Chess Room Newsletter #846 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #846

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #846
October 26, 2018

No matter what else happens in life, you can sit down to a chess board and you will always find the same number of ranks and files; there is always a white square in the right corner and if you make the moves, you will do well. In life, you could make all the right decisions and still wind up in the streets.

—Viktors Pupols, Seattle Post Intelligencer March 10, 1977
and Northwest Chess August 1977 page 5

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Vartan Bedjanian Memorial Fall Tuesday Night Marathon which is also serving as the 2018 Mechanics’ Chess Club Championship, began play last Tuesday (October 23). It’s still possible to enter the 9 round FIDE- and USCF-rated event,with a half-point bye for round one. The event features guaranteed prizes ($1000, $500, $400) for first through third places thanks to the generosity of the Bedjanian family. There are currently 98 players.

From round 1 of the Bedjanian Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Lamstein–Winslow after 10 Nb5)Black to move (Boldi–Gaffagan after 32 Ng3)
White to move (Tracy–Morgan after 18...Nxe3+)White to move (Steger–Carron after 9...Nxa5)
White to move (Anderson–Hilliard after 25...g5)White to move (McKellar–Cole after 10...c6)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 1.

Vartan Bedjanian was a mainstay of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club in the 1960s and 1970s and FIDE Master Paul Whitehead remembers Vartan visiting the M.I. regularly when Paul first joined in the early 1970s.

A Class A player for most of his career, Bedjanian’s best result was tying for 9th (out of 119 players) in the 1973 Stamer Memorial with a score of 4½ from 6. Jim Reynold’s Pacific Coast Chess Herald (vol. 4, #7) writes that Bedjanian, who was a regular in the San Francisco Industrial Chess League playing scored 6 from 8 in the 1958–59 season to lead PG&E to a second-place finish.

12-year-old National Master Rochelle Wu of Davis continued her successful run at the Mechanics’, winning the 18th J.J. Dolan G/45 with a score of 4½ from 5, which included wins over National Masters Yashodhan Gogte and Mike Arne.

Tying for second at 4-1 in the 29-player event held October 6 were National Masters Dmitry Vayntraub (who drew Rochelle in round 2), Sijing Wu and Romy Fuentes.

Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator Jules Jelinek provides the prize winners from the last two events.

October 10 (11 players)

1st – Jules Jelinek – 11 from 12
2nd – Carlos D’Avila – 8 points
3rd – Jeff Sinick – 7½ points

October 17 (13 players)

= 1st IM Elliott Winslow and NM Anna Matlin - 9 from 12
3rd Jules Jelinek - 8 points

Mechanics’ Institute Grandmaster-in-Residence Nick de Firmian gave a simul at the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library on October 13 as part of National Chess Day. The simul was one of a series of events put on by Vincent Ng and the Bright Knights Chess Club.

Sam Shankland is playing a six-game match against eight-Russian champion Peter Svidler which is being held in in Hoogeveen (Netherlands) from October 20-27. The score is currently 1½–1½.

Former Mechanics’ member James Tarjan is currently playing in the Isle of Man. The Portland Grandmaster currently has 3 out of 5, having just defeated a 2500 GM. His only losses are to players rated 2706 and 2673.

George Koltanowski first came to San Francisco in the late 1930s but spent most of World War 2 in Central America before returning to the Bay Area. In the late 1940s he made his home in Santa Rosa before settling in San Francisco, the scene of several of his great blindfold exhibitions including the following one held at the Mechanics’ Institute.

In the over 150-year history of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club it has had many good friends, but none greater than Neil Falconer, who first stepped through the doors of the Chess Room in 1939. It was Falconer who was the driving force behind the three great Pan Pacific tournaments held in 1987, 1990 and 1995. Among the players who participated were such giants as Mikhail Tal, Viktor Korchnoi, Robert Huebner, John Nunn and many top American Grandmasters of the 1980s and 1990s.

Besides Tal, two other World Champions played in the Pan Pacific events: Women’s title holders Xie Jun and Susan Polgar.

Neil Falconer and Women’s World Champion Zsuzsa Polgar

This century the Mechanics’ premier series has been the Imre Konig Memorials held in 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017 with Hikaru Nakamura, Varuzhan Akobian, Alex Yermolinsky, Suat Atalik, Alex Baburin, Walter Browne, Daniel Naroditsky, Parimarjan Negi and current U.S. Champion Sam Shankland among the participants. These events would not have been held without the generosity of Tibor Weinberger of Santa Monica, who wished to honor his old friend Imre Konig. Konig made his home in San Francisco from the first half of the 1950s to the early 1970s. Weinberger, who held the USCF Senior Master and FIDE master titles, played in the 1968 U.S. Championship.

2) MI Chess Director John Donaldson Retires

International Master John Donaldson, the longest-serving chess director in the history of the Mechanics’ Institute, has decided to step down after twenty years of service. Donaldson considered it a good time to retire when he recently joined Barry Bonds in the 500/500 club (500 games rated over 2500 USCF and 500 USCF rated tournaments directed). He looks forward to playing more and continuing his other chess-related activities.

John Donaldson at the 2006 Turin Olympiad
(Photo: Gregory Kaidanov)
John Donaldson in 2011, holding a framed photo of 1920s Alekhine simul at Mechanics’
(Photo: Laura Mason)

Like many chess players from his generation John Donaldson became fascinated with the game while following the Fischer–Spassky World Championship match played in the summer of 1972. Not long after it ended he joined the Tacoma (Washington) Chess Club where despite a late start (age 14) he made steady progress earning his National Master and Senior Master titles in 1977 and 1979 respectively. He became an International Master in 1983 shortly after graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in history. He currently has two of the needed three norms for the grandmaster title.

The past 35 years Donaldson has been a chess professional working as a writer, journalist, coach and historian of the game, as well as playing. He has served as the U.S. team captain 21 times including 13 of the biennial Chess Olympiads. Highlights include first-place finishes in the 1993 World Team Championship and the 2016 Chess Olympiad.

He is also the author of over 30 books on all aspects of chess with an emphasis on the history of the game and individual players. Among his best-known works are biographies on Akiva Rubinstein and Bobby Fischer.

Besides being Director of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room he also works as a consultant for the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, and is the Secretary for the Samford Fellowship, which is awarded annually to the top chess prospect in the United States.

3) Tony Lama Retires

Tony Lama recently retired after a 28-year stint as the Mechanics’ Institutes’ weekend guard, but promises to continue his practice of visiting the Chess Club on a regular basis on Weekday afternoons. Not long after moving to San Francisco (approximately 1980), Lama took up the game when he moved to San Francisco around 1980 and despite a very late start (he was around 40) succeeded in earning a USCF Expert rating.

Tony Lama in front of the Mechanics’ Institute (Photo: MI Archives)

4) James Tarjan Annotates

Portland Grandmaster James Tarjan, a former Mechanics’ member, is the strongest active American player over age 65. He capped a successful summer by winning the Seattle Classic this past August.

Here he annotates one of his wins.

English A16
Jim Tarjan–Antony He
Seattle Classic (6), 2018

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nxc3

I’ve looked at this in Marin, but I don’t recall ever playing it in a tournament

6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Rb1

In fact Marin prefers 7.Nf3


New to me. He confidently and quickly made the moves: clearly his prep or something he has played before. And now I see many games in the database. But I think Black has marginal compensation for the pawn, and will end up only struggling to get it back and equalize. Even so, the initiative is always worth something, especially with Black. 7...Nc6 and Marin claims the B will come to f5 with tempo later, which all seems rather obscure.

8.Rxb7 Bxb7 9.Bxb7 Nd7 10.Bxa8 Qxa8 11.f3

I didn’t play the obvious 11.Nf3 because I thought that after 11...Ne5 12.0-0 Nxf3+ 13.exf3 White would have a very hard time making something of his extra pawn, with his pawn structure damaged. But many games, and a big plus score for White.


11...Qb7N is a nice idea by Mr. Houdini, with the idea of 12.Qc2 Rb8 13.Nh3 Qb1 14.Qxb1 Rxb1 15.Kd1 Ra1 16.a3 and soon winning back the a pawn.

12.Qc2 Ne5 13.Kf2

Avoiding 13.Nh3? Nxf3+.

13...Rb8 14.Nh3 Nc4 15.Kg2 Qc5 16.Nf2 f5

I thought these advances should only hurt Black. But he is a pawn down and wants to do something.


The computer plays 17.e4 but White better be very certain what he is doing if he starts to push his pawns; 17.Re1 is likely the better square for the rook for reasons that will become clear.

17...e5 18.d3?

I completely overlooked Black’s next. We could say I was lucky to still have some advantage.

18...Rb2! 19.Qa4 Ne3+

Only because the N on c4 is hanging with check, and so 19...Rxe2 does not work.

20.Bxe3 Qxe3 21.Qc4+

Hard to calculate whether to give a check (or more) first, or just play 21.Re1 right away. I wanted to make sure he didn’t get in ...h5 and hide his king away on h7.

21...Kf8 22.Re1 Rxe2?

His biggest mistake in the game. After this the position becomes simplified, with Black having only vague hopes of a draw. 22...Qb6! and ...Bf6 next to put the king on g7. OK Black is a pawn down but his rook is very active.

23.Rxe2 Qxe2 24.Qc5+

I can tell when I try to precisely analyze a position like this (which checks? what plan?) that I am not quite all there, compared to the top players and perhaps to how I was when I was young. But on the other hand, on a good day I can make pragmatic decisions, based on what I do see.

24...Kg8 25.Qd5+ Kf8 26.Qd8+ Kf7 27.Qxc7+ Kf6 28.Qxa7?!

Not quite sure, I wanted to at least eliminate this a pawn and not have it be any sort of a race if Black manages to capture on a2. But the computer shows I could take it with check. 28.Qc6+ Kf7 29.Qb7+.

28...Bh6 29.Qb6+ Kf7 30.Qc7+ Kf6 31.f4 exf4 32.gxf4 Qxa2

Perhaps 32...Qe3 to take the f pawn instead. But Black is still a pawn down, and then the a pawn is pushing.

33.Qd6+ Qe6

This turns out to be lost, so Black should keep things complicated with queens on the board.

34.Qxe6+ Kxe6 35.Nh3! Bg7 36.Ng5+ Kd5?!

But I do believe it should be winning now in any case

37.c4+! Kd6 38.Nxh7 Kc5

The kids do not resign. Next round was an even more dramatic example.

39.Ng5 Bh6 40.Kf3 Kc6 41.d4 Bg7 42.Ke3 Bf6 43.Nf7 Kc7 44.Kd3 Be7 45.d5 Kc8 46.d6 Bf6 47.c5 Kd7 48.Kc4 Ke6 49.Ng5+ Kd7 50.Kd5 Kd8 51.Nf3 1-0

Not the quickest, but by now I was enjoying myself and thinking to take both his remaining pawns before queening one of my own.

5) William Addison

International Master William Addison served as the Mechanics’ Institute’s Chess Director from 1965-1969. Here is his invitation to play in the 1968 U.S. Championship. Note the high positions on the USCF rating list occupied by fellow Californians Anthony Saidy and Tibor Weinberger.

6) Jeremy Silman annotates some of his favorites games

Bogo-Indian E11
Michael Rohde–Silman
American Open 1989

I played two games against Rhode (he was already a grandmaster). One game was a draw and the other was this one, which I one.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Qe7 5.g3 Nc6 6.Nc3 d5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bg2 O-O 9.O-O Bg4 10.Bg5 Bxc3 11.bxc3 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Bxf3

White’s bishop gives him a slight pull, but I didn’t think this position would be to Rohde’s liking since he tends to play in a very dynamic manner.

14...Rad8 15.Qd3 Qe6 16.Rab1 Na5

Intending to prevent any central opening by ...f7-f5 and ...c7-c6.

17.e4 dxe4 18.Bxe4 b6

Not falling for 18…Qxh3?? 19.Rb5 b6 20.Bf5 when Black loses his queen.

19.Rbe1 Qxa2

Forcing White to prove his compensation. Worse was 19...Qxh3 20.Bf5 Qh5 21.Re5 g6 22.Bd7 f5 23.Re7 when Black is in trouble.

20.Qf3 Rd6

With a pawn to the good, all I have to do is defend my weak points and prevent his pieces from becoming too active. If I succeed in doing those things, the win will take care of itself. This move anticipates the fact that I will have to play ...g7-g6. In that case it stops a possible bishop sacrifice on g6, and it also prevents future attacks against c7 via Qe5.

21.Qf5 g6 22.Qf4 Nc4

I’ll only defend h6 when it’s really being threatened. At the moment the threat of ...Nd2 forces White to take some defensive measures of his own.


On 23.Qxh6? Black replies with the very strong 23...Qd2! and not 23...Nd2?? 24.Re2 24.Qh4 Qxc3.


Now the threat against c3 gets my opponent’s attention.


Stopping 24...Qxc3?? due to 25.Rc1.


Defending c4 and renewing my threat against c3.


A major concession, virtually admitting that White’s sacrifice hasn’t worked out very well.


Finally putting my house in order on the kingside. Black will now simply push his a-pawn for a touchdown, so White makes a final desperate bid for counterplay.

26.d5 Rxd5 27.Qxc7 a5 28.Qb7 Re5 29.Bd1 Qa3 30.Rc2 Qe7

All my pieces and pawns are guarded, so it’s time to centralize my big guns.

31.Qc6 Qc5 32.Qd7 Rd5 33.Qb7 Rfd8 34.Bg4

34...Rd2 35.Rxd2 Rxd2 36.Qe4

I wasn’t worried about 36.Be6 due to 36...Nd6, defending f7 and attack his queen.

36...Nd6 37.Qf4 Qxc3

I had to guard my rook, so why not eat a meal at the same time?

38.h4 a4 39.Re1 Qd4 40.Qf3 Rd3 0-1.

White is forced to trade queens since 41.Qe2 runs into 41...Rxg3+. A smooth defensive effort against a strong grandmaster.

Modern Defense A42
Silman–Cyrus Lakdawala
Southern California Closed Championship 1989

I view this as the best game I ever played.

1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 Nc6 5.Be3 e5 6.d5 Nce7 7.c5 f5 8.cxd6 cxd6 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.Nf3 f4 11.Bd2 h6 12.a4

First I map out huge territorial gains on the queenside.

12…g5 13.a5 g4 14.Ng1 Nf6 15.Nge2 Ng6 16.g3

Killing my opponent’s counterattack on the kingside. Quite honestly, after playing 16.g3 I felt that the point was already mine.

16…f3 17.Nc1 h5 18.Qa4 h4 19.Rf1!

Getting off the h-file and defending the potentially vulnerable pawn on f2.

19…hxg3 20.hxg3 Bh6 21.Nb3 Rb8 22.Qb4

Targeting d6.

22…Kg7 23.Bxh6+ Rxh6 24.Nd2

This heads for c4 where, at first glance, it will work with my queen against Black’s d-pawn. However, there is an even more nefarious purpose to this knight maneuver.

24…Nh8 25.Nc4 Nf7 26.Ne3

My only weakness [on f2] is solidly defended, while Black is going to have to worry about g4, f5, d6, b7, and possible intrusions along the c-file for a long time to come.

26…Qh8 27.O-O-O Rh2 28.Kb1 Qh6

Hoping to gain counterplay by sacrificing the exchange, i.e., 29...Rxf2 30.Rxf2 Qxe3.


As usual, patience is required. My plusses are not going away, so there is certainly no reason to rush.


Desperate, Black hopes to put more heat on f2 by ...Nh7-g5-h3. Unfortunately, the fact that most of his army is on the kingside allows me to stomp him on the other side of the board.


A decisive penetration into c7 is assured.

30…a6 31.Qc7 Ra8 32.Bd7

By getting rid of Black’s light-squared bishop, Black’s weaknesses on b7, f5, and g4 all fall into my hands. Also very strong was 32.Be8.

32…Bxd7 33.Qxd7 Nf6 34.Qxb7 Qh8 35.Nf5+ Kg6 36.Nh4+ Kg7 37.Nf5+ Kg6 38.Nh4+

My last few moves gained a bit of time on the clock. Now I’m ready to proceed with the mopping up process

38…Kg7 39.Rh1 Rxh1 40.Rxh1 Qd8 41.Nf5+ Kg6 42.Rh6+ 1-0

He didn’t need to see 42…Nxh6 43.Qg7+ Kh5 44.Qxh6 mate.

7) Frank Marshall in 1917 (Part Fourteen, by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére)

Center Gambit C21
Marshall–Robert Stanley Goerlich
November [?]
Bethlehem simul [?]

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 d5 5. Bxd5 cxb2 6. Bxb2 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 Bxc3+ 8. Bxc3 Nf6 9. Ne2 Nxd5 10. exd5 Qg5 11. Qa4+ Bd7 12. Qe4+ Qe7 13. Qxe7+ Kxe7 14. Bxg7 Rg8 15. Be5 Na6 16. O-O Rg5 17. f4 Rg6 18. Rab1 Rb6 19. Nd4 f6 20. Rbe1 fxe5 21. fxe5 Rf8 22. e6 Rxf1+ 23. Rxf1 Be8 24. Nf5+ Kd8 25. Ng7 Bg6 26. h4 Rb1 27. h5 Rxf1+ 28. Kxf1 Be4 29. g4 Nb4 30. g5 Nxd5 31. Kf2 Ke7 32. Kg3 Kf8 33. h6 c5 34. Nh5 c4 35. Nf6 Nxf6 36. gxf6 Bf5 37. e7+ Kf7 38. Kf4 Bg6 39. Ke5 c3 40. Kd6 Kxf6 41. Kd7 c2 0-1

British Chess Magazine, 1/1918, p. 18

It has not been possible to establish the exact date when this game was played. The source states “in a simultaneous exhibition at Bethlehem, Pa., last summer.” It seems more plausible that the exhibition was held during this tour, while Marshall was traveling between Pittsburgh and Washington D. C.

December 1, Washington D. C. simul [+17-2=2]

Before a gathering of players and spectators so large as to again emphasize the fact that the club is still growing and will soon need larger quarters, the Capital City Club on December 1 entertained Frank J. Marshall, the American champion, who gave a simultaneous exhibition, playing twenty-one opponents. So rapidly did he move from board to board as he made his moves that the last game was finished an hour and fifty minutes after play started. With the number of boards in action this probably constitutes a record for speedy play at simultaneous exhibitions.

Though a number of the strong club members, who usually lock horns with the visiting master were absent, quite a good score was made against Mr. Marshall. Clayton and Roberts each fought though drawn games. H. L. Cake, the leader in Class B tourney, showed why he is in the van in that event, when he beat the visitor in the best played game of the evening. A joint team of Vedder and Thrasher lured Marshall into a Muzio and pressed their attack so strongly that they mated on the twenty-first move. A. V. Fuller also gained a copy of Marshall’s “Chess Swindles,” the prize for a win from him, when he caught the champion napping in the middle game.

Center Gambit C21

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 Nf6 4. e5 Ng8 5. cxd4 d5 6. Nc3 Be6 7. f4 c5 8. Bb5+ Nc6 9. Nf3 a6 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. O-O Nh6 12. Kh1 Bg4 13. dxc5 Bxc5 14. Qa4 Bd7 15. Qc2 Ba7 16. Ng5 Nf5 17. Re1 Nd4 18. Qd1 Bf5 19. e6 fxe6 20. Be3 c5 21. Bxd4 cxd4 22. Nxe6 Bxe6 23. Rxe6+ Kf7 24. Re5 dxc3 25. Rf5+ Kg8 26. Rxd5 Qb6 27. bxc3 h6 28. Rb1 Qe3 29. Re5 Qxf4 30. Qd5+ Kh7 31. Qd3+ Kg8 32. Qd5+ Kh7 33. Qd3+ 1/2-1/2

French C14

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. Bd3 c5 8. exd5 cxd4 9. Bb5+ Bd7 10. Qxd4 Bf6 11. Qd3 Bxc3+ 12. bxc3 O-O 13. Bxd7 Qxd7 14. Ng5 f5 15. Nxe6 Qe7 16. O-O Rf6 17. Rae1 Qd6 18. c4 Nd7 19. f4 Nc5 20. Nxc5 Qxc5+ 21. Kh1 Rc8 22. Qc3 Qxc4 23. Re8+ Kf7 24. Rxc8?? Qxf1# 0-1

Kings Gambit Accepted C37
Thrasher + Vedder–Marshall

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. O-O d5 6. Bxd5 gxf3 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Qxf3 Qf6 9. Nc3 c6 10. d4 Bh6 11. Ne2 Ne7 12. Bxf4 Bxf4 13. Qh5+ Kg7 14. Rxf4 Qe6 15. Raf1 Ng6 16. Qg5 Nd7 17. d5 cxd5 18. Nd4 Nde5 19. Nxe6+ Bxe6 20. Qf6+ Kh6 21. Rh4# 1-0

Washington Post, 9 Dec 1917, p. 6

December 6, Marshall Home Again

Frank J. Marshall has returned from his tour, which took him as far as Chicago, having played at Columbus, Pittsburgh and Washington on the way back. Wherever he went, the keenest interest was taken in his visits by the local players. The United States champion will make his headquarters for some time to come at Marshall’s Chess Divan, 118 West Forty-ninth street, Manhattan, where, on December 10, he will give a lecture and an exhibition of simultaneous chess, to which the public is invited.

Brooklyn Eagle, 6 Dec 1917, p. 2*

December 10, New York simul [+10-0=0]; Marshall Makes Sweep

Ten players took boards against Frank J. Marshall, the United States chess champion, in his first simultaneous performance of the season Marshall’s Chess Divan. The champion made a clean sweep, defeating every one of his opponents.

NY Tribune, 12 Dec 1917, p. 16

December 13, Philadelphia consultation game and simul [+17-0=0]

Frank J. Marshall, the American chess champion, paid a visit to the Franklin Chess Club December 13. In the afternoon he contested an exhibition game, his opponents being B. M. Neill and Sydney T. Sharp. The Franklin team gave an excellent account of themselves, obtained a fair attack and it took the master some time before he could neutralize the position. The game ended in a well-played draw.

In the evening Marshall played simultaneously against seventeen players. Nearly all, however, were visitors. Marshall won all the games played. K. Wimsatt, of Washington, received a special prize for the best game played against the master.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 23 Dec 1917, p. 6

At the Franklin Chess Club in December Frank Marshall played a consultation game against B. Milnes and S. T. Sharp in the afternoon. It lasted four hours and ended in a draw. In the evening the champion was in his best form and, playing against sixteen [sic] opponents, won from them all.

American Chess Bulletin, 2/1918, p. 38

Sicilian B40

Benjamin Milnes Neill + Sydney Turnbull Sharp–Marshall

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O Bxc3 8. bxc3 e5 9. Nf3 d5 10. Nxe5 dxe4 11. Bc4 Qe7 12. Bf4 Be6 13. Rb1 a6 14. Qe2 b5 15. Bb3 Bxb3 16. cxb3 Nbd7 17. Nxd7 Qxd7 18. Be5 Ng4 19. Rbd1 Qf5 20. Bd6 Rfe8 21. h3 Ne5 22. Bxe5 Rxe5 23. Rd6 Rae8 24. Qe3 R5e6 25. Rfd1 h6 26. Rd8 Rxd8 27. Rxd8+ Kh7 28. c4 bxc4 29. bxc4 Qe5 30. Qd4 Qg5 31. Qd2 Qc5 32. Qd5 Qe7 33. c5 Re5 34. Rd7 Qg5 35. Qxf7 Rxc5 36. Rd1 e3 37. fxe3 Rc2 38. Qf3 Rxa2 39. h4 Qe5 40. Rd5 1/2-1/2

Philadelphia Inquirer, 23 Dec 1917, p. 6; American Chess Bulletin, 2/1918, p. 38; Revista del Club Argentino de Ajedrez, 7-9/1918, p.71

Marshall started a brief tour in Canada on December 31

8) Here and There

We note the passing of five-time Louisiana state champion Alfred Carlin earlier this year. A fitting tribute to him is provided here.

Former Bay Area Grandmaster Jesse Kraai, who currently calls Baltimore home, will be serving as the St. Louis Chess Club’s Grandmaster in Residence from November 1–15.

The St. Louis Chess Club recently held two invitational Grandmaster round robins. The first section, with an average FIDE rating of over 2650, was won by Russian Grandmaster Alexey Dreev with the excellent score of 6½ from 9. Cuban Grandmaster Lazaro Bruzon-Batista, currently living in Miami, was second with 5½ points.

The second group, averaging around 2500 FIDE, saw Grandmaster Stephen Zierk of Los Gatos tie for second with 5 from 9, while fellow South-Bay resident 11-year-old Christopher Woojin Yoo finished last but scored a respectable 3 points.

Currently four of the 52 members of the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame are women: Gisela Gresser, Diane Savereide, Mona May Karff and Jacqueline Piatigorsky.

Here is a list of multiple U.S. Women’s Championship winners who might join them. The first two, who won every one of these events from 2006 to 2015, would appear to be slam dunks in the future.

1. Irina Krush (age 34) 7-time U.S. Women’s Champion
2. Anna Zatonskih (age 40) 4-time U.S. Women’s Champion
3. Elena Akhmilovskaya (deceased) 3-time U.S. Women’s Champion #
4. Anjelina Belakovskaia (age 49) 3-time U.S. Women’s Champion
5. Rachel Crotto (age 59) 2-time U.S. Women’s Champion
6. Esther Epstein (age 64) 2-time U.S. Women’s Champion
7. Sonja Graf (deceased) 2-time U.S. Women’s Champion #
8. Irina Levitina (age 64) 2-time U.S. Women’s Champion #
9. Nazi Paikidze (age 24) 2-time U.S. Women’s Champion
10. Jennifer Shahade (age 37) 2-time U.S. Womens Champion

# Sonja Graf has already been inducted into the World Chess Hall and there is a good chance Elena Akhmilovskaya and particularly Irina Levitina will be selected as well, as both played matches for the Women’s World Championship. They both had good careers in the United States, but their greatest accomplishments occurred playing for the USSR.

9) Sosonko quoting Spassky on Korchnoi

Dutch Grandmaster Gennadi Sosonko is justly famous for his books and articles remembering great players of the past. In Evil-Doer: Half a Century with Viktor Korchnoi, at the end of the book, Sosonko quotes Boris Spassky, who once talked with the Canadian Grandmaster Kevin Spraggett about Korchnoi.

[Spassky] began to list Korchnoi’s many qualities:

- Killer instinct (nobody can even compare with Victor’s “gift”)
- Phenomenal capacity to work (both on the board and off the board)
- Iron nerves (even with seconds left on the clock)
- Ability to calculate (maybe only Fischer was better in this department)
- Tenacity and perseverance in defense (unmatched by anyone)
- The ability to counterattack (unrivaled in chess history)
- Impeccable technique (flawless, even better than Capa’s)
- Capacity to concentrate (unreal)
- Impervious to distractions during the game
- Brilliant understanding of strategy
- Superb tactician (only a few in history an compare with Victor)
- Possessing the most profound opening preparation of any GM of his generation
- Subtle psychologist
- Super-human will to win (matched only by Fischer)
- Deep knowledge of all of his adversaries
- Enormous energy and self-discipline

Then Boris stopped, and just looked at me, begging for me to ask the question that needed to be asked…. I asked: “But, Boris, what does Victor lack to become World Champion?” Boris’ answer floored me: “He has no chess talent!”

In 1947 Korchnoi won the Soviet Junior Championships. Many years later he looked at the games of this junior tournament and stated: “Absolutely no talent! I would never have let that young man into my chess club.”

10) This is the end

Can the black bishop and knight stop the two pawns, in this study?

White to move

Show solution

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