Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #235

   Chess problems demand from the composer the same virtues that characterize all worthwhile art: originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity, and splendid insincerity.

Vladimir Nabokov, Poems and Problems, 1969

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Garry Kasparov's Retirement
3) Far West Open
4) Alan Benson Needs Assistance
5) Fred Wilson Returns on Chess.FM
6) Long Beach US Open 1955
7) Fischer Update
8) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

NM Nicolas Yap won the 5th Annual Max Wilkerson G/45 last Saturday at the MI with a 4.5 from 5 score. Among his victims was IM Ricardo DeGuzman. Tying for second at 4 were Victor Ossipov and Stephen Krasnov. The event was directed by Anthony Corrales.

Mechanics' Institute Grandmaster-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky heads a large group of MI members who will be playing in Reno this weekend in the Far West Open. If you are an MI member, playing in Reno and would like to play for the MI team please contact John Donaldson at . Any prize the team wins will be donated to the MI Chess Club to fund special events.

GM Yermolinsky won't be limiting his play to Reno in the next month. He and fellow GMs Suat Atalik and Dasheveg Sharavdorj will headline a GM norm event in Berkeley this April at the East Bay Chess Club. The event, the strongest in the East Bay since the 1984 US Championship, also numbers IM Andranik Matikozian and SMs David Pruess and Alan Stein among the contestants. There are still spots for players with FIDE ratings over 2400. Contact David Pruess at for more details.

The MI will celebrate the 80th birthday of Val Zemitis on April 9 with a birthday blitz.

Val Zemitis 80th Birthday Blitz
April 9 at the Mechanics' Institute
5 double round blitz - WBCA rules used
Prizes (guaranteed)
1st $150 2nd $75 3rd $50 Top Under 2200 $50 Top Under 1800 $50
Book prizes to all contestants
This year's Imre Konig Memorial G/45 on April 16 will be something special. The normal first and second prizes ($200 and $100) will be doubled and are guaranteed. GMs Suat Atalik and Alex Yermolinsky have confirmed their participation and we suspect some other strong players, possibly IM Tony Saidy of Los Angeles, will be participating.

2) Garry Kasparov's Retirement

There have been several articles in the popular press the past few days following Garry Kasparov's bombshell announcement last week that he is retiring from chess. Several are at the ChessBase website including an article by Garry in yesterday's Wall Street Journal -

Below are a few excerpts from a piece written by Stephen Moss that appeared Monday March 14 2005 in The Guardian It seems that Garry's next challenge will be politics.

His decision to quit after Linares seemed bizarre because he had been back to his very best. So why, at 41, has he decided to retire? "I made a conscious decision well before the tournament," he says. "These kind of decisions you don't make overnight. It takes time before you decide to quit one of the most successful careers in the history of any sport. I grew up with chess, built up my character with chess, won everything at the chessboard, gained recognition as the best chess player. So for me every aspect of life was related to chess. In your early 40s in chess you don't feel like retiring, especially if you are still the No1-rated player in the world. But I had to find a new target. My nature is that I have to excite myself with a big challenge."

"The tragedy of Russia - and western leaders don't want to recognise it - is that Putin has already crossed the red line where he could just retire as Yeltsin did. He and his group have to fight to keep power because they have too many enemies, too many unsettled scores - and that is why they are desperate to retain power. Their wealth is based on their grip on power. They are seizing new properties, seizing more control of Russian finances by using their power. The moment they lose this grip, it will be a different ball game."

"On the American political scale I would probably be somewhere near Arnold Schwarzenegger," he says. "Economically conservative but socially liberal, definitely pro-choice, non-religious. I don't qualify as a new Republican. But on the other side I will be for lowering taxes and reducing the size of the state." In any case, he says, because Russia has no conventional politics, terms such as left and right are redundant. "That's why we can work with strange bedfellows. You just have to find a number of vital elements that people can agree on. It's about wrecking the nomenklatura state and bringing law back to Russia."

Kasparov is obsessed with what George Bush Sr once called "the vision thing". "Today we have very few, if any, visionaries," he says. "There are too many managers. Of course you need managers, but you also need visionaries." Anyone can drive along the highway, he says, but when you get to a crossroads you need a vision of where you are going. "Today I think our civilization is at a crossroads, yet we're still trying to manage it."

3) Far West Open

Organizer Jerry Weikel and the Sand Regency will be hosting the Far West Open this weekend (see full details below under upcoming events). Among the GMs signed up to play are Suat Atalik, Alex Yermolinsky, Sergey Kudrin and Gregory Serper. Serper, who lives near Seattle, played one of the greatest sacrificial games of all time at the St. Petersburg Open in 1993 where he gave away virtually all of his pieces. This game should not be missed.

Serper,G (2575) - Nikolaidis,I (2440) [E70] St Petersburg op St Petersburg, 1993
1.c4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.d4 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nge2 Nbd7 6.Ng3 c6 7.Be2 a6 8.Be3 h5 9.f3 b5 10.c5 dxc5 11.dxc5 Qc7 12.0-0 h4 13.Nh1 Nh5 14.Qd2 e5 15.Nf2 Nf8 16.a4 b4 17.Nd5 cxd5 18.exd5 f5 19.d6 Qc6 20.Bb5 axb5 21.axb5 Qxb5 22.Rxa8 Qc6 23.Rfa1 f4 24.R1a7 Nd7 25.Rxc8+ Qxc8 26.Qd5 fxe3 27.Qe6+ Kf8 28.Rxd7 exf2+ 29.Kf1 Qe8 30.Rf7+ Qxf7 31.Qc8+ Qe8 32.d7 Kf7 33.dxe8Q+ Rxe8 exf2+ 34.Qb7+ Re7 35.c6 e4 36.c7 e3 37.Qd5+ Kf6 38.Qd6+ Kf7 39.Qd5+ Kf6 40.Qd6+ Kf7 41.Qxe7+ Kxe7 42.c8Q Bh6 43.Qc5+ Ke8 44.Qb5+ Kd8 45.Qb6+ Kd7 46.Qxg6 e2+ 47.Kxf2 Be3+ 48.Ke1 1-0

4) Alan Benson Needs Assistance

Noted organizer and director NM Alan Benson needs assistance. Mr. Benson, who organized many of the popular Peoples Opens in Berkeley in the 1970s and 80s, has fallen victim to a serious bout of bad luck and ill health. Hospitalized for several weeks in January with a bad case of pneumonia with several complications, Alan was unable to continue his job at Games of Berkeley. Now he is selling his chess library to pay off bills and raise money for rent. You can find a partial listing of the titles Alan has for sale at . Among the items not listed are many complete years of Chess Life from the 1960s and 1970s as well as foreign periodicals from this time. Please note that Alan needs to be contacted exclusively via e-mail at and that some of the information on his site regarding payment (Paypal, wiring money to a bank account) is no longer relevant as he no longer has bank and checking accounts. Please consider showing your support for someone who has given a lot to chess.

5) Fred Wilson Returns on Chess.FM

Hi folks:

My internet radio show, Chess & Books with Fred Wilson, returns Tuesday evening, March 15th, at 8:00 PM (EST). It will run every Tuesday night from 8:00 to 10:00 PM (EST), with a replay of the live show following almost immediately afterwards, for chess enthusiats on the West Coast.

Fred's first guest will be the very popular, author, teacher and chess historian IM JOHN DONALDSON. John has written over 25 highly regarded books, including the definitive work on the Accelerated Dragon and, with Nicolai Minev, the epochal two volume biographical games collection "Akiba Rubinstein: Uncrowned King". This Tuesday evening John will discuss the upcoming new edition of his "BOBBY FISCHER: LEGEND ON THE ROAD", along with his new book on the legendary California IM, author & teacher Imre Konig. John will also touch upon the crucial upcoming USCF elections for the policy board in June, along with the formation of a new, exciting national chess league by Greg Shahade, via the ICC. Additionally, John, who was co-commentator with John Watson at the recent US Championships, will share his impressions of this exciting and dramatic event. John will also, of course, give his take on the recently concluded Linares super-tournament, and Garry's "apparent" retirement. Please email questions for John Donaldson about chess history, literature, teaching, or the Mechanic's Institute Chess Club in San Francisco (which John manages) to or Tony Rook.

In future weeks I hope to have GM Maurice Ashley, IM Jennifer Shahade, Bruce Pandolfini, IM Larry Kaufman, GM John Fedorowicz, GM Lev Alburt, GM Larry Christiansen and many, many more important members of our chess community on my show. Please feel free to email me interesting questions for these chess professionals.

I am very happy to be back and hope you will all listen in!

Best in chess, Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson Chess Books
80 East 11th Street Suite 334
New York, NY 10003
Hours: Noon-7:00 P.M.,
Monday through Saturday
Phone: (212) 533-6381

6) Long Beach US Open 1955

Newsletter reader James Schroeder's question about who Sammy Reshevsky played in the last round of the 1955 US Open in Long Beach (answer James Sherwin) made me realize the fifty year anniversary of this famous event is now approaching. Older readers with good memories will recall first place was a brand new 1955 Buick and second $1000. Obviously the Buick could not be divided so in the event of a first place tie the owner of the car would be decided on tiebreak. This was a big difference as the Buick reportedly sold for $2250 (say about $15,000 in todays dollars - if only US Open winners today were so lucky - all the place prizes in Arizona this summer total only $13, 500!)

Chess Review in 1955 described the situation before the last round in which, Reshevsky, a man not universally loved by his peers, was tied for first with Evans and Rossolimo.

"After eleven rounds, Reshevsky, Evans and Rossolimo were tied. Reshevsky then won from Sherwin, ahead of time to avoid playing on his Sabbath, and the title and top prize hung on the result between Evans and Rossolimo. At very late hour, tournament-wise, Evans almost unaccountably, botched a draw and Rossolimo won"

Chess Review mentions that Rossolimo just nudged Reshevsky on the second-tiebreak. Does any Newsletter reader have access to the 1955 issue of Chess Life newspaper that printed the crosstable, presumably with the tiebreak of the top finishing contestants?

Evans,,L - Rossolimo,N [C98]
Long Beach, 1955

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 Nc6 13.d5 Nd8 14.a4 Rb8 15.c4 b4 16.Kh2 Ne8 17.Nf1 g6 18.g4 Ng7 19.Ng3 f6 20.Rg1 Nf7 21.b3 Bd7 22.Be3 Kh8 23.Qd2 Rbe8 24.Rg2 Qc8 25.Rh1 f5 26.gxf5 gxf5 27.exf5 Nxf5 28.Nxf5 Bxf5 29.Rhg1 Rg8 30.Ng5 Nxg5 31.Bxg5 Bxg5 32.Rxg5 Bxc2 33.Qxc2 Rxg5 34.Rxg5 Rf8 35.Qe2 Qd8 36.Rg4 Qf6 37.Kg2 Qf5 38.Qe3 Qf6 39.Qg3 Qf5 40.Qe3 Qc2 41.h4 Qf5 42.Qg3 Qc2 43.Qe3 Qf5 44.Kg3 Rf7 45.f3 Rf8 46.Kg2 Qc2+ 47.Kg3 Qf5 48.Re4 Rg8+ 49.Rg4 Rf8 50.Kg2 Qf7 51.Qe4 a5 52.Kf2 Qd7 53.Kg3 Rf6 54.h5 Qf7 55.Rh4 h6 56.Kf2 Rf5 57.Qg4 Qf6 58.Rh3 Rg5 59.Qe4 Qf7 60.Rh4 Rxh5 61.Qg4 Rxh4 62.Qxh4 Kg7 63.Qd8 Qf8 64.Qh4 Qf6 65.Qe4 Qf4 66.Qe1 Qh4+ 0-1

7) Fischer Update

Chess legend Fischer must be deported to United States, Japan official says

Associated Press Writer

TOKYO (AP) -- Chess legend Bobby Fischer shouldn't be exempted from Japan's rule that foreigners who are ordered deported must be sent to their homeland, Japan's top immigration official said Tuesday.

Fischer and his supporters are asking that he be allowed to go to Iceland, where he has been granted a special passport for foreigners, instead of the United States, where Japan has ordered him sent.

Japanese authorities have detained him since July for allegedly trying to leave for the Philippines on a revoked U.S. passport.

Under Japanese law, a foreigner may only be deported to a country of which he or she is a citizen unless the foreigner is recognized as refugee under international law or is exempt for other special circumstances, said Masaharu Miura, the head of the immigration bureau at Japan's Justice Ministry.

"This case is not an exception," Miura told a parliamentary committee Tuesday.

Washington has sought Fischer -- who became world chess champion in a 1972 match in Iceland against the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky -- on charges of violating international sanctions against the former Yugoslavia by playing chess there in 1992.

Fischer has denounced the U.S. deportation order as politically motivated. He wants to renounce his U.S. citizenship and has applied to marry a Japanese chess official.

Some of Fischer's Icelandic supporters have campaigned to help him out of gratitude for putting Iceland in the global spotlight with his 1972 match against Spassky.

Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura rejected a suggestion that Tokyo might be pursuing its case against Fischer due to pressure from the United States.

"I don't think the Justice Ministry is interpreting the law out of consideration for the United States," Machimura

JD- It's interesting how this case is being handled compared to that of Charles Jenkins who defected to North Korea during the Cold War and married a Japanese national while living in Pyongyang. One would have thought Jenkins, like Fischer living in Japan and subject to US efforts to extradite him to the US, would have done serious jail time. In fact he got only a slap on the wrist. It happens that the story of Jenkin's wife, who was kidnapped by the North Koreans many years ago before being repatriated recently, captured the attention of the Japanese public which pressured the government to let Jenkins stay with his family. It may be that there was some sort of prid quo pro between the Japanese and US governments.

8) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Lovegrove Senior Open - April 2-3
Val Zemitis Blitz April 9
Imre Konig Memorial - April 16
Charles Powell Memorial - May 14

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!

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.


Oklahoma Chess Foundation presents: GPP: 80 Oklahoma
2005 May 27,28,29,30. 24th North American FIDE Open 9-SS, G/120+10 sec, Holiday Inn (Holidome) 2515 W. 6th Ave (Hwy-51) Stillwater, OK 1-405-372-0800. HR: 60-60-60-60. EF: $40 if postmarked before May 22, $50 at door. EF refunded to FIDE rated players at end of event if at least 8 rounds were played and all FIDE player scoresheets turned in. Reg: Fri NOON-1:45pm. Rds: 2-7, 10-3, 9-2-7, 9-2. $$G 7,500 will not be lowered. $$G $1,000, $900, $800, $700, $600, $500. 11 plaques. $$G 600 each class X-D & below. Unr $100-$50. $100 upset. 2 byes rds 1-7. OCF req $10 from all players. Free Parking. ( 2005 OCF GP #3 ) Ent: Jim Berry PO Box 351 Stillwater, OK 74076. 1-405-762-1649. NC, CMV, LS, W, USCF, FIDE.

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