Chess Room Newsletter #681 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #681

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanic’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #681
September 5, 2014

Brilliancies often exist only as grace notes—because the opposition anticipates and thwarts them with appropriate rejoinders. To the uninitiated, some of the most hard-fought struggles seem devoid of all bravura.

—Larry Evans, in Bobby Fischer: My 60 Memorable Games, 1969

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Uyanga Byambaa is leading the Jay Whitehead Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon with a 5-0 score after defeating NM Romy Fuentes last Tuesday evening. FIDE Master Andy Lee is second at 4½, with IM Elliott Winslow and high-ranking Expert Natalya Tsodikova among those on 4.

From round 5 of the Whitehead Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Winslow–Klinetobe after 26 Bd7)White to move (Askin–Goins after 11...Nxe4)
White to move (Uzzaman–Steger after 22...c5)Black to move (Hilliard–Sahin after 23 Qe2)
Black to move (Askin–Handler after 37 Kh2)White to move (Chen–Oyuntseren after 25...Nxb1)
White to move (Drane–Hood after 14...Bxd4)White to move (Aquino–Furukawa after 7...Nxe4)
Black to move (Yamamoto–Simpkins after 15 Qg4)For the solutions, see the game scores (when available) for round 5.

Here is one of the more interesting games from round five. You can also find it in ChessBase and PGN format on the front page of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club website at

Queen’s Indian E13
Elliott Winslow (2254)–David Klinetobe (2017)
Jay Whitehead Memorial TNM 2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 g5 7.Bg3 Ne4 8.Qc2 Bb7 9.e3 d6 10.Bd3 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 f5 12.d5 exd5

12...Nd7 is a popular alternative.


13.cxd5 Bxd5 14.Nd4 Qf6 15.f3 Nxg3 16.hxg3 Nd7 17.Bxf5 has been tested many times.

13...Qf6 14.f3

14.cxd5 Bxd5 15.f3 Nxg3 16.hxg3 Nd7 17.Bxf5 transposes to the line given in the last note.


14...Nxg3 15.hxg3 Nd7 was an alternative way of handling the position.

15.cxd5 Bxd5 16.Bxf5 Nbd7 17.0–0–0

17.Nb5 0–0–0 (17...Kd8!? (Houdini)) 18.Rd1 (18.Nxa7+ Kb7= Gheorghiu-Speelman, London 1980) 18...Be6 19.Be4 with a slight edge for White, Ribli-Seirawan, Malta (ol) 1980.


17...0–0–0 18.Nb5 was slightly better for White in Ribli–Fercec, Bihac 1999. Black needs to keep an eye out for Rxd6 shots if he moves his bishop on d5.

18.h4 0–0–0 19.Nc6 Rde8 20.hxg5 hxg5 21.Rxh8 Qxh8 22.e4 Kb7 23.Nd4 Ne5 24.Bxe5 Qxe5 25.Nb3 Na4 26.Bd7


Both sides have played well to this point and 26...Nxc3 27.Bxe8 Ne2+ 28.Kb1 (28.Kd2? Qf4+ 29.Ke1 Qe3+ winning) 28...Nc3+ with a draw by perpetual check would have been a logical conclusion.

27.axb3 Nc5 28.Bxe8 Qxe8 29.b4 Ne6 30.Rd5 Qh8 31.Qd2 Nf4 32.Rf5 Qg8 33.Kb2 Qc4 34.Rxg5 Nd3+ 35.Ka1 a5 36.Rd5 Ne5


37.bxa5 Qf1+ 38.Qd1 Qxg2 39.axb6 Nc4 (39...Kxb6 40.Qb3+ winning) 40.Rb5 Nxb6 and White is winning although Black has some practical chances if the first player is not careful. The text simplifies the position but gives Black some drawing chances.

37...Qf1+ 38.Kb2 dxe5 39.bxa5 bxa5 40.Ka3 Qa1+ 41.Kb3 a4+?

41...c6 leaves White with a tough technical task.

42.Kb4 a3 43.Kb3! Kb6 44.c4 c6 45.c5+ Kxc5 46.Qb4 1–0

We regret to report that National Master Roy Hugo Hoppe died on Aug. 22, 2014, in Marin County at age 71 of bladder cancer.

One of Hoppe’s very first tournaments was the 1957 U.S. Junior Open held in San Francisco and won by 14-year-old Bobby Fischer. Ray, who was also 14, scored a respectable 3½ from 9.

Ray’s most famous game was his loss to Bobby on the black side of a Winawer French in a ten-board clock simul in Davis, California, in 1964. By then Ray was rated 2190, and he would became a U.S.C.F. master later that year. He reached his peak rating of 2264 in August 1966.

Ray would continue to play in tournaments for the next decade, but by then bridge and not chess had become his true love. He quickly became a Life Master after taking up the game, and earned his living as a professional for over 30 years. In the 200Os, while living with his good friend Mike Goodall, he returned to the tournament arena and played 2100-level chess at the age of 65.

The Mechanics’ entry in the U.S. Chess League is off to a rocky start after two rounds. Round one, a 2–2 draw with the Rio Grande Ospreys, was a mediocre result but much better than the ½–3½ loss to the Seattle Sluggers last Tuesday evening. This defeat, one of the worst the Mechanics’ have suffered in nine years in the League, could have also have been 2–2 if not for some bad luck, including Grandmaster Jesse Kraai losing a totally-winning position (bishop and four pawns for a rook). The Mechanics’ will try to get back on track next Tuesday evening against the New England Nor’easters.

2) Tromso Olympiad Reviewed

The 2014 Chess Olympiad was disappointing for the US team, as a 1½-2½ loss in the last round dropped the US team from a top-four finish (potentially as high as second) to a tie for 12th. For a detailed analysis of the missed opportunities missed by the US team in the last round go to

The one bright spot for the US was the performance of Sam Shankland of Orinda. Sam scored an undefeated 9 out of 10 (performance rating 2831) for a gain of 22 FIDE rating points and a gold medal as top reserve. This was the first individual gold medal by a US team member since Yasser Seirawan’s in 1994 on board four.

To put Sam’s performance in perspective, in 31 Olympiads between 1950 and 2014 the US has won only seven individual gold medals. Besides Sam and Yasser, the others are almost all (except Lombardy) West Coast GMs: James Tarjan 1978 (first reserve), Kim Commons 1976 (second reserve), James Tarjan 1974 (second reserve), William Lombardy 1970 (first reserve) and Larry Evans 1950 (second reserve).

3) Six-time US Champion Walter Browne Annotates

Sicilian Rossolimo B31
Walter Browne (2453 FIDE)–Pranav Nagarajan (2100 FIDE)
Best of the West 2014 (2) 2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bg7 6.h3 e5 7.Nbd2 Qe7 8.0–0 Nf6 9.Nc4 Nd7 10.a3 0–0 11.b4 Rd8

11...Nb6 12.Na5 Rd8 13.Qe1 Na4 14.Be3 Re8 15.Rb1 is slightly better for White.


12.Qe1 f6 13.Be3 Bf8 14.c3 b6 15.Qe2 Qe6 16.Nfd2 Ba6 17.f4 exf4 18.Bxf4 Bb5 19.Rf3 Re8 20.Kh1 a5 21.bxc5 Bxc5 22.d4 Bf8 23.a4 Ba6 24.Re3 - I prefer White a bit.

12...f6 13.Be3 b6 14.Nfd2 cxb4 15.axb4 Nf8 16.f4 exf4 17.Bxf4 Be6

17...Ne6 18.Be3 Nd4 19.Nf3 Nxf3+ 20.Qxf3 Be6 21.Bf2 Rf8 22.Ne3 Qd7=

18.Kh1 Rd7?!

18...Bf7 19.Bh2 Rac8 20.e5 fxe5 21.Nxe5 Bxe5 22.Re1 Nd7 23.Nf3 Re8 24.Nxe5 Nxe5 25.Rxe5 Qf6 26.Qe2 Rxe5 27.Bxe5 Re8 28.d4 Qh4 29.c3 b5=


19.Bg3 b5 20.Na5 c5 21.bxc5 Qxc5 22.Bf2 Qc3 23.Rxb5 Rc8 24.Ndb3 Qxc2 25.Nc5 with a small edge for me.

19...Ba2 20.b5 cxb5

20...Bxb1 21.bxc6 Ba2 (21...Rd6 22.Bxd6 Qxd6 23.Qxb1 Qxc6 24.Qa2+ Kh8 25.Nd5 b5 26.c4 a6 27.Qa5 is slightly better for White) 22.cxd7 Qxd7 23.Qa1 Be6 24.Ndc4 f5 25.Be5 fxe4 26.dxe4 Bxe5 27.Nxe5 Qg7 28.Qd4 Nd7 29.N3g4 Re8 30.Qd6 and again White has a small pull.

21.Rxb5 Ne6?? 22.Qa1! Nxf4 23.Qxa2+ Qe6 24.Ndc4+-

Surely my adversary overlooked this powerful move combined with the next.


24...Nxh3 25.Rxb6 axb6 26.Qxa8+ Bf8 27.e5! Ng5 28.Rxf6 Qe7 29.Nd5 is crushing!

25.Rxb6 Qf7 26.Rf2

26.Rfb1 h5 27.Qa6 axb6 28.Qxa8+ Kh7 29.Re1 winning.

26...Re8 27.Ra6 Nd4?

More stubborn was 27...Ng3+ although after 28.Kh2 Nxe4 29.dxe4 Rxe4 30.g4 White should win.

28.Ng4 f5 29.Rf6! Qe7 30.Nce5+ Kh8 31.Nf7+ Kg8 32.Nfe5+ Kh8 33.Rf7 Qb4 34.Nxd7?!

Even better was 34.Rxd7 Ne6 a) 34...Bxe5 35.Nxe5 (35.c3 wins) 35...Qe1+ 36.Kh2 Qxf2 37.Rxh7+! Kxh7 38.Qf7+ Kh8 39.Nxg6 mate; b) 34...Rf8 35.Nf7+ Rxf7 36.Qxf7 winning; 35.Nf7+ Kg8 36.exf5 wins.

34...Qe1+ 35.Kh2 fxg4 36.hxg4

36.c3 Qe3 37.Kh1 g3 38.Rf1 wins.


36...Ne2 37.Rxe2 Qxe2 38.Rf3 Qe1 39.Qf7 Rg8 40.Rh3 winning.

37.c3 Qh6+ 38.Kg1 (time pressure) Qc1+ 39.Rf1 Qxc3

39...Qe3+ 40.Qf2?? Ne2+ 41.Kh2 Qh6+ was a great cheapo I would’ve tried.

40.Rxg7 Ne2+ 41.Qxe2 Qxg7 42.Nf6 Re6 43.Qb2 Qc7 44.Ne8+ 1–0

4) Bobby Fischer on Alekhine and Capablanca

Fischer's last radio interview took place in 2006, hosted by Saga Radio’s Sigurdur Tomasson; while not entirely free of his bigoted opinions (to put it mildly), this interview also featured Fischer calmly reminiscing about his days as a youngster in the vibrant New York chess scene, and he offered his thoughts about various chess champions. Jose Raul Capablanca and Paul Morphy were Fischer’s two favorites, while Fischer did not like Alexander Alekhine as much, even though he respected Alekhine’s strength. “Alekhine had a rather heavy style,” Fischer said. “Capablanca was much more brilliant and talented, he had a real light touch...But the thing that was great about Capablanca was that he really spoke his mind, he said what he believed was true, he said what he felt.” You don't have to be a psychologist to figure out that Fischer admired Capablanca so much because he considered him a kindred spirit both in terms of talent and outspokenness.

For the interview go to

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