Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #43

"Any player, no matter how strong he is, can overlook quite simple moves in the course of a game."    GM Bobby Fischer [1963]
1) Wojtkiewicz wins Firecracker Open 
2) Kasparov tops new FIDE rating list 
3) Reshevsky at the Mechanics' Institute 
4) Atalik and Ftacnik to serve as guest instructors at Advanced Chess Camp 
5) Upcoming Tournaments at the MI 

1) Wojtkiewicz wins Firecracker Open

Peripatetic Polish GM Alex Wojtkiewicz won the Firecracker Open held June 29-July 1 at the Holiday Inn at the Marina in San Francisco. Wojt scored 4-1, yielding draws to NM Michael Aigner and IM Guillermo Rey. Tying for second at 3 1/2 - 1 1/2 were Rey and SM David Pruess. A very disappointing turnout of just 40 players caused organizer Jerry Weikel to lose $4,000 on the event. Considering the losses that Tom Dorsch suffered running his Universe Open, and what just happened to Jerry, San Francisco doesn't appear to be fertile ground for running a weekend Swiss with large guaranteed prizes.

2) Kasparov tops new FIDE rating list

THE "Big Three" of Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand continue to be in a league of their own in the chess world after the publication of the July rating list from the games governing body, Fide.

After losing his world crown last year, world number one Garry Kasparov saw his rating dip alarmingly by 14-points - most of which went to his nemesis, Vladimir Kramnik. However, Kasparov isn't yet ready to relinquish his No.1 spot - which he was held since 1984 - and continues to win big with first places in the likes of Wijk aan Zee, Linares and Astana, seeing his stock rise again by 3-points to 2838.

After a "recount" in the last list that showed that Fide had miscalculated Kramnik's rating to put him above 2800, the Brain Games world champion, with a new rating of 2802 now looks as if he has finally gained entry into the exclusive "2800 Club," thus becoming only the second player in history to do so.

Fide world champion Vishy Anand, fresh from his victory over Kramnik in their Mainz Chess Classic Duel of the Champions in Germany, is not far off entry into the club, and a good result at the forthcoming Dortmund tournament could see him (deservedly) gain entry. However, the news wasn't so good for the temperamental Spaniard Alexei Shirov. His rating dropped by 16-points - a result that very nearly saw him being removed from the influential top- ten.

Top ten:

1. G Kasparov (Russia) 2838 +3;
2. V Kramnik (Russia) 2802 +5;
3. V Anand (India) 2794 =;
4. A Morozevich (Russia) 2749 =;
5. M Adams (England) 2744 -6;
6. V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2731 =;
7. P Leko (Hungary) 2730 =;
8. E Bareev (Russia) 2719 +10;
9. V Topalov (Bulgaria) 2711 +4;
10. A Shirov (Spain) 2706 -16.

Thanks to John Henderson

3) Reshevsky at the Mechanic's Institute

The Mechanics' Institute has a long tradition of hosting Grandmasters dating back to the 1880s. Early Newsletters looked at visits by the World Champions. More recently we covered the period 1910-1919 when Frank Marshall and Bora Kostic came to the MI. Now we move to the 1920s and one of the best publicized chess events in Bay Area chess history, the visit by boy wonder Sammy Reshevsky.

Different sources give different birth dates for Sammy, some list 1909 and others 1911, but in either case he was no more than 11 when he arrived in Oakland by train on June 17, 1921, and took the ferry over to San Francisco. On June 21 he gave the first of two exhibitions at the Emporium's assembly room, scoring eleven wins and one draw 2 hours and 35 minutes. The second event was held on June 23 at the Hotel St. Francis' Italian room, with Reshevsky taking only one hour to down ten players.

Reshevsky's only draw was with Arthur Stamer, one of the top players at the MI and a future Chess Room Director. An annual tournament is held each June by the Mechanics' to honor Stamer's memory.

Ruy Lopez [C87]
S. Reshevsky - A. Stamer
San Francisco (simul) June 21,1921

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 d6 6.c3 Be7 7.Re1 0-0 8.d4 b5 
9.Bc2 h6 10.h3 Nh7 11.Nbd2 Bg5 12.Nf1 Bxc1 13.Rxc1 Qf6 14.Ng3 Ng5 15.Re3 Ne7 
16.dxe5 dxe5 17.Qf1 Ng6 18.Nh5 Nxf3+ 19.Rxf3 Qg5 20.Ng3 Be6 21.Nf5 Nf4 22.Kh2 
Bxf5 23.exf5 Rad8 24.Rd1 Rxd1 25.Bxd1 e4 26.Re3 Qxf5 27.Bc2 Re8 28.f3 Nd3 
29.Qe2 Nc1 30.Rxe4 Rxe4 31.Qxe4 Qxe4 32.fxe4 Nxa2 33.Kg3 a5 34.Kf4 b4 35.c4 
Nc1 36.Ke3 b3 37.Kd2 bxc2 38.Kxc1 Kf8 39.Kxc2 Ke7 40.c5 Ke6 41.Kc3 Ke5 42.Kd3 
h5 43.g3 f6 44.Ke3 c6 45.Kd3 h4 46.gxh4 Kf4 47.b3 Kf3 48.Kd4 Kf4 49.Kd3 Kg3 
50.Kd4 Kxh3 51.e5 fxe5+ 52.Kxe5 Kxh4 53.Kd6 g5 54.Kxc6 g4 55.Kb5 g3 56.c6 g2 
57.c7 g1Q 58.c8Q Qe1 59.Qd8+ Kg4 60.Qxa5 Qe8+ 1/2-1/2 
Italian Game [C55]
S. Reshevsky - W. Tevis
San Francisco (simul) June 21,1921
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 d6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Bb5 0-0 
9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Nc3 h6 11.Be3 Bg4 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 Nh7 14.Qe2 Kh8 15.Rad1 f6 
16.f4 d5 17.e5 f5 18.Qf3 Qe7 19.Ne2 Rf7 20.Kh1 Raf8 21.g4 fxg4 22.hxg4 Ng5 
23.Qg2 Ne4 24.Nc3 Nxc3 25.bxc3 g6 26.Qh2 Rh7 27.f5 gxf5 28.gxf5 Ba5 29.e6 Qd6 
30.Bf4 Qe7 31.Be5+ Kg8 32.Rg1+ 1-0 
Thirty-five years later Reshevsky gave a clock exhibition (45/2) at the MI scoring 5 wins, one loss and one draw against a field made up of Experts and Masters.

Reshevsky's opponent in the following game, former US Senior Open Champion Neil Falconer, had this to say about his famous opponent. "He was one of the smallest men I have ever seen - but he was all steel wire and blazing tenacity: one of the toughest tenacious chess players of all time."

Sicilian [B56]
N. Falconer - Reshevsky,S
San Francisco (clock simul) February 11, 1956

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.h3 e5 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Be2 0-0 
9.Bg5 Be6 10.Qd2 Qb6 11.0-0 Rfd8 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Nd5 Bxd5 14.exd5 Ne7 15.c4 
Ng6 16.Bd3 Nf4 17.Bc2 Rac8 18.Rac1 g6 19.b3 a5 20.g3 Nh5 21.Kg2 a4 22.Ng5 
axb3 23.axb3 Ra8 24.Ra1 Rxa1 25.Rxa1 e4 26.Re1 e3! 0-1 
The following game, from a different Reshevsky clock simul, was played against the well known bridge and chess master Roy Hoppe.

Emglish [A24]
R. Hoppe - S. Reshevsky
San Francisco (clock simul) 1961

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 e5 7.d3 Nbd7 8.Rb1 a5 
9.a3 Re8 10.b4 axb4 11.axb4 Nf8 12.Nd2 Ne6 13.b5 Nc5 14.Nde4 Nfxe4 15.Nxe4 
Ne6 16.Nc3 f5 17.Nd5 Bd7 18.e3 c6 19.bxc6 bxc6 20.Nb4 Qc7 21.Bd2 Ra3 22.Ra1 
Rea8 23.Rxa3 Rxa3 24.Qc1 Ra7 25.Qc2 h5 26.Rb1 Kh7 27.Rb2 e4 28.Ra2 exd3 
29.Nxd3 c5 30.Rxa7 Qxa7 31.Bc3 Qa4 32.Qxa4 Bxa4 33.Bxg7 Kxg7 34.Kf1 Be8 
35.Ke2 Kf6 36.f4 g5 37.fxg5+ Kxg5 38.Nf4 Bf7 39.Bd5 Nd8 40.Bxf7 Nxf7 41.e4 
fxe4 42.Ke3 Ne5 43.Kxe4 Nxc4 44.Kd5 Nd2 45.Kxd6 c4 46.Kc5 c3 47.Kb4 c2 48.Ne2 

4) Atalik and Ftacnik to serve as guest instructors at Advanced Chess Camp

Grandmasters Suat Atalik of Turkey and Lubomir Ftacnik will be serving as guest instructors at the MI Advanced Chess Camp held from July 30-August 3. The two GMs join full-time staffers Alex Yermolinsky, John Donaldson, Robert Haines and Anthony Corrales. This will be the strongest staff of instructors for any chess camp held in the United States this year. This camp is intended primarily for youngsters, but there are a limited number of spots for adults. Besides doing some teaching at the camp, Atalik and Ftacnik will be playing an exhibition game at the MI on August 1. Full details for this event and a special ChessBase users workshop by GM Ftacnik will appear in the next Newsletter.

A camp for intermediate and advanced youngsters will be held July 30-August 3 and a camp for beginners and novices from August 6-August 10. Information about these camps is available at the Chess Room website under programs for children. Mechanics' Chessroom

5) Upcoming Events at the MI

July 21
Charles Bagby Memorial (5 rounds G/45 at 1/2 K)

August 18
Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial (5 rounds G/45 at 1/2 K)

September 22
Howard Donnelly Memorial (5 rounds G/45 at 1/2 K)

October 20
J.J. Dolan Memorial (5 rounds G/45 at 1/2 K)

November 9-11
Carroll Capps Memorial (5 rounds)

December 1
Pierre Saint-Amant Memorial (5 rounds G/45 at 1/2 k)

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