Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #435

Nowadays, a 13-year-old would probably know more than Bobby Fischer knew when he retired. They analyze all the moves and prepare themselves on their computers. But that doesn't mean they are special. Physics students nowadays know more than Einstein and Newton did. That doesn't make them smarter, does it?
Garry Kasparov talking to the media in India in early March 2009
1) Mechanic's Institute Chess Club News
2) Frank Skoff 1916-2009 by Jim Brotsos
3) Daniel Naroditsky wins in Concord
4) FIDE News
5) Dirk Poldauff on Chess Talk with IM John Watson
6) Here and There
7) Berkeley Chess Club News by Marc Newman
8) Upcoming Events
1) Mechanic's Institute Chess Club News
Mechanics' Trustee Mark Pinto, who has long been a generous supporter of the Institute's chess club, had a very interesting game with IM Jack Peters in the recent US Amateur Team West which the later annotated in his excellent weekly column in the Los Angeles Times (March 8). The notes below by Peters are condensed. Go to,0,2960752.story for the complete annotations.
NM Mark Pinto-IM Jack Peters, USAT West, Woodland Hills 2009: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Qb6 5 Nb3 Nf6 6 Nc3 e6 7 Be3 Qc7 8 a3 a6 9 f4 d6 10 Be2 Be7  11 Qd2 0-0 12 0-0-0 Rd8 13 Bf3 b5 14 Qf2. Rb8 15 g4 Nd7 16 g5 b4 17 axb4 Rxb4 18 h4 Nc5?!
I rejected 18 . . . Na5 because 19 Nxa5 Qxa5 20 Kb1 Qa3 21 b3, intending Be3-c1-b2, would fortify the Queenside. But 20 . . . Bb7 would improve. Then 21 Rd4 d5! 22 exd5 loses to 22 . . . Rxb2+! 23 Kxb2 Rb8 24 Nb5 Bc6.
19 Nxc5 dxc5 20 Rxd8+ Bxd8 21 h5  Nd4
I was unduly optimistic after planting the Knight on this important central square.
22 g6 22...fxg6?!
Leaving Black's pawns scattered and vulnerable while only temporarily slowing White's attack. I expected to win quickly on the Queenside. More circumspect are 22 . . . Qa5 and 22 . . . h6 23 gxf7+ Kxf7.
23 hxg6 h6 24 Bg2 Qa5 25 Kb1
The only defense, but an unpleasant surprise to me. I spent most of my time looking at 25 Nd1? Qa1+ 26 Kd2 Qb1?! (the right way is 26 . . . Ba5! 27 c3 Rxb2+) 27 c3 Rxb2+. I assumed 25 Kb1 would lose to 25 . . . Qa3 until I noticed 26 Nd1 Nb5 27 Bd2.
Calculating 26 e5 Be8 27 Be4? Nb5! (aiming at c3 and e4) 28 Bd2 Na3+ 29 Kc1 Nc4, winning. But 26 e5 Be8 27 f5! Nxf5 28 Bd5! exd5 29 Qxf5 saves White. Also 26 Bd2 and 26 Na2 Ra4 27 Bd2 are satisfactory for White.
26 f5?! Bf6 Taking aim at b2. Now both of us expected Black to win, but White still can defend with 27 e5! Bxe5 28 fxe6 Bxe6 29 Bd5.
27 fxe6?? Ne2! 28 e5 Rxb2+! 29 Kxb2 Qxc3+ 30 Kb1 Qb4+, White Resigns.
The Mechanics' Institute held two club championships in 1885. The first, won by J. Waldstein, has been well-covered in previous issues of the Newsletter ( #s 36, 132 and 271), but for the second event, until recently, all we had was one sentence - A second tournament in 1885 was won by H. Heinemann, who won eight straight games and ended it right there.
Now, thanks to the Brooklyn Chess Chronicle, we have more information.


The San Francisco Argonaut states that a chess tournament is in progress at the Mechanics’ Institute, with eleven entries. A prize valued at $100 has been offered by Mr. Benjamin Marshall, President of the Golden Gate Chess Club. The contestants are: Messrs H. Heynemann, Peck, J.D. Reddding, H. Van Vliet, Reis, N.J. Manson, Hellwegan, Fritz Peipers, Perry, Jere Lynch and Ott. An additional prize of one years’s subscription to the British Chess Magazine has been offered by the chess editor of the Argonaut for the most brilliant game of the tournament.


Brooklyn Chess Chronicle, August 15, 1885, page 162 


The San Francisco Argonaut informs us that the chess tournament in said city has come to an abrupt conclusion. Our esteemed confrere says:


“ Mr. Heynemann, having scored eight games without losing one, wins the trophy, an oil paiting, “Tampa Bay, Florida.” As it is the only prize, and as Mr. Heynemann’s score cannot be beaten, the other participants decline to play the remaining rounds, thus ending the tournament. The prize for the most brilliant game of the tourney still remains in abeyance, but two games have been handed in for examination.”


Brooklyn Chess Chronicle, September 15, 1885, page 179

2) Frank Skoff  by Jim Brotsos
I'm sorry to say that Frank passed away last Tues. I received this news from Raymond Kusanek, his closest friend. Frank was 92. He had a case of pneumonia during the holidays, but recovered. Apparently, his kidneys failed last week and he died alone rather quickly & peacefully.
I attended his funeral yesterday. It was also attended by Ray and three relatives (two from Florida). He was buried in the St. Joseph cemetary in Joliet, his home town.
Frank was of Croatian and Slovenian heritage. His cousin told me that their Croatian forebears' arrival to the U.S.A. dated back to the 1700s. Frank was a successful English teacher in Chicago's Lakeview High School. He loved the language and used it very effectively & with good humor. In his excellent eulogy, Mr. Kusanek mentioned that when an acquaintance told Frank of a new lady friend named Rosetta, he asked "Is her last name Stone?"  His writing ability shown in the regular column called "Frankly Skoffing" he included in the Illinois Chess Bulletin.
Frank, of course, was an Expert chess player and a top chess organizer, administrator, & tournament director. He founded and headed the large, strong Gompers Park Chess Club (Chicago) for many years. He eventually was elected President of the U. S. Chess Federation in the early 1970s.
I met Frank in 1960. He asked me to help revive the state chess organization. He, several others, & I worked to create a unit that would ensure annual Chicago & Illinois Open Chess tournaments and provide a periodical of local chess news. The Illinois Chess Association and the ICB were born the following year. A string of successful local tournaments followed. Most of these were directed by Frank. I sometimes assisted. By 1963, when Frank was President of the I. C. A., Chicago was ready for a major tournament and hosted a very successful U.S. Open Chess Championship event. Frank continued to create well-organized tournaments that attracted many Masters for several years. Frank always displayed calm competence, objectivity, enthusiasm, courtesy, and humor in dealing with chess matters.
In his later years Frank concentrated more on his early hobby, Chess history. He was in touch with several top chess historians such as Chicago's Ray Kusanek and England's Ken Whyld and had a large collection of chess books and magazines.
Frank Skoff boosted Chess awareness, prestige, and enjoyment in a way few can appreciate. He will be missed for that. He'll also be missed as a well balanced gentleman full of charm and great conversation.
3) Daniel Naroditsky wins in Concord
Congratulations to  Daniel Naroditsky for winning the Western Chess Congress in Concord this weekend ahead of 8 IMs. Young Daniel, who beat IM Sam Shankland and drew IMs Mark Ginsburg and Ricardo DeGuzman, scored 4-1, good for $1600. Tying for second at 3.5 in the tightly contested top group were IMs Ginsburg, DeGuzman, Emory Tate and Dmitry Zilberstein, NM Steven Zierk and Expert David Adelberg. Bill Goichberg's Continental Chess Association saw a turnout of 229 players in the multi-section event making it one of the largest open tournaments in the Bay Area in the past decade.
4) FIDE News
The recent FIDE Presidential Board Meeting, held in Istanbul from March 6th to 8th, discussed several items of interest for US chess players. The following information is based in part on a report by FIDE Presidential Board member Bill Kelleher

US Women’s Zonal

The USCF requested a waiver of the rule that the Zonals must be played before the Continental Championship. The rule states that if the Zonal is played after the Continental the offending zone loses all of its slots in the World Championship. The US zone stood to lose all three of its slots.

After discussions with Continental President, Jorge Vega, and FIDE Deputy President, Giorgios Makropoulos, a compromise was reached whereby in the event that the US zonal is played after the Continental, the US would forfeit one of its world championship slots to the Continental. This leaves both the US and the Continental with two slots each. Also US players will be allowed to play in the Continental and compete for its two slots.

2008 World Senior Championship

This tournament was won by Larry Kaufman, who received the title of GM, as well the title of World Senior Champion. A protest was filed by the Romanian Chess Federation on behalf of GM Mihai Suba who tied with Larry for first with a 9-2 score but lost on tiebreaks.

It seems that the organizers had posted the wrong tiebreak procedure on the tournament website, and then changed it to the correct procedure with only two rounds left in the tournament. Suba would have won the title if the original tiebreak system was used. As it was Larry was awarded the title because he narrowly edged out Suba on the new system.

In view of this the Presidential Board decided to declare Mihail Suba and Larry Co-Champions. However Larry will keep the GM title.

FIDE Events

World Championship Match, Anand-Topalov

This event was scheduled to be held in September, but, at Anand’s request has been postponed to April, 2010.

80th FIDE Congress

This will be held in Nanjing China, September 27 – October 4, 2009.

World Team Championship

The event shall take place in Bursa, Turkey in September 2009.

Women’s Team Championship

The event will be held in Ningbo China, September 1-12, 2009.

World Youth Championships

This event will be held in Antalya, Turkey, November 14-26, 2009.

Congratulations to IA Arbiter and USCF staffer Walter Brown who was recently appointed to a position on the FIDE Qualifications Committee.

IM John Donaldson recently stepped down as US Zonal President after serving for two and half years. The USCF will announce a replacement shortly.

5) Dirk Poldauff on Chess Talk with IM John Watson

Tune-in for Chess Talk with IM John Watson on ICC Chess.FM. John's weekly 60+ minute show will feature an interview with leading chess personalities. All shows run on demand for members after airing.

This week (Tue., March 10), John will be joined by German IM and noted chess writer Dirk Poldauf (pocholo on ICC).

While still an active player, Berlin-based Dirk is one of his country's leading chess writers and has served for many years as editor of Germany's "Schach" magazine.  Dirk is a regular journalist on the elite chess circuit, where so far this year he's been to Corus and Linares.

704-1/2 Hinman Avenue, 
Apt 3A 
Evanston, IL 60202 
Home: 847-859-2259 
Cell: 847-347-9593
6) Here and There
Congratulations to John Braley. The former editor of Northwest Chess and three-time Washington State champion turned 65 on March 2.
The latest issue of ChessBase magazine ( #128) has an article by GM Leonid Kritz featuring an important novelty by Ray Robson on move 14  in a line that can arise from both the Scandinavian and Nimzovich Defenses starting with 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Be2 Nc6 5.d4 0-0-0 6.c4 and 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 0-0-0 6.c4.
Newsletter #435 wrote about the great San Antonio 1972 tournament.
 Michael Bacon reminisces:
Great story on SA 72! I was there!  Drove out with an exchange student from Yugoslavia, Branko Vujakovic. He only stayed a short time and I stayed on with Michael Moore and John Dunning. The three of us drove to Houston for some tournament called the 'Space-something...There was a weekend tournament sponsored by Church's. I was playing in the 'D' class and my opponent in the last round was none other than Bill Church! He asked if it would be ok if he stopped the clock to go greet Bobby..."Only if I can go with you!" And away we went...
They held up the start of the last because of Bobby's late arrival...
7) Berkeley Chess Club News by Marc Newman

A new six-week tournament will start this Friday, the 13th.  Cost is $30 and
the usual byes are available if needed.  Location is 1581 Le Roy Avenue, 2nd
floor. (The old Hillside school in Berkeley.)  This is about six blocks
north of UC-Berkeley.

As always, the club page is here:

The crosstable from the previous tournament is here:

Farid Watson and Nelson Sowell ended in 1st with 6.5 out of 8.0.  Also
sharing in the $350 prize fund were Steven Krasnov and Daniel Rozenblatt
with 5.5.  The tournament director was Alan Glasscoe.

8) 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. 21-22   Hans Poschmann Memorial 4-SS, 30/90; SD/60 Fremont Adult School, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, CA 94538. $$B 80 paid entries (not counting unrated entries) Three Sections: Open: $350-225 U2200 $220-115; A/B (1999-1600): A $220-115 B $220-115; Reserve (U1600): C $220-115 U1400 $220-115 Unr: Trophy First. All, EF: postmarked by 3/16 $50, $60 at site. Unrateds $20 in the Reserve section or may play up to the Open section for the regular fee. USCF memb. req'd. May play up for add'l $10 per section. Reserve players in the A/B section compete for the B prize. Reg.: Sat 3/21 9:00-9:45am. RDS.: Sat 10:00-3:30; Sun 10:00-3:30; One 1/2 pt bye available if requested in advance (bye in rds 3 or 4 must be requested before rd 1). 2009 March Ratings List, CCA minimums and Directors discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible. Please bring clocks and equipment. INFO: Ken Zowal (510)-623-9935 Email: or Ent: Ken Zowal, P.O. Box 3211, Fremont, CA 94539. No Phone entries. WCL JGP.

Sun Mar. 28   Bay Area Chess $uper$wiss (Adult/Regular) 

4SS x G/60. 4423 Fortran Ct., Suite 160, San Jose, CA 95134. EF: $44 before 3/24, Additional discount if combined with other tournament entries. Prize fund $1,000 b/44 entries:  1800+ 200-100-50 1st u2000 100, U1800 200-100-50 u1600 100-50, U1200 50. Reg: Sat 9:15-9:45 AM, Rds: 10, 12:40, 2:50, 5:00 PM. Ent: Online at or mail to BayAreaChess 4423 Fortran Ct., Suite 160, San Jose, CA 95134. Payable to BayAreaChess Info: NS NC W

Sat Apr. 25   Bay Area Chess $uper$wiss (Adult/Regular) 

4SS x G/60. 4423 Fortran Ct., Suite 160, San Jose, CA 95134. EF: $44 before 3/24, Additional discount if combined with other tournament entries. Prize fund $1,000 b/44 entries:  1800+ 200-100-50 1st u2000 100, U1800 200-100-50 u1600 100-50, U1200 50. Reg: Sat 9:15-9:45 AM, Rds: 10, 12:40, 2:50, 5:00 PM. Ent: Online at or mail to BayAreaChess 4423 Fortran Ct., Suite 160, San Jose, CA 95134. Payable to BayAreaChess Info: NS NC W

May. 23-25 or 24-25   Memorial Day Long Swiss (Adult/Regular) 

6SS 30/90 G/60 (2-day option first 3 rounds G/60 merges in round 4). 4423 Fortran Ct., Suite 160, San Jose, CA 95134.. EF: $66 for 3-day, $65 for 2-day. $16 more after 5/19.
Prize fund: $3360 b/85




































Format & Time Control (3day) 6SS x 30/90 G/60; (2day) Rounds 1-3> G/55; Rounds 4-6> 30/90 G/60 (merges with 3day in Round 4).

Rounds times (3day) 5/23 11am, 4pm every day. am, 3:20pm; 5/23 11am, 4:10pm.

Onsite registration: 5/23 10-10:30am | 5/24 8-8:30am. (2day) 5/24 9, 11:15am, 1:30, 4pm; 5/25 11am, 4pm.

Entry Fee:  $66 for 3-day, $65 for 2-day; $19 fee for ea. section playing up; re-entry $33

Entry: Online at or mail to BayAreaChess 4423 Fortran Ct., Suite 160, San Jose, CA 95134. Payable to BayAreaChess

Info: NS NC W


Southern California

March 13-15
7th Annual Western Pacific Open
5-SS, 3-day 40/2, SD/1, 2-day rds. 1-2 G/60 then merges. LAX Hilton, 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles , CA 90045.
$$6000 b/160, 50% of each prize guaranteed. In 2 sections:
Open, $$1200-700-400-200-100, U2200 $400-250.
Amateur (U2000/Unr), $$500-300-150, U1800 400-200-100, U1600 400-200-100, U1400 200, U1200 100, Unr. 100. Unr. may win Unrated prize only in this section.
Reg: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Fri., 9-10 a.m. Sat.
Rds: 3-day 7 p.m., 10:30-5, 10-4:30. 2-day: 10:30-1 (G/60), then merges.
EF: $69 if received by 3-13, $79 at site.
All: $25 Best Game prize, all sections eligible. One half-point bye if requested with entry, rds 4-5 cannot be revoked. SCCF membership req. of S. Cal. res., $18 reg, $10 jr.
HR: $109, (310) 410-4000. Ask for “7th Annual Western Pacific Open.” Parking $8/day.
En t: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038, on line at
Inf: NS, W, F. WCL JGP. GP: 20. State Championship Qualifier.

March 15
WPO Hexes
3-SS, G/90. LAX Hilton, 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Six-player sections by rating.
EF: $20 if received by 3-13, $25 door.
$$ 40-20-10 each section.
Reg.: 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Rds.: 10:45-2-5.
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038, online at

March 28-29
Kern County Open Championship
5-SS, 25/75, SD/30 (Rounds 1-3), 40/2, SD/1 (Rounds 4-5). Clarion Hotel 3540 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93308 (661-326-1111 ).
$1700 prize fund b/o 40, 80% guaranteed: $500 (guaranteed!)-300-200 top U2000 $250, U1800 $200, U1600/Unr $150-$100.
EF: $45 by 3/25, $55 after. $6 discount for BCC members and SCCF members. GMs & IMs FREE ($45 from prize).
Reg.: 8:45-9:30 a.m. Saturday.
Rds.: Saturday: 10-2-6, Sunday: 10-4:30.
Special K-8 Tournament: March 28: 5-SS G/30, Rounds 10-11:30-1-2:30-4. EF: $20 by 3/25, $30 after; prizes 1st–3rd place Overall & 1st – 3rd place trophies in scholastic categories.
All: ½-pt bye available any round with entry
Info: Kenneth J. Poole 661-304-7468, or visit
HR: $59 special rate, mention “BakersfieldChessClub.” Reserve by 3/13 or rate may go up!
Ent: Bakersfield Chess Club, P.O. Box 176, 3501 Mall View Rd., Suite 115 Bakersfield, CA 93306.