Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #437


I do think Fritz has intelligence. Maybe he even has feelings. I can sense when he is feeling afraid, for instance. He gets worried when there is a king's side attack, you can feel him wanting to move his pieces back into a defensive position. We have programmed Fritz to worry about pieces amassed against his king. 


 Frederic Friedel


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) GM Kavalek column in the Washington Post threatened

3) IM Robert Hess wins Spice Cup

4) Here and There

5) Far West Open

6) Upcoming Events

This weekend the Mechanics' is holding the 9th Annual Max Wilkerson G/45. San Diego IM Cyrus Lakdawala will be among the participants.


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


Eleven players have perfect scores after two rounds of the 64-player Spring Tuesday Night Marathon led by former Masters Oleg Shaknazraov and Igor Margulis. Among those in the leading group are Class B players Weston Leavens and Willie Campers who both pulled off upsets.

The following two games attracted widespread interest last night.


Tuesday Night regular Homer Oca maintains a near Class A rating despite habitually employing openings that would never pass the Surgeon General's approval. Last night was no exception. 

Morgan,Jerry - Oca,Homer [A02]
Spring Tuesday Night Marathon (2) 2009

1.f4 a6 2.Nf3 h6 3.e4 e6 4.Be2 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Ne5 h5 7.Nc3 d6 8.Nd3 Nc6 9.Be3 Bg7 10.e5 dxe5 11.dxe5 Nge7 12.Qd2 Nf5 13.0-0-0 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Qd4 15.Qxd4?!

15.Qg3 Bd7 16.h3 0-0-0 17.hxg4 hxg4 18.Bxg4 was a sterner test of Black's opening.

 15...Nxd4 16.Rhe1 Nxe2+ 17.Rxe2 b6 18.Nf2 f5 19.Red2?

19.exf6 Bxf6 20.Nfe4 was natural.

19...h4 20.Rd8+?! Ke7 21.Rxh8 Bxh8 22.g3?!

22.Rd2 Bb7 23.Nd3 would have offered sterner resistance as allowing Black to grab the h-file is not to be recommended.

22...Bg7 23.Nd3 Bb7 24.Ne2 Bf3 25.Rd2

25.Kd2 Rh8 and Black is ready to take decisive action on the h-file.

25...Rh8 26.Nd4 Bb7 27.Nb4

Morgan correctly realizes he needs counterplay before Black is able to realize his positional trumps.

27... hxg3 28.Ndc6+

As the ending after 28.hxg3 Rh1+ 29.Rd1 Rxd1+ 30.Kxd1 c5 31.Nbc6+ Bxc6 (31...Kd7? 32.Nxe6!) is not pleasant to put it mildly.

28...Ke8 29.Rd8+ Kf7 30.Rxh8??

30.Rd7+ Kg8 31.hxg3 had to be tried with good counterplay.

30...g2! 31.Nd8+ Kg6 32.Rg8 g1Q+ 33.Kd2 Qxh2+ 34.Kc3 Qxf4 35.Rxg7+ Kh6 0-1


Oleg Shaknazarov's combativeness at the board is match equally by his friendliness away from it. Here he goes after fellow Armenian Hovik Manveleyan whose

son Hayk is a rapidly junior who recently earned his Experts title.


Shakhnazarov,Oleg - Manveleyan,Hovik [C02]
Spring Tuesday Night Marathon San Francisco (2), 24.03.2009

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Bd7 8.Nc3 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.0-0 a6 11.Re1


 11.Qe2 Ne7 12.Rd1 is more common in Sir Stuart Milner-Barry's favorite gambit.


11...Ne7 12.Be3 Qxe5 13.f4 Qf6 14.f5 e5 15.Bc5 Bc6 16.Qb3 e4 17.Bc2 Nxf5 18.Bxf8 Kxf8 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Rf1 Qg5?


20...Qg6 was the crucial test. Does White have enough compensation for three pawns (!) ?


 21.Nxe4! Qe5 22.Nc5 Kg8 23.Qf3 Rf8 24.Rfe1 Qd6 25.b4?


25.Qf2 h5 26.Ne4 Qe5 27.Ng3 Qg5 28.Qc5 looks like it makes it harder for Black to consolidate.


 25...h5 26.Qc3 Ng6 27.Bf5 Rh6 28.Rd4 Nf4


28...Ne5! 29.Qg3 Re8 looks even stronger though the text is not bad.


29.Qg3 Rf6?

The defender falters. It was still possible to maintain an advantage with 29...b6 30.Nb3 Re6! 31.Bxe6 fxe6 with excellent compensation for the exchange in the form of two pawns and a compact well coordinated position.

30.Rxf4 g6 31.Qg5 Kh7 32.Qxh5+ Kg7 33.Qg4 Kh7 34.Re3 gxf5 35.Rh3+ Rh6 36.Qxf5+ Kg7 37.Rg4+ Rg6 38.Rxg6+ fxg6 39.Ne6+ 1-0


Mechanics' members GM Josh Freidel, IM Sam Shankland and FM Daniel Naroditsky will be traveling East in a few weeks for the Foxwoods Open. They will be joined by the latest titled player addition to the Bay Area, IM Emory Tate, who is hanging his hat in Antioch.

Last night's TNM was honored by a visit from GM Alejandro Ramirez and a guest lecture by IM Sam Shankland.

GM Josh Friedel has been seeded into the 2009 US Championship to be played in St. Louis this May. Northern California will also be partially represented by IM Irina Krush who divides her time between El Cerritto and New York City. Other California representatives include Southlanders IM Enrico Sevillano and GMs Varuzhan Akobian and Melikset Khachian.


2) GM Kavalek column in the Washington Post Threatened

One hundred years ago almost every major newspaper in the United States had a chess column - not so any longer.  Today they are an endangered species and extinction for the columns (and the papers!) looks like it could be right around the corner. One of the very best chess columns in the United States for close to 14 years has been GM Lubosh Kavalek's in the Washington Post. The Post recently announced that beginning March 30, it will institute widespread changes. Among those sections of the paper that will be affected is Kavalek's column which will no longer be published in the print version, but will continue to appear online at

Some good may potentially come from this in the form of longer columns and the added feature of being able to replay games online but make no mistake the Washington Post needs to know their decision was felt by readers of the column.  A short letter objecting to both the dropping of the printed version and support for the column in general would be greatly appreciated. . It should go either e-mail:,  phone: 202-3344775; or letter to Comics Feedback, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.


 3) IM Robert Hess wins Spice Cup


17-year-old Robert Hess of New York made his second GM norm in the 2009 Spice (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) Invitational held March 16-22 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The other junior in the field, 15-year-old Ray Robson, had a horrible start with only a draw from his last four games, but showed excellent character by finishing strongly.

1. IM Hess 7.0/10
2. GM Kacheishvili 6.0
3. GM Gareev 5.5
4. IM Robson 5.0
5. GM Dashzegve 3.5
6. IM Antal 3.0


4) Here and There


American players helped lead Husek Wien  to victory in the 2008/2009 Austrian Bundesliga  Although top-rated Gata Kamsky never saw action for Husek, Hikaru Nakamura scored 5.5/11 manning the  top board for much of the season and Fabiano Caruana scored 3 from 3 in a supporting role.

Chris Bird writes:

Did you see the new requirements for FIDE arbiters at

One of the major new developments is that now all new FIDE Arbiter applications have to attend a FIDE Arbiter seminar and pass a test with a 80% pass rate.   

Also, round robins must now be at least 10 players and swiss events at least 20 players to count for a FA norm.


IM Ricardo DeGuzman won the Hans Poschman Memorial held in Fremont last weekend with a score of 3.5 from 4.


US Champion Yury Shulman is one of three players with perfect scores after 2 rounds of the 2009 Reykjavik Open. MI member Vinay Bhat has one point.



5) Far West Open


Get ready to make your travel plans if you haven't already, the 9th Annual Far West Open is only a few weeks away. This event traditionally enjoys heavy support from Northern California and seems a good fit for a tough economy with a high return on the entry fee to prize fund ratio and cheap hotel rooms (only $27! on Thursday and Sunday)

Apr. 10-12   9th Annual RENO-FAR WEST OPEN   GPP: 150 Enhanced   Nevada

6SS, 40/2, 20/1, G/1/2. Sands Regency Hotel/Casino, 345 N. Arlington Ave., Reno, NV 89501. 1-866-386-7829 or (775) 348-2200. $$22,500 b/250. $$15,000 Gtd. (Prizes 1-10 in Open Section Gtd. plus 1/2 of all other prizes). Free Lecture & Analysis Clinic by GM Larry Evans! 5 Sections. Open (2000 & above) EF: $137, (1999 & below = $151) (GMs & IMs free but must enter by (3/21) or pay late fee at door). $$2,000-1,200-1000-800-600-500-400-400-300-300, (2399/below) - $1,000, (2299/below) - $1,000-500, (2199/below) - $1000-500-300-200 (If a tie for 1st then a playoff for $100 out of prize fund). Sec."A" (1800-1999) EF: $136; $$1,000-500-300-200-100-100-100-100-100-100. Sec."B" (1600-1799) EF: $135; $$900-500-300-200-100-100-100-100-100-100. Sec."C" (1400-1599) EF: $134; $$800-400-300-200-100-100-100-100-100-100. Sec."D"/under (1399-below) EF: $133; $$700-400-300-200-100-100-100-100; 1199/below $$300; Top Senior (65+) -$200; Club Champ.- $400-200. ALL: Entries must be postmarked by 3/28 or pay late fee-$11 until 4/3 (do not mail after 4/3), $22 at site. All classes have trophies 1st - 3rd. Unrated players are free entry but not eligible for cash prizes- must join USCF for 1 full year thru this tournament . 1st Unrated = trophy + 1 yr. USCF Mem. $10 discount to Seniors (65+ yrs.) & Juniors (19-under). Players may play up. Provisionally rated players may only win 1/2 of 1st place money. CCA ratings may be used. Note: pairings not changed for color unless 3 in a row or a plus 3 and if the unlikely situation occurs 3 colors in a row may be assigned. SIDE EVENTS: Thurs. (4/9) 6-7:15pm Free Lecture-GM Larry Evans; 7:30pm-GM Khachiyan Simul ($15); 7:30pm-Blitz (5 Min) tourney ($20) 80% entries = Prize Fund. Sat. (4/11) (3-4:30pm) Free Game/Position Analysis - GM Larry Evans. ALL REG: 5-9pm (4/09), 9-10am (4/10). RDS: 12-7, 10-6, 9:30-4:30. Byes available any round (if requested by Rd.1). ENT: make checks payable and send to: SANDS REGENCY (address listed above), postmarked by 3/28. $11 late fee if postmarked by 4/3. Do not mail after 4/3 or email after 4/08. $22 late fee at site. HR: (Sun-Thurs. $27!) (Fri. & Sat. $54!) + tax.1-866-386-7829 mention (Code) CHESS09 (Reserve by 3/21/09). INFO: Jerry Weikel 6578 Valley Wood Dr., Reno, NV 89523, (775) 747-1405, Or check out our website at: To verify entry check website. WCL JGP.


6) Upcoming Events



MI Events - full details at

Max Wilkerson Open - March 28
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 4-5
Imre Konig Memorial - April 18

Northern California 

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: ttp:// NS NC W


Apr. 25-26   4th Annual Frank Doyle Open   GPP: 6   California Northern

Exchange Bank, 444 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403. 4 round Swiss, G/120. In 3 Sections Open: $$GTD: $250-175. Reserve: Open to 1899 & under. $$GTD: $200-125. Booster: Open to 1499 & under. $$GTD: $150-100. Unr. must play in Open Section. ALL: EF: $35 advance until 4/18, $45 at site. Reg.: 04/25 8:30am - 9:30am. Rds.: Sat 10,3; Sun 10,3. ENT: Mike Goodall, 461 Peachstone Terrace, San Rafael, CA 94903-1327 (415) 491-1269. INFO: No phone or e-mail entries. Bring equipment, none provided. NS NC W. WCL JGP.

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 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

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