Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #495

Chess resembles writing, painting and music in being an obsessional mental activity preoccupied with exploring tension and complication to resolve them to triumphant harmony.

Andrew Waterman, The Poetry of Chess

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Van Wely wins in Chicago
3) Three-way tie in Santa Clara
4) Showalter, Steiner and Savereide named to US Hall of Fame by Harold J. Winston
5) Chess Duels and Seirawan Web Site
6) Here and There
7) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

The 54-player Summer Tuesday Night Marathon is headed by IM Mikhail Baturin, FM Frank Thornally and NMs Oleg Shaknazarov and Romy Fuentes. It is still possible to enter the eight round event with half point byes for round one and two.

FM Richard Lobo of England and NM Peter Zavadsky battled to a draw in the opening game of the Vassily Smslov Memorial. The Category 3 event (2305 FIDE average) which will run throughout the month of June at the MI, also features IMs Ganbold Odondoo, John Grefe, Ricardo DeGuzman and norm seekers SMs Steven Zierk and Daniel Naroditsky, FM Andy Lee, and NMs Yian Liou and Evan Sandberg.

Jules Jelinek won the May 26th edition of the MI's Wednesday Night Blitz with 9/10. Jorge Lopez and Arthur Ismakov tied for second with 7.

The Mechanics' will host the 47th annual Arthur Stamer Memorial this Saturday and Sunday.

2) Van Wely wins in Chicago

Visiting Dutch GM Loek van Wely scored 7.5 from 9 to win the $10,000 first prize in the Continental Chess Association's Chicago Open this Memorial Day weekend. He defeated Bay Area IM Sam Shankland in the last round with the White pieces. Sam, who had a terrific tournament scoring 3/4 against four 2590 GMs earlier in the event, just barely missed his third and final GM norm. He scored 6.5 points and needed to face an average opposition of 2434 but played a field that came to 2432. What proved to be the difference was being paired with players averaging in the low 2200s the first few rounds which proved to be a killer. Even beating them he lost ground (2200 rating + roughly 350 points for a win = 2550 and a GM performance is 2600). Several IM norm events were made in this event but for better chances for GM norms possibly accelerated pairings should be considered for next year.

3) Three-way tie in Santa Clara

Invaders from the Southland took home the prize money last weekend in the 170-player Bay Area Capablanca Memorial in Santa Clara. IMs Andranik Matikozian and Enrico Sevillano and SM John Bryant, lured north by a $2,000 first prize shared top honors in a highly competitive Master section with scores of 4.5 from 6. GM Walter Browne, IM Ricardo DeGuzman, SM Steven Zierk, FM Andy Lee and NM Paul Gallegos tied for fourth with 4 points. Organizer Salman Azhar is to be commended for putting on this event, one of few in recent memory that has attracted players from outside the area.

4) Showalter, Steiner and Savereide named to US Hall of Fame by Harold J. Winston


By Harold J. Winston (IL)

The big news this year is the move of the Hall of Fame and Sidney Samole Museum from its long time home in Miami, Florida to St. Louis, Missouri, thanks to the generosity of Rex Sinquefield. The Museum will probably reopen some this winter. More can be found in my US Chess Trust report.

In 2010, the Trustees of the US Chess Trust voted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame the three persons recommended by our committee who made major contributions to American chess over three different time periods. The induction will take place at the USCF Awards Banquet at the Hyatt Regency Irvine Hotel in Irvine, California on Saturday August 7, 2010, starting at 12 noon.

Our first inductee, Diane Savereide dominated US Women's Chess in the 1970s and 1980s and won the US Women's Champion five times. Savereide became a Women's International Master in 1977. She was the first American woman to attain a master's rating. She competed on six Women's Olympiad teams from 1976-1988 and held down first board from 1976-1984 and Board 2 in 1988. She was Board 1 for the Women's team that placed 4th in 1976. She will be the second woman to be inducted: the first was multiple times US Women's Champion Gisela Gresser.

Our second inductee, Herman Steiner, not only won the US Chess Championship in 1948, ahead of Isaac Kashdan, but played on four U.S.Olympiad Teams from 1928- 1950, when he was team captain. In the 1945 radio match between the USSR and USA he was the only American with a plus score. Steiner also was a long time chess editor of the Los Angeles Times, from 1932 up to his death in 1955 at the age of 50. In addition, Steiner founded an important chess club in the LA area that became the Hollywood Chess Group and was a chess center in the 1940s and 1950s.

Our third inductee, Jackson Showalter (1860-1935), known as the "Kentucky Lion," was a rival of Pillsbury and Marshall and one of the top American players in the 1890s and early 20th century. He won the US Championship five times, played matches with the other top U.S. players, and participated in the Cambridge Springs 1904 tournament, where he took 5th place, ahead of Schlechter, Tchigorin, and Pillsbury. Showalter was US Champion in 1890, 1892, 1892-94, 1895-96, and 1906-1909.

Savereide, Steiner, and Showalter are all worthy additions to the US Chess Hall of Fame.

I want to thank the other members of the committee: Arthur Bisguier, Joel Benjamin, John Donaldson, Jeremy Gaige, John Hilbert, Al Lawrence, John McCrary Shane Samole and Jennifer Shahade.

5) Chess Duels and Seirawan Web Site

4-Time US Champion Yasser Seirawan's new book Chess Duels (Everyman 2010) is out now in both paper and hardback. Reviews by Bernard Cafferty and John Saunders are available at . GM Seirawan will be giving a book signing and brief lecture from Chess Duels followed by a Q & A the Chess & Bridge Shop, 44 Baker Street, London, W1U 7RT on Thursday 10th June between 5pm and 7pm (closest tube station: Baker Street).

Bruce Harper writes:

As part of the revamped Seirawan Chess web site, starting today - June 1, 2010, FM Jack Yoos, one of the top s-chess players in Canada, will be taking on the World.

Anyone familiar with the "Kasparov vs. the World" game will know how this works. Jack will play White. The World will play Black. Anyone who wishes, votes on the move to be played for the World (only one vote per player, please!), and the move with the most votes will be played.

Since this is s-chess, the "Kasparov vs. the World" model won't be followed precisely. There will be no "coaches" to suggest moves (use your brains instead), and there will be no lists of candidate moves (vote according to your best instincts). Power to the People - this game will be democracy in action.

The schedule will be roughly one move for each side each week. Jack's move will be posted on Sunday evening. Voters will have until the following Saturday to send in their vote. The votes will be tabulated and then Jack will respond.

If the World's move is obvious and/or forced, a week may see two moves played. If, in other weeks, Jack is indisposed, the game might be put on hold for one week. But we expect to play at the rate of one move per week. A timer will run on the web site to indicate the deadline for the next World move.

The participant whose moves are most often adopted as the "World move" will win a prize - a one hour on-line chess lesson with GM Yasser Seirawan. This lesson may cover either chess or s-chess (or both).

Please forward this e-mail to any friends you have who might be interested in taking part in the unique experiment which will begin next week. People of course may join in the game at any time. With neither side able to consult opening books or computers, this will be truly be one player against...the World!

The web site URL is:

Good luck,

GM Yasser Seirawan
FM Bruce Harper
Inventors of Seirawan Chess


6) Here and There

GM Lubos Kavalek, for many years the chess columnist for the Washington Post, is back! Check out his first column for the Huffington Post at .

John Blackstone sends along the following unknown Capablanca games which he notes is "Not a very good game but interesting in that Capa allowed a mate in one."

This was Capablanca's only loss as he scored +14, -1, =1 in the event held at Cabrillo Commerical Club.

Capabanca,J - Smith,J [A02]
San Diego (simul) April 15,1916

1.f4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.b3 b6 4.Bb2 Bb7 5.e3 Nf6 6.Be2 Bd6 7.Ne5 0-0 8.0-0 Qe7 9.d3 h6 10.g3 Nh7 11.Nd2 Ba3 12.Bc3 a6 13.Ndf3 Bc5 14.Qd2 a5 15.Bb2 Ba3 16.Bxa3 Qxa3 17.g4 Qd6 18.Qe1 Nc6 19.d4 Ne7 20.Qh4 c5 21.g5 hxg5 22.fxg5 g6 23.Bd3 cxd4 24.Ng4 f5 25.Nf6+ Nxf6 26.gxf6 Rf7 27.fxe7 Rh7 28.Qf6 dxe3 29.Ng5??? Qxh2 0-1

[Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 3rd,1916, p.3]

Richard Reich sends along the following link to an article by Dr. Albrecht Buschke, the famous bookseller and historian. Buschke notes the generosity of John G. White towards his fellow collectors. Yes, this is the John G. White who made the Cleveland Public Library the largest public repository of chess knowledge in the world. Check out the article at .