Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #409

Chessplayers are very tolerant. I say this because so unbelievably many chessplayers have unbearably annoying board manners / habits  / smell /loudness of breathing and / or compulsively vibrate the table with their legs, yet it seems like I’m the only person who ever says anything. Everybody else is a complete saint. I really do not know how they do it.

Elizabeth Vicary





1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Trying to track down former Mechanics' Member Larry Pugh 

3) International Tournament in Berkeley this December by David Pruess

4) Bay Area Chess News

5) Americans Abroad

6) Spice Cup

7) Upcoming Events


The Mechanics' will host the 9th Annual Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial G/45 this Saturday.



1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


The Irving Chernev Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon started last night with FM Frank Thornally and NMs Michael Pearson and Andy Lee as the top seeds. It's still not to late to enter the 8 round event with a first round half point bye.


MI member Rebekah Liu scored an undefeated 4.5 from 6 to tie for fourth in the Susan Polgar Girls Championship in Lubbock, Texas. The event, won by Courtney Jamison of Texas, attracted 52 of the strongest girls in the country.


FM Daniel Yeager defeated NM Matt Parry to create a 3-way tie for 1st place at 5.0 from 6 between Yeager, Southern California NM Julian Landaw and Scott Low in the 2008 Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions held in Dallas, Texas. MI member NM Steven Zierk scored 3.5


Some games have been pre-played in the Alan Benson IM norm tournament at the Mechanics', which officially starts August 16, due to FM Sam Shankland and Gregory Young attending the US Chess School in mid August in New Jersey and Daniel Naroditsky playing in Europe until August 23. The early leader in the event, which features IMs Vladimir Mezentsev, Ricardo DeGuzman, John Grefe and Ganbold Odondoo, is the lowest rated player - Gregory Young - who has 3 from 4.


GM-elect Vinay Bhat concluded his European summer tour by turning into solid performances in Mainz, Germany. Vinay played in both the FiNet Chess960 Open (Fischer Random chess) and the Ordix Rapid.  Hikaru Nakamura won the former,  tying with fellow GMs Sergei Movsesian and Alexander Motylev  at 9 from 11, but getting the nod on tiebreak. Vinay shared 9th place (out of 232 players) with 9 from 11. The Rapid event was won by Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia with 9.5 from 11 on tiebreak over Pavel Eljanov. Hikaru tied for third at 9 while Vinay was equal 12th with 8.5. Among his victims were 2641 rated Murtas Kazhgaleyev and 2574 rated Robert Ruck. Vinay almost collected an even bigger scalp.


Here is the game and the story.


Bhat,V - Nakamura,H [A42]
Mainz 2008

1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 e5 5.e4 Nc6 6.Bg5 f6 7.Be3 Nh6 8.h3 0-0 9.Be2 Nf7 10.0-0 f5 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Qxd8 Ncxd8 13.Nd5 fxe4 14.Nd2 Ne6 15.Nxe4 Nf4 16.Bf3 Nxd5 17.cxd5 Bf5 18.Rac1 Rfc8 19.Nc5 b6 20.Ne6 c5 21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.Rfd1 Nd6 23.Bd2 Kf7 24.Bc3 Re8 25.g4 Bc8 26.Re1 e4 27.Bg2 Bb7 28.Rcd1 Rad8 29.g5 Ba6 30.Bf6 Rd7 31.b3 Bd3 32.f3 b5 33.h4 c4 34.Bh3 Nf5 35.fxe4 Bxe4 36.Bxf5 gxf5 37.d6 Re6 38.Be7 c3 39.b4 c2 40.Rc1 Rb7 41.Re3 Rb8 42.Kf2 Rb6 43.Rc3 Rb7 44.h5 Rexe7 45.dxe7 Kxe7 46.R1xc2 Bxc2 47.Rxc2 Rd7 48.Ke3 Ke6 49.Rc6+ Ke5 50.Rc5+ Ke6 51.Rxb5 Rd1 52.Ra5 Rg1 53.Rxa7 Rxg5 54.Rxh7 Rg3+ 55.Kd4 Rg4+ 56.Kc5 f4 57.Rh6+ Ke7 58.Rd6 Rg5+ 59.Kc6 Rxh5 60.Rd3 Ke6 61.b5 Rh2 62.a3 Rc2+ 63.Kb7 Ke5 64.b6 Ke4 65.Rb3 f3 66.Ka7 f2 67.Rb1 Rb2 68.Rf1 Kf3 69.b7 Ra2 ½-½


Hikaru offered a draw after making his last move. In the 7 seconds I had left I didn't see Rb1, so I decided to take the draw. 


Here is a sharp win by Hikaru.

Nakamura,H.  - Arutinian
Mainz 2008


1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Qc7 8.Ra2 Ne7 9.Bd3 0-0 10.Ne2 Bf5 11.0-0 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Nbc6 13.Ng3 Rac8 14.f3 f5 15.Re1 Kh8 16.Rae2 b6 17.Nh5 Qd7 18.dxc5 bxc5 19.c4 Qe8 20.Nxg7 Kxg7 21.cxd5 Nb8 22.e4 Qg6 23.exf5 Nxf5 24.Re4 Rce8 25.Qc3+ Kf7 26.Rxe8 Rxe8 27.Rxe8 Kxe8 28.Qe5+ Kd7 29.Qxb8 Qa6 30.h4 Qd3 31.Bg5 Qxd5 32.Qd8+ Ke6 33.Qg8+ Ke5 34.Qh8+ Ke6 35.Qe8+ Kd6 36.Bf4+ 1-0

You can read first hand accounts of Vinay on the tournament trail at .


Ukrainian GM Alexander Moiseenko won the 2008 Edmonton International a few days ago with a score of 7 from 9. Former US Champion Alex Shabalov was second and MI member Josh Friedel and Indian 2600+ rated GM  Seyar Ganguly shared third at 5.5 in the 28-player invitational swiss. Other US scores: =5th. GM Jessie Kraai and IM Robert Hungaski 5; =11th WFM Elizabeth Vicary 4.5.


2) Trying to track down former Mechanics' Member Jeol Pugh 

My name is David Edwards and I'm a journalist with the Daily Mirror newspaper in England. I'm trying to find people who knew a young man called Joel Pugh, who played with the club in the 1960s. Joel was born in 1940 and was from Minnesota but came to San Francisco to study, probably in around 1963. If you, or someone you know, used to know Joel, who sadly passed away in 1969, I'd be extremely grateful if you could get in touch. The best way of reaching me is through my home email:

3) International Tournament in Berkeley this December by David Pruess


First-class chess tournament coming!

From December 14-23, 2008, an international chess tournament will be held in Berkeley, California, where California's best will meet the nation's best, and the nation's best will meet top players from around the world. Further details will be released as they are available, but this first announcement will allow players to put this event on their calendars well in advance.

The tournament will be open to anyone with a fide rating over 2200. It will be a 10 round swiss, with games daily at 2 pm. The time control will be 40/2, G/1. International title norms will be possible. Before, during, and after the tournament, there will be events where local chess players may meet some of the elite competitors.

Entry is free to all Grandmasters. The tournament will also cover travel expenses and provide rooms for some (depending on entries and sponsorship). Non-grandmasters will pay an entry fee based on their fide rating and date of registration.

Here is the current prize fund, based on our present sponsorship commitments, and a projected 30 players. As more sponsorship and entries come in, this will be increased!

Overall: 1400, 1100, 900, 700
Under 2500: 700
Under 2400: 600
Under 2300: 600

As we have a target ratio of Grandmasters to non-Grandmasters, we currently have:
Airfare/board for the next 4 Grandmasters to register.
Room for 17 more non-Grandmaster entries in the tournament.
This will also be updated over time.

For questions or entry, contact
David Pruess ( or got to

4) Bay Area Chess News


Article submitted by organizer and chief TD Charles Sun from Michael Aigner's blog ( )

The Silicon Valley Challenge #5 was held at Susan’s Dance Studio in northeast San Jose on July 27th. A total of 35 chess enthusiasts participated,four of whom were national masters ! No doubt the Open section had plenty of competition.

Before I go on, I would like to take some time to thank my chess coach, Michael Aigner. Mr. Aigner has been my teacher for the past three years and has helped me tremendously both as a chess player and a tournament director. Since the beginning of 2007, he has come more than 100 miles from Davis, California to play and also help me direct. I can easily say that without his help, none of this would be possible!  

Also, I would like to thank Colin Ma for his generous donation. Colin Ma is new to the chess community, only starting to play in tournaments since last year. Your altruistic gesture means a lot!

Congratulations to Steven Zierk  for winning the section outright  , defeating National Master Richard Koepcke and only yielding a draw versus his teacher, Michael Aigner. The SVC5 has only been one of the numerous successes Steven has encountered while his rating has skyrocketed from 1550 to 2246 over the past two years. Good luck to Steven as he travels to Dallas, Texas for the Denter Tournament of Champions and US Open.


Kudos also to Evan Ye (photo at left) for taking the U1700 prize with an incredible 3-1 score. After losing to Mr. Koepcke in the first round, Evan easily defeated one C player and two B players. The result was a rating jump of nearly 100 points from 1576 to 1669. Second place was a six-way tie between Brian Wai, Daniel Liu, Alex Radu, Daniel Zheng, Eric Xu, and Partha Vora.

The U1600 section was rather small with only nine players. Congratulations to Pranav Nagarajan for winning with a 4-0 score. Kiarash Mavandad, John Canessa, Micah Pruyn Goldstein, and Andrew Couse also won money prizes.


Fremont Open

IM Ricardo DeGuzman and newcomer Damien Vincent ( who earned a provisional rating of 2296) tied for first in the 36-player Fremont Open held August 2-3 at 3 1/2 from 4. DeGuzman was held to a draw in round three by Expert Jason Mueller who also split the point in the last round with Andy Lee. Joining Mueller in a tie for third with three points were Lee ( who also drew with Expert Larry Snyder) and rapidly improving Yian Liou, who at 11 is rated 2029.


Tournament organizer Ken Zowal writes:


See the link below for photos from the 2008 Fremont Open, courtesy of the Incomparable Richard Shorman.  Thank you, Richard!



Steve Gaffagan, David Petty and Steven Krasnov are tied for the lead with 3 1/2 from 4 with two rounds remaining in the 30-player Josh Friedel Friday Night Marathon at the Berkeley Chess Club. Krasnov defeated top-seed Larry Snyder in a game he was justifiably proud of.

Krasnov,Steven - Snyder,Larry [D80]
Josh Friedel Marathon, Berkeley 2008


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.h4


GM Cebalo likes to use this move.




Dembo, in her recent book on the Grunfeld praises 4...c5.


5.e4 Nc6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Bxc4 Nb6 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.Nf3 a6 10.Be2 Bg4 11.Be3 Nd5?!


This move in conjunction with the trades on e3 and f3 costs Black a lot of time. Simply 11...Bg7 offers satisfactory play.


12.Qb3 Nxe3?! 13.fxe3 Bxf3?! 14.Bxf3 Qc8 15.0-0 Nd8


15...e6  is also no picnic - 16.Nd5 Bg7 17.Nf6+ Bxf6 18.exf6 0-0 19.Rac1 with a big advantage.


16.Rac1 e6 17.Ne4 Be7 18.Nd6+! Bxd6 19.exd6 c6 20.e4 e5 21.dxe5 0-0 22.h5


The immediate plan to attack f7 with 22.Be2 was to be considered. Black would have to play 22...Qe6 and suffer.


22...Re8 23.hxg6 hxg6 24.Be2! Rxe5 25.Bc4 Qd7 26.Rf6 b5?


Larry has been hanging tough but misses his last chance to resist with 26...Ne6 though 27.Bxe6 Rxe6 28.Rxe6 fxe6 29.Qg3 leaves White clearly on top.





This gets the job done but 27.Bxf7+ Nxf7 28.Rcf1 Rf8 29.Rxf7 Rxf7 30.Rxf7 Qxf7 31.d7 was prettier. Also winning was 27.Rxg6+ Kh7 28.Rg7+ Kxg7 29.Qg3+ Kh7 30.Qxe5 bxc4 31.Rc3.


27...Qa7+ 28.Kf1 bxc4 29.Qxe5 Qe3 30.Rc3 Qd2 31.Rh3 Ne6 32.Rh8+ Kxh8 33.Rf2+ 1-0


Yes, 33.Rxg6+ mated in three but the text wins faster.


Chess Instructor wanted:


Fun & Educational Club.  JOB Openings: Chess instructor for South Bay, San Jose, Campbell, Los Gatos and Sunnyvale

We are looking for the individuals who:

  • have previous experience working with children ages 5 – 12 , passionate about chess, available after 3 PM during the week to teach on school campuses, have own transportation, reliable
  • Please email to faec_chess @


5) Americans Abroad


Standings after 5 round in the FIDE Grand Prix in Sochi where Gata Kamsky represents the United States.

1-3. Radjabov, Cheparinov and Grischuk - 3,
4-12. Gashimov, Svidler, Gelfand,Jakovenko,
Kamsky, Wang Yue, Al-Modiahki, Ivanchuk and Aronian - 2½,
13. Karjakin - 2,
14. Navara - 1½.

Larry Christiansen, Luis Javier Bernal Moro and Joel Benjamin shared 1st place in the Curacao Chess Festival 2008 with 7 from 9. Bernal Moro, who was leading throughout and made a GM norm, lost in the last round to Dutch IM Thomas Willemze while the husband and wife team of Daniel Fridman and Anna Zatonskih, lost respectively to Joel and Larry.




6) Spice Cup


The SPICE Cup takes place September 19th-28th 2008 at the Texas Tech Student Union Building. Eugene Perelshteyn is the defending champion.

Official website:


SPICE Cup , 19-28 ix 2008. Category 15 (2605)






Alexander Onischuk





Harikrishna Pentala





Leonid Kritz





Varuzhan Akobian





Gregory Kaidanov





Julio Becerra Rivero





Victor Mikhalevski





Kamil Miton





Hannes Stefansson





Eugene Perelshteyn





7) Upcoming Events


Mechanics' Events

Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 9
Bernardo Smith Amateur - August 16-17
Howard Donnely Memorial - September 20
J.J. Dolan Memorial - October 11
Carroll Capps Memorial - November 8-9
Pierre Saint-Amant Memorial - November 22
Jim Hurt Memorial - December 6-7
Guthire McClain Memorial - December 13

Aug. 30-Sept. 1   2008 CalChess Labor Day Championships   GPP: 15   California Northern

6-SS, 30/90, SD/1 (2-day option rds 1-3 G/60); Golden Geteway Holiday Inn. Van Ness at Pine, San Francisco. $$B 160 paid entries (not counting free or unrated entries). Six Sections: Master $700-$400-$250 U2400 $250; Expert $380-$200-$150. "A" $380-$200-$150. "B" $380-$200-$150. "C" $380-200-150. "D/E" $380-$200-$150 U1200 $150. Unr: Trophy First. Trophy to top finisher (State Champion) in each section. All, EF: postmarked by 8/25 $70 (Jrs. $60). $80 at site (Jrs. $70). Unrateds $20 in the D/E section or may play up to the Master section for the regular fee. $5 discount to CalChess members. USCF memb. req'd. May play up one section for add'l $10 (Jrs $5). GM/IM free entry. Reg.: Sat 8/30 8-9:30am, Sun 8/31 8:15-9:15am. RDS.: Choice of schedules- 3-day, 2-day merge at round 4, all compete for the same prizes. 3-day schedule Sat 10:00-4:00; Sun 11:00-4:45; Mon 10:00-3:30. 2-day schedule Sun 9:30-11:45- 2:00-4:45; Mon 10:00-3:30. 1/2 pt bye(s) any round(s) if requested in advance (byes rds 5-6 must be requested before rd 1). 2008 August Ratings List, CCA minimums and Directors discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible. Please bring clocks and equipment. HR: Golden Gateway Holiday Inn (415)-441-4000. INFO: Richard Koepcke (650)-224-4938. Ent: Richard Koepcke, P.O. Box 1432, Mountain View, CA 94042. No Phone entries. Master Section FIDE Rated. WCL JGP.

A Heritage Event!
Aug. 30-Sept. 1   30th Annual Southern California Open   GPP: 50  

6SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day schedule rds 1-3 G/60, then merges). Pasadena Hilton, 168 South Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101. $$10,000 b/200, 60% of each prize guaranteed. In two sections: Open: $$T+1700-1000-800-450-300, U2400 400, U2300 200, U2200 600-300, U2000 $$600-300. Amateur (Under 1800/unr): $$T+750-400-200-150-100, U1600 $$500-300-200-100, U1400 $$300-150, U1200 100, Unr 100. (Unrated may win Unr. prize only in this section.) Best game prize $25, both sections eligible. All: half-pt bye available in rds 1-4 if requested with entry, limit 2. SCCF membership req ($18, jr. $10), OSA. No checks or credit cards at door. SCCF Annual Membership Meeting: 2:30 p.m. Sept. 1. Reg.: 3-day 8:30-9:45 a.m. 8-30. 2-day 8:30-9:30 a.m. 8-31. Rds: 3-day: 10:30-5 Sat -Sun, 10-4:30 Mon. 2-day: 10-12:15-2:30 Sun, then merges. EF: $83 if rec'd by 8-29, $95 door, U1400/unr. $67 by 8-29, $80 door. Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038. On-line entry: HR: $129, 626-577-1000 or 1-800-HILTONS, use group code CHESS. Reserve by Aug. 8 or rates will go up. Parking $9/day. Info: NS, W, F. State Championship Qualifier. WCL JGP.

Sept. 27   Exchange Bank Fall Classic   GPP: 6   California Northern

4 Rd Swiss, G/60. Exchange Bank, Andrew J Shepard Building, 444 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa CA 95403. In 3 Sections Open: Open to all. $$GTD: $250-175. Reserve: Open to 1500-1899. $$GTD: $200-125. Booster: Open to under 1500. $$GTD: $150-100. ALL: EF: $35 in advance, $40 after Sept. 20, 2008. Reg.: 8:30-9:30am. Rds.: 10:00am-12:30pm-3:00pm-5:30pm. ENT: Mike Goodall, 461 Peachstone Terrace, San Rafael, CA 94903-1327. INFO: (415)491-1269. Bring equipment, none provided. No phone or e-mail entries. Unrated must play in Open Section. NS NC W.


Heritage Event!
An American Classic!

Oct. 17-19  
26th Annual Sands Regency Reno-Western States Open   GPP: 200 Enhanced   Nevada

6SS.40/2,20/1,SD/30. Sands Regency Hotel/Casino, 345 N. Arlington Ave., Reno, NV 89501. 1-800-648-3553 or (775) 348-2200. $$40,000 b/400, Gtd. $$25,850-$3500-2000-1500-1000-800-700-600-600-500-500 in Open Section plus 1/2 of all other prizes. 7 Sections: OPEN: EF: GMs & IMs free (enter by 10/1 or pay late fee), Masters $133, (2000-2199)-$151, (1999-below)-$201. $$ Prizes 1-10 listed above, 2499-below) $1000, (2399-below) $1000-600-400, (2299-below) $1000-600-400. If a tie for 1st overall then 2 (G/10) playoff for $100 from prize fund. (Note: GM/IM w/free entry not eligible for class prizes 2499 and below, may elect to pay entry fee and become eligible). EXPERT: (2000-2199) EF: $132. $$1800-900-500-400-300-200 (under 2100)- $600."A" Sec. (1800-1999) EF: $131, $$1700-900-500-400-300-200-200."B" Sec. (1600-1799) EF: $130, $$1,600-800-500-300-200-200-200. "C" Sec. (1400-1599) EF: $129, $$ 1,400-700-400-300-200-200-200. "D" Sec. (1200-1399) EF:$128, $$1,000-500- 400-300-200-200-200."E" Sec. (1199-below) EF: $65 ("E" Sect. entries count as 1/2 paid player toward prize fund),$$500-400-300-200-100-100-100. (Unrated Players) EF: Free + must join USCF or increase membership for 1 additional year thru this tournament ($49 adults,$25 juniors) Prizes: Top unrated in "D" & "E" Sections wins 1 yr. USCF membership plus trophy. Note: Adult unrated will be put in "D" Sect., Junior unrated in "E", unless requested to play up. Seniors additional prizes (65+) $$400-200-100 (Srs not eligible: provisionally rated, unrated, masters & E Sect); Club Championship $$1000-500-300-200 decided by total score of 10 (and only 10) players from one club or area (not eligible - GMs, IMs, "E" Sec., or unrated). Trophies to Top 3 (A-E Sections). ALL: EF $11 more if postmarked after 10/1 and $22 more if postmarked after 10/11 or at site. Do not mail after 10/11 or email after 10/15. $20 off EF to Srs (65+) and Jrs 19/under (E sect. not eligible). Players may play up. Unrated players not eligible for cash prizes except Open 1-10. Provisionally rated players may win up to 50% of 1st place money except open Section 1-10. CCA ratings may be used. Note pairings not changed for color alternation unless 3 in a row or a plus 3 and if the unlikely situation occurs 3 colors in a row may be assigned. Reg.: (10/16) 5-9 pm, (10/17) 8:30-10 am. Rds.: 12-7, 10-6, 9:30-4. Byes available any round (2 byes max.) if requested before 1st round. SIDE EVENTS: Wed.(10/15) 7pm Clock Simul, (40/2, G/1) (Including an analysis of YOUR game.GM Sergy Kudrin $30 (A great value!). Thursday(10/16) 5:30 "Yermo" champagne reception, 6-7:30 pm GM Larry Evans lecture -Free, 7:30 Simul (only $20!) GM Alex Yermolinsky, 7:30 Blitz (5 min) Tourney ($20). Sat 10/18 (3-4:30pm) GM Larry Evans Clinic(Game/Position Analysis) - Free. Sun. (10/19) Quick Tourney (G/25) 5 Rd. Swiss ($20) (12 (Noon)-5pm) 80% of entries returned as prizes. ENT: Make checks payable and send to: SANDS REGENCY (address above) HR: $34! (Sun-Thurs) & $54 (Fri-Sat) + 13.5% tax. (mention CHE1016 & reserve by 10/4 to guarantee room rates.) INFO: Jerry Weikel, (775) 747 1405, or website: (also go here to verify entry). FIDE .W. WCL JGP.