Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #116

"Modern day technique is nothing other than the games of the past, old discoveries, that have been classified and become customary."
   Igor Zaitsev

1) Blatny and Shulman tie for first in American Open
2) DeGuzman wins Jim Hurt Memorial
3) Five-way tie for first in National Chess Congress
4) San Jose expert Uri Andrews looking for matches
5) Ossipov leads Fall Tuesday Night Marathon
6) Robert Felt ( 1953-2002)
7) Raymond Rotor (1955-2202)
8) Upcoming Events ( New Series - MI Scholastic Quads to start in January)

1) Blatny and Shulman tie for first in American Open

The 38th American Open, held November 28-December 1 in Los Angeles, ended in a tie for first between GMs Pavel Blatny and Yury Shulman with scores of 6-2. Tying for third at 5 1/2 in the 47 player Open section, which included 5 GMs and 9 IMs, were GMs Alex Yermolinsky and Gregory Serper, IMs Varuzhan Akobian and Melikset Khachiyan and SM Armen Ambartsoumian.

MI member Matthew Ho had an excellent result. The young San Jose Expert drew IM Tim Taylor and scored 1 1/2 from 2 vs. 2300s on the way to a 4-4 score. Another MI member, Oleg Shakhnazarov, scored 5-3 to tie for 7th in the Expert section. Complete details for the event, organized and directed by Jerry Hanken and Randy Hough, can be found at

By the way the record for most American Open titles goes to IM David Strauss of San Francisco who won 7 times from 1971 until 1992.

2) DeGuzman wins Jim Hurt Memorial

Filipino IM Ricardo DeGuzman continued his winning ways by taking first place in the Jim Hurt Memorial held November 28 through December 1 at the Holiday Inn on Van Ness in San Francisco with a score of 7-1. DeGuzman won $1000 for defeating top seed Vladimir Mezentsev (2540) and IM Walter Shipman. His two draws were with IM John Donaldson and SM Dmitry Zilberstein who took second and third with 6 1/2 and 6 points respectively.

The event was held to honor the memory of Jim Hurt (1918-2000) who organized and directed LERA tournaments for over thirty years. Hurt was also very active in teaching chess to children and was honored for his work by the USCF at a special ceremony held during the US Open in Reno in 1999. What isn't so well-known about Jim is that he was an active and successful player in his youth. While studying at the University of Washington in the 1930s and early 40s he won four Washington State titles in five tries, placing second the one time he didn't win.

The 80-player multi-section memorial was organized and directed by Tom Dorsch and Carolyn Withgitt for Cal Chess.

3) Five-way tie for first in National Chess Congress

The National Chess Congress in Philadelphia, held November 29-December 1, saw GMs Igor Novikov, Alex Shabalov, Alex Stripunsky, Gennady Zaichik, and Leonid Yudasin tie for first at 5-1 in the 92 player top section. NM Alan Stein, formerly of Palo Alto but now living in New York, beat Polish GM Pavel Blehm in round five before losing to Novikov in the money round.

4) San Jose expert Uri Andrews looking for matches

There is very little non-scholastic chess in San Jose, despite its status as the largest city in Northern California with a population of over 1,000,000. The situation is sad enough that it may well be that IM Vinay Bhat has never played an adult tournament in his hometown! Now another up and coming San Jose player, Expert Uri Andrews, finds himself in the same situation and is eagerly looking for opponents rated over 2000 for matches and quads. Interested players can contact Uri at

5) Ossipov leads MI Fall Tuesday Night Marathon

NM Victor Ossipov leads the MI Fall Tuesday Night Marathon with a score of 6-1 with two rounds to go, but half a point back are FM Frank Thornally, and Experts Michael Becco, Peter Grey and Larry Snyder.

6) Robert Felt ( 1953-2002)

Robert Felt, who was a fixture at the MI in the mid-1990s, recently died of a heart attack. Though Felt was a USCF rated Expert, he was even stronger at Scrabble, competing successfully in the Scrabble World Championship in Australia two years ago. He is remembered at the MI as bright and friendly guy who loved a good conversation.

7) Raymond Rotor (1955-2202)

Another former MI member, Raymond (Ray) Rotor passed away on November 25 in San Francisco at the age of 47. A longtime Expert, who quit playing in tournament chess in 1995, Rotor could often be found playing blitz at the "Slab" at 5th and Market where he had many friends among the regulars.

8) Upcoming Events

Note: The MI will be starting monthly scholastic quads on Saturdays starting in January. Full details will be available in the next Newsletter.

Upcoming events at the MI

Guthrie McClain Memorial: December 21 
Bob Burger Open: January 4, 2003 
Henry Gross Memorial: February 1, 2003
A.J. Fink Amateur Championship: February 28-March 2, 2003  
Max Wilkerson Open: March 15, 2003 
Walter Lovegrove Senior Championship: April 12-13, 2003 
Imre Konig Memorial: April 26, 2003 

National Events

2nd Annual

Lindsborg Rotary Open Chess Tournament
Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas
December 17-23 or December 20-23
GM & IM norms are available; FIDE rating and evaluation guaranteed for 7-day option!
$3,000 guaranteed prize fund!
3 sections:
FIDE: 9SS, 40/2, SD/1 (4-day option, rounds 1-5 G/50). First two rounds accelerated pairing.
1st - $800, 2nd - $400, 3rd - $200, 4th - 150, 5th - 100
U2400: $100 - 75; U2200: $100 - 75
Open: 9SS, G/120
1st - $150
U2000: $100 - 75 - 50; U1800: $100 - 75 - 50
U1600: $100 - 75 - 50; U1400: $100 - 75 - 50
Scholastic (12/22): G/30. Trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each HS, MS, ES categories
Entering fees: GMs & IMs free. Membership at Kansas Chess Association is required (dues can be paid on site).
Before 11/1/02 Before 12/1/02 At site
FIDE Section
FIDE 2300 $70 $80 $90
FIDE, USCF 2200 $80 $90 $100
FIDE 2200 $90 $100 $110
non-FIDE rated, USCF 2200 * $120 $130 $140
Open Section $50 $55 $60
Scholastic Section $15 $20 $25
Credit cards OK. Online entry at
* Number of non-FIDE rated players will be limited in this category

FIDE Session:
7-day: 12/17-12/20 1:00 pm; 12/21 & 22 9:00 am & 5:00 pm; 12/23 9:00 am
4-day: 12/20 (G/50) 4:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 9:00 pm; 12/21 9:00 am, 1:00 pm, & 5:00 pm;
12/22 9:00 am & 5:00 pm; 12/23 9:00 am
Open Sessions (G/120):
4-day: 12/20 4:00 pm; 12/21 9:00 am, 1:30 pm, 7:00 pm; 12/22 9:00 am, 1:30 pm, 7:00 pm;
12/23 9:00 am, 1:30 pm
Scholastic Session (G/30):
12/22 10:00 am, 11:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:30 pm
1/2-pt byes OK at ALL. Limit 3. Last bye must commit before round 5.
Special Event - 12/20 at 8:00 pm GM Igor Novikov will play simul games with 20 people. $20.
Hotel rates: $49 - $80 at Swedish Country Inn (1-800-231-0266), $36 - $56 at Coronado Motel (1-800-747-2793), $65 - $150 at Rosberg House B&B (1-888-215-5234), $65 - $95 at Smoky Valley B & B (1-800-532-4407), and $60 - $120 at C&W Ranch Bed & Breakfast (785-668-2352). Reserve by 11/15 or rates may increase.
Ent: Lindsborg Chamber of Commerce (for the chess tournament), 104 E. Lincoln, Lindsborg, KS 67456. 1-888-227-2227; For more information please contact Mikhail Korenman at 785-227-3380, ext.8164 or


The 1st Pan American Amateur Championship will be held at the elegant Fairmont Southampton from 27th January to 5th February 2003. It will be nine rounds plus a rest day and will be held alongside two GM Invitational Tournaments (Cat XV and X). The rate of play will be 150 plus 30 seconds per move. It is open to players under 2000 FIDE or no FIDE rating at all. Each Federation in the Americas is allowed to nominate two players who do not have to pay an entry fee, otherwise entry fee is $150 per player. It will be followed by the 20th Bermuda Open from 6th to 9th February.

Rooms are $125 per night plus taxes etc. for one or two people, a third person in a room would be an extra $30 plus taxes. etc To book rooms contact the Fairmont Southampton on 1-800-441-1414 or 1-441-238-8000, mentioning "PanAmerican Amateur Chess."

Details/Info: or Nigel Freeman 441-234-2322, or Carol Jarecki 917-690-8566,

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