Chess Room Newsletter #770 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #770

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #770
December 16, 2016

Today's generation is less dogmatic and more open to all sorts of unusual experiments and are much more flexible thanks to the effect of the computer. My generation does that with a little bit of lag or hesitation. Everyone works with computers now so there are no hold-outs anymore. But yes, to the extent of the thought process, there's a little bit of a lag, and it's something you have to fight against. You have to learn to see the world in a new way which the younger generation I feel finds slightly easier.

—Viswanathan Anand, interviewed by Susan Ninan for ESPN

Happy Holidays from the staff of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club!
The Newsletter will take a break the next three weeks, resuming January 6.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

International Master Elliott Winslow defeated Expert Chinguun Bayaraa in the last round of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon in a battle between experience and youth (Elliott is 64 and Chinguun recently turned 11). This victory gave Elliott clear first place with a score of 7½ from 9, and capped a successful TNM run this year, in which he finished first or shared first in four of the five events.

Chinguun shared second place with FIDE Master Josiah Stearman and Michael Askin in the 113-player field. A crosstable and complete list of prize winners for the event can be found here.

Among those gaining 40 or more USCF rating points in the 9 round event were

Jacob Crofts +606 *
Benjamin White +256*
Marty Valente + 178
Timothy Bayaraa +129
Drew Tuck +124
Erkhes Erdenebileg +123
Daniel Montoya +105
Andrew Handler +91
Lane Erickson +90
Guy Argo +63
Ethan Boldi + 54
Nicholas Reed +50
Mike Hilliard +45
Steven Touset + 44
Nicholas Brown +42
Kevin Kuczek +41

* Still provisionally rated

From round 9 of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Walder–Uzzaman after 29 Nxc6)White to move (Maser–Andries after 7...b5)
Black to move (Boldi–Riese after 20 Nb2)White to move (Clemens–Hack after 16...Ngf6)
White to move (Melville–White after 10...O-O)White to move (Casares–James after 28...Kb8)
Black to move (Starr–Bayaraa after 43 Kb4)Black to move (Cunningham–Doyle after 29 Bh2)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 9.

The Winter Tuesday Night Marathon, an 8-round USCF- and FIDE-rated Swiss, begins on January 3, 2017.

The guest lecturer, who will speak before the first round from 5:15 to 6:15 pm, is Grandmaster Sam Shankland, who was recently revealed to be a member of Magnus Carlsen’s team for his World Championship match with Sergey Karjakin. All are welcome for Sam’s talk.

Wednesday Blitz Tournament

December 7 (12 players)
1-2–Jacob Sevall and Jules Jelinek
3–Carlos D’Avila

December 14 (13 players)
1 Jules Jelinek
2 Carlos D’Avila
3 Jacob Sevall

The last Wednesday Night Blitz on 2016 will be held December 21st. The series will resume in February.

The Mechanics’ held a scholastic tournament on December 10.

The happy winners (photo by Wassim Nasiff)

2016 is coming to an end. Donations of books, sets, magazines and clocks to the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club are always welcome and will be put to good use. The Mechanics’ Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization, so donations are tax-deductible.

Saving money on equipment and books allows the MI Chess Club to have strong Grandmasters give guest lectures on Tuesday nights. Among those who have done so in 2015 and 2016 are Wesley So, Sam Shankland, Daniel Naroditsky, R.B. Ramesh (GM and captain of the Indian Olympiad team), Jacob Aaagard, Alex Lenderman, Christian Chirila and Jesse Kraai.    

The Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club will be closed from December 24 through January 2. This closure will enable vital work to be done to upgrade the wiring to the Mechanics’ network, dramatically increasing the speed of our internet service.

Defending champion National Master Roger Poehlmann is leading the 35-player Berkeley Chess Club Championship with a perfect score after four of seven rounds. This result includes a win over top seed National Master Ladia Jirasek. International Master Elliott Winslow is second at 3½.

2) Chess and Tech meet at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club

Come play bughouse, blitz chess and more with fellow tech workers from around the city each month in the oldest chess club in the United States, home to Grandmasters Sam Shankland and Daniel Naroditsky. Sets, boards and clocks and light refreshments will be provided. All tech workers are welcome.

First Thursday of the month from 5 pm to 7 pm: January 5, February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4, June 1

57 Post St. San Francisco, fourth-floor meeting room. For more information write [email protected].

The Eventbrite link is here:

The Facebook event is here:

3) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room Chair appeal

Our Chess Room, the oldest dedicated chess club in the United States, has recently replaced the chairs after 80 years of constant use, and now 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.

4) Guthrie McClain remembers Alekhine, as told to Jude Acers

The following reminiscence of Guthrie McClain, who for a quarter century was the editor of The California Chess Reporter and publisher of GRANDMASTER CHESS Lone Pine 1975, was told to Jude Acers in 1971. The location of their discussion was 244 Kearney Street, two blocks from the Mechanics’ which doubled as McClain’s office and the home of the California Chess Reporter.

Alekhine visited the Mechanics’ on at least two occasions. This concerns the exhibition he gave in 1929.

“Believe me I remember Alekhine. I was just a boy and really had to work on my parents to cross the Bay all alone to play the just-crowned world champion. His beating Capablanca was just not believed, even thought possible. So I carried my only chess book into the Mechanics club. I was in awe and rushed up to him, ‘Mr. Alekhine will you please sign my book?’ and he shook his head emphatically ‘No’ explaining he signed only books he had written. I rushed out to buy a book for the signature. ... I was afraid to play but could see he was a daring fierce man. He loved chess, loved winning, he was attacking everywhere, perhaps a piece down or lost somehow in a dozen games but he did not lose but a few. You knew he was the world champion all right. Bagby and just about the whole club walked him to the train station afterward.”

5) Grand Chess Tour Adds Fifth Event

Prize Fund Grows to $1.2 Million, Field Expanded

Continuing the growth shown over the last two years, the GCT now adds a fifth event to the Tour. This new tournament, sponsored by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, will be held in Saint Louis, MO from August 13 to 20, 2017. It will follow the Sinquefield Cup, which will be held in the same venue from July 31 to August 12, 2017. The addition of a fifth event brings the total prize pool for the 2017 GCT season to 1.2 million dollars, the highest in the tour’s history.

The Grand Chess Tour announced last month that the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Chess Promotions Ltd, Colliers International France, Vivendi S.A. and Your Next Move have renewed their partnership for the 2017 season.

A total of nine players will be selected as full 2017 Grand Chess Tour participants. Three spots will be awarded to the top finishers in the 2016 GCT, another three to the top players by average 2016 rating and the final three shall be determined by the GCT as tour wildcards. Players are required to participate in both classic events and two of the three rapid and blitz events.

Each classical event shall award one wildcard invitation, while the rapid and blitz events will have four event wildcards. The full list of 2017 tour participants will be announced after the conclusion of the 2016 London Chess Classic. Each event in which a player competes will count toward their GCT score and final tour standings.

All tournaments in 2017 will feature live play-by-play and analysis streamed worldwide, complete with grandmaster commentary and player interviews. All official tournament broadcasts will be carried live on the GCT website at

6) Cal Chess Senior State Championship

When: February 10, 11 and 12, 2017 (originally scheduled for December 16–18, it has been postponed due to low interest)
Where: Cornell Elementary, 920 Talbot Ave, Albany, CA 94706
PRIZES: $1,000 (100% guaranteed)
FIDE-Rated Section: 1st $350, 2nd $250, 3rd $100
Top under 2000 $100
Top under 1800 $75
Top under 1600 $75
Top under 1400 $50
Schedule: On-site registration Friday 6:30–6:45 pm; round times: Fri 7 pm, Sat 10 am, 3 pm, Sun 1 pm.
Type: Swiss 4 rounds
Time Control: G/90 30 Increment (FIDE rated)
Entry Fee: $45 (at least one day before the tournament) On-site is $10 more.
Byes: Up to two half point byes allowed. No byes allowed for fourth round.

7) This is the end

This position occurred in a recent grandmaster game, after the pawn capture 66 Bxb7 Nd3. How should the game proceed?

White to move

Show solution

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