Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #46

"Once man starts designing electronic brains analagous to human chess players, the inadequacies of chess thinking will be revealed." 1961
Mikhail Botvinnik

FREE LECTURE TONIGHT (WEDNESDAY, JULY 25) by GM WOJTKIEWICZ from 5:15-6:15 PM on "The Life of a Chess Professional" at the MECHANICS'.

1) Appeal for Donations 
2) Kramnik and Topalov tie in Dortmund 
3) US Junior Closed 
4) Ossipov wins Bagby 
5) Altounian Southern California Champion 
6) Ossipov leads Tuesday Night Marathon 
7) US Championship Schedule and Prizes 
8) San Francisco - Los Angeles Telegraph Matches 
9) Governor's Cup 
10) Chess Camps 
11) Upcoming Events 
Special Announcement: Former Chess Room Director Kurt Bendit has been moved to a skilled nursing home in San Francisco and would very much like visitors to drop by for a game. Please call Karen at (415) 543-2121 for more information.

1) Appeal for Donations to the Mechanics' Institute Chess Room

Mechanics' Institute membership dues ($60 a year) account for only 20 percent of the true cost of providing services to the Chess Room and Library patrons. Investment income from the MI endowment, office rentals and generous donations make up the difference. The past year has been expecially difficult for the Institute with the decline in the financial markets and the energy crisis in California. The result is that to run a balanced budget the various departments at the Mechanics' are taking 20 percent cuts. The Chess Room will continue to run its regular programs like GM Yermolinsky's weekly lectures and educational classes for children, but will be forced to downsize its Internationals like the Koltanowski and Linklater. As things stand today these tournaments will continue to be run, but as smaller weekend Master/Expert events, rather than international norm opportunities with several well known GMs participating.

If you feel these international events are important and worth having at the club please consider sending a donation to the Mechanics' Institute at 57 Post Street, Room 408, San Francisco, California, 94104. Your donation should have a note that it is restricted specifically for Chess Room activities. Note that the Mechanics' Institute is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit recognized by the IRS. All donations are tax deductible. If you have any questions about this matter please don't hesitate to contact MI Chess Room Director John Donaldson at or call (415) 421-2258.

2) Kramnik and Topalov tie for first in Dortmund

Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria tied for first in Dortmund this year. This victory enhanced Kramnik's status as World Champion, particularly as Viswanathan Anand suffered through his worst result in recent memory. This was arguably the best result of Topalov's career.

Final placings: 1-2 V Kramnik (Russia), V Topalov (Bulgaria) 6.5/10; 3 P Leko (Hungary) 5.5; 4 A Morozevich (Russia) 5; 5 M Adams (England) 3.5; 6 V Anand (India) 3.

V Karmic - V Anand
Dortmund (9)
Queen's Gambit Accepted
1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 Nf3 e6 4 e3 Nf6 5 Bxc4 c5 6 0-0 a6 7 Bb3 cxd4 8 exd4 Nc6 9 Nc3 Be7 10 Bg5 0-0 11 Qd2 Na5 12 Bc2 b5 13 Qf4 Ra7 14 Rad1 Bb7 15 d5! Bxd5 16 Nxd5 exd5 17 Qh4 h5 18 Rfe1 Nc6 19 g4! Qd6 20 gxh5 Qb4 21 h6 Qxh4 22 Nxh4 Ne4 23 hxg7 Rc8 24 Bxe7 Nxe7 25 Bxe4 dxe4 26 Rxe4 Kxg7 27 Rd6 Rc5 28 Rg4+ Kh7 29 Nf3 Ng6 30 Ng5+ Kg7 31 Nxf7 Rxf7 32 Rdxg6+ Kh7 33 R6g5! Rxg5 34 Rxg5 Rc7 35 a3 b4 36 axb4 Rc1+ 37 Kg2 Rb1 38 Ra5 Rxb2 39 Ra4 1-0

3) US Junior Closed

The US Junior Closed just started in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Three Bay Area players are participating in the ten-player round robin.
IM Vinay Bhat            16            CA       2496.5 
FM Dmitry Schneider      16            NY       2494 
FM Justin Sarkar         19            NY       2448.5 
IM Hikaru Nakamura       13            NY       2421.5 
FM Steven Winer          19            VT       2407.5 
David Pruess             19            CA       2376.5 
FM Andrei Zaremba        19            TX       2376  
Asuka Nakamura           14            NY        NA 
FM Todd Andrews          19            TN       2360.5   
FM Philip Wang           17            CA       2349 

4) Victor Ossipov wins Charles Bagby Memorial

70-year-old Victor Ossipov defeated Senior Master Dmitry Zilberstein in the last round of the Charles Bagby Memorial to take first place. Ossipov scored 4 1/2 from 5, taking a bye in round three. He received $200 for his victory in the Game in 45 Minutes event held July 21 at the MI. Tying for second at 4-1 in the 40-player event were NMs Eric Schiller, Rudy Hernandez and Mike Arne as well as Mike Cardillo and Jeff Mallett. Anthony Corrales directed for the Mechanics'.

The Chess Room Office computer was hit during the tournament by the sircam worm virus and we are very happy to report that we now have a clean bill of health thanks to the efforts of Shivaji Shivkumar, Eric Schiller, Kevan Gross and John Heymann. Thanks!

5) Altounian Southern California Champion

Senior Master Levon Altounian won the 2001 Southern California Championship, held July 14-22 in Los Angeles by the Southern California Chess Federation. Los Angeles Times chess columnist IM Jack Peters reports the last round was particularly dramatic and completely altered the standings. Varuzhan Akobian, the sole leader, lost to Cyrus Lakdawala, while Altounian beat Andranik Matikozian. Altounian was the only undefeated player in one of the strongest Southern California Championships in recent memory. The rejuvenation of Los Angeles chess by Armenian players was evident as half of the players in this event were born in the small country located in the Caucasus.

Final Standings: 1. SM Levon Altounian 5-2; 2-3. IM Varuzhan Akobian and SM Cyrus Lakdawala 4.5; 4. IM Jack Peters, 4; 5. IM Andranik Matikozian 3.5; 6. IM Melikset Khachian 3; 7. NM Ron Hermansen 2 and 8. NM Karl Yee 1.5

6) Ossipov leads Tuesday Night Marathon

Victor Ossipov is on a roll. After defeating SM Dmitry Zilberstein on Saturday to win the Bagby, he came back last night and defeated NM Rudy Hernandez to take over undisputed first place in the Tuesday Night Marathon. Ossipov, who is originally from Leningrad, but has made the Richmond area of San Francisco his home for many years, has 5 1/2 points from 6 with two round to go. NM Kenneth Hills, who defeated Expert Michael Becco is second with 5 points. The next Tuesday Night Marathon will start on August 28th.

7) US Championship Schedule and Prizes

The Seattle Chess Foundation recently announced the dates and prizes for the next US Championship. The 56 player, 9 round Swiss, features a prize fund of $200,000!

The U.S. Chess Championships will take place from January 5 - January 13, 2002 at the Northwest Rooms of the Seattle Center in downtown Seattle.

Playing Schedule U.S. Championships

Friday        January       4        Arrival    
Saturday      January       5        Round 1    
Sunday        January       6        Round 2    
Monday        January       7        Round 3    
Tuesday       January       8        Round 4    
Wednesday     January       9        Round 5    
Thursday      January      10        Round 6    
Friday        January      11        Round 7    
Saturday      January      12        Round 8    
Sunday        January      13        Round 9    
Monday        January      14        Departure     
Time Control

Time control: 40 moves in 100 minutes followed by 20 moves in 50 minutes followed by all moves in 10 minutes (all moves played get 30 seconds bonus (Fischer method)

Prize Fund: $ 200,000

U.S. Chess Championships Prize Fund Distribution:

1st        $ 15,000     First Woman        $ 9,500        
2nd        $ 11,000     Second Woman       $ 7,700    
3rd        $ 8,500      Third Woman        $ 6,200       
4th        $ 7,000      Fourth Woman       $ 5,000       
5th        $ 6,000       
The four highest placed women will receive only one
prize, depending on their final classification
6-10th   $ 4,500    
11-14th  $ 3,500     
15-24th  $ 2,750     
25-34th  $ 2,300    
35-46th  $ 2,100    
47-56th  $ 1,900    

8) San Francisco - Los Angeles Telegraph Matches

Earlier issues of the Newsletter dealt with San Francisco's matches with Vancouver and Victoria in the 1890s. Now we start to take a look at the famous series with Los Angeles that started in 1913 and ran into the mid-1920s when it metamorphisized into the face to face North-South matches with the advent of the automobile. Those of you who have visited the MI Chess Room may recognize some of the names of the players in the 1915 event from some of the photographs that are displayed in the Chess Room.

San Francisco, 9 1/2; Los Angeles, 5 1/2, September 1915

Labor Day was utilized by the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club of San Francisco and the Los Angeles Chess and Checker Club for the purpose of holding another telegraphic match, which, after the adjudication of three unfinished games, ended in favor of San Francisco by 9 1/2 to 5 1/2, thereby reversing the result of the last encounter between these two clubs. E. W. Gruer acted as team captain for San Francisco, while E.R. Perry performed a like office for Los Angeles. The match went off smoothly, except for complaint from both sides concerning the slowness to which certain of the players were prone.

There was no timing system and play went on under an agreement to keep the games "speeded up" within fifteen or twenty moves an hour. This proved unsatisfactory. Such a match cannot be expeditiously handled without the aid of timing clocks, which have always been called into use in telegraphic matches in the East and in the cable matches. Clocks having been installed, it remains only to a point efficient referees or umpires, who will conscientiously watch these clocks and see to it that they are set promptly in motion the moment moves received over the wire have been made on the boards.

Los Angeles found the increase in the size of the teams to fifteen boards too much of a handicap, for, at the last seven boards, San Francisco won outright no less than six games. The struggle on the first eight boards was by Los Angeles. Boris Kostic, present during the match, was invited to act as referee, but declined. Professor Levy, of the University of California, represented Los Angeles at San Francisco. It is probable that the next match will again be played on ten boards. The summary of the match is appended:

Bds.   San Francisco          Los Angeles         Bds.  San Francisco    Los Angeles
1.  Gruer         1/2        Mlotkowski      1/2   9    Stamer     1     Greer     0   
2.  Rubinstein*   1/2        W.S.Waterman    1/2   10   W. Smith   1     Geldert.  0
3.  Hallwegen      0         Perry            1    11   Dickinson  1     Anderson  0
4.  Fink*         1/2        Woodward        1/2   12   Haber      1     Moore     0
5.  Clarke        1/2        C.W.Waterman    1/2   13   Stephenso  1     Burnett.  0
6.  Nevill        1/2        Peterson        1/2   14   Bergman    1     McAnslor  0
7.  B. Smith      1/2        L'Hommede       1/2   15   Ford       0     McMurray  1 
8.  Drouillard*   1/2        Lewis           1/2   16      
Total 9 1/2 Total 5 1/2
*Unfinished and subsequently declared drawn. Mechanics' Institute had the white pieces on the odd-numbered boards.

Source: The American Chess Bulletin 1915

9) Governer's Cup

One of the more intriguing national events held each year is the Governor's Cup held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This tournament attracts not only GMs, but also state champions from around the nation. It is open to all chessplayers. We pass along an invitation from 1999 USCF Organizer of the year De Knudson.

Dear Chess Friends,
Just another friendly reminder that the sixth annual Governor's Cup Chess Tournament will be held again this September at the Convention Center in Sioux Falls. The first game begins on Friday, September 21, at 6 p.m. Details can be found on our Web site: or you can email me at if you wish.

At this time we know that IM John Donaldson, GM Sergey Kudrin, and GM Yuri Shulman will be with us, and we are waiting to hear from other GM's and IM's.

Once again state chess associations are being asked to nominate their current champion or one of their best chess players. Those state nominees will receive free entry into the tourney as well as $100 to help defray their expenses.

The prize fund has been increased to $10,000, and we hope that you can be with us once again.

Now that it is closer to September please let me know what your intentions are so that I can plan accordingly.

Mark your calendars now and plan to bring your friends with you!

The entry fee has been increased $5 to $40 because the Sioux Falls Convention Center charges us ten percent more each year. Please enter before September 15 to get the best rate. Entries postmarked after September 15 will be $60.

10) Atalik to serve as guest instructor at Advanced Chess Camp

Grandmaster Suat Atalik of Turkey will serve as a guest instructor 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. NOTE - GM Lubomir Ftacnik, who was originally scheduled to come has just told us he will not be making a trip west at this time. He hopes to pay a visit to San Francisco late this year or in the spring of 2001.

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

11) Upcoming Events at the MI

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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