He is currently number seven in FIDE world rankings, and I don't think he has the right to challenge me. When I was the world's number seven player it never occurred to me that I had the right to challenge world's number one.
Veselin Topalov referring to Vladimir Kramnik
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 2) Igor Ivanov 1947-2005 3) Out of the Blind Spot: More on Fritz Peipers by Neil Brennen 4) News from the USCF 5) Upcoming Tournaments
This Newsletter is coming out earlier due to the upcoming American Open. The normal schedule will resume the Monday after Thanksgiving. Don't forget the Mechanics' will host the Pierre Saint- Amant Memorial G/45 this Saturday starting at 10am.
1) Mechanics' Institute Club News
NM Igor Margulis, Expert Igor Traub and Class A player George Sanguinetti lead the 63-player Fall Tuesday Night Marathon with 3-0 scores.Five rounds remain in the competition which ends December 20.
Former US Womens Champion Kamile Baginskaite is holding free weekly beginner and intermediate classes for women of all ages, Sundays from 2-4 pm. For more information on this program e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 421-2258.
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) Igor Ivanov 1947-2005
Igor passed away on November 17th in St. George, Utah. The following tribute was written a month ago for ChessBase magazine and will appear with photographs of Igor and 160 of his best games. Igor didn't visit the Mechanics' many times but members may recall his participation in the 2000 Frisco Masters and Koltanowski Memorials. Igor played somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,000 games in his career. Unfortunately he was not a good record keeper and most of them are not available. If you played Igor and the game is not in Mega 2005 I would be very grateful if you could send me a copy at email@example.com.
A funeral will be held for Igor in St. George on November 28 and there will be a tribute to him at the St. George Chess Club the evening of December 16. A tournament will be held in his honor the following day. Contact Alan Crooks at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Grand Master Igor Ivanov by John Donaldson
Igor Ivanov was born in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) on January 8, 1947. At age 5 his mother taught him to play chess and it was not long before he could beat her. Igor's first book was one on chess and even at a very young age he could remember his games. By age 8 Igor was an accomplished player, attending the chess palace daily where he was singled out as one of the most promising young talents, but this potential was to lay dormant for some time. Igor's mother wished him to be a concert pianist and asked her son to emphasize his musical abilities rather than play chess. It was only when she died when he was 14 and left an orphan that he started to play again. His music talent (piano and cello) earned him special privileges and his own room in the orphanage but it was chess that he loved more. At 18 he matriculated at the University of Leningrad, but soon gave up the study of mathematics to pursue a career as a chess professional.
Initially Igor had a job as the manager of an army chess club in Leningrad. The work was fine but did not allow him much time to play so when he was offered a position as a professional player in Tajikistan he quickly accepted. Igor stayed there only a year before moving to Uzbekistan where he played first board for the republic in the annual Spartakiad. It was in such a competition that he first came to the attention of the entire chess world when he beat reigning World Champion Anatoly Karpov in 1979.
Soviet players had become familiar with Igor's name years earlier, but particularly in 1978 and 1979. Playing throughout the Soviet empire Igor not only won several important competitions but did it in such a dominating fashion that he couldn't help but be noticed: 1st in the Zaitsev Memorial in Vladivostock in 1978, 1st at Yaroslavl 1979 and again first at the Tashli Tailiev Memorial in Ashkhabad at the end of 1979. His score in the latter was 12 from 13 (!), three points ahead of second place finisher Kakageldyev. Regrettably few of the games from these events are preserved. You can find some here and there in Shakhmaty Bulletin, Shakhmaty Riga, Shakhmaty v SSR and lesser known Soviet chess journals, but never complete bulletins for the events, the game scores of which were likely lost long ago.
The victory over Karpov earned Igor his first trip abroad to play in the Capablanca Memorial in Cuba in 1980. The return trip home to the Soviet Union made a refueling stop in Gander, Newfoundland, where Igor asked for and was granted political asylum by the Canadian government. This move had, as one might expect, profound changes on Igor's life. An increase in personal freedom was balanced by a lack of economic security. As a professional player in the Soviet Union Igor did quite well, but such an occupation barely existed in North America in 1980, especially in Canada. Igor also had to adapt as a chess player. Playing in Swiss System events over a weekend with two or three games a day is not quite the same thing as a 16 player round robin that lasts three weeks. Nor is having to score almost 100 percent to win a prize.
Igor settled in Montreal and quickly picked up French and English. He and the rapidly improving Kevin Spraggett would dominate Canadian chess over much of the next decade. Igor won the Closed Championship of his newly adopted country four times in five tries from 1981 to 1987. In 1985 he tied for first place in both Canadian Open and Canadian Closed Chess Championships at Edmonton, Alberta, while playing his games simultaneously! Igor played for Canada in the 1984 and 1988 Olympiads and represented the nation in the 1982 Interzonal in Toluca, Mexico. This event was to prove to be a heartbreaker for Igor, though he didn't know it at the time. Scoring 7.5 from 13 he was fourth on tiebreak, but the GM norm - good for the title in an Interzonal - was 7.8. Certainly the way Igor was playing he probably thought the title was just around the corner, but it would be 24 years before he would become a GM. One can't help but wonder how that title might have made his life easier with more invitations and better conditions.
Canada is a very nice country, and one that has produced some good chess players (Yanofsky, Anderson, Suttles, Biyiasas, Spraggett, Lesiege, Charbonneau and Bluvstein) but it is not a promising place to be a professional. It is no accident than former Candidate Kevin Spraggett lives in Europe nor that Igor moved to the United States. There is no pot of gold for professional chess players in the USA but if you are willing to travel there is always someplace holding an event with a first prize of $300 on up. Chess players from around the world are familiar with the World and National Opens, massive events often with over 1000 players participating and five figures for first place. Such tournaments are few and far between and the competition is such that no one can be certain to win. To survive as a professional in North America on a diet of just playing requires one find smaller events where the chances of winning are highly likely. Igor hit this trail in earnest in the 1980s and by 1997 he had won 9 of the US Chess Federation's Grand Prix series. This yearly competition, where points are awarded each event on the basis of the amount of prize money available ($300 first might equal six points, saw Igor reach close to 500 points in a single year. This does not equal many weekends off! At the end of the year Igor would often have to make long journeys to play in small events to secure his victory in the Grand Prix. One time he traveled back and forth to Atlanta from Los Angeles (roundtrip close to 6,000 miles or 10,000 kilometers) in less than a week by bus!
Igor started to play less frequently in the late 1990s turning his attention to coaching. He had worked in the past as a second for Viktor Kortchnoi in the 1981 World Championship, but he was most successful in his job at the Shelby School in Arizona, where he coached them to two national championships. More recently Igor relocated first to Central and then St. George, Utah. He is the Grandmaster-in-Residence (he got the GM title in 2005 for norms that he made in the early 1990s and was unaware of) at the St. George Chess School and lives in the the mountains of southern Utah with his wife Elizabeth, a retired teacher. He teaches chess, runs a chess camp every summer, give piano recitals at the St. George Tabernacle , takes care of Petruska and Sasha (two very spoiled cats) and is an avid gardener and reader. Igor is much liked by the many chess players that appreciate his excellent sense of humor, kindness towards animals and love of life. The author of this piece is confident that Igor and his games will be remembered for a long time.
Just the other week I found the following two games in an old issue of Players Chess News, and since they did not make it in the ChessBase article I decided to include them here. The notes are by Igor.
Sid Rubin - Igor Ivanov Sicilian B59
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3 a5
Against Ljubojevic (Montreal 1984), I continued 9...Be6 10.Bf3 a6 11.Qd2 Qc7 12.Rfd1 Rfc8?! 13.Rac1 Bf8 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.exd5 Nb8 16.c4 b6 17.c5!? bxc5 18.Nxc5 dxc5 19.d6 Qa7 20.Rxc5 Rxc5 21.Bxa8 Qxa8 22.Bxc5 Nbd7 23.Ba3 (the game was drawn here) and after 23...h5 both sides have approximately even chances.
10.a4 Nb4 11.f4 Bd7
It is important to control the b5 square.
12.Bf3 Qc7 13.Qe2 Rfe8
Now White has to exchange the pawns on e5.
A typical Sicilian move to open the center.
After 15.exd5 e4 Black does well after both recaptures: 16.Nxe4 (16.Bxe4 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 Nxd5) 16...Nfxd5.
An interesting alternative was 15...dxe4 16.Nxe4 Qxe5 17.Bd4 Qf4 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Qd2 Rxe4 20.Bxe4 Qxd2 21.Nxd2 Bxb2 22.Rb1 Bd4+ 23.Kh1 Bxa4 and Black is doing well.
Black provokes a weakness in the White Kingside but this might be too ambitious. 16...Qe6 17.exd5 Qxe2 18.Bxe2 Nbxd5 was equal.
17.e5 Ng4 18.g3 Qg5 19.Nxd5 is troublesome. If 17.Be3 then 17...Qc7 18.exd5 Bd6 gives Black very good play.
19.exd5 Bd6 20.Qf2 Nxc2! 21.Rxc2 Rxe3.
A sharp alternative was 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.Bxd5 Nxe5 22.Bd4 Bf6 when 23.Bxb7 is met by 23...Nc6 24.Rxf6 gxf6 25.Qd2 Nxd4 26.Nxd4 Rab8 and White does not have enough for the Exchange.
20...Bd6! 21.Qg2 Nxe5 22.Bxe5
White has to keep his light squared Bishop for the health of his majesty.
22.Nxd5 Nxf3+ 23.Qxf3 Bc6.
22...Bxe5 23.Nxd5 Bxb2 24.Rb1 Be5 25.Nxa5
This is a tactical mistake, but White does not have a satisfactory continuation.
25...Nxd5 26.Bxd5 Bd4+! 27.Kh1 Rxa5 28.Bxf7+
28.Rxb7? Rxd5 29.Qxd5 Bc6 winning
28...Qxf7 29.Rxf7 Bc6! 30.Rf3 Rae5 31.h4
31.Rbf1 Re3 32.h4 Rxf3 33.Rxf3 Rf8 and 31.Qf1 Re1! are both winning for Black.
31...Re2 32.Qf1 R8e3 33.Rb3 Re1 34.Kh2 Rxf1 35.Rxf1 Re2+! 36.Kh3 Bg2+ 37.Kg4 Bxf1 38.Rxb7 Rf2 39.a5 Be2+ 40.Kh3 h5 41.g4 Be5 0-1
Players Chess News, March 4, 1985, page 8.
Igor Ivanov - Nigel Fullbrook Sicilian B38
6th Annual Jay Chemical Winter Open Pasadena, 1984
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 d6 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Nc6 9.Be3 h5?
This is a weakening move for Black's Kingside. 10.f4 White ignore's Black's "threat" to put the knight on g4.
10...Ng4 11.Bxg4 Bxg4
If Black takes the Knight with the pawn, then after 11...hxg4 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.f5 , he loses a pawn.
This is necessary because White threatens to trap the Bishop with 13.f5.
13.Rad1 Rc8 14.b3 a6 15.f5
After 9...h5, the pawn rush is especially strong.
15...Nxd4 16.Bxd4 Bc6
Black must control the d5 square to defend against Nd5.
White exploits his spatial advantage to prepare the attack against Black's vulnerable King.
17...Qa5 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Rdf1 Qe5 20.Nd5 e6
If Black plays 20...Bxd5 , then after 21.exd5 , the Queen is very vulnerable.
Now White has a considerable advantage of forces on the Kingside.
If 21...Bxe4 it will be the same story.
22.Nxh5+ Kg8 23.Rxf5
White exploits the weakness of Black's Kingside with great energy. There is no defense.
23...Qh8 24.Nf6+ Kg7 25.Rh5
An amusing "mate" of the Queen.
To entertain the spectators.
Players Chess News, March 4, 1985, page 8.
3) Out of the Blind Spot: More on Fritz Peipers by Neil Brennen
"Perhaps someone in the San Francisco area could rescue the good Professor Peipers from the blind spot of history that he now occupies." So I wrote in my brief article "The Blind Spot" on the nineteenth century chessplayer Fritz Peipers, a member of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, in the September 2003 California Chess Journal, adding that "very little is known about Peipers, a fate he shares with many strong amateurs of the time." To entertain the spectators.
Fortunately, chess historians have been busy attempting to uncover more about this forgotten minor master from San Francisco. This article summarizes all that has been recovered about Fritz Peipers to date. To entertain the spectators.
The chess column of the San Francisco Chronicle, of April 21, 1894, states that Peipers was born in Germany. Geneological data found on the Internet offers 1844 as the date of his birth. Peipers first learned chess at the Conservatory in Cologne, "where he early showed an ability to excel." When he came to the United States is unknown, as is when he began to teach music and adopted the courtesy title of "Professor". To entertain the spectators.
The earliest known game by Peipers was published in Brentano's Chess Monthly in August of 1881. The introduction to the game states it was one of four games played "simultaneously and without sight of the boards by Professor Fritz Peipers, of San Francisco, against four amateurs of that city." Peipers won all four games. To entertain the spectators.
F. Peipers - Mr.__ C44
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.Ng5 Ne5
Well-known to be inferior to 5...Nh6.
6.Nxf7 Nxf7 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qxc5 d6
If Black's remaining Knight now stood at c6 instead of g8, he could play here 9...d5 with great effect.
10.Qxd4 Nf6 11.0-0 Re8 12.Nc3 Qe7 13.Bd2 Qe5 14.Qd3 Re7 15.f4 Qc5+
In these movements of the Queen Black has consumed valuable time which he might have devoted to bringing out the Queen's Rook and Queen's Bishop.
16.Kh1 b6 17.e5
A decisive blow.
If 17...Bf5 White wins by 18.Qf3
18.fxe5 Rxe5 19.Ne4
White plays the terminating moves in good style.
19...Bf5 20.Nxc5 Bxd3 21.Nxd3 1-0
Brentano's Chess Monthly, August 1881, p177
In the last issue of Brentano's published, Peipers' earliest dated chess problem appeared, a simple mate in two.
White: King b5, Rook c5, Bishops d3 and g5, Knight d5
The next reference to Peipers is from reports of a Mechanic's Institute's chess tournament in 1885. According to historian John Donaldson, writing in the Mechanic's Institute Newsletter #36, the tournament was "won by J. Waldstein, with N.J. Manson 2nd and Fritz Peipers 3rd." Chess historian John Hilbert provided the following loss by Peipers from the tournament, which appeared in Mechanic's Institute Newsletter #132
N. Manson - F. Peipers [C30]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 d6 5.Na4 Nxe4 6.Nxc5 Nxc5 7.b4 Ncd7 8.Bc4 0-0 9.0-0 Qf6 10.Bb2 Qxf4 11.Nxe5 Qe4 12.Bxf7+ Kh8 13.Nxd7 Bxd7 14.Qh5 Nc6 15.Bxg7+ Kxg7 16.Qg5+ Qg6 17.Bxg6 hxg6 18.d4 Bf5 19.c3 Rae8 20.g4 Bd3 21.Rxf8 Rxf8 22.Re1 a6 23.h4 Rf7 24.h5 Kh7 25.Re8 Rf1+ 26.Kg2 Rf7 27.hxg6+ Bxg6 28.Qh4+ Bh5 29.Qxh5+ Kg7 30.Qg5+ Kh7 31.Qg8+ Kh6 32.Qxf7 1-0
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 2, 1885
During the 1880s Peipers was seemingly collecting the scalps of major players. The April 1894 article referred to above mentioned several wins against Zuckertort during the Polish master's visit to San Francisco in 1884. Other prominent masters allegedly defeated by Peipers include Von Scheve, Showalter, and Gossip. Peipers also traveled extensively, and allegedly defeated the Mexican players Rivas, Diaz, and Perez. The article claimed Peipers was "one of the leading chess problemists of the United States". The "alleged" and "claimed" in the sentences above are there for a reason; since a search of the major chess publications from 1881-1894 yielded a single chess problem, as opposed to dozens for leading American problemists such as Shinkman, Loyd, and Carpenter, it's probable the results of his over-the board play are likewise exaggerated. Neither the press reports on Zuckertort's 1884 visit nor Gossip's letter to the International Chess Magazine in 1888 mention Professor Peipers.
While the newspaper profile did contain what might be politely called a "stretcher" or two about Peipers' ability, it did have an offhand game against a "Mr. Bert, of this city, which will give an idea of the former's play." The date of the game and the circumstances of its play were not provided by the newspaper.
Fritz Peipers - Bert
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 d6 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.h3 Bd6 7.c3 0-0 8.0-0 Be6 9.Bg5 Qe7 10.Nh2 Rad8 11.g3 Bxh3 12.Re1 Be6 13.f4 Kh8 14.f5 Bc8 15.Ng4 Bc5+
Playing White's game.
16.Kg2 Qd6 17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Rh1! Qxd3
Had Black played 18...Rg8 , White plays 19.Rxh7+ Kxh7 20.Qh1+ and mate on h6.
19.Rxh7+ Kxh7 20.Qh1+ Kg8
20...Kg7 would give mate in two moves.
21.Nxf6+ Kg7 22.Qh7+ Kxf6 23.Qh4+ Kg7 24.Qg5+ Kh8 25.Rh1# 1-0
San Francisco Chronicle, April 21, 1894
"Some years" before 1894 Peipers had left the Bay Area and moved to Los Angeles. A genealogical source on the Internet shows Fritz Peipers dying there in 1918. We conclude with a mate in three problem from Peipers' Los Angeles residency, taken from the American Chess Magazine of 1898.
White: King a8, Rooks f6 and h3, Bishops a1 and c8, Knight d7, pawns e3 and h2
Copyright 2005 Neil Brennen. All rights reserved
4) News from the USCF
NEW! Tournament Membership offers low cost option for rated play!
The Tournament Membership (TM) is back! An idea last tried 15 years ago, it has returned in an improved form that we expect will stimulate rated activity, especially helping chess clubs and smaller tournaments.
The TM is available for $10 to satisfy the USCF membership requirement for any USCF-rated event of four rounds or less. Longer events qualify for this TM only if they are quick-rated, or if all games are played on weekdays. For events that do not qualify for the $10 TM, a $20 TM is available.
Each TM entitles the player to one issue of Chess Life (US, Canada or Mexico addresses only), plus the option of applying the TM fee, within 90 days, to a one-year Adult, Promotional Adult, Senior, Sustaining or Life membership. No more than one TM fee may be applied to the cost of any one-year membership.
Note that in addition to the TM, other reduced dues options remain in effect: 1) New members and those whose memberships last expired 2004 or before may join for a year for $38 ($36 online). 2) Anyone may join through an affiliate for 6 months for $27. Both of these options include a monthly Chess Life.
1. Effective immediately, USCF ratings will be adjusted based on the performances of all US players in the following events:
USCF members who represent foreign federations may also have their ratings adjusted if they request this in writing in advance.
2. A formula provided by the USCF Ratings Committee will be used to adjust the ratings, and another to convert opponents' FIDE ratings into USCF ratings. It is expected that rating adjustment will be based on a K factor about 80% its usual value, causing ratings to change about 80% as fast as usual.
3. A list of which foreign FIDE-rated events will be USCF-rated will appear on the USCF website. Additional events may be added on occasion by the office if adequate assurance is received that we will obtain their crosstables.
4. Any USCF member planning to play in a foreign FIDE-rated event that is not listed on our website may register that event for USCF rating by submitting a form promising to report the results along with a fee of $25.00.
5. If the form mentioned in #3 is received, that event will be added to the website's list of USCF-rated events for one year only, and all US players in that event shall also have their USCF ratings revised, even if not submitting a form.
5) Upcoming Events
Guthrie McClain - December 3
A Heritage Event!
Nov. 25-27 or 26-27 EBCC Thanksgiving Swiss GPP: 20 N. California
THE ST. GEORGE CHESS CENTER PRESENTS
St. George Chess Club North American Warm-up 5SS, G/60
Date: December 18, 2005
Prize fund: $1200 absolutely guaranteed.
Rounds: 1st round 9:00 am. Next rounds ASAP.
What to bring: chess clocks and a pen.
The Susan Polgar Foundation and the South Texas Chess Center proudly present the First Annual Susan Polgar National Open Championships for Girls under 21
Format: 6 SS | Sections: K-2, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, Open section (for girls under 21 as of 1-27-06)
Time control: G/45 or G/40 with 5 seconds delay
Prizes: Trophies to top 20 individuals and top 4 teams in each section. Special medals to 21st - 30th place individuals and 5th - 7th teams. 3 or more from the same school & section or same chess club and section (top 3 scores added to give team final standings). Every player receives a special hand signed certificate from Susan.
Special Prizes: Any school with 20 or more participants will receive a set of 6 Winning Chess the Easy Way Training DVDs by Susan Polgar ($175 retail value). In addition, there will be 2 beautiful trophies for the schools with the most students competing in the championship (Top from Texas and top outside of Texas).
Addition Individual Prizes to each section: A desktop or laptop computer to 1st!! $200 in prizes to 2nd | $150 in prizes to 3rd | $100 in prizes to 4th | $50 in prizes to 5th! Any player with 6-0 score in the main event will also receive a digital chess clock!!
Prizes for Blitz / Puzzle Solving Championships: Trophies to top 5 players in each section. Special medals to 6th - 20th place. Blitz / Puzzle Solving Championships will be only 1 section but trophies to separate categories.
Friday, Jan. 27: 3:30 PM Lecture for players/parents/coaches by Susan / 5:00 PM Puzzle Solving Championships / 6:15 PM Tandem Simul (Maximum 70 players)
Saturday, Jan. 28: 10:00 AM Opening Ceremony / Rounds: 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, 4:00 PM / 7 PM Blitz Championships (G/5 - 7 SS)
Sunday, Jan. 29: Rounds: 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM / 4:00 PM Closing Ceremony
Main Event Entry Fees: $28 if received by December 1, 2005 | $38 if received by January 1 | $48 if received by January 15 | $58 on site (On site registration: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM Friday and up to 9:30 AM on Saturday)
Blitz EF: $10 - Puzzle Solving EF: $10 - Simul: $15 | Special $25 entry fees for all 3 side events (Blitz, Puzzle and Simul) or $18 for Blitz and Puzzle
Hotel: Ramada Inn Bayfront and Convention Center 601 N. Water Street Corpus Christi, Texas 78401 (361) 882-8100 or 800-688-0334 or www.ramada-cc.com. For chess rate, please mention: "SPNO". Reserve by 12/ 27/2005 or rate may increase. Rates starting at $59 - 2 family Suite for $89.00. Info: Dan DeLeon (361) 883-3930 or email to PolgarFoundation@aol.com.
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