Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter # 86

"Life is like a game of chess: we draw up a plan; this plan, however, is conditional on what - in chess, our opponent - in life, our fate - will choose to do." -
   Artur Shopenhauer

1) Wong leads Spring Tuesday Night Marathon
2) Cal Chess San Mateo Swiss
3) Siegrists Shine at National Elementary Championships
4) Walter Korn Exhibit
5) Bay Area Masters Grand Prix II this weekend
6) MI Chess History
7) Koltanowski Memorial
8) Upcoming Events

1) Wong leads Spring Tuesday Night Marathon

NM Russell Wong defeated Victor Ossipov in round seven of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon to clinch at least a tie for first. Going into the last round Wong has 6 1/2 points, followed by NMs Igor Margulis and David Blohm plus upset king John Lai on 5 1/2.

2) Cal Chess San Mateo Swiss

Complete details are not yet available, but we do know that MI members Larry Snyder and Ewelina Krubnik both did very well in this event held last week at the American Legion Hall in San Mateo. Berkeley-based Snyder won the Expert-A section with a 4-0 score. 12-year-old Krubnik, who is now rated in the top 100 women in the country, was the top C at 3-1 in the B-C section. Approximately 40 players participated in this fund raiser for Cal Chess.

3) Siegrists Shine at National Elementary Championships

MI members Daichi and Yuki Siegrist shined at the National Elementary Championships held in Portland. Daichi, competing the in K-6 Championship, won 4 and drew 3 with no losses to finish 12th with 5.5 out of 7. Younger brother Yuki had a 4.5 from 7 in the K-3 Championship section. The well-run event attracted over 2000 kids!

4) Walter Korn Exhibit

The MI has recently received some interesting chess memorabilia of the late Walter Korn, courtesy of Muriel Roth, which will soon be exhibited in the Chess Room display case. Korn, who was best known to the chess world as the longtime editor of Modern Chess Openings and as FIDE Judge of Study Composition, was a prolific writer and contributed to the English monthly Chess, Chess Review and Chess Life for over fifty years. This August will mark the fifth anniversary of his passing. In tribute we reprint the following appreciation which originally appeared in the Jewish Bulletin on August 15, 1997.

Chess Expert, author, Walter Korn dies in Burlingame

   by Leslie Katz

Walter Korn, a well-known chess aficionado who fled Czechoslovakia during World War II, died last month in Burlingame at age 89.

A lifelong lover of chess, The San Mateo resident authored several books on the strategic game, including "The Brilliant Touch in Chess," "America's Chess Heritage" and "The Art of Chess Competition."

Korn, who died July 10, also wrote an 11-page essay on chess for Encyclopedia Britannica and for more than 50 years was a contributing editor to chess publications including Chess Life and the British Chess Magazine.

"He was a brilliant man, but totally loving and warm," says John Burtman, a family friend who considers Korn his grandfather. "he was a wonderful, kind-hearted, good person very rare in today's world."

Born in Prague in 1908, Korn fled his homeland for London with his late wife, Herta Klemperer.

Several decades later, in Germany, he directed the U.N. Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, helping to relocate concentration camp survivors. In 1948, he served as national director of ORT in Geneva.

He later immigrated to the United States in 1950 and lived in Detroit, where he worked as a business manager of the Jewish Community Center. From 1960 to 1964, he lived in Israel, working for both the Joint Distribution Committee and the United Jewish Appeal.

After moving to California in the mid-1970s, he spent his retirement years pursuing his passion for chess.

But those who knew Korn call him a cultured man whose interest extended far beyond his favorite game.

Says his doctor George H. Cohen: "I looked forward to his visits and the back-and-forth bantering that always seemed to ensue. Walter never left the office in an instance where I hadn't learned something new from him."

Korn is survived by his longtime friend Muriel Feiler Roth of San Mateo and her family, as well as a sister-in-law, Hedi Furth of Dusseldorf, Germany and niece Marcella Buldrova of Prague.

5) Bay Area Masters Grand Prix II this weeken


International Masters Guillermo Rey and Walter Shipman are among the participants in the Bay Area Masters Grand Prix II this weekend. If you are 2200 and over, and looking for strong competition without travel, this is the event! Complete details are listed below under upcoming events.

6) MI Chess History

Andy Ansel has dug up two games from the 1930 Mechanics' Institute Championship which first appeared in The Gambit, a St.Louis based magazine which ran for about ten years in the 1920s and 30s.

Bagby- Lamb
1930 MI Championship

1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 Nc6 3. Nf3 Qe7 4. Nc3 Nxe5 5. e4 c6 6. Be2 Nf6 7. O-O Nxf3+ 8.Bxf3 Qe5 9. Be3 Bc5 10. Bxc5 Qxc5 11. e5 Ng8 12. Ne4 Qe7 13. Nd6+ Kd8 14. Qd4Nh6 15. Rad1 f6 16. Rfe1 Nf7 17. Nxf7+ Qxf7 18. e6 1-0

Lamb - Tippin
1930 MI Championship

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nc3 d5 5. exd5 exd5 6. d4 Nf6 7. Bg5 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Be7 9. Bb5 Qd6 10. Qd2 O-O 11. Bf4 Qd7 12. O-O Bb4 13. Nde2 a6 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. a3 Bc5 16. Ng3 Re8 17. h3 Ba7 18. Rfe1 Bb7 19. Be5 Re6 20. Nf5 Ne4 21.Nxe4 Rxe5 22. Nf6+ gxf6 23. Rxe5 Kh8 24. Qh6 1-0

7) 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.

8) 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:

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 __________
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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