Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #405


Chess is simply a medium through which concentration and a higher state of mind is achieved is like contemplating your navel, only better.


Jon Speelman 


Chess for Zebras , page 64.




1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Sam Shankland makes first IM norm at World Open by Michael Aigner

3) Daniel Schwarz wins in Sacramento by Michael Aigner

4) USCF Award Winners

5) Here and There

6) Upcoming Events


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


IM Ricardo DeGuzman and WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs both won in the seventh round in the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon to set up their battle for first in the final game next Tuesday evening. DeGuzman has 6 1/2 points and Tuvshintugs 6. Expert Peter Grey, who defeated NM Albert Rich last night, is third with 5 1/2.


Several time US Champion and Hall of Famer Nick Defirmian gave a well-received lecture at the Mechanics' last night. This weekend the UC Berkeley grad will tutor 30 of the Bay Area's best juniors and then finish off his Bay Area trip with another lecture next Tuesday night. Nick will talk about the Fischer-like rise of Magnus Carlsen whose meteoric ascent he has watched closely the past few years. Don't miss this free lecture next Tuesday from 5:15 pm to 6:30 pm.



2) Sam Shankland makes first IM norm at World Open by Michael Aigner


A week ago, I blogged about FM-elect Sam Shankland as a patient teacher who mentored some of the Bay Area's top juniors during a meeting of the San Francisco School of Chess. However, Sam is better known as a fearless tournament competitor who is capable of beating literally anyone, anytime, anyplace. He emphatically proved this point in the first round of the World Open when he scalped last year's US Champion GM Alexander Shabalov with a crushing kingside attack. What could Sam do for an encore?

The primary goal for Shanky's adventure in Philadelphia was to earn one of the three norms required for the International Master title.. To score a norm, the player must perform at a level above 2450 FIDE in a 9+ round tournament against a variety of opponents from different countries, at least 3 who hold the GM/IM title. After beating GM Shabalov, Sam scored against two strong titled players from India and drew with IM Dean Ippolito. His final result in the World Open was merely 50% (4.5 out of 9), but he faced an incredibly difficult field of 4 Grandmasters, 3 IMs and a WGM! Thanks to these high rated opponents, Sam could wrap up his norm even before the final round began. Mad props to the Shankinator for his first IM norm! His next norm opportunity comes at the
Mechanics' Institute invitational in August.

Several other local juniors also participated in the World Open. FM Danya Naroditsky remained in contention for an IM norm through 7 rounds with several impressive draws in a row with titled players, plus a win against local IM David Pruess. Unfortunately, Danya's dream ended with a loss to a Grandmaster in round 8 and he finished at 4.5/9. Teenage expert Rohan Agarwal scored 50% in the U2400 section, defeating three opponents rated above 2270. Last but not least, CalChess Denker representative Steven Zierk won major money at the World Open for a third time in his young life by sharing 3rd place in U2200 at 7.0/9. Way to go Steven.

John Donaldson adds:


Top finishers in the 118-player open section of the 36th World Open were:


1-4. GMs Najer (RUS), Negi (IND), Ftacnik (SVK) and Moiseenko (UKR) – 7/9;
5-6. GMs V. Mikhalevski (ISR) and Smirin (ISR) - 6½, etc.


2008 World Open, Philadelphia
White: Shabalov, Alexander
Black: Shankland, Samuel

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.O-O Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.Bc2 e6 8.d3 Be7 9.Nbd2 Qc7 10.Qe1 O-O-O 11.a3 Kb8 12.b4 h6 13.b5 Na5 14.c4 g5 15.Bb2 Rhg8 16.Nh2 g4 17.Qe3 gxh3 18.Qxh3 Be2 19.Rfe1 Bg4 20.Nxg4 Nxg4 21.Bd1 Ne5 22.Nf1 Bf6 23.Ra2 Qe7 24.Bc1 h5 25.Nh2 h4 26.Nf1 Ng6 27.f4 Bc3 28.Ree2 Qf6 29.Qf3 h3 30.Nh2 hxg2 31.Be3 Bd4 32.Rf2 Bxe3 33.Qxe3 Qh4 34.Bg4 e5 35.fxe5 Nxe5 0-1


MI member Mukund Chillakanti had 5/9 in Under 2000 (3 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses), and his brother Kartik had 6.5/9 in the under 1800 ( 6 wins, 1 draw, and 2 losses).


Batsaikhan Tserendorj tied for third in the Expert section of the World Open with 7 from 9. Batsaikhan, after four years living in the Bay Area, will be returning to his native Mongolia to resume his duties with the national chess federation in August.


3) Daniel Schwarz wins in Sacramento by Michael Aigner


Despite soaring gas prizes and hot temperatures, the annual 4th of July tournament attracted a solid turnout of 84 players to California's capital city. Perhaps attracted by a quality tournament at longer time controls, adult players came from all over Northern California and as far away as Washington state; in fact, only about 1/3 of the participants were juniors. The field was officially split up into two sections, Open and Reserve (U2000), but a majority of A players chose to play for experience in the Open section.

Eight masters entered the tournament, headlined by International Masters Ricardo DeGuzman and Walter Shipman. In the end, Sacramento native and Stanford University sophomore NM Daniel Schwarz (2249) dominated the competition in the Open section, taking clear 1st place with a 5.0/6 score. He did not get easy pairings, instead facing five straight masters and beating three of them for a 2546 performance rating! Daniel even defeated defending champion and top rated IM DeGuzman in the 5th round. Proving that he has come a long ways since his days as a scholastic champion, Daniel beat his first teacher NM Zoran Lazetich and earned a tense final round draw with the black pieces against yours truly, his coach for over a half dozen years. Congratulations Daniel!

Four players shared 2nd place and top U2200 honors at 4.5 in the Open section: IMs Ricardo DeGuzman and Walter Shipman, expert James al-Shamma and the fpawn. Your reporter drew a short game against DeGuzman, but was unable to win lengthy endgames against NM Viktors Pupols from Washington state and Schwarz on the final day. Other than Schwarz, the biggest story of the weekend must be the impressive result by my student 11 year old Yian Liou (1956), who defeated former master Kenneth Hills (2120) and drew with FM Bela Evans (2303). Yian ended up with 4.0/6 after losing just once (to his teacher), thus gaining tons of experience and bumping his rating up to 1987.

Kudos to Douglas Legvold (1934) for winning the 53 player Reserve (U2000) section with 5.5 out of 6, drawing only in the last round to clinch 1st place. Sacramento club member Romeo Pilar, rated just 1652, took clear 2nd place at 5.0 while juniors Arun Gomatan (1795) and Ted Xiao (1731) shared 3rd place at 4.5.


Finally, thanks to National TD John McCumiskey for once again running a smooth and enjoyable weekend tournament in Sacramento. He has run every single major chess e

vent in town since the mid 1990s and since established himself as the Finally, thanks to National TD John McCumiskey (wearing red, white and blue for the holiday) for once again running a smooth and enjoyable weekend tournament in Sacramento. He has run every single major chess e

vent in town since the mid 1990s and since established himself as the top director in Northern California. This year, there were actually two McCumiskey's present at the tournament, as John's younger brother Tom (see photo here) visited from Virginia and played in the Open director in Northern California. This year, there were actually two McCumiskey's present at the tournament, as John's younger brother Tom visited from Virginia and played in the Open section.


4) USCF Award Winners


Recently circulated information on the upcoming USCF Delegate's meeting in Dallas this August list the names of three Westerners who will be honored for their contribution's to American chess. Jerry Weikel, who has put on the Western States Open since the early 1980's and held the strongest US Open ever ( Reno 1999), is receiving the Organizer of the Year Award. Kerry Lawless, who runs the best historical chess site in the United States , the  Special Service Award, while Gary Dorfner, the driving force behind the Tacoma Chess Club for more than thirty years, gets the Meritorious Service Award. Congratulations!  



5) Here and There



The 9th traditional Karpov tournament started in Poikovsky, Russia yesterday. The Category 18 event, with the participation of former US Champion Alex Onischuk, has an average rating of 2691.

Round 1 results:
Jakovenko – Volokitin 1-0
Rublevsky – Gashimov 1-0
Wang Hao – Inarkiev 1-0
Bologan – Onischuk ½-½
Sutovsky – Shirov ½-½

Go to follow the event.


 GM-elect Vinay Bhat is participating in the XXVIII Open Internacional Villa de Benasque in Spain from July 3 - 12, 2008. More than 30 players 2500+ ELO are participating including GMs Baklan,  Burmakin,  Delchev,  Rodshtein, Spraggett,  Granada Zuniga and  Mamedov. Vinay is currently tied for 4th with 5 from 6.He faces GM Burmakin with White on board three in round seven.


Organizer Chris Bird writes:



Dear Chess Player,

The early entry fee deadline is approaching for the New England Masters which will take place in Rhode Island from August 11-15, 2008.

To pay the lowest possibly entry fee, your entry must be received by this Friday, July 11.  After that date all entry fees will increase by $100!

There are currently 27 entries confirmed for the tournament, which means the field is over half full (maximum of 50 entries will be accepted).  More entries are expected in before the early entry deadline and so guarantee your place in this top quality tournament as soon as possible!  Once again, space is limited and entries are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also, July 11 is the final date to guarantee the special hotel rate ($89/night) and availability.  After this date it may not be possible to obtain the low chess tournament rate.  Book your hotel room today by calling the Comfort Inn Pawtucket at (401) 723-6700 and remember to request the "Chess Tournament" rate.

Complete details along with our online entry system (all major credit cards accepted) are available by visiting the tournament website at

Best wishes,

Chris Bird
Organizer, New England Masters 2008

Regular Newsletter reader and longtime USCF member Michael Bacon has started a blog go to .



Hi, This is Blas Lugo from Miami Chess Academy M.I.C.A , I am sending this email because I'll be having a big tournament in september 10 - 14. There is going to be 100,000 in prizes based on 650 entries and 70,000 are guaranteed!. I'll be more than thankful if you can spread the tournament information around.
Below are some details of the tournament:  

                                                                                                                               Regards,  IM Blas Lugo.      


For More information please visit

Open: 9 rounds , GM and IM norms possible! Fide Rated. Other sections 7 rounds, at luxurious Hyatt Regency Miami. Fifteen minutes away from the Miami International Airport, fifteen minutes away from Miami Sea-Aquarium and world famous South Beach with it’s amazing nightlife. The Sidney Samole Chess Hall of Fame also makes its home in Miami Florida and also welcomes you to visit. Miami’s biggest malls are nearby (Dolphin Mall, International Mall, Mall of the Americas).

Open Section: 9-SS, 90mins with 30 seconds increment for the whole game. GM and IM norms possible. In 7 sections. Prizes based on 650 paid entries, else proportional, 70% of prizes guaranteed. Re-entries count as half an entry. Unrated must enter U1100/Unr or Open Section.

Other sections: 7-SS, 90mins with 30 seconds increment for the whole game.

Prizes $100,000 based on 650 entries, $70,000 guaranteed

Open Section:
$10000-5000-3000-1500-1000-700-600-500-400-400, clear first bonus $200, 2300-2499 $2000-1000. Under 2300/Unr Section: $3000-1500-700. If tie for first, top 2 on tiebreak plays speed game for title & bonus prize. FIDE rated, 150 GPP.

Under 2200 Section: $5000-3000-2000-1000-700-600-500-400-300-300.
Under 2000 Section: $5000-3000-2000-1000-700-600-500-400-300-300.
Under 1800 Section: $5000-3000-2000-1000-700-600-500-400-300-300.

Under 1600 Section:
Under 1300 Section: $4000-2000-1500-1000-700-600-500-400-300-300.
Under 1100/Unrated Section: $1000-500-300-200-100
Prize limits:

1) If under 26 total games as of 8/08 list, limit $1000 U1300, $2000 U1600 through U2200.
2) If more than 20 points over section maximum on any list 8/08 or after, prize limit $1000.

Mailed entry fee: By 7/10: $225, by 8/10 $250, all $275 at site. All sections except U1100/Unr will pay the same. No checks at site credit cards OK.

Under 1100/Unrated Section entry fee: $100 phoned to 305-262-2700 $125 at the tournament site.

NM John Blackstone of Las Vegas passes along the following game from California's past.

Pierce,D (Los Angeles)- Clark,A (San Bernardino) [C80]
PNCCA Tour Western Div California, 1900

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Ne7 9.Ng5 Nxg5 10.Bxg5 Bb7 11.Qf3 Qd7 12.Nc3 c6 13.Rfe1 h6 14.Ne4 Nf5 15.e6 fxe6 16.Qxf5 hxg5 17.Nxg5 0-0-0 18.Qxe6 Bc5 19.Nf3 Rdf8 20.c3 Rf4 21.Qxd7+ Kxd7 22.Ne5+ Kd6 23.Nd3 Rfh4 24.Nxc5 Kxc5 25.h3 g5 26.f3 Bc8 27.Kf2 Kd6 28.Rad1 Bf5 29.Rd2 Rf8 30.Bc2 Bxh3 31.gxh3 Rxh3 32.Re3 g4 33.Kg2 Rfh8 34.Rde2 gxf3+ 35.Rxf3 Rh1 36.Kf2 a5 37.Rf6+ Kc5 38.b4+ axb4 39.cxb4+ Kxb4 40.Rxc6 R8h3 41.Bb3 Rd3 42.Kg2 Rh5 43.Rb2 Ka5 44.Rc5 Rd4 45.Bxd5 Rb4 46.Rbc2 Rh6 47.Kf2 Rd6 48.Ke3 Rh6 49.Bb3 Rd6 50.Rd2 Rh6 51.Kd3 Rd6+ 52.Kc3 Rh6 53.Rdd5 Rb6 54.Kb2 Rh4 55.Bc4 Rh2+ 56.Kb3 Rh3+ 57.Bd3  1-0


Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1900.08.26 p.10



6) Upcoming Events


Scholastic Championship - July 12

Charles Bagby Memorial - July 19
Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 9
Bernardo Smith Amateur - August 16-17

Sacramento Chess Championship

July 4-6, 2008

Best Western Expo Inn, 1318 Howe Avenue, Sacramento

3 and 2-day schedules available.  For more information, contact John McCumiskey at or check out the flyer and advance entries

on the Weekend Events page of the Sacramento Chess Club Website at


July 4-6
48th Annual Pacific Southwest Open
6-SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day schedule rds 1-3 G/60, then merges). LAX Hilton, 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
$$8,000 b/240, half of all prize guaranteed. In 2 sections:
Open, $$1400-700-400-300-200, U2200 $600-300-150, U2000 $600-300-150.
Amateur, open to U1800/Unr, $$600-300-150, U1600 500-250-150, U1400 400-250, U1200 150, Unr. 150. Unr. may win Unrated prize only.
All, EF $69 if rec'd by 7-3, $79 at site. SCCF memb. req'd of So. Californians ($18, jrs. U18 $10, includes Rank & File magazine).
Reg.: 3-day 9-10 a.m. 7-4, 2-day 8:30-9:30 a.m. 7-5.
Rds.: 3-day: 10:30-5 Fri-Sat, 10-4:30 Sun. 2-day: 10-12:15-2:30 Sat., then merges.
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038, on line at
HR: $109 (310) 410-4000, mention chess. Parking $10/day.
NS, W, F.  GP: 30. State Championship Qualifier.


July 6
PSW Hexes.
3-SS, G/90. LAX Hilton, 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
Six-player sections by rating.
EF: $20 if received by 7-3, $25 door.
$$ 40-20-10 each section.
Reg.: 9:30-10:15 a.m. Rds.: 10:30-1:30-4:30.
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038, online at

Aug. 2-3  
Fremont Open


4-SS, 30/90; SD/60 Fremont Adult School, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, Ca, 94538. $$B 80 paid entries (not counting unrated entries ). Two Sections: Open $300-200 U2200 $200-100 U2000 $200-100; Reserve (U1800) $200-100 U1600 $200-100 U1400 $200-100 Unr: Trophy First. All, EF: postmarked by 7/28 $45, $50 at site. Unrateds $20 in the Reserve section or may play up to the Open section for the regular fee. USCF memb. req'd. May play up for addt'l $5. Reg.: Sat 8/2 9:00-9:45am. RDS.: Sat 10:00-3:30; Sun 10:00-3:30; One 1/2 pt bye available if requested in advance (bye in rds 3 or 4 must be requested before rd 1). 2008 July Ratings List, CCA minimums and Directors discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible. Please bring clocks and equipment. INFO: Ken Zowal (510)-623-9935 Email: or Ent: Ken Zowal, P.O. Box 3211, Fremont, CA 94539. No Phone entries. W. NC. WCL JGP.