Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #333

Many years experience in analysis have convinced me that in balanced, tense positions there cannot be more than one path to victory.

Igor Zaitsev

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 
2) Aveskulov wins in Stillwater 
3) Three way tie for first at People's Open by Michael Aigner 
4) Indiana teams dominate in Chicago 
5) Bay Area Liga is back 
6) Daniel Naroditsky to give simul in Foster City 
7) Western States Open awarded "Classic Status" 
8) US Championship Internet State Champions Qualifier 
9) Peres wins Washington State Championship 
10) Upcoming Events 

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

NM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs won again last night and is now 7 from 7 in the 73-player Winter Tuesday Night Marathon and leads second place FM Frank Thornally by a point with a round to go. Thornally will need help as the two have already played. Tied for third at 5 1/2 are Experts Daniel Naroditsky and James Jones. Since Thornally and Naroditsky have already played it looks likely the last round will feature games between Tuvshintugs and Naroditsky and Thornally and Jones.

The 7th Annual Imre Konig and Charles Powell Memorials, held April 21 and May 12, will feature enhanced prize funds. The one day Game in 45 minute events, that are usually $200 for 1st and $100 for second, will be doubled to $400 1st -$200 2nd. Six-time US Champion Walter Browne has announced his intention of playing.

Mechanics' members were busy last weekend, traveling to all parts of the country. Many stayed close to home and played at the People's Open in Berkeley but Louiza Livschitz, a high school student from San Ramon, traveled all the way to Florida and helped her team in the US Amateur South draw the top seed by beating a Master. You can find a picture of Louiza at US chess online at .

Joshua Gutman ( 5 from 6) and Mark Pinto (4 from 6) played well for their teams on board two in the US Amateur West while Camille Baginskaite and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs competed in Oklahoma (see the next news item).

2) Aveskulov wins in Stillwater

Frank Berry sends the final standings of the President's Day FIDE Open held February 17-19.

We note that this was possibly the largest Open ever held in Oklahoma, with 112 players, even outdrawing the 1956 US Open in Oklahoma City, where Bobby Fischer first made a name for himself.. 20-year-old GM Valery Aveskulov of Omaha, formerly of Ukraine, won in his American debut. Well done!

1. GM Valery Aveskulov 6 from 7
IM Irina Krush
GM Alex Shabalov
GM Pascal Charnonneau
IM Peter Vavrak
GM Magesh Panchanathan
WIM Nadia K. Ortiz
WGM Camille Baginskaite
Gary Simms 5.5 pts
IM Marko Zivanic
WFM Bararaa Zorigt
FM Renard Anderson
WFM Tatev Abrahamyan
IM Mike Brooks
WFM Iryna Zenyuk
Arbiters Frank Berry, Chris Bird and Jim Berry

3) Three way tie for first at People's Open by Michael Aigner

The longest running weekend tournament in Northern California returned for the 34th time on President's Day weekend in Berkeley. The name People's Tournament is fully appropriate for an event held in a ballroom overlooking historic Sproul Plaza on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. However, only a small percentage of the 124 players in the adult tournament were old enough to remember the Free Speech Movement and other manifestations of the popular counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The People's Tournament itself dates back to this era.

The turnout for this year's event was about 20% less than previous editions, resulting in a slight reduction of the prize fund. The lower attendance may be directly related to last year's organizational fiasco that led to the tournament being held at the East Bay Chess Club instead of its traditional venue. Fortunately, the student activities board (SUPERB) at Cal decided to host this tournament once again in 2007. Without their support, it would be impossible for CalChess to reserve such a spectacular venue at practically no cost.

Our college student hosts did manage to nearly ruin everybody's weekend though. The mysterious terminology "40/2, G/1" was not terribly clear for a non-chess player. Consequently, the representatives of SUPERB did not realize that the building had to be open later than the usual 7pm closing time. Although most players were unaware of it, this crisis was not resolved until about 20 minutes before round 2! The tournament could continue as scheduled on Saturday and Sunday (rounds 1-4) but had to be shortened on Monday (rounds 5-6). Hence, the final two games were played at the faster time control of G/2.

That sets the scene for the chess tournament itself. The players competed in five sections: Open, Expert, Class A, Class B and Reserve (under 1600). One peculiar feature of the big tournaments in Northern California is that a large number of people "play up" a section. In other words, the Expert section consisted of three true experts and nine A players. Some people chose to play up multiple sections, including seven players rated under 2000 in the top section. Perhaps future organizers are advised to limit playing up with higher fees and restricting playing up more than one section.

A total of 18 players competed in the Open section, headlined by five masters including top-rated FM Craig Mar (2425) and 77-year old IM Walter Shipman (2217). Surprisingly, the section's youngest player took control early and was the clear leader after four rounds. Daniel Naroditsky (2115), ranked #1 in the country for age 11, won his first three games and then drew against FM Mar in round 4. The youngster was not to be intimidated by the 2425 rating and even sacrificed a piece against the Najdorf for a strong attack. Reality hit home in rounds 5 and 6 as Daniel lost both games to strong masters. He will have to chalk it up as a learning experience.

That opened the door for other players. The top four rated players all managed to escape defeat, but the draw ratio was surprisingly high considering the aggressive tendencies of the players involved. FM Mar, NM Nicolas Yap (2295) and IM Shipman ended up sharing first place at 4.5/6. One bizarre quirk was that none of the three winners faced each other in the tournament! FM Mar and NM Yap each drew with NM Michael Aigner (2308) as well as with two teenage experts. The only person to win all of his games was IM Shipman, but due to his advanced age, he played just three games and took half-point byes in each of the evening rounds.

The Open section is also the testing grounds for some of the area's elite juniors. No fewer than eight kids played in the toughest division. Adarsh Konda tied for fourth place just half a point out of first place. Kudos also go to Matt Zavortink for gaining 21 points to bring his rating up to 2046, a net gain of 61 points since the beginning of the year.

Only 12 people participated in the Expert section, in part because most of the real experts actually played in the top section. Nikunj Oza (1856) and Rohan Sathe (1899) set themselves apart from the competition with undefeated scores of 5.0/6. The co-champions, who drew their individual encounter in the fifth round, each gained approximately 70 rating points for the weekend. Martin Marshall (1898) took the third place prize.

In the opinion of this writer, the most interesting competition occurred in the A section. Surely nobody else would have predicted that Steven Zierk, with an official rating of 1527, would take clear first place in the A section! However, pigs can fly and Steven finished with four wins and two draws for 5.0/6. No, Steven was not a sandbagger but rather returned to chess after a layoff of over five years. The 1527 rating reflected his strength in 2nd grade when he was ranked #2 in the country. Today he is in 8th grade and is able to complement his enormous talent with the patience and calculation required to succeed in chess. Steven's post-tournament rating of 1860 is probably still underrated, as demonstrated by his 3.0/4 score against 2200 average opposition at the Silicon Valley Challenge in January.

Four people tied for second place with 4.5/6 in the 25 player A section. Alan Naroditsky (1916) and Martin Whalley (1833) led the section after rounds 4 and 5, respectively, but Alan lost to Martin in round 5 while Martin lost to Yefim Bukh (1932) in round 6. Those three players were also joined by Kevin Hwa (1648), who gained 105 rating points by defeating two 1900 rated opponents on the last day. This author is proud to mention that all three of the teenagers who won money in the A section are his students. Congrats to Steven, Alan and Kevin!

Unlike the A section, which was dominated by talented juniors, the B section featured the revenge of the adults. Only one of the four prize winners was a kid. Roman Vaisberg (1640) went 5.0/6 en route to clear first place. He did lose one game though, in the fifth round to Darren Lustig (1730). A last round draw on top board left Darren tied for second place with his opponent Michael Kai Lum (1766) and junior Mukund Chillakanti (1597). Mukund and his twin brother Kartik (1603) and gained an impressive total of 144 rating points in the tournament.

One particular feature of the location overlooking Sproul Plaza is the incessant banging of the bongo drums outside. Of course, this is annoying to many chess players, yet some old-timers have grown accustomed to the steady rhythm of the drums. In 2005, the drummers were mysteriously absent. However, on Saturday morning during the first round, the BOOM, BOOM, BOOM sounds began. Then the noise mysteriously ended. It turns out that one parent had bribed the drummers to go buy a lunch just so that the chess players could have some quiet time. Surprisingly, the bongo drums did not return for the rest of the weekend.

The lowest rated section in the adult tournament was the Reserve (under 1600). A total of 44 players entered and many were in fact youngsters. Congratulations to juniors Rahul Desirazu (1549) and Kevin Liu (1423) on sharing first place at 4.5/5. Rahul, who drew one game, broke 1600 with his performance while Kevin, who took a bye in round 3, gained a whopping total of 176 rating points! The bonus points in the USCF rating formulas really add up for the local juniors. Not to be completely outdone by the kids, three adults shared third place at 4.0/5: Harold Parker (1556), Vijay Jasthi (1517) and Jeff Kottcamp (1547). Harold drew with Rahul on top board in the final round while Vijay and Jeff each lost to one of the co-champs. Finally, the top under 1400 honors went to Mark Vargas with a score of 3.5/5.

The Young People's Tournament on Monday attracted another 59 participants. 3rd grader Daniel Ho (1228) was the only perfect 5-0 score in the K-6 section. 6th grader Sudarshan Seshadri (1257) was also finished undefeated, but a third round draw meant a second place trophy. 9th grader Jeremy Lowenthal (1424) finished with 4.5/5 to take top honors in the 7-12 grade section. One of the youngest players in the scholastic tournament was actually blind and had to play with a special chess set. Chess is truly a sport that everyone can play, even those with physical disabilities.

I will close this article with a big Thank You to the organizers and directors of the successful tournament. CalChess President Richard Koepcke did the lion's share of the directing work. Tom Langland was in charge of running the scholastic tournament. Perhaps most important was SUPERB representative George Law, who was in charge of the obtaining the site and managing the bookkeeping for the event. Hopefully we can do this again next year with an even larger turnout!

Here are links to the final standings, in tiebreak order. The tournament has been USCF rated, with links provided on each page.

34th People's Tournament:

Young People's Tournament:

Approximately 200 photos have been posted on ChessDryad website.

By Mark Shelton:

By Richard Shorman:

4) Indiana team dominates in Chicago

Roger Blaine writes:

The "REPEAT OFFENDERS" team of John Cole, Goshen; John Langreck, Davis, California; Jim Dean, Fort Wayne, and Drew Hollinberger, Indianapolis, repeated as winners of the U.S. Amateur Chess Team Championship North, held in the Chicago suburb of Lombard, Ill., on Feb. 17-18, 2007. Sporting bright orange sweat shirts with their USCF numbers on the front and their names on the back, the squad won 4 matches and tied 1 in the Open section field of 12 teams. They averaged 2199 in rating, the maximum allowable by the definition of "Amateur" teams. Each member of the team was awarded an electronic clock.

Individual scores out of 5: Cole 2.5, Langreck 4, Dean 4.5, Hollinberger 2.5.

5) Ken Whyld Association meeting in New York

East Bay Chess Club LIGA 3

A team tournament

Entry fee: $200 for each 8-player team

Open to players of all strengths

Time control is 40/2 SD1

Go to for more info

Captains and players needed!

Email to play and/or be a captain

6) Daniel Naroditsky to give simul in Foster City


On May 6, 2007 Chess Expert Daniel Naroditsky, US National Champion and the highest rated player in the United States in his age category, and a fifth grade student at Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School, will give a "simul" on 15 board to benefit the Day School.

(Simuls are always popular. Usually the exhibitor is in the center of a square of tables. Each opponent has one chessboard. The exhibitor moves from board to board, making one move at each before moving on. The advantage to the challengers is the longer duration of time they have to think about the position as the exhibitor makes the circuit--and, of course, the fact that they only need to concentrate on one game, not 15!)

International Master John Donaldson, Director of Mechanics' Institute Chess Club in San Francisco will be the official referee and will supervise the event. He will explain the rules to all participants before the game.

Spectators are welcome to watch the game. A donation of $5 for the Day School is requested. Since the simul requires an enormous concentration of the exhibitor, an absolute silence during the games is required.

The simul will take place at Ronald C.Wornick Jewish Day School in Ulam Gadol room and will start at 11 am sharp. It is expected to last for approximately two hours.

Boards and Chess Pieces will be provided.

Each Board will have a sponsor; the person sponsoring one or more Boards does not have to play and can designate any player, of any age.

The bidding for each board starts at $100/board. All the proceeds will be donated to the school.

Anybody who wins their game will receive a prize.

7) Western States Open awarded "Classic Status"

The Western States Open, held every October in Reno for the past twenty five years, was recently awarded long over due status as a USCF "Classic" event given to events that attract over 400 players. During a five year period from 1997 to 2001 the WSO was over 400 players every year except 1999 when the event followed 6 weeks after the US Open which was also held in Reno. Incidentally the 1999 event still holds record the US Open record for most GMs competing with close to 30.

Congratulations to Jerry and Fran Weikel and Barbara and the Sands Regency Hotel and Casino for their outstanding efforts in making the WSO the third largest annual event in the US west of the Mississippi behind only the National and North American Opens in Las Vegas!

8) US Championship Internet State Champions Qualifier

Duncan Oxley writes:

In the second States Champions Qualifier today Keaton Kiewra (2342) of Nebraska and GM Julio Becerra (2601) of Florida advanced into the semi-finals. Because of a low turnout all the rest of the players were in a common "Western" section.

They join Xiao Cheng (2348) of Georgia and FM Miles Ardaman (2395) of North Carolina .All four will meet in the semi-finals on March 3rd with the two winners there meeting in the final event on March 10th.

9) Peres wins Washington State Championship

Congratulations to NM Ignacio Peres who scored an impressive 7 from 9 to win the Washington State Championship title in a 10-player round robin. NM Nat Koons was second with 6 followed by 13-year-old NM Michael Lee with 5 1/2. NM Viktors Pupols, who turns 73 this summer, scored a respectable 3 1/2 and extended his record for participation in the event back to 1954. During the past 50-odd years Pupols has played in about 40 of the events!

10) Upcoming Events

MI Events - go to for more information

A.J. Fink Amateur - March 3rd and 4th
Max Wilkerson Open - March 24th
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 14th and 15th
Imre Konig Memorial - April 21st
Charles Powell Memorial - May 12th
Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 2nd and 3rd
William Addison Open - June 23rd

Mar. 2-4 7th Annual Millennium Chess Festival GPP: 120 Virginia
Total prize fund $16,500 *$6000 guaranteed in open section.* $10,500 in class section prizes b/o 50 per section. 5SS G/2 *Hotel and Site: *Ramada Plaza Resort Oceanfront, 5700 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451. (757) 428-7025 *Open Section (FIDE): Guaranteed! *$$2000, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 300, 200 U2400* *& Unr. $500, 200 *U2200 Section* (b/o 50) $1200, 600,400, 300, 200 *U1900 Section (b/o 50)* $1000, 600, 400,300, 200, 150 *U1600 Section* (b/o 50) $1000, 600, 400,300, 200, 150 *U1300 Section (b/o50)* $1000, 600, 400, 300, 200 *EF:* $90 if rcvd by 2/26, $110 thereafter. Credit card taken on site. GMs, WGMs, IMs, WIMs free w/conditions if entered by 2/1. Contact organizer or see website for details. *Reg:* Fri. 3/2 5:00 - 7:30 *Rds:* Fri. 3/2 8 pm. Sat. 9:30 am 2:30 pm Sun. 9:30 am 2:30 pm *Byes:* single 1/2 pt. non-revokable bye - must commit with entry. HR: $89 1-800-365-3032

Apr. 6-8 Reno-Far West Open VII GPP: 150 Enhanced Nevada
7 Sections. F.I.D.E.- 40/2,20/1,G/30. Sands Regency Hotel/Casino, 345 N. Arlington Ave., Reno, NV. 89501. 1-866-FUNSTAY, HR: Sun-Thurs $27! Fri & Sat $54(CHE 405). $$25,000 b/275 ($16,000 Gtd.); Rds: 12-7, 10-6, 9:30-4:30. Open Section: EF: GM/IMs free (must enter by Mar. 15 or pay late fee), Masters- $116, (2000-2199)- $151, (1999-below)- $201. $$2,000-1,000-800-700-600-500-400-400-300-300, (2300-2399)-$1,000-500, (2299-below)- $1,000-500; "X" Section (2000-2199)- EF: $115, $1,000-500-300-200-100-100-100-100-100-100; "A" Section (1800-1999)- EF: $114, 1000-500-300-200-100-100-100-100-100-100; "B" Section (1600-1799)- EF: $113, $1,000-500- 300-200-100-100-100-100-100-100; "C" Sect. (1400-1599) EF: $112, $900-500-300-200-100-100-100-100-100-100; "D" Sect. (1200-1399) EF: $111, $800-400-300-200-100-100-100-100-100-100; "E" Section (1199-below) EF: $60 (counts as 1/2 player towards prize fund, also no Sr./Jr. discounts in this section)- $500-300-200-100-100-100-75-75-75-75; Top Sr. (65+) $200, Club Champ. $400-200. Unrated free entry but must join USCF for 1 yr. thru this tournament (Adults-$49, Sr.-$36, Jrs.U25-$25, U16 -$19, U13-$17). Discounts- Sr (65+) and Jrs. (under 20)- $10 (not available for Sect. "E"). Players may play up. Side Events: Thurs. 4/5 (5:30-7pm) GM Larry Evans Lecture (Free), GM Sergy Kudrin Simul (+ Analysis!) 7pm ($20), Blitz (5 min)Tourney 7 pm. $20 (80% of entries returned as prizes), Sat (4/7) GM Larry Evans Clinic/Game Analysis (Free) 3-4:30pm, Sun (4/8) Quick Tourney (G/25) ($20) 5Rd Swiss, (80% of entries returned as prizes) Reg. 11-11:30 am, Rds: 12-1-2-3-4 pm. Enter: Send checks and make out to Sands Regency at above address postmarked by Mar. 15 ($11 late fee after 3/15), ($22 late fee at site). Do not mail after Mar. 31. Questions and enter by e-mail or phone to Jerry Weikel at (775) 747-1405 or ( W. NS. (775-348-2200).

Aug. 14-19 2007 U.S. Senior Open S. California
6SS, 40/2 SD/1, open to USCF members born before August 14, 1957. La Quinta Resort & Club, 49 - 499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta (Palm Springs) CA. 92253 HR: $105 800 -589-3828. EF: $90 if received by July 16, $100 by July 30, $110 after July 30 or onsite. Make out checks to USCF. Prize Fund: 85 or more paid entries: guaranteed $5,000 (or 70% return) 1st: $1200, 2nd: $700, 3rd: $450, 4th: $350; 5th $250; 6th 150; U2200 $300-150, U2000 $300-150; U1800: $250-150, U1600: $200-100, U1400 $200-100, Unrated $200-100. Trophies: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Prizes for each Age champions 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and over 75. Reg: ends 12 noon August 14 for Senior Open. Traditional Schedule: Tuesday - Saturday one round daily 2 pm. Sunday, 11 am. Alt Schedule: G/60 Thur Rd 1 3pm, Rd 2 6pm, Fri Rd 3 10am, merge with Traditional Schedule 2pm. 1/2 pt. byes available except final Rd. Awards reception 6 pm. TD: NTD Carol Jarecki. (website coming soon for this event) or mail USCF P.O. Box 3967, Crossville, TN 38557

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