Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #392

Chess rewards merit; it is more fair than life. National origin, age, sex, social status don't matter. Good ideas are rewarded; bad ones punished. There are no hole cards or luck; all assets are even and in plain view. Apples and oranges act in harmony; this skill is transferable to other life pursuits.

Viktors Pupols

2008 Washington State Premier Section mini bio -

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) US Championship Qualifier

3) US Championship

4) Bay Area News

5) Profile of a Prodigy to be made into a movie

6) US Players Abroad

7) US Senior

8) Upcoming Events


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

Veteran Expert Victor Ossipov upset NM Andy Lee to grab the lead halfway through the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. Ossipov has 4-0 trailed by IM John Grefe, NM Sam Shankland and Experts Kenneth Hills and Romulo Fuentes at 3.5.

The 8th Annual Max Wilkerson Open, named for the longest serving (1980-1996) Chess Director in the history of the Mechanics Chess Club, was won by Romulo Fuentes who upset IM Ricardo DeGuzman en route to a 4.5-.5 score. Tied for second in the 46-player field were NMs Michael Pearson, Keith Vickers and Gregory Young, Expert Dmitry Vayntrub , Class A player Daniel Quan, and Class B player Chris Tsai who upset several higher rated players.

Mechanics member and World Under 12 Champion FM Daniel Naroditsky will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Oakland As on Wednesday, April 23 against the Minnesota Twins. The game start time is 7:05pm with the first pitch typically a few minutes prior to that.

Longtime Bay Area master Dennis Fritzinger recently had a second volume of his poetry published. Titled Earth National Park the book is available at .

Walter Dorne, a strong contender for the title of best traveled chess player/taxi driver on the planet and a participant in the California Closed Championship in the late 1960s, recently finished 6th with 4.5 points in a one-day, 6-round, 30 minute tournament during a Fiesta at San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico.

IM Josh Friedel was awarded a wild card spot into the 2008 US Championship by organizers Frank and Jim Berry.

International Arbiter Mike Goodall, who has been directing tournaments for forty years we will be putting on an event in Santa Rosa on April 19-20. Go to upcoming events for more information.

Remember to e-mail for any questions or information about tournament at the Mechanics'.

2) US Championship Qualifier

The strongest open ever held in Oklahoma was hosted in Tulsa from March 28-30 by the Berry brothers, Jim and Frank. Over 20 GMs and IMs and 60 players rated over 2200 were among the 104-player field which saw seven players qualify for the 2008 US Championship including two Mechanics' members.

IM David Pruess has played in several US Championships but this will be a new experience for Mechanic' TNM regular 16-year old Sam Shankland of Orinda. Michael Aigner reports that "Sam The Shankinator" swindled his chess teacher IM Friedel in round 5 and then drew GM Ivanov and GM Kudrin back-to-back on the final day." It looks like he was pressing in the two games with GMs. Well done Sam!

FM Daniel Naroditsky followed up his great success the week before in Reno with a another fine result, drawing IMs Brooks and Lugo the last day. Every tournament has a player who is unlucky and in the US Ch qualifier it was GM-elect Vinay Bhat who after six rounds had 4.5 points courtesy of hard fought draws with 3 GMs and three wins. Facing GM Julio Becerra in the last round he quickly built up a very strong position on the White side of a King's Indian and increased it to a winning position but in time pressure blundered.

Top scores and scores of all Northern California players provided courtesy of Michael Aigner. Qualifiers are in a larger font while Becerra, Ivanov and Kudrin qualified by rating.

1st - 5th at 5.5 GM Jesse Kraai, GM Julio Becerra, GM Alex Yermolinsky, IM Dean Ippolito and GM John Fedorowicz

6th - 14th at 5.0 GM Alex Ivanov, GM Sergey Kudrin, FM Daniel Ludwig, GM Eugene Perelshteyn, NM Sam Shankland , IM David Pruess, IM Joe Bradford, IM Michael Brooks and FM Todd Andrews

4.5 IM Vinay Bhat (16th), NM Michael Aigner (26th), FM Daniel Naroditsky (27th)

4.0 IM Walter Shipman (36th)

3.5 IM Dmitry Zilberstein (51st)

3.0 IM Josh Friedel (61st, withdrew after six rounds)

2.5 Dana Mackenzie (77th), Alan Kobernat (84th)

3) US Championship

Many Top Players to Sit Out Championship was the title of a recent chess column by Dylan Loeb McClain in the New York Times.

McClain writes:

Top players are passing up this year’s event, to be held in May in Tulsa, because they are unhappy about its prize fund and location.

Hikaru Nakamura, Larry Christiansen and Joel Benjamin, all past champions, are not playing. Ildar Ibragimov, ranked No. 10 in the country, has declined. Gata Kamsky, the No. 1 player and a past champion, did not respond to his invitation. The prizes range from $8,000 for first place to $1,000 for the last five in the 24-player event.

Nakamura said he did not have fond memories of last year’s tournament, held in Stillwater, Okla., where he finished in a tie for 10th. The "prestige has gone down," he said, blaming the United States Chess Federation. Christiansen said: "A lot of professional players will sit it out for 8,000 bucks. It is lot of work. The equivalent of one of these top-level games is like taking the bar exam."

Despite the holdouts, the competition will be formidable. Alexander Shabalov, last year’s champion, will be one of 12 grandmasters in the field, as will Alexander Onischuk, the 2006 winner.

The latter observation is certainly true as excepting Hikaru and Gata ( whose preparations for his upcoming match with Topalov made it unclear whether he would play in this year's US Championship under any condition) almost every single really active top GM in the country is participating. The current field with 14 GMs and IM Finegold who has been over 2550 FIDE plus three other IMs and several strong juniors is unquestionably the strongest US Championship field since 2000 when the last twelve player round robin was held. The latter was sponsored by America's Foundation for Chess which also put on the 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 Championships but with 64 players . These events combined the US womens championship and included more lower rated many players from qualifying events.

The 2007 event, hosted by Jim and Frank Berry in Stillwater, had 36 participants with 19 GMs competing. The 2008 event promises to be brutally strong, especially at the top where the winner of the event might play a field over 2600 FIDE, which would be a first for a US Championship.

The future of the US Championship is uncertain after this year. Up to 2000 the US Chess Federation was in charge of the championship. Local organizers ran the tournaments but almost the entire cost of the events was borne by the USCF - sometimes with help from sponsors like Software Toolworks. In 2000, with the Federation in financial trouble it appeared the Championship would not be held, but Yasser Seirawan was able to interest Scott Oki and Eric Anderson into hosting the event and they formed the Seattle Chess Foundation later America's Foundation for Chess. Anderson in particular gave a great deal of his own money to keep the event running for over half a decade, likely more than any other single individual in the history of the event, but he had enough after 2006. Things looked bleak as again the USCF had no money, but then Frank Berry stepped in. He not only pledged $200,000 to host the 2007 and 2008 US Championships and US Womens Championships but also agreed to organize them with the assistance of his brother Jim and friends in the Oklahoma Chess Community . Providing both substantial funding and sweat labor is not common on the American chess scene and I can't think of any other examples except Mrs. Piatigorsky who pitched in with her crew to make thinks right for the two Piatigorsky Cups in the 1960s.

Name Rtg Qualified by:


GM Alexander SHABALOV 2697 Current Champion


GM Alexander ONISCHUK 2728 Rating


GM Gregory KAIDANOV 2697 Rating


GM Jaan EHLVEST 2687 Rating


GM Varuzhan AKOBIAN 2666 Rating


GM Yury SHULMAN 2664 Rating


GM Boris GULKO 2623 U.S. Open Champion


GM Julio BECERRA 2637 Rating


GM Alexander IVANOV 2622 Rating


GM Eugene PERELSHTEYN 2615 Rating


GM Sergey KUDRIN 2610 Rating


IM Benjamin FINEGOLD 2607 Rating


GM Alex YERMOLINSKY 2587 Qualifier


GM John FEDOROWICZ 2531 Qualifier


GM Jesse KRAAI 2569 Qualifier


IM Dean IPPOLITO 2499 Qualifier


IM David PRUESS 2497 Qualifier


FM Daniel LUDWIG 2429 Qualifier


NM Sam SHANKLAND 2296 Qualifier


IM Josh FRIEDEL 2511 Wild Card


FM Michael LANGER 2322 Wild Card


Sergey GALANT 2176 Wild Card


? Senior Open Champion *


? WCL Tnmt of Champions winner **

The field is set for the 2008 US Womens Championship which will be held concurrent with the Championship this May in Tulsa.

Name Rtg Qualified by:


IM Irina KRUSH 2515 Current Champion


IM Anna ZATONSKIH 2490 Rating


WGM Rusudan GOLETIANI 2384 Rating


WGM Katerine ROHONYAN 2318 Rating


WIM Batchimeg TUVSHINTUGS 2289 Rating


WFM Tatev ABRAHAMYAN 2280 Rating


WIM Tsagaan BATTSETSEG 2251 Rating


WFM Iryna ZENYUK 2205 Qualifier


WFM Chouchanik AIRAPETIAN 2143 Wild Card


Courtney JAMISON 2064 Wild Card

4) Bay Area News

NM Michael Aigner's excellent blog (, the place to go for up to date Bay Area chess news, has a list of top active Northern California players on the April 2008 FIDE rating list.

IM Josh Friedel 2484

IM Vinay Bhat 2481

GM Walter Browne 2444

IM David Pruess 2425

IM John Donaldson 2414

IM Vladimir Mezentsev 2411

IM Dmitry Zilberstein 2411

FM Vladimir Strugatsky 2400

IM Ricardo DeGuzman 2389

IM John Grefe 2377

FM Craig Mar 2372

FM Tigran Ishkanov 2350

FM Shiv Shivaji 2308

NM Sam Shankland 2296

NM Nicolas Yap 2278

WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs 2278

Erik Kislik 2278

NM Andy Lee 2258

NM Michael Aigner 2249

FM Daniel Naroditsky 2242

Congratulations to John McCumisky, the driving force behind chess in Sacramento, who was recently awarded his National Tournament Director title by the USCF.

Rebekah Liu defeated Samyukta Bhat 1.5-0.5 in a playoff match held to determine the 2008 Northern California representative for the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. The event, held at the Mechanics' Institute on March 29, was directed by NM Richard Koepcke.

John Blackstone sends in the following game for the record. It first appeared in the American Chess Magazine of 1898 (page 626). PLay in Sacramento has improved since then!

NN XX - NN YY [A00]

Capital CC Tour Sacramento, CA, 04.1898

1.a3 d5 2.d4 Bf5 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 Qg5 5.Nf3 Qf6 6.Bxf5

Qxf5 7.Qe2 a6 8.Nc3 Bd6 9.e4 dxe4 10.Nxe4 Ne7 11.0-0

0-0 12.Nxd6 cxd6 13.Nh4 Qf6 14.Qg4 Nbc6 15.Bg5 h5

16.Qxh5 Qxd4 17.Rad1 Qxb2 18.Rd3 g6 19.Qe2 Qe5 20.Qd2

d5 21.Bh6 Rfe8 22.Re1 Qc7 23.Qg5 Kh7 24.Qf6 Kxh6

25.Nf5+ 1-0


5) Profile of a Prodigy to be made into a movie

The following is an excerpt from an article which appeared online at

When World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer died in January 2008, the media from all over the world immediately sought out Frank Brady, Ph.D. for background information and commentary on the temperamental chess genius. As Fischer’s biographer, Dr. Brady had years ago forged a relationship with the young chess player at the office where he founded and wrote Chess Life magazine. Fischer, the reigning U.S. Chess Champion, continually visited Brady’s office to read all the latest chess literature. They’d dined together, played in the N.Y. Metropolitan Chess League, and competed against each other in speed chess (a chess game with clocked moves) at the Marshall Chess Club) in Manhattan ("It took Bobby two minutes to checkmate, it took me 10," Brady chuckles).

"Fischer was the Beethoven of chess," Brady states, "probably the greatest chess player that ever lived."

Brady, who is a Professor and Chair of the Mass Communication Division in the College of Professional Studies, reports that because of his knowledge of and experience with Bobby Fischer—"he was controversial, arrogant, egotistical and towards the end, outrageous"—he sold the film rights to his book to Home Box Office (HBO) last year and will serve as a consultant on a long-planned docudrama about the most famous chess match in history, Fischer vs. Spassky in 1972.

It was a match like none before. It was two masters of chess from the two Cold War superpowers going mano a mano over a chessboard in Reykjavik, Iceland. It was the U.S. champion (since age 14) against the World Champion (since 1969). It was the first time in almost 25 years that a player from outside the Soviet Union had earned the right to play a match for the World Championship title. It was a match watched on televisions around the world.

"It was a big deal. That match sparked a huge interest in the game of chess," Brady notes. He reports that before the famous match there were about 5,000 members in the U.S. Chess Federation and since 1972 that number has soared to its present 90,000 members.

The film, which has a working title of Fischer-Spassky, has been slow to get off the ground due to the recent strike by the Writers Guild of America, but is now about two months into production. "They asked for the rights to use my book, Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy," the CPS Chair explained recently. "I’ll be on the set from time to time to guarantee authenticity and serve as a consultant."

Film consulting is not new to Brady, who was tapped as a consultant for the 1993 Hollywood film, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and for the reissuing of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. He has also worked in Hollywood with George Lucas on a radio adaptation of Star Wars. He guesses that since HBO moves more quickly than Hollywood, shooting for the HBO film will take place during the summer when the weather improves.

In the meantime, a documentary maker—Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner Liz Garbus, co-founder of Moxie Firecracker Films - is also collaborating with the St. John’s professor, this time on a film chronicling Fisher’s entire life. He says it’s possible that both jobs might take him to Iceland where the famous match was held in 1972. He anticipates that both films might be completed by the end of 2008.

6) US Players Abroad

Gregory Kaidanov is tied for the lead in the top section of the 2008 Gausdal Chess Classic with 1.5 from 2. Two other American players are participating in the 10-player round robin (average rating 2518) . IM Irina Krush has 1 point and chess maecenas NM Eric Moskow is waiting to get on the scoreboard. Berkeley IM David Pruess has 1 from 2 in the B group, a 58-player swiss where he is the 18th seed.

Irina has been quite busy of late. Just before Gausdal she defeated four-time Armenian Women's Champion, IM Lilit Mkrtchian in Chicago 2˝-1˝. and found time to join GM Gregory Kaidanov and Maurice Ashley in a special benefit for chess and children in Cincinnati.

Gata Kamsky and Alex Onischuk are playing in the ultra-strong Russian team championship. Gata has 2.5 from 5 and Alex 2.5 from 6 against opposition almost entirely above 2675. Here are two interesting games.

Andreikin,Dmitry - Onischuk,Alexander [D37]

TCh-RUS Dagomys RUS (5), 06.04.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.a3 Nc6 11.Bd3 Bb6 12.0-0 d4 13.e4 Bg4 14.h3 Bh5 15.Rc1 Re8 16.Re1 Rc8 17.e5 Qd7 18.Bxh7+ Kxh7 19.Ng5+ Kg6 20.g4 Bxg4! 21.hxg4 Nxe5 22.Rxc8 Qxc8 23.Bxe5 Kxg5 24.f4+?! Kh6 25.Qd3 Qxg4+ 26.Kf2 Qh4+ 27.Kg2 Qg4+ 28.Kf2 Qh4+ 29.Kg2 Rxe5 30.Rxe5 Qxf4 31.Rf5 Qg4+ 32.Kf1 f6µ 33.Rd5 Qf4+ 34.Ke1 Qc1+ 35.Qd1 Qe3+ 36.Qe2 Qc1+ 37.Qd1 Qe3+ 38.Qe2 g5 39.Qxe3 dxe3 40.Ke2 g4 41.a4 g3 42.b4 f5 43.a5 g2 44.Rd1 Bd4 45.Rg1 Bc3 46.Rxg2 Bxb4 47.a6 bxa6 48.Kxe3 Bd6 49.Kd4 ˝-˝

Van Wely,L (2676) - Kamsky,G (2726) [D87]

TCh-RUS Dagomys RUS (3), 04.04.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 Na5 11.Bd3 b6 12.Qd2 e5 13.d5 f5 14.Bg5 Qe8 15.f3 c4 16.Bc2 f4 17.Kh1 h6 18.Bh4 g5 19.Be1 Bd7 20.g3 Qh5 21.Ng1 Rf7 22.Qg2 Kh8 23.Bd1 Rg8 24.Rb1 Bf8 25.Be2 Bc5 26.Bf2 Bd6 27.Rb2 Rf6 28.Be1 Qe8 29.Nh3 Rfg6 30.Nf2 h5 31.g4 Rh6 32.gxh5 Rxh5 33.Ng4 Kg7 34.Bd1 Rgh8 35.Rff2 Rh3 36.Qf1 Bxg4 37.fxg4 Qg6 38.Bf3 Bc5 39.Rfe2 Nb7 40.Qg2 Nd6 41.a4 Qh7 42.Qf1 Kf6 43.Qg2 Qd7 44.Ra2 R8h6 45.Qf1 Qh7 46.Qg2 Rxf3 47.Qxf3 Rh3 48.Qg2 Ke7 0-1

Rene Olthof reports that with one round still to go HSG (Hilversum) has won the Dutch Team Championship for the first time in its 121-year old history. The team with

front man Loek van Wely and fielding the Dutch trio Daniel Stellwagen/Jan Smeets/ Erwin l'Ami as well as foreign IGM's living in the Netherlands (Predrag Nikolic, Yasser Seirawan) was unassailable this season.

7) US Senior

The United States Chess Federation (USCF) announces the 2008 U S Senior Championship to be held at the Marriott Hotel, Boca Raton , Florida from April 28 to May 3.

Concurrent with the Championship will be the Chess Collectors International (CCI) annual meeting. More than 150 world-famous chess sets will be on display. Also on display will be several sets from the world acclaimed "Dean Collection." Dr. George Dean will be giving a talk on his collection, the evolution and historical significance of the chess pieces and some anecdotal tales about how he acquired some of the sets such as the world’s only two Farbage chess sets.,

Among scheduled events during this chess week, will be an auction of chess sets at the Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach . The auction will include worldwide participation over the Internet and eBAY. Information on the auction will be on the Galleries website

The closing banquet and awards presentations will be on Saturday, May 3rd. World Women’s Chess Champion Susan Polgar will be the featured speaker. Three new inductees to the US Chess Hall of Fame will be honored at the dinner.

CCI will be holding a "Chess Fair" with chess sets, chess books and chess ephemera for sale , OPEN and FREE TO THE PUBLIC, at the Marriott Hotel in Boca Raton on Friday, May 2d, from 1 to 3 PM


Boca Marriott Hotel – Sat., May 3 @ 7:00pm,

Opening _ Floyd Sarisohn, Don Schultz

Pledge of Allegiance - Joel Channing

New Hall of Famers – Al Lawrence

Special Awards USCF - Don Schultz

Senior Open Champion Presentation - Susan Polgar.

Special Awards CCI – Floyd Sarisohn

Closing Remarks – Susan Polgar

Music - Arun Bhagwat

For more information/reservations, please contact Donald Schultz at (561) 243 2932 or email him at

8) Upcoming Events


Events at the Mechanics'

Imre Konig Memorial - April 26

2nd Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz - May 4

Charles Powell Memorial - May 10

Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 14-15

William Addison Open - June 21

Charles Bagby Memorial - July 19

Bernardo Smith Amateur - August 16-17

Apr. 19-20 3rd Annual Frank Doyle Open GPP: 6 California Northern

Exchange Bank, 444 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. 4 round Swiss, G/2. In 3 Sections Open: $$GTD: $250-175. Reserve: Open to 1899 & under. $$GTD: $200-125. Booster: Open to 1499 & under. $$GTD: $150-100. Unr. must play in Open Section. ALL: EF: $35 advance until 4/15, $45 at site. Reg.: 04/19 8:30am - 9:30am. Rds.: Sat 10,3; Sun 10,3. ENT: Mike Goodall, 461 Peachstone Terrace, San Rafael, CA 94903-1327 (415) 491-1269. INFO: No phone or e-mail entries. Bring equipment-none provided. NS NC W. WCL JGP.

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