Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #88

"Your only task in the opening is to reach a playable middlegame."
1) Baja and Luaces share first in 2nd Charles Powell Memorial
2) Varuzhan Akobian wins 2002 Samford Chess Fellowship
3) Chess Director Donaldson to coach Nakamura and Tsai at Pan Ams
4) New Additions to MI Library Chess Collections
5) The Turk is Coming
6) Upcoming Events

1) Baja and Luaces share first in 2nd Charles Powell Memorial

National Master Victor Baja and Expert Juan Luaces shared first place in the 2nd Charles Powell Memorial held May 18 at the Mechanics' Institute. The two winners, who drew with each other in round four, split $300. There was a big tie at 3 1/2 with James Jones, Nicolas Yap, Nelson Sowell, Kevan Gross, John Chan and Mariusz Krubnik dividing the Under 2200, 2000 and 1800 prizes. Oren Gazit, Aaron Wilkowski and Davis Xu shared top Under 1600 with three points apiece. Anthony Corrales directed the 33-player event.

2) Varuzhan Akobian wins 2002 Samford Chess Fellowship

The sixteenth annual Frank P. Samford, Jr. Chess Fellowship has been won by Varuzhan Akobian of Glendale, California. The Samford is the richest and most important chess fellowship in the United States, offering brilliant young American chessmasters the support necessary to reach their full potential. The total value of the Fellowship is $32,000 per year. The prize is awarded for one year, renewable for a second year.

Akobian, the top-rated American player under 21 at 2480 FIDE, will be playing in the MI's Konig Memorial this fall. UC Berkeley student David Pruess was among the finalists for this year's Samford.

3) Chess Director Donaldson to coach Nakamura and Tsai at Pan Ams

MI Chess Director John Donaldson will be coaching American representatives Hikaru Nakamura and Cindy Tsai in the Pan American Junior Championships this June in La Paz, Bolivia. Donaldson will be spending next Tuesday and Wednesday at the world's largest chess library (the J.G. White collection) in Cleveland researching the club's history. This accounts for the early arrival of Newsletter #89.

4) New Additions to MI Library Chess Collections

The Mechanics' Institute Library is constantly adding both new and older chess materials to its collections. Recent acquisitions include Chess Informants and MI Trustee Vince McCambridge's book on Yasser Seirawan.

5) 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

6) 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)

August 12-16 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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