Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #339

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.

Charles Krauthammer

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 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.


1st $300

2nd $200

3rd $100

4th $75

5th $50

6th $25

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).
K9 Team Championship: Hunter College Campus School (NY) with 21 points.
K9 Under 1250: Gabriel Rando Ewing (NM) and Kevin Izquierdo (NY) tied with 6.5 scores.
K9 Team Under 1250: I.S. 318 (NY) won with 22.5 points.
K9 Unrated: Zhiming Tu (NY) won with 7.0 points.
K9 Team Unrated: Coakley Middle School (TX) tied with Rockway MS (FL) with 20 points.

K8 Championship: Marc Tyler Arnold (NY) took first with 7.0 points.
K8 Team Championship: I.S. 318 (NY) won the team with 19.5 points.
K8 Under 1000: Three way tie between Markel Brown (NY), Miguel Sotolongo (FL) and Amit Saha (NY) with 6.5 scores.
K8 Team Under 1000: Rockway MS (FL) won with 23 points.
K8 Under 750: Kyler Stole (OR) won with a 7.0 score.
K8 Team Under 750: I.S. 318 (NY) won with 22 points.

3) Chess Collectors International is coming to San Francisco

Floyd Sarisohn ( 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 - .

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
IM $5,000
FM $10,000
Life Master $15,000

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
2 V. Topalov BUL 2772
3 V. Kramnik RUS 2772
4 A. Morozevich RUS 2762
5 L. Aronian ARM 2759
6 S. Mamedyarov AZE 2757
7 T. Radjabov AZE 2747
8 P. Leko HUN 2738
9 P. Svidler RUS 2736
10 M. Adams ENG 2734
11 B. Gelfand ISR 2733
12 V. Ivanchuk UKR 2729
13 J. Polgar HUN 2727
14 D. Navara CZE 2720
15 R. Ponomariov UKR 2717
16 A. Grischuk RUS 2717
17 E. Bacrot FRA 2709
18 D. Jakovenko RUS 2708
19 G. Kamsky USA 2705
20 A. Shirov ESP 2699

USA top players

1. G. Kamsky 2705
=2-3. H. Nakamura and A. Onischuk 2663
4. J. Ehlvest 2643
5. Y. Seirawan 2642
6. A. Shabalov 2602
7. Y. Shulman 2600

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.

His Excellency
FIDE President Kirsan N. Ilyumzhinov

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 ( ). 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: ). Five (out of eight) presidents of Regional Leagues have also condemned these misconducts (declaration: ).

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.

Sincerely yours,

Hicham Hamdouchi GMI 2602
Mohamed Tissir IM 2482
Najib Draoui FM 2410
Abdelaziz Onkoud IM 2406
Jacque Elbilia FM 2356
Karim Ismail 2324
Ali Sebbar 2290
Tarik Rrhioua FM 2289
Chafik Idrissi 2204
Abdelhafid Elamri FM 2096 & IA
Mourad Metioui 2074
Youssef Boukdeir IA
Zouheir Slami IA

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 (, 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:

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: 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 (

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.

Best regards
Peter Hum
for the Organizing Committee
2007 Canadian Open Chess Championship

About our gold sponsors:

Hill & Knowlton Canada is Canada's industry leader in public relations, public affairs and strategic communications. (

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. (

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.


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

MI Events - go to for more information

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

A Classic Event! Apr.14 12th California Classic Championship California, Northern
5SS G/45. 3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054. EF: $29. $15 more after 4/10, $2 Cal Chess Discount.. $750 b/50: Open 200-100-50 U2000 30, Reserve: 200-100 U1600 30, U1400 30, U1200 30. Reg: Sat 8:30-9:30 AM, Rds: 10:00-11:30, 11:45AM-1:15 PM, 1:45-3:15PM, 3:25-4:55PM, 5:00-7:00 PM. Ent: Salman Azhar, P.O. Box 730934, San Jose, CA 95173-0934, Payable to Salman Azhar or paypal to Info:

A Classic Event! Jun.16 14th California Classic Championship California, Northern
5SS G/45. 3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054. EF: $29. $15 more after 6/12, $2 Cal Chess Discount.. $750 b/50: Open 200-100-50 U2000 30, Reserve: 200-100 U1600 30, U1400 30, U1200 30. Reg: Sat 8:30-9:30 AM, Rds: 10:00-11:30, 11:45AM-1:15 PM, 1:45-3:15PM, 3:25-4:55PM, 5:00-7:00 PM. Ent: Salman Azhar, P.O. Box 730934, San Jose, CA 95173-0934, Payable to Salman Azhar or paypal to Info:

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

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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