February 20, 2021
By Abel Talamantez
Table of Contents
- USATW Games
- USATW Scholastic
- Twitch Arena
- Weekly Classes
- Online Events Schedule
- Scholastic Corner
- FM Paul Whitehead's Column
- GM Nick de Firmian's Column
- Solutions to FM Paul Whitehead's Column
- Submit your piece or feedback
Round 3 of the TNM had some highly anticipated matchups, and in such a strong field, we knew there would be tough games in all the remaining rounds of the event. But as round 3 proved, anything can happen, and even some of the strongest talents in chess can have moments of humanity. IM Josiah Stearman was paired against GM Aleksandr Lenderman on board 1 with the white pieces. Josiah lost concentration for a moment, however, and blundered a piece before move 10, resulting in a quick finish to that game. What stood out for me was that I made the exact same blunder several years ago in a simul against Hou Yifan. It was a tough loss for a young phenom who only recently earned his IM title. He will no doubt bounce back strong, perhaps this weekend as he competes in the US Amateur Team North tournament organized by Chess Weekend.
GM Gadir Guseinov defeated IM Elliott Winslow, and FM Eric Li won a phenomenal game against FM Kyron Griffith with a brilliant positional sacrifice. Another exciting game in the top section in round 3 was Nicholas Weng's win against Chelsea Zhou, a game that is among the ones annotated for this newsletter. It's great to see such fighting chess in our events, particularly from the kids.
Round 4 saw a friendly draw between GM's Lenderman and Guseinov, in which the broadcasters joked about the over/under for a draw being agreed being 12 moves. It was 17. The board 2 game saw a methodical win by GM Jim Tarjan over FM Eric Li. This led to a 3-way tie at the top after 4 rounds, with GM Lenderman, GM Guseinov and GM Tarjan at 3.5/4.
In the under 1800 section, Sebby Suarez won the battle of unbeatens in round 4, using a nice tactical shot to score a win against Patrick Donnelly. He is in sole first with 4/4. Michael Jannetta is at 3.5 and four players sit with 3/4.
The final two rounds are next week, and we should see some lots of action and players position themselves for the prize pool of this USCF rated event.
Here are some games from the round, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.
(1) FM Eric Li (kingandqueen2017) (2130) - FM Kyron Griffith (KyronGriffith) (2311) [A41]
Live Chess Chess.com, 17.02.2021
1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 e5 Kyron likes this variation where he hits at the central dark squares immediately. 5.dxe5 dxe5 6.Qxd8+ Kxd8 Black has lost the right to castle, but that is less important in the endgame. 7.f4 Nc6 8.Nf3 Bg4 9.Be2 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Nd4 11.Bd1 [More harmonius is 11.Kf2 as White is not afraid to lose the bishop for Black's strong central knight.] 11...f6 12.Kf2 Bh6 13.Kg3 c6 14.fxe5?! This gives Black fine dark square control and thus some edge. White could maintain the balance with [14.Ne2] 14...fxe5 15.f4 Bxf4+ ∓ 16.Bxf4 exf4+ 17.Kxf4
One must admire the work ethic of the white king who seems to be leading the charge to the middle of the board. Still, Black holds the advantage with the better pawn structure. 17...Ke7 18.Ke3 Rd8 19.Rf1 Nh6 20.b4 Rd7 21.h3 Rhd8 22.Rc1 Nf7?! [22...Ne6 23.Be2 a5! hitting at the dark squares would maintain the edge. Now the white bishop comes to a good post.] 23.Bg4 Ne6
24.Nd5+! This fine trade of material activates the white position. 24...cxd5 25.cxd5 Nf8 26.Bxd7 Nxd7 White has a rook and pawn for the two black knights, which is usually not quite enough. Here though it is Black on the defensive as the white rooks are active and the passed center pawns are a latent threat, 27.Rc7 Nfe5! Active defense is best. Kyron gives away the queenside pawns to get all the black pieces to good squares. 28.Rxb7 Rc8 29.Rxa7 Rc3+ 30.Kd2 Rc4?! It was better to keep the white king cut off with [30...Rxh3 when chances would be even. Black would have chances for mate if the black king would join the knights and rook in the attack.] 31.b5 Rxe4 32.a4 Kd6 33.a5 Rb4?! [33...Nc4+ 34.Kc3 Nc5! 35.Rf8 Na4+ would still hold the draw as there are many variations where Black gets perpetual check. Now the white queenside pawns become a strong threat] 34.b6 Rb5 35.Kc2 Nc4 [35...Rxd5? 36.Rd1! is the idea. If the rooks get traded the white king has no problems] 36.Rf7 Nde5 37.Rf6+ Kxd5 38.b7 Kd4
39.Rb6! Nxb6?? the wrong capture [39...Rxb6 40.axb6 Nd7 41.Ra8 Ncxb6 42.Rd8 Ke5 would be a draw with best play. White can always with a knight for the b-pawn but that would not be enough with the reduced material.] 40.b8Q A queen is a queen. The black attack with the knights, rook and king doesn't work here. 40...Rc5+ 41.Kd2 Nd5 42.Qb2+ Nc3 43.Qa1! Nf3+ 44.Kc2 kingandqueen2017 won on time 1-0
(2) FM Eric Li (kingandqueen2017) (2122) - GM Jim Tarjan (Tirantes) (2444) [D31]
Live Chess Chess.com, 17.02.2021
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 Grandmaster Tarjan has always been a classical player. 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 Nf6 [5...c6 is the safer way to develop the queen bishop, but allows 6.e3 Bf5 7.g4 among other things.] 6.e3 Bf5 7.Qb3!? White doesn't back down! Now Black joins the complications. 7...Nc6!? [There is also the somewhat less exciting 7...Qc8 White could be the first to back down with 8.Nf3 which might be a small but solid advantage, whether Black finally plays (8.Nxd5 Nxd5 9.Qxd5 Bb4+ 10.Kd1 0-0 with some comp in the king losing its right to castle, but that appears to be less permanent than the pawn deficit.) or keeps up the gambit ruse with 8...0-0 (8...c6) -- when White can take it even further: 9.h3 (or 9.Be2) 9...h6 10.Be2 c6 11.0-0 Ne4 12.Rfc1 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nd7 14.a4 Nf6 15.c4 Be6 16.a5 Ne4 17.c5] 8.g4!? Nor apparently is young Eric Yuhan Li -- but is this home preparation or over-the-screen inspiration? Probably the former. But many a player, including some of the finest (Gelfand!? Ivanchuk!?) have backed down. [8.a3 with better results -- but the computers think Black is fine, even a tad better after 8...Na5 9.Qa4+!? (9.Qa2 c6 10.Nf3 (10.b4?! Nc4 11.Bxc4 dxc4 12.Qxc4 Be6 13.Qd3 b5 is the sort of position that the phrase "full compensation" is made for.) ) 9...c6 10.Nf3 0-0! (10...Nh5? 11.Bc7! Qxc7 12.Nxd5! and the knight on a5 loses its safe square at c4) 11.Ne5 b5 12.Qd1 (You have to see 12.Qxa5!? Qxa5 13.Nxc6
13...Bxa3!! which may well be fine, depending on how long the computer grinds away at it!) 12...Qc8!? 13.Be2 Qb7 14.0-0 Nc4 0-1 (25) Machalova,M (2187)-Garcia Vicente,N (2244) Plovdiv 2003; And what of 8.Qxb7!? Nb4 9.Bb5+ (9.Rc1) 9...Kf8! and now many moves are enticing, including 10.Kd2 Ne4+! (10...Bd6 11.Bxd6+ cxd6 12.Be8! Kxe8 13.Qxb4 1-0 (54) Volzhin,A (2425)-Koniushkov,I (2265) St Petersburg 1995) 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Bxc7 Qc8 13.Qxc8+ Rxc8 14.f3! and White manages to hold on but it's not easy] 8...Nxg4 9.Qxd5! [9.Nxd5 0-0 10.Bg2 Bh4 11.Bg3 Be6 12.Kf1 a5! was the "introduction" to this madness: 0-1 (39) Topalov,V (2725)-Kasparov,G (2795) Linares 1997.] 9...Qxd5! [9...Qc8 10.Qg2! 0-0 11.e4 Bxe4!? 12.Nxe4! Bb4+ 13.Nc3 saw Aronian defending against one of Kasparov's ideas: 1-0 (39) Aronian,L (2808) -Kramnik,V (2785) Monte Carlo 2011 CBM 142 [Krasenkow,M]] 10.Nxd5 Bb4+! 11.Nxb4 "Almost" everybody has taken here, but notice the alternative and the players: [11.Nc3 0-0-0 12.Bg2 Bd6 (12...Rhe8! with a tiny advantage after 13.Nge2 Nf6 14.0-0 Nh5 15.Bg3 Nxg3 16.hxg3 -- that pawn center is a factor.) 13.Bxd6 Rxd6 14.Nge2 with a slight but persistent plus, 1-0 (46) Wojtaszek,R (2727)-Tarjan,J (2478) Caleta 2016. Tarjan must have taken a further look at this line since then.] 11...Nxb4 12.Rc1+/= White just has an opening edge. Black can hope to hold White back, but with patience it should favor White. Not easy in practice! 12...0-0 [Perhaps this recent game attracted attention, by the player of the hour, most recent vanquisher of Carlsen (and who knows what's to come!): 12...Nd5 13.Bg3 (13.h3!? Ngf6 14.Be5 0-0 15.Ne2 1-0 (44) Fridman,D (2653)-Svane,R (2401) Osterburg 2012, but you know So has dissected this already.) 13...0-0-0 14.Ne2 c6 15.Rg1 Ngf6 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.bxc3 Ne4 18.f3 ½-½ (39) So,W (2770)-Abdusattorov,N (2627) Chess.com INT 2020. And don't overlook the player of Black; eleven years So's junior, Abdusattorov is a future threat to the world throne.; But the most popular so far has been 12...c6 Look what happened to one of our current GM TNMers: 13.h3 Nf6 14.a3 Nbd5 15.Be5 Nd7 16.Bd6 (16.Bxg7?! Rg8 17.Bh6 (17.Be5? Nxe5 18.dxe5 Nxe3!) 17...Rg6 18.Bf4 Nxf4 scrambles White's pawns with advantage) 16...N7b6 17.b3 Rd8 18.Bg3 0-0 White's bishops and big center give him an edge, but they just didn't come into play: 0-1 (57) Lenderman,A (2623)-Le,Q (2697) Las Vegas 2015.] 13.h3 Nf6 14.a3 Nbd5 15.Be5 c6 16.Ne2
16...Rfe8N [It's all happened before until here, in a pretty high-level game: 16...Nd7 17.Bd6 Rfe8 18.Nf4 Nxf4 19.Bxf4 Nf6 20.Rg1 Nd5 21.Be5 f6 22.Bg3 Rad8 23.h4 Kf7 24.Kd2 h6 25.Be2 g5 26.hxg5?! hxg5= Here also the light-square control and central pressure kept Black afloat, even winning down the line: 0-1 (62), Gustafsson,J (2625)-Baramidze,D (2611) Oberhof 2012] 17.Rg1 Bg6 18.Bg2 [18.Nc3!+/-] 18...Rad8 19.Ng3 Nd7
20.Bd6? The turning point comes relatively soon, once they left praxis. [White still has something after 20.Bxd5 Nxe5 (20...cxd5 21.Bc7 Rc8 22.Kd2) 21.dxe5 Rxd5 22.f4 but maybe the practical problems are too much: 22...Red8 23.f5 Rxe5!? and a lot of pawns are going for the piece.] 20...N7b6! 21.Bc5 Na4! 22.b3 Nb2! Black's knights are all over the place! 23.Bf1?! Bad, but already Black is on a roll. [23.Bxd5 Nd3+; 23.Bxa7 Nd3+ 24.Kd2 Nxc1 25.Rxc1 Rd6 gives White a pawn and both bishops on the board for the rook (and minor), but it's thankless and still lost.] 23...b6 Exposing the weakness at d4 (the pin on the e-pawn!). Black is quite won now. 24.Bb4 Nxb4 25.axb4 Rxd4 26.Bc4 Rh4 And there are more where that came from -- but Black never has to take on h3. 27.Kd2 Rd8+ 28.Kc3 Nxc4 29.bxc4 b5 [29...Rd3+ 30.Kb2 Rd2+ and ...Rxf2] 30.cxb5 [30.f4!?] 30...cxb5 31.Rgd1 Rc4+ 32.Kb2 Rxb4+ 33.Ka3 Ra4+ 34.Kb3 Rb8 35.Rc7 h5 36.Rdd7 h4 37.Ne2 Bf5 38.Re7 Be6+ 39.Kc3 b4+ 40.Kd2 Ra2+ Tirantes won by resignation. A fantastic game from both the theoretical and sporting aspect. Tarjan is one of the hardest working chess players ever! 0-1
(4) Nicholas Weng (ninjaforce) (1984) - Chelsea Zhou (mwncklmann) (1947) [B70]
Live Chess Chess.com, 16.02.2021
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5
A classic Yugoslav Attack against the Dragon. It's wonderful to see this great fighting variation, which is a little out of fashion in top grandmaster chess these days. Those players prefer more solid openings like the London System. 12.h4 h5 The Soltis Variation is best. Black needs ...h5 to slow down the white assualt. Fischer had always said when playing against the Dragon. "pry open the rook file and sac, sac, mate!" 13.Bg5 Rc5 14.Kb1 b5 15.g4 a5 16.gxh5 a4
17.h6! Bh8 we are still in opening theory 18.Bd5 [White could keep the lines to the black king open with 18.h7+ Nxh7 19.Bd5 b4 20.Nce2 though that's just another wild, complicated variation] 18...b4 [18...Kh7! uses the white pawn on h6 as a shield] 19.Nce2 Qb6? [19...Kh7 is really required now] 20.Nf4 Kh7 21.h5! now the white attack gathers steam and is hard to stop 21...Nxd5 [21...e6 22.hxg6+ Nxg6 23.Nxg6] 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 23.exd5 e6 24.Qf4 exd5 25.Bf6!
trading off the dragon bishop is the last key measure. White has a raging attack while Black never had time to get the counterattack going. 25...Qb8 26.Bxh8 Rxh8 27.Qf6 Rg8 28.f4 Ng4 29.Qxf7+ Kh8 30.hxg6 great attacking by ninjaforce! 1-0
(5) IM Elliott Winslow (ecwinslow) (2230) - Jeffery Wang (twangbio) (1951) [E61]
Live Chess Chess.com, 16.02.2021
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 0-0 8.Rb1 [8.Be3 c5 9.Rc1 Nc6 10.d5 Ne5 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.Bxc5?! (12.f4) 12...Qa5?! 13.Bd4?! Bxd4 14.Qxd4 Qxa2 15.Bc4 Qb2 16.0-0 was these same two players last March; 0-1 (50) ecwinslow (2172)-twangbio (1759) Chess.com 2020] 8...c5 9.Be2 Nc6 [9...cxd4 10.cxd4 Qa5+ has passed by the game to become "the main line" -- usually White offers the a-pawn: 11.Bd2 (Rather amusing was a bullet game of Nakamura's last year: he played 11.Qd2 and his opponent "pre-moved" 11...Qxa2!! Naka response was "Huh?") 11...Qxa2 12.0-0 when Black has played pretty much everything, including 12...a5!? at the highest levels: 13.Qc1 (White has more promising moves: 13.Bg5; 13.d5; even 13.Re1 has been successful.) 13...Bg4 14.Bc4 Qa4 15.Bb5 Qa2 16.Bc4 Qa4 White took on b7 but the draw happened shortly anyway: ½-½ (23) Kramnik,V (2765)-Leko,P (2630) Dortmund 1996.] 10.d5 Ne5 [10...Bxc3+ 11.Bd2 Bxd2+ 12.Qxd2 Na5 13.h4! Bg4 14.h5! Bxf3 15.gxf3 e5! is still quite up in the air. (15...e6 allowed Winslow to show what he's capable of: 16.Qh6 Qf6 17.hxg6 Qxg6 18.Qh2 Kh8 19.Kd2 f5 20.Rbg1 Qf7 21.dxe6 Rad8+
22.Ke3?? f4+ 0-1 (22) Winslow,E (2306)-Lu,J (1957) Berkeley 2018) ] 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.Qc2 [The at first curious 12.Qd2 has been the main continuation for many many years, while the established line that has put White off has been 12...e6 13.f4 Bc7! So much for 14.c4! 14.c4 Ba5] 12...Qc7 [12...Qd6!? keeps an eye on d5 and could well be better. 13.g3 (13.Qd2!? is very tricky -- no . ..Bc7!) 13...f5! has done well in various games, but not in: 1-0 (33) Winslow,E (2318)-Sirak,G (1807) Mechanics' Capps mem, San Francisco Oct 28, 2017] 13.g3 e6 [13...Bh3? 14.f4 Bg7 15.g4!+- 1-0 (46) Winslow,E (2309)-Wang,Sophie (1515) Berkeley 2019] 14.f4 Bg7 15.Bc4!? [15.c4 Bd4 16.h4 exd5 got very crazy in Komarov,D-Berebora,F, Cordoba op 1994.] 15...Re8 [15...b5!? 16.Bxb5 exd5 17.exd5 Bf5 18.Bd3 Rfe8+ 19.Kf2 and White hung on to win: 1-0 (32) Dudas,J (2310)-Mocary,M Bratislava 1990] 16.0-0+/= exd5?! Permits White to set up an "outpost bishop" on d5. [16...b6 17.Bb5 Bd7? (17...Rd8! prevents the following) 18.d6! 1-0 (31) Remling, C-Beutel,J Wiesbaden 1992] 17.Bxd5 Rb8 18.c4 Be6 19.Bb2?! Bxd5 20.cxd5 Bxb2 21.Rxb2 c4! Black's queenside majority could be no less dangerous than White's center and possible kingside play. 22.Kg2 Qc5 23.Rd1 b5 24.e5
24...a5 [24...c3! gets there first, stopping the rook from blockading the passed c-pawn. White would have a harder task making anything happen with his queen tied down then.] 25.Qe4 c3 26.Rc2 b4 27.d6 a4 28.Rd3 White tries to hold the line by pressuring c3 28...Qb5?! [28...Qa5! draws, as do other moves. c3 is still covered, so now ...b3 is threatened.] Now White gets to open up the kingside, scaring the king. 29.d7! Red8 30.e6!
30...fxe6 [30...b3? 31.axb3 axb3 32.Rcxc3 b2 33.Rb3+-] 31.Qxe6+ Here even Stockfish is having a hard time deciding what the evaluation is. 31...Kg7 [31...Kf8 was promising at first, but even there it looks like White worms his way in: 32.Rd5 Qb6 33.Rd6 Qb7+ 34.Kh3 Qf3 35.Re2] 32.Rd5 Qb7 33.Qe7+ Kg8 34.Qe6+ Kg7 35.f5!+- Tearing up Black's king cover. (That's what a kingside majority is good for!) 35...gxf5 36.Kh3! Qb6 37.Qe7+ [37.Rd6 is even stronger, mate in 11 even, if you believe computers] 37...Kg8 38.Rxf5 Qh6+
39.Kg2?? [39.Kg4! is safer! 39...Rf8 (39...Kh8 40.Rg5) 40.Rg5+ Kh8 41.Rf2 Qxg5+ 42.Kxg5 Rxf2 43.Qe5+ That rook on b8 keeps getting victimized.] 39...Qc6+ 40.Kg1 h6 41.Qf7+ Kh8
42.Rf6?? [42.Re2=; 42.Qe7=] 42...Rxd7-+ 43.Qg6 [43.Rxh6+ Qxh6 44.Qxd7 Rf8] 43...Rd1+ 44.Kf2 Qc5+ Now it's Black's turn -- and he still has his pawns. 45.Kg2 [45.Ke2 Qe5+ (45...Rd7 wins as well) 46.Kf2 (46.Kxd1?! Rd8+ 47.Kc1 Qe1#) 46...Qg5] 45...Qd5+ 46.Kh3 Qg5! The threat to exchange queens is a prime defensive motif. 47.Qf7 Rg8 48.Qe6 Qh5+ 49.Kg2 Qd5+ 50.Qxd5 Rxd5 51.Rxh6+ Kg7 52.Rb6 Rd4 53.Kf3 Rgd8 54.Ke2 Rd2+ 55.Rxd2 Rxd2+ 56.Ke3 Rb2 57.Kd3 c2 58.Kd2 b3 59.axb3 axb3 60.h4 Rb1 twangbio won by resignation. Another epic game in this variation. 0-1
(6) Sebby Suarez (SebbyMeister) (1771) - Patrick Donnelly (thedarkbishop) (1776) [B22]
Live Chess Chess.com, 16.02.2021
1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Nf6!? better to just take the d-pawn back right away 4.c4 holding on to the material [4.Qa4+ Bd7 5.Qb3 is another way] 4...b5?! This kind of Benko Gambit doesn't work well here. 5.Nc3 bxc4?! [5...b4] 6.Bxc4 Nbd7 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 Nb6 9.Bf4!
SebbyMeister has managed the opening issues very well and has emerged with a clear pawn ahead, Pursuing development is the right thing to do here. 9...g6? [9...Nxc4 10.Qxc4] 10.Nb5! this hurts 10...Nfxd5 11.Bxd5 Nxd5
12.Qxd5! winning a piece, plus disrupting Black's castling. The game is over. 12...Qxd5 13.Nc7+ Kd7 14.Nxd5 Bb7 thedarkbiship fights on, but there is nothing to be done unless White seriously blunders. 15.Rd1 Kc6 16.Nf3 f6 17.0-0 e5 18.Be3 e4 19.Ne1 Rd8 20.Rc1+ Kd6 [20...Kxd5 21.Rd1+ Ke6 22.Rxd8] 21.Nc3 Ba6 22.Rd1+ Kc7 23.Nd5+ Kb8 24.Bf4+ Kb7 25.Nc2 Bxf1 26.Kxf1 even winning this exchange is hopeless as the white pieces are very active 26...Kc6 27.Nd4+ Kxd5?! [27...Kb7 28.Ne6 Rd7 29.Rd4 Kc6 30.Nxf6 is no real hope anyway] 28.Nb3+ Ke6 29.Rxd8 nothing can go wrong for White anymore 29...g5 30.Be3 Ke7 31.Ra8 f5 32.Rxa7+ Kd6 33.Ra8 Bg7 34.Rxh8 Bxh8 35.Bd4! Bxd4 36.Nxd4 Kc5 37.Nxf5 h5 38.a3 1-0
SwissSys Standings. 2021 February TNM: 1800+
|#||Name||ID||Rating||Fed||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Total||Prize|
|1||GM Aleksandr Lenderman||12787646||2704||alexanderl||W23||W13||W11||D2||3.5|
|2||GM Gadir Guseinov||17343590||2673||gguseinov||W30||W6||W12||D1||3.5|
|3||GM Jim Tarjan||10991820||2469||tirantes||W31||D9||W16||W5||3.5|
|4||FM Kyron Griffith||12860484||2504||kyrongriffith||W8||W14||L5||W9||3.0|
|5||FM Eric Li||15688436||2344||kingandqueen2017||W24||W26||W4||L3||3.0|
|11||IM Josiah Stearman||14006506||2491||josiwales||W10||W7||L1||U---||2.0|
|12||IM Elliott Winslow||10363365||2278||ecwinslow||W25||W15||L2||L8||2.0|
|22||John R Hartmann||12552251||1765||john_hartmann||H---||H---||L7||D31||1.5|
|29||NM Alice Lee||16059648||2200||powerofapoint||L26||H---||U---||U---||0.5|
|30||NM Tom Maser||10490936||1900||talenuf||L2||L25||L28||H---||0.5|
SwissSys Standings. 2021 February TNM: u/1800
|#||Name||ID||Rating||Fed||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Total||Prize|
|5||Daniel R Perlov||16465203||1463||Daniel_Perlov||W18||L4||W29||W14||3.0|
February Blitz Championship Saturday the 20th!
Join us for a USCF rated G/5+2 8-round battle starting at 6:30pm Pacific time. Prize fund is $400 b/30. Register by following this link: https://mechanics-institute.jumbula.com/2021OnlineTournaments/MechanicsMonthlyOnlineBlitzChampionshipFeb2021
We will also be streaming the blitz on our Twitch channel here: https://www.twitch.tv/mechanicschess
See everyone at the virtual club for some fast and furious action Saturday night!
The February-March Thursday Night Marathon with a time control of G/60+5 begins this week, February 25th. This event is 5 rounds with one game per week and is USCF online regular rated. This is the perfect tournament for those that prefer longer time controls. To register, please follow this link:
Here are the results from the previous Thursday Night Marathon:
SwissSys Standings. Jan-Feb 2021 Thursday Night Marathon: Open (Standings (no tiebrk))
|#||Name||ID||Rating||Fed||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Total||Prize|
|1||GM Gadir Guseinov||17343590||2700||gguseinov||W13||W4||W5||W2||D3||4.5||136.00|
|2||IM Elliott Winslow||10363365||2278||ecwinslow||W14||W10||W11||L1||W7||4.0||63.47|
|3||NM Mike Walder||10345120||2106||FlightsOfFancy||W20||W17||D6||W16||D1||4.0||63.47|
|8||NM Thomas Maser||10490936||1900||talenuf||L23||W22||W15||W18||D5||3.5|
|13||Jeff C Andersen||11296106||1643||zenwabi||L1||W33||L28||W26||W25||3.0|
|16||FM Allan G Savage||10014999||2200||duchamp64||W15||W12||D7||L3||L10||2.5|
|19||Jacob S Wang||17083655||1560||jacobchess857||H---||W37||W29||L11||L6||2.5|
|24||Linu John Alex||13836822||1652||ibalek||L28||W26||L21||X31||F15||2.0|
|37||Jared Michael Ruiz||30106002||unr.||jpoka1||H---||L19||L31||L30||F38||0.5|
|38||Jake Chi Hang Li||17144246||946||TanFlatPupet||L17||L20||L26||L34||F37||0.0|
There were so many exciting games from our recently concluded US amateur Team West. Our local players did quite well, including our local college powerhouse UC Berkeley winning the championship of the west. We included some games in newsletter 954, but here are two games from some of our local talents that are very much worthy of mention. The first is a draw by Lauren Goodkind against NM Joshua Grabinsky and the second a win by 2020 San Francisco Scholastic Champion Shawnak Shivakumar against 2019 US Women's Champion WGM Jennifer Yu. Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian.
(7) Lauren Goodkind (laurengoodkindchess) (1997) - NM Joshua Grabinsky (MateSchmate) (2232) [C01]
Live Chess Chess.com, 30.01.2021
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 The French Defense is very principled: bring the pressure on White's unguarded center pawn; if White pushes forward, attack the chain and (hopefully) be the one with the center in the end. 3.exd5 And this is a surprisingly popular way to avoid that struggle, of Space vs. Solidity. The cast of top players who have played the Exchange Variation is -- well, everyone. Kasparov played it quite a few times. Obviously White can't expect to get an objective advantage this way, and the percentages are pertty paltry, but it might win the psychological battle -- many French Defense players are disappointed at some level, to have their counterattacking chances thwarted. [3.e5; 3.Nd2; 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5 Qxd5 (4...exd5) ] 3...Qxd5 And some rare number or players go to extremes to do something about it! The database has about a thousand games with this -- out of well over 60,000! This has become, depending on how you look at it, a Center Counter where Black has blocked in the queen bishop -- not at all popular! [3...exd5 is of course normal, if you don't mind White still being a move up. In fact, Black scores a wee bit better than even!] 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 [The only game with a 2800+ average rating (!) went 5.c4 Qd8 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 b6 9.Bf4 Bb7 10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Rad1 with a healthy space advantage. Admittedly this was a Bullet game (1 minute!), but the players make it noteworthy. 1-0 (26) Carlsen,M (2832)-Nakamura,H (2786) chess.com INT 2018] 5...Qd8 [5...Bb4 makes a bit more sense -- French players (well, Winawer players) shouldn't mind giving up their bishop if it comes to that. And in fact this position usually comes from the Winawer move order with 4.exd5.] 6.Bd3 c5! [Last grandmaster reference: 6...Nbd7?! 7.Qe2 Be7 8.Be3 a6 9.Ne5 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd5 11.Bd2 Bg5 12.0-0 Bxd2 13.Qxd2 Nb4 14.Rad1 Nxd3 15.Qe3! Bd7 16.Rxd3 Qe7 17.Rfd1 Bc6 18.Ne4 0-0
19.Nf6+!+- 1-0 (42) Ragger,M (2682)-Sokolov,A (2496) Brest 2019] 7.0-0 Nc6!?
8...Qc7N [Here the game heads out on its own. Previous was 8...Bd7 9.d5 exd5 10.Nxd5 Nxd5 11.Qxd5 Be7 12.Bg5 0-0 13.Rfd1 Bxg5 14.Nxg5 Qf6 15.Bd3 Nb4 16.Bxh7+ Kh8 17.Qxc5 and White has everything: 1-0 (26) Khadempour,F (2180)-Zentai,P (2263) Budapest 2009] 9.Re1 [9.Bg5!?; 9.d5! could catch Black's king in the center still.] 9...cxd4 10.Nxd4 [10.Qxd4! plays for Bf4] 10...Bd7 11.Nxc6 Bxc6 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.Qxd5 White's advantage is insignifcant now. 13...Bd6 14.Bxc6+ bxc6 15.Qh5
15...0-0-0? Black takes this "playing for a win" too far -- the king would be much safer on the other side. 16.Be3 g6 17.Qh4 f5?! 18.Bg5 Rde8 19.Re3 The engines want to run the queen over to the queenside here, with what they make to be a won game. 19...e5?! [19...h6] 20.Qa4 and here: +- 20...Kb7 21.Rb3+ Ka8 22.Be3 Rc8 23.Rd1?!
[23.Bb6! stops any ...Rd8 defence.] 23...c5?! [23...Rhd8! works now, since 24.Bb6?? runs into 24...Bc5!! completely turning the tables.] 24.Qa6! Now it's White on top again. 24...Rhd8 25.Rbd3 Be7 26.Rxd8 [26.Qe6! is a bit better.] 26...Rxd8 27.Rxd8+ Bxd8 [and here 27...Qxd8 loses a pawn also but with more counterplay.] 28.g3 g5 29.Qb5 f4 30.Bxc5 f3?! That pawn should be lost. [30...h5] 31.Qd3 Even stronger: [31.h3; 31.c4] 31...Qxc5 32.Qxd8+ Kb7 33.Qd7+ Ka6 34.Qd3+ [34.Qxh7!?] 34...Kb6
35.Qe3?? Everybody hates queen endings, but not when they are the way to win! [That pawn had to go: 35.Qxf3! Qxc2 36.Qf6+ gets the e-pawn, guarding b2 as well] 35...Qxe3! 36.fxe3 g4!= Nobody can do anything, an all too common pawn ending situation. 37.Kf2 Kc5 38.Ke1 Kd5 39.Kf1 a5 40.Ke1 Kc4 41.Kf2 Kb4 42.Ke1 a4 43.a3+ Kc4 44.Kf2 Kd5 45.Ke1 Kc4 46.Kf1 h6 47.Ke1 Kd5 48.Kf1 Ke4 49.Kf2 h5 50.b3 axb3 51.cxb3 Kd5 52.b4 Kc4 53.Ke1 Kb5 54.Kf1 Kc4 55.Ke1 Kb5 56.Kf1 Ka4 57.Ke1 Kb5 Close! But the master slips away as all too usual. 1/2-1/2
(3) WGM Jennifer Yu (ahappypawn) (2061) - Shawnak Shivakumar (alphaunlimited) (1996) [D35]
Live Chess Chess.com, 31.01.2021
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Bd3
7...Bg4 In this until-now normal Exchange Queen's Gambit Black plays a fairly rare move, but it has to be taken seriously. Swinging around to g6 will counter White's most dangerous light-square bishop. 8.Qc2 Bh5 Wasting no time getting on plan. 9.Nf3 [9.Nge2 Bg6 gets there first.; 9.h3 Bg6 10.Bxg6 hxg6 11.Nf3 Nbd7 12.0-0 0-0 13.Rab1 a5 was a 2600 game with Black showing typical solidity against the Minority Attack: ½-½ (30) Bai,J (2600)-Zvjaginsev,V (2627) China 2019] 9...Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Not at all common in this particular configuration. [10.h3; 10.0-0 Bxf3!?] 10...Nf8!? Black needn't be in any hurry to castle -- nor does he have to castle kingside! 11.h3 Ne6
12.Bh4N [It's quite nice to see the final precedent being two of the superstars of the past: 12.g4 Nxg5 13.Nxg5 Bg6 14.Bxg6 hxg6 15.Kb1 Bb4 16.Ne2 Qe7 17.Nf4 Bd6 18.Nd3 Ne4 19.Nxe4 Qxe4 20.Qe2 0-0-0 and there it is, Black is happy to use that rook on h8. ½-½ (67) Polugaevsky,L-Lein,A Baku 1961; 12.Bxf6!? is a shade off equality for White.] 12...Bg6 [12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Nh5 is fine for Black] 13.g4 Qc7?! 14.Ne5 [14.Bf5!? exchanges on White's terms] 14...Bd6?!
[14...Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Nd7! brings neutralizing exchanges.] 15.f4 Now White has more than a little edge. 15...Bxd3?! [15...Bxe5 16.dxe5 Bxd3 17.Qxd3 Nd7 still looks dangerous.] 16.Qxd3 [16.Nxd3! with a pawn storm regardless of where Black's king goes.] 16...0-0-0? 17.g5? [17.Qf5 sets up a lot of pins, winning.] 17...Nh5 18.g6!? Winning the Exchange for a pawn, but all positional factors give Black compensation. 18...hxg6 19.Bxd8 Nxd8 20.Rhg1 Nf6 21.Rg3 Kb8 22.Kb1 Ne6 23.Rc1 Qe7 24.Rf3 Rh5 25.Qc2 Qe8 26.Ng4 Bc7 27.Nf2 Ng8 Black zeroes in on f5 as a knight outpost. 28.Ne2 Ne7 29.Ng3 Rh4 30.b4
New circumstances: 30...g5!! 31.f5 g4!-+ The point -- ...Ng5 will pick up the Exchange and then some. 32.hxg4 Ng5 33.Rf4
33...Bxf4? Too soon! The rook isn't going anywhere! [Best is 33...Nc8! and White can't do anything.] 34.exf4 Nh3 35.Rh1 Qh8=
36.Nh5?! [36.Rxh3 Rxh3 37.Nxh3 Qxh3 38.Qe2! and someone is going to give perpetual.] 36...g6! Just in time to cause a bit of trouble. 37.f6 Nc8
38.Nxh3? [38.Rxh3 Rxh3 39.Nxh3 gxh5 40.g5 Nd6 41.Qe2 Ne4 and ...h4, still gives Black some thoughts of continuing.] 38...gxh5 But this, tying up the rook and knight, is fatal. 39.g5 Qf8?! [39...Nd6!] 40.a3 Nd6 [40...a5!?] 41.Qf2 Rg4 42.Qf3? Ne4 43.Ka2 Rg3 44.Qxh5 Rg2+ [44...Nc3+!] 45.Kb3 Nd2+ 46.Kc3 Qe8! And there's no stopping ...Qe3+ and mate. 47.Nf2 Qe3+ 48.Kc2 [48.Nd3 Nb1+ 49.Rxb1 Qd2+ 50.Kb3 Qc2#] 48...Rxf2 49.Qh8+ Kc7 50.Rh3 Nc4+ A difficult and interesting battle, with unusual tactics and maneuvers. 0-1
On February 6, we held an online scholastic side event to the US Amateur Team West Championship. We originally were going to hold the event on Chesskid and pair games manually with live stream, but during a test session with half of the tournaments participants on, we realized a bug in the Chesskid system did not allow for manually paired games. With hours before the event, we were able to tranfer the entire tournament over to Chess.com, where thankfully all the players except a few already had Chess.com accounts. The few that did not already have accounts were able to sign up quickly, so all players who registered were able to participate. In all, we had 108 players, which far eclisped the number we had last year for our scholastic side event.
This year, the tournament was won by the Bright Chess Dragons, with a perfect 5/5 score. That team consisted of Jeremy Zhang, Eric Chen, Sean Zhang, and Ethan Han. In 2nd place was the Dublin High School Gaels with 4.5/5, and in 3rd on tiebreaks were the Fallon Impalas.
Here is one game from the tournament from Jeremy Xhang on the winning team. Annotations by GM Nick de Firmian.
(8) Jeremy Zhang (SparkyChessTiger2021) (1428) - Shivam Prasad (champ_shivam) (1270) [C50]
Live Chess Chess.com, 06.02.2021
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 The Giuoco Piano, as is played by the world's top players now and 400 years ago. 4.Nc3 This however is not what Carlsen plays. It is ok, but 4. c3 or 4.0-0 has more options. 4...h6 5.d3 Nf6 6.0-0 d6 7.Be3! A good developing move with a question to Black's dark squared bishop. 7...Bxe3 Black may prefer 7...Bb6 so that White doesn't get the open f-file and the easy play that comes with it. 8.fxe3 0-0 9.Qe1 Bg4 10.Nh4
10...Re8?! This seems to ignore the white buildup on the kingside. Black would only be a little worse after 10...Kh7 or 10...Be6 11.Nf5 ± 11...Bxf5 12.Rxf5 Ne7 13.Rf3 [There was also a very promising exchange sacrifice with 13.Rxf6! gxf6 14.Qh4 Kg7 15.Rf1 Ng6 16.Qh5 c6 17.Ne2 Rh8 18.Ng3 and the active white pieces control the kingside.] 13...d5 14.exd5 Nexd5 15.Qg3 Nh5? The leads to big trouble with the black knight stuck out on the rim. [Black would only be slightly worse after 15...Nxc3 16.bxc3 e4 17.Rf5 exd3 18.cxd3 Qd6] 16.Qh3 Ndf6 [16...Nhf6 17.Raf1 c6 18.Ne4 is a terrific attack] 17.g4 e4 18.Rf5 [Good enough, though 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.Bxf7+ Kh8 20.dxe4 was pretty easy.] 18...g6 19.Rf2 Ng7 [19...Qd7 20.Qg2! Qxg4 21.Bxf7+! wins the exchange] 20.Qxh6 ] [also strong is 20.Raf1 b5 21.Bb3 and White crashes through on the f-file.] 20...Rf8
21.Qxg6! Nh7 22.Nxe4 b5 23.Bxf7+ Kh8 24.Rf3 Qh4 25.Nf6 With 4 pawns ahead and the safer king there should be no problems for White to win. 25...Rad8 [25...Ng5 26.Qxg5! Qxg5 27.Rh3+ Nh5 28.Rxh5+] 26.Nxh7 Qxh7 27.Qxh7+ Kxh7 □ 28.Raf1 [28.Rh3+ Nh5 29.Rxh5+ Kg7 30.Bd5 is straightforward, but it really doesn't matter which road you choose] 28...Kh6 29.h4 Kh7 30.Bg6+! Kxg6 31.Rxf8 Rd6 32.R8f7 Now 4 pawns and the exchange. There can always be a miracle though. 32...Rc6 33.h5+ Kh7 34.c3 Re6 35.e4 c5 36.Rxa7 Re5 37.Kh2 c4 38.dxc4 bxc4 39.Rf4 Kg8 40.Ra6 Ne6 41.Ra8+ Kh7 42.Rf7+ Ng7 43.h6 [43.Raa7] 43...Kxh6 44.Rh8+ Kg6 45.Rf4 Ne6 46.Rg8+ Kh7 47.Re8! Just when it seems Black might have a chance SparkyChessTiger plays a great pin to snuff out all hope. 47...Nxf4 48.Rxe5 Nothing more to say. 48...Ng6 49.Rc5 Nf4 50.a4 Ne6 51.Re5 Nd8 52.a5 Nc6 53.Rc5 Nb8 54.Rxc4 Kg6 55.Ra4 Kg5 56.a6 Nxa6 57.Rxa6 Kxg4 58.e5 Kf5 59.e6 Kf6 60.b4 Ke7 61.b5 Kd8 62.b6 Kc8 63.e7 Kd7 64.b7 Kc7 65.e8Q Kxb7 □ 66.Qc6+ Kb8 □ 67.Rb6+ Ka7 □ 68.Qb7# SparkyChessTiger2021 won by checkmate 1-0
SwissSys Standings. 2021 US Amateur Team West Scholastic: Open
|#||Name||Rating||Fed||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Total||T-US Amat.)||T-Game pnts||Prize|
|1||BRIGHT CHESS DRAGONS||530||BRIGHT||W6 [2.5]||W3 [3.0]||W13 [3.0]||X--- [3.0]||W9 [3.0]||5.0||37.25||14.5||1st Place|
|2||DUBLIN HIGH SCHOOL GAELS I.||1281||DHS||W24 [4.0]||W14 [3.0]||D9 [2.0]||W10 [3.0]||X--- [3.0]||4.5||28.5||15||2nd Place|
|3||FALLON IMPALAS||960||FALLON||W25 [3.5]||L1 [1.0]||W5 [3.0]||W20 [4.0]||W7 [3.0]||4.0||39||14.5||3rd Place|
|4||CHESS NUTS ON FIRE!||771||MECH||W17 [2.5]||X--- [2.0]||D22 [2.0]||W13 [3.0]||D8 [2.0]||4.0||22.75||11.5||1st U900|
|5||HILLSBOROUGH KNIGHTS TEAM A||509||HILLSB||X--- [2.5]||W22 [3.5]||L3 [1.0]||W19 [2.5]||W20 [3.0]||4.0||20.25||12.5||2nd U900|
|6||MECHANICS' JUNIORS||834||MECH||L1 [1.5]||W17 [4.0]||W19 [4.0]||D14 [2.0]||W12 [2.5]||3.5||36.75||14||3rd U900|
|7||DUBLIN HIGH SCHOOL GAEL KINGS||852||DHS||W26 [3.0]||W21 [3.0]||X--- [3.0]||D12 [2.0]||L3 [1.0]||3.5||18||12||1st Place High School|
|8||KC COYOTES||912||D19 [2.0]||W16 [4.0]||D12 [2.0]||D9 [2.0]||D4 [2.0]||3.0||33||12||1st Place Elementary|
|9||FALLON WARHORSES||731||FALLON||W27 [3.5]||W10 [3.0]||D2 [2.0]||D8 [2.0]||L1 [1.0]||3.0||29||11.5||1st Place Middle School|
|10||MATCHMAKER'S TEAM 1||949||W22 [2.5]||L9 [1.0]||W26 [4.0]||L2 [1.0]||W14 [3.0]||3.0||22.75||11.5|
|11||FALLON CHARGERS||765||FALLON||D15 [2.0]||L12 [0.0]||D18 [2.0]||W23 [4.0]||W21 [3.0]||3.0||21||11|
|12||BRIGHT KNIGHTS CHESS CLUB||673||BRIGHT||D13 [2.0]||W11 [4.0]||D8 [2.0]||D7 [2.0]||L6 [1.5]||2.5||35.25||11.5|
|13||FALLON BLACK KNIGHTS||1069||FALLON||D12 [2.0]||W15 [3.0]||L1 [1.0]||L4 [1.0]||W23 [4.0]||2.5||27.5||11|
|14||FALLON BRONCOS||658||FALLON||W23 [3.0]||L2 [1.0]||W25 [3.0]||D6 [2.0]||L10 [1.0]||2.5||22||10|
|15||BRIGHT KNIGHTS EXCELSIOR CHESS||307||BRIGHT||D11 [2.0]||L13 [1.0]||D16 [2.0]||W26 [3.0]||D18 [2.0]||2.5||20.5||10||1st U600|
|16||FALLON ZEBRAS||390||FALLON||D20 [2.0]||L8 [0.0]||D15 [2.0]||D24 [2.0]||W26 [3.0]||2.5||15||9||2nd U600|
|17||FALLON LANCERS||424||FALLON||L4 [1.5]||L6 [0.0]||D23 [2.0]||W27 [3.0]||W24 [3.5]||2.5||14.25||10||3rd U600|
|18||TVMCC KNIGHTS||869||TVMCC||L21 [1.0]||L25 [1.5]||D11 [2.0]||W22 [3.0]||D15 [2.0]||2.0||19||9.5|
|19||FALLON MUSTANGS||338||FALLON||D8 [2.0]||D20 [2.0]||L6 [0.0]||L5 [1.5]||W25 [3.0]||2.0||19||8.5||1st U450|
|20||TVMCC FIGHTERS||796||TVMCC||D16 [2.0]||D19 [2.0]||W21 [3.0]||L3 [0.0]||L5 [1.0]||2.0||19||8|
|21||FALLON PONIES||368||FALLON||W18 [3.0]||L7 [1.0]||L20 [1.0]||W25 [2.5]||L11 [1.0]||2.0||17||8.5|
|22||FALLON UNICORNS||690||FALLON||L10 [1.5]||L5 [0.5]||D4 [2.0]||L18 [1.0]||W27 [3.5]||1.5||16.5||8.5|
|23||TVMCC WARRIORS||399||TVMCC||L14 [1.0]||W24 [3.0]||D17 [2.0]||L11 [0.0]||L13 [0.0]||1.5||12||6|
|24||FALLON PINTOS||739||FALLON||L2 [0.0]||L23 [1.0]||W27 [3.0]||D16 [2.0]||L17 [0.5]||1.5||7.75||6.5|
|25||MATCHMAKER'S TEAM 2||543||L3 [0.5]||W18 [2.5]||L14 [1.0]||L21 [1.5]||L19 [1.0]||1.0||14.5||6.5|
|26||FALLON STALLIONS||640||FALLON||L7 [1.0]||W27 [2.5]||L10 [0.0]||L15 [1.0]||L16 [1.0]||1.0||8.5||5.5|
|27||HILLSBOROUGH KNIGHTS TEAM B||510||HILLSB||L9 [0.5]||L26 [1.5]||L24 [1.0]||L17 [1.0]||L22 [0.5]||0.0||7.75||4.5|
Team Roster and Standings. 2021 US Amateur Team West Scholastic: Open
|1||BRIGHTDRAGON||Bright Chess Dragons (530.3) W6 W3 W13 X-- W9||5.0||37.25||14.5|
|Jeremy Zhang ( 715) 4.5 Bd: 1|
|Eric Chen ( 446) 1.5 Bd: 2|
|Sean Zhang ( 430) 4.5 Bd: 3|
|Ethan Han (unr.) 4.0 Bd: 4|
|2||GAELS1||Dublin High School Gaels I. (1281.0) W24 W14 D9 W10 X--||4.5||28.5||15|
|Aadith Muthukumar (1529) 5.0 Bd: 1|
|Cassius Lai (1363) 3.5 Bd: 2|
|Samyak Jain (1358) 3.5 Bd: 3|
|Samarth Bhat ( 874) 3.0 Bd: 4|
|3||IMPALAS||Fallon Impalas (960.0) W25 L1 W5 W20 W7||4.0||39||14.5|
|Aryan Jain (1191) 2.5 Bd: 1|
|Laksh Jain (1097) 4.0 Bd: 2|
|Eashan Mahajan ( 885) 3.0 Bd: 3|
|Lucas Liu ( 667) 5.0 Bd: 4|
|4||CHESSNUTS||Chess Nuts on Fire! (770.7) W17 X-- D22 W13 D8||4.0||22.75||11.5|
|Jashith Karthi ( 995) 5.0 Bd: 1|
|Anagh Nag Puranik ( 524) 0.0 Bd: 2|
|Sreyan Ghosh ( 793) 4.0 Bd: 3|
|Conrad Braun (unr.) 2.5 Bd: 4|
|5||HILLKNTSA||Hillsborough Knights Team A (509.3) X-- W22 L3 W19 W20||4.0||20.25||12.5|
|Dominic Matar ( 677) 3.5 Bd: 1|
|Tansen Mehta ( 614) 2.0 Bd: 2|
|Felix Leung ( 523) 3.5 Bd: 3|
|Jack Buswell ( 223) 3.5 Bd: 4|
|6||MECHANICS||Mechanics' Juniors (834.0) L1 W17 W19 D14 W12||3.5||36.75||14|
|Andrew Ballantyne (1060) 2.5 Bd: 1|
|Adithya Chitta ( 912) 3.5 Bd: 2|
|Dylan Liu ( 827) 4.0 Bd: 3|
|William Fitzgerald ( 537) 4.0 Bd: 4|
|7||KINGS||Dublin High School Gael Kings (852.5) W26 W21 X-- D12 L3||3.5||18||12|
|Romir Hiremath (1137) 5.0 Bd: 1|
|Yashas Shashidhara ( 849) 1.5 Bd: 2|
|Evan Roche ( 720) 2.5 Bd: 3|
|Ankur Prasad ( 704) 3.0 Bd: 4|
|8||KCCOY||KC Coyotes (912.0) D19 W16 D12 D9 D4||3.0||33||12|
|Andrew Zihan Li (1062) 1.0 Bd: 1|
|Serena Liu ( 762) 3.0 Bd: 2|
|Henry Travis Han (unr.) 4.0 Bd: 3|
|Eric Jiang (unr.) 4.0 Bd: 4|
|9||WARHORSES||Fallon Warhorses (731.0) W27 W10 D2 D8 L1||3.0||29||11.5|
|Shivam Prasad ( 789) 3.0 Bd: 1|
|Eric Xiao ( 776) 2.5 Bd: 2|
|Aarav Goel ( 628) 4.0 Bd: 3|
|Anshul Aennam (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 4|
|10||MMT1||Matchmaker's Team 1 (949.0) W22 L9 W26 L2 W14||3.0||22.75||11.5|
|Thendral Raj ( 949) 1.5 Bd: 1|
|Tyler Walsh (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 2|
|Ram Stewart (unr.) 3.0 Bd: 3|
|Isabel Greenblatt (unr.) 5.0 Bd: 4|
|11||CHARGERS||Fallon Chargers (765.3) D15 L12 D18 W23 W21||3.0||21||11|
|Arnav Antal ( 830) 3.0 Bd: 1|
|Krishiv Jaini ( 806) 4.0 Bd: 2|
|Jerry Lu ( 660) 3.0 Bd: 3|
|Mahad Saeed (unr.) 1.0 Bd: 4|
|12||BRIGHTKNIGHTS||Bright Knights Chess Club (672.7) D13 W11 D8 D7 L6||2.5||35.25||11.5|
|Jocelyn Ren (1074) 4.0 Bd: 1|
|Robyn Nakhimovsky ( 714) 3.5 Bd: 2|
|Jasmine Lee ( 230) 2.0 Bd: 3|
|Zeina Rebouh (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 4|
|13||BLKKNTS||Fallon Black Knights (1068.8) D12 W15 L1 L4 W23||2.5||27.5||11|
|Rajneesh Jain (1246) 2.0 Bd: 1|
|Sanat Gupta (1224) 3.0 Bd: 2|
|Gavin Katz (1056) 3.0 Bd: 3|
|Rayan Jain ( 749) 3.0 Bd: 4|
|14||BRONCOS||Fallon Broncos (658.5) W23 L2 W25 D6 L10||2.5||22||10|
|Sahil Sandasani ( 852) 2.0 Bd: 1|
|Bishal Das ( 797) 4.0 Bd: 2|
|Akhil Venkatesh ( 672) 2.0 Bd: 3|
|Hartej Hansrai ( 313) 2.0 Bd: 4|
|15||BK_EXCELSIOR||Bright Knights Excelsior Chess (307.0) D11 L13 D16 W26 D18||2.5||20.5||10|
|Dhruv Thakur ( 307) 0.0 Bd: 1|
|Celine Chen (unr.) 1.0 Bd: 2|
|Martin Lee (unr.) 4.0 Bd: 3|
|Anis Rebouh (unr.) 5.0 Bd: 4|
|16||ZEBRAS||Fallon Zebras (390.0) D20 L8 D15 D24 W26||2.5||15||9|
|Ananya Borkar ( 611) 2.0 Bd: 1|
|Prisha Pandeya ( 449) 3.0 Bd: 2|
|Subhiksha Balaji ( 110) 2.0 Bd: 3|
|Amulya Medaramelta (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 4|
|17||LANCERS||Fallon Lancers (423.5) L4 L6 D23 W27 W24||2.5||14.25||10|
|Ribhav Vallishayee ( 545) 3.0 Bd: 1|
|Shrihan Bodadi ( 302) 1.5 Bd: 2|
|Shivish Aneja (unr.) 3.5 Bd: 3|
|Rishika Uppudanti (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 4|
|18||TVMCCKNTS||TVMCC Knights (869.3) L21 L25 D11 W22 D15||2.0||19||9.5|
|Neal Sundar ( 984) 4.5 Bd: 1|
|Hrishikesh Bollini ( 973) 1.0 Bd: 2|
|Sri Ansh ( 651) 1.0 Bd: 3|
|Sasha Sundeep (unr.) 3.0 Bd: 4|
|19||MUSTANGS||Fallon Mustangs (338.5) D8 D20 L6 L5 W25||2.0||19||8.5|
|Krish Desai ( 448) 1.0 Bd: 1|
|Daniel Wu ( 229) 3.0 Bd: 2|
|Rohan Nihalani (unr.) 1.0 Bd: 3|
|Pranav Sivakumar (unr.) 3.5 Bd: 4|
|20||TVMCC_FIGHT||TVMCC Fighters (796.0) D16 D19 W21 L3 L5||2.0||19||8|
|Arnav Agarwal ( 796) 2.0 Bd: 1|
|Samarth Bhatia (unr.) 0.0 Bd: 2|
|Sankarshana Sudeendra (unr.) 4.0 Bd: 3|
|Advait Wankhede (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 4|
|21||PONIES||Fallon Ponies (367.5) W18 L7 L20 W25 L11||2.0||17||8.5|
|Adithya Gnanasundar ( 463) 1.0 Bd: 1|
|Ronak Hiremath ( 272) 3.0 Bd: 2|
|Mrinal Agarwal (unr.) 1.5 Bd: 3|
|Shriram Boddu (unr.) 3.0 Bd: 4|
|22||UNICORNS||Fallon Unicorns (689.7) L10 L5 D4 L18 W27||1.5||16.5||8.5|
|Tanay Manjunath ( 795) 1.0 Bd: 1|
|Shashank Garag ( 712) 3.5 Bd: 2|
|Aakrisht Mehra ( 562) 2.0 Bd: 3|
|Sahej Bhowmick (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 4|
|23||TVMCC_WARR||TVMCC Warriors (398.8) L14 W24 D17 L11 L13||1.5||12||6|
|Aryaman Majumder ( 578) 2.0 Bd: 1|
|Rivanth Suresh ( 538) 2.0 Bd: 2|
|Vikram Snyder ( 378) 1.0 Bd: 3|
|Soorya Balaji ( 101) 1.0 Bd: 4|
|24||PINTOS||Fallon Pintos (739.0) L2 L23 W27 D16 L17||1.5||7.75||6.5|
|Saif Jeelani ( 868) 1.0 Bd: 1|
|Ekam Dhot ( 610) 2.5 Bd: 2|
|Pranil Gundugola (unr.) 1.0 Bd: 3|
|Agam Singh (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 4|
|25||MMT2||Matchmaker's Team 2 (543.0) L3 W18 L14 L21 L19||1.0||14.5||6.5|
|Aathya Srinivasan ( 543) 3.0 Bd: 1|
|Samar Dh Bhowmick (unr.) 2.0 Bd: 2|
|Arnav Ravi (unr.) 1.5 Bd: 3|
|Khushi Bhatia (unr.) 0.0 Bd: 4|
|26||STALLIONS||Fallon Stallions (640.0) L7 W27 L10 L15 L16||1.0||8.5||5.5|
|Anuraag Aravind ( 640) 3.0 Bd: 1|
|Paarth Agrawal (unr.) 1.0 Bd: 2|
|Chris Johnson (unr.) 1.0 Bd: 3|
|Akshat Verma (unr.) 0.5 Bd: 4|
|27||HILLKNTSB||Hillsborough Knights Team B (510.0) L9 L26 L24 L17 L22||0.0||7.75||4.5|
|Avani Shenoy ( 950) 1.0 Bd: 1|
|Dominic Leung ( 480) 3.0 Bd: 2|
|Cole Sellers ( 100) 0.0 Bd: 3|
|Nathan Kim (unr.) 0.5 Bd: 4|
SwissSys Standings. 2021 US Amateur Team West Scholastic: Open (Board order)
|#/Bd||Name||Rating||Fed||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Total||T-Med||T-Solkoff||T-Cumul.||T-Op. cumul.||Prize|
|1/1||Romir Hiremath||1137||VAP_1D||W10||W22||X---||W6||W13||5.0||10.5||10.5||14||29.5||1st Place Board 1|
|23/1||Andrew Zihan Li||1062||lemonjuice99||L25||W19||L6||L8||L3||1.0||10||14.5||4||51|
|28/2||Bishal Das||797||BishopPlayz||W44||W33||W43||W32||L45||4.0||11||13||14||39.5||1st Place Board 2|
|43/2||Samar Dh Bhowmick||unr.||raginglion||L29||W50||L28||W38||L37||2.0||11||15||6||45|
|54/2||Anagh Nag Puranik||524||F49||---||---||---||---||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|55/3||Sean Zhang||430||sean330||W58||W65||W66||Z---||W56||4.5||14||14||13.5||42||1st Place Board 3|
|59/3||Henry Travis Han||unr.||lionkingh||W76||W71||W70||L56||W95||4.0||10.5||11.5||13||32.5|
|82/4||Lucas Liu||667||LucasLiu88||W108||W85||W89||W96||W92||5.0||11||11||15||39||1st Place Board 4|
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 extraordinaire FM Paul Whitehead.
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, 2/23: https://www.chess.com/live#r=957106
GM Nick de Firmian Arena Thursdays 5pm-6pm, 2/25:
See you in the arena!
Monday's 4:00-5:30PM - Mechanics' Chess Cafe
Ongoing casual meeting to talk about chess, life, and pretty much everything else of interest. Join 3-time US Champion GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead as they give a lecture and class in a fun casual atmosphere where you can discuss games, learn strategy, discuss chess current events and interact in a fun casual atmosphere. Enter our Monday chess café for the pure love of the game. Class suitable for ALL level of players and FREE for MI members.
FREE for Mechanics' members. $5 for non-members.
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/chess-cafe
Monday's 6:30-8:00PM - Game Review Class with FM Paul Whitehead
Course Dates: Starting Feb 1 - Monday and ongoing
Registration Fee: $20/class for Mechanics' member, $25/class for non-member
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/game-review-class-fm-paul-whitehead
Wednesday's 5:00-6:30PM - Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members
New session started on January 27, 2021!
Are you an adult who wants to put learning chess on top of your New Year's resolution? Get a head start with us at the Mechanics' Institute! This virtual class is open to any MI member who has no knowledge of the game or who knows the very basics and wants to improve. Taught by MI Chess Director Abel Talamantez along with other MI staff, we will patiently walk through all the basics at a pace suitable for our class. Our goal is to teach piece movement basics, checkmate patterns, importance of development, and general strategy. We will also show students how to play online so they may practice. The goal of the class is to open a new world of fun and joy through the magic and beauty of chess, from one of the oldest and proudest chess clubs in the world.
Registration: Free for MI members. Members will have to register online to secure their spot and to receive an email confirming the Zoom link.
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/free-adult-beginner-class-mechanics-members
Wednesdays 6:30-8PM -- NEW 6-week Specialty Class: The Art of Defense! with FM Paul Whitehead
Course Dates: March 3 through April 7 (6 classes)
We all want to attack, but to be comfortable and skillful at defense is just as important.
Learn how to safeguard your king and drum up counter play using chapters and examples taken from The Art of Defense in Chess, by Polugaevsky and Damsky (1988).
Stalemate, Blockade, Trench Warfare, Counterattack, Traps: these are just a few of the concepts we will take up in this six-week course.
Be prepared for a little homework - and become a chess player who's hard to beat!
$150 Mechanics' members. $180 for non-members. Few single class registrations are available -- Registration is needed to receive the zoom link.
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/art-defense-fm-paul-whitehead
The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club will continue to hold regular online events in various forms. Here is the upcoming schedule for players:
Format: 6SS G/35+2
Join Now! Starts February 25: February/March 2021 Thursday Night Marathon
Format: 5SS G/60+5
Any questions? [email protected]
By Judit Sztaray
2021 San Francisco Scholastic Championship Online
March 20 - Saturday - All day event
via ChessKid and Chesscom
Continuing the tradition and a Mechanis' Institute heritage event: the annual San Francisco Scholastic Championship goes online this spring again to gather scholastic players from the Bay Area and beyond. Join us online for this FREE Event, where players can choose to play in a non-USCF rated section based on their grades, or compete in the Championship sections based on their rating and have their games USCF online rated.
Chess Director, Abel Talamantez, and GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead will be covering the event live on our twitch channel!
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/2021-san-francisco-scholastic-championship-online
Virtual Chess Classes - Spring Session
March 22 through May 31
- All Girls Class with Coach Colin and Coach Abel -- Mondays 4-5PM - Register HERE
- Intermediate Class with Coach Andrew -- Tuesdays 3-4PM - Register HERE
- Intermediate Class with Coach Andy Thursdays 4-5PM - Register HERE
- Advanced Class with Coach Andy Thursdays 5-6PM - Register HERE
- Tactics, Tactics, Tactics with Coach Andrew for players rated 1000+ (ChessKid rating) Friday 3-4PM - Register HERE
Spring Break Virtual Chess Camp
Monday through Friday, Mar 29 - Apr 2 - 9AM - 12PM
Players have to be part of Mechanics' Group on ChessKid. Need help how to join? Watch the tutorial here: https://youtu.be/kEeMKhpecGY
1) Free daily non-rated tournaments on chesskid.com: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/scholastic-online-tournaments-every-day-chesskidcom
Tournaments start at 4PM and players can join the tournaments 30 minutes before the tournament.
- Saturday Feb 20: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=348238
- Monday, Feb 22: 4SS G/10+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=358546
- Tuesday, Feb 23: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=358547
- Wednesday, Feb 24: 3SS G/20+0: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=358548
- Thursday, Feb 25: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=358549
- Friday, Feb 26: 4SS G/10+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=358550
2) USCF Online Rated tournaments - Event registration and USCF membership is needed!
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/uscf-online-rated-scholastic-tournaments-2021-chesskidcom
2/21 - Sunday 2PM: 8SS G/5+2 https://mechanics-institute.jumbula.com/2021OnlineTournaments/ScholasticOnlineRatedTournamentFeb21SUN
2/27 - Saturday 3PM: 4SS G/20+10 https://mechanics-institute.jumbula.com/2021OnlineTournaments/ScholasticOnlineRatedTournamentFeb27SAT
3) NEW: Monthly Scholastic Blitz Online Championships - run on Chess.com & LIVE BROADCAST via Twitch.tv/mechanichchess
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/mechanics-monthly-online-scholastic-blitz-championship-chesscom
3/5 - Friday 6:30PM PT: 8SS G/5+2
4/1 - Friday 6:30PM PT: 8SS G/5+2
Finishing Tactics from the World Championship Matches 2: Steinitz – Chigoran 1889.
Steinitz never turned down a challenge. His overall record in match play was an incredible +30 -3 =3.
If the match with Zukertort three years earlier was bloody, the match with Chigoran was even more so: only one draw in 17 games, with Steinitz the convincing winner at +10 –6 =1.
Chigoran was prone to blunders, as we shall see, but Steinitz was also sharper overall, and far more tactically aware.
1. Steinitz – Chigoran, 2nd Match Game 1889.
White moves. Keep it simple.
2. Chigoran – Steinitz, 3rd Match Game 1889.
White moves. Again, nothing fancy.
3. Chigoran – Steinitz, 5th Match Game 1889.
Black moves. Spot the tactic.
4. Chigoran – Steinitz, 7th Match Game 1889.
White moves. Punish Steinitz for his passive play.
5. Steinitz – Chigoran, 8th Match Game 1889.
White moves. A classic Steinitz finish.
6. Steinitz – Chigoran, 10th Match Game 1889.
White moves. Another brutal finish.
7. Chigoran – Steinitz, 13th Match Game 1889.
White moves. Keep it simple!
Nick de Firmian's column will return next week!
1. Steinitz – Chigoran, 2nd Match Game 1889.
White won effortlessly after 1.Nxd6 Rxd6 2.Bb4! winning the exchange. Black held on, but not for long: 2…Rb6 3.Bxf8 Kxf8 4.Rc8+ Kf7 5.Rc7+ Kf6 6.Rf5+ Ke6 7.Rff7 Rb4 8.Rxb7 Rxg4 9.Rxg7 h5 10.Rxa7 Kf5 11.f3 Rg2 12.Ra6 1-0.
2. Chigoran – Steinitz, 3rd Match Game 1889.
White finally broke through with 1.Bc4! and black had to part with the 2nd exchange with 1…Rxc4. After 2.bxc4 Kc8 the World Champion couldn’t hold on, and lost quickly: 3.Rd6 Nc5 4.Rc6+ Kb8 5.Rh8 1-0. If 5…Nb7 then 6.Rxb6! and it’s all over.
3. Chigoran – Steinitz, 5th Match Game 1889.
Steinitz wrapped it up with the simple 1…Bxf3 2.Nxf3 Qxg3! winning a piece. White desperately tried to whip up a non-existent attack, and the game concluded with 3.Kh1 Qg6 4.Rd3 Qf6 5.Qd2 Ng6 6.Ng5 Nce5 7.Rf3 Nxf3 8.Bxf7+ Qxf7! 9.Gxf3 Qc4 0-1.
4. Chigoran – Steinitz, 7th Match Game 1889.
Chigoran put the World Champion out of his misery with the decisive stroke 1.Nxf7! After 1…Kxf7 2.f5! Ke8 3.fxe6 dxe6 4.Ne4 1-0. 5.d7+ is in the air, and Steinitz has had enough.
5. Steinitz – Chigoran, 8th Match Game 1889.
Black threatens to take the rook on e2. There are many tempting moves. However, it was 1. Rxe5! that broke down the Russian challenger’s defenses. After 1…fxe5 2.Bxe5, the road to g7 has been opened and the bishop at d7 and knight at f4 are both hanging. Black tried to keep it together with 2…g5, but 3.Bg6+! was the deadly follow-through. Black resigned after 3…Kf8 (3…Nxg6 4.Qxd7+ and mate in 2 moves.) 4.Qxd7 Qa7 5.Qf5+ Kg8 6.d7! 1-0.
6. Steinitz – Chigoran, 10th Match Game 1889.
1.Nf6+ Kd8 2.Rxe7! was too much for black. After 1…Kxe7 2.Qxc7+ black had 3 horrible choices: get mated after 2…Kxf6 3.Qe5#, lose a rook after 2…Kf8 3.Qxb8+, or suffer the loss of his queen as played: 2…Nd7 3.Qxa5 1-0.
7. Chigoran – Steinitz, 13th Match Game 1889.
1.Rxd7! transposes into a winning K+P ending: 1…Rxd7 2.Nxd7 Kxd7 3.Ke2 Kc6 4.Kd3 Kb5 5.Kc3h5 (5…Ka4 6.Kc4 is hardly better) 6.Kb3 g5 7.Kxa3 Kc4 8.Kb2 Kd3 Steinitz goes for it, but he’s far too late. 9.a4 Ke2 10.a5 Kf2 11.a6 Kxg2 12.a7 Kxh2 13.a8(Q) h4 14.Qg8 h3 15.Qxg5 Kh1 16.Qxe5 1-0.
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