Chess Room Newsletter #678 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #678

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News #678
August 15, 2014

No, I don’t think so, but I probably shouldn’t have lost by such a score. Fischer himself conceded that. He said the result didn’t correspond to the way the struggle went in the match, and that by the sixth game in his opinion the score should have been no more than 3½–2½ in his favor. But the psychological factor played a role. It was the first time I was encountering not a playing partner, but a computer that didn’t make mistakes.

—Mark Taimanov, in answer to the question “Do you think that you had chances of winning your match against Bobby Fischer?”.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The ongoing Jay Whitehead Tuesday Night Marathon features a strong field, with 20 of the 81 participants rated over 2000. Top seed FIDE Master Andy Lee of Berkeley is among the leaders, with a 2–0 score, and is aiming to win his third TNM in a row. It is still possible to enter the nine-round event with byes for rounds one and two.

From round 2 of the Whitehead Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Hood–Casares after 20...Nxd4)White to move (Hood–Casares after 24...Re8)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 2.

22-year-old Grandmaster Sam Shankland of Orinda won the gold medal as the top reserve in the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway. The recent graduate of Brandeis University scored an undefeated 9 out 10 for a performance rating of 2831 (bring him to 2646 FIDE—number four in the US, behind Nakamura, Kamsky and Onischuk) to take home the gold medal ahead of 2700-rated Alexander Moiseenko of Ukraine and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia.

The US suffered a bitter loss to Azeribaijan in the last round, 1½-2½. More on the Olympiad in Newsletter #679.

Open section, final standings:
1. China 19 422½ 31½
2. Hungary 17 372 29
3. India 17 371½ 30½
4. Russia 17 352 28½
5. Azerbaijan 17 345 28
6. Ukraine 16 377½ 29
7. Cuba 16 361 29½
8. Armenia 16 350½ 28½
9. Israel 16 348 28
10. Spain 16 334½ 28
11. Belarus 16 304½ 27
12. Netherlands 15 367½ 29½
13. France 15 357½ 28½
14. USA 15 348 28
15. Poland 15 335½ 28½
16. Serbia 15 324 27½
17. Uzbekistan 15 320½ 25½
18. Argentina 15 316 28
19. Peru 15 313 28
20. Romania 15 310 27½
21. Turkey 15 295½ 27½
22. Brazil 15 291½ 28½
23. Egypt 15 284 28
(177 teams)

Women's section, final standings:
1. Russia 20 420½ 32
2. China 18 406 32½
3. Ukraine 18 383 28½
4. Georgia 17 390 32
5. Armenia 17 350½ 29
6. Kazakhstan 17 320 27
7. Poland 16 362 26½
8. USA 16 339½ 29½
9. Germany 16 304 26½
(136 teams)

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder to mark your calendars. The next Wednesday Night Blitz at Mechanics Institute is only 2½ weeks away on September 3.

Hope you are all having a great summer and I am looking forward to seeing everyone in September for some Blitz action!

Jules Jelinek, Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator

GM Hikaru Nakamura comes to the Bay Area Saturday August 23, from 10 am to 6 pm at Crystal Springs Uplands in Burlingame.

The top chess player in the United States, and currently ranked fifth in the world, visits the Bay Area.

Join GM Hikaru Nakamura as he plays four games against Stockfish, currently the top rated chess engine. In the first two games, GM Nakamura will have the top chess software from 2008 running on a MacBook Pro from 2008. In the third and fourth games, GM Nakamura will play with the white pieces against Stockfish with a pawn randomly removed from the board. For more information go to

The first great San Francisco junior talent was not the Whitehead brothers Paul and Jay in the 1970s, but Gil Ramirez, roughly twenty years before. Born in Houston in 1939, Ramirez learned the game in San Francisco in 1952, and five years later, while still in high school, won both the California Open and Closed championships. That same year he also became nationally recognized when he finished second in the US Junior Championship held at the Spreckels Russell Dairy Co. auditorium in San Francisco. The winner, Bobby Fischer, gave up only one draw—to Gil Ramirez.

Ramirez narrowly missed playing in the 1959/60 United States Chess Championship when he tied for first in the U.S. Junior held in Omaha, but placed second on tiebreak. Only the winner received a qualifying spot in the US Championship. Soon after Ramirez joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Spain, where he played in success in both local and international events. Gil now lives in Reno, where he is an avid bridge player.

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) Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz

The first Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz, sponsored by Grandmaster Patrick Wolff, will be held Sunday, September 21.

The 1st Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz

A chance to remember and pay tribute to an old friend
Sunday September 21st, 2014, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tournament: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., 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 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. No phone entries.

Time control: G/5 plus 2 second per move increment.

Books prizes for all participants from Neil’s library.

3) Here and There

International Master James Sherwin has a very impressive record in US Championships, scoring 49½ points from 92 games in eight events played between 1954 and 1966 (not counting the Rosenwald, as it was not officially a US Championship).

Congratulations to National Master Ashritha Eswaran, who tied for fifth place at the Pan-American Championships in Paraguay. Ashritha played in the Girls-Under-20 section against the top girls from North and South America, despite being only 13 years old.

Noted Canadian chess historian Stephen Wright mentions he recently came across a chess column in the Sunday Oregonian newspaper, available at It seems to have started in 1915 and lasted until at least 1920.

4) California Eagle Chess Column

John Blackstone of Las Vegas has rediscovered a chess column in the California Eagle, an African-American newspaper that was published in Los Angeles from 1879 to 1964, and passes on the following links:

Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1950 Grayscale (496).pdf
Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1950 Grayscale (526).pdf
Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1950 Grayscale (557).pdf
Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1950 Grayscale (591).pdf
Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1950 Grayscale (623).pdf
Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1950 Grayscale (686).pdf
Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1949 Grayscale (1351).pdf
Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1949 Grayscale (471).pdf
Los Angelse CA Californial Eagle 1953 Grayscale (142).pdf

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