Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter 519



I never did any special training, but in my childhood, on my own, I tried to read every book on combinations and tactics that I could get my hands on. And endings too, by the way, although Averbakh’s multi-volume opus was hard to master. Probably I should repeat again that the more different ideas and motifs you know, the easier it will be to find a tactical solution at the board (if it exists) and calculate the variations.

Alexey Shirov




The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter will take a break over the Holidays resuming January 5.




1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

2) Svidler and Shirov on the World's Best Players

3) Dennis Waterman-Walter Browne (Paul Masson 1974)

4) Los Angeles Times Chess Column in Danger

5) Here and There

6) 2011 Berkeley International

7) Upcoming Events


1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


9-year-old Samuel Sevian of Santa Clara, was featured in the New York Times chess column last Sunday. Samuel became the youngest ever US Master earlier in December in an event held at the Mechanics' Institute. This was the final touch for what turned into an outstanding year for Mechanics' juniors.


Among the highlights in no particular order: Sam Shankland winning the US Junior Closed and leading his New England team to first place in the US Chess League, Steven Zierk first in the World Under 18 Championship and first in the Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions, Daniel Naroditsky tying for second in the US Open, Yian Liou winning the US Cadet, and Cameron Wheeler, Samuel Sevian and Vignesh Panchanatham all finishing in the top ten in the World Under 10 Championship. This was definitely a year to remember and one that will be hard to top. One individual that helped many of these players for many years is NM Michael Aigner who is unquestionably one of the best coaches in the United States for youngsters.


Last Newsletter we wrote that Daniel Naroditsky won the 2011 Falconer scholarship awarded to the highest-rated junior (under 18) in Northern California. Below is a list of all winners and their rating at the time.


2000 SM Vinay Bhat 2417
2001 SM Vinay Bhat 2477
SM Vinay Bhat 2505
2003 NM Michael Pearson 2201
2004 Expert Nicholas Yap 2192
2005 NM Matthew Ho 2259
2006 NM Matthew Ho 2282
2007 NM Nicholas Yap  2280
2008 NM Sam Shankland 2262
2009 SM Sam Shankland 2425
2010 NM Steven Zierk 2387

2011 FM Daniel Naroditsky 2482       


Daniel Naroditsky will have a very busy next few months. This past weekend he attended 

Garry Kasparov's Master Class in New York City and then flew to Groningen where
will play in the annual holiday open. Daniel's first 2011 event will be the Berkeley
International followed by a GM round robin in Los Angeles and then Capelle La Grande
in France.


Congratulations to long-time Tuesday Night Marathon regular Michael Hilliard who was
elected a Trustee of the M.I., joining fellow-chess players IM Vince McCambridge,
FM Mark Pinto and Neil Falconer on the 16 member board.

Last Newsletter in our obituary of James Buff we neglected to mention that his grandfather
Harry Zirn, a well-known chess organizer in Brooklyn in the 1920s and 30s.

A special thanks to IM Jack Peters for his help in facilitating the transfer of a number of chess 
artifacts from the late John Hillery to the Mechanics' Institute. Among these effects were some
first rate photographs (both b+w and color) which will soon be adorning the walls of the club.

The dates for the Tuesday Night Marathons for 2011 are:

Winter TNM-Jan.4-Feb.22
Spring TNM Mar.15-May 3
Summer TNM May 24-July 12
Daniel Litowsky TNM Aug.2-Sept 27
TNM Oct.18-Dec 13.

The Mechanics' Institute will continue to offer free classes for juniors and women/girls
on Saturdays (10:30 a.m. - 1pm) and Sundays (2-4 pm) taught respectively by Anthony
Corrales and Ewelina Krubnik.


The staff of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays

and to specially thank Peter Sherwood and Payam Afkham-Ebrahimi for all their help.

Peter inputted hundreds and hundreds of games into ChessBase from the Tuesday Night Marathon

series and Payam was the driving force for the Vassily Smyslov IM norm round robin

as well as playing a key role in supporting the Mechanincs' Institute in the US Chess League.


Older issues of the Newsletter can be found at and

(under chess articles).


2) Svidler and Shirov on the World's Best Players
The Russian website Crestbook has recently run some interesting interviews with top players.
Here are Peter Svidler and Alexey Shirov's takes on some of the top players.



1. Anand


(Svidler) - Very serious opening preparation, a brilliant practical player, in my opinion the best defender in the world.

(Shirov) -  An extremely deep sense of dynamics, and the most rapid and precise calculation.

2. Carlsen


(Svidler) 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.

(Shirov (A very multifaceted player with an outstanding sense of the endgame. You never know what key he is going to play.)


3. Kramnik


(Svidler) Probably the world’s best openings, brilliant universal understanding, excellent technique. 

(Shirov)  An extremely strong analyst.

4. Topalov


(Svidler) Veselin’s play displays an extraordinary amount of commitment, a constant striving to realize his abilities to the maximum extent.
(Shirov) Superb openings, brilliant play in sharp, unbalanced positions, the will to win every game.

3) Dennis Waterman- Walter Browne (Paul Masson 1974)

Walter Browne and Dennis Waterman share the distinction of being the only players to participate the first six Lone Pine tournaments.
The two played often in the early 1970s with Browne getting the better of it but Waterman getting in his licks (his win on the black side of a Maroczy Bind is in Chess Informant).

Here Waterman, a world-class poker player, has GM Browne on the ropes but misses the finishing blow.

Dennis Waterman - Walter Browne

Paul Masson, 1974


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.0–0 d6 8.c4 Nf6 9.Nc3 Be7 10.Be3 0–0 11.h3 c5 12.f4 Bb7 13.Qe2 Nd7 14.Rad1 Qc7 15.Bb1 Rad8 16.Bc1 Bf6 17.Rd3 Nb8?! 18.Rg3 Nc6?19.Qh5


19.e5! was indeed strong (18...Bd4+ 19.Be3 Nc6 was fine for Black, while 18...Bd4+ 19.Kh1 Kh8 is more or less equal: 20.e5 dxe5 21.Bxh7 g6 favors Black. But I just glanced at these lines so something might light the computer up with a longer look). After 18...Nc6 19.e5! Rybka feels that Black has to bail out with 19...Nxe5 20.fxe5 Bxe5 21.Bf4 f5 with some compensation (though White is obviously a good deal better). Instead, 19...dxe5 gets bludgeoned by 20.Bxe7+! Kxh7 21.Qh5+ Kg8 22.Ne4 Qe7 (22...Be7 23.f5 wins instantly) 23.f5!! (23.fxe5 Bxe5 24.Ng5 forces Black to give up his Q after 24...Qxg5 25.Rxg5) 23...Nd4 24.Rxg7+! Bxg7 25.f6 winning - IM Jeremy Silman.


19... Kh8 20.e5 g6 21.exf6 gxh5 22.Rg7 Ne7 23.Rxh7+ Kg8 ½–½

4) Los Angeles Times Chess Column in Danger

Dear chess fan,


Thank you for writing or calling the LA Times about the chess column. I'm sure the Times received a strong response from local players.


It's too soon to know if the Times will reconsider its decision to replace me with a syndicated columnist. But, if you want me back, I suggest that you write or call again.


The address is Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.




Yours, Jack Peters


5) Here and There


Loek Van Wely and Gata Kamsky tied for first in Atlantic City last weekend with 5-1 scores, good for $1800 each. Van Wely beat Kamsky in round 4 but the latter came back defeating GMs Mark Paragua and Alex Lenderman while Van Wely was drawing Lenderman and Nick Defirmian. The latter had an excellent result in tying for third at 4.5 with Alexander Ivanov (who lost only to Kamsky).  Nick defeated GM Alexander Stripunsky and  drew Paragua in addition to Van Wely and might have finished higher if he had not taken a half point bye in round one.


This is how the top-10 list looks like after the London Classic and the first 2 rounds of the Russian Championship.

1. Carlsen 2814

2. Anand 2810
3. Aronian 2805
4. Kramnik 2784
5. Karjakin 2776
6. Topalov 2775
7. Grischuk 2775
8. Mamedyarov 2772
9. Ivanchuk 2764
. Nakamura 2751



6) Berkeley International


The 2011 Berkeley International is shaping up as an event not to be missed with close to 60 players including

9 GMs headed by GMs Loek Van Wely and Timur Gareev. There are still a few spots open for the event that

starts January 2. Go to and for more information.


7) Upcoming Events


MECHANICS' TOURNAMENTS (go to for more information)


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.