Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #355

Master chess grips its exponents, shaking the mind and brain so that inner freedom and independence of even the toughest character cannot remain unaffected.


Due to a scheduling jam with the MI Chess Camp, Konig Memorial and weekly lectures this Newsletter is coming out a few days early.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Krush wins Frank K. Berry US Womens Championship

3) Ivanov and Akobian tie for first in Cali

4) Shirov guest on John Watson Chess and Book Show

5) Here and There

6) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

The 2nd Imre Konig Memorial is nearing completion with the GM team leading 21 1/2 to 15 1/2

GM Team:
John Fedorowicz - 6½/10
Alex Baburin - 5/10
Suat Atalik - 4/5
Alex Yermolinsky - 3/5
Ekaterina Atalik - 3/7

IM Team:
Dmitry Zilberstein 4 ½/10
Vladimir Mezentsev 3½/10
Josh Friedel - 2½/5
David Pruess 2½/6
Alan Stein 2½/6

Remaining Games Left - Spectators welcome

7/24 Tuesday 12 PM

Yermolinsky (6) - Pruess (7)

S.Atalik (6) - Friedel (6)

Stein (7) - K.Atalik (8)

7/24 Tuesday 5 PM

Friedel (7) - Yermolinsky (7)

S.Atalik (7) - Stein (8)

Pruess (8) - K.Atalik (9)

7/25 Wednesday 12 PM

Yermolinsky (8) - Stein (9)

S.Atalik (8) - Pruess (9)

K.Atalik (10) - Friedel (8)

7/25 Wednesday 5 PM

Stein (10) - S.Atalik (9)

Yermolinsky (9) - Friedel (9)

7/26 Thursday 12 PM

Pruess (10) - Yermolinsky (10)

Friedel (10) - S.Atalik (10)

The following game was annotated in Chess Today( by its editor Alexander Baburin. Chess Today, which appears daily online, is one of the very best chess magazines in the world.

White: GM Alex Baburin (2559)
Black: IM Joshua Friedel (2472)
Konig Mem, San Francisco, 2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0–0 5.Bg5

I had not seen many games where
Friedel played the Nimzo (in general
many US tournaments are not in
databases, which made home
preparation in this tournament harder
for Europeans), so I decided to
surprise him with a rare line. Alas,
surprises are almost impossible
nowadays when one can find almost
all your games in a matter of seconds!

5...h6 6.Bh4 c5 7.e3 cxd4 8.exd4 Nc6 9.Nf3 g5

All of this my young opponent played
very quickly, so I realized that he had
seen my previous games in this line.

9...d5 10.Rd1 Be7 11.a3 Bd7 12.c5
Nh5 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Bb5 e5
15.Nxd5 Qe6 16.dxe5 Rad8 17.0–0
Nxe5 18.Be2 Bc6 19.Nxe5 Bxd5
20.Bxh5 Qxe5 21.Qe2 Rde8 22.Qxe5
Rxe5 23.Bg4 Bc6 24.b4 Rg5 25.h3
Re8 26.Rd6 a5 27.Rfd1 axb4 28.axb4
h5 29.f4 hxg4 30.fxg5 Re2 31.R1d2
Re5 32.hxg4 Rxg5 33.R6d4 Re5
34.Kf2 g6 35.Re2 Rg5 36.Kg3 1–0
Baburin-B.Kristensen, Isle of Man

9...Be7 10.a3 b6 11.d5 exd5 12.Bxf6
Bxf6 13.Nxd5 Re8+ 14.Be2 Bb7 15.0–
0 Rc8 16.Rad1 Ne5 17.Nxe5 Rxe5
18.Bf3 Bxd5 19.Rxd5 Qc7 20.b3 b5
21.Qd2 bxc4 22.Rxd7 Qa5 23.bxc4 ½–
Baburin (2570)-Adams (2680),
Kilkenny 1997.

10.Bg3 g4 11.Ne5 Nxd4 12.Qd1
Nf5 13.Nxg4 h5?

Objectively Black should be doing fine
in this position, but his last move is
overly optimistic. Black played better
in the game Baburin (2600)-Benjamin
(2595), Europe vs Americas, Bermuda
1998: 13...Ne4 14.Rc1 Qg5 15.Bd3 d5
16.0–0 Bxc3 17.bxc3 h5 18.Ne5 Nexg3
19.Nf3 Ne3 20.Nxg5 Nxd1 21.Rfxd1
dxc4 22.Bh7+ Kg7 23.hxg3 f6 24.Be4
fxg5 25.Rd4 Rb8 26.Rxc4 b6 27.Rd1
Rf7 28.Rc6 Bb7 29.Rxe6 Bxe4
30.Rxe4 Rc8 31.Rd5 Kf6 32.Ree5
Rxc3 33.Rxg5 Ra3 34.Rxh5 Rg7 35.g4
Re7 36.Rdf5+ Kg6 37.g3 Rxa2 38.Kg2
a5 39.Rhg5+ Kh6 40.Rg8 Kh7 41.Ra8
Kg6 42.Rg8+ Kh7 43.Ra8 Kg6
44.Raf8 Ra7 45.Rh5 a4 46.Rfh8 Rf7
47.Rg8+ Rg7 48.Ra8 Rf7 49.Rg8+ Rg7
50.Ra8 Rf7 51.Rf5 b5 52.Ra6+ Kg7
53.Rg5+ Kh7 54.Rh5+ Kg7 55.Rg5+
Kh7 56.Rh5+ ½–½


The Computer prefers 14.Nxf6+ Qxf6
15.Rc1 h4 16.Bf4
but I think my idea
is more interesting and is objectively

14...Qe7 15.Nxf6+ Qxf6 16.Bd3!

This is the point - White sacrifices a
pawn in order to complete

16...Bxc3+ 17.bxc3 Qxc3+ 18.Kf1
Qf6 19.Kg1!

I reckoned that taking on f5 would be
premature: 19.Bxf5 Qxf5 20.Bd6 Re8
21.h4 Kh7.


Black was anxious to prevent h2-h4,
but this move gives White access to
g4. Perhaps Black should have played
19...d5, though after 20.Rc1 White has
full compensation for a pawn.


The Computer favors the blockading
move 20.c5!?, which did not even
occur to me!

20...Qg7 21.h3! d6 22.Kh2!

I spent a lot of time on this move.


I particularly liked the idea 22...Qxg4
23.hxg4 Nh6 24.f3 f5 25.Kg1!
or, better
yet, 24.Kg1! - the white king is very
busy in this game!

23.Bxf5 exf5 24.Qxh4! Qe5+?!

Objectively this move is bad, but it
may be Black's best practical chance.
Friedel clearly did not fancy defending
his position after 24...Bc6 25.f3 Rfe8
26.Rhe1 d5.

25.f4! Qc5 26.Rad1!

Also good is 26.Rhe1! Rfe8 27.Rxe8+
Rxe8 28.Bd8.


I was sure that White had to be
winning here, but having 9 minutes
(plus 30 seconds increment), I failed
to find a clear-cut win - and nearly
lost the game! I felt that the winning
line should involve the move Rhe1 -
getting the last pieces into play and
cutting off the escape route of the
black king.


The immediate 27.Rhe1 was also very
strong, i.e. 27...Rfe8 28.Qg5+ Kh7
29.Rd3 Rxe1 30.Rg3+-.
27...Kh7 28.Qh5+ Kg7 29.Qg5+


Clearly I was tired as the line 30.Rd3!
Rg8 31.Qh4+ Kg7 32.Re1!
should also win after 32.Rg3+ Kf8
33.Qh6+ Ke7 34.Re1+ Be6 35.Rxe6+
Kd7 36.Rf6
but this line is inferior.)
32...Be6 33.Rxe6! fxe6 34.Rg3+ Kf8
35.Qh6+ Qg7 36.Rxg7 Rxg7 37.Qh8+
Rg8 38.Qf6+ Ke8 39.Qxe6+ Kf8
++- is not too hard to find if
your brain is working properly.

30...Kg7 31.Rd3 Rfe8 32.Rg3+
Kf8 33.Qh8+ Ke7 34.Qh4+ f6!

34...Kf8 35.Rg5! should be still a win
for White.

35.Re1+ Kd8 36.Qxf6+ Kc8
37.Rxe8+ Bxe8


Played with only seconds
left. White is still clearly better after
38.Qxf5+ Qd7 39.Qf8 Qf7 40.Qxd6.
38...Qd8 39.Qxf5+ Kc7 40.c5?

40...Rc8! 41.Qd5 Qf6?

I thought that my opponent had
blundered into my next move. It
turned out that he had seen it and
deliberately went for the line, which
happened in the game. I was much
more afraid of 41...Kb8! 42.Qxd6+
Qxd6 43.cxd6 Bf7.

42.Rg7+!? Kd8 43.Qxd6+ Qxd6 44.cxd6 Rc2

Not a good practical decision. It was
safer to play 45.Rxb7 and White does
not risk losing this game.

45...Bc6 46.h4 Rf2!

The white king is horribly placed as it
can't support its pawns properly.

47.h5 Rxf4 48.g4 Ke8

Black avoids the line 48...Rf6 49.g5
Rxd6 50.h6 Be4 51.Kg3.


Here, again getting short of time, I
completely missed the move 49.d7+!.

49...Rf3+ 50.Kh4 Kf8 51.Rc7! Rd3 52.Rc8+?

That was my idea. But apparently
much better is 52.h6 Kg8 53.g5 Rxd6
54.Rg7+ Kh8 55.g6

52...Kf7 53.Rc7+ Kg8 54.Rc8+
Kf7 55.Rc7+ Kg8 ½–½

Black should have played for a win
with 55...Ke6 56.h6 Rxd6!.


2) Krush wins Frank K. Berry US Womens Championship

IM Irina Krush won the 2007 Frank K. Berry US Womens Championship held July 16-20 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with a undefeated score of 7-2, good for $7000 and a spot in the FIDE Womens World Championship. Anna Zatonskih and Katerina Rohonyan also earned spots in the WC cycle and $4,000 apiece. MI members Batchimeg Tuvshintugs and Camilla Baginskaite were a collective plus one in the strongest US Womens Championship ever. The youngest player in the event in which all participants were under 41, was 16-year-old Alisa Melekhina of Philadelphia who made a promising debut.





Irina Krush



Anna Zatonskih


Katerina Rohonyan


Batchimeg Tuvshintugs


Tsagaan Battsetseg



Alisa Melekhina



Camilla Baginskaite



Tatev Abrahamyan


Elizabeth Vicary


Chouchanik Airapetian



3) Ivanov and Akobian tie for first in Cali

The 4th Americas Continental in Cali. Colombia has come to an end with a five way tie for first. American GMs Alexander Ivanov and Varuzhan Akobian join Gata Kamsky (seeded for his performance in the previous cycle) and Alexander Shabalov, Alexander Onischuk, Yury Shulman, Julio Becerra and Gregory Kaidanov (all qualified from the 2007 US Ch/Zonal) as the eight US players qualified for the new FIDE WC cycle.

1-5. GMs Granda Zuniga, Al.Ivanov,Akobian, Lima and IM Iturrizaga - 8,

6-13. GM Vescovi, IMs Leon Hoyos,Cordova and Lafuente, GM Felgaer, IM
Matsuura, GMs Peralta and Gulko 7½

14-22. GM Kudrin, IM Escobar Forero, GMs D.Gurevich, Zambrana, Ehlvest and Fier, IMs Ibarra Chami,
Alzate and Sequera - 7, etc (116

The five top players (those who scored 8 points) immediately qualified into the World Cup and Matsuura and Peralta won the last two spots in a playoff among those finishing on 7.5.


4) Shirov guest on John Watson Chess and Book Show


Each Tuesday at 21:00 Server Time on ICC Chess.FM, John's 90+ minute show will review the latest titles, followed by a discussion of books and other chess topics with his guests.

John's special guest this week (24 July) is none other than elite grandmaster Alexei Shirov! The Latvian-born GM is regarded by many as one of the most imaginative attacking players of the modern era. His penchant for wild attacking games has made him a firm favorite with the chess fans, who see him as a natural heir to one of his former trainers, the great Mikhail Tal. His games collection series Fire On Board and Fire On Board (Part II) are both widely regarded as modern-day classics.

This is one show ICC members won’t want to miss! Non-members wishing to catch the show can do so by signing-up now for a FREE trial membership of the ICC here.=



5) Here and There

Standings after two rounds of the 8th Montreal Empresa tournament.

1. Harikrishna (IND, 2664) - 2;

2-4. Kamsky (USA 2718), Eljanov(UKR, 2701) and Tiviakov (NED, 2648)
- 1½;

5-7. Bluvshtein (CAN, 2520), Ivanchuk(UKR, 2762) and Miton (POL 2648) - 1

8. Charbonneau (CAN, 2503) - ½;

9-10. Short (ENG, 2683) and Sutovsky (ISR, 2656) – 0

GMs Joel Benjamin, Alex Shabalov, Jan Werle and Victor Mikhalevski are tie for first at 3.5 from 4 in the Curacao Open.

The 40th Biel Chess Festival takes place 21st July-3rd August 2007. Round 1 of the main GM event starts Monday 23rd July 2007.

Teimour Radjabov      AZE  2747
Judit Polgar          HUN  2727
Alexander Grischuk    RUS  2717
Magnus Carlsen        NOR  2693
Loek Van Wely         NED  2674
Alexander Onischuk    USA  2663
Bu Xiangzhi           CHN  2656
Boris Avrukh          ISR  2644
Alexander Motylev     RUS  2642
Yannick Pelletier     SUI  2602
Average :    =  2677 (cat. XVII

Official site:



6) Upcoming Events

MI events - go for more information

Vladimir Pafnutieff - August 11th
Bernardo Smith Amateur - August 18th and 19th

A Classic Event!
Oct. 6 California Classic Championship 18 California , Northern
4SS G/60. 3003 Scott Blvd. , Santa Clara , CA 95054 . EF: $39, Juniors $35. $16 more after 10/2, $2 Cal Chess Discount, $4 discount if combined with 11/10 Classic. $850 b/36: Open 200-100 U2000 50, Reserve: 200-100 U1600 50, U1400 50, U1200 50, U1000 50. Reg: Sat 9:00-9:30 AM, Rds: 10:00-12:00, lunch, 12:30-2:30 PM, 2:40-4:40 PM, 4:55-6:55 PM. Ent: Salman Azhar, 1551 Garvey Pl. San Jose , CA 95132 . Payable to Salman Azhar or paypal to Info: NS NC W

A Classic Event!
Nov. 10 California Classic Championship 20 California , Northern
4SS G/60. 3003 Scott Blvd. , Santa Clara , CA 95054 . EF: $39, Juniors $35. $16 more after 11/6, $2 Cal Chess Discount, $4 discount if combined with 10/6 Classic. $850 b/36: Open 200-100 U2000 50, Reserve: 200-100 U1600 50, U1400 50, U1200 50, U1000 50. Reg: Sat 9:00-9:30 AM, Rds: 10:00-12:00, lunch, 12:30-2:30 PM, 2:40-4:40 PM, 4:55-6:55 PM. Ent: Salman Azhar, 1551 Garvey Pl. San Jose , CA 95132 . Payable to Salman Azhar or paypal to Info: NS NC W

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