Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #181

"Chess is not something that drives people mad, chess is something that keeps mad people sane."

   William Hartston

1) Bay Area Chess Activity Picking Up
2) NM John Braley turns 60
3) Here and There
4) MI History: The 1976 Stamer Memorial 
5) Upcoming Events

1) Bay Area Chess Activity Picking Up

This weekend's A.J. Fink Amateur Championship at the Mechanics' Institute parks the start of a pickup in chess activity in the Bay Area. Later this month the Northern California Scholastic Championship will be held and tournaments are also scheduled for Vallejo, San Francisco and Berkeley. The latter will start a new event, The Berkeley Chess Club Friday Night Marathon, this Friday. Go to for more information.

2) NM John Braley turns 60

Longtime MI Members might remember a strong visitor from Seattle who often visited the Chess Room in the late 1960s, skittling with then Chess Director IM William Addison. That was John Braley who went on to win three Washington State Championship titles in the 1970s and 80s and did an excellent job editing Northwest Chess in 1983-84. John turned 60 yesterday, March 2. Congratulations!

Though noted for his skill in maneuvering in closed positions John could also play some beautiful sacrificial games. Here are two good examples.

NM John Braley- NM George Krauss
Seattle 1971

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Bc4 c2 6.Qxc2 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 d6 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 Nh6 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.Qxc3 Qe7 12.Bd5 Bd7 13.Qb3 g5 14.Bg3 g4 15.Nh4 0-0-0 16.Rac1 Rde8 17.Qe3 Nf7 18.Rxc6 Bxc6 19.Nf5 Qf8 20.Qxa7 Nd8 21.Rc1 h5 22.b4 h4 23.Bf4 Rh5 24.b5 Bxd5 25.Bxd6 Qf7 26.Qa8+ Kd7 27.Rxc7+ Ke6 28.Qc8+ 1-0

NM John Braley - NM Neil Salmon
Seattle 1983

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 a6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.h3 e6 9.Qe2 Bd7 10.Rd1 Qb8 11.a4 Be7 12.b4 Nxb4 13.e5 dxe5 14.Nxe5 Qc8 15.Rxd7 Nxd7 16.Nxf7 Kxf7 17.Qxe6+ Ke8 18.Bg5 Qc5 19.Re1 Qxg5 20.Ne4 Qe5 21.Nd6+ Qxd6 22.Qxd6 Nc6 23.Bd5 Kd8 24.Rxe7 Nxe7 25.Be6 Ke8 26.Qxd7+ Kf8 27.Qxb7 1-0

3) Here and There

The March 1st edition of the New Yorker features a three page review of the new book Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of all Time by David Edmonds and John Eidinow.

American players did not have an easy time at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow. Top scorers were GMs Gregory Kaidanov and Boris Gulko with 5/9 followed by GMs Alexander Ivanov and Sergey Kudrin at fifty percent. IM Dmitry Schneider had 3. IM William Paschall had 4.5 from 9 in the B group.

Noted chess book collector Andy Ansel shares this recently unearthed game played by the late MI stalwart Henry Gross and NM Hugh Myers in the 1955 US Open.

NM Henry Gross - NM Hugh Myers
Long Beach (12), 1955

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.a3 a5 7.Bd3 Bd7 8.0-0 cxd4 9.cxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qxd4 11.Nc3 Qxe5 12.Re1 Qd6 13.Nb5 Qb8 14.Qf3 Bd6 15.Qxd5 Bxh2+ 16.Kh1 Nf6 17.Qd4 h5 18.Bg5 Ng4 19.Qc5 f6 20.Rxe6+ Bxe6 21.Bg6+ Bf7 22.Re1+ Be5 23.Nc7+ Qxc7 24.Qxc7 Bxg6 25.Qxg7 0-0-0 26.Qxg6 fxg5 27.Qb6 Kb8 28.f3 Bd4 29.Qxa5 Nf2+ 30.Kh2 Rd7 31.Re2 g4 32.f4 g3+ 33.Kxg3 Rg7+ 34.Kf3 Rhg8 35.Rxf2 Rg3+ 36.Ke2 Bxf2 37.Kxf2 Rxg2+ 38.Kf3 R8g3+ 39.Ke4 Re2+ 40.Kf5 Rd3 41.Kg5 Red2 42.Qe5+ Rd6 43.f5 R2d5 44.Qe8+ Rd8 45.Qxh5 Rg8+ 46.Kf6 Rf8+ 47.Ke6 Rfd8 48.Qh2+ Kc8 49.f6 Rd2 50.Qh3 R2d7 51.f7 Rf8 ½-½ Source: Exploring the Chess Openings by Hugh Myers, pages 56-58.

One of the great bargains in American chess has to be a membership in the Mechanics' Instititute. Where else can you find a club open 12 hours a day, seven days a week, plus access to a general interest library that includes over 1000 chess books and over 60 chess videos for only $95 a year? Not quite the bargain, but still a real steal is membership in America's second oldest continuosly operating chess club, the Franklin - Mercantile of Philadelphia. Located in the downtown at 2012 Walnut Street, just off Rittenhouse Square, the club only charges adults $50 a year and juniors, students and those living over 25 miles away $25. Hours are:M-F 1pm-9pm; Sat 1pm -12am, Sundays vary. Club President is IM Richard Costigan. Call (215) 496-0811 for more information.

4) MI History: The 1976 Stamer Memorial

=1st Jeremy Silman, Roy Ervin and Frank Thornally 4.5-.5

Ervin,R - Whitehead,J
San Francisco Stamer (4), 1976

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.d5 Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 10.Be3 Nh5 11.g3 Bh3 12.Rfd1 f5 13.Bxc5 dxc5 14.exf5 gxf5 15.Nxe5 Nxg3 16.hxg3 Bxe5 17.f4 Bg7 18.Kh2 Bg4 19.Bxg4 fxg4 20.Kg2 Bxc3 21.Qxc3 Qd7 22.Re1 c6 23.Re5 Rf5 24.Rae1 cxd5 25.cxd5 b6 26.Rxf5 Qxf5 27.Re5 Qf6 28.Re8+ 1-0

Menas,B - Fritzinger,D
San Francisco Stamer (5), 1976

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.a4 c6 8.d5 Nb6 9.Bb3 cxd5 10.a5 dxe4 11.Ng5 Nbd7 12.Bxf7+ Rxf7 13.Ne6 Qe8 14.Nc7 Qd8 15.Ne6 Qe8 16.Nc7 Qd8 17.Ne6 Qe8 18.Nc7 ½-½

5) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

A. J. Fink Amateur - March 6-7
Spring Tuesday Night Marathon - March 18-May 11
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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