Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #238

   An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.

Niels Bohr

1) Mechanic's Institute Chess Club News
2) Atalik leads East Bay GM tourney
3) Fischer-Benko Match ???
4) April 2005 FIDE rating list
5) Hikaru Nakamura in Wisconsin
6) Opinions and Observations by Paul Poschel
Eight-Times Michigan State Champion
7) Here and There
8) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

Larry Snyder is the 2005 MI Senior Champ coming from behind to grab the title by defeating Yefim Bukh in the last round with 3.5 from 4. Tying for second at 3, in the event held April 2-3, were Bukh and Mingsen Chen.

Bukh bounced back last night drawing top seed IM John Grefe in the second round of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. It is still possible to enter the 66-player nine round competition with two half point byes.

Daniel Naroditsky and Hugo Kitano will be traveling to Nashville this weekend for the Supernationals. MI Scholastic chess instructor Anthony Corrales will also be making the trip. Daniel and Nicolas Yap have been invited to play in the World Youth to be held in France this summer.

Last Friday and Saturday members of the USCF Executive Board and candidates for the Executive Director position toured the MI premises.

This Saturday the MI will host the Val Zemitis Birthday Blitz honoring Mr. Zemitis' 80th.

Val Zemitis 80th Birthday Blitz

April 9 at the Mechanics' Institute

5 double round blitz - WBCA rules used EF $15 (Free to IMs and GMs), Registration 12-12:45, The tournament will run from 1-3 pm.

Prizes (guaranteed)

1st $150 2nd $75 3rd $50 Top Under 2200 $50 Top Under 1800 $50

Book prizes to all contestants

2) Atalik leads East Bay GM tourney

GM Suat Atalik leads the East Bay GM tournament with a score of 6 from 9 with one round remaing. Right behind him is young Canadian IM Thomas Roussel-Roozman at 5.5 followed by MI-GM-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky with 5. Mongolian GM Dasheveg Sharavdorj is fourth at 50 percent. FMs David Pruess and Alan Stein bring up the rear with 3 but have the distinction of having only decisive games.

3) Fischer-Benko Match ???

According to the Russian major news agency RIA 'News', chess ex-champion Bobby Fischer, who has recently settled in Iceland, is planning to visit Serbia again.

Janos Kubat, Fischer's colleague and friend, informed on Wednesday press-conference in Belgrade that Fischer wants to visit a small town Kaniza, where he lived for 8 months in 1993 (located on a border between Serbia and Hungary) to play a chess match.

Kubat said that he has already selected two hotels in Kaniza that are suitable for a match with Pal Benko - the Hungarian-born American who currently lives in Budapest.

'I have already found a sponsor. Now it fully depends on Icelandic authorities permitting Fischer to come to Serbia', - said Kubat. Go to for more information for those who read Russian.

4) April 2005 FIDE rating list

Garry Kasparov heads the list at 2812 but Vishy Anand and Veselin Topalov are not far behind at 2785 and 2778 respectively. Rounding out the top five are Peter Leko 2763 and Vladimir Kramnik 2753.

Gata Kamsky is the top American after coming out of retirement to play in the US Championship last fall. He is tied for number 20 but the big news is 17-year-old Hikaru Nakamura who jumps to #43 in the world at 2657. The only juniors rated higher are Andrei Volikitin and Teimour Radjabov. The rating of 2657 does not include a small rating loss in the Millennium Open where Hikaru scored 4-1 (losing to Yury Shulman) or a very nice gain in Foxwoods where he beat many GMs on the way to a score of 7.5 from 9. Look for Hikaru to be closer to 2670 when these events are in.

Other US players over 2600 include Alex Onischuk (2638), Yasser Seirawan (2631), Alexander Goldin (2615), Gregory Kaidanov (2614) and Ildar Ibragimov (2611).

5) Hikaru Nakamura in Wisconsin

BREAKING NEWS: our country's champion GM HIKARU NAKAMURA joined the camp's teaching staff!!! We expect entries to pour in after this weekend (Supernationals in Nashville will draw about 7,000 kid and ALL of them will get a flyer!), so let me know ASAP if you wish to participate! Cheers.

Alex Betaneli

Camp Director


Dates: June 19-24th

CAMP SITE: Best Western Milwaukee Airport Hotel

(5105 S. Howell Avenu, Milwaukee, WI 53207, 414-769-2100) All sleeping rooms are newly renovated. Free shuttle from airport is provided.

ELIGIBILITY: players of all ages and strengths are encouraged to attend. If children under 12 want to stay overnight, then their parents need to make special arrangements with the organizers.

DAILY ACTIVITIES: Chess lectures, analysis, seminars, informal discussions, and many tournaments. Hotel has a tropical indoor pool complex featuring Jacuzzi, game area, sauna and fitness center. Please bring clothes and shoes for outdoor sport activities. INFORMATION: please contact the main organizer Alex Betaneli with any questions. or or Internet Chess Club (ICC) handle: Aristophones or telephone 608-233-0923


GM Hikaru Nakamura: Current USA Champion, number one rated player in the country!
GM Alex Goldin: Current champion of the whole continent of America!
Winner of six World Open titles.
IM Stan Smetankin: Current Mid-America Open Champion. Winner of many national events in the past two years.
IM Joshua Friedel: Current New England champion. One of the youngest International masters in the country.
NM Alex Betaneli: Current North Central Open champion. Coach of reigning WI Junior Open Champions and of WI High School Team Champions.
NM Jon Burgess: arriving from England last year, Jon is already of the most well-known chess players and instructors in Midwest.

COST: $300 for five and half days of instruction. Every participant should provide address, home phone number, emergency phone number, and email. Registration will be confirmed over email. Detailed camp schedule will be emailed shortly after registration deadline.

FOOD: for $100 three daily meals plus snacks and juices will be provided. Lunch-only option can be provided for $50.

HOTEL: five nights total is $150 if you wish to stay in a double room (two beds, one roommate). PLease indicate if you would like to have a specific roommate. PLEASE RESERVE HOTEL WITH CAMP ORGANIZER TO GET THIS EXCELLENT RATE.

ENTRIES: make checks payable to Alex Betaneli, send to: Alex Betaneli, WI CHESS ACADEMY CAMP, PO Box 260313, Madison WI 53726. This camp is limited to the first fifty interested participants. Register by May 31st.

Please bring chess boards, sets, and clocks!

6) Opinions and Observations by Paul Poschel Eight-Times Michigan State Champion

Reprinted in Chess Scribe Instruction Magazine (May 1981) from Michigan Chess The following observations about time trouble and how to handle it are still germane today more than 20 years after this article first appeared. Some conditions have changed - no adjournments and faster time controls to name two - but much of Poschel's advice is still good. Time trouble

This topic deserves a lot of thought, because if you are prone to serious time pressure, and if you did nothing more than correct this problem, your rating would quickly jump 75-100 rating points. Before giving some pointers on how to cure the problem (it isn't easy), it is best to gain some perspective.

To a great extent the time pressure you encounter in our weekend tournaments is caused the conditions of play Think about it. In most of our tournaments we play 45 or 50 moves in two hours. After the first time control there is no adjournment to provide you with time to rest and plan the future course of the game. You keep right on playing, and in many tournaments the rate of play is then even speeded up! Compare this with the lot of the grandmaster. He plays only 40 moves in 2 1/2 hours. Moreover, he always has an opportunity to prepare an opening for a given opponent, and in addition he has great knowledge of opening theory, to begin with. So of the 40 moves he has to play in 21/2 hours, he can usually play the first 0-12 from memory, using just a trivial amount of time. If the game reaches the first time control, it is then adjourned, which gives time for analysis (frequently with the help of a second.) When play is resumed in the next day or two, the grandmaster arrives at the board well rested, with reams of prepared analysis in his head, and as icing on the cake, the rate of play is never speeded up. And with al these advantages many grandmasters still get into time trouble! Considering the facts, is it any wonder that we, under under our much more demanding conditions of play frequentlv get into time trouble? I don't think so.

We can not basically change the conditions of play in weekend tournaments, for obvious reasons. Thus, the only way to reduce time problems in our games, without adopting a superficial style of play, is to conserve time on the clock, whenever we can. The following set of rules can help you do this, and are the ones that have helped me. (Yes, I am not as bad as I used to be, and I keep working on the problem.)

First, only play opening variations that you know rather well. A tournament game is not the time to experiment

Second, force yourself to make about the first 10 moves of the game in six minutes or less. Third, do not waste time by walking around in the tournament room, while your opponent's clock is running. Sit at the board instead, analyzing general positional factors. When you simply must get up from the board for exercise, continue to analyze the existing position in your mind's eye.

Fourth, except for a quick glance at the openings adopted, totally ignore the other games going on in the room. Although this can sometimes be hard to do. you should remember that your own game is the only really important one for you.

Fifth, whenever an opportunity presents itself to repeat moves, do it routinely. The only ex- ceptions to this rule are when your opponent is much shorter of time than you are, or when you have a bad position and both you and your opponent are in time trouble.

Sixth. On your turn to move. note all the candidate moves before you begin any concrete analysis at all. Then the first candidate move you analyze should be the one that you intuitively want to make. the one that you would probably play in a speed game.

Seventh, and the most basic rule of all, rid your self of unrealistic perfectionist demands you make of yourself. This has always been difficult for me to do, and I feel that most other players with a time pressure problem are perfectionists. We look for that one "correct" move. Instead, we shquld really believe that in many positions there isn't just one correct move. Several may be about equally good and it is mainly a matter of style. We should realize that in tournament play it is sometimes correct not to spend a lot of time analyzing a complex move if you have a sound simpler alternative available. The time you save on the clock can be much more valuable than making the very best move.

I am reminded of an incident that happened in one of my games with Tom Jenkins many years ago After the opening, a fairly even position was reached. I was looking for some way to compli- cate the game or gain an advantage. I saw the possibility of offering a pawn sacrifice. But was it correct ? I spent 30 minutes analyzing that question and finally concluded that the sacrifice led to a complex game with good practical chances for me. So I offered the sacrifice. To my surprise and displeasure, Tom looked at the position for about two minutes and then made a simple alternative move instead, declining my sacrifice offer. I hid my annoyance, which arose from the fact that now I had a lot less time for the rest of the game than my opponent, and I wondered how could he move so rapidly in that complex position. After the game I asked him about it. He replied, in ef- fect, "Oh, I didn't even consider accepting your sacrifice. I knew it was sound because you spent 30 minutes on it. Why should I have wasted a lot of time repeating your analysis. which I trusted." At the time, I thought to myself that Tom was totally wrong. You can't play chess like that! Now I know that he was absolutely right and that he showed a sophisticated practical approach to tournament play that I could not do at that time. I was too much of a perfectionist. If you have any doubts about the correctness of Tom's tactics in this instance, consult page 80 of Kotov's Think Like a Grandmaster. You will find that grandmasters also use these kinds of practical tactics in their games. So you should, too, in certain situations Incidentally, the above incident occurred well before Kotov's book was available to us in this country, so Tom's sophisticated approach to saving time on the clock had been worked out on his own.

7) Here and There

Dear Friend of Nashville Chess Center,

If you attend one chess event this year, make it SuperNationals III. We are very fortunate that the tournament will be held right here in Nashville this week April 7-10 at the Opryland Hotel. SuperNationals III will be the largest tournament ever held in the US with over 5,000 participants. This event is truly a chess extravaganza. While the tournament itself is a scholastic event, there are numerous activities for every chess enthusiast including extraordinary free lectures led by GM Maurice Ashley, former US Woman's Champion WIM Shahade, current US Champion Nakamura, former US Champion Yasser Sierawan, and former World Champions Polgar and Karpov!!! This is an unprecedented assembly of elite chess superstars in Nashville!

The top four U.S. college chess teams, decided by the Pan-Am results, competed this past wekend for the President's Cup title in Lindsborg, Kan., home of the World Champion Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess. With a score of 10 points, UMBC defeated teams from the University of Texas at Dallas, Miami Dade College and Stanford University. The event was organized by Mikhail Korenman.

8) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Val Zemitis Blitz April 9
Imre Konig Memorial - April 16
Charles Powell Memorial - May 14

National and International

Paul Keres Memorial - May 20 - 23
Event Information
Location: Hungarian Cultural Centre, 728 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC
Sections: Open, Under 2000, Under 1600.
Time Control: 40/120, SD/60.
Rounds: Open: 7 Rounds, U2000, U1600: 6 Rounds
Round Times: Friday 5:30 (Open Section only); Saturday: 11:30, 5:30 / Sunday: 10, 4 / Monday: 9, 3 or ASAP.
Prizes: Guaranteed first prizes of $1000, $600 and $400 in their respective sections, other prizes based on entries.
Contact: Stephen Wright,, (604) 221-7148

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.

May 28-30 or 29-30 Washington Open. 6SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day option Rds 1-3 G/60) The new Lynnwood Convention Center, Seattle Area, 3711 196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036, 425-778-7155, free parking. Prizes: $$12,500 fully guaranteed. Format: 4 sections, Open: FIDE rated. EF $90 adv. Free Entry to GMs, IMs, WGMs. Prizes: $2000-1000-500-400-300-200-100-100, U2150: $600-400-200-100-100. Premier: U2000, EF $80 adv. $$1000-500-250-200-150-100-50-50, U1850 300-200-100-50-50. Reserve: U1700, EF $70 adv. $670-330-160-130-100-70-35-35, U1550: $200-130-70-35-35. Booster: U1400, EF $60 adv. $330-160-80-65-50-35-20-20, U1200 $100-72-36-20-20. UNR: $250-122-40-40-40. ALL: add $4 to any EF for 2-day schedule. All adv. entries must be rec'd by May 20th, add $12 if later or at site. Ten free raffle tickets for Laptop Raffle if entry rec'd by April 15, 5 free tickets if rec'd by May 1st. Canadians may pay $C at par. Reg: Sat, 3day 5/28 10-11:45, Sun, 2day 5/29 9-9:45. Rds: (3day) Sat 12:30-6:45, Sun 10-5, Mon 9-3, (2day) Sun 10-12:30-3-6:45, Mon 9-3. Byes: 2 avail. Rds 4-6 commit by end of Rd.2, irrev. WCF/OCF memb. req'd. OSA. Side Events: WA Blitz Champ. Sun 10:00 p.m., reg 9-9:45, EF $10. Blindfold Mini-Tnmt/Exhibit, Sat 5 p.m. (Reg. 4:30), Lecture: Sat 10:30- 12:00, to be announced. WCF Membership Meeting: Sun 4 p.m. Scholastic: Sat, 5/28, 5SS, G/30 in separate room. K-3, 4-6, 7-12, Trophy Awards. Rds: 10-11:15-1-2:15-3:30. Scholastic Entries to: WCF Scholastic Director, David Hendricks, 2439 220th PL NE, Sammamish, WA 98074, 425-868-3881, Clock Simul, Mon 12:30, G/75 (reg 11:30-12:15). Book/Software/Equipment Vendor, Snacks on site, nearby hotels, restaurants, shopping. HR $69 incl. cont'l breakfast, Best Western Alderwood, 19332 36th Ave. W, Lynnwood WA 425-775-7600, 1 block from Center, reserve by May 20. Ent/Info: WCF Tnmt Coordinator, Carol Kleist, 2420 S. 137th St, Seattle WA 98168 , 206-242-7076, All Checks payable to WCF. Also see

Las Vegas International Chess Festival

The Las Vegas International Chess Festival comprises of the following events:

June 9th, Polgar Sisters Tandem Simul! For the first time in over 10 years the Polgar sisters, Susan, Judit and Sofia will give a tandem simul.

June 9th, National Open Blitz Championship 7 double rounds, seeded Swiss format tournament.

June 10th, Breakfast with the Polgar Sisters

June 10th-12th, National Open Tournament $55,000 guaranteed prize fund! First place, $5000. 6 round, seeded Swiss format. 8 different sections. US Championship Qualifier.

June 13th, US Game/10 Championship $5,000 guaranteed prize fund. 7 round, seeded Swiss format.

June 13th-18th, US Senior Championship Open to US residents/citizens born before 6/13/1955. 6 round, seeded Swiss format, one round a day and this is also a US Championship Qualifier.

June 13th-18th, US "Under 50" Championship Open to US residents/citizens born on or after 6/13/1955. 6 round, seeded Swiss format, one round a day.

You can find out more information about all the above events, along with online entry at

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