Chess Room Newsletter #931 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #931

Gens Una Sumus!


Newsletter #931


August 22, 2020

By Abel Talamantez

Table of Contents

Chess Clubs From Around the Country #2: Chess Girls DC

This week we go clear across the country to bring you our next chess club. Chess clubs come in various forms, and sometimes those forms are shaped by the students the club serves. I first met Robin Ramson at a U.S. Chess Delegates meeting in 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin and learned about her chess club and organization in Washington, D.C. called Chess Girls DC ( Robin enthusiastically talked about her club and the players and the mission, and I could feel the joy and the love she has for her kids and for her organization. Chess Girls DC is a 501c3 non profit organization whose mission is to promote getting more girls getting involved in chess. What is also special about this club is that it focuses on chess as a tool that builds self confidence in girls, in addition to enhancing critical thinking. Robin Ramson is the founder of Chess Girls DC, which provides chess classes for girls in the Washington D.C. area. The classes are held at The Catholic University of America, with whom they have partnered for several years. 

Robin Ramson, Founder of Chess Girls DC

While promoting classes to bring more girls into chess, Robin also realizes that girls need to learn how to play boys. For this reason, she started DC Scholastic Chess, which is a co-ed arm and event space to Chess Girls DC. They hold several tournaments throughout the year, and her commitment to promoting tournament participation for girls got the attention of the U.S. Chess Womens Program in 2019, when it awarded her a grant to help girls with limited resources participate in their Girls and Women Regional Chess Tournament.

Girls tournament with face painting part of what makes a Chess Girls DC event a fun and festive event

Since the COVID-19 shelter-in-place, Robin says that all girls that were in live classes have transitioned to online learning, and she is pleased with the results. She says that online tools have actually enhanced learning, with resources like and ChessKid adding a new element of learning that seems to have filled in gaps for some students, possibly by offering a new way of learning. They also care about the students they serve and make sure children have all the tools to continue practicing and playing during this pandemic. In March when the quarantine first started, Chess Girls DC mailed 82 families chess boards and books so they could continue learning and playing from home, in addition to providing the online platform to continue their education.

As with all successful clubs, she can't do it alone. She praised the work of her right hand man Coach David Bennett, an entrepreneur who has a passion for chess and believes in the power of chess and pledged to volunteer teaching chess as free service to the community. He has been coaching in his spare time at Chess Girls DC for a few years now, and remaind a dedicated volunteer who brings his passion, education and commitment to public service to help bring more girls into the game. 

NM David Bennett

David Bennett (far left) with Robin Ramson, Coach and some of the kids of Chess Girls DC

What makes her club special is that she really goes out of her way to make all the kids feel special. She really belives that if a child enters one of her events, she wants to make sure that child feels the hype, exactly as if they were at a party, with swag gift giveaways that make it feel like a true clelebration. 

Some of the glitzy swag giveaways offered at Chess Girls DC

Chess Girls DC has a committed base of volunteers, and a leader who truly loves chess and loves her students. In addition to leading this organization, she is a USCF delegate and also serves with Judit and I on the US Chess Clubs Committee. It is a pleasure to see people like her and David Bennett truly doing what they love to do and sharing it enthusiastically with kids. People like this help make a truly great chess club, and the infectious enthusiasm and caring for the kids help impress on their students chess as a lifelong activity. 

For more information, check their website here:

Fred and Pat Mayntz TNM Report

Rounds 5&6 are in the books for the Tuesday Night Marathon, and we have clear leaders in their respective sections headed to the final two rounds next week. FM Kyron Griffith showed his precision and technical play in defeating NM Ruiyang Yan, using positional pressure that led to a blunder from Yan, from which the position then unravelled. Griffith's 6th round game against Pranav Sairam was much more complex, with Griffith sacrificing the exchange to secure a positional advantage that was unclear. Sairam played well through the uncertainty, and the game ended up drawn in what was an exciting game. Another dark horse moving up the leaderboard was Jonah Busch, who had a quick win against the always tough Theo Biyiasas. He then went on to win a wild game against Ahyan Zaman, in which he was quickly two pawns down but had a great deal of space. Kyron Griffith remains at the top of the leaderboard in the top section with 5.5/6, with Jonah Busch and Pranav Sairam close behind at 5/6. A handful of players are at 4.5/6, including IM Elliott Winslow and NM Ruiyang Yan. 

In the lower section, Pranav Pradeep remains far ahead of the field with 5/6, but he suffered his first defeat in round 6 against Martin Camacho. It was a wild ending in which Camacho was able to convert a King and Queen against King Rook and Pawn endgame. Pradeep leads with 5/6 with a handful of players at 3.5/6. 

It was a fun night on the broadcast as we had players come in with commentary, including Kyron Griffith, Ashik Uzzaman, Ahyan Zaman and Kristian Clemens. We will look to bring more guests in after their games, as the chat became lively and the broadcast was fun to watch. Tune in next week as the final two rounds will determine TNM winners, with exciting games and players looking to make moves up the leaderboard. 

For full standings, please click here:

To watch the broadcast for rounds 5 & 6, click here:

Here are some games from Tuesday evening, annotations by GM Nick de Firmian.

(1) FM Kyron Griffith (KyronGriffith) (2159) - Pranav Sairam (chesspilot01) (1965) [C47]
Live Chess, 19.08.2020
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 Kyron shows his allegiance to the Scotch Four Knights, with which he won last week against Theodore Biyiasas. 4...exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.exd5 cxd5 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bg5 c6 [Biyiasas played the interesting and more active 10...Be6!? 11.Qf3 c5 and obtained pretty good play, only losing his way finally in a bishop ending.] 11.Qf3 "Threatening" to mess up Black's pawns, although that doesn't seem to be anyone's concern in this line (else White would worry about his own pawns and move his knight, which in fact are two popular alternatives). [11.Na4; 11.Ne2] 11...Bd6 12.Rfe1 Rb8 13.b3 Be6 Perhaps they were napping. [13...Bb4!? is mildly harrassing.] 14.Ne2 h6!? The 12-year-old says to the seasoned technical master: "Let's see you win this ending!" 15.Bxf6 Qxf6! 16.Qxf6 gxf6


17.Nd4 [17.Ng3 avoids...] 17...Be5!=


Now Kyron really has to work to find a way to play on. He opts for a dangerous material and positional imbalance, given what has gone on before. 18.Nxc6!? Bxa1 19.Rxa1 The computer makes it "0.00" but for humans it's a different story. The knight on d4 will be as good as a rook on its own. 19...Rb7 20.Re1 Rc7 21.Nd4 Bd7 22.a4 Re8?


Sairam Finally started using some time -- and missed a shot -- and Kyron (who didn't spend much time at all) missed it as well! 23.Rd1? [23.Rxe8+ Bxe8 24.Nf5 h5 25.h4! catches the h-pawn, when White is indeed playing for a win.] 23...Kf8?! [23...a5] 24.Kf1?! [24.Nb5!? Bxb5 25.axb5! and White has possibilities. Note the maneuver f3, Kf2, Ra1-a4-d4/f4/h4. White is the one calling the shots. Still it's hard to let that knight be traded off.] 24...Ke7 25.Rd2 Kd6 26.f3 h5 27.h4 a5 28.Kf2 Re5 Not the happiest rook. 29.g3 Kc5 30.f4 Re8 31.Bf1 Bg4 32.Nb5?! [32.c3 It was time for] 32...Rce7 Now it's Black playing for the win! 33.Nc3 d4 34.Nb5 Re4 35.Bc4


Nobody is taking that f7-pawn... 35...f5?! Erasing any advantage. [35...R8e7 36.Bf1 Rd7 37.Bc4 Re3 Computers give Black a clear plus, but it's not clear how to proceed. If Black could get in .. .Bd7xb5 he could think about it, but White might just be able to stop even that.] 36.Bf1 Back to No Way In. 36...f6 37.Bc4 Re3 38.Nxd4 Kb4 39.Nb5 Rf3+ 40.Kg2 Ree3 Black insists on a draw. 41.c3+ Kc5 42.Rd5+ Kb6 43.Rd6+ Kc5 44.Rd5+ Kb6 45.Rd6+ Kc5 46.Rd5+ Game drawn by repetition. Well held by young Pranav! 1/2-1/2


(2) Jonah Busch (Kondsaga) (1711) - Ahyan Zaman (ahyanzaman) (1496) [E11]
Live Chess, 18.08.2020
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Nbd2 [4.Bd2] 4...d5 Old-style. [4...0-0 keeps options: 5.a3 Be7 6.e4 d5 (6...d6!? rather asks the N/d2, what are you doing there...) 7.e5 Nfd7 8.Bd3 c5 9.h4!? was a fun line until it was clarified that 9...g6! was the way to defend. (The "fun" happens after 9...cxd4?? 10.Bxh7+!) ; Or there's 4...b6 "committing" to the Queen's Indian.] 5.a3 [5.Qa4+] 5...Bxd2+?! This is probably White's "as good as it gets" against the Bogo-Indian. Two bishops, Black's unsolved bad LSB. [5...Be7 is almost always played.] 6.Nxd2!? [6.Bxd2 is 7 or 8 times as common -- but the text move scores better. And it makes sense, to contest e4 (guarding c4 is almost incidental).] 6...0-0 7.g3?!


[7.e3 is more common by a lot, if more sensible, first played at least as early as 1931! 7...b6 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.b3 c5 11.Bb2 1-0 (29) Zamikhovsky,A-Rosenkrantz,K Moscow 1931] 7...dxc4!? Looks good, since White can't take back (... Qd5...). [But 7...Nc6! 8.e3 e5 highlights the problem. Black busts open the center and puts White on the spot. 9.Bg2 exd4 10.cxd5 dxe3 11.fxe3 Nxd5] 8.Bg2 Qxd4 9.0-0 Rd8 [9...Nc6! 10.Qc2 (10.Bxc6?! bxc6 when White will miss his king bishop even more than Black was.) 10...Na5 gets annoying.] 10.e3 [10.Qc2 wins back one pawn with sufficient compensation for the other (Black's queen gets kicked around more than she'd like).] 10...Qd3 Clear plus Black now. 11.Qa4 c3 [11...Bd7!? 12.Qxc4 Bc6 Who's your bad bishop now?] 12.bxc3 Qxc3?! [12...Bd7 here also] 13.Rb1 c6 [13...Nd5] 14.Ne4 [14.Bb2! Some queen-kicking coming.] 14...Nxe4 15.Bxe4 f5 [Not a lot of humans find 15...Re8! thinking about dulling the long diagonal with ...e5 at some point.] 16.Bb2 Qc5 17.Bc2 Rd2?! Black needed to be thinking development, defense. [17...Nd7 18.Rfd1 Re8] 18.Rfc1 [18.Bb3! thwarts.] 18...Rd7


Black's position would be pathetic if he didn't have two pawns to show for it; but maybe that's not enough. 19.Bb3 Qe7 20.Qf4 threatens f5 [20.Qc4!] 20...Qf7 21.Qe5?! [21.e4! fxe4 22.Qxe4 Rd8 23.Re1 Is this a Bogo-Indian -- or a Danish Gambit!?] 21...Re7 22.Rd1 Nd7 Black might consolidate now! 23.Qc3 Nf8 24.Rd6 Rd7?! Black needs a plan. [How about 24...b6! intending ...Bb7 whether or not White takes on c6.] 25.Rbd1 Rxd6 26.Rxd6 Bd7 27.Qd4 Rd8?! 28.h4 [28.Qxa7! Qe7+/= 29.Qd4?! (29.Qc5; 29.Rd2) 29...c5!= 30.Qxc5? Ba4!] 28...Qe7 29.h5 c5 3:20 remaining


The game has become critical. [29...h6!] 30.Qe5? 6:26 remaining [30.Qxc5! Ba4? (30...h6!= has to, has to be played!) 31.Rxd8! Qxc5 32.Bxe6+ Kh8 33.h6! and White mates.] 30...Re8?? Ahyan took a good minute on this move, but it missed the danger: that Alpha pawn is zeroing in on Black's king and must be stopped! [30...h6!-/+] 31.h6! winning! 31...Qf6 [31...Ng6 when 32.Rxe6!! (32.Qxc5 is about as good, and wins prosaically) 32...Nxe5 33.Rxe7+ Kf8 34.Rxg7!+- puts some flash into it.] 32.hxg7 Qxe5 33.gxf8Q+ Kxf8 34.Bxe5 With the extra bishop (and a powerful one at that on e5) White just wins the endgame. 34...Ke7 35.Rd2 Rc8 36.Bf6+ Ke8 37.f3 c4 38.Bc2 c3 39.Rd3 [39.Rh2] 39...Bb5 40.Rxc3 Rxc3 41.Bxc3 Kd7 42.e4 fxe4 43.Bxe4 Kd6 44.Bxb7 Kc5 45.Bb4+ Kc4 46.Kf2 Kd3 47.Be4+ Kc4 48.Bxh7 Kd5 49.Be4+ Ke5 50.Ke3 Bc4 51.f4+ Kf6 52.g4 Kg7 53.Kd4 Bb5 54.Ke5 Bd7 55.Bc5 Kf7 56.Bxa7 Kg7 57.Bd4 Kf7 58.Bc2 Bc8 59.a4 Bd7 60.a5 Bc8 61.Bd3 Bb7 62.a6 Ba8 63.a7 Bd5 64.Be4 Ba8 65.Bxa8 Kg6 66.Be4+ Kf7 67.a8Q Ke7 68.Qa7+ Kf8 69.Kxe6 Ke8 70.Qe7# Kondsaga won by checkmate 1-0


(3) Kristian Clemens (kclemens) (1793) - Patrick Liu (katechen77) (1624) [D94]
Live Chess, 19.08.2020
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.c4 d5?! Perhaps an overly hurried jump to the Gruenfeld against White's "other" knight development. [3...Bg7! 4.Nc3 d5 is the standard story, when 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 puts more pressure on the center than could have happened.] 4.e3 Acquiescing to a quiet line. [4.cxd5!? Nxd5 5.e4 tries to take advantage of the move order. White's center is a bit stronger, even if the pawn isn't on c3 to help, thanks to the faster development.] 4...Bg7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be2 [6.Qb3!?; and 6.b4!? are immediate plays on the queenside.] 6...b6 [6...c5 is the main move, both in frequency and results.; 6...e6!? was the choice in Mamedyarov-Svidler, Tashkent GP 2012, followed by ...b6 as in the game.] 7.0-0 [7.cxd5!? still looks for a central advantage. 7...Nxd5 8.Nxd5!? (8.h4!? It's the Age of Alpha Zero! 8...h6 9.h5 g5 10.Nxd5 Qxd5 11.Ne5 Bf5 12.Bf3 Be4 13.Bxe4 Qxe4 14.f3 Qd5 15.e4 Qd6 Well, it doesn't work for everyone! 0-1 (72) Kozubov,M (1720)-Rudovskii,F (2052) St Petersburg 2018) 8...Qxd5 9.Ne5!? is tricky but hard to believe. 9...Bf5! Stockfish certainly doesn't. Black has the high side of equality.] 7...Bb7 8.Ne5 A further unambitious advance, just leading to exchanges. [8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bd2!? 1-0 (69) Giri,A (2793)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2744) Baku 2015 CBM 169 [Marin,M] Tries to take advantage of Black's delaying ...c5, the principled Gruenfeld counterattack.] 8...Nbd7 [8...dxc4!? and; 8...e6!? have scored ridiculously well for Black.] 9.Nxd7 [9.f4 is the Neanderthal approach, which has in fact worked well at the club level.] 9...Qxd7 White has lost time and the edge is with Black now. 10.Bf3 Setting up a slighly annoying pin which Black should be able to handle adroitly. 10...Rab8 Rather heavy-handed, maybe not realizing things have gone well. [10...Rad8 is the only previously played instance, preferred by Stockfish, which went horribly off for White: 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Qb3 e6 13.Qa3 a5 14.Qb3 Rfe8 15.Bd2 Qc8 16.Rac1 Nxc3 17.Bd1 0-1, Fazeli,A-Rabiei,E Iran 1992; 10...c6 and; 10...e6 are fine as well.] 11.Qe2


[11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.e4 Nxc3 13.bxc3 c5 is classic Gruenfeld play.] 11...Ba6! 12.b3 Rfd8 [12...c5! looks for pressure on c4 via the c-file; Black has a working advantage.] 13.Rd1 Qe8?! Too fanciful. [13...c6!] 14.Bb2 [14.a4!?] 14...dxc4 With no followup this just concedes the center. [Black should play 14...c6 and hunker down.] 15.bxc4 e5!?


Finally everything comes into focus! But there is a problem or two... [15...c5] 16.dxe5! Nd7 [16...Qxe5? walks into a flurry of tactics: 17.Nd5 Qe6 18.Nxc7 Rxd1+ (18...Bxc4 19.Nxe6 Bxe2 20.Rxd8+; 18...Qxc4 19.Nxa6) 19.Qxd1! Qxc4 20.Nxa6 Qxa6 21.Qd6] 17.Nd5 Bxe5 [Best computer try 17...Nxe5 18.Nxc7 Rxd1+ 19.Qxd1 Qc8] 18.Bxe5 Qxe5


19.Nb4! and too many pieces get forked by Nc6. Very nice! 19...Nc5 20.Nc6 Rxd1+ 21.Rxd1 Qe8 22.Nxb8 Qxb8 23.Bd5 Solid as always. [But 23.Qb2! and next 24.Qf6 really puts it away.] 23...Qe8 24.Qf3 Kg7 25.h4 Bc8 26.h5 Bf5 27.g4 Bc2 28.Rd2 Be4


29.h6+! Kxh6 30.Qf6 Qd7 31.f3 c6 32.Rh2# kclemens won by checkmate Excellently done by Kristian! 1-0

The Blitz Tournament of the Americas Tournament Report

The Blitz Tournament of the Americas brought together 91 players from over 15 countries to this all free event with the goal of bringing diverse communities and cultures from the Americas together in a celebration of chess and the power of chess to engage and unite people. The event was organized by the Mechanics' Institute, in partnership with KmadaChess and Chess Sin Fronteras. The event was was only open to titled players (FIDE or national federation) with a few organizer exemptions for a 9-round Blitz battle with a time control of G/3+2. 9 GM's and 13 IM's were among this very strong field, including over 20 women. When the battle was over, GM Juan Carlos Obregon Rivero from Cuba took the title of America's Blitz Champion with a score of 8/9. GM Conrad Holt from the United States took second place with 7.5/9 and IM Andrew Hong and FM Kyron Griffith tied for 3rd with 7/9, both from the United States. 

GM Juan Carlos Obregon Rivero

After 3 rounds, 3 players remained with perfect scores, Obregon Rivero, GM Andres Gallego from Colombia and 2-time U.S. Champion GM Patrick Wolff. Wolff would be paired against GM Conrad Holt in round 4, and Wolff showed that the Wolff can still strike deadly against some of the world's best blitz players. Game annotations by GM Nick de Firmian.

(1) GM Patrick Wolff (PGW-in-SF) (2535) - GM Conrad Holt (dretch) (2772) [C01]
Live Chess, 15.08.2020

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.c4 This gives some life to the Exchange Variation of the French Defense. It's still not very theatening theoretically, but the pawn structure is imbalanced and a dynamic game results. 5...Nf6 6.Nc3 dxc4!? [6...0-0 is probably more ambitious. Black need not fear either 7,c5 or 7.cxd5. The game continuation allows the light-squared bishop to recapture immediately on c4, not wasting a tempo first with Bd3 or Be2.] 7.Bxc4 0-0 8.0-0 Nc6 9.Re1 Bg4 10.Be3 Qc8 [10...Qd7 is a more natural square for the queen.] 11.h3 Bh5 12.Rc1 a6 13.a3 Rd8 14.Bf1 Bc5?! This move leads to trouble. The black bishop will not be able to take on d4 and so it only loses time. 15.g4! Bg6 16.Bg2 Now d4 is securely defended and the white pieces are all developed to help control the center. 16...Ba7 17.Qb3 Rb8 [taking the pawn leads to trouble - 17...Nxd4?! 18.Nxd4 Bxd4 19.Bxd4 Rxd4 20.g5! Nh5 21.Nd5 allows White to regain the material with further threats to come.] 18.Red1 Ne4?! [18...h6] 19.Nxe4 Bxe4 20.Ng5! Bg6 21.Be4?! [21.d5! would be hard to meet - 21...Na5 22.Qb4 Bxe3 23.fxe3 b6 24.Qf4 leaves White a dominating position.] 21...Qd7? surprisingly this move leads to huge trouble. [21...Rd7! keeps Black in the game.] 22.Bxg6 hxg6


23.d5! Na5 [23...Bxe3 24.dxc6] 24.Qc3 Bxe3 25.Qxe3 White threatens b4 to win the knight. Black must spend a move to save the knight on a5, which is a critical tempo White needs for a kingside attack. 25...b5 26.Qg3! Hitting c7 and also threatening the terrible 27. Qh4 with destruction on the kingside. Black is busted. 26...Nc4 [26...f6 27.Rxc7 Qd6 28.Ne6 is crushing] 27.Qh4 Ne5 28.Qh7+ Kf8 29.Qh8+ Ke7 30.Qxg7 PGW-in-SF won by resignation. There is nothing Black can do. 30...Qd6 31. Re1 wins the knight. 1-0


GM Patrick Wolff had a great blitz tournament despite being inactive, including a win over GM Conrad Holt.

Going into round 5, Gallego defeated Wolff and Obregon Rivero defeated FM Anish Vivekananthan to set up a round 6 matchup of the only two unbeatens. 

After Obregon Rivero's victory, he cruised through 8 rounds undefeated and seemingly pulling away. That is until Conrad Holt delivered this exciting win to narrow the gap in the standings.

(9) GM Conrad Holt (dretch) (2776) - GM Juan Carlos Obregon Rivero (theredking89) (2652) [E90]
Blitz Tournament of the America, 15.08.2020
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 Holt is not distracted... [4...d6 5.Nf3 0-1 (27) Holt,C (2530)-Nakamura,H (2798) Saint Louis 2015] 5.Nf3 d6 6.h3 from his unshakable faith in the Makagonov System. 6...e5 7.d5 That said, he has varied over the years here and there. [For instance he's played 7.dxe5 a few times at least.] 7...Nh5 This has always been a critical line, perhaps too so. [The main move is 7...a5 (recommended in Kotronias's series). There also, Holt has tried many things at different times.; 7...Na6 has also been played against him.] 8.g3 Holt's main response, with occasional forays into [8.Nh2; and 8.Be3] 8...Qe8 [8...Na6 9.Nd2 Qe8 10.Be2 Nf6 11.h4 Nd7 12.h5 f5 0-1 (27) Holt,C (2530)-Nakamura,H (2798) Saint Louis 2015; and a few games with 8...a5 9.Nh2 Na6 10.Be2 Nf6 (also 10...Nc5!?) 11.Ng4] 9.Be2 f5 10.exf5 gxf5 11.Nh4 Nf6 12.Qc2 Na6 13.a3 [13.Bd2 Nc5 14.0-0-0 c6 15.Be3 cxd5 16.Nxd5 Nxd5 17.Rxd5 Be6 18.Rxd6 Rc8 19.Rhd1 b5 1/2-1/2 (63) Holt,C (2499)-Robson, R (2606) Richardson 2012] 13...Nc5 14.Be3!


This line has done very well for White, not just for Holt. [14.b4 Nce4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.g4 Nc3!? 17.gxf5 Nxe2 18.Qxe2 Bxf5 19.Rg1 Bg6 20.Nxg6 hxg6 21.Be3 e4 1/2-1/2 (85) Holt,C (2496)-Korley,K (2280) ICC INT 2012] 14...a5!? [14...Bd7 15.Bxc5 (15.b4 Nce4 16.Nxe4 fxe4 17.Bg5 Qf7 18.0-0-0 Kh8 19.f3 1/2-1/2 (54) Holt,C (2504)-Kiewra,K (2415) Richardson 2013) 15...dxc5 16.Nxf5 Bxf5 17.Qxf5 Nxd5 18.Qe4 Nxc3 19.bxc3 Qg6 20.Bd3 Qxe4+ 21.Bxe4 Rab8 22.a4 Rf6 23.Ke2 Rbf8 24.f3 Rb6 25.Rhb1 Rd8 26.Rxb6 axb6 27.Bxb7 e4 28.Bxe4 Bxc3 29.Rd1 Bd4 30.f4 1-0 (54) Holt,C (2574)-Bregadze,L (2435) Orlando 2014] From these games it's clear that Holt is willing to grind the endgames. This game here is no exception! But first a very sharp middlegame struggle. 15.g4! [15.Bxc5 dxc5 16.Nxf5 (16.0-0-0) 16...Bxf5 17.Qxf5 Nxd5 18.Qe4 Nxc3 19.bxc3+/= is some chances for White, what with that pawn stuck on e5.] 15...e4?! Black may be slipping here. [15...Nfe4 16.Nxe4 fxe4 17.Bxc5 dxc5 18.Qxe4 Rf4 19.Qe3+/- is another case of a King's Indian gone bad.; 15...fxg4!? (risky!) 16.Bxc5 dxc5 17.hxg4 Nxg4 18.Bxg4 Bxg4 19.f3! Bh5 20.0-0-0 Rf4 21.Rdg1 Ra6! is an interesting defensive idea; Black appears to be hanging on.] 16.Nxf5 Nd3+!? [16...Bxf5 17.gxf5 when the opening of the g-file outweighs the weak pawn structure.] 17.Bxd3 exd3 18.Qxd3 Bxf5 19.gxf5! [19.Qxf5?? Ne4!] 19...Qh5 20.Kd2!? Exotic, pretty good, but others were at least as much. [20.Rg1! for example.] 20...Nd7 21.Rag1?! [21.f4!] 21...Ne5 22.Qe2 Qxf5


[22...Rxf5!?] 23.Bh6? A sharp combination that leads to little. [23.f4! followed by 24. Rg5 and 25.Rhg1 is winning fairly simply.] 23...Nf3+ 24.Kc1 Nxg1 25.Rxg1 Rf7 26.Qe6! Qxe6 27.dxe6


27...Kf8! Incredibly Black reaches a drawn ending. 28.exf7 Bxh6+ 29.Kc2 Kxf7 (1:15) 30.Nb5 (0:26) 30...Re8 Black knows to get his rook active. But [30...Bf8 31.Rg3 c6=; 30...Rc8 31.Rg4 Bg7=] 31.Kd3 [31.Nxc7!? Rc8 32.Nb5 Rxc4+ 33.Kb3 Rc6 34.Rd1 Ke7 35.Rd5 looks for a small plus.] 31...Re7 32.Rg4 Rd7 33.Rh4 Kg6 34.Rg4+ Kf7 35.b3 c6 36.Nd4?! [36.Nc3=; 36.Rh4 Kg6 37.Rg4+ Kf7] 36...d5 [36...Bc1 isn't really anything, but it's a try] 37.c5 Still "0.00," but a feature appears in the weak a5-pawn. And White has played on the increment (0:21) while Black is down to 0:37. 37...Bc1 38.Nc2 That cost White half his time! [38.Nf3] 38...Re7? [38...Rd8 39.Ra4 Ra8 40.b4 Bg5=] 39.Ra4 White has outplayed Black for the moment. 39...Re5 40.Rxa5 Rf5 41.Ke2 Kg6 42.Ra7 Rf7 Black has gone passive; White is winning. 43.Ne1?! [43.a4] 43...Re7+ 44.Kf1 [44.Kd1] 44...Bb2 45.Nd3 Bd4 46.Ra4 [46.Kg2!] 46...Bf6 47.Rg4+ Kf7 48.Rf4 Kg6 49.a4


49...Re4!? with both players on a little over ten seconds, Black alters the force. 50.a5?! [50.Rxe4 dxe4 51.Ne1 Bd4 52.b4 Bc3 53.Nc2 and a win is problematic; 50.Rg4+!; 50.Rf3!?] 50...Rxf4 51.Nxf4+ Kf5 White's advantage has evaporated -- Black's king is taking over. 52.Nd3?! [52.Ne2 Ke4 53.b4=] 52...Ke4?! [52...Bc3 53.b4 Ke4 54.Ke2 Kd4] 53.Ke2 [53.Nb4 Kd4 54.Nxc6+! Kxc5! 55.Nb8 is a draw] 53...Kd4 54.Kd2 Be7 55.f4 Bxc5 56.Nxc5 Kxc5 57.Kd3 Kd6 [57...h5] 58.Kd4 c5+ [58...Ke6; 58...h5] 59.Kc3 Ke6 60.b4 cxb4+ 61.Kxb4 Kf5 62.Kc5 Kxf4 [62...Ke4! 63.f5 Ke5! 64.f6 (64.Kb6 d4) 64...Kxf6 65.Kxd5 Ke7=] 63.Kxd5 Kg3 64.Kc5 h5 65.Kb6 Kxh3 66.Kxb7


66...Kg3?? Black short circuits! Perhaps he thought he was avoiding a8=Q check. But what matters is getting the king to g1 and the pawn to h2, when it's a classic Q vs. P draw. And Black had worked the two-second increment up to 0:33, while White had 0:18! 67.a6 h4 68.a7 h3 69.a8Q h2 70.Kc8 Kf2 71.Qh1 dretch won by resignation. A tragedy for Juan Carlos Obregon Rivera! But credit to Conrad Holt and his amazing will to win. 1-0

Headed into the final round, Obregon Rivero would be matched up against IM Christopher Yoo, whose tactic solving and blitz prowess are very known. However, Obregon Rivero played strong and got the final round victory to seal the deal.

(10) GM Juan Carlos Obregon Rivero (theredking89) (2664) - IM Christopher Yoo (ChristopherYoo) (2852) [D77]
Blitz Tournament of the America, 15.08.2020
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 0-0 5.d4 d5 6.c4 [You have to appreciate Kramnik's little sleight of hand against Nepomniatchi: 6.c3 b6 7.c4!? (he won in 49 moves).] 6...dxc4!? [6...c6 is rather infamous for all the dry games of the Korchnoi-Karpov matches. Christopher's move sets up some interesting imbalances.] 7.Na3 a5!? A rare move unless you're Lev Gutman, who has done well making it his specialty. [7...c3 8.bxc3 c5 is the Big Line, with familiar Gruenfeld tendencies.] 8.Nxc4 Be6 9.b3 Bd5 Christopher appears to have put in work on this line, as he's wended his way into a position with a good score for Black. 10.Bb2 a4 11.e3 Nc6 12.Rc1


[With Black's last move the game transposes into a cluster of games, mostly going 12.Qe2 sensible, as the a-file might want contesting.] 12...e6N [12...axb3 13.axb3 Ra2 14.Ra1 Qa8 15.Qb1 Rxa1 16.Qxa1 b5 17.Ncd2 Nb4 18.Bc3 Na2 19.Bb2 Nb4 20.Bc3 Na2 21.Bb2 Ne4 ½-½ (83), Daly,C (2295)-Jansa,V (2490) Port Erin 1998] 13.Qe2 Ra6 14.Rfd1 Qa8! A nice geometric maneuver, with pressure on the a-file and the long diagonal. 15.Ne1 White neutralizes the latter, a typical action. 15...Bxg2 16.Nxg2 Nd5?! "Bad-luring" White. [16...Rd8!?; or 16...axb3 17.axb3 Rd8 would keep the center under pressure, with a dynamic balance. (or 17...Ra2) ] 17.e4!


Finally White activates his central majority, with some problems for Black. 17...axb3!? 18.axb3! Not even interested in taking the piece. 18...Ndb4? [18...Nf6 , admitting his mistake, fights on.] 19.d5! exd5?! [19...Bxb2 20.Nxb2 exd5 21.exd5 Re8 22.Qd2] 20.Bxg7 Ra2?! Christopher continues to slide. [20...Kxg7 21.exd5 Na2!? 22.dxc6 Nxc1 23.Qb2+ Kg8 24.cxb7 Qxb7 25.Rxc1 and the knights rule. It might look like there are few good squares for them, except one is already on a nice unassailable c4, and the dark squres around Black's king are candidates for the other one.] 21.Qe3 [21.Qf3!] 21...dxc4 22.Bxf8 Qxf8 23.Rxc4


Clear exchange up. 23...Nc2 24.Qc3 Na3 25.Ra4 Rc2 26.Qd3 Ne5 27.Qd8 Nf3+ 28.Kh1 Qxd8 29.Rxd8+ Kg7 30.Ne3 Rxf2 31.Ng4 Ra2 32.Raa8 f5 33.Rd7# theredking89 won by checkmate. It looked like Black was getting some threats of his own, but Obregon had it all under control. 1-0

The win was needed, as Holt defeated Gallego. A dominant event from start to finish, Obregon Rivero was the deserved winner, just barely fending off the strong comeback from Holt. 

WGM Lisandra Ordaz

For the women, WGM Lisandra Ordaz from Cuba was the top scorer with 6/9, which included a final round voctory over IM Abhimanyu Mishra, who at 10 years old last year was the youngest International Master in history.

(7) IM Abhimanyu Mishra (KnightCheckShadow) (2450) - WGM Lisandra Ordaz (lisychess) (2404) [C45]
Blitz Tournament of the America, 15.08.2020
[de Firmian]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bb4+ 5.c3 Bc5 6.Be3 Bb6 7.Nf5 g6 A Scotch Game, with probably a little edge for White. 8.Bxb6 axb6 9.Ne3 Nf6 10.f3 d6 11.c4 0-0 12.Nc3 Black has fair control of the dark squares but somwehat less space. 12...Nd7 13.Be2 Nc5 14.0-0 f5 15.exf5 Bxf5 16.f4!? [Simple development with 16.Qd2 is more natural] 16...Qe7 17.Ncd5 Qg7 18.Nxf5 gxf5! 19.b4 Ne4 20.Bf3 Rae8 21.Qd3 Nd4 22.Bxe4? [The game has been well played thus far, but White focuses on the wrong knight. Better to chase away the one on d4 with 22.Rad1] 22...fxe4 23.Qh3 c6! now the f-pawn falls when the white knight gets chased from its defense 24.Ne3 Ne2+ 25.Kh1 Nxf4 26.Qh4 Ng6 27.Qg3 Rxf1+ 28.Rxf1 Qe5 a practical decision to centralize and head for a pawn up endgame 29.Rd1 Qxg3 30.hxg3 Re6 31.Nf5


31...e3! This excellent move takes full control of the game. The trouble from the black e-pawn soon becomes decisive. 32.Re1 e2 33.Nd4 Re4! 34.Nxe2 Ne5 material is equal for now but the pin on the white knight soon gains some pawns 35.Kg1 Nxc4 36.Rc1 Rxe2 37.Rxc4 Rxa2 38.Rd4 d5 39.b5 Rc2 40.bxc6 bxc6 with 3 connected passed pawns the rook endgame is a trivial win 41.Rb4 b5 42.Rf4 Rc4 43.Rf6 b4 44.Rf3 Rc3 45.Rf4 c5 46.Rg4+ Kf7 47.Kh2 b3 48.Rf4+ Ke6 49.Rf2 Rc2 50.Rf8 d4 51.Rb8 b2 52.g4 c4 53.Kg3 c3 lisychess won by resignation 0-1

Also with a strong showing was WIM Ann Lindsay Chumpitaz Carbajal from Peru, who scored 5.5/9. 

(6) WCM Patty Castillo (PattyCastillo) (1949) - WIM Ann Lindsay Chumpitaz Carbajal (Alindsay211) (2310) [D04]
Blitz Tournament of the America, 15.08.2020
[de Firmian]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 g6 4.b3 A good solid system for White that slowly builds the position. It lets Black develop easily also, so both sides get to play without too much theory. 4...Bg7 5.Bb2 0-0 6.Be2 c6 7.Nbd2 a5 8.a4 Na6 9.0-0 Bf5 Black has placed all the pieces on good squares. 10.Nh4!? [10.Ne5] 10...Bd7 11.c3 Re8 12.Nhf3 Qb6 13.Ne5 Be6 14.Ba3 Nd7 15.Nxd7 [more aggressive is 15.f4 which tries to stake out control of the central dark squares.] 15...Bxd7 16.Rb1 e5! 17.b4? The cause of all the trouble, leading to the loss of an important center pawn. [17.dxe5 Bxe5 is still about equal] 17...axb4 18.cxb4 exd4 This not only wins the d-pawn, it opens the lines for Black's pieces. 19.exd4 Bf5 20.Rb3 Qxd4 21.b5?! [21.Bb2 Qf4 22.Bxg7 would open the black king a little and give more chances] 21...Nc5! 22.Rb4 Qe5 23.Re1 Ne4 [23...Qc3! is even stronger] 24.Nf3 Qc7 25.b6 [25.bxc6 would at least keep some open lines for White. It's already hard to find anything good though.] 25...Qd7 26.Bb2 Bxb2 27.Rxb2 Nc3 28.Qd2 Nxe2+ 29.Rxe2 Rxa4 30.Rxe8+ Qxe8 31.h3 Ra1+ 32.Kh2 Be4 Good technique to trade the bishop for the knight. Black is two pawns ahead, but things could still go wrong if the white queen and knight started working together. 33.Qd4?! [33.Nd4 Qb8+ 34.f4] 33...Bxf3 34.gxf3 Qe1


35.Rd2 [35.Kg3 Qg1+ 36.Kh4 h6 would keep the game going, but it would be no fun] 35...Qg1# Alindsay211 won by checkmate 0-1

Here are some more games form the event:

(11) IM Greg Shahade (GregShahade) (2674) - FM Kyron Griffith (KyronGriffith) (2381) [B11]
Blitz Tournament of the America, 15.08.2020
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 c6 After years of Najdorfs, Kyron has decided to take it down a bit with the Caro Kann lately. 2.Nc3 [2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 a) 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4; b) 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 (4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3) ; ] 2...d5 3.Nf3 The Two Knights Variation has always been a lesser line, but the top players have all given it a whirl, especially Vachier Lagraeve. 3...a6!? This reminds one of the same response to the Queens Gambit, and has scored pretty well -- a plus score even in the database. [3...Bg4 right away is the main move, say ten thousand games vs. a couple hundred.] 4.d4 Bg4 Like related positions in the Center Counter, Black's strategy is almost too easy: exchange off the light-squared bishop (for a knight, then put the remaining pawns on light to cover its absence. It's very hard for White to get more than a nominal space advantage against this plan. 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 e6 7.Bd3 [7.Be3!? could be more interesting, to castle queenside.] 7...Nf6 8.0-0 dxe4 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 [9...Qxd4?! offers White great compensation, what with the development plus and all those dark square holes being too much.] 10.Qxe4 Nd7 11.c3 g6 12.Bf4 Bg7 13.Bd6 Bf8 14.Bg3 Bg7 15.Bd6 Bf8


16.Be5 White rejects the repetition but eventually regrets it. 16...Nxe5 17.Qxe5 Rg8 18.Rfe1 Bd6 19.Qe3 Qf6 20.a4 0-0-0 Black's king is fairly safe on the queenside. Sure, White has more space and can send the b-pawn up the board, but it's always a danger that the pawns just get weak. 21.Qe2 [21.b4!?] 21...h5 [21...Rge8 and ...e5 just equalizes. Sacrifices on a6 don't work.] 22.b4 h4?! 23.b5! Qf4 24.Kf1 a5 25.bxc6 bxc6 26.Be4 Actually, this is uncomfortable for Black. 26...Kd7 27.Rab1?! [27.Qa6! nabs an important pawn.] 27...Bc7 [27...Rb8!? 28.Qa6 Ke7 29.Bxc6 Rxb1 30.Rxb1 Qd2 is adequate counterplay for equality.] 28.Qc4!+/- Qd6 29.Rb7 [29.Rbd1 threatens 30.d5!] 29...Rb8 30.Ra7 g5?


[30...Ra8!=] 31.Ra6 [31.Qe2!?; 31.d5! cxd5 32.Bxd5 exd5 33.Rxc7+! Qxc7 34.Re7+ Kxe7 35.Qxc7+ isn't quite "won," but it's uncomfortable for Black to have his king getting checked this way and that.] 31...Rb6= 32.Rxb6 [32.Rxa5 Qh2 33.Qc5 g4!=] 32...Bxb6 33.Rb1 [33.Qd3] 33...Bc7 34.Bf3 Rb8 35.Rxb8 Bxb8 36.Qa6 Bc7 37.Ke2 e5 38.Kd3?! [38.Qc4=] 38...exd4 39.cxd4 Qa3+ 40.Ke4 Qxa4 Black grabs an almost insignificant pawn, but with both sides short on time it could easily matter. 41.Bg4+ Ke7


42.Qe2? [42.Qb7 sends Black taking a perpetual or losing the key pawn at c6.] 42...Kf6 43.Bh5?! [43.Qf3+ Kg7 44.Qc3 Bd8] 43...Qb3 [43...Kg7! Black's king is safe] 44.Qf3+ What shelter there is. 44...Qxf3+ 45.Bxf3 a4 46.Bd1 a3 47.Bb3 Ke7 48.f3 Bb6 49.d5 c5 50.Kf5 f6 [50...Kd6!? 51.Kxg5?? (51.Bc4) 51...Ke5 and ...Kd4] 51.Bc4 [51.f4!?=] 51...Bd8 52.Ke4 Kd6 [52...Bc7!] 53.Kd3 Ke5 In spite of the opposite colored bishops, Kyron makes progress. 54.Ke3 f5 55.Bb3 Ba5 56.Bc4 Bc3 57.f4+?! [57.Bb3] 57...gxf4+ 58.Kd3 Bb2 [58...Ba5!] 59.Ke2 Kd6 60.Kf3 Be5 [60...Ke5 61.d6 Bc3 62.d7 Ba5] 61.Bb3 Kc7 62.Ke2 Kb6 63.Kd3 Kb5 64.Ba2 Kb4 65.Bc4 Bd6 66.Ba2 Ka5 67.Kc4 Kb6 68.Kd3 Be5 69.Kc4 Bd4 70.Kd3 Kc7 71.Ke2 Kd6 72.Kf3 Be5 73.Ke2 Bb2 74.Kd3


74...f3! the key to getting the black king to an aggressive spot 75.gxf3 Ke5 76.Ke2 Kf4 77.Kf2 Bd4+ 78.Kg2 Be5 79.Kf2 Bd4+ 80.Kg2 Ke3 81.d6 Bf6 82.d7 f4 83.Bd5 Kd3 84.Kf2 c4 The end. 85.Ke1 a2 86.Be4+ Kc3 87.Ke2 a1Q KyronGriffith won by resignation. On the Twitch broadcast Kyron admitted to a fist-pump when Greg resigned! 0-1

(12) IM Andrew Hong (SpeedofLight0) (2699) - IM Ladia Jirasek (lrjchess) (2480) [B27]
Blitz Tournament of the America, 15.08.2020
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.Nf3 g6 2.Nc3 The two knights tango. 2...c5 3.e4 Which is now a Siclian Defense, Accelerated Dragon. 3...Bg7 4.h4!? h5 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.d3 a6 7.a3 Nf6 8.Be3 d6 9.Ba2 Bg4 White has developed all the minor pieces, but Black has done everything strategically well for a Sicilian and stands at least equal. 10.Qd2 b5 [10...Bxf3! 11.gxf3 Nd4 would be an edge for Black] 11.Ng5 0-0 12.f3 Bd7 13.Ne2 Qa5?! looking for an endgame, but the black queen is not placed well here. 14.c3 b4? 15.axb4


15...Qb6 oops. Black noticed too late that 15...cxb4 16. Bxf7+! would win the queen on a5. Now Black's positon is in ruins. 16.Nf4! a5 17.bxc5 dxc5 18.Nxg6 Rfb8? The black position is quite lost anyway, but this allows a picturesque mate. 19.Bxf7#


SpeedofLight0 won by checkmate 1-0

(8) WIM Rochelle Wu (tanki97) (2205) - GM Michael Rohde (boo786) (2376) [E38]
Blitz Tournament of the America, 15.08.2020
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 5.Nf3?! [Like it or not, 5.dxc5 is deservedly the time-worn favorite here.] 5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nc6 "putting the question" to the knight. 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bd2 Hoping to end up recapturing and ruling the long diagonal, but if that doesn't happen it's a bit passive, [8.a3; 8.g3; 8.e3 all get on with more relevant things.] 8...d5 [Or 8...0-0 with the idea of taking back after ...d5; cxd5 cxd5, with the bigger center and healthier pawns. White could try 9.a3 Be7 10.e4 as a counter.] 9.cxd5 exd5 The only sensible recapture, but more than good enough. 10.e3 0-0 11.Bd3 Rb8 12.0-0 Re8 13.Rad1 Qc7 14.a3 Bd6 15.h3 Be5 16.Rfe1 h6 17.f4 Bd6 18.Ne2 Ne4 19.Nc3 Nxd2 20.Qxd2 a5 21.Re2 Bc5 22.Kh1 Qa7 23.Rde1 Bd7 24.e4 dxe4 25.Nxe4 Bd4 26.Qc1 Be6 27.Nd6 Red8 28.Nc4 Bd5 29.Ne5 Qc7 30.Be4 Bxe5 31.fxe5 Bxe4 32.Rxe4 Re8 33.Rg4 Re6 34.Qc3 Rbe8 35.Rge4 Qd7 36.Qc4? [36.Qxa5] 36...Qd2 [36...Rd8] 37.R4e2 Qg5 38.Qc5 h5 39.Qxa5 f6 40.Qc3 fxe5 41.Re4 Rg6 42.R1e2 Rge6 43.Qc4 Kh8 44.Qc5 Qg3 45.R4e3 Qg5 46.Qc4 Rf6 47.Re1 Rf2 48.Qxc6 Ref8 49.Rg1?? [49.Rb3+/- could lead to the tense line 49...Rf1+ 50.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 51.Kh2 Qf4+ 52.Rg3 h4 53.Qe8+ Kh7 54.Qg6+ Kh8 55.Qxg7#] 49...Rxb2 [49...Qxe3] 50.Re4 Rbf2 51.Qd6 R2f5 52.Rge1 R8f6 53.Qb8+ Kh7 54.Qb1 Rg6 55.R4e2 Rf4 56.Rg1 e4 57.Rxe4 Rxe4 58.Qxe4 Kh6 59.Rd1 Qg3 60.Rd3 Qg5 61.Kh2 Qc1 62.Qe3+ Qxe3 63.Rxe3 Ra6 64.g4 hxg4 65.hxg4 Kg5 66.Kg3 Ra4 67.Re5+ Kf6 68.Re3 Kg5 69.Re5+ Kf6 70.Rf5+ Ke6 is still drawn, but what is the point? [70...Kg6= demands a repetition.] 71.Rf3 Ke5 72.Kh4 Ke4 73.Rb3 Ke5 74.Kh5 Kf6 75.g5+ Kf7 76.Rf3+ Kg8 77.Rb3 Kf7 78.Rb7+ Kf8?? [78...Kg8=] 79.Kg6 Ra6+ 80.Kh7 tanki97 won on time 1-0

It was an amazing tournament and a great deal of fun to organize and broadcast. This was an event where the chess community of the Americas came together to showcase their love and passion for chess and provide a free event for the chess community while forming new partnerships as we all work together to elevate the game. We want to thank our partners KmadaChess and Juan Cendejas from Chess Sin Fronteras for working tirelessly to organize the players. We also want to thank all the participants for giving their time to make this historic event happen. 

For full standings, please click here:

To watch the broadcast, follow this link:

Final Standings

# Name Fed Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Rd 9 Total T-Sonneborn
1 GM Juan Carlos Obregon Rivero CUB W58 W39 W25 W3 W12 W5 W18 L2 W11 8.0 44.5
2 GM Conrad Holt USA W83 W32 W79 L24 D6 W25 W19 W1 W5 7.5 37.25
3 IM Andrew Hong USA W34 W28 D9 L1 W47 W20 D4 W30 W16 7.0 37
4 FM Kyron Griffith USA W44 L5 W58 D46 W36 W26 D3 W18 W12 7.0 35
5 GM Andres Felipe Gallego Gallego COL W13 W4 W14 W19 W24 L1 W10 D12 L2 6.5 38.5
6 GM Enrico Sevillano USA W7 D40 W30 W9 D2 D19 L11 W36 W21 6.5 36.25
7 FM Kelvin Sánchez VEN L6 W84 W45 W8 L23 W29 D21 W24 W26 6.5 30.25
8 GM Aramis Alvarez CUB W62 W15 L23 L7 D37 W77 W64 W19 W9 6.5 29.25
9 NM Kirk Ghazarian USA W56 W17 D3 L6 D15 W34 W27 W10 L8 6.0 32.5
10 CM Sriram Krishnakumar USA W72 D18 W11 W16 W20 D24 L5 L9 W29 6.0 31
11 IM Christopher Woojin Yoo STP W47 L25 L10 W38 W52 W28 W6 W23 L1 6.0 29
12 FM Anish Vivekananthan RUS W37 D27 W40 W23 L1 W48 W24 D5 L4 6.0 28.75
13 NM Kevin Pan USA L5 W44 W28 D32 W40 D46 L14 W53 W36 6.0 27
14 FM Javier Benitez Lozano MEX W68 W49 L5 L17 W63 W35 W13 L16 W25 6.0 26.5
15 WGM Lisandra Ordaz CUB W59 L8 D48 W75 D9 L21 W45 W31 W23 6.0 25
16 FM Dachey Lin USA W64 L19 W52 L10 W83 W59 W25 W14 L3 6.0 24
17 FM Alberto Salazar NIC W88 L9 W60 W14 L25 W50 L23 W48 W33 6.0 23.5
18 FM Guannan Song CAN W70 D10 D74 W80 W50 W23 L1 L4 W30 6.0 23.25
19 NM Linden Li USA W76 W16 W36 L5 W34 D6 L2 L8 W41 5.5 25.75
20 FM Ladia Jirasek USA D38 W42 W22 W26 L10 L3 L37 W56 W39 5.5 25.75
21 GM Dmitry Gurevich USA L45 W68 W83 L47 W49 W15 D7 W37 L6 5.5 22.75
22 WIM Ann Lindsay Chumpitaz Carbajal PER D61 W86 L20 L40 W38 L36 W43 W63 W53 5.5 19.75
23 IM Abhimanyu Mishra USA W54 W45 W8 L12 W7 L18 W17 L11 L15 5.0 27
24 GM Patrick Wolff USA W73 W52 W46 W2 L5 D10 L12 L7 D32 5.0 24
25 NM Jeevan Karamsetty USA W67 W11 L1 W37 W17 L2 L16 W51 L14 5.0 23.5
26 IM Greg Shahade USA W51 D74 W27 L20 W32 L4 D53 W34 L7 5.0 22.25
27 NM Marcos Ortiz NIC W69 D12 L26 D70 W41 W31 L9 L33 W51 5.0 21
28 NM Gabriel Sam USA W31 L3 L13 W43 W70 L11 L51 W45 W49 5.0 20.5
29 NM Conrado Diaz USA U--- W54 L34 W42 W51 L7 W49 W47 L10 5.0 20.5
30 IM Carlos Andres Perdomo USA D86 W38 L6 W39 D31 W56 W46 L3 L18 5.0 20.25
31 WFM Fiorella Contreras Huaman PER L28 W64 W62 D74 D30 L27 W35 L15 W52 5.0 19.75
32 CM Vyom Vidyarthi USA W81 L2 W33 D13 L26 L39 W68 W64 D24 5.0 19
33 IM Elliott Winslow USA L46 W87 L32 W44 L53 W69 W50 W27 L17 5.0 17.5
34 FM Andy Lee USA L3 W85 W29 W79 L19 L9 W70 L26 W56 5.0 16
35 WCM Alice Lee USA W57 L36 L41 W81 W78 L14 L31 W73 W50 5.0 15
36 FM Balaji Daggupati USA W63 W35 L19 D77 L4 W22 W39 L6 L13 4.5 19.75
37 NM Jorge de Jesus Perez Marimon CUB L12 W82 W53 L25 D8 W40 W20 L21 U--- 4.5 19.25
38 WFM Munkhchuluu Tsegmed MNG D20 L30 W61 L11 L22 W66 W40 L39 W59 4.5 17.75
39 NM Michael Aigner USA W71 L1 D70 L30 W66 W32 L36 W38 L20 4.5 17.5
40 IM Ali Farahat USA W90 D6 L12 W22 L13 L37 L38 W54 W58 4.5 16.25
41 NM Oscar Jesus Roldan Luna MEX L79 W72 W35 L48 L27 D76 W75 W59 L19 4.5 15.25
42 CM Nabí Isaías Pérez Torres MEX W50 L20 L80 L29 L44 W82 W69 D65 W64 4.5 14.25
43 WIM Tania Regla Hernandez Alvarez CRI U--- D75 D78 L28 D61 W55 L22 W76 W65 4.5 14
44 CM Mauricio Marrujo VEN L4 L13 W90 L33 W42 L45 W66 D58 W63 4.5 13.25
45 CM Rohan Rajaram USA W21 L23 L7 W60 L59 W44 L15 L28 W67 4.0 16.5
46 FM Josiah Stearman USA W33 W77 L24 D4 W74 D13 L30 U--- U--- 4.0 16.5
47 NM Siddharth Arun USA L11 W66 W73 W21 L3 D53 D48 L29 U--- 4.0 16
48 CM Ryan Amburgy USA L49 W61 D15 W41 W77 L12 D47 L17 U--- 4.0 15.5
49 FM William Alfaro NIC W48 L14 W59 L50 L21 W54 L29 W68 L28 4.0 14.5
50 CM Daniel Herman USA L42 W67 W51 W49 L18 L17 L33 W70 L35 4.0 14
51 IM Benjamin Gongora Montes MEX L26 W69 L50 W76 L29 W67 W28 L25 L27 4.0 13.5
52 IM Alvaro Blanco MEX W60 L24 L16 W67 L11 W73 L56 W62 L31 4.0 13
53 FM Marco zapata Ferrada CHL U--- W90 L37 W73 W33 D47 D26 L13 L22 4.0 12.5
54 WCM Anika Rajaram USA L23 L29 W85 L59 W71 L49 W60 L40 W70 4.0 11.5
55 FM Jorge Arturo Vega Garcia MEX U--- U--- U--- U--- W86 L43 W61 W75 W68 4.0 10.5
56 WCM Claudia Munoz USA L9 L60 W69 W89 W80 L30 W52 L20 L34 4.0 10
57 NM César Arturo García Rosas MEX L35 L63 L67 W90 L68 L58 W82 W69 W76 4.0 7.5
58 CM Advay Bansal USA L1 W71 L4 L78 L76 W57 W67 D44 L40 3.5 12.25
59 NM Abhishek Mallela USA L15 W81 L49 W54 W45 L16 D63 L41 L38 3.5 11.75
60 WCM Alexandra Naira Prado Serrano BOL L52 W56 L17 L45 L81 W85 L54 W84 D62 3.5 9.75
61 NM Helen Montiel PRY D22 L48 L38 D62 D43 L75 L55 W87 W84 3.5 9.75
62 NM Alejandro Waldo MEX L8 D78 L31 D61 L69 W71 W81 L52 D60 3.5 9.5
63 CM Anthony Rozenvasser USA L36 W57 L77 W87 L14 W81 D59 L22 L44 3.5 8.75
64 WIM Rochelle Wu USA L16 L31 W82 D66 W75 W74 L8 L32 L42 3.5 8.75
65 FM Lenin González Arroyo MEX U--- U--- U--- U--- W85 W87 W76 D42 L43 3.5 7.75
66 WIM Thais Castillo Morales CRI U--- L47 W91 D64 L39 L38 L44 W72 W75 3.5 7.25
67 FM Gustavo Hector Garza Ramo Maass USA L25 L50 W57 L52 W88 L51 L58 W71 L45 3.0 8
68 NMe Manas Paldhe IND L14 L21 L87 W86 W57 W83 L32 L49 L55 3.0 7.5
69 NM Vanessa Descarrega Zacarias VEN L27 L51 L56 W72 W62 L33 L42 L57 W89 3.0 7.5
70 WCM Omya Vidyarthi USA L18 W91 D39 D27 L28 W84 L34 L50 L54 3.0 6.75
71 CM Nelson Muñoz PAN L39 L58 L81 W82 L54 L62 W89 L67 W87 3.0 4
72 WCM Bitia Esther Cruz Castro HND L10 L41 L84 L69 L82 W89 W87 L66 W78 3.0 4
73 CM Pranav Senthilkumar USA L24 W88 L47 L53 W87 L52 W84 L35 U--- 3.0 4
74 GM Michael Rohde USA W85 D26 D18 D31 L46 L64 U--- U--- U--- 2.5 10
75 NM Rodrigo Del Puerto ARG U--- D43 W86 L15 L64 W61 L41 L55 L66 2.5 7.25
76 NM Victor Emmanue Aguilar Mosivais MEX L19 L83 W88 L51 W58 D41 L65 L43 L57 2.5 6.75
77 NM Kevin Yang USA W87 L46 W63 D36 L48 L8 U--- U--- U--- 2.5 6.75
78 NM Ismael Roberto Acosta Perez CUB L80 D62 D43 W58 L35 U--- U--- U--- L72 2.0 7.5
79 NM Vinesh Ravuri USA W41 W80 L2 L34 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 2.0 6.5
80 NM Enrique AlfonsoFonseca Manrique MEX W78 L79 W42 L18 L56 U--- U--- U--- U--- 2.0 6.5
81 NM Victor Salomon Vargas Sotelo ECU L32 L59 W71 L35 W60 L63 L62 U--- U--- 2.0 6.5
82 WFM Carolina Torres Hernandez HND U--- L37 L64 L71 W72 L42 L57 U--- W85 2.0 5
83 NM Jason Metpally USA L2 W76 L21 W84 L16 L68 U--- U--- U--- 2.0 4.5
84 WFM Miriam Parkhurst Casas MEX U--- L7 W72 L83 W89 L70 L73 L60 L61 2.0 4
85 WIM Andrea Ortez SLV L74 L34 L54 L88 L65 L60 B--- W89 L82 2.0 1
86 WCM Patricia Castillo DOM D30 L22 L75 L68 L55 W88 U--- U--- U--- 1.5 3.5
87 CM Clarence Lehman USA L77 L33 W68 L63 L73 L65 L72 L61 L71 1.0 3
88 NM Javier Omar Gonzalez Carrillo MEX L17 L73 L76 W85 L67 L86 U--- U--- U--- 1.0 2
89 IM Navarro Mónica Segura VEN U--- U--- B--- L56 L84 L72 L71 L85 L69 1.0 0
90 NM Michael S Walder USA L40 L53 L44 L57 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0 0
91 WFM MarjoireJ. Bocangel PER U--- L70 L66 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0 0


Mechanics' Institute Summer Chess Fest 2020!

Saturday, August 29, 2020 to Sunday, August 30, 2020

Mechanics' Institute Summer Chess Festival

Series of events suitable for everyone
Aug 29-30, 2020

Event Schedule:

Mechanics' Institute Summer Championship - Saturday, Aug 29 through Sunday, Aug 30. Both days 10AM - 6PM

Mechanics' Institute Summer Blitz Championship - Saturday, Aug 29 @ 7PM

Summer Fischer Random Championship - Sunday, Aug 30 @ 7PM - FREE

Mechanics' Summer Scholastic Championship - Sunday, Aug 30 @3PM


Mechanics' Institute Summer Championship

Date: Saturday, Aug 29 - Sunday Aug 30.
USCF online rated affecting US Chess Online regular rating
Round times: 10AM, 1PM, and 4PM on both days
Format: 6SS G/60+5 inc
Section: 2000+, 1600-1999, and u1600 - based on OTB Aug 2020 supplemental rating. Play-up within max 200 rating.
Pairing method: manually paired by Chief TD on
Prizes: $1400 b/80

Section 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place Class
Championship (2000+) $300 $175 $90 u2200: $75
1600-1999 $200 $125 $76 u1800: $50
u1600 $150 $70 $50 u1400: $40


Entry Fee: $30 MI member, $40 non-MI member, $10 play-up fee
Registration link:
What do to on the day of? Be on ready for your game to pop-up and play!


Mechanics' Institute Summer Blitz Championship

Date: Saturday, Aug 29
USCF online rated affecting US Chess Online blitz rating
Round times: Round 1 starts at 7PM sharp, rest of the rounds are automatically starting after all games are finished in the previous round
Format: 9SS G/3+2 inc
Section: one Open section
Pairing method: automatically paired by based on blitz rating
Prizes: $200 b/40: 1st $100, 2nd $50. 3rd $25, Best under 2000 USCF OTB $25
Entry Fee: $10
Registration link:
What do to on the day of? Join the tournament from 6PM onwards by click on the JOIN button on this page:


Summer Fischer Random Championship

Date: Sunday, Aug 29
Round times: Round 1 starts at 7PM sharp, rest of the rounds are automatically starting after all games are finished in the previous round
Format: 6SS G/5+2 inc
Section: one Open section for everyone
Pairing method: automatically paired by based on blitz rating
Entry Fee: FREE - no need to register.
What do to on the day of? Join the tournament from 6PM onwards by click on the JOIN button on this page:


Mechanics' Summer Scholastic Championship

Date: Sunday Aug 30 @ 3PM
USCF online rated affecting US Chess Online rapid rating
Round times: 3PM and ongoing
Format: 6SS G/15+5 inc
Section: 1200+ chesskid, u1200 chesskid, u600 chesskid
Pairing method: automatically paired by
Reward: Trophies to Top 5 players in each section, Top Girl in each section
Entry Fee: $25
Registration link:
What do to on the day of? Join tournament on via the following link: TBA


Eligibility - Players must have:

- current US Chess Federation membership
- account that is part of Mechanics' Chess Club (free account is perfectly sufficient) -- Don't have one yet? Easy to make, just follow the instructions below.
- account that is part of Mechanics' Chess Club (free account is perfectly sufficient) -- Don't have one yet? Easy to make, just follow the instructions below.


Rules:  standard USCF rules apply.

Mouse slips count, no takebacks.

If player is not logged in to live chess when pairings occur, we will assign a 0 point bye

Section prizes will be awarded based on USCF standard rating


Fair Play

US Chess online rated tournament - most USCF rules and consequences apply.
Players should not use any outside assistance: not have other browsers open and not be talking to other people during their games
Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their kids' activity during the tournament to ensure fair play.
All games will be carefully reviewed by and Mechanics' Institue Chess club staff during and after the event.
Players found or believed to be violating fair play are not eligible for a prize and their account will be removed from Mechanics' group.
Players who are confirmed to be using outside assistance will be reported to US Chess and restricted from future Mechanics' online and over-the-board events.

Parents - Please help us educate your child that IT'S SIMPLY NOT WORTH THE RISK!

For some helpful links regarding fair play, please check these out:

Fair play screening: all games will be screened by both and by Dr. Kenneth W. Regan, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo. 

The Organizer and/or the Chief Tournament Director can require players to play their games with a camera that records the player playing with a view to the screen. Players should be prepared to provide this precaution if asked to do so.

Prize distributions and rating submission will take place AFTER all games have been screened.


Tournament Informaiton

What are the time controls mean?
Time controls are telling you how much time you have for each game.
G35+2 for example: Game in 35 minutes with 2 second increment. This means you get 35 minutes, your opponent gets 35 minutes and with each move every player gets 2 second added to the clock. So one game can last up to 70-80 minutes.

How many games/rounds?
The 6SS before the time control means how many rounds, i.e. how many games can a player play in the tournament. The tournaments are never elimination, so win or lose you can stay in the tournament.

Pre-requested byes: since we are pairing manually, based on OTB ratings, pre-requestd byes now available.

How to join us?

If you would like to play in our online tournaments, you must

1) Register for the event -- we need to know your full name, and ID

2) have an account on; -- don't have one? Sign up now!

3) join our club on

Join tournaments: two ways to join the tournaments: 1) log in to and click on the link above; or 2) log in --> Play --> Live Chess
For this tournament only: Tournament directors will be pairing players manually, so no tournaments to join!


For players who are interested in play in our online tournament,
PLEASE fill out our online Players database:
to get email notifications about last minute changes and invitational opportunities.

TD Corner by Dr. Judit Sztaray FA USCF Senior TD

New Online Chess Rules, aka Chapter 10, for the USCF Rules of Chess
Part 1.  The Creation

Judit was recently interviwed by US Chess about the new online rule changes on The TD Show Episode 17. Watch the broadcast with Chris Bird here:

With online chess becoming the main form of playing chess now, US Chess showed some great initiative during the first few months of the current pandemic. Among many other things, they have expanded the online rating system, and defined three different online rating categories: online regular, rapid and blitz. They have also allowed organizations to run US Chess online rated events, and US Chess also has been working with online chess vendors to give them their endorsements on cheating detection methods. Also, US Chess has voted to establish an Online Play Task Force, OPTF, that would rewrite and extend Chapter 10 of the USCF rule book, which has not been updated since 2014. I was honored to be invited to be a part of this group. The OPTF was hard at work from early May to end of June, 2020, and prepared the updated Chapter 10 by early July in time for the Delegates to approve it last weekend. This meant 7 of us met at least once, but sometimes twice a week, and had a 1.5-2 hours meeting via zoom. The group went through rule by rule, discussing wording, possible scenarios to consider, and making sure that we cover all relevant things that any TD might need to run an online event.

Read the rules, and let us know what you think:

US Chess Federation has its Annual Delegates meeting usually in connection with the US Open early August every year. This year, due to the cancellation of the over the board event, a Special Delegates Meeting will be held online this weekend, Aug 15-16.

Detailed information can be found here:
The OTPF Chapter 10 rules had two different town hall meetings for delegates and others who are interested:

July 23 was an old fashioned slide show and explaining the new rules, and giving TDs and organizers some tips. Watch the town hall:

Aug 11 was a more dynamic, open for questions, feedback and see what the delegates think about the proposed rules. Watch it here:

This past weekend, as part of the Delegate meeting agenda, it was up to the delegates to discuss, amend any part, and finally vote on it.

Any change in rules need delegates’ approval by 85%, so it was not a trivial task to achieve, but I’m happy to report that the motion to approve the new Chapter 10 for Rules of Chess has passed by 88%.

I'll be explaining some of the nuances in the next newsletter.

In connection, this is the time when US Chess releases its annual report:

Happy reading and please, tune in next week for some detailed article on the new online chess rules.

Alexey Root & Michael Walder: Grandmaster Chef

Recently, WIM Alexey Root and NM Michael Walder have been combining two passions, a love of chess and a love of food, together to explore what top GM's eat and cook. They have written two follow up articles for Chessbase, one on GM Boris Gelfand:

And one with GM Vishy Anand:

Bravo for these original pieces combining two art forms that are both science and creativity coming together. Enjoy!


Mechanics' Institute Regular Online Classes

New Session Starting August 31! Monday 6:30-8PM - Endgame Lab by FM Paul Whitehead

More information:

Register at:


Wednesday 6:30-8PM - Online class with FM Paul Whitehead

More information:

Register at:


Thursday 6:30-8PM - Online class with GM Nick de Firmian

More information:

Register at:


Coming Soon! The games and Tournaments of GM Nick de Firmian: Olympiads - Online class with GM Nick de Firmian

This class will be a reflective journey of some of the games and experiences of Mechanics' Institute GM in Residence and 3-time U.S. Champion GM Nick de Firmian. He will go over some of his games from Olympiads of the past where players can learn and interact while at the same time learning stories from the event and about players from the event from someone who lived it. It will be an exciting class that combines chess learning with storytelling for a fun and engaging class. Details to come!



Mechanics' Chess - Scholastic Offerings

Saturday, August 22: starts at 4:00PM - join from 3:45PM

5SS G/15+2:

Sunday, August 23: starts at 3:00PM - join from 2:45PM 

6SS G/10 +2 USCF rated:

Monday, August 24: starts at 4:00PM - join from 3:45PM

4SS G/15+0:

Tuesday, August 25: starts at 4:15PM - join from 4PM

5SS G/5+5:

Wednesday, August 26: starts at 4PM - join from 3:45PM

4SS G/20+0:

Thursday, August 27: starts at 4PM - join from 3:45PM
5SS G/5+5:

Friday, August 28: 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.   

Games from Scholastic Tournaments

Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian

(4) YellowPig357 (1304) - OnlySoreOcelot (1361) [C50]
Live Chess
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d3 0-0 6.Nd5 d6?! Black should prevent the pine 7. Bg5 wtith 6...h6 7.Nxf6+?! Making life easy for Black! With [7.Bg5! Be6 8.Nxf6+ gxf6 9.Bh6 White would have caused a lot of trouble with the black king protection.] 7...Qxf6 8.Bg5?! Qg6 9.Qd2?! h6! 10.Be3 [10.h4 would be a sacrifice to take kingside squares] 10...Bxe3? [10...Qxg2! would win either the knight on f3 or the rook on h1] 11.Qxe3 Qxg2 12.0-0-0 [12.Rg1!] 12...Kh7 [12...Bg4! 13.Nh4 Qh3 would be a safe and solid pawn ahead] 13.Rhg1 Qh3 14.Ng5+? This aggressive move doesn't work out. White gives up a knight but the black queen is protected from far away. 14...hxg5 15.Qxh3+ Bxh3 16.Rxg5 Be6 17.Bxe6 fxe6 18.Rdg1

White has the threatening doubled rooks on the g-file but Black could defend and be a piece up with 18....Rf7! 18...Rg8?? Oh no! This allows mate in one move. 19.R1g4? Nd4? giving White a second chance for mate. 19...g6 is still a knight up ending. 20.Rh4#! YellowPig357 won by checkmate 1-0

(5) AquaFreezingBicycle (1596) - KeenUpbeatClock (1524) [A85]
Live Chess
[de Firmian,Nick]

1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Bg5 h6 5.Bxf6 Qxf6 6.e3 Bb4 7.Nf3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Nc6 This is a reasonable Dutch Defense for both sides. 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 d6 11.Qc2?! [11.e4!] 11...e5! White has been a little slow with a central pawn break and Black gets there first, now having the advantage in the center. 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.e4 f4 14.Nd2 Be6 15.g3?! fxg3 [15...Bh3! would win the exchange as 16.Rfe1? fxg3 would be a quick win] 16.fxg3 Qg6 17.Qb2 b6 18.Qb5 Ne7 19.c5 [19.Qxe5 Rfd8 20.Rf3 Nc6 21.Qf4 Rd7 22.Nb3 Bg4 would give Black great activity for the pawn] 19...bxc5?! weakening the pawn structure. Black would have many threats after [19...Qg5!] 20.Qxc5 Qg5? Now this doesn't work so well as the white queen covers the check on e3 21.Nf3! Rxf3?! [21...Qg4] 22.Rxf3 c6 23.Raf1 Bxa2?! 24.Bc4+ [24.h4 Qg4 25.Qxe7 wins the knight] 24...Bxc4 25.Qxc4+ Kh8 26.Rf7 White is still well ahead with the exchange up and the powerful rooks cruising on the f-file 26...Qe3+ 27.Kh1 Re8

28.Qb4 [28.Rxg7! Kxg7 29.Qf7+ Kh8 30.Qxe8+ Ng8 31.Qxe5+ would wrap things up quickly] 28...Ng6 29.Rb7 a5 30.Qxa5? now the white king comes under fire. Better to keep control with 30. Qc4 30...Qxe4+ 31.Kg1 Qe3+ 32.Kg2 Qe2+ 33.Rf2 Qe4+ 34.Kh3 Nf4+! 35.gxf4 Qe3+ 36.Kg2 Qe4+ 37.Kg3 exf4+ 38.Rxf4 Qe3+? [38...Qe1+ 39.Kg2 Qe2+ would keep the draw with perpetual check. Now White gets to interpose and get shelter for the king.] 39.Rf3 Qg1+ 40.Kh3! Qd1 41.Qf5 Qd2 42.Qf7 Rd8? Allowing mate, though Black is quite lost now with a rook down and no good checks. 43.Qxg7# AquaFreezingBicycle won by checkmate 1-0

NEW: US Chess Online Rated Tournaments
Twice a month

August 23, @ 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

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
Friday 2:00-3:00PM - 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:

8/22 Saturday - Saturday Night Arena
Format: Arena G5+2 90mins
Start: 7:00PM
8/23 Sunday - USCF Rated Rapid
Format: 6SS G/15+2
Join from 1:00PM -
Start at 2:00PM
8/25 Tuesday - Tuesday Night Marathon Online
Format: 8 rounds of G/35+2 (Swiss) 2 games per week; 6:30PM, 8:00PM
8/26 Wednesday - Late Night showdown
Format: 5SS G/8+2
Join from 6PM - 
Start at 7PM
8/27 Thursday - Thursday Night Quads
Format: 3SS G/60+10
Join by 4PM -
Start at 6:30PM
8/28 Friday - Friday Evening Online Blitz
Format: 10 rounds of G/3+2 (Swiss)
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

The King March: Walk of Shame, Part 2.

We continue the horror (or the fun, depending on how you see it) of the long king walk: checkmate by fire or sword -  or sometimes just a nasty push from behind. 

These kings are goners.


This game must be considered a dream win for practitioners of the Colle System.

Marshall-Burn 1907

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bf4 Nbd7 4.e3 g6 5.Bd3 Bg7 6.Nbd2 O-O 7.h4 Re8 8.h5 Nxh5 9.Rxh5 gxh5.

Now it’s time to draw the king out:

10.Bxh7+ Kxh7 11.Ng5+ Kg6 12.Ndf3 e5 13.Nh4+ Kf6 14.Nh7+ Ke7 15.Nf5+ Ke6 16.Nxg7+ Ke7 17.Nf5+ Ke6 18.d5 Kxf5 19.Qxh5+ Ke4 20.O-O-O.

Black resigned.


The following two games share an uncanny resemblance: the queen is sacrificed on h6 and then a knight delivers mate on f4!  Nothing is new under the sun.  I’d like to point out that Blackburne forced the mate in 20 moves, while it took Tarrasch a whole 21 moves to get the job done.


Blackburne-Gifford 1874

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.Ng5 Nh6 6.Qh5 Qe7 7.f4 O-O 8.O-O d6 9.f5 d3

10.Kh1 dxc2 11.Nc3 Ne5 12.Nd5 Qd8 13.f6 Ng6 14.fxg7 Kxg7.

Once again the king is lured forward with a pretty sacrifice:

15.Qxh6+ Kxh6 16.Ne6+ Kh5 17.Be2+ Kh4 18.Rf4+ Nxf4 19.g3+ Kh3 20.Nexf4.



Here’s the companion game to Blackburne’s masterpiece.  Though not quite as dramatic, it shows the importance of learning the classics.

Tarrasch-Romberg 1893

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. Ng5 Nh6 6. Qh5 O-O 7. f4 Qe8 8. O-O d3+ 9. Kh1 dxc2 10. Nc3 d6 11. f5 Ne5 12. Nd5 Kh8 13. f6 Bg4 14. fxg7+ Kxg7.

Now the same pieces, the same square – even the same move number!

15. Qxh6+ Kxh6 16. Ne6+ Kh5 17. Ndf4+ Kh6 18. Ne2+ Kg6 19. Rf6+ Kxf6 20. Bg5+ Kg6 21. N2f4.



Here’s Tarrasch striking again, this time against a far stronger opponent.

Nimzovitch-Tarrasch 1914

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 e6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bd3 Nc6 6. O-O Bd6 7. b3 O-O 8. Bb2 b6 9. Nbd2 Bb7 10. Rc1 Qe7 11. cxd5 exd5 12. Nh4 g6 13. Nhf3 Rad8 14. dxc5 bxc5 15. Bb5 Ne4 16. Bxc6 Bxc6 17. Qc2 Nxd2 18. Nxd2 d4 19. exd4 Bxh2+ 20. Kxh2 Qh4+ 21. Kg1 Bxg2 22. f3 Rfe8 23. Ne4 Qh1+.

The white king gets forced out.

24. Kf2 Bxf1 25. d5 f5 26. Qc3 Qg2+ 27. Ke3 Rxe4+ 28. fxe4 f4+ 29. Kxf4 Rf8+ 30. Ke5 Qh2+ 31. Ke6 Re8+ 32. Kd7 Bb5.


Nimzovitch was fond of the lengthy king march, but this was too much even for him.


Here’s a master class in attack – from the 17thcentury!

Greco-NN 1620

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. Bxf7+ Kxf7 6. Ne5+ Ke6 7. Qxg4+ Kxe5 8. Qf5+ Kd6 9. d4 Bg7 10. Bxf4+ Ke7 11. Bg5+ Bf6 12. e5 Bxg5 13. Qxg5+ Ke8 14. Qh5+ Ke7 15. O-O Qe8 16. Qg5+ Ke6.

17. Rf6+ Nxf6 18. Qxf6+ Kd5 19. Nc3+ Kxd4 20. Qf4+ Kc5 21. b4+ Kc6 22. Qc4+ Kb6 23. Na4.



I love this miniature – it has snap, crackle and pop.  Unbelievably, it was a correspondence game.

Biegler-Peperle 1952

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. d5 Bc5 4. h3 Bxf2+ 5. Kxf2 Ne4+ 6. Kf3.

 Qh4 7. g3 Qxg3+ 8. Kxe4 f5+ 9. Kxf5 d6+ 10. Ke4 Bf5+ 11. Kxf5 Qg6.



A witty little miniature.

Hoffman-Petrov 1844 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 Ne4 7.Bd5 Nxf2 8.Kxf2 dxc3+ 9.Kg3 cxb2 10.Bxb2 Ne7 11.Ng5 Nxd5 12.Nxf7 O-O 13.Nxd8 Bf2+ 14.Kh3 d6+ 15.e6 Nf4+ 16.Kg4.

And now a slow yet deadly continuation:

16…Nxe6 17.Nxe6 Bxe6+ 18.Kg5 Rf5+ 19.Kg4 h5+ 20.Kh3 Rf3.



Here is a real king march!  It’s almost comical how proudly the king marches forward to his own doom.

Matschego-Falkbeer 1853

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6. Nc3 d6 7. Nc4 Be7 8. d4 Nh5 9. Be2 Bxh4+ 10. Kd2 Qg5 11. Kd3 Nc6 12. a3 Bf2 13. Nd5 Bxd4 14. Nxc7+ Kd8 15. Nd5 f5 16. Nxd6 fxe4+ 17. Kc4.

Now comes a really brilliant shot:

17… Qxd5+ 18. Kxd5 Nf6+ 19. Kc4 Be6+ 20. Kb5 a6+ 21. Ka4 b5+ 22. Nxb5 axb5+ 23. Kxb5 Ra5+ 24. Kxc6 Bd5+ 25. Kd6 Ne8.




This is a sort of companion game to the one above: a slashing attack and the king driven from pillar to post.

Reinisch-Traxler 1890

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5.

The famous Traxler Variation.

5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Ke2 Nd4+ 7.Kd3.

Black’s continuation now is incredibly inspired:

7… b5 8.Bb3 Nxe4 9.Nxd8 Nc5+ 10.Kc3 Ne2+ 11.Qxe2 Bd4+ 12.Kb4 a5+ 13.Kxb5 Ba6+ 14.Kxa5 Bd3+ 15.Kb4 Na6+ 16.Ka4 Nb4+ 17.Kxb4 c5.



Not just the provenance of the old-timers, here is a modern-day example of the king hunt.

Topalov-Bareev 1994

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.c3 Nd7 8.Qc2 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.f4 Ng6 11.g3 O-O 12.Bd3 Qd5 13.a3 Nxf4 14.Nxf6+ gxf6 15.Bxh7+ Kg7 16.Qe4 Re8 17.Qxe8 Bf5 18.Qxa8 Qe4+ 19.Kf2.

Here we go!

19… Qg2+ 20.Ke3 Nd5+ 21.Kd4 Qd2+ 22.Kc5 Qe3+ 23.Kc4 Nb6+.

White resigned.

It’s a forced mate in 4 moves.


GM Nick de Firmian's Column

Finals of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour – a true heavyweight fight.

The cream of the chess world gathered for Magnus’s invitational chess tour. (We note that this was a great source of entertainment for the chess world, and even very casual chess players. Other sports had simply stopped.) The finals ended up with the two clearly best rapid and blitz players in the world. That Magnus reached the finals is simply expected. There are a few of the world’s top players that you would expect to meet him there, but only one player will make it a true battle – America’s Hikaru Nakamura. Now Nakamura has faded from the top 10 in classical chess, but remains a monster when the time limit is reduced. His confident approach and a willingness to live through mistakes is the perfect recipe for success in blitz and rapid.

The finals was an online match, best of 7 mini-matches. Each mini-match was 4 rapid games (15 minutes to each side with 10 second increment) and if the mini-match was tied after the 4 games then it was decided with two blitz games (5 min + 3 sec increment). If still tied the mini-match would come down to one Armaggedon blitz game where White has an extra minute but needs to win. This format is something like tennis, where the winner needs to win best of 5 sets and each set can be determined by a tie-breaker.

The heavyweight battle did not disappoint. Though Magnus has been very dominant of late (even more than usual), Hikaru put him on the defensive throughout the match. Naka scored first to take the first mini-match 2.5-1.5. Magnus bounced back the next day to win Again Naka took the lead in the 3rd mini-match, with Carlsen taking the 4th to tie everything again. The important 5th mini-match was a great struggle tied after 6 games, so had to be decided by the Armaggedon game. Naka with black needed only a draw, but closed out with a win. On the brink of elimination Magnus showed what happens when he is angry and decidedly won the 6th mini-match to even the score 3-3 going into the deciding 7th day the heavy fight is in the final round. The final match was a great struggle that could have gone either way. First Carlsen scored in the rapid time control, but Nakamura evened it up to go into the blitz games. Naka took the first blitz game but couldn’t hold the second. The match came down to one Armaggedon game with Nakamura as White needing to win. Though he got a queen against rook and bishop, Carlsen built a fortress that couldn’t be breached and so won the match by the smallest possible margin. We look forward to a heavyweight rematch between these two combatants.

(1) Carlsen,Magnus - Nakamura,Hikaru [C54]
Finals MC Chess Tour, 17.08.2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 This Guico Piano position has become very popular. 6...h6 7.Re1 0-0 8.Nbd2 a5 Stopping White from advancing on the queenside. 9.Nf1 Be6 10.Bb5! Ne7 11.d4 exd4 12.cxd4 Bb6 13.Ng3 White has gotten a small edge from the opening. His center pawns control space. 13...d5 14.e5 Ne4 15.Bd3 Nxg3 16.hxg3 a4 17.Bc2 a3 18.bxa3 Bg4 19.a4 Qd7 20.Ba3 Rfe8 21.Bxe7! It seems strange to trade the bishop but the black knight was coming to f5 with pressure against d4. 21...Qxe7 22.Qd3 The threat of mate from the queen and bishop causes a weakeness on the black kingside. 22...g6 23.Nh4! 24. e6 Bxe6 25 Nxg6 is the threat. 23...Qb4

24.Nxg6! Qxd4 25.Ne7+! Kf8 [25...Rxe7 26.Qh7+ Kf8 27.Qh8#] 26.Nxd5 Qxf2+? This looks aggressive but it's White who gets the attack. [Black needed to trade into the endgame with 26...Qxd3 27.Bxd3 Ba5 28.Re3 Red8] 27.Kh2 Rad8 28.Rf1!
28...Rxe5 [There was no good in retreating - 28...Qc5 29.Rxf7+! Kxf7 30.Rf1+] 29.Rxf2 Rdxd5 30.Rxf7+! Ke8 [30...Kxf7 31.Rf1+ Ke7 32.Qh7+] 31.Qxd5 It's simplest to trade into a winning edgame. 31...Rxd5 32.Bg6 stopping ...Rh5 mate 32...Kd8 33.Re1 c6 34.Rxb7 Bc7 35.Re8+ Kd7 36.Rh8 1-0


(2) Nakamura,Hikaru - Carlsen,Nagnus [C65]
Finals MC Chess Tour, 18.08.2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.Nbd2 Nakamura likes the white side of this opening. Black has doubled pawns but also the bishop pair. Like most versions of the Exchange Variation the chances are about equal. 6...0-0 7.Qe2 [7.Nxe5? Qd4] 7...Re8 8.Nc4 Nd7 9.Bd2 b5 10.Ne3 Nf8 11.h4!? The h-pawn takes kingside territory. Perhaps Black does best to respond on the queenside with 11...a5 and ignore the advance. 11...Ne6?

ready to jump into the d4 square, but there is a problem. 12.Nxe5! courageously just taking the pawn and calculating carefully that it works. 12...a5?! admitting things went wrong though the game move does nothing to help [12...Nd4 13.Nxf7! (13.Qh5 g6 14.Nxg6 Bd6! is good for Black) 13...Qf6 14.Qh5 keeps a solid pawn ahead fro White as the c5 bishop is attacked.] 13.Qh5 g6 14.Qf3 f6 15.Nxc6! Qd7 16.Qxf6! Qxc6 17.Bc3
17...Rf8 There is no way out. The white queen and bishop battary take down the black kingside. 18.Qh8+ Kf7 19.Qxh7+ Ke8 20.Qxg6+ Kd7?! 21.d4 b4 22.dxc5 Black resigned. 23. Rd1+ is going to be a real killer. 1-0


(3) Nakamura,Hikaru - Carlsen,Magnus [C65]
Finals MC Chess Tour, 16.08.2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.Nbd2 0-0 7.Qe2 Re8 8.Nc4 Nd7 9.h4 a5 10.h5 b5 11.Ne3 Nf8 12.Bd2 Ne6 13.a4 b4?! 14.b3 The black pawns have no way to break through on the queenside. 14...Ba6 15.g3 Bxe3 16.Bxe3 f5 17.Rh4 [17.exf5? Nd4!] 17...f4 18.Bd2 Nd4?! 19.Nxd4 Qxd4 20.Rc1! fxg3 21.fxg3 Qg1+?! 22.Qf1 Qxg3+ 23.Qf2

23...Qxf2+ Black trades into a pawn up bishops of opposite color ending. That sounds good, but the black pawns are targets while the white pawns are strong and solid. 24.Kxf2 Re6 25.Rg1 Rf8+ 26.Ke1 Bc8 27.h6! g6 28.Bg5 Ree8 29.Rh2 Rf3?! 30.Rf2 The trade of rooks will happen because both sides want the f-file. 30...Rxf2 31.Kxf2 Rf8+ 32.Ke3 Kf7?! making the trade of the last pair of rooks easy. Some defensive chances could be had by [32...Re8 33.Bf6 Kf7 34.Rf1 Kg8] 33.Rf1+ Ke8 34.Rxf8+ Kxf8 35.Bd8 c5 Black is a pawn up, bishops of opposite color, and completely lost. 36.Bxc7 Ke7 37.Bxe5 Kd7 38.Bf6 Bb7 39.Kf4 Bc6 1-0


(4) Nakamura,Hikaru - Carlsen,Magnus [C65]
Finals MC Chess Tour, 20.08.2020

It all came down to this Armageddon game to decide the match. Naka had White and an extra minute on the clock but needs to win the game. A draw gives Carlsen the tournament victory. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6 These players have given this opening variation a great work out in this match. 6.Nbd2 Be6 7.h3 Nd7 8.Nf1 f6 Carlsen finally has found a solid set-up for the Black side against Naka's opening ideas. 9.g4 Qe7 10.Ng3 0-0-0! The black king is safer over on the queenside. 11.Qe2 Kb8 12.a3 Bb6 13.Be3 Nf8 14.0-0-0 Ng6 15.Nh5 Bxe3+ 16.Qxe3 c5 17.Nd2 b6 18.Nb1 Nh4 19.Rhg1 g5! now black holds an edge due to control of the f4 square. His light-squared bishop can exchange for any white knight that hops into f5. 20.Nc3 Ng6 21.Kb1 Nf4 22.Nxf4 gxf4 23.Qe2 h5 24.f3 hxg4 25.hxg4 Rh3 26.Rg2 Rdh8 27.Rdg1 Rh1 28.b3 c4 29.dxc4 Qxa3 30.g5?! fxg5?! [30...Rxg1+ 31.Rxg1 fxg5 would give Black a serious edge as White cannot capture on g5 here - 32.Rxg5? Rh1+ 33.Nd1 Qd6 34.Kc1 Qd4 35.Rg2 Qc3 36.Kb1 Qe3 leaves White in dire straits.] 31.Rxg5 a5 32.Qd3 Kb7 33.Rg7 Rxg1+ 34.Rxg1 Rh7 35.Na4 Qd6 36.Qc3 Bd7 37.Nb2 Rh3 38.Rd1 Qe7?! [38...Qc6] 39.Nd3?! [39.c5!] 39...Rxf3 40.Qxe5

40...Rxd3! 40...Qe6 might be objectively better, but Magnus sees he will get fortress in a situation where he only needs to draw. 41.Qxe7 Rxd1+ 42.Kb2 Bc6 43.e5 f3 44.Qf6 Rd2 45.e6 f2 46.e7 Re2 47.Qf7 Rxe7 48.Qxf2 The queen cannot win with all the pawns on one side. The rook and bishop easily hold off any white advance. 48...Rg7 49.Qf4 Rg2 50.Qe5 Rg6 51.c3 Rg2+ 52.Kc1 Rg4 53.Qe6 Re4 54.Qf7 Re1+ 55.Kd2 Re4 56.b4 axb4 57.cxb4 b5! 58.cxb5 Bxb5 59.Qd5+ Bc6 60.Qc5 Re6 61.Kc3 Rd6 62.b5 Bd7 63.Qe5 Bc8 64.Kc4 Rb6 65.Kc5 Kb8

The black rook simply shuffles from b6 to d6 for the rest of the game and White can do nothing. Draw agreed, so Magnus wins the tournament but a fantastic battle from Hikaru. 1/2-1/2

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