Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #37

"I play honestly and I play to win. If I lose, I take my medicine."
   Bobby Fischer

1) Vinay Bhat and David Pruess to Play in US Junior Closed

Bay Area junior stars Vinay Bhat of San Jose and David Pruess of Berkeley have been invited to play in the US Junior Closed scheduled for late July in Tulsa. Other invitees are Dmitry Schneider, Irina Krush, Justin Sarkar, Hikaru Nakamura, Steven Winer, Paul Kolinko, Andrei Zaremba and Asuka Nakamura. The first two alternates are Todd Andrews and Stanford student Philip Wang.

2) Jerry Weikel to Hold"Have a Good Knight" Tournament June 29-July 1

Noted Reno organizer Jerry Weikel will be putting on the biggest open tournament in the Bay Area in the past two years the weekend before July 4th at the Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. The five round event, which features a free lecture by GM Alex Yermolinsky, features a $8,000 prize fund based on 150 entries. Full details will appear in the July Chess Life and flyers are available at the MI. Contact Jerry at for more info.

3) Four-Way Tie in April-May Marathon

Wins by David Blohm (over David Steel) and Michael Aigner (against Victor Ossipov) have forced a four-way tie for first between Blohm, Steel, Aigner and Steven Gaffagan with 5 1/2 from 7 with one round to go.

4) Akopian wins San Joaquin Spring Open

Top-seed Artak Akopian won the San Joaquin Spring Open held last weekend in Fresno. 11-year-old Alexander Setzepfandt had an excellent result beating NM Tom Dorsch and Expert John Barnard.

5) Mechanics' Institute Chess History: Champions after the Fire Part One

The 1906 earthquake destroyed the Mechanics' Institute, but it didn't take long for chess activity to spring up. The Mechanics' Institute erected a temporary building at Grove and Polk Streets, where it had bought a block of land in 1881 on which now stands the Civic Auditorium. The Institute's Office opened on May 23, 1906, construction was begun on June 4th, and after many trials of delayed materials and a scarcity of construction workers, the new building opened its doors in August, about four months after the fire. During May, in response to the requests of many members, a chess room was provided in the building. By July 1910, the new nine-story building at 57 Post Street was completed which means the following account from the San Francisco Chronicle of January 12, 1909, was about an event held at the temporary facility. Incidentally the Chess Room was housed on the 3rd floor of 57 Post Street until it was moved to its present location in 1923 when the Library needed room to expand.

Dr. Henry Epsteen Wins Big Chess Tournament

Only Gold Medal Winners to Compete

Games at Mechanics'-Mercantile Library Arouse Great Interest

Dr. Henry Epsteen of this city is the winner of the gold medal in the chess tournament held under the management of the Mechanics'-Mercantile Library. Dr. Epsteen won 14 of his games, lost 1 and 1 resulted in a draw. M. Farragut was the winner of the silver medal and G. Legler the bronze medal. Arrangements for a tournament in which only winners of gold medals of previous tournaments will be permitted to compete are being made by the Mechanics'-Mercantile Library. Such a tournament would arouse the interest of all chess players on the Pacific coast as several of the most brilliant chess players in the United States can be found in San Francisco.

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