Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #130

"When a chess player looks at the board, he does not see a static mosiac, a still life, but a magnetic field of forces charged with energy - as Faraday saw the stresses surrounding magnets and currents as curves in space; or as Van Gogh saw vortices in the skies of Provence."
   Arthur Koestler

The Mechanics' will be hosting its 3rd Annual Max Wilkerson Open this Saturday to honor its long-time (1980-96) Chess Director. A large field is expected and IM Vinay Bhat has pre-registered. This coming Tuesday marks the start of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. Go to for more information.

1) Leko and Kramnik tie for first in Linares
2) Shipman and Thornally tie for first in MI March Masters
3) Ludek Pachman 1924-2003
4) 2003 US Open in Los Angeles
5) MI Chess History CD: Volume 1 
6) Upcoming events

1) Leko and Kramnik tie for first in Linares

Peter Leko and Vladimir Kramnik tied for first in Linares with Leko taking the title on tiebreak (more decisive results). Their victory marked the end of Garry Kasparov's record-breaking ten consecutive elite tournament victories stretching from Wijk aan Zee 1999 through to Linares 2002. As expected, Kasparov fought to the bitter end in his last round game against Vishy Anand but could only draw.

A major incident occurred during the prize giving when the tournament's youngest participant, 15-year-old Teimour Radjabov, was controversially awarded (in a vote decided by journalists) the tournament's 'beauty prize' for his win against Kasparov . While the Baku teenager - with his proud mother videotaping the proceedings - was being handed the prize, an enraged Kasparov stormed up to the microphone and said, "I don't believe that this was the best game of the tournament. It has been selected only because it was the only game that I lost and I consider this to be a public insult and humiliation."

While everyone looked on in shock, Kasparov went after a group of journalists and worked his rage up to shouting level. "This is the worst insult you have ever done to me in my life! It is an insult to me and to chess! You consider yourselves chess journalists? If you think this was the most beautiful game of Linares, you are doing a great deal of damage to chess with your reports and articles. Radjabov was completely lost in that game!"

Readers with good memories might recall the strong words that were heard when Kaparov-Nikolic won over Rogers-Milos and Shabalov-Smirin as the best game of the 1992 Olympiad in Manila. Kasparov's victory might have been the best, but his refusing to remove himself from the jury that judged the prizes left many shaking their heads.

Final Standings:
1-2. P Leko (Hungary) and V Kramnik (Russia) 7/12
3-4. V Anand (India) and G Kasparov (Russia) 6.5
5. R Ponomariov (Ukraine) 5.5
6. F Vallejo Pons (Spain) 5
7. T Radjabov (Azerbaijan) 4.5

V Kramnik - P Leko
Linares, (14)
Sicilian Defence
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 e5 4 Bc4 d6 5 d3 Be7 6 0-0 Nf6 7 Ng5 0-0 8 f4 exf4 9 Bxf4 h6 10 Nf3 Be6 11 Nd5 Bxd5 12 exd5 Na5 13 Nh4 Nxc4 14 dxc4 Nxd5 15 Qxd5 Bxh4 16 Rad1 b6 17 Bxd6 Be7 18 Be5 Bg5 19 Bd6 Be7 20 Bf4 Bf6 21 c3 Qxd5 22 cxd5 Rad8 23 Bxh6 Bxc3 24 bxc3 gxh6 25 Rfe1 Rd7 26 c4 a6 27 a4 b5 28 axb5 axb5 29 cxb5 Rb8 30 d6 Rxb5 31 Re7 Rbb7 32 Rxd7 Rxd7 33 Kf2 Kg7 34 Kf3 Kf6 35 Rd5 draw

2) Shipman and Thornally tie for first in MI March Masters

IM Walter Shipman and FM Frank Thornally tied for first with undefeated scores of 3-1 in the MI March Masters held March 3-7. Rounds were held daily from Monday through Friday at 1pm with a time control of 30/90 followed by G/60. A similar event is planned for later this month. If you are rated over 2200 USCF and are interested in participating contact John Donaldson at

1-2. IM Shipman and FM Thornally 3; 3-4. NMs Thiel and Margulis 1.5; 5. NM Pinto 1.

3) Ludek Pachman 1924-2003

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) - Ludek Pachman, a chess grandmaster and author of dozens of chess textbooks, died Thursday. He was 78, the news agency CTK reported Monday.

It said the Czech-born Pachman died in Passau, Germany. The report did not give the cause of his death.

Pachman, an internationally known seven-time Czechoslovak chess master and a devoted communist until the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion that crushed democratic reforms known as Prague Spring, emigrated to Germany in 1972.

He returned to Prague after the demise of communism in late 1989, but in 1998 moved to Germany again.

He was the author of a number of chess textbooks, such as "Modern Chess Strategy," or "Decisive Games in Chess History."

Pachman also took part in many international chess tournaments.

4) 2003 US Open in Los Angeles

The US Open will return to the West Coast from August 3-15 at the LAX Radisson. The 12-round tournament features the second highest guaranteed prize fund ($55,000) in the history of the event. This will be only the seventh US Open hosted in California (Long Beach 1955, San Francisco 1961, Palo Alto 1981, Pasadena 1983, Los Angeles 1991 and Concord 1995) and promises to be the strongest ever. Full details are available in Chess Life and at

5) MI Chess History CD: Volume 1

The staff of the Mechanics' Institute recently completed the first of a two volume series on the history of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Room. The fruits of their research are available on a CD which includes almost 90 pages of text, approximately 10 photos from the MI archives and over 150 games in ChessBase format. Visits of World Champions Lasker (twice), Capablanca, Alekhine (twice), and Euwe, are among the highlights. The price of the CD is $10 + $1 for shipping. To order, send a check payable to the Mechanics' Institute for $11 to: Mechanics' Institute, Room 408, 57 Post Street, San Francisco, CA, 94104.

6) Upcoming events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Full details at

Max Wilkerson Open: March 15, 2003
Walter Lovegrove Senior Championship: April 12-13, 2003
Imre Konig Memorial: April 26, 2003

Scholastic Quads: March 22, April 19, May 31

Other Northern California Events

Mar. 29-30. 2003 Central California Adult & Scholastic Chess Congress
10 Grand Prix Points

Open, Scholastic & Beginner Scholastic. Edison High School, Grant Taggart Gym, 1425 S. Center St., Stockton. Open: (G/2, 5 sec. delay) $$2,000 Gtd: $400-200, X, A, B, C, D, E, & Unr. $200 ea. Trophies to ea. 1st. EF: $35 by 3/28, at site $45. Late Reg. 8-9:30. Byes requested bef. Rd. 1 only. Rds: 10-2:15, 10-2:15. EF includes G/5 Bughouse, G/5 Blitz, G/10 Quick (Rated), Simultaneous & Blindfold challenge (limited 8 highest rated challengers). Trophy/Title prizes for all side events. Scholastic Championship: 5SS, G/1. 4 Sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12 (Trophies 10, 15, 15, 10 Resp.). EF: $20 by 3/28, at site $30. Late Reg. at site 8-9:30. Byes requested before Rd. 1 only. Rds: 10-1:15, 10-1:15,3:30. EF includes G/5 Bughouse, G/5 Blitz, G/10 Quick (Rated), Simultaneous. Trophy/Title Prize for all side events. Beginner Scholastic Championship: (3/29, Non Rated) 6SS, G/30. K-8. Certificates to all grade winners + participants. Free USCF membership to all scoring 4 or more pts. EF $10, $20 at site. Late Reg. at site 8-9:30. No byes. Only eligible Simultaneous. Rds: 10-11-12-1-2-3. Prizes all side events. Info: or John Charles Barnard, 209-785-7895. 50 cents of ea entry donated to CalChess. Ent: Edison High School Chess Club, 1425 S. Center, Stockton CA 95206 W.

Southern California

April 11-13. Western Pacific Open
40 Grand Prix Points

5SS, 3-day 40/2, SD/1, 2-day Rds. 1-2 G/75 then merges. LAX Radisson Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. $$10,000 b/200, 50% of each prize guaranteed. In 3 sections: Open: $1500-1000-800-400-200 plus $200 (G) bonus for clear 1st, U2400 $400-200, U2300 $200, U2200 $750-500-300. EF: $79 advance, $95 door, $30 more if rated U1800. Premier: (U2000) $750-500-300-100, U1800 $500-300-200. EF: $79 advance, $95 door, $30 more to U1400, no unrated. Amateur: (U1600) $400+trophy-250-100, U1400 $100+trophy-50, U1200 $100+trophy, Unr. $100+trophy, unrated may win unrated prize only. EF: $64 advance, $75 door. Reg: 5:30-6:30pm 4/11, 8:30-10am 4/12. Rds: 3-day 7 p.m., 11-5:30, 10-4:30. 2-day: 10:30-1:30 (G/75), then merges. All: $50 Best Game prize, all sections eligible. One 1/2-pt. bye Rds. 1-3 if requested with ent. SCCF membership req. of rated S. Cal. res., $12 reg, $7.50 Jr. No credit card entries. No checks at door. HR: $84, 310-670-9000, mention chess. Parking: $5/day. Info: Mike Carr, 949-768-3538,; John Hillery Web site: Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl., Los Angeles, CA 90038. State Championship Qualifier. FIDE.

Return to Article Index