Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #142

"There is no easy way to develop tactical skill. I learned tactics from simple trial and error and continuous inspection of combination books like Fred Reinfeld's 1001 Sacs and Combinations. Blitz games can be a useful way to cram as much chessboard experience as possible into a short amount of time and a good way to become familiar with tactical patterns. Reviewing classic games with a chessboard is another good way to grasp essential tactical points. All players at GM level are extremely proficient tactically (some more than others) and can deduce basic combinations and tactics almost instantly."

    GM Larry Christiansen in his book: Storming the Barricades, p. 27

This edition of the MI Newsletter is coming out early as I will be playing in the Vermont International next week.

1) Thornally, Poehlmann and Evans lead Thursday Masters
2) Summer Tuesday Night Marathon 
3) Sokolov wins in Sarajevo
4) Seirawan interview 
5) MI Chess Camps
6) Upcoming Events

1) Thornally, Poehlmann and Evans lead Thursday Masters

The field in the Thursday Masters is tightly bunched with everything depending on the remaining game between Roger Poehlmann and Mark Pinto scheduled for next Tuesday.1-2. FMs Thornally and Evans 3/5; 3. NM Poehlmann 2.5/4; 4. NM Schiller 2.5/5; 5. FM Keatinge-Clay 2/5; 6. NM Pinto 1/4.

2) Summer Tuesday Night Marathon

The Summer Marathon started last Tuesday with FM Frank Thornally as top seed. The event which runs eight consecutive weeks, has 75 players entered so far. This marks the fifth consecutive TNM with 70 or more players dating back a year (72, 72. 80 and 76). It is still possible to enter the competition with a half point bye for the first round.

3) Sokolov wins in Sarajevo

John Henderson writes about the Sarajevo event in his daily column in The Scotsman.

The 33rd Bosna-2003 supertournament, which ran 18-27 May at the Dom Armije Concert Hall in downtown Sarajevo, was won by returning local hero Ivan Sokolov, who kept his nerve in the final few rounds of the tournament to successfully fend off the challenge from the chasing pack.

Fourth seed Sokolov, a former Bosnian who now plays under the Dutch flag, went through the tournament undefeated to record one of the biggest wins of his career. Sokolov's winning score of 6.5/9 gave him a winning margin of half a point over last year's winner Sergei Movsessian, top seed Alexei Shirov and Rust Kasimdzanov, who all finished second equal on 6.

One highlight of the tournament was the return of the King's Indian Defence, with 13 of the 45 games featuring it. The honours were even at the end of the tournament with 6.5-6.5, however the reintroduction made or some highly-entertaining play - much like today's last round effort between Russia's Evgeny Bareev and Azerbaijani prodigy Teimour Radjabov.

There was some entertaining fireworks with 24 ..Rxf2! before the game fizzled out to a draw - accepting the sacrifice was just too dangerous: 25 Kxf2 Bd4+ 26 Be3 Nf5 27 c5 Qf4 with winning chances.

Final standings: 1 I Sokolov (Netherlands) 6.5/9; 2-4 S Movsesian (Slovakia), A Shirov (Spain), R Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan) 6; 5 T Radjabov (Azerbaijan) 5; 6-7 B Kurajica, (Bosnia), E Bareev (Russia) 4.5; 8 Z Kozul (Croatia) 3; 9 B Damljanovic (Yugoslavia) 2; 10 E Dizdarevic (Bosnia) 1.5.

E Bareev, - T Radjabov
Bosna-2003, (9)
King's Indian Defence
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Nf3 0-0 6 Be2 e5 7 0-0 Nc6 8 d5 Ne7 9 b4 Nh5 10 Re1 f5 11 Ng5 Nf6 12 Bf3 c6 13 Rb1 h6 14 Ne6 Bxe6 15 dxe6 fxe4 16 Nxe4 Nxe4 17 Bxe4 d5 18 Bc2 Qd6 19 Qg4 h5 20 Qh3 e4 21 Be3 b6 22 b5 d4 23 Bg5 d3 24 Bb3 Rxf2 25 Rxe4 Raf8 26 Qe3 Re2 27 Bxe7 Rxe3 28 Bxd6 Rxe4 29 Bxf8 Bd4+ 30 Kh1 Kxf8 31 bxc6 Rxe6 32 c7 draw

4) Seirawan interview

Former US Champion Yasser Seirawan has given a very interesting interview which appears on IM Jeremy Silman's website. Below is a brief excerpt. The full interview can be found at .

Capablanca said that one should study endgames first. Others insist that tactics are all that matters. Positional concepts for beginners are more or less ignored. And most seem to be addicted to memorizing opening moves. What do you think a beginning player should study? A class "C" (1400-1599)? An expert (2000-2199)?

Capablanca is right. Endings for everyone. Memorizing openings is a serious waste of time. Only with endgame knowledge can one have chess understanding. A good endgame player will recognize the long-term deficits and advantages of any opening variation. Why study the Zaitsev Spanish if a player plays the Exchange Spanish and beats you every time in an equal ending? The problem is that studying the endgame has been so dry and sterile that players would rather stop playing chess then study the ending. Teachers who can make endgame study sparkle and hold interest are rare and vital. I was quite fortunate in that my earliest chess teachers made me enjoy this facet of the game. Consider that my admired players include Kortchnoi, Timman and Minev, all great endgame specialists.

5) MI Chess Camps

The MI is hosting camps for beginners (June 16-20) and intermediate (July 14-18) players this summer. All ages are welcome. For more information go to .

6) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Full details at

Stamer Memorial: June 6-8
William Addison: June 28
Charles Bagby: July 19
Vladimir Pafnutieff: August 23

Scholastic Quads: May 31 (THIS SATURDAY)

2003 Chess Camp for Intermediate Players
2003 Chess Camp for Beginners

West Coast National Events

Championship Qualifier A Heritage Event!
An American Classic Event!
June 13-15: 2003 National Open WGPP: 200Q Nevada 6SS, 40/2, SD/1 (scholastic and unrated sections 12-RDSS G/90). Riviera Hotel and Casino, 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109. $53,000 Prize Fund is Fully Guaranteed and will not be reduced. Championship. $$G: $5000-2500- 1200-600-300-150-150-150-150-150, U2500 $1100, U2400 $1000, U2300 $900. The winner of the Championship section receives a replica of the Edmondson Cup. 5 points wins at least $500, 4-1/2 wins at least $200. Under 2200: $$G: $2500-1200-600-300-150-75-75-75-75-75, U2100 $900. Under 2000: $$G: $2500-1200-600-300-150-75-75-75-75-75, U1900 $900. Under 1800: $$G: $2500-1200-600-300-150-75-75-75-75-75, U1700 $900. Under 1600: $$G: $2500-1200-600-300-150-75-75-75-75-75, U1500 $900. Under 1400: $$G: $1500-700-350-200-100-50-50-50-50-50, U1300 $600. Under 1200: $$G: $1000-500-250-150-100-50-50-50-50-50, U1100 $400, U1000 $200. Unrated: Open to players with no published USCF (or convertible international) rating. $500-250-125-75-50. Unrated prizes are USCF Gift Certificates. Scholastic Under 1200: Open to players in grades K-12 rated under 1200. Trophies to top 10 and top 5 in each 100 point rating group. All Sections: 5 points in any section (10 in unrated) wins at least 10% of first prize. Plus score bonus ($$G 8000) in addition to any other prizes: every player who finishes with 3-1/2 points (6-1/2 in unrated or scholastic section) or better wins a $25 USCF gift certificate. Plus score certificates will be given on site only. EF: (except scholastic and unrated) $95 by 5/26, $125 by 6/11, $150 on site. $30 off advance entry fee only for Juniors under 20 or Seniors over 65. Scholastic EF: $49 by 5/26, $69 by 6/11, $85 on site. Unrated EF: $65 by 5/26, $80 by 6/11, $100 on site. This is an open tournament - you may play in any section at or above your rating level, unrated players may play only in Championship, Unrated or Scholastic section (if age eligible). CCA minimum ratings may be used if higher than USCF June Supplement. Reg: 6-8 pm. Thursday June 12, 9-10:30 a.m. Friday June 13. Rds: 12-7, 10-5, 10-5. Late schedule: rounds 1 and 2, G/60, at 7 and 9:30 Friday. Add $1 to EF for this option. Not available in scholastic and unrated sections. Half point byes available in any round, but 5th or 6th round 1/2 point byes must be requested before the start of round 2. Add 50 cents to advance EF for 1st round 1/2 point bye only. Chess sets and boards provided for tournament play only; not for skittles. Please bring chess clocks! Many free extras and surprises! Free parking. Free airport shuttle for players only. Blitz tournament Thursday evening, June 12th, 80% of EF returned as prizes. Chess Camp Thursday June 12th. Free raffle with great prizes. Free lectures by GM Ron Henley. Free analysis of your games. Come early for Grandmaster SIMULS Thursday at 3:30 p.m. New LOW room rates! HR: $69 single or double includes free tickets to one of three Mardi Gras Riviera Las Vegas Shows Wednesday or Thursday. 1-800-634-6753 or (702) 734-5110. Don't be shut out; make your reservations early and be sure to ask for the chess rates; the Riviera sells out most weekends. Cutoff for special hotel rate is May 26th. Special $69 rates after cutoff only if rooms available! Credit card or one night room deposit will be required to hold reservation, refundable if reservation canceled 72 hours in advance. For travel discounts check our website or contact Classic Travel at Email: or (630) 980-7900. Tournament Registration: U.S. Chess Federation, 3054 RTE 9W, New Windsor, NY 12553, Attention: National Open Entries. Credit card entries accepted 8am-9pm Eastern at 1-800-388-KING Info: Alan Losoff (847) 858-7778, evenings central time, Email:, or Web: W. 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 Index