Chess Room Newsletter #974 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #974

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #974

June 25, 2021


Table of Contents

Tuesday Night Marathon Round 4 Report

by Abel Talamantez

Round 4 saw a batlle of the top two players, and the game lived up to all expectations. FM Kyron Griffith began launching a kingside attack against IM Elliott Winslow early in the game and on move 19, he took a pawn leaving his queen open for capture. Of course, capturing the queen would have led to defeat, but it was a surprising looking move that drew a crowd to board 1, and a crowd around the television broadcast of the board inside the chess room. Kyron went on to win the game and the open section with a round to spare, as he leads by a full point. Since he will receive a pre-tournament requested bye for the final round, He will finish with 4.5/5 and sole first place. Five tough players sit at 3/4 currently, and will fight for 2nd place next week. Those player are IM Elliott Wonslow, Theo Biyiasas, Nicholas Weng, Ako Heidari, and Gary Harris. Nicholas Weng scored an impressive win against Andrew Guo, despite arriving 30 minutes late after a late arrival in SFO from the National Open in Las Vegas. 

FM Kyron Griffith and Elliott Winslow played an exciting game on board 1, while Leon Quin prevailed on the top board in the under 1800 section against Sebby Suarez

In the under 1800 section, a battle of undefeateds was won by Leon Quin, as he defeated Sebby Suarez. He now has sole first place with 4/4, and will face Joel Carron next week, who sits at 3.5/4. Right behind are five players, including Suarez, Jacob Morgan, Paul Reed, Andrew Imbens, Andrew Ballantyne, and Nursultan Uzakbaev. 

Here are some games from round 4, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.

(1) FM Griffith,Kyron (2351) - IM Winslow,Elliott (2150) [B81]
Mechanics' June TNM San Francisco (4.1), 23.06.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 The Scheveningen Variation of the Sicilian Defense is no longer as popular as the Najdorf (5... a6) or Dragon (5...g6), or for that matter the Classical Sicilian (5...Nc6), mainly because of White's next move. But its story isn't over, with further ideas keeping it alive. [5...a6 (Najdorf) not only keeps an eye on g4 for now but also keeps the option of playing ...e7-e5 in one go. White has not always given up on the Keres Attack idea: 6.h3!? (or even more conspicuously: 6.Rg1!?) ] 6.g4 The Keres Attack, as much as to dislodge Black's lovely knight on f6 (with g4-g5) as to launch a kingside assault. 6...h6! Black holds White back for more than one move with this, now the main line. 7.Be3 Kyron veers towards the English Attack (Be3/f3/g4). [White can advance anyway, but then the knight stays: 7.g5 hxg5 8.Bxg5; 7.h4 is the main theoretical line. White still has to make another move to get in g5 with hxg5 for White, which gives Black a moment to prepare central counterplay: 7...Nc6 8.Rg1 d5! (This has taken over from the older (8...h5) 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxd5 exd5!? (10...Qxd5 11.Bg2 shows one plus to this system.) 11.Be3 Qxh4!? is one way to soften White's middlegame attack -- but the compensation goes way into the endgame, as shown in Negi's "old (2016) repertoire book on 1.e4 vs. the ...e6 Sicilian lines (where he's analyzing into the ending!) as well as a 2019 article in New In Chess Yearbook by Hungarian theoretists Hazai and Lukacs (called "How sharp is the Keres Attack actually?").; 7.h3; 7.Bg2] 7...Nc6 8.f3 d5!?


According to the chess proverb, meeting a wing attack with a central counter. And this is as good a time for it as any. But as is often the case in the Sicilian, it's not so simple. White hasn't over-extended, and can try to maintain central control. [8...a6 lets White continue with Qd2 and 0-0-0, but with the usual queenside counterplay complications.] 9.exd5 [Caruana (and others) have played 9.Bb5 here, but he slipped into a positional quicksand against Andreikin in 2013: 9...Bd7 10.Bxc6 Bxc6 11.e5 Nd7 12.f4 Bb4 13.Qd2 Nc5 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Qd4 Rb8 (15...Qa5!?; 15...Na6!?) 16.a3 Bxc3+ 17.Qxc3 Qh4+ 18.Bf2


18...Qxf2+! 0-1 (53) Caruana,F (2774)-Andreikin,D (2713) Moscow 2013] 9...Nxd5 10.Nxd5 Qxd5 11.Nxc6 [11.Nb5?! Qe5 12.Qe2 Qxb2?! (12...a6! 13.Nc3 Nd4!-/+) 13.Rd1 Bb4+ 14.c3 Bxc3+ 15.Kf2 Qxe2+ 16.Bxe2 Be5 White kept compensation for the pawns and held, ½-½ (37) Hommeles,T (2374) -Atlas,V (2432) Switzerland 2017] 11...Qxc6 Now Black has development problems, which he didn't solve. [11...bxc6 12.Bd3 and engines like 12...Bb7 (12...Qe5 1-0 (?!) was a correspondence game that doesn't really make sense: Tsonev,B (2128)-Nikolov,N ICCF email 2009) with no particular advantage after 13.Qe2 Be7 14.0-0 h5!] 12.Qd4 trying maybe too hard to crimp Black's kingside.


[12.Qd2 may well be better.] 12...f6? Overlooking a tactical solution. [12...Bd7!? 13.0-0-0 The move White wants to play. a) 13.Rd1 Rd8 White has to watch f3; b) 13.Be2!? h5! 14.g5 Qxc2!? 15.Rc1 Qf5 (15...Qa4 16.Rc4+/- develops too much initiative.) 16.0-0 Qd5!? 17.Qc3 Qc6 18.Qb3 Qd5 19.Bc4 is exasperating.; 13...Rc8 14.Bd3 (14.Qd2 Be7 15.Kb1 e5 and ...Be6) 14...Bc5! 15.Qxc5 Qxc5 16.Bxc5 Rxc5 17.Be4 Bc6 leads to a fairly dry double rook ending.] 13.Bd3! White expertly takes advantage of the weaknesses in Black's kingside and failure to develop (on either side!). 13...Bd6 [13...Kf7 was probably the plan, but 14.0-0-0 Be7 15.Be4 sets up Qd3 with more headache.] 14.Be4 Qc7 15.0-0-0 Ke7 16.Kb1 Griffith patiently avoids shots and prepares g5. [Of course the engines would notice that 16.f4! right away is in fact overwhelming, since 16...Bxf4 17.Bxf4 Qxf4+ 18.Rd2 followed by tripling, and Black will never develop, nor find his king a home.] 16...Rd8


[Las chance to develop: 16...e5 17.Qd5 Rb8 but 18.Bf5! squelches that.] 17.h4 Thanks to ...f6 (not quite a beginner's move, but it is starting to look like one!), Black's king has nowhere to hide. 17...Kf8? [17...Kf7 18.Qd3 and ...Kf8 after a check, and then put it on f8 directly.; 17...e5 followed by ...Be6, even giving up a pawn, was the best chance.] 18.g5! and White has the classic kingside pawnstorm. Black gets desperate, to no avail. 18...Be7 19.gxh6 g6 20.Qa4! The "!" isn't needed as this is all but forced. But it's nice that the queen heads all the way to the a-file, but the attack is forthcoming. 20...f5 21.Bd3 Another patient retreat by Kyron, when Stockfish likes immediate violence: [21.Rdg1! fxe4 22.Rxg6 smashes in.] 21...b5!? Black tries to make up for lost time in the counterattack, but White just takes what is given. 22.Bxb5 [22.Qb3 a5 23.Bxb5 a4 24.Bxa4 is even more pawns for White.] 22...Rb8 23.Rxd8+ Everything is good for White by now. [23.Bf4 e5 24.Rxd8+ Bxd8 25.h5! is overwhelming.] 23...Bxd8


[23...Qxd8 24.h7 Kg7 25.h8Q+ Kxh8 26.Qf4 is a nice double attack.] 24.Qd4! Black can't hold it together. 24...Rxb5 [24...e5 25.h7! Kg7 26.Qd5 Kxh7 27.Bc4] 25.Qh8+ Kf7 26.h7 Bf6 Black might have thought (in time trouble) that he was okay, but... 27.Qxf6+! Kxf6 28.h8Q+ Ke7


29.Rd1! This time the "quiet" move is the best move going away! Mate follows. 29...Qe5 30.Qh7+ With this win Kyron not only clinched the tournament with one round to go (his last round, since he had already taken a last-round half-point bye), and the rumor is he also gets his FIDE rating up to the necessary 2400, having gotten his third norm in the just-completed National Open in Las Vegas! Congratulations to International Master-elect Kyron Griffith! 1-0

(2) Hack,Richard (1569) - Carron,Joel (1610) [B01]
Mechanics' June TNM u1800 San Francisco (4.11), 22.06.2021

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bc4 a6 6.a4 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.0-0 Bg4 9.Be2 Be7 10.Be3 0-0 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 c6 13.Qd3 Qc7 14.Rfd1 Rd8


Both side have gotten what they wanter out of this Scandinavian Defense. White has a little more mobility while Black has a solid position. 15.Qe2 Nbd7 16.a5 Nd5 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.c3 Nf6 19.Bg5 h6 20.Bh4 Ne8 21.Bg3 Bd6 22.Be5! Nicely keeping control of some dark squares. This is better than exchanging on d6. 22...Qe7 23.Re1 Nf6 24.b4!? [24.Qd2 avoids a backward c-pawn] 24...Rac8 25.Qb2 Rc6 26.Rec1 Nd7 27.Bxd6 Qxd6 28.Be2 b5?! 29.axb6! Rxb6 30.Ra4 Now the black pawn on a6 is a target. 30...Qc6 31.Rca1 Rc8 32.R1a3! Ra8 [32...Nb8 is probably a better defense] 33.Qa1 e5


34.b5! Qb7 35.Rxa6 Raxa6 36.Rxa6 Qc7 37.Rxb6 Nxb6 38.Qa3 exd4 39.cxd4 Qc2 40.Qd3 Qxd3 41.Bxd3 Kf8 42.Kf1 Ke7 43.Ke2 Kd6 44.Kd2 Ke6 45.Kc3 Kd6 46.Kb4 f6 47.Ka5 Kc7 48.Ka6 g5 49.Bh7 h5 50.Bg8 h4 51.Bf7 f5 52.Be6 f4 53.f3! Zugszwang! Black must move and lose the d-pawn. 53...Nc4 54.Bxd5 Ne3 55.b6+ Kb8 56.Be6 Nxg2 57.d5 Ne1 58.Bg4 This is fine, but [58.d6 Nd3 59.Kb5 would be finished for Black] 58...Nd3 59.d6 Nc5+ 60.Kb5 Nb7 61.Kc6 Nd8+ 62.Kd7 Nb7


63.Ke8? A terrible slip! Black could just resign after 63. Ke7. White gives away the tremendous d-pawn. Such a gift! 63...Nxd6+ 64.Kd7 Nc4 65.Kc6? Oh no! After giving away the win Richard now gives away the other half point. 65...Ne5+ 66.Kd6 Nxg4 67.Ke6 The best try now. Capturing the knight allows a black pawn to queen. 67...Nh2 68.Kf5 Nxf3 69.Kg4 Nh2+ 70.Kxg5 f3 White resigns and Joel takes another point. A tragedy for Richard after playing such a fine game for over 60 moves. Hopefully he'll make a good story for the Chess Cafe about this experience. 0-1

(3) Guo,Andrew (1707) - Weng,Nicholas (1731) [D02]
Mechanics' June TNM San Francisco (4.3), 23.06.2021

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.0-0 0-0 6.Nbd2 c5 7.c3 Nbd7 8.Re1 b6


The opening is an original type of Neo-Grunfeld. It is equal, but Andrew begins to play away from the center and this can let Black try to become aggressive. 9.Nb3 Bb7 10.a4 Re8 11.a5 e5! Principled play. Nicholas takes a bit more control of the central squares. 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Rxe5 14.Bf4 Re7 15.axb6 axb6 16.Rxa8 Qxa8 17.Qc2 Qe8 18.Bf3 Ba6 19.Bg5 Re5 20.Bf4 Re6 21.Nc1 Ne4 22.Bxe4 Rxe4


The bishop pair and extra central space ensure an advantage for Black. Still the white position is very solid. 23.Qb3 Qc6 24.Rd1 Bb7 25.f3 Needed to stop Black's ideas on the long a8-h1 diagaonal 25...Re8 26.c4 Bd4+! 27.Kg2 [27.e3? dxc4 28.Qxc4 Qxf3] 27...Qe6 28.cxd5 Bxd5 29.Qc2 Bb7 30.Qd3? Under pressure Andrew just gives up the b-pawn. This stops any mating ideas Black has but the endgame is very bad. 30...Bxb2 31.Qd7 Qxd7 32.Rxd7


32...Bxc1! 33.Bxc1 [33.Rxb7 Bxf4 34.gxf4 Rxe2+ 35.Kg3 Rb2 is hopeless] 33...Rxe2+ 34.Kf1 Ba6! 35.Ra7 Bb5 White resigned. Fine technical play by Nicholas. 0-1

SwissSys Standings. 2021 June TNM: 1800+ (Standings (no tiebrk))

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 FM Kyron Griffith 12860484 2493 W13 W14 W3 W2 H--- 4.0
2 IM Elliott Winslow 10363365 2278 W18 W20 W6 L1   3.0
3 Theodore Biyiasas 13989054 2155 W15 W17 L1 W7   3.0
4 Nicholas Weng 15499404 2013 L6 X25 W15 W12   3.0
5 Ako Heidari 15206848 1980 X25 L6 W21 W14   3.0
6 Gary Harris 12834452 1827 W4 W5 L2 X10   3.0
7 Abhinav Penagalapati 15467440 2087 H--- W23 W11 L3 H--- 2.5
8 Kristian Clemens 13901075 1997 H--- W9 D10 H---   2.5
9 Max Hao 16083648 1804 D10 L8 W23 X18   2.5
10 Rohan Rajaram 15739716 1929 D9 W19 D8 F6   2.0
11 Guy Argo 12517167 1928 W16 H--- L7 H---   2.0
12 Andrew Guo 16192001 1925 D19 D21 W16 L4   2.0
13 Mark Drury 12459313 1873 L1 L15 B--- W19   2.0
14 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1855 W22 L1 W17 L5   2.0
15 Adam Mercado 16571026 1834 L3 W13 L4 W21   2.0
16 James Mahooti 12621393 1800 L11 B--- L12 W20   2.0
17 David Rakonitz 12931024 1622 B--- L3 L14 W23   2.0
18 WCM Anika Rajaram 15446678 1860 L2 D22 W20 F9   1.5
19 Alexander Huberts 16419664 1794 D12 L10 H--- L13   1.0
20 Philip Gerstoft 12913356 1788 W24 L2 L18 L16   1.0
21 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1776 D23 D12 L5 L15   1.0
22 Abhishek Mallela 12888811 2159 L14 D18 U--- U---   0.5
23 Kayven Riese 12572270 1900 D21 L7 L9 L17   0.5
24 Thomas Maser 10490936 1900 L20 U--- U--- U---   0.0
25 Nelson Sowell 11103405 1807 F5 F4 U--- U---   0.0

SwissSys Standings. 2021 June TNM: u1800 (Standings (no tiebrk))

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 Leon Quin 30191497 unr. W5 W16 W17 W4   4.0
2 Joel Carron 16600505 1610 H--- W24 W13 W14   3.5
3 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1513 W28 W10 W7 U---   3.0
4 Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1422 W30 W13 W9 L1   3.0
5 Jacob Morgan 17099171 1365 L1 W27 W31 W19   3.0
6 Paul Henry Reed 13373197 1322 H--- H--- W25 W16   3.0
7 Andrew Imbens 30102682 1253 W12 W14 L3 X15   3.0
8 Andrew Ballantyne 17079795 1251 D20 H--- W12 W17   3.0
9 Nikhil Pimpalkhare 30179081 unr. W32 W22 L4 W21   3.0
10 Shiv Sohal 30032729 1127 W21 L3 H--- X22 H--- 2.5
11 Simone Pagan Griso 17322263 1098 L14 H--- W20 W24   2.5
12 Georgios Tsolias 17266862 1679 L7 W20 L8 W28   2.0
13 Albert Starr 12844781 1609 W23 L4 L2 W29   2.0
14 Richard Hack 12796129 1569 W11 L7 W23 L2   2.0
15 Lee Cooper 14563710 1529 W26 H--- D19 F7   2.0
16 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1517 W27 L1 W28 L6   2.0
17 Kevin Sun 16898540 1491 W25 W31 L1 L8   2.0
18 David Nichol 12934283 435 H--- H--- U--- W26   2.0
19 Tobiahs Rex 30164211 unr. H--- X--- D15 L5   2.0
20 Jim Cohee 12423364 1612 D8 L12 L11 W31   1.5
21 Nick Casares Jr 10424364 1600 L10 D26 W30 L9   1.5
22 Joseph Roberts 16864855 1448 W29 L9 H--- F10   1.5
23 Stephen Wilson 12584515 1242 L13 W29 L14 D25 H--- 1.5
24 Richard Ahrens 16953298 1228 H--- L2 W27 L11   1.5
25 Danny Cao 16939797 887 L17 B--- L6 D23   1.5
26 William Thibault 16716976 1050 L15 D21 H--- L18   1.0
27 Thomas Cunningham 12923340 971 L16 L5 L24 B---   1.0
28 Aleksandra Singer 12853158 949 L3 X32 L16 L12   1.0
29 Andrejs Gulbis 16741331 826 L22 L23 X32 L13   1.0
30 Trent Hancock 30174249 unr. L4 H--- L21 H---   1.0
31 Justin Stimatze 30189846 unr. B--- L17 L5 L20   1.0
32 Charles James 12448028 1368 L9 F28 F29 U---   0.0

SwissSys Standings. Extra games (Standings (no tiebrk))

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 Nicholas Weng 15499404 2013 W10 U--- U---     1.0
2 Alex Chin 17050697 1974 U--- W12 U---     1.0
3 Danny Cao 16939797 887 W11 U--- U---     1.0
4 Gary Harris 12834452 1827 U--- U--- D5     0.5
5 Max Hao 16083648 1804 U--- U--- D4     0.5
6 Paul Henry Reed 13373197 1322 D9 U--- U---     0.5
7 Andrew Imbens 30102682 1253 U--- U--- D8     0.5
8 Shiv Sohal 30032729 1127 U--- U--- D7     0.5
9 Tobiahs Rex 30164211 unr. D6 U--- U---     0.5
10 James Mahooti 12621393 1800 L1 U--- U---     0.0
11 Aleksandra Singer 12853158 949 L3 U--- U---     0.0
12 David Nichol 12934283 435 U--- L2 U---     0.0


New Thursday Night Marathon Rounds 1&2 Report

by Abel Talamantez

The first two rounds of the new Thursday Night Marathon online format finished on Thursday, and we have a strong turnout of 44 players, including 2 GM's, 2 IM's, an FM and 2 NM's. This is an 8-round event with a time control of G/35+5, with two games played per evening over four weeks. We are broadcasting the Thursday Marathon live with commentary, so we may bring both the Tuesday and Thursday Marathons to all viewers online.

Since this is an open section tournament, the first two rounds were about underdogs looking for big upsets. GM Alex Lenderman, GM Gadir Guseinov, IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla, and FM Max Gedajlovic got through the first two rounds unscathed and go to next week 2/2. The two national masters in the tournament, NM Mike Walder and NM Tom Maser fell victim to mouse slips in their first round games. IM Elliott Winslow also faced a tough battle in round 1 against Paul Krezanoski resulting in a draw. Eight players remain with perfect scores headed into rounds 3 & 4 next Thursday night. 

For full standings, please visit the event page here: Watch the broadcast of all the action that evening by clicking HERE.

SwissSys Standings. NewThNM: Open

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Total
1 GM Alex Lenderman alexanderl 12787646 2703 W23 W17 H--- H---         2.0
2 GM Gadir Guseinov gguseinov 17343590 2651 W24 W19             2.0
3 IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla swarnapuri 30100858 2523 W33 W20             2.0
4 FM Max Gedajlovic mmsanchez 14947382 2213 W25 W27             2.0
5 Sina Mohammadi sina101 14116846 2163 W26 W21             2.0
6 Austin Mei titanchess666 16090452 2149 W28 W22             2.0
7 Jonah Busch kondsaga 12469525 1934 W30 W29             2.0
8 Jerry Li figsnoring 16551291 1015 W16 W15             2.0
9 IM Elliott Winslow ecwinslow 10363365 2278 D34 W32             1.5
10 Nathan Fong nathanf314 13001390 2004 W39 H---         H--- H--- 1.5
11 Aaron Nicoski kingsmasher35 12797931 1789 W31 D13             1.5
12 Fong Kevin chessappeals 17254586 1783 H--- W34             1.5
13 Katherine Sunny Lu 2nf31-0 16425316 1085 W37 D11             1.5
14 NM Michael Walder flightsoffancy 10345120 2157 L27 W39             1.0
15 Robert Smith maturner 12463327 1853 W40 L8             1.0
16 Jason Ochoa barok44 12440572 1759 L8 W40             1.0
17 Callaghan McCarty-Snead doctorbanner 14948275 1700 W41 L1             1.0
18 William Kelly wkelly 30161947 1677 H--- H---             1.0
19 Jeff Andersen zenwabi 11296106 1643 W42 L2             1.0
20 Ethan Mei erm999 16090467 1585 W35 L3             1.0
21 Bryan Hood fiddleleaf 12839763 1574 W43 L5             1.0
22 Akshaj Pulijala loltheawesomedude 16497860 1531 W44 L6             1.0
23 Ethan Sun sfdeals 16964125 1488 L1 W41             1.0
24 Marina Xiao programmingmax 16380642 1481 L2 W42             1.0
25 Ivan Zong ivanzong 30131397 1335 L4 W43             1.0
26 Sarvagnya Brahmanapally bsarvagnya 16466227 1323 L5 W44             1.0
27 Casimir Dudek thechesskid2021 30101045 1284 W14 L4             1.0
28 Sean Wu dum2020areeews 16802870 1220 L6 X37             1.0
29 Pratyush Bhingarkar greenninja2019 30015889 1165 X36 L7             1.0
30 Kevin Thompson acalbear 13110777 1120 L7 W36             1.0
31 Bruce Hedman bruce_hedman 17344551 1055 L11 W38             1.0
32 Ishan Goteti aurex79 17016988 615 W38 L9             1.0
33 Michael Xiao swimgrass 16380636 1363 L3 D35             0.5
34 Paul Krezanoski pjkrizzle 16897133 1346 D9 L12             0.5
35 Adithya Shankar Katepalli 2021adi 30153861 824 L20 D33             0.5
36 Cailen Melville mangonel 14006141 1940 F29 L30             0.0
37 NM Tom Maser talenuf 10490936 1900 L13 F28             0.0
38 James Hamlett james_hamlett_IV 12374510 1561 L32 L31             0.0
39 Aditha Chitta adichi 16695036 1185 L10 L14             0.0
40 JJ Ziebart tomatosoupgirl 30166361 1072 L15 L16             0.0
41 Thomas Cunningham banjotom 12923340 971 L17 L23             0.0
42 Arumin Ravisankar aruminchess 30025152 869 L19 L24             0.0
43 Victor Beauchamp greatboomer 30154650 807 L21 L25             0.0
44 Jonathan Rice ricejonathanc 30205348 unr. L22 L26             0.0


TD Corner

Chess Etiquette Revisited

by Abel Talamantez

As we get back to live over the board play, it stands to reason there will be a little rust from both players and tournament directors regarding rules and expectations. Experiencing the first four rounds of the TNM, we have seen quite a few actions from players that reminds us the importance of going over some rules again. For your information and entertainment, here are some things that have caught our attention that players should be aware of. We will also make this announcement prior to the next rounds of the TNM as well as the Addison Memorial this weekend. 

1. Scoresheets must remain on the table at all times. Here is the USCF rule: 15A. Manner of keeping score. In the course of play each player is required to record the game (both the player’s and the opponent’s moves), move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, on the scoresheet prescribed for the competition. Algebraic notation is standard, but descriptive or computer notation is permitted. The player must first make the move, and then record it on the scoresheet. The scoresheet shall be visible to the arbiter (tournament directors) and the opponent throughout 40 US Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess, V 7.1 Edition 7-19-19 the game.

I saw a player grab their scoresheet after making a move, and leave the table with the scoresheet in hand to go observe another game. The player had not realized they had done this, and did not know the rule, so I just informed the player without incident and gave a warning. The scoresheet must remain at the table, visible to the players and arbiters at all times.

2. No photos inside the playing hall, especially from parents! This should be obvious, but sometimes parents are not aware of the larger implications in trying to get that action photo of their child in the middle of a game. Taking a photo of a position could raise suspicion of cheating, as it is possible to analyze the position from a picture and give advice if a child leaves the playing hall. Please ask the arbiter to take a picture, or take one at the start of the game with the erbiters permission.

3. Do not inform other players it is their move. Here is the associated rule: 20E2. Unsolicited advice. Ruling on unsolicited advice can be difficult. The giver deserves a penalty, but what of the recipient? The director’s task is to prevent a player from benefiting from advice but also not unduly penalize the player for another’s offense. We saw some players let their friends know it was their move in the game, which should never be done as it can constitute helping. Players should play their own game and not interfere in the games of others. A player will receive a warning for this, and would be subject to additional penalties including forfeit of their game. 

4. No analyzing games in the playing hall that are going live. Here is the rule: 20F. Analysis in the playing room prohibited. No analysis is permitted in the playing room during play or during adjourned sessions. See also 1C2, Director discretion; 21F, Player requests for rulings; and 21K, Use of director’s power. I warned two players who were following the action of one of the games of the TNM on the big screen in the room not to discuss the game. Even though it was clearly away from the action, there were other games going on in the room and even body language and pointing can suggest information about a position. Please do not discuss the positions of live games inside the playing hall, and players in active games should not discuss ANY games.

5. Don't stand to close to games you are spectating. The applicable rule that gives arbiters broad discretion is here: 20G. Annoying behavior prohibited. It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. A director, upon a complaint by the opponent, has discretion to determine whether any particular behavior is in violation of this rule and to impose penalties. See also 1C2, Director discretion; 21F, Player requests for rulings; and 21K, Use of director’s power. I saw quite a few players spectating other games where they stood way to close, which as almost every player knows can be quite a distraction. Give a respectable distance when observing games, trying as much as possible to be out of the immediate view of the players playing the game. 

I suggest players take a look at the USCF rulebook online HERE. These rules and all the others are there to protect the integrity of games and are for the benefit of all players. Please seek out an arbiter if there is something that you feel is compromising to the game or player experience.

Games from the National Open from TNM Players

The National Open concluded last weekend in Las Vegas, and we had a strong presence of Mechanics' players there. FM Kyron Griffith achieved his third and final IM norm, and Sebby Suarez won the under 1300 section. The winner of the event on tiebreaks went to IM Arthur Guo from Georgia, who played the 2020 US Cadet Championship we organized online. His winning the Edmondson Cup was quite an achievement, considering there were over 20 GM's in attendance. 

We wanted to showcase the games from some of our players from the National Open. Here they are. FM Kyron Griffith annotated his own game, with the others annotated by GM Nick de Firmian. Full results from the National Open can be found here:

(4) Ardito,Andrew (2280) - Biyiasas [A24]
National open 2021, 0006

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.c4 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.d3 This modest line of the English Opening is less aggressive than 6. d4 with a King's Indian Defense. Many players just like the position with White though - it's like a Sicilian reversed. 6...e5 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bd2 Nc6 9.Qc1 Kh7 10.h4?! White needs to play on the queenside instead of the kingside. 10. Rb1 and 11. b4 is in order. 10...Bg4 11.Nh2 Be6 12.h5?! Aggressive and scary, but not truly worth the pawn sacrificed. 12...Nxh5 13.Bf3

13...f5! correctly playing for the initiative and not worrying about doubled pawns. 14.Nf1 Bf7 15.g4 fxg4 16.Bxg4 Nf4! 17.Bxf4 exf4 18.Qxf4 Bd5 19.Qxf8 Qxf8 20.Nxd5 Bxb2 [20...Nd4 would probably be an easier way to convert the material advantage] 21.Rb1 Qg7 22.Nd2 Bf6?! [22...Ne5! 23.Bh3 c6] 23.Rxb7 Bd8
24.0-0 Strange to castle now, but it gets the rooks coordinated. White is suffering in any case. 24...Rb8! 25.Rxb8 Nxb8 26.Rb1 Nc6 27.Ne4 h5 28.Bh3 Kh6 29.Nf4
29...g5! Excellent! This aggressive move takes control of the kingside and pushes the white pieces around. The black kingside pawns go from being defenders of the king to charging attackers. 30.Ne6 Qf7 31.f3 Bf6 32.Rb5
[32.Rb7 g4! 33.fxg4 hxg4 34.Bxg4 Qg6 35.Nxf6 Qxf6 36.Rxc7 Nd4! wins a piece - e.g. 37.Nxd4 Qxd4+ 38.Kf1 Qxg4] 32...Nd4! 33.N6xg5 Qg7 34.Rd5 Nxe2+ 35.Kf2 Nf4 36.Ng3
36...Qxg5! A great move, crushing any hopes for White. On 37. Rxg5 Nxh3+ will leave Black a piece ahead in the ending. White resigned. 0-1

(5) Tyler Hansen - Sebastian Suarez [B01]
Las Vegas National Open 2021 (8), 20.06.2021

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bc4 a6 6.h3 This move is a little slow. White should get an edge in this opening with normal developing moves. 6. Nf3 would be better. 6...b5 7.Bb3 c5?! 8.dxc5?! [8.Qf3! Ra7 9.dxc5 would be clearly better for White] 8...Qxd1+ 9.Nxd1 e6 10.Be3 Bb7 11.Nf3 Nbd7 Now Black gets the pawn back and reaches a level endgame. 12.Nc3 Bxc5 13.Bxc5 Nxc5

Here starts a long endgame battle. 14.0-0-0!? Nxb3+ 15.axb3 Nd5 [15...Bxf3! 16.gxf3 Ke7 would be an edge for Black due to the weak white kingside pawns] 16.Ne4 Ke7 17.Nc5 Bc6 18.Ne5 Rac8 [18...Rhc8 would put all the black pieces into play] 19.Rhe1 Rhd8 20.Ned3 a5! It's good to put this pawn into play and control some dark squares on the queenside. 21.f4 Kf8 22.g4 Ne7 23.Re5 Ng6 24.Re3 Ne7 25.h4 Bd5 26.Rde1?! Black begins to gain the advantage after this move. White should keep a rook on the d-file. 26...Rc7 27.h5?! [27.b4! axb4 28.Na6 would be a great improvement] 27...Rdc8! 28.Re5 Nc6?! [28...Rxc5 29.Nxc5 Rxc5 is simply a material advantage for Black. The bishop and knight are much better than a rook in this ending.] 29.R5e3 Nb4 30.Ne5?! [30.Nxb4 axb4 31.Nd3 Rxc2+ 32.Kb1 Rg2 33.Nxb4 Rxg4 34.Nxd5 exd5 is quite good for Black, but better than the game move] 30...Nxc2 This leaves Black much better, but the simple [30...Rxc5 31.Nd7+ Ke7 32.Nxc5 Rxc5 is a great advantage] 31.Kxc2 Rxc5+ 32.Kb1 R5c7 33.g5 f6 34.Ng4 Ke7 35.h6 fxg5
36.fxg5?! [36.hxg7! gxf4 37.Re5 Bxb3 38.Nh6 would give White serious counter chances, practically a level position] 36...gxh6 37.Nxh6 Kd6! The centralized black king is well placed in this ending. 38.Rf1 Rg7 39.Rf6 Rg6?! [39...Rxg5! 40.Nf7+ Ke7 would win. The black king attacks the white pieces instead of the usual case of defending against them.] 40.Rf2?! [40.Nf5+! Kd7 41.Rf7+ Kd8 42.Rf8+ is equal] 40...Rg7 41.Rg3 Ra7 42.Nf7+ Ke7 43.Ne5 Rcc7 44.Re3 Kd6 45.Rf1 Rg7 46.Rg1 Rab7 47.Nf3 Rb8 48.Nd4 Rbb7 49.Re2 Rg8 50.Re3 Ra8 51.Rge1 Re8 52.Nf5+ Kd7 53.Ng7 Re7 54.Nh5 Kd6 55.Rd1 Ra7 56.Rg3 Kc6 57.Rc3+ Kb6 58.Nf6 Bc6 59.Rd6 Rac7 60.Re3 e5
Black has been a pawn up for some time, and now starts the advance. 61.Rc3 Kb7 62.Rdd3 Re6 63.Rh3 Ree7 64.Rh6 Rg7 65.Rg3 e4 66.Rh2 Rce7 67.Re2 Re6 68.Ree3 Re5 69.Rh3 Rexg5 70.Nxe4 R5g6 71.Nf2 Rg1+ 72.Ka2 Rf1! 73.Nd3 Rgg1

Giving back the pawn with check, but starting a winning attack in the ending. 74.Rxh7+ Kb6 75.b4 a4 76.b3 Rg2+ 77.Nb2 Rff2 winning the knight. The rest is easy. 78.bxa4 Rxb2+ 79.Ka1 Ra2+ 80.Kb1 bxa4 81.Rh5 Rab2+ 82.Kc1 a3 83.Rxa3 Rbc2+ 84.Kd1 Rb2 85.Kc1 Be4! 86.Ra1 Rbc2+ 87.Kb1 Rg1# A great endgame struggle from Sebby, who is quickly improving in each

(6) GM Vorontsov,Pavlo - FM Griffith,Kyron [D30]
National Open 2021 Las Vegas (7), 18.06.2021
[FM Griffith,Kyron]

1.d4 Nf6 Somehow I still haven't lost yet. I knew this would be a tough pairing though because I had lost to Vorontsov before and with white that time. He plays every opening on the face of the planet and every variation of every opening (not sure how that is possible??) so my prep consisted of watching basketball. 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 d5 4.Bg5 I had this weird feeling he would play this once I had played d5. I had lost my file on this line so all I knew was that I should take on c4 and aim to play c5. 4...dxc4 5.Qa4+ this was weird and I was pretty sure it was bad. I saw no reason not to just continue with my Nd7, a6, c5 plan. In fact I think it expedites this plan for me. 5...Nbd7 6.Nbd2 a6 7.Qxc4 c5 [7...b5 8.Qc6 I thought that this could get unpleasant quickly] 8.Bxf6 gxf6 [8...Qxf6 I saw that this was possible but I thought it contradicted my plan a little bit. 9.Ne4 Qf5 and black is fine] 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.g3 Qb6 I wasn't sure where I wanted to put my king, so I decided to go grab a pawn and figure it out later. He has wasted a good amount of time in the opening so I felt somewhat justified in grabbing this one. 11.e3 Qxb2 12.Rb1 Qa3 13.Bg2 b5 14.Qe4 Rb8 15.0-0 Bb7 16.Qh4 Again, I couldn't find a plan to get myself safe in the long-term so I decided to grab another pawn for my troubles. The bonus of getting this second pawn is not so much the material advantage, but more so my a and b pawns can be pushed to create counterplay later 16...Qxa2 17.Nb3 Be7 18.Nfd4 f5 19.Qh6 Bf8? based on a miscalculation 20.Qh5 Nf6 21.Qd1? The grandmaster blunders back. The line we both missed was: [21.Qh4 Bxg2 22.Ra1! (22.Qxf6? Bxf1 23.Rxf1 Rg8 is fine for black) 22...Qb2 23.Rfb1 Qc3 24.Qxf6 and the point is now there is no longer a Rf1 for me to take in the desperado exchange.] 21...Nd5? [21...Bxg2 22.Kxg2 Qa3 extraditing the queen is more important than anything else] 22.Qd3? [22.Nxe6! fxe6 23.Qd4! Rg8 24.Qe5! is what the engine spots and white is regaining his material with interest] 22...Nb4! it is imperative to spot 25...Qxb1 or else this continuation would be losing for black 23.Qc3 Rc8 24.Nc6 Rg8 25.Nxb4 Qxb1! and the computer gives 0.00 in this position... of course 26.Nc6 b4! The only winning move, but a fairly obvious one in the moment. We know that white wants to play Nba5 and cannot afford to trade queens. This in-between move pokes the queen to c4 and now Qa2 comes with a pin on the b3 knight. Also the pawn on b4 supports a Qc3 escape at some point for us. 27.Qc4 Qa2 28.Ra1 Qb2 29.Rc1 Be7 30.Nba5 Bxc6 31.Nxc6 b3 white has a bind but no way forward so we can use this time to advance our passer 32.Rd1 [32.Rf1 I actually expected this strange looking move because it prevents Qc2 on account of Qxa6] 32...Qc2 now a6 can't be taken due to the rook on d1 33.Qxc2 now the win is easy for me [33.Qd4 Rxc6 34.Qd7+ Kf8 35.Bxc6 b2 will do the trick but still requires black to be accurate] 33...bxc2 34.Rc1 Bd6 The last finesse. The plan is to play Kd7 Rc7 Rgc8 and white is helpless and will lose more material. Bd6 prevents both Ne5+ and Rd2+ in this plan. This was my highest rated win in classical chess to date (2540 FIDE)! 0-1

Tony's Teasers

Here is a mate in 3 from longtime Mechanics' Institute employee Tony Lama. This should occupy a good chunk of your time this weekend!

White to move and mate in 3. Kenneth Howard, 1930.

Mechanics' Institute Events Schedule

The Mechanics' Institute will continue to hold regular and online events. Here is our upcoming schedule for players:

June 24- July 15: NEW Thursday Night Marathon; USCF online rated, 8 rounds, G/35+5 - Online: 

June 26: IM William Addison Memorial; 1-day USCF rated; 4 rounds, G/45;d5 - Live @ Mechanics' :

July 13-August 24: Tuesday Night Marathon Live; 7 rounds, FIDE & USCF rated, G/120;d5 - Live @ Mechanics':

Mechanics' Institute Class Schedule

Click HERE to see our full slate of specialty chess classes, we offer something for everyone!

Scholastic Bulletin

The scholastic news will be covered in a dedicated, monthly publication:
Scholastic Chess Bulletin

Please click the following LINK to read our latest edition.
All of us at Mechanics' Institute would like to thank you for your support of our scholastic chess programming.

GM Nick de Firmian's Column

Las Vegas Chess Festival: Mechanics Members Make Their Showing

Last weekend saw the resounding return of live chess in the United States with over a thousand live participants at the National Open in Las Vegas. It was an amazing scene to see so many chess players in one huge room again, quickly giving everyone the feeling that the pandemic is fading away and that life is returning to normal.

We saw Kyron Griffith scoring well with his usual resourcefulness. He has proven he can come back from daunting odds online in the shorter time control. It is another thing playing classical chess where the time control is slow and blunders much rarer. He reached a pawn down bishop ending against grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan. Any normal player would need a great struggle to draw the game, but we are talking Kyron here. We show now this game and a last round game to decide a share of first place between Hans Nieman (who was a regular at the MI a few years ago) and one of the pre-tournament favorites. We should have a couple other MI member games elsewhere in our newsletter.

(1) GM Khachiyan,Melset - FM Griffith,Kyron [B15]
National Open, 19.06.2021

1.e4 c6 Kyron's beloved Caro-Kann 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ exf6 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Bg4 9.h3 Bh5 10.Nh4! Bxe2 11.Qxe2 g6 12.Re1 Nd7 13.Bh6 Re8 14.Qxe8+ Qxe8 15.Rxe8+ Rxe8 16.Kf1

Khachiyan has played the opening well and has just a slight edge in the endgame, but the kind grandmasters like. The white queenside pawns are more mobile than the black kingside pawns. 16...Re4 17.Nf3 f5 18.Re1 f6 19.Bd2 Kf7 20.c4 c5 21.Bc3 cxd4 22.Bxd4 Rxe1+?! White is slightly better in this ending with the 3 vs 2 pawn advantage on the queenside. The rook exchange simplifies the position which makes it easier for White to press the edge. 23.Kxe1 a6 24.Ke2 Ke6 25.b3 Ne5 26.Be3 Nxf3?! simplifying again 27.Kxf3 g5 28.Bd4 Now White's advantage is clear with only bishops left and the doubled black f-pawns. 28...h5 29.Ke2 Be5 30.Kd3 [of course not 30.Bxe5? fxe5 fixing the black pawns] 30...Bc7 now White should advance slowly starting with 31. f3, but Khachiyan thinks he can charge ahead immediately. 31.c5?!
31...Kd5! Excellent defense from Kyron. Giving away one of the doubled pawns to centralize the king. 32.Bxf6 g4 33.b4 Bf4 34.Bd8 Be5 35.f3 gxf3 36.gxf3 Bd4 37.a4 Bf2 38.Ba5 Bd4 39.Bb6 Bf2 40.Ba7 tricky 40...Be1 [40...Bg1? 41.c6! Bxa7 42.c7 queens] 41.b5 axb5 42.axb5 Bb4 43.c6 bxc6 44.b6 Bc5! This accurate defensive move stops b6-b7 and equallizes the game. Melset continues to play for the win. He should have know better against this opponent. 45.Kc3 Bf2 46.Kb3? c5! 47.Ka4 [since 47.b7? c4+ wins the bishop on a7] 47...c4 48.Kb5? White is in trouble now, but the best defense was to retreat with the white king to stop the c-pawn. 48...c3 49.Bb8 Be3 stopping 50. Bf4 50.b7 c2 51.Bg3 c1Q 52.b8Q Qc4+ 53.Ka5 Bd2+
Everything is even in this queen and bishop endgame, but White is getting mated after 54. Kb6 Qc6+ 55. Ka7 Be3+ 56. Qb6 Qxb6+. Great cool headed play by Kyron against a grandmaster opponent. 0-1

(2) GM Nieman,Hans - GM Nyzhnyk,Illya [E73]
National Open, 19.06.2021

Young Hans Nieman was a regular at the Mechanics' Instiute some years ago when he was developing his chess game. He has since become a grandemaster. In the last round he faced off with one of the top ranked players in the tourament, Illya Nyzhnyk, who has won this event before. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 c6 7.Qd2 e5 8.0-0-0 Aggressive play by Hans. 8...Qe7

9.d5?! This locks up the center when White had some options on the d-file. Better was to shore up the kingside squares with [9.f3] 9...cxd5 10.cxd5 Ng4! Black gains the bishop pair with this early knight sortie. 11.Bxg4 Bxg4 12.Nge2 Bd7 13.Kb1 b5! Well done by Nyzhnyk! He delays development to start the queenside attack. This works because of the closed center. 14.Rc1 b4 15.Nd1 Bb5 16.g4 Nd7 17.Ng3 [17.h4 was to be considered] 17...a5 18.Bg5?! Bf6! Black is happy to trade off the dark-squared bishops. This works well with the central pawn chain. 19.Be3 [19.Bh6 Rfc8 works well; 19.Bxf6 Qxf6 leaves Black strong on the dark squares] 19...Rfc8 20.g5 Bg7 21.h4 Rxc1+ 22.Qxc1
22...f5! Black doesn't forget about the kingside. This advance allows more control of the central squares. 23.gxf6 Nxf6 24.Qd2 Ng4 25.h5 Qf7 26.hxg6 hxg6 27.Re1?! This last inaccuracy allows Black a nice maneuver soon. The white rook should have stayed on the h-file. 27...Rc8 28.Bb6

28...Nh2! The black pieces all come into play with decisive effect. 29.Rh1 Nf3 30.Qe3 Qf4! White resigned. There are too many threats, starting with 31...Nd2+ and 32...Rc1 mate. Thus Nyzhnyk tied for first. We expect Hans to start winning these last rounds with a little more experience. 0-1

Solution To Tony's Teaser

1. Ba1!!  cxd5  2. Nc3  dxc4  3. Nd5#

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