Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #508

It is necessary to play in tournaments where the opponents are just a little stronger than oneself, else it is possible to collapse and suffer psychological trauma.
Mikhail Botvinnik (Botvinnik-Petrosian, page 134)
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Olympiads Past and Present
3) Bay Area Juniors Shine This Summer by this Michael Aigner
4) News from USCF Executive Director Bill Hall
5) Upcoming Events
Note: The Newsletter is coming out early this week because of the upcoming Chess Olympiad. The next issue, # 509, will be issued in one month on Wednesday, October 13.

The San Francisco Mechanics' suffered a tough 2.5 -1.5 loss to the Chicago Blaze last Wednesday night but remain among the leaders in the Western Division of the US Chess League.

Game Points
 Opps Avg Rating
     Opps Record
Arizona 3.0
9.0/12 (75%)
           2396     2.0 4.0 (33%)
Chicago 2.5 0.5 7.0/12 (58%)
           2416     4.0 2.0 (67%)
San Francisco 2.0
8.0/12 (67%)
    2.5 3.5 (42%)
St. Louis 1.5
6.0/12 (50%)
           2398     2.0 4.0 (33%)
Seattle 1.0
5.5/12 (46%)
           2397     2.5 3.5 (42%)
Dallas 1.0
5.0/12 (42%)
           2464     2.5 3.5 (42%)
Los Angeles 1.0
4.0/12 (33%)            2408     3.5 2.5 (58%)
Miami 0.0
3.5/12 (29%)
           2419     3.0 3.0 (50%)
Daniel Naroditsky is the Mechanics' early season MVP.
2010 Schedule

Dallas Destiny
Miami Sharks
Chicago Blaze

Seattle Sluggers
Los Angeles Vibe
Boston Blitz
Arizona Scorpions
St. Louis Arch Bishops
Seattle Sluggers
Miami Sharks

Arthur Ismakov took top honors in the Mechanics' Wednesday Blitz on September 1st, scoring 5.5/6.
Don't forget the Western States Open in Reno held October 22-24 (details below).  This event is a very rare bird for American Swiss events and more closely resembles European tournaments with its many free lectures (GM Larry Evans), reasonable entry fee, organizer who provides sets and boards, and deep prize fund with an unheard of 80+ percent return on entry fees. This and the cheap hotel rooms (under $40 tax included on Thursday and Sunday and around $70 on Friday and Saturday are made possible by the host of the event, the Sands Regency. Don't miss this event which has been the most important of the year for Northern California players for over two decades.
2) Olympiad Past and Present
The 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk is scheduled to start in less than two weeks (September 21) and looks to be quite strong
with the US team seeded ninth (rating averages are for the top four players)

Chess Olympiad men teams

1. Russia (RUS / RtgAvg:2749)

1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2780
2 GM Grischuk Alexander 2760
3 GM Karjakin Sergey 2747
4 GM Svidler Peter 2731
5 GM Malakhov Vladimir 2725

2. Ukraine (UKR / RtgAvg:2737)

1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2754
2 GM Eljanov Pavel 2761
3 GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2749
4 GM Efimenko Zahar 2683
5 GM Moiseenko Alexander 2658

3. Azerbaijan (AZE / RtgAvg:2721)

1 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2756
2 GM Radjabov Teimour 2748
3 GM Gashimov Vugar 2719
4 GM Mamedov Rauf 2660
5 GM Guseinov Gadir 2611

4. Russia 2 (RUS2 / RtgAvg:2704)

1 GM Alekseev Evgeny 2691
2 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2706
3 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2709
4 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2701
5 GM Timofeev Artem 2700

5. China (CHN / RtgAvg:2703)

1 GM Wang Hao 2724
2 GM Wang Yue 2732
3 GM Bu Xiangzhi 2695
4 GM Zhou Jianchao 2660
5 GM Li Chao 2633

6. Hungary (HUN / RtgAvg:2698)

1 GM Leko Peter 2724
2 GM Almasi Zoltan 2707
3 GM Polgar Judit 2682
4 GM Berkes Ferenc 2678
5 GM Balogh Csaba 2608

7. Armenia (ARM / RtgAvg:2698)

1 GM Aronian Levon 2783
2 GM Akopian Vladimir 2691
3 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2677
4 GM Pashikian Arman 2639
5 GM Grigoryan Avetik 2579

8. Bulgaria (BUL / RtgAvg:2693)

1 GM Topalov Veselin 2803
2 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2661
3 GM Georgiev Kiril 2685
4 GM Delchev Aleksandar 2623
5 Berbatov Kiprian 2461

9. United States of America (USA / RtgAvg:2691)

1 GM Hikaru Nakamura 2733
2 GM Kamsky Gata 2705
3 GM Onischuk Alex 2688
4 GM Shulman Yuri 2636
5 GM Hess II Robert Lee 2588

10. France (FRA / RtgAvg:2681)

1 GM Tkachiev Vladislav 2632
2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2721
3 GM Fressinet Laurent 2718
4 GM Feller Sebastien 2649
5 GM Edouard Romain 2636

The US women, defending bronze medallists, are seeded sixth with an average rating of 2413.

1931 was the start of a great run for US Olympiad teams. That decade saw the United States wins the gold medals in Prague (1931), Folkestone (1933), Warsaw (1935) and Stockholm (1937). So great was the US dominance that at Stockholm the Americans were 6 (!) points ahead of second place Hungary. Another way to measure their level of superiority was Arthur Dake, a main stay of the 1931-35 teams - the top scorer in the entire 1935 Olympiad with 15.5 from 18 - was not on the 1937 team and they still won going away.

The US did not send a team to the 1939 Olympiad in Buenos Aires to defend their crown. Chess Review , July-August 1939, page 149, blamed a change of sailing dates and "a withdrawal of part of the expense fund which had been subscribed when it was announced that neither Fine nor Reshevsky were to be part of the quintet, drove the final nail into the coffin, and hopes of American participation sank. Fine had announced many weeks before for business reasons he would be unable to play at Argentina, and had received regretful acknowledgement, but Reshevsky's position was unclear to the very end." 
This all sounds a little vague but IM Walter Shipman, who knows the history of American chess very well, was able to clarify matters. George Roosevelt was a banker and philanthropist and  a first cousin once-removed of Theodore Roosevelt. He was also a major supporter of American chess in the 1920s and 30s who headed the fund-raising efforts to send the US team to Buenos Aires.  American participation in the 1939 Olympiad looked good as Roosevelt was able to raise money to cover the players expenses, but  troubles arose when the players asked for $200 apiece. They felt this request only reasonable in view of the two months wages they would lose taking traveling to Buenos Aires by boat, playing in the month long competition and then returning home. Roosevelt felt quite differently and balked at what he saw as an unreasonable ruining the amateur spirit of the endeavor. The players held their position, and a four consecutive Olympiad winning streak was ended.
This was not the only occasion where money played a role for the US Olympiad team. IM Shipman points out that the US Chess Federation was not as well-established in 1950 as it is now and  the Yugoslav Chess Federation, organizers of the Olympiad in Dubrovnik that year (the first since 1939) preferred to deal with I.A. Horowitz, owner and publisher of Chess Review since 1933. According to Shipman, the Yugoslavs sent Horowitz $10,000 to send an American team to Dubrovnik . Horowitz was given carte-blanche to do as he thought best to guarantee the American team's participation. Naturally Sammy Reshevsky would command a proper fee as to a lesser degree would reigning US Champion Herman Steiner.  Horowitz, needing to find three more players and partially motivated by the desire to be well-compensated, solved his problems by signing up promising youngsters Larry Evans (18) and George Kramer (21) as well as George Shainswit who had proven himself a tough man to beat at the 1948 US Championship where he lost only one game in the 19-round event in tying for 5th place. The cost of the three players, $200 each, was ironically just what the US players had asked for in 1939!

3) Bay Area Juniors Shine This Summer by Michael Aigner
Editor - This has been a banner year for Bay Area youngsters with many showing outstanding results. The common link between most of them is they have studied with NM Michael Aigner of Davis.  Awarded the 2010 Frank J. Marshall award by the US Chess Federation, Michael is one of the best coaches in the country at working with young players and helping them become Experts and Masters. He is a key reason Northern California has produced so many outstanding  talents the past decade.

NM Yian Liou shared top honors (first on tiebreaks) at the 2010 US Cadet Championship in Tennessee!
FM Steven Zierk took clear first at 2010 Denker Tournament of High School State Champions in Irvine! 

The key requirement to earn the title of International Master is to earn three IM norms in high level tournaments (either Opens or invitational round-robins).  Congratulations to FM Steven Zierk and FM Daniel Naroditsky for earning their first norms this summer!  Steven got his norm in San Francisco and was in contention for a second one in Philadelphia.  Danya went all the way to Hungary to pick up his first norm.  Maybe by this time next year, Danya or Steven will have the IM title.

USCF RATING MILESTONES (June, July and August)
Gregory Young (2300), Joshua Cao (1900), Evan Ye (1800), Richard Yi (1800), Tudor Muntean (1700), Michael Meng (1400).  Other students who made significant progress include NM Yian Liou (two consecutive 2400+ performances in July, now rated 2298), rapidly improving expert Nicholas Karas (2300+ performance at Central California Open and now 66 points from master) and Neel Apte (solid +47 in three straight tournaments).  Finally, Bryan Huang (1424 --> 1587, +163) won a special prize for gaining the most rating points at US Open in Irvine.

4) News from USCF Executive Director Bill Hall
To USCF Affiliates, Certified Tournament Directors, USCF Delegates and Alternate Delegates:

Several dues and rules changes were made at the 2010 USCF Delegates Meeting in Irvine, California. This note is to advise you of those changes so that you can plan accordingly. We are also advising you of a change to the Grand Prix rules and some enhancements to the tournament validation program in the TD/Affiliate Suport Area.

Dues Changes

Effective January 1, 2011, a two year Regular Adult membership will increase from $52 to $63, and a three year Regular Adult membership will increase from $74 to $91. These rates are $7 higher if not submitted online. (The one year rate was changed a year ago, but the two and three year rates were not changed at that time due to an oversight.)

Rules Changes

Several rules changes were passed in Irvine, here is a quick summary of them, more detailed information will be available soon. Other than the deletion of rule 5Fa, these changes take effect on January 1, 2011. TDs directing FIDE rated events are encouraged to start using the new rule 28T immediately.
  • Rule 14H as printed in the rulebook has been reinstated with a new variant 14H6:
    No Claim of insufficient losing chances in sudden death. No claim of insufficient losing chances in sudden death will be allowed. This variation does not need to be announced in advance publicity.
  • Chapter 15 of the rulebook will be deleted and be replaced with the FIDE laws of chess.
  • A new chapter on Fischer 960, also known as Chess 960 and Fischer Random Chess, will be added. These rules are adopted directly from the FIDE Laws of Chess, Appendix F.
  • Clarification on Quick and Blitz Chess:
    5C. Quick and Blitz Chess.
    5C1 Quick chess (no changes)
    5C2 Blitz Chess. A Chess variant played at a rate of G/5 with no increment or delay as standard (always G/10 or less). (See chapter 11 for details and special rules.) Blitz chess at a rate or G/5 or greater is ratable under the Quick Chess rating system. "Blitz" must be mentioned in the title or description of the event and in all advance publicity.
  • Rule 28T regarding pairing adjustments in FIDE events has been replaced with the following:
    28T: FIDE title and rating tournament. When directing tournaments where FIDE norms or titles can be earned, all FIDE PAIRING rules and regulations should be observed
    TD TIP: Making minor variations to pairings and rules for the sake of gaining FIDE titles and ratings norms is not advised.
  • Clarification on ratable time controls:
    Quick only:
    1. Quick Chess with a base time control G/5 to G/29 AND increment or delay less than or equal to 15 seconds per move.
    2. Blitz Chess with a minimum base time control of G/5.
    The Delegates also reaffirmed the rule that there must always be a minimum of five minutes on each clock at the start of the game, regardless of any subtraction of time under rule 5Fa. (Also, see below.)
  • Rule 5Fa will be deleted from the rulebook effective 1/1/2012.
    Note: The Rules committee and the Scholastic council are working on the wording for a proposal to allow G/25 d/5 as dual rated to present before the delegates at the 2011 meeting.

A comprehensive update to the Rulebook Changes since the 5th Edition file on the USCF Website is being prepared and should be on the website soon, hopefully by the end of September.

Grand Prix Changes

The Executive Board recently passed the following motion:

Effective with TLAs submitted after November 10, 2010, the following additional rules apply to Grand Prix tournaments:

  1. The guaranteed first prize must be at least $150.
  2. No more than one prize under $100 may count towards the Grand Prix point total.
  3. Prizes below the maximum entry fee do not count towards the Grand Prix point total.

Time Controls and Tournament Submission Procedures

Earlier this year the USCF enahanced the tournament validation process so that time controls for sudden death events can be specified with the amount of delay or increment time.

For example, you can now enter time controls like:

Game/30 + 5 delay
Game/30 + 5 increment
Game/30 D/5

Remember, the allowable time control rules were changed two years ago so that if there are more than 15 seconds of delay or increment, that section can only be regular rated. (However, in order for the event to be USCF rated, there must always be at least five minutes of time on the clock at the start of the game.)

With this change in the validation process, you can now enter the correct time control rather than enter something like 'G/61' in order to get an event to be accepted as a regular-only event when the time control is actually 'Game/60 + 30 seconds of increment'.

The amount of time to be entered (ie, the 'xx' in 'Game/xx') is before any subtraction of time to compensate for increment or delay time.

For a more complete description of the time control options, please see the information in the news area of the TD/Affiliate Support Area.

Affiliate Emailings

To learn how to use the USCF's facility for sending out emails on behalf of your USCF affiliate, please see the 'news' area on the TD/Affiliate Support Area.

Bill Hall
USCF Executive Director 


5) Upcoming Events                                                                                                   


Northern California Events

Sept. 25-26   2nd Annual Exchange Bank Open   GPP: 6   California Northern

Exchange Bank, 444 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403. 4 round Swiss, G/120. In 3 Sections, Open: $$GTD: $250-175. Reserve: Open to 1899 & under. $$GTD: $200-125. Booster: Open to 1499 & under. $$GTD: $150-100. Unrated plays in Booster Section. ALL: EF: $35 advance until 9/22, $45 at site. Reg.: 09/25, 8:30am - 9:30am. Rds.: Sat 10,3; Sun 10,3. ENT: Paul Stagnoli, 4233 Kintyre Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95409. INFO: (707) 478-4385 NS. NC. W. Chess Magnet School JGP

A Heritage Event!
An American Classic!

Oct. 22-24   28th Annual Sands Regency Reno-Western States Open   GPP: 200 Enhanced   Nevada

6SS, 40/2,20/1,G 1/2. Sands Regency Hotel/Casino, 345 N. Arlington Ave., Reno, NV 89501. 1-800-648-3553 or (775) 348-2200. $$37,000 b/400, Gtd. $$25,250-$3500-2500-2000-1500-1000-800-700-600-500-400 in Open Section plus 1/2 of all other prizes. 6 Sections: OPEN: EF: GMs & IMs free (enter by 10/1 or pay late fees), Masters $142, (2000-2199)-$175, (1999-below)-$201. $$ Prizes 1-10 listed above, (2399-below) $1000-500, (2299-below) $1000-500. If a tie for 1st overall then 2 (G/10) playoff for $100 from prize fund. (Note: GM/IM w/free entry not eligible for class prizes 2399 and below; may elect to pay entry fee and become eligible). EXPERT: (2000-2199) EF: $141. $$1700-800-600-500-400 (under 2100)- $700. "A" Sec.(1800-1999) EF: $140, $$1600-800- 500-400-300-200-200. "B" Sec.(1600-1799) EF: $139, $$1,400-700-500-300-300-200-200. "C" Sec.(1400-1599) EF: $138, $$1,200-600-400-300-300- 200-200."D"/under Sec. (1399/below) EF: $137, $$1,000-500-400-300-200-200-200 (under 1200) - $300. (Unrated Players) EF: Free + must join USCF or increase membership for 1 additional year thru this tournament ($49 adults, $25 juniors). Prizes: Top unrated in "D" Section wins 1 yr. USCF membership plus trophy. Note: Unrated will be put in "D" Sect. unless request to play up. Seniors (65+) additional prizes $$200; (Seniors not eligible: provisionally rated, unrated, masters); Club Championship $$800-400-300-200 decided by total score of 10 (and only 10) players from one club or area (not eligible - GMs, IMs, or unrated). Trophies to Top 3 (A-D Sections). ALL: EF $11 more if postmarked after 10/2 and $22 more if postmarked after 10/15 or at site. Do not mail after 10/15 or phone or email after 10/19. $20 off EF to Srs (65+) and Jrs 19/under. Players may play up. Unrated players not eligible for cash prizes except Open 1-10. Provisionally rated players may win up to 50% of 1st place money except open Section 1-10. CCA ratings may be used. Note pairings not changed for color alternation unless 3 in a row or a plus 3 and if the unlikely situation occurs 3 colors in a row may be assigned. Reg.: (10/21) 5-8 pm, (10/22) 9:00-10 am. Rds.: 12-7, 10-6, 9:30-4. Byes available any round, if requested before 1st round (Open Section - 2 byes max.). SIDE EVENTS: Wed. (10/20) 7pm Clock Simul, [40/2, G/1] (Including an analysis of YOUR game. GM Sergey Kudrin $30 (A great value!). Thurs (10/21) 6-7:30 pm GM Larry Evans lecture -Free, 7:30 Simul GM Melikset Khachiyan (only $15!), 7:30 Blitz (5 min) Tourney ($20-80% to prize fund). Sat 10/23 (3-4:30pm) GM Larry Evans Clinic(Game/Position Analysis) - Free. Sun. (10/24) Quick Tourney (G/25) 5 Rd. Swiss ($20) [12 (Noon)-5pm] 80% to prize fund. ENT: Make checks payable and send to: SANDS REGENCY (address above) HR: $35! (Sun-Thurs) & $59! (Fri-Sat) + 13.5% tax. (mention CHESS 1020 & reserve by 10/5/10 to guarantee room rates.) INFO: Jerry Weikel, (775) 747 1405, or website: (also go here to verify entry). FIDE. W. Chess Magnet School JGP.

Nov. 26-28 or 27-28,   GPP:  60 (enhanced) California Northern

California Class Championship 6SS, 30/90 G/60 (2-day sched rds 1-3 G/60). Hyatt Regency SFO Airport, 1333 Bayshore Hwy., Burlingame, CA 94010. Hotel rate $89. $8,000 b/137 entries (80% guaranteed). 6 sections: Open (2200+ FIDE rated)> 1000-500-200-100-100. X (2000-2199), A (1800-1999), B (1600-1799) & C (1400-1599): 700-300-100-100-100 each. Section DE (1000-1399): 500-200-100 (u1200 200-100-100). The 5th place prize will be awarded only in the 2 largest sections. Unrated prize limit of $200 in all sections except Open. EF: $99 3-day & $98 2-day mailed by 11/23, online by 11/24, Onsite +$25, Play-up +$20. 5% off before 10/26. GMs/IMs free: EF subtr from prize. Re-entry $40. Refunds $20 EF Econ Opt: EF minus $30 & 1/2 of computed prize. Nov 2010 Supp, CCA min & TD discretion used to place players accurately. TD/Org: McCumiskey, Langland, Azhar. 3-day sched: Reg Fri10-11, Rds Fri/Sat 11:30 5:30, Sun 10 3:30. 2-day sched: Reg Sat 9-9:30, Rds Sat 10 12:30 2:45 5:30, Sun 10 3:30. Max two 1/2-pt byes & must commit bef rd 3. Ent: Bay Area Chess, 1590 Oakland Rd., Suite B213, San Jose 95131. T: 408-786-5515. E:, Info/Form/Entries: NS, NC, W. Chess Magnet School JGP