Chess Room Newsletter #976 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #976

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #976

July 10, 2021


Table of Contents

Tuesday Night Marathon Begins Tuesday July 13

by Abel Talamantez

Inside the Mechanics' Institute's Tuesday Night Marathon

We will commence with our first full return of the TNM starting this Tuesday, with our 7-round FIDE rated Tuesday Night Marathon. We will have three sections (2000+, 1600-1999, and U/1600) with a time control of G/120;d5. We will broadcast 10 boards with live commentary on our Twitch channel, featuring the top eight boards in the open section, and top boards in the lower two sections. 

Masks are optional if you are fully vaccinated, but otherwise facemasks and social distancing will be required. We have 44 players already registered with a capacity of 90. Register now to save your spot by following this link:

To see full tournament details as well as advanced entries, please click here:

GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead will provide commentary on the games. Abel Talamantez and Judit Sztaray will be the Arbiters. We look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday night for the start of the next TNM!

New Thursday Night Marathon Rounds 5&6 Report

by Abel Talamantez

It was an action-packed evening for rounds 5 & 6 of the Mechanics' Institute's Thursday Night Marathon. Austin Mei seized the opportunity rising players look for when playing a grandmaster, as he took advantage of an overlooked pin by GM Alex Lenderman and won a crucial central pawn, causing Lenderman's position to unravel and Mei to obtain a winning position. The game ultimately ended in a draw, but it was an example to show the importance of putting pressure against more experienced players and creating opportunities. GM Gadir Guseinov made quick work of a game with Sina Mohammadi, who won his first four games, only to get hit with the buzzsaw of facing the two GM's. Guseinov then went on to draw NM Mike Walder in round 6. Guseinov holds a half point lead over the field heading into the final two rounds next week. IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla is in 2nd place with 5/6 after an impressive win in round 6 against FM Max Gedajlovic. Four players sit at 4.5, including Lenderman, Walder, IM Elliott Winslow, and Austin Mei. 

Tune in next Thursday for the final two rounds!

To watch the broadcast, please click HERE

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

(3) GM Aleksandr Lenderman (AlexanderL) (2693) - Austin Mei (TitanChess666) (2282) [A45]
Live Chess, 09.07.2021
[de Firmian]

There is over a 400 rating point difference in this game, but TitanChess666 (Austin Mei) is fast improving. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.Bf4 d5 4.e3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Nbd2 Nxd2 7.Qxd2 Bf5 8.c4 c6 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Nd7 12.Rfd1 Bg4 13.Be2 e6 14.Rac1 Qe7 15.Bg3 a5 16.b3 Rfe8 17.h3 Bxf3 18.Bxf3

Alex Lenderman is a strong grandmaster and knows his openings well. Austin with Black chooses a very practical approach, taking a defensive position which makes its hard for White to progress. White has the bishop pair and a little more space, but the black pawns on c6 and e6 forstall any easy advance. 18...Qb4 Black would be happy with a queen trade that opens the a-file. 19.Qc2 Nb6 20.Qc5 Bf8 patient defense 21.Qc2 Bg7 22.h4 h5 Very good. This keeps the game more closed which favors a knight over a bishop. 23.Be4 Kh7 24.Qc5 Nd5 25.Qc4 Red8 26.Rc2 Lenderman is having trouble finding a really good plan to move forward. If this were classical time control he would have more time to figure something out. 26...Rd7 27.Rdc1 Kg8 28.Qe2 Qe7 29.Rc5?! This doesn't do much and wastes time. 29...a4 [29...Bf6! would win the h-pawn] 30.Bxd5 exd5
31.b4? A serious mistake from the grandmaster. White would be worse in any case (after a move like 31. Qb2), but this loses a key center pawn. 31...Bxd4! 32.R5c2 Bb6
White is a clear pawn down with the worse position. Lenderman struggles to get some play. 33.b5 c5 34.Qf3 Re8 35.Rd1 d4 36.exd4 Rxd4 37.Rxd4 cxd4 38.Rc4 a3! 39.Kh2 Bc5 40.Qd3 b6
Austin has solidified the queenside and controls the e-file. With the extra passed d-pawn the position should be winning. 41.Rc2 Qe4 42.Qd1 Qe1 [42...d3 43.Rd2 Rd8 would be a good plan, tying the white pieces down] 43.Qd3 Qe4 44.Qd1 Qe1 45.Qd3

45...Qe4? Austin was a bit short of time and decides to repeat moves against his illustrious opponent. Courage Austin! This positon is terrific for Black. Congratulations for scoring something against Lendermann, but next time no more Mr. Nice Guy. 1/2-1/2

(1) Sina Mohammadi (sina10) (2107) - GM Gadir Guseinov (GGuseinov) (2594) [A10]
Live Chess, 09.07.2021
[de Firmian]

1.c4 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.Bg2 d6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 Bf5!? 8.h3 Polugaevsky used to play 8. Nh4 here. Stockfish suggests 8. d5 Na5 9. Nd4 with an edge. 8...a6 9.Kh2 This and the next move are a little slow for White, as they let Black move into the center. 9...Rb8 10.Re1 Ne4! 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.e3?! [12.Be3] 12...e5! 13.dxe5?! Opening the game lets the black pieces invade. 13. d5 or 13. b3 kept the disadvantage smaller. 13...dxe5 14.Bd2 Bd3

15.Qc1? [Now White gets in serious trouble. It was necessary to give up a pawn with 15.e4 Bxc4 16.b3 Be6 17.Rc1 when admittedly its a clear pawn down at least, but the white pieces do have decent squares] 15...e4 16.Ng1 Qf6
Gadir does this to poeple. The white position is a shambles. 17.f3 This is bad, but [17.Bc3 Qxf2 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Qc3+ f6 20.Rad1 Ne5 is also completely miserable for white] 17...Qxb2 That's it folks. Black wins the exchange to go with the extra pawn and position. That would be plenty for most people and way too much for Guseinov. 18.fxe4 Qxa1 19.Qxa1 Bxa1 20.Rxa1 Rfe8
21.Nf3 Bxe4 22.Re1 Rbd8 23.Bc3 Rd3 24.Bf6 Bxf3 25.Bxf3 Rexe3 26.Rxe3 Rxe3 27.Bd5 Re2+ 28.Kg1 Rxa2 29.h4 h5 30.c5 Rd2 White resigned, which could have happened ten moves ago. 0-1

(2) FM Max Gedajlovic (MMSANCHEZ) (2250) - IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla (Swarnapuri) (2430) [D07]
Live Chess, 08.07.2021
[de Firmian]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Bg4 Chigorin's Defense is active and risky. Black allows White to clear the center squares yet the black pieces gain real activity, so it is tricky for the first player to keep control of the board. 4.cxd5 Bxf3 5.dxc6 [5.gxf3 Qxd5 6.e3 is the most usual line for White. The bishop pair and extra center pawn are fine compensation for the doubled f-pawns.] 5...Bxc6 6.Nc3 e6 7.e4 Bb4 8.f3

8...Qh4+! It may seem that Black is just giving away a tempo by checking and simply being driven back, yet the small weakeness created by 9. g3 gives Black play on the kingside light-squares. 9.g3 Qh5 10.Be2 0-0-0 11.Be3
11...f5! Active play is required if you play Chigorin's Defense, and this move fits the bill. Chances are now equal in a complex game. 12.e5? This gives Black control of the important d5 square and a clear advantage. It was hard to find the right move here. [12.Qb3 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 fxe4! 14.Qxe6+ Kb8 15.fxe4 Qa5 16.0-0 Nf6 Leaves Black with the edge due to the active pieces. Relatively best for White was; 12.0-0 Bxc3 13.bxc3 fxe4 14.fxe4 Qg6 15.Bd3 Bxe4 16.Bxe4 Qxe4 17.Bg5 with equal chances] 12...Ne7 13.0-0 Ba5 [13...f4! 14.Bxf4 Bc5 would have been even better] 14.f4 Qh3 15.Rf2 h5 16.Bf1 Qg4 Very nice. Swarnapuri heads for an endgame with all the positional trumps. 17.Qxg4 hxg4 18.Rd1 Nd5 19.Nxd5 Bxd5 20.b3 Bb6
White is just suffering in this position. The d-pawn is backward, Black has the h-file and it is difficult to do anything active. 21.Bc4 Rd7 22.Rfd2 Kd8 23.Bb5 c6 24.Bc4 Ke7 25.Rd3?! The wrong square for this rook. 25...Rhd8 26.Bf2?

The last chance to bail out to "only" a very bad ending with [26.Bxd5 Rxd5 27.b4] 26...Bf3 Now Black wins material. Both white rooks cannot stay on the d-file to guard the d-pawn. 27.R1d2 Be4 28.Rc3?! The position was lost anyway. 28...Ba5 29.Rdc2 Bxc2 30.Rxc2 Bb6 Swarnapuri won by resignation. Already an exchange down, White loses the d-pawn. 0-1

SwissSys Standings. New Thursday Night Marathon: Open (Standings (no tiebrk))

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Total Prize
1 GM Gadir Guseinov gguseinov 17343590 2651 W13 W11 W7 W2 W8 D5 5.5  
2 IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla swarnapuri 30100858 2523 W30 W18 W6 L1 W22 W7 5.0  
3 GM Alex Lenderman alexanderl 12787646 2703 W29 W10 H--- H--- D6 W8 4.5  
4 IM Elliott Winslow ecwinslow 10363365 2278 D32 W38 W46 L8 W28 W14 4.5  
5 NM Michael Walder flightsoffancy 10345120 2157 L20 W26 W33 W18 W10 D1 4.5  
6 Austin Mei titanchess666 16090452 2149 W25 W19 L2 W13 D3 W16 4.5  
7 FM Max Gedajlovic mmsanchez 14947382 2213 W33 W20 L1 W14 W23 L2 4.0  
8 Sina Mohammadi sina101 14116846 2163 W24 W12 W15 W4 L1 L3 4.0  
9 Cailen Melville mangonel 14006141 1940 F34 L27 X35 W42 W24 W17 4.0  
10 Callaghan McCarty-Snead doctorbanner 14948275 1700 W41 L3 W24 W20 L5 W28 4.0  
11 Jeff Andersen zenwabi 11296106 1643 W36 L1 W34 W25 H--- H--- 4.0  
12 Bryan Hood fiddleleaf 12839763 1574 W43 L8 H--- H--- W25 W22 4.0  
13 Marina Xiao programmingmax 16380642 1481 L1 W36 W44 L6 W34 W23 4.0  
14 Nathan Fong nathanf314 13001390 2004 W26 H--- W16 L7 W19 L4 3.5  
15 Jonah Busch kondsaga 12469525 1934 W27 W34 L8 D29 L17 W30 3.5  
16 Aaron Nicoski kingsmasher35 12797931 1789 W42 D28 L14 W37 W29 L6 3.5  
17 Fong Kevin chessappeals 17254586 1783 H--- W32 D28 D19 W15 L9 3.5  
18 Ethan Mei erm999 16090467 1585 W37 L2 W42 L5 W39 D20 3.5  
19 Akshaj Pulijala loltheawesomedude 16497860 1531 W40 L6 W27 D17 L14 W29 3.5  
20 Casimir Dudek thechesskid2021 30101045 1284 W5 L7 X22 L10 W31 D18 3.5  
21 NM Tom Maser talenuf 10490936 1900 L28 F25 W36 W27 H--- H--- 3.0  
22 Robert Smith maturner 12463327 1853 W35 X46 H--- H--- L2 L12 3.0  
23 Jason Ochoa barok44 12440572 1759 X46 W35 H--- H--- L7 L13 3.0  
24 Sarvagnya Brahmanapally bsarvagnya 16466227 1323 L8 W40 L10 W44 L9 W34 3.0  
25 Sean Wu dum2020areeews 16802870 1220 L6 X21 W31 L11 L12 W40 3.0  
26 Aditha Chitta adichi 16695036 1185 L14 L5 L40 W38 X37 W39 3.0  
27 Kevin Thompson acalbear 13110777 1120 L15 W9 L19 L21 X43 W31 3.0  
28 Katherine Sunny Lu 2nf31-0 16425316 1085 W21 D16 D17 W30 L4 L10 3.0  
29 Ethan Sun sfdeals 16964125 1488 L3 W41 W39 D15 L16 L19 2.5  
30 Michael Xiao swimgrass 16380636 1363 L2 D37 W38 L28 W33 L15 2.5  
31 William Kelly wkelly 30161947 1677 H--- H--- L25 W43 L20 L27 2.0  
32 Paul Krezanoski pjkrizzle 16897133 1346 D4 L17 F37 H--- U--- W35 2.0  
33 Ivan Zong ivanzong 30131397 1335 L7 W43 L5 L39 L30 W44 2.0  
34 Pratyush Bhingarkar greenninja2019 30015889 1165 X9 L15 L11 W40 L13 L24 2.0  
35 JJ Ziebart tomatosoupgirl 30166361 1072 L22 L23 F9 W36 W44 L32 2.0  
36 Arumin Ravisankar aruminchess 30025152 869 L11 L13 L21 L35 W38 W43 2.0  
37 Adithya Shankar Katepalli 2021adi 30153861 824 L18 D30 X32 L16 F26 H--- 2.0  
38 Ishan Goteti aurex79 17016988 615 W45 L4 L30 L26 L36 W42 2.0  
39 Jimolee Gray grayj43 30172836 unr. H--- H--- L29 W33 L18 L26 2.0  
40 Jonathan Rice ricejonathanc 30205348 unr. L19 L24 W26 L34 W42 L25 2.0  
41 Thomas Cunningham banjotom 12923340 971 L10 L29 H--- U--- H--- H--- 1.5  
42 Bruce Hedman bruce_hedman 17344551 1055 L16 W45 L18 L9 L40 L38 1.0  
43 Victor Beauchamp greatboomer 30154650 807 L12 L33 X45 L31 F27 L36 1.0  
44 Cleveland W Lee Vincitore51745 12814843 unr. H--- H--- L13 L24 L35 L33 1.0  
45 James Hamlett james_hamlett_IV 12374510 1561 L38 L42 F43 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
46 Jerry Li figsnoring 16551291 1015 F23 F22 L4 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

Educational Chess: Chess as a Learning Tool for Students

by Abel Talamantez

I have previously written that I had the opportunity to complete FIDE's Chess in Education Lecturer Course. I can now teach classes on behalf of FIDE to school teachers looking to earn the FIDE title of School Instructor. The idea behind this class and curriculum is to teach school teachers chess - not to develop competetive chess players, but to teach children chess so the teacher can use it as a tool to develop critical thinking skills. This is what is referred to as educational chess, which is to be distinguished from competetive chess. I also had the pleasure to experience a School Instructor course so I can not only see the curriculum, but also to see school teachers from many countries learn chess with the purpose of using it in the classroom. While the class did have some already seasoned chess players, the novelty of how chess would be applied in a classroom was certainly innovative. We also learned about interdisciplinary chess, which is a field of study in how chess can be used to teach regular school subjects such as math, language and history. More information about this can be found on the FIDE Chess in Education page here:

One brief example of what we learned was how to employ mini-games to enhance critical thinking, using the moves and rules of chess in a slightly different way. For example we learned the chess variant Tic-Tac-Toe chess, where we use 3x3 Board and using a bishop, knight, and rook on each side, we try to make a classic tic-tac-toe on the board. The rule is no captures are allowed, so if players can not make a tic-tac-toe when placing pieces, they must play out the position to achieve a tic-tac-toe across, diagonal or vertically. Here are some examples.

This really helps young players visualize and strategize problem solving. There are countless ways to use chess as a fun activity to enhance critical thinking in ways educationally applicable to many fields. Chess in many countries is taught as a subject in schools, and there is a growing movement to apply chess to enhance teaching in many other subjects. I think for many chess coaches in schools, having an awareness of the greater possibilities of coaching chess beyond competitive play has immense value, as it can also enhance the in classroom experience in fun ways. We'll share more information on the subject as I also continue to expand my own learning in this subject.

NM Robert Hammie 1947-2021

by IM John Donaldson

NM Robert Hammie (behind IM John Donaldson along with Steve Brandwein)

National Master Robert Hammie, a long-time resident of Oakland, passed away recently at the age of 74. He had battled diabetes for many years.
Born in New York City, Hammie moved to Palo Alto as a teenager and not long after began to play in tournaments in the Bay Area. He made steady progress  but it was not until the mid-1970s that he became a Master, one of the few Black players at the time to hold the title. Like many of his contemporaries, Bob's play was influenced by Bobby Fischer, and he adopted the World Champion's repertoire in toto - Najdorf Sicilian and King's Indian as Black and 1.e4 as White (including Fischer's 6.Bc4 in the Open Sicilian). Hammie was a member of the Berkeley Riots entry in the National Telephone League from 1976 to 1979, the latter team taking first place.
Away from the board Hammie taught mathematics at the high school level in the Oakland School District for many years. He was also involved in running after-school chess programs and served as a mentor to troubled youth. The past decade Bob was a fixture at the recently closed Au Coquelet and Berkeley Expresso where he could found playing chess or engaging in political debate. With the passing of Robert Hammie one more member of the Golden Era of Bay Area chess (1970s) is gone.

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. Francis C. Collins 1875

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

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.

FM Paul Whitehead's Column

[email protected]

Finishing Tactics from the World Championship Matches 19: Botvinnik – Smyslov 1957

Smyslov earned yet another shot at the title by winning the 1956 Candidates Tournament in Amsterdam.

  This time he was not to be denied, taking Botvinnik down +6 -3 =13. 

There were few tactical blows in this match.  Instead the players ground it out in the late middle-game, with the hungry Smyslov pouncing on Botvinnik’s uncharacteristic positional errors and sloppy adjournment analysis.

Now Botvinnik had played three World Championship matches without winning one, with an “automatic” right to a re-match the following year…


1. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 4th Match Game 1957.

Black moves.  Flush the white king out.


2. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 6th Match Game 1957.

White moves.  Remove the defender.


3. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 9th Match Game 1957.

Black moves.  Find the only move that draws.


4. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 12th Match Game 1957.

White moves.  Find the only move that wins.


5. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 17th Match Game 1957.

Black moves.  A famous endgame.


GM Nick de Firmian's Column

World Open Success

GM Hans Niemann 

Over-the-board tournament chess is back. The resounding turnout for the National Open has been followed this last week by one of the other heritage chess tournaments of the US –  the World Open. First started in 1973, this famous tournament has more ups and downs that Vegas. Players will be in last round games where the winner can get $20,000 and the loser nothing. It’s like a serious poker tournament, but what is much better is that your skill and nerves completely determine who gets the money.

The 2021 World Open was played over the long July 4th weekend and proved very successful for our former Mechanics’ youth star Hans Niemann He took down first in the open section and the $13,000 for first place! Young Hans developed his chess game here at the MI, becoming a strong master and winning the Tuesday Night Marathon.

Though officially taught by IM John Grefe, one must regard IM Elliott Winslow as one of his mentors since Hans learned each time they battled over the board in the TNM.  Hans was always a confident and energetic youngster and garnered the nickname “Niemann the Demon.” A few years ago his family moved to the East Coast and Hans gained his GM title. Now World Open Champion is added to his resume!

Another success story at the World Open was GM John Fedorowicz, who has run many chess camps here at the Mechanics’ and has been a frequent visitor throughout the years. Like William Lombardy he has also been a guest of genial member Richard Hack. (GMs seem to like staying at Richard’s place.)  John Fed is also a childhood friend of our longtime MI trustee Mark Pinto in the years they played at the Westfield Chess Club.. The Fed is an older grandmaster now, but still packs a punch. He finished 6/9 with a $1,400 prize. We give a couple of the Fed’s games from the World Open. This was an interesting journey for one of our older US stars, who is a former World Open champion himself.


(1) Sinha,Sahil (2361) - Niemann,Hans Moke (2571) [E35]
49th Annual World Open Philadelphia USA (4), 03.07.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5!? Hans plays risky aggressive chess. White seems to get a small edge out of the opening, but Hans doesn't mind as long as the game is complicated. 8.Bg3 Nc6 9.e3 h5 10.Bb5 h4 11.Be5

11...0-0! This is actually the safest spot for the black king, despite the advance of the g and h pawns. 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Nge2 Bd6 14.Na4 Rb8 15.Qxc6 Bxe5 16.dxe5 Ng4 17.Rd1? Here is where it starts to go wrong for White. Black gets tempi attacking the white queen and takes a strong initiative. [17.Qc3! would keep a small edge for White] 17...Bd7 18.Qa6 Bb5 19.Qxa7 White didn't like 19. Qa5 Nxe5, but this is a piece sacrifice. 19...Ra8 20.Qc5 Bxa4 21.Rxd5
21...Qxd5! The only move to keep the advantage is this queen sacrifice. 22.Qxd5 Rfd8 Because of the mate on d1 Black wins the queen back. 23.Qd4
23...Nxe5! Not rushing to recapture the queen gives Black a much easier time convertring the material advantage. 24.b3 Rxd4 25.exd4 Nd3+ 26.Kd2 Nxf2 The black knight dances away from danger. Now on 27. Rf1 Ne4+ 28. Kd3 Bc6 saves both pieces. 27.Rc1 Ne4+ 28.Ke3 Bb5 29.a4 Bxe2 30.Kxe4 The best piece to capture. Now we see Hans' GM technique in action. 30...Rb8 31.Kf5 Rxb3 32.Kxg5 Rb4 33.Kxh4 Rxd4+ 34.Kg3 Rc4 35.Re1 [35.Rxc4 Bxc4 36.Kf4 Kg7 37.a5 Ba6 38.g4 c5 39.Ke5 c4 40.Kd4 Kg6 41.h4 f5 42.gxf5+ Kxf5 is an easy win as the white king can't attack the black bishop due to the c-pawn running] 35...Rc2 36.h4 c5 37.a5 Ra2 38.Kf4 Bd3 39.Re5 Rxa5 A full piece ahead now. The rest needs no comment. 40.Ke3 Bh7 41.Rg5+ Kf8 42.h5 Ra3+ 43.Ke2 c4 44.Rc5 c3 45.g4 c2 46.g5 Bd3+ 47.Kd2 Ra1 48.Rc8+ Kg7 49.h6+ Kh7 50.Rc7 Rd1+ 0-1

(2) Dominguez,JM (2181) - Fedorowicz,J (2413) [B87]
49th Annual World Open Philadelphia USA (3), 02.07.2021

To win money in a big swiss system tournament you have to beat the lower rated players, even with black. Then make sure you don't lose to the higher rated players and you cash out. The struggle to score a big prize is one of the most exciting things about the World Open. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 Fedorowicz is an expert in many variations of the Sicilian, including the Najdorf. 8.Bg5 Cudos to Dominguez for playing a super sharp variation. 8...Be7 9.Qe2 b4 precise opening play stops White from having all the fun 10.Na4 0-0 11.0-0-0 Qc7 12.f4 Nbd7 13.Rhe1

13...Nc5! One of the main things Black needs to do in a Sicilian is dampen the attacking chances of an aggressive White player. The counter attack will follow if you have time to press on the queenside. Fedorowicz is a master of Sicilian strategy, which many MI players learned during our chess camps a few years ago. 14.Nxc5 dxc5 15.Nf3? This natural move just doesn't work right in the complex Sicilian. Needed was either 15. e5 or 15. Nc6!? Qxc6 16. e5 with chances for an even battle. Now Black takes control. 15...h6! 16.Bxf6 Qxf4+ 17.Kb1 Qxf6 18.e5 Qf4 19.Bc4 Bb7! 20.Rd7 Bxf3 21.Qxf3 [21.gxf3 Bg5 is extremely good for Black] 21...Qxc4
22.Rxe7? The natural capture just loses. Needed was [22.b3 Qh4 23.g3 which keeps White is the game though he is still down.] 22...Qh4 Cute, forking the two rooks on opposite ends of the e-file. 0-1

(3) Fedorowicz,J (2413) - Akopian,Vl (2625) [A61]
49th Annual World Open Philadelphia USA (4), 03.07.2021

Akopian was one of the pre-tournament favorites. It can be hard for an aging player to battle against the current top players of the field. Look at Roger Federer who is only 39 years old, and is finally slipping. Of course you age faster in tennis than chess, but players who continue to battle after 60, like the Fed, deserve our respect. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3 This move against the Benoni seems to give White the easier time. Black has fewer squares to maneuver with. 7...a6 8.a4 Qe7 A good move, stopping 9. e4. Still White just has to develop for an easy game. 9.Bf4 Bg7 10.e3 0-0 11.Be2 Nbd7 12.0-0 Rb8 13.Bh2

Black is sort of ok, but it's hard to find something to hit at in White's solid position. Meanwhile the white d5 pawn exerts a cramping influence. 13...Ne8 14.Nd2 f5 15.Nc4 Ne5 16.Nb6! avoiding exchanges to keep Black cramped 16...Nf6 17.a5 Nfd7 18.Nca4 g5?! looking for kingside play, yet this is more likely a weakeness than an aggressive advance 19.Qd2 Nxb6 20.Nxb6 Bd7
White is solid on the kingside and can choose which side of the board to play on. 21.f4 This is pretty good, but [Even better is 21.b4! as White takes control of the queenside while allowing no targets for Black on the kingside.] 21...Ng6 22.Nxd7 Qxd7 23.fxg5 b6 24.axb6 Rxb6 25.Ra2 Qe7 26.Bd3 [The greedy 26.Bxa6 Qxg5 27.Bd3 would be a good winning attempt] 26...Qxg5 27.Qf2?! This allows a liquidation and we soon arrive at a drawn ending. White could keep some edge with the prophylactic [27.Kh1] 27...f4 28.exf4 Qxd5 29.Qc2 Kh8 30.Qc4

now we get many exchanges and end up in a dead draw ending 30...Qxc4 31.Bxc4 Rxb2 32.Rxa6 Rb4 33.Bd3 Nxf4 34.Bxf4 Rbxf4 35.Rxf4 Rxf4 36.Rxd6 Game agreed drawn. This game was important for Fedorwicz to keep up with the prize winners. 1/2-1/2

Solutions to FM Paul Whitehead's Column

1. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 4th Match Game 1957.

1…Rxd5! Returns the exchange for a devastating attack. 2.Rxd5 Qg1+! 3.Kc2 Rc8+ 4.Kd3 Qb1+ 5.Kd4 (Or 5.Ke2 Re8+ 6.Ke2 Qe1#) 5…Qxb2+ 6.Ke4 Re8+ 0-1. After 7.Kd3 Re3+ it’s all over.


2. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 6th Match Game 1957.

1.Rxd5! Again this move! 1…exd5 (Or 1…Rxd5 2.Nxc7 Rc5+ 3.Kb1 followed by Na6 winning.) 2.Nxc7 Rdc8 There’s nothing better. 3.Bxc8 Rxc8 4.Nxd5 Rxc6+ 5.Kd2 Ke6 6.Nc3 1-0.


3. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 9th Match Game 1957.

1…Rc3! Sets up enough threats to the white king to hold the position. 2.Qd8+ White must take a perpetual check. 2…Kh7 3. Qd7+ Kh8 4.Qd8+ Kh7 5.Qd7+ Kh8 6.Qe8+ Kh7 7.Qe7+ Kh8 8.Qe8+ Kh7 1/2-1/2.


4. Smyslov – Botvinnik, 12th Match Game 1957.

1.Rd3! Supporting the passed pawn from behind is the key. If 1.b7? Rb5+. Or 1.Kb3? Rxc5, intending …Rb5+. 1…Ra8 2.Kb3. Preparing Kb4 and Ra3 with decisive penetration. 2…Ra5 1-0. Black is busted after 3.Kb4 Ra8 4.Rb3! intending b7 and Ka5, and if 4…Rb8 then 5.Ra3. One way or another white will get in.


5. Botvinnik – Smyslov, 17th Match Game 1957.

Smyslov used subtle zugzwang and out-flanking motifs to bring home the point in this classic endgame, starting off by winning the h-pawn: 1…Kh5 2.Kf3 Kxh4 3.Ne1 g5 4.fxg5 Kxg5. Now the idea of …f4 with the subsequent weakening of the pawn at d4 hangs in the air. 5.Nc2 Bd6 6.Ne1 Kh4! Here comes the “out-flanking” king. 7.Nc2 Kh3 8.Na1 Kh2 9.Kf2 Bh4+ 10.Kf3 Bh4! 11.Nc2 Kg1. Step by step. 12.Ke2 Kg2 13.Na1 Be7 14.Nc2 Kg3 15.Ne1 Bd8 16.Nc2 Bf6! Zugzwang. 17.a3 Be7 18.b4 a4! 19.Ne1 Bg5 20.Nc2 Bf6 21.Kd3 Kf2 22.Na1 (Or 22.Kxc3 Ke2 23.b5 Bd8!) 22…Bd8 23.Nc2 Bg5 24.b5 Bd8 25.Nb4 Bb6 26.Nc2 Ba5 27.Nb4 Ke1! 0-1. Kasparov says: “Completing the out-flanking maneuver. White resigned in view of 70.Nc2+ (70.Kxc3 Ke2) 70…Kd1 71.Na1 Kc1 72.Nc2 Kb2. A textbook endgame!”


Solution To Tony's Teaser

1. d3!!  Rxa2  2. Bf2  exf2  3. g4#

1. d3!! Rxd3  2. Nb7  Kxe4  3. Nd6#


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