Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #400


The chess-board is the world; the pieces are the phenomenon of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.

 T.H. Huxley 1825-1895


1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

2) International News

3) Sacramento Chess Club in Peril by Michael Aigner

4) US News

5) Norm Tournaments this summer

6) Chess Divas

7) Upcoming Events at the Mechanics'


1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News


The field of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon has been strengthened by the addition of IM Ricardo DeGuzman who joins WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs and NM Albert Rich as the top seeds. It’s not too late to enter the eight round event with byes for rounds 1 and 2.


GM-elect Josh Friedel gave a well-received lecture before round two of the TNM showing some of his key games from the US Championship in Tulsa (where he made his final GM norm) and the Chicago Open (where is rating crossed 2500 FIDE). Almost eight years to the day that Josh finished fifth out of eight in the 2000 US Cadet held at the Mechanics’ he has met all the requirements for the GM title.


The Mechanics Institute will be holding two chess camps this summer. Anthony Corrales will teach the beginner/ intermediate session from July 14-18 with GM-elect Josh Friedel in charge of the advanced camp from July 21-25. Go to for more information.


Mechanics’ Chess Director IM John Donaldson shared first at 3-1 with WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs and Expert Salar Jaheedi in the Berkeley Open held last weekend. The 32-player event was organized and directed by Richard Koepcke.

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) International News

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has announced that the World Championship Challenger Match between Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) and Gata Kamsky (USA) will take place in Lvov, Ukraine, this fall.

The organizer offered a prize fund of $750,000 USD and to hold the match on the ''neutral" territory of Ukraine, as the players wanted to avoid Bulgaria or the USA. FIDE President Kirsan
Ilyumzhinov guarantees the organizer's offer by backing the event from his personal finances.

The FIDE Presidential Board acknowledged the offer as well as the guarantee and assigned FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos to conclude the final contracts and to check the availability of the finances. The Match will be held between November 26th and December 14th 2008.

The Ukrainian Team Championship recently finished in Alushta. It was dominated by the
strongest team PVK-Kievchess which include Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Beliavsky as well as Alex Onischuk of Baltimore.


Final Standings:
1. PVK-Kievchess – 15 (39˝ board points)
2. Law Academy Kharkov – 14 (36)
3. University Lvov – 12 (34) etc.

(9 teams competed)


3) Sacramento Chess Club in Peril by Michael Aigner


Ever since I started playing chess in 1993, the Sacramento Chess Club has met at the Ethel Macleod Hart Senior Center on J Street between 27th and 28th Avenues. The Club was fortunate to pay no rent over all the years, allowing it to run weekly events on Wednesday nights at the rock bottom entry fees of $2 and $5. These events include G/10 and multi-week G/60-G/75 rated tournaments. Attendance varies throughout the year from 40 to near 100; some players choose only to play unrated skittles games.

The Club's
historical records date back to at least 1934. Multiple-time champions include strong masters such as former USCF President Col. Ed Edmondson, Serge von Oettingen, Mark Buckley, Tom Dorsch, James MacFarland, Zoran Lazetich and Robby Adamson. In 1964, Bobby Fischer gave a simul at the Sacramento Chess Club. The Club offered a hangout for many of Sacramento's adult chess players, many who have fixed incomes. It has, over the past 15 years, nurtured the development of young stars such as NM Winston Zhang, David Pecora, NM Daniel Schwarz, Matt Zavortink, Tyler Wilken and Isaac Zhang. I can safely say that I would not be a chess master and teacher today without the support and competition of the Sacramento Chess Club.

Unfortunately, the budget crisis facing the State of California and City of Sacramento required reducing the hours of service at many facilities, including the Hart Senior Center. Two years ago, the Chess Club's closing time changed from 10pm to 9pm, cutting into the tournament schedule. Meetings on the 5th Wednesday of the month were eliminated.

This year, the cuts are even deeper. The City of Sacramento recently wrote this letter to the Chess Club announcing a minimum rental fee of $11/hour or $38.50 per week effective August 1. The Club now faces a difficult decision that calls its very existence into question. On the homepage Treasurer John McCumiskey wrote about the limited options. "It would appear that the club needs to secure a new meeting facility that we can continue to use for free. The alternatives appear to be securing a benefactor for the Sacramento Chess Club, begin taking donations and/or charging people to play at the Club." The last scenario would, unfortunately, force out some of the regular members and would be the end of the Club as we know it.

It is a dark day in Sacramento chess history. Hopefully, it is not the end of a Chess Club that dates back over 80 years. Stay tuned.



4) US News


Three Americans received titles at the FIDE Presidential Board Meeting in Athens, Greece this past weekend. Ray Robson of Florida received the IM title at the age of 13, one of the youngest Americans ever to do so. Walter Brown and Sevan Muradian earned FIDE Arbiter titles.


Ignacio Perez, Michael Lee, Nick Raptis, Charles Cadman, Mark Naus and Andy May tied for first at 4.5 from 6 in the Washington Open held in Redmond over Memorial Day with Veteran Viktors Pupols among those on 4.  Fred Kleist and Gary Dorfner directed the 172-player event for the Washington Chess Federation.

Bob Long, whose company Chessco (  goes back four decades, is still busy. His latest venture, the online magazine Chess Reports, features articles from IM Andrew Martin and FM Allan Savage among others. The magazine is geared at class players who want to improve with plenty of instructional articles.


Subscriptions are $50 for 13 issues (53-65). $85 for those subscribing for 53-78.


Contact Bob at for a sample copy.

Ken Zowal of the Fremont Chess Club writes that two Croatian masters will be in the South Bay the first second week of June. He is hoping to organize a blitz tournament or simul that week (any day except Thursday or Friday). If you are interested contact him at  (510) 623.9935.



5) Norm Tournaments this Summer


Norm hunters of North America will have at least five chances this summer. Starting the smorgasbord of GM and IM norm opportunities is a troika of events starting with the just recently announced (see details below) New York International followed by The Philadelphia International and World Open. The latter two are organized by Bill Goichberg's Continental Chess Association (www.chess


The Edmonton International ( will be held July 31-August 4. 2600 FIDE GMs Alexander Moiseenko, Alex Shabalov and Surya Shekhar Ganguly are signed up to play.


Right after is the New England Masters scheduled for  August 11-15 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Top seeds so far are GMs Leonid Kritz, Timur Gareev and Sergey Erenburg. For more information go to or contact organizer Chris Bird at .


For those who prefer round robin events to Swisses, Sevan Muradian of Chicago and his North American Chess Association organizes events throughout the year. Go to for more information.



The Marshall Chess Club
June 21–25, 2008
200 Grand Prix Points (enhanced)!!
9-round Swiss-System, 40/120, SD/60
open to all players rated 2200 and above (USCF or FIDE) and special invitees
May be limited to first 50 registrants
Plus special Brilliancy Prize
Awards ceremony to follow round 9. Every player will receive a special prize.
GMs, foreign IMs, and foreign WGMs ...................................... $100, returned on completion
................................................................... of tournament; no money deducted from prize fund
USA IMs, USA WGMs, and Foreign FIDE-rated players ................$150 in advance / $200 at site
USA players with FIDE ratings over 2200 ........................................$200 in advance / $250 at site
Players with USCF ratings over 2200 and FIDE rating U2200.........$250 in advance / $300 at site
Players with USCF ratings over 2200 with no FIDE rating ..............$300 in advance / $350 at site
All except first category:...............................................$25 less for Marshall Chess Club members
In advance: ... By mail (checks only, made payable to The Marshall Chess Club) postmarked by 6/14
..................... By phone (credit cards only) thru 6/18
..................... In person (cash, credit card, or check) thru 6/18
..................... On our website (credit cards only) thru 6/18
At site........... No later 30 minutes before your first game (cash, credit card, or check)
Playing Schedule:
Round one: Saturday, June 21, 12:00 Noon
Round two: Saturday, June 21, 7:00 PM
Round three: Sunday, June 22, 12:00 Noon


Round four: Sunday, June 22, 7:00 PM
Round five: Monday, June 23, 12:00 Noon
Round six: Monday, June 23, 7:00 PM
Round seven: Tuesday, June 24, 12:00 Noon
Round eight: Tuesday, June 24, 7:00 PM
Round nine: Wednesday, June 25, 12:00 Noon
Byes: Must commit by rd. 3; limit 2; limit 1 bye rounds 8–9
Players taking byes cannot make norms
USCF and FIDE-Rated. IM/GM Norms may be possible.
Tournament director: Steve Immitt
Dr. Frank Brady, International Arbiter, officiating
This tournament is generously sponsored by Chess Teacher Fedor Khrapatin
Marshall Chess Club
23 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10011
Phone 212-477-3716 Fax 212-995-9281
For information on lodgings,
contact the Marshall Chess Club




6) Chess Divas



Hello everybody,

We are currently working on episode 6. This episode will come out at the end of June.
We need your help with this episode. There's a lot of chess in the community, such as a big chess board at a busy town square, a chess bumper sticker on somebody's car, chess tables at a coffee house, and etc.

Where do you see chess in your community? Take a picture of it and we'll share it on this episode!

Please send your picture(s) to us no later than June 27th.
We also need your first/last name and where the picture was taken.
We prefer jpeg picture format. Our e-mail address is

Thank you!

     "Chess Divas" Lauren and Barbara