Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #429

Smyslov was a practitioner, while Botvinnik was a researcher. Vasily Vasilievich played more intuitive chess. Botvinnik wanted to study all the nuances, and Smyslov's playing was like a stream of chess consciousness. Though in his best years his principle was quite simple: I make 40 good moves, and if my partner also makes 40 good moves, then there's a draw


Gary Kasparov


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) 2008 US Championship

3) Top Northern California Juniors by Michael Aigner

4) Regulations for the Training of Chess Arbiters

5) Here and There

6) Upcoming Events




1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


Last evening witnessed lots of action at the Mechanics'. The festivities started with Sam Shankland being presented a check for $2423 as the newest Falconer Award winner ( top rated junior player under 18 in Northern California) by Mechanics' Executive Director Jim Flack. Then Sam was presented his  FM and IM certificates and pins from FIDE for both titles. Next up were Vinay Bhat and Josh Friedel who received certificates and pins  as newly minted GMs to which GM Jesse Kraai quipped  "Now we are colleagues!". Vinay then gave an excellent talk on his games from a recently finished event in India.


Oleg Shaknazarov was the only winner on the top boards in the 4th round of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon and stands alone with 3 and a half points. Among those in large group half a point behind are IM Walter Shipman, Igor Margulis and Larry Snyder.



2) 2008 US Championship


For more information contact:
Mark Bretz, Slay & Associates
314-838-9371 or



Two dozen contestants will vie for $130,000 in prizes at new venue

ST. LOUIS, January 27, 2009  --  Two dozen of the nation's best chess players will be invited to participate in the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, which will be held at the new Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.  The tournament, which dates back to 1845, will take place from May 7 through 17, 2009 and will offer a purse of more than $130,000 in prize money.
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which Steve Goldberg of United States Chess Federation (USCF) Online calls "certainly one of the most impressive chess centers" in the country, opened in July 2008.  Founded by retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield, it already has nearly 500 members, surpassing its original goal of 300 for its first year of operation by 67 percent.
The 24 invited players will include:

  • the top 12 American players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
  • the top two female players by rating, using the April rating supplement; 
  • the 2008 U.S. Champion;
  • the 2008 U.S. Junior Closed Champion;
  • the 2008 U.S. Open Champion;
  • the 2009 U.S. State Champion of Champions;
  • a total of six wild card spots, to be determined later.

The winner will receive $35,000, with additional cash prizes awarded to all participants, including $2,000 to the last-place entrant.  Cash prizes will be divided equally among tied competitors.  Additionally, top youths from throughout America will be invited to compete.  Spectators will be welcome at the event.

The championship will be a 9-round event, using the Swiss system with one round per day and a rest day between rounds 5 and 6.  Time controls will be the classical 40 moves in two hours, with one hour allowed for all remaining moves.  Guest commentary will be provided by two world-class Grand Masters throughout the event.
"We are delighted to host the prestigious U.S. Chess Championship in our first full year of operation," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.  "It is exciting and gratifying for us to bring together the nation's best players at our first-class facility."
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization.  The club, which has welcomed nearly 500 members since its July 2008 opening, offers free classes for beginners, discounted tournament entry fees and discounted merchandise for club members.  For more information, please visit or call 314-361-CHESS.
The United States Chess Federation is the official, not-for-profit U.S. membership organization for chess players and chess supporters of all ages and strengths, from beginners to grand masters.  Founded in 1939 with the merger of the American Chess Federation and the National Chess Federation, USCF has grown to more than 80,000 members and nearly 1,200 affiliated chess clubs and organizations.  USCF sanctions 25 national championships award titles to both amateurs and professionals, ranging from elementary school students to senior citizens.  For more information, visit



3) Top Northern California Juniors by Michael Aigner



At the top, IM Sam Shankland (#7) does not require much of an introduction after winning both the CalChess State Championship and World Under 18 Championship . Besides Shankland, the most impressive player over the past four months was NM Steven Zierk (#30), who gained 74 USCF points since Labor Day, thereby cracking 2300. The two youngest masters in the Bay Area are also well known to readers of this blog: 13 year old FM Danya Naroditsky (#17) and 10 year old NM Nicholas Nip (#70).

These rankings are also the last hoorah for the previous generation of junior masters, those who have now gone off to college. For many years, NM Daniel Schwarz (#25), NM Nicolas Yap (#27), NM Matthew Ho (#40) and NM Drake Wang (#49) dominated the local scene. Now Daniel and Matthew attend Stanford University together FM Elliott Liu (#15) from San Diego and NM Vaishnav Aradhyula (#60) from Tucson. Go Stanford!!

  • #7 IM Sam Shankland (2441)
  • #15 FM Elliott Liu (2398) - attending Stanford University from Southern California
  • #17 FM Danya Naroditsky (2358)
  • #25 NM Daniel Schwarz (2316)
  • #27 NM Nicolas Yap (2315)
  • #30 NM Steven Zierk (2308)
  • #37 NM Julian Landaw (2292) - attending UC Berkeley from Southern California
  • #40 NM Matthew Ho (2281)
  • #49 NM Drake Wang (2262)
  • #51 NM Gregory Young (2249)
  • #60 NM Vaishnav Aradhyula (2225) - attending Stanford University from Arizona
  • #69 NM Rohan Agarwal (2212)
  • #70 NM Nicholas Nip (2211)



4) Regulations for the Training of Chess Arbiters



To all National Chess Federations
Dear chess friends,
the FIDE General Assembly in Dresden approved the REGULATIONS FOR THE TRAINING OF THE CHESS ARBITERS ( see : FIDE Handbook, B.05 : “Regulations for the titles of Arbiter”, paragraph 7, Annex 1 ) and the REGULATIONS FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE ARBITERS (  see : FIDE Handbook, B.05 : “Regulations for the titles of Arbiter”, paragraph=2 08, Annex 2 ).
            Regarding the REGULATIONS FOR THE TRAINING OF THE CHESS ARBITERS, actually they are in effect after Turin General Assembly (2006), but I would like to draw your attention to the Article 6.1, according which there will be examination fees for every participant in the Seminars and FIDE will invoice the organizing federation accordingly, after the approval of the report of the Seminar.
            Regarding the REGULATIONS FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE ARBITERS, the Arbiters’ Council kindly asks for the cooperation of all national chess Federations, in order to produce the lists of the Arbiters of every category and bring them for approval by the FIDE General Assembly or Executive Board, in the next Congress.
            For this purpose every Federation is kindly requested to produce the lists of their Active and Inactive International Arbiters (IA) and FIDE Arbiters (FA) and then to classify their Active IAs and FAs to Categories (A’, B’, C’ and D’), according to the approved regulations.
            All these lists shall be sent to the Arbiters’ Council ( Chairman: Panagiotis Nikolopoulos,, Secretary: Dirk De Ridder,, Member: Werner Stubenvoll, ), which will check the Federations’ proposals regarding the classification of their Arbiters, produce the  lists of all the Arbiters (from all federations) of every Category and present them in the next FIDE Congress (June 2009), for the final approval by the General Assembly (or Executive Board).
            The Federations are kindly requested to send their lists to the Arbiters’ Council until 10 May 2009.
            Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
            With best regards
            IA Panagiotis Nikolopoulos
FIDE Arbiters’ Council



5) Here and There



Gunnar Finnlaugsson checked in  "Skák" the Icelandic Chess Magazine and found the following;
1956 Skákþing Reykjavíkur (Reykjavík Chess Championship) Júlíus 5th to 8th in group II A with 4/9
1957 Haustmót Taflfélags Reykjavíkur (Reykjavík Chess Club Championship) group II 3rd 7.5/10
Unfortunately there were no games.
The Ivanchuk drug testing affair is over. FIDE reports:
Drug testing is still relatively rare in chess. However, it does occur in various official events and was carried out during the course of the Dresden Olympiad. Unfortunately, a high proportion of the tests were scheduled during the last round and there was a lack of personnel, which lead to a procedural error: there was not a designated Doping Control Officer present at this match (USA v Ukraine).

 After losing a crucial game for his country, Mr Ivanchuk was distraught. The Hearing Panel concludes that although the arbiter attempted to inform Mr Ivanchuk in English that he should accompany him for a doping test, Mr Ivanchuk apparently failed to understand the instructions, especially since English is not Mr Ivanchuk’s first language. If there had been a Doping Control Officer present, he would have immediately gone to Mr Ivanchuk’s board and there would have been communication between him and Mr Ivanchuk. In that case the outcome might have been different. Because there was no notification by the Doping Control officer, there was no refusal in the sense of the regulations.

 The Conclusion:

 The procedural error allied with Mr Ivanchuk’s state of mind led him unintentionally to miss the test. The Hearing Panel therefore concludes unanimously that there should be no penalty.



6) 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 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.


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