Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #406

For me, analyzing my losses is very important. It isn’t anything psychological really, it’s just that I tend to learn so much from them. It would be silly to neglect doing it. Of course, with
some losses it is rather painful, but often those are the ones that need analyzing the most.  


 GM-elect Josh Friedel

From an interview at 




1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Vinay shines in Spain

3) US Olympiad teams named

4) A poem by Dennis Fritzinger

5) Here and There

6) Upcoming Events



1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


The Summer Tuesday Night Marathon finished last evening with IM Ricardo DeGuzman taking top honors with 7 from 8. WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs was second with 6.5 followed by Experts Batsaikhan Tserendorj and Oleg Shaknazarov on 6. The Irving Chernev Memorial, played on eight consecutive Tuesday nights, starts on August 5.


NM Michael Aigner writes on his excellent blog at :


Three-time US Champion Grandmaster Nick DeFirmian, rated 2541 FIDE, taught the most recent session of the San Francisco School of Chess on July 12-13. Although he currently lives in Denmark, DeFirmian has strong ties to Northern California, growing up in Fresno and earning a degree in physics from UC Berkeley. For many years, he regularly played at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, the venue for the weekend lecture. His claim to fame now lies in editing the encyclopedia "Modern Chess Openings" (better known as MCO).

Over two days, GM DeFirmian shared a number of opening concepts with the students of the School of Chess. He taught the top gro

up (five students and two guests) for nearly four hours on Saturday, advocating a positional approach to understanding the move orders and strategies to play the 6.Be3 line of the Najdorf Sicilian. GM DeFirmian also demonstrated a "refutation" of the Petrov's defense from the game Naiditsch-Kramnik (Dortmund 2008) and showed some theory in the Zaitsev variation of the Ruy Lopez. It was interesting to watch how even an ultra-tactical opening such as the Najdorf could be understood by a calm positional approach.

The Danish-American Grandmaster returned on Sunday to teach groups 2 and 3, each for about two hours. He started out by going back in history and demonstrating an obscure simul game in the Two Knight's de

fense where Bobby Fischer played like Paul Morphy. GM DeFirmian spent a large portion of the class on the Yugoslav attack in the Dragon Sicilian, a line which every young player should study sometime in their development as a future master.

The San Francisco School of Chess will continue in August and September with lectures by local International Masters Josh Friedel (August 23) and Vinay Bhat (September 7). Both popular 20-something year old masters have the three norms necessary for the Grandmaster title; Josh is merely waiting for his paperwork to be approved while Vinay needs 17 FIDE rating points to reach 2500. A new group of students will be selected for classes starting this fall.



2) Vinay shines in Spain


Mechanics' member Vinay Bhat, with already has three GM norms made a fourth in the Benasque Open in Spain last week. Vinay, who was rated 2483 going into the event, gained 16.9 points for his score of 7.5 from 10 to bring his rating to 2499.9 unofficially. Rounded up this would give Vinay a rating of 2500, the last requirement he needed to fill the requirements for the GM title.


Here are some of Vinay's games from Benasque.


First a win against a very tough to beat player.


 BHAT,Vinay S (2483) - BURMAKIN,Vladimir (2625) [E00]

XXVIII OPEN INTERNACIONAL  Benasque   Huesca   España (7.1), 09.07.2008

 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Bd3 Nbd7 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.Qb3 0–0 9.0–0 Nb6 10.a4 Bf5 11.Be2 a5 12.Ne5 Ne4 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Nc4 Ra6 15.Bd2 Be6 16.Rfc1 Nxc4 17.Bxc4 Rb6 18.Qa2 Bxc4 19.Qxc4 Rd6 20.Be1 b6 21.b4 e5 22.dxe5 Bxe5 23.Rab1 Re8 24.bxa5 bxa5 25.Rb5 Rd1 26.Qc2 Rxc1 27.Qxc1 Bc7 28.g3 Re7 29.Kg2 h5 30.Bc3 Qd7 31.Bb2 Qg4 32.Rd5 h4 33.Qxc7 1–0

Then a tough loss from a winning position against the eventual tournament winner. Vinay beat Granda twice last summer.


 GRANDA ZUNIGA,Julio E (2599) - BHAT,Vinay S (2483) [E00]

XXVIII OPEN INTERNACIONAL  Benasque   Huesca   España (4.1), 06.07.2008

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Bb2 Bd6 7.Bd3 b6 8.0–0 Bb7 9.Nbd2 0–0 10.Ne5 Rc8 11.Qf3 c5 12.Qh3 h6 13.cxd5 Bxd5 14.e4 Bb7 15.Ng6 cxd4 16.Nxf8 Nxf8 17.Rac1 Bf4 18.Rcd1 e5 19.Nf3 Ne6 20.Rfe1 g5 21.g3 g4 22.Qg2 gxf3 23.Qxf3 Bg5 24.h4 Bxh4 25.gxh4 Nf4 26.Kh2 N6h5 27.Qg4+ Kh8 28.Rc1 Rc5 29.Bf1 Bc8 30.Qf3 Qxh4+ 31.Kg1 Bg4 32.Qh1 Qg5 33.Kh2 Ng6 34.Rxc5 bxc5 35.Bc1 Qf6 36.Kg1 Nh4 37.Be2 Nf3+ [37...Bxe2 38.Rxe2 d3 39.Re3 Nf4] 38.Bxf3 Bxf3 39.Qh3 Kh7 40.Bd2 d3 41.Qf5+ Kg7 42.Rc1 Qxf5 43.exf5 Nf4 44.Rxc5 Kf6 45.Rc7 a6 46.Rd7 Be4 47.f3 Bxf5 48.Rd6+ Ke7 49.Rxh6 Ng6 50.Kf2 e4 51.Rh5 Ke6 52.fxe4 Bxe4 53.Ra5 Bb7 54.Ke3 f5 55.Kxd3 f4 56.Bc3 f3 57.Ke3 Ne7 58.Be1 Nf5+ 59.Kd3 Ne7 60.Bg3 Nc6 61.Ra4 Ne7 62.Rb4 Bc6 63.a4 Nd5 64.Rb8 Kd7 65.Rf8 Ke7 66.Rh8 Nb4+ 67.Kc4 Nc2 68.Bf2 1–0

Finally a crazy last round game in which both players had chances before a draw was agreed.


 BHAT,Vinay S (2483) - GUPTA,Abhijeet (2551) [E00]

XXVIII OPEN INTERNACIONAL  Benasque   Huesca   España (10.1), 12.07.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 c5 6.dxc5 Qa5 7.Rc1 dxc4 8.Bxc4 0–0 9.Nge2 Qxc5 10.Qb3 Nc6 11.Nb5 Qh5 12.Ng3 Qh4 13.Nc7 e5 14.Bg5 Qxg5 15.Nxa8 e4 16.0–0 h5 17.Nc7 h4 18.Ne2 Bh3 19.Nf4 Bxg2 20.Nce6! Qg4 21.Nxg2 h3 22.Nef4 Ne5 23.Be2 Nf3+ 24.Kh1 hxg2+ 25.Nxg2 g5 26.Rc4


26.Qxb7 Qh3 27.Qc7 Nh5 28.Bxf3 exf3 29.Rg1 fxg2+ 30.Rxg2 might be better.


 26...Qh3 27.Bxf3 exf3 28.Rg1 fxg2+ 29.Rxg2 Rd8 30.Rc7 Qh5


30...Rd5 31.e4 Qxb3 32.axb3 Nxe4 33.Rxb7 Rd1+ 34.Rg1 Nxf2+ 35.Kg2 Rd2 looks better for Black.


 31.Qxb7 Ng4 32.Rc1 Rd1+ ˝–˝



3) US Olympiad teams named


Here are the Olympiad teams and Captains/Coaches:

Women's Team:
Tatev Abrahamyan
Rusa Goletiani
Irina Krush
Katerina Rohonyan
Anna Zatonskih
Captain - Michael Khodarkovsky
Coach - Gregory Kaidanov

Men's Team:
Varuzhan Akobian
Gata Kamsky
Hikaru Nakamura
Alexander Onischuk
Yury Shulman
Captain - John Donaldson




4) A poem by Dennis Fritzinger


to vik's apartment
for a clambake
(he and a girlfriend
had been digging up
clams all day),
i walk in,
smell the clams steaming,
hear the sounds of five minute chess,
and find myself
irresistibly drawn
to five minute combat,
the sound of the clock
being punched as seductive
as clicking dice,
forget about all
the irresistible smells,
the steaming clams,
(perhaps they weren't
all that irresistible,
after all),
in favor of the sixty-four
squares, two armies,
clock, and combat.

5) Here and There


Hi John!

A bit of an odd question:  Is there any way we could find out if  there was a Richard Gaikowski (a.k.a. Dick Gyke) who was a member of the MI back in the 1960s or early 70s?

Bruce Monson


Can any Newsletter reader help Bruce?




2008 SPICE Cup is the Highest Rated 10-player International Round-Robin in U.S. History by Corey Chandler


Texas Tech University’s Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence announced Thursday it has assembled the strongest field of chess grandmasters in U.S. round-robin history for its 2008 SPICE Cup International Invitational Tournament.

The ten players – all grandmasters – confirmed for the event boast an average rating of 2605 according to World Chess Federation (FIDE) ratings.

This makes SPICE Cup a Category 15 tournament – the highest-rated tournament of its kind held on U.S. soil. The invitational round-robin tournament pits an international slate of 10 players against each other through nine rounds of play over ten days.  

"We have secured a very prestigious roster of players from around the globe to compete in this tournament," said SPICE Director Susan Polgar.

It will take place from Sept. 19-28 at the Texas Tech Student Union Building and is the main attraction of Texas Tech’s annual SPICE Cup Festival. Other activities include the 2008 Texas Women's Open Championship, SPICE Cup Grand Prix, SPICE Cup Scholastic and SPICE Cup Pro-Am.

Players with their U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) and World Chess Federation (FIDE) ratings are as follows:


Alexander Onischuk, United States, 2734 USCF / 2670 FIDE
Harikrishna Pentala, India, 2724 USCF / 2668 FIDE
Leonid Kritz, Germany, 2667 USCF / 2610 FIDE

Varuzhan Akobian, United States, 2660 USCF / 2610 FIDE
Gregory Kaidanov, United States, 2664 USCF / 2605 FIDE
Julio Becerra, United States, 2640 USCF / 2598 FIDE
Victor Mikhalevski, Israel, 2679 USCF / 2592 FIDE
Kamil Miton, Poland, 2703 USCF / 2580 FIDE
Hannes Stefansson, Iceland, 2597 USCF / 2566 FIDE
Eugene Perelshteyn, United States, 2619 USCF / 2555 FIDE (Defending Champion)

USCF Average Rating: 2669

SPICE website:




6) Upcoming Events


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