Chess Room Newsletter #788 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #788

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #788
June 2, 2017

I got a great position out of the opening but played too quickly and missed her reply, though objectively I was about equal. I was demoralized because I had stood better earlier in the game. It’s difficult not to be consumed by your emotions, and very hard to adjust psychologically to a change in circumstances. Chess takes you on an emotional journey, and what you play is informed by what happened earlier in the game. It’s psychological warfare against yourself.

—Grandmaster Danny Gormally

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Summer Marathon is off to a good start, with 113 players, including one International Master and nine National Masters. It’s still possible to enter the eight round USCF- and FIDE-rated event with half-point byes for the first two rounds.

From round 2 of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Diaz–Poling after 14...Qd7)White to move (Diaz–Poling after 28...Rxb2)
Black to move (Melville–Askin after 22 Rc1)White to move (Sherwood–Uzzaman after 19...d4)
White to move (Porlares–Reise after 29...Ra6)White to move (White–Jensen after 16...Qxc3)
Black to move (Malykin–Baer after 24 f4)White to move (Tuck–Reed after 9...dxe5)
White to move (Scalese–Ricard after 4...Nc6)White to move (Mathrubootham–Howell after 23...Qe8)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 2.

Wednesday Night Blitz News, by Jules Jelinek

Attendance has been picking up, with close to 20 players for each of the last three events.

May 10 (18 players)
1st – Jacob Sevall
2nd - Carlos D’Avila
3rd – IM Elliott Winslow

May 17 (17 players)
1st – Jules Jelinek
2nd – IM Elliott Winslow
3rd – Carlos D’Avila

May 24 (18 players)
1st – Romulo Sylvestri
2nd – Jacob Sevall
3rd – Carlos D’Avila and IM Elliott Winslow

Sam Shankland has an even score after five rounds of the Capablanca Memorial, being played in Varadero, Cuba. Vassily Ivanchuk leads the 6-player double round robin with 3½ points.

Many visiting European players have competed in the Tuesday Night Marathon over the years. We say a fond goodbye to one of the more recent attendees, Sierk Kanis, who recently returned to Amsterdam.

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 the past few 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.

2) George Kane: Forgotten Bay Area Chess Star

One of the unsung heroes of Bay Area chess developed into a strong player while growing up in the Bay Area in the early 1960s, along with fellow future Senior Masters Frank Thornally and Peter Cleghorn. He would go on to win the Marshall Chess Club Championship (1972), represent the United States in the 1972 Olympiad, and play in the 1973 US Championship. The player’s name: George Kane.

A former Mechanics’ member who played in several Bagby Memorials in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kane was born in Palo Alto in 1948. He graduated from Antioch College with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in the early 1970s, and not long after had the result of his life, scoring 10½ from 11 to win the Marshall Chess Club Championship. He drew only with the late Leslie Braun. The USCF had a very generous bonus point system at the time and Kane went from went from 2192 to 2540 (!), moving him to number four in the United States.

George Kane (Photo: unknown).

Here are the top 8 players, as they appeared on the rating list in the December 1972 issue of Chess Life & Review:

1. Robert Fischer (Calif.) 2810
2. Sammy Reshevsky (N.Y.) 2581
3. Lubomir Kavalek (D.C.) 2571
4. Robert Byrne (N.Y.) 2558
5. Larry Evans (Nev.) 2540
6. William Lombardy (N.Y.) 2537
7. Pal Benko (N.Y.) 2522
8. George Kane (N.Y.) 2478

Kane was never able to match this result, but he was a steady 2350-rated master for the next decade, as he taught chess for his livelihood and authored the book Chess for Children. Today he still plays master-level-strength chess in the Minneapolis Chess League.

3) Fischer Speaks

Most of what Fischer had to say in his later years was not pleasant to listen to, to put it mildly. However when he confined the discussion to chess in his radio and internet interviews he still had much to offer.

In chess so much depends on opening theory, so the champions before the last century did not know as much as I do and other players do about opening theory. So if you just brought them back from the dead they wouldn’t do well. They’d get bad openings. You cannot compare the playing strength, you can only talk about natural ability. Memorization is enormously powerful. Some kid of fourteen today, or even younger, could get an opening advantage against Capablanca, and especially against the players of the previous century, like Morphy and Steinitz. Maybe they would still be able to outplay the young kid of today. Or maybe not, because nowadays when you get the opening advantage not only do you get the opening advantage, you know how to play, they have so many examples of what to do from this position. It is really deadly, and that is why I don’t like chess any more.

Morphy and Capablanca had enormous talent, Steinitz was very great too. Alekhine was great, but I am not a big fan of his. Maybe it’s just my taste. I’ve studied his games a lot, but I much prefer Capablanca and Morphy. Alekhine had a rather heavy style; Capablanca was much more brilliant and talented—he had a real light touch. Everyone I’ve spoken to who saw Capablanca play still speaks of him with awe. If you showed him any position he would instantly tell you the right move. When I used to go to the Manhattan Chess Club back in the fifties, I met a lot of old-timers there who knew Capablanca, because he used to come around to the Manhattan club in the forties—before he died in the early forties. They spoke about Capablanca with awe. I have never seen people speak about any chess player like that, before or since.

Capablanca really was fantastic. But even he had his weaknesses, especially when you play over his games with his notes he would make idiotic statements like “I played the rest of the game perfectly.” But then you play through the moves and it is not true at all. But the thing that was great about Capablanca was that he really spoke his mind, he said what he believed was true, he said what he felt. He wanted to change the rules [of chess] already, back in the twenties, because he said chess was getting played out. He was right. Now chess is completely dead. It is all just memorization and prearrangement. It’s a terrible game now. Very uncreative.

4) Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Winners

The Ray Schutt Memorial has been played 11 times. Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky, with six first titles won or shared firsts, is the unquestioned king of the event. The only other multiple winner is the late Walter Browne.

2007 GM Walter Browne (32 players)
2008 GM Melik Khachian (32 players)
2009 IM Ricardo De Guzman (28 players)
2010 FM Andy Lee (46 players)
2011 GM Walter Browne and IM Daniel Naroditsky (50 players)
2012 IM Daniel Naroditsky (43 players)
2013 FM Yian Liou (63 players)
2014 IM Daniel Naroditsky (56 players)
2015 GM Daniel Naroditsky (51 players)
2016 GM Daniel Naroditsky (71 players)
2017 GM Daniel Naroditsky and Conrad Holt (76 players)

5) Dana Reizniece Ozola at the Mechanics’ Institute in 2000

Today, Dana Reizniece Ozola is best known for being Latvia’s Minister of Finance and for defeating Hou Yifan in the 2016 Olympiad in Baku. Back in 2000, when she was still a teenager, she played in several tournaments at the Mechanics’ during a visit made possible by the local Latvian chess community, including the late Val Zemitis and the noted painter Raimonds Staprans.

Dana Reizniece Ozola (Photo: Val Zemitis)

6) Anthony Saidy at the Mechanics’ Institute

7) This is the end

This king-and-pawn endgame occurred in a grandmaster game. Can Black stop White’s c-pawn?

White to move

Show solution

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