"We cannot say that we are anxious to see exhaustive printed analyses of the openings. The way to learn the openings is to seize the spirit or strong characteristic points of them, and to perceive the principles on which each salient feature of attack or defence is based; to rely upon knowing the book replies to every move is certain to produce a poor player. "
1) David Pruess wins Mark Pinto International 2) Paul Vayssie 1924-2004 3) Nick DeFirmian and Irina Krush Shine 4) DeGuzman wins Wednesday Night Blitz 5) Stock Exchange Chess 6) Are USCF Experts Stronger than Russian IMs? 7) Here and There 8) Upcoming Events
1) David Pruess wins Mark Pinto International
FM David Pruess of Berkeley won the Mark Pinto International in convincing fashion. Pruess, who was coached for many years by NM Robert Haines, easily made his second IM norm. His undefeated score of 9-2 in the Category 3 (2323) FIDE average - USCF 2374) event exceeded the norm by 1.5 points. International Masters took the next three places with Enrico Sevillano second at 8 followed by Odondoo Ganbold and Ricardo DeGuzman at 7. FM Dmitry Zilberstein was fifth at 6 followed by WFM Batchemeg Tuvshintugs at 5.5, a point over the WIM norm.
Other scores in the event, named in honor of longtime MI benefactor Mark Pinto:
7. FM Alan Stein 5; 8. NM Michael Aigner 4.5; 9-10. FM Richard Lobo and NM Shivkumar Shivaji 4; 11. FM Bela Evans 3.5; 12. FM Frank Thornally 3.
The games from the Pinto are available at the MI website at www.chessclub.org
2) Paul Vayssie 1924-2004
Paul Vayssie, a Mechanics' Member since the early 1960s, died over the weekend in San Francisco. A fireman by profession, Vayssie was a longtime participant in MI tournaments, but stopped playing in club events in the mid-1990s. Though he no longer played he still came by regularly to catch up on news and kibittz. The last week of his life Paul visited the club and seemed to be in good health. He was his normal friendly self.
Paul was a regular at US Opens playing in 27 including pretty much everyone the past two decades. His rating fluctuated between Class A and B, but he could be dangerous in the individual game as witnessed by the following upset over National Master Donato Rivera at the 1965 National Open.
3) Nick DeFirmian and Irina Krush Shine
UC Berkeley grad Nick DeFirmian tied for first in the recently concluded Politiken Cup in Copenhagen defeating Alexander Beliavsky in the last round. This is the third time that Nick has defeated " Big Al" as the always fighting but not too tall Beliavsky is known to colleagues on the circuit. Their lifetime score is 4-2 in Nick's favor.
De Firmian,N (2537) - Beliavsky,A (2679) [C88]
Irina Krush recently played in a super-strong all women round robin in Russia. She finished with a fifty percent score and defeated the recently crowned FIDE Women's World Champion in spectacular style in the last round. IM Almira Skripchenko of France won the event.
Krush,I (2459) - Stefanova,A (2527) [D11]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.Qb3 Qc7 6.Ne5 Be6 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Nxd7 Qxd7 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.e4 Nxc3 11.Qxc3 f5 12.f3 Bf7 13.Bc4 Bxc4 14.Qxc4 fxe4 15.fxe4 Rd8 16.Be3 Qg4 17.Qc2 e5 18.0-0 exd4 19.Qc4 Qd7 20.Bg5 Rc8 21.Rf5 Bd6 22.Raf1 b5 23.Qb3 h6 24.Bh4 g5 25.Rf7 gxh4 26.Rxd7 Kxd7 27.Rf7+ Be7 28.Qb4 c5 29.Qxb5+ Kd8 30.e5 Re8 31.e6 Rc7 32.Qb8+ Rc8 33.Qd6+ 1-0
4) DeGuzman wins Wednesday Night Blitz
International Master Ricardo DeGuzman won the Wednesday Night Blitz on July 28th scoring 7 from 9 in the ten-player round robin. Yefim Bukh and NM Batsikhan Tsrendorj shared second at 6-3.
5) Stock Exchange Chess
Michael Greengard (aka Mig) is a well-known chess personality on the Internet but few locals know that he grew up in the East Bay in El Sobrante. His excellent Chess Ninja site http://www.chessninja.com had an interesting article on July 30 on how Garry Kasparov sees the play of Vladimir Kramnik.
Stock Exchange Chess
Garry Kasparov, no doubt with a few sour grapes underfoot, coined that term to describe the conservative, play-the-percentages chess style epitomized by the man who took away his world championship title in 2000, Vladimir Kramnik. The basic precepts are:
1) Don't lose. That sounds obvious, but it means not risking a loss, or playing what the Russians call "for two results," win or draw only.
2) Save energy to maximize advantages. Don't tire yourself out playing for a win if you get an equal or even a better position with black. Take the draw asap so you are fresher when you have the white pieces. This combines the advantages of energy and the first move.
3) Don't press too hard. If you lose the advantage with white, offer a draw immediately. Again, maximize advantages. Don't risk overpressing just because you have white. Be pragmatic. This is contrary to the old conventional wisdom - still followed by many players - that you need to press hard to win with white even if your opening advantage is gone.
4) Play the position, never the player. Ignore factors like opponent's tournament standing or rating, etc. These can interfere with your best judgment at the board, and it's not pragmatic to waste time and energy considering them.
It doesn't take examples to realize that following these rules leads to lots and lots of draws, many of them short and without interest as chess games. GMs today make very few mistakes, so being good at avoiding mistakes and punishing errors does not guarantee tournament success. UNLESS you are in a match situation like a FIDE KO or a tournament with a format like this year's Dortmund. Then, by never losing, you win!
I should point out that I have tremendous respect for Vladimir Kramnik as a chessplayer. He has created things on the chessboard that will stand forever as brilliancies. In a way, that makes results like his current results in Dortmund even more disappointing. Here is this massive talent drawing eight consecutive games, four of them against players he out-rates by a wide margin.
It's not just the results, it's the innocuous games themselves. Anand, Kasparov, Shirov, and Morozevich draw too, it's the nature of the high level of the modern game. But you can see from the games that they are usually making every effort to outplay their opponent and will risk to do so instead of being 100% sure that a move cannot backfire. Today nobody plays each game to the death the way Fischer and Larsen did in the 60's. Now it's all "professionalized." Do they think the profession will last long with games like these?
Peter Leko reinvented his game a few years ago, playing risky chess after years of drawishness. Lately he seems to have backslid a bit, but it's hard to tell if he's just being cautious before his match with Kramnik. Still, seeing them play a combined 16 consecutive draws in Dortmund is painful.
Kramnik, thanks to winning some blitz games, is now in the final match against Anand, starting tomorrow. If they draw both games and Kramnik wins in rapid or blitz he could become the first player ever (?) to win first prize in a tournament without winning a single game! Then get ready to hear that old refrain, "you can't criticize the winner." Join me for a beer?
6) Are USCF Experts Stronger than Russian IMs?
It use to be common knowledge that Russian Experts were stronger than American players with USCF ratings of 2400, but has the tide turned? Recently Expert Andrei Blokhin of Maryland (currently rated 2138 USCF/ 2395 FIDE) received the title of International Master in recognition of IM norm performances achieved in round robin events in Moscow in late 2001 and early 2002. Mr. Blokhin, who has played in several Under 2200 sections in World and Chicago Opens without ever winning top prizes is not a sandbagger. His USCF rating, based on plenty of activity, has floated between 2081 and 2167 for the period 1993-2002. Shortly after making his norms he scored 3.5 from 6 against USCF 2100s in Chicago. Does this mean that things have changed and USCF Experts would be 2400 IMs in Russia?
7) Here and There
The latest on the Bobby Fischer saga has him still detained by Japanese immigration. Facing deportation to the United States Fischer is actively pursuing the possibility of asylum to a third country. Germany, where his father was a citizen, was one country that he was considering. Since both his parents are Jewish there was a theoretical possibility of Israel, but considering his history it was unlikely Fischer would make that request. Now GM Bozidar Ivanovic has been quoted as saying that Montenegro is willing to offer him sanctuary. Stay tuned for more.
Many MI youngsters are on the August USCF top 100 10-15 age group lists. Apologies to anyone inadvertently left out of the following list.
Age 8: Daniel Naroditsky is #2
Congratulations to Varuzhan Akobian of Glendale who was recently awarded his Grandmaster title.
Thanks to IM Jay Whitehead for this week's quote. Jay doesn't play much these days but he is hard at work collecting games and articles from players from the time of Morphy.
8) Upcoming Events
Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 21
Mechanics' Institute Scholastic Quads 2004 Tournaments: 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.
Aug. 28 & 29: Sacramento Chess Club Weekend Swiss #13 GPP: 6 N. California
A Heritage Event!
National EventsSept. 3, 4, 5, 6 23rd North American FIDE Open GPP: 150 Oklahoma 8SS, G/90+30 sec, Holiday Inn (Holidome) 2515 W. 6th Ave (Hwy-51) Stillwater, OK 1-405-372-0800. HR: 60-60-60-60. EF: $50. Free to FIDE rated players. Reg: Fri 11am-12:30pm. Rds: 1-6, 11-4, 11-4, 9-2. $$G 9,900 will not be lowered. $$G$1,500, $1,300, $1,100, $900, $700, $500. 11 plaques. $$G 600 each class X-E & below. Unr $200-$100. 2 byes rds 1-6. OCF req. Free Parking. Ent: Jim Berry PO Box 351 Stillwater, OK 74076. 1-405-624-2281. firstname.lastname@example.org. LS, W. FIDE. Acc pairings may be used
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