Chess Room Newsletter #721 | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Chess Room Newsletter #721

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #721
September 25, 2015

How did the time spent in the USSR help your chess? Do you see yourself as a member of the Soviet Chess School?

Yes, of course, the fundamentals come from that time. Although I was fourteen when our family moved to Israel, it was the background received in the USSR that contributed largely to my chess career. As for the Soviet Chess School—opinions vary: what does it mean exactly? In my opinion it is more about a serious profound approach to chess, and maybe about deep professional preparation, rather than a playing style. And in this regards, even players who never lived in the USSR/Russia, like Anand or Caruana, can be also considered as heirs of the Soviet Chess School legacy...

—Israeli Grandmaster Emil Sutovsky, interviewed by Dorsa Derakhshani.
For the full interview go to

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Natalya Tsodikova, who made plus scores in the 1995 and 1996 U.S. Women’s Championship, showed her old form this past Tuesday as she defeated tournament leader Uyanga Byambaa in round eight of the Leighton Allen Tuesday Night Marathon.

This leaves a half-dozen players competing for the top prizes with one round to go. Byambaa, Tsodikova and International Master Elliott Winslow lead, with 6½ from 8. Top seed National Master James Critelli (2376) and Experts Josiah Stearman and Peter Grey have 6.

From round 8 of the Leighton Allen Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Byambaa–Tsodikova after 16 f4)Black to move (Basak–Winslow after 36 Kxf4)
Black to move (Lagrotta–Anderson after 18 Bf4)Black to move (Andries–Standen after 27 Kg1)
Black to move (Shnaiderman–McKellar after 43 Kd2)Black to move (Harris–Yamamoto after 31 f6)
White to move (Mathrubootham–Gurovich after 18...Kxe7)For the solutions, see the game scores for round 8.

The Leighton Allen is the fifth Tuesday Night Marathon in a row to reach triple digits in attendance.

Fall 2014 – 103 players
Winter 2015 – 121 players
Spring 2015 – 106 players
Summer 2015 – 106 players
Leighton Allen – 102 players (with one round remaining)

We believe the Tuesday Night Marathon series, which started in the early 1970s, is the largest week-night tournament in the United States and possibly the world.

Jules Jelinek runs the Wednesday Night Blitz each week at the Mechanics’. Sign-up starts at 6:30 pm and round one begins at 6:40. Late entries are accepted. It will be every Wednesday night (no interruptions) from here on out until Thanksgiving.

Results for September 16:
1st - Arthur Ismakov
2nd-3rd – National Master Tensing Shaw and Jules Jelinek

The Mechanics’ lost their round five match in the US Chess League to Dallas 3½–½, with only International Master David Pruess drawing (with Black) against junior star Ruifeng Li (2502 USCF at age 14). The team is now at 50 percent mid-way in the season.

Those visiting the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club during the month of September should not miss the chance to view the display on Walter Browne by M.I. librarian Kevin Coleman. It can be found on the 4th floor just outside the elevator.

One of the many great perks of being a Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club member is having a club that is open seven days a week. Another is having access to a library that has over 1500 chess books and is constantly adding to its collection. Recent additions include:

Emanuel Berg: The French Defence 3
Mark Dvoretsky: For friends & colleagues. Volume 1, Profession--chess coach
Mauricio Flores Rios: Chess structures: a grandmaster guide: standard patterns & plans explained
Sarhan Guliev: Winning chess manoeuvres: strategic ideas that masters never fail to find
Cyrus Lakdawala: The classical French, move by move
Bent Larsen Bent Larsen's best games: fighting chess with the great Dane
Parimarjan Negi: 1.e4 vs The French, Caro-Kann & Philidor
Parimarjan Negi: 1.e4 vs the Sicilian I
Richard Pert: Playing the Trompowsky
Judit Polgar: A game of queens

One of the great bargains in American chess has to be a membership in the Mechanics' Institute. Where else can you find a club open 10 hours a day, seven days a week, plus access to a general interest library that includes over 1500 chess books and over 60 chess DVDs for only $95 ($35 for juniors and students) a year ?

2) 2015 USCF Awards

The USCF Executive Board honored the following individuals at its annual Awards Luncheon held during the US Open this past August in Phoenix.
a. Distinguished Service Award - Al Lawrence (TX), Pal Benko (Hungary)
b. Outstanding Career Achievement Award - L. Gordon Brooks (S-CA), Robert Haines (NM), Jim Talmadge (AZ)
c. Special Services Award - David Grimaud (SC), Ron Kensek (NM), Steve Perea (NM), Barbara DeMaro (NY)
d. Meritorious Services Award - Daniel Rensch (AZ), Robby Adamson (AZ), Enrique Huerta (AZ), Elizabeth Shaugnessy (N-CA)
e. Committee of the Year - Website Advisory Committee
f. Chess City of the Year - Sunrise, FL
g. Koltanowski Awards - Gold - Frank Berry (OK), Silver - Amy Lee (BC)
h. Scholastic Service Award - Individual -Roger Gottschall, (IA), Organization - US Chess Trust
i. Organizer of the Year - Al and Janelle Losoff (NV)
j. Frank J. Marshall Award - Don Schultz (FL)
k. Grandmaster of the Year - Sam Shankland (N-CA)
l. Honorary Chess Mate - Myron and Rachel Lieberman (AZ)
m. Chess Club of the Year - NorCal House of Chess (N-CA)
n. College of the Year - Webster University (MO)
o. Tournament Director of the Year - Mike Hoffpauir (VA)
p. Tournament Director Lifetime Achievement Award - Bill Goichberg (NY), Carol Jarecki (NY), Ira Lee Riddle (Posthumously) (PA), Joe Lux (NJ)
q. Outstanding Player Achievement Award - Hikaru Nakamura (MO)
r. Outstanding Team Performance Award - Yasser Seirawan (Netherlands), Jennifer Shahade (PA), Maurice Ashley (NY)
s. Woman Chessplayer of the Year Award - Irina Krush (NY)

3) International Master David Pruess has invented a new game

International Master David Pruess of Berkeley writes:

The card game I’ve been working on for 2 years is finally ready, and published. We’re having a launch party for the game this Sunday, September 27th, from 1-5 pm, at Games of Berkeley. Food, drink, chat, show-and-tell, and a chance to try the game. If you’re interested, I’d love to see you there.

The Facebook event page can be found at The website is

The game will become available for order this Sunday.

4) Announcement about 2016 World Chess Candidates Tournament

Agon and FIDE are very pleased to announce a Call of Interest to host the 2016 World Chess Candidates Tournament on March 8–29, 2016.

The Candidates Tournament is one of the most important and most followed tournaments in the World Chess Championship cycle. It will determine the challenger for the 2016 World Chess Championship Match.

Eight players will participate in the Candidates Tournament and the winner qualifies for the World Chess Championship Match which will take place on November 9–November 30, 2016.

The eight players qualify to the Tournament as follows:
one player who lost the 2014 World Chess Championship match,
two winners of the World Cup,
two winners of the Grand Prix series,
two players by rating
and one is nominated by the organizers.

Prize fund for the event (including the FIDE fee) is EUR 540,000 and estimated costs are ranging from $1.25 million to $1.45 million depending on various factors.

Details of the Tournament:
Dates: March 8–29, 2016
Number of players: 8
Format: Double round robin tournament (14 rounds)
Length: 22 days including arrivals, departures, opening and closing ceremonies
Prize fund: EUR 540,000 including FIDE fees

4) Here and There

National Master John Blackstone of Las Vegas, who grew up in Saratoga, California, sends along the following game. John played for the United States in the Student Olympiad in 1968, where he made the excellent score of 5½ from 9 as second reserve.

Going into the last round of the 1966 U.S. Junior Closed Walter Browne and Robert Wachtel were tied for first with scores of 4–2 and David Blohm of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club and Alan Baisley (then from Hatboro, Pennsylvania, but soon to study at UC Berkeley) were right behind at 3½. Walter came through in a must-win game that does not appear in his book The Stress of Chess.

Final scores: 1. Browne 5 (with one forfeit loss) 2-3. Wachtel and Blohm 4½. This was the first U.S. Junior Closed; prior to this there was only a U.S. Junior Open.

Alan Baisley–Walter Browne
US Junior Closed, New York (7) 1966

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Kh1 0-0 9.f4 d6 10.g4 Nc6 11.Nxc6 Qxc6 12.g5 Ne8 13.f5 exf5 14.Nd5 Bd8 15.Qf3 Nc7 16.c4 b5 17.b3 bxc4 18.bxc4 Rb8 19.Bd2 Be6 20.Bc3 fxe4 21.Bxe4 Qxc4 22.Nxc7 Bxc7 23.Rad1 Rbe8 24.Rd4 Qc5 25.Rd5 Bxd5 26.Bxd5 Re7 27.Bf6 Re3 28.Qg2 Kh8 29.Bxf7 Bd8 30.Bb3 Qc7 31.Bd4 Rxf1+ 32.Qxf1 Re8 33.Bd5 Qe7 34.Bc3 Qc7 35.Bd4 Bxg5 0–1 (White lost on time).

Source: Christian Science Monitor, July 25, 1966 (page 11)

5) This is the end

This week’s study has all the action on the kingside. Who deserves to win (or draw)?

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 →