Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #317

He was one of the smallest men I have ever seen - but he was all steel wire and blazing tenacity: one of the toughest tenacious chess players of all time.

Former US Senior Open Champion Neil Falconer on Sammy Reshevsky

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) MI finishes season with best record in USCL
3) Five-way tie for first at 11th Governor's Cup
4) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

IM Ricardo DeGuzman made it five MI G/45 tournaments in a row in which he has tied or finished clear first. This past Saturday he won the 6th Annual JJ Dolan G/45, scoring an impressive 5-0. Three of the four players who tied for second at 4-1 in the 32 player - NM Sam Shankland, Expert Josh Gutman and Vadim Smelansky - all lost to DeGuzman. Joining them in the prize money was Expert Gregory Young who lost to Shankland.

The Fall Winter Marathon started on Tuesday night with 60 players led by top seeds NMs Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, Russell Wong, Igor Margulis and Sam Shankland. The form charts few experts in round one save that of Tuvshintugs who was held to a draw by rapidly improving junior Alan Naroditsky.

Mechanics' members playing in the World Youth Championships in Batumi, Georgia, made it back safe and sound. Their final placing's were:

Daniel Naroditsky in Boys U12 6.0/11 = 30th out of 91 (tied for 29th place)

Nicholas Nip in Boys U8 6.0/11 = 29th out of 82 (tied for 27th place)

Jessica Zhu in Girls U8 6.0/11 = 20th out of 47 (tied for 16th)

Alex Grossman in Boys U10 (representing Australia) 4.5/11 = 73rd out of 95 (tied for 67th)

2) MI finishes season with best record in USCL

The last round of the regular season of the US Chess League was played on November 1 but judging by the amount of strange things happening it might have happened the evening before on Halloween.

Take a look at this second board battle between Tennessee and Carolina. Only a win for Carolina would put them in the playoffs ahead of Philadelphia.

Bereolos,P (2319) - Hoekstra,M (2401) [D38] USCL Carolina vs Tennessee Internet Chess Club (10), 01.11.2006

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Qb3 c5 9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.Qxc3 Na6 11.Rc1 c4 12.b3 b5 13.bxc4 bxc4 14.e4 Qe7 15.Qe3 0-0 16.exd5 Qd8 17.Bxc4 Re8 18.Ne5 Qd6 19.0-0 Bb7 20.Qf3 Re7 21.Nc6 Ree8 22.Rfe1 Nc7 23.Qg3 Qd7 24.Ne5 Qd6 25.Nc6 Qd7 26.Re5 Kh8 27.Rxe8+ Nxe8 28.Re1 Nd6 29.Re7 Qf5 30.Qxd6 Qb1+ 31.Bf1 Ba6 32.h3 Qxf1+ 33.Kh2 Qxf2 34.Nd8 Bf1 35.Nxf7+ Kg8 36.Qg3 Qf6 37.Qe5 Qxe5+ 38.Nxe5 Rd8 39.Rd7 Rxd7 40.Nxd7 Kf7 41.Kg1 Bb5 42.Nc5 Ke7 43.Ne4 Bc4 44.d6+ Ke6 45.Kf2 Bd5 46.Ke3 g5 47.g3 Bc6 48.h4 gxh4 49.gxh4 Ba8 50.Kf4 Bc6 51.d7 Kxd7 52.Ke5 Bxe4 53.Kxe4 Ke6 54.h5 a6 55.a4 a5White forfeits on time 0-1

Since all legal moves win for White in this trivial K+P ending it is hard to guess what happened other than to say Peter must have been very, very tired and lost tracked of his time.

Our match with Miami was a tough one as usual. Having clinched the division the previous week the only goals remaining was to finish undefeated which would leave us with the best record in the league during the regular season and guarantee us a choice of colors in the league championship match, though for that we must first win against either Seattle or Dallas that playoff next week.

San Francisco 2 vs Miami 2

1. IM Vince McCambridge (SF) vs GM Julio Becerra (MIA) 0-1
2. IM Blas Lugo (MIA) vs IM Dmitry Zilberstein (SF) 0-1
3. NM Mark Pinto (SF) vs NM Miguel Espino (MIA) 0-1
4. Luis Barredo (MIA) vs Sam Shankland (SF) 0-1

Board One

GM Julio Becerra has been the most accomplished player in the league the past two year, narrowly missing the league MVP title last season when he lost in the final round ( to Vince!) and clinching this year with the following victory. Vince was 2-0 this season but he was not at his best last night. Trying to head for an Exchange Variation of the Queen's Gambit when you have played an early Nf3 doesn't pack much punch as Black is able to trade light-squared Bishops. Objectively there is nothing wrong with White's position after 10.0-0 but the problem is that Black's position is easier to play. Trying for b4 opens the a-line and makes ...b5 and ...Nb6-c4 very attractive (hard to do with light-squared Bishops on the board). Another plan for White is to play for e4 which leads to a lot of simplification but a tiny advantage for Black due to the isolated d-pawn. Those wishing to master the Black side of this setup should check out Bobotsov-Petrosian, Lugano (ol) 1968 and the games of Igor Novikov.

McCambridge,V (2502) - Becerra,J (2624) [D36]
USCL San Francisco vs Miami (10), 01.11.2006

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Qc2 g6 8.e3 Bf5 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Nbd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rab1 a5 13.a3 Re8 14.Bxf6 Nxf6 15.b4 axb4 16.axb4 Bd6 17.Nd2 b5 18.Ne2 Qe7 19.Qc3 Rec8 20.Rb2 Nd7 21.Rfb1 Nb6 22.Rb3 Ra4 23.Nc1 Nc4 24.Nd3 Ra2 25.Nf1 Rca8 26.Re1 R8a3 27.Reb1 Qe4 28.Rxa3 Rxa3 29.Rb3 Ra2 30.Ng3 Bxg3 31.hxg3 Nxe3 0-1

Board Two

Answering the Rubinstein antidote (4...Nd4) with 5.Nxd4 is not very challenging and often the prelude to an early draw but such action would be blasphemy to IM Blas Lugo. He might have shifted gears earlier if he had known a draw would be enough to clinch the match but for most of the time this game was in progress Miami was worse on boards three and four. Curiously a recurring theme came up in the game with clever Bishop moves saving Black. The first came the mouse slip 17.Re5 which looked good until 17...dxe5 18.Bxe5 Bd6 showed up on the screen. Dmitry had to win the game again which he did after 21.Kh2?? (21.Qf5 =) 21...RXe1 22.RXe1 Bxf2 23.Bg5 hxg5 24.hxg5 Bd7! . This gives Dima 4 from 6 this season with 5 Blacks. Incidentally last night was his first game as an IM. Dima received the IM title conditionally at the Olympiad in Turin but needed to show he had reached 2400 FIDE, which FIDE ruled he had this weekend.

Lugo,B (2447) - Zilberstein,D (2435) [C48]
USCL San Francisco vs Miami (10), 01.11.2006

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4 5.Nxd4 exd4 6.e5 dxc3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.dxc3 Qe5+ 9.Be2 Bc5 10.0-0 0-0 11.Bd3 d6 12.Qf3 a5 13.Bf4 Qf6 14.Rae1 Be6 15.Qg3 h6 16.h4 Rfe8 17.Re4 Bd5 18.Ree1 Bc6 19.Qg4 b5 20.a3 Rab8 21.Kh2 Rxe1 22.Rxe1 Bxf2 23.Bg5 hxg5 24.hxg5 Bd7 25.Qe4 Qe5+ 26.Qxe5 dxe5 27.Rxe5 Re8 28.Rxe8+ Bxe8 29.g3 Be3 White resigns 0-1

Board Three

This was a really sad game. Previously Mark had never lost in the US Chess League and it certainly didn't look he was going to after Black blundered with 14...Bxc5. Objectively NM Espino should have played 14...Qa5. To say that Black was lost in the resulting two pawns for a piece position is probably overstating the case. The partially exposed White King mean that he has to try to consolidate and Mark was wise not to try to grab more material with 18.Qe2 0-0 19.Qe5 d6 20.Qxe6+. Low on time Mark found solid moves and after 26.Qd1 the best reply was 26...Qc6 with a draw. However Espino could see that things were bad on board 4 and dangerous on 2 and elected to continue play with the risky 26...Qh3?, no doubt emboldened by Mark's time situation ( about 3 minutes plus the increment). Mark found the very nice maneuver Rc2 and Bc1 and would have been comfortably winning after 30.Ne4, 30.Qxd6 and 30.Ree2 (but not 30.Qe2? Nxh2!) which all answer the threat of ...Nxh2. Unfortunately his 30.f5? overlooked 30...Ne3! and then flustered he blundered horribly with 33.Rf1?? ( 31.Rxf1 d5 would have led to an interesting material imbalance with Queen and three pawns for Rook and two minor pieces.) Possibly Black is better but the position is full of fight. One unfortunate aspect of the mouse slips on boards one and two was that Mark's concentration in the second half of the game was not optimal as there were several phone calls to sort things out with the slips - the only incident like this we have had all season. Previous to this Mark was 4.5 from 5 over two seasons with a USCF performance rating of around 2550.

Pinto,M (2217) - Espino,M (2271) [B45]
USCL San Francisco vs Miami Internet Chess Club (10), 01.11.2006

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.e5 Nd5 8.Ne4 Qc7 9.f4 Qb6 10.c4 Bb4+ 11.Ke2 Ba6 12.Kf3 f5 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.c5 Bxc5 15.Nxc5 Bxf1 16.Na4 Bxg2+ 17.Kxg2 Qc7 18.Nc3 0-0 19.Re1 Rae8 20.Be3 c5 21.Rc1 d6 22.Kg1 Qc6 23.Qa4 Qf3 24.Qd1 Qc6 25.Qa4 Qf3 26.Qd1 Qh3 27.Rc2 Ng4 28.Bc1 Rf6 29.Rg2 Rg6 30.f5 Ne3 31.Rxg6 Nxd1 32.Rg3 Qxf5 33.Rf1 Nxc3 34.bxc3 Qd5 35.Bh6 Re7 0-1

Board Four

This game can be summed up in one move - 11.h4? As MI GM-in Residence Alex Yermolinsky pointed out immediately in his commentary, correct was the plan of h3 and g4. White considerably slowed down his attack with 11.h4? and the fianchettoed Knight on g7 later did not further it. A smooth performance by 15-year-old NM Sam Shankland who improved his USCL record to 4-1.

Barredo,L (2160) - Shankland,S (2106) A80
USCL San Francisco vs Miami Internet Chess Club (10), 01.11.2006

1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 d5 4.Bxf6 exf6 5.e3 c6 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.Qf3 g6 8.Nge2 Nd7 9.Nf4 Qe7 10.0-0-0 0-0 11.h4 Qf7 12.Rdg1 Nb6 13.Qd1 Nc4 14.Bxc4 dxc4 15.Qf3 Bd7 16.g3 b5 17.h5 g5 18.h6 Kh8 19.Nh5 a5 20.Ng7 g4 21.Qd1 a4 22.a3 b4 23.axb4 Bxb4 24.Nb1 c3 25.bxc3 a3 26.Nxa3 Bxc3 27.Nb1 Ra1 28.Qd3 Rb8 29.Qxc3 Rbxb1+ 30.Kd2 Rxg1 31.Rxg1 Rxg1 32.Qa5 Qf8 33.e4 fxe4 34.Ke3 Rh1 35.Nh5 c5 36.Nf4 cxd4+ 37.Kxd4 Qd6+ 38.Ke3 Be8 39.c4 Qd1 White resigns 0-1

3) Five-way tie for first at 11th Governor's Cup

The 11th Governor's Cup, held at the downtown Holiday Inn in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from October 27-29, saw GMs Alexander Ivanov, Sergey Kudrin and Alex Yermolinsky tie for first at 4-1 with IMs John Donaldson and Stanislav Smetankin. Mechanics' Institute Womens Chess Instructor WGM Kamile Baginskaite was among the leaders throughout but lost to Kudrin in round five to finish on 3.5 along with NM Alex Betanelli ( who upset Kudrin in round 3), and Minnesota Experts Kevin Wasiluk and William Murray. The 113-player multi-section event was directed by Terry and Jill Likens with Jeff Barth organizing with assistance from David and De Knudsen.

One of the many things that makes the Governor's Cup unique is its level of hospitality and the success it enjoys in attracting corporate sponsors. This year Dakota Corrugated Box Co., First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, INc., The First National Bank in Sioux Falls, Midcontinent Media Foundation, Sioux Falls Hospitals and Health System, CorTrust Bank, Great Western Bank, The Everest Company, Way Trust; Davenport,Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, Qwest Foundation and Mr. Paulk Salem helped sponsor the event.

Shortly before round one Alex Yermolinsky asked for a moment of silence to honor the memory of the late Alex Wojtkiewicz who was a fixture at Governor's Cup tournaments. I was happy that in the second round I could use one of Wojt's favorite variations against the Grunfeld to score a quick victory.

Donaldson,John - Wasiluk,Kevin
Governor's Cup (2), 2006

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.d4 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.0-0 Nc6

One doesn't see this variation, where White is allowed to play d5 and e4 in one go, so much these days. Objectively Black is fine in this variation but for practical reasons the second player usually plays an earlier ...Nb6 to force e3 to restrict White's options.

8.e4 Nb6 9.d5 Na5 10.Nc3 c6 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bf4 cxd5 13.Nxd5

GM Romanishin is probably most identified with this line but Wojt used it many times with success.

13... Nxd5

13...Nac4 and 13...Nc6 are reasonable alternatives.

14.exd5 Nc4?

This move, planing to centralize the Knight on d6, is tempting but wrong. Better is 14...Bg4 concentrating on development.

15.Qc1! Nxb2

Black doesn't have a great choice. 15...b5 16.Bxh6 Bxb2 17.Qd1 and capturing on a1 is too risky. If 15...Nb6 then 16.Bxh6 Qxd5 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Re1 Re8 19.Qc7! and White went on to win in Wojt-Hossain, Vermont 2000.

16.Bxh6 Nd3 17.Qd2 Ne5

17...Bf5?18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Nh4 Qd7 20.g4 Bxg4 21.Qxd3 was another Wojt win in this line, this time in an online blitz game against FM Casella in 2000.

18.Nxe5 Bxe5 19.Bxf8 Bxa1 20.Bxe7 Qxe7 21.Rxa1 Qd6 22.h4 Bd7 23.Re1 Rc8 24.Qg5 Qb6 25.h5 Rc2 26.Qf4 Bf5 27.Re8+ 1-0

4) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Events

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.

November 23-26 American Open A 42-year tradition, Southern California's premier tournament offers a large prize fund, eight rounds of quality chess, choice of 4- or 3-day schedule, one or two half-point byes if you need them, around-the-clock videos, and free lectures by GMs -- this year, former US champ Alex Yermolinsky and Ian Rogers (who witnessed the recent world championship match in Elista), as well as the ever-popular IM Jeremy Silman. For full details and to enter online, please visit our website:

Nov. 25-26 Scott Kittsley Quick Chess Festival (QC) GPP: 15 Wisconsin 8SS, G/29, QC. Best Western Hotel, 5105 S. Howell Ave, Milwaukee WI 53207. Free shuttle from airport, free parking. Prizes $3,600 based on 80 paid entries per section. OPEN: $1,000-500-300, u2200 $250, u2000 $200. Under1800: $450-250, u1400 $175, u1200 $150, unrated $100, K-12 $125-100. EF: $50 if postmarked by 11/18, $70 later. $5 off advance EF per player if 5 or more enter together, $20 off advance EF per K-12 player if 5 or more teammates enter together. Cash only at site. Re-entry $30. Reg: Sat 10-11:30am, Rds: Sat 12-2-3:30-5, Sun 10-12-1:30-3:00. Bye all, limit 4, must commit before rd 2. HR: $65, 414-769-2100, reserve early. Ent: Ashish Vaja, Chief Director; 6822 N.Crestwood Dr; Glendale, WI 53209. Checks payable to Ashish Vaja. $5 charge for refunds. Questions:, 608-233-0923.

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