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Mechanics' Institute Chess Club wraps up summer marathon, Bernardo Smith Memorial coming Aug. 21-22

San Francisco expert James Jones at the MI chess room, Karpov and Kasparov photos over his shoulder.
San Francisco expert James Jones at the MI chess room, Karpov and Kasparov photos over his

The Mechanics Institute in San Francisco will conduct its Bernardo Smith Memorial Tournament Aug. 21 and 22 at 57 Post St.

According to MI director John Donaldson, Smith organized many of the early 20th-century cable matches between the Mechanics club and clubs in Los Angeles, Portland, and Chicago. Smith also directed the 1923 Western Chess Association championship, which evolved into the U.S. Open.

Expert Jorge Lopez, playing in his second tournament in 16 years, won the 60-player Summer Marathon held May 25-July 13.

1 Jorge Lopez 7-1
2 Hayk Manvelyan 6.5-1.5

Class A
1 Hovik Manvelyan 5.5-2.5

Class B
1-4 Uyanga Byambaa 4-4
1-4 Arthur Dembling
1-4 Max Chen
1-4 Jossy Chalissery

Class C
1-3 Tony Cole 3.5-4.5
1-3 Henry Mar 3.5-4.5
1-3 Michael Hilliard 3.5-4.5

Class D
1 David Rakonitz 3-5

Class E
1-3 Brunston Poon 2-6
1-3 Paul Blum 2-6
1-3 Carol Knopf 2-6

Expert James Jones notched a couple of wins during the MI Summer Marathon with enterprising Evans and Blackmar-Diemer gambits.

Clickable Javascript board:

1. e4 d5 2. d4

Maybe White will have to sacrifice a pawn, which should not dissuade him from playing more ambitiously than 2. exd5.

2. ... dxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. f3 exf3 5. Qxf3

Inviting Black to grab another pawn by 5…Qxd4, and then excitement follows 6. Be3 or 6. Nb5.

5. ... c6

So that Black might play …Bg4 without leaving the b7-pawn loose, or …Qxd4 without fear of Nb5.

6. Be3 Bg4 7. Qg3

7. Qf2 is usual, "overprotecting" the d4-pawn, after which bishop and queen are free to move while the other keeps watch over d4. Also, the f-file is open for the coordination of white major pieces.

7. ... e6 8. Nf3 Bd6 9. Ne5 h5

Black needn't worry about Nxg4 while the e5-knight is pinned, so the developing move 9…Nbd7 seems indicated for now. And in case of 9. ... Nbd7 10. h3 Bh5 11. Qxg7 Rg8 12. Qh6 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Bxe5, Black is well ahead.

10. Bd3 Qc7

10…Nbd7 is preferable here, too. Black should be sure about d7 as the right square for his queen knight, but the queen might be better played to b6.

11. h3 h4 12. Qf4 Bf5 13. Bxf5 exf5 14. O-O-O

Sensible development,  avoiding complications arising from 14. Qxf5 Nbd7 15. Nxd7 Bg3+.

14. ... g6 15. Rhe1

A pretty typical Blackmar-Diemer middlegame — White lost a pawn, but Black is down two rooks.

15. ... Nbd7 16. Bf2 O-O-O 17. Bxh4 Rde8

Black can effect a huge liquidation by 17. ... Nxe5 18. dxe5 Bxe5 19. Qxe5 Qxe5 20. Rxe5 Rxd1+ 21. Nxd1 Rxh4 22. Re7, where White retains his greater piece activity.

18. Bxf6 Nxf6 19. Qg5 Nh5

The active try 19. ... Ne4 20. Nxe4 fxe4 21. Rxe4 Rh5 runs afoul of 22. Qg4+, but 19…Re6 is solid.

20. g4 fxg4 21. hxg4 Ng7 22. Qf6

White is in the lead now, considering the threats to g7 and f7 plus the harmony of his position.

22. ... Bxe5 23. Rxe5

This rook is so active that Black ought to swap it.

23. ... Ne6

Providing another target for White's logical line-opening attacking move. The game is slipping away from Black.

24. d5! Nd8

Losing, but Black is hanging by a thread after 24. ... Qd8 25. Qf2 Qd6 26. Re4.

25. d6 Qd7 26. Re7 Rxe7 27. dxe7 1-0