Chess Room Newsletter #975 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #975

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #975

July 3, 2021


Table of Contents

Tuesday Night Marathon Round 5 Report

by Abel Talamantez

The TNM concluded with a tight battle for 2nd place, as FM Kyron Griffith had already wrapped up a clear first. IM Elliott Winslow defeated Ako Heidari on board 1 to take his share of 2nd place with 4/5. Theo Biyiasas inched closer to master status (2200) with his win over Gary Harris, also netting him a share of 2nd place. Nicholas Weng also tied for 2nd after his last round defeat of Max Hao.

Theo Biyiasas got a decisive result in the final round to share 2nd place along with IM Elliott Winslow and Nicholas Weng.

In the under 1600 section, Joel Carron came from behind in the final round, defeating previously unbeaten Leon Quin to pass him up and take clear first place with 4.5/5. Four players tied for second place, including Quin, Paul Henry Reed, Andrew Imbens, and Andrew Ballantyne. 

Joel Carron (right) came up big to take sole first in the under 1600


Congratulations to all the participants for supporting the Mechanics' Institute and the return to live chess! We look forward to the next TNM starting July 13, 7SS in 3 sections, FIDE and USCF rated. For details, please click HERE.

To watch the broadcast, click HERE.

Here are some games from the final round, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian

(1) Clemens,Kristian (1919) - Guo,Andrew (1707) [A38]
Mechanics' June TNM San Francisco (5.4), 30.06.2021

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.d3 Kristian plays a modest continuation instead of the full advance 7. d4. 7...d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bd2 Nxc3 10.bxc3 e5 11.Qc2 Rb8 12.Rfd1 h6 The opening phase is done and the chances are equal. 13.Be3 b6 14.Qd2 Kh7 15.Ng5+!? hxg5 16.Bxc6 Qc7 17.Bg2 g4


The black pawn on g4 helps a little more with central control than it did when it was on h6. Black is just a tad more comfortable. 18.Rac1 f5 19.f4?! [19.Bg5] 19...gxf3 [19...Bb7 was also good. Black has more pawn control on the kingside.] 20.Bxf3 f4 21.Bf2 Bh6?! [21...fxg3! followed by 22...Bh6 would keep the kingside open and give Black a clear edge.] 22.g4! Kristian closes the kingside. The white king is safer now. 22...Bb7 23.Kg2 [23.Qc2!] 23...Rbd8 [23...c4! works toward opening lines] 24.Qc2 Qd7 25.h3 Bxf3+ 26.exf3 Qc6 27.Qe2 Rfe8 28.Qc2 Bg7 29.h4 c4! 30.dxc4 e4


Suddenly the game has broken open. Andrew has an edge with pressure on the long white diagonal. 31.Rxd8 [31.fxe4?! Rxe4 32.Kh2 Rxd1 33.Rxd1 f3 would be clearly better for Black] 31...exf3+ 32.Kh3 Rxd8 33.h5 Re8 34.Re1?! [34.hxg6+] 34...Rxe1 35.Bxe1 f2 36.Qxg6+


White captures with check attacking the black queen on c6. Clearly you don't have to think here as there is only one reasonable move right? 36...Qxg6? Going from advantage to trouble in one move. With [36...Kh8!! 37.Qxc6 (37.Bxf2 Qh1#) 37...fxe1Q Black has the advantage with the extra piece. White can make it difficult with a lot of checks, but it is only Black with winning chances. 38.Qc8+ Kh7 39.Qf5+ Kg8 40.Qd5+ Kf8 41.Qd6+ Qe7 42.Qxf4+ Kg8 etc.] 37.hxg6+ Kxg6 38.Bxf2 Bxc3 39.Kg2 Kg5 40.Kf3 All the black pawns are on dark squares like the bishop, so Black is struggling to draw. 40...Bb4 41.Bd4 Bd6 42.a4 Bc7 43.Bc3 Bd6 44.Bd2 Bc7 45.Bb4 Bb8 46.Be7+ Kg6 47.Ke4 Bc7 48.Bh4 Bd6 49.Kd5 Bc5 50.Ke4 Bd6 51.Bd8 Kf7? Oh no.This lets the bishop attack the f-pawn. Black should be able to hold after 51...Bb8 52.Bg5 f3 53.Kxf3 The bishop ending is easily won with the extra pawn. Kristian shows good technique to finish. 53...Kg6 54.Bf4 Bc5 55.Ke4 Kf7 56.Kf5 a6 57.g5 Ke7 58.Be5 Kf7 59.g6+ Ke7 60.Bc3 Bg1 61.Bb4+ Ke8 62.Ke6 Bd4 63.Bd6 Bg7 64.Bc7 Bf8 Black resigned as there is no hope here. 1-0

(3) IM Winslow,Elliott (2150) - Heidari,Ako (1783) [C09]
Mechanics' June TNM San Francisco (5.1), 30.06.2021

1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Ngf3 Nc6 6.Bb5


6...Qe7+!? A tricky move! Now a complicated tempo game transpires -- who loses time in all the maneuvers? [6...Bd6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.0-0 Nge7 9.Nb3 Bd6 (9...Bb6 10.Re1 0-0 11.Be3) 10.Re1 0-0 11.Bg5 was Karpov's path to some nice wins in the 70s.; 6...cxd4 7.Qe2+! White can play this game too.] 7.Be2! Qc7 8.0-0 Nf6 9.Re1 Be6!? [9...Be7?! 10.dxc5 sees White claiming his tempo.; 9...cxd4 10.Nb3 Bb4 (10...Be7 11.Nfxd4 0-0 12.Be3+/=) 11.Bd2 Bxd2 12.Qxd2 White is okay with those bishops coming off -- but it was a win for Black in Kotronias,V (2580)-Zvjaginsev,V (2655) Legnica 2013 (0-1, 59).] 10.h3


The main problem with this, besides costing a move, is that if f2-f3 is needed down the line then g3 is weak. Pretty subtle stuff. [White also could try 10.Bd3!? when Black has the unusual 10...0-0-0!? (10...c4 11.Bf5!|^; 10...Be7 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Nb3+/=) 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Nb3 Bb6 13.Be3 Certainly Black's king isn't so secure on this side.] 10...cxd4N [Predecessor: 10...Be7 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Nb3 Bb6 13.Nbd4 0-0 14.c3 Rae8 15.Be3 Ne4 saw Black completing development and doing okay. 1/2-1/2 (31) Radzhabov,R (2329)-Urazayev,A (2450) Moscow 2019] 11.Nb3 Bb4 12.Bd2 Be7 13.Nbxd4 0-0 14.Bd3 Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Bc5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.c3 Bd7


A standard Isolated Queen Pawn from the Tarrasch French with 3...d5. White can claim some nominal advantage (and Stockfish has it on the border between "slight" and "clear"), but it will be hard to make much of it objectively. 18.Qf3 Ne4 19.Re2 [Stockfish 13 suggests targeting the d-pawn already with 19.Bc2 and 20.Rad1.] 19...Re7 [It might seem radical, but 19...f5!? at least poses some uncomfortable problems for White regarding the kingside.] 20.Bf4 [White might have seen the blow 20.c4!? already.] 20...Qb6 21.Nb3 Bd6


22.c4!? White grabs the moment to drastically alter the landscape -- probably better a few moves earlier, before the knight landed on b3. [22.Bxe4 dxe4 23.Rxe4 Rxe4 24.Qxe4 Bxf4 25.Qxf4 Qg6 26.Kh2 is in fact an extra pawn at hardly any cost.; Just 22.Rd1 to increase the pressure might be best.] 22...dxc4! 23.Bxe4 cxb3 24.Bxh7+? A miscalculation, leading to an equal position -- but Black started to get short on the clock. [24.Qd3!? is still some advantage. 24...Bxf4 25.Bxh7+ Kh8 26.Rxe7 But complicated!] 24...Kxh7 25.Rxe7 Bxe7 26.Qe4+ [26.Qd3+? Kg8 27.Qxd7 Bc5 pulls Black's way.] 26...Qg6 [26...Kg8 27.Qxe7 Bc6 (keeping an eye on b3) is also nothing for either side.] 27.Qxe7 Bc6 [Not 27...Bxh3?? 28.Qh4+] 28.Bg3 Re8 [The temporarily exciting 28...bxa2!? 29.Qxf8 Qb1+ 30.Rxb1 axb1Q+ 31.Kh2 f6 leads to the dreaded column of moves marked "0.00".] 29.Qh4+ Qh6 [29...Kg8 30.axb3 a6 is a worthless pawn up for White.] 30.Qc4!?


There's still an annoyance factor... 30...Qe6 [30...Qd2 31.Qxb3 Bd5 32.Qc3 Qxc3 33.bxc3 is another of those pawn up but bishops of opposite colors and next to no future positions.] 31.axb3 a6! 32.f3 Qe3+?! [32...Qxc4 33.bxc4 Re2 34.b4 Rc2 35.c5 f6+/= And another.] 33.Bf2 Qd2?! 34.Qxf7+/-


With the disappearance of this pawn, a new factor emerges -- Black's more exposed king. 34...Qxb2 [34...Re2 looks aggressive, but White has various ways to defend f2, and on ...Qxb2 the rook gets into the game with Rd1 as in the game.] 35.Rd1! [35.Ra5!? is a scare, but 35...Re5! avoids complete disaster. (35...Bb5?? 36.Rxb5; 35...b5? 36.Rxa6) 36.Rxe5 Qxe5 37.Qc4 is BOC with queens for a change, which favors White's winning chances on paper but any win would be long-winded.] 35...Qc2?? Missing the point. [Black absolutely must upset White's queen with 35...Qf6 36.Qh5+ (36.Qxf6!? gxf6 37.Rd6 is a tough ending as well.36...Kg8 and the game continues. (36...Qh6 37.Qc5) 36.Rd4! Out of nowhere -- threatening mate. 36...Qc1+ 37.Kh2 Re4 38.Rxe4 Bxe4 39.Qh5+ Qh6 40.Qxh6+ Kxh6 41.fxe4 Kg5 42.Kg3 g6 43.Bb6 1-0

(4) Argo,Guy (1928) - Mercado,Adam (1834) [C25]
Mechanics' June TNM San Francisco (5.6), 29.06.2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 Bc5?! [Stockfish 13 suggests 3...exf4 with a advantage for Black. So much for the Age of Romantic Chess.] 4.fxe5


4...Nxe5? [This piece sacrifice makes it easy for White. Much trickier is 4...d6!? 5.exd6 Qxd6] 5.d4 Bb4 6.dxe5 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Qh4+ 8.Ke2 Qxe4+ 9.Be3 [9.Kf2!] 9...b6 10.Nf3 Ne7


11.Qd3? Almost everything else is better, with practiaclly a winning position. 11...Qa4? [11...Ba6!! comes so close to turning the game around! Alas, White is still solidly better if not barely winning: 12.Qxa6 Nd5 13.Ke1! (13.Qd3?? Nf4+) 13...Qxe3+ 14.Be2 Qxc3+ (14...Nf4 15.Kf1 Qxc3 16.Rc1) 15.Kf2 Qe3+ 16.Kf1 Qc3 17.Re1 Qxc2 18.Qa3+/- Three pawns for the piece! But sooner or later that piece will be effective.] 12.Kd2 Bb7 13.Qc4 Qa5 Endgames are great for White of course. 14.Qb4 Qd5+ 15.Bd3 c5 16.Qb3 Qc6 17.c4 0-0 18.Bf4 Any rook-to-the-center was better 18...h6 19.Rae1 Qe6 20.Be4?! Bxe4 21.Rxe4 g5 [21...d5!? 22.cxd5 Nxd5 23.Kc1 b5 at least puts a scare in White.] 22.Bg3 f5


23.exf6! Qxe4 24.Re1 Nice decisive play by Guy. Giving back material temporarily for a direct win. 24...Qxe1+ A better try than letting that pawn make it to e7 or further, but it's reached "futile." 25.Nxe1 [25.Bxe1! sending the bishop to the long diagonal.] 25...Rxf6 26.Nd3 Nc6 27.c3 Re8 28.Qd1 Re4 29.Qh5 Kf8?! 30.h4! That should, and does, break down the defences. 30...gxh4 31.Bxh4 Rfe6 32.Qf5+ Ke8 33.Nf4 Rd6+ 34.Kc1 Rxc4 35.Bf6 Nd8 36.Qg6+ 1-0

(5) Parsons,Stephen (1517) - Tsolias,Georgios (1679) [A21]
Mechanics' June TNM u1800 San Francisco (5.14), 29.06.2021

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 f5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.e3 Be7 6.d4 0-0 7.Nge2 c6 8.0-0 Na6 Good play by both sides in this English Opening. The black knight has possibilities from the a6 square so is well posted for now. White is just a tad better, as is usual with the first move. 9.Bd2 Nc7 10.Qb3 Ne6 11.Rad1 Qc7 12.dxe5 Nc5?


Hitting the white queen, but overlooking the reply. 13.exd6! Bxd6 [13...Nxb3 14.dxc7 is clear pawn up ending] 14.Qc2 a5 15.a3 Be6 [15...a4! would fix the queenside pawns] 16.b3 Qf7 17.a4 Be5 18.Nd4 Bxd4 19.exd4 Nxb3!?


Black is worse and tries to mix it up. Stephen finds a powerful continuation. 20.d5! cutting off the black bishop on the a2-g8 diagonal 20...cxd5 21.cxd5 Nxd5 22.Qxb3 Ne3 Black makes the most of the discovered attack on the white queen. It's still bad though. 23.Qxb7 Qxb7 24.Bxb7 Nxf1 25.Kxf1 Rab8 26.Bd5 Kf7 27.Bxe6+ Kxe6 28.Nb5


The endgame may seem to offer Black chances for salvation, but the white pieces work well together. It's instructive to see how much better the bishop and knight are compared to a black rook. 28...Rbd8 29.Re1+ Kd7 30.Bg5! not bothering with taking the a-pawn. The initiative gains more than that here. 30...Rde8 31.Rd1+ Kc6 32.Rc1+ Kb6 33.Be3+


Black must lose the exchange in any case. The resulting knight up endgame is an easy win for White. 33...Rxe3 34.fxe3 Rf7 35.Kf2 g6 36.h4 Rd7 37.Kf3 Rd2 38.Rc4 Rd1 39.Nd4 Rf1+ 40.Kg2 Rb1 41.Ne6 Rb4 42.Rd4 Rxd4 43.exd4 Kc6 44.Nf8 Kd5 45.Nxh7 Kxd4 46.Nf8 Kc4 47.Nxg6 Kb4 48.h5 Black resigned. A fine game by Stephen! 1-0

SwissSys Standings. 2021 June TNM: u1800

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total Prize
1 FM Kyron Griffith 12860484 2493 W11 W9 W3 W2 H--- 4.5 350.00
2 IM Elliott Winslow 10363365 2278 W17 W21 W10 L1 W7 4.0 128.33
3 Theodore Biyiasas 13989054 2155 W18 W14 L1 W6 W10 4.0 128.33
4 Nicholas Weng 15499404 2013 L10 X--- W18 W16 W12 4.0 128.33
5 Kristian Clemens 13901075 1997 H--- W12 D15 H--- W16 3.5 105.00
6 Abhinav Penagalapati 15467440 2087 H--- W19 W8 L3 H--- 3.0  
7 Ako Heidari 15206848 1980 X--- L10 W22 W9 L2 3.0  
8 Guy Argo 12517167 1928 W13 H--- L6 H--- W18 3.0  
9 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1855 W23 L1 W14 L7 W15 3.0  
10 Gary Harris 12834452 1827 W4 W7 L2 X15 L3 3.0  
11 Mark Drury 12459313 1873 L1 L18 B--- W20 D14 2.5  
12 Max Hao 16083648 1804 D15 L5 W19 X17 L4 2.5  
13 James Mahooti 12621393 1800 L8 B--- L16 W21 D17 2.5  
14 David Rakonitz 12931024 1622 B--- L3 L9 W19 D11 2.5 105.00
15 Rohan Rajaram 15739716 1929 D12 W20 D5 F10 L9 2.0  
16 Andrew Guo 16192001 1925 D20 D22 W13 L4 L5 2.0  
17 WCM Anika Rajaram 15446678 1860 L2 D23 W21 F12 D13 2.0  
18 Adam Mercado 16571026 1834 L3 W11 L4 W22 L8 2.0  
19 Kayven Riese 12572270 1900 D22 L6 L12 L14 B--- 1.5  
20 Alexander Huberts 16419664 1794 D16 L15 H--- L11 U--- 1.0  
21 Philip Gerstoft 12913356 1788 W24 L2 L17 L13 U--- 1.0  
22 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1776 D19 D16 L7 L18 U--- 1.0  
23 Abhishek Mallela 12888811 2159 L9 D17 U--- U--- U--- 0.5  
24 Thomas Maser 10490936 1900 L21 U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. 2021 June TNM: under1800

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total Prize
1 Joel Carron 16600505 1610 H--- W28 W14 W7 W5 4.5 280.00
2 Paul Henry Reed 13373197 1322 H--- H--- W23 W8 W13 4.0 113.75
3 Andrew Imbens 30102682 1253 W18 W7 L9 X20 W10 4.0 113.75
4 Andrew Ballantyne 17079795 1251 D19 H--- W18 W16 W9 4.0 113.75
5 Leon Quin 30191497 unr. W11 W8 W16 W10 L1 4.0 113.75
6 Simone Pagan Griso 17322263 1098 L7 H--- W19 W28 W11 3.5  
7 Richard Hack 12796129 1569 W6 L3 W21 L1 W26 3.0  
8 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1517 W30 L5 W29 L2 W18 3.0  
9 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1513 W29 W12 W3 U--- L4 3.0  
10 Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1422 W25 W14 W13 L5 L3 3.0  
11 Jacob Morgan 17099171 1365 L5 W30 W31 W26 L6 3.0  
12 Shiv Sohal 30032729 1127 W15 L9 H--- X27 H--- 3.0  
13 Nikhil Pimpalkhare 30179081 unr. W32 W27 L10 W15 L2 3.0  
14 Albert Starr 12844781 1609 W21 L10 L1 W24 D17 2.5  
15 Nick Casares Jr 10424364 1600 L12 D22 W25 L13 W28 2.5  
16 Kevin Sun 16898540 1491 W23 W31 L5 L4 D19 2.5  
17 David Nichol 30206324 unr. H--- H--- U--- W22 D14 2.5  
18 Georgios Tsolias 17266862 1679 L3 W19 L4 W29 L8 2.0  
19 Jim Cohee 12423364 1612 D4 L18 L6 W31 D16 2.0  
20 Lee Cooper 14563710 1529 W22 H--- D26 F3 U--- 2.0  
21 Stephen Wilson 12584515 1242 L14 W24 L7 D23 H--- 2.0  
22 William Thibault 16716976 1050 L20 D15 H--- L17 B--- 2.0  
23 Danny Cao 16939797 887 L16 B--- L2 D21 D29 2.0  
24 Andrejs Gulbis 16741331 826 L27 L21 X32 L14 W31 2.0  
25 Trent Hancock 30174249 unr. L10 H--- L15 H--- W30 2.0  
26 Tobiahs Rex 30164211 unr. H--- X--- D20 L11 L7 2.0  
27 Joseph Roberts 16864855 1448 W24 L13 H--- F12 U--- 1.5  
28 Richard Ahrens 16953298 1228 H--- L1 W30 L6 L15 1.5  
29 Aleksandra Singer 12853158 949 L9 X32 L8 L18 D23 1.5  
30 Thomas Cunningham 12923340 971 L8 L11 L28 B--- L25 1.0  
31 Justin Stimatze 30189846 unr. B--- L16 L11 L19 L24 1.0  
32 Charles James 12448028 1368 L13 F29 F24 U--- U--- 0.0  

20th IM William Addison Memorial Report

The 20th IM William Addison Memorial exceeded expectations, with 72 players registered in this four-round USCF rated event. Chess players were clearly missing over-the-board play, and it showed on that Saturday afternoon. IM Josiah Stearman was the overall top seed, who participated in this event as the result of a flight cancellation to the Philadelphia International. It was a weekend well spent for him, as he took sole first place with a perfect score of 4/4. There was a three-way tie for 2nd between Austin Mei, Tanmay Khattar, and Leyton Ho, all with 3/4.

IM Josiah Stearman (white) takes on Austin Mei in round 3 

In the under 1800 section, there were 46 players in total, with many new unrated players. It was great to see new players and perhaps likely the result of more people playing online during the pandemic and coming out to live play for the first time. Despite 46 players and four rounds of play, there was only a 2-way tie for 1st place, as Adam Stafford and Stephen Parsons remained perfect with 4/4 to share the top prize. Vian Yang and Prabhmehar Sodhi were right behind with 3.5/4. 

A busy Saturday afternoon at the Mechanics' Institute for the Addison Memorial

Join us for our next live weekend event, the 20th Charles Bagby Memorial on Sunday July 18, details can be found by clicking HERE.

SwissSys Standings. 2021 Addison Memorial: 20th Addison Memorial Open

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Total Prize
1 IM Josiah Stearman 14006506 2482 W14 W22 W2 W6 4.0 425
2 Austin Mei 16090452 2149 W18 W4 L1 W13 3.0 121
3 Tanmay Khattar 13833487 2147 W23 D16 D8 W20 3.0 121
4 Leyton Ho 13850433 1841 W12 L2 W22 W16 3.0 121
5 FM Andrew Boekhoff 12685687 2333 W15 D13 W19 U--- 2.5  
6 NM Yashodhan Gogte 13531225 2192 W17 D19 W21 L1 2.5  
7 Henry Deng 16681298 2112 L20 W23 D16 W21 2.5  
8 Lucas Lesniewski 17039584 1886 D10 W26 D3 H--- 2.5  
9 NM Arman Baradaran 14466706 2208 L16 W15 D12 D14 2.0  
10 Shawnak Shivakumar 15641965 2178 D8 D20 D14 D17 2.0  
11 Christophe Bambou 12734479 2121 L19 D17 W26 H--- 2.0  
12 Alan Finkelstein 14958842 2069 L4 W18 D9 D19 2.0  
13 Daniel Lin 15176393 1983 W25 D5 D20 L2 2.0  
14 Ako Heidari 15206848 1980 L1 W24 D10 D9 2.0  
15 Advay Bansal 16068511 1974 L5 L9 W24 W25 2.0  
16 Andrew Guo 16192001 1925 W9 D3 D7 L4 2.0  
17 Nathan Yan 16430495 1895 L6 D11 W25 D10 2.0  
18 Alejandro Canales 16913725 1878 L2 L12 W23 W22 2.0  
19 Rithwik Narendra 14903560 1849 W11 D6 L5 D12 2.0  
20 Patrick Liu 16667410 1847 W7 D10 D13 L3 2.0  
21 Max Hao 16083648 1818 W27 H--- L6 L7 1.5  
22 Jacob Chiang 16093205 1991 W24 L1 L4 L18 1.0  
23 Mikhail Molodyk 13573825 1876 L3 L7 L18 W26 1.0  
24 Jason Ochoa 12440572 1759 L22 L14 L15 B--- 1.0  
25 Jeff Andersen 11296106 1643 L13 W27 L17 L15 1.0  
26 Mohammad Soltani 12889183 1745 H--- L8 L11 L23 0.5  
27 Alek Pensky 13214867 2000 L21 L25 U--- U--- 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. 2021 Addison Memorial: 20th Addison Memorial u/1800

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Total Prize
1 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1517 W37 W10 W9 W12 4.0 190
2 Adam Stafford 14257838 1372 W38 W13 W16 W6 4.0 190
3 Vian Yang 15804394 1620 W25 W8 D14 W16 3.5 53
4 Prabhmehar Sodhi 17272541 1570 W35 W22 W11 H--- 3.5 53
5 Aryan Morasa 15873486 1566 W45 L9 W35 W14 3.0  
6 Arjun Sankar 14542170 1555 W36 W32 W24 L2 3.0  
7 Ethan Sun 16964125 1488 W46 L12 W40 W26 3.0  
8 Gabriel Ngam 13553308 1359 W39 L3 W29 W24 3.0  
9 Aryan Soni 15167321 1284 W42 W5 L1 W30 3.0  
10 Matthew Perez 16711456 1230 W30 L1 W31 W18 3.0  
11 Elliott Regan 15032065 1215 W31 W18 L4 W20 3.0  
12 Matt Long 13377410 1179 W33 W7 W17 L1 3.0  
13 Leon Quin 30191497 unr. W23 L2 W22 W21 3.0  
14 Carliteau Leger 12841454 1487 W28 W29 D3 L5 2.5  
15 Isaac Sterling 14316046 1236 H--- L17 W43 W32 2.5  
16 Albert Starr 12844781 1609 W26 W21 L2 L3 2.0  
17 Daniel Wang 15361305 1573 D43 W15 L12 D19 2.0  
18 Jonas Shomorony 15097261 1558 W27 L11 W36 L10 2.0  
19 Daniel Perlov 16465203 1555 X--- L24 D32 D17 2.0  
20 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1500 L32 W28 W39 L11 2.0  
21 Paul Reed 13373197 1322 W40 L16 W42 L13 2.0  
22 Andrew Imbens 30102682 1296 W41 L4 L13 W40 2.0  
23 Keith Ballinger 12779932 1251 L13 W37 L30 B--- 2.0  
24 Adam Ellner 12925276 1164 W44 W19 L6 L8 2.0  
25 Swaminathan Sankar 14080777 1116 L3 L42 X46 W39 2.0  
26 Adithya Chitta 16695036 1100 L16 W46 W33 L7 2.0  
27 Brandon Conchas 13352116 696 L18 L40 W38 W42 2.0  
28 Noah Johnson 30182833 unr. L14 L20 W45 W34 2.0  
29 Jonathan Moore 30214849 unr. W34 L14 L8 W43 2.0  
30 Kai Sharpe 17304795 unr. L10 W45 W23 L9 2.0  
31 Luka Vyatkin 30209432 unr. L11 B--- L10 W36 2.0  
32 Zakir Ahmad 30208449 unr. W20 L6 D19 L15 1.5  
33 David Trestor 12525828 1769 L12 W43 L26 U--- 1.0  
34 Abhi Kulgod 13306912 1317 L29 L39 W37 L28 1.0  
35 JJ Ziebart 30166361 1072 L4 W38 L5 U--- 1.0  
36 Kadhir Suresh 15721954 658 L6 W41 L18 L31 1.0  
37 Krish Agarwal 30198066 unr. L1 L23 L34 W45 1.0  
38 Tyler Johnson 30212590 unr. L2 L35 L27 W41 1.0  
39 Alexia Laffin 30211880 unr. L8 W34 L20 L25 1.0  
40 Aaron Metyko 30209636 unr. L21 W27 L7 L22 1.0  
41 Chester O'Neal 30205708 unr. L22 L36 B--- L38 1.0  
42 Sam Pearce 30205827 unr. L9 W25 L21 L27 1.0  
43 Simone Pagan-Griso 17322263 1098 D17 L33 L15 L29 0.5  
44 Mohammad Soltani 12889183 1745 L24 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
45 Tobiah Rex 30164211 992 L5 L30 L28 L37 0.0  
46 Andrea Fossati 30206267 unr. L7 L26 F25 U--- 0.0  

New Thursday Night Marathon Rounds 3&4 Report

by Abel Talamantez

The Thursday Night Marathon finished rounds 3&4, with GM Alex Lenderman taking two half-point byes as he is playing the World Open in Philadelphia. The action was in high gear however, and GM Gadir Guseinov showed again just how strong a player he is, quickly defeating two very strong players: FM Max Gedajlovic and IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla. Only two players remain with perfect scores after four rounds, as Sina Mohammadi joins Guseinov in perfection after he defeated IM Elliott Winslow in round 4, taking advantage of a blunder by Winslow in time pressure, in a position where Winslow went from slightly better to losing. 

The action game of the evening came in round 3 between IM Dhulipalla and Austin Mei. Possibilities galore in this game, and GM Nick de Firmian has annotated the game on short notice for our readers entertainment!

(6) IM Dhulipalla (Swarnapuri),Bala Chandra (2423) - Mei (TitanChess666),Austin (2267) [A48]
Mechanics' ThNMo June/July (3.2), 01.07.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 The London System. So popular these days. 2...g6 Austin chooses a dynamic continuation with options for central breaks. 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6 7.h3 e5! 8.Bh2 [8.dxe5 Ne4! gets the pawn back with equal chances and an open position] 8...Nd7!? 9.c4 f5!? These last two moves are a little provacative and give White some central opportunities. 10.Nc3 exd4 11.exd4 g5 Clearly Austin is in an aggressive mood. 12.d5 Nce5 13.Nd4 Nb6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 Re8 16.Qb3 Kh8 17.Bh5!

Black is compelled to take the pawn and allow White serious activity in the center. It may not be so bad but requires careful defense. 17...Rxe6 18.c5 Rh6 19.cxb6 Rxh5 20.bxc7 Qxc7 21.Nd5 Qf7 22.Bxe5! This seems risky but it gives White strong play on the c-file. If the black knight stays on the board it can retreat to c6 to stop the rook invasion. 22...Bxe5 23.Rac1 b6 This is slow, 23...g4! gives strong attacks to both sides. 24.Rc7 Qg8 25.Rfc1 g4! 26.h4 Rxh4 27.g3 Rh3 28.Qd3 f4 29.Ne7 [29.Qe4! fxg3 30.Ne7 gxf2+ 31.Kf1] 29...fxg3 30.f4
30...g2? [30...gxf3! 31.Nxg8 f2+ 32.Kg2 Rh2+ 33.Kf3

would be a fascinating positon. Black has full value for the queen. Both 33...Rf8+ and 33...Rg8 are equal.] 31.Qe4 Qf8 32.Rc8! Pinning the queen decides the game. There is no attack for Black now and White wraps up the point. 32...Rh1+ 33.Kxg2 Rxc1 34.Rxa8! Rc2+ 35.Kg3 Bxf4+ 36.Qxf4 Rg2+ [36...Qxa8 37.Qf6#] 37.Kh4 Rh2+ 38.Qxh2 Qxa8 39.Qxd6 Qh1+ 40.Kxg4 Qg2+ 41.Kf5 Qf2+ 42.Ke6 Qe3+ 43.Qe5+ Qxe5+ 44.Kxe5 Kg7 45.Nc8 h5 46.Nxa7 Kg6 47.Kf4 Kf6 48.Nc8 b5 49.Na7 b4 50.Nc6 b3 51.axb3 Ke6 52.Nd4+ Kd5 53.Nc2 h4 54.b4 Kc4 55.Kg4 h3 56.Kxh3 Kb3 57.b5 Kxc2 Swarnapuri won by resignation 1-0

To watch the broadcast of the evenings rounds, please click here:

Here are the standings going into next week

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 Prize
1 GM Gadir Guseinov gguseinov 17343590 2651 W25 W10 W5 W4         4.0  
2 Sina Mohammadi sina101 14116846 2163 W26 W24 W14 W12         4.0  
3 GM Alex Lenderman alexanderl 12787646 2703 W18 W9 H--- H---         3.0  
4 IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla swarnapuri 30100858 2523 W31 W23 W7 L1         3.0  
5 FM Max Gedajlovic mmsanchez 14947382 2213 W33 W27 L1 W13         3.0  
6 NM Michael Walder flightsoffancy 10345120 2157 L27 W34 W33 W23         3.0  
7 Austin Mei titanchess666 16090452 2149 W28 W17 L4 W25         3.0  
8 Jason Ochoa barok44 12440572 1759 X45 W36 H--- H---         3.0  
9 Callaghan McCarty-Snead doctorbanner 14948275 1700 W43 L3 W26 W27         3.0  
10 Jeff Andersen zenwabi 11296106 1643 W46 L1 W29 W28         3.0  
11 Katherine Sunny Lu 2nf31-0 16425316 1085 W20 D15 D16 W31         3.0  
12 IM Elliott Winslow ecwinslow 10363365 2278 D42 W39 W45 L2         2.5  
13 Nathan Fong nathanf314 13001390 2004 W34 H--- W15 L5     H--- H--- 2.5  
14 Jonah Busch kondsaga 12469525 1934 W35 W29 L2 D18         2.5  
15 Aaron Nicoski kingsmasher35 12797931 1789 W37 D11 L13 W32         2.5  
16 Fong Kevin chessappeals 17254586 1783 H--- W42 D11 D17         2.5  
17 Akshaj Pulijala loltheawesomedude 16497860 1531 W41 L7 W35 D16         2.5  
18 Ethan Sun sfdeals 16964125 1488 L3 W43 W30 D14         2.5  
19 Cailen Melville mangonel 14006141 1940 F29 L35 X36 W37         2.0  
20 NM Tom Maser talenuf 10490936 1900 L11 F28 W46 W35         2.0  
21 Robert Smith maturner 12463327 1853 W36 X45 F27 U---         2.0  
22 William Kelly wkelly 30161947 1677 H--- H--- L28 W38         2.0  
23 Ethan Mei erm999 16090467 1585 W32 L4 W37 L6         2.0  
24 Bryan Hood fiddleleaf 12839763 1574 W38 L2 H--- H---         2.0  
25 Marina Xiao programmingmax 16380642 1481 L1 W46 W40 L7         2.0  
26 Sarvagnya Brahmanapally bsarvagnya 16466227 1323 L2 W41 L9 W40         2.0  
27 Casimir Dudek thechesskid2021 30101045 1284 W6 L5 X21 L9         2.0  
28 Sean Wu dum2020areeews 16802870 1220 L7 X20 W22 L10         2.0  
29 Pratyush Bhingarkar greenninja2019 30015889 1165 X19 L14 L10 W41         2.0  
30 Jimolee Gray grayj43 30172836 unr. H--- H--- L18 W33         2.0  
31 Michael Xiao swimgrass 16380636 1363 L4 D32 W39 L11         1.5  
32 Adithya Shankar Katepalli 2021adi 30153861 824 L23 D31 X42 L15         1.5  
33 Ivan Zong ivanzong 30131397 1335 L5 W38 L6 L30         1.0  
34 Aditha Chitta adichi 16695036 1185 L13 L6 L41 W39         1.0  
35 Kevin Thompson acalbear 13110777 1120 L14 W19 L17 L20         1.0  
36 JJ Ziebart tomatosoupgirl 30166361 1072 L21 L8 F19 W46         1.0  
37 Bruce Hedman bruce_hedman 17344551 1055 L15 W44 L23 L19         1.0  
38 Victor Beauchamp greatboomer 30154650 807 L24 L33 X44 L22         1.0  
39 Ishan Goteti aurex79 17016988 615 W44 L12 L31 L34         1.0  
40 Cleveland W Lee Vincitore51745 12814843 unr. H--- H--- L25 L26         1.0  
41 Jonathan Rice ricejonathanc 30205348 unr. L17 L26 W34 L29         1.0  
42 Paul Krezanoski pjkrizzle 16897133 1346 D12 L16 F32 U---         0.5  
43 Thomas Cunningham banjotom 12923340 971 L9 L18 H--- U--- H--- H---     0.5  
44 James Hamlett james_hamlett_IV 12374510 1561 L39 L37 F38 U---         0.0  
45 Jerry Li figsnoring 16551291 1015 F8 F21 L12 U---         0.0  
46 Arumin Ravisankar aruminchess 30025152 869 L10 L25 L20 L36         0.0  


Tony's Teasers

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

White to move and mate in 3. Kenneth Howard, 1927.

Mechanics' Institute Events Schedule

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

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

July 18: Charles Bagby Memorial; 4 rounds, USCF rated, G/45;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

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FM Paul Whitehead's Column

[email protected]

Finishing Tactics from the World Championship Matches 18: Botvinnik – Smyslov 1954

Vassily Smyslov was Botvinnik’s next challenger, after decisively winning the Zurich 1953 Candidates Tournament - two points ahead of David Bronstein.

Bronstein’s book of that tournament is considered one of the all-time great chess books.

Once again Botvinnik escaped by the skin of his teeth, retaining the title in a drawn match of +7 -7 =10.

The games were sharp and interesting, and at one point down the middle there were eight decisive results in a row!


1. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 9th Match Game 1954.

White moves. How do you deal with this rook check?


2. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 10th Match Game 1954.

Black moves. Bust loose.


3. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 12th Match Game 1954.

White moves. When all else fails…


4. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 13th Match Game 1954.

White resigned, but why? What happens after 1.Rxb5?


5. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 14th Match Game 1954.

Black moves. 1…Qe2? Or something else?


6. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 16th Match Game 1954.

White moves. Win a little something.

GM Nick de Firmian's Column

So Good! So Nice! So Wesley Fabulous!

Like the lyrics to the famous James Brown song “I Got You,” we have reason to celebrate. Chess in America has the strongest top players we have ever had, with Caruana, Dominguez, Nakamura and new arrival Aronian in the top 20, Not to mention the talented young 2700 plus players Sam Shankland and Jeffery Xiong. The American player who is making the biggest splash though is the US Champion, Wesley So.

The latest show from So was total domination of the world’s top players at the Chess Tour in Paris. The star-studded field included his great rivals Fabiano Caruana (#2 rating in the world), challenger Ian Nempomniachtchi, MVL, young superstar Alireza Firoujza, Aronian and even Vladimir Kramnik.  Here Wesley gave anther World Champion style performance. He finishing a remarkable two and a half points ahead of the field. This is reminiscent of Alekhine in San Remo 1930. Yet we must also remember that So is the only player who evenly trades blows with Carlsen on a regular basis - winning these online matches against the champ as often as he loses.

The rules for making a challenge to the World Championship would have worked well for Wesley in the 1930s when Alekhine was the champion. His string of victories would gain the attention of a sponsor and thus he could directly challenge the champ to a match with the appropriate purse.  The hard fact of the chess world today is that even with all these tournament victories Wesley will have a difficult time getting a challenge match.  He must go through the official FIDE system, and hence first he must qualify into the 2022 Candidates Tournament when there are only a couple of routes available. No player qualifies on rating anymore, so Wesley must finish first or second in the World Cup or FIDE Grand Prix just to get a spot in the eight player Candidates in 2022.  It is a hard job winning the Candidates Tournament even if you get there as form and luck have a lot to do with it. Still, one should just tune into James Brown – So Good! So Nice! (Good luck Wesley!)

(1) Firouzja,Alizera - So,Wesley [D00]
Paris Grand Chess Tour, 21.06.2021

Young Firouzja is the most promising teenager on the planet. Will he be like Bobby Fischer or Kasparov? That remains to be seen. Just now he seems to be learning from the very best and not yet their equal. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 The Trompowsky Opening is as good as most. 2...d5 3.e3 c5! An exclamation mark for aggression. Typical of So. 4.Bxf6 gxf6 5.dxc5

Black has the bishop pair and should win back the pawn on c5. White has better pawn structure - "dynamic equality." 5...Nc6 6.Bb5 e6 7.c4 Hitting at the center to keep equal control there. 7...dxc4 8.Nd2 Bxc5 9.Ngf3 c3 may as well disrupt the white pawn structure since this pawn is doomed anyway 10.bxc3 0-0 11.0-0 f5 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.Rb1 Rc8 14.Qh5 Qf6 The black kingside is a little loose, but can be defended. 15.Rfd1 Qg6 16.Qe2 Rfd8 17.N2f3 Qf6 18.e4?! Opening lines, but this trades off Black's doubled pawn. 18...Bb6 19.exf5 Nxd4 20.cxd4 Qxf5 21.Bd3 Qf6 22.Qe4
22...h6! Calmly defending. There is nothing serious about the white queen coming to h7. By itself the queen cannot trouble the black king here. 23.Qg4+ Qg7 24.Qh4 Ba4 25.Re1 Bxd4 26.Re4? Planning to decide the game on the g-file. Black has resources with all pieces on active squares. 26...Bf6 27.Qh3 Rxd3 28.Rg4 Bg5 Blocking the g-file. This loses the bishop back on a4, but then the question is who has the real attack. 29.Rxa4
29...Qb2! Suddenly it is Black who is attacking. The counter attack is powerful as White has decisive trouble on the back rank. 30.Rf1 Rc1 It seems as if White should be able to defend somehow, but note the scattered white forces on all sides of the board against the coordinated black forces. 31.g4 Rxf1+ 32.Kxf1 Qb5! Black wins at least a rook with the threat to capture on a4 and the terrible threat of a discovery check. Firouzja resigned. 0-1

(2) So,Wesley - Vachier-Lagrave,Maxim [D85]
Paris Chess Tour, 25.06.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 MVL is an expert on the Grunfeld. Wesley doesn't back down and plays the most challenging line - the Exchange Variation. 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.h3 0-0 9.Be2 Nc6 10.Be3 cxd4 11.cxd4 f5 [11...Qa5+ can be meet by 12. Kf1, 12. Qd2 with an endgame coming, or the move I expect So would have played, 12. Bd2.] 12.Bc4+ Kh8

13.0-0! Aggressive play, sacrificing a pawn for the initiative. Wesley has a dynamic style where he doesn't worry too much about material. Maybe this is not better than the alternatives, but it is the most direct and double-edged. 13...f4 [13...fxe4 14.Ng5 is clearly compensation for the pawn.] 14.Bd2 Nxd4 15.Bc3 Nxf3+ 16.Qxf3 Black has an extra pawn yet the black pawns don't threaten. The game is objectively equal though it seems more fun for White. 16...Bd7 17.Rfd1 Qc7
18.Rac1! Rad8 19.Bb4!? Bc6 20.Bd5 Qe5 21.Rc5 A tense postion with all the pieces focused on the central squares. 21...Bxd5 22.exd5 Rd7 23.d6 directly opening the game. White has an edge, so Black must take care. 23...Qe6 24.dxe7 Rxd1+ 25.Qxd1 Qxe7 26.Rc4 Rd8?

Black needed to play 26....Qf7 to get out of the skewer. This allows a winning blow. 27.Rc8! Black must lose the queen or the rook. MVL resigned. 1-0

Solutions to FM Paul Whitehead's Column

1. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 9th Match Game 1954.

1.Rxe4! rocked the World Champion back on his heels. After 1…dxe4 2.Rb8+ Bc8 3.Bb5+! aced it. Botvinnik played on the exchange down for a few moves before resigning: 3…Qxb5 4.Rxb5 Ne6 5.Bf6 Rxg2 6.h5 Ba6 7.h6 1-0.


2. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 10th Match Game 1954.

1…Nxe5! wins a crucial pawn and frees up black’s game. If now 2.fxe5? then 2…Qxe4+ wins on the spot. Botvinnik opted for a slow death: 2.Qe3 Ng4 3.Qg3 Qxg3 4.fxg3 Nf2! 5.Kxf2 Rxd2+ 6.Ke3 Rxb2 7.Rb1 Rxb1 8.Rxb1 c5 9.Rd1 Ra8 10.Rd6 Rb8 11.Kd2 c4 12.Kc2 g6 13.Rc6 c3 14.Kb3 Rc8 0-1.


3. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 12th Match Game 1954.

1.f7+! takes the tiger by the tail. 2…Rxf7 Also losing is 1…Kxf7 2.Qxg7+ Ke8 3.Qh8+ Ke7 4.Rg7+ Kd6 5.Rg6+ winning the queen. 3.Qd8+ Kh7 (3…Rf8 4.Bxd5+) 4.Bxd5 Nf2+ 5.Kg2 Qf6 6.Qxf6 Rxf6 7.Kxf2 Rxf5+ 8.Bf3 Rf4 9.Rg4 1-0.


4. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 13th Match Game 1954.

Smyslov resigned, as mate is unavoidable. If 1.Rxb5 g3! 2.hxg3 Ne3! followed by …Rh8#. Or 1.Nf4 Rg5#.


5. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 14th Match Game 1954.

If 1…Qe2? 2.Bxb7 Nxg5 black is the exchange down and the attack has fizzled out. Smyslov kept it going with 1…Bxa8!! 2.Rxb2 Nxg5+ 3.Kh2 Nf3+ 4.Kh3 Bxb2. The white queen has no targets, and the three minor pieces buzz and hound the white king without mercy: 5.Qxa7 Be4 6.a4 Kg7 7.Rd1 Be5 8.Qe7 Rc8 9.a5 Rc2 10.Kg2. White is helpless. 10…Nd4+ 11.Kf1 Bf3 12.Rb1 Nc6 0-1. Coming up is …Bd4.


6. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 16th Match Game 1954.

Simply trading everything with 1.Rxd8 Rxd8 2.Rxd8 Nxd8 followed by 3.Nf6+ Kg7 and then attacking the b-pawn with 4.Nd5 forcing 4…b5 and finally 5.Nc7 wins a pawn - and ultimately the game: 5…g5 6.Kf3 gxf4 7.gxf4 c4 8.bxc4 bxc4 9.Nxa6 f6 10.Nc7 fxe5 11.fxe5 Kg6 12.Ke4 Kg5 13.a4 Kh4 14.a5 Nc6 15.a6 Kxh3 16.Nb5 c3 Trying to slow white down. 17.Nbxc3 Kg4 18.Nd4 Na7 19.Nd5 h5 20.Nf6+ 1-0.  This was Botvinnik’s last win of the match. Smyslov won two more, with six draws, but it wasn’t enough to take the title.

Solution To Tony's Teaser

1. Rf7!!  Re8, 2.R7xf6  Bb5, 3.R6f4#

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