Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #427


During my lessons I constantly emphasize the importance of open files and activity of the pieces. Unfortunately, the majority of club players worry more about such things as doubled pawns and weak squares, rather than worrying about the fact that their pieces are passive.


Gregory Kaidanov ( Chess Life  January  2009 page 30)


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Kraai-Milman, Berkeley International

3) Top Bay Area FIDE Rated Players

4) Candidates for the USCF Executive Board

5) Nike and Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program

6) Copper State International

7) Upcoming Events


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

Congratulations to NM Michael Aigner and Expert Dmitry Vayntrub who tied for first in the 59 (!) player 9th Annual Bob Burger Open held last Saturday. The turnout was  close to a record for the MI's monthly G/45 events which have been running for close to a decade. Just behind the winners score of 4.5-.5 was a large group with four points headed by IM Ricardo DeGuzman and newcomer Arjoe Barros Loanzen who knocked each other out of contention in the last round.



Loanzon,Arjoe (2330) - DeGuzman,Ricardo (2396) B33

Bob Burger Open San Francisco (5), 2009

 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 Be7 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.Nc4 Be7 11.Nd5 Be6 12.Ncb6 Rb8 13.c3 0–0 14.Be2 Bg5 15.Qd3 Ne7 16.0–0 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.Qxd5 Qb6 19.Rab1 Rbc8 20.Rfd1 Be7 21.Rd3 Rc5 22.Qb3 Qc6 23.Bf3 g6 24.Rbd1 Kg7 25.Rd5 Rxd5 26.Rxd5 Qc7 27.Rd3 b5 28.g3 Qb6 29.Kg2 Rc8 30.a4 Rc5 31.h4 h5 32.Bd1 Qc6 33.Rf3 Bf6 34.Re3 a5 35.axb5 Qxb5 36.Qa2 Qb7 37.Bb3 Rb5 38.Bd5 Rxb2 39.Qxa5 Qb6 40.Qxb6 Rxb6 41.c4 Ra6 42.Rb3 Ra7 43.Rb7 Rxb7 44.Bxb7 Bd8 45.Bc8 Bb6 46.f4 Kf6 47.f5 g5 48.hxg5+ Kxg5 49.Kf3 Kf6 50.Bb7 Ba5 51.Bc6 Ke7 52.Bd5 Bd2 53.Bc6 Bg5 54.Ba4 Kd8 55.Kf2 ½–½


Here is another game by newcomer Loanzon.


Vickers,Keith (2200) - Loanzon,Arjoe (2330) A40

Bob Burger Open San Francisco (4), 2009

1.e3 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.exd4 Nf6 4.Bd3 Be7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.0–0 Nc6 7.c3 d5 8.Bf4 Bg4 9.Nbd2 Nh5 10.Be3 f5 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 g6 13.Bh6 Rf7 14.Rfe1 Nf6 15.Qe3 Ne4 16.f3 Ng3 17.Nf1 Nh5 18.Bb5 Bh4 19.Bxc6 bxc6 20.Re2 f4 21.Qe6 Qd7 22.b4 Rc8 23.a4 Qxe6 24.Rxe6 Rf6 25.Rxf6 Bxf6 26.Nh2 Re8 27.Ng4 Kf7 28.b5 g5 29.bxc6 Re6 30.Rb1 Rxc6 31.Bxg5 Bg7 32.Rb5 Rxc3 33.Rxd5 Ng3 34.Bxf4 Ke6 35.Rg5 Bxd4+ 36.Kh2 Ne2 37.Be5 Bg1+ 38.Kh1 0–1


White's scoresheet stops here indicating he likely lost on time at this point. After 38.Kg1 Rc1 39.Rh5 Black has a draw by perpetual check but nothing more.  


IM Walter Shipman leads a large group of players with perfect scores after two rounds of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon.

The following except comes from Michael Aigner's excellent blog - Michael highlights the Bay Area's newest rated Master, 16-year-old Fremont High School student Rohan Agarwal, who went over 2200 with a fine result in the North American Open in Las Vegas. 

The following crush from Las Vegas illustrates Rohan's attacking style. He chooses to mix it up against the iconic IM Emory Tate out of Philidor's defense. The sly IM quickly got an inferior position (16.Nb1 simply admits failure) and it went downhill from there. White's retreat 21.Bg2 lost instantly to Nxg2 followed by an invasion along the h-file.

IM Emory Tate (2390) vs Rohan Agarwal (2196)
2008 North American Open (2)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c4 f5 4. d3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. Be2 O-O 7. c5 Nc6 8. cxd6 Qxd6 9. O-O a6 10. a3 Be6 11. Ng5 Nd4 12. Nxe6 Qxe6 13. exf5 Qxf5 14. Be3 Rad8 15. Bxd4 exd4 16. Nb1 Nd5 17. Bf3 Nf4 18. Be4 Qg5 19. g3 Rd6 20. Nd2 Rh6 21. Bg2 Nxg2 22. Kxg2 Qf5 23. h4 Bxh4 24. g4 Qf4 25. Ne4 Bxf2 26. Rh1 Rg6 27. Kh3 h5 28. Qe2 Rxg4 29. Qxf2 Qxf2 0-1

IM Sam Shankland had another good result in Las Vegas defeating one of America's top juniors in the following game. 

Hess,Robert (2544) - Shankland,Samuel (2425) [B20]
North American Open Las Vegas (4), 2008

1.e4 c5 2.d3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.f4 e6 6.Nf3 Nge7 7.0-0 0-0 8.c3 d6 9.Be3 b6 10.Bf2 Bb7 11.Na3 Qd7 12.Qd2 f5 13.Rad1 e5 14.b4 Rae8 15.Rfe1 exf4 16.gxf4 Bh6 17.Be3 Nd8 18.bxc5 bxc5 19.Nc4 Ne6 20.Rf1 Ba6 21.Ng5 fxe4 22.Bxe4 Bxg5 23.fxg5 d5 24.Ne5 Qd6 25.Ng4 dxe4 26.Nf6+ Rxf6 27.gxf6 Nf5 28.Qg2 Kf7 29.dxe4 Bxf1 30.Rxd6 Bxg2 31.exf5 Nf8 32.Bxc5 Bh3 33.fxg6+ Nxg6 34.Kf2 Bg4 35.Bxa7 Ra8 36.Bd4 Rxa2+ 37.Kg3 Be6 38.Rb6 Bd5 39.Bf2 h5 40.h4 Rc2 0-1

Congratulations also goes to 15-year-old Stephen Zierk who went over 2300 in Las Vegas.

Don't miss visiting the Mechanics' on Tuesday, January 27. IM Sam Shankland will be awarded his Falconer prize at 5 pm and then Sam (for his IM title) and newly minted GMs Josh Friedel and Vinay Bhat will be awarded their medals and certificates from FIDE recognizing these outstanding achievements. Finally Vinay will give a talk on his recent trip to play in India.

2) Kraai-Milman, Berkeley International

The Berkeley International did not have a prize for best theoretical novelty but if it did El Cerrito GM Jesse Kraai would have been a strong contender with the following effort.

Kraai,Jesse (2502) - Milman,Lev (2488) [E04]

Berkeley International (10), 2008

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Nc6

 5...a6 6.0–0 Nc6 Is the more typical moveorder.

 6.0–0 Rb8 7.Nc3 a6

 7...b5 might seem to save a move but 8.Ne5 is possible.

 8.e4 Be7 9.Qe2 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qxd4 11.Rd1 Qc5

GM Avrukh in his new book 1.d4: Volume 1(Quality Chess 2008) recommends to meet 11...Qb6 with 12.Qxc4 e5 13.Na4 Qc6 14.Qxc6+ bxc6 15.Be3 with excellent compensation for the pawn in Black's crippled queenside structure.


The immediate 12.e5 is also possible.

12...Qa5 13.Bd2

 Not 13.Qxc4 as after  13...e5 Black is doing fine.

 13...Qc5 14.e5 Nd7 15.Ne4 Qxe5

15...Qb5 may be the most critical line and is extensively analyzed by Avrukh.


16.Bf4 Qa5 17.Qxc4 e5 18.Bg5 is Avrukh's main line following previously seen analysis in the New in Chess Yearbook series. The text appears to be a novelty by Jesse.


16...Qb5 17.Bxg7 (17.a4 Qf5 18.Qxc4 0–0 19.Qxc7 is like the game but with a4 thrown in.) 17...Rg8 18.Bc3 leaves Black's queenside pawn mass intact but his King a little drafty.

17.Qxc4 0–0

17...c5 18.Bxg7 Rg8 19.Bc3 b5 was possible but after  20.Qe2 there is no denying Whites compensation for the pawn and excellent practical chances.

18.Qxc7 Bd8 19.Qd6 b5

The slower 19...Re8 allows 20.Qd2 Be7 21.Nd6 Bxd6 22.Qxd6 with two raking Bishops and control of the d-file offering more than enough compensation for the slight material deficit.


Another plan was to transfer the Knight to d6. For example 20.Qd2 Nf6 21.Nd6 Qh5 22.Re1 Bc7 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.Rac1 with roughly equal chances.

20...Bb6 21.Qd2

21.Qf4 Qxf4 22.gxf4 Rd8 23.Bd6 is also worth investigating.


21...Nc5 22.Nd6 Qe5 23.Rac1 Rd8 24.Bc3 Qh5 25.Qf4 e5 returning the pawn to complete development might be Black's best try though I think White still retains some edge.

22.Be7 Re8 23.Nd6 1–0


3) Top Bay Area FIDE Rated Players

Thanks to Michael Aigner for putting together this list.


  1. GM Josh Friedel 2511

  2. GM Jesse Kraai 2506

  3. GM Vinay Bhat 2495

  4. IM Sam Shankland 2453

  5. GM Walter Browne 2435

  6. IM David Pruess 2422

  7. IM Andrei Florean 2420

  8. IM John Donaldson 2411

  9. IM Vladimir Mezentsev 2403

  10. IM Ricardo DeGuzman 2402

  11. FM Vladimir Strugatsky 2397

  12. IM Dmitry Zilberstein 2393

  13. FM Daniel Naroditsky 2362

  14. FM Elliott Liu 2356

  15. IM John Grefe 2348

  16. FM Shiv Shivaji 2308

  17. NM Julian Landaw 2286

  18. NM Gregory Young 2264

  19. NM Steven Zierk 2259

  20. FM Bela Evans 2258

  21. NM Nicolas Yap 2255

  22. NM Andy Lee 2240

  23. NM Daniel Schwarz 2228

  24. Michael Aigner 2227

  25.  25.IM Walter Shipman 2220

Top Juniors

  1. IM Sam Shankland 2453

  2. FM Daniel Naroditsky 2362

  3. NM Gregory Young 2264

  4. NM Steven Zierk 2259

  5. NM Rohan Agarwal 2190

  6. NM Nicholas Nip 2150

  7. Alan Naroditsky 2133

  8. Evan Sandberg 2131

  9. Adarsh Konda 2115

  10. Michael Zhong 2113

  11. Adam Goldberg 2008

  12. Louiza Livschitz 1963


4) Candidates for the USCF Executive Board

The 11 candidates in alphabetical order are:

Mike Atkins
Jim Berry
Bill Goichberg
Ruth Haring
Eric Hecht
Mikhail Korenman
Brian Lafferty
Blas Lugo
Brian Mottershead
Mike Nietman
Sam Sloan

A few signed petitions were received for Beatriz Marinello and David Quinn. However, no filing fee or statement of intent to run from either of these individuals was received, so these individuals have not met the requirements for being certified as a candidate in the election.

Once the office has completed the process of verifying the signatures, a double-blind random drawing will be held at the office to determine the order the names will be placed on the ballot, which will also be the order that the candidate statements will appear in Chess Life.
Mike Nolan, Chair, USCF Election Committee


5) Nike and Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program


Dear USCF Affiliate,

We received the information below about grants awarded to teachers through
the Nike and Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program.  We appreciate the efforts
of Joe Lux to pass this along to our members who might be able to connect to
existing or new scholastic chess programs.


Grant Awards

Nike and Michael Jordan award grants to teachers from $1,000 to $2,500 who
have programs geared to the concept of excellence, excelling, and playing
your best game everyday. The schools must have over 50% of the student body
on free or reduced lunch programs. This tends to be Federal Title I schools.

A few years ago USCF members Ken and Kevin Olenwalder applied for an
afterschool chess program at Ferris High School, Jersey City, NJ that
already existed. They were awarded a total of $5,000 for the Chess Club.
What better an area of study for excelling competitively than chess!

You can find Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program at

Ken and Kevin are allowing other teachers to see their successful grant
application. They are also willing to review your application for ideas.

Contact Joe Lux at to receive the successful
application for ideas, and to contact Ken and Kevin.

The deadlines for applications is April 15, 2009.
Jerry Nash, USCF Scholastic Director


6) Copper State International


Dear Chess Player,

The Copper State International will be a 10 round Swiss offering GM and IM norms.  Entry is limited to players rated FIDE 2200 and higher, although exceptions down to FIDE 2000 made be made by the organizer.

The tournament will take place in Mesa (Phoenix), Arizona from May 29-June 3, 2009, conveniently between two of the countries largest events, the Chicago Open and the National Open.

The time control for all games will be G/90 minutes plus 1 minute increment per move.  Most rounds (except the last) will be at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm per day.

Grand Masters = FREE (1st 5 GMs to register will receive $600.00 toward expenses)
International Masters rated over 2450 FIDE = FREE
Rated Under 2450 FIDE = $150.00
Rated Under 2350 FIDE = $225.00
Rated Under 2250 FIDE = $300.00

1st 5 Foreigners will receive $300 toward expenses. (Foreign GMs who commit within the first 5 will receive the full $900.00).

All additional players of foreign federation will receive $50 off the entry price listed for their rating class.

PRIZE FUND (All prizes are unconditionally guaranteed!!):
1st place: $2,000.00
2nd place: $1,500.00
3rd place: $1,000.00
Top U2500 FIDE: $500.00
Top U2400 FIDE: $500.00
Top U2300 FIDE: $500.00
Best Game Prize: $200.00
Brilliancy Prize: $200.00

For more information on this event, organized by Daniel Rensch of American Chess Events, please visit the tournament website at
Please contact Daniel at if you require more details.


7) Upcoming Events

MI Events - full details at

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:
(over 2199): $1600-900-500-300, clear or tiebreak winner $100, top U2300 $800-400. FIDE rated.
(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.
: $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).
$$1500 b/50, 80% of each prize guaranteed.
In two sections:
: $400-200-50, U2200 125, U2000 125.
(U1800) $$200-125, U1600 $100, Under 1400/unrated $100, U1200 $75.
: $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.
: 9-9:45 a.m.
: 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.
: $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).
.: 8:30-10 a.m. 2-14.
.: 11-6, 11-6, 10-4:30.
: $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.