Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #70

"The older I get the more I value pawns"
   Paul Keres

1) US Championship
2) Bob Burger Open
3) Winter Tuesday Night Marathon
4) Robert Haines moves to New Mexico
5) Upcoming Events

1) US Championship

Grandmaster Larry Christiansen is the new US Champion after defeating Nick DeFirmian in a special playoff after they both tied at 6 1/2 at the end of the nine round Swiss held in Seattle from January 5-13. Larry received $15,000 for his efforts, courtesy of the sponsoring Seattle Chess Foundation. The new US Women's Champion is 21-year-old Jennifer Shahade who had an outstanding tournament, playing GMs almost the entire tournament. Her 5-4 score netted her IM and WGM norms.

Most of the Bay Area representatives had excellent tournaments. MI GM-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky was always among the leaders and was the only participant to defeat the new champion. The final standings show him tied for third through eighth at 6-3, but fail to point out that he faced the stiffest opposition of those on that point score.

His wife Camilla, failed to defend her US Women's title, but also played very well. Her final score of 4.5 made her the second placed women, and fell just a half point short of the WGM norm which she richly deserved.

IM Guillermo Rey lost in round one to GM John Fedorowicz in round one, but then bounced back to score 5 out of 8, without the loss of a single game. Congratulations Guillermo!

Vladimir Strugatsky (4 1/2) and John Donaldson (3 1/2) brought up the rear.

This was the second time that the US Championship has been held by the Seattle Chess Foundation and the first time with the new Swiss system format. The organizers did a very good job, but particularly in obtaining widespread press coverage. There were front page features on hometown hero Yasser Seirawan and Jennifer Shahade, as well as a detailed piece on the Seattle Chess Foundation's other main emphasis - scholastic chess. The end of the US Championship was marked by a giant simultaneous exhibition featuring 16 of the tournament participants and over 300 children.

For more on this event go to

2) Bob Burger Open

IM Ricardo De Guzman defeated SM David Pruess and NM Michael Aigner along the way to winning the Bob Burger Open held on January 5. Mariusz Krubnik (1779) had an exceptional result, scoring an undefeated 4 from 5 to tie for second.

3) Winter Tuesday Night Marathon

The Winter Tuesday Night Marathon started last night. There are currently 61 players participating, representing a wide range of playing strength from Master to 1000. There is still time to join the field for round 2 with a first round half point bye. E-mail or call (415) 421-2256 for more information.

4) Robert Haines moves to New Mexico

NM Robert Haines and his wife Barbara have recently moved to Albuquerque. Robert is well known as a gifted teacher, with SM David Pruess the best known of his pupils. He hasn't played much in recent years, but in the 1980s and early 90s he was one of the best players in the East Bay. His wry wit was widely appreciated and made sure that things were never dull when he was around. Good luck in New Mexico!

5) Upcoming Events

Please note that the January 26-27 event in Hercules has been changed to four rounds instead of 5. A new listing is the annual tournament at Ohlone College in Fremont. This event will be held March 23 and 24.

Those looking for weekly rated games should check out the Berkeley Chess Club which meets at Epworth Church in North Berkeley just off MLK near Hopkins. Play starts at 8 pm but you need to register by 7:30. Gliman is the easiest exit off I-80 and bus #43 goes within a block of the site which is about a mile from the downtown Berkeley BART. Call Alan Glascoe at (510) 652-5324 for more information.

For MI Tournaments go to ( for complete details.

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).


Hercules Amateur Championship

January 26th and 27th One section U2200, 4 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

Mar. 23-24. 4th Annual Bay Area Ohlone Tourney.4SS, 30/90, SD/60 College Cafeteria, 43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA.$$(1620 b/100 full entries). 3 sects: Open, open to all. EF $35 if received by 3/21,$40 at site. $$ 300-170-100, U2100 $$ 155, 100. Reserve, open to U1900. EF : $ 35 if received by 3/21, $40 at site. $$ 200-80-70, U1700 $165, 80.Booster, open to U1500. EF: $35 if received by 3/21, $40 at site, $$ 100-60-40. Prizes: Trophy in each sect. +Trophy for best 3 mem. Team. Special EF:Scholastic rated U1100 or new USCF mem., Collegiate/ USCF mem. attending College, $30 in adv., $35 at site. All: $3 CalChess discount. Reg.9-9:30 amRds. Sat. 10-3:30, Sun. 9:30-3. Ent/Info: Hans Poschmann, 4621 Seneca Park Ave., Fremont, CA 94538,

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