Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #455

Without the ability to rank the value of the pieces, most of us feel totally lost. And yet it is increasingly clear that good chess requires a much more nuanced understanding of material value.

Jonathan Rowson - Chess for Zebras, p. 83

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

2) Yian Liou shines in Agoura Hills by Michael Aigner

3) Here and There

4) USCF Elections

5) Upcoming Events

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Congratulations to MI member GM Jesse Kraai who won the 3rd NJ Futurity (July 7-10) held at the Dean of Chess Academy in Branchburg , NJ . Jesse led the entire event and finished with an outstanding score of 7.5/10. Michael Khodarkovsky organized the event with IA Glenn Peterson directing. Michael Khodarkovsky's International Chess School was also one of the sponsors of the event.

1. GM Kraai 7.5/10

2. GM Benjamin 6.5

3. GM Yudasin 5.5

4. IM Scekic 5

5. IM Ippolito 4.5

6. NM Ju 1

George Sanguinetti writes:

The July 15 Wednesday Night Blitz tournament had an attendance of 8 players and a now three-peat 1st place finisher, Vladimir Mezentsev, who scored 11 out of 14, points in a double round robin. Can he be stopped? Vladimir beat second place finisher, newcomer, G. Woods two straight to assure his victory. Woods finished only ˝ point behind. Bukh and Fuentes tied again, this time for 3rd and 4th.

1st : Vladimir Mezentsev $ 20.00 (11 points)

2nd : G. Woods $ 12.00 (10 ˝ points)

3rd : Romy Fuentes and Yefim Bukh $ 4.00 each (8 ˝ points)

Wednesday Night Blitz Winners for the Week of 07/22

1st : Anthony Rosenvasser $ 17.50 (10 points)

2nd : George Sanguinetti $ 10.50 ( 9 points)

3rd : Romy Fuentes $ 7.00 each ( 8 points)

Ruben Felgaer and Gilberto Milos lead the Americas Continental Championship being held in Brazil with 5.5 from 6. GM Alex Shabalov and Jaan Ehlvest are the top American representatives with 5 from 6 with MI member GM Josh Friedel on 4.5 points. Another MI representative, Vinay Bhat has 4 as do fellow GMs Sergey Kudrin and Alexander Ivanov.

GM Josh Friedel's homepage is


2) Yian Liou shines in Agoura Hills by Michael Aigner

As expected by many, including the majority of voters in a poll on this blog, 12 year old Yian Liou became the newest CalChess junior to earn the USCF master title. He did so in style, scoring 4.0 against 6 masters at the Pacific Coast Open in Agoura Hills, defeating IM Edward Formanek while losing merely once, to GM
Melik Khachiyan on top board in the money round. Despite the last round loss, Yian tied for top U2300. With an amazing performance rating over 2450, his USCF rating jumped 50 points to 2212. Congratulations Master Yian!

It has been a real pleasure for me to watch Yian grow up from a shy 8 year old rated 1200 to reach the hallowed rank of chess master. He developed steadily in all disciplines of the game, as he demonstrated this weekend by crushing NM Julian Landaw (2278) after an opening mistake yet also easily drawing an endgame down a pawn versus NM Garush Manuykan (2357). Anyone who watches Yian play or analyze will quickly become inspired by his pure enthusiasm for the royal game. The sky is truly t he limit for Yian with two full years to improve before he goes to high school.

Final standings of Pacific Coast Open:

Regrettably, both Michael Zhong (U2100) and Tanuj Vasudeva (U1900) lost their last game to finish outside of the prizes. However, Arthur Liou (U2100) won his last three games to finish in the money at 4.5. He also hit the 2000 rating milestone to officially become an expert. Way to go dude!

3) Here and There

The Berkeley Chess School summer camp returns for two weeks in August. IM Irina Krush will teach a special "Master Class" for students rated 1000 and up the week of August 3rd, with IM Sam Shankland teaching the advanced class below hers. The week of August 10th, Shankland teaches the top class and Robert Hamm has the class below. There are at least three levels each week, from beginners all the way up to those juniors on the USCF Top 100 list.

More information can be found at:

The Cramer Awards Committee has selected Mr. Shelby Lyman as the 2009 inductee into the Gallery of Distinguished Chess Journalists. Plaques designating the members of distinguished chess journalists should be on display at USCF headquarters in Crossville, TN , the Marshall Chess Club in New York and The Mechanics Institute Chess Club in San Francisco.

Previous entries into the Gallery are;

2004: Charter Members; Herman Helms, Burt Hochberg, Dr. Frank Brady, GM Larry Evans, Al Horowitz, Harold Dondis

2005: GM Andy Soltis, Fred Reinfeld, GM Robert Byrne

2006: Irving Chernev, Lubosh Kavalek, George Koltanowski, Glenn Petersen

2007: Alex Dunne, Yasser Seirawan

2008: Bruce Pandolfini

2009: Shelby Lyman

4) USCF Elections

The results of the 2009 Executive Board Election are in. 11.1% of the eligible voters cast ballots. The four candidates who were elected to four year terms on the Executive Board are Jim Berry, Bill Goichberg, Ruth Haring and Mike Atkins. Jim and Bill were incumbents, Ruth and Mike will take office at the conclusion of the 2009 Delegates Meeting, replacing Randy Hough, who chose not to run for another term, and Joel Channing, who had resigned.

Totals in Order of Rank
Jim Berry: 3030
Bill Goichberg:3014
Ruth Haring:2952
Michael Atkins: 2672
Michael Korenman: 822
Mike Nietman:732
Eric Hecht: 717
Blas Lugo : 657
Sam Sloan:588
Brian Lafferty:576
Brian Mottershead:435

There were also 123 Write-in ballots. A total of 4379 ballots were received

5) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Events ( go to for more information)

Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 8
Bernardo Smith Memorial - August 22-23