Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by John Donaldson

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #564
December 14, 2011

I don’t think it’s fair to approach it like that and try to come up with some sort of top ten. Each age is governed by its own laws. Players today know a few times more than Alekhine and Capablanca did in their day. While trying to compare great players by talent is also extremely subjective. How could you measure the talent, for example, of the 9th World Champion, Tigran Petrosian? He understood chess so deeply, and saw so much, that it led to him becoming very cautious. He had some sort of special telescope in his head that allowed him to see the first inkling of a threat from his opponent and, can you imagine it, Tigran snuffed out the danger a move before it had even arisen. After he won the title, Petrosian played on the first board at three Olympiads and posted a colossal result: he played 38 games, won 25 of them, drew 13 and didn’t lose a single one!

Svetozar Gligoric

Newsletter will take a break for the holidays and resume January 4th.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News
National Master Hayk Manvelyan won his second straight Tuesday Night Night Marathon by defeating Expert Peter Grey last night. The victory gave the Fremont teenager a score of 8-1 which together with other events will bring his rating up to around 2280.
International Master Eliot Winslow entered the last round tied with Manvelyan but lost an equal position to National Master Russell Wong after a bad blunder. This defeat allowed FIDE Master Andy Lee to catch Winslow in the battle for second place with 7 points. Wong was clear fourth in the 63-player field at 6.5.
The Winter Tuesday Night Marathon, an eight rounder, starts January 3
FIDE Master Andy Lee of Berkeley kindly annotated his last round game of the Marathon.

English – Botvinnik  A36
Siddarth Banik- Andy Lee
Fall Tuesday Night Marathon (10) 2011

1. c4 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Bg2 0–0 5. e4 d6 6. Nge2 c5 7. 0–0 Nc6 8. d3 Ne8 9. Be3 Nc7

Theory recommends 9... Nd4 here.

10. d4 cd 11. Nxd4 Ne5 12. Qe2


In previous games White has always chosen 12. b3. The text allows Black to grab the bishop pair, but at a significant loss of time. I decided to go a different route.

12... Bg4!? 13. f3 Bd7 14. Rfd1 a6 15. Rac1 b5 16. cb ab 17. Ndxb5 Nxb5 18. Nxb5 Bxb5


If 18... Rxa2 19. Nc3 Ra8 20. b4 Be6 21. Nd5 the knight is as strong as the bishop, and will have to be exchanged anyway. The text allows Black to keep the initiative, and maybe a small edge.

19. Qxb5 Rxa2 20. Kh1

Stopping the threat of ... Rxb2!

20... Qa8 21. Bd4 Rb8 22. Qe2 Nd7

Somewhere along the way Black has built up a powerful position. Now 22... Nc6 was needed to trade the bishops and continue targeting the b-pawn. I assumed that the text was a better way to achieve this, but missed White’s reply.


23. e5!

An excellent resource, threatening to break up the center and release White’s bishop.

23... e6

Probably 23... de is what the computer would play, but the position felt irrational to me and I wanted to limit the light-squared bishop. I was also tempted by 23... Bxe5 24. f4 Bxd4 25. Bxa8 Rbxb2 26. Qxb2 Bxb2 27. Rc2 Rxa8 28. Rxb2, but Black doesn’t have any real winning chances in such a position.

24. f4 d5 25. Rc7

Accompanied by a draw offer. White has clawed his way back into the game, but the position is still very tense.

25... Qa4


26. Bxd5?

An exciting idea, but it does not quite work out. Also wrong is 26. Ra7? Raxb2 27. Qf1 (27. Qxb2 Qxa7!) 27... Qxd1! 28. Qxd1 Rb1, when Black gets the queen back, netting a pawn. It seems that White needed to pick a quiet move before embarking on tactics.

26... ed 27. e6 Bxd4 28. ed Kg7!

This is the key defensive idea. White can queen, but Black’s attack will be too much to handle.

29. Rd2

I was hoping to get a chance to execute the pretty combination 29. Rc8 Rbxb2 30. d8=Q (30. Rg8+ Kxg8 31. d8=Q+ Kg7 is much the same) 30... Qxd1+ 31. Qxd1 Rxh2#.

29... Rd8


Another way is 29... Raxb2! (although not 29... Rbxb2? 30. d8=Q Rxd2 31 Rxf7+!) 30. Rxb2 Rxb2 31. Qxb2 Bxb2 32. d8=Q Qd1+! (I had only looked at 32... Qe4+ 33. Kg1 Bd4+ 34. Kf1 Qf3+ 35. Ke1 Bc3+ 36. Rxc3 Qxc3+ during the game, which seemed better than White deserved from the position) 33. Kg2 Qe2+ 34. Kh3 Qf1+ 35. Kg4 Bf6.

30. Rc8

The best practical chance.

30... Ra1+ 31. Kg2 Rg1+!

It’s important to force the white king to an exposed square.

32. Kf3 Rxd7 33. Qe8 Kh6!


Completing the evacuation of the black king. White’s back rank demonstration is not really dangerous.

34. Rd3

If 34. Rxd4 Qxd4 35. Qxd7 Qe4+ 36. Kg4 (36. Kf2 Rg2+ and mate in a move) 36... Qe2+ 37. Kh3 Qh5#.

34... Bxb2 35. Kg4 f5+ 36. Kh3 Qe4

Again with the threat of ... Qg2+ and mate to follow. The queens are forced off and White can safely resign.

37. Qxe4 fe 38. Rd2 Bc1 39. Rdc2 Be3 40. R2c7 Rxc7 41. Rxc7 Bb6 42. Rb7 e3 43. g4 Bd8

It wouldn’t do to get mated here.


44. g5+ Bxg5 45. fg+ Rxg5 46. Re7 d4 47. Kh4 Rg1 48. Re6 Kg7 0-1

Hello everyone,

It’s Wednesday! Time for the weekly blitz chess tournament at Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club. As always, it starts no later than 6:40 pm, with sign-up beginning at 6:20 pm. 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 were

1st - Ray Kaufman
2nd - Jules Jelinek
3rd - Joe Urquhart
Look forward to seeing you tonight.
Jules Jelinek
Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator

Last, and certainly not least, the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club would like to thank Peter Sherwood for his efforts the past year. Peter has offered great help to the Club the past year, including entering hundreds of games from the Tuesday Night Marathon and posting them on the MI website. He also posts an enhanced version of the Newsletter with diagrams at

2) Arthur Wang (1942-2011)
Art Wang passed away on Monday, December 12, 2011. The cause of death was esophageal cancer. Art was a chess master when chess masters were few and far between.

He was born in Chung-king, China in June of 1942. He came to the United States in 1946 with his mother and older brother, Harvey. His father stayed behind as head of security for Chiang Kai-shek. His father did not survive the year. Things were difficult for Mrs. Wang, who had lost everything but a small inheritance. They ended up in Berkeley, CA, where Art grew up.

Art learned to play chess at a Koltanowski chess festival in Sonoma. Koltanowski was an extremely active chess promoter, and there was always someplace to play chess in Northern California when Art was a kid. He became a regular at the Berkeley YMCA, and later at the Mechanics’ Institute of San Francisco.

Art participated in the 1957 US Junior, which was won by Bobby Fischer. Art later won the California Junior Championship in 1960. Art considered a 1960 Mechanics’ tournament to be his best ever. He tied for 1st with Bill Addison, who later became one of the leading players in the United States.

Art enlisted in the Army in 1962, got married and started a family. He returned to chess as a member of the famous Castle Club in the late 1960s. Members would take turns hosting events in their homes, and Art recalled those days fondly. Those were good memories, in part, because he won or was co-champion of the club nine times.

Art’s other main hobby was golf. He was not very good at golf (one mutual friend said it was more like watching polo) but he was very good at betting. Whenever he was behind, he would offer a new bet, and more often than not would figure out a way to break even, if not come out ahead.

The following game was played against another promising junior player at the time. The two players remained friends to the very end.

Queen’s Gambit D30
Arthur Wang – Don Sutherland
Oakland YMCA Invitational 1960

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 c6 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Nxc4 b5 8.Nce5 Bb7 9. O-O Bd6 10. a3 O-O 11. e4 Qc7 12. Nxd7 Nxd7 13. e5 Be7 14. Ng5 g6 15. b4 a5 16. Rb1 axb4 17. axb4 Nb6 18. Qg4 Nd5 19. Ne4 Rfd8 20. Bg5 Ra4 21. Qh4 Rda8 22. Bc2 R4a7 23. Bb3 Bxg5 24. Nxg5 h5 25. Bxd5 cxd5 26. Qf4 Qe7 27. g4 hxg4 28. f3 g3 29. Qxg3 Kg7 30. h4 Ra2 31. h5 Rh8 32. hxg6 Rhh2 33. f4 fxg6 34.Rfc1 Ba8 35. Rc5 Bb7 36. Rbc1 Rag2+ 37. Qxg2 Rxg2+ 38. Kxg2 Kg8 39. Rh1 1-0

Art tied for first in the 1961 Washington State Championship with Viktors Pupols while doing his army service at Ft. Lewis.
The funeral service for Art (“Dad”) is planned for this Friday, December 16th, at CYPRESS LAWN in Colma, California. Viewing is at 12:00 p.m. with the service at 1:00 p.m. A reception to celebrate Art’s life will follow in the reception center at the same location.
Memorial contributions in Art’s name to any one of the following are appreciated:

American Cancer Society
Hospice of the Valley
Grace Presbyterian Church
American Heart Association

The family looks forward to seeing all who are able to attend.
Best regards,
Katherine, Elaine, Richard and Steven

3) Metropolitan Chess Club Invitationals, by Ankit Gupta

Metropolitan Chess, Inc. hosted an International Master norm and a International Grandmaster norm round robin tournament in tandem from December 7th to December 11th of 2011. The tournaments were sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc, MonRoi,, LawyerFy, and Betty Bottom Showroom.
The tournaments were the 13th and 14th in the series and were being held in Suite C1002 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles 90079. The tournaments were both organized by Ankit Gupta, International FIDE Organizer. The arbiters for this event were IA Randy Hough & IA Hal Bogner.

IM Enrico Sevillano scored 6.5-2.5 in the 13th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational to achieve his second GM norm. GM Mikheil Kekelidze scored 7.0-2.0 in the same event to win it outright.

SM Faik Aleskerov scored 6.5-2.5 in the 14th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational to achieve his final IM norm, making him IM-elect. He also outright won the event.

The participants in the 13th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational, a GM norm event, included GM Georgiev, Vladimir (MKD), GM Kekelidze, Mikheil (GEO), GM Khachiyan, Melikset (USA), IM Molner, Mackenzie (USA), IM Arnold, Marc (USA), IM Matikozyan, Andranik (ARM), IM Sevillano, Enrico (USA), IM Ginsburg, Mark (USA), SM Yankovsky, Roman (RUS), and FM Kiewra, Keaton (USA).

The participants in the 14th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational, an IM norm event, included: IM Zhanibek, Amanov (KAZ), IM Stopa, Jacek (POL), IM Remlinger, Larry (USA), FM Kavutskiy, Konstantin (USA), WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev (USA), FM Akopyan, Harutyan (USA), CM Carreto, Giovanni (MEX), SM Aleskerov, Faik (AZE), NM Lee, Dan (USA), and NM Akopian, Robert (USA).

The tournaments were 10 player round-robin events (all play all), with rounds scheduled as follows – 7th: 7:00 PM, 8th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 9th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 10th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 11th: 10:00 AM & 4:00 PM. Spectators were welcome and encouraged to come to watch the games in person at the tournament site at the California Market Center.

The IM norm in the 14th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational was 6.5/9.0, and the GM norm in the 13th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational was 6.5/9.0 as well.

The full standings can be found on the
Metropolitan Chess, Inc. website at: Simply go to the schedule section, scroll down to the list of recent events, and click on the red bar titled ‘13th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational’ or ‘14th Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational’ to view a complete crosstable with standings.

4) Here and There
Final scores in the London Classic:
Final standings:
1. Kramnik - 16
2. Nakamura – 15
3. Carlsen - 14
4. McShane - 13
5. Anand - 9
6. Aronian - 9
7. Short - 6
8. Howell - 4
9. Adams – 3

Win (3 points); Draw (1 point); Loss (0 points)

Live Chess Ratings – December 12, 2011

1. Carlsen 2834.8
2. Aronian 2808.8
3. Kramnik 2800.6
4. Anand 2798.6
5. Radjabov 2773.2
6. Topalov 2769.7
7. Karjakin 2768.7
8. Ivanchuk 2765.6
9. Morozevich 2762.9
10. Grischuk 2760.9
11. Nakamura 2759.3
12. Gashimov 2750.4
13. Mamedyarov 2747.4
14. Svidler 2745.9
15. Tomashevsky 2740
16. Gelfand 2738.5
17. Caruana 2736
18. Nepomniachtchi 2735.1
19. Wang Hao 2733.2
20. Kamsky 2732

Hikaru started the year at 2751 and was as high as 2774.
Other Americans in the top 100 are
Alexander Onischuk  2674 (#69) and Yasser Seirawan 2658 (=92). Robert Hess 2625 and Varuzhan Akobian 2612 are the two other Americans over 2600.