Chess Room Newsletter #725 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #725

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #725
November 6, 2015

Perhaps the most important advice is that if you can’t think of a good plan, at least don’t play a bad one.

—John Nunn, on page 53 of his book Understanding Chess Middlegames.

The 44th Carroll Capps Memorial will be held both days this weekend starting at 10 am on Saturday at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Three rounds into the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon four players remain with perfect scores. Tied for first are top seed FIDE Master James Critelli, Experts Igor Traub and Honkai Pan and Class A player Eric Steger. It is still possible to join the 96-player field for the last six rounds of the event with half-point byes for rounds one through three.

From round 3 of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Melville–Steger after 11 Bxh6)Black to move (Newey–Stearman after 13 Bg5)
Black to move (Kim–Walder after 34 Qg4)Black to move (James–Gerwin after 17 Qd3)
White to move (Robeal–Sachs-Weintraub after 35...Qf2)White to move (Bhattacharjee–Yamamoto after 16...Nc6)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 3.

Here is a short but very exciting game from round three. It and others played in TNMs past and present, can be found in PGN format and viewed with a game player (for completed events) at

Robert W Drane (1909)– Hongkai Pan (2091)
Mechanics’ Fall TNM; G/2 San Francisco (3.4), 03.11.2015

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.f4 d6 6.Nf3 Ng4?!

6...Bg4 and 6...a6 (anticipating a future Na4 by White) are considered more reliable, but the text may be playable.


Considered best. 7.Qe2, played by a young Wesley So, is also possible.]


7...0–0 8.f5 Bf2+ 9.Kf1 Ne3+ 10.Bxe3 Bxe3 11.h4 g6 12.Qg4 Ne7? 13.Qf3 Bxg5 14.hxg5 was Gallegos (yes, our Paul from Santa Rosa)–Gareev, US Open 2010, where Black was under such a strong attack he sacrificed a piece with 14...Nxf5, which should not have worked, although the game was ultimately drawn.


8.Nxf7?? loses on the spot to 8...Qh4+ 9.g3 Qh3 10.Nxh8 Nxh2, while 8.Bxf7+ Kf8 9.Ne6+ Bxe6 10.Bxe6 Qh4+ 11.g3 Bf2+ 12.Kd2 Be3+ is a curious draw by repetition.


8...hxg5 9.Qxg4 f6, with equal chances.

9.Kf1 Ne3+?

9...Be3 10.Bxf7+ Kf8 11.Qxg4 Bxc1 12.Rxc1, and whichever way Black recaptures he is a pawn down, but that is preferable to what should happen now.

10.Bxe3 Bxe3 11.Qh5?

White should have stuck to the prosaic 11.Nxf7, when after 11...Qh4 12.Qe2 Qf4+ 13.Ke1 Nd4, and now either 14.g3 or 14.Nd5, he would be winning.


11...g6! 12.Bxf7+ (12.fxg6 Qxg5) 12...Kf8 13.Nh7+ Rxh7 14.Bxg6 Rh8, and there is not enough compensation for the piece.

12.Qxf7+ Kd8 13.Nd5 Bd7

13...Bb6 14.f6 Be6! 15.Qxe6 Rf8, and Black’s counterattack is very strong. For example, if 16.h4, then Black has 16...Qd2 17.Nxb6 Rxf6+ 18.Qxf6+ gxf6 19.Nxa8 Nd4 with a very strong attack despite the material deficit, as White’s pieces do not work together. 20.Bb3 Qe2+ 21.Kg1 Qe3+ 22.Kf1 Ne2 should win.


The right move, but the wrong order!

14.f6! gxf6 (14...Re8 15.fxg7 Bd4 16.c3 Bb6 17.Nxb6 axb6 18.g8Q) 15.h4, followed by Qxf6+.

14...Qg3 15.Nxe3 Be8! 16.Rh3

16.Qd5 Qf4+ 17.Ke2 Nd4+ 18.Kd2 Qf2+ 19.Kc1 Qxe3+ 20.Kb1 Qd2, and White is a piece down for nothing.

16...Qf4+ 17.Rf3 Bxf7 0–1

San Francisco 3 – Seattle 1

The Mechanics’ advanced in the wildcard round of the US Chess League playoffs, defeating their traditional rival Seattle on Wednesday night. The team was led by victories from Grandmasters Daniel Naroditsky and Vinay Bhat, but the game that ended the match, Uyanga Byambaa’s win, was also very important. She defeated the strong young National Master Bryce Tiglon, who had scored 6½ out of 7 prior to the match. Seattle had 8½/11 on board four in 2015 and Uyanga was the only player who beat them (twice!).

Cameron Wheeler (under 16), Rayan Tagizahdeh (under 14) and Chinguun Bayaraa (under 10) all scored 6½/11 in the World Youth Championships held in Greece. Adrian Kondakov had 5½ (under 8) in his first international tournament. Mechanics’ Grandmaster-in-Residence Nick de Firmian served as one of the American coaches in the event, which just ended.

Jules Jelinek, Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator, writes:

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

Last week, we had 8 players; the results were

1st – Arthur Ismakov 9½/14
2nd - Jules Jelinek 9
3rd – Womens Grand Master Nadya Ortiz 7

Tuesday Night Marathon regular David Klinetobe kindly contributed the following game he lost to Walter Browne. With the Carroll Capps Memorial coming up this weekend, he writes:

With Walter’s passing, I thought I would send you an interesting game we played at the 1992 Carroll Capps. Mike Goodall, the tournament director, sent it to George Koltanowski, who published it in one of his daily chess columns in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Grunfeld Exchange D86
Walter Browne (2632)–David Klinetobe (2157)
22nd Carroll Capps Memorial (2) 1992

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 0–0 8.Ne2 Nc6

Simagin’s treatment. In some lines Black can play for …e5, in addition to …c5.


White’s third most commonly-seen move here, after 9.0–0 and 9.Be3


Here we see another idea behind the Simagin—the bishop is chased off the dangerous a2-g8 diagonal, albeit at the cost of decentralizing the knight.

10.Bd3 b6

The immediate 10...c5 is more popular.

11.Qd2 c5 12.d5 f5 13.0–0

13.Rd1 Pinter–Kaufeld, Dortmund 2001.

13...fxe4 14.Bxe4 Nc4! 15.Qd3 Nd6

Black’s knight has found a nice home.

16.Ng3 a5

16...Bb7 17.Rad1 Qd7 18.Rfe1 Rae8 was another, more solid approach.

17.Rfe1 Ra7 18.Rad1 Ba6 19.Qc2 b5?

19...Rd7 20.h4 Nxe4 21.Qxe4 Bxc3 22.Bxe7 Rxe7 23.Qxe7 Bxe1 24.Qxe1 Qd6 25.Ne4 Qe5 26.Qe3, intending d6, is just the sort of dynamic position that was Walter’s bread and butter in the Exchange Grunfeld and Queen’s Gambit Semi-Tarrasch. Still, this position might have offered Black more chances, as the text allows White a free hand on the kingside.

20.h4! b4 21.h5 Bxc3 22.hxg6! Bxe1 23.gxh7+ Kh8 24.Rxe1 c4

24...Nxe4 25.Qxe4 Qd6 26.Nf5 Qg6 27.Qe5+ Kxh7 28.Qh2+ Kg8 29.Nxe7+ winning.

25.Bg6 Rd7 26.Nh5 Nf7 27.Bxf7 Rxf7 28.Qg6 Rxh7 29.Bf6+! 1–0

Congratulations to long-time Mechanics’ Trustee and International Master Vince McCambridge on his return to the tournament arena.

Playing in his first tournament in four years, Vince tied for third in the recently-concluded Western States Open in Reno, scoring 4½ from 6, including a win over International Master Vladimir Mezentsev and draws with Grandmasters Sergey Kudrin and Jacek Stopa.

The November issue of Chess Life offers plenty of endgame wisdom, thanks to a pair of Grandmasters with Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club connections. Daniel Naroditsky analyses two tricky pawn endings, including one from his recent practice, in his regular column, while James Tarjan has a six-page tour de force on the endgame of rook, bishop and two pawns versus rook and three pawns (all pawns on the kingside). This ending requires real skill to win (in a few positions, even with best play by the superior side, the ultimate result isn’t clear) and Tarjan does an excellent job explaining its subtleties, in language accessible to a wide range of players, from Grandmasters to motivated 1800s. Incidentally one of Jim’s examples is from a game Daniel played in last year’s Millionaire Open.

Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics’ Institute are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics’ are tax-deductible due to the M.I.’s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time, consider donating to the Mechanics’. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.

2) Reshevsky–Shipman

International Master Walter Shipman, the grand old man of Mechanics’ chess, turned 86 on April 18.

Walter Shipman playing at the Manhattan Chess Club, circa 1965. (Photo: Beth Cassidy)

Philidor C41
Sammy Reshevsky–Walter Shipman
New York (Training Game) December 1947

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.dxe5

This move is the reason why modern players try to enter the Philidor by the move-order 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5, but of course this gives White the extra option of heading for a queenless middlegame with 4.dxe5.

4...Nxe4 5.Bc4

5.Qd5 Nc5 6.Bg5 Be7 (the less commonly played 6...Qd7 still leaves White in charge after 7.exd6 Bxd6 8.Nc3 0–0 9.0–0–0) 7.exd6 Qxd6 8.Nc3 is the “official” reason why this move-order favors White, who has a small but annoying pull.

5...c6 6.exd6 Bxd6 7.0–0 0–0 8.Nbd2 Nxd2

8...Nf6 was a reasonable alternative.

9.Bxd2 Bg4 10.h3 Bh5

10...Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Nd7 12.Bb3 Qf6 13.Qxf6 Nxf6 14.Rad1 gives White the two-bishop edge in the ending.

11.Bc3 Bc5

White’s threatened Qd4 forces the bishop to move again.

12.b4 Bb6 13.g4 Bg6 14.Ne5 Qh4?!

14...Qxd1 15.Rfxd1 Bxc2 16.Rd2 Bg6 (16...Be4 17.Nxf7) 17.Re1 offers White a strong initiative for the sacrificed pawn. The tricky 14...Qf6, intending ...Qf4, was best here. The text is skating on thin ice.


15.Kg2 is more precise, meeting 15...a5 with 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Rb1, and Black is in serious trouble.


This meets with a drastic refutation. 15...a5! was correct, with the point that on 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Rb1 Black has 17...Bc7+.

16.Qf3 Bb6 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Qxf7+! Rxf7 19.Rxf7 Na6 20.Raf1 1–0

Source: Christian Science Monitor, February 15, 1965.

Budapest A52
Sammy Reshevsky–Walter Shipman
New York Rosenwald 1955-56

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.e4 Nxe5 5.f4 Ng6 6.Nf3 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Qf6 8.e5 Qb6 9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 d6 11.exd6 0–0 12.Qd4 Qa5 13.Bd2 Nc6 14.Qd5 cxd6 15.Qxa5 Nxa5 16.Rb1 b6 17.Nd4 Bb7 18.Kf2 Rfc8 19.Nb5 Nxc4 20.Bxc4 Rxc4 21.Nxd6 Rc7 22.Nxb7 Rxb7 23.Rhd1 Rd7 24.Be3 Rad8 25.Ke2 Kf8 26.c4 Rxd1 27.Rxd1 Rxd1 28.Kxd1 Ke8 29.Ke2 f5 30.Kd3 Kd7 31.g3 Ne7 32.c5 b5 33.Bc1 Nc6 34.a4 a6 35.axb5 axb5 36.h3 Ke6 37.g4 g6 38.Be3 Kd5 39.gxf5 gxf5 40.Bf2 Nd8 41.Kc3 Nc6 42.Be3 Nd8 43.h4 h5 44.Bf2 Ne6 45.Be3 Nxc5 46.Kb4 Ne6 47.Kxb5 Ke4 48.Ba7 Nxf4 49.Kc6 Ng2 50.Kd6 Nxh4 51.Ke6 Nf3 0–1

3) Here and There

The November FIDE rating list is out, and the US top ten players’ average is number four in the world at 2688, behind only Russia (2739), China (2716) and Ukraine (2691). Two Mechanics’ members (in bold) are in the US top ten.

US FIDE Top 10

1. Nakamura 2793
2. Caruana 2787
3. So 2767
4. Kamsky 2681
5. Onischuk 2664
6. Robson 2659
7. Shankland 2646
8. Naroditsky 2628
9. Zherebukh 2627
10. Akobian 2618

The following game was published in the Christian Science Monitor on July 6, 1976, in Frederik Chevalier’s (1907–1988) outstanding column, which ran for over fifty years.

The winner of this game, the late Milan Vukcevich, is the only member of the US Chess Hall of Fame who was also nominated for a Nobel Prize (Chemistry). Thanks to John Blackstone for finding and forwarding this.

Peter Biyiasas–Milan Vukcevich
US Phone League 1976

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.0-0 Nge7 5.c3 Bb6 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Re1+ Be6 10.Ne5 0-0 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bxc6 Rb8 13.Nc3 Nb4 14.Be4 Bxd4 15.Bf4 Qf6 16.Bg3 Na6 17.Bxh7+ Kxh7 18.Ne4 Qd8 19.Qd3 f5 20.Qxa6 Rb6 21.Qa3 fxe4 22.Rad1 c5 23.Qxa7 Rxb2 24.Be5 Rf7 25.Qa6 Qh4 26.Bxd4 cxd4 27.Re2 Rxf2 28.Rxb2 Rxb2 29.Rf1 Qg4 0-1

4) The Readers Write

Newsletter #724 included a piece about chess in New York. Fred Wilson writes:

Incidentally, Morphy actually stayed in my building (80 East 11th Street or 799 Broadway—same building) which was the St. Dennis Hotel in 1857, and is now a landmark. Also, someone named Lincoln stayed here during the Lincoln–Douglas debates at Cooper Union (nearby) in 1860. However, I don’t think either of them stayed in my 140 square foot room!

There was also a short piece in the last Newsletter about possible lectures Bobby Fischer might have given at the Marshall Chess Club, about which Sam Sloan writes:

You write, “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?”

Yes. It did happen and I took the class. This is how I got to know Bobby Fischer well because after each lecture we would walk around Manhattan together until the early morning.

The class cost $20 for six lectures at the Marshall Chess Club. Only about 20 people took the class. I was the only strong player. The others were rank beginners. Some were just learning the legal moves of chess.

Sorry, I did not take notes and I am sure nobody else did either but I still remember a lot of the things Bobby Fischer said.

Editor—Sam spent a considerable amount of time with Bobby from August 1964 (starting after the US Open in Boston) until returning to his studies at the University of California at Berkeley in January 1965. This claim is independently confirmed by Nenad Nesh Stankovic, Fischer’s man Friday during his stay in Serbia in 1992, in his book The Greatest Secret of Bobby Fischer: The Final Truth About the Greatest Chess Player of All Time.

5) This is the end

In this study, White must contend with a dangerous passed pawn.

White to move

Show solution

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