Chess Room Newsletter #922 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #922

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #922


June 13, 2020

By Abel Talamantez

Table of Contents



Tournament Report: USCF Online Rated Blitz June 11, 2020

GM Gadir Guseinov wins the June Thursday Night USCF online rated blitz.

The Mechanics' Institute organized its first regularly-occurring USCF online rated blitz event on Thursday with 35 players competing for a $372 prize pool. The 8-round G/5 +2 blitz was won by GM Gadir Guseinov with 7/8 and clear first. GM Aleksandr Lenderman took clear 2nd with 6.5, despite missing the first round. There was a tie for 3rd between GM Michael Rohde and IM Elliott Winslow with 6/8. 

GM Michael Rohde tied for 3rd in the Thursday blitz.

It was another fine performance by Guseinov, who also won the MI Rapid Championship the week before. Here is a big win by Guseinov in round 3 against GM Rohde. Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian.

(1) GM Michael Rohde (boo786) (2393) - GM Gadir Guseinov (GGuseinov) (2869) [A04]
Live Chess, 11.06.2020

1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 c5 3.c3 We started with a Reti, transposed to an Accelerated Dragon and now into a c3 Siclian. 3...d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.d4 Bg7 6.Na3 cxd4 7.Nb5 Na6 8.Be2 Nf6 9.Qxd4 0-0 10.0-0 White has only a minimal edge from the opening. Both sides lack weakenesses. 10...Bg4 11.a4 Rfd8 12.h3 Be6 13.Be3 Qb3!? GGuseinov plays a bold move to go after a pawn. White should certianly get enough play for it. 14.Qh4 Qxb2 15.Rfe1?! [15.Nfd4! threatens to trap the black queen with Rfb1. 15...Ba2 16.Rac1 probably forces 16...Rxd4 17.Nxd4 and White has the exchange for a pawn.] 15...Qc2 16.Ng5 Bd5 17.Bd1 Qf5 18.Bg4 Qd3 19.Be2 Qc2 20.Bd1 Qb2 Not accepting the repetition of moves. 21.Bf3?! [21.Rc1] 21...Bxf3 22.Nxf3 Rd5 [22...Nd5!] 23.Bxa7 [23.Qc4! threatens Ra2 to trap the black queen. 23...Qc2 24.Bxa7 would be pleasant for White.] 23...Re8? 24.Bd4? [24.Qc4! Qc2 25.Nbd4 wins material] 24...Rh5 25.Qg3 Nc5 26.Ne5? Diagram


[26.Bxc5] 26...Nfe4! 27.Qf4 Rf5 Now it is Black than wins material. 28.Qe3 Bxe5 29.Bxe5 Rxe5 30.f3 Rd8 [30...Rg5 31.g4 Nd2!] 31.fxe4 Rd2 32.Qf3 Rg5 33.g4 Nd3 All the black pieces are swarming near the white king. The defense is very difficult. 34.Rf1 Ne5 35.Qg3 h5 36.Qf4?! [The only chance is to harass the black queen with 36.Rab1 Qa2 37.Ra1 Qc2 38.Nd4 Qxe4 39.Rae1 though 39...Rd3 40.Rxe4 Rxg3+ 41.Kh2 Rxc3 should be a winning endgame] 36...hxg4! The rook on g5 is immune because of ...Rg2+, so White resigned as his position is collapsing. 0-1


Another battle of top GM's came in round 6 between Guseinov and Lenderman. With a full point lead to protect, Guseinov did his part in a tough game.

(3) GM Gadir Guseinov (GGuseinov) (2871) - GM Aleksandr Lenderman (AlexanderL) (2816) [C43]
Live Chess, 11.06.2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 This is a sharp line against Petrov's Defense, but methods have been worked out to deal with it. 3...Nxe4 4.Bd3 Nc6!? 5.Nxe5 This is more interesting than capturing the knight as [5.Bxe4 d5 6.Bd3 e4 simply wins the piece back with no difficulties] 5...Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nc5 7.Bf4 d5 8.exd6 Bxd6 9.Bb5+ Ke7! 10.Bxd6+ Qxd6 11.Qxd6+ Kxd6 12.Nc3 c6 13.0-0-0+ Kc7 After a flurry of tactics we get a completely level ending. That is the job of Petrov's Defense - to equalize completely with a safe position. 14.Bc4 Be6 15.Bxe6 Nxe6 16.g3 Rad8 In the old days players would just agree to a draw in such a positon. 17.f4 Rxd1+ 18.Rxd1 Rd8 19.Re1 g6 20.Ne4 h5 21.Nf2 Kd6 22.Nd3 f6 23.c3 b6 24.b4 Rh8 25.Kc2 h4 26.g4 h3 27.Rd1 Ke7 28.Re1 Kf7 29.a4 Rh4 30.Rg1 Ke7 31.Kd2 Kd6 32.Ke3 c5 33.Nf2 f5 34.Kf3 cxb4 35.cxb4 Nd4+ 36.Kg3 Rh8 37.Rd1 Kd5 38.gxf5 gxf5 39.Nxh3 Diagram


White has marched the king over to g3 and has won the black h-pawn. Meanwhile the black king has taken up a strong centralized position, which fully compensates for the lost pawn. 39...Kc4 40.Ng5 Ne2+ 41.Kf3 Rxh2 42.Rd7 Nd4+ 43.Kg3 Ra2 44.Rxa7 Kxb4 45.Ra6 Kc5 46.Nf7 Kd5 47.Rxb6 Rxa4 Everything is still completely even. Neither player has made any significant error. 48.Ng5 Ra3+ 49.Kh4 Ra1 50.Kh5 This is still a clear draw, but White gets into a little trouble on the h-file now 50...Rf1! 51.Nh3 Rh1 52.Kh4 Ne2 53.Rb5+ Ke4 54.Rb4+ Ke3 55.Rb3+ Ke4 56.Rb4+ Ke3 57.Rb3+ Kd4 58.Kg5 White decides to give up the knight to get the last black pawn. This leads to rook and knight against rook, which is an easy draw. 58...Kc4 59.Re3 Nxf4 60.Nxf4 Kd4 61.Re8 Rg1+ 62.Kxf5 Rf1 63.Rd8+ Kc4 64.Ke4 Re1+ 65.Kf3 Rf1+ 66.Ke3 Re1+ 67.Ne2 Rh1 1/2-1/2

Many Mechanics' regulars participated and got to play some elite players. However, two of our stronger scholastic players faced each other, with Boldi firing off a nice tactical shot to get him this nice win.

(2) CM Ethan Boldi (etvat) (2146) - Abhinav Penagalapati (qing29) (2245) [A07]
Live Chess, 11.06.2020

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.0-0 Bf5 5.d3 e6 6.Nbd2 Be7 Black has chosen a solid system against the King's Indian Attack. Often players select 6...h6 so that the light-squared bishop has a good hiding place on h7. 7.Re1 0-0 8.e4?! dxe4 9.dxe4 Bg6?! [Black could have snatched a pawn with 9...Nxe4! 10.Nxe4 Qxd1 11.Rxd1 Bxe4] 10.e5 Nd5 11.Nc4 Nd7 12.c3 Qc7 13.Ne3 Nxe3 14.Bxe3 Rad8 15.Qe2 Nc5 [15...Bh5 would win the e5 pawn for small compensation] 16.Bxc5 Bxc5 17.b4 Bb6 18.Qc4 Rd7 19.a4 a6 20.a5 Ba7 21.Nd4 Bxd4?! Black gives away the bishop pair for no reason. Simply 21...h6 would keep a comfortable edge. 22.cxd4 Rfd8 23.Rad1 Qb8 24.Be4 Bxe4 25.Rxe4 Rd5 26.Qc3 Qa7 27.Kg2 The double rook and queen ending is even. Black has a target on d4 to look at while White has more space on the kingside. 27...h6 28.Rd3 Qb8 29.Qd2 Qc7 30.Rf4 Qe7 31.Qc3!? This is risky as it will lose the b-pawn. White wishes to press on the kingside and is bringing the forces that way. 31...Rb5 32.Rdf3 Rf8 33.Rg4 Rxb4?! [It would be better to interfere with the attack first before grabbing the b-pawn - 33...h5! 34.Rh4 Qxb4 35.Qe3 Qc4 36.Rxh5 Qd5] 34.Qe3?! [34.Rf6] 34...Kh8? [34...f5! 35.exf6 Rxf6 would allow Black to defend. The game move allows a shot.] 35.Rf6! Diagram


There is no decent defense as all the white pieces focus on the black king and the black rooks are just onlookers. 35...Kh7 [35...g5 36.Rxg5 hxg5 37.Qxg5 Qxf6 38.exf6] 36.Rxg7+! Kxg7 37.Qxh6+ Kg8 38.Qg5+ Kh7 39.Rh6# 1-0

Chess is not usually looked at as a game of luck, but sometimes prayers need answering. GM Lenderman hung a rook against Tejas Mahesh, but he fought on looking to build incremental advantage after advantage, slowly winning material back, and outplaying Mahesh in an endgame to save the point. Here is the game:


It was a fun and entertaining event, and it was especially fun to see many viewers observing games. We look forward to our next online rated event, on Sunday June 28th, info can be found here:

Full results can be found here:

SwissSys Standings. mechanics-uscf-online-rated-blitz-1254526 (Standings (no tiebrk))

# Name ID Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Tot Prize
1 GM Gadir Guseinov 17343590 unr. W24 W32 W3 W10 W6 D2 D8 W7 7.0 100.00
2 GM Aleksandr Lenderman 12787646 2717 L25 W34 W11 W15 W7 D1 W3 W6 6.5 75.00
3 GM Michael Rohde 10047871 2478 W21 W25 L1 W13 W10 W6 L2 W8 6.0 25.00
4 IM Elliott Winslow 10363365 2278 W29 W17 L6 W9 L5 W25 W10 W19 6.0 25.00
5 Abhinav Penagalapati 15467440 2060 W28 D11 L12 W22 W4 L8 W17 W15 5.5  
6 FM Jason Liang 16041488 2403 W23 W13 W4 W12 L1 L3 W15 L2 5.0  
7 CM Vyom Vidyarthi 15107740 2247 W16 W22 L10 W25 L2 W11 W13 L1 5.0  
8 CM Ethan Boldi 15088362 2120 L17 W29 D24 W21 W12 W5 D1 L3 5.0  
9 Krishnakanth Rapaka 15343534 2043 W31 L12 W19 L4 L13 W21 W22 W23 5.0  
10 Manas Paldhe 16418854 1994 W30 W19 W7 L1 L3 W18 L4 W16 5.0 75.00
11 Tejas Mahesh 15086558 1988 W14 D5 L2 W26 D16 L7 W28 D13 4.5  
12 Ako Heidari 15206848 1980 D34 W9 W5 L6 L8 L23 W18 W20 4.5  
13 Nitish Nathan 15494283 1941 W20 L6 W18 L3 W9 W28 L7 D11 4.5  
14 Clarence Lehman 10497272 1904 L11 L18 W20 L28 L29 W33 W31 W24 4.0  
15 Rudolph Breedt 13701346 1884 U--- W27 W23 L2 W24 W16 L6 L5 4.0  
16 Nikhil Parvathaneni 15227212 1825 L7 D26 W34 W19 D11 L15 W25 L10 4.0  
17 Saatvik Krishnan 15210955 1797 W8 L4 L25 D23 W21 W24 L5 D22 4.0 16.67
18 Max Hao 16083648 1761 L19 W14 L13 W27 W22 L10 L12 W25 4.0 16.67
19 Isaac Spence 15293854 1747 W18 L10 L9 L16 W27 W29 W23 L4 4.0 16.67
20 Cailen Melville 14006141 1940 L13 L24 L14 W30 D33 W34 W27 L12 3.5  
21 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1776 L3 W30 D32 L8 L17 L9 W34 W28 3.5  
22 Vishva Nanugonda 16380312 1664 W33 L7 W28 L5 L18 W31 L9 D17 3.5  
23 Marc Willis 12601676 1583 L6 W33 L15 D17 W26 W12 L19 L9 3.5 50.00
24 Felix German 12624534 1976 L1 W20 D8 W32 L15 L17 D29 L14 3.0  
25 Mansoor Mohammed 16086550 1893 W26 L3 W17 L7 W31 L4 L16 L18 3.0  
26 Nicholas Boldi 15088356 1883 L25 D16 W29 L11 L23 L27 D30 W34 3.0  
27 Stewart Katz 12458563 1835 L32 L15 W30 L18 L19 W26 L20 W29 3.0  
28 Kritin Gopalakrishnan 16545130 1506 L5 W31 L22 W14 W32 L13 L11 L21 3.0  
29 Nathaniel Bryans 12680723 1887 L4 L8 L26 W33 W14 L19 D24 L27 2.5  
30 José Pacheco 17095177 unr. L10 L21 L27 L20 L34 B--- D26 W31 2.5  
31 Valerie Jade 17168772 1490 L9 L28 W33 W34 L25 L22 L14 L30 2.0  
32 Pranav Sathish 16464655 1768 W27 L1 D21 L24 L28 U--- U--- U--- 1.5  
33 Jeff Anderson 11296106 1643 L22 L23 L31 L29 D20 L14 B--- U--- 1.5  
34 Narayan Rueppel 16577540 756 D12 L2 L16 L31 W30 L20 L21 L26 1.5  
35 Kevin Fong 17254586 1783 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  



Mechanics' Institute Tuesday Night Online

The Tuesday Night Online this week saw a new winner emerge, as Anthony Rozenvasser (Atrozen) broke through a tough field to win his first TNO with a perfect 5/5 and his first gold medal. There was a 4-way tie for 2nd with 4/5, with NM Michael "fpawn" Aigner taking silver, and IM Elliott Winslow taking bronze. Rounding out the top spots were FM Kyron Griffith and EM-TheChessShark.

The breakthrough game for Rozenvasser came in round 4, as he displayed steady nerves in finishing a nice win against defending champ FM Kyron Griffith.

(6) FM Kyron Griffith (KyronGriffith) (2067) - Anthony Rozenvasser (Atrozen) (1821) [A53]
Live Chess, 09.06.2020

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 0-0 6.h3 Kyron likes this move and has had success with it. 6...e5 7.dxe5!? Exchanging and heading for the endgame. Sometimes it just depends what mood you're in - safe and simple or crazy and complicated. 7...dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bg5 c6 10.Nxe5 Re8 11.0-0-0 not [11.f4?! Nh5! with several threats] 11...Nxe4 12.Nxe4 Bxe5 13.Nf6+ Bxf6 14.Bxf6 Be6 15.Bd3 Nd7 16.Bc3 [16.Bd4! controls a few more squares] 16...f6 [16...Nc5!] 17.Rhe1 Kf7 18.b3 a5 19.Bc2 The pawn structure is symmetrical and all is level except White has the bishop pair. The white dark squared bishop is superior to the black knight. 19...b5?! Diagram


20.Be4?! [20.Rd6! Ra7 (20...bxc4? 21.Rexe6 Rxe6 22.Rxd7+) 21.Rxc6 with an extra pawn and good position] 20...Ra6 21.cxb5 cxb5 22.Kb2 b4 23.Bd4 a4 24.Bd3 a3+ 25.Kb1 Rd6 26.Bc2 Bf5 27.Be3 Bxc2+ 28.Kxc2 Rc8+ 29.Kb1 Rcc6? [29...Rxd1+ 30.Rxd1 Ne5 31.Rd4 is clearly better for White as the black pawn on b4 is a target. The game move however allows White more.] 30.Rxd6? [30.Bd2! wins at least the b4 pawn and probalby the a3 pawn after that 30...Rb6 31.Bxb4 Rxd1+ 32.Rxd1 Rxb4 33.Rxd7+ is a winning ending] 30...Rxd6 31.Rc1 Ne5 32.f4 Nd7 33.Rc7 Ke6 34.Kc2 Kd5?! 35.Rc4?! [35.Bd2! and White wins a pawn or more] 35...Rc6! 36.Rxc6 Kxc6 37.Kd3 Kd5 now Black should be able to defend easily and make a draw 38.g4 f5 It's important to place this pawn on a white square where the white bishop can't attack it 39.Bd2 Kc5 40.Be1 Nf6 41.gxf5 gxf5 42.Bh4? [42.Bf2+ Kd5 43.Bd4 is just a draw. White overpresses.] 42...Nd5! 43.Bf2+ Kb5 44.Bg3 Nc3! It seemed that Black was struggling the whole endgame trying to defend the pawns on b4 and a3. Just one mistake in continuing to play for the win and suddenly the black knight is able to spring into the game and snatch the white pawn on a2. 45.Kc2 Nxa2 46.Be1 Kc5 47.h4 h5 48.Bf2+ Kd5 The game is over. There is no way for White to even make it difficult. 49.Be1 Kd4 50.Bf2+ Ke4 51.Bc5 Kxf4 52.Kb1 Nc3+ 53.Kc2 Nd5 54.Kd3 Kg4 55.Kc2 f4 56.Kb1 f3 57.Bd4 Kg3 58.Ka2 f2 59.Be5+ Kf3 60.Bd4 f1Q 61.Bg1 Qe2+ 62.Kb1 Qb2# 0-1

In the final round, he had to survive a queenside attack from Anika Rajaram en route to his first TNO victory.

(5) Anthony Rozenvasser (Atrozen) (1842) - Anika Rajaram (Kirotori )(1848) [B47]
Live Chess, 09.06.2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.a3!? This is a slow move in this Taimanov Sicilian, but not a bad one. White still has a little more control of the center. 6...a6 7.Be3 Nf6 8.f3 [8.Be2 would be a typical Sicilian. The game move allows Black an opportunity.] 8...Be7 [8...d5!? 9.exd5 exd5 10.Qd2 Bd6 11.0-0-0 0-0 12.Kb1 Be5 is roughly equal] 9.Qd2 Ne5 10.g4 b5 11.Be2 Bb7 12.g5 Ng8? The knight retreat leaves Black on the defensive and gives White time to bring all the pieces into play. Much better was the brave [12...Nh5! since 13.f4 Nc4 saves the knight on h5 and leaves Black active.] 13.Bf4 d6 14.0-0-0 Nc4 15.Bxc4 bxc4 16.Nde2 Nicely putting pressure on the d6 square. 16...e5 17.Be3 h6 18.h4! played to keep the knight on the poor g8 square 18...Bc6 19.Ng3 Rb8 20.Rdg1?! [20.Nd5! Qb7 21.Nb6 stops Black on the b-file and leaves White in firm control] 20...Qb7 21.Nd1 d5 22.exd5 Diagram


22...Bxa3?! [22...Bxd5] 23.dxc6?! [23.Qc3! wins a piece as both black bishops are attacked] 23...Bxb2+ 24.Kb1 Qxc6! 25.Nxb2 c3 Black gets on piece back with a strong attack to compensate for the other 26.Qd3 Black gets on piece back with a strong attack to compensate for the other 26...Rxb2+ 27.Kc1 Ra2 28.Kd1! The king runs to its only safe place even though it allows a capture with check 28...Qxf3+ 29.Ne2 Ra1+?! The check leads to an edgame where White is clearly better with the piece. Black is only slightly worse if he stays in the middle game with the developing 29...Ne7! 30.Bc1 Qxd3+ 31.cxd3 Ne7 32.gxh6 gxh6 33.Nxc3 The game has simplified. White has a bishop for two pawns and good winning chances. 33...Nf5 34.Kc2 Nd4+ 35.Kb2 The game has simplified. White has a bishop for two pawns and good winning chances. 35...Ra5 36.Be3 Nf3?! [36...Kd7] 37.Rf1 Nd4 38.Bxd4 exd4 39.Ne2 Now the d-pawn goes and it's only one black pawn for the knight. 39...Ke7 40.Nxd4 Rb8+ 41.Kc3 Rc5+ 42.Kd2 Rb2+ 43.Ke3 Re5+ 44.Kf4 Many black checks, but no danger to the white king. 44...Rd5 45.Re1+ Kd6 46.Nf5+ Kc5 47.Re5 Rb4+? [better is 47...Rf2+ 48.Kg4 h5+ 49.Kg5 Rxe5 50.d4+ Kd5 51.dxe5 Kxe5 52.Re1+ Kd5 53.Ra1 though it would still be easy enough for White] 48.d4+! Kc4 49.Rc1+ Black resigned as White wins the rook. 1-0

In a game that immediately caught my attention, Lauren Goodkind and Barbara Goodkind were paired againt each other they thought they would have a little fun. We included the game for entertainment purposes, so readers may play it out for some laughs. Who do you think is better in the end?

(4) Barbara Goodkind (eatdinner) (1641) - Lauren Goodkind (laurengoodkindchess) (1756) [A00]
Live Chess, 09.06.2020

1.a4 a5 2.Ra2 b5 3.Ra3 b4 4.Rc3 c5 5.Rc4 d5 6.Rd4 e5 7.Re4 f5 8.Rf4 g5 9.Rg4 h5 10.Rh4 b3 11.c3 c4 12.Qc2 d4 13.Na3 Nf6 14.Qe4 f4 15.Nc2 g4 16.d3 f3 17.e3 bxc2 18.b4 Be6 19.b5 Nbd7 20.b6 Kf7 21.b7 Ra7 22.Ba3 c1N 23.b8B Nc5 24.Qa8 N5b3 25.Bb4 Na1 26.e4 Nd7 27.Be2 Nc5 28.Bd1 N5b3 29.Ne2 fxe2 30.Bc2 Qd7 31.f4 Kg7 32.Kf2 e1N 33.f5 Bd5 34.f6+ Kg6 35.Kg3 Bd6 36.f7 Qe6 37.f8B Nd2 38.Rf1 Nb1 39.Rf3 gxf3 40.Be7 f2 41.Bd8 Qd7 42.Rf4 exf4+ 43.Kh4 Qb7 44.g4 Kh7 45.Bb6 f1N 46.Bb3 cxb3 47.e5 b2 48.c4 Nc3 49.c5 Nd1 50.c6 b1N 51.c7 f3 52.c8B f2 53.e6 Nfd2 54.Bd8 f1N 55.e7 axb4 56.e8B Rg8 57.g5 Na3 58.a5 Ndb1 59.a6 Qg7 60.Qc6 Rb7 61.a7 Qe7 62.a8B Qe4+ 63.dxe4 d3 64.e5 d2 65.e6 Ndc3 66.Qc4 d1N 67.Qg4 hxg4 68.Ba4 N3a2 69.e7 b3 70.e8B b2 71.g6+ Kh6 72.g7 Rf8 73.gxf8B+ Kh7 74.Bcxb7 g3 75.h3 g2 76.Ba5 g1N 77.Ba6 Nbd2 78.Ba7 b1N 79.Be7 Ng3 80.Bed8 Ndf1 81.Bdc7 Nh1 82.Bcb8 Bb4 83.Bed7 Bb3 84.Bdc8 Kg8 85.Kh5 Kf8 86.Kh6 Kf7 87.h4 Kf6 88.h5 Kf7 89.Kh7 Kf6 90.Kh8 Bg8 91.h6 Bf8 92.h7 Kg5 93.hxg8B Bg7+ 94.Kxg7 Kh4 95.Bf7 Kg5 96.Bfe8 Kh4 97.Kf8 Kg5 98.Ke7 Kh4 99.Kd8 Kg5 1/2-1/2

IM Elliott Winslow had a fine tournament, and he had this quick win against a tough opponent.

(3) IM Elliott Winslow (ecwinslow) (1819) - Mansoor Mohammed (Mansoortaj) (1627) [C70]
Live Chess, 09.06.2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.0-0 Be7 looking to play the Marshall Attack after 7. c3 d5! 7.d4 The avoids the Marshall Attack, but now White cannot reach the standard lines of the Closed Ruy Lopez the way Fischer and others used to play. 7...0-0?! [Black should play to control the center squares with 7...d6 8.c3 Bg4] 8.dxe5?! [8.Nxe5! Nxe4 9.Bd5 Nf6 10.Nxc6 dxc6 11.Bxc6 is a clean pawn ahead] 8...Nxe4 9.Qd5 Nc5 10.Be3 Nxb3 11.axb3 Bb7 12.Nc3 Qc8 13.Rad1 Rd8 14.Ng5 Bxg5 15.Bxg5 Diagram


15...Nb4? Black can't resist the temptation to double attack the white queen. This impatience leads to a lost position. He needed a cool head for a little longer - [15...Re8! 16.Qxd7 Nxe5 is about equal] 16.Qc5 A simple double attack wins material. 16...Nxc2 17.Bxd8 Qxd8 18.Nd5! c6 19.Nb6 Rb8 20.Nxd7 Black resigns as heavy material loss is coming. 1-0

For full results, please follow this link:

Mechanics' Online Events Recap

Saturday Matinee

Saturday Late Night Showdown

Jeremy Cawthon won the Saturday Late Night Showdown with 4.5/5. Here is his final round win against Rudolph Breedt.

(1) Rudolph Breedt (bobbejaan) (1977) - Jeremy Cawthon (Karmas_Revenge) (2112) [B15]
Live Chess, 06.06.2020

1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 dxe4 4.f3 The Fantasy Variation against the Caro-Kann. Black's most usual replay is 4...e5! 4...Nd7 [4...exf3 5.Nxf3 gives White very nice play for the pawn] 5.fxe4 e5 Black needs to break up the classic white pawn center on e4 and d4. 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.dxe5!? headed for trades and the endgame. I would prefer to stay in the middlegame with 7. Bg5. 7...Nxe5 8.Nxe5 Bxe5 9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 Black has lost the right to castle but has an even ending due the the isolated white e-pawn. 10.Bd2?! This is a little passive. More active is 10. Bc4 10...Be6 11.0-0-0 Kc7 12.g3 Ne7 13.Bf4 Ng6! 14.Bxe5+ Nxe5 Diagram


Now Black holds the advantage as the only imbalance is White's isolated pawn. The black knight sits in front of it on an excellent square. 15.Be2 Rad8 16.Rxd8 Rxd8 17.Rd1 Rxd1+ 18.Kxd1 Kd6 19.Kd2 Nc4+ Getting a bishop vs. knight, which is an edge in this endgame. Yet keeping the powerful knight on e5 would keep a little more pressure on White. 20.Bxc4 Bxc4 21.Ke3 Ke5 22.Nd1 a5 [22...Bxa2 23.b3 Bb1 24.Kd2 Bxc2 25.Kxc2 Kxe4 was a fair alternative as the three black pawns are at least at valuable here as the white knight] 23.b3 Be6 24.Nf2 f6 25.Nd3+ Kd6 26.Kd4 b6 27.c4 [27.e5+ fxe5+ 28.Nxe5 c5+ 29.Ke4 should hold the draw without too much pain] 27...c5+ 28.Ke3 Bg4 29.h4 Bd1 30.Kd2 Bf3 31.Ke3 Bg2 32.Nf4 Bh1 33.Nh5?! Ke5! 34.Nxg7 Bxe4 White's knight journey has grabbed the g-pawn for the isolated e-pawn, but now Black has good control of the center. 35.Nh5? [35.Ne8! Bb1 36.a3 Ba2 37.Nc7 Bxb3 38.Kd3 Kd6 39.Ne8+ Ke6 40.Nc7+ Kd7 41.Nd5 keeps the pawns even] 35...Bb1! 36.a3 [36.Kd2 Bxa2 37.Kc2 a4! gets the bishop out with an extra pawn.] 36...Ba2 37.b4 Bxc4 38.bxc5 bxc5 With an extra pawn and bishop vs knight, Black has excellent winning chances. 39.Nf4 a4 40.Ng2 Bf1 41.Ne1 Kd5 42.Kf2 Bb5 43.Ke3 Kc4! The black king invasion seals the deal. 44.Nd3 Bd7 45.Kd2 Bf5 46.Nc1 Kd4?! [46...h5! is zugszwang] 47.Na2 Kc4 48.Nc3?! [48.Nc1] 48...Kb3 49.Nd5 Kxa3 50.Kc3 Ka2 51.Nxf6 Kb1! The a-pawn marches down now. 52.g4 Bc2 53.Nd5 a3 54.Ne3 Be4 55.Nc4 a2 56.Nd2+ Kc1 57.Nb3+ Kd1 58.Kb2 c4 59.Nc5 Bb1 60.g5 c3+ 61.Ka1 c2 62.Nb3 c1Q 63.Nxc1 Kxc1 64.h5 Kd2 no stalemates! 65.g6 h6 [65...Bxg6 66.hxg6 hxg6] 66.Kb2 Ke3 67.g7 Bh7 68.Kxa2 Kf4 69.Kb2 Kg5 70.Kc3 Kxh5 0-1

Sunday Afternoon Rapid:

The Sunday afternoon saw Jeffery Wang take clear first with 4/4. Here is a final round win against IM Elliott Winslow.

(2) IM Elliott Winslow (ecwinslow) (1813) - Jeffery Wang (twangbio) (1682) [C70]
Live Chess, 07.06.2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 g6 5.c3 b5 6.Bb3 Bg7 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Nge7 9.Nc3 d6 10.h3 0-0 White has gotten some edge against Black's little played defense to the Ruy Lopez. 11.Bg5 h6 12.Be3 Bb7 13.Qd2 Kh7 14.h4!? White could have played the natural 14. 0-0 with advantage. 14...b4 15.Ne2 f5? Diagram


16.h5? [White had to crushing 16.Ng5+! hxg5 (16...Kh8 17.Ne6) 17.hxg5+ Bh6 18.Rxh6+ Kg7 19.0-0-0 with an extra pawn and huge attack.] 16...g5 17.Bxg5?! fxe4! 18.Bxe7 Qxe7 Now Black has a safe king and more control of the center. A quick change of fortune from two moves ago. 19.Nh4 Qf6 20.0-0-0 Qg5?! [20...Qxf2!] 21.f4 exf3 22.gxf3 Nxd4!? initiating tactics that should end up level 23.Nxd4 Bxd4 24.Bc2+ Kg7?! [24...Kg8!] 25.Qxg5+ hxg5 26.h6+! Kf6 27.Ng6?! [27.Rxd4 gxh4 28.Rf4+ leaves Black under pressure as the white pawn on h6 is strong.] 27...Be3+ 28.Kb1 Rg8! 29.h7 Rxg6 30.h8Q+ Rxh8 31.Rxh8 Rg7 Black has two pawns for the exchange, so material and positon are even. 32.Be4?! [32.Re1 Bf4 33.Rh6+] 32...Bxe4+ 33.fxe4 Re7 [33...g4! and the black pawn starts to cause trouble] 34.Re1 Bb6 35.Rg8 Rg7 36.Rxg7 Kxg7 37.Re2?! [37.Kc2 g4 38.e5! g3 39.Re4 Kf7 40.Rg4 Bf2 41.exd6 cxd6 should be a draw] 37...Kg6 38.Rg2 Kh5 39.Kc2 g4 40.Kd3 g3? perhaps there is a scoring error as this pawn just hangs [40...Kh4 41.Rh2+! would hold the draw. Either the black king retreats or gets in front of the pawn, slowing it down.] 41.Ke2?? [41.Rxg3] 41...Bf2 Black is simply winning here. The white rook has gotten trapped by the bishop and pawn so cannot move. This makes it a pawn up king and pawn ending for Black - an easy win. 42.Kf3 Kg5 43.b3 Kf6 44.Kf4 Ke6 45.Kg4 Ke5 46.Kf3 Kd4 47.Kf4 Kc3 48.Kf5 Kd3 49.Kf4 Kc2 50.Kf5 Kb2 51.Ke6 Kxa2 52.Kd7 Kxb3 53.Kxc7 Ka3 54.Kxd6 b3 55.e5 b2 56.e6 b1Q 0-1

Sunday Evening Blitz

Monday Night Arena:

Wednesday Matinee:

Wednesday Late Night Showdown:


Mechanics' Chess Social

Our special guest this week was FM Kyron Griffith. He played and developed at the San Diego Chess Club, attended the Marshall Chess Club while attending Columbia in New York, and now plays at Mechanics' while working in San Francisco. 

To watch the interview, please follow this link:

Tournament Director's Corner

What's new in Online Chess Rules

by Dr. Judit Sztaray, FIDE Arbiter, USCF Senior Tournament Director


Much focus has been on online chess since the lockdown in the US has begun. The Rules of Chess from the USCF will always take precedent, but tournament organizers, tournament directors and the USCF have been facing new challenges given the circumstances around the country and the world. Kudos to US Chess, which has and continues to adapt quickly to the challenges. They have issued important statements and are working on some pretty amazing innovations and collaborations.

Most recent is the release of US Chess Online Regular ratings:
"With demand for online play increasing, the US Chess Executive Board, in conjunction with the Ratings Committee, authorized the creation of a regular rating system for online play. The new rating system will be for online rated games of 30 minutes or more. The new rating system will be available for use starting Friday, June 12.

Individual member ratings will be seeded from a member’s Over-the-Board (OTB) regular rating, provided that the member has at least 10 regular rated OTB games. The Member Services Area (MSA) already features this new rating, which will start populating when online games begin to be played later this week. The US Chess regular OTB rating system will continue to be used only for OTB "

What does this mean to you as a player? If you have an established (10 games or more) OTB regular rating, you'll get that automatically as your initial online regular rating. This is also called initialization. If you play a US Chess online rated game with a time control of G/30 or longer, your game will affect your US Chess online regular rating.
Note: over the board, G/30 is a dual rated (affecting both regular and quick rating), however, online it only affects your online regular rating,
Note 2: Online rapid and online blitz ratings have been around for a few years. 
This came after a few important announcements and developments that have paved the way to make the US Chess online regular rating happen.
1. US Chess allowed any certified affiliate to run online tournaments:
This opened up the window to all clubs to be able to gather their community and get them engaged on a regular basis. This was one of the first encouraging messages from US Chess during the first weeks of the SIP period.
In this announcement, US Chess emphasized that Online rated games will only affect your online rating, and never the over the board rating. 
All online rated games will show up in your usual MSA page, with an additional ONL in front of your rating.
3. US Chess was allowed "under the hood" of to observe their fair play screening method. Based on what selected members of US Chess staff and Executive Board saw, they felt comfortable releasing a statement that has huge implications:
In this letter of endorsement they state:
"We are confident that the system is able to eventually detect players using computer assistance with very little likelihood of falsely accusing a player." This should give confidence to US Chess members that online-rated events will have a high degree of integrity of play on the platforms.
4. Finally, a small, yet huge step to help TDs submit the tournaments for online rating: developers at Swissys worked hard to be able to read the crosstable of completed events on Why is this seemingly small step so significant? It reduces the workload of any tournament director by a factor of 10! Yes, while before I spent roughly 8 hours on a tournament with 100 players and 800 games played, this would take me no more than 30 minutes with this new feature. Pretty cool, right?
We would like to thank the US Chess Federation Executive Board and the entire US Chess staff for their hard work. It's clear that without their fast, yet careful actions, we would not be here today, running USCF online rated tournaments, and continue to build friendships across the virtual boards. Stay tuned for more developments from US Chess.!

Mechanics' Loses To Club de Ajedrez Par de Alfiles From Paraguay In Round 3 Of Club's League

The Mechanics' suffered a tough defeat against a very strong team from Clud de Ajedrez Par de Alfiles from Paraguay, losing 14.5-5.5. They had titled players on all boards, and our Mechanics' team was undermanned this week. We are now with one win, one draw, and one loss, 1.5/3 going into week 4 against the Pittsburgh Chess Club. The match will be Saturday June 13 at 10am, to play or follow the action, please visit this link:

Go Mechanics' players!

Online Class with FM Paul Whitehead

Wednesdays 6:30PM - 8:00PM

This class is designed to help players who are 1000+ learn how to think and what to look for in games after the opening all the way through the endgame. Modeled after his own style of coaching, Paul uses games of students and current and historical games to discuss what players should be thinking about in order to get their chess to the next level. This class is dynamic, and encourages student participation and discussion. The goal is for students to understand the thinking so they can apply what is learned in their own games.

Students will need a Zoom account, and Paul will use an interactive board to conduct the class online. This will be a live class, not per-recorded. While this class is aimed at the active tournament player looking to rise in rating, it is suitable for everyone that wants to improve their chess by learning how a master thinks and sees games. Paul is a former U.S. Junior Champion and commentator on our Mechanics' broadcasts.

$25/class for a 90-minute class. MI needs a minimum of four students to host the class, and has a maximum of 12 students.

Register online:


Mechanics' Chess - Scholastic Offerings

Saturday, June 13: starts at 4:00PM - join from 3:45PM
5SS G/5 +5:

Sunday, June 14: starts at 4:00PM - join from 3:45PM
5SS G/10+2:

Monday, June 15: starts at 4:00PM - join from 3:45PM
4SS G/15+0:

Tuesday, June 16: starts at 4:15PM - join from 4PM
5SS G/5+5:

Wednesday, June 17: starts at 4PM - join from 3:45PM
4SS G/20+0:

Thursday, June 18: starts at 4PM - join from 3:45PM
5SS G/5+5:

Friday, June 19: starts at 4PM - join from 3:45PM
5SS G/10+5:

If you have any problems connecting with us on, please send us an email and we'll send you step-by-step instructions with pictures.   

NEW: US Chess Online Rated Tournaments
Twice a month

in June: June 14 & June 28 @ 3PM on

US Chess online rated - affecting online rapid rating - every player must be a US Chess member
Trophies or Medals for Top Finishers
Convenient, safe platform & tight fair play screening
Space is limited to first 30 players to ensure tournament quality


Scholastic Games Of The Week (games from our scholastic online tournaments)

Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian

(7) ThinOvalPaw (1521) - ColdOriginalGecko (1356)
Live Chess

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 The Classical Variation against the Ruy Lopez. This was popular in the 19th Century, but grandmasters determined that White would get an opening advantage with 4.c3! planning 5. d4 to hit the center. 4.0-0 d6 5.Nc3 [5.c3!] 5...a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bb3 a5? This is one too many pawn moves trying to chase down the white bishop. It loses a pawn and neglects development. 8.Bd5 Bb7 9.Nxb5 Nf6 10.d3 Nxd5 11.exd5 Nd4?! [11...Ne7 12.c4 0-0 would be just a pawn down for Black. There would be no other problems, so it should be a long battle.] 12.Nfxd4! exd4 13.Re1+ Black loses the right to castle. 13...Kd7? Diagram


[13...Kf8 14.Qf3 is very good for White but Black is still alive] 14.Qg4+ ouch 14...f5 15.Qxf5# 1-0


(8) WiryCautiousRat (1304) - Oktai (1401)
Live Chess

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 The Scotch Game. 3...exd4 [3...Bb4+] 4.Nxd4 Nxd4?! The problem with this is that the knights get exchanged and the white queen comes to a nice centralized square. 5.Qxd4 Nf6 6.Bc4 Qe7 7.e5?! [7.Nc3!] 7...Ng8? Courage! The black knight has no need to retreat as the white e-pawn is pinned. With 7...d6! Black would be fine. 8.0-0 f6 9.Re1! This position shows up the problem of being behind in development. White is castled and has three pieces out. Even with best play Black is in great trouble and it's hard to avoid all the tactics that can occur. 9...Qc5?! Diagram


10.Qxc5 [10.exf6+ Kd8 11.fxg7] 10...Bxc5 11.exf6+ Kd8? [11...Kf8! 12.Re8+! Kxe8 13.fxg7 Bd4 14.gxh8Q Bxh8 15.Bxg8] 12.fxg7 Bd4 13.gxh8Q Bxh8 14.Bxg8 A rook, a knight and a pawn ahead should be plenty to win. 14...d6 15.Bg5+ Kd7 16.Nc3 Kc6 17.Bd5+ Kd7 18.Re7+ Kd8 19.Rxh7+ Ke8 20.Rxh8+ Kd7 21.Rh7+ Ke8 22.Bf7+ Kd7 23.Re1 It's always good to get all your pieces into the battle. 23...Kc6 24.Bd5+ Kb6 25.Be3+ c5 26.Na4+ Kb5 27.b3 Bf5 28.c4+ Ka5 29.Rxb7 Re8 30.Rxa7+ Kb4 31.Bd2+ Ka3 32.Rxe8 1-0


(9) thechessmaster1 (1597) - SlipperySummer (1450)
Live Chess

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.0-0 e5 5.d3 The King's Indian Reversed. White quickly castles and prepares to hit back in the center. Black just grabs the vacant central space. 5...f5 6.Bg5 Nf6 7.Nbd2 h6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.e4 Both sides have played the opening well. Here is tricky as Black would like to consolidate the advantage in space but not suffer from being behind in development. 9...Be6 10.exd5 Bxd5 11.Re1 Bd6?! [11...0-0-0! gets the black king out of the center with still the advantage in space] 12.c3?! [White misses cashing in on the lead in development - 12.Nxe5! Bxg2? (12...Nxe5 13.Bxd5) 13.Ng4+ wins the queen] 12...0-0 13.c4?! [13.Nxe5! Bxg2 14.Nd7 Qf7 15.Nxf8 Bd5 16.c4! is a material edge to White.] 13...Be6 14.a3 g5 15.Qc2 Rad8 16.Rad1 Rfe8 material is even but Black has more space and more control of the board 17.Qc3 f4? giving the white knight the wonderful e4 square lets White jump back into control. Slow and careful advance would keep the advantage. 18.Ne4 Qe7 19.Nxd6 Rxd6 20.Nxe5 White has won a pawn and all the pieces have activity. 20...Nd4! This makes the game complicated so White must think. 21.Nf3?! [21.b4] 21...g4 22.Nxd4 cxd4 23.Qb4 f3 24.Bh1?! [24.Bf1 is safer for the white king as there are no back rank checkmates to worry about] 24...Rb6 25.Qxe7 Rxe7 26.b4 Ra6 27.Ra1 [27.h3 h5 28.Ra1 Kf7 29.Re5 Kg6 30.a4 is very good for White] 27...h5 28.Re5 Rh7? [28...Kf8! 29.Rxh5 Bf7 takes the important e-file] 29.b5 Rd6 30.c5! Rd5 31.Rxe6 Rxc5 Diagram


White is a whole bishop up, and is winning with good play. Yet the bishop on h1 is completely useless for now, so White must actively try to get it back in the game. 32. h3! is called for. 32.a4 Rc3 33.Rd1 Ra3 34.Re4 Rxa4 35.Kf1 [35.h3!] 35...Rc7 36.Re5! Rc2 37.Rxh5 Raa2 [37...Rd2!] 38.Rg5+ Kf7 [38...Kh7] 39.Rxg4 Rxf2+ 40.Kg1 Rxh2 41.Bxf3 getting the white bishop back in play should make the endgame a straightforward win. The two black rooks are troublesome though they cannot do damage if White is careful. 41...Raf2 42.Rf4+ Kg7 43.Bxb7 Rxf4 44.gxf4 Rb2 45.Bc6 Kf6 46.Rf1 Kf5 47.Be4+ Kg4 48.Bc6 [48.f5! Rxb5 49.f6 Rb8 50.f7 Rf8 51.Rf5 is pretty easy to win] 48...Rb3 49.f5 Rxd3 50.Rf2 [50.f6!] 50...Rh3 51.f6 Rh8 52.f7 Rf8 53.Be8 d3 54.Kf1 Kg3 55.Rf6 Rh8 Black is completely lost but fights bravely for the last chance. Mate on h1 is threatened. 56.Bc6 d2 57.Ke2 Rh2+ 58.Ke3?? [58.Kd1 is completely over] 58...d1Q 59.f8Q? [59.Rf3+ Kg4 60.Rf4+ Kg5 61.Rf5+ Kxf5 62.f8Q+ would be a draw] 59...Re2# A tragidy for thechessmaster1. A reward to SlipperySummer for never saying die. 0-1


(10) ColdOriginalGecko (1408) - SlipperySummer (1462)
Live Chess

1.d4 e5 A slippery pawn sacrifice! Not so good, but it can be confusing. 2.dxe5 Qe7?! [2...Nc6 is a better way to attack the e5 pawn. The black queen comes out and becomes a target.] 3.Nc3 Qxe5 4.Nf3 Qe7 5.Bg5 Nf6 6.Nd5! Diagram


That's the problem with the queen coming out soon. The minor pieces who have less value jump out to try to trade for her. 6...Qd8 7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.Qd4 Bg7 9.Qe3+ Kf8 10.Qc5+! d6 11.Qxc7 The endgame is a struggle for Black. A pawn down and doubled f-pawns mean difficulties. Still, one should hold on to the rest of the material. 11...Qe8? [11...Nc6] 12.Qxd6+ Kg8 13.Ne7+ Kf8 14.Nxc8+! Kg8 15.Ne7+ Kf8 16.Nf5+ Kg8 17.Qg3! Qf8 18.Nh6# A forceful game by ColdOriginalGecko! 1-0


Virtual Summer Chess Camps 2020

June 1 through Aug 14 on selected weeks

More information:

9AM - 12AM morning camps: Monday through Fridays
Next camp: June 15-19 - camp is filling up so secure your spot now!
Other weeks: 6-29-7/3, 7/6-10, 7/20-24, 8/3-7
Min 4 students, max 9 students in each camp.


Continuing our Small Group Afternoon Chess Classes

More information: 

1-hour intensive class followed by optional online tournament
$25/class, $45/two classes or $80/four classes package

Available classes:
Monday 4:00-5:00PM - Coach Colin
Tuesday 3:15-4:15PM - Coach Andy
Wednesday 3:00-4:00PM - Coach Colin
Friday 1:00-2:00PM - Coach Andy
Friday 2:15-3:15PM - Coach Andy 


If you have any questions, or need a sample of a class, please feel free to reach out to [email protected]


Mechanics' Institute Online Events Schedule

The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club will continue to hold regular online events in various forms. Here is the upcoming schedule for players:

6/13 Saturday - Saturday Afternoon Matinee
Format: 3SS G/30+0
Join from 2PM -
Starts at 3PM

Saturday Late Night Showdown
Format: 5 rounds of G/5+2
Join from 8PM  -
Start: 9PM
6/14 Sunday - Sunday Late Night Showdown
Format: 4 rounds of G/15+5
Join from 3PM -
Start: 4PM
6/14 Sunday - Sunday Late Night Showdown
Format: 5 rounds of G/5+2
Join from 7PM -
Start: 8PM
6/15 Monday - Monday Online Arena
Format: 90 mins of G/5+2 - as many games as you can.
Join from 5:30PM -
Start: 6:30PM
6/16 Tuesday - Tuesday Night Online Rapid
Format: 5 rounds of G/10+2 (Swiss)
Start: 6:30PM
6/17 Wednesday - NEW:  Afternoon Rapid
Format: 4SS G/15+2
Join from 3PM -
Start at 4PM

Wednesday Late Night Showdown
Format: 5SS G/5+2
Join the tournament from 8PM -
Starts 9PM.
6/18 Thursday Night Blitz
Format: 8SS G/3+2
Join the tournament from 6PM -
Starts 7PM.
6/19 Friday - Friday Evening Online Blitz
Format: 10 rounds of G/3+2 (Swiss)
Join from 5:30PM - 
Start: 6:30PM sharp.

Past Club Tournament results are here:
Before playing in our online tournaments, be sure to do the following:
1. Sign up and log in to
2. Sign up to be a member of Mechanics' Institute Chess Club at You need to become a member before you can play.
3. Please fill out the Google Form, so we know who you are, and can inform you about changes, and ad hoc events:
Any questions? [email protected]

FM Paul Whitehead

Paul Whitehead's column will return soon



GM Nick de Firmian's Column

GM Maurice Ashley

The headlines of the news finally changed in the last two weeks from coronavirus to cover the protests in the United States and around the world. Following the death of George Floyd, the protests of Black Lives Matter for unfair treatment by police of African Americans took over the country. The thorny issue of race surfaced, and hopefully this will be a turning point in how we treat all community members. We thought it would be an opportunity to write about the career of the self-proclaimed “First Black Grandmaster,” Maurice Ashley.

Maurice is simply a star by any standards but also someone who can bridge the two worlds of the highly intellectual thinking game of chess and the free flowing play. Articulate and charming, and with the enthusiasm of a sportscaster, Maurice and has done a great deal to promote chess in the United States. Maurice was born in Jamaica and came to the US at an early age, growing up in Brooklyn. Besides his playing career of becoming a grandmaster, he has had a stellar chess career in chess broadcasting, teaching children in Harlem, and promoting the game as an organizer. Maurice relates that he brings the energy from his background to liven up the broadcast. He is also extremely articulate and delivers a succinct and upbeat explanation of chess variations. His usual job now is to cover the major world chess events with fellow commentators Jen Shahade and Yasser Seirawan for the Sinquefeld-sponsored show done from St. Louis.

He came to San Francisco to play in the Mechanics’ Institute’s 1995 Pan Pacific International organized by MI trustee Jim Eade. Then he became familiar with the Mechanics’ Institute in an event still fondly remembered by many of our club members. We give below a few of Maurice’s entertaining games.

(1) Maurice Ashley - Larry Mark Christiansen [B15]
Foxwoods op Connecticut (6), 28.03.2002

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.h3 White plays a classical conservative setup that gains him a slight edge in the opening. 5...Nf6 6.Bd3 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Bf5 9.Bxf5 Qa5+ 10.c3 Qxf5 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Re1 e6 13.Nd2 0-0 14.Nc4 Black is almost equal, yet there is a bit more space and mobility for White. 14...Qd5 15.Ne3 Qd6 16.Qf3 Rae8 17.b3 c5!? the game now opens up and both players have to calculate accurately. 18.Qxb7 cxd4 19.cxd4 Bxd4 20.Rd1 Now Black could equalize with 20....Nc5 21. Qf3 e5 but plays instead the natural 20...Rd8?! Diagram


21.Qxa7! This courageous move snatches a pawn and gives White a clear advantage. 21...Bxa7 [21...e5 22.Ba3 Qc6 23.Rxd4 exd4 24.Bxf8 dxe3 25.Be7 exf2+ 26.Qxf2] 22.Rxd6 Nf6 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Bb2 Ne4 25.Rd1! Christiansen was nearly getting a strong endgame initiative. This trade offer works tactically to remove Black's threats. 25...Ra8 26.Bd4?! [26.Ng4! would have kept a large advantage. Black gets some chances to save the game now.] 26...Bxd4 27.Rxd4 Nc3 28.Rc4 Nxa2 29.Ra4! Rxa4 30.bxa4 The pawns are back to even. The white a-pawn gives White the advantage as it will take the attention of either the black knight or king. 30...Nb4 31.Kf1 Kf8 32.Ke2 Ke7 33.Nc4 f6 34.Kd2 Kd7 35.Kc3 Nd5+ 36.Kd4 Kc6 37.Ne3 e5+ 38.Kc4 Nf4 39.h4 improving the position of the white kingside pawns. 39...h5 40.a5 g5?! 41.g3 Nh3 42.g4 gxh4 43.gxh5 Nxf2? This greedy move dooms Black. He had much better drawing chances with [43...Ng5 44.h6 h3 45.Nf1 f5] 44.h6 Ne4 45.Nf5! stopping Black's plan of ...Nd6+ and ...Nf7 to stop the h-pawn. 45...Ng5 [45...h3] 46.Nxh4 the two white rook pawns win the game as they are the hardest to stop for a knight. 46...Nh7 47.Nf5 Ng5 48.Ne7+ Kb7 49.Kb5 e4 50.a6+ Black resigns as the white king and knight push the a-pawn though. 50...Ke7 51. Nc6+ Ka8 52 Kb6 e3 53 Nd4 followed but Nb5 and Nc7+ 1-0


(2) Maurice Ashley - Joshua Waitzkin [B57]
Mermaid Beach Club Bermuda (5), 1997

Played in one of the famous Bermuda tournaments, Maurice battles the famous wunderkind who was the subject of "Searching for Bobby Fischer." 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Fischer's favorite Sozin Sicilian. 6...Qb6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.0-0 e5 9.Bg5!? Qxb2 10.Qd3 White has good compenation for the pawn with the lead in development and the black king still in the center. 10...Qb6 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Nd5! Diagram


12...Qd8 [12...cxd5 13.Qxd5 Qb7 14.Rfb1! Qxd5 15.Bxd5 wins the rook on a8 or worse] 13.Rab1 Be7 14.Nxe7 Kxe7 15.f4 Qa5 16.Kh1 Rg8 Black has defended well and avoided major damage. Maurice should slow down but can't resist a speculative sacrifice. 17.Bxf7!? Kxf7 18.Qxd6 Qd8 19.Qxc6 Qd2! 20.Rg1 Bd7 21.Qc4+ Ke7 22.fxe5 fxe5 23.Rbd1 Qa5 24.Qd3?! [24.Rxd7+! Kxd7 25.Qf7+ Kc6 26.Qe6+ Kc7 27.Rd1 Rad8 28.Qc4+ Kb7 29.Rb1+ Qb6 forced 30.Rxb6+ axb6 31.Qf7+ would be an endgame advantage for White] 24...Qc7 25.Qa3+ Ke8 26.Rgf1 Rc8 27.Rd2 Qc4 28.Rdf2 Qc5 29.Qf3 Kd8 30.Rd2 Kc7? Diagram


[30...Rg7 would leave chances about equal. White now makes use of his opportunity] 31.Rxd7+! Kxd7 32.Qf7+ Kc6 33.Rf6+ Kb5 34.Qb7+ Qb6 Black must lose the queen. If [34...Kc4 35.Qb3+ Kd4 36.Qd3#] 35.Rxb6+ axb6 36.Qd5+ Ka6 37.h3 With a queen and two pawns plus the safer king, White has good winning chances. 37...Rg6 38.Qd3+ Kb7 39.Qd7+ Rc7 40.Qd5+ Ka7 41.c4 Rcg7 42.Qd2 Rg3 43.Qf2 Kb7 44.Kh2 Rxg2+?! thinking there is hope in the coming tricky king ending. 45.Qxg2 Rxg2+ 46.Kxg2 Kc6 47.Kg3 Kc5 48.Kg4 Kxc4 49.Kf5 Kd4 Diagram


50.h4 b5 51.h5 b4 52.h6 zugszwang 52...Kc3 53.Kxe5 Kb2 54.Kf6 Kxa2 55.e5 b3 56.e6 b2 57.e7 b1Q 58.e8Q the queen ending is winning because of white king and queen can get the black h-pawn 58...Qd3 59.Kg7 Ka3 60.Kh8! Qf5 61.Kg8 Qd3 62.Qf7 Ka4 63.Kh8 Qe4 64.Qa7+ Kb5 65.Qxh7 Qe5+ 66.Qg7 Qe8+ 67.Kh7 Qe4+ 68.Qg6 Qe7+ 69.Kg8 Qd8+ 70.Kg7 Qe7+ 71.Qf7 Qe5+ 72.Qf6 Qg3+ 73.Kf7 Qc7+ 74.Kg6 Ka4 75.h7 Qg3+ Black resigns as 76. Kh5 stops the checks (76...Qh2+ 77. Qh4+) 1-0


(3) Maurice Ashley - Sunil Weeramantry [B06]
New York Open New York, NY USA (7), 03.1991

1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Be3 c6 5.Qd2 b5 Sunil Weeramantry is Hikaru Nakamura's step father and thus his first chess trainer. Sunil is famous for his slippery openings, such as this modern defense which gets quickly into little know territory. 6.f3 Nd7 7.h4 h5 8.Nh3 Nb6 9.Ng5 Rb8 10.Nd1 d5 11.Bf4 Rb7 12.e5 Nh6 13.Bd3 White is slightly better from the opening, with more space. Black can be satisfied to have a playable game and be off the beaten tracks. 13...Nf5 14.Bxf5 Bxf5 15.Ne3 Nc4 Diagram


16.Nxf5! A surprising and bold move, offering up the queen. 16...Nxd2? when Black should have resisted temptation to capture it. White would be only somewhat better if Sunil had checked himself and captured the knight - [16...gxf5 17.Qc1 b4 18.b3 Na3 19.0-0] 17.Nxg7+ Kd7 18.e6+! The pawn advance gives great squares to the white knights. Now 18...Kc8 Diagram


[18...fxe6 19.Bxd2 leaves White 3 excellent minor pieces for the queen.] 19.exf7! Mind over material! Maurice lets the black knight live, but the white pawn on f7 in combination with the powerful knights will gain material before long. 19...Nc4 20.N7e6 Qa5+ 21.Kf2! Qb4 22.b3 Nd6 23.c3 Qxc3 24.Rhc1 Qb2+ 25.Kf1 Rb6 26.Rab1 Qxa2?! Black wants to get material as he will be losing a rook for the f-pawn, but this opens the a-file and seals his doom. 27.Ra1 Qxb3 28.Rxa7 All of the white pieces are in the attack. Black can stop one or two of them, but not the whole white army. 28...Rb7 29.Rxb7 Nxb7 [29...Kxb7 30.Nc5+ wins the queen] 30.Rxc6+ It's mate after the forced 30...Kd7 31. Rc7#. 1-0



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