Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #307

"Being a chess player is much more like being an artist. It's a bohemian life, and I could have gone that way. But I am happy I chose to pursue economics. Why did I give up chess? The reason was threefold: I wanted to do something important with my life; I didn't want to travel so much; and I didn't think it was great for my social life. Then, of course, I became an academic economist, which seemed to share the same three faults."

GM Kenneth Rogoff, Director of the IMF's Research Department, speaking about his career in an interview in November 2001.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess News
2) Bobby Fischer has been reinstated in the USCF
3) FIDE Candidates Matches 
4) Dr. Alexey Root on Chess.FM
5) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

The Mechanics' Institute team for the US League, which starts a week from this Wednesday, is

1. IM Josh Friedel
2. IM Vince McCambridge
3. IM Vinay Bhat
4. IM David Pruess
5. IM-elect Dmitry Zilberstein
6. NM Mark Pinto
7. Sam Shankland
8. Daniel Naroditsky

with John Donaldson serving as team captain. League rules require that teams average no more than 2400.5 so the first five will divide duties on boards 1-3 and numbers 5-8 on board 4.

Zachary Cohn and Jason Gurtoway divided top honors in the 2nd Annual Bernardo Smith Amateur held August 19-20. Tying for second, half a point behind the winner's 5-1 score, were Ewelina Krubnik and Steve Liu. 36 players competed in the event directed by Anthony Corrales and John Donaldson.

Former World Champion Boris Spassky and his wife Marina will be guests of the Mechanics' Institute from September 28 to October 3. During this time Spassky will give a clock simul, lectures, answer questions, work with junior players and sign books. He will give a clock simul on Saturday, September 30 on 25 boards. Cost for the simul will be $100 (The same as the past two years in Reno). The simul starts at 2:00 PM. There are only 25 spots which will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis.

The Paul Vayssie Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon starts this evening. All those who enter this TNM also have the benefit of a free lecture by Boris Spassky on Tuesday night, October 3 from 5:15 to 6:15.

2) Bobby Fischer has been reinstated in the USCF

At a meeting of the USCF Executive Board in Chicago on Monday August 14, 2006, Bobby Fischer was reinstated as a member of the United States Chess Federation.

The motion by new Executive Board Member Sam Sloan provided that Executive Board motion EB 02-40, that had passed in 2002 by the Objections Procedure without a formal vote by the board, was vacated and reversed. Since that motion had expelled Bobby Fischer from membership because of his statements on 9/11, this means that Fischer is a USCF member again.

The vote was passed by 4-1-2. Voting in favor were Sam Sloan, Bill Goichberg, Beatriz Marinello and Robert Tanner. Joel Channing voted against. Don Schultz and Randy Hough abstained.

Beatriz Marinello, speaking by speaker phone, made an especially strong statement as to why Bobby Fischer should be reinstated.

At issue was EB 02-40, which was reported in the 2002 Delegates Call but not in the minutes and which provided the following at

"The US Chess Federation informs Grandmaster Robert J. Fischer that, because of his deplorable public remarks in support of terrorist actions, his right to membership in the United States Chess Federation is cancelled. The Interim Executive Director is asked to write to FIDE and to the US Chess Trust about this action and about the public remarks of Mr. Fischer, with a request that those organizations join with the USCF in condemnation of these remarks." PASSED BY THE OBJECTIONS PROCEDURE

Among the reasons the reasons given in support of the motion were that Fischer has the right of Freedom of Speech, plus the Objections Procedure is intended only for routine non-controversial motions and this motion clearly was not one of those. Thus, the expulsion of Fischer was improper.

Bill Goichberg pointed out that even mass murderers serving life sentences in prison are allowed to be USCF members and to play rated games and Fischer has never even been charged with a crime.

Beatriz Marinello strongly defended Fischer's right to Freedom of Speech.

Joel Channing, speaking against the motion, stated that it would be bad for the image of the USCF to have someone such as Mr. Fischer as a member.

Don Schultz abstained, saying that he believes that Fischer has renounced his membership, but is not sure.

The remarks by Don Schultz were apparently based on the transcript of the third press conference, held on September 14, 1992 in Yugoslavia during the 1992 Fischer Spassky Match in which Fischer famously stated, among other things, "I would appreciate it if all of my fans canceled their subscriptions to their horrible magazine Chess Life - I call it Chess Lies."

However, none of his statements at that press conference could reasonably be considered to be a renunciation of his USCF membership. In addition, it is doubtful whether statements made at a press conference, particularly in a foreign country, are legally effective and binding.

Bobby Fischer won a USCF life membership in a chess tournament in the 1950s. In addition, the delegates have passed motions making all US grandmasters life members.

Therefore, Bobby Fischer is a life member again and should be given an ID number with his named placed in the MSA, unless of course he writes a letter renouncing or resigning his USCF membership or unless a document is produced showing that he previously renounced his USCF membership.

3) FIDE Candidates Matches

The FIDE website published an interesting interview by Yuri Vassiliev with the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, in which the latter discussed the match Topalov-Kramnik and FIDE Candidates matches among other things. His comments about the Candidates Matches were curious as several USCF officials I have spoken to have repeatedly said they are not aware of any offers to host the event in the United States. The Turkish bid looks much more credible.

By the way, wouldn't the Turkish like to undertake the organization of the Candidates matches? - You read my thoughts. The President of the Turkish Chess Federation informed during our meeting that there is a very serious sponsor, who is ready to undertake the organization of the candidates` matches. In this connection, I am going to visit the United States soon. The USCF representatives in Turin expressed their interest in this organization, but after that we haven't heard much from them. I would like to clarify the situation in site, whether they lost all the interest to this project or not.

4) Dr. Alexey Root on Chess.FM

Fred Wilson's guest on Tuesday evening, Aug. 22nd, 2006 will be former US Woman's Chess Champion & USCF master, Dr. Root. She has a Ph.D. in education from UCLA and her work history includes full-time public high school teaching (social studies and English), and substitute teaching at all grade levels. Her most notable chess accomplishment was winning the U.S. Women's championship in 1989.

For the last six years, she has been a senior lecturer at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). Root's current assignment for UTD is to teach education courses that explore the uses of chess in classrooms. Her courses are available worldwide, via the UT TeleCampus online platform. Dr Root also teaches chess at her children's schools and at summer chess camps. She lives in Denton, Texas, with her husband, IM Doug Root, her children Clarissa and William, and two house rabbits. Besides her teaching & chess careers, we will discuss her new book, "Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators" (Teacher Ideas Press, 2006, $25.00). Please send questions for Dr. Root to

5) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Events

Howard Donnelly Memorial - September 23
J.J. Dolan Memorial - October 28
Carroll Capps Memorial - November 11 and 12
Saint-Amant Memorial - November 18
Guthrie McClain Memorial - December 2
Jim Hurt Amateur - December 16 and 17

Other California Events

Sept 2-4 CalChess Labor Day Championships GPP: 10 California, Northern

6SS, 30/90, SD/1 (2-day option rds 1-3 G/60); Golden Gateway Holiday Inn. Van Ness at Pine, San Fransisco. $$B 160 paid entries (not counting fee for unrated entries.) Six Sections: Master $700-$350-$200; U2400, $300; Expert $400-$200-$100. "A"$350-$175-$100. "B" $350-$175-$100. "C" $350-175-100. "D/E": $350-$175-$100; U1200 $225. Unr: Trophy First. Trophy to top finisher (State Champion) in each section. All, EF: postmarked by 8/28 $65 (Jrs. $55). $75 at site (Jrs $65). Unrateds $20 in the D/E section or may play up to the Master section for the regular fee. $5 discount to CalChess members. USCF memb. req'd. May play up one section for add'l $10 (Jrs. $5). GM/IM free entry. Reg: Sat 9/2 8-9:30, Sun 9/3 8:15-9:15am. Rds: Choice of schedules- 3-day, 2-day merge at round 4, all compete for the same prizes. 3-day schedule Sat 10:00-4:00, Sun 11:00-4:45; Mon 10:00-3:30. 2-day schedule Sun 9:30-11:45-2:00-4:45; Mon 10:00-3:30. 1/2 pt bye(s) any round(s) if requested in advance (byes rds 5-6 must be requested before rd 1). 2006 August Ratings List, CCA minimums and Directors discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible. Please bring clocks and equipment. HR: Golden Gateway Holiday Inn (415) 441-4000. Info: Richard Koepcke (650) 964-2640. Ent: CalChess, P.O. Box 1432, Mountain View, CA 94042. No phone entries. Master Section FIDE Rated.

September 2-4
28th Annual Southern California Open
6-SS, 40/2, G/1. PECHANGA CASINO/HOTEL, 45000 Pechanga Parkway Temecula, CA 92592. Directions: Take Hwy 79 South from 1-15 for 2 miles, then turn right on Pechanga Parkway and head straight to the Hotel.
$25,000 PRIZE FUND 100% GUARANTEED In 5 sections: Open: 1st $3,000, 2nd $2,000, 3rd $1,000, 4th $600, 5th $500, 6th $300; U2400 $1,000, 2nd $500; U2300 $1,000, 2nd $500;
U2200: 1st $1,200, 2nd $800, 3rd $600, 4th $300.
U2000: 1st $1,200, 2nd $800, 3rd $600, 4th $300.
U1800: 1st $1,200, 2nd $800, 3rd $600, 4th $300.
U1600: 1st $1,200, 2nd $800, 3rd $600, 4th $300.
U1400: 1st $1,000, 2nd $750, 3rd $250; U1200 $400, 2nd $100; Best Unrated $300.
Plus Best Game $100, $50, $50, one reserved for non-Open Sections.
Entry Fee: $130 if recieved by 8/30/06, or only $75 if rating is under 1400 or unrated. All: add $25 for entries after 8/30/06, $50 more for players rated U2000 playing in Open, Unrateds must play in Open or U1400. Registration: 9:00 to 10:30 AM, Round 1 will start at 11AM sharp!
Rounds: 11 AM - 6 PM Sat, 11 - 6 Sunday, 10 - 5 Monday
SCCF Membership Required For All Players ($14 Adult/$9Junior).One half Pt bye OK in Rds 1 - 4, must be requested at least 1 hr before next round. HR: Call 888-732-4264, prices vary, average rate is $199 a day to stay in the luxurious AAA 4 Diamond Pechanga Resort. Consider sharing a room with a friend so you can be close to the action and enjoy all the fine amenities such as the health club, restaurants and fabulous spa. Or you can stay just 3 miles away in the historic old downtown of Temecula at the Ramada Inn 951-676-8770 ($129, if you book 3 nights) or the Roadway Inn 909-676-4833 ($109 a night for 3 nights). Please reserve your room ASAP, as they may sell out by mid August. Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Place #1, Los Angeles, CA 90038, on line at Inf: Call (619) 239-7166 after 4 p.m., or see our web site at
NS. F. GP: 150. State Championship Qualifer.

Return to Index