Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #133

1) April FIDE Ratings out
2) Seven way tie for first in Spring TNM
3) Ray Cuneo
4) Lubeck wins 2002-2003 Bundesliga
5) Chess from the Past
6) 2003 US Open in Los Angeles
7) MI Chess History CD: Volume 1 
8) Upcoming events

1) April FIDE Ratings out

Garry Kasparov continues to head the FIDE rating list at 2830, followed by Kramnik 2789, Anand 2764, Leko 2746, Shirov 2735 and Topalov 2735. Top Americans are Onischuk 2647, Kaidanov 2640, Seirawan 2626 and Goldin 2611.

2) Seven way tie for first in Spring TNM

There were several upsets in round three of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon with Expert Peter Grey defeating IM Walter Shipman and former ·King of the Class B's· Yefim Bukh defeating Russell Wong for his 2nd Master scalp in two weeks. The remaining perfect scores are: NMs Margulis, Morkunaite, Thiel and Ye, Experts Grey and Grey plus Bukh.

3) Ray Cuneo

Longtime Mechanics' member Ray Cuneo recently passed away at the age of 96. Interestingly Ray didn't start playing until he was 40. That didn't stop him from becoming a Mechanics regular for almost half a century! Ray came regularly to the club right up until his death. Many of our older members in their 70s and 80s considered him a source of inspiration due to his physical vitality, mental agility and genial manner. If they had known he was also still actively participating in a bowling league in Alameda they would have been even more impressed. Ray was well liked by all and we will miss him very much.

Those with stories about Ray are encouraged to write to his granddaughter Karen Gomez.

Karen Gomez
1356 Graymill Court
Rohnert Park, Calif. 94928

4) Lubeck wins 2002-2003 Bundesliga

Congratulations to Grandmaster Nick deFirmian for helping his team win the prestigious Bundesliga competition. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in Physics with longtime ties to the Mechanics', Nick is currently based in Copenhagen.

5) Chess from the Past

John Hilbert, one of the hardest working researchers in the field of chess history, shares the following game from the early days of Southern California chess.

Bennett,W - Sheldon,D [C35]
Southern California Corres. Tourney, 1895

Winner of the special prize for the most brilliant "Cunningham" in the recent Southern California Correspondence Tourney, our old contributor, Walter Bennett, Esq., of Phoenix, Arizona Territory, vs. D.F. Sheldon

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.Kf1 d5 6.Bxd5 Nf6 7.Nc3 Nxd5 8.Nxd5 0-0 9.Nxh4 Qxh4 10.d3 Nc6 11.Bxf4 f5 12.e5 g5 13.Bg3 Qh6 14.d4 f4 15.Bf2 f3 16.h3 Bg4 17.g3 Bxh3+ 18.Kg1 g4 19.Qd3 Qg7 20.Re1 Rad8 21.Qe4 Qd7 22.Nf6+ Rxf6 23.exf6 Nxd4 24.Rd1 c5 25.c3 Ne2+ 26.Kh2 Qc7 0-1

New York Clipper, March 16, 1895 (Miron Hazeltine, ed.); taken from the New Orleans Times-Democrat (J.D. Seguin, ed.)

6) 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 eighth US Open hosted in California (Long Beach 1955, San Francisco 1961, Ventura 1971, Palo Alto 1981, Pasadena 1983, Los Angeles 1991 and Concord 1995) and promises to be the strongest ever and the longest US Open in recent memory. The US Open always use to be 12 rounds but that hasn't been the case for many years. Full details below under upcoming events.

7) 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.

8) Upcoming events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Full details at

Walter Lovegrove Senior Championship: April 12-13, 2003
Imre Konig Memorial: April 26, 2003

Scholastic Quads: April 19, May 31

Other Northern California Events

8th Coastside Scholastic Chess Meet - April 5, 2003
1:00-6:00 PM Hatch Elementary school, Half Moon Bay
Note new location in Half Moon Bay (shorter drive, more things to do). Last chance to get some practice in before CalChess!! Full details are available at

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.


LAX Radisson 6225 W. Century Blvd. · Los Angeles, CA 90045 · (310) 670-9000 $89 Chess Rate - Lowest in years!

A USCF National Championship

A Heritage Event!

Tournament Format
A one-section tournament with class prizes.
12 Round Swiss System. Several Schedules Available!
Traditional Schedule: One round daily at 7:30 pm 8/43-8/8 & 8/10-8/15.
Matinee 1st half: One round daily at 11 am 8/3-8/8, then 7:30 pm 8/10-8/15. Merges with Traditional after Round 6; 8-day option: All games 40/2, SD/1. Rounds 8/8-8/11 at 11 am and 7:30 pm, 8/12-15 at 7:30 pm. 6-day option: Rounds 1-7 are G/60. Rounds 8/10 12:30-3-6-9, 8/11 10:30-1:30-4, 7:30, 8/12-8/15 7:30 pm. 8-day and 6-day both merge with others after Round 7. Busy person special: Play only rds 7-12 at 7:30 pm 8/10-15. Over 2399 starts with 4 pts, 2200-2399 3.5, Expert 3, Class A 2.5, Class B 2, Class C 1.5, Class D 1, Under 1200 0.5, Unrated 0.5. Time Control 40/2, SD/1 except 1st 7 rounds of 6-day schedule are G/60. The August rating list will be used. 1/2 point byes are available. Maximum 2 byes available rds. 1-10. Half-point byes available in round 1, and in any round if player would have been rated above opponent. Bye counts zero if player would have been rated below opponent. Round 2-9 byes must be requested at least 3 hours before round; round 10 byes must be requested before round 9 and are irrevocable. No byes last 2 rounds. Players may not receive more bye points during the first 6 rounds than the busy player score for their class.

$55,000 unconditionally guaranteed - second largest ever prize fund ever at a U.S. Open. Top places: $8000-4000-3000-2000-1500-1200-1000-800-600-400.
Qualifier for the 2004 U.S. Invitational Championship.
2449-2300: $2000-1000. 2299-2200: $2000-1000.
Expert: $2000-1000-600-500-300.
Class A: $2000-1000-600-500-300.
Class B: $2000-1000-600-500-300.
Class C: $2000-1000-500-400-300.
Class D: $1500-1000-500-400-300.
Class E: $1000-500-400.
Under 1000: $1000-400.
Unrated: $1000-400.
Unrateds are ineligible for Expert through Under 1000 prizes.
Elegant trophy for each class winner.
Biggest upset by non-prizewinner: $100.
Best games: $200-100-100 (one reserved for non-master).


If mailed by 7/26 or paid by phone, fax or online with credit card by 7/30.
$190 Traditional
$189 Matinee 1st half
$187 8-day
$186 6-day
$185 Busy Player
On site $220.
Registration closes 2 hours before 1st round in each schedule.
USCF Membership is required and must be current. You may pay USCF membership with your entry or on site. Regular Adult Memberhip, $49/year includes CHESS LIFE (12 issues) Senior Membership Age 65 & over, $36/year includes CHESS LIFE (12 issues) Youth Membership Age 19 and under, $25/year includes CHESS LIFE (12 issues) Scholastic Membership Age 14 and under, $19/year, includes CHESS LIFE (5 issues + Yearbook) Other membership categories available. Advance entries must include player's name and all fees to be accepted. Mail Entries to
U.S. Open Championship
U.S. Chess Federation
3054 RTE 9W
New Windsor, NY 12553.
Make Checks payable to USCF.
To enter by phone call (800) 388-KING.
Secure On Line Registration will be available soon.
All entries received will be posted here.
Advance registration is strongly encouraged.

Return to Article Index