The greatest skill in chess is not allowing the opponent to show you what he can do.
Note - This is the second Newsletter this week due to the holiday season. The regular schedule will resume on Wednesday, January 10th.
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 2) Philadelphia and Agoura Hills 3) US Championship Update 4) Digesh Shanker Malla wins 9th California Classic 5) Top FIDE rated players 6) Upcoming Events
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
Upsets seem to be the norm in the Winter Tuesday Night Marathon. Larry Snyder and Peter Grey fell to Evan Sandberg and Igor Royzen respectively in round one and last night it was fellow Experts Kimani Stancil and James Jones who lost to Vadim Smelansky and Dan Litowsky. Six rounds remain for the 71 contestants in the 8 round Swiss.
This Saturday the Mechanics' will host the 7th Annual Bob Burger Open to honor the Bay Area's noted problemist, author and chessmaster who has been a fixture in California chess for over 50 years.
2) Philadelphia and Agoura Hills
Martin Luther King Weekend marks the traditional start of the US Swiss circuit and this year was no different with Bill Goichberg's Continental Chess Association organizing competing events in Philadelphia and Agoura Hills ( just outside Los Angeles).
The larger of the two, the Liberty Bell Open in Philly, attracted 330 players and saw GMs Jaan Ehlvest and Alexander Ivanov share first with 5.5 from 7 in the Open followed by GMs Alex Shabalov and Sergey Kudrin and FMs Bryan Smith and Mackenzie Molnar at 5. Steve Immitt and Sophia Rohde directed for the CCA.
Agoura Hills saw the men from Glendale, Armenian-Americans GM Melik Khachiyan and IM Andranik Matikozian share first with 5.5 from 7 followed by IM Enrico Sevillano and FM Matthew Beelby on 5. Quite a few Bay Area players made the trip South and IM David Pruess and Mechanics' Grandmaster-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky were in the hunt for first until losses to Khachiyan ( round 7 for Pruess) and Matikozian ( round six for Yermo) removed them from contention. The Nestor of Southern California chess, Jerry Hanken, showed he still has some sharp teeth as he scored 4.5 points in the top section. A total of 179 players competed in the event directed by Bill Goichberg and Randy Hough.
3) US Championship Update
There is some good news to add to last week's report that America's Foundation for Chess will not be sponsoring the 2007 US Championship. The first is that Erik Anderson, whose personal generosity contributed greatly to the AF4C's ability to sponsor five Championships from 2000-2006, has given the USCF a gift of $25,000. The second is that the AF4C has not ruled out the possibility of organizing future Championships.
4) Digesh Shanker Malla wins 9th California Classic
Who is the highest rated player in the Bay Area? Is it GMs Alex Yermolinsky and Walter Browne or IM Josh Friedel? No, not today if we count provisionally rated players. The honor goes to Digesh Shanker Malla who as an unrated player went 5-0 to win the 9th California Classic on January 14 and earn a rating of 2596 for five games. Expert Adarsh Konda was second with four points in the 100 player multi-section event organized and directed by Salman Azhar and Jason Gurtovoy. The two dynamic duo plan to hold such one day events on a monthly basis filling a big need for tournaments in the South Bay area.
5) Top FIDE rated players
The January 2007 FIDE rating list shows Veselin Topalov and Viswanathan Anand in a virtual tie for top position on the rating list. The latter has been remarkably consistent for many years, and would have been an easy number one, but for a disastrous result at the Turin Olympiad which makes one appreciate even more the stamina and skill Gata Kamsky and Etienne Bacrot showed playing in Sofia and Turin back to back last spring.
The US top 10 average 2627 putting us equal number three in the World with Armenia behind Russia ( 2713) and Ukraine (2661)
Northern California Top Ten
1. GM Yermolinsky 2523
2. IM Friedel 2468
3. IM Bhat 2450
4. GM Browne 2447
5. IM Stein 2425
6. IM Pruess 2416
7. IM Donaldson 2413
8. IM Mezentsev 2412
9. IM Zilberstein 2411
10. IM De Guzman 2398
6) Upcoming Events
Bob Burger Open - January 20
Feb 17, 18 19 President's Day FIDE Open OK GP # 1 Stillwater
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