Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by John Donaldson

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #674
July 4, 2014

Throughout his career, Lasker’s play was marred by imprecise play in technically winning positions and there are many cases in which he overlooked simple wins and allowed his opponents unnecessary chances.

—John Nunn, in his fresh look at Emanuel Lasker’s games
(John Nunn’s Chess Course, p. 85).

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Andy Lee has taken the lead the lead in the 87-player Summer Tuesday Night Marathon with two rounds to go. The Berkeley FIDE Master defeated International Master Elliott Winslow in a long and difficult game and now has 5½ from 6. Right behind him with 5 points are top seed National Master Hayk Manvelyan and 11-year-old Expert Hans Niemann.

From round 6 of the SummerTNM Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Winslow–Lee after 30 Bxh6)Black to move (Winslow–Lee after 43 Rh3)
White to move (Vickers–Niemann after 22...Qb7)Black to move (Thornally–Steger after 27 Nd5)
Black to move (Cherkes–Timur after 33 Qf6)Black to move (Morgan–Ross after 21 Nc4)
White to move (Wang–Robertson after 13...Nd5)White to move (Zulkhuu–West after 18...Kb6)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 6.

Vassily Ivanchuk and Wesley So showed their 2700+ FIDE class as they dominated the 9th Edmonton International held July 21–29 with scores of 8 and 7½ points respectively in the nine round event. Sam Shankland (2632) and Canada’s highest-rated player, Anton Kovalyov (2636), tied for third at 5½.

US Women’s Champion Irina Krush had a very uneven event, making draws with the top four seeds, but only scoring two points against the five locals from Alberta, who averaged 2310. Part of this result was attributable to Irina’s color allocation, as she had White in the four games against the super-GMs and she is known to play around 2600 FIDE with that color.

Sicilian Taimanov B48
Sam Shankland–Anton Kovalyov
Edmonton (8) 2014

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qd2 Nf6 8. O-O-O Be7 9. f4 b5 10. e5 b4 11. Ncb5 axb5 12. Nxb5

12. exf6 is commonly seen, but the text may be more challenging.

12…Qa5 13. exf6 gxf6

12…Qxa2 is met by 13.Nc7+ and 14.fxe7+ winning.

14. Nd6+ Bxd6 15. Qxd6 Qxa2 16. Rd3 Qa5

16…Qa1+ was previously seen in Wei–Stukopin, World Junior 2013.

17. g3 Ne7 18. Bb6 Qa4 19. Bg2 Ra6 20. Qc5 d5 21. Rb3 Qd7 22. Bf1 Ra1+ 23. Kd2 Rxf1 24. Rxf1 O-O 25. Qxb4 Ba6 26. Ra1 Nc6 27. Qc5 Bb7 28. Qb5 Rc8 29. Ra7 Qe7 30. Ra4 Nb8 31. Bc5 Qc7 32. Qb6 Qxb6 33. Bxb6 Nd7 34. Be3 Bc6 35. Rc3 e5 36. Ra6 Nb8 37. Ra8 d4 38. Bxd4 1-0

Daniel Naroditsky tied for 3rd with five others in the 96-player Montcada Open in Spain, drawing his round-nine game against Ghosh Diptayan, for a final score of 6½ from 9. The 18-year-old Foster City Grandmaster had a 2635-FIDE performance rating after eight rounds, his only loss being to tournament winner Ni Hua (2653) as Black.

Congratulations to Mechanics’ Institute US Chess League member Kesav Viswanadha, who earned the FIDE Master title and an International Master norm by winning clear first in the Under-16 Section of the 2014 North American Open, held June 12–16 in New York. Kesav scored 7 out of 9 to finish a point and a half ahead of the field.

Michael Aigner writes with good news about Yian Liou, who has been a mainstay of the Mechanics’ team in the US Chess League the past few seasons.

Yian Liou just earned his third IM norm today in Novi Sad, Serbia. He faced opposition from four GMs, three IMs and two fellow norm contenders, scoring an undefeated 5½, despite getting five blacks. The first two rounds clearly set the tone: draw with black against top seed GM Borko Lajthajm (2526), and a win against GM Vladimir Kostic. Believe it or not, this was Yian’s first GM scalp, and he would go on to face all four Grandmasters in the field. His second victory was a lengthy endgame versus the American junior IM Akshat Chandra, who also made an IM norm.

Yian’s first two norms came at Metropolitan Chess in Los Angeles and the North American Open in Las Vegas, both in 2012. However, his results have stagnated a bit since then, no doubt a consequence of a demanding academic and athletic schedule. Yian begins his senior year next month at Monte Vista High School in Danville.

United States Chess Federation Executive Director Jean Hoffman will be visiting San Francisco next week, and on her schedule is a trip to the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon on July 8. USCF members are encouraged to come meet her and ask questions they might have about the organization. The Tuesday Night Lecture will run from 5:15 pm to 6:00 pm before yielding the floor to Ms. Hoffman.

2) Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz

The first Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz, sponsored by Grandmaster Patrick Wolff, will be held Sunday, September 21.

The 1st Neil Falconer Memorial Blitz

A chance to remember and pay tribute to an old friend
Sunday September 21st, 2014
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tournament: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
5 Double round Swiss

PRIZES: 1st $300, 2nd $200, 3rd $100, 4th $75, 5th $50, 6th $25.

ENTRY FEE: $10. Free to GMs and IMs. Enter at tournament from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. No phone entries.

TIME CONTROL: G/5 plus 2-second-per-move increment.

Book prizes for all participants from Neil’s library.

3) 2014 Mechanics’ Chess Camp

4th Annual Mechanics’ Institute Chess Camp for Advanced Players
Instructors: GM John Fedorowicz, GM Nick de Firmian and M.I. staff.

Learn attacking wizardry like Nakamura, Kasparov and Tal, endgame mastery like magnificent Magnus, chess openings from the Grandmaster laboratory and how to analyze your own games to identify the critical points for understanding when and why things went wrong.

You will also learn how to use ChessBase efficiently, as well as utilizing resources on the Internet, such as TWIC and the Internet Chess Club.

• Who: Open to all ages from 8 and up.

• July 14–18, 2014 from 10 am to 4 pm.

• Where: 57 Post Street, 4th floor (Montgomery BART station)

• Contact: or (415) 421-2258

• Cost: $360 for juniors (under 21), $420 for adult non-members ($325 for Mechanic’s members). All non-members will receive a one-year membership in the MI. If you can’t attend the whole camp there is a drop-in fee of $80 a day.

4) Man and Machine versus Machine, by Tyson Mao

Time: Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 10:30am to 6pm
Location: Crystal Springs Uplands School - Mansion Conference Room
400 Uplands Drive, Hillsborough, CA 94010

Description:  Visit CSUS and witness a computer chess match featuring Crystal’s very own GM Daniel Naroditsky.

In 1996, IBM’s Deep Blue defeated then-World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in a highly publicized match. Garry Kasparov’s defeat marked the end of human dominance in chess. In fact, the last time a human has defeated a computer in a public match was November 2005. Computer chess has advanced significantly. Whereas Kasparov’s 1996 match was against specifically-designed hardware that took millions of dollars of research and development, today even low end mobile devices can defeat the top humans. So what chance does Daniel Naroditsky have?

Our curiosity got the best of us, and we aim to answer the following question: can a human add any value to a chess computer? In other words, will the combination of Daniel and a computer be better than a more powerful computer alone? To test this, we are staging the following four-game chess match: GM Naroditsky aided with a laptop from 2008 and the Rybka 3 chess engine (the top chess engine when it was released in 2008) versus a modern Mac Pro running the open-source Stockfish chess engine.

The match will consist of four games played at G/45 + 30-second increment time controls. GM Naroditsky will receive $2,000 for winning the match, $500 for drawing the match, and $200 for losing the match.

This event will be hosted by Jesse Levinson (CSUS ’01) and Tyson Mao (CSUS ’02) and will take place in the CSUS Mansion Conference Room.

P.S. On another note, we’ve just reached an agreement to bring Hikaru Nakamura to the Bay Area. We were thinking of doing a day of chess at Crystal Springs Uplands School. Interested parties should contact me at

5) Igor Ivanov versus Vivek Rao

Andy Ansel provides the following game that is not in any databases. It was published in the Cleveland Chess Bulletin, Nov 1986, page 8.

King’s Indian E92
Igor Ivanov–Vivek Rao
Ohio Chess Congress (Columbus) (4), 1986

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5

8.g3 Na6 9.Nh4 Nc5 10.f3 Nh5 11.0–0 Nf4 12.Ng2 Nxe2+ 13.Qxe2 Bh3 14.Be3 b6 15.Kh1 f5 16.exf5 gxf5 17.Rg1 Qd7 18.Nd1 Rae8 19.Nf2 Bxg2+ 20.Rxg2 Kh8 21.Rag1 Qf7 22.b3 Nd7 23.g4 Rg8 24.gxf5 Qxf5 25.Ne4 Bf6 26.Rxg8+ Rxg8 27.Rxg8+ Kxg8 28.Qg2+ Kf7 29.Qg4 Qxg4 30.fxg4 Kg6 31.Kg2 Bh4 32.Kh3 Be7 33.g5 Bf8 34.Kg4 h6 35.h4 h5+ 36.Kf3 Be7 37.Ng3 Nf8 38.Ke4 Nd7 39.Ne2 Nf8 40.Nc3 Bd8 41.Nb5 Nh7 42.Bf2 Nf8 43.Na7 Nd7 44.Be3 Nc5+ 45.Bxc5 bxc5 46.Nb5 Bxg5 47.hxg5 Kxg5 48.Nxc7 h4 49.Kf3 e4+ 50.Kxe4 Kg4 51.Ke3 Kg3 52.Ne6 h3 53.Ng5 h2 54.Ne4+ Kg2 55.Nf2 Kg3 56.Ke2 Kg2 57.a4 Kg1 58.Kf3 Kf1 59.Kg3 Kg1 60.Nh3+ Kh1 61.Ng5 1–0 Ivanov–Gelfand, New York 1989.

8...h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.Nd2 Qe8 11.a3 Bd7 12.b3 Nh7 13.f3 h5 14.Rb1 Bh6 15.Bf2 Nc5 16.Qc2 Qe7 17.0–0 f5 18.b4 axb4 19.axb4 Na6?!

19...Na4 20.Nxa4 Bxa4 21.Qc3 Bd7 22.c5 Ra2 23.Rb2 Rfa8 24.Qc2 Rxb2 25.Qxb2 Nf6 26.Bd3 Kg7 27.h3 fxe4 28.fxe4 Nh7 29.Nc4 Rf8 30.Bg3 Rxf1+ 31.Kxf1 Kg8 32.b5 h4 33.Bf2 Bg7 34.b6! dxc5 35.bxc7 b5 36.Nb6 c4 37.Bxc4 bxc4 38.Nxd7 1–0 Hort–Bogdanovic, Sarajevo 1972

20.c5 Nf6 21.c6 bxc6 22.dxc6 Be6 23.Rfd1 Kh8 24.Bd3 f4 25.Na4 Rfb8 26.b5 Nc5 27.Nxc5 dxc5 28.Bxc5 Qe8 29.Qc3 Bg7 30.Nc4 Nh7 31.Nxe5 Ba2 32.Bd4 Ra4 33.Nc4 Qe7 34.Bxg7+ Qxg7 35.Ne5 Bxb1 36.Nxg6+ Kg8 37.Bc4+ Rxc4 38.Qxc4+ Qf7 39.Ne7+ Kf8 40.Nd5 1–0

6) Chess Magnet School

A Heritage Event
Chess Magnet School Junior Grand Prix
JULY 25-27 or 26-27    40th People’s Tournament
Trophies plus grand prix points: 80 (enhanced)

6ss, 40/120 sd30 d5, 2day rd. 1-3 G/61 d5. Convention Center, 5001 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara, CA 95054. Hilton Hotel $99. Park free.Prize: $16,000 b/243 guar 2/3. Open (2000+ FIDE): $2500 1200-600-300, u2300 300-100, u2100 100-100; A: $1500-700-300-100-100; B:$1500-700-300-100-100; C: $1500-700-300-100-100; DE: $1000-500-200, u1200 600-300-100. Unr capped $200 exc in Open. EF: $109, after 7/22 +$25, Playup +$25. RE $49. Econ: EF $84 & 2/3 calc prize (unavail in Open). Rfnd fee $20. GMs/IMs $0 by 7/15: prize-EF. Jul 13 Sup, CCAmin, TD disc to place. Sched: 3day Reg. F 10-11, Rds. F/Sa 11:30 5:30, Su 10 4:30; 2-day Reg. Sa 9-9:30, Rds. Sa 10 12:30 2:50 5:30, Su 10 4:30. Max 2 ½-pt byes by rd. 3. Info: W.

Chess Magnet School Junior Grand Prix
AUG. 8-10 or 9-10    Bay Area Chess IM W. John Donaldson Championship
Trophies plus grand prix points: 40 (enhanced)

6SS, G/90 +30 (u1600 G/90 d5) 2day rds. 1-3 G/70 d5. 1639A S. Main St., Milpitas, CA 95035. Park free. Prize: 5,000 b/89 (70% guar). 3 sects:2000+ (FIDE) $1,000-500-200, u2300: 250-125-100. 1600-1999: $700-300-100, u1800: 200-100, u1600: $700-300-100 u1400: 125-100, u1200: 100. Unr max $100 exc Open. Jun 14 Supp & TD disc. Reg.: F 6-6:45p & Sa 8-8:45a. Rds.: F 7p, Sa 9 1:20, Su 9 1:30 6. (u1600: Su 9 1 5). 2-day Rds. 1-3: Sa 9 11:50 2:40 & merge. EF: $89, after 8/4 +$20. Playup +$20. Econ EF: $69 w/ 2/3 prz: Rated 2250+ $0 by 7/24 (EF subtr from prize).Info:


You can browse through our archived newsletters using the "next" and "previous buttons".

Alternatively, you can select a newsletter to read from this list:

Want to save this newsletter for reading at a later time? Click here to learn how.