Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #288

    I don't pay attention to Fritz's suggestions... it's only a machine...

Emory Tate

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Peter Manetti (1939-2006) by Sam Sloan
3) Peter Tamburro on Chess.FM
4) Ivanov-Osbun
5) Remembering Kolty
6) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Club News

FM Ron Cusi won the 6th Annual Max Wilkerson G/45 held March 18 at the MI with a score of 5-0. Tying for second at 4 in the 33-player field were Batsaikhan Tserendorj, Adarsh Konda, Michael Zhong and Jeff McCann. The event, which was rated full K (the USCF recently ended the 1/2 K option), was directed by Anthony Corrales.

Newsletter #90 had the following report on the Seattle vs. San Francisco telegraph match played in May of 1899 which featured several prominent names including Dr. Lovegrove, one of the top San Francisco players for several decades, and W.A. Dickey. The latter is the subject of a monograph by MI member Robert Moore entitled W.A. Dickey: Alaska's First Champion. Dickey is perhaps best known for rediscovering, naming and estimating within 300 feet the height of Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America.

MI staffer Stephen Brandwein recently unearthed a game from the match that does not show Dickey in his best form.

Lovegrove,Walter - Dickey,William
Ruy Lopez C84
SF-Seattle Cable Match, 1899

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 Be7 7.Qe2 d5?

7...f5 or 7...b5 need to be played.

8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Nxe5 Bd7?

Relatively better was 9...Bb7 10.Re1 0-0 11.f3 Nd6 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.Qxe7 Re8 14.Qxd8 Raxd8 15.Rxe8+ Rxe8 when Black's development edge gives him some, but not enough, compensation for the pawn.

10.Re1 Nf6

As 10...0-0 11.f3 Nf6 (11...Nd6 12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Qxe7 Rae8 14.Qxd7 Rxe1+ 15.Kf2 Rxc1 16.Qxc6) 12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Qxe7 Rae8 14.Qb4 wins a piece foir White.

11.Bg5 h6 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Nxd7 Qxd7 14.Nc3 Kf8 15.Qf3 Rg8 16.Nd1 Qg4 17.Qxg4 Rxg4 18.Ne3 Rg5 19.f4 Rg6 20.g3 Bd6 21.Kf2 Rb8 22.Rab1 h5 23.Kf3 a5 24.c3 Re8 25.Re2 Re4 26.Rbe1 Rg8 27.Nf5 Rxe2 28.Rxe2 Rg6 29.b4 axb4 30.cxb4 Rg8

30...Bxb4 31.Rb2.

31.a4 h4 32.g4 Rh8 33.a5 Kg8 34.Re8+ 1-0

San Francisco Chronicle, June 11, 1899

A match by telegraph was played in May between the leaders of chess of San Francisco and Seattle, which proved a most interesting contest. Seven games were played, with the result that San Francisco won three games, drew three and lost one. J. M. Babson was the fortunate Seattleite to have a victory fall on his shoulders. He played a very brilliant game. The result of the match was not as disappointing to Seattle as figures would indicate. San Francisco is supposed to be much stronger in chess.

Table No. 1- J. M. Babson, Seattle, defeated W. J. Manson. San Francisco, in a King's Gambit Declined . Manson resigned on the fifty-first move. Babson's attack was very brilliant and sustained throughout the entire play.

Table No. 2- C. B. Bagley, Seattle, played a draw with Rodney Kendrick of San Francisco, who is well known on Puget Sound. The game was a Queen's Gambit Declined.

Table No. 3- A. M. Cadien, Seattle, was defeated by Oscar Samuels, San Francisco in a Ruy Lopez opening. Mr. Cadien resigned on the fifty-eighth move.

Table No. 4- W. A. Dickey, Seattle, was defeated by W. R. Lovegrove, San Francisco, in a Ruy Lopez game.

Table No. 5- Frank Steele, Seattle, and A. J. Kuh, San Francisco, played a draw in a Sicilian Defense. Steele had much the better of the ending.

Table No. 6- J. W. Fitts, George Linder and Dr. C. W. Baldwin in consultation against Marshall, Cowdrey and Dolan of San Francisco, in consultation. The Seattle contingent resigned. The game was called a French Defense.

Table No. 7- R. W. Barto, A. C. King and E. Lerch, Seattle, played a draw with Yerworth, Lyons and Mitchell, San Francisco. The game was a Queen's Gambit Declined.

American Chess Magazine, July 1899

Former MI member Michael Morris of Portland, Oregon, sends in the following two simul games.

Larsen,Bent - Goodall, Thornally, Morris (in consultation)
King's Gambit C34
San Francisco (MI) simul Mechanics' Institute, 1966

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 g5 5.Bc4 h6 6.c3 Ne7 7.h4 g4 8.Ng1 d5 9.Bb3 Qd6 10.e5 Qg6 11.Bxf4 Qe4+ 12.Ne2 g3 13.0-0 Bg4 14.Nxg3 Qxf4 15.Rxf4 Bxd1 16.Bxd1 Ng6 17.Rg4 h5 18.Rg5 Bh6 19.Rxh5 Bc1 20.Rxh8+ Nxh8 21.a4 Bxb2 22.Ra2 Bc1 23.Bf3 1-0

Evans,Larry - Morris,Mike
French C10
San Francisco (MI) simul San Francisco, 1968

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bd3 b6 8.0-0 Bb7 9.Qe2 Be7 10.b3 0-0 11.Bb2 Qd5 12.c4 Qh5 13.d5 Bd6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.h3 exd5 16.cxd5 Bxd5 17.Nd2 Qe5 18.Qxe5 fxe5 19.Rac1 f5 20.Rfd1 e4 21.Bc4 Bxc4 22.Nxc4 Rad8 23.Nxd6 Rxd6 24.Rxd6 cxd6 25.Rc6 Rf6 26.Kf1 Kg7 27.Ke2 d5 28.Rc8 d4 29.Rc7+ Rf7 30.Rc8 h5 31.h4 Kf6 32.g3 Ke5 33.Rh8 Rc7 34.Kd1 d3 35.Rxh5 Rc2 36.Ke1 Re2+ 37.Kf1 Rxa2 38.Ke1 Kd4 39.Rxf5 Kc3 40.Kf1 d2 0-1

2) Peter Manetti (1939-2006) by Sam Sloan

I have finally been able to reach a family member and I have some corrections in my obituary of Peter Manetti that ran in Newsletter #287.

Peter Manetti died at 2:47 AM on Friday, March 10, 2006 (not on March 8 as I originally reported). He died in a home for assisted living in Sebastapol, California, not in his own home in Guerneville. He has been cremated. He was born in 1939 not in 1940 in Germany not in New Jersey and his original name was Schilling not Schumbacher. His mother changed his name from the German name of Schilling to the Italian name of Manetti after they arrived in America. His wife was Generosa, not Genarosa.

3) Peter Tamburro on Chess.FM

Hi folks:

This week's guest on the internet radio show "Chess and Books with Fred Wilson" will be will be the terrific chess author & teacher PETER J. TAMBURRO, JR.

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 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 guest for Tuesday, March 21st, 2006 will be the terrific chess coach and author, PETER J. TAMBURRO, JR. Pete is not only the author of the highly-regarded instructional book, "Learn Chess From the Greats", but has also created one of the most enjoyable and successful instructional internet chess programs, "Openings for Amateurs", which can be seen and heard every week on Chess.FM. Also, you are strongly encouraged to visit and check out "Pete's Forum-Openings for Amateurs" which is one of the most interesting teaching sites on the internet! As both Pete and Fred have been studying, playing, and enjoying chess for over 40 years, and are close personal friends, you are encouraged to email questions, for either or both of them, on any aspect of chess, before the show. Send your questions to, and include ones about chessbook collecting as Fred will be discussing this growing hobby for about 30 minutes before Pete comes on".

Best in chess, Fred Wilson

4) Ivanov-Osbun

NM Erik Osbun kindly shares his two games with the late Igor Ivanov Here is the first game with annotations by Osbun. The second game will run in the next Newsletter.


The first game with Ivanov had somewhat the same effect on me as related by Alan Savage ( ED - see Newsletter #280). It was played in the 16th Annual People's, Berkeley, Feb. 18, 1989, in round 1 at board 2. Since I lost, I wrote some notes covering "what went wrong?"

White: Igor Ivanov Black: Erik Osbun

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Rb1 a5

I had misgivings about the quality of this move after the game. However, it's O.K.,because after White achieves b4 the exchange ...ab gives Black control of the a-file.


Quite good is the alternative 6.e3, and if 6...f5 7.d3 f5 8.Nge2 Nf6 9.0-0 0-0 10.a3 Be6 11.b4 ab 12.ab, and if now 12...Qd7 13.b5 Nd8 14.f4 +=, and 12...Rb8 13.b5 Ne7 14.Ba3 b6 15.Qb3 +=. However, Black should reply to 6. e3 with 6...d6 7.d3 Nge7 8.Nge2 0-0 9.0-0 Bg4 10.h3 Be6=.

6...d6 7.0-0 f5

Again misgivings after the game, because the move is apparently less conservative than 7...Nge7 or 7...Nf6. However, the move is O.K.

8.d3 Nf6 9.a3 0-0 10.b4 ab 11.ab Nh5

? A bad move, but one with which I had done well in the past. Old habits die hard, largely because Igor Ivanov played better almost according to latest theory. Black's best is 11...h6 12.b5 Ne7 13.Bb2 ( or 13.Nd2 g5 14.Bb2 c6 as in Kolvik - Kamsky, U.S.A., 1989, or 13.Qb3 g5 14.Ba3 Be6 as in Seirawan - Kamsky, Tilburg,1990 ) Be6 14.Ra1 Qd7 as in Sunye - Zapata, Mexico, 1994. During the game I was afraid of 11...h6 12.b5 Ne7 13.b6!? c6? 14.c5 dc 15.Qb3+ Kh7 16.Na4 ( or 16.Nxe5 N7d5 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Nf3 ), which I thought to favor White. After 13.b6!?, a stronger reply is 13...c5 as occurred in an earlier game of mine with Kurt Luoto!


Strongest. An earlier game of mine with Roy Hoppe went 12.Nd5 f4, and two games with Jerry Hanken went 12.Bg5 Qe8??and ( without ...a5 and a3 ) 10.Bg5 Qd7.

12.. Ne7 13.Bb2

13.Qb3 Kh8 14.Ba3 Rb8 15.c5 d5 16.c6! as in Nogueiras - Valdes, Cuban Champ., 1993, is supposed to be stronger. However, my earlier game with Kurt Luoto continued 13.Qb3 h6 14.Nd2 Kh7 15.Nd5 f4 16.Ba3 Rb8 17. Nxe7 Qxe7 18.b6 c5, and Black was O.K. Possibly White's play can be improved.


? Committing, probably 13...h6 to control g5 is better.

14.Ra1 Bg4

[ ? It's better to exchange Rooks now, and then protect the King.

15.Qb3 Qd7 16.Rxa8

! Gives White's tactics a jump start.

16...Rxa8 17.Ng5

Probably decisive, I overlooked its strength on g5.


? Weakens, but Black has big problems.

18.h3 Be6 19.Na4

! This seals Black's doom. He must give up the exchange.

19... Rxa4 20.Qxa4 fg 21.Qa8+ Qc8 22.Ra1 gf+ 23.Kxf2 Bd7 24.bc bc 25.Ne4 Black resigns.

5) Remembering Kolty

The late George Koltanowski was one of the most important figures in American chess from his arrival in the United States in 1939 to his passing in 2000. A recent exchange between NMs Bob Burger and Tom Dorsch gives some insights into Kolti's dealings with other major figures in Bay Area chess.

Bob Burger writes:

There were 'differences' between Kolty and some chess organizers in the Bay Area during the period 1950-1980, which mainly had to do with the fact that Kolty had to make a living at chess and not act as an amateur. Many of us, Henry Gross, Val Zemitis, Connor Schroth, and yours truly, worked for his publication, Chess in Action. Then Kolty led a European trip with Gross, Mac McClain, and others throughout Europe, meeting other U.S. players in Europe, such as Bisguier, to play against various European clubs. This was about 1953. It turned out to be disastrous for relations between Gross, McClain, and Kolty -- over commitments. etc.

So it was that when SF hosted the U.S. Open in 1961, Kolty was simply shut out. Mac thought this was water under the bridge, but Henry held a grudge over the years. It's all too sad, but it was money that caused it all. By the time of the international tournaments that Neil Falconer organized under MI auspices in the 1990s, Kolty was warmly welcomed back and acted as tournament director.

Having worked with Kolty closely over the years (I did a recording for him, "Kolty Teaches Chess," and videotaped a sort of memoir at his apartment in SF, which Jim Eade financed), and I understood completely that Kolty needed his own organization to make a living. He did a magnificent blindfold simul at the Fairmount Hotel about 1960 (sequential, not truly simul), and continued to the end to maintain his title of world's blindfold champion, though many contested the details.

Nothing is sadder than resentments over supposed slights. Kolty was a true champion, as was Gross. In retrospect, I think it was Henry who should have shown more understanding. Quite incidentally, Mac and Kolty shared a birthday, and Mac had the good grace to call him most years I remember, on that day.

Perhaps there is a moral in this for us all.

Tom Dorsch responds:


Thanks so much for this explanation.

I've heard these stories about the arrangements for the simul and the European trip from Kolty many times. I believe he also regretted these misunderstandings later in life. It was delightful that an accommodation was possible eventually and that he was welcomed back for the MI international tournaments organized by Falconer, Eade, and Pinto. This recognition meant a lot for him. In fact, he worked very well with Max Wilkerson after that, and endeavored to obtain the IA title for Max, although some jealousy at the national level evidently complicated those arrangements.

Besides the first simul and the European trip, there was also the match with Bagby, which was fraught with clashes between two men of notorious self-importance.

His claim to the world's blindfold title was a good one. The two events that claim to have "broken" the title, the one by Najdorf in Argentina and the one by Fleisch in Hungary, were scrupulously researched by Kolty. It turns out that Najdorf was allowed to record moves, and that a number of Fleisch's opponents resigned immediately. Kolty's effort in Edinborough, 34 boards on his 34th birthday, was quite legitimate, although it must be admitted that the strength of his opposition was very weak compared to the opponents of Alekhine when he played 32 boards. But the feat of memory was indeed exceptional, and the nfact that nobody else has tried it since testifies to the level of difficulty.

In fact, he almost single-handedly destroyed sans voir chess with that feat. It had been a regular staple of master repertoires since at least the middle of the nineteenth century, and many famous masters made it part of their exhibitions. After the record reached 34 games, nobody was willing to continue to attempt it.

Kolty liked to say he was paid one thousand pounds sterling, a hefty sum in 1937, and it made him one of the richest chessplayers in the world.

Everyone who knew Kolty knew that he could be very difficult. Part of the problem was that few understood the depth of his hearing loss, and many times his brusque attitude reflected the fact that he had no idea what was said to him. But he was always a consummate professional.

When it came to things like including notices in his column, he did all he could to make it happen. When there was a lapse, it was because not everyone understood that he routinely made up his columns three or four months in advance.


6) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Institute

Walter Lovegrove Senior - April 1 and 2
Imre Konig - April 15
Charles Powell - May 6

1st San Francisco Classic

March 25-26, 2006 (2-day) and March 26 only (1-day)

PLACE: University of San Francisco, 2310 Fulton St. From 880, take the 9th St. exit toward CIVIC CENTER, 9TH ST becomes Hayes St, turn on Gough St, turn on Fell St, turn on Divisadero St, turn on Fulton St. Limited Parking is available. Alternate Options: Bart Station-Civic Center, take the #5 Muni toward Ocean Beach and get off at Fulton and Clayton (Drops off right in front). Buses near include (#5, #31, #38). For exact location, see map at for UC & ED Buildings.

EVENT & SCHEDULE: Two sections: Expert (above 1600) and Amateur (U1600) in a one or two-day schedule. USCF rated four-round Swiss. Ratings will be based only on the Feb 2006 USCF rating list. Registration: 3/25 - 10:00 am - 10:30 am. 3/26 - 8:30am - 9:00am. Rounds: 2-day: 3/25 - 11 & 4:00, 3/26 - 12:45 & 5, 1-day: 3/26 - 10:15, 11:30, 12:45, & 5. (1-day and 2-day events merge in round 3) Time controls: 2-day, 30/90 G/30 all rounds. 1-day, Rounds 1-2, G/30; Rounds 3-4, 30/90, G/30.

ENTRY FEE: $39 postmarked by 3/17/2006; $44 postmarked after 3/17/2006; $49 on-site. Special entry: 1st time USCF and entry fee $74 postmarked by 3/17/2006, $79 postmarked after 3/17/2006; $84 on-site. IMs/GMs free. USCF membership required. Entrants may play up one section for $10. Reentry after round 2 of the 2-day schedule into the 1-day schedule: $20.

BYES: ½ point byes available in any round and must be requested before the start of round 1. Maximum one ½ point bye per entry.

PRIZES: Expert: 1st - $300 & trophy, 2nd - $150 *U2000: 1st - $100 *U1800 - $50

Amateur (U1600): 1st - $300 & trophy, 2nd - $150 *U1400: 1st - $100 *U1200 - $50

Overall prize fund based on 40 paid adult entries. Prize fund and/or number of prizes will be increased or decreased based on total entries in each section NOTES: Unrated players ineligible for asterisked (*) prizes. Prizes will be paid out upon the completion of the tournament. Trophy tie-break information on-site (based on USCF rules).

OTHER: Bring chess clocks; very few provided!! Registration will close as scheduled to allow round 1 to start on time. Late entries will be given a ½ point bye or paired against another late entry at the TD's discretion. No computer entries accepted. Wheelchair access to site. USCF rated. There will be a full concession stand inside.

MORE INFO: E-mail:


Name: USCF ID # Rating: .

Address: Expiration Date: .

City & State: Zip: Phone: ( ) - .

E-mail Address: Requested ½ point bye (if any), round .

Circle the section being entered: ? Expert ? Amateur

Mark all that apply:

2-day: $39 postmarked by 3/17/2006 , $44 postmarked after 3/17/2006; $49 on-site

1-day: $39 postmarked by 3/17/2006 , $44 postmarked after 3/17/2006; $49 on-site

USCF Membership: $49, Adult; $36, Senior; $25, Youth (19 & under); $13, Economy Scholastic (14 & under)

Special entry:1st time USCF & entry fee $74 postmarked by 3/17/2006, $79 after 3/17/2006; $84 on-site

Play up one section for $15.


TOTAL (Make checks payable to Jason Gurtovoy)

Mail entries to: 2305 Golden Gate Avenue Hayes Healy Rm #706 San Francisco, CA 94118

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