Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #188

"Russians don't retreat!"

   Alexander Ivanov in response to why he sacrificed a knight on g5 on f7 after ...h6.

The MI starts its weekly blitz events this Wednesday at 7pm. Tomorrow Anthony Corrales will resume his popular free children's class (every Thursday 3:15-5:15) The Imre Konig Memorial will be held this Saturday starting at 10am.

1) Five-way tie in Spring TNM
2) Birth of the Chess Queen: A History 
3) UMBC Wins Final Four
4) Sponsors 2004 Grand Prix
5) Here and There
6) Chess Camps
7) Upcoming Events

1) Five-way tie in Spring TNM

Top-seed FM Frank Thornally defeated leader Expert Larry Snyder to force a five-way tie for first in the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. Tied at 5-1 with three rounds to go are Thornally, Snyder, NM Russell Wong, Expert Alex Setzepfandt and Class A player Victor Todortsev.

Thornally,F - Snyder,L
Grunfeld [D93]
Spring TNM San Francisco (6), 2004

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Rc1 0-0 6.e3 c6 7.Nf3 Qb6 8.Qb3 dxc4?!

Black's treatment of the opening isn't very dynamic but Hort and Uhlmann have tried it on more than one occasion. The text, however, which gives up the center and aids White's development looks wrong. Better is 8...Bg4 9.Ne5 Be6.

9.Bxc4 Qxb3 10.Bxb3 Nbd7 11.0-0 Nb6 12.h3 Bf5 13.Rfd1 Ne4 14.Ne2

White with more space avoids exchanges, preserving his advantage.

14...Rad8 15.Ne5 Bc8 16.Nd3 Nd5 17.Bh2 Bh6

Black has been developing patiently. Here 17...Be6 might be better intending ...Bh6 the next move with the idea of meeting Nef4 with trades on f4 and b3. In the game White's Bishop plays a much more powerful role than its counterpart.

18.Nef4 Nxf4 19.Nxf4 Bg7 20.Nd3 Bh6 21.Bc7!

White increases his advantage with the next few moves and Black is powerless to stop him.

21...Rd7 22.Bb8 a6 23.Ne5 Rdd8 24.Bc7 Rde8 25.d5!

Excellent! White opens the game and Black's queenside is defenseless.

25...cxd5 26.Bxd5 Ng5 27.Bb6 Bg7 28.Nc4 Ne6 29.b3 Nd8 30.Na5!

The classic square for the Knight to paralyze Black's queenside.

30...Be6 31.Bxe6 Nxe6 32.Rd7 Rc8 33.Rc4 Bf6 34.Nxb7

White has correctly waited for this moment - he only wins material while still preserving a positional advantage.

34...Rxc4 35.bxc4 Rc8 36.c5 Kf8 37.Kf1 Ke8 38.Rd3 Be5 39.a4 Bc7 40.a5 Bxb6 41.axb6 a5 [41...Nxc5 42.Rc3] 42.Ke2 f6 43.Kd1 Nf8 44.Kc2 Nd7 45.Kb1 Rc6 46.Ka2 Nxb6 47.cxb6 Rxb6 48.Nxa5 Ra6 49.Rd5 e6 50.Rb5 1-0

A nice positional effort by FM Frank Thornally.

2) Birth of the Chess Queen: A History

The following event will be held on the 4th floor as part of the Author and Literary Events series. For more information contact Laura Sheppard, Director of Events at RESERVATIONS:, EVENTS OFFICE: or (415) 393-0114.

Tuesday, May 25, 6:00 pm
Birth of the Chess Queen: A History

Marilyn Yalom

The history of the Chess Queen, and this game piece's astonishing connection with the rise of female sovereigns in Europe is traced in Marilyn Yalom's fascinating and well-researched book.

From medieval courts to the Virgin Mary to the cult of Romantic Love, she reveals chess as both a "courting ritual" and a metaphor for royal power. She is senor scholar at Stanford's Institute for Women and Gender and author of A History of the Wife. Members free; Public $5

3) UMBC Wins Final Four

Lindsborg, Kansas, and Dr. Mikhail Korenman are keeping busy. Korenman, who is running for the USCF Executive Board this summer, is turning into one of the major organizers in the United States. The past three years he has held strong international tournaments in Lindsborg, producing two GM norms and four IM norms. Last year Anatoly Karpov won the inaugural Lindsborg Rapid Chess event and the first Karpov chess school in the US was set up in Lindsborg.

Not content to rest on his laurels Korenman and the Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess recently hosted the United States Chess Federation's President's Cup. The following USCF press release gives the details.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) chess team celebrated a 3-2 victory over their archrival, the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). UMBC players won the title and the prestigious United States Chess Federation's President's Cup in a two-day match (April 3-4) at the Brunswick Plaza in Lindsborg, Kansas. Miami Dade scored one team point to beat out the team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess sponsored the match. Each team consisted of four players, plus an alternate, with the exception of MIT, who didn't bring an extra player. Each team played the others in the round-robin match. The University of Maryland team lineup included two Grandmasters, Alexander Onischuck and Pawel Blehm. Completing the lineup was IM's Pascal Charbonneau and Eugene Perelshteyn. Bruci Lopez was the team alternate. Onischuck and Charbonneau are familiar names in Lindsborg in that they competed in several tournaments there, including the Karpov Invitational held in December 2003. IM Perelshteyn played in the Lindsborg Open in December. The UMBC and UTD teams had the same number of match points after rounds one and two. They met in the third and final round. After four hours of play Dr. Mikhail Korenman, Director of the Karpov School, announced that UMBC had won the Final Four with a score of 3-2. UMBC players, IM's Charbonneau and Perelshteyn, were the top scorers with perfect 3.0 scores.

This summer Lindsborg and Korenman will be hosting both the US Junior Closed and Open events as well as several chess camps featuring GMs Alex Onischuk and Yury Shulman.

4) Sponsors 2004 Grand Prix

Things are looking up for the USCF which now has sponsors for both the US Championship and Grand Prix. The only thing missing now is a backer for the US Olympiad teams.

Bill Goichberg, Executive Director of the United States Chess Federation, has announced that he has reached an agreement with for the popular online website to sponsor the 2004 Grand Prix.

The Grand Prix is an annual year long contest, held each year since 1979, that causes more frequent play by top players, encourages organizers to reward excellence by guaranteeing more prize money that Masters are eligible to win, and helps to raise money for USCF's Professional Players Health & Benefits Fund. will be the third corporate sponsor in the history of the Grand Prix. The others were Church's Chicken (1979-1986) and Novag Computers (1988-1998). The event was sponsored by individual donors in 2001 and USCF in other years. This year's prize fund will be the largest since 2000 and will include 18 special merchandise prizes for juniors and seniors. The Grand Prix winner for each of the past five years has been Grandmaster Alex Wojtkiewicz.

"We are pleased to the sponsor of the Grand Prix Competition for 2004," stated founder and owner of Hanon W. Russell. "It is a tradition that we are proud to be a part of." Russell confirmed that a total of $10,000 in cash prizes and another $5,000 of merchandise has been guaranteed by ChessCafe.

Press Release courtesy of the USCF.

5) Here and There

This year's Western States Open in Reno in late October promises to be something really special with Boris Spassky the special guest of honor! Spassky will give a lecture and simul, and answer questions after a showing of the film, Clash of the Titans. Organizer Jerry Weikel will be supplying more information shortly.

Kudos to Virginia tournament director and organizer Michael Atkins who goes out of his way to preserve games of top players at major American tournaments. He rescued 160 games from the Foxwoods Open that would have otherwise disappeared. Games from US events are notoriously underrepresented in major databases. People like Michael and Andy Ansel are trying to correct that state of affairs and we applaud their efforts.

Scholastic Coordinator Anthony Corrales reports that several MI juniors have been doing very well of late. Greg Young won the K-3 Open State Championship on tie breaks (5-0) and in Pittsburgh at the recently concluded National Elementary Championships Daniel Naroditsky (2nd Grade) came in 6th and Hugo Kitano came in 7th on tiebreaks, tying for 3rd at 6-1.

Newsletter reader Dan Meinking writes: Not sure if this would be of interest to your readers, but... just wanted to mention that The Good Companions (ie. the U.S. Society of Chess Problemists) have a brand new website: "StrateGems" is, of course, the name of our publication. In the first 22 days we've had 93,000 'hits'.

The Mechanics' Institute is not only home to top players like former US Champions Alex Yermolinsky and Walter Browne plus US Women's Champion Camilla Baginskaite but also several top notch problemists including Bob Burger and Victor Baja not to mention the late A.J. Fink.

David Goldfarb leads the Berkeley Chess Club Friday Night Marathon with 6.5 out of 7 with one round to go. Jacob Lopez is second with 6.

The Berkeley Chess Club meets Friday nights for rated chess at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, in Berkeley. Youth chess starts at 6:30pm and children must be picked up by 8:00. Adults must register by 7:45 and play at 8:00. Entry fee is $4.00 per player. For more information contact Alan Glasscoe at 510.652.5324.

Congratulations to Newsletter reader FM Jonathan Berry of Canada who defeated wunderkind Sergey Karjakin (2580 FIDE) in the recent ACP blitz.

IM William Paschall of Boston had a good result in the latest First Saturday event in Budapest. Paschall scored 8/13 in the Category VII (2417) event to tie for second. Hungarian IM Sandor Kustar, who spends part of each year in South Dakota, had 7.5. FM Sean Nagle had 7.5/ 13 in the Category 2 (2293) IM group.

The 2004 US Championships will take place November 25th - December 5th at the Hilton Torrey Pines, La Jolla San Diego, California. Further details of who has qualified so far and which events make-up the 2004 cycle can be found at Further details:

6) MI Chess Camps

5th Mechanics' Institute Chess Camp for Beginners and Novice Players (below 1200 USCF)

This is a camp for players that want to learn how to play or who know the bare rudiments and would like to increase their understanding of the game. Instructor Anthony Corrales has a wealth of experience teaching youngsters. During this camp students will build up a solid core of knowledge. This will include learning all the basic checkmates, mastering the fundamentals of opening play, implementing middlegame plans and understanding simple endgames. Pupils will also learn how to take chess notation and to play using a chess clock.

Who: Open to youngsters 5-15
When : June 28 - July 2, from 10pm to 3pm daily
Where: 57 Post Street, 4th floor (Montgomery BART station) Cost: $300 for Mechanics' members, $335 for non-members. Non-members will receive a one year membership in the MI. There is a limit of 20 players for this camp. If you can't attend the whole camp there is a drop in fee of $75 a day

Advanced Players (1200-2200)

This is not a camp for players that want to jump two rating classes in five days. You won't learn how to win against the Sicilian every time using the Grand Prix Attack. So why our camp and not others? At the MI camp you will get a look inside a GM's laboratory and get a feel for how they work on their game from the ground up. You will learn not only the importance of analyzing your own games, but also how to do it properly. You will learn to identify the critical points of the game and to understand when and why things went wrong. You will learn how to use ChessBase and Fritz efficiently as part of a daily training program as well as utilizing resources on the Internet such as TWIC and the Internet Chess Club. Today chess books are cranked out at an incredible rate. Some of them are very good, many are quite bad. We will help students learn to select that which is truly useful. On the fun side our instructors have unique experience in international competition. Expect to hear stories and anecdotes about what it's like to play against Kasparov and defend first board in a Chess Olympiad. Instructors: Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky, International Master John Donaldson, and MI Scholastic Director Anthony Corrales.

Who: Open to all ages from 8 and up.
When : August 2-6, from 10 am to 5 pm
Where: 57 Post Street, 4th floor (Montgomery BART station)
Cost: $320 for Mechanics' members, $355 for junior (under 21) non-members, $405 for adult non-members. All non-members will receive a one year membership in the MI. There is a limit of 40 players for this camp. If you can't attend the whole camp there is a drop in fee of $80 a day.

7) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Imre Konig Memorial - April 24
Charles Powell Memorial - May 15
Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 12-13
William Addison Open - June 26
Charles Bagby Memorial - July 17

Mechanics' Institute Scholastic Quads 2004 Tournaments: April 17, May 8, June 19 and July 24 Open to players age 18 and under (Limited to first 80 players) Game/45

Rounds : 10:30am, 12:15pm, 2:00pm Late Registration: 9:30am - 10:15am Open: to the first eighty players Note: Quads based on rating. USCF Rated. Unrated players face each other. You must be a USCF member to play in the quads. Time Control: Game in 45 minutes Entry Fee: $20 / $30 day of tournament/ $15 for MI members Checks payable to Mechanics' Chess Club Prizes: Trophies for the winners of each quad

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