Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #447

But surely if chess is worth playing and studying at all then it must be as an end in itself. To say that the point of playing chess is to achieve a number is a cheapening of the game which has only held sway during the last twenty years.

Nigel Davies

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

2) Showalter visits Mechanics’ Institute 1891

3) Here and There

4) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

NMs Russell Wong and Oleg Shakhnazarov head the list of players who have perfect scores after two rounds of the 71-player Tuesday Night Marathon. It is still possible to enter the eight round event with half point byes for the first two rounds. GMs Josh Friedel and Jesse Kraai will lead a contingent of Mechanics' players to Las Vegas for the National Open this weekend. IM Sam Shankland is among the participants in the US Junior Closed which will be held this summer in Wisconsin. Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics' are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics' are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics'. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.

2) Showalter visits Mechanics’ Institute 1891

Thanks to John Blackstone for finding the following articles.

Arrival of J. H. Showalter, the Eastern Player

Local Artists to Test His Skill— He Proclaims
Steinitz the World's Champion— His Views on the Game

J. H. Showalter, one of the most prominent of native American chess-players, and
whom good judges predict will soon equal Steinitz, the chess champion of the world, is
now in the city. This is his first visit to California . Business and pleasure combined have

brought him here. During his stay in San Francisco , which will be of about a month's duration,

he will be the guest of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, in whose rooms he will daily display

his mastery of the royal game.

He will play some match games with the best players of the various local clubs, and such experts

as Messrs. Redding, Lovegrove and Dr. Marshall have already consented to cross swords with him.

The games will most probably be played in the Mechanics' Institute rooms.

Mr. Showalter comes from Georgetown , Ky. He is a most prepossessing gentleman,
about 30 years of age, and of pleasing address and appearance.

Speaking to a Call reporter yesterday on the topic if chess he said: "I have played the. game

ever since I was a boy, but It has only been within the last five or six years that I gained any deep

insight into the game.


"I made my first public appearance in a tournament in 1889, when I took part in the
International Chess Congress held in .New York . There were twenty contestants, and
I gained ninth place. List year 1 was more successful, taking first place in the tournament,

at Chicago , of the United States Chess Association, against Lipschitz and Pollock.

There will be another tournament held this year at Lexington , Ky. , beginning on
August 4th, in which I shall take part, as will Pollock of Baltimore, Max Judd of St.
Louis , a very strong player, Lipschitz of New York and others.

"I am an honorary member of every chess club in the country, I believe, and am an
active one of the Manhattan Club of New York. I do not know if it be any special
honor, but, as far as I can ascertain, I am the youngest public chess-player in
America ."

“Who is the greatest living chess-player" Steinitz, most certainly. There can be
no doubt about his being the champion.He is a Bohemian by birth, I believe. At
present he is in New York , where he has lived for the past two years."


In reply to a question as to what new openings or gambits had recently been invented,

Mr. Showalter said: "Chess is too old a game; it has been played too many ages for

any really new discoveries to be made in it. What are claimed as new gambits or openings
are simply the old ones revived with the slightest of variations. It is true t hat in
many instances attacks condemned years ago as unsound have been studied over again,
demonstrated to be sound, and played again successfully, but that does not make them
new inventions. The game is the same as ever. The changes are in developing new
lines as the play progresses and varying the cross gambits, defensive and aggressive
plays. My remarks apply to new inventions in play, solely to the openings and gambits,
for as the game proceeds new combinations are constantly being made by the advanced
players. It is simply impossible to number the possible variations of a game of Chess."

Source: The Morning Call ( San Francisco ) February 17, 1891 (page 3)


Interview With an Exponent of It's Beauties

What the Champion Says of San Francisco

Off for the East

Jackson W. Showalter, the American champion chess-player, who has been demonstrating

the beauties of that scientific game to the players in the Mechanics' Institute, leaves at the end

of this week for his home in Kentucky. En route he will visit Los Angeles, staying there about a
week, and will play the experts there. After leaving Los Angeles lie will visit St.Louis for two weeks

to play a match with Max Judge, who challenges his title to the championship.

Mr. Showalter has been most courteously treated by the local chess-players, and he is
eloquent in expressing his gratitude for the extremely kind manner in which he has been received.

Unfortunately the rainy weather caused him to suffer with a severe cold during most of his month's

stay and left him unable to accept much of the hospitality that was so freely extended to him.

Excepting the disagreeable weather recollections, lie carries away with him only the pleasantest

memories of San Francisco and its residents.

Speaking of the strength of the local players as compared with those he has met else where,

Mr. Showalter is most complimentary. In his opinion, "the players of San Francisco are much

stronger than those of Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Pittsburgh. They take a very great interest

in the game, and the outlook for San Francisco to be one of the leading centers for first class play

is most encouraging. Owing to larger populations and wider organizations the play in New York,

St. Louis, Brooklyn and New Orleans is probably stronger than here. But San Francisco in general

in comparison with all cities of equal size in the Union is much ahead.

" I have played with all the leading lovers of the game here. I think Joseph Redding is perhaps the

strongest player I have met, but I have only played twice with him. I won one game and the other was

not finished. My principal reason for not leaving sooner was to meet Mr. Redding in a match
game of three in five this week. Walter Lovegrove is the best young player I have met here.

I think he will prove a formidable opponent for any one in a year or two,and I believe he has

a most brilliant prospect before him in the chess world.

"Dr. Marshall is also a player of strong caliber. I have played several games with him. and always found

him a hard man to defeat. Messrs. Manson, Ott and Heine man are also first-class, and would be valuable

acquisitions to any club.

"After meeting Mr. Judd in St Louis my next public engagement is in the United States Association Chess Congress

on August 4 at Lexington, Ky., when the championship title will be played for again."

That the game between the champion and Walter Lovegrove was a well contested one from opening to finish can readily
be seen by a glance at the following record of the moves:

Lovegrove,W - Showalter,J [C25]
Game San Francisco, CA, 1891

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.d4 d5 5.exd5 Qh4+ 6.Ke2 Bg4+ 7.Nf3 0-0-0 8.Bxf4 Nf6 9.dxc6 Bc5 10.cxb7+ Kb8

11.Be3 Rhe8 12.Kd3

( ?? 12.dxc5! was indicated -JD)

12... Rxe3+ 13.Kxe3 Bxf3 14.Kxf3 Qg4+ 15.Kf2 Bxd4+ 16.Ke1 Qh4+ 17.g3 Bxc3+ 18.bxc3 Rxd1+ 19.Kxd1 Qe4

20.Rg1 Qe3 21.Rg2 Ne4 22.Re2 Nxc3+ 23.Ke1 Nxe2 24.Bxe2 Qc3+ 0-1

Source: The Morning Call ( San Francisco) March 11, 1891, page 2.

3) Here and There

GM Timur Gareev leads the Copper State International in Mesa, Arizona with 7 from 9 with one round to go.

IM Alex Lenderman is tied for second at 6.5 and appears to have already made his first GM norm.

NM Michael Aigner prepared the following two lists for June.

Bay Area Juniors rated in the top five on USCF age group lists

Tanuj Vasudeva (#1 age 7)
Samuel Sevian (#1 age 8)
Cameron Wheeler (#5 age 8)
Yian Liou (#3 age 11)
FM Danya Naroditsky (#1 age 13)
NM Greg Young (#3 age 14)
NM Steven Zierk (#2 age 15)
NM Rohan Agarwal (#5 age 16)
IM Sam Shankland (#2 age 17)

Northern California Juniors on USCF Top Under 21 list

#6 IM Sam Shankland, 2481, 17

#11 FM Elliott Liu, 2405, 19 (attends Stanford; from S. California)

#15 FM Danya Naroditsky, 2378, 13

#20 NM Steven Zierk, 2333, 15

#26 NM Daniel Schwarz, 2313, 19 (attends Stanford)

#36 NM Julian Landaw, 2284, 19 (attends UC Berkeley; from S. California)

#42 NM Drake Wang, 2262, 19 (attends Cal Poly SLO)

#46 NM Greg Young, 2249, 14

#48 NM Jimmy Heiserman, 2236, 20 (attends UC Davis; from Texas)

#50 NM Rohan Agarwal, 2231, 16

#53 NM Vaishnav Aradhyula, 2226, 18 (attends Stanford; from Arizona)

#96 Christopher De Sa, 2158, 18 (attends Stanford; from Arizona)

Rusty Miller sends the following link dedicated to the games of Montana/Washington Expert Michael Murray

4) 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

July 3-5 or 4-5 2009 Sacramento Chess Championship & nbsp; GPP: 6 California Northern

ROUNDS: 6 FORMAT: Swiss RATING: Full-K. SITE: Best Western Expo Inn, 1413 Howe Avenue , Sacramento , CA. ON-SITE REGISTRATION: 7/3 - 8:30 am - 9:45 am; 7/4 - 8:00 am - 8:45 am. ROUNDS: 3-day: 7/3 - 10 & 3:30, 7/4 - 10:30 & 4, 7/5 - 10 & 3:30. 2-day: 7/4 - 9, 11:15, 1:30, & 4, 7/5 - 10 & 3:30. TIME CONTROLS: 3-day: 30/90 G/60. 2-day: Rounds 1-3, G/60, Rounds 4-6, 30/90 G/60. 5-second delay on all time controls. SECTIONS: Master/Expert (above 1999), Reserve (U2000). ENTRY FEES: 3-day $65 (Juniors $45) postmarked by 6/27. $75 (Juniors $50) after 6/27. IMs/GMs free. Entrants may play up one section for $10. $5 discount to CalChess members (excluding reentries). Reentry after round 2 of the 3-day schedule: $40. PRIZES: 1st Place in each section $320 & trophy (1st place guaranteed in the Master/Expert section). Prize fund of $2540 based on 75 full paid adult entries and 10 full paid junior entries overall (with 60 full paid adult entries and 10 full paid junior entries, the prize fund will be $1,840). HOTEL: Best Western Expo Inn, (916) 922-9833 or 1-800-643-4422. Ask for the Sacramento Chess Club rates. ADVANCE ENTRIES & INFO: John McCumiskey (TD), 6700 50 St, Sacramento , CA 95823-1306 ; e-mail:; phone: (916) 524-9479, checks payable to Sacramento Chess Club. Full flyer and advance entries: under Weekend Events. OTHER INFO: No Smoking, No Computers, Wheelchair Access. 07/09 rating list only. Please bring clocks and equipment. 1/2 point byes available in any round and must be requested before the completion of the previous round. Maximum two 1/2 point byes per entry. 1/2 point byes for rounds 5 & 6 must be requested prior to round 1 and may not be changed.WCL JGP.