Chess Room Newsletter #898 | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Chess Room Newsletter #898

Gens Una Sumus!


Newsletter #898

Dec 20, 2019

By Abel Talamantez

Table of Contents

TNM Round 9

NM Eric Li Wins 2019 Fall TNM With Final Round Win Over WFM Natalya Tsodikova. Jonah Busch Defeats Guy Argo to Win A/B Section. Venugopal Mani Survives Wild Game Against Jerry Simpkins to Win U/1600. 

In what was the final TNM evening of chess for 2019, we showcased the top 2 games from each section on the top 6 DGT boards, and fans were treated to some exciting action, as players battled for the championship in their sections and move up the prize pool. 

Open section action between Li-Tsodikova and Gaffagan - Winslow

Busch-Argo and Bielec-Perlov made for an interesting chess match within the match jockeying for first in the A/B

In the championship section, NM Eric Li and WFM Natalya Tsodikova engaged in a positional battle that looked even late into the night. However, Li took advanatage of a positional miscalculation and slowly built an advanatage that soon became much too strong. That win put him at 7/9, and enough for sole first place. IM Elliott Winslow defeated Steven Gaffagan after a very unfortunate blunder in time pressure in what looked a drawn game and perhaps a slight advantage for Gaffagan. This win put Elliott at 6/9 and in a toe for 2nd with Kristian Clemens and Natalya. Congratulations to these players who took the top 4 spots in the open. 

Terrific view of the club from afar

Jonah Busch got a tough pairing in the final round against the always very strong Guy Argo, with Alexander Perlov tied with him for first. Perlove was facing John Bielec, and it semeed on paper that Perlov had the easier road to have a chance to win the section. However, the Busch-Argo match turned into a wild game, with Busch defending a sacrifice from Argo very well and maintaining an advantage he would never let go. In the other game, Perlov could not find the winning opportunity against Bielec and settled for a draw. This gave Busch sole first place in a very tough A/B section. He finishes with 7.5/9. Perlov at 7/9 took sole second place, with 4 players tying for third at 6/9, Adam Mercado, Sergey Khristoforov, Guy Argo, and Marty Cortinas.

In the under 1600, its was all Mani, as he withstood the unusual and aggressive style of Jerry Simpkins to win and run away with the section at 8.5/9. Unrated Illia Gimelfarb also has a very impressive showing with 7.5/9, which normally would have been good enough to win the section. In sole third place with 6.5 was Mateo Hansen. Tying for fourth with 6/9 were Andy vincent Ford, Eitan Neygut, and Paul Krezanoski. 

Judit working hard entering results while the broadcast of games on the TV is happening behind her

Congratulations to all our players, and thank you everyone for participating!

Our next TNM will start on January 7, 2020, which will be the Max Wilkerson Memorial TNM. Registration is open and can be done by following this link:


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:

Follow the 2019 John Donaldson Championship Live Here!!

To follow the games from our 10 DGT Boards, click here

To watch the live broadcast with commentary from FM Paul Whitehead on Saturday and GM Patrick Wolff and FM Jim Eade on Sunday starting at noon, click here


Take our survey!

Closing the year 2019, we would love to hear your feedback and suggestions regarding the last 12 months. We have developed a short, 5-questions survey, which was available for our TNM players and anyone who visits the chess club.
We also have a slightly expanded version of this survey that is available online:
Thank you for your time and energy to provide feedback.


Wednesday Night Blitz Report

Expert Theo Coyne took clear 1st in the December 18th edition of the Wednesday Night Blitz with a 5 -1 score. Tied for 2nd and 3rd with 4 - 2 scores were Expert Manuel Santos and NM Michael Wang. Ten players participated under the sure-handed guidance of TD Jules Jelinek. This was the last blitz tournament of the year: we resume on January 8th. Happy Holidays everyone!

Famous Chess Games You Should Know – Strategy and Tactics.

By FM Paul Whitehead

There are many ways to play chess, and chess games are won (or drawn) in many ways. 

In our first game we see World Champion Emmanuel Lasker playing what looks like “simple chess”.  Queens are traded on the 6th move, and the maneuvering starts.  A space advantage translates into something more when white breaks through 30 moves later.  The genius and future World Champion from Cuba is defeated - with barely a shot fired it seems!

Then 85 years later we see another World Champion, Garry Kasparov this time, dragging his opponent Veselin Topolov into a topsy-turvy tactical melee where Topolov’s king travels the board in a classic king-hunt.  There is nothing “positional” about this game at all, no lengthy maneuvers, just brute force calculation and tactics.

Developing an appreciation for these different styles and ways to conduct a chess game is essential for your own growth.  The best players are versatile as well: Lasker has played brilliant tactical chess, with sacrifices and tactics every bit as deep as Kasparov’s, and Kasparov himself has played subtle positional chess masterpieces. 

Try to blend strategy and tactics in your own games: there’s no mating attack if your pieces are on the wrong squares!

(1) Lasker,Emanuel - Capablanca,Jose Raul [C68]
St Petersburg International Final St Petersburg (7), 18.05.1914

This famous old game shows Lasker, the master psychologist, trading queens early in a game he needed to win to have a shot at 1st place - which he did after Capablanca lost in the last round to Tarrasch! 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 The famous Exchange Variation, which Bobby Fischer revitalized decades later. 4...dxc6 5.d4 5.0-0! is Fischer's move. 5...exd4


Now the queens come off... 6.Qxd4 Qxd4 7.Nxd4 Bd6 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.0-0 0-0 10.f4 Re8


Black has the 2 bishops, white the better pawn-structure. This "argument" continues today in the modern Berlin Defense. 11.Nb3 f6 12.f5! A move ahead of it's time. White's advantage in space and ultimate control of e6 more than compensates for the backward pawn at e4. 12...b6 13.Bf4 Bb7 14.Bxd6! Straightening out black's pawns but creating a target at d6. Flexibility is the hallmark of all the great chess players. 14...cxd6 15.Nd4 Rad8


Black is cramped and passive. 16.Ne6 Rd7 17.Rad1 Nc8 18.Rf2 b5 19.Rfd2 Rde7 20.b4 Kf7


21.a3 Ba8 22.Kf2 Ra7 23.g4 h6 24.Rd3 a5 Black opens the a-file looking for activity, but this will ultimately backfire. 25.h4


White opens up another front. 25...axb4 26.axb4 Rae7 27.Kf3 Patiently bringing the king up into the battle. 27...Rg8 28.Kf4 g6 29.Rg3 g5+ 30.Kf3 Nb6


Black continues to look for activity. If 31.Rxd6 Nc4 and then 32...Ne5+. 31.hxg5 hxg5 32.Rh3! Decisive penetration by the white rooks on the h and a files is imminent. 32...Rd7 33.Kg3 Ke8 34.Rdh1 Bb7 35.e5!


With this sacrifice white clears the e4 square for his knight where it will target both d6 and f6. 35...dxe5 36.Ne4 Nd5 37.N6c5 Winning at least the exchange. 37...Bc8 38.Nxd7 Bxd7 39.Rh7 Rf8 40.Ra1


Black is helpless, and even the great Capablanca cannot save the position. 40...Kd8 41.Ra8+ Bc8 42.Nc5


Threatens 43.Rd7 mate. Black gave up. 1-0


(2) Kasparov,Garry (2812) - Topalov,Veselin (2700) [B07]
Hoogovens Wijk aan Zee (4), 20.01.1999

Kasparov: World Champion from 1985 to 2000. Topolov: FIDE World Champion in 2005. These two had many memorable clashes, but this game is something special. 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6


The Pirc Defense for black, and an aggresive set up for white in response. 6.f3 b5 7.Nge2 Nbd7 8.Bh6 Bxh6 9.Qxh6 Bb7 10.a3 e5


Black has done reasonably well out of the opening, and both sides now castle queen-side. 11.0-0-0 Qe7 12.Kb1 a6 13.Nc1! 0-0-0 14.Nb3 The white knight eyes the a5 square. 14...exd4 15.Rxd4 c5


A sharp, unbalanced position that probably suits both players. 16.Rd1 Nb6 17.g3 Opening prospects for the white bishop at h3. 17...Kb8 18.Na5 The knight takes up position. 18...Ba8 19.Bh3 d5 Is this the freeing move? 20.Qf4+ Ka7


21.Rhe1 Bringing in the last white piece! 21...d4 22.Nd5 Nbxd5 23.exd5 Qd6 24.Rxd4!


A fantastic conception. Now black may have done better to decline the sacrifice with 24... Kb6! 24...cxd4 25.Re7+ Kb6 [If 25...Qxe7 26.Qxd4+ Kb8 27.Qb6+ Bb7 28.Nc6+ Ka8 29.Qa7#] 26.Qxd4+ Kxa5 27.b4+ Ka4 28.Qc3


Threatening 29.Qb3 mate. 28...Qxd5 29.Ra7! Bb7 The only move, to deflect the rook. 30.Rxb7 Qc4


31.Qxf6 The attack continues.White threatens 32.Qxa6 mate. 31...Kxa3 Now black threatens 32...Rd1 mate himself! 32.Qxa6+ Kxb4 33.c3+! Kxc3 All other moves lose or lead to immediate mate, for example: 33...Qxc3 34.Qxb5+ Ka3 35.Ra7+ Qa5 36.Rxa5 mate. 34.Qa1+ Kd2 35.Qb2+ Kd1


Now comes an amazing finish, the only move to win, and proof positive of Kasparov's genius. 36.Bf1!! Rd2 [If 36...Qxf1 37.Qc2+ Ke1 38.Re7+ Qe2 39.Qxe2#] 37.Rd7!


Another beautiful move! 37...Rxd7 38.Bxc4 White threatens both 39.Qe2 mate and 39.Qc1 mate, so black's rook at h8 is lost. 38...bxc4 39.Qxh8 Rd3 40.Qa8 c3


41.Qa4+ Ke1 42.f4 f5 43.Kc1 Rd2 44.Qa7


White can now mow down the black pawns on the kingside. This game is extensively analyzed by Igor Stohl in his book Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces (2001). Check it out. 1-0

Tony's Teasers

Last week's problem: White to move and mate in 3 by C. Andrade, 1933


1. Ra8!!  e6  2. Ke7  Rxe2, 3. Rg8#

This week's problem:

White to move and mate in 3, A. Akerblom, 1936



Chess Coaches Wanted

Mechanics' Institute Chess Club is expanding it's enrichment offerings and thus in need of chess coaches.
When? Weekdays afternoon anytime between 1PM and 6PM.
Where? San Francisco city and surroudning neighborhood (Hillsborough, Burliname, San Mateo.)
Conditions? Must pass background check, and TB test, and also must have own transportation.
Pay? We pay coaches per class, depending on experience, classroom management and other factors. Possible pay varies between $50-$100/class.
Interested? Reach out to Judit,, to schedule a phone or in-person interview.

Chess Camp during the Winter break at Mechanics'

Days offered: Dec 23, 26 27, 30, 31, Jan 2, 3  -- Pick one or pick all :)

Schedule: 9AM - 12:30PM Morning camp or 12:30 - 4PM Afternoon camp or Full-day 9AM - 4PM.
Full day students will have lunch break between 12:15-12:45PM. Bring your own lunch!

Camp activities include lectures, instructions, paired play, game reviews, fun activities such as blitz, bughouse, puzzles and other short and fun activities.



1 day

2 days

3 days

4 days

5 days

6 days

7 days

Half-day (9AM-12:30PM or 12:30PM-4PM)








Full day (9AM-4PM)









Gearing up to the 2019 End of Year Scholastic Championship
on Saturday, December 28th

Fun event is planned for the end of the year! Come out for a 5 round kids' tournament, where players can practice their skills, have fun and win some trophies!
More information:
Register online to save your spot:


GM Nick de Firmian’s Column

Great Women Chess Players:  Week 9

Great Women Chess Players:  Week 9 - America’s Rise

This is our final week on the topic of top women chess players. We have covered many of the greatest women players through history, but today we cover the youth of America and an important inspiration for US women players.

We start with the inspiration. Jennifer Shahade is a two-time US Women’s Champion, but she is most famous for her chess broadcasts and her books. She is part of the team with Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley that is sponsored by St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefeld. They produce a highly professional show which covers the world’s top chess events as they unfold live. (This can be seen on the St. Louis Chess Club site or YouTube.). Jen has been a great promoter of women’s chess in the US and has written books, “Play Like a Girl” and “Chess Bitch.”  We show a game from her championship days.

Two teenage players on the rise are the current US Women’s Champion, Jennifer Yu, (17 years old) and 16 year old Carissa Yip of Boston. They have medaled in several Youth World Championships and are set to move on to compete with the world’s best. Jennifer had an incredible performance in this year’s championship. Carissa managed to beat a GM at only 10 years old and has just earned her IM title. We expect great things from these two in the future.

(1) Jennifer Shahade (2286) - Lawyer Times [B02]
US Open Framingham USA (8), 11.08.2001

1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3!? d5 3.e5 Ne4 4.Nce2 Four moves into the game and we have an unusual position. White avoids the night trade so that she can kick it away from e4. 4...f6!? 5.d3 Ng5 Diagram

6.Bxg5 fxg5 7.f4 gxf4 8.Nxf4 g6 9.d4 Bh6 10.Qf3 e6 11.Bd3 0-0 12.Nge2 This is a roughly equal position. Black has the dark squared bishop while White has more space. Now 12...g5?! 13. Qg3 would be good for White. 12...Qh4+?! 13.g3 Qe7 14.h4 c5 15.c3 Nc6 16.a3 Well played - paying attention to the queenside squares means no rush to attack on the kingside. 16...Bd7 17.Qg4 Qg7 18.0-0 Rae8 19.b4 cxd4 20.cxd4 a6 21.Rab1 Rf7 22.b5 Diagram
22...Nxd4!? This starts a lot of action and is reasonable, but Black didn't have to sacrifice the knight. 23.Nxd4 Qxe5 Diagram
24.Nxg6! Typical action play from Jen! Her style is aggresive. 24...Qe3+ [24...Be3+? 25.Kg2 Qxd4 26.Ne7+ Kf8 27.Qg8+ Kxe7 28.Rxf7+ Kd6 29.Qxh7 Would win for White.] 25.Kh1 Rg7? [Black needed to play 25...Qxd3! 26.Ne5+ Rg7 27.Qxg7+ Bxg7 28.Nxd3 Bxd4 29.bxa6 bxa6 30.Nf4 would leave White with only a small advantage in the endgame. ] 26.Rf3! Qd2 27.Rbf1 hxg6 28.Bxg6 Rc8 29.Nxe6 Diagram
Material is nearly even, but White has the mating threats. There is no defense. 29...Re7 30.Be8+ Bg7 31.Rf8+ Kh7 32.Qg6# 1-0


(2) Anna Vitalyevna Zatonskih (2430) - Jennifer R Yu (2273) [D17]
US Championship (Women) St Louis, MO USA (10.1), 30.03.2019

Jennifer had a fantastic US Championship this year, easily winning the event. Here she plays against one of the two big contenders every year (Irina Krush being the other). 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.g3 Diagram

We have a well known line of the Slav Defense in which both players play theory. Chances are roughly equal. White now plans Bf4. 8...e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Bf4 Nfd7 11.Bg2 f6 12.0-0 Rd8 13.Qc1 Be6 14.Ne4 Bb4 15.Rd1 0-0 16.Rd4!? a5 17.h4 Nc5 18.Rxd8 Qxd8 19.Nxc5 Bxc5 This is a tricky position. Anna thinks she will win a pawn against her young opponent, but is in for a surprise. 20.Nxe5?! Diagram
20...Bxf2+! 21.Kh2 [21.Kxf2 fxe5 22.Qe3 Qf6 would result in Black winning a pawn.] 21...fxe5 22.Bxe5 Bd4 Black has better pawn structure and a safer king, yet there is a lot of fight left in White's position. 23.Bf4 Qb6 24.Qc2 Bb3 25.Qc1 Qb4 26.Bd2 Qd6 27.Bf4 Qb4 28.Bd2 Qe7 29.Bc3 Be3 30.Qe1? [30.Bd2] 30...Bf2 31.Qd2 Diagram
31...Bxg3+! 32.Kxg3 Qc7+ The white king is caught and can't retreat to the safety of his own side. Mate is a few moves away. 33.Kg4 Be6+ Diagram


(3) Carissa Shiwen Yip (2164) - Akshita Gorti (2184) [C04]
US Chess Championship (Women) St. Louis, MO USA, 14.04.2016

This game was played in the US Women's Championship three years ago, which is a long time for young Carissa (who recently turned 16). The game is not the perfect play of a Karpov or Carlsen, but shows great imagination and fighting spirit. Carissa is an aggressive attacking player. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.c3 f6 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.Nb3 Bd6 9.Be2 0-0 10.Bg5 Qf7 11.Bh4 h6 12.0-0 e5 Diagram

Good opening play from both girls gives an open type of French Defense position with just a small pull for White. 13.dxe5 Ndxe5 14.Bg3 Bd7 15.Nfd4 Nxd4 16.cxd4 Nc4 17.Nc5 Typical of Carissa to play an active move rather than guarding the b2 pawn. 17...Bxg3 18.hxg3 Nxb2 19.Qb3 Nc4 20.Bxc4 dxc4 21.Qxb7 Bf5 White has better pawn structure but Black has active play. It's still roughly even. 22.Rac1 Rad8 23.Qb2 Qd5 24.Rfd1 Bg4 25.Rd2 Bh5 26.Qb7 Qg5?! This looks active, but White has a counter which allows her to scoop up the c-pawn. 27.Ne4! Qa5 28.Rxc4 Bf7?! 29.Rc5 Qa4 30.Nc3 Qa3 31.Rxc7 White has a clear advantage. It can be difficult to convert though as Black's pieces are all active. 31...Rde8 32.Rd1 a5 33.Qc6 Rb8 34.Qc5! Qb2 35.Rb1 Qd2 36.Rxb8 Rxb8 37.Rc8+ Rxc8 38.Qxc8+ Kh7 39.d5 Diagram
The exchange of rooks is good progress. Black cannot take the d-pawn now because of Qf5+. The advance of the d-pawn should win the bishop and leave an easy technical win. Black comes up with a creative defense. 39...Qe1+ 40.Kh2 Qxf2 41.d6 Bh5 42.d7!? Bf3 Diagram
Did White blunder? The pawn is about to queen, but it looks like there is no way to stop mate. 43.Qh8+! Kg6 [43...Kxh8 44.d8Q+ Kh7 45.Qd3+ wins the bishop and stops mate.] 44.Qe8+ Kh7 45.Qg8+ Kxg8 [45...Kg6 46.Qe6+ is the end as ...Kh7 47. Qf5+ or ...Kg5 47. d8=Q+ does it.] 46.d8Q+ Kf7 47.Qd7+ Kg8 48.Qc8+! Diagram

Next move is 49. Qf5+ now matter which king move. 1-0.

2019 Fall TNM Games Round 9

(1) Li,Eric (2303) - Tsodikova,Natalya (2196) [A63]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (9.1), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 White invites the Catalan; Black opts for a Benoni. 3...c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.Nf3 0-0 9.0-0 Re8 [9...a6; 9...Nbd7; 9...Na6] 10.Re1 [10.Nd2; 10.Bf4] 10...a6 11.a4 Nbd7 12.Bf4 Ng4 13.Qc2 [13.Bxd6? Qb6 14.Bf4 c4! 15.Qd2 Qxf2+; 13.Qc1!? has a lot of plusses going for it. Threatens d6 (since b2 is covered); avoids attack by a Bf5 or a Nc4; bears down on the diagonal. But that should be all. 13...Nde5 14.Bg5 f6 15.Nxe5?! fxg5 16.Nxg4 Bxg4 17.h3 Bd7 (17...Bc8!) 18.Ne4 Bxh3 (18...Rxe4! 19.Bxe4 Bxh3=/+) 19.Nxd6 Qxd6 20.Bxh3 Qxd5 21.Bg2 Qf5 22.Bxb7 Rab8 23.Bxa6 Bxb2 24.Qc4+ Kh8 25.Rad1 Rb4 (25...Re4=) 26.Qd5+/= Qxd5 27.Rxd5 Re5 28.Rd8+ Kg7 29.Bb5 c4 30.Rd7+ Kf6 31.Rc7 c3 32.Rd1 1-0 (43) Gleizerov,E (2507)-Gunduz,U (2107) Ankara 2017; 13.a5 (unplayed so far) is the computer's choice.] 13...Nge5N [13...Nde5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.h3 Bf5 16.e4 Bd7 17.a5 Bb5 18.Red1 h5 19.h4 b6 20.axb6 Qxb6 21.Rab1 Bd7 22.b3 Bg4 23.Re1 Qb4 24.Bd2 a5 25.Na4 Qb5 26.Re3 Rab8 27.Nc3 Qa6 28.f4 Nd7 29.Bf1 Qb6 30.Kg2 Re7 31.Bc4 Bd4 32.Ree1 Rbe8 33.Nb5 Bg7 34.Re3 Bd4 35.Ree1 Bg7 36.Re3 Kh7 37.Bc3 Bd4 38.Ree1 Nf6 39.Bxd4 cxd4 40.Bd3 Nxd5 41.Qd2 Nf6 42.Ra1 Nxe4 43.Qxa5 Qb7 44.Qa7 Qc6 45.Nxd4 Qc3 0-1 (45) Georgiadis,N (2526)-Jenni,F (2447) Lenzerheide 2018] 14.Nd2 [14.Ne4!] 14...Rb8 [14...h6] 15.a5 b5?! [Perhaps the other knight-pawn: 15...g5!? 16.Be3 Ng4 would be a Benoni idea. The problem with ...b5 is that the a-pawn becomes weak. (16...h6) ] 16.axb6 Qxb6 17.Ra2 h6 18.h3 Qc7 19.Rea1?! [19.b3] 19...g5 20.Be3 Nb6 21.Na4?! Nxa4 22.Qxa4 Bd7 23.Qd1 [23.Qxa6?! Bb5] 23...Bb5 24.Rc1 f5?! 25.b4 c4 26.Bd4 Rbc8 27.Nb1 White takes his time, putting pieces on better squares. 27...Qd7 28.Ra3?!

28...f4?! [28...Nd3! 29.exd3 Bxd4 30.dxc4 looks good, except ... 30...Bxf2+! 31.Kxf2 Qa7+ 32.c5 dxc5 would be a winning position for Black (no doubt Tal would have played that).] 29.Qd2 f3? [Perhaps the other bishop pawn! 29...c3!?] 30.Bxf3 [30.exf3 Nd3 31.Bxg7 Qxg7 32.Rd1=] 30...Qxh3 31.Nc3 Rf8 32.Bg2 Qg4 [32...Qh5 has something to be said for it; as does 32...Qf5] 33.Ne4 c3!? 34.Raxc3 Rxc3 35.Rxc3 Bxe2?
[35...Qxe2 36.Qxe2 Bxe2 37.Rc7 (37.Nxd6? Nf3+ 38.Bxf3 Bxd4-/+) 37...Rf7 38.Rxf7 Nxf7+/=] 36.Bxe5? [36.Rc7! is winning (courtesy of Stockfish 10). 37.Rxg7+ and 38.Nxd6 is quite annoying.] 36...Bxe5 37.Rc7 Bf3? [37...Bb5= 38.Qc2 Rf7 39.Rxf7 Kxf7 40.Nd2 Kg7 is nothing at all.] 38.Bxf3+- Qxf3
[38...Rxf3 is a bit better, but still bad: 39.Qc2 Qf5 (39...Rf7 40.Nf6+! Bxf6 41.Qg6+ Rg7 42.Qxf6 Rxc7 43.Qd8+ Kf7 44.Qxc7+ and White is first and the only one to take a d-pawn, with a won game.) ] 39.Nxg5! Qf5 40.Ne6 Rf6 41.Rc8+ [41.f4!] 41...Kh7 42.Qc2 Letting Black trade queens might let a good part of the advantage slip according to the computer, but a won endgame is plenty. 42...Qxc2 43.Rxc2 Rf7?! [43...Rf3! still gives White technique headaches.] 44.Rc7 [44.f4!] 44...Kg6 45.Rxf7 Kxf7 46.Nc7 The DGT board failed a few moves ago: White went on to win. Congratulations to Eric Yuhan Li on a fine tournament victory! 1-0


(2) Gaffagan,Steven (2040) - Winslow,Elliott (2248) [B44]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (9.2), 17.12.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 e5 The latest Taimanov book by Pavlidis (and there have been a lot of Taimanov books lately) gives this "!"), but I'm not so sure. 9.0-0 0-0 [9...Bc5! (Pavlidis)] 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bd2 Rb8 12.Rc1 Bc5 13.b3 d6 14.h3 Nh7 15.Be3?! Bxe3 16.fxe3 g6?!

17.c5!+/= d5? 18.exd5 cxd5 19.e4 d4 20.Nd5 Be6 21.Bc4 Rc8 22.b4 Kg7 23.Qb3 Qh4 24.Qf3 f5 25.exf5 Rxf5 26.Qd3 Rcf8 27.Nc7 Bxc4 28.Qxc4 Rxf1+ 29.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 30.Qxf1 Qe7 31.Nb5 e4 32.Nxd4 Ng5 33.Qc4 Kf6 34.Nc6 Qc7 35.Qd4+ Kf7 36.Qd5+ Kf6 37.Qd4+ Ke6 38.Nd8+ Ke7
39.Nc6+?? [39.h4!! is indeed still winning!] 39...Qxc6 40.Qg7+ Nf7 41.Qd4 Qe6 42.a4 e3 43.Kf1 Qf5+ 44.Kg1 Qf2+ 45.Kh2 Ng5 46.Qd6+ Kf7 47.Qd7+ Kf6 48.Qd4+ Kf5 49.Qd5+ Kf4 50.Qd6+ Ke4 51.Qe7+ Kd3 52.Qd6+ Kc3 53.Qe5+ Kc2 54.Qd5 Nf3+ 55.Qxf3 Qxf3 56.gxf3 e2 57.c6 e1Q 0-1


(3) Askin,David (2053) - Walder,Michael (2101) [A70]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (9.7), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nf3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.e4 Bg7 8.h3 0-0 9.Bd3 The modern line, although maybe not any longer. 9...a6 [9...b5 might be the equalizing line, but it's no fun for anyone below 2700.] 10.a4 Nbd7 11.0-0 Re8 12.Bf4 Qe7 13.Qd2 Nh5 14.Bg5 Bf6 15.Be3 Ne5 16.Be2 Bd7 17.Nxe5 [17.Nh2! is very annoying for Black's knight.] 17...Bxe5 18.Bxh5 Shades of Spassky-Fischer 1972! 18...gxh5 19.Bf4 Kh8 20.Bxe5+ Qxe5 21.f4

21...Qd4+ Every Benoni player knows about this idea. 22.Rf2 f5 23.exf5 Qxd2 24.Rxd2 Bxf5 "Equal means Black is better" (Tal) 25.Kf2 Kg7 26.Re1 Rxe1 27.Kxe1 Re8+ 28.Re2 Rxe2+ 29.Kxe2 b6 30.Ke3 h4! 31.Ne2 Bg6 32.Nc3 Bc2 33.Kf3 h5 34.Ke3 Kf6 35.Kf3 Kf5 White never got g2-g3 in; now Black is winning. 36.Ke3 Bb3 37.Kf3 Bc4 38.Ke3 b5 39.axb5 axb5 40.Ne4 Bxd5 41.Nxd6+ Ke6 42.Nxb5 Bxg2 43.Nc3 Bxh3 44.Ne4 Kd5 45.Kd3?! Bf5 A nice ending illustrating the power of bishop vs. knight. 0-1


(4) Askin,Michael (2000) - Snyder,Larry (2061) [D91]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (9.8), 17.12.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.Bh4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 dxc4 8.Qa4+ Nd7 9.Qxc4 c5 10.Qa4 0-0 11.e3 a6 12.Be2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nf6 14.0-0 Bf5 15.Ne5 Be4 16.f3 b5 17.Qa3 Bb7 18.Rac1 Re8 19.Rfd1 Rc8 20.e4 Rxc1 21.Qxc1 Qa5 22.Qb2 Rc8 23.Qb3 e6 24.Be1 Qc7 25.Bd3 Nd7 26.Bg3 Bxe5 27.dxe5 Qc5+ 28.Bf2 Qxe5 29.Bf1 Qc7 30.h4 h5 31.Bd4 Qc2 32.Qd3 Qxd3 33.Bxd3 f6 34.Bb2 Rc7 35.Kf2 Kf7 36.Bb1 Nb6 37.Ke2 Nc4 38.Bc1 Ke7 39.Bf4 e5 40.Bh6 a5 41.Rc1 Rc8 42.Bd3 Na3 43.Rd1 Nc2 44.Kd2 Nd4 45.Be3 b4 46.Rb1 Bc6 47.Rc1 Kd7 48.Bc4 Ne6 49.Bb6 a4 50.Rb1 b3 51.axb3 axb3 52.Rxb3 Ba4 53.Rc3 Rb8 54.Bf2 Rb2+ 55.Ke3 Rc2 56.Bxe6+ 1/2-1/2

(5) Lehman,Clarence (1900) - Pane,Gianluca (1887) [C41]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (9.9), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Be2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.h3 c6 8.Be3 Re8 9.a4 Bf8 10.Nd2 d5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.f4 Ng6 13.e5

13...d4! 14.exf6?! dxc3 15.fxg7 Bxg7 16.Nc4 Qxd1 17.Raxd1 Bf5?! [17...cxb2! would leave Black with a tremendous endgame.] 18.bxc3 b5 19.axb5 cxb5 20.Bf3? [20.Ne5=] 20...bxc4 21.Bxa8 Rxe3 22.Rd8+ Bf8 23.g4 Bxc2 24.f5 Ne5 25.f6 Rxh3 26.Re1 Nxg4 27.Ree8 Nxf6 28.Rxf8+ Kg7 29.Bd5! Nxd5?! [29...Bg6] 30.Rg8+ Kf6 31.Rxd5 Rxc3 32.Ra5 Re3 33.Rxa7 Bf5 34.Kf2 Re7 35.Ra3 Ke5 36.Ra5+ Ke6 37.Rg5 Bd3 38.Ra6+ Kd7 39.Ra7+ Kd6 40.Ra6+ Kc7 41.Ra7+ 1/2-1/2


(6) Hakobyan,Sos (1809) - Melville,Cailen (1871) [C00]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Championship San Francisco (9.10), 17.12.2019

1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 dxe4 6.dxe4 e5 7.Ngf3 a5 8.0-0 a4 9.c3 Bc5 10.b4 axb3 11.Nxb3 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Nxe4 13.Nxc5 Nxc5 14.Rd5 Nb3 15.Rb1 Be6 16.Rb5 Nxc1 17.Rxc1 0-0 18.Rxb7 Rfc8 19.Ng5 Nd8 20.Nxe6 Nxe6 21.Rb2 Ra3 22.Bh3 Re8 23.Bxe6 fxe6 24.Rcc2 Kf7 25.Rb7 Re7 26.Kg2 Rd7 27.Rb3 Ra5 28.c4 Kf6 29.Rb5 Ra6 30.Re2 Rd4 31.Rc5 Rad6 32.Rexe5 Ra6 33.Re2 Ra7 34.h4 Rd6 35.g4 Rda6 36.g5+ Kf7 37.Rd2 Ke7 38.Kg3 Rxa2 39.Rxa2 Rxa2 40.Rxc7+ Kf8 41.f3 Rd2 42.h5 Rd8 43.Kf4 Re8 44.Ke5 Re7 45.Kd6 1-0

(7) Busch,Jonah (1871) - Argo,Guy (1859) [C40]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (9.3), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.Nf3 f5 2.e4 e5 Transposing into the Latvian Gambit. [2...fxe4 3.Ng5 Nf6 4.d3 is a sharp line.] 3.Nxe5 Nc6?! 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Nxg6! No fear! 5...Nf6 6.Qh3 fxe4?! In the spirit of the opening, but objectively this is just too much material for the play Black gets. 7.Nxh8 d5 8.Qh4 Nd4

9.Be2 Nxe2 [Black could do better with 9...Nxc2+ , though 10.Kd1 Nxa1 11.Bh5+ Ke7 12.Nf7 Qd7 13.b3 Qf5 14.Ba3+ Kd7 15.Bxf8 Qxh5+ 16.Qxh5 Nxh5 17.Ba3 leaves the knight trapped on a1.] 10.Kxe2 Bg4+ 11.Kf1 Qe7 12.h3 Be6 13.Nc3 d4 14.Ne2 Bc4 15.b3 Bxe2+ 16.Kxe2 d3+ 17.Kd1 dxc2+ 18.Kxc2 Qc5+ 19.Kd1 Qd4 20.Rb1 Bb4 21.Qf4 0-0-0 22.Qe3 Black has play but not enough for the material. The brave white king has survived. 22...Qd7 23.Ke1 Nd5 24.Qg3 Qb5 25.Nf7 Rf8 26.Ne5 Bd6 27.Qg4+ Kd8 28.a4 Qe8 29.Nc4 Nf4 30.Nxd6 Nd3+ 31.Kf1 Rxf2+ 32.Kg1 cxd6 33.Ba3 Rxd2 34.Qg5+ A great fight. 1-0


(8) Bielec,John (1790) - Perlov,Alexander (1770) [E32]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (9.4), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b5!? Used by Dzindzichashvili 7.e3 [7.cxb5 a6! with Benko Gambit-like play.] 7...bxc4 8.Bxc4 Bb7 9.Nf3 d6 10.b4 Nbd7 11.Bb2 Ne4 12.Qc2 Ng5 13.Bd3 h6 14.Nh4 Rc8 15.Kd2? [15.Qe2] 15...c5! 16.dxc5 dxc5 17.Qb1?! c4 18.Bc2 Nc5+ [18...c3+! 19.Bxc3 Nf6+ 20.Bd4 e5 wins a piece.] 19.Ke2 Nce4 20.Rd1 Qc7 21.f4 c3! 22.Bc1 [22.fxg5 cxb2 23.Qxb2 Qxc2+] 22...Ba6+ 23.b5

23...Bb7? [23...Qc4+! 24.Bd3 c2! would be a knockout blow!] 24.fxg5 Qxh2 25.Bxe4 Qxh4 26.Rd4 [26.Bxb7 c2] 26...Qg4+ 27.Kf2 Qh4+ 28.Kg1 Qe1+ 29.Kh2 Qh4+ 30.Kg1 A peaceful end to a wild game! 1/2-1/2


(9) Mercado,Adam (1699) - Babayan,Gagik (1790) [C44]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (9.13), 17.12.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bb4+ 5.c3 dxc3 6.0-0 Nge7 7.a3 Bd6 8.Nxc3 0-0 9.b4 Be5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Ba2 d6 12.f4 Ng4 13.f5 Ne5 14.Bg5 c6 15.Qh5 Qd7 16.Qh4 Re8 17.Ne2 b5 18.Nf4 Nc4 19.f6 Nf5 20.exf5 Qxf5 21.Bb1 Re4 22.Bxe4 Qxe4 23.Rae1 Qd4+ 24.Kh1 Bf5 25.fxg7 Ne3 26.Rxe3 Qxe3 27.Re1 Qd4 28.Bf6 Qd2 29.Bd8 Qxe1+ 30.Qxe1 Rxd8 31.Qe7 Rd7 32.Qf8# 1-0

(10) Zeller,William (1776) - Kaplan,Glenn (1668) [E70]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (9.15), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 g6 4.e4 Bg7 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nge2 0-0 7.0-0 Bg4 8.f3 Bd7 9.Be3 e5 10.d5 Ne7 11.Ng3 Ne8 12.Qc2 f5 13.exf5 Nxf5 14.Nxf5 Bxf5 15.Ne4 Bxe4 16.Bxe4 Nf6 17.Bg5 Qd7 18.a3 b6 19.b4 Rf7 20.Rac1 a5 21.c5 axb4 22.axb4 Qb5 23.Qc4 Qxc4 24.Rxc4 Nxe4 25.fxe4 h6?

[25...b5!=] 26.Be3? [26.cxd6!! cxd6 (26...hxg5? 27.dxc7 Rc8 28.d6 Rd7 29.Rc6 Bf8 30.Rxf8+! Kxf8 31.Rxb6 Rcxc7 32.dxc7 Rxc7 33.Rxg6 Rc4 34.Rxg5 Rxe4 35.b5+-) 27.Rxf7 Kxf7 28.Rc7+ Kg8 29.Be7 Bf8 30.Bxf8 Kxf8 31.Rd7+/-] 26...Rxf1+ 27.Kxf1 bxc5? [27...b5=] 28.bxc5 h5 29.cxd6? [29.c6!+/-] 29...cxd6= 30.Ke2 Ra2+ 31.Kf3 Ra3 32.Rc8+ Kf7 33.Rc7+ Kf6 34.Ke2 Ra2+ 35.Kd3 Rxg2 36.h4 Rg3 37.Ke2
37...Bf8?? [37...g5! 38.Bxg5+ Kg6 39.Be7 Rg4=] 38.Bg5+ Rxg5 39.hxg5+ Kxg5 40.Rf7 Bh6 41.Rh7? [41.Kf2 h4 (41...Kg4 42.Rf6) 42.Kf3] 41...h4 42.Rd7 Bf8 43.Kf3?! [43.Rf7! Bh6 44.Kf3 Kh5 45.Rf6+-] 43...Kf6 44.Kg4 g5 45.Rh7 Kg6
46.Rh8?? Kg7!-+ 47.Rh5 Be7 48.Kf5 Bf6 49.Ke6 Kg6 50.Kxd6 Kxh5 51.Kc7 h3 52.d6 h2 0-1


(11) Babb,Kevin (1803) - Carron,Joel (1573) [D35]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (9.16), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 Be6 8.Nge2 Nfd7 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.0-0 c5 11.Nf4 cxd4 12.exd4 Nf6 13.Re1 Qd6 14.g3 Nc6 15.a3 Nxd4 16.Bxh7+ Nxh7 17.Qxd4 Ng5 18.Re3 Rfd8 19.Kg2 Rac8 20.Rae1 Rc4!

21.Qxa7? [21.Qe5 d4 22.Qxd6 Rxd6 23.Nxe6 Nxe6 24.Ne4=] 21...d4! 22.Rd3 Qc6+ 23.f3 [23.Kg1 dxc3! 24.Rxd8+ Kh7 25.Qb8 Rxf4!] 23...Nxf3! (even stronger) 24.Rxf3 Bg4?! [but now 24...dxc3!] 25.Ref1?! [25.Ne4 Bxf3+ 26.Kxf3 f5] 25...dxc3 26.bxc3 Rd2+ 27.R1f2 Qxf3+ 0-1


(12) Rakonitz,David (1639) - Raza,Aezed (1607) [D58]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (9.18), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.e3 b6 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Bd3 c5 10.0-0 Ba6 11.Rc1 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 c4 13.Qf5 g6 14.Qc2 Nc6 15.a3 a6 16.Qe2 Ne4!? [16...b5] 17.Bxe7 Nxc3 18.Rxc3 Qxe7 19.Re1 Rfe8 20.Rcc1 Qf6 Black should play on -- his queenside majority will get to be a real problem for White. 1/2-1/2

(13) Mays,Jerry (1700) - Reyes,Victor Hugo (1497) [B54]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (9.20), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5?! 5.Nb5 a6 6.N5c3 Nf6 7.Bd2 [7.Bg5!] 7...b5 8.Bd3 Bg4 9.f3 Be6 10.a3 Nh5 [10...d5!?] 11.Qe2 Be7 12.Qf2 Bh4 13.g3 Be7 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.exd5 Nf6 16.Be4 Nbd7 17.Nc3 0-0 18.0-0-0 Nxe4 19.fxe4 Nb6 20.h4 [20.b3] 20...f6? [20...Nc4!] 21.g4 [21.b3!+/-] 21...Nc4 22.Qf5 Rb8 23.Nb1 a5 24.h5 b4!=/+ 25.h6?? g6 26.Qe6+ Rf7? [26...Kh8!-+ 27.axb4 f5!-+] 27.g5?! [27.axb4 axb4 28.Rh3] 27...bxa3 28.Nxa3 Nxb2?! [28...Nxa3! 29.bxa3?! Qb6 30.Be1 Qe3+ 31.Rd2 Qxa3+ 32.Kd1 Qf3+] 29.Rdf1 Qb6 30.gxf6 Nd3+ 31.Kd1?? [31.cxd3+-] 31...Nf2+? [31...Nc5!-+] 32.Ke2!= Nxe4?? [32...Nxh1 33.fxe7 Ng3+ 34.Kd1 Nxf1 35.e8Q+ Rxe8 36.Qxe8+ Rf8 37.Qe6+ Rf7=] 33.fxe7 Ng3+ 34.Kd1 Nf5 35.e8Q+ Rxe8 36.Qxe8+ Rf8 37.Qe6+ and mate in a handful of moves. 1-0

(14) Casares,Nick (1600) - Agdamag,Samuel (1465) [B46]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: AB San Francisco (9.21), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be3 Qa5 7.Nb3 Qc7 8.Qd2 Nf6 9.f3 Bb4 10.Bg5 Be7 11.0-0-0 0-0 12.g4 Ne5 13.Be2 Qd8 14.h4 b5 15.f4 Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Nd4 h6 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.e5 Be7 20.g5 Bb7 21.a3?! [21.gxh6!? Bxh1 22.hxg7 Kxg7 23.Rxh1 f5!=; 21.Rhg1! h5 22.g6+/-] 21...Bxh1 22.Rxh1 h5 23.Ne4= g6?! [23...Qb6; 23...Rb8] 24.Nf6+ Bxf6?! 25.gxf6 Rb8? [25...d6; 25...Qc7; 25...c3] 26.f5!+- Kh7 27.Qg5? [27.Rg1+-; 27.fxg6+ fxg6 28.Nf3+-] 27...Rh8? [27...Qb6!-+] 28.Rg1+- exf5

29.Nxf5?+/- [29.Qxh5+!! Kg8 (29...gxh5 30.Rg7+ Kh6 31.Nxf5#) 30.Rxg6+! fxg6 31.Qxg6+ Kf8 32.Qg7+ Ke8 33.f7+ Ke7 34.f8Q#] 29...Qf8 30.Ne7? [30.Rd1!+- gxf5 31.Qxf5+ Kh6 32.Rg1 Rg8 33.Rg5!! Rxg5 34.hxg5#] 30...Qh6!-+ Without queens, White is just lost. 31.Qxh6+ Kxh6 32.Nd5 Rb5 33.Rd1 Rb7 34.Nc3 g5 35.hxg5+ Kg6! 36.Ne4 h4 37.Nd6 Rc7 38.Rh1 h3 39.Kd2 h2 40.Ke2 c3 41.b3 Rc5 42.Nc4 Kxg5 43.Kf3 a5 44.Kg3 a4 45.Nd6 Kg6 46.Ne4 Rxe5 47.Nxc3 Re3+ 0-1


(15) Simpkins,Jerry (1426) - Mani,Venugopal (1598) [B21]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.5), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.f4 Nc6 3.c3 d5 4.e5 g5!? 5.d3 gxf4 6.Bxf4 Bg7 7.Qe2 Qc7 8.Na3?! A speculative but interesting pawn sacrifice. Black should now capture on e5 with the bishop. The knight capture allows a pin. 8...Nxe5?! 9.g3! [9.Nf3? Nxd3+ 10.Qxd3 Qxf4] 9...d4?! 10.Nc4 Qc6?

11.Bg2? [White could win with 11.Bxe5! Bxe5 12.Bg2 netting a piece.] 11...Nxd3+! 12.Kd2 dxc3+ 13.bxc3 Qg6 14.Qxd3 Bf5 Black has a great attack for the piece. 15.Qe3 Rd8+ 16.Ke1? [16.Nd6+ Kf8 would be better for Black, but White would still be in the game. Now the attack becomes irresistible.] 16...Rd3 17.Ne5?! [17.Qxc5 Bxc3+ 18.Ke2 Bxa1 19.Nf3 Qe6+ would be winning for Black, but not completely hopeless.] 17...Rxe3+ 18.Kf2 Bxe5 Congratulations to Venugopal on a great result and a tournament victory! 0-1


(16) Starr,Albert (1517) - Hansen,Mateo (1583) [A00]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.23), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.b4 d5 2.e3 e5 3.Bb2 Nd7 4.b5 Ngf6 5.d3 Bd6 6.Nd2 c6 7.c4 0-0 8.Qc2 cxb5 9.cxb5 a6 10.a4 axb5 11.axb5 Rxa1+ 12.Bxa1 Qa5 13.Bc3 Qxb5 14.Ngf3 Qc6 15.Qb2 b6 16.Be2 Ba6 17.0-0 e4 18.Nd4 Qc7 19.g3 exd3 20.Bf3 Nc5 21.Ra1 Be5 22.N2b3 Rb8 23.Bd1 Bc8 24.Nd2 Nfe4 25.N2f3 Nxc3 26.Qxc3 Bf5 27.Nxe5 Qxe5 28.f4 Qxe3+ 29.Kg2 Ne4 30.Qb2 Bc8 31.Nc6 d2 32.Qd4 Qxd4 33.Nxd4 Bd7 34.Ra7 Be8 35.Nf5 Nc3 36.Bb3 d1Q 37.Bxd1 Nxd1 38.Ne7+ Kf8 39.Nxd5 Bc6 40.Kg1 Bxd5 41.Rd7 Bf3 42.Rd3 Bg4 43.h3 Be2 44.Rd2 Bf3 45.Rd3 Bh5 46.g4 Bxg4 47.hxg4 Nb2 48.Rb3 Nc4 49.Kf2 Ke7 50.Ke2 Kd7 51.Kd3 Na5 52.Rb1 b5 Somehow it was a draw; all the pawns came off and it was R+NvR, a theoretical draw, after at least the 60th move. 1/2-1/2

(17) Ford,Andy Vincent - Cendejas,Jon (1126) [C20]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.26), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d6 Passive... 3.d3 f5 ...but this! 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Be2 Be6 7.fxe5 dxe5 8.Ng5 Qd7 9.Nxe6 Qxe6 10.exf5 Qxf5 11.Bf3 Qe6 12.Be3 Bb4 13.a3 Ba5 14.b4 Bb6 15.Bxb6 axb6 16.Nb5 Qd7 17.Qe2 0-0 18.0-0 Rab8 19.c4 Nd4 20.Nxd4 Qxd4+ 21.Kh1 c5 22.b5 Rfe8 23.Be4 Re7 24.Rad1 Rf7 25.Qf3 Rbf8 26.Bxb7 Kh8 27.h3 Qf4 28.Qxf4 exf4 29.Bc6 Nh5 30.Kh2 Ra7 31.d4 cxd4 32.Rxd4 g5 33.Bf3 Ng3 34.Rfd1 Rxa3 35.Rd8 Rxd8 36.Rxd8+ Kg7 37.Rd7+ Kf6 38.c5 bxc5 39.b6 Rb3 40.b7 Rb1 41.Rd1= Rxb7?? 42.Bxb7 Ke5 43.Rd5+ Kf6 44.Rxc5 h6 45.Bc8 h5 46.h4 gxh4 47.Kh3 Kg7 48.Kxh4 Kg6 49.Rc4 Ne2 50.Re4 Nc3 51.Re6+ Kf7 52.Kxh5 Nd5 53.Kg5 Kg7 54.Rd6 Ne7 55.Kxf4 Nxc8 56.Rc6 Ne7 57.Rc7 Kf6 58.Rxe7 Kxe7 59.Kg5 Kf7 60.Kh6 Kg8 61.Kg6 Kh8 62.g4 Kg8 63.g5 Kh8 64.Kf7 Kh7 65.g6+ Kh8 66.g7+ Kh7 67.g8Q+ Kh6 68.Qg6# 1-0

(18) Uzakbaev,Nursultan - Cole,Tony (1425) [C02]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.27), 17.12.2019

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Qb6 7.0-0 f6 8.Na3 Nge7 9.Nb5 Nf5 10.Bd3 a6 11.Bxf5 axb5 12.Bh3 0-0-0 13.Be3 fxe5 14.dxe5 Be7 15.b4 Qc7 16.Bf4 c4 17.a4 Nb8 18.axb5 Bxb5 19.Bxe6+ Bd7 20.Bxd5 Bc6 21.Be6+ Bd7 22.Bxd7+ Rxd7 23.Qc1 Rd5 24.Ra8 Rf8 25.Bg3 Rb5 26.e6 Bd6 27.Nd4 Rb6 28.Qg5 Bxg3 29.hxg3 Ra6 30.Rxa6 bxa6 31.e7 Re8 32.Re1 g6 33.Qf6 Qd7 34.Re5 Kb7 35.Qg7 h5 36.Ne6 Ka7 37.Nc5 Qd1+ 38.Kh2 h4 39.Qf8 hxg3+ 40.fxg3 g5 41.Qxe8 Qd6 42.Re6 Qd5 43.Qg6 1-0

(19) Revi,Frank (1376) - Serra,Owen (1036) [D37]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.29), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bf4 Be7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.e3 c5 7.Be2 Ne4 8.0-0 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Nd7 10.Qc2 Nf6 11.Rad1 b6 12.Ne5 Ba6 13.cxd5 Bxe2 14.Nc6 Qe8 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.Qxe2 exd5 17.Be5 Ne4 18.Rc1 c4 19.f3 Ng5 20.Qf2 f6 21.Bg3 Qe6 22.Rfe1 f5 23.Be5 h6 24.Qg3 Rf7 25.h4 Nh7 26.Qh3 Qg6 27.Rf1 Raf8 28.Bf4 Rf6 29.Rc2 b5 30.Kh1 a5 31.Qh2 Qh5 32.e4 fxe4 33.g4 Qf7 34.Bd6 Rxf3 35.Rxf3 Qxf3+ 36.Rg2 Re8 37.Qg1 Nf6 38.Kh2 Black has played a terrific game but here he blunders: 38...Nxg4+?? 39.Rxg4 Kh8 40.Rf4 Qh5 41.Rf8+ Rxf8 42.Bxf8 Qxh4+ 43.Kg2 Qg5+ 44.Kf1 Qxg1+ 45.Kxg1 b4 46.cxb4 c3 47.bxa5 c2 48.Ba3 e3 49.Kf1 1-0

(20) Bayaraa,Timothy (1084) - Frank,Robert (1224) [C47]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.31), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 d6 5.dxe5 dxe5 6.Bd3 Bb4 7.Bd2 0-0 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 a6 10.Qd2 b5 11.a3 Bd6 12.Nd5 Kh7

13.g4 Bxg4 14.Qe3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Nd4 16.Qg3 Rg8 17.Qh3 g5 18.Rg1 Nxd5 19.exd5+ Kh8 20.Bxg5 Rxg5 21.Qxh6+ Kg8 22.Rxg5+ 1-0


(21) Olson,David (1407) - Martin,Michael (1480) [C50]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.32), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.Nf3 Nc6 2.e4 e5 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.a3 d6 5.h3 Nf6 6.0-0? Nxe4 7.d3 Nf6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Be3 Bxe3 10.fxe3 0-0 11.Nc3 Re8 12.Qd2 Be6 13.Qf2 Bxc4 14.dxc4 Qd7 15.Rad1 b6 16.b4 a6 17.Nh4 Ne7 18.g4 Rf8 19.Kh2 Qe6 20.Qe2 e4 21.Rf4 g5 22.Rxf6 Qxf6 23.Nxe4 Qe5+ 24.Kg1 Qxe4 25.Nf3 c5 26.Rxd6 f6 27.Rxb6 cxb4 28.axb4 Nc8 29.Nd2 Qe5 30.Rb7 Rf7 31.Qf3 Rb8 32.Rxb8 Qxb8 33.c3 Kg7 0-1

(22) Harris,Clarence (1464) - Tomasi,Christopher [C60]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.33), 17.12.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.Nc3 g6 5.d3 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Bg5 d6 8.Qd2 Bg4 9.Nd5 f6 10.Nxe7+ Nxe7 11.Be3 Bxf3 12.gxf3 c6 13.Bc4+ d5 14.exd5 cxd5 15.Bb3 Nc6 16.c3 Na5 17.Bc5 Nxb3 18.axb3 Re8 19.Be3 b6 20.Kh1 Qd7 21.Rg1 f5 22.Bh6 Rac8 23.Bxg7 Kxg7 24.Qg5 a5 25.Rg2 Rf8 26.Rg3 Qb5 27.Qe7+ Kg8 28.Qe6+ Kg7 29.Rag1 Rf6 30.Qxc8 Qxb3 31.Qc7+ Kg8 32.Qd8+ Kg7 33.Qe7+ Rf7 34.Qxe5+ Rf6 35.Rg5 d4 36.Rxf5 Qf7 37.Qxd4 1-0

(23) Capdeville,Barry (1226) - Badgett,James (1084) [C77]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.34), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 a6 5.Ba4 b5 6.Bc2 Nf6 7.d3 d6 8.Nbd2 d5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.d4 Bg4 11.f3 Nxf3+ 12.Nxf3 Bb6 13.Bg5 dxe4 14.Bxe4 Qe7 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.0-0 Rc8 17.Bc6+ Kf8 18.Qd3 f5 19.Ne5?? Qxe5 20.Rae1 Qd6 21.Bf3 Qg6 22.Bxg4 Rg8 23.Bh3 c5 24.Bxf5?? Qxg2# 0-1

(24) Sullivan,George (841) - Bryan,Robert (390) [B06]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.36), 17.12.2019

1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nf3 d5 5.g3 c6 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 b6 8.Re1 Nbd7 9.Bf4 dxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Rxe4 c5 12.c3 Nf6 13.Re2 Nd5 14.Be5 f6 15.Bf4 e5 16.dxe5 fxe5 17.Nxe5 g5 18.Bxd5+ Kh8 19.Bxa8 Bh3 20.Qxd8 Rxd8 21.Nf7+ Kg8 22.Nxd8 Bf6 23.Re8+ Kg7 24.Be5 Bxe5 25.Rxe5 Kf6 26.Rae1 Kg6 27.Be4+ Kh5 28.Nf7 Kg4 29.Rxg5# 1-0

(25) Ballantyne,Andrew (785) - Sun,Kevin (1100) [C45]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.38), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nxc6 dxc6 [The hot move is 5...Qf6!] 6.Qxd8+ Kxd8 7.Bg5+ Ne7 8.Nc3 Bd7 9.0-0-0 f6 10.Bf4 Kc8 11.Na4 Bb6 12.Nxb6+ axb6 13.a3 Ng6 14.g3 Nxf4 15.gxf4 Rd8 16.Bc4 Bg4 17.Rxd8+ Kxd8 18.Rg1 h5 19.h3 Bxh3 20.Rxg7 f5 21.Rg8+ Kd7 22.Rxa8 fxe4 23.Rh8 b5 24.Rh7+ Kd6 25.Bg8 c5 26.Bf7 c4 27.Bxh5 Be6 28.Rh6 Kd5 29.Rh7 c5 30.Bf7 1-0

(26) James,Charles (1480) - Yamamoto,Craig (1500) [D11]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: U1600 San Francisco (9.40), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.Nf3 Bf5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Qb3 b6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Bf4 a6 8.e3 Bd6 9.Be2 Bxf4 10.exf4 Nd7 11.0-0 Ngf6 12.Rac1 0-0 13.Ne5 b5 14.h3 Nxe5 15.fxe5 Ne8 16.Nd1 Qd7 17.Ne3 Bg6 18.f4 f6 19.f5 Bf7 20.Bf3 Rb8 21.Rc5 exf5 22.Nxd5 Qe6 23.Rc6 Qd7 24.Re1 fxe5 25.Rxe5 Kh8 26.Qc2

26...Rd8?? [26...Nf6 27.Qc5! (the only move to have an advantage) 27...Bxd5 28.Bxd5 Rfd8 29.Bf3 Qxd4+ 30.Qxd4 Rxd4 31.Rxa6 f4 32.Ra7 and White's little advantages (bishop vs. knight, better rooks, outside majority) add up to something he can work with.] 27.Re7 and the queen has no moves. 27...Bxd5 28.Rxd7 Rxd7 29.Qc5 Nf6 30.Qxf8+ Ng8 31.Bxd5 Rxd5 and resigned;[31...Rxd5 32.Rc8 and (32.Rc7 both mate in three.) ] 1-0


(27) Chan,John (1500) - Otis,Shayd (1163) [D02]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Extra Rated San Francisco (9.28), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.h3 c5 4.e3 e6 5.c3 Nc6 6.Nbd2 a6?! 7.Bd3 b5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.b4 Be7 10.0-0 [10.a4!?] 10...0-0 11.Re1 Bb7 12.Nb3 Rc8 13.Bb2 Qb6 14.Rc1 e5 15.Bf5 Ra8 16.Bc2 a5 17.bxa5 Nxa5? [17...Qc7] 18.Nxa5 Rxa5 19.Nxe5 Rxa2 20.Rb1 Qc7 21.Nf3 Rc8 22.Nd4 b4 23.Bb3 Ra5 24.cxb4 Bxb4 25.Re2 Rc5 26.Bc2 Ba6 27.Bd3 Bxd3 28.Qxd3 Ne4 29.g4 Bc3 30.Nb5 Qb7 31.Ba3 R5c6 32.Nd4? [32.Qxd5+/-; 32.Nd6!+-] 32...Qa6 33.Qxa6 Rxa6+/= 34.Nf5 Kh8 35.Bc1 Bf6 36.Bd2?? [36.Rc2] 36...Ra2-+ 37.Rd1 Nc3?? [37...Rcc2] 38.Bxc3 Rxe2 39.Bxf6 gxf6 40.Rxd5 h5 41.Rd6 Rc1+ 42.Kg2 Rcc2 43.Rxf6 Rxf2+ 44.Kg3 Rg2+ 45.Kf3 hxg4+ 46.hxg4 Rcf2+ 47.Ke4 Rxg4+ 48.Kd3 Rg5 49.Rh6+ Kg8 50.Nd4 Rg6 51.Rh5 Rfg2 52.Rc5 R2g5 53.Rc8+ Kg7 54.Rc7 Rd6 55.Ke4 Kg6 56.Kf3 f5 57.Ne2 Kf6 58.Nf4 Ke5 59.Re7+ Kf6 60.Rh7 Rd1 61.Rh6+ Kf7 62.Rh7+ Kg8 63.Rc7 Rdg1 64.Kf2 R1g3 65.Ke2 R3g4 66.Kd3 Rg7 67.Rc8+ Kh7 68.Rf8 Rd7+ 69.Ke2 Kg7 70.Rxf5 Rf7 71.Ne6+ Kg6 72.Rd5 Re4 73.Nc5 Rf5 74.Rd6+ Kg5 75.Nxe4+ 1-0

(28) Chea,Na (1601) - Tamondong,Cesar (1600) [E61]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Extra Rated San Francisco (9.19), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.c4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.e3 0-0 6.h3 Na6 7.Be2 c5 8.0-0 Rb8 9.Rb1 Bf5 10.Ra1 Nc7 11.Nh4 Bd7 12.f4?! b5!-/+ Black takes the initiative. 13.Bd3 bxc4 14.Bxc4 d5 15.Bb3 cxd4 [15...Nb5!?] 16.exd4 e6 17.Nf3 Bb5 [17...Nb5] 18.Nxb5 [18.Re1] 18...Nxb5 19.Be3 Rc8 20.Qd3 Nd6 21.Ne5 Nc4? Black still has play for the pawn, whereas without this move he'd just have all the play and the pawn, too. 22.Nxc4 dxc4 23.Bxc4 Nd5 24.Bxd5 Qxd5 25.Rfd1 Rfd8 26.b3=

26...e5?! White might have an extra pawn, but a passive bishop to go with it. This move makes the White d-pawn passed (although still blocked for now) and give White's bishop some scope. 27.fxe5 Bxe5 28.Rd2 [One solution to any danger on the b8-h2 diagonal was 28.Kh1! Bc7 29.Rac1 Qd6 30.Bg1] 28...Bc7 29.Rf1 Qd6 30.Bf4 Qd5 31.Bxc7 Rxc7 32.Qf3 Qxf3 33.Rxf3 Rd5 34.Re3 Rcd7 35.Red3 f5 36.Kf2 Kf7 37.Ke3 [37.Rc3!? (or the other rook) 37...Rxd4 38.Rxd4 Rxd4 39.Rc7+ Kf6 40.Rxa7 Rd2+ 41.Kf3 g5 tries to get counterplay.] 37...Kf6 38.b4 g5 39.g3 h5 [39...Re7+! keeps White's king out of any support role.] 40.Rc3 Re7+ 41.Kf2 [41.Kd3!] 41...Re4 42.Rc6+ Re6?! [42...Ke7!?+/=] 43.Rc5 [43.Rxe6+! We hear that "rook endings (meaning one rook each) are drawn," but here White's winning chances are enhanced by there only being one.] 43...Red6 [43...Rdd6!] 44.Rxd5 Rxd5 45.Ke3 Ke6 46.Rc2 Rb5 47.Rc6+ Kd5 48.Rc5+ Rxc5 49.dxc5 a6 50.h4 f4+ 51.Kf3 fxg3
52.Kxg3?? Too casual! [52.hxg5!+-] 52...g4!= 53.Kf4 a5 54.a3 axb4 55.axb4 Kc6 56.Ke3 Kb5 57.Ke2 Kc6 1/2-1/2


(29) Allen,Tom Carter (1416) - Krezanoski,Paul (1200) [C02]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Extra Rated San Francisco (9.25), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.e5 a6 5.Nc3 Na7 6.Be2 c5 7.0-0 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qc7 9.Nf3 Bd7 10.Be3 Ne7 11.a3 Ng6 12.Bd4 Be7 13.Bd3 Nc6 14.Bxg6 hxg6 15.Ne2 Rc8 16.Rc1 Nxd4 17.Qxd4 Bb5 18.Rfe1 Qa5 19.Nc3 Rc4 20.Qa7 Bc6 21.Red1 Kd7 22.Qe3 Rh5 23.b4 Qc7 24.Rd4 Qb6?? 25.Rxd5+ exd5 26.Qxb6 Rxc3 27.Qd4 Rc4 28.Qd2 Kc7 29.Re1 Rg4 30.e6 f6 31.Qd3 Bb5 32.Qd2 Bc4 33.Re3 f5 34.Rc3 Kb8 35.Ne5 Bg5 36.Qd1 Be2 37.Qxe2 Re4 38.Nd7+ Ka7 39.Qd1 Rxe6 40.Qd4+ b6 41.Rc7+ Ka8 42.Qxd5+ 1-0

(30) Dubensky,Walter (1167) - Gimelfarb,Natan (1123) [C44]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Extra Rated San Francisco (9.35), 17.12.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d3 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.Bg5 d6 6.d4 exd4 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Bb5 dxc3 9.Nxc3 Bd7 10.Qd5 0-0 11.0-0 Bg4 12.Be2 Rfe8 13.Nd2 Bxe2 14.Nxe2 Qxb2 15.Qd3 Nb4 16.Nc4 Nxd3 17.Nxb2 Nxb2 18.Rab1 Nc4 19.Rxb7 Rxe4 20.Ng3 Re7 21.Kh1 d5 22.Rfb1 h6 23.f3 Nd2 24.Rd1 Kf8 25.h3 Bf2 26.Rxd2 Bxg3 27.Rb1 Rae8 28.Rdd1 Re1+ 29.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 30.Rxe1 Bxe1 31.g4 d4 32.Kg1 Bg3 33.Kf1 d3 34.a4 c5 35.Kg2 d2 36.Kxg3 d1Q 37.a5 g5 0-1

(31) North,Jeff (867) - Neuberg,Bryan [C41]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Extra Rated San Francisco (9.37), 17.12.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Be2 Nxe4 5.0-0 Nc6 6.d5 Ne7 7.c4 h5 8.Ng5 Nxg5 9.Bxg5 f6 10.Be3 h4 11.Nc3 Nf5 12.Ne4 g5 13.Bh5+ Ke7 14.c5 Qd7 15.Rc1 Ng7 16.Be2 f5 17.Bxg5+ Ke8 18.Nf6+ Kf7 19.Nxd7 Bxd7 20.cxd6 Bxd6 21.f4 Rag8 22.Qb3 Nh5 23.Bxh5+ Rxh5 24.Rce1 exf4 25.Bxf4 Bxf4 26.d6+ Kf8 27.Rxf4 Bc6 28.Rf2 Rhg5 29.Kf1 Bxg2+ 30.Ke2 cxd6 31.Qe6 R8g6 32.Qd7 Bd5 33.Rxf5+ Rxf5 34.Qxf5+ Bf7 35.Rf1 Re6+ 36.Qxe6 Kg8 37.Qxf7+ Kh8 38.Rf6 h3 39.Rh6# 1-0

(32) Schley,Andrew (1804) - Jensen,Christian (1862) [B50]
Mechanics' Fall TNM: Extra Rated San Francisco (9.11), 17.12.2019
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d3 g6 5.Nbd2 Bg7 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Re1 Rb8 9.Rb1 b5 10.b3 Qb6 11.Nf1 Ng4 12.Qc2 b4 13.h3 Nge5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.Ne3 bxc3 16.Nc4 Nd4 17.Nxb6 axb6 [17...Rxb6; 17...Nxc2!] 18.Bd1 Nxc2 19.Bxc2 f5 20.Bg5 fxe4 21.Bxe7 Rf7 22.Bg5 exd3 23.Bxd3 Bf5 24.Bc4 Bxb1 25.Rxb1 Rbf8 26.Bh6 Rd8 27.Bd5 Bd4 28.Kf1 Re8 29.f3 b5 30.Rc1 Re5 0-1?! [30...Be3! 31.Re1 (31.Bxe3 Rxe3) 31...Bxh6! 32.Rxe8+ Kg7 33.Be4 Ra7 34.Bb1 c4 35.bxc4 bxc4 36.Rd8 Rxa2 37.Rxd6 Ra1 38.Rd1 Rxb1; 30...Re5?! 31.Re1! b4 32.Rxe5 Bxe5 33.Ke2 Bg7 34.Bf4 Bf8 35.g3 h5 36.Kd3 Kg7 37.Bh6+ Kxh6 38.Bxf7 Be7 White can still hope to blockade those pawns.] 0-1


Submit your piece or feedback

We would welcome any feedback, articles or "Letter to the Editor" piece. Submit yours today through this Google Form:

You can browse through our archived newsletters using the "next" and "previous buttons".

Want to save this newsletter for reading at a later time? Click here to learn how.

Want to be notified when the next newsletter is published? Join Our Email List →