Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #494

It must be good for the player to have good hardware. The problem is that it often doesn't tell you what you want. You want it to find an improvement for White, and it may choose to find it for Black instead. If you have good hardware the chances are your work will be good and you can be more confident about the work you have. If you are taking risks then you can feel you are going to have a head start. In that sense it is good. But the computer will only tell you what the position justifies. It is also insidious - it can stop you playing your favorite lines because of some obscure problems somewhere. I would say computers are very useful - especially very powerful hardware - but if working with the computer means you stop taking risks it's of course going to kill you. But on the other hand if it encourages you to take the right kind of risks then so much the better. Managing it is I think very tricky. It is very powerful but it may not tell you what you want.

Viswanathan Anand interviewed by Friedel and Gustafsson

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Gata Kamsky 2010 US Champion! by FM Michael Klein

3) Lina Grummette Memorial by Michael Aigner

4) Capablanca Memorial Championship

5) 2010 USCF Award Honorees


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

IM Mikhail Baturin is top-rated in the 54-player Summer Tuesday Night Marathon which started last night. FM Frank Thornally, NMs Romy Fuentes and NM Oleg Shakhnazarov will try to stop Baturin, formerly of Belarus, who is playing in his first US event. It is still possible to enter the eight round event with a half point bye for the first game.

GM Jesse Kraai did Chuck Palahniuk proud with his eventful and combative US Championship, scoring 4.5 from 9 (2575 performance). Jesse had decisive results in six consecutive rounds in the middle of the event. This included wins in rounds 3 to 5 at which point he was thick in the hunt for a spot in the final four. The two other Bay Area representatives, Vinay Bhat and Sam Shankland, scored 3.5 and 2.5 respectively.

This year's US Championship was definitely the strongest since 2000 (the last time it was held as a round robin) and was a model tournament in all areas. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is to be thanked, particularly Rex Sinquefeld, for making this event possible.

Lost in the midst of the US Championship was Alex Onischuk's crossing the 2700 barrier for the first time in his career. Onischuk, who had two published FIDE ratings at 2699 published several years apart, is now 2701 and joins a select group of American players which includes Bobby Fischer, Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura.

2) Gata Kamsky 2010 US Champion! by FM Michael Klein

SAINT LOUIS, MAY 25, 2010 - Within only seconds remaining on his clock, GM Gata Kamsky simplified the endgame against GM Yury Shulman to clinch a draw and with it the title of 2010 U.S. Champion. He last won the title in his teenage years in 1991.

Kamsky won with a draw because of the unique tiebreak format, which saw the players bid on a starting time for today's rapid game. His secret bid of 25 minutes was lower than Shulman's bid, so Kamsky got 25 minutes to his opponent's 60, but with Black and draw odds.

"I wanted Black because I'm more solid with Black," Kamsky explained.

After the game, Kamsky said he thought his bid was too low. He said if he had it to do over again, he would bid something around 30 minutes. Shulman built up a promising position and was better for most of the game according to Kamsky.

Referring to Shulman's excellent shot 34. Rc5, Kamky said, "I completely blundered on c5 but I already didn't like my position. He said he also missed Shulman's 23. f3, instead preferring to push his pawn to b5 before playing Ne4.

Shulman critiqued several moves, including 53. Be8, which doesn't actually do anything since after 53...Kxg5 the pawn on f7 is immune. Instead, continuing his king's advance would have at least kept up the pressure. By this point, both players were down to just seconds and playing on increment.

"Gata had nine lives in this game," Shulman said.

After the game, the two came down to the commentary room. A relieved Kamsky approached the stage and let out a cheer. Normally reserved, he raised his arms in a "V" for victory.


3) Lina Grummette Memorial by Michael Aigner

I played in the Lina Grumette Memorial, held a weekend before Memorial Day this year. Unfortunately, the adult chess player pool in LA area keeps shrinking. There were only 88 players total, 34 of those in the Master/Expert section. But the U2000 and U1800 sections, often the largest in weekend swisses, only had 37 entries combined. John Bryant won ahead of his stepdad IM Enrico Sevillano. Five tied for third: IM Jack Peters, FM Alexandre Kretchetov, IM Tim Taylor, NM Julian Landaw and NM Gregg Small. I lost to Peters and Kretchetov and beat three experts. The following game is definite proof that I have been teaching too many of Topalov's games lately.

Michael Aigner- Max Landaw
Lina Grumette Memorial 2010

King's Indian A49

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O d6 6. c4 c5 7. e3 Nc6 8. b3 Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Bxf3 cxd4 11. exd4 Nxd4 12. Bxb7 Rb8 13. Bg2 Nd7 14. Nc3 Nb5 15. Nxb5 Bxa1 16. Nxa7 Qc7 17. Nc6 Rbe8 18. Re1 Nb8 19. Nd4 Bxd4 20. Qxd4 e5 21. Qd5 Re6 22. h4 Rfe8 23. Qd2 e4 24. Qc3 Nc6 25. Bb2 Ne5 26. Bxe4 d5 27. Bxd5 Nf3+ 28. Qxf3 Rxe1+ 29. Kg2 Qe7 30. h5 Rf8 31. Qc3 Qe5 32. Qxe5 Rxe5 33. Bxe5 gxh5 34. b4 h6 35. b5 Kh7 36. b6 f6 37. Bf4 1-0


4) Capablanca Memorial Championship

This weekend's Capablanca Memorial in Santa Clara (details below under upcoming events) is shaping up to be the strongest Swiss in Northern California in many years. Organizer Salman Azhar's prizes of $2000 for first and $1000 for second is attracting a stellar field with pre-entries including GMs Melikset Khachiyan and Jesse Kraai, IMs Andranik Matikozian, Enrico Sevillano, David Pruess and Emory Tate and rapidly improving juniors Steven Zierk and Yian Liou. Entries are still being accepted for this event which will hopefully attract the large field it deserves.


5) 2010 USCF Award Honorees

USCF 2010 Annual Awards, to be presented at the Awards Banquet in Irvine,California, this August. The USCF Executive Board approved the list of Annual Awards as presented below at its meeting in Saint Louis last weekend.

Among those recognized are several individuals with long-standing ties to Northern California. These include Michael Aigner, John Blackstone and Val Zemitis. The Berkeley Chess School,

founded in 1982 by Elizabeth Shaughnessy and still going strong, was also honored. Congratulations to all!

Committee of the Year: TDCC
Honorary Chess Mates: Phil Smith and Joan Schlich
Distinguished Service Award: Steve Shutt, Dr Frank Brady
Tournament Director of the Year: Jon Schacter
Special Service Award: Jay Stallings , John Blackstone
Outstanding Career Achievement : Val Zemitis, Hal Terrie, Chuck Ensey, Mike Nagaran
Gold Koltanowski Award: Rex Sinquefeld, Phil Lecornu (deceased)
Chess City of the Year: Nashville, TN
GM of the Year: Hikaru Nakamura
Frank J Marshall award: Michael Aigner
Organizer of the Year: Tony Rich
Meritorious Service Award: Dewain Barber, Richard Buchanan, Alan Anderson, Danny Rensch, Jim Stallings
Scholastic Services: Individual - Greg Shahade, Group - Berkeley Chess School
Chess Club of the Year - Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis
Chess College of the Year - El Centro Community College, Dallas TX