Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #311

In chess today everything is known to great players. There are no new moves, no new tactics to consider. If the game is to grow it will have to be modified.

Jose Capablanca
Charleston Gazette February 12, 1928.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) US Chess League
3) World Championship Match starts
4) Book signing today in SF for David Shenk's The Immortal Game
5) Six Degrees of Separation in Chess
6) Slugfest in Seattle
7) Upcoming Events

The Howard Donnelly G/45 is this Saturday at the MI. Round one starts at 10am.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

NM Russell Wong defeated 10-year-old Expert Daniel Naroditsky and Expert Josh Gutman upset WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs to grab the lead with 4.5 from 5 in the 61-player Paul Vayssie Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon. Tied for third at 4 are FM Frank Thornally, NM Sam Shankland, and Experts Victor Ossipov, Larry Snyder, James Jones and Peter Grey. Three rounds remain in the competition which concludes October 10th.

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 starting at two PM. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to attend this. The simul, which is sold out, will likely run to at least 6 pm. Spassky will also be doing a talk and autographing books people have written about him on Sunday from 2 PM to 3:30 PM. This is also free to all as part of a Mechanics' Chess Club policy to encourage development of chess in the area. We hope to have a large turnout for Spassky and bring many players who no longer play in tournaments to the MI for the day. Please try to make it

Fundraising for the Spassky's visit has gone well but there is still a deficit of $750. Donations to help cover this are warmly welcomed and tax deductible. You can send checks payable to the Mechanics' to MI Chess Club, 57 Post Street, Room 408, San Francisco, CA 94104.

IM Vince McCambridge, who serves as a MI Trustee, trades bonds during the day and sacrifices pieces and pawns during his US Chess League matches. His famous win over Johann Hjartarson at Grindavik 1984, which won Chess Informant 37's prize for the most important theoretical novelty, appears with two pages of analysis in Viacheslav Eingorn's new book Creative Chess Opening Preparation.

Don't miss the great effort Kerry Lawless has made to catalogue all California chess publications. Go to to find out if you really have a complete collection of the California Chess Journal.

2) US Chess League

Last night the Mechanics' drew their first match of the year 2-2 against a tough Dallas team with one GM and two IMs in their lineup. We defeated Dallas 3-1 in the first round but this time both teams fielded different lineups. Only top board GM Magesh Panchanathan repeated for the Texans who are composed of students from the University of Texas at Dallas.

The first game to finish was between the MI's Daniel Naroditsky and 2006 Denker Champion Nelson Lopez. Daniel outplayed his older opponent in textbook fashion in a Berlin Ruy Lopez but one misstep ( 32. Rg8+?) spoiled his excellent work and the game was eventually drawn.

The second game to conclude was Vavrak-Zilberstein where the Slovak IM, in his 2006 USCL debut, won to make his score against the MI 3 for 3 over the past two seasons. Last year Vavrak scored an undefeated 4 out of 5 against IM opposition so he might have the best lifetime record in the league. Possibly academic obligations limit his play, but if I were the Dallas Captain I would try to pencil his name in the lineup each week.

Pruess-Stopa was an unbalanced Sveshnikov that in hindsight looked pretty balanced and finished in a draw that was not for lack of White trying for more. Polish IM Stopa ( yes, the Dallas team is like a mini United Nations) looks like another player who is likely to become a fixture in the Dallas lineup and it might be that this week's team is their maximum, full metal jacket unit. Look for the Dallas-Miami match next week to be a brutal fight as both team battle to stay in playoff contention.

To do well in the US Chess League you need a strong first board and IM Josh Friedel is the Mechanics' rock. For the second week in the row his game was the last to finish and the one to decide the match. He defeated Panchanathan in a long brutal struggle. Josh got a comfortable position out of the opening but then the Indian GM sacrificed a pawn for the exchange and with the Bishops pair as well, chances were probably about equal. Josh outplayed his opponent who was behind on the clock, in the ending. It looked like White was getting close to a draw with 52. b7 but Black's trick with 53...h4! should have won the spot immediately and did bring home the point to equalize the score. Thanks Josh!

After four rounds the MI is now in second with 3.5, just behind Seattle with 4 but due to some scheduling quirks ( the MI already has played Dallas twice and Seattle has faced Tennessee a couple times) it is not clear where things stand. Likely the situation in the West will not be resolved until late in the season after a pair of matches between the two West Coast rivals . It is also way too early to count out Miami or Dallas, but the latter definitely needs to win their head to head this coming week. Tennessee was unlucky to lose to Seattle by 3.5 - .5 ( 2-2 could easily have been the final score had the Nashville players not lost two nail-biters). Poor Jerry Wheeler, one of the unluckiest players in the league, might need to see a cardiologist if he keeps getting massive time pressure scrambles.

Come see the MI play next week against Tennessee on Wednesday, starting at 5:30 PM. MI GM-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky gives excellent live, but delayed (about 3 to 5 moves behind the actual game) commentary. A group of regulars come each week led by Josh Gutman and Mingsen Chen and new people show up all the time. Yesterday it was FM Paul Cornelius, a mainstay on the Berkeley Riot team in the old National Chess League.


Dallas Destiny             

San Francisco Mechanics
GM Magesh Panchanathan - 2530 0.0
IM Josh Friedel - 2513
IM Jacek Stopa - 2512 0.5
IM David Pruess - 2459
IM Peter Vavrak - 2471
IM Dmitry Zilberstein - 2435
Nelson Lopez - 2087 0.5
Daniel Naroditsky - 2055
Avg Rating - 2400

Avg Rating - 2366
Dallas Total -------
------- San Francisco Total

Panchanthan,M (2530) - Friedel,J (2513) [D11]
USCL Dallas vs San Francisco Internet Chess Club (4), 20.09.2006

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 Bg4 4.0-0 Nd7 5.d4 Ngf6 6.c4 e6 7.b3 Be7 8.Bb2 0-0 9.Nbd2 h6 10.Re1 a5 11.e4 Bb4 12.e5 Ne4 13.Nxe4 Bxe1 14.Qxe1 dxe4 15.Nd2 f5 16.exf6 Nxf6 17.Nxe4 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 Bf5 19.Qe2 Qd6 20.Re1 a4 21.c5 Qd7 22.b4 a3 23.Bc3 Rae8 24.Qe3 Qf7 25.f4 Ra8 26.Qc1 Bd3 27.Ba1 Qg6 28.Re3 Bb1 29.Qd2 Qc2 30.Qxc2 Bxc2 31.b5 Ba4 32.b6 Kf7 33.Bf1 Bb5 34.Bxb5 cxb5 35.Rb3 Ra4 36.Kf2 Rfa8 37.Bc3 Rc4 38.Ke3 b4 39.Bxb4 Rc2 40.Bxa3 Rxa2 41.Bb4 Rc8 42.Bd2 Ke7 43.Rb1 Kd7 44.Kd3 Rca8 45.Re1 R8a3+ 46.Bc3 Rxh2 47.Re3 Rh3 48.Kc4 h5 49.c6+ bxc6 50.b7 Kc7 51.Rxe6 Kxb7 52.Re7+ Kc8 53.Rxg7 h4!

This should win straight away.

54.Rh7 Rh2?!

54...Rxg3 55.Bb4 Ra2 55.Be1 ( 55. Bb4 Ra2 56.Kc5 Rc2+ 57.Kd6 h3) 55...Rge3 56.Bxh4 Ra4+ 57.Kc5 Rc3+ and ...Rxd4+ should do the job)

55.Kb4 hxg3 56.Rg7

Josh admitted afterward that he had simply overlooked this move in his calculations but he quickly reorients himself.

Raa2 57.Rxg3 Rh5 58.Rg8+

Driving the King back into battle is probably not the best idea but when you are down to 30 seconds it's tough!

58... Kb7 59.Rg7+ Kb6 60.Kb3 Rf2 61.Bb4 Rh3+ 0-1

Pruess,D (2459) - Stopa,J (2512) [B33]
USCL Dallas vs San Francisco Internet Chess Club (4), 20.09.2006

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Ne7 12.Nxf6+ gxf6 13.Nc2 Bb7 14.Bd3 d5 15.exd5 Qxd5 16.Ne3 Qe6 17.Qh5 0-0-0 18.Bc2 Kb8 19.Bb3 Qc6 20.Rd1 Rxd1+ 21.Kxd1 Ng6 22.Kc1 Qe4 23.Rd1 Nf4 24.Qf5 Qxf5 25.Nxf5 Bxg2 26.Rd6 Bb7 27.Rxf6 Nd3+ 28.Kd2 Nxf2 29.Rxf7 Rd8+ 30.Ke2 Nd3 31.Rxh7 Nf4+ 32.Ke1 Be4 33.Rf7 Rh8 34.h4 Bxf5 35.Rxf5 Rxh4 36.Kd2 Rh2+ 37.Ke3 Re2+ 38.Kf3 Rxb2 39.Rxe5 Nd3 40.Re2 Rxe2 41.Kxe2 Nc5 42.Ke3 Kc7 43.Kd4 Kd6 44.Bd5 a5 45.Bf7 a4 46.Bg8 Nb7 47.Bf7 Na5 48.Be8 Nb3+ 49.Kd3 Nc1+ 50.Kc2 Nxa2 51.Bxb5 Nxc3 52.Kxc3 1/2-1/2

Vavrak,P (2471) - Zilberstein,D (2435) [D30]
USCL Dallas vs San Francisco Internet Chess Club (4), 20.09.2006

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 d5 4.Bg5 h6 5.Bxf6 Qxf6 6.e3 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Qb3 c5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.a3 Bxc3+ 11.Qxc3 b6 12.dxc5 Qxc3+ 13.bxc3 bxc5 14.0-0-0 Be6 15.Bb5 Rc8 16.Ne5 c4 17.Rd2 Rc5 18.Rb2 a6 19.Ba4 Ra5 20.Rb4 f6

Here I am sure that Dmitry burned up a lot of clock time on 20..Rxa4, which though tempting, unfortunately falls short: 20...Rxa4 21.Rxa4 f6 (21...a5 22.Rd1 f6 23.e4!) 22.e4! fxe5 23.exd5 Bxd5 24.Rd1 and the Knight on b8 stands out.

21.Bc6 Nxc6 22.Nxc6 Rxa3 23.Kb2 Rb3+ 24.Rxb3 cxb3 25.Ra1 Kf7 26.Ra5 Bd7 27.Nb4 Bb5 28.Kxb3 Bc4+ 29.Kc2 Ke6 30.Kd2 Kd6 31.g4 Ra7 32.f3 Rd7 33.h4 g5 34.h5 Rb7 35.e4 d4 36.cxd4 Rxb4 37.Kc3 Rb3+ 38.Kxc4 Rxf3 39.Rxa6+ Kc7 40.Kd5 Rf4 41.e5 fxe5 42.dxe5 Rxg4 43.Rxh6 Ra4 44.Rh7+ Kd8 45.h6 Ra6 46.Rh8+ Ke7 47.h7 Ra5+ 48.Ke4 Ra4+ 49.Kf5 Rf4+ 50.Kxg5 Rf7 51.Rb8 1-0

Naroditsky,D (2055) - Lopez,N (2087) [C67]
USCL Dallas vs San Francisco Internet Chess Club (4), 20.09.2006

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 h6 10.Rd1+ Ke8 11.b3 Be6 12.Bb2 Rd8 13.h3 a6 14.g4 Ne7 15.Nd4 Ng6 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Rxd8+ Kxd8 18.Ne2 Bc5 19.Kg2 Rf8 20.Rf1 Nf4+ 21.Nxf4 Rxf4 22.Kg3 g5 23.h4 Ke8 24.f3 Be7 25.hxg5 hxg5 26.Rh1 c5 27.Rh5 c4 28.Bc1 Rd4 29.Bxg5 Bxg5 30.Rxg5 Rd2 31.bxc4 Rxc2

White's purposeful play up to this point could have been used as a model of how to push down the Berlin Wall but here he gives one check that spoils all his good work as it lets the Black King into the game. 32.Rg7 Rxc4 33.f4 followed by f5 would be decisive - the Rook on the 7th and two connected passed pawns are two much for Black to handle. Also getting the job done is 32.Rg6 Kf7 33.Rf6+ Ke7 34.g5.

32.Rg8+? Kf7 33.Rb8 b6 34.f4 Rxc4 35.f5 Re4 36.Rc8 exf5 37.Rxc7+ Ke6 38.gxf5+ Kxe5 39.Rc6 Kxf5 40.Rxb6 Ra4 41.Rb2 Ke4 42.Kf2 Kd3 43.Ke1 Kc3 44.Rh2 Rb4 45.Rh3+ Kb2 46.Rh2+ Ka3 47.Rd2 a5 48.Rc2 Rb2 49.Rxb2 Kxb2 50.a4 Kb3 51.Kd2 Kxa4 52.Kc2 Ka3 53.Kb1 1/2-1/2

Boston 4.0
11.0 (69%)
Baltimore 2.0
9.0 (56%)
New York 2.0
6.5 (41%)
Carolina 1.0
6.5 (41%)
Philadelphia 0.0
6.0 (38%)

Seattle 4.0
13.0 (81%)
San Francisco 3.5
10.5 (66%)
Miami 2.0
8.0 (50%)
Dallas  1.0
6.5 (41%)
Tennessee 0.5
3.0 (19%)

3) World Championship Match starts

Live coverage on the ICC

ICC will offer extraordinary LIVE COVERAGE of the World Chess Championship Match. Your favorite grandmasters will commentate every game on the ICC Webcas: GM John Fedorowicz, GM Larry Christiansen, GM Varuzhan Akobian, and GM Gregory Kaidanov. Also, the Spanish ICC Webcast will feature: GM Amador Rodriguez, GM Viktor Moskalenko, IM Michael Rahal and IM Angel Martin.

OPENING CEREMONY - 21 September 2006, 7.00 p.m.
DAY 2 - 22 September 2006 - REST DAY
DAY 3 - 23 September 2006, 3.00 p.m - GAME 1
DAY 4 - 24 September 2006, 3.00 p.m - GAME 2
DAY 5 - 25 September 2006 - REST DAY
DAY 6 - 26 September 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 3
DAY 7 - 27 September 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 4
DAY 8 - 28 September 2006 - REST DAY
DAY 9 - 29 September 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 5
DAY 10 - 30 September 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 6
DAY 11 - 1 October 2006, Reversal of Colors - REST DAY
DAY 12 - 2 October 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 7
DAY 13 - 3 October 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 8
DAY 14 - 4 October 2006 - REST DAY
DAY 15 - 5 October 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 9
DAY 16 - 6 October 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 10
DAY 17 - 7 October 2006 - REST DAY
DAY 18 - 8 October 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 11
DAY 19 - 9 October 2006 - REST DAY
DAY 20 - 10 October 2006, 3.00 p.m. - GAME 12
DAY 21 - 11 October 2006 - REST DAY
DAY 22 - 12 October 2006, 3.00 p.m. - TIE BREAKS
CLOSING CEREMONY - 13 October 2006, 7.00

On the 14th September the website announced the lists of the delegations of both players:

Team of Veselin Topalov, Bulgaria

1. Veselin Topalov, Bulgaria, participant
2. Danailov Silvio, Bulgaria, manager
3. Cheparinov Ivan, Bulgaria, coach
4. Oleksandr Onishchuk, the USA, coach
5. Francisco Vallejo Pons, Spain, coach
6. Vladimir Haralampiev Rapondzhiev,
Bulgaria, team member
7. Raicho Ivanov Gospodinov, Bulgaria, team member
8. Georgiev Dragomir, Bulgaria, team member
9. Ginchev Zhivko, Bulgaria, team member
10. Dancho Djongov, Bulgaria, team member

Team of Vladimir Kramnik, Russia

1. Vladimir Kramnik, Russia, participant
2. Carsten Hensel, Germany, manager
3. Miguel Illescas, Spain, coach
4. Alexander Motylev, Russia, coach
5. Sergei Rublevsky, Russia, coach
6. Valeri Krylov, Russia, physiotherapist
7. Victor Bobylev, Russia, cook

According to the Russian website, Veselin Topalov received 50,000 Euro from the government of Bulgaria for his preparations for the match. In the Russian weekly newspaper Moskovskie Novosti, a short preview on the match by GM Alexander Grischuk appeared. He did not specify a favorite and called the match "unpredictable". Grischuk, in particular, said that in the past Topalov almost always become tired, became nervous and made big mistakes at the end of tournaments - but now he is one of calmest players, who has improved his physical form sharply.

In Grischuk's opinion, Topalov's secret is "his method and the power of his will". At the same time, according to Grischuk, Kramnik in his recent tournaments has played at the highest level, showing the form he used he had during his 2000 match versus Kasparov.

4) Book signing today in SF for David Shenk's The Immortal Game

David Shenk, author of The Immortal Game A History of Chess (Or How 32 Carved Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science, and the Human Brain) is in San Francisco for a reading today and will appear in two other locations in Northern California the next couple of days. All three readings will also feature a raffle of a nice chess set.

San Francisco
Thursday, September 21 -- 7PM
2 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

Marin County
Friday, September 22 -- 1PM
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Santa Cruz
Saturday, September 23 -- 3PM
1200 Pacific Avenue, Suite 100 (Corner of Soquel Ave)
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

5) Six Degrees of Separation in Chess

Thanks to Okie Frank Berry for pointing out the interesting site where you can find out how many opponents removed you are from beating Garry Kasparov!

6) Slugfest in Seattle

The GM Slugfest will be held on October 13th, 14th and 15th 2006. The first two days will be played at the Chess4Life center in Bellevue, with the final day held at the Paragon Hotel. USCF rated, but not FIDE rated.

This event will be the first GM event to use the BAP system and is open to any IM or GM. The Slugfest Pairing system described on will be used.

Travel/lodging costs will be paid for the first 10 players to register, there is one spot left! $5000 guaranteed prize for clear first. Rapid and speed chess playoff in case of tie. See the Slugfest Pairings page for more details.

2* rounds per day 10AM and 5PM, 40/2 + G/60.

List of player commitments:GM Victor Mikhalevski 2670
GM Varuzhan Akobian 2660
GM Alexander Shabalov 2653
GM Lubomir Ftacnik 2600
GM Dmitry Gurevich 2583
GM Greg Serper 2575
IM Eric Tangborn 2475
IM John Donaldson 2452
SI Jonathan Berry 2350 (est.)
QP John Readey 2326
QP Nick Raptis 2290
QP Andy May 1910SI: Special Invitee
QP: GM Slugfest Qualifier

Contact Clint Ballard at to register and arrange for travel.

7) 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

Return to Index