Chess Room Newsletter #695 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #695

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter # 695
January 16, 2015

The combination is born in the brain of a Chessplayer. Many thoughts see the light there—true and false, strong and weak, sound and unsound. They are born, jostle one another, and another one of them, transformed into a move on the board, bears away the victory over its rivals.

—Emanuel Lasker, quoted in The Inner Game of Chess: How to Calculate and Win, by Andrew Soltis, revised edition, p. 29

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Winter Tuesday Marathon has shattered the previous attendance of 103 players set in the last TNM. 110 players are competing to date, and more are still welcome with half-point byes available for the first two rounds. Top seeds are FIDE Masters Andy Lee and Paul Whitehead.

Grandmaster Sam Shankland will lecture on his experiences on the Tata Steel tournament for TNM players on January 27 from 5:15 to 6:15 pm. All are welcome to attend this free talk.

From round 2 of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Poling–Shaw after 30 Qxe1)Black to move (Lin–Grey after 30 bxc3)
White to move (Hilliard–Abraham after 13...Qe7)White to move (Handler–Stearman after 22...Qxb2)
Black to move (Robertson–Sherwood after 25 Bf1)Black to move (Purland–Chandrasekaran after 26 Nxh6)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 2.

International Master Rostislav Tsodikov had a successful return to the tournament arena this past Saturday, sharing top honors in the 15th Bob Burger Open with 11-year-old National Master Hans Niemann. The two winners, who drew a hard-fought game in round four, scored 4½-½ to top the 43-player field.

Don’t miss the great articles in the January issue of Chess Life by Mechanics’ Institute Grandmasters James Tarjan and Daniel Naroditsky. The two will be playing in the super-strong Gibraltar Open the second half of January.

Congratulations to six-time U.S. Champion Walter Browne, who won the Pan American Senior Championship in Brazil last fall. You can find Walter’s report on the event and an annotated game at his website at

Registration has opened for the 2015 San Francisco Scholastic Chess Championship, which will be held March 28th at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. Go to to sign up, and for information on the event.

Former Mechanics’ member International Master Jeremy Silman of Los Angeles has a large following on His recent article on the greatest chess books ever written, in which he invites a number of well-known chess personalities to list their favorites, is proving to be particularly interesting, and has attracted over 16,000 hits in two days. Go to to find the article.

Congratulations to M.I. Tuesday Night Marathon regular Bryon Doyle, who tied for first in the Under 2100 section of the North American Open with an undefeated 5½ from 7. Mongolian Grandmaster Batchulun Tsegmed, currently based in San Mateo, scored 5½ from 8 in the Open section, losing only to winner and world-top-ten player Wesley So. The event was held in late December in Las Vegas.

International Master Elliot Winslow and rapidly-improving Expert Michael Lei Wang tied for first in the annual Berkeley Chess Club Championship held October through December. The two winners scored 6½ from 8 to finish a half-point ahead of National Master Uyanga Byambaa and Michael Walder. The latter, who returned to tournament play last summer after a several-decade break from game, is playing his way back into shape and should soon regain his Master title. Kerry Lawless directed the 36-player event for the BCC.

The New Year’s Open organized by Bay Area Chess in early January and held in Burlingame attracted 183 players to what proved to be a particularly strong event. Chinese Grandmaster Xiangzhi Bu (2684 FIDE) won with 5½/6, a point ahead of fellow Grandmasters Parimarjan Negi (2669 FIDE) and Batchuluun Tsegmed, International Master Chen Wang plus Master Emilio Flora. Jordan Langland was the chief tournament director for this event.

National Master Daniel Schwarz won the Kerry Lawless Open in Milpitas the weekend of December 20-21 with a 5–1 score. International Masters Ricardo DeGuzman and Kesav Viswanadha shared second with 4½, followed by FIDE Master Cameron Wheeler and National Master Siddarth Bannik on 4. Richard Kopecke directed the 83-player event.

Former Mechanics’ member Tom Clark, who still reads the Newsletter regularly, is organizing a visit by FIDE Master Alisa Melekhina to his new home of Albany, New York, on January 24 at 2 pm. For more information on the event on Law and Chess go to

Jules Jelinek, M. I. Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator, writes:

The Blitz will start again on January 21, 2015 and run every week until May 13, 2015 (when it stops for a summer break), so circle your calendars. Hope to see you on January 21.

Also, mark your calendars: the Steve Brandwein Memorial Blitz Tournament (he will be attending) will be held at Mechanics Institute on Saturday February 21, 2015. Prizes are $400-250-150-100-100, and every participant gets a free book prize.

2) California State Championship 1921–22

From December 27 to January 8 the chess players of the Pacific Coast followed with the keenest possible interest the play in the first tournament for the Championship of California, held at the rooms of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club, San Francisco.

Eleven competitors, fairly representative of the highest chess skill in that State, took part, and after ten rounds E.W. Gruer of Oakland finished in first place, thereby capturing the title of State Champion, $100 in cash, a gold medal and the Tevis Cup. That there was no question as to his right to the title was shown by the splendid score of 10-0 credited to the new champion. Furthermore, such old campaigners as Stasch Mlotkowski, Ernest J. Clarke, Harry Borochow, A.J. Fink and W. Metzke had to be content with places at a considerable distance below the proud position of the victor.

The following were the prize winners:
1st E.W. Gruer (Oakland) 10-0
2nd S. Mlotkowski (Los Angeles) 7
3rd-4th  E.J. Clarke (San Francisco) 6
3rd-4th H. Borochow (Los Angeles) 6
5th-6th A.J. Fink (San Francisco) 5½
5th-6th W. Metzke (Fresno) 5½

Queen Pawn-Stonewall D00
California State Championship 1921-1922

1.d4 d5 2.Nd2 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 Be7 5.f4 Nbd7 6.Nh3 c5 7.c3 b6 8.0–0 Bb7 9.Nf2 Qc7 10.Qe2 a6 11.b3 Bd6 12.g3 0–0 13.Bb2 Rfe8 14.Rac1 Nf8 15.h4 Qe7 16.g4 N6d7 17.g5 f6 18.Ng4 Rac8 19.Rce1 b5 20.Qg2 Rc7 21.gxf6 Nxf6 22.Nxf6+ Qxf6 23.Nf3 c4 24.Bc2 cxb3 25.axb3 Rec8 26.Bd3 Qh6 27.Qh3 Nd7 28.Ng5 Nf8 29.Re2 Re8 30.Rg2 g6?

30...Bc8 would have kept Black in the game. The text creates a terrible weakness White jumps on.


31.h5! was more direct but the text is also quite good.


Black tries to muddy the water but with little chance of success.

32.fxe5 Bxe5 33.dxe5 Rxe5 34.Kg1 Rce7 35.Bc1 Nd7 36.Qg3 Nc5 37.Bc2 Qg7 38.Rgf2 h6 39.Nf7 Rh5 40.Bxg6 Nd7 41.Nd6 Bc6 42.Rf7 Kh8 43.Rxg7 Rxg7 44.Rf7 Rg5 45.hxg5 1–0

Source: American Chess Bulletin, January 1922, pages 9 and 10.

3) Here and There

Grandmasters Varuzhan Akobian (2637 FIDE) and Julio Becerra (2546 FIDE) played a 6-game match at the Spring Hill Suites in Lawrence, Kansas, from December 8–10, which was won convincingly by the former by the score of 4½–1½. The event was sponsored by Falbo Knows Tennis.

Andy Ansel supplies the following game from a weekend Swiss where Larsen shared first place with Pal Benko.

Sicilian B07
Bent Larsen–Peter Gould
Salem (NH) Merrimack Grand Prix, September 1968

1.f4 g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.e4 c5 4.d3 Nc6 5.Be2 d6 6.a4 Nf6 7.0–0 0–0 8.Qe1 c4 9.Kh1 cxd3 10.Bxd3 Bg4 11.Na3 e5 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Bg5 Qb8 14.Qh4 Bxf3 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Qxf6 Bg4 17.Bc4 Qe8 18.Nb5 Qe7 19.h3 Be6 20.Qxe7 Nxe7 21.Bxe6 fxe6 22.Nc7 Rac8 23.Nxe6 Rfe8 24.c3 Nc6 25.Rf6 Na5 26.Raf1 Nc4 27.R1f2 b6 28.Kh2 Ne3 29.Ng5 Rc7 30.Kg3 Nd1 31.Rd2 Ne3 32.Re2 Nc4 33.Ref2 Na5 34.Ne6 Rcc8 35.h4 Nc4 36.h5 Nxb2 37.Rxb2 Rc6 38.hxg6 hxg6 39.Rxg6+ Kh7 40.Nf8+. 1–0

Source: Chess Scribe Oct 1968

Richard Reich provides the following simul game, played during one of Larry Christiansen’s tours he gave for Church’s Chicken.

Larry Christiansen–Jim Brotsos
Church’s Fried Chicken simul
Chicago, Sep 27, 1978

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Bb4 5.Bg2 d6 6.O-O Bd7 7.Nd5 Bc5 8.d3 h6 9.Bd2 a5 10.Bc3 Rb8 11.e3 O-O 12.d4 Ba7 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6 14.dxe5 Qe6 15.exd6 cxd6 16.b3 Rfc8 17.Qd2 Bb6 18.Rad1 Bc7 19.Nd4 Nxd4 20.Qxd4 Qg6 21.Be4 f5 22.Bxb7 Re8 23.Bd5+ Kh7 24.Rfe1 Be6 25.Bxe6 Rxe6 26.Qa7 Re7 27.Bxa5 Bxa5 28.Qxa5 Rd7 29.Rd5 Rdd8 30.Red1 Qe6 31.Rxf5 1-0


The Chicago Industrial Chess League, which started in the 1950s and is still going strong, has posted all of their bulletins online at

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