Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #561


I think our players are at a very high level, but they don't manage to get in the mood for individual tournaments. If you take Gabi (Sargissian) or Vova (Akopian), somehow they don't have that mood when they play for themselves. I can sense that. Well, it's just another tournament. But at the Olympiad and team events they've got a whole different level of responsibility - they treat those tournaments as the most important of their lives.


Levon Altounian - talking about Armenia's success in team competitions.


For the Newsletter with diagrams and for back issues go to  



1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News


The Fall Tuesday Night Marathon is set up for an exciting finish after frontrunners IM Elliott Winslow and NM Hayk Manvelyan drew a spirited game last name. This enabled FM Andy Lee and Expert Steven Gaffagan to join them with 5 from 6. Three rounds remain for the 63 contestants.


Sicilian Scheveningen B85

IM Elliott Winslow - NM Hayk Manvelyan

Fall TNM (6) 2011


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 Be7 7.f4 Nc6 8.Be3 0-0 9.0-0 Bd7 10.Nb3 a6 11.a4 b6 12.Rf2


IM Winslow prepares a possible Rd2 with this move. Similar and more common prophylactic moves are 12.Bf3 and 12.Kh1.


12...Qc7 13.Bf3


13.g4 was more aggressive.


13...Rab8 14.Qe2 Nb4


The other plan in this position is 14...Bc8 preparing ...Na5 which is quite thematic in Classical Scheveningen lines with Nb3. If White captures on a5 Black has excellent play on the b-file for his hard to exploit doubled a-pawns.


15.Rd1 Rfd8 16.Bd4 Bc8 17.e5 Ne8 18.Be4


Hayk, until recently was a French player, and here he correctly changes the pawn structure to something akin to that opening.


18...d5 19.Bd3 Bc5 20.Qe3 Bxd4 21.Qxd4 Nc6


This prepares to force White to sacrifice a piece.


22.Qe3 d4 23.Qh3 dxc3 24.Qxh7+ Kf8 25.bxc3


It's better to recapture first and see how Black organizes his defense. Trying to immediately force a draw by 25.Qh8+ Ke7 26.Qh4+ might possibly allow 26...f6




Alternatives are 25...f5 and; 25...Ne7 In both these variations White has equal chances and the maneuver Nb3-d2-f3-g5 is often what he is aiming for - keeping the tension and gradually improving the position of his one poorly placed piece.


26.Qh8+ Ke7 27.Qh4+ Kf8


Now 27...f6 makes less sense as after 28.Re1 Black's bishop is no longer protecting e6.


28.Qh8+ Ke7 29.Qh4+ Kf8 Draw


This was a correctly played game by both players.


Sicilian Accelerated Dragon B35

Peter Grey - Ethan Chamberlain

Fall TNM (6) 2011


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bb3 d6 10.h3 Bd7 11.Re1 Rfe8 12.Qe2 Nxe4?


This move, trying to exploit White's control of d4, is quite common in the Accelerated but here it should fail. It's possible that Black confused this position with 12.Qd2?! which can be met by 12...Nxe4 13.Nxc6 Qxc3! with instant equality.  Black can find solace in that several strong players have fallen into this trap.




Missing 13.Nxc6! Bxc6 (13...Nxc3 14.Nxa5 1-0, Sigurjonsson-Karlsson, Gausdal 1982) 14.Nxe4 Bxe4 15.Bd2 1-0, Espig-Radulov, Raach (zt) 1969.


13...Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Bxf7+ Kh8?


15...Kxf7 16.Qc4+ Be6 17.Qxd4 Rac8 with ...Kg8 soon to follow is only a little better for White as Black's loose central pawn structure is compensated for by his piece activity.


16.Bxe8 Rxe8 17.c3 Bg7?


17...Be5 had to be tried with some practical chances in the bishop pair for the exchange.




Well played by Peter Grey. Now Black is slowly but surely ground down.


18...exd6 19.Qxe8+ Bxe8 20.Rxe8+ Bf8 21.Rxf8+ Kg7 22.Rf3Qb6 23.b4 d5 24.Rd1 a5


This loses without a struggle. Houdini suggests some tricks to stave off the loss of the d-pawn in the short-term but eventually Black must lose material. For example: 24...Qc6 25.Rd4 h5 26.Rfd3 Qe6 27.g4 hxg4 28.hxg4 One good idea for White would be to follow up with a4-a5 if permitted.


25.a3 axb4 26.axb4 Qc6 27.Rd4 h5 28.Rfd3 Qe6 29.Re3


Peter is patient and takes his time allowing Black no opportunities to get back in the game.


29...Qc6 30.h4 b6 31.g3 Kh6 32.Red3 Qe6 33.Kg2 Kg7 34.Rf3 Kh6 35.Rdf4 Kg7 36.Rf7+ Qxf7


If 36...Kg8 White has 37. R7f6 winning more material.


37.Rxf7+ Kxf7 38.Kf3 1-0


NM Hayk Manvelyan took a half point bye in round one of the 10th Saint Amant Memorial G/45 last Saturday. He might have been regretting that decision when he entered round five a half point behind tournament leader IM Ricardo DeGuzman, but then he played the following must-win game.


Scandinavian B01

Hayk Manvelyan - Ricardo De Guzman

10th Saint Amant Memorial (5) 2011


1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bd2 Bg4 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.0-0 Qc7 9.Ne5 Be6 10.Bf4 Qa5 11.Qd2 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 0-0-0 13.Bg3 g5 14.Rfd1 h5?


This was the last chance for Black to finish his development with 14...Bg7.


15.b4! Qxb4 16.Rab1 Qa5?


16...Qa3 was more stubborn although 17.d5 Nxd5 (17...Bxd5 18.Qe3 Be6 19.Rxd8+ Kxd8 20.Rxb7) 18.Rb3 Qa5 19.Nb5 leads to something akin to the game continuation albeit not quite as crushing.




This leads to a winning position by force.


17...Qxd2 18.Nxa7+ Kd7 19.Rxb7+ Ke8 20.Rxd2 Ne4 21.Nxc6! Ra8


The point is 21...Nxd2 22.Nxd8 Kxd8 23.Rc8+ Kd7 (23...Bc8 24.Ba6 only prolongs the agony) 24.Bb5 mate!


If 21...Rc8 22.Bb5 and now


A. 22... Bd7 23.Rxd7 Kxd7 24.Na5+ Ke6 (24...Kd8 25.Nb7 mate!) 25.Re2 f5 26.f3

 B. 22...Nxd2 23.Ne5+ Kd8 24.Nxf7+ Bxf7 25.Rd7+ Ke8 26.Rd5+

In both cases White wins quite easily.


22.Bb5 Bd7 23.Rd3 Bg7 24.Ra3 Rc8 25.Raa7 Nxg3 26.hxg3 1-0


Final Standings: 1.    NM Manvelyan 4.5/5; 2. IM DeGuzman 4; =3-5. Siddarth Banik, Edward Li and Rodell Mapp 3.5. 30 players.


Hello everyone. It's Wednesday! Time for the weekly blitz chess tournament at Mechanics' Institute Chess Club.  As always, it starts no later than 6:40pm with sign-up beginning at 6:20pm. Entry is $10 with clock $11 without clock. Prizes are 50%, 30%, 20% of entry fees. Time control preferably is 3 minute increment 2 seconds otherwise 5 minutes no increment.


Last week's winners where:
1st - Jules Jelinek

2nd - Carlos D'Avila

3rd - Merim Mesic


Look forward to seeing you tonight.

Jules Jelinek

Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator


Congratulations to former MI member IM Jeremy Silman whose 4th edition of How To Reassess Your Chess recently won the Guardian's chess book of the year award, judged by Ronan Bennett and GM Daniel King. The 650 page behemoth is completely reworked and bears little resemblance to earlier editions.


2) A chess poem by Dennis Fritzinger





was the berkeley

chess house,

way back when.

really it was

a coffeehouse,

but it had a tolerance

for chessplayers

until the day it closed.

i played blitz there

with jim buff

and reynaldo johnson,

and drank a fair amount

of coffee.

i remember taking refuge

there once, from tear gas,

during the anti-war riots.

they boarded up the front door

so the tear gas wouldn't get in.

came a knocking.  insistent.  some poor soul

pounding on the door.

we opened it, and he

staggered in,

followed by a cloud of tear gas.

that was hardcastle's.




3) Upcoming Events


At the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club



Guthrie McClain Memorial - December 3 



Bob Burger Open - January 7
Henry Gross Memorial - February 4
A.J. Fink Amateur Championship - March 10-11
Max Wilkerson Open - March 24
Imre Konig Memorial - April 7
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 14-15
Charles Powell Memorial - May 5
Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz - May 6
William Addison Open - June 2
Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 9-10 




  Other Events


*Nov. 25-27, 26-27 or 25-26 (class D/E only)*   *California Super Class Championship   GPP: 60 Enhanced*   *


TC 30/90 sd/60 (2-day rds 1-3 G/60 merge in rd 4), DE all 6SSxG/90. SFO Airport Waterfront Marriott, 1800 Bayshore Hwy., Burlingame, CA. Park $1. Hotel $89. Prize: $10,000 b/163 (90% guaranteed). 5 sects. Open (2000+ FIDE rated):1500-700-300-100, top u2300 200-100, top u2100 200-100. A: 1000-500-200-100, top u1900 100. B: 1000-500-200-100, top u1700 100. C: 700-300-200-100, top u1500 100. u1400/unr: 700-300-100, top u1200 400-200-100. 4th place prize in 2 largest sects only. Max unr $300 except in Open. EF:$99 3-day, $98 2-day, mail by 11/21, online by 11/22, Onsite +$25, Play-up +$20. Re-ent $40. EF Econ Opt: EF-20 & 2/3 calc prize (not avail in Open). GMs/IMs free:prize-EF. Nov 2011 Supp, CCA min & TD disc to place  players. Sched: 3-day Reg Fr 10-11, Rds Fr/Sa 11:30-5:30, Su 10-3:30; 2-day  Reg Sa 9-9:30, Rds Sa 10-12:30-2:50-5:30, Su 10-3:30. u1400/unr all: Reg Fri 10-11, Rds Fr/Sa 11:30-3-6:30. Max two 1/2-pt byes, commit bef rd 3. Ent: BayAreaChess, 1590 Oakland Rd., Ste B213, San Jose, CA 95131. Rfnd fee $20. T: 408-806-3500. E:, Info:<>. NS, NC, W. Chess Magnet School JGP.   




Dec. 31-Jan. 2 or Jan. 1-2,   GPP:  50 (enhanced)

New Year Open


6SS 30/90 sd/60 (2-day rds 1-3 G/60 merge in rd 4). Hyatt Regency, 5101 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA. Hotel $79! free parking. $6,000 b/97 (80% guar). 3 sects. Open (2000+ FIDE rated): $Gtd 1000-500-200, top u2300 200-100, top u2100 100-100. 1500-1999: 700-300-100, top u1800 400-200, top u1600 200-100. Under1500: 700-300-100, top u1300 300-200, top u1100 100. Unr max $200 except in Open. EF: $99 3-day, $98 2-day mail by 12/27, online by 12/28, Onsite +$25, Play-up +$20. Re-entry $40. EF Econ Opt: EF-20 & 2/3 of calc prize (not avail in Open). GMs/IMs free: prize-EF. Dec 2011 Supp, CCA min & TD discr to place players. Sched: 3-day Reg Sat 10-11, Rds Sa/Su 11:30-5:30, Mo 10 3:30; 2-day Reg Su 9-9:30, Rds Su 10-12:30-2:50-5:30, Mo 10-3:30. Max two 1/2-pt byes & commit bef rd 3. Ent: BayAreaChess, 1590 Oakland Rd., Ste B213, San Jose, CA 95131. Rfnd fee $20. T:408-786-5515. E:, Info/Form: NS, NC, W. Chess Magnet School JGP.       



A Heritage Event!  Feb. 18-20   29th Annual U.S. Amateur Team Championship West 


(Blitz/Scholastic Feb. 20 only.) Main event: 6SS, 30/90 sd/60. Hyatt Regency, 5101 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara, CA 95054. Free Parking! Hotel: Free Parking! $109 call             800-233-1234       for chess rate. Reserve by Feb. 4 or rates may increase. Four-player teams plus optional alternate, average rating of four highest must be under 2200, difference between ratings of board 3 & 4 must be less than 1000. January 2012 Supp, CCA min & TD discretion to place players accurately. Main Event Prizes: Exclusive commemoratively inscribed digital clocks to each player and trophy to the team for top 3 overall teams, top team u2000, u1800, u1600, u1400, and u1200; top "industry" team (all players from the same company), top "family" team (siblings, cousins, parents, uncle/aunts, grandparents), top junior team, and top school team; top scorer on each board (1-4). Gift certificates for best 3 team names. Main Event EF: $188/team or $47/player by 2/14, 2/15-17: $197/team, $56/player, Onsite: $217/team, $66/player. Main Event Sched: Registration: Sat 9:30-10:30am. Rounds: Sat 11:30 5, Sun 11:30 5, Mon 10, 3:30. Info/flyer: Scholastic Side Event: 5SS G/30. Four-player teams plus optional alternate, may be from same or different schools. Jan 2012 Supp, CCA min & TD discretion to place players accurately. Prizes: Trophies to each player in Top 3 teams overall, Top team u900, u800, u700, u600, u500, u400, u300, u200, Top scorer on each board (1-4). EF: $156/team or $39/player by 2/14, 2/15-17: $175/team, $48/player, Onsite: $185/team, $58/player. Registration: Mon 8-9am. Rounds: 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, 4pm. Info/flyer: Blitz Event: Registration Mon 7-8pm, Rounds 8:30-10:30pm. EF: $12. 75% of entry fees returned as prizes. Info/flyer: Help in forming teams: a player and see or email for teams seeking players & players seeking teams. Contact: For all these events, online entry and contact Bay Area Chess, 1590 Oakland Rd., Ste B213, San Jose 95131. T:             408-786-5515      . NS, NC, W, F. Chess Magnet School JGP.






For the highest readability, start your letter with a short sentence.
Message Headline

By breaking up the body of the letter into logical topics, your readers can focus in on the topic that they deem most relevant. Select your wording carefully. Most people scan their emails very quickly. Keep your paragraphs to seven lines or less. If you have more information, include a link to your website where your readers can get further details.
Thank your customer, tell them how valuable they are to you, but don't go overboard. Insincerity is easy to spot.

Mechanics' Institute
Mechanics' Institute
This email was sent to by |  
Mechanics' Institute | 57 Post Street | San Francisco | CA | 94104