Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #17

(1) North American Open

The 10th annual North American Open, held in Las Vegas from December 26th to 29th at the Bally's Hotel and Casino, ended in a three way tie for first at 5-1 between GMs Utut Adianto and Alex Shabalov and IM Nikolay Andrianov. The three winners each received close to $6,000 for their efforts. The performance by Andrianov, formerly of the Soviet Union but now living in Phoenix, was particularly impressive as he scored 3 out of 4 versus GMs (wins over Beliavsky and D. Gurevich and draws with Adianto and Ehlvest). Tying for fourth through tenth at 4 1/2 were GMs Hodgson, Stripunsky, V. Mikhalevski, Ehlvest, D. Gurevich, Goldin and Blatny. A total of 23 GMs competed in the NAO which attracted 607 players. A prize fund of $100,000 was guaranteed and paid out.

Bay Area players did well in Las Vegas. 13-year-old Michael Pearson continued his recent rapid progress as he scored 5 1/2 from 6 to win the Under 2000 and take home $6,000. Well done Michael! This event brought Michael over 2000 and 14-year-old Gary Huang also gained his Expert's title by scoring 4-2 in the same section. Michael and Gary were both attendees at the MI's Chess Camp held last summer. Oleg Shakhnazrov, who scored 5-1 to tie for first in the Under 2200 section and 12 year-old Alex Wu (5 from 6 in the C section) completed the list of top finishing MI members.

Andrianov,N - Beliavsky,A [A87] North American Open Las Vegas (6), 29.12.2000 1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.00 00 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Qe8 8.d5 Na6 9.Rb1 c5 10.dxc6 bxc6 11.b4 Bd7 12.a3 c5 13.b5 Nc7 14.a4 h6 15.Nd2 Rb8 16.Nb3 g5 17.e3 Ng4 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.Qxd5+ Kh8 20.Bb2 Bxb2 21.Rxb2 Qh5 22.h3 Nf6 23.Qd1 Qg6 24.Na5 f4 25.exf4 gxf4 26.Rb3 Nh5 27.Nc6 Bxc6 28.bxc6 Rbc8 29.Qg4 Qxg4 30.hxg4 Nf6 31.gxf4 Nxg4 32.Rfb1 Rxf4 33.Rb8 Rff8 34.c7 Kg7 35.Rxc8 Rxc8 36.Rb7 10

Hodgson,J - Mikhalevski,V [D00] North American Open Las Vegas (6), 29.12.2000 1.d4 d5 2.Bg5 h6 3.Bh4 c6 4.Nf3 Qb6 5.b3 Bf5 6.e3 Nd7 7.Bd3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 e6 9.00 Be7 10.Bxe7 Nxe7 11.c4 c5 12.Nc3 cxd4 13.exd4 Qa6 14.Nb5 Rc8 15.c5 00 16.Rfd1 Nc6 17.Nd6 Qxd3 18.Rxd3 Rb8 19.a3 a5 20.b4 b6 21.b5 Nxd4 22.c6 Nxf3+ 23.Rxf3 Nc5 24.Rc1 Rbd8 25.Nxf7 Rxf7 26.Rxf7 Kxf7 27.Rxc5 bxc5 28.c7 Ke8 29.cxd8Q+ Kxd8 30.a4

(2) Pan-Am Intercollegiate

Bay Area chess players helped Berkeley and Stanford to finish near the top at the recent collegiate national championships. MI member David Steel reports:

"Here is a rundown of the Pan-Ams, which took place Dec. 27 - 30. Our (UC Berkeley) team consisted of 1st board Dmitry Zilberstein, 2nd Charlie Gelman, 3rd Anthony Rozenvasser and 4th myself. We finished tied for 3rd with 6 others (including Stanford, who finished 7th on tiebreaks) and our strong tiebreaks (we swept 3 matches 4-0) gave us 3rd. UTD-A and UMBC-A tied for 1st, with UTD-A winning on tiebreaks ( ED: First board for UTD was GM Shulman who won the recent Kolti Memorial) . In the last round, Cal faced Stanford in an important match with additional pressures due to our rivalry. Last year Cal swept Stanford 4-0, but this year we were without our former 2nd board David Pruess and Stanford had picked up Jordy Mont-Reynaud. The match ended in a 2-2 tie: Zilberstein - Wang 0-1 Ilfeld - Gelman 0-1 Rozenvasser- Mont -Reynaud 0-1 Aigner - Steel 0-1

Charlie Gelman in his last Pan-Ams (he graduated this semester) was huge for Cal, scoring 5.0/6 with his only loss coming to IM Szak in our 0-4 defeat to UTD-A. His victories include a win over U Toronto A IM Igor Zugic which I wish I had the full score for but which began: (Zugic - Gelman) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. a4 bxc4 5. Nc3 e6 6. e4 exd5 7. e5 d4 8. exf6 d5 9. Ne2 Nc6 (!)

Here are two of my games: Rylander (UTD-A) - Steel (Cal) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 5. dxc5 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qa3 Na6 8. Be3 b6 9. cxb6 axb6 10. f3 Qh4+ 11. g3 Nxg3 12. Bf2 Qxc4 13. hxg3 Nb4 14. Qxa8 Nc2+ 15. Kd2 Nxa1 16. Qe4 Qxa2 17. Bd4 f5? (17. ... d5 18. Qd3 Nb3+ 19. Ke1 Ba6 as suggested by Rozenvasser seems unclear) 18. Qe5 Nb3 19. Ke3 Nxd4 20. Qxg7 f4+ 21. Kf2 fxg3+ 22. Kg2 Rf8 23. Qxd4 Qb1 24. Qxb6 1-0

Aigner (Stanford) - Steel (Cal) 1. f4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 Bg7 5. g3 0-0 6. Bg2 b6 7. d3 Bb7 8. 0-0 c5 9. Ne5 Nc6 10. Nxc6 Bxc6 11. g4 Qd7 12. g5 Ne8 13. Ne2 Nd6 14. Ng3 Rad8 15. h4 Nf5 16. Nxf5 gxf5 17. Qf3 Qb7 18. Rb1 Rd6 19. Qh3 e6 20. Bd2 a5 21. Re1 Ra8 22. Re2 a4 23. h5 b5 24. Bf3 b4 25. Rg2 b3 26. cxb3 axb3 27. a3 d4 28. Bxc6 Qxc6 29. g6 fxg6 30. hxg6 h6 31. e4? fxe4 32. f5 exf5 33. Qxf5 e3 34. Be1 Rf8 35. Qh5 Rf6 36. Bg3 Rxg6 37. Rf1 Rd5 38. Rf5 Rxf5 39. Qxf6 Qf6 40. Qd5+ Kh7 41. Qe4 Qe6 42. Qf3 e2 43. Kh2 Rxg3 44. Qxg3 Be5 0-1

3) GM Patrick Wolff to speak on January 10 in San Mateo

We've heard rumors that former U.S. Champion Patrick Wolff has been living on the Peninsula for some time, but confirmation only came recently with a press release from "M" is for Mystery bookstore in San Mateo (74 East Third Avenue, (650) 401-8077, This bookstore will be hosting an appearance by GM Wolff (author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess) and San Francisco's Mark Coggins, author of the mystery The Immortal Game, on Wednesday, January 10th at 7pm.

4) Upcoming Tournaments

MI Scholastic Chess Cordinator Anthony Corrales will be directing a tournament for juniors on January 27-28 at the MI. Contact him at ( for more details.

MI Assistant Director Joan Arbil is running Tuesday and Saturday Marathons at the MI throughout January. Contact here at for more information or visit the MI website (

Well-respected organizer and director Jerry Weikel will be putting on the "Jessie Jeans'" Open on January 12-14 at the Jesse Jeans Coffee House (1426 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, (707) 526-0929). The three section event (2000+, 1600-1999, -1600) is offering a $4,000 prize fund based on 80 players with a first place of $500. Advance entry fee is $80 with a $5 discount to Cal Chess members (mail to J. Weikel at 6578 Valley Wood drive, Reno , Neveada 89523). There is a one day action tournament (G/50) on January 15th. Contact Jerry Weikel at (775) 747-1405 for more information.

5) Kolti Memorial

Tournament Director Alex Yermolinsky will be mailing out checks for prize winners for the Kolti Memorial in the next few days.


Return to Article Index