Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #227

   Chess, like any creative activity, can exist only through the combined efforts of those who have creative talent, and those who have the ability to organize their creative work.

Mikhail Botvinnik

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 
2) Victor Frias 1956-2005 
3) The battle of the Dmitrys: 2004 US Championship 
4) Here and There 
5) Upcoming Events 

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

IM Vinay Bhat has won the Michael Franett Memorial. Bhat has 8.5 from 10 with one game remaining with IM Ricardo DeGuzman. The race for second has yet to be decided. FM David Pruess just missed the IM norm by half a point and finished with 7.5 points from 11 games. Mongolian IM Odondoo Ganbold has 5 from 8 with three games remaining. Standings and games played to date can be found at http://www.chessclub.org/Franett05.html .

IM Odondoo Ganbold and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs are the top seeds in the 70-player Mechanics' Institute Tuesday Night Marathon. It's still possible to enter the 9 round event with byes for the first two rounds.

Tonight the MI Wednesday Night Blitz will be held at 7pm.

2) Victor Frias 1956-2005

One of America's friendliest International Masters, Victor Frias, passed away this past Saturday, January 15, at the age of 48 in New York after a brief illness. Born February 10, 1956, in Santiago, Chile, Victor represented his birthplace in three Olympiads (1976, 1978 and 1984) but played most of his chess in the United States, his homeland for the last twenty years of his life. Awarded the IM title in 1982 Victor was for at least a decade one of the strongest International Masters in the world. His peak FIDE rating of 2530 attests to his strength.

Victor played very little the last part of his life. Bay Area chess fans will remember his second place finish in the 1997 San Francisco International organized by Jim Eade. His final event, a rapid tournament on Long Island last April, saw him go 3-1, drawing GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Stripunsky.

Besides being a very strong player Victor was a longtime coach. His most successful job was helping GM-to-be Ilya Gurevich win the World Junior Championship on tiebreak from Alexey Shirov. GM Patrick Wolff was another Samford Scholar that Frias worked with extensively. Victor led many US delegations to World Youth, World Junior and Pan American Championships. He coached at Dalton Academy, managed the Marshall Chess Club and directed the Yonkers Projects Chess Club Program. Despite all of his considerable chess accomplishments Victor will be best remembered by his many friends for his love of life and sharp wit. He may have only lived 48 years but he burned the candle brightly.

Victor was cremated on January 17. A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 22, 2005 at the Marshall Chess Club in Manhattan at 1:00pm He is survived by his wife, Zoe Ann Tilton and two sons, Camilo and Pablo.

Victor was never a great opening specialist. He didn't particularly like opening books and stopped playing before laptop computers became required for professionals. I remember him telling me once that Larsen's Best Games was the book that influenced him the most. He was a particularly good endgame player and frequently outplayed strong players in this phase of the game. The following game is a good example.

Frias (2515) - Wojtkiewicz (2575) [E32]
San Francisco Mechanics San Francisco (5), 1997

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Nf3 Bb7 8.g3 d6 9.Bg2 Nbd7 10.0-0 c5 11.Rd1 Rc8 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxf6 Nxf6 14.dxc5 Rxc5 15.b4 Rc7 16.Qd4 Qe7 17.Qxd6 Qxd6 18.Rxd6 Bxf3 19.Bxf3 Rxc4 20.Bb7 Rb8 21.Ba6 Rc3 22.Kf1 Kf8 23.Ke1 Nd5 24.Rd7 Rc7 25.Rxc7 Nxc7 26.Bd3 Ke7 27.Rc1 Kd7 28.f4 f6 29.Kf2 Rc8 30.Kf3 Nd5 31.Rxc8 Kxc8 32.Bc4 Nc7 33.Kg4 Kd7 34.Kh5 Ke7 35.Kg6 Kf8 36.e4 a6 37.h4 a5 38.bxa5 bxa5 39.a4 Ne8 40.Bxe6 Nd6 41.Bd5 Nc8 42.Kf5 Nb6 43.Bb3 Nd7 44.Bc4 Nc5 45.Bb5 Kf7 46.h5 Ke7 47.e5 fxe5 48.Kxe5 Ne6 49.Kd5 Nf8 50.Kc5 Ne6+ 51.Kb6 Nd4 52.Kxa5 1-0

3) The battle of the Dmitrys: 2004 US Championship

Senior Master Dmitry Zilberstein of Fremont was in tremendous form the first seven rounds of the US Championship with a score of 4-3 versus 6 GMs and 1 IM, but then he faced the other Dmitry in the tournament. The following notes are based on those that Dmitry Gurevich gave immediately after the game while doing commentary for the ICC and spectators at the event. Incidentally our Dmitry won a special prize for his brilliant win over GM Alexander Ivanov in a game that is appearing in chess magazines around the planet. I just saw it featured in Larry Christiansen's report in the German monthly Schach.

Gurevich - Zilberstein [D38]
US Champ, 2004

1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3

I saw that Dmitry played well against my normal Catlan (4.g3) and so decided to try something different

4...Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Qa4+

I adopted this system of play after analysing a game of my student Igor Tsyganov who played it against Georgi Kachieshvili.

8...Nc6 9.e3 0?0 10.Be2 Be6 11.0-0 a6

The idea is to be able to play ...Bd6 without being bothered by Nb5.

12.Rfc1 Bd6

The battle lines are drawn. White will attack on the queenside and Black the kingside. The late Tigran Petrosian handled the White side of such positions with great understanding.

13.a3 Ne7 14.Qd1

A multi-purpose move. I strengthen my Kingside and free a4 for the Knight.

14...Rad8 15.Na4 Bc8 16.Nc5 c6

More direct was 16...g5 when I planned 17.e4

17.b4

Here it was very difficult to choose between the move which I played launching a minority attack and 17.Qb3 Bxc5 18.Rxc5 which is very appealing since Black's attacking Bishop has been exchanged off.

17...g5 18.g3

A preventive move. Now if 18...g4 I have 19.Nh4.

18...Nf5 19.Ne1

Another prophylactic move designed to stop ...h5.

19...Kg7

In view of what occurs Black might consider the immediate 19...h5 but after 20.Bxh5 Kg7 21.Bg4 Rh8 22.Qf3 I see no clear compensation for the pawn.

20.Bh5

Radically stopping ...h5 by occupying the square.

20...Bc7 21.a4

White continues with his queenside attack and is getting ready to play b5.

21...Nd6 22.Bg4

Trading Bishops blunts Black's attack. White is counting long term on his superior structure.

22...Bxg4 23.Qxg4 Qe7 24.Ned3 Bb8 25.Qh3 Rfe8 26.Ra2 f6 27.Rac2 Qf7

The critical position of the game. Here at first I thought I was much better. All my pieces look good but how to improve them? Then I realized that I couldn't and that if I didn't immediately undertake active operations I might soon be worse. Another factor in choosing the following course of action was that my opponent was down to less than 10 minutes to reach move 40 while I had 25.

28.Nxa6 bxa6 29.Rxc6

For the sacrificed piece I have two pawns and the promise of a third coming. Objectively I am no better but it is a difficult psychological moment for my opponent who must adapt to the changed circumstance. Previously he had a very solid structure (...c6, ...d5) but now it's an extra piece but a loose position.

29...Qb7?

Dmitry immediately blunders. Instead 29...a5 30.bxa5 Nc4 31.a6 was critical.

30.Nc5 Qxb4?

This was the fatal error but easy to explain as Dmitry wanted to justify his previous move. Instead he had to return with his Queen: 30...Qf7.

31.Ne6+ Rxe6 32.Qxe6 Ne4 33.Kg2 Kg6 34.Rc8 Qd2 35.R1c2 Qa5 36.Rxd8 Qxd8 37.Rc8 Qd6 38.Rg8+ 1-0

4) Here and There

IM Melik Khachiyan was the easy winner of the Western Class Championship held January 15-17 in Los Angeles. Khachiyan beat IM Tim Taylor and GM Amir Bagheri to take first with a score of 5.5 from 6. IM Enrico Sevillano lost in round two but then won four games in a row to take second with 5 points. Tying for third at 4 in the 27-player Open section were Bagheri, Taylor and FM Michael Casella. 205 players competed in the multi-section event organized by Bill Goichberg's Continental Chess Association.

Correspondence IM Simon Fitzpatrick died last August at 51 after a long struggle with cancer. A Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Western Australia, Simon did his Doctorial studies at the University of Washington in the mid-1970s and was quite active in the Seattle chess scene.

De Faria - Fitzpatrick
ICCF 1997

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.Qxd5 Bd7 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Qd1 Bc5 10.e3 Qe7 11.Be2 0-0-0 12.0-0 g5 13.Qc2 g4 14.Nd2 Kb8 15.a3 Rc8 16.b4 Bd6 17.Nc4 Bc7 18.Bb2 Ne5 19.Nd2 Rhg8 20.Rac1 Bc6 21.b5 Bxh2+ 23.Kxh2 Qe5+ 24.g3 Qh5+ 25.Kg1 Bxf3 26.Nxf3 gxf3 27.Ne2 Rxc2 28.Be5+ Qxe5 29.Rxc2 fxe2 0-1

USCF Election News: The ballots will be in the June 2005 issue of Chess Life. Eligible voting members are those USCF members on June 30, 2005 who are 16 or older as of June 30, 2005 and who reside in the United States. USCF members who are eligible to vote but do not receive Chess Life as a membership benefit must request a ballot by mailing a request for a ballot, including their date of birth and a self-addressed stamped envelope, to the USCF office by June 15th, 2005.

The following minature by 75-year-old San Francisco IM Walter Shipman appeared not too long ago in IM Jack Peters' column in the LA Times.

IM Walter Shipman - IM Kong Deng
Dutch A80
American Open Los Angeles, 2004

1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.e4 Rh7 5.Qh5+ Rf7 6.Bxg5 hxg5 7.Nf3 fxe4 8.Nxg5 Nh6 9.Nc3 c5 10.0𢠢 cxd4 11.Rxd4 Qa5 12.Rd5 Qb6 13.Rf5 10

5) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Henry Gross Memorial - February 5th
A.J. Fink Amateur - March 5-6
Max Wilkerson Open - March 12

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