Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter
by John Donaldson
Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #595
July 30, 2012
The Soviet Chess School had wonderful coaches who worked constantly with the young. That was its defining characteristic. Compare that to the 1960s and 70s in Holland, for example, when there weren’t any professional coaches. But the computerisation of that sphere has made it possible to rapidly learn what previously required months and sometimes even years. In many ways that explains Carlsen’s success as well. The best coach now is the computer, if you use it correctly. I doubt Carlsen has read Nimzowitsch’s books. He learns from the games he replays.
This was Dutch GM Genna Sosonko’s response to the question of why ex-Soviet players have failed to dominate the World Championship since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
This Tuesday the 9-round Henry Mar Tuesday Night Marathon will begin. All USCF members are eligible to play.
1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News
16-year-old Daniel Naroditsky’s score of 5 from 9 in the Quebec Open in Montreal was achieved against the very strongest opposition. The young IM faced 5 players with a collective rating of 2640 FIDE and scored 1-4 (=2, -3) but was 4-0 against his other opponents, which included two International Masters. Daniel’s performance rating was 2528 for the event, which was won by 2650-rated Grandmaster Wesley So with the excellent score of 7.5 from 9. 2700-rated Lazaro Bruzon was second with 7 points.
Grandmaster Sam Shankland is off to a good start in Biel with a score of 4½ from 6. Here is a miniature from round six.
GM Sam Shankland – GM Alexander Chernaiev
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.g3 b6 7.Bg2 Bb7 8.0–0 Bxc3 9.Qxc3 c5 10.Rd1 0–0 11.b3 Qc7 12.Bb2 Ne4 13.Qc2 f5 14.d5 exd5 15.cxd5 Ndf6 16.Nd4! Nxd5 17.Ne6 Nb4??
Black had to play 17...Qd7 18.Nxf8 Rxf8 with some, but not quite enough, compensation for the exchange.
The Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club is proud to announce that Dr. Joseph Ponterotto of Fordham University will give a lecture on August 7, from 5:15 to 6:15 pm, on his recently-released book Psychobiography of Bobby Fischer. Dr. Ponterotto will have copies of his book to sell. All are welcome to attend this free talk.
Thursday Evening Class With Former U. S. Champion Nick de Firmian, starting Thursday August 2, 2012
8 weeks: August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, September 6, 13, and 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
This class, limited to a maximum of eight students, is aimed at players below 2000, and is a perfect fit for the Tuesday Night regular who has been stuck for a long time at the same rating.
2) 2012 US Chess League to start this September
San Francisco Mechanics’ US Chess League Team Roster 2012
This season the Mechanics’ will likely have the youngest team in the USCL, with 5 of its 10 players under 17 and 3 of them under 13.
Ratings, based on January 2012 rating list (current rating)
Jesse Kraai 2567 (2567)
Vinay Bhat 2555 (2555)
Daniel Naroditsky 2546 (2552) Age 16
Dmitry Zilberstein 2472 (2467)
John Donaldson 2402 (2408)
Samuel Sevian 2299 (2430) Age 11
Yian Liou 2354 (2426) Age 14
Andy Lee 2273 (2276)
Cameron Wheeler 2154 (2219) Age 11
Kesav Viswanadha 2134 (2219) Age 12
Team Manager: John Donaldson
Assistant Team Manager: Payam Afkham-Ebrahimi
Wednesday, September 5
San Francisco Mechanics vs Carolina Cobras, 5:30 pm
Monday, September 10
San Francisco Mechanics vs Manhattan Applesauce, 5:30 pm
Monday, September 17
St. Louis Arch Bishops vs San Francisco Mechanics, 5:30 pm
Monday, September 24
San Francisco Mechanics vs New York Knights, 5:30 pm
Wednesday, October 3
St. Louis Arch Bishops vs Seattle Sluggers, 6:00 pm
Wednesday, October 10
Philadelphia Inventors vs San Francisco Mechanics, 5:30 pm
Monday, October 15
Los Angeles Vibe vs San Francisco Mechanics, 6:00 pm
Wednesday, October 24
San Francisco Mechanics vs Dallas Destiny, 5:30 pm
Monday, October 29
Seattle Sluggers vs San Francisco Mechanics, 6:00 pm
Monday, November 5
San Francisco Mechanics vs Miami Sharks, 5:30 pm
3) Jacqueline Piatigorsky (1911–2012)
Jacqueline Piatigorsky passed away on July 15th in Los Angeles at the age of 100.
A women of many talents, Jacqueline Piatigorsky is best remembered in the chess world for organizing the Piatigorsky tournaments with her husband Gregor. These two events, held in 1963 and 1966 respectively, featured many of the elite players in the world at the time, with Tigran Petrosian and Paul Keres tying for first in the earlier event and Boris Spassky winning the latter, with Bobby Fischer a close second.
These were not the only major competitions Mrs. P. (as she was often called) was involved with. The 1961 Fischer–Reshevsky match and the 1967 playoff between Sammy Reshevsky, Leonid Stein and Vlastimil Hort are two others that quickly come to mind. Jacqueline Piatigorsky was mentored in chess by Herman Steiner, and when he died suddenly in 1955 she took over the operation of his club, The Hollywood Chess Group, which was renamed the Herman Steiner Chess Club.
Mrs. P. was a perfectionist who was heavily involved with the organizational nuts and bolts of all the events she was engaged in. These ran the gamut from creating an innovative relay system for transmitting moves from the stage, to the analysis room at the Piatigorsky Cups, to the mundane day-to-day activities of keeping a chess club going for twenty-plus years. Mrs. P. even designed the cup that the winners of the Piatigorsky Cup received.
Jacqueline Piatigorsky did not only confine her chess activities to elite competitions. The Piatigorsky Foundation, which she founded with Gregor, sponsored chess in public schools and for underprivileged and disabled children throughout Southern California for several decades. This was in many ways her most lasting legacy, as tens of thousands of children were exposed to the royal game thanks to her efforts.
One of the highest-rated women in the United States in the 1950s and 60s, Mrs. P. played in many US Women’s Championships during these two decades. Her best performance came in 1965, when at the age of 53, she finished half a point out of first, with the excellent score of 7½ - 2½. She represented the United States internationally in the first women’s Chess Olympiad, held in Emmen in 1957, where she scored 7½ from 11 to win the bronze medal on second board.
4) Here and There
The 2012 US Open will be held in Vancouver, Washington, just across the river from Portland, Oregon. This will mark the second time Washington State will host the US Open. The first time was 1966, and 46 years later at least four players who played in the original event will be back: International Master Anthony Saidy, National Master Viktors Pupols, Michael Murray and Rusty Miller.
Northwest Chess, a regional publication covering chess in Washington, Oregon and Idaho has been published monthly since 1947! Its new editor, Frank Niro, has produced a special 48-page issue for August 2012 that will be distributed to all US Open participants.
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