Chess Room Newsletter #724 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #724

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #724
October 30, 2015

You were pressing him so strongly, that there was nothing for him to do but make forced moves. You should have allowed him to move about a little, and, you see he would have thought up something.

—Viktor Korchnoi, as remembered by Genna Sosonko,
in Viktor Korchnoi’s My Best Games Vol. 1, page 12

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

There were upsets galore in round two of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon, led by Tom Maser’s defeat of IM Elliott Winslow. Enkjhin (Cindy) Gomboludev, rated 1436, has a performance rating of 2200 after scoring 1½ from 2 against players rated an average of around 2000. It’s not too late to join the 93-player field with half-point byes for the first two games of the nine-round event.

From round 2 of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Walder–Drane after 29 Kg1)Black to move (Askin–Melville after 11 h5)
White to move (Clemens–Macintyre after 13...Qxf6)White to move (Yamamoto–Marcus after 27...Qxd6)
White to move (Anderson–Chalissery after 13...h6)Black to move (Sherwood–Mathrubootham after 33 Qf3)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 2.

The following game, and others played in TNMs past and present, can be found in PGN format and viewed with a game player (the last two for completed events) at

Michael Walder (2113)–Robert Drane (1909)
Mechanics’ Fall TNM (2) 2015

1.c4 f5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 e5 4.Bg2 g6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.0–0 Bg7 7.d3 0–0 8.Rb1 a5 9.a3 d6 10.b4 axb4 11.axb4 Be6 12.b5 Ne7 13.Bd2

13.Ng5 Bc8 14.f4 was a way to try to exploit Black’s not playing ...h6, but it is not clear it favors White.

13...h6 14.Qc2 Qe8 15.e4

15.Ra1 is another way to handle the position.

15...g5 16.Nd5 Rc8

16...Nexd5 17.cxd5 Bd7 might be better.

17.b6 cxb6 18.Nxf6+ Rxf6 19.exf5 Bxf5 20.Rxb6 Bg4 21.Nxg5!?

Interesting, although 21.Ne1 looks a little better for White and without any risk.

Michael made a similar piece sacrifice against Walter Browne in the Berkeley Senior Championship last May which might have influenced his decision. He lost that game but in a hard fight. You can find it, the last game Walter Browne ever annotated, in MI Newsletter #720.

21...hxg5 22.Bxg5 Rg6 23.Bd2 Nc6 24.Rxb7??

24.Be3 or 24.Bc3 was necessary to trade the knight off if it heads for d4. White understandably wants his third pawn for the piece, but now Black’s knight becomes very powerful.

24...Nd4 25.Qa2 Bf3! 26.Rb6 Qf7 27.Re1 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 Qf3+ 29.Kg1 Ne2+! 30.Rxe2

Forced, as 30.Kf1 is met by 30...Rxg3!, with mate soon to follow.

30...Qxe2 31.Qa6 Rf8 32.Be3 Bh6 33.Rxd6 Qd1+ 34.Kg2 Qf3+ 35.Kg1 Rxd6 36.Qxd6 Qf6??

36...Bxe3 won on the spot. Maybe Black saw a ghost in an otherwise well-played game. There is no perpetual, as the bishop on e3 still covers h6.

37.Qd5+ Kh7 38.Qe4+ Qf5 39.Qxf5+

39.Qh4 Rf6 40.g4 Qf3 41.h3 (41.g5 Ra6) 41...Kg7 (41...Ra6 42.Qe7+) 42.g5 Rg6 43.Kh2 Kg8 44.c5 Kf8 45.Bd2 Bg7 46.Be3 was another idea. Black should be winning, but White has some practical chances.

39...Rxf5 40.Kg2?

40.Bxh6 Kxh6 41.Kf1 heading to the center was necessary. The Encyclopedia of Chess Endings volume covering rook versus pawns gives many examples with three pawns versus the rook, but none with the present material distribution. White’s pawns are not very far advanced, but he has four extra ones. One possible plan for White is to play his king to e3 and then put his pawns on f3, g4 and h5.

40...Bxe3 41.fxe3 Kg6 42.g4

42.d4 exd4 43.exd4 Rf8 and the queenside pawns will soon fall.

42...Rf8 43.h4 Rd8 44.Kf3 Rxd3 45.Ke4 Rc3 46.Kxe5 Rxc4 0–1

Ewelina Krubnik continues to teach her free class for girls and women every Sunday from 11 am to 1 pm at the MI. All females are welcome to attend.

The ten-team Western Division of the US Chess League’s regular season was won by St. Louis and Dallas with score of 6½–3½. The Mechanics’ tied for 3rd and 4th with Las Vegas, and will meet Seattle in the first round of the playoffs next Wednesday. This marks the ninth time in the eleven years of the USCL that the MI has qualified for the post-season. This was made possible by a strong finish of three wins and a draw in the last four matches. Leading the way was perennial USCL star Grandmaster Vinay Bhat with 3½ out 4 (2829 performance rating). Mid-season roster addition James Critelli provided valuable late season support, scoring 3 out of 4.

Jules Jelinek, Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator, writes:

Wednesday Night Blitz at the club (Mechanics’ Institute) continues without interruption until Thanksgiving. Sign-up is at 6:30; round one at 6:40 pm. Late entries are accepted.

Last week, we had six players; the results were

1st – Jules Jelinek
2nd - 3rd WGM Nadya Ortiz of Colombia (now living in Palo Alto) and IM Elliott Winslow

2) Emory Tate (1959-2015)

International Master Emory Tate, a five-time Armed Forces Champion and one of the strongest African-American players in the history of U.S., died on October 17 after being taken to the hospital during the Sam Shankland Bay Area Chess Championship in Milpitas.

There are have been many fine tributes to Tate, including those by Mike Klein—, Dana Mackenzie, and Dr. Daim Shabazz, but my favorite is by the Glasgow based chess journalist John Henderson who got to know Emory during the 2006 U.S. Championship. His article, with the great and apt title Death of A Warrior,, warmly remembers Tate. Henderson gives a fuller picture of what Emory Tate was like than the other articles while respecting the Latin maxim De mortuis nihil nisi bonum (loosely translated, speak no ill of the dead).

Here is one paragraph to give the reader an idea of the intelligent and complex person that Tate was.

Emory Tate was a linguist who specialized in Russian, and stationed in Germany, who rose through the ranks to become a staff sergeant. But with the end of the Cold War, by 1992 he returned home to civilian life in Indiana, going on to win the state championship six times. He did however find life tough outside of the military and constantly fought his inner demons through the rest of his life. And during this period, he mostly led a nomadic lifestyle, almost as if existing from tournament to tournament as he crisscrossed the country, playing from coast to coast.

Tate was indeed a chess nomad and he didn’t definitely didn’t travel first class. In the mid to late 2000s an annual tournament was organized by Alan Crooks in Igor Ivanov’s adopted hometown of St. George, Utah. It wasn’t a big event, but with a good prize fund and conditions for titled players it always attracted a strong field. One regular was Emory. I recall on at least two occasions him hopping on a bus in Indiana and arriving the morning of the tournament with a smile on his face after a 30 hour plus bus ride. Everyone was glad was glad to see Emory. The only other strong player I can ever recall doing this regularly was…Igor! It probably wasn’t an accident they were loyal worshippers of Dionysus.

About ten years ago I use to do regular game analysis at the Chicago Open. Players would bring in their games from the event and I would go over them. As one might imagine most of the players that entered the analysis room were class players, but that was not entirely the case. Invariably every year Emory would show up and analyze one of his games, which was always well-received. From his explanation of his games it was readily apparent that Emory was a self-taught player who had his own views on how the game should be played. Technical chess was not something that interested him—attacking the king did! With this approach it was not surprising his results were inconsistent, but he leaves behind many beautiful victories.

The following photos of Emory Tate were taken by John Henderson during the 2006 U.S. Championship held in San Diego.

Emory thinking in the opening during his last round game with Alan Stein.

Playing Black against Alexander Goldin in round two.

International Master Tate in deep concentration.

Tate getting ready to analyze one of his games for the public. Serper-Onischuk is on the demo board.

Emory’s game analysis was always well-received.

For a last memory of Emory I recommend visiting the site of his son Emory Andrew Tate lll:

3) Walter Browne on Bent Larsen

Among Walter Browne’s chess effects was a sheet of paper, presumably written in the early to mid-1970s, with some thoughts about Bent Larsen.

Bent Larsen talks about my addiction to time pressure, but actually he suffers from movemania or non-stop moves or unthinkability that which has and always will keep him from the very top.

Larsen is the master of simplicity, yet Bobby and Boris make him look like a child.

Larsen is supposedly a great self-acclaimed endgame expert but against Bobby he never reached the ending!

4) Chess Haunts in NYC

This year the Marshall Chess Club (23 West 10th Street) is celebrating its 100th anniversary and well worth checking out. The Marshall is open M–F from 1 pm to midnight and Saturday and Sundays from 9 am to midnight. Go to for more information.

Close by are several are important locations for chess players including Washington Square (southwest corner) where Bobby Fischer played in the mid 1950s, and Union Square where the chess scene, located just outside the subway entrance near the northeast corner of 14th St., is even more active these days. Sandwiched in between them and not to be missed is Fred Wilson’s chess book store at 80 East 11th Street, Suite 334, (212) 553-6381, in operation for 35 years.

Those walking up Broadway from Washington Square to Wilson’s store (which is on the way to Union Square) should look for 764 Broadway (between E. 8th and E. 9th streets) where in the fall of 1857 the First American Chess Congress was held and won by Paul Morphy. Among those supporting the event were San Franciscans Selim Franklin, T.J. Grojan and William R. Wheaton, as well as T.B. Baille of Sacramento.

Those wishing to know more about this seminal event should check out the tournament book by Daniel Fiske (the Mechanics’ Library has a copy) or check out the article by Jack Straley Battell in Chess Review (October 1957) celebrating the 100th anniversary of the event.

5) Berkeley Chess Club Championship, by Marc Newman

The Berkeley Chess Club is pleased to announce that its annual club championship starts this Friday. There will be seven rounds and byes are available if you have to miss a week or two. (No byes in the final round.) The prize fund doubles to $1000 for this event. We are also happy to say that the club is returning to the German International School (the old Hillside school) as the new, regular location. Entry fee is $40, but waived for IMs and Masters. Last year’s event was won by IM Elliott Winslow and Michael Lei Wang.

For more information, please see

6) Here and There

National Master John Blackstone sends a clipping from the Christian Science Monitor for October 26, 1964, which reports that because of the large expenses involved in sending a US team to compete in the Tel Aviv Olympiad the USCF decided not to hold a US Championship in the winter of 1964-65.

It would have been even more expensive to send a team if Bobby Fischer had played and received his requested honorarium of $3,000 (about $23,000, taking into account inflation).

Instead of playing in the Olympiad, which ran November 2–25, the Monitor reports that Bobby was scheduled to give a series of six lectures on Wednesday evenings beginning October 28. Did this actually happen? Were they taped or did anyone take notes?

The following game comes from IM Mark Ginsburg’s excellent website—

Sicilian Taimanov B44
Mark Ginsberg–Julius Loftsson
US Phone League 1979

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 Nf6 7.N5c3 Be7 8.Be2 0-0 9.0-0 b6 10.Bf4 Bb7 11.Nd2 a6 12.Re1 Rc8 13.Rc1 Ne5 14.Bg3 Qc7 15.b4 Qb8 16.Qb3 Bc6 17.f4 Ng6 18.h4 Rfd8 19.h5 Nf8 20.a4 a5 21.bxa5 bxa5 22.Bf3 N8d7 23.e5 dxe5 24.fxe5 Bxf3 25.Qxb8 Nxb8 26.Nxf3 Nxh5 27.Bh2 Rxc4 28.Ne4 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 g6 30.Rc7 Nd7 31.Nd4 Nc5 32.Nd6 Bxd6 33.exd6 Ne4 34.d7 1-0

NPR’s Robert Siegel talks with chess writer and grandmaster Andy Soltis about 11th World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer and the movie Pawn Sacrifice.

An academic study published September 2015 by the University of Aarhus, Denmark, concluded that substituting one hour of math per week in the classroom with one of hour of chess has a significant effective for Danish children (primary school grades 1-3). The article can be found at

7) This is the end

In the game Helmertz–Vernbro (Lund, 1973), this position occurred. White is seemingly doomed. His d-pawn is about to be eaten, and his doubled b-pawns will be helpless against a rook. What would you do?

White to move

Show solution

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