Chess Room Newsletter #662 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #662

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #662
March 26, 2014

The most significant phenomenon of the last few years has been the Berlin Variation, putting an end to nothing less than the move 1.e4.

Sergey Shipov,

1) Mechanic’s Institute Chess Club News

The Spring TNM has 78 entries to date, with International Master Elliott Winslow, FIDE Masters Andy Lee and Frank Thornally, and National Masters Hayk Manvelyan and Natalya Tsodikova the top seeds. It’s still possible to enter the eight-round event with half-point byes for rounds one and two.

From round 2 of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Afkham-Ebrahimi–Lee after 12 h3)White to move (Gaffagan–Cohee after 14...Bc6)
White to move (Flores–Oyuntseren after 28...Qf7)White to move (Bayaraa–Voorhees after 27...Nxg4)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 2.

NM Cameron Wheeler won the the 2014 San Francisco Scholastic Chess Championship held March 22 in Golden Gate Park at the Hall of Flowers. The 13-year-old Cupertino youth, who will soon be rated over 2400 USCF, scored 4-0 in the 43-player top section, as did Hans Niemann and Jaysen Shi. In the playoff Cameron emerged triumphant, and won an expense-paid trip to the 2014 Nationals. Hans and Jaysen won free entry to the 14th Annual Mechanics’ Institute Chess Camp for Advanced Players, which will be held July 14-18, with GMs John Fedorowicz and GM Nick De Firmian as the lead instructors.

The event saw close to 300 players competing in 5 sections: K–3rd grade, 4–5th grades, 6–8th grades, high school, and a USCF-rated section. GM Daniel Naroditsky, who will play in the U.S. Championship this May, gave a simultaneous exhibition.

The event was organized by the Mechanics’ Institute, under the direction of GM Nick DeFirmian, with Stephen Brandwein as the chief tournament director. Robert W. Baird & Co., a wealth management and investment banking firm with $117 billion in assets under management and over 2900 employees on three continents, sponsored the event. Look for more information on this event in the next MI Newsletter. In the meantime, go to to check out the excellent selection of photos from the event taken by Richard Shorman.

The Mechanics’ Wednesday After Six Class and the Free Chess Class for Beginner and Intermediate Women Players of All Ages on Sundays are both flourishing, thanks to the efforts of instructor Ewelina Krubnik. The latest class for the former had 20 attendees, and the latter routinely attracts 12–14 women, several of whom have graduated to playing in the Tuesday Night Marathon.

Sunday class regular Jade Greer, one of only three girls in the middle school section, finished third, ahead of 47 other players. This was a particularly fine result, as Jade has only been playing since November, with Ewelina’s class her sole source of practice.

12-year-old Tanuj Vasudeva won the 14th annual Max Wilkerson G/45 on March 22 with a perfect score. The youngster’s 5-0 raised his rating to 2192.

Finishing a half-point behind in the 44-player field was veteran Expert William Gray, followed by NMs Siddarth Banik and Dmitry Vayntraub, plus 2198-rated Yashodhan Gogte on 4. The next MI G/45, the 14th annual Imre Konig Memorial, will be held April 12.

The following game was important for determining the final standings. The winner, newcomer Yashodhan Gogte, had a promising position against Tanuj Vasudeva, but the latter defended well to win the game and the tournament.

Sicilian Dragon B79
Max Wilkerson G/45 2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0–0 8.Bc4 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.Bb3 Qa5 11.0–0–0 Rfc8 12.Kb1 Ne5 13.h4 b5 14.Ncxb5 Qxd2 15.Rxd2 Rab8 16.a4 a6 17.Na3 Be8 18.Ka2 Nfd7 19.Bg5

19.Ne2 has also been played here.

19...Kf8 20.Nb1?!

20.h5 was more direct.

20...Nc4 21.Rdd1 Ndb6 22.Bc1 Rc5 23.Nc3 Ra5 24.Bxc4?

24.Kb1 would have maintained the balance.

24...Nxa4 25.Nxa4 Rxa4+ 26.Kb1 Rxc4 27.Be3 Rcb4 28.b3 a5 29.h5 a4 30.hxg6 hxg6 31.Bh6 Bxh6 32.Rxh6 e5 33.Ne2 axb3 34.cxb3

34.c3 was the only way to prolong the game.

34...Rxb3+ 0–1

Jules Jelinek reports that National Master Ian Schoch of Baltimore won the March 12 edition of the MI Wednesday Night Blitz, scoring 10½ points to top the 13 player event. IM Ray Kaufman was second with 10 points, followed by Arthur Ismakov on 8½.

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.

2) Bay Area Juniors Shine

The February 2014 issue of Chess Life for Kids reports that Bay Area juniors dominated the 2014 US Chess Federation All America Team with 16 of the 86 players from Northern California, the most of any state. New York and Texas were next with 11 players each, followed by Southern California with 10. Ashritha Eswaran is the oldest and highest rated of just three girls to earn a spot on a list historically dominated by boys.

2014 All American Team

Age  8 Ben Rood, Milind Maiti and Andrew Zhang Hong

Age  9 Josiah Stearman

Age 10 Rayan Taghizadeh

Age 11 Michael Wang and Tanuj Vasudeva

Age 12 Cameron Wheeler, Vignesh Panchanathan, Siddarth Bannik, Udit Iyengar and Ashritha Eswaran

Age 13 Kesav Viswanadha and Colin Chow

Age 15 Yian Liou

Age 17 Daniel Naroditsky

3) Here and There

John Grefes 1974/75 trip to Down Under is the subject of an article in Chess Life online. Go to to check out the article by David Lovejoy, with material by GM Ian Rogers.

The Auburn Chess Club has a new and improved website, which can be found at

NM John Burgess of Illinois, who passed away much too early, offers excellent advice about how to play a higher-rated player at

The noted chess journalist and photographer John Henderson has an interesting blog, with one recent entry devoted to playing chess in Seattle public places. Check out 2014/03/07/chess-alfresco/.

Robert Moore writes: John, If you missed it, note the Smithsonian for March 2014, “Kasparov’s Gambit by Ron Rosenbaum, pages 21-25.

Not everyone can attend the weekly Grandmaster lectures at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, but thanks to YouTube, many can be viewed online. Go to to check out a recent lecture by Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan.

Dave Koller and IM Anthony Saidy’s novel 1983 and the recent crisis in the Crimea on TYT Interviews which can be found at

Metropolitan Chess Mobile App
Vishy Anand Video Courses

We have recently uploaded a new version of our mobile app, improving the user experience, fixing a few bugs and uploading new courses such as Strategic Sacrifices Volume II and Rare Early Game Decisions, both authored by IM Zhanibek Amanov. We are also planning to release more video courses by Vishy Anand later this year. These high quality video courses were produced in conjunction with IceHat Creative.

You can download the mobile app from the iTunes App Store (iPad, iPhone).

We will be regularly updating the app versions with new features every 3 or so weeks.

Please send all inquiries specifically related to the mobile app to [email protected].

4) The 8th Annual Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Tournament

A chance to remember and pay tribute to an old friend
Sunday May 4, 2014
1 pm to 5 pm.
Tournament: 2 pm to 4 pm.

There will be a chance to reminisce about Ray over light refreshments, both before and after the event.

5 Double round Swiss

PRIZES: 1st $300, 2nd $200, 3rd $100, 4th $75, 5th $50, 6th $25

ENTRY FEE: $10. Free to GMs and IMs.
Enter at tournament from 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm. No phone entries.

Come honor Ray’s memory and make this a great tournament!

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