Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #182

"Fischer was a genius of concentration. He thought about chess day and night. I also experienced an interesting case of concentration. It happened while I was playing in England. I got up from my board and noticed my wife. I realized that her face was familiar and I said "Good afternoon!". She ran away ... I think that in order to reach a really high level one needs maximum concentration; both during the game and in preparation."

   Svetozar Gligoric

1) Vayntrub and Lopez win A.J. Fink Amateur
2) Chess and Poker 
3) Here and There
4) Bobby Fischer Goes To War
5) Upcoming Events

1) Vayntrub and Lopez win A.J. Fink Amateur

Dmitry Vayntrub and Jacob Lopez tied for first place with 4-0 scores in the A.J. Fink Amateur Championship held March 6-7 at the Mechanics' Institute. Young Daichi Siegrist was third at 3.5 in the 45-player field and we predict he will be an Expert before the end of the year. Anthony Corrales and John Donaldson directed for the Mechanics'.

2) Chess and Poker

Last Friday the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article by MI member Steve Rubenstein on the Bay 101 Club Shooting Star poker tournament which featured a first prize of $350,000. About half the article was devoted to observations by Dennis Waterman, one of the best Bay Area players in the mid-1970s, with a USCF rating over 2400.

Rubenstein wrote: Waterman, who is also a World ranked chess player, says he does not play poker on Saturday night with the boys, a six-pack and a bowl of barbecue potato chips.

"Poker is a job," he said. "You don't do your job for fun. This is work."

Many strong Bay Area chess players like to play poker, and some quite well. Six-time US Champion Walter Browne is a house player for the Oaks Club n Emeryville while IM Elliott Winslow supports himself these days playing poker on the Internet. FM Ralph Dubisch of Sunnyvale played professionally for many years.

While a certain type of chess player can be a good poker player, you never see the reverse, which can probably be explained by the differences in psychology of the games. Many chess players only play chess, lacking any sort of gambling/gaming interest. Conversely poker players are not likely to be attracted to a game like chess where the gambling element is limited.

3) Here and There

The first Berkeley Chess Club Friday Night Marathon got off to a very respectable start last week, attracting a field of 34 players to the Berkeley City Club near the UC campus. Top seed is NM Andy Lee followed by Experts Ian Zimmerman and David Barton. For more on this event visit .

Here is MI member Paul Gallegos convincing win over GM Raj Tischbierek from last December's North American Open in Las Vegas. Tischbierek is the editor of the highly respected German monthly Schach.

Gallegos,P - Tischbierek,R [B06]
North American Open, 2003

1.e4 g6 2.d4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Be3 b5 5.Qd2 Nf6 6.f3 Nbd7 7.h4 Nb6 8.Nh3 Bxh3 9.Rxh3 Qc7 10.g4 h5 11.g5 Nfd7 12.f4 e5 13.a3 a6 14.Rf3 Bg7 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.f5 Bf8 17.Qf2 Be7 18.0-0-0 Rd8 19.fxg6 fxg6 20.Bh3 Nc4 21.Be6 Nd6 22.Rf7 Rb8 23.Rxe7+ Kxe7 24.Bxd7 Rhf8 25.Qg3 Nb7 26.Qh3 1-0

American chess players have two double headers coming up in early April. Those on the East Coast will go for the Millennium Open in Virginia Beach and Foxwoods while West Coast players have events in Burbank and Reno. Go to for details of the LA area event.

The Marshall is not the only club thriving in the five boroughs of Manhattan. The Susan Polgar Chess Center has recently moved to new quarters. See the story and what the club looks like at

It's hard to say what the strongest chess city per capita in the United States is. Certainly the campus of the University of Baltimore at Maryland County, with GMs Alex Onischuk and Pavel Blehm and IMs Eugene Perelshteyn and Pascal Charbonneau not to mention nearby residents GMs Jaan Ehlvest, Alex Wojtkiewicz and Alex Sherzer, is a pretty impressive concentration of strength. Removing special cases like this and the University of Texas at Dallas, where scholarships have brought in the talent, the winner might be Berkeley. Certainly New York City has many more strong players, but one GM (Walter Browne) and four IMs (Jay Whitehead, John Grefe, Vinay Bhat and John Donaldson) is not bad for a city of 110,000.

4) Bobby Fischer Goes To War

The authors of Bobby Fischer Goes To War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time, David Edmonds & John Eidinow, will be giving a talk at the Mechanic's Institute, on Friday, April 2, at 12:30 PM. The event is free for members and $5 for the public. Go to for more information.

5) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

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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