Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #179

"I've seen lots of players reach their peak and then stop all forward progress. Then they become useless hacks, good only for donating blood."

   Larry Christiansen

1) DeGuzman wins Peoples Open
2) Shipman and Thornally lead TNM
3) Nick deFirmian ties for first in Denmark
4) More on Osmand Palos
5) Bay Area Chess History
6) Zsuzsa Polgar wins in Oklahoma
7) Here and There
8) Upcoming Events

1) DeGuzman wins Peoples Open

International Master Ricardo DeGuzman continued his winning ways in Bay Area tournaments by defeating NM Michael Aigner in the last round of the People's Open held February 14-16 in Berkeley. DeGuzman, who scored 5-1 to take home the $500 first prize, was only nicked for draws by FMs Adrian Keatinge-Clay and Bela Evans. NM Paul Gallegos had an excellent result, finishing second at 4 1/2, losing only to DeGuzman. There was a big tie for third at 4 with Evans, Keatinge-Clay and Aigner joined by IM Walter Shipman, SM Dmitry Zilberstein and NM Matthew Ho.

Larry Snyder won the Expert section in fine style scoring 5-1. This result will put Larry comfortably over 2100 as he continues his quest to reach 2200, a goal he briefly reached in 1997. Good luck Larry! Don Shennum directed the 155 player multi-section event.

2) Shipman and Thornally lead TNM

International Master Walter Shipman and FM Frank Thornally lead the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon with scores of 6-1 with a round to go. Tied for second a half point back are NM Andy Lee and Expert Ariel Mazzarelli. The next Marathon starts on March 16 and will be a 9-rounder.

Here is how the two leaders did it last night.

Wong,R - Thornally,F [C89]
Winter TNM (7), 02.2004

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re2 Qh4 14.g3 Qh5 15.Re4 Qg6 16.Bxd5!?

[16.Bc2 Bf5 17.Re2 Rae8 18.Bxf5 Qxf5 19.Nd2]

16...cxd5 17.Re1 Bg4 18.Qb3

[18.f3 Bf5 19.Be3 Bxg3 20.hxg3 Qxg3+ 21.Kh1 a5 22.Qd2 Qh4+ 23.Kg1 Ra6 24.Re2 Rg6+ 25.Rg2 Rxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Bh3+ 27.Kh2 Bg4+ 28.Kg2 Qh3+ 29.Kg1 Re8]

18...Rae8 19.Be3 f5?!


20.Qxd5+ Kh8 21.f4?

[21.Nd2 f4 22.Bxf4 Bxf4 (22...Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Bxf4 24.gxf4) 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 24.gxf4 Bh3+ 25.Qg5 Qc2 26.Qh5]

21...Bxf4 22.Bf2 Rxe1+ 23.Bxe1 Be3+ 24.Kh1

[24.Bf2 Bxf2+ 25.Kxf2 f4]

24...Qh5 0-1

Shipman,W - Yap,N [D01]
Winter TNM (7), 2004

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 Nbd7 4.Qd3 c5 5.0-0-0 e6 6.e4 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Bc5 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.Qxf6 Nxf6 10.exd5 Bxf2 11.Bb5+ Kf8 12.d6 Nd7 13.Nf3 f6 14.Rhf1 Be3+ 15.Kb1 a6 16.Bc4 Nb6 17.Bb3 Kf7 18.Rd3 Bh6 19.Ne5+ Ke8 20.Ng4 Bg5 21.Ne4 h5 22.Ngf2 Bf4 23.g3 Be5 24.Nc5 h4 25.Ng4 1-0

3) Nick deFirmian ties for first in Denmark

GM Nick deFirmian, who has long ties to the Mechanics', recently tied for first in the AS04 100 Centenary 2004 in Copenhagen, scoring 7.5 from 9. Here is his last round game.

Ruslan Pogorelov (2451) - Nick deFirmian (2523) [A33]
AS04 Centenary Copenhagen (9), 15.02.2004

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.a3 Bc5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.e4 0-0 9.Be2 b6 10.0-0 Bb7 11.Be3 Rc8 12.f4 d6 13.Rc1 Nb8 14.Qd3 Nbd7 15.Bf3 Qc7 16.Nd2 Qb8 17.b4 Rfd8 18.g4 Nf8 19.g5 N6d7 20.Qe2 Re8 21.Qf2 Bd8 22.h4 a6 23.h5 Ba8 24.Be2 Qb7 25.Qg3 Bc7 26.Kf2 Bb8 27.Rg1 b5 28.cxb5 axb5 29.Nxb5 Nb6 30.Bxb6 Qxb6+ 31.Qe3 Qb7 32.Nb3 Qd7 33.Rxc8 Rxc8 34.Rc1 Rxc1 35.Nxc1 Bc6 36.Qd3 d5 37.e5 Bxb5 38.Qxb5 Qa7+ 39.Kf3 Qxa3+ 40.Nd3 Qa7 41.Nc5 Bc7 42.Qa6 Qb8 43.b5 Bb6 44.Qb7 Qxb7 45.Nxb7 h6 46.Kg4 Nd7 47.Nd6 hxg5 48.Kxg5 Kf8 49.h6?


49...gxh6+ 50.Kg4

[50.Kxh6 Be3 51.Kg5 Nxe5]

50...Bc7 51.Nc8 f6 52.exf6 Nxf6+ 53.Kf3 Nd7 54.Bf1 Ke8 55.Bh3 Nc5 56.b6 Kd8 57.bxc7+ Kxc8 58.f5 Kxc7 59.fxe6 Kd6 60.Kg4 Nxe6 61.Bf1 Ng7 62.Kf4 Ke6 63.Bh3+ Kf6 64.Bc8 Ne6+ 65.Kg4 d4 66.Ba6 Nc5 67.Bf1 Kg6 68.Kf4 h5 69.Bg2 Kf6 70.Bf1 d3 71.Bg2 Ne6+ 72.Ke3 h4 73.Be4 Nc5 74.Bg2 Ke5 75.Bh3 Kd5 76.Bg4 Kc4 77.Kf4 Kd4 78.Kg5 Ke3 79.Kxh4 Ne4 80.Bd1 Nc3 81.Bb3 Ne2 82.Kg4 Nd4 83.Ba4 Nc2 84.Kf5 Kd2 85.Ke4 Kc3 86.Kd5 d2 0-1

4) More on Osmand Palos

Newsletter reader Michael Aigner shares his memories of Osmand.

Hi John,

I was saddened to hear of the passing of IM Osmand Palos of Chicago. You probably didn't know, but he has special meaning to me because of one game we played in the summer of 2000 at the old Chicago Chess Club. I was visiting my dad in the Windy City, and on the spur of the moment, decided to play in a one-day G/90 tournament. As luck would have it, I was paired up on board 1 in the first round. Of course, my opponent was an institution of Chicago area chess, although I didn't know it at the time. I'm sure that Palos wanted to quickly forget our game (he blundered a piece), but I will never forget it. Not only was this my first victory against an International Master, but it was also the game that took me over 2200 USCF. I won the other two games in that tournament, with Palos watching me like a hawk. In the end, I took the first place prize that he probably had hoped to win, but he was gracious in congratulating me.

A photo of Osmand, taken by Tony Boren, can be found at .

5) Bay Area Chess History

Peter Dahl did a booklet on the life and games of Henry Gross almost fifteen years ago Now he has a second edition, with many analytical improvements, available on CD for the bargain price of $1 (to cover the cost of the CD, packaging and postage). You can place orders with Peter by writing him at or 75 Inverness Dr., San Francisco, CA 94132.

You won't find the following game, sent in by NM Robert Haines of Albuquerque, on any database.

Gross - Wade, R.G.
Bognor Regis Premier 1953

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bd2 dxe4 5. Qg4 Qxd4 6. Nf3 Nh6 7. Qf4 e5 8. Nxd4 exf4 9. Bxf4 c6 10. O-O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3 Nf5 12. Bc4 O-O 13. Rhe1 Nxd4 14. Rxd4 Bf5 15. g4 c5 16. Rd2 Bxg4 17. Rxe4 Bf5 18. Re5 Be6 19. Bd3 Nd7 20. Rg5 f6 21. Rg1 Ne5 22. Be4 Bxa2 23. Be3 Rac8 24. f4 Ng6 25. Bxg6 hxg6 26. Rxg6 Be6 27. Rg1 b6 28. Kb2 Rfd8 29. Rgd1 Rxd2 30. Rxd2 Kf7 31. Bf2 Ke7 32. Bg3 Rd8 33. Re2 Kd7 34. Rd2+ Kc8 35. Re2 Bf5 36. Kb3 Kc7

End of first time control.

37. Re7+ Rd7 38. Re8 Kc6 39. Re2 a5 40. Be1 Kb5 41. c4+ Kc6 42. Bc3 Rd8 43. Rg2 Rd7 44. h4 Kd6 45. Ka4 Re7 46. Kb5 Kc7 47. Ka4 Kc6 48. h5 Re3 49. Bb2 Be4 50. Rh2 Kc7 51. c3 Rf3 52. Rh4 f5 53. Kb3 Bd3 54. Bc1 Rf2

End of second time control.

55. Rh3 a4+ 56. Ka3

56. Kxa4 Bxc4

56... Bxc4 57. Bb2 Rxf4 58. h6 gxh6 59. Rxh6 b5 60. Rh7+ Kb6 61. Rh2 Rf1 62. Rc2 Bb3 0-1

Kerry Lawless site,, is dedicated to preserving the chess heritage of California. To that end a concerted effort is being made to enter all significant tournaments games played in the Golden State into the CalBase database on the chessdryad site (over 20,000 games so far). Among those events missing, for which neither Kerry nor the MI have bulletins are:

Bagby Memorials (Northern California Championships)
1976 (won by Roy Ervin)
1984 (won by Paul Whitehead)
1986 (won by Peter Biyiasas)

3rd San Francisco International 1987 (organizer Guillermo Rey)

CalBase has all 41 games published in the bulletin for the 1994 San Mateo IM norm event, but the following four games are missing:

Shaked-Izumikawa 1/2-1/2, Summerscale -Busquets 1-0, Remlinger-Izumikawa 1-0 and Remlinger-Mortazavi 1/2-1/2.

Can anyone help out?

Max Burkett, who served as the bulletin editor for many years, has recently posted all the games from the 1983 CalChess Masters at:

6) Zsuzsa Polgar wins in Oklahoma

Zsuzsa Polgar came out of retirement to win the Dream Team Challenge this past weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Polgar, who hasn't played a tournament game in about 6 years, scored 6.5 from 7 in the unique event which was run as a Swiss, but with the stipulation that none of the members of the Women's Olympic Training Squad could be paired with each other. IM Irina Krush was second at 6 followed by FM Jennifer Shahade and WGM Rusa Goletiani on 5 1/2. IM Anna Zatonskih was fifth at 5 with best male finishers Movses Moivsisyan and Sergey Galant at 4.5. Moivsisyan, who beat Krush and drew Polgar, earned enough points to push his rating over 2200. Frank Berry organized and sponsored this unique tournament.

6) Here and There

GM Alex Baburin's online daily Chess Today recently published the following information about an interview FIDE czar Ilyumzhinov gave regarding the FIDE World Championship situation.

The Championship shall take place in Tripoli, 8th May - 2nd June. The Prize fund will be 1 million 508 thousand US dollars. The winner will get one hundred thousand dollars. Regarding the problem with the Israeli players: Ilyumzhinov asked Khaddafi to allow them to visit the country and hopes for a positive answer. There is also an idea originating from Khaddafi's son - that of dividing the Championship into two groups. One of the groups will play in Malta, and Libya will pay for everything.

One final interesting point from the interview - FIDE will send contracts to all 128 World Championship participants. Included in the contract is a clause making it obligatory for KO Championship winner to participate in the match against Garry Kasparov. Ilyumzhinov is sure that Anand will play in Libya.

The official FIDE site has published an interesting statistic: The top chess countries by average rating of their 10 top players:

1. Russia - 2726
2. Ukraine - 2622
3. England - 2614
4. Hungary - 2613
5. France - 2612
6. USA - 2607
7. Israel - 2605
8. Germany - 2601
9. China - 2593
10. Netherlands - 2591

7) 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

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