Chess Room Newsletter #757 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #757

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Newsletter #757
August 12, 2016

Get fit. Don’t eat crap. Chess, like life, is going to feel like a throw-down—no matter what metaphysical sugar people like J. Kraai sometimes coat it with. The game will push you to your limits. Be ready for it.

—Grandmaster Jesse Kraai

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

With 96 entries the Alan Benson Tuesday Night Marathon is approaching triple-digit attendance, which would make it the tenth such consecutive TNM (dating back to the fall of 2014).

Two rounds into the event twelve players are tied for first, all class A, Experts, or Masters. They are Josiah Stearman (2315), Bryon Doyle (2209), Natalya Tsodikova (2195), Igor Traub (2136), Viswanath Natraj (2101), Derek O’Connor (2094), Michael Walder (2090), Yuan Wang (2068), Michael Askin (2042), Steven Krasnov (1977), Arnold Hua (1965), and Michael Anderson (1958).

It is still possible to enter the nine-round event, which is both USCF- and FIDE-rated, with two half-point byes.

From round 2 of the Alan Benson Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Askin–Winslow after 21 fxe5)White to move (Klinetobe–Dougal after 35...Ra3+)
White to move (Agdamag–Brown after 12...Bd6)White to move (Agdamag–Brown after 16...Bxh2+)
White to move (Poling–Harris after 23...Kd7)For the solutions, see the game scores for round 2.

International Master Ricardo DeGuzman and Master Hayk Manvelyan shared first place with 4½ from 5 in the 16th Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial, held August 6 at the Mechanics’ Institute. Tying for third, a half-point back in the 51-player field, were visiting teenage Master Maxim Ventura of Barcelona, Experts Alex Ventura (Maxim’s brother), Vinesh Ravuri and William Li Jr. The Venturas were not the only young Spaniards among the prize winners, as Samir and Liam Llamazares of Salamanca both won their rating prizes. Add Expert-rated German-American teenager Jacob Sevall (3½ points) and the Pafnutieff had a real international feel. Samir, Jacob Derin and Karina Bender won book prizes for turning in the biggest upsets.

Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi, rated in the top 100 players in the world, dominated the Peoples’ Open, which returned to its traditional home of Berkeley the weekend of July 30–31. Among Negi’s victims were several of the Bay Area’s top juniors: IM Kesav Viswanadha, Senior Master Cameron Wheeler and National Master Josiah Stearman. Viswanadha and International Master Ray Kaufman tied for second at 4–1 in the multi-section event, which attracted over 160 entries.

The Bay Area’s top-rated player, Grandmaster Sam Shankland (2679 FIDE), has his great triumph in the Biel Open written up at

Grandmaster Jesse Kraai, a fixture in Bay Area Chess the past decade, has moved to Baltimore. We wish Jesse and his family all the best in their new home.

Jesse Kraii (Photo: Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis)

2) More from Peter Grey’s Archives

The following game comes from the archives of the late Peter Grey.

We wrote to Jude Acers asking him about his memories of the following game and others he played in the Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He replied:

I played about 800 clocked games there in four years while sleeping on Max Burkett’s floor or the Greystone (Editor - a SRO hotel still in operation at 66 Geary) ...Do not remember (referring to this game). Played hundred of clocked games with Grandmaster level players there…Grefe, Kaplan, Addison and Browne.


The following game from a training match was played on February 25, 1970.

Scotch Gambit C44
Jude Acers–William Addison
San Francisco 1970

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.0–0 d6 6.c3 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qd7

7...Bxf3 8.Bxf7+ Kf8 9.gxf3.

8.Bxf7+ Qxf7 9.Qxb7 Rc8

9...Kd7 10.Qxa8 Bxf3 11.gxf3 Ne5=

10.Qxc6+ Bd7 11.Qd5 Qxd5 12.exd5 dxc3 13.Nxc3 Nf6 14.Re1+ Kf7 15.Be3 Bxe3 16.fxe3

16.Rxe3! Addison.

16...Rhe8 17.e4 Ng4 18.h3

18.b4! Addison.

18...Ne5 19.Nxe5+ Rxe5 20.Rad1 Rb8 21.b3 Rb4 22.Rd3 Ke7 23.Rf3

23.Rb1! Addison.

23...Rd4 24.Ref1 Be8 25.Rf5 Rxf5 26.Rxf5 Bg6 27.Rf4 a6 28.Kf1 Rd2 29.Rf2 Rd3 30.Rf3 Rd2 31.Rf2 Rd3 32.Rf3 Rd2 ½–½

3) Mark Dvoretsky on Carlsen–Karjakin

Objectively speaking, Carlsen’s results are significantly better. Is Karjakin capable of preparing so as to minimize that gap in strength and reach a level that would allow him to beat Carlsen?

This is precisely what Kramnik achieved in due course of time. After all, Kasparov’s results before and after the match in London were significantly better than his opponent’s. However, Kramnik demonstrated brilliant preparation, and not merely in the realm of chess. Having learned from various sources the work he did and the actions he took, I am simply stunned by how successful and professional his approach used to be, enabling him to achieve a deserved victory.

So, Sergey still has chances, hasn't he?

There always exist definite chances, although objectively the situation is the same as it was for the football team—there is no doubt as to who is stronger. And it’s pointless to try and make light of that as it would mean totally ignoring the reality. Nevertheless, I repeat, that it does not mean that Karjakin should lose. By means of intelligent, professional preparation, he could manage to neutralize the gap in strength. Or, perhaps, he will not manage it after all.

The entire interview by Vladimir Barsky can be found at

4) This is the end

White has all the pieces, but what can he do against the black pawns in this study?

White to move

Show solution

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