Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by John Donaldson


 
Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News Letter #767
November 25, 2016

A few years later, when my children were both away and Grisha [her husband] was starting to age, I did quit tournament chess. I was still roaming around the world with a distorted perspective, crushed by meaningless losses or overelated by meaningless wins. I had played since I was six years old. Chess had an obsessional grip on me, chess was my friend, my support. Chess was a refuge from unfairness. It had become part of my blood. Still, today, when I am exhausted and sad, when hope disappears, my natural impulse is to flop in front of a chess board and start pushing pieces. Variations take form; rush forward, retreat, attack, defend—no, an error, try again. Interest and vitality reborn flow into combinations, soon become storms, a typhoon in a teacup. It is ironic that chess and its combinations which are so sterile also awake a passion, bring life. On the little board, pieces grow and shrink like birds in a muddy marsh.

—Jacqueline Piatigorsky, in her memoir Jump in the Waves (p.141)

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

FIDE Master Josiah Stearman is in the lead after six rounds of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon. His perfect score leaves him a full point ahead of Experts Derek O’Connor, Hongkai Pan, and Chinguun Bayaraa and upset king Class A player Guy Argo, who has gained 70 USCF rating points in four games (he took two half-point byes). Three rounds remain for the 109-player field.


From round 6 of the Fall Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Stearman–Gaffagan after 29...Rxf5)White to move (O'Connor–Maser after 21...Rae8)
White to move (Askin–Shakhnazarov after 20...exd5)Black to move (Yang–Clemens after 30 Nf3)
White to move (Paquette–Riese after 14...Qd8)Black to move (Pasko–Olson after 27 Nxh5)
White to move (James–Reed after 10...e5)White to move (Trapani–Bayaraa after 17...Nd4)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 6.

Here is one of Argo’s upsets from round 4.

Isaiah Kim (1967)–Guy Argo (1911)
Fall TNM (4) 2016

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.e3 Ngxe5 8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.Be2 0–0 10.0–0 c6 11.Nc3 f5 12.Qd4 d6 13.Rad1 Rf6 14.Rd2 Rh6 15.Rfd1 Nf7 16.b4 Be6 17.b5 c5 18.Qf4 g5 19.Qg3 Kh8 20.Bf1 Rg8 21.Nd5 Qd8 22.Nc3 Qf6 23.Nd5 Bxd5 24.Rxd5 f4



25.exf4?

White’s mistake opens the g-file and allows Black’s queen access to h4. 25.Qf3 Ne5 26.Qe4 looks like it offers roughly equal chances with a tough fight still ahead.

25…gxf4 26.Qd3 f3 27.Rf5 Qh4 28.Qc3+ Ne5 0–1  


13-year-old FIDE Master Josiah Stearman won all five of his games to take first place in the 16th Pierre Saint Amant Memorial, held to honor the first great player to visit San Francisco. Tying for second in the 49-player event, held on November 19, were International Master Elliott Winslow, National Masters Jack Zhu and Conrado Diaz and Experts Chinguun Bayaraa, Jake Sevall and Baron Eran. Thanks to Wassim Nasif for helping out with this tournament.


The last Mechanics’ weekend event in 2016, the 16th Guthrie McClain Memorial, will be held December 3.


The Mechanics’ Chess Club has been offering live commentary on the World Championship. When the action has been quiet spectators have been treated to some high quality blitz chess.



Former U.S. Champions Patrick Wolff and Nick de Firmian going at it, while International Master Elliott Winslow, Sophie Adams and Vince McCambridge watch (Photo: Paul Whitehead)


The November 16 edition of the Mechanics’ Wednesday Night Blitz was one of the best attended ever, with 17 entries. San Francisco High School student Jacob Sevall was the winner, scoring 10½ from 12 in the six-double-round Swiss. Carlos D’Avila and Jules Jelinek were second, 2½ points back. Jan Jettel and Eric Yang shared fourth place with 7½ points.

2) Here and There

Former Mechanic’s Grandmaster-in-Residence Alex Yermolinsky acquitted himself ably in a recent Grandmaster round-robin tournament held in Turkey.

This closed 10-player tournament took place from the 2nd to the 12th of November in Tekirdag, Turkey.

Final standings:
1. GM Sivuk (UKR, 2517) – 7/9,
2. IM E. Atalik (TUR, 2414) – 6,
3-4. GMs Yermolinsky (USA, 2478) and Ftacnik (SVK, 2560) – 5,
5. GM Torre (PHI, 2494) – 4½,
6-8. GMs Luther (GER, 2533), Sulava (CRO, 2466) and Damljanovic (SRB, 2567) – 4,
9. GM S. Atalik (TUR, 2550) – 3½,
10. IM Danailov (BUL, 2442) – 2


National Masters Ladia Jirasek and Roger Poehlmann are tied for first with perfect scores at the half-way point of the 2016 Berkeley Chess Club Championship. International Master Elliott Winslow, Expert Michael Walder and Class A player Alan Glascoe are tied for third with 2½–½ scores in the 32-player event.


The 2016 Cal Chess State Senior Chess Championship will be held December 16–18 at Cornell Elementary, 920 Talbot Avenue in Albany. The event, open to all players 50 and over, is being organized by the Berkeley Chess Club and features a guaranteed prize fund of $1000 ($350 for first place).

For more information go to: https://bcs.jumbula.com/ChessTournamentsWinter2016/CalChessStateSeniorChessChampionship



4) This is the end

Here we have a simple king-and-pawn study.

White to move

Show solution



 

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