Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #56

"When I am trying to find the best move, I just look at the positions, trying to find a general idea. I follow my intuition. After that, when I think that THIS is the best move, I start to calculate variations. You must calculate and you must also use your intuition."

   Boris Spassky

1) Bay Area Masters 
2) LERA 
3) Fall Tuesday Night Marathon 
4) Hercules 2001 Amateur Championship 
5) Joshua Tree Chess Festival 
6) October 2001 FIDE Ratings 
7) Crisan and Najdoski 
8) Patrick Wolff 
9) Walter Browne 
10) Upcoming Events 

1) Bay Area Masters

The Bay Area Masters, held September 28-30 and October 5-7, finished in a three-way tie for first at 4.5-1.5 between Senior Master Vladimir Mezentsev and National Masters Aaron Stearns and Adrian Keatinge-Clay. All three winners played well. Stearns, in particular, showed his character by bouncing back from his result at the Linklater Memorial (0-10) earlier this year. Aaron started off with a draw with NM Mark Pinto, then he defeated Mezentsev, took a half point bye, beat Keatinge-Clay, drew NM Mauro Casadei and finished off with a win over IM Walter Shipman for a performance rating of around 2550 USCF. Mezentsev, one of the highest-rated players in the United States (2551 USCF) not to hold the IM title, took a half point bye in the first round, lost to Stearns and then won his final four games. Keatinge-Clay, the leader after the first weekend, played steadily throughout.

Other scores: 4-5. IM Rey and NM Casadei 3; 6-7. IM Shipman and NM Nambiar 2.5; 8. NM Schiller 1.5/4; 9-10. IM de Guzman 1/4 and NM Pinto 1/5

International Master Guillermo Rey, the organizer of this event, recently announced more upcoming events for players rated over 2200. Details for the first, to be held January 25-27, 2002, are in the upcoming events section below.


National Master Michael Aigner of Palo Alto reports on the welcome return of tournament activity to Sunnyvale.

76 players showed up to play in the resumption of the LERA tournament series. Although the prize fund was based on 90, Rod McCalley paid 100% of the advertised prizes. Richard Koepcke directed. LERA is one of the few tournaments in the country that feature an infinite time control: 40/90, 30/60, 10/10 ad infinitum.

The open section saw two 2400+ masters and four other masters. Senior master Craig Mar came out of chess retirement to play. IM Ricardo de Guzman won the tournament outright with 3.5/4, despite taking a round 1 bye because he showed up too late. He crushed your reporter in the last round. In clear 2nd with two wins and two draws came 12 year old Mechanics whiz kid Drake Wang. He calmly refuted NM Robert Sferra's treatment of the Bird-Larsen attack in the last round. Tied for 3rd at 2.5 were NMs Michael Aigner and David Blohm, and experts Agnis Kaugars, Michael Pearson, Frisco Del Rosario, and Jim Uren. The story of the tournament was the remarkable 2300+ performance rating of 14 year old Michael Pearson. He was in clear first after the first day, defeating SM Mar with black pieces. On Sunday morning, Pearson outplayed IM de Guzman, again with the black pieces, to reach a won endgame. Then time pressure intervened not once, but twice! Your reporter had a mixed tournament with two smooth wins with white but unfortunate games with black (one endgame blunder and one opening disaster).

In other news, the CalChess annual membership meeting took place on Sunday with about 15 people in attendance. New officers and board members were elected: President Tom Dorsch, Vice President Richard Koepcke, Secretary Hans Poschmann, Treasurer Frisco Del Rosario, members at large Alan Kirshner, John McCumiskey, Carolyn Withgitt, Michael Aigner, Chris Torres, and Doug Shaker. A possible membership fee increase, restructuring scholastic dues, and the CalChess website were also discussed.

3) Fall Tueday Night Marathon

Michael Aigner defeated Victor Ossipov in round six of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon to clinch a share of first place with a round to go. The leader board shows Aigner with 5.5 points followed by Larry Snyder at 5. David Blohm, Igor Margulis, Russell Wong, Michael Becco and George Sanguinetti are tied for third with 4.5.

4) Hercules 2001 Amateur Championship

Rico Adkins sent in the following information on his directorial debut which was held September 29-30 at the Mechanics' Bank in Hercules. More events of this type are planned for the future at this excellent site.

Number six seed Simion Kreimer won the 16-player event with a score of 5-0(!). Kris MacLennan and Glen Leotaud shared second at 3.5, with Ewelina Krubnik and Felix Rudyak tying for fifth with three points apiece.

5) Joshua Tree Chess Festival

Tournament organizer Mark Muller reports on the latest event in Joshua Tree. These tournaments, which are held twice a year, make for a nice combination of chess event and vacation. For more information write .

The Joshua Tree Chess Festival held on October 6th was a great success. There were 25 entrants. Igor Ivanov and Alvaro Rabinovich both had perfect 4.0 scores, and split 1st and 2nd place money. There was a four way tie at 3.0 for U2000 between Kermit Norris, Axel Vandervelden, Robert Alaniz, and Mark Muller. Lisa Edmondson took the U1600 prize with 2.5 points, Miles Nichols won the under 1400 prize also with a score of 2.5, and the unrated prize was split by brothers Jonathan and Christian Crase with 1 point each.

6) October FIDE Ratings

FIDE recently released its list of the top 100 players in the World.

1.G Kasparov (Russia) 2838 
2. V Kramnik  (Russia) 2809 
3. V Anand (India) 2770 
4. A.  Morozevich (Russia) 2742 
5. P. Leko (Hungary) 2739 
6. V. Topalov (Bulgaria) 2733 
7. M. Adams (England) 2731 
8. V. Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2731 
9. E.  Bareev (Russia) 2719 
10.L Van Wely (Netherlands) 2714 

Top American players are:

#29. Onishuk (still listed as Ukraine) 2660 #41. Seirawan 2644 #66. Goldin 2612 #74. Gulko 2608 #80. Kaidanov 2605

Ratings for mortals (i.e., not in the top 100 players in the world) are still not out. FIDE has produced a list of events that were rated for October including the Charles Linklater Open which was held at the MI this past spring. It appears many USCF tournaments that were played this summer (World, Continental and USCF Opens for example) will not be rated on the October FIDE list. This appears to be the result of events not being submitted in timely fashion by the United States Chess Federation. It would appear that the USCF, which has laid off several employees, is suffering from serious staffing shortages.

7) Crisan and Najdoski

Readers of the Newsletter may recall the strange case of Romanian player Alexandre Crisan who manipulated his FIDE rating to earn IM and GM titles and later to gain a place in the top 100 hundred players in the world. FIDE, which is loath to challenge national federations, was slow to answer the increasing complaints about Crisan, but eventually asked him to play in three tournaments this past summer. Crisan played in a super strong tournament in Portoroz (1/2 from 9), but did not meet the three event requirement. He was recently stripped of his rating and titles (IM as well as GM). Full details are available at

Never heard the name Toni Najdoski? The 31-year-old Macedonian appears to be the new Crisan of international chess. Currently rated 2600 FIDE, he has been ranked in the top 100 in the world for several rating lists. The graduate of the Moscow Physical Institute of Chess is not without some chess culture, but his rise to the top is at best mysterious. Since January 2000, his rating has gone from 2548 to 2600 with a dip in July of 2000 to 2492. This reflects a particularly awful result in the Goodricke International in India where he scored less than fifty percent against a field rated below 2300. One of his losses was to a ten-year-old girl. Everyone can have a bad game or bad tournament, but it appears rather strange that in the only event in which Najdoski's games appear, he didn't even perform at the FM level. Yes, it's true. Try to find games of Najdoski's from 1992 to 1999. All I could locate was a loss in 1999 at a team tournament in Budapest to Hungarian 2300 Monica Grabics.

8) Patrick Wolff

Former US Champion, Vallejo-based GM Patrick Wolff, writes that he has started up a new website for aspiring amateur players.

"The Website address is For $20/year, anyone can get a membership to the Website and have access to all the Web-based exercises. I have created each of the exercises, sorted them into various themes, and identified how easy/hard they are. People can see two demo exercises for free so they can see how the exercises work. There are over 300 exercises now, and the Website is continually updated and refined."

9) Walter Browne

The six-time US Champion from Berkeley would like to inform players going to the Western States and American Opens about the World Blitz Chess Association events that will be held in conjunction with them. "I'd appreciate if you could update your info on the American Open to include that around 200 complementary issues of Blitz Chess will given to those in the main event plus a complementary videotape in the Blitz which I'll direct Wednesday night. In Reno I will be doing the same thing as well."

The World Blitz Chess Association was founded by Walter Browne more than ten years ago and its flagship, the quarterly Blitz Chess, is now one of the longest running magazines in the United States.

Speaking of Reno, don't forget that the Western States Open, one of the premier weekend Swiss events in the United States will be held October 19-21 in Reno. This event features not only individual competition, but a team component as well. The MI will be fielding one or more teams depending on interest. If you are an MI member and would like to represent the Institute please let us know in advance by e-mailing us at . Details for both the Western States and American Opens can be found below.

10) Upcoming Tournaments

MI EVENTS (check the MI website at for complete details

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)

December 8-9
2nd Koltanowski Memorial Masters/Experts (4 rounds, open to 2000 and over)

January 25 - 27, 2002.
Bay Area Masters Spring Grand Prix I (*)
Prizes: 1st $1000 2nd $500 3rd $200
Based on 22 paid entries.
Site: Mechanics' Institute Chess Room, 57 Post St.
4th Floor, San Francisco, Ca. 94104
Dates: January 25, 26 and 27, 2002.
Schedule: 5 round Swiss
Open to players rated 2200 USCF and above (December 2001 rating list)
USCF and FIDE rated.
Time control: 30/90 + 30/1 + SD/15.
Rounds: Friday 1/25 at 5pm. Saturday 1/26 and Sunday 1/27 at 11 am and 5pm.
Entry fee: $100, if received by 1/22, $120 thereafter. GMs and IMs
free.On site registration 1/25 4-4:30pm.
Send entries to: Guillermo Rey, 435 Firecrest Ave, Pacifica, Ca.
Info: Guillermo at 650-355-0305 or
Organized by IM Guillermo Rey and directed by Mechanics' Institute Chess
Room staff.
* Two other similar tournaments will be held during the first half of
the year as part of the Grand Prix. The player who scores the most
total points in all three tournaments will receive an additional $300.
Tournaments dates will be announced soon.( Before the end of 2001).


Oct. 19-21 GPP: 200 Nevada
19th Annual Sands Regency Western States Open.
6SS, 40/2, 20/1. Sands Regency Hotel, 800-648-3553. $$50,000 b/500. $30,000 Gtd. Open 1-10 Gtd. +1/2 of all other prizes. Open: All. EF: GM's & IM's free. Masters: EF: $130, 2000-2199 EF: $151, U1999 EF: $201. $$2,500+9 more place, 2400-2499: $1,000-600-400, 2300-2399: $1,000, U2299: $1,000-600-400. Experts: EF: $129 $$2,000+13 places (U2100) $800. A: EF $128. $$1,900+14 places. B: EF $127. $$1,800+14 places. C: EF $126. $$1,700+14 places. D: EF $125. $$1,500+14 places. E/below: EF $60. $$500+14 places. Unr.: EF: free (join USCF for 1 yr.). (no cash prizes) 1st: 1 yr USCF memb. Trophies Srs: (65+) $500-300-200-100 (no prov., unr. "E" or masters). All EF: +$11 after 10/1, +$22 after 10/14 at site. $20 off 65+ or U20. No "E". Rds: 12-7, 10-6, 9-4 (byes avail.). Side events: 10/17 Clock Simul & Quick Quad. EF: $20. 10/18 FREE Larry Evans lecture, WBCA Blitz Tourn. $20, 30-board simul. 10/20 Larry Evans free clinic. 10/21 QC (G/25) 1-7. HR: 4day: $39, Fri & Sat $52 (say chess) by 10/6. Info: Jerry Weikel, 6578 Valley Wood Dr, Reno, NV 89523, 775-747-1405, Cks: Sands Regency/CC # info & sign. NS,NC,W,FIDE

An American Classic & A Heritage Event
Nov. 22-25 or 23-25 GPP: 100 S. California
The 37th Annual American Open.
(US Championship Qualifier). 8SS, 40/2, SD/1. Furama LAX, 8601 Lincoln Bl, LA. Free parking. $40,000 b/400, 50% each prize gtd. Open: $4000-2000-1000-700-600-500. U2450/Unr $1000-500. U2300/Unr $800-400. U2200 $2600-1300-700. U2000, U1800 U1600 each: $3200-1600-800-400. U1400: $2200-1100-550, U1200 $1000-500. Unr: $350-200. Trophy 1st each section. EF: $119 by 11/20. +$20 at site,-$30 for Srs 65+ & Jrs U15. Unr: $39 adv, $49 at site. SCCF mem re ($12, $7.50 jrs U18), OSA. No checks at door. Reg: 4-day ends noon, Rds 12:30-7:30,12:30-7:30,10:30-5,10-4:30. 3-day ends 11:30 Fri, 12:30-2:45-5-8 G/1, merges rd 5. Byes rds 1-6 w/adv. notice. HR: $84, 310-670-8111. Credit Card Ent/Info: 626-282-7412, 323 257-9839, Ent: American Open, Box 205, Monterey Park, CA 91754. NS. FIDE.

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