March 27, 2021
By Abel Talamantez
Table of Contents
- Club Match vs Zurich Chess Club
- San Francisco Scholastic Championship
- March TNM
- March Madness
- Reciprocity Partnership with Marshall
- 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
The Mechanics' Institute is the oldest continuously-operating chess club in the United States, and it appears one of the five oldest running clubs in the world. We thought we would take advantage of the ability to engage chess communities online and organize a series of club matches against the worlds historic clubs. What better way to kick things off than against the world's oldest and most historic club, the Zurich Chess Club! The match will be held on Saturday May 1, 2021 on Chess.com. The Zurich Chess Society was founded in 1809, and its rich history was chronicled by Richard Forster in his book, The History of the Zurich Chess Club: 1809-2009 (https://www.amazon.com/Zurich-Chess-Club-1809-2009/dp/0786460644).
We are planning other matches over the next few months with other clubs, so please stay tuned as we finalize the schedule. We want to thank Allyson Wong, who helped us get connected with these clubs and gives her time in support of the Mechanics' Institute. We look forward to some entertaining and exciting matches, and the opportunity for the oldest clubs in the world to bring their communities together through chess so we can learn more about our histories and connect virtually.
Our annual San Francisco Scholastic Championship was held online again this year, with a record 341 kids participating! We had four non-rated sections by grade level played on Chesskid.com and three USCF rated sections played on Chess.com. This flagship Mechanics' Institute scholastic event is normally held annually at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and is entirely free for all participants. This years event was sponsored by the AO Dragge Foundation, and we thank them for their generous support for this event and for scholastic chess.
This event holds a very special place for the Mechanics' Institute as it represents our commitment in making tournament chess available to everyone. We had players of many different skill levels - from new players who recently learned how to play to experienced tournament players. Being able to divide the non-rated and rated sections by platform really helped streamline the event, as the two sections had different start times, time controls and structures. The non-rated grade level sections were run automatically on Chesskid while the rated sections were manually paired on Chess.com. The rated sections required a Zoom camera, and it was fun having the kids interact and socialize in between rounds.
The co-champions of this years event were Roger Shi and Aiden Leong, who both tied for first in the 1600+ rated section with 4/5. Shi won on tiebreaks despite a final round loss to Leong, due to the tierbreak rules for this event, scholastic rules as prescribed by US Chess.
Tie-break - using US Chess Scholastic regulations (20.3)
When individual scores are equal, the following order of tie-break systems will be used to determine individual awards:
1. Modified Median
6. Coin flip
Their final round battle made for some amazing entertainment, on our broadcast caught all the action. Their game is annotated below. Congrats to both players for their exceptional perfomance.
In the u/1600 section, Vrishank Peddireddi tied for first, both with 5/5, and in the 134 player u/1000 section, Liam Luna and Yang Yu tied for first with 5/5.
In the Chesskid sections, Rishin Jehin won the K-1 section as the only perfect 5/5 score. In the Grade 2-3 section, Prithiv Arokiadass won the section also with 4.5/5. In the Grade 4-5 section, James Moore wins with 4.5/5 and in the Grade 6-12 section, Leonard Sweeney-Barret wins with a perfect 5/5.
The event was broadcast on our Twitch channel, and it was fun to see the engagement through the chat and viewers for our scholastic community. We were proud to organize this event and keep the scholastic chess community together and engaged through chess. Thank you to all the players, parents, staff, and volunteers for their tireless work and support of this free event for all the kids, as well as our sponsor this year, the AO Dragge Foundation. We would also like to thank the Trustees of the Mechanics' Institute and our Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Scrafano for their support of this event every year and their commitment to scholastic chess. I would also like to thank Chief TD and Organizer Dr, Judit Sztaray for a smoothly run event, managing the TS staff and the Zoom rooms, John McCumiskey for managing the tournament computer and my commentators, and colleagues at Mechanics' GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead.
Here are some games from the tournament, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.
(2) Aiden Leong (dragonite700) - Roger Shi (Roger436) [E72]
Live Chess Chess.com
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.e3 d6 6.Nge2 c6 7.d4 Nbd7 8.0-0 e5 9.d5 c5 10.e4
Both players lose a move to reach this big blocked position in the King's Indian. White has pawn breaks almost ready to go: f2-f4 might require h2-h3 for preparation, and the same on the queenside with b2-b4 (a2-a3 or Ra1-b1 sets that up), and coupled with the space advantage has to give the edge to White. 10...Ne8 But it's Black's move, and after this there's no stopping ...f5. [10...Nh5 11.g4!? Nf4!? gives up a pawn for insufficient dark-square compensation, since White retains that bishop as well.] 11.Bd2
[A couple of masters have happened through this neck of the woods, without seeing the forest for the trees: 11.Be3 a6 12.a4 Nc7 13.Nc1 and now the all-too-common "artificial repetition": 13...Ne8 14.N1e2 Nc7 15.Nc1 Ne8 16.N1e2 ½-½ (15) Borhy,M (2382)-Czebe,A (2413) Balatonlelle 2019. Note that this was drawn on move 15; they didn't play e3 and ...c6.] 11...Nb6N [That piece might be needed on the kingside: 11...f5 12.f3 (12.f4 Ndf6!?) 12...Ndf6 13.h3 Bd7 (13...f4!? 14.gxf4 Nh5) 14.Qc2 Nc7 15.Rab1?! b5 however sees Black with the high ground on both sides of the board. 16.cxb5 Nxb5 17.Nxb5 Bxb5 18.Be3 Qa5 19.b3 Qa6 20.Rbe1 fxe4 21.fxe4 Bd3 0-1 (31) Belz,C-Andersen,H Binz 1995] 12.b3 f5 13.Rc1 g5?!
14.f4 Wild! And quite dangerous for Black. [14.exf5 The computer also notes the prosaic but at least as good 14...Bxf5 15.h3 with a lock on e4.] 14...exf4 15.gxf4 g4 16.Ng3 Bd4+ 17.Kh1 Qh4
18.Re1? Suddenly Black has a big opportunity! [18.Be1+-; 18.exf5+-] 18...Bf2 19.Nce2 White has great compensation for the exchange -- but a moment ago it was just winning! 19...Bxe1 20.Bxe1 Qf6 21.Bc3 Qg6 22.e5 GREAT compensation! 22...h5 [22...dxe5!? 23.fxe5! f4 24.Be4 Qg5 25.Bd2! Qxe5 26.Qc2!+/- zeroes in on Black's king a bit.] 23.h4! Qf7
24.Qe1 [24.e6! Cuts the board in two, with half of Black's army cut out of the game.] 24...dxe5 25.Bxe5?! [25.fxe5! f4 26.e6+- is a massacre.] 25...Nd7 26.Qd2? [26.d6! seems the only way to show any advantage still.] 26...Qe7? [Now 26...Nxe5! 27.fxe5 f4-/+ is a rout -- for Black! White sorely misses his bishop.] 27.d6? [27.Ba1! keeps the bishop with good compensation.] 27...Qxh4+ 28.Kg1
28...Ng7? From this point on the game changes hands as fast as the players can move! [28...Nxe5! 29.fxe5 f4 keeps some little plus.] 29.Qc3?
White was winning! Any bishop retreat (c3, b2, a1) or 29.Qd5+ first. 29...Nxe5 The winning advantage is back to Black. 30.Qxe5 Re8 [30...Qd8!] 31.Qd5+ Be6 [31...Kh8!? 32.Qxc5 Qf6 and march that h-pawn.] 32.Qxc5 b6? [32...Rab8!-+ guards the pawn that matters.] 33.Qc7?! [33.Qd4] 33...Rec8 34.Qb7
34...Qd8? [34...Qf6!-+] 35.Rd1?-/+ [35.Nd4!+-] 35...a5? [35...Rab8 36.Qxa7 Qd7-/+] 36.Nd4
White gets the idea and locks into target. The f5-pawn is the door to the castle. 36...Bd7 37.Qd5+ Kh8 38.Ngxf5 Bxf5 39.Nxf5 Nxf5 40.Qxf5 Rc5 41.Qe6 Ra7 That passed pawn is a monster! 42.d7 Rxd7 43.Rxd7 Qf8 44.Rf7 A fierce battle, eventually falling White's way when the smoke cleared. 1-0
(1) Kyle Zheng (PumpkinEnergy) (1566) - Luke Widjaja (lukewidjaja) (1869) [D02]
Live Chess Chess.com, 20.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 The ever-popular London System. 2...Nf6 3.e3 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Nbd2 Bd6 7.Ne5 [Carlsen, quite a fan of the London, has always played 7.Bg3 0-0 8.Bb5 against this Black deployment. In seven games he's "only" +2 with one draw. Against 2700+ opposition. That's a selling point.] 7...Bxe5?! [Better to keep up the pressure with 7...Qc7 8.Ndf3 when push (...c4), trade (...cxd4), and castle (0-0) are all pretty solid.] 8.dxe5! [8.Bxe5!? so to have f2-f4 available] 8...Nd7
9.Nf3?! [9.Qg4! forces Black to concede something on the kingside, a la many lines of the French Defense.; Relevant: 9.Qg4 Ncxe5 10.Qxg7 Ng6 11.h4 Qf6 12.Qxf6 Nxf6 13.Bg5 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.h5 sees White getting the jump on an undeveloped Black; 1-0 38, Garcia Ramos,D (2380)-Aulin Jansson,J (2215) Chess.com 2020.] 9...c4!?N [In a recent game Black tried to take over the center, 9...f6 10.exf6 gxf6 but 11.e4! dxe4 12.Nd2 took it back and then some; 1-0 (22) Tokman,A (2316)-Kett,T (2178) Chess.com INT 2021; Or 9...0-0 first has an excellent score, as does; Or further, 9...Qc7 forcing 10.Bb5 and giving up the light-squared bishop.] 10.Qc2 Nc5 11.Nd4 Bd7 Black lets White head off on a knight's tour to d6, which turns out to be just bad. 12.Nb5?! [12.b4!? is complicated, but White comes out no worse.] 12...0-0
13.Nd6? And now it should be over! The knight can't stay supported. [Typical computer claims 13.Nd4 is best. Go back!] 13...Qc7? Gives White a moment to support the knight. [13...f6! on the other hand, knocks that support out, with a big advantage, just a win. 14.b4 cxb3 15.axb3 fxe5 (Even better is 15...a5!) 16.Bg3 Qe7 17.b4 Qxd6 18.bxc5 Qxc5 19.Rb1 Be8 20.Bd3 e4] 14.Bg3 [14.b4!] 14...a6?!
[14...f6 15.exf6 e5 16.Nb5 Qa5 17.fxg7 Kxg7 18.Nd6 Rf6-/+ and it's time to see how many pawns you can get.] 15.b4! Desperation, the mother of invention. 15...cxb3 16.axb3 b5? [The computer comes up with a cryptic 16...Be8 to equalize...] 17.Bd3?! [17.b4! again of course!] 17...Nxd3+ 18.Qxd3 Na5 Back to even, maybe even an edge for Black. 19.Rb1 Nb7 It will be hard to hold a pawn on d6, what with ...f6 and ...e5. 20.0-0 Nxd6 21.exd6 Qb7 [21...Qc6] 22.c4!? A creative pawn break -- leading to a lot of passed pawns! [But playing for e4 was more circumspect. 22.f3] 22...Bc6? Black doesn't appreciate the opportunity: [22...dxc4! 23.bxc4 b4 is in Black's favor! White's pawns are totally stymied, while Black's are unstoppable. Compare the bishops!] 23.cxd5 Bxd5 [23...exd5 24.Qd4! is also good for White.] 24.f3
Quite a different picture. It's going to be a lot harder to keep that d-pawn under the Nimzovichian lock and key. 24...a5 25.e4 Bc6 26.Rfc1 f6 27.Rc2 e5? Opens the door to a little tactic. [27...Rfc8 28.h3 h6 29.Kh2 and now 29...e5 30.Rbc1 Kh7 steps aside.] 28.Rbc1 Rac8?! Walks right into it.
[But 28...Be8 29.Rc7 is no fun, either. 29...Qa6 30.d7 Rd8 31.dxe8Q Rfxe8 32.Qc2 a4 33.Bf2 Kh8 34.bxa4 bxa4 35.Ra7 Qe6 36.Qxa4 Rc8 37.Rcc7 Rxc7 38.Rxc7 Rd8] 29.Rxc6! Rxc6 30.Qd5+ Kh8 31.Qxc6 Qa7+ 32.Bf2 White's passed pawn still hasn't taken another step, but its influence brought about the win. 1-0
(3) Matthew Matsumura (MatthewMatsumura) - Liam Luna (Im_Linn) [B25]
Live Chess Chess.com
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 d6 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.d3 g6 6.Bg5 Bg7
An unusual Closed Sicilian. 7.Bxf6N Unprovoked, and probably bad. [Look at the company they were keeping for a while: 7.Nge2 Rb8 8.0-0 b5 9.a3 Bd7 10.h3 0-0 11.Kh2 a5 12.Qd2 b4 13.axb4 axb4 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.exd5 Nd4 16.Nxd4 Bxd4 17.c3 bxc3 18.bxc3 Bf6 19.Bxf6 exf6 20.Ra7 Re8 21.Rfa1 Bf5 22.g4 Bc8 23.c4 Kg7 24.d4 cxd4 25.Qxd4 Re2 26.Bf1 Rc2 27.Re1 Rb7 28.Kg1 Rxa7 29.Qxa7 Bd7 30.Kg2 h6 31.Qd4 Ra2 32.Re3 Kg8 33.Bd3 Kg7 34.h4 g5 35.h5 Ra3 36.Kg3 Rb3 ½-½. Short,N (2687)-Carlsen,M (2581) Hoogeveen 2004. Back at the early stage of his meteoric rise. Magnus that is!] 7...Bxf6 8.Nge2 0-0 9.0-0 Bg7 10.Nf4 Bd7 11.Qe2-/+ Nd4 Black has the two bishop and a pretty good knight, too. But the outpost jump might be a bit early. [Black could move on the queenside right away. 11...Rb8 12.Nd1 b5 13.c3 a5; 11...b5!?] 12.Qd2 e5?! with both White knights aiming at d5 it makes sense to keep ...e6 available. [Black can harass White from either side: 12...Qa5; and 12...Bh6] 13.Nfe2
[13.Nfd5] 13...Bh3?! Black can't resist this little tactic! But White's blocked bishop is no prize, and there were other things to do, like control d5. [13...Qa5=/+ prepares queenside expansion.; 13...Bc6; 13...Be6] 14.Nxd4 [14.Bxh3?? Nf3+ nabs the queen.] 14...Bxg2? The whole concept was off; maybe Black could still change his mind! [14...exd4! 15.Nd5 (15.Bxh3 dxc3 16.bxc3 Qa5) 15...Be6! prepares to trade for the better enemy combatant.] 15.Kxg2 exd4
[15...cxd4 doesn't do quite as much for the bishop, but the half open file has a value. In any case, White is on top -- if he plants his knight there at d5!] 16.Ne2? It does happen in some positions that a centralized outpost knight, unassailable by the opponent's lame bad bishop, doesn't have anywhere to go. That is not this position. [16.Nd5!] 16...Rc8 [Not to mention that now Black has 16...d5! 17.f3 dxe4 18.fxe4 Qd7 and ...Rae8, slight favor Black.] 17.c3 dxc3 18.bxc3 c4 [18...d5!? 19.Qc2 c4! 20.d4 Or else Black's bishop is shining. 20...dxe4 21.Qxe4 Qd7] 19.Rab1 cxd3 20.Qxd3 b6= The pawn weaknesses shouldn't balance out, but Stockfish thinks they do. Almost. 21.c4 Re8 22.Rfd1?! Steps into an awkward situation. [22.Nf4] 22...Qe7
And White is in trouble! 23.Nc3? [23.Nf4 is a better try. After the sequence 23...Qxe4+ 24.Qxe4 Rxe4 25.Rxd6 Rexc4 26.Nd5 Re8 27.Rd7 Rc2-/+ Black is already a pawn ahead, and has the jump on getting his rooks going.] 23...Bxc3 24.Qxc3 Qxe4+
25.Kf1?? [25.Qf3 Qxf3+ 26.Kxf3 Rxc4 27.Rxd6 (27.Rb2 Rd8) 27...Rc2 gives White some hope, but again, Black's up one and looking for another. 28.a4 Ra2 29.Rd4 Ree2 30.Rf1 Re5!; 25.Kg1 d5! solves the problem of the d-pawn very nicely.] 25...Qh1# 0-1
Tentative results along with individual and team scores and be found here. All results are tentative pending final fair play review:
Watch the broadcast of the event here:
Rounds 5 & 6 of the Tuesday Night Marathon showcased why GM Gadir Guseinov is a cut above the field and revealed the strong play of a player we had previously been sleeping on, but no longer. FM Max "The Axe" Gedajlovic, the 19-year-old Canadian showed some impresive play in defeating Nathan Fong in round 5 and then IM Josiah Stearman in round 6. His only loss thus far was against GM Guseinov in round 3, we will be keeping an eye on this young talented player. Guseinov had a sharp win in round 5 against IM Brian Escalante and then a draw against FM Kyron Griffith in a game where Guseinov was better out of the opeining but then gave the advantage back allowing Kyron to exchange pieces and equalize. Guseinov is the sole eader at 5.5/6, with Escalante, Griffith, and Gedajlovic roght behind at 5/6. Many strong players lurking at 4.5/6, including GM Jim Tarjan, IM Elliott Winslow, FM Eric Li, NM Mike Walder, Pranav Sairam, Alan Finkelstein, Daniel Lin and Jonah Busch.
The final two rounds will be on Tuesday, tune in to watch and see if Guseinov will hang on to his half point advantage and take down another TNM!
Watch the broadcast from Tuesday here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VltOdu5hkH8
Here are some games from the rounds, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.
(4) GM Gadir Guseinov (GGuseinov) (2631) - IM Brian Escalante (BrianEscalante) (2387) [C07]
MI March TNMo Chess.com (5.1), 23.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 [3.Nc3 dares Black to play 3...Bb4 leading to very unbalanced and tense positions. If that's your cup of tea! (3...Nf6) ] 3...c5 The Tarrasch reply to the Tarrasch 3.Nd2, taking advantage of the lack of threat against d5. [3...Nf6 is the move most often seen at the club level. After 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0-0 Bd6 Black has the excitement he often looks for with the French. White's d-pawn is no less weak than Black's e-pawn, and White always has to look out for ...e5 with a free game, not to mention various buildups towards White's king.] 4.Ngf3 [4.exd5 Qxd5 (4...exd5!? would certainly be Tarrasch's move!) 5.Ngf3 cxd4 is the same thing] 4...cxd4 5.exd5 Qxd5 With this Black avoids the IQP but develops fairly smoothly. Note there is no knight harassment, while White's bishop will give a tempo as well as get one. [5...exd5 again leads to Siegbert's favorite isolated queen pawn.] 6.Bc4 Qd7 This is the modern retreat! Like in the Center Counter (after 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3) Black has tried every which square, but here this has become the main move -- it almost doesn't matter, the queen usually goes to c7 anyway, so it doesn't matter if from d6, d8 (yes, that's sensible) or d7. [That said, 6...Qd6 is ten times more popular still.] 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Nb3 a6 [Or simply 8...Nf6 9.Nbxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 a6 transposing.] 9.Nbxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qc7 Back to a lot of games. [10...Nf6 Black could play ...Bc5 when the queen on d7 makes sense, but it isn't a seismic difference.] 11.Bd3 Bd6
This lets White develop the queen to an aggressive post, but it's what everyone does! [11...Nf6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.h3 0-0 14.Bg5 Be5 15.c3 h6 16.Nf3 Bxc3 17.Rc1 gave White good compensation for a pawn in a blitz game: 1-0 (51) Mamedov, R (2709)-Le,Q (2737) Huaian 2017] 12.Qh5!? Rather discouraging Black from castling kingside! [12.h3 has been the most common, but the text move is gaining on it both in frequency and score.] 12...Nf6 13.Qh4 Bd7 So Black prepares to castle queenside! 14.Rb1! And White prepares to storm the king there, too!
[14.c4 has been played, successfully; Even 14.b4!? has been launched a couple times, although Stockfish is skeptical.; 14.Bg5 doesn't convince: 14...0-0-0! carries out the intention.] 14...h5!?N A new approach. Was it prepared!? First off, it was played instantly. Second, if Escalante had looked at Guseinov's games he'd have seen *two* occasions where he had played 14.Rb1! It turns out that if you let Stockfish run for a long time, this becomes its preferred move. [In one, Black had prevailed with 14...h6 15.b4 Be5 16.Nf3 Bc6 17.Nxe5 Qxe5 18.Bb2 Qg5 19.Qxg5 hxg5 20.f4 Ng4 21.h3 Ne3 22.fxg5!? Nxf1 23.Rxf1 0-1 (69) Guseinov,G (2667) -Predojevic,B (2616) 34th EU-Cup (team match), Porto Carras 2018 -- but surely he expected an improvement.; And indeed Guseinov repeated this line last year with success, with a weaker Black playing into White's attack: 14...0-0-0? 15.b4! Nd5 16.b5! axb5 17.Nxb5 Bxb5 18.Rxb5 Nc3 19.Rb3 Be5 20.Be3 Rd5 21.g3 Qc6 22.Re1 Rhd8 23.Bb6 Rxd3 24.cxd3 Rxd3 25.Qh5 f5 26.Rxe5 Rd1+ 27.Qxd1 Nxd1 28.Rc5 1-0 (28) Guseinov,G (2666)-Roberson,P (2435) chess.com INT 2020] 15.Re1?! Of course this was Guseinov's first think of the game, costing him four minutes (of his 34!). [15.Bg5 Ng4 16.h3 f6! 17.hxg4 0-0-0! 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.gxh5 Rh6+/= is hard to believe, but Black could well survive.] 15...Ng4? This cost him 11 out of 30 minutes, but it's not at all good, probably a miscalculation. [Black should grab the moment now to get away, even if nowhere is totally safe: 15...0-0-0! 16.Bg5 (16.b4 Ng4 17.h3 f6 18.hxg4 g5 19.Qh3 hxg4) 16...Rde8! sees Black developing an initiative of his own.] 16.h3+/- Now Black is pushed back, when it's a classic King in the Center attack. 16...Be7?! [16...Ne5 17.Be2 Black can't make his pieces coordinate. (or 17.Be4) ] 17.Bg5! f6?!
[Escalante might have thought surely 17...Qh2+ leads to something, but after 18.Kf1 he gets caught on e7 or g7 or g4.] 18.Bg6+! The key move, cementing Black's king between his rooks. 18...Kf8 [18...Kd8 is similar] 19.hxg4 fxg5 20.Qh3 Qb6 21.Rbd1! It's not about the b-file any more! [28.03 vs. 9:11] 21...e5 Another big clump of time, three minutes here. 22.Bf5 White tries to play the trickiest move in Black's dwindling time. [22.Nf5 is just as nasty.] 22...Bc5 23.Bxd7 Bxd4 24.Re2 Rd8 25.c3 [25.gxh5] 25...Rxd7 26.cxd4 Rxd4 [25:24 vs. 4:23] 27.Rde1 At this point frustration must have overtaken Black, as he uses most of his time. [27.Qf3+ is more forcing, but makes Black find moves. 27...Rf4 28.Qe3 Qxe3 29.fxe3 if it's not one rook then it's the other.] 27...Rxg4 [1:24] 28.Rxe5 Rh6 Black finally gets his rook going! But it's way too late. 29.Qd3 White had various winners, but he again shows the practical technique of tossing the move to Black when the clock is running out. 29...Rf4 Another minute burned, leaving 0:27!
30.R1e2? Sometimes Guseinov doesn't bring himself to use the time to find the finish, and it comes close to costing him! [30.Re8+ Kf7 31.R1e7+ Kf6 32.Qc3+ Qd4 33.Re6+ Kf5 34.Qc2+ Kg4 35.Re4 Qb6 when White has various ways to be completely winning. Instead,] 30...Rd6! Suddenly Black "completes his development" -- and the game is equal! Except for the clock of course.... 31.Qc2 Qc6! So far so good. 32.Rc5
32...Rd1+?? Black had gained time to 17.2 seconds, but this just doesn't do it. [He needed 32...Qa4! 33.Rf5+ Kg8!= when there's no knockout.] 33.Qxd1 Qxc5 34.Qd8+ Kf7 35.Qe8+ [The mate after 35.Qe8+ An exciting game from start to finish, from theoretical advance to master class in keeping the king in the center and attacking it, to the dangers of time mismanagement by both players. And the Man From Baku takes it down. 35...Kf6 36.Qe6# is pretty and efficient.] 1-0
(5) IM Josiah Stearman (josiwales) (2564) - FM Kyron Griffith (KyronGriffith) (2353) [E54]
MI March TNMo Chess.com (5.2), 23.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
A great battle between two of our MI's top players. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 c5 6.Nf3 d5 7.0-0 Classic Nimzo-Indian. This line of the Rubinstein Variation has been played for almost one hundred years. 7...cxd4 8.exd4 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b6 10.Qb3 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Nc6 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.Bg5 White has the bishop pair and tries for a small edge. Black's pieces have good squares and work well together. An alternative for White is [13.Qb1 h6 14.Re1 Rc8 15.Bd2 Na5 16.Ne5 Nd7 17.Ng4!? Qh4 18.f3 Nc4 with chances for both sides. 1/2 (36)-1/2 (36) Korobov,A (2656)-Wojtaszek,R (2733) Poikovsky 2016] 13...h6 14.Bh4
14...Rc8N [14...e5 15.Rad1!] 15.Rac1 Ne7 16.Ne5 Nf5?! This hurts Black's pawn structure. The game would remain equal after [16...Nfd5] 17.Bxf5 exf5 18.f3! Blunting the scope of the bishop on b7. 18...g5 19.Bf2 Kg7 [19...Nd5 would restrain White a little more] 20.Qc2 [The opening has gone well for White and Josiah could get a clear edge here with 20.c4! Re8 21.Rfd1] 20...f4 ± [20...Nd5! 21.c4 f6] 21.c4 Nd7 22.Nxd7 Qxd7 23.d5 Ba6 24.Qd3 f6 25.Rfe1 Rfe8 26.Qa3?! This gives up much of White's advantage. Black would be suffering after [26.Rxe8 Rxe8 27.h4] 26...Bxc4 27.Rxe8 Qxe8 28.Re1 [28.Qxa7+ Kg6 29.d6 Bxa2! holds for Black] 28...Qd8 29.Qxa7+ Rc7 30.Qxb6 Bxd5 31.Bc5 Josiah starts to play for tricks. Instead he would keep a small edge with [31.a4!] 31...Qc8 32.Bf8+
32...Kg6! [32...Kxf8? 33.Qxf6+ Bf7 34.Qh8+ Bg8 35.Qxh6+ Kf7 36.Qxg5 is a clear edge to White] 33.Qb1+ Qf5 34.Qb6? Josiah keeps chasing the win and gets in trouble. Trading queens would be a draw. 34...Rc2! Kyron starts to go on the offensive. The black king is safer with an extra pawn for protection. 35.Rf1?! [best was to tie Black down somewhat with 35.Qa7 Bf7; not 35.a4 Bxf3! 36.gxf3 Qh3 and wins] 35...Rxa2?! [35...g4! 36.Qa7?! Rxg2+! 37.Kxg2 gxf3+ 38.Rxf3 Qg4+ 39.Kf1 Qxf3+ 40.Qf2 Qd1+ should win for Black] 36.Qc7 Bf7 37.Be7? [37.Qb7! Qc2 38.Qb1 trades the queens] 37...Qe6? [37...g4! 38.Qc5 Bd5 is a winning attack] 38.Bc5?
[38.Qd6! Qe3+ 39.Kh1 Be6 40.Rg1 may hold the game] 38...Qe2! 39.Bf2 [39.Rf2 Ra1+] 39...Bc4 KyronGriffith won by resignation. Cool defense and good counterattack by Kyron. 0-1
(6) Nathan Fong (nathanf314) (2015) - FM Max Gedajlovic (MMSanchez) (2141) [C00]
MI March TNMo Chess.com (5.7), 23.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4!?
an interesting gambit. Many players like to play odd lines against the French Defense and nathanf314 chooses central play and attacking chances for the pawn. 4...b6 [Declining the pawn is safe, but 4...cxb4 5.a3 bxa3 6.d4 Nc6 would be more testing of this line] 5.c3 Nh6 6.a3 Be7 [6...a5 challenges the queenside] 7.d4 Nf5 8.Bd3 Nc6 [8...0-0 9.0-0 Ba6 10.b5 Bc8 11.g4 Nh4 12.Nxh4 Bxh4 13.f4 brought White some advantage in (18) Van Foreest, L (2531)-Edouard,R (2641) chess24.com INT 2019] 9.0-0 0-0
[9...cxd4 10.cxd4 Nfxd4?! 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Qg4] 10.Re1N [10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Bxh4 12.Be3 f6 13.f4 fxe5 14.fxe5 Rxf1+ 15.Qxf1 Bg5! is equal for Black] 10...Bd7 11.Bxf5 exf5 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Qxd5 Qc7 The light square play and extra development give Black enough for the pawn. 14.Bf4 Be6 15.Qd3 Rfd8 16.Qe2 cxb4?! The exchange lets the white pieces get better squares. 17.axb4 a5?! 18.b5 Na7 19.Be3 Bc4
20.b6! Qc6 21.Qb2 Nb5 22.Nbd2 a4 23.Nxc4 Qxc4 24.Nd2 [24.e6! fxe6 25.Ne5 Qb3 26.Qxb3 axb3 27.Rab1 Nxc3 28.Rxb3 is terrific for White] 24...Qd3 25.c4 Nc3 26.Kh1 [26.b7!] 26...Rdb8?! [26...Rab8] 27.c5 f4
28.c6? [28.b7! Ra7 29.c6 fxe3 30.c7! wins] 28...fxe3 29.Rxe3 Qb5 30.Qxc3 Qxb6 The game is back to level chances. 31.Ne4?! [31.e6!] 31...Rc8 32.e6 Qxc6 [32...f6!] 33.exf7+ Kf8 34.Qe5 a3 35.Ng5?? Oh no! A blunder after a fascinating struggle. 35...Bxg5 36.Qxg5 Qc1+! 37.Re1 [37.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 38.Re1 Rxe1#] 37...Qxg5 That's it. 38.h3 a2 39.Kh2 Qf4+ 40.g3 Qxf2+ 41.Kh1 Qxe1+ 42.Rxe1 a1Q 43.Kg2 Qxe1 44.Kf3 Rc3+ 45.Kg4 Ra4+ 46.Kh5 Qe5# 0-1
(7) Chelsea Zhou (mwncklmann) (1875) - Jonah Busch (Kondsaga) (1934) [A57]
MI March TNMo Chess.com (6.9), 23.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.c4 Nf6 2.d4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.e3 One of many reasonable lines against the Benko Gambit. 5...Bb7 6.Nc3 e6 7.e4 exd5 [7...Qa5 is an alternative] 8.exd5 Qe7+!?
[Also tried has been 8...Bd6 9.Nf3 0-0 10.Be2 h6 11.0-0 Re8 12.Bc4 with a clear edge to White (1-0 (28) Sjugirov,S (2675) -Kislinsky,A (2452) Chess.com INT 2020)] 9.Be3N [also good is 9.Be2 axb5 10.Nxb5 Nxd5 11.Nf3 Na6 12.0-0] 9...d6 10.bxa6 Bxa6 11.Bxa6 Nxa6 12.Nf3 Qb7 13.0-0! Be7 [13...Qxb2 14.Qa4+ Nd7 15.Rfe1 Be7 16.Bg5 f6 17.Ne4! would be winning for White] 14.Qd2 0-0 Black has objectively not enough for the pawn. Still there are practical chances with play against the d5 pawn and on the b-file. 15.a3!? [15.Rfd1 Rfb8 16.Rab1 Nc7 17.b3 is a bit more solid] 15...Rfb8 16.Rab1 Nc7 17.Rfd1 Ng4 [17...Nb5 is typical Benko Gambit like play] 18.Bf4 f6?! 19.Qe2 Ne5 20.Bxe5 fxe5 21.Nxe5?
[21.Nd2! is a pawn up with terrific play on the white squares] 21...Bf6! Konsdaga starts the tactics! Black has equal chances now in this messy position. 22.Nd7 Bxc3 23.Nxb8 Rxb8 24.g3?! Black begins to take over the initiative [24.bxc3? Qxb1!; 24.Qe4 Bd4 25.b4 Qxd5 26.Qxd5+ Nxd5 27.bxc5 Rxb1 28.Rxb1 dxc5 is about equal in the ending] 24...Bd4! 25.Qe7 Nxd5 26.Qxd6 Rf8 27.Qe6+ Kh8 28.Rd2 Nf6 29.Re2? [29.Re1 gets the other rook helping on the kingside. Black is still clearly better after 29...h6] 29...h5 30.Qf5 Qf7?! [30...g6! 31.Qxg6 Qf3 32.Rbe1 h4 is a winning attack. White would be forced to give material for the defense with 33. Re3] 31.h3 [31.b4!] 31...g6 32.Qc2?! [32.Qf4] 32...Qc7?! [32...h4! 33.g4 Nd5 is very powerful] 33.Rbe1? overlooking the threat. The game is about equal after [33.Qxg6 Rg8 34.Qh6+ Nh7] 33...Qxg3+! 34.Kh1 Qxh3+ 35.Kg1 Ng4 36.Re8 Qh2+ 37.Kf1 Qh1+ 0-1
Full standings can be found here:
SwissSys Standings. March 2021 TNM: Open
|#||Name||Handle||ID||Rating||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Rd 6||Rd 7||Rd 8||Total|
|1||GM Gadir Guseinov||gguseinov||17343590||2738||W57||W55||W4||W5||W2||D3||5.5|
|2||IM Brian Escalante||BrianEscalante||16836558||2544||W29||W22||W9||W6||L1||W14||5.0|
|3||FM Kyron Wa Griffith||KyronGriffith||12860484||2500||H---||W47||W12||W14||W13||D1||5.0|
|4||FM Max Gedajlovic||MMSanchez||14947382||2141||W39||W34||L1||W36||W17||W13||5.0|
|5||GM James Edwa Tarjan||tirantes||10991820||2469||W67||W24||W15||L1||D8||W29||4.5|
|6||FM Eric Yuhan Li||kingandqueen2017||15688436||2344||W31||W33||W21||L2||W16||D9||4.5|
|7||IM Elliott Winslow||ecwinslow||10363365||2278||W49||W18||W11||L13||W21||D8||4.5|
|8||NM Michael Walder||FlightsOfFancy||10345120||2127||W40||D26||W25||W15||D5||D7||4.5|
|13||IM Josiah Stearman||josiwales||14006506||2505||W30||W23||W20||W7||L3||L4||4.0|
|14||Austin R Mei||TitanChess666||16090452||2149||W58||W35||W17||L3||W32||L2||4.0|
|18||Ranen A Lardent||dashrndrx||12614986||1815||W64||L7||L60||W61||W58||W40||4.0|
|20||Nicholas Ruo Weng||ninjaforce||15499404||2055||W50||W19||L13||D29||D24||D31||3.5|
|22||Thomas F Maser||talenuf||10490936||1900||W51||L2||W58||W60||L9||H---||3.5|
|32||Cailen J Melville||Mangonel||14006141||1940||L62||W69||W67||W54||L14||L19||3.0|
|33||Aaron Mic Nicoski||KingSmasher35||12797931||1789||W52||L6||W39||D10||L29||D38||3.0|
|35||Kevin M Fong||chessappeals||17254586||1783||W71||L14||D50||W49||L10||D46||3.0|
|37||John R Hartmann||john_hartmann||12552251||1765||H---||H---||L41||W45||L44||W62||3.0|
|40||Ethan R Mei||erm999||16090467||1482||L8||W76||L24||W66||W34||L18||3.0|
|45||Leon Diaz Herrera||Aeqetes||17355661||1175||L12||W56||L34||L37||W71||W59||3.0|
|47||Adam For Stafford||aanval22||14257838||1014||W74||L3||L27||L58||W61||W57||3.0|
|52||Sean Han Wu||dum2020arEEEWS||16802870||952||L33||D30||L56||L42||W68||W67||2.5|
|59||Nicholas M Brown||nmbrown2||12446259||1495||H---||L10||W46||L25||D42||L45||2.0|
|67||Kenneth S Wells||shoshonte||14960218||1626||L5||W63||L32||L65||H---||L52||1.5|
|71||Samuel Tsen Brown||ComfyQueso||16380615||739||L35||L31||L61||B---||L45||L63||1.0|
|75||Cleveland W Lee||Vincitore51745||12814843||826||L34||L39||L43||L63||L73||L68||0.0|
SwissSys Standings. March 2021 TNM: Extra Games
|#||Name||Handle||ID||Rating||Rd 1||Rd 2|
|6||Samuel Tsen Brown||ComfyQueso||16380615||739||L1||U---|
GM Gadir Guseinov dominated yet another Thursday Night Marathon, winning a nice rook and bishop v rook and knight endgame against IM Elliott Winslow to take sole first with 5/5. NM Michael Walder took sole 2nd place with 4.5/5, and congratulations to Kristian Clemens and Kagan Uz, who share 3rd place with 4/5. Full standings are below.
If you would like to register for the April Thursday Night Marathon, it starts next week April 1, and you can register here:
SwissSys Standings. Open (Standings (no tiebrk))
|#||Name||Handle||ID||Rating||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Total|
|1||GM Gadir Guseinov||gguseinov||17343590||2680||W19||W12||W10||W6||W5||5.0|
|2||NM Michael Walder||FlightsOfFancy||10345120||2107||W29||W13||W32||H---||W10||4.5|
|5||IM Elliott Winslow||ecwinslow||10363365||2278||W27||W17||W23||H---||L1||3.5|
|13||Aaron Mic Nicoski||KingSmasher35||12797931||1789||W31||L2||L21||W38||W27||3.0|
|16||NM Thomas F Maser||talenuf||10490936||1900||D21||L20||W22||L19||W33||2.5|
|17||Robert Smith III||maturner||12463327||1853||W22||L5||D19||W14||L4||2.5|
|18||Roger V V Shi||1-h4-1-0||16191192||1776||W41||L10||L29||W34||D21||2.5|
|19||Jeff C Andersen||zenwabi||11296106||1643||L1||W38||D17||W16||L7||2.5|
|23||Adam For Stafford||aanval22||14257838||831||W25||W11||L5||D9||L8||2.5|
|31||Katherine Sunn Lu||2Nf31-0||16425316||938||L13||D30||D25||W43||L15||2.0|
|33||Jacob S Wang||jacobchess857||17083655||1629||L6||D34||W36||L12||L16||1.5|
|39||Kevin M Chui||Kchui999||16998580||1290||L4||L29||W41||L25||L26||1.0|
|41||Jake Chi Hang Li||jakech1123||17144246||866||L18||L28||L39||F26||W43||1.0|
It is March Madness - the season of the big college basketball tournament to determine the national champion. This event is special and unique in collegiate sports as it gives all the conference champions, even those from smaller conferences, an opportunity to compete with the traditionally elite teams to play for the national title. Every year fans watch in anticipation, looking to see which teams will upset these bigger programs, and show that on any given day, even the underdog can be the big dog. The same can happen in chess. Since it is often not considered a game of chance where luck plays a prominent role, the stronger players have a distinct advanatage over weaker players. Sometimes the right set of circumstances come together, however, to give an underdog the opportunity to pull off an upset to remember. As chess players, many of us have stories like this, and many of us have stories we would rather like to forget; of being the victim rather than the David slaying Goliath. For instance, one player in the 'arena' portion of the Thompson Family Foundation event last Saturday pulled out a draw against one of the stronger players in the field. He was the only player not to lose to eventual winner, NM Sriram Kishnakumar, and although he was for a good part of the game worse off, he stayed alert and found the right moves when the opportunity came. Congratulations to Robyn Nakhimovsky, rated 714 who drew against NM Krishnakumar, rated 2192. Here is the game, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian. Hopefully this can serve as an inspiration to all us amateurs, as IM John Donaldson says, "every dog has their day."
(9) NM Sriram Krishnakumar (2008king) (2288) - Robyn Nakhimovsky (RobynoDude) (1165) [C45]
Live Chess Chess.com, 14.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nxd4 This exchange trades a developed knight for each side, but benefits White more as the white queen takes up a good central spot. 5.Qxd4 Qf6 6.e5 Qe6?
[If Black plays this variation he/she should play 6...Qb6 when 7.Qf4 d5 8.Nc3 Be6 9.Bd3 0-0-0 is fine for Black. 7. Qxb6 is a small edge] 7.Bc4! d5 gives up a pawn, but not at least gets developed 8.Qxd5 Qxd5 9.Bxd5 c6
10.Bf3?!N [somewhat better is 10.Bb3 so the white f-pawn is free to move up for support:] 10...Bc5 [10...Bf5!] 11.0-0 [11.Nd2! with the idea of 12. Ne4 would be very good] 11...Ne7 12.Nc3 0-0 13.Bf4 Nf5 Black is a pawn down and looks for counterplay. [13...Ng6 14.Bg3 Bf5 may be slightly better] 14.Rad1 Nh4 15.Be4 f5?! trying for active play, but it allows the white pieces to invade. 16.exf6 gxf6 17.Bd6! Bxd6 18.Rxd6 Rf7 19.Rd8+ Kg7 20.Rfd1 f5 21.Bf3 [21.Bd3 Rf8 22.Bc4 should be a winning pawn up endgame] 21...Nxf3+ 22.gxf3 f4 23.Ne2 Rf6 24.Nd4?
[this allows Black a great escape 24.R1d4 will win another pawn] 24...Bh3! 25.Rxa8 Rg6+ 26.Kh1 Bg2+ 27.Kg1 Bh3+ 28.Kh1 Bg2+ 29.Kg1 Bh3+ Game drawn by repetition. A great opportunity siezed by RobynoDude. Black against an opponent 1100 points higher rated and a draw scored! 1/2-1/2
The Mechanics' Institute and the Marshall Chess Club entered into a partnership last year in which we agreed to recognize each organization's members so that our players can enjoy the benefits our respective clubs. Now that there are so many course offerings and USCF online-rated events, we wanted to let our chess community know again that if you are a member of the Mechanics' Institute (meaning you have a membership card and paid the annual fee), you may enjoy playing at Marshall or taking one of their courses at the Marshall member rate. Marshall has also promoted this reciprocity agreement with Mechanics' Institute in their newsletter the Marshall Spectator. To subscribe to their newsletter, please follow this link: https://marshallchessclub.
To see their list of events, click this link: https://www.
If you are a member and wish to be added to the list of members to participate in Marshall events, please send an email to [email protected] and list your USCF number. We will verify membership and place you on the list.
We look forward to this partnership between our two historic clubs in an effort to continue bringing communities together through chess!
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
GM Nick de Firmian/FM Paul Whitehead Arena: Tuesdays 5pm-6pm, 3/30: https://www.chess.com/live#r=1066281
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 6:00-7:00PM -- NEW 6-week Specialty Class: Modern Chess Openings (MCO) with GM Nick de Firmian with FM Paul Whitehead
Course Dates: April 5 - May 10, 2021
Modern Chess Openings was a revolutionary text, and it has come back to life as it was featured in The Queen's Gambit. Mechanics' Institute Grandmaster in Residence GM Nick de Firmian was the editor of several editions of that book and now it will come to life as a class! This will be club players of various strengths and will focus on about 5 key openings. He will cover open game openings that reinforce fundamentals such as piece development, control of the center and king safety, and he will also cover more complex openings that need deeper understanding such as the Sicilian, Queen's Gambit, and Ruy Lopez. The purpose of this class is to gain a better understanding of the ideas behind playing these openings and what to look for. The class will be interactive and engaging. FM Paul Whitehead will also be on to facilitate the class. The class will be fluid and interaction in the class is encouraged. We hope to enlighten the student on what it means to play openings and hpw they can lay the foundation for the course of the entire game. More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/modern-chess-openings
Wednesday's 5:00-6:30PM - Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members
New session starts on April 7, 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 Attack! 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 April 1, 2021 Thursday Night Marathon
Format: 5SS G/60+5
Any questions? [email protected]
By Judit Sztaray
- All Girls Class with Coach Colin -- 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
STARTING THIS coming WEEK - Sign your child up for some fun virtual chess camp during their spring break!
Monday through Friday,
Two weeks offered: Mar 29 - Apr 2 and Apr 5 - Apr 9
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, Mar 27: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=406747
- Monday, Mar 29: 4SS G/10+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=408649
- Tuesday, Mar 30: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=408652
- Wednesday, Mar 31: 3SS G/20+0: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=408654
- Thursday, Apr 1: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=408657
- Friday, Apr 2: 4SS G/10+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=408659
- Sunday, Apr 4: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=408660
2) USCF Online Rated Tournaments
3/28 Sunday - Fun, Fast & Furious Blitz: 8SS G/5+2 affecting USCF Online blitz rating.
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/uscf-online-rated-scholastic-tournaments-2021-chesskidcom
Register online: https://mechanics-institute.jumbula.com/2021OnlineTournaments/ScholasticOnlineRatedTournamentMAR28SUN
4/2 - Friday 6:30PM PT: 8SS G/5+2: Monthly Scholastic Blitz Online Championships
Run on Chess.com
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/mechanics-monthly-online-scholastic-blitz-championship-chesscom
(8) LastYoungChapter (1408) - AndrewCBAC (1411) [B01]
Live Chess ChessKid.com
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 This is the classic square for the black queen in this opening and in my opinion the best. From the side of the board the queen is developed yet away from the attacks of the white minor pieces. 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.d4 Nc6 A sharp, risky vatiation instead of the solid 5...c6 (most common move among grandmasters). 6.Bb5 0-0-0 7.0-0? Losing the centeral d-pawn and getting in serious trouble. [Better to follow the masters: 7.Bxc6! bxc6 8.h3 Qh5 9.Be3 Nf6 10.Qe2 Bxf3 11.gxf3! e6 12.0-0-0 Kb7 13.Rhg1 White has the advantage here. The game continued 13...h6 14.Rd3 Rg8? 15.Ne4! Be7 16.Rb3+ Kc8 17.Qa6+ Kd7 18.Rd1 Qxf3 19.Nd2 Qxh3 20.Nc4 Ke8 21.Ne5 Bd6 22.Nxc6 Ra8 23.Qb7 Kd7 24.Ne5+ Ke7 25.Bf4 Qf5 26.Nc6+ Kd7 27.Bxd6 Kxd6 28.Ne5 Qf4+ 29.Kb1 Rgf8 1-0 (29) Ding,L (2791)-Carlsen,M (2863) chess24.com INT 2020] 7...Nxd4
White has both bishops and both rooks in the attack while only the black queen is out. 16...Kc8? [16...Ke8! would still be big edge - 17.Rxd5+ (17.Rd6+ Kf7 18.Rxg6 hxg6 is a piece and pawn up endgame) 17...Kf7 18.Bc4 e6 and the black king can be defended] 17.Rc7+?! [17.Rxd5!] 17...Kd8 18.Rd7+ Kc8?! [18...Ke8!] 19.Rxd5! White gets it right the second time around! 19...Nf6? [19...Qh6 20.Rc5+ Kd8 21.Bc7+ Kc8 22.Bf4+ would be winning for White anyway now] 20.Rc1# LastYoungChapter won by checkmate. What a wild game! 1-0
Finishing Tactics from the World Championship Matches 7: Lasker – Marshall 1907.
FM Paul Whitehead
Despite playing very little chess between this match and the return match with Steinitz, Lasker was far too strong for his American challenger. Lasker raced out to a 3-0 lead, and in the end crushed Marshall +8 -0 =7 for the most lop-sided victory in any World Championship match. To play a match for the title seems like a crowning achievement, but Marshall’s humiliation was such that he almost never mentioned it. He described Lasker’s play as “tedious, aimed at wearing down his opponent.” By contrast Marshall’s play was anything but boring, yet frequently unsound:
Lasker – Marshall, 14th Match Game 1907.
Here Marshall, out of frustration at the match score, if nothing else, uncorked the ridiculous 1…Bxh2+? 2.Kxh2 h5. Black’s “attack” was easily brushed off, and he lost in short order: 3.Bf4 Ng4+ 4.Kg1 g5 5.Be5 Rh7 6.Bxg4 hxg4 7.Ne4. Now it is white who is on the offensive. 7…Nd7 8.Qxg4 Nxe5 9.dxe5 Kf8 10.Rad1 Qc7 11.Nf6 1-0.
Nevertheless, Marshall deserves some credit for being the only American challenger for the World Championship after Morphy, until Fischer, 65 years later.
1. Lasker – Marshall, 2nd Match Game 1907
White moves. Repel the attack and stay a pawn ahead – but be careful!
2. Marshall – Lasker, 3rd Match Game 1907.
Black moves. An accurate finish dooms white.
3. Lasker – Marshall, 4th Match Game 1907.
Black moves. Under pressure, find a way to bail out.
4. Lasker – Marshall, 12th Match Game 1907.
White moves. Destroy black’s chances.
5. Marshall – Lasker, 15th Match Game 1907.
Black moves. Find the move that gives an advantage.
Either Very Good or Very Bad
I was able to show a game in our wonderful Mechanics’ online Chess Café on Monday (4:00-5:30pm every week). I asked our café participants what rating they thought the players of the game had (particularly the player of White who had very unusual moves). Most thought the first player had a rating around 700, like the kids (or adults) that are learning to play and have learned some of the basics but often play some strange, illogical moves. Yet wily IM Elliott Winslow (perhaps suspected the trick I was playing) answered “This player is either very good or very bad.” In fact the player of the white pieces was Magnus Carlsen, and I cannot resist showing you the strange game below. Once Nimzovich was criticized by Tarrasch and the orthodox school of chess who said his moves were “ugly.” Nimzovich, with his “hypermodern” theory claimed that it was not the appearance of the move which counts, but the thought behind it. Please keep that in mind as you see the first game below.
The other way a game will be very good or very bad will depend on the form a chess player is in. The reader likely shares my experience that some tournaments I would play many lemons with my mind not sharp, while other tournaments my mind felt clear and good moves seemed to come naturally. So it is with the return of the Candidates Tournament in a few weeks we will see which players are in good form for the second half. Ian Nempomniachtchi is tied for the lead (with MVL) and also in fine form. He just finished second in the “Magnus Carlsen Invitational” and more importantly beat Magnus himself in the semi-finals. The player in the very best form however could be Holland’s Anish Giri, who tied for first in Wijk aan Zee two months ago and now took first in the “Magnus Carlsen Invitational” by beating Nepomniachtchi in the finals. We give the decisive game from this match below. Giri is a point behind in the Candidates at the halfway point and so has a tougher road in these last 7 games. Soon we’ll get to see who’s play among the challengers is very good or very bad.
(1) Carlsen,Magnus - So,Wesley [C47]
Magnus Carlsen Invitational, 21.03.2021
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.a4!?
(2) Nempomniachtchi,Ian - Giri,Anish [A01]
Magnus Carlsen Invitatinal, 21.03.2021
This was the decisive game of a closely fought match. It came down to blitz games to decide the winner of the tournament. 1.b3 Nepo also tries a somewhat unusual opening to get Giri into an unexpected position. The great Bent Larsen used this opening frequently and it bears his name. 1...d5 2.Bb2 Bf5 3.d3 c5 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 e5 Black graps the central space and achieves easy equality in the opening. 7.e4 dxe4 8.dxe4 Be6 9.Ngf3 Qc7 10.0-0 Be7 11.Nc4 Rd8 12.Qb1?! This is too original. Keeping the queen centralized with 12. Qe2 would keep chances level. 12...Bxc4 13.bxc4 0-0 14.Re1 Nd7 15.Bf1 Nd4 16.Nd2?
44...f2! Nepo resigned. The match was a great battle. In the upcoming Candidates finish I believe Nepo has the best chances (because of his score), while MVL, Caruana and Giri are the other serious contenders. 0-1
1. Lasker – Marshall, 2nd Match Game 1907.
1.g3! Squelched black’s attack. But not 1.Nf4?? Rxg2+! and black wins. After 1… h5 2.Qf4 Qd5 3.Rfe1 Rde8 4.Rxe8+ Rxe8 5.Re1 (This is what Marshall was complaining about!) 5…Re4
6.Qg5 Nb4 7.Rxe4 fxe4 8.Qxd5 Nxd5. White has simplified into a won ending, and Lasker’s technique was second to none: 9.Nc5 e3 10.Nd3 h4 11.gxh4 Kd7 12.Kf1 Ke6 13.Ke2 exf2 14.Kxf2 Kf5 15.Kf3 Nf6 16.Nc5 b6 17.Nd3 Nh5 18.Nc1 Nf6 19.Ne2 Ke5 20.Ng3 Nd5 21.h5 Ne3 22.h6 Kf6 23.c3 Nd1 24.cxd4 Nxb2 25.Nf5 Kg6 26.d5 Nc4 27.Ke4 Na5 28.d6 Nb7 29.Kd5 Nd8 30.d7 a5 31.Ne7+ 1-0
2. Marshall – Lasker, 3rd Match Game 1907.
1…Rf5! Closes it out. The hasty 1…Rh4+? allows 2.Qxh4 with a probable draw. 2.Qe8 Qh4+ 0-1. It is mate next move.
3. Lasker – Marshall, 4th Match Game 1907.
1…Nd3+ Simplifies into a drawn ending: 2.Bxd3 Rxd3 3.Rxd3 Rxd3 4.cxb5 axb5 5.a4 Rd5 6.f4 Ka5 7.Rxb5+ Rxb5 8.axb5 Kxb5 9.Ke2 Kc4 10.Ke3 Kd5 11.h4 Kc4 12.Ke4 h5 13.g3 Kc3 14.Ke3 ½ - ½.
4. Lasker – Marshall, 12th Match Game 1907.
1.Bf5! is absolutely crushing, and another ill-conceived attack goes down the drain. Of course not 1.Kxh2?? Ng4+ winning the queen. 1…Rh5. There is no defense. If 1…exf5 2.Rxe5+ and 3.Kxh2. Marshall played a full piece down for many moves before resigning: 2.Rxe5 Qd8 3.Qxd8+ Kxd8 4.g4 Rg5 5.Nf3 Rg7 6.Bd3 Rxg4 7.Kf2 Ke7 8.Rae1 Rcg8 9.Bf1 Bc6 10.b3 Rh8 11.R5e3 Rhg8 12.a4 a5 13.Ne5 Rf4+ 14.Kg1 Be8 15.Nc4 b5 16.axb5 Bxb5 17.Nxa5 Bd7 18.b4 f5 19.Nb3 Rfg4 20.Nd4 f4 21.Re4 R8g6 22.c4 Kd6 23.c5+ Kd5 24.Nf3 Rf6 25.Rd4+ Kc6 26.Ne5+ 1-0. Sour grapes?
5. Marshall – Lasker, 15th Match Game 1907.
1…Ng3! wins the exchange. Marshall still had some chances, but was steadily outplayed from here: 2.Rxf5 Nxf5 3.e4 Ne7 4.a3 Rc8 5.d6 Ng6 6.Nc4 Qg5 7.Bf1 b5 8.Na5 Nf4 9.Qg3 Qf6 10.Qe3 Qxd6 11.Bxb5 Qb6 12.Bc4 Ne6 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Nb3 e5 15.Kf1 Rb8 16.Nc5 exd4 17.Qxd4 Rc8 0-1.
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