September 19, 2020
By Abel Talamantez
Table of Contents
- US Cadet Championship
- Chess Etiquette
- Community Tuesday Night Marathon Report
- Weekly Classes
- Scholastic Online Offerings
- Online Events Schedule
- TD corner
- FM Paul Whitehead's Column
- GM Nick de Firmian's Column
- Submit your piece or feedback
Mechanics' Institutue to Organize 2020 US Cadet Championship National Online September 25-27, 2020. More than $7,000 in Prizes!
The Mechanics' Institute is proud to announce we have been approved by the US Chess Federation to organize the 2020 US Cadet National Championship September 25-27, 2020, online via Chess.com. This tournament is an 8-player invitational for the top under-16 year old players in the country. Six players are chosen by USCF rating, one player is an automatic qualifyer by winning the Barber Championship (K-8 Champion), and one player is an organizer wild card. The winner wins a $6,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice, courtesy of Dewain Barber, Dean of Scholastic Chess, and the US Chess Federation. There will also be a $1,200 prize pool courtesy of the US Chess Federation.
This is the field:
- IM Justin Wang (USCF ID: 14930904 - rating: 2540)
- IM Christopher Yoo (USCF ID: 15244943 - rating: 2540)
- IM Andrew Zhang Hong (USCF ID: 14941904 - rating: 2533)
- FM Robert Shlyakhtenko (USCF ID: 14951916 - rating: 2459) (Barber Champion)
- IM Arthur Guo (USCF ID: 14772092 - rating: 2446)
- FM Maximillian Lu (USCF ID: 14732597 - rating: 2431)
- FM Christopher Shen (USCF ID: 14432243 - rating: 2424)
- NM Ruiyang Yan - (USCF ID: 15462690 - rating: 2242) (Organizer Wildcard)
We are excited to see in the field the two previous winners of the Mechanics' Institute's Neil Falconer Award (Hong, Yoo) and a Tuesday Night Marathon regular (Yan). We know many in the Bay Area will be cheering these players on!
We will be broadcasting the event on our Twitch channel HERE. GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead will provide commentary over the weeknd for this event, joining Judit and I. We will also have GM Patrick Wolff join us for a few of the rounds.
We look forward to hosting this national championship event next weekend!
For more information, such as round times and format, please visit the event page HERE
Just as in baseball there are unwritten rules, such as don't steal a base when you have a big lead, do not bunt to break up a no-hitter, and don't gawk at a long home run you just hit, so too does the game of chess. And just like a player can be beaned by the opposing team for violating these rules, so to can there be consequences, or at least a talking to, by the tournament director and/or organizer.
Case in point, we recently had an online event in which a very highly rated scholastic-aged player was playing a much higher rated master, and the position looked pretty even in the endgame. The scholastic player offered a draw, and it was declined. This same player went on to offer about eight more draws over the next roughly 15 moves, which made the broadcast team (Paul, Judit and I) begin to discuss the etiquette of offering draws, especially when it involves a much lower rated player playing a higher rated player. FM Paul Whitehead was very clear where he stood on the issue, saying that a lower rated player may ask for a draw, but once declined, must prove his or herself to be able to hold the position to a draw, and any further offer of a draw will be perceived as an insult.
I was directing a tournament at Mechanics' Institute when a 2000-rated scholastic player offered a draw to an International Master, who took great offense at the offer. The rebuke got so loud I had to go to the table and inform the IM that the player had the right to offer the draw. In my opinion, a player has the right for the first offer without rebuke, but should not offer again and earn the draw. While by the book a player can offer a draw whenever within reason, repitition may earn you a reputation you probably would rather not have. The game continued until it was at last, drawn.
IM John Donaldson played a Monday Night Rapid one evening and was offered a draw in a position that clearly had much chess to play, and the quiet rebuke from the legend towards the player created a tension where you could feel the player instantly regret the offer.
While there may be other dynamics at play here, it is easy to believe that kids just are not aware, and this may be true. They at least need to be informed it is considered a violation of an unwritten rule of chess, though it sorts of does have language written down in the USCF Rules of Chess under annoying behavior.
20G. Annoying behavior prohibited. It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. A director, upon a complaint by the opponent, has discretion to determine whether any particular behavior is in violation of this rule and to impose penalties. See also 1C2, Director discretion; 21F, Player requests for rulings; and 21K, Use of director’s power. 20G1. Inadvertent annoying behavior. Sometimes a player’s actions, though annoying to the opponent and possibly others, are clearly unintentional. For instance, a player may occasionally cough. While the director has the right to invoke rule 20G, this is quite harsh if the player’s actions are involuntary. A partial solution is to assign such a player to a board in another room or far away from other games.
I have had several conversations with parents and their kids regarding rules such as these, and by far most of the time it is well received. This is all a product also of proper coaching and guidance in teaching players the sportsperson-like way to play the game. I had an incident one time a few years ago where I was playing a tournament, and was crushing my opponent, mate was forthcoming, and the player offered me a draw. I politely (outwardly) declined and went on to win the game. I later had a conversation with the player's parent about it, who then had a discussion with the player. I was given an apology, and the player has since grown to earn the NM title and has been an exceptional person and player since.
I'm remembering one incident during a US Amateur Team Championship - I was playing a scholastic player and was cruising to a win in a completely won endgame, where all of a sudden, on my opponents move, he goes and starts watching other games. While it is a team event where the outcome of other games is important, this player was games from the top boards, that had nothing to do with his own team! You can imagine what went through my head at the time, and after about 10 minutes, I had decided I was going to take my time, eat lunch, observe games, all while milking time and making my opponent sit and wait until he resigned or allowed mate to be delivered. Fortunately it did not have to go that way, as we played normally until the end came. But this was an odd 10 minutes, how can anyone do that?
But now we have online chess, and new issues not really thought about before. In addition to excessive draw offers, we have one annoyance that is particular to online play, excessive chat.
Excessive chat during a game can be annoying. While some players enjoy chatting with players, most during a rated game prefer to be just playing the game. Perhaps the new online rules can allow for a broader applicability to rule 20G on annoying behavior, but something like this can cause a distraction to a player. While a player may just disable chat, why should they have to deal with that distraction in the first place?
Fortunately, these cases are rare, and when they have happened and we inform the player and/or parents, it has almost always been a productive discussion and proper sportsmanship learned. This is natural and expected. As online play will continue to be the way of chess for a little while longer, who knows what other new things will come up that could get lumped into the discussion of what is the proper etiquette. If something ever comes up for a player, immediately inform a TD. Our USCF rated events always have a TD present, available by chat, email or phone call, or in the case of many of our events as well, a Zoom help line.
Chess is art, it is also a sport. And like many sports, there are some things you just have to know, and we will help explain.
The 3rd and 4th rounds of the Mechanics' Institute Community TNM had some exciting action this week, as the top players in their sections mixed it up, producing some action-packed games and heart thumping endgames. GM Aleksandr Lenderman got through an inferior position out of the opening aganist Pranav Sairam to get the win. This led to a marquee round 4 match between Lenderaman and FM Kyron Griffith in round 4, who had earlier defeated Arul Viswanathan. The game was very sharp, but Lenderman was in top form in this game and delivered a beautiful win.
The other big game in round 4 was between IM Elliott Winslow and NM Ruiyang Yan. This hear pounding game was one of the last games remaining in the round, and from a position that looked like either player could soon deliver the knockout, it was Rui who landed the haymaker, taking advantage of a blunder to win the queen and the game.
In the under 1800 section, Pranav Pradeep continues perfection, as he defeated Erika Malykin in round 4 to take a half point lead in the section over Yali Perlman.
Here are the current standings:
SwissSys Report: Mechanics' Community TNM Online
SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Community TNM Online: 1800+ (Standings (no tiebrk))
|#||Name||ID||Rating||Fed||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Rd 6||Total|
|8||Nicholas Ruo Weng||15499404||1958||ninjaforce||W34||L4||W27||W13||3.0|
|9||Alex Paul Chin||17050697||1811||achingolf||W5||W15||D2||D10||3.0|
|15||Ethan [kaza Boldi||15088362||2120||etvat||W24||L9||W18||L7||2.0|
|17||Thomas F Maser||10490936||1900||talenuf||L1||W33||H---||H---||2.0|
|18||Kenneth E Fee Jr||12480902||1884||KenFee||L3||W25||L15||W32||2.0|
|19||Rudolph Fr Breedt||13701346||1884||bobbejaan||L4||W32||W14||L6||2.0|
|23||Cailen J Melville||14006141||1940||Mangonel||L21||W31||L22||D24||1.5|
|25||Patrick Peiju Liu||16667410||1719||katechen77||L7||L18||D31||W33||1.5|
|29||Nicholas Ar Boldi||15088356||1883||nicarmt||L2||L20||L32||W34||1.0|
|31||Davi Flores Gomez||14799653||1812||PlayerCreate1||L10||L23||D25||D26||1.0|
|33||Kevin M Fong||17254586||1783||chessappeals||L6||L17||D34||L25||0.5|
SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Community TNM Online: u1800 (Standings (no tiebrk))
|#||Name||ID||Rating||Fed||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Rd 6||Total|
|2||Ya Dancig Perlman||16280288||1235||noydan100||B---||D6||W15||W8||3.5|
|7||Rama Krish Chitta||17350313||1499||draidus||D21||L9||W14||W17||2.5|
|14||Yuvraj Si Sawhney||17095004||823||SaintReturns||L17||B---||L7||W21||2.0|
|19||Danny Du Uy Cao||16939797||843||caodanny||L3||L5||B---||L10||1.0|
|20||Cleveland W Lee||12814843||unr.||vincitore51745||H---||H---||L3||L11||1.0|
Here are some games from the evening, annotations by GM Nick de Firmian
(5) GM Alexander Lenderman (AlexanderL) (2801) - FM Kyron Griffith (KyronGriffith) (2148) [E94]
MI Tuesday Night Online Chess.com (4.1), 15.09.2020
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 exd4 New ideas in this seemngly concession of the center have brought this towards the forefront. [7...Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 is still a vast theoretical continent to master.] 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6
(8) IM Elliott Winslow (ecwinslow) (1978) - NM Ruiyang Yan (jij2018) (2133) [D38]
MI Tuesday Night Online Chess.com (4.2), 15.09.2020
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Not seen so often any more. [5.e3 ends up in a more Nimzoindian-like line, and indeed after 5...0-0 6.Bd3 c5 7.0-0 we have one of the main positions, where the only difference is the bishops on b4 vs d3.; 5.Bg5 is quite popular, as is; 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 (but 6.Bf4 seems to have caught on at the very top lately, including with Carlsen.) ] 5...Nc6 6.Bg5 [6.e3] 6...Bd7 Hoping to get in ...Nxd4! [6...h6 seems more to the point (but not as tricky), when 7.Bxf6 is most overwhelmingly played (although 7.Bh4 scores better) ] 7.Qb3
(9) NM Ruiyang Yan (jij2018) (2125) - Alex Chin (achingolf) (1968) [B78]
MI Tuesday Night Online Chess.com (3.4), 16.09.2020
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Nxd4 Topalov's line. A somewhat simplified but no less critical way for Black to play. [11...Ne5 is the longstanding continuation, still up in the air.] 12.Bxd4 b5 13.Kb1?! [13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.exd5 a5 16.a3 Kg8 remains unclear.] 13...b4 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.Bxd5 Bxd4 16.Qxd4 Qc7 17.Rd2 a5 18.b3 Bb5! White is suffering. 19.e5? In desperation Ruiyang frees e4 for the bishop, at the cost of a valuable center pawn. [19.h4!? e6?! (19...h6! is a solid advantage for Black; 19...Qc5 could be good as well.) 20.h5! exd5?? (20...Qc5; 20...Qc3) 21.hxg6 fxg6 22.Qxd5++-] 19...dxe5-+ 20.Qe3 e6 21.Be4 Qc3 [21...a4!] 22.Qxc3 Rxc3 23.Rhd1 Rfc8 24.Rd8+ Kg7 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.a4 bxa3 27.c4
45...e4?? [45...e2! 46.Rb1 when Black has two moves (only!) to draw: 46...Kc2 (and 46...e4) ] 46.Ke5?? [46.Rb3+!! is the only move to win -- but it does! 46...Kd2 47.Rb4! e2 48.Rxe4 e1Q 49.Rxe1 Kxe1 50.Kf6 Kf2 (50...g5 51.g4) 51.Kxg6 Kxg2 52.h4+-] 46...e2= 47.Rb1 e3 48.Kf4 Kd2 49.g4 e1Q 50.Rxe1 Kxe1 51.Kxe3 Kf1 52.Kf3 Kg1 53.h4 Kh2 54.Kf4 Kh3 Both players have reason to be unsatisfied with their play, but the result is a fair finish. Quite a battle! And Alex Chin joins the group of upcoming young stars! [54...Kh3 55.h5= (55.g5=) ] 1/2-1/2
(6) Kristian Clemens (kclemens) (1802) - Jwalin Shah (jshah1331) (1698) [D59]
MI Tuesday Night Online Chess.com (3.11), 16.09.2020
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.e3 b6 Peter Svidler noted in his Master Class that in the Soviet Union they called this the "TMB" Variation. Tartakower, Makagonov, Bondarevsky. They could add a few other names, for instance Kasparov after his marathon world championship matches with Karpov -- and Karpov too, as at some point they were "turning the tables" and playing each other's openings. 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bxe7 Nxe7!? All the greatest players in this position have captured with the queen, but this move has some logic as well. Black gets to the long diagonal right away. But that knight is not happy on e7, plus getting the queen off the back rank is useful. [9...Qxe7 is mostly routine here. Add Geller and Spassky (Bondarevsky's student) to that list above, and if you haven't committed Fischer-Spassky, World Championship Game 6, Reykjavik 1972 to memory, or at least seen it, please do so immediately. And toss in Timman-Geller, Hilversum 1973 for a lesson in play against a king in the center. (White's!)] 10.Bd3 Bb7 In fact, White doesn't even have a plus score from here! Jwalin Shah is another of the Bay Area's improving juniors, just breaking into "A" with more to come. 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Qe2 c5 Quite sensible, to equalize in the center (as so often happens in this line), maybe give his knights some better squares. 13.Rfd1 Kristian's smooth development packs some lurking danger. 13...cxd4
(7) Nitish Nathan (BreatheChessAlways) (1934) - NM Michael Walder (FlightsOfFancy) (1839) [A43]
MI Tuesday Night Online Chess.com (4.6), 16.09.2020
1.d4 c5 2.Bf4?! Too mechanical! White has to do something about the immediate attack on his center. [2.d5 is really the only way to make something of the first move.; If you're a desperate London player then 2.c3 is the way to go.] 2...cxd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qd1 e5 5.Bg3 d5 White's opening is a disaster. And this obvious move might not even be best: [5...h5!? requires 6.h3 but White is squarely worse. (or 6.h4) ; 5...Qb6 causes further disarray in White's game.] 6.c3 Nf6 7.Nf3?! [7.e3 first] 7...Bd6 [7...e4! 8.Nd4 e3! 9.fxe3 Ne4 is unsavory.] 8.e3 0-0 9.Be2 e4 Quite a different story now. Black should solidify his center. Any developing move, [or even 9...h6 so that ...Be6 on the next move won't be harassed. And on 10.Bh4 Black has the happy choice between 10...g5 (and 10...Be6) ] 10.Nd4 Bxg3 11.hxg3 Ne5
(1) Marina Xiao (programmingmax) (1553) - Andrew Ballantyne (andrewaballantyne) (1296) [C54]
Live Chess Chess.com, 16.09.2020
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.b4 This logical move is not played as often as one would expect. 6. Nbd2 or 6.0-0 are flexible, but this direct expansion on the queenside can't be bad. 6...Bb6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Be6 [Here I would suggest Black play 9...g5 10.Bg3 a5 11.b5 Ne7 with the knight headed to g6 and good play on the dark squares.] 10.Nbd2 a5?! Black is playing logical moves, but they don't fit together quite right here. 11.b5 Bxc4 12.Nxc4 Na7?! [12...Nb8 followed by ...Nbd7 would keep the knight more in play. White is now gaining a substanstial advantage.] 13.a4 Bc5?! 14.Qe2 [There is no reason not to grap the pawn with 14.Nxa5] 14...c6
(2) Vishva Nanugonda (vish1080) (1998) - Nitish Nathan (BreatheChessAlways) (1949) [A16]
Live Chess Chess.com, 16.09.2020
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 A choice to take the game into an open position. Black could have delayed any central action with 3....0-0 or 3...d6. 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 transposing to traditional Gruenfeld lines where White has the pawn center. Some players like to play the endgame with the continuation [6.dxc3 Qxd1+ 7.Kxd1] 6...Bg7 7.Bc4 delaying the central advance d4. More natural is [7.d4 0-0 8.Be3] 7...0-0 8.h3?! [8.d4] 8...c5 9.0-0 Nc6 Now White has trouble to get in d4, so Black has few worries about the center. 10.Bb2 a6 [10...Na5!] 11.d4 Qc7 12.Ba3 cxd4 13.cxd4
To watch the broadcast of the evening's action, please follow this LINK.
Event page is HERE for more information.