Chess Room Newsletter #826 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #826

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #826
April 27, 2018

Chess and conflict. For you chess is a game, but a game of chess is a conflict?

Of course. With each step you talk with your opponent. At first you try to seize the center, then develop your pieces and then find a mistake in the way the person sitting opposite you is conducting the game. At the same time he tries to explain to you that “it’s not a mistake, I did that so you’d come and grab that weak pawn, and I’d trap you”. So the game is always a puzzle, a conversation, which always contains a conflict.

—Levon Aronian (interview)

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

National Master Conrado Diaz leads the 142-player Spring Tuesday Night Marathon with 6 out of 7. International Master Elliott Winslow, National Master Derek O’Connor and Experts Alexander Ivanov and Steffen Thieme are a point back, with top-seed FIDE Master Josiah Stearman leading a large group on 4½.


From round 6 of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Tsodikova–Thieme after 51 Rg4)White to move (Stearman–Cortinas after 34...Qxg4)
White to move (Chambers–Argo after 21...Bd6)Black to move (Lesquillier–Boldi after 45 Rxf7)
White to move (Wonsever–Rakonitz after 39...Bxd6)White to move (Bannan–Newey after 32...Nh7)
Black to move (Chalissery–Erdenebileg after 24 Bf1)White to move (Mays–Yamamoto after 17...Bxf8)
Black to move (Boldi–MacIntyre after 40 Bc4)For the solutions, see the game scores for round 6.

Jules Jelinek, Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator, provides the results of the April 18 Wednesday Night Blitz.

Last week, the results of the Wednesday Night Blitz with 17 players were

1st – Anna Matlin – 9½ pts (out of 12)
2nd – Michael Ching - 9 pts
3rd – Grant Rheingold – 8½ pts

None of the winners had a clock so the $11 rolls over to tonight’s prize fund.

The Wednesday Night Blitz sign-up starts around 6:30 pm with round 1 starting at 6:45 pm. All games finish by 9 pm.


The annual Steve Brandwein/Ray Schutt/ Jay Whitehead Memorial Blitz Tournament will be held on May 6 from 12–5 pm ($400, $250,$120,$100, $75, $50). More information.


Bay Area players are shining in the 2018 US Chess Championship, which is being held at the St. Louis Chess Club. Fabiano Caruana is leading with the tournament with 5 out of 7, but he has company at the top. Walnut Creek Grandmaster Sam Shankland has lead for much of the event and has three wins and four draws to date. The two leaders have already met (a draw). You can find one of Sam’s victories, with good annotations by John Henderson, here.

The other Bay Area participant, Grandmaster Zviad Izoria, has had a stunning debut to date. He started slowly, but is now on 50 percent, thanks to wins over Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura.

15-year-old Annie Wang of Los Angeles, who attended U.S. Chess School camps at the Mechanics’ the past two summers, is having a fantastic U.S. Womens Championship. She currently leads the event with 6 from 7, a point ahead of Nazi Paikadze and a point and a half ahead of Irina Krush.

2) GM Anatoly Lein (1931–2018)

Grandmaster Anatoly Lein passed away on March 1 in the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood at the age of 86. Born on March 28, 1931 in Leningrad, Lein only became a Grandmaster in 1968 at the age of 37. This was likely due to limited international opportunities, but some sources say he worked as an engineer prior to becoming a professional player, while others claim he worked as an acrobat in a circus in his younger years. What is certain is that Lein had a powerful physique and lifted weights for much of his life.

In 1976 Lein emigrated to the United States and tied for first in the World and U.S. Opens later that year. He represented his new homeland in the 1978 Chess Olympiad and played in numerous U.S. Championships.



Anatoly Lein around 1980 (Photo: Unknown)

Lein was not known as an opening theoretician, but instead as a deep strategist, who was known to analyze chess with all comers for hours on end. A real chess lover, he played into his 80s.

The 1965 Chigorin Memorial, held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, was not one of Anatoly Lein’s greatest successes, but he did play the following beautiful game that would not have been out of place a hundred years earlier when spectacular sacrifices were in vogue. His opponent is Mongolia’s first International Master.

Ruy Lopez C61
Tudev Ujtumen–Anatoly Lein
Sochi 1965

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0–0 c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Re1 d6 8.c3 Ng4 9.h3 Ne5 10.Bf1



10...d3 11.f4?

11.Re3 was better.

11...Qb6+ 12.Kh1 h5 13.fxe5



After 13.Re3 Black has done well with 13...Nc4, but it is a better try than the text.

13...Bg4! 14.Qb3



14…Qf2 15.Qxb7?

15.Rd1 was more stubborn, but then 15…dxe5 16.Bxd3 (16.Qxb7 Bc5 17.Qxc6+ Kd8 18.Qd5+ (18.Qxa8+ Kc7) 18...Kc7 19.Qxe5+ Kb6) 16...Bf3! 17.gxf3 Bc5 18.Be2 Rh6! and Black wins in brilliant fashion. Look at White’s queenside pieces that are still fast asleep.



16.Rd1

16.Na3 Qxe1 fared no better for White in Bagusis-Zalys, Montreal 1983.

16...Bxd1 17.Qxc6+ Ke7 18.Qc7+ Rd7 19.exd6+ Kf6 20.e5+ Kxe5 21.Qxd7 Qxf1+ 22.Kh2 Bxd6 23.c4 Qf4+ 24.Kh1 Kf6 0–1



Anatoly Lein, Boris Kogan (waving), Leonid Shamkovich and Lev Alburt (sitting) at the 1981 U.S. Championship in South Bend, Indiana. Lein, Shamkovich and Alburt are all in the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. Kogan, was not only a strong player but a noted trainer who was the coach of International Master Stuart Rachels, who tied for first in the 1989 U.S. Championship (Photo: Stella Monday)

3) 1973 California State Championship

Newsletter reader and noted collector and chess database archivist Andy Ansel sends in the following game from the 1973 California State Championship. The eight-player round robin was won by future International Master David Strauss with 5 points, ahead of National Master Dennis Fritzinger and future Grandmaster James Tarjan, who finished half a point back. Future Grandmaster Larry Christiansen and National Master Ron Gross tied for fourth at 3½–3½.

Black in the following game is seven-time Washington State Champion James McCormick (b. 1936), not to be confused with the New Jersey National Master with the same last name. McCormick not only played in the 1973 California State Championship, he also competed in the 1973 Washington State Championship, where he tied for second behind the winner Michael Franett.

Sicilian B66
David Strauss–James McCormick
California State Championship 1973

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 a6 8.0–0–0 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Nb3 Be7?

This blocks the queen from retreating. 10...Qd8 11.f4 Be7 was safer.

11.f4 0–0 12.h4 b5 13.a3 Bb7 14.g4 g6 15.g5 hxg5 16.hxg5 Qg7 17.Bd3



17 ... f5 18.Rh6 Kf7 19.exf5 gxf5 20.Qe2 Bc8 21.Qh5+ 1–0

Source: Terra Chess May 15, 1974

4) Grandmaster James Tarjan Annotates

Giuoco Piano C55
Rodney Oscar Perez Garcia–James Tarjan
Gibraltar (8) 2018

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.Re1 d6 7.a4 Na5 8.Ba2 c5 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.h3 Nb4?!



Black wastes two tempos with ...Nb4 to c6, whereas White wastes only one tempo with Bc4. White's knight though is sent to g3, and I thought it might not be best placed there. But I would not repeat this exact sequence again. An alternative was 10...Be6 11.Bc4!?, but then it is White who has wasted a tempo.

11.Bc4 h6 12.Ne2 Be6 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Ng3 Nc6 15.c3 Rc8



This was played in anticipation of a future d4 by White.

16.Bd2 a6 17.b4 cxb4 18.cxb4 b5 19.Qb3 Qd7 20.axb5 axb5 21.Ra6

Perhaps better to occupy the c file, as White gets around to later

21...Kh8

21...Kh7

22.Rea1 Nh7

With the idea of ...Rxf6 and possibly ...Ng5.

23.Ne2 d5?



The computer wants to play 23...Ng5 24.Bxg5 Bxg5 25.Nxg5 hxg5 and says Black is equal: interesting. The knight on e2 is then passive. And at least that would make sense of my ...Kh8 and ...Nh7. Other alternatives were 23...Nf6, going back and holding on or 23...Rxf3? is what I was hoping for around here, but it doesn't come close. However, what I played is a blunder as well.

24.Rc1?

24.Rxc6! Qxc6 25.Nxe5 Qe8 (25...Qc2 26.Qxc2 Rxc2 27.Ng6+ Kg8 28.Nxe7+ Kf7 29.Ra7 is a bit complicated, but winning for White: 29...Rxd2 (29...dxe4 30.Nc6+ Kg8 31.Bc3) 30.Nxd5+ Ke8 31.Nc7+ Ke7 32.Nf4) and now I missed 26.Nf4!+/-; 24.exd5 is also strong.

24...Qb7

24...dxe4 25.dxe4 Nf6+/=.

25.Ra2

25.Raxc6! Rxc6 26.Rxc6 Qxc6 27.Nxe5 Qe8 28.Nf4+/- Rf6 29.Ng4 Rf7 30.exd5 exd5 31.Ng6+ Kg8 32.Qxd5 Nf6 33.Qe6 winning.

25...Nf6?

25...Rfd8

26.Rac2

26.Rxc6! Yes, once again 26...Rxc6 (26...Qxc6 27.Nxe5 Qe8 28.Nf4) 27.Nxe5 dxe4 28.Nd4 winning.

26...Bd6

Now the computer lets me off the hook and assesses the position as equal.

27.Ng3 Qd7

27...Nd4!? 28.Nxd4 exd4=

28.Kh1 Rc7

28...dxe4!? 29.Nxe4 (29.dxe4 Nd4=/+) 29...Nxe4 30.dxe4 Nd4 31.Nxd4 exd4 32.Kg1=.

29.Be3 d4 30.Bd2 Rfc8 ½–½

We had reached move 30, the earliest possible moment by the tournament rules to offer a draw, which I did, and he took it. 30...Ra8 is a better idea, to put the rook on a4.

5) Here and there

International Master Vince McCambridge and National Master Ladia Jirasek tied for first at 3½-½ in the annual Frank Doyle Memorial held April 21–22. National Master Bryon Doyle was third in the event, organized and directed by Paul Stagnoli.


The Berkeley Chess School has a permanent home. After decades of renting the BCS now has its own permanent facility, located on San Pablo Avenue between Parker and Carleton. Ashby Avenue, with direct access to Interstate 80 close by.

Here is the invitation for the grand opening from the BCS site:

Renovations are nearly complete on our new building. Please join us for our grand opening celebration. We are thrilled to finally have a permanent home for tournaments, classes, camps, our office & much more. Thank you for your support—we couldn’t have done it without you.

Date: Saturday, May 5th
Location: 2622 San Pablo Ave. (map)
Berkeley, CA 94702

Ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 12:30 pm. Open house drop-in until 5:00 pm.

Time: 12:00–5:00 pm; stop by any time between these hours.

Light refreshments and drinks provided.

Questions: sarah@berkeleychessschool.org


Dozens of grandmasters are expected to play in the 2018 Pan American Intercollegiate which will be held in San Francisco at the SFO Hyatt from December 27–30. Bay Area Chess will be organizing the event under the direction of Judit Sztaray. This marks only the third time the event has been held on the West Coast (previously Los Angeles in 1964 and 1979) in over 70 years.

UC Berkeley has won or tied for first three times:

1963 (Norris Weaver, Don Sutherland, Sam Sloan, Tom Dorsch and Donald Dean)
1967 (Frank Thornally, Richard Laver, Steven Spencer, Mike Morris and Sam Sloan)
1989 (David Glueck, Greg Hjorth, Peter Yu and Matt Ng)

The 1966 US team lost first by half a tiebreaking point.

San Jose State has won once:

1964 (Erik Osbun, Jim Iwashita, Ray Schutt, Leonard Hill and Peter Keleman)

Here is hoping a large number of West Coast teams support this event.



6) This is the end

Which color do you prefer in this study?

White to move

Show solution



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