Chess Room Newsletter #748 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #748

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Newsletter #748
May 27, 2016

In general I would like to say that I am a strong believer in the value of a chess education built on a thorough knowledge of the classics. Any attempt to emulate the engines and their 2,000,000 moves a second is doomed to fail. We need to supplement calculation with all other weapons available. And one of these is intuition, which is strongly rooted in pattern recognition. When you have “uploaded” a lot of chess patterns to your brain in your childhood, you will often have a very strong suspicion regarding what the right move is in a position, even though you have no idea why.

—GM Boris Gelfand, on p. 58 of his Positional Decision-Making in Chess

This coming Tuesday the Mechanics’ Chess Club will hold a memorial for long-time member Peter Grey from 4:15 to 6:15 pm.
Light refreshments will be served and testimonials heard. All are welcome to attend.
There will be no lecture before the TNM.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Summer Tuesday Night Marathon is off to a good start with 97 entries to date. Top seeds are FIDE Master Andy Lee (2390 USCF) and International Master Elliot Winslow (2330 USCF).

The first round of the Summer TNM mostly followed the form charts, but there were a few upsets. The biggest was Elena Kondakova’s win over Iris Kokish. Elena’s brother Adrian is better known among Bay Area chess players as a rising star, but the play of his sister last night was clear indication that she is seriously underrated.

The Summer TNM, which is both USCF and FIDE rated, is an eight-rounder. It is still possible to enter the event with a half-point bye for round one.

From round 1 of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Lee–Paquette after 20...Ba6)Black to move (Simpkins–Viswanath after 10 Nxc5)
White to move (Murugappan–Erickson after 24...c4)White to move (Clemens–Olson after 12...Kd8)
White to move (Babayan–Boldi after 11...Nxh4)Black to move (Wonsever–Donnelly after 25 Re1)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 1.

Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky dominated the 10th Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz, scoring 11½ from 12 to finish 2½ points ahead of the 71-player field. Among his victims were Grandmasters Christain Chiriila and Patrick Wolff, and International Master Vladimir Mezentsev.

International Master Ricardo DeGuzman and Senior Master Arun Sharma started slowly but finished strong to share second and third at 9–3, half a point ahead of Chirila, and International Masters Yian Liou and Ganbold Odondoo.

This event, the strongest (this year featured three Grandmasters and six International Masters) annual stand-alone blitz tournament in the United States, was once again made possible by the generosity of the Schutt family.

A crosstable of the event can be found at

Pictures of the event (taken by Richard Shorman) can be seen at

Wednesday Night Blitz (6:30 to 9pm every week) news, by tournament coordinator Jules Jelinek.

May 18, 2016
1st – Martin Lokander
2nd - Jules Jelinek
3rd – Joe Urquhart

May 25, 2016
1st – Jules Jelinek
2nd – Oleg Shaknazarov
3rd – William Gray

2) Around the Bay Area

International Master Elliott Winslow, who turned 64 on May 16, celebrated his birthday a few days later by winning the May Berkeley Weekender in convincing fashion. Winslow won four consecutive games after taking a first round bye, with National Masters Paul Gallegos and Ladia Jirasek among his victims. The 52-player event was organized by Elizabeth O’Shaughnessy and directed by Bryon Doyle for the Berkeley Chess School.

High school student Ladia Jirasek is already the high-rated player in Marin County, with a USCF rating around 2300. He showed why his rating is rapidly improving by winning the 36-player 2016 Frank Doyle Open, held April 23 and 24 in Santa Rosa, with a score of 3½ from 4. Paul Stagnoli organized and directed the event for the Golden Gate Chess Association.

The 2016 Sacramento Senior Championship, held the same weekend as Santa Rosa, attracted a field of 26 players 50 and older, including Women’s International Master and former USCF President Ruth Haring and many-time Sacramento Champion National Master James McFarland. The event ended in a three-way tie for first at 3½ from 4 among National Master Kenan Zildic, Expert Yury Tyulandin and Class A player Alonzo McCaulley. John McCumiskey organized and directed the event held in Rancho Cordova.

3) 1961 US Open San Francisco

The late Peter Grey was a Mechanics’ member for over 50 years (late 1964 to 2016). During this time Peter made many friends and played close to 2000(!) rated USCF games at the MI. Peter won’t be playing any more games, but his legacy will live on.

Thanks to the generosity of his sisters Lucy and Sarah and the entire extended Grey family, Peter’s considerable chess library has been donated to the Mechanics’ and has already made a major impact. The M.I. library now has complete runs of Chess Informant and New in Chess Yearbook and the bookcases in the Chess Room and Chess Room Annex are bulging with books and magazines for members to use.

Peter has an unusual chess archive in that he collected scoresheets—thousands of them. These were given to him by George Koltanowski, who not only wrote a daily column for the San Francisco Chronicle for over half a century (with Peter providing assistance for many years), but also directed US Opens from the late 1940s to the late 1960s.

Kolti collected the scoresheets for these events, and many of them found their way to the late Jack Spence, who produced spiral bound tournament books/bulletins for most, but not all of them. Chicago 1963, Boston 1964, San Juan 1965 and Seattle 1966 are U.S. Opens that are notable for their lack of bulletins and absence of Spence books devoted to them.

Thanks to Peter’s generosity the scores of Seattle 1966 became available in the early 2000s and now many of the missing games from the 1963–65 US Opens will be preserved, thanks to his efforts.

Even the Spence booklets that were published are missing many interesting games from U.S. Opens. A case in point is the following game played by the noted chess historian, collector and author Robert S. Moore of San Francisco and Alaska. Bob became a strong player while growing up in San Francisco in the 1950s and quickly became one of the best player in Alaska when he moved up there in the late 1950s, becoming the first state champion in 1960.

Moore returned to San Francisco to play in the 1961 U.S. Open, held at the Sheraton Palace Hotel across the street from the Mechanics’. In round 2 he defeated the veteran master Sven Almgren in a very instructive game which is not in Spence’s booklet on the event, but the scoresheet was in Peter Grey’s archive.

QGD Tarrasch D32
Robert Moore–Sven Almgren
San Francisco US Open (2) 1961

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3

4.cxd5 is of course the main line, but the text is also playable.

4...cxd4 5.Nxd4 e5 6.Nf3 d4 7.Nd5 Nc6 8.e3 Nf6 9.exd4 e4?!

9...exd4 is more accurate and should equalize after 10.Nxd4 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.cxd5 Qxd5 (not 12...cxd5? which runs into 13.Bb5+ Bd7 14.Qxd5.

10.Ne5 Nxd5

10...Bd6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Nc3 leaves Black a pawn down.

11.cxd5 Nxe5

11...Qxd5 12.Bc4

12.dxe5 Qa5+ 13.Bd2 Qxd5 14.Bc3 Qxd1+ 15.Rxd1 Bc5

White’s advantage is indisputable, due to his lead in development—but it is impressive how his next three moves lead to a completely winning position.

16.Rd5! Be7

16...Bb6 17.Bb5+ Ke7 (17...Kf8 18.Bd7! is like the game.) 18.Bb4+ Ke6 19.Bc4 wins on the spot.

17.Bb5+ Kf8 18.Bd7!

Simple chess. White paves the way for his rook to reach the seventh rank.

18...b6 19.Bxc8 Rxc8 20.Rd7 a5 21.Ke2 Bc5 22.Rhd1 Re8

22...Ke8 23.Rb7 followed by doubling on the seventh.

23.Rb7 Re7 24.Rd8+ Re8 25.Rxe8+ 1–0

4) Chess Room Chair appeal

Our Chess Room is the oldest dedicated chess club in the United States and needs new chairs. Many are broken or in poor condition after 80 years of constant use. In order to replace them we need your help.

Take advantage of this opportunity to commemorate a loved one, or honor a person, family, or business, by naming a chair in either the world-renowned Chess Room or the Meeting Room of the Mechanics’ Institute.

Your gift will entitle you to an engraved, brass, personalized nameplate mounted on the back of a Mechanics’ Institute chair.

This opportunity is available for a donation of $500 per chair.

When you sponsor a seat, we will acknowledge your gift to the recipient of your choice. Chair donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

You can dedicate a chair

• As an individual, couple, or family
• For your children, grandchildren, or parents
• In memory of a loved one
• With the name of your business or organization
• Marking a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion
• To honor an employee, friend or colleague
• Or with your favorite quotation

Go to for more information.

5) Akobian-Petrosian match in Santa Rosa    by Paul Stagnoli

Thomas Southerland approached me during my April tournament to announce a Grandmaster match between Varuzhan Akobian and Tigran L. Petrosian in Windsor just north of Santa Rosa on Highway 101. The event will be held June 7–10 at the Paradise Ridge Winery. For more information go to

6) This is the end

This position is from Geller–Averbakh, URS-ch21 Kiev, 1954. White has just played 46 Rb5. How should Black answer this?

Black to move

Show solution

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