Chess Room Newsletter #987 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #987

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #987

September 25, 2021


Table of Contents

Tuesday Night Marathon Round 3 Report

by Abel Talamantez

FM Ezra Chambers won the battle of unbeatens in the top section of the TNM, taking advantage of a blunder by Nicholas Weng under time pressure and thus saving a losing position to take the point. It was an exciting positional game that had swings back and forth. Chambers' experience prevailed though, giving him the clear lead in the tournament with 3/3. Sean Kelly continues his very strong run with a win over Guy Argo. IM Elliott Winslow scored a victory over our favorite mate in 3 problemist Tony Lama. Both Kelly and Winslow are a half point behind Chambers at 2.5/3. 

Spectators gather around board 1 for the conclusion of the battle between Nicholas Weng and FM Ezra Chambers. IM Elliott Winslow and Tony Lama face off on board 11

In the u/1800 section, the 47-player section is left with five undefeated players after three rounds, including Marty Cortinas, who scored an impressive win against Sebby Suarez, Daniel Wang, Stephen Parsons, Richard Hack, and Christopher Dessert. Next week should see some tough games at the top, with the section standouts facing each other. 

Alex Chin waits as Adam Mercado ponders his next move. GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead provided live commentary on our Twitch channel

It was a calm night inside the chess room, and it is starting to fill up again as more and more players are feeling comfortable coming back for live chess. We have been able to hold all games inside the main room, and it has been progressively filling up. I'm excited to see many of our players back in action, as well as welcoming many new faces to the Institute. It was nice to have the windows open, the sounds of the quiet battles over the board with the white noise of the city outside; the street cars, the pigeons, and the sounds of chess clocks being pressed. It is comforting to see and hear our vibrant chess community back again.

Watch the broadcast by following this link:

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

(4) Weng,Nicholas (2001) - Chambers,Ezra (2314) [C02]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (3.1), 22.09.2021

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 The French Defence can lead to quiet, positional struggles.. . 3.e5 Or full-scale hard-core battles. And the Advance Variation tends towards those. 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Rc8 7.0-0 a6 8.Re1 Qb6 9.a3

Both sides are tossing in moves from several plans, thus leading to a fairly rare position. 9...c4?!N And with this commital move they reach one that is unique. [Previously Black played to fix the d-pawn for some pressure, with mutual chances: 9...cxd4 10.cxd4 Nge7 11.Nc3 Nf5 12.Na4 Qa7 13.Be3 b5 14.Nc3 Be7 15.Kh1 but here Black acquiesced to the exchange on e3, 15...Nxe3 16.fxe3 strengthening White's pawns but securing the Two Bishops. It was ½-½ (120)(!), Lyell,M (2274)-Farkas,T (2237) Kecskemet 2013] 10.Nbd2+/- Na5 Other than the rook on c8 this is one of the oldest plans for Black, but it's never been terribly convincing. 11.Bf1 [How about some full-court prophylaxis with 11.h4 h6 12.Rb1] 11...Ne7 12.h4 Nec6 [12...h6+/=] 13.Nh2
[13.h5+/-] 13...Kd8!?+/= Interestingly Stockfish 14's top move by no small amount, suggesting that Ezra learned something in St. Louis! The king spends the time to get to the safest neighborhood, not worrying about time as nothing much is happening. 14.h5 h6 To avoid any holes on the kingside. [He could keep walking: 14...Kc7+/= 15.h6 Kb8] 15.Ng4 [15.b4!? cxb3 16.Rb1 is the time-worn maneuver.] 15...Kc7 16.Ne3 [16.Rb1+/-] 16...Kb8! 17.f4?! The computer is adamant: this is not where White should be advancing just now. [Broken record: 17.Rb1+/=] 17...Be7 Black is hoping the play on the kingside will just be in his own interest. 18.Qg4 [18.Rb1=] 18...Qc7!-/+
19.Qxg7?! Objectively a disastrous pawn grab! But it does lead to dangerous passed pawns -- at a price though! The queen is in trouble... [Better to step aside for the pawns to lead any advance: 19.Qh3-/+] 19...Rcg8-+ 20.Qxf7 Bh4! (So that ...Nd8 doesn't hang the bishop) 21.Nf3
White looks for a lot of material in compensation. 21...Bxe1?! [Here Chambers should just take out the queen: 21...Nd8 22.Qxg8 Rxg8 23.Nxh4 Nb3 24.Rb1 Be8 25.Be2 Qe7!-+ and White comes further undone across the whole board.] 22.Nxe1 Nb3 23.Rb1 Rf8 [23...Qd8!?] 24.Qg7 Rhg8 25.Qxh6 Qb6! The knight sacs on d4 are good. Preparing is even better. 26.f5
The big question is: will White's pawns overwhelm Black? [26.Qh7 Be8-/+] 26...Nxc1? A mirror of the exchange on e1, this lets a big chunk of advantage slip away. [26...Ncxd4!-+ 27.cxd4 Qxd4 28.f6 Be8 is complicated, but still offers good chances to come out on top. So often center pawns on the march are the best.] 27.Rxc1=/+ Qxb2 28.Rc2 Qb1 [28...Qxa3=/+ is the greedy computer's move; still, it will be a while before the passed queenside pawns matter. 29.Nf3!? (29.fxe6 Rh8-/+; 29.g4 exf5-/+; 29.f6!?) ] 29.Re2 [29.Nf3=/+ Ne7; 29.Kf2!?=] 29...Nd8 [29...Rh8-/+ 30.Qf4 Rxh5] 30.f6 Nf7 31.Qf4 Ng5 32.g4
White again saves his queen from a threat and has one of his own finally. 32...Ne4?!<=> Black is not holding back, but White gets some momentum now. [32...Be8 is a deft avoidance of Nxd5 exd5?; e6+] 33.Nf3 [33.Nxd5?? exd5 34.e6+ Ka7 35.exd7 Rxf6 leaves White in ruins.] 33...Nxc3 [33...Be8= is still after all important.] 34.Rg2 Be8 [34...Ka7 has its problems, i.e. 35.Ng5+/=] 35.Ng5!+/- And here it's even stronger. 35...Bd7 [>=35...Qb6] 36.Kh2! Nd1? [36...Ka7+/-] 37.Nxd1+- The game has completely turned around now. White is winning. 37...Qxd1 38.Nh7 In the way of the pawns? [38.Be2! Qa1 39.Nh3 is ready to march!] 38...Rf7
[38...c3!?] 39.Be2! Qb1 [39...Qe1 40.Ng5] 40.Ng5 Rff8 41.Nh3 [41.f7 Rh8 42.Qe3 thinks about both attack and defence] 41...c3!?
42.g5! White has strong compensation. 42...Be8 43.Qe3 c2 44.Rg1+/- The only move, but it holds the line at c1. 44...Rh8?
[44...Bxh5+/- 45.Bxh5 Rh8 46.Bf3 White is still looking good.] 45.Nf4?? [45.g6+- is totally winning.] 45...Rfg8!-/+ And the game turns completely around once more! The pawns go once again from torpedoes to targets. 46.Bd3? [46.Nxe6?? Bxh5-+; 46.Qc1-/+ is the best try, although 46...Qb6 holds onto an advantage.] 46...Qb2-+ 47.Bxc2 and if Rg2 works, White does fine. 47...Bxh5 [47...Qxc2+ 48.Rg2 Qf5] 48.Nxh5 Rxh5+ 49.Kg2 Rhxg5+ A thoroughly uncompromising and wild game! Eventually it was the cooler and more experienced head that prevailed, but with time Weng will grow more and more dangerous. 0-1

(5) Winslow,Elliott (2269) - Lama,Tony (1805) [C06]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (3.11), 22.09.2021

Tony has recently come back to tournament chess. Here he get's a good workout against one of the tournament favorites. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 Qb6 [8...f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 (9...Qxf6 10.Nf3 h6 11.0-0 Bd6 12.Be3 0-0 13.Rc1) ] 9.Nf3 Bb4+ 10.Bd2 Bxd2+?! Tony makes it too easy for Elliott to get control of the dark squares. 10...f6 is more of a fighting move. 11.Qxd2 Qb4 12.Rc1 Qxd2+ [12...f6!?] 13.Kxd2

This is simply a nice endgame for White. 13...0-0 [Previously seen was 13...Nb6 14.b3 Bd7 15.Nf4 0-0 16.h4 f6 17.g3+- SF14 (+/= Shaw 2018) 17...a6 18.h5 Rae8 19.Ke3 Re7 20.h6! g6 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.Ne5!
22...Rf8 23.Ne2 Nc8 24.f4 Nd6 25.g4 Nf7 26.g5 Nfxe5 27.dxe5 Ref7 28.Rh4 Rd8 29.Nd4 Nxd4 30.Kxd4 Bc6 31.a4 Rc8 32.b4 Rfc7 33.b5 axb5 34.axb5 Be8 35.Rxc7 Rxc7 36.Rh1 Kf7 37.Ra1 b6 38.Ra8 Rb7 39.Bxg6+ Kxg6 40.Rxe8 Kf5 41.Rf8+ Kg4 42.Rf6 Re7 43.f5 exf5 44.g6 hxg6 45.Rxg6+ 1-0 (45) Korneev,O (2615)-Moskalenko,V (2470) Barcelona 1999] 14.Bb5 Ne7?
[14...Na5; 14...Ndb8] 15.Rxc8! Raxc8 16.Bxd7 With two pieces for a rook IM Winslow has no problem converting the advantage. 16...Rc7 [16...Rc4 17.Nc3 (17.b3 Rb4 18.Rc1) ] 17.Bb5 Rfc8 18.Bd3 Ng6 19.h4 Nf8 20.h5 h6 21.g4 Nh7 22.Nh4 Ng5 23.Ng3! Stopping any ideas of tricks based on ...Ne4+. 23...f5?! A desparate try before being pushed back by 24. f4 24.gxf5 exf5 25.Bxf5 Rf8 26.f4 Ne4+ 27.Nxe4 dxe4 28.Be6+ Kh7 29.Ng6 Rfc8?! 30.Bxc8 We predict Tony will be much tougher for their next encounter. 1-0

(6) Clemens,Kristian (1994) - Kaplan,Glenn (1766) [E91]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (3.2), 22.09.2021

1.Nf3 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 0-0 6.Be2 The Classical King's Indian. 6...Nbd7 [The overwhelmingly most common move is 6...e5 , tactically justified.; 6...Bg4 is a favorite of Gadir Guseinov, where it has appeared in his games from the Thursday Night Marathon.] 7.0-0 c5?! This is played too often -- it's just too clumsy. 8.d5 a6 9.Qc2 [9.a4 is the auto-response to ...a6, and indeed the most frequent here.] 9...Nb6 10.h3 Nfd7 11.Be3 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Bxe5 13.Rae1

13...f5?! 14.Bh6?! [14.exf5; 14.f4] 14...Rf7
[14...f4! is probably worth it!] 15.Bd3? [15.exf5 Bxf5 16.Qd2+- Black has permanent problems.] 15...f4!-/+ 16.f3 The critical moment of the game. 16...Nd7?
[16...e6 17.Ne2 exd5 18.exd5 Qh4! 19.Bxg6 Qxh6 20.Bxf7+ Kxf7 is a huge advantage for Black as the white rooks are not effective.] 17.Ne2!+/- Now that advanced pawn is in trouble. 17...Nb6 18.Qc1 e6 19.Bxf4 Not only does White win the pawn, the bishop gets back in the game and White begins to take over the kingside. 19...Bg7 20.Bd2 exd5 21.exd5+-

21...Qh4? 22.Bg5 Qh5 23.Ng3 That's it. The black queen is trapped 23...Bxb2 24.Re8+ Rf8 25.Rxf8+ Kxf8 26.Qf4+ Bf5 27.Nxh5 Be5 28.Bh6+ Kf7 29.Qd2 Bxh3 30.gxh3 gxh5 31.Bf4 Rg8+ 32.Kh2 Bd4 33.Bxd6 Nd7 34.Qf4+ Ke8 35.Qe4+ Kd8 36.Qe7+ Kc8 37.Bf5 Rd8 38.Bxd7+ Rxd7 39.Qe8+ Rd8 40.Qe6+ Rd7 41.Rb1 Kd8 42.Qg8# Black had his chance, but needed to grab the moment. Other than that, nice play by Kristian! 1-0

(1) Chin,Alex (1992) - Mercado,Adam (1793) [B30]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (3.5), 22.09.2021

This is a game with some mistakes, but it is an absolutely fascinating battle. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 We are seeing a lot of the Rossolimo Variation these days. 3...e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.c3 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bc2 Bb7 8.d4 Ng6 9.d5 Aggressively grabbing space. It's also probably the best move. 9...Nce5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.f4 Ng6 [11...Nc4 would be better place to stop White's pawn advances] 12.d6!? [12.f5 exf5 13.exf5 Ne5 14.Nd2 would be a nice edge for White] 12...Qb6 13.e5 Nh4

Black has played a positionally risky line but one that gives him counterplay. The white pawn chain d6, e5, f4 is seriously cramping. Meanwhile Black has play on the long white diagonal. If White can shut that down it would be positionally winning. 14.Rf2 h5 15.Nd2 f5 16.Nb3 Qc6? A serious error. Did Adam just miss White's next move? Black would have been a little worse in a double-edged position after 16...Rc8 or 16...Kf7. 17.Na5 Qb6 18.Nxb7 Qxb7 Suddenly Black has lost all counterplay on the long light-squared diagonal. This allows Alex to shut down the kingside play. 19.g3! Ng6 20.h4!
Take a look at this position. The white pawns form a wall on the kingside and center that block out the black bishop, rook and knight. Black could eventually get the rook and knight to the queenside (after a very long time) but never the bishop. White needs only the open the queenside and invade there. 20...Rh7 21.Qf3 Qc8 22.Be3 Rb8 23.Rc1 This is a little slow. Just 23. a4 opens lines on the queenside. 23...Nh8! The best move in this lost position. From this square the knight can find a path to the queenside. 24.b4 c4 25.a4 Nf7 26.Ra1 g6 27.Bd1 Nd8 28.axb5 axb5 29.Qg2 Nc6 30.Bf3 Bh6 31.Rfa2?! This is still very good for White but it complicates things. 32. Bc5 would leave the black bishop trapped on the queenside. 31...Nxe5! Adam will have to deal with the White invasion yet he has a pawn and his bishop will now be useful on the long diagonal. 32.Ra8 Kf7 33.Bc5?! [33.R1a7! would set up tactical problems for Black that couldn't be solved. Alex plays a natural move instead and Black is right back in the game. 33...Rh8 34.Bd5! Re8 35.Bc5 exd5 36.Qxd5+ Kf8 37.Rxb8 Qxb8 38.fxe5 Qc8 39.e6 crashes through] 33...Nxf3+ 34.Qxf3 Rh8 35.R8a7 Rd8? Aiming to give the black queen for two rooks. Better was 35...Qe8 36.Rc7 Ra8 37.Rxc8?! [37.Ba7! wins the queen for less material] 37...Rxa1+ 38.Kf2 Rxc8 39.Qb7 Rca8 40.Qxd7+ Kg8 41.Qxe6+ Kh7
It looks as if Black will be able to make a draw with 42. R8a2+ followed by perpetual check with the rook on the first rank. It looks as if the white king has nowhere to hide. However.... 42.g4! A great move by Alex. The white king finds the safe g3 square since the bishop guards g1. Now White has time to press home a winning attack. 42...R8a2+ [42...hxg4 43.Qf7+ Bg7 44.Bd4 Rg8 45.h5! is finished] 43.Kg3 Rd1 44.gxf5 Rd3+ 45.Be3 gxf5 46.Qxf5+ Kh8 47.Qe5+ Kh7 [47...Bg7 48.Qxh5+ Kg8 49.Qe8+ Kh7 50.d7] 48.d7! Re2 49.Kf3 The d-pawn wins the game. 49...Rexe3+ 50.Qxe3 Rxd7 51.Qe4+ Kh8 [51...Kg7 52.Qe5+ Kf7 53.Qf5+ Ke7 54.Qh7+ wins the bishop] 52.Qe8+ Black resigns. A terrific battle. 1-0

(2) Suarez,Sebastian (1520) - Cortinas,Marty (1720) [B21]
MI Sep-Oct TNM u1800 San Francisco (3.9), 22.09.2021

This is a game of youth versus experience. 1.e4 c5 2.d4! Young players should try these gamit lines. Usually they love to have the attacking side. 2...cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 e6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bf4!? Rather unusual. The standard 6. Bc4 is probably better. 6...Bb4 [6...d6] 7.Bd2?! This has an idea to play 8. a3 yet one should not lose time after gambiting a pawn. 7...Nge7 [7...Nf6 8.Bd3 d5!] 8.a3 Ba5 9.b4 Bc7 [9...Bb6! is a better square as 10. Na4 Bc7 is then good] 10.Nb5 a6 11.Nxc7+ Qxc7 12.Rc1 0-0 13.Bd3

So we arrive at a type of position we might expect from these players. White has the bishop pair and some attacking chances and Black has an extra pawn. Chances are even. 13...b5 14.e5?! With ideas of a possible Bxh7+, but this is too direct. The e5 pawn becomes weak. 14...Ng6 15.h4 f5? Marty gets nervous and reacts to the attacking move. The cool [15...Bb7 16.h5? Ngxe5 is safe and good for Black] 16.exf6 Rxf6 17.Bc3
The raking white bishops and knight on f3 give White a powerful attack. 17...Rf7 18.Bxg6?! [18.Ng5! is a strong attacking move than wins at least the exchange] 18...hxg6 19.h5 Qf4! Black is still in trouble but Marty defends well by bringing the queen into the thick of the battle. 20.Rh4 Qf5 21.Bd2? [The bishop is well placed on the long diagonal. White would keep a good edge with 21.h6!] 21...Ne5!
suddenly Black also has attacking chances. Trading off the important white knight on f3 turns the tide of the battle in Black's favor. 22.Rc3?! [22.hxg6 Nxg6 23.Rd4 e5 24.Rc5 Bb7 25.Be3 has better defensive chances] 22...Nd3+? [22...g5! 23.Rd4 Bb7 is all developed and super for Black] 23.Ke2 [23.Rxd3! Qxd3 24.Ne5! gives the advantage back to White] 23...Nb2 24.Qh1 g5! 25.Bxg5 Bb7 26.Bc1?
The wrong square for the bishop. 26. h6 would have pressed the attack. 26...Bxf3+! 27.Rxf3 [slightly better, though still losing is 27.gxf3 Na4 28.Re3 Rc8 29.Bd2 Rc2 30.Rd4 Nb2!] 27...Qc2+ 28.Bd2 Rxf3 29.gxf3 Qd3+ 30.Ke1
The white queen and rook are away on the kingside while the black pieces move in on the white king. Here 30...Rc8 planning 31...Rc1+32 Bxc1 Qd1 mate would be quick, yet there is no defense against Marty's plan also. 30...Nc4 31.Bc1 Ne5 32.Rf4 Rc8 33.Be3 Qb1+ 34.Ke2 Qxh1 35.h6 Rc2+ 36.Bd2 Rxd2+ 37.Kxd2 Qxh6 38.Ke3 Ng6 39.a4 Qxf4+ 40.Kd3 Qxb4 41.f4 Nxf4+ 42.Ke3 e5 43.f3 Qd4# An entertaining game. We look forward to seeing future encounters as Sebby continues to learn more from each tournament. 0-1

(3) Kelly,Sean (1786) - Argo,Guy (1938) [B07]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (3.3), 22.09.2021

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.g3 e5 5.Nge2 c6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0-0 Qc7 8.h3 h6 9.f4 b6 10.Be3 Ba6 11.Re1 Rd8 12.Qd2 0-0 13.g4

Sean has got an advantage in space yet the Black position is resilient if you watch for breakthroughs. 13...Nh7! 14.Rad1 Bh4 15.Bf2 Bxf2+ 16.Kxf2 exf4?! This gives up the e5 point in the center. White gets more freedom to maneuver. 17.Qxf4 Rde8?! [17...Rfe8 18.Ng3 Ndf8!] 18.Ng3 Re6 19.Nf5 Rfe8 20.Kg1 Rf6 21.Bf1?! [21.Qg3!] 21...Bc8?! [21...Bxf1] 22.Qh2 Ng5 23.Re3 g6?

24.h4! Seizing the moment for a crushing breakthrough. 24...gxf5 25.hxg5 hxg5 26.Rh3 The attack on the h-file is deadly. 26...Kf8 27.exf5 Qb8 28.Rh8+ 1-0

SwissSys Standings. Sep-Oct 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: 1800

# Place Name Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 1 FM Ezra Chambers 2314 W17 W7 W5         3.0  
2 2-3 IM Elliott Winslow 2269 W18 D12 W11         2.5  
3   Sean Kelly 1786 W6 D4 W10         2.5  
4 4-9 Nathan Fong 2049 W19 D3 H---         2.0  
5   Nicholas Weng 2001 W20 W9 L1         2.0  
6   Ako Heidari 1996 L3 W17 W12         2.0  
7   Alex Chin 1992 W22 L1 W20 H---       2.0  
8   James Mahooti 1800 H--- H--- W16         2.0  
9   Adam Stafford 1665 W15 L5 W18         2.0  
10 10-13 Guy Argo 1938 H--- W13 L3         1.5  
11   Tony Lama 1805 H--- X21 L2         1.5  
12   Ilia Gimelfarb 1752 W14 D2 L6         1.5  
13   Kevin Sun 1622 W16 L10 D19         1.5  
14 14-20 Kristian Clemens 1994 L12 L18 W21       H--- 1.0  
15   Steven Svoboda 1936 L9 L20 W22         1.0  
16   Kayven Riese 1900 L13 W22 L8         1.0  
17   Mark Drury 1830 L1 L6 B---         1.0  
18   Anthony Acosta 1818 L2 W14 L9 H---       1.0  
19   Samuel Brownlow 1795 L4 H--- D13         1.0  
20   Adam Mercado 1793 L5 W15 L7         1.0  
21 21 Glenn Kaplan 1766 H--- F11 L14   H---     0.5  
22 22 Joel Carron 1676 L7 L16 L15     H---   0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Sep-Oct 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: Under 1800

# Place Name Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 1-5 Marty Cortinas 1720 B--- W30 W9         3.0  
2   Daniel Wang 1581 W43 W12 W8         3.0  
3   Stephen Parsons 1544 W33 W13 W10         3.0  
4   Richard Hack 1543 W34 W32 W11         3.0  
5   Christopher Dessert 1418 W26 W7 W20         3.0  
6 6 John Chan 1500 H--- W27 W25         2.5  
7 7-19 Teodoro Porlares 1749 W46 L5 W23         2.0  
8   Georgios Tsolias 1538 W35 W38 L2         2.0  
9   Sebastian Suarez 1520 W37 W16 L1         2.0  
10   Aaron Craig 1451 W15 W19 L3         2.0  
11   Paul Reed 1440 W47 W18 L4         2.0  
12   Nursultan Uzakbaev 1389 W17 L2 W37         2.0  
13   Andrew Imbens 1318 W28 L3 W39         2.0  
14   Matt Long 1306 L18 W47 W38   H---     2.0  
15   Dean Guo unr. L10 W31 W29         2.0  
16   Jabez Wesly unr. W45 L9 W30         2.0  
17   Anton Maliev unr. L12 W46 W32         2.0  
18   Adam Ginzberg unr. W14 L11 W33         2.0  
19   Trent Hancock unr. W31 L10 W36         2.0  
20 20-28 Romeo Barreyro 1702 H--- W24 L5         1.5  
21   Nick Casares 1600 H--- L23 W34         1.5  
22   Lisa Willis 1583 H--- F25 W44         1.5  
23   Jerry Morgan 1462 H--- W21 L7         1.5  
24   Tobiah Rex 1173 W44 L20 D28         1.5  
25   Eli Chanoff unr. H--- X22 L6         1.5  
26   Benjamin Anderson unr. L5 H--- X42       H--- 1.5  
27   Adam Laskowitz unr. H--- L6 W43         1.5  
28   Elias Colfax-Lamoureux unr. L13 W35 D24         1.5  
29 29-41 Albert Starr 1500 L38 X42 L15         1.0  
30   David Olson 1400 W40 L1 L16         1.0  
31   Richard Ahrens 1210 L19 L15 W47         1.0  
32   Jp Fairchild 1177 W41 L4 L17         1.0  
33   William Thibault 983 L3 X40 L18         1.0  
34   Thomas Gu 768 L4 W41 L21         1.0  
35   David Nichol 546 L8 L28 X45         1.0  
36   Ryan Deal unr. H--- H--- L19         1.0  
37   Jeffrey Dallatezza unr. L9 X45 L12         1.0  
38   Deandr Stallworth unr. W29 L8 L14         1.0  
39   James Dorsch unr. H--- H--- L13         1.0  
40   Ryan Gill unr. L30 F33 W46         1.0  
41   Harry Elworthy unr. L32 L34 B---         1.0  
42 42-44 Damien Seperi 1083 H--- F29 F26         0.5  
43   Andrejs Gulbis 1029 L2 H--- L27         0.5  
44   Samuel White unr. L24 H--- L22       H--- 0.5  
45 45-47 Paul Krezanoski 1418 L16 F37 U---         0.0  
46   Natan Gimelfarb 1139 L7 L17 L40         0.0  
47   Ian Atroshchenko unr. L11 L14 L31         0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Sep-Oct 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: Extra Game

# Place Name Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 1-9 Brendyn Estolas 2052 U--- W16 U--- 1.0  
2   Gaziz Makhanov 1893 U--- W12 U--- 1.0  
3   Marty Cortinas 1720 W13 U--- U--- 1.0  
4   ROMEO BE BARREYRO 1702 W15 U--- U--- 1.0  
5   JERRY MORGAN 1462 W17 U--- U--- 1.0  
6   Judit Sztaray 807 U--- W18 U--- 1.0  
7   David Nichol 546 U--- U--- W14 1.0  
8   Noah Chambers unr. U--- W13 U--- 1.0  
9   Benjamin Anderson unr. U--- U--- W19 1.0  
10 10-11 Eli Chanoff unr. U--- D11 U--- 0.5  
11   Jeffrey Dallatezza unr. U--- D10 U--- 0.5  
12 12-19 Alex Silvestre 2131 U--- L2 U--- 0.0  
13   TONY A LAMA 1805 L3 L8 U--- 0.0  
14   Cesar Tamondong 1600 U--- U--- L7 0.0  
15   NICK CASARES JR 1600 L4 U--- U--- 0.0  
16   Albert Starr 1500 U--- L1 U--- 0.0  
17   JOHN CHAN 1500 L5 U--- U--- 0.0  
18   William Thibault 983 U--- L6 U--- 0.0  
19   Angad Sharma unr. U--- U--- L9 0.0  


Howard Donnelly Memorial Report

by Abel Talamantez

Howard Donnelly was a former Chess Director at the Mechanics' Institute from 1964-1965 and this two-day FIDE rated event was held in his honor. We had 52 players participate, playing in two sections. FM Ezra Chambers rebounded from a tough loss in round 3 to Advay Bansal to win the tournament with 4/5. In a 4-way tie for 2nd were Theodore Coyne, Advay Bansal, Daniel Lin, and Vincent Qin with 3.5/5.

Advay Bansal and FM Ezra Chambers played a spectacular game in round 3. Though Bansal won, Chambers was able to still win the tournament. 2018 National Kindergarten Champion Katherine Zhuge in action for her first tournament at the Mechanics' Institute.

In the 1600-1999 section, Stephen Willy took clear 1st by a full point to win the section with 4.5/5, followed by Matthew Alioto, Teodoro Porlares, James Mahooti, and Hanchi Yao, all with 3.5/5.

In the under 1600 section, Axel Joseph continues an impressive string of tournament performances with a clear win in the section with 4/5. In a 3-way tie for 2nd were Tobiah Rex, Kevin Hou, and Eli Lee with 3.5/5.

Congratulations to all the winners, and we would like to thank all the participants for playing. 

SwissSys Standings. 20th Donnelly Memorial Championship: Open

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total T-Sonneborn Prize
1 FM Ezra Chambers   15191101 2314 W15 L3 W11 W8 X4 4.0 7.5 282.00
2 Theodore Coyne   13848228 2136 W7 W5 W3 L4 D6 3.5 11.5 106.75
3 Advay Bansal   16068511 1949 W10 W1 L2 D5 W8 3.5 10.75 106.75
4 Daniel Lin   15176393 1863 D6 W9 W12 W2 F1 3.5 10.75 106.75
5 Vincent Qin   16571968 1807 B--- L2 W7 D3 W11 3.5 8.5 106.75
6 Nicholas Weng   15499404 2001 D4 W16 L8 W10 D2 3.0 7  
7 Patrick Liu   16667410 1884 L2 W13 L5 W16 W14 3.0 4  
8 Sean Kelly   16962568 1848 D9 W14 W6 L1 L3 2.5 5.75  
9 John Alioto   12433017 1965 D8 L4 W16 H--- H--- 2.5 4.75  
10 Jeffery Wang   16291100 1828 L3 D15 B--- L6 W13 2.5 3.25  
11 Sadia Qureshi   14024572 1857 W13 L12 L1 W14 L5 2.0 3  
12 Alex Silvestre   15446526 2131 H--- W11 L4 U--- U--- 1.5 4.25  
13 Ako Heidari   15206848 1996 L11 L7 H--- W15 L10 1.5 1.75  
14 Andrew Guo   16192001 1915 H--- L8 W15 L11 L7 1.5 1.75  
15 Lucas Lesniewski   17039584 1929 L1 D10 L14 L13 D16 1.0 1.75  
16 Max Hao   16083648 1881 H--- L6 L9 L7 D15 1.0 1  

SwissSys Standings. 20th Donnelly Memorial Championship: 1600-1999

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total T-Sonneborn Prize
1 Stephen Willy   17088783 1639 W12 W21 W11 D7 W3 4.5 11 188.00
2 Matthew Alioto   12438038 1791 W13 D8 X19 H--- H--- 3.5 9.25 70.75
3 Teodoro Porlares   12773115 1749 W17 W4 H--- X6 L1 3.5 9 70.75
4 Hanchi Yao   16512998 1636 W16 L3 W15 D11 W7 3.5 8.25 70.75
5 James Mahooti   12621393 1800 H--- W14 L7 W18 W13 3.5 7.75 70.75
6 Lisa Willis   12601676 1583 H--- H--- X21 F3 W11 3.0 8.5  
7 Samir Alazawi   14690016 1862 D10 W20 W5 D1 L4 3.0 8.25  
8 Kevin Sun   16898540 1622 W18 D2 H--- H--- D10 3.0 7.75  
9 Adam Stafford   14257838 1665 W15 L11 W16 H--- H--- 3.0 7  
10 Wentao Wu   16629782 1607 D7 D13 D18 W14 D8 3.0 7  
11 Katherine Zhuge   16715925 1454 B--- W9 L1 D4 L6 2.5 6  
12 Stephen Parsons   16566932 1544 L1 D15 L14 W16 W18 2.5 4.5  
13 Anvitha Penagalapati   16315087 1598 L2 D10 W20 W21 L5 2.5 3.5  
14 Aaron Craig   12872385 1451 H--- L5 W12 L10 D15 2.0 4.5  
15 Anish Dara   15295667 1552 L9 D12 L4 B--- D14 2.0 3.25  
16 Nursultan Uzakbaev   17137317 1540 L4 W17 L9 L12 W20 2.0 3  
17 Serena Yuan   16843308 1575 L3 L16 H--- D20 W21 2.0 2.5  
18 Neil Bhaduri   16717750 1515 L8 B--- D10 L5 L12 1.5 2.25  
19 Junior Mejia   14679391 1688 H--- H--- F2 U--- U--- 1.0 2.5  
20 Kian Jamali   16761438 1455 H--- L7 L13 D17 L16 1.0 1.5  
21 Nelson Sowell   11103405 1807 B--- L1 F6 L13 L17 1.0 1  

SwissSys Standings. 20th Donnelly Memorial Championship: under1600

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total T-Sonneborn Prize
1 Axel Joseph   30240086 1234 W8 W6 W5 W3 L2 4.0 12 188.00
2 Tobiah Rex   30164211 1173 H--- L5 W12 W9 W1 3.5 9.75 78.67
3 Kevin Hou   14466115 1310 W13 W7 W4 L1 D6 3.5 8.5 78.67
4 Eli Lee   16707438 694 B--- W10 L3 W11 H--- 3.5 7.5 78.67
5 Andrew Ballantyne   17079795 1427 H--- W2 L1 D7 W11 3.0 8.25  
6 Andrew Imbens   30102682 1318 W9 L1 D7 W13 D3 3.0 6.5  
7 Nilufer Sagat   17256603 unr. B--- L3 D6 D5 D8 2.5 5.5  
8 Albert Starr   12844781 1500 L1 W12 L11 X10 D7 2.5 4  
9 Danny Cao   16939797 896 L6 B--- H--- L2 W12 2.5 4 47.00
10 Valerie Jade   17168772 1484 W11 L4 U--- F8 W13 2.0 5  
11 Henry Lien   15156603 1065 L10 W13 W8 L4 L5 2.0 3.5  
12 Thomas Gu   17005685 768 H--- L8 L2 B--- L9 1.5 1.5  
13 Andrew Kaplan   30274959 unr. L3 L11 B--- L6 L10 1.0 0.5  

SwissSys Standings. 20th Donnelly Memorial Championship: Extra Games @ Donnelly

# Name Handle ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total T-Sonneborn
1 Nelson Sowell   11103405 1807 W6 U--- U--- U---   1.0 1.5
2 Matthew Alioto   12438038 1791 U--- U--- W8 U---   1.0 1.5
3 Anish Dara   15295667 1552 U--- U--- U--- W7   1.0 1.5
4 John Chan   12561007 1500 U--- W9 U--- U---   1.0 1.5
5 Kian Jamali   16761438 1455 W10 U--- U--- U---   1.0 1.5
6 Vincent Qin   16571968 1804 L1 U--- U--- U---   0.0 0
7 ALLYSON WONG   15052665 1773 U--- U--- U--- L3   0.0 0
8 Lisa Willis   12601676 1583 U--- U--- L2 U---   0.0 0
9 Neil Bhaduri   16717750 1515 U--- L4 U--- U---   0.0 0
10 Katherine Zhuge   16715925 1425 L5 U--- U--- U---   0.0 0

Tony's Teasers

Tony challenges you to solve this problem, white to move and mate in 3.


Mechanics' Institute Events Schedule

Don't Miss our Exciting Upcoming Events!!

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

Mechanics' Institute September/October TNM: FIDE Rated. September 7-October 19, 6:30PM PT.  Games G/120;d5:

20th JJ Dolan Memorial Championship: USCF Rated. October 2, 10AM PT. 4SS G/45;d5:

Mechanics' Institute October Quads: October 9, 3PM PT. 3 Games G/30;d5:

2021 Mechanics' Institute Rapid Championship. October 9, 10AM PT. 6SS G/15+2:

2021 Mechanics' Institute Blitz Championship. October 10, 11AM PT. 8SS G/3+2:


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

Scholastic Bulletin #4 is out!

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]

The Art Of War

In this article, FM Paul Whitehead demonstrates that Sun Tzu's treatise on how to do battle still applies after all these years, and particulalrly in battle over the chessboard, enjoy!

Peter Svidler vs. Magnus Carlsen, Grenke 2019.

Annotations by Sun Tzu (544–496 B.C.) with a little help from FM Paul Whitehead


One: Laying Plans.

1.e4 c5.

All warfare is based on deception.


Two: Waging War.

2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Bc4 Be7 5.d3 d6 6.Nd2 Nf6 7.Nf1 Nd7 8.Nd5 Nb6 9.Nxb6 axb6 10.c3 O-O 11.Ne3 Bg5.

In order to kill the enemy, men must be roused to anger.


Three: Attack By Stratagem.

12.O-O Kh8.

He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.


Four: Tactical Dispositions.

13.a3 f5.

The onrush of a conquering force is like the bursting of pent-up waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep.


Five: Use Of Energy.

14.Nxf5 Bxc1 15.Rxc1 Bxf5 16.exf5 d5.

That the impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against an egg.


Six: Weak Points And Strong.

17.Ba2 Rxf5 18.Qg4 Rf6 19.f4 exf4 20.Qg5 Qf8 21.Qxd5 Rd8.

We can form a single united body, while the enemy must split up into fractions.


Seven: Maneuvering An Army.

22.Qf3 Ne5.

Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness that of the forest.


Eight: Variation Of Tactics.

23.Qe4 Ng4 24.Rce1 Ne3 25.Rf2 Re8.

In War, the general receives his commands from the sovereign, collects his army and concentrates his forces.


Nine: The Army On The March.

26.Qxb7 g5.

When there is much running about it means the critical moment has come.


Ten: Classification Of Terrain.

27.Rfe2 g4.

Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you wherever you may lead.


Eleven: The Nine Situations.

28.Rf2 Qh6 29.Qc7 Ref8 30.h3 gxh3 31.g3 fxg3.

When you penetrate deeply into a country, it is serious ground.


Twelve: Attack by Fire.

32.Rxf6 h2+.

A kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be bought back to life.


Thirteen: Use Of Spies.

33.Kh1 g2#.

Be subtle, and use your spies for every kind of business.



It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war who can thoroughly understand the profitable ways of carrying it on.


GM Nick de Firmian's Column

Championship Tune up in Norway

A very strong pre-world championship tournament was just held (live) in Norway, which gave champion Magnus Carlsen and his challenger, Ian Nepomniachtchi, a chance at high level opposition to tune up their game before the world championship match in Dubai in November. The winner was (surprise!) Magnus, who felt he had to defend his home turf. Of course that was the expected result. Nepomniachtchi played in decent form, but lost to Magnus and finished below. Probably this really doesn’t bother him. Both players are saving their best opening preparation for the $2,000,000 match in Dubai, which looks to be a long, protracted battle of 14 games. Nepo has a good score against Magnus and the match is his chance of a lifetime for eternal glory.

The other interesting story of the tournament was the play of (probably future challenger) Alireza Firouzja. The streaking teenager rose into the world’s top ten on the rating list with a great performance. Not only did he reach number nine on the list with a 2770 rating, but he passed up veteran super grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to become the number one French player in the world. Though the current battle for chess supremacy centers on the 30 year old players there is no doubt Firouzja will be in the thick of the championship runs for the next decade. We give below his sparkling victory over rising star Richard Rapport (#10 in the world) and also the Magnus- Nepo encounter.

(1) Firouzja,Alizera - Rapport,Richard [B30]
Norway Chess, 18.09.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 The Rossolimo Attack. 3...Nf6 4.Nc3 Nd4 5.e5 White starts the action with a lead in development, not caring that the bishop on b5 is traded for a knight. 5...Nxb5 6.Nxb5 Nd5 7.0-0 a6 8.c4 Nb4 9.Nc3 d6 10.d4 cxd4 11.Qxd4!?

11...Nc2 Rapport grabs the offered exchange. White clearly gets a lot of development for the material. Objectively chances are about even, but attacking players would love to play the white side. 12.Qe4 Nxa1 13.Bf4 Be6 14.Rxa1 Rc8 15.Nd5 dxe5 16.Nxe5
All the white pieces are out. Yet the black king has defenders around him so it is not easy to proceed with White. 16...f6 17.Nf3 Bxd5 18.cxd5 Rc5 19.d6 Qd7 20.b4 Rc6 21.Re1
A critical position.The white pieces and d-pawn cause a lot of pressure. 21...Kf7? Looks sensible, but the wrong defense. Black had equality with the long tactical line [21...e5 22.Bxe5 Kd8! 23.a4! Bxd6 24.b5 Rc7 25.Bxd6 Qxd6 26.bxa6 Qxa6 (26...Re7? 27.a7!) 27.Nd4 Qc4 28.Ne6+ Kc8 29.Nxc7 Qxe4 30.Rxe4 Rd8! 31.h4 Kxc7 and the rook ending is equal since 32. Re7+ is met by ...Re7. A difficult defense to find!] 22.Nd4 e5 23.Qd5+ Kg6
[23...Ke8 24.Bxe5 fxe5 25.Qxe5+ Kd8 26.Qa5+ Kc8 27.Nxc6] 24.Bxe5! Rxd6 [24...fxe5 25.Nf3! Qxd6 26.Nxe5+ wins the queen at least] 25.Bxd6 Bxd6 26.Qe4+ Kf7 27.Qd5+ Kg6 28.g3 material is even but White is just winning with the pin on the bishop and the black king on the bad square g6 28...h6 29.Rd1 Re8 [29...Rd8 30.Ne6 Re8 31.Nf4+ Kh7 32.Kg2! wins the bishop on d6] 30.Nf3 Re6 31.Nh4+ Kh7 32.Qd3+ Black resigns since the bishop is lost after 32...Kh8 33.Nf5 1-0

(2) Carlsen,Magnus - Nepomniachtchi,Ian [D78]
Norway Chess, 17.09.2021

This pre-championship meeting has more to do with the tournament than any fortelling how the match will go. Magnus with White just wants to score a point Nepo is a tough opponent, but winning a tournament is always hard. 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.c4 c6 6.b3 Ne4 7.d4 0-0 8.Bb2 a5 9.Nc3 Bf5

We have a slow opening. Probably neither player wants to use any of their opening preparation. The big battle happens starting November. 10.e3 Nxc3 11.Bxc3 Be4 12.Qe2 a4 13.Rfc1 axb3 14.axb3 Rxa1 15.Rxa1 Qb6?! This is just a small inaccuracy, but it gives Magnus something to work on. The white queenside pawns gain time to march up the board. 16.b4! Nd7 [16...dxc4 17.Qxc4 leaves White a little stronger in the center] 17.c5 Qc7 18.Ra7 Now Nepo will have to at least suffer a bit. White has the a-file and the advanced b and c pawns 18...Qb8 19.Qa2 Bxf3?! This allows Black to get in the ...e5 pawn break immediately yet it costs the bishop pair. White's edge increases. 20.Bxf3 e5 21.b5!? Magnus uses tactics to get his break in too. 21...e4? This is counting on a tactic that doesn't work. Nepo needed to play 21...exd4 to keep play in the center. 22.Be2 Nxc5 Nepo counter on this tactic, but Magnus was not fooled. 23.Bb4! Na6 24.Bxf8 Bxf8
[24...Qxa7 25.Bxg7 Kxg7 26.bxa6] 25.Rxb7! Qxb7 26.Qxa6 Material is equal yet White is completely winning. It's unusual this bishops of opposite color position is so hopeless for Black. 26...Qb8 [26...Qxa6 27.bxa6 and the pawn queens] 27.Qxc6 Qd6 28.Qxd6 Bxd6 29.Bd1 The d5 pawn drops so white will be ahead two pawns (and position). 29...Bc7 30.Bb3 Kg7 31.Bxd5 f5 32.g4 Kf6 33.h4 h6 34.Kg2 Bd8 35.h5! breaking the pawn chain. As usual Magnus plays this endgame superbly. 35...fxg4 36.hxg6 Kxg6 37.Bxe4+ Kg5 38.f4+ Kf6 [38...gxf3+ 39.Kxf3 is trivial with the three passed white pawns] 39.Kg3 h5 40.Kh4 Ba5

41.b6! The last careful move needed. Now 41...Bxb6 42. Kxh5 g3 43. Kg4 is finished. Nepo had one last trick - white could have gone wrong with 41. Kxh5? Bf2 42 b6 Bxe3 and Black can stops the b-pawn. 1-0

Solution to Tony's Teaser

1. Ob1!!  Bxb1  2. Rc5!!  Kxc5  Ne6#

1. Ob1!!  Bxb1  2. Rc5!!  Bxc5  Bf6#


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