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Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #572

February 22, 2012

In chess so much depends on opening theory, so the champions before the last century did not know as much as I do and other players do about opening theory. So if you just brought them back from the dead they wouldn't do well. They'd get bad openings. You cannot compare the playing strength, you can only talk about natural ability. Memorization is enormously powerful. Some kid of fourteen today, or even younger, could get an opening advantage against Capablanca, and especially against the players of the previous century, like Morphy and Steinitz. Maybe they would still be able to outplay the young kid of today. Or maybe not, because nowadays when you get the opening advantage not only do you get the opening advantage, you know how to play, they have so many examples of what to do from this position. It is really deadly, and that is why I don't like chess any more.
                                                          Bobby Fischer

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News   

International Master Elliott Winslow won the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon by defeating Expert Todd Rumph last night. A  7-1 score earned the 59-year-old Winslow $400 and brought his rating up to 2386. National Master Russell Wong and soon to be Master Daniel Liu drew their round 8 games to finish second and third at 6.5 and 6 points respectively.   
The 67-player Winter Tuesday Night Marathon was held from January 3 to February 21. The next TNM starts on March 13.

Prize winners:

1st: Winslow-$400
2nd: Wong-$260
Best Under 2200: Fuentes,Rumph,Traub,Goins and Gaffagan-$34.20
Best Under 2000, 1800 and 1600: Sherwood, Matsuda and Morton-$169
Best Under 1400: Wishard, Frank and Graham-$55.66

2) 2012 US Championship and US Women's Championship   

Nakamura seeks third U.S. Championship title in St. Louis

Fields set for 2012 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship
ST. LOUIS, February 22, 2012 -- The fields are set for both the 2012 U.S. Championship and 2012 U.S. Women's Championship, scheduled to be held simultaneously May 7 through May 20 in St. Louis. Grandmaster Gata Kamsky and International Master Anna Zatonskih each look to defend their respective titles against strong and determined fields.
For the fourth consecutive year, these prestigious events will be held at Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).
The 2012 U.S. Championship will feature an elite field of 12 grandmasters and a guaranteed prize fund of more than $160,000. With an average USCF rating of 2714 according to the USCF's January rating supplement, this marks the strongest field in the history of the event.
After sitting out of the 2011 U.S Championship, GM Hikaru Nakamura, ranked No. 6 in the world, has accepted an invitation to participate this year. Nakamura, 24, is seeking his third U.S. Championship title. GM Yasser Seirawan, who came out of retirement to play in last year's U.S. Championship, has accepted the final invitation for the U.S. Championship. Seirawan had a stellar performance at the 2011 World Team Championship in Ningbo, China, where he defeated three top-30 players on his way to a silver medal performance.

The field for the 2012 U.S. Championship is as follows:
  • GM Hikaru Namamura (2848)
  • GM Gata Kamsky (2804)
  • GM Alexander Onischuk (2736)
  • GM Yasser Seirawan (2723)
  • GM Robert Hess (2717)
  • GM Varuzhan Akobian (2709)
  • GM Alexander Stripunsky (2700)
  • GM Ray Robson (2674)
  • GM Alejandro Ramirez (2668)
  • GM Yury Shulman (2666)
  • GM Aleksandr Lenderman (2665)
  • GM Gregory Kaidanov (2658)
The CCSCSL also will sponsor the $64K Fischer Bonus, to be awarded to anyone that scores a perfect 11-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer's 11-0 result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship.
Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Camilla Baginskaite, the 2000 U.S. Women's Champion, and 17-year-old Alena Kats, who was the youngest female to become a master in 2010 at age 15, have accepted the final two invitations for the Women's event. The 2012 U.S. Women's Championship will feature a guaranteed prize fund of $64,000 and 10 players, including:
  • IM Anna Zatonskih (2563)
  • IM Irina Krush (2500)
  • WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2419)
  • WGM Sabina Foisor (2413)
  • WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (2350)
  • WIM Viktorija Ni (2349)
  • IM Rusudan Goletiani (2337)
  • FM Alisa Melekhina (2321)
  • WIM Iryna Zenyuk (2298)
  • NM Alena Kats (2233)
Tickets for the opening ceremony, which will take place on May 7, and the closing ceremony, scheduled for May 20, will be available soon. Round one for each event begins on May 8.
The U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women's Championship will both be classic round-robin tournaments, in which each participant will play every other participant exactly once.
For more information, visit, or call (314) 361-CHESS (2437).
3) Here and There


Eric Hansen won the Jerry Hanken Memorial, held February 18-20 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Canadian International master won all 8 games to finish two points ahead of Alexandra Botez. Tying for third in the 48 player event were former USCF President Jim Berry and Fide Master Mike Langer at 5.5. IA Frank Berry organized and directed the event for the Oklahoma Chess Foundation. 


Ted Castro writes: 
Last month, NorCal House of Chess hosted the most elite chess tournament in Northern California. It was very successful that it was all over the news and everyone is eager to find out when the next event will be. We are pleased to announce that we are hosting an IM-Norm Event (Round-Robin) on March 17, 18, 23, 24, & 25. It's a 10-player round-robin tournament that gives a chance for players to earn their IM Norm. We have a long list of players who want to participate but here's a list of players who are confirmed to play.
IM Enrico Sevillano (USA) 2490 Fide Rating
IM Ricardo De Guzman (PHI)  2393
IM Ray Kaufmann (USA)/ IM Angelo Young (PHI) 2325
FM Ronald Cusi (USA) 2313
FM Bela Evans (USA) 2262
FM Tigran Ishkanov (USA) 2350
FM Richard Lobo (UK) 2251
WFM Uyanga Byambaa (MGL) 2118
IM-Elect Faik Aleskerov (AZE) 2362   

Ankit Gupta writes:

Metropolitan Chess, Inc.
is hosting an International Master norm round robin tournament from February 22nd to 26th of 2012. The tournament is sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc,, MonRoi, LawyerFy, and Betty Bottom
Metropolitan Chess, Inc. is hosting an International Master norm round robin tournament from February 22nd to 26th of 2012. The tournament is sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc,, MonRoi, LawyerFy, and Betty Bottom Showroom.This tournament is the 16 th in its series and is being held in Suite C1002 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street in Los Angeles.
 The tournament is being organized by Ankit Gupta, FA, IO and the chief arbiter is Randy Hough, IA.

The participants include:

IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ)
IM Andranik Matikozyan (ARM)
IM Larry Remlinger (USA)
FM Alexandre Kretchetov (RUS)
FM Konstantin Kavutskiy (USA)
FM Kayden Troff (USA)
Alexander King (USA)
CM Giovanni Carreto (MEX)
NM Michael Bodek (USA)
FM Philip Xiao Wang (USA)

The IM norm is 6.5/9.0.   
The tournament will be a 10 player round-robin (all play all), with rounds scheduled as follows - 22nd: 7:00 PM, 23rd: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 24th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 25th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 26th: 10:00 AM & 4:00 PM. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to come to watch the games in person at the tournament site.

The standings can be found on the
Metropolitan Chess, Inc. website at: 

4) Bunratty Masters

English Grandmasters Michael Adams, Nigel Short and Gawain Jones won the 2012 edition of the Bunratty Masters, an event on the short list for the honor of being the strongest 3-day weekend event in the world this year. Adams, who won title in a blitz playoff, had a performance rating for the event just short of 2800.

The multi-section tournament, one of Ireland's strongest, attracted a large number of titled players including 10 GMs and 10 IMs in the top group. They were attracted by not only the chance to face first rate opposition, but also  the excellent hotel and traditional Irish hospitality. Chief Arbiter Gerry Graham and tournament director Paul Caray made sure that the event ran smoothly.

The Bunratty Masters is not just for professional players. Those at the club level would find this a nice addition to a vacation in Ireland which has much milder weather than continental Europe in February.

For more information on this event go to: