Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #204

"I think my subconscious mind is working on chess all the time - even when I'm not playing or studying."

   Bobby Fischer at age 13

1) US Open News
2) East Bay Chess to open soon 
3) Continental Open
4) Jim Hurt Remembered
5) MI Wednesday Night Blitz
6) New York Masters
7) Upcoming Events

1) US Open News

The US Open in Fort Lauderdale (actually Weston), Florida, has started. It's still too early to tell the total number of entries as the five-day schedule starts this morning but there looks to be over 400 with GM Alex Onischuk as top seed. Several Northern Californian's have made the long trek across the country. Mechanics' Chess Director John Donaldson scored 4 from 5 in the Weekend schedule, drawing IM Renier Gonzalez and SM Dario Cruz. He resumes play on Thursday evening when all the schedules merge. Benjamin Tejes had 1.5 from 2 in the Arnold Denker High School Tournament of Champions while Elisha Garg had 2 from 2 in the Susan Polgar Girls Tournament. MI stalwart Mike Goodall has been attending USCF workshops and playing at nights in the Traditional schedule. He will be joined at the US Delegates meeting by fellow CalChess members Richard Koepcke and newly elected USCF Executive Board Member Elizabeth Shaughnessy. Chilean GM Rodrigo Vasquez was the easy winner of the US Open Blitz tournament on Sunday scoring 12 1/2 from 14, beating second place finisher Alexandra Kosteniuk (11 points) twice. There is no information on the internet on the US Open at present but there are plans to post information later this week. The best place to look would be the USCF homepage -

Monday I visited southern Miami hoping to tour the World Chess Hall of Fame but should have checked in advance to find out it is not open Monday-Wednesday. The Hall of Fame, which is easily visible from the Florida Turnpike, is located in an industrial park (next to sponsoring Excalibur Electronics) not far from the Metro Miami Zoo and the Southern Florida Railroad Museum. The World Chess Hall of Fame is not the only Hall of Fame in South Florida. The World Swimming Hall of Fame is located in Fort Lauderdale. Both museums have the same admission charge - $5.

If you find yourself in Coral Gables check out Cafe Demetrio (300 Alhambra - (305) 448-4949. I stumbled in there looking for something to eat and was very surprised to find two nice wooden chess sets available to play on and a dozen or so framed photographs of famous chess players of the past hanging on the walls. I was told that some small tournaments are held at the Cafe. It's not far from Books & Books Inc. (265 Aragon Avenue) which seems to be one of only a handful of non-chain bookstores in a land more interested in outdoor pursuits.

2) East Bay Chess to open soon

Chess activity in the East Bay promises to heat up soon with the opening of a new chess center in Berkeley. Located at the corner of Milvia and Virginia, an easy half mile walk from both the Berkeley and North Berkeley BART stations, the East Bay Chess Center is the brainchild of IM Vinay Bhat, FM David Pruess, NM Andy Lee and Expert David Steel. The grand opening is set for August 14th and will run through the 21st. During this time the Center will be offering free entry for all its activities and is hosting a non-USCF rated 4 round tournament on August 14-15. The venue has space for 50-60 players. Besides being a daily chess club with instructors for chess lessons, the Center will also be offering academic tutoring. For more information go to or e-mail them at

3) Continental Open

Ildar Ibragimov continued his winning ways this summer, defeating fellow GM Alexander Stripunsky in a post-tournament playoff to win the 2004 Continental Open in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Ibragimov took home $2430 and Stripunsky $2250. A half point behind the winners 5-1 scores were GMs Leonid Yudasin, Alex Onischuk, Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Ivanov. Just out of the prizes was GM Yury Shulman who faced the toughest schedule meeting four of the top five finishers. Bill Goichberg's Continental Chess Association organized the event.

4) Jim Hurt Remembered

The late Jim Hurt was a driving force for chess on the West Coast for close to 70 years. A four-time Washington State Champion while attending the University of Washington in the 1930s, Hurt became best known to Bay Area players for his longtime organizing of the LERA tournaments in Sunnyvale that were held like clockwork four times a year. He taught many kids to play chess in his retirement and was honored for his efforts by the US Chess Federation in Reno 1999, not long before he passed away.

The following game shows he was just as skilled at correspondence as over the board play.

Hurt,J - Graham,D [A96]
9th Grand National -prelim, 1960
(notes by Hurt)

1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.Nf3 d6 5.0?0 Be7 6.c4 0?0 7.Nc3 c6 8.Qc2 Qe8 9.e4 fxe4 10.Nxe4 e5 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Nfg5

White's plan is to prevent Black from developing his QN as long as possible and in the mean time to attack vigorously in the hope that his lead in development may result in a win..


It is true that 11...Nd7 would lose the exchange but Black could have answered White's threatened mate with ...Qg6 or 12...Bf5 13.Qb3 Qc8 The text weakens Black's f6 and h6.

13.Qc3 h6

Not an attractive move, but White was threatening 14.Qxe5 and the alternative 13...Bd8 14.Nd6 Qd7 (losing the e-pawn) or; 13...Nxe4 14.Nxe4 Bf6 (losing a move) are less attractive.

14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.Ne4 Bg7 16.b3 Qe7 17.a4 Rd8 18.Ba3 Qc7 19.Rfd1 Rxd1+

This exchange may seem premature, but Black has a definite plan in mind and the alternative ...Nd7 and ...Bf5 both lost at least a pawn.

20.Rxd1 Bf5 21.Bd6 Qd8

Surprise! The Black Queen pins the Bishop. 22.f4 Counter-surprise! The White Queen pins the e-pawn ( 22...exf4 23.Qxg7+).


The QN finally moves. After 22...Bxe4 23.Bxe4 exf4 24.Qxg7+ Kxg7 25.Be5+ Qf6 26.gxf4 White wins the ending with ease.

23.Bxe5 Bxe5 24.fxe5 Qe7 25.Nd6 Nxe5 26.c5!

The winning move. White has the permanent threat of Nxb7 (threatening Bxc6) and the immediate threat of 27.Re1 winning the Knight.

26...Nf7 27.Re1 Qd7 28.Qf6 Kf8 29.Bf1 1-0

The Chess Correspondent , September 1960

5) MI Wednesday Night Blitz

The latest edition of the Wednesday Night Blitz had a strong European flair with several participants from across the Atlantic. Visiting Irish FM Stephen Brady drew in the first round with Felix German but then reeled off 9 straight wins to take a full point lead over his closest pursuer, NM Arthur Ibragimov, who just happened to be his last round opponent. Arthur won in a tense battle to grab a share of first place at 9.5 from 11 in the 12 player round robin. NMs Jorge Lopez and Rey Salvatierra shared third place with 9 points.

6) New York Masters

IThe New York Masters is heating up. Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky tied for first on August 3rd with 3.5 from 4 to pick up $310 apiece. The two winners played some common opponents. Gata drew with GM Alex Wojtkiewicz and beat GM Kamil Miton while Nakamura drew Miton and beat Wojtkiewicz. There were 5 GMs and 5 IMs in the 27-player field.

Kamsky,G (2717) - Miton,K (2597) [A43]
112th New York Masters New York (4), 03.08.2004

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 g6 4.d6 Bg7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Bf4 Nc6 7.e3 b6 8.Be2 Ne8 9.0-0 Nxd6 10.Bxd6 exd6 11.Qxd6 Qe7 12.Rfd1 Qxd6 13.Rxd6 Nb4 14.a3 Na6 15.Nd5 Rd8 16.Bxa6 Bf8 17.Bxc8 Bxd6 18.Ba6 Rab8 19.Rd1 Kg7 20.a4 Bf8 21.Ne5 f6 22.Ng4 f5 23.Ne5 Bd6 24.Nc4 Bf8 25.g3 Kf7 26.c3 d6 27.Na3 Rd7 28.Bb5 Rdd8 29.Kg2 Kg7 30.Bc4 Rd7 31.h4 1-0

7) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 21
Howard Donnelly Memorial - Sept. 18
J.J Dolan Memorial - October 2
Carroll Capps Memorial - November 6-7
Pierre Saint-Amant - November 20
Guthrie McClain Memorial - December 5 (Sunday)
Jim Hurt Under 1800 - December 11-12

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.

California Events

Aug. 28 & 29: Sacramento Chess Club Weekend Swiss #13 GPP: 6 N. California
4SS, 30/90, G/1, SD/5, Full-K. The Learning Exchange, 1111 Howe Avenue, Suite 125, Sacramento, CA. Reg: 8:30-9:30am 8/28/04. Rds: 10 & 3:30. Sections: Master/Expert (2000+), Reserve (1600-1999), Amateur (Under 1600). EF: $45 (Juniors $30) postmarked by 8/21. $55 (Juniors $35) after 8/21. IMs/GMs free. Entrants may play up at $10 per section. $5 discount to CalChess members. Prizes: 1st Place Master/Expert $175 (guaranteed) & trophy, 2nd Place Master/Expert $125 (guaranteed). $$1,570 b/o 50 full paid adult entries and 10 full paid junior entries overall. HR: Best Western Expo Inn, (916) 922-9833 or 1-800-643-4422. Ask for the Sacramento Chess Club rates. Adv. Ent./Info: John McCumiskey (TD), 6700 50th St, Sacramento, CA 95823-1306; e-mail:; phone: (916) 428-5532, checks payable to Sacramento Chess Club. Full flyer including complete prize list at on the Weekend Events page. Other Info: 8/04 rating list only. Please bring clocks and equipment. ? point byes available all rounds. ? point byes for round 4 must be requested prior to round 1. Players may only have one bye (? or 1 point) in the event. W.

Sept. 4-6 2004 CalChess Labor Day Championships GPP: 15 N. California
6SS, 30/90, SD/1 (2-day option rds 1-3 G/60); Golden Geteway Holiday Inn. Van Ness at Pine, San Francisco. $$B 130 paid adult, 30 paid junior entries. Six Sections: Master $700-$350-$200; U2400, $300; Expert $400-$200-$100. ?A? $350-$175-$100. ?B? $350-$175-$100. ?C? $350-175-100. ?D/E? $350-$175-$100; U1200 $225. Unr: Trophy First. Trophy to top finisher (State Champion) in each section. All, EF: postmarked by 8/30 $65 (Jrs. $55) 3-day schedule, $64 (Jrs $54) 2-day schedule. $75 at site (Jrs. $65). Unrateds $40 in the D/E section or may play up to the Master section for the regular fee. $5 discount to CalChess members. USCF memb. req?d. May play up one section for add?l $10 (Jrs $5). GM/IM free entry. Reg: Sat 9/4 8-9:30am, Sun 9/5 8:15-9:15am. Rds: Choice of schedules- 3-day, 2-day merge at round 4, all compete for the same prizes. 3-day schedule Sat 10-4; Sun 11-4:30; Mon 10-3:30. 2-day schedule Sun 9:30-11:45-2-4:30 Mon 10-3:30. 1/2 pt bye(s) any round(s) if req?d in advance (byes rds 5-6 must be requested before rd 1). 2004 August Ratings List, CCA minimums and Directors discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible. Please bring clocks and equipment. HR: Golden Gateway Holiday Inn (415)-441-4000. Info: Richard Koepcke (415)-964-2640. Ent: Richard Koepcke, PO Box 1432, Mountain View, CA 94042. No Phone ent. FIDE Rated

A Heritage Event!
Sept. 4-6 26th Annual Southern California Open GPP: 100 S. California
40/2, SD/1, 2?-day schedule rds 1-2 G/60. Burbank Airport Hilton, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank CA 91505 (adjacent to Burbank Airport). $$20,000 b/300, 50% of each prize guaranteed, U1400/unrated count as 2/3 entry. In two sections: Open: $$T+3000-2000-1600-900-600-400-200, U2400 800-500, U2300 500, U2200 1000-500, U2000 $$1000-500. $200 (G) bonus to clear first. Amateur (Under 1800): $$T+1500-750-500-300, U1600 $$1000-600-300-200, U1400 $$500-300, U1200 300, Unr 250. Unr. may win Unr. prize only in Amateur. Best game prize $50, all sections eligible. All: half-point byes available in rounds 1-4 if requested with entry, limit 2. SCCF membership req. ($12, jr. $7.50), OSA. No checks or credit cards at door. SCCF Annual Membership Meeting: 2:30pm Sept. 5. Reg: 3-day 8-9:30am 9-4, 2?-day closes 6pm 9-4. Rds: 3-day 10:30-5 Sat, 10-4:30 Sun-Mon, 2?-day: 6:30-8:45pm 9-4, then merges. EF: $99 if rec?d by 9/2, $101 on line at, $120 door; U1400/unrated $64 by 9/2, $66 on line, $80 door. Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038. HR: $89, (818) 843-6000 or (800) 840-6450. Be sure to mention Western Chess. Parking $7/day. Info: W, FIDE. State Championship Qualifier.

National Events

Sept. 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. LS, W. FIDE. Acc pairings may be used

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