Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by Abel Talamantez


 
Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #853
December 14, 2018

I love chess and want to see it grow. I want to see more players, more events, more recognition and more media coverage.

—WIM Ruth Haring

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

Four players are tied for first place in the Vartan Bedjanian Tuesday Night Marathon after eight rounds, with one round remaining. With 6½ points are FIDE Master Ezra Chambers, National Master Conrado Diaz,and Experts Aleksandr Ivanov and Ethan Boldi. Boldi upset National Master Tenzing Shaw, Diaz took down National Master Romulo Fuentes, while Chambers and Ivanov drew on board one. An exciting last round is expected, with International Master Elliott Winslow in a small group of players with 6 points vying for the title of 1st Mechanics' Institute Club Champion.


From round 8 of the Bedjanian Tuesday Night Marathon:
Black to move (Boldi–Shaw after 36 f5)Black to move (Boldi–Shaw after 38 Rc6)
White to move (Winslow–Mont-Reynaud after 29...hxg4)White to move (Askin–Makhanov after 12...Qxd4)
Black to move (Perlov–Argo after 15 Qf3)Black to move (Smith III–McKellar after 48 Ba2)
White to move (Hakobyan–Tuck after 21...h6)White to move (Sherwood–Uribe after 27...Qe1+)
For the solutions, see the game scores for round 8.

Jules Jelinek won the December 12 edition of the Wednesday Night Blitz with a 9–3 score. Second was Christian Goldammer with 8½, third was Joe Urquhart with 5. Six players participated.


Special event Monday January 7 at 7 pm

We are proud to announce that GM Jeffrey Xiong (2760), World Youth Champion and #5 rated player in the U.S., will visit the Mechanics’ Institute to give a 20-board simultaneous exhibition. This special event is co-organized with Dr. Judit Sztaray and Bay Area Chess. More details coming soon; please email if you would like to participate. Fee will be $20 per board.


CalChess has awarded the Mechanics’ Institute the bid to organize the 2019 CalChess Senior State Championship. This will be the first state championship held at the Mechanics' Institute in many years, and we are excited to host this great event. This championship, for those 50+, will be a three-day tournament, with a two-day option, and will be held May 17–19, 2019. There is an $1800 guaranteed prize pool, and the winner of the event will represent Northern California at the 2019 National Senior Championship at the 2019 U.S. Open. Registration will open soon; email for more details.

2) Ruth Haring (1955–2018)

My day with Ruth Haring at the 2018 U.S. Open

I met Ruth Haring only very recently, in 2017, when I joined the CalChess Board of Directors. I was aware of the extensive background she has in chess, as former president of the U.S. Chess Federation and as FIDE Zonal Representative. For me, it was a pleasure and an honor not only to serve with her, but also to get to know her a little more personally through our Board meetings and subsequent conversation after.

But one experience stays fresh in my mind as I reflect on someone that passed far too early. I attended the 2018 U.S. Open in Wisconsin as a Northern California delegate for the U.S. Chess Federation. I went to the lobby of the hotel to attend the buffet early in the morning, and I sat by myself at the table, enjoying my coffee. I looked down to add my sugar and half-and-half, and as I raised my eyes, I saw Ruth Haring approach my table; she asked if she could join me. I gladly accepted the offer, and we had a pleasant breakfast talking about Northern California chess politics.

Later that same day, we were in the convention hall for the delegates’ meeting, and the business at hand was a proposal for there to be allowed in scholastic chess only a warning in the event a child attempts to castle by grabbing the rook first, as opposed to touching the king first, rather than a penalty, as in the current rules. I remember thinking this rule change did not seem fair to me, as it goes against what I taught my scholastic kids. Making that mistake in a live game is also a sure-fire way to learn the rule, as making mistakes is a great way to learn. I looked around to see if there were any colleagues that might validate what I was thinking, to tell me that I was being too harsh. I saw Martha Underwood and Ruth close to me, and I quietly approached them to ask what they thought of it. After whispering to each other and briefly discussing, Ruth encouraged me to approach the microphone and speak in opposition to the proposed change. Now there were two issues with this. First, I was a new delegate and was just learning and absorbing the process as a whole. Second, the person that was proposing the change was Tim Just, who probably the biggest expert in the field of tournament directing. I was hesitant, but for no other reason than being afraid to do something new and put myself out there. She persisted, whispering to me to go up and speak, knowing I was the new guy, but giving me the encouragement that I could do so competently and that it might be a good experience. I paused, recognized that it was moments like these that make life fun, and with a quiet confidence, went up to the podium of the dissenting speakers. I gave my opposition to the motion, right there before the delegates and the executive board of U.S. Chess. The motion ended up being defeated. I was by no means a deciding factor in that, but she did give me the courage to have an experience that was memorable for me, which I would not have done otherwise had it not been for her persistent encouragement to get up there and do something new.

She will be missed by so many. I feel very fortunate to have had that experience and to have known her, even if all too briefly.

3) The Charles Bagby / Northern California Championship, 1976–1987 redux.

In Newsletter #852, we showed two games from the Bagby.

Here is the full list of winners:

1976 - Roy Ervin
1977 - Robert Newbold
1978 - Tied: Paul Whitehead & Jay Whitehead
1979 - Jay Whitehead
1980 - Jay Whitehead
1981 - John Grefe
1982 - Tied: John Grefe, Charles Powell, Jeremy Silman
1983 - Peter Biyiasis
1984 - Paul Whitehead
1985 - Tied: Paul Whitehead & Peter Biyiasis
1986 - Peter Biyiasis
1987 - Jon Frankle

Jay Whitehead and Peter Biyiasis were clear winners twice, and each tied for first once, making them the dominant players overall, while Paul Whitehead won once and tied for first twice.

Paul might have done better, but a tendency (to this very day) to get wiped out quickly with the black pieces often proved fatal.

B06 Robatsch (modern) defence
Jon Frankle (2215)–Paul Whitehead (2380)
San Francisco Bagby San Francisco (1), 1987

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5 6.f3 Nd7 7.Nd1 h6 8.Be3 Ngf6 9.a4 bxa4 10.Rxa4 Qc7 11.Bd3 e5 12.Qa5 Qxa5+ 13.Rxa5 exd4 14.Bxd4 a6 15.Ne3 0–0 16.Ne2 Ne8 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Nc3 Nc5 19.Be2 Rb8 20.b3 Nc7 21.Kf2 Be6 22.Rd1 Rfd8 23.b4 Nb7 24.Ra3 c5 25.b5 axb5 26.Bxb5 Bc8 27.Bc6 Ne6 28.Rb1 Nd4 29.Bd5 Rd7 30.Ra2 Rc7

31.Rab2 1–0

A65 Benoni, 6.e4
Elliott Winslow (2345)–Paul Whitehead (2380)
San Francisco Bagby San Francisco (7), 1987

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0–0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Qd2 exd5 9.cxd5 b6 10.h4 Ba6 11.h5 Bxf1 12.Kxf1 h6 13.Bxh6 Nxh5 14.Nge2 f5 15.exf5 Rxf5 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.g4 Rxf3+ 18.Kg2 Nd7 19.gxh5 Qf6 20.Ne4 Qf5 21.N2g3 Qg4 22.hxg6 Rf4

23.Qxf4 1–0

4) This is the end

This position occurred in a grandmaster game.

White to move

Show solution


 

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