"It is one of the insights of modern players, and especially of
the best ones, that one has to play the position itself, not some abstract
idea of the position."
1) Wojtkiewicz and Rensch win Western Pacific Open 2) Margulis leads Spring Tuesday Night Marathon 3) Shipman and Ossipov share first in Lovegrove Senior Open 4) California Chess Congress 1858 - Part Two 5) Talent and Courage Tournament 6) Louie Ladow Passed Away 7) 2003 US Open in Los Angeles 8) MI Chess History CD: Volume 1 9) Upcoming events
1) Wojtkiewicz and Rensch win Western Pacific Open
Top-seed GM Alex Wojtkiewicz took care of business in the inaugural Western Pacific Open held April 11-13 at the Radisson Hotel at LAX in Los Angeles, but he had company at the top. Sharing first place at 4 ½ - ½ and $1650 in prize money was Phoenix high school student Daniel Rensch. Only seeded 16th at 2274, Rensch defeated three International Masters (Taylor, Khachiyan, plus Sevillano) and drew with another (Donaldson) for a USCF performance of over 2800 against titled players.
Rensch was not the only youngster to make head headlines. His teammate, NM Pieta Garrett, defeated IM Nikolay Andrianov and 2300 rated Tibor Weinberger to grab a share of second at 4-1 along with GM Edhi Handoko of Indonesia, IM John Donaldson of the Mechanics', SM Levon Altounian of Tucson and NM Rico Salimbagat of the Philippines.
This new event, which fills the gap in Southern California chess between the Amateur Team West in February and the Lena Grumette Memorial over Memorial Day weekend, attracted 143 players including two GMs and 4 IMs. John Hillery directed for the Southern California Chess Association with assistance from Mike Carr and Randy Hough. Complete standings are available at http://www.westernchess.com/pco03/standings.html
2) Margulis leads Spring Tuesday Night Marathon
NM Igor Margulis defeated Victor Ossipov to grab the lead with a perfect score after five rounds of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. Right behind at 4 ½ - ½ are NM Egle Morkunaite of Lithuania and the amazing Yefim Bukh. Bukh, until recently only had his sights set on being the strongest B player of all time. Now that the USCF has floored him at 1800, due his winning several large B prizes, he has changed his ways with a vengeance numbering NMs Blohm and Wong and Expert Larry Snyder among his victims in the current TNM. Not bad for a player rated 1868! We expect him to earn his Master's title in the next year. Credit Stacey's manager Tom Allen for being the first TNM regular to appreciate Bukh's true strength.
3) Shipman and Ossipov share first in Lovegrove Senior Open
IM Walter Shipman and NM Victor Ossipov shared top honors in the 3rd annual Walter Lovegrove Senior Open held April 12th and 13th at the Mechanics' Institute with 3 1/2 from 4. GM-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky directed for the M.I.
4) California Chess 1859 - Part Two
Unfortunately, the remaining pages of The Chess Monthly, not only for 1858, but for 1859 and 1860, too, are silent as to California chess. Whether such a match between Franklin and Shaw ever took place, or whether a pamphlet about the California Chess Congress ever appeared, is unknown. For the record, though, Daniel S. Roberts continued to send some of his games later in 1858 and into 1859, which were published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated News. None of the following games were identified as taking place at the California Chess Congress, but are given here for those interested to peruse:
Roberts - Franklin [C31]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.d3 Bb4 6.Bd2 e3 7.Bxe3 0-0 8.Bd2 Re8+ 9.Be2 Bc5 10.Na4 Bxg1 11.Rxg1 Nxd5 12.Nc3 Bg4 13.Ne4 Bxe2 14.Qxe2 f5 15.0-0-0 fxe4 16.dxe4 Nb6 17.Bc3 Qe7 18.e5 Nc6 19.g4 Kh8 20.b3 Qa3+ 21.Kb1 Nb4 22.Bxb4 Qxb4 23.f5 Na4 24.Rg3 Nc3+ 25.Rxc3 Qxc3 26.e6 Rad8 27.Rxd8 Rxd8 28.e7 Re8 29.g5 Qc5 1-0
Franklin - Roberts [C01]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Be3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Be6 6.h3 c6 7.Nf3 h6 8.a3 Bd6 9.Nbd2 Nbd7 10.b4 b5 11.c3 Nb6 12.Rc1 Qc7 13.Qe2 0-0-0 14.Nb3 Rde8 15.Nc5 g5 16.a4 Bxc5 17.bxc5 Nxa4 18.Ne5 Nxc5 19.Bxb5 cxb5 20.dxc5 Qxe5 21.Qxb5 Qc7 22.c6 Bf5 23.0-0 Rxe3 and resigns, the last move being a blunder. 1-0
Roberts - Franklin [B40]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bb5+ Nc6 6.d4 a6 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.Be3 c4 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Ne5 Qc7 11.Nd2 Bd6 12.f4 0-0 13.h3 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Nxc4 f5 16.Nxd6 Qxd6 17.c4 Be6 18.b3 Rad8 19.Qd2 Qa3 20.Qc3 a5 21.c5 Rb8 22.Bd2 Rb5 23.Qc1 Qxc1 24.Rfxc1 Rd8 25.Bc3 h6 26.Rc2 Kf7 27.Rb1 Rdb8 28.Kf2 g5 29.Ke3 Kg6 30.Rcb2 Bd5 31.b4 a4 32.a3 Rf8 33.Rh1 Rb7 34.Bd2 Re7 35.Rf1 Bc4 36.Rc1 Bd5 37.Kf2 Rfe8 38.Rc3 Declared a drawn game. This was done to prevent Black taking all the next day to consider on his move. ½-½
Roberts - Franklin [C01]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.c4 Be7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Nc3 Be6 9.c5 a6 10.a3 Ne4 11.Ne1 f5 12.f3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 f4 14.Nd3 g5 15.Nb4 Rf6 16.Bd3 Qe8 17.Nxc6 bxc6 18.Qc2 Qh5 19.h3 Raf8 20.Ra2 Rh6 21.Qe2 g4 22.fxg4 Qg5 23.Qe5 Qxe5 24.dxe5 Bxc5+ 25.Kh2 Be3 26.Bxe3 fxe3 27.Rxf8+ Kxf8 28.Kg3 d4 29.Rc2 c5 30.cxd4 cxd4 31.Rxc7 Ke8 32.g5 Rg6 33.Bxg6+ hxg6 34.Kf3 Bd5+ 35.Ke2 Bxg2 36.Rc4 Ke7 37.Rxd4 Ke6 38.h4 Kxe5 39.Kxe3 Bc6 40.Rc4 Bd7 41.Rc5+ Kd6 42.Kd4 Bh3 43.Rc3 Bg4 44.Rb3 Kc6 45.Ke5 Kc5 46.Kf6 Bh5 47.Rb8 a5 48.Rh8 a4 49.Rxh5 gxh5 1-0
Franklin - Roberts [B01]
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.dxc6 Nxc6 5.Nf3 e5 6.a3 Bd6 7.Be2 e4 8.Ng5 h6 9.Nh3 Bxh3 10.gxh3 Qc7 11.d4 exd3 12.Bxd3 0-0-0 13.Nc3 a6 14.Be3 Bxh2 15.Qc2 Bf4 16.0-0-0 Bxe3+ 17.fxe3 Ne5 18.Nd5 Nxd3+ 19.Rxd3 Nxd5 20.cxd5 Qxc2+ 21.Kxc2 Rhe8 22.Rg1 g5 23.Rf1 Re5 24.e4 Rd7 25.Rd4 h5 26.Kd3 g4 27.Rf5 Rxf5 28.exf5 gxh3 29.Ke4 Re7+ 30.Kf3 Re5 31.Kf4 h2 32.Rd1 Rxd5 33.Rh1 Rd2 34.Kg5 Kd8 35.Kf6 Ke8 36.Re1+ Kf8 37.b4 Rd6+ 38.Kg5 Rd3 39.Rh1 Rh3 40.Kf6 Kg8 41.a4 b6 42.b5 a5 43.Ke7 Rf3 44.f6 Rf2 45.Rc1 Re2+ 46.Kd7 Kh7 47.Rh1 Kg6 48.Kc7 Re6 49.Rxh2 Rxf6 50.Rg2+ Kh6 51.Rc2 h4 52.Rc6 Kg5 53.Kxb6 h3 54.Kxa5 Rxc6 55.bxc6 h2 56.c7 h1Q 57.c8Q Qe1+ 58.Kb5 Qb1+ 59.Ka5 f5 60.Qg8+ Kf4 ½-½
Franklin - Roberts [D40]
1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.a3 d5 6.d4 b6 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bb5 Bb7 9.0-0 a6 10.Ba4 b5 11.Bc2 c4 12.e4 dxe4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Be7 15.Bd2 0-0 16.d5 Nb8 17.d6 Bxe4 18.dxe7 Qxe7 19.Bb4 Qd7 20.Bxf8 Kxf8 21.Ne5 Qxd1 22.Raxd1 f6 23.f3 Bf5 24.Rd8+ Ke7 25.Nc6+ Nxc6 26.Rxa8 a5 27.g4 Bd3 28.Re1+ Kd6 29.Kf2 b4 30.axb4 axb4 31.Ke3 Ne5 32.Ra7 Bc2 33.Re2 Bd3 34.Rd2 g5 35.b3 Kc5 36.bxc4 Bxc4 37.Ra5+ Kb6 38.Rxe5 fxe5 39.Ke4 b3 40.Kxe5 Kb5 41.Kd4 Bf7 42.Kc3 Ka4 43.Kb2 h5 44.Rd7 Be8 45.Rd4+ Kb5 46.Rd5+ Kc6 47.Rxg5 hxg4 48.fxg4 Kd6 49.h4 Bf7 50.h5 Ke6 51.Kxb3 Kf6+ And thus drew the game through an extraordinary oversight of the usually extra cautious Mr. Franklin. ½-½
Roberts - Franklin [C60]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bd6 4.c3 a6 5.Ba4 b5 6.Bb3 Na5 7.Bc2 Ne7 8.0-0 0-0 9.d4 exd4 10.e5 Bxe5 11.Nxe5 d6 12.Nf3 dxc3 13.Nxc3 Bb7 14.Nd4 Qd7 15.Re1 Ng6 16.Bf5 Qd8 17.Qh5 c5 18.Bg5 Qb6 19.Nf3 Rfe8 20.Be4 Nc4 21.b3 Nce5 22.Nxe5 Rxe5 23.Bxb7 Qxb7 24.Rxe5 Nxe5 25.Qe2 f6 26.Bh4 Rd8 27.Bg3 c4 28.Bxe5 fxe5 29.bxc4 Qc6 30.Nd5 Re8 31.Rc1 a5 32.Ne3 b4 33.Qd3 Kh8 34.Qd5 Qc7 35.c5 dxc5 36.Rxc5 Qe7 37.Rxa5 h6 38.h3 Qf6 39.Ng4 Qf4 40.Qf3 Qc1+ 41.Kh2 Qc7 42.Qd5 e4+ 43.g3 Rf8 44.Ra8 Qe7 45.Rxf8+ Qxf8 46.Qxe4 h5 47.Qf4 Qxf4 48.gxf4 hxg4 1-0
As a kind of footnote to the above collection of games, attached here is one game by a Cali-for-nian that was found in the pages of The Chess Monthly, and that game, as the explanation of-fered with it suggests, was in fact played in Boston: "We owe this game," Fiske wrote, "to the kindness of the President of the Boston Club. We publish it with great pleasure, as a speci-men of the chess-play of the distinguished explorer and savan. It is one of a match played three or four months since and will amply repay the attention of the reader."
Boston Amateur - Colonel John Charles Fremont [C53]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Qe7 5.0-0 d6 6.h3 Nf6 7.d3 0-0 8.Be3 Bxe3 9.fxe3 Be6 10.Bb3 Na5 11.Nbd2 c6 12.Qe2 d5 13.Nxe5 Bxh3 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.gxh3 dxe4 16.d4 Kh8 17.Bc2 Nb7 18.Rf4 Nd6 19.Qg2 Rae8 20.Raf1 Nd5 21.Qf2 Nxf4 22.Qxf4 f5 23.Rf2 Rf6 24.Rg2 Rg6 25.Rxg6 hxg6 26.Bb3 Rf8 27.h4 Qf6 28.c4 Nf7 29.c5 g5 30.hxg5 Nxg5 31.Qh4+ Nh7 32.Qh3 Qg5+ 33.Kf1 Rf6 34.Ke2 Rh6 35.Qf1 Nf6 36.Nc4 Ng4 37.Qf4 Rh2+ 38.Kd1 Nf2+ 39.Kc1 Nd3+ 0-1 The Chess Monthly, May 1858, pp.150-51
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890), as general reference sources commonly note, had in 1838 helped map the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Fremont would later lead government survey expeditions to map much of the area between the Mississippi River valley and the Pa-cific Ocean. A major in the Mexican War, he helped conquer California and was appointed military governor. The gold rush brought him great fortune, and he was elected one of Califor-nia's first United States sena-tors, serving in 1850 and 1851. In 1856, Fremont was the Republi-can Party's first presidential candidate, losing the election that year to James Buchanan. Long after the game above was played, Fremont lost his fortune in railroad ventures, and served as governor of the Arizona Territory from 1878-1883.
The Morphy chess boom, though, didn't last. Chess in the United States lost many of its gains in the years following Morphy's earliest and grandest successes. By March 13, 1861, a corre-spondent in California could write The Chess Monthly as follows:
"During the latter part of 1858 and the beginning of 1859, while Mr. Morphy was pursing his unparalleled successes, the chess fever reached its height in San Francisco. Several chess clubs were formed, a grand Tournament was held, and all classes of the community were seized with a rage for playing chess. Since then the interest in our game has somewhat declined, and there is now no regular club in the city. The Mercantile Library Association, however, has a large and beautiful chess room for the accommodation of its members, furnished with sixteen tables, where daily and nightly may be found a collection of players of all grades of force, from the tyro, whose chess acquirements extend only to a knowledge of the moves, to such veterans as Mr. Roberts, formerly President of the Brooklyn Chess Club, or Judge Jones, formerly of New Orleans. The first named gentleman is, perhaps, the strongest player here, although there are some five or six others, to whom he can yield no odds, and who sometimes give him a close contest for the superiority."
"A few months since, Mr. Salem [sic] Franklin, the winner of the first prize in the Tournament of 1858, and who is now residing in Victoria, V.I., paid us a visit. During his stay here he was daily at the Chess Room, and contested a number of games with our strongest players, the re-sult giving him a slight advantage over all excepting Mr. Roberts, with whom the score was about even. Mr. Franklin's style is cautious and defensive. His motto seems to be 'slow and sure.' Indeed, his somewhat excessive slowness at times, furnishes his vanquished antagonists with an excuse, which certain great match-players have not hesitated to make use of when smarting under defeat."
"A player like Morphy would be a godsend to our chess circle. There are men here, I am per-suaded, who, could they have practice with a real first rate player, would eventually occupy no mean place in the chess world. We live in hopes that some stray chess knight of established fame will one day drop in upon us, astonishing our best men with his brilliant combinations, and exciting a generous rivalry which may result in developing the latent chess talent now awaiting the hand of the master to call it forth."
The writer of this epistle signed himself only "J.S.L.," in the fashion so irritating to chess histo-rians of another day. A "J. Levinson" had played in the First Division of the Second Class at the California Chess Congress of 1858, but there is no way to tell if Levinson and J.S.L. were one in the same. In any event, the writer had no way of knowing that his own letter detailing the decline of chess in the Golden State would find its parallel thousands of miles away. The letter appears in the last issue of The Chess Monthly, which was released in May 1861, a few short weeks after the fall of Fort Sumter called the nation to a larger cause. Not long thereafter, in Sep-tember 1861, the chess column in
© 2003 John S. Hilbert All Rights Reserved
5) Talent and Courage Tournament
DESPITE such a rich chess heritage and having some of the brightest talents in the game, Hungary has, in recent years, failed to organize an elite tournament to help better showcase their talents.
Not any more. As part of the celebrations to commemorate the 130th anniversary of Budapest, birthplace of chess superstars Peter Leko and Judit Polgar, a new top level event featuring 10 world-class competitors is now taking place in the Hungarian capital. The patron of the event is Hungarian Prime Minister Dr. Peter Medgyessy, and the event, billed as the "Talent and Courage" tournament, is sponsored by the Hungarian government in conjunction with the Hunguest Hotels Co.
Running 11-20 April, the event, a round-robin category 17 (average rating 2663) tournament, aims to give opportunities on home soil for the most talented young Hungarian grandmasters in order to acquire greater experience.
The Hungarian line-up is made up of their successful silver-medal winning Olympiad squad that last year in Bled took the Russians to the wire: Peter Leko, Judit Polgar, Peter Acs, Zoltan Almasi and Ferenc Berekes. Making up the field is five foreign grandmasters: Boris Gelfand (Israel), Nigel Short (England), Sergei Movsesian (Slovakia), Christopher Lutz (Germany) and Viktor Korchnoi (Switzerland).
The home fans had plenty to cheer about in the opening round, as in-form Judit Polgar turned on the style to beat the venerable Viktor Korchnoi in an eye-catching game.
V Korchnoi - J Polgar
John Henderson - The Scotsman
6) Louie Ladow Passed Away
April 7, 2003
Louie Ladow, a colorful San Francisco cab driver, chess expert, and fearsome blitz player, died in his sleep last night in Brisbane, CA. He leaves behind his wife, Sue, and daughters Emily and Mary.
In the 1970s, Louie was the scourge of the blitz afficionados at the Meat Market coffeehouse on 24th Street in the San Francisco community of Noe Valley. That community also included masters Paul Whitehead, Jay Whitehead, Bob Atlas, Doug Sailor, Nick Carlin, Mike Arne, Jerry Lehrman and the MI's own Steve Brandwein.
In the early 1980's, Louie staked a small claim in chess history, authoring the first electronic chessbook, the Najdorf Sicilian, for Enlightenment, Inc.'s Living Chess Library (TM). His opus was viewed on IBM, Apple, and Commodore 64 computers by thousands of chessplayers in 20 countries around the world, almost half a decade before the first appearance of Chessbase.
In the 1990's, Louie became active in local politics. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the city council of Brisbane, and argued vehemently in many committee meetings with SF Supervisor Gavin Newsom over cab driver medallion issues in the 2000's. His view was that new medallions should be given to those who had driven cabs the longest, rather than being dispensed into the cab companies' existing patronage system.
Several people in the chessplaying community will have their own memories of Louie Ladow. They will remember that he was crusty and could sometimes be quick-tempered. What I will always remember was Louie at the top of his wit one day in 1976 at the Meat Market cafe. He emulated Cyrano de Bergerac, rhyming a continuous string of improvisational poetry while running off eleven blitz victories in a row.
Louie would not have wanted to be remembered as a nice person. He would have wanted to be remembered as his own person.
NOTE: A blitz tourney in Louie's honor will be held at the MI in early June. Full details will be published in the Newsletter shortly.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) Upcoming events
Upcoming Tournaments at the MI
Full details at www.chessclub.org
Imre Konig Memorial: April 26, 2003
Scholastic Quads: April 19, May 31
US OPEN AUGUST 3-15
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!
If mailed by 7/26 or paid by phone, fax or online with credit card by 7/30.
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