Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by John Donaldson

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter # 518

Vassily Ivanchuk as a chess player and a person?

Vasily Mikhailovich is one of the most interesting chess players of the last 20 years, and a model for all of us to imitate - you can't help but admire his love for chess and his readiness to play anyone, anywhere. You could spend a long time talking about his encyclopedic knowledge of all the openings without exception, but that's already a commonplace. He's also an extremely unusual and interesting person to talk to, with a very unique outlook on the widest range of topics.

Peter Svidler on fellow world class player Vassily Ivanchuk

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Sam Sevian - Youngest ever USCF Master at 9 years, 11 months, 15 days
3) London 2010
4) James Stewart Buff 1944-2010
5) Berkeley International
6) Jimmy Quon Memorial
7) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 518

Demitrius Goins won the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon last night when his opponent Christophe Bambou was forced to forfeit due to transportation problems. Goins, who was seeded 11th at the start of the event, had an outstanding tournament winning every game he played besides taking three half point byes in scoring 7.5 from 9. Igor Traub was second at 7 followed by Peter Zavadsky, Todd Rumph and Bambou at 6.5. Below is a list of prize winners. A complete crosstable can be found at

1st Overall: Goins-$350
2nd Overall : Traub-$245
Third and best Under 2200: Zavadsky, Bambou and Rumph-$108.66
Best Under 2000:Ochoa-$155
Best Under 1800 : Harris-$154
Best under 1600 :Alzhin-$153
Best Under 1400:Frank $152

The Winter Tuesday Knight Marathon starts on January 4th.

15-year-old Daniel Naroditsky of Foster City is the 2011 Falconer Award. The dollar award, given by former US Senior Champion Neil Falconer to the highest rated Northern California player under 18 in the preceding year, is equal to the youngster's rating - in Daniel's case 2482. This is the highest rating of a winner since Vinay Bhat back in 2002-2003.

Previous winners:

2000 SM Vinay Bhat
2001 SM Vinay Bhat
2002 SM Vinay Bhat
2003 NM Michael Pearson
2004 NM Nicholas Yap
2005 NM Matthew Ho
2006 NM Matthew Ho
2007 NM Nicholas Yap
2008 NM Sam Shankland
2009 SM Sam Shankland
2010 NM Steven Zierk

The Mechanics' would like to thank Lise Pearlman and Val Zemitis for their generous donations to the Mechanics' Institute. Ms. Pearlman donated chess-related artwork done by her mother, Amalia Pearlman (1918-2009) who was a Mechanics' regular for many years and a longtime fan of the Chess Room. Among the artwork are sketches done at the 1976 Olympiad in Haifa, Israel, and the 1996 Pan Pacific Grandmaster Tournament in San Francisco. An exhibition of these sketches will appear in the Chess Room the next few months.

Mr. Zemitis, another longtime friend of the Mechanics', going back 60 years, recently donated a long run of the Latvian chess magazine Sahs, edited for many years by Mikhail Tal.

2) Sam Sevian - Youngest ever USCF Master at 9 years, 11 months, 15 days

Mechanics' member Samuel Sevian of Santa Clara tied for first a quad last Saturday at the MI with NM Evan Sandberg at 2.5 from 3 (3-4. were Oleg Shaknazarov and Arthur Ismakov at .5-2.5)). This result enabled Samuel to beat the record for youngest ever USCF Master set by another Mechanics' member, Nicholas Nip, two years ago. Samuel reached 2201 at the age of 9 years, 11months and 15 days to break Nip's record by 11 days.

3) London 2010

The recently concluded London Chess Classicis further evidence that Hikaru Nakamura belongs in the top ten players in the world. Despite having the black pieces against the top three seeds (Carlsen, Anand and Kramnik) and four blacks in all Hikaru scored 2 wins (Kramnik and Short) and only one loss (Carlsen) to raise his rating over 2750.

1. Carlsen (NOR, 2802) - 13,
2-3. Anand (IND, 2804) and McShane (ENG, 2645) - 11,
4-5. Kramnik (RUS, 2791) and Nakamura (USA, 2741) - 10,
6. Adams (ENG, 2723) - 8
7. Howell (ENG, 2611) - 4,
8. Short (ENG, 2680) - 2.

The scoring system was 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw.

4) James Stewart Buff 1944-2010

James Buff, longtime Bobby Fischer friend and confidant, died several weeks ago in San Francisco. He had been suffering
from ill-health for many years

Fischer and Buff first met in the late 1950s as teenagers in New York City and were life-long pals that stayed close even after Buff moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s. It was Buff that arranged for Bobby to stay for several months with Peter and Ruth Biyiasas in San Francisco in the early 1980s

A expert strength player, Buff wrote a pamphlet, The Plain Truth About Chess For the Novice, but is best remembered by players of a certain generation, for the many towering home runs he hit during pickup softball games during the Lone Pine tournaments.

5) Berkeley International

The 2011 Berkeley International is promising to live up to its name with players from 18 countries participating. The 53-player field is led by 2600s Loek Van Wely, Timur Gareev and Sergey Erenburg. Contact Arun Sharma ( or David Pruess  ( for more information.

6) Jimmy Quon Memorial

The field is set for the Jimmy Quon Memorial Invitational to be held in mid-January in downtown Los Angeles at the Metropolitan Chess Club. This tournament, the second in a series of events organized by Ankit Gupta and Michael Belcher, will be considerably stronger than the first held this past November.

GM Mark Paragua  -- PHI
GM Dejan Bojkov  -- BUL
GM Melikset Khachiyan -- USA
IM Zhanibek Amanov -- KAZ
IM Timothy Taylor  -- USA
IM Mackensie Molner -- USA
IM-Elect Robby Adamson  -- USA
IM Jacek Stopa -- POL
FM Daniel Naroditsky -- USA
NM Alessandro Steinfl -- ITL

7.0 out of 9.0 is required for the GM norm
5.0 out of 9.0 is required for the IM norm

7) Upcoming Events



MECHANICS' TOURNAMENTS (go to for more information)


2011 Events


Bob Burger Open - January 8
Henry Gross Memorial - February 5
A.J. Fink Amateur Championship - March 12-13
Max Wilkerson Open - March 19
Imre Konig Memorial - April 9
Walter Lovegrove Senior Open - April 16-17
Charles Powell Memorial - May 7
Arthur Stamer Memorial - June 4-5
William Addison Open - June 11




Dec. 31-Jan. 2 or Jan. 1-2 New Year Open GPP: 40 Enhanced California Northern 6SS 30/90 G/60 (2-day sched rds 1-3 G/60). Hyatt Regency, 5101 Great America Pkwt, Santa Clara, CA 95054. Hotel rate $79. $7,000 b/118 entries (80% guaranteed). 5 sections: Open (2100+) $1000-500-200-100-100. XA (1900-2099), AB (1700-1899), BC (1500-1699) $700-300-100-100-100 each. CDE (under 1500) $500-200-100 (u1300 200-100-100). The 5th place prize will be awarded in only the 2 largest sections. Unrated prize limit of $200 in all sections except Open. EF: $99 3-day & $98 2-day mailed by 12/28, online by 12/29, Onsite +$25, Play-up +$20. 5% off bef 11/30. GMs/IMs free: EF subtr from prize. Re-entry $40. EF Econ Opt: EF minus $30 & 1/2 of computed prize. Jan 2011 Supp, CCA min & TD discretion used to place players accurately. TD/Org: Langland/Azhar. 3-day sched: Reg Fri 10-11, Rds. Fri/Sat 11:30-5:30, Sun 10, 3:30. 2-day sched: Reg Sat. 9-9:30, Rds Sat 10-12:30-2:45-5:30, Sun. 10-10:30. Max two 1/2-pt byes & must commit before rd 3. Ent: Bay Area Chess, 1590 Oakland Rd., Suite B213, San Jose 95131. T: 408-786-5515. E:, Info/Form: NS, NC, W. Chess Magnet School JGP.


Jan. 14-17 or 15-17 2nd Annual Golden State Open GPP: 150 Enhanced California Northern 7SS, 40/2, SD/1 (3-day option, rds. 1-2 G/75). Concord Hilton Hotel, 1970 Diamond Blvd., Concord, CA 94520 (I-680 Willow Pass Rd exit). Free shuttle between hotel and Concord BART station. Free parking. Prizes $40,000 based on 320 paid entries (re-entries & U1300 Section count as half entries), minimum guarantee $30,000 (75% of each prize). In 6 sections. Open, open to all. $3000-1500-1200-800-600-500-400, clear or tiebreak winner $200, top U2400/Unr $1800-1000. FIDE. Under 2200: $2400-1200-1000-700-500-400-300. Under 2000: $2400-1200-1000-700-500-400-300. Under 1800: $2400-1200-1000-700-500-400-300. Under 1600: $2000-1000-800-600-400-300-200, top Under 1400 $800-400. Under 1300: $800-500-400-300-200- 100-100, top Under 1100 $400-200. Unrated (0-3 lifetime games rated) may enter any section, with maximum prize U1300 $300, U1600 $500, U1800 $700, U2000 $900. Top 5 sections EF: 4-day $154, 3-day $153 mailed by 1/6, all $155 online at by 1/11, $160 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 1/11 (entry only, no questions), $180 at site. GMs free; $130 deducted from prize. Under 1300 Section EF: $4-day $74, 3-day $73 mailed by 1/6, $75 online at by 1/11 (entry only, no questions), $80 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 1/11, $100 at site. All: Special 1 yr USCF dues with magazine if paid with entry. Online at, Adult $30, Young Adult $20, Scholastic $15. Mailed, phoned or paid at site, Adult $40, Young Adult $30, Scholastic $20. Re-entry (except Open) $60. Mailed EF $5 less to CalChess members. 4-day schedule: Late reg. ends Fri 6:15 pm, rds. Fri 7 pm, Sat 11 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. 3-day schedule: Late reg. ends Sat 10:15 am, rds Sat 11, 2:30 & 6, Sun 11 & 6, Mon 10 & 4:30. Byes: OK all, limit 3; Open must commit before rd 2, others before rd 4. Unofficial ratings usually used if otherwise unrated. Foreign player ratings: See HR: Rate of $99-99 has been reduced to about $93-93, even lower for seniors 62 or over, 925-827-2000, for details see, reserve by 12/31 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633. Questions:, 845-496-9658. Ent: Continental Chess, c/o Goichberg, Box 661776, Arcadia, CA 91066. $15 service charge for withdrawals. Advance entries posted at Chess Magnet School JGP.



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