stanford, took a half-point bye in round one, but was the perfect the rest of the way.

1. FM Silber 4½/5;   = 2-6. IM Lakdawala, FM Nikolic, NM Karas, NM Viswanadha and Expert Allan Beilin 4. The last drew with both IMs and earned his USCF Master title in the event. Congratulations, Allan!

Hi everyone,

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.

Here are results for the last month:

July 9th

1st - Elliott Winslow
2nd - Jules Jelinek
3rd - Jeff Sinick

July 16th

1st - Jules Jelinek
2nd - Hans Niemann
3rd - Jonathan Topielski

July 23rd

1st - Oleg Shaknazarov
2nd - Elliott Winslow
3rd - Hans Niemann and Jules Jelinek

July 30th

1st - Jules Jelinek
2nd - Felix Rudiyak
3rd - Joe Urquhart and Jessie Nicholas

2) Sam Shankland and Ray Robson shine in China

China met the United States in a friendly match this past July (19-27) that was played in Ningbo, about three hours south of Shanghai. The event was run on a Scheveningen-style format, in which the five US men and women met their Chinese counterparts in five games of classical chess and 10 games of rapid.

Neither side was at close to full strength, but the Chinese and American men were close to equally matched, while the US Women were huge underdogs. This didn’t stop Tatev Abrahamyan of Los Angeles from scoring 3-2 in the classical games, for a performance rating of 2600. Top performers for the men in classical chess were Ray Robson (also 3/5) and Sam Shankland (2½). The latter was the top American in the rapid, with 6½ from 10.

This event was a very useful opportunity for young American players to gain valuable international experience. Thanks for making it possible go to the Chinese Chess Federation, Beatriz Marinello and Dr. Marcus Fenner of the Marshall Chess Club. The Marshall will be hosting the return match in 2015, in honor of its 100th anniversary.

3) Cheating in Chess

Chess sites are filled these days with stories about players who miraculously improve 400 points overnight. The immediate suspicion is that they are receiving computer assistance, but in several prominent cases, despite a consensus that something smells, no clear-cut proof has been produced.

Such is not the case with another type of cheating in chess, namely plagiarism. Here there are fewer culprits, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in audacity.

The chief culprit is the English Grandmaster Raymond Keene, and amazingly he has been “borrowing” for several decades with no serious consequences beyond some lost book royalties. While a university or a newspaper might throw the plagiarist out on the street, Keene contains to thrive in the chess world using other people’s work as his own.

A recounting of his most recent activities can be found at:

One wonders when Ray Keene is going to be held accountable.

4) A Chess Poem from Dennis Fritzinger

part of the fun

part of the fun
of playing tournament chess
is to sit around afterward
and show off your game.

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