Chess Room Newsletter #764 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #764

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #764
November 4, 2016

Tactical skills = Practical skills. Hence, you need to solve exercises. Tactics are made up of lot of features: imagination and combinational vision is one thing, calculation is another. Calculation in its turn consists of many devices like candidate moves, elimination, comparison, attention to opponent’s counter-chances, etc. So you choose the area that you would like to develop, and then solve exercises based on it. This is sure to help you become better at tactics.

—Mark Dvoretsky, answering the question “What would you recommend to a student who would like to become better at tactics?”
For part two of the interview with the noted trainer go to

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Seven players have perfect scores after three rounds of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon: National Master Josiah Stearman and Experts Derek O’Connor, Oleg Shaknazarov, Steven Gaffagan, Chingunn Bayara are joined by Class B player Andrew Handler, who has defeated two Experts to date. It’s still possible to enter the nine-round 105-player event (USCF- and FIDE-rated) with half-point byes for the first three rounds.

From round 3 of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Pryor–Stearman after 50...Bg3)Black to move (Boldi–Bayaraa after 18 Nb3)
White to move (Handler–Sevall after 11...Kh8)White to move (Winslow–Paquette after 10...fxg2)
Black to move (Steigum–Montoya after 12 Bd3)White to move (Newey–Valente after 47...Ng5)
White to move (Eastham–Bayaraa after 19...Qxd6)White to move (Capdeville–Pasko after 34...Qf7)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 3.

Here is Andrew’s miniature last week over a strong San Francisco high school student.

Andrew Handler (1701)–Jacob Sevall (2033)
Mechanics’ Fall TNM (3) 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 d6 5.f4 Ng4!?

The text breaks the rule of moving a piece twice in the opening, but several Grandmasters have played it.

5...Nc6 6.Nf3 would transpose into a well-known line in the King’s Gambit Declined. The text keeps the game in an obscure sideline of the Bishop’s Opening and Vienna Game. The solid 5...Be6 is quite playable here for those who want a less complicated game.


This is the only move that makes sense. White cuts off the knight’s support and opens the diagonal for his queen bishop. May the fun begin!


This natural looking move wins material but allows White a fierce attack. More commonly seen is 6...h5 7.Nh3 and now Black can choose between the more popular 7...Qh4+ and 7...c6 which may be better.



7...g6 8.Qh6 Kd7 (8...Nxh1?? 9.Bg5! Qd7 10.Nd5) 9.Na4 Nxh1 10.Nxc5+ dxc5 11.Nf3 offers White excellent compensation for the sacrificed material.

8.Nf3 Nxh1

8...Nd7 9.Bg5 Nf6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 (10...gxf6 11.Rf1) 11.Nd5 Qh6 12.Qxh6 gxh6 13.b4 wins.

9.Ng5 h6 10.Nxf7

Or 10.Bxf7+ Kh8 11.Qg6 which also wins.

10...Rxf7 11.Qxf7+ Kh8


A pretty way to finish the game. 12.f6! also gets the job done.


It’s mate after 12...hxg5 13.Qh5 and 12...Qxg5 13.Qg8.

13.Kf1 1–0

Jack Zhu, who is getting closer to 2400 every tournament he plays, won the 45th Carroll Capps Memorial over three International Masters the weekend of October 29–30. Zhu scored 5½ from 6, defeating IMs Elliott Winslow and Vignesh Panchanatham. His only draw was with National Master Conrado Diaz in round three, although he was in trouble against Panchanatham in the last round but used his large time advantage in the latter’s time pressure to good effect.

IM Winslow, NM Diaz and 10-year-old Expert Chinguun Bayerra (rated third for his age in the country at 2086) shared second with 4½ points. Jacob Sevall was clear fifth with four points in the 31-player field.

The remaining Mechanics’ Chess Club weekend events on the calendar for 2016 are the 16th Pierre Saint Amant Memorial G/45 on November 19 and the 16th Guthrie McClain Memorial G/45 on December 3.

Jules Jelinek, Mechanics’ C.C. Wednesday Blitz Chess Coordinator reports on the results of the event on October 26.

Last week there were 10 players and the results were

1st - Jules Jelinek
2nd - Carlos D’Avila
3rd – Ted Xiao

A blitz tournament is held each week, with sign-up beginning around 6:30 pm and round 1 starting at 6:45 pm. Play goes to about 9 pm.

Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics’ are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics’ are tax deductible due to the M.I.’s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics’. You will not only get a tax write-off but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use. If you want to make a donation that counts for your 2016 taxes it needs to be made before Christmas.

National Master John Blackstone of Las Vegas found the following game played in a correspondence match played on many boards between San Francisco and Los Angeles

Ruy Lopez C78
Correspondence) 1913

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Nxe4 7.Re1 d5 8.d3 Nf6 9.c3 Bg4 10.Bg5 Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Qd6 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Bxd5 Kd7 14.Nd2 Bg7 15.Ne4 1-0

Source: Jack O’Keefe Project - Pittsburgh Gazette Times (June 29, 2013)

2) Silman-Pupols, Lone Pine 1976

Mikhail Tal and Jeremy Silman at Disneyland in 1988 (Photo: Gwen Feldman)

King’s Indian Attack A07
Jeremy Silman-Viktors Pupols
Lone Pine 1976

Annotations by Jeremy Silman

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.b3 Bf5 5.Bb2 e6 6.O-O Be7 7.d3 O-O 8.Nbd2 h6 9.Qe1 Bh7 10.e4 a5 11.a3 Qb6 12.Qe2 Rc8 13.Kh1 Nbd7 14.a4 Nc5 15.e5 Nfd7 16.Nd4 Na6 17.f4 c5 18.Nb5 Nb4 19.Rac1 Nb8


The start of a planned exchange sacrifice for tremendous positional compensation.


Of course, Pupols should have played 20…Bxf5, but he didn’t like the idea of losing his light-squared bishop, which he viewed as the “guardian of the light-squares.” If Pupols had taken with the bishop, the game might have gone something like this: 21.Rxf5 exf5 22.c3 N4a6 23.Bxd5 Nc6 24.e6 f6 25.Nc4 Qd8 26.Bg2 Nc7 27.Rd1 Nxb5 28.axb5 Na7 29.Qf2 Nxb5 30.Qxf5 with a winning position for White. Of course, Black could play better, but White would always have an edge.

Black playing 20...exf5 instead of 20...Bxf5 also stopped me from winning the brilliancy prize.

21.c3 N4c6 22.Bxd5 Qd8 23.Bg2 Nd7 24.Nc4 Ra6 25.d4 cxd4 26.cxd4 Rb8 27.Ncd6 Nf8 28.Qc4 Bxd6 29.Nxd6 Bg6 30.Nxb7 Rxb7 31.Qxa6 Rb6 32.Qc4 Nb4 33.Qc7 Rb8 34.Ba3 Qe8 35.Bxb4 Rxb4 36.Bc6 Qb8 37.Qxb8 Rxb8 38.d5 Rxb3 39.Bb5 Rb2 40.Kg1 Bh5 41.Rf2 Rb4 42.h4 Rd4 43.d6 Ne6 44.d7 g5 45.hxg5 hxg5 46.Rxf5 Bg4 47.Rf6 Kg7 48.Rc8, 1-0.

82-year-old Viktors Pupols of Pousbo, Washington, continues to hold a USCF rating over 2200.

Viktors Pupols playing in the 1976 Sunfair Open in Yakima, Washington (Photo: Rusty Miller)

3) 2016 Berkeley Chess Club Championship

The annual Berkeley Chess Club Championship, which dates back to 1965 (won by John Smale) started last Friday (October 28). Top-seeded players are International Master Elliott Winslow and National Masters Ladia Jirasek and Roger Poehlmann plus Expert Derek O’Conner. The last, rated 1945 USCF at the beginning of June, is now 2166 and a good bet to go over 2200 by the end of the year.

Players can enter the event with a half-point bye for round one. Go to for more information.

Please note the Berkeley Chess Club is now meeting at a new location—The School of the Madeleine, 1225 Milvia, but enter the parking lot on Berryman.

Those traveling by BART should get off at the Downtown Berkeley BART station and board bus 7 or 18 at Center and Shattuck, getting off at Henry and Eunice after a 12-minute ride.

It’s a little over a mile walking from the Downtown Berkeley BART station to The School of the Madeleine along Shattuck and Henry streets.

4) This is the end

This endgame was from a world championship. White has just given up a bishop and a knight for a black rook. Obviously, White is winning. Or is it Black?

White to move

Show solution

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