Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #285

   Everything that he said was exceptionally interesting , but it was all untrue!

Bent Larsen on Jan Hein Donner (according to Viktor Korchnoi on page 153 of Chess is my Life)

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) 2006 US Championship
3) Peoples Open Revisited by Michael Aigner
4) The Right Move Ticket Announces Slate
5) Michael Rohde on Chess.FM
6) Here and There 
7) Upcoming Events

This weekend the MI will host its annual A.J. Fink Amateur, open to players rated under 2000, this weekend. Due to the upcoming US Championship Newsletter readers will be receiving both #285 and #286 today. The regular once a week schedule will resume on March 14.

1) Mechanics' Institute Club News

The Mechanics' Institute will be represented by four players in the 2006 US Chess Championship: MI Grandmaster-in -Residence Alex Yermolinsky, Six-time US Champion Walter Browne, former US Womens Champion Kamile Baginskaite and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, who will be making her debut. MI Chess Director John Donaldson and IM John Watson will provide live commentary. The event starts this Thursday. More information on this event can be found below.

Due to the Championship there will be no lecture this Wednesday or the following Tuesday-Wednesday. The MI's weekly lectures will return on Tuesday, March 14.

Continuing our look back at MI simuls Kerry Lawless contributes the following item from the PRECITA VALLEY CHESS HERALD Vol 2 No 12, December 1957:


Four clubs are now co-sponsoring the AL HOROWITZ EXHIBITION to take place the end of January or the beginning of February. The are Golden Gate, Mechanics' Institute, Oakland, and Precita Valley. Other clubs that may be interested, please write to Jim Reynolds, 117 Brewster St., San Francisco 10, or phone MI 9-5759. Where the exhibition will be held will be determined when the exact date is known.

Kerry adds: Jim Reynolds of the Precita Valley Chess Club convinced Al to come through San Francisco in a lengthy series of snail mail exchanges starting in '56. In one letter he relates how the PVCC hosted Al the night before with an attendance of only 35 people. He admitted the the MICC simul, with Henry Gross's help, was much better attended, with only one small incident to mar the event. In a letter to Al Horowitz dated, March 18, 1957, Jim Reynolds writes, "Mr. Konig did not feel hurt that you failed to see him or talk to him when you were at Mechanics' Institute. He told me he figured you were busy enough as it was--, that he would have introduced himself to you except that he knew from his own experience that a master on an exhibition is busy enough. I told Imre that you felt badly that you either failed to see him or recognize him since it had been sometime since you had last seen him." So, one more to add to your list. Al Horowitz on January 30, 1957.

Newsletter reader Richard Reich contributes the following game.

Zangerle,Karl - Larsen,Bent [E80]
Mechanics' Institute simul San Francisco, 08.1966

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.f3 c5

Typically Larsen, aggressive and unexpected.

6.d5 d6 7.Bd3 e6 8.Nge2 exd5 9.exd5 Nbd7 10.Bf4 Qe7 11.0-0 Nh5 12.Qd2! Nxf4 13.Qxf4 Ne5 14.Rad1! Nxd3 15.Rxd3 Re8 16.b3 16...Bf5 17.Rdd1 Be5 18.Qd2 Qh4 19.f4 Bg7 20.Ng3 Bd7 21.Nce4 Bg4 22.Rde1 Rad8 23.h3? Bd4+

23...f5!- Fritz9 - 24.hxg4 Bd4+ 25.Nf2 Qxg3 with the advantage.

24.Kh2 Bc8

Voluntarily- 24...b6 = Fritz9.


25.Nxd6 Rxe1 26.Qxe1 Rxd6 27.Qe8+ Kg7 28.Qxc8 and White is better - Fritz9.

25...Bg7 26.N3e4 h6?

But already there are difficulties on d6. 27.Nf3 Qh5?? but what else? If 27...Qe7 28.Nxc5 Qc7 with a clear edge for White- Fritz9.

28.Ng3 Qxf3 29.Rxf3 Rxe1 30.Qxe1 Bf6 31.Re3 Kf8 32.Ne4 Bd4 33.Re2 Bf5 34.Qa5

34.Nxd6 Fritz9.

34..Rxd6 35.Re8+ Kg7 36.Qe7 Rf6

36...Ra6 37.Qf8+ Kf6 38.Qh8#

37.Qf8+ Kh7 38.Qh8 1-0

GM Hans Ree writes about his simul at the MI:

I can't remember exactly, but September 17 1971 seems right. I played the Canadian Open from late August till early September and afterwards stayed a few weeks in San Francisco, and during these weeks I played the simul, which was kindly arranged by Koltanowski. If my memory is correct we spoke Dutch together and he hadn't lost anything of our language.

This series will be continued in future Newsletters.

2) 2006 US Championship

2006 US Championship Rules and regulations

Below find the details of the game time controls, prize fund, and other technical information regarding the tournament.


Wed, March 1   Chess in the classroom school visits (9am-1pm)
Opening Reception - not open to public (5:30-7:30pm)
Players Meeting (8-9pm) at NTC Promenade
Thu, March 2    Round 1
Fri, March 3   Round 2
Sat, March 4   Chess Fest & Kids Simul at NTC Promenade (10am-4pm)
Sun, March 5   Round 3
Mon, March 6   Round 4
Tue, March 7   Round 5
Wed, March 8   Round 6
Thu, March 9   Round 7
Fri, March 10   Round 8
Sat, March 11   Round 9
Sun, March 12   Championship Match (12pm)
Awards and closing ceremony (5-7pm)

Time Control

Playing rules will be FIDE. This describes the amount of time the players have available. Each player starts with 100 minutes on the clock for the first 40 moves. After 40 moves a player receives 50 more minutes for the next 20 moves. After 60 total moves each player receives an additional 10 minutes for the remaining moves of the game. In addition, each player receives an increment of 30 seconds per move completed (the Fischer System). DGT clocks will be used. (In shorthand we write this time control 40/100'+30", 20/50'+30", g10'+30".)


The 2006 Championship will be run in two preliminary sections of nine rounds and 32 players -- 25 men and seven women in each section. Pairings will be made using the February 2006 USCF. Rating Supplement. Each section will be constructed to be approximately equal in strength as follows.

  • The 50 players will be ranked by rating from one through 50.
  • Players one through 42 as well as women one through 14 will be allocated by ranking between the two sections as follows:
Section A

1. 1
2. 4
3. 5
4. 8
5. 9
6. 12
7. 13
8. 16
9. 17
10. 20
11. 21
12. 24
13. 25
14. 28
15. 29
16. 32
17. 33
18. 36
19. 37
20. 40
21. 41
22. W2
23. W3
24. W6
25. W7
26. W10
27. W11
28. W14
Section B

1. 2
2. 3
3. 6
4. 7
5. 10
6. 11
7. 14
8. 15
9. 18
10. 19
11. 22
12. 23
13. 26
14. 27
15. 30
16. 31
17. 34
18. 35
19. 38
20. 39
21. 42
22. W1
23. W4
24. W5
25. W8
26. W9
27. W12
28. W13
  • Players 43 through 50 will then be divided between the two groups in a manner that best equalizes the average ratings of the two sections.
  • Pairings will be done by WinTD software using USCF pairing rules as well as USCF February ratings.

Players receive one point for a win, a half point for a draw, and no points for a loss. (Universal chess scoring system.) The Swiss system is a pairing method that determines how the players are matched against one another. Players with the same number of points will go head to head each round.

After nine rounds the top player from each section will move into a two-game rapid-chess final match to be played on the afternoon of Sunday, March 12. The top woman in each section will likewise progress to a two-game rapid chess finals match played earlier on the same day. In the event that two or more players are tied for first place in a section (overall or women’s category), qualification will be determined by tie-breaks.

Tie-breaks for qualification to the finals, if needed, shall be in the following order:
1. Modified Median
2. Solkoff
3. Sonnenborn Berger
4. Kashdan
5. Armagedon Playoff

Prize Fund

Place Overall Total prizes at this level
Overall 1st $25,000 $25,000
Overall 2nd $17,000 $17,000
Sec. 2nd $11,600 $23,200
Sec. 3rd $6,600 $13,200
Sec. 4-5th $5,175 $20,700
Sec. 6-7th $4,500 $18,000
Sec. 8-16th $3,200 $57,600
Sec. 17-24th $2,500 $40,000
Sec. 25-30th $2,200 $26,400
Women 1st $12,500 $12,500
Women 2nd $9,200 $9,200
Women Sec. 2nd $6,300 $12,600
Total Prize Fund   $253,600

Roberts Family Bent Larsen Prize

A $5,000 prize, as well as recognition as the "Bent Larsen Prize Winner," will again go to the most combative player at this year's event; the participant whose performance stands out for eschewing early draws and for fighting hard throughout the event. The winner or winners will be chosen by Jim Roberts in association with the organizers of the US Championship.

3) Peoples Open Revisited by Michael Aigner

Is there life after the incessant banging of the bongo drums has been silenced? Chess enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the answer is an emphatic "yes!"

Thanks to 11th hour efforts by the directors of the East Bay Chess Club, the annual People's Chess Tournament was held for the 33rd consecutive year. Traditionalists will complain that the junior high school atmosphere at the EBCC was simply not the same as the grand Pauley ballroom overlooking Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley. However, this did not matter to the 111 players who showed up over two consecutive weekends in Berkeley. The respectable turnout surprised even the organizers, who increased the prize fund above the advertised amount.

Unfortunately, this tradition almost did not continue when it became clear that the tournament would not be held at the University of California as in past years. The event organizer over many years has been the student activities board (SUPERB) of the Associated Students of the University of California. They were able to secure the spectacular venue at the Martin Luther King student union for a cheaper rental fee than an outside group such as CalChess could obtain. Unfortunately, this year SUPERB declined to participate, citing tighter spending brought on by recent state budget cuts in higher education.

Up to mid January, it was unclear whether there would even be a People's Tournament in 2006. Various local chess leaders worked behind the scenes in an unsuccessful effort to convince SUPERB to change its decision. The breakthrough came when David Pruess, Andy Lee and Vinay Bhat of the EBCC offered their site as a venue for the tournament. These three young adult masters grew up playing in the annual events at Sproul Plaza and were unwilling to let tradition die so easily--even without the bongo drums.

The only catch was that the tournament would have to be split over three weekends: Class B and Reserve on February 11-12; Open and Class A on February 18-20; and the Young People's scholastic event on February 25-26. Even with an additional upstairs room, the capacity of the EBCC was limited to about 70 players each weekend--a far cry from the 200+ that easily fitted into Pauley ballroom each year. One benefit of the multiple weekend schedule was that some players could enter more than once, a feature that a few serious chess nerds took advantage of!

Play began on February 11 with the under 1800 rated divisions. A total of 51 players attended, about half of whom were juniors. Veteran Ian Jones cruised through the competition in the B section, yielding only a half point in round 3 to the infamous Mr. Bye. The critical last round game pitted Jones at 3.5/4 against the perfect score of teenager Ted Belanoff. Belanoff ended up sharing second place with Brendan MacIntyre.

Four individuals shared top honors at 4.0/5 in the Reserve (under 1600) section: Rahul Desirazu, Tejas Mulye, Vishal Dasari and Michael Shaw. The first three were undefeated, picking up either two draws or one draw and a half point bye. The top board in the final round pitted teenagers Mulye against Dasari in a hard fought draw. Austin Lloyd scored 3.5/5 to take the under 1400 prize.

The competition became more intense on February 18 as 60 players showed up for the start of the over 1800 rated divisions. Youth was served in the A section as it came down to a battle between two of the state's top 10th graders: Daichi Siegrist and Marvin Shu. Siegrist drew in the first round against 1342 rated Ryan Tang, a teammate of Shu at Saratoga High School. However, Shu stumbled in round 2, barely managing to draw a pawn down against Ewelina Krubnik. That set up a showdown in round 5, which Siegrist won convincingly. Consequently Siegrist took clear first with 5.5/6 while Shu earned clear second place with 4.5/6.

Last but not least, the Open section featured five masters: state K-12 champion Nicolas Yap, chess author Eric Schiller, Mike Pearson, Ben Dean-Kawamura and this author. Surprisingly there were only three games between these five heavy hitters: Aigner defeated Dean-Kawamura in round 3 but lost a miniature to Pearson in round 5; then Yap defeated Pearson in the money round. The difference in the standings came in games against the top experts as Yap lost to Daniel Malkiel and Pearson lost to Kimani Stancil. This author, living by the motto "it is better to be lucky than to be good," survived tactical blunders against both Stancil and Malkiel to sweep the experts. Aigner took clear first with 5.0/6 while Yap shared second place at 4.5/6 with expert Uri Andrews, who defeated Dean-Kawamura in the final round.

Although many juniors had successful results in Berkeley, two noteworthy side stories came with the milestones achieved by a pair of nationally #1 ranked juniors. Playing in the Open section, 10 year old Daniel Naroditsky broke 2000 USCF with an impressive 3.5/5 result. He showed no fear of talented teenagers as he drew master Yap and defeated expert Sam Shankland. Not to be outdone, second grader Nicholas Nip scored 4.0/6 in the A section, losing just once despite playing up 200 rating points almost every round. His rating shot up over 120 points, from 1542 to 1668!

Thanks to the East Bay Chess Club for hosting the People's Tournament and continuing the tradition for a 33rd year! Jamie Sawhill and CalChess President Richard Koepcke shared the TD responsibilities for the 1800+ sections over the 3-day President's Day weekend. One more weekend remains for this event: the Young People's scholastic tournament will take place on February 25-26 (K-3 on February 25 only).

tournament crosstables:

photos by Aigner:

4) The Right Move Ticket Announces Slate

The Right Move announces its ticket for the forthcoming elections - FIDE notifies TRM of acceptance of ticket nominations. On the 21st of February 2006, and well before the announced deadline by FIDE of 2nd March, Dr Eric Keyzer, a partner from the legal firm, Allen & Overy, in Amsterdam, presented the paperwork of the five candidatesforming the electoral ticket, for the Right Move, to the FIDE Offices in Athens.See letter of notification by Dr Eric Keyzer here: ALLEN & OVERY In line with the Electoral Regulations of the FIDE Statutes, these Candidates will contest the elections in Torino 2006, as a combined ticket of five people:

Bessel Kok (Holland) - President
Ali Nihat Yazici (Turkey) - Deputy President
Julio Ingolotti (Paraguay) - Vice President
Panupand Vijjuprabha (Thailand) - General Secretary
Geoffrey Borg (Malta) - Treasurer

Profiles of Mr Panupand Vijjuprabha and other executive team members will be presented over the next few days. The Right Move Team has also got another very valid team member, Mr Leo Battesti (France) who will be Vice President responsible for the development and popularization of chess.Mr Morten Sand, as FIDE Vice President, confirmed that all documents and nominations were in line with FIDE Regulations. The election has officially begun!

The confirmation by Morten Sand can be found here: FIDE We now await to see what other tickets will be presented by the 2nd March 2006, as well as which candidates will present themselves for the presidency of the continents. We look forward to any comments, feedback or support statements.The Right Move.... For a bona FIDE Website:

5) Michael Rohde on Chess.FM

Hi folks:

This week's guest on the internet radio show "Chess and Books with Fred Wilson" will be will be one of America's most popular grandmasters-also chess author & teacher- GM MICHAEL ROHDE

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.

You can access it at the following website:, ONLY IF YOU ARE AN ICC MEMBER (a decision with which I disagree). However, if you visit you can sign up for a one week FREE trial membership, listen to my show that week, and access the other good stuff on while you're at it!

"Fred's next guest Tuesday evening, Feb. 28th, 2006 will be the popular six-time US Championship participant and winner of numerous major open tournaments (including both the US & World Opens), chess author and teacher Grandmaster MICHAEL ROHDE. Michael has written the award-winning column "Game of the Month" in Chess Life since 1991, and has been a major contributor to the superb interactive instructional website Additionally, Michael is a very experienced chess coach, and webmaster of Michael is ready, willing, able & eager to give his US CHAMPIONSHIP FORECAST, discussing the varied styles, strengths and weaknesses of both the favorites and the "dark horses" competing in this year's tremendously strong US title event beginning in San Diego on March 2nd. Please send good questions for GM Michael Rohde about his peers, his own career & upcoming writing projects-and, also chess in education-to".

Best in chess, Fred Wilson

6) Here and There

Congratulations to MI Grandmaster-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky on the publication of his second book, Chess Explained: The Classical Sicilian. Published by Gambit Publications ( the 111 page paperback covers the Richter-Rauzer, Sozin and other White tries after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6.

Frank Berry sends news of a small FIDE invitational held at Shading Concepts in Stillwater, Oklahoma on February 11th and 12th . Directed by Alex Relyea, the event was won by Sergey Galant with Tom Braunlich second and Jim Berry third. Official site:

MI Chess Director John Donaldson won the 14th David Collyer Memorial held February 25-26 in Spokane with a score of 5-0.

7) Upcoming Events

The A.J. Fink Amateur Championship

March 4-5, 2006

6 Round Swiss

Open to all rated under 2000 USCF


ROUNDS: Saturday, March 4th: 10 am, 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 6 pm Sunday, March 5th: 10 am, 3:00 pm

LATE REGISTRATION: from 9:00 to 9:45 am on March 4th.

TIME CONTROL: Saturday, March 4th, Rounds 1 - 4: G/1 Sunday, March 5th, Rounds 5 and 6 30/90 followed by SD/30

ENTRY FEE: $35 by February 28. $40 after. $5 discount to MI members

PRIZES: ($1200 b/40)
Overall: $300-$200-$100. Best Under 1800: $125/70. Best Under 1600: $115/65.
Best Under 1400: $105/50. Best Unrated: $70.

All lower-rated players are eligible to win higher class prizes.

Mechanics' Institute

Max Wilkerson - March 18
Imre Konig - April 15
Charles Powell - May 6

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