Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #316

Actually, I played very sluggishly. It happens. I know from my experience at the World championships that one cannot always play at one's best. From time to time there are bad days. Today I was not playing like myself, handling the whole game poorly. There is nothing to fear: I'll relax tomorrow, and everything will be okay at the finish. Bad days just happen...

Vladimir Kramnik after game 9 of his match with Topalov.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Mechanics' repeat as Western Division Champions
3) A Tribute to Igor Ivanov By Boris Spassky
4) Mike Leahy of Bookup on Chess.FM
5) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

Michael Aigner reports that after 6 of 11 rounds in the World Youth Championships in Batumi, Georgia, Bay Area juniors are doing well. Daniel Naroditsky is tied for 14th out of 91 participants with 4 from 6. Nicholas Nip has the same score in the Boys Under 8 while Jessica Zhu has 3 from 6 in the Girls Under 8 and Alex Grossman ( representing Australia) 2 from 6 in the Boys Under 10.

Volume one of Calvin Olson's The Chess Kings:History, Politics and the Fine Art of Mythmaking in Chess is out. The 319 page perfect bound paperback was produced by Trafford Publishing ( and is available for $29.95. Quoting from the publisher's blurb: A history of the development of the modern game of chess from the late 15th century to 1940. It focuses on the world championship contests to explore the personalities of the game and their struggles for the title. Included are appendices of title holders and major tournament winners, an extensive annotated bibliography and thirty-one games of historical importance that are fully explained. Calvin did a lot of his research at the Mechanics' making use of the Library's excellent selection of chess literature and this book shows a careful attention to detail and accuracy. Next Tuesday marks the start of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon and this Saturday is the 6th Annual J.J. Dolan Memorial G/45.

2) Mechanics' repeat as Western Division Champions

Seattle 1.5 vs San Francisco 2.5

1. GM Gregory Serper (SEA) vs IM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0
2. IM Vinay Bhat (SF) vs IM Georgi Orlov (SEA) 1-0
3. FM John Readey (SEA) vs IM Dmitry Zilberstein (SF) 1/2-1/2
4. NM Sam Shankland (SF) vs Michael Lee (SEA) 1-0

White's 7.Ng5!? is not so well-known, but GM Serper has played it at least twice before. White loses some time but counts on the Bishop pair being a long term trump. That proved the case here as Josh was ground down despite putting up stern resistance.

Serper,G (2570) - Friedel,J (2513) [A20]
USCL Seattle vs San Francisco Internet Chess Club (9), 23.10.2006

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.d4 exd4 5.Qxd4 d5 6.Nf3 Be6 7.Ng5 Nbd7 8.Nxe6 fxe6 9.Qe3 Nc5 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.0-0 Rc8 12.b4 Nce4 13.Nd2 Qb6 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Qxb6 axb6 16.a3 Be7 17.Bb2 0-0 18.Rac1 Rfd8 19.Rxc8 Rxc8 20.Rc1 Rc6 21.Kf1 Kf7 22.Ke1 g5 23.h3 h5 24.Kd2 Rxc1 25.Bxc1 Kg6 26.Kc3 b5 27.Be3 Kf5 28.Ba7 Bd6 29.Kd4 e5+ 30.Kc3 Nd5+ 31.Kb3 g4 32.hxg4+ hxg4 33.e3 Bc7 34.Bf1 b6 35.Bxb5 Ke6 36.Be2 Kd6 37.a4 Ne7 38.a5 bxa5 39.Bc5+ Ke6 40.Bxg4+ Kf6 41.b5 Nd5 42.Kc4 Nb6+ 43.Bxb6 Bxb6 44.Kd5 a4 45.Bd1 a3 46.Bb3 Kf5 47.Kc6 Ba7 48.b6 Bb8 49.Kd5 Kg4 50.Kxe4 Kg5 51.f4+ Kf6 52.Kd5 Black resigns 1-0

White usually holds g4 in reserve (6.Qe2 is very popular) but Vinay's treatment is also dangerous. Orlov's 7...d5 is not considered as good as more flexible moves like 7...a6 or 7...c6 and he soon got into some difficulties. Vinay's 9.Ne4, keeping pieces on when one has more space, was very logical (previously 9.Bg2 and 9.Nxd5 had been tried. Moves like c4 and Kf1 continue the theme of cramping Black and IM Orlov jettisoned a pawn for counterplay with 19...e5 as 19...0-0 walked into a strong attack with 20.h5. Note that Black had to castle on move twenty as 20...Nxe5 lost to 21.c5 Nbd7 22.Bxe5 Nxe5 23.f4 Nd7 24.Nd6+ and 25.Nxb7. White immediately returned the pawn 21.e6! and after 27.Qe2, with the ominous threat of 28.h5 looming, matters were decided. A ver impressive and smooth game by Vinay.

Bhat,V (2463) - Orlov,G (2580) [A41]
USCL Seattle vs San Francisco Internet Chess Club (9), 23.10.2006

1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.e4 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.h3 Bh5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Qe2 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Ne4 Nd7 10.Bg2 c6 11.c4 Bb4+ 12.Kf1 N5f6 13.Ng3 Be7 14.Bf4 Qa5 15.Nh4 Nb6 16.g5 Nfd7 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.h4 Rd8 19.Ne4 e5 20.dxe5 0-0 21.e6 fxe6 22.Bg3 Nc5 23.Nxc5 Qxc5 24.b3 Qd4 25.Qxe6+ Kh8 26.Re1 Bc5 27.Qe2 Rde8 28.Qxe8 Rxe8 29.Rxe8+ Kh7 30.Be4 Qd7 31.h5 Qxe8 32.Bxg6+ Qxg6 33.hxg6+ Kxg6 34.Rh8 Black resigns 1-0

Several weeks ago John Readey saved Seattle and here he looked set to do it again. Dmitry came out of the opening with a fine position but then he over pressed and things started to look bad. Low on time Dima had to chose between a difficult Rook ending or 40...b4 41.Bd5 b3 42.Rxf7+ Ke8 43.Rxg7 Rb4 when White will likely have four pawns for a Bishop. The position after 45.Rxb5 immediately made me think of the famous game Karpov-Hort, Waddinveen 1979, which was extensively analyzed in Jan Timman's The Art of Chess Analysis ( the last game). The position in that game 4 versus 3 with the pawn on e6 plus an extra Black pawn on a7(!) was also analyzed in the Encyclopedia of Chess Endings volume on Rook endings ( #1666) by Cvetkovic. Both come to the conclusion that Karpov, who won the game, had a winning position once the Rook ending was reached.

The question then, is where did Readey go wrong ( and remember the players were pretty much playing with 1 or 2 minutes left for the remainder of the game at this point). I wonder if the culprit might not be 46.h5? Josh Friedel raised this question immediately after the game I think he might well be right because after this Black only has to guard against the advance e4-e5. The pawn should be left on h4. Black setups with ...e6, ...g6 and ...h5 were shown to be lost by Timman. Hort setup with ...e6, ...g6 and ...h6 meeting Karpov's h5 with ...g5. He also lost. If Black sits with something like ...g7 and ...h6, with his Rook on the second rank and King on f6 I think White wins with h4, g4, f4, e3 and Kf3 and Ra6. The threat of f5 forces Kf7 and then White forces a passed e-pawn by playing f5. He would then be aiming for something like the famous game Botvinnik-Najdorf, Moscow 1956, with e5, h4, h5 versus g7 and h6. I would be interested to know if my impression of the position is correct.

Readey,J (2331) - Zilberstein,D (2435) [A09]
USCL Seattle vs San Francisco Internet Chess Club (9), 23.10.2006

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 e5 5.d3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Na3 0-0 9.Nc2 Bc5 10.a3 e4 11.dxe4 Nxe4 12.Be1 a4 13.Bb4 Re8 14.Bxc5 Nxc5 15.Nfxd4 Na5 16.Ne3 Ra6 17.Nb5 Bd7 18.Qc2 Qc8 19.Rad1 Rh6 20.h4 Nab3 21.Nd4 Nxd4 22.Rxd4 Nb3 23.Rf4 Rd6 24.Nd5 c6 25.Nb6 Qd8 26.Rd1 Bf5 27.Rxd6 Bxc2 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.Nxa4 Nd4 30.Nc3 Ne6 31.Rf3 Nd4 32.Re3 Nf5 33.Re5 Nd6 34.Re7 Rb8 35.c5 Nc4 36.b4 Nxa3 37.b5 Kf8 38.Rc7 Nxb5 39.Nxb5 cxb5 40.Bxb7 Bf5 41.Bd5 Be6 42.Bxe6 fxe6 43.c6 Rb6 44.Rb7 Rxc6 45.Rxb5 Kf7 46.h5 Kf6 47.Kg2 Rc3 48.f4 h6 49.Kf2 Ra3 50.e3 Ra2+ 51.Kf3 Rh2 52.e4 Rh1 53.e5+ Kf7 54.Rb7+ Kf8 55.Kg4 Rf1 56.Ra7 Re1 57.Ra3 Kf7 58.Kf3 Rh1 59.Ra7+ Kf8 60.Kg4 Rf1 61.Rb7 Re1 62.Rb2 Rf1 63.Kh3 Rh1+ 64.Rh2 Rg1 65.g4 Rb1 66.Rg2 Re1 67.Rf2 Ke7 68.Kg3 Rh1 69.Kf3 Re1 70.Rg2 Rf1+ 71.Ke3 Re1+ 72.Kf2 Re4 73.Kf3 Re1 74.g5 hxg5 75.Rxg5 Kf7 76.Rg3 Rh1 77.Kg4 Rf1 78.Kg5 Rh1 79.Rg2 Rf1 80.Rg4 Rh1 81.Rg2 Rf1 82.Ra2 Rg1+ 83.Kh4 Rh1+ 84.Kg4 Rg1+ 85.Kf3 Rh1 86.Kg4 Rg1+ 87.Kh3 Rh1+ 88.Rh2 Rg1 89.Kh4 Rf1 90.Kg4 Rg1+ 91.Kf3 Rf1+ 92.Ke3 Re1+ 93.Kf2 Rb1 94.Rh4 Rb4 95.Kf3 Rb1 96.h6 gxh6 97.Rxh6 Rf1+ 98.Ke3 Re1+ 99.Kf2 Re4 100.Kf3 Re1 101.Rh7+ Kf8 102.Ra7 Rf1+ 103.Ke4 Rd1 104.Kf3 Rg1 105.Ke2 Rg4 106.Kf3 Rg1 107.Ke4 Rd1 108.f5 Re1+ 109.Kd4 Rd1+ 110.Kc5 Rd5+ 111.Kc6 Rxe5 112.Kd6 Rxf5 113.Kxe6 Rf1 Game drawn by mutual agreement 1/2-1/2

Sam got his revenge from a few weeks ago as he willingly entered the Dragon against Lee. The position after 15.Ka1 has been scoring heavily of late for White as Black simply has no attack. Michael had to retreat his Rook after 20.a3 as after 20...Rcb8 21.g5! White was ready to play the crushing Nd5. A very nice effort by Sam against a player who had one of the top five records in the league.

Shankland,S (2106) - Lee,M (2102) [B78]
USCL Seattle vs San Francisco Internet Chess Club (9), 23.10.2006

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rb8 11.Bb3 Na5 12.h4 b5 13.Kb1 Nc4 14.Bxc4 bxc4 15.Ka1 Qc7 16.h5 Rfc8 17.g4 Qa5 18.Rb1 Rb4 19.Bh6 Bh8 20.a3 Rcb8 21.g5 Nxe4 22.fxe4 Ra4 23.Rhd1 Bg4 24.Nxa4 Qxa4 25.c3 Bxd1 26.Qxd1 Qd7 27.Qf3 Bxd4 28.cxd4 Rb3 29.Qd1 Qa4 30.Ka2 Qb5 31.d5 Rd3 32.Qc2 f5 33.gxf6 exf6 34.Rc1 Rb3 35.hxg6 hxg6 36.e5 Kf7 37.Rg1 Rd3 38.e6+ Ke7 39.Rxg6 Qxd5 40.Rg7+ Kxe6 41.Qe2+ Qe5 42.Qg4+ Kd5 43.Rxa7 Qe8 44.Ra5+ Black resigns 1-0

3) A Tribute to Igor Ivanov By Boris Spassky

The following was written by Boris Spassky from his hospital bed in San Francisco and read to the players at the Western States Open. Prior to his stroke Boris had been scheduled to give a talk in Reno remembering the first anniversary of Igor's passing.

A Tribute to Igor Ivanov

By Boris Spassky

Igor Ivanov and I shared a similar fate. Neither of us could not adapt to the socialist paradise. Both of us received our living strength from Imperial Russia, which had over 1,000 years of culture. Igor was lucky and received a good musical education from his mother who died when he was only 14 years old. She dreamed to see him as a good pianist and cellist, but his passion was to become a professional chess player. Fortunately, Igor was very talented at chess.

As an artistic personality Igor was living like a careless bird, flying from one place to another, playing chess and piano and singing Russian romances. He did not have the persistence which is so important for getting the Grandmaster's title. Igor did not care about himself and became a Grandmaster only a few months before his death. He could have easily gotten it 20 years ago!

In 1979, Igor won a famous game against Anatoly Karpov. As a consequence of this victory, Colonel Baturinsky, Schach Fuehrer of the USSR, gave him a chance to participate in the Capablanca Memorial in Havana the following year. This was the first and the last invitation which he received from the "generous Colonel." Coming back from Havana to Moscow, the plane of the Soviet company Aeroflot made a stop in Gander, Newfoundland. Igor asked for political asylum and the socialist paradise lost one of its most talented masters.

Every time our chess diagonals crossed, I was very glad to meet Igor. Both of us liked the Russian operatic romances. We especially enjoyed the great bass singer Feodor Shaliapin and the beautiful soprano Nadezda Obuhova. We reminisced about our chess teacher from the Palace of Pioneers, Alexander Cherepkov, who is now 86 years old, and of course we talked of St. Petersburg.

Igor did not have any illusions about communists or perestroika. It is easy to change the State's flag and emblem, but it is not possible to change a head or a conscience. It takes decades.

Igor's professional life in the West was difficult. He played many tournaments with small prizes and really needed the Grandmaster's title to get the initiations for the big events The country where he started his new chess life, Canada, is not for chess. Both its chess leaders in the early 1980s - Kevin Spraggett and Igor Ivanov - had to move to another area: Kevin to Europe and Igor to the USA. In his new homeland, he won nine Grand Prix titles, which was a great accomplishment.

Igor was lucky to meet his wife Elizabeth who gave him everything, and he was very grateful to her. The last part of his life Igor settled with her in St. George, Utah, where he headed a chess school and almost became a "balanced American." He liked his friends, his wife, children, animals, music, and adventures. Two cats, Petrushka and Sasha, played an important role in his life. Igor liked to give concerts where he played piano and sang. He was good natured and people liked him for his excellent sense of humor.

We played in the last round in the Interzonal in Toluca, Mexico in 1982. Igor needed a point for the Grandmaster title, and I a point to qualify for the Candidates. Igor defended his inferior position like an ancient Greek hero and made a draw! Nether of us needed a draw! After the game,. we looked at each other with open mouths. Friendship is friendship, but sport is sport.

Last October, Igor being very ill, wanted to meet his friends one last time. Thanks to his good friend Alan Crooks he was able came to come to Reno but was only able to play two games.

Igor left this world courageously: no complaints, no regrets, just hiding his pain. Before saying good-bye, we pretended we would meet again, but our eyes were very sad: we knew that in this life we had met each other for the last time. Igor left us on November 17, 2005.

I will have warm feelings for Igor forever.

San Francisco October 5, 2006

4) Mike Leahy of Bookup on Chess.FM

This week's guest on the internet radio show "Chess and Books with Fred Wilson" will be MIKE LEAHY, creator of the famous openings preparation program, Bookup.

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. 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!

with Fred Wilson
This Week's Guest: MIKE LEAHY (creator of Bookup)

"Fred Wilson's guest on Tuesday evening, Oct. 24th, 2006, will be MIKE LEAHY, creator of Bookup. Mike Leahy (pronounced "LAY-hee") learned to play chess at age 12 by reading a book. He started scaring the top high school players in Ohio after reading Leslie Ault's "The Chess Tutor: Elements of Combination". Mike's peak USCF rating was just under 2000. The two books that shaped Mike's love of opening theory were "Catastrophe in the Opening" by Yakov Neishtadt and "Think Like a Grandmaster" by Alexander Kotov. In 1984 Mike dropped out of tournament play to create the Bookup system for designing and learning openings, which is based on Kotov's ideas in "Think Like a Grandmaster". Ten years later (1994) Mike adapted the world's best selling chess book "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" to a computer program. Today Bookup is used by more than 20,000 players worldwide and Mike continues to work on professional chess software projects for Susan Polgar, for, and of course for his own Bookup system. Please visit for more info about Mike's products. Among the many things Mike will discuss will be the new uprgade, Bookup 2007, to be released in early December! For relaxation Mike plays blitz on the Internet Chess Club as DatabaseMan. Please send questions for MIKE LEAHY to".

Best in chess, Fred Wilson

4) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Events

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

Nov. 25-26 California Classic Thanksgiving Chess Festival GPP: 10 California Northern
4SS, G/45. University of San Francisco-Cupertino, 20085 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014. 3 Sections: Expert, Reserve, Booster. All entry must be received by 11/18/2006. All Prizes Guaranteed. Expert (1800+) Grand Prix section, Prizes: $$670; 1st $320-2nd 150-3rd 50. Top U2100, U2000, U1900-$50 each. Available 1-Day Option. 30/90 G/1, 30/90 G/30. Rds: Sat: 10am-3pm. Sun: 1:45pm-5:45pm. On-site Reg: 8:30am-9:30am. Reserve (1200-1800) Prizes: $720; 1st-$320-2nd-$150. Top U1700, U1600, U1500, U1400, U1300-$50 Available 1-Day Option. 30/90 G/1, 30/90 G/30, Rds: Sat: 10am-3pm; Sun: 1:45pm-5:45pm. On-site Reg: 8:30am-9:30am. Booster (U1200): Prizes: Trophies to Top 5 overall. Top U1000, U900, U800, U700- all receive trophies. Max: 1 Trophy/Player. G/45. Available 1-Day Option. Rds: Sun: 10:00am, 12:15am, 2:00pm, 3:45 pm. All Entries To: Jason Gurtovoy, 34249 Fremont Blvd. #158 Fremont, CA 94555 On-site Reg: 8:30am -9:30am. Standard USCF Tie-Breaks will be used for trophies. For More Information: Jason at for info/advance entries. E-mail: Web Site: Entry: Discounts on Entry Fee for entering Multiple Events in Festival. Please download flyer from for more information. NS, NC, W.

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