Chess Room Newsletter #776 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #776

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #776
February 10, 2017

Q: In general when comparing our school and the West you get the feeling that from junior chess onwards we’re still excessively focused on the result. Is that true?

I really don’t like making such generalizations, but Nakamura, Caruana—all these guys grew up in American open tournaments, where only the first two or three prizes had any significance. Therefore in those you play sharply for a win in every game, and that’s carried over into your future career, while I, for example, quite quickly started to play in elite round robins, where there’s a somewhat more relaxed atmosphere. You’d get a dull position from the opening, offer a draw and go home. And then later, of course, that was something you needed to overcome. In that regard I’m very grateful for the appearance of Sofia Rules, which simply banned that option. I really did have a huge number of short draws, but at the same time it was far more often I’d agreed to a draw than that I’d offer one, i.e. I was always ready to continue playing, but if someone offered me a draw then it felt somewhat awkward to refuse. I have a good relationship with everyone, and in the majority of cases these were my friends.

—Peter Svidler

See the entire interview with Svidler.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

National Master Conrado Diaz leads the 112-player Winter Tuesday Night Marathon with a score of 5½ from 6 with two rounds to go. National Master Bryon Doyle and Experts Chinguun Bayaraa, Ganesh Viswanath and Arthur Ismakov are a half-point back.

From round 6 of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Diaz–Askin after 6...Bf5)White to move (Walters–McEnroe after 29...Re7)
Black to move (Simpkins–Boldi after 45 Be2)White to move (Erickson–Drane after 9...Qd7)
Black to move (Mays–Malykin after 16 Qb6)Black to move (White–Kulkarni after 18 Bxd5)
White to move (Bayaraa–Bayaraa after 19...Qb6+)For the solutions, see the game scores for round 6.

11-year-old Chinguun Bayaraa made a big step towards becoming a U.S.C.F. master by tying for first in the 17th Henry Gross Memorial, held February 4. Chinguun shared top honors at 4½ from 5 with National Master Paul Gallegos. The event, which honored the memory of the late Henry Gross (1907–1987), attracted 48 players.

Former California state champion Henry Gross was one of the best players in the Bay Area from the 1930s up until the mid-1960s. He was an important member of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club and was one of the founders and key players in the Golden Gate and Castle Chess Clubs. (Photo: unknown)

International Master Elliott Winslow won the 11-player Wednesday Night Blitz held February 1. Winslow scored 10 out of 12, with International Master Ray Kaufman second at 9½ and Carlos D’Avila third with 8 points.

The Mechanics’ entry in the 2017 Pro Chess League faces a team from Johannesburg, South Africa, this Saturday starting at 11:20 am.

International Master-elect Cameron Wheeler has earned the prestigious 2017 Falconer Award given annually to the highest rated chess player under 18 in Northern California. The junior at Monte Vista High School in Cupertino will receive a check for $2481, equal to his rating on the December 2016 USCF rating supplement. Cameron finished ahead of International Masters Vignesh Panchanatham (2451) and Kesav Viswanadha (2447).

The Falconer Award is named in honor of the late Mechanics’ Institute Trustee Neil Falconer, himself a strong tournament player, holding a 1900+ rating up to age 85. Over the past 18 years, three recipients of this generous prize have gone on to earn the Grandmaster title and two more are currently International Masters.

Cameron will be honored at a ceremony at the Mechanics’ Chess Club on February 21, starting at 5:00 pm.

Previous Winners
2000 Senior Master Vinay Bhat
2001 Senior Master Vinay Bhat
2002 International Master Vinay Bhat
2003 National Master Michael Pearson
2004 National Master Nicolas Yap
2005 National Master Matthew Ho
2006 National Master Matthew Ho
2007 National Master Nicolas Yap
2008 National Master Sam Shankland
2009 International Master Sam Shankland
2010 Senior Master Steven Zierk
2011 Senior Master Daniel Naroditsky
2012 International Master Daniel Naroditsky
2013 International Master Daniel Naroditsky
2014 Senior Master Yian Liou
2015 International Master Yian Liou
2016 Senior Master Cameron Wheeler
2017 International Master-Elect Cameron Wheeler

International Master David Pruess writes:

Hi John,

We are doing a kickstarter for a strategy card game I've been working on for a couple years. Here is the kickstarter page.

2) Signatures of World Champions: Max Euwe and Boris Spassky

All World Champions from Lasker to Karpov have visited the Mechanics’ Institute, with the exception of Mikhail Botvinnik. These visits, spanning over a century from 1902 to 2006, included exhibitions, lectures, and in the case of Mikhail Tal, playing a makeup tournament game from the 1991 Pan Pacific tournament (with Patrick Wolff). Tal also participated in a blitz tournament at the Mechanics’.

This program from the 1980 Paul Masson Chess Festival is signed by Max Euwe, who gave a simul at the M.I. in 1949, and fellow former World Champion Boris Spassky, who gave a series of lectures and a simul in 2006. Also signing is George Koltanowski, who gave several of his famous blindfold exhibitions at the Mechanics’ in the 1950s.

President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Dr. Max Euwe from Amsterdam (left), shares a few secrets with the President of the US Chess Federation, George Koltanowski at the 4th Annual Paul Masson Chess Festival held at the Paul Masson Mtn. Winery in Saratoga, 1980. (Photo: unknown)

3) People’s Open Winners: 1974-2016

The People’s Open has a storied place in Bay Area chess. Started in the aftermath of the Fischer boom, it began in Hayward, but quickly moved to Berkeley, where it found a home at the UC Student Union for thirty years. Over the last decade the event has moved from place to place in the South Bay, but in 2016 the People’s returned to Berkeley in an excellent location—the Faculty Club at UC Berkeley. It will be held there again this July 14–16.

1974 Ruben Rodriguez (199 players)
1975 Walter Browne (over 100 players)
1976 Peter Biyiasas, Walter Browne and John Grefe (220)
1977 Walter Browne (168)
1978 Larry Christiansen and Nick de Firmian (142)
1979 Eugene Meyer (216)
1980 Paul Cornelius, John Donaldson and Charles Powell (196 players)
1981 James Tarjan (209)
1982 Jeremy Silman and John Grefe (111)

Jeremy Silman (left) and Larry Christiansen playing in the 1976 Golden Gate Open held at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco. (Photo: Alan Benson)

1983 Jeremy Silman (209)
1984 ???
1985 Igor Ivanov and Kamran Shirazi
1986 ???
1987 Cris Ramayrat and Jay Whitehead
1988 Nick de Firmian, Cris Ramayrat, Marc Leski and Dov Gorman (about 180)
1989 Nick de Firmian (213)
1990 Nick de Firmian and Vince McCambridge (close to 200)
1991 John Donaldson, John Grefe, Marc Leski, Larry Remlinger, and Vladimir Strugatsky (219 with 29 masters)

John Grefe playing at the 1982 Oregon Open in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Charles Palmer)

1992 Walter Browne (193)
1993 Nick de Firmian and Renard Anderson (200+)
1994 Richard Kelson, Victor Baja and Burt Izumikawa (152)
1995 John Donaldson (210)
1996 Dmitry Zilberstein and Artak Akopian (226)
1997 John Donaldson, Robin Forman and Walter Shipman (160)
1998 Tigran Ishkhanov and Vinay Bhat (170)
1999 Vinay Bhat (141)
2000 Camilla Baginskaite (130)
2001 Mauro Casadei (131)
2002 John Donaldson and Dmitry Zilberstein (160)
2003 Ricardo De Guzman and John Donaldson (157)
2004 Ricardo De Guzman (152)
2005 Ricardo De Guzman (144)
2006 Michael Aigner (60)
2007 Craig Mar, Walter Shipman and Nicholas Yap (126)
2008 Michael Aigner (79)
2009 David Pruess (104) Note: this event was only four rounds.
2010 Ricardo De Guzman (98)
2011 Ricardo De Guzman (176)
2012 Ricardo De Guzman and Kesav Viswanadha (135)
2013 No Tournament
2014 Faik Aleskerov (177)
2015 Eugene Yanayt (161)
2016 Parimarjan Negi (168)

Multiple Winners
De Guzman and Donaldson – 6 times
de Firmian – 5 times
Browne – 4 times
Grefe – 3 times
Aigner, Bhat, Leski, Ramayrat, Shipman, Silman and Zilberstein– 2 times

Tournament Location
Berkeley 1976-2007, 2009, 2016
Concord 2010
Fremont 2011
Hayward 1974 and 1975
Pleasanton 2012
Santa Clara 2008, 2014, 2015

4) This is the end

This position is from a master game. What is the expected result?

White to move

Show solution

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