Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #426

I live in Chicago. I called up the Chicago Tribune to tell them that the USA won the bronze in the Chess Olympiad. They were not interested in the story. In contrast, the welcome that the Armenians received in their country for winning the gold was as if they had won a war.

Yuri Shulman

1) Mechanics Institute Chess Club News

2) Kacheishvili wins Berkeley International

3) Anna Zatonskih annotates (Dresden Olympiad 2008)

4) David Knudson seeks Republican Nomination for Governor of South Dakota

5) Mark Diesen (1957-2008)

6) Hugh Myers (1930-2008)

7) Herman Chiu (1953-2008)

8) Here and There

9) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics Institute Chess Club News

IM Walter Shipman is the top seed in the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon that just started. It's still possible to enter the 8 round event with a half point bye for the first round. 55 players are presently entered.

El Cerrito GM and Mechanics' member Vinay Bhat will be playing in the Parsvnath Open in India from January 11 to 19.

MI member IM Sam Shankland scored 5 from 7 at the North American Open in Las Vegas over the holidays. His score, which included a win over IM Robert Hess and a draw with GM Jaan Ehlvest, raised his USCF rating to 2441 from 2425.

The Peoples' Open will be held over President's Day Weekend in Berkeley at its historic site the UC Berkeley Student Union. This year's event will be a four rounder ( Sunday and Monday). Full details from organizer Richard Koepcke will soon be available.

The Continental Chess Association will be returning to Northern California this March with a big event in Concord. This will be the first major tournament in Contra Costa County since the 1996 US Open - incidentally held at the same hotel in Concord and also run by the CCA. See below under upcoming events for more information.

This Saturday the Mechanics will host the 9th Annual Bob Burger Open to recognize the well known Master, author and problem composer.

2) Kacheishvili wins Berkeley International

Georgian GM George Kacheishvili  won the 2008 Berkeley Masters held December 14th to 23rd at the Hillside School in Berkeley. This was the second strongest tournament ever held in the East Bay behind only the 1984 US Championship. The successful event, organized by IM David Pruess, saw IM norms earned by Daniel Rensch, Marc Esserman and Irina Zenyuk. The later, who just received her WIM title, also made a WGM norm.

Top scores:

1. GM Kacheishvili (GEO, 2572) - 7/10

2. GM Izoria (GEO, 2610) 7

3-5. IM Friedel (USA, 2498), IM/WGM Krush (USA, 2452) and FM Rensch (USA, 2354) - 6

3) Anna Zatonskih annotates (Dresden Olympiad 2008)

Newsletter 424 wrote about the Dresden Olympiad where both US teams medaled and mention was made of IM Anna Zatonskih who had a fantastic performance scoring 8 from 10 to win the gold medal on board two and narrowly miss a GM norm. We would like to thank Anna and Oklahoma Chess Quarterly editor Frank Berry for making the following game available. We would also like to take this opportunity to again thank the Kasparov Chess Foundation, title sponsor for the US teams the past three Olympiads.

IM Tatiana Kosintseva (2513)

IM Anna Zatonskih (2440)

38th Olympia Dresden GER (8) 2008


Our match vs. Russia was the most important of the whole Olympiad!  Russia was the number one seed in the Olympiad by rating and their team included the new world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and the 2007 European Champion Tatiana Kosintseva. We won 31! This gave us confidence that we could compete for medals. We were so close to winning against the Chinese team in the previous round (but we drew) so in this round we tried even harder.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6

The Petroff defence is now in my opening repertoire... since I met my husband who taught me to play it.

3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nc3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Nxe5 8.dxe5 Bc5

We are in a well known theoretical position. Putting the bishop on c5 usually leads to sharp positions with opposite sides castling. I played 8...Be7 in a previous game vs Tatiana Kosintseva.

9.Qh5 Be6 10.Rb1 Bb6 11.00 h6 12.Kh1

Tatiana wants to play f2- f4-f5. That is why she moved her king out of the pin. This plan is common to this type of position.

12...g6 13.Qe2 Qd7 14.Be3

14.f4 Bg4 15.Qe1 Bf5 16.Be3 00 (16...000).



 I want to exchange the most active white piece to neutralize a future attack. The problem is my king is still in the middle.

15.Qf3 000 16.a4

Another line goes 16.Bxf5 Qxf5 17.Qxf5+ gxf5 and I think black is slightly better here since white has more pawn islands. It is important that I can attack them in the future. White has most of her pawns on black squares but if white takes on b6 after axb6 I will have good chances to bring my rooks to the semi-open a-file and attack the a2 pawn. 



17.Bxb6 cxb6 18.Ra1 Qg4 19.Qe3?!

I think the Queen exchange was a better option for white 19.Qxg4 Bxg4 20.Rxa7 Kc7.

19...Bxd3 20.cxd3

Checking the team score I saw on boards 3 and 4 that we already had two draws. Irina on Board 1 had a completely unclear position. I think Kosintseva decided to play for an attack since she had two open files on my queen side. Russia wanted to win this match so that`s why Tatiana sac'd the a-pawn

 20...Kb8 21.f4

White needed to stop d4. If 21.Rfb1 then 21...d4.

21...Qe6 22.Ra3 Rc8 23.h3 Rhd8 24.Qd4 a6 25.g4 b5

So now I have neutralized her attack. My king is safe but it is still hard for black to win. Probably, I had more aggressive options but I wanted to play the most solid moves to make sure I will not spoil anything.

26.f5 Qe7 27.Raa1 g5

27... gxf5 28.Rxf5.



I wanted to play Qc5 and trade queens. So my opponent decided to "complicate" the game and so kept the queens on the board.

28...fxe6 29.Rae1 Rc6

29...Qc5 30.Rxe6 Black is better but I thought 29....Rc6 was the more solid move.

30.f6 Qf7=2 031.Rb1 Rf8 32.c4

Otherwise I will play e5 and take the pawn on f6.


32...bxc4 33.dxc4 dxc4

33.dxc4 bxc4 34.Rb4 e5 35.Qxe5+ Qc7 36.Qc3 Rf7 to block the pawn on f6. 37.Rbb1 Rd6 38.Qe5 Rd3 39.Qe8+ Ka7 0-1

I had won my game! I looked around to see that Irina was  up a rook on board one! I thought that the Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk had only tiny hopes for a perpetual check but she had no chance to win and equalize the match overall. So we won the match vs. ranked number one Russia! Soon IM Krush did win so the final score was 31. We were so happy!


4) David Knudson seeks Republican Nomination for Governor of South Dakota

Is there a governor who is a real chess player? Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a casual chess player , but not the serious kind who is a member of the USCF and plays in and organizes tournaments. So the answer is no at present but the situation may soon change. The Associated Press reported in late December that South Dakota State Senator Dave Knudson will run for governor.

Better known to chess players as the organizer of many Governor's Cup tournaments along with his wife De, the current South Dakota Senate majority leader said he has been considering running for
governor for a long time because he is interested in public policy.
"I feel like South Dakota has got a lot of serious problems. We need to confront those problems head-on and look for solutions," Knudson said. "I see myself as a problem-solving kind of person."

Knudson, 58, is a lawyer who served two temporary terms as chief of staff for South Dakota Gov. Bill Janklow in 1995 and 1999. He first won a seat in the Senate in 2002 and is now serving his fourth term, which means he will be term-limited in the Senate in 2010.

He said his top priorities are making sure K-12 education is properly funded, reducing property taxes, and emphasizing economic development and the role technical education plays in development.

His wife, De Knudson, is a member of the Sioux Falls City Council.

The 2010 race for governor will be wide open because Gov. Mike Rounds is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.

Those who wish to support Dave Knudson can contact him at 2100 East Slaten Court, Sioux Falls, SD 57103.



5) Mark Diesen (1957-2008)

Former World Junior Champion Mark Diesen passed away suddenly on December 9th in Conroe, Texas. Diesen, who came from a chess playing family (his cousin Bruce was a master, his father Carl an expert and his mother was a former Wisconsin Ladies Champion) learned to play at the age of 10. He first attracted notice in the chess world when a short article with a game and photo of him appeared in Chess Life in October of 1970 ( page 559) for winning the Maryland junior championship at the age of 12.

Mark's progress up the junior ranks was fast and he was soon the second strongest player under 21 in the United States behind only Larry Christiansen who he finished second to in the 1973 and 1975 US Junior Closed events. Diesen broke through in 1976 tying for first in arguably the strongest US Junior Closed ever held ( future GMs DeFirmian and Fedorowicz tied for last place) with Michael Rohde whom he defeated. This performance earned him the right to play in the World Junior Championship which he won. Mark's second, GM Lubos Kavalek, who coached him from 1975 to 1978, wrote a worthy tribute to the new champion in Chess Life and Review in the March and April 1977 issues. It was a very big deal as Mark had become, at that time, only the second US player after William Lombardy (1957) to win the title. Mark was on the cover of the March 1977 issue of Chess Life and Review  as well as June 1976 where he and his fellow Washington Plumbers (Kavalek, Bill Hook, John Meyer, Larry Gilden, Bob Eberlein, Sam Greenlaw and the late Charles Powell) celebrated their victory in the US Chess League.

Winning the World Junior was good for a lot of tournaments invitations in the late 1970s and Mark soon became a globetrotter and full-time chess player. Between 1977 and 1980 he played in The Netherlands, Spain, England, Venezuela, Poland ( twice) and Yugoslavia ( many times). During this time he raised his FIDE rating over 2450 ( the requirement for the GM title at the time) and earned one GM norm. Everything was going right for him to earn the title but then he had an accident at the 1980 US Championship in Greenville, Pennsylvania, which forced him to drop out of the event. This was to be Mark's last major tournament. Soon he went back to school graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He married and had children and worked as a reservoir engineer for Shell Oil, Pennzoil and Noble Energy. Mark returned to tournament play when he moved to Louisiana winning state titles there in 1986, 1987 and  1988. When he relocated to Texas in the early 1990s he won the Texas State Championship and  Southwestern Open titles and was also active in coaching. This was particularly true online where he found a second chess life. Searching for his games in  MegaData Base 2009 you will find that the fine "positional feel" that his old coach GM Kavalek had praised back in 1977, had not deserted Mark. There are numerous wins over strong GMs from this decade in blitz and rapid tournaments.


6) Hugh Myers ( 1930-208)

There is a fine tribute to the chess master, opening explorer and author Hugh Myers at the  ChessBase website ( ) .

7) Herman Chiu ( 1953-2008)

USCF Master Herman Chiu, who was Oregon chess co-champion in 1988, passed away in Corvallis, Oregon, on October 2008. Chiu, who grew up in New Jersey, but lived all over the United States, excelled in several areas. An awarding winning journalist (he had a PhD in journalism from the University of Missouri)  and researcher who wrote extensively about the early history of Chinese in Oregon and California, Chiu also won tournaments all over North America during a playing career that stretched over three decades.


8) Here and There

Newsletter reader Richard Reich of Madison, Wisconsin, writes:


I found an interesting web site,, that links to all kinds of archived material.  Regarding chess, they have scans of full years o f various old BCM's, Westminster Chess, Chess Chronicles, etc.
I am currently watching a very old movie I found there, "Scared Stiff," where Jack Haley (the Tin Man of Oz) is in a low-budget comedy. He's a chess-columnist who gets mixed up with hoodlums.

The new FIDE rating list has just been published. Topalov would be even higher if his victory in Nanjing in December had been counted on this list.

1. Topalov 2796
2. Anand 2791
3. Ivanchuk 2779
4. Carlsen 2776
5. Morozevich 2771
6. Radjabov 2761
7. Jakovenko 2760
8. Kramnik 2759
9. Leko 2751
10. Movsesian 2751
11. Aronian 2750

You will find an excellent biography of many-time Idaho state champion Glenn Buckendorf at

We recently received the following message and would be grateful to any reader who can supply us with more information about the Third Saturday tournaments which have received little public reporting.

Message from GM Bogdan Lalic

Hi, my friend grandmaster Sinisa Drazic told me to send this inquiry to your federation - he is organizing two tournaments in Novi Sad from 10th to 18th of January 2009  one is IM tournament and the other one is GM tournament, both are closed tournaments 10 players round robin. His e-mail is  thirdsaturday2002@zaho and

Please could you forward this e-mail to potential players interested to play in this tournament. Regards Bogdan Lalic.

9) Upcoming Events

MI Events - full details at

Bob Burger Open - January 10
Henry Gross Memorial - February 7
A.J. Fink Amateur Championship - March 14-15
Max Wilkerson Open - March 28
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 4-5
Imre Konig Memorial - April 18

Northern California 

People's Open ( Berkeley) February 15-16

Hans Poschmann Memorial ( Fremont) March 21-22

Southern California

January 16-19
Western Class Championships
7-SS, 40/2, SD/1 (3-day option, rds. 1-2 G/75; Class E & U1000 play 1/17-18 only, G/65). Renaissance Agoura Hills Hotel, 30100 Agou ra Road, Agoura Hills CA 91301.
$$20,000 based on 230 paid entries (re-entries, E, U1000 count as half entries), minimum $16,000 (80% each prize) guaranteed.
In 8 sections:
Master (over 2199): $1600-900-500-300, clear or tiebreak winner $100, top U2300 $800-400. FIDE rated.
Expert (2000-2199): $1400-700-400-200.
Class A (1800-1999): $1400-700-400-200.
Class B (1600-1799): $1400-700-400-200.
Class C (1400-1599): $1300-700-400-200.
Class D (1200-1399): $1200-600-300-200.
Class E (1000-1199): $600-300-200-100.
Under 1000: $600-300-200-100.
Rated players may play up one section. Unrated must play in A or below with maximum prize A $600, B $500, C $400, D $300, E $200, U1000 $100; balance goes to next player(s) in line.
EF: Top 6 sections: 4-day $114, 3-day $113 mailed by 1/9, all $115 online at by 1/13, $120 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 1/13 (entry only, no questions), $130 at site. Class E, Under 1000 Sections EF: $52 mailed by 1/9, $55 online at by 1/13 (entry only, no questions), $60 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 1/13, $70 at site.
All: free to unrated. Unofficial ratings based on 4 or more games usually used if otherwise unrated. Special 1 yr USCF dues with Chess Life if paid with entry: online at $30, mailed, phoned or paid at site $40. Re-entry (except Master) $60. SCCF memb. ($18, jr $10) required for rated Southern CA residents.
4-day schedule Reg:  Fri to 6:30 p.m., Rds Fri 7, Sat 11-6, Sun 11-6, Mon 10-4:30.
3-day schedule Reg: Sat to 10 a.m., Rds Sat 11-6, Sun 11-6, Mon 10-4:30.
Class E & U1000 schedule Reg: Sat to 9:30 a.m., Rds Sat 10-1-4-7, Sun 9-12-3.
All schedules: Byes OK all, limit 3, must commit before rd 3 and have under 2 pts.
HR: $87-87, 818-707-1220, reserve by Jan 2 or rate may increase. Free parking.
Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633.
Inf:, 845-496-9658.
Ent: Continental Chess, c/o Goichberg, Box 661776, Arcadia CA 91066. $15 service charge for withdrawals. Advance entries posted at
F. WCL JGP. GP: 80. State Championship Qualifier.

January 25
2009 Westwood Winter Open
5-SS, G/40. Los Angeles Chess Club, 11514 Santa Monica Blvd, LA, CA 90025, 2nd floor (4 blocks West of 405 Fwy).
$$1500 b/50, 80% of each prize guaranteed.
In two sections:
Open: $400-200-50, U2200 125, U2000 125.
Reserve (U1800) $$200-125, U1600 $100, Under 1400/unrated $100, U1200 $75.
EF: $47 if received by 1/24, $55 at site.
SCCF memb. ($18, under 18 $10) req. for rated S. CA residents. No checks or credit cards at site. Half point byes: limit 1, must be requested with entry.
Reg: 9-9:45 a.m.
Rds: 10-11:30-1:30-3:15-4:45.
2 Free Parking lots on the SW corner of Santa Monica & Purdue, or in the building basement ($3).
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Place #1, Los Angeles, CA 90038. On-line entry:
GP: 10. State Championship Qualifier.

February 14-16
26th Annual U.S. Amateur Team West
6-SS, 40/2, SD/1. Warner Center Marriott, 21850 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367.
Four-player teams plus optional alternate, average rating of four highest must be U/2200, diff. between bds. 3 & 4 may not exceed 1000. Dec. list used.
EF: $118 per team if received by 2-13, $30 individual (on line only), $136 at site, under age 18 $86 by 2-13, $100 site.
Trophies and 4 clocks to top 3 teams, U2100, U2000, U1800, U1600, U1400/unr. Trophies (1 large, 4 small) to top college, industrial, junior (under 18), Senior (over 55), U1200. Clocks to best score each board, alternate, and any 6-0. Gift certificate prizes for best team names (1st/2nd).
Reg.: 8:30-10 a.m. 2-14.
Rds.: 11-6, 11-6, 10-4:30.
HR: $119, 800-228-9290, ask for Western Chess. Reserve by Jan. 23 or rates may go up. Parking $6.
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N Wilton Place #1A, Los Angeles, CA 90038. On-line entry, help in forming teams, advance entry list:
2009 U.S. Amateur Team Playoff will be held March 21, 2009 on ICC.

Mar. 6-8 or 7-8   Western Chess Congress   GPP: 100 Enhanced   California Northern

5SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day option, rds. 1-2 G/75; U1100 & U900 sections are 6SS, 3/7-8 only, G/65). Concord Hilton Hotel, 1970 Diamond Blvd, Concord CA 94520 (I-680 Willow Pass Rd exit). Free shuttle between hotel and Concord BART station. Free parking. In 8 sections. $$G 20,000. Premier, open to all over 1950 and juniors under 18 over 1800: $1600-900-500-300, clear or tiebreak winner $100, top U2300 $800-400. FIDE. Under 2100: $1400-700-400-300. Under 1900: $1400-700-400-300. Under 1700: $1400-700-400-300. Under 1500: $1200-600-300-200. Under 1300: $1200-600-300-200. Under 1100: $600-300-200-100. Under 900: $600-300-200-100. Unrated must play in U1900 or below with maximum prize U1900 $600, U1700 $500, U1500 $400, U1300 $300, U1100 $200, U900 $100; balance goes to next player(s) in line. Top 6 sections EF: 4-day $119, 3-day $119, 2-day $118 mailed by 2/26, all $120 online at by 3/3, $125 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 3/3 (entry only, no questions), $140 at site. U1100, U900 Sections EF: $57 mailed by 2/26, $60 online at by 3/3 (entry only, no questions), $65 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 3/3, $70 at site. All: FREE TO UNRATED. Unofficial ratings based on 4 or more games usually used if otherwise unrated. Special 1 yr USCF dues with Chess Life if paid with entry: online at $30; mailed, phoned or paid at site $40. Re-entry (except Master) $60. Mailed EF $7 less to rated CalChess members. 3-day schedule: Reg. Fri to 6:30 pm, rds Fri 7:30, Sat 11-6, Sun 9-3:30. 2-day schedule: Reg Sat to 10 am, rds Sat 11-2:30-6, Sun 9:30-4. U1100 & U900 schedule: Reg. Sat to 11:30 am, rds. Sat. 12-3-6, Sun. 9-12:30-3:30. All schedules: Byes OK all, limit 2, must commit before rd 3 and have under 2 pts. HR: $99-99-109, 925-827-2000, reserve by 2/20 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633. Questions:, 845-496-9658. Ent: Continental Chess, c/o Goichberg, Box 661776, Arcadia CA 91066. $15 service charge for withdrawals. Advance entries posted at WCL JGP.