Chess Room Newsletter #815 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #815

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #815
January 26, 2018

If you teach a kid chess, you teach him to sit down and think.

          —Lennox Lewis, three-time world heavyweight boxing champion

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

International Master Elliott Winslow, FIDE Master Frank Thornally and Ezra Chambers, National Masters Tenzing Shaw, Derek O’Connor, Keith Vickers and Russell Wong and 2192-rated Expert Natalya Tsodikova are the eight remaining perfect scores after three rounds of the 128-player Winter Tuesday Night Marathon. This is the fifth consecutive TNM with over 120 entries and the 17th in a row with over 100 players.

From round 3 of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Mercado–Tsodikova after 34...Qh5)Black to move (Campers–Stearman after 17 Qf2)
White to move (Ivanov–Poling after 11...Qd7)White to move (Clemens–Fu after 18...Bg7)
White to move (Sherwood–Jones after 35...Rf5)White to move (Isenberger–Mays after 24...Rxb7)
White to move (Eastham–Ross after 5...Ne6)Black to move (Lilles–Azimadeh after 39 Re1)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 3.

The 2018 Winter Tuesday Night Marathon marks the 17th consecutive TNM with triple-digit attendance. The TNM averaged 127 players per event in 2017.

Winter 112 players
Spring 120
Summer 135
Peter Grey 125
Fall 143

Winter 132 players
Spring 125
Summer 127
Alan Benson 106
Fall 113

Winter 121 players
Spring 106
Summer 106
Leighton Allen 102
Fall 105

Fall 103 players

Last Tuesday International Master Cameron Wheeler was honored as the 2018 Neil Falconer Award winner, as the highest-rated player under age 18 on the December 2017 U.S. Chess Federation rating list.

Jules Jelinek, Wednesday Night Blitz Chess Coordinator, provides the results for the 10-player January 17 event:

FIDE Master Josiah Stearman, National Master Anna Matlin and Expert Jules Jelinek tied for first at 9½ from 12. International Master Elliott Winslow was fourth with 7½ points.

2) Remembering Bill Lombardy

Rev. Andreas Pielhoop shares his chance meeting with Bill Lombardy less than two weeks before the grandmaster’s passing.

I only met Mr. Lombardy on Oct 1 at a Jack-in-the-Box in downtown San Francisco, CA. He was introduced to me as a chess grandmaster by a security man, Mr. Posey. His unassuming clothes did not set him apart. When he saw me in my clergy outfit—I was working as a Lutheran minister of the SF Night Ministry—he engaged me in a conversation about theology and church history. He mentioned Bobby Fischer, whom I remembered, but I had never heard of Mr. Lombardy.

From what I have read about him since seeing his obituary I can say that his idiosyncrasies were still apparent and his mental acuity was undiminished .He even wrote a will giving his “Kline” piano to Mr. Posey, who had overpowered a man who had stolen his cash a few days prior. He had written that it was in storage and that he would have it shipped to him to San Francisco. I hope he will find the peace that seemed to have eluded him during his trouble with his landlord in NY.

3) Dennis Fritzinger

National Master Dennis Fritzinger of Berkeley, the 1970/71 California State Chess Champion, turned 75 this past May. Newsletter readers have seen some of his chess poems, but Dennis has also published two volumes of poetry on other topics. Some of his work can be seen here.

Dennis Fritzinger in the early 1970s. (Photo: Alan Benson)

Fritzinger moved from Nebraska to California in the late 1960s, but not many know he has something in common with the late William Addison and Jude Acers. All three not only became strong masters, in the case of Addison, GM-strength, but also learned to play chess in Louisiana. In the case of Fritzinger it was while he was attending high school in Bossier City in the early 1960s. More on Dennis.

4) James Tarjan at the World Senior (continued)

Ruy Lopez C86
Tiziano Godani - Jim Tarjan
World Senior (6) 2017

Notes by James Tarjan

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2 Be7 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3


7...0-0 8.0-0 d5 9.d3 Re8

9...Be6 Ntrilis


10.Nbd2 Ntrilis

10...Be6 11.Nbd2 Qd7 12.Nf1

12.Ng5 Bg4 13.Ndf3 Ntrilis recommends this maneuver in a similar position when Black does not play ...h6, but here Black can defend: 13...h6 14.exd5 Na5!

12...Rad8 13.Ng3 h6 14.h3

14.d4!? Bd6



15.Be3 d4

Probably deserves a "?!" 15...Qc8.

16.Bxe6 Rxe6


17.cxd4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4

18.Bxd4 I would have certainly taken with the bishop, not only not to lose a tempo moving the bishop again but also because the bishop seems an ineffective piece on d2 compared to the knights. 18...exd4 still a complicated and double edged game but I would prefer White. If Black does not get in a quick ...c5-c4 he runs the risk of gradually becoming worse and worse. The specific moves will be hard to find, but Houdini starts with 19.Qd2.

18...exd4 19.Bd2 c5 20.Rac1 Rc8 21.b3 c4!= 22.bxc4

22.dxc4 Ba3 23.Rb1 bxc4 24.bxc4 Bd6.

22...bxc4 23.Rxc4

23.dxc4 Ba3 24.Rb1 Bd6.

23...Rxc4 24.dxc4 Qa4


25.Rc1 Ba3

25...Qxa2!?; 25...Bc5!?


26.Re1 Qc2 27.Bc1

26...Qc2 27.Rb8+ Re8 28.Rxe8+

At the board I felt 28.Rb3 had to be a better try 28...Qxa2 29.Qd3 I didn’t like my queen over on the edge. Houdini finds it about equal. 29...Bd6.


Now I thought, OK, I’m starting to get the better of it.


The machine says it can draw the endgame after 29.Bf4 d3 30.Qxc2 dxc2 31.Ne2 Nd6 32.Bc1 and that may indeed be the case. I saw this variation and figured, fine, I win my pawn back and with the pawn on c2 I should not be worse.

29...d3 30.Qe3 Qxc4

Houdini is sure White is fine, but in an actual game, with the clock ticking, the pawn on d3 must give chances. 30...Nc7!?



31...Nc7 32.Qf4 Qxa2 33.Qg4?

33.Nf6+! I saw this, didn’t quite believe it, but it is much trickier than I thought and he should have gone for it. Certainly better than what he did, hanging a second pawn with check. 33...gxf6 (33...Kh8 34.Qf5 comes to the same) 34.Qg4+ Kf8 (34...Kh8 35.Qc8+!) 35.Qc8+ Ne8. This is the only way for Black to play for a win 36.Bxh6+ Kg8! (36...Ke7 37.exf6+ Kxf6 38.Qxa6+ Nd6 39.Qxd3) 37.Qxe8+ Kh7-/+ Would I have really found and played this at the board?

33...Qa1+ 34.Kh2 Qxe5+ 35.Ng3

Now with two extra pawns it must be winning, but Black’s knight, bishop, a-pawn, d-pawn, are all dangling in space, even his h-pawn is hanging, and White’s king is safe. A good test of chess talent to figure out just how to play. A computer of course makes this sort of thing look like child’s play.







37.Qd1 Nb5 38.Qxd3+ g6

I’ve given back one but still have the other. The smoke is clearing, and the time control is nearing.

39.Ne4 Be7 40.g3 Qf5

A determined player could make Black work for this. But this day he quickly throws himself on his sword.

41.Qe3 g5 42.Qd3?

42.Bb8 is ugly but it keeps the game going.

42...gxf4 0-1

5) Remembering Curt Brasket

Today chess in Minnesota is stronger than it has ever been, with world top-ten player Wesley So and newly minted 18-year-old Grandmaster Andrew Tang calling the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” home. Add players like IM John Bartholomew and Sean Nagle to the mix and you have one of the strongest states in the center of the country.

Looking back one can only wish that the late Curt Brasket (1932–2014) was still around to enjoy this renaissance. Brasket, a 16-time Minnesota state champion, was one of the most promising American players in the early 1950s, but came up at a time when there were limited opportunities for those who lived outside New York City.

Brasket was past his best days when the Lone Pine tournament series began in the early 1970s, but had a strong performance in 1972, where he tied for sixth and beat Walter Browne. One wonders how far he might have developed with more opportunities.

Curt Brasket, sponsor Louis Statham and tournament winner Svetozar Gligoric (Photo: Alan Benson)

6) London Chess Classic to host 2018 Grand Chess Tour Finals

The 2018 Grand Chess Tour will conclude with an exciting new format at the London Chess Classic. The four top-scoring players will contest a semifinal and final that will determine the overall winner and top four places in the 2018 GCT. The format change has been determined by the GCT Advisory Board and was announced earlier today during the eighth and penultimate round of the London Chess Classic.

The revised 2018 GCT schedule will see the GCT players participating in three rapid and blitz events, as well as the traditional Sinquefield Cup, which will maintain its classical format. Four players will proceed to the 2018 GCT Finals in London where they will battle for an enhanced GCT Bonus Prize Pool. Each match in London will consist of classical, rapid and blitz games. A play-off for third and fourth will also be played.

The GCT has also confirmed that the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Chess Promotions Ltd, Colliers International France, Vivendi S.A. and Your Next Move have all agreed to renew their financial commitments to the tour for 2018. GCT tournaments are therefore confirmed for the cities of Paris, Leuven, St Louis and London in 2018.

The top three players from the 2017 GCT tour will automatically qualify for the 2018 GCT Tour players’ roster. The rest of the tour roster will be selected on the basis of URS ratings at January 1, 2018 and average classical FIDE ratings in 2017.

About the Grand Chess Tour (

The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world’s best players. The Tour was created in partnership between the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup) and Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic). The legendary Garry Kasparov, one of the world’s greatest ambassadors for chess, inspired the Grand Chess Tour and helped solidify the partnership between the organizers.

7) This is the end

The black pawns look formidable, indeed, in this study. The white king isn’t going to be much help. What can White do?

White to move

Show solution

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