Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #410

Surprising your opponent can be effective but there is a danger. Every player develops a "feel" for the positions resulting from his regular openings; memorizing the theory of a new opening is not the same as having a close familiarity with the resulting positions.


                                                                          John Nunn




1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 

2) Jack O'Keefe (1930-2008)

3) A new Bobby Fischer game

4) Here and There

5) Upcoming Events



1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 


The 9th Annual Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial G/45 held last Saturday saw IMs Andrei Florean, Vladimir Mezentsev and Ricardo DeGuzman show up to battle for first but in the end top honors went to 18-year-old San Francisco college student Nicholas Yap who defeated Florean and DeGuzman on the way to scoring 5-0. This was an impressive performance by Yap who has played very little the past few years. We hope to see more of him.


Vladimir Mezentsev was second at 4.5 drawing DeGuzman in round four and defeating 19-year-old NM Drake Wang who was playing his first event since the 2006 US Open.


Top seeds NMs Michael Pearson and Andy Lee are among a large group with perfect scores after two rounds of the Irving Chernev Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon. It is still possible to enter the eight round event with half point byes for the first two games.


Northern California Top Ten under 21


1. Sam Shankland  2398  (age 16)

2. Daniel Naroditsky 2339 (12)

3. Nicolas Yap 2333 (18)

4. Matthew Ho 2281 (20)

5. Michael Pearson 2276 (20)

6. Daniel Schwarz 2249 (18)

7. Drake Wang 2247 (19)

8. Stephen Zierk 2237 (14)

9. Gregory Young 2227 (13)

10. Nicholas Nip 2207 (10)


NM Michael Aigner of Davis was the top Northern California scorer in the recent US Open in Dallas, tying for fifth with 7 from 9. IM Walter Shipman had 6.5 and NM Steven Zierk finished on 6 in the 375 player event in which GM Alex Shabalov and IMs Enrico Sevillano and Rade Milovanovic shared first with 8 points.


2) Jack O'Keefe (1930-2008)


NM Jack O'Keefe of Ann Arbor, MI, died on 31 July 2008 . A great chess historian, particularly knowledgeable about American chess and especially the annual US Opens, Mr. O'Keefe was always very generous in helping others. Nick Pope's book on Pillsbury and the works on Rubinstein by IMs Nikolay Minev and John Donaldson both benefited greatly from his assistance. He will be sorely missed.


You may find two photographs of Jack O'Keefe, provided by his granddaughter Carla Campbell, at Edward Winter' Chess Notes  - it's item #5708


An obituary has appeared in the Ann Arbor News -.



3) A new Bobby Fischer game


The ChessBase website ( ) has started an interesting series encouraging readers to submit previously unpublished simul games against famous Grandmasters.


The following game from Fischer's simul in Copenhagen was not in The Unknown Bobby Fischer by Tangborn and Donaldson which only has  Fischer's draw with NM Allan Jensen, who provides quite a bit of background on the event which was quite strong (see pages 187-188).



Game submitted by Palle Henriksen (Birkeroed, Denmark)

Mr Henriksen comments:

‘The game was played in the only simultaneous exhibition Fischer gave in Denmark (+27 – 7 =7). As far as I remember, only players of master strength were allowed to participate. I offered a draw at about move 40, but Fischer either did not hear it or refused. He had a strong will to win even in a simultaneous exhibition, and at move 46 I made the final error.

At the end of the display Fischer expressed the view that the Danish players were bad in the endgame. Perhaps this game inspired him to make that pronouncement. The chairman of the Copenhagen Chess Union told me later that Fischer had said that the game was the most interesting he had played in the exhibition, but I do not know if that is right.’

Robert James Fischer – Palle Henriksen
Copenhagen, 11 March 1962
Sicilian Defence

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 a6 6.Nd6+ Bxd6 7.Qxd6 Qf6 8.Qd1 Qg6 9.Nc3 Nge7 10.h4 h5 11.Rh3 Qg4 12.f3 Qg6 13.Kf2 Nd4 14.Be3 d5 15.Rg3 Qf6 16.exd5? Nef5 17.Ne4 Qb6 18.Bxd4 exd4?  19.Bd3 Nxg3 20.Nxg3 Bd7 21.Qe2+ Kf8 22.b3 Qf6 23.Qd2 g6 24.Qg5 Kg7?!  25.Ne4 Qxg5 26.hxg5 Bf5 27.Nf6 Bxd3 28.cxd3 Rac8 29.Re1 Rc2+? 30.Kg3 Rd8 31.Re7?b5 32.a4 bxa4? 33.bxa4 Rc5? 34.Ra7 Ra5 35.Kf4 Rxa4 36.Nd7 Ra2 37.Ne5 Rxd5 38.Rxf7+ Kg8 39.Rf6 a5 40.Nxg6!? Rd7! 41.Ne5 Ra7 42.g4 h4 43.Rh6 Rh7 44.Ra6 h3 45.Ra8+ Kg7 46.g6 Rh6?  47.Kg5 h2 48.Ra7+ Kf8 49.Kf6.Rxg6+ 50.Nxg6+ Ke8 51.Ne5 Kd8 52.Rh7+ 1-0

This game with notes by GM Karsten Mueller can be found at .


4) Here and There


On 8th August 2008 the Russian Chess Federation published the following announcement:

The traditional chess festival M. Tal Memorial will take place in Moscow (GUM, Exhibition Hall- very close to Red Square) from 17 August (arrival date) to 31 August (departure date).
It will consist of two parts: a classical chess round robin tournament of ten top GMs, viz. V.Kramnik, A.Morozevich, E.Alekseev, V.Ivanchuk, A.Shirov, G.Kamsky, R.Ponomariov, Sh.Mamedyarov,P.Leko, B.Gelfand, and the Tal Cup Blitz tournament (qualification 27 and 28 Aug, final 29 and 30 Aug).

The classical tournament will be played with the FIDE time control, i.e.2 hours for the first 40 moves, 1 hour for the next 20 moves and another 15 minutes for the rest of the game with
an increment of 30 seconds per move starting with move 61. The first round will be played on 18 Aug, the last round - 27 Aug, the rest day - 23 Aug. Each round starts at 3 p.m.
The prize fund of each part of the Tal Memorial amounts to $100,000, i.e. $200,000 for the whole event.

Former US Champion Lubos Kavalek, who turned 65 on August 9, is one of the great men of American chess. A several time medal winner for US Olympiad teams and one of only a handful of US players to be rated in the top ten in the world,  Kavalek is also the author of several excellent works on the game including Wijk aan Zee 1975, judged by NM Dennis Fritzinger to be one of the greatest tournament books of all time. Many will also remember his organizing the World Cup series for the GMA and seconding Nigel Short all the way to a World Championship match, but few will also know that Kavalek was Bobby Fischer's bowling coach. This might seem a little strange title as Kavalek has only bowled a few times in his life but there is a logical explanation as Lubos explains:

I was Bobby's "bowling coach" in Reykjavik in 1972. This is what the invitation to the closing ceremony said. Although I worked with Bobby from game 12 till the end of the match as his second, Bill Lombardy, who worked with him earlier, still had the official title. So, they invented "bowling" for me. We went bowling to the U.S. Army base in Keflavik often. I believe that Bobby's average was over 200, but how much over, I don't remember. Bowling was not my cup of tea after all. 



Leonard Barden and George Koltanowski are the two iron men of chess columnists but an honorable mention goes to Harold Lundstrom  who wrote from Dec 26, 1948 until about 1990 for the Desert News of Salt Lake City.


The American Chess Journal of February 1877 on page 152 writes that Mr. Jas. Mason will make a trip to California, giving exhibitions along the way. Does anyone know if he made it to San Francisco?

Mechanics' member Steven Gaffagan writes:


Hello John,

Many lectures ago you were showing a game you played with Black. Toward  the end you had split pawns on b2 and d2. You asked whether there is a way to search for such complex themes. Were you aware of CQL? CQL stands for chess query language. One way it is used is to check the originality of study themes.

I stumbled upon the following:

You can specify complex themes, parameters, etc. and search pgn databases. CQL searches are also integrated into the commercial version of Chess Assistant:

This method of searching is far more powerful than the ChessBase search mask. On the other hand, before you apply it you must spend some time learning it.



IM Blas Lugo writes:

Dear over the board player:


You can still save money in your entry fee for this very exciting tournament by registering before the end of August 2008.

Save money in your Registration  for the Miami Chess Open "featuring: $ 100,000  dollars prize fund" for more information visit:

 Don’t  miss this great chess event, featuring:

·         Blitz Tournament

·         Free Grandmasters Lectures

·         Free Grandmasters Simultaneous exhibitions and many other side events.  

  Act Now!

  Best regards,

  Blas Lugo

 Tournament Organizer



5) 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.