Chess Room Newsletter #687 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #687

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanic’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #687
October 31, 2014

...Strange things happen. Weinstein, as you prefer to call the man, and Karpov are very different as people. The younger one is a psychopath, with messianic mission in his and his mother’s head, with high political ambitions to rule the chess world and the other world, too. At first he was for Gorbachev, then very much against him, and just lately, he left his new political party in Russia, namely disappointed for the lack of its radicalism. He feels no responsibility for truth in his statements. He felt offended and also left the leadership of the GMA (Grandmasters Chess Association) when he met some opposition (Kok, Timman, Ljubojevic, Spassky and others) and could not have full control as much as he liked. ...

—Svetozar Gligoric, writing to Bobby Fischer about Garry Kasparov on May 13, 1991

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Fall Tuesday Night Marathon, headed by top seed International Master Elliott Winslow, has 84 entries. It’s still possible to enter the eight-round Swiss with half-point byes for rounds one and two.

From round 2 of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Krasnov–Shaw after 31 Qb6)White to move (Byambaa–Anderson after 9...Be7)
White to move (Vickers–Andries after 29...g5)Black to move (Sherwood–Gaffagan after 21 cxb3)
White to move (Doyle–Newey after 22...Rab8)Black to move (Sahin–Harris after 12 Nxe5)
Black to move (Nyangar–Lamstein after 18 Qf3)For the solutions, see the game scores (when available) for round 2.

The Bay Area now has several strong female players. Iryna Zenyuk of El Cerrito is top-rated at 2329, followed by Tuesday Night Marathon regular Uyanga Byambaa of Oakland at 2258. Uyanga has gained over 100 rating points since February. 14-year-old Ashritha Eswaran of Fremont is 2181, followed by another TNM regular (and winner), Natalya Tsodikova of Daly City at 2170.

The Western States Open, held in Reno from October 17–19, ended in a six-way tie for first at 4½ from 6. Sharing top honors in the open section were Grandmasters Melik Khachiyan, Alexander Ivanov, Alex Yermolinsky, Walter Browne, Enrico Sevillano and International Master Andrey Gorovets.

Several members of the Mechanics’ Institute entry in the US Chess League had good results. Cameron Wheeler was the top scorer with 4–2, followed by Hans Niemann at 3½ (a win over FM Eugene Yanayt and a draw with IM John Bryant). Siddarth Banik beat GM Sergey Kudrin and drew Bryant.

MI member Scott Poling won the B-section with 5½, to jump from 1766 to 1871, while Nihar Ayinala won over 50 rating points to finish as the top player rated under 1000.

The biggest news was the performance of 8-year-old Chiguun Bayaraa who was the top scorer under 2000 in the open section, at 3½ from 6, and whose USCF rating is now 2011. This makes Chinguun the top-rated player for his age in the United States.

The Mechanics’ was just out of the prizes for best scoring team, finishing with 32½ points—the Seattle Chess Club had 33½, followed by the Nor Cal House of Chess with 33.

Fran and Jerry Weikel organized and directed the W.S.O. with the support of the Sands Regency Hotel and Casino.

Siddarth Banik tied for first with Jack Zhu at 5½ /6 in the 76-player Sam Shankland Open held October 13-14 in Santa Clara. Both teenagers defeated Grandmaster Enrico Sevillano, with Banik’s performance putting him over 2300 U.S.C.F. for the first time.

The first-ever meeting of the Ortega Chess Club in San Francisco was held on October 25, with International Master Elliott Winslow appearing as a special guest.

We start at 2 pm and are located at 3223 Ortega Street. There is usually plenty of street parking nearby, and the 71 bus line is convenient.

Meghan Monahan
Ortega Public Library

Daniel Naroditsky shines in 2014 SPICE Cup

18-year old Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky had another fine result, tying for second in the 2014 SPICE Cup (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) held October 21-26 in Clayton, Missouri. Daniel scored 6½ from 9 to tie with fellow Grandmaster Ray Robson (2628) and improve his FIDE rating a few points. The winner of the event was Ukrainian GM Ilya Nyznik, who is studying at Webster University, as are many of the top finishers in this event. Among those on six points were GMs Liem (2706 FIDE) and Durarbayli (2624) with former MI-Grandmaster-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky and former MI US Chess League member Samuel Sevian on 5½ points.

Grandmaster Sam Shankland of Orinda tied for first in the 9th Pan American Continental, a qualifying event for the 2015 FIDE World Cup. Sam was joined in first at 8½/11 by Grandmasters Julio Grand Zuniga of Peru, fellow American Alex Shabalov, Cuban Reynaldo Suarez Ortiz, Brazilian Rafael Leitao and International Master Alan Pichot of Argentina, who upset the top-ranked player in the event, Lazaro Bruzon of Cuba, in the final round. The result of Shabalov was particularly impressive, as he had been in a slump of late, and at 2499 FIDE, got very difficult pairings. He responded to the challenge, scoring 3½ from 6 against players over 2600 FIDE to perform at 2692, good for a 30-point rating gain.

The six winners played off for the four spots for the 2015 World Cup with Shankland, Granda, Leitao, and Suarez Ortiz winning the tickets for Baku. The World Cup will be held in the Azeri capital in September-October 2015. Hikaru Nakamura (rating) and Sam are the first two Americans to qualify. The 2015 U.S. Championship will be a Zonal, with five spots up for grabs.

Here is a key win for Sam from round 9:

Benoni E91
Sam Shankland L (2633)–Gilberto Hernandez (2531)
IX American Continental 2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Nf3 0–0 7.Be2 e6 8.0–0 exd5 9.exd5 Bg4 10.Bf4 a6 11.Qd2 Qb6 12.Rae1 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Nbd7 14.b3 Rfe8 15.g4 Qb4 16.Bxd6 Nxg4 17.Ne4 Qxd2 18.Nxd2 Nge5 19.Bg2 Nd3 20.Re7 Rxe7 21.Bxe7 Bf6 22.Bxf6 Nxf6 23.Rd1 b6 24.d6 Rd8 25.Nf3 Nf4 26.Ne5 Ne2+ 27.Kf1 Nd4 28.d7 h5 29.Bh3 Ng4 30.Bxg4 hxg4 31.Rxd4 cxd4 32.b4 1–0

Back-to-back World Series games in San Francisco on October 25-26 had a major impact on the attendance for the 43rd Annual Carroll Capps tournament, which attracted only 24 entries. Top seed NM Paul Gallegos of Santa Rosa won his first four games, including a win over second seed Andrew Hong, but then took two half-point byes. This allowed Hong to catch up by winning his final games. The two winners’ 5–1 scores were a half-point ahead of third-place Michael Lei Wang.

2) Berkeley Chess Club News, by Marc Newman

The Berkeley Chess Club Championship is underway and runs through December 19. There are eight rounds and you can request a bye for missed rounds. Thanks to an anonymous donor, the prize fund is $1000 again this year, spread across multiple sections. The entry fee is $40. Location is 1720 Oregon St. in Berkeley, which is very close to the Ashby BART station. The playing room is large and well lit. The skittles room is also lively.

Recent winners of the Championship include Andy Lee, Robin Cunningham, and Roger Poehlmann.

The club page is always here:

The BCC is also sponsoring the Berkeley Open this year, a three-section tournament with a nice long time control. This is a weekend event on Nov. 22–23. Four rounds, at Hillside School in Berkeley, a few blocks from UC-Berkeley.

In other news, Uyanga Byambaa went 6–0 to win the BCC’s latest tournament, including wins over two NMs and an IM. You can see the crosstable here.

3) How Bobby Fischer helped produce Game of Thrones

It’s true that Bobby Fischer had a hand in making George Martin’s Game of Thrones series come to life, albeit indirectly.

Fischer made chess popular in the United States in the early to mid-1970s in a way it has never been, before or since. The heightened interest came at just the right time for Martin, who, long before he became famous as a writer, directed tournaments for the Continental Chess Association. This was how the author and USCF 1905-rated tournament player paid the bills from 1973 to 1976.

According to a recent interview with The Independent available at ,

it was Fischer’s world championship run that created enough demand for chess tournaments that Martin was able to keep his head above water until his writing career took off. As he explains:

The importance of chess to me was not as a player but as a tournament director. In my early 20s, I was writing. I sold a few short stories. My big dream was to be a full-time writer and support myself with my fiction, but I wasn’t making enough money to pay my rent and pay the phone bill—so I had to have a day job.

Most writers who have to have a day job work five days a week and then they have the weekend off to write. These chess tournaments were all on the weekend so I had to work on Saturday and Sunday—but then I had five days off to write. The chess generated enough money for me to pay my bills

Martin has not played in tournaments for many years and in the interview he explained why.

You have to study the books and memorize the openings and play constantly, play games every day, over and over again," he sighs. "I wasn’t willing to do that. I enjoyed chess, it was fun playing it and doing the tournaments but I didn’t want to make it my job. Writing gave me much more satisfaction.

4) A Chess Poem by Dennis Fritzinger


every tournament
weak American coffee
in Styrofoam cups

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