"In American opens you have the first three, four prizes and the rest is peanuts. You have to play very aggressively."
1) Bill Goichberg named USCF Executive Director 2) Andranik Matikozian and Haluk Akol win at Western Class Championship 3) Ricardo DeGuzman tops at Bob Burger Open 4) Children's Wednesday Afternoon Class Returns 5) Four-way tie in Winter Tuesday Night Marathon 6) Here and There 7) Upcoming Events
1) Bill Goichberg named USCF Executive Director
Bill Goichberg, who has been involved in United States Chess Federation affairs for over forty years, was recently named Executive Director of the organization. Best known as the founder of the Continental Chess Association which runs tournaments from coast to coast, Goichberg brings a wide variety of chess experience to the job. Back in the 1960s he worked in the USCF office under the late Ed Edmondson, serving as Ratings Director. Soon after this he founded the CCA and started organizing some of the first scholastic tournaments in the United States. A strong master he served as Captain of the gold-medal winning US Olympiad team in Haifa, Israel, in 1976. Goichberg founded and ran the successful National Chess League in the late 1970s and has been instrumental in supporting both the Professional Chess Players Health and Benefit Program and the yearly Grand Prix. Each year he faithfully attends USCF annual meetings and serves on many committees. It's hard to think of anyone in US chess who had more involvement in such a wide variety of chess activities in the United States.
Nay sayers will point to the apparent conflict of interest in having the largest tournament organizer in the country running the day to day operations of the USCF ignoring that Goichberg has not bid on a USCF national event since the US Open in 1997. The fact that he is taking this position without pay speaks volumes about his motivations. We wish him well in his efforts to turn things around in New Windsor.
2) Andranik Matikozian and Haluk Akol win at Western Class Championship
Agoura Hills in Southern California was the scene of the first major tournament of the year on the West Coast and IM Andranik Matikozian of Glendale was the surprise winner finishing ahead of several GMs. Matikozian, former Armenian junior champion, had a strange first half of the tournament. Playing in a short schedule he found himself in such a small section that he was forced to play the same player, Tatev Abrahamiyan, twice! Four players in a four player group gave organizer Bill Goichberg no choice. Merging into the main schedule with a 4-0 score Matikozian escaped from difficult positions against GMs Jaan Ehlvest and Alex Yermolinsky to enter the last round with 5 1/2 points. He then drew with GM Dasheveg Sharavdorj to take first at 6-1. Sharavdorj, who had an excellent event, was second at 5 1/2 followed by MI Grandmaster-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky (undefeated) and GM-elect Varuzhan Akobian.
The big news for MI members was the sensational result of Tuesday Night Marathon regular Haluk Akol. Mr. Akol, who is 80, showed several young whippersnappers there place, tying for first in his section. Well-done Haluk!
3) Ricardo DeGuzman tops at Bob Burger Open
Ricardo DeGuzman continued his domination of the MI's monthly G/45 tournaments winning the Bob Burger Open on January 17 with a score of 5-0. Among his victories was a last round win over fellow IM Jay Whitehead who was making a welcome return to the arena after a break of many years. NM Batsaikhan Tserendorj was second at 4.5 followed by George Sanguinetti, Clarence Lehmann and Erin Harrington at 4. Anthony Corrales directed the 56 player event for the Mechanics'.
4) Children's Wednesday Afternoon Class Returns
The popular Children's Wednesday Afternoon Class, which temporarily stopped when corporate sponsorship dried up, has been jump-started thanks to generous donations by Dee Karnad and Haluk Akol. The Class, which runs each Wednesday from 3:15 PM to 5:15 PM and is taught by MI Scholastic Chess Director Anthony Corrales, is free to all children. If you like the idea of this sort of program consider offering support. Donations to the Mechanics' are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status.
5) Four-way tie in Winter Tuesday Night Marathon
IM Walter Shipman and NMs Igor Margulis, Egle Morkunaite and Andy Lee are the only perfect scores left after three rounds of the MI Tuesday Night Marathon. Five rounds remain to be played in the 80-player tournament. It is still possible to enter with half point byes for the first three rounds.
6) Here and There
The Berkeley Chess Club has moved back to its old location at the beautiful Berkeley City Club at 2315 Durant Avenue. The location is only a block from the UC Berkeley campus and is a 5 minute walk from the downtown Berkeley BART station. The club, which meets Fridays, offers weekly USCF rated play. The program for kids run 6:30 PM to 8 PM and for adults 8 PM to Midnight. IM Jay Whitehead and NM Andy Lee have attended the club recently. Call Alan Glascoe at (510) 652-5324 for more information.
If you are in the East Bay and looking for new chess books check out Games of Berkeley (across the street from the downtown Berkeley BART) where NM Alan Benson works. Alan, who also gives private lessons, is noted for his knowledge and love of chess literature. He can help you find the right book for your level..
7) Upcoming Events
Upcoming Tournaments at the MI
Henry Gross Memorial - Feb. 7
The Mechanics' Institute Scholastic Quads Tournaments: January 24, February 21, and March 13 Open to players age 18 and under (Limited to first 80 players) Game/45
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