Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #218

"Chess is so interesting in itself, that those who have leisure for such diversions cannot find one that is more innocent, but advantageous, to the vanquished as well as the victor."

Benjamin Franklin

1) Mechanic's Institute Chess Room News 
2) US Championship 
3) Arthur Stamer 
4) Here and There 
5) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

IM Ganbold Odondoo and NM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs lead the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon with perfect scores after four of the nine rounds. Half a point behind the Mongolians are Victor Ossipov, Peter Grey and Vincent Mo.

Yefim Bukh won the Wednesday Night Blitz on November 10 with a score of 11.5 from 12. Joe Urquhart was second at 9.5.

The MI weekend tournament schedule for next January-August has just been made available:


8th - 5th Annual Bob Burger Open (G/45)

29th - MI Scholastic


5th - 5th Annual Henry Gross Memorial (G/45)

26th - MI Scholastic


5th -6h - A.J. Fink Amateur (Below 2000)

12th - 5th annual Max Wilkerson Open (G/45)

26th - MI Scholastic


2-3 Walter Lovegrove Senior Open

16th - 5th Annual Imre Konig Memorial (G/45)

30th - MI Scholastic


14th - 5th Annual Charles Powell Memorial (G/45)

21 - MI Scholastic


4th - 5th 42nd Arthur Stamer Memorial

18 - MI Scholastic

25th - 5th Annual William Addison Open (G/45)


16th - 5th Annual Charles Bagby Memorial (G/45)

30-31 MI Providian Junior Championship (Under 21)


6th - 5th Annual Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial (G/45)

13th MI Scholastic

20th-21st Bernardo Smith Amateur (Under 1800)

2) US Championship

Here is the revised player list for the US Championship which is scheduled for November 24-December 5 in La Jolla (San Diego), California. Note the addition of 6-time US Champion Walter Browne and San Diego IM Cyrus Lakdawala. Complete details can be found at the America's Foundation for Chess website at Those who like to combine activities will want to consider pairing a visit to the US Championship with playing in the American Open in Los Angeles. Information for the latter can be found below under upcoming events.

USCF 10/02 rating

1 Gata Kamsky 2777
2 Gregory Kaidanov 2730
3 Alexander Goldin 2705
4 Boris Gulko 2705
5 Igor Novikov 2690
6 Alexander Shabalov 2689
7 Alexander Onischuk 2680
8 Hikaru Nakamura 2676
9 Ildar Ibraigimov 2671
10 Varuzhan Akobian 2665
11 Alexander Yermolinsky 2642
12 Alexander Stripunsky 2640
13 Alexander Ivanov 2633
14 Nick De Firmian 2626
15 Ben Finegold 2621
16 Joel Benjamin 2620
17 Larry Christiansen 2611
18 Sergey Kudrin 2607
19 Gregory Serper 2598
20 Aleks Wojtkiewicz 2590
21 Yury Shulman 2590
22 Julio Becerra 2582
23 Eugene Perlshteyn 2579
24 Alex Fishbein 2575
25 Dmitry Gurevich 2551
26 Lev Altounian 2546
27 Cyrus Lakdawala 2545
28 Renier Gonzalez 2536
29 Yury Lapshun 2527
30 Walter Browne 2508
31 Stanislav Kriventsov 2504
32 Dmitry Schneider 2503
33 Jesse Kraai 2493
34 Tegshuren Enkhbat 2481
35 Irina Krush 2472
36 Marcel Martinez 2466
37 Joshua Friedel 2464
38 Anna Zatonskih 2459
39 Lev Milman 2455
40 Stephen Muhammad 2455
41 Anatoly Lein 2436
42 Ronald Burnett 2423
43 Dmitry Zilberstein 2419
44 Salvajius Bercys 2418
45 Bruci Lopez 2417
46 Blaus Lugo 2413
47 Matthew Hoekstra 2409
48 Robby Adamson 2400
49 Rusdan Goletiani 2375
50 Jennifer Shahade 2346
51 Fabio LaRota 2336
52 Michael Casella 2329
53 Jake Kleiman 2310
54 Tatev Abrahamyon 2305
55 Anna Hahn 2256
56 Tsagaan Battsetseg 2238
57 Laura Ross 2195
58 Esther Epstein 2178
59 Olga Sagalchick 2154
60 Chouchanik Airapetian 2149
61 Vanessa West 2119
62 Anna Levina 2099
63 Iryna Zenyuk 2094
64 Tatiana Vayserburg 2037

"The Bent Larsen US Championship Prize"

Dear US Championship Participants,

A hearty welcome to each and every one of you! The organizers of the US Championship proudly announce an exciting additional prize for this year's event. We want to give special recognition to players who consistently bring fighting spirit to the tournament, who decline the easy and perhaps convenient draw, and find ways to carry their games to exciting and successful conclusions. Hence, Professor Jim Roberts, Co-Founder of America's Foundation For Chess, his wife Pam and their children, Jacob and Emma, have generously agreed to donate a $5,000 cash prize to reward the player who "brings it to the table" when it matters.

They consider that the legendary and always gracious Bent Larsen of Denmark is the player who has best captured this ideal of over-the-board courage. The $5,000 prize, as well as recognition as the "Bent Larsen Prize Winner," will go to the most combative player at this year's event; the participant whose performance stands out for eschewing early draws and for fighting hard throughout the event. To be eligible a player will have to finish with an even or plus score, and particular attention will be paid to fighting spirit shown in the final two rounds. The $5,000 will be shared if it is considered that two or three players jointly deserve this special award.

The winner or winners will be chosen by Jim Roberts in association with the organizers of the US Championship. Their decision will be final.

Wishing you all a successful and combative tournament!

The Organizers, on behalf of Pam, Emma, Jacob and Jim Roberts

One of the best free weekly chess news updates on the web is produced by IM Malcolm Pein whose London Chess Center sponsors the very popular The Week in Chess (TWIC). His Chess Express ( recently published an interesting little snippet on the top seed in this year's US Championship.

By IM Malcom Pein

The top seed in the upcoming US championship is the former Fide championship finalist Gata Kamsky, who emerged from retirement to play at a few of the Tuesday night Rapid tournaments at the Marshall Chess Club earlier this year and will now face his first real test after a five year break which he spent studying law.

Kamsky has been far from convincing so far in his comeback and came to grief in the following game after eschewing the critical lines with 8...Nc6. Recent analysis confirms that 8...Bd7 does not yield sufficient counterplay against the white centre.

19.e6! frees the e5 square for the white knight with disastrous consequences for Black. If 19...Nxe6 20.Ne5 forks queen and rook and if 20...Kxf7 21.Ne5+ with another fork. 23...Kxf7 24.Qd5+ wins the Rc4; after 23...Qxf7 24.Ne5 Qe6 defends but 24.Ng5! which intends Rxe7+ if the queen moves is decisive. In fact White's position was so good he could also have won with 21.Qxd6 exd6 22.Nd2! (22.Re8? Rc1+) and if 22...Rc3 23.Re8 Rc1+ 24.Nf1.

Bonin,J (2342) - Kamsky,G (2717)

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Rb1! cxd4 12.cxd4 Rc8 13.Bb2 Na6 14.Re1 Rc4 15.d5 Bxb2 16.Rxb2 Qc7 17.e5! Nc5 18.d6 Qd7 19.e6! Qxd6 20.exf7+ Kg7 21.Rd2 Qf6 22.Rd8! Rxd8 23.Qxd8 Qxf7 24.Ng5! Ne6 25.Nxf7 Nxd8 26.Nxd8 b5 27.g3 Kf8 28.Ne6+ Ke8 29.Re5 a6 30.Nc5 Rc2 31.Nxa6 Rxa2 32.Nc7+ Kd7 33.Nxb5 Ra5 34.Kg2 e6 35.f4 Ra2+ 36.Kh3 Rd2 37.Nc3 1-0

3) Arthur Stamer

The Mechanics' Institute will celebrate its 150th annivevsary on December 4th, but it has only had a chess director since 1951. Arthur Stamer was the first, from 1951 until 1963. Here, in a letter to longtime Stamer Memorial Director Mike Goodall, Stamer's daughter Marion Stamer Simmons recalls her much-loved father.

March 19, 1996

Dear Mr. Goodall;

Here goes. Will try to give you a glimpse of Arthur B. Stamer.

He was born in Berkeley, California in 1884. The family moved in his early years to San Francisco where his father opened the Bee Hive Restaurant. It was there one of the waiters introduced him to the game of chess. He married Edith Aitken in 1914. Chester Arthur Stamer (Chet) was born in 1916 and I was born eight years later. Chet joined the Chess Club and won top prize in the first Stamer Memorial Tournament. Chet died in 1981.

To me, chess was a game my father and brother were forever playing and I didn't pay attention to victories, loses, or tournaments. The medals and papers enclosed were in my brother's effects. I hope you will find then interesting and will return them to me. The mimeographed papers are yours if you'd like them.

For years we lived on 28th Avenue between Irving Street and Lincoln Way. On the long street car ride downtown, dad would move tiny ivory pieces into the pockets of a chess wallet he always carried. I remember old men sitting on benches playing chess under the trees in Golden Gate Park. I'm sure my dad was often one of them. Many chess friends turned into poker, bridge, and anagram pals. There was always some game going on at home.

Next to chess building radios was a consuming hobby. Every radio in our home he built. I remember being called to his basement workshop to hear Big Ben brought in all the way from London on a short-wave radio. Being the youngest in the family, I always felt young. But this story is getting to me! Was all this really that long ago?!!

His formal education was not remarkable but he was. Perhaps it really was remarkable because although it ended with graduation from the eighth grade, his love of learning never stopped. My picture of him walking home from the streetcar is with a cigarette in one hand, a book under the other arm, and a chocolate bar in his pocket for me. He must have checked out every nonfiction book in the library. I believe that he and my mother could point out every star in the sky, know the name of every flower and tree, as well as the name of every poet or author whose work they read. An exaggeration perhaps but even today I would like to see them on Jeopardy.

When he was Superintendent of Delivery for the Post Office in the 1920s you could see the Ferry Building from his office in the Ferry Annex. When working an Rincon Annex, He retired in 1951 as First Assistant General Superintendent of Mails, San Francisco. His retirement picture with and signed by then San Francisco Postmaster John Fixa thanks him for 41 years of devoted service. Walking along the street with him, it wouldn't be unusual for a mail truck to come to a fast stop and for a mail carrier to jump out, shake his hand, and say hello.

As a husband, he would say he wasn't the best - too much chess, too much radio. But my mother said he was "God's Gentleman." As a father, you would have probably guessed, he earned undying love.

I don't know if Mr. McCain was the one who wrote the tribute for the first Stamer Memorial, but I am grateful. Whoever wrote it knew him well and said it all.

Mike, I'm afraid you have here more than you need for a few short remarks, but I got carried away!

My dad loved that Chess Club, and being its Director must have been icing on the cake. He'd have been down there every day anyway.

Wishing you all the best tournament ever -
Marion Stamer Simmons

4) Here and There

Sara Nelson writes in the November 11 edition of the New York Post

Josh Waitzkin - the chess prodigy at the heart of the acclaimed book, "Searching for Bobby Fischer" - has just signed his first deal for a book that's not about chess.

The tentatively titled "The Art of Learning," an inspirational memoir-and-advice book, has just been sold to Simon & Schuster's Free Press for nearly $300,000.

Waitzkin was a champion chess player from childhood, and his story was chronicled by his father Fred Waitzkin in "Bobby Fischer" - and later made into a movie.

Now in his late 20s, Waitzkin is no longer a professional chess player, and is an expert at a form of tai chi known as tai chi push hands.

The new book - represented by Waitzkin Sr.'s longtime agent, Amanda "Binky" Urban - discusses the skills Waitzkin believes are essential to chess, to tai chi, and to most endeavors.

His 40-page proposal was full of anecdotes from Waitzkin's life and discussed such concepts as "having a beginner's mind" and how to build mental stamina.

The underbidders included Doubleday and Riverhead

Rusty Miller writes: A&E Cable TV channel is carrying what appears to be a 60 minute Bobby Fischer bio program at 4 AM Thursday Nov 18. Set your VCRs. Hopefully they will run it in the future at a more reasonable time. Thanks to Don Schultz former USCF Pres & GM Yasser Seirawan for the tip on this event.

Richard Koepcke has won the 2004 Goodwin Memorial held at the Burlingame Chess Club with a round to spare. The Mountain View NM's score of 6-0 puts him a point and ahalf ahead of the field.

The November First Saturday tournament Grandmaster section was won by Serbian GM Zlatko Ilincic with 8 from 11. William Paschall of Boston tied for fifth with 6 points in the Category 7 (2412) event. Fellow American IM Rashis Ziatdinov finished with 3.5 points.

American youngsters turn in solid performances in the World Youth Championships in Crete. Here are a few highlights.The top US scorer was Daniel Ludwig who finished 4th on tiebreak in the Boys Under 14 with 8 from 11. Alisa Melikhina tied for fourth in the Girls Under 12 with 7.5 points while Josh Friedel was =11th in the very strong Boys Under Eighteen with seven points. California scores: Matthew Ho of San Jose had 5.5 and Elliot Liu of Los Angeles 5 in the Boys Under 16 while Tatev Abrahamiyan of Glendale had 6.5 in the Girls Under 16.

GM Alex Wojtkiewicz won the annual event at King's Island, just north of Cincinnati, last weekend. His score of 4.5 from 5 was good for $2,142. Tying for second at 4-1 were GMs Kamil Miton, Dmitry Gurevich and IM Jan Van De Mortel. A total of 334 players competed in the Continental Chess Association event.

5) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Pierre Saint-Amant - November 20
Guthrie McClain Memorial - December 5 (Sunday)
Jim Hurt Under 1800 - December 11-12

Mechanics Institute Scholastic Quads 2004 Tournaments:

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.

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:;; 510 845-1041.

Southern California

A Heritage Event!
An American Classic!
Nov. 25-28 or 26-28 40th Annual American Open GPP: 80 S. California 8SS, 40/2, SD/1. LAX Renaissance Hotel, 9620 Airport Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90045. $$30,200, 60% of each prize guaranteed. 8 sections (Unr. must play in U1000/Unr. or Open). Open: $3000-1500-700-500-300, U2450/Unr $1200-600, U2300/Unr $600. U2200: $2000-1000-500-300-200. U2000: $2000-1000-500-300-200. U1800: $2000-1000-500-300-200. U1600: $2000-1000-500-300-200. U1400: $1700-900-500-300-200. U1200: $1000-500-250-150-100. U1000/Unr: Trophies to top six. EF: Sections 1-7, $129 if rec'd by 11/23, $30 less for jrs. Under 15 if playing up, $50 more for players rated under 2000 playing in Open. Section 8, $39 if rec'd by 11/23. All: $20 more at door. SCCF memb. req'd ($12, $7.50 jrs. Under 19, includes Rank & File magazine), OSA. Elegant trophy each section winner. Best game prizes gtd: $100-50-50 (one must be from Sections 2-8). No checks at door - cash, credit card, or money order only. 4-day schedule: Reg closes noon 11/25, 12:30-7:30, 12:30-7:30, 10:30-5, 10-4:30. 3-day schedule: Reg closes 11:30am 11/26, 12-2:30-5-8 (G/1), schedules merge in Rd 5 & compete for common prizes. Byes (2 max) with advance notice. CCA minimum ratings & TD discretion will be used to protect you from improperly rated players. October Rating Supplement used. Sturdy, reliable Saitek clock provided for top boards. HR: $89, (310) 337-2800, mention chess. Info: Chief TD Randy Hough (626) 282-7412, Ent: American Open, PO Box 205, Monterey Park, CA 91754 or NS, W, FIDE Rated.

National Events

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

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;

Return to Index