Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #191

"only an inferior taste could prefer that which is unnecessarily complicated to that which is simple. The healthy mind chooses of two equally suitable moves the one that is more straight forward and less sophisticated."

   Emanuel Lasker

1) Morkunaite, Thornally and Setzepfandt win Spring TNM
2) Nicolas Yap wins Wednesday Night Blitz
3) FIDE World Championship Fiasco
4) Letter from USCF President Beatriz Marinello
5)  Almira Skripchenko to visit Bay Area - CANCELLED
6) Winslow Annotates - Part Two
7) John Grefe with another discovery
8) Two games by the late Eugene Martinovsky
9) Here and There 
10) MI Chess Camps
12) Donations to MI Chess Club
13) Upcoming Events

1) Morkunaite, Thornally and Setzepfandt win Spring TNM

Egle Morkunaite defeated fellow NM Russell Wong in the last round of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon to bump off the leader and grab a share of the honors. Joining here at 7-2 and a tie for first were FM Frank Thornally and young Expert Alex Setzefandt. The Summer Marathon starts June 1.

2) Nicolas Yap wins Wednesday Night Blitz

San Francisco teenager NM Nicolas Yap won the latest Wednesday Night Blitz with a score of 9.5 from 11, Taking second in the 12-player round robin was Expert Anthony Rozenvasser followed by NM Batsaikan Tserendorj. This weekly series, open to all, starts at 7pm on Wednesdays and runs to around 8:30 or 9. Entry fee is $5 with all money collected returned to the prize fund.

3) FIDE World Championship Fiasco

Chess Today, the online daily (subscription is 15 euro for 3 months, continues to impress with its insightful and even-handed editorials. Founder GM Alex Baburin editor weighs in on the recent FIDE World Championship Libya won't let in Israelis The excellent Chess Base website has published a report on the current situation with the FIDE men's World Championship. Let us have a look at how things have been unfolding with the 2004 championship: 1) First FIDE claimed that the event will be split between Libya and Malta - those who can't go to Libya, would then play in Malta. 2) Later Libya welcomed all players, so FIDE cancelled the alternative venue (Malta). The Israeli players (Gelfand, Sutovsky and Smirin), as well as several US players said that they won't play.But at least that was their choice. 3) This Wednesday Mohammed Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader, denies that he had invited Israeli chess players to take part in tournament. He said: "We didn't invite, nor will we invite, the Zionist enemy to the competition." He added: "We will not give up our principles even if that leads to cancelling holding the tournament in Libya." 4) Yesterday the Chess Federation of Israel demanded that the tournament would be moved to another country, not hostile to Israel. See report in Russian.

Comments from Alex Baburin: Now that is interesting " we begin to hear about cancellation of the tournament! No wonder FIDE was (and is!) so keen on forcing the players to sign completely one-sided 'contracts' " if the event is off, FIDE will have no responsibilities at all. Its officials might even congratulate themselves on finding another 'wise solution' in the 'interest of all players'.

I have a simple solution " why not host the championship in London or Paris " these great cities would suit everyone! Or hold it in any other big city in Europe. Of course, that would cost money. But have we all forgotten that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov allocated (put in the FIDE bank) $50,000,000 of his money for 10 FIDE knockout championships?! If that claim is true, then there is nothing to worry about, right?

Well, probably that claim is not true after all. This would explain why official chess events are moved to pretty unsafe places " like Adjaria in Georgia and Libya " FIDE is desperate for money and any sponsor is deemed good enough. This also explains why one day speculative announcements are made (like hosting the Kasparov-Ponomariov match in Buenos Aires or organising Kasparov's match in 2005 in Vietnam) and then quickly dismissed and quietly forgotten. Unfortunately, FIDE has such a low reputation now that it does not even try to protect it. Many welcomed Ilyumzhinov to FIDE because the organisation then was on the brink of financial bankruptcy and he bailed it out with his personal money. That situation was (and is) clearly not sustainable, but most national chess federations pretend not to notice it.

It seems that now Ilyumzhinov does not put money into FIDE, while his organising decisions are always controversial. Thus I fear that when Ilyumzhinov leaves FIDE (for whatever reason), it might then be both financially and morally bankrupt! Which will be a shame, for FIDE is a large and long-running organisation with a great history.

4) Letter from USCF President Beatriz Marinello

Statement of United States Chess Federation

Addressed to the
FIDE Presidential Board

May 7th, 2004

Dear Members of the chess community:

As a President of the United States Chess Federation, one of the member nations of the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE), hereby express our grave concern over the FIDE Presidential Board's recent mismanagement of its responsibilities.

Indeed, the sole positive step has been FIDE's decision to move its Women's Championship event from Batumi, Georgia to Elista, Russia. This measure was essential in light of the widespread concerns that had been expressed for the safety of our players.

But the rest of the picture is bleak in the extreme. At present, FIDE's accounts are appallingly in arrears. The FIDE President owe millions of dollars to FIDE. Every assurance from him that payment will be made on specific dates has come and gone without action. Months ago, FIDE accepted the resignation of its Executive Director, yet even today it has still not taken the requisite action to select a new Executive Director. FIDE's style of governance has been increasingly founded on diktat, with dissenting views brushed aside.

FIDE World Championship Title

Ever since FIDE announced that Tripoli (Libya) would be the venue of the 2004 World Championship it has been increasingly evident that players from many countries would experience insurmountable problems in traveling to and competing in the event. Many nations have national laws preventing their citizens from traveling to and doing business with Libya. It was premature for the FIDE Presidential Board to award the FIDE World Championship event to Tripoli at a time when the United Nations had not lifted its sanctions.

Players unable to compete in Tripoli were due to be given an alternative way of participating in the cycle, i.e. by playing in a parallel competition in Malta. Unfortunately, the Maltese event has been cancelled, which means that some players of FIDE member nations currently find themselves barred from the competition. The host nation of the FIDE World Championship is required to permit safe travel for all competitors, and since Libya is unable to offer such guarantees we call upon FIDE, in the spirit of its own motto, Gens una sumus, immediately to reinstate a parallel event in Malta so that all players entitled to participate in the World Championship cycle may do so.


Please sign your name if you support this statement:

"Beatriz Marinello," President of the United States Chess Federation

5) Almira Skripchenko to visit Bay Area- CANCELLED

This just came in.

Dear Eric,

I am in NY now, and I just got the message from FIDE that I am entitled to play the World Championship which will start on the 21st of May. This came as a complete shock to me, since I was on a reserve list. Now I have to change my plans completely and to fly from NY to Moscow and then to Elista.I hope that it is not to late to apologize and to explain the situation to everyone involved,I hope that I will beable to come back soon, and do everything we planned.Thank you very much for your understanding,


IM Almira Skripchenko of France will be making a whirlwind tour of the Bay Area in late May thanks to the efforts of FM Eric Schiller. Ms. Skripchenko, currently rated the 20th women in the world at 2456, serves as treasurer of the newly formed Association of Professional Chess Players. She will talk about the aims of that organization and answer listener's questions at the Mechanics' Institute on Monday, May 24 from 5 to 6 PM. The talk is free to the public. If you would like to learn more about Almira's activities in the Bay Area contact Eric at For more information about the Association of Professional Chess Players go to .

6) Winslow Annotates - Part Two

Robert Rowley (2287) - Elliott Winslow,E (2255) [B99]
Tempe-Skopje Sister City Open Tempe (5) 1974

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0 - 0 h6 10.Bh4 Nbd7 11.Be2

This move scared off Browne from the early ...h6, but the Chicago group (DeFotis, Chellstorp) sticks with it.


11...Rg8!? Winslow-Chellstorp, Illinois 5/1976.

12.fxg5 Ne5 13.Qf2?!

13.Qe3! Nh7 14.Rhf1! hxg5 15.Bg3 Nf8 16.Nf3 f6 17.Nxg5! fxg5 18.Bxe5 dxe5 19.Qf2! is the way from Feldman-Lukin, Leningrad 1970.

13...hxg5! 14.Bxg5 Nfg4 15.Qf4 Nf2! 16.Bb5+!?

Marovic and Susic in King Pawn Openings says 16.Ndb5 axb5 17.Nxb5 Qc5 18.Nxd6+ Bxd6 19.Qf6 with a "winning attack" but 19...Kd7!+; 16.Bxe7 Nxd1 17.Qf6 (17.Nd5; 17.Bf6; 17.Bxd6 all are winning for Black, the last from Haas-Winslow, Los Angeles 7/1976.) 17...Ng6 (17...Nxc3!? 18.Qxh8+ Kxe7 19.Qh4+ Kd7 20.bxc3 Qxc3 is the right way) 18.Nf5 exf5? (18...Nxc3!+ Littlewood in ChessPlayer 3, but 19.Nxd6+ Kd7 20.bxc3 is unclear.) 19.Nd5 Qc6 20.Rxd1; 16.Qxf2 Bxg5+ 17.Kb1 Bd7 18.h4 Be7 19.g4 Qc5 20.Qg3 b5 won a few games in the mid-seventies - Black is probably slightly better.


I half-seriously considered 16...Bd7 17.Bxd7+ Kxd7.

17.Ndxb5 Qc5 18.Bxe7

18.b4?? Bxg5 19.Qxg5 Ned3+

18...Nxd1 19.Bxd6

19.Rxd1 Kxe7 20.Nxd6 f6!; 19.Qf6 Nxc3 idea 20...Qe3+.

19...Nxc3 20.Bxc5 Ne2+ 21.Kb1 Nxf4 22.Nc7+ Kd8 23.Nxa8 Nd7

Maybe a doubtful plan.

24.Bd6 Nxg2 25.Rf1


25...f6 26.Nc7 e5 27.Nd5 Rxh2 28.a4

28.b3 Rh4 29.Rg1 Rg4 30.Be7+ Ke8 31.Nxf6+ Nxf6 32.Bxf6 Ne3 33.Re1 Rxe4 34.Bg5 Nd5

28...Rh4! 29.Rg1 Rg4 30.Be7+ Ke8 31.Nxf6+ Nxf6 32.Bxf6 Ne3 33.Re1 Nc4 34.b3 Kf7 35.Bh8 Rh4 36.bxc4

36.Rf1+ Ke8 37.Bf6 Nd2+

36...Rxh8 37.Kb2 Bd7 38.Kb3 Ra8 39.Ra1 Bc6 40.a5 Ke6 01

7) John Grefe with another discovery

The following game in effect decided the 1992 US Championship.

Fedorowicz,J - Sherzer,A ( [E88]
USA-ch (15), 1992

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 00 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 c6 8.Bd3 cxd5 9.cxd5 Nh5 10.Nge2 f5 11.exf5 gxf5 12.00 Nd7 13.Qd2 Ndf6 14.Kh1 Bd7 15.a4 a6 16.a5 Qe7 17.Bc2 Rae8 18.Rae1 e4 19.Nf4 Qf7 20.Nxh5 Nxh5 21.f4 Nf6 22.h3 Nh5 23.Kh2 Qg6 24.Rg1 Qg3+ 25.Kh1 Bh6 26.Rgf1 Qh4 27.Qf2 Ng3+ 28.Kg1 Kf7 29.Rc1 Rg8 30.Ba4 Bxa4 31.Nxa4 Rg4 32.Rc7+ Kg8 33.Rfc1 Bxf4 34.Rc8 Rxc8 35.Rxc8+ Kf7 36.Rc7+ Kg6 37.Bd4 Bh6?

37...e3! would have given Sherzer the US Championship title (final scores were 1. Wolff 10.5; 2-3. Gulko and Sherzer 10.) 38.Bxe3 (38.Qe1 Bh6) 38...Bxe3 39.Qxe3 Re4.

38.Rd7 Rf4?


39.Rxd6+ Kf7 40.Rxh6 Qg5 41.Rxh7+ Kf8 42.Rg7 Rxf2 43.Rxg5 Rf1+ 44.Kh2 f4 45.Rxg3 fxg3+ 46.Kxg3 Ra1 47.Nc5 Rxa5 48.d6 10

8) Two games by the late Eugene Martinovsky

The late Eugene Martinovsky (1931-2000) lead an eventful life. Born in Skopje in 1931 he escaped from Yugoslavia in 1958 while playing in tournament in Italy. He made his way to England where he spent a few years before coming to New York where he worked five years as an emergency room physician . He later became a psychiatrist and lived in Michigan and Illinois. He was a true lover of the game who was always kind and generous.

The booklet Moves with Martinovsky: Gentleman Master compiled by Lawrence Cohen at the 2002 US Masters (sponsored by a $25,000 bequest from Martinovsy's will) only gives games from the latter part of Dr. Martinovsky's life. Here are two of his earlier efforts unearthed by Andy Ansel.

Eugene Martinovsky - Greg Nowak
Milwaukee North Central (op) 1966

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 00 7.e4 Bg4 8.Be3 Nfd7 9.Qb3 Nb6 10.Rd1 Nc6 11.d5 Ne5 12.Be2 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3 Bh3 14.a4

The normal move in this tabiya position for the Grunfeld is the multi-purpose move 14.Rg1, but the text can transpose.



15.Rg1 Nd7


16.f4 Nf6 17.f5! gxf5?

17...a5; 17...Rd8

18.Bh6 Ne8 19.Nb5

19.Rd3 Bg4 20.Bxg7 Nxg7 21.Rdg3 Kh8 22.Bxg4 fxg4 23.Rxg4 Rg8 24.Qb4 with threats of Qxe7 and Qd4 is decisive.




20.Qc3 f6 21.Nxc7

20...Bd7 21.Bxg7 Nxg7 22.Rdg3! fxg3 23.Qxg3 Bg4 24.Bxg4 f5 25.Bh5 10

Source: Chess Life May1967, pages114115.

Eugene Martinovsky - Thomas Wozney
Chicago Chess Club (op) 1967

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 c5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nc7 7.00 e5 8.d3 Be7 9.Nd2 Nd4

9...Bd7 is the modern way to meet the threat of Bxc6.

10.Nc4 f6 11.f4 exf4 12.Bxf4 00 13.a4

13.Bxc7 Qxc7 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.e3 Ne6 16.Rc1 was a strong alternative. The Knight on d5 is very strong.

13...Rb8 14.Nb5! Ndxb5 15.axb5 Ra8 16.Na5

16.b6! Nb5 17.bxa7 Rxa7 18.Rxa7 Nxa7 19.Qb3 Kh8 20.Bxb7 leaves White a healthy pawn up.


16...Nd5 was necesary.

17.Nxb7 Bxb7 18.Bxb7 Bxf4 19.Rxf4 Rb8 20.Qb3+ Kh8 21.Rxa7 Qe8 22.Bc6 Qe3+ 23.Rf2 c4 24.Qa3 cxd3 25.exd3

The text does the job but 25.Rxc7 Qc1+ 26.Rf1 Qe3+ 27.Kg2 Qxe2+ 28.Rf2 was the way out of the checks.





26...Qxa5 27.Rxa5 Rfd8 28.Rf3 Kg8 29.Re3 Kf7 30.Ra7 10

Source: Chess Life April 1967, page 88.

9) Here and There

If you have ever wondered where the giant bookcase in the Chess Room came from thank the late Herman Freund. A longtime-member of the MI and a habitue of the Chess Room Freund gave the chess club $3000 which purchased the book case and 8 chairs. The book case came from George V. Antiques (The Best of British) at 901 Battery Street and houses the club's bound volumes of the British Chess Magazine dating back to 1882.

MI member Robert Moore mentions that Nicholas Basbane's fascinating Patience & fortitude : a roving chronicle of book people, book places, and book culture has three pages on the noted bookdealer Walter Goldwater and his wife who specialized in African-American literature and chess. THe MI library has a copy of Basbane's books.

10) 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.

11) Donations to MI Chess Club

Donations to the Mechanics' are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that has been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics'. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing it put to good use.

12) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

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

Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic
May 29-31, 2004

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