Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #87

"The art of treating the opening stage correctly and without error is basically the art of using time efficiently."

1) Imre Konig Memorial
2) Bay Area Masters Grand Prix II
3) Margulis and Blohm win Tuesday Night Marathon
4) Cal Chess Swiss Winners
5) 2nd Charles Powell Memorial this weekend
6) Here and There
7) The Turk is coming
8) Upcoming Events 

1) Imre Konig Memorial

The field had been finalized for the Imre Konig Memorial, scheduled for September 4-12 later this year. The lineup of GMs Yury Shulman (2591), Alex Yermolinsky (2583), Lubomir Ftacnik (2576), Alex Baburin (2565), Alex Wojtkiewicz (2554), Suat Atalik (2551), Nick DeFirmian (2550), John Fedorowicz (2514) and IMs Varuzhan Akobian (2480) and Hikaru Nakamura (2466) averages out to Category 12 (2543 FIDE). This is higher than the 1991 Pan Pacific (2528) and just a little below the 1995 event, which, with an average rating of 2552, is the strongest ever held at the MI. FIDE will release a new rating list on July 1st, and with rapidly improving juniors Akobian and Nakamura, the Category may go up from 12 to 13. Even as a Category 12 event, the Konig will qualify as the strongest round robin held in the United States since the 2000 US Championship and the strongest international round robin in many years.

Rounds will be held daily from 11 am to approximately 4pm in the Mechanics' main Chess Room and spectators are most welcome. Admission is complementary. IM John Donaldson will provide commentary during some of the rounds. Future Newsletters will detail the exact schedule.

Donations are what make events like this possible. Fund raising to date, through the generosity of National Masters Tibor Weinberger, Mark Pinto and Jim Eade, has generated 60 percent of the tournament budget. Can you help to make up the difference? The M.I. has 501 (c) (3) status, so donations are tax deductible.

2) Bay Area Masters Grand Prix II

UC Berkeley student David Pruess regained his Senior Master rating and won $500 by scoring 4 from 5 to win the Bay Area Masters Grand Prix this past weekend. Pruess, who took a second round bye, was only nicked for a draw by veteran Washington master Viktors Pupols. IM Ricardo De Guzman was second at 3.5, followed by tournament organzer IM Guillermo Rey and NM Egle Morkunaite at 3. The next Bay Area Masters is scheduled for June 14-16.

3) Margulis and Blohm win Tuesday Night Marathon

Veterans Igor Margulis and David Blohm used their experience to good effect to win tough games in the last round of the Spring Tuesday Night Marathon. The two NMs scored 6.5 from 8 to take top honors just ahead of Egle Morkunaite, Victor Ossipov and Victor Todortsev on 6. The next Marathon will start on June 4.

4) Cal Chess Swiss Winners

Tournament organizer and Cal Chess editor Frisco Del Rosario has kindly supplied the names of winners of the Cal Chess Swiss held 4-5 in San Mateo.

1 Expert Larry Synder 4
2 X Jerry Sze 3
1 A Ray Banning 2.5
2 A Bruce Matzner 1.5
1 B Chien Liu 3
2 B Alberto Cisneros 3
1 C Ewelina Krubnik 3
2 C Oren Gazit 3
1 D Stephan Goupille 3.5
2 D Richard Van Gaabeck 3
1 E Yuki Siegrist 2.5
2 E Iris Kokish 2
1 U1000 Herbert Kanner 2.5
2 U1000 Emilia Krubnik 2.5

5) 2nd Charles Powell Memorial this weekend

The MI will be hosting a special G/45 event this Saturday to honor the memory of one of its top players who died much too young. Nationally, Senior Master Charles Powell was best known for winning the Armed Forces Championship several times and being a key member of the Washington Plumbers, winners of the 1976 National Telephone League. A perennial state champion in his native Virginia, he moved to San Francisco in the late 1970s and played in several Northern California State Championships (Bagby Memorials), but will be best remembered for his friendly manner and good sportsmanship. Please come out for this event.

6) Here and There

The Bay Area has a new GM in the area, at least temporarily. Former World Junior Champion Tal Shaked is interning with Intel this summer in Santa Clara, before moving to Seattle this fall where he will pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Washington.

NM Robert Haines, who moved back to Albuquerque from Richmond earlier this year, recently won the New Mexico Senior Championship.

NM Bob Burger of Arcata writes regarding Newsletter #86: "The games you quote from MI championship, 1930, are interesting: Lamb is Willis Lamb, then a student at Cal and member of the Castle CC. He went on to get a Ph.D. in physics and made key discoveries (at Yale, I believe) that led to the invention of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)."

IM Vinay Bhat, several-time winner of the Falconer award for the top junior player in Northern California, will be attending UC Berkeley this fall. He joins a long list of strong players who have gone to Cal including GM Nick deFirmian, IM Vince McCambridge, IM Greg Hjorth, SMs David Pruess, David Glueck and Dmitry Zilberstein, to mention but a few.

NM Eric Schiller of El Granada has been quite busy of late with various writing and software projects. One of his students, Robert Lau of Hawaii, finished clear second in the recent national scholastic K-5 division. Eric has once again be named Chief Arbiter fort the rescheduled Kramnik-Fritz match.

MI Chess Room stalwart Lloyd Stephenson showed he is a man of many talents this past weekend by not only helping organize (until the very last minute) the Zippy 5K run in Golden Gate Park, but also placing 19th in a field of 250 with a time of 15:46 which works out to a average of 5:05 a mile! Lloyd was the fifth ranked master runner in the country in 1996. Chess Room Director John Donaldson showed it is not only his chess that needs work as he placed 165th with a time of 21:08 (6:49).

7) The Turk is Coming

Do you remember the Turk? No, we are not talking about Grandmaster Suat Atalik of Istanbul, but the famous chessplaying machine of the 18th century which is the subject of a recent book (THE TURK: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth Century-Chess Playing Machine) by Tom Standage. He will be talking about "Thinking about Thinking Machines, 1769-2002" and signing copies of THE TURK in San Francisco on the following dates:

* May 28 @ 7:00 PM: The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street
* May 29 @ 12:30 PM: Stacey's Booksellers, 581 Market Street
For additional information about the book and/or Tom Standage, please visit

8) Upcoming Events

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.

2002 KOLTANOWSKI MEMORIAL 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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