Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #63

"In the opening a chess master should play like a book; in the middle game like a magician and in the endgame like a machine."

Pierre Saint-Amant Memorial (5 rounds G/45 at 1/2 k) this Saturday at the MI - Filipino IM Ricardo deGuzman will play!

1) FIDE World Championship-Yermo Advances! 
2) US Championship Qualifiers -Browne, Rey, Vucic and Strugatsky qualify! 
3) Kurt Bendit Tuesday Night Marathon - NM Wong Leads 
4) 1966 Visit by Bent Larsen to the MI 
5) Odds and Ends 
6) Upcoming Events 

1) FIDE World Championship - Yermo Advances!

Courtesy of Michael Aigner we have this breaking news from Moscow, reported by Mig from KasparovChess.

Yermolinsky has advanced in the first set of tiebreak games, defeating Milov of Switzerland. Both of the classical games were won by black. He joins Shabalov in round 2, with Benjamin and Christiansen still playing in tiebreaks. On the women's side, Baginskaite is also in a tiebreak against Prudnikova (YUG) after both classical games ended in favor of white. All other Americans are out. Yermo will play Polgar in round 2 while Shaba gets Khalifman.

FIDE's coverage has been dreadful, to be polite. Their games are often incorrect or incomplete, with Polgar missing several mates yesterday and someone winning after the stunning Ra1xg8 today. Yermo's opponent resigned on move 12 in a book position, if we were to believe FIDE yesterday (that's been corrected today).

Michael reports that the best news seems to be from and their team of reporters at the site. However, they don't have live games, just some results. TWIC has coverage too, but nothing live.

2) US Championship Qualifiers- Browne, Rey, Vucic and Strugatsky qualify!

Thanksgiving Day weekend produced the final qualifiers for the 2002 US Championship to be held January 5-13 in Seattle. The following information comes from the Seattle Chess Foundation website which is the sponsor for the US Championship. Note that there are still three spots in dispute as its not clear if Sevillano, Ambartsoumian and Lipman have met the residency requirement. The USCF will be making a decision on this shortly.

Bay Area players GM Walter Browne, IM Guillermo Rey and SM Vladimir Strugatsky and former MI member IM Mladen Vucic, now living in Las Vegas all qualified in Los Angeles at the American Open. Congratulations! The other qualifier, the National Chess Congress, was held in Philadelphia.

23.    GM Gregory Serper    2613    Am. Open                        
24.    GM Walter Browne    2524    Am. Open                        
25.    IM Jesse Kraai    2476    Am. Open                        
26.    IM Mladen Vucic    2475    Am. Open                        
27.    IM Igor Ivanov    2527    Am. Open                        
28.    IM Anthony Saidy    2392    Am. Open                        
29.    IM Guillermo Rey    2391    Am. Open                        
30.    FM Levon Altounian    2549    Am. Open                        
31.    FM Vladimir Strugatsky    2513    Am. Open                        
32.    FM Slava Mikhailuk    2441    Am. Open                        
33.    Armen Ambartsoumian***    2523    Am. Open                        
34.    GM Gennady Sagalchik    2570    NCC                        
35.    IM Igor Khmelnitsky    2521    NCC                        
36.    IM William Paschall    2476    NCC                        
37.    IM Mikhail Zlotnikov    2417    NCC                        
38.    FM Dmitry Schneider    2524    NCC                        
39.    FM Stanislav Kriventsov    2480    NCC                        
40.    FM Donny Ariel    2400    NCC                        
41.    Aaron Pixton    2407    NCC                        
42.    Matthew Hoekstra    2318    NCC                        
43.    IM Enrico Sevillano***    2571    NCC                        
44.    Vladimir Lipman***    2168    NCC                        
*** Awaiting official USCF approval concerning eligibility issue.    
Women Qualifiers 
Chouchanik Airapetian    2080    Am. Open    
Anna Levina    2078    NCC    

3) Kurt Bendit Tuesday Night Marathon - NM Wong Leads

Russell Wong defeated fellow National Master Igor Margulis to grab the lead in the Kurt Bendit Tuesday Night Marathon with three rounds to go. Wong has 4 1/2 from 5 followed by NM David Blohm, Expert Steven Gaffagan, veteran Ben Gross, rising star Nicolas Yap and upset king Charles Kleiman on 4.

4) 1966 Visit by Bent Larsen to the MI

Chess Review from October 1966 (page 293) reports that Danish great Bent Larsen gave simuls and lectures at the Mechanics' in late August. Cost for the August 20th exhibition open to all was $3 a board!

"Bent Larsen, recent participant in the Second Piatigorsky Cup Tournament, gave a simultaneous exhibition with clocks at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club in San Francisco against H. Gross, K. Bopp, M. Wilkerson, A. Benson, R. Currie, R. Walker and Dr. Ruys. The single player won all his games. Next day Larsen lectured on his two victories over World Champion Petrosian in the Piatigorsky tournament and followed with a simultaneous exhibition on 43 boards. His margin of victory was 34½ - 8½. Winning against Larsen were K. Zangerle, C. Savery, D. Blohm, E. Pruner, J. Pawlon, and T. Uskert. Draws were secured by P. Vayssie, R. Menaster, R. Tucker, A. Blomquist and J. Hurt."

5) Odds and Ends

Ed Hirsch writes: "I'm still looking to share my room at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas with three other men, for the upcoming Kolty Conference. They can contact me by e-mail or by phone (510) 528-2704. Thanks."

Berkeley Senior Master David Pruess, who finished second in the US Junior Closed this past summer, will be a special guest lecturer at the Mechanics' Institute on January 8th and 9th (5.15PM to 6:15PM). David will be substituting for GM Alex Yermolinsky and IM John Donaldson who will be playing in the US Championship.

6) Upcoming Events

The latest issue of the California Chess Journal mentions that the Mechanics' will be hosting a memorial tournament for Bob Burger on December 1st. We are very happy to inform everyone that Bob is in fact quite alive and doing very well. We do hold a lot of memorial events at the MI and this may account for the mix-up. By the way the tournament will actually be held on January 5, 2002, and not December 1 which is the date set to honor the late Pierre Saint-Amant, one of the top players in the world in the 1840s, who served as the French consul for California in San Francisco during the Gold Rush.

Bob Burger, best selling author of The Chess of Bobby Fischer, is a world famous problemist and has held the USCF Master title for almost half a century. He has been involved with Bay Area chess through the California Chess Reporter, Mechanics' Institute and Castle Chess Club his entire adult life.

The modern day equivalent of the California Chess Reporter, The California Chess Journal, is going very well under the editorship of Frisco del Rosario. Membership in Cal Chess, which includes a subscription to the Journal, is available for $15 a year for adults and $13 for juniors. Mail to: CalChess, 2030 Mills Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025. For Additional Information E-Mail:

We are very happy to list new events in Palo Alto and Hercules this coming January. Look below for more information.

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 5
Bob Burger Open (5 rounds G/45 at 1/2 k)

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. 94044.
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).


PaloAlto Open Chess Festival
Sunday January 6, 2002
6 round G/30 event rated 1/2 K
Prizes based on 60 entries: Open:500-250, X:300, A:250, B:220, C:200 D/Unr: 180
Entry Fee: $50 if sent by 11/15, $60 if sent by 1/3, $65 at doors. Make checks payable to Lev Grzhonko 440, 9th ave, #3, San Francisco, Ca, 94118
Registration: 9am-10am
Rounds: 10am-11:30am-1pm-2:30pm-4pm-5:30pm
Where: Rollnick Auditorium, 655 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, Palo Alto Jewish Community Center. 3 blocks away from El Camino Real For More Information email

Hercules Amateur Championship
January 26th and 27th One section U2200, 5 rounds, G/2 $$1,200 (based on 45) 350-250-150, Best A $130, B $120, C $100, D/E/Unr. $100 E.F $35.00 If postmarked by 1/18/01 after $40.00 at site. Send entries to: Rico Adkins, Tourn Director 15696 Crestwood Dr. #172 San Pablo, CA 94806

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