Chess Room Newsletter #737 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #737

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #737
February 12, 2016

Nowadays, I feel that analyzing a won game may even be more important than the game itself. I now recall with appreciation the lengthy analysis of Dr. Hubner in Chess Informant, realizing why, boring as they looked in the complete absence of any exclamation marks, they were constantly reproaching mistakes rather than praising his good moves or those of his opponent. If you want to reach a high-level you cannot be superficial, you must scrutinize. 0n the other hand, even if we disregard the competitive approach, it is always nice to search for the absolute truth and a chessboard is one of the few places in life where you can be sure of finding it.

—Vasilios Kotronias – The Grandmaster Battle Manual (page 87).

1) Mechanic’s Institute Chess Club News

Action is heating up in the 131-player Winter Tuesday Night Marathon. Six players are tied for first at 5–1: FIDE Master James Critelli, National Masters Natalya Tsodikova, Josiah Stearman and Tenzing Shaw and Experts Joe Tracy and Michael Askin. Right behind them at 4½ points is a pack of nine players led by International Master Elliott Winslow. The players are shooting for a TNM-record $850 first place.

From round 6 of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Shaw–Vickers after 19 Nxe4)Black to move (Krasnov–Tsodikova after 12 Nxb5)
Black to move (Ortega–Kuczek after 21 Bf2)Black to move (Palmeri–Clemens after 6 Nd2)
White to move (Boldi–Rudyak after 11...Ne5)White to move (Maser–Ayinala after 22...Rxe5)
White to move (Hack–Hilliard after 18...a6)For the solutions, see the game scores for round 6.

International Master Ricardo De Guzman took top honors in the 16th Henry Gross Memorial held last Saturday. The former Filipino Olympiad team member scored 4½–½ to take home the $240 first prize. National Master Paul Gallegos, Experts Kerry Xing and Richard Yi, and Class A players Chinguun Bayaraa and Jayson Shi tied for second in the 47-player field, with 4–1 scores. Max Fitton and Tergelsar Enkh won copies of Water Browne’s book The Stress of Chess for turning in the biggest upsets.

Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator Jules Jelinek reports on the latest event held on February 3.

Last week there were 7 players; the results were

1st – Carlos D’Avila
2nd - Arthur Ismakov
3rd – Jules Jelinek

Hikaru Nakamura won the 2016 Tradewise Gibraltar Masters, defeating Maxime Vachier -Lagrave in a playoff after the two ended up tied at 8–2. Former M.I. member Grandmaster James Tarjan won the top over-60 prize ($1500!) for his 6–4 score.

Vlastimil Hort and Leonid Stein are watched by wall boy James Tarjan—Los Angeles 1968 (Photo: Art Zeller)

The Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room will host a battle of tech teams on Thursday evening, February 18 from 7 to 9 pm (time control is G/55 plus 5-second delay).

Matching off are:

Dropbox (1. Kerry Xing 2. Hongkai Pan 3. Renjish Abraham 4. Alex Allain) vs. LiveRamp (1. Tenzing Shaw 2. James Sun 3. Alfonso Cheng 4. Brennan Rieger)

Hustle (1. Roddy Lindsay 2. Levy Klots 3. Soleil Kellar 4. Sena Palanisami vs TubeMogul (1. Ashik Uzzaman, 2. Sharma, 3. Steve Thorpe, 4. Daniel Ho)

Chessplayers from Salesforce, Square, Arista and Looksharp may also be participating. Spectators are welcome.

2) A Chess Poem from Dennis Fritzinger

coming back

when rip van winkle
from his long sleep,
the world he knew
was different.
i hadn’t played
serious chess
in twenty years;
much had happened
in that time.
i was rip van winkle.
my inner chessboard
was overgrown with weeds.
even seeing where
the squares were
was a burden.
my armies
i dispatched
for the most part blindly.
i needed a
clear view
and i wasn’t getting
a clear view.
the milling around
cleaned off most
of the squares,
and i was able to play
a decent game
or three.
remembering how
the pieces move?
no problem.
or the pawns?
the real problem
was the board.

3) Here and There

Josiah Stearman won the 26-player Berkeley Open held January 30–31. The 12-year-old National Master scored 3½–½, drawing only in the last round. Kerry Lawless directed for the Berkeley Chess Club.

This was the first of a series of USCF/FIDE rated events that the BCC plans to hold, a most welcome development for East Bay players who normally have to travel to the South Bay or San Francisco. Unfortunately the chosen dates undoubtedly had an adverse effect on attendance as there were four tournaments going on simultaneously. Two were important scholastic events which had normal turnouts, but the Bay Area Chess tournament in Milpitas, directed by Tom and Jordan Langland, was also negatively impacted by the many choices, as it only attracted 57 players. This event was won by International Master Ricardo De Guzman with a score of 4½ from 5 including a last-round draw with Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa. National Master Teemu Virtanen was second with 4 points and Barbosa was among those tied for 3rd with 3½.

Veteran chess players think of the 1970s and 1980s as the golden age of Bay Area Chess, when the area was full of active Grandmasters and International Masters. While it was indeed a special period and Berkeley-based players finished =1st (John Grefe), 3rd (Walter Browne) and 4th (James Tarjan) in the 1973 U.S. Championship, by any objective criteria the Bay Area chess has never been stronger than it is now.

Check out the following list of the top ten players with their USCF and FIDE ratings on the respective January 2016 rating lists.

1. GM Parimarjan Negi, 2734 USCF 2664 FIDE
2. GM Sam Shankland, 2723/ 2638
3. GM Daniel Naroditsky, 2710/ 2634
4. GM Cristian Chirila, 2599/ 2536
5. GM Oliver Barbosa, 2593/ 2508
6. GM Nick De Firmian, 2583/ 2508
7. GM Jesse Kraai, 2573/ 2510
8. GM Vinay Bhat, 2570/ 2519
9. IM Vincent Mc Cambridge, 2515/ 2465
10. IM Yian Liou, 2500/ 2414

National Master James McCormick of Seattle, a seven-time Washington State chess champion, turns 80 this year. He is looking for the complete score of his win over Grandmaster Larry Evans played in the first round of Lone Pine 1971. A fragment is given in Grefe and Waterman’s book about the Lone Pine tournaments; it starts in the late middle game, so most of the moves are missing. Can a reader help? If so please e-mail the score to [email protected].

Seven-time Washington State champion James McCormick, 1982 (Photo: Paul Whitehead)

Frank Berry of Stillwater, Oklahoma, the driving force behind the 2007 and 2008 U.S. Championships, passes along the following quotes from Emory Tate (1958–2015) during a 2006 San Diego lecture the late International Master gave.

“When it comes to tactics I have no equal.”

“I don’t pay attention to Fritz’s suggestions... it’s only a machine.”

“I am one of very few strong players who doesn’t book up against a particular opponent before a game..... that is... why even get involved in an opening line that my opponent is comfortable with and plays all the time... I want to get away from that right away.”

The 2016 U.S. Championship, which will be held April 13–30, at the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center, has a prize fund of $194,000.

4) Susan Polgar National Open Championship returns to San Mateo

The prestigious annual Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls and Boys was created in 2006 and is sponsored by the SPF to give more opportunities to young chess players in the United States. The top player of each championship section in the SPFNO will be awarded:

Qualifications for the Prominent Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (Girls sections only).
Qualifications for the 2016 FIDE World Youth Chess Championship.*
As well as $100,000 in prizes and scholarships to Webster University (U16/18 sections).

Feb 27 or 27–28, 2016 11th SPF Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys
6SS, G/60 d5- Official Qualifier for the SPF Girls’ Invitational & FIDE World Youth 2016.

$100,000+ in prizes (lots of trophies, chess prizes & scholarships).

Championship sections: U8, U10, U12, U14, U16/18, in separate sections for girls and boys.
$1,000 Triple Crown Bonus!
Time controls: All games will be G/60 d5.
Round times: Sat & Sun 9 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm.
Event Venue:San Mateo Event Center
1346 Saratoga Drive
San Mateo, CA 94403
Free Parking

Hotel Information: Special Room Rate $139. Sofitel San Francisco Bay, 223 Twin Dolphin Dr. Redwood City. Call (650) 598-9000 for reservations.

Tournament and Side Event Fees:
Main Event:
$39 until 12-1-2015, then $59 until 2-19-2016, then $89 on 2-20-2016 and later

Puzzle Solving Championship (one section): $19 until 12-1-2015, $29 until 2-20-2016, $39 after and on-site registration.

Blitz Championship: $19 until 12-1-2015, $29 until 2-20-2016, $39 after and on-site registration.

USCF Membership required for all championship sections & blitz. January 2016 Supplement used. TD discretion to place players accurately.

Q & A and 25-Board Simultaneous against GM Susan Polgar: 2-26-16 6:30 pm (venue TBA): $29 until 12-1-2015, $49 after and on-site registration

Unrated Reserve Sections: K-2 < 500 or unr 3-6 < 800 or unr; $29 until 2-20-2016, $49 after and on-site registration

Go to for more information.

5) This is the end

In this study, White has absolutely no chance to win, so he is playing for a draw. All he needs to do is capture the pawn, and stay out of the corner (two knights cannot force mate, but can give mate if the enemy king is trapped in a corner).

White to move

Show solution

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