Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by John Donaldson

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #714
August 7, 2015

I was not a professional chess player any more after 1984. And then I went into a period of [not playing] for a few years, and then I reinvented myself. I worked hard, and I studied hard, and I got back into chess and the level of my game came back up to almost where it was, not as good, but at a pretty good level from 1988 to 1997. I played quite well. I got my FIDE up to 2560, so I was almost as good. I didn’t play that much internationally, I was playing mostly Swisses and I didn’t work hard on my openings as I had when I was younger. So I did fairly well at that time. And then I had financial problems, and I was getting older, and my energy was going down and it was harder to compete in the late ‘90s and then there was tremendous competition from European players coming over and competing in Swisses and the competi­tion was very tough. So it was a combination of several different things that led to my decline in the late ‘90s. And you know I’ve had some moderate successes in between, but I didn’t play very much since then.

—Walter Browne, interviewed by Macauley Peterson at

We note it must have been disheartening for Walter to realize he could not support himself as a chess player, despite winning six U.S. Championships, doubly so as he came up in the late 1960s/early 1970s when everything seemed possible with the rise of Bobby Fischer.

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Leighton Allen Tuesday Night Marathon, a nine-rounder, started August 4 and runs until September 29. It’s still possible to enter with a half point bye for round one. The $50 entry fee for nine rounds of both FIDE and USCF rated chess is a good bargain, and includes free one-hour lectures before each round (5:15 to 6:15 pm). Grandmaster Timur Gareev will be the special guest lecturer on September 1. M.I. Chess Director John Donaldson will give a special lecture on the history of chess at the Mechanics’ on August 11.

From round 1 of the Leighton Allen Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Lagrotta–Winslow after 24 h5)White to move (Wong–Morgan after 25...f6)
Black to move (Simpkins–Gaffagan after 17 g4)White to move (Alvarez–Eastham after 17...O-O)
Black to move (Nergui–Newey after 24 Kg1)White to move (Otterbach–Gomez after 30...Qxd5)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 1.

Congratulations to Senior Master Cameron Wheeler, who recently won the U.S. Cadet Championship in Rockville, Maryland. This brings Cameron’s USCF rating to 2445. Go to for a report on the event.

Sam Shankland tied for first place in the recently concluded Politiken Cup in Helsingor, Denmark. He is currently rated number 91 in the world, at 2656 FIDE.

A half-point behind was fellow Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky. Daniel had a tough US Championship but since then had good results in Armenia, Chicago, Spain and Denmark bringing him up to 2634 FIDE. He is number 10 in the world for players under 21.

Portland Grandmaster James Tarjan almost joined Shankland in the winner’s circle narrowly missing a win in the last round. The following abridged notes to the game comes from John Henderson’s outstanding chess column, which can be found at

Queen’s Indian Defence/Colle-Zukertort
GM Sune Berg Hansen–GM James Tarjan
Politiken Cup, (10)

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.e3 Bb7 5.Bd3 Be7 6.Nc3 d5 7.0-0 0-0 8.cxd5 exd5 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 c5 11.Rc1 Bd6 12.Qe2 a6 13.Rfd1 Qe7 14.Bf5 Rad8 15.Bh3 Rfe8 16.g3 c4!

Eyeing up the b7-h1 diagonal and planning a queenside pawn push—White is in real trouble here.

17.bxc4 dxc4 18.a4 Nd5 19.Nxd5 Bxd5 20.Rxc4

Played in total and utter desperation. White was being outplayed, and after ...b5 the black queenside pawns would have quickly decided the game. But, unfortunately, the exchange sacrifice confuses Tarjan, who follows up wrongly.


The best and strongest move, as after 20...Bxc4 21.Qxc4 b5 (21...Ra8 22.Nh4) 22.axb5 Rb8 23.Qc6 White has more than good chances of saving the game.

21.Bg2 Bxc4?

A pity, as 21...Ne5! was practically winning on the spot: 22.dxe5 (22.Nxe5?? Qxg2#) 22...Bxc4 23.Qe1 Bc5 24.Bd4 Qc6! and with ...Bd5 looming, White is busted here.

22.Qxc4 b5 23.axb5 Rc8? 24.Qxf7+!

And this is probably what Tarjan had missed—the tactical temporary queen sacrifice is a table-turner, as it not only gains an extra pawn but also now activates White’s powerful bishop pair.

24...Kxf7 25.Ng5+ Ke7 26.Nxe4 axb5 27.Nxd6 Kxd6 28.Ba3+ Kc7 29.Rb1 Rb8 30.e4 30...Ra8 31.Bb4 Nb6 32.e5 Rad8 33.Rc1+ Kb8 34.Rc6 Nc4 35.Ra6 Kc7 36.Ra7+ Kc8 37.f4 Kb8  38.Bc5 Ne3 39.Bc6 Re6 40.Bxb5 g6 41.Bd7 1-0

Complete notes to this game can be found at

Daniel Naroditsky will play another event in a week in Riga, Latvia, while Sam Shankland’s next tournament is the FIDE World Cup in Azerbaijan, this September.

A memorial for six-time U.S. Chess Champion Walter Browne will be held on Saturday, August 15, from 1 to 4 pm. Light refreshments will be served. All are invited to pay their respects. Those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP the Mechanics’ Chess Club at

IM Ricardo DeGuzman won the 15th Annual Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial G/45 on August 1 with a 5–0 score, defeating Expert Derek Slater in a tough last-round game. The event attracted 37 players.

2) Haruo Suyama Ishida—Chess Master and World War 2 Hero

This past April marked the 70th anniversary of the death of Haruo Ishima (1917–1945), who was killed fighting in the Po Valley campaign outside Bologna, Italy, on April 6, 1945. Ishida was awarded the Purple Heart with clusters, the Bronze Star, and received several combat medals. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Ishida was a master strength player and contemporary of Olaf Ulvestad (they both went to West Seattle High School at the same time). He was Seattle City Champion in 1935 and 1936 and finished second in several Washington State Championships in the late 1930s. Ishida was an avid correspondence player whose games were published in the Chess Correspondent. He and Fred Reinfeld were the editors of a book on the 1938 Washington State Championship.

3) Three lost games of Igor Ivanov

Andy Ansel and Fred Wilson pass along these three lost games of the Igor Ivanov found in a notebook of the late Bruce Albertston. They were played in the North Penn Fall Open in November 1982.

C64: Ruy Lopez, classical defence
Pierce,W–Ivanov,Igor V
North Wales, PA (1), 1982

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.0–0 Nd4 5.Nxd4 Bxd4 6.c3 Bb6 7.d4 c6 8.Ba4 d6 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.Nd2 Be6 12.Bc2 Ne7 13.b3 Kc7 14.Bb2 Ng6 15.h3 Nf4 16.Nf3 f6 17.Rfd1 Rad8 18.c4 Ne2+ 19.Kf1 Nd4 20.Nxd4 Bxd4 21.Bxd4 Rxd4 22.Rxd4 exd4 23.Bd3 g5 24.g4 h5 25.Kg2 hxg4 26.hxg4 Bxg4 27.Re1 Kd6 28.f3 Bc8 29.Rh1 Rxh1 30.Kxh1 Ke5 31.Kg2 Kf4 32.Kf2 c5 33.a3 a5 34.Bc2 Bd7 35.Bd3 a4 36.bxa4 Bxa4 37.Be2 Bc2 0-1

Source: Albertston notebook

D30: Queen’s gambit declined
Ivanov,Igor V–Szell,George
North Wales, PA (2) 1982

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nbd2 e6 5.e3 Bb4 6.Bd3 Nbd7 7.0–0 dxc4 8.Nxc4 Be7 9.e4 Nb6 10.Na5 Qc7 11.a3 Bd7 12.b4 h6 13.Qe2 Na4 14.Qc2 Nb6 15.g3 Nh7 16.Bf4 Qc8 17.Rac1 Ng5 18.Bxg5 hxg5 19.Rfe1 Rb8 20.Qe2 Qd8 21.Nb3 Bd6 22.Qe3 Be7 23.Ne5 Na4 24.d5 Bf6 25.Nxd7 Kxd7 26.dxc6+ bxc6 27.e5 Be7 28.Be4 Ke8 29.Bxc6+ Kf8 30.Bxa4 f5 31.exf6 Qd5 32.fxe7+ Kxe7 33.Rc7+ Kf6 34.Qc3+ Kg6 35.Qxg7+ Kh5 36.Nd4 Kg4 37.Bd1+ 1–0

Source: Albertston notebook

E45: Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) variation
Nolan,Greg–Ivanov,Igor V
North Wales, PA (3) 1982

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Nge2 Ba6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Nxc3 d5 8.cxd5 Bxf1 9.Kxf1 exd5 10.b4 0–0 11.g3 Nbd7 12.Qf3 c6 13.Bb2 Re8 14.Kg2 Ne4 15.Qe2 Ndf6 16.Rhd1 Qd7 17.h3 h5 18.Rac1 Ng5 19.Rh1 Rac8 20.h4 Nge4 21.Nxe4 Rxe4 22.Rc2 Ng4 23.Rd1 Rce8 24.Rd3 R4e6 25.Rdc3 Rf6 26.f3 Nh6 27.b5 cxb5 28.Rc7 Qe6 29.R2c6 Qxc6 30.Rxc6 Rxc6 31.g4 hxg4 32.fxg4 Nxg4 33.Qxb5 Nxe3+ 34.Kh3 Ree6 35.Qb3 Re4 36.Bc3 Rf6 0–1

Source: Albertston notebook

4) This is the end

This study appeared in the previous newsletter (#713, July 17, 2015), but without the solution.

White to move

Show solution

Rook andings are complicated. Here is one from a Grandmaster game.

White to move

Show solution


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.