Chess Room Newsletter #756 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #756

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Newsletter #756
August 5, 2016

It is a strange feeling preparing for my game today.  My 2500 rated opponent has one grandmaster norm to his credit. I find myself studying his games from the 2015 World Championships … for under twelve year olds.

—Grandmaster James Tarjan

The 16th Annual Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial G/45 will be held this Saturday August 6 starting at 10 am.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Most of the higher-rated players won in round one of the Alan Benson Tuesday Night Marathon, but several of the top seeds were in trouble in the middle of their games.

It’s still possible to enter the 9-round, USCF- and FIDE-rated, Alan Benson Tuesday Night Marathon with a half-point bye for round one. The event is named after the Berkeley Master and tournament organizer Alan Benson who died June 10, 2015.

From round 1 of the Alan Benson Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Donnelly–He after 31 Rc7)White to move (Hack–O'Connor after 13...Nxe5)
Black to move (Walder–Weingarten after 25 Rc4)White to move (Smith–Eastham after 37...Nxb4)
White to move (Melville–Starr after 43...Rc2)White to move (McEnroe–Krasnov after 30...Ng7)
Black to move (Brown–Clemens after 18 h3)Black to move (Marrus–Maser after 21 Qe1)
White to move (Capdeville–Chen after 29...Qd6)White to move (Sanguinetti–Enkh after 27...Nf5)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 1.

A case in point of top seeds in trouble is the following sharp contest between Peter Sherwood and 12-year-old Josiah Stearman (rated 2315 USCF).

B72: Sicilian, dragon, 6.Be3
Peter Sherwood (1688)–Josiah P Stearman (2315)
Mechanics’ Alan Benson TNM; G/2 (1.2), 02.08.2016

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Bc4 h5?! 8.f3

Black’s last move is common in the Yugoslav Attack against the Dragon, where it slows down g4 and stops h4–h5, but here it looks premature, as White has not committed to f3. Why not 8.h3, intending f4, with thoughts to play e5.

8...a6 9.Bb3 Nbd7 10.Qd2 b6 11.0–0–0 Bb7 12.Kb1 Rc8 13.Rhe1 0–0

13...Ne5 or 13...Nc5 looks right, limiting White to a slight edge. The text castles into trouble.

14.Bh6 b5?

14...Rc5 keeping the white queen out of g5 needs to be played.


15.Qg5! threatening Qxg6 is very strong. 15...Ne5 guarding g6 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Nf5+ Kg8 18.f4 Nc4 19.e5 Nh7 20.Qxe7 Ba8 21.Qxd8 Rcxd8 22.Nxd6 leaves White several pawns ahead.

15...Kxg7 16.Qg5

This is not nearly as effective as before, but still gives White some advantage.

16...Kh7 17.h3 e6?!



18.Bxe6! fxe6 19.Nxe6 Qe7 20.Nxf8+ Qxf8 21.Ne2 Ne5 22.Nf4 with a clear advantage.



19.Bxe6! fxe6 20.Nxe6 Qe7 21.Nxf8+ Rxf8 22.Nd5


What makes this position attractive for White is not only having two pawns and rook for two minor pieces, but the fact that Black is tied down to the defense of his d6 pawn, which makes it harder for him to activate his minor pieces.

22...Nxd5 23.exd5 Qf7 24.Qe4?

24.f4! Attacking Black’s best-placed piece. 24...Qxf4 25.Qb6 Rf7 26.Qxd6 with a clear advantage.

24...Bc8! 25.Qd4 Bf5 26.Re3 g5 27.Rc3 Qb7 28.g4?

This creates a serious weakness on f3.

28...Bg6 29.Rf1 Rf4 30.Qg1 h4 31.Qe3 b4 32.Rb3 a5 33.a3 Qxd5 34.axb4 axb4 35.Qa7+ Rf7 36.Qb6?? Qxb3 0–1

Congratulations to Grandmaster Sam Shankland who has been red-hot of late, following his victory in the Edmonton International with clear first in the famous Biel Open. Sam’s performance was nothing short of outstanding, as he defeated four strong GMs, averaging over 2600 FIDE, en route to a score of 7½ from 9. This performance brings his FIDE rating to 2679 FIDE, 4th in the United States and 57th in the world. Sam’s next event will be the Chess Olympiad in Baku, which starts September 2.

Grandmasters Daniel Naroditsky and James Tarjan played in the Xtracon Open in Denmark this past July. Naroditsky started the event seeded 8th and that is just where he finished, a half-point behind the winners. His undefeated score of 7½ from 10 maintained his 2646 FIDE rating (#7 in the United States and 7 rating points from number 100 in the world). Tarjan, who calls Portland, Oregon home, nearly made it into the winners’ circle, losing a tough fight in the last round to Alexey Shirov on the black side of a Breyer Ruy Lopez. Naroditsky will soon start play in the Riga Technical University Open.

Josiah Stearman of Martinez has won or tied for first place in the past four Tuesday Night Marathon tournaments. The 12-year-old Master has made tremendous improvement the past six months and is now rated 2316 by the U.S. Chess Federation, making him the third-ranked player for his age in the United States. Josiah has been playing tournament chess since he was five years old.

International Master Greg Shahade’s U.S. Chess School held a session at the MI from July 25–28 that was attended by some of the top young players from California and Texas.

l-r Alex Costello, Rayan Tagizahdeh, Josiah Stearman (sitting), Seaver Dahlgren, Christopher Yoo, Agata Bykovtsev, Karthik Padmanabhan, Ladia Jirasek, Annie Wang, Siddarth Banik, Emily Nguyen and Balaji Daggupati (Photo: Greg Shahade)

International Master Ricardo De Guzman won the Berkeley Weekender, held July 15–17, in style. The former Filipino Olympiad team member, who has called the Bay Area home the past 15 years, scored 5–0 to finish a point ahead of the field. Among DeGuzman’s victims—while raising his USCF rating from 2401 to 2439—were International Master Ray Kaufmann (back in the Bay Area after a stay in Seattle), IM-elect Vignesh Panchanatham and National Master Josiah Stearman.

Panchanatham, who only needs to raise his FIDE rating to 2400 to receive the IM title, shared second place with National Master Uyanga Byambaa at 4–1. 12-year-old Josiah Stearman was alone in fourth place with 3½ points, raising his rating to 2315.

Recent Cal grad Derek O’Connor continued his meteoric rise of the last two months and is now up to 2094 (from 1851 two months ago). His 3–2 score included a win over International Master Elliott Winslow.

Elizabeth Shaughnessy organized and Bryon Doyle directed the four-section event, which attracted 49 players.

2) A Chess Poem by Dennis Fritzinger

second sight

i sit down at the board
to play a child.
i look at him:
i see, with second sight,
a seasoned warrior
with armor and weapons.
if i lose, it will be no shame:
he has slain grandmasters,
and is on the road
to becoming
one himself.

3) Fred Wilson Annotates

The well-known chess book dealer, teacher and historian Fred Wilson is still playing close to master strength (current USCF rating 2163) as he nears age 70.

Ruy Lopez, (old) Steinitz Variation (by transposition)
Fred Wilson – M. Camejo
Hackensack 2016

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 d6 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4!

Morphy’s, Anderssen’s, Alekhine’s & Fred’s move here!

6…Bd7 7. Bxc6 Bxc6 8. Bg5 Be7 9. 0-0-0 0-0 10. Rhe1 a5?

Probably not a good move, though it took me a while to figure out what Mauricio wanted to do, if allowed, which was 11…b5!? Curiously, I had examined the position after my 10th move on the very morning of this tournament as I had obtained it at least four times before without ever gaining a convincing advantage!

The seminal game, Anderssen–Paulsen, Vienna, 1873 (!), proved that 10…Re8 11. Kb1 Bd7? 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. e5! leads to a serious edge for White—this is a truly great and unusually modern game which you owe it to yourself to study. Zuckerman–Cobo, Polanica Zdroj, 1972, went 11. Kb1 a6? 12. e5! dxe5 13. Qc4! Bd6 14. Nxe5 with an advantage, and while Black’s best idea (actually played against me by my student Richard Davisson about six years ago) is 10…Nd7! 11. Bxe7 Qxe7, I have subsequently discovered in the little-known game Belozerov – Bahturin, Irkutsk, 2009, that the plan of 12. Qd2! Rfe8 13. Nd4! followed by f3, and a timely g4 & h4, will keep Black cramped with no counterplay.

Whew! But, this is the kind of research you have to do if you want to really understand how to play the middlegames your openings can lead to.

11. Qc4!

So, I decided to mimic Zuckerman’s idea of threatening 12. e5, while also preventing 12…b5!?

11…Nd7 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. Nd4 Ne5 14. Qf1!

I kinda like this move which prevents 14…Qg5+? because of 15. f4 Qh6 16. Nf5 winning a piece, though I am sure 14. Qe2 is also fine as 14…Qg5+ 15. Kb1 Qxg2, and maybe also gobbling the h pawn, looks suicidal.

14…Bd7 15. f4 Nc6 16. Nd5 Qd8 17. Nf5!

17. Nb5 Rc8 leads to nothing.

17…Bxf5 18. exf5

Now I expected 18…f6 19. Qc4, with a dominating position.


I didn’t expect this and thought a long time here.

19. Ne7+ Kh8 20. Qf3!

As he has no time for 20…Nxa2+?

20…Qd7 21. a3 Nc6?

Played quickly, and the losing move. He had to try 21…Rae8 22. axb4 Rxe7 23. Rxe7 Qxe7 24. bxa5, when White is a pawn up, but with a lot of work still to do.

22. f6 gxf6 23. Qc3!

He overlooked this—if 23…Nxe7 24. Qxf6+ Kg8 25. Rxe7 and Black is toast.

23…Kg7 24. Nd5 Qf5 25. g4 Qg6 26. g5 Kh8 27. Nxf6 Qg7 28. Re3! 1-0

A nice, clean game where I got to use all my pieces, and kept the initiative throughout.

4) Alan Bourke–Jude Acers, San Francisco 1969

The following game, which comes from the archives of the late Peter Grey, was played in a Mechanics’ rating tournament on August 8, 1969. Time control for the game was 40/2 followed by 20/1. Bourke, who was rated a master at the time this game was played, served as Mechanics’ Chess Director from 1969 to 1971.

Grunfeld D94
Alan Bourke–Jude Acers
San Francisco 1969

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 d5 5.e3 0–0 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb3 Na6 9.0–0 c5 10.a4 Bg4 11.a5 cxd4 12.exd4 Nd7 13.Bd5 Rb8 14.Re1 e6 15.Be4 Nf6 16.Bf4 Nc7 17.Rc1 Nh5 18.Be5 f6 19.Bxc7 Qxc7 20.h3 Bxf3 21.Bxf3 Bh6 22.Rc2 Ng7 23.Ne4 Qxa5 24.Nc5 Qb5 25.Be2 Qb4 26.Bc4 Rbc8 27.Rxe6 Kh8 28.Re7 b6 29.Rb7 Rfe8 30.Nd3 Qa4 31.b3 Qc6 32.Qf3 Qxf3 33.gxf3 Nf5 34.Ra2 Nd6 35.Rbxa7 b5 36.Bd5 Rc3 37.Nb4

37.Rd7 or 37.Nc5.

37...Rc1+ 38.Kg2 Nf5 39.Ra8




40.Kg3 Nf5+ 41.Kg2

41...Bf4!! 42.Rxe8+ Kg7 43.h4 Nxh4+ 44.Kh3 f5 0–1

5) 2016 Exchange Bank Open in Santa Rosa August 27 and 28

When: Saturday, August 27 & Sunday, August 28, 2016
Where: Exchange Bank
Andrew J. Shepard Building
444 Aviation Boulevard
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Sections: Open 1900+ ? Reserve 1500-1899 ? Booster Under 1500 + Unrated
Rounds: 4 Round Swiss System ? Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Prizes: Open $250-$175 ? Reserve $200-$125 ? Booster $150-$100
Entry Fee: $35.00 in advance ? $45.00 late registration after August 24, 2016 ? Extra $10 fee for playing up a section(s)
Registration: Saturday, August 27, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
No email or telephone registration accepted.

6) This is the end

This position from a Grandmaster game features good knight versus bad bishop (“bad” because the four black pawns on light squares hinder the bishop’s movements).

White to move

Show solution

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