Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #476


Today, chess programs have become so good that even grandmasters sometimes struggle to understand the logic behind some of their moves. In chess magazines, one often sees comments from top players such as "My silicon friend says I should have moved my King instead of my Queen, but I still think I played the best "human" move."


Ken Rogoff ( from a Project Syndicate Article -

MI Chess Director John Donaldson, captain for the American silver-medal winning team at the recently concluded World Team Championship in Turkey, will give a free talk about the event next Tuesday, January 19, from 5:15 to 6:15 pm at the MI Chess Club . All are welcome.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Kip Poyser
3) Americans Aboard
4) Here and There
5) US Championship by  Mike Wilmering
6) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
IM Ricardo DeGuzman started off 2010 in familiar style winning the 10th Bob Burger Open on January 9th with a score of 4.5. The winner was nicked for a last round draw by San Francisco high school student Evan Sandberg who shared second in the 38 player field with Dimitri Vayntraub, Michael Da Cruz and Felix Rudyak. Evan, at 2173, is closing in on the Master title.
Two rounds into the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon seven players have perfect scores: James Jones, Hayk Manvelyan, David Klinetobe, Dante Argishti, Peter Grey, Steve Gaffagan and Hovik Manveleyan. It's still not too late to enter the eight round event with half point byes for the first two rounds.
Go to to see Michael Negele's excellent pictorial report on the October Ken Whyld Chess Historian's meeting at the Mechanics'.
George Sanguinetti reports:
The winners for the Wednesday Night Blitz tournament held January 13 are:

 1st place: Carlos D'Avila 14/14! 
 2nd place: Jules Jelinek 10
 3rd place: George Sanguinetti  8
GM Vinay Bhat of Union City continued his string of outstanding results with a shared first place in the recently 35th Seville Open. This was Vinay's sixth consecutive 2600 plus result in the last six months which has resulted in his rating rising from 2475 to near 2550.
Here is Vinay's most important game from Seville where he started out as the 12th seed.

Bhat,Vinay (2540) - Lemos,Damian (2544) [D46]

Seville Open (8) 2010


1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Be2 Bb7 11.Rd1 Qb8 12.e4 e5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nd4 Ned7 15.g3 g6 16. Be3 b4 17.Na4 c5 18.Nb3  Nxe419.Na5- f5 20.f3 Ndf6 21.Nxb7 Bxg3 22.Bc4+ Kh8 23.hxg3 Ng4 24.Bf4 Qxb7 25.fxg4 Rae8 26.g5 h6 27.Bd5 Qe7 28.Bxe4 1-0


Standings in tiebreak order ( all on 7-2)


1. GM R. Vaquez

2, GM H. Hamdouchi

3. GM V. Bhat

4. IM K. Berbatov

5. GM K. Spraggett


2) Kip Poyser

Kennedy "Kip" Poyser, who edited 36 issues of Northwest Chess from November 1975 to October 1978, died suddenly of a heart attack in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, on November 30, 2009. He was 64.


You can read about his life at his son's blog:

3)  Americans Aboard
Gata Kamsky defeated Zoltan Almasi In the last round of Reggio Emilia and caught up with the leader, winning the tournament on tie-break. Gata committed to playing in Reggio in the beginning of 2009, long before the dates of the World Team Championship were switched from May 2009 to January 2010 ( preventing his participation in Bursa).
1-2. Kamsky and Almasi - 6 / 9
3-4. Caruana and Godena - 5
5. Jobava - 5
6-8. Bologan, Landa and Safarli - 4
9. Brunello - 3
10. Vocaturo - 1 .
The World Open Leon Rapid held January 1-3, 2010, saw American GM Boris Gulko turn in a good result. 
1-2. GMs Krasenkow (POL, 2656) and M.Gurevich (TUR, 2597) - 8 out of 9,
3. GM Kir.Georgiev (BUL, 2672) - 7 ,
4-8. GMs Gulko (USA, 2535), Romanishin (UKR, 2510), Del Rio (ESP, 2524), Kurajica (BIH, 2519) and Cifuentes (ESP, 2525) - 7, etc. (214 players).

4) Here and There

GMs Varuzhan Akobian, Alex Shabalov, Victor Mikhalevski, Josh Friedel and Alex Yermolinsky scored 5 /7 in the North American Open, which took place in Las Vegas from December 26th to 29th. Akobian, who had the better tiebreak, was declared the champion.
The declining economics of newspaper publishing have ended one of the most outstanding weekly chess columns in the world.  GM Lubos Kavalek's column on January in The Washington Post was his last after 23 years and some 760 columns. 
GM Vinay Bhat, who has been playing frequently in Europeans opens of late, passes on the following tip for those seeking events:
"The chessmix site is at: They put out a set of games every 10 days (not every week like TWIC), and they have some extra "tools" like a weather service and currency converter, but the real gem of the site are the tournament listings, which are much more varied and in-depth than anything else I've seen. It also beats looking through old TWICs to try and find events."
Top FIDE Ratings, January 2010
  • 1 Carlsen, Magnus 2810 (NOR, 19)
  • 2 Topalov, Veselin 2805 (BUL, 34)
  • 3 Anand, Viswanathan 2790 (IND, 40)
  • 4 Kramnik, Vladimir 2788 (RUS, 34)
  • 5 Aronian, Levon 2781 (ARM, 27)
  • 6 Gelfand, Boris 2761 (ISR, 41)
  • 7 Gashimov, Vugar 2759 (AZE, 23)
  • 8 Ivanchuk, Vassily 2749 (UKR, 40)
  • 9 Wang, Yue 2749 (CHN, 22)
  • 10 Svidler, Peter 2744 (RUS, 33)
Top US Players
  • 28 Nakamura, Hikaru 2708 (USA, 22)
  • 40 Kamsky, Gata 2693 (USA, 35)
  • 57 Onischuk, Alexander 2670 (USA, 34)
Note some players ratings have changed substantially since this list appeared with Hikaru and Alex gaining substantially from the World Team and Gata from Reggio while Gashimov's 2.5 from 7 in Bursa led to a substantial drop.

5) US Championship by  Mike Wilmering

SAINT LOUIS -- The dates for the 2010 U.S. Championship have shifted. The tournament is now scheduled from May 13-25 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The U.S. Championship will have a larger prize fund than 2009 with more than $170,000 up for grabs.

The U.S. Championship was rescheduled to prevent overlapping with the World Championship match between Veselin Topalov and Viswanathan Anand in Bulgaria in order to ensure the highest quality of coverage. 

The format in 2010 is also a bit different and promises a unique and exciting experience. The opening ceremony is scheduled for May 13, and rounds one through seven (Swiss paired) will take place May 14-20. The final three rounds, scheduled for May 22-24, will feature a round-robin quad format that is sure to lead to some thrilling games of fighting chess. A possible playoff may take place on May 25, along with a community day for the players and a closing ceremony featuring various awards and prizes.

The tournament will host 24 of the best players in the country. Nine of the 24 spots have already been filled, which leaves 15 invitations still to be determined.

The 24 invited players include:

    The defending U.S. Champion - GM Hikaru Nakamura

    The winner of the 2009 U.S. Senior Open Championship - GM Larry Christiansen

    The winner of the 2009 U.S. Junior Championship - GM Ray Robson

    The 2009 U.S. Women's Champion - IM Anna Zatonskih

    The top five qualifiers from the 2009 U.S. Open Championship - GM-elect Alex Lenderman, GMs Sergey Kudrin, Alex Yermolinsky, Dmitry Gurevich, and Jesse Kraai

    The winner of the 2010 ICC State Champion of Champions - TBD

    The top 10 U.S. players by rating of the United States Chess Federation - TBD

    Four wildcard spots - TBD

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center also hosted the 2009 U.S. Championship in May and the 2009 U.S. Women's Championship in October.

"It was our privilege to host the 2009 U.S. Championship, and we're honored to be chosen again," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

The top 10 U.S. players will be determined by their ratings according to the February USCF rating supplement. The ICC State Champion of Champions will be determined through an online tournament that will pit state champions against one another. Stay tuned for updates, special event information and a complete prize-fund breakdown.
6) Upcoming Events
MI Events - got to for more information.
Local Events

Spring Chess Festival
February 27-28, 2010
Sponsored by
Atlantis Business Insurance Solutions, LLC
$9,000 Prize Fund b/150 paid entries.
One of the BIGGEST tournaments of the year at the recently renovated 8,000 sq.f. facility!!!
6 rounds of exciting chess action in 6 sections!
Location: 415 Grand Ave 3rd floor, South San Francisco, CA 94080
Entry Fee: Advanced Entries are $80 for entries postmarked by February 14th. Entry at the
tournament site is $100. Players may play up one section for additional $20. IMs and GMs have
free entries ($50 will be deducted from the prize). Unrated players can play up in Master s section
or Unrated section. Cash only at site.
Time Control: Game in 90.
Regestration & Schedule: Registration: 8:30-9:45 am on 02/27. Rds: 10 am, 1:30 pm, 5:00 pm
both days.
Prizes: Open Section: $700-$500-$300, Top U2300/Unr $300, Under 2200: $600-$400-350,
Under 2000: $600-$400-350, Under 1800: $600-$400-350, Under 1600: $600-$400-350, Under
1400: $600-$400-350, Top U1200 $300. Unrated may not win over $150.
Questions? - Call TD Felix German at (415) 335-0900 or email:
Join our group on Facebook: Bay Area Chess Tournaments
Mail advance entries to: 723 Camino Plaza, PMB #170, San Bruno CA 94066. Make checks
payable to: Felix German.
I want to play/play up in a section [ ] Open, [ ] Expert, [ ] A, [ ] B, [ ] C, [ ] D/E. My rating is_____
I need a bye in round: [ ] 1, [ ] 2, [ ] 3, [ ] 4, [ ] 5, [ ] 6, - max. 2 half pt byes, must commit prior
to rd 1.
Name: _________________________________________, USCF ID#______________________
Check enclosed for [ ] $80 Advanced Entry fee + [ ] $_____ Play up Fee = $_____ Total



National Events

Feb. 12-14 or 13-14  
2010 U.S. Amateur Team Championship - North   Wisconsin
Two sections: Open and Scholastic (Saturday only). Open: 5SS, G/90+30/move/increment (G/120 if digital clocks not available; 2-day: rd.1-2 G/60). Crowne Plaza Hotel Milwaukee Airport, 6401 South 13th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53221. 1-414-764-5300. $79.99 chess rate, please reserve early. Open to 4 player teams with one optional alternate. Team average (4 highest ratings-2009 Annual Rating List) must be under 2200. EF: 3-day $140, 2-day $141 per team if received by February 9th, $180 thereafter. Individuals wishing to play, send $35 and request to be put on a team. Team changes on site $20. Check out official website All advance entries will be posted on February 10th. Prizes: Awards to top two teams, top teams with average rating u1900, u1600, and u1300. Winning team qualifies for national play-offs. Prizes to best team composed of juniors (high school and younger). Prizes to top score on each board. Rounds: 3-day: on-site registration/check-in 5:30-6:30pm, rds.: 7pm, 11:00am & 5:00pm, 10:00am & 3:30pm. 2-day: on-site registration/check-in 9:00-10:30am, rds. 11:00am & 2:00pm then merge with 3-day. **Saturday Only** Scholastic section. 4SS, G/60. Open to 4 player teams with one optional alternate. Team average (4 highest-2009 Annual Rating List) must be under 1600. EF: $120 per team if received by February 9th, $150 thereafter. Individuals wishing to play, send $30 and request to be put on a team. Team changes on site $20. All advance entries will be posted on on February 10th. Prizes: awards to top team overall, top three High School Teams, top three Middle School Teams, top three Elementary School Teams. Prizes to top score on each board. Rounds: on-site registration/check-in: 9:00am-10:30am; rds.: 11:00am, 1:30pm, 3:45pm, 6:00pm. Checks made payable to and send to: VICA, 6822 North Crestwood Dr., Glendale, WI 53209. Please include Team's name and roster, captain's email and phone number, and desired schedule. Info:,, 608-334-2574, 414-234-1005. WCL JGP.