Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #18


The big news this week is the decision by FIDE to speed up the game to encourage sponsorship. It appears that the new time control of 40 moves in 75 minutes, 15 minutes for the remainder of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1, will only be required for official FIDE competitions (world championship, Olympiads, etc.). That would mean that only the US Championship, and only when it is a Zonal qualifier, would be required to use the new time control. The decision by FIDE was so sudden that some ramifications have yet to be worked out. In particular will the new time control be allowed for title norms? Currently FIDE allows two games a day twice in a nine round title norm tournament, but this potentially means two games of 40/2, 20/1 followed by G/30. Playing 14 hours a day might be creating worse games than the new proposal! Theory is advancing so fast that today's top players often rattle off the first ten to fifteen moves in a few minutes leaving them extra time to play the rest of the game. The flip side of the new time control change is that it will lead to a lowering of the standard of play. Do readers of the MI Chess Room Newsletter have strong opinions on this?

Tehran, 26 December 2000
To All National Federations
To All Chess players
To Members of the Press

Dear Friends: The Presidential Board of FIDE, chaired by the FIDE President, H.E. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, met today at the Chess Palace in Tehran, Iran, and after wide ranging consultations with FIDE officials and players took a number of far reaching decisions with respect to the World Chess Championship titles. A copy of the text of the historic Tehran Declaration on World Chess Championship titles is annexed herewith.

In line with the decision of the FIDE General Assembly in Istanbul and based on the consensus of opinion of the overwhelming majority of top players at the World Chess Championship in New Delhi, the Board unanimously approved the new time control, with effect from 1 January 2001. Instead of the existing format (40 moves in 100 minutes, 20 moves in 50 minutes, 10 minutes for the remainder of the game with an increment of 30 seconds), the new time control to be used in all FIDE events and international title tournaments will be 40 moves in 75 minutes, 15 minutes for the remainder of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1.

With regard to the new format of the World Chess Championship, the Presidential Board noted with satisfaction the success of the current knockout format, congratulating the 15th World Champion, Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand of India, and the runner-up, GM Alexey Shirov of Spain, for their outstanding victories in their matches and resolved not to change the current format for the World Championship. The Board however resolved to increase the number of places to 128 players as against the previous figure of 100, while insisting that all players should now play from the first round in keeping with the principle established by the FIDE General Assembly that there should be no special privileges for any of the players. Of particular significance was the Board's decision to include the World Internet Championship, which will be open to qualification to the top 8 players to participate in the World Chess Championship.

The Board also approved in principle the establishment of a parallel system of an elite section of the top 32 players, to play in a series of events, including the Grand Prix qualifying tournaments, the World Chess Cup and the Grand Prix final, as part of FIDE's commercialisation programme. A special Committee to be chaired by the Deputy President G. Makropoulos, has been mandated by the Board to coordinate all aspects of the planning and the preparation of the World Chess Championship, World Internet Championship and the series of elite tournaments on behalf of FIDE in collaboration with Mr. A. Tarasov of FIDE Commerce.

2) Max Euwe at the MI

Continuing our series on World Champions at the MI we move from Alexander Alekhine to Max Euwe. The information on Dr. Euwe's visit is incomplete, but we hope to rectify this at a later date with the assistance of MI Trustee Neil Falconer who drew with the Dutch World Champion. Here is what we have so far.

Max Euwe: 1949 (!?) maybe 1947

January 22, 1949 +16, -3, =3

On January 22, at 8pm, Dr. Euwe was the guest of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club. It was a real gala affair. It took Euwe four hours to finish the show and over 200 spectators watch the battle which ensued during that time. He won 16, lost three (to Herbert Dashel, 17year old San Francisco high school boy; Robert T. Konkel, Richmond, and Paul Wolf, San Francisco) and drew three ) Charles Bagby, San Francisco; Neil T. Falconer, Berkeley; and Charles Svalberg, Russian Chess Club.

Ruy Lopez C 90

Max Euwe
Robert Konkel

San Francisco Simul 1949

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 Na5 9.Bc2 c5 10.d4 Qc7 11.Nbd2 0–0 12.Nf1 Bd7

Since White has omitted h3, Black might want to consider 12...Bg4.

13.dxe5 dxe5 14.Ne3 Rad8 15.Nd5 Qd6 16.Nxe7+ Qxe7 17.Bg5 Nc4 18.Rb1 ?

18.b3 and 18.Bc1 are both superior to the text . 18...h6 19.Bc1 b4 20.Bb3 Na5 21.Bd2 Bc6 22.Qc2 c4! 23.Ba4 b3! 24.axb3 cxb3 25.Bxb3 Bxe4 26.Rxe4 Nxe4 27.Bxf7+ Qxf7 28.Qxe4 Rxd2 29.Nxd2 Qxf2+ 30.Kh1 Qxd2 31.Qxe5 Qxb2 0–1

Source: California Chess News ???

The enclosed attachment has this game and reports on visits by Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine.

4) Upcoming Tournaments

MI Scholastic Chess Cordinator Anthony Corrales will be directing a tournament for juniors on January 27-28 at the MI. Contact him at ( for more details.

MI Assistant Director Joan Arbil is running Tuesday and Saturday Marathons at the MI throughout January. Contact here at for more information or visit the MI website (

Well-respected organizer and director Jerry Weikel will be putting on the "Jessie Jeans'" Open on January 12-14 at the Jesse Jeans Coffee House (1426 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, (707) 526-0929). The three section event (2000+, 1600-1999, -1600) is offering a $4,000 prize fund based on 80 players with a first place of $500. Advance entry fee is $80 with a $5 discount to Cal Chess members (mail to J. Weikel at 6578 Valley Wood drive, Reno , Nevada 89523). There is a one day action tournament (G/50) on January 15th. Contact Jerry Weikel at (775) 747-1405 for more information.

The annual Region XI Women's Open and Sojourner Truth Chess Tournament for Girls will be held January 13 and 14 in Menlo Park. Contact Equality Chess at (650) 854-9793 or e-mail:

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