Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #261

   This game is great because it teaches you responsibility. You only have yourself to blame if you lose the game. The same is true in life. If you want to win, you have to throw your blame book out the window and take responsibility for yourself.

Orrin Hudson

1) Mechanic's Institute Chess Club News
2) Chess for Peace
3) Joel Benjamin on Chess.FM Tuesday night
4) Here and There
5) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Club News

The Mechanics' lost their second round to the Dallas Destiny in a match that could have gone either way. A full report on the action, with all of the games, is available at the US Chess League web site at

San Francisco Mechanics

IM John Donaldson - 2442

FM Dmitry Zilberstein - 2435

FM David Pruess - 2432

NM Andy Lee - 2231

Avg Rating - 2385

San Francisco Total ------- 1.5


½ - ½




Dallas Destiny

GM Alejandro Ramirez - 2565

IM Amon Simutowe - 2471

IM Peter Vavrak - 2476

Andres Suarez - 2087

Avg Rating - 2399

2.5 ----- Dallas Total

The following encounter game was chosen as the game of the week by USCL czar IM Gregory Shahade. Both GM Ramirez and I annotated the game independently and you can find both of our complete annotations at where their are diagrams every moves and a link to view the game with a board at the ICC. Below you will find my notes and some of Alejandro's which I couldn't resist including as hey point out some things I missed! I encourage you to go to the league website to see GM Ramirez's excellent notes in totality.

White - IM John Donaldson
Black - GM Alejandro Ramirez

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 a6

The Chebanenko variation (4...a6) is a tough nut to crack. Alejandro has used it successfully in the past including a draw with Kasimdzhanov in the FIDE World Championship Knockout in Tripoli in 2004.

5. c5 Nbd7

JD - Black has other choices here but this is currently considered best.

6. Bf4 Nh5 7. Bd2

JD - 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bd2 Nhf6 9. Qc2 Qc7 10. e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Nxe4 12.Qxe4 Nf6 13. Qc2 Be6 14. Bd3 Nd7 15. 00 Bd5 16.Rfe1 e6 17. Ne5 Nxe5 18. dxe7 Be7 = Topalov - Kasparov, Linares 2004


JD - 7...g6 8.e4 led to a nice victory in Gelfand-De la Riva Aguado, Pamplona 2004.

8.Qc2 Qc7

AR - and prepares his own break on e5.

JD - Normally 8....g6 is played here and I am not sure White has shown a way to an advantage. One amusing possibility is 9.e4 dxe4 10.Ng5 Bg7 11.Bc4 00 12.Bxf7 Rxf7 13.Ne6 Qe8 14. Nc7 Qd8 15.Ne6 with a draw as 15...Qa5?? drops the queen to 16.Nxe4 Qb5 17.a4.

Alejandro's move 8...Qc7 caught me by surprise. It has been played a couple of times in this exact position, and Kasparov has used it in similar positions, albeit with the inclusion of ....h6 (Bf4-g5-d2, instead of simply Bf4-d2).


JD - 9....dxe4 gives white the extra option of 10.Ng5, which Lautier used to beat Jakovenko in a blitz game.

10. Nxe4 dxe4 11. Qxe4 Nd7-f6 12. Qc2

JD - The Mechanics' Chess Club's GM-in-Residence, Alex Yermolinsky, told me after the game that retreat was not best, that 12.Qe5 looked more testing.

12....Bc8-e6 13. Bd3 Bd5

JD - 13...Nd7, in comparison with the Topalov-Kasparov game (but with no ....h6), might be considered. Alejandro's move certainly looks very natural.


JD - Maybe 14. O-O along the lines of Topalov's play might be right. 14....Bxf3 15.gxf3 e6 leaves White with some ratty looking pawns but he does have space and two bishops. If Black doesn't take on f3 then Ne5 might come with effect.

14...g6 15. Ne5 Bg7

JD - 15...Bxg2 16.Rhe1 Bg7 17.f4 Bd5 would transpose to the game but White would get the choice of other moves besides f4 on move 17.

16. f4 (?! JD)

JD - 16.f3 is more prudent but I thought the text would stop Black castling either side. This is probably true but Alejandro shows that it's not so important.

16...Bxg2 17. Rhe1 Bd5 18. f5

JD - 18.Kb1 was an offhand suggestion made by Yermo after the game. His thought is that f4-f5 weaken White's grip on the position and he's probably right.


AR - A fine tactical mess issues, where I think John misplayed. White strongest option here is to exchange knights, and pressure the e pawn.

JD - 18....0-0-0 19.Qa4; 18...0-0 19. Rg1 both look a little scary for Black with Ba5 burying Black's Queen in one line and sacks on g6 looking tempting in the other, but Alejandro's decision to trade off White's pieces stops the attack in its tracks.

19. Nc4 (!? AR)

AR - Very risky, white sacrifices yet another pawn. I was planning 19.Nxd7 Kxd7! 20.Bc4 Rae8 and blacks pawn is not free, but its a pawn.

JD - I pretty much have to do this to keep it complicated but now another pawn goes.


AR - And black simply takes it! I was aware of the Nd6+ followed by Ba5 line which occured in the game, but saw that white was really gaining nothing out of it.

20. Nc4-d6+ (D)

AR - 20.Ba5 Qf4 21.Bd2 was an interesting option. Surely you don't sacrifice 2 pawns to force a perpetual, but white had to start thinking if his attack would really crash through.


JD - 20...Kf8? 21.Bh6 Kg8 22. Rxe7 would be very nice for white.

21. Ba5 (! AR)

AR - A simple move to see, the bishop is indirectly protected. Black must have foreseen this possibility when playing 18...Nd7, otherwise a question mark should be attached to that move!

21...b6 22. cxb6 Bxb6

AR - 22...Nxb6?? 23.Nxf7 Bxf7 24.Be4! and white wins. It was also important to notice this when playing 18...Nd7.

23. Bxb6 Nd7xb6

AR - Now black is two pawns up, and wants to consolidate by playing e6. His king is pretty happy in the centre of the board. White still has some pressure, and should create all sort of threats to keep black from consolidating.

24. Nc4

JD - White's intention here is to trade some minor pieces here to get at Black's King but 24.Ne4 gxf5 25.Nc5 might have been a better try.

24.... gxf5!

JD - I think this is the right idea, ensuring that Black has a strong pawn center to hide his king behind.

25. Qc3

JD - During the game I thought this interpolation was a good idea but the straightforward 25.Nxb6 Qxb6 26.Bxf5 was not without it's points as my move activates Black's Rook.

25....Rg8 26.Nxb6 Qxb6 27. Bxf5 Rb8 28. Bxh7 Rg8-g2

AR - Black is now active and has an extra pawn. The position should be winning, and whites only hope is to create murky water in the time trouble we just got in.

29. Bc2

JD - 29.Rd2 allows ....Rxd2 and ...Qb4 or the immediate ...Qb4 but might have been better than the text. By this point both opponents were getting low on time.


JD - 29...Rxh2 30. Qe5 Qc7 31. Qxc7 Kxc7 32. Rxe7 Kb6 might have been a good risk-free practical decsion but at this point the match was still wide open and Alejandro probably felt he needed to win the game at all costs (Simutowe-Zilberstein was a one point turnaround in one move).

30. Qh8+

JD - 30.Qe5 f6 wins on the spot so I need to lure his king up.

30....Kd7 31. Qh8-e5

AR - 31.Rxd5+ cxd5 32. Qh3+ e6 33.Qxg2 Qxe1 and black is winning. If 31.Qh3?! Kc7 and again black has a winning position.

31....Qc5 (? AR)

AR - Quite messy, Qc4 was much cleaner. Now white gets counterplay due to his passed h-pawn. After 31...Qc4, white doesn't have the Re2 resource that he used in the game. Black seems almost winning to me.

JD - I was hoping for 31....f6? 32.Rxd5 cxd5 33.Ba4!

32.Re2 Rxe2

JD - 32...Rbg8 looks right. I am purposely going to refrain from criticizing moves from this point on because we were both really low on time.I should mention that unlike the other teams the MI always plays G/60 with 30 second increment instead of G/90 with a 30 second increment as we are the only team on the West Coast in the league. (Dallas always plays G/60 also - Greg Shahade)

Yermo's first impression was that Black should stay with his King in the center behind his pawns. The queenside doesn't turn out to be a safe haven.

33. Qxe2 Qb5 34. Bc2-d3 (D)

JD - Now the Oracle (aka Fritz) thinks that White is equal. Some strong players feel that when you are a pawn down and the computer say you are equal you are actually better, that is certainly not the case here but the materialist silicon creature does appreciate the looseness of Black's position.


AR - Just trying to gain some time on the clock.

35. Kb1 a5

JD - 35...Rg8!? (Fritz) 36.Bxa6 Rg1 37.h4 Qd4 38. Rxg1 Qxg1 39.Kc2 Bxa2 looks good for Black. Probably White should not grab the pawn on a6.

36. Be4

JD - I played this to loosen Black's King position but 36.h4 looks better

36...e6 37. Qf3

JD - White continues his plan to open Black up, but now b2 is unguarded. Better was 37.h4


JD - 37...Ke7 following Yermo's idea to hide behind the pawns makes sense.

38. Qf3-g3 Qb4

AR - 38....Rxb2 39.Kxb2 fxe4 was possible, but white probably has perpetual check somewhere.

JD - 38....Qd6 39.Qg7+ Kc8 safeguards the King.

39. Qg7+ Qe7 40. Qe5 Rb5 41. Bc2 Kc8 42. Qh8+ Qd8 43. Qh8-h7

JD - Cheap threats of Rg1-g8 are entering White's brain.

43...Rb7 44. Qh6

AR - With time pressure still going on, it was a relief to see that his queen was unable to give checks for a while. Black still has an extra pawn and is much better.

JD - I had just enough time left to appreciate that f6 would be a very nice square for Black's Queen.


AR - A little trap....

45. h4

AR - 45. Qxe6?? Rxb2+! 46. Kxb2 Qh8+ and black is winning the white queen.

JD - Finally the right idea

45....Ka7 46. h5 Qb6 47. Qf6

JD - This blunders a pawn away, instead I should have played 47.Qc1 Bf3 48. Re1 Bxh5 49. Rxe6


JD - 47...Bf3 48.Re1 Bxh5 49. Bb3 Bf7

48. Ka1

AR - Black is a pawn up and it is obvious that white has no perpetual check possibilities. Yet, seeing that my teammate Peter Vavrak had 2 pawns up in a totally winning endgame while the match was tied at 1-1, I didn't want to risk the match in the in suing time trouble. I saw the possibility of Bf3 as probably winning, but decided to allow a perpetual check. I had already offered a draw a couple of moves ago, but it had been declined.

JD - Another blunder, I saw 48.h6 Rh7 but missed 49.Qd8


JD - 48...Bf3 does the trick again. At this point we had around 40 seconds left (with a 30 second increment per move)

AR - 48...Bf3! --+ 49.Rd3 (49.Rb1 Bxh5 50.Bb3 Bf7 and black is won) 49....Qg1+ 50.Bb1 Be4 51.Qd4+ Qxd4 52.Rxd4 and black has all the chances.

49. Qd4+ Kb8 50. Qh8+ Ka7 51. Qd4+

JD - Now I found out that a draw was not going to be enough as we had lost on boards 2+3. I should have tried 51.Qc3 hoping for 51...Qxh5? (51...Kb6 and again Black is better) 52. Qxa5+ Kb8 53.Qd8+ Ka7 54. Rd4

Kb8 52. Qh8+ Ka7 53. Qd4+

JD - One check too many, White has gained some time to think on the clock but alowed a three-time repetition.

AR - And with this the exciting game was drawn. It is interesting that White's attack looked so promising, yet it is (at least for me) impossible to see where he missed a way to crash into the Black fortress.

{Game drawn by repetition} 1/2-1/2

League standings for the Western Division after two rounds.


Miami   2   0   5

Dallas   1   1   4

San Francisco   0.5   1.5   3.5

Carolina   0.5   1.5   3.5

This Wednesday evening at 5:30 the Mechanics' faces the New York Knights.

1. GM Alexander Stripunsky(W) - 2663 - IM Vince McCambridge - 2502
2. NM Gregory Braylovsky - 2376 - IM John Donaldson - 2442
3. WGM-elect Jennifer Shahade 2318 - FM David Pruess - 2432
4. FM Dr. Lewis Eisen - 2325 - NM Mark Pinto - 2200

NMs Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, Albert Rich and Tony D'Aloiso leads the 67 player David Gee Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon with 3-0 scores.

This Saturday the MI hosts the 5th annual Howard Donnelly Memorial. The 5 round G/45 event starts at 10am.

The following Saturday, September 24, the MI will launch it's series of monthly blitz tournaments, to be held the last Saturday of each month.

Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics' are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics' are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics'. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.

2) Chess for Peace


106 South Main, Lindsborg, Kansas 67456 - 785-227-2224

For Immediate Release 9/9/05

Contact: Mikhail Korenman 785-227-2224 or Wes Fisk 785-227-4121

Siberian Chess Team to Visit Lindsborg, KS.

The city of Poikovsky is in one of the more remote regions of the world, where the rivers Ob and Irtysh meet on the western Siberian plain. Poikovsky, population 20,000, is home to an oil and timber industry, but it also features one of Anatoly Karpov's 15 worldwide chess schools. In late September, ten students and the Executive Director of the Russian Chess Federation, Alexander Bah, will board a plane that will take them to Lindsborg. Here, they will play chess with students of the Karpov Chess School, the only one in the U.S. "The students will arrive in Lindsborg in the later part of September," said Mikhail Korenman, Director of the local Karpov Chess School. "They will not only play chess, but they will have an opportunity to learn about each other's cultures and, of course, to make friends."

Poikovsky is well known in Russia as the home of the annual Karpov Chess Tournament, where top Grandmasters from throughout the world go to compete. Grandmaster Alexander Onischuk, a frequent player in Lindsborg tournaments, has participated in the Siberian tournament.

The visit of these students marks the first exchange of foreign students in the year long Chess for Peace initiative. On October 29, Karpov will be in Lindsborg to welcome former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Karpov and former World Chess Champion Susan Polgar will play a match that afternoon., and Gorbachev will give a major address at Bethany College's Presser Hall that evening.

L'Jean Swisher, Program Director for Chess for Peace said ticket sales have been brisk, including sales to people calling from out of state. Tickets for the Gorbachev address and the Karpov Polgar match may be purchased only at the Karpov Chess School, 106 S. Main, Lindsborg, KS 67456. Telephone 785-227-2224.

GORBACHEV ADDRESS: 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29, at Presser Hall. Prime Seating: $53.50. General Admission $27. KARPOV-POLGAR MATCH: 3:30 p.m., Oct. 29, at Presser Hall.

Adults: $10.50. Students: $5.50. Credit cards are welcome.

Karpov Chess School, 106 S. Main, phone 785-227-2224.

3) Joel Benjamin on Chess.FM Tuesday night

Hi folks:

This week's guest on the internet radio show "Chess and Books with Fred Wilson" will be GM JOEL BENJAMIN. The show runs from 8:00 to 10:00 PM (EST) every Tuesday evening. As always, there will be replays of the show almost immediately afterwards for our chess enthusiasts on the West Coast & elsewhere, and often there will be several replays the following day. You can access it easily at the website:

"Fred's next guest Tuesday evening, Sept. 13th, 2005, will be three-time US Champion and recent co-winner of this year's US Open GM JOEL BENJAMIN. Joel will discuss his recent successes, his preparation for the next US Championship, in which he will be competing for a record setting 23rd consecutive time (!), contrast Hydra's performance against Michael Adams versus Deep Blue's against Garry Kasparov, and much, much more! Please start sending good questions for GM Joel Benjamin to or Tony Rook now!"

So, let's have some good questions for Joel from you guys (& girls)!!

Best in chess, Fred Wilson

4) Here and There

The Eugene Martinovsky Memorial took place on 19-23 August in Bolingbrook, Illinois, USA. Six players competed in a double-robin category XI tournament. Benjamin Finegold made a 9-round GM norm, which was the final norm he needed.

Final standings:1. GM Mitkov (2515) - 7½/102. GM Shulman (2550) - 6½ 3-4. GM V. Georgiev (2532) and IM Finegold (2522) - 65. IM Smetankin (2479) - 3½6. IM Young (2413) - ½.

NM Oleg Zaikov won the Oregon Open held over the Labor Day weekend in Gresham.

GMs Yury Shulman and Vladmir Georgiev shared top honors with IM Angelo Young at 5.5 from 6 in the Illinois State Championship held over Labor Day weekend.

Former Candidate Jaan Ehlvest won the 61st Ohio Chess Congress held in Columbus with a score of 5.5 from 6. IM Stanislav Kriventsov was second at 4.5.

The East Bay Chess Club is back in option after being forced to take August off. They will host a four round Swiss on September 24-25

5) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Institute

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

California and Nevada

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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