Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #172

"Modern day technique is nothing other than the games of the past, old discoveries, that have been classified and become customary."

   Igor Zaitsev

1) Shaba does it again
2) Winter Tuesday Night Marathon starts next Tuesday
3) US Championship information
4) Here and There
5) Upcoming Events

1) Shaba does it again

US Champion Alexander Shabalov of Pittsburgh has done it again, winning the North American Open, held December 26-29 in Las Vegas. Shaba started with a draw against promising young Master Daniel Rensch and then reeled off five wins in a row over NM Gallegos, SM Friedel, IM Finegold, GM Izoria and GM Filippov to triumph over a field which included 28 GMs.

Shaba's victory in the NAO added to his haul of tournament wins in the US in 2003, including the US Championship, World Open, Levy Memorial, US Open, and Chicago Open. Yes, there were a few minor blemishes on Shaba's US record, like Foxwoods, the National Chess Congress, and the Vermont International, but, all in all, it was a phenomenal performance, especially if you consider the increasing number of strong GMs competing regularly in US Swisses. Congratulations to the US Champion on a job well done!

There was a five-way tie for second in Las Vegas at 5-1 with GMs Yury Shulman, Jaan Ehlvest, Vadim Milov, Georgy Kacheishvilli, and Evgeny Najer winning the remainder of the prize money in the open section. Mechanics' members Michael Aigner and Paul Gallegos both shined at the NAO in the open section. Michael's score of 3 1/2 from 6 included wins over IM Elizabeth Paehtz and SM Steven Winer, plus a draw with IM Uriel Zak. His only loses were to GM Pavel Blatny and GM-elect Varuzhan Akobian. The latter was in the last round, and if Michael drew, he would have qualified for the 2004 Championship. Paul Gallegos was tough on German titled players in the tournament, defeating GM Raj Tischbierek and drawing with Paehtz.

MI members also did well in the lower sections. Veteran Victor Ossipov tied for first in the Expert section with 5 1/2 from 6. Drake Wang scored a very respectable 4 points in this group.

This year's NAO was a US Championship qualifier. Earning trips to San Diego were GM Gregory Serper, IM Ben Finegold, SM Levon Altounian, and FM Robby Adamson. FM Jennifer Shahade earned the woman's seed.

The North American Open was a Continental Chess Association event organized and directed by Bill Goichberg. The turn out of around 600 made it the second largest open tournament in the Western US in 2003, after the National Open.

2) Winter Tuesday Night Marathon starts next Tuesday

The Winter TNM starts next Tuesday evening and will run eight weeks. MI GM-in-residence Alex Yermolinsky's popular weekly lectures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:15-6:15 PM resume next Tuesday evening.

3) US Championship information


San Diego's NTC Foundation's Promenade Centre Is New Home for the 2004 U.S. Chess Championship

SEATTLE, Wash. - (December 22, 2003) - America's Foundation for Chess (AF4C) announces the NTC Foundation as its new partner for the annual U.S. Chess Championships scheduled for the first two weeks in December 2004. The NTC Foundation in San Diego, Calif., will host this historic national tournament at their new arts and cultural venue, Promenade Centre. The winner will represent the United States at the World Chess Championships. This will be the fourth year that AF4C has hosted the annual tournament " one of the oldest and most prestigious national titles in the world - and its first year doing so with a co-sponsor. Expected to maintain its record-breaking $250,000 prize fund, the 2004 U.S. Chess Championships will be held over 11 days and will attract widespread media attention from around the world. Chessmaster© will also return as a 2004 corporate sponsor.

Event Offers Something for Chess Fan and Non-Chess Players Alike
The 2004 tournament will highlight not only the elite chess competition, but also offer valuable educational activities sure to make chess more accessible to the general public. Promoting chess as a learning tool that is fun, engaging and available to people young and old, novice or master, is another reason AF4C is seeking the large public venue offered by NTC's Promenade Center.
"We are proud to welcome this high-profile, national tournament as one of the Promenade Centre's inaugural events," said Murray Galinson, chairman of the NTC Foundation Board of Directors. "AF4C and the Foundation both understand the importance of bringing innovative learning and education to the public." "AF4C has been looking for a partner whose mission is aligned with ours: NTC supports creative education and believes in the value the U.S. Chess Championships can bring to the national expansion of the AF4C classroom chess curriculum," said Erik J Anderson, president and co-founder of AF4C.

-- more --

A community that embraces education and culture, San Diego is enthusiastic about AF4C's relocation of the US Chess Championships. President and CEO of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau Reint Reinders explains, "Relocating this national event to San Diego's Promenade Centre will give more chess enthusiasts access to players and commentary. Those unfamiliar with the game will receive an introduction to the value of chess in America. We are excited that AF4C recognizes the potential that a co-sponsor such as the NTC Foundation can have in drawing more attention to this elite event. San Diego is thrilled to carry on the chess torch."

About NTC Foundation The NTC Foundation, a private 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation, is charged with the preservation and renovation of 26 historical buildings that are part of the historic core of the former Naval Training Center in San Diego, California. The Foundation is also responsible for the creation of a civic, arts and cultural center known as the Promenade Centre to occupy the renovated buildings. For information, visit

About America's Foundation for Chess Founded on the hope of making chess a subject taught in every school in the United States, AF4C, a nonprofit organization, is committed to making chess a larger part of America's cultural fabric " accessible in schools and in popular culture. By organizing events such as the U.S. Championships, AF4C hopes to elevate the profile of chess in America so that it will soon become a regular part of every child's classroom experience.

4) Here and There

with Fred Wilson
Live Internet Radio Show


Fred Wilson Wednesdays on http://wwwChess.FM!
Wednesday night now brings you back-to-back "Chess & Books with Fred Wilson" for your listening enjoyment!

5:00 PM ET Chess & Books - Replay of IM JOHN DONALDSON (1st interview)--
7:00 PM ET Chess & Books - Replay of IM JOHN DONALDSON (2nd interview)--

9:00 PM ET Chess & Books - Replay of Peter J. Tamburro, Jr. (1st
interview-OUR FIRST SHOW!)
11:05 PM ET Chess & Books - Replay of Peter J. Tamburro, Jr. (2nd interview)

EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA! MARK DVORETSKY my guest is for the first show of the coming New Year!!

"Fred's first guest of 2004, on Weds., January 7th will be none other than IM MARK DVORETSKY! Arguably one of the greatest chess authors and chess teachers of all time, Mark is also the author of the terrific four volume SCHOOL OF CHESS EXCELLENCE series, and has just recently released his modern masterpiece, DVORETSKY'S ENDGAME MANUAL, to the most consistently "rave reviews" any chess book has ever received! Please send good questions about chess training, teaching, literature, coaching, proper analytical methods, recommendations for successful study based on one's current level, etc. for IM Mark Dvoretsky to or Tony Rook.

5) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Bob Burger Open - Jan. 17, 2004

Henry Gross Memorial - Feb. 7, 2004

Return to Index