Chess Room Newsletter #732 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #732

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #732
January 8, 2016

I was completely winning. If I don’t kill myself tonight I’m going to live a thousand years.

—Ivan Sokolov, being interviewed after losing to Magnus Carlsen at Tata Steel in 2013.
You can find the short video clip at

The 16th Bob Burger G/45 will be held this Saturday, starting at 10 am.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Winter Tuesday Night Marathon started this past Tuesday. It is still possible to enter the eight-round event with a half-point bye for the first round. This tournament is both USCF- and FIDE-rated.

GM Sam Shankand lectured to a full house before the start of round 1 (Photo: Elliott Winslow)

From round 1 of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Winslow–Sherwood after 30...Qc8)Black to move (Purland–Klinetobe after 26 Qf3)
White to move (Rudyak–Brown after 17...Qxb7)White to move (Frank–Melville after 18...dxc4)
White to move (Capdeville–Babayan after 23...Bc8)White to move (Erdenebileg–Gomez after 4...Bc5)
Black to move (McKenna–Nelson after 14 Ne1)White to move (Ebert–Paquette after 27...Kd8)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 1.

Wednesday Night Blitz Results

Each of the Wednesday Night Blitz events held over the holidays attracted eight participants. Here are the results:

1st – Arthur Ismakov
2nd - Jules Jelinek
3rd – David Flores, Tyler Leswing (tie)

1st – Jules Jelinek
2nd- Arthur Ismakov
3rd – Joe Urquhart

1st – Jules Jelinek
2nd- Arthur Ismakov
3rd – Liam Kaufman

Congratulations to MI member Daniel Naroditsky, who turned in a 2670-FIDE performance in the Qatar Masters, losing only as Black to Vladimir Kramnik and Wesley So.

15-year-old Cameron Wheeler of Cupertino made his second International Master norm in the recently-concluded North American Open held in Las Vegas.

Cameron Wheeler at the World Youth in Greece in 2015 (Photo: Kerrie Utsumi)

Cameron’s score of 6½ from 9 included wins over International Masters Andranik Matikozian and Darwin Yang, and the following crucial last-round victory.

Reti A11
Victor Mikhalevski (FIDE 2535)–Cameron Wheeler (FIDE 2369)
25th North American Open Las Vegas (9) 2015

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.0–0 Bf5 5.c4 e6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.d3 Be7 8.Qb3 Qc8 9.Nc3 Nbd7 10.Qc2 Nc5 11.b4 Ne6 12.Rb1 0–0 13.Qb2 d4 14.Na4 Nd5 15.b5 Rd8 16.bxc6 bxc6 17.Bd2 Qa6 18.Qc2 c5 19.Ne5 Rac8 20.a3? c4! 21.Nxc4 Nc3 22.Nxc3 Rxc4 23.Rb7 dxc3 24.Be3 Bf6 25.Rxa7 Qd6 26.Ra5 Bg6 27.Rb1 Rcc8 28.h4 h5 29.Rb4 Rb8 30.Raa4 Rxb4 31.axb4 Rb8 32.Qb3 Bd4 33.Kh2 Bxe3 34.fxe3 Qe5 35.e4 Nc5 0–1

The event was won by Grandmasters Gata Kamsky and Alexey Dreev and International Masters Eylon Nakar of Israel with 7/9 to win just under $7000 each.

2) Stephen Brandwein remembered

Torre–Tal (right) with Steve Brandwein manning the wall board (Photo: Richard Shorman)

The game is

Queen’s Gambit Declined D30
San Francisco 1991

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. Nc3 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Rc1 O-O 9. a3 Bxc3 10. Rxc3 c6 11. e3 a5 12. Ne5 Nd7 13. Nxd7 Bxd7 14. Bd3 Qg5 15. O-O Rfe8 Draw

Torre is pondering the position after Tal’s 13 ... Bxd7.

The tributes for the late Steve continue to appear. Two of the best we have seen are by his good friend International Master Jeremy Silman, and by Joe Rivano Barros, which first appered in the Mission Local and was later picked up by ChessBase

Tournament games and results of Steve are hard to find as he didn’t keep any records, but more details on his performance in the 1964 U.S. Open have surfaced. Here are Steve’s round-by-round results that lead to his winning prizes for top Expert and highest-finishing Massachusetts player. This event raised Steve’s USCF rating close to 2300.

1. J. Tabler (Steve won)
2. Denis Strenzwilk (Steve won)
3. IM James Sherwin (Draw)
4. NM Neil McKelvie (Steve won)
5. NM Ivan Theodorovich (Draw)
6. NM Paul Brandts Draw)
7. NM John Hudson Draw)
8. NM David Levy (Draw)
9. NM George Krauss (Steve won)
10. NM John Collins (Draw)
11. NM George Shainswit (Draw)
12. NM Peter Lapiken (Steve won)

A memorial will be held for Steve at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club on January 24 from 1 to 5 pm, and all are welcome. Those who are unable to attend are encouraged to send their remembrances to [email protected], to be shared during the event.

3) A Chess Poem by Dennis Fritzinger

the whales will eat tonight

i announced
at the beginning
of the tournament
i was playing
for the whales.
after i
had won it,
steve brandwein quipped
“the whales
will eat tonight.”

4) The Ultimate Gamesman—Walter Browne (Part Five), by David A. Fryxell

Later Walter Browne (Photo: Richard Shorman)

Continued from Newsletter #731

March nights in Lone Pine are brisk, but Browne lopes along as though it were July, wearing just a thin sportcoat over his sweater. He announces he’s withdrawing from the tournament. “I can’t play serious chess here. I haven’t lost a game with White since October, and now I come here and lose twice. It’s just not a serious tournament – 45 moves in 2 ½ hours! In Europe they play 40 moves in 2 ½ hours. And here they pair opponents Swiss style – winners play winners, losers play losers – instead of a round-robin, where everybody plays everybody. It’s all to help these children, these patzers.

“Maybe one chance in five I could come back and win, but it’s just not worth it to me. I don’t care about the $50,000. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t have to play for money.”

He makes his case again to one of the tournament organizers, stopping outside the Dow Villa motel. The man nods and nods, then points out that Browne could still win, at least $600. “You know what I say?” Browne replies, his face lit by the thin red neon, his voice without venom. “I say you can take that $600 and buy flowers for Kashdan’s grave.” Walking away, he admits, “I know this sounds terrible. It’s just, you know … A bitter smile.

Over dinner at the Merry-Go-Round Restaurant, Browne tries to steer the conversation to pleasanter topics, but the incident with Kashdan keeps coming up.

“I told him not to play in this tournament,” his wife points out for the third time this evening. “I told him he should rest.”

Browne rolls his eyes. “Yeah. Yeah.”

He slices off a chunk of sirloin. “You know, I was just noticing. The size of this steak keeps getting smaller every time I order it. First time they give you a huge steak, really big. I’ve been here three times, and each time the steak has been smaller.”

Chess in the United States is a very small piece of the total sports and games action. “American’s don’t like to think. “ Browne says. By contrast, he tells of the reception he got in Iceland and Holland: “I know this is going to sound egotistical, but it’s true. I’m a popular figure over there. There were 40 stories in the Icelandic papers about my trip. On the flight back from Reykjavik, four people asked for my autograph, and one guy wanted to buy my pocket chess set. Per capita, Iceland has the most chess players in the world. In Russia, Yugoslavia, chess is second only to soccer.

(to be continued)

5) Here and There

National Master Roger Poehlmann won the Berkeley Chess Club Championship held October 30–December 18 with 6½/7. Finishing second through fourth were International Master Elliott Winslow (5½) and National Masters Josiah Stearman (5) and Uyanga Byambaa (4½). The 41-player event was directed by Kerry Lawless.

Will Clipson writes that a new chess club has formed in Pinole, which meets Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at the East Bay Coffee Company (2529 San Pablo Ave). Player strength is about 1200 to 2300, except when Craig Mar shows up, when it is stronger. Most days there are six to eight players.

A dozen U.S. players are rated over 2600 FIDE on the January 2016 list, including two Mechanics’ members.

1-2. Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura 2787
3. Wesley So 2773
4. Gata Kamsky 2665
5. Alex Onischuk 2664
6. Ray Robson 2659
7. Sam Shankand 2638
8. Daniel Naroditsky 2634
9. Varuzhan Akobian 2628
10. Alex Lenderman 2623
11. Yaroslav Zerebukh 2614
12. Timur Gareev 2605

The strongest tournament ever held in Oakland was won last weekend by Mongolian Grandmaster Batchuluun Tsegmed with the outstanding score 5½ from 6. Among his victims were FIDE 2600s Parimarjan Negi and Yaroslav Zerebukh. These two Grandmasters were joined in a big tie for second at 4½ with Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa and International Masters Richardo De Guzman and Istvan Sipos. 127 players competed in the Bay Area Chess event, directed by Tom Langland.

6) This is the end

In the following game position, we imagine White ready with a queen, eagerly awaiting his chance to promote the c-pawn. But to do so, he has to stop the annoying checks. Can he do so?

White to move, after 78 Ke6 Ra6+

Show solution

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