Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #343

The most intelligent inspection of any number of fine paintings will not make the observer a painter, nor will listening to a number of operas make the hearer a good musician, but good judges of music and painting may be so formed. Chess differs from these. The intelligent perusal of fine games cannot fail to make the reader a better player and a better judge of the play of others.

Emanuel Lasker

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 
2) Richard W. Noel Jr. 1938-2007 
3) Daniel Naroditsky wins Northern California HS Championship by Michael Aigner 
4) Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Tournament 
5) Michael Zhong ties for first in National HS Championship by Michael Aigner 
6) Twenty First Samford Scholarship Awarded to Josh Friedel by Allen Kaufman 
7) Here and There 
8) Upcoming Events

Don't miss the Ray Schutt Memorial blitz tournament this Sunday at the MI. There will be free refreshments and a great blitz event. See details below.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

Dante Argishti defeated Romulo Fuentes to grab the lead with one round to go in the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. Argishti has 6 from 7 with NM Sam Shankland and Experts Victor Ossipov abd Igor Traub on 5 1/2.

Fuentes,Romulo - Gaffagan,Steven [B11]
Mechanics' Institute TNM (6),2007
1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 e6 6.g4 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nf6 8.Nxf6+ Qxf6 9.Qxf6 gxf6 10.d4 h5 11.gxh5 Rxh5 12.Be2 Rh4 13.Be3 Nd7 14.0-0-0 0-0-0 15.Rdg1 Bh6 16.Bxh6 Rxh6 17.Rg7 Rf8 18.h4 Kd8 19.h5 Ke7 20.Rh3 f5 21.Rb3 Rb8 22.Bf3 Rhh8 23.Kd2 Nf6 24.Rg5 Nh7 25.Rg1 Nf6 26.Rh1 Kd6 27.Rh4 Kc7 28.Re3 Rbg8 29.Re1 Rh6 30.c4 Kd6 31.b4 Rh7 32.a4 Rgh8 33.Reh1 Rg8 34.b5 Rd8 35.Kc3 Kc7 36.Rb1 Rdh8 37.Rbh1 Rd8 38.a5 cxb5 39.cxb5 b6 40.Kb4 Kb8 41.axb6 axb6 42.Rc1 Ne4 43.Bxe4 Rxd4+ 44.Rc4 Rxe4 ½-½

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.

2) Richard W. Noel Jr. 1938-2007

Cleveland and Ohio chess suffered a great loss with the death of Richard Noel on April 21 at the age of 69. The 1965 Ohio State Champion (7-0), Noel was many times a member of the team that won MOTCF (Midwest Open Team Chess Festival) . Richard was also a noted organizer putting on the US Championship in Mentor, Ohio, in 1977 and served for many years as the director of the Cleveland Scholastic League for many years.

Richard's other interests were philately, teaching and camping. He taught high school for about 20 years after graduating from Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, then became a computer software professional. His generosity and wry sense of humor will be missed.

Richard W Noel - Calvin Blocker USA 1972
Sicilian Najdorf [B93]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 Qc7 7.Bd3 e5 8.Nf3 g6 9.0-0 Bg7 10.Qe1 0-0 11.Kh1 Nbd7 12.Qh4 b5 13.fxe5 dxe5 14.Bh6 Bb7 15.Ng5 Qc5 16.Rf3 Rfe8 17.Raf1 Bh8 18.Ne2 Qe7 19.Ng3 Nc5 20.Nf5 gxf5 21.Rg3 Bg7 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Rxf5 1-0

3) Daniel Naroditsky wins Northern California HS Championship by Michael Aigner

A Child Shall Lead Them at the CalChess Scholastics

Pins, skewers, forks and smothered mates were featured at the 32nd Annual CalChess State Scholastic Championships held on April 28-29 at the San Mateo County Expo Center. A total of 1170 players and an even larger number of parents, family members, coaches, directors and volunteers descended on the fairgrounds next to the Bay Meadows race track to play the royal game. Considering the size of the event, the tournament ran smoothly with most of the rounds beginning within minutes of the scheduled time. The winners in each of 11 sections ranging from Kindergarten to the incredibly difficult High School Varsity were awarded trophies with the title of State Champion.

The High School Varsity section made history for California and perhaps for the entire nation. In a field of two teenage masters and six experts, a fifth grader took the top honors at 5.5 out of 6. Of course, Daniel Naroditsky, ranked #1 in the nation for age 11, is already experienced to being first in chess. On the second day of the tournament, he faced three of the six players tied for second place (in all Daniel played 4 of the six players who tied for second!): reigning National High School Champion Michael Zhong, Saratoga High School captain David Chock and finally National Master Sam Shankland. Perhaps this was Daniel's first of maybe many more High School state championship trophies.

In fact, Daniel is so young that he is ineligible to play in the national Denker Invitational for High School state champions. That leaves the five players tied for second to compete in a playoff yet to be scheduled: NM Sam Shankland, David Chock, NM Nicolas Yap, Adarsh Konda, Micah Cohen and Michael Zhong.

Congratulations to the following State Champions for 2007!

Winner = Tanuj Vasudeva

Primary Novice (U500 and unrated)
Winners = Archana Gopalakrishnan, Alexander Zeng, Akhil Ravoori, Will Baumbacher, Christopher Nip and William Weber
Team = Heather Elementary School

Primary Varsity
Winners = Jessica Zhu, Daniel Ho, David Paravyan, Neel Apte and Rohan Desikan
Team = Weibel Elementary School

Elementary Novice (U600 and unrated)
Winners = Jasper Deng, Kevin M. Tang, Matthew Luong, Samuel Saldinger and Peseth Tep
Team = Cherrywood Elementary School

Elementary Junior Varsity (U900)
Winner = Anthony Chan
Team = Weibel Ementary School

Elementary Grades 4 & 5 Varsity
Winner = Steven Hao
Team = Mission San Jose Elementary School

Elementary School Varsity
Winner = Nicholas Nip
Team = Mission San Jose Elementary School

Junior High School Junior Varsity (U900)
Winner = Jason Park
Team = Horner Middle School

Junior High School Varsity
Winner = Steven Zierk
Team = Redwood Middle School and Hopkins Junior High School

High School Junior Varsity (U1000)
Winner = ?
Team = ?

High School Varsity
Winner = Daniel Naroditsky
Team = Saratoga High School

For complete tournament results, please visit the Stockton chess website run by Jacob Green. The final crosstables for JHS Varsity and both High School sections should be up by Monday evening.

Photos will be available on various Northern California chess websites by Monday night or Tuesday. Please check out the following for literally hundreds of photos of smiling children. (Mark Shelton and Richard Shorman) (Alan Kirshner) (Michael Aigner)

This tournament is not possible with a large number of directors and volunteers to set up, run the pairings, control the kids, answer questions from the parents, handle disputes, award the trophies and clean up. Many of these volunteers literally worked 14 hour days on Saturday and Sunday, some already coming to set up on Friday. The biggest volunteer was chief organizer Dr. Alan Kirshner, who put in hundreds of hours before and during the tournament, trying to ensure that everything ran smoothly. He couldn't do it all by himself, but he certainly did more than anyone could expect from a single individual.

The tournament directors worked hard as well, guiding those nearly 1200 children as they played over 3000 games over the course of two days. The chief TD of the tournament was John McCumiskey and his top assistant was Richard Koepcke. The final thank you goes to the parents and families of the players, who shared the joy of victory and agony of defeat with their children over the weekend.

4) Ray Schutt Memorial Blitz Tournament

A chance to remember and pay tribute to an old friend
May 6th (Sunday) at the Mechanics' Institute
n 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.
n Where: Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St, San Francisco (Montgomery BART)
n 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!

5) Michael Zhong ties for first in National HS Championship by Michael Aigner

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore! A delegation of 13 Northern California teenagers traveled to Kansas City on April 12-15 for the National High School Championship. The first item on the agenda was geography: Kansas City is not in Kansas but rather across the river in the state of Missouri. No doubt Michael Zhong will remember that lesson, although most other local players may prefer to forget it.

The National High School Championship is one of the hardest chess tournaments around the country-and this year's edition was the most challenging ever! A record of 1447 players descended on Kansas City, including two International Masters (from the same school!) and another ten National Masters. The top section, the K-12 Championship, featured 350 players and a ton of competition. At the end of five rounds over two days, the field was narrowed to a whopping 16-way tie for first at 4.5, including local stars NM Sam Shankland (2216) and NM Daniel Schwarz (2229) plus almost all of the other masters. It was clear that a 2-0 score on the final day was needed for first place.

Three players accomplished this score small miracle despite the difficult opposition and the enormous pressure of the moment. IM Alex Lenderman (2471) and NM Alex Barnett (2289) were two of the top three seeds and merely took care of business on their way to the winner's circle.

The third co-champion was the upstart local player Michael Zhong! Being rated only 2049, Michael had to go to the furthest just to get to the last round. He faced four straight masters in rounds 4-7, drawing in round 4 and then winning the last three games. In round 6, Michael matched wits against defending national champion NM Landon Brownell (2230) in a complex endgame of rook and bishop plus three extra pawns against a queen. In round 7, he was inspired by Mikhail Tal to sacrifice first a pair of pawns and then two minor pieces. Simply put, Michael Zhong raised his game to a level that nobody in Northern California has seen before and brought a national championship home to the Bay Area! Congratulations on becoming the first National High School champion from Northern California since GM Larry Christiansen won in 1973!

The other dozen CalChess youths could not match this accomplishment. Nonetheless, the local boys brought home some hardware (10 trophies total). Three players tied for eighth at 5.5 out of 7: NM Sam Shankland got 11th place, NM Daniel Schwarz got 19th place in his last scholastic tournament ever and David Chock (2110) got 22nd place. Schwarz deserves a special commendation for winning the blitz tournament with an impressive 11.0/12 score, including wins over several experts and splitting two games with NM Brownell. Nice way to go out Daniel! The eight-player team from Saratoga High School was unable to match last year's phenomenal third place result, but still took home the fifth place team trophy.

Northern California trophy winners:

Michael Zhong = national champion!
Sam Shankland = 11th place trophy
Daniel Schwarz = 19th place trophy + blitz champion!
David Chock = 22nd place trophy + 5th place bughouse
Jeff Young = 26th place blitz
Aaron Garg = 8th place bughouse
Marvin Shu = 8th place bughouse
Saratoga High School = 5th place team + 3rd place blitz
Other players from Northern California: Louiza Livschitz, Rohan Sathe, Charles Sun, Jonathan Hecht, Alex Lun and Avinash Kumar.
Tournament results:
Photo gallery:

Brownell,Landon (2230) - Zhong,Michael (2049) [B51]
National High School (6), 04.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.c4 Ngf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bg7 8.Be3 0-0 9.Bxd7 Bxd7 10.f3 Rc8 11.Qe2 Qc7 12.b3 a6 13.Rc1 Qa5 14.0-0 e5 15.Nc2 Qxc3 16.Bd2 Qb2 17.Bb4 b5 18.Ba3 Qc3 19.Bb4 Qb2 20.Ba3 Qxa2 21.Rb1 bxc4 22.Rb2 Qxb2 23.Bxb2 cxb3 24.Na3 Bb5 25.Nxb5 Rc2 26.Qd3 Rxb2 27.Qc3 Rc2 28.Qxb3 Rc6 29.Nc3 Rfc8 30.Nd5 Nxd5 31.Qxd5 Bh6 32.g3 Be3+ 33.Kg2 Rc2+ 34.Kh3 Rd2 35.Qb3 Rcc2 36.Rh1 Bc5 37.f4 exf4 38.e5 Rb2 39.Qa4 dxe5 40.Qe8+ Bf8 41.Qxe5 fxg3 42.hxg3 Rb5 43.Qe3 Rh5+ 44.Kg4 Rxh1 45.Qxd2 Rh5 46.Qd8 Rb5 47.Kh3 h6 48.Kg2 a5 49.Qa8 Kg7 50.Kh3 h5 51.Qc6 Rb4 52.Qa6 a4 53.Qa5 a3 54.Kg2 Rb3 55.Qa4 Rb2+ 56.Kh3 Kg8 57.g4 hxg4+ 58.Kxg4 Rb4+ 0-1

Zhong,Michael (2049) - Landaw,Julian (2285) [C86]
National High School (7), 04.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Qe2 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.Rd1 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 cxd4 12.cxd4 Qc7 13.Bg5 Bg4 14.Nc3 Nc6 15.dxe5 Nxe5 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nd5 Qd8 18.Kh1 Bh5 19.Nf4 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Nc4 21.Rd5 Nxb2 22.Rg1 Rc8 23.Rh5 g6 24.e5 Bxe5 25.Bxg6 hxg6 26.Nxg6 fxg6 27.Rxg6+ Kf7 28.Qe4 Rc1+ 29.Kg2 Qc8 30.Rf5+ Ke8 31.Rxe5+ Kd8 32.Qd5 Nc4 33.Rxd6+ Kc7 34.Rc6+ 1-0

6) Twenty First Samford Scholarship Awarded to Josh Friedel by Allen Kaufman

Josh Friedel, a twenty-year-old international master, has been selected as the twenty-first annual Frank P. Samford Jr. Chess Fellow. Born in New Hampshire, he has lived in San Francisco since August of 2006.

Josh learned chess at the remarkably early age of three and began tournament play at age six. In 1995 he scored his first tournament victory, winning the New Hampshire State Amateur (under 2000 rating) Championship at age eight. The next year he won the kindergarten to grade 3 nationals with a 7-0 score and then became a master at age thirteen. At that point Josh began training with grandmaster Larry Christiansen.

Friedel's first major open tournament victory was in 2001 when he won the Pan Am Open with 6½-½. Two years later he tied for first in the Eastern Chess Congress. Josh also participated in two U.S. Championships, earning a grandmaster norm in the most recent competition. Josh is the current champion of both New Hampshire and Northen California.

Outside of chess, Josh's main interests are tennis and sailing. He is also interested in politics, human biology, cooking, reading and movies.

The late Frank P. Samford, Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama, was a distinguished attorney and CEO of Liberty National Life Insurance Company (now Torchmark). Mr. Samford was active in civic, business, political, educational and cultural affairs. He was also an enthusiastic competitor in chess tournaments.

In 1986 Mr. Samford decided that he would like to do something significant to promote the game he loved, particularly to help talented young chessplayers. He created the Samford Fellowship to identify and assist the best young American chessmasters by providing top level coaching, strong competition and access to study materials. The Fellowship also provides a monthly stipend for living expenses so that the winners may devote themselves entirely to chess without having financial worries. The total value of the Fellowship is approximately $32,000 annually for two years.

The winner was chosen by the Samford Fellowship Committee, consisting of Frank P. Samford III (son of Frank P. Samford, Jr.), former U.S. Chess Champion Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier and International Master John Donaldson. The winner's potential was determined based on his chess talent, work ethic, dedication and accomplishments.

Generous contributions from Mrs. Virginia Samford and Torchmark Corporation support the Fellowship. The Samford Fellowship is a fitting memorial to an extraordinary man. The dedication, creativity and achievement that marked Mr. Frank P. Samford, Jr.'s life are examples for all chessplayers to admire and emulate.

7) Here and There

Dear Chess Player,

The New England Masters has just confirmed participation of its 4th Grandmaster, meaning that GM norms will definitely be attainable at the tournament. Notably, 3 out of 4 of the Grandmasters are foreign (non-USA), which really helps matters!

There are currently 12 players registered for the tournament with 4 GMs, 6 IMs, 1 FM and 1 untitled player, giving a current average of over 2420 FIDE. Obviously we are hoping the number of entries will rise significantly over the next few months!

Just as a reminder, the New England Masters will take place from August 13-17, 2007 near Boston, Massachusetts. It will be a 9 round Swiss, with a time control of G/90 +30 seconds per move.

The entry fees are based on your FIDE rating and are currently discounted. The entry fees will increase on July 14, so if you are interested in participating, I recommend you do so before then!

The venue (Holiday Inn, Peabody-Boston) is providing a hotel rate of just $69/night so long as you book before their deadline of July 23. After this date neither availability or the room rate can be guaranteed.

I sincerely hope you are able to join us for this tournament, which if successful will hopefully lead to more and more of these types of "norm" tournaments.

Please visit our special website at to enter, to book your hotel and for anything related to the New England Masters.


Chris Bird
Organizer, New England Masters Chess Tournament

Congratulations to US Champion Alex Onischuk who was a member of the powerful Keystone team ( 1.Ponomariov 2. Onischuk 3. Areshchenko 4. Miroshnichenko 5. Efimenko 6. Baklan with Geo. Timoshenko and Vysochin as reserves) which won the Ukrainian team championship in Alushta in late April.

8) Upcoming Events

MI Events - go to for more information

Charles Powell Memorial - May 12th
Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 2nd and 3rd
William Addison Open - June 23rd

May 26-28
2007 Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic
6-SS, 40/2, SD/1 (2-day schedule rds 1-3 G/60, then merges). LAX Hilton, 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
$$10,000 b/200, 60% of each prize guaranteed. In five sections:
Open $$T+1800-750-400-300-200, U2400 400, U2200 700-300-200.
Premier (under 2000): $$750-300-200-100.
Amateur (Under 1800): $$750-300-200-100.
Reserve (Under 1600): $$750-300-200-100.
Booster (Under 1400/unrated): $$T+400-200-100, U1200 T+100, Unr T+100. (Unrated may win Unrated prizes only.)
Best game prize $25, all sections eligible.
All: half-point byes available, limit 2, rds 5-6 must be requested with entry & cannot be revoked. SCCF membership req. ($14, jr. $9), OSA. No checks or credit cards at door.
HR: $95 (310) 410-4000, mention chess. Parking $8/day.
Reg: 3-day 9-10 a.m. 5-26, 2-day 8:30-9:30 a.m. 5-27.
Rds: 3-day: 10:30-5 Sat-Sun, 10-4:30 Mon. 2-day: 10-12:15-2:30 Sun., then merges.
EF: Open, Premier, Amateur, Reserve $83 if received by 5-24, $95 door, Booster $67 by 5-24, $80 door. On-line entry:
Ent: SCCF, c/o John Hillery, 835 N. Wilton Pl. #1, Los Angeles CA 90038.
Inf: NS, W, F. GP: 40. State Championship Qualifier

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:
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
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

Return to Index