Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #19

1) New from the Past

The following account of Bay Area chess comes from the North American Chess Reporter (June 1931), an excellent but short lived publication that was printed in Beverly Hills in the 1930s to promote the Pasadena 1932 tournament.

San Francisco beats Trans-bay 14.5 to 10.5

The largest chess match ever held on the Pacific Coast was playing April 18, at the Mechanics' Institute. San Francisco met the East Bay Cities (Oakland & Berkeley) in a 25 board encounter. This match had been carefully planned in advance by the two captains' Ernest J. Clarke of San Francisco and Fred N. Christenson of the East Bay. As a result thereof it attracted a good deal of attention. Visitors flocked to the Mechanics Institute, not only from San Francisco Bay Region, but from other cities, such as Modesto, Bakersfield, etc.

At 7:45 the teams were ready to play. By this time the chess room was packed with one of the largest crowds of chess enthusiasts ever seen at the Institute. Captain Clarke said a few words on behalf of the Chess Reporter, urging the players to subscribe to this magazine. Captain Christensen spoke briefly about the match and thanked East Bay players for the splendid support given by them in organizing the East Bay Team.

Immediately after these announcements play began on all 25 boards. Shimkin, manager of the University of California Chess Club, was the first to draw blood, by defeating Powell of San Francisco in 8 moves. Then Tippin and Bagby agreed on a draw. The East Bay won the next 4 games, which gave them a lead of 5.5-.5. But now it was San Francisco's turn. The next 6 games were won by her, making the score 6.5-5.5 in favor of San Francisco. The East Bay countered by winning the following 3 games. San Francisco followed suit and won 3 games after that. The 19th game, Pafnutieff-Paul, was a draw. The score at this point was 10-9 in San Francisco's favor. The teams won another game each, and then San Francisco finally put the match away with several victories.

2) Tournament Results: January 13-14

IM Nikolay Andrianov, who tied for first at the North American Open in Las Vegas in late December, continued his winning ways by taking top honors in the Tucson Open. Andrianov scored 4 1/2 - 1/2, drawing only with fellow Phoenix resident IM Rogelio Barcenilla who shared second at 4-1 with IM Mark Ginsburg.

GM Alexander Goldin and IM John Donaldson tied for first in the Scott Kittsley Chess Festival held in Madison, Wisconsin. The two winners scored 4 1/2 -1/2, drawing in round four.

3) Upcoming Events at the MI

MI Scholastic Chess Coordinator Anthony Corrales will be directing a tournament for juniors on January 27-28 at the MI. Contact him at ( for more details.

MI Assistant Director Joan Arbil is running Tuesday and Saturday Marathons at the MI throughout January. Contact her at for more information or visit the MI website (

MI WBCA Blitz Tournament March 4, 2-4 PM Five double round Swiss or Round Robin as entries dictate $150 first, $100 second guaranteed, more per entries 100% of all entry fees paid back Donated book and magazine prizes as well WBCA membership required Entry fee: $15 adults, $10 juniors

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