Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter

by Abel Talamantez

Gens Una Sumus!

Newsletter #861

February 22, 2019

Chess is Forever

Alan Kirshner

Musings on the 2019 U.S. Amateur Team West Championship

BAC-1 (left) and BCS Wu Hoo! (right) finished tied for first at the 2019 U.S. Amateur Team Championship. They played to a 2-2 match draw in round 5, and BAC-1 won the championship on tiebreaks.

Last weekend, the U.S. Amateur Team Championship was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and if you are unfamiliar with this event, you are missing out on what is perhaps the most exciting spectacle in amateur chess. It is a team event, made up of 4-player teams whose average rating must be below 2200. This means that you may have a GM or IM on your team, but you must sacrifice so to speak some points on the lower boards to average under 2200. There are also section prizes for teams averaging under 2000, 1800 etc. there are also prizes for top club, top corporate team, best team name etc. The atmosphere for this event is incomparable, and this year’s version had high drama until the very last game.

There are similar competitions for the East, South, and North. The winning teams of these 4 regions compete in a rated championship finale online, held on a Saturday with a semi-final and final. I had the honor of being Tournament Director for last year’s semifinal for the San Jose Hackers, who won their semi-final, but fell just short in the finale.

I co-wrote the online article for the event with Judit Sztaray of Bay Area Chess, who organized this amazing event; you can read that report here.

I wanted to write in this newsletter about what it is that makes this event so special. I was there from the very beginning on Friday morning to the very end Sunday night. In all, 65 teams participating, so the total number of players was 275 including alternates. When you play in a team event like this, every game matters. You become emotionally invested not only in the games of your teammates, but those of other teams that you are competing with and might face later on. For those that are looking to compete and win, the drama is non-stop.

But there are also those teams made up of long time friends who use the President’s day weekend to play together and catch up on old times. Every year, a team made up of former UCLA classmates that include Mr. G Dan Gertmenian and Carey Fan of come and play, trying after several years to win their section prize. Last year, they won best team name, which was voted by all the players themselves, with get this: Free Brownies for Everyone if We Win Best Team Name. Needless to say, they were far and away the winner, and they delivered in the last round, homemade!

Dan Gertmenian and his team delivered on their promise, baking an assortment of brownies that fed all 270 players at the 2018 U.S. amateur Team Championship

Speaking of schools, I was very excited to see four teams from UC Berkeley come and compete, including the only 6/6 score in the whole tournament from FM Teemu Virtanen. As a fellow grad, I had to sport my Cal sweater for the last day, and the teams performed very well. I won’t even ask what happened to Stanford this weekend, as they didn’t field a team. Even a UCLA brought two teams. Heck, Northwest University from Washington captained by Benjamin Mukumbya from Queen of Katwe fame brought a team!

FM Teemu Virtanen leading his UC Berkeley team Ultra-Cheesy Bread

Teams showed up wearing their high school team gear (Hopkins Hawks) or shirts representing their chess clubs (Berkeley Chess School, Bright Chess King). The team spirit and friendship really comes out in full force, and it is just a joy to see the unifying aspect of chess mixed with competition and camaraderie.

I want to leave this story with this note. You can read how the end played out for the tournament in the online article. The teams on the final day fought every game to the bitter end, and the drama was intense, as teams would shuffle out of their seats monitoring other games, trying to gauge results, trying to determine if they should play for a win or a draw. You see chess in its most exciting aspect when this happens, and team Captains have to be on the ball.

There was some disappointment for some teams. I want to give special recognition to Greg Lope from Berkeley Chess School, who fought bravely and desperately in the final round to save a draw in a complicated position despite being down a rook, knowing that saving the draw might have a significant impact on whether Berkeley Chess Schools’ team BCS Wu Hoo! would win the championship over BAC-1. I saw him concentrate, looking for that knockout opportunity, staying fully concentrated when many of us may have been frustrated and tuned out. Going into the 5th hour. As we all know in chess, it only takes one mistake to change the tide. Ultimately, his opponent Anirudh Seela finished the win in dramatic fashion with a nice tactic, and as it turned out, gave BAC-1 the championship on tiebreaks. I’m sure he felt the sting and disappointment, but he showed the heart of a lion, and it did not go unnoticed by me or his teammates. He won every other game he played in the tournament.

There were many other games like this. As with any team sport, one player and one game do not lose it for the team. You win as a team; you lose as a team, plain and simple. I really hope everyone remembers this, and come ready to fight on the next year.

Fair Play Rules

I’m going to take it upon myself to write about something no one else will, and celebrate honesty and fair play in chess and the courage of those speaking up for protecting the integrity of the game. Last year’s original Amateur Team West winner NorCal House of Chess was stripped of their title, after an extensive review by the U.S. Chess Ethics Committee. They were unanimously found to have engaged in rating manipulation to lower the ratings of their players to compete in the event, essentially qualifying much stronger players to participate and fall under the 2200 average. Those players and Captain were stripped of their USCF memberships and TD certifications. Kudos to the USCF for having a process and procedure in place to protect the integrity of the game, and kudos to those who went through the lengthy process of filing the complaint. The process is not quick, but the persistence in going through it and standing up against unethical play benefits each and every USCF member, and hopefully players will be more vigilant in coming forward if they suspect cheating. Please notify the TD if you suspect any wrongdoing in an event. TD’s are there to help and we want to keep the game clean for everyone.

Winter TNM Headed to Championship Round!

FM Kyron Griffith (white) faces off against NM Conrado Diaz on Board 1 in round 7

The 7th round of the Winter TNM saw the game everyone has been waiting for. FM Kyron Griffith (2458) faced off on Board 1 against tournament leader Conrado Diaz (2343).

Griffith gained a positional advantage early and used solid technique to convert the win. This game as well as all the others can be found at the end of this newsletter or online at the chess club home page

On Board 2, Alexandr Ivanov converted an advantage in a rook and pawn endgame for a win against Steven Gaffagan and on Board 3, Natalia Tsodikova, down an exchange, took an advantage of a late blunder by Michael Walder to steal the win. Natalia always shows amazing concentration in her games, and her laser like focus carried her on to a victory.

We head to the final round next week with Alexandr Ivanov the sole leader at 6/7, with 7 players in pursuit with 5.5/7, including FM Griffith. The final round is sure to be action packed, as players go all out for a sprint to the finish. Can Ivanov hold on to his half point lead and claim the title? Tune in next week for the live action, as we will broadcast boards 1-4 Live!

PRO Chess League Week 7

Battle Royale #2 provided the most action packed evening of e-sport all year, with the hero being GM Daniel Naroditsky, who provided game after game of adrenaline fueled drama and action, and the San Francisco Mechanics mounting an epic comeback to tie for 2nd in the Battle Royale #2. IM David Pruess and NM Derek O’Connor provided the live coverage from the Mechanics’ Institute, in a battle that lasted past 11pm.

To view some of the insane action by Naroditsky — and this has to be seen — click here.

You can also view a replay of the live broadcast by Pruess, Jirasek and O’Connor here.

IM David Pruess and NM Derek O’Connor calling the action from the MI

Wednesday Night Blitz Report

FM Kyron Griffith ran away with the February 20th edition of the Wednesday Night Blitz with 11 points from 12, dropping a game only to 3rd place finisher Expert Jules Jelinek (7 points). A clear but distant second with 8.5 was Expert Carlos Davila. 12 players participated.

Richard Willis’ Mystery Chess

Richard Willis is an expert tournament player and coach for Bay Area Chess. He enjoys creating special chess puzzles for kids, and they often lead to puzzles that baffle even GM’s. Here is a sample, many more to come in the future.

The first correct answer will get a special acknowledgement in next week’s newsletter. Here is the problem, solution provided next week:

  • What is the shortest mate possible in which neither side moves a pawn? Please list the moves.

Please email with responses.

Good Luck!

A Walk in the Tournament Hall – Takeaways from the Chess World

by Darwin Li

Darwin Li is a member of the Mechanics Institute Chess Club and is a USCF expert. He played competitively since 7 years old up until high school. He was the winner of numerous Virginia scholastic state championships and the winner of the 8th grade K-12 / Collegiate Nationals in 2007. He graduated from Princeton University in 2016 and is currently working as an investment professional specializing in healthcare in San Francisco. He is currently working with the chess club in outreach and social engagement.

My hands begin to sweat. My thumbs are pressed against my temples and the rest of my fingers form an appendage visor around my hairline. I realize I’m shaking my leg as I become attuned to the high-pitched squeaking sound coming from my chair. I slowly extend my quivering hand over the board as I quickly scan for obvious signs of blunder. I nod to myself in reassurance, make the move, and slap the Chronos in one fluid motion. Out of instinct, I pick up my pen and look at my notation pad, but immediately discard both. I hadn’t recorded a single one of the last ten moves because I was under what every chess player has encountered at one point or another, time pressure.

As I look back on my career as a kid, I dare say chess and the experiences that came from it have been the most formative in my development into the person I am today. Take the example in the above paragraph, time pressure. Let’s say you’re playing a 40/2 SD/1; 6 hours have elapsed and you only have minutes if not seconds left on the clock. You’re exhausted, but you’re in a situation where one wrong move nullifies all the hard work leading up to this point. These all-too-common situations, which epitomize the often binary nature of important decisions, impart with players an invaluable and highly transferrable skill: the ability to act logically in a highly pressurized environment. Some say these situations teach a player to go with his/her gut. Going one layer deeper, I’d say time pressure teaches, from an early age, pattern recognition, risk analysis, and confidence. No two time-pressure induced positions are the same, but I’m able to apply heuristics and what has worked in other similar situations to quickly, accurately, and confidently execute on the position in front of me in a way that minimizes my risk, in terms of both position and time. For a competitive player, this is a skill that will be well-refined after multiple repetitions and incredibly useful outside the chess world. For example, in a professional setting – as a hedge fund trader that executes split-second million dollar trades, or a software engineer who codes algorithms and innovative solutions with tight project deadlines to name a couple examples – or in everyday activities such as driving a car or even responding intelligently and appropriately in conversations.

On a somewhat related note, chess teaches, more broadly, the ability to persevere in difficult and uncomfortable situations. I’ve come to find that almost never are games played in ideal conditions. Envision the following scenario: You lost the previous round to a lower rated player due a blunder you should not have made, the game lasted too long for you to grab lunch, and you’re dead tired from the insomnia you experienced last night for one reason or another. You sit down at your next game to find your opponent has an annoying sniffle and cough. Or even worse, you’re the one with the annoying sniffle and cough. Not to mention any personal issues you might be dealing with – at work, in school, or at home. While maybe in only the most unfortunate of circumstances would you be caught in the perfect storm exactly described as above, I’d argue it’s more common than not to be less than 100% for most, if not nearly all your games. It’s ultimately up to the player on how to deal with said adversity and maintain a winning mentality. While we all have our methods of coping (coffee, music, cold water on the face, self-massages), it goes without saying that the willpower, endurance, perseverance, and optimism chess indoctrinates go a long way outside the tournament hall. Chess creates winning mindsets.

While having to deal with time pressure and discomfort might be apparent and second nature to a competitive player, a less obvious, yet, in my opinion, the most important lesson chess imparts is that of sportsmanship and mental maturity. Chess very quickly (4 moves to be exact) taught me that you can’t win every game. There will always be someone out there with more experience, greater preparation, or better “luck.” More than anywhere else, to survive and succeed in the chess world, one learns to learn from mistakes and quickly come to terms with the prior round results, win or loss, as to not impact the performance of the following game(s). Chess has taught me that in life, paradoxically, it’s both okay and not okay to lose. It’s what you do about those losses that define who you are, as cliché as that sounds. Chess teaches you that it’s far more productive to treat setbacks as learning experiences and an impetus to continue improving, rather than an end-all-be-all, a doctrine to be applied in any context.

Along the same vein as sportsmanship, chess uniquely develops one’s social skills. Growing up, chess was the only environment where I dealt directly with people of all ages and walks in life. You walk into a skittles room and you’ll find a 12-year-old prodigy going over his last game with his septuagenarian opponent. You’ll find college students playing blitz with parents whose kids called winners for the next game. You’ll have a doctor, teacher, consultant, and poker player rapidly moving pieces, yelling some combination of “sit, go, plus plus, minus minus” in a heated game of 2-minute bughouse. Through the universal language of chess, players quickly gain exposure to vastly different backgrounds and perspectives and learn how to interact and socialize accordingly — a maturity otherwise not achieved from time spent in school, youth sports leagues, or the office.

While words can only capture a tiny fraction of the impacts of competitive play, it goes without saying that chess is not merely a board game with rigid and defined rules. I echo the sentiment of many players when I say that through its ups and downs, trials and errors, wins and losses; chess has had a profound and positive impact on my personality and outlook on life.

Tony Lama’s Teasers

Solution to last week’s problem:

  1. Qh1 Rxh1
  2. Rxh1 g2
  3. Ra8#

This week’s problem: (mate in 3, white to move)

Friendly Rivalries, Part 3

by FM Paul Whitehead

Vincent McCambridge earned his IM title in 1982, wrote a book about his main rival Yasser Seirawan in 1984, and played in the 1985 US Championship. Vince served as an MI Trustee for many years, and was part of the winning Mechanics’ 2006 US Chess League team, the precursor to the PRO Chess League. Among his many successes over the board are a tie with MI Grandmaster-in-residence Nick de Firmian for 1st Place in the 1990 People’s Open in Berkeley.

Vince and I crossed swords four times, twice in 1977 as up and coming juniors, and twice in the 1980’s. We drew our last encounter, which was a surprise to me as I was out of form and behind on the clock, as well as having a bad tournament. But maybe “Vinnie” thought he had to break the jinx: I had bested him in our three previous encounters, and losing was going out of style. One thing’s for sure- the guy is tall, and he’s out to win. I always felt I had dodged a serious bullet after we played!

(1) Whitehead,Paul A - McCambridge,Vincent [B96]
USA-ch Juniors Denver (1), 1977

One of my few games with ancient theoretical merit! 19...h6? allowed the cheap yet attractive shot 20.Rxe6+! and everything worked like clockwork after 26.Kd3! 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7 10.Nf3 b4 11.Nb5 axb5 12.exf6 Nd7 13.Bxb5 Ra5 14.Qd3 Qb7


[14...gxf6 15.Bxf6 Rg8 16.Ne5 Rxb5 17.Qxb5 Rxg2 18.Rd1 Bd6 19.Nxd7 Bxd7 20.Qd3 Be7 21.Qe4 Bxf6 22.Qxg2 Bh4+ 23.Kd2 Qf4+ 24.Ke2 Qe5+ 25.Kd3 Qb5+ 26.Ke3 Qc5+ 27.Kd2 Bg5+ 28.Ke1 Bc6 29.Qg3 f6 30.h4 Bxh1 31.hxg5 fxg5 32.Qb8+ Kf7 33.Rd7+ Kg6 34.Qg8+ Kf5 35.Qxh7+ Kg4 36.Qxh1 Qe5+ 37.Kd2 Qxb2 38.Qe4+ Kg3 39.Rd3+ 1-0 (39) Tolush,A-Gipslis,A Vilnius 1960] 15.Bxd7+ Bxd7 16.0-0-0 Rxa2 [16...Rd5 17.Qb3 gxf6 18.Rxd5 Qxd5 19.Qxd5 exd5 20.Bxf6 Rg8 21.Re1+ Be6 22.g3 Bh6+ 23.Kb1 Kd7 24.Ne5+ Kd6 25.Nd3 Rg4 26.Be5+ Kc6 27.Bf4 Bxf4 28.Nxf4 Kd6 29.Re3 h6 30.Kc1 Rg8 31.Rb3 Ra8 32.a3 bxa3 33.Rxa3 Rb8 34.b3 h5 35.Kd2 Ke5 36.Ra4 Rh8 37.Nd3+ Kf5 38.Rf4+ Kg5 39.Ne5 f5 40.Nf3+ Kf6 41.Ra4 Bc8 42.Rb4 Re8 43.Rb6+ Re6 44.Rxe6+ Kxe6 45.Ke3 Bd7 46.Kf4 Kf6 47.Nd4 1-0 (47) Behrensen,J-Reinhardt,E Buenos Aires 1960] 17.Kb1 Ra5 18.Rhe1 Qa7 19.c4 h6


20.Rxe6+ fxe6 21.Qg6+ Kd8 22.fxg7+ hxg5 23.Qf6+ Kc7 24.gxh8Q Ra1+ 25.Kc2 Ba4+ 26.Kd3 Rxd1+ 27.Ke2 Rd8 28.Nd4 Bd7 29.Qh7 Kc8 30.Nc6



(2) McCambridge,Vincent (2201) - Whitehead,Paul A (2260) [E90]
Paul Masson, Saratoga, 1977

I kind of stumbled into a win here, as 10.b5? (10. Be2) gave Black an easy game, and finally 33.Qf4?? (33.Ba4 holds on) gives it all away. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 0-0 6.Be3 Nbd7 7.Nd2 e5 8.d5 Nc5 9.b4 Na6 10.b5 Nc5 11.Be2 a6 12.a4 Ne8 13.g4 f5 14.gxf5 gxf5 15.Rg1 Kh8 16.Bg5 Bf6 17.Bh6 Rg8 18.Rxg8+ Kxg8 19.exf5 Bxf5 20.Ra3 e4 21.Bg4 Bg6 22.Qe2 axb5 23.Ncxe4 Nxe4 24.Nxe4 Rxa4 25.Be6+ Kh8 26.Rxa4 bxa4 27.Nxf6 Qxf6 28.Qe3 Qa1+ 29.Qc1 Qe5+ 30.Qe3 Qxh2 31.Bd7 Qh1+ 32.Kd2 Nf6 33.Qf4 Nxd7 34.Qg5 Qe4 35.Qd8+ Be8 36.Qxc7 a3 37.Qxd6 a2



(3) Whitehead,Paul A (2330) - McCambridge,Vincent (2459) [C19]
San Francisco Bagby San Francisco (5), 1982

A real fight! Black should have exercised caution with 28...Bd7 and a tough game ahead. The position opened to White's advantage, and after 33.h5! the King joined in a sustained attack. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Nf3 Bd7 8.dxc5 Qc7 9.Bd3 Nbc6 10.Bf4 Ng6


11.Bxg6 [11.Bg3 Qa5 12.Qd2 Qxc5 13.h4 d4 14.Bxg6 hxg6 15.cxd4 Qc4 16.Rb1 b6 17.Qe2 Qc3+ 18.Qd2 Qc4 19.Qe2 Qc3+ 20.Qd2 1/2-1/2 (20) Nunn,J (2585)-Kortschnoj,V (2650) Brussels 1986] 11...hxg6 12.0-0 Na5 13.Be3 Nc4 14.Bd4 0-0-0 15.Re1 Rh5 16.g4 Rh6 17.Kg2 Bc6 18.Rh1 Rdh8 19.h3 Qe7 20.Qc1 Rf8 21.Qg5 Qxg5 22.Nxg5 Ba4 23.Rac1 Kd7 24.f4 Bc6 25.Ra1 Ke7 26.Kg3 Rc8 27.Rh2 Rhh8 28.Rf2 f5 29.exf6+ gxf6 30.Nf3 Rhf8 31.h4 Rf7 32.g5 f5


33.h5 gxh5 34.Kh4 Rg8 35.Rg1 Nxa3 36.g6 Rff8 37.Kxh5 Nc4 38.Ne5 Nxe5 39.Bxe5 Ra8 40.Kg5 a5 41.Rh2 Rae8 42.Rh7+ Kd8 43.Bc7+ Kc8 44.Bxa5 e5 45.fxe5 Rxe5 46.Rc7+ Kb8 47.Rf7 f4+ 48.Kf6 Ree8 49.Bc7+ Kc8 50.Bxf4 Bd7 51.g7 Kd8 52.Bd6 Re6+ 53.Kg5 Be8 54.Rgf1 Re2 55.Rxb7 Rg2+ 56.Kh6 Rg6+ 57.Kh7



(4) McCambridge,Vincent (2440) - Whitehead,Paul A (2450) [E80]
CalChess Masters Berkeley (7), 1983

Black used almost his whole alloted time- for some reason known only to himself. White played quickly and achieved almost nothing, so a draw seemed to suit both sides. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 c6 6.Bg5 a6 7.Bd3 b5 8.Nge2 Nbd7 9.0-0 e5 10.d5 bxc4 11.Bxc4 Nb6 12.Bb3 c5 13.Qd2 h6 14.Be3 a5 15.Na4 Nfd7 16.Rac1 Ba6 17.Rf2 Kf8 18.Nxb6 Nxb6 19.Nc3 Kg8 20.Na4 Nd7 21.Bc4 Bxc4 22.Rxc4 Kh7 23.b3 Qe7 24.Nb2 Nb6 25.Rc1 Rhb8 26.Nd3 f5 27.Qc2



GM Nick de Firmian’s Endgame Lab

Marshall-Lasker Endgame

Fabiano Caruana was the first American in 46 years to play for the World Chess Championship. He lost that close match to Carlsen last November in the tie-break rapid games, not matching Bobby Fischer’s spectacular success in becoming an American World Champion. Before Fischer there was another championship contender in the 20th century. Frank J. Marshall was a brilliant player whom New York’s Marshall Chess Club is named after. Marshall had great tactical skills, but to be champion one needs to be a great endgame player. Marshall’s opponent in the 1907 World Championship was the great Emanuel Lasker, who relied many times throughout his career on his endgame skill for his tournament and match success. The following game from his 1907 match with Marshall is pure elegance of movement.

(1) Marshall,Frank James - Lasker,Emanuel [C65]
World Championship Match, 1907

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0-0 Be7 6.e5 Ne4 7.Nxd4 0-0 8.Nf5 d5 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Nxe7+ Qxe7 11.Re1 Qh4 12.Be3 f6 13.f3 fxe5 14.fxe4 d4 15.g3 Qf6 16.Bxd4 exd4 17.Rf1 Qxf1+ 18.Qxf1 Rxf1+ 19.Kxf1


After a complicated opening and middle game the players have traded into a materially equal endgame. There are six pawns each, with just a rook and knight for White and a rook and bishop for Black. Both sides have three pawn islands and Black has doubled c-pawns. It seems difficult to believe either side could have much of anything, but we see Lasker make superb use of his faster force to highlight the differences. 19...Rb8 20.b3 Rb5!


Lasker leaves the bishop on c8 as it can immediately swing into action with just one move. The rook makes great use of the 5th rank — note 21. Nd2 Rc5 22. Nc4?! Ba6 would be awkward. Probably 21. Ke2 would be best. 21.c4 Rh5 22.Kg1 c5 23.Nd2 Kf7 24.Rf1+ Ke7


The position has stabilized. White has finally developed his pieces while Black has gotten a protected passed pawn and more centralized king. The white e-pawn is also somewhat vulnerable and the black bishop has long term targets of pawns on the white squares. 25.a3 Rh6! 26.h4 Ra6 27.Ra1 Bg4! 28.Kf2 Ke6


White is on the defensive and tied down. His position has become critical where it is hard to stop the invasion. 29.a4 Ke5 30.Kg2 Rf6! 31.Re1 d3! 32.Rf1 Kd4


The infiltration of the black king spells the end for White. The advanced d-pawn, the superiority of the bishop against the knight and the weak b and e pawns are too much to live with. 33.Rxf6 gxf6 34.Kf2 c6 35.a5 a6


No better is 36. Ke1 Kc3 and because of zugszwang White loses his pawns. 36.Nb1 Kxe4 37.Ke1 Be2 38.Nd2+ Ke3 39.Nb1 f5 40.Nd2 h5 41.Nb1 Kf3 42.Nc3 Kxg3


Lasker efficiently mops up. The rest needs no comment. 43.Na4 f4 44.Nxc5 f3 45.Ne4+ Kf4 46.Nd6 c5 47.b4 cxb4 48.c5 b3 49.Nc4 Kg3 50.Ne3 b2 0-1

Robert Eugene Burger 1931-2019

Robert Eugene Burger passed away on February 6, 2019. He was a Trustee of the Mechanics’ Institute from 1982-1996, and was a college lecturer, chess master, chess reporter and author. During Bobby Fischer’s simul appearance at the Mechanics’ Institute in 1964, Bob Berger had a beautiful victory against him that can be viewed here.

His devotion to chess and to the Mechanics’ Institute will always be part of his legacy, and he will always be remembered among the legends that have been a part of this historic club.

The Silent Chess Genius: GM Albin Planinc (1944 - 2008)

By NM Derek O’Connor

The games of lesser known chess players have always fascinated me, and I recall coming across the well known game Rafael Vaganian - Albin Planinc played at Hastings 1974/1975, which features the following spectacular finish.

Black to move.

19… Bf5!! 20. Qxa8 Qd6+ 21. Kc1 (21. Kc3? Qe5+ ends badly for white in the myriad of possible lines: 22. Kd2 (22. Kb3 Na1+ 23. Ka2 Qd5+ 24. Kxa1 Qxd1+ 25. Ka2 Bb1+ 26. Ka1 Bc2+ 27. Ka2 Qb1#) 22... Qd5+ 23. Kc3 (23. Kc1 Na1! is a much worse version of the game) 23... Qa5+ 24. b4 (24. Kb3 Na1+ 25. Kc4 Qa4+ 26. Kc3 Qc2+ 27. Kb4 Qb3+ 28. Kc5 Qb6+ 29. Kd5 Nb3 30. Qf8 Qe6#) 24... Qe5+ 25. Kd2 Qd5+ 26. Kc1 Qa2 27. Kd2 Nxa3+ 28. Ke1 Nc2+ 29. Ke2 Qc4+ 30. Kd2 Qd5+ 31. Kc1 Nxb4 32. Qxa7 Qc6+ 33. Kb2 Qc2+ 34. Ka3 Qa2+ 35. Kxb4 Qxa7 with black finally converting his attack into a material advantage)

21… Na1! This move sets up a picturesque model mate, a term usually reserved for compositions, where each of the king’s flight squares is attacked only once by the enemy pieces. The threatened …Na1-b3 delivers mate from the knight by attacking the king on c1 and covering d2, while the bishop covers b1 and c2.

22. Qxb7?? Even strong grandmasters blunder defending tough positions. 22. Bc4 was necessary, and as scary as 22… Qc6 looks, there is no clear win for black: 23. Nc3! Qxc4 24. Qd8 Nb3+ 25. Kd1 Qg4+ 26. Ne2 Qe4 27. Ke1 Qb1+ 28. Qd1 Qxb2 29. Nd4 Nxd4 30. Qxd4 Qc1+ 31. Qd1 Qxa3 ∓ reaches a position where black has a pawn for the exchange, but strong attacking chances against white’s exposed king and uncoordinated pieces. 22… Qc7+ 0-1 White resigned as 23. Qxc7 Nb3# follows.

When I came across this game as a young chess player, it made a big impression on me. Looking into Albin Planinc’s other games, frequently featuring complicated and unclear sacrifices, I became fascinated about this grandmaster whose ferocity and daring sacrifices over the chessboard were a sharp contrast to his personality and life.

Albin Planinc was born in 1944 in Briše to a working class family. He learned to play chess at the age of 7 in school, and progressed with self study. In 1957, he started playing competitively and in 1961, he placed third in the Ljubljana Youth Championship. His first major successes came in 1962 when he won the Slovenian Youth Championship, which he followed by sharing equal third/fourth at the Yugoslav Youth Championship, after which he was awarded the title of candidate master.

His first international success came at the very strong 1st Vidmar Memorial held in 1969. The field boasted 10 grandmasters, 3 international masters, and 3 untitled players including Albin Planinc, who was allowed to play by the organizers as there were a few extra spots available. Although strong grandmasters such as Svetosar Gligoric, Wolfgang Unzicker, Aleksandar Matanovic, and Robert Byrne were favorites the win the event, Planinc caused a sensation by scoring +7=7-1 to finish with 10.5/15 for sole first place. There are many great games of Planinc from this event including a stunning rook sacrifice as white against Matanovic in a Sicilian middlegame, and his final round win against Florin Gheorghiu where he turned down two draw offers and again sacrificed his rook for a winning attack. Both games are worthy of study and analysis, but for the sake of brevity I have limited myself to his two best games.

Planinc’s performance at the Vidmar Memorial was strong enough to satisfy the FIDE requirements for the Grandmaster title at the time, but he was only awarded the title of International Master as players could not be awarded the Grandmaster title without first obtaining the International Master title. At the time of the Vidmar Memorial, Planinc was working at the Rog, a bicycle factory in Slovenia, but following his success, he received invitations to play in prestigious tournaments in Čačak, Serbia and Skopje, Macedonia. As a result, he was able to quit his factory job and devote himself fully to chess. In 1972, FIDE awarded Planinc the Grandmaster title, and in 1973, he achieved his best ever tournament result, finishing with 10/16 and tying for 1st with Tigran Petrosian at the powerful IBM Amsterdam chess tournament, ahead of Grandmasters Lubomir Kavalek and Boris Spassky.

Albin Planinc playing against Kick Langeweg in round 6 of the IBM Amsterdam Chess Tournament in 1973

According to Hans Ree, Raymond Keene, and other grandmasters’ written accounts, Albin Planinc was a very reserved and timid person, a man of few words who spoke mainly to analyze chess. Sadly, he suffered from depression and likely other undiagnosed mental health issues, and it is possible that the strain of playing chess tournaments at a high level contributed to his mental decline. His results began to suffer noticeably around 1975/1976, when he started finishing in the middle to bottom of the standings in tournaments. Planinc played his last major tournament in 1979 — the 17th Rubinstein Memorial. After spending some time in a psychiatric clinic in Ljubljana, he settled in an assisted living facility with his mother where he lived out the remainder of his life, excluded and in poverty.

Although Planinc’s life story is a tragic one of hardship and unfulfilled potential despite his enormous talent, he is remembered by his fellow grandmasters as a fearless attacking player with creative and beautiful ideas. One such Planinc specialty that interested me was his handling of the Arkhangelsk Defense: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bb7 (which has been mostly replaced by the Modern Arkhangelsk Defense where black plays 6… Bc5). Several of his victories in this line are so stunning that his win over Vaganian pales in comparison — what is most impressive in these games is Planinc’s ability to make long term sacrifices that require incredible nerves to play because they simply cannot be calculated all the way to the end. I would like to finish the article by presenting what I consider to be one of his finest victories from this very opening.

Dragoljub Minic - Albin Planinc played at Rovinj/Zabreb 1975

Black to move.

What would you play here? I think most players would choose the relatively staid 12… Nc5 13. Bd5 Bxd5 14. Qxd5 Rd8 with a messy but roughly level position.

Planinc played a truly astonishing move showcasing his characteristic ingenuity and brilliant intuition. 12… O-O-O!!?

This move looks crazy, but it soon becomes apparent that black will sacrifice his queen and rely on the passed d-pawn for counterplay. 13. Nxe4 Qxe5 14. Re1 f5

15. Qg3 White keeps the piece, or so it seems! 15… Qe8! 16. Nd6+ Bxd6 17. Rxe8 Rhxe8

How should white defend here?

18. Bf4?! It is perhaps a bit unfair to criticize this move, as white could hardly have been expected to see the sequence awaiting him, and what could be more natural than simultaneously developing and defending? 18. f4! is best but after 18… Bc5+ 19. Kf1 Re2 20. Bd1 Bxg2+ 21. Qxg2 Rxg2 22. Kxg2 ± white emerges better with a bishop for three pawns in a highly unbalanced ending. I should also point out that 18. Bf4 certainly looks more ambitious than giving the queen back with 18. f4, but I have the feeling Minic wanted to refute the sacrifice!

18… d2 19. Rf1 Re1 Now what does white do? Black has ideas of ...Rde8 and ...Bd5 in the air.

White to move.

20. Bxd6?! Again, white is understandably ambitious but despite the huge material deficit for black, his far advanced d-pawn and mating threats are extremely serious. 20. Qh4!! is both difficult to spot and psychologically tough to play because 20… Re4 threatens to win a bishop, restoring approximate material balance. The only way for white to hang onto the piece is by playing 21. g3 after which there might follow 21… Bxf4! 22. gxf4 Re1 23. Bd1 Rde8 24. f3 Rxf1+ 25. Kxf1 Re1+ 26. Kf2 Rxd1 27. Ke3 Bxf3 28. Qxh7 Be4 29. Qxg7 Rb1 30. Qh8+! Kb7 31. Kxd2 Rxb2+ 32. Ke3 Rxa2 33. h4 Rh2 34. h5 a5 35. h6 a4 36. h7 a3 37. Qe5 Rxh7 38. Qxb5+ finally reaching a draw by perpetual! This sample line is out of the scope of the article, but fun playing through and worth analyzing on your own.

20… Rde8! Now black threatens ...Bb7-d5-c4. 21. f3 Bd5

White to move. Notice how many critical moments there are for white here! Spirited attacking play by black forces white to walk a tightrope to defend.

22. Qf4? White tries to round up the d-pawn but this fails tactically. 22. Bf4! was correct when after 22… Bc4 23. Bxc4 d1=Q 24. Bd3 Rxf1+ 25. Bxf1 Re2 ∓ black is better but not clearly winning.

22… Bc4 23. h4 Rxf1+ 24. Kh2 Re2 25. Bxc7 Rff2

White to move.

The situation has worsened considerably and now white has only one move to not lose immediately. 26. Qd6? 26. Bd1! was the only try, and in his analysis, Minic thought he could survive here, but black still comes out on top with the accurate 26… Rxg2+ 27. Kh1 Bd5! which switches over to targeting the f-pawn. 28. Bb8 Rh2+ 29. Qxh2 Bxf3+ 30. Kg1 Rxh2 31. Kxh2 Bxd1 32. Bf4 Bb3 A nice touch so that black does not simply drop the d2 pawn. 33. Bxd2 Bxa2 -/+ and with three healthy extra pawns, black should win the opposite colored bishop ending. 26... Rxg2+ 27. Kh3 Rh2+ 28. Kg3 Reg2+ 29. Kf4 Rxh4+ 30. Kxf5 Rh6 0-1

The final position is a picture of perfect coordination and domination by the black forces over the white queen and bishop pair. A sparkling gem of a game to commemorate Planinc’s relatively brief but shining chess career.

TNM Games Round 7

Annotations by IM Elliott Winslow

(18540) Griffith,Kyron Wa (2458) - Diaz,Conrado (2343) [B01]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.1), 19.02.2019

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bd2 Qb6 8.0-0 e6 9.Bb3 Bd6 10.h3 0-0 11.Qe2 Nbd7 12.Rad1 a5 13.Ne5 Bxe5 14.dxe5 Nd5 15.Na4 Qc7 16.c4 N5b6 17.Nxb6 Nxb6 18.Bf4 Nd7?!


[18...h6= 19.g4 Bh7 20.Bg3 a4 21.Bc2 Bxc2 22.Qxc2 Qe7] 19.Rd6+/- Rfe8 20.Rfd1 Nf8 21.Ba4 Qe7 [21...Red8] 22.Qe3 h6 23.g4 Bg6 [23...Bh7] 24.Bg3 Bh7 25.R1d2 [25.c5; 25.f4] 25...Reb8 [25...Bb1] 26.Bd1 a4 27.Bf3 Qc7 28.Kh2 Qa5 29.Bg2 Qb4 30.Bf1 a3 31.b3+- Re8 32.f4 Qa5 33.Be1 Qc7 34.Bg2 Qe7 35.Bf2 Qc7 36.Be4 Bxe4 37.Qxe4 Qa5 38.Qd4 Rac8 39.Rd1 Ra8 40.Be1 Qc7 41.Bb4 b6 42.c5 bxc5 43.Bxc5 Qb7 44.Qc4 [44.f5] 44...Rec8 45.R1d2 Re8 46.b4 Rec8 47.R2d3 Re8 48.Qe4 Rec8 49.Qf3 Qb5 50.Rd2 Qc4 51.R6d4 Qc1 52.Qd1 Qxd1 53.Rxd1 Kh7 54.Kg3 Kg6 55.R1d3 h5 56.Rf3 hxg4 57.hxg4 Kh7 58.Rdd3 Kg8 59.Bxf8 [59.Rxa3; 59.g5!?] 59...Rxf8 60.Rxa3 Rab8 61.Rab3 Ra8 62.a3 Ra6 63.Rfd3 Rfa8 64.Kf3 Kh7 65.Ke4 Kg6 66.Rh3 f5+ 67.gxf5+ exf5+ 68.Kd4 Rd8+ 69.Kc5 Rd5+ 70.Kc4 Rd1 71.Rbg3+ Kf7 72.Rh7 Rf1 73.Rhxg7+ 1-0

(18541) Ivanov,Aleksandr (2171) - Gaffagan,Steven (2054) [D31]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.2), 19.02.2019

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 a6 4.e4?! [4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 (5.Bf4; 5.Qb3!?; 5.g3!?) ] 4...dxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 [5...Bb4+!? 6.Nc3 (6.Bd2 Qxd4 is a far superior version of the Marshall Gambit, what with d6 not weakened.) 6...c5 also, Black gets a "free" ...a7-a6. Admittedly that might be a bad thing, but Black has cleaned up here mostly.] 6.Nxf6+ [6.Nc3] 6...Qxf6 7.Nf3 [7.a3!?] 7...Bb4+ 8.Bd2 Bxd2+ 9.Qxd2 0-0 [9...b6!? before White can intervene.] 10.Bd3!? [10.Be2 Rd8 11.Rd1 Nc6 12.Qc3 b6 13.0-0 Bb7 14.Rd2 Ne7 15.Rfd1 Nf5 16.Ne5 Nh4 17.g3 Ng6 18.Bf3 Bxf3 19.Nxf3 h6 20.Qe3 Qf5 21.Kg2 Rd6 22.d5 exd5 23.Rxd5 Rxd5 24.Rxd5 Qb1 25.b3 Qxa2 26.Rd7 c5 27.Rb7 b5 28.h4 bxc4 29.h5 Nh8 30.Qxc5 cxb3 31.Qd5 Qe2 32.Rxb3 Qe8 33.Rd3 Rb8 34.Re3 Qd8 35.Qc4 Qc8 36.Qa4 Rb5 37.Re5 Qc6 38.Qf4 f6 39.Re7 Nf7 40.Rc7 Qd5 41.Qc4 Qxc4 42.Rxc4 Rxh5 43.Ra4 a5 44.Nd4 Nd6 45.Nc6 Nb7 46.Rd4 Rb5 47.Rd7 a4 48.Nd4 Rb6 49.Nf5 Kf8 50.Rc7 Nd6 51.Nxd6 Rxd6 52.Ra7 Rd4 53.f4 Kg8 54.Kh3 Kh7 55.Ra5 Kg6 56.f5+ Kg5 57.Ra7 Kxf5 58.Rxg7 a3 59.Ra7 Rd3 60.Kh4 Ke5 61.g4 Kd4 62.Kh5 Kc4 63.Kxh6 Kb3 64.Kg6 Rd4 0-1 (64) Roubalik,J (2400)-Zilka,S (2517) Czech Republic 2018; 10.Rd1 Rd8 11.a3 Nc6 12.Qe3 Ne7 13.b4 Bd7 14.Bd3 Bc6 15.Be4 Bxe4 16.Qxe4 b5 17.0-0 bxc4 18.Qc2 Qf4 19.Qxc4 Nd5 20.Ne5 f6 21.Nc6 Rd6 22.Rd3 h5 23.Re1 Re8 24.Qxa6 h4 25.Qc4 Qg4 26.f3 Qg5 27.Re4 Nf4 28.Rxf4 Qxf4 29.a4 Kh8 30.Qc3 Rd5 31.b5 e5 32.dxe5 Rxd3 33.Qxd3 Qxa4 34.Qg6 Qd1+ 35.Kf2 Qd2+ 36.Kf1 Qc1+ 37.Kf2 Qc5+ 38.Ke1 Ra8 39.Qb1 Qg1+ 0-1 (39) Galicek,S (2164)-Smirnova,A (2060) Sunny Beach 2012] 10...c5?! [10...Nd7!? 11.0-0 e5 12.d5+/=] 11.dxc5 e5?!


12.0-0 [>=12.Be4!] 12...Bf5 13.Bxf5 Qxf5 14.b4 [Stockfish gives 14.Qb4 as close to winning] 14...Nc6 15.a3 h6 [15...e4 16.Qd5!?; 15...Rad8 16.Qg5] 16.Rad1 Rad8 17.Qe3 Rxd1 18.Rxd1 Qc2 19.Rc1 Qa4 20.h3 Rd8 21.Rc3 Qd1+ 22.Kh2 Nd4 [>=22...f6] 23.Rc1?! [23.Qxe5+-] 23...Nxf3+ 24.gxf3 Qd4 25.Qxd4 Rxd4?!


[25...exd4+/-] 26.b5 Kf8 27.c6 bxc6 28.bxa6 Ke7 29.a7 Rd8 30.Rb1 Ra8 31.Rb7+ Kd6 32.Rxf7 Kc5 33.Rxg7 Kxc4 34.Kg3 c5 35.f4 exf4+ 36.Kxf4 Kd5 37.Ke3 Kc4 38.Kd2 Kb3 39.Rb7+ Kc4 40.f4 Kd4 41.f5 Ke5 42.Rf7 h5 43.Kc3 Kd5 44.a4 Rg8 45.Rb7 Ra8 46.f6 Kc6 47.Rg7 Rf8 48.f7 1-0

(18542) Fuentes,Romulo C (2200) - Kuczek,Kevin W (2003) [C56]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.4), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.e5 d5 6.Bb5 Ne4 7.Nxd4 Bc5 8.Be3 Bd7 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.0-0 0-0 11.Nd2 Nxd2 12.Qxd2 Qe7 13.Nb3 Bb6 14.Qc3


14...Rfe8? [14...f6!] 15.f4 Bf5 16.Rae1 Qe6?! 17.a4 Red8 18.Bd4 Be4 19.Re3 Qd7 20.Rg3 g6 21.a5 Bxd4+ 22.Nxd4 Rab8 23.b3 Rb7 24.f5 Rdb8 25.Nxc6 d4 26.Nxd4 Rb4 27.fxg6 hxg6 28.Nf3 Bf5 29.Ng5 R8b5 30.Re3 Qe7 31.Nf3 Rxa5 32.Nd4 Bd7 33.e6 fxe6 34.Nxe6 Bxe6 35.Rxe6 Qxe6 36.Qxb4 Qe3+ 37.Kh1 Rf5 38.Qb8+ Kh7 39.Qxc7+ Kh6 40.Qc4 Rc5 41.Qh4+ Kg7 42.Qf6+ Kh6 43.c4 Re5 44.h3 Re6 45.Qf4+ Kg7 46.Qf8+ 1-0

(18543) Tsodikova,Natalya (2185) - Walder,Michael (1970) [A64]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.6), 19.02.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Nd2 a6 [7...Bg7; 7...Nbd7] 8.a4 Nbd7 9.Nc4 Nb6 10.Na3 Bd7 11.g3?! Bg7 [11...Nfxd5! 12.Nxd5 Nxd5 13.Bg2 Nb4 14.Bxb7 Rb8 15.Bg2 Be6] 12.Bg2 0-0 13.0-0 Re8 14.Bf4


[14.e4; 14.a5] 14...Qc7 [14...Nh5! 15.Bxd6?? (15.Bd2 Bxc3=/+) 15...Bxc3 16.bxc3 Bxa4-+] 15.Bf3!? Ng4 16.a5 Nc8 17.Nc4 Ne5 18.Nxe5 Bxe5 19.Bxe5 Rxe5 20.e4 Na7 21.Qd2 f5 22.Rfe1 Nb5 23.Nxb5 axb5 24.exf5 Rxe1+ 25.Rxe1 Bxf5?! [25...Qxa5=/+ 26.Qxa5 Rxa5 27.f6 Bh3 28.Bg2 Bxg2 29.Kxg2 Kf7=] 26.Qg5?! [26.g4] 26...Rf8 [26...Qxa5-/+] 27.Re7 Qd8 28.Qe3 [28.h4+/=] 28...Bd7 29.Kg2 Rf7


30.Re6?! [30.Rxf7= Kxf7 31.Qh6 Kg8 32.Qf4 Kg7] 30...Bxe6 31.dxe6 Re7 32.Qg5 Kg7 33.Bxb7 h6 34.Qd5 Qxa5 35.Bc8 Qc7 36.Ba6 b4 37.f3 c4? 38.Bxc4? [38.Qd4+ Kg8 (38...Kh7 39.Bxc4 Qc5 40.Qf6=) 39.Bxc4 Qc5 40.Qe4=] 38...Qc5 39.Qe4 Qe5-+ 40.Qd3 Qxb2+ 41.Kh3 Qe5 42.Qb3 Qh5+? [42...Qc3 43.Qa2 Qxf3] 43.Kg2 Qc5 44.Qb2+ Kh7 [44...Qe5] 45.Qf6 Qg5?! [45...Qc7-+] 46.Qf8=/+ Rc7?? [46...Rg7 47.Qxd6 Qe7=; 46...Qd2+=] 47.e7 1-0

(18544) Persidsky,Andre (1814) - Askin,David Benjamin (2019) [E54]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.7), 19.02.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 c5 5.e3 0-0 6.Bd3 d5 7.0-0 cxd4 8.exd4 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b6 10.Qe2 [10.Bg5; 10.Re1] 10...Bb7 [10...Nc6] 11.Bg5 h6 [11...Nbd7; 11...Nc6] 12.Bh4 Nbd7 13.Rfd1 Bxc3 14.bxc3 Qc7N [14...Rc8] 15.Ne5 Rac8 16.Nxd7 Nxd7 17.Bb5 Nb8 18.Qg4?


[18.Rac1] 18...Kh8? [18...f5! 19.Qg6 Qf7] 19.Rd3 [19.Rac1] 19...a6?? [19...f5 20.Qg6 Qf7-/+] 20.Bf6!! "#7"! SF10 20...Rg8 [20...gxf6 21.Rh3] 21.Qh4? only because [21.Rh3! mates] 21...Kh7 22.Rh3 Qxc3 23.Bd3+! Qxd3 24.Rxd3 gxf6 25.Rg3 [25.Qxf6! Rxg2+ 26.Kf1] 25...Nd7 26.Rxg8 Rxg8 27.g3 Rc8 28.Qf4 Bd5 29.Rc1 Rxc1+ 30.Qxc1 Kg7 31.Qc7 Nf8 32.a3 a5 33.Qxb6 a4 34.Qc7 Ng6 35.f4 Nf8 36.Kf2 f5 37.h3 h5 38.Qe7 Nh7 39.Qb4 Bb3 40.Qc3 Nf6 41.Kg2 Bd5+ 42.Kh2 Ne4 43.Qc7 Nd2 44.Kg1 Kg6 45.Qa5 Nf3+ 46.Kf2 Nxd4 47.Qxa4 Nb3 48.Qe8 Kg7 49.Qe7 Nd2 50.Qg5+ Kf8 51.Qd8+ Kg7 52.a4 Ne4+ 53.Ke3 Nxg3 54.Qg5+ 1-0

(18545) Askin,Michael (1993) - Cendejas,Juan (1686) [E16]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.8), 19.02.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 h6 6.0-0 Be7 7.Nc3 0-0 8.d5 d6 9.Nd4 exd5 10.Nf5 Nbd7 11.cxd5 Ne5 12.f4 Ng6 13.h3 Bc8 14.Nd4 Bd7 15.Be3 Qc8 16.Kh2 Re8 17.Rc1 a6 18.Bf2 Nh7 19.e4 f6 20.Qh5 Nh8 21.f5 Nf7 22.Ne6 Ne5 23.Nf4 Ng5 24.h4 Ngf7 25.Nce2 Bb5 26.Rfd1 Nd8 27.Bxb6 cxb6 28.Rxc8 Rxc8 29.Nd4 Bd7 30.Qe2 b5 31.b3 Nb7 32.Nd3 Rc3 33.Nxe5 dxe5 34.Ne6 Rec8 35.Rd2 Bb4 36.Qg4 Bf8 37.Nxf8 Kxf8 38.Qe2 Nd6 39.Bf3 a5 40.g4 Kf7 41.Qg2 b4 42.Rf2 Nb5 43.g5 Nd4 44.Bh5+ Ke7 45.gxf6+ gxf6 46.Qg7+ Kd8 47.Qxf6+ Kc7 48.Qxe5+ 1-0

(18546) Lilles,Alex Pierre (1622) - Yanofsky,Kevin (1915) [B35]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.9), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.f3 Qb6 9.Bb3


9...Nxe4 Yes, but just even 10.Na4?? [10.Nd5! Qa5+ 11.c3 Nc5 12.Nxc6 dxc6 13.Nxe7+ Kh8 14.Nxc8=] 10...Qa5+-+ 11.c3 Nf6 [11...b5; 11...Nd6] 12.Qe2 [12.0-0-/+] 12...d6 [12...b6; 12...Nxd4] 13.0-0 [13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.0-0 Nd5] 13...Bd7 14.Nb5 Ne5 15.c4 d5??


16.Bd2=/+ Qd8 17.Qxe5? [17.cxd5] 17...dxc4-/+ 18.Bxc4 Bxb5 [18...a6] 19.Bxb5?! [19.Qxb5 Qxd2 20.Rad1 Qf4] 19...Qxd2-+ 20.Rfd1 Qa5 21.b4 Nh5?? [21...Qxb4-+] 22.Qxg7+ Kxg7 23.bxa5 Nf6 24.Rac1 Rac8 25.Nc5 b6 26.axb6 axb6 27.Na4 Ra8 28.Rc6 Rfb8 29.Nc3 Ra3 30.g4 e6 31.g5 Nd5 32.Nxd5 exd5 33.Rxd5 Rxa2 34.Rc7 Rb2 35.Bc6 Rc2 36.Rdd7 Kg8 37.Bd5 Rxc7 38.Bxf7+ Kf8 39.Rxc7 b5 40.Bb3 b4 41.Rxh7 Rb5 42.h4 Rc5 43.Rb7 Rc3 44.Rxb4 Rxf3 45.Kg2 Rc3 46.Rf4+ Kg7 47.Rf7+ Kh8 48.Rb7 Rg3+ 49.Kf2 Rg2+ 50.Ke1 Rg1+ 51.Kd2 Rxg5 52.Rb8+ 1-0

(18547) Maser,Thomas F (1907) - Tamondong,Cesar B (1608) [B54]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.10), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb3 d6 6.Nc3 a6 7.Be2 b5 8.a4 b4 9.Nd5 Nf6 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.a5 0-0 13.0-0 Rb8 14.Qd3 Bg5 15.Rfd1 Ne7 16.Nb6 Be6 17.Qxd6 Ng6 18.Qxd8 Rfxd8 19.Nc5 Nf4 20.Bxa6 Be7 21.Nxe6 Nxe6 22.Nd5 Bc5 23.Kf1 Nd4 24.Bd3 f5 25.exf5 Kf8 26.Be4 b3 27.c3 Nc2 28.Rac1 Rb5 29.Nc7 Rxd1+ 30.Rxd1 Rxa5 31.Ne6+ Ke7 32.Nxc5 Rxc5 33.Bxc2 bxc2 34.Rc1 Kf6 35.Rxc2 Kxf5 36.b4 Rd5 37.Ke2 e4 38.c4 Rd4 39.b5 Rd3 40.c5 Rb3 41.c6 1-0

(18548) Pane,Gianluca (1863) - Robeal,Rafik (1716) [A40]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.11), 19.02.2019

1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.Nc3 Bb7 4.Nf3 f5 5.Qc2 Nf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.e3 Nc6 9.a3 Be7 10.Be2 Nd8 11.Ne5 Bd6 12.Bh5+ g6 13.Nxg6 Rg8 14.Nf4+ Ke7 15.Nce2 Bxg2 16.Nxg2 Rxg2 17.Bf3 Rxf2 18.Kxf2 Qh4+ 19.Ng3 c6 20.Ke2 Nf7 21.d5 Ne5 22.dxe6 Nxf3 23.Nxf5+ 1-0

(18549) Marcus,Joel (1833) - Latourette,Nicholas (1347) [D93]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.12), 19.02.2019

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.c4 0-0 6.Nc3 a6 [6...c5 is far and away the main move, not to mention how well it's scored. (Oh all right, over 50% except for 7.dxc5 (50.1%!) although 7...Ne4!? returns to a solid plus score] 7.Be2 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nc6 9.h3 Bf5 10.0-0 b5 11.Be2 b4 12.Na4 Nd5 13.Bg3 Nb6 14.Nc5 a5 15.Rc1 e5 16.e4 Bd7 17.Nxd7 1-0

(18550) Melville,Cailen (1954) - Mercado,Adam (1714) [E60]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.14), 19.02.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d6 4.e4 Bg7 5.Ne2 0-0 6.Nec3 Nc6 7.d5 Nb8 8.Be3 Nfd7 9.g4 c5 10.f4 Qb6 11.Qd2 Nf6 12.Na4 Qa6 13.Nac3 Nxg4 14.Bd3 Bh6 15.Ne2 Qb6 16.Bg1 Ne5 17.Nd4 Bxf4 18.Qc3 cxd4 0-1

(18551) Harris,John (1854) - Lum,Michael K (1941) [A16]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.15), 19.02.2019

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.Nc3 Nb6 5.Bg2 g6 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d3 0-0 9.Be3 Bg4 10.h3 Be6 11.Qd2 Re8 12.Rfc1 f6 13.Kh2 Bf7 14.Bh6 Bh8 15.h4 e5 16.Ne4 Nd7 17.Nc5 Nxc5 18.Rxc5 Qd6 19.Rac1 Rac8 20.Ng1 Nd8 21.b4 c6 22.Ra5 a6 23.b5 axb5 24.Rxb5 Ra8 25.Rb2 Qe6 26.Bh3 Qd5 27.Bg2 Qe6 1/2-1/2

(18552) Babayan,Gagik (1806) - Wonsever,James (1916) [B33]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.16), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bf4 e5 8.Be3 a6 9.Na3 b5 10.Nd5 Nxe4 11.Bb6 Qg5 12.Nc7+ Kd7 13.Nxa8 Bb7 14.Be3 Qg6 15.Nb6+ Kd8 16.Be2 f5 17.Bf3 f4 18.Bc1 Nd4 19.c3 Nxf3+ 20.Qxf3 d5 21.0-0 Qxb6 22.Nc2 h5 23.Rd1 Bc5 24.Qxe4 Bxf2+ 25.Kh1 d4 26.Qe2 d3 27.Rxd3+ Ke7 28.Qxe5+ 1-0

(18553) Argo,Guy (1909) - Lamstein,Joshua D (1655) [B25]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.17), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.Nge2 Nc6 6.0-0 Nf6 7.d3 0-0 8.h3 a6 9.f4 Rb8 10.Be3 Qc7 11.g4


11...Bxg4? (Unnecessary panic) 12.hxg4 Nxg4 13.Bd2 b5 14.Nd5 Qa7 15.c3 b4 16.Bf3 h5 17.Bxg4 hxg4 18.Kg2 e6 19.Ne3 bxc3 20.bxc3 f5 21.Qa4 Qc7 22.Qxa6 Na5 23.Nc4 Nxc4 24.Qxc4 Kf7 25.a4 Rb2 26.Ra2 Rfb8 27.Rfa1 Qb7 28.Rxb2 Qxb2 29.Qa2 Qb7 30.Ng3 d5 31.Re1 dxe4 32.dxe4 Qb2 33.Qxb2 Rxb2 34.Re2 Ra2 35.e5 Rxa4 36.Be3 Bh6 37.Rf2 Rc4 38.Ne2 Ke7 39.Rf1 Kd7 40.Rh1 Re4 41.Kf2 1-0

(18554) Mays,Jerry L (1700) - Rudyak,Felix (1892) [B01]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.18), 19.02.2019

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.g3 Bg4 7.Bg2 e6 8.0-0 Be7 9.a3 0-0 10.Bf4 Qd8 11.Qd2 Nbd7 12.Rfe1 Nb6 13.Ne5 Bf5 14.h3 Nbd5 15.g4 Nxf4 16.gxf5 Nxg2 17.Kxg2 exf5 18.Rad1 Qd6 19.Nc4 Qc7 20.d5 cxd5 21.Nxd5?? 0-1

(18555) Reed,Nicholas (1271) - Krasnov,Steven (1876) [B52]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.21), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0-0 Nc6 6.Qe2 e6 7.Rd1 Nf6 8.d4 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Rd8 10.Nc3 a6 11.Bg5 Be7 12.f4 0-0 13.e5 dxe5 14.Nf3 Qc7 15.fxe5 Qb6+ 16.Kh1 Rxd1+ 17.Rxd1 Ng4 18.Rf1 Qxb2 19.Bxe7 Nxe7 20.Qd3 Ng6 21.Qd4 Rc8 22.Qxg4 Qxc3 23.Ng5 Nxe5 24.Qh5 Qxc2 25.Nxf7 Ng6 26.Ng5 h6 27.Nxe6 Qe4 28.Qa5 Qc4 Here the score is obviously messed up -- but Black's next move, 29...Qxf1#, was clear. 0-1

(18556) Cole,Tony (1520) - Lesquillier,Walter (1750) [C55]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.22), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bc4 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe4 Be7 7.d3 Rf8 8.Nfg5+ Bxg5 9.Qh5+ Kg8 10.Nxg5 h6 11.Nf3 Qf6 12.Be3 d6 13.0-0-0 Be6 14.Kb1 Nb4 15.b3 a5 16.Bd2 Nd5 17.Rde1 Qf5 18.Qxf5 Bxf5 19.h3 b6 20.Nh4 Bh7 21.Rhf1 Rae8 22.g3 Re7 scoresheet -- only one, from Lesquillier, whose flourishes come at the expense of readability -- 0-1, 57. 0-1

(18557) Quang,Danny (1719) - Simpkins,Jerry (1508) [D00]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.23), 19.02.2019

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 Bd6 4.Bg3 f5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.c4 Ne4 7.c5 Bxg3 8.hxg3 Nd7 9.Nc3 c6 10.Qc2 Qa5 11.a3 Ndf6 12.b4 Qc7 13.Nxe4 fxe4 14.Ne5 0-0 15.Be2 Nd7 16.Nxd7 Bxd7 17.Bg4 Rf6 18.Ra2 a5 19.0-0 Be8 20.bxa5 Rxa5 21.Rb1 e5 22.dxe5 Qxe5 23.Rxb7 d4 24.exd4 Qxd4 25.Qb3+ Kf8 26.Qb4 Qxb4 27.Rxb4 Bf7 28.Ra1 Bd5 29.Be2 Rxc5 30.Rb2 Rc3 31.a4 e3 32.f3 Rg6 33.g4 Bc4 34.Bxc4 Rxc4 35.a5 Rd6 36.a6 Rcd4 37.Rb8+ Kf7 38.a7 Rd1+ 39.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 40.Kh2 e2 41.a8Q Rh1+ 42.Kxh1 e1Q+ 1/2-1/2

(18558) Bradley,Christopher (1427) - Sadowsky,Jacob (1703) [D30]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.24), 19.02.2019

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.0-0 d5 6.cxd5 exd5 7.d4 h6 8.Ne5 cxd4 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Qxd4 Be6 11.Qa4 Qd7 12.Rd1 Bc5 13.b4 Bb6 14.Bb2 Ng4 15.e3 f6 16.Nd2 0-0 17.Ne4 Qf7 18.Nc5 Bxc5 19.bxc5 Ne5 [19...Rac8] 20.Rd4 [20.Bxe5! fxe5 21.Qxc6+/-] 20...Nc4 [20...Rfe8=] 21.Bc3 Bd7 [21...Rac8] 22.Rad1 [22.e4!] 22...h5 23.e4 Bg4


24.exd5 Bxd1 25.Rxd1 Ne5 26.d6 Rac8 27.f4 Qc4 28.Qxc4+ Nxc4 29.d7 Rb8 30.Bxc6 Ne3 31.Re1 Nf5 32.Bd5+ Kh8 33.c6 1-0

(18559) Frank,Robert H (1426) - Cortinas,Martin A (1666) [D05]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.25), 19.02.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 c5 4.c3 e6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nbd2 Bd6 7.e4 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 Qc7 10.Be3 Ne7 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Bxc5 Qxc5 13.0-0 0-0 14.Qd4 Qc7 15.Qb4 Nc6 16.Qa3 Bd7 17.Rfe1 Rfd8 18.Rad1 Be8 19.Rxd8 Qxd8 20.Qb3 Rb8 21.Rd1 Qc7 22.Ng5


22...Qf4 23.Qb5 h6 24.Bxc6 Bxc6 25.Nxe6 fxe6 26.Qe2 Qe4 27.Qxe4 Bxe4 28.f3 Bc6 29.Kf2 Kf7 30.Kg3 Ke7 31.Kf4 Rf8+ 32.Ke3 g5 33.h3 Rf5 34.Rd4 Re5+ 35.Kf2 Rd5 36.Rxd5 Bxd5 37.a3 Kd6 38.Ke3 Kc5 39.Kd3 Bc4+ 40.Ke3 Kd5 41.g3 Bf1 42.h4 gxh4 43.gxh4 Ke5 44.b3 Bb5 45.c4 Bc6 46.a4 a5 47.f4+ Kf5 48.h5 b6 49.Kd4 Kxf4 50.c5 bxc5+ 51.Kxc5 Bd5 52.b4 axb4 53.Kxb4 e5 54.Kc3 Kf3 55.Kd2 Kf2 56.a5 e4 57.a6 e3+ 0-1

(18560) Kim,Andy (1604) - Carron,Joel (1491) [D35]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.26), 19.02.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d5?! [2...e6 3.Nc3 d5] 3.Nc3 [3.cxd5] 3...e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Nf3 [6.Qc2; 6.e3] 6...0-0 7.e3 Bg4 [7...Bf5] 8.h3 Bh5 9.Be2 Nbd7 10.0-0 c6 11.Rb1 Ne4 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Nd2 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 Rac8 16.b4 Nb6 17.Rfc1 Nd5 18.a3


18...f5? [18...a6!] 19.b5 Kh8? 20.bxc6 Rxc6 21.Rxc6 bxc6 22.Qa6 Qf6 23.Qxa7 Nc3 24.Rb8 Nb5 25.Qa8 Kg8 26.a4 Nc7 27.Rxf8+ Qxf8 28.Qxc6 Ne8 29.a5 Nf6 30.a6 Qb8 31.Qb7 Qxb7 32.axb7 Nd7 33.Nc4 Nb8 34.g4 g6 35.gxf5 gxf5 36.Nd6 1-0

(18561) Casares Jr,Nick (1600) - Harris,Clarence (1469) [C33]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.27), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.d4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Qg4 8.h3 Qd7 9.Bxf4 Na5 10.Bd3 Be7 11.Kg1 0-0 12.Kh2 Nh5 13.Be3 b6 14.b4 Nc6 15.a3 Qd8 16.Bf2 Nf4 17.Bc4 Bf6 18.Rf1 Re8 19.Kh1 Ne7 20.Bg3 Nh5 21.Bh2 Be6 22.d5 Bd7 23.e5 dxe5 24.Nxe5 g6 25.g4 Bxe5 26.Bxe5 Ng7 27.Qd2 Kh8 28.Bxg7+ Kxg7 29.Qd4+ f6 30.Qxf6+ Kh6 31.g5+ 1-0

(18562) Newey,Richard (1600) - Roberts,Joseph [C51]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.28), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 d6 7.Qb3 Nh6 8.Bxh6 0-0 9.Be3 Na5 10.Qa4 b6 11.Nbd2 c6 12.Qc2 Kh8 13.dxe5 Nxc4 14.Nxc4 b5 15.Nxd6 Bg4 16.Rd1 Qc7 17.Qb3 f5 18.h3 Bxf3 19.gxf3 h6 20.Rg1 Bxd6 21.exd6 Qd7 22.Bd4 Rg8 23.e5 f4 24.e6 Rae8 25.Rg6 Kh7 26.Qc2 Kh8 27.Rxh6# 1-0

(18563) Dubensky,Walter - Chan,John (1560) [C02]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.29), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 h6 4.Nf3 a6 5.c4 c6 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Nc3 Bd7 8.Bd2 Nc6 9.Bd3 b5 10.a3 g5 11.Qc2 Rc8 12.a4 Nb4 13.Qb1 Nxd3+ 14.Qxd3 b4 15.Ne2 a5 16.0-0 Ne7 17.Ng3 Ng8 18.b3 Be7 19.Rac1 Rxc1 20.Rxc1 h5 21.h3 h4 22.Nf1 Nh6 23.N1h2 Kf8 24.Qa6 Kg7 25.Qa7 Nf5 26.Ng4 Be8 27.Rc7 Kg6 28.Qxa5 Qb8 29.Ra7 Bc6 30.g3 hxg3 31.fxg3 Rxh3 32.Be1 Rh8 33.Nf2 Qf8 34.Nd3 Qh6 35.Nf2 g4 36.Bd2 Qh5 37.Nh4+ Nxh4 38.Kf1 Nf5 39.Bxb4 Nxg3+ 40.Ke1 Bxb4+ 41.Qxb4 Qf5 42.Qc3 Rh2 43.Qxg3 Qb1+ 44.Nd1 Qe4+ 45.Ne3 Qb1+ 46.Nd1 Rh1+ 47.Kf2 Qxd1 48.a5 Qf1+ 49.Ke3 Rh3 0-1

(18564) Morgan,Jerry (1491) - Yun,Andrew (1780) [B21]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.31), 19.02.2019

1.f4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.e4 g6 4.Be2 Bg7 5.0-0 e6 6.c3 Nge7 7.Kh1 d5 8.e5 d4 9.cxd4 Nxd4 10.Nc3 0-0 11.Nxd4 cxd4 12.Nb5 d3 13.Bg4 b6 14.Nd6 Bd7 15.Qf3 a6 16.b3 Bc6 17.Qh3 Qd7 18.Ba3 Rfd8 19.Rac1 Nc8 20.Rc3 Bf8


21.Nxf7 Kxf7 22.Qxh7+ Bg7 [At least after 22...Ke8 the computer doesn't announce mate (in 12), but it's pretty dang bad: 23.Qxg6+ (any queen move, really, but this is best) 23...Qf7 24.Qg5 (even better than 24.Qxf7+ Kxf7 25.Bxf8 , if that's possible) ] 23.f5 exf5 24.Bxf5 Bxg2+ 25.Kxg2 Qd5+ now it's faster 26.Be4+ 1-0

(18565) Cunningham,Charles (1414) - Matz,James I (1601) [B20]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.34), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 g6 3.Qf3 e6 4.Qc3 Nf6 5.d3 Bg7 6.Qb3 0-0 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Bf4 d5 9.exd5 exd5 10.Bb5 Re8+ 11.Kd1 Bg4 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.d4 cxd4 14.Kc1 Ne4 15.Nxd4 Bxd4 16.f3 scores become nonsensical about now... 0-1 33 or so. 0-1

(18566) Agdamag,Samuel Za (1506) - Soffer,Aaron (1260) [A10]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.36), 19.02.2019

1.Nf3 Nc6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.b3 Nf6 5.e3 Bd6 6.Bg2 e5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bb2 Re8 10.Na3 Ndb4 11.d4 Bf5 12.Ne1 e4 13.Nc4 Nd3 14.Nxd3 exd3 15.a3 Rb8 16.Re1 Ne7?? 17.e4 Bg6 18.e5 Nf5 19.exd6 Nxd6 20.Ne5 Bf5 21.Nxd3 b6 22.Ne5 Bd7 23.Rc1 Qg5 24.Nxd7 Rbd8 25.Bc6 Re7 26.Rxe7 Qxe7 27.Ne5 f6 28.Nd3 Kh8 29.Qh5 g6 30.Qg4 Nf7 31.Re1 Qf8 32.d5 Nh6 33.Qe6 Rd6 34.Qh3 Rd8 35.Nf4 1-0

(18567) Starr,Albert Mart (1500) - Zeller,William Patrick [B10]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.37), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Be2 Bf5 5.0-0 Nf6 6.d3 e6 7.Bg5 Bd6 8.g3 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.c3 Nc6 11.Nbd2 0-0-0 12.b4 g5 13.b5 Ne5 14.Nd4 Bh3 15.Re1 h5 16.c4 Ng4 17.N4f3 Bc5 18.d4 Bxd4 19.Nxd4 Qxf2+ 0-1

(18568) Thibault,William (1052) - Baer,Michael A (1488) [C31]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.38), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 [2...exf4 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxe4 5.Nxe4] 3.Nc3?! [3.exd5 e4 (3...exf4; 3...c6!?) ] 3...dxe4 [3...Nf6 has been played 27 times, whereupon thre are over 6000 games. (Transposition to the Vienna Game, or Gambit, or whatever it's called); 3...exf4!?] 4.Nxe4 [I like 4.fxe5 , if only because, after 4...Qh4+ 5.g3 , Black can't play ...Qxe4+ and win the rook!] 4...exf4 5.Nf3 Transposed into a suspect line against the old "Modern" Defense (see 2...exf4 above) 5...Be7?! [5...Bf5; 5...Nf6] 6.d4 Nf6 7.Nxf6+ Bxf6 8.Qe2+ Be7 9.Bxf4 0-0 10.0-0-0+/= Nd7?


[10...Be6; 10...Bd6] 11.g4? Yes, opposite sides castling. No, no "hook" (a pawn on h6 for example). But it misses something a whole lot better: [11.Bxc7!+- Damned computers!] 11...Nf6 [11...Nb6] 12.Ne5 Nd5 13.Qd2?? [13.Bd2] 13...Nxf4 14.Kb1 [14.Qxf4?? Bg5] 14...Ng6 15.Bc4 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Qxd2 17.Rxd2 Bxg4 18.Re1 Rad8 0-1

(18569) Otterbach,Renate (1281) - Reyes,Victor Hugo [B90]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.39), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 a6 7.a4 e5 8.Nb3 Be7 9.Qd2 0-0 10.Bc4 Be6 11.Bd5 Rc8 12.0-0 Ng4 13.Rfe1 Nxe3 14.Rxe3 Bg5 15.Bxe6 fxe6 16.Rd1 Bxe3 17.fxe3 Qf6 18.Nc1 Rc7 19.Nd3 Rcf7 20.h3 Qg5 21.Kh2 h5 22.Rg1 h4 23.g3 Nd4 24.gxh4 Qxg1+? [24...Nf3+ 25.Kh1 Qxg1#] 25.Kxg1 Nf3+ 0-1

(18570) Cendejas,Jon (952) - Capdeville,Barry (1219) [C41]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.40), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d6 4.h3 Be7 5.Bc4 0-0 6.d3 Re8 7.Be3 Nbd7 8.d4 exd4 9.Qxd4 Nf8 10.0-0-0 Ne6 11.Qd2 c6 12.a3 b5 13.Ba2 a5 14.Ng5 Nxg5 15.Bxg5 b4 16.Nb1 Nxe4 17.Bxe7 Rxe7 18.Qd4 c5 19.Qd5 Raa7 20.Rhf1 Bb7 21.Qb3 a4 22.Qd3 Ba6 23.Bc4 Bxc4 24.Qxc4 b3 25.cxb3 axb3 26.Qxb3 Rab7 27.Qc2 d5 28.Nc3 Nxc3 29.Qxc3 d4 30.Qxc5?? Rec7 31.Qxc7 Rxc7+ 32.Kb1 d3 33.Rfe1 g6 34.Rd2 Rc2 0-1

(18571) James,Charles (1419) - Soffer,Josiah (799) [D07]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.41), 19.02.2019

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6?! 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.e4 [4.Nf3] 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 [5.e5!?] 5...Nc6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Be3 e6 8.Be2 Bb4 9.0-0 0-0 10.Rc1 Re8 11.Qc2 Bd6?? 12.e5 Bxe5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe2 15.Nxe2 Qd6 16.f4 Rad8 17.Rcd1 Nd5 18.Bc5 Qa6 19.a3 f6 20.Nd3 Qc6 21.b4 Qd7 22.Nc3 b6 23.Bf2 Re7 24.Nxd5 Qxd5 25.Ne5 Qa8 26.Rxd8+ Qxd8 27.Nc6 Qd7 28.Rd1 Qe8 29.Rd8 Kh8 30.Rxe8+ Rxe8 31.Nxa7 Ra8 32.Qxc7 h5 33.Nb5 Rxa3 34.Qd8+ 1-0

(18572) Mayer,Carson - Payne,William (1171) [B76]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.43), 19.02.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Re8 9.0-0-0 a6 10.Bc4 b5 11.Bd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Bd7 13.Qc3 a5 14.Nc7 b4 15.Qc4 Qc8 16.Rhf1 Na6 17.f4 Nxc7 18.f5 Qb7 19.fxg6 Rf8 20.Nf5 Bxf5 21.Rxf5 hxg6 22.Rf3 Ne6 23.Rdf1 Rac8 24.Qe2 Qxe4 25.Qf2 Nd4 26.Rd1 Rxc2+ 27.Kb1 Rxf2+ 28.Ka1 Nxf3 [28...Nc2+ 29.Kb1 Na3+ 30.Ka1 Qb1+ 31.Rxb1 Nc2#] 29.gxf3 Bxb2# 0-1

(18573) Sullivan,George (958) - Buchner,Karl [C01]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.44), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.f3 Nxe4 6.fxe4 Qh4+ 7.g3 Qxe4+ 8.Ne2 Qxh1+ 9.Kd2 Qxd1+ 10.Kxd1 Nc6 11.c3 b6 12.Be3 Ba6 13.Nf4 g6 14.Nd2 Bh6 15.Ne4 0-0 16.Nf6+ Kg7 17.Ng4 g5 18.Nh3 Kg6 19.Kc2 f6 20.Re1 Rae8 21.Bf2 Bg7 22.Ng1 h5 23.Ne3 e5 24.Nd5 Rc8 25.Nf3 Bc4 26.b3 Bxd5 0-1

(18574) Abdi,Mehron Edwar (1069) - Ahrens,Richard [C41]
Mechanics' Winter TNM; G/2 d5 San Francisco (7.47), 19.02.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 [3.d4] 3...Be7 [I always had it in the back of my memory that 3...Be6 was the move, but the text has been far more popular.] 4.0-0 [4.d4!] 4...a6 [4...Nf6] 5.d4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Nf6 7.Ng5 Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.Nxe6 Nc6 10.Qd3 Rg8 11.Nxd8 Rxd8 12.Nc3 Ne5 13.Qd4 c5 14.Qa4+ Nfd7 15.Bf4 Ng6 16.Bg3 Rf8 17.Rad1 Kf7 18.Bxd6 Nb6 19.Qb3+ c4 20.Qxb6 Bxd6 21.Rxd6 Rde8 22.Qxb7+ Kg8 23.Rd7 Re7 24.Rxe7 Nxe7 25.Qxe7 h6 26.Rd1 1-0


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