Chess Room Newsletter #749 | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Chess Room Newsletter #749

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #749
June 3, 2016

Be true to the game, and the game will be true to you...if you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you.

—A quote by Michael Jordan referring to basketball that is equally applicable to chess.

This Saturday and Sunday the Mechanics’ Chess Club will host the 53rd annual Arthur Stamer Memorial, in honor of its first chess director.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Recent entries have pushed the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon entries to 108 players. This marks the ninth consecutive TNM (dating back to the fall of 2014) to have triple-digit attendance.

Two rounds into the summer event fourteen players are tied for first, lead by top-rated FIDE Master Andy Lee (2390), International Master Elliot Winslow, and National Masters James Sun and Uyanga Byambaa. Although most of those with perfect scores come from the ranks of the top-rated players, there are a few exceptions. Class B players Frederick Harmon and Shree Ayinala pulled off big upsets last week, and are on track to earn promotion to Class A by the end of the event.

It is still possible to enter the eight-round event with two half-point byes.

From round 2 of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Melville–Shaw after 12...bxc5)White to move (Krasnov–Boldi after 19...Rxd6)
White to move (Mays–Batzel after 22...Qxc3)White to move (Drane–Bacus after 19...h6)
Black to move (Kinsey–Schegerin after 28 Kh1)White to move (James–Jibril after 33...Kb8)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 2.

The May 29th edition of the Wednesday Night Blitz at Mechanics’ Institute saw nine players turn up for the 2½-hour event, with the following results:

1st – Jules Jelinek
2nd - Oleg Shaknazarov
3rd – William Gray and Jeff Sinick

2) Bobby Fischer and the Mechanics’ Institute

Bobby Fischer’s 1964 visit to the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club, part of his 1964 transcontinental exhibition tour, is well known. Arguably more important was his less-documented visit to San Francisco in 1957.

That Fischer won his second U.S. Junior Open, held at the Spreckel s-Russell Dairy (1717 Mission Street), is a matter of record, but his subsequent two weeks in San Francisco less so. During this time Bobby stayed at the home of Gil Ramirez (a great talent for the time who won the California state championship as a high school student) who took him to the M.I. Chess Club each day. There Bobby solved endgame studies given to him by future International Master William Addison, analyzed games and played plenty of blitz.

This San Francisco sojourn proved to be excellent training for Bobby. In his next tournament, the U.S. Open in Cleveland, Bobby surprised everyone by tying for first with Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier and taking the title on tiebreak. The transformation from promising junior to world class player continued the next few months culminating with Bobby taking the 1957/58 U.S. Championship title over the Christmas holidays.

Among the artifacts in Peter Grey’s chess archive was the following game score, discovered by Paul Whitehead in Peter’s copy of the Jack Spence booklet on the Cleveland U.S. Open.

3) Collected Annotations and Articles by Bobby Fischer

International Masters Eric Tangborn and John Donaldson have released the third of their four book series on Bobby Fischer. Now available on Kindle (and on PCs with the free Kindle app), Collected Annotations and Articles by Bobby Fischer contains all of Bobby Fischer’s writing from Bobby Fischer’s Games of Chess to Chess Meets of the Century, with many magazine articles included. Only the easily-available and copyrighted My 60 Memorable Games and Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess are not included. All the material in this close to 500-page book has been converted into algebraic notation, with numerous diagrams.

The authors, and others including most significantly International Bernard Zuckerman (who found many factual errors in My 60 Memorable Games), have taken a critical look at Fischer’s writings.

There are many never-before-seen photos of Bobby and his contemporaries from 1964–65, taken by Beth Cassidy.

The book can be found at

Those who think Bobby Fischer never had a sense of humor should check out the note to Black’s first move in the following game.

Ruy Lopez C67
Los Angeles 1963
Notes by Bobby Fischer


Finally a King’s Pawn game! After wading through dozens of degenerate QP closed games in the tournament it’s quite a relief!


Sammy has no interest in tangling with Keres’ renowned Sicilian smashing tactics. I have always wondered how Reshevsky would treat the King’s Gambit or the Vienna Game? It seems a pity that Keres, who is supposedly such an expert on these openings, did not have the courage to try them out, and especially against a player like Reshevsky, who is famous for his lack of book knowledge. For example: here is how the game might have gone if Keres had ventured had ventured 2.f4 exf4

(*Sammy: “I once saw someone play 2...d5; but my move wins a pawn.”)


(Sammy: What’s this? Something new has been added. I thought 3.Nf3 was the book. he thinks he’s clever. He wants me to check on h4 with my Queen, then after 4.Kf1 he’ll develop with tempi.”)


(Sammy: That’s all—now after 4.Nf3, I play 4...g4; which is book again. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to outsmart me. If he tries 4.Qh5, simply 4...Qe7 wards off all the threats.”)


(Sammy: I saw this coming, and provisions were made. Of course not 4...gxh4; or 4...h6 letting white break my Pawn phalanx.”


(Sammy: “I saw that Fischer gave this move in an article he wrote on the King’s Gambit, and I think this is the same position that he recommended it in, or isn’t it?

5 White announces mate in five moves! [Ed: 5.Qh5+ Ke7 6.Qf7+ Kd6 7.e5+ fxe5 8.Qd5+ Ke7 9.Qxe5 mate]

*Imaginary dialogue

2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6

I have a line (and this is no joke) that absolutely equalizes against the Ruy Lopez, but whether or not I will play it is question since the Ruy Lopez has been one of my most highly prized weapons, or as Bronstein once told me, “When you play the Ruy, it’s like milking a cow.” and I don’t know how I will get along without it. But in the name of progress, I feel honor-bound to play it, even though it will force a complete reorganization of my opening strategy.

4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 d6

Obviously a prepared variation. Reshevsky almost exclusively prepares plays the “Morphy” strong point variation, i.e., 6...b5; and 7...d6; etc.


This is O.K., but I don’t like the idea of giving up the two Bishops just like that without any provocation whatsoever. I would have played 7.c3, then Reshevsky was going to play 7...Bg4 since he saw that this is the latest twist the Russians are playing after 8.d3 Nd7 (the new Russian move) 9.Nbd2 (weak is 9.h3? Bxf3 10.Qxf3 0–0 11.Nd2 Bg5! Tal–Spassky, USSR Team Championship, 1962.) 9...0–0 10.h3 Bh5 11.g4 Bg6 12.Nf1, followed by 13.Ng3 with a beautiful game for White. Another possibility for Black is 7.c3 0–0 8.h3 Bd7 9.d4 cxd4 10.cxd4 d5 11.exd5? Nb4! 12.Bb3 Nbxd5=.

7...bxc6 8.d4 Nd7

Giving up the center at once is unfavorable for Black after 8...exd4 9.Nxd4 Bd7 10.Qf3 0–0 11.Nc3 etc., according to Keres.


9.dxe5 ,although ruining Black’s pawn structure beyond redemption, has the disadvantage of opening up the game for Black’s two Bishops.

9...f6 10.Nc4 Nb6

This move is best. 10...a5 11.Bd2 is weak after 11...a4 12.Na5 Ra6 13.Qe2 and Black cannot budge.

11.Na5 Bd7

So far, so book. Keres stops his analysis of this line in his book on openings. At this point, White according to him, stands better. This game does not bear out that conclusion, although it is true that White could have improved his play on the next move.


This is too slow. Immediate action was called for. I therefore suggest 12.c4, for example: 12...0–0? 13.c5 Nc8 (13...dxc5 14.dxe5 etc.) 14.Be3 followed by Rc1 and the pressure on Black’s weak c6 will soon become unbearable. If 12...c5 13.dxc5 dxc5 14.Be3 (threat Nb7) ...Bd6 15.b4 Qe7 16.Nb7 (this is not just being fancy. 16.Nb3 leads to nothing after 16...Ba4) 16...Nxc4 17.bxc5 Nxe3 18.fxe3 Bxc5 19.Qd5 winning the exchange.

The best for Black is 12...exd4 13.Nxd4 c5 14.Nac6 (by 14.Nf5 0–0 15.Qg4 White can force ...g6; then after 16.Nxe7+ or 16.Qg3 first, White will have forced Black to weaken the dark squares on the kingside, but with the White Knight standing idly on the queenside it is doubtful whether he has any real attacking chances. 14...Bxc6 15.Nxc6 16.Nxe7 Qxe7 17.b3 0–0 18.Bb2 and White should win with correct play, i.e. 18...Rae8 19.f4 Qf7 (Black must prevent e5, which will inevitably lead to the exchange of heavy pieces, leaving White with an easily won Bishop vs. Knight ending. If 19...Nd7 at once 20.Qd5+ would cause Black considerable difficulty.) 20.Qf3 Nd7 21.Re3! Re7 22.Rae1 Rfe8 23.g4 Nf8 24.f5 Nd7 25.Qg2 h6 26.h4 followed by g5 with a winning attack. Of course this line is not forced, but I believe it is a good illustration of how White should proceed. Black resources are limited, due to lack of mobility.

12...0–0 13.Be3 Kh8 14.Rad1 exd4

Simple—but good. I would have played to maintain the center with 14...Qe8, which has the added attraction of threatening 15...Bg4! If White plays 15.h3? then 15...f5 16.dxe5 fxe4 17.Qxe4 d5 followed by 18...Rxf3 and 19...Bxh3 with dangerous attacking possibilities.

However the best try for White is 15.dxe5 fxe5 16.Bxb6 cxb6 17.Nc4 Bg4 18.Re3 Qh5 19.Nxb6 Rab8 20.Nc4 Bg5 21.Nxg5 (21.h3? is weak after 21...Be6! i.e., 22.Nxg5? [or 22.g4 Bxg4 with a strong attack.; or 22.Ree1 Rxf3!] 22...Bxc4 23.g4 Qh4 etc.) 21...Bxd1 22.Nxh7 Rf4 (22...Qxh7 23.Qxd1 is in White’s favor.) 23.Nf6 gxf6 24.Rh3 Rh4 25.Qxd6 Rxh3 26.Qxb8+ Kh7 27.gxh3 Qg6+ 28.Kf1 Qxe4 29.Ne3 Qh1 mate.

15.Nxd4 c5 16.Nf5

And now White begins to drift. His lackluster opening play has left him with no advantage whatever. He should have played 16.Ndc6 Qe8 17.Nxe7 Qxe7 18.c3 with an even game.

16...Re8 17.b3

Very careless play. White, quite obviously, has no plan in the game except possibly to win a piece from Reshevsky when Sammy gets into his inevitable time pressure. 17.Nxe7 was correct. If White instead tries to be brilliant with; 17.Bxc5, he winds up ignominiously losing a piece. 17...Bxf5! (17...dxc5 18.Nc6 Bxc6 19.Qg3 g6 is also good.) 18.Bxb6 cxb6 19.Nc6 Qd7 20.Nxe7 Qxe7, etc.; 17.b4 will be answered by 17...Na4 presumably.

17...Bf8 18.Bc1 Be6 19.Ne3 Qd7 20.a4

In order to prevent 20...Qb5. 20.c4 seems more natural. White apparently did not like the idea of his Knight being imprisoned on a5. After 20.c4, Black could continue 20...Nc8; followed by 21...Ne7. If White then continued 21.f4 (to prevent 21...Ng6) Black could continue 21...f5 with a good game.

Editors: This is how the note is given. The Black Knight is on c8 and cannot go to g6 on move 21 but the intent of Fischer’s comments are clear—Black will answer f4 with ...f5.


Black mobilizes his center, but a safe and good alternative is 20...Nc8.

21.Nac4 Nxc4 22.Nxc4 Rad8 23.Nb6 Qb7 24.a5 d5 25.Bf4

This is weak. White hopes for 26.e5, obviously overlooking Black’s next move. Correct was 25.Ba3, then 25...c4 26.bxc4 Bxa3 (26...dxe4?? 27. Qxd8) 27.Qxa3 dxe4; Black stands only slightly better.


Very pretty.


White is apparently somewhat stunned by Black’s last move and meekly retreats, after which his game becomes completely lost. Best was 26.bxc4 Bb4 27.c3 Bxa5 28.c5!. If now 28...Bxb6 then 29.Rb1, or if 28...d4 29.cxd4 Bxe1 30.Rxe1, White has fair chances with his center Pawns.

26...cxb3 27.cxb3 d4 28.b4 Bb3

Reshevsky’s play from here on to his 40th move could hardly be improved on.


29.Rc1 d3 threatening 30...Bc2 followed by 31...Rd4 or 31...Qe7 winning easily.

29...Qf7 30.Bc7

Clever but futile. But there was no really good defense. 30.Qb2? is of course useless after 30...Bxb4! followed by 31...Bc3. Best for White seems 30.Qb2, but after 30...Bc4! Black maintains his advantage.

Editors: 30.Qb2 is clearly a typo in this last variation. It seems logical to assume Bobby meant 30.Rb2.

30...Qxc7 31.Rxb3 f5

Reshevsky drives home his advantage with admirable precision.


32.f3 should have been tried anyway. If 32.exf5 Qf4!

32...fxe4 33.Rxe4 Rxe4 34.Qxe4

34...c5 35.bxc5 Qxc5 36.g3 Qxa5 37.Qd3

Black threatened 37...d3; if 37.Nc4 Qd5.

37...Qe1+ 38.Kg2 a5 39.Qf3 Qe6 40.Rb5

A last trick. Black threatened 40...d3 again and there was no good defense. If 40.Na4 Bb4 or 40.Qd3 a4.


Reshevsky was most likely in time trouble. After 40...d3 White could resign with a clear conscience, since if 41.Rd5 Qxb6 or if 41.Rf5 Qxf5; etc. Now he must win the game all over again.

41.Nd5 Qd7 42.Qd3

Best. 42.Rb6 Bc5 43.Ra6 a4 is hopeless.

42...Qc6 43.f3

Black threatened 43...Rxd5


Very good. 43...Bf8 would allow 44.Nf4 with Rh5 in store.

44.Ne7 Qe8

44...Qc3 would allow 45.Qf5 and not (45.Qxh7+???).

45.Nd5 a4 46.Rc5 Be3 47.Qf5 d3

The second mistake should have thrown the win away altogether. Correct was 47...Bh6 followed by 48...g6 and 49...Bg7. If 47...a3 he would also draw only after 48.Nf6! gxf6 (48...Qg6? 49.Rc8 wins; 48...g6 49.Rc7 , etc.) 49.Qxf6+ Kg8 50.Rc7 Rd7 (50...Qf8 51.Qe6+ Kh8 52.Qe5+ draws by perpetual.) 51.Qc6 Rd8 52.Qf6 draws by perpetual.


48.Nxe3 Qxe3 49.Rd5 would have regained the Pawn with an easy draw. For example: 49...Qe8 (Best: 49...Qe2+ would lead to nothing after 50.Kh3 Qe8 51.Rxd3 Ra8 52.Ra3) 50.Qe4! (Not 50.Qxd3 Ra8 51.Qa3? Qe2+ 52.Kg1 h6 53.Rc5 Rd8 54.Rc1 Kh7 and should win 55.Qxa4? Qe3+) 50...d2 Best: (50...a3 51.Rxd3 is easy) 51.Qxe8+ Rxe8 52.Rxd2 Ra8 53.Ra2 and the ending is still a long story; however, with correct play the draw is sure. White must not play to win the QRP of course, but rather to block Black’s King from entering into White’s kingside.

48.Nf6 would not do after 48...gxf6 49.Qxf6+ Kg8 50.Rg5+ (50.Rc7 Bd4) 50...Bxg5 51.Qxg5+ Kf7 52.Qf5+ Ke7 53.Qe5+ Kd7 54.Qd5+ Kc7 and Black escapes the perpetual.

48...Bd4 49.Rxd3 Qe2+ 50.Kh3 g6 51.Qe4

51.Qg5 Qe6+

51...Qxe4 52.fxe4 Bb2 53.Nb4 Rxd3 54.Nxd3


It’s all over now and Reshevsky indulges in a little sport. Keres might as well have resigned now. The old story of Bishop vs. Knight with Pawns on both sides of the board, but more especially the outside passed Pawn, etc., etc., etc.

55.Kg4 Kf6 56.Kf3 a3 57.Nb4 Ke5 58.Ke3 Bd4+ 59.Kd3 Bc5 60.Na2 Bg1 61.h3 h5 62.Nb4 Bc5 63.Na2 Bf2

Black simply forces 64.g4, then his King enters and picks off the K-side Pawns - the Bishop stops the KP.

64.g4 h4 65.Nb4 Bc5 66.Na2 g5 67.Nc3 Ba7 68.Na2 Kf4 69.Nc3 Bb8 70.Kc2 Be5 71.Nd5+ Kg3 72.Kb3 Kxh3 73.Ne3 Kg3 ! 0–1

The h-pawn Queens!

Source: American Chess Quarterly, Summer–Fall 1963 (pages 46-51).

4) This is the end

In this study, who has the advantage? Black has immediate threats, and the possibility of a second queen. White has two bishops, and the move.

White to move

Show solution

You can browse through our archived newsletters using the "next" and "previous buttons".

Want to save this newsletter for reading at a later time? Click here to learn how.

Want to be notified when the next newsletter is published? Join Our Email List →