Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #394


The process of rating players can be compared to the measurement of the position of a cork bobbing up and down on the surface of agitated water with a yard stick tied to a rope and which is swaying in the wind.

Arpad Elo


1) Mechanic's Institute Chess Club News

2)  2008 Samford Fellowship Awarded to Krush and Bhat by Allen Kaufman

3) Nicholas Nip on Regis and Kelly by Michael Aigner

4) Daniel Naroditsky and the Oakland A's

5) David Vigorito Qualifies for US Championship by John Henderson

6) Here and There

7) Upcoming Events


Daniel Naroditsky will be throwing out the first pitch at the Oakland A's game this evening. This Saturday the Mechanics' will be hosting the 8th Annual Imre Konig Memorial.


1) Mechanic's Institute Chess Club News


NMs Sam Shankland, Daniel Naroditsky and Andy Lee and Expert Victor Ossipov are tied for first in the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon with 5 from 6 with two rounds to go. IM John Grefe is among those at 4.5.


Shankland,Sam - Grefe,John [B17]

Spring TNM (6) 2008


1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 Ndf6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Ne2 h6 8.Nf3 Bd6 9.0-0 Qc7 10.Ng3 Ne7 11.Qe2 b6 12.Ne5 c5 13.Bb5+ Kf8 14.Nc4 Bb7 15.Nxd6 Qxd6 16.dxc5 Qxc5 17.Bd3 h5 18.Bd2 Rd8 19.Rad1 a5 20.Ne4 Qc6 21.f3 Qc7 22.Nxf6 gxf6 23.Be4 Kg7 24.Bc3 Nd5 25.Bxd5 Rxd5 26.Rxd5 Bxd5 27.Qe3 Rh6 28.Qg5+ Rg6 29.Bxf6+ Kf8 30.Qe5 Qxe5 31.Bxe5 Rg5 32.Bf4 Rf5 33.Bc7 Bxa2 34.Ra1 1-0


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.


The Mechanics Institute will be holding two chess camps this summer. Anthony Corrales will teach the beginner/ intermediate session from July 14-18 with IM (2 GM norms) Josh Friedel is in charge of the advanced camp from July 21-25. Visit  for more information.



2)  2008 Samford Fellowship Awarded to Krush and Bhat by Allen Kaufman


For the first time in its twenty-two year history, two full Samford Fellowships have been awarded in a single year.  The applicants this year included an unusually large number of highly qualified chessmasters.  Because two of them, Irina Krush and Vinay Bhat, are in their last year of eligibility (both are 24) it was decided to award both the 2008 and 2009 Samford Fellowships this year. 

The winners were chosen by the Samford Fellowship Committee, consisting of Frank P. Samford III (son of Samford Fellowship founder Frank P. Samford, Jr.), former U.S. Chess Champion Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier and International Master John Donaldson.  The winner's potential was determined based on his chess talent, work ethic, dedication and accomplishments.
The late Frank P. Samford, Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama, was a distinguished attorney and CEO of Liberty National Life Insurance Company (now Torchmark).  Mr. Samford was active in civic, business, political, educational and cultural affairs.  He was also an enthusiastic competitor in chess tournaments. 

Mr. Samford created the Samford Fellowship to identify and assist the best American chessmasters under the age of twenty-five by providing top-level coaching, strong competition and access to study materials.  The Fellowship also provides a monthly stipend for living expenses so that the winners may devote themselves entirely to chess without having financial worries.  The total value of the two-year Fellowship is approximately $32,000 annually.

Generous contributions from Mrs. Virginia Samford and Torchmark Corporation support the Fellowship.  The Samford Fellowship is a fitting memorial to an extraordinary man.  The dedication, creativity and achievement that marked Mr. Frank P. Samford, Jr.'s life are examples for all chessplayers to admire and emulate.

International master (IM) Irina Krush is the reigning U.S. Women's Champion, with a USCF rating of 2515 and a FIDE rating of 2479. Irina has represented the U.S. in numerous international competitions since the age of seven, receiving medals in both World Youth and World Junior Championships. She became a master at age twelve, and an International Master at age sixteen. She has been an integral part of the U.S. Women's Olympiad Team since the age of fourteen, helping the U.S. win a historic silver medal at the 2004 Olympiad in Mallorca, Spain.

At just fourteen, she won her first U.S. Women's title with the convincing score of 8.5/9. At seventeen, she tied for first place with GM Igor Novikov in the NYC Mayor's Cup and earned her first grandmaster norm. Irina is also active in the chess community as a writer, photographer, teacher, and manager of the U.S. Chess League team, the New York Knights. 

Vinay Bhat learned how to play chess when he was six-and-a-half years old. At the age of  ten-and-a-half he set the then-current record for becoming the youngest national master, breaking Bobby Fischer's record by two years. That record was since broken by Hikaru Nakamura, and most recently, by Nicholas Nip. Vinay also played extensively internationally, representing the US in nine different World Youth competitions with top five finishes on five different occasions.Vinay completed his IM title in 2000. From 2002 through 2006, he attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with degrees in Statistics and Political Economy, and then went on to work at Cornerstone Research in Menlo Park, California. While working he has gotten back to playing chess and won his third and final GM norm in July 2007. Later that year, FIDE granted him the GM title conditional on his FIDE rating crossing 2500.




3) Nicholas Nip on Regis and Kelly by Michael Aigner



Youngest USCF master Nicholas Nip, now 10 years old, flew to the Big Apple over the weekend to appear on Monday morning's talk show Live with Regis and Kathy . In front of the cameras, he played a ten board simul against experienced adult players from the New York area, scoring nine wins and one draw. Afterwards, Nicholas answered a few questions from Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, ranging from what age he learned chess (five years old) to whether the TV hosts are too old to play chess (no) to whether he has any girlfriends (no).


Thanks to Barbara DeMaro of the US Chess Trust for arranging this appearance on national TV. Although Nicholas appeared a little bit shy in front of the cameras, this was his first giant step to fulfilling a career goal of becoming a rock star.


If you go to Michael's blog at  you will find a video of the event.



4) Daniel Naroditsky and the Oakland A's



Andrew Brown would stand out in a crowd no matter what: He's 6-foot-8 and brawny. Throw in the outsized personality, and that's one big force field of fun in the Oakland clubhouse.

Brown, a right-handed reliever who has yet to allow an earned run this season, is the A's most talkative player since Nick Swisher was traded, and Brown loves the spotlight nearly as much as Swisher did. If there's a microphone around, Brown's belting out songs. If someone else has the microphone, he's dancing, instead. And it's tough to avoid noticing the giant dancing man even if he's not the lead singer during a round of Rock Band.


"There's never a dull moment, I'll tell you that," said left-handed reliever Lenny DiNardo, who roomed with Brown this spring. "He's an interesting cat, that guy. He's not shy at all. He's on, 24 hours a day. There's no off switch - that got broken a long time ago.


"And he loves the microphone - he transforms into Barry Manilow on the Las Vegas strip."


Even when playing chess, Brown is noisy. He somehow manages to trash-talk while matching wits daily with closer Huston Street.

"Huston takes so long, you get mentally drained," Brown said. "You start shouting to the chess gods, 'Why is he taking so long?' We had a timer, but Huston doesn't follow the rules, he'd just ignore it."


"I might have been slower when we first started playing, but Andrew has abandoned the most games," Street countered. "I had his queen forked last night and he said, 'Oh, I've got to get home, my wife is pregnant.' "


Their chess-playing has attracted so much notice that one teammate - they're not sure who, but they have a guess - has begun hiding pieces, which then are discovered in odd places. The kings remain missing, so they're playing with Eric Chavez Bobbleheads. "Chavvy does have six Gold Gloves," Brown explained. "That's good enough to be king."


Brown learned to play chess from former Stanford player Jeremy Guthrie while they were teammates with the Indians' Double-A Akron club. Brown is such a fan of the game, he's thrilled that boys under-12 world champion Daniel Naroditsky of San Mateo is throwing out the first pitch Wednesday night. Brown will catch the first pitch, and he and Street are hoping to play Naroditsky before the game.


"I think he'll beat us in about two minutes, but I'm actually pretty excited," Brown said


The entire article can be found at .


5)  David Vigorito Qualifies for US Championship b y John Henderson


World Chess Live - April 20, 2008 - The United States Chess Federation and World Chess Live are pleased to announce that, after a close competition, IM David Vigorito, representing Massachusetts, has won the fourth U.S. State Champion of Champions event and will now go forward to the 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Chess Championship, 13-21 May, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 
Fifty state champions from Alaska through California to Hawaii, and from Maine through to New York and Florida battled their way through the Eastern and Western Conferences held on WCL (, the new sister-site of the Internet Chess Club), with the top four contesting the Finals. 
The four who battled their way through the Blitz Conference qualifiers to the Finals Weekend were: Western Conference: IM Vinay Bhat (Northern California) and IM Enrico Sevillano (Southern California). Eastern Conference: IM David Vigorito (Massachusetts) and IM-elect Ray Robson (Florida). 
In the semifinals, both Vigoreto and Sevillano scored convincing 2-0 wins, respectively, against Robson and Bhat to set-up the final match-up of Southern California versus Massachusetts. And in that final, it was David Vigorito, 36, from Andover, MA, who snatched the final U.S. Chess Championship qualifying spot by taking the title 1.5-0.5. 
“It’s [The U.S. State Champion of Champions event] tough and demanding, yet at the same time innovative by being played online,” commented David Vigorito after winning the title. “It was nice to be able to go to Tulsa having won through -- and doubly so by representing my home-state of Massachusetts.” 
This unique event demonstrates that online chess and over-the-board chess can indeed 
be a perfect mix - even for one of the world’s most famous national championships. 
First, each player in the tournament had to prove themselves OTB by winning (or 
scoring highly in) their relevant state championship to be invited, then they had to play 
online on WCL (both in an all-play-all Blitz for the conference qualifiers, and then 
the G\60 knockout finals, with independent proctors officiating at each venue to ensure fairness throughout), with the winner going forward to the U.S. Chess Championship. 




6) Here and There


Two Columbia journalism graduate students have put together an interactive Web site looking at the history of chess in New York City. It has interviews with a number of prominent city players, including Hikaru Nakamura, Maurice Ashley and Joshua Waitzkin. There are also interviews with children and chess teachers, and a timeline of events with some archival photographs. A good deal of the historical material is about Bobby Fischer who grew up in Brooklyn. The students, Radha Vij and Jennie Cohen, are not chess players but became immersed in the culture as they worked on the project.



NM Robert Haines, who coached IM David Pruess for many years before moving from the Bay Area to Albuquerque several years ago,  had a great success as his kids swept the New Mexico Scholastic championships this year, They placed first and second in the K-6, tied for first in the K-9,  tied for first in the K-12 open, and took clear first in the K-12 Booster. John Flores also won the Denker playoff.


16-year-old Alisa Melekhina of Philadelphia is turning in an outstanding performance in the 10th North American FIDE Invitational in Chicago.

Standings after five rounds
1-3: WFM Melekhina, FM Pasalic and IM Young-4/5
4: FM Shankar-3/5

5: IM Amanov- 2/5
6:FM Stamnov
7-9: WFM Yuan, FM Chow and FM Monokroussos-1.5
10:IM Vishnuvardhan-1


John Blackstone writes:


McKee is from San Francisco and Hubbell is from Los
. This is a correspondence  game. I do not know when it

started - probably in 1900 as the tour is called 20th Century.

McKee,John D - Hubbell,SC [C67]
20th Century Tour USA, 1901

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Be7 6.Qe2
Nd6 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.dxe5 Nf5 9.Rd1 Bd7 10.e6 fxe6 11.Ne5
Bd6 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Nxg6 Ng7 14.Qh6 Nf5 15.Qh3 Rg8
16.Qxh7 Rg7 17.Qh5 Qf6 18.Ne5+ Ke7 19.Ng4 Qg6 20.Qxg6
Rxg6 21.h3 Rag8 22.Nc3 e5 23.Ne2 e4 24.Bf4 Nh4
25.Bxd6+ cxd6 26.Nf4 Rg5 27.Ne3 Rf8 28.Ne2 Bxh3 29.Ng3
Bf5 30.Nexf5+ Nxf5 31.Nxe4 Rg4 32.Re1 Kd7 33.Rad1 Rg6
34.c4 Nh4 35.Ng3 c5 36.Re4 Nf5 37.Rf4 Ne3 38.fxe3 Rxf4
39.exf4 Rxg3 40.Kf2 Rg8 41.Re1 b5 42.cxb5 d5 43.Kf3 d4
44.b3 Rb8 45.g4 Rxb5 46.f5 Rb4 47.Re4 a5 48.f6 Rb6
49.g5 Re6 50.Rxe6 Kxe6 51.Ke4 1-0


Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1901.10.13 p.32



Michael Aigner writes:


Four players from CalChess competed in Georgia. Only Steven Zierk scored the 5.5 points required to earn a nice trophy; he ended up in 20th place. Special kudos to Mukund Chillakanti for starting out strong (beating two experts) and finishing strong (drawing with two more experts). Mukund achieved an impressive 2075 performance and gained 45 rating points to crack 1900 USCF. Watch out for this kid at states next month! 

  • Steven Zierk (2154) had 5.5 and 20th place trophy.
  • Mukund Chillakanti (1868) had 4.0, including 3.0 against six experts!
  • Kenneth Law (1664) also had 4.0
  • Kartik Chillakanti (1706) had 3

International Arbiter Mike Goodall, who organized and directed the 41-player Frank Doyle Open in Santa Rosa this past weekend supplies the following results:


1. NM Richard Koepcke 3.5-.5 $250

2. Expert Armin Rappaport 3 $175




1-5. Tom Boyd, Michael Lin, Owen Overton, Cezar Tamandong and David Trestor 3-1




1. Maral Bat-Amgalan 4-0

2-4. Stephen Lupton, John Wyatt and Glenn Young


NM Radu Roua won the 2nd Clark Harmon Memorial this weekend in Portland with 4.5 from 5. Tying for second at 4 were IM John Donaldson, FM Nick Raptis and Experts Michael Morris and Steven Breckenridge.



6) Upcoming Events



 April 27
2008 Westwood Spring Open
5-SS, G/40. Los Angeles Chess Club, 11514 Santa Monica Blvd, LA, CA 90025, 2nd floor (4 blocks West of 405 Fwy).
$$1500 b/50, 80% of each prize guaranteed. In two sections:
Open: $400-200-50, U2200 125, U2000 125.
Reserve (U1800) $$200-100, U1600 $125, Under 1400/unrated $100, U1200 $75.
EF: $47 if received by 4/26, $55 at site.
SCCF memb. ($18, under 18 $10) req. for rated S. CA residents No checks or credit cards at site. Half point byes: limit 1, must be req. w/entry.
Reg: 9-9:45 a.m.
Rds: 10-11:30-1:30-3:15-4:45.
2 Free Parking lots on the SW corner of Santa Monica & Purdue, or in the building basement ($3).
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Place #1, Los Angeles, CA 90038. On-line entry:
GP: 10. State Championship Qualifier



May 3-4
10th Annual Los Angeles County Championship
5-SS, 30/85, SD/30 (1st 3 rounds), 40/2, SD/1 (last 2 rounds). Sierra Vista Rec Center, 311 N Rural Drive, Monterey Park, CA 91755.
$1100 guaranteed: $300-200, U2200, U2000, U1800, U1600 each $100, U1400, U1200 each $75, Unrated $50.
EF: $30 if rec'd by 5/1, $40 at door. Special option for HS/below: $10, 5 trophies only.
SCCF membership req'd of So. Californians: $18, $10 jrs.
Reg: 9-9:40 am,
Rds: 10-2-6, 10-4.
Info: Randy Hough (626) 282-7412,
Ent: SCCF, PO Box 205, Monterey Park, CA 91754.
GP: 10. State Championship Qualifier.