Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #246

   Do not forget that chess after all is a recreation and not an occupation.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 
2) Memorial Weekend Tournaments 
3) GM Vladimir Savon (1940-2005) 
5) Fabiano Caruana makes IM norm 
6) Upcoming Events 

The June Chess Life, which was just mailed out, contains USCF member's (age 16 and over) ballots for the 2005 Executive Board election. Please take the time to vote. Previous issues of the Newsletters have given the campaign website for several of those running. Candidates statements are in the May and June issues of Chess Life. Those who wish to know who I am supporting - as an interested USCF member and not as an employee of the Mechanics' Institute - may e-mail me at - John Donaldson.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

IM John Grefe defeated NM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs in the last round of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon to come from behind and win the tournament.

Grefe, who scored an undefeated 7.5 from 9 took home $400 for his efforts. Ms. Tuvshintugs tied with Victor Ossipov for 2nd and 3rd with 7 points. Sharing 4th place with 6.5 were Igor Traub, Frank Thornily and Philip Pereplitsky. A crosstable of the event can be found at the MI website at . The Summer Tuesday Night Marathon, an eight rounder, will start June 14.

This weekend the Mechanics' will host its annual Arthur Stamer Memorial. The event, named after the M.I.'s popular first chess director, has been run using several formats during it's 40 odd years. Back in the 1960s and 70s it was a 7 round Swiss over the July 4th weekend. The 1974 Stamer set the Mechanics' attendance record with 107 participants with this format, one not likely to be broken as Fire Marshall regulations no longer allow placing extra tables in every nook and cranny on the 4th floor. Incidentally the winner of that event was NM Clark Harmon who pocketed $750 - not a bad pay day 31 years ago.

The Stamer switched to a 3 day, 5 round format in the 1980s and continued into the 1990s with this schedule until the mid 1990s when approximately a third of the field was requesting first round byes. Saturday and Sunday with 4 rounds was the most recent format but has some clear disadvantages - not nearly enough rounds to produce a winner and fewer games between opponents of similar rating.

This leads to this year's experiment which was first tested in last fall's Carroll Capps Memorial - namely 4 rounds Saturday at G/1 followed by two games on Sunday at 30/90 followed by G/1. The idea is more rated chess for the entry fee, more competitive games and better chances for a clear winner. Note that this is a novel format. The Continental Chess Association introduced tournaments with variable time controls many years ago but always with the possibility to play an entire "slow chess" schedule. Two other factors that prompted this experiment were the increasing percentage of young players participating on the weekends who like to play a lot of chess and the emergence of the East Bay Chess Club which is holding monthly two day, four round Grand Prix events in Berkeley. It doesn't seem like it makes a lot of sense to duplicate efforts, especially when these are pretty much the only two organizers for adult chess in the Bay Area (the Peoples Open, Labor Day State Championship and occasional event in Vallejo excepted).

If this chess duathlon sounds interesting we hope to see you this Saturday. Complete details are available at the MI Chess Room website at .

Mea Culpa - In Newsletter 244 It was reported that Nicolas Yap finished second in the Charles Powell Memorial. In fact it was Victor Ossipov. Nicolas tied for third with NM Michael Aigner, FM Genden Altanouch, Daniel Schwarz, Edward Pereplitsky, Sam Shankland and Dmitry Vayntrub.

2) Memorial Weekend Tournaments

Chicago Open

Igor Novikov took home the title of 2005 Chicago Open winner after winning a quick chess playoff over fellow GMs Vadim Milov, Peter Kiriakov and Jaan Ehlvest. The four winners each scored 5.5 from 7 with Novikov taking home $4975 and the other three $4675. Among those tied for fifth at 5 were GMs Alex Shabalov and Dmitry Gurevich and IM Ben Finegold who joined Novikov in qualifying for the US Championship. Chouchanik Airapetian (2155), who always plays well in Chicago, took the women's seed with an excellent score of 4-3 which tied for the under 2300 prize. The open section was particularly powerful this year with 26 GMs among the 82-players in the Open section. Among the also-rans were such heavyweights as GMs Motylev, Fillipov and Epishin. Attendance was down this year in Chicago (2002 -724, 2003 -708, 2004 - 726, 2005 - 628) which was not surprising considering the HB Global Challenge was held the previous weekend. Executive Board Candidate Bill Goichberg was a good sport for not protesting the scheduling which was a definite drag on both events. There were certainly more high-rated GMs in Chicago because of the HB event but not so many class players who doubled up. I saw very few Bay Area players in Chicago who normally make the trip. Conversely I spoke to many Chicago players who would have played in Minneapolis if not for the dates. The question is what dates would better for another HB event. Most three day weekends are spoken for and Minnesota weather precludes winter dates but summer might sense, perhaps after the US Open and before Labor Day weekend.

North American Open, Oklahoma

by Frank Berry

61 players competed in the 2005 North American Open held in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was a 9-round open played over 4 days. The time control was 120 minutes per game each, with 10 seconds increment. Alex Relyea was the Chief TD and Frank Berry was the organizer. GM Alex Onischuk won with 7½ points, followed by GM Yuri Shulman on 7 points. 5 players tied for 3-7 places with 6½ points: IM Brooks of Kansas City, GM Kudrin of NYC, M. Mosvisyan of Norman, OK, WGM Zatonskih of Ohio and Pete Karagianis of Iowa.

Shulman,Y (2550) - Zatonskih,A (2435) [D15]
North American Open Stillwater, Oklahoma (4), 28.05.2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 e6 6.Bg5 a5 7.e3 Be7 8.Bd3 Na6 9.0-0 Nb4 10.e4 Nxd3 11.Qxd3 dxe4 12.Nxe4 0-0 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Rfe1 Kh8 15.Rad1 b6 16.Qe3 Bb7 17.Nc3 Bb4 18.Qh6 Rg8 19.Re4 Rg6 20.Qh3 Rc8 21.Rh4 Qg8 22.Ne2 Rd8 23.Nf4 Rg7 24.Nh5 Rg6 25.Nxf6! Rxf6 26.Ng5 Kg7 27.Rxh7+ Kf8 28.Rh8 Ke7 29.Rxg8 Rxg8 30.Qh4 1-0

Onischuk,A (2638) - Brooks,M (2501) [E94]
North American Open Stillwater, Oklahoma (4.1), 28.05.2005
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Nbd7 8.0-0 c6 9.Qc2 Ng4 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4 Nh6 12.d5 c5 13.a3 Nf7 14.Ne1 g5 15.Bg3 Nh6 16.Bd3 Rf7 17.b4 b6 18.Qb1 Nf8 19.Nc2 f5 20.exf5 Bxf5 21.Ne4 Ng6 22.Ne3 Bc8 23.Re1 Nf4 24.Bc2 Bf8 25.a4 a5 26.bxc5 bxc5 27.Nc3 Rb7 28.Nb5 Qf6 29.Ra3 Kh8 30.Rb3 Qf7 31.Be4 Be7 32.Qc2 Bf8 33.Reb1 Ra6 34.f3 Kg8 35.Be1 Rbb6 36.Bc3 Rb7 37.Rf1 Be7 38.g3 Nh3+ 39.Kg2 Bd8 [39...Bf8 40.Ng4 Nf5] 40.Ng4 Kg7 41.Bxh7 Nf5 42.Nxd6 Rxd6 43.Rxb7 1-0

Kriventsov,S (2409) - Kudrin,S (2554) [B76]
North American Open Stillwater, Oklahoma (4.2), 28.05.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4 Re8 15.g4 Qc7 16.h4 h6 17.g5 h5 18.Bc4 Red8 19.Qf2 Qa5 20.a3 Nf4 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Bxe6 Nxe6 23.Bxa7 Nd4 24.Bc5 Qb5 25.Re1 Rb8 ½-½

Shulman,Y (2550) - Onischuk,A (2638) [E15]
North American Open Stillwater, Oklahoma (6), 29.05.2005
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.Bc3 d5 9.Ne5 Nfd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Nd2 0-0 12.0-0 Rc8 13.e4 c5 14.exd5 exd5 15.dxc5 dxc4 16.c6 cxb3 17.Re1 b2 18.Bxb2 Nc5 19.Ba3 Bf6 20.Bxc5 bxc5 21.Rc1 Bb5 22.Rxc5 Qb6 23.Ne4 Be7 24.Rc1 Bxc6 25.Nd6 Bxd6 26.Qxd6 Bxg2 27.Qxb6 ½-½

Washington Open

GM Nick DeFirmian and IM Georgy Orlov tied for first in the Washington Open with 5-1 scores, good for $1500. GM Gregory Serper was among those tied for third at 4.5.

Also on Memorial Day weekend

CORPUS CHRISTI-- by Andres Araiza

The Susan Polgar South Texas Chess Center held its grand opening on Saturday, and to mark the occasion, World Chess Champion Susan Polgar played twenty aspiring chess players at the same time.

Polgar made her moves in seconds, and even though it seemed like an unfair match, it was a learning experience for kids like ten year old Carolina Rivera.

"I know I'm going to lose because she is really good," Rivera said. "But I feel like I'm lucky to get to play her."

The center will bear Polgar's name. The chess grand master says the game is a great mental workout.

"The chess helps children to think smarter, focus better, be better at decision making, planning, strategies and improve their patience,"

The chess center also offers lectures and classes open to everyone. If you would like more information just go to

3) GM Vladimir Savon (1940-2005)

Ukrainian Grandmaster Vladimir Savon recently died in Kharkov at age 65. Savon played in 10 USSR championships, winning in 1971 ahead of Tal, Smyslov and Karpov. This earned him a spot on the 1972 Soviet Olympiad team where he scored 87 percent in helping to lead them to victory.


64 of the Nation's Best Chess Players Compete for $250,000 in Cash Prizes

San Diego May 25, 2005 - The U.S. Chess Championship returns to San Diego from February 22 through March 5, 2006 and will be held at its new permanent home at NTC Promenade. The Championship was brought to San Diego last year by America's Foundation for Chess and the NTC Foundation and will be one of the first signature events to inaugurate the new Special Event Center at NTC Promenade.

The tournament will feature a 64-player field, composed of 19 seeded players (as determined by the October 2005 U.S.C.F Rating List), 43 tournament qualifiers (two of which being online) and 2 wild cards selected by the AF4C. The seeded players include the defending U.S. Champion, Hikaru Nakamura; Women's Champion, Rusudan Goletiani; the 2004 Chess Cafe Grand Prix winner, Aleks Wojtkiewicz; the 2005 U.S. Junior Champion; the 2005 U.S. Senior Champion; 8 top-rated Overall players, and 6 top-rated female players from the rating list.

41 players, with 11 spots reserved for woman players, will qualify from 8 top U.S. tournaments in the period March through December 2005. The breakdown of the qualifying spots and the tournaments will be as follows:

23-27 March - Foxwoods Open; 27-30 May - Chicago Open; 10-12 June - National Open; 30 June-4 July - World Open; 6-14 August - U.S. Open; 25-27 November - American Open; 25-27 November - National Congress; 26-29 December - North American Open.

A new, innovative qualifying process will see one spot decided by the player who while not qualifying directly accumulates the highest score from playing in as many (or all!) of the qualifying tournaments. After each tournament, the latest placing for this Qualifier Grand Prix will be posted on the dedicated U.S. Championship website (

Again there will be an online event of all 2005 US State Champions. The 50 State Champions (split into two conferences of East and West) will compete in an online event held over two weekends ? the first, with each conference split into two zones, being a double-round all-play-all to determine four winner, who will then go forward to the knockout ?Final Four? Weekend, played under supervised conditions.

This event will take place October 2005 in conjunction with State Associations, the AF4C, the USCF and the Internet Chess Club.

A new online event will see the winners of the Denker High School Championship, the Super National Championships, the Polgar Girls Championship and the U.S. Cadet Championship playing a similar styled online event on the ICC for one spot.

In addition to the championship games, there will be other exciting chess-related events & exhibits as part of the US Championship Chess Fest 2006. For more information about the U.S. Chess Championships or the events surrounding the 2006 games, please visit

About America?s Foundation for Chess ? AF4C was founded on the hope of making chess a subject taught in every school classroom (focusing on second and third grade) in the United States. AF4C is a 501[c][3] nonprofit organization, committed to making chess a larger part of America's cultural fabric ? accessible in schools and in popular culture. AF4C hopes to elevate the profile of chess in America so that it will soon become a regular part of every child's classroom experience.

About NTC Foundation- The NTC Foundation, a 501[c][3] nonprofit organization, is responsible for the renovation of the 26 historic buildings on 28 acres at the former San Diego Naval Training Center in Point Loma into a new arts, civic and cultural district called NTC Promenade. NTC Promenade will be the permanent home for the U.S. Chess Championship.

Event press officer:
John Henderson (AF4C)
(+1) 206-229-9233

5) Fabiano Caruana makes IM norm

Congratulations to 12-year-old Fabiano Caruana who made his first IM norm playing in the May First Saturday International Master Tournament in Budapest. Hungary from May 7th through May 19th Fabiano exceeded the norm requirement of 9.5 from 13 scoring 10 points against a field averaging 2276 for a performance of 2487 which gained him 58 FIDE rating points! Fabiano is on a roll of late and his FIDE rating will go from 2219 (January 2005) to 2381 (July 2005) for an impressive jump of 162 points. Good going Fabiano.

6) Upcoming Events

Upcoming Tournaments at the MI

Stamer Memorial - June 4-5
William Addison Open - June 25
Charles Bagby Memorial - July 16
Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial - August 6
Bernardo Smith Amateur Under 1800 - August 20-21

Northern California

June 11-12 EBCC June Swiss GPP: 6 N. California
4SS, 30/90, SD60. East Bay Chess Club 1940 Virginia St, Berkeley, CA 94709. EF: $30, $35 after 4/30. $5 EBCC discount. $$300G plus $500 b/40. Open: 150-100-50, 1st u2000: 100. Reserve: 100-65-36, u1550: 100, u1300: 100. Reg: 10-10:45. Rds: 11-4 daily. Info:; 510 845-1041.

2005 Sacramento Chess Championship. July 2-4. GPP: 6
6SS, Full-K. Best Western Expo Inn, 1413 Howe Avenue, Sacramento, CA. ON-SITE REG: 7/2- 8:15am-9:30am; 7/3- 8:15am-9:10am. RDS: 3-day: 7/2- 10 & 3:30, 7/3- 11 & 5, 7/4- 10 & 3:30. 2-day: 7/3- 9:30, 11:45, 2, & 5, 7/4- 10 & 3:30. TC: 3-day: 30/90 G/1. 2-day: Rounds 1-3, G/60, Rounds 4-6, 30/90 G/1. 5-second delay on all time controls. SECTIONS: Master/Expert (above 1999), Reserve (1600-1999), Amateur (U1600). EF: 3-day $65 (Juniors $35) postmarked by 6/25. $75 (Juniors $40) after 6/25. 2-day $66 (Juniors $36) postmarked by 6/25. $76 (Juniors $41) after 6/25. IMs/GMs free. Entrants may play up one section for $10. $5 discount to CalChess members. Reentry after round 2 of the 3-day schedule: $40. PRIZES: 1st Place in each section $325 & trophy (1st prize guaranteed in the Master/Expert section). Prize fund of $2810 based on 75 full paid adult entries and 10 full paid junior entries overall (with 60 full paid adult entries and 10 full paid junior entries, the prize fund will be $1,900). HR: Best Western Expo Inn, (916) 922-9833 or 1-800-643-4422. Ask for the Sacramento Chess Club rates. ADV. ENT. & INFO: John McCumiskey (TD), 6700 50th St, Sacramento, CA 95823-1306; e-mail:; phone: (916) 524-9479, checks payable to Sacramento Chess Club. Full flyer and advance entries: under Weekend Events. OTHER INFO: NS, NC, W. 06/05 rating list only. Please bring clocks and equipment. Maximum of two ? point byes and are available in all rounds, maximum 2 byes per entry. ? point byes for rounds 5 & 6 must be requested prior to round 1.

Southern California

July 21-24, 22-24 or 23-24 10th Annual Pacific Coast Open GPP: 120 S. California

6SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day option, rds 1-3 G/60), Renaissance Agoura Hills Hotel, 30100 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills CA 91301 (US-101 to Reyes Adobe Road exit). Adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountains, 26 miles west of Burbank, 12 miles from Malibu, 28 miles from Ventura. Free parking. Prizes $40,000 based on 320 entries; minimum $30,000 (75% each prize) guaranteed. In 7 sections. Open: $4000-2000-1000-600-400, clear winner bonus $200, U2400 $1500, U2300/Unr $1500. If tie for first, top 2 on tiebreak play speed game (white 7 min, black 5 min and gets draw odds) for title &bonus prize. FIDE rated. Under 2200: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 2000: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 1800: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 1600: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 1400: $2500-1200-600-400-300. Under 1200: $1600-900-600-400-300. Unrated may play in any section, with maximum prize U2200 $1200, U2000 $1000, U1800 $800, U1600 $600, U1400 $400 U1200 $200; balance goes to next player(s) in line. Top 6 sections EF: 4-day $164, 3-day $163, 2-day $162 mailed by 7/13, all $161 online at by 7/18, all $170 phoned by 7/18 (406-896-2038, entries only, no questions), all $190 (no checks, credit cards OK) at tmt. SCCF membership ($12, jrs $7.50) required for rated Southern CA residents. Under 1200 Section EF: all $40 less. Re-entry (except Open) $80, count as half entries. Advance EF $10 less if paid with $49 USCF dues. 4-day schedule: Reg Thu to 6:30pm, rds Thu 7 pm, Fri 7 pm, Sat 12-7, Mon 10-4:30. 3-day schedule: Reg. Fri to 11am, rds Fri 12-7, Sat 12-7, Sun 10-4:30. 2-day schedule: Reg Sat to 9am, rds Sat 10-1-4-7, Sun 10-4:30. All schedules: Bye all, limit 2, rd 4-6 byes must commit before rd 3. HR: $79-79-79-79, 818-707-1220, reserve by 7/7 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633. Ent: Continental Chess, PO Box 249, Salisbury Mills NY 12577. Advance EF minus $5 service charge refunded if you withdraw and give notice at least an hour before rd 1. Questions:, 845-496-9658. Advance entries posted at 7/20.

National and International

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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