Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #280

   A chess genius is a human being who focuses vast, little-understood mental gifts and labors on an ultimately trivial human enterprise.

Peter Drucker

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess News
2) Schwarz and Naroditsky move up in Agoura Hills by Michael Aigner
3) Martinez woman sees all the right moves by Nargis Nooristani
4) East Bay Chess Club News
5) Here and There
6) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Club News

Jennifer Shahade will be giving a reading and talk about her new book, Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport followed by a Q+A session and book signing at the Mechanics' Institute on Tuesday, January 31st from 5:15 to 7pm in the Member's Lounge on the 4th floor. This event, which is free to all, will feature light refreshments including cheese and wine.

The following excerpt comes from an article that was written in conjunction with a recent visit by Jennifer to the House of Chess, a new chess center in suburban Cleveland operated by Larry Rust with support from GMs Alex Shabalov and Alex Yermolinsky.

New Great Northern store House of Chess
to host female grandmaster
By Charles Cassady
Published Jan. 18, 2006

Chess has been called the game of kings. Jennifer Shahade is coming to Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted on Saturday to prove that there are queens as well. The Philadelphia-born Shahade, 25, is a comparative literature graduate from New York University and a two-time U.S. Women's Chess Champion. Semi-retired from playing professionally, she is now a frequent commentator and writer on the 1,400-year-old strategy game. The Manhattan resident also teaches chess to students in the New York school system. But lately she has won notoriety in black-and-white circles as the author of the tell-all with the catchiest title of recent nonfiction publishing. Oprah could do worse than devote a segment to "Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport."

The 320-page hardcover relates Shahade's inner-circle view of the male-dominated chess world and the women who try to break through gender lines and play at the highest levels around the world, from China to Iceland to Eastern Europe. Part history, part tabloid-gossip, it's a volume that has rattled a lot of pieces and brought much attention on the topic of chess-girls-gone-wild. Many newspapers have even refrained from printing the transgressive-feminist title.

"It wasn't such a smart idea, that title, in the United States," said Alex Shabalov. "In Europe it's a smart idea, and I think that's what she was aiming for."
Shabalov is a ranked a Grandmaster chess pro, and he is also a business partner in perhaps the only suitable castle in all of northeast Ohio to host a "Chess Bitch" reception.......

The 62-player Winter Tuesday Night Marathon has 11 players tied for first after two rounds led by NM Igor Margulis. The big upset in round 2 was Daniel Naroditsky's upset win over FM Frank Thornally. Six rounds remain to be played in the competition.

The schedule for the remaining TNMs this year :

Winter TNM January 10- March 7 ( no play February 14
Spring TNM March 28- May 16
Summer TNM June 6-August 1 ( no play July 4)
Paul Vayssie Memorial TNM August 22-October 10
Fall TNM October 31-December 19

All events are eight rounds and FIDE rated

The Mechanics' Institute Library prides itself on having the largest publicly accessible collection of chess literature West of the Mississippi. It's particularly strong in American periodicals, especially California publications with runs of the California Chess Reporter and Chess Voice.

A few years are missing of the following publications. Any assistance in remedying this situation would be greatly appreciated. The Mechanics' has 501 (3) (C) status so all donations to the Institute are tax deductible.

Chess Review (1933-1969) The MI has all years except 1941 and 1942, plus the following issues from 1944 (Jan, Mar, June, July, Nov, Dec)

American Chess Bulletin (1905-1963) All years except 1905, 1946 and 1956 .

Chess In Action (Kolti's magazine) It appears quite a few issues are missing before the Winter 1962 issue of this regional magazine for Northern California which had an irregular publication schedule in its first decade.

North American Chess Reporter (1931-33) There were 17 issues published of this magazine which was produced in Beverly Hills. With Bob Burger's help we have all issues but September and December of 1932 (#11 and #13).

2) Schwarz and Naroditsky move up in Agoura Hills by Michael Aigner

Schwarz and Naroditsky move up in Agoura Hills by Michael Aigner

There was an earthquake this weekend at the Western Class Championships in Agoura Hills. It registered 2166 on the Elo scale. This earthquake came in the form of 16 year old Daniel Schwarz. He played up in the Open section seeking experience and some rating points to inch closer to that magical 2200 mark. He nearly ended up winning the entire tournament, even sitting on board 1 in the last round!

Schwarz'es result was simply phenomenal! All five of his opponents were rated over 2300--at least 150 points above his pre tournament rating. He defeated NMs Eugene Yanayt and Tatev Abrahamyan while drawing with IM Enrico Sevillano (as black!) and FM Michael Casella. He was only stopped in the last round on top board by IM Melikset Khachiyan. His performance rating was a stunning 2483 USCF and 2430 FIDE! And maybe most significantly, Schwarz will now be rated either very near 2200 or already above his goal.

Daniel, in the eyes of your teacher and friend, the title of National Master is both well deserved and overdue! Congratulations!

One other local junior did well in Agoura Hills. Hint: his first name also is Daniel. Kudos to 10 year old Daniel Naroditsky for sharing first place in Class A. He cruised through five rounds, winning four and drawing against co-champion Michael Schemm. All ye experts out there, watch out for the 10 year old coming to a tournament near you soon!

Tournament crosstables:

This article was written on Sunday, immediately after the final round. The USCF MSA section shows that Daniel Schwarz is now rated exactly 2200! Daniel Naroditsky, who recently turned 10 and tied for first with Michael Schemm of Seattle at Agoura Hills, went from 1944 to 1985.

3) Martinez woman sees all the right moves by Nargis Nooristani

The following article ran in the Contra Costa Times last week to promote a simul by Jessica Lauser in the Martinez City Council Chambers last Saturday.

When it comes to playing speed chess, Jessica Lauser, who is legally blind, sees moves that most of her opponents can't.

"There's power in this game," says the 25-year-old. "Being bigger, taller, faster, more coordinated -- it doesn't matter. I like being on even footing with everyone."
One of the nation's top 100 female speed chess players, "Chessica" says the game has helped her cope with her disability.

The Martinez resident was born three and a half months premature, which left her partially blind and asthmatic.

"I've always struggled to fit in because of my eyes," she said in a recent interview. "I couldn't do sports, I couldn't ride a bike."

With her vision slightly distorted in a way that she describes as "kind of like bad TV reception," the activities she pursued were academics and board games.

Lauser got her first taste of chess when she was 7 in an after-school program.

"I just played it like any other game," she said, "like 'Monopoly,' 'Parcheesi,' 'Go Fish.'"

It wasn't until she was 12 that she learned the myriad rules behind the board game.

Chess was a solace for a self-conscious seventh-grader who had moved to a new school and feared teasing.

Lauser walked into her new classroom, a room filled with the all the expected school necessities -- a chalkboard, books, desks. As she scanned her new surroundings, her gaze stopped on two chess sets.

"It's like running across an old friend. Like, 'Oh, hey. We've got to catch up.'"

When Lauser beat all the students who challenged her, she moved on and beat the teachers and then her relatives.

She became the champion of her seventh-grade class and then her eighth-grade class.

But when she decided to compete at 13, Lauser realized she still had a lot to learn.

"I thought I was good, but when I got into competition, I got killed."

Lauser wasn't going to let a bruised ego get in the way of a game that had so helped build her self-esteem.

She learned tactics and strategies, and she practiced.

Now a nationally rated competitor, the 2003 U.S. Open D-class co-champion, and 2003 U.S. Blind Championships second-place finisher, Lauser hopes one day to become a "grand master."

"It is attainable," she said confidently. "With hard work and determination, anything's possible."

4) East Bay Chess Club News

Bay Area Chess League - Liga! Season 2 begins January 28, 2006!

We are looking for more players for the Bay Area Chess League (Liga). The Liga begins with the first match on Saturday, January 28, 2006. Teams must have between 4 and 10 players, with teams playing one match against another team once a month for 5 months (until May 2006). There are still roster spots open on various teams. There are team and individual board prizes for participants; games will also be USCF rated. If you are interested, please contact us at! For more info, take a look at last season's results and this season's rules at

East Bay Chess Club Quads
Sunday, January 29th, 2006
Open to Players of all Ages and Strengths

How it Works: A three game USCF-rated tournament, in sections of four players each determined by USCF rating. Non-USCF members will be paired in separate unrated quads.

Entry fee: $15 if mailed before 1/22/06, $20 at site. $5 discount for EBCC Members
Prizes: $30 to the top finisher in each quad.
Registration/Check-in: 10-10:45 AM the day of the tournament.
Rounds: 11 AM, 2:30 PM, and 5:30 PM
Time control: G/90
Online info and signup:

5) Here and There

Hi John:
Appreciated all of your articles in various magazines on Igor.

Below is a game I played against him in Toronto on 7/30/85. My scoresheet lists this as Round 4, Board 7. I am guessing this was the Canadian Open, though not sure of that. I remember feeling after this game that I didn't understand it at all. I was in time trouble between moves 26 and 40.

I know I played him at least once before in Minnesota in November 1983, but I cannot find that scoresheet. Igor's play was always difficult for me; I could never predict his moves.

I. Ivanov -- A. Savage (Toronto, 1985)
1 Nf3 f5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 d6 4 d4 g6 5 0-0 Bg7 6 d5 0-0 7 Nd4 Na6 8 Nd2 Qe8 9 N2b3 Nb4 10 c4 c5 11 Nb5 Qd8 12 Bd2 Bd7 13 Nc3 Rb8 14 a3 Na6 15 Nc1 Nc7 16 Nd3 e5 17 de6 Bxe6 18 b3 b5 19 cb Nxb5 20 b4 Ne4 21 Nxe4 fe4 22 Nf4 Bf7 23 Bxe4 Bxa1 24 Qxa1 d5 25 Bg2 c4 26 a4 c3 27 Bc1 g5 28 ab gf 29 Qxc3 Rxb5 30 Qd4! (played instantly) Qb6 31 Qf4 Rb4 32 Qg5+ Qg6 33 Qxg6+ hg 34 Ba3 a5 35 Bxb4 ab 36 Rd1 Rd8 37 Rd4 b3 38 Rb4 d4 39 Be4 Kg7 40 f4 Re8 41 Bd3 Rd8 42 Kf2 Rh8 43 h4 Rd8 44 g4 Be6 45 Rb6 Bf7 46 Rb7 Kf8 47 g5 Rd6 48 Kg3 Rc6 49 h5 gh 50 f5 Rc1 51 Kf4 Rc5 52 Rb8+ Ke7 53 f6# 1-0

Best regards,
Allan Savage

Chicago Invitational A closed GM tournament took place in Chicago on 13-16 January. Canadian IM Pascal Charbonneau won the event, scoring a GM norm (his third - he should receive the title in Turin) and receiving the first prize of $750.

Final Standings:
1. IM Charbonneau (CAN) - 6/9
2-4. GM Mitkov (MKD), GM V.
Georgiev (MKD) and IM Benjamin
Finegold (USA) - 5½ and $292 each, etc

You can find all games posted at and final thoughts posted on

We are in the process now of planning the Spring Chicago FIDE Invitational and are giving serious consideration to having 2 sections - one section for GM/IM norms and one section for IM norms only.

Good Chess to All,

Sevan A. Muradian

Simultaneous Exhibition by FM Eric Schiller
Thursday, March 2 from 6:30-9:00pm

Barnes & Noble at Tanforan Shopping Center
1150 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA

Open to adults and children! FREE!!!

6) Upcoming Events

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.

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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