Chess Room Newsletter #666 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #666

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #666
April 25, 2014

Really, chess is mainly about intuition instincts. So when you play classical chess, at least for me, my intuition usually tells me something. It gives me an idea of what I want to play. Then I’ll have plenty of time to verify that and to calculate it in different variations, to see if I’m right. In blitz, we don’t have that luxury. So [you] have to go with what your intuition tells you, so that’s basically what’s going on. There’s not so much thinking. Of course, I’m calculating some variations, but usually I do what comes to my mind first. … I think you shouldn’t play only blitz, but playing some blitz is definitely pretty useful, especially when you’re developing as a young chess player. For me, it was very useful to develop my instinct, my tactical eye, and just plain training.

Magnus Carlsen—Jan. 16, 2014, during a Churchill Club talk
with Peter Thiel at the Computer History Museum
in Mountain View, California

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Andy Lee defeated IM Elliott Winslow in round six of the Spring TNM to grab the lead with two rounds to go. The Berkeley FM has 5½ from 6, having only drawn with Hans Niemann in round three. Winslow and Experts Steven Gaffagan and Bryan Doyle are half a point back with five points. Top-seed Hayk Manvelyan dodged a bullet in round six, in the form of 10-year-old Hans Niemann. The game appears below and also in the game file for round six.

Hans Niemann (2054)–Hayk Manvelyan (2354)
Mechanics’ Spring TNM (6) 2014

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 Nd7 5.Bc4 e6 6.Bg5 Ne7 7.Qd2 h6 8.Be3 a6 9.a4 d5 10.Bb3 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Nf5 12.0–0–0 0–0 13.h4 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Qe7 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Bxe5 17.Qxh6 Bg7 18.Qe3

18.Qg5! was very strong, but is not the way Hans plays chess.


18...Rd8 19.Rxd8+ Qxd8 20.h5 gxh5 21.Rxh5 Qd4 was possibly safer.

19.h5! bxa4 20.h6

The simple 20.Bxa4 left White in the driver’s seat. 20...Qb4 21.Bb3 Bb7 is met by the forced sequence 22.Nc5 Bd5 23.h6 Bf6 24.Nd7, winning material.

20...Bxb2+ 21.Kxb2 axb3 22.h7+?!

22.cxb3 e5 23.Qc5 offers White some compensation for the pawn.

22...Kh8 23.cxb3 Bb7 24.Nc5 Qf6+ 25.Ka2 Bc6 26.f3 a5 27.Rd4 Rfd8 28.Rf4 Qg7 29.g4

29.Rxf7 Qxf7 30.Nxe6 (30.Qe5+ Qg7 31.Qxg7+ Kxg7 32.Nxe6+ Kh8 33.Nxd8 Rxd8 with a winning endgame.) 30...Qf6

29...Rd5 30.Re1 Rad8 31.Re2 Rd1 32.Rb2 R8d5 33.g5 Rh1 34.Rc4 Rdd1 35.b4 Ra1+ 36.Kb3 a4+ 37.Kc2 Rh2+ 38.Kd3 Qxb2 39.Rc3 Qxc3+ 40.Kxc3 Ra3+ 41.Kd4 Rxe3 42.Kxe3 a3 43.Kd3 a2 44.Nb3 0–1

From round 6 of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Tsodikova–Krasnov after 11...Be6)White to move (Fuentes–Ostrovsky after 9...Qb4)
White to move (Fuentes–Ostrovsky after 12...d5)White to move (Ochoa–Eytan after 9...Be7)
White to move (Gomboluudev–Campers after 35...Qxd3)Black to move (MacIntyre–Vichik after 14 Nxd4)
Black to move (MacIntyre–Vichik after 15 Bxf6)For the solutions, see the game scores (when available) for round 6.

The 8th Annual Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Tournament will be held Sunday May 4 from 2 to 4:30 pm. The five double-round Swiss numbers GMs Walter Browne, James Tarjan and Daniel Naroditsky among the confirmed participants.

The event will start at 1 pm, with free light refreshments provided by the Schutt family. Their generosity has also made it possible that every participant wins a book prize, including recent titles by GM Browne and Naroditsky.

The time control is a very civilized 4 minutes + 2-second increment from move one.

GUARANTEED 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 to 1:45 pm. No phone entries.

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

MI Wednesday Night Blitz Director Jules Jelinek provides the results for April 16:

1. Arthur Ismakov
2. Jules Jelinek
3. David Flores

2) Sam Shankland shines in Norway

Sam Shankland just had a great result in the Fagernes Open in Norway, taking clear second with an undefeated 7-2. On the way to a 2770-FIDE performance he beat 2590 and 2593 FIDE-rated players, and drew with four GMs averaging just under 2640 FIDE, to pick up 18 rating points.

Final standings:
1. GM Postny (ISR, 2630) – 7½/9,
2. GM Shankland (USA, 2616) – 7,
3-6. GMs Romanov (RUS, 2642) and Turov (RUS, 2593), IMs A. Donchenko (GER, 2471) and Elsness (NOR, 2483) – 6, etc (43 players)

Sam showed his skill in playing both sides of the Advance Variation of the Caro-Kann in rounds seven and eight.

Sam Shankland (2616)–Maxim Turov (2593)
Fagernes Open (8) 2014

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.c4 dxc4 7.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 bxc6 9.Bxc4 Bf5 10.Nc3 e6 11.Ke2 Ne7 12.Be3 Nd5 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.Bb3 0–0–0 15.Bxa7 Re8 16.f4 f6 17.Ba4 Kb7 18.Bd4 fxe5 19.fxe5 Bd6 20.Rac1 Bd7 21.Rhf1 Bxe5 22.Rf7 Bxd4+ 23.Kd3 Kb6 24.Rxd7 Re3+ 25.Kxd4 Re4+ 26.Kd3 Rxa4 27.a3 Rg4 28.g3 h5 29.Rd6 Rc8 30.Rxd5 h4 31.Rd4 Rxd4+ 32.Kxd4 hxg3 33.hxg3 c5+ 34.Ke4 Kb5 35.Rc3 Rf8 36.Rf3 Re8+ 37.Kf5 Re2 38.Rb3+ Kc4 39.Rb7 g6+ 40.Kf4 Kd5 41.g4 c4 42.Kg5 Re6 43.Rb5+ Kc6 44.a4 Re4 45.Rb8 Kc5 46.a5 Re6 47.Rb6 Kd5 1–0

Benjamin Bok, (2590)–Sam Shankland (2616)
Fagernes Open (8) 2014

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.c3 Nd7 7.0–0 h6 8.Nbd2 Qc7 9.Nb3 0–0–0 10.Ne1 f6 11.exf6 gxf6 12.Nd3 h5 13.Ndc5 e5 14.Bxh5 exd4 15.Nxd7 Rxd7 16.g3 dxc3 17.Bf4 c2 18.Qd4 Qb6 19.Qxf6 Rxh5 20.Qxf8+ Qd8 21.Qxd8+ Rxd8 22.h4 Ng6 23.Bg5 Re8 24.f4 Rhh8 25.Nd4 Bd3 26.Rf3 Be4 27.Rf2 Ne7 28.g4 Ng6 29.h5 Reg8 30.Bf6 Ne5 31.fxe5 Rxg4+ 32.Kf1 Bd3+ 33.Ke1 Rxh5 34.Kd2 Rxd4 35.e6 Rc4 36.Kxd3 c1Q 37.Rxc1 Rxc1 38.Rg2 Re1 39.Rg8+ Kc7 40.e7 Rh3+ 41.Kd2 Rhe3 42.Rg7 Kd7 43.e8Q+ Kxe8 44.Rxb7 R1e2+ 45.Kd1 Rg2 46.Bc3 Rh3 0–1

3) April 2014 FIDE Rating List

Magnus Carlsen continues to be the top-rated player by a wide margin, with the gap between him and number two increasing.

1. Carlsen NOR 2881
2. Aronian ARM 2812
3. Anand IND 2785
4. Kramnik RUS 2783
5. Caruana ITA 2783
6. Grischuk RUS 2777
7. Karjakin RUS 2772
8. Topalov BUL 2772
9. Nakamura USA 2772
10. Mamedyarov AZE 2760
11. Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2758
12. Dominguez CUB 2757
13. Svidler RUS 2756
14. Adams ENG 2753
15. Gelfand ISR 2753
16. Ivanchuk UKR 2753
17. Vitiugov RUS 2747
18. Giri NED 2745
19. So PHI 2738
20. Wang Hao CHN 2734

Carlsen is actually higher because of his performance in Azerbaijan, and the following game, that just missed getting rated on the April list.

Ruy Lopez C78
Magnus Carlsen,Magnus (2881)–Vladimir Georgiev (2553)
Norwegian Team Championship Oslo 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bb7 7.d3 Bc5 8.c3 0-0 9.a4 d5 10.axb5 axb5 11.Rxa8 Bxa8 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Re1 b4 14.Qc2 f6 15.Nbd2 Kh8 16.Ne4 Be7 17.h3 Na5 18.Ba2 b3 19.Bxb3 Nxb3 20.Qxb3 Nb6 21.d4 f5 22.Nc5 e4 23.Ne5 Bd5 24.Qd1 Bd6 25.Bf4 Nc4 26.b4 g5 27.Bh2 f4 28.Nxc4 Bxc5 29.Nd2 Bd6 30.Nxe4 Qe7 31.Nxd6 Qxd6 32.Re5 h6 33.h4 gxh4 34.Qh5 c6 35.f3 Qf6 36.b5 Ra8 37.Re8+ Rxe8 38.Qxe8+ Kh7 39.Qd7+ Kh8 40.b6 1-0

The United States has two other players besides Hikaru Nakamura in the top 100: Gata Kamsky #32 at 2714 and Alex Onischuk #67 at 2679. Timur Gareev at 2649 is two rating points short of number 100.

Other American players over 2600 are

5. Varuzhan Akobian 2 6 43
6. Sergey Erenburg 2633
7. Ray Robson 2628
8. Yasser Seirawan 2620
9. Sam Shankland 2616

The US has three women in the top 100 female player rankings.

22. Irina Krush 2491
28. Anna Zatonskih 2475
68. Tatev Abrahamyan 2396

The recent increase in the number of strong young American players is reflected in the FIDE Top 100 Juniors (Under 21) list where the US has seven players:

8. Ray Robson 2628
24. Daniel Naroditsky 2543
50. Kayden Troff 2477
60. Darwin Yang 2470
75. Alexander Ostrovsky 2442
78. Samuel Sevian 2438
97. Jeffrey Xiong 2421

Sevian and Ziong are the youngest players on the list (born 2000)

The US has one player on the Girls Under 21 list: Alena Kats at #86, with a rating of 2126.

4) Here and There

IM Jeremy Silman, who was a regular at the Mechanics’ Institute in the 1970s and 1980s before moving to Los Angeles, has written an outstanding series of articles on Alexander Alekhine for Chess.Com that challenge some long-accepted assumptions about the fourth World Champion. Go to to read the seventh and final installment. Silman has also branched out from writing solely on chess with his Autobiography of a Goat, which was published last October.

NM Roger Poehlmann won the John Grefe Memorial held February 28 to April 11 by the Berkeley Chess Club with a score of 5½ from 6. Kerry Lawless directed the 34-player event. NM Lawless, the longtime editor of, moved to Oakland from Hayward earlier this year. He is available for chess lessons and can be contacted at [email protected].

World number two Levon Aronian will headline as the lead instructor for the Metropolitan Chess summer camp, held from July 9-13. Metropolitan Chess, in partnership with the American Chess Academy, will host this event at the Glendale Hilton Hotel. Go to for more information.

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the visit of a group of young Soviet Chess Stars to Seattle for the Goodwill Games. Looking back, the list of those who made the trip was quite impressive. Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler are the two most famous names now, but they were barely in their teens. Sergei Tiviakov, Sarunas Sulskis (now Lithuania) and Michael Oratovsky (Israel) were the top boards, with Alisa Galiamova the top female player.

The Vugar Gashimov Memorial, held in Azerbaijan from April 19-30, features a very strong field, with Magnus Carlsen. Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimur Radjabov competing in a double round-robin event.

4) Field Set for 2014 U.S. Championships, by Mike Wilmering

SAINT LOUIS, April 14, 2014—Next month, the top chess players in the country will meet in Saint Louis to compete for the tile of U.S. Champion and U.S. Women’s Champion.

The fields are set for both the 2014 U.S. Championship and 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship, scheduled to be held simultaneously May 7 through May 20 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

Ashritha Eswaran, 13, received the final wildcard invitation to the U.S. Women’s Championship to round out the fields.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that each of these prestigious events will be held in Saint Louis. The opening ceremony takes place on May 7, and the first round for both events will kick off at 1 p.m. Central on May 8.

The 2014 U.S. Championship will feature a 12-player round robin and a guaranteed prize fund of $172,000. In addition, the CCSCSL again will sponsor the $64K Fischer Prize, to be awarded to anyone that scores a perfect 11-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer’s result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship.

GM Hikaru Nakamura, the reigning U.S. Champion, declined his invitation to play in this year’s event, citing his desire to prepare for and compete against the world’s elite as he prepares for a run at the next Candidate’s cycle.

Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL, said the competition will be fierce.

Any one of these players has a shot at the title this year, Rich said.

The complete list of players, and their current USCF ratings, for the 2014 U.S. Championship is as follows:

GM Gata Kamsky (2778)
GM Timur Gareev (2751)
GM Alex Onischuk (2751)
GM Varuzhan Akobian (2732)
GM Sergey Erenburg (2717)
GM Ray Robson (2714)
GM Sam Shankland (2698)
GM Alex Lenderman (2693)
GM Alejandro Ramirez (2679)
GM Mac Molner (2634)
GM Daniel Naroditsky (2632)
GM Josh Friedel (2599)

The 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship will feature 10 players and a guaranteed prize fund of $72,000. IM Irina Krush looks to defend her U.S. Women’s Championship crown. The field for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship is as follows:

GM Irina Krush (2548)
IM Anna Zatonskih (2526)
WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (2475)
WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2358)
WIM Iryna Zenyuk (2352)
WGM Sabina Foisor (2303)
WIM Viktorija Ni (2302)
WGM Katerina Nemcova (2297)
FM Alisa Melekhina (2251)
NM Ashritha Eswaran (2231)

The U.S. Women’s Championship features seasoned veterans along with some exciting new faces as well, Rich said. I’m excited the Chess Club gets to showcase so many inspiring role models for Saint Louis area students.

The well-established commentary team of GM Maurice Ashley, GM Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade will once again offer Internet viewers live play-by-play and analysis for each round of the event. GM Robert Hess will join GM Ben Finegold to provide commentary for the live audience in Saint Louis.

Carol Jarecki will serve as the chief arbiter for both events.

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

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