Chess Room Newsletter #989 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #989

Gens Una Sumus!


Newsletter #989

October 9, 2021


Table of Contents

Tuesday Night Marathon Round 5 Report

by Abel Talamantez

FM Ezra Chambers continued to work his magic at the Tuesday Night Marathon, again persevering through an inferior position during much of the game to steal victory from the jaws of defeat against Nathan Fong. Nathan commented right after the game, "That's why they're good," referring to the ability of stronger players to keep their cool in difficult positions, find ways to create opportunities, and leave little room for error to their opponents. He currently leads the top section by a full point and a half with a perfect 5/5. He received a futher half point cushion on his lead from last week after a draw between Ako Heidari and Nicholas Weng. Sean Kelly won an impressive game against Alex Chin, putting Kelly along with Heidari and Weng at 3.5.5. 

In the u/1800 section, Marty Cortinas and Daniel Wang played to a draw, and with Christopher Dessert losing to Stephen Parsons, Cortinas and Wang lead the section with 4.5/5. Five players are in the hunt just a half point behind with 4/5, including Parsons, Dessert, Paul Reed, Andrew Imbens and Anton Maliev. 

Two more rounds to go in this TNM, the action continues next Tuesday evening starting at 6:30pm PDT, broadcast at 7pm.

Here is the link to the broadcast of round 5:

Here are some games from Tuesday night, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian:

(1) FM Chambers,Ezra (2314) - Fong,Nathan (2049) [B20]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (5.1), 05.10.2021

1.e4 c5 2.a3 The Delayed Wing Gambit 2...e6 [2...g6!? is another way to cross White's plans.] 3.b4 cxb4 4.axb4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4

6...d5?! This makes the game an Advanced French where White has a strong pawn chain. This is definitely compensation for the pawn. Instead Black could have considered [6...d6 or; 6...b6] 7.e5 Bd7 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.Nh3 Qc7 [9...b5!?] 10.0-0 f6?! This gives White definte play on the kingside. 11.Qh5+ Kf8 12.f4?! [12.Re1! is clearly better for White with active pieces and attacking chances] 12...f5= Now the game is blocked, which Black can be happy about. 13.Ng5 g6 14.Qe2 h6 15.Nf3 a6 16.Nbd2 Na5?! 17.c4!+/= dxc4?! [17...Bc6] 18.Nxc4 Nxc4 19.Bxc4 Rc8 20.Bd3?! [20.Bb3+/- Bb5 21.Qa2! Bxf1 22.Kxf1 is great play on the light squares. The e6 pawn is a goner.] 20...Bb4 21.Rb1 a5 22.Be3?! This allows Black to close the queenside. 22. Bd2 is more aggressive. 22...Ne7 23.Rfc1 Bc6 24.Bc4 Qd7 25.Ne1 Nd5
Black has a clear edge with such control of d5. 26.Nd3 Ba3 27.Nc5 Bxc5 28.dxc5 Kf7 29.Qd2?! [29.Bxd5 Qxd5 30.Rc4 Qd7 31.Rd4 Bd5-/+] 29...Nxe3!? 30.Qxe3 Rhd8 31.Qb3?! [31.Ra1] 31...Qe7?! [31...Qd4+ 32.Kh1 Qf2! is really good for Black. White should not take the pawn on e6 - 33.Bxe6+? Ke7 34.Rg1 Rd2 wins] 32.Qe3 Be4 33.Rb6 Rc6 34.Rb5 Qc7?! [34...a4 35.Ra5 g5 keeps a clear edge] 35.Qb3?! [35.Be2 a4 36.h3 Ra8 37.Kh2 a3 38.Ra1] 35...Rd7 36.Qh3 Kg7 37.Qa3 Rd2 38.Bf1 b6?
This gives White a target. Much better was [38...Ra6-+ or; 38...Qd7-+] 39.Qe3! Ezra jumps at his chance. If the black rook retreats then White can capture on b6 [39.cxb6? now loses to 39...Rxc1 40.bxc7 Rxg2+ 41.Kh1 Rxf1#] 39...Qd8 40.Rxb6 Rd4? [40...g5-/+] 41.Qb3 Rd2 42.Rb7+ Here they both had five minutes or less, and stopped keeping score. But the DGT board recorded the crucial drama:
42...Rc7? [42...Rd7=] 43.Rxc7+?! [43.c6+- Rdd7 44.Qb6] 43...Qxc7 44.Qxe6 Qd8?
[44...a4] 45.Qf6+!+- Trading queens wins as the c-pawn marches forward. 45...Kh7 [45...Qxf6 46.exf6+ Kxf6 47.c6 a4 48.c7 Bb7 49.Rb1 Bc8 50.Rb8 Be6 51.Bc4] 46.Qxd8 Rxd8 47.c6 Ra8 48.c7 Bb7 49.Rb1 That's it. There is no way for Black to defend here. 49...Ra7 50.Rxb7 Rxb7 51.c8Q Rg7 52.Qa8 h5 53.Qxa5 h4 54.e6 h3 55.gxh3 g5 56.Qxf5+ Kh6 57.Qf6+ Rg6 58.fxg5+ Kh5 59.Be2+ Kh4 60.Qf4+ Kxh3 61.Qg4# Nathan had a lot of chances in this game. Ezra kept his cool though and took the opportunities at the end. 1-0

(2) Heidari,Ako (1996) - Weng,Nicholas (2001) [D89]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (5.2), 05.10.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 0-0 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Be3 Bg4 11.f3 Na5 12.Bd3 cxd4 13.cxd4 Be6 14.d5

The height of theory -- seventy years ago! Yet this is a great position to play for both sides. It has lots of action and tactics. 14...Bxa1 15.Qxa1 f6 16.Bh6 [16.Qb1 Bd7 (16...Bf7 17.Nd4 a6 18.Qb4) 17.e5 fxe5 18.Bxg6 would be, like so often in sharp lines, a bail-out to a perpetual.] 16...Re8 17.Kh1?! a6 18.Nf4
18...Bf7? [18...Bd7 19.Qe1 e5!? (19...Bb5!?) ] 19.e5!+- e6 [19...g5 20.e6 gxf4 21.exf7+ Kxf7 22.Qd4+- e5 23.Qe4 Rh8 24.g4 Rc8 25.g5 is very strong according to Stockfish] 20.dxe6 Bxe6 21.exf6 [21.Be4!?] 21...Qd7?
[21...Bf7 22.Be4 is "less won".] 22.Be4 Still good, just not best. [22.Nxg6! hxg6 (22...Qf7 23.Ne7+) 23.Bxg6 threatens to crash the party with 24.f7+, and is very winning ("+9.56" Stockfish 14!)] 22...Rad8 23.Qe1 [23.Nxg6! is still winning, even with the free move for Black.] 23...Nc6?
[23...Qb5!? 24.a4! is still close to won again, but nowhere near as bad as played.] 24.Qg3 [24.Nxg6 STILL overwhelming!] 24...Ne5
25.Nxg6? And after all those times when this was the winning move -- now it's the move that *doesn't* win! Black can trade off a critical piece. [25.h4 is the best. +-.] 25...Nxg6 26.Bxg6 hxg6 27.Qxg6+ It's just a draw -- White has run out of attackers. 27...Kh8 28.Bg7+ Kg8
29.Bh6+ Kh8 30.Bg7+ Kg8 31.Bh6+ An exciting battle. Ako had his chances for the full point, but of course this is very complicated in real time over the board. 1/2-1/2

(3) Argo,Guy (1938) - IM Winslow,Elliott (2269) [B22]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (5.3), 05.10.2021

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.Qc2 Nc6 [3...Qc7! Take that! The copycat move stops White's d2-d4.] 4.Nf3 e5 5.Bb5!? Qb6!? 6.Bxc6 Qxc6 7.Nxe5 Qxe4+ 8.Qxe4 Nxe4

White has trouble achieving equality. 9.d3 Nf6 10.0-0 d6 11.Nc4 [11.Nf3] 11...Be6 12.Nba3
12...d5 [Black has a little edge due to the bishop pair. He must keep the game from getting blocked though when knights are happier. Easier may be 12...0-0-0 13.Bg5 d5 14.Ne5 d4 which favors Black.] 13.Ne5 Bd6 14.Re1 0-0 15.Bg5 Rfe8?! Now White gets equality [15...a6 16.Nc2 (16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Nf3 f5 would be a better version of the game.) ] 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Nf3 a6 18.Nc2= Rad8?!
19.d4! c4?! [19...b6 20.a4 a5 21.g3 f5= keeps the queenside more fluid.] 20.Nh4 [20.Ne3 f5 21.g3 f4 22.Ng2] 20...f5 21.g3?! Gives Black a hook to play on.
[21.Ne3 f4 22.Nef5 Bc7 (22...Bf8?! 23.g3 fxg3 24.hxg3+/- according to Stockfish 14. Compare to Black's 21st) 23.g3=] 21...Kg7? [21...f4!=/+ exchanges a weak pawn, provides scope for the light-squared bishop, loosens White's kingside pawns. But most importantly, the knight at c2 is restricted, unless White plays gxf4 when his own pawns are a problem. 22.Ng2 Kh8! 23.gxf4 Rg8] 22.f4 Maybe not even best! But White slams the door to any activity by Black, when now only he can play on. So it has a psychological value. [22.Ne3 Kf6 23.Nhg2!?] 22...Kf6 23.Ne3 Rg8 24.Kf2 b5 25.b4?! [25.a3+/= Now Black can prepare the break . ..b4, but it will always be too risky to play.] 25...a5 26.a3 Ra8 27.Nc2
With opening the a-file just leading to the rooks coming off, Black has absolutely no counterplay now. White offered a draw. 1/2-1/2

(4) Chin,Alex (1992) - Kelly,Sean (1786) [B90]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (5.4), 05.10.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 This has become a popular move against the Najdorf. It gives White reaonable chances without too much theory. 6...e5 7.Nde2 h5 Stopping White's kingside advance is a sound strategy. 8.g3 Be7 9.Bg2 b5 10.0-0 Bb7 11.Be3 Nbd7 12.Qd2 0-0 13.f4 Rc8 14.Nd5

14...Nxd5 [14...Bxd5 15.exd5 Nb6 16.b3 is a fair alternative] 15.exd5 Bf6=/+ Anyway Black is a little more comfortable. 16.c3?! [16.fxe5 Bxe5=/+ 17.c3 (17.Rae1) ] 16...Re8?! [16...Nb6!-/+ 17.b3 e4! 18.Bxe4 Re8 19.Bg2 Nxd5 is very good for Black] 17.Rae1?! [17.fxe5 Nxe5 18.b3] 17...Nb6-/+ 18.Qd1?!
[18.Bxb6 Qxb6+ 19.Kh2] 18...e4!-+ Sean has all his pieces in the right places and pushes actively forward. 19.Nd4 Nxd5 20.Bc1?! Qb6 21.Kh2 Bxd4 22.cxd4 Nf6 Black has won a pawn and has the better position, so Alex decides to go for broke. 23.g4!? hxg4 24.hxg4 Rc4 [24...Rxc1!? 25.Qxc1 Nxg4+ 26.Kg3 Nf6 is also a reasonable continuation] 25.g5 Rxd4 26.Qe2 [26.Be3 Rxd1 27.Bxb6 Rxe1 28.Rxe1 Nh5] 26...Nd5 27.Qh5 Bc8 [27...e3 28.g6 fxg6 29.Qxg6 Qd8] 28.Rh1 Bf5!
The White attack is completely shut down unless he can get through on the h-file. That plan has its problems. 29.Bh3 [29.Qh4 Qc5] 29...Rd3! The best move, when White is collapsing. The threat of 30...Qf2+ is lethal. 30.Kg2 Rf3 31.Be3? Nxe3+ A great game by Sean. 0-1

(5) Brownlow,Samuel (1795) - Gimelfarb,Ilia (1752) [C44]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (5.8), 05.10.2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d3 Bc5 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Be6 7.Be3 Bxe3 8.fxe3 Qd7 9.Nbd2 h6 10.c3 0-0 11.b4 a6 12.d4 Bg4 13.a4 b5 14.Qb3 Rfe8 15.axb5 axb5 16.d5 Ne7 17.c4 This game was the slowest developing game of the round (time wise). The players get to a real battle eventually. 17...bxc4 18.Qxc4 c6 19.dxc6 Qxc6 20.Qxc6 Nxc6 21.b5 Nb4 22.Nc4 Rad8 23.Ra3 Nxe4

24.Nfxe5 dxe5 25.Bxe4 Be2 26.Rb1 material and chances are still even 26...Nd5 27.Rc1 g6 28.Kf2 Bg4 29.Bf3 Bc8 30.Bxd5 Rxd5 31.Nb6 Rdd8 32.Nxc8 Rxc8 33.Rxc8 Rxc8 We have an equal material rook ending. 34.Ke2 e4 35.Kd2 Kf8 36.Ra4 f5 37.Ra6 Kf7 White is better due to the passed pawn. Now 38. b6 would keep the edge. 38.Rc6?
The pawn ending is tricky with little time on the clock, but Black is in control as he corrals the white c-pawn. 38...Rxc6 39.bxc6 Ke6 40.Kc3 Kd6 41.Kd4 Kxc6 42.Ke5 Kc5 43.g4
43...Kc4?? [43...fxg4 44.Kxe4 Kd6 45.Kf4 h5 would be a winning position with the extra pawn. Now Black gets the wrong side of a two pawn each ending.] 44.gxf5 gxf5 45.Kxf5 Kd3 46.Kf4
Black gets in zugszwang after 46...h5 47. h4 The rest is easy 46...Kc4 47.Kxe4 Kc5 48.Kf5 Kd6 49.e4 Ke7 50.Ke5 Kf7 51.Kd6 Ke8 52.Ke6 Kf8 53.Kd7 Kf7 54.e5 1-0

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

# Place Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 1 FM Ezra Chambers 15191101 2314 W21 W11 W2 W5 W6     5.0  
2 2-4 Nicholas Weng 15499404 2001 W16 W18 L1 W4 D3     3.5  
3   Ako Heidari 15206848 1996 L4 W21 W20 W14 D2     3.5  
4   Sean Kelly 16962568 1786 W3 D6 W8 L2 W11     3.5  
5 5-10 IM Elliott Winslow 10363365 2269 W12 D20 W19 L1 D8     3.0  
6   Nathan Fong 13001390 2049 W15 D4 H--- W18 L1     3.0  
7   Kristian Clemens 13901075 1994 L20 L12 W22 W16 W13   H--- 3.0  
8   Guy Argo 12517167 1938 H--- W13 L4 W20 D5     3.0  
9   Steven Svoboda 10451671 1936 L18 L16 W17 W21 W14     3.0  
10   Kayven Riese 12572270 1900 L13 W17 L14 W15 W18     3.0  
11 11-13 Alex Chin 17050697 1992 W17 L1 W16 H--- L4     2.5  
12   Anthony Acosta 12633251 1818 L5 W7 L18 H--- W19     2.5  
13   Kevin Sun 16898540 1622 W10 L8 D15 W19 L7     2.5  
14 14-18 James Mahooti 12621393 1800 H--- H--- W10 L3 L9     2.0  
15   Samuel Brownlow 12747074 1795 L6 H--- D13 L10 W20     2.0  
16   Adam Mercado 16571026 1793 L2 W9 L11 L7 B---     2.0  
17   Joel Carron 16600505 1676 L11 L10 L9 X22 W21 H---   2.0  
18   Adam Stafford 14257838 1665 W9 L2 W12 L6 L10     2.0  
19 19-20 Tony Lama 12328450 1805 H--- X22 L5 L13 L12     1.5  
20   Ilia Gimelfarb 17158733 1752 W7 D5 L3 L8 L15     1.5  
21 21-22 Mark Drury 12459313 1830 L1 L3 B--- L9 L17     1.0  
22   Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1766 H--- F19 L7 F17 H---     1.0  

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

# Place Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 1-2 Marty Cortinas 12590374 1720 B--- W43 W15 W14 D2     4.5  
2   Daniel Wang 15361305 1581 W40 W16 W28 W3 D1     4.5  
3 3-7 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1544 W32 W6 W9 L2 W5     4.0  
4   Paul Reed 13373197 1440 W35 W12 L14 W37 W15     4.0  
5   Christopher Dessert 15048166 1418 W11 W13 W20 W8 L3     4.0  
6   Andrew Imbens 30102682 1318 W26 L3 W44 W13 W21     4.0  
7   Anton Maliev 30250562 unr. L16 W31 W17 W28 W14     4.0  
8 8-12 John Chan 12561007 1500 H--- W25 W24 L5 W26     3.5  
9   Aaron Craig 12872385 1451 W19 W37 L3 W36 D12     3.5  
10   Matt Long 13377410 1306 L12 W35 W18 W20 H---     3.5  
11   Benjamin Anderson 30235937 unr. L5 H--- X46 W27 W25   H--- 3.5  
12   Adam Ginzberg 30268083 unr. W10 L4 W32 W16 D9     3.5  
13 13-19 Teodoro Porlares 12773115 1749 W31 L5 W22 L6 W34     3.0  
14   Richard Hack 12796129 1543 W33 W17 W4 L1 L7     3.0  
15   Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1520 W34 W36 L1 W19 L4     3.0  
16   Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1389 W7 L2 W34 L12 W36     3.0  
17   Jp Fairchild 30150098 1177 W38 L14 L7 W45 W37     3.0  
18   Deandr Stallworth 30255378 unr. W29 L28 L10 W32 W38     3.0  
19   Dean Guo 30257083 unr. L9 W30 W29 L15 W28     3.0  
20 20-26 Romeo Barreyro 17018168 1702 H--- W39 L5 L10 W33     2.5  
21   Nick Casares 10424364 1600 H--- L22 W33 X24 L6     2.5  
22   Jerry Morgan 13159224 1462 H--- W21 L13 L26 W41     2.5  
23   David Nichol 12934283 546 L28 L26 X47 W29 H---     2.5  
24   Eli Chanoff 30204815 unr. H--- X27 L8 F21 W42     2.5  
25   Adam Laskowitz 30258766 unr. H--- L8 W40 W39 L11     2.5  
26   Elias Colfax-Lamoureux 30242818 unr. L6 W23 D39 W22 L8     2.5  
27 27-38 Lisa Willis 12601676 1583 H--- F24 W42 L11 H---     2.0  
28   Georgios Tsolias 17266862 1538 W23 W18 L2 L7 L19     2.0  
29   Albert Starr 12844781 1500 L18 X46 L19 L23 W39     2.0  
30   Richard Ahrens 16953298 1210 L37 L19 W35 L38 W45     2.0  
31   Natan Gimelfarb 16757673 1139 L13 L7 L45 W40 W44     2.0  
32   William Thibault 16716976 983 L3 X45 L12 L18 X46     2.0  
33   Thomas Gu 17005685 768 L14 W38 L21 X44 L20     2.0  
34   Jeffrey Dallatezza 30264869 unr. L15 X47 L16 W43 L13     2.0  
35   Ian Atroshchenko 30214657 unr. L4 L10 L30 B--- W43     2.0  
36   Jabez Wesly 30210917 unr. W47 L15 W43 L9 L16     2.0  
37   Trent Hancock 30174249 unr. W30 L9 W41 L4 L17     2.0  
38   Harry Elworthy 30256579 unr. L17 L33 B--- W30 L18     2.0  
39 39-42 Tobiah Rex 30164211 1173 W42 L20 D26 L25 L29     1.5  
40   Andrejs Gulbis 16741331 1029 L2 H--- L25 L31 B---     1.5  
41   Ryan Deal 30281032 unr. H--- H--- L37 H--- L22     1.5  
42   Samuel White 30269966 unr. L39 H--- L27 X46 L24   H--- 1.5  
43 43-45 David Olson 13913131 1400 W45 L1 L36 L34 L35     1.0  
44   James Dorsch 30249167 unr. H--- H--- L6 F33 L31     1.0  
45   Ryan Gill 30240310 unr. L43 F32 W31 L17 L30     1.0  
46 46 Damien Seperi 16757144 1083 H--- F29 F11 F42 F32     0.5  
47 47 Paul Krezanoski 16897133 1418 L36 F34 U--- U--- U---     0.0  

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

# Place Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total Prize
1 1-14 Brendyn Estolas 12869947 2052 U--- W23 U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
2   Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1893 U--- W19 U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
3   Marty Cortinas 12590374 1720 W20 U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
4   ROMEO BE BARREYRO 17018168 1702 W22 U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
5   JERRY MORGAN 13159224 1462 W24 U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
6   Natan Gimelfarb 16757673 1090 U--- U--- U--- W13 U--- 1.0  
7   Pratyush Hule 16317000 825 U--- U--- U--- L9 W16 1.0  
8   Judit Sztaray 14708926 807 U--- W25 U--- L12 U--- 1.0  
9   Thomas Gu 17005685 768 U--- U--- U--- W7 U--- 1.0  
10   David Nichol 12934283 546 U--- U--- W21 U--- U--- 1.0  
11   Samuel White 30269966 unr. U--- U--- U--- W22 U--- 1.0  
12   Ian Atroshchenko 30214657 unr. U--- U--- U--- W8 U--- 1.0  
13   Noah Chambers 16694473 unr. U--- W20 U--- L6 U--- 1.0  
14   Benjamin Anderson 30235937 unr. U--- U--- W26 U--- U--- 1.0  
15 15-18 Joel Carron 16600505 1676 U--- U--- U--- D16 U--- 0.5  
16   Samuel Agdamag 14874734 1448 U--- U--- U--- D15 L7 0.5  
17   Eli Chanoff 30204815 unr. U--- D18 U--- U--- U--- 0.5  
18   Jeffrey Dallatezza 30264869 unr. U--- D17 U--- U--- U--- 0.5  
19 19-26 Alex Silvestre 15446526 2131 U--- L2 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
20   TONY A LAMA 12328450 1805 L3 L13 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
21   Cesar Tamondong 12439091 1600 U--- U--- L10 U--- U--- 0.0  
22   NICK CASARES JR 10424364 1600 L4 U--- U--- L11 U--- 0.0  
23   Albert Starr 12844781 1500 U--- L1 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
24   JOHN CHAN 12561007 1500 L5 U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
25   William Thibault 16716976 983 U--- L8 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
26   Angad Sharma   unr. U--- U--- L14 U--- U--- 0.0  

JJ Dolan Memorial Report

There were 56 players in the JJ Dolan Memorial held on Saturday October 2nd, which was a four-round G/45;d5 USCF rated tournament. In the top section, Abhishek Mallela dominated the day, scoring a perfect 4/4 to win the top section by a full point. Rithwik Narendra, Nathan Yan, and Luke Widjaja shared a tie for 2nd with 3/4. 

In the bottom section, Arjun Sankar was able to take sole 1st place in a 37-player section, not an easy feat with 4 rounds. He went 4/4, with Arjun Varavan and Yuelin Shi tying for 2nd with 3.5/4. 

Congratulations to all the winners and special thank you to all the participants for another amazing weekend turnout!

SwissSys Standings. Dolan Memorial Championship: 1800+ 

# Place Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Total Prize
1 1 Abhishek Mallela 12888811 2106 W19 W10 W11 W4 4.0 312.00
2 2-4 Rithwik Narendra 14903560 1980 D7 W13 D5 W10 3.0 89.00
3   Nathan Yan 16430495 1975 W16 L4 W9 W11 3.0 89.00
4   Luke Widjaja 16010621 1773 W5 W3 W8 L1 3.0 89.00
5 5-8 Jacob Chiang 16093205 2006 L4 W16 D2 W12 2.5  
6   Aditya Naganath 12791560 1917 D13 D17 W15 D8 2.5  
7   Max Hao 16083648 1758 D2 L8 W17 W14 2.5  
8   Zachary Filler 14040236 1600 W15 W7 L4 D6 2.5  
9 9-11 Ranen Lardent 12614986 1866 W18 L11 L3 W15 2.0  
10   James Mahooti 12621393 1800 W17 L1 W14 L2 2.0  
11   Adam Stafford 14257838 1674 W12 W9 L1 L3 2.0  
12 12-13 Lucas Lesniewski 17039584 1915 L11 H--- W13 L5 1.5  
13   Wentao Wu 16629782 1677 D6 L2 L12 W18 1.5  
14 14-16 Sam Sloan 11115292 1900 H--- H--- L10 L7 1.0  
15   Anshul Govindu 14721288 1805 L8 W18 L6 L9 1.0  
16   Kevin Sun 16898540 1694 L3 L5 D18 H--- 1.0  
17 17-18 Adrian Kondakov 15082597 2146 L10 D6 L7 U--- 0.5  
18   Serena Yuan 16843308 1604 L9 L15 D16 L13 0.5  
19 19 Arjun Vairavan 30289746 1793 L1 U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Dolan Memorial Championship: Under1800 

# Place Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Total Prize
1 1 Arjun Sankar 14542170 1537 W32 W34 W11 W5 4.0 195.00
2 2-3 Arjun Vairavan 30289746 1793 B--- W18 D6 W14 3.5 81.50
3   Yuelin Shi 16286905 1522 W22 W25 D4 W12 3.5 81.50
4 4-10 Joshua Lamstein 15487526 1588 W13 W8 D3 D11 3.0  
5   Vikrant Ganesan 16786952 1569 W10 W29 W7 L1 3.0  
6   Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1540 X36 W20 D2 H--- 3.0  
7   Samuel Agdamag 14874734 1421 W15 W16 L5 W21 3.0  
8   Gabriel Ngam 13553308 1340 W33 L4 W32 W23 3.0  
9   Tobiah Rex 30164211 1222 L11 W37 W34 W25 3.0  
10   Arjun Nathan 15943490 1174 L5 W27 W19 W24 3.0  
11 11-15 Na Chea 15147161 1643 W9 W19 L1 D4 2.5  
12   Anish Dara 15295667 1552 D21 W35 W16 L3 2.5  
13   Katherine Sunny Lu 16425316 1181 L4 W33 W17 D15 2.5  
14   Ivan Zhou 17352346 796 W28 W17 D21 L2 2.5  
15   Wyatt Binnard 30288726 unr. L7 W31 W18 D13 2.5  
16 16-25 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1588 W30 L7 L12 W29 2.0  
17   John Chan 12561007 1548 W31 L14 L13 W30 2.0  
18   Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1505 W27 L2 L15 W33 2.0  
19   Lisa Willis 12601676 1500 W37 L11 L10 W32 2.0  
20   Ethan Sun 16964125 1329 W24 L6 L23 W28 2.0  
21   Ruyi Hu 16659933 1168 D12 W26 D14 L7 2.0  
22   Thomas Gu 17005685 873 L3 W30 H--- H--- 2.0  
23   Pavel Kolesnikov 30194161 unr. L29 W36 W20 L8 2.0  
24   Quinn Koster 30226046 unr. L20 B--- W29 L10 2.0  
25   Jan Erik Solem 30270432 unr. W26 L3 W35 L9 2.0  
26 26-27 Swaminathan Sankar 14080777 1227 L25 L21 D27 W35 1.5  
27   Neev Grover 16652883 381 L18 L10 D26 W34 1.5  
28 28-34 Albert Starr 12844781 1511 L14 L32 X36 L20 1.0  
29   Andrew Ballantyne 17079795 1336 W23 L5 L24 L16 1.0  
30   Jp Fairchild 30150098 1189 L16 L22 W37 L17 1.0  
31   Jimmy Fan 17303750 1111 L17 L15 L33 W37 1.0  
32   Danny Cao 16939797 1031 L1 W28 L8 L19 1.0  
33   Jordan Goodfriend 30278210 unr. L8 L13 W31 L18 1.0  
34   Christian Brickhouse 30261226 unr. B--- L1 L9 L27 1.0  
35 35 Danica Li 16963912 1054 H--- L12 L25 L26 0.5  
36 36-37 Henry Lien 15156603 1065 F6 L23 F28 U--- 0.0  
37   Vihan Grover 30105977 unr. L19 L9 L30 L31 0.0  

Mechanics' October Championship Quads Report

We held a 20-player championship quads on Sunday October 3rd. We again had strong competition at the top, and well balanced quads through every section. Full results can be found here:

Mechanics' Institute Thursday Night Chess Triathlon Online Rapid Leg Week 1

We had the first leg of the first ever Mechanics' Institute Thursday Night Online Chess Triathlon, a staged tournament that will incorporate three different formats into a cumulative-score, open event. With rapid, blitz, and Fischer random legs, the overall winner will have to navigate through different skill sets and time controls to come out on top. The format has six games of rapid, 10 games of blitz, and six games of Fischer random, held over three weeks with points accumulating for standings. We held the rapid leg on Thursday night, and the action was on!

The Mechanics' Institute chess team were all on the broadcast for the first ever Thursday Night Online Chess Triathlon

We have 16 players participating in this experiment, and what really makes the event fun to watch is that it is made of of club players. The event is wide open and up for grabs, with no clear favorite. We expect fortunes could chaneg from week to week. We saw fortunes suddenly change in some of the games we watched. After the rapid leg, Adam Mercado leads the field with 5.5/6. Mark Drury is in clear 2nd place with 5/6 and Mansoor Mohammad is in 3rd with 4.5/6. Lots of chess left to go however, with 10 rounds of blitz next week followed by 6 rounds of Fischer random. 

Here are the standings from the rapid leg, these scores will carry over into next week:

Watch the fun broadcast here:

Here is a game from the evening between the leaders, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian:

(6) Casimir Dudek (Thechesskid2021) (1899) - Adam Mercado (A-boy415) (1921) [B33]
Live Chess, 08.10.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.f3 An unusual move for White in this variation. 7...a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Nxe4?+/-

An exciting but bad reaction to White's unusual line. [Black can get easy equality with 9...Nxd5 10.exd5 Nd4 11.Bd3 g6 12.0-0 Bg7 13.Be3 0-0 14.c3 Nf5 15.Bf2 Bd7 16.c4 Nd4 17.cxb5 Bxb5 18.Nxb5 axb5 19.Bxd4 exd4] 10.fxe4 Qh4+ 11.Kd2 Qxe4 12.Nc7+ This may be good but it is complicated. [12.Qf3! is the simplest way to get a clear advantage for White.] 12...Kd8 13.Nxa8 g6!? [Black could get material back with 13...Qf4+ 14.Ke1 Qh4+ 15.g3 Qe4+ 16.Qe2 Qxh1 17.Qg2 Qxg2 18.Bxg2 Bb7 19.Nb6 though that is clearly better and easy to play for White] 14.Qf3??-/+ Going from a winning position to a losing one. [14.Qe2 gives the white king safe haven on the back rank] 14...Bh6+ 15.Kd1 Bg4!
the black bishops take the critical diagonals 16.Bxh6 Bxf3+ 17.Kd2 Bxg2 18.Bg5+ Kc8 19.Be3 Bxh1 20.Nb6+ Kd8 21.Bd3 Qb4+ 22.c3 Qxb2+ 23.Nc2
Black has a clearly winning material advantage, but there are a lot of white minor pieces and so tricks can occur. 23...e4 24.Be2 Bf3 25.Bf1 Ne5 26.Bg5+ Kc7 27.Nd5+ Kb8 28.Be7 Rc8!? still very winning but tactical 29.Bxd6+ Kb7 30.Bxe5 Rd8! the pin on the d-line decides 31.c4 Qxe5 32.Rb1 Ka7 33.Ncb4 still fighting! Where there are knights that fork there is hope. 33...e3+ 34.Ke1 Rxd5? This is still winning but now it is a fight. 34...Qxh2 would have been quick 35.Nc6+ Kb6 36.Nxe5 Rxe5 37.cxb5 It almost looks as if White is alright, but 37...e2! 38.bxa6+ Kxa6 39.Bh3 Rd5 The threat of ...Rd1 is too much. 40.Bc8+ Ka5 41.Kf2 Rd1

There is no way out. The rest of the game needs no comment. 42.Kxf3 e1Q 43.Rb2 Rd3+ 44.Kg2 Rd2+ 45.Rxd2 Qxd2+ 46.Kg3 Qc3+ 47.Kf2 Qxc8 48.h3 Qxh3 49.Ke2 Kb4 50.a4 Kxa4 51.Kd2 Qf3 52.Kc2 Qe3 53.Kb2 Qd3 54.Ka2 Qe2+ 55.Kb1 Kb3 56.Ka1 Qa2# 0-1

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 November/December TNM: FIDE Rated. Nov 2- Dec 21, 6:30PM PT. G/120;d5:

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

20th Carroll Capps Memorial Championship: USCF Rated. November 7, 10AM PT. 4SS G/45;d5:

Mechanics' Institute Class Schedule

Click HERE to see our full slate of specialty chess classes, we offer something for everyone!

Scholastic Chess Bulletin

The scholastic news is covered in a dedicated publication:
Mechanics' Institute Scholastic Chess Bulletin

Scholastic Chess Bulletin #5 is out!

In this issue:

  • 2021 Fall Enrichment - Report on the Start
  • 2021 Fall & Winter Holiday Camps
  • Special Event: Halloween Tournament @ Mechanics' Institute on Oct 30
  • Understanding Tournaments - Byes & Forfeits
  • Upcoming Tournament Schedule
  • ​Tournament Results & Featured games analyzed by GM Nick de Firmian

Please click the following LINK to read our latest edition.
Interested in reading the past issues? Click here to see the list of all issues.

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]

Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

I was quite a voracious reader at a young age, and on my eighth birthday my parents bought me a very nice hard-backed edition of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.  Published in 1871, this sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) was another hallucinogenic romp through the mathematic game-mind of its creator, but rather than playing-cards the template this time was chess.

Beautifully illustrated by John Tenniel, the setting Alice finds herself in is contrary and curious: drowsily she follows her kitten through a mirror, and into a mirror-world.  All is topsy-turvy, and Alice must run with the Red Queen to simply stay in one place, while the White Queen tells Alice that “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday - but never jam to-day.“

As Alice proceeds in her adventures to the eighth square (to become a Queen), we are introduced to some of the classic characters from English literature: Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Walrus and the Carpenter, and Humpty Dumpty.  Jabberwocky, the masterpiece of so-called ‘nonsense-verse,’ lies in the slim pages of the book.  The author has also given all the chess pieces an alias in the Dramatis Personae that precedes the action:

Most interesting of all, Carroll also included a chess problem, along with the key to the action: White Pawn (Alice) to play, and win in eleven moves:

There is much written about this problem elsewhere, suffice to say that in a later edition Carroll advises:

“As the chess-problem, given on the previous page, has puzzled some of my readers, it may be well to explain that it is correctly worked out, so far as the moves are concerned.  The alternation of Red and White is perhaps not so strictly observed as it might be, and the ‘castling’ of the three Queens is merely a way of saying that they entered the palace; but the ‘check’ of the White King at move 6, the capture of the Red Knight at move 7, and the final ‘check-mate’ of the Red King, will be found, by anyone who will take the trouble to set up the pieces and play the moves as directed, to be strictly in accordance with the laws of the game.”

Playing a not insignificant part in my childhood development, opening up the ‘doors of perception’ with its mind-bending use of language and ‘illogical’ thought, Through the Looking Glass is the very finest fiction using chess as a theme, surpassing any film or book I have seen or read.

When Alice says “One can’t believe impossible things” and the White Queen replies “Why, sometimes I’ve believed six impossible things before breakfast” we are at the very heart of the matter: Carroll is daring us to use our imagination.

Sound advice for us all, but an absolutely essential attribute for a chess player.


GM Nick de Firmian's Column

US Women’s Championship October 5-19

We take this week to note the start of the US Women’s Championship, as usual these days sponsored by the St. Louis Chess Club (which is sponsored by billionaire Rex Sinquefield). There is also the Men’s (overall) US Championship being played at the same time and place, but we will examine that next week and devote our space to the women’s event now.

The women’s championship should deserve great attention! The greatest boom to chess this last year has been because of a woman player (albeit a fictional one). Beth Harmon from the “Queen’s Gambit” has brought the most mainstream attention to chess since Bobby Fischer. We expect the repercussions of the “Queen’s Gambit” to bring us a promising new generation of women players. Already we hear about many young girls who have taken up the game after seeing the film. Perhaps it will inspire a real woman to win the world championship.

The Mechanics’ Institute chess program for women and girls also deserves attention. While we don’t have a champion player like Beth Harmon we do have an active weekly class taught by Sophie Adams which has a large and devoted following. The Mechanics’ Institute women’s class has been a long standing tradition for over 20 years, and we must credit the work of Ewelina Krubnik who taught it for12 years and kept the chess interest for women in the Bay Area. You will see her picture on the wall of the chess annex when you visit the club. 

The favorite to win the US women’s championship is clearly the defending champion, Irina Krush. She is our closest thing to a real Beth Harmon and she has defeated many men grandmasters and holds the “men’s” GM title. This year she started  with a sizzling win. Who will challenge her for the title this year? We will soon see.

(1) Lee,Megan - Krush,Irina [B48]
US Womens Chp., 06.10.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qf3 Nf6 8.0-0-0 h5!?

Irina chooses a combative move to mix up the game. She takes kingside space at the cost of weakening the kingside if she castles there. 9.Nxc6 dxc6 10.Qg3 e5 Irina wants the middlegame with more winning chances, so avoids the queen trade. 11.Bd4?! Young Megan starts to go wrong here. This move threatens the e-pawn but that is easily defended and the white bishop will just have to retreat at some point. 11...Nd7 12.h4 b5 13.a3 g6 14.Be3 Be7 15.Be2 Megan has retreated the d4 bishop and logically developed. The game is roughly even here and it is a dynamic, unbalanced position. Black has chances to advance the queenside pawns and tear up the white king's protection. White has development and can try to target the black king in the center. 15...Nf6 16.Bg5 a5 17.Qe3 b4
18.Nb1?! It's a tough feeling playing against the defending champion. You think every move they make must be strong. Yet retreating is usually the wrong approach. [18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Na4 would still be active chances for both sides.] 18...Ng4 19.Bxg4 Bxg4 20.Bxe7 Qxe7 [20...Bxd1? 21.Bf6 wins] 21.Rd3 Be6 22.g3 c5 23.Qg5
23...c4! 23...Qxg5+ is also good in the endgame, but Irina gains the advantage by offering a tempting pawn. 24.Qxe5 f6 25.Qb5+ Kf7 26.Rf3?! Megan plays an aggressive move in a difficult situation. Black has a very serious attack for the pawn since both rooks can swing to the queenside and the black pawns are already far advance. White could have stayed in the game with [26.Rd4 c3 27.b3 Rhb8 28.Qd3 a4 29.bxa4 bxa3 30.Nxc3 which looks ugly but is still alive. Now Irina charges ahead.] 26...c3!
27.axb4?! It's hard to offer any really good advice for White here, but this goes down quickly. 27...cxb2+ 28.Kxb2 Rhb8 29.Qg5
Megan played this move but then resigned. After 29...Qxb4+ 30. Kc1 Qxb1+ 31. Kd2 Rd8+ it's a piece and attack for Black. A fine start for Krush to defend her title. 0-1

(2) Abrahamyan,Tatev - Tokhirjonova,Guirukhbegim [B10]
US Womens Chp., 06.10.2021

Who will be the greatest challenger this year to Irina Krush? It could be anyone of the others. It will take some luck. One player who is due for a run is Tatev Abrahamyan. She has played well, but lady luck wasn't on her side the first round. 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d3!? Interesting. Tatev offers and endgame which is certainly playable for Black. She may have sensed she was playing against an aggressive player who would prefer to get an attacking game. Her opponent is a young player who immigrated from Uzbekistan. 3...g6 4.e5 Bg7 5.Bf4 Qb6! aggressive and good 6.Nbd2! Another pschological move. Now Tatev offers the b-pawn to be the aggressor. Her opponent declines the pawn, not wanting to be on the defensive. 6...Nh6 7.Nb3 Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Nd7 10.d4 e6?! A bit too routine. [10...Nf8 and ...Ne6 would make better use of the e6 square] 11.g4 Ng8 12.h4 White has the initiative from the opening. 12...f6 13.0-0-0 fxe5 14.dxe5 c5 15.h5 0-0-0 16.h6!

16...Bf8 Tokhirjonova doesn't seem to like to take pawn sacrifices. Black would also be worse after [16...Bxe5 17.Bxe5 Nxe5 18.Qc3] 17.c4! d4 18.Bg2
Now White has a permanant advantage with the bishop pair and the nice long diagonal h1-a8. 18...Be7 19.Kb1 Rf8 20.Qe4 Bd8 21.Bg3 Bc7 22.f4 Ne7 23.Nc1 Nc6 24.Nd3 Na5 25.Rc1 Rhg8 26.Bh2 Nc6 27.Bh3 Ne7 28.Rhf1 a5 29.Rf2 Rf7 30.Bg3 Rgf8 31.Bh4 Kb8 32.Bg3 Ka7 33.Re2 Ng8 34.Ne1 Nxh6 35.Nf3 Ng8 36.Ng5 Re7 37.Bg2 Nb8 38.Rh1 h6 39.Nf3 Rg7 40.Nh4 Ne7 41.Nf3 Ng8 42.Rd2 Bd8 43.Rd3 Qc6 44.Qe2 Qe8 There has been a lot of maneuvering the last 25 moves, but little has changed. White still has a clear position advantage, while Black is being solid and trying to hold back any advance. 45.Nd2 Nc6 46.Ne4 Be7 47.Rb3! h5 48.Rb5 h4?! 49.Bxh4 Bxh4 50.Rxh4 Rxf4 51.Nxc5 Rgf7 52.Nd3 Nge7 Black is in difficulties. 53.Nxf4 Rxf4 54.Rh3! g5 55.Rhb3! The white attack suddenly takes effect with the funny rook maneuver. 55...Qg6+ 56.Ka1 Nd8
57.Qd2?! [57.Rxb7+! Nxb7 58.Rxb7+ Ka6 59.Rxe7 wins. Tatev has played a fine game and could cash in, yet time pressure is deciding the victor now.] 57...Nec6 58.Rxa5+ Kb8 59.Rab5 Qf7 60.a3? [60.Qd1! Rf2 61.Qh1 is still winning] 60...Rf2 61.Qxg5?! [61.Rxb7+ Nxb7 62.Rxb7+ Kxb7 63.Qb4+ Kc8 64.Bxc6 is about equal] 61...Rxg2 62.Ka2 Rg1 63.Qf6

63...Qh7! Suddenly it is Black who has the attack. The black knights do a good job defending the king and the black queen and rook are free to focus on the white king. 64.Rf3 Qb1+ 65.Kb3 d3 66.Qf8 d2 White resigns. *

Solution to Tony's Teaser

1. Qd6!!  Ke8  2. Qe5!!  K(x)  3. e8=Q#


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