Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #321

It is interesting that a player's 'intuition' normally improves with age (experience) whilst their tactical ability will tend to deteriorate. To me this suggests that there is very little direct connection between these two types of thought; it also suggests that chess is a whole-brained game in which getting experience as early as possible gives you the best chance of having good intuition whilst your left brain is still sharp enough to calculate quickly.

GM Nigel Davies

Note - Readers are receiving two Newsletters back to back as MI Director John Donaldson will be in New York and St. George, Utah ( for the Igor Ivanov Memorial) next week. The Newsletter will resume its normal schedule on Wednesday, December 13. Don't forget the 6th Annual Guthrie McClain Memorial G/45 is this Saturday at the MI.
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Khachiyan and Pruess tie for First at American Open
3) Nakamura wins National Chess Congress
4) Americans place high in the Philippines 
5) Here and There
6) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

Besides winning the league championship and finishing with an undefeated season the Mechanics' team (IM Josh Friedel, IM Vince McCambridge, IM Vinay Bhat, IM David Pruess, IM Dimtry Zilberstein, NM Mark Pinto, NM Sam Shankland and Expert Daniel Naroditsky) landed three players on the USCL All Star team. Congratulations to Sam. Josh and Vinay! If you go to you can find out more about the players who were chosen and the thinking that went in to the selections. 2006 USCL All Star Teams


by League Commissioner: Greg Shahade

Just as in 2005, the USCL has chosen the league all-star teams. There will be a first all star team, and then a second all star time. The top player on each board was chosen to be on the first team, and the second player on each board was chosen to be on the second team. There is no exact formula to decide the all-star team, and the teams were chosen after careful deliberation between myself and NM Arun Sharma. Below are a list of the most important qualifications we looked for before deciding on the team members, in relative order of importance:

1. Total Games Played, or Total Points (There is a 5 game minimum requirement to be eligible for the team)
2. Performance Rating
3. Rating (If a player is lower rated and does well, this leaves extra rating points for the team to use on the other boards and could be very important to a team's success.)
4. Clutch Factor: Did this player come through in crucial situations?
5. Replacebility Factor (Do we think that the player's team would have greatly suffered if that player wasn't on the team)
6. Did the candidate take a draw for the team when they were likely to win? Did they lose a game they could have easily drawn because the team situation dictated it?
7. % of Team's Total Points
8. Head to Head Results versus other candidates
9. Total Number of Blacks
10. Luckiness factor (did you win because you generally played well or because your opponent made some colossal blunders/oversights).

1st Team:

1. GM Julio Becerra (2622) [Miami]
2. IM Jacek Stopa (2512) [Dallas]
3. FM Oleg Zaikov (2325) [Carolina]
4. Sam Shankland (2106) [San Francisco]

2nd Team:

1. IM Josh Friedel (2513) [San Francisco]
2. IM Vinay Bhat (2463) [San Francisco]
3. IM Richard Costigan (2287) [Philadelphia]
4. NM Craig Jones (2280) [Carolina]

The following game, where MI Trustee Neil Falconer essays the modern 7.h4 against the Winawer several decades before it became popular, was played on board 2 in the annual North-South match in 1950. Thanks to Peter Grey for providing the scoresheet from his archives.

Falconer,N - Croy,G [C19]

North-South San Luis Obispo, 28.05.1950

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.h4 Qc7 8.Nf3 Nbc6 9.h5 h6 10.Bd3 cxd4 11.cxd4 Nxd4? 12.Nxd4 Qc3+ 13.Qd2! Qxa1 14.c3 Nc6 15.Nb3 Qxc1+ 16.Qxc1 Nxe5 17.Bb5+ Bd7 18.Bxd7+ Nxd7 19.Qf4 0-0 20.g4 Rac8 21.Kd2 Rc4 22.Qe3 Rxg4 23.Qxa7 Ne5 24.Nd4 Nc4+ 25.Ke2 b6 26.Nc2 Re4+ 27.Ne3 f5 28.Kd3 Ne5+ 29.Kc2 f4 30.Rg1 Rf7 31.Qb8+ Rf8 32.Qc7 Nf7 33.Ng4 Ng5 34.f3 Rc4 35.Qxb6 Kh7 36.Ne5 Ra4 37.Qd6 Rfa8 38.Kb2 R4a6 39.Qb4 Ra4 40.Qd6 R4a6 41.Qb4 Ra4 42.Qb3 Kg8 43.Rd1 R4a6 44.Rd4 Rf8 45.Rb4 Raa8 46.Rb7 Rad8 47.Qb6 Kh7 48.a4 d4 49.cxd4 Rd5 50.Rb8 Rf6 51.Ng6 Nf7 52.Nf8+ Kg8 53.Nd7+ 1-0

Congratulations to Mechanics' members Nicholas Nip, Daniel Naroditsky and Gregory Young who are the top rated players in the US on the December 2006 USCF rating list in the age 8, 10 and 11 categories. Well done! There are many Bay Area players in the USCF top 50 list for players under 21 headed by IM Josh Friedel who is number two (behind Hikaru Nakamura!). The list includes NMs Nic Yap, Matthew Ho, Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, Michael Pearson, Drake Wang, Daniel Schwarz and Sam Shankland.

In Newswletter #321 I gave the wrong address for MI Member George Sanguinetti , currently 1934, who is looking to play USCF rated matches against similarly rated players. His correct e-mail address is ( an underscore between g and sanguinetti).

2) Khachiyan and Pruess tie for First at American Open

The 42nd American Open, held in Los Angeles over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, was a triumph for Mechanics' members as they took three of the first six places led by IM David Pruess who shared top honors with Los Angeles GM Melik Khachiyan. Pruess and Khachiyan also earned spots in the US Championship. Longtime MI member Dmitry Zilberstein had the distinction of facing the first four finishers but his good friend GM Eugene Perelshteyn did him better playing number 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7!! ( he was #3 on tiebreak) in an eight round tournament - and there were 51 players including 5 GMs and 7 IMs in the Open. Beware of short schedules and fast starts! Randy Hough directed the 246 player event with assistants from Elie Hsiao.

1-2. IM David Pruess and GM Melik Khachiyan 6-2

3-6. GMs Yermolinsky, Perelshteyn, Rogers and IM Zilberstein 5 1/2

The following games come from the excellent report by Australian GM Ian Rogers at the USCF's online version of Chess Life run by Jennifer Shahade. Go to for more information on this event.

American Open 2006
White: Eugene Perelshteyn
Black: Alex Yermolinsky

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.O-O-O Nxd4 9.Qxd4 O-O 10.f3 a6 11.h4 b5 12.Kb1 Bb7 13.Qd2 Rc8 14.Bd3 Qc7 15.Ne2 Rfd8 16.Nd4 Qb6 17.Be3 Qc7 18.g4 e5 19.Nf5 Rd7 20.Bg5 Bd8 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.g5 Be7 23.h5 d5 24.g6 Bf6 25.gxh7+ Kh8 26.Qg2 dxe4 27.fxe4 Qd8 28.Rhg1 Qf8 29.Rdf1 Rcd8 30.Nh6 Rd6 31.Ng4 Bc8 32.Nxf6 Rxf6 33.Rxf6 gxf6 34.Qf3 Qe7 35.Qg3 Qf8 36.Qf2 Qe7 37.h6 Kxh7 38.Rg7+ Kh8 39.Qg1 Qf8 40.Rg2 Kh7 41.Rg7+ Kh8 42.a3 Be6 43.Qf2 Qe7 44.Qg3 Qf8 45.b3 Rb8 46.Kb2 Rc8 47.Bf1 Rb8 48.Bh3 1-0

American Open 2006
White: Pruess, David
Black: Brownell, Landon

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 Ne7 6.Bd3 c5 7.dxc5 Qa5 8.Nf3 Nbc6 9.O-O Qxc3 10.Rb1 Qxc5 11.Re1 d4 12.Rb5 Qd6 13.e5 Qc7 14.Ng5 a6 15.Rc5 b6 16.Rxc6 Nxc6 17.Qh5 g6 18.Qf3 Bb7 19.Qf6 Rg8 20.Nxh7 Ne7 21.Bg5 Nd5 22.Qf3 Rg7 23.Nf6+ Nxf6 24.Qxf6 Rh7 25.Rb1 b5 26.Rb4 Bd5 27.Rxd4 Qc5 28.h4 Kd7 29.Rb4 Qf8 30.c4 bxc4 31.Bxc4 a5 32.Bxd5 axb4 33.Bxa8 Qxa8 34.Qe7+ Kc8 35.Qf8+ Kb7 36.Qxb4+ Kc7 37.Qd6+ Kb7 38.Qd7+ Kb8 39.Be7 Qb7 40.Bd6+ Ka7 41.Qa4+ Kb6 42.Qd4+ Kc6 43.Qe4+ Kb6 44.Bc5+ Kc7 45.Bd6+ Kb6 46.Qd4+ Kc6 47.a4 Rh8 48.Qe4+ Kb6 49.Qb4+ Kc6 50.Qc4+ Kd7 51.Qf4 Kc6 52.Kh2 Ra8 53.g4 Ra5 54.h5 gxh5 55.gxh5 Qa7 56.Qf3+ Kb6 57.h6 Rxa4 58.Qe3+ Kc6 59.Qxa7 Rxa7 60.Bf8 f5 61.exf6 Ra5 62.Bg7 1-0

American Open 2006
White: Perelshteyn, E.
Black: Khachiyan, M.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Be3 Nbd7 9.Qd2 h5 10.a4 Be7 11.a5 O-O 12.Be2 b5 13.O-O Rc8 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.exd5 Bf5 16.Rac1 Rc4 17.Bxc4 bxc4 18.Na1 Qc7 19.Qc3 Nf6 20.Rfd1 Rc8 21.Qb4 Rb8 22.Bb6 Nd7 23.b3 c3 24.Qe4 Qxb6+ 25.axb6 Bxe4 26.fxe4 Nc5 27.b4 Nxe4 28.Nb3 Rxb6 29.Ra1 Rxb4 30.Rxa6 Bg5 31.Rc6 Rb5 32.Rd3 f5 33.g3 Kf7 34.Kg2 Ke8 35.Rc7 Bd8 36.Rc4 Kd7 37.Rd1 Bg5 38.Rd3 g6 39.Kg1 Bd8 40.Kg2 Bb6 41.Ra4 Bd8 42.h3 Bg5 43.Ra7+ Ke8 44.Rc7 Kd8 45.Rc4 h4 46.gxh4 Bxh4 47.Rxe4 fxe4 48.Rxc3 Bg5 49.Rc4 e3 50.Rg4 Bf4 51.Rxg6 Rxd5 52.Kf3 Ke7 53.Rg2 Rb5 54.Nd4 Rc5 55.Rg4 Kf6 56.Ne2 Rc4 57.h4 d5 58.c3 Kf5 59.Rg8 e4+ 60.Kg2 Be5 61.Rd8 Rc5 62.h5 Kg5 63.Re8 Bxc3 64.Ng3 Bg7 65.Re6 Rc2+ 66.Kh3 Bf6 67.h6 e2 68.Nxe4+ dxe4 69.Rxe4 Kxh6 0-1

American Open 2006
White: Iwamoto, T.
Black: Yermolinsky, A.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nf3 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qc2 d6 6.Bd2 O-O 7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Qe7 9.O-O-O e5 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.e3 a5 12.h3 Re8 13.g4 Nd7 14.Nd2 Nc5 15.Ne4 Nb4 16.axb4 axb4 17.Bg2 Ra1+ 18.Kd2 b3 19.Rxa1 bxc2 20.Kxc2 Nxe4 21.Bxe4 Be6 22.b3 b6 23.Rhd1 Qh4 24.Rd2 Qxh3 25.Rh1 Qxg4 26.f3 Qg5 27.Bc6 Rb8 28.f4 exf4 29.Rdh2 Bg4 0-1

3) Nakamura wins National Chess Congress

Hikaru Nakamura took a break from his studies at Dickinson College to win the National Chess Congress held over Thanksgiving in Philadelphia. Nakamura defeated fellow GMs Alexander Ivanov and Leonid Yudasin in rounds and 4 and 5 and drew with Zviad Izoria in round 6 to finish half ahead of fellow GMs Alexander Shabalov and Jaan Ehlvest and IM Justin Sarkar ( a nice follow up for the latter after his win at King's Island). Organizers and directors Bill Goichberg and Steve Immitt had a whopping 526 players participate.

Nakamura,H (2709) - Sarkar,J (2397)

37th National Chess Congress Philadelphia, PA (3), 25.11.2006

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qa4+ Nc6 5.Nc3 Nd5 6.Ne5 Nb6 7.Nxc6 Qd6 8.Qc2 Qxc6 9.e4 e5 10.dxe5 Bc5 11.Be2 0-0 12.0-0 Re8 13.Bf4 Bd4 14.Rad1 Qc5 15.Kh1 Bxe5 16.Be3 Qa5 17.f4 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qa4 19.Qb1 Bd7 20.Bf3 Bc6 21.Bd4 Qb5 22.Qc2 Qa4 23.Qf2 Bxe4 24.Qg3 g6 25.Bxe4 Rxe4 26.f5 c5 27.fxg6 hxg6 28.Qf3 f5 29.Bxc5 Rae8 30.Bd4 R8e7 31.Qh3 Rh7 32.Qg3 Kf7 33.Qg5 Qc6 34.Rxf5+ gxf5 35.Qxf5+ Kg8 36.Qg5+ Kf8 37.Rf1+ Ke8 38.Qg8+ Kd7 39.Qxh7+ Re7 40.Rf7 Nd5 41.h4 Qe6 42.Rxe7+ Nxe7 43.Kh2 Kc6 44.h5 Nf5 45.Qh8 Nh6 46.Qf8 b6 47.Bg7 Nf5 48.Qf6 Nxg7 49.Qxg7 Kb5 50.h6 Qd6+ 51.Kh3 Qe6+ 52.Kh4 Qe1+ 53.Kg4 Qe4+ 54.Kh5 Qe8+ 55.Kg5 Qe3+ 56.Kf5 Ka6 57.h7 Qf2+ 58.Ke6 Qe2+ 59.Kd6 Qd3+ 60.Kc7 1-0

4) Americans place high in the Philippines

Zhang Pengxiang of China finished alone with 7.5 points to win the 1st President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup held 16-24 November 2006 in Manila, Philippines. U.S. champion Alexander Onischuk and Israel`s GM Viktor Mikhalevsky shared 2-3 places with 7 points each. GM`s Varuzhan Akobian of Los Angeles and Ni Hua and IM Wang Rui, both of China, tied for 4th through 6th with 6.5 points apiece. 1. GM Zhang Penxiang CHN 7.5
2. GM Alexander Onischuk USA 7
3. GM Viktor Mikhalevski ISR 7
4. GM Varuzhan Akobian USA 6.5
5. GM Ni Hua CHN 6.5
6. IM Wang Rui CHN 6.5
7. GM Zhang Zhong CHN 6
8. Hamad Nouri PHI 6
9. GM Vladimir Belov RUS 6
10. IM Darwin Laylo PHI 6
11. IM Yves Ranola PHI 6
12. IM Ronald Dableo PHI 6
13. IM Jayson Gonzales PHI 6
14. Emmanuel Senador PHI 6

5) Here and There

IM Ricardo DeGuzman won the Thanksgiving weekend event in Cupertino with a 4-0 score. The event, organized and directed by Jason Gurtovoy and Salman Azhar , had an excellent turnout of 128 players.

Stanislav Smetankin was first in the Scott Kittsley Memorial Action event held over Thanksgiving in Milwaukee with fellow IM Josh Friedel second and NM Alex Betaneli third.

Modern technology is helping to rescue old classics. Not too long ago all but best selling chess books that went out of print were destined to stay that way. Not so any longer. Print on demand is revolutionizing the printing business as are various scanning processes that avoid the painful re typesetting often required in the past. One welcome recent "rescue" is Collection of Chess Studies by A.A. Troitzky( Ishi Press International). A truncated version of the original published by David McKay in 1937 has long been available under the title 360 Brilliant and Instructive Endgames ( Dover) but is only 192 pages compared to Collection of Chess Studies' 264 pages. The introduction to the 2006 volume by Sam Sloan explains the differences between the two editions and the genius of Troitzky whose creative legacy continues to live on long after his passing.

6) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Events

Guthrie McClain Memorial - December 2
Jim Hurt Amateur - December 16 and 17

December 9-10 7th Annual Joseph Ileto Memorial
5-SS, rds 1-3 30/85, SD/30, rds 4-5 40/2, SD/1.
Sierra Vista Park, 311 N Rural Dr at E Emerson, Monterey Park, CA 91755.
EF: $30 received by 12/7, $40 at door. Special EF: $10 for juniors not competing for cash prizes (trophies to top 5).
Augmented prizes: $$1400: $300-200-100, U2200 100-50, U2000 100-50, U1800 100-50, U1600 75-50, U1400 75-50, U1200 50, Unrated 50. Best combination: chess set donated by Bill Conrad.
SCCF membership required ($14 reg, $9 jr.), other states accepted.
Reg: 9-9:40 a.m.
Rds: 10-2-6, 10-4.
Inf: Randy Hough, (626) 282-7412,
Ent: SCCF, PO Box 205, Monterey Park, CA 91754.
NS. NC. W. State Championship Qualifier. GP: 10

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