Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #384

Pruess and Friedel's chess is as uncompromising as their spartan furnishings. They are about as likely to accept a draw as Jack Bauer is to respect the Geneva Convention.

GM Jesse Kraai

( From his award winning article East Bay Flight Club which can be found at )

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club

2) Dick Cavett and Bobby Fischer

3) Kamsky-Topalov

4) Our Men in Moscow - Part Two

5) Evans-Steiner: 1952 US Championship Match

6) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club

IM Ricardo DeGuzman and NM Emanuel Perez tied for first at 4.5 from 5 in the 8th Annual Henry Gross Memorial held February 9th at the Mechanics'. DeGuzman, who drew with NM Michael Pearson in round four, defeated WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs in the last round while Pearson was beaten by Perez. Expert James Jones had a chance to tie for first but drew his last game with NM Keith Vickers in the 54 player event.

IM John Grefe, FM Frank Thornally and NM Sam Shankland are tied at 5 from 6 with two rounds to go in the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon.

Go to or ( and see where it says "Chess Diva #4 is Here!") and you will find a short video clip that includes coverage of the MI's Sunday's Woman's Chess Class taught by Ewelina Krubnik which is sponsored by the Wiskemann Foundation in memory of Martin Wiskemann. The part with
the MI plays after 2 minutes or so.

9-year-old Expert Nicholas Nip is looking for players rated over 2000 for matches and quads to be held at the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco on weekends. Interested parties may contact John Donaldson at

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) Dick Cavett and Bobby Fischer

Former Northwest Chess Editor and Inside Chess proof reader Dan Bailey always spoke highly of the interview skills of Dick Cavett and they stand out in Cavett's remembrance of the interviews he did with Bobby Fischer.

Here is an excerpt from the piece that recently appeared in the New York Times ( http://cavett. blogs.nytimes. com/ )

Until the advent of Bobby Fischer, my image of a young chess genius was not flattering. I pictured a sort of wizened and unpopular youth, small of frame, reclusive, short, with messy hair, untended acne, thick glasses and shirt sticking out in back. And also perhaps, as the great V. Nabokov wrote in describing somewhat genderless piano prodigies with eye trouble, obscure ailments, "and something vaguely misshapen about their eunuchoid hindquarters."

Getting Fischer on my show that first time, before the big match, was considered a major catch at the time. If anyone in the audience shared my image of what a chess genius probably looked like, Bobby’s entrance erased it.

Here was no Nabakovian homunculus. There appeared, somewhat disconcerted, a tall and handsome lad with football-player shoulders, impeccably suited, a little awkward of carriage and unsure how to negotiate the unfamiliarity of the set, the bright lights, the wearing of make-up, the band music, the hand-shaking and the thundering ovation — all at the same time. I had hoped to avoid the cliché "gangling," but Bobby gangled. He sort of lurched into his chair.

Once seated, he was something to behold. Six foot two (tall in those days), athletic in build, perfect in grooming, and with striking features. The face radiated intelligence. You couldn’t confuse him with anyone you’d ever seen.

And there were the eyes.

Cameras fail to convey the effect of his eyes when they were looking at you. A bit of Svengali perhaps, but vulnerable. And only the slightest hint of a sort of theatrical menace, the menace that so disconcerted his opponents.

Looking out over the audience, I could clearly see entranced women gazing at him as if willing to offer their hearts — and perhaps more — to the hunky chess master.

3) Kamsky-Topalov

Athens, 11 February 2008

FIDE has accepted an offer for the WCC Challengers Match Kamsky - Topalov 2008 by the Bulgarian Chess Federation. This offer included a net prize fund of 150,000 USD and has been approved by the FIDE Presidential Board since June 2007.

However, after the recent FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Singapore and following discussions with all parties involved, FIDE has decided the following in order to try to improve the financial terms and conditions for both players:

a) if by 11 April 2008, FIDE receives a bid with a net prize fund of 250,000 USD (minimum) from any country other than USA, Bulgaria, Russia and Spain, then the match will be organised in that country with the highest bid.

b) if by 11 April 2008, FIDE receives a bid with a net prize fund of 250,000 USD (minimum) from USA, Russia or Spain, the organisers in Bulgaria will be requested to match that bid by 30 May 2008. If Bulgaria matches the new bid, the event will be organised in Bulgaria. If Bulgaria refuses, then the match will be organised in the bidding country.

c) if by 11 April 2008 no such bids arrive, the match will be organised in Bulgaria with a net prize fund of 150,000 USD.

In order for a proposed bid to be considered, it should be accompanied by a 2-month term recognised bank guarantee covering the amount of prize fund (minimum 250,000 USD), the FIDE contribution (20% over and above the prize fund), and 35,000 USD covering expenses of FIDE as described in articles 3.17.4 and 3.17.5 of the match regulations. Within 30 days of a bidder being awarded the event, the amount of the bank guarantee should be transferred to the bank account of FIDE.

Each bid shall also contain the following particulars:
a) Proposed exact dates of the event between 26 November and 11 December 2008.
b) Proposed tournament venue.
c) Proposed prize fund.
d) Commitment to cover all organisation costs, in accordance with the match regulations.
e) Special rates for hotel rooms, including meals.
f) A statement that the applicant accepts the regulations of the Match without any reservations.
g) The applicant's name, signatures and authentication.
h) An invitation for at least one member of the World Chess Championship Committee to inspect the proposed venue and examine the other conditions, with all expenses paid by the bidder.

No bidder can propose a sponsor which shall be in conflict with the regulations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The bids, including all original documents and particulars, shall arrive by registered post to the FIDE Secretariat in Athens, Greece by the deadline of 11 April 2008.

4) Our Men in Moscow - Part Two

Probably no American was completely pleased with their performance in the Moscow Open. GM Gregory Kaidanov and IM Josh Friedel finished with 5.5 from 9 and IM David Pruess ended on 4.5 while Irina Krush lost to top seed Anna Ushenina in the last round - a win would have given her equal second.On the positive side, Josh and David, who both start the Aeroflot Open today, both finished strongly. Check out the sparkling finish in Josh's last round game.

Moscow Open 2008
Friedel, J.
Black: Moiseev, G.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.d4 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 exd4 10.e5 Ne8 11.Qxd4 Bb7 12.c4 c5 13.Qg4 bxc4 14.Bxc4 d5 15.exd6 Nxd6 16.Nc3 Nxc4 17.Qxc4 Bf6 18.Be3 Rc8 19.Rad1 Qb6 20.Na4 Qc6 21.f3 Be7 22.Bf2 Bd6 23.Bg3 Bxg3 24.hxg3 Rfe8 25.Nxc5 h6 26.b4 Rxe1+ 27.Rxe1 a5 28.Re7 Qd5 29.Qg4 h5 30.Qf4 Bc6 31.Ne6 Be8 32.Nc7 Qxa2 33.Nxe8 Rc2 34.Qd4 Rxg2+ 35.Kf1 Rxg3 36.Qxg7+ Rxg7 37.Nf6+ 1-0

You can find Josh's second blog from Moscow at :

5) Evans-Steiner: 1952 US Championship Match

In June and July of 1952 a match for the US Championship was held between the reigning champion Larry Evans and the previous title holder Herman Steiner, and won in decisive fashion by Evans 10-4. Games 1-10 were played in Los Angeles, game 11 was suppose to be held in San Francisco, game 12 and 13 were held in Reno and game 14 in Las Vegas. GM Evans remembers games 1-10 being played in Los Angeles, and games 12 -13 in Reno ( at Harold's Club) and Game 14 in Las Vegas ( maybe at the Silver Slipper). Coverage in Chess Review, Chess Life, the American Chess Bulletin and the California Chess Reporter was not very extensive. Would any reader be able to confirm if game 11 of the match was played in San Francisco and if so where?

Dates to the games are not provided in the late Jack Spence's work on the match but GM Evans has scoresheets that indicate Game 1 in Los Angeles began on June 13, 1952. Game 13 was on July 2 and game 14 on July 3. If a game was played in San Francisco (the only US Championship game ever to be played in the city) it would likely have been in late June.

6) Upcoming Events

Events at the Mechanics'

A. J. Fink Amateur Championship - March 1-2
Max Wilkerson Open - March 29
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 5-6
Imre Konig Memorial - April 26

Bay Area organizer Salman Azhar writes

Thanks for your regular newsletters… they have become my main source of local chess information. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions you have on a Journal that my son and I plan to publish every quarter. You can see the first attempt at

I will be running the following events in the first half of 2008.

Mar. 8 Bay Area Chess Tournament (Adult/Regular)

4SS G/60. 3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054. EF: $39, Juniors $35. $16 more after 3/4, $1 Cal Chess Discount, Additional discount if combined with other tournament entries. $850 b/40: Open 200-100, U1800 50, highest rating increase 50. Reserve (u1600): 200-100 U1400 50, U1200 50, highest rating increase 50. Reg: Sat 9:15-9:45 AM, Rds: 10:15-12:15, lunch, 12:50-2:50 PM, 3:00-5:00 PM, 5:10-7:10 PM. Ent: Online at or mail to Azleena Azhar, 1551 Garvey Pl. San Jose, CA 95132. Payable to Azleena Azhar or paypal to Info: NS NC W

May. 24 Bay Area Chess Tournament (Adult/Regular)

4SS G/60. 3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054. EF: $39, Juniors $35. $16 more after 5/20, $1 Cal Chess Discount, Additional discount if combined with other tournament entries. $850 b/40: Open 200-100, U1800 50, highest rating increase 50. Reserve (u1600): 200-100 U1400 50, U1200 50, highest rating increase 50. Reg: Sat 9:15-9:45 AM, Rds: 10:15-12:15, lunch, 12:50-2:50 PM, 3:00-5:00 PM, 5:10-7:10 PM. Ent: Online at or mail to Azleena Azhar, 1551 Garvey Pl. San Jose, CA 95132. Payable to Azleena Azhar or paypal to Info: NS NC W

May. 24-26 or 25-26 Bay Area Chess Tournament (Adult/Regular)

6SS 30/90 G/60 (2-day option first 3 rounds G/60 merges in round 4). 3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054. EF: $55, Juniors $49. $16 more after 5/20, $1 Cal Chess Discount, Additional discount if combined with other tournament entries. $1475 b/55: OPEN 300-150, u2000 100-75, u1800 100-75, highest rating increase 50. RESERVE (u1600): 200-100 u1400 100, 75, u1200 100, 75, highest rating increase 50. Reg: Sat 10-10:30 AM, Sun 8:15-8:45 AM, Rds: 3-day = 5/24 11am, 4pm; 5/25 11am, 4:30pm; 5/26 10am, 3pm. 2-day = 5/25 9:20, 11:30am, 2pm, round 4 merges with 3-day schedule. Ent: Mail to Azleena Azhar, 1551 Garvey Pl. San Jose, CA 95132. Payable to Azleena Azhar or paypal to Info: NS NC W

February 16-18
25th Annual U.S. Amateur Team West
6-SS, 40/2, SD/1.LAX Hilton, 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
Four-player teams plus optional alternate, average rating of four highest must be U/2200, diff. between bds. 3 & 4 may not exceed 1000. Dec. list used.
EF: $118 per team if received by 2-15, $30 individual (on line only), $136 at site, under age 18 $86 by 2-15, $100 site.
Trophies and 4 clocks to top 3 teams, U2100, U2000, U1800, U1600, U1400/unr. Trophies (1 large, 4 small) to top college, industrial, junior (under 18), Senior (over 55), U1200.
Clocks to best score each board, alternate, and any 6-0.
Gift certificate prizes for best team names (1st/2nd).
Reg: 9-10 a.m. 2-16.
Rds: 11-6, 11-6, 10-4:30.
On-line entries, help in forming teams, advance entry list:
HR: $104, (310) 410-4000, mention chess. Reserve by Feb. 1 or rates may go up. Parking $10.
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N Wilton Place #1A, Los Angeles CA 90038.



You too may qualify for the 2008 U.S. Chess Championship! Seven invitations will be up for grabs in a special Qualifier Open tournament slated for March 28-30, 2008, in Tulsa , Oklahoma .

In recent years the system allowing any player to win qualification into the U.S. Championship via other major tournaments throughout the year has been quite popular. Last year over half of the 36 championship contenders were qualifiers.

That tradition continues for 2008, but without qualification events throughout 2007 the championship committee has announced a new format — a single special QUALIFIER OPEN, 7-round Swiss System, at which seven players will earn an invitation to the 2008 Frank K Berry U.S. Chess Championship.

These 7 qualifiers will join 17 top-rated GMs and seeded players including defending champion GM Alex Shabalov to form a field of 24 contenders at the 2008 FKB U.S. Chess Championship to be held May 13-21 in Tulsa . Also, the top female finisher in the Qualifier Open will receive an invitation to the 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Women’s Chess Championship, to be held alongside the U.S. Championship.

To win a qualification spot a player must be eligible to play in the U.S. Championship, of course, which means he/she must be a U.S. citizen or resident with federation listed by FIDE as " USA ". (American USCF players without FIDE rating are also eligible.)

Unlike some previous years there is no additional $75 fee to be considered for qualification. Players simply enter and compete in the Qualifier Open just as in any regular large event (see details below).

The top 7 finishers each receive $1000 (Guaranteed) plus a qualification spot (which is itself of value in addition to its prestige; remember that all players in the Championship receive prize money there.).

The event is open to all players, regardless of rating, though of course it is to be expected that masters will be the primary contenders for the top spots. There are also prizes of $1000 (Guaranteed) for top U2400, top U2200, top U2000, and top female finishers.

The Entry Fee is $25 for all masters, $100 for experts, and $200 for anyone rated below 2000. But to get this low EF your entry must be received in advance by March 13. All EFs received after that or at the door cost $100 more. Send entries to: Frank K. Berry, 402 S. Willis St , Stillwater , OK 74074 .

The venue is the Best Western Trade Winds Central, ($55/60; 918-749-5561 or 800-685-4564) with free airport shuttle available. See It is expected that the hotel will sell out, but note that there are three other motels within a very short walking distance of the venue — the Ramada ($60; 918-743-9811), the Howard Johnson ($55; 918-794-5156), and the Trade Winds East ($45; 800-254-7449). Ask for the chess rate.

The Time Control for the Qualifier Open will be Game/90, with 30-second delay. Two half-point byes are available for rounds 1, 2, or 5, if requested in advance. Of course, if there are players tied for the qualification places the prize money will be split normally but the qualification spots themselves will be awarded by mathematical tiebreaks.

Additional info on the Qualifier Open will be available online at or in Chess Life TLA announcements. Please direct questions to

As far as is known, this is the first time a dedicated Qualifier Open event of this type has ever been held for the prestigious U.S. Championship. We are hoping for an exciting event!

Further details on the 2008 Frank K Berry U.S. Chess Championship, including the details of the new venue and the participant lists, etc., will be forthcoming. It will be a 9-round Swiss, with 24 players and at least a $50,000 prize fund. The 2008 FKB U.S. Women’s Chess Championship will be held at the same time and place, as a 10-player round robin. (The organizing committee for the championship is Frank K. Berry, Jim Berry, and Tom Braunlich)