Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #390

Veselin Topalov recently gave an interview to Yuri Vasiliev of Sport Express ( and spoke about his upcoming match with Gata Kamsky

Y. V.- Your match with Kamsky will probably also be played in the spirit of these rules, since Gata is another who always fights to the very end.

Yes, Gata is a great fighter! Winning the World Cup, beating all the top players in the process, was a great achievement. And he did not only win, but did so convincingly. I was very impressed with his play. He reminds me of a robot that never makes mistakes. I got the impression that he could play 50 games in a row without a mistake! And do you remember how he won his matches 15 years ago? He not only won, he destroyed his opponents! As a match player, he is stronger than Kramnik, I think. The match against him will require all of my strength and colossal concentration.

Veselin Topalov

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Melik Khachian wins Far West Open - Bay Area Juniors shine by Michael Aigner

3) Yury Shulman wins Foxwoods

4) Berkeley Chess Club News by Marc Newman

5) Here and There

6) Upcoming Events

This weekend the Mechanics' will host the 8th Annual Max Wilkerson Open honoring the longest serving Chess Director in Mechanics' history.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

The 78-player Spring Tuesday Night Marathon has 12 perfect scores after round 2. Leading the event are NMs Sam Shankland, Andy Lee and Daniel Naroditsky, Experts Victor Ossipov, Arthur Ismakov, Larry Snyder, Alan Naroditsky, William Gray, James Jones and Felix Rudyak and Class A player David Petty who upset Expert Oleg Shakhnazraov.

Top seed IM John Grefe was held to a draw by Expert Igor Traub.

Traub,Igor - Grefe,John [A04]

Spring Tuesday Night Marathon San Francisco (2), 25.03.2008

1.e4 c5 2.d3 Nc6 3.Nf3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 e5 6.0–0 Nge7 7.c3 d5 8.Nbd2 0–0 9.Re1 d4 10.c4 f5 11.exf5 gxf5 12.Ng5 h6 13.Nh3 Ng6 14.Nb3 Qd6 15.Bd5+ Kh8 16.f4 Nge7

Rybka and Fritz 10 have a major difference of opinion of the position after 16...Nb4 17.Bg2 Nxd3 18.Qxd3 e4 with the former very skeptical and the latter enthusiastic to the merits of the two pawns for a piece for a giant center sacrifice.

17.Bg2 a5 18.fxe5 Nxe5 19.Nf4 a4 20.Nd2 Ra6 21.Nf3 Ng4 22.Nh5 Ng6 23.h3 Ne3 24.Bxe3 dxe3 25.Nxg7 Kxg7 26.Rxe3 Qxg3 27.Qe1 Qxe1+ 28.Raxe1 Rd6 29.Ne5 ½–½

The following game sees NM Andy Lee, who had an excellent in the US Amateur Team West this past February beating FMs Robby Adamson and Michael Casella , outplay Steven Krasnov in the early middlegame but Steven hung on and was close to equalizing before strange things happened. Note there may be errors in the score!

Krasnov,Steven - Lee,Andy [A03]

Spring Tuesday Night Marathon San Francisco (2), 26.03.2008

1.f4 d5 2.b3 Bg4 3.Bb2 e6 4.Nf3 Bxf3 5.exf3 Nf6 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.g3 Be7 8.Bg2 h5 9.h4 Nd7 10.d4 Bf6 11.c3 Ne7 12.Bh3 g6 13.Nd2 Rc8 14.b4 c5 15.bxc5 b6 16.cxb6 Qxb6 17.Nb3 a5 18.Rc1 a4 19.Na1 Qa5 20.Nc2 a3 21.Ba1 Nb6 22.Kf2 Nc4 23.Ne3 Kf8 24.Rc2 Kg7 25.Rb1 Nxe3 26.Qxe3 Qa4 27.Rd2 Rb8 28.Qd3 Nc6 29.Bf1 Rxb1 30.Qxb1 Rb8 31.Qd1 Qa7 32.Kg2 Rb7 33.c4 Qa5 34.Rc2 Nb4 35.Bc3?!

This blunders the exchange but is actually not that bad.

35... Nxc2 36.Qxc2 dxc4??

Black would have a lot of work ahead after 36...Qb6 37.c5 Qb1 38.Bd3.


It seems unlikely White overlooked 37.Bxa5 Rb2 38.Qd2 but this is what is written on the scoresheet as I read it.

37...Qd8 38.d5 exd5 39.Bxf6+ Qxf6 40.Bb3 Rxb3 41.Qxb3 Qb2+ 0–1

MI member Christopher Nelson writes

Hi John,

I just wanted to point out an unaccounted for upset not included in the following newsletter statement that, "The form charts were almost 100 percent correct with higher rated players wining all but two of the games". Two draws were mentioned but not the upset victory of Geir M. Olsen (1554) over P. Gray (2000).

Thanks Christopher. Incidentally, Geir is a writer from Norway who is currently living in Palo Alto. The Spring TNM players comprise a mini-UN with Russian, Tagalog, Persian, Norwegian, Armenian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Mandarin Chinese all spoken.

Good luck to the 9 players (IMs Josh Friedel, Vinay Bhat, David Pruess, Dmitry Zilberstein and Walter Shipman, FM Daniel Naroditsky, NMs Sam Shankland and Michael Aigner and Experts Dana Mackenzie and Alan Kobernat.) from the Bay Area who are going to Tulsa this weekend for the 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER OPEN.

2) Melik Khachian wins Far West Open - Bay Area Juniors shine by Michael Aigner

The following report comes from NM Michael Aigner's excellent blog He will have an article on the Far West Open on US Chess Online tomorrow. The event was won by GM Melik Khachiyan with 5.5 from 6 with GM Sergey Kudrin, SM Alexandre Kretchetov, FM Daniel Naroditsky and Expert Stephen Zierk tying for second at 4.5. 190 players competed in the event organized and directed by a team headed by Jerry and Fran Weikel and Barbara Woodward of the Sand Regency Hotel and Casino.

Michael Aigner writes:

The legal age to win money in the Nevada casinos is supposedly 21, but that didn't stop three Northern California juniors from hitting the jackpot at the Far West Open chess tournament. The lifetime achievements of 6th grader FM Danya Naroditsky have been well chronicled, and still he managed to elevate his chess game to a higher level. Joining in the youth wave were a pair of talented 9th graders: Steven Zierk and Rohan Agarwal.

Three of my eight students won major money by finishing in the top two of their rating division. I already mentioned Danya and Steven. The other big winner was Yian Liou, who took second place in the A section with 4.5/6 (behind San Francisco's own Evan Sandberg). Way to go! Two other students each finished with a score of 3.5/6: Nicholas in the A section and Samyukta Bhat in the B section. Finally, Alan Naroditsky only scored 2.5 points in the difficult Open section, but gained rating and a lot of experience from playing masters.

3) Yury Shulman wins Foxwoods

Yury Shulman defeated Alexander Ivanov in a playoff to take the title of 2008 Foxwoods Open Champion ahead of 517 other players. Joining the two at 7-2 were fellow GMs Alexander Shabalov and Julio Becerra and IM Robert Hess who had a great event and made his first GM norm. IM Josh Friedel had a solid performance with 6 from 9 spoiled only by a last round loss to Becerra.

4) Berkeley Chess Club News by Marc Newman

Berkeley Chess Club: New Time and new Time Control

The Berkeley Chess Club is ready to begin its new six-week tournament this
Sunday. Please note the new 6 pm start time. This should be more
convenient for most participants. The time control has also been slightly
modified. The first time control is now 30 moves in 90 minutes as opposed
to the 40/90 we used previously.

We hope to see some new faces on Sunday. Half-point byes are available if
you need to miss a week or two. As always, entry fee is $30 and cash prizes
are given to the top scorers. Our three co-winners last time each received

Please also note that with the BCS site redesign, the BCC's main web page
has now changed to this url:

5) Here and There

Note - There will be no Peoples Open in Berkeley April 12-13. Instead mark down May 31-June 1 on your calendar. Organizer Richard Koepcke hopes to hold an event on those dates on either the UC Berkeley campus or at the Berkeley Chess Club.

From March 31 to Thursday, April 3 IM Irina Krush will be taking on 4-time Woman's Champion of Armenia, IM Lilit Mkrtchian in a 4-game match. There will be live coverage on MonRoi. More information can be found at

Sopiko Khukhashvili, Anna Muzychuk and Elina Danielian tied for at 7-2 in the Scandinavian Ladies Open held in Stockholm. US representatives Ana Zatonskih and Rusudan Goletiani finished with 6 and 4.5 points respectively.

GM Varuzhan Akobian of Los Angeles, who is on the cover of the April 2008 Chess Life, won the 2008 Doeberl Cup in Canberra, Australia in mid-March.

1. GM Varuzhan Akobian- 7.5
2-8. GMs Zhang Zhong, Surya Ganguly, Gawain Jones, Merab Gagunashvili, Dejan Antic and IMs Stephen Solomon and Atanas Kizov- 6.5

Go to for a complete report by GM Ian Rogers.

6) Upcoming Events

Events at the Mechanics'

Max Wilkerson Open - March 29
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 5-6
Imre Konig Memorial - April 26

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 â€" 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 “USAâ€. (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 â€" 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)

March 28-30
6th Annual Western Pacific Open
5-SS, 3-day 40/2, SD/1, 2-day rds. 1-2 G/75 then merges. LAX Hilton, 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
$$10,000 b/200, 50% of each prize guaranteed. In 3 sections:
Open: 1600- 1000-800-400-200, U2400 300-200, U2200 700-500-300. EF: $83 if received by 3/28, $95 door.
Premier (U2000): $$ 700-500-300-100, U1800 400- 200-150, U1600 400-200-150. EF: $83 if received by 3/28, $95 door.
Amateur (U1400/Unrated): $$400-200-100, U1200 100, Unr 100, unrated may win unrated prize only. EF: $67 if received by 3/28, $80 door.
On-line entry: No checks or credit card entries at door.
All: $25 Best Game prize, all sections eligible. One halfpoint bye if requested with entry, rds 4-5 cannot be revoked. SCCF membership req. of S. Cal. res., $18 reg, $10 junior.
Reg.: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Fri., 9-10 a.m.
Sat. Rds.: 3-day 7 p.m., 11-5:30, 10-4:30. 2-day: 10:30-1:30 (G/75), then merges.
HR: $109, (310) 410-4000. Be sure to mention Western Chess. Parking $10/day.
Web site:
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038.
NS. NC. F. GP: 40. State Championship Qualifier.

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