Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #168

"A chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second when you believe you have an advantage, and the third... when you know you're going to lose!"


1) Akobian, Blatny and Atalik tie for first in American Open
2) Akobian, Kraai and Khachiyan tie for first in Gufeld Memorial
3) Nicolas Yap wins Falconer Award
4) Matthew Gross leads Winter TNM
5) Appeal for Donations
6) Lindsborg Open
7) Here and There
8) Upcoming Events 

1) Akobian, Blatny and Atalik tie for first in American Open

GMs Suat Atalik and Pavel Blatny and GM-elect Varuzhan Akobian tied for first in the American Open held over Thanksgiving Day weekend in Los Angeles. The three winners, who scored 6 from 8, each received $1523. Several MI members made the trip south led by Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky who scored an undefeated 5-3 against strong oposition. Tuesday Night Marathon regular Kayven Riese, rated 1756, led the Under 2000 section by wining his first five games before cooling down. Alan Howe took third in the under 1600 group.

2) Akobian, Kraai and Khachiyan tie for first in Gufeld Memorial

The United States has a new Grandmaster. Varuzhan Akobian of Glendale made his third and final GM norm by tying for first in the Eduard Gufeld Memorial held immediately before Thanksgiving in Los Angeles. Joining him in the top spot, and also making GM norms, were IMs Melik Khachiyan (I believe his second) and Jesse Kraai (his first). Congratulations!!!

Eduard Gufeld Memorial: Category IX (2452) GM norm = 6.5

Final standings: 1-3. IMs Akobian (USA 2537), Kraai (USA 2443) and Khachiyan (USA 2464) - 6½ points out of 9.
4. GM Yegiazarian (ARM 2521) - 6 pts;
5-7. GMs V. Mikhalevski (ISR 2548) and Sharavdorj (MGL 2411), IM Sevillano (USA 2498) - 4 points;
8-9. Ortiz (PHI 2310) and IM Matikozian (ARM 2450) - 3 points;
10. FM Kretchetov (RUS 2360) - 1½ point

3) Nicolas Yap wins Falconer Award

Nicolas Yap of San Francisco, soon to be the Bay Area's newest Master, is the winner of the 2004 Falconer Award, given annually to the top rated Northern California junior under 18. Yap, who is 14, narrowly edged out 15-year-old Matthew Ho of San Jose, by a margin of 9 rating points (2192 to 2183) on the USCF's December 2003 rating list. Yap, who is coached by IM Guillermo Rey, will win a prize equal to his rating ($2192).

The Falconer Award is made possible by the generosity of former California State and US Senior Champion Neil Falconer who has served for many years as a Trustee of the Mechanics' Institute. Previous winners of the Falconer Award are:

2000 Vinay Bhat
2001 Vinay Bhat
2002 Vinay Bhat
2003 Michael Pearson

4) Matthew Gross leads Winter TNM

Expert Matthew Gross was only seeded number 10 before the start of the latest Tuesday Night Marathon but he is now threatening to win the event. Thanks to wins over top-seed FM Frank Thornally and NM Win Aung Ye and a draw with IM Walter Shipman, Gross leads with a score of 6-1 with two rounds to go. Right behind him, at 5.5, are Shipman, NM Egle Morkunaite and Experts Alex Setzepfandt and Larry Snyder.

5) Appeal for Donations

All donations to the Mechanics' (including your annual membership dues) are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that has been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics'. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing it put to good use.

6) Lindsborg

The second Lindsborg Rotary Open promises to be the strongest tournament ever held in the center of the United States. Ten Grandmasters have now confirmed their participation: Alex Baburin, Suat Atalik, Sergey Kudrin, Alex Yermolinsky, Nikola Mitkov, Yury Shulman, Thrace Nedev, Pavel Blatny, Evgeny Agrest, and Dashzeveg Sharavdorj. The organizer, Mikhail Korenman, has also accepted entries from over a dozen IMs. The nine round format and presence of many foreign players offers a very unusual opportunity for Experts and Masters to have a shot at norms or earn a FIDE rating. Lindsborg is drivable from most places in the middle of the country. Lodging and meals are very reasonable. Contact Mikhail Korenman for more info at:

7) Here and There

Grandmasters Ildar Ibragimov and Igor Novikov shared first place at 5-1 in the National Chess Congress held over Thanksgiving weekend in Philadelphia. Tying for third at 4.5 in the Continental Chess Association event were GMs Onischuk, Shulman, Stripunsky, Sherzer, and A. Ivanov, IM Sarkar, SM Milman and NM Benen.

GM Suat Atalik, fresh from his victory at the American Open, was a special guest lecturer at the Mechanics' last night.

Congratulations to 14-year-old Nicolas Yap of San Francisco who has been named to the 2004 Pressman All-America Team.

Happy birthday to NM Max Burkett who celebrates his 65th in a few days. Max, who now lives in Missoula, Montana, was New Mexico State champion in the 1960s before moving to the Bay Area. Many will recall him as the bulletin editor of some of the Lone Pine events and many Northern California tournaments.

with Fred Wilson
Live Internet Radio Show

5:00 PM ET Chess & Books - Replay of GM Joel Benjamin (first interview)-- 7:00 PM ET Chess & Books - Replay of GM John Fedorowicz (most recent interview, 11/12/03)--

9:00 PM ET Chess & Books - Live Show
11:05 PM ET Replay of Live Show

"Fred's next guest on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd will again be three time US Chess Champion GM Joel Benjamin. Joel will discuss his work as senior coach of the US JuniorTeam at The World Youth Chess Championships 2003 which took place from 22nd October - 3rd November 2003 in Halkidiki, Greece, along with his impressions of the recently completed "spectacle" between Kasparov and X3D Fritz. Please send good questions for Joel about chess teaching, the national & international chess scene, current chess theory, etc. to or Tony Rook".

8) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Guthrie McClain Memorial - Dec. 13
Bob Burger Open - Jan. 17, 2004
Henry Gross Memorial - Feb. 7, 2004

Dec. 19-23. GPP: 60 Kansas 2nd Annual Lindsborg Open. 9SS, 30/90, SD/1.First two rounds accelerated pairing. 3,500 guaranteed prize fund! GM & IMnorms are available! FIDE rating 1st - $1,200, 2nd - $800, 3rd - $600, 4th 400, 5th 200. U2400: $100 75; U2200: $100 75EF: GMs & IMs free. Membership at KCA is required for Kansas residents.Before 11/15/03: FIDE >2300, $80. FIDE, USCF >2200, $90. FIDE <2200, $100. non-FIDErated, USCF <2200 *, $130. Before 12/1/03: $90, $100, $110, $140, respectively. At site: $100, $110, $120, $150, respectively. * number of players in this section will be limited. Schedule: Opening Ceremony December 19, 2003 at 11:00am. Rds: 12/19 - 12:00noon & 6:00 pm; 12/20, 21, 22 - 10:00am & 5:00pm; 12/23 9:00am 1/2-pt byes OK at ALL. Limit 3. FIDE, USCF. NS, NC. Ent: INTECS,Inc. (232 N. Main St, Lindsborg, KS 67456) 785-906-0402

Dec. 19-21. GPP: Kansas 3rd Annual Lindsborg Rotary Open. 6SS, $1,500 guaranteed prize fund! Open: G/120. 1st - $300, 2nd - $200, 3rd - $100; U1800: $100 75 50; U1600: $100 75 50; U1400: $100 75 50; U1200-UNR: $100 75 50 EF: $50 (paid before 11/15); $60 (before 12/15); $70 (at site) Schedules: Reg: 12/19 by 5:30pm. Rds: 12/19 6:00pm; 12/20 9:00, 1:30, 7:00; 12/21 9:00, 1:30. 1/2-pt byes OK at ALL. Last bye must commit before round 4. USCF. NS, NC. Ent: INTECS, Inc. (232 N. Main St, Lindsborg, KS 67456) 785-906-0402, Info: HR: 1-888-227-2227.

Dec. 13. Karpov Chess School Scholastic Tournament. Presents tournament guests: 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov; 2003 World Championship Qualified Grandmasters Alexander Onischuk, Yury Shulman, and Ivan Morovic (Chile). 5SS, G/30. Sections: K-3, K-5, K-8, K-12. Trophies for each category: 1-3 (teams and individuals); medals 4-20. Schedule: Reg: Ends at 9:30am. Opening Ceremony: 9:45am. Rds: 10:00am; 12:45pm, 2:00pm, 3:15pm, 4:30pm. Closing ceremony: 5:45pm EF: $25, including tournament registration, tournament brochure, autographed photo with Grandmasters, and free tickets to the Invitational tournament (details on Ent: INTECS, Inc. (232 N. Main St, Lindsborg, KS 67456) 785-906-0402, Info: HR: http://www.lindsborg/.org, 1-888-227-2227.

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