Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #259

   If anything, grandmasters often consider fewer alternatives; they tend not to look at as many possible moves as weaker players do. And so, perversely, chess skill often seems to reflect the ability to avoid calculations.

GM David Norwood

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Ben Finegold Earns His 3rd and Final GM Norm! - by IM Greg Shahade 
3) Chess for Peace in Lindsborg
4) Computer History Museum will have a panel discussion  on chess and computers
5) Movses Movsisyan Wins Master Section of 2005 U.S. Class Chess Championships
6) Here and There
7) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Club News

The MI Chess Club is looking better and better. The replacement of the carpet with the retro tile and linoleum look was a major step for the better and now Frank Camaratta of the House of Staunton has very generously donated 44 of his Marshall style plastic chess sets. Go to and scroll to the middle of the page and you will see that these handsome, weighted sets are a huge improvement over the mishmash of plastic pieces that formerly were in use. Thank you Frank! By the way if you have never been to the House of Staunton website ( it is well worth a visit. Not only does it carry the largest collection of high quality chess sets and boards in the world but the museum of antique sets shouldn't be missed. You might not be satisfied with a cheap plastic set and roll up board after a visit!

Tonight at 5:30 PM West Coast time the US Chess League starts!

Carolina Cobras vs San Francisco Mechanics
Team listed first has white on board 1+3, and black on board 2+4.
TC is G/60 with a 30 second increment. Games are been shown live on the Internet Chess Club ( GM Alex Yermolinsky will provide live commentary at the MI.

Carolina Cobras

San Francisco Mechanics

GM Marcin Kaminski - 2473

IM Vince McCambridge - 2502

FM Lev Milman - 2474

IM Mladen Vucic - 2436

FM Matt Hoekstra - 2407

FM Dmitry Zilberstein - 2435

John Timmel - 2093

NM Nicholas Yap - 2209

Avg Rating - 2361

Avg Rating - 2395

Carolina Total -------
----- San Francisco Total

Last Wednesday the MI drew it's pre-season match with Philadelphia 2-2.

(1) Costigan,R (2295) - Donaldson,J (2442) [A48]
USCL Philly vs San Fran (Exhibition),

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.e3 d6

This move-order hints that Black may have an interest in hunting down White's dark-squared Bishop. On 4...0-0 Black can meet 5.c4 by 5...d5 with a Grunfeld or 5...c5 6.Nc3 cxd4 7.exd4 d5 transposing into a reversed Tarrasch. Playing 4...d6 rules out these transpositions.


The big question is when should White take time out to play h3? 5.h3 seems very sensible here.


5...Nh5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Nfd2 gxh4 9.Qxh5 c5 playing on the dark squares was another possibility.

6.Be2 c5 7.0-0 Nh5 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Ne1 Nf6

Black has three alternatives here which deserve a close look:

(A)10...cxd4 11.exd4 (11.Bxh5 dxe3) 11... Nf4 12.Bg3 Bxd4 13.Nc3 Nxe2+ 14.Qxe2 f5 15.Nb5 Bxb2 16.Qxb2 f4.

(B)10...Nf4 11.exf4 gxh4;

(C) 10...gxh4 11.Bxh5 cxd4 12.exd4 Qb6

11.Bg3 Ne4

11...Qb6 might well have been better

12.Nc3 Nxg3

12...Nxc3 13.bxc3 f5 as suggested by IM David Vigorito is an interesting suggestion. Black's plays a sort of Dzindzhi-Indian (1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5 4.d5 Bc3+ 5.bxc3 f5) without having to part with his dark-squared Bishop.

13.hxg3 e6

13...cxd4 14.exd4 Nc6 15.Nc2 seems fine for White


This isn't the only plan, but it is fine if correctly followed up.

14...dxc5 15.Qxd8 Rxd8 16.Nd3 Na6

16...Nc6 17.Nxc5 Rd2 might be better.


17.f4 intending Ne5 and if Black ever captures on e5 White's remaining Knight comes to e4. White can't be worse here.

17...b6 18.Bf3

18.f4 was still necessary.

18...Rb8 19.Rfd1 Bb7 20.Ne1 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Nb4

Black improves his one poorly placed piece and White faces an unpleasant defensive task. Note the White kingside pawn structure now allows Black the chance to make a passed h-pawn.

22.a3 Nc6 23.Nd3 Na5 24.Na4 Nb3 25.Rc2?

25.Rb1 was necessary and expected when 25...Rd7 26.Kf1 Rbd8 27.Ke2 f5 gives Black a substantial advantage.


Natural and best. I spent a long time, too long, trying to make plans based on ...b5 work.They don't. 25...b5 26.cxb5 Rxb5 27.Kf1 Ra5 28.Rc4 or 25...Rbc8 26.Kf1 (26.Nc3) 26...b5 27.cxb5 c4 28.b6.

26.Kf1 Rbd8 27.Ke2 f5??

27...h5 wins on the spot. White's pieces are so tangled that the passed h-pawn can't be stopped.

28.Nc3 h5

Back on the right track but now the Knight is on c3.


Rick makes the most of his chances.


If Black wants to try for something here it makes sense to trade both pairs of Rooks to increase the strength of the passed h-pawn. Maybe something like 29...Rxd1 30.Nxd1 Na1 31.Rd2 Rxd2+ 32.Kxd2 h4 33.gxh4 gxh4 34.Ke2 Kf7 Now the game fizzles out.

30.Rcxc1 Kf7 31.Rxd7+ Rxd7 32.f4! g4 33.b3 Bf6 34.Rc2 h4 35.gxh4 Bxh4 36.Na2 Ke7 37.Nc1 Bf6 38.Nd3 a5 39.Rc1 Rd8 40.Rh1 Rh8 41.Rxh8 Bxh8 42.f3 gxf3+ 43.Kxf3 Kd6 44.e4 Bd4 45.Ne1 Bb2 46.Nc2 Bc1 47.a4 Bd2 48.Na3 Kd7 ½-½

(2) Vucic,M (2436) - Shahade,M (2242) [E13]
USCL Philly vs San Fran (Exhibition),

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 Bb7 7.e3 g5 8.Bg3 Ne4 9.Nd2 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Bxc3 11.Rc1 Ba5 12.h4 d6 13.Qh5 g4 14.Qxg4 Qf6 15.h5 Qg5 16.Qxg5 hxg5 17.c5 bxc5 18.dxc5 Ke7 19.Kd1 Bxd2 20.Kxd2 Rd8 21.cxd6+ cxd6 22.f4 gxf4 23.exf4 Nc6 24.Bh4+ f6 25.Ba6 Bxa6 26.Rxc6 Bb5 27.Rc7+ Rd7 28.Rxd7+ Bxd7 29.g4 Bc6 30.Rc1 Rc8 31.g5 Kf7 32.gxf6 Bb7 33.Rg1 Rg8 34.Rg5 Be4 35.Ra5 Ra8 36.Ke3 Bb7 37.Rg5 Rg8 38.h6 Rxg5 39.fxg5 Kg6 40.f7 Kxf7 41.h7 1-0

(3) Wilson,E (2239) - Lee,A (2231) [B36]
USCL Philly vs San Fran (Exhibition),

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.c4 c5 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.e4 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bg5 Bd7 11.Qe3 Qb6 12.Qxb6 axb6 13.Rac1 Rfc8 14.Rc2 b5 15.a3 Kf8 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nd5 Rc6 18.Nxf6 exf6 19.Rfc1 bxc4 20.Bxc4 Rac8 21.Bd3 Ke7 22.f3 f5 23.exf5 Bxf5 24.Bxf5 gxf5 25.Rxc6 bxc6 26.Kf2 c5 27.b4 c4 28.Ke3 d5 29.Kd4 Kd6 30.a4 Re8 31.b5 Re2 32.a5 Rd2+ 33.Kc3 Rxg2 34.b6 Kc5 35.Rd1 Kc6 36.Rb1 Kc5 37.Rd1 Kc6 38.Rb1 Kc5 39.Rd1 1/2-1/2

(4) Young,G (1900) - Baczynskyj,B (2236) [B06]
USCL Philly vs San Fran (Exhibition),

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 a6 5.Nf3 b5 6.Bd3 Bb7 7.a3 Nd7 8.Be3 c5 9.h3 c4 10.Be2 Ngf6 11.Nd2 e5 12.0-0 Qb6 13.Bf2 exd4 14.Nf3 Nxe4 15.Nxe4 Bxe4 16.Nxd4 Qb7 17.Bf3 Bxf3 18.Nxf3 0-0 19.c3 Rad8 20.Bd4 Ne5 21.f5 Qd5 22.Nh2 h5 23.Qc2 Kh7 24.f6 Bh6 25.Rae1 Rfe8 26.Kh1 Nd3 27.Re2 Rxe2 28.Qxe2 Nf4 29.Qf3 Re8 30.a4 Re2 31.Qxd5 Nxd5 32.axb5 axb5 33.Nf3 Nf4 34.Rf2 Rxf2 35.Bxf2 Nd3 36.Bg3 d5 37.Nd4 b4 38.cxb4 Nxb4 39.Nb5 Bc1 40.Bd6 Nc6 41.Nc7 d4 42.Kg1 Bxb2 43.Ne6 Bc1 44.Bf4 fxe6 45.Bxc1 Kg8 46.Kf1 Kf7 47.Bg5 e5 48.Ke2 e4 49.Kd2 Nd8 50.h4 Nb7 51.g3 Nc5 52.Bf4 Kxf6 53.Bg5+ Kf5 54.Be7 Ne6 55.Bd6 e3+ 56.Ke2 Ke4 57.Bb8 d3+ 58.Ke1 c3 59.Kd1 Nd4 0-1

For more on the US Chess League go to

2) Ben Finegold Earns His 3rd and Final GM Norm! - by IM Greg Shahade

If I asked "Who is the highest USCF rated American born player in the country?" I doubt that most chess enthusiasts would give the right response. However the correct answer to that question is America's newest soon-to-be Grandmaster, 35-year-old Michiganite Ben Finegold.Ben earned his final GM norm at the 2005 Martinovsky Memorial, which was a 6 player double round robin held in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and ended on Tuesday August 23. He scored a 9 round GM norm by winning 3 of his first 9 games and drawing the remainder. His wins were over IM Angelo Young (twice) and IM Smetankin, while his draws were against GM Nikola Mitkov (twice), Yuri Shulman (twice), GM Vladimir Georgiev and IM Stanislav Smetankin. Ben is the strongest member of a chess playing family. Both his brother Mark and his father Ron were USCF masters, with his brother still holding that title today. Ben felt he didn't have enough chess players in the family, so he married another player, Kelly Cottrell, facilitating an all-family entry into the US Amateur Team events. However his wife immediately set out to thwart these plans and made sure the team doesn't fall under the 2200 maximum, as she jumped from 900 to 1700 in the last 4 years and has qualified for this year's US Championship (along with Ben of course!).Ben has been a colorful part of the American chess scene for well over a decade. I still remember how I went to the 1994 US Open in Illinois and saw some random guy offering people rook odds in 2 minute chess to all comers. At the time I was a young master and was prepared to embarrass the poor sap, however I was blissfully unaware of Ben's blitz prowess and actually had quite a difficult time (and it pains me to admit I may have lost more games than I won.)Ben has been working towards his GM title for a long time and despite almost always being the highest rated IM in the country he always had trouble getting over the hump. Just this year, though, he has been on a tear and jacked his USCF rating up about 80 points to 2649 while tying for first in the 2005 National Open. With only 12 active American GMs rated higher than him (out of about 40), it was hard to imagine the GM title wouldn't be coming soon.On a more personal level, Ben is also proud to be achieving results not only in chess, but in other areas as well. He's lost 80 pounds since the beginning of 2005. His goal is to lose 100 more by July 2006. Since he gained 80 USCF points while losing 80 pounds, one can hope that he can keep up the pace. It's possible we will soon be seeing a 2800 USCF rated Ben Finegold tipping the scales at 75 pounds .Congratulations to Ben Finegold for making America proud! Who will be the next American IM to be mixed in with all the GMs in the top of the rating lists for years? Only time will tell...

3) Chess for Peace in Lindsborg


Former Kansas Senator Nancy Kassebaum Heads Chess for Peace Initiative
October 29, 2005 - Lindsborg, KS.

Chess is often used as a metaphor for politics. On October 29, 2005, the two will come together in the small town of Lindsborg, Kansas, population 3,200. None other than President Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, along with a host of other political and chess dignitaries, will kick off the yearlong Chess for Peace initiative. The day's events will feature a chess parade, a scholastic chess tournament, a match between former World Chess Champions Susan Polgar and Anatoly Karpov, a formal dinner, and a keynote address that evening by President Gorbachev at Presser Hall on the Bethany College campus. Former Kansas Senator Nancy Kassebaum, as chairperson, is overseeing the National Advisory Committee for the Chess for Peace initiative. The committee also includes former government officials Kansas Governor John Carlin , Kansas Senator Sheila Frahm, and Kansas Congressman Dick Nichols. Also on the Advisory Committee, are former World Chess Champions Anatoly Karpov and Susan Polgar and U.S. Chess Federation Vice President Don Schultz. Gorbachev, a friend of World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov, agreed to come to Lindsborg after receiving a call from Karpov. Gorbachev had only two conditions: (1) Karpov would accompany him to Lindsborg and (2) Karpov would play a game of chess with him. "I think it's wonderful that Gorbachev is coming to Lindsborg, because he is a humanitarian and is committed to peace," said Dr. Mikhail Korenman, Director of the Karpov International School of Chess. The yearlong Chess for Peace initiative will commence on October 29, and will be followed by a series of Internet matches between students from countries throughout the world. The winners of these matches will be invited to participate in the week long Chess for Peace Festival, which will be held in Lindsborg in June 2006. Students will play chess and share their respective cultures with other participants. Prime seats for the Gorbachev address are $53.50 and general admission is $27. Tickets for the Karpov Polgar match are $10.50 for adults and $5.50 for students. All ticket prices include tax. Additional information and tickets can be obtained from the Karpov International School of Chess, 106 S. Main, Lindsborg, KS 67456, phone 785-227-2224, Web site or e-mail You can also contact Wes Fisk at (785) 227-4121.

4) Computer History Museum will have a panel discussion on chess and computers

Just in case you might not have been informed, the Computer History Museum will have a panel discussion (featuring David Levy, Murray Campbell, John McCarthy, Monty Newborn, and Edward Feigenbaum) on September 8th at 7 pm, and there also will be an open house with a new exhibit on chess on September 10th from 1-5 p.m. For the panel discussion one needs to make reservations at

I am going to try to make it to both events.

Henry Vinerts

5) Movses Movsisyan Wins Master Section of 2005 U.S. Class Chess Championships

Movses Movsisyan of Norman, Oklahoma Wins Master Section of 2005 U.S. Class Chess Championships

(CROSSVILLE, TN)The 24th Annual U.S. Chess Championships held at the Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center in Chesterfield, MO, August 26-28 drew 151 players. 22 states were represented and one player came from Japan to participate!The 2005 U.S. Class is a United States Chess Federation National Event which offered 30 Grand Prix points. The guaranteed prize fund is $10,000.00. The event offered 8 sections: Master (2200/up) $1000-500-300, Expert (2000-2199) $800-400-200, Class A (1800-1999) $800-400-200, Class B (1600-1799) $800-400-200, Class C (1400-1599) $800-400-200, Class D (1200-1399) $800-400-200, Class E (Under 1200) $300-200-100, and Unrated $300-200-100. A complete listing of all players and scores can be found on the US Chess Federation website at: champions:

Master: Movses Movsisyan from Norman, Oklahoma scored 4.0 points.

Expert: Sylvester Smarty of Broadview Hgts., Ohio and Jeremy M. Volkmann of St. Charles, Missouri tied with 4.0 points.

Class A: Joshua Dubin of Buffalo Grove, Illinois finished with 4.5 points.

Class B: Daniel M. Mc Nally from Niles, Illinois took first with 4.5 points.

Class C: Brad A. Schlosser of Chesterfield, Missouri scored 4.5 points.

Class D: John R. Boyer of Arnold, Missouri and Taylor Bailey of Portland, Oregon tied with 4.5 points.

Class E: Michael W. Nelson from Glen Carbon, Illinois finished with 4.5 points.

Unrated: Carlos Ortiz of O'Fallon, Missouri and Vairam Arunachalam of Columbia, Missouri tied with 4.0 points.USCF offers a huge thank you to all players and to Chief Tournament Director Walter M. Brown, Jr. and Assistant Tournament Director Grant Perks for running this event.

The top section of the US Class, with a very small field, had a spoiler. Winner Mosisyan drew with top seeds GM Alex Wojtkiewicz and IM Michael Brooks (who also drew with each other). The difference between the score of 4 and 3.5 was that Movses beat former Bay Area NM Loal Davis while Wojt and Brooks drew.

6) Here and There

St. George was the scene of the strongest open tournament in Utah history last Saturday as IMs Enrico Sevillano and David Vigorito tied with Emory Rate at 4-1 in the Igor Ivanov Open. Among those on 3.5 were St. George's resident GM Igor Ivanov and IM John Donaldson.

Robert Tanner reports that the Turin Olympiad next spring will use the old format MEN: 4+2 Alternates; WOMEN: 3+1 Alternate, while Dresden in 1998 goes to the new format of 4+Alternate for both.

7) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Institute

Howard Donnelly - September 17
J.J. Dolan - October 1

California and Nevada

September 3-5 2005 CalChess Labor Day Championships GPP: 15 N. CAlifornia
6SS, 30/90, SD/1 (2-day option rds 1-3 G/60); Golden Geteway Holiday Inn. Van Ness at Pine, San Francisco. $$B 160 paid entries (not counting free or unrated entries). Six Sections: Master $700-$350-$200; U2400, $300; Expert $400-$200-$100. "A" $350-$175-$100. "B" $350-$175-$100. "C" $350-175-100. "D/E" $350-$175-$100; U1200 $225. Unr: Trophy First. Trophy to top finisher (State Champion) in each section. All, EF: postmarked by 8/29 $65 (Jrs. $55). $75 at site (Jrs. $65). Unrateds $20 in the D/E section or may play up to the Master section for the regular fee. $5 discount to CalChess members. USCF memb. req'd. May play up one section for add'l $10 (Jrs $5). GM/IM free entry. Reg: Sat 9/3 8-9:30am, Sun 9/4 8:15-9:15am. RDS: Choice of schedules- 3-day, 2-day merge at round 4, all compete for the same prizes. 3-day schedule Sat 10-4; Sun 11-4:45; Mon 10-3:30. 2-day schedule Sun 9:30-11:45-2-4:45; Mon 10-3:30. 1/2 pt bye(s) any round(s) if requested in advance (byes rds 5-6 must be requested before rd 1). 2005 August Ratings List, CCA minimums and Directors discretion will be used toplace players as accurately as possible. Please bring clocks and equipment. HR: Golden Gateway Holiday Inn (415) 441-4000. INFO: Richard Koepcke (650) 964-2640. Ent: Richard Koepcke, PO Box 1432, Mountain View, CA 94042. No Phone entries. Master Section FIDE Rated

A Heritage Event!
Sept. 3-5 27th Annual Southern California Open GPP: 50 S. California

6SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day schedule rds 1-3 G/60, then merges). LAX Hilton, 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045. $$10,000 b/200, 60% of each prize guaranteed. In two sections: Open: $$T+1700-1000-800-450-300, U2400 400, U2300 200, U2200 600-300, U2000 $$600-300. Amateur (Under 1800): $$T+750-400-200-150-100, U1600 $$500-300-200-100, U1400 $$300-150, U1200 100, Unr 100. Best game prize $25, all sections eligible. All: half-pt bye available in rds 1-4 if requested with entry, limit 2. SCCF membership req ($14, jr. $9), OSA. No checks or credit cards at door. SCCF Annual Membership Meeting: 2:30 p.m. Sept. 5. Reg: 3-day 8:30-9:45 a.m. 9-3. 2-day 8:30-9:30 a.m. 9-4. Rds: 3-day: 10:30-5 Sat-Sun, 10-4:30 Mon. 2-day: 10-12:15-2:30 Sun, then merges. EF: $81 if rec'd by 9-1, $97 door, U1400 $66 by 9-1, $80 door. Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038. On-line entry: HR: $89, (310) 410-4000, mention chess. Parking $6/day. Info: NS, W, F. State Championship Qualifier.

2005 Reno Western States Open Chess Tournament
October 14-16, 2005. Reno, Nevada.

$52,400 PRIZE FUND!!! for this Six Round Swiss in Seven Sections (based on 500 paid players, $33,550 Guaranteed). At least 15 places paid in every section! Large prize fund made possible by the generosity of the Sands Regency Casino Hotel. RUB ELBOWS WITH THE MASTERS: Reception with Former World Champion GM Boris Spassky on Wednesday night. FREE lecture by GM Larry Evans on Thursday evening. $100 simul with GM Boris Spassky on Thursday night. Book signing session with GM Boris Spassky on Friday morning. Clinic by GM Boris Spassky on Saturday afternoon. Favorite game analysis with GM Boris Spassky on Sunday afternoon
Chief TD (NTD)
Jerry Weikel

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