Chess Room Newsletter #999 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #999

Gens Una Sumus!



Newsletter #999

December 18, 2021


Table of Contents

Mechanics' Chess Newsletter 1000 Will be Released on Saturday January 1, 2022! 

The Mechanics' Institute chess newsletter will celebrate it's 1000th issue on January 1st! Begun more than 20 years ago by Mechanics' longest-serving Chess Director IM John Donaldson, we will have a very special issue with special guest contributors.

Ring in the New Year with a very special edition of the chess newsletter, coming very soon! We will not have a newsletter released on Christmas Day.

Mechanics' December Championship Quads Report

by Abel Talamantez

We had 56 players participate in the December edition of the Mechanics' Championship Quads. It was a strong field which had balance from top to bottom, making it suitable for players of all levels. The top quad saw a split in prize between Abhishek Mallela (2113) and National Rockefeller Elementary School Champion Henry Deng (2095). Click here to see the full results:

Final Standing of the 2021 December Mechanics' Monthly Quads

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 1

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Abhishek Mallela 12888811 2113 W3 (b) L2 (w) W4 (w) 2.0 30.00
2 Henry Deng 16681298 2095 L4 (w) W1 (b) W3 (b) 2.0 30.00
3 Manas Paldhe 16418854 2019 L1 (w) W4 (b) L2 (w) 1.0  
4 Nicholas Weng 15499404 2013 W2 (b) L3 (w) L1 (b) 1.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 2

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Lucas Lesniewski 17039584 1985 D4 (b) D3 (w) W2 (w) 2.0 60.00
2 Christian Goldammer 12789435 2002 D3 (b) W4 (w) L1 (b) 1.5  
3 Rohan Rajaram 15739716 1987 D2 (w) D1 (b) D4 (w) 1.5  
4 Rithwik Narendra 14903560 1979 D1 (w) L2 (b) D3 (b) 1.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 3

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Patrick Liu 16667410 1955 D2 (b) D3 (w) W4 (b) 2.0 60.00
2 Andrew Guo 16192001 1928 D1 (w) W4 (b) L3 (w) 1.5  
3 Ethan Guo 16761994 1925 L4 (w) D1 (b) W2 (b) 1.5  
4 Fredrick Dutter 12343420 1900 W3 (b) L2 (w) L1 (w) 1.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 4

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Cailen Melville 14006141 1897 W4 (b) W3 (w) L2 (w) 2.0 30.00
2 James Mahooti 12621393 1867 L3 (b) W4 (w) W1 (b) 2.0 30.00
3 Samuel Brownlow 12747074 1833 W2 (w) L1 (b) L4 (w) 1.0  
4 Adam Mercado 16571026 1778 L1 (w) L2 (b) W3 (b) 1.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 5

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Max Hao 16083648 1768 L2 (b) W3 (w) W4 (b) 2.0 30.00
2 Philip Gerstoft 12913356 1763 W1 (w) L4 (b) W3 (w) 2.0 30.00
3 Adam Stafford 14257838 1760 W4 (w) L1 (b) L2 (b) 1.0  
4 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1725 L3 (b) W2 (w) L1 (w) 1.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 6

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Daniel Wang 15361305 1715 D2 (b) W4 (w) W3 (w) 2.5 30.00
2 Ethan Mei 16090467 1683 D1 (w) W3 (b) W4 (b) 2.5 30.00
3 Yuvraj Sawhney 17095004 1612 W4 (b) L2 (w) L1 (b) 1.0  
4 Vikrant Ganesan 16786952 1626 L3 (w) L1 (b) L2 (w) 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad7

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Aaron Craig 12872385 1587 W4 (b) W2 (w) W3 (b) 3.0 60.00
2 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1612 W3 (w) L1 (b) W4 (b) 2.0  
3 Cesar Tamondong 12439091 1600 L2 (b) W4 (w) L1 (w) 1.0  
4 Nick Casares Jr 10424364 1600 L1 (w) L3 (b) L2 (w) 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 8

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Adam Ginzberg 30268083 1552 L2 (b) W3 (w) W4 (b) 2.0 30.00
2 Ella Guo 16380657 1545 W1 (w) L4 (b) W3 (w) 2.0 30.00
3 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1540 W4 (w) L1 (b) L2 (b) 1.0  
4 Anvitha Penagalapati 16315087 1524 L3 (b) W2 (w) L1 (w) 1.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 9

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Albert Starr 12844781 1500 L2 (b) W3 (w) W4 (w) 2.0 30.00
2 Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1475 W1 (w) L4 (b) W3 (w) 2.0 30.00
3 Richard Hack 12796129 1500 W4 (w) L1 (b) L2 (b) 1.0  
4 John Chan 12561007 1500 L3 (b) W2 (w) L1 (b) 1.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 10

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Ramu Ganesan 12954008 1469 W3 (w) W4 (b) W2 (w) 3.0 60.00
2 Ruyi Hu 16659933 1455 W4 (w) W3 (b) L1 (b) 2.0  
3 Anton Maliev 30250562 1459 L1 (b) L2 (w) W4 (w) 1.0  
4 Samuel Agdamag 14874734 1431 L2 (b) L1 (w) L3 (b) 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 11

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Mannansh Nayyar 15697026 1219 W4 (w) W2 (b) W3 (w) 3.0 60.00
2 Andrew Ballantyne 17079795 1362 W3 (b) L1 (w) W4 (b) 2.0  
3 Deandre Stallworth 30255378 1382 L2 (w) W4 (b) L1 (b) 1.0  
4 Drew Clark 30178041 1339 L1 (b) L3 (w) L2 (w) 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 12

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Zee Chin 16965808 1180 W3 (b) W4 (w) W2 (b) 3.0 60.00
2 Hoa Long Tam 16919862 1215 W4 (b) W3 (w) L1 (w) 2.0  
3 Matthew Ma 30022553 962 L1 (w) L2 (b) W4 (b) 1.0  
4 Wilson Steven 12584515 1213 L2 (w) L1 (b) L3 (w) 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 13

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Robyn Nakhimovsky 16064063 898 W4 (w) W2 (b) W3 (w) 3.0 60.00
2 Taurus Tong 16321755 796 W3 (b) L1 (w) W4 (w) 2.0  
3 Leonard Chang 12767216 837 L2 (w) W4 (b) L1 (b) 1.0  
4 Sabeek Pradhan 30322357 unr. L1 (b) L3 (w) L2 (b) 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Mechanics' Monthly Championship Quads: Quad 14

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total Prize
1 Ethan Ma 30021432 670 W3 (b) W4 (w) W2 (w) 3.0 60.00
2 Yinuo Hu 17219612 684 W4 (b) W3 (w) L1 (b) 2.0  
3 Callum Anderson 30235133 unr. L1 (w) L2 (b) W4 (b) 1.0  
4 Elizabeth Denhup 30161536 763 L2 (w) L1 (b) L3 (w) 0.0  

TNM Round 7 Report

by Abel Talamantez

Here we go, one round to go in the final TNM of 2021, and it looks like round 8 will decide the top spots in both sections. Nathan Fong held on to a draw in a tight endgame against IM Elliott Winslow as Fong was defending king and light squared bishop against king pawn and light squared bishop. Winslow tried to test Fong's defenses, but Fong seemed to know the position, making it impossible for Elliott to promote unharmed. Christophe Bambou got a win against Nicholas Weng, setting up a final round match to determine the winner between Winslow 6/7 and Bambou 5.5/7. 

In the under 1800 section, Yuvraj Sawhney continues to rise quickly, as he defeated top seed Adam Mercado to take sole 1st with 6/7. Mercado, Adam Ginzburg and Timothy Bayaraa are close behind at 5.5/7. 

Watch the broadcast by clicking HERE.

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

(1) Fong,Nathan (2522) - Winslow,Elliott (2032) [E69]
MI Nov-Dec 2021 TNM 1800+ San Francisco (7.1), 14.12.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 d6 6.c4 Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.e4 The Classical Fianchetto Variation 8...c6 9.h3 a6 Total on-the-spot improvisation. [9...Qb6 is usual] 10.Qc2 Qc7 11.Be3 exd4 12.Nxd4 Ne5 13.b3 c5 14.Nde2 Rb8 15.Nf4


White has gotten a little edge from the opening. 15...b5 16.Ncd5 [16.cxb5 axb5 17.Rad1 b4 18.Ncd5 Nxd5 19.Nxd5 Qd8+/=] 16...Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Qd8 18.Rab1?! bxc4?! no reason to open the b-file just now [18...Be6] 19.bxc4 Be6 20.Qa4?! [20.Rxb8 Qxb8 21.Rb1 Qa7 22.Qa4+/=] 20...Qd7!=/+ Nice! The endgame is very comfortable for Black. 21.Qxd7 Bxd7 22.Nb6 Be6 23.Bf4 Rb7 [23...Rfd8 24.Bxe5 Bxe5 25.Rb3 Bd4] 24.Bxe5 Bxe5 25.Rb3 Rfb8 26.Rfb1 Kg7 27.Nd5


"½?" 27...Rxb3? [The earlier intended 27...Bxd5! 28.cxd5 Rb4! 29.Rxb4 cxb4-/+ but Elliott forgot about it when he got here.] 28.Rxb3 Rxb3 29.axb3 a5 Despite Black's best attempts, this is just even. 30.Kf1 Bd7 31.Ke2 a4 32.bxa4 Bxa4 33.Kd3 Bd4 34.f4 Bd1 35.Nc7 Bf2 36.Ne8+ Kf8 37.Nxd6 Bxg3 38.Nb7 Bxf4 39.Nxc5 Ke7 40.Kd4 White has isolated pawns and Black has the bishop pair, but there is little to be done in this drawn position. 40...g5 41.Nd3 Bg3 42.e5 g4 43.hxg4 Bxg4 44.c5 h5 45.c6 h4 46.Kd5 h3 47.Bh1 Be2 48.Nc5 Bg4 "½-½?" 49.Ne4 Be6+ 50.Kd4 Bh2 51.Kc5? giving up the e-pawn 51...Bxe5 52.Kb6


52...Bd5 53.Kc5 Be6 [53...Ba2 54.Kb6 h2 55.c7 Bxc7+ 56.Kxc7 Bd5 57.Nf2 Bxh1 58.Ng4! Bg2 59.Nxh2 f5 60.Kb6 Kd6 61.Kb5 Kd5 62.Kb6 Ke5 63.Kc5 Kf4 64.Kd6 Kg3 65.Ke5 f4 66.Kf5 is a draw] 54.Kb6 Bc8 55.Kc5 Ba6 56.Kb6 Bf1 57.c7 Bxc7+ 58.Kxc7 Bg2 59.Nf2 Ke6 60.Nxh3 Bxh3 61.Kc6 Ke5 62.Kc5 Be6 63.Bg2 f5 64.Bf3 Kf4 65.Bc6 Ke3 66.Kd6 Bc8 67.Ke5 f4 68.Kf6 Bg4 69.Kg5 Bf3 70.Bb5 Bd1 71.Bc6 Bc2 72.Kg4 Be4 73.Bb5 f3 74.Kg3 Bc2 75.Bc4 Bd1 76.Bf1 Be2


Black is getting close, but it's still a draw 77.Bg2! f2 78.Bh3 Bc4 79.Bg2 Be6 80.Bf1 Bd5 81.Bh3 Ke2 82.Bg4+ Ke1 83.Bh3 Bc4 84.Kf4 Bf1 85.Be6 Bg2 86.Bc4 Bd5 87.Bb5 Bb3 88.Ke3 Ba4 89.Bc4 Bc6 90.Bd3 Bg2 91.Bc4 Bf1 92.Bd5 Bh3 93.Bc4 Bf1 94.Bd5 Bb5 95.Bg2 Bc6 96.Bh3 Bb5 97.Bg2 Bc6 ... ½-½, 117 1/2-1/2

(2) Weng,Nicholas (2001) - Bambou,Christophe (2097) [B40]
MI Nov-Dec 2021 TNM 1800+ San Francisco (7.2), 14.12.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Bd3 Black gets simple equality after this move. 5...Nc6! 6.Nb3 d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.a3 [Previously seen was 8.0-0 Bd6 9.N1d2 0-0 10.Ne4 Bc7 11.Ng5 f5 12.c4 Ndb4 13.Be2 Qf6 14.a3 Rd8 15.Bd2 Nd3 16.Bxd3 Rxd3 17.Qc2 Rd8 18.Nf3 Bd7 19.Rfe1 e5 20.Bg5 Qg6 21.Bxd8 Rxd8 22.Rad1 e4 23.Nfd4 Ne5 24.Nc5 Bc8 25.h3 Rxd4 26.Rxd4 Nf3+ 27.Kf1 Nxd4 28.Qd2 Qd6 29.b4 b6 30.Rd1 bxc5 31.bxc5 Qxc5 32.Qxd4 Qxd4 33.Rxd4 Bb6 34.c5 Ba6+ 35.Ke1 Bxc5 36.Rd7 Kf8 37.a4 Bb6 Nandhidhaa,P (2365)-Antolak,J (2306) INT 2021 0-1] 8...Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.c4 Nf6 11.Re1


11...e5N 12.Nc3 Be6 13.f3 h6 14.Be3 b6 15.Kh1 Rc8 16.Qe2 Nd4?! [16...Rc7 17.Rad1 Rd7=] 17.Bxd4 exd4 18.Nb5+/-


It looks like White is weak on the dark squares, but the weak black pawn on d4 is a bigger factor. 18...Bd6 19.Nxa7?! [19.N3xd4!+- wins the pawn *and* reduces Black by a bishop.] 19...Nh5? [19...Bxh2!? 20.Kxh2 Qc7+ 21.g3 Qxa7 22.Nxd4+/-] 20.Qe4! [20.Nxc8] 20...g6 [20...Nf6 21.Qxd4] 21.Nxc8 Bf4


Black probably knows he's lost, and tries to confuse the issue. 22.Rg1? ...and succeeds! [22.g3! Bxg3 23.Rg1!+- dramatically makes use of the open g-file.] 22...Bxc8! despite the material disadvantage, the position is somewhat in Black's favor. (Computer talking there.) 23.g3 Be3 24.Rgd1?! [24.Rg2] 24...Re8 25.Qd5 Qf6?! [25...Qc7! 26.Bxg6 (best try) 26...Nf6 27.Qxf7+ (27.Bxf7+ Kg7-+) 27...Qxf7 28.Bxf7+ Kxf7 29.Kg2 Rd8 30.Nd2 h5 The material imbalance of two bishops vs. rook and two pawns often, as here, leans towards the Bs.] Note that around here Bambou was really running low on the clock! 26.Be4! White plays to seal it up. 26...Re5


sets up some tricks! 27.Qc6?


[27.Qa8!! Kg7 28.Qxc8 Rxe4 29.Rf1! just holds on! And should draw.] 27...Nxg3+!! 28.Kg2 [28.hxg3 Rh5+ 29.Kg2 Bh3+ 30.Kh2 Bf1#] 28...Nxe4 Bambou used most of his time (that is, almost a minute) but couldn't come up with the fastest win. Now he's running on fumes (seven seconds on his clock!). [28...Bh3+!! 29.Kxh3 Rh5+ 30.Kg2 (30.Kxg3 Qg5#) 30...Qh4! 31.Qe8+ Kg7 32.Qe5+ Rxe5 33.hxg3 Rg5 34.g4 h5 mate in short order. A lot of White spectators!] 29.Qxc8+?! [29.Qxf6 Nxf6 30.Nxd4 Black still has a deadly attack! But with queens off and Black's electronic flag hanging, maybe something will go wrong.] 29...Kg7 Black should be delivering mate here. 30.Qh3 Nf2 [30...Rg5+ leads to mate in eight. 31.Kf1 d3! 32.Rxd3 Qxb2!] 31.Qg3 Rg5 32.Rf1 Rxg3+ 33.hxg3 Nd3 [33...Qe6!?] 34.Rab1 Ne5 [>=34...Qg5 was best, with ...Nf4+ and/or ...Bf4 in play. 35.Kh3


35...Nf4+! 36.gxf4 Bxf4 37.Rg1 Qf5+ 38.Rg4 h5 39.Rf1 hxg4+ 40.Kg2 Qh5 41.fxg4 Qxg4+ 42.Kf2 Qg3+ 43.Ke2 Qe3+ 44.Kd1 Qxb3+ 45.Ke2 Qe3+ 46.Kd1 Qd2#] 35.Rbd1-+ Nxc4 36.Rb1 h5 Where did that come from! [Again, 36...Qg5; Or if he wanted to get a pawn going, how about 36...d3!] 37.Rfd1 h4 38.Nc1 hxg3 [38...h3+! 39.Kxh3 Qxf3 here comes checkmate again...] 39.Ne2 Qh4 40.Rh1 Qg5 41.Rh3 Bf4 42.Rbh1 Ne3+ 43.Kg1 d3 44.Nc3 d2 45.Rh7+ Kf8 Best, although even stepping up to the fork was okay. 46.Rh8+ Ke7 47.Rc8 d1Q+ 48.Nxd1 Nxd1 [48...g2!] 49.Rc2 Be3+ Letting multiple mates slip away for the moment. [>=49...g2! 50.Re2+ Be3+ 51.Rxe3+ Nxe3 52.Rh7 Qg3 53.Rxf7+ Kxf7 54.b4 Qe1+ 55.Kh2 g1Q+ 56.Kh3 Qh1#] 50.Kf1?! Nf2 [50...Qf5] 51.Kg2 Nd3 [51...Nxh1 happens to be the fast mate, too.] 52.Rc7+ Kf6 53.Rh7 Nf4+ 54.Kf1 g2+


with seconds to spare! Great excitement for the watchers! 0-1

(3) Lewis,Edward (2017) - Argo,Guy (1884) [A84]
MI Nov-Dec 2021 TNM 1800+ San Francisco (7.4), 14.12.2021

1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 e6 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0-0 Be7 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Qc2 Qe8 9.Bf4 Na6


We have a fighting Dutch/Queen's Indian Defense. Lots of activity can come of this position. 10.a3 Qh5 11.b4 d6 12.h4 h6 13.Ne1!? Bxg2 14.Kxg2 e5?! aggressive play by Guy, but it gives too little compensation for the pawn and loses the center. 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Bxe5 Ng4 17.Nf3 f4


18.Nd5! Rae8 19.Bd4? [19.Bxf4 is just two pawns up and winning] 19...c5 20.Bb2 fxg3 now Black has serious play on the kingside 21.Nxe7+ Rxe7 22.Kxg3 cxb4 23.c5! playing actively often brings you chances 23...Nf6!? [23...Qf7!] 24.Bxf6 Rxf6 25.Qc4+ Kh7 26.Qxa6?


[26.axb4!] 26...bxc5? [26...Re4! 27.Qd3 Rxf3+! 28.Qxf3 (28.exf3 Qxh4+ 29.Kg2 Qg5+ 30.Kh2 Qh5+ 31.Kg3 Qg6+ 32.Kh3 Rh4+ 33.Kxh4 Qxd3 is a huge advantage for Black) 28...Qxh4+ 29.Kg2 Rg4+ 30.Qxg4 Qxg4+ 31.Kh2 bxc5 and Black should win the endgame] 27.Qd3+ Qg6+ 28.Qxg6+ Rxg6+ 29.Kh3 Now White has all the chances in the endgame. 29...b3 30.Rab1 c4 31.Nd4 Rb6 32.Rfc1 Rc7 33.Rc3 Ra6


34.Rbxb3?? looks like it wins a clean pawn due to the pin, but there is a flaw 34...cxb3 35.Rxc7? [35.Rxb3 gives some chance of drawing] 35...b2! Here Lewis resigned as saw there is no way to stop the b-pawn from queening. 36. Rb7 Rb6 blocks the white rook. A tragedy for Edward after a fine fighting struggle. 0-1

(4) Stafford,Adam (1745) - Riese,Kayven (1900) [B56]
MI Nov-Dec 2021 TNM 1800+ San Francisco (7.7), 14.12.2021

1.Nf3 c5 2.e4 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nbd7 Kayven's signature but suspect variation. 6.g4! h6 7.h4 a6 8.Rg1 Nc5 9.Qe2 Nice preparation from Adam. White has a clear opening edge as he controls the black knights. 9...e5 10.Nf5?! The aggressive looking move starts trouble for White. [10.Nb3!+/-] 10...g6!


11.Nxh6?! [11.Ne3 Ncxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Bg2~/=] 11...Bxh6 12.Bxh6?! [12.g5 Nfxe4 13.Nxe4 Bg7-/+] 12...Rxh6 13.g5 Rxh4 14.gxf6-+ Black now has control of the game 14...Qxf6?! [14...Bd7! 15.0-0-0 Bc6-+ is the best setup for the black pieces; 14...Be6 15.0-0-0 Rc8-/+] 15.Nd5?! [15.f3] 15...Qd8-+ 16.Bg2 Be6 17.0-0-0 Bxd5 18.Rxd5-+


Extra pawn, good knight vs. bad bishop... 18...Qc7 [18...Qg5+! 19.Kb1 Ke7!] 19.Rgd1 Rd8 20.Qe3 Rf4 21.Rh1 Ke7 22.Rh7 Ne6 23.Qg3 Rf6 24.c3 Nf4 25.Rd2 Qc4 26.Kb1 Rc8 27.Rh1 Qb5 28.Bf1 Qc6 29.Bd3 Qb6 [Usually you don't want to give up a good knight but 29...Nxd3 30.Qxd3-+ g5! is a good plan] 30.Bc2 Ne6?! [30...a5] 31.Bd1 Nc5 32.Bc2 Qc6 33.f3 b5?= [33...Rg8-/+] 34.Rhd1 White has gotten his pieces coordinated well to gain equal chances. 34...Qb6 [34...Rg8] 35.b4


35...Nb7?! [35...Na4 36.Bxa4 bxa4= 37.f4 Rxf4 38.Rxd6 Qxd6 39.Rxd6 Kxd6] 36.f4?! [36.Rd3+/- Rf4 37.Qg5+ Kf8] 36...exf4? [36...Rxf4= 37.Qg5+ Ke8 38.Rxd6 Nxd6 39.Qxe5+ Kf8 40.Qh8+ Ke7 41.Qe5+=] 37.Qg5+- (+2) [37.Qh4! (+6)] 37...Rc6?


[37...Qe3!?] 38.e5! dxe5 39.Rd7+ Ke6 [39...Ke8 40.Qxe5+ Kf8 41.Rh1] 40.R1d5?= missing [40.Bf5+! gxf5 41.Qg8 with mate in 5] 40...Qe3? [40...Nd6!= 41.R7xd6+ Rxd6 42.Qxe5+ Kd7 43.Qxf6 Qg1+ 44.Kb2 Rxd5 45.Qxf7+ Kd6 46.Qxf4+ should be a draw 0.00/0 ] 41.Bb3 Plenty good enough. 41...Rc4 42.Bxc4 bxc4 43.Rxe5+! Qxe5 44.Re7+ Kxe7 45.Qxe5+ Re6 46.Qc7+ Kf8 47.Qxb7 Queen against rook should be little problem to win despite the black pawns, 47...Rf6 48.Qc8+?! [48.Qf3!] 48...Kg7 49.Qxc4 [49.Qc5! f3 50.Qf2] 49...f3 50.Qf1 g5 [50...f2] 51.Qf2 Kg6 52.Kc2 g4 53.Kd2 Kg5 54.c4 Rf4 55.Kd3 f5 56.a3 Re4 57.c5 Kf4 [57...Re2 58.Qf1 Kf4 59.c6] 58.Qh2+ taking away Black's last hope of pushing the pawns 58...Kg5 [58...g3 59.Qh4+ Ke5 60.Qxg3+] 59.c6 Re6 60.c7 Rc6 61.Ke3 Rc4 62.Qd2 A great battle. 1-0

SwissSys Standings. Nov-Dec 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: 1800+

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 Elliott Winslow 10363365 2252 W13 (w) W17 (b) W11 (w) D18 (b) W7 (b) W14 (w) D3 (b) 6.0  
2 Christophe Bambou 12734479 2097 L14 (b) W19 (w) W26 (b) W12 (w) D8 (b) W7 (w) W9 (b) 5.5  
3 Nathan Fong 13001390 2032 H--- W14 (w) D12 (b) H--- W18 (w) W6 (b) D1 (w) 5.0  
4 David Askin 13776967 2023 W28 (w) D8 (b) L18 (w) W13 (b) L6 (w) W22 (b) W14 (w) 4.5  
5 Kristian Clemens 13901075 1954 W24 (w) D16 (b) L6 (w) W11 (b) D9 (w) W18 (b) H--- 4.5  
6 Guy Argo 12517167 1884 H--- W15 (w) W5 (b) L7 (w) W4 (b) L3 (w) W11 (b) 4.5  
7 Adam Stafford 14257838 1745 W9 (b) H--- W16 (w) W6 (b) L1 (w) L2 (b) W18 (w) 4.5  
8 Daniel Wang 15361305 1700 W21 (b) D4 (w) D14 (b) W17 (b) D2 (w) L9 (w) W12 (b) 4.5  
9 Nicholas Weng 15499404 2001 L7 (w) W28 (b) H--- W25 (w) D5 (b) W8 (b) L2 (w) 4.0  
10 Joel Carron 16600505 1670 D18 (w) D22 (b) L17 (w) W27 (b) W19 (b) D12 (w) H--- 4.0  
11 Edward Lewis 12601629 2017 H--- W25 (w) L1 (b) L5 (w) B--- W15 (b) L6 (w) 3.5  
12 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1917 H--- X27 D3 (w) L2 (b) W26 (w) D10 (b) L8 (w) 3.5  
13 James Mahooti 12621393 1867 L1 (b) D23 (w) W15 (b) L4 (w) H--- H--- W24 (w) 3.5  
14 Lucas Lesniewski 17039584 1855 W2 (w) L3 (b) D8 (w) W16 (b) W17 (w) L1 (b) L4 (b) 3.5  
15 Marty Cortinas 12590374 1706 D29 (w) L6 (b) L13 (w) B--- W28 (b) L11 (w) W22 (w) 3.5  
16 Brandon Estolas 12869947 2003 W19 (b) D5 (w) L7 (b) L14 (w) H--- X26 U--- 3.0  
17 Ako Heidari 15206848 1955 W23 (b) L1 (w) W10 (b) L8 (w) L14 (b) W19 (w) U--- 3.0  
18 Kayven Riese 12572270 1900 D10 (b) W20 (w) W4 (b) D1 (w) L3 (b) L5 (w) L7 (b) 3.0  
19 Ilia Gimelfarb 17158733 1760 L16 (w) L2 (b) W24 (w) W20 (b) L10 (w) L17 (b) W28 (w) 3.0  
20 Teodoro Porlares 12773115 1746 H--- L18 (b) H--- L19 (w) W23 (w) L24 (b) X25 3.0  
21 Steven Svoboda 10451671 1914 L8 (w) W24 (b) X22 H--- U--- U--- U--- 2.5  
22 Samuel Brownlow 12747074 1832 H--- D10 (w) F21 H--- W25 (b) L4 (w) L15 (b) 2.5  
23 Kevin Sun 16898540 1744 L17 (w) D13 (b) L28 (w) H--- L20 (b) D25 (w) W26 (b) 2.5  
24 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1735 L5 (b) L21 (w) L19 (b) H--- W27 (w) W20 (w) L13 (b) 2.5  
25 Andre Persidsky 12545869 1814 H--- L11 (b) W27 (w) L9 (b) L22 (w) D23 (b) F20 2.0  
26 Charles Faulkner 12559529 1720 H--- H--- L2 (w) W28 (b) L12 (b) F16 L23 (w) 2.0  
27 Anthony Acosta 12633251 1787 H--- F12 L25 (b) L10 (w) L24 (b) W28 (w) U--- 1.5  
28 Tony Lama 12328450 1800 L4 (b) L9 (w) W23 (b) L26 (w) L15 (w) L27 (b) L19 (b) 1.0  
29 Krish Matai 16444206 1937 D15 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5  

SwissSys Standings. Nov-Dec 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: Under1800

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 Yuvraj Sawhney 17095004 1593 D20 (w) D19 (b) W25 (w) W18 (w) W7 (b) W15 (b) W2 (w) 6.0  
2 Adam Mercado 16571026 1746 W38 (b) W12 (w) D18 (b) W8 (w) W10 (b) W6 (w) L1 (b) 5.5  
3 Adam Ginzberg 30268083 1540 W39 (b) W34 (w) D21 (b) H--- W24 (w) H--- W13 (b) 5.5  
4 Timothy Bayaraa 15616166 1149 H--- H--- H--- W35 (w) W18 (b) W16 (w) W12 (b) 5.5  
5 Jim Ratliff 11163831 1632 H--- H--- W20 (b) L7 (w) W38 (b) W36 (w) W21 (b) 5.0  
6 Albert Starr 12844781 1500 W37 (w) W35 (b) L9 (w) X32 W34 (b) L2 (b) W20 (w) 5.0  
7 Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1474 W47 (w) L9 (b) W22 (w) W5 (b) L1 (w) W19 (b) W15 (w) 5.0  
8 JP Fairchild 30150098 1229 W53 (b) H--- W14 (w) L2 (b) D33 (w) W26 (b) W9 (w) 5.0  
9 Romeo Barreyro 17018168 1649 W25 (b) W7 (w) W6 (b) L10 (w) D12 (b) W11 (w) L8 (b) 4.5  
10 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1611 W43 (w) W23 (b) D24 (w) W9 (b) L2 (w) L13 (b) W27 (w) 4.5  
11 John Chan 12561007 1500 H--- L21 (w) W52 (b) W42 (b) W26 (w) L9 (b) W24 (w) 4.5  
12 Aaron Craig 12872385 1491 W51 (w) L2 (b) W37 (w) W19 (b) D9 (w) W24 (b) L4 (w) 4.5  
13 Matt Long 13377410 1478 L21 (b) W27 (w) W48 (b) W17 (w) D30 (b) W10 (w) L3 (w) 4.5  
14 Andrew Imbens 30102682 1400 H--- W52 (w) L8 (b) H--- W41 (w) D27 (b) W23 (w) 4.5  
15 Dean Guo 30257083 1549 W44 (b) W32 (w) W33 (b) H--- H--- L1 (w) L7 (b) 4.0  
16 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1542 W45 (w) L24 (b) L19 (w) W37 (b) W39 (w) L4 (b) W33 (w) 4.0  
17 Georgios Tsolias 17266862 1511 W46 (w) L33 (b) W43 (w) L13 (b) L19 (w) X47 W36 (b) 4.0  
18 Ronald Allen 30086796 1501 W36 (b) W26 (w) D2 (w) L1 (b) L4 (w) H--- W34 (b) 4.0  
19 Tobiahs Rex 30164211 1278 H--- D1 (w) W16 (b) L12 (w) W17 (b) L7 (w) W32 (w) 4.0  
20 Ian Atroshchenko 30214657 1135 D1 (b) X53 L5 (w) X49 H--- W34 (w) L6 (b) 4.0  
21 Eli Chanoff 12898987 839 W13 (w) W11 (b) D3 (w) L24 (b) D23 (w) W33 (b) L5 (w) 4.0  
22 Ambrogino Giusti 30223021 unr. H--- H--- L7 (b) D25 (w) W28 (b) W29 (w) H--- 4.0  
23 Richard Hack 12796129 1500 W27 (b) L10 (w) W29 (b) L34 (w) D21 (b) W40 (w) L14 (b) 3.5  
24 Samuel Agdamag 14874734 1448 W40 (b) W16 (w) D10 (b) W21 (w) L3 (b) L12 (w) L11 (b) 3.5  
25 Noah Chambers 16694473 1219 L9 (w) X51 L1 (b) D22 (b) F43 W48 (w) W41 (b) 3.5  
26 Benjamin Anderson 30235937 1172 W42 (w) L18 (b) W31 (w) H--- L11 (b) L8 (w) W38 (b) 3.5  
27 Prasanna Chandramouli 30279272 921 L23 (w) L13 (b) W45 (w) W43 (b) X49 D14 (w) L10 (b) 3.5  
28 Marcus Casaes 30290420 unr. L32 (b) W39 (w) L34 (b) H--- L22 (w) W50 (b) W42 (w) 3.5  
29 Christopher Hallacy 30310731 unr. L34 (b) B--- L23 (w) H--- X35 L22 (b) X39 3.5  
30 Erika Malykin 12910007 1693 H--- H--- H--- X41 D13 (w) U--- U--- 3.0  
31 Daniel Massop 30328281 1600 H--- H--- L26 (b) F36 F47 X52 W48 (w) 3.0  
32 Michael Hilliard 12279170 1447 W28 (w) L15 (b) W47 (w) F6 L36 (b) W37 (w) L19 (b) 3.0  
33 Ashwin Vaidyanathan 30205719 1444 W41 (b) W17 (w) L15 (w) H--- D8 (b) L21 (w) L16 (b) 3.0  
34 David Olson 13913131 1400 W29 (w) L3 (b) W28 (w) W23 (b) L6 (w) L20 (b) L18 (w) 3.0  
35 Deandre Stallworth 30255378 1399 W48 (b) L6 (w) H--- L4 (b) F29 H--- W45 (w) 3.0  
36 Thomas Gu 17005685 997 L18 (w) L42 (b) W44 (b) X31 W32 (w) L5 (b) L17 (w) 3.0  
37 Pratyush Hule 16317000 970 L6 (b) W38 (w) L12 (b) L16 (w) W42 (w) L32 (b) W50 (w) 3.0  
38 Cloe Chai 16315197 1254 L2 (w) L37 (b) W46 (w) W47 (b) L5 (w) D39 (b) L26 (w) 2.5  
39 Maria Obrien 15300977 1036 L3 (w) L28 (b) W51 (b) W48 (w) L16 (b) D38 (w) F29 2.5  
40 Christian Brickhouse 30261226 452 L24 (w) L43 (b) B--- H--- W50 (w) L23 (b) U--- 2.5  
41 Vittorio Banfi 30308530 unr. L33 (w) W45 (b) W42 (w) F30 L14 (b) H--- L25 (w) 2.5  
42 Nick Casares Jr 10424364 1600 L26 (b) W36 (w) L41 (b) L11 (w) L37 (b) W44 (w) L28 (b) 2.0  
43 Don Chambers 16694467 1219 L10 (b) W40 (w) L17 (b) L27 (w) F25 L45 (b) B--- 2.0  
44 Natan Gimelfarb 16757673 1125 L15 (w) L47 (b) L36 (w) L46 (b) X51 L42 (b) X51 2.0  
45 Richard Ahrens 16953298 1091 L16 (b) L41 (w) L27 (b) W51 (w) L48 (b) W43 (w) L35 (b) 2.0  
46 William Thibault 16716976 1014 L17 (b) L48 (w) L38 (b) W44 (w) W52 (b) U--- U--- 2.0  
47 Cathal Dayton 12930548 784 L7 (b) W44 (w) L32 (b) L38 (w) X31 F17 U--- 2.0  
48 Juan Elias 30325735 unr. L35 (w) W46 (b) L13 (w) L39 (b) W45 (w) L25 (b) L31 (b) 2.0  
49 Enile Ahmed 17110092 1356 H--- H--- H--- F20 F27 U--- U--- 1.5  
50 William Deegan 30390500 unr. H--- H--- H--- U--- L40 (b) L28 (w) L37 (b) 1.5  
51 Andrejs Gulbis 16741331 845 L12 (b) F25 L39 (w) L45 (b) F44 B--- F44 1.0  
52 Maxwell Fleming 30329285 unr. H--- L14 (b) L11 (w) H--- L46 (w) F31 U--- 1.0  
53 Charles Faulkner 12559529 1720 L8 (w) F20 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. Nov-Dec 2021 Tuesday Night Marathon: Extra Games

# Name ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 Alexander Pa Chin 17050697 1859 U--- U--- W21 (w) U--- U--- W20 (w) W22 (w) 3.0  
2 Erika Malykin 12910007 1693 U--- U--- W25 (b) W23 (w) U--- U--- U--- 2.0  
3 Christopher Hallacy 30310731 unr. U--- W27 (w) U--- U--- W28 (w) U--- U--- 2.0  
4 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1917 D17 (b) W24 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.5  
5 Edward Lewis 12601629 2017 W18 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
6 Teodoro Porlares 12773115 1746 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W10 (b) 1.0  
7 Georgios Tsolias 17266862 1511 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W18 (b) U--- 1.0  
8 Albert Starr 12844781 1500 U--- U--- U--- W29 (b) U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
9 John Chan 12561007 1500 W32 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
10 Alex Langrog 12636476 1489 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W12 (b) L6 (w) 1.0  
11 Anton Maliev 30250562 1459 U--- U--- U--- U--- W30 (w) U--- U--- 1.0  
12 Drew H Clark 30178041 1339 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L10 (w) W26 (w) 1.0  
13 Don Chambers 16694467 1219 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W28 (b) 1.0  
14 Prasanna Chandramouli 30279272 921 U--- U--- U--- U--- W31 (w) U--- U--- 1.0  
15 Christian Brickhouse 30261226 452 U--- U--- W27 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
16 William Deegan 30390500 unr. U--- U--- U--- W31 (w) U--- U--- U--- 1.0  
17 Andre Persidsky 12545869 1814 D4 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5  
18 Daniel Massop 30328281 1600 L5 (w) D19 (b) U--- U--- U--- L7 (w) U--- 0.5  
19 Ian Atroshchenko 30214657 1135 U--- D18 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5  
20 Brandon Estolas 12869947 2003 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L1 (b) U--- 0.0  
21 Steven Svoboda 10451671 1914 U--- U--- L1 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
22 Sam H Sloan 11115292 1900 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L1 (b) 0.0  
23 Abel Talamantez 12465386 1800 U--- U--- U--- L2 (b) U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
24 Charles Faulkner 12559529 1720 U--- L4 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
25 Enile Ahmed 17110092 1356 U--- U--- L2 (w) U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
26 Taras Smetanyue 30068395 1200 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L12 (b) 0.0  
27 Timothy Bayaraa 15616166 1149 U--- L3 (b) L15 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
28 Natan Gimelfarb 16757673 1125 U--- U--- U--- U--- L3 (b) U--- L13 (w) 0.0  
29 Thomas Gu 17005685 997 U--- U--- U--- L8 (w) U--- U--- U--- 0.0  
30 Cathal Dayton 12930548 784 U--- U--- U--- U--- L11 (b) U--- U--- 0.0  
31 Judit Sztaray 14708926 749 U--- U--- U--- L16 (b) L14 (b) U--- U--- 0.0  
32 Maxwell Fleming 30329285 unr. L9 (b) U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

How Club Chess Can Be Like Sports

by Abel Talamantez

There can be so much more to a chess game than what is on the board, and it doesn't take a master to enjoy and appreciate riveting drama that brings all the excitement equivalent to watching a compelling sports competition. During last weekend's Championship Quads, I was watching a game between Daniel Wang (1715) playing white against Yuvraj Sawhney (1612). Here is the position.

An engine can look at this position and calculate optimal moves, but that won't begin to tell the tale of what was happening. Daniel Wang has the white pieces, but has two seconds left in a G/30;d5 time control while Yuvraj has a little more than six minutes. White's pawn is looking to promote, and I was wondering if black would look to sacrifice the rook for the pawn and force white to mate with king, bishop and knight in under 50 moves. But I noticed in black's moves that that was not the strategy. Black was looking to continue checking the king in hopes of white losing on time. If black sacrificed the rook, a win would not be possible due to insufficient mating material. The moves were frantic and you could see the pressure on both players' faces. There were a few people spectating the game, looking at players, looking at the position, and looking at the clock, and it all was a treat. The chess may not have been precise, but it was as exciting as any club chess game could be. 

What was the result? Unfortunately for black, white was able to create a block with the knight to force promotion and won the game, keeping his 2 seconds on the clock by finding the win within the delay. Kudos to white for finding the winning combination, kudos to black for going for the win, even if the strategy may not have been the best. Who said club chess wasn't fun?

Tony's Teasers

Tony is back and ready to challenge 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:

IM John Donaldson Championship. December 18-19, 10AM FIDE Rated. 5SS G/90+30:

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

Fresh New 
Scholastic Chess Bulletin #7 is out!

In this issue:

  • Monthly Scholastic In-Person Tournament - 2021 November Report 

  • Mechanics' Institute Thanksgiving Gobbler Kids - Friday, November 26 @ 9:30AM

  • Chess Enrichment Highlight: Alice Fong Alternative School

  • Upcoming Chess Camps

  • Why I like Quads by Andrew Ballantyne 

  • Understanding Tournaments: Moves, moves, moves

  • 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

[email protected]

Murderer’s Row

In 2013, I was in my first year as Chess Coordinator at the Mechanics’ Institute and decided to throw my hat into the ring (yet again) and play in the Neil Falconer TNM, named for that longtime MI chess room advocate and trustee. 

Are chess players superstitious?  The answer is surely yes.  Tal blamed the loss of his “lucky pen” for the loss of the World Championship in 1961.  Karpov famously didn’t wash his hair when he was on a winning streak.  Was it Miles who didn’t change his shirt for an entire tournament? 

I don’t think of myself as superstitious, but I started to think about Lady Luck (or the luck of the draw) recently when I heard someone complain they had three blacks in a row (it can happen!).  Sounds bad, right?  But what happened to me back in 2013 also seems pretty amazing - in retrospect. 

The Chess Club has always attracted players born in far-away places.  We have players from Mongolia, Ireland, Scotland, the Philippines, Kansas. 

And of course Russia, and the countries that made up the former Soviet Union.

So, it shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise that I found myself paired with a veritable Murderer’s Row of Russian Experts in rounds five, six and seven of the Falconer TNM.

Luckily for me, Lazar Shnaiderman and Victor Todortsev were on a bit in age: both these gentlemen were in their ‘80s and going strong!  I distinctly remember them, but not so much Mikhail Chernobilskiy, who was a few years younger than I – so no spring-chicken either! 

Shnaiderman – Whitehead, Falconer TNM 2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 O-O 5.Be2 d6 6. Bg5 c5 7.d5 b5 8.cxb5 a6.

I’m fond of this Benko Gambit style against different white set-ups.

9.Nf3? This is actually a mistake. 9…axb5 10.Bxb5 Nxe4! A well-known trap. 11.Nxe4 Qa5+ 12.Qd2 Qxb5. Black has much the better game. 13.Bxe7 loses on the spot to 13…Re8. 13.Nc3 Qc4 14.Rc1Ba6 15.b3 Qg4 16.Rg1 Nd7 17.Qf4 Qxf4 18.Bxf4 Nb6 19.Bd2 Bxc3 20.Bxc3 Nxd5 21.Bb2 Nb4 22.Kd2 Nxa2 23.Rge1 Nxc1 0-1

Whitehead – Todortsev, Falconer TNM 2013

1.e4 c5  2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.d3 d6 6.Nbd2 g6 7.e5 d5 8.O-O Bg7 9. Re1 e6 10.Nb3.

Black is already in hot water – with the c-pawn and on the dark-squares.

10…Bf8 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Qd2 h5 14.Qc3 Rb8 15.Nxc5 Nh6 16.Nd4 Qc7 17.h3 O-O 18.b4 Qb6 19.a3 Kg7 20.Na4 Qb7 21.Qxc6 Bd7 22.Qxb7 Rxb7 23.Nc5 Ra7 24.a4 Rb8 25.c3 Be8 26.f4 Nf5 27.Nxf5+ gxf5 28.d4 Bc6 29.Kf2 Rg8 30.Rab1 Kh6 31.Re2 h4 32.b5 axb5 33.axb5 Rb8 34.Reb2 Be8 35.b6 Ra3 36.Rb3 Ra2+ 37.R1b2 Ra1 38.b7 1-0

Chernobilskiy – Whitehead, Falconer TNM 2013

1.e4 c5  2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 Nf6 7.N1c3 a6 8.Na3 Be7 9.Be3 b6 10.Be2 O-O 11.f4 Rb8 12.O-O Re8 13.Nc2 Bf8 14.Bf3 Qc7 15.Qe2 g6 16.Rad1 Bg7 17.Rd2.

White has played an excellent game, and black’s next is risky. 17…e5?! 18.Rfd1 exf4 19.Bxf4 Ne5 20.Rxd6 Nxf3+ 21.gxf3 Nh5? 21…Be6 was correct. Now 22.Rd8! would have won the game. 22.Bg5 Be6 23.Nd5? Tempting, but 23.Ne3 was better. 23…Qxd6! 24.Ne7+ Qxe7 25.Bxe7 Rxe7 26.Ne3. With a rook and 2 bishops for the queen, black is easily winning. 26… Nf4 27.Qc2 Rc8 28.b3 Be5 29.b4 a5 30.a3 axb4 31.axb4 Rec7 32.Qa2 Bxc4 33.Nxc4 Rxc4 34.Rd8+ Rxd8 35.Qxc4 Rd1+ 36.Kf2 Rd2+ 37.Ke1 Rxh2 38.Qb5 Bc3+ 39.Kf1 Bd4 40.Ke1 Be3 41.Kd1 Rd2+ 42.Ke1 Rc2 0-1

I recently communicated with former MI Chess Room Director IM John Donaldson, trying to find out a bit more about these folks (they all stopped playing around 2015).  We came to a somewhat of a standstill.  Anyone have any recent news of Mr. Shnaiderman, Mr. Todortsev, or Mr. Chernobilskiy?

Nick de Firmian’s Column

The Missing American

American chess has risen to the top of the world, with three players in the top 10 (Caruana, So, and now Aronian), plus #15 (Dominguez) and our own Sam the man Shankland at #29.  No other country has so many of the very top players as we do, and we also have promising young players such as Jeffrey Xiong and Hans Nieman (the Demon).  The all-time top ratings of players put Americans in the third and fourth spots behind #1 Carlsen (2889) and #2 Kasparov (2854). Those are Caruana (2851) #3 and Aronian (2835) #4. Wesley So has also been very impressive on the world stage, beating Carlsen in Fischer Random chess and also sometimes in rapid matches. One looks down the all-time rating list and sees the incredible Bobby Fischer at #21 with peak rating of 2789. That is an amazing number when you realize it was 49 years ago, and ratings were much lower. The number two rating in 1972 was only 2660, which was a tie between Karpov and Spassky.

One doesn’t see Fischer on the current rating list of course as he passed away in 2008. What is most surprising though is you don’t see the rating of another American whose peak rating of 2819 puts him at #10 on the all time list. He has disappeared not only from the rating list, but all competitions for world championship and all other classic chess tournaments. Yet he is only 34 years old! You may have guessed that our missing American is Hikaru Nakamura, renowned for blitz chess and now for streaming. He seems to want only fun, fast involvement with chess these days – something a number of our club players can relate to. Why struggle so hard for so many hours only to be disappointed like Nepomniachtchi? Quick and easy games don’t tax you nearly so much and won’t leave you depressed after a loss. Naka is making a lot of money streaming these days, and he still plays rapid and blitz chess at a very high level. Still one wonders if he had really struggled to become world champion whether he would have been playing for the title match this year instead of Nepo. We give below two of Naka’s brilliancies in classical chess games. This makes one wonder what might have been if he had continued on the quest to be king.

(1) Vladimir Krasenkow (2668) - Hikaru Nakamura (2648) [A14]
Casino de Barcelona Barcelona ESP (2), 19.10.2007

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.b3 a5 7.Nc3 c6 8.d4

Krasenkow has always been a very solid player, especially with White. This closed Catalan opening doesn't look like it will produce much excitment. 8...Nbd7 9.Qc2 b6 10.e4 Ba6 11.Nd2 c5 The pawn battles in the center start the action. 12.exd5 cxd4 13.Nb5 exd5 [13...Bxb5 14.dxe6 fxe6 15.Bxa8 Qxa8 16.cxb5 would be an unclear exchange sacrifice] 14.Nxd4 Rc8 15.Re1 b5 16.Bb2 Re8 17.Qd1 getting out of the c-file pin 17...bxc4 [17...dxc4? 18.Nc6 wins the exchange] 18.bxc4 Qb6 19.Rb1?! dxc4 20.Nc6? This looks like a good move with the discovered attack on the b-file coming. There is a surprising flaw though in White's position. 20...Rxc6! 21.Bxf6
What now? It looks like White is winning. 21...Qxf2+!! This shocker gets the black queen out of attack, except of course it can be taken by the white king. Declining the queen sacrifice is simply lost. 22.Kxf2 Bc5+ 23.Kf3 The white king is caught in the crossfire of the bishops and must move up the board into danger. [23.Kf1 c3+ is even worse] 23...Rxf6+ 24.Kg4 Ne5+ 25.Kg5 [25.Rxe5 Bc8+! 26.Kh4 Rxe5 is mate in three moves 27.g4 Bf2+ 28.Kh3 Rh6#] 25...Rg6+ 26.Kh5 f6
There's no hope. Black threatens 28...Rh6 mate. Throwing back material only delays the mate for a little while. 27.Rxe5 Rxe5+ 28.Kh4 Bc8 Krasenkow resigned as their is no way out. A brilliant game! 0-1

(2) Boris Gelfand (2761) - Hikaru Nakamura (2708) [E97]
World Team Championship Bursa TUR (5), 09.01.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 A fighting King's Indian Defense. That's typical of Naka's style, but Boris Gelfand was one of the very best at playing the white side of this opening. 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 Ne8 10.b4 f5 11.c5 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.Nc4 g5 14.a4

This classic battle of White's queenside expansion against Black's kingside push allow both sides to achieve their strategic goals. Who gets there first though is the critical question, 14...Ng6 15.Ba3 Rf7 16.b5 dxc5 17.Bxc5 h5 18.a5 g4 19.b6 The black queenside is getting beaten down. The kings though are on the other side of the board. 19...g3 20.Kh1 [20.h3? cxb6 21.axb6 Bxh3! 22.gxh3 Qc8 is a big advantage for Black] 20...Bf8 21.d6?! [21.bxc7] 21...axb6 22.Bg1 [22.axb6 Rxa1 23.Qxa1 cxd6 24.Rd1 Rd7] 22...Nh4 23.Re1
23...Nxg2!? 24.dxc7?
Gelfand is rattled by Naka's sacrifice. [24.Kxg2 h4 would be a complex battle] 24...Nxe1! White can take the queen on d8 and make a second queen, but it's to no avail as the little black pawn will go to g2 with mate! 25.Qxe1 g2+ 26.Kxg2 Rg7+ 27.Kh1 Bh3! Naka must have enjoyed leaving his queen in take for so long. 28.Bf1 Qd3!

yet again! 29.Nxe5 [29.Ra2] 29...Bxf1 30.Qxf1 Qxc3 Gelfand has avoided mate on g2 at the cost of a rook. Nakamura converts easily. 31.Rc1 Qxe5 32.c8Q Rxc8 33.Rxc8 Qe6 White resigned. It will be a piece and pawn down with no complications. 0-1

Solution to Tony's Teaser

1. e3!! Ke2 2. Qh5+ Kf1 3. Qf3#

If 1...Rd1 2. Qc4+ Rd3 3. Qd3#

If 1...h3 2. Ng3+ Kf2 3. Qf4#

If 1...Rc3 2. Nxc3 and 3. Qf4#

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