Chess Room Newsletter #893 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #893

Gens Una Sumus!


Newsletter #893

Nov 16, 2019

By Abel Talamantez

Table of Contents



TNM Round 4 Wrap Up

NM Russell Wong, NM Michael Walder, Jonah Busch and Illia Gimelfarb Continue Big Runs in the TNM

Round 4 of the TNM saw an upset on the top board and a seperation in the bottom 2 sections as we approach the midway point in the final TNM of 2019. 

In the Championship section. NM Russell Wong pulled off an upset of tournament #2 seed NM Eric Li. Wong maintained positional advantage throughout much of the game and held that adavantage to the very end. It seemed in the game that Li's unwillingness to trade queens and keep them on the board searching for the win may have done him in. An impressive win by Russell. NM Michael Walder was victorious against NM Larry Snyder after Snyder hung a pawn in an endgame under time pressure, and he ultimately lost on time. FM Kyron Griffith continued to rebound with a win versus Steffen Thieme. As it stands after 4 rounds, Walder and Wong are co-leaders at 3.5/4 and Griffith and Steven Gaffagan sit at 3/4.

Top 2 boards do battle for round 4

In the A/B section, Jonah Busch climbed into the sole lead of first place with a victory over Sergey Khristoforov. This puts him at a perfect 4/4. The other previous perfect score with 3/3 was Robert Drane, who took a half point byr this week, but sits at 2nd place with Adam Mercado, who won against Aezed Raza. 

Jonah Busch (left) contemplates the board against Sergey Khristoforov

In the Under 1600 section, Illia Gimelfarb showed he is a strong newcomer to the scene, winning against the always tough Alber Starr and maintaining a perfect score with 4/4. Sitting at 3.5 are three tough players in Venugopal Mani, Nursultan Uzakbaev, and Andy Vincent Ford. Of these 4 top players, 3 are unrated! It will be interesting to follow how these unrateds do over the course of the marathon, as it is a true test of endurance over the course of 9 rounds. This is part of what makes the marathon a true test of will, resilience and strength. 

FM Paul Whitehead steps out of the broadcast booth to act as lamp tech during round 4

She plays! Club General Manager Judit Sztaray takes in an extra rated game

For the complete standings and information for the TNM, please follow this link:

You can re-live the live broadcast from our Twitch channel by visiting our YouTube page here:


Tournament Director's Corner

Draw Claim in Time Scramble Shows Value of Notating and Paying Close Attention

Time scrambles during tournaments make for some exciting viewing, but it also makes for some tense moments over the board. In our G/120;d5 format, players may stop notating if either player goes under 5 minutes, but what is lost in doing so is making a draw claim that requires notation, more commonly, a threefold repetition. The relevant FIDE rule is here:

9.2.1 The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by a player having the move, when the same position for at least the third time (not necessarily by a repetition of moves): is about to appear, if he first writes his move, which cannot be changed, on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, or has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move.

The important part of this rule is that the position repeat, it does not necesarily have to happen in the same 3-move sequence.

In the TNM game on board 4, Kristian Clemens had battled back from a losing position to achieve a very difficult and complex endgame. Both players were under 5 minutes, but Clemens continued recording his moves. Amidst the time scaramble, Clemens called me over to claim a threefold repetition. He told me his next move would be Rb7, achieving this position:

Normally if such a claim is made, I would have to verify that the scoresheet looks accurate and replay the game move by move. However, since the game was played on a DGT board, it indicates to us inside the computer room if there has been a threefold repetition on the board. I verified the scoresheet matched the moves recorded on the DGT board and had Juan enter the proposed Rb7 move into the computer, and viola! The computer undicated a 3-fold repetion on the board, as seen from the picture:

You can see at the top right, it says Threefold repetion on move 58. This makes for a handy and quick way to verify a position during a game that may otherwise have taken 5-10 minutes in a critical moment. An efficient use of technology at our TNM. 

In another famous example, GM Sergey Karjakan successfully claimed a threefold repetition during a the 2015 FIDE World Cup semi-final against GM Pavel Eljanov in a tiebreak G/10 +10 game that sealed victory in the match and a spot in the 2016 Candidates Tournament as a World Cup finalist. He then went on to win the Candidates and played GM Magnus Carlsen for the workd championship in 2016. 

An article for the match and the game can be seen here:

What was fascinating is that he claimed it being two pawns down, though in an opposite color bishop ending, and did so from memory. 

Chess Re-Imagined

by William Thibault; Computer Scientist and TNM Regular

I recently took a bye from the TNM to be involved with a chess exhibition as part of a benefit art show at The Power Station in Dallas. There was an article on written by WIM Alexey Root about it:

This is a short video from the event:

William Thibault appears from 1:25 to 2:04 in that linked video (Abel Talamantez)

Chess Re-Imagined from Zura Javakhadze on Vimeo.

IM (GM Elect) Zura Javakhadze played a series of rapid, team, and blindfold games with members of the audience. Scot Gresham-Lancaster used his software to "sonify" (convert to sound) the moves and board positions, while Sharath Chandra converted the position evaluation to sound. I wrote code to interface the DGT board and Stockfish to Scot's system over the network (using OpenSoundControl over UDP (glavin)). My software also used the board data to draw live computer-generated visuals of the position, suggested moves, and attacks.

The attempt to sonify the moves so they could be understood by the blindfolded player was largely a success, but occasionally Zura needed to ask the referee to verify which piece made a move. The overall goal, to create a fun chess experience, was a great success. The venue being an art gallery reception, the audience could be a bit noisy, but was quieted to a hush during the dramatic blindfold games, allowing Zura to better hear the move sonification.

Below are the games Javakhadze played without sight of the board against randomly selected sighted opponents. A human referee made moves on the board for Javakhadze, who sat nearby wearing a blindfold.

[Event "Chess Reimagined (blindfold exhibition)"]
[Site "Dallas"]
[Date "2019.10.05"]
[White "Javakhadze, Zura"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bc4 d5 6. exd5 Nb4 
7. Ne5 Nfxd5 8. Nxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxf7 Kxf7 10. Qf3+ Bf6 
11. Bxd5+ e6 12. Bb3 Qxd4 13. O-O Qb6 14. Bg5 h6 15. Qxf6+ Kg8 
16. Qd8+ Kh7 17. Qe7+ Kg8 18. Bf6 Qd6 19.Qg7# 1-0

[Event "Chess Reimagined (blindfold exhibition)"]
[Site "Dallas"]
[Date "2019.10.05"]
[White "Javakhadze, Zura"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bc4 g6 5. d4 d6 6. O-O Bg4 
7. Bxf4 Bxf3 8. Rxf3 Qd7 9. Bxf7+ Qxf7 10. Bxd6 Qc4 
11. Rxf8+ Kd7 12. Rxa8 Kxd6 13. Nc3 Nxd4 14. Nb5+ Qxb5 
15. Qxd4+ Kc6 16. Rd1 Nf6 17. Qxf6+ Kc5 18. Rd5+ Kb4 
19. Qc3+ Ka4 20. Qa3# 1-0

To make it easier for chess fans in the audience to follow the moves,I also set up a webpage with the live game and posted some QR-codes pointing to it, but only one person accessed it during the event. (You can still visit it now ( ) to see all the games played; click on the row of dots near the bottom to see a list of games, mouse-over the board to see other controls.)

Although this kind of multisensory avalanche might be anathema to many chess players during a game, it may serve to help popularize the game, or provide entertainment during matches. The sonification of chess moves and positional evaluations should be useful for learning, adaptive interfaces, and in other tabletop games. (For more information about Scot and Sharath's work on sound at UT Dallas, check )

On a personal note, I was a bit reluctant to visit Texas, after growing up near it and forming the typical prejudices. But, I found the people in Dallas to be friendly and relaxed, and met some really great people. Perhaps most importantly, I felt I returned with a deeper understanding of chess (although subsequent tournament results make me doubt it.) Special thanks to Alden Pinnell and Greg Ruppe of The Power Station.

Bill Thibault

TNM Endgame Analysis by Venugopal Mani

The art of the endgame and its importance have been well elucidated by many a strong master long, long before me and will be for long , long afterwards.

But as a humble 1600, there is it seems a gap in chess literature on the kinds of positions that arise on a somber Tuesday night in San Francisco at our level. Kotov crafted the grandmaster’s mind pretty well in his works but what about the amateur’s mind? Before we can aspire to become a master, shouldn’t we develop a complete understanding of ourselves: the facets of our game that we do well and the ones we fail at.

I have presented an endgame which occurred in our Under 1600 section that I believe can certainly benefit players of our section and might be of interest (if rather obvious) to strong players. I was fascinated watching the action unfold , playing at an adjacent board as this thriller unwrapped. I have studied this ending , initially without a computer and then with and presented what an amateur thinks of both the psychology and the play involved in such positions and how we can make that leap to expertise that we all strive to .

Game : Gimelfarb – Hansen , Round 3, Board 10 . Result: 1-0

Gimelfarb , the current leader (as of round 4), is making quite the wave in the under 1600 section. The bane of players in our section is something even masters do not encounter : the curse of the unrated player. The unrated player can be anywhere between 300 – a masquerading 2000 and Gimelfarb’s rather solid play so far indicates the latter than the former. But in round 2 against the solid Matteo Hansen, the second seed officially in the section, Gimelfarb ventured into an Alapin Sicilian and found himself a piece down heading into the endgame. They reached the following position on move 36.

White is clearly a full piece down with little compensation. Black has all the time in the world to round up white’s extra pawn. Black clearly has the more active king. And to add to this black clearly has extra time on the clock . From Hansen’s games. It is rather clear that he has pretty sound technique. Not wishing to complicate/prolong things further, he goes for the move 36. .. Bxf4!? .

Objectively, it’s absolutely not a bad choice. Hansen trusts his technique enough to convert the resulting ending even with three passed pawns on the kingside. After all, he has the knight and the more active king. And looks to be winning a pawn too on f4. This is where dear reader, the masters differ from the amateurs. It is not wrong when I say, I personally would have done the exact same thing that Hansen did , snapped off the bishop and taken the f4 pawn. But once 37. gxf4 hits the board, Hansen starts to realize that it’s not so straightforward after all. The passed g pawn is one scary pawn and is three tempi away from a queen. The knight , the favourite piece of many a Grandmaster including GM Maurice Ashley and the five time world champion GM Viswanathan Anand , is very powerful when used correctly. It thrives on outposts , on tricks, on grabbing material in elegant sequences.

Put yourself in Hansen’s shoes dear reader, you realize  that the endgame is not so straightforward. You have the knight to try and stop the three passers. Let’s employ a Kotov style candidate move list and try to summon the spirits of the great school of Mark Dvoretsky and concretely calculate the win till the end.

The first move that probably occurs to any player of our (u1600) level is the move 37. ..d5. I mean, how can that be bad? You take advance a pawn, stop a tempo on the knight if the white king attempts to penetrate. And in fact this is what Hansen did play in the game. However, what he missed was the fact that the game is actually immediately a dead draw. The reason? The passed pawns of white are just too fast for the knight. And white uses the time that black manuvers his knight to simply get his king penetrating the queenside. The possibilities here are endless but here is a sample line :

A simple approach: white moves his king to d3. Any pawn grabbing on f4 is met with advance of those ominous passed pawns. While black reroutes his knight to nab those pawns, white goes over to the queen side and gobbles up the black pawns. Black will be a knight up in the ending to no avail.

(37 . ..d5 38. Kd3 Kxf4 39. Kd4

Nd6 40. Kxd5 Nf5 41. Kc5 Nxh4 42. Kb6 Kxg5 43. Kxb7 ½ - ½ )


“But writer!” I hear you yell through the screen. “What if I use my king to shield the white king from entering? “ …well that would be no good either. White will now march his three pawns and black will spend time rerouting the knight to deal with the pawns and white’s three pawns mean the black king needs to assist in dealing with those pawns as well. A sample line is presented below.

(37. .. d5 38 Kd3 Ke6 39. h5 Kf5 40.

Kd4 Kxf4 41. h6 Ne5 42. Kxd5 Ng6 43. Kc5  ½ - ½)

The winning idea? Well, the key realization that knights love outposts. Needing to map out in your head a good plan for the knight. The importance of one square on the board : d5.

The understanding that the knight needs to get to d5 to grab those pawns while the black king prevents any entry from the white king. Here is a sample line .

(37... Nb6 38. Kd3 Nd5 39. Kd4

Nxf4 40. Kc4 Ke6 41. Kb4 d5 42. Kc5 Ke5 43. Kb6 0-1)

 I sit here in hindsight assisted wisdom that Hansen missed a key win . But realizing the critical moments is the fine line that separates us from the next group of players. Knowing when the position is auto-pilot and when it isn’t . There is no one who sympathizes more with Hansen than me having thrown away many a win myself. And there is no one who is in awe of the resourcefulness of Gimelfarb to hang in there when many would have thrown in the towel than me. Hoepfully this is a good lesson for not just Hansen but to all of us u1600-ers in the fact that it isn’t over until the scoresheets are signed and a piece (especially the knight) is not the game won. It’s a reminder that we need to follow Kotov’s advice, take a deep breath , a sip of tea and concretely calculate the win out in such positions .

What followed was rather painful. Hansen , unfortunately ended up losing the game.

37. gxf4 d5 38. Kd3 b5 39. h5 Ke6 40. h6 Kf7 41. Kd4 Nb6 42.

f5 b4 43. g6+ Kg8 44. f6 Nd7 45. f7+ Kf8 46. Kxd5 a5 47. Ke6 a4 48. g7# 1-0

But watch out for him later in the tournament. Painful lessons can often lead to fruitful outcomes.

Wednesday Night Blitz Update

Expert Manuel Santos finished in clear 1st with a 5 - 1 score in the November 13th edition of the Wednesday Night Blitz. Clear 2nd with a 4.5 - 1.5 tally was Expert Andy Trattner,who also coaches the free kids' class on Saturdays, and rounding out the winners circle was A player Max Elisman with 4 - 2.

Ten players participated under the all-seeing gaze of organizer Jules Jelinek.

See you next week!




FM Paul Whitehead column: Friendly Rivalries, Part 16.

1980’s wrap-up.

By FM Paul Whitehead

Continuing from here:

The mid-eighties were my last years of playing in tournaments with any frequency.  I was working as a nursery school teacher, had taken up photography in a serious fashion, and I was making many friends outside of the chess world.

But chess wasn’t done with me yet…

In 1983 I played in a whopping (for me) 9 tournaments, winning 7 of them outright (those played in Ireland – see newsletters 869 and 870).

In 1984 I played in only a few events. My results were so-so, but I did win the 9th Northern California (Bagby Memorial) Championship held at the Mechanics’, ahead of GM Biyiasis, Mar, Winslow and others.

1985 was my last big year in chess: I won the 10th Northern California Championship, tying for 1st with Biyiasis this time, and also played in the New York Open and the 1st Miz Brown’s International.

In 1986 I played in but one tournament, the 11th Northern California Championship, and in 1987 I again played in only one tournament: the 12th Northern California Championship! 

In the years 1988 and 1989 I played not a single tournament game…

I had finally found a rhythm: one tournament a year! And then zero tournaments a year!

Was this the end of my chess career?  Tune in later and find out!

I played some good chess in the 1980’s, as well as some bad, and you can find some of those games in previous newsletters. 

Here’s a few more games, and of course the stories that tag along with them – for me just as interesting as the games themselves!

(1) Whitehead,Paul A (2320) - Kopec,Danny [B40]
Lloyds Bank op 07th London, 1983

During my stay in Ireland I hopped on the boat-train from Dublin to London to play in the Lloyd Banks Open. My result was a reasonable 4-3 score against strong opposition. I shared a hotel room with noted Seattle chess maverick James Harley McCormick, six-time Washington State Champion, and if you'd like I could tell you a story or two... 1.e4 My opponent was a well known author and computer scientist, who even has an opening named after him, the "Kopec System" of 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bd3!? Unfortunately for Danny, he was playing the originator of the "Whitehead System" for which he had no defense. 1...c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.Nbd2 Nge7

6.Bg2 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.Re1 d4 9.a4 e5 10.Nc4 Qc7
Black's moves are reasonable, but he should have considered fianchettoing his King's Bishop and castling. 11.c3 f6 12.cxd4 cxd4 13.Bd2 Ng6 14.Qb3 Bc5 15.a5 Ke7
Black has managed to misplace almost every piece and is in serious trouble. 16.Bh3 Rab8 17.axb6 axb6 18.Qb5 Bc8 19.Bxc8 Rhxc8 20.b4 Bd6
White plays simple moves, and Black is simply lost. 21.Rec1 Qb7 22.Nxd6 Kxd6 23.Qd5+ Ke7 24.b5
If the Knight moves, then 25.Bb4+ and it's over. 1-0


(2) Baja,Victor - Whitehead,Paul [B44]
Golden Bear Open, 1984

Victor Baja is a strong master just a year older than I, and a frequent rival in tournaments at the Mechanics' Institute and in the Bay Area. He hasn't played for a long time. Victor was also a fine problemist, and Pal Benko published quite a few of his compositions in Chess Life. 1.e4 c5 This game is a long, tough fight, finally decided when White chooses activity over maintaining the status quo. 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 Nf6 7.N1c3 a6 8.Nd4 Bd7 9.Be2 Be7 10.0-0 0-0

Both sides hunker down in a familiar Maroczy Bind / Hedgehog formation. 11.b3 Qb8 12.Nc2 Rc8 13.Bb2 Na7 14.Bf3 h6 15.g3 Nc6 16.Bg2 b5 17.Ne3 Ra7 18.Kh1 Na5 19.cxb5 axb5 20.Ne2 Bc6
Both players spar and jab. 21.f3 b4 22.Nd4 Be8 23.Qd2 Rc5 24.Nec2 d5 25.e5 Qxe5 26.Nxb4 Qb8 27.Nd3 Rc8 28.Rac1 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 Bd6 30.Rc2 Nb7
31.Nc1 Nc5 32.Nde2 Nfd7 33.Bd4 Ra8 34.Bg1 Qb7 35.Nc3 Qb4 36.f4 Rd8 37.f5 Be5 38.Nb1 Qxd2 39.Nxd2 Na6 40.Nd3 Bd6
The position is unbalanced, but equal. However, White now goes down a rabbit-hole with his next 2 moves and ultimately loses a pawn. 41.Rc6 Ndb8 42.Rb6?! Bc6 43.b4 Bc7 44.b5 Bxb6 45.Bxb6 Bxb5 46.Bxd8 Bxd3 47.fxe6 fxe6 48.Kg1 Nc6 49.Bb6 Kf7 50.Kf2 Ke7
White now puts up a great fight, but Black is patient and accurate to the end. 51.Ke3 Bb5 52.a3 Kd6 53.Bf3 Nab8 54.Kf4 Nd7 55.Bg1 e5+ 56.Ke3 Nc5 57.Bd1 e4 58.Kf4 Ne6+ 59.Kg4 Ke5 60.Bb6 d4
61.a4 Bd3 62.a5 e3 63.Nf3+ Ke4 64.Ba4 Ne7 65.Ne1 Be2+ 66.Kh3 Bf1+ 67.Kg4 g6 68.Bc2+ d3 69.Bxd3+ Bxd3 70.Nxd3 Kxd3
71.a6 e2 72.Ba5 Nc6 73.Be1 Ne5+ 74.Kh3 Nf3 75.a7 Nc7 76.Ba5 e1Q 77.Bxe1 Nxe1 78.Kg4 Ke4 79.h4 Nd3 80.a8Q+ Nxa8
Not the most flashy game, but I always enjoyed these long technical struggles - as long as I was victorious at the end! 0-1


(3) Maser,Thomas F - Whitehead,Paul A (2370) [B49]
New York op New York (1), 1985

Tom Maser is a wonderful man and a great friend to the chess community. I think it's funny that the only time we crossed swords was 3,000 miles away from the Bay Area, in New York City. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6

6.Be2 Qc7 7.Be3 Nf6 8.0-0 Bb4 9.Na4 Be7 10.Nxc6 bxc6
11.Qd4 11.Nb6 is far and away the 1st choice of most in this position. 11...0-0 12.c4 c5 13.Qd3 Bb7 14.Nc3 Rfd8 15.Bf3 Bd6
Black is perhaps a bit more than equal here. 16.h3 Be5 17.Rfe1 Rab8 18.Bg5?! This exchange is not helpful for White. 18...h6 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Rad1 Bc6
21.b3 Be5 22.Ne2 a5 23.Qe3 d6 24.Bh5 a4 25.f4 Bf6
Now White decides to force the issue, but the complications will favor Black. 26.e5?! dxe5 27.Qxc5 Rxd1 28.Rxd1 axb3 29.axb3 Rxb3 30.Bf3 Qb6
The tactics are working in Black's favor... 31.Qxb6 Rxb6 32.c5 Ra6 33.Rd6? Going way too far. White had to keep it simple with 33.fxe5 Bxe5, although Black is much better. 33...e4! Wins a piece. 34.Bxe4 Ra1+ 35.Kf2 Bxe4
36.c6 Ra8 37.c7 Rc8 38.Nc3 Bb7 39.Nb5 Be7


(4) Whitehead,Paul A (2370) - Edelman,Daniel (2200) [B07]
New York op New York (8), 1985

Danny Edelman is an International Master (1993) who lives in Connecticut. This was our only game, the final round of the New York Open, with almost nothing at stake. 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.f3 Nbd7

6.Qd2 h6 7.Be3 c6 8.a4 Qa5 9.Bd3 b5? Actually a strange kind of blunder which should lose a pawn... 10.b4! Qxb4??
...or a Queen. Black decides to call White's bluff, but White is not kidding. 11.axb5! c5 Black tries to wriggle out, but Her Majesty is losing Her Head. 12.Ra4 Qb2 13.Nd1 Qb1 14.c4 Qb3 15.Bc2 Qxa4
Black has lost his Queen for a Rook after only 15 moves! Evidently it's not time to resign yet... 16.Bxa4 a6 17.dxc5 dxc5 18.Ne2 0-0 19.0-0 Ne5 20.Bxc5 Nxc4
21.Qc1 Ne5 22.Bxe7 Re8 23.Bxf6


Tony's Teasers

This weeks problem is mate in 2 by Victor Baja originally published in George Koltinowski's Chess column in the San Francisco Chronicle on 10/27/1978. Victor is a very strong chess master and problemist who was very active at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club in the 1970's and 1980's. Victor's compositions were regularly featured in Chess Life in Pal Benko's Bafflers column. Victor is still a prolific composer: you can find many of his compositions here:


Last week's solution:

Darbo Densmore, 1917. Mate in 3.


1. Qd2!!  Qd4

2. Qh6+  Qf6

3. c5#

Scholastic Corner

Report on the 11/10 Scholastic Swiss

A small but fun group of scholastic players had their first tournament in November. Total of 12 players played in two sections. Araddhya dominated the top section with 3.5/4 points, while there was a massive 3-way tie for the second place: Ilana, Ariel and Jake both scored 2/4. In the lower section Stanley shined with 3.5/4 to grab the sole first place, while Hudson took clear second with 3.0/4. Thank you for all the players who came last Sunday!


Thanksgiving Camp @ Mechanics' Institute

Send your child to a fun chess camp at the oldest chess club in the US! We are holding Thanksgiving break chess camp Monday through Wednesday, from 9AM to 4PM.
You can enroll your child to a morning only (9AM-12:30PM), afternoon only (12:30-4PM), or full day camp (9AM-4PM), for one, two or three day.
We prorate the fees, and have a very family friendly cancellation policy!
Limited amount of scholarship is available for those who would not be able to afford the camp, but interested in attending a chess camp!

Coach Andrew Schley is excited to prepare for this camp that already has several students! Daily activities include the usual quick lectures, then paired play, fun blitz or bughouse, puzzles, tactics, and some surprise activities as well.

Lunch is not included. Any other question, we are happy to answer: [email protected]

More information:

Register online at:


GM Nick de Firmian's Column

Great Women Chess Players:  Week 4 - Hou Yifan

Hou Yifan is another (of three) Chinese players to become women’s World Champion. She follows in the tradition of the first great women’s champion from China, Xie Jun. Xie Jun came to play in our Mechanics Institute’s 3rd Pan Pacific International Tournament in 1995, cementing the West Coast – China connection in chess and culture. Hoi Yifan however reached an elite level many talented men would be proud to have done. She is a true chess prodigy and achieved a level far above all other women players of her generation. Her peak ELO rating is 2686, making her borderline super grandmaster in the men’s world. She won the women’s world championship 3 times starting in 2010. Then she seems to have gotten bored with women’s chess and FIDE politics so played only in men’s tournaments.

Many of our club players will remember the fascinating talk Yifan gave here at the Mechanics’ Institute in May last year (2018). She recounted her developing years in China and her current interests. She is a Rhodes’ Scholar! -  so studying at Oxford. While in the Bay Area she was doing an internship down on the Peninsula in one of our tech companies (which remains anonymous). She has a delightful aggressive style. I expect our readers will thoroughly enjoy her games below.

(1) Anish Giri (2720) - Yifan Hou (2603) [B70]
Tata Steel Group A Wijk aan Zee NED, 18.01.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6

Yifan chooses the aggressive Dragon Variation. She is playing against the super solid Anish Giri, who hardly ever loses a game. 6.g3 A solid, if less aggressive choice. 6...Nc6 7.Nde2 Bd7 8.Bg2 Qc8! 9.h3 Bg7 Yifan has played the opening well. ...Qc8 makes it difficult for White to castle and avoid the trade of the fianchettoed bishop. The game is about even. 10.a4 0-0 11.Bg5 Re8 12.Qd2 Ne5 13.b3 Rb8 14.Ra2!? Nc6 15.Nd5 a5
16.c3?! [White could maintain equality with 16.Bxf6 exf6 17.Nb6 Qc7 18.Nxd7 Qxd7 19.0-0 f5] 16...b5 17.axb5 Rxb5 18.Qd1 Qb8 19.Ra3 Nxd5 20.exd5 Ne5 21.0-0
21...a4! With this shot Yifan starts to get a serious initiave. White has several choices, each with some problems. 22.Nd4?! [22.b4 Rb7 23.Nd4 Rc7 is just somewhat better for Black.] 22...Rxb3! 23.Nxb3 Nc4! 24.Nc5 dxc5 25.Ra1 Qe5 26.Bf4?! [26.Qc1 Na5 27.Re1 Qxc3 28.Ra2] 26...Qxc3 27.Qe2 Na5 28.Rac1 Qb4 29.Bd2 Qb6 30.Bc3 Nb3
Black now has two pawns for the exchange and a strong initiative. White is on the defensive. 31.Qb2 a3 32.Qxa3 Nxc1 33.Rxc1 Bxc3 34.Qxc3 Rc8
The dust has settled and Black has a clear extra pawn. 35.Qe3 Qd6 36.Re1 Re8 37.Rc1 Rc8 38.Re1 e6 39.dxe6 Bxe6 40.Bf1 c4 41.Qc3 Qf8 42.Rxe6?! It is a difficult struggle against the passed black c-pawn, but this overreaction gets a technically lost position. 42...fxe6 43.Bxc4 Rc6 44.Qd4 Qc8!
The game is technically winning. It takes a while, but there is nothing White can do against proper technique. 45.Be2 Rc1+ 46.Kg2 Rc2 47.Qe4 Qc6 48.Qxc6 Rxc6 49.f4 Kg7 50.h4 Rc2 51.Kf3 Rc3+ 52.Kf2 Kf6 53.Bg4 Rc5 54.Bh3 Rc2+ 55.Ke3 Ke7 56.Bg4 Kd6 57.Bf3 Rc3+ 58.Kf2 Rc5 59.Be4 Ra5 60.Bb7 Kc5 61.Ke3 Ra3+ 62.Kf2 Kd4 63.Bc6 Ra7 64.Ke2 Rc7 65.Ba8 h6 66.Kf2 g5 67.fxg5 hxg5 68.Kf3 gxh4 69.gxh4 Ke5 70.h5 Rh7 71.Kg4 Rg7+ 72.Kh4 Kf5 73.h6 Rg8 74.Bf3 e5 75.Bd5 Rd8 76.h7 Rh8 77.Bg8 e4 78.Kg3 Ke5 79.Kf2 Kd4 80.Ke2 e3 81.Ke1 Kd3 The white bishop will have to move, now or when the king is stalemated. 82.Be6 e2 83.Bg4 Ke3 84.Bxe2 Rxh7 85.Kf1 Rf7+
86. Kel Ra7 87. Bd1 Ra1 is the end. Giri resigned. 0-1


(2) Jan Smeets (2573) - Yifan Hou (2527) [C14]
Corus Group B Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 19.01.2008

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4

Smeets plays aggressively offering a pawn sacrifice as Alekhine did long ago. Yifan prefers to just develop. 6...Nc6 7.Nf3 Nb6 8.Rh3?! f6 9.Bf4 fxe5 10.Nxe5 0-0
Black has achieved a sound and devoloped position and has good chances to start the middle game. 11.Qd2 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 Nd7 13.Bf4 c5 It is important to use the pawns to hit the center. 14.dxc5 Nxc5 15.Be3 Bd7 16.0-0-0 Rc8 17.g4
17...b5! This aggressive pawn sacrifice brings Black the initiative on the queenside. 18.Bxb5 Bxb5 19.Nxb5 Ne4 20.Qe1 Qd7 21.Nd4? [White already needs to be careful and this is a mistake which lets Black gain momentum. Necessary to keep the disadvantage to a minimum was 21.Qe2] 21...e5 22.Nf5
22...Rxf5! 23.gxf5 Qxf5 24.Rh2 d4
25.f3?! White is in trouble. The only way to keep it close was [25.Bxd4! exd4 26.f3 Qf4+ 27.Rdd2 Nd6! 28.Qxe7? Re8] 25...Nc3! 26.Bxd4 [26.bxc3 Ba3+ 27.Kb1 Rb8+ 28.Ka1 Bb2+ 29.Kb1 Bxc3+] 26...Nxd1 27.Bxe5 Nf2! 28.Rxf2 Bxh4 29.Bc3 Qf7 30.Kb1 Rf8
Black wins the exchange because of the pin and has a technically winning position. It takes a while, but there is no escape for Smeets. 31.a4 a6 32.Bb4 Bxf2 33.Qxf2 Qxf3 34.Qc5 Rd8 35.b3 Qd5 36.Qc7 Re8 37.Bc3 Qf7 38.Qc6 Qg6 39.Qd5+ Kh8 40.Qd7 Rf8 41.b4 h5 42.b5 axb5 43.axb5 Rf2 44.Qc8+ Kh7 45.Bd4 Rd2 46.Qc3 Rd1+ 47.Kb2 Qg5 48.Qc4 Qf4 49.c3 h4 50.Qd5 Qc1+ 51.Kb3 Qb1+ 52.Ka3 Qa1+ 53.Kb4 Rb1+ 54.Kc5 Qa7+ 55.Kd6 Qb8+ 56.Ke7 Qc7+ 57.Ke6 Re1+ 58.Be5 Rxe5+!
The black h-pawn queens and then skewers the newly queened b-pawn on b8. 0-1


(3) Yifan Hou (2618) - Nana Dzagnidze (2550) [B41]
FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiy Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (3.2), 11.04.2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Qc7 7.Be2 b6 8.0-0 Bb7 9.Qd3 Nc6 10.Nxc6 dxc6 11.f4

White has gained a little edge in this Sicilian Defense. More space leads to attacking chances. 11...Bc5+ 12.Kh1 0-0 13.e5 Rad8 14.Qh3 Nd7 15.Ne4 Be7 16.Bd3
Black needed to blcok the b1-h7 diagonal due to the mate threats. Her kingside is solid for the moment, so Yifan brings the other pieces into play. 17.b3 c5 18.Bb2 Bxe4 19.Bxe4 b5?
[Black is in danger and needed to react with a pawn sacrifice for activity. White would still have the edge, but Black should play. 19...f5 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Qxe6+ Kg7 22.Qe7+ Rf7 23.Bxf6+ Nxf6 24.Qxc7 Rxc7 25.Bf3 Rd4 26.g3 b5 27.Kg2] 20.f5! exf5 21.Rxf5!
21...Qb6?! [Needed to prolong the game was 21...f6 22.Raf1 Qb6 23.Bd5+ Kh8 24.R5f4] 22.Qh6! gxf5 23.e6! Nf6 24.Qg5+


2019 Fall TNM Games Round 4

Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian

(1) Wong,Russell (2200) - Li,Eric (2303) [B90]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.1), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.Nd5!? Bxd5 10.exd5 Be7 11.Be3 0-0 12.a5 Rc8 13.Be2 Nc5?! 14.Nxc5 dxc5 15.c4 Bd6 16.Qc2 Qe7 17.g4!? Very aggressive, but may be good. 17...e4 18.g5 Nd7 19.Bg4 [19.h4] 19...Rce8 20.h4 Qd8 21.Bxd7 Qxd7 22.0-0-0 White decides he has to put his king somewhere, and gives up on b2-b4 for now, [but 22.h5 would have been less comittal.] 22...b5 23.axb6 Qb7 24.Bd2 Qxb6 25.Rhe1 Be5 26.Bc3 Bxc3 27.Qxc3 Qd6 28.Qg3 Qd7 29.Qa3 Qd6 30.Qg3 Qb6?! 31.d6 Rb8 32.Qc3 Rfd8 33.Rxe4 Rxd6 34.Rxd6 Qxd6 35.Qe5! Qf8 Black avoids the bad endgame but this is worse. 36.Qc7 Rd8 37.Re5 f6 38.Re7 Threatening Rxg7+ 38...Rd4 39.gxf6 gxf6 40.Qg3+ Kh8 41.Qe3 Rd8 42.Kb1 Qg8 43.Qxc5 Qg6+ 44.Ka2 Qc2 45.Qc6 Qf5 46.Re8+ Rxe8 47.Qxe8+ Kg7 48.Qe7+ Kg6 49.Qe3 Qc2 50.c5 Qa4+ 51.Kb1 Kf7 52.Qc3 Qc6 53.Qd4 Ke7 54.Ka2 Qe6+ 55.Ka3 Qc6 56.b4 h5 57.Qe3+ Kf7 58.f4 Qh1 59.Qc3 Qc6 60.f5 Ke7 61.Qe3+ Kf7 62.Qe2 a5

63.Qe6+! Qxe6 64.fxe6+ Kxe6 65.bxa5 Kd7 66.Kb3 Kc6 67.a6 Kc7 68.Kc4 Kb8 69.c6 f5 70.Kd5 f4 71.Ke4 Ka7 72.Kxf4 [72.c7 is consistent.] 72...Kxa6 73.Kg5 Kb6 74.Kxh5 Kxc6 75.Kg6 Kd7 76.h5 Ke8 77.Kg7 Russell takes the lead away from Li and is in excellent shape. 1-0


(2) Snyder,Larry (2061) - Walder,Michael (2101) [B22]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.2), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nf3 e6 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 Nc6 8.0-0 Be7 9.Qe2 0-0 10.a3 Bd7 11.Qe4 Na5 12.Bd3 f5 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.Qe2 Nb3 15.Ra2 Nxc1 16.Rxc1 Nd5 17.Qe4 g6 18.Nc3 Rc8 19.Raa1 Nf4 20.Bf1 Bc6 21.Qe3 Bg5 22.Nxg5 Qxg5 23.Qg3 Qf6 24.Qe3 Rce8 25.Ne4 Qe7 26.g3 Nd5 27.Qd2 Nf6 28.Nxf6+ Rxf6 29.Bg2 Bxg2 30.Kxg2 Ref8 31.Rf1 b6 32.Rae1 Qb7+ 33.Kg1 Qd5 34.Qe3 g5 35.Qe4 Qxe4 36.Rxe4 Rc8 37.Re2 g4 38.Kg2 Rc4 39.Rd2 Kf7 40.f4 gxf3+ 41.Rxf3 Rxf3 42.Kxf3 Rc1 43.Ke3 Here White had more than 30 minutes left to Black's under seven; but a few moves later Black had more time -- and was outplaying White! 43...Kg6 44.Kd3 Rh1 45.Ke3 h5 46.Rf2 Kg5 47.Kf3 Rb1 Around here Mike remembered he didn't have to keep score with less than three minutes on his clock. And the DGT board performed well to show the finish. 48.Re2 Kf5 49.Kg2? Rd1 50.Rf2+ Kg5 51.Re2 Kf6 52.Rf2+ Ke7 53.Rf4 Kd7? [53...Rd2+ 54.Kh3 Rxb2 55.Rh4 Rb5 looks like the way to go.] 54.h4?! Gives Black angles again. [54.Kf3; and 54.Rh4 lead to a draw.] 54...Kc6?

There are right angles and there are wrong angles! [54...Rd2+ 55.Kh3 Rxb2 56.Rf7+ Kc6 57.Rxa7 Rb3 58.a4 (58.Rh7 Rxa3 59.Rxh5 could be even deader.) 58...Ra3 59.Kg2 might be a bit uncomfortable, but White is holding.] 55.g4! Rd2+ [55...hxg4 56.h5! e5 57.dxe5 dxe5 58.Rxg4 gives White real winning chances.] 56.Rf2?? Of course time trouble was having its say. [56.Kg3! keeps those chances; Black is in trouble.] 56...Rxd4 Now it's back to a win for Black. 57.gxh5 Rxh4 58.Rf6
58...Kd5? It's hard to be alert when your "flag is hanging" -- [58...Rxh5! 59.Rxe6 Re5! does it. Black will be up two clear pawns, ready to prove that not all rook endings are drawn.] 59.h6? [59.Rh6! continues to be annoying.] 59...Ke5! 60.Rg6 Kf5 61.Rg7 Rxh6 62.Rxa7 e5 63.Rb7 d5 64.Kf3 e4+ [64...Rh3+ 65.Ke2 Rb3 66.a4 Rxb2+] 65.Ke3 Rh3+ 66.Kd2 Rb3 67.Kc2 Rb5 68.a4 Rc5+ 69.Kd2 Rc6 70.Ke3 0-1


(3) Thieme,Steffen (2014) - Griffith,Kyron (2452) [B21]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.3), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nxd5 5.d4 e6 6.c4 Nf6 7.Nc3 cxd4 8.Qxd4 Nbd7 9.Nb5 Bc5 10.Nd6+ Ke7 11.Nxc8+ Rxc8 12.Qd3 Qb6 Black has a crushing lead in development. 13.Qc2 Ng4 14.Bd3 Rhd8 15.Rf1 Bb4+ 16.Ke2 Nc5 17.Bxh7 f5 18.a3 Nd3 19.Ne5 Nxc1+ 20.Qxc1 Bd2 0-1

(4) Clemens,Kristian (1956) - Boldi,Ethan (2055) [D46]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.4), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 e6 3.c4 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.Qa4 Be7 10.Ne5 0-0 11.f4 Nxe5 12.fxe5 Ne4 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Be2 Bg5 15.Bd2 a6 16.Rac1 b5 17.Qa3 Bd5 18.Kh1 Be7 19.Qc3 Rc8 20.Qxc8 Qxc8 21.Rxc8 Rxc8 22.Bd1 Bxa2 23.b3 g6 24.Kg1 Bb1 25.Bg4 Bd3 26.Ra1 Rc2 27.Be1 Bg5 28.Bf2 Rb2 29.h4 Be7 30.Rxa6 h5 31.Bh3 Rxb3 32.Ra7 Bb4 33.Bg3 Ra3 34.Rb7 Bc4 35.Bf4 Ra8 36.g4 Bf8 37.gxh5 gxh5 38.Bg2 Bd3 39.Bh3 Bg7 40.Kf2 Bc4 41.Bg2 Bd3 42.Bh3 Rd8 43.Bg5 Rc8 44.Kg3 Ra8 45.Kf2 Ra5 46.Rb8+ Kh7 47.Rb7 Kg6 48.Rb6 Bc4 49.Bg2 Bd5 50.Bf1 Ra2+ 51.Kg3 Bc4 52.Bg2 Bd3 53.Bf4 Kh7 54.Rb7 Kg6 55.Rb6 Kh7 56.Rb7 Kg8 57.Rb8+ Kh7 58.Rb7 Tough defense by Kristian to hold a pawn down. 1/2-1/2

(5) Marcus,Joel (1850) - Tsodikova,Natalya (2196) [A48]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.6), 13.11.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.e3 d6 5.h3 0-0 6.Be2 c5 7.0-0 b6 8.Nbd2 Bb7 9.Bh2 Nbd7 10.a4 a6 11.c3 Ra7 12.Re1 Qa8 13.Bf1 Ne4 14.Nxe4 Bxe4 15.Nd2 Bc6 16.Nc4 d5 17.Nd2 e5 18.Nf3 e4 19.Nd2 c4 20.b3 b5 21.a5 f5 22.Nb1 Bh6 23.bxc4 dxc4 24.Na3 Nf6 25.Nc2 Nd5 26.Qd2 Qd8 27.g3 g5 28.Bg2 Raf7 29.Re2 Re8 30.Rae1 Qxa5 31.Nb4 Bb7 32.g4 fxg4 33.hxg4 Bf8 34.Rb1 Qb6 35.Be5 Nxb4 36.cxb4 Qe6 37.Bh3 h5 0-1

(6) Hakobyan,Sos (1809) - Pane,Gianluca (1887) [B40]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.7), 13.11.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 Nc6 4.a4 Nf6 5.c3 Qc7 6.g3 b6 7.Bg2 Bb7 8.Qe2 d6 9.0-0 Be7 10.Re1 0-0 11.h4 Na5 12.Nbd2 e5 13.Nf1 Nb3 14.Ra2 c4 15.N3d2 cxd3 16.Qxd3 Nc5 17.Qc2 d5 18.exd5 Bxd5 19.Bxd5 Nxd5 20.Ne4 Kh8 21.Nxc5 Bxc5 22.Qe4 Nf6 23.Qxe5 Bxf2+ 24.Kg2 Qc6+ 25.Kxf2 Ng4+ 26.Kg1 Nxe5 27.Rxe5 Rfe8 28.Re3 Rxe3 29.Bxe3 Re8 30.Kf2 Re6 31.Ra1 Rf6+ 32.Kg1 h6 33.Bd4 Re6 34.Be3 Qc4 35.Rd1 Qxa4 36.Rd2 Qc6 37.Rf2 Rf6 38.Rd2 Rd6 39.Rf2 f6 40.Nd2 Re6 41.Nf1 Qe8 42.Bd4 Re2 43.b4 Rxf2 44.Kxf2 Kh7 45.Nd2 f5 46.Nf3 Qe7 47.Ne5 f4 48.Nc6 fxg3+ 49.Kxg3 Qe1+ 50.Kf4 Qxh4+ 51.Ke5 h5 52.Kd6 Qf4+ 53.Be5 Qf7 54.Nd4 h4 55.Ne6 Qg6 56.Bxg7 Qxg7 57.Nxg7 Kxg7 58.Kc6 h3 59.Kb7 h2 60.Kxa7 h1Q 61.Kxb6 Qc1 62.b5 Qxc3 63.Ka6 Qc8+ 64.Ka7 Qc7+ 65.Ka8 Qa5+ 0-1

(7) Urquhart,Joe (1957) - Winslow,Elliott (2248) [E90]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.8), 13.11.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5 h6 9.Be3 Na6 10.Qd2 [10.g4; 10.Nd2 Nd7! 11.g4!] 10...Nc5! 11.Bxc5 [11.Bxh6 Ncxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Qe3 f5 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.g4 Qf6 16.gxf5 Qxf5 17.Bd3 Qxf3 18.Bxe4 Qxe3+ 19.fxe3 Bf5 20.Bg2 Rh8 21.Rc1 b6 22.Kf2 Rh5 23.Rc3 Rf8 24.Kg3 Rg5+ 25.Kh2 Be4 0-1 (25) Fernandez Aguado,J (2312)-Goossens, E (2224) France 2007; 11.Bd3! Nh5 (11...Nxd3+ 12.Qxd3 Nh5 13.Qd2 Nf4 14.Bxf4 exf4 15.Qxf4 f5 16.Qg3 fxe4 17.Nd2 Bf5 18.0-0 Be5 19.Qe3 Qh4 20.Ndxe4 g5 21.f3 Bxh3 22.Qf2 Qxf2+ 23.Kxf2 Bf5 24.Ke2 Rae8 25.Kd3 Kg7 26.Rh1 Bxc3 27.bxc3 Bxe4+ 28.fxe4 Rf4 29.Rae1 Rf2 30.c5 Rxg2 31.Rb1 Rg3+ 32.Kd4 dxc5+ 33.Kxc5 Rxe4 34.c4 b6+ 35.Kb5 Rc3 36.d6 Re5+ 37.Ka6 Rxc4 38.dxc7 b5 39.Rhc1 Re6+ 40.Kxb5 Rxc7 41.Rxc7+ Kg6 42.Rc6 Rxc6 43.Kxc6 g4 44.Kd5 Kg5 45.Ke4 h5 46.Rb5+ Kh4 47.Kf4 a4 48.a3 g3 49.Kf3 g2 50.Kxg2 1-0 (50) Ulaneo,R (2085)-Kimelman,G (1933) La Paloma 2014; 11...Bd7 12.0-0-0 Nxd3+ 13.Qxd3 Nh5 14.Qd2 g5 15.g4 Nf4 16.Ne2 c6 17.Ng3 cxd5 18.cxd5 Ba4 19.b3 Bb5 20.Ne1 a4 21.b4 Rc8+ 22.Kb1 Rc4 23.Rc1 Qc7 24.Nf5 Ne2 25.Rxc4 Bxc4 26.f3 f6 27.h4 Bb5 28.hxg5 fxg5 29.Nxh6+ Bxh6 30.Rxh6 Qc4 31.Bc5 Nc3+ 32.Ka1 Nxe4 33.fxe4 Rf4 34.Rxd6 a3 35.Rg6+ Kf7 36.Rxg5 Rxe4 37.Rf5+ Ke8 38.Rf8+ Kd7 39.Rf7+ Ke8 40.Rf8+ Kd7 41.Nc2 Re2 42.Nxa3 Rxd2 43.Nxc4 Bxc4 44.Rf7+ Kd8 45.Rxb7 Rxa2+ 46.Kb1 Bxd5 47.Rb6 Bb3 48.g5 Kc7 49.Rf6 Rg2 50.Be3 Bc4 51.Kc1 Kd7 52.Rb6 Re2 53.Bc5 Rg2 54.g6 Kc7 55.Rf6 Kd7 56.Be3 Bd3 1/2-1/2 (56) Nita,M (2078)-Castro,H Ontario 2012; 11...Nfd7 12.Bc2 Kh7 13.g4 Qe7 14.0-0-0 b6 15.Qe2 Nb8 16.g5 h5 17.Rdg1 Nba6 18.b3 Bd7 19.a3 Rfb8 20.a4 Nb4 21.Kb2 Rh8 22.Qd2 Rae8 23.Rh2 Nba6 24.Rd1 Nb4 25.Bb1 Qd8 26.Rdh1 Re7 27.Rg1 Ree8 28.Rgh1 1/2-1/2 (28) Belsley,A (1687) -Oliveira,M (1828) Torres Vedras 2011) 12.Bxc5 (12.Bc2 Kh7 13.g4 Nf4 14.Bxf4 exf4 15.Qxf4 f5 16.exf5 gxf5 17.0-0-0 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qf6 19.Nd4 Ne4 20.Bxe4 fxe4 21.Qxe4+ Qg6 22.Qxg6+ Kxg6 23.f3 Bd7 24.Rde1 c5 25.dxc6 Bxc6 26.Re6+ Kg5 27.h4+ Kf4 28.Rxh6 Bxf3 29.Nxf3 Kxf3 30.g5 Kg2 31.Rd1 Rae8 32.Rhxd6 Rf4 33.R6d4 Kg3 34.R1d3+ Kg4 35.Rxf4+ Kxf4 36.Rd4+ Kf5 37.Kb2 b6 38.Rd6 Re2+ 39.Kb3 Re1 40.Rf6+ Kg4 41.Rh6 Rb1+ 42.Kc2 Ra1 43.Kb2 Rg1 44.g6 Kf5 45.h5 Kf6 46.Rh7 1-0 (46) Etxagibel Larranaga,A (1964)-Rodriguez Cabrera,F (1973) Azkoitia 2010) 12...dxc5 13.0-0-0 Nf4 14.g4 h5 15.Ne2 Nxe2+ 16.Qxe2 hxg4 17.hxg4 Bxg4 18.Rdg1 Bxf3 19.Qxf3 Qf6 20.Qh3 Rfd8 21.Rg3 Ra6 22.Qh2 Qf4+ 23.Kc2 Rf6 24.f3 Kf8 25.Rh3 Qxh2+ 26.R1xh2 Rf4 27.Kb3 Rd6 28.Kc3 Ke7 29.Rh1 Rb6 30.b3 Bf6 31.Rb1 Rh4 32.Rxh4 Bxh4 33.Rf1 Bg5 34.Rh1 Bf6 35.Rb1 Bg7 36.Rg1 Kf6 37.Bc2 Bh6 38.Rh1 Kg7 39.Re1 Bf4 40.Rh1 Be3 41.Kd3 Bd4 42.Rh4 Rf6 43.Bd1 Rf4 44.Rh3 g5 45.Rh5 f6 46.Rh1 Rh4 47.Rf1 Kg6 48.Be2 f5 49.exf5+ Kxf5 50.Rb1 Kf4 51.a3 Rh3 52.Kd2 b6 53.b4 axb4 54.axb4 cxb4 55.Rxb4 e4 56.c5 bxc5 57.Rb7 exf3 0-1 (57) Kavri,Y (1339) -Yakar,O (1718) Konya 2017] 11...dxc5 12.g4 h5!? [12...Ne8 13.Bd3 Nd6 14.0-0-0 a4 15.a3 Bd7 16.Ne1 Rb8 17.Ng2 b5 18.cxb5 c4 19.Be2 Bxb5 20.Ne3 Bf6 21.Qc2 Bg5 22.Kb1 Qe7 23.Ka2 Bd7 24.Rhf1 Rb3 25.Rb1 Rfb8 26.Nxc4 Nxc4 27.Bxc4 Qc5 28.Bd3 Be7 29.Ka1 Qd4 30.Ka2 R8b6 31.Rfd1 Bxa3 32.bxa3 Rxc3 33.Qd2 Qc5 34.Rb4 Rxb4 35.axb4 Qxb4 36.Qb2 Rb3 37.Qc1 a3 38.Rd2 Ba4 39.Bf1 Rc3 40.Qb1 Bb3+ 41.Ka1 Qc5 0-1 (41) Jorgensen,A (2049)-Aabling Thomsen,J (2241) Copenhagen 2007] 13.g5 Ne8 14.Rg1 Nd6 15.Nh4 a4 16.Qe3 b6 17.Nb5 Bd7 18.Nxd6 cxd6 19.Be2 b5 20.Bxh5 Qa5+ 21.Kf1 Qb4 22.cxb5 Qd4 23.Rg3 a3 24.Qxd4 exd4 25.b3 Bxb5+ 26.Be2 Bxe2+ 0-1

(8) Askin,David (2053) - Maser,Thomas (1914) [E16]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.11), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bf4 Be7 9.Nc3 Ne4 10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.Rc1 d6 12.Qd2 Nd7 13.Rfd1 Nf6 14.Bg5 a4 15.Qf4 Bb7 16.d5 h6 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Qd2 Re8 19.Nd4 exd5 20.cxd5 Bxd4 21.Qxd4 Rxe2 22.Bf3 Re7 23.Rc3 Qd7 24.Rdc1 Rae8 25.Rxc7 Re1+ 26.Kg2 Qb5?!

[26...Ba6! 27.g4! Qb5 28.R1c4 is precarious, but White keeps some sort of edge.] 27.Qc4?? [27.R1c4! R8e7 28.Rxe7 Rxe7 29.Rb4 Qc5 30.Rxa4 sees White snipping a pawn with a plus.] 27...Qxc4 28.R7xc4 Ba6 29.Rxe1 Rxe1 30.Re4 Bf1+ 31.Kg1 Ra1 32.Rd4 Bh3+ 33.Bd1 [33.Rd1 Rxa2 mops up] 33...h5?! [33...b5! puts an end to White's rickety defense. 34.a3 (34.f3 Rxa2 35.Rb4 Ra1 36.Rd4 b4 37.Kf2 b3 38.Rd2 a3 39.Bxb3 (39.bxa3 b2 40.Rxb2 Rxd1 41.g4 does not trap the bishop, Black wins every which way.) 39...a2 40.Bxa2 Rxa2 41.g4 f5 42.Kg3 Bf1) 34...Rb1 35.f3 Rxb2] 34.f3 best try 34...Bf5?! [34...Rxa2 and ...Rxb2 is still winning] 35.Kf2! Rxa2 36.Rxa4 Rxb2+ 37.Ke3 Kf8 38.Ra7?! [38.g4] 38...Rxh2 39.Ba4? Ra2-+ 40.Ra8+ Ke7 41.Re8+ Kf6 42.Bc6 Ra3+ [42...Rg2] 43.Kf2 b5? Inexplicable. 44.Bxb5 Ra2+ Black still has what the computers make as a win, but (time trouble!?) they agreed to a draw. 1/2-1/2


(9) Lehman,Clarence (1900) - Davila,Carlos (2118) [B00]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.12), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 a6 2.d4 b5 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Qe2 e6 5.Nf3 c5 6.c3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nc6 8.a3 Rc8 9.0-0 Be7 10.b4 Nf6 11.Bb2 h5 12.Nbd2 h4 13.h3 d5 14.e5 Nh5 15.Qe3 g5 16.Nh2 Nf4 17.Ng4 Nb8 18.Rac1 Nd7 19.Nb3 Nb6 20.Na5 Ba8 21.Rxc8 Qxc8 22.Rc1 Qd7 23.Bf1 Nc4 24.Qc3 0-0 25.g3 hxg3 26.fxg3 Nh5 27.Kh2 f5 28.exf6 Nxf6 29.Nxf6+ Rxf6 30.Bg2 Bd6 31.Nxc4 bxc4 32.Qe3 Qf7 33.Rc2 Bc6 34.Re2 Qh5 35.Bc1 g4 36.Qg5+ Qxg5 37.Bxg5 Rg6 38.h4 Ba4-/+ 39.Rxe6? Rxg5?? [39...Rxe6 40.Bxd5 Kf7 41.Bxc4-+ was fun, but now it's all Black's fun.] 40.hxg5 c3 41.Rxd6 Kg7 42.Rxd5 1-0

(10) Askin,Michael (2000) - German,Felix (1859) [D07]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (4.13), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.e3 e5 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 exd4 7.cxd5 Bb4+ 8.Nd2 dxe3 9.fxe3 [9.Qxe3+ Nce7 10.Bb5+ Kf8 11.0-0+/-] 9...Ne5 10.Qe4 Qe7 11.Bb5+ Kf8 12.0-0 Nf6 13.d6 Qxd6 14.Qxb7 Rd8 15.Nc4 Nxc4 16.Bxc4 Bc5 17.Kh1 Qe5

18.e4! Qxe4 19.Qxe4?! [19.Qb3! Qe7 20.Bf4+- when White's pieces rain down on Black's silly king.] 19...Nxe4 20.Rxf7+ Ke8
Surprisingly White has quite a hard time making anything of his position -- his king is in, shall we say, danger of perpetual. 21.Bg5?! [21.Bf4!?+/=] 21...Rd4! 22.Rc1? [22.Re1 Rxc4 23.Rf4 Kd7 24.Rfxe4 Rxe4 25.Rxe4=] 22...Nxg5-/+ 23.Rxc7
23...Bb6?? [23...Ne4! 24.Rc8+ Rd8 25.Rc6 Ng3+ 26.Kh2 Bd6 sets up a tight situation for White; 27.Rxd6 Rxd6 28.Kxg3-/+ leaves Black the enviable task of how to cash in.] 24.Bb5+! crushes resistance. 24...Kf8 25.Rf1+ Kg8 26.Rc8+ Rd8 27.Bc4+ Nf7 28.Rxf7 Rxc8 29.Rc7+ A nice finish. 1-0


(11) Busch,Jonah (1871) - Khristoforov,Sergey (1947) [B12]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.9), 13.11.2019

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 Bg6 6.Nge2 h6 7.h4 Bb4 8.h5 Be4 9.Rh3 Bh7 10.Nf4 Nd7 11.Bd3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Ne7 13.Bd2 a6 14.Nfe2 c5 15.f4 cxd4 16.Nxd4 Nc5 17.Qf3 Bxc3 18.Bxc3 Ne4 19.0-0-0 Rc8 20.Rg1 Nc6 21.Qg2 Nxd4 22.Bxd4 Rc4 23.c3 Qc7 24.Kb1 Ke7 25.g5 Rc8 26.g6 f5 27.exf6+ Nxf6 28.Re1 Rxd4 29.cxd4 Qxf4 30.Qe2 Rc6 31.Rc3 Qf5+ 32.Ka1 Qxh5 33.Rxc6 Qxe2 34.Rc7+ Kd6 35.Rxe2 Kxc7 36.Rxe6 Ng8 37.Re8 Nf6 38.Rf8 1-0

(12) Raza,Aezed (1607) - Mercado,Adam (1699) [E92]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.14), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.dxe5 Less full-blooded than [7.0-0 (the Main Line); 7.d5 (the Petrosian System); 7.Be3 (Gligoric's line)] 7...dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Nd5 [9.Bg5 has much more kick to it, or nudge.] 9...Nxd5 10.cxd5 c6 11.Bc4 cxd5 [11...b5 again, is the sharper line, advocated by Kotronias in the Grandmaster Repertoire series on the King's Indian.] 12.Bxd5 h6!? [12...Na6!?; 12...Nd7!?] 13.Be3 Nd7 [13...Nc6] 14.0-0-0 Re8 15.Rd2N [15.Bb3] 15...Nf6 16.Rhd1 Nxd5 17.Rxd5 [17.exd5 Bf5 targets the White king, e.g. 18.b3 a5] 17...Be6 18.Ra5 b6 19.Ra4 f5-/+ [19...Rac8+ 20.Kb1 Re7] 20.Nh4

20...Bf6!? 21.exf5?! [21.Nxg6? Kf7; 21.Nf3] 21...gxf5 22.Nf3? Rac8+ 23.Kb1 f4 24.Bd2 Bf5+ 25.Ka1 Bc2 Well done. Proving that even the "draw attempts" are minefields in the King's Indian.0-1


(13) Lin,Aung (1642) - Uzzaman,Ashik (1935) [A04]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.15), 13.11.2019

1.Nf3 e6 2.b3 f5 3.Bb2 Nf6 4.e3 Be7 5.Bc4 0-0 6.0-0 a6 7.a4 Kh8 8.Ne5 d6 9.Nf3 c5 10.Ng5 d5 11.Be2 Nc6 12.f4 Rb8 13.Bh5 Nxh5 14.Qxh5 Bxg5 15.fxg5 d4 16.Rf3 Qe8 17.Qh4 e5 18.d3 Be6 19.Nd2 Nb4 20.Nc4 Bxc4 21.dxc4 Nxc2 22.Rh3 Qg6 23.Rf1 Nxe3 24.Re1 f4 25.Bc1 Rf5 26.Bxe3 fxe3 27.Rg3 Rbf8 28.h3 Rf4 29.Rg4 Qc2 30.Kh2 Rxg4 31.Qxg4 Qf2 32.Qd1 Qf4+ 33.Kh1 Qxg5 34.Qd3 Qf5 35.Qb1 a5 36.Qd1 b6 37.Rg1 Qf2 38.Re1 e4 39.Kh2 d3 40.Rg1 e2 41.Qc1 e3 42.Qc3 d2 43.Qd3 e1Q 0-1

(14) Argo,Guy (1859) - Boldi,Nicholas (1653) [A23]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.16), 13.11.2019

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 c6 4.d4 exd4 5.Qxd4 d6 6.Bf4 Be7 7.0-0-0 Be6 8.e4 0-0 9.Bxd6 Nbd7 10.e5 Ne8 11.Bh3 c5 12.Qe4 Bxd6 13.exd6 Nef6 14.Qe2 Re8 15.Bxe6 Rxe6 16.Qd2 a6 17.Nh3 Ne8 18.Rhe1 Rh6 19.Ng5 Nxd6 20.Nce4 Nxc4 21.Qxd7 Qxd7 22.Rxd7 Ne5 23.Rdd1 c4 24.Kb1 Rxh2 25.Rh1 Rxh1 26.Rxh1 h6 27.Nh3 b6 28.Rd1 Nd3 29.f4 b5 30.Nhf2 Nxf2 31.Nxf2 Kf8 32.Kc2 Ke7 33.Kc3 Ra7 34.Rd5 Ke6 35.Re5+ Kd6 36.a4 Kc6 37.axb5+ axb5 38.Ne4 Ra4 39.Re7 Kd5 40.Nd2 b4+ 41.Kc2 1-0

(15) Mays,Jerry (1700) - Babayan,Gagik (1790) [C05]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.17), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Ngf3 c5 6.c3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nc6 8.Be2 Qb6 9.Nb3 a5 10.a4 Bb4+ 11.Bd2 Bxd2+ 12.Kxd2 Qb4+ 13.Kc2 f6 14.Bb5 fxe5 15.Qe1 Qxe1 16.Rhxe1 Nb4+ 17.Kd2 e4 18.Ne5 Ke7

19.Nxd7?? [19.Rac1=] 19...Bxd7 20.Bxd7 Kxd7 21.Nc5+ Ke7 22.f3 [22.Nxb7 Nd3 23.Reb1 Rhb8 24.Nc5 Nxc5 25.dxc5 Rb4] 22...b6 23.Nxe4 dxe4 24.Rxe4 Kd6 25.Rae1 Rhe8 26.Rg4 g6 27.Rh4 Re7 28.Rhe4 Rc8 29.Rc1 Rxc1 30.Kxc1 Rc7+ 31.Kb1 Rc4 32.b3 Rc3 33.Kb2 Rd3 34.Rh4 h5 35.g4 Rxd4 36.gxh5 Rxh4 37.hxg6 Rh8 38.h4 Nd3+ 39.Kc3 Ne5 40.g7 Rg8 41.h5 Rxg7 0-1


(16) Perlov,Alexander (1770) - Latourette,Nick (1583) [D30]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.18), 13.11.2019

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 h6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 0-0 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.0-0 Ne4 10.Qc2 f5 11.e3 a5 12.a3 Ne7 13.Ne5 c6 14.Rfd1 Qe8 15.b4 Ng6 16.f4 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Qe7 18.cxd5 exd5 19.Nxe4 fxe4 20.b5 Bg4 21.Rd2 Qe6 22.bxc6 bxc6 23.Rc1 Rfc8 24.Qc5 Qf7 25.Rb1 Qf8 26.Qxf8+ Kxf8 27.h3 Be6 28.Rb6 Ra7 29.Rc2 Bd7 30.Rc5 Ke7 31.Kf2 Rcc7 32.Rc2 Rcb7 33.Rcb2 Bc8 34.g4 g6 35.Ke2 Kd8 36.Rxb7 Rxb7 37.Rxb7 Bxb7 38.Kd2 Bc8 39.Kc3 c5 40.Bf1 Bd7 41.Ba6 Kc7 42.Be2 Kb6 43.h4 Kc7 44.h5 gxh5 45.f5 h4 46.Bf1 Kd8 47.Bh3 Bb5 48.Bg2 Be2 49.Bh3 Bf3 50.f6 Be2 51.e6 1/2-1/2

(17) Reyes,Victor Hugo (1497) - Babb,Kevin (1803) [B12]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.19), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c6 2.f4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.d4 e6 5.Nf3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Bb5 Nge7 8.0-0 a6 9.Bd3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Qb6 12.a3 Nf5 13.Rd1 Be7 14.b4 0-0 15.Kh1 Rfc8 16.Nc3 Rc7

17.Nxd5 exd5 18.Qxf5 Rac8 19.e6 Bf6 20.exf7+ Rxf7 21.Qxc8+ Rf8 22.Qe6+ Kh8 23.Qxd5 Rd8 24.Qe6 Qb5 25.Bb2 a5 26.Re1 h6 27.Ne5 Nxd4 28.Bxd4 Rxd4 29.Rad1 Rxf4 30.Ng6+ Kh7 31.Nxf4 1-0


(18) Rakonitz,David (1639) - Zeller,William (1776) [D13]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.20), 13.11.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Qb3 e6 7.Qxb7 Nbd7 8.Bf4 Be7 9.e3 0-0 10.Bc7 Qc8 11.Ba6 Qxb7 12.Bxb7 Rae8 13.0-0 Nb6 14.Ne5 Nc4 15.Nxc4 dxc4 16.Rac1 Bb4 17.Ba6 Bxc3 18.Rxc3 Bd3 19.Re1 Nd5 20.Rxd3 cxd3 21.Bd6 d2 22.Rd1 Rc8 23.Rxd2 Rc1+ 24.Bf1 Rfc8 25.g3 Ra1 26.Kg2 Rcc1 27.Bd3 f5 28.a3 a5 29.Bc5 g5 30.Rc2 Rh1 31.e4 g4 0-1

(19) Hack,Richard (1601) - Kaplan,Glenn (1668) [E65]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.21), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 d6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 c5 7.d4 Nbd7 8.d5 Nb6 9.Qd3 Bg4 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nfd7 12.b3 Ne5 13.Qe3 Nxf3+ 14.Qxf3 Nd7 15.Bb2 a6 16.Na4 Ne5 17.Qe4 b5 18.Nxc5?! Nf3+? [18...Qc8! 19.Bxe5 (19.Nd3? Nxd3 20.Bxg7 Nc5! 21.Qd4 e5!-+) 19...Bxe5 20.Nd3 Bxa1 21.Rxa1 bxc4 22.bxc4 Re8-/+] 19.Qxf3 [19.exf3!] 19...Bxb2 20.Rab1 Bg7 21.Ne4 [21.Nd3+/=] 21...bxc4 [21...Qa5 22.b4 Qxa2 23.c5] 22.bxc4 Qc8?! [22...Rb8] 23.Rfc1 Qxh3 24.c5 [24.Rb7!] 24...dxc5 25.Rxc5 Rfc8 26.Rc6 Rxc6 27.dxc6 Rc8 28.Nc5 [28.Rb6!?] 28...a5?! 29.Rb7 Qf5? 30.Qxf5 gxf5 31.Ra7? [31.Nd7 Rxc6 32.Rb8+ Bf8 33.Rxf8+ Kg7 34.Rxf7+!] 31...Bc3? [31...Bd4=] 32.c7?! [32.Ra6 Kg7 33.e3 Bb4+/-] 32...Be5 33.Rxa5 Rxc7 [33...Bxc7!=] 34.Nd3 Bf6 35.a4 e6 36.Ra8+ Kg7 37.e3 e5 38.Nb4 Rc1+ 39.Kg2 e4 40.Nd5 Bb2 41.a5 Rd1 42.Nb6 Ra1 43.a6 Ba3 44.Nd7 Bb2 45.a7 Ra2 46.Nb8 Bc1 47.Nc6 Bxe3 48.Nb4 Rxa7 49.Re8 Bc5 50.Rb8 Bxb4 51.Rxb4 Kg6 52.Kh3 Ra2 53.Kg2 e3 54.Kf3 exf2 55.Rb1 Kg5 56.Rf1 h5 57.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 58.Kxf2 f4 59.gxf4+ Kxf4 60.Kg2 Kg5 61.Kg3 f6 62.Kf3 h4 63.Kg2 f5 64.Kh2 f4 65.Kg2 Kg4 66.Kg1 Kf3 67.Kh2 Ke2 0-1

(20) Fabiani,Lino (1850) - Cortinas,Marty (1697) [B33]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.22), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 0-0 12.Nc2 Bg5 13.h4 [Far more popular (and ultimately more successful) has been pushing the other rook pawn: 13.a4; Other stable moves are 13.Be2; and 13.Nce3] 13...Be7?! A criminal giving in! The bishop is now just rust and in the way. [13...Bh6! 14.g4 (14.g3; 14.Be2) 14...Bf4!? (14...g6; 14...f6) 15.Qf3 White wins a pawn at the cost of giving Black a lot of squares.; 13...Bf4 14.g3 Bh6 15.g4 Bf4! is the same] 14.a4 [14.Nce3] 14...Rb8 [14...bxa4 15.Rxa4 a5 was three draws.] 15.axb5 axb5 Whereas here we've transposed into three games that White has won. 16.Bd3 f5 17.Qe2 fxe4 18.Bxb5

18...Bg4N [18...Bd7 19.Qc4! Rxb5 (19...Na5 20.Rxa5 Qxa5 21.Nxe7+ Kh8 22.h5! Bf5 23.Na3; 19...Bxh4 20.Nf6+ Kh8 21.Nxd7) 20.Nxe7+ Kh8 21.Nxc6 Rc5 22.Qxc5 1-0 (22) Hofmann,A (1972)-Fromme,S (1838) Halle/Saale 2006] 19.Qc4 Bxh4 20.g3 [20.Nf6+ Kh8 21.Nxg4] 20...Rxf2 21.Rxh4 Tal once said of one of his sacrificial hailstorms: "They can only take one piece at a time." This is not one of those positions. [21.Kxf2 is just as good.] 21...Re2+ 22.Kf1 Kh8 23.Rxg4 Rxc2 24.Qxe4 Rxb5 25.Qxc2 Rxd5 26.Rh4 g6 27.Qxg6 1-0


(21) Bielec,John (1790) - Chea,Na (1601) [D06]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Extra San Francisco (4.23), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6?! [2...e6; 2...c6; 2...dxc4; 2...Nc6; 2...e5] 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.e4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Nf3 exd4 7.Nxd4 Bc5 8.Be3 Ng4?

9.Qd2? [9.Ne6! Qxd1+ 10.Rxd1 Bxe6 (10...Nxe3 11.Nxc7+ Ke7 12.fxe3+-) 11.Bxc5+/-] 9...Nxe3 10.Qxe3?? [10.fxe3-/+] 10...Qxd4-+ 11.Qf3 0-0 12.Rd1 Qe5 13.Bc4 Be6 14.Bd3 f5 15.Qe2 fxe4 16.0-0 Bd6 17.f4 Rxf4 [17...exd3] 18.Rxf4 Qxf4 19.g3 Qf3 20.Nxe4 Qxe2 21.Bxe2 Be7 22.b3 Nc6 23.Rf1 Bd5 24.Bf3 Be6 25.Bh5 Rd8 26.h4 Rd4 27.Re1 Bf7 28.Bg4 Ne5 29.Ng5 Bxg5 30.Rxe5 Rxg4 31.hxg5 Rxg3+ 32.Kf2 Rc3 33.Re2 h6 34.gxh6 gxh6 35.Ke1 h5 36.Re7 h4 37.Kf1 h3 38.Kg1 a5 [38...Rc2] 39.Kh2 Kg7 40.Rd7 Kf6 41.Rd4 Be6 42.b4 Ra3 43.bxa5 Rxa2+ 44.Kh1 Rxa5 45.Rd2 Rb5 46.Kh2 c5 47.Rc2 c4 48.Rc3 Rc5 49.Rf3+ Bf5 50.Rxf5+ Rxf5 51.Kxh3 0-1


(22) Acharya,Venkatagiri (1609) - Xu,Jayden (1774) [C06]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.24), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Nf3 Qc7 12.Bg5 0-0 13.Rc1 Bd7 14.a3 Be8

15.Re1N [Predecessor: 15.b4 Ne4 16.Bh4 Bh5 17.Ne5 Bxe2 18.Qxe2 Nxd4 19.Qe1 Qb8 20.Ng4 h5 21.Bxe4 dxe4 22.Nf6+ gxf6 23.Qxe4 Rf7 24.Qxd4 Bxh2+ 25.Kh1 Qf4 26.Rfd1 Qxd4 27.Rxd4 Be5 28.Re4 Re8 29.Rc5 b6 30.Rc6 Kg7 31.f4 Bb8 32.f5 Rc7 33.Rxc7+ Bxc7 34.fxe6 Be5 35.g4 hxg4 36.Rxg4+ Kh6 37.b5 Rxe6 38.Kg2 Rd6 39.Bf2 Kh5 40.Ra4 Rd7 41.Kf3 Kg6 42.Ke4 Re7 43.Kf3 Kf5 44.Rh4 Rc7 Vajda,L (2564)-Nisipeanu,L (2668) Predeal 2007 0-1 (72)] 15...Ne4 [15...Bh5! 16.Ng3? Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Ne4!-+] 16.Bxe4 [16.Be3; 16.Bh4] 16...dxe4 17.Ne5 Bxe5 18.dxe5 Qxe5 19.Be3 Rd8 [19...Qxb2!? 20.Rb1 Qxa3 21.Rxb7~/= Rd8 22.Qa1 Qxa1 23.Rxa1 Rf7=/+] 20.Qb3 Na5 21.Qc3 Nc6 22.Red1 Bh5 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Qxe5 Nxe5 25.Nf4
25...Nd3!? [25...Bg4!? 26.h3 g5! 27.Ng6! (27.hxg4 gxf4 28.Bxf4 Nxg4 29.Be3 b6) 27...hxg6 28.hxg4 Nxg4 29.Bxa7 Rd2 Black's pawns are mostly too fractured to create any real danger. 30.b4 (White should avoid if at all possible a passive rook: 30.Rb1?! Kf7 31.Kf1 Ne5 32.Ke1?! Rxb2 could be a problem!) 30...Ra2 31.Kf1 Rxa3 32.Rc8+ Kf7 33.Rc7+ Kf6 34.Rxb7 with counterplay from the passed b-pawn] 26.Rb1 [26.Nxd3!? exd3 straightens out Black's pawns and create a paper monster on d3; bishops of opposite colors mean White can blockade.; 26.Nxe6!? Re8 (26...Rd6 27.Rc8+ Kf7 28.Ng5+ (28.Nd8+ Kf6 29.Nxb7) 28...Ke7 29.Nxe4) 27.Nc7 Rc8 28.Rc3 Nxb2 29.Bxa7=] 26...Bf7 [26...Nxf4 27.Bxf4 Be8 heading for c6 for a secure position] 27.h3?! [White can just get away with 27.Nxd3! exd3 28.Bxa7! Rc8 29.Rd1 e5 30.Be3 e4 31.Rc1] 27...e5 28.Ne2?! [Last chance! 28.Nxd3 exd3 29.Rc1] 28...Bb3?! [28...a6] 29.Bxa7 Bc2 30.Ra1 Ra8 31.Be3 b5 32.Kf1 [32.Nc1!] Now Black is rolling. 32...b4 33.h4?! [33.a4 Rxa4 isn't really salvation either] 33...Bb3? [33...Nxb2] 34.Rb1? [34.Nc1! Bc4 35.Nxd3 exd3 36.Ke1 is again a draw through BOC blockade.] 34...Bc2 35.Ra1 Nxb2!-+ 36.Bd2 Rxa3 [36...b3] 37.Rxa3 bxa3 38.Bc3 Nc4 39.Nc1 Kf7 40.g4 Ke6 41.Kg2 e3 42.fxe3 Nxe3+ 43.Kf3 Nd5 44.Ba1 Nb4 45.Ke2 a2 46.Kd2 Bb1 47.Bc3 Nd5 48.Bb2 g6 49.Nb3 h5?! 50.gxh5 gxh5 51.Nc5+ Kf5 52.Ke2 Bc2 53.Kd2 Bb1 54.Ke2 Nf4+ 55.Kf3 e4+ 56.Ke3 Ng2+ 57.Kf2 Nxh4 58.Nb3 Nf3 59.Nd4+ Nxd4 60.Bxd4 A pure opposite color bishop: White can't blockade three widely distanced pawns. 60...h4 61.Bc3 Kf4 62.Bb2 e3+ 63.Kf1 Kf3 64.Bc3 e2+ 65.Ke1 h3 66.Be5 h2 67.Bxh2 a1Q 68.Bd6 Qc3# Jayden Xu's results (and rating) seem to be achieving lift-off! Well-played. 0-1


(23) Baer,Michael (1430) - Agdamag,Samuel (1465) [A45]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (4.25), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d6 3.Bf4 Bf5 4.f3 Nbd7 5.g4! e5!?

6.dxe5? Frees Black's bishop to do horrible things [6.Bg3!; 6.e4!] 6...dxe5 7.Bg3 Be6 8.e4 Bb4 9.Nge2 0-0 10.a3 Bc5 11.Qd3 Qe8 12.0-0-0 Rd8 13.Qb5 Be3+ 14.Kb1 Qe7 15.Bg2 a6 16.Qa5 b6 17.Qxa6 Ra8 18.Qb5 Ra5 19.Qd3 Bc5 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.exd5 Rfa8 22.Be1 R5a7 23.Bc3 Bxa3 24.bxa3 Rxa3 25.Kc1 Nc5 26.Qc4 Qe8 27.Qb4 R8a4 28.Qb1 Qa8 29.Qb5 Nxd5
30.Rxd5!+- Ra1+ 31.Bxa1?? [31.Kd2!!+-] 31...Rxa1+ 32.Kd2 Qxd5+ 33.Ke3 Ra3+ 34.Kf2? [34.c3[] when the mate threat forces Black to take a breath. Still, Black has excellent compensation for the minimal material. 34...h5 (34...Ra8) ] 34...Nd3+ 35.cxd3 Qxb5 0-1


(24) Gimelfarb,Ilia - Starr,Albert (1517) [C42]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.10), 13.11.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.d3 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Bd2 0-0 7.Nxd5 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 Qxd5 9.Be2 Nc6 10.0-0 h6 11.Rfe1 Bg4 12.h3 Bh5 13.Nh2 Bxe2 14.Rxe2 f5 15.Nf3 Rae8 16.c4 Qd6 17.a3 Nd4 18.Nxd4 exd4 19.Rae1 Rxe2 20.Qxe2 c5 21.Qe6+ Qxe6 22.Rxe6 Kf7 23.Re5 b6 24.Rxf5+ Ke7 25.Rxf8 Kxf8 26.f4 g6 27.Kf2 Ke7 28.Kf3 h5 29.g4 Ke6 30.Ke4 h4 31.f5+ gxf5+ 32.gxf5+ Kf6 33.Kf4 a6 34.a4 Kg7 35.Kg5 Kf7 36.Kxh4 Kf6 37.Kg4 Kg7 38.Kg5 Kf7 39.f6 b5 40.axb5 axb5 41.b3 bxc4 42.bxc4 Kg8 43.h4 Kf7 44.Kf5 Kg8 45.Ke4 1-0

(25) Mani,Venugopal (1598) - Martin,Michael (1480) [A29]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.26), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.Nf3 Nc6 2.c4 e5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 The top players have tired of this; [4.e3; 4.e4] 4...b6?! 5.Bg2 Bd6! Novel! But suspect. 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nb5 Qe7 8.Nxd6 Qxd6 9.d4 exd4 10.Bf4 Qc5 11.Nxd4 Ba6 12.Nb3 [12.Nxc6 dxc6 13.b3] 12...Qxc4 13.Re1 Rac8 14.Rc1 Qe6 15.Nd4 Nxd4 16.Qxd4 c5 17.Qa4 b5 18.Qa5 d5 19.a4 Qb6 20.Qd2 Rfd8 21.axb5 Bxb5 22.Bg5 d4 23.Qc2 c4 24.Qf5 Re8 25.Bxf6 Qxf6?? 26.Qxb5 a6 27.Qb4 Qe6 28.Qa5 Rb8 29.Bd5 Qe5 30.e4 d3 31.Rxc4 Rxb2 32.Qc3 Qxc3 33.Rxc3 d2 34.Rd1 Reb8 35.Kf1 a5 36.Ke2 a4 37.Ra3 1-0

(26) Chan,John (1507) - Ford,Andy Vincent [A80]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.27), 13.11.2019

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d5 d6 4.h3 c6 5.dxc6 bxc6 6.c3 e5 7.Bg5 Nbd7 8.e3 Be7 9.Qc2 e4 10.Nd4 Ne5 11.Be2 0-0 12.Nd2 c5 13.N4b3 Nd5 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.g3 Be6 16.a3 Nb6 17.Na5 Qc7 18.Nab3 Nbc4 19.Nxc4 Bxc4 20.Bxc4+ Nxc4 21.Qe2 Ne5 22.Kf1 Rab8 23.Nc1 Qb6 24.b3 Qa5 25.Qd2 Rf6 26.Kg2 Qd8 27.Qd5+ Kh8 28.Ne2 Qg8 29.Qxg8+ Kxg8 30.Rab1 g5 31.Rhd1 a5 32.a4 Rbf8 33.Rd5 Ng6 34.Rbd1 f4 35.exf4 gxf4 36.Kg1 fxg3 37.fxg3 Rf2 38.Re1 R8f6 39.Rg5 R6f3 40.Rg4 d5 41.Nf4 Rd2 42.Rg5 Rxc3 43.Nxd5 Rxb3 44.Nf6+ Kg7 45.Nxe4 Rdd3 46.Nxc5 Rxg3+ 47.Rxg3 Rxg3+ 48.Kh2 Rc3 49.Nb7 Nf4 50.Nxa5 Rxh3+ 51.Kg1 Ra3 52.Re4 Nd5 53.Nc6 Nc3 54.Rg4+ Kf6 55.a5 h5 56.Rc4 Kg5 57.Rc5+ Kg4 58.Ne5+ Kg3 0-1

(27) Uzakbaev,Nursultan - Thibault,William (1195) [B12]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.28), 13.11.2019

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Nd7 7.0-0 c5 8.c3 Ne7 9.Bg5 Qb6 10.b3 Nf5 11.g4 Ne7 12.Nbd2 h6 13.Bh4 Ng6 14.Bg3 Be7 15.h4 0-0 16.h5 Nh8 17.Kg2 f5 18.gxf5 Rxf5 19.Rh1 Raf8 20.Rag1 Qd8 21.Nh4 Rxh5 22.Ng6 Rff5 23.Rxh5 Rxh5 24.Nf4 Rf5 25.Nxe6 Nxe5 26.Qxf5 1-0

(28) Hansen,Mateo (1583) - Roberts,Joseph (1369) [C51]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.29), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Nxe5+ Kf8 9.Qh5 Qe8 10.Qf3+ Nf6

11.g4 d6 12.g5 dxe5 13.dxe5
Very scary! But it is two pieces. Computer: -5... 13...Bg4 14.Qf4 Qb5 15.f3 Bh5? [15...Qd3!; 15...Be6 16.gxf6 gxf6 17.exf6 Bd6] 16.gxf6 gxf6 17.Qh6+ Kf7?? [17...Ke8! 18.Qxh5+ Kd8 Somehow Stockfish makes this "0.00" after almost everything! Main line 19.Rg1 (19.f4 fxe5 20.Ba3 Bd6 (20...c5; 20...Nc6) 21.Rg1 Qd3 You can see either Black or White can/will take a perpetual.) 19...Nc4 20.f4 fxe5 21.Nd2 Ne3 22.Rb1 Nc2+ 23.Kd1 Ne3+ draw. Really?] 18.Qxh5+ Ke6 19.Qf5+ Kf7 20.e6+ and over a cliff. 20...Kf8 21.Qxb5 b6 22.Bh6+ 1-0


(29) Neygut,Eitan (993) - Hilliard,Michael (1429) [A13]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.30), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 Bc5? 3.d4 Bb4 4.Nf3 a5 5.e4 c6 6.Bd3 d5 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.exd5 Qxd5 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 Nf6 11.Ba3 a4 12.c4 Qh5 13.Re1 Bd7 14.Qb1 Bc6 15.d5 Nxd5 16.cxd5 Qxd5 17.Qb4 Qd7 18.Ne5 Qc7 19.Rac1 Ra7 20.Bb5 g6 21.Nxc6 bxc6 22.Bxc6+ Nxc6

23.Rxc6 Qxc6 24.Qb8+ 1-0


(30) Simpkins,Jerry (1426) - Frank,Robert (1224) [C57]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.31), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 The Fried Liver Attack is becoming popular in our club! 6...Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Nce7 9.d4! c6 10.0-0 [10.Bg5! intending 0-0-0 is a very old game...] 10...b5 11.Bb3 Ng6 12.Ne4? [12.Rd1! focusing on d5] 12...h6 13.Qh5 Ngf4 14.Bxf4 exf4 15.Qe5+ Kf7 16.Qxf4+ Kg6 17.Qg3+ Kh7 18.f4 Be7 19.f5 Rg8? [19...Rf8! is good for Black.] 20.Qg6+ Kh8 21.Qxc6 Bb7? [21...Nb6 even hanging the exchange.] 22.Qxb7 Rb8 23.Qxd5 Qxd5 24.Bxd5 Rgd8 25.Be6 Rxd4 26.f6 Bxf6 27.Nxf6 Rd6 28.Nd7 Re8 29.Rf8+ Rxf8 30.Nxf8 g5 31.Rf1 1-0

(31) Jade,Valerie - Olson,David (1407) [C01]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.32), 13.11.2019

1.e4 e6 2.d4 Bb4+ 3.Bd2 Nc6 4.d5 Bxd2+ 5.Nxd2 Ne5 6.f4 Ng6 7.g3 Nf6 8.dxe6 dxe6 9.Qf3 c6 10.0-0-0 Qa5 11.Kb1 b5 12.e5 Nd5 13.c4 Nde7 14.cxb5 Bb7 15.Nc4 Qc7 16.Nd6+ Kf8 17.Nxb7 Qxb7 18.bxc6 Qc7 19.Bg2 Nd5 20.Qa3+ Kg8 21.Qd6 Qb6 22.c7 Nc3+ 23.Ka1 Nxd1 24.Qxb6 axb6 25.Bxa8 1-0

(32) Allen,Tom (1400) - Ahrens,Richard (1206) [C62]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.33), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Nc3 Qe7? [7...Nf6 followed by ...Be7 and ...0-0 is standard, when White often castles queenside.] 8.0-0 0-0-0?! A surprising mutual castling on the "wrong" side surprise, marred further by... 9.Qxa7 ... and White is just winning. 9...Nh6 10.Qd4 Qf6 11.Bg5 Qxd4 12.Nxd4 Re8 13.Bxh6 gxh6 14.Rfe1 Rg8 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.a4 Re5 17.a5 Reg5 18.g3 Kb7 19.a6+ Ka7 20.Re3 Bg7 21.Rd3 Ra8 22.Ra2 h5 23.f4 Rc5 24.e5 d5 25.b4 Rc4 26.Na4 Rxb4 27.Nc5 Bf8 28.Nb7 Rb6 29.Rb3 Rxb3 30.cxb3 Kb6 31.Kf2 Be7 32.f5 Rxa6 33.Rxa6+ Kxa6 34.f6 Bf8 35.Nd8 c5 36.Nxf7 Kb6 37.e6 Kc6 38.Ke3 c4 39.bxc4 dxc4 40.Kd4 Bh6 41.Nxh6 1-0

(33) Harris,Clarence (1464) - Cheng,Andrew (1400) [C50]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.34), 13.11.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bc4 h6 5.d3 Bc5 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nd5 Re8 8.c3 Na5 9.b4 Nxc4 10.dxc4 Bf8 11.Re1 c6 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.Be3 d6 14.Nd2 b6 15.Qf3 Qxf3 16.Nxf3 Bb7 17.Nd2 Rad8 1/2-1/2

(34) Cole,Tony (1425) - Sachs-Weintraub,Julian (1447) [B30]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.35), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 e5 4.Bc4 a6 5.a3 b5 6.Bd5 Nf6 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5 Qd4 9.Nxc6 Qd6 10.Na5 Qb6 11.b4 cxb4 12.axb4 Bxb4 13.Nb3 Bxc3 14.dxc3 0-0 15.Be3 Qc6 16.0-0 Nxe4 17.Qf3 Bb7 18.Na5 Qc8 19.Rfe1 Nd6 20.Qg3 Nf5 21.Qf4 Nxe3 22.Rxe3 Rb8 23.Rae1 Qd8 24.Nb3 Qd5 25.f3 Bc6 26.Nd4 a5 27.Nf5 Qc5 28.Kh1 Bd7 29.Nd6 Rb6 30.Ne4 Qh5 31.Ng3 Qg6 32.Qc7 Qc6 33.Qf4 a4 34.Qb4 Qc4 35.Qe7 Bc8??

36.Ne4?? [36.Qxf8+] 36...Re6 37.Qa3 f5 38.Nd2 Rxe3 39.Rxe3 Qd5 40.Rd3 Qe6 41.h3 Qe1+ 42.Kh2 f4 43.Ne4 Bf5 44.Qe7 Bxe4 45.Qe6+ Kh8 46.fxe4 Qe2 47.Rf3 h6 48.Qe7 Rf6 49.Qb7 Kh7 50.h4 Rg6 0-1


(35) Parekh,Raj (1211) - Yamamoto,Craig (1500) [B56]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.36), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bd7 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nf6 7.Nf3 g6 8.Bg5 Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.Nd5 Bg7 12.c3 a6 13.Ba4 Na5 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 15.Nb6 Qb5 16.Nxa8 Rxa8 17.a4 Qxb2 18.Qd5 Bxc3 19.Ng5 Rf8 20.Rac1 Qb4 21.e5 Bxe5 22.Rc8

22...e6 23.Qf3 Qf4 24.Rxf8+ Kxf8 25.Nxh7+ Kg7 26.Qh3 Bd4 27.g3 Qd2 28.Qh4 f6 29.Qf4 Qxf4 30.gxf4 Kxh7 31.Rd1 Bc5 32.f5 exf5 33.Re1 Nc6 34.Re6 Kg7 35.Re8 Kf7 36.Rc8 Bb6 37.Rh8 Kg7 38.Re8 Kf7 39.Re1 Bc5 40.Rb1 b6 41.a5 Nxa5 42.Rc1 Nc6 43.Rc4 b5 44.Rc1 a5 45.h3 a4 46.Kf1 a3 47.Ke1 b4 48.Kd1 a2 49.Ra1 b3 50.Kc1 Bd4 51.Rxa2 bxa2 52.Kc2 a1Q 53.Kd3 Qc3+ 54.Ke2 Qc2+ 55.Kf3 Qe4+ 56.Kg3 Ne5 57.h4 Qg4+ 58.Kh2 Nf3+ 59.Kh1 Qg1# 0-1


(36) James,Charles (1480) - Bayaraa,Timothy (1084) [D06]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.37), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6? 3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qa5 5.Bd2 Qb6 6.e3 c5 7.Na4 Qc6 8.Nxc5 b6 9.Nb3 Nbd7 10.Rc1 Qb7 11.Nf3 Ne4 12.Bb5 e6 13.Bc6 Qb8 14.Bxe4 Bb7 15.Bxb7 Qxb7 16.0-0 Be7 17.Qc2 0-0 18.Qc7 Qd5 19.Qc6 Nf6 20.Qxd5 exd5 21.Ne5 Ne4 22.f3 Nxd2 23.Nxd2 Bb4 24.Nb1 f6 25.Nc6 Bd6 26.Nc3 h6 27.Nxd5 Rac8 28.Nce7+ Bxe7 29.Nxe7+ Kf7 30.Nxc8 Re8 31.Nd6+ 1-0

(37) Radaelli,Lucas (1444) - Serra,Owen (1036) [D35]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.38), 13.11.2019

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.a3 h6 9.Bh4 Ne4 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Nxd5 Qh4 12.g3 Nxf2 13.gxh4 Nxd1 14.Rxd1 Bg4 15.Be2 f5 16.h3 Bxe2 17.Nxe2 Rae8 18.Kd2 Rf7 19.Rhg1 Na5 20.Rg3 c6 21.Ndf4 Nc4+ 22.Kc3 Nxe3 23.Rdg1 Nd5+ 24.Nxd5 cxd5 25.Nf4 Re4 26.Nxd5 Rxh4 27.Rf1 f4 28.Rgf3 g5 29.Kd3 h5 30.Rg1 Rg7 31.Ke4 Kh7 32.Kf5 Kh6 33.Nc3 g4 34.hxg4 hxg4 35.Rxf4 g3 36.Rxh4# 1-0

(38) Krezanoski,Paul - Sztaray,Judit (860) [E33]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Extra San Francisco (4.39), 13.11.2019

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Qc2 Nc6 6.a3 Ba5 7.b4 Bb6 8.c5 Bxc5 9.bxc5 0-0 10.Bf4 Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Qxe4 Na5 13.e3 c6 14.Ng5 g6 15.Nf3 Nb3 16.Rb1 Qa5+ 17.Kd1 Qxa3 18.Qd3 Rd8 19.Qxb3 Qa5 20.Nd2 f6 21.Nc4 Qb5 22.Nd6 Qxb3+ 23.Rxb3 Rb8 24.Bc4 b6 25.Nxc8 Rdxc8 26.Bxe6+ Kf8 27.Bxc8 Rxc8 28.cxb6 axb6 29.Rxb6 f5 30.Kd2 c5 31.dxc5 Rxc5 32.Bd6+ 1-0

(39) Sullivan,George (841) - Rushton,Peter (1237) [D07]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.40), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6? 3.Nc3 [3.cxd5] 3...Nc6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.e3 e5 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Be2 Bd6 8.cxd5 0-0 9.a3 a6 10.h3 Bc8 11.b3 b5 12.b4 Nxf3+ 13.Bxf3 Bb7 14.0-0 Be5 15.Bb2 a5 16.Qb3 a4 17.Qa2 Qd7 18.e4 c6 19.dxc6 Bxc6 20.Rad1 Qb7 21.Qb1 Rad8 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Re1 Rd6 24.Nxb5? [24.Nxa4!] 24...Qxb5 25.Bxe5?? [25.Be2! Qb6 26.Bxe5 Nxe4 27.Bf3 Nd2 28.Qc2!? Nxf3+ (28...Bxf3?? 29.Bxd6+- (29.gxf3?? Nxf3+-+) ) 29.gxf3=] 25...Qxe5 26.Qc2 h6-+ 27.Qc4 g5 28.g4 Qf4 29.Re3 Nd7 30.Qe2 Ne5 31.Bg2 Bb7 32.Qc2 Rc6 33.Qd1 Qf6 34.Qxa4 Rc1+ 35.Kh2 [35.Bf1 Nf3+ 36.Kg2 Nd2 37.Bd3 Qa1!] 35...Qd6 [35...Qf4+ 36.Rg3 Qxf2; 35...Qxf2] 36.Rg3 h5 37.gxh5 f6 38.h6 Kh7 39.h4 Ng4+ 40.Kh3 Nxf2+ 41.Kh2 gxh4 0-1

(40) Badgett,James (1084) - Li,Katherine (703) [C55]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.41), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 g6?! 5.Ng5! d5 6.Bb3? [6.exd5! when all the usual Two Knights Defense stuff turns out fairly horribly. 6...Nxd5 7.Qf3 (or even 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Qf3 Be6 9.0-0 gets complicated but favors White.) 7...Be6 8.Nxe6 fxe6 9.0-0 is painful for Black.] 6...Bg7 [6...Nd4! 7.0-0 Bg7] 7.Nc3 h6

8.Nxf7?! The burnt liver attack? [Simply 8.exd5 Nd4 9.Nge4 keeps the game balanced.] 8...Kxf7-+ 9.0-0 Be6?! [9...Nd4 looks to relieve White of his favorite piece.] 10.f4 d4?! Either pawn capture should still be a win. 11.Nd5? [11.Bxe6+ Kxe6 12.fxe5 Nxe5 (or 12...dxc3 13.exf6 Bxf6) 13.Ne2 Rf8 14.c3 Nfg4! and the counterattack kicks in.] 11...Nxd5 [11...Kg8 also works, perhaps even better.] 12.exd5 Bxd5 13.fxe5+ Ke7 [13...Kg8!] 14.e6!?
White is still busted but offers a little morsel. Surely Black can just remove this annoying pawn... 14...Kxe6?? That pawn was protecting Black's king! The embers can best be put out with [14...Rf8; or 14...Bxb3 15.axb3 (15.Rf7+ Kxe6 16.Rxg7 Kf6! 17.Rxg6+ Kxg6 18.Qg4+ Kf7) 15...Rf8] 15.Qg4++- Now it's charcoal-free, just the way Mama used to make it before we became vegetarians. 15...Ke7 [15...Kd6!? requires fantastic attacking skills: 16.Bxd5 Kxd5 17.c4+! dxc3 18.bxc3 Ne5!? 19.c4+! (echo) 19...Kc6 (19...Kd6 20.Bf4 (another echo!)) 20.Qe4+ Kd7 21.d4! finally wins back the piece, with continued king fry. 21...Nxc4 22.Rf7+ Kc8 23.Rxg7] 16.Qe2+? [16.Qxg6! really fires up the grill -- one nice line: 16...Bxb3 17.Qxg7+ Kd6 18.c4! of course just taking the bishop is completely won as well] 16...Be5! [16...Kd6? 17.Bxd5 Kxd5 18.c4+! again! 18...Kc5 (18...dxc3 19.bxc3; 18...Kd6 19.Bf4+ Be5 20.b4!) ; 16...Ne5 is probably just as good] 17.Bf4
17...Kd6? [17...Qd6! heads to an indigestion-free ending after 18.Rae1 Bxb3 19.Bxe5 Nxe5 20.axb3 Rae8 21.Qxe5+ Qxe5 22.Rxe5+ Kd6=] 18.Rae1?? She's going to get away! [18.Bxe5+! Nxe5 19.Bxd5! c6 (19...Kxd5 20.Qe4+ Ke6 (20...Kd6 21.Rae1 Re8 22.Qxd4+[] Kc6 23.Qc3+[] If the king goes queenside then 24.Rxe5, while if it steps on the d-file, 24.d4 23...Kd5 24.d4 Nd7 25.Qb3+ Kd6 (25...Kc6 26.Re6+ Rxe6 27.Qxe6+ Kb5 28.a4+ mates shortly;; 25...Kxd4 26.Rd1+ the mate is even quicker) 26.Qg3+ Kc6 (26...Kd5 27.c4+ as usual) 27.Qxg6+ Kb5 (27...Kd5 28.Rf5+ mates a lot faster (than 28.c4+) ) 28.c4+ of course;) 21.Rae1 Qd6 22.Qxg6+ Kd7 23.Qg7+ Kc6 24.Rxe5 heads for a boring pawn-up major piece "ending" (that king...)) ] 18...Re8 [18...Bxf4 19.Rxf4 Re8 is just as good if not better.] 19.Qg4 g5? [19...Bxb3 20.Bxe5+ Rxe5 21.Rxe5 Nxe5 22.Qxd4+ Ke6-+] 20.Bg3? [20.Bxe5+ Rxe5 (20...Nxe5? 21.Qxd4 c6 22.c4+-) 21.Rxe5 Nxe5 22.Qxd4 c6 23.Bxd5 (23.c4? 23...Qh8!! 24.Kh1 Rf8! 25.Re1 Rf4-+) 23...cxd5 24.Qb4+ Kc6 a) 24...Ke6 25.d4 Nd7 26.Qxb7 Kd6 27.Qb4+ Kc7 28.Qa5+=; b) 24...Kd7 25.Qxb7+ Kd6=; c) 24...Kc7?? 25.Qc5+ Nc6 (25...Kd7 26.Qxd5+) 26.Rf7+ Kc8 27.Rf8; 25.Qc3+=] 20...Bxb3 21.axb3 Bxg3 22.Qxg3+
22...Re5?! Still some advantage for Black, but tricky. [22...Kd5?? 23.Rf5+; 22...Kc5!! is the safe place. 23.Rxe8 Qxe8 24.Qxc7 Qe3+ 25.Kh1 Qe7!] 23.c3 23...Qe7? [Again the only move, here just holding, was 23...Qh8! and if White wants a draw, it's 24.Re4 Ke6 25.Qg4+ Kd6 26.Qg3 Kd7 27.Qg4+ Kd6] 24.Rf5! Qe6 25.Ref1? [25.Rfxe5 Nxe5 26.cxd4+/- is clearly an advantage for White, but no end is in sight.] 25...Ke7? [25...Kd7! 26.Rf6 (26.Rf7+ Ne7 27.R7f6 Re3 28.Rxe6 Rxg3 29.Rxe7+ Kxe7 30.hxg3 dxc3 31.bxc3 a5!-/+ Outside passed pawn is the plan. Not easy to meet!) 26...Re3! 27.Rxe6 Rxg3 28.Rxc6 Kxc6 29.hxg3 Rd8 and after all that, all that Black has is the better king and rook - but it's a plus, and White is in some trouble.] 26.R5f2? [26.Rxe5 Nxe5 27.Re1 Qd6! 28.Rxe5+ Kf6! 29.cxd4! Qxd4+ 30.Re3= Re8?? 31.Qf2++-] 26...Re1?? The fatal slip. Any move with the rook -- the other one! -- wins. [For example 26...Re8-+] 27.Qxc7+ What an incredible game! Both players deserve a round of applause for bringing so much. 1-0


(41) Dubensky,Walt (1078) - North,Jeff James [D00]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.42), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Bd7 4.e3 e6 5.a3 c5 6.dxc5 Nc6? 7.b4 b6 8.b5 Na5 9.c6 Bc8 10.Bb2 Bd6 11.Bd3 Qc7 12.0-0 e5 13.e4 dxe4 14.Bxe4 Nc4 15.Rb1 Bg4 16.Qd3 Nxa3 17.Bxa3 Rd8 18.Bxd6 Rxd6 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.Bxd5 0-0 21.Nxe5 Be6 22.c4 Re8 23.f4 Qc8 24.f5 Bxd5 25.Rbe1 Bxg2 26.Qxd6 Bxf1 27.Rxf1 f6

28.Qd5+! Kh8 29.Nf7+ [29.Nf7+ Kg8 30.Nh6+ Kh8 31.Qg8+! Rxg8 32.Nf7# is a nice example of the classic Smothered Mate (well, except that White was up a knight already).] 1-0


(42) Sun,Kevin (1100) - Gimelfarb,Natan (1118) [C56]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (4.44), 13.11.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 Ng4!? [5...d5 has almost completely taken over theoreticians' interest -- which is perhaps why Carlsen has popped 5...Ng4 a couple times (separated by nine years!). Or maybe it's just the best move?] 6.Nxd4? Actually pretty bad. [6.0-0!? d6 (6...Be7 7.Re1 d6 8.exd6 cxd6 9.Nxd4 0-0) 7.exd6 Bxd6; 6.Qe2 Qe7 7.Bf4 is Sveshnikov's pet plan here.] 6...Ncxe5 Rarely played but the computer loves it. 7.h3?!

[7.0-0-/+; 7.Be2-/+] 7...Nxf2! 8.Kxf2 [8.Bxf7+ Nxf7 9.Qe2+ Be7 10.Qxf2 0-0 11.0-0 b6 Black has various advantages on top of his extra pawn.] 8...Qf6+! [8...Nxc4?? 9.Qe2+] 9.Nf3 Bc5+ Even better [than 9...Nxc4] 10.Be3 [10.Kg3 Nxc4 11.Re1+ Kf8! The only move but Black is in great shape now. 12.Qe2 Nd6 (12...Qe6) ] 10...Bxe3+ 11.Kxe3 Nxc4+ Nice that it's now check. 12.Kf2 Qxb2 [12...Qb6+ 13.Qd4 (13.Kg3 0-0) 13...Nxb2 14.Re1+ Kd8 is great, what with a forced queen trade in the bank.] 13.Nbd2?! [13.Qe2+ Kd8 14.Re1 Qb4 ...c6 and ...d5 coming] 13...Nxd2?! [13...Qb6+! 14.Kg3 Ne3 15.Qe2 0-0] 14.Qxd2?! [14.Re1+ Kd8 15.Qxd2 Black seems to survive with his king in the center well enough, but it beats letting get away smoothly (i.e. castling!).] 14...d6 [14...0-0!] 15.Rhe1+ Be6 16.Rab1 Qa3 [16...Qxa2!] 17.Rxb7 Qc5+ 18.Qe3 Qxc2+ 19.Re2 Qc6 20.Reb2 0-0 21.Kg1 Bc8

22.Rxa7?? Rxa7 23.Qxa7 Qc1+ Lights out. 24.Kh2 Qxb2 25.Qxc7 Bb7 26.Kg3 Bxf3 27.Kxf3 Re8 28.Qd7 Qf6+ 29.Kg3 Re3+ 30.Kh2 Qf4+ 31.g3 Qf2+ 32.Kh1 Re1# 0-1





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