Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #501


Note the Newsletter will be taking a two week break for summer holidays and will resume on August 4th.


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) US Womens and US Junior Championship

3) US Open

4) Here and There

5) Berkeley International

6) Upcoming Events


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

Young Daniel Naroditsky of Foster City won the GM section of the July First Saturday Tournament in Budapest in impressive fashion with a score of 7.5 from 11 against a field averaging 2412. Rated in the middle of the field in a 12-player round robin Daniel started slowly with a draw and a loss but then played quite convincingly in reeling off 5 wins and four draws to finish a point short of the GM norm (his performance was 2544 FIDE) but 1.5 points over the IM norm. This was Daniel's first IM norm after a half dozen near misses and we would not be surprised if he completed the requirements for the IM title before the summer was out.

Daniel was not the only Bay Area chess story at the July First Saturday events. Erik Kislik, who left San Jose with an expert's rating many moons ago to set up base in Budapest has been steadily improving and scored his finest result to date with a score of 6-5 in the GM section to make his first IM norm as well.

You can find out more about the First Saturday series at . There is also a report on Daniel's success at

The Smyslov Memorial IM norm tournament finished last night.

Final Scores:

1. FM Zierk 6.5; 2. IM DeGuzman 6; 3-4. FM Naroditsky and NM Zavadsky 5.5; 5. FM Lobo 4.5; 6. NM Liou 4; 7-8. IM Grefe and NM Sandberg 3.5; 9-10. FM Lee and IM Ganbold 3.

As reported in a previous Newsletter 16-year-old IM Steven Zierk made his first IM norm in this event which was very hard fought with few quick draws. One curiosity is that FM Andy Lee scored 2.5 of his 3 points against the three IMs!

Expert Jorge Lopez finished off an outstanding Summer Tuesday Night Marathon (wins over IM Baturin and NMs Shaknazarov, Fuentes and Wong) last night with a win over the always dangerous James Jones. That, coupled with a draw on board two between Hayk Manvelyan and IM Mikhail Baturin pushed Lopez into clear first with 7 from 8. Manvelyan, a teenager from Fremont who was the only player to nick Lopez, was second with 6.5. The Peter Grey Tuesday Night Marathon, named in honor of the long-time MI member who continues to play in the TNMS with close to 40 years of continuous participation, starts on August 2. The 9 round event offers good value for the money with an entry fee of $40.


2) US Womens,  US Junior and US Cadet Championship

Pre-tournament favorites Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih are performing as expected, leading with 3.5 from 4 having drawn each other in a tough fight. NM Parker Zhao is the surprise leader of the US Junior Closed with 3.5 from 4 but favorite GM Ray Robson is among those half a point back. Mechanics' members FM Steven Zierk and IM Sam Shankland had rough starts but have stabilized the last two rounds and have 2 from 4 and 1.5 from 4 respectively. The US Cadet just started and MI member NM Yian Liou has 1 from 2 after the opening day.


3) US Open

The US Open in Irvine is less than a month away. This will mark the eighth time (Long Beach 1955, San Francisco 1961, Palo Alto 1981, Pasadena 1983, Los Angeles 1991, Concord 1995 and Los Angeles 2003) that the Golden State has hosted the event since WW2. The chance of matching the turnout of Palo Alto 1981 or the all-time record attendance of Pasadena (836!) is extremely unlikely. Former prestige events in the Southland - the American and Pacific Southwest Opens to name but two - that once routinely attracted 300-400 players now draw just a fraction of that. Realistically if Irvine draws 450 it will be going fine and 500 would be great.


1981 Palo Alto, California

1982 St. Paul, Minnesota 440

1983 Pasadena, California 836

1984 Ft. Worth, Texas  518

1985 Hollywood, Florida. 498

1986 Somerset, New Jersey 552

1987 Portland, Oregon 537

1988 Boston, Massachusetts 615

1989 Chicago, Illinois 630

1990 Jacksonville, Florida 316

1991 Los Angeles 633 (double check)

1992 Dearborn, Michigan 496

1993 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 368

1994 Chicago, Illinois 470

1995 Concord, California 530

1996 Alexandria, Virginia 515

1997 Kissimmee, Florida 518

1998 Kona, Hawaii 304

1999 Reno, Nevada 482

2000 St. Paul, Minnesota 492

2001 Framingham, Massachusetts 480 

2002 Cherry Hill, New Jersey 502

2003 Los Angeles, California 453

2004 Weston, Florida 432

2005 Phoenix, Arizona 452

2006 Oak Brook, Illinois 534

2007 Cherry Hill, New Jersey 405

2008 Dallas, Texas 377

2009 Indianapolis, Indiana 

2010 Irvine ??? 



4) Here and There

Mike Schemm writes:

"I set next to Andrew Karklins on the van to the airport after the World Open this past weekend.  He told me his father still played chess at age 95, but no longer traveled - only played in Chicago. Then I realized I played (and lost) to his father in the 2009 Chicago Open!!  When he was 94!!  His father still maintains about a 2050 rating, although, as with many older players, his tactics are not that sharp."

We checked the first volume of the Encyclopedia of Latvian Chess by Val Zemitis and learned that Erik Karklins was born in 1915 in Riga. Family and professional life (he was an architect) never allowed the elder Karklins to play chess as more than a hobby but the consistency of his results is quite amazing. Zemitis gives a peak rating for Karklins of 2305 and mentions he divided the first prize with Augusts Rankis in the 1947 Latvian-English Zone Championship in Germany and also shared second and third in the 1963 Illinois State Championship. Good results certainly, but what may be unprecedented is that his rating has stayed in the range of 2025-2075 the past 15 years despite playing roughly thirty games a year. One would expect a decline at some point but Karklins keeps on going. One wonders how many players have performed at the expert level at the age of 95. 

IM Jack Peters points out the Russian site which features news and interviews in English.

A recent issue of the excellent online subscription daily Chess Today (  offers the following report on the Pacific Southwest Open by the always classy Los Angeles Times Chess Columnist, IM Jack Peters.

The 50th annual Pacific Southwest Open, held July 3-5 in Los Angeles, was an 83-player tournament directed by John Hillery. The field wasn't as strong as usual - only 1 GM and 2 IMs.

GM Melik Khachiyan won easily with 5�/6. IM Timothy Taylor was clear second with 5 points, while Joshua Gutman, Christian Tanaka and IM Jack Peters tied for third place with 4� points.

I was very impressed by Yian Liou, who had been the top-rated 12-year old in the country and has just turned 13. He beat me in a sharp game and drew with Khachiyan. You will hear more about him!


Peters,Jack (2379) - Liou,Yian (2211) [B42]

Los Angeles (4) 2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.0�0 Qc7 7.c4 Nc6 8.Nf3 d6 9.Nc3 Be7 10.Bf4 0�0 11.Rc1 Bd7 12.Nd5 exd5 13.cxd5 Qa5 14.dxc6 Bxc6 15.Qb3 Rfe8 16.Nd2 Rad8 17.Rfe1 d5 18.exd5 Qxd5 19.Bf1 Qf5 20.Be3 Ng4 21.Nc4 Bh4 22.Qc2 Be4 23.Qe2 Bd5 24.g3 Bf3 25.Qc2 Be4 26.Qe2 Bd3 27.Qxd3 Rxd3 28.Bxd3 Qxd3 29.gxh4 h5 30.h3 Nxe3 31.Nxe3 Re6 32.Rc5 f5 33.Rd1 Rg6+ 34.Kh2 Qe4 35.Rxf5 Rg2+ 36.Nxg2 Qxf5 37.Rd2 Qa5 0�1



5) Berkeley International

Dear Chess Player,

The Berkeley International Chess Tournament will be held from January 2-8, 2011,
in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA.

Complete information regarding the tournament can be found at

The tournament is open to any player with a FIDE Rating of at least 2100 or any
player under the age of twenty-one with a FIDE Rating of at least 2000.

It will be a ten round swiss with two rounds a day on three of the days and one
round a day for four days (exact schedule still to be decided).

The time control will be 40/2, SD/1 and both GM and IM norms will be possible.
This tournament starts only a few days after the North American Open (December
26-29, in Las Vegas ends so those planning to
attend that would only need to make a small trip afterwards to attend the
Berkeley International also.
add Fremont event

Entry fees will be based on a player's December 2010 FIDE Rating. The
tournament will also provide free lodging to some GMs on a first come basis.
GMs (especially those of foreign federation) may also receive travel expenses
and an appearance fee, also on a first come basis.

Those interested should contact the organizers, Arun Sharma (

and David Pruess (, immediately if they wish to have the best  chance to

take advantage of this.

For complete information regarding the 2011 Berkeley International Chess

Tournament, please visit the tournament website at