Chess Room Newsletter #686 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #686

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #686
October 24, 2014

In chess so much depends on opening theory, so the champions before the last century did not know as much as I do and other players do about opening theory. So if you just brought them back from the dead they wouldn’t do well. They’d get bad openings. You cannot compare the playing strength, you can only talk about natural ability. Memorization is enormously powerful. Some kid of fourteen today, or even younger, could get an opening advantage against Capablanca, and especially against the players of the previous century, like Morphy and Steinitz. Maybe they would still be able to outplay the young kid of today. Or maybe not, because nowadays when you get the opening advantage not only do you get the opening advantage, you know how to play, they have so many examples of what to do from this position. It is really deadly, and that is why I don’t like chess any more.

—Bobby Fischer, in his last radio interview in Iceland in 2006

This Saturday and Sunday the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club will host its annual Carroll Capps Memorial.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Fall Tuesday Night Marathon started this Tuesday and runs through December 16. The eight-round USCF- and FIDE-rated Swiss takes a break on November 11 to observe Veterans’ Day. It’s still possible to enter the event with a half-point bye for round one.

From round 1 of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Handler–Vickers after 12 Ne5)Black to move (Yamamoto–Nagarajan after 11 Qd3)
Black to move (Borgo–Walder after 7 Be2)White to move (Starr–Doyle after 18...Bxh3)
Black to move (Manvelyan–Robertson after 23 a3)Black to move (Manvelyan–Robertson after 31 Rxa7)
White to move (Gomboluudev–Krasnov after 13...Rc8)White to move (Hakobyan–Cole after 19...c6)
White to move (Maser–Hilliard after 7...Bg4)Black to move (Bayaraa–Hood after 17 h3)
White to move (Chalissery–Ronen after 23...Qe7)For the solutions, see the game scores (when available) for round 1.

The Millionaire Chess Open, organized by GM Maurice Ashley and Amy Lee, was held October 9–13 in Las Vegas. 129 players competed in the top section of this tournament, which had a total prize fund of $1,000,000. The first prize of $100,000 went to the tournament’s Elo-favourite, GM Wesley So, who is now rated number ten in the world.

The tournament had an unusual format—after seven rounds four players qualified for the rapid chess playoff, and the Mechanics’ Daniel Naroditsky almost made it.

Standings after 7 rounds:
1-2. GMs So (PHI, 2755) and Robson (USA, 2628) 6,
3-6. GMs Yu Yangyi (CHN, 2697), Azarov (BLR, 2639), Naroditsky (USA, 2601) and Zhou Jianchao (CHN, 2580) 5.5

Play-off tournament results:
1. Zhou Jianchao (CHN, 2580) 2½/3,
2. Yu Yangyi (CHN, 2697) 2
3. Naroditsky (USA, 2601) 1
4. Azarov (BLR, 2639) ½

Robson beat Yu Yangyi
So beat Zhou Jianchao

So beat Robson

In the match for 3rd place Yu Yangyi beat Zhou Jianchao 3–1. The latter received $14,000, Yu Yangyi got $25,000 and Robson won $50,000.

Grandmasters Daniel Naroditsky and Sam Shankland tied for fifth at 6½/9, and each received $3,334 for their fine results, Daniel gaining 15 FIDE rating points to go to 2616 and Sam 5 FIDE points to go to 2640.

Shortly after the Millionaire Open Daniel played the following game, which earned the US Chess League’s Game of the Week honors for him and his opponent.

French Tarrasch C06
Daniel Naroditsky–Conrad Holt
US Chess League—San Francisco vs. Dallas (8) October 14, 2014

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bd3 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.0–0 c4

Black has many choices here, including 8...g5, 8...a5; 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 Nb6, 8...h5, and the main line, 8...Qb6 9.Re1 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nxd4 11.Nxd4 Qxd4 12.Nf3, where White gambits a pawn for long-term pressure. The text, releasing the pressure from the center, has long been thought bad, but Holt is noted for his meticulous preparation. Yasser Seirawan played this in the 1990s—but only against computers. His idea was to aim for blocked positions where long-term strategic planning was paramount.

9.Bc2 b5 10.Re1 b4 11.Nf1 a5 12.Ng3 h5

This denies White the use of the h5 square. If 12...Nb6 then 13.Nh5, and on 13…g6 not 14.Ng7+ Kd7 15.Bh6 Qg8 16.Ng5 Bxg5 17.Bxg5 Qxg7 18.Bf6 Qg8 19.Bxh8 Qxh8, which is great for Black, but instead 14.Nf4 or 14.Ng3.

13.h4! Bxh4 14.Nxh4 Qxh4 15.Be3 Nb6 16.Qd2

Daniel threatens Bg5. For his sacrificed pawn he has a good pressure on the dark squares.

16...Qe7 17.Bg5 Qf8

Two of the leading engines evaluate this position quite differently. Houdini favors Black and Stockfish White!

18.Qf4 a4


19.a3 b3 20.Bd1 g6 21.Bf6 with the idea of Re3-f3 is another plan, but Daniel has a much sharper idea.

It’s interesting that both engines initially fail to see 19.Nf5, but Stockfish soon warms to the idea. The text is the necessary and concrete way to realize the advantages in his position. Less energetic play would have allowed Black to continue business as usual on the queenside.


The threat of Nd6+ forces the acceptance of the sacrifice.


This opens lines and prepares Qc7, hitting both of Black’s knights.


20...Bxe6 21.Qc7 Rc8 22.Qxb6 Qd6 23.Bxa4 0–0 24.cxb4 Qxb4 25.Qxb4 Nxb4 26.Be7 Nd3 27.Re2 Rb8 28.Bxf8 Kxf8 29.b3 leaves White an exchange up, but Black has an extra pawn and a well-placed knight. Chances are roughly equal.



The alternative 21...Bd7 22.Rxe6+ Kf7 (22...Bxe6 23.Re1 Qf7 24.Qxc6+ Kf8 25.Rxe6 winning.) leads to very sharp play. The following line gives some idea of the rich possibilities available to both sides:

23.Bxf5 Kg8 24.Rxc6 Qxf5 25.Rxb6 Qxg5 26.Qxd7 bxc3 27.bxc3 Kh7 28.Re1 Rhd8 29.Qh3 Re8 30.Rbe6 Rxe6 31.Qxe6 Rf8 32.Qe5 (32.Re5 Qc1+ 33.Kh2 Qf4+ 34.Kh3 g5 35.Qe7+ Rf7 36.Qxg5 Qxg5 37.Rxg5 Rxf2 38.Rxd5 Rxa2 39.Rxh5+ Kg6 40.Rc5 Rc2 41.Rxc4 a3 draws).

22.Qxb6 Kf7 23.cxb4 Bd7 24.Qd6 Qd8 25.Re5 g6


Another great shot!


The point is 26...exd5 27.Re1 Re8 28.Qf6+ Kg8 29.Bh6 mates.

27.Qxd8 Rhxd8 28.Rc5 Rd6 29.Rxc4 Ra7 30.a3 Rad7 31.Rd1 e5


This looks like Daniel’s only mistake in an otherwise masterly game. Correct was 32.Rc5!, when 32...exd4 33.b5 Be4 34.Bxa4 d3 35.Bb3+ Bd5 36.Rxd3 is one winning line.

32...Kxe7 33.Rxc6 Rxc6 34.Bxa4 Rcd6 35.Bxd7 Kxd7 36.d5 Rb6 37.Rc1 Kd6


38.Rc5 g5, and it is hard to see how White can makes progress, as the queenside pawns cannot be mobilized and the king has trouble being activated.

38...Rxc6 39.dxc6 Kxc6


This was played to stop Black from getting two separated passed pawns. The dangers White faces if he doesn’t play f4 can be seen in the following variation: 40.a4 g5 41.Kf1 h4 42.Kg1 e4 43.Kh2 f4 44.f3 e3 45.Kg1 g4 46.fxg4 f3 47.gxf3 h3 winning.

40...exf4 41.Kf2 Kb5 42.b3 g5 43.Kf3 h4 44.Ke2 g4 45.Kf2 Kc6

46.a4 Kb6 47.b5 Kc5 48.b4+ Kb6 49.Kg1 g3 50.Kf1 f3 51.gxf3 h3 52.f4 Kb7 53.a5 Ka7 54.b6+ Kb7 55.b5 Kb8 56.a6 Ka8 57.b7+ Ka7 58.Kg1 Kb8 59.Kh1 Ka7 60.b6+ Kb8 61.Kg1

61...h2+ 62.Kh1 g2+ 63.Kxg2 h1Q+ 64.Kxh1 ½–½

Santa Cruz Grandmaster James Tarjan scored 5½/9 (2451 performance rating) to share 12th to 22nd in the PokerStars Isle of Man International Open, won by Nigel Short with 7½.

Wednesday Night Blitz Results

October 1
1st – Arthur Ismakov 10 pts
2nd – IM Ray Kaufman 9 pts
3rd - Jules Jelinek 8-1/2 pts

October 8
1st – Hans Niemann and IM Elliott Winslow
3rd – Arun Raghavan

Daniel Naroditsky is playing in the 2014 Spice Cup being held at Webster University. Go to for more information.

2) Andras Adorjan annotates

A former Candidate for the World Championship and a member of the gold-medal-winning 1978 Hungarian Olympiad team, Andras Adorjan was also an instructive and entertaining annotator known for advocating Black’s chances.

Andy Ansel has rescued Adorjan’s notes to his game against one of the legends of Hungarian chess, Gedeon Barcza. The latter is probably best known for his crushing defeat of Vassily Smyslov in the 1956 Olympiad using his pet system 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Bf5 4.c4, which is still popular to this day.

Here Adorjan gives a lesson in how to play the Botvinnik pawn triangle (c4, d3, e4) with colors reversed.

English A36
Gedeon Barcza–Andras Adorjan
Budapest team tournament 1976
Annotations by Andras Adorjan

1.c4 g6 2.Nc3 c5 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.e3 e5

It is hard to call this move a “winning attempt”, but it is surely the best way of avoiding the complete symmetry, exchanges and draw that is almost inevitable after 5. ...e6. There is another way of doing it by 5. ...Nh6-f5, but I found that is better for White.

6.Nge2 Nge7 7.0–0 0–0 8.d3 d6 9.Rb1 Be6 10.Nd5 Rb8 11.Nec3 a6 12.a3 b5 13.cxb5 axb5 14.b4 Qd7!?

Funny but Black is already better. Search for the improvement for White! Start!

Black even has a choice. The move played is more complex than kicking out the knight on d5 at once. 14...Nxd5 15.Nxd5 Ne7 16.Nxe7+ Qxe7 17.Bb2 c4! Bertok–Adorjan, Birmingham 197318.dxc4 Bxc4 19.Re1 Qe6 with a slight advantage for Black.


It’s easier to criticize this than recommend something of a real improvement. Fritz 8, “who” is sometimes my consultant, admitted that Black was better in all other variations but 15.f4. Which is of course silly, seeing 15…exf4 16.f4 f5 with the upper hand.

The variations below are partly the fruit of the “Great Three” (Ribli, Sax, Adorjan)—common work of those years.

I cannot help it: Black is not OK! Black is better!


15.Bb2 Rfc8 with a slight pull for Black.

15…Nd4 16.Be3

16.Nxe7+ Qxe7 17.Nd5 Qa7 or 17...Bxd5 18.exd5 Qa7—in both cases with a slight advantage for Black.

16...Nxd5 17.Nxd5 f5 18.f4

18.exf5 Bxf5 19.Rc1 Bg4! 20.f3 Be6—Black is clearly better.


18...Bxd5 19.Bxd4 Ba2 20.Ra1 exd4 21.Rxa2 fxe4 22.dxe4 c4 or 19.exd5 exf4 20.Bxf4 Rbe8—in both cases Black is much better.

19.fxe5 dxe5 20.dxc4 bxc4 21.Kh1 fxe4 22.Nc3 Bh3! (improving over 22...Rxf1+ 23.Bxf1 Bg4 with unclear play, Bertok–Sax, Vinkovici 1976) 23.Bxh3 Qxh3 24.Nxe4 Qe6! 25.Kg1 Qc6 and Black is clearly better.



16.Bd2 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Ne7 18.Nxe7+ Qxe7 19.bxc5 (19.Bc3 c4) 19...dxc5 with a clear advantage.

16.Bb2 was still the best.

16...Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Ne7 18.Nxe7+

18.e4 Nxd5 19.exd5 Bg4 20.Qf2 Bf5 21.Be4 Bh3 22.Bg2 Bxg2 23.Qxg2 c4 or 23...exf4 both favor Black.

18...Qxe7 19.fxe5

19.bxc5 dxc5 20.fxe5 (20.Bb2 c4) 20...Bxe5 21.Bb2 Bxb2 22.Qxb2 Rd8 and again Black is clearly on top.


19...Bxe5 20.bxc5 dxc5 21.Bb2 is only slightly better for Black.

20.bxc5 Qxc5 21.Bb2


This is killing, as will be clear in just a few moves.

22.Rfe1 b4! 23.Rbc1

23.axb4 Qxb4 24.Bxe5 Qxb1 25.Rxb1 Rxb1+ 26.Kf2 Rbc1 winning.

23...Qb6 24.Rxc8+

A better try was 24.axb4 Rxc1 25.Bxc1 Qxb4 when Black is better but not winning. Note that 24.Bxe5? loses immediately to 24…Bxe3+.

24...Rxc8 25.axb4 Qxb4 26.Bxe5

Black is winning in all variations.

(a) 26.Rc1 Bxe3+! 27.Qxe3 Qxb2.

(b) 26.Bc1 Rc2 27.Qf1 (27.Qd1 Bg4) 27...Rxc1 or even stronger 27...e4!! 28.dxe4 (28.Bxe4 Bh3) 28...Bc4.

(c) 26.Qf2 Rc2 27.Re2 Rxe2 28.Qxe2 Bxe3+ 29.Qxe3 Qxb2.

(d) 26.Kf2 Bg4 27.Bf3 Qb3 28.Bxg4

(28.Rc1 Bxe3+! 29.Kxe3 Qb6+ 30.d4 Rxc1 31.Bxg4 Qb3+ 32.Ke4 Rc2)

28...Rc2 29.Bxe5 Qxd3 30.Qxc2 Qxc2+ 31.Re2 Qe4 32.Bf4 g5! 33.Bf3 Qg6 34.Bc7 g4

(e) 26.Kf1 Bg4 27.Qf2 Qb3 28.Bxe5 Rc2 29.Qf6 Qxd3+ 30.Kg1 Rxg2+!.



Losing immediately.

27.Qf1 Qd2 28.Bf4 Bxf4 29.exf4 Bg4!!

We have a zugzwang now! It may sound incredible, but the handy 29...Bh3? likely blows the whole game.

30.Re2 (forced) 30…Qxe2 31.Qxe2 Rxe2 32.Bxh3 Rd2 33.Bg2 Rxd3 34.Bc6 Rd1+ 35.Kg2 Rd2+ 36.Kg1 h6 37.h4 f6 38.Kf1 Kf7 39.Kg1 Ke6 40.Be4 g5 41.hxg5 fxg5 42.fxg5 hxg5 43.Bf3 Kf5 44.Kf1 Ke5 45.Kg1 Kd4 46.Kf1 Ke3 47.Bb7=

I shall never forget the last round of the 1974 Student Chess Olympiad in Teesside, England, where the Hungarian team played England for the bronze. Our “last Mohican”, poor Vadasz, was supposed to hold an ending like this against Mestel. I cannot recall for how long this torture lasted (with some breaks), but both of the teams were analyzing the damn position like crazy, sharing their “knowledge” with the players during the pauses (Ed: adjournments), but finally it ended up a draw.

In addition both of the parties came to the conclusion that an ending like this is indeed a draw. But even if you can somehow manage to create an exception it will take 3 days of your short life to win...instead of 3 moves!


30.Kh1 Bh3 31.Re2 Qxe2 32.Qxe2 Rc1+! wins.

30...Kg7! 31.d5 Bf3!! Winning. Isn’t it cute?

27...Bg4! 28.Bd6

28.Qxc2 Qxe1+ 29.Bf1 Qxe3+ winning.

28...Rxg2+ 29.Kxg2 Qb7+ 30.e4 Bxd1 0–1

3) Robert Pellerin (1935-2014)

From ChessDryad we learn belatedly of the death of Robert Pellerin on August 2. He was a member of the California Chess Hall of Fame (, from where the following tribute comes.

Robert Pellerin was the co-founder (along with Hans Poschmann) of the Fremont Chess Club in 1968. He became a Richard Shorman student about that time and acquired a very rare 5,000+ chess book and magazine collection; used primarily by Richard as a source for chess lessons and Hayward Daily Review chess columns (RS was given the key to the condo and had use of the library, any time of the day or night.) He also helped fund Richard Shorman lessons and travel expenses for the Fremont Chess Club’s star prodigy, Kenny Fong (NM at 13 years old—1981). He arranged for meeting rooms at the Fremont Library and convinced the Fremont Police Association (he was a Fremont Police Detective) to fund RS lessons and computer equipment for the award-winning Blue Knights scholastic chess team. Starting in the early 1990s, he sponsored unrated tournaments at his Fremont condo, primarily as training for Vinay Bhat. Some of the invited players were Chris Mavraedis, Dave Brooks and Kerry Lawless.

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