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.
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]
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
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!
Primary Novice (U500 and unrated)
Elementary Novice (U600 and unrated)
Elementary Junior Varsity (U900)
Elementary Grades 4 & 5 Varsity
Elementary School Varsity
Junior High School Junior Varsity (U900)
Junior High School Varsity
High School Junior Varsity (U1000)
High School Varsity
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.
http://www.chessdryad.com (Mark Shelton and Richard Shorman)
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
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!
Brownell,Landon (2230) - Zhong,Michael (2049) [B51]
Zhong,Michael (2049) - Landaw,Julian (2285) [C86]
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 www.NewEnglandMasters.com to enter, to book your hotel and for anything related to the New England Masters.
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
Charles Powell Memorial - May 12th
A Classic Event!
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 www.uschess.org/ 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
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