Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #279

   Combinations have always been the most intriguing aspect of Chess. The masters look for them, the public applauds them, the critics praise them. It is because combinations are possible that Chess is more than a lifeless mathematical exercise. They are the poetry of the game; they are to Chess what melody is to music. They represent the triumph of mind over matter.

Reuben Fine

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Greg Shahade featured on Chess.FM
3) People's Open Saved by Michael Aigner and Winter Open Blitz
4) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Club News

Jennifer Shahade, former US Women's Champion and a member of the silver medal American team from the 2004 Chess Olympiad, will talk about her new book Chess Bitch: Women In The Ultimate Intellectual Sport and recent developments in the chess world on Tuesday, January 31st, in the members lounge on the 4th floor of the Mechanics' Institute. Jennifer will be signing copies of her book which will be available for purchase. This event is free to all and will start at 5:15 pm.

The Winter Tuesday Night Marathon has 59 entrants headed by NMs Frank Thornally, Tony D'Aloisio and defending champion Igor Margulis. There is still time to enter the eight round event with a bye for the first round.

Thanks to former Chess Horizons editor Peter Sherwood, now living in Oakland, who has been entering games from M.I. events in Chess Base, you can now play over some of your upcoming opponent's games. If you go to the Mechanics' site at you will find many from 2005. Here is one recent scrap.

Batchimeg,Tuvshintug (2270) - Ismakov,Arthur (2117) [B00]
Mechanics' Fall TNM 2005; 30/90, SD/30 San Francisco (5), 29.11.2005

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be2 Bb4 7.0-0 Bxc3 8.bxc3 Nxe4 9.Bf3 Ng5 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.Qg4 f6 12.h4 c5 13.Nb5 Nf7 14.Qxg7 Qb6 15.c4 a6 16.Nc3 Bb7 17.Qxf6 Rg8 18.Nd5 Qd8 19.Qf3 Ne5 20.Qh5+ Nf7 21.Bg5 Rxg5 22.hxg5 exd5 23.Qxh7 Qxg5 24.Rab1 Bc6 25.Rfe1+ Kf8 26.Re3 Qg7 27.Qf5 dxc4 28.Rg3 Qd4 29.Re1 Qd5 30.Qg6 Ne5 31.Qg7+ 1-0

Congratulations to San Jose High School student Matthew Ho who is the 2006 Falconer Award winner. The award is given each year to the highest rated player in Northern California under age 18. Ho edged out fellow master Nicolas Yap 2282 to 2263.

2) Greg Shahade featured on Chess.FM

This week's guest on the internet radio show "Chess and Books with Fred Wilson" will be one of our most successful chess entrepreneurs and professional poker players, IM GREG SHAHADE.

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 enthusiasts on the West Coast & elsewhere, and often there will be several replays the following day.

Fred's next guest Tuesday evening, Jan. 17th, 2006 will be the winner of the 1999 Sanford Fellowship (awarded to the most promising US junior each year), IM GREG SHAHADE. Greg, who was both the 1993 National Junior High & 1996 High School Co-champion, achieved his peak USCF rating of 2560 during the period when he founded & supervised the enormously popular and successful weekly New York Masters Tournaments in NYC, which ran at the Marshall Chess Club from 2001-2004. Although currently a professional poker player, Greg is still quite involved in the U.S. chess scene, having created & sponsored the first successful season of the US Chess League, been elected the USCF Policy Board, and just formed which sets up opportunities for our most talent juniors to get real grandmaster training. Also, Greg will discuss chess psychology, how to approach & combat time pressure and make a fascinating proposal to alter the pairing structure of most "big money" Swiss tournaments. Please send questions about chess training, coaching, organizing poker for IM Greg Shahade to

3) People's Open Saved by Michael Aigner

Credit our good friends at the East Bay Chess Club with a save! After a 32 year history, the annual People's Chess Tournament in Berkeley was in jeopardy of being canceled. Fortunately the masters at EBCC, all of whom have played many years in this event, stepped up to the mound and threw the perfect pitch.

Aside from the change in venue, the event will be split over three weekends. The Reserve and B sections will play five rounds on February 11-12, which is the weekend before President's Day. The Open/Expert and A sections will compete in the usual six round format on February 18-20. The entry fee is $35 for U1800 and $40 for 1800+.

UNDER 1800 on February 11-12:

OVER 1800 on February 18-20:

The Young People's scholastic tournament will be the following weekend, February 25-26. Details will be made available soon.

Michael Aigner
CalChess Clearinghouse

Felix German will be holding what he is hopes to be the first of many blitz tournaments to come on Sunday, January 29th, at Fort Mason (Building C, Room 370) in San Francisco. He sends the following information:

1st - $250, 2nd - $150, Expert - $150, A-$150, B-$150, C/D/E-$150

The prizes are based on 50 full entries

Entry Fee is $30.

Advance entries should be sent to: Felix German. 1200 14th ave #104, San Francisco, Ca 94122

6 rounds with 2 games in each round

Game in 5 min

Registration is from 9:00 - 9:45 with the tournament starting at 10am.

4) Upcoming Events

The 33rd annual People's Tournament
B and Reserve sections: Feb 11-12, 2006
Open/Expert and A sections: Feb 18-20, 2006
Hosted by the East Bay Chess Club

The Reserve and B sections will play five rounds on February 11-12, which is the weekend before President's Day. The Open/Expert and A sections will compete in the usual six round format on February 18-20. If you register before February 4th, the entry fee is $35 for U1800 and $40 for 1800+. It goes up $5 for on-site registration.

Location: East Bay Chess Club; please note the event is NOT at UC Berkeley this year!

UNDER 1800 on February 11-12:
Rounds: 10 AM, 2 PM, and 6 PM on Saturday; 11 AM and 3 PM on Sunday
Time control: 40/90 + SD/30
Prizes: B Section: $190, $110, $70
Prizes: Reserve Section (U1600): $170, $105, $45; U1400: $75, $35

OVER 1800 on February 18-20:
Rounds: 10 AM and 4:00 PM on all 3 days
Time control: 40/2 + SD/1
Prizes: Open/Expert Section: $400, $300, $200, $100; U2200: $160, $80, $40
Prizes: A Section: $220, $110, $60

Mechanics' Institute

Henry Gross - February 4
A.J. Fink Amateur - March 4 and 5

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