Chess Room Newsletter #790 | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Chess Room Newsletter #790

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #790
June 16, 2017

You may see who is who in rapid and that’s an absolute truth. One may use computer analyses and memory in classic. I emphasize memory, because it’s a great help for any professional player. The player who remembers theory surely has an advantage in comparison with the one who remembers nothing; but is that the advantage of him as a real player? Is he stronger if he just memorized some computer analyses better than his opponent? Is that his advantage? I have no explanation for this. Rapid is really fair. Computer analyses and even opening preparation mean nothing in rapid. Your qualities as a player - this is what matters in rapid. Check the results of rapid tournaments, they’re usually won by strong players. Not that only I win them. For instance the last World Rapid Championship in Astana: who became the winner? Karjakin. Who was second? Carlsen. I mean it wasn’t won by the player with 2600 rating points. You have the same chess and people in rapid, those who are good will be finishing in the top of the table. That’s why they have nothing to fear. Do you know who is afraid of rapid? Those who play good chess only by the help of engines.

—Alexey Dreev at, 2013.

1) Mechanics Institute Chess Club News

Conrado Diaz defeated fellow National Master Romy Fuentes on Tuesday night to grab the lead at the half-way point of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon. A half-point behind at 3½–½ in the 119-player field are International Master Elliott Winslow, National Masters Tenzing Shaw and Derek O’Connor, Experts Michael Walder and Joe Tracy and Class A player Asnik Uzzaman who upset Expert Steven Krasnov.

From round 4 of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Krasnov–Uzzaman after 18...d5)White to move (Krasnov–Uzzaman after 53...Nd6)
White to move (Ismakov–Ochoa after 20...Nf6)Black to move (Gurovich–Argo after 16 Ke3)
White to move (Mondal–Davila after 18...Rfd8)Black to move (Reed–Revi after 20 Rxe4)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 4.

International Master Walter Shipman of San Francisco was posthumously honored with the U.S. Chess Federation’s Frank J. Marshall Award. Learn more.

Grandmaster Sam Shankland of Walnut Creek, currently rated number 66 in the world at 2678 FIDE and who will play board one in the 2017 World Team Chess Championship ( which runs June 17–27, will be giving a free lecture at the M.I. on how to improve one’s calculating ability. The talk on Tuesday July 11 will run from 5:15 to 6:15 pm. All are welcome to attend. Afterward Sam will have copies of his 16-hour DVD series on the subject available for purchase at the discounted price of $80 (normally $120), which he will be happy to autograph.

This Saturday, June 17, the Mechanics’ Chess Club will host the 17th annual William Addison Memorial. The one-day event will offer six rounds (G/30) of chess for the affordable rate of $30 in advance for M.I. members ($35 for non-members). Entry fee at the door is $5 more.

Chris Mavraedis, a long-time time supporter of Bay Area chess, has a new book out called Falling in Love With Baseball. You can listen to an interview Marty Lurie did with Bob Sockolov and Elizabeth Mavraedis here. To buy a copy go to

See here for a beautiful pictorial of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club, featuring MI Chess Coordinator Paul Whitehead.

Grandmaster Sam Sevian, who use to live in the Bay Area, recently had two tremendous results back to back. He first won the third section of the Spring St. Louis Chess Classic over five others GMs, scoring 6½ from 10 in the double–round robin for a performance rating of 2702. Sevian then went on to win the Chicago Open and raise his rating over 2600 FIDE at the age of 16.

Sevian was not the only junior to shine in St. Louis this past May. 14-year-old Awonder Liang won the B section with a phenomenal score of 7½ out of 9 (2785 performance rating), and followed it up by making his third and final GM norm in the Chicago Open. At 14 years and one month he becomes the second youngest ever US Grandmaster, behind only Sevian (13 years, 10 months, and 26 days).

2) 2017 World Team Championship

The 2017 World Team Championships and Women’s World Team Championship willl be held jointly for the first time in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, from June 17 to June 26.

The national teams participating are the following:

Men (open)
1. China
2. Russia
3. Ukraine
4. Poland
5. USA
6. India
7. Turkey
8. Norway
9. Belarus
10. Egypt

1. China
2. Russia
3. Georgia
4. Poland
5. India
6. Ukraine
7. USA
8. Vietnam
9. Azerbaijan
10. Egypt

The US will be represented in the team competition by Sam Shankland, Alex Onischuk, Varuzhan Akobian, Ray Robson and Jeffery Xiong, with John Donaldson as captain.

The Women’s team entry will feature Anna Zatonskih, U.S. Women’s Champion Sabina Foisor, Katerina Nemcova, Akshita Gorti and Jennifer Yu with Grandmaster Melikset Khachian as team captain and coach.

The FIDE World Team Championship is the top tournament for national teams in non-Olympiad years, and has been conducted since 1985. The FIDE World Team Championship for Women started being held in 2007. The official website of this year’s World Team Championships is, where detailed information about the schedule, the venue and the player list of each team has been published.

3) George Kane—John Westbrook, New York 1972

We wrote about George Kane’s great success in the 1972 Marshall Chess Club Championship in Newsletter #788. Here is a key win from the event.

Modern Benoni A75
George Kane–John Westbrock
Marshall Chess Club Championship 1972

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Be2 0–0 9.0–0 a6 10.a4 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Nbd7 13.Bf4 Ne8 14.Be2 Qc7 15.Rc1


15...Qa5 16.Qc2 Rb8 17.Bg5 f6 18.Bd2 Qd8 19.f4 Nc7 20.b4 Kh8 21.b5 Qe7 22.Rb1 f5 23.exf5 gxf5 24.Bd3 axb5 25.Nxb5 Nxb5 26.Rxb5 Qf7 27.Qb3 Bd4+ 28.Kh2 Rg8 29.Rf3 Nf6 30.Bxf5 Nxd5 31.Be4 c4? (31...Qg7 32.g4 Nf6 33.Bf5 Rge8) 32.Bxd5 Qg7

33.Bxg8! cxb3 34.Bxb3 Re8 35.Rg5 Qe7 36.Rfg3 Qd8 37.Bb4 h6 38.Rg6 1–0 Kane-Soltis, 1972 Marshall Chess Club Championship.

16.b4 cxb3 17.Qxb3 Nc5 18.Qb4

A novelty Kane had specially prepared.

18...Rb8 19.a5 b5 20.Rfd1 Qe7 21.Bf3 Be5 22.Bxe5 Qxe5 23.Ne2


Black had to find a plan to meet White’s simple but strong plan of sinking a knight on c6. Required was 23...Rc8 meeting 24.Nd4? with 24…Nd3 and 24.Qb1 with 24…f5) or 23...Qg5 24.Nd4 Nd3.

24.Nd4 Rb7?

24...Rbe8 25.Nc6 Qf4.

25.Nc6 Qf4 26.e5! Qxb4 27.Nxb4 Nfd7 28.exd6 Re8 29.Rc3 Ra7 30.Rdc1 Kf8 31.Rxc5 Nxc5 32.Rxc5 Rd7 33.Rc6 Red8 34.Rxa6 Rxd6 35.Rxd6 Rxd6 36.a6 Rd8 37.d6 1–0

4) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room Chair Donation Campaign

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.

5) Remembering William Addison

International Master William Addison served as the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Director from 1965 until 1969. Here are two pictures of him in action at the M.I. The first, with Larry Remlinger, was taken in the mid to late 1950s in a California State Championship held as a round robin.

William Addison with Larry Remlinger (Photo: M.I. archives)

The second was taken in the late 1960s when Addison was working as the Chess Director at the MI.

William Addison at work in the late 1960s (Photo: M.I. archives)

6) This is the end

This position is from a grandmaster game. How did Black realize his advantage?

Black 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 →