Chess Room Newsletter #684 | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Chess Room Newsletter #684

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanic’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #684
September 26, 2014

Chess is a playing field for life, where one can develop character, sportsmanship, and even grace. People who meet across a chessboard have an opportunity to interact on a very civilized level. They must put aside differences of religion, ethnicity, nationality, language, and sex, and compete solely on the basis of skill.

—Marilyn Yalom, in Birth of the Chess Queen, 2004

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

FIDE Master Andy Lee moved one step closer to becoming an unprecedented winner of three consecutive Tuesday Night Marathons by defeating International Master Elliott Winslow in round 8 of the Jay Whitehead Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon. Lee, who is now rated over 2380 USCF, has 7 out of 8, with his lost point coming from two half-point byes.

He will face Pranav Nagarajan, a high school student from north of the Golden Gate Bridge, who could be rated over 2200 for the first time if he does well in his game with Lee.

Nagarajan has 6½, putting him a half-point ahead of four players on 6–2. They are International Master Winslow, National Master Uyanga Byambaa, and Experts Demetrious Goins and Steven Gaffagan.

From round 8 of the Whitehead Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Sahin–Uzzaman after 32...Rdf8)Black to move (Grey–Askin after 26 h4)
White to move (Flores–Hakobyan after 27...f6)White to move (Casares–Eytan after 14...d4)
White to move (Furukawa–Ayinala after 18...Kg7)For the solutions, see the game scores (when available) for round 8.

The Mechanics’ entry in the United States Chess League avenged its loss to Miami in last year’s playoffs by beating the Sharks 3½-½ last night. Daniel Naroditsky drew with fellow Grandmaster Julio Becerra on board one, International Master-elect Yian Liou beat Grandmaster Renier Gonzalez with Black on board two and FIDE Master Cameron Wheeler and NM Siddarth Banik continued their winning ways, with wins on board three and four. The Mechanics’ are now third in their six-team division at 3–2, and face Arizona next Tuesday night.

The Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz, held last Sunday, was a great success, with 41 players competing, including four Grandmasters, three International Masters, four FIDE Masters and one Women’s International Master.

Visiting Romanian Grandmaster Ioan Christain Chirila, currently living in El Cerrito, scored 9 from 10 to win the five double-round Swiss, which was held with a time control of five minutes a side plus two-second increment. He won $300.

The 23-year-old Chirila, a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, drew his second-round match with National Master Jimmy Heiserman of Castro Valley, and won his last three matches 2–0, defeating IM Ricardo De Guzman in the penultimate round and Grandmaster Patrick Wolff in the final.

Chirila beat Wolff with White in their first game but had his hands full in the second.

Ruy Lopez C92
Patrick Wolff–Ioan Christian Chirila
Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz (5) 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0–0 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Nd7 11.Nbd2 exd4 12.cxd4 Bf6 13.Nf1 Na5 14.Bc2 Re8 15.N1h2 c5 16.Ng4 Bxd4

16...cxd4 transposes.

17.Nxd4 cxd4 18.Qxd4 f5?!

18...Rc8 has been played exclusively in this position by strong players like Fressinet and Bruzon. The text doesn’t appear sound, but requires energetic play by White to refute it. Patrick is up to the task.


Shades of Browne-Bisguier, 1974 U.S. Championship, but objectively 19.Ne3 fxe4 20.Nf5 might be stronger, with a clear edge to White.

19...Ne5 20.exf5!?

20.Nxe5 dxe5 21.Qxd8 Raxd8 22.Bg5 Rc8 with equality, but this is not what Patrick wanted or needed, as he had lost the first game to Chirila.

20...gxh6 21.f6

21.Nxh6+ Kg7 22.Ng4 Nac6 23.Qd2 Nxg4 24.hxg4 Ne5 with rough equality at best for White.


21...Kh8 was correct, with complicated play and equal chances.


22.Nxh6+ Kh8 23.Rac1 Rf8 (23...Qc4 24.Qxd6 Qc6 25.Qxc6 Naxc6 26.f4 Nc4 27.Nf7+ Kg8 28.Ng5 winning.) 24.f7 Nac6 25.Qf4 Qe7 26.Qf5 Rxf7 27.Nxf7+ Qxf7 28.Qxf7 Nxf7 29.Be4 winning.


22...Nxf7? 23.Nf6+.

23.Qf4+ Kg8 24.Bxh7+! Kh8


White, short of time, misses the not-easy-to-find 25.Bg6! Qg7 (25...Nxg6 26.Qxh6+ Qh7 27.Qxh7+ Kxh7 28.Nf6+) 26.Bxe8 Rxe8 27.Qxh6+ Qxh6 28.Nxh6 with excellent winning chances.

25...Qg7 26.Be4 Rf8 27.Bxb7 Nxb7 0–1

Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky and U.S.C.F. Senior Master Arun Sharma watched this game with interest, as they had both won their last round matches and had 8½ points. If Wolff won they would have tied for first, but as it was they shared second and third places, good for $150 each.

Neil Falconer Blitz Top Finishers:

1. GM Chirila (2–0 versus IM De Guzman and GM Wolff) 9/10

2–3. GM Naroditsky (1–1 WIM, Zenyuk 2–0, IM De Guzman 1–1, IM Kaufman 1½–½, GM Tarjan 2–0) and SM Sharma (½–1½ GM Wolff, 2–0 NM Heiserman and IM Kaufmann) 8½/10

4–7. GM Wolff (2–0 IM Winslow, 1½–½ SM Sharma, 1½–½ GM Tarjan, 0–2 Chirila), IM De Guzman (1–1 GM Naroditsky, 0–2 Chirila), NM Heiserman (1–1 Chirila, 0–2 Sharma) and Hamed Nouri (rated only Class A he beat IM Winslow and NM Fritzinger 2–0!) 7/10

8–11. GM Tarjan, FM Whitehead, SM Critelli and FM Andy Lee 6½/10

The Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz was made possible by the generosity of Grandmaster Patrick Wolff, who helped sponsor the event. Thanks to Jules Jelinek and Vladimir Naroditsky who helped to make the event run smoothly.

A complete crosstable for the event can be found at

International Master Ricardo De Guzman and the surprising Hamed Nourri, provisionally rated Class A, tied for first in the 14th Annual Howard Donnelly Memorial last Saturday, scoring 4½ from 5 and taking home $180 each. The two winners drew in round four, with De Guzman downing NM Hayk Manvelyan in round five, while Nourri beating high-rated Expert Oleg Shakhnazarov.

De Guzman was tough on the entire Manvelyan clan, as he also beat Hayk’s father.

Old Indian A55
Ricardo De Guzman–Hovik Manvelyan
Donnelly Memorial G/45 (3) 2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 Nbd7 4.g3 e5 5.Nc3 Be7 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.e4 Re8 9.h3 Bf8 10.Be3 Qc7 11.Rc1 a5 12.Re1 b6 13.d5 Nc5 14.Nh2 Bb7 15.Nf1 Rac8 16.b3 Na6 17.f4 Nd7 18.f5 c5 19.g4 g6 20.Rc2 Bg7 21.Rf2 h6 22.h4 Qd8 23.g5 hxg5 24.hxg5 f6 25.fxg6 fxg5 26.Bh3 Nf8 27.Qh5 Rc7 28.Bxg5 1–0

Mystery solved! Last newsletter we reported on the simultaneous exhibition that Yugoslav Grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric gave at the Mechanics’ on March 4, 1971. We published the following game and asked for help in identifying the player who had Black.

Alan Benson, who was a spectator at the Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz this past Sunday, brought in his scoresheet identifying him as the mystery man. Alan remembers that Gligoric blundered with 19.Nxe4?, even though he had his longest think of the game (45 seconds) at that juncture.

King’s Indian Saemisch E84
Svetozar Gligoric–Alan Benson
San Francisco (simul) 1971

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0–0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rd1 Bd7 10.Nc1 e5 11.d5 Nd4 12.N1e2 Nxe2 13.Bxe2 Ne8 14.0–0 f5 15.c5 Nf6 16.b4 Qe7 17.Bc4 Kh8 18.a4 fxe4 19.Nxe4 Nxe4 20.fxe4 Bxa4 21.Rxf8+ Rxf8 22.Ra1 Bd7 23.c6 bxc6 24.Rxa6 cxd5 25.exd5 Qh4 26.Be2 Bh6 27.Ra1 Bxe3+ 28.Qxe3 Qxb4 29.h3 Bb5 30.Bxb5 Qxb5 31.Rd1 Qc4 32.Kh2 Qf4+ 33.Qxf4 Rxf4 34.Rc1 Rd4 35.Rxc7 Rxd5 36.Kg3 Rd4 37.Kf3 Kg8 38.Ke3 d5 39.Re7 Re4+ 40.Kd3 Re1 41.Kd2 Rg1 42.g4 e4 43.Re5 Kf7 44.Rxd5 Ke6 45.Ra5 Rg3 46.Ke2 Rxh3 47.Kf2 Rd3 48.Ra7 Ke5 49.Rxh7 Kf4 50.Re7 Rd2+ 51.Kf1 Rd4 52.Ke2 Kxg4 53.Ke3 Rb4 54.Rf7 g5 55.Rf8 Kg3 56.Rf1 g4 57.Rg1+ Kh3 58.Kf4 e3+ 59.Kxe3 Kh2 0–1

Congratulations to six-time United States Chess Champion Walter Browne for winning the 2014 U.S. Senior Open, held aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean this past week. The Berkeley Grandmaster scored 5½ from 6. Go to to see the crosstable.

Several Mechanics’ U.S. Chess League team members are playing in South Africa right now. Grandmaster Vinay Bhat has 4½/6 in the Durban Open with five rounds left to play. Seeded seventh in the 90-player field, which has 14 GMs competing, he is currently tied for fourth place.

Vignesh Panchanatham has 4 out 6 in the Under-14 section in the World Youth Championship being held in Durban, while Hans Niemann has 3 points in the Under-12. The big Bay Area story in that section is Rayan Taghizadeh, who is tied for first with 5 from 6.

Mechanics’ Institute Grandmaster-in-Residence Nick de Firmian is one of the U.S. coaches for the event, which ends in late September.

Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator Jules Jelinek reports on the MI Wednesday Blitz of September 17:

At the Wednesday night blitz last week, we had 8 players; the results were

1st – International Master Ray Kaufman
2nd – Jack Zhu
3rd – Arthur Ismakov

2) Zuckerman–Harrow, Manhattan Chess Club CC—New York 1962

“Little Gruenfeld” - Hans Kmoch
Sicilian Sozin B88
Bernard Zuckerman–Martin Harrow
Manhattan Chess Club CC - New York 1962

Annotations by Hans Kmoch

Zuckerman is leading in the club championship as this game is being annotated. He has been specializing more and more on openings. When showing this pretty game to the annotator he let loose a deluge of quotations and suggestions, part of which are used here. His approach to openings is encyclopedic, just as Gruenfeld’s used to be. Some connection between the two is, by the way, also indicated by their handwritings, which are amazingly similar.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 a6 8.f4 Qc7 9.Be3 Na5 10.0–0 b5 11.f5 Nxb3 12.cxb3 Be7 13.Rc1 Qd7 14.Qf3 e5 15.Nc6! Qxc6

15...Bb7 16.Nxe7 Kxe7 17.Bg5 with a clear advantage.

16.Nd5 Qb7 17.Rc7 Qb8

17...Nxd5 18.Rxb7 Bxb7 19.exd5 0–0 (19...Bf6 20.Rc1) 20.f6 Bxf6 21.Qg3 Bd8 22.Bh6 winning.

18.Rxe7+ Kf8 19.Bg5

19.Rxe5 dxe5 20.Bc5+ Ke8 21.Qg3! was another pretty way to win.

19...Nxd5 20.f6!! Nf4 21.fxg7+ Kxg7 22.Bxf4 Be6 23.Bg5 1–0

This game was published in Chess Review, June 1963, page 184.

3) My 60 Memorable Games—text that was cut from the final version

Fischer worked on My 60 Memorable Games for over four years and produced several drafts during this time. Some of the changes were minor, but in other cases he made drastic revisions. Here are a few of the latter.

Game 18: Fischer-Tal

Tal has an annoying habit of writing down the move he intends to play before making it. As a consequence his scoresheet is an eyesore. He usually write lemons down on the first draft, reserving the move he actually selects until somewhere around the fourth chicken scratch. Unfortunately, the temptation to glance at his scoresheet is overwhelming; I got excited when I saw him write down 20...Ra5 21.Bh5 d5 (21...d6 22.Rxd6!) 22.Rxd5 exd5 23.Re1+ wins outright.

Only the variation survived the final cut for publication.

Game 22: Fischer-Bisguier

The following note from the draft was completely cut from My 60 Memorable Games, but something similar was published in Fischer’s notes to the game in early 1964.

On the last occasion, referred to above, my opponent played 4...Bc5!?, alias the Wilkes Barre Variation. At that time I was quite unfamiliar with it and nearly laughed out loud at the thought of my opponent making such a blunder in a tournament of this importance! I was just about to let him just have it when I noticed that he had brought along a friend who was studying our game very intently. This aroused my suspicions: maybe this was a trap, straight out of the book. But a Rook is a Rook -- so I continued with 5.Nxf7 and there followed 5...Bxf2+! 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Ke3 Qh4 and, somehow, I got out of the mess with a draw. I had no chance for first place and my trophy for the best scoring player under 13 was already assured, since I was the only one under 13!

You can browse through our archived newsletters using the "next" and "previous buttons".

Want to save this newsletter for reading at a later time? Click here to learn how.

Want to be notified when the next newsletter is published? Join Our Email List →