Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #432

It was clear to the committee that someone who regularly knocks down flower pots, or threatens to throw himself down an apartment building’s stairwell after a defeat, can hardly be expected to follow a total stranger to pee in a pot. Moreover, what kind of doping where they looking for? Extraordinary love for chess cannot be captured in a test tube.
Gert Ligterink
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Clubs News
2) Nigel Eddis 1936-2009
3) Kamsky-Topalov Match
4) Pruess wins Peoples Open
5) Three way tie in Stillwater
6) Upcoming Events
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Clubs News
Larry Snyder defeated tournament leader Oleg Shakhnazarov and Igor Margulis beat Christopher Bambou to jointly take the lead with 5.5 from 7 with one round remaining in the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon. The two leaders, who are half a point ahead of a large group on 5 points, will meet in the last round.
GM Vinay Bhat hasn't got his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone yet, but his mug can be found in the most recent New in Chess Yearbook(#89) where Cuban IM Jose Vilela has written a theoretical article on their battle in the Exchange Slav at Balaguer in 2008.
IM Sam Shankland, FM Daniel Naroditsy and Alan Naroditsky all scored 4 from 6 in the 2009 Amateur Team West held February 14-16 in Woodland Hills outside Los Angeles. Mark Pinto and former MI member Josh Gutman both had 3 points. John Hillery directed the 202 player event.
Clarence Lehman, who has played in many Mechanics' events over the years, writes:
I happened upon this website that had a ratings predictor as it applies to aging. The study is by a top economist from Yale, and it uses chess as a cognitive example of the effects of aging, though its primary aim is to study the effects of aging on athletics - I think.
The site has a paper that explains it. All data is from the FIDE list. Anyway, it is somewhat entertaining and I thought it may have interest to the chess playing crowd as a whole.
2) Nigel Eddis   1936- 2009
Nigel Eddis, one of the best chess photographers in the world, died on January 11, 2009, at age 72  from complications involving a heart ailment. The friendly 6' 6" Englishman's work was often featured on the covers of Chess Life magazine during the 1970s to 1990s and his subjects included  practically all the top American players of this era  such as Larry Christiansen, Nick DeFirmian, Max Dlugy and an intense looking Michael Rohde (April 1977 CL). The latter can be seen at IM Mark Ginsburg's website - .
My favorite Nigel Eddis photograph was not featured on a Chess Life cover but tucked inside the September 1976 issue (page 493) where he captured Alan Benjamin offering pre game encouragement to his 12-year-old son Joel before a game in the Manhattan Chess Club International.
Eddis leaves behind his wife, Anne, a violinist with the New York Symphony Orchestra, and three children, Timothy, Christine and Tatiana.

3) Kamsky-Topalov Match
Veselin Topalov lead Gata Kamsky in their match 1.5 - .5.
Match Schedule

February 16 - 18.00 EET 
- Official opening
February 17 - 15.00 EET (8 AM EST) - Game 1
February 18 - 15.00 EET (8 AM EST) - Game 2
February 19 - Rest Day
February 20 - 15.00 EET (8 AM EST) - Game 3
February 21 - 15.00 EET (8 AM EST) - Game 4
February 22 - Rest Day
February 23 - 15.00 EET (8 AM EST) - Game 5
February 24 - 15.00 EET (8 AM EST) - Game 6
February 25 - Rest Day
February 26 - 15.00 EET (8 AM EST) - Game 7
February 27 - 15.00 EET (8 AM EST) - Game 8
February 28 - Tie breaks

4) Peoples Open
IM David Pruess won the Peoples Open in Berkeley with a score of 3.5 from 4 this past Sunday and Monday. Pruess, who drew in the first with IM Walter Shipman, defeated Michael Aigner and Julian Landaw in the final two rounds. The two NMs were joined by Arjoe Loanzon and Stephen Zierk in a four way tie for second at 2.5. Tournament organizer and director Richard Koepcke was probably hoping for more than 104 entrants before the tournament but considering it rained the entire three day holiday weekend it was probably a good turnout.
5) Three way tie in Stillwater
FM Michael Langer, NM Conrad Holt and Expert Richard Ding tied for first with 5.5 from 7 in the 2009 OCF Stillwater Open held February 14-16 at the Quality Inn in Stillwater, Oklahoma to take home $435 apiece. Sharing 4th and 5th place at 5 from 7 were the husband and wife team of GM Alex Yermolinsky and WGM Camilla Baginskaite.  Top-seeded Yermolinsky started with 4-0 but lost in the fifth round ( the third game of the day) to FM Langer. Yermolinsky then drew with his wife and had a half point bye while Langer was a point ahead of the field going into the last round but lost to NM Holt, a promising high school student from Kansas.
Frank Berry was the sponsor and chief  tournament director, Tom Braunlich was chief organizer and Jim Berry and Dennis Glascock served as assistant tournament directors for the 51-player event which attracted participants from 7 states.

Langer,Michael (2315) - Yermolinsky,Alex (2600) [C45]

Stillwater  (5) 2009


Notes by Michael Langer



1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Be3 Qf6 6.Nb5?!


 Blumenfeld attack! The guy who invented it, defenestrated himself soon after.


6...Bxe3 7.fxe3 Qh4+ 8.g3 Qd8


 There is a forced draw after 8...Qxe4 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 Qxh1 11.Qg4 Qg1! 12.Qxg7 Qxe3+ 13.Be2 Qg1+ 14.Bf1 Qe3+ 15.Be2.


9.Qg4 g6


 I expected 9..g5 as GM Onischuk played against me in the Labor Day NAO about 5 years ago. I thought 9..g6 is a patzer move, as it weakens dark squares terribly, but Yermo clearly prepared it... Now forced sequence follows.


10.Qf4 d6 11.Bc4 Ne5 12.0–0 Bh3


...Qe7 instead is a blunder that loses by force after N1c3. I have won dozens of tournament games like this against lower-rated players. It serves as a good test of playing strength. I would estimate that it takes about 2100 player to see that Qe7 loses. Instead 12..Qd7 was the move I expected. Bh3 came as a surprise to me and was played quickly by Yermo, clearly prepared.




I looked at [13.Bxf7+ Kd7 (13...Ke7?? 14.Qh4+) 14.Rd1] line, but Black has Qe7 at the end. I felt I had to maintain the initiative at all costs, otherwise White is just busted with his bad pawn structure. Of course, I also had to calculate some lines to make sure there is no easy defense for Black, after he takes the exchange.





Probably already a mistake. Yermo suggested 13..Qd7 after the game as an improvement.





Now it's very awkward for Black. None of the defenses seem to work. Yermo though thought he had one with:







15.Be6!! .


and the game is over




 Here I thought for a while, because I couldn't decide between Nd5 and Nd4. Both moves win - 15...Qxe6 16.Nxc7+ or 15...fxe6 16.Qf8#]



16.Nd4 1-0


 Also wins: 16.Nd5 fxe6 17.Qf8+ Kd7 18.Qg7+ Ne7 19.Qxe7+ Kc8.



Black resigned in lieu of:


16...Qa6 (16...Qc5 17.Bxf7+ Kd7 (17...Kd8 18.Ne6+; 17...Nxf7 18.Qxf7+ Kd8 19.Ne6+; 17...Ke7 18.Nd5+ Kd8 19.Ne6+) 18.Be6+ Ke7 19.Nd5+ Ke8 20.Qf8#) 17.Nd5 Kd8 18.Qg5+ f6 19.Rxf6 Ne7 20.Rf8+ Rxf8 21.Qxe7# 1–0

6) Upcoming Events

MI Events - full details at

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 

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.

Hans Poschmann Memorial ( Fremont) March 21-22