Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter 525

"The Dutch is my opening. I can't think of another grandmaster who plays it, even though people don't think it is that great."

Hikaru Nakamura - (The New York Times, February 6, 2011, page 23)

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) FIDE Candidates Matches
3) Beyond the Opening with IM John L. Watson by John Henderson
4) Here and There
5) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

IM Walter Shipman won again last night and leads the Mechanics' Winter Tuesday Night Marathon with a score of 5.5 from 6 with two rounds to go. Right behind him, at 5 and 4.5 respectively, are FM Robin Cunningham and top seed NM Peter Zavadsky.

The 11th Annual Henry Gross Memorial was held last Saturday and won by unrated Sevan Buscara whose 5-0 earned him a provisional rating of 2601. He did not meet top-seed IM Ricardo DeGuzman who was upset by Expert Dmitry Vayntrub in the third round. Jack Zhu and Colin Chow tied for second in the 30-player event with scores of 4-1.

Congratulations to 15-year-old Daniel Naroditsky who was officially awarded his IM title by FIDE this past weekend at the Presidential Board meeting in Turkey. Daniel's next event will be Cappelle La Grande starting in late February.

2) FIDE Candidates Matches

FIDE has announced the pairings for the 1st round of the Candidates Matches (Kazan, 3-27 May 2011):

Topalov (BUL) - Kamsky (USA)
Kramnik (RUS) - Radjabov (AZE)
Aronian (ARM) - Grischuk (RUS)
Gelfand (ISR) - Mamedyarov (AZE)

The drawing of colors for all the rounds will be conducted during the opening ceremony of the event. The winner of the Candidates Matches 2011 will qualify to challenge the World Champion GM Vishy Anand in a 12-game match during the first half of 2012.

The first two rounds of matches are four games each with the final six games. In case of a tie the players will play a four game match with a time control of G/25 plus ten seconds a move. If that fails to produce a winner the players will play two game matches at a time control of five minutes each plus three second increment. They may play up to five of these matches (10 games). If after four (or six) games of regulation play, four rapid games and the 10 blitz games a winner is not yet determined one final Armageddon game will be played with White having 5 minutes and Black 4 minutes at the start but winning the match in case of a draw. One interesting twist in this match is that when both players reach move 60 they get a three second increment per move thereafter.

Prizes for the Candidates Matches are as follows: 1. Losers of round one receive 30,000 Euro 2. Losers of Round two receive 60,000 Euro 3. Players in the final split the purse 50-50 with each receiving 90,000 Euros (and the winner a big payday down the line in a World Championship match with Anand.

One of the highlights of the first round will be the rematch between Veselin Topalov (b. 1975) and Gata Kamsky (b. 1974). Topalov has a decided edge in their head to head encounters dating back to 1994 (10.5-4.5) but the 2009 World Championship semi-final between them was much closer than the 4.5-2.5 final score would indicate.

This time around Kamsky, who is half Tartar, will be playing in friendly surroundings in Kazan, the capital of the autonomous republic of Tatarstan inside Russia and not in enemy territory in Sofia where there last match was held. Topalov had dropped from number 2 in the world with a rating of 2812 (May 2010) to number 6 at 2775 (January 2011). Kamsky in the same period has seen his rating rise from 2702 to 2733 and his world ranking rise from number 36 to equal 15. This should be a close and bitterly fought match.

3) Beyond the Opening with IM John L. Watson by John Henderson

Beyond the Opening with IM John L. Watson

In a new series on Tuesdays for Chess.FM, IM John L. Watson will depart from his interview show Chess Talk to develop a new strategy-based show called "Beyond the Opening."

In the show, John Watson will be looking at middlegame positions that arise after the openings and how we can best strategize for the complexities of the positions thereafter, ranging from pawn chains to isolated pawns, and from active piece play to the positional sacrifice to name just but a few of the motifs he'll be covering - any one of which will help chess players to improve their understanding of the game!

IM John Watson is recognized as one of the best chess trainers in the United States and also one of its most noted authors on the game. He has over 21 books to his credit; ranging from his early, ground breaking four-volume series on the English Opening to his more recent, critically acclaimed and multi-award winning Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy.

Chess Talk on Chess.FM will not be lost however, and will continue on the first Tuesday of ever month from now, with Beyond the Opening filling in on each of the other Tuesdays of the month.

4) Here and There

The annual Aeroflot Open in Moscow has just started and the field in the top group is strong as usual with 2700s Gata Kamsky , Sergey Movsesian, Dmitry Jakovenko, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Nikita Vitiugov the top seeds. The American participants are off to a solid start with Kamsky beating Venezuelan 2600 Iturrizaga and Robert Hess drawing Andrei Volitkitin while in the B group Alex Lenderman and Melik Khachiyan both drew.

The Moscow Open preceded the Aeroflot Open and ended on 6 February. . The festival included many events including a very strong Young GM tournament where Robert Hess picked up valuable experience facing a tough field averaging close to 2630 FIDE.

1-2. GMs Grachev (RUS, 2660) and S.Zhigalko (BLR, 2671) - 7½ out of 11,
3. GM Sjugirov (RUS, 2626) - 7,
4. GM Inarkiev (RUS, 2672) - 6½,
5-9. GMs Kuzubov (UKR, 2624), Chadaev (RUS, 2568), Alekseev (RUS,2701), Safarli (AZE, 2629) and Cheparinov (BUL, 2665) - 5½,
10-11. GMs Hess (USA, 2572) and Rakhmanov (RUS, 2590) - 4½,
12. IM Krylov (RUS, 2499) - 2½. Back in the early 1970s the North American Open held every summer in Oklahoma held cult status among diehard devotees of Caissa offering a 20 game schedule in less than a week with a slow time control! The event died by the end of the decade but the Berry brothers, Frank (sponsor of the 2006 and 2007 US Championships) and Jim (current USCF President), resurrected the event in 1991 and it has been going strong ever since. In a concession to the softer ways of today's chess players this year the format only calls for playing 11 games in four days. May 27-28-29-30 - 30th NAO FIDE 11 round Open Stillwater 20 GPP 11-SS G/90+30 sec ea move, Quality Inn - 2515 W. 6th Ave (Hwy-51) Stillwater, OK 1-405-372-0800. HR: 75-75-75. One section open to all. EF: $ $60 at door. $10 OCF membership required from all players. Reg: Fri 9-9:45; Rds: Fri 10-2:30-7, Sat-Sun 10-2:30-7, Mon 9-1:30. $$G 2,250 will not be lowered. $$G, $400, 300, 200. 100 $$G $300 each class ($150-100-50) A,B,C,D & below. Unr. competes in D & below. $50 - upset, Three (3) half pt byes rds 1-9; Free Parking. Ent: Frank Berry, 402 S. Willis, Stillwater, OK 74074. 1-405-762-1649 (Jim); NC, CMV, LS, W, USCF, OCF, FIDE.

Bob Long, a fixture in American chess publishing and book selling for over 40 years has a new magazine coming out. Called the Purdy's Chess Chronicles it will draw from Purdy's Australasian Chess Review (1929-1944) a predecessor to his later Chess World. The original Australasian Chess Review is extremely difficult to obtain so Long is doing the chess world a real service in making this material available. Among the highlights of the first issue are a four page interview with Alekhine taken from the Toronto Star in 1932, full coverage of Lajos Steiner's tour of Australia and a lengthy portrait of Gregory Kostnitsky, one of the early giants of Australian chess. A subscription to the Purdy's Chess Chronicles is $69.95 for the first 4 issues (50 pages each) + two bonuses.

Last week we mentioned 6-8, 245 pound Cal Berkeley junior Harper Kamp is a USCF tournament player with 217 rated events and a rating of 1694. What we didn't say, but is necessary in these days of ever bigger tight ends is that Kemp is a basketball player.

5) Upcoming Events

MECHANICS' TOURNAMENTS (go to for more information)

2011 Event

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


Feb. 19-21 or 20-21 2011 37th Annual Peoples Tournament GPP: 40 Enhanced California Northern 6SS, 30/90 G/60 (2-day sched rds 1-3 G/60). Marriott, 46100 Landing Pkwy., Fremont, CA 94538. Hotel rate $89. $8,000 b/137 entries (80% guaranteed). 6 sections: Open (2100+) $1000-500-200-100-100. XA (1900-2099), AB (1700-1899), BC (1500-1699), CD (1300-

1499), DE (under 1300): $700-300-100- 100-100 each. The 5th place prize in the 2 largest sections only. Unrated prize limit of $200 except in Open section. EF: $99 3-day & 98 2-day mailed by 2/15, online by 2/16, Onsite +$25, Play-up +$20. 5% off before 1/18. GMs/IMs free: EF subtr from prize. Re-entry $40. EF Econ Opt: EF minus $30 & 1/2 of computed prize. Feb 2011 Supp, CCA min & TD discretion used to place players accurately. TD/Org: Koepcke/Azhar. 3-day sched: Reg. Sat 10-11, Rds. Sat/Sun 11:30-5:30, Mon 10-3:30. 2-day sched: Reg Sun 9-9:30, Rds. Sun 10-12:30-2:45-5:30, Mon 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. $20 for refunds. T: 408-786-5515. E:, Info/Form/Entries: NS, NC, W. Chess Magnet School JGP.

Spring Chess Festival - Saturday, February 25th, 2011

Presented by: Atlantis Business Insurance Solutions, LLC AND NorCal House of Chess 5 Round Swiss A One Day G/45 USCF rated Event Location: 45401 Research Avenue, Suite 141, Fremont, CA 94539 Entry Fee: Regular Entry - $60. Economy Entry - $40. 5 discount to members of NorCal House of Chess. Economy Option pays 50% of calculated prize money. The remaining amount goes back to the budget to offset Economy Fee Discount. Time Control: Game in 45. Regestration & Schedule: Registration: 9:00 am-9:30 am. Rds: 10 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm. Prizes: $1400 - total, based on 40 fully paid entries. Open Section: $400-$200, U2200: $180, U2000: $150, U1800: $140, U1600 $130, U1400 $130, U1200 - $100. Cash Prizes in every round! - $20 cash prize will be awarded in each round to a player scoring a first win AND to a player scoring the biggest upset. All lower-rated players are eligible to win higher class prizes. Questions? - Call TD Felix German at (415) 335-0900 or email:


Mail advance entries to: 14 Sullivan Ave, Daly City, CA 94015. Make checks payable to: Felix German.