Chess Room Newsletter #825 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #825

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #825
April 20, 2018

Paul Keres, who had reached the peak of the chess world already in his twenties, was a true chess idol for my generation...

Secretly, without telling him, I truly admired his strong character and the uncommon calmness with which he was able to withstand losses. Indeed, after losses, I never saw him become glum. He acted as if nothing had happened. His incredible sportsman’s decency, courtesy, good-natured humor about himself as well as others made him one of the most beloved players in the whole world, and one who was always treated with great respect wherever he went. He had a tragic role to play, however, always remaining second in the battle for the chess championship.

—Svetozar Gligoric (interview)

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

National Master Conrado Diaz leading the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon with 5 out of 5 is not a surprise, but Class A player Ed Lewis in clear second with 4½ is. Lewis has been having an excellent tournament, defeating FIDE Master Ezra Chambers in round five. International Master Elliott Winslow leads a large group on 4 points with three rounds remaining for the 136-player field. There have been upsets galore this TNM. Will there be more next Tuesday?

From round 5 of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (O'Connor–Diaz after 26...O-O-O)Black to move (Winslow–Cheng after 34 Rxb6)
White to move (Thieme–Krasnov after 20...Kf8)Black to move (Gomboluudev–Harris after 17 Nf3)
White to move (Vemuri–Singh after 13...Kd8)Black to move (Carron–Giridharan after 30 Qe2)
White to move (Capdeville–Touset after 30...Rxb4)Black to move (Bayaraa–McEnroe after 50 Kh3)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 5.

Jules Jelinek, Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator, writes.

Hi everyone,

It’s Wednesday and that means Blitz at Mechanics’ Institute. Same time etc. Signup starts around 6:30 pm with round 1 starting at 6:45 pm.

Last week the results of the Wednesday Night Blitz with 12 players were

1st – Jules Jelinek 10½ pts from 12
2nd – IM Elliott Winslow 9 pts
3rd – 4th Carlos D’Avila and Kristian Clemens 7½ pts

Why not stop by on Wednesdays and start practicing for the annual Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Tournament on May 6 from 12–5 pm ($400, $250, $125, $100, $75, $50). More information.

Sam Shankland drew his first-round game in the US Championship as Black against Alex Lenderman. Wesley So and Zviad Izoria are the early leaders in the 11-round event.

2) World and US Chess Hall of Fame Inductees for 2018

An induction ceremony on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA), recognize five exceptional contributors to the game of chess as they took their places in history as members of the World and U.S. Chess Halls of Fame.

Representatives of the World Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or FIDE) nominated and selected Aron Nimzowitsch, founder of the hypermodern chess movement; Kira Zvorykina, three-time winner of the Soviet Women’s Chess Champion and Women’s World Chess Championship challenger; and Richard Réti, renowned endgame composer, writer and GM for induction into the 2018 World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF). The inductees join 31 other individuals who have received the honor since the WCHOF’s creation in 2001.

The trustees of the U.S. Chess Trust selected Alex Onischuk, former U.S. Chess Champion (2006) and head coach and director of the nationally-recognized Texas Tech University chess team, and Bill Goichberg, chess innovator and pioneer of scholastic chess tournaments, for induction into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. Onischuk and Goichberg joined 58 individuals currently in the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. The U.S. Chess Federation Hall of Fame Committee considers and sends candidates to the U.S. Chess Trust each year.

The 2018 World Chess Hall of Fame Honorees:

Aron Nimzowitsch (1886–1935)
The founder of the hypermodern chess movement, Aron Nimzowitsch was not only a brilliant theoretician, but also the number three player in the world from 1925 to 1930, behind world chess champions Alexander Alekhine and José Capablanca. His most notable victories were at Dresden 1926 and Carlsbad 1929. Nimzowitsch was a gifted instructional writer, and his books Die Blockade (The Blockade, 1925), Mein System (My System, 1925), and Die Praxis meines Systems (Chess Praxis, 1929) are still read today. Several opening systems bear his name, the best-known being the Nimzo-Indian (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4) and Nimzowitsch Defense (1.e4 Nc6).

Kira Zvorykina (1919–2014)
Kira Zvorykina was one of the strongest female players in the world during the 1950s and early 1960s. She won the Soviet Women’s Chess Championship three times (1951, 1953, 1956) and tied twice but lost in playoffs (1957 and 1958). Her greatest triumph was winning the 1959 Women’s Candidates Tournament, which qualified her to play a match for the Women’s World Chess Championship against Elizaveta Bykova. Zvorykina lost the match 4 ½-8 ½. She twice represented the Soviet Union in Chess Olympiads, winning team gold on both occasions while scoring an undefeated 17 ½ from 20. Zvorykina’s book V ryadakh shakhmatnoy gvardii (In the Ranks of the Chess Guard, 1984) recounts highlights from her career.

Richard Réti (1889–1929)
Richard Réti was one of the fathers of hypermodern chess, which he promoted through his play and writing. His publications included Modern Ideas in Chess (1923) and the posthumous Masters of the Chess Board (1930). Réti was also a world-class player who defeated world chess champion José Capablanca at New York 1924, ending the latter’s eight-year, 63-game unbeaten streak. A one-time world blindfold record holder for most chess games played simultaneously (29 at São Paulo, Brazil, in 1925), Réti was also a renowned endgame composer. The Réti Opening, which is characterized by the fianchetto of both white bishops and the move c4, is named after him.

About the 2018 U.S. Chess Hall of Fame Honorees

Alex Onischuk (1975–)
Born in Ukraine, Alex Onischuk immigrated to the United States in 2001. One of only six American players to have attained a FIDE rating of 2700, he has competed in every U.S. Chess Championship since 2004. In 2006, Onischuk won the U.S. Chess Championship, and he has either tied for or taken second or third place seven times (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2017). He has represented the United States in six Chess Olympiads (2004–2014) and six World Team Championships (2005–2017). Onischuk also played board one on the U.S. gold medal-winning team at the 2013 Pan-American Team Championship. In 2012, he became the head coach and director of the nationally-recognized chess program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Bill Goichberg (1942–)
A great innovator in American chess, Bill Goichberg pioneered rated scholastic tournaments (1966) and originated the National High School Championship (1969), the National Junior High School Championship (1973), the National Elementary (K–6) Championship (1976), and the National High School (K–12) Championship (1991). Goichberg originated non-smoking events (1973), the Grand Prix (1979), and rated-beginner opens (1990). He also ran many GM/IM swiss norm events to help American players earn FIDE titles and popularized sudden-death time controls and the “quad” format. Goichberg organized thousands of tournaments, including the World Open (1973–present), the world’s largest chess tournament for most of the past 45 years.

3) Grandmaster James Tarjan Annotates

Former Mechanics’ member Grandmaster James Tarjan of Portland scored 5 out of 10 in the 2018 Gibraltar Chess Festival.

Guioco Piano C55
Victor Plotkin–James Tarjan
Gibraltar (4) 2018

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.Nc3 d6 6.h3

I had seen from his games that Plotkin is content to part with the c4 bishop. Current theory and practice wants him to save it with 6.a3 or 6.a4.

6...Na5 7.Bb3 c6

In order to meet 8.d4 with 8. ...Qc7. 7...c5 8.Ba4+!?; 7...Nxb3.


8.d4; 8.Bxf7+!? This idea must be considered, here and on the next few moves 8...Kxf7 9.b4.

8...0-0 9.Ne2

9.d4 Qc7

9...Re8 10.Ng3 Nxb3

10...Bf8 11.Bxf7+! Kxf7 12.b4; 10...h6 11.Bxf7+! is similar

11.axb3 h6 12.Bd2 Bf8 13.Re1 Qc7 14.Bc3

14.c4!?; 14.d4

14...c5 15.b4 b5 16.Qd2 Bb7 17.Nf5?

17.bxc5 dxc5 18.Ba5 Houdini slightly prefers White, but I’m not sure I agree; Black looks fine to me.



White can give the piece for pawns in various ways: 18.bxc5! b4 19.Nxd6! bxc3 20.Qxc3! is the only right way, says the computer: 20...Bxd6 21.cxd6 Qxc3 22.bxc3 I saw this far and assumed Black better with that passed pawn and White’s doubled pawns, but Houdini gives Black only a small advantage—again a debatable assessment. But in any case this is White’s best try.

18...cxb4 19.Bb2 a4! 20.Rac1 a3 21.Ba1 d5!

Certainly a good practical choice, if not the theoretical one.

22.exd5 Nxd5 23.Bxe5 Qd7 24.Ng3 Ra6 25.Ba1 Rae6 26.Rxe6 Rxe6 27.Re1 g6 28.Rxe6 Qxe6 29.Qe2

Simplifying down to a hopeless position. Of course his position is very bad, but he could have tried to confuse things with more pieces on the board.

29...Nf4 30.Qxe6 fxe6 31.Ne1 Kf7 32.Kf1 Bg7 33.d4

33…e5 34.dxe5 Ke6 35.Ne2 Nxe2 36.Kxe2 Bxe5 37.Bxe5 Kxe5 38.Nd3+ Kd4 0-1

39.Nc1 Kc3 40.Kd1 and 40. ...Bxg2 is the cleanest win.

James Tarjan playing at Gibraltar 2016 (Photo: John Saunders)

English A40
James Tarjan–Alex Donchenko
Gibraltar (5) 2018

1.c4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 Bb4 5.f3 f5 6.exf5 Nh6 7.fxe6 Nf5 8.Bf4 dxe6 9.Qd3N Nxd4

9...Qxd4 10.Qxd4 Nxd4 11.0-0-0+/=

10.0-0-0 Nbc6 11.Nge2 Bc5 12.Nxd4 Bxd4


13.Qe4!+/- Qd7 (13...Qf6? 14.Nd5+-) 14.Rxd4! Qxd4 15.Qxe6+ Ne7 16.Bxc7 Qd7 17.Qxd7+ Kxd7 18.Be5+/-.

13...Qf6= 14.Nxd4 Qxf4+ 15.Qd2 Qxd2+ 16.Rxd2 Nxd4 17.Rxd4 Rd8 18.Rxd8+ Kxd8

I managed to come close to losing this, or should I say, he came close to winning it.

19.Bd3 Ke7 20.Re1 h6 21.Be4 Ba6 22.b3 Rd8 23.Rd1 Rd6 24.Rxd6 Kxd6 25.Kd2 Kc5 26.Kc3 Bc8 27.f4 Kd6 28.Kd4 c5+ 29.Ke3 e5 30.h4 Bg4 31.g3 Ke6 32.Bd3 Kf6 33.Be4 Be6 34.Kf3 a5 35.a4 exf4

Suddenly I realized I had problems, with my b-pawn targeted by his bishop. Fortunately I still had a draw.

36.Kxf4 g5+ 37.hxg5+ hxg5+ 38.Ke3 Ke5 39.Bc6 Bf5 40.Kd2

White’s bishop just manages to keep Black’s king out of the invasion squares f3 and g4.

40...Be4 41.Bd7 Bb1 42.Bc8 Kd4 43.Bd7 Ke4 44.Bc6+ Kf5 45.Bd7+ Ke5 46.Bc8 Bf5

He could have kept monkeying around with his bishop trying to dominate mine but he should not succeed, and I guess he had had enough.

47.Bxf5 Kxf5 48.Ke3 g4 49.Kd3 ½–½

4) This is the end

This position occurred in a grandmaster game. Can White convert his advantage?

White to move

Show solution

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