Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #136

"Chess is the art which expresses the science of logic just as music is the art which expresses the science of acoustics."
   Mikhail Botvinnik

The third annual Imre Koenig Memorial G/45 will be held this Saturday at the MI. Details below under upcoming tournaments.

1) Smirin wins Foxwoods
2) Short first in Budapest
3) Margulis  leads TNM
4) Thursday Masters
5) Fink-Lovegrove
6) Krabbe turns 60
7) Pullen-Pupols
8) 2003 US Open in Los Angeles
9) MI Chess History CD: Volume 1
10) Upcoming events

1) Smirin wins Foxwoods

Isreali GM Ilya Smirin won the annual Foxwoods Open held April 17-21, taking home $7,000 for his efforts. The two qualifiers for the 2004 US Championship were GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Kudrin. MI Grandmaster-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky narrowly missed qualifying, pressing his last round opponent GM Dmitry Gurevich for over 100 moves in a Rook + f and h pawn ending before finally agreeing to a draw. Congratulations to NM Michael Casella of Los Angeles for an excellent result in the 128 player open section which included 22 GMs and 11 IMs.

For more information go to:

1 Ilya Smirin        2802  6 
2 Gregory Kaidanov   2743  5½ 
3 Igor Novikov       2686  5½ 
4 Ildar Ibragimov    2667  5½ 
5 Hikaru Nakamura    2632  5½ 
6 Yury Shulman       2615  5½ 
7 Sergey Kudrin      2597  5½ 
8 Pavel Blatny       2558  5½ 
9 Jaan Ehlvest       2705  5 
10 Alexander Goldin   2683  5 
11 Alex Yermolinsky   2622  5 
12 Alexander Ivanov   2615  5 
13 Gennadi Zaitshik   2590  5 
14 Alexander Fishbein 2571  5 
15 Dmitry Gurevich    2541  5 
16 Michael Casella    2318  5 

2) Short first in Budapest

English GM Nigel Short won the "Talent and Courage" tournament to bring his rating close to a personal all time high around 2700. The event was sponsored by the Hungarian government in conjunction with the Hunguest Hotels Co.

Final standing: 1 N Short (England) 6.5/9; 2 J Polgar (Hungary) 5.5; 3 P
Leko (Hungary) 5; 4-6 B Gelfand (Israel), C Lutz (Germany), P Acs
(Hungary) 4.5; 7-8 V Korchnoi (Switzerland), S Movsesian (Slovakia) 4; 9
F Berkes (Hungary) 3.5; 10 Z Almasi (Hungary) 3.

N Short - B Gelfand
Hunguest Hotels, (6)
Sicilian Najdorf
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2 e5 7 Nb3 Be7 8 0-0 0-0 9 Kh1 Nc6 10 Be3 Be6 11 Qd2 a5 12 Rfd1 a4 13 Nc1 Qc8 14 f3 Rd8 15 Bb6 Rd7 16 Nd5 Bd8 17 Bxd8 Qxd8 18 Bb5 Qa5 19 c4 Qxd2 20 Rxd2 Rdd8 21 Nb6 Ra5 22 Ne2 a3 23 b3 Kf8 24 Rad1 Ke7 25 Kg1 Ne8 26 Nc3 Nc7 27 Bxc6 bxc6 28 b4 Ra7 29 c5 Ne8 30 b5 Rc7 31 g4 Kf8 32 Nba4 cxb5 33 Nxb5 Rb7 34 Nac3 Rc8 35 cxd6 Bd7 36 Rb1 Rc6 37 Kf2 f6 38 Nxa3 Rxb1 39 Naxb1 Nxd6 40 a4 Ke7 41 Nd5+ Kf7 42 Rb2 Ra6 43 Rb6 Rxb6 44 Nxb6 Bc6 45 Nc3 Nb7 46 Ke3 Ke6 47 Kd3 Na5 48 Nb5 Nb3 49 Kc4 Nd2+ 50 Kc5 Bb7 51 Nc4 Nxf3 52 Ncd6 1-0

3) Margulis leads TNM

Igor Margulis drew with fellow NM Egle Morkunaite to maintain his lead in the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon with 5 1/2 from 6 with two rounds to go. Tied for second, half a point back, are IM Walter Shipman, Morkunaite, NMs Wing Aung Ye and Victor Ossipov plus Yefim Bukh.

4) Thursday Masters

The first round of the Thursday Masters, which runs one game week until late May, saw NM Roger Poehlmann grab the lead with a win over FM Adrian Keatinge-Clay.

Standings for the 7-player round robin.

1. NM Poehlmann 1
2-5. FM Thornally, FM Evans, NM Pinto, NM Schiller 1/2
6. Keatinge-Clay 0
7. Thiel bye

5) Fink - Lovegrove

Chess Historian and database maven Andy Ansel recently unearthed the following curiosity from 1935.

San Francisco Mechanics offhand game Fink - Lovegrove

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c4 Be7 7. Nc3 O-O 8.Ne2 Ne8 9. c5 f5 10. exf5 Bxf5 11. Qb3+ Kh8 12. Qxb7 Nd4 13. Nfxd4

{which Knight not specified.}

13... exd4 14. Nxd4 dxc5 15. Nc6 Qxd3 16. Nxe7 Bg4 17. f3 Rxf3 18. gxf3 Bxf3 19. Qxf3 Qxf3 20. Bc6 Qf6 21. Bxa8 Qxe7+ 22. Kf2 1/2 - 1/2

A recent offhand contest at the Mechanic Institute Chess Club at San Francisco, California, started at 4 PM with an agreement to stop at 5 and if unfinished call it a draw. The agreement turned a win for Fink into a draw as the game was unfinished at 5.

Source: The White Bear Press, Nov 8, 1935

6) Krabbe turns 60

Rene Olthof, the jack of all trades who helps keep New in Chess running smoothly, passes on the following information about one of the renaissance men of chess, Tim Krabbe. Krabbe wrote The Vanishing which was made into successful Dutch and American movies. His book, The Rider, is a cycling classic which I can warmly recommend - JD.

On April 13 Tim Krabbé, author, chess player and cyclist, celebrated his 60th birthday.For many, many years now chess players all over the world have been enjoying his articles on chess in general and chess curiosities in particular.

At the moment Krabbé, a celebrated author some books of whom have been turned into motion pictures both in the Netherlands and abroad, maintains one of the most attractive free chess sites of the world (http://www.timkrabbe/chess)

On this site you can find the provisional award of two unique tourneys for chess composition, initiated by Krabbé on the occasion of his 60th birthday. One section for chess problems (moremovers) and one for endgame studies. The (provisional) winners are the Polish composer Andrzej Jasik and Emil Melnichenko from New Zealand, a colourful personality (see photograph attached), who was born in Salzburg (Austria) in 1950 and has been active and successful in the world of chess composition for more than 25 years.

The Provisional Award of the endgame study section can be downloaded (in English and in Dutch) as a PDF-file under or

For both sections Palview pages have been created. Here you can play over the problems and studies online or download them as PGN-files.

The complete set of links is as follows:

René Olthof
Tourney Director TK60-JT
Endgame Study Section

7) Pullen-Pupols

Kent Pullen, who tied for first in the 1969 and 1985 Washington State Championships, recently passed away at the age of 60.

A Battle in the Meran: Remembering Kent Pullen

The following game was played in the 1969 Washington State Championship. The event was held at the Seattle Chess Club which was located in Fremont at that time. Kent and Jim McCormick tied for first with 6 from 7, with Viktors Pupols half a point back. McCormick won the title by winning the one game playoff.

The game was published in the March 1970 issue of Chess Life and Review (p.143) in the column Games by USCF Members by John Collins. Annotations are by him unless otherwise noted. When both he and I have made comments to the same move I have noted as such.

Kent Pullen - Viktors Pupols
QGD: Meran D48
Washington State Championship 1969

Annotations by John Collins and John Donaldson

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 9.e4 c5 10.d5 c4 11.dxe6 fxe6

Back in 1984, in the 3rd Seattle Futurity held at the Seattle Chess Center, I played the alternative 11...cxd3 and Kent introduced the interesting piece sacrifice 12.exf7+ . This line was later taken up in Grandmaster practice and tested in games between Seirawan and Kortchnoi and Kortchnoi and Van der Wiel in 1989. (JD)

12.Bc2 Qb6

This little-played move was a Pupols favorite at one point in his career. (JD)


13.e5 Ng4 14.0-0 Ngxe5 15.Re1 Bd6 16.Nxe5 Bxe5 17.Qh5+ g6 18.Bxg6+ hxg6 19.Qxg6+ Kf8 20.Rxe5 Nxe5 21.Bh6+ Ke7 22.Qg5+ Ke8 23.Nd5 Qd6 24.Nf6+ Kd8 25.Ne4+ Qe7 26.Qd2+ Qd7 27.Bg5+ Kc7 28.Qf4 Qd4 29.Bf6 Rh5 30.g4 Bb7! 31.Re1 Rg8 was the exciting game T.Taylor-Pupols, Lone Pine 1974, which eventually ended in a draw. (JD)

13...Bb7 14.e5

Sharp. A pawn is sacrificed to get at the uncastled King. (JC)

14.Qe2 was tried in Christiansen-Nikolac, Wijk aan Zee 1976 (CI - 21/490). (JD)


If 14...Nd5 15.Ng5! or 15.Ne4

15.h3 Ngxe5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Qh5+ Nf7 18.Be3 Qc7

Hoping for comparative safety with 19...0-0-0.

19.Rad1 Bd6 20.a4 b4 21.Ne4

I evaluated this position as unclear in 1986 while writing a book on the Meran Defense. My feeling is that this evaluation still holds and Black's mistake comes on the next move. (JD).


On 21...Bxe4 22.Bxe4 0-0-0 23.Qg4 regains the pawn. (JC). 21...Rd8 is much better. Black has some questions regarding what to go with his King, but his pieces are quite active. The game continuation should lead to real trouble. (JD)

22.Bc1 ?!

Momentary, simple protection is best. If 22.Bd4 0-0-0 and if 22.Ng5 g6. (JC). 22.f4! looks much stronger with the point that 22...Bxb2? runs into (better is 22...g6 though after 23.Qg4 Bxb2 24.Qxe6+ Qe7 25.Qxe7+ Kxe7 26.Bc5+ Ke6 27.Nd6 White is better) 23.Nd6+ Kf8 24.Nxf7 Qxf7 25.Bc5+ Kg8 26.Qxf7+ Kxf7 27.Rd7+ winning.


If 22...0-0?? 23.Nf6+ Bxf6 24.Qxh7# (JC). 22...b3 23.Bb1 Rd8 was an interesting alternative with Black trying to hide his King on b8 and utilize his well-placed pieces. For example: 24.Rxd8+ Kxd8 25.Rd1+ Kc8 26.Qg4 Re8 (JD)

23.Qg4 0-0


Continuing the attack is the right course. 24.Qxe6 Rae8 would activate all the Black pieces.


Black is in bad shape. Possibly 24...Qe7, or 23...Rae8 would hold better. (JC) 24...Rad8 25.h5 Rxd1 26.Rxd1 b3 27.Bb1 Kg7 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Nc5 is one example of the power in White's position. (JD)

25.h5 Ne5 26.Qxe6+

Now the capture of the pawn beings about an even stronger attack or a distinctly favorable ending.


If 26...Kh8 27.Nd6 or 27.f4 follows. On 26...Rf7? 27.Ng5 or 26...Nf7? 27.hxg6.

27.Ng5! Qxe6 28.Nxe6 Rf6 29.Nxg7 Kxg7 30.Rfe1 Nf7 31.Re7 Bc8

Not 31...Bc6? 32.Bg5 and White wins the Exchange.


If 32.Rd8 (threatening 32.h6 mate) 32...Re6 provides a defense. The game continuation is very good for White, but the alternative 32. Rd8 also looks promising. After 32...Re6 White has 33.h6+ Kf6 34.Rxe6+ Kxe6 35.Rd4 Ne5 36.f4 Nd3 37.Rxc4 Nxc1 38.Be4 winning: (FRITZ)

32...Bf5 33.h6+ Kf8 34.Bxf5 Rxf5 35.Rc7 Re8

A pawn is lost. If 35...Ra5 (or 35...Rh5) 36.Ree7.

36.Rxe8+ Kxe8 37.Rxc4 a5 38.Be3 Kd7 39.Rc5!?

A move which poses some questions. Less committing are 39.Bb6! (threatening 40.Rc7+) and 39.Kf1.


"Black would have had better drawing chances by playing 39...Rxc5 40.Bxc5 Kc6!" - Pullen.

40.Rxf5 Nxf5 41.Bb6 Kc6 42.Bxa5 Kc5 43.Kf1 Nd4

Or 43...Kc4 44.Bb6 Kb3 45.a5 and White wins.

44.Ke1 Kc4 45.Kd1 Kb3 46.Bb6 Nc6 47.a5 Nb8 48.Kc1 Kc4 49.Kc2 Kb5 50.Kd3 h5

50...Nc6 51.b3 Nxa5 52.Bxa5 Kxa5 53.Kc4 h6 54.Kc5 h5 55.f4 h4 56.Kc4 and Black is in zugzwang.

51.Ke4 Nd7 52.Kd5 g5 53.Ke6 Nxb6

The King and Pawn ending is quite lost, but if 53...Kc6 54.Kf5 and White wins the g and h pawns.

54.axb6 Kxb6 55.Kd5 h4? 56.f3!

But not 56.Kc4 g4 57.Kxb4 h3 and Black wins.

56...b3 57.Kc4 Kc6 58.Kxb3 Kd5 59.Kc3 Ke5 60.Kd3 Kf4 61.Ke2 g4

Or 61...h3 62.gxh3 Kg3 63.b4 Kxh3 64.b5 and White wins.

62.fxg4 Kxg4 63.Kf2 Kf4 64.Kg1 Ke3 65.Kh2 Kd3 66.Kh3 Kc4 67.Kxh4 Kb3 68.g4 Kxb2 69.g5 1-0

One pawn is enough. A game in the Tarrasch, classical, style.

8) 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.

9) 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.

10) Upcoming events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Full details at

Imre Konig Memorial: April 26
Master-Expert I: May 3-4
Charles Powell: May 17
Stamer Memorial: June 6-8
William Addison: June 28

Scholastic Quads: May 31


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.

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