Chess Room Newsletter #755 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #755

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Newsletter #755
July 15, 2016

If your opponent cannot do anything active, then don’t rush the position; instead you should let him sit there, suffer, and beg you for a draw

—Jeremy Silman

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

National Masters Josiah Stearman and Tenzing Shaw tied for first in the Summer Tuesday Marathon with 7–1 scores, dividing $1250 in prize money, while Steven Gaffagan was alone in third at 6½, good for $325. The victory brings the 12-year-old Stearman over 2300 for the first time (2306) and Shaw is now 2295. The strength of this 127 player-event can be judged by the fact that International Master Elliott Winslow actually gained rating points with his 6–2 score.

There were many noteworthy performances further down. To mention but a few: Sos Hakobyan had a terrific tournament, going from 1866 to 1980, while Lane Erickson advanced from 1477 to 1578. Adrian Kondakov, who is rated 1946 after the most recent TNM, is currently the top-rated player in the country under age 9.

From round 8 of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Winslow–Shaw after 50 Kd4)White to move (Traub–Walters after 21...Kb8)
White to move (Paquette–Kondakov after 33...Nd6)White to move (Lourme–Casares after 17...f5)
White to move (MacIntyre–Smith after 35...Ke8)White to move (Petty–Revi after 14...Nxd4)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 8.

Grandmaster Nick de Firmian and FIDE Master Paul Whitehead will be the instructors for the Mechanics’ Chess Camp held July 26–28 (Tuesday–Thursday) from 11 am to 4 pm. Cost is $80 a day. Contact Paul at [email protected], for more information about this camp, which will feature plenty of individual instruction.

The MI Wednesday Blitz on July 13 was won by Jules Jelinek, ahead of International Master Rost Tsodikov, with David Flores third.

International Masters Ricardo de Guzman and Cyrus Lakdawala tied for first in the 16th Charles Bagby Memorial G/45 held July 9 at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club, but the real story was 8-year-old Adrian Kondakov, who was only half a point behind. The East Bay youngster scored an undefeated 4–1, drawing with National Master Romy Fuentes in the last round. This result will push Adrian’s rating over 1900 and make him the top-rated player in the United States under nine. He and his younger sister Elena are regular participants in the Mechanics’ Tuesday Night Marathon tournaments.

Adrian Kondakov (Photo: Berkeley Chess School)

The winners of book prizes for the biggest upsets in the tournament were Patrick Balushian—722 points!, Karina Bender, Bilguun Bayaraa and Hubert Liu.

Here are two games from the event played by the well-known author, San Diego IM Cyrus Lakdawala, who made his annual visit to San Francisco.

London A48
Cyrus Lakdawala (2531)–Vinesh Ravuri (2101)
16th Bagby Memorial San Francisco (3) 2016

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.e3 d6 5.Be2 0–0 6.0–0 c5 7.c3 b6 8.h3 Bb7 9.Nbd2 Nbd7 10.Re1 Ne4 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Bhh2 a6 13.a4 Qc7 14.Bf1 Qb7 15.Nd2 Bc6 16.b4 b5 17.Nb3 cxb4 18.Na5 Qb6 19.cxb4 Nf6 20.Nxc6 Qxc6 21.Rc1 Qb7 22.axb5 axb5 23.Be2 Ra4 24.Bf3 Qa7 25.Qb3 Ra3 26.Qb2 Ra2 27.Qc3 Ra4 28.Rb1 Nd7 29.Qc6 Rb8 30.Rec1 h6 31.Bg3 Ra6 32.Qd5 Nf6 33.Qb3 h5 34.Bh4 e5 35.dxe5 dxe5 36.Bxf6 Bxf6 37.Rc5 Ra4 38.Rbc1 Ra1 39.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 40.Kh2 Qa7 41.Qc3 Qe7 42.Rc7 Qd6

42...e4 43.Rxe7 Bxc3 44.Bxe4 Bxb4 45.Rd7 Kf8 46.Bd5 Be7 47.g4 b4 48.Bb3 hxg4 49.hxg4 Rd8=

43.Be4 Be7 44.Qc2 Rb6 45.Ra7 Qxb4??


46.Qc7 Re6 47.Bd5 e4 48.Qc8+ 1–0

Scandinavian B01
Tianyi He (2186)–Cyrus Lakdawala (2531)
16th Charles Bagby Memorial San Francisco (4) 2016

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 c6 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Bf4 Nd5

Theory moves quickly. 3...Qd6 is not that old, but already there are close to 200 games that have tested the position reached after 7...Nd5.

8.Nxd5 Qxd5 9.Qd3

9.Nf3 is the most popular move here for reasons that soon will become clear.

9...Nxe5 10.Bxe5 f6 11.Bf4

11.Bg3 Bf5 12.c4 Bxd3 (12...Qxg2 13.Qxf5 Qxh1 14.0–0–0 with good cd compensation for White.) 13.cxd5 Bxf1 14.Rxf1 cxd5 15.Rc1 with some compensation for the pawn.


Black is winning a pawn!


12.c4 Qxg2 13.Qxf5 Qxh1 14.0–0 Qf3! 15.Bh3 Rd8 16.Bc7 (16.Bg4 Qxf2; 16.Rd3 Qxf2; 16.Rd2 g6 wins) 16...Qxf5 17.Bxf5 Ra8 and Black is a solid pawn up.

12...Qe4+ 13.Be2 Qxc2 14.Qxc2 Bxc2 15.Bg4 Kf7 16.Bf3 e6 17.Kd2 Bg6 18.a3 Rd8 19.Kc3 Bd6 20.Bxd6 Rxd6 21.Rhe1 h5 22.h4 Bf5 23.Be4 Rhd8 24.Bxf5 exf5 25.Re3 Rxd4 26.Rae1 R8d7 27.g3 f4 28.Re4 Rd3+ 29.Kc4 fxg3 0–1

The Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club hosts a free Women and Girls class every Sunday. Taught by Ewelina Krubnik, it is held between 11 am and 1 pm.

The Chess Room has new chairs.

(Photo: Bobbie Monson)

Our Chess Room is the oldest dedicated chess club in the United States and needed new chairs. Many were broken or in poor condition after 80 years of constant use. Having replaced 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.

2) Bruce Pandolfini

Larry Evans tied for first with Arthur Bisguier in the 1970 National Open, but had to endure some difficult moments in the last round against 23–year-old Bruce Pandolfini. The latter would became a household name two years later after serving as a commentator on Shelby Lyman’s show covering the Fischer–Spassky match.

Although Pandolfini is now known as a writer and coach, he could also play. After this event he was rated 2241.The following game was annotated by Hans Kmoch in the July 1970 issue of Chess Life and Review (page 389-90) and George Koltanowski’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle (from Peter Grey’s chess archive.) Kmoch notes that the final moves of the games were strongly influenced by time pressure.

Sicilian B23
Bruce Pandolfini–Larry Evans
National Open Sparks (8) 2016

1.e4 c5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 a6 6.a4 e6 7.f5 Nge7 8.d3 d5 9.Ba2 d4 10.Ne2

10.fxe6 dxc3 (10...Bxe6 safer) 11.exf7+ Kf8 12.bxc3 Bxc3+ 13.Bd2 was an interesting alternative.

10...exf5 11.Ng5 Ne5 12.0–0 0–0 13.Ng3 h6 14.exf5 Nxf5 15.Nxf5 Bxf5 16.Ne4 c4

16...Bxe4 17.dxe4 c4 would have left Black in control.


The best practical try.

17...gxf5 18.Ng3 cxd3 19.Nxf5 Qf6

19...dxc2 20.Qh5 d3 21.Bxh6 Qb6+ 22.Kh1 Ng6.

20.Qh5 Kh7


21.Bd5 Rh8?

21...dxc2 22.Be4 Qg6 23.Qh4 d3

22.Be4 Kg8 23.cxd3 Re8 24.Bd2 Nc4 25.Bb4 Re5?


26.Rc1! b5?

26...Rxe4 27.dxe4 Ne5 with a clear advantage for White.

27.axb5 axb5 28.b3

28.Qf3! Qg5 (28...Nb6 29.Rc6 Qd8 30.Ba5 winning) 29.Ra1 Nb6 30.h4 Qf6 31.Ra7 winning.


28...Rxe4 29.dxe4 Ne3.

29.Rc6 Qd8 30.Qg4 Rh7 31.Nxh6+

31.Rxh6 Rxf5 (or 31...Rxh6 32.Nxh6+ Kh8 33.Nxf7+) 32.Rxh7 Rg5 33.Qh4 wins.

31...Rxh6 32.Rxh6 f5


33.Bxf5 Rxf5 34.Rxb6 was winning.

33...fxe4 ½–½

33...fxe4 34.Qh7+ Kf7 35.Qg6+ Kg8 36.Qh7+ draws.

3) Here and There

The New Yorker ran an article by Charles Bethea entitled “A Chess Renaissance in the Midwest”, about the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Chess Center and the World Chess Hall of Fame. Read the piece at

Grandmaster Yury Shulman and Rishi Sethi’s Chess Without Borders organization was recently honored by Daily Point of Light. Read about the many good things this organization does at

Lectures by Gata Kamsky (“My Favorite Endgames”) and Anthony Saidy (“My Games with Bobby Fischer”) are available at:

The Illinois Chess Bulletin has been one of the best state publications for half a century, and scanned and archived past issues can be found at

Villa Ezzahra, a luxury house in the Palmeraie in Marrakech (, will host a group of chess enthusiasts and their partners from October 6–10. British grandmasters Nigel Short and Stuart Conquest will teach daily classes: lectures based on real game analysis, tips and practical advice with lessons from their own careers, as well as informal question and answer sessions whilst inviting and commentating on guests’ own games

For enquiries please contact Brian Callaghan: [email protected].

4) This is the end

In this study, each side has two pawns. But how can they use them to best advantage?

White to move

Show solution

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