Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #206

"Scholastic chess has a different goal and purpose from adult chess in that chess is developmental at the scholastic level and recreational at the adult level. CalChess therefore urges scholastic coaches and instructors to emphasize the developmental aspects of chess, such as good sportsmanship, team spirit, generous in winning and gracious in losing and to de-emphasize by word and by example the competitive aspect of the game. "

   CalChess Scholastics web page

We suspect Vince Lombardi was not a CalChess Scholastic coach but are skill at chess and good sportmanship mutually exclusive?

1) IM DeGuzman and Yap tie in 4th Annual Pafnutieff Memorial
2) Robert Jordan Tuesday Night Marathon
3) IM DeGuzman wins Wednesday Night Blitz
4) Bobby Fischer Staves off Deportation
5) Tournament Reports Around the United States
6) Jim Schmitt Remembered
7) Here and There
8) MI Book and Equipment Donations
9) Upcoming Events

IM DeGuzman and Yap tie in 4th Annual Pafnutieff Memorial

Filipino IM Ricardo DeGuzman and San Francisco teenager Nicolas Yap tied for first in the 4th Annual Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial held at the Mechanics' Institute on August 21. DeGuzman defeated NM Roger Poehlmann and Yap upset IM-elect Vladimir Mezentsev in round four and the two winners drew in round five. The event marked a welcome return to form by the 15-year-old Yap who had gone through a bad patch the past few months.

Tying for third at 4-1 in the 53 player event directed by Anthony Corrales and Alex Yermolinsky were Mezentsev, Clarence Lehman, Stephen Svoboda, Stephen Krasnov, and Michael De La Cruz.

NM Vladimir Pafnutieff was one of the strongest players in Northern California from the 1930s until the 1970s and was associated with the Mechanics' Institute for almost 60 years. His book How to Create Combinations (Hypermodern Press 1996) is not only a guide to tactics but also gives 70 of his best games. Do any Newsletter readers know how to contact his widow Eugenia?

2) Robert Jordan Tuesday Night Marathon

The latest Tuesday Night Marathon doesn't look like it will break the attendance record set by the last one (85 players), but may be one of the strongest ever. Among the 78 players signed up for the Robert Jordan Tuesday Night Marathon are IM Ricardo DeGuzman, FM Frank Thornally and 18-year-old Mongolian WFM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs (USCF 2327). It is still possible to enter the eight round event with half point byes for the first two rounds.

3) IM DeGuzman wins Wednesday Night Blitz

IM Ricardo DeGuzman won last Wednesday's Blitz tournament with a 11-0 score. Tying for second at 8 in the 12-player round robin were Nicolas Yap, Ted Castro and Arthur Ibragimov. There will be a tournament at 7pm tonight, immediately following a lecture by IM John Donaldson. The lecture begins at 5:15 pm.

4) Bobby Fischer Staves off Deportation

The German website ChessBase ( is covering the Bobby Fischer case closely. Here is a short excerpt from today.

Dramatic moments around Fischer's deportation

First the Japanese Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa issued a deportation order against former world champion Bobby Fischer's, then Fischer's lawyers filed a lightning appeal on the grounds that physical deportation would be a flagrant violation of Fischer's right to full legal recourse and protection under Japanese law. Here's the full story by Fischer's legal coordinator.

The full text of Fischer's legal coordinator, John Bosnitch, which came in three stages as the drama developed, is given below. In summary we can tell you that just before 5:00 pm Japanese time on Tuesday Japanese Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa decided against requests filed by Bobby Fischer against his deportation to the USA. The ministry rejected Fischer's demand for protection as a political refugee, saying that the charges outstanding against him in the United States are not political in nature. Normally the plaintiff has seven days to appeal such a decision, but, according to Bosnitch, the ministry tried to deny him due process by immediately deporting him.

Fischer's lawyers Masako Suzuki and Takeshi Ohashi contacted authorities to legally block a deportation on the grounds that the whole procedure is now before the courts and a deportation would be a flagrant violation of Bobby Fischer's right to full legal recourse and protection under Japanese law. "If Bobby Fischer is deported tonight," wrote Bosnitch yesterday, "it will be the best proof so far that this entire unlawful detention and entrapment is nothing more than the will of the United States' government being dutifully executed in violation of the law by Japanese authorities."

You can find the rest of this article at .

5) Tournament Reports Around the United States

New York Masters

As might be expected the weekend after the US Open was a quiet one for American Chess. The big news is the New York Masters ( where the pot has been sweetened with some sponsorship. IM Gregory Shahade's brainchild routinely sees some of the best players in the country stepping through the doors of the Marshall Chess Club on Tuesday nights. The event on August 17 saw GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Joel Benjamin share first place at 3.5 and divide $800. Benjamin won a special playoff for an additional $50 after spectators watching on the ICC wanted to see a clear winner after the two New York GMs had battled to a long draw in their last round game. Sharing third at 3-1 in the 22-player event were US Champion Alex Shabalov, former World Championship Candidate Leonid Yudasin, strong young Polish GM Kamil Miton and GM Leonid Sokolin. Gata Kamsky played again, but this time he finished out of the money at 2 1/2 , losing to Miton and drawing with Yudasin.

2004 U.S. Class Chess Championships

The USCF prepared an excellent press release on the 2004 U.S. Class Chess Championships.

173 chess players representing over 20 states took part in the 2004 U.S. Class Championships in Des Moines, Iowa August 20-22. The geographical diversity of the field, with nearly every region of the country represented, imparted a true national flavor more typical of a U.S. Open, to the competition in the Midwest. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Hotel Fort Des Moines, the largest hotel in Iowa, served as a fitting venue for this national tournament, Iowa's first national.

Top-rated International Master Stanislav Smetankin, originally from Belarus and currently a student at the University of Wisconsin, shared top honors in the Masters' Section with second ranked Aleksandar Stamnov, a national Master (NM) from Chicago. Both finished with four points after five games. Virginia NM Steve Greanias, and Iowa experts Tim Mc Entee and Jasmin Zulic all tied for 3rd-6th, with 3 points.

One of the most impressive performances of the weekend came from thirteen-year-old Tyler Hughes of Colorado, who swept the Expert Section with a 2494 tournament performance, winning all five games. Fourteen-year-old Christopher Nienart lost only to Hughes but defeated the others, to place second at 4-1. Tim Walsh took third with 3.5.

William Murray bested the A Class with 4.5, while Thomas O'Connor and 9-year-old Michael Yang tied for second with 4 points.

Jesse Allen scored 4.5 points to emerge the Champion of Class B, and 11-year-old Albert Zhou took second place with 4. The logjam for third place consisted of seven players who scored 3.5 points: Daniel Lindquist, Dan Gannon, Joshua Suresh, Laurence Coker, Jeremy Madison, Kent Cen and Matthew Anzis.

Jason Juett's 4.5 points gave him the Class C title, with Yueqin Cen in second a half point back. A (slightly) smaller logjam at 3.5 consisted of Jim Froehlich, Dan Brashaw, Tyler Conway and Daryn Moran.

Four players divvied up the prize money in Class D: Andrey Golovan, Paul Evenson, Curtis Ware and Phani Sathiraju, who each scored 4-1.

The co-champions of Class E are Scott Tan and Kevin Lufkin, who drew each other and won their other four games. Four players, Randy Hoelscher, Christopher Adkins, Caleb Brown and Adem Music, tied for 3rd-6th.

The other sweep of the weekend occurred in the Unrated Players' Section, where Robert Keating won all five games. Christopher Mc Kinney was clear second at 4-1, while Aaron Priluck and Franjo Sicanica tied for 3rd-4th with 3 points.

An interesting piece of tournament "theory" was put to the test at the U.S. Class, when Kansas Expert Tim Steiner proved why the time delay clock is now an indispensable component of the serious tournament player's competitive regimen. With his time running out, Steiner's lone White Queen was compelled to distract the opposing King, Rook and Bishop from otherwise shepherding the Black f-pawn to an inevitable coronation. Through an amazing, whirlwind series of checks, pins, and "quiet" threats of forks and skewers, Steiner was able to stave off the advance of the f-pawn for over 60 moves-- despite having exactly ONE SECOND left on his time-delay chronos! His opponent, rated over 500 points higher and with over ten minutes remaining, was unable to prevent a successful 50-move rule draw.

The time delay was absolutely necessary to prevent a brilliant drawing motif from coming to a tragic end. No claim of "insufficient losing chances" could ever be considered, as the chances for either side to lose were mind-boggling indeed, let alone "sufficient." Without the time delay, White's flag falls well before he can rattle off even a fraction of the 50 required moves. With the time delay, he proves, over the board for all to see, that his opponent can make no progress beyond his half of the point.

Most of the games were not nearly as exciting and fever-pitched, giving TD's Walter Brown and Steve Immitt ample opportunity for more mundane tasks as well, directing the tournament on behalf of the U.S Chess Federation.

Vermont Resort Open

Stratton Mountain was the scene of a peculiar Swiss this past weekend. The overall attendance for this Continental Chess Association event was quite reasonable with 102 entries but only 12 elected to play in the Open section. GMs Alex Stripunsky, Alex Wojtkiewicz and Alexander Ivanov towered over the opposition and one could easily imagine a scenario where the three drew with each other and shared first place at 4-1, but such was not the case. Stripunsky easily took top honors and $800 with his 4.5 - .5 score, nicked only by Ivanov, but what were the odds he would never play Wojtkiewicz, who faced neither of his colleagues? That came to pass when Wojt dropped a point and a half early on. The perennial Grand Prix champion bounced back to finish on 3.5 which amazingly enough was good for second place and $400. The cause of the upsets in this event shared third at 3. Max Enkin (2111) beat Wojtkiewicz and drew GM Alexander Ivanov while Ashok Aaron (1971) beat Ivanov. The latter, despite having a rare awful result, still took home $100 for his even score.

6) Jim Schmitt Remembered

National Master Jim Schmitt was one of the best players in the Bay Area in the 1950s and 1960s after moving south from Portland. He annotated the following game for the Washington Chess Letter which still appears monthly as Northwest Chess. It is the oldest continuiosly published state magazine (Oregon and Washington) in the country dating back to 1945. During it's almost 60 year existence it has changed names several times (Bremerton Chess Letter, Everett Chess Letter, Washington Chess Letter and Northwest Chess).

Schmitt,J - Capps,C [D35]
Mechanics' Institute Championship San Francisco, 1952
Notes by Schmitt

After a triple tie between James Schmitt, Carroll Capps and Fred F. Byron, he playoff was won by Schmitt who is therefore champion for the current year.Here is a game annotated by James Schmitt, a former Portland player, now in the service at the Presidio.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bd3 Re8 9.0-0 h6 10.Bf4 c6 11.Qc2 Nf8

If 11...Nh5 then 12.Nxd5!

12.Rab1 Ne6 13.Be5 a5 14.a3 Bd7 15.b4 axb4 16.axb4 Ra3 17.Qb2 Qa8 18.Bxf6

If now 18.Ra1? then 18...Bxb4.


If 18...Bxf6 then 19.Ra1.

19.Nh4 Ng7 20.Rfc1

To free the Queen for Kingside activity.


To make room for the Queen so as to double the Rooks.

21.Qe2 Bxb4! 22.Nxd5 cxd5 23.Rxb4

Black's pawns are all isolated and weak.

23...Qa5 24.Rcb1

Concentrating on the b-pawn.


Eyeing Qxb4.

25.h3 Ra2

This chases the Queen to where it wants to go, but it is doubtful the position can be held.

26.Qf3 Ra1 27.Qxd5!

Tricky, but sound.

27...Rc1+ 28.Kh2 Qc7+ 29.f4

Not g3 because of ...Bc6.

29...Raxb1 30.Rxb1 Rc3

Black begins to feel the time pressure, as will White shortly.

31.Qa8+ Ne8 32.Qe4 f5 33.Nxf5 Nf6 34.Qa8+ Ne8 35.Ne7+

At long last simplification!

35...Kf8 36.Nd5 Qc8 37.Qxc8

The rest is easy.

37...Rxc8 38.Nb6 Rc7 39.Nxd7+ Rxd7 40.Bxb5 Rb7 41.Bd3 Re7 42.e4 Nf6 43.e5 1-0

Washington Chess Letter, September 1952.

7) Here and There

The Browne-Wojtkiewicz game featured in last week's Newsletter is starting to make the rounds. You can find excellent annotations to the game with the complete score (it was truncated in the bulletin) in the Washington Post where GM Lubos Kavalek writes a really great weekly column. Go to .

Ukrainian GM Mikhail Golubev writing in a recent issue of Chess Today ( has this to say about the Browne-Wojt game:
"Walter Browne's victory over Alex Wojtkiewicz somehow inspired me to prepare an overview of the knight sacrifice in the Sicilian Najdorf which was introduced by Grischuk in 2002. Surely, it was one of the most amazing novelties in recent years."

Golubev came across the game because noted chess director and historian Frank Berry had gone to the trouble of reentering games from the US Open bulletin back into ChessBase. Yes, this does seem like a sad duplication of effort, but as of today I still have not seen any games from the US Open on its website or at Mark Crowther's The Week in Chess, where information is normally disseminated throughout the chess world. One would hope this situation is corrected soon.

Bay Area and Oakland chess recently got a big boost with the addition of International Master Odondoo Ganbold of Mongolia who had previously been living in Los Angeles. NM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, who studied in Maryland last year has also decided to settle in Oakland as has NM Batsaikan Tserendorj making Oakland the world headquarters of Mongolian expatriate chess players.

Exactly who the strongest player in the world is at classical chess is an unresolved question at present, but the King of Rapid Chess (G/25- G/30) has already been crowned. Viswanathan Anand. GM Mikhail Golubev writes in Chess Today, "Viswanathan Anand absolutely dominated the tournament in Sao Paulo: after winning all five games in the second half, he finished three full points ahead of Ivan Morovic who took second place." Final standings:
1. Anand -8½; 2. Morovic - ½; 3. Leitao - 4½; 4- . Karpov and Vescovi - 4; 6. Milos - 3½.. It can be said without hesitation that the chess world now has a clearly strongest player (and a world champion!) in Rapid Chess at least. Anand's recent results in rapid events speak for themselves:"

Noted author and trainer Jeremy Silman of Los Angeles turns 50 this Saturday. Silman who recently co-authored a tremendous book on Pal Benko is currently working on an instructional endgame work and preparing 15-year-old Vanessa West for the 2004 Championship in San Diego this fall. West, currently rated 2149, has approximately six months to break Jennifer Shahade's record as the youngest native born women to achieve a master rating.

The MI FIDE summer rating tournament is starting to come to a close. John Langreck of Davis has the best percentage score in the 12-player round robin with 6.5 from 8 followed by fellow NMs Russell Wong at 6.5 from 9 and Andy Lee on 7 from 10.

Bay Area chess players have a double-header the next two weekends with events in Sacramento and San Francisco (see upcoming events for more details)

A photograph of UC Berkeley student Ben Bednarz playing chess at Sproul Plaza appeared on page 2 of the August 17-18 edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Ewelina Krubnik leads the East Bay Youth Invitational with a 2-0 score. Daichi Siegrist is second at 1.5. The event is being held at the recently opened East Bay Chess Center Upcoming events include:

Saturday, August 28th: Scholastic Quads (starting at 10 AM)
Sunday, August 29th: Open Quads (starting at 10 AM)
Monday, August 30th: Club Mini-Marathon (starting at 7 PM)

For more info, go to:

8) MI Book and Equipment Donations

Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics' are always welcome. All 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 have 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 things put to good use.

9) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

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:

September 25, October 16, November 13, December 18
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

Oct. 29-31. GPP: 80 South Dakota
8th Annual Governor's Cup. 5SS, FULL-K, 40/2, All/1. EF: $55 if by 10/20, $75 at site, GMs, IMs, and over 2400 free. [18 & Under preregistering in RESERVE section pay $35.] Reg: 10/29 4-5PM. Rds: 6; 10-4:30; 9-3:30. BYES: One half-point BYE allowed in RDS 1-3 if requested in advance. Holiday Inn City Centre, 100 West 8th St., Sioux Falls, South Dakota, (605) 339-2000. Ask for chess rate $79. $$10,000 Unconditionally guaranteed. OPEN Section: FIDE Rated. Prizes: $1200-$1000-$800-$600; Master: $500-$300-100; Expert: $400-$250-$100; Under 2000: $200-$100. PREMIER Section [Under 2000]: Prizes: $700-$500-$300; Top B: $300-$200-$100; Under 1600: $175-$100. RESERVE Section [Under 1600]: Prizes: $600-$450-$300; Top D: $250-$150-$75; Under 1200: $150-$100. INFO/ADV ENT: Sioux Empire Chess Foundation, 2100 Slaten Court, Sioux Falls, SD 57103, (605) 338-9431. Advance Entries will be posted on:'s%20Cup.htm.

Return to Index