Chess Room Newsletter #969 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #969

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #969


May 22, 2021

By Abel Talamantez

Table of Contents

Mechanics' Institute Will Reopen For Live Chess Starting in June 1 with the June Tuesday Night Marathon!

After over a year, live chess will return to the historic chess tables of the Mechanics' Institute with the FIDE rated Tuesday Night Marathon beginning June 1st! This will be a 5-round 2-section TNM with the traditional time control of G/120;d5. We will have a capacity of 50 players in total per local and state regulations, and we will broadcast five boards on DGT with live commentary by GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead on our Twitch channel.

All players must abide by our new live chess rules and adhere to local and state mandates, including indoor masking and social distancing. No spectators will be permitted, although MI will provide space for parents of our youth players where they can safely distance themselves. Please visit our COVID-19 safety page for more information.


Registration will open on Sunday morning at 12am PT, please register soon after it opens to guarantee your spot by clicking here:

Full tournament information can be found here:

We look forward to seeing everyone there! Please read Mechanics' Covid Health and Safety Plan by clicking HERE.

Please email us to [email protected] with any specific questions.

Mechanics' Institute vs. Hamburg Chess Club Report

We finished our final match in our international four-club match series against the Hamburg Chess Club, in which the Mechanics' Institute lost a hard fought battle 22.5-17.5. This particular match was made even more lively as we were joined on the broadcast by WFM Eva Maria Zickelbein, who provided commentary on the match, discussing their club players and giving our viewers some insights into their chess community. Eva revealed to us that she in fact played GM Nick de Firmian in Hamburg at an event in the 1990's, and Nick rememebred that event, adding a charming side note to this collaboration.

We would like to thank Eva and all the players from the Hamburg Chess Club for the match. It has been a pleasure to connect with the four oldest continually running chess clubs in the world and establish partnerships, friendships, and a foundation for future events, with both our regular and scholastic communities. Through online chess, and a will to find new ways to interact and learn from each other, we are striving to bring diverse communities together. We want to go give a vey special shout out to volunteer WCM Allyson Wong for helping us connect with these clubs and being a huge help in the organizing of these events.

Here are some games from the match, annotated by FM Paul Whitehead.

[Event "MICC vs Hamburg"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2021.05.15"]

[White GM Jim Tarjan]

[Black FM Julian Kramer]

 [WhiteElo "2345"]

[BlackElo "2293"]

[TimeControl "900+2"]

[ECO "B50"]

[Opening "Sicilian Defense: Delayed Alapin"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 (White opens modestly with a Delayed Alapin.)  3... Nf6 4. h3 g6. (Naturally not  4... Nxe4? 5. Qa4+.) 5. Bd3 Bg7 6. Bc2 O-O 7. d4 cxd4 8. cxd4 Nc6 9. Nc3 e5 (9... d5 the other central advance, leaves white more room after 10. e5 Ne8 11. O-O) 10. O-O (10. d5 Nd4! and if 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Qxd4 Nxe4! 13. Qxe4 Re8 with black on top.) 10... exd4! 11. Nxd4.

11…Nxe4! (This little combination completely equalizes the game.) 12. Nxc6 Nxc3 13. Nxd8 Nxd1 14. Nxf7 (A forced "desperado" so white doesn't fall behind materially.) 14... Nxb2 15. Nh6+ (15. Nxd6 Nc4 16. Nxc4 Bxa1 17. Ba3 Bg7 18. Bxf8 Kxf8 is a possible line. Black is slightly better with the 2 bishops.) 15... Kh8 16. Rb1 Nc4 17. Be4 Nb6 18. Rd1 Be6.

 19. Rxd6?! (Dangerous. White maybe should eliminate a black queen-side pawn with 19. Bxb7.) 19...Bxa2 20. Rb5 Rae8 21. f3 Bc4 (Instead the timely 21... Nc8! followed by 22...b6 would have given white more problems.) 22. Rc5 Ba6 23. g4! (White's activity should be enough to keep the balance.)23... Rc8 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Bf4 Rf8 26. Bg5 Nc4 27. Rd7 Ne5 28. Re7 Nxf3+ 29. Bxf3 Rxf3   30.Rc7?!

 (This natural move might have lost the game. Instead 30. Kg2! Rf8 31. Nf7+ Kg8 32. Nh6+ keeps the balance.) 30... Bd4+? (30... Bb5! Reactivating the light-squared bishop, and if 31. Rxb7 Bd4+ 32. Kh2 Be5+ 33. Kg1 Bc6! and white is in trouble.) 31. Kg2 Rf2+ 32. Kg3 Rf8 33. Nf7+ Kg8 34. Nh6+ Kh8 35. Nf7+ Kg8 36. Nh6+ Kh8.  1/2-1/2. A scrappy fight.


[Event "MICC vs Hamburg"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2021.05.15"]

[White WCM Allyson Wong]

[Black Frank Neidner]

[WhiteElo "1834"]

[BlackElo "1424"]

[TimeControl "900+2"]

[ECO "C91"]

[Opening "Ruy Lopez: Closed, Yates Variation"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 d6 7. c3 Be7 8. Re1 O-O 9. d4 (A perfectly good alternative to 9.h3.) 9... exd4 (A bit unusual. Black usually opts for the immediate 9...Bg4, with white responding with either 10.d5 or 10.Be3.) 10. cxd4 Bg4 11. Kh1!?

 (This may very well be a novelty. The simple 11.Nc3 and 11.Be3 make sense. However, 11.Kh1 induces...) 11... Bxf3 (...which opens the g-file for white. Better was 11...d5! 12.e5 Ne4 - hitting the undefended f2 pawn!) 12. gxf3 h6? (A serious weakening of the king's position. 12...Na5 13.Bc2 c5, striving for counter-play was much better.) 13. Rg1 Kh8 14. Nc3 Nh7 15. Be3 Na5 16. Bc2 Nc4 17. Bc1 (White effortlessly builds up a powerful kingside attack.) 17... Bg5?! (Losing more time. Black is playing on the wrong side of the board!) 18. f4 Be7 19. b3 Nb6 20. Qd3 g6 21. f5 g5 22. Qh3.

(White's attack plays itself, but 22.f6! and if 22...Nxf6 then 23.e5 dxe5 24.Bxg5! was lovely and  immediately decisive.) 22... Kg7 23. e5 dxe5 24. dxe5 f6 25. e6 Nd5 26. Ne4 Rh8 27. Bb2 Qe8 28. Rad1 c6 29. Nc3 (Eliminating black's most active piece is certainly quite logical.) 29... Nxc3 30. Bxc3 Rd8 31. Ba5 Rxd1 32. Rxd1 (White has been winning for some time now.) 32... Qc8 33. Rd7 c5 (He was lost in any case.) 34. Rxe7+ Kg8 35. Qh5 Qf8 36. Qg6+

 1-0. It's mate next move.

Here is an annoted game by IM Merijn van Delft, his win over IM Josiah Stearman

To see full match results, click HERE

To watch the broadcast, go to our YouTube channel HERE starting at the 2:58:00 mark.

May 2021 TNM Report Rounds 3&4

The Tuesday Night Marathon wrapped up Rounds 3&4 Tuesday Night with tournament top seed GM Gadir Guseonov creating separation between himself and the rest of the field. He defeated FM Max Gedajlovic, and NM Eric Hon and now sits alone at the top with 4/4, a full point ahead of the rest of the field. FM Kyron Griffith, who took byes for the evenings rounds, is probably Gadir's toughest remaining opponent, and we hope to see that matchup in next week's final rounds. Sitting with 3 points are FM Kyron Griffith, FM Max Gedajlovic, NM Eric Hon, NM Michael Walder, Austin Mei, Rohan Das, and Aditya Arutla. 

In the under 1800 section, Joshua Lamstein and William Kelly are the last perfect scores remaining with 4/4 and will face off next week. Rajtilak Jagannathan is in 3rd with 3.5. 

Here are some games from the round, annotated by FM Paul Whitehead.

Event "TNM"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2021.05.18"]

[White NM Michael Walder]

[Black Austin Mei]

[WhiteElo "2169"]

[BlackElo "2262"]

[TimeControl "2100+2"]

[ECO "A66"]

[Opening "Benoni Defense: Pawn Storm Variation"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4.

 (The Pawn Storm Variation vs the Modern Benoni: white tries to wipe black off the board.) 7... Nbd7?! (This annotator is not a theoretician, nevertheless he knows that the d7 square is reserved for the other knight in this line.) 8. Nf3 Bg7 9. e5 (Black is already in serious trouble.) 9... dxe5 10. fxe5 Ng4 11. e6! fxe6 12. dxe6 Nde5 13. Bb5+ Nc6 14. Qxd8+ (Keeping it simple. 14.Qe2 playing for the attack with the queens on was also very good.) 14... Kxd8 15. Bg5+ (White's pieces are literally jumping out of the box.) 15... Kc7 16. Nd5+ Kd6 17. O-O-O Nd4 18. Nc3!

 (Probably white's most difficult move of the game.) 18... Bxe6 (18... Nf2 19. Rhe1 Nxd1 20. Bf4+ Ke7 21. Nd5+ Kf8 22. e7+ Kf7 23. Ng5+ Kg8 24. e8=Q+ Bf8 25. Qf7# is a sample line. Black's king cannot escape in any way shape or form.) 19. Rhe1 (Relentless centralization. Black is a pawn ahead, but totally helpless.) 19... Rhf8 20. h3 Nf2.

 21. Rxe6+! (This starts a forcing continuation leading to the win of an entire rook.) 21... Kxe6 22. Re1+! Kd6 ( If 22... Kf7 23. Bc4+ wins, or 22... Kf5 23. g4+ Nxg4 24. Bd3#) 23. Be7+ Kc7 24. Nd5+ Kc8 25. Bxf8 Nxb5 26. Re8+ Kd7 27. Rxa8.

 (White has played a model attacking game in the style of Alekhine, and black should resign. But he plays it out to the checkmate.) 27... Nd3+ 28. Kc2 Bxf8 29. Rxf8 c4 30. Ne3 Nb4+ 31. Kb1 c3 32. Rf7+ Ke6 33. Rxb7 a6 34. a4 c2+ 35. Nxc2 Nxc2 36. Kxc2 Nd6 37. Rb6 Kd5 38. Rxd6+ Kxd6 39. b4 Kd5 40. Kc3 h6 41. g3 Ke4 42. Nd2+ Kd5 43. Kd3 g5 44. g4 Ke5 45. Ke3 Kd5 46. Kd3 Ke5 47. b5 axb5 48. axb5 Kd5 49. b6 Kc6 50. Nc4 Kb7 51. Kd4 Kc6 52. Ke5 Kb7 53. Kf6 Kc6 54. Kg6 Kb7 55. Kxh6 Kc6 56. Kxg5 Kb7 57. h4 Kc6 58. h5 Kb7 59. h6 Kc6 60. h7 Kb7 61. h8=Q Kc6 62. Qf6+ Kd7 63. Qf7+ Kc6 64. Qc7+ Kb5 65. b7 Ka6 66. Qb6# (A convincing lesson folks: know your openings!) 1-0.


[Event "TNM"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2021.05.18"]

[White FM Max Gedajlovic]

[Black Max Hao]

[WhiteElo "2243"]

[BlackElo "1865"]

[TimeControl "2100+2"]

[ECO "D05"]

[Opening "Queen's Pawn Game: Colle System"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 (White employs the Colle System. It is slow and boring, true - but often deadly.) 4... c5 5. O-O Bd6 6. b3 O-O 7. Bb2 cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. a3 Qc7 10. Qe2 a6  (Unnecessary. Black can develop the bishop faster with 10...b6 or 10...Bd7.) 11. Nbd2 b5 12. Ne5.

  (White could also think about playing for c4 instead.) 12... Bb7 13. f4 b4 14. a4 Qb6 15. Qe3 a5 16. Kh1 Ne7 (And here 16...Ba6! eliminating the dangerous bishop at d3 might have been played.) 17. Qh3 Qc7 18. Ng4?! (Creating the direct threat of 19.Nxf6+ and 20.Qh7#, but 18.Rae1 getting a grip on the e4 square was better.) 18... Ne4!

 (Despite white's kingside buildup, black is doing great - he now owns the vital e4 square.) 19. Nf3 (White goes for broke.) 19... Bxf4 20. Nfe5 Bxe5! (Eliminating one of the attacking pieces.) 21. dxe5 Nf5? (Black loses the thread and allows white a terrific combination. 21... Ng6! and if 22. Nf6+ gxf6 23. exf6 Kh8! and white runs out of steam: 24. Qh6 Rg8 25. Rf3 e5 etc.) 22. Bxe4! dxe4.

 23. Rxf5!! Finally the bishop at b2 has some say!) 23... exf5 (23... Qxc2 24. Rg5 e3 25. Nf6+ Kh8 26. Nxh7! Qxh7 27. Rh5 winning is one cute line.) 24. Nf6+ gxf6 25. Qh6!

 (The final shot: black must give his queen to avoid mate.) 25... fxe5 (If 25…Kh8 26.Qxf6+ Kg8 27.e6! fxe6 28.Qh8+ Kf7 29.Qxh7+ and 30.Qxc7 winning.) 26. Qg5+ Kh8 27. Qf6+ Kg8 28. Bxe5 Qxe5 29. Qxe5 Bc8 30. Re1 Ra6 31. Re3 f6 (If instead 31...Rg6 then either harvesting the queenside with 32.Qxa5 or continuing the attack with 32.h4 wins easily.) 32. Rg3+ Kh8 33. Qe7 Rg8 34. Rxg8+ Kxg8 35. Qe8+ Kg7 36. Qxc8


To see the full event page, click here:

To watch the broadcast, please follow this link:

SwissSys Standings. 2021 May Tuesday Night Marathon Online: 1800

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Total Prize
1 Gadir Guseinov gguseinov 17343590 2661 W26 W11 W3 W4     4.0  
2 Kyron Griffith KyronGriffith 12860484 2493 W13 W7 H--- H---     3.0  
3 Max Gedajlovic MMSanchez 14947382 2195 W22 W25 L1 W15     3.0  
4 Eric Hon microbear 13778105 2191 W23 W15 W9 L1     3.0  
5 Michael Walder FlightsOfFancy 10345120 2155 D16 W19 W6 D9     3.0  
6 Austin Mei TitanChess666 16090452 2149 W27 W24 L5 W16     3.0  
7 Rohan Das TETRA_Wolf 15263634 1979 W8 L2 W25 W17     3.0  
8 Aditya Arutla harshu27 16207801 1718 L7 W13 W12 W14     3.0  
9 Eric Li kingandqueen2017 15688436 2350 W14 W12 L4 D5     2.5  
10 Elliott Winslow ecwinslow 10363365 2278 L15 H--- W26 D11     2.0  
11 Michael Wang coalescenet 13605850 2098 W17 L1 D16 D10     2.0  
12 Ako Heidari Ako_h 15206848 1980 W18 L9 L8 W24     2.0  
13 Jeffery Wang twangbio 16291100 1879 L2 L8 W27 W25     2.0  
14 Ethan Guo LightningDragon8 16761994 1877 L9 W27 W18 L8     2.0  
15 Max Hao Joseph_Truelsons_Fan 16083648 1804 W10 L4 W19 L3     2.0  
16 Pranav Sathish championps 16464655 1787 D5 W20 D11 L6     2.0  
17 Sos Hakobyan SacrificeandCrush 14452712 1771 L11 W21 W24 L7     2.0  
18 Jason Ochoa barok44 12440572 1759 L12 W22 L14 W23     2.0  
19 Shravan Sriram Ragingbeast360 15894655 1655 B--- L5 L15 W21     2.0  
20 Cailen Melville Mangonel 14006141 1940 L24 L16 D23 W26     1.5  
21 Jonah Busch kondsaga 12469525 1934 L25 L17 W22 L19     1.0  
22 Sanjeev Anand chessp1234 14436451 1796 L3 L18 L21 W27     1.0  
23 Philip Gerstoft pgstar3 12913356 1788 L4 D26 D20 L18     1.0  
24 Vedant Talwalkar serverbusy 16408266 1691 W20 L6 L17 L12     1.0  
25 Georgios Tsolias GiorgosTsolias 17266862 1679 W21 L3 L7 L13     1.0  
26 Chelsea Zhou mwncklmann 15239016 1883 L1 D23 L10 L20     0.5  
27 Kevin M Fong chessappeals 17254586 1783 L6 L14 L13 L22     0.0  

SwissSys Standings. 2021 May Tuesday Night Marathon Online: u1800

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Total Prize
1 Joshua Lamstein aveevu 15487526 1632 W23 W26 W7 W10     4.0  
2 William Kelly wkelly 30161947 unr. W17 W25 W5 W4     4.0  
3 Rajtilak Indrajit Jagannathan rtindru 30109752 1484 D19 W24 W21 W12     3.5  
4 Aaron Nicoski KingSmasher35 12797931 1789 W11 W16 W6 L2     3.0  
5 Ethan Sun sfdeals 16964125 1494 W32 W18 L2 W17     3.0  
6 Michael Hilliard Echecsmike 12279170 1446 W28 W27 L4 W21     3.0  
7 Sebastian Suarez Sebbymeister 16875347 1422 W8 W9 L1 W20     3.0  
8 Jonathan Disenhof GoldenBearMe 12906711 869 L7 W15 W25 W13     3.0  
9 Nikhil Pimpalkhare MyKwazowski 30179081 unr. W15 L7 W26 W16     3.0  
10 Marina Xiao programmingmax 16380642 1547 D24 W29 W19 L1     2.5  
11 Andrew Ballantyne andrewaballantyne 17079795 1251 L4 D22 W31 W25     2.5  
12 Nursultan Uzakbaev rimus11 17137317 1513 L18 W32 W27 L3     2.0  
13 Charles James chuckchess 12448028 1368 W33 L21 W18 L8     2.0  
14 Pranav Pradeep ppra06 15871762 1354 L21 W28 L20 W30     2.0  
15 Gabriel Ngam boozerrip 13553308 1350 L9 L8 W32 W27     2.0  
16 Paul Krezanoski pjkrizzle 16897133 1346 W22 L4 W29 L9     2.0  
17 Prescott Yu prescott00000 16009618 1296 L2 W33 W30 L5     2.0  
18 Ivan Zong ivanzong 30131397 1081 W12 L5 L13 W26     2.0  
19 Jerry Li figsnoring 16551291 999 D3 W31 L10 D22     2.0  
20 Rehaan Malhotra MrRap9 30118209 810 L25 B--- W14 L7     2.0  
21 Adithya Chitta adichi 16695036 749 W14 W13 L3 L6     2.0  
22 Anton Bobkov texfan 30162536 unr. L16 D11 W24 D19     2.0  
23 Ian Liao victor6688 16738735 1203 L1 L30 D33 W29     1.5  
24 Sean Wu dum2020arEEEWS 16802870 1173 D10 L3 L22 W33     1.5  
25 Michael Xiao swimgrass 16380636 1363 W20 L2 L8 L11     1.0  
26 Adam Stafford aanval22 14257838 1288 W30 L1 L9 L18     1.0  
27 Bruce Hedman Bruce_Hedman 17344551 1043 W31 L6 L12 L15     1.0  
28 Justin Brunet night_breeze 30055583 982 L6 L14 H--- H---     1.0  
29 Samuel Brown ComfyQueso 16380615 723 B--- L10 L16 L23     1.0  
30 Jj Ziebart TomatoSoupGirl 30166361 unr. L26 W23 L17 L14     1.0  
31 Nicholas Brown nmbrown2 12446259 1495 L27 L19 L11 D32     0.5  
32 Charvi Atreya Charvii 16816706 1032 L5 L12 L15 D31     0.5  
33 Arumin Ravisankar aruminchess 30025152 869 L13 L17 D23 L24     0.5  

 Thursday Night Marathon Report

Eight players remain perfect with 2/2 after two rounds of the Thursday Night Marathon. Click the event page HERE for more details. Here are the current standings:

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 2700 W21 W18       2.0
2 IM Elliott Winslow ecwinslow 10363365 2278 W22 W19       2.0
3 NM Michael Walder flightsoffancy 10345120 2155 W37 W24       2.0
4 Nathan Fong nathanf314 13001390 2004 W38 W25       2.0
5 Kristian Clemens kclemens 13901075 1997 W39 W26       2.0
6 Jason Ochoa barok44 12440572 1759 W40 W27       2.0
7 Jeff Andersen zenwabi 11296106 1643 W41 W30       2.0
8 William Kelly wkelly 30161947 unr. W20 W16 H---     2.0
9 Pranav Sairam chesspilot01 15424820 2103 W23 H---       1.5
10 Robert Smith maturner 12463327 1853 D13 W32       1.5
11 Alexander Huberts cccalboy 16419664 1794 D34 W33       1.5
12 Aaron Nicoski kingsmasher35 12797931 1789 H--- W34       1.5
13 Suhas Indukuri suindu12 16887781 1181 D10 W31       1.5
14 NM Thomas Maser talenuf 10490936 1900 L24 W35       1.0
15 Matthew Chan hip_hop_99 12541333 1659 L26 W38       1.0
16 Samuel Agdamag sirianluv 14874734 1621 W42 L8       1.0
17 Jacob Wang jacobchess857 17083655 1612 L27 W40       1.0
18 Marina Xiao programmingmax 16380642 1547 W28 L1       1.0
19 Nursultan Uzakbaev rimus11 17137317 1513 W29 L2       1.0
20 Ethan Sun sfdeals 16964125 1494 L8 W39       1.0
21 Kevin Sun kevin_mx_sun 16898540 1491 L1 W42       1.0
22 Akshaj Pulijala loltheawesomedude 16497860 1487 L2 W41       1.0
23 Nick Reed nxbex 16154827 1416 L9 W36       1.0
24 Adam Stafford aanval22 14257838 1288 W14 L3       1.0
25 Charvi Atreya charvii 16816706 1032 W36 L4       1.0
26 Katherine Sunny Lu 2nf31-0 16425316 1008 W15 L5       1.0
27 Joshua Lu probablyjosh 30127073 unr. W17 L6       1.0
28 Tobiah Rex tobiahsrex 30164211 unr. L18 W37       1.0
29 Pratyush Bhingarkar greenninja2019 30015889 unr. L19 B---       1.0
30 Jeff Rosengarden jrosengarden 30105422 unr. B--- L7       1.0
31 Mark Drury birdorbust 12459313 1873 H--- L13       0.5
32 Bryan Hood fiddleleaf 12839763 1574 H--- L10       0.5
33 Ian Liao victor6688 16738735 1203 H--- L11       0.5
34 Ivan Zong ivanzong 30131397 1081 D11 L12       0.5
35 Bruce Hedman bruce_hedman 17344551 1043 H--- L14       0.5
36 Leo Wang mu3tang 16061785 1765 L25 L23       0.0
37 Daniel Marcus radio_on 12905558 1458 L3 L28       0.0
38 Michael Xiao swimgrass 16380636 1363 L4 L15       0.0
39 Gabriel Ngam boozerrip 13553308 1350 L5 L20       0.0
40 Christopher Harris charris62606 15496280 1017 L6 L17       0.0
41 Andrejs Gulbis andrejsg 16741331 826 L7 L22       0.0
42 Cleveland Lee vincitore51745 12814843 581 L16 L21       0.0


Take on the Mechanics' Chess Staff Live on Twitch!

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:

GM Nick de Firmian/FM Paul Whitehead Arena: Tuesdays 5pm-6pm, 5/22:

See you in the arena!

Mechanics' Institute Regular Online Classes

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:

Wednesday's 5:00-6:30PM - Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members
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: Current class is full.
Next class starts June. 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:

Wednesdays 6:30-8PM -- New offerings start next week: Advanced Attacking Techniques by FM Paul Whitehead
Course Dates: April 28 through June 2 (6 classes)

Special class for players with 1800+ USCF rating to learn, discuss and improve on their attacking skills.
$150 Mechanics' members. $180 for non-members. Few single class registrations are available -- Registration is needed to receive the zoom link.
More information:

Wednesdays 7-8PM - Tactics for the Developing Players
Course Dates: March 31 through June 2 (10 classes)

IM (International Master) Elliott Winslow will be teaching this course, which will go over one of the greatest players (world champions, groundbreakers, players who advanced chess theory and practice) per week, including some of the history of the player and the time period in which they made their mark, and use their games to instill basic tactical and positional thinking to those in the class. The class will also conduct a weekly game analysis of at least one game from the star of the week, and show how to find tactics in that game and through puzzles, and at the end of class either leave time open to go over games sent by the participants ahead of class, or for the students to play some games.

More information:

  1. Sundays 10AM - 12PM -- Free Women's Online Chess Class by FIDE Trainer Sophie Adams

    Come join us on Sundays as we are offering a free class for women from 10am-12pm(noon) online.
    Coached by FIDE Trainer Sophie Adams, this class is for women and girls looking to develop their chess skills with a community of women. Knowledge of piece movements and mates is expected. Registration is required so we may send the links for players to join. Zoom will be required to participate, and we will include optional links to participate in online platforms like if players would like to play with each other online.

    Be sure to be a part of the Mechanics' Women's Chess Club on

    More information:
    Class is free, but must register to receive class information:

Mechanics' Institute Regular Online Events Schedule

The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club will continue to hold regular online events in various forms. Here is the upcoming schedule for players:

5/18 Tuesday - May 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon
Format: 6SS G/35+2

Join Now!  May/June 2021 Thursday Night Marathon (May 13-June 10)
Format: 5SS G/60+5

Past Club Tournament results are here:
Before playing in our online tournaments, be sure to do the following:
1. Sign up and log in to
2. Sign up to be a member of Mechanics' Institute Chess Club at You need to become a member before you can play.
3. Please fill out the Google Form, so we know who you are, and can inform you about changes, and ad hoc events:

Any questions? [email protected]


Scholastic Corner

By Judit Sztaray

Spring Session of our Virtual Chess Classes are starting
March 22 through May 31
Not too late to join - Prorating is available!

All Girls Class with Coach Colin -- Mondays 4-5PM - Register HERE

Intermediate Class with Coach Andrew -- 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

Upcoming Tournaments

Players have to be part of Mechanics' Group on ChessKid. Need help how to join? Watch the tutorial here:

1) Free daily non-rated tournaments on

Tournaments start at 4PM and players can join the tournaments 30 minutes before the tournament.

2) USCF Online Rated Tournaments on the weekends

More information:

5/22 Saturday - 6SS G/10+2 affecting USCF Online Rapid rating.
Register online:

5/31 Monday Special Memorial Day Rapid- 6SS G/10+2 affecting USCF Online Raid rating.
Register online:

Scholastic Game of the Week: Annotations by FM Paul Whitehead

Event "Live Chess"]

[Site ""]

[White "AyanG_ACC"]

[Black "WildItchyContest"]

[WhiteElo "1273"]

[BlackElo "1740"]

[TimeControl "5|2"]

 [ECO "B12"]

[Opening "Caro-Kann Defense"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. c3?

 (White drops the pawn at e4. Standard are 3.Nc3, 3.Nd2, 3.exd5 and 3.e5, while 3.Bd3 and 3.f3 are also playable.) 3... dxe4 4. Nd2 Nf6 5. Qe2 (White tries to play catch-up.) 5... Bf5 (The immediate 5...Bg4 has its points.) 6. g3! (Trying to surround that e4 pawn!) 6... Bg4 7. Qc4?! (7.Qe3! would allow white to recover the pawn.) 7... Qd5! 8. Qxd5 cxd5 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Nh3 (Breaking up black's strong central formation with 10.f3 was probably better.) 10... Bxh3 (A good and practical move. Black is a pawn ahead and simplifies the game a bit.) 11. Bxh3 e6 12. O-O Bd6 13. Nb3 O-O 14. Bg5 Be7 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Rad1 b6.

 17. Rfe1 (Again, white should play 17.f3 to give himself some breathing room. The opposite-colored bishops might give some drawing chances.) 17... Na5!? 18. Nxa5 bxa5 19. a3 (Maybe 19.b3 trying for 20.c4, or even 19.c4 right away to get some freedom for his rooks.) 19... Rab8 20. Rb1 Rb3 21. Re3 Rfb8 (Now white loses another pawn.) 22. Ree1 (If instead 22.Re2 then 22...Rxc3! or 22...Rxa3!) 22... Rxb2 23. Rxb2 Rxb2 24. Re3 h6 25. f3 (Finally, but it's too late.) 25... exf3 26. Rxf3 Ra2 27. Bf1 Rxa3 28. Bg2 a4 29. h4 Ra1+ 30. Kf2 a3 31. Bf1 a2 32. c4.

 Rxf1+! (A nice little combination to force the new queen. 0-1.

Finishing Tactics from the World Championship Matches 15: Alekhine – Euwe 1935

FM Paul Whitehead

[email protected]

Looking around for an opponent that had financial backing (and who was supposed to be an easy mark), Alekhine chose Max Euwe – who had lost two matches to Bogoljubov.  But the Dutchman knew his openings and played steadily, while Alekhine self-destructed with over-confidence fueled by alcohol – it is strongly suspected he was dead drunk during some of the games.  He even blew a won king and pawn ending, only drawing it - which I’ll let the reader figure out for themselves:

Euwe - Alekhine, 24th Match Game 1935.

Black to move and win.


Most of the pretty combinations and inspired play came from Euwe, so it’s a bit surprising that the challenger took the match only by the slimmest of margins: +9 –8 =13.


1. Euwe – Alekhine, 2nd Match Game 1935.

White moves.  Find a way in.


2. Euwe – Alekhine, 8th Match Game 1935.

White moves.  A nice shot ends further resistance.


3. Euwe – Alekhine, 20th Match Game 1935.

White moves.  1…Bb5! is Black’s idea.  Therefore?


4. Alekhine – Euwe, 25th Match Game 1935.

Black moves.  Solve black’s twin predicaments.


5. Euwe – Alekhine, 26th Match Game 1935.

White moves.  What is the fighting continuation?

GM Nick de Firmian

GM Nick de Frimian's column returns next week

Solutions to Paul Whitehead's Column

1. Euwe – Alekhine, 2nd Match Game 1935.

1.Qb7! 1-0.  Black’s only possible way of resisting by 1…Rxc4 is met by the crushing 2.Rxh7+! Kxh7 3.c8=Q+ and it’s all over.


2. Euwe – Alekhine, 8th Match Game 1935.

1.Ba6! is the only winning move and a tactic worth remembering.  1-0.  If 1…Rxa6 2.Rd8+ Ke7 3.a8=Q with an easy win.


3. Euwe – Alekhine, 20th Match Game 1935.

After 1.Ra2!! black is paralyzed, as 1…Bb5? doesn’t work: after 2.cxb5 the rook is defended. White created some passed pawns and put black in zugzwang along the way to a nice victory: 1…Ke7 2.f4 gxf4 3.gxf4 Kf6 4.e4 g5 5.f5 h5 6.h4! gxh4 7.Kh2 Kg5 8.Kh3 Ra5 9.Bb7 Kf6 10.Bd5 Kg5 11.Bb7 Kf6 12.Bc8 1-0. An endgame worth studying.


4. Alekhine – Euwe, 25th Match Game 1935.

The challenger got out of Dodge with the nice shot 1…Nf3+! and the tables are completely turned. Alekhine played on with a hopeless two-pawn deficit for way too long: 2.Qxf3. (Not 2.Kh1? Rxh2#, and 2.gxf3 Qg5+ is just as bad.) 2…Qxf3 3.gxf3 Rh5 4.Nf4 Rf5 5.Nd3 Rxf3 6.Nc5 b6 7.Kg2 Rf4 8.Nb3 e5 9.dxe5 Be6 10.Nc1 0-0-0 11.exf6 Rg4+ 12.Kf3 Rf8 13.Ke3 Rxf6 14.f4 g5 15.Nd3 Bc4 16.f5 Rh4 17.Rad1 Rxh2 18.Ke4 Re2+ 19.Kf3 Re8 20.Kg4 Rd8 21.Ne5 Rxd1 22.Rxd1 Be2+ 23. Kxg5 Rxf5+ 24.Kxg5 Bxd1 25.Nxc6 a4 0-1.


5. Euwe – Alekhine, 26th Match Game 1935.


This brilliant game is known as “The Pearl of Zandvoort” after the town in Holland where it was played. Euwe went for broke with 1.Nxf5! and took the point with sparkling attacking play: 1…Bxc3 2.Nxd6 Qb8 3.Nxe4 Bf6 4.Nd2. White has 3 pawns for the bishop and regroups to set them in motion. 4… g5 5.e4 gxf4 6.gxf4 Bd4 7.e5 Qe8 8.e6 Rg8 9.Nf3 Qg6 10.Rg1! Bxg1 11.Rxg1 Qf6 12.Ng5 Rg7 13.exd7 Rxd7 14.Qe3 Re7 15.Ne6 Rf8 16.Qe5 Qxe5 17.fxe5 Rf5 18.Re1 h6 19.Nd8! Indirectly defending the e5 pawn with a fork on f7. 19…Rf2 20.e6 Rd2 21.Nc6 Re8 22.e7 b5 23.Nd8 Kg7 24.Nb7 Kf6 25.Re6+ Kg5 26.Nd6 Rxe7 27.Ne4+! 1-0. The white knight was an absolute miracle worker in this famous game!

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