Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #229

   You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what Chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it's really a good idea and whether there are other better ideas.

Stanley Kubrick

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Matthew Ho wins 2005 Falconer Award
3) Ursula Foster (1927-2204)
4) Shulman-Miton match in Oklahoma
5) Nakamura tied for lead in Gibraltar
6) Here and There
7) Upcoming Events

The Mechanics' will be hosting the 5th Annual Henry Gross Memorial this Saturday. Round one of the five round G/45 event starts at 10am.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

NM Igor Margulis is alone in first after four rounds of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon with a 4-0 score. Tied for second at 3.5 in the nine round event are IM Ganbold Odondoo, NMs Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, Nicolas Yap and Russell Wong and Experts Victor Ossipov, Larry Snyder and Igor Traub.

Berkeley Class A player Steven Svoboda sends the following exciting game against fellow Marathon regular Arthur Dembling.

Svoboda, S - Dembling, A [E28]
Fall Marathon, 2004
annotations by Donaldson

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 c5 6.e3 b6 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.f3 0-0 9.Ne2 Nc6 10.Bd2?!

This commits the Bishop to a passive square. The main line runs 10.0-0 Na5 11.e4 Ne8 12.f4 f5 or 12...Ba6 13.f5 f6 . Note Black must prevent the f-pawn coming to f6; 13...Bxc4? 14.Bxc4 Nxc4 15.f6 Nxf6 16.Bg5 with a crushing attack.


More energetic is 10...Na5 11.Ng3 (11.0-0 Ba6) ...Ba6 12.Qe2 d5 13.cxd5 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Qxd5 15.0-0 Qc4 with good play.

11.0-0 Na5 12.Ng3 Ba6 13.Qe2 Rc8 14.d5 e5?

This gives White a free hand. A better try is 14...Qd7!?

15.Nf5 Re8 16.e4 Nb3?

Necessary was 16...Nh5. Black cannot allow Bg5, pinning the Knight, in the Saemisch.

17.Bg5! Nxa1 18.Qf2!?

Possible was 18.Rxa1but Svoboda has bigger game in mind!


Black had to try something radical like 18...h6 19.Bxh6 (19.Bh4 Kh7 20.Rxa1 g6 21.Ne3 g5 22.Bg3 Nh5) 19...Nh5.

19.Qh4 h5

This doesn't work well and neither does 19...Nb3 20.Nxg7! At this point it is hard to suggest improvements.


20.Rxa1 was possible but the text is more to the point.

20...Bc8 21.Ng3?!

21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.fxe5 wins immediately.

21...Bg4 22.h3 Qd7

On 22...exf4 then 23.Rxf4 Bd1 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Rxf6, with Nf5 coming, is decisive.


If 23.fxe5 then 23...Nh7!. 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.hxg4 Qxg4 25.Qxg4+ hxg4 26.Rxa1was also possible.

23...Nh7 24.hxg4 f6

Maybe 24...Nb3 25.gxh5 (25.Nxh5 f6 26.Be3 with g5 coming isn't so clear.) 25...Nxg5 26.Qxg5 f6 had to be played.

25.Be3 Nb3 26.gxh5 Qe7 27.h6

Now the second wave of the attack picks up.

27...Ng5 28.Nh5?

28.hxg7! Qxg7 29.Nh5 won on the spot.


28...gxh6! and Black is still alive.Now White finishes the job.

29.Nxg7 Rxg7 30.hxg7 Kxg7 31.Qh5 Rg8 32.Kf2 Rh8 33.Qg6+ Kf8 34.Bxg5 fxg5 35.f6 Rg8 36.Qh6+ Kf7 37.Qh7+ Kf8 38.f7 1-0

2) Matthew Ho wins 2005 Falconer Award

San Jose high school student Matthew Ho is the 2005 Falconer award winner. Ho, who represented the United States in the World Youth Championships in Greece last fall, received $2259, matching his 2259 rating on the December 2004 USCF rating list. This marks the second year in a row that Ho has won the award. Previous recipients of the Falconer, given to the top player in Northern California under 18, include Michael Pearson and Vinay Bhat (3 times). This award is made possible by the generosity of longtime MI Trustee Neil Falconer.

3) Ursula Foster (1927-2204)

Recently MI regular Mark Kastor asked me why he hadn't seen Ursula Foster at any recent tournaments. I found the sad answer at the USCF website in the section for remembering recently deceased members. Many California players will remember Ursula for her love of the game and good cheer. What they may not know is that she was a Holocaust survivor who was mentioned by name in Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl.

A lengthy obituary appears on the Modesto Bee website..

4) Shulman-Miton match in Oklahoma

The Berry brothers of Stillwater are at it again. Frank and Jim Berry, who have run the North American Open for over a decade, and grown it into one of the strongest Labor Day tournaments in the United States will be sponsoring a match between young Polish 2600 GM Kamil Miton and GM Yury Schulman of Brooklyn who recently tied for third in the US Championship. The six game, featuring a $3000 prize fund ($2000 to the winner) will be held Feb 19-21 alongside the OCF Winter NAO FIDE Open. See upcoming tournaments below for details about the latter event.

5) Nakamura tied for lead in Gibraltar

GM Hikaru Nakamura is tied for first with 6 from 8 with two rounds to go in the Gibtelecom Masters. Among those sharing the lead with him are top seed Alexey Shirov. Here is Hikaru's 8th round win over English GM Chris Ward.


Gibtelecom Masters 2005 Caleta Hotel Gibraltar (8.6), 01.02.2005

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Nge2 Ne4 6.Qc2 Bb7 7.Nf4 0-0 8.Bd3 f5 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 c5 11.f3 Nd6 12.e4 Nc6 13.e5 Nf7 14.Qf2 Rc8 15.Be3 Qe7 16.Rac1 Kh8 17.Rfe1 Na5 18.Qe2 Ba6 19.Bf2 Qg5 20.Nh3 Qh5 21.Be3 Qh4 22.Bf2 Qh5 23.Be3 Qh4 24.Red1 Rc7 25.f4 cxd4 26.cxd4 Rfc8 27.c5 Bxd3 28.Qxd3 bxc5 29.Qb5 Nc6 30.Rxc5 Ne7 31.Rxc7 Rxc7 32.d5 Nxd5 33.Ng5 g6 34.Nxf7+ Kg7 35.Nd6 Nxe3 36.Ne8+ Kh6 37.Qb4 d6 38.Nxc7 Nxd1 39.Qd2 dxe5 40.Nxe6 exf4 41.Nxf4 Nb2 42.Nd3+ g5 43.Nxb2 Qe4 44.Nd1 f4 45.h3 f3 46.g4 Qe2 47.Qd6+ Kg7 48.Qd4+ Kg8 49.Nf2 Qxa2 50.Qd8+ Kf7 51.Qd7+ Kf8 52.Qf5+ Ke8 53.Qe4+ Kd8 54.Qxf3 a5 55.Nd3 a4 56.Qf8+ Kc7 57.Qg7+ Kc8 58.Qh8+ Kc7 59.Qxh7+ Kc8 60.Qh8+ Kc7 61.Qe5+ Kc8 62.Qc5+ Kb7 63.Qb4+ Kc7 64.Qc3+ Kd8 65.Nc1 Qe6 66.Kf2 Qb6+ 67.Ke2 Qg1 68.Kd2 Qg2+ 69.Ne2 1-0

Live coverage of the event is available at

6) Here and There

John Henderson of America's Foundation for Chess, which has sponsored the US Championship since 2000 writes about the qualifying events for the 2006 event which will be held in February in San Diego.

I have the 2006 Qualifying cycle ready - we now have to agree (within the next week or two) with the USCF before publication. However, I can tell you that it includes two new events: the American Open and the National Congress. Seeds will be based on the September 2005 USCF list; there will also be an Additional spot made up of the player who accumulates the most points from the qualifying cycle but fails to gain a spot proper - a sort of Grand Prix if you wish.

Readers of the Newsletter may recall that the AF4C stepped in when the USCF was unable to hold the event. The initial tournaments for men and women in 2000 were run on the traditional format roundrobin format. Since then, in 2002, 2003 and 2004 a 64 player, nine round, mixed gender Swiss has been the template. The qualifying events generated a great deal of interest last year and I suspect that even more players will be trying to make it into next February's Championship. American chess players owe a big thanks to the AF4C and in particular Board Member Erik Anderson who has shown a particularly keen interest in the US Championship. Hearty thanks also go to GM Yasser Seirawan who was instrumental in the founding of the AF4C in his hometown of Seattle. For more information on the activities of the AF4C go to

There are so many websites devoted to chess that it is hard to keep track of what is happening. One excellent one that I visited recently and is well worth checking out is the site of the world's leading chess historian, Edward Winter. You can find it at

7) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

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


East Bay Chess Club February Swiss

Saturday-Sunday, February 5th and 6th
A USCF rated 4-round Tournament in 1 section

Prizes: (Based on 40 full entries)
Overall Prizes $150, $100, $50
1st Prize in a Rating Category U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, U1300: Free lesson with an EBC
instructor ($50 value)
2nd Prize in a Rating Category U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, U1300: Free entry to any club
tournament (approximately $30 value)

Entry fee: $25, $5 discount for East Bay Chess Club Members or juniors (18 and under).

Registration/Check-in: 10-10:45 AM on Saturday
Rounds: 11 AM and 4:00 PM on both days
Time control: 30 moves in 90 minutes, followed by Sudden Death in 1 hour.

For more info: or (510) 845-1041


East Bay Chess Club Open Quads

On Saturday, February 12th, 2005
Open to Players of all Ages and Strengths

Entry fee: $15 if mailed before 2/5/05, $20 at site, $5 discount to EBCC members
Prizes: Two entry fees (either $30 or $40) to the top finisher in each quad. Registration/Check-in: 9-9:45 AM the day of the tournament.
Rounds: 10 AM, 2:30 PM, and 6:00 PM
Time control: 25 moves in 1 hour, followed by Sudden Death in 1 hour

To register, or for more info: or (510) 845-1041


East Bay Chess Club Scholastic Quads

Sunday, February 13th, 2005
Open to players 18 years old or younger

Entry fee: $10 if mailed before 2/5/05, $15 at site, $5 discount for EBCC Members Prizes: Trophies to the top finisher in each quad.

Registration/Check-in: 9-9:45 AM the day of the tournament.
Rounds: 10 AM, 12:15 PM, and 2:30 PM
Time control: Game in 1 hour.

To register, or for more info: or (510) 845-1041

A Heritage Event!
Feb. 19-21 32nd People's Chess Tournament GPP: 20 N. California
6SS, 45/2, SD/1 (Reserve 5SS, 45/90, SD/30). Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, UC Campus. EF: Open $45, X $40, A $38, B $36, Reserve $29. $5 more after 2/11. $5 UC discount, $3 CalChess discount. $$3200G in 5 sections: Open: 500-350-200 U2300 110. X: 300-150-75. A: 290-150-75. B: 280-140-70. Reserve: 200-125-50 U1400 100-50. Reg: Sat 9-10am. Rds: Open-B Sections: Sat 11-5:30, Sun 10-4:30, Mon 10-4:30. Reserve: Sat 11-3-7, Sun 10-3. Ent: ASUC Superb Productions, 5 Eshleman Hall, #4500, Berkeley, CA 94720. Payable to ASUC Superb. Info: 510-642-7477 or USCF, FIDE.

Mar. 12-13 EBCC March Swiss GPP: 10 N. California

4SS, 40/2, SD/1. East Bay Chess Club, 1940 Virginia St. Berkeley, CA 94709. EF: $30, $35 after 1/8. $5 EBCC discount. $$500G, $200-150-100-50; plus $600 of other prizes b/50. u2100, u1900, u1700, u1500, u1300: 1st wins free entry to any tournament plus free lesson with EBC instructor, 2nd wins free entry. Reg: 9-9:45. Rds: 10-4 daily. Info:; 510-845-1041.


February 19-21
22nd Annual U.S. Amateur Team West
6-SS, 40/2, SD/1.
Norwalk Marriott Hotel, 13111 Sycamore Drive, Norwalk, California 90650.

Mar. 13 2nd Annual Century West Open GPP: 6 S. California

5SS, G/40. Los Angeles Chess Club, 11514 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025. $$1000 b/48, 75% of each prize guaranteed: $300-150-50, U2200 100, U2000 100, U1800 100, U1600 100, U1400/Unr 100. Complimentary refreshments. All: SCCF membership required ($14 reg, $9 jr.), OSA. EF: $34 if rec'd by 3-11, $43 at door. On-line entry: No checks or credit cards at site. Half point byes: Limit 1, must be requested with entry. Reg: 8:45-9:30am. Rds: 10, 11:45, 1:30, 3:30, 5:15. Info: Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Place #1, Los Angeles, CA 90038. State Championship Qualifier.

Mar. 18-20 5th Annual RENO-FAR WEST OPEN GPP: 120 Nevada

6SS, 40/2, 20/1, G/1/2. Sands Regency Hotel/Casino, 345 N.Arlington Ave. Reno, NV 89501. 1-866-386-7829 or (775) 348-2200. $$28,500 b/300. $$18,000 Gtd. (Prizes 1-10 in Open Section Gtd. plus ½ of all other prizes). Free Lecture/Analysis Clinic by GM Larry Evans! 6 Sections. Open (2200 & above) EF: $120 (2000-2199=$175; 1999 & below=$251) (GMs & IMs free but must enter by (3/1) or pay late fee at door). $$2,000-1,000-800-700-600-500-500-500-500-400, (2300-2399) $1,000-600-400, (2299-below) $1,000-600-400 (If a tie for 1st then a playoff for $100 from prize fund). Sec."X" (2000-2199) EF: $119; $$1,000-600-400-300-200-100-100-100-100 (2099-below) 700. Sec."A" (1800-1999) EF: $118; $$1,000-600-400-300-200-200-100-100-100-100. Sec."B" (1600-1799) EF: $117; $$1,000-500-400-300-200-100-100-100-100-100. Sec."C" (1400-1599) EF: $116; $$900-500-300-200-200-100-100-100-100-100. Sec."D/" (1399-below) EF: $115; $$800-400-300-200-200-100-100-100-100-100, (1199-below) $500-300-200-100. 1st Sr.= $200-100; 1st Club=$500-300-200. All classes have trophies 1st-3rd. Unrated players are free entry but not eligible for cash prizes. Must join USCF for 1 full year thru this tournament. 1st Unrated=trophy + 1 yr. USCF Membership. $15 discount to Seniors (65+ yrs.) & Juniors (19-under). Players may play up. Provisionally rated players may only win ½ of 1st place money. CCA ratings may be used. Note: pairings not changed for color alternation unless 3 in a row or a plus 3 and if the unlikely situation occurs 3 colors in a row may be assigned. Note: a no draw rule until 30 moves will be in effect. SIDE EVENTS: Wed. (3/16) 7pm IM Igor Ivanov Clock Simul ($40-includes analysis), 7pm- Quick Quads (G/29) ($20).Thurs. (3/17) 6-7:15pm Free Lecture-GM Larry Evans; 7:30pm- GM (TBA) Simul ($20); 7:30pm- Blitz (5 Min) tourney ($20) 80% entries = Prize Fund. Sat. (3/19) (3-4:30pm) Free Game/Position Analysis- GM Larry Evans. Sun (3/20) Quick Tourney (G/29) 5 rd. Swiss ($20) Reg. 11-11:30am play begins at 12 (noon) -80% of entries = Prize fund. ALL REG: 5-9pm (3/17), 9-10am (3/18). RDS: 12-7, 10-6, 9:30-4:30. Byes available any round if requested before rd 1. ENT: make checks payable and send to: SANDS REGENCY (address listed above), postmarked by 3/1. $11 after 3/1. Do not mail after 3/11 or email after 3/16. $22 late fee at site. HR: (Sun-Thurs. $25!!) (Fri. & Sat. $54!) + tax. 1-866-386-7829 mention (Code) CHE 318. Info: Jerry Weikel 6578 Valley Wood Dr, Reno, NV 89523, (775) 747-1405, Or check out our website at: To verify entry, phone Sands Regency. Heritage Event!

Mar. 25-27 3rd Annual Western Pacific Open GPP: 50 S. California

5SS, 3-day 40/2, SD/1, 2-day rds. 1-2 G/75 then merges. Burbank Airport Hilton, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank CA (adjacent to Burbank Airport). $$10,000 b/200, 50% of each prize guaranteed. In 3 sections: Open: 1600-1000-800-400-200 plus $200(G) bonus for clear first, U2400 300, U2300 200, U2200 700-500-300. EF: $81 if received by 3-23, $95 door. Premier (U2000): $$ 700-500-300-100, U1800 400-200-150, U1600 400-200-150. EF: $81 if received by 3-23, $95 door, no unrated. Amateur (U1400): $$400+trophy-200-100, U1200 100+trophy, Unr 100+trophy, unrated may win unrated prize only. EF: $66 if received by 3-23, $75 door. On-line entry: No checks or credit card entries at door. All: $25 Best Game prize, all sections eligible. One half-point bye if requested with entry, rds 4-5 cannot be revoked. SCCF membership req. of S. Cal. res., $14 reg, $9.00 junior. Reg: 5:30-6:30 p.m. 3/25, 8:30-10 a.m. 3/26. Rds: 3-day 7 p.m., 11-5:30, 10-4:30. 2-day: 10:30-1:30 (G/75), then merges. HR: $89, (818) 843-6000 or (800) 840-6450. Be sure to mention Western Chess. Parking $7/day. Info: Web site: Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038. NS. NC. F. State Championship Qualifier.


Feb. 19-20-21 OCF Winter NAO FIDE Open GPP: 30 Oklahoma

7SS, G/120+10, Holiday Inn, 2515 W. 6th Ave (Hwy-51), Stillwater, OK 1-405-372-0800. HR: $60 $$4,400 Gtd. 2 half pt byes available any rounds. Appearance fees available for all FIDE rated women only. 2005 Okla Gran Prix #1, Two sections: FIDE Open: $500-400-300-200-100, U2000 $300-200-100. U1800 $300-200-100 Reserve Section: U1600 $300-200-100. U1400 $300-200-100 U1200+Unr $200-150-100. $100 for top upset. EF: $25 postmarked by 16 Feb, $10 more at site. $10 OCF required. Reg: Sat 11-Noon, Rds: 12:30-5, 10-2:30-7, 9-1. Ent: Frank Berry, 402 S. Willis Street, Stillwater, OK 74074. NS, W, USCF, FIDE, Free Parking.

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