Chess Room Newsletter #785 | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Chess Room Newsletter #785

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #785
April 28, 2017

I always have a lack of the killer instinct. I love chess, but I hate it as a profession. You must kill your opponent. I just want to reflect myself on the board.

—Boris Spassky, quoted in an interview/article by Grant Segall on pages
1E and 5E of the Sun-Sentinel (Florida), 8 August 1985.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

National Masters Tenzing Shaw (6½) and Derek O’Connor (6) are leading the 117-player Tuesday Night Marathon after seven rounds, and will face off in the last round next Tuesday. International Master Elliott Winslow, National Masters Russell Wong and Conrado Diaz and Expert Alexander Ivanov are right behind at 5½-1½.

From round 7 of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (O'Connor–Tsodikova after 29...dxe5)White to move (Tracy–Wong after 21...Rd1+)
White to move (Vickers–Maser after 16...Qg4)White to move (Fuentes–Cheng after 31...Qb3)
White to move (Walder–Turner after 35...Be7)Black to move (Newey–Simpkins after 15 Qxf5)
Black to move (Abraham–Ochoa after 23 g5)For the solutions, see the game scores for round 7.

Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator Jules Jelinek provides the results of the nine-player event held April 19.

1. Jacob Sevall 11–1
2. Jules Sevall 10
3. Kristian Clemens

Tuesday Night Marathon regular Ashik Uzzaman writes about his experiences playing in the United States Amateur Team (USAT) 2017 Championship last weekend in his blog at

He writes: XCell Chess Club, became runner up in the United States Amateur Team (USAT) 2017 Championship. We won the semi-final against North by 3–1. I lost on third board with White against Michael Auger, rated 2268 (almost 300 more than me), but all our other boards won. In the other semi-final game, East defeated South by a margin of 2½–1½.

In the final we faced the current champion East. I won my game with Black against Warren Wang, rated 2198 (again more than 200 points above mine). Arul Viswanathan and Ashrita Eswaran lost on fourth and second board respectively. On first board Hayk Manvelyan had a better position against Ethan Li, but drew in time pressure as the game prolonged. Well, we were very close but couldn’t make it. We will have to be happy with the runner-up spot.

Top-seeded National Masters Uyanga Byambaa and Natalya Todikova finished first and second in the Cal Chess Women’s State Championship held March 24–26. Bryon Doyle directed and Elizabeth Shaughnessy organized the event for the Berkeley Chess Club.

National Master Ladia Jirasek and Expert Derek O’Connor shared top honors in the John Grefe Marathon held January 27–March 10 at the Berkeley Chess Club. The two winners scored 5–1, with O’Connor raising his rating to 2181. National Master Roger Poehlmann and Expert Theodore Biyiasas tied for third at 4½ in the 43-player event, which attracted one International Master, two National Masters and seven Experts. Bryon Doyle directed and Elizabeth Shaughnessy organized the event

2) Remembering Dr. Walter Romaine Lovegrove 1869–1956 (Part One)

Dr. Walter Romaine Lovegrove was the first strong player to be born and raised in San Francisco and was the top player on the West Coast until the First World War.

The following appreciation of Lovegrove was written by Dr. H.J. “Bip” Ralston, who was instrumental in helping to get the California Chess Reporter started.

Dr. W.R. Lovegrove, by Dr. H.J. Ralston

Dr. Walter Romaine Lovegrove, emeritus master of the United States, died in San Francisco on July 18, 1956, He was 86 years old.

For over 60 years Dr. Lovegrove was one of San Francisco’s leading players. Born October 24, 1869, he learned the game of chess at the age of 16 by studying the article on chess in the Encyclopedia Britannica. During the period 1886-1890 he strengthened his game by playing at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club in San Francisco, finally becoming so strong that in one tournament he gave odds to all the other contestants, yet still won the tournament.

Dr. Lovegrove was the winner of the final Pillsbury National Correspondence Tournament. In 1891 he won a match from Joseph Redding, who claimed the championship of the Pacific Coast, by a score of 7–1. Max Judd, who was prominent in national chess circles, visited San Francisco about the same time, and Dr. Lovegrove won six out of seven games in casual play. The American champion, J.W. Showalter, also visited San Francisco, and although he had the edge over Dr. Lovegrove in casual play, lost no less than 12 games to him out of about 30 played.

In 1893 Dr. Lovegrove visited Los Angeles, where he met and conquered Simon Lipshutz by a score of 3½–½. The American Championship was in a rather foggy state in those days, but technically, the present writer believes, Lipshutz was still the champion, by virtue of his decisive win over Showalter in their match of 1892. However, one must admit that Dr. Lovegrove’s victory over Lipshutz must be weighed with caution because of the very uncertain nature of the champion’s health. Lipshutz was a chronic sufferer from tuberculosis, which caused his premature death at the age of 42.

Dr. Lovegrove beat Van Vliet in London, 1912, in the only game played; he beat Taubenhaus in Paris in the same year, 10–1. In Vienna, 1922, playing as usual for a dollar a game, he won one and lost one to Dr. Tartakover—who said he did not care to play Lovegrove any more because he couldn’t make a living that way. In 1902 he played Dr. Emanuel Lasker a stake game in San Francisco; the champion of the world tried to win a drawn game, and lost. Again in 1904, an exhibition game was won by Dr. Lovegrove against the American Champion, Harry Pillsbury. Pillsbury grabbed a pawn, allowing Dr. Lovegrove to obtain a crushing kingside attack.

California Chess Reporter 1956

The following game was played in the 1923 Western Chess Association held at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club. This event, grandfathered in as a U.S. Open when the USCF was formed in 1939, was won by Stasch Mlotkowski and Norman Whitaker. Lovegrove, who was in his mid-50s at the time, had a very respectable result, scoring 6½ out of 11 to tie for fifth.

Ruy Lopez C62
Samuel Factor–Walter Lovegrove
San Francisco (11) 1923

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bd7 6.Nc3 g6 7.0–0 Bg7 8.Nde2 Nf6 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bh4 Ne5? 11.f4 Neg4 12.Qd3?

12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Qd3 was stronger, but not 12.h3 Bxb5 13.e5, which is met by 13...Bc4.




13.Bxd7+ Qxd7 14.fxg5 with a serious advantage.

13...Nh5 14.Qf3?

14.Bxd7+ Qxd7 15.h3 with a slight edge. Now the tables turn.

14...c6! 15.Bc4 Qb6+ 16.Kh1 Nxg3+ 17.Nxg3

17...0–0–0 18.Bb3 gxf4 19.Qxf4 Be5 20.Qf3 h5 21.h3 h4 22.Nf5

22...Nh2 23.Qd3 Nxf1 24.Rxf1 Be6 25.Na4 Qa5 26.c4 Kb8 27.Ne3 Rdg8 28.Nc3 Bxc3 0-1

29.bxc3 Qe5 with an easy win in sight.

Here is Lovegrove’s scoresheet of this game.

The following game, played one on one at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club, is Lovegrove’s best-known game.

Ruy Lopez Open Variation C82
Walter Lovegrove–Emanuel Lasker
San Francisco (Stakes Games) 1902
Notes by International Master Imre Konig


In meeting over the board the greatest tactician of all time, Dr. Lovegrove holds his own—even after having drifted into an inferior position.

1...e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 0-0 11.Qe2 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 f6 13.Rad1

With the threat of 14 exf6 Bxf6 15 Bg5 Qf7 16 Rxe6.

13... Nxe5 14.Nxe5 fxe5 15.Qxe5 Qd6 16.Qxd6 Bxd6

17.Rfe1 Kf7

On 17...Rae8 18. Rxe6 Rxe6 19.Bxd5 wins. Black could have met the threats with 17...Bf7, but with 18.Bg5 White would have obtained the initiative. With the text, a typical Lasker move, Black gets the upper hand.

18.Be3 c6 19.Bc2 Rae8 20.a4 Bg4 21.f3 Bd7

Not 21...Rxe3 22.Rxe3 Bc5 23.Rd4 Bxd4 24.cxd4, for then Black’s pawn majority would be immobile.

22.Kf2 Re7 23.axb5 axb5 24.Bg5 Rxe1 25.Rxe1 b4 26.Bd2

26…Rb8 27.Bc1 Be7

With the threat of ...Bf6. White’s position looks hopeless. If 28.Bxh7, then 28...Bf6 would follow. However White finds a saving maneuver.

28.Bf4 Ra8 29.Be5 Bf6 30.Bxf6 Kxf6 31.Ke3 Ra2 32.cxb4 Rxb2 33.Bxh7!

The point of the combination initiated with the 28th move. The locked-in Bishop will be a dangerous prisoner. 33...g6 34.h4 Rxb4 35.g4 Kg7 36.Kf2 Rb7 37.Re7+ Kf6 38.Re1 Bc8 39.Re8 Bxg4 40.Bxg6 Showing excellent judgment, White allows Black two united passed pawns rather than choosing the variation 40.fxg4 Rxh7 41.Rc8 Rxh4 42.Rxc6+ Kg5 which would have caused him more difficulties.

33…g6 34.h4 Rxb4 35.g4 Kg7

36.Kf2 Rb7 37.Re7+ Kf6 38.Re1 Bc8 39.Re8 Bxg4 40.Bxg6 Bd7 41.Rg8 Be6 42.Re8 c5 43.h5 c4 44.h6 Kxg6 45.Rxe6+ Kf5

46.Re8 Rh7 47.Ke3 Rxh6 48.Kd4 Rd6 49.Rf8+ Kg5 50.Ke5


Black should have been satisfied with a draw. The text move loses in all variations, but Dr. Lasker can scarcely be blamed for not seeing the problem-like ending which now ensues.

51.Kxd6 d3 52.Ke5 d2 53.Rg8+ Kh4

If 53...Kh5 54.Kf5 Kh6 55.Kf6 Kf7 56.Rg7+ Kh8 (57...Kh6 58.Rg2) 57.Rd7 f3=20 58.Kg6 wins.

54.Kf4 Kh3 55.Rd8 c3 56.Ke3 1-0

California Chess Reporter, August 1956, pages 11–12

3) Two Interesting Upcoming Blitz Tournaments

11th Annual Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Tournament
Held at the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club
Come and pay tribute to an old friend.

Sunday May 7th, 2017, 12 pm to 5 pm. There will be a chance to reminiscence about Ray over light refreshments both before and after the event. 6 double-round Swiss.

Time control: Game in 4 minutes with a 2-second increment per move.
Prizes: 1st $400, 2nd $250, 3rd $120, 4th $100, 5th $75, 6th $50. All participants will win a book prize.
Entry fee: $10. Free to GMs, IMs, WGMs and WIMs.
Registration: 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. No phone entries.
Rounds: 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00 and 3:30 pm.
Prize ceremony: 4:00 pm

Honor Ray’s memory and make this a great tournament.

Sacramento Outdoor Adult (25 & UP) Analog Clock Game 13
Quick Chess Championship
May 20, 2017

This is an event limited to players who are age 25 or older as of May 20, 2017 and have either a regular or quick chess rating of 1800 or higher. The tournament will be in the backyard of Stewart Katz (see flyer for address). Entry fee $20, limited to 32 entries. Advance entries only. $1,000 prize fund guaranteed. More information.

4) Here and There

National Master Ladia Jirasek won the 2017 Frank Doyle Open with 4–0 score. National Master Paul Gallegos was second with 2½ points in the 22-player event held April 22 and 23 in Santa Rosa. Paul Stagnoli organized and directed the event and writes that his next tournament, the Exchange Bank Open, will be held August 19 and 20.

5) This is the end

Here is a study for you to ponder.

White to move

Show solution

You can browse through our archived newsletters using the "next" and "previous buttons".

Want to save this newsletter for reading at a later time? Click here to learn how.

Want to be notified when the next newsletter is published? Join Our Email List →