Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #440

Inadequate financial resources have always been a problem in chess. I have always admired people who dedicate themselves to this wonderful game and accept a standard of living much below the level that they could achieve by pursuing some other endeavor. In a way, chess can be an addiction that cannot be broken. To excel in chess, one has to spend a great deal of time and effort. The game requires professional involvement if one hopes to reach a high competitive standard. In my youth there were some world-class amateur players. Today, it seems that success demands total dedication. Unfortunate, because life is not unidimensional!

IM Zvonko Vranesic

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Sadvakasov and Shulman tie at Foxwoods

3) Kudrin, Sevillano and Antal share honors in Reno

4) Louis Paulsen:  Father of Hypermodern Chess - Part 2 by Imre Konig

5) Here and There

6) Upcoming Events



This Saturday the Mechanics' host the 9th Annual Imre Konig Memorial G/45. The first round starts at 10 am.


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


Oleg Shaknazarov defeated William Gray and leads the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon with a perfect score after five rounds. Evan Sandberg is second with 4 1/2 points.


Many thanks to Dr. Frank Ruys who recently donated many books, magazines, sets and boards to the Mechanics'. Dr. Ruys has a long history with the Institute dating back to 1937 when he faced Arthur Dake in a simultaneous exhibition at the MI Chess Club. A lifelong lover of endgame compositions and correspondence chess where he has been rated over 2300,  Dr. Ruys continues to play chess via e-mail tournaments.



Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room Directors
Arthur Stamer 1951-1963
Kurt Bendit 1963-64
Howard Donnelly 1964-65
IM William Addison 1965-69
Alan Bourke 1969-1971
Ray Conway 1971-1980
Max Wilkerson 1980-1996
FM Jim Eade 1996-1998
IM John Donaldson 1998 -


2) Sadvakasov and Shulman tie at Foxwoods


He may have lost the playoff for the free hotel for next year's event, but US Champion Yury Shulman can be quite happy with his performance at the 11th Foxwoods Open where he scored an undefeated 7.5 from 9 defeating fellow GMs Josh Friedel, Darmen Sadvakasov, Loek Van Wely and Alex Shabalov! His draws were with former Candidate Jaan Ehlvest and young IMs Alex Lenderman and Robert Hess. The two teenagers had exceptionable tournaments with Hess making his third GM norm - he should receive the title later this year as his FIDE rating is over 2500.


Three MI members made the trip East with all turning in fine performances. Josh Friedel tied for fourth with 6.5 and gained twenty USCF rating points to get close to 2600. IM Sam Shankland had 5.5 against strong opposition and defeated Lenderman in a very nice game. Stephen Zierk also scored 5.5  and continues to impress. He has improved his rating in nine consecutive events going back to last year's US Open and is now rated 2333.


Attendance for this year's Foxwoods event was a very healthy 541 players up from 517 last year ( 574 in 2007, 497 in 2006).


3) Kudrin, Sevillano and Antal share honors in Reno


GM Sergey Kudrin and IMs  Enrico Sevillano, and Gergely Antal tied for first in the top section of the Far West Open this past weekend at 5 from 6. Kudrin won the title of FWO champion by winning the blitz playoff. GM Jesse Kraai and IM David Pruess led a large contingent of Mechanics' member with 4.5 from 6 to tie for fourth. Daniel Naroditsky (draws with GM Gurevich and IM Sevillano) and Romulo Fuentes had 4. The Mechanics' had the top two scoring teams aided by turnout of over 40 players,  almost a quarter of the  179 players who competed in the multi section event. There would likely have been over 200 attendees if not for the large snowfall in the Sierra Nevada's this past week.


4) Louis Paulsen:  Father of Hypermodern Chess - Part 2 by Imre Konig



Louis Paulsen: Father of Hypermodern Chess

By Imre König

Part II

The Scheveningen Variation of the Sicilian Defense has long been considered the invention of the Hypermodern School, deriving its name from the Schevenington Tournament of 1923 where it was adopted for the fist time in a major event. The idea of developing the Queen Knight to c6 instead of d7, as in the Paulsen Defense, gave new life to the Sicilian, since it was soon recognized that the Knight exerted more control on the center from c6. Later Capablanca and Lasker successfully adopted this variation. However, Louis Paulsen played it as early as 1889, 34 years before the Scheveningen tournament!

On the basis of one lone game, perhaps no one can be called the inventor of an opening. Yet this game of Paulsen’s may well be the exception since he handled the Defense quite in the modern style.

Gossip - Paulsen

Sicilian Scheveningen B85

Breslau 1889

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 d6 6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 a6 8.0–0 Be7 9.Qd2

Up to this point the game is similar to the Maroczy-Euwe, Scheveningen 1923 game where Kh1 was played, a move hailed at that time as an important innovation, but now obsolete. After 8...0–0 9.f4 Qc7 10.Nb3 White, with a4 prevented Black from playing ...b5, thus obtaining the superior game. It is interesting to note that even contemporary annotators recommend a4 followed by Nb3 and a5, a maneuver made use of by Tarrasch against L. Paulsen at Nuremberg 1888.

9...Qc7 10.f4 Bd7 11.Rad1 Rc8 12.Kh1 0–0

Up to here the game is similar to the Lasker-Capablanca game, Moscow 1936, in which Capablanca adopted the important defensive strategy of delaying castling and thus preventing White from attacking on the Kingside by g4. But this delay is also a feature of Paulsen's game. Another important feature is his omission of ...Na5, which for Black was considered very strong until the contrary was demonstrated by Boleslavsky in his game against L. Steiner in Saltsjobaden 1948.

13.Bf3 b5 14.Nxc6

Gossip tries to evade the problem of the position by simplification. Better was14.Nb3 after which Black could not play 14...Na5 because of 15.Nxa5 Qxa5 16.Nd5 .He would have had to prepare for ...Na5 by ...Kh8.

14...Bxc6 15.e5 dxe5 16.Bxc6 Qxc6 17.fxe5 Ne4 18.Nxe4 Qxe4 19.Qd3 Qxe5 20.Bd4 Qc7 21.c3 e5

By this move Black aims at simplification by exchanging Rooks, a maneuver condemned by Metger, who considers ...Rfd8 followed by ...Rd5 better for Black. Yet it will be seen that Paulsen, in spite of the reduced material, will be able to maintain the initiative, and his procedure is more in accord with present-day technique of simplification into a won endgame.

22.Be3 Rcd8 23.Qf5 Rxd1 24.Rxd1 Rd8 25.Rxd8+ Bxd8 26.Kg1 Be7

This looks like an oversight, yet giving back the pawn is the quickest way of demonstrating Black's superiority. Instead, 26...h6 27.Qe4 Qd6, would produce a long drawn out ending.

27.Qe4 h6 28.Qa8+ Kh7 29.Qxa6 Bc5 30.Kf2

In the tournament book Metger gives 30.Bxc5 as the right move leading to a draw. This is doubtful, however, as 30...Qxc5+ 31.Kf1 (31.Kh1 Qf2 32.h3 e4) 31...Qc4+ 32.Ke1 Qe4+ 33.Kf2 Qc2+ 34.Kg3 Qd3+ 35.Kf2 e4 forcing his e-pawn.

30...e4 31.g3 Qe5 32.Qc6? Qf5+ 0–1

Even without White’s last mistake the game was lost, as on 32. Ke2, Qh5+ wins.

This game is a strategic masterpiece that even with our present knowledge of technique cannot be improved upon, especially in respect to Black’s handling of the opening. An important point to note is Paulsen’s realization that it is useful to delay castling and thus prevent White from starting an attack with P-KKt4. His timing of the moves on the Q-side is very accurate, and he did not try to play …Kt-QR4 at an early stage, a maneuver which became very popular later, but which today is considered good only in certain positions. The self-confident manner in which he simplifies into an endgame, and his handling of it, confirms Louis Paulsen’s reputation as a superb endgame player.

Louis Paulsen is commonly credited with the invention of the Paulsen Defense, when actually it was his brother Wilfred who invented it. This misunderstanding can only be explained by the fact that it was not until after World War I that the difference between the Scheveningen and the Paulsen Defense was clearly defined. The following game exemplifies the difficulty of the distinction, for it starts like a Paulsen Defense and transposes into a Scheveningen, as Black ultimately develops his Knight to c6.

The game is remarkable for the manner in which Paulsen dares to start it. Of the first six moves, five are P moves, and the Q is developed early in spite of the preconceived laws. This completely new approach to opening problems did not cause any stir, and was overlooked at a time when Steinitz’ milder eccentricities were often bitterly attacked. Paulsen treats the following game in a modern spirit, half a century before the opening’s “invention”!


Metger - Paulsen

Sicilian Paulsen B43

Breslau 1889

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 a6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Qc7 6.g3 b5 7.Bg2 Bb7 8.0–0 Nc6 9.Nde2

This move is condemned by Metger, who recommends Be3 followed by f4. Still, 9.Be3 Nf6 10.f4 Na5 with the double threat of ...Nc4 and ...b4 could follow.

9...Nf6 10.Bf4 d6 11.Qd3

Metger recommended 11.a4 which, however, can be answered by 11...b4 12.Na2 Ne5 13.Nxb4 Bxe4.

11...Ne5! 12.Bxe5 dxe5 13.Rad1 Bc5 14.b4?

This move shows the shallowness of White's positional judgment. As he could not well have expected Black to miss 14...Bxb4 15.Nxb5, he might have thought he could restrict Black's Bs. Much later it was recognized that the two Bs, locked in by the pawns and condemned to passivity too long, are bound to come to life again.

14...Be7 15.a3 0–0 16.h3 Rfd8 17.Qe3 Nd7 18.Rd3 Nb6 19.Rfd1 Nc4

The c4 square, as usual in this variation, is now decisively in Black's possession.

20.Qc1 Qb6 21.Nb1 h6 22.h4 Rac8 23.Rxd8+ Rxd8 24.Rd3 Rc8

Quite unbiased by the prejudice that open files should not be left unchallenged. If now 25.Rd7 Bf8 26.Qd1 Qc6 with the threat of ...Nd6. Black's aim is, by exerting pressure on his c-file, to force White to play c3, thus restricting the mobility of White's Knights still further.

25.c3 Rd8 26.Qd1 Bd6 27.Qc2

27...Nb2 was threatened. How a file doubly occupied can be made useless is cleverly demonstrated by Paulsen.

27...Bb8 28.Nc1 Ba7 29.Rxd8+ Qxd8 30.Qd3 Qb6 31.Qe2 Ne3 32.Bf3 Nc4 33.Bg2 Qc6 34.Nb3 Ba8 35.N3d2 Nd6 36.Kf1

After Black has blockaded White's Q-side and the activity of the N's has been reduced, he prepares his decisive breakthrough.

36...f5 37.Ke1 Qb6 38.Bf1

Even 38.f3 , which Metger thought could have saved the game, would not have helped; 38...Qg1+ 39.Nf1 fxe4 40.fxe4 Bxe4 41.Bxe4 Nxe4 42.Qxe4 Qf2+ 43.Kd1 Qxf1+ 44.Kd2 Qf2+ 45.Kd1 Be3 46.Qa8+ Kh7 47.Qxa6 Qf1+ 48.Kc2 Qe2+ 49.Kb3 Bc1.

38...fxe4 0–1

Black threatens ...Bd5 and ...e3.

This game really consists of an opening and an endgame with the middle game cleverly eliminated, a characteristic of modern times seen, for example, in the games of Rubinstein. Paulsen was renowned for his endgame play, especially for his handling of the Bishops in an open position. The present game, however, shows a notable advance in the method of bringing to life the two Bishops confined behind a pawn chain, This technique of breaking up the opponent’s pawn skeleton afterwards became part of our general technique.

First published in The Chess Correspondent, September 1958, pp. 1-2 and later in The California Chess Reporter, August-September 1961, pp.11-15.




5) Here and There



Congratulations to Fabiano Caruana  who turned in a phenomenal result in the Russian Team Cup, scoring 6 from 7 for a performance rating of 2896, for his club Moscow 64.

According to the website, the 10th annual Karpov tournament in Poikovsky, Russia will be held this June.with Onischuk, Bologan,Rublevsky, Jakovenko, Shirov (all of
whom are the past winners of the event) among the participants.

Gata Kamsky is playing in the FIDE Grand Prix in Nalchik, Russia, from April 15-30. The ICC ( is televising the games live.


6) Upcoming Events


MI Events - full details at


Imre Konig Memorial - April 18

Charles Powell Memorial May 9

3rd Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz May 10

Northern California and Nevada


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


These are three of the remaining five events that qualify players for the State Championship Candidates.
April 18-19
2009 SCCF Senior/Junior Open
5-SS, rds 1-3 G/90 with 10 second delay, rds 4-5 G/120 with 10 second delay. San Diego Chess Club, 2225 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101.
$$3,200, based on 60 players (60% of each prize guaranteed) In 2 sections: Senior (must be at least 50 years old), Junior (must under 50 years old).
Both Sections: $$300-150-50 U2300 $150-50 U2100 $150-50 U1900 $150-50 U1700 $150-50 Plus $100 for Best over 60 years old, $100 for BU 20 years old $100 for Best over 70 years old, $100 for BU 16 years old $100 for Best over 80 years old, $100 for BU 12 years old. Each player is eligible for only one of all the above prizes! Unrated players can win only the top 3 prizes, no rating or age prizes.
Reg: 9-9:45 Saturday.
Rds: 10 -2-6 Saturday, 10-3  Sunday.
EF: $50 if rec’d by 4/17,  $10 more on event day. Special rate for players rated U1500: $25.
SCCF membership req’d, $18, $10 Juniors under 19 includes Rank & File magazine, OSA.  One half point bye OK in Rds 1-4,  please request by Rd 1, no last round byes. 
Please bring your own chess equipment, but we do have sets, boards, bags and digital clocks for sale at a good price.
WEB: Online unofficial web ratings used. Strict $5 fine for cell phone and noise violations. Keep the noise down, respect your fellow chess players. This is a gentleman’s game, so rude or obnoxious behavior may be grounds for ejection; thankfully this is rare.
Parking: Free spots on street, arrive early for closest ones.
Hotel: Suggested hotel is Crowne Plaza in Misson Valley, just four miles from the chess club at 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego CA 92108, (619) 297-1101, home to this year’s 31st Annual Southern California Open (Labor Day weekend 9/5-7/09), see hotel info at
Info: Bruce Baker at (619) 239-7166 or  see our website at for further info.
Ent: SDCC, PO Box 120162, San Diego, CA 91112.
NS. NC. State Championship Qualifier.

April 19
2009 Westwood Spring Open
5-SS, G/40. Los Angeles Chess Club, 11514 Santa Monica Blvd, LA, CA 90025, 2nd floor (4 blocks West of 405 Fwy).
$$1500 b/50, 80% of each prize guaranteed.
In two sections:
Open: $400-200-50, U2200 125, U2000 125.
Reserve (U1800) $$200-125, U1600 $100, Under 1400/unrated $100, U1200 $75.
EF: $47 if received by 4/18, $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.
Reg: 9-9:45 a.m.
Rds: 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.

May 2-3
11th Annual Los Angeles County Championship
5-SS, 30/85, SD/30 (1st 3 rounds), 40/2, SD/1 (last 2 rounds). Sierra Vista Rec Center, 311 N Rural Drive, Monterey Park, CA 91755.
$1000 guaranteed: $300-150, U2200, U2000, U1800, U1600, U1400 each $100, U1200 $50.
EF: $39 if rec’d by 4/30, $45 at door. Special option for HS/below: $15, 10 trophies only.
SCCF membership req’d of So. Californians: $18, $10 jrs.
Reg: 9-9:40 am,
Rds: 10-2-6, 10-4.
Inf: Randy Hough (626) 282-7412,
Ent: SCCF, PO Box 205, Monterey Park, CA 91754.
WCL JGP. GP: 6. State Championship Qualifier.