Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #471

To understand the beauty of the games played at our level, you have to be rated 2,200 or higher.
Levon Aronian
Source: The Lion and the Tiger by David Edmonds ( who noted that Aronian made this point with regret rather than arrogance.
1) Mechanics' Chess Club News
2) Hikaru Nakamura wins BN Bank Blitz
3) Sam Shankland and Jesse Kraai tie for first in Northern California State Championship
4) Here and There
5) Upcoming Events
1) Mechanics' Chess Club News
Top seed NM Michael Pearson defeated tournament leader NM Oleg Shaknazarov and San Francisco high school student Evan Sandberg beat fellow Expert Romy Fuentes to turn the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon standings upside down last night. Pearson and Sandberg now lead with 6 from 7 with two rounds to go. Right behind them at 5.5 are NM Shakhnazarov, NM Andy Lee and Expert Igor Traub.
Arthur Ismakov continued his history of strong performances in the Mechanics' Wednesday Night Blitz series by scoring 8 from 8 to take top honors on November 25. Fellow Experts George Sanguinetti and Joe Urquhart were second and third respectively, with 5 and 4 points.
GM Vinay Bhat turned in a fine result at the Trofeo Iberostar International held in Palma de Mallorca in late November. Ranked number 20 at the start, in a 150 player field with 28 GMs, 26 IMs, and over 60 players rated above 2300 FIDE, Vinay finished equal 5th with an undefeated  6.5 from 9 for a performance rating of 2629.
Here is a tense battle from the penultimate round.

Movsziszian,Karen (2541) - Bhat,Vinay (2510) [A07]

 Palma de Mallorca (8), 27.11.2009

1.g3 d5 2.Bg2 Nf6 3.Nf3 Bf5 4.0-0 e6 5.d3 h6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Nd2 0-0 8.e4 Bh7 9.f4 d4 10.Ne2 c5 11.h3 Nc6 12.Kh1 b5 13.g4 Rc8 14.Nf3 c4 15.Ng3 cxd3 16.cxd3 Nd7 17.a3 a5 18.f5 a4 19.b4 axb3 20.Qxb3 Nc5 21.Qxb5 Na5 22.Bf4 g5 23.Bd2 Nab3 24.Rab1 Nxd2 25.Nxd2 Nxd3 26.f6 Bd6 27.Qxd3 Rc3 28.Qxd4 Rxg3 29.Nf3 Bf4 30.Rfd1 Qa8 31.Re1 Qxa3 32.Ra1 Qb3 33.Rab1 Qa2 34.Rb2 Qa8 35.Rb4 Bg6 36.e5 Rxf3 37.Ra4 Rxh3+ 38.Kg1 Rd3 0-1


Go to to visit Vinay's blog where he discusses his games. is the link to a beautiful win in the Muzio Gambit by IM David Pruess over hard to beat Croatian GM Bogdan Lalic. The game was played earlier this fall in France.

2) Hikaru Nakamura wins BN Bank Blitz
Hikaru Nakamura defeated Magnus Carlsen 3-1 in the final of the BNbank Blitz tournament that took place  November 28th and 29th in Oslo, Norway. This event came just after the Tal Memorial Blitz, a mammoth 22-player double round that was won in convincing by Carlsen. One can't help wondering how Hikaru might have done in that event had he been invited. Go to  to read Hikaru's take on the  BNbank Blitz.
Malcolm Pein is organizing a great event in London that starts in just a few days.
1st London Chess Classic (ENG), 8-16 xii 2009. Cat XIX (2696.25).
1 Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2801
2 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2772
3 Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2715
4 Short, Nigel D g ENG 2707
5 Adams, Michael g ENG 2698
6 Ni, Hua g CHN 2665
7 McShane, Luke J g ENG 2615
8 Howell, David W L g ENG 2597
3) Sam Shankland and Jesse Kraai tie for first in Northern California State Championship by Michael Aigner
IM Sam Shankland and GM Jesse Kraai shared first at 4.5/6 in the CalChess State Championship, held at a new venue in Santa Clara. Shankland had superior tiebreaks and earned the title for the second year in a row. Still a teenager, "Shanky" now has two adult trophies at home; although in a bit of an irony, he never won the state scholastic championships!

The winners faced stiff competition from IM Ricardo DeGuzman, IM Dmitry Zilberstein and two teenagers: FM Steven Zierk and NM Greg Young. DeGuzman, Zierk and Young tied for third at 4.0/6, with Young claiming top U2300 honors as well. One interesting tidbit: Shankland, Kraai, DeGuzman and Zierk completed a quad amongst themselves, drawing every single game. With a performance over 2600 for his last 12 rated games, Zierk will break 2400 USCF.

The Northern California tournament attracted about 150 players, almost all from the San Francisco Bay Area. Organizer Salman Azhar of paid out 100% of the $8,100 prize fund, even though it was based on 166 paid entries. In a sure sign of the future, at least 60% of the players were kids, including a majority of the prize winners. And here's one unusual sight: a WIM and a FM played *up* in the Expert section!?

4) Here and There
Thanks to IM Anthony Saidy for passing along the fascinating story The Lion and the Tiger by David
Edmonds about chess in Armenia . Go to . The article, which was published in Prospect magazine, was the source of this week's quote.
Thanks to the efforts of Mark Turner and Eric Holcomb more of the Washington Chess Letter is available. Go to The 1949 issues have already been added, and the 1950-1952 issues will be added shortly, along with the last three 1948 issues. The WCL, which now goes by the name of Northwest Chess, has been published every month for over 60 years.

Here is a strong candidate for the shortest decisive game played in a US Womens Championship.


Jacqueline Piatigorsky- Wilma Owens

US Women's Championship New York, 1951

French Tarrasch C07


1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 Nc6 5.exd5 Nxd4 6.Nxd4 cxd4 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.dxe6 Bxb5 9.Qh5 Qf6 10.Qxb5+ 1-0


Source: Chess Review, January 1952, page 23  

5) Upcoming Events
MI Events - got to for more information.


Jan. 1-3 or 2-3, GPP: 30 California Northern

NorCal Open 2010 6SS 30/90 G/60 (2-day option, rounds 1-3 G/60).

Hotel: Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, 5101 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054. 4-star rooms @ $99. Free parking. Prizes: $6,007 129 paid entries.

7 sections.

Master/Open (FIDE rated): $$ Gtd. 700-300-201 (u2300: 200 100)

EXPERT: $400-200-101 (u2100: 100-100)

A: $400-200-101 (u1900: 100-100)

B: $400-200-101 (u1700: 100-100)

C: $400-200-101 (u1500: 100-100)

D/E: $400-200-101 (u1200: 100-100).

Unrated may enter any section but prize limit of $200 in all u2200 sections;

balance goes to next player(s) in line.

EF: $85 3-day, $79 2-day mailed or online by 12/20. Add $5 for 12/21-23, 12/24-26 $15

(no mailed entries after 12/26), add $25 onsite, add $19 for play-up, subtract $45 for BayAreaChess Pass.

GMs & IMs free before 12/20 (entry fee deducted from prize).

Re-entry $39. TD may assign ratings.

3-day schedule: Reg.: Fri 10-10:30a, Fri/Sat 11:30a 4:45p, Sun 10a, 3:15p.

2-day sched: Reg.: Sa 9-9:30a, Sat 10, 12:10, 2:20, 4:45p. Sun 10a, 3:15p.

Byes must commit before rd 3. Max 2 byes.

Hotel $99 BayAreaChess rate, 800-233-1234. reserve by 12/18 or rate may increase.

Ent: BayAreaChess, 4423 Fortran Ct., Ste. 160, San Jose, CA 95134.

$20 service charge for refunds.

Questions:, Tel 408-786-5515.

Info & Entries:




Salman Azhar, Ph.D. | Email me at Salman@BayAreaChess.Com | Email for all chess administrative communications | Tel 408-786-5515

Executive Director BayAreaChess 2008-present - Chief Organizer CalChess State Scholastics 2008 to 2012

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Jan. 15-18, 16-18 or 17-18   Golden State Open   GPP: 200 Enhanced   California Northern

7SS, 40/2, SD/1 (3-day option rds. 1-2 G/75, 2-day option rds. 1-4 G/35, no 2-day Open Section.) Under 900 Section plays separate 2-day schedule Jan 17-18 only, G/35. At Concord Hilton Hotel, 1970 Diamond Blvd., Concord, CA 94520 (I-680 Willow Pass Rd exit). Free shuttle between hotel and Concord BART station. Free parking. $$60,000 based on 450 paid entries (re-entries & U900 Section count as 1/3 entries), minimum guarantee $40,000 (2/3 each prize). Open, open to all. $$4000-2200-1300-1000-800-700-600-500-400-400, clear or tiebreak winner $300, top U2400 $2000-1000. FIDE. Under 2200: $3000-1500-800-700-600-500-400-300-200-200. Under 2000: $3000-1500-800-700- 600-500-400-300-200-200. Under 1800: $3000-1500-800-700-600-500-400-300-200-200. Under 1600: $2500-1300-700-600-500-400-300-300-200-200. Under 1400: $2000-1000-700-500-400- 300-200-200. Under 1200: $2000-1000-700-500-400-300-200-200. Under 900: $800-400-200-150-100-80-70. Prize limits: 1) Unrated (0-3 lifetime games rated) may enter any section, with maximum prize U900 $200, U1200 $400, U1400 $600, U1600 $900, U1800 $1200, U2000 $1500. 2) Players with under 26 lifetime games rated may not win over $400 in U900, $800 in U1200 or $1200 in U1400. 3) If more than 30 points above section maximum on any list 1/09-12/09, prize limit $1000. 4) Balance of any limited prize goes to next player(s) in line. Top 7 sections EF: 4-day $174, 3-day $173, 2-day $172 mailed by 1/7, all $175 online at by 1/12, $180 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 1/12 (entry only, no questions), $200 at site. GMs free; $150 deducted from prize. Under 900 Section EF: $52 mailed by 1/7, $55 online at by 1/12 (entry only, no questions), $60 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 1/12, $70 at site. All: Special 1 yr USCF dues with Chess Life if paid with entry: online at $30; mailed, phoned or paid at site $40. Re-entry (except Master) $60. Mailed EF $5 less to rated CalChess members. 4-day schedule: Reg. ends Fri 6:15 pm, rds. Fri 7 pm, Sat 11 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. 3-day schedule: Reg. Sat to 10:15 am, rds Sat 11, 2:30 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. 2-day schedule: Reg Sun to 9:15 am, rds Sun 10-12-2-4-6, Sun 10-4:30, not available for Open Section. Under 900 schedule: Reg. Sun to 9:15 am, rds. Sun. 10-12-2-4, Mon. 10-12-2. Byes: OK all; Open must commit before rd 2, others before rd 4; limit 3 byes in Open. Unofficial ratings based on 4 or more games usually used if otherwise unrated. Foreign player ratings: See HR: $99-99-109, 925-827-2000, reserve by 1/1 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633. Questions:, 845-496-9658. Ent: Continental Chess, c/o Goichberg, Box 661776, Arcadia, CA 91066. $15 service charge for withdrawals. Advance entries posted at WCL JGP.