Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News # 517


Chess, which severely eliminates accident, is a forcing house where the fruits of character can ripen more fully than in life. 


E. M. Forster

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Los Angeles Chess Times Column in Danger

3) 2011 US Championship

4) Here and There

5) Upcoming Events



1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


9-year-old Samuel Sevian, who will turn 10 on December 26, became the youngest ever winner of the Mechanics' monthly G/45 series by winning the 10th Annual Guthrie McClain this past Saturday. Young Samuel defeated IM Ricardo DeGuzman along the way to scoring 4.5 from 5 to raise his USCF rating to 2187. NM Evan Sandberg, who drew with DeGuzman, was second with 4 points followed by DeGuzman and Experts Dmitry Vayntrub and Jack Zhu at 3.5.

This past Sunday over 60 friends of Mike Goodall came to pay their last respects including GM Patrick Wolff, IMs John Grefe, Jay Whitehead and Rost Tsodikov, FMs Richard Lobo, Frank Thornally and Andy Lee and a host of NMs including Paul Cornelius, C.Bill Jones, Kerry Lawless, Richard Koepcke, Dennis Fritzinger and Alan Benson.

The 28-player blitz tournament was won by NM Arun Sharma in convincing fashion with a score 9.5 from 10 including 2-0 wins over GM Wolff and IM Whitehead and a last round 1.5 -.5 win over 9-year-old soon to be Master Samuel Sevian. NM Lobo was a distant second with 7.5 points followed by Sevian, IM Tsodikov and NM Evan Sandberg. All participants in the Blitz took home items from Michael's collection including books, sets and even a few chess ties.  Thanks to Frank Thornally, Steve Brandwein and Anthony Corrales for helping out.

A large selection of fine photos from this event, taken by Mark Shelton, can be found at .

Carlos D'Avila won the MI's Wednesday Night Blitz on December 1st followed by  Jules Jelinek and Joe Urqhart. The weekly series continues tomorrow evening at 6:30 pm. The event on February 2nd will feature an additional $100 in the prize fund courtesy of an anonymous donor. 


2) Los Angeles Chess Times Column in Danger


TheLos Angeles Times has a tradition of having a first-rate chess column that dates back to the 1920s with Herman Steiner , Isaac Kashdan and Jack Peters between them for over 65 years!

It would be really sad to see this reign of excellence ending and replaced with a syndicated column. Please write to the Los Angeles Times and show your support.


Dear chess fan,


The Los Angeles Times has replaced my chess column with a syndicated column. The first one appears this weekend.


I think it's a bad decision, and not just for personal reasons. The Times wants to save money, which is understandable, but a syndicated column cannot provide the coverage of local tournaments that I do. Perhaps some of you enjoy my analysis of recent games or my choice of puzzle positions. I don't want to brag, but I doubt that the new columnist, Bill Cornwall, will do as well.


Please help. Would you write a letter asking the newspaper to bring back my chess column? The address is:



Los Angeles Times

202 W. 1st St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012


If you prefer to telephone, call the readers' representative at 877-554-4000.


And please tell your chess friends to write. If you think my column is worth saving, then the next few days are crucial. Convince the Times executives that many readers care about chess.


Thank you for your help.


Yours, Jack Peters 


3) 2011 US Championship


The folks in Saint Louis have come through again! It looks like the Mechanics' will have at least two entrants in 2010 US Junior Champion (Sam Shankland) and Daniel Naroditsky who shared second in the 2010 US Open (the winner GM Raimirez represented Costa Rica and Daniel had the best tiebreak of those who shared second place).


SAINT LOUIS,  The 2011 U.S. Championship and 2011 U.S. Women's Championship have been set to take place April 13-28 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

These two prestigious events will be held concurrently, and each will feature the largest per capita prize fund in history. More than $230,000 will be at stake in both events.

Two of the four wildcard invitations to the U.S. Championship will be up for grabs at an invitational qualifying tournament, which will be held either concurrently or preceding the Saint Louis Open, scheduled March 5-6, 2011.


Organizers will once again host a $10,000 Blitz Tournament to be held in conjunction with the U.S. Championships, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 25. The $10k Blitz that was held during the 2010 U.S. Championship featured 84 players, including 20 grandmasters, and the CCSCSL is hoping to build on that with an even better showing next year.

The 2011 U.S. Championship will feature 16 competitors, which will be split into two round-robin fields of eight, with the top two players from each round robin advancing to a four-player knockout finale.

The 2011 U.S. Women's Championship will see eight players facing off in a preliminary round robin, with the top four players also advancing to a four-player knockout finale. All players will be hosted at the historic and luxurious Chase Hotel, a short walk from the Chess Club.

The breakdown of the 16 invitations for the 2011 U.S. Championship is as follows:


  • (1) The 2010 U.S. Champion
  • (1) The 2010 U.S. Women's Champion
  • (1) The 2010 U.S. Junior Closed Champion
  • (1) The 2010 U.S. Senior Open Champion
  • (1) The 2010 U.S. Open Champion
  • (7) The top seven U.S. players by rating (by the January rating supplement)
  • (2) Two wildcard invitations
  • (2) The two winners of the invitational qualifying wildcard tournament

The breakdown of the eight invitations for the 2011 U.S. Women's Championship is as follows:


  • (1) The 2010 U.S. Women's Champion
  • (6) The top six female U.S. players by rating (by the January rating supplement)
  • (1) One wildcard spot

Both of these tournaments will feature live grandmaster commentary and analysis, and the streaming video of the commentary will be broadcast at, the official website of the U.S. Championships.


4) Here and There


Anna Zatonskih is only a draw away from advancing to the sweet 16 in the Womens World Championship in Hatay, Turkey. Zatonskih is leading GM Sebag of France 1-0. The other American representative, former Mechanics' chess instructor Camilla Baginskaite, played very well in the first round against one of the top seeds, Lufei Ruan of China , going 1-1 before losing in the rapid chess playoff.


GM Fabiano Caruana (2707) won the Italian Championship, which finished in Siena on 4 December 2010, with a score of  9 out of 11 , performing at 2727 FIDE.  This was Caruana's thirdv Italian title. IM D'Amore (2485) and GM Garcia Palermo (2465) shared second with 7 points.

Peter Svidler gave an excellent lecture that can be found on the chess site (it was later put on as well. Svidler, who has been among the World's top players for the last 15 years, has interesting things to say about the giants of the chess world.


What are the particularities, from your point of view, in the play and style of the top players?


  • Anand: Very serious opening preparation, a brilliant practical player, in my opinion the best defender in the world.
  • Kramnik: Probably the world's best openings, brilliant universal understanding, excellent technique.
  • Carlsen: Huge natural talent, a fantastic focus on winning, the skill and ability to play any position out - now (after a year working with Kasparov) that's also combined with excellent openings.
  • Topalov: Superb openings, brilliant play in sharp, unbalanced positions, the will to win every game.

Fide Master, FIDE Arbiter, organizer, teacher, promoter and author, few have devoted themselves more to chess than the Bay Area's Eric Schiller who has been facing one serious health challenge after another with his usual good humor and optimism. He is back for another stay at Stanford Medical Hospital and would love to hear from old friends. Eric's cell phone number is: 650-867-0386 .




  5) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' 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

Regional Events

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.