Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #444

During the height of his fame, Rubinstein was by no means so hard to beat as many other masters- for example, Capablanca and Schlechter. He was often defeated in the first round of a tournament, but his serene, apparently colorless method of building up his game was in reality far more powerful and dangerous to his opponents than Capablanca's safety play, and therefore he usually obtained a very high percentage of wins, despite one or more losses.
Gideon Stahlberg in Chess and Chessmasters
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) US Championship
3) Here and There
4) Places to Play in the East Bay
5) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
NM Michael Pearson is almost up to 2300 after winning the 9th Annual Charles Powell G/45 last Saturday with a 5-0 score. IM Ricardo DeGuzman, who took a first round bye, was second at 4.5 in the 39-player-field, but came back to the Mechanics' the next day to dominate the 3rd Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz, scoring 10-0 in the five double round Swiss to take home $300. Arthur Ismakov was second at 7.5, good for $200, followed by Eric Schiller, Oleg Shakhnazarov and Jules Jelinek equal third to fifth with 7. 11-year-old Yian Liou rounded out the list of  prize winners with 6.5. The event, which attracted 28 participants, was made possible by the generosity of the Schutt family who not only sponsored the prize fund but also provided a large spread of food and drink and a book from Ray's library for each participant. This event was very popular with participants and spectators alike. Keep an eye out at for a large photo report on the event from Richard Shorman who kindly provided all participants with crisp portraits of themselves blitzing away.
Mechanics' member Payam Afkham-Ebrahimi has complied some interesting tournament activity statistics for the Mechanics' Chess Club over the past 14 months. Heading the most active list is John Chan who has played in 24 events followed by IM Ricardo DeGuzman and Kyle Tom with 20. This is an impressive record by Chan who played in almost every single event he was eligible to compete in. The MICC annually holds twelve one day G/45 events, five Tuesday Night Marathons, two to three amateur tournaments with rating restrictions, a senior open for players over 50, the Stamer and Capps - two large two day events with long traditions, the MI Scholastic Championship sponsored in memory of Martin Wiskemann and eleven one day scholastic quads.
MI member Daniel Naroditsky is tied for first with Vladimir Belous of Russia in  Somov's Memorial, better known as the Young Stars of the World tournament, with 2.5 points from 3. This Category 5 offers IM norm possibilities. The 12-player round-robin has a time control of G/90 plus 30 second increment.
Here is the field of future stars Daniel is competing against.
  • GM Shimanov, Aleksandr (Russia 1992) ELO 2519 -- Defending Champion
  • IM Ipatov, Alexander (Spain 1993) ELO 2486 -- 2nd place at 2008 LeMans Open
  • Belous, Vladimir (Russia 1993) ELO 2414 -- 2009 Russian U16 Champ
  • IM Narayanan, Srinath, (India 1994) ELO 2381 -- 2005 World U12 Champ
  • FM Stukopin, Andrey (Russia 1994) ELO 2380
  • FM Chan, Yi-Ren Daniel (Singapore 1994) ELO 2375 -- played in 2008 Olympiad
  • FM Dubov, Daniil (Russia 1996) ELO 2372
  • FM Bukavshin, Ivan (Russia 1995) ELO 2365 -- 2006 European U12 Champ
  • FM Naroditsky, Daniel (USA 1995) ELO 2335 -- 2006 World U12 Champ
  • FM Kovalev, Vladislav (Belarus 1994) ELO 2320
  • FM Fedoseev, Vladimir (Russia 1995) ELO 2318
  • Ganichev, Alexander (Russia 1994) ELO 2154
The official website has both Russian and English pages .  BS Chess is also reporting on the tournament in English - .
2) US Championship
It's Armageddon time at the US Championship in St Louis as the event nears the half-way mark . There is a five way tie for first at 3-1 between GMs Gata Kamsky (2720), Yury Shulman (2632), Josh Friedel (2516), Hikaru Nakamura (2701) and Varuzhan Akobian (2612) and the match up every one has been waiting to see - Nakamura-Kamsky - is scheduled for today. According to Mega Database 2009 America's top two highest rated players have previously met only once over the board in a rapid event at the Marshall Chess Club in 2004 (it was a draw).
Junior players are really shining at the Championship. Besides Friedel who always seems to play well in this event three young talents are showing massive improvement over the 2008 Championship in Stillwater. Robert Hess and Sam Shankland each have two and a half points against stellar fields while Ray Robson has knocked off two GMs and has an even score. So does 48-year-old Kansas City IM Michael Brooks who has come out of semi-retirement to hold his own so far against the best players in the United States.
Go to to follow the tournament.
3) Here and There
Former Candidate and US Champion Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan is having a successful "retirement" from tournament play. Yasser, who lives in Amsterdam with his wife Yvette, no longer plays in tournaments but still keeps his foot in the game by playing in the Dutch team championship and events featuring quicker time controls.
Yasser says that he was lucky to score 5-0 in the Dutch league this season, that three of the games could have been draws, but look how he takes apart the experienced Belgian GM Luc Winants who is strategically lost out of the opening.
Seirawan,Y - Winants,L [E12]
Rotterdam-HSG, May 10, 2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.a3 g6 6.Qc2 Bxf3 7.gxf3 Bg7 8.Bg5 d5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.e4 dxe4 11.0-0-0 0-0
11...exf3 12.Bxf6 picks up a Rook.
 12.fxe4 h6 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 Nh5 15.e5! Nd7 16.Qf5 Re8 17.Bc4 Qe7 18.h4 Nf8 19.Ne4 b5 20.Ba2 c5 21.hxg5 Nxg3 22.Nxg3 cxd4
 Trading Queen does not provide relief - 22...Qxg5+ 23.f4 Qxf5 (23...Qxg3 24.Qxf7+ Kh7 25.Qg8+ Kg6 26.Bb1+) 24.Nxf5 Ng6 25.Rdg1 Kf8 26.Bxf7 Kxf7 27.Nd6+ .
23.gxh6 Bxe5 24.f4 Bf6 25.Nh5 Rac8+ 26.Kb1 Rc6 27.Bd5 Rd6 28.Rhe1 Qxe1 29.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 30.Ka2 Nh7 31.Qg6+ Kh8 32.Bxf7 1-0
Chess at the Lakeview Library with MAAT Science Village Chess Club  begins Saturday May 16th.  Come celebrate the 60th year anniversary of Lakeview and play some chess!  We'll be there every 3rd Saturday between 1-5pm, 550 El Embarcadero in Oakland.
 Stefan Zweig's famous Schachnovelle ( The Royal Game or Chess Story ) is one of the best attempts to explain what makes chess so compelling . 

'The more I now sought to form an impression of such a temperament, the more unimaginable appeared to me : a mind absorbed for a lifetime in a domain of sixty-four black and white squares.... But is it not already an insult to call chess anything so narrow as a game? Is it not also a science, an art, hovering between these categories like Muhammed's coffin between heaven and earth, a unique yoking of opposites, ancient and yet eternally new, mechanically constituted and yet an activity of the imagination alone, limited to a fixed geometric area but unlimited in its permutations, constantly evolving and yet sterile, a cogitation producing nothing, a mathematics calculating nothing, an art without an artwork, an architecture without substance and yet demonstrably more durable in its essence and actual form than all books and works, the only game that belongs to all peoples and all eras, while no one knows what god put it on earth to deaden boredom, sharpen the mind, and fortify the spirit? Where does it begin, where does it end? Any child can learn its basic rules, any amateur can try his hand at it; and yet, within the inalterable confines of a chessboard, masters unlike any others evolve, people with a talent for chess and chess alone, special geniuses whose gifts of imagination, patience and skill are just as precisely apportioned as those of mathematicians, poets, and musicians, but differently arranged and combined..."

Pages 14-15 (Chess Story, New York Review Book 2006)

4) Places to Play in the East Bay
 Thanks to  Eric De Mund and his website for providing the following information.

Adams Point Chess Salon, Oakland, CA

  • Thursday evenings, 7:30-10:30pm (formerly 7:00-10:30pm).
  • Casual play.
  • "We meet in a private home in the Adams Point neighborhood of Oakland, CA, near Lake Merritt. We average 8-10 players, and have been meeting since July 2002. Beginners welcome. No sore losers, no trash talkers and no whiners."
  • Contact Richard 'S' Lee at <tripkit AT aol DOT com>.
  • Updated 2009.01.04 (RSLee/EDeMund).

Alameda Chess Group, Alameda, CA

  • Sunday, Monday, and Friday afternoons and evenings, 2:00-8:00pm (formerly only Sunday afternoons and evenings).
  • Casual play.
  • Starbucks Coffee; 1364 Park Street (between Alameda and Central Avenues); Alameda, CA 94501.
  • Starbucks Coffee may be reached for directions at (510) 521-5815.
  • Updated 2009.01.06 (SLingor/EDeMund).

Berkeley Chess Club, Berkeley, CA

  • Friday evenings, 7:00-11:00pm.
  • Rated tournament play. Time control: 30/90 followed by G/30.
  • Hillside School, Room 17; 1581 Le Roy Avenue; Berkeley, CA 94708.
  • Visit <>, email Elizabeth Shaughnessy at <bcschool AT pacbell DOT net>, or telephone (510) 843-0150.
  • Reconfirmed 2009.01.05 (MZebra/EDeMund).

Contra Costa Chess Club, Clayton, CA

  • Thursday evenings, 7:30-10:30pm.
  • Casual play; USCF rated quads coming soon.
  • Starbucks Coffee; Clayton Station Shopping Center; 1536 Kirker Pass Road; Clayton, CA 94517.
  • Contact John Treshler at <JTresBienXXX AT aol DOT com>.
  • USCF Affiliate Club ID#A6024746. All skill levels welcome!
  • Reconfirmed 2009.02.03 (JTreshler/EDeMund).

Fremont Chess Club, Fremont, CA

  • Friday evenings, 8:00pm-12:00am (formerly 8:00-11:00pm).
  • Casual play.
  • Fremont Community Activity Center; 3375 Country Drive; Fremont CA 94536.
  • Club web site is <>. Also, the club director Ken Zowal may be contacted at <kenneth DOT zowal AT sbcglobal DOT net> or (510) 623-9935.
  • Updated 2009.01.03 (KZowal/EDeMund).

Fremont Informal Chess Group, Fremont, CA

  • "Just about every day", starting any time from 5:00-7:00pm, and staying until closing time.
    [2009.01.03] Closing times for this Starbucks Coffee location are now Sunday-Thursday: 10:00pm, Friday-Saturday: 11:00pm.
  • Casual play.
  • Starbucks Coffee; 5034 Mowry Avenue; Fremont, CA 94538.
  • No contact person known yet, though this seems to be a group of half a dozen players. Contact Starbucks Coffee at (510) 818-9026 for directions.
  • Updated 2009.01.03 (EDeMund).

Lakeview Chess Club, Oakland, CA

  • Tuesday afternoons, 3:30-5:00pm (formerly until 5:30pm).
  • Casual play.
  • Lakeview Library; 550 El Embarcadero; Oakland, CA 94610.
  • Contact Mary Farrell at <mfarrell AT oaklandlibrary DOT org> or phone (510) 238-7344; or visit <> and
    <> for more information.
  • "We've been having 4-12 people, children and adults, on Tuesdays. Rod Sanza is the facilitator." --Mary Farrell, 2007.09.15
  • Reconfirmed 2009.01.07 (MFarrell/EDeMund).

Livermore Chess Club, Livermore, CA

  • Friday evenings, 8:00-11:00pm, excluding holiday Fridays and Fridays preceding holiday weekends.
  • Casual play.
  • Taqueria Hidalgo; 905 Bluebell Drive; Livermore, CA 94551. This shop is in the Springtown Chevron Service Station.
  • Contact Philip Sterne at <sterne1 AT llnl DOT gov> or Keith Mehl at <kmehl AT chabotcollege DOT edu>. Also, Taqueria Hidalgo may be telephoned for directions at (925) 294-8560.
  • Reconfirmed 2009.01.06 (PSterne/KMehl/EDeMund).

MAAT Science Village Chess Club, Oakland, CA

  • Saturday afternoons, 1:00-6:00pm.
  • Casual play, unrated tournament play, lessons, training, and lectures.
  • Museum of African American Technology (MAAT) Science Village; 408 14th Street; Oakland, CA 94612.
  • Contact Gerl Jenkins at <gerljenkins AT gmail DOT com> or telephone the Museum of African American Technology (MAAT) Science Village at (510) 893-6426.
  • Reconfirmed 2009.01.05 (GJenkins/KStancil/EDeMund).

Moraga Chess Club, Moraga, CA

  • Saturday and Sunday mornings, 11:00am-1:00pm.
  • Casual play.
  • Starbucks Coffee; Rheem Valley Shopping Center; 500 Moraga Road; Moraga, CA 94556.
  • Contact John Harris at <piledriver UNDERSCORE 4 AT yahoo DOT com>, (925) 383-0222, or phone Starbucks Coffee for directions at (925) 377-0523.
  • "We have been meeting for the last two years or so and have about 4-6 regulars and we occasionally have as many as 8." --John Harris, 2008.11.12
  • Reconfirmed 2009.01.10 (JHarris/EDeMund).

Newark Chess Club, Newark, CA

  • Friday evenings, 7:00-10:00pm.
  • Rated tournament play, casual play.
  • Newark Public Library; 6300 Civic Terrace Avenue; Newark, CA 94560.
  • Contact Ted Castro at <ted0712 AT yahoo DOT com>, or telephone him at (415) 756-1204. Also, the Newark Public Library may be telephoned for directions at (510) 795-2627.
  • Club is informal but very enthusiastic, averaging 30-35 persons per meeting, with numbers occasionally surging to 50.
  • Reconfirmed 2009.01.05 (TCastro/EDeMund).

San Leandro Chess Group, San Leandro, CA

  • Saturday afternoons, 1:00-7:00pm (formerly 1:00-6:00pm).
  • Casual play.
  • Cafe Sorriso; 1501 Washington Avenue; San Leandro, CA 94577.
  • Contact Cafe Sorriso for directions at (510) 351-3605.
  • Updated 2009.01.06 (SLingor/EDeMund).

Walnut Creek Chess Club, Walnut Creek, CA

  • Friday afternoons, 1:00-4:00pm.
  • Casual play.
  • Dollar Clubhouse at Rossmoor Walnut Creek; 1001 Golden Rain Road; Walnut Creek, CA 94595.
  • Contact Bob Nace at (925) 939-7937; also, the Dollar Clubhouse telephone number is (925) 988-7881.
  • Updated 2009.01.06 (BNace/EDeMund).
5) Upcoming Events
Mechanics' Events ( go to for more information)

Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 13-14
William Addison Open - June 20
Charles Bagby Memorial - July 18
Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 8
Bernardo Smith Memorial - August 22-23
Scholastic Championship - July 11
Northern California 

May 16-17   Berkeley Open

4-SS, 90/90; G/60. Hillside School; 1581 Le Roy Ave, Berkeley, California. $$B 80 paid entries (not counting unrated entries ). Three Sections: Open: $320-225, U2200 $220-120; A/B Section: A $220-115, B $220-115; Reserve: C $220-115; D/E $220-115, Unr: Trophy First. Reserve players playing in the A/B section compete for the B prizes. All, EF: postmarked by 5/11 $40, $50 at site. Unrateds $20 in the Reserve section or may play up to the Open section for the regular fee. $2 discount to CalChess members or to BCC Members. USCF memb. req'd. May play up for add'l $10 per section. Reg.: Sat 5/16 9:00-9:45 am. 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 May Ratings List, CCA minimums and Directors discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible. Please bring clocks and equipment. INFO: (650)-224-4938. Email: Ent: Richard Koepcke, P.O. Box 1432, Mountain View, CA 94042. No Phone entries. WCL JGP.

A Heritage Event!
May 16-17   29th Annual San Joaquin Championship   GPP: 15   California Northern

5SS, Rds 1-3 G/90; Rds 4-5 G/120, St Agnes Medical Center, West Wing, Education Room B, 1303 E Herndon Ave., Fresno, CA 93710. EF: $35 if rec'd by May 13; $45 at the door. Entry fee returned after Rd 5 GM IM SM. $$GTD: $400-200-100-100. Trophies 1st overall and Classes A B C D, Under 1200 & Unrated. Accelerated pairings rd 1. 1/2 bye point any round. Must be requested before Rd 2. ENT: Fresno Chess Club, c/o Vaness French, 4085 N Peach Ave., Apt 166, Fresno, CA 93727-8415. INFO: Vaness French 559-292-1468 & DIR: Email for site directions. NS NC W. WCL JGP.

May 23-25   BayAreaChess Memorial Day Festival

San Jose, CA. 6SSx30/90 G/60. Expected prize $3360 based on 85 paid entries. 6 sections: (Master, Expert, A, B, C, D/E/Unr); 2 day schedule with 3xG/60 merges in Round 4. EF: $66. BayAreaChess is #1 USCF affiliate in rated games west of Texas! More info at Online entry at: Email to: WCL JGP.