Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter # 85

"It's funny, but many people don't understand why I draw so many games nowadays. They think my style must have changed but this is not the case at all. The answer to this drawing disease is that my favorite squares are e6, f7, g7 and h7 and everyone now knows this. They protect these squares not once but four times!"-
   Mikhail Tal

1) Onischuk wins 3rd Karpov International
2) Margulis tops Lovegrove
3) Baja wins in Hercules
4) Wong leads Spring Tuesday Night Marathon
5) Field for Konig Memorial 
6) MI Chess Camp
7) Manhattan Chess 1879-2002?
8) Koltanowski Memorial - May 25-27 in San Francisco
9) Missing Years of the American Chess Bulletin at the MI
10) Upcoming Events

1) Onischuk wins 3rd Karpov International

2002 is turning out to be a very good year for American players. GMs Alex Shabalov and Gregory Kaidanov tied for first in the Aeroflot Open in January and now Alexander Onischuk has won a major tournament. The 3rd Karpov International, a Category XVI (2628) event, was held in Poikovsky, Russia 16th-24th April 2002. Onischuk's performance in this event was around 2750 FIDE.

1. Onischuk, Alexander g USA 2641 6.0; 2. Rublevsky, Sergei g RUS 2657 5.5; 3. Zvjaginsev, Vadim g RUS 2645 5.5; 4. Dreev, Alexey g RUS 2677 5.0; 5. Vaganian, Rafael A g ARM 2664 5.0; 6. Sokolov, Ivan g BIH 2647 5.0; 7. Bologan, Viktor g MDA 2652 4.5; 8. Vescovi, Giovanni g BRA 2611 4.5; 9. Aleksandrov, Aleksej g BLR 2654 4.0; 10. Obodchuk, Andrei m RUS 2435 0.0;

2) Margulis tops Lovegrove

NM Igor Margulis won the Walter Lovegrove Senior Open held April 27-28 at the MI with a score of 3.5 from 4. NM David Blohm was second at 3 followed by IM Walter Shipman, Larry Snyder, Ray Banning and Jim Simpson at 2.5. Simpson, rated only 1436, had a particularly good event as he played up the entire tournament.

3) Baja wins in Hercules

Tournament organizer and director Rico Adkins writes about last weekend's Hercules Open:

The 23 player event was won by Victor Baja, a master from San Pablo, CA, with a score of 4-0, defeating the young prodigy Alexander Setzepfandt in the last round. Second Place went to Kris Mac Lennan, from Oakland, CA with 3 1/2 points. Third place went to both Steven Gaffagan (Expert prize also!) and Maximo Fajardo with 3 points. Teodoro Porlares and Maximo Fajardo took first "A", Michael Haun took first "B", Aaron Wilkowski took first "C", and Eric Tsai took the below /Unr. prize.

Rico is planning another event at the same location in early August.

4) Wong leads Spring Tuesday Night Marathon

NM Russell Wong leads the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon with a score of 5.5 from 6 with two rounds to go. NMs Igor Margulis and David Blohm and Expert Victor Ossipov are tied for second at 5.

5) Field for Konig Memorial

The field for the Imre Konig Memorial, scheduled to start the second week of September, is tentatively set: GMs Yury Shulman (Belarus), Alexander Baburin (Ireland), Alex Wojtkiewicz (Poland), Suat Atalik (Turkey), Alex Yermolinsky (USA), Nick deFirmian (USA), John Fedorowicz (USA), IMs Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Varuzhan Akobian (USA) and Vinay Bhat (USA). Using ratings from the April list, this field makes for a Category 12 (2525 + FIDE) event, the same level as the 1991 and 1995 Pan Pacific Internationals.

National Masters Tibor Weinberger and Mark Pinto have generously donated $8,000 for this event, but we are still short of our goal of $14,000. If you would like to help sponsor this tournament please contact MI Chess Director John Donaldson at (415) 421-2258 or All donations are tax deductible.

One of the tournament participants, GM Alex Baburin, is helping the fund raising raising effort by offering a special deal for new subcriber's to his high quality online daily chess magazine Chess Today. He will donate 40 percent of the subscription price to the Konig Memorial! Cost of a four month subscription is $17. Go to to sign up and tell Alex the MI sent you.

6) MI Chess Camp

The Mechanics' will be hosting it's third annual chess camp from August 12-16 with GM Alex Yermolinsky, IMs John Donaldson and Guillermo Rey and MI Scholastic Director Anthony Corrales as instructors. Full details are listed below under Upcoming Events.

7) Manhattan Chess 1879-2002?

The nation's second oldest continuously operating chess club, the Manhattan, is in extreme danger of disappearing off the map. Last month the Club, which was located at The New Yorker Hotel, shut its doors. President Jeff Kossak has put the equipment in storage and is searching for a new location. As one might imagine the cost of Manhattan real estate is a big problem. The Club does not have the group of wealthy backers it once had and it will be difficult to find an acceptable location at a doable rent.

The Mechanics (founded 1854) and the Marshall in NYC (founded in 1919) have both been blessed with many generous individuals over the years who helped them to own their own buildings. The Manhattan, not enjoying this critical advantage, must have moved at least 20 times in its nomadic history. We wish the Manhattan well in its search for new quarters and remind MI Club members that it is their generosity that helps to run the programs and tournaments that we hold.

8) Koltanowski Memorial - May 25-27 in San Francisco

Tom Dorsch and CALCHESS are bringing a special event to San Francisco this coming Memorial Day weekend. May 25-27 the Koltanowski Memorial will be held at the Golden Gateway Holiday Inn at Van Ness at Pine. The six-round event features $6,375.00 in prizes and $1 from each paid entry will be donated to the Kolty Chess For Youth Foundation.

Premium rental charges by San Francisco hotels and mediocre attendance for the past few events (Firecracker and Uinverse Opens) have discouraged people from putting on big tournaments in the City. Let's change that trend! Support this event and its very reasonable entry fee of $65 and there will be more like it. Just think, you won't always have to get on a plane and fly across the country when you want to play in a big Swiss System event.

See full details below under Upcoming Events.

9) Missing Years of the American Chess Bulletin at the MI

Donations by Andy Ansel and some recent acquisitions have left the MI with almost a complete run of the American Chess Bulletin which went from 1904-1963. We are now missing only 1944, 1947 and 1956. Can you help?

10) Upcoming Events

May 10-12 GPP: 15 N. California
Bay Area Masters Spring Grand Prix II.
Open to players rated 2200 & above on the April 2002 USCF rating list. 5SS, 30/90, 30/60, SD/15. Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St., San Francisco. $$1700 b/22 pd. ents: $1000-500-200. EF: $100 by May 7, $120 after, GMs & IMs free. Reg: 5/10 4-4:30, Rds: 5pm, 11-5, 11-5. Ent/Info: Guillermo Rey, 435 Firecrest Ave., Pacifica, CA 94044. (650) 355-0305, FIDE rated.May 11-12 GPP: 30 Maryland

May 18 2nd Charles Powell Memorial G/45 at the MI
PRIZES:$600 - total, based on 25 paid entries.
1st 200, 2nd $100, top U2200 $90, U2000 $75, U1800 $70, U1600 $65.
ENTRY FEE: $25 for MI members, $30 for non-members, $5 discount to juniors.
Late fee of $5 for entries received after May 14. Make checks payable to the Mechanics' Institute. REGISTRATION: 9AM-9:30AM ROUNDS: 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm For more information: (415) 421-2258 or Email us

June 7-9 Stamer Memorial

Jun. 14-16 GPP: 15 N. California
Bay Area Masters Summer Grand Prix III.
Open to players rated 2200 & above on the June 2002 USCF rating list. 5SS, 30/90, 30/60, SD/15. Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St., San Francisco. $$1700 b/22 pd. ents: $1000-500-200. EF: $100 by 6/11, $120 after, GMs & IMs free. Reg: 5/10 4-4:30, Rds: 5pm, 11-5, 11-5. Ent/Info: Guillermo Rey, 435 Firecrest Ave., Pacifica, CA 94044. (650) 355-0305, FIDE rated

June 22 2nd William Addison Open G/45 (same details as Powell)

3rd Annual Mechanics' Institute Chess Camp for Intermediate and Advanced Players (1200-2200)

This is not a camp for players that want to jump two rating classes in five days. You won't learn how to win against the Sicilian every time using the Grand Prix Attack. So why our camp and not others? At the MI camp you will get a look inside a GM's laboratory and get a feel for how they work on their game from the ground up. You will learn not only the importance of analyzing your own games, but also how to do it properly. You will learn to identify the critical points of the game and to understand when and why things went wrong.
You will learn how to use ChessBase and Fritz efficiently as part of a daily training program as well as utilizing resources on the Internet such as TWIC and the Internet Chess Club. Today chess books are cranked out at an incredible rate. Some of them are very good, many are quite bad. We will help students learn to select that which is truly useful.
On the fun side our instructors have unique experience in international competition. Expect to hear stories and anecdotes about what it's like to play against Kasparov and defend first board in a Chess Olympiad.
Instructors: Grandmasters Alex Yermolinsky, International Masters John Donaldson and Guillermo Rey, and MI Scholastic Director Anthony Corrales.

Who: Open to all ages from 8 and up.
When : August 12-16, from 9am to 5pm
Where: 57 Post Street, 4th floor (Montgomery BART station)
Cost: $320 for Mechanics' members, $355 for junior (under 21) non-members, $405 for adult non-members. All non-members will receive a one year membership in the MI. There is a limit of 40 players for this camp. If you can't attend the whole camp there is a drop in fee of $80 a day

Regional Events:

CalChess San Mateo Swiss
May and 5
Four USCF-rated games for $20! No cash prizes, an inexpensive weekend Swiss! Support your state organization! Any profit from this event will benefit CalChess!
CalChess San Mateo Swiss
When: May 4 and 5, 2002
Where: American Legion Hall, 130 South Blvd., San Mateo (from Highway 92 in San Mateo, exit El Camino Real north, first right on 17th Ave., first left on Palm, first right on South Blvd.).
Format: Four-round Swiss in eight sections: Master, Expert, A, B, C, D, E, Under 1000
(Ratings from April 2002 supplement will be used; strict class divisions no one plays up).
Round Times: 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. both days (half-point byes available all rounds, bye for round 4 must be requested before May 4). Late registration 10 a.m. Saturday.
Time Control: Sudden death in 2 hours.
Prizes: Three trophies or plaques in each section.
Entry Fee: $20 to CalChess members (membership expiration dates before May 1, 2002),
$40 to non-members, if received by May 1. $10 more at site. USCF membership required.
A one-year membership in CalChess gives you discounted entry fees into participating tournaments, and six issues of the award-winning California Chess Journal A regular one-year membership costs $15.
Registration and Information: Tournament director Frisco Del Rosario, 126 15th Ave., San Mateo CA 94402-2414 (650) 868-5187 no calls before 4 p.m., e-mail preferred to
Graphic: Beneath the San Mateo/Hayward Bridge
Name ____________________________________________________________________
Address ___________________________________________________________________
City _______________________________________ State ___________ Zip ___________
E-mail address ______________________________ Phone_________________________
USCF ID# __________________________________ Exp. date _______ Rating _________
Checks payable to Frisco Del Rosario ($20 entry fee for CalChess members, $40 for non-members who may join CalChess for $15 for one year, $28 for two years, $41 for three years, scholastic memberships $13 for one year), mail to 126 Fifteenth Ave., San Mateo CA 94402.

Honoring a legend!


2002 CalChess KOLTANOWSKI MEMORIAL. 6-round Swiss-system tournament,
May 25-27, Saturday through Monday, (3-day schedule) or
May 26-27 Sunday and Monday (2-day schedule).
Location: Golden Gateway Holiday Inn; Van Ness at Pine, San Francisco.
Time Control: 3-DAY SCHEDULE: 30 moves in 90 minutes, then Game in 60.
2-DAY SCHEDULE: Rounds 1-3: Game/60; Rounds 4-6: 30/90, G/60

- $6,375.00 -
Master: $1000-$600-$300-150
U2400: $300-$150
Expert: $400-$250-$100
"A": $350-$175-$100
"B": $350-$175-$100
"C": $350-$175-$100
"D": $350-$175-$100
"E": $350-$175-$100
trophies for U1000, U800, U600
UNR: 4 trophies
TROPHY to top Senior. Players may play up one section for $10.
Rounds: THREE-DAY SCHEDULE: Sat. 10-3:30; Sun 11-4:30; Mon. 10-3:30.
TWO-DAY SCHEDULE: Sun. 9:30-11:45-2:00-4:30, Mon. 10-3:30. 2-day, 3-day schedules merge in Round 4. Rounds 5 & 6 byes must be requested in advance.
Entry Fee: Advance: $65 (Jrs. $49) 3-day schedule; $64 (Juniors $48) 2-day schedule postmark by 5/20. $70 at door (Juniors $50). $6 DISCOUNT to CalChess members (must be current); Players may play up one section for $10. GM/IM entry deducted from prize. Unrateds $39 in unrated section, or may play in Master section for regular entry fee." Re-entry Option: $40 (Jrs. $29). After Rds 1-2 of 3-day schedule, fresh start in 2-day schedule.
Hotel Rooms: Golden Gateway Holiday Inn 1-415-441-4000 may sell out. If so, try nearby hotels Cathedral Hill (415-776-8200), Richielieu 415-673-4711), Vagabond Inn (415-776-7500).
Registration:, Sat. 5/26, 8-9:00 am.; Sun. (2-day schedule) 5/27, 8-9:00 am Director: Carolyn Withgitt, Chief TD. Information: Tom Dorsch (650)322-0955.
USCF membership required. USCF rated. No Computers, Wheelchair access.
4/02 Ratings, CCA Minimums and Directors' discretion will be used to place players as accurately as possible.
$1 from each paid entry will be donated to the Kolty Chess For Youth Foundation.

NAME_________________________________USCF ID #_______________ Exp. Date______
CITY ____________________________________STATE ______ZIP __________
PHONE ( )______________________ E-MAIL SECTION ENTERED _____________

1/2 point bye round(s) __________ (Request byes for rds 5 and/or 6 before round 1)

-3-day KOLTANOWSKI MEM'L __________ $65 by 5/20 (Jrs. $49); $70 at door (Jrs. $50).
-2-day KOLTANOWSKI MEM'L __________ $ 64 by 5/20 (Jrs. $48); $70 at door (Jrs. $50).
-CalChess discount____________________ $6 discount to CalChess members MAIL ENTRIES TO:
-USCF renewal _______________________ $40/yr. ($20 Jrs.) CalChess Tournaments
-CalChess renewal ____________________ $15/yr.(Includes "California ChessJournal") PO Box 7453
-Play up 1 section ____________________ $10 ($5 Jrs.) Menlo Park, CA 94026

TOTAL _______________________(Check payable to "CalChess Tournaments")


   Born in Antwerp, Belgium, on September 17, 1903, to a family of diamond cutters, George Koltanowski--universally known as "Kolty"--was introduced to chess by his father. His first introduction to organized chess was by a Catholic nun, who brought him to the Antwerp Chess Club when he was ten years old. Within a short time he had become the best player in Antwerp, and he went on to win six Belgian national championships.
   An exhibition of blindfold chess by the Hungarian master Gyula Breyer intrigued the young man. In an offhand boast, he told his friends at the Club that it was no great feat to play multiple games blindfold. Challenged to make good on his boast, he lost his way and lost all his games. Stung by teasing, Kolty focused on blindfold play until he was strong enough to defeat the best players. He became a professional and moved to Spain.
   World Champion Alekhine held the blindfold record of most games played simultaneously, 24. Kolty played 26. Alekhine came back and played 28. Kolty played 30. Alekhine extended the rivalry once again by playing 32 games. Not to be outdone, in 1937, on the occasion of his 34th birthday, Kolty performed the stupendous feat of playing 34 games simultaneously blindfold in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was an achievement so spectacular that it has never been equaled--a world record that still stands, 65 years later!
   Kolty was also one of the strongest over-the-board players of the '30s. Among his accomplishments was a tie for first at Madrid, 1935, where he defeated Salo Flohr, a world championship contender, in their individual game. After the war, he was retroactively awarded the title of International Grandmaster by the international chess federation (of which he was the longest-surviving founding member, having played at the Paris, 1924, tournament where the organization was formed). In 1939, when war broke out in Europe, Kolty was touring Central America on his way to the chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires. Unable to return to Belgium, Kolty spent the war teaching chess in Guatemala, then settled in the United States. In 1948, he married the love of his life, Leah, and moved to Northern California. For more than fifty years, Kolty dedicated his life to improving chess in this country, building a record of accomplishment never equaled. He was America's leading tournament director, devising the Swiss system and personally officiating at premiere American events (sixteen US Opens) and international events (San Antonio 1972). Kolty served for nine years on the Policy Board of the US Chess Federation, three years as president. He wrote the only daily chess column in the world; it appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and was syndicated to other papers for over fifty years. His roadshow, featuring his patented "Knight's Tour," introduced chess to thousands of players throughout the United States. He wrote more than a dozen books and countless articles. He had the first televised chess instructional program on PBS in the '50s. He founded numerous chess clubs.
   Kolty's inexhaustible energy and his enthusiasm for the game earned him every honor that the chess world could bestow. His fascinating personality and sense of humor made him a friend to generations of players all over the world. The US Chess Federation awarded the titles, "Dean of American Chess" and "America's Chess Treasure." in recognition that his work has enriched countless lives.
   This tournament is dedicated to Kolty.

Jun. 1-2 GPP: 6 N. California
The Class Struggle. 4SS, G/2. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, corner of Bancroft & Telegraph Ave., U.C. Berkeley Campus. Parking $5 all day at corner of Bancfoft & Fulton, bring quarters. $$2,000 Gtd. Open: (All) $300-150. X: $250-125. A: $200-110. B: $175-90. C: $150-80. D: $125-75. E: $100-70. Unr. must play in Open sect. Sects. may be combined. Reg: 6/1 8:30-9:30, Rds: 10-3, 10-3. EF: $30 by 5/25, $40 after, $5 disc. to UC students. Don't mail ents. After 5/25 as campus mail is slow. Players may play up for $10 additional. One 1/2 pt. bye avail., must be takent at reg. Please bring equip., none provided. TD: Richard Koepcke. Info: 650-964-2640, no phone ents! Ent: ASUC/Superb Prod.-Academic Games, 5 Eshleman Hall, #4500, Berkeley, CA 94720-4500. NS,NC,W,FIDE.

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