Chess is a particularly enclosed, self-referential activity. It's not just that it lacks the fresh air of sports, but that it lacks connection to the real world outside - a tether to reality enjoyed by the monomaniacal students of other things, say volcanic ash or the mating habits of the tsetse fly.
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 2) Gregory Young ties for first in National Junior High Championship in Sacramento 3) Chess Collectors International is coming to San Francisco 4) Frank K. Berry US Championship Update 5) New FIDE rating list out 6) M-Tel Masters 7) Troubles in Morocco 8) Canadian Open 9) New rules for Foxwoods, Chicago and the World Open 10) Here and There 11) Upcoming Events
This weekend is the Far West Open - traditionally one of the two largest events for players in Northern California and Nevada. Don't miss it! See details in upcoming events.
1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
Three rounds into the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon only four players in the 78-player field have perfect scores: Victor Ossipov, Romulo Fuentes, James Jones and Demetrious Goins.
The MI will be holding its Summer camps for intermediate players from July 16-20 and advanced July 23-27. Go to http://www.chessclub.org/Children.html for more information.
Add the name of IM Alan Stein to the list of participants in the 2nd Imre Konig Memorial GM tournament this July, which is not to be confused with the annual Konig G/45 which will be held April 21. The latter event will feature top prizes of $400 and $200 and several titled players have expressed interest in participating.
Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics' are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics' are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics'. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.
Does anyone know what happened to the chess tables that were used for several decades at the Herman Steiner Chess Club?
Thanks to the generosity of the Schutt family the following event will be held in honor of the late Ray Schutt.
Ray Schutt Memorial and Blitz Tournament
A chance to remember and pay tribute to an old friend
May 6th (Sunday) at the Mechanics' Institute
When: Sunday, May 6th from 1 to 5 pm. The blitz tournament will be held from 2 to 4 pm. There will be a chance to reminiscence about Ray over light refreshments both before and after the event.
Where: Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St, San Francisco (Montgomery BART)
Format: Five Double-Round Swiss or Roundrobin depending on entries.
Each player in the event will receive a book from Ray's library. Many of the books are hardbacks and among the titles are The Chess Struggle in Practice by Bronstein, Alekhine's Best Games, Kramnik by Damsky, The Art of Preparation and the Art of Performance by Polugaevsky, The Art of Chess Analysis by Timman and Nimzowitsch a Reappraisal by Keene.
Entry Fee: $10 Free to IMs and GMs. Enter at tournament from 1pm to 1:45. Entries close at 1:45 pm please take note. No phone entries.
Come honor Ray's memory and help make this the largest and strongest blitz tournament in the history of Northern California chess!
2) Gregory Young ties for first in National Junior High Championship in Sacramento
K9 Championship: Alec Getz (NY) won on a tiebreak as six tied for first with 6.0 scores. Steven Breckenridge (OR), Gregory Young (CA), Christian T. Tanaka (CA), Michael Anthony Yee (CA), Grant D. Ho (FL).
K8 Championship: Marc Tyler Arnold (NY) took first with 7.0 points.
3) Chess Collectors International is coming to San Francisco
Floyd Sarisohn (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
The Western Hemisphere meeting of Chess Collectors International will be held in San Francisco on May 25-27, 2007. We will start our meeting on Friday morning May 25, at the Palace Hotel, with registration and a welcome address. On Friday afternoon we will be bused in two groups of about 30 each, to CCI members Eva & Robert Bloch's home on Divisidaro St, to view there outstanding collection of chess sets. SInce this is a visit to their home, we can only accomodate half of our group there at a time. The other half of our group will walk over to visit the Mechanics Institute chess club on Friday afternoon. Two groups of about 30 each. One at 1 PM, the other at 3 PM. Kerry Lawless will speak about the history of the MI Chess Club.
On Saturday morning we will have a number of seminars or lectures about chess set collecting at the hotel, followed by lunch at the Hotel. Saturday afternoon will also be at the hotel to view a exhibit of "Asian Chess sets" which will be open for public display as well as a chess "Fair" where chess sets, books and stamps will be available for purchase from a number of sellers. We have dinners planned for Friday and Saturday evenings and a boat ride and farewell brunch for Sunday. The Saturday afternoon display and chess fair are both open to the public at no charge
4) Frank K. Berry US Championship Update
Several news items have recently been released. The first is that the 2007 US Ch website is up - http://www.monroi.com/tournamentgate/USChamp07 .
Second amateurs will have a change to rub shoulders in the US Blitz Championship.
Jim Berry US CHAMPIONSHIP BLITZ 2007 7 dbl rd Swiss, Open to all, 5-minute + 2 seconds. $$G 1st $300, $200, $100, $75, $50. EF: $20. Free to FKB Championship players. Friday 7:30pm CST May 18 2007 Stillwater, Oklahoma Quality Inn (1-405-372-0800) following Round 4 of FKB US Championship. TD: Alex Relyea. Entries only at site.
questions: Jim Berry 1-405-762-1649
Higher rated players should note that new entry fees have been set for the Championship for players who have not qualified.
The USCF is announcing the addition of four categories of Patron entry fees for titled players. They are as follows:
GM (or 2600 USCF+) $3,000
Note the deadline for entering is April 25.
The National Open (June 7-11, Las Vegas) has very generously donated the following special prizes for the top finishers in the 2007 U.S. Championship.
1st place: Airfare from any city to the 2007 National Open, free entry, free room for 4 nights, simul if desired with $700 fee.
2nd & 3rd places: Airfare to 2007 National Open ($300 maximum), free entry, free room for 4 nights.
4th through 10th places: Free entry plus $100 (must stay at Riviera Hotel).
5) New FIDE rating list out
FIDE April rating list is out and we note that Stepankert 2005 is still not rated. If it had been Levon Aronian would jump to number 5 and Vassily Ivanchuk would drop several places.
1 V. Anand IND 2786
USA top players
1. G. Kamsky 2705
Had Stepankert been rated Hikaru Nakamura would be over 2670. Alex Onischuk should be right around 2670 when the Poikovsky Cup is rated.
FIDE has an interesting statistic where it ranks all countries by the average of their top ten players. Russia is far and away number one at 2721 and Ukraine is comfortably second at 2663 but after that the nations are closely bunched together: 3. USA 2629 4-5. Armenia and China 2625 6. Israel 2624 7. Hungary 2623 8. France 2622.
6) M-Tel Masters
Six of the strongest GM's of the world will compete for the title in the tournament M-Tel Masters 2007, which starts on May 9 in Sofia. The Bulgarian fans of the ancient game will be able to watch live No. 1 in the world rank list Veselin Topalov (Elo 2783), the European Champion for 2005 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu from Romania (Elo 2689), the youth World Champion Shakriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan (Elo 2754). The other participants are the former World Vice-Champions Gata Kamsky from USA (Elo 2705) and Michael Adams from England (Elo 2735), as well as the young Indian talent Krishnan Sasikiran (Elo 2700).
"Along with the experienced fighters this year we invited the promising talents Mamedyarov and Sasikiran. We hope this will make the competition a spectacular one," shared the director of the tournament Silvio Danailov - the average Elo of the participants is 2727, the competition is FIDE 20th category".
The tournament will take place from May 9 till May 20, 2007, and his patron for the third year in a row will be the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov. The six chess players will play in Sofia Hall of the luxury five-star Grand Hotel Sofia.
According to the rules there will be two rounds with seven-hour control. This way each participant will play two games against each of the rest in exchanged colors. In case of a draw in the end a tie-break will be played to determine the winner. Like in the previous two editions of M-Tel Masters the rule about the draws will be valid that was introduced exactly in Sofia. According to it the players do not have the right to agree a draw. This can allow only the chief arbiter of the tournament
7) Troubles in Morocco
Gather professional chess players together for a conversation and invariably the talk will drift to problems they have with their national federation ( is there a model national federation?). The USCF has certainly endured many bumps in the road the past few decades but the motivation behind their miscues has never seemed intentionally criminal. That doesn't seem to be the case in Morocco. Read the following letter.
March 29, 2007
Dear Mr. President,
We are writing an open letter to you regarding our previous complaint about the large scale falsifications of some International Arbiter applications that were submitted to FIDE by the Moroccan Chess Federation in the last few years. This scandal has affected Morocco's image both at the Arab and international levels.
One year ago, we informed the ACP about these fraudulent misconducts. In this complaint, which has been immediately forwarded to FIDE, we have pinpointed serious irregularities and provided strong evidence of deliberate falsification. In the meantime, evidence for these falsifications has been published in our website www.maroc-echecs.com ( http://maroc-echecs.com/spip.php?article777 ). The FIDE Ethics Commission has recognized that the accusation is serious and since then open investigations have been conducted. Some of us were even heard by the Ethic Commission during the Turin Olympiad.
These falsifications are unfortunately only an example of the many irregularities committed by the Moroccan federation, which includes a regrettably wicked and chaotic management and a flagrant abuse of power resulting in arbitrary and excessive sanctions against some players, club managers and presidents of regional leagues. Through various channels, including Moroccan mass media, the whole Moroccan chess community has been continuously expressing its deep indignation and disagreement with the current management of the Moroccan Chess Federation, which is driving Moroccan chess straight towards the cliff edge. A wave of discontent currently pervades the Moroccan chess community and the future of chess in Morocco is in dire straits. In September 2006, Moroccan top players have decided to boycott all the activities of the Moroccan Chess Federation until a new federal board is elected (see declaration at: http://www.maroc-echecs.com/spip.php?article775 ). Five (out of eight) presidents of Regional Leagues have also condemned these misconducts (declaration: http://maroc-echecs.com/spip.php?article792 ).
An urgent decision of the Ethics Commission FIDE concerning the fake IA title applications would certainly help the whole Moroccan chess community to step over the current chaotic situation and look forward to a better future for Moroccan chess.
Hicham Hamdouchi GMI 2602
8) Canadian Open
Dear chess player,
I'm writing to let you know about the 2007 Canadian Open Chess Championship, to be staged from July 7-15 this year in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. For value and chess star-power, it is looking like it will go down as a milestone in Canadian chess.
Our venue is the Ottawa Marriott (http://www.ottawamarriott.com/), an excellent downtown Ottawa hotel. The rates (before taxes) range from $89 CAD /night (single, double) to $109 CAD /night (quad). You can reserve online at: http://cwp.marriott.com/yowmc/chess/
We now have seven GMs: GM Nigel Short, GM Sergey Tiviakov, GM Vadim Milov, GM Suat Atalik, GM Abhijit Kunte, GM Alex Yermolinsky and GM Mark Bluvshtein. Others will be confirmed soon.
We have 111 players registered so far -- More than half way to the 200 paid entries upon which we are projecting a $20,000 CAD prize fund.
We've secured a number of corporate sponsors, including two lead sponsors -- Magmic Games and Hill & Knowlton Canada. More information on these generous, chess-friendly companies can be found below.
You can find more information about our event at: http://www.canchess.ca/. It will be a real blast, for an entry fee of just $125 CAD ($135 for non-CFC members). It even coincides with the Cisco Systems Bluesfest (http://ottawabluesfest.ca/en/).
By the way, those playing at the World Open may want to know that US Airways flies direct from Philadelphia to Ottawa several times a day. The one-way flight costs $210 U.S. before taxes.
We'll be sending out a few more updates over the next few months. If you don't wish to receive them, please reply to this e-mail address with a request to be removed from our list. On the other hand, if you like what you're reading, please forward it to your chess friends.
About our gold sponsors:
Hill & Knowlton Canada is Canada's industry leader in public relations, public affairs and strategic communications. (http://www.hillandknowlton.ca/)
Magmic Games, based in Ottawa, is a leading developer and publisher of mobile entertainment, offering a wide variety of action, sports, casino, puzzle, and multiplayer games for BlackBerry, J2ME, Brew, and Sidekick handsets. (http://www.magmic.com/)
9) New rules for Foxwoods, Chicago and the World Open
The following anti-cheating measures have been recently adopted for some of the biggest Continental Chess Association events.
NOTE NEW SPECIAL RULES (revised March 15) for WORLD OPEN, CHICAGO OPEN & FOXWOODS OPEN!
1) Players with scores of 80% or more in round 3 or after may not use headphones, earphones, cellphones, or hearing aids, or go to a different floor of the building, without Director permission. They must also submit to a search for electronic devices if requested by Director; refusal to be searched is grounds for expulsion from the tournament, with no refund.
2) Players with scores of 66% to 79% in round 3 or after, all players in round 1 and players with a 1-0 score in round 2 may not use unauthorized cellphones, and may not use unauthorized headphones or earphones if their opponent objects.
3) If the players in a game have different scores, rules for the higher of the two scores apply to both players.
4) Writing move before playing it is allowed, unless you are using an electronic scoresheet.
10) Here and There
Check out the April 2, 2007, issue of Sports Illustrated where there is an article on page 30 on the Miami-Dade chess team.
Mea culpa - the US Masters was in Henderson, not Asheville, North Carolina.
11) Upcoming Events
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 14th and 15th
A Classic Event!
Apr.14 12th California Classic Championship California, Northern
A Classic Event!
Jun.16 14th California Classic Championship California, Northern
The East Bay Chess Club has two tournaments coming up in March:
March 25: March Adult Quads (open to all ages)
Apr. 6-8 Reno-Far West Open VII GPP: 150 Enhanced Nevada
May 15-23, Oklahoma
Aug. 14-19 2007 U.S. Senior Open S. California
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