Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #385

As a kid growing up in the Soviet Union, I was a big Fischer fan. His uncompromising chess style, his bizarre behavior, everything appealed to me. I felt that by choosing him as my chess hero I am rebelling against surrounding reality.

Gregory Kaidanov (Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2008)

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Our Men in Moscow - Part Three

3) Chess Haiku by Dennis Fritzinger

4) Aigner wins in Santa Clara

5) Here and There

6) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

The Winter Tuesday Night Marathon is turning out to be one of the most competitive events in Mechanic's history with a dozen players having a chance to finish first going into the last round. Tied for the lead at 5.5 from 7 are IM John Grefe, NMs Sam Shankland and Daniel Naroditsky, Expert Steve Gaffagan and Class A player ( and soon to be Expert) John Jaffray.

Steve Gaffagan kindly annotates his exciting fifth round draw with World Under 12 Champion Daniel Naroditsky.

Naroditsky,Daniel (2234) - Gaffagan,Steven (2007) [A07]
Tuesday Night Marathon (5) .2008

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.0-0 Bg4 5.d3 Nbd7 6.Nbd2 e5 7.e4 Bd6 8.c3

8.h3 Bh5 9.Qe1 (9.exd5 cxd5 10.c4!?) 9...0-0 10.Nh4 Re8; 8.Qe1 0-0 9.h3 Bh5.

8...0-0 9.Qc2 Re8 10.Re1 Qc7

Black may also play 10...a5 gaining more space.

11.Nf1 Rad8N

Black focuses his heavy pieces on the center. However, it is not yet clear which files will be relevant. There is no need to rush with 11...dxe4 ; The tactical slugfest Nisipeanu,L (2675)-Dautov,R (2610)/Kreuzberg GER 2003 is quite amusing. 11...h6 12.Ne3 Be6 13.Nh4 a5 14.Qe2 Rad8 15.Qf3 Bf8 16.Bf1 Kh7 17.g4 g6 18.Nef5 dxe4 19.dxe4 gxf5 20.gxf5 Bd5 21.exd5 cxd5 22.Qh3 e4 23.Kh1 Ne5 24.Bf4 Bd6 25.Be2 Nd3 26.Bxd6 Nxf2+ 27.Kg2 Qb6 28.Qg3 Rg8 29.Ng6 Rxd6 30.Qxf2 fxg6 0-1.; After the thematic moves 11...a5 12.Ne3 Bh5 13.Nh4 dxe4 14.dxe4 a4 15.Nhf5 Bf8 16.h3 Nc5 17.Bd2 Red8 18.g4 Bg6 Black has a good game here, but there is a whole lot of play left. The game was drawn in 65 moves in Franz,K (2240)-Berg,K (2400)/Gothenburg 1997.;
11...Bf8 is also reasonable.

12.Ne3 dxe4 13.dxe4

13.Nxg4?! Nxg4 (‹13...exf3=) 14.Rxe4 and Black has a comfortable game.(14.dxe4 Bc5 15.Rf1 Ndf6 (15...Qb6 Black would prefer the a7 pawn on a5. See the note to Black's 10th move. 16.h3 Nxf2 17.b4 (17.Rxf2) 17...Nxe4+ 18.bxc5 Qxc5+ 19.Kh2 and Black has weakened the White kingside, but White retains two bishops. 19...Qxc3 20.Qxe4 Qxa1 21.Ng5 Nf8 22.Rxf7 Qxc1 23.Rxf8+ Kxf8 24.Qf3+ Kg8™ (24...Ke7 25.Qf7+ Kd6 26.Ne4#) 25.Qb3+ Rd5 26.Bxd5+ Kf8 27.Nxh7+ Ke7 28.Qxb7+ Kd6 29.Bg2+-) 16.Bg5 h6 17.Bxf6 Nxf6³ Black's rooks and bishop are better placed than their counterparts.)

13...Bh5 14.Nf5 Bf8 15.h3

I thought during the game that this move was unnecessary.

15...Bg6 16.N5h4 Nc5 17.Nxg6 hxg6

This is a good time to pause and reassess the position. The pawn structure has just changed and there is now a minor piece imbalance. The pawn structure around the Black king is sound but not terribly relevant. The real battle is whether White's light squared bishop can be put to work.

18.Bg5 b5?!

Black hopes to align the pawns on a4, b5, and c6, which would further blunt the potential of White's light squared bishop. Better is 18...a5 or 18...Be7.

Of course I considered the natural 18...Rd7 but rejected it because I could not figure a way to exploit the d file. Furthermore, White can play 19.h4 and the White bishops might commit Black to "proving" something on the d file. The funny thing is that if you give the position after 18...Rd7 to the computer, it does not even "see" 19.h4. But when you suggest the move to HIARCS, the machine concludes it is the best move!?

(19.h4 Red8 20.b4 Nd3 21.Re3 c5 22.Bf1 c4 23.Rd1 a5 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Bxd3 cxd3 26.Rexd3 Rxd3 27.Rxd3 Rxd3 28.Qxd3 axb4 29.cxb4 Bxb4 30.Qb5 Bc5 31.a4 b6 32.Qe8+ Kg7 A rather obscure variation. 0.16/2 ; HIARCS 11.2 SP: 2) 19.a4 a5 20.Bf1 Red8 21.Bc4 Be7 22.Kg2 b6 23.Rab1 Nh5 24.Bxe7 Rxe7 25.Rbd1 Nf6 26.Rxd8+ -0.06/15 ; HIARCS 11.2 SP: 3) 19.b4 Ne6 20.h4 c5 21.Qa4 Red8 22.b5 b6 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.Rad1 Bh6 25.Rxd7 Qxd7 26.Qc4 Nc7 -0.07/15 ; HIARCS 11.2 SP: 4) 19.Bf1 Red8 20.a4 Ne6 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Red1 Ng5 23.Nxg5 fxg5 24.Be2 -0.08/15 ) ]


White plays to contest the strong knight c5.


Probably a waste of time. 19...a5 20.Nb3.

20.Be3 a6!?

20...a5 21.Nb3 Ne6 (21...Na4 "looks" awkward with the pawn on a5.) 22.a4 is not what I had in mind. Black is okay, but White is developing a simmering initiative.

21.Nb3! Na4

Black has succeeded in blocking the a2-a4 advance.


A bold move, chipping away at the light squares. White wants to open the game on the queenside and activate his light squared bishop. Black's position is quite solid for the moment.


22...bxc4?! falls in with White's desire to open the game. 23.Qxc4 (23.Nd2 c3 24.Qxa4 cxd2 25.Red1) 23...Nxb2 24.Qe2 Na4 25.Qxa6; 22...Qd7 is probably a better move. 23.c5 Qd3 24.Qxd3 Rxd3.

23.Nd2 Nb6 24.cxb5 axb5 25.Rac1?!

25.Rec1 or 25.b3.


25...c4! 26.b3 Ba3 27.Rcd1 (27.Rb1 c3) 27...Bb4.

26.b3 Rc8 27.a4!

I love this battle for the light squares on the queenside. All the while the bishop g2 is waiting in the wings for a grand entrance. Its specter hangs over all these moves. Imagine a position without the a4 and b5 pawns and knights d2 and b6 exchanged. White plays bishop f1-c4. It's not the end of the world for Black, but that would be a huge improvement for White.

27...Qc6 28.axb5

Black accepts 28.a5 Na8.

28...Qxb5 29.Nc4

29.Bf1 is the thematic move.

29...Nxc4 30.Qxc4 Rb7 31.Qc3

The time control reached, Black rejects 31...Qxb3. Also, the move 31...Nd7 looked poor.


31...Nd7 32.Bf1 Qc6 33.Bc4±; 31...Qxb3 32.Qxe5 c4 33.Qa1± Black has a passed c pawn but I did not like the looks of this position. What should Black play now? 33...Rb4 34.e5 Ra4 35.Qb1 Qxb1 36.Rxb1 Ne8 37.Rb7 Kf8 38.Rc1 c3.

32.Red1 Bb8 33.Rd3?

33.Bf1 Qc6 (33...Qxb3 34.Ba6) 34.Bc4 Nxe4 35.Qc2 Nf6 36.Qxg6 Black is suffering on the light squares - 33...Qb4?! , 33...Ba7.

34.Qxb4 Rxb4 35.Rxc5 Re8 36.Rc4 Rb7 37.Rdc3 Ba7 38.Bxa7 Rxa7 39.Bf3 Rb7 40.b4 Kf8 41.Kf1 Reb8 42.Rb3 Ke7 43.Ke2 Ne8 44.Ke3 Nd6 45.Rc5 f6 46.Rd3 Nb5

46...Rxb4? 47.Rc7+ Ke6 48.Rxg7.

47.Bg4 g5 48.f4 gxf4+ 49.gxf4 exf4+ 50.Kxf4 Rd8 51.Rxd8 Kxd8

I stopped keeping score after this move, because my clock read less than 5 minutes remained in sudden death. Please "ignore" moves 52-62. They are only used to reach the next known position.

52.Rd5+ Ke7 53.Rd3 Nd6 54.Rb3 g5+ 55.Ke3 Nb5 56.Be2 Ke6 57.Rd3 Nd6 58.Rc3 Ke5 59.Rc2 Nxe4 60.Bf3 f5 61.b5 Rb8 62.Rc1 Rb7

Here White played

63.Bxe4 fxe4 64.Rc5+

and Black found the best move


64...Kf6? 65.Kxe4 and White wins.; 64...Ke6?! 65.Kxe4 Rh7 66.Rc6+ Kd7 67.Rc3

65.Rxg5 Rh7! and the game was drawn after a series of lightning moves. ½-½

Nine-year-old Nicholas Nip is leading matches against Expert Romulo Fuentes (3-0) and NM Emanuel Perez (2.5-1.5) which will conclude this coming weekend at the MI.

GM Gregory Kaidanov will be at the Mechanics' on Sunday, March 2. He will give a free lecture open to all from 2 to 3 pm. Don't miss this chance to listen to one of the top players in the US!

By now every player in the Bay Area has received their February Chess Life with Daniel Naroditsky on the cover. Daniel is also on the cover of the latest issue of the USCF produced Chess for Kids. Well done Daniel!

2) Our Men in Moscow - Part Three

Mechanics' IMs Josh Friedel and David Pruess are almost finished with their stay in Moscow. Six rounds into the A2 section of the Aeroflot Open (players rated 2550 Fide to 2400) Josh has 3 points and David is on 2. Go to to read the latest blog by by Josh which includes some very interesting and combative games by him.

3) Chess Haiku by Dennis Fritzinger

sitting down to chess,
the traditional handshake--
then the knives come out.

4) Aigner wins in Santa Clara

Congratulations to NM Michael Aigner of Davis who won the People's Replacement Open this past weekend with a 4-0 score. The last round he defeated his long time nemesis IM Ricardo DeGuzman who has beaten him innumerable times. This time the glory was Michael's. Tying for second at 3-1 were young Masters Sam Shankland and Daniel Naroditsky and Rohan Agarwal - all turned in solid performances that netted them rating points. Thanks goes to Salman Azhar who organized and directed the 79 player, multi-section. Look for the regular People's Open sometime this May - still no word yet on the exact dates.

5) Here and There

He may officially be retired but former World Championship Candidate Yasser Seirawan still keeps his toes wet from time to time. Here is a recent effort from the Dutch Team Championship.

Seirawan,Yasser - Leenhouts,Koen [E70]
Dutch Team Ch 2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bd3 0-0 6.Nge2 Na6 7.0-0 c5 8.d5 e6 9.h3 Nd7 10.f4 exd5 11.exd5 f5 12.Be3 Nc7 13.Qd2 Nf6 14.Bf2 Qe7 15.Rae1 Qf7 16.Kh1 Bd7 17.Ng1 Nh5 18.Be2 Nf6 19.Nf3 Bh6 20.Ng5 Qg7 21.Bf3 Rfe8 22.a4 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Re8 24.Nb5 Nxb5 25.axb5 Bxg5 26.fxg5 Ne4 27.Bxe4 fxe4 28.Be3 Rf8 29.Bf4 e3 30.Qxe3 Re8 31.Qc1 Rxe1+ 32.Qxe1 Qd4 33.Bxd6 Qxc4 34.Qe7 Qf1+ 35.Kh2 Qf7 36.Qd8+ Qe8 37.Qf6 Qf7 38.Qd8+ Qe8 39.Qc7 Qc8 40.Qa5 Be8 41.Bg3 Qd7 42.d6 Qxb5 43.Qe1 Qd7 44.Qe5 Bf7 45.Qxc5 b6 46.Qd4 Be8 47.Be1 Qg7 48.Qe4 Qf7 49.Bc3 Bd7 50.Qa8+ Qf8 51.Qd5+ Qf7 52.Qe5 Kf8 53.Kg1 Be6 54.Qh8+! Qg8 55.Qf6+ Qf7 56.Qd8+ Qe8 57.Bg7+! 1-0

The dates and locations for the FIDE Grand Prix have been announced. Gata Kamsky is representing the United States.

FIDE Grand Prix 2008-9



April 20th - May 6th 2008

Krasnoyarsk *


July 30th - August 15th 2008



December 13th - 29th, 2008



April 14th - 28th, 2009



August 1st - 17th, 2009

Karlovy Vary


December 7th - 23rd, 2009

* or other Russian city.
Reserve cities are Istanbul and Teheran.

GM Yuru Shulman has a new book out, co-authored with Rishi Sethi. Titled Chess! Lessons from a Grandmaster, the attractively produced, oversized 203 page paperback which sells for $20 is aimed at beginning players and is loaded with instructive material and many exercises. Go to for more information.

Chess Cafe ( has narrowed its list of candidates for 2007 Book of the Year to three titles: Former Mechanics' member Jeremy Silman's Complete Endgame Course, San Luis 2005 by Gershon and Nor and From London to Elista by Bareev and Levitov. Cast your vote at to help decide the winner.

IM John Donaldson and FM Movses Movsesiyan tied for first with 5.5 from 7 in the Winter FIDE Open in Stillwater, Oklahoma, organized and directed by Frank and Jim Berry. The brothers will be hosting the US Championship qualifier in Tulsa in late March ( details below) and the US Championship in mid-May - again in Tulsa. When one thinks of great patrons of US chess names like Rice, Rosenwald, Piatigorsky and Statham come to mind. Add Berry to the list.

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



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)