Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #359

Chess brings out man's creative powers. It is not only a struggle, it is a sphere where humans can fight for justice because there are strict laws.

Boris Spassky

Time magazine July 31, 1972

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Leonid Kritz wins New England Masters

3) Joel Johnson wins US Senior

4) Hans Ree on Watson's Chess & Book Show

5) California Chess History

6) Upcoming Events


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

NM Andy Lee, Experts Batsaikhan Tsrendorj, Carlos Davila, Victor Ossipov, Romulo Fuentes, Larry Snyder, Wiliam Gray, Igor Traub, James Jones and Class A players Demtrious Goins and Adam Goldberg who upset NM Igor Margulis and Expert Felix Rudyak respectively, are tied at 2-0. Right behind them at 1 1/2 are IM Ricardo DeGuzman , NM Sam Shankland and Expert Daniel Naroditsky who have each taken a half point bye. It's still possible to enter the 74 player, 9 round event, with half point byes for the first two (or three) rounds.

This past weekend Jay Kumar won the Bernardo Smith Amateur ( Under 1800) at the MI with a score of 5 from 6. Bernard Liang, Evan Sandberg, Cesar Tamondong and Zachi Bacharav tied for second with 4 1/2 in the 38-player event.

The San Francisco Mechanics' open the defense of their US Chess League title on Wednesday, August 29th, at 5:30 pm. Spectators are welcome . Alternatively you can follow the games live on the Internet Chess Club at For more information on the US Chess League go to .

Thanks to John Alexander Jr.who has donated several beautiful black and white photos of chess in San Diego in late 1950s including one with Bent Larsen, Larry Evans and Pal Benko in it. John's father, John Alexander Sr., was one of the leading West Coast organizers in the 1950s and 60s.

Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics' are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics' are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics'. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.

2) Leonid Kritz wins New England Masters by Chris Bird

GM Leonid Kritz was the winner of the New England Masters, finishing with 7/9, a half-point ahead of GM Alex Shabalov and IM Dean Ippolito. Kritz maintains his 100% record of winning Master tournaments organized by Chris Bird, which includes his joint first in the Las Vegas Masters last year.

Finishing in fourth place was IM Robert Hess with 6/9, while IM Lev Milman, IM Josh Friedel and 12 year old FM Ray Robson finished tied for fifth with 5.5/9.

Ippolito's 2nd place finish was also good for the top Under 2400 prize while Robson took second in the same category. FM James Critelli and local youngster Max Enkin took the top Under 2300 prize, both of them finishing with 5/9, and both of them notching up a win against English GM Nigel Davies during the course of the tournament.

Norm Watch

IM Dean Ippolito's 6.5/9 was good enough for a GM norm performance and FM James Critelli's 5/9 was good enough for an IM norm performance. Unfortunately both players played six USA players and the FIDE rules stipulate that a maximum of 60% of your opposition can come from your own federation. FM Ray Robson and Max Enkin both ended up just a half-point shy of IM norm performances, although they would have also failed to play the necessary non-USA opposition.

This was caused due to various foreign players dropping out for one reason or another over the final couple of weeks, including a foreign GM dropping out and being replaced by GM Shabalov (who is USA, but who wouldn't want the US Champion at their tournament?) and the foreign players not performing well enough to be paired against the players that needed them. Obviously there is only so much that can be done to obtain these match-ups, while maintaining the integrity of the tournament, which is of paramount importance.

The only consolation for both of the players is that they still need to obtain the relevant 2500 (GM) and 2400 (IM) FIDE ratings, and their results in this tournament will go a long way to helping with that cause. If they take the confidence gained from this tournament, and keep performing up to these standards, it will only be a matter of time before they eventually succeed in their quests.

Three Members of Mechanics' US Chess League team make trip (JD)

IMs Josh Friedel and David Pruess went to New England looking for GM norms and will not be satisfied with their results, but 16-year-old Sam Shankland scored a very respectable 4 from 9 with a performance rating of around 2300 despite typically spending 30 minutes on his clock each game. Slow down Sam!

Shankland,Samuel (2166) - Yanayt,Eugene (2335) [B77]
New England Masters (4) 2007

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 d6 8.f3 0-0 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.h4 Qa5 11.h5 Ne5 12.Bb3 Rfc8 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.Bh6 Bh8 15.0-0-0 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Rxc4 17.Nb3 Qa6 18.Bf8 Rxf8 19.Rxh8+ Kxh8 20.Qh6+ Kg8 21.Rh1 Nh5 22.g4 Be6 23.gxh5 g5 24.Qxg5+ Kh7 25.Rg1 1-0

Go to and for more information.

3) Joel Johnson wins US Senior

Arizona NM Joel Johnson won the US Senior ( age 50 and over) title by scoring 5.5 from 6. Johnson's key win was in round 5 over Mechanics' member IM Walter Shipman who tied for second at 4.5 with FMs Jim Eade, Lester Van Meter and Robert Rowley and NM Stane Kirofiloski. Eade, a former Mechanics' Institute Chess Director coming off a long layoff from tournament play, had a fine result and was undefeated. MI regular Nelson Sowell tied for first under 1800 in the 41-player event held in Palm Springs August 14-19.

Go to for more information.


4) Hans Ree on Watson's Chess & Book Show by John Henderson

Each Tuesday at 21:00 Server Time, 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 mguest on the 21st of August is Dutch
GM Hans Ree. A four-time champion of the Netherlands, Hans is now a more recognizable figure as one of the
game's great writers. He's a columnist and chess writer for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelblad and also
a contributor to the award-winning chess magazine New in Chess.

Hans has written many books, though mainly in Dutch, but has written one book in English, The Human Comedy
of Chess: A Grandmaster's Chronicles, based on a collection of his insightful articles that delve into the history of
the game and its personalities.


5) California Chess History

The following article appeared in the March 1939 issue of Chess Review (Volume 7, Number 3). Thanks to Kerry Lawless for transcribing it. For similar articles go to his website at

On Tour

By I. A. Horowitz

When one leaves for an extended trip of ten weeks, it is generally to be expected that much time and effort is spent in preparation. Not so with a chessplayer. I hastily packed my belongings, and madly rushed to bid farewell to some of my friends. Then still somewhat in a daze, I headed for the depot. As the pleasant chant "a-b-o-a-r-d" was heard, I relaxed.

At long last, I arrived in Los Angeles. Los Angeles was a breathing spell for me, for I stayed a week and played only twice. And the weather was favorable.

I believe Los Angeles has the largest chess club in point of membership, in the world. The roster, I am told, records the names of over 400. And at the opening gong at nine, forty to fifty men assemble for combat and sociability. It is no particular miracle that the club is successful. For E. P. Elliot, champion of the American Chess Federation in the early 1900s, has devoted his full time and effort to building the club.

I played at the L. A. Club and also at the home of Gottfried Reinhardt. We topped off the evening at the latter’s home with a brand of New York rapid transit. It was fun.

My old teammate, Herman Steiner, did most of the honors at L. A. We visited Hollywood, and watched Fred Astaire rehearse, and saw them shoot a few scenes. We met actors and artists. Incidentally, Steiner is forming a new club to cater to these people. It was the particular delight of Mrs. Steiner to see that I regained the weight lost by the arduous labors of a tour. And I did. I must have gained six or seven pounds gorging at the Steiner household.

Simultaneous performance at the home of Gottfried Reinhardt.

January 26, 1939


I. A. Horowitz (White) – G. Reinhardt (Black)

1 P-K4 P-QB4 2 Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3 P-Q4 PxP 4 KtxP Kt-B3 5 Kt-QB3 P-K3 6 B-K2 B-K2 7 0-0 0-0 8 Kt-Kt3 P-QKt3 9 P-B4 PQ3 10 B-B3 B-Kt2 11 Q-K2 P-QR3

12 B-K3 Q-B2 13 Q-B2 Kt-Q2 14 QR-Q1 QR-B1 15 P-KKt4 P-B3 16 P-B5 Kt-Q1 17 R-Q2 Kt-K4 18 B-K2 Kt-B5 19 BxKt QxB 20 BxP Q-B3 21 B-K3 B-R1 22 Kt-Q4 Q-B5

23 PxP KtxP 24 Kt-B5 KR-K1 25 KtxBch RxKt 26 RxP BxP 27 P-KR3 B-Kt2 28 KR-Q1 Q-QKt5! 29 B-B1 R-B5 30 P-R3 RxPch! 31 PxR QxPch 32 K-R2 Q-R4ch

33 K-Kt3 Kt-Kt4! 34 BxKt QxBch 35 K-R2 Q-R3ch! 36 K-Kt3 R-K6ch 37 QxR QxQch 38 K-R2 Q-B7ch 39 K-R3 Q-B6ch 0-1

Then I made the trek up the West Coast. From L. A. to Seattle, taking in Carmel, Frisco, Portland, I rode and played. Again I met many friends. There were Work and Whitman, and Clarke and Smith and Bagby and Boyette and Fink, and Chapman and Pelouse, and another of my old teammates, Arthur Dake. All made it a point to ease the tension of the grind. Then in Seattle there were Bourne Smith and Bart Bowen, and a host of others.

Occasionally I'd find time to meander. And at Santa Cruz, with Reynolds and Miller as guides, I visited the

"Big Trees". Gigantic Redwoods towering into the sky, and broad.

Clock Game – San Francisco, Calif.

January 31, 1939


I. A. Horowitz (White) – A. J. Fink (Black)

1 P-K4 P-K4 2 Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3 B-Kt5 P-QR3 4 B-R4 Kt-B3 5 0-0 KtxP 6 P-Q4 P-QKt4 7 B-Kt3 P-Q4 8 PxP B-K3 9 P-B3 B-K2 10 QKt-Q2 0-0 11 B-B2 Kt-B4 12 Kt-Kt3 Kt-Q2 13 R-K1 R-K1

14 QKt-Q4 KtxKt 15 KtxKt Kt-B1 16 P-KB4 P-QB4 17 KtxB PxKt 18 R-K3 P-B5 19 R-R3 B-B4ch 20 B-K3 Q-Kt3

20…BxBch followed by …Q-Kt3 was better.

21 B-Q4 R-K2 22 K-R1 BxB 23 PxB R-B2 24 Q-Q2 P-Kt3 25 R-KB1 Kt-Q2 26 P-KKt4 QR-KB1 27 P-B5 K-R1

If instead 27…KPxP; 28 PxP, PxP; 29 R-R6 followed by 30 P-K6!

28 R-KKt1 KPxP 29 PxP RxP 30 Q-R6 1-0

Now I was headed eastward. The touch of nostalgia was eased by the thought that each exhibition brought me one step closer to home.


6) Upcoming Events

MI Events

Howard Donnelly Memorial - September 15th
J.J. Dolan Memorial - October 20th
Carroll Capps Memorial - November 3rd and 4th
Pierre Saint-Amant Memorial - November 17th
Jim Hurt Amateur - December 1st and 2nd
Guthrie McClain - December 8th

go for more information

Northern California

Sacramento Chess Club Weekend Swiss #18

August 25 & 26, 2007

4 Round Swiss, 30/90, G/1, d/5 at The Learning Exchange, 1111 Howe Avenue, Sacramento. Entry Fee: $45 (Juniors $35) postmarked by 8/18/2007, $55 (Juniors $40) after 8/18. Two sections, Master/Expert/A and Reserve (Under 1800). $1600 prize fund based on 50 adult and 10 junior full paid entries. Master/Expert/A 1st Place $200 and 2nd Place $150 are guaranteed. Registration 8/25, 8:30-9:30, rounds 10:00 and 3:30 both days. Entries payable to the Sacramento Chess Club and mail to Sacramento Chess Club, c/o 6700 50th Street, Sacramento, CA 95823-1306. Contact information: TD John McCumiskey, 916-524-9479 or e-mail Check the Weekend Events page of the Sacramento Chess Club website, for a tournament flyer with additional information and the advance entry list.

Sept. 1-3 2007 CALCHESS LABOR DAY CHAMPIONSHIPS GPP: 15 California Northern

6SS, 30/90, SD/1 (2-day option rds. 1-3 G/60). Golden Gateway Holiday Inn, Van Ness at Pine, San Francisco. $$ b/160 paid entries (not counting free or unrated entries). Six Sections: Master: $725-$375-$200; U2400 $300; Expert $430-$230-$110. "A": $375-$200-$120. "B": $375-$200-$120. "C": $375-200-120. "D/E": $375-$200-$120; U1200 $250. Unr: Trophy first. Trophy to top finisher (State Champion) in each section. All, EF: postmarked by 8/27, $70 (Jrs. $60), $80 at site (Jrs. $70). Unrateds $20 in the D/E section or may play up to the Master section for the regular fee. $5 discount to CalChess members. USCF memb. req’d. May play up one section for add’l $10 (Jrs. $5). GM/IM free entry. Reg.: Sat. 9/1 8-9:30 am, Sun. 9/2 8:15-9:15 am. RDS.: Choice of schedules- 3-day, 2-day merge at round 4, all compete for the same prizes. 3-day schedule: Sat. 10:00-4:00, Sun. 11:00-4:45, Mon. 10:00-3:30. 2-day schedule: Sun. 9:30-11:45-2:00-4:45, Mon. 10:00-3:30. 1/2 pt. bye(s) any round(s) if requested in advance (byes rds. 5-6 must be requested before rd. 1). 2007 August Ratings List, CCA minimums and Directors’ discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible. Please bring clocks and equipment. HR: Golden Gateway Holiday Inn (415)-441-4000. INFO: Richard Koepcke (650)-964-2640. Ent: CalChess, P.O. Box 1432, Mountain View, CA 94042. No phone entries. Master Section FIDE Rated.

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

Southern California

September 1-3
27th Annual Southern California Open
6-SS, 3-day 40/2, SD/1, 2-day rds. 1-3 G/60 then merges. LAX Hilton, 5711 W. Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
$$10,000 b/200, 60% of each prize guaranteed.
In 2 sections:
Open: $$T+1700-1000-800-450-300, U2400 400, U2300 200, U2200 600-300, U2000 $$600-300.
Amateur (U1800): T+750-400-200-150-100, U1600 $$500-300-200-100, U1400 $$300-150, U1200 100, Unr 100.
All: Half-pt bye available in rds 1-4 if requested with entry, limit 2. SCCF membership req. of S. Cal. res., $14 reg, $9 junior. No credit card entries or checks at door. SCCF Annual Membership Meeting: 2:30 p.m. Sept. 3. $25 Best Game prize, all sections eligible.
Reg: 3-day 9-10 a.m. 9-1, 2-day 8:30-9:30 a.m. 9-2.
Rds: 3-day: 10:30-5 Sat-Sun, 10-4:30 Mon. 2-day: 10-12:15-2:30 Sun., then merges.. EF: $83 if received by 8/31, $95 door. Special EF: U1400/unrated $67 adv, $80 door.
HR: $95 (310-410-4000, use group code SOU). Reserve by 8-26 or rates may rise. Parking $8/day.
Inf: John Hillery.
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038 or on-line at
NS. NC. F. GP: 50. State Championship Qualifier

Heritage Event!
An American Classic!

Oct. 12-14 25th Annual SANDS REGENCY RENO-WESTERN STATES OPEN GPP: 200 Enhanced Nevada

6SS, 40/2, 20/1, SD/30. Sands Regency Hotel/Casino, 345 N. Arlington Ave., Reno, NV 89501. 1-800-648-3553 or (775) 348-2200. $$ 46,000 b/450, Gtd. $$ 29,850: $4,000-2,500-1,500-1,200-1,000-900-800-700-600-500 in Open Section plus 1/2 of all other prizes. 7 Sections: OPEN: EF: GMs & IMs free, Masters $123, (2000-2199)-$201, (1999-below)-$301. $$ Prizes 1-10 listed above, (2400-2499) $1,000, (2300-2399) $1,000-600-400, (2299-below) $1,000-600-400. If a tie for first overall then two (G/10) playoff for $100 from prize fund. (Note: GM/IM w/free entry not eligible for class prizes 2499 and below, may elect to pay entry fee and become eligible). EXPERT: (2000-2199) EF: $122. $$ 2,000-1,000-500-400-300-200-200-(under 2100)-$600. "A" Sec. (1800-1999): EF: $121, $$ 1,800-900-500-400-300-200-200-200-200-200. "B" Sec. (1600-1799): EF: $120, $$ 1,600-800-500-400-300-200-200-200-200-200. "C" Sec. (1400-1599): EF: $119, $$ 1,400-700- 500-400-300-200-200-100-100-100. "D" Sec. (1200-1399): EF: $118, $$ 1,200-600-500-400-300-200-200-100-100-100. "E" Sec. (1199-below): EF: $60 ("E" Sect. entries count as 1/2 paid player toward prize fund), $$ 600-400-300-200-200-100-100-100-100-100. (Unrated Players) EF: Free + must join USCF or increase membership for one additional year thru this tournament ($49 adults, $25 juniors). Prizes: Top unrated in "D" & "E" sections wins one yr. USCF membership plus trophy. Note: Adult unrated will be put in "D" Sect., Junior unrated in "E", unless requested to play up. Seniors additional prizes (65/over): $$ 400-200-100. (Srs. not eligible: provisionally rated, unrated, & masters); Club Championship: $$ 1,000-500-300-200 decided by total score of 10 (and only 10) players from one club or area (not eligible – GMs, IMs, "E"Sec., or unrated). Trophies to top three (A-E Sections). ALL: EF: $11 more if postmarked after 9/22 and $22 more if postmarked after 10/6 or at site. Do not mail after 10/6 or email after 10/9. $20 off EF to Sr. 65/over and Jrs. 19/under. Players may play up. Unrated players not eligible for cash prizes except Open 1-10. Provisionally rated players may win up to 50% of first place money except Open Section 1-10. CCA ratings may be used. Note pairings not changed for color alteration unless three in a row or a plus three and if the unlikely situation occurs three colors in a row may be assigned. Reg.: (10/11) 5-9 pm, (10/12) 8:30-10 am. Rds.: 12-7, 10-6, 9:30-4. Byes available any round (two byes max.) if requested before first round. SIDE EVENTS: Wed. (10/10) 7 pm clock simul, [40/2, G/1] (including an analysis of YOUR game on the next day [Thursday] at 2 pm!), either GM Larry Evans or IM John Donaldson (early entries may request exhibitor, later entries may be assigned), $30 (a great value!). Thursday (10/11) 6-7:30 pm, GM Larry Evans lecture- Free, 7:30 pm, Simul (only $15!) GM Walter Browne, 7:30 pm, Blitz (5 min.)Tourney ($15). Sat. 10/13 (3-4:30 pm), GM Larry Evans Clinic (Game/Position Analysis)- Free. Sun. (10/14) Quick Tourney (G/25), 5 rd. Swiss ($15) [12 (Noon)-5pm] 80% of entries returned as prizes. ENT: Make checks payable and send to: SANDS REGENCY (address above) HR: $39! (Sun-Thurs) & $59 (Fri-Sat) + 13.5% tax. (mention CHE1011 & by 9/29 to guarantee room rates.) INFO: Jerry Weikel, (775) 747-1405, or website: (also go here to verify entry). FIDE .W.

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