Chess Room Newsletter #703 | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Chess Room Newsletter #703

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #703
March 27, 2015

In general, what a chess player needs has always been the same, with a love of chess the main requirement. Moreover, it has to be loved naturally, with passion, the way people love art, drawing and music. That passion possesses you and seeps into you. I still look at chess with the eyes of a child.

—Boris Spassky, in an interview with Anatoly Samokhvalov at

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

International Master Elliott Winslow heads a group of 15 players with perfect scores after round two of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. The 8-round event, currently with 98 participants, is still open for entry with half-point byes for rounds one and two.

From round 2 of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Winslow–Askin after 27...b3)White to move (Vickers–Gerwin after 11...Nxd5)
Black to move (McKellar–Cole after 47 Kf1)Black to move (Cheng–Allen after 11 d3)
Black to move (Eastham–Ross after 33 Kh3)Black to move (Kondakov–Morgan after 20 Bc4)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 2.

Mongolian Grandmaster Batchuluun Tsegmed won the 15th Max Wilkerson G/45 tournament held March 21 with a score of 4½ from 5. Jason Childress, Chinguun Bayaraa and Anthony Acosta tied for second at 4–1 in the 33-player field.

Jules Jelinek, Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator writes:

Results of the Wednesday Night Blitz for March 18

1st - Gady Costeff
2nd – Jules Jelinek
3rd – Karim Seada

Be sure to mark May 3 on your calendar. That is when the big Ray Schutt Blitz will be held at Mechanics’ Institute. Signup will be that day 12–12:45 pm, with the games getting under way around 1 pm.The guaranteed prizes are $400-$250-$150-$100-$100.

Also the Blitz on Saturday March 28 at 1 pm at Discovery Bay has been moved to a different location. It will be held at 29 Rudder Ct. in Discovery Bay. Entry fee has been lowered to $20 and prizes (based on 12 participants) will be $100/$50 for 1st/2nd respectively. Those interested please contact Ana Hatarik ([email protected]).

Congratulations to FIDE Master and International Arbiter Eric Schiller who celebrated his 60th birthday on March 20. Eric has contributed a tremendous amount to chess as an author, player, teacher, tournament director and organizer. He may be best remembered for the latter, particularly the World Student Team Championship he put at the University of Chicago in 1983 and the 1998 US Open in Kona, Hawai.

Mechanics’ members will be glad to hear that 11-year-old Hans Niemann, who made the MI his second home in 2013–2014, playing hundreds of games there, is continuing to improve in 2015 at his new residence—the Marshall Chess Club.

The following victory pushed Hans’ U.S.C.F. rating close to 2300. The notes to the game are very generously supplied by Grandmaster Alex Lenderman, who will represent the United States in the 2015 World Team Championship this April in Armenia.

March 2nd Thursday Action
London System A48
Alex Lenderman–Hans Niemann
New York (2) 2015

Notes by Alex Lenderman

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.e3 0–0

4...Nh5 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 g5 7.Nfd2




5...Nh5!? 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5.

6.h3 Nbd7 7.0–0 Qe8 8.c4

8.Bh2!? e5 9.Nfd2 Qe7

8...e5 9.Bh2 Qe7

9...Ne4!? 10.Qc2 f5

10.Nc3 c6 11.Qc2 Nh5 12.Rfd1

12.dxe5 dxe5 13.Nd2 f5; 12.b4!? f5 13.c5 f4 (13...d5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.dxe5 Bxe5 16.Bxe5 Qxe5 17.Bxh5 gxh5 18.Ne2 with a clear advantage) 14.cxd6 Qxd6 15.b5 was more direct.

12...f5 13.c5 dxc5 14.dxe5 f4

14...Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Bxe5 Qxe5 17.Bxh5 gxh5 18.Ne2 favors White.

15.Ne4 fxe3?



16.Bc4+! Kh8 17.e6! exf2+ 18.Nxf2 winning! We both missed it. After all it was a rapid G/25 with five-second delay.

16...Nxe5 17.Qxc5 Nxf3+ 18.Bxf3 Qxc5 19.Nxc5 Re8?!

19...Nf6 with equal chances is more accurate, although 19…Re8 basically won Hans the game.




This doesn’t work against perfect play, but props for being brave, and trusting your instincts.

21.Rd8+ Kf7 22.Nxb7??

Total hallucination. As soon as I touched his pawn on b7 I saw the writing on the wall. Moral of the story: Don’t play after a tough long day if you have a chance.

22.Bxh5! gxh5 23.Rf1+ Ke7 24.Rd2!! Be5 25.Kf2 would be winning for White. The rook gets trapped.

22...Bxb7 23.Rd7+ Re7

This was obviously missed by me.

24.Rxb7 Rxb7 25.Bxc6 Rab8 26.Bd5+ Ke7 27.Re1+ Kd7 28.Rd1

The only try.


Props for being brave and turning down the repetition despite being down to less than 5 minutes in a complicated-looking position against a higher-rated player.

29.Bb3+ Kc6 30.Rc1+ Kb7 31.Bd5+ Ka6 32.g4?

32.Bxb8 Rxb8 33.b3 is lost in the long run, but could’ve made Black’s job a bit more difficult.


And later Black won. Good for Hans! Not a perfect game of course, mostly due to its being rapid, but a lot of props to Hans for energetic and brave/confident play. I think Hans has all the chances in the world to go far in chess.


2) 2015 US Chess Championship

The 2015 U.S. Championship will be held in St. Louis from March 31 through April 14, simultaneously with the 2015 U.S. Women’s Championship. The Mechanics’ Institute has two members in the 12-player field—Sam Shankland and Daniel Naroditsky. This is arguably the strongest field ever for a U.S. Championship. The 2000 event, also a 12-player round-robin, had a little more depth at the bottom, but was not nearly as strong at the top.

2015 U.S. Championship Field

GM Gata Kamsky (U.S. Champion)
GM Hikaru Nakamura (Rating)
GM Wesley So (Rating)
GM Ray Robson (Rating)
GM Alex Onischuk (Rating)
GM Daniel Naroditsky (Rating)
GM Sam Shankland (Rating)
GM Varuzhan Akobian (Rating)
GM Timur Gareev (Rating)
GM Kayden Troff (US Junior Champion)
GM Conrad Holt (US Open Champion)
GM Sam Sevian (Wildcard)

2015 U.S. Women’s Championship Field

GM Irina Krush (U.S. Champion)
IM Anna Zatonskih (Rating)
WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (Rating)
WGM Sabina Foisor (Rating)
WGM Katerina Nemcova (Rating)
IM Nazi Paikidze (Rating)
FM Alisa Melekhina (Rating)
IM Rusudan Goletiani (Rating)
WGM Anna Sharevich (Rating)
WIM Annie Wang (Wildcard)
NM Apurva Virkud (Wildcard)
WFM Jennifer Yu (Wildcard)

Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih have dominated this tournament the past decade. One of the two has won every event going back to 2006, with Krush victorious the last three events. Five players make their debut this year (Paikidze, Sharevich, Virkud, Wang and Yu). The latter two are only 12 years old.

The 2015 U.S. Championships will be streamed live on, again featuring play-by-play and analysis from commentary team of GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade.

Live spectators may also take in the action in the upstairs tournament hall of the CCSCSL, which offers additional on-site GM-led commentary as well as food catering included with ticket purchase.

3) Boris Spassky on his 1992 match with Bobby Fischer

Weren’t you worried when you travelled to the 1992 match with Fischer in Yugoslavia? You’re a citizen of France, which supported sanctions against the Balkan state.

No, I wasn’t worried. I looked on that match as a celebration. Fischer had surfaced, there was no burden of responsibility and the prize fund was good. I could secure myself a pension and I had the enormous pleasure of inviting my Soviet friends Nikitin and Balashov to be my seconds.

Did France try to persuade you not to go?

France, like the USA, got involved itself from the legal point of view during the Yugoslav crisis. The point was that a great number of French businessmen sold weapons during the war in Yugoslavia, which wasn’t permitted. When the question of paying taxes arose I ended up having to find the best lawyer in the country, someone who dealt specifically with such issues.

4) Here and There

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis has done the chess world a favor by conducting a literature review to answer the question, “Does chess provide educational benefits?”

Andy Ansel sends in two games played by International Master Donald Byrne, published in a Washington D.C. chess publication of the time.

English A21
Donald Byrne–Lev Zaitsev
Washington DC (Eastern op) 1968

1.c4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.g3 e5 4.Bg2 Ne7 5.e3 0–0 6.Nge2 d6 7.0–0 Nd7 8.b3 f5 9.d4 a5 10.Ba3 g5 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Nd5 Ng6 13.Bxf8 Ndxf8 14.Rc1 f4 15.Rc2 Ra6 16.Rd2 Bd7 17.Ndc3 g4 18.Bxb7 Rb6 19.Bd5+ Kh8 20.c5 Rf6 21.exf4 exf4 22.Ne4 Rf5 23.Nxf4 Nxf4 24.gxf4 Qh4 25.Ng3 Rf6 26.f3 Rh6 27.Qe2 Ng6 28.fxg4 Bxg4 29.Qe8+ Nf8 30.Qf7 Ne6 31.f5 Rf6 32.Qe8+ Nf8 33.Rdf2 Bh3 34.Bg2 Bg4 35.Rf4 Bh6 36.Re4 Qg5 37.Re6 Rxe6 38.fxe6 Qe3+ 39.Kh1 1–0

Source: The King’s File Vol. 2, #4

Grunfeld D88
John Rather–Donald Byrne
Washington DC (Eastern op) 1968

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.Bc4 Bg7 8.Ne2 cxd4 9.cxd4 Nc6 10.Be3 0–0 11.0–0 b6 12.Rc1 Bb7 13.f3 Qd6 14.Qd2 Rac8 15.Rfd1 Na5 16.Bd3 e6 17.Rxc8 Rxc8 18.Rc1 Qa3 19.Rxc8+ Bxc8 20.Qc3 Qxc3 21.Nxc3 Nc6 22.Ne2 Kf8 23.Kf2 Ke7 24.e5 f6 25.f4 Nb4 26.Bc4 Bb7 27.Bc1 Bd5 28.Bxd5 Nxd5 29.g3 f5 30.Ke1 b5 31.Kd2 Kd7 32.Bb2 Bf8 33.Nc1 Bb4+ 34.Kd3 Kc6 35.Ne2 a5 36.Ng1 Be7 37.a3 Nb6 38.Bc1 a4 39.Ne2 Nc4 40.Nc3 Nxa3 41.h3 h5 42.Bxa3 Bxa3 43.Ne2 Be7 44.Nc3 Bb4 45.Na2 Be1 46.Ke2 Ba5 47.Kd3 b4 48.Kc4 b3 49.Nc3 Bxc3 50.Kxc3 0–1

Source: The King’s File Vol. 2, #4

5) This is the end

Here is a study composed by Sergey Mikhailovich Kaminer in 1927. Black is ahead in material, but can he win? As is typical of studies, things aren’t as simple as they seem.

White to move

Show solution

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 →