November 27, 2020
By Abel Talamantez
Table of Contents
- Thanksgiving Message
- Mechanics' TNM Report
- Mechanics' Thursday Night Marathon Report
- FIDE Trainer Seminar
- Mechanics' League Play
- Dr. Alexey Root
- Become a Mechanics' Institute Member
- Twitch Arena
- Weekly Classes
- Pacific Regional Grade Level
- Scholastic Online Offerings
- Online Events Schedule
- FM Paul Whitehead's Column
- GM Nick de Firmian's Column
- Submit your piece or feedback
Happy Thanksgiving everyone from the chess department. We hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday and we thank you for your support!
The Mechanics' Institute Tuesday Night Marathon concluded this week with GM Gadir Guseinov defeating GM Jim Tarjan in a great positional game to win the TNM with a score of 5.5/6. This much anticipated matchup showcased Guseinov's patience, slow build up, and precision, against an always dangerous and tough Tarjan. Guseinov defeated Tarjan in round 5 and then sealed the deal with a 6th roun win against NM Arun Dixit. FM Kyron Griffith took sole 2nd place in the TNM after a final round victory over IM Elliott Winslow, finishing with 5/6. Rising young talent Nicholas Weng took sole 3rd place with a sharp final round win over Ethan Guo.
In the under 1800 section, Philip Gerstoft and Pranav Pradeep tied for first with a score of 5.5/6, with their only draw coming against each other in round 3. Tying for 3rd with 4/6 were Bryan Hood, Sebby Suarez, Kevin Sun , and Nate Andaya.
Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the players who participated!
Here are two games from the final rounds, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.
(2) GM Jim Tarjan - GM Gadir Guseinov [A26]
TNM Chess.com, 24.11.2020
The battle of the heavyweights. 1.c4 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.Bg2 d6 4.Nc3 e5 5.e4 Nc6 6.Nge2 Tarjan likes this Botvinnik pawn set-up with the white side. It has shown up in a number of his recent games. 6...f5 7.d3 Nf6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nd5 [9.Rb1 with the idea of pushing the b-pawn is the standard plan, Tarjan's move seems equally good.] 9...Be6 [9...Nxd5 10.cxd5 Ne7 11.Be3 c6 12.dxc6 bxc6 gives Black central control from the pawns at the cost of a little loosening of the position] 10.Bg5 Qd7 11.Qd2 Kh8
This is a complex position with various options for White. 12.Rac1 [12.Nxf6 Bxf6 13.exf5 Bxf5 14.Bxf6+ Rxf6 15.b4 Would again be the standard queenside expansion. White should have an edge here.] 12...Rae8 13.b3 Ng8 14.exf5 [Grandmasters may prepare one plan but switch to annother if the tactics change. Yet there was also good reason to follow through on the previous move with 14.c5] 14...Bxf5 15.Rce1 Nd8 16.d4 Nf7 17.Be3 c6 18.Ndc3 e4
19.f3?! This starts to change the game in Black's favor. A stronger plan, suggested by the computer, was [19.d5 c5 20.Nf4 Nf6 21.Ne6! which gains play since 21...Bxe6 22.dxe6 Qxe6 23.h3 h5 24.Bf4 Qf5 25.Qc2 White wins the pawn back with an edge.] 19...exf3 20.Rxf3 Nf6 21.Ref1 d5 22.cxd5 cxd5 23.Nf4 Nd6 24.h3? This ends up as a weakeness that gets taken. [White should have played 24.Nd3 Nfe4 25.Nxe4 dxe4 26.Nc5 Qc8 27.R3f2 b6 with a small edge for Black but nothing severe. Now White is in trouble.] 24...Nfe4 25.Nxe4 Bxe4 26.R3f2 Bxg2 27.Rxg2
27...g5! 28.Ne2 [Somewhat better was 28.Nd3 Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Qxh3 30.Kg1 Ne4 31.Qe1 when Black is a pawn ahead with also a big positional advantage, yet White could still hope.; 28.Nxd5? Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Ne4] 28...Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Qxh3 30.Bxg5 Ne4 [Even better was 30...Qh1+ 31.Ng1 Ne4 32.Qe3 Qh5! winning immediately as the bishop on g5 is threatened and also the deadly ...Qe1+] 31.Qe3 Qh1+ 32.Qg1? losing immediately [32.Rg1 Qh5 33.Bf4 Nxg3+ 34.Rxg3 Rxe3 35.Rxe3 is a winning ending for Black with queen and pawn for rook and knight. White could still play at least.] 32...Qxg1+ GGuseinov won by resignation. Black wins the bishop on g5. 0-1
(1) IM Elliott Winslow (ecwinslow) (2043) - FM Kyron Griffith (KyronGriffith) (2235) [D30]
Live Chess Chess.com, 24.11.2020
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 Avoiding the crazy lines of [5...dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7] 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3 Be7 We have now transposed into the (usually) calm lines of the Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange Variation. 8.Qc2 h6 [8...0-0 9.Bd3 Re8 is the most common line, avoiding moving any black pawns on the kingside for the moment] 9.Bf4 0-0 10.h3 Re8 11.Bd3 Nf8
12.0-0-0?! [12.0-0 or; 12.Bh2 should be a safe, pleasant position for White. Winslow decides to go for the gusto and mix it up.The opposite sides castling suddenly makes the game very exciting as White wants to pawn storm the kingside and Black to attack on the queenside. I expect Beth Harmon would approve. She wouldn't play the Queen's Gambit for a draw.] 12...Qa5 13.Kb1 Be6 14.g4 Ne4! Kryon remembers that for good attacks you need to control the center. 15.Rhg1?! White needs to deal with the center squares immediately. [15.Bxe4 dxe4 16.Nd2 b5 17.Ndxe4 Ng6 18.Bg3 b4 19.Na4 Bd5 20.f3 Bh4 is compensation for the pawn] 15...Bb4 16.Bxe4 dxe4 now White can't take the e-pawn 17.Nd2 Bd5 18.a3?! [18.Nxd5 cxd5 19.a3 would keep the disadvantage to a minimum. Black would have more play, but all the white pawns are solid.] 18...Bxc3! 19.Qxc3 Qb5 Black's control of the light squares on the queenside is more impotant than anything White can do on the kingside. 20.Rc1 Ne6 21.Bg3 Ng5 22.h4 Nf3 23.Nxf3 exf3 24.Rgd1? [24.g5 keeps White in the game (though under strong pressure). Now Black takes full command of the position as White can't break out of the light square bind.] 24...a5 25.Ka1 a4 26.Qd3 Qb3!
27.Qxb3 axb3 The black bishop on d5 is a powerhouse. White cannot generate active play on either side of the board and must await Black's advance. 28.g5 hxg5 29.hxg5 Kh7! note the difference between the two monarchs. Kyron's king comes up to attack and Elliott's is stuck in the corner. 30.Rd3 Kg6 31.Rc5 Rh8 32.Rd1 b6 33.Rc3 Kxg5 The extra pawn is decisive. Bishops of opposite color give hopes for a draw only if all the rooks get exchanged, which Kyron will not allow. 34.Kb1 Kf5 35.Kc1 Ke4
The centralized black king deserves a diagram. It's perfectly safe on e4 as the white pawns are blockaded and the white rooks can't break through. 36.Kd2 f6 37.Bc7 b5 38.Bd6 g5 39.Rg1 Rag8 40.Ra1 f5 41.a4 Winslow takes his chance to finally gain some activity. 41...bxa4 42.Rxa4 Ra8? [42...Rh1! 43.Ra7 Re8 stops the threatened check on e7 and the Rh1 invades to take the f2 or b2 pawn. This would be a quick finish.] 43.Rxa8 Rxa8 44.Rc1 Rh8 45.Rg1 Rh5 46.Be7? low on time White makes a mistake by attacking the g5 pawn and taking the guard off of the h2 square. He could still have put up resistance with [46.Kc3!] 46...Rh2 47.Ke1
47...Kd3! Kyron charges in. The black monarch finishes the job. 48.Bxg5 Kc2 49.Bf4 Rg2 50.Rh1 Kxb2 51.e4 fxe4 52.Be3 Kc2 KyronGriffith won on time 0-1
For more information on the November TNM, please follow this link: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/november-2020-tuesday-night-marathon-online
Here are the final standings:
The Thursday Night Marathon has an off week this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We will be back next week with round 3.
For more information about this event, follow this link: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/thursday-night-marathon-g605-novdec-2020-pilot
Here are the current standings for our G/60+5 USCF rated Thursday Night Marathon:
The Mechanics' Institute will be organizing its first FIDE Trainers Seminar on December 11-13, 2020. This seminar is for coaches and players looking to enhance their education in coaching and understanding the learning of chess. Participants at the conclusion of the seminar will take an exam towards the awarding of a FIDE title for trainers.
The instructors and lecturers for this seminar include GM Melik Khachiyan, GM Jacob Aagaard, GM Dejan Bojkov, IM John Donaldson, IM Kostya Kavutskiy, WIM Dr. Alexey Root, Dr. Judit Sztaray and Abel Talamantez. Topics for the seminar include Some of the topics covered will be the role of the trainer, fair play in chess, psychological issues, study of classical games, tactics training, training in calculation, and means of improvement.
For more information and to register, please follow this link: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/fide-trainer-online-seminar-dec-11-13
Save Big in the Process!
Join the Mechanics' Institute, and realize savings on our events and classes while supporting our mission to provide a center for cultural and intellectual advanncement
We are doing a membership drive through the end of the year for new members and to encourage current members to renew.
- Discount on most chess events or classes.
- Full use of the Library and its services, including online databases, ebooks, and more!
- Free or reduced admission to cultural events, programs, classes, and book groups.
- Access to the Chess Room and its tournaments and classes.
- WiFi access throughout the Library, Chess Room, and 4th floor meeting room.
- Membership access at other membership libraries.
The chess room staff at the Mechanics' Institute are taking on all comers now weekly, as each of us will live stream an arena tournament where we will commentate our own games! You might be playing 3-time US Champion GM Nick de Firmian, or perhaps our commentator and instructor extraorinaire FM Paul Whitehead. Try to take down Organizer sensation Dr. Judit Sztaray or Chess Director Abel Talamantez. We will all be live on Twitch playing, reviewing about our games, and talking about anything that comes up in the chat. Come hang out with us at the Mechanics' online club, perhaps we may even give out an occasional free prize!
Arenas are an hour long, and the chess staff will be paired against the first available player to play at the conclusion of their games. All other players will be paired with the next available opponent. This will continue for the whole hour. While there is no guarantee you will be paired against a chess staff member, you will have a very good chance at it, depending on the number of players playing. All games will be streamed live on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/mechanicschess
Check out the times here:
FM Paul Whitehead Arena: Tuesdays 5pm-6pm, 12/1: https://www.chess.com/live#r=688462
GM Nick de Firmian Arena: Thursdays 5:00pm-6:00pm, 12/3:
See you in the arena!