Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #283

   If you like the way someone plays a particular opening, check out what they play in other openings too. It could be that you've found a good model whose thinking accords with your own.

Nigel Davies

Last week's quote by Lasker was in reference to Akiva Rubinstein.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Elliott Liu  qualifies for US Championship by John Henderson
3) Jim Hurt Remembered
4) Here and There
5) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Club News

Experience triumphed over youth in the fifth round of the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon as veteran Victor Ossipov defeated Drake Wang to take sole possession of first place. Ossipov leads with 5 followed by NM Paul Gallegos at 4.5. Three rounds remain in the competition which takes a break tonight before resuming play the following Tuesday.

The Mechanics' has a long history of hosting simuls by top players going back over 100 years. Here are some of the ones from the 1950s, 60s and 70s not involving World Champions. Note these events often were organized by the late Guthrie McClain who would drive down to a Piatigorsky Cup or Lone Pine and make arrangements.

MI Simuls besides World Champions 1950s-1980s

Lodewijk Prins early 1950s???
John Purdy November 23, 1955 (+5, =3, -8)
Nicholas Rossolimo April 27, 1957 (+14, =2, -6)
Anthony Saidy August 14, 1965 ???
Bent Larsen August 19, 1966 Clock simul (+7, =0, -0)
August 20 (simul) (+32, =5, -6)
Larry Evans August 3, 1968 ???
Walter Browne March 12, 1970 ???
Svetozar Gligoric March 4, 1971 ???
Florin Gheorghiu August 23 1971 ???
Hans Ree September 17, 1971 ???
Alla Kushnir April 1975???
Tony Miles May 1980 (+16, -2)
Zsuzsa Polgar 1985???

Does anyone know when Alla Kushnir gave her simul at the MI? April of 1975 seems likely, right after Lone Pine. Confirmation and an exact date would be greatly appreciated for this simul as well as results for some of the others. Games from these events would also be most welcome.

2) Elliott Liu qualifies for US Championship by John Henderson

They'll be plenty of vocal support cheering on San Diego's Elliott Liu in the biggest challenge of his career next month, as the teen ace won through to the US Championship by capturing the Scholastic Champion of Champions' title at the weekend.

In the final, hosted on the Internet Chess Club (, Liu, 15, the 2005 US Cadet champion, beat the 2005 Denker High School champion, Zhi-Ya Hu, also 15, from Maryland, 1.5-0.5 to win the crown and with it the final qualifying spot for the US Championship.

Many believe the young San Diego master to be a true hero and a future role model for young aspiring players to look up to. He now takes a very public chessic leap from the scholastic stage onto the national stage, where he's now set to come face to face with 63 of the country's leading grandmasters and masters as they do battle for the famous national title once won by Bobby Fischer at 15.

Last year proved to a breakthrough year for Elliott. Invited to play in the U.S. Cadet Championship in Ohio of all the best players in the country below the age of 16, he won a dramatic playoff against Sarkis Agaian to take title and with it a four-year scholarship to the University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC), one of the US's leading chess colleges.

He became a member of the All American Youth Team last year and represented his country in the 2005 World Youth Championship in Belfort, France. Elliott is coached by local star Cyrus Lakdawala.

Zhi-Ya Hu - Elliott Liu
Scholastic Champion of Champions Final, (2)

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Bd3 d6 6 0-0 Nc6 7 Be3 Be7 8 Nc3 0-0 9 f4 Qb6 10 Ncb5 Qa5 11 c4 a6 12 Nc3 Nxd4 13 Bxd4 e5 14 Bf2 exf4 15 Nd5 Nxd5 16 exd5 Bf6 17 Qb3 Qd2 18 Bc2 Bg4 19 Rac1 Be2 20 Rfe1 Bd4 21 Bxd4 Qxd4+ 22 Kh1 Rae8 23 Qh3 g6 24 b3 f3 25 gxf3 Qf2 0-1

3) Jim Hurt Remembered

Hurt,J - Graham,D A96

9th Grand National -prelim, 1960

Notes by Hurt

1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.Nf3 d6 5.0-0 Be7 6.c4 0-0 7.Nc3 c6 8.Qc2 Qe8 9.e4 fxe4 10.Nxe4 e5 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Nfg5

White's plan is to prevent Black from developing his QN as long as possible and in the mean time to attack vigorously in the hope that his lead in development may result in a win..


It is true that 11...Nd7 would lose the exchange but Black could have answered White's threatened mate with ...Qg6 or 12...Bf5 13.Qb3 Qc8 The text weakens Black's f6 and h6.

13.Qc3 h6

Not an attractive move, but White was threatening 14.Qxe5 and the alternative 13...Bd8 14.Nd6 Qd7 (losing the e-pawn) or; 13...Nxe4 14.Nxe4 Bf6 (losing a move) are less attractive.

14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.Ne4 Bg7 16.b3 Qe7 17.a4 Rd8 18.Ba3 Qc7 19.Rfd1 Rxd1+

This exchange may seem premature, but Black has a definite plan in mind and the alternative ...Nd7 and ...Bf5 both lost at least a pawn.

20.Rxd1 Bf5 21.Bd6 Qd8

Surprise! The Black Queen pins the Bishop.


Counter-surprise! The White Queen pins the e-pawn ( 22...exf4 23.Qxg7+).


The QN finally moves. After [22...Bxe4 23.Bxe4 exf4 24.Qxg7+ Kxg7 25.Be5+ Qf6 26.gxf4 White wins the ending with ease.

23.Bxe5 Bxe5 24.fxe5 Qe7 25.Nd6 Nxe5 26.c5!

The winning move. white has the permanent threat of Nxb7 (threatening Bxc6) and the immediate threat of 27.Re1 winning the Knight.

26...Nf7 27.Re1 Qd7 28.Qf6 Kf8 29.Bf1 1-0

The Chess Correspondent , September 1960

4) Here and There

The following event had an average FIDE rating of 2629 and Hikaru's performance rating was 2752!

Cuernavaca Young Masters (February 2 - 11 / Cuernavaca, MEXICO) Final standings

1-2 Ponomariov, Vallejo Pons 6.5 3.- Nakamura 6 4.- Dominguez 5.5 5.- Bruzon 5 6.- Volokitin 4.5 7.- Cheparinov 4 8.- Karjakin 3.5 9.- Leon Hoyos 2 10.- Felgaer 1.5

MI member Wilmot McCutchen reports on chess in Orinda:

There is no organized Orinda chess club. Some of the aficionados meet at the Moraga Starbucks on Saturday mornings around 9:30 AM to noon to play blitz or lookat games. During the summer, on concert nights, they put out the giant chess set in the Moraga park, and there is always a lively team consultation game including players of all skill levels.

Last Newsletter information was given regarding the FIDE Presidential run of Bessel Kok. Below is a list of the countries that are listed as members on the FIDE site. Each country, irrespective of the number of chess players living in it, gets one vote. Curiously some of the country listed do not have a single player on the FIDE rating list. - I searched Mali and Laos and there may be others. Guernsey and Jersey each get the same representation as do the US and British Virgin Islands. Allowing these entities to continue their traditional participation in Olympiads seems right but giving them equal weight to Russia or Holland in voting doesn't seem right.

A Afghanistan , Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan
B Bahamas , Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi
C Cambodia , Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d`Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic
D Denmark , Dominican Republic
E Ecuador , Egypt, El Salvador, England, Estonia, Ethiopia
F Faroe Islands , Fiji, Finland, Former YUG Rep of Macedonia, France
G Georgia , Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guernsey
H Haiti , Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary
I Iceland , India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy
J Jamaica , Japan, Jersey, Jordan
K Kazakhstan , Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan
L Laos , Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg
M Macau , Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar
N Namibia , Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway
P Pakistan , Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico
Q Qatar
R Romania , Russia, Rwanda
S San Marino , Scotland, Serbia & Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria
T Tajikistan , Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan
U Uganda , Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan
V Venezuela , Vietnam
W Wales
Y Yemen
Z Zambia , Zimbabwe

5) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Institute

A.J. Fink Amateur - March 4 and 5

The 33rd annual People's Tournament
Open/Expert and A sections: Feb 18-20, 2006
Young People's: Feb 25-26, 2006
Hosted by the East Bay Chess Club

The Open/Expert and A sections will compete in the usual six round format on February 18-20. The Young People's will be held from February 25-26. If you register before February 4th, the entry fee is $45 for 1800+ and $25 for the Young People's. It goes up $5 for on-site registration.

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

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

SCHOLASTIC on February 25-26:
2 sections: K-3 and grades 4-12
Rounds: K-3: 11 AM, 12 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, on Saturday, Feb 25 ONLY
Rounds: Grades 4-12: 11 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM on both days (Feb 25 and 26)
Time control: Game in 30 minutes for K-3; Game in 1 hour for Grades 4-12

February 18-20 23rd Annual U.S. Amateur Team West 6-SS, 40/2, SD/1. Marina Hotel Port of Los Angeles San Pedro, 2800 Via Cabrillo Marina, San Pedro, CA 90731 Four-player teams plus optional alternate, average rating of four highest must be U/2200, rating difference between third and fourth player cannot exceed 1000 points. Dec. list used. EF: $116 per team if received by 2-16, $136 at site, under age 18 $84 by 2-12, $104 site. Trophies and 4 clocks to top 3 teams, U2100, U2000, U1800, U1600, U1400/unr. Trophies (one large, four small) to top college, industrial (if at least 3 teams), junior (under 18), senior (over 55), U1200. Clocks to best score each board and alternate and any 6-0. Gift certificate prizes for two best team names. Reg: 8-10 a.m. 2-18. Rds: 11-6, 11-6, 10-4:30. HR: $89, 310 514-3344, mention chess. On-line reservations: Reserve by Feb. 1 or rates may go up, mention chess. Free parking. Inf: John Hillery. Help in forming teams: On-line entries, advance entry list: No checks or credit card entries at door. Ent: SCCF, PO Box 205, Monterey Park, CA 91754. NS. NC. W. F. Download flyer at

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