Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #453

The chessboard is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us.

Thomas Henry Huxley

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Nakamura leads in San Sebastian

3) Max Wilkerson 1923-2009

4) World's Wealthiest Chess Player

5) A Poem by Michael Bacon

6) Here and There

7) Upcoming Events


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

The Summer Tuesday Night Marathon had an exciting finish last night. Dante Argishti looked to have the better of it for much of his game with tournament leader Romulio Fuentes but in the end it was his opponent who emerged on top and finished first in the event with an outstanding 7 from 8. Tying for second at 6.5 in the 74-player tournament were Oleg Shaknazarov and Anthony Rozenvasser. The Max Wilkerson Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon starts on August 4th.

FM Daniel Naroditsky is enjoying his stay in the Netherlands . Five rounds into the Leiden Chess Tournament he is among the leaders with four points having just defeated a 2567 rated Ukrainian GM in round five.

Naroditsky- Vovk, Leiden 2009

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.0–0 Nbd7 8.Be3 Re8 9.d5 Nh5 10.g3 Bf8 11.Ne1 Ng7 12.Ng2 f5 13.exf5 Nxf5 14.Ne4 Be7 15.f3 Nf6 16.Bf2 Bf8 17.Bd3 Bh6 18.g4 Nxe4 19.Bxe4 Ne7 20.Qd3 Rf8 21.Bg3 Rf7 22.Qe2 Qf8 23.Rad1 Bd7 24.c5 a6 25.Qc2 Re8 26.Qb3 dxc5 27.Bxe5 Nc8 28.Bxc7 Nd6 29.Bxd6 Qxd6 30.Qc2 b5 31.Rfe1 Bg7 32.b3 Be5 33.Ne3 Ref8 34.Qg2 Kh8 35.Kh1 Rc8 36.Rc1 Qf6 37.d6 Qxd6 38.Rcd1 Qf8 39.Nd5 Bd4 40.b4 Rd8 41.bxc5 Qxc5 42.Qd2 Bg7 43.Qg5 Re8 44.Qh4 Kg8 45.g5 Be6 46.Rc1 Qa3 47.Nf6+ Bxf6 48.gxf6 Ref8 49.Rc6 Bxa2 50.Qg5 Re8 51.Re3 Qf8 52.Bxg6 hxg6 53.Qxg6+ Kh8 54.Rc5 1–0

The website ( ) has been relaying boards 1-5 on their live games and Danya is on board 5. Games start at 7pm in Europe , 10am PST.

George Sanguinetti writes:

Last week's Wednesday Night Blitz tournament had an attendance of 9 players and a repeat 1st place finisher from the prior week. Vladimir Mezentsev again went undefeated, this time winning all of his games – the first to do so in this tournament's brief history – scoring a perfect 8 out of 8.

Wednesday Night Blitz Winners for the Week of 07-08-2009 are:

1st : Vladimir Mezentsev $ 22.50 (8 points)

2nd and 3rd : Romy Fuentes and Yefim Bukh

Come tonight to play. The action starts at 6:30.

2) Nakamura leads in San Sebastian

Two rounds before the finish US Champion Hikaru Nakamura is leading the Donostia Chess Festival with a sizzling 6 from 7 ( performance rating around 2900).

This performance, back to back with a victory in the World Open with no rest in between, is most impressive.

Hikaru will play for the Rising Stars against the Veterans in Amsterdam from August 20-31 in an event organized by NH Hoteles in close cooperation with Association
Max Euwe, Monaco , The tournament will be run as a double round robin Scheveningen.

The ‘Experience team consists of Peter Svidler (Russia), Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark), Alexander Beliavsky (Slovenia), Loek van Wely (The Netherlands) and Ljubomir Ljubojevic (Serbia).

The ‘Rising Stars’ are Hikaru Nakamura (United States), Fabiano Caruana (Italy), Jan Smeets (The Netherlands), Daniel Stellwagen (The Netherlands) and Hou Yifan (China).


3) Max Wilkerson 1923-2009

Max's daughter Gabrielle has provided some interesting facts about her father that may not be known to many. Completely bilingual, Max earned a masters in fine art from the University of St. Nicholas of Hidalgo in Morelia , Mexico . He was a a member of the Teamsters for many earning years, not only driving a truck but also editing the union newsletter at one point. A man of many talents, Max was an expert woodworker who made all his own furniture. Adding to his list of tournament accomplishments published in the last Newsletter, Max was equal second in the 1996 US Senior Open.

Here is Max's simul win against Fischer from the latter's exhibition at the Mechanics' which is still well-remembered by old timers 45 years later. Incidentally this was not the first time the two crossed paths. Max got to know Bobby during a stay in New York in 1955, a year before Bobby became well-known.

Fischer,Robert James - Wilkerson,Max [B14]

San Francisco (simul) 1964

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.d4 cxd5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.c5 e6 7.Bb5 Be7 8.Nf3 0–0 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.0–0 a5 11.Bf4 Ra6 12.Re1 Nd7 13.Na4 Re8 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.Bxe5 Bf8 16.Nb6 f6 17.Bg3 e5 18.dxe5 Bxc5 19.Nxc8 fxe5 20.Rc1 Bb4 21.Rxe5 Qxc8 22.Rxd5 Re1+ 23.Qxe1 Bxe1 24.Bh4 Qe6 25.Rd8+ Kf7 26.Rcd1 Ra7 27.a3 c5 28.R1d3 Bd2 29.g3 g5 30.Rxd2 gxh4 0–1

4) World's Wealthiest Chess Player

There are no doubt many contenders for this title but one serious candidate has to be Portland Trail Blazer owner Paul Allen who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates. While he is not the wealthiest individual on the planet ( he is currently listed at #32 with a net worth of around 10 billion), Allen has chess bona fides that are well documented

The detailed 24-page program for the 5th Annual 1971 Washington State High School Chess Team Tournament, produced by Howard Chin, features a picture of the Lakeside (Seattle) team with 17-year-old senior Paul Allen in the middle. The April 1971 issue of Northwest Chess on page 26 notes that Allen scored 2 1/2 - 2 1/2 playing board four for Lakeside in the five board aside competition for a performance of about 1400.

5) A Poem by Michael Bacon

John, I really liked the poem by Dennis Fritzinger ( annotating old games) so much that I've shared it with others. While outside reading the poems of my favorite poet, August Kleinzahler, who lives in San Francisco , and has for many years, this popped into my head.

Old Friends

I have been spending time

with an old friend,

a former chess player.

His books date back to when he played,

most in English Descriptive

not Algebraic.

My favorite is

The Chess Struggle in Practice.

Although short on analysis,

it is long on words

used to convey Bronstein's thoughts.

It is, without doubt,

one of the best books on chess

ever written.

Grandmaster Soltis has said,

in print,

a book like it could not be published today.

Is that not

a pity?

6) Here and There

16-year-old Andrew Ng of New Jersey won the US Cadet held July 7-10 at the USCF headquarters in Crossville , Tennessee .

The Bay Area's Rohan Agarwal was third.

1. Andrew Ng 5.5
2. Victor C. Shen 5
3. Rohan Agarwal 4.5
4. Michael Yang 3
5. Jarod Pamatmat 3
6. Deepak Aaron 3
7. Christian Tanaka 2.5
8. Matthew D. Dahl 1.5

NM Michael Aigner blog ( ) is must reading for those looking for up to date reports and observations on chess in Northern California . Here are some recent reports by him. New Fremont Chess Club announces the launch of a new website ( created by teenager Aditya Kumar. The club offers unrated play on most Fridays evenings with occasional special events. The USCF rated April Swiss was won by rapidly improving junior Hayk Manvelyan (2071) ahead of 12 other participants. On June 26th, popular IM Emory Tate gave a simul for 12 players and 8 spectators, scoring 11 wins and a single loss to Francisco Anchondo (1954).

The number of FIDE rated juniors in the Bay Area shrunk dramatically after the graduation of a strong class of High School seniors. Consequently, 13 year old FM Danya Naroditsky climbs to the top spot with FM-elect Steven Zierk close behind. Special kudos to Steven for cracking 2300 FIDE and thereby earning the FIDE master title! Ironically, the two state K-12 co-champions Evan Sandberg and Yian Liou appear at the bottom of the FIDE rankings--a sure sign that they still have plenty of room for improvement as they both seek the master title.

  1. FM Danya Naroditsky 2356
  2. FM-elect Steven Zierk 2306
  3. NM Gregory Young 2264
  4. NM Rohan Agarwal 2197
  5. NM Nicholas Nip 2147
  6. Evan Sandberg 2146
  7. Yian Liou 2134

Five FIDE rated local juniors graduated from High School in June. Congratulations to Adarsh Konda (2115), Alan Naroditsky (2113), Michael Zhong (2113) and Louiza Livschitz (1963) for each leaving their mark on Northern California chess. Of course, the big name in the graduating class of 2009 was IM Sam Shankland (2448), who recently earned a pair of GM norms and now stands at the verge of the most prestigious title in the world

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

13th annual
JULY 16-19, 17-19 OR 18-19, 2009

Larger prizes this year! $30,000 projected, $24,000 minimum!

July 16-19, 17-19 or 18-19 So. California

World ChessLive Grand Prix Points: 150 (enhanced)

13th annual Pacific Coast Open. 6SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day option, rds 1-3 G/50). Renaissance Agoura Hills Hotel, 30100 Agoura Road , Agoura Hills CA 91301 (US-101 to Reyes Adobe Road exit). Adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountains, 26 miles west of Burbank, 12 miles from Malibu, 28 miles from Ventura. Free parking. Prizes $30,000 based on 250 paid entries (re-entries & U1000 Section count half), minimum $24,000 (80% of each prize) guaranteed. In 7 sections.

Open Section: $3000-1500-700-400, clear or tiebreak win $100 bonus, top U2300/Unr $1800-1000. FIDE rated.
Under 2100 Section: $2000-1000-600-400.
Under 1900 Section: $2000-1000-600-400.
Under 1700 Section: $2000-1000-600-400.
Under 1500 Section: $2000-1000-600-400.
Under 1300 Section: $1800-900-500-300.

Under 1000 Section: $1000-500-300-200.

Unrated may enter any section, with prize limit U2100 $900, U1900 $700, U1700 $500, U1500 $400, U1300 $200, U1000 $100; balance goes to next player(s) in line.

Top 6 sections entry fee: 4-day $144, 3-day $143, 2-day $142 mailed by 7/8, all $145 online at by 7/13, $150 phoned by 7/13 (406-896-2038, entry only, no questions), $160 (no checks, credit cards OK) at site.

Under 1000 Section entry fee: All $60 less than above.

FREE TO UNRATED in U1000 or U1300 sections if paying 1 year USCF dues with entry!

GMs free; $140 deducted from prize. SCCF membership ($18, jrs $10) required for rated Southern CA residents. Re-entry $80; not available in Open Section. Unofficial ratings based on 4 or more games used if otherwise unrated.

Special 1 year USCF dues with Chess Life if paid with entry- $30 online at, $40 if mailed, phoned or paid at site.

4-day schedule: Reg Thu to 6:30 pm, rds Thu 7 pm, Fri 7 pm, Sat 11-6, Sun 10-4:30.

3-day schedule: Reg. Fri to 11 am, rds Fri 12-7, Sat 11-6, Sun 10-4:30.

2-day schedule: Reg Sat to 9 am, rds Sat 10-12:45-3:15-6, Sun 10-4:30.

All schedules: Half point byes OK all rounds, limit 2, Open must commit before rd 2, other sections before rd 4.

Hotel rates: $87-87, 818-707-1220, request chess rate, reserve by 7/2 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633.

Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, AWD D657633, or reserve car online through

Bring set, board, clock if possible- none supplied.

July official USCF rating list used.
Foreign player rating info.

Entry: Continental Chess, PO Box 249, Salisbury Mills NY 12577. $15 service charge for refunds. Questions:, 845-496-9658. Advance entries posted at WCL JGP.