Introduction: From The Skittles Room
Feature: GM Rohde Analyzes A Recent Game
Across The Table: Luka Glinsky
WGM Jennifer Shahade Visits the Marshall
Positional Chess Class by NM Tag Taghian
Chess Toons En Passant
Problem of the Week Editor's Note
From The Skittles Room
Welcome back dear readers to this edition of the Marshall Chess Club's bi-weekly newsletter The Spectator.
The month of June began with our popular Thursday night event, Juan Sena's Action Tournament on June 2nd with 27 entrants. GM Aleksandr Lenderman took clear first with a perfect 4/4 score and took home the $150 prize. There was a six-way tie for second place, with FM Marcus Ming Miyasaka, NM Oliver Chernin, NM Bryan Weisz, Mr. Kole Henry Moses, Aditya Das and Youn Sun Rojas all finishing with 3/4. Each player took home a prize of $30, except for Youn Sun Rojas who also won the Upset Prize and went home with $75.
Over the June 3rd-June 5th weekend we had our flagship monthly event, the Marshall Premier, with 61 players participating in two sections. Grandmasters Aleksandr Lenderman and Khamrakulov Djurabek both finished with 4.5/5 and took home $600 each, while NM Pedro Espinosa and William Safranek both finished with 3/4 and took home $100 each for winning the Under 2300 class prize. The Under 2000 section of the event had a clear first winner, Narayan Venkatesh, who earned $420 for his 4.5/5 finish, while Louis John Barry and Manish Kashyap both took home $150.50 for their 4/5 performances and Neal Thio Hong earned $131 for winning the class prize.
The Rated Beginner Open on June 5th had 22 players and a three-way tie for first, with Ziva Marcal, Ryan Hao and Rassul Khalizov all finishing with perfect 3/3 scores and taking home $66 each.
The Under 2000 Morning Action tournament is quickly growing in popularity, with the June 11th event featuring 14 players and a three-way tie for first with Gabriella Tamisi, Logan Freiman, and Kasper Hurst all finishing with 2.5/3 and taking home $39 each.
(Photo: Great Hall just before the start of Round 3 in the Sunday G/50 on 6/12/22.)
However, the Game 50 events continue to be some of our most popular tournaments on the calendar, with the June 12th edition of this event having 67 entrants in two sections! FM Justin Chen finished clear first in the Open section with a perfect score of 4/4 earning the $252 first place prize, while Aleksandr Gutnik was the clear second place finisher with 3.5 earning him a $168 prize. Rose Morden won the class prize in that section and took home $126. The Under 1600 section of the Game 50 event had a two-way tie for first place, with Leudy Rosario and Mr. Shiv Dubey both finishing with perfect 4/4 scores and taking home $110 each, while there was a three-way tie for second place between Michael Rubinov, Neil Gupta and Umar Mansurov who each got $22 for their efforts.
In terms of recent ratings gains this month, ten players have had their ratings improve by more than 100 points since the beginning of the month! Mr. Anthony Woo saw his rating increase by an astounding 218 points to a new all time high after playing in the Memorial Day Action, while Neil Gupta gained an incredible 215 rating points in the G/50.
Many others have also experienced huge ratings gains recently. To check out the full list, click here.
Finally, we hope to see some of you there on June 28th for the next casual chess and pizza social. The last one was very well attended and we look forward to this event growing into a tradition with continued participation and support from our members. There is no entry fee, no official pairings, just casual chess and good conversation over pizza.
— Greg Keener, Editor of the Spectator
Best Recent Game
Bryan Weisz vs. Justin Chen,
Marshall Chess Club Memorial Day Action
(Play through the game here.)
In the 3rd round of the MCC's Memorial Day Action event, Bryan Weisz upset Senior Master Justin Chen in a very impressive game. Bryan's early-middle-game knight sac opened the floodgates for the concentrated power of his bishops and rooks. In the event, Bryan went on to gain enough rating points to earn the coveted title of Master!
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 (3... dxe4 4. fxe4 e5 5. Nf3 exd4 6. Bc4 is the gambit line which most identifies the 3 f3 "fantasy" variation of the Caro. ) 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Be3
Although the position can be considered approximately even, the issue for Black is that there aren't good squares for the minor pieces to develop.
5... Qb6 Another idea might be 5... dxe4 6. fxe4 Nf6. This gives up a large portion of the center, but allows the g8 knight to comfortably develop. In contrast to Black playing simply 5 ... Nf6, when 6 e5 would be annoying. 5... e6 is another thought, with the intention of deploying the g8 knight to e7, although after 6. Qd2 Nd7 7. O-O-O then still ... Ng8-e7 should not be rushed due to giving White the option to play Be3-h6.
6. a3 dxe4 Although, 6... e6 seems fitting here because suddenly 7 Qd2 would allow 7 ... Qxb2. So Black can at least get in ... Ne7 without the hassle of White getting in Be3-h6.
7. fxe4 e5 7... Nf6 is a sturdier defense at this point. 8. Nf3 exd4 9. Nxd4 Qc7 It is unfortunately necessary to retreat.
10. Bc4 Nf6 10... Nd7 Looks similar, but since it avoids White getting a later e4-e5 with tempo, it provides much better resistance in case White tries a similar sacrifice.
11. Ndb5 A very strong move and it is important to seize the opportunity.
11... cxb5 12. Nxb5 Qc6 (12... Qxc4 13. Nd6+)
13. Nd6+ Ke7 14. e5 Rd8 Giving back the material. (14... Ng4 15. O-O with monstrous threats against f7 is a good illustration of Black's problems.
15. exf6+ Bxf6 16. Nxc8+ Rxc8 17. Bd5 Qa6 That Black's queen is tasked with the defense of the lowly b7 square is frustrating to the organization of a viable defense.
18. c4 Nd7 19. O-O Rc7 20. Qe2 Kf8 21. Rae1 Kg8 22. Bh6 This move unleashes a crushing attack, with all of White's long-distance pieces participating.
22... Qd6 23. Qe8+ Rxe8 24. Rxe8+ Nf8 Now if White captures on f8, that would simply lead to even material.
25... Qc5+ 26. Kh1 But now the threat is to liquidate via Rxf8+ and end up a piece ahead.
26... Rc8 27. Rxf7 Oops. One way or the other, Rxf8 is going to be checkmate.
27...Rxe8 28. Rxf8# 1-0 White wins by checkmate.
— GM Michael Rohde, Marshall Member and Former Club Champion (1990,1994,2012)
Across The Table: Luka Glinsky
When did you start playing chess and how did you learn?
For my 7th birthday, my parents bought me a chess set, and that’s when I sat down with my mom to learn the basic rules of the game. I played a little with my family in those first few years but really didn’t take to it until I was around 11 or 12. At that point, I joined a team of homeschooled students, (I was homeschooled myself) and started actually studying and going to scholastic competitions. I was very fortunate to have such dedicated parents who drove me all around the Tri-state area and beyond for tournaments, classes, lectures, etc. I had some exciting high water marks during that time, including drawing GM Alexander Shabalov in a simul, placing 9th in the 2006 National Junior High Championships (just a few places behind Ray Robson and Sam Shankland), and winning the U2000 section of the Liberty BellOpen earlier that same year. While I had to put my studying & competition on the back burner as college approached, I got to dabble again during my undergrad at Carnegie Mellon as an alternate on the university’s chess team. Once I graduated and moved to NYC, chess resurfaced as a way to pay the bills through teaching. I had a few private students, then taught with a company for a while, then for an elementary school, and then back to private teaching. Passing on knowledge and coaching has been a wonderful dimension to my journey with the game, and getting to teach students of all different ages, skill levels, and motivations has been a continuous learning experience for me. One day you’re introducing the game to a 5-year-old, another day you’re honing practical concepts with an adult student who plays recreationally on the weekends, and on another day you’re helping a competitive middle schooler book up on their opening repertoire before a big tournament. It’s a joy to find what ignites each person’s interest in the game and build out from there.
How long have you been a member of the club?
I think I’ve only been an official member of the club for a year or so, but like many others I dipped my toe in a number of the club’s tournaments over the years. For me, being a Marshall member is kind of like entering into a relationship— you want to be sure you’re ready to devote the time and care to it that it deserves, and that you’re offering up your best self. Of course, just like in a relationship, there will be plenty of times when you’re not in the best shape, and you still show up.
What's your favorite opening trap?
Admittedly, I’m not too well schooled in opening traps beyond some of the basics, but I always enjoy this Ruy Lopez miniature and hope to spring at least part of it on someone someday:
Any great game you've played at the Marshall you'd like to share?
I've had some really wonderful games at the Marshall, but one that I’ll remember is from 2018 against now-GM Abhimanyu Mishra. We played in a weekend FIDE tournament when he was just a National Master, and it was a pretty close game. After a laborious five hours at the board, we blitzed out a difficult endgame that could have gone either way. Ultimately, I misstepped and simply dropped a piece and resigned a few moves later, but it was an exciting journey up to that point. One day I’ll find that scoresheet…
What about yourself would you like other members to know, that we may not know! Any surprising facts?
Surprising and fun facts about me? Well I’m also an actor, writer, and filmmaker, and I recently wrote, co-produced, and co-starred in a single-shot feature film. I used to lead scotch tastings for work, and was part of the volunteer crew for the US Brig Niagara, a historic 19th-century wooden tall ship (now a sailing school vessel). As for a chess-related fun fact, I once won a fresh Maine lobster in a chess match! Turns out I was playing one of Portland’s premier lobster fishermen, and after we played three games he made good on the promised stakes of a “lobster dinner” by retrieving a live lobster from a crate off his boat, cooking it in the bar kitchen where we played, and handing it back to me in a bucket. Certainly the most unique prize I’ve ever won from a game.
— Luka Glinsky, Marshall Chess Club Member
WGM Jennifer Shahade Visits The Marshall
WGM Jennifer Shahade visited the club last night, Tuesday, June 14th for a book signing and discussion with our very own WIM Beatriz Marinello. Jennifer signed copies of her newly published book Chess Queens for members.
(Pictured: WGM Jennifer Shahade with copies of her new book, Chess Queens.)
A prominent figure in the chess world, Jennifer Shahade became the first female winner of the U.S. Junior Open, two-time United States Women's Champion and author of several books (Chess Bitch, Play Like a Girl and her latest Chess Queens). Her writing has appeared in the LA Times, The New York Times, Chess Life, New In Chess, and Games Magazine. Her first book, Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport was published in October 2005. Jennifer Shahade co-founded a chess non-profit called 9 Queens and is also the host of the monthly podcast Ladies Knight. She is a board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame, and directs the Women's Program at US Chess, which brings chess programming to thousands of girls all over the country.
The book signing was a hugely popular event with "standing room only" for the diverse crowd of members who attended. One member who I spoke with remarked about the crowd: "What was great was that the crowd was very diverse with some of the usual regulars at these events, but a lot more women and girls of all ages. From young girls to teens, to the legendary Dorothy Teasley, a member of the club since 1972."
I spoke with one board member who was in attendance who said simply "Jennifer was amazing. She has a great presence, and is an inspiring speaker."
One of the more thought provoking moments in the Question and Answer session was when our Club President, Sarathi Ray asked "Has your chess experience helped you as a poker player?" To which Jennifer said "Yes. Chess is becoming more like poker and poker is becoming more like chess... it's kind of crazy..." To find out what she means, stay tuned for a video replay of the event which will be posted here soon!
It is events like these that make the Marshall Chess Club such a special place, both enriching our members and adding value to our membership as a club. On behalf of our membership, The Spectator would like to thank WGM Jennifer Shahade for visiting our club, as well as the Marshall Chess Club's Board and WIM Beatriz Marinello in particular for making this spectacular event possible.
— Greg Keener, Editor of the Spectator
Chess News En Passant:
– Magnus Carlsen won the Norway Chess Tournament for a fourth time in a row after beating Veselin Topalov in Armageddon on Friday. The world champion would not have grabbed the title had Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated Teimour Radjabov in their classical game.
– Almost eight years ago, in 2014, it was with deep chagrin that we announced the demise of the decades-old chess column in the venerable New York Times. Its most recent upkeeper at the time was the New York Times journalist, Dylan Loeb McClain, who still writes about chess affairs for the paper. It is with pleasure that we can trumpet its resurrection at the hands of GM Daniel Naroditsky.
Problem of the Week
Alexander George, 1984
White to move and mate in 2.
I was always proud of this simple problem. One day, I was walking through an open-air market in Amsterdam and I came across a copy of Laszlo Polgar's Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games. Anyone who's encountered this book knows it's a real door stopper. But I bought it anyway. It contains problems with which Polgar trained his daughters. Leafing through it at home, I was gobsmacked to see that the above problem was included. I fantasized about the young Polgar sisters spending five seconds to solve it and its putting a little smile on their faces.
Solution to Loyd, 1868: Not 1.Bg2?, which allows Kb5. Rather, 1.Bd7+ followed by Bc6; and now all the pawns are dominated.
—Alexander George, Marshall Chess Club Member
As always, if you have any feedback, comments, or would like to submit an article please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy, and thanks for reading!
—Greg Keener, Editor of the Spectator
The Marshall Chess Club Address:23 West Tenth Street New York NY 10011 Contact:212.477.3716; email@example.com Hours:M-F 1pm-Midnight; S/Su 9am-Midnight