Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by John Donaldson


Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News #602

October 9, 2012

“I think that by studying things, it doesn’t have to be in chess, you improve as a player.”

—Levon Aronian, New in Chess 2012, issue 2, page 45.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Congratulations to Michael Pearson, who won the J.J. Dolan G/45 on October 6. Nicked only for a four round draw by fellow National Master Hayk Manvelyan, Pearson scored 4.5 from 5 to top the 44-player field. Sharing second at 4-1 were Experts Colin Chow, Carlos D’Avila and Arthur Ismakov, plus Class A player Hovik Manvelyan.

Mechanics’ are playing abroad as well at home this fall.

International Master Daniel Naroditsky
will play in the annual Groningen Chess Festival, held from December 21 to 30.

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Director John Donaldson will play in Galway, Ireland, from October 12-14. Top seeds in the six-round the Galway Chess Congress are Grandmasters Alex Baburin of Ireland and GM Vlad-Cristian Jianu of Romania, and International Masters Denis Rombaldoni of Italy and Alex Lopez of Ireland.

Typical of Irish events, Galway will not be held at an airport hotel, but in a nice touristic venue. For more information on this event go to

The nine-round Fall Tuesday Night Marathon starts on October 16th and ends on December 11. All USCF members are welcome to play in this event, which typically attracts 65-75 players ranging in strength from International Masters to those rated under 1000.
Thursday Evening Class with Former U. S. Champion Nick de Firmian

Starting Thursday October 18, 2012

8 weeks (October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, (no class on November 22), 29, December 6 and 13) 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. Three-time U.S. Champion de Firmian will offer hands-on instruction, including an in-depth analysis of the students’ games.

The cost for the eight classes is $240 for Mechanics’ Institute members and $270 for non-members.

Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics’ are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics’ are tax deductible, due to the M.I.’s 501(c)(3) non-profit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time, consider donating to the Mechanics’. You will not only get a tax write-off, but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.

2) 3rd Konig Memorial—Part three: Annotated Games by Walter Browne

Going into the last round
Sam Shankland was in the lead with 3.5-1.5, but if he drew or lost in the last round Jesse Kraai and Daniel Naroditsky, on 3 points, were poised to catch or pass him.

English A11
Jesse Kraai (2514) – Sam Shankland (2601)
3rd Konig Memorial - San Francisco (7) 2012

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.b3 Bd6 6.Bb2 0–0 7.Qc2 e5 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.Nb5 Nc6

Sam has already equalized.

10.Nxd6 Qxd6 11.Be2?! Bg4 12.d3 Rac8 13.Qd1 e4

Black has a clear advantage.

14.dxe4 Qb4+ 15.Qd2 Nxe4 16.Qxb4 Nxb4 17.0–0 Nc3 18.Bxc3 Rxc3 19.h3 Bh5 20.Rfd1 ½–½

King’s Indian Attack A07
Daniel Naroditsky (2483) – Vinay Bhat (2511)
3rd Konig Memorial San Francisco (7), 2012

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 Bg4 4.c4 e6 5.0–0 Nd7 6.d3 Ngf6 7.Nc3 Bxf3 8.exf3 Be7 9.b3 0–0 10.Bb2 a5 11.f4 g6 12.Qc2 Qb6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Na4 Qa7

14...Qc6 15.Qxc6 bxc6 16.Rac1 Rac8 17.Rc2 Rc7 18.Rfc1 and White’s advantage indisputable.

15.Rac1 b5 16.Nc3 Rfc8 17.Qe2 b4??

17...Qb7 18.Bf3 a4 with have maintained equal chances.

18.Nxd5 exd5 19.Qxe7 Re8 20.Qd6 Re6 21.Qc7 Re2 22.Qxa7 Rxa7 23.Rc8+ Kg7 24.Bd4 Ra6 25.g4 1–0

Sicilian Sveshnikov B33
Nick deFirmian (2510) – Walter Browne (2449)
3rd Konig Memorial - San Francisco (7), 2012

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.c3 Bg7 12.exf5 Bxf5 13.Nc2 0–0 14.Nce3 Be6 15.Bd3 f5 16.0–0 Kh8!

The best move. The alternatives vary

(a) 16...Ra7 17.Qh5 Raf7 18.f4 Ne7 19.Nxe7+ Qxe7 20.fxe5 Qa7 21.Rae1.
(b) 16...e4 17.Nf4 Bf7 18.Bc2 Be5 19.Nfd5 Qg5 20.f4 exf3 21.Qxf3 Bh5 22.Qf2 f4 23.h4.

17.a4 b4!

Black has equalized.

18.cxb4 e4 19.Nf4 Bc8?

19...Bd7 20.Bxa6! Rxa6 21.b5 Rb6 22.bxc6 Rxc6 23.Rc1 Rxc1 24.Qxc1 Be5 25.Nc4 is also in White’s favor but 19...Bg8! 20.Bxa6 Rxa6 21.b5 Rb6 22.bxc6 Rxc6 would have maintained the balance.


Correct was 20.Bxa6! Rxa6 21.b5 Rb6 (21...Ra5 22.bxc6 Be5 23.b4 Ra8 24.Ned5 winning) 22.bxc6 Rxc6 23.Qd2 Qb6 (23...Be5 24.Ned5 with a big edge) 24.Rfb1 with White in control.

20...Nd4! 21.Bc4 axb5 22.Bxb5

22.axb5 Rxa1 23.Qxa1 Be5 24.Ned5 Qh4 with unclear play.


More exact was 22...Be5! 23.Ned5 Qg5 (23...Qh4 24.g3 Rg8 25.Kh1 Qh6 26.Qh5 Qxh5 27.Nxh5 Rb8 28.Ne7 Rg5 29.Nxc8 Rxh5 30.Rac1 f4 with the initiative) 24.Ra3 Nxb5 25.Nh3 Qh6 26.axb5 Rxa3 27.bxa3 f4 28.Nhxf4 Bxf4 29.Nxf4 Qxf4 with a slight advantage.

23.axb5 Rxa1 24.Qxa1= Be5 25.Ned5 Qg5 26.g3 Rg8 27.Rc1

27.Qa2!! Bb7 28.b6 h5 29.Qb3 h4 30.Rd1 favors White in a very complex position rich in possibilities.

27...Bb7 28.Rc7 Bxd5 29.Nxd5 Qd2?!

Black’s time pressure rears its head. Better was 29...f4! 30.Qa7 Qh5 31.Nxf4 Bxf4 32.Qd4+ Be5 (32...Qe5 33.Qa7 Qh5=) 33.Qxe4 Rf8 34.Qd3, with only a slight advantage for Nick.

30.Ne3! f4 31.Qa7 Bg7! 32.Nf1 Qxb2

As 32...Qe2 33.Rf7! fxg3 34.hxg3 Qxb5 35.Ne3 Qxb2 36.Kg2 Qe5 37.Nf5 d5 38.Nh6! Re8 39.Qd7 leaves White clearly on top.

33.Qb7 Qd4?

33...e3! 34.fxe3 fxg3 (34...fxe3 35.Nxe3 Qe2 36.Qe4 Rf8=) 35.Nxg3 Qb1+ 36.Kf2 Rf8+ 37.Kg2 Qa2+ 38.Kh3 Qe6+ draws

34.Rc8 e3

34...Be5 35.Qa8 Rxc8 36.Qxc8+ Kg7 37.gxf4 Bf6 38.Ne3 winning.

35.Qa8 e2 1-0 Black lost on time.

The problem-like 35...Qc4 would allow Black to continue, but after 36.Rxc4 (or 36.Rxg8+ Qxg8 37.Qxg8+ Kxg8 38.fxe3 fxe3 39.Nxe3 Bd4 40.Kf2 Kf7 41.Kf3 which should win) 36...Rxa8 37.fxe3 fxg3 38.Nxg3 Be5 39.Nf5 Kg8 40.b6 Ra1+ 41.Kf2 Rb1 42.Rc6 Bxh2 43.Nxd6 Bxd6 44.Rxd6 White has all the chances .

3) Here and There

Rusty Miller
sends in the games from a match between the 13-year-old Yasser Seirawan and veteran Pacific Northwest organizer Robert Karch. Played during the summer of 1973, with the Fischer boom still in full force, this match captured the attention of the local media, which were attracted in part by the contrast in dress between Karch, who wore suits, and Seirawan, who sometimes appeared without a shirt clad only in a swimsuit.

Seattle Post Intelligencer printed all six games, sometimes with quite lengthy reports, which were subsequently reprinted in the July and August issues of Northwest Chess.

Both were Class A players, rated in the 1900s, but while Karch was near his career high, Seirawan, who had only been playing for 16 months, was only at the beginning of what would become one of the most distinguished careers in the history of American chess.

All six games were decisive, with youth triumphing 4-2. This issue we publish games 1-3.

Note that the image of the young Yasser as a dedicated 1.c4 player (on display at his national breakout tournament at the 1975 US Open in Lincoln, where he defeated GM Arthur Bisguier) is not really true, as at the very beginning of his career he went through a Max Lange phase as White.

Max Lange Attack C56
Yasser Seirawan – Robert Karch
Seattle (m/1) 1973

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0–0 Bc5 6.e5 d5 7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 9.Ng5 Qd5 10.Nc3 Qf5 11.Nce4 0–0–0 12.g4 Qe5 13.Nf3 Qd5 14.fxg7 Rhg8 15.Nf6 Qd6 16.Nxg8 Rxg8 17.Ng5 Rxg7 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Qe2 e5

19...d3! was very strong.

20.Qf3 h5 21.Qf5+ Qd7 22.Qxd7+ Kxd7 23.g5 Ke6 24.c3 Kf5 25.Kg2 e4 26.cxd4 Bxd4 27.Rd1 Ke5 28.a3 Ne7 29.Rb1 Nd5 30.Bd2 Rf7 31.Rf1 Rf3 32.Bc3 Nf4+ 33.Kh1 c5 34.Rg1 Kf5 35.Rbd1 Nd3??

Black could have won with 35...Bxf2 36.g6 Nxg6 37.Rd5+ Ke6 38.Rdg5 Nf4.

36.Bxd4 cxd4 37.Rxd3? cxd3 38.g6 e3 39.g7 exf2 40.Rf1 d2 41.g8Q 1–0

Queen’s Indian E18
Robert Karch - Yasser Seirawan
Seattle (m/2) 1973

1.c4 b6 2.Nc3 Bb7 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 e6 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.d4
d5 8.b3 c5 9.e3 Nc6 10.cxd5 exd5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Bb2 Rb8 13.Na4
Ne4 14.Rc1 Nb4 15.a3 Na6 16.Nd2 f5 17.Nxe4 fxe4 18.Qg4 Rf7 19.Be5
Bd6 20.Bxd6 Qxd6 21.Rfd1 Qe7 22.Bf1 Rd8 23.Bxa6 Bxa6 24.Nxc5
Bc8 25.Qe2 Rdf8 26.Rxd5 Rxf2 27.Qc4 Qf7 28.Re5 Bh3 29.Qxf7+ R8xf7 0-1

French Defense C11
Yasser Seirawan-Robert Karch
Seattle (m/3) 1973

1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Nfd7 4.d4 e6 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6
8.dxc5 d4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Nxc5 11.Bxc5 Bxc5 12.Qxd8+ Kxd8
13.Ne4 Bb6 14.Nd6 Ke7 15.c3 Bd7 16.Bd3 f5 17.Nc4 Ba7 18.Be2 Rac8
19.Nd6 Rc5 20.Bf3 Bc6 21.Ke2 g5 22.g3 h5 23.a4 Bxf3+ 24.Kxf3
g4+ 25.Kg2 Rc6 26.h3 Bb8 27.hxg4 fxg4 28.f5 Bxd6 29.f6+ Kf7 30.exd6
Rxd6 31.Rad1 Rb6 32.Rd7+ Kxf6 33.b4 e5 34.Rf1+ Ke6 35.Rff7 Re8
36.Rxb7 Rxb7 37.Rxb7 Kd5 38.Kf2 Rf8+ 39.Ke2 Rf3 40.Rd7+ Ke4 41.c4
Rxg3 42.b5 axb5 43.axb5 h4 44.Kd2 h3 45.c5 h2 46.Rh7 Rh3 0-1

4) Western States Open
One of the major annual tournaments for Bay Area chess players is right around the calendar. No other major American event has such low hotel rates (room cost $29 on Sunday and Thursday and $59 Friday and Saturday) and a casino that subsidies the prize fund, ensuring a very high prize fund to entry fee payout.

A Heritage Event!
An American Classic!
Oct. 19-21   30th Annual Sands Regency Reno-Western States Open
GPP: 150 Enhanced

6SS. 40/2, 20/1, G/ 1/2. Sands Regency Hotel/Casino, 345 N. Arlington Ave., Reno, NV 89501. 1-800-648-3553 or (775) 348-2200. $$26,000 b/275, Gtd. $$16,750-$2000-1500-1000-800-600-500-400-300-200-200 in Open Section plus 1/2 of all other prizes. 6 Sections: OPEN: EF: GMs & IMs free (enter by 10/1 or pay late fee), Masters $147, (2199/below)-$175. $$ Prizes 1-10 listed above, (2399-below) $1000, (2299-below) $1000. If a tie for 1st overall then 2 (G/10) playoff for $100 from prize fund. (Note: GM/IM w/free entry not eligible for class prizes 2399 and below; may elect to pay entry fee and become eligible). EXPERT: (2000-2199) EF: $146. $$1,600-800-500-300-200. “A” Sec. (1800-1999) EF: $145, $$1,500-800-500-300-200. “B” Sec. (1600-1799). EF: $144, $$1,400-700-500-300-200. “C” Sec. (1400-1599). EF: $143, $$1,200-600-500-300-200. “D”/under Sec. (1399/below). EF: $142, $$800-500-400-300-200, (under 1200) - $300. (Unrated Players) EF: Free + must join USCF or increase membership for 1 additional year thru this tournament ($46 adults, $25 juniors). Prizes: Top unrated wins 1 yr. USCF membership plus trophy. Note: Unrated will be put in “D” Sect. unless requests to play up. Seniors (65+) additional prizes $$200; (Seniors not eligible: provisionally rated, unrated, masters); Club Championship $$800-400 decided by total score of 10 (and only 10) players from one club or area (not eligible – GMs, IMs, or unrated). Trophies to Top 3 (A-D Sections). ALL: EF $11 more if postmarked after 10/1 and $22 more if postmarked after 10/14 or at site. Do not mail after 10/14 or phone or email after 10/18. $20 off EF to Srs (65+). Players may play up. Unrated players not eligible for cash prizes except Open 1-10. Provisionally rated players may win up to 50% of 1st place money except open Section 1-10. CCA ratings may be used. Note pairings not changed for color alternation unless 3 in a row or a plus 3 and if the unlikely situation occurs 3 colors in a row may be assigned. Reg.: (10/18) 5-8 pm, (10/19) 9:00-10 am. Rds.: 12-7, 10-6, 9:30-4:30. Byes available any round, if requested before 1st round (Open Section – 2 byes max.). SIDE EVENTS: Wed. (10/17) 7pm Clock Simul([40/2, G/1) (Including an analysis of YOUR game. GM Sergey Kudrin $30 (A great value!). Thurs (10/18) 5-7:30 pm FREE lecture by IM John Donaldson -Free, 7:30 Simul GM TBA (only $15!), 7:30 Blitz (5 min) Tourney ($20-80% to prize fund). Sat 10/20 (3-4:30pm) IM John Donaldson Clinic(Game/Position Analysis) – Free. ENT: Make checks payable and send to: SANDS REGENCY (address above). HR: Room rates are Sunday - Thursday - $29.00 and Friday & Saturday - $59.00 Reservation code is: USCHESS1017. + 13.5% tax. Reserve by 10/5/12 to guarantee room rates.) INFO: Jerry Weikel, (775) 747 1405, or website: (also go here to verify entry). FIDE. W. Chess Magnet School JGP.


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