Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #363

I like life on a tour; just nothing else compares to it - you are so free. Nothing else can possibly come close to the lifestyle. This is how it works for most of the chess players. Material-wise it is not so rewarding, but the lifestyle is everything. It is more than a drug; nothing can replace it, so I am really surprised when I hear about people dropping chess entirely and going to a 9-to-5 job and then never come back. To me that is just total nonsense. Once you taste this, it is like forbidden fruit. Once you've tried it you can never come back.

Alex Shabalov
From an interview with Betsy Dynako at Chess Life Online

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

SM Craig Mar defeated NM Sam Shankland to grab the lead in the Ben Gross Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon. Mar leads at 6 from 7 followed by IM Ricardo DeGuzman, Shankland, Victor Ossipov and William Gray on 5.5, with two rounds to go. Next week will likely feature the number 1 seed versus 2 seed with Mar getting White against DeGuzman.

Shankland (2242) - Mar (2408)
Sicilian Maroczy Bind B36
Ben Gross Tuesday Night Marathon San Francisco (7) .2007

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd2 Qa5 11.0-0
11.Rc1 Be6 12.f3 Rfc8 13.b3 a6 14.Na4 is the main line. White should be in no hurry to castle if he intends to trade Queens.
11...Be6 12.Rac1 Rfc8?!
This is an inaccuracy. Black should play
12...a6 with the point that 13.f4 b5 14.f5 can be met by 14...Bxc4
13.b3 a6 14.Nd5?!
The allows Black to immediately equalize. Instead 14.f4! b5 15.f5 was the way to punish 12...Rfc8. The insertion of ...Rfc8 and b3 means ...Bxc4 is no longer available.;
14.f3 b5 15.Nd5 Qxd2 16.Bxd2 Nxd5 17.cxd5 Bd4+ 18.Kh1 Bd7 19.Rxc8+ Rxc8 20.Rc1 would have lead to a draw.
14...Qxd2 15.Nxf6+?!
This isn't necessary. 15.Bxd2 Nxd5 (15...Bxd5 16.exd5 Ne4 17.Ba5 Bb2 18.Rc2 Bd4=) 16.exd5 (16.cxd5 is again a draw)
15...Bxf6 16.Bxd2 b5!
Now White must exercise some care.
17.cxb5 axb5 18.Rxc8+ Bxc8 19.Rc1?!
19.Bxb5 Rxa2 20.Be3 Rb2 21.Bc4 Be6 22.Rc1 held the balance.
19...Rxa2! 20.Bh6
20.Rxc8+ Kg7 21.Bxb5 Rxd2 22.Rc1 Bd4 23.Rf1 Kf6 is winning for Black as White is all tied up.
20...Be6 21.Bxb5 Bd4!
Black is winning.
22.Rc7 Bxf2+ 23.Kf1 Ra7 24.Rxa7 Bxa7 25.b4 f5 26.exf5 gxf5 27.Ke2 Bd5 28.Bd7 e6 29.Be8 Bxg2 30.b5 e5 31.Bc6 Bxc6 32.bxc6 Bb8 33.Kd3 d5 34.Bg5 Bc7 35.Kc3 Kf7 36.Kb4 Ke6 37.Kb5 Kd6 0-1

IM Ricardo DeGuzman defeated Greg Young in the last round of the Seventh Annual Howard Donnelly Memorial G/45 to win the 42 player Swiss with a 5-0 score. Young, Nicholas Nip, and Eric Kislik tied for second with four points.

The eight participants for the US Chess League, which will be held January 2nd-6th, 2008, at the Mechanics' Institute under the instruction of GM Yury Shulman are:

Michael Yang (12 years old - 2148 USCF)
Gregory Young (12 years old - 2127 USCF)
Daniel Naroditsky (11 years old - 2170 USCF)
Atulya Shetty (11 years old - 1929 USCF)
Darwin Yang (10 years old - 2100 USCF)
Brian Luo (10 years old - 2077 USCF)
Nicholas Nip (9 years old - 2017 USCF)
Varun Krishnan (9 years old - 1918 USCF)
To learn more about the US Chess School go to .

Congratulations to GM-elect Vinay Bhat who won consecutive Best Games prizes in the US Chess League in rounds two and three for his wins over IM John Bartholomew and GM Hikaru Nakamura. To see Vinay's detailed annotations go to and . Tonight the San Francisco Mechanics face the always tough Seattle Sluggers. The match starts at 6pm and spectators are welcome.

2) MI History

Dear John,

I saw your article about LA Times columnists in the Mechanics Institute Newsletter ( #361). Have you heard from any readers? I like an occasional foray into chess history, and I'm wondering how others feel.

I did some investigating yesterday when I submitted my Sept. 2 column. I found that John Dougherty wrote a regular checkers column every Sunday for the last few months of 1917, and he usually included a chess game. Often the notes to the game were credited to another newspaper, and some of the games were years old. A few times, Mlotkowski was involved. It's not clear to me if Dougherty actually wrote the chess section or whether Mlotkowski did it without taking credit.

Dougherty seemed to have a personal relationship with his readers. Maybe there were only a few dozen! He often wrote about someone visiting from another city, or one or two club members going on trips. And he published brief replies to readers who sent in solutions to the checkers puzzles.

In one column, he asked all chess players to send their name and address to him. In another, he said that Herman Helms of the American Chess Bulletin wanted to learn about chess in Los Angeles, and he again asked all local chessplayers to write. In a third column, he called checkers and chess "both fine scientific games" but called checkers "more democratic" and "more popular."

I noticed that he gave a checkers result of a "match for a small purse" that he won against a local player. It sounds like he was a checkers player who respected chess and might have played occasionally, but did not claim expertise at chess.

His byline gave "John Dougherty" for a while, then "Jno. Dougherty" for a few weeks, then back to "John Dougherty." I've never seen the abbreviation "Jno." elsewhere.

I can confirm my recollection of Kashdan's last column. The date was August 29, 1982. On the following Sunday, Sept. 5, the Times printed a short notice saying that he was ill and the column would resume when he recovered. I saw no mention of Kashdan or chess in the Sept. 12 paper, and I wrote my first column for Sept. 19.

Best wishes, Jack Peters

NM John Blackstone supplies us with this look back into the Mechanics' chess history courtesy of the LA Times and John Dougherty


BY JOHN DOUGHERTY (Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1925) SAN FRANCISCO WINS TELEGRAPH CHESS MATCH "Of all sad words of tongue or pen" I've listened to woes of many men. But still have heard of none that well Express my feelings when LA fell It's the same old story - sad to relate San Francisco won, but listen mate Our boys died game, but what's the use To die at all, that's no excuse

The SF Chess Team defeated the local team by a score of 6 1/2 to 5 1/2 points in the telegraph team match played last Sunday. The final result was in doubt until late in the evening when H. Borochow had to concede a draw to E. W. Gruer on Board 1.

This board attracted a good deal of attention during the day. In the early stages Borochow made a weak move which allowed his opponent to secure and advantage which he held for some time, but Borochow "fighting with his back to the wall," finally got back on even terms and fought valiantly for a win, but Gruer was not to be caught napping and a draw resulted.

Board 2, A. W. Ruth, (no relation to Babe) lost to A.J. Fink.
Board 3 - S. Mlotkowski lowered the colors of Dr. W.R. Lovegrove.
Board 4 - E.F. Schrader lost to E.J. Clarke.
Board 5 - D.H. Mugridge, our "boy wonder," drew with G.E.K. Branch.
Board 6 - E.G. Short did not allow C. Waskoff to "walk off" with anything and easily scored a win.
Board 7 - E.R. Perry turned in his usual win, A.W. Ryder being his victim.
Board 8 - Dr. M. Sholz gave an overdose of antichess to Dr. H. Epstein, and before the latter could find the proper antidote, the former had the game cinched.
Board 9 - S.W. Weinbaum lost to S. Ballow.
Board 10 - The same old story, W.B. Hart lost to E. Fawcett.
Board 11 - Our club president, E.W. Graybill, fought hard for the honor of his club but in the end had to concede a draw to S. Maynard.

If I had to stop here - If I only could - the match would be a tie with 5 1/2 each. There was no one left on the San Francisco team but G. Hallwegan and the question was who to put up against him. It is a crisis like this that tests the nerve and judgement of great generals. G.S.G. Patterson was first mentioned but he was at home sick: M.A. Woodward's name was brought up for discussion but the "generals" thought he might try to bring up some legal point and try to claim the game on a technicality - no honor in that. Next the name of Lyon was suggested, but why go to the "jungles" for a player when there was a bunch running loose right in the clubrooms. Finally it was decided to take a chance on a strong (physically) player and C.H. Whipple was drafted to be the "fall guy." You know the rest. And again to the Los Angeles players I say: "For every evil under the sun There is a remedy or there is none: If there be one, go and find it If there be none, why never mind it."

3) Junior Membership Changes at USCF

By Bill Goichberg, USCF President

USCF's Tournament Membership (TM) program, which allows players the option of joining for only one event at a greatly reduced rate, has been modified. Junior TMs for age 24 or below may be purchased from affiliates and are now available to them for $7 online with rating report submissions. They include one issue of Chess Life or Chess Life for Kids, and $5 of this fee may be applied to a full membership within 60 days.

Many scholastic tournaments exist that are not USCF-rated, and I believe the main reason they are not is that organizers fear losing players unwilling or unable to pay entry fee plus dues of $17 (Scholastic), $19 (Youth), or $25 (Young Adult). The availability of a $7 option should cause some of these events to switch to being USCF-rated, promoting membership. The idea behind the TMs is not to sign up a lot of them, but rather to cause more USCF-rated tournaments to be held.

The TM created in 2005, intended mainly for adults, is priced at $10 for tournaments of four rounds or less, quick chess events, and those playing entirely on weekdays, and $20 for longer events. This will be simplified to just one TM for age 25 or above, priced at $12, of which $10 may be applied to a full membership within 60 days and the remaining $2 will compensate USCF for the cost of an extra transaction. One issue of Chess Life is included. This $12 TM will replace the existing adult TMs on December 1.

The TM costs the Federation some potential members who otherwise would have purchased a full membership, but it gains others who would not have joined if the event was not USCF-rated. Since 2005, the advantages of the TM have appeared to outweigh the disadvantages. Affiliates no longer need worry about scaring players away with required $49 or $41 or $25 memberships, and the number of TMs who have not converted to full membership is only a few hundred. About 50% of TMs have converted, which is very encouraging.

The adult TM has been helpful, but because so many large nonrated scholastics exist, it is the junior TM that has enormous potential for promoting USCF membership!

4) Here and There

Jesse Kraai of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was formally awarded the GM title at the FIDE Presidential Board meeting held recently in Mexico City.

Steven Krasnov, Art Marthinsen, David Petty, Richard Karp and Mike Anderson lead the 35-player Berkeley Sunday Night Marathon after two rounds with perfect scores. Go to for more information.

Players from around the country and especially the Midwest had the second half of October marked on their calendar for the annual Governor's Cup in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Organized by De and David Knudsen it attracted many Grandmasters. There will be no Governor's Cup in 2007 but something big will be happening in North Dakota, as many-time state champion Mike Sailor writes:

Greetings John,

I was wondering if you could mention our tournament to whomever might find it of interest. Brian Thompson, North Dakota's version of De Knutson, has organized our area's largest tournament. We are hoping to capture some of the disappointed chessplayers that normally play in the Governor's Cup every year. We have a fair amount of sponsorship. We are hoping to get a big number the first year so we can build on the momentum next year. We have Sandor Kustar committed to playing, and another IM has expressed interest. Oct. 20-21, 1ST ANNUAL CHESSNUTS CHALLENGE OPEN 5SS, R1G/90 R2G/120 R3-5 30/90;G/60, Concordia College, 901 8thStreet S, Moorhead MN 56560. EF: $40.00 if paid by 10/18 on-line, $50on site. $$b/60: $1000-400-200. U2000-100/50;U1800-100/50; U1600-100; U1400-100; U1200/unr-100. Reg: 8am - 8:30am 10/20/2007. On line registration thru 10/18/2007 at Rds: Sat: 9am/1pm/6pm; Sun: 8am/2pm. R1-3. ENT: ChessNuts Chess Club, 773 15th Avenue E, West Fargo, ND 58078 INFO:Brian Thompson. HR: $79.90 QQ/K 877-234-9976 AmericInn Fargo. NS NC W. GM Anatoly Lein and NM Eduard Zelkind are tied for first with perfect scores after two rounds of the World Senior Championship in Gmunden, Austria. Dan Mayers and Jude Acers (his first serious over the board tournament in around three decades!) have 1.5, Carl Wagner has 1 and Leonid Bondar .5 in the 235 player event . Esther Epstein has 1.5 from 2 in the womens section which has 35 participants. FIDE uses age requirements of 60 for men and 50 for women.

NM Gregory Braylovsky upset GM Alexander Stripunsky to win the NY September at the Marshall Chess Club with a 4-0 score.. GM Nick DeFirmian, who drew with Stripunsky in round two, beat GM Michael Rodhe in round four to tie for second with IM Alex Lenderman at 3.5.

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