Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by John Donaldson


Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News #603

October 17, 2012

Besides playing chess, there is nothing more delightful than reading about chess.

—IM Jens Enevoldsen

This quote is from the new book
Aron Nimzowitsch: On the Road to Chess Mastery, 1886-1924 (p. 1) by Per Skjoldager and Jorn Erik Nielsen.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Fall Tuesday Night Marathon started last night, with IM Elliott Winslow the top-seed, followed by FM Andy Lee and NMs Russell Wong and Romy Fuentes. It’s still possible to join the 9-round event with a half-point for round one.

The Mechanics’ entry in the US Chess League drew its seventh-round match with the Los Angeles Vibe 2-2 last Monday. Youngsters IM Daniel Naroditsky (board one) and Cameron Wheeler (board 4) were both victorious.

The Mechanics’ Chess Club would like to thank the family of the late Arthur Wang for their generous donation of his issues of Chess Life magazine and former M.I. Chess Director Jim Eade for bringing them to the Institute.

There are still a few openings for Mechanics’ Grandmaster-in-Residence Nick deFirmian’s Thursday evening class. Those who are interested should send an e-mail to

Fans of National Master Dennis Fritzinger’s chess poems, which have appeared in the Newsletter for many years, might be interested in checking out some of his other work which can be found at

Wednesday Night Blitz winners

October 3
1st - Arthur Ismakov
2nd - Jules Jelinek
3rd - Carlos D’Avila

October 10

1st – IM Ray Kaufman
2nd - Arthur Ismakov
3rd - Carlos D’Avila


2) James Schroeder - Dedicated Servant of Caissa

This past summer the US Chess Federation recognized
James Schroeder for his many contributions to chess in a career spanning over 60 years and still going strong. Jim’s accomplishments have been many. Back in his native Ohio he organized and directed countless tournaments, particularly in Cleveland. He served as the editor of several local regional and national publications and has edited over 40 books and tournaments bulletins. His work on Boris Spassky in the late 1960s was one of the first on the former World Champion. This is quite a legacy, but Jim is even prouder of his four decades of supporting prison chess—providing sets, boards and chess literature to inmates around the country.

While Jim is known for his activities away from the board, many may not realize that he is a strong master who twice won the Ohio State Championship.

The following game, against
James Harkins, a USCF master for many years, who still maintains a mid-level Expert’s rating in his 80s, showcases Schroeder’s creativity.

King’s Gambit C37
James Harkins - James Schroeder
Cleveland 1968

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4

Here 4.h4 (the main line) and 4.d4 are more commonly played.

4...g4 5.Ne5

White declines the chance to enter the romantic Muzio Gambit. One modern example was played by the young Alexey Shirov in 1990:

5.0–0 gxf3 6.Qxf3 Qf6 7.e5 Qxe5 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.d4 Qxd4+ 10.Be3 Qf6 11.Bxf4 Ke8 12.Nc3 Nc6 13.Nd5 Qg6 14.Rae1+ Be7 15.Bd6 Kd8 16.Qf8+ Bxf8 17.Bxc7 mate!, Shirov-Lapinski, Daugavpils 1990.

5...Qh4+ 6.Kf1 Nc6!?

Jim makes a spicy dish extra spicy! Anderssen, Steinitz and Chigorin all tested the position after 6...Nh6. Black can also try 6...f3. The text is especially challenging.


7.Bxf7+!? might be the critical test of 6...Nc6.


Also possible was 7...f3 meeting 8.Nxh8 (8.d4 b5 9.Bb3 b4 10.Bc4 Na5) with 8...fxg2+ 9.Kxg2 Qh3+ 10.Kf2 Nf6 11.d3 g3+ 12.hxg3 Ng4+ .

8.Qe1 g3 9.Nxh8

The alternatives were
(1) 9.d3 Nf6 10.Nxh8 Ng4 11.Bxf4 Nxh2+ 12.Rxh2 Qxf4+ 13.Ke2 Qe3+ 14.Kd1 Qxe1+ 15.Kxe1 gxh2;
(2) 9.d4 Nxd4 10.Nxh8 Nf6 11.Nd2 Ng4 12.Nb3 Nxb3 13.axb3 f3

In both cases Black is doing very well.

9...Bf2 10.hxg3 Qxh1+ 11.Kxf2 fxg3+ 12.Ke2 Qxg2+ 13.Kd1 d5 14.exd5+ Nge7 15.dxc6

Or 15.c3 Bg4+ 16.Kc2 Bf5+ 17.Bd3 (17.Kd1 Qh2) 17...Bxd3+ 18.Kxd3 Qxd5+ winning.

15...Bg4+ 16.Be2 Bxe2+ 17.Qxe2 Qh1+ 18.Qe1 g2 0–1

3) IM Andranik Matikozian wins 22nd Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational, by NM Ankit Gupta

Metropolitan Chess, Inc.
 hosted an International Master norm round robin tournament from October 10th to October 14th of 2012. The tournament was sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc, Law Offices of Steinfl & Bruno,, MonRoi, LawyerFy, EventForte, and Betty Bottom Showroom. 

This tournament was the 22nd in its series and was held in Suite C855 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles. The tournament was organized by Ankit Gupta, FA, IO. The participants included IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ), IM Andranik Matikozyan (ARM), IM Larry Remlinger (USA), FM Mark Duckworth (USA), FM Michael Casella (USA), FM Konstantin Kavutskiy (USA), NM Samuel Sevian (USA), NM Garush Manukyan (ARM), NM Robert Akopian (USA) and NM Madiyar Amerkeshev (KAZ).

Final Results:
1. Matikozian 7; 2. Sevian 6; 3-5. Remlinger, Amanov and Kavutskiy 5; 6.Manukyan 4.5 ; 7.  Amerkeshev 4; 8-10.  Duckworth, Casella and Akopian 2.5.

4) King Ludd is Still Dead
, by Kenneth Rogoff

A recent article by the GM and former IMF Chief Economist (available at touches on the chess world.

Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that, worldwide, technological change could easily lead to the loss of 5-10 million jobs each year. Fortunately, until now, market economies have proved stunningly flexible in absorbing the impact of these changes.

A peculiar but perhaps instructive example comes from the world of professional chess. Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, many feared that players would become obsolete if and when computers could play chess better than humans. Finally, in 1997, the IBM computer Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov in a short match. Soon, potential chess sponsors began to balk at paying millions of dollars to host championship matches between humans. Isn’t the computer world champion, they asked?

Today, the top few players still earn a very good living, but less than at the peak. Meanwhile, in real (inflation-adjusted) terms, second-tier players earn much less money from tournaments and exhibitions than they did in the 1970’s.

Nevertheless, a curious thing has happened: far more people make a living as professional chess players today than ever before. Thanks partly to the availability of computer programs and online matches, there has been a mini-boom in chess interest among young people in many countries.

Many parents see chess as an attractive alternative to mindless video games. A few countries, such as Armenia and Moldova, have actually legislated the teaching of chess in schools. As a result, thousands of players nowadays earn surprisingly good incomes teaching chess to children, whereas in the days before Deep Blue, only a few hundred players could truly make a living as professionals.

In many US cities, for example, good chess teachers earn upwards of $100-150 per hour. Yesterday’s unemployed chess bum can bring in a six-figure income if he or she is willing to take on enough work. In fact, this is one example where technology might actually have contributed to equalizing incomes. Second-tier chess players who are good teachers often earn as much as top tournament players—or more.

Of course, the factors governing the market for chess incomes are complex, and I have vastly over-simplified the situation. But the basic point is that the market has a way of transforming jobs and opportunities in ways that no one can predict.

5) Western States Open

One of the major annual tournaments for Bay Area chess players is being held this weekend. No other major American event has such low hotel rates (r
oom 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 ratio.
Come join the large number of MI Club members that play in this event each year.

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, SD/ 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 (also go here to verify entry). FIDE. W. Chess Magnet School JGP.


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