Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter # 516


The chess-board is the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the Laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance. To the man who plays well the highest stakes are paid, with that sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong show delight in strength. And one who plays ill is checkmated without hate, but without remorse.


                                              Thomas Henry Huxley 



1)     Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2)     Frank Marshall at the Mechanics' Institute

3)     Talent and Hard Work in Chess

4)     Here and There

5)     Upcoming Events


1)    Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


The Fall Tuesday Night Marathon is turning into quite a dogfight with two rounds remaining. Expert Christophe Bambou leads with 6 from 7 with NM Peter Zavadsky and Experts Todd Rumph, Igor Traub and Demetrius Goins right behind with 5.5 points and NM Romy Fuentes and Oleg Shaknazarov within striking distance at 5 points.


This weekend the Mechanics' Chess Club will feature non-stop action with the 11th Annual Guthrie McClain G/45 event (10am - 7pm) and a two hour class (10:30am to 12:30pm) for children on Saturday and the Mike Goodall Memorial (1pm to 5 pm) and Blitz (2pm to 4pm) plus a class for girls and women from 2 to 4 pm on Sunday.


The Mechanics' Institute would like to thank Life Master Ron Gross for his donation of a beautiful picture of the late Larry Evans and Walter Shipman, ages 14 and 17 respectively, analyzing at the 1946 US Open in Pittsburgh. It will soon be framed and hung on the walls of the Club.


2)  Frank Marshall at the Mechanics' Institute (1913 and 1915)


The past decade scraps of information have been discovered here and there pertaining to Frank Marshall's two visits to the Mechanics' Institute. Now, thanks to research by John Blackstone and Stephen Brandwein, comprehensive coverage of his activities is available. Their work is particularly impressive as San Francisco had no regular chess column until the 1920s, although the Call, Chronicle and Examiner did write up special events. Often the details in local papers didn't quite tally with the accounts rendered in the American Chess Bulletin, the only national chess magazine at the time.



Marshall at the Mechanics' July 1-4, 1913


July 1   First simul   32 boards (+25, =6, -1)

July 2   Consultation games 2 boards (=2)

July 3   Second simul 38 boards (+27, =5, -6)

July 4   Casual Rapid Transit Play


"Brilliant Play of Chess Master
Marshall Meets Thirty-one Players at Once

"Playing up to his great reputation for brilliance and combinations, Frank J. Marshall, champion chess player of America, met 31 players in a simultaneous exhibition at the Mechanics' Institute Tuesday Night. A count of boards at the conclusion of play showed that the visiting master had won 25, lost 1, while five games were drawn. The performance was witnessed by a large gallery, who filled the large library room of the Institute. Unfortunately, a lack of boards and pieces prevented a record number of simultaneous games for this city.

Marshall fully lived up to his reputation, and time and again evoked the unstinted praise of the spectators as he evolved a brilliant mating combination or else cleverly frustrated a well laid plan for his destruction.

A feature of the exhibition was the participation of a 9 year old devotee of Caissa, Miss Marie Silvius, at board No. 20, who secured a well played draw.

Bernardo Smith, a member of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, was the single player to defeat the master. Those drawing beside Miss Silvius were George Hallwegen, A.J. Fink, E.J. Clarke and Mr. Haring.

Marshall will repeat his performance on Thursday evening at the Mechanics' Institute, when every effort will be made to surpass the record of 57 boards simultaneously, which Marshall recently played at Pittsburgh, PA. Players desiring to meet the champion are requested by the committee to bring their own boards and men."



Marshall in the Far West


Under the caption of "Veni, Vidi, Vici - Marshall," the San Francisco Call , in its issue of July 6, prints the following account of the United States champion's doings while at the Golden Gate:

"Frank J. Marshall is no longer a stranger to San Francisco chess players. If perchance he should return to the coast next year he will be greeted by friends who, previous to his four-day visit as the guest of the Mechanics' Institute, were of necessity his admirers only.

The American champion arrived here last Tuesday morning. Although somewhat fatigued by the railroad journey from Portland, Marshall gave a brilliant exhibition of his skill at simultaneous play at the Institute Tuesday evening, when he met by a strong field of thirty-one players. The master won 25, 6 were drawn and B. Smith alone succeeded in vanquishing the visitor. The performance attracted about 300 spectators.

Wednesday afternoon Marshall played two exhibition games simultaneously against Professor A.W. Ryder and E.W. Gruer in consultation at board No. 1, wile at board 2 he was opposed by A.B. Stamer and A.J. Fink. The allies at board No. 1, defending against Marshall's pet Danish attack, held the expert
to a well-played forty-move draw. Messrs. Stamer and Fink, with the white pieces, were met by Marshall's favorite Petroff. This game was also declared drawn, although the master had probably a winning advantage.


Thursday evening Marshall repeated his simultaneous performance, playing against thirty-eight opponents, winning 27, with 5 drawn and 6 lost.

Friday the visitor entertained with some rapid transit chess at five and ten seconds per move. A.B. Stamer succeeded in putting one over on the champion during the five-second seance.

American Chess Bulletin 1913, page 177



 Marshall - Hallwegen,G
San Francisco (1st simul) July 1, 1913
1.e4 g6 2.d4 e6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.Bd3 Ne7 6.0-0 0-0 7.c3
 b6 8.Qc2 Bd7 9.Be3 Nbc6 10.Nbd2 Kh8 11.Rae1 a5 12.Nh4 f5
13.Nhf3 a4 14.Ng5 h6 15.Ngf3 Be8 16.h3 Bf7 17.Kh1 a3 18.b3
 Qd7 19.g4 Rg8 20.Rg1 Na5 21.Rg2 c5 -

 [SF Call  July 13, 1913]


 Marshall - Ryder and Gruer
 San Francisco (Consultation Game) July 2, 1913

 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6
 7.0-0 Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.Qb3 Qd7 10.Ng5 Nd8 11.f4 h6 12.Nf3
 Nf6 13.Nbd2 Be7 14.Rad1 0-0 15.e5 Nd5 16.g3 a5 17.a4 b5
 18.axb5 a4 19.Qd3 Nb4 20.Qg6 Qe8 21.Qg4 d5 22.Nd4 Kh8
 23.N2f3 g6 24.Kh1 Qf7 25.Nh4 Kh7 26.Rf3 c5 27.bxc6 Nbxc6
 28.Rc3 a3 29.Nxc6 Nxc6 30.Bxa3 Nxe5 31.fxe5 Rxa3 32.Rxa3
 Bxa3 33.Kg2 g5 34.Nf3 Qf5 35.Qxf5+ Rxf5 36.Ra1 Bf8 37.Ra7+
 Kg6 38.h3 Bg7 39.Re7 Bxe5 40.Rxe6+ Bf6 41.Rd6 -

 [SF Call  July 13, 1913]


Marshall,F - Hallwegan
San Francisco (2nd simul) July 3, 1913

1.e4 g6 2.h4 Bg7 3.h5 e6 4.d4 Ne7 5.Nc3 d5 6.e5 c6 7.Bd3
Nd7 8.hxg6 hxg6 9.Rxh8+ Bxh8 10.Qg4 Bg7 11.Qh4 Nf8 12.Bg5
Kd7 13.0-0-0 Qe8 14.g4 b6 15.Bf6 Bxf6 16.exf6 g5 17.Qxg5
Neg6 18.Nf3 Nh7 19.Qh6 Nxf6 20.Qg7 Qe7 21.Bxg6 fxg6 22.Ne5+
Kd6 23.Qxg6 Bd7 24.g5 Ne8 25.Rh1 Qg7 26.Rh7 Qxg6 27.Rxd7# 1-0

[Sources: SF Examiner July 8, 1913 and SF Call July 13, 1913]



 Hallwegan,- Marshall,
 San Francisco (Rapid Transit) July 4, 1913
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bb5+ Nc6 6.h3 Nf6
7.0-0 Be7 8.d4 0-0 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Ne5 Qc7 11.Re1 Bd6 12.Nf3
 Rb8 13.b3 Bf5 14.dxc5 Bxc5 15.Bb2 Bxh3 16.Ne2 Ne4 17.Rf1 Bg4
 18.Qd3 Rbe8 19.Ned4 Re6 20.Nh2 Be2 21.Nxe2 Nxf2 22.Rxf2
 Bxf2+ 23.Kxf2 Qxh2 24.Ng3 Qh4 25.Rh1 Qf4+ 26.Kg1 Re1+ 27.Nf1
 f5 28.Rh3 Qe4 29.Rf3 c5 30.Qc3 Qe7 31.Rg3 d4 32.Qc4+ Kh8
 33.b4 f4 34.Rf3 Qe3+ 35.Kh2 Rf6 36.Nxe3 1-0

 [SF Call July 13, 1913]



Marshall visits MI February 27 and 28, 1915

"Quite the best showing was made against Marshall at San Francisco, where no less than eight "nicked" his escutcheon, so the report goes, to the tune of a win apiece. There were also four drawn games. The winners were Dr. W.R. Lovegrove, Dr. Henry Epsteen, R.C. Stephenson, S.C. Chandler, J. Drouillard, F.Sternberg, B. Smith and F.C. de Long. The drawn games were scored by F.W. Huber, G. Branch, A. Epsteen and E.W. Gruer and E.J. Clarke in consultation. Marshall also gave a "private" performance against fifteen opponents, making a score of 13 wins and 2 losses.

An exhibition game between Marshall and Dr. W. R. Lovegrove, at twenty games an hour, at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, resulted in a draw after a great battle lasting 81 moves. A similar game with E.W. Gruer, the new club champion, at twenty-five moves an hour, was scored by Gruer in consequence of Marshall's capturing a "hot" pawn. Taken altogether, the Golden Gate gave the champion a warm reception. A trip to the Exposition grounds was not the least interesting portion of the program."

American Chess Bulletin 1915, page 75.

Marshall - Lovegrove
San Francisco (simul) February 27, 1915

1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.0-0 d6 6.b4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bc5 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.Nc3 Na5 10.Bd3 Ne7 11.Bb2 Ng6 12.Nd5 f6 13.h4 Bg4 14.Qa4+ Qd7 15.Nxb6 axb6 16.Bb5 c6 17.Be2 b5 18.Qc2 Nf4 19.e5 Nxe2+ 20.Qxe2 fxe5 21.dxe5 0-0 22.exd6 Bxf3 23.gxf3 Rae8 24.Qd3 Nc4 25.Bc3 Re6 26.Rad1 Rg6+ 27.Kh2 Rf4 28.Qxg6 Rxh4+ 29.Kg1 hxg6 30.Rd4 Rxd4 0-1

Marshall - Gruer and Clarke
San Francisco (Consultation Game) February 28, 1915

1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.0-0 d6 6.b4 Bb6 7.a4 a6 8.a5 Ba7 9.b5 axb5 10.Bxb5 Bg4 11.a6 Qc8 12.c3 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 Nge7 14.e5 0-0 15.exd6 cxd6 16.Bf4 Bc5 17.axb7 Qxb7 18.Rxa8 Qxa8 19.Qg3 Rd8 20.h4 Ng6 21.Bg5 f6 22.h5 fxg5 23.hxg6 h6 24.Re1 Ne5 25.cxd4 Bxd4 26.Nd2 Rf8 27.Re2 Nxg6 28.Qxd6 Nf4 29.Re4 Bc3 30.Bc6 Qd8 31.Qxd8 Rxd8 32.Nc4 Bd4 33.Ne3 Bxe3 34.Rxe3 h5 35.g3 Nh3+ 36.Kg2 g4 37.Re8+ Rxe8 38.Bxe8 h4 - [American Chess Bulletin, April 1915, page 76]

Lovegrove,W - Marshall,F [C43]
San Francisco (exhibition game) February 28, 1915

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.e5 Ne4 5.Qxd4 d5 6.exd6 Nxd6 7.Bg5 f6 8.Bf4 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bg4 10.Nc3 Qe7+ 11.Be2 0-0-0 12.Qe3 Nf5 13.Qxe7 Bxe7 14.0-0 g5 15.Bc1 Rhe8 16.h3 Bxf3 17.Bxf3 Nfd4 18.Bxc6 bxc6 19.Rb1 Nxc2 20.Ne4 Rd4 21.f3 f5 22. Nxg5 Bc5 23.Kh1 Re2 24.f4 Rf2 25.Rg1 Rd3 26.Ne6 Bb6  27.b4 Rg3 28.Rb2 a5 29.bxa5 Ba7 30.Rd1 Rg8 31.a6 Rfxg2 32.Rd8+ Rxd8 33.Kxg2 Rg8+ 34.Kf3 Ne1+ 35.Ke2 Ng2 36.Kd3 Rg3+ 37.Kc4 Ne3+ 38.Bxe3 Rxe3 39.Nc5 Ra3 40.Re2 Bxc5 41.Kxc5 Rxa6 42.Re7 Rxa2 43.Rxh7 Ra4 44.Kxc6 Rc4+ 45.Kd5 Rxf4 46.Ke5 Rf1 47.h4 Kb7 48.h5 f4 49.Ke4 f3 50.h6 Kc6 51.Rf7 Re1+ 52.Kd3 Rh1 53.Rf6+ Kd5 54.Ke3 c5 55.Rxf3 Rxh6 56.Kd3 Rh4 57.Rf5+ Kc6 58.Kc3 Kb5 59.Rf3 Ra4 60.Kb2 Rb4+ 61.Kc3 Ra4 62.Kb2 Ra7 63.Rf8 Kb4 64.Rb8+ Kc4 65.Rb3 Rg7 66.Rh3 Rg2+ 67.Kc1 Kb4 68.Rh8 c4 69.Rh3 Ra2 70.Kb1 Re2 71.Kc1 Rf2 72.Rg3 Rh2 73.Rf3 Kc5 74.Rg3 Ra2 75.Rh3 Kb4 76.Kb1 Rg2 77.Rf3 c3 78.Rf8 Rd2 79.Kc1 Rd5 80.Kc2 Rd2+ 81.Kc1 -

3)    Talent and Hard Work in Chess


The past few years a certain democrat school of thought has strongly advocated the position that mastery of chess (and other fields) is primarily a matter of hard work - that this and not talent is the determining factor for success. Malcolm Gladwell, the author of "Outliers", strongly supports the 10,000 hour rule which translates to mastery equals 10 years of working intensively at a subject for 20 hours a week. K. Anders Ericsson, widely credited for formulating the rule says that "experts are always made, not born."


Garry Kasparov, in his recent lecture tour through the US took a more nuanced approach to the question of talent or hard work. He acknowledged the necessity of a strong work ethic and a decisive character but at the end of the day said all other things being equal talent will win out.


To become world champion you undoubtedly need a unique talent. Some players with unique talent did not, however, become world champion, because of character, some element of luck, the ability to work hard, but of course talent is the number one condition for you to become the best in the world.


Similar sentiments are echoed in the new book "Sudden Genius?: The Gradual Path to Creative Breakthroughs" by the British biographer Andrew Robinson. This book is reviewed in the Wall Street Journal of November 12, 2010 (page D10) with the headline Is genius a simple matter of hard work? Not a chance.


4)    Here and There


Jesse Kraai was the convincing winner of the California Class Championship held Thanksgiving Day weekend at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Burlingame. The Berkeley GM scored 5-1 to win the $1000 first prize, drawing only with second place finisher IM Ricardo DeGuzman and NM Arjoe Loanzon. 265 players competed in the 12 section event organized by Salman Azhar and directed by Tom Langland and John McCumiskey.


Another MI Grandmaster was successful on Thanksgiving Day weekend. Josh Friedel tied for first in the American Open with GM Melik Khachian and IM Enrico Sevillano. Fans will have at least one more chance to see Josh in action locally before he relocates back to the East Coast in mid-January, as he will be playing in the upcoming Berkeley International. 


So too will IM Sam Shankland who will be aiming at making his third and final GM norm. Sam has not had many opportunities to play over the board during his first year of college at Brandeis University but was the first board for the New England winning entry in the US Chess League defeating GM Julio Becerra in the final. Well done Sam!


IM Jeremy Silman, who was a fixture at the Mechanics' for close to a decade from 1974 to the early 1980s, has just written a new edition of his classic Reassess Your Chess. This fourth edition is completely redone and comes in at a whopping 658 pages(!) which makes it an exceptionally  good value for the list price of $29.95.


If you're looking for scarce chess books for holiday shopping there is, as always, a nice, fairly priced selection at .


Last Newsletter we gave a brief concluding report on the 1st Metropolitan International in Los Angeles won by IM Sevillano which was sponsored by Hippie Chips, LawyerFy, and Fashion Business, Inc. Full details of the event including a selection of games can be found at .


 Bay Area Chess Young Master Camp


Bay Area Chess is honored to have IM Emory Tate to teach Young Master Camp in Palo Alto (Dec. 20-24) and Santa Clara (Dec. 27-31).

Morning, afternoon, and full-day options are available starting at $148 for afternoon only camp. Go to for more information.



5) Upcoming Events

MECHANICS' TOURNAMENTS  (go to for more information)

2010 Events

December 4 Guthrie McClain Memorial
December 5 Mike Goodall Blitz (2 to 4 pm)

2011 Events

Bob Burger Open - January 8
Henry Gross Memorial - February 5
A.J. Fink Amateur Championship - March 12-13
Max Wilkerson Open - March 19
Imre Konig Memorial - April 9
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 16-17
Charles Powell Memorial - May 7
Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 4-5
William Addison Open - June 11


Dec. 31-Jan. 2 or Jan. 1-2   New Year Open   GPP: 40 Enhanced   California Northern 6SS 30/90 G/60 (2-day sched rds 1-3 G/60). Hyatt Regency, 5101 Great America Pkwt, Santa Clara, CA 95054. Hotel rate $79. $7,000 b/118 entries (80% guaranteed). 5 sections: Open (2100+) $1000-500-200-100-100. XA (1900-2099), AB (1700-1899), BC (1500-1699) $700-300-100-100-100 each. CDE (under 1500) $500-200-100 (u1300 200-100-100). The 5th place prize will be awarded in only the 2 largest sections. Unrated prize limit of $200 in all sections except Open. EF: $99 3-day & $98 2-day mailed by 12/28, online by 12/29, Onsite +$25, Play-up +$20. 5% off bef 11/30. GMs/IMs free: EF subtr from prize. Re-entry $40. EF Econ Opt: EF minus $30 & 1/2 of computed prize. Jan 2011 Supp, CCA min & TD discretion used to place players accurately. TD/Org: Langland/Azhar. 3-day sched: Reg Fri 10-11, 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. 10-10:30. Max two 1/2-pt byes & must commit before rd 3. Ent: Bay Area Chess, 1590 Oakland Rd., Suite B213, San Jose 95131. T: 408-786-5515. E:, Info/Form: NS, NC, W. Chess Magnet School JGP.

Jan. 14-17 or 15-17   2nd Annual Golden State Open   GPP: 150 Enhanced   California Northern 7SS, 40/2, SD/1 (3-day option, rds. 1-2 G/75). Concord Hilton Hotel, 1970 Diamond Blvd., Concord, CA 94520 (I-680 Willow Pass Rd exit). Free shuttle between hotel and Concord BART station. Free parking. Prizes $40,000 based on 320 paid entries (re-entries & U1300 Section count as half entries), minimum guarantee $30,000 (75% of each prize). In 6 sections. Open, open to all. $3000-1500-1200-800-600-500-400, clear or tiebreak winner $200, top U2400/Unr $1800-1000. FIDE. Under 2200: $2400-1200-1000-700-500-400-300. Under 2000: $2400-1200-1000-700-500-400-300. Under 1800: $2400-1200-1000-700-500-400-300. Under 1600: $2000-1000-800-600-400-300-200, top Under 1400 $800-400. Under 1300: $800-500-400-300-200- 100-100, top Under 1100 $400-200. Unrated (0-3 lifetime games rated) may enter any section, with maximum prize U1300 $300, U1600 $500, U1800 $700, U2000 $900. Top 5 sections EF: 4-day $154, 3-day $153 mailed by 1/6, all $155 online at by 1/11, $160 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 1/11 (entry only, no questions), $180 at site. GMs free; $130 deducted from prize. Under 1300 Section EF: $4-day $74, 3-day $73 mailed by 1/6, $75 online at by 1/11 (entry only, no questions), $80 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 1/11, $100 at site. All: Special 1 yr USCF dues with magazine if paid with entry. Online at, Adult $30, Young Adult $20, Scholastic $15. Mailed, phoned or paid at site, Adult $40, Young Adult $30, Scholastic $20. Re-entry (except Open) $60. Mailed EF $5 less to CalChess members. 4-day schedule: Late reg. ends Fri 6:15 pm, rds. Fri 7 pm, Sat 11 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. 3-day schedule: Late reg. ends Sat 10:15 am, rds Sat 11, 2:30 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. Byes: OK all, limit 3; Open must commit before rd 2, others before rd 4. Unofficial ratings usually used if otherwise unrated. Foreign player ratings: See HR: Rate of $99-99 has been reduced to about $93-93, even lower for seniors 62 or over, 925-827-2000, for details see, reserve by 12/31 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633. Questions:, 845-496-9658. Ent: Continental Chess, c/o Goichberg, Box 661776, Arcadia, CA 91066. $15 service charge for withdrawals. Advance entries posted at Chess Magnet School JGP.