Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #178

"Exposing a concrete error in a chess game is much easier than objectively assessing an overall scheme of play. Every strategic plan, including an incorrect one, is linked to certain distinct conceptions in the player's mind, and may be crowned with success given a fortunate conjunction of circumstances..."

   Viacheslav Eingorn

1) Osmand Palos - 1949-2004
2) DeGuzman wins 4th Annual Henry Gross Memorial
3) Four way tie in Winter Tuesday Night Marathon
4) Here and There
5) Upcoming Events

1) Osmand Palos - 1949-2004

International Master Osmand Palos died last Saturday, February 7, at the age of 54 in Chicago. The cause was lung cancer. Palos, who suffered from diabetes for many years, had been in poor health for some time. He leaves behind his sons Robert and Davor.

Osman Palos was born October 29, 1949, in Gracanica, Yugoslavia. He was the strongest player in Tuzla, the second largest city in Bosnia, for many years until he left in the late 1980s. His best years as a chess player were in the mid-1980s. During this time he received the IM title in 1985 and achieved his peak FIDE rating of 2440 in 1987. His best ever result was winning the Pula Open in 1986 with a GM norm performance score of 10 from 11. Two other good results were 8.5 from 13 in a Category 4 (2328) round robin in Tuzla in 1991 and =2nd with GM Ikonnikov behind GM Klinger at the 138 player Werfen Open in 1992. Palos was a regular participant in Yugoslav Team Championships in the 1980s , winning the gold medal on board 5 in 1982 with a score of 6 from 9.

Osmand played often in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the late 1980s and early 1990s, collecting many GM scalps including those of Ikonnikov, Kudrin, Vukic, Kupreichik and Khenkin among others. Palos was a big fighter when healthy and not one to respect reputations. To get an idea of his persistence play over his 107 move draw with GM Eingorn from Graz 1987.

Palos loved to play blitz and could often be found between rounds indulging in his favorite pastime. He was an inconsistent but dangerous opponent who could pose a danger to anyone. One example: his 2-0 score versus GM Krasenkov in the 1997 New York City Blitz Championship.

Much of his life Osman worked as a businessman, only becoming a full-time chess professional when things started to deteriorate in Yugoslavia. One of his last important duties in his old town was directing the Women's Interzonal in Tuzla in 1987. Fleeing the Balkans he spent several years playing in Western Europe before talking a position as a chess trainer in the United Arab Emirates in 1993.

Palos first arrived in Chicago in late 1996, quickly establishing himself not only as one of the top players in the city but also one of the best chess coaches.Neil Gleason of Madison, Wisconsin, remembers: "In early 1999, I spent an evening arguing politics with him. The next morning, he gave me a 10 minute lesson in the exchange Caro Kann ("play simple chess") over breakfast, whereupon I proceeded to use it with white to notch 2 convincing victories that same day in a quick tournament. He was a skillful instructor who would readily demonstrate that chess is a very simple game."

Palos was already in poor health by the time he arrived in the United States but he still managed to hold a USCF rating over 2400 until the last few years of his life, peaking at 2477. He was especially proud of his two wins over GM Goldin, one of the best players in the US. His last major event was the Lindsborg Rotary Open in December of 2002 where he scored a respectable fifty percent against a field averaging 2442 FIDE.

Osman Palos will be remembered as a warm, modest and intelligent man who gave his life to chess.

Unfortunately only 329 of Osmand's games are available in Mega 2004, representing probably less than 10 percent of those he played during his career. Here is a small selection covering three decades.

Palos,O (2350) - Hazai,L (2475) [E73]
Tuzla (9), 1983

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.g4 c5 7.d5 e6 8.g5 Ne8 9.h4 exd5 10.exd5 Nc7 11.h5 b5 12.Qd3 Re8 13.Qg3 Nd7 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.Bf4 Ne5 16.0-0-0 Bf5 17.Nf3 bxc4 18.Nxe5 Rxe5 19.Bxe5 Bxe5 20.f4 Bg7 21.Bxc4 Rb8 22.Rh4 Rb4 23.b3 Qb8 24.Bd3 Rxb3 25.axb3 Qxb3 26.Bxf5 Nb5 27.Qe3 Kf8 28.Bd7 Qa3+ 29.Kc2 1-0

Kupreichik,V (2535) - Palos,O (2390) [C02]
Cattolica op (5), 1993

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Ne7 5.Bd3 Nec6 6.Be3 Nd7 7.a3 a5 8.Nf3 Be7 9.h4cxd4 10.cxd4 Nb6 11.Nbd2 Bd7 12.Ng5 Bxg5 13.Bxg5 Ne7 14.h5 Bc6 15.Qg4 Kd716.Rh3 Qf8 17.Ke2 f6 18.exf6 gxf6 19.Bh4 Qh6 20.Re3 f5 21.Qf3 Nc4 22.g4 f423.Re5 Nxe5 24.dxe5 Rhf8 25.Kf1 Ng6 26.hxg6 Qxh4 27.gxh7 Rf7 28.Nb3 Rxh729.Bxh7 Qxh7 30.Rd1 Rh8 31.Nd4 Qh2 32.Ke2 Rh3 33.g5 Rxf3 34.Nxf3 Qh5 35.Rg1 d4 0-1

Palos,O (2363) - Kaufman,L (2422) [A13]
World op 29th Philadelphia (9), 08.07.2001

1.c4 e6 2.Qa4 Nf6 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e3 d6 6.d4 Bd7 7.Qd1 cxd4 8.exd4 Rc8 9.Bd3 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Be3 e5 12.d5 Na5 13.Nd2 Ng4 14.Bxa7 b6 15.Na4 Bxa4 16.Qxa4 Qc7 17.b4 e4 18.Bxe4 Nxc4 19.Nxc4 Qxc4 20.Bf5 Ra8 21.Qd7 Nh6 22.Bxb6 Bf6 23.Rab1 Qxd5 24.Bh3 Rxa2 25.b5 Rb2 26.Rxb2 Bxb2 27.Qc6 Qe5 28.Bc7 Ba3 29.b6 Bc5 30.b7 Ba7 31.Bxd6 Qf6 32.Qc7 Re8 33.g3 Nf5 34.Bxf5 Qxf5 35.Qc6 Qe6 36.Rc1 h5 37.Qxe8+ Qxe8 38.Rc8 1-0

2) DeGuzman wins 4th Annual Henry Gross Memorial

Filipino IM Ricardo DeGuzman did it again, winning the 4th Annual Henry Gross Memorial 5-0 on February 7th to continue his mastery of MI G/45 events. Here is his key 4th round win.

Tserendorj,B - DeGuzman,R [C88]
Henry Gross Memorial (4), 2004

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 b4 9.a5 d6 10.d3 Rb8 11.Nbd2 Nd7 12.Nf1 Nc5 13.Bd5 Nd4 14.Nxd4 exd4 15.Ng3 Be6 16.Qf3 Bg5 17.b3 Bxc1 18.Raxc1 Qg5 19.Ne2 Qe5 20.Qg3 Bxd5 21.exd5 Rfe8?!

21...Qxd5 22.Nf4 Qf5 23.Re7 gives White some play for the pawn but was the right way to play.

22.Qg4 Qxd5 23.Nf4 f5

Now 23...Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Qc6 is rudely met by 25.Nh5 g6 26.Nf6+ Kg7 27.Qxd4.


Also to be considered was 24.Rxe8+ Rxe8 25.Qxg7+ Kxg7 26.Nxd5.

24...Kxg7 25.Nxd5 Re5 26.Ne7 Rb5 27.Nc6 Rxe1+ 28.Rxe1 Kf6 29.Re7?

This allows a neat trick. Instead 29.Ra1! was indicated.

29...Nxb3! 30.Rxh7 Nxa5 31.Nxd4 Rd5 32.Rh6+?

The last chance to keep fighting was 32.Nf3.

32...Kg5 33.Re6 Rxd4 34.g3 f4 35.f3 b3 0-1

3) Four way tie in Winter Tuesday Night Marathon

IM Walter Shipman, FM Frank Thornally and NMs Russell Wong and Nicolas Yap are tied for first at 5-1 with two rounds to go in the Mechanics' Institute Winter Tuesday Night Marathon.

4) Here and There

Thank to long-time MI Member Frank Ruys for his recent donation of books and magazines to the Institute.

IMs Andranik Matigozian and Tim Taylor tied for first in the Foothills Open in Pasadena this past Sunday. The two winners, who each score 4.5 from 5, both drew with GM-elect Melikhset Khachiyan.

The USCF recently announced that the Executive Board scheduled a Special Election.

Due to the resignations of two Executive Board Members (Dr. John McCrary and Frank Camaratta), the USCF will hold a special election for two one-year terms to the USCF Executive Board. Candidates must submit nomination petitions with the signatures of 30 Voting Members and must pay a filing fee of $250.00. Nomination petitions must be received by the USCF Secretary or the USCF office (ATTN: Barb Vandermark) by 5PM (EST) on Wednesday, March 31st, 2004. Any USCF member 16 years or older as of June 1st 2004 and living in the United States is a Voting Member. Candidates will be entitled to a 150 word statement and picture in the May issue of Chess Life, and a half page in an election supplement which will appear in the June issue of Chess Life. The copy deadlines are April 1st for the 150 word statement and photograph and May 1st for the half-page election supplement. Ballots will be included in the June issue of Chess Life. The date for ballot counting has not yet been set. The elected Board members will serve for one year, beginning with the certification of election results by the Delegates on August 14th, 2004, and through the end of the 2005 Delegates Meeting.

Cal Chess President Elizabeth Shaughnessy has posted the agenda for the next Cal Chess Meeting.

Agenda for Cal Chess Meeting

Date: February 16, 2004

Time: 2:00 PM

Location: Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union,
UC Berkeley Campus,
(Corner of Bancroft and Telegraph Ave in Berkeley)

Call to Order

Minutes of the last meeting

President's Report

Treasurer's Report

Old Business

New Business

1. State Scholastic Championship Rules (Peterson)

2. Payment of $5 requirement to CalChess for CalChess events other than the State Scholastic Championships (Peterson)

3. Acceptance of bids for the 2005 State Scholastic Championships. (Shaughnessy)

4. Award of contract for the 2005 State Scholastic Championships. (Shaughnessy)

5.The CalChess Journal - discussion item. (Hicks)

6. Progress report from the committee on Certification for Chess Instructors in the State of California. (Eade)

7. Camera for the official Calchess photographer as a thank you for his volunteer work. (Hicks)

8. Other business

9. Date and place for next meeting

10. Adjournment

5) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

A. J. Fink Amateur - March 6-7
Max Wilkerson Open - March 20
Lovegrove Senior - April 3-4
Imre Konig Memorial - April 24

The Mechanics' Institute Scholastic Quads Tournaments: February 21, and March 13 Open to players age 18 and under (Limited to first 80 players) Game/45

People's Open February 14-16 in Berkeley - You can download a flyer for this event at

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