Chess Room Newsletter #980 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #980

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #980

August 7, 2021


Table of Contents

Tuesday Night Marathon Round 4 Report

by Abel Talamantez

Round 4 of the TNM had some exciting games and matchups, with Richard Liu continuing his strong TNM run with a draw against NM Siddharth Arun. Liu was able to force a draw in a rooks and pawns endgame despite being down 3 pawns. Christophe Bambou grinded down a bishop and pawns endgame to defeat Andrew Guo on board 2. Nicholas Weng and Kristian Clemens also got wins in the top section. Arun, Abhi Penagalapati, and Richard Liu lead the section with 3/4. 

In the under 2000 section, Samuel Bownlow continue to lead the section after a victory over Adam Stafford, and Leon Quin got a fine win against an always dangerous Adam Mercado. Daniel Perlov drew with Luiz Uribe and Amitoj Singh won a quick game against Albert Starr to round up the top scorers in the section. Kevin Sun had a bye in the 4th round, so he and Samuel Brownlow are in the lead with 3.4/4. 

In the under 1600 section, Isaac Sterling is the only perfect score left in the tournament after winning against David Nichol. Some strong competition is lurking close behind, including Paul Reed who is only a half point behind. 

As we did last week, Paul and I ventured into North Beach prior to the start of the TNM. Jude Acers emailed me about visiting Cafe Trieste, where he said he saw Francis Ford Coppola work on drafts of the Godfather there many years ago. Paul told me also it used to be a popular chess hangout, so we headed out. 

I had a latte with one sugar and chocolate spinkled on top and Paul had his usual cappuccino. There is plenty of space inside if people ever wanted to head there to play some blitz while enjoying drinks. The inside walls are lined with pictures for people to enjoy its history and it definitely has that classical feel. The outdoor space is great as well. 

We made our way back to Mechanics' Institute to get ready for the start of round 4, but not before stopping by Pizzelle di North Beach for slices of cheese and pepperoni. It was nice to get a quick slice, with parmesean, chili flakes, and oregano as condiments while watching Grand Torino on the TV inside. 

Next week we will again tackle the local cafes and San Francisco street chess hotspots, seeing if we can spread the message of bringing communities together through chess and food and reviving the once great street chess culture of San Francisco through the Mechanics' Institute. 

Here is the link to the broadcast:

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

(1) Liu,Richard (1824) - Arun,Siddharth (2253) [A60]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM 2000+ San Francisco (4.1), 03.08.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.Nxd5 An unusual move. This seems to give away White's opening edge, but has the advantage of avoiding the complex lines of the Modern Benoni. [5.cxd5] 5...Nxd5 6.Qxd5 Nc6 7.Bd2 d6 8.Nf3 Be6 9.Qe4 Be7


Black has a lead in development and has no opening problems. 10.e3 Bf6 11.Qc2 g5!? Siddharth plays aggressively, but White can handle this advance. 12.Bc3! Bxc3+ 13.Qxc3 Kd7!? 14.Rd1 Kc7 15.Bd3 Qe7 16.Be4 Bd7 17.Bd5 Rhg8 18.a3! Remembering that White needs to get play on the queenside where the black king resides. 18...a5 19.h4 g4 20.Nd2 g3 21.f3 Nd4 22.Ne4! Nf5 23.h5 Rge8 24.Rd3 Bc6


25.Kd2! Richard is playing with inspiration and has gottern the edge with better control of the central squares. 25...Bxd5 26.Rxd5 Qe6 27.Re1 b5?! 28.Qf6! A fine counter to Black's aggression. White threatens a lot himself. 28...Ne7 29.Qxe6 [29.Rxd6! Rad8 30.Qxe6 fxe6 31.Rxd8 Rxd8+ 32.Kc3 Is a clear pawn up in the endgame.] 29...fxe6 30.Rxd6 Nf5! 31.Rd3 bxc4 32.Rc3 Nd6 33.Nxd6 Kxd6 34.Rxc4 Rg8 White still has a pawn up double rook ending and all the winning chances. Rook ending are always tricky to win though. 35.Kc3 Rg5 36.Rd1+ Kc6 37.Rh4 Rf8 38.f4 Rg7 39.Rf1 Rd8 40.Rh3 c4 41.h6 Rgd7 42.Rxg3 Rd3+ 43.Kc2?! [43.Kxc4! Rd2 Is a huge advantage for White 44.Kb3] 43...Rd2+ 44.Kc1


44...c3! Now the black rooks controls the second rank with play against the white king. 45.bxc3 Ra2 46.Rgf3 Rdd2


The doubled black rooks on the second rank guarantee Black a draw, desipite the three pawn disadvantage. 47.g4 Kc5 48.e4 Rg2 49.Kb1 Kc4 50.f5 Rgb2+ 51.Kc1 Rc2+ 52.Kb1 Rab2+ 1/2-1/2

(2) Argo,Guy (1928) - Heidari,Ako (1964) [C02]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM 2000+ San Francisco (4.5), 03.08.2021

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.g3?! Rare -- the main three moves are [6.Bd3; 6.Be2; and 6.a3] 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7 8.Bh3 Nf5 9.Bxf5 exf5 It's interesting to trade the bishop for knight and double the pawns, but White needs to watch out for the light-squares now. 10.0-0 h6 11.Nc3 Be6 12.b3 Be7 13.Bb2


13...f4!? 14.gxf4 0-0-0 15.Na4! Qc7 16.Rc1


16...g5! Black also gets attacking chances. 17.fxg5 Bh3 18.Re1 Rdg8 19.Re3 Kb8 20.b4 Qd7


21.e6! Bxg5! 22.Nxg5 [22.exd7? Bxe3+ 23.Kh1 Bg2+ 24.Kg1 Bxf3+ 25.Kf1 Bxd1 wins] 22...Rxg5+ 23.Rg3 Rxg3+?! [23...Qxe6! keeps White's pawns split] 24.hxg3 Qxe6 25.b5 Na5 26.Qe1?! [26.Nc5] 26...Nc4 27.Qxe6 fxe6 28.Bc3 b6


29.Be1?! [29.Bb4=] 29...h5 30.f4? fixing the white pawns on a poor set up 30...Bf5 Black has the chances now. 31.Kh2 Rg8 32.Nc3 Kb7 33.a4 Rg4 34.Nd1 Rg7 35.Nc3 Rg8 36.Na2 Bg6 37.Nb4 Be8?! 38.f5! Bd7 39.fxe6 Bxe6 Now White is fine. 40.Nd3 Bf7 41.Nf4 Re8 42.Bb4 a5 43.bxa6+ Kxa6 44.Re1 Rxe1 45.Bxe1 Nb2 46.Kh3 Nxa4 47.Kh4 Nb2 48.Nxh5 Nd3 49.Bc3 b5 50.Nf4 b4 51.Bd2 Nxf4 52.gxf4? The wrong recapture. 52. Bxf4 should just be a draw 52...Kb5!-+ Black is now winning on the board *and* has almost seven minutes to White's half a minute! 53.Kg5


53...b3?= [53...Kc4 gains a lot of moves and is still winning] 54.Bc3 Kc4 55.Bb2 Now White is safe again in this bishops of opposite color ending. 55...Kd3 56.Kf6 Be8 57.f5 Kc2 58.Ba1 Kb1 59.Bc3 Kc2 60.Ba1 b2? 61.Bxb2 Kxb2 62.Ke6 Kc3 63.Kxd5 Bf7+


64.Ke5? [64.Kc5! Kd3 65.d5 Ke4 66.d6 Be8 67.f6 Kf5 68.f7 Bxf7 69.d7 queens!] 64...Kc4 65.Kf6 Bd5 66.Ke5 Bf7 67.Ke4 Draw agreed. A hard fought and interesting battle! 1/2-1/2

(3) Persidsky,Andre (1828) - Zhou,Chelsea (1879) [D46]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM 2000+ San Francisco (4.6), 03.08.2021

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 c6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0-0 dxc4 8.Bxc4 b5 9.Bd3 a6 10.a4 Bb7 11.axb5 cxb5 12.Qe2 0-0 13.e4


13...Be7 White has an opening edge due to the classic pawn center, but Chelsea is still pretty solid anyway. 14.e5 Nd5 15.Qe4 g6 16.Bh6 Re8 17.Qg4 Nxc3 18.bxc3 Nb6 19.Ng5 Bxg5!? 20.Bxg5 Qd7 21.Bf6 Black has to worry about the dark squares on the kingside. Chelsea proceeds carefuly. 21...Nd5! 22.Qg5 Nxf6 23.exf6 Qd6 24.h4 [24.Qh6 Qf8] 24...Qd5 25.Qg3 e5! Now Black has leveled the game. 26.h5?! e4 27.hxg6 hxg6 28.Bc2 Qc6 29.Bb3 Qxf6 30.Rfe1 Rac8 31.Rac1 Kg7 32.Re3


32...Qxd4! 33.Rd1 [33.cxd4 Rxc1+ 34.Kh2 Rh8+ wins] 33...Qf6 34.Rd6 Qe5? [34...Qf5!] 35.Qxe5+ Rxe5 36.Rd7! The endgame is salvation for White 36...Rb8 37.Rxf7+ Kh6 38.f4 Rf5 39.Rh3+ Rh5 40.Rg3 Rf5 41.Rh3+ Rh5 42.Re3 Rf5 43.Rh3+ 1/2-1/2

(4) Kachakji,Tony - Thibault,William (983) [A36]
July Aug TNM San Francisco (4), 03.08.2021

1.e4 c5 2.c4 An interesting move! This may seem strange but has an excellent plan to transpose to a Botvinnik English with the iron grip on the d5 square. 2...Nc6 3.Nc3 e6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.d3 Nge7 7.Nge2 0-0 8.0-0


It's worth taking a look here. White has a very logical position (and presumeably one of his choosing). One cannot fault Black's play either - every move has been principled. 8...a6 9.Be3 Nd4 10.Rb1 Nec6! Stopping the break 11. b2-b4. 11.b3 We may criticize this as being a bit slow. 11. a3 would be ready to bring action on the queenside with the plan of 12.b4. 11...Re8 12.Qd2 Ne5?! 13.h3? [13.Nxd4 cxd4 14.Bxd4 Nf3+ 15.Bxf3 Bxd4 16.Ne2 Bg7 17.d4] 13...Nxe2+? Missing the royal fork with either knight to f3, winning the white queen! 14.Nxe2 b6 15.f4 Nc6 16.g4 Bd4?! This has a positional point to trade off White's "good" bishop (the one on the opposite color of the white pawns. Still, it is always risky to trade away the fianchettoed bishop that guards your king. 17.Bxd4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 cxd4 19.e5 Ra7 20.Qf2! White wins a pawn with this move. 20...Bb7 21.Bxb7 Rxb7 22.Qxd4 d6! 23.Qe4 [23.exd6 Rd7! gets the pawn back with play on the d-file] 23...d5 [23...Rd7] 24.Qf3 Rd7 25.Rbd1 f5 26.gxf5 exf5 27.Rd2 h5 28.Rg2 Kf7 29.Re1 Re6 30.Rd2 g5? Aggressive but bad. This just gives away a pawn and allows White the attack. 31.Qxh5+ Rg6 32.Qh7+ Rg7 33.Qxf5+ Ke8 34.Rg2 gxf4 35.Qxf4 [35.Qh5+! will win a rook with check] 35...Rxg2+ 36.Kxg2 Rg7+


37.Kf2?? Going from winning to losing in one move. [37.Kh2 Rf7 38.Qg3 is 3 pawns ahead with the safer king. One mistake is all it takes! Now the white queen gets pinned.] 37...Rf7! 38.Qxf7+ Kxf7 39.e6+ Ke7 40.Kf3


40...Qf8+ It may seem White has chances with a rook and three pawns for a queen, but the black queen controls the board with checks. 41.Kg4 Qf2! 42.Re5 d4 43.h4 Qg2+ 44.Kf4 Qh3 45.h5 Qh4+ 46.Kf3 Qf6+ 47.Ke4


47...Kd6! This works perfectly. The dangerous white pawns cannot advance due to the black threats. 48.Rd5+ Kxe6 49.Rxd4 Qe5+ White resigns as he loses the rook on d4. 0-1

(5) Uribe,Luiz (1856) - Perlov,Daniel (1555) [B21]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM u2000 San Francisco (4.8), 03.08.2021

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 d3 Declining the Smith-Morrra Gambit is perfectly reasonable. Many players feel the need to take the pawn on c3, but this is fine. 4.c4 d6 5.Bxd3 Nf6 6.Nc3 g6 7.h3 Bg7 8.Nf3 0-0 9.Be3 Nc6


The diagram shows a common Smith-Morra Declined. White has a Marocy Bind where White has space but Black has good piece placement. 10.Qd2 Nb4 11.Be2 b6 12.a3 Na6 13.Rd1 Bb7 14.Qc2 Qc7?! [14...Nc5] 15.b4! It's lines with b2-b4 (and a2-a3 for support) that give Black the most problems in Maroczy Bind/Hedgehog formations. 15...Rfd8 16.0-0 Rac8 17.Rd2 Qb8 A standard maneuver, tucking the queen away. [Black could first use the square to reposition the knight: 17...Nb8!? But it gets complicated: 18.Nb5 Qd7 19.e5 Ne4 20.Nxa7!?] 18.Qa4?! Nc7 That knight is on a unusual track. 19.Qc2?! [19.Bd3] 19...Qa8 20.Bd3


20...b5! Nice. [20...d5!? is even possible.] 21.c5 [21.cxb5? Nxb5! 22.Bxb5 Nxe4; 21.Re1!?] 21...d5? [21...dxc5 22.bxc5 a6 leaves the c-pawn weak.] 22.exd5 Nfxd5 23.Nxd5 Bxd5 24.Be2 It's pretty level now. 24...a6 [24...a5!?] 25.Rfd1 Bc6 26.Ne1 Ne6 27.Bf3 Now White starts to pull ahead 27...Bxf3 28.Nxf3 Rxd2 29.Rxd2 Rd8 30.Rxd8+ Nxd8 31.Nd4? Queen to the d-file was a working plus. 31...e5? [31...Bxd4 32.Bxd4 Qd5=] 32.Ne2 [32.Nb3!] 32...Qd5 33.a4 e4 34.axb5 axb5 35.Nc3 Qc4 36.Qxe4! "Luft" comes in handy. No bank rank mates to worry about. 36...Qxe4 37.Nxe4 f5 38.Nd6 Bc3 39.Nxb5 Bxb4 40.Na7 Ba5 41.Bf4?! Ne6 42.Bd6?! Kf7? [42...Bb4! shows the White bishop to be on the wrong square and wins the c-pawn] 43.c6 Bc7 44.Nb5 Bxd6 45.Nxd6+ Ke7 46.Nb5 Both players have 3:50 left and they agreed a draw. Unless you know something, you should play on as White with the extra pawn! 1/2-1/2

Here are the current standings:

SwissSys Standings. Jul-Aug 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: 2000+

# Place Name Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 1-3 NM Siddharth Arun 2253 W9 D5 W6 D3   H--- H--- 3.0  
2   Abhi Penagalapati 2078 W11 D4 W14 H---       3.0  
3   Richard Liu 1824 H--- W8 W5 D1   H--- H--- 3.0  
4 4-7 IM Elliott Winslow 2278 W7 D2 H--- H---       2.5  
5   Christophe Bambou 2121 W10 D1 L3 W11       2.5  
6   Nicholas Weng 2013 H--- W12 L1 W10 H---     2.5  
7   Kristian Clemens 1997 L4 W9 D10 W14       2.5  
8 8-14 Ako Heidari 1964 H--- L3 D13 D9       1.5  
9   Guy Argo 1928 L1 L7 B--- D8       1.5  
10   Kayven Riese 1900 L5 B--- D7 L6       1.5  
11   Andrew Guo 1885 L2 H--- W12 L5       1.5  
12   Chelsea Zhou 1879 B--- L6 L11 D13   H---   1.5  
13   Andre Persidsky 1828 H--- L14 D8 D12       1.5  
14   Anthony Acosta 1818 H--- W13 L2 L7       1.5  

SwissSys Standings. Jul-Aug 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: Under2000

# Place Name Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 1-2 Samuel Brownlow 1795 D5 W16 W20 W6       3.5  
2   Kevin Sun 1517 W25 W10 W4 H---       3.5  
3 3-6 Amitoj Singh 1819 W17 L4 W11 W13       3.0  
4   Leon Quin 1611 W23 W3 L2 W15       3.0  
5   Daniel Perlov 1555 D1 W12 W18 D7 H--- H---   3.0  
6   Adam Stafford 1473 W26 W15 W13 L1       3.0  
7 7-9 Luiz Uribe 1856 L13 W19 W10 D5       2.5  
8   Ted Porlares 1789 D19 H--- H--- W18       2.5  
9   Max Hao 1761 H--- H--- H--- W19       2.5  
10 10-14 Marty Cortinas 1720 W14 L2 L7 W20       2.0  
11   Frederick Hope 1646 W21 F13 L3 W23       2.0  
12   David Rakonitz 1622 H--- L5 W21 H---       2.0  
13   Albert Starr 1609 W7 X11 L6 L3       2.0  
14   Anvi Penagalapati 1485 L10 D24 W16 H---       2.0  
15 15-21 Adam Mercado 1879 D16 L6 W23 L4       1.5  
16   Joel Carron 1610 D15 L1 L14 B---       1.5  
17   Nick Casares Jr 1600 L3 H--- H--- H---       1.5  
18   Nikhil Pimpalkhare 1577 W22 H--- L5 L8     H--- 1.5  
19   Stephen Parsons 1532 D8 L7 W24 L9       1.5  
20   Nursultan\ Uzakbaev 1513 W24 H--- L1 L10       1.5  
21   Jerry Morgan 1483 L11 H--- L12 X24       1.5  
22 22-23 James Mahooti 1800 L18 H--- H--- U---       1.0  
23   Aaron Craig 1408 L4 B--- L15 L11       1.0  
24 24 Gregory Rousso 1745 L20 D14 L19 F21       0.5  
25 25-26 Glenn Kaplan 1776 L2 U--- U--- U---       0.0  
26   Jim Cohee 1612 L6 U--- U--- U---       0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Jul-Aug 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: u/1600

# Place Name Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 1 Isaac Sterling 1236 X--- W11 W4 W7       4.0  
2 2 Paul Reed 1322 W18 H--- W12 W8       3.5  
3 3-7 Dominic Zirbel 1481 W6 W15 L7 W16       3.0  
4   Sebastian Suarez 1433 W21 W14 L1 W17       3.0  
5   Claudio Bastiani-Fonck 1377 W31 D25 W15 H---       3.0  
6   Romeo Nehme 795 L3 W18 W27 W14     H--- 3.0  
7   David Nichol 435 B--- W27 W3 L1       3.0  
8 8-11 Valerie Jade 1490 W16 H--- X25 L2       2.5  
9   Andrew Imbens 1296 H--- H--- D21 W23 H---     2.5  
10   William Thibault 1050 L25 D31 B--- W24       2.5  
11   Iven Yarovoy unr. W28 L1 H--- X22       2.5  
12 12-19 Samuel Agdamag 1586 L14 W23 L2 W21       2.0  
13   Charles James 1368 W24 H--- H--- U---       2.0  
14   Tobiah Rex 1013 W12 L4 X--- L6       2.0  
15   Andrew Ballantyne 948 W20 L3 L5 X---       2.0  
16   Andrejs Gulbis 826 L8 W26 B--- L3       2.0  
17   Pratyush Hule 825 H--- H--- W19 L4       2.0  
18   Trent Hancock unr. L2 L6 B--- W27       2.0  
19   Ian Atroshchenko unr. D30 H--- L17 W29       2.0  
20 20-26 Richard Hack 1569 L15 L21 H--- W31       1.5  
21   Thomas Gu 660 L4 W20 D9 L12       1.5  
22   Yuri Meseznik unr. H--- H--- H--- F11       1.5  
23   Thomas Dobbs unr. H--- L12 W31 L9       1.5  
24   Tony Kachakji unr. L13 W28 H--- L10       1.5  
25   Ambrogino Giusti unr. W10 D5 F8 U---       1.5  
26   Jabez Wesly unr. L27 L16 W28 H--- H---     1.5  
27 27-29 David Olson 1400 W26 L7 L6 L18       1.0  
28   Richard Ahrens 1228 L11 L24 L26 B---       1.0  
29   Elias Colfax-Lamoureux unr. H--- H--- U--- L19       1.0  
30 30-31 Peter Borah 1232 D19 U--- U--- U---       0.5  
31   Tyler Johnson unr. L5 D10 L23 L20       0.5  

SwissSys Standings. Jul-Aug 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: Extra Games - JulyAugTNM

# Place Name Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Total Prize
1 1-2 Alex Chin 1811 U--- U--- W12 W14 2.0  
2   Abel Talamantez 1800 U--- L5 W18 W15 2.0  
3 3-9 Kayven Riese 1900 U--- W4 U--- U--- 1.0  
4   Juan Cendejas 1718 W13 L3 U--- U--- 1.0  
5   Albert Starr 1609 U--- W2 U--- U--- 1.0  
6   Andrew Ballantyne 1467 U--- U--- U--- W17 1.0  
7   Andrejs Gulbis 826 U--- U--- W20 U--- 1.0  
8   David Nichol 435 W19 U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
9   Kevin Nguyen unr. U--- W16 U--- U--- 1.0  
10 10-11 William Thibault 1050 U--- U--- D11 U--- 0.5  
11   Tobias Rex 1013 U--- U--- D10 U--- 0.5  
12 12-20 Guy Argo 1928 U--- U--- L1 U--- 0.0  
13   Chelsea Zhou 1866 L4 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
14   Joel Carron 1676 U--- U--- U--- L1 0.0  
15   Richard Ahrens 1210 U--- U--- U--- L2 0.0  
16   Pratyush Hule 825 U--- L9 U--- U--- 0.0  
17   Iven Yarovoy unr. U--- U--- U--- L6 0.0  
18   Tony Kachakji unr. U--- U--- L2 U--- 0.0  
19   Benjamin Grant unr. L8 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
20   Yuri Meseznik unr. U--- U--- L7 U--- 0.0  


Thursday Night Marathon Report

by Abel Talamantez

The Thursday Night Marathon was broadcast live from the US Open, and it was a fun evening which included special guests WIM Dr. Alexey Root, Joshua Anserson from the Chess Journalists of America, and NM Evan Rabin from Premier Chess, all of which joined me live on the broadcast. GM Gadir Guseinov showed his dominance again with a positionally masterful performance against IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla. NM Michael Walder was able to hold Guseinov to a draw, and both Guseinov and Walder lead the tournament with 3.5/4 with 4 more rounds of play remaining.

Click here to watch the broadcast:

SwissSys Standings. July-August Thurdsay Night Marathon Online: 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 2635 W11 W5 D2 W3         3.5  
2 NM Michael Walder FlightsOfFancy 10345120 2171 W28 W17 D1 W8         3.5  
3 IM Bala Chandra Prasad Dhulipalla Swarnapuri 30100858 2513 W24 W15 W4 L1         3.0  
4 Cailen Melville Mangonel 14006141 1940 W29 W30 L3 W10         3.0  
5 Aaron Nicoski KingSmasher35 12797931 1789 W20 L1 W30 W16         3.0  
6 Sanjeev Anand chessp1234 14436451 1753 L14 W29 W19 W21         3.0  
7 Robert Smith maturner 12463327 1853 L30 X21 D12 W22         2.5  
8 Nikunj Oza Motif 12497585 1851 W25 D14 W22 L2         2.5  
9 Kevin M Fong chessappeals 17254586 1783 H--- H--- W28 D11         2.5  
10 Jeff Andersen zenwabi 11296106 1643 H--- W31 W14 L4         2.5  
11 Akshaj Pulijala Loltheawesomedude 16497860 1531 L1 W25 W18 D9         2.5  
12 Kevin Sun kevin_mx_sun 16898540 1521 H--- H--- D7 W27     U--- U--- 2.5  
13 Michael Xiao swimgrass 16380636 1363 D31 W26 H--- H---         2.5  
14 Katherine Sunny Lu 2Nf31-0 16425316 1152 W6 D8 L10 W26         2.5  
15 Rithwik Narendra rukja 14903560 1849 W19 L3 H--- H---         2.0  
16 Ricnesh Ravind Fi_Ricnesh 30181578 1651 H--- H--- W20 L5         2.0  
17 Bryan Hood fiddleleaf 12839763 1584 W32 L2 H--- H---         2.0  
18 Aaron D Craig aaroncraig602 12872385 1408 H--- H--- L11 W30         2.0  
19 Sarvagnya Brahmanapally bsarvagnya 16466227 1287 L15 W24 L6 W29         2.0  
20 Austin Jin austinjin666xd 17144712 1153 L5 B--- L16 W28         2.0  
21 Tobiah Rex tobiahsrex 30164211 1013 H--- H--- W23 L6         2.0  
22 Cleveland W Lee vincitore51745 12814843 569 X10 W23 L8 L7         2.0  
23 Christopher Nelson LudiMagisterJosephus 13742111 1700 D26 L22 L21 W31         1.5  
24 Marina Xiao programmingmax 16380642 1554 L3 L19 D25 W32         1.5  
25 Andy Xu vivianandy 16732301 1312 L8 L11 D24 B---         1.5  
26 Bruce Hedman Bruce_Hedman 17344551 1055 D23 L13 W31 L14         1.5  
27 Zerui Titus Mei thankfuifortune 16959455 984 H--- H--- H--- L12         1.5  
28 Paul Krezanoski pjkrizzle 16897133 1360 L2 W32 L9 L20         1.0  
29 Gabriel Ngam boozerrip 13553308 1350 L4 L6 W32 L19         1.0  
30 Ivan Zong ivanzong 30131397 1335 W7 L4 L5 L18         1.0  
31 Jonathan Rice ricejonathanc 30205348 unr. D13 L10 L26 L23 H--- H---     0.5  
32 Jimolee Gray jgray43 30172836 unr. L17 L28 L29 L24         0.0  


Northern California Making Waves! 2021 US Open Report Part 1

by Abel Talamantez

We have always known Northern California is talent rich when it comes to its players, and it was demonstrated in full force this week. Henry Deng won the Rockeller Tournament of Elementary Champions on tiebreaks, FM Vyom Vidyarthi won the Barber Tournament of Middle School Champions, NM Ruiyang Yan won the Haring Tournament of Girls Champions, and NM Milind Maiti placed 13th in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions with a score of 4/6 in a field that included GM Awonder Liang. IM Elliott Winslow placed 11th in the Irwin Tournament of Senior Champions with a score of 3.5/6. All together, their scores combined for 23/30 possible, the most of any state delegation. Congratualtions to all the players!

Incidentally, I arrived at the hotel late Wednesday evening in New Jersey as go to the elevator to head to my room, and I ran into Henry Deng and his dad. I congratulated him on his championship, after directing an event where he beat IM Josiah Stearman just a week before. This kid has some talent!

Henry Deng (left) and Ruiyang Yan (right) are among the new crop of national champions after winning their respective champion of champions events at the US Open in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

It is fun to come to the US Open literally on the other side of the country and still run into Mechanics' Institute players from the Bay Area. Here are some pictures of some local talent at Mechanics' east in Cherry Hill.

Ethan and Ella Guo (left) made the trip to Cherry Hill to play the main event, as did Omya and Vyom Vidyarthi. Vyom won the Barber Tournament of Middle School Champions and Omya finished tied for 3rd at the 2021 US Women's Open.

IM Elliott Winslow performed well in the Irwin Senior Champions event, and GM Timur Gareyev pitches in to keep the venue clean

Inside the main playing hall at the 2021 US Open

You can see full U.S. Open results here:

WIM Dr. Alexey Root

WIM Dr. Alexey Root has a newly released article on Chessbase online regarding the Northern California victory over Texas in the tournament of state champions at the US Open. Get her take on what had to be a difficult article to ride from the University of Texas at Dallas Instructor by following this link:

I want to thank Alexey for being my partner on the Thursday Twitch broadcast live from the US Open!

TD Corner: Draw Offers

by Abel Talamantez

We had previously written that we expected some OTB rules to be forgotten, or at least players would need a refresher in certain instances since it had been so long since we had over the board play. Here is one example, and it happened in two different live OTB events less than a week apart at the Mechanics' Institute. How do you offer a draw according to USCF rules?

How you offer a draw is regulated, here is the rule:

14B1. Proper timing of draw offer. Except for a draw claim, which is an implicit draw offer (14), a player should make a proposal of a draw only after determining a move (9G) and before pressing the clock. The opponent may accept the proposal or may reject it either orally or by deliberately touching a piece (10B). In the interim, the player who made the offer cannot withdraw it. See also 9G3, Draw offers. 

What happened in both games in question is that the player offering the draw did so on their own time, but before making a move on the board. In one case, the offer was made by a player in an inferior position while the opponent had seconds on the clock. The player then made a move on the board, but then the player had a brief second of confusion as he was processing whether the offer was valid. While this happened, he ran out of time and lost the game. The player who ran out of time does bear some responsibility, but clearly what happened was not the correct way it should have happened. In both cases, there did not seem to be any ill intent. According to the rule however, the offer is binding regardless of the circumstances. I reminded players before the start of the TNM round that if there is an apparent rule violation or question about the rules, players may pause the clock to find an arbiter. In any moment of doubt, please immediately call on an arbiter to assist. And yes, there are penalties that can be levied to players who pause the clock under the guise of finding an arbiter with a question that was not necessary. 

So if you want to offer a draw, offer it BEFORE you press the clock on your own time, then make the move on the board, and then hit the clock. 

I urge players to familiarize themselves with the USCF Rulebook HERE.


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

Mechanics' Institute Events Schedule

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

Mechanics' Institute Thursday Night Marathon Online: July 29-August 19, 6:30PM PT. 8SS G/35+5:

Mechanics' Institute August Quads: August 14, 3PM PT. 3 Games G/30;d5:

20th Bernardo Smith Memorial Championship: FIDE Rated. August 21-22, 9AM PT. 5SS G/120;d5:

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 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]

Paul's column will return next week

GM Nick de Firmian's Column

World Cup

The FIDE World Cup has reached its final match as all the players have lost except two. The actual first place finish is not so important – the great prize were the two spots in the next Candidate’s Tournament. Those go to Poland’s Jan-Krzystof Duda and the Russian Sergey Karjakin, who are now facing off in the finals. Duda’s path in getting to the final was not likely, as he had to win in the semi-final match against non-other than World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Magnus had easily dealt with his opponents in the first 6 knock-out rounds and was certainly the betting favorite. Duda managed to hold two draws in the classical chess games, then struck with the black pieces in rapid chess to down the champ. We show below this important encounter which will tremendously boost the career of the talented young man from Poland.

Karjakin had a much more straightforward time in the semi-finals, due to a powerful performance with the White pieces in the classical chess game. Indeed, one could say that Karjakin had a very smooth journey to the finals and the precious Candidate’s spot if not for the epic battle he had with Sam Shankland. Sam won the first game of the classical time control, forcing Karjakin to come back with a win of his own to make it to the rapid time control. Sam again won the first of the two rapid games, but Karjakin was lucky to come back and take the second rapid and move on to blitz. Sam finally went down in the blitz, so we must credit Karjakin for his cool nerves and fighting spirit. Sam showed though that he can play level with the best in the world and we hope that he will be encouraged to continue his quest to bring glory to chess in the Bay Area...

(1) Carlsen,Magnus - Duda,Jan-Krzysztof [B52]
World Cup, 03.08.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0-0 Nf6 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.c3 This is common for Magnus. He chooses a slightly off-beat opening to get his opponent into a position where he/she has to think for themself. 7...e6 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 d5! 10.e5 Ne4 This French Defense type of position should be positionally fine for Black with the light-squared bishops traded off. 11.Nbd2 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 Bb4

looking for simplification. Duda would certainly be happy to make a quick draw with the black pieces against his illustrious opponent. 13.Bf4 Magnus keeps it complicated. 13...0-0 14.Qd3 Be7 15.a3 Rac8 16.g3?! Magnus wants to advance on the kingside (with h4, etc) yet he puts his pawns on the same color of his bishop. 16...Na5 17.b3 Qc6 18.Bd2 Qb6 19.Rfb1 a6 20.Kg2 Nc6 21.Re1 Qb5! Duda offers the endgame, which is usually nice for Black in a French Defense. Magnus contiues to play for a win and starts to get in trouble. 22.Qb1 Rc7 23.h4 Rfc8 24.Ra2 a5 25.Rh1 a4 26.b4? Now the light-squares on the queenside become weak. Magnus is still thinking to keep the queenside blocked and attack on the kingside, but the attack is hard to do with the white queen and rook on queenside defensive squares. 26...h6 27.Be3 Na7!
The black forces are all ready to infiltrate on the queenside. White also has a color complex problem with a bad bishop and weak light-squares. It's a very ususual site to see the champ with such positional troubles. 28.Bd2 Qe2 29.Re1 Qc4 30.Re3 Nb5 31.Rd3 Rc6 32.Rb2 Bd8 33.g4 Bb6 34.Be3 Nc3 35.Qf1 Qb5 36.Rc2 Ne4 37.Rxc6 Rxc6 38.Rd1 Rc4 39.Nd2 Nxd2 40.Rxd2 Qc6 41.Qe2 Rc3 42.Ra2 Bd8 43.g5 hxg5 44.hxg5 Qc4 45.Qxc4 dxc4 This is a position that no one can defend well. There are too many problems for White. Magnus decides to at least go down fighting. 46.d5!? exd5 47.Rd2 Rd3 48.Rxd3 cxd3 49.f4
Black has a big edge in the bishop ending, but one slip could ruin it all. 49...Kf8? [49...Kh7! 50.f5 g6! 51.f6 Bc7 should take the point. White gets a chance.] 50.Kf3 Ke7 51.Bc5+ Ke6 52.Ke3 Kf5 53.Kxd3! g6 [53...Kxf4 54.g6! fxg6 55.e6] 54.Be3 Bc7 55.b5?! letting the black bishop get a route to the a3 pawn 55...Bd8 56.Kd4 Bb6+ 57.Kd3 Bd8 58.Kd4 Be7 59.Bc1 Ke6 60.Bb2 Bd8 61.Kc5 Ba5 62.Bc1? [62.Bd4!] 62...Bc3! 63.b6 [63.Kb6 d4 64.Kxb7 d3 65.Ka6 d2 66.Bxd2 Bxd2 67.b6 Bxf4 68.b7 Bxe5 is just in time] 63...d4 64.Kc4 Kd7 65.Be3! Bb2! 66.Bxd4 Bxa3 67.Be3 Bb2 68.Kb4 a3 69.Kb3 Ke6 70.Ka2 Kd5 71.Kb3 Ke4 72.Bd2 Bd4 73.Kxa3 Bxb6 74.Kb4 Bf2
Pawns are even but White resigned. The white kingside pawns all go down. This is the greatest win of Duda's career and sends him into the next Candidate's Tournament. 0-1

(2) Karjakin,Sergey - Fedoseev,Vladimir [C93]
World Cup, 03.08.2021

Karjakin is of course familiar to the readers as the challenger for the World Championship in 2016. Fedoseev is not so well known and was the clear underdog in this match. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2

A classic Ruy Lopez. Many modern grandmasters have switched to the Italian Game (3. Bc4) but Karjakin has done extremely well throughout his career with the Ruy. 11...Bf8 12.a3 h6 13.Bc2 d5?! Fedoseev is eager to break and clarify the position, but White gains an edge after this. 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Rxe5 16.Nf3 Re8 17.e5 Ne4 18.Bf4 c5 19.a4! Keeping the pressure up over the entire board. Play will range over the queenside, center and kingside and offers rich possibilities. 19...f5 20.h4!? [20.Nd2! Stockfish] 20...Be7 21.h5 Rf8 22.axb5 axb5 23.Rxa8 Bxa8 24.e6! Time to open lines for the white pieces to move forward. 24...Re8?! [24...Bd6!] 25.Ne5 Bg5 26.Ng6 d4 27.cxd4 Nxf2!? 28.Kxf2 Bxf4 29.Nxf4 Qh4+

The position looks very complicated as White must lose the knight back. Karjakin shows he has everything under control. 30.Kg1 Qxf4 31.d5! Qg3 32.Re2 guarding the g2 pawn allows the terrible white center pawns to advance. Material is even yet Black has no salvation. 32...Qg5 [32...Qd6 33.Bxf5 Qxd5 34.Qxd5 Bxd5 35.e7 wins the exchange at least with an easy endgame win] 33.Qd2 Simple and powerful. In either the endgame or middle game the white center pawns will win a piece. Black resigned. 1-0


Solution To Tony's Teaser

1. Rg1!!  b4  2. Bg2  (whatever black's move, discovered mate next move Bf3. If Bh3, Bxh3#)


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