Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by John Donaldson

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #675
July 11, 2014

Those who know the marvels of chess and wonder why the game of all games do not enjoy greater popularity may also ask why Pepsi-Cola is consumed by more people than Chteau Lafite, or the Beatles are more familiar than Beethoven.

—Gregor Piatigorsky

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

FIDE Master Andy Lee survived a scare against top-seeded Hayk Manvelyan in round seven of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon, and leads the 90-player field with one round to go with a score of 6–1. Trailing him by half a point are IM Elliot Winslow, NM Romy Fuentes, Expert Art Zhao and Hayk Manvelyan.

From round 7 of the SummerTNM Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Lee–Manvelyan after 43 Ra2)Black to move (Shnaiderman–Vickers after 10 Rd1)
White to move (Gerwin–Ross after 20...h6)White to move (Hilliard–Eastham after 8...Nbd7)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 7.

Young Mechanics’ Chess Club stars are turning in great results this summer.

18-year-old Foster City Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky has 4½ from 6 in the Benasque Open being held in Northern Spain, while 16-year-old IM-elect Yian Liou has 5 from 7 in the Championship of Central Serbia.

Grandmaster Sam Shankland, who will play for the United States Olympiad team in Tromso, Norway, this August, begins play in Biel, Switzerland this coming Tuesday.

Berkeley FM Andy Lee annotates a key game from round five of the Summer Tuesday Night Marathon.

Ruy Lopez Breyer C94
Andy Lee–Frank Thornally
Summer TNM (5) 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 9…Nb8 10.d3!?

Normally in the Breyer Black plays to restrain White’s center by keeping pressure on the e4-pawn. By playing the d-pawn one square forward instead of two, White keeps some flexibility.

10…Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Nc5?!

Allowing White to return to the main lines up a tempo.

12.Bc2 Bb7 13.d4 Ncd7 14.Nf1 Re8 15.Ng3 Bf8

If we return to the position after move nine, the main line runs 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3—we have the same position, but now with White to move.


Here I considered 16.Nh2 followed by f4, but given that Black often wants to get counterplay with d5, it seemed better to keep the knight near the center.


I expected 16… h6 17.Bd2 g6. Now the dark squares are dangerously weak.

17.Qd2 c5 18.d5 c4 19.Nh2 Bg7 20.Ng4 Qc7 21.Nh6+ Kf8 22.Re3 Ng8!

A key defensive idea. Without this, Rf3 leaves Black without a single move on the kingside.


I spent a long time trying to make 23.Ngf5 work, but although 23… gxf5 24.Nxf5 f6 25.Rg3! Re7 26.Nxe7 Kxe7 27.Be3 is still fine for White, 23… f6! 24.Nxg7 Kxg7 25.Rf3 fxg5 26.Rf7+ Kh8! (not 26… Kh6? 27.h4 Qd8 28.hxg5+ Qxg5 29.Rxh7) 27.Qxg5 Qd8 snuffs out the attack.

23… Bxh6?!

Black decides to run his king away from the kingside, but the computer indicates that 23… f6 is better.

24.Bxh6+ Ke7

Not 24… Nxh6? 25.Qxh6+ Kg8? 26.Nf5! and mates.


Again, there are a lot of tempting ideas here. I decided to open the queenside, but probably 25.h4 to loosen up the kingside is better first.

25…f6 26.b3 cxb3 27.Bxb3 Nc5 28.Bd1 Qa5

I missed this move and was now worried that I had gotten into a bit of trouble.

29.Be3 Rec8 30.Bxc5

Certainly the best practical move, especially right at time control, but the computer suggests the dramatic 30.Qc1 Nd3 31.axb5! Qxb5 32.Qa3 Ne1 33.Rf5!.

30…Rxc5 31.Rb1 Rac8 32.Rb4 R8c7

Not falling for 32… Rxc3? 33.Rxc3 Qxb4 34.Rc7+

33.Qb2 Bc8 34.axb5 axb5

White’s idea, generally speaking, is to load up on the b5-pawn and to show that it is weaker than White’s pawn on c3. To do this, the rook must be rerouted from f3 to b1, and the knight will swing back to e2 to defend c3.


For a brief moment I was entranced by a strange tactical opportunity: 35.Be2 Bd7 36.c4!? bxc4 37.Ra3, trapping the black queen. Sadly, Black has 37… c3 38.Rxa5 cxb2 39.Rxc5 Rxc5 40.Rxb2, and all White has engineered is a trade of material, and with it most of his winning chances.)

35…Bd7 36.Bg4 Bxg4 37.hxg4 Ra7 38.Rd1 Qa3 39.Ne2 Qxb2 40.Rxb2

I was feeling pretty good around here—the b5 pawn is a big target, Black’s knight is offsides, and my c3-pawn is solidly defended. Black should consider playing 40… f5 to break free, although for the time being he is only slightly worse.

40…Kd7 41.Rdb1 Ra5 42.f3 Kc7 43.Kf2 Kb6 44.Ke3 Rc4

Perhaps this is the moment to play 44… Ne7, given that 45.Rh1 Rc7! 46.Rxh7? Nxd5+ isn’t terribly successful.

45.Kd3 Rca4 46.Nc1 Rc4 47.Nb3 Ra3 48.Rc1

It’s hard to see what White has accomplished here, other than deactivate his pieces. However, by delaying the redeployment of the Ng8, Black is putting himself at considerable risk.

48…Ka6 49.Nd2 Rc5 50.Rb4 Rc5 51.Rc2

As Shereshevsky says about the endgame, do not hurry!


This is clearly losing, although Black has been drifting for a while now, allowing White to develop real threats.

52.Nb1! Ra4 53.Rb3 Ka6 54.Rcb2 Ra5 55.Na3

All of a sudden, White’s pieces are re-coordinated and aimed at b5. Now 55… Rc5 56.c4! bxc4 (56… b4 57.Nb5) 57.Nxc4 Rab5 58.Ra3+ Kb7 59.Rxb5+ Rxb5 60.Nxd6+ wins easily, so Black jettisons the pawn.

55… f5 56.Nxb5 Rd7 57.gxf5

The computer suggests that 57.Nxd6! Rxd6 58.Rb8 is cleanest, but we had little time left and it seemed reasonable to aim for a safer path.

57…gxf5 58.c4 Ra1 59.Nc3 fxe4+ 60.fxe4 Rg7 61.c5 dxc5 62.Kc4 Nf6 63.Rb6+

Missing the highly aesthetic 63.Na2! with mate to follow, but winning the knight is enough.


Go to to hear a 13-minute interview with Daniel Naroditsky, who took second at the Teplice Open.

2) Games of Neil Falconer: 1954 League Matches (Part One)

We thank Barbara Falconer for providing her husband Neil Falconer’s Bay Area Chess League Games from 1954. There were only a handful of weekend tournaments when these games were played. League play was the primary opportunity to compete when chess clubs were still supreme.

Ruy Lopez C84
Neil Falconer–Henry Gross
Castle Chess Club-Golden Gate Chess Club
January 16, 1954

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Nc3 d6 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.d4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Bd7 10.h3 0–0 11.Be3 Re8 12.Qf3 c5 13.Nf5 Bxf5 14.Qxf5 Rb8 15.b3 Qd7 16.Qf3 Qe6 17.Rfe1 c6 18.Rad1 Nd7 19.Qg3 Bf6 20.Rxd6 Qe7 21.Red1 Rb7 22.Bf4 Nf8 23.e5 Bh4 24.Qf3 Ng6 25.Rxc6 Rb4 26.Nd5 Qb7 27.Nxb4 Qxb4 28.Bg3 Bxg3 29.Qxg3 Nf4 30.Kh2 h5 31.Rcd6 Rxe5 32.Rxa6 Ng6 33.f4 Re2

33...Qxf4 34.Rxg6 or 33...Nxf4 34.Rd8+ Kh7 35.Rh6+!

34.c3 Qb7 35.Rad6 Nxf4 36.Rg1 Qe4 37.Rd8+ Kh7 38.Rdd1 h4 39.Qxh4+ Kg8 40.Rd8+ 1–0

Ruy Lopez C71
Neil Falconer–Charles Bagby
Castle Chess Club -Mechanics' Chess Club
January 12, 1954

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c4 Bd7 6.d4 Nxd4 7.Nxd4 exd4 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Qxd4 Be7 10.Qxg7 Bf6 11.Qg3 Ne7 12.Nc3 Rg8 13.Nd5 Bh8 14.Qf3 0–0–0 15.Qxf7 Nxd5 16.Qxd7+ Rxd7 17.cxd5 Rxg2 18.Kf1 Rg4 19.f4 Bd4 20.Ke2 Rdg7 21.Kd3 Bf6 22.Be3 Bxb2 23.Rag1 Rg2 24.a4 h5 25.Rxg2 Rxg2 26.Bd4 Bxd4 27.Kxd4 Ra2 28.e5 Rxa4+ 29.Ke3 dxe5 30.fxe5 Rg4 31.Rf1 b5 32.Rf8+ Kb7??

32...Kd7 33.e6+ Ke7 34.Rf7+ Kd8=

33.e6 Rg1 34.Kf2 Rg7 35.Rf7 Rg8 36.d6 Kc6 37.dxc7??

37.e7 or 37.d7 won

37...Re8 38.Rd7 Rc8 39.Rf7 Re8 40.Rd7 Rc8 41.Rf7 Re8 42.Rd7 ½-½

French C10
Neil Falconer–R. Trenberth
Castle Chess Club-Oakland Chess Club
February 13, 1954

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Bd3 Nxe4 7.Bxe4 Nf6 8.Bd3 Be7 9.0–0 0–0 10.Ne5 c5 11.Be3 cxd4 12.Bxd4 Qc7 13.Qf3 Bc5 14.Bxc5 Qxc5 15.Rfe1 Qe7 16.c4 Rb8 17.Rad1 g6 18.g4 Nd7 19.Qg3 Nxe5 20.Rxe5 Bd7 21.h4 Rbd8 22.Rde1 Bc8 23.g5 Rd4 24.b3 h5 25.R5e4 Rfd8 26.Rxd4 Rxd4 27.Re4 Rd8 28.Bf1 b6 29.Re3 Rd4 30.Qb8 Rg4+ 31.Rg3 Qc5 32.Rxg4 hxg4 33.b4 Qf8 34.Bg2 Kg7 35.Qxa7 Qxb4 36.Qc7 Qe1+ 37.Kh2 Ba6 38.Qxb6 Qe5+ 39.Kg1 Bxc4 40.Qb1 Qd4 41.Qe4 Qxe4 42.Bxe4 Bxa2 43.Bc2 Bd5 44.Bd1 f5 45.gxf6+ Kxf6 46.Bxg4 e5 47.Kf1 Be6 48.Bxe6 Kxe6 49.Ke2 Kf5 50.Kf3 e4+ 51.Kg3 Ke5 52.Kg4 Kf6 53.Kf4 Kg7 54.Kxe4 Kh6 55.Kf4 Kh5 56.Kg3 g5 57.hxg5 Kxg5 ½-½

3) Here and There

Chris Mavaedris has posted a video from April 2000 of GM Julian Hodgson’s visit to Lyons restaurant in Hayward, California. It can be found at

John Blackstone has discovered that the famous Cambridge Springs tournament of 1904 had a San Francisco connection. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of April 17, 1904 (p. 53) reports that the referee for the event was Joseph Redding, arguably the strongest player west of the Mississippi in the 1870s and 1880s. We wrote about Redding, who was a longtime San Francisco resident in Newsletters 620 and 623.

Noted collector and chess historian Jurgen Stigter of Amsterdam passes on a find by Morten Lilleoren (Norwegian correspondence GM and Olympic Gold medalist): a masterly doctoral dissertation by Michael Hudson of Santa Cruz University on Chess policy in Stalin Russia in 2013. It can be found at #page-1 and is must reading for anyone with an interest in the subject.

4) Tournament Crosstables by Eduardo Bauza Mercere

Staten Island CC-ch
New York
22 Feb–3 May

                        1    2    3    4    5
                       ---  ---  ---  ---  ---
1. Klingspor, G.       * *  0 1  1 1  1 1  1 1   7.0
2. Ryan, William T.    1 0  * *  1 1  1 1  1 =   6.5
3. Hagedorn, Herman C. 0 0  0 0  * *  0 1  1 -   2.0
4. Broughton, Charles  0 0  0 0  1 0  * *  1 0   2.0
5. Barth, Gustav A.    0 0  0 =  0 -  0 1  * *   1.5

The second turn game between Barth and Hagedorn was left unplayed. In both encounters between Klingspor and Barth, Klingspor played with the white pieces.
Reconstructed from results and scores published in the Staten Islander, 22 Feb, 6 Mar, 13, Mar, 20 Mar, 27 Mar, 3 Apr, 10 Apr, 17 Apr, 24 Apr, 1 May And 8 May 1918.

Club Argentino (1st Category)
Buenos Aires

                            1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8
                           ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---
1. Villegas, Benito        * *  0 1  = 0  1 =  = 1  1 1  1 1  1 1  10.5
2. Illa, Rolando           1 0  * *  0 1  0 1  1 =  = 1  1 1  1 1  10
3. Lynch, Julio            = 1  1 0  * *  0 =  = 1  1 =  1 1  1 +  10
4. Grau, Roberto           0 =  1 0  1 =  * *  0 1  0 1  1 1  1 +   9
5. Sharp, Sydney Thomas    = 0  0 =  = 0  1 0  * *  = 1  = 1  1 +   7.5
6. Ruiz, Enrique           0 0  = 0  0 =  1 0  = 0  * *  1 0  = =   4.5
7. Friedenberg, Rodolfo    0 0  0 0  0 0  0 0  = 0  0 1  * *  1 0   2.5
8. Harrington, Tomás       0 0  0 0  0 -  0 -  0 -  = =  0 1  * *   2

source: Revista del Club Argentino de Ajedrez, 1918, p. 100

5) 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:


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