Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #335

Third board belongs to a huge, monosyllabic, hip-hop-attired freshman named Shawn Martinez. "Because of the way he looks, because of his sleepy visage and his slow drawl and the extra weight he carries, people have never taken Shawn to be much of an intellectual threat," Weinreb says. "That's why chess matters to him as much as anything else in his life."

From A Year Among the Geeks, Oddballs, and Geniuses Who Make Up America's Top High School Chess Team (Gotham publishing 2007) by Michael Weinreb

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Ray Schutt: Part 2  An appreciation by Erik Osbun
3) Our Men at Cappelle la Grande
4) Varuzhan Akobian on MTV
5) US Championship Update
6) Cheng  and Becerra advance
7) Documentary We've Got Mate
8) Continental Championship Update
9) Cal Chess Masters at the Mechanics'
10) New England Masters by Chris Bird
11) National Junior High in Sacramento by Michael Aigner
12) Here and There

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

Alex Prazma dominated the A.J. Fink Amateur held March 4th and 5th, with a 6-0 score, to take home $300. Tying for second at 4.5 in the 47-player field, open to those rated under 2000 USCF, were Dante Argishti, Hovik Manvelyan, Tab Salvo and Hayk Manvelyan.

AJ Fink Amateur (6) 2004
Belanoff - Prazma

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. d3 c6 6. Ba4 d6 7. Nxd4 exd4 8. Ne2 Qa5+ 9. c3 dxc3 10. bxc3 Bg4 11. f3 Be6 12. O-O Be7 13. Be3 O-O 14. f4 Ng4 15. Qd2 Nxe3 16. Qxe3 Qxa4 17. f5 Bd7 18. f6 Bxf6 19. Rxf6 gxf6 20. Rf1 Qb5 21. Rxf6 Rae8 22. Nf4 Re5 23. c4 Qa5 24. d4 Rg5 25. h4 Rg4 26. d5 Qc5 0-1

The Mechanics's enhanced G/45 tournaments, to held April 21 and May 12 with $400 guaranteed first and $200 second, are already starting to perk interest. Six-time US Champion Walter Browne is scheduled to play in both with San Diego IM Cyrus Lakdawala set to play May 12.

The Spring Tuesday Night Marathon will begin will start March 20th and run through May 8th.

2) Ray Schutt: Part 2 An appreciation by Erik Osbun

Raymond Schutt won the Central California Open at Sunnyvale in 1966 and qualified for his first state championship. He did it with a perfect 5-0, quite difficult to obtain in a weekend Swiss with 3 rounds in one day. In this regard, I recall a conversation I had long ago with Bill Addison concerning his best score in a weekend Swiss tournament of 5 rounds. About the perfect score he said: “I’ve never done it, my best was 4 ½.” I resemble his remark, never getting better than 4 ½ of 5. I did just that in this tournament for second place, having to tie for first in another event in order to qualify for the same state championship.

Ray’s 4th round paired him with an especially difficult opponent for him: the well known California master, John Blackstone. The game score, supplied by John to the

Cal Games data base built by Kerry Lawless, brought back memories of the tense encounter in the playing hall. Frankly, having myself played many similarly opened games with John, I expected John to win. However, what happened was this gritty defense and counter-attack by Ray that brought him to 4-0. He polished off another well known master in the last round for his 5-0: Ziad Baroudi, that game score published in The California Chess Reporter.

White: John Blackstone Black: Raymond Schutt Ruy Lopez

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 d6 6.c4

Unusual at this juncture, one expects either 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.d4 or 6.c3 Bd7 7.d4.


Black can take the e-Pawn: 6…Nxe4 7.d4 Bd7 8.Qe2 f5 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.dxe5 Be7

( Spielmann – Rubinstein, Meran, 1924 ).

7.Nc3 0-0

Not bad at all is 7…Bd7 8.d4 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 exd4 10.Bxd7+ Nxd7! 11.Qxd4 Bf6

( Keres – Gligoric, Bled, 1959, and Los Angeles, 1963 ).

8.d4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 Nd7

Black attempts what may be called “Gligoric’s equalizing variation” in less favorable circumstances with light-squared Bishops still aboard.


Why not play 11.Nd5 Bf6 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.Qxf6 Nxf6 14.f3 for an interesting endgame with the two Bishops? Possibly what is happening with the text move is the “Swiss decision” not to simplify.

11…Bf6 12.Qe3 Ne5 13.f4!?

“Why certainly sir,” he said to the Swiss waiter, “a Pawn is your tip.” Actually, to evaluate this sacrificial continuation is very difficult. The more timid might select 13.Bb3 ( if 13.b3 b5! ), but then Black gets counter-play with 13…Ng4.

13…Nxc4 14.Qd3 Bxc3


15.e5 Qh4

Black has to defend mate at h7, so he does so with counter-attack.

16.Qxc3 Be6 17.f5

Black’s position looks precarious, but what if White chose 17.b3? The continuation might be 17…Nb6 18.Qxc7 Rac8 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 20.Qxb6 Rc2, and Black’s counter-attack is too strong.

17…Bd5 18.Rf4 Qg5 19.Re4 Qd8 20.Rxc4 Bxc4 21.Qxc4 dxe5

White has taken the two pieces for his Rook at the cost of two Pawns, a difficult situation for both sides demanding strong nerves.

22.Be3 Qf6 23.Be4

White wants to control the whole board with his Bishops. In this way the enemy Rooks may be caged. The drawback is that the directed force of the Bishops is dissipated and a lack of coordination becomes apparent.

Therefore, 23.Qe4 followed by the careful advance of the g-Pawn recommends itself. The Black King, not his Rooks, will be the main target.

23…c6 24.Bb6 Rfe8 25.Rd1 Qe7 26.Rd3 a5!?

With the idea of 26…Qb4 relieving the cramp.

27.Bc5 Qh4

What a pest!

28.g3 Qg4 29.Rd7 Red8!

Black carefully gauges defense with 29…Qh5 versus challenging the nitty gritty Rook at d7 for the d-file, and correctly chooses the latter. It also sets a pitfall!


Looks good, but solid and still sound is 30.Rd3 ( 30…b5? 31.Qc2! ). Black gets no opening.

30…Kh8 31.Bg2 Rxd7 32.Qxd7 Qc4

Always attacking the loose Bishop for gain.

33.Be3 Qxa2 34.Qxb7

34Qd2? Qb1+ and 35…Qxf5 is worse for White.

34…Rd8 35.Be4 Qc4

Threatening 36…Rd1+ and mate.

36.Bf3 Qd3 37.Qb6?

37.Kf2 Qxf5 38.Qxc6 Rc8 39.Qb7 is a better defense. The text probably loses.

37…Rf8 38.g4 e4!

So that if 39.Bg2 Qd1+ 40.Kf2 Qxg4, and the White King is without Pawn cover.

However, White in his last ditch effort in time trouble finds a weaker move.

39.Bc5? Qxf3! 40.Bxf8 e3

This Pawn on the 6th rank wins the game.

41.Bxg7+ Kxg7 42.Qd4+ Kf7 43.Qd7+ Kf6 44.Qd8+ Ke5 45.Qc7+ Kd4 46.Qg7+ Ke4 47.Qe7+ Kf4 48.Qc7+ Kxg4 49.Qg7+ Kxf5 50.Qxh7+ Ke5 51.Qc7+ Kd4 52.Qg7+ Kd5 53.Qg2


53…Qxg2+ 54.Kxg2 Ke4 55.Kf1 Kd3 56.Ke1 a4! 57.h4 c5 58.h5 c4 59.h6 c3 0-1

3) Our men at Cappelle la Grande

Bay Area IMs Josh Friedel and David Pruess have made the trip across the pond to the super strong event in France where 87 GMs and 81 IMs are competing in a monster open. Josh has 3.5 from 5 including a win over GM Cyborowski while David has 3 from 5. He started by beating three strong GMs in a row before losing to FIDE 2600s Miroshichenko and Landa but is still very much in the hunt for a GM norm.

Pruess,D (2402) - Delgado,N (2562) [B66]

23rd Open Cappelle la Grande FRA (1), 03.03.2007

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.0-0-0 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 0-0 10.f4 a6 11.Bd3 Qc7 12.e5 dxe5 13.fxe5 Nd5 14.Ne4 Rd8 15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.Rhf1 b5 17.Nf6+ gxf6 18.exf6 Qd6 19.Qh4 Kf8 20.Qxh7 Ke8 21.g4 Qe5 22.Kb1 Kd7 23.Rde1 Qd6 24.Qxf7+ Kc6 25.g5 Kb6 26.Qh5 Qb4 27.a3 Qa5 28.Qg4 e5 29.Qg1+ Kc6 30.Rxe5 b4 31.Be4 bxa3 32.Qd4 axb2 33.Bxd5+ Kc7 34.Re7+ Rd7 35.Qe5+ 1-0

Pruess,D (2402) - Gareev,T (2551) [B01]

23rd Open Cappelle la Grande FRA (2), 04.03.2007

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.dxe6 Bxe6 5.Nf3 Qe7 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.d4 Bf5 8.Qxe7+ Bxe7 9.Be3 Nb4 10.Na3 Ne4 11.Be2 Bf6 12.0-0 0-0-0 13.Ne5 c5 14.f3 Nd2 15.Rfd1 Nb1 16.Raxb1 Bxb1 17.Nxb1 cxd4 18.Bd2 d3 19.Bf1 Bxe5 20.Bxb4 Bd4+ 21.Kh1 Bxb2 22.Nc3 d2 23.Nd5 Bc1 24.Bxd2 Bxd2 25.Rxd2 Rhe8 26.Rd1 Rd6 27.Kg1 Ra6 28.Nb4 Rd8 29.Bd3 g6 30.Bc2 Rxd1+ 31.Bxd1 Rd6 32.Bb3 Rd2 33.Nd5 Rd3 34.Kf2 f5 35.Nf6 Rd2+ 36.Kg3 h5 37.h4 Kc7 38.Nd5+ Kd6 39.Nf4 Kc5 40.Nxg6 a5 41.Nf4 Kb4 42.c5 a4 43.Be6 Kxc5 44.Nxh5 1-0

Rozentalis,E (2582) - Pruess,D (2402) [B06]

23rd Open Cappelle la Grande FRA (3), 05.03.2007

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.d4 Bg7 6.c4 Qd6 7.Nc3 cxd4 8.Nb5 Qb6 9.Bf4 Na6 10.Be2 Bd7 11.0-0 Rd8 12.Re1 d3 13.Bxd3 Bxb5 14.cxb5 Nc5 15.Re3 Nf6 16.Be5 0-0 17.b4 Nxd3 18.Rxd3 Ng4 19.Bd4 Bxd4 20.Rxd4 Nxf2 21.Qd2 e5 0-1

4) Varuzhan Akobian on MTV

Jennifer Shahade's excellent US Chess Online reports the following item of special interest to California as GM Akobian is the top-rated player in the state.

Cancel your late night Thursday plans or set your Tivo! L.A. based Grandmaster Varuzhan Akobian will be on MTV's True Life in an episode titled "I'm a Genius." According to , it will also air at 9 PM EST and 9 PM PST, but please check your local listings to ensure you'll catch it. The MTV crew followed "Var" to the Morelia Open, his birthday party, the beach and even the gym.

"It feels great to be on MTV," Varuzhan told CLO, " I really hope a lot of USCF members will tune in and watch!" They will be in good company, as in addition to millions of regular viewers, Varuzhan will also be watching the show Thursday night for the first time. The 23-year-old Grandmaster is full of confidence on his debut: "I'm not nervous at all."

5) US Championship Update

The US Championship is starting to receive some press. This past Sunday the New York Times ran the following article by NM Dylan McClain.

The United States Championship has found a sponsor and a home. Frank K. Berry, a businessman from Oklahoma, has put up $50,000 to stage the contest in Stillwater, Okla., from May 15 to 23. In a telephone interview, he said he was lining up additional local sponsors to increase the size of the prize fund. The United States Chess Federation will also contribute $15,000, according to its president, Bill Goichberg.

From 2002 to 2006, the championship was sponsored and organized by America’s Foundation for Chess, a nonprofit organization based in Kirkland, Wash. The foundation held the championship last year in San Diego with a prize fund of $250,000.

Erik Anderson, the group’s founder and chairman, said it was not sponsoring the championship this year for a variety of reasons: First, it was not able to find another organization to help sponsor the event. In addition, he said, the championship conflicted with the main goal of the foundation: to promote the teaching of chess in schools.

“People who are giving money are asking: ‘What are we giving money for? Is it to the championship or to the foundation?’ ” Mr. Anderson said.

He said part of the reason he had been unable to find a co-sponsor was a concern about infighting in the chess federation. He said that people in the federation, whom he would not name, were attacking him and the foundation on chess blogs, and that that might be scaring away sponsors.

Mr. Berry, whose twin brother, James, is running for election to the executive board of the chess federation, said he had decided to sponsor the championship because he can. His family has large equity stakes in Southwest Bancorp, based in Stillwater.

“I’m 61 and I have no kids,” Mr. Berry said. “So what am I going to do with this money? Let’s play with the money a bit. Maybe Stillwater will get voted chess city of the year.”

The championship will have an added wrinkle: It is open to anyone who is willing to pay a high enough entry fee — at least $10,000.

Subsequently the following press release appeared on the USCF website ( see below) launching a new attempt to raise funds for the Championship. We note that Frank Berry's $50,000 donation is likely the largest gift the Championship has ever received from an unaffiliated donor ( Les Crane in the early 1990s being affiliated with Software Toolworks and more recently Erik Anderson with the AF4C). Prior to 2000 the US Chess Federation underwrote most of the cost of the Championship which was held as an elite invitational. Since 2002 the field had expanded to 64 players incorporating regional qualifiers and top US women.

The present cycle for the 2007 Championship, which started in March of 2006, has been marked with uncertainty. The initial assumption was that America's Foundation for Chess, which sponsored Championships in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006, would be hosting the event again. The AF4C looked for a co-sponsor and seemed to have one in Merrill Lynch, but the deal ultimately fell through but not until early this year. USCF President Bill Goichberg was faced with an awkward situation in the middle of last year. Qualifiers had been announced but it was uncertain whether the level of sponsorship which had allowed the event to balloon to 64 players, would remain the same. Ultimately Goichberg and AF4C's Erik Anderson agreed it would be prudent to reduce the number of participants to 32 and to have a separate Women's Championship.

When the AF4C took a sabbatical from this year's Championship that left the USCF facing a big problems - a morale obligation to honor its commitment to the 32 players who had qualified and to raise the necessary funds for the championship. Mr. Berry's very generous donation is a tremendous step forward.

by Bill Hall-3/6/07

To help fund the Frank K. Berry 2007 US Championship to be held May 15-23 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USCF is announcing the availability of Patron entry fees. Between now and April 25, any USCF member may enter the 9-round Swiss tournament by paying the following fees, which are based on the latest ratings displayed at

Rating/Entry Fee Structure

2500 & up $5,000

2400-2499 $10,000

2300-2399 $15,000

2200-2299 $20,000

2100-2199 $30,000

2000-2099 $40,000

Under 2000 $50,000

After April 25, Patron entries may be accepted only at the discretion of the USCF Executive Director.

The first $15,000 raised by USCF through Patron fees and other fees or donations will go towards covering USCF's $15,000 commitment to support this event. The next $20,000 will be split evenly between the prize fund and replacing a $10,000 administrative fee paid annually to USCF by our previous sponsor. All money raised over $35,000 will be added to the prize fund.

Citizenship and eligibility

Please read USCF Invitational Event Requirements (pdf) and scroll down to the section on residency if you are unsure about your eligibility. Also feel free to contact the USCF office or Bill Hall with questions.

Entry fees and questions should be sent to Bill Hall c/o USCF at PO Box 3967, Crossville TN 38557. Make checks payable to USCF. Of course, donations from non-entrants are also welcome. Thanks for whatever you can give!

Bill Hall
Executive Director, USCF

6) Cheng and Becerra advance

Duncan Oxley reports GM Julio Becerra and NM Xiao Cheng will face off on Saturday, March 10, to determine who will play in the US Championship as US Champion of State Champions.

From the semi-final.

Becerra-Kiewra, ICC US Championship Qualifier 2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.c5 f5 11.Nd2 Nf4 12.Nc4 fxe4 13.cxd6 cxd6 14.Nxe4 Nf5 15.Bg4 b5 16.Na5 h5 17.Nc6 Qh4 18.Bxf5 Bxf5 19.Nxd6 Nh3+ 20.gxh3 Bxh3 21.Be3 e4 22.Rc1 Rf3 23.Kh1 Bg4 24.Rg1 Rh3 25.Rg2 Bxd1 26.Rxd1 Qf6 27.Bc5 Rd3 28.Rdg1 Rxd5 29.Nxe4 Qxc6 30.Rxg6 Qb7 31.Rxg7+ Qxg7 32.Nf6+ Kf7 33.Rxg7+ Kxf6 34.Rb7 a6 35.Kg2 Rd3 36.Be3 Ra3 37.Rh7 Rxa2 38.Rxh5 Rg8+ 39.Kf3 Rc2 40.Rh7 Rg6 41.h4 Ke5 42.h5 Rf6+ 43.Kg3 Rc4 44.h6 Rg6+ 45.Kh3 Rc3 46.Kh4 Kd5 47.Rg7 Rc4+ 48.Kh5 Rxh6+ 49.Bxh6 Rxb4 50.f4 a5 51.Ra7 a4 52.f5 Rb3 53.f6 Ke6 54.f7 Rf3 55.f8Q 1-0

7) Documentary We've Got Mate

Chess Movie

“We’ve Got Mate” is a full film length movie that is both a human interest story as well as a documentary. It is ready for the big screen or television. It would greatly benefit from a celebrity narrator. Any leads to such a person would greatly be appreciated.

“We’ve Got Mate” follows 3 young boys approx nine years of age from Southern California: Omar, Brandon, and Michael as they integrate chess into their lives and daily activities. It follows their growth and development as young men as well as chess players. Multiple scenes take place over the board as the film follows them at various tournaments, including a scholastic championship with their IM coach traveling with them.

Interviewed during this film include GM Polgar, GM Nakamura, GM Maurice Ashley, and IM Jack Peters. Footage includes the Polgar sisters simultaneous exhibition. Watch as young Omar plays a game against GM Ashley. Footage also includes the US Championship from San Diego.

Unlike the movies “Searching for Bobby Fischer” and “Knights of the South Bronx”, which were both excellent, this movie does not have an actors or portrayals. It is a real life, real time chess movie.

For any questions or comments, please contact me.


Tim Yee, MD


Mr. Yee is seeking a celebrity narrator for the film.

8) Continental Championship Update

The Continental Championship of the Americas is being held in Cali, Colombia, from July 10-20. This event, which is open to American players who go through the US Chess Federation, is a qualifier for the World Cup ( go to for more information) . At present the event is slated to qualify 7 players. The 2007 US Championship, which had been initially announced as qualifying 3 players for the World Cup is in fact still set to qualify 5 as in the past, according to high ranking FIDE official Jorge Vega. The Presidential Board of FIDE is reexamining the issue of qualifiers for the World Cup cycle at its May meeting so there is the possibility of adjustments.

9) Cal Chess Masters at the Mechanics'

September 29-30, 2007 San Francisco, California

$2200 Guaranteed Prize Fund, FIDE Rated
Prize Fund: $700-500-300-200 U2300 $300-200

Registration: 9:00-9:45 am, Saturday September 29.

Sets and Boards provided, please bring Clocks.

Rounds: Four round Swiss: Sat 10:00 – 3:30; Sun 10:00 – 3:30.

Eligibility Open to all players with ratings over 2200, those who have ever been so rated currently rated over 2000, foreign FIDE rated players over 2200, and juniors (under age 21) rated over 2000.

1/2 pt byes: One half point bye available for any round (rounds 3 or 4 must be requested before round 1).

Time Control: 30/90, SD/60.

Ratings: September supplement and Director’s discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible.

Entry Fee: Postmarked by 9/24: $50, On-site $60. CalChess and USCF membership required. CalChess membership waived if living outside of Northern California. $3 Discount to Mechanics’ Institute members. GMs Free.

Location: Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post Street, San Francisco, CA.

Information: Richard Koepcke 650-964-2640: Email:

10) New England Masters by Chris Bird

The New England Masters is a 9 round Swiss tournament open to players FIDE rated 2200 or above. The tournament will take place near Boston, Massachusetts, from August 13-17, 2007.

So far there are 9 players registered for the tournament and a few more “I’m playing, I’ll enter soon” comments (players are not put on the list until they pay). Two Grandmasters are already confirmed, Las Vegas Masters Co-Champion Leonid Kritz (2597) and Eugene Perelshteyn (2535), while discussions are ongoing with others to firm up our four “sponsored” Grandmasters. The other players already confirmed include six International Masters and one FIDE Master, giving an average rating so far of 2420!

The tournament will offer great chances for Grandmaster and International Master “norms” and will be using the same format that was used in Las Vegas, at which IM norm certificates were given to two players, IM-Elect John Bartholomew and IM-Elect Robert Hess who just scored his final IM norm this past week in France. IM Thomas Roussel-Roozmon lost his last round game against GM Leonid Kritz which he needed to win to score a GM norm.

The Holiday Inn Boston-Peabody will provide the venue for the tournament and the room rate is just $69/night. The hotel is located about 12 miles north of Logan International Airport along Boston’s North Shore. It also offers free Internet access in all rooms (great for preparing for your next opponent!) and a fitness room and indoor swimming pool. You can conveniently book your hotel room online via the tournament website at

To encourage early entry, all entries are discounted if received by July 13, 2007. Also, the more entries received in advance, the more possibility of bringing in more Grandmasters! Also, to help with the foreign player requirements, all non-USA International Masters receive a very cheap entry fee of just $19 if paid by July 13, 2007. Attention Canadian IMs, the tournament is not that far south of you!

If you’re looking to make a complete chess vacation out of your participation in the New England Masters, remember that it has been conveniently arranged for the week after the Continental Open that will take place from August 9-12 (4-day, 3-day and 2-day schedules usually available) in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, which is about 75 miles from our venue. More details about that tournament will eventually be found at Also, the World Open, Canadian Open and US Open all take place in the few weeks leading up to the New England Masters, so don’t worry about potentially missing one of those.

Hopefully you will agree that the New England Masters is your chance to participate in a good quality tournament, with excellent norm opportunities. If you do, I look forward to hopefully being able to confirm your entry soon. For more information on the tournament and to keep up to date on the latest entries and news, visit us on the web at and please do not hesitate to contact me should you have questions regarding any aspects of the tournament.


Chris Bird
Organizer, New England Masters Chess Tournament

11) National Junior High in Sacramento by Michael Aigner

Dear chess students and friends!

I just posted the following on the CalChess website. Feel free to share this email with other chess players whom you might know.

The early entry deadline for the NATIONAL JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP on March 30 through April 1 in Sacramento is rapidly approaching. You pay just $40 between now and March 5 (next Monday) and $60 after that date! Don't wait, sign up!


advance entries:

I recommend that all seriously competitive junior high and elementary kids should strongly consider playing in the nationals. Usually you have to fly to exotic places such as Kansas City or Nashville or Orlando. This year you can drive! The main two sections are K-9 and K-8 (the K-9 is usually smaller and much stronger). There are three "under" sections as well: K-9 U1250, K-8 U1000 and K-8 U750. Lastly, there is a separate section for unrated players.

Having attended several nationals as a coach, I can say that it is an experience unlike any you can experience at a local event. Only the state scholastics come close. For example, the kids get to meet many competitors from other states who share the same love for chess. This is also the perfect opportunity for California kids to show the New Yorkers who is really #1!

If you need a hotel room, the official website suggests using alternate hotels nearby since the chess room block at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento is nearly sold out. The Holiday Inn Express and Clarion Hotels are both within about 3 blocks walking distance (about 5 minutes) from the convention center. I know the surrounding area and (unless it is raining) I see no great disadvantage to staying a few blocks away. There are also many other hotels in the greater downtown Sacramento area.


The playing venue is nearby the main sites of downtown Sacramento. You can take a 60 or 90 minute tour of the California State Capitol, located just 2 blocks from the playing venue. If the weather is nice, you can check out all the trees from around California in the capitol park. The historic 1850s boardwalk in Old Sacramento and John Sutter's famous fort are both approximately a mile away. My favorite is the California Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento, which has a spectacular exhibit on the transcontinental railroad which ended here.

Finally, the organizers are looking for volunteers to help out. Even if you can help for just one day, they would like to hear from you. To find out more, read the following letter.

See you all in Sacramento!

Michael Aigner

12) Here and There

The 8th Karpov Tournament in Poikovsky The event will take place between the 14th and the 25th of March in Siberia.This year it is category 17 tournament with the participation of the Poikovsky 'veterans' - Rublevsky, Dreev, Bologan and US Champion Alex Onischuk and the'novices' - Jakovenko, Alekseev,Sutovsky, Tkachiev, Istratescu and Zhang Penxiang.

The 2nd Trophée Universitaire, held in La Roche-sur-Yon, France, was won by GM Andrei Istratescu (Romania). US participant Irina Krush gained useful experience but was unable her fantastic result in Gibralter earlier this year.

Final standings:
1. GM Istratescu (ROM, 2619) – 6½
2-5. IM Edouard (FRA, 2446), GMDavid (LUX, 2528), GM Pelletier (FRA, 2589) and GM Hamdouchi (MOR,2602) – 5½
6. GM Stefanova (BUL, 2483) – 4
7-8. IM Cornette (FRA, 2482), Houska– 3½
9. IM Krush (USA, 2449) – 3
10. IM Libiszewski (FRA, 2469) – 2½

Hi John,

I have been working for the last ten years on getting a new library built here in Marina, California. It took years of bake sales, book sales, selling bricks, you name it.

Our current library is a disgrace. A one room storefront in a strip mall with a terrible collection.

Our group raised the money to buy the land in the middle of a California State Park. A magnificent location. We then got a bond measure placed on the ballot and it passed overwhelmingly. This money was to build the building. Now we are raising funds though grants etc to stock the library with books, computers etc.

Library website:

My personal mission is to build a really great collection of chess books. USCF Executive Board member Don Schultz has generously donated 5 books to help me get started.

The Head Librarian has reserved a nice shelf space. I’ll have access to a good sized meeting room and will start a new affiliate. The books will help with a new chess club getting off the ground.

Anyone wanting to donate a book please send to:

Duncan Oxley


Marina Public Library

Seacrest Plaza,

266 Reservation Road,

Suite K

Marina, California 93933

USCF Candidates for Executive Board
These are the candidates for the USCF Executive Board (EB) in the order they will appear on the ballot.

1. Susan Polgar
2. Randy Bauer
3. Mike Goodall
4. Joe Lux
5. Sam Sloan
6. Stephen Jones
7. Paul Truong
8. Jim Berry
9. Don Schultz
10. Mikhail Korenman

Due to the resignation of Robert Tanner from the EB, there is an additional seat on the Board to fill in the 2007 election. Rather than hold a separate election, the 4th place finisher will complete the remaining two years of Tanner's term, effective with the certification of election results by the Delegates in August.

13) Upcoming Events

MI Events - go to for more information

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

The East Bay Chess Club has three tournaments coming up in March:

March 10-11: March Swiss

Prizes: (Based on 40 full entries)
      Open Section $150, $100, $50; 1st U2000: $100
      Reserve (U1750) Section $100, $75, $50; 1st U1550: $75; 1st 
U1300: $75

Entry fee: $40 at site.
     $5 discount for East Bay Chess Club Members

[Discounted entry fee of $35 if you register online by Monday 3/5/07 
and mention this email]

Rounds: 11AM and 4PM on both days
Time Control: 30/90, SD/1

March 24: March Scholastic Quads (open to 18 years old or younger)

Prizes: Trophy to top finisher

Entry fee: $15 if mailed before 3/17/07, $20 at site.
      $5 discount for East Bay Chess Club Members

Rounds: 10 AM, 12 PM, and 1:30 PM
       All games will be over by 3:00 PM.

Time control: G/45

March 25: March Adult Quads (open to all ages)

Prizes: $40 to quad winner

Entry fee: $20 if mailed before 3/17/07, $25 at site.
      $5 discount for East Bay Chess Club Members

Rounds: 11 AM, 2:30 PM, and 5:30 PM

Time control: G/90

For more details and to sign up online, please visit our website:

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

Mar. 10-11   Igor Ivanov Memorial   GPP: 15   California Southern

6SS, G/60 (no delay). SPONSOR: Harold C. Valery, MD, INC. & Cardinal Medical Group. LA Chess Club (, 310-795-5710), 11514 Santa Monica Blvd - Second Floor - 4 blocks West of 405 Fwy. Free Parking across street or in the building basement ($2). $$2,000 Gtd. 2 Sections: 1) OPEN: $500-300-150, U2200 $150-75, U2000 $100-50. 2) RESERVE (U1800): U1800: $150-$75, U1600: $100-50, U1400: $100-50, U1200/Unrated: Books & Medals. $40 ($30 LACC members), Juniors/Seniors $30 ($20 LACC members). LACC Membership: Adult $120/yr-Junior/Senior $100/yr - Life: $500 - Family $200/yr. Reg: 11-11:45 am. Rds: 12-2-4 each day. Free Refreshments.

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).

May 15-23, Oklahoma
Frank K. Berry 2007 U.S. Championship
9SS, Quality Inn (formerly Holiday Inn) , 2515 W 6th Ave (Hwy 51), Stillwater OK 74074.  Prize fund $65,000 or higher; see website.  Open only to qualified US players (most are GMs) or Patrons who are US players. Entry fee for Patrons: 2500/over $5000, 2400-2499 $10000, 2300-2399 $15000, 2200-2299 $20000, 2100-2199 $30000, 2000-2099 $40000, Under 2000 $50000. No fee for qualified players. Deadline for Patron EF is 4/25; after that, Patron entries accepted only at discretion of USCF Executive Director. HR: $60 or lower, 405-372-0800.  For updated details see  FIDE rated, GM & IM norms possible. Ent: US Chess Federation, PO Box 3967, Crossville TN 38557, phone 931-787-1234.

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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