Chess Room Newsletter #646 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #646

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #646
October 9, 2013

What, in your opinion, is chess ability?

It strikes me there are a lot of pure chess talents, but many can also be trained. In my view, a certain sense of harmony exists in chess, and it’s common to call that talent. Sometimes you meet players from the most exotic countries, where chess isn’t popular, and those ladies and gentlemen stun you with the soundness of their play.

Levon Aronian,
from an interview at

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

German FM Henning Silber and 12-year-old Siddarth Banik tied for first in the 13th J.J. Dolan G/45 Memorial, named after the famous SF endgame composer. Finishing third in the 39-player event was Udit Iyengar with four points.

Chess may be the game of the young these days, but among those on 3½ points were veterans Albert Starr and Lazar Shnaiderman. Starr picked up almost 100 rating points for his efforts.

GM Jesse Kraai will be giving a reading from his new chess novel Lisa on Tuesday, October 22nd, from 5:15 to 6:15 pm, and will have copies of his book for sale. All are welcome to attend. To learn more about Jesse go to

Several Tuesday Night Marathon regulars have blogs chronicaling their chess achievements. To read about Uyanga Byambaa go to, while Ashik Uzzaman has his own blog at

From rounds 1 and 2 of the Neil Falconer Tuesday Night Marathon:

White to move (Lee–Kottcamp after 14...Nfxe4)White to move (Hayk Manvelyan–Uzzaman after 24... Nxb4)
White to move (Todortsev–Morton after 13... Nd5)White to move (Thornally–Bayaraa after 20...Rh8)
 For the solutions, see the game scores for rounds 1 and 2.

IM Elliott Winslow and NM Arthur Ibragimov tied for first in the Wednesday Night Blitz held at the MI on October 2nd.

Thanks to NM Kerry Lawless, the driving site behind the website, for his generous donation of a beautiful Jaques wooden chess board.

2) US Chess League Action

The Mechanics’ Institute entry in the U.S. Chess League continues to lead the Pacific Division with 3½ points from 6 matches, followed by Seattle and Los Angeles with 2½ points and Arizona with 2.

Leading the Mechanics’ so far is 12-year-old Siddath Bannik, who is a perfect 3 for 3. Supporting him are GM–elect Daniel Naroditsky (3/4) and GM Vinay Bhat (an undefeated 2½/4 against tough opposition).

 2013 MVP LeaderboardPts.
1. FM Jeffery Xiong (DAL)17½
2. IM Priyadharshan Kannappan (STL)  17
3. NM Ryan Goldenberg (MAN)15½
4. GM Julio Becerra (MIA)15
5. IM Georgi Orlov (SEA)14
6. GM Conrad Holt (DAL)13
7. NM Lawyer Times (NE)13
8. GM Joel Benjamin (NJ)10½
9. GM Zviad Izoria (MAN)10
10. Siddharth Banik (SF)

3) Here and There

Hikaru Nakamura leads the US entry for the World Team Championship, to be held in late November and early December in Antalya, Turkey. Rounding out the team are fellow GMs Gata Kamsky, Alex Onischuk, Varuzhan Akobian and Ray Robson. 2700-rated Filipino GM Wesley So is the team coach, with John Donaldson serving as team captain. Thanks go to the U.S. Chess Federation and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis for sponsoring the team.

Other countries competing in the team round-robin are Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, China, Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, and one country to be announced.

Read about a documentary in progress about Jude Acers at Jude was a fixture of the Bay Area chess scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s, playing in tournaments, lecturing and writing chess columns in local newspapers.

Another colorful figure from Northern California’s past, International Master Jeremy Silman, was one of the dominant figures in Bay Area chess in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and tied for first in the 1981 U.S. Open. You can learn more about him at

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