"A chess tournament is not a horse race. Besides official results, it leaves something much more important: games - products of human intellect."
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 2) Chess Olympiad 3) Russian Championship 4) Governor's Cup 5) Kasparov Letter to the FIDE Congress 6) DeGuzman wins in San Jose 7) East Bay Chess Club News 8) Here and There 9) Upcoming Events
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
Round two of the Fall Tuesday night Marathon saw IM Odondoo Ganbold of Mongolia maintain his position as top seed.
This weekend the Mechanics' will host its annual Carroll Capps Memorial but with a twist. This year more rounds will be offered with six instead of four. The time control the first day will be G/1 with four rounds. Sunday it will be two rounds of 30/90 followed by G/1. The extra rounds will provide more opportunities to play and as well as more competitive pairings in the later rounds.
2) Chess Olympiad
The big news for American chess is the tremendous results turned in by the US Men's and Women's teams. First here are the press releases by the USCF for the two teams.
2004 US WOMEN'S OLYMPIAD CHESS TEAM MAKES HISTORY WITH FIRST-EVER MEDAL
Mallorca, Spain, November 1, 2004 - The 2004 US Women's Olympiad Chess Team has just made history by capturing Silver, the first ever Olympic medal for the United States. The international competition consisted of 87 teams from around the world and represented the strongest Women's Olympiad since its inception in 1924.
The US team finished second behind China but ahead of Russia, the famous chess powerhouse, who took home the Bronze medal. Although the US Women's team defeated China in a head-to-head match, China's total number of points scored against other teams allowed them to capture their third consecutive Olympic Gold.
The US team consisted of four players, a team captain/manager, head coach and special theoretical consultant. The team members included:
Board 1:Grandmaster Susan Polgar (Queens, NY)
GM Susan Polgar captured a total of 4 medals during this Olympiad. In addition to the team Silver medal, GM Susan Polgar also took home the Silver medal in scoring percentage on board 1, Gold medal for most points scored with a total of 10.5 out of 14 games, and Gold Medal for the best overall performance of the Women's Olympiad. She also extended a number of incredible records which very few players in the world can match.
1. GM Susan Polgar played all 14 games on board 1 without a break in four consecutive Olympiads that she participated over a span of 16 years.
2. In each of these four Olympiads, she captured both team and individual medals (10 total medals: 5 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze).
3. She has a 56 consecutive game scoring streak without a single loss (this is comparable to Joe DiMaggio's incredible 56-game hitting streak in baseball). In fact, she has never lost a single game in the Olympiads.
According to Head Coach, Michael Khodarkovsky, the first ever US Women's Olympiad Training Program began 18 months ago, as team members were able to go head-to-head with the world's best players. "Their dedication and hard training paid off, as our women performed extraordinarily, taking home the Silver."
The team is sponsored by The Kasparov Chess Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. KCF provided the financial and training resources necessary to support a winning performance.
The U.S. Women's Chess Olympiad team has made their country proud. The team is looking forward to the next World Chess Olympiad to be held in Turin, Italy in 2006.
New Windsor, NY)The USA Men's Olympiad Team, sponsored by the United States Chess Federation, finished fourth in the 36th Chess Olympiad held in Calvia, Spain - October 14-31, 2004. The USA Men's Team nearly earned a place on the medal podium, narrowly losing out to Russia and Armenia.
The Men's division at the Olympiad included 129 teams. The final standings for the Men's leaders were as follows:
The team earned their high standing by playing well against some of the toughest competition in the tournament. They recorded match wins against Spain and Azerbaijan, drew matches with Ukraine, Armenia and Israel, and suffered only the narrowest of defeats against India and Russia. The team's overall match score was an impressive 7 wins, 4 draws and 3 losses.
The USA Men's Team was comprised of six top grandmasters: GM Alexander Onischuk, GM Alexander Goldin, GM Gregory Kaidanov, GM Igor Novikov, GM Alexander Shabalov and GM Boris Gulko. GM Kaidanov turned in an especially impressive performance, finishing second in the individual standings for all board four players. He scored eight points in ten games (80%), with a performance rating of 2763.
Additional details can be found at the 36th Chess Olympiad Official Website. All players played on electronic chessboards. Links for coverage and replay of all games provided by the Olympiad and Chess21 - Playzone and are available from US Chess Federation Official Website.
Daily results and photos on both the USA Women's Team (Sponsored by Kasparov Chess Foundation) and USA Men's Team also available at: GM Susan Polgar website.
Courtesy US Chess Federation.
Here are the results of the two teams in their final three matches and individual statistics.
Men Round 12 USA -Armenia (#4 seed) 2-2, Round 13 USA-Ukraine (#2 seed) 2-2, Round 14 USA-Norway(#31) 3.5-.5.
Board 1 Onischuk (2658) 7.5/13 - PR 2698 Board 2 Shabalov (2608) 5/10 PR 2614; Board 3 Goldin (2620) 6.5/10 2677; Board 4 Kaidanov (2611) 8/10 PR 2763; Board 5 Novikov (2588) 5.5/8 PR 2629; Board 6 Gulko (2600) 2.5/5 PR 2463 PR = performance rating
Women Round 12 USA -Hungary (#13) 2.5-.5, Round 13 USA-France (#8) 1.5-1.5; Round 14 USA-Vietnam (#22) 2.5-1.5
Board 1 Polgar (2567) 10.5/14 PR 2622 Board 2 Krush (2461) 7.5/12 PR 2476 Board 3 Zatonskih (2440) 9.5/14 PR 2438 Board 4 Shahade (2361) .5-2
The results of the two teams were fantastic. Their combined result of 6 (2nd and 4th) was just behind Russia (5) and eclipsed the old US record of 8 from Novi Sad 1990 (Men 2nd Women 6). If anyone had predicted this before the end of October they might have been committed to an asylum. The Women's team was seeded third going in but a lot of that was due to the rating of top board Zsuzsa Polgar who had not played a serious tournament in many years. She proved herself going undefeated while playing all fourteen rounds. Zsuzsa had the best performance rating of the Olympiad and really showed her mettle winning her last four games. Well done! The next two boards, IMs Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih, played almost exactly according to their ratings which place them respectively #19 and #28 in the world among women. Reigning US Women's champion Jennifer Shahade got off to a rough start and then fell ill in the middle of the event which helps explain why she saw so little action. All said the US team made the best possible result in winning the silver with 28 points. China had a fantastic start and at one stage was 6 points ahead! Their final score of 31 meant that they could have effectively sat out one round. Xie Jun (710 PR 2597) and Zhao Xue (10/12 PR 2596) were both in excellent form.
As fantastic as the women's result in Spain was in many ways the men's result was even more remarkable. The team went in seeded tenth but with only top boards Onischuk and Shabalov having got much serious practice in 2004. The team was probably one of the oldest at the Olympiad with an average age of 42 (Onischuk 30, Shabalov 37, Goldin 39, Kaidanov 45, Novikov 42 and Gulko 57). Contrast that with Azerbaijan who played with teenagers. Results in the past two Olympiads at Istanbul (around #30) and Bled (around #40) suggested that the US team had not adapted well to the new time control of G/90 with 30 second increment. It looked like matching their seeding with a tenth place finish would be outstanding but they accomplished much more
The first hero of the team was top board Alex Onischuk. Alex has been the top-rated American player on the FIDE list since his arrival in the United States several years ago but his solid style has prevented him from dominating American Swiss system events. In Bled he showed why he has been rated close to 2700 FIDE. US teams have traditionally relied on their depth, sharing the work, with second boards often playing on first board (Alex Yermolinsky comes immediately to mind) , but in Calvia Alex did it alone and in great style. His only loss to world class opposition that was out to beat him was to Peter Svidler with Black. He beat Alexey Shirov with the same color! A 2700 result on board one is a great way to lead a team.
Second board Alex Shabalov was his usual combative self on board two. The reigning US Champion suffered a pair of losses early but bounced back. His win over Vallejo Pons (2678) helping to lead the US team to a 3.5-.5 victory over a tough Spanish team that really got them moving after a sluggish start.
The US got its major scoring from the middle of the lineup with GMs Alexander Goldin, Gregory Kaidanov and Igor Novikov combining for 20 of the team's 35 points. All three played excellently, particularly Kaidanov who won the silver medal four the second best percentage score on board four. His performance rating was a tremendous 2763, one of the ten best results of the Olympiad.
The only player on the team to perform below his rating was Boris Gulko who struggled early and played only once after the sixth round. Age may possibly be catching up to Boris but I suspect that the fast FIDE time control and a lack of practice have contributed. The last time the traditional time control was used in Elista in 1998 Boris scored 5.5 from 8 with a 2691 result. The past two Olympiads he is 6.5 from 13 against an average opposition of 2480. Boris has played in every Olympiad and World Team Championship since making his debut in 1988 for the US team and taken home 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze team medals. It was nice to see him get to play with a team that had a great success after the frustrating performances of US teams in Istanbul and Bled, as this might have been his last Olympiad.
One question that is certain to be asked is whether the US team could have won a medal with Hikaru Nakamura as the second reserve. Certainly 14-year-old Sergey Karjakin was jet fuel with 6.5 from 7 as he helped lead Ukraine to an out of this world result of 39.5, a full three points ahead of Russia (second on tiebreak) and Armenia. These two teams were a point and a half ahead of the US, both with clearly superior tiebreak, so it would not have been easy but Hikaru's results in 2004 have been close 2700 FIDE. The US team result in Spain was the best since 1998, and they even scored a half point more than the US squad which took home the silver medal that year. That team however faced stronger opposition and it still continues to impress as five of the six team members performed around 2700. While the 2004 US Women's result was the best ever for the Men the standard in the post World War Two era continues to be the silver medal from Elista and the gold and silver medals from the 1993 and 1997 World Team Championships.
Speaking of World Team Championships the next one is scheduled for 2005 in Goa, India. The FIDE rules for Qualification are:
Qualification for the World Chess Team Championship
(GA `95) The three highest-placed men`s teams in the Chess Olympiad before the World Chess Team Championship. If one or more of the top three teams have already qualified for the World Team Championship by winning a Continental Championship, their qualification as Continental team champions will pass to the team placed next in the respective Continental Championships.
Since Russia won the European Team Championship in Plovdiv in 2003 it would appear that the United States, by taking fourth place in this Olympiad, has qualified for the World Team Championship next year.
The site schach.wienerzeitung.at: Der österreichische Schachserver / The Austrian Chess Server and the official website but offered excellent coverage of the Olympiad. The former had this to say:
From the 14th to 31st October the 36th Chess Olympiad took place in Calvià, on the Spanish island Mallorca. 129 men teams (4 player with two substitutes) and 87 women-teams (3 player with one substitute) (with a replacement player) (with 2 substitutes) took part on this event. 1100 participant fought 17 days (14 rounds) and played approximately 5400 games for the medals.
Remark: As players of Bermuda and Papua New Guinea have refused the doping control, Bermuda becomes 3,5 and Papua Papua New Guinea 7,5 points for the final ranging list (and only there!) denied.
Can any Newsletter reader tell me more about the doping controls? Was steroid use rampant in Spain?
3) Russian Championship
Chess fans everywhere will really look forward to the 57th Russian Championship (Super-Final) which will take place 14 November - 1 December in the "Rossija" hotel in Moscow.
1 Garry Kasparov 2813
4) Governor's Cup
Grandmasters Sergey Kudrin, Alex Wojtkiewicz and Yury Shulman were joined by IM Stanislav Smetankin it a tie for first in the 9th Annual Governor's Cup held October 29-31 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The four winners score of 4-1 was matched by a ...Expert!! Teenager Thomas Gossell of Missouri had a phemonenal performance beating Shulman and three players in the 2300s. His only loss was as Black to GM Alex Yermolinsky. This result should catault him into the Master ranks and none to soon.
The event was organized by David and De Knudsen. David only scored two points in the tournament but was re-elected to the South Dakota Senate yesterday and didn't have to wait overnight for the result. Fiscal conservatives will be pleased to note that he spent less than $1000 on his campaign, a tad less than both sides in the bitter Dasche-Thune US Senate race (won by Thune) where the two opponents raised so many millions that one wire service calculated that $50 was spent for every South Dakota voter. Now if only we could get that sort of money into chess!
5) Kasparov Letter to the FIDE Congress
Wednesday, 27th October, 2004
FIDE General Assembly FAX 011 34 971 234 875
RE: 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship
Ladies & Gentlemen,
I believe that everybody in attendance is aware of the press announcement of the FIDE World Championship in Dubai Jan 7th - 24th, 2005. The fact that this match appears to be following the same disastrous sequence of last years two failed FIDE World Championship events is of considerable concern to me and to most of the chess world.
The feeling of déjà vu is overwhelming as once again I see the same trend looming. Deadlines coming and going. Grand media announcements totally devoid of real detail or substance. This time, the FIDE Congress must act and put people in charge who know how to negotiate and agree contracts before issuing grandiose statements.
The harsh facts are that nobody can go into serious TRAINING and PREPARATION for a World Title with this uncertainty. It's just not possible!
Unless we have an agreement that I can sign - with acceptable payment terms by October 31st, I would like to suggest the following.
That FIDE appoints a three man committee to immediately negotiate with the Turkish Chess Federation, backed up by the Turkish Republic.
If they can move quickly the match can still be played in January, but unless I have a fully executed Escrow Account in place by Nov. 10th, the match must be moved to a date mutually acceptable to the two players, the organizer and FIDE.
From the time of the Prague Agreement on May 6th, 2002 to the present, I have stuck to my word to FIDE to work hard toward the reunification process.
True chess aficionados know that chess must see an undisputed World Chess Champion and then and only then will normal sponsorship flow into our noble game. In this way the game will grow and the sport will flourish.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has contacted me on several occasions about this match and my reply to him has been consistent.
Given the two failed attempts in 2003, I told Kirsan personally that while I was ready and willing to play the match, I would not sign any document until he had irrefutable proof of funding and could set up an escrow account or satisfactory instrument of payment. Kirsan agreed to this and many times during the past days and weeks told me "The agreement and proof of payment will be with you soon."
On Friday 22nd October, I called Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and informed him that representatives of the Turkish Chess Federation, backed by the Turkish Republic, are highly interested in organizing and funding this tournament. They will only need 10 days, once FIDE gives them the sole option to present the Championships in Turkey.
I understand that Kirsan is now on his way back from Dubai. He has had a month or more to get it done in Dubai. Unless he has the money, we should give somebody else the authority to act.
I do not enjoy giving deadlines so instead you can view this as a REALITY.
UNLESS THE $1M PRIZE MONEY IS IN ESCROW BY OCT 31ST, 2004 (for DUBAI) or Nov 10th, 2004 (for TURKEY) I WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE TO PLAY IN JANUARY of 2005.
It must be of concern to everybody present that FIDE is in danger of losing control of the World Chess Championship cycle and a delay could mean that the impetus is lost. There are those at large who would love to see FIDE fail and reunification die - FIDE MUST NOT LET IT HAPPEN!
The first step toward reunification MUST be taken now. Then FIDE will only be one step away from its stated goal.
Give people like Georgios Makropoulos, Zurab Azmaiparashvili, and Israel Gelfer only 10 days to negotiate with Turkey and we will know one way or the other. At least it will not float in the air
Awaiting a response.
6) DeGuzman wins in San Jose
DeGuzman Scares the Competition on Halloween
by Michael Aigner
Internation Master Ricardo DeGuzman came out on top of the October Open at the Academic Chess BlacKnight Palace in San Jose with a score of 3.5/4. In his classic "trick or treat" playing style, DeGuzman defeated NM Michael Aigner on Halloween morning with the rare Saragossa opening (1. c3). Only FM Eric Schiller managed to escape with a half point after a difficult endgame against DeGuzman. Second place went to Aigner with 3.0/4 while Schiller and Amarnath Mukherjee shared third place and the top under 2200 honors at 2.5/4.
40 players took part in this event, which was capably directed by Albert Rich. Half of those players were in the competitive booster (1600-1999) section. Amazingly, nobody managed to score more than 3.0/4, resulting in a six-way tie for first place and top under 1800 between Jan De Jong, Eric Madriaga, Patrick Shepherd, Arnav Shah, Stephen Young, and Ken White. The only person to achieve a perfect score in the tournament was reserve section champion Alberto Calderon. The under 1400 honors went to Albert Gu, Jonathan Pak, and Yukihiro Suda.
DeGuzman,R. - Aigner,M
7) East Bay Chess Club News
SM David Pruess writes:
Item 1 is Salar Jahedi's hot streak. Back in our September Swiss he had distinguished himself with sole second, drawing Andy along the way. Now in our October Swiss he took sole first, defeating Larry Snyder along the way. In our current Monday Night tournament he has beaten me and then drawn Andy to go into the last round tied with Andy Lee for first. The tournament wraps up this Monday, with 5 players having a chance at first.
Item 2 concerns that last round: we have created a new icc handle, eastbaychess. It will be used to broadcast games that may be of interest to the Northern California chess community on ICC. We have already started doing this with the Monday Night tournament, with me giving commentary on the top board's game while it is in progress. IM Vinay Bhat joined me this past Monday on an account of his to discuss the game. The finger notes of the account will have info about upcoming broadcasts.
Our weekly schedule has changed.
Change in weekday club hours: On Monday, the club will open at 11 AM instead of 10 AM; on Thursday and Friday, the club will be open until 10 PM, rather than 11 PM
Change in weekend club hours: club will open an hour before the first round for registration, and 30 minutes before the round otherwise; the club will stay open until 30 minutes after the last game of the day finishes
The weekly blitz events, previously held on Monday nights will be moving to Thursday nights; registration is from 6-6:45 PM and the tournament will start at 7 PM; there will be no simultaneous exhibitions on Thursday nights
The weekly lecture for advanced and intermediate level players, previously held on Friday nights from 6-7 PM, are moving to Monday nights from 6-7 PM, directly before the start of the Mini-Marathon games
Friday nights will be open for more casual chess, chess variants, and even other board games; the weekly bughouse (or other chess variant tourney) will run from 7 PM to 9:30 PM
8) Here and There
The organiser of Linares, Mr Gutierrez, held a press-conference in Calvia and announced that next year appearance fees will not be paid to players, but, instead, the prizes will be high: 1st 100. 000 Euro 2nd 75 000 3rd 50 000 etc. The names of four players are already known: Anand, Leko, Kasparov and Vallejo. Also invited are Kramnik and Morozevich, they are considering the invitation now.
The next Olympiad will take place in Turin (2006) and Dresden (2008).
You can find the Alan Benson book collection at http://marspolaris.tripod.com/bookcoll.html. The well-known Berkeley master is selling his personal library.
Felix German writes: I was wondering if I could ask you to send my challenge to anyone who is rated 2000+ for a 6 games, rated match in a next newsletter. Felix can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9) Upcoming Events
Carroll Capps Memorial - November 6-7
Mechanics Institute Scholastic Quads 2004 Tournaments:
November 13, December 18
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.
Northern California Events
Nov. 26- Nov. 28 East Bay Chess Club Thanksgiving Swiss. 5SS, 40/2, SD/1. EBCC 1940 Virginia St., Berkeley CA 94709. EF: $35, $40 after 11/16. $5 EBCC discount. $$1200b/50, 2 sections. Open: 200-150-100, u2100 100, u1900 100. Reserve Section: 150-100-50, u1500 75, u1300 75. Reg: 5-5:45 Fri, with 1st rd bye, 9-9:45 Sat. Rds: Fri 6 pm, Sat 10-4:30, Sun 10-4:30. Info: eastbaychess.com; email@example.com; 510 845-1041.
A Heritage Event!
Oct. 29-31. GPP: 80 South Dakota
Mark these two events down on your calendar. The PAN AM Intercollegiate will be held in Kansas right after Christmas.Email Mikhail Korenman for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
4th Annual Lindsborg Open December 17-22
GM & IM norms are available; $4,000 guaranteed prize fund!
Rapid Knock-out Tournament Lindsborg, Kansas December 23-25, 2004 $11,500 guaranteed prize fund! 9SS;
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