Mechanics' Chess Club Newsletter #568

  At 43, Reshevsky, despite his smallness, is an imposing figure whose icy boardside manner is a weapon which powerfully complements his wits. Barely 5 feet 2 inches tall, with a wide, bulging brow and steely eyes, he sits un-movingly erect for hours on end, his head in his cupped hands, his mouth pursed in an expression of ineffable hauteur. Most players nibble and sip at something at intervals during a game; Reshevsky eats nothing and only seldom drinks a glass of water. He chain-smokes, but in him even this habit betrays no sign of nerves. "Sammy," a colleague once observed, "plays chess like a man eating fish. First he removes the bones, then he swallows the fish." His self-confidence is so boundless that in tournament play, where 40 moves must be made within two and a half hours, he will spend half that time pondering a single move, feeling sure of finding one that will make the next moves virtually automatic. On rare occasions only does he leave himself so little time that he blunders through sheer haste.

John Kobler writing about Sammy Reshevsky in his article Icy Wizard of the Royal Game which appeared in the October 17th, 1955, issue of Sports Illustrated.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

NM Russell Wong and Expert Todd Rumph are the only remaining perfect scores after four rounds of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon. International Master Elliott Winslow, who took a first round half point bye, is alone in third with 3 1/2 points.  Four rounds remain for the 66 competitors.

The Mechanics' Chess Club will be holding four chess camps this summer. The dates are:   

June 25-29 Beginners
July 9-13 Elite Advanced
July 30-August 3 Intermediate-Advanced
August 13-17

Details will soon be forthcoming.   
Jules Jelinek, Weekly Wednesday Night Blitz Coordinator, writes: 

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.

  Look forward to seeing you tonight.


2) Nick deFirmian new Mechanics' Institute Grandmaster in Residence   
The Mechanics' Chess Club welcomes Nick deFirmian as its Grandmaster-in-Residence.This will be a return home for the native Californian and UC Berkeley graduate. Grandmaster deFirmian has a long association with the Mechanics' dating back to his days as an undergraduate,and served as a member of the organizing committee for the M.I.'s "Pan-Pacific"  International Chess Tournaments in 1987 and 1991.
The past three decades Nick deFirmian has excelled in many areas of the chess world. A world class player for many years, Grandmaster deFirmian is a three-time US Champion and a eight-time member of the US Olympiad team. He served as the Captain of the US team at the 2002 Chess Olympiad held in Bled, Slovenia.  


The author of several books on the games, including three editions of the well-received  Modern Chess Openings,deFirmian  has also written for such leading chess publications as New in Chess, Chess Life and Inside Chess.   
He is well known for his role in helping prepare openings for the IBM computer Deep Blue that defeated  World Champion Garry Kasparov in a historic battle in 1997. This was the first time a computer had beaten a reigning human World Champion in a match. 


The past decade Grandmaster deFirmian has concentrated his energy on teaching chess to children in New York City. This teaching included working with Public School 130 in Chinatown and Horace Mann, a private school which won the 3rd and 5th grade national championships. He has also coached kids in such events as the World Youth Championships and taught at summer chess camps throughout the country.


Grandmaster deFirmian will focus his energy on the Mechanics' Chess Club's  Scholastic Outreach program. He will also be the lead instructor at an expanded number of chess camps held at the Mechanics' and will start a Thursday evening group class for enthusiastic amateurs players.

3) Reshevsky-Fischer - Match 1961, Game 11, Revisited 

What would turn out to be the last game of the Reshevsky-Fischermatch was one of the most dramatic. Fischer, playing sharply from the beginning using his favorite King's Indian, quickly obtained a highly advantageous position. Reshevsky defended tenaciously but through excellent play Bobby increased his advantage until both sides started to bobble the ball after the adjournment with Fischer missing some easy wins. The final critical moment was reached after 52...Ra2+      


W- Kg2, Re3, Bf4, pg3

B- Kg6, Re7, Ra2, ph6


Note if you go to this Newsletter with diagrams will be up in the next day or so.  



Fischer, in My 60 Memorable Games, points out "correct was 53.Kh3! in order to keep Black's king out of g4 after the exchange of rooks: e.g., 53..Rxe3 54.Bxe3 h5 55.Bf4 Ra1 56.Bc7 Kf5 57.Bf4 Rb1 58.Bc7! Rh1+ 59.Kg2 Rc1 60.Bf4!(gaining a vital tempo by hitting the rook), rook-any; 61.Kh3! maintaining the blockade.




"Returning the favor" says Fischer who claims Black wins giving the beautiful line.


53...Rxe3+ 54.Bxe3 h5 55.Bf4 Kf5 56.Bd6 Rb2 57.Bf4 Rb3+ 58.Kg2 Kg4 59.Bd6 Rb2+ 60.Kg1 Kh3 61.Be5 Rb4! 62.Bc7 Rg4! 63.Kf2 Kh2 64.Be5 Kh1 65.Kf3 Rg8 66.Bf4 Rf8 67.Kf2 (67.Ke3 Kg2) 67...h4 68.Kf3 h3 69.Kf2 h2 70.Kf1 Ra8 71.Kf2 Ra2+ 72.Kf1 Ra3! 73.Kf2  


W - Kf2, Bf4, pg3

B  - Ra3, Kh1, ph2 




73..Rf3+!! 74.Kxf3 Kg1 75.Be3+ Kf1 winning.


This looks very convincing and suggests that all Black needs to do is bring his king to h1 and he wins.


Unfortunately there is a flaw. Going back to the position reached after 66... Rf8?.


W- Bf4, Kf3, ph2

B- Rf8, Kh1, ph5 


White does not have to retreat his king but can draw with 67.g4 h4 68.g5 h3 69.Kg4 h2 70.g6 Kg2 71.Bxh2 Kxh2 72.Kg5.


Is the position reached after 54..h5 really a draw? No! It turns out Black made a mistake by moving his rook away from the g-file (allowing the possibility of g4) before his king reached f1. Substitute 66...Kg1! (for 66...Rf8?) and the win can be had after 67. Be3+ Kf1 68. Bf4 Ra8 (the rook activates itself but in such a way that g4 is not possible) 69.Be3 (threatening g4) 69...Rf8+ (only now when the Black king is on f1 freeing the way for h-pawn in the event of g4) 70.Bf4 Rf7 (zugzwang) 71.g4 (71. Ke4 Kg2) 71...h4 72.g5 h3 73.g6 (73.Kg3 Rxf4 74.Kxh3 Kf2) 73...h2 74.gxf7 h1 (Q) 75. Ke3 Qg1+ 76. Kf3 Qg7 wins.


This six piece endgame has been worked out by computers. One wonders if Bobby ever consulted Nalimov's child and if so what he thought of it. Fischer Random Chess is all about forcing players to think from move one to avoid computer preparation in the opening but here the silicon oracle is working from another direction. One wonders, would Fischer have loved the possibility to learn the absolute truth or been horrified by computers creeping deeper into his beloved game.    






3) Upcoming Events

2012 Mechanics' Tournaments (January-June)

Henry Gross Memorial - February 4
A.J. Fink Amateur Championship - March 10-11
Max Wilkerson Open - March 24
Imre Konig Memorial - April 14
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 21-22
Charles Powell Memorial - May 5
Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz- May 6
William Addison Open - June 2
Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 9-10






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