Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #28

"The battle for the ultimate truth will never be won. And that's why chess is so fascinating."

Hans Kmoch

1) USA loses to China but Mechanics' Institute Draws!

China defeated the United States 21-19 in a team match (mens, womens and junior boards) held March 14-18 in Seattle. While the Chinese won against the United States they could only draw 3 ½ - 3 ½ with the Mechanics' Institute. The MI supplied two members of the American team and both did very well. United States Women's Champion Camilla Baginskaite scored one win and two draws against higher rated opposition to emerge as the top American scorer on the womens and junior boards. Vinay Bhat, the 16-year-old Falconer Award winner, scored one win, one draw and two losses against the youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess, Bu Xiangzhi, and the emerging talent Ni Hua. Vinay could have done even better, but declined a draw in the last round in a valiant attempt to help the American team avoid defeat.

The final result, with China winning, would have created a sensation ten years ago, but China was a clear favorite going into this match based on FIDE ratings measuring past performance. Much like Russia in the past, China has ambitious plans to rise to the top of World Chess.

Chen Zu De, president of the Chinese Chess Association, that now numbers more than 3,000,000 (compared to 80,000 in the United States Chess Federation) had this to say:

"Russia is the strongest nation. We have to catch up with them," he declared. To that end, he explained that China's government was offering substantial material help, with children being a special target. "We recognize chess," he explained, "as an educational tool. Chess and education mutually benefit each other. When the players are in school, they go to their chess training school once a week."

Chinese juniors now dominate the Fide ratings for children under twelve years of age. The top ten players born after August 1988 are all Chinese with ratings in the 2200s. The United States doesn't have a single player at this level.

It's all a far cry from when Women's World Champion Xie Jun was a junior. "She is the heroine of China," said Chen Zu De. "Everybody knows her." Paying tribute to their world champion at the opening ceremony, China's Consul General, Wang Yunxiang, said: "Before Xie Jun there was only around 30,000 chess players in China. Now, thanks solely to her, that number has risen - and continues to rise - to over 3,000,000."

The USA-China match, organized by the Seattle Chess Foundation , attracted widespread media attention. The Seattle Post Intelligencer and Seattle Times both gave it front page coverage. Next year's match will be held in China.

For more information on the US-China match go to

2) IM Guillermo Rey ties for first in United States G/10 Championship

Long time Mechanics' Institute member Guillermo Rey tied for first in the United States Game in Ten Minutes Championship held March 12 in Las Vegas with a score of 6 ½ from 8. Joining the International Master from Pacifica in the winner's circle were Grandmasters Dmitry Gurevich, Alexander Stripunsky, GM Ildar Ibragimov, Alexander Chernin and Alex Wojtkiewicz.

3) Wong Leads Tuesday Night Marathon

National Master Russell Wong defeated Victor Ossipov to grab a full point lead with a round to go in the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. Marty Cortinas scored a big upset by beating top-seed Kenneth Hills. The next Marathon will start on April 10th.

1. NM Wong 6/7 
2. Todortsev 5.5 
3-6. NM Blohm, Grey, Ossipov and Cortinas 5. 

4) Northern California State Scholastic Championship

The Mechanics' Scholastic Chess Team, coached by Anthony Corrales, turned in many excellent individual and team results in the Northern California State Championships held March 3-4 in Santa Clara. Congratulations to Coach Corrales and all the players for a job well done!

K-3 UNDER 600

5 Rounds 
76 Players 
MI Team 11th of 28 teams 
1. Ryan Lee 571 5.0 


5 Rounds 
MI Team 1st of 32 teams 
122 Players 
3. Anthony Ferrer Unr 5.0 
5. Emilia Krubnik 703 4.5 
9. Alan Hwang 761 4.0 
16. Davis Xu 959 4.0 
78. Eli Baldwin 622 3.0 
109. Killian Liebst Fa 963 1.0 

K-6 UNDER 850

6 Rounds 
120 Players 
MI Team 15th of 41 teams 
41.Kellen Wohl 846 3.5 
81. Erica Brett 806 2.5 


6 Rounds 
85 Players 
MI Team 1st of 29 teams 
1. Alexander Setzepfandt 1864 5.5 
5. Nicolas Yap 1253 5.0 
6. Drake Wang 1850 5.0 
12. Anand Kesavaraju 1298 4.0 
21. Shaun Tse 1062 4.0 
28. Ben Laufer 1147 3.5; 1st Fifth Grade 
61. Emilia Krubnik 2.5 

K-8 UNDER 850

6 Rounds 
89 Players 
83. Farrens Brenton Unr 1.0 


6 Rounds 
70 Players 
MI Team 1st of 23 teams 
2.Michael Pearson 1876 5.0 
4. Mathew Ho 2007 5.0 
6. Jared Wood 1293 4.5 
9. Oren Gazit 1278 4.0 
11. Jamie Brett 1195 4.0 
37. Teresa Haun 3.0 

K-12 UNDER 1000

6 Rounds 
90 Players 
MI Team 14th of 32 teams 
53. Travis Wood 855 2.5 
61. Tony Roca 900 2.0 


6 Rounds 
105 Players 
MI Team 2nd of 34 teams 
4. Ben Haun 1794 5.0 
11. Monty Peckham 1750 4.5 
22. Gary Huang 1882 4.0 
26. Alex Kwan 1135 4.0 
42. Alex Karnazes 1764 3.0 
60. Zachary Karnazes 1707 3.0 
74. Ewelina Krubnik 1373 2.0 

5) Upcoming Events at the MI

March 30-April 1
A.J. Fink Amateur Championship (open to players below 2000)

April 7
Imre Konig Memorial (5 rounds G/45 at ½ K)

April 28-29
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open (players 50 and over)

May 13
Charles Powell Memorial (G/60)

June 2
William Addison Open (5 rounds G/45 at ½ K)

June 8-10
Arthur Stamer Memorial

July 21
Charles Bagby Memorial (G/29- QC)

August 18
Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial (5 rounds G/45 at ½ K)

More details on these events can be found at the MI Chess Room website

If you have trouble reading any part of this newsletter it can be found in its entirety at the MI Chess Room website.

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