Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #451

Against Sarkar I came up with a plan that put all my coconuts en prise. It was a strategic plan, not a tactical one, but it set some concrete problems that Sarkar was unable to solve.

It was the kind of plan you have to be insane to come up with. I'm not going to put it into the computer because I don't want to know if it’s objectively right. I don't usually put my games into the computer; it makes me lazy. It was a good move in a human game, and chess is always a human game.

GM Jesse Kraai

This quote comes from aninterview GM Kraai gave to Elizabeth Vicary which can be found at . It was Jesse who played in the New York International (he tied for sixth with 6 from 9) and not GM Josh Friedel as erroneously reported a few Newsletters back.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

2) Sam Shankland makes another GM norm

3) Vinay Bhat finishes third in Montreal

4) New FIDE rating list

5) Hikaru Nakamura’s upcoming events

6) Here and There

7) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Anthony Rozenvasser moved into first with 5.5 points after defeating Oleg Shaknazarov in round six of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon . The latter has finished atop of the standings in the past few Marathons but he will need help to repeat with only two rounds remaining for the 72-player field.

Congratulations to longtime Mechanics' Trustee Mark Pinto who recently received his FIDE master title. Mark was rated over 2300 FIDE ( the requirement) back in 1991 but his

title was overlooked for almost two decades. Mark was a member of the 2006 Mechanics' team that won the US Chess League and has a lifetime record of 4.5 from 6 ( 2428 performance)

in the team competition.

Thanks to GMs Varuzhan Akobian and Yury Shulman for the donation of a signed poster from their match played earlier this year. It has been framed and is now hanging in the club.

George Sanguinetti sends in his weekly report from the Mechanics' Wednesday Night Blitz

Last week the Wednesday Night Blitz tournament had a high to date attendance of 13 players and, I believe, for the first time ever saw the winner go undefeated. Anthony Rozenvasser, produced the nearly perfect score of 11 ˝ out of 12 possible points - drawing only with third place finisher Yefim Bukh. The sizzling hot Anthony is also leading the Tuesday Night Marathon with a score of 5 ˝ out of 6 point. Can anyone stop him? :-)

Wednesday Night Blitz Winners for the week of 06-24-2009 are:

1st : Anthony Rozenvasser $ 32.50 (11 ˝ )

2nd : Romy Fuentes $ 19.50 (9 1/2)

3rd : Yefim Bukh $ 13.00 (8 1/2)

I have one more innovation for this week's tournament. I will give each player an additional score strip to use to track their own results and turn in at the end of the tournament. So please bring pens or pencils. If the numbers allow us, we will be staying with the simple single elimination, without playoffs or tie breaks.

(I'm still open to other suggestions, however.)


To assure ease of entry and payout, bring small bills and coins.

To assure that there is a tournament at all, bring Clocks. :-) (Digital is always better.) Bring pens or pencils.

Prizes: 1st 50%, 2nd 30%, 3rd 20% of Total Entry Fees

Arrive between 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm to be assured a spot.

Arrive between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm for space available entry only.*

Arrive after 7:00 pm to watch. :-)

*"Space available" will mean that there is a single round robin going on with less than 15 players.

2) Sam Shankland makes another GM norm

Sam Shankland has now made two GM norms in 11 days! He scored 6.5 from 9 in the Philadelphia International for number two, half a point behind IMs Jacek Stopa and Alex Lenderman ( who also made his second GM norm. Chess Life Online did an excellent job of covering the event ( ) and the following game from round 9 comes from its coverage.

Philadelphia International, 2009
Sam Shankland
Daniel Fernandez

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6 7.Be3 Bf5 8.Nc3 e6 9.Nf3 Bg4 10.Qd3 Qd7 11.O-O-O O-O-O 12.Be2 Bf5 13.Qd2 Nb4

Sam pinpointed 13...Nb4, as Fernandez's mistake, suggesting 13..Na5 instead, "with an unclear, equalish position." Shankland's response to Nb4, 14. Nh4!, led to positional dominance. Shankland understood why Fernandez was tempted by ...Nb4. There are some beautiful lines if White misplays it, like 14.a3 Nc2 15. Nh4? Na1! winning or 14.b3 Nd5! with a mate threat on a3!

14.Nh4 Bg6 5.Nxg6 hxg616.a3 Nc617.Qc2 Kb8 18.Ne4 Be7 19.h3 f5 20.exf6 gxf6 21.Nc5 Qd6 22.Bf3 g5 23.Kb1 f5 24.Na6+ bxa6 25.c5 Qd7 26.cxb6 Na5 27.bxa7+ Kxa7 28.Qc3 Nb7 29.Bc6 Qc8 30.d5+ Kb8 31.Rc1

Sam also told CLO that he thought 31.Rc1 was the cleanest win, preventing the bishop from coming to c5 and preparing the lethal Qd4-a7 threat.

31...Rxd5 32.Bxd5 exd5 33.Qd4 c6 34.Qa7+ Kc7 35.Rxc6+ Kxc6 36.Rc1+ Bc5 37.Bxc5 1-0

Sam will try to make it three for three in the World Open. Joining him in Philadelphia are fellow Mechanics' members GMs Josh Friedel, Jesse Kraai and Vinay Bhat and Daniel and Alan Naroditsky.

3) Vinay Bhat finishes third in Montreal

GM Vinay Bhat writes:

I just finished up in Montreal , winning against Mark Bluvshtein in the last round to go up to 6.5/9. Kovalyov won clear first with 7.5 while Mark scored 7/9. We all qualified for the Category 15 round-robin at the end of August. The players for that one are: Bacrot, Naiditsch, Tiviakov, Onischuk, Moisseenko, Shulman, Akobian, and Maze.

Quebec Invitational, Montreal

1. GM Kovalyov (ARG) - 7˝/9;
2. GM Bluvshtein (CAN) - 7;
3. GM Bhat ( USA )- 6˝;
4. IM Roussel Roozmon (CAN) - 5˝;
5. GM Sambuev (RUS)- 4˝;
6. FM Barbeau (CAN) - 3˝;
7-8. IM Castellanos (ESP) and FM Leveille (CAN) - 3;
9. FM Hua (CAN) - 2˝;
10. Ling Feng Ye (CAN) - 2.

4) New FIDE rating list

July 2009

Top 20 List

1. Topalov BUL 2813
2. Anand IND 2788
3. Carlsen NOR 2772
4. Aronian ARM 2768
5. Jakovenko RUS 2760
6. Kramnik RUS 2759
7. Leko HUN 2756
8. Radjabov AZE 2756
9. Gelfand ISR 2755
10. Morozevich RUS 2751
11. Gashimov AZE 2740
12. Svidler RUS 2739
13. Wang Yue CHN 2736
14. Grischuk RUS 2733
15. Shirov ESP 2732
16. Ponomariov UKR 2727
17. Bacrot FRA 2721
18. Kamsky USA 2717
19. Mamedyarov AZE 2717
20. Karjakin UKR 2717

Womens Top 20

1. J. Polgar HUN 2687
2. Koneru IND 2623
3. Hou Yifan CHN 2584
4. Zhao Xue CHN 2544
5. A. Muzychuk SLO 2542
6. T. Kosintseva RUS 2539
7. Dzagnidze GEO 2536
8. Stefanova BUL 2535
9. Sebag FRA 2531
10. P.Cramling SWE 2525

Top 10 Juniors

1. Carlsen NOR 2772
2. Karjakin UKR 2717
3. Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2703
4. Wang Hao CHN 2690
5. Caruana ITA 2670
6. Andreikin RUS 2648
7. So PHI 2646
8. Kuzubov UKR 2635
9. Li Chao CHN 2634
10. Nepomniachtchi RUS 2632

US Top 20

1. Kamsky 2717

2. Nakamura 2710

3. Onischuk 2699

4. Shulman 2648

5. Seirawan 2646

6. Akobian 2626

7. Ehlvest 2614

8-9. Ibragimov 2583

8-9. Kaidanov 2583

10. Shabalov 2580

11-12. Christiansen 2578

11-12. Kudrin 2578

13, Benjamin 2575

14. Hess 2560

15-16. Becerra 2557

15-16. Goldin 2557

17. Stripunsky 2556

18. DeFirmian 2552

19, Friedel 2547

20. Gulko 2546

( Note these lists only includes active players.)

5) Hikaru Nakamura’s upcoming events

US Champion Hikaru Nakamura is not resting on his laurels. Last Newsletter we mentioned he will be playing in the World Open and shortly after a very strong event in Spain . Now he has announced on his website that he will be playing in London (December 8-15) and Corus (January 15-30).

The players for London , which looks to have an average rating between 2690 and 2700 are:

Vladimir Kramnik ( Russia )
Magnus Carlsen ( Norway )
Hikaru Nakamura ( USA )
Ni Hua ( China )
Michael Adams ( England )
Nigel Short ( England )
Luke McShane ( England )
David Howell ( England )

Hikaru will play all comers (no limit to the number of boards) at a simultaneous exhibition at $50 per board on Friday, August 7th at the US Open in Indianapolis, Indiana. Register in advance with Cheryle Bruce at or call 931-787-1234 ex 147.

6) Here and There

John Petrison passed away on June 20, 2009, at the age of 72. A lawyer by profession, John was a former Indiana state champion and throughout the 1970s and 80s was a familiar face in countless tournaments throughout Kentucky , Ohio and Indiana . He played in several Mechanics tournaments in 2006 and was well-liked by all.John Galprin writes on his website that the American Tournament Chess Club's 6th Pacifica Chess Open, that was to be held July 4th 2009, has been postponed until sometime in October/November 2009.US Zonal President Beatriz Marinello writes about the upcoming Continental Championship in Brazil which is a qualifying event for the World Cup.:

Dear Players and all:

I have been in communication with GM Darcy Lima, Organizer of the 2009 Continental Championship. Based on this tournament's regulations, our zone has the right to select five official players. These official players are entitled to accommodations in a double room and meals.

The Organizer is offering to upgrade from a double to a single room at no cost for the official players in exchange for not providing meals. (breakfast is included in the hotel) If a player wishes to eat at the tournament venue with the other official players, and also wants the single room. The cost for upgrading is $30 per day (total $240)

As for the extra players, the package in the official hotel (per person) is $390 in a double room and $670 in a single room, that includes 8 nights with breakfast.

All players are required to pay a $200 entry fee upon arrival at the tournament.

The deadline to submit the list of official players to the Organizer is July 9th, 2009.

The Southern California Chess Federation conducted its Candidates tournament last weekend at Chess Palace in Garden Grove . There was no prize money, but 33 players, including 16 masters, competed for four spots in the SCCF's 2009 state championship. Masters Tatev Abrahamyan, Tianyi He, Ali Morshedi and Robert Reynolds qualified by sharing first place with scores of 3 1/2 - 1/2 .

The four qualifiers complete the field for the state championship, an eight-player round robin beginning Aug. 15 in Century City .

The SCCF had previously invited the 2008 state co-champions, Alexandre Kretchetov and IM Enrico Sevillano, and two players chosen by rating, Elliott Liu and IM Jack Peters. Surprisingly, local stars GM Varuzhan Akobian, IM Kongliang Deng, John Daniel Bryant, GM Melikset Khachiyan, IM Cyrus Lakdawala and IM Andranik Matikozyan declined to play this year.

7) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Events ( go to for more information)

Scholastic Championship - July 11
Charles Bagby Memorial - July 18
Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 8
Bernardo Smith Memorial - August 22-23

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.