Chess Room Newsletter #981 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #981

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #981

August 14, 2021


Table of Contents

Tuesday Night Marathon Round 5 Report

by Abel Talamantez

The Tuesday Night Marathon got off to a great start from the early morning on Tuesday. I noticed leaving the parking garage and walking towards Market Street that my favorite cafe had just reopened after nearly a year and a half: Mazarene at 720 Market Street. Previously I would peer at the cafe from a distance on my way to Mechanics' Institute, and it would always be dark, though the signs and equipment inside remained there, so there was always hope. 

I usually get a latte, which they make to near perfection with a light sprinkle of sugar on top. My favorite breakfast of theirs is the avocado, bacon and egg toast, with pesto spread. The combination is a great treat to start a long day.

Now to the chess action. NM Siddharth Arun got a big win against a player that has been on fire lately, defeating Abhi Penagalapati. Richard Liu continues his fine TNM performance, holding IM Elliott Winslow to a draw. Christophe Bambou also is still in contention with a win over Kristian Clemens, potentiall setting up a big 6th round match next week between he and Arun for the top spot. Arun leads the section with 4/5, with Bambou and Liu right behind at 3,5/5. 

View from inside the chess room during round 5 of the TNM. Christophe Bambou is shown playing white against Kristian Clemens 

In the under 2000 section, Leon Quin and Luiz Uribe battled it out in a very tense game that went late into the evening. Just as it appeared Uribe was breaking through, winning material and gaining an advantage, Uribe blundered with under a minute left on his clock, getting his king and queen forked, and turning the tide of the game in Quin's favor. He certainly deserved better, such is the case when time pressure enters the mix. Kevin Sun remains on top of the section however, trapping the queen of Samuel Brownlow and getting the win. Kevin is in sole 1st place with 4.5/5, with Leon Quin and Adam Stafford right behind at 4/5. 

FM Paul Whitehead having a little fun at the start if the round, as some players watch the screen of the 10 DGT board broadcast. Luiz Uribe and Leon Quin did battle in an epic game on board 9

In the under 1600 section, Isaac Sterling is running away from the field after another win against Paul Reed. He is a full point ahead of the field at 5/5, with Sebby Suarez, David Nichol, and Claudio Bastiani-Fonck right behind at 4/5. 

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

(1) Penagalapati,Abhi (2078) - Arun,Siddharth (2253) [D00]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM 2000+ San Francisco (5.1), 10.08.2021
[de Firmian]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 An old move, firmly sidelining the c-pawn for the moment, is on the resurge, especially in the London System where it is the Jobava Variation. 2...d5 Black squarely stops e2-e4, well... 3.Bf4 The Jobava. [3.e4 The even older Staunton Gambit, thought to be suspect these days.; 3.Bg5 is the less ancient Veresov System, still unrefuted (and why would it be?)] 3...a6!?


Black appears to just say no to the Nc3-b5 nonsense, but there's more to it than that. (And not just that Carlsen has played it!) [3...c5 4.e3 a6 5.Nf3 e6 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Bd3 b5 was Niemann-Le below] 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 [Carlsen has sent 5.g4!? Black's way in a few games, but the real champion has been Alekseenko.] 5...b5!? Only seen a handful of times, but White is curiously badly placed to do anything about this brash advance -- and it scores well! [In fact 5...Nbd7!? scores even better, close to 3 to 1 for Black, but that is harder to explain!] 6.Bd3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Ne5 Bb7


9.Rg1?? A hard move to stomach -- at least White recognizes that typical play won't cut it. But where is White to place his king now? [9.0-0 Nbd7 10.Qf3 Rc8 Black was already squarely better, and 11.Nxd7 Qxd7 12.Qg3 Nh5 13.Qg4 Nxf4 14.exf4-+ hasn't helped: 0-1 (69), Niemann,H (2459) - Le, Q (2709) INT 2020 (just before Hans' six-month dash from 2500 to 2600!)] 9...d4! On principle -- White turns out to be in big trouble. 10.exd4 Bxd4?! [10...Qxd4! is winning, if you believe the latest Stockfish (14). 11.Bg3 Nc6 keeps moving forward. There's even a bit of tactics: 12.Qe2? Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Qxf2+! 14.Qxf2 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ng4+ is a healthy pawn.] 11.Qd2 b4 12.Ne2 [12.Nd1 lets Black cover things and get castled, after 12...Qe7 13.Nc4 Bc5=/+ but isn't crushed.] 12...Bxb2 13.Rd1 [13.Rb1 Bxe5 14.Bxe5 Nc6 15.Ba1 0-0-+ when even the nice dark squared bishop comes nowhere near to compensating for White's having both rooks on knight one.] 13...Nd5! 14.Nc4 Bc3 15.Nxc3 [15.Nd6+!? Qxd6! 16.Bxd6 Bxd2+ 17.Kxd2 Nc6 with a clear advantage. The queens off partially relax White.] 15...bxc3 16.Qc1


16...Qe7? A horrible move! [16...0-0-+ shows White how it's done (castling that is) and leaves White with all his problems and no compensation at all.] 17.Nd6+? [17.Bd6+- stops castling for good without even permitting a "by-hand" version (unless Black wants to try something with ...f6) 17...Qh4 could be distracting, but 18.g3! Qxh2 19.Rf1 intends Be4 and bad things are happening. Stockfish 14: +5!] 17...Kf8= Black's king slips away, he doesn't mind the trades of minor pieces, White might regain his pawn but meanwhile Black gets developed. 18.Nxb7?! Qxb7 19.Qa3+ Kg8 20.Be4 Nc6 21.Bxd5 exd5 22.Qxc3 Re8+ 23.Kd2 Qb6


[23...h6=/+; or even 23...h5!?=/+ -- if the bishop backs to g3 there will be ...Rh6 *and* ...h4] 24.Bg3?! [24.Kc1! is a sneakier defense: 24...Qxf2? 25.Rgf1 Qb6 26.Rfe1! Rxe1 27.Qxe1! h6 28.Qe8+ Kh7 29.Qxf7+/- and Black is kept busy defending d-pawn and king.] 24...d4 [24...Rc8!] 25.Qb3?


[25.Qa3 is a much safer square.] 25...Qc5?! [25...Qa5+ 26.Kc1 h5 27.Bf4 h4!-+ 28.Qc4 Nb4 and whose king is safer now?] 26.Kc1?!-+ [26.Rge1 Rc8 27.Ke2!=/+ surprises Black by heading the other way.] 26...h6 [26...h5!] 27.Rge1 Kh7-/+ [27...Rc8!?] 28.Rxe8 [28.Qd3+ g6 29.a3-/+] 28...Rxe8 29.a3 Rc8?


[29...Kg8!-+] 30.Rd2? Short on time, Abhi walks into a simple tactic. [30.Qd3+ Kg8 31.Re1-/+ tries to hold on.] 30...Na5 31.Qb4? [31.Qd3+ g6 32.Re2 Qd5-+ aims at a2 and g2.] 31...Qxb4 32.axb4 Nb3+ An assortment of ups and downs, but in all a fascinating 21st Century battle. 0-1

(2) Winslow,Elliott (2278) - Liu,Richard (1824) [D53]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM 2000+ San Francisco (5.2), 10.08.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Qc2 h6 8.Bf4 Nh5 9.Be5


Now Black caves positionally. 9...dxc4?! 10.Bxc4 Nb6? 11.Bb3+- The new Stockfish 14 puts this on the low end of "winning". [As is 11.Be2!?] 11...Nf6 12.0-0 0-0 13.Rfd1 Nfd7?!


14.Ne4? [Just (sorry Sam) 14.Bg3! leaves Black horribly jammed up. Perhaps the sequence 14...c5? 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Ne4 Be7 17.Bc7! Qe8 18.Nd6 , which wins the Exchange, wasn't noticed; coupled with crushing lead in development, SF14 makes it almost +7.] 14...Nxe5 15.Nxe5? [White should have completely forgotten about everything else and locked up d6 and the d-file: 15.dxe5] 15...Qc7 16.Rac1 Rd8 17.a3 Stockfish prefers to throw a pawn at Black's king: [17.f4; or 17.g4] 17...Nd5 18.Ba2 a5?! 19.Bb1 Well, this is rather annoying actually. 19...f5 20.Nd2 Bf6 21.Ndf3


21...Bd7 [Was it time to burn every bridge and launch with 21...g5!?] 22.g4?! Fun, but long-term kingside problems will come back to haunt White (even if they're just ghosts!). [22.e4 (the better break) 22...Ne7 23.Ba2 Kh7 24.Nd3 is best (SF14) and a bit of a joke, since forking knights goes nowhere: 24...fxe4 25.Nc5] 22...Ne7 23.h4 Bxe5 24.Nxe5 Be8 25.Ba2 Nd5 26.gxf5 Qe7 27.Qe4 Chess Bomb (where the DGT-board games can be seen, along with engine analysis, Stockfish 11 on a leash) thought this was a mistake, but version 14 sees through that. 27...Bh5


28.f3?! But this weakens e3 and gets precarious. [28.Rd3 would be better, and best; were it not for 28.fxe6! Bxd1 29.Rxd1 Re8 (29...Rd6 30.Qg4 Rf8 (30...Qxe6? 31.Qg2 änd 32.e4 "no matter what.") 31.e4 Nf4 32.h5 and it will be a flood of pawns in the center shortly.) 30.Qg4 Qxe6? 31.Qg2] 28...Kh8 [28...exf5 would have been normal when 29.Qxf5 Qxh4 30.Rd2 Rf8 31.Qe4 Qf6 32.Rg2! Bxf3 33.Nxf3 Qxf3 34.Qxf3 Rxf3 35.e4 will be good enough.; 28...Rf8!? is a bit more sophisticated, but White has an equally fancy retort: 29.fxe6 Qxe6 30.Nxc6! Qxe4 31.fxe4 Bxd1 32.exd5 and White's pawns overrun Black in the center again.] 29.fxe6 White ate up his time advantage and then some to at least still be winning. 29...Qxe6 30.Bb1 [30.Kh2! and Rg1 should put an end to Black's hopes.] 30...g6 31.Kf2 Rf8?! This doesn't really hold 32.Rg1 [32.Nxg6+ Qxg6 33.Qe5+ Qf6 34.Qxh5 Qe6 35.Qe5+] 32...Rf6


[32...Rae8 33.Nxg6+ Bxg6 34.Qxe6 Rxe6 35.Rxg6 is the game via a different route of the Black rook] 33.Rg3? [33.Nxg6+ is curtains: 33...Rxg6 34.Rxg6 Qxg6 35.Qxg6 Bxg6 36.Bxg6 takes all the fun out of the ending.] 33...Raf8 34.Nxg6+ Better late than never, but White was shaking his head that he hadn't played it on either of the previous moves! 34...Bxg6 35.Qxe6 Rxe6 36.Rxg6 Rxe3 37.Rxh6+ Kg8 [37...Kg7 38.Rh7+ Kf6 39.Rxb7 Ke6? 40.Rxc6#] 38.Rg1+ Kf7 39.Re1? Seeing Black's next move -- the moment he let go of the rook.


[39.Rh7+ Ke8 (39...Ke6 40.Rg6+ Rf6 41.Rxf6+ Kxf6 42.Rxb7 White is up a boring three pawns) 40.Bg6+ Kd8 41.Rf7 (White missed this curious defense of f3) 41...Rxf7 42.Bxf7 with a won ending: 42...Rb3 43.Bxd5 Rxb2+ 44.Kg3 cxd5 45.Re1! cuts off the king, queens the h-pawn. (45.h5 is good enough) ] 39...Rxf3+ 40.Kxf3 Kg7+ 41.Kg4 Kxh6 42.Re6+ White is still winning, but it's no longer easy at all. 42...Kg7 43.Rd6?? [43.Rg6+ Kh8 (43...Kf7 44.Rg5 (44.Kg5 Re8 45.Rh6) 44...Nf6+ 45.Kf5 Ne8 -- no, White wins.) ] 43...Rf4+?? [43...Rf1! is very annoying for White's ambitions! 44.Bd3 (or 44.Rd7+ are both some tiny edge, but not enough to speak of.) ] 44.Kg5 Rf1 45.Rd7+ Kf8


46.Be4 [46.Bg6] 46...Rg1+ Did Black miss something!? [46...Nf6!? It turns out no: 47.Bd3 (47.Bg2 Rf2 48.Rxb7 Nh7+ 49.Rxh7 Rxg2+ 50.Kf6 Rf2+ 51.Ke6 Rxb2 is lost) 47...Nxd7 48.Bxf1 when Black's king has to deal with the h-pawn, so White's heads to the queenside for the win.] 47.Kf5 Ne3+


48.Ke6? [48.Kf4 Nc4 and all White's moves win: 49.h5 (49.Rxb7; 49.b3 Nxa3 50.h5 "Wrong rook-pawn/bishop" means nothing here.) ] 48...Rg4 Black correctly eliminates the rook pawn, when White's winning chances drop. 49.Bh7?! [49.Bb1 Rxh4 50.Rxb7 Rxd4 and who knows, rook and bishop vs. rook?] 49...Rxh4 50.Rf7+?! [50.Bg6 is still something to play with.] 50...Ke8 51.Bg6 [51.Rxb7 Rh6+ 52.Ke5 Nc4+=] 51...Rh6 [51...Kd8] 52.Kf6 Kd8 53.Rxb7 Nd5+ [53...Rh4; 53...Nc4 54.d5 cxd5 55.Rb5 Kc7] 54.Kg5 Rh2 55.Be4 Kc8 56.Ra7 Rxb2 57.Rxa5 Rb3 58.Bxd5 cxd5 59.Kf4 Kc7 White makes a few moves (after Black offered a draw -- bad etiquette the books say) -- but maybe shouldn't have assumed Black knows the Philidor Defense... 60.Ke5 Kb6 61.Ra8 Kc6 62.Rc8+ Kd7 63.Ra8 Kc6 64.Ra6+ Kb7 65.Ra5 Kb6 66.Rc5 Rxa3 67.Kxd5 Rh3 68.Rc6+ Kb7 69.Rc2 Rh5+ 70.Ke6 Rh6+ 71.Kf5 Rh5+ 72.Kg4 Rd5 73.Rc4 Kb6 1/2-1/2 1/2-1/2

(3) Porlares,Ted (1789) - Hao,Max (1761) [E14]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM u2000 San Francisco (5.11), 10.08.2021
[de Firmian]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 On the surface passive, but some strong players are resorting to it for less charted waters. 4...Be7 5.Bd3 0-0 6.Nc3 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 and it's become a Queen's Indian, with White's deployment a favorite of legendary Estonian Paul Keres. 8.Ne5 White jumps to establish a Pillsbury attacking formation. [8.b3 would be more circumspect, developing first.; And there's 8.cxd5 exd5 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 Re8 11.Rc1 c6 12.e4 dxe4 13.Nxe4 Rc8 14.Re1 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Nf6 16.Bf5 1-0 (33) Nihal,S (2620) -Sarana,A (2654) INT 2020] 8...Nbd7 9.f4 Ne4 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Bc4 This has all been seen over the ages. 12...Nf6


13.g4?! Probably too much. Various moves have been played here [Previously seen the other knight pawn: 13.b4N Bd5 14.Qb3 Bxc4 15.Qxc4 Qd5 16.Bd2 Bd6 17.Qxd5 Nxd5 18.Nc6 f5 1/2-1/2 (32) Sadilek,M (2194)-Matt,F (2277) Vienna 2017; 13.Bd2 has been most popular, with a slight advantage for White.] 13...c5? [13...Nd5 14.g5 f6!-/+ shows up the deficiency to White's "attack."] 14.g5?! [14.dxc5! Bxc5 15.b4! leaves the game up in the air, but White is doing okay.] 14...Nd5 15.h4? cxd4 16.exd4


16...f6!-+ And again: White is in trouble. 17.Ng4 Rc8 18.Qb3 Kh8 19.Ne3 Nxe3? [19...Nb4! White's kingside (and d4!) are exposed for rickety.] 20.Bxe3 fxg5 21.hxg5= White has consolidated; there are no shots now. 21...h6?! Selfmate!? 22.gxh6?!


22...gxh6 [22...g5!? 23.Be6 gxf4! 24.Rxf4!=] 23.Be6 Bh4? [23...Bd6 24.Rf2 (24.Bxc8?? Qxc8-+) 24...Rc7=] 24.d5! and White is on top now 24...Ba6


25.Bd4+? [25.Rfd1+/=; 25.Rac1!+/- Qf6 26.Bxc8 Qg6+ 27.Kh1 Bxf1 28.Rxf1 Rxc8 29.Bd4+ Bf6 30.Qh3+-] 25...Bf6! 26.Bxf6+ Qxf6 27.Rf2 Rc7 28.Qe3 [28.Qh3!?=] 28...Rg7+ 29.Kh1 Qh4+ 30.Rh2 Rxf4 31.Rxh4? [31.Rg1 Qf6 32.Rxg7=] 31...Rxh4+ 32.Bh3 Bc8 33.Kh2 Rxh3+ 34.Qxh3 Bxh3 35.Kxh3 Rd7?! [35...Kg8!-/+] 36.Rd1 e3 37.Kg3 e2 38.Re1 Rxd5 39.Rxe2 Black is a pawn up with winning chances, but the game was concluded here. 1/2-1/2

(4) Zhou,Chelsea (1879) - Argo,Guy (1928) [A25]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM 2000+ San Francisco (5.5), 10.08.2021
[de Firmian]

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.d3 Bb4 6.Bd2 This English Opening is like a Sicilian Grand Prix Attack reversed. 6...a5 7.Nf3 0-0 8.e3 d6 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 Qe8 11.Re1 Nd8?! This is a bit passive. Developing the bishop would be more normal. 12.Nd2 [12.c5! would open lines on the queenside and give White a good opening edge] 12...Bd7 13.f4 Bc6 14.Bxc6 Nxc6 15.Qf3 e4 16.dxe4 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 fxe4 18.Qg4 Qf7


White is strong on the dark square while Black has more control of the light squares. It is easier to play White, but Black can maintain equality with accurate play. 19.Rad1 g6 [19...Nb4! 20.a3 Nd3 gets the knight to a powerful square] 20.Rd5!? Nb4 21.Rg5 Nxa2 22.Bd2 c5? This is too slow and Chelsea now quickly builds a powerful attack. Black needed to get the knight back right away with [22...Nb4] 23.Ra1 Nb4


24.h4! The h-pawn joins the fray and suddenly the white rook, queen and bishop can do their work. 24...Nc6 25.h5 Ne7 26.hxg6 hxg6 27.Bc3 Qxc4 [The defense is too difficult. Slightly better but losing anyway is 27...Qh7 28.Kg2 Kf7 29.Rh1 Qg8 30.f5] 28.Rxg6+ Kf7 29.Rxd6 Ke8 30.Qd7+ 1-0

(5) Sun,Kevin (1517) - Brownlow,Samuel (1795) [B23]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM u2000 San Francisco (5.7), 10.08.2021
[de Firmian]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 The Grand Prix Attack is practical against the Sicilian - you don't need to know too many variations. 3...Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.0-0 Nf6 7.d3 0-0 8.Be3 There's nothing wrong with this move, though [8.Kh1 and 9. Qe1 is thematic.] 8...a6 9.a4 Na5?! 10.Ba2 Ng4 Sam seems to like attacking the bishops with his knights. They just move to good safe squares though. 11.Bd2 c4 12.dxc4 [12.d4! Simply gives White a strong center and no worries at all. Kevin has a trick planned with his move.] 12...Qb6+ 13.Kh1


13...Nf2+? [13...Qxb2! 14.Rb1 Qa3 is about equal. Sam couldn't resist taking the exchange and gets punished for greed.] 14.Rxf2 Qxf2 15.Nd5!


Suddenly White has multiple threats, which can't all be dealt with. The knight on a5 is hanging, the e-pawn is attacked and also... 15...e6?! 16.Be3 the black queen was threatened to be trapped, which has happened. 16...Qxf3 17.Ne7+! Kevin is winning anyway after taking the queen, but plays accuarately to save the knight. 17...Kh8 18.gxf3 Bd7 19.Qxd6


White has a queen for a rook and the rest needs no comment. 19...Bxa4 20.Qb4 Nc6 21.Qxa4 Nxe7 22.Qb4 Nc6 23.Qa4 Ne7 24.Qb4 Bf6 [24...Nc6 25.Qxb7] 25.e5 Bh4 26.Qxb7 Rab8 27.Qxa6 Rxb2 28.Bb3 1-0

(6) Uribe,Luiz (1856) - Quin,Leon (1611) [E60]
Mechanics' Jul-Aug TNM u2000 San Francisco (5.9), 10.08.2021
[de Firmian]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.b3 0-0 6.Bb2 Nbd7 7.c4 c6 8.Nbd2 Re8 9.e4 e5 10.0-0 Qc7 [10...exd4 11.Nxd4 Nc5 12.Qc2 Qb6 13.Rfe1 a5] 11.Qc2 A King's Indian Defense, Fianchetto Variation where White has put the dark-squared bishop on b2. Sensible play by both players. 11...Nh5!? 12.Rad1 Nf8?!


13.c5! Breaking down the black pawn chain in the center. White gains a clear edge now. 13...exd4 [13...dxc5 14.dxe5] 14.cxd6 Qxd6 15.Nc4 Qc7 16.Bxd4 Be6 17.Nd6 Red8 [17...Qxd6 18.Bxg7 Qe7 19.Bb2 would leave major dark square troubles] 18.e5 f6 19.exf6 Bxf6 20.Bxf6 [20.Ne4 would be a little more aggressive] 20...Nxf6 21.Nb5 [21.Nc4!?] 21...Qe7?! [21...Qb6 or; 21...Qa5 would avoid the queen being hit by a rook on the e-file] 22.Nbd4 Bd5 23.Rfe1 Qd6 24.Ne2 [Black has played tough defense. Here 24.Ng5 would be a better way to invade the black camp] 24...Ne6 25.Nc3 Re8 26.Ne5 Nc7 27.Nxd5 Ncxd5 28.Nc4 Qb4 29.Ne5 Qd6 30.f4 Re7 31.h3 Rae8 32.Kh2 Qb4 33.Qf2 a6 34.Nd3 Qd6 35.Rxe7 Rxe7 36.Ne5 Re8 37.Qd4 a5!? 38.Qa7 White invades and wins a pawn. Black gets some activity in compensation. 38...Qb4 39.Rd4 Qb5 40.Ra4 Re7 41.Rxa5 Qe2 42.Qb8+?! [42.Qg1 Ne3 43.Kh1] 42...Kg7 43.Ra8


43...Re8? [43...Ne8 44.Qd8 g5 45.Ra4 gxf4 46.gxf4 Rxe5! 47.fxe5 Qxe5+ 48.Kg1 Qe3+ 49.Kh2 Qe5+ would be a draw] 44.Qxb7+ Re7 45.Qxc6 Ne3 46.Qf3 Qe1 47.Rd8 Rc7 48.Nd3 Qd2


49.Qf2?? Oh no! Luiz makes a blunder in a winning position. After [49.Nc5! Qc1 50.Ne6+ Kf7 51.Nxc7 Qxc7 52.Rd2 It's a trivial win with the exchange and 3 pawns ahead.] 49...Nfg4+! The ups and downs of a chess battle. 0-1

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 NM Siddharth Arun 2253 W12 D2 W6 D3 W5 H--- H--- 4.0  
2 2-3 Christophe Bambou 2121 W9 D1 L3 W13 W7     3.5  
3   Richard Liu 1824 H--- W8 W2 D1 D4 H--- H--- 3.5  
4 4-6 IM Elliott Winslow 2278 W7 D5 H--- H--- D3     3.0  
5   Abhi Penagalapati 2078 W13 D4 W11 H--- L1     3.0  
6   Nicholas Weng 2013 H--- W10 L1 W9 H---     3.0  
7 7-11 Kristian Clemens 1997 L4 W12 D9 W11 L2     2.5  
8   Ako Heidari 1964 H--- L3 D14 D12 W13     2.5  
9   Kayven Riese 1900 L2 B--- D7 L6 W14     2.5  
10   Chelsea Zhou 1879 B--- L6 L13 D14 W12 H---   2.5  
11   Anthony Acosta 1818 H--- W14 L5 L7 B---     2.5  
12 12-14 Guy Argo 1928 L1 L7 B--- D8 L10     1.5  
13   Andrew Guo 1885 L5 H--- W10 L2 L8     1.5  
14   Andre Persidsky 1828 H--- L11 D8 D10 L9     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 Kevin Sun 1517 W25 W12 W2 H--- W4     4.5  
2 2-3 Leon Quin 1611 W19 W6 L1 W10 W11     4.0  
3   Adam Stafford 1473 W26 W10 W17 L4 W6     4.0  
4 4-5 Samuel Brownlow 1795 D5 W14 W16 W3 L1     3.5  
5   Daniel Perlov 1555 D4 W9 W15 D11 H--- H---   3.5  
6 6-9 Amitoj Singh 1819 W20 L2 W13 W17 L3     3.0  
7   Ted Porlares 1789 D21 H--- H--- W15 D8     3.0  
8   Max Hao 1761 H--- H--- H--- W21 D7     3.0  
9   David Rakonitz 1622 H--- L5 W22 H--- W17     3.0  
10 10-16 Adam Mercado 1879 D14 L3 W19 L2 W18     2.5  
11   Luiz Uribe 1856 L17 W21 W12 D5 L2     2.5  
12   Marty Cortinas 1720 W18 L1 L11 W16 H---     2.5  
13   Frederick Hope 1646 W22 F17 L6 W19 H---     2.5  
14   Joel Carron 1610 D10 L4 L18 B--- W21     2.5  
15   Nikhil Pimpalkhare 1577 W23 H--- L5 L7 W22   H--- 2.5  
16   Nursultan\ Uzakbaev 1513 W24 H--- L4 L12 W20     2.5  
17 17-19 Albert Starr 1609 W11 X13 L3 L6 L9     2.0  
18   Anvi Penagalapati 1485 L12 D24 W14 H--- L10     2.0  
19   Aaron Craig 1408 L2 B--- L10 L13 X24     2.0  
20 20-22 Nick Casares Jr 1600 L6 H--- H--- H--- L16     1.5  
21   Stephen Parsons 1532 D7 L11 W24 L8 L14     1.5  
22   Jerry Morgan 1483 L13 H--- L9 X24 L15     1.5  
23 23 James Mahooti 1800 L15 H--- H--- U--- U---     1.0  
24 24 Gregory Rousso 1745 L16 D18 L21 F22 F19     0.5  
25 25-26 Glenn Kaplan 1776 L1 U--- U--- U--- U---     0.0  
26   Jim Cohee 1612 L3 U--- 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--- W6 W2 W4 W5     5.0  
2 2-4 Sebastian Suarez 1433 W25 W15 L1 W11 X12 H--- U--- 4.0  
3   Claudio Bastiani-Fonck 1377 W28 D29 W10 H--- W7     4.0  
4   David Nichol 435 B--- W19 W7 L1 X14     4.0  
5 5-6 Paul Reed 1322 W17 H--- W18 W14 L1     3.5  
6   Iven Yarovoy unr. W30 L1 H--- X26 W18     3.5  
7 7-12 Dominic Zirbel 1481 W12 W10 L4 W21 L3     3.0  
8   Andrew Imbens 1296 H--- H--- D25 W27 H---     3.0  
9   William Thibault 1050 L29 D28 B--- W16 H---     3.0  
10   Andrew Ballantyne 948 W13 L7 L3 X--- W23     3.0  
11   Pratyush Hule 825 H--- H--- W23 L2 W21     3.0  
12   Romeo Nehme 795 L7 W17 W19 W15 F2   H--- 3.0  
13 13-17 Richard Hack 1569 L10 L25 H--- W28 W27     2.5  
14   Valerie Jade 1490 W21 H--- X29 L5 F4     2.5  
15   Tobiah Rex 1013 W18 L2 X--- L12 D17     2.5  
16   Tony Kachakji unr. L20 W30 H--- L9 W26     2.5  
17   Trent Hancock unr. L5 L12 B--- W19 D15     2.5  
18 18-24 Samuel Agdamag 1586 L15 W27 L5 W25 L6     2.0  
19   David Olson 1400 W24 L4 L12 L17 W25     2.0  
20   Charles James 1368 W16 H--- H--- U--- U---     2.0  
21   Andrejs Gulbis 826 L14 W24 B--- L7 L11     2.0  
22   Elias Colfax-Lamoureux unr. H--- H--- U--- L23 W30     2.0  
23   Ian Atroshchenko unr. D31 H--- L11 W22 L10     2.0  
24   Jabez Wesly unr. L19 L21 W30 H--- H---     2.0  
25 25-29 Thomas Gu 660 L2 W13 D8 L18 L19     1.5  
26   Yuri Meseznik unr. H--- H--- H--- F6 L16     1.5  
27   Thomas Dobbs unr. H--- L18 W28 L8 L13     1.5  
28   Tyler Johnson unr. L3 D9 L27 L13 B---     1.5  
29   Ambrogino Giusti unr. W9 D3 F14 U--- U---     1.5  
30 30 Richard Ahrens 1228 L6 L16 L24 B--- L22     1.0  
31 31 Peter Borah 1232 D23 U--- U--- U--- U---     0.5  

Thursday Night Marathon Report

by Abel Talamantez

The Thursday Night Marathon did not have major upsets at the top, but IM Bala Chandra Dhulipalla delivered the evening's action in both games, first against NM Michael Walder and then an action packed game against Nikunj Oza. Here is the link to that game if you would like to watch it:

GM Gadir Guseinov leads the tournament with 5.5/6, a half point over Dhulipalla at 5/6. NM Mike Walder right behind in sole 3rd place with 4.5/6.

To watch the evenings broadcast, click here:

Here are the current standings:

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 Total
1 GM Gadir Guseinov gguseinov 17343590 2635 W11 W5 D3 W2 W4 W6 5.5
2 IM Bala Chandra Prasad Dhulipalla Swarnapuri 30100858 2513 W16 W14 W4 L1 W3 W10 5.0
3 NM Michael Walder FlightsOfFancy 10345120 2171 W27 W23 D1 W10 L2 W9 4.5
4 Cailen Melville Mangonel 14006141 1940 W28 W29 L2 W8 L1 W18 4.0
5 Aaron Nicoski KingSmasher35 12797931 1789 W20 L1 W29 W7 L6 W17 4.0
6 Sanjeev Anand chessp1234 14436451 1753 L21 W28 W19 W30 W5 L1 4.0
7 Ricnesh Ravind Fi_Ricnesh 30181578 1651 H--- H--- W20 L5 W19 W21 4.0
8 Jeff Andersen zenwabi 11296106 1643 H--- W32 W21 L4 D17 W15 4.0
9 Robert Smith maturner 12463327 1853 L29 X30 D17 W22 W12 L3 3.5
10 Nikunj Oza Motif 12497585 1851 W13 D21 W22 L3 W11 L2 3.5
11 Akshaj Pulijala Loltheawesomedude 16497860 1531 L1 W13 W18 D15 L10 W20 3.5
12 Michael Xiao swimgrass 16380636 1363 D32 W31 H--- H--- L9 W24 3.5
13 Andy Xu vivianandy 16732301 1312 L10 L11 D16 B--- W26 W25 3.5
14 Rithwik Narendra rukja 14903560 1849 W19 L2 H--- H--- L20 W29 3.0
15 Kevin M Fong chessappeals 17254586 1783 H--- H--- W27 D11 D21 L8 3.0
16 Marina Xiao programmingmax 16380642 1554 L2 L19 D13 W33 H--- W30 3.0
17 Kevin Sun kevin_mx_sun 16898540 1521 H--- H--- D9 W25 D8 L5 3.0
18 Aaron D Craig aaroncraig602 12872385 1408 H--- H--- L11 W29 W30 L4 3.0
19 Sarvagnya Brahmanapally bsarvagnya 16466227 1287 L14 W16 L6 W28 L7 W27 3.0
20 Austin Jin austinjin666xd 17144712 1153 L5 B--- L7 W27 W14 L11 3.0
21 Katherine Sunny Lu 2Nf31-0 16425316 1152 W6 D10 L8 W31 D15 L7 3.0
22 Cleveland W Lee vincitore51745 12814843 569 X8 W26 L10 L9 L24 W31 3.0
23 Bryan Hood fiddleleaf 12839763 1584 W33 L3 H--- H--- H--- U--- 2.5
24 Ian Liao victor6688 16738735 1161 H--- H--- H--- U--- W22 L12 2.5
25 Zerui Titus Mei thankfuifortune 16959455 984 H--- H--- H--- L17 W31 L13 2.5
26 Christopher Nelson LudiMagisterJosephus 13742111 1700 D31 L22 L30 W32 L13 D33 2.0
27 Paul Krezanoski pjkrizzle 16897133 1360 L3 W33 L15 L20 W28 L19 2.0
28 Gabriel Ngam boozerrip 13553308 1350 L4 L6 W33 L19 L27 B--- 2.0
29 Ivan Zong ivanzong 30131397 1335 W9 L4 L5 L18 W33 L14 2.0
30 Tobiah Rex tobiahsrex 30164211 1013 H--- H--- W26 L6 L18 L16 2.0
31 Bruce Hedman Bruce_Hedman 17344551 1055 D26 L12 W32 L21 L25 L22 1.5
32 Jonathan Rice ricejonathanc 30205348 unr. D12 L8 L31 L26 H--- H--- 1.5
33 Jimolee Gray jgray43 30172836 unr. L23 L27 L28 L16 L29 D26 0.5

2021 US Open Report Part 2

by Abel Talamantez

GM Alexander Lenderman won the 2021 US Open outright with a score of 8.5/9 and the $8000 1st prize. He went into the final round 8/8 and a full point ahead of the nearest player. The weekend was buzzing whether or not Lenderman would take down the US Open with a perfect score, but he needed only a draw to secure clear 1st. Although making history is incredibly tempting, securing 1st was the goal, and he did so with a final round draw against GM Benjamin Gledura. Congratulations to Lenderman, who has participated both in our Tuesday and Thursday Night Marathons online! I was able to capture this photo of him  playing GM Hans Niemann.

GM Alex Lenderman is playing white against GM Hans Niemann as Niemann is about to make a move. This game is annotated in Alexey Root's article by NM Mike Walder later in this newsletter. GM Timur Gareyev is playing black next to them

Another part of the US Open festivities is the annual awards. I was the recepient of this year's Organizer of the Year award from US Chess. My good friend from the Bay Area Lauren Goodkind also received an award from US Chess for Meritorious Service for her work in the community promoting women and girls in chess. 

While it was fun being at the US Open and following the action of the games and connecting with people, I was able to take a few ours and go into Philadelphia, where I got to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall while taking some time for lunch and have an authentic philly cheeseteak. That's mozzarella cheese in case anyone is wondering.

Congratulations to GM Alex Lenderman on the championship win, and it was great to see everyone from the Bay Area community in Cherry Hill!

Here are the US Open final results:

WIM Dr. Alexey Root

WIM Dr. Alexey Root wrote a US Open recap article for ChessBase, you can read it by following this link:


Tony's Teasers

Tony challenges you to solve this problem, 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 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]

Finishing Tactics from the World Champions

Taking a break from the World Championship matches, here’s ten examples of the World Champions destroying hapless opponents with some sparkling tactics and crushing shots.


Reiner - Steinitz 1860.  Black moves.


Botvinnik - Stepanov 1931.  White moves.


 Alekhine - Reshevsky 1937.  White moves.


Spassky - Petrosian 1967.  White moves.


Fischer - Miagmasuren 1967.  White moves.


 Karpov - Korchnoi 1978.  White moves.


 Petrosian - Ivkov 1979.  White moves.


 Tal - Rantanen 1979.  White moves.


Kasparov - Karpov 1985.  White moves.


 Topalov – Kramnik 1995.  Black moves.


GM Nick de Firmian's Column

Who’s on Top in America?

The Sinquefeld Grand Chess Tour in St. Louis has started now with a super field of ten top players of the world. What is amazing at this time is that six of these players are Americans, showing the dramatic rise of top level chess in the US. The question though is which one of the Americans is the top dog? That seems to be very disputable these days. The last few years had seen Caruana as the clear top American since he was world #2 and challenger to Magnus’s throne. Yet Fabiano has slipped a bit with his rating now under 2800, and Ding Liren has edged him out for the #2 rating spot. Wesley So could make a strong claim to be the real threat to become an American world champion as he is already world champion at Fischer Random Chess, having smashed Carlsen in the final. The rapid matches Wesley has had this year with Carlsen have been evenly split and closely fought. This would give him great bragging rights except that his rating is only #9 in the world and he hasn’t qualified for the Candidates Tournament (which has only 2 spots left). Thus Wesley may not get the chance to battle for the title now matter how well he does against Carlsen.

There is always the argument to go with the young, promising talent no matter what sport you are in. Here Jeffrey Xiong wins the argument as most promising American as he is 2700 rated and only 20 years old. The other five Americans we are considering are all in the late 20’s or 30’s. Maybe it will be Jeffery’s time to make a move and show the US how promising he really is. Speaking of making a move, our own Sam Shankland has shown in the world cup that he takes a back seat to no one. Though Sam is 29 he seems extremely focused and motivated.

We consider also the players in their 30’s. The world’s #1 rated blitz player (and #3 rapid) is Hikaru Nakamura. Naka is still ready to rumble with anyone, particularly in fast chess, yet his drive to become world champion seems to have waned. His energy seems more directed to becoming an internet influencer than planning a championship run. The 6th American in the tournament is world #13, Lenier Dominguez. Dominguez is a super-grandmaster who will beat anyone on a good day, yet still needs to step up a bit if he would play for the title. We give below a couple of games from the St. Louis event, which may show us who is striving now to be top dog.

(1) Le,Quang Liem - Caruana,Fabiano [D02]
Grand Chess Tour St. Louis Rapid, 11.08.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bf4 Le Quang Liem is a super-grandmaster from Vietnam. He chooses the popular London System in this game. 3...e6 4.e3 Bd6 5.Nbd2 c5 6.c3 0-0 7.Bg3 b6 8.Bd3 Ba6! Trading the light-squared bishop, which would be blocked on the a8-h1 diagonal. 9.Bxa6 Nxa6 10.Qe2 Nb8 11.Ne5 Qc7 12.0-0 Nc6

I must put a diagram here as Fabiano has played a model opening against the London System and has full equality and an easy game to play. Readers should take note if you have trouble against the London. 13.f4 Ne7 14.Bh4 Nd7 15.Rad1 cxd4 16.exd4 Nf5 17.Bf2 Be7 18.Nd3?! This retreat gives Caruana the initiative. The white knight was strong on e5. 18...Nf6 19.Rde1 Rae8 20.g4 Nd6! Fine knight play by Fabiano. Black has the edge since White has no light-squared bishop to contest the e4 square. 21.Bg3 Nfe4 22.Kg2 Nxd2 23.Qxd2 Ne4 24.Qd1 Bd6 25.g5 f5 26.gxf6? This opens up the game and Black wins a pawn shortly. Better chances for White to hold were in keeping the position blocked. 26...Rxf6 27.Nf2 The black knight on e4 is too strong and must be exchanged, though this loses a pawn. 27...Nxf2 28.Rxf2 Bxf4 29.Rxf4 Rxf4 30.Qe2 Qf7 31.Bxf4 Qxf4 32.Rf1 Qd6 33.Qh5 Qe7 34.Qe5 b5 35.Rf3 a6 36.a3 h6 37.h3 Rf8 38.Re3
How to make progress in this pawn up position? 38...Kh8! 39.Qxe6 Qg5+ The attack is worth more than a pawn. 40.Rg3 Qd2+ 41.Kh1 Rf1+ 42.Rg1 Rxg1+ 43.Kxg1 Qc1+ 44.Kg2 Qxb2+ 45.Kg1 Qc1+ 46.Kf2 Qd2+ 47.Kf1 Qxc3 48.Qxd5
48...Qc4+! Precisely calculating the king and pawn ending! 49.Qxc4 bxc4 50.Ke2 g5 51.d5 Kg7 52.Ke3 h5 53.Kd4 g4 54.d6 Kf7 Black stops the white d-pawn while the black pawns cannot be stopped. 0-1

(2) Dominguez Perez,Lenier - Xiong,Jeffery [C54]
Grand Chess Tour St. Louis Rapid, 11.08.2021

This is the game between our youngest star, 20 year old Jeffery Xiong, and our oldest star, 37 year old Dominguez. Is it time for youth to assert itself? 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Re1 A common position from the Italian Game. 7...Ne7 8.d4 Bb6 9.a4 c6 10.dxe5 Ng4 11.Rf1 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 dxe5 13.Qxd8! Simply trading into the endgame. Of course older players like endgames, but Dominguez has more point than simply trading. 13...Rxd8 14.a5 Bc7 15.Be3

One should note the relative strenth of the pieces, especially the bishops. The two white bishops exert pressure on strong diagonals. 15...Bd7 16.Rd1 Bg4 17.Rxd8+ Rxd8 18.Nd2 Nc8 19.f3 Bd7 20.b4 White has more queenside space and more aggressive pawns on that side. 20...Kf8 21.Kf1 Ke7 22.Ke2 f6 23.Kd1 Be6 24.Bxe6 Kxe6 25.Kc2 g6 26.Nb3 b6? Black errs under pressure. It was hard to play, but opening the a-file gives White a road into the Black camp. 27.axb6 axb6 28.Ra6 f5 29.Nd2 Kd7 30.Nc4 b5 31.Nd2! Simply retreating and relocating the white knight brings White a decisive advantage. 31...Nd6 32.Nb3 Nb7?! 33.Ra7 Kc8

34.Na5! The breakthrough move. Black can't refuse the exchange but the white a-pawn becomes a monster. 34...Nxa5 35.bxa5 fxe4 36.fxe4 Rf8 [36...Kb8 37.a6 h5 38.Rb7+ Kc8 39.Bc5 g5 40.c4 bxc4 41.Rb1 wins with the a-pawn] 37.Ra8+ Bb8 38.a6 Jeffery resigned. It looks like it will be a while longer before he usurps the older players ranking. 1-0

Solution to FM Paul Whitehead's Column

Reiner - Steinitz 1860.

1…Qxh2+!! is a tactic not to be missed - or forgotten. 2.Rxh2 Rg1# 0-1.


Botvinnik - Stepanov 1931. 

1.Bxf7+! Rxf7 and now did you see 2.Nc4! snagging the black queen? 1-0 after black dragged it out for a while.


Alekhine - Reshevsky 1937.

1.Qxe5+! and it’s lights out. 1-0. 1…fxe5 2.Rf8+ and it’s mate in 2.


Spassky - Petrosian 1967. 

1.Qxd4+! 1-0. 1…Rxd4 2.b6#.


Fischer - Miagmasuren 1967. 

1.Qxh7+!! 1-0. After 1…Kxh7 2.hxg6+ Kxg6 (or 2…Kg8 3.Rh8#) 3.Be4#.


Karpov - Korchnoi 1978. 

1.Nd8+! was the way to go. 1-0. All king moves are met by 2.Qf8#.


Petrosian - Ivkov 1979. 

1.Rxd4! 1-0. After 1…exd4 2.Re5+! forces 2…Kxg4 then either 3.h3# or 3.f3#.


Tal - Rantanen 1979. 

1.Bh8!! is the way through, threatening 2.Qxh7#. 1…Kxf7 (If 1…h5 2.Qxf6 and mates next move) 2.Qxf6# Kg8 3.Qg7#.


Kasparov - Karpov 1985. 

1.Qxd7!! was a very pretty shot, exploiting black’s back-rank weakness. 1…Rxd7 2.Re8+ Kh7 3.Be4+! 1-0. After 3…g6 4.Rxd7 black loses another piece, as 4…Ba6 fails to 5.Bxc6 Qxc6 6.Rxf7#.


Topalov – Kramnik 1995. 

1…Bc3+!! was what the Doctor ordered, and the white queen is lost. 2.Nxc3 a5+! 3.Kxb5 Qxc3 0-1.


Solution To Tony's Teaser

1. Qd2!!  exd2  2. Nxd6  (will be mate next move no matter what) d1=Q  3. Ne4#


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