A Star-Studded Rapid at the Mechanics Institute

The legendary Mechanics Institute Chess Room wrote another chapter in its august history last night with a star-studded Wednesday Night Rapid Event. The tournament  was stocked with top-flight talent in town for the 2019 Pro Chess League Finals, taking place this weekend in San Francisco, and the locals came out in force to welcome them. 37 titled players – 13 GMs, 9 IMs, 5 FMs, 7 NMs, 1 WGM, 1 WIM, and 1 WFM – made up over 75% of the field of 48. Among the top players were former US Champions GMs Fabiano Caruana, Sam Shankland, and Patrick Wolff, along with dozens of other elite talents. Mechanics regulars like IM Elliott Winslow and FM Kyron Griffin upheld the local honor. The event was directed by Chess Room Director Abel Talamantez with assistance from Judit Sztaray.   After five rounds of play, there was a three-way tie for first place between Caruana, GM Jon Ludvig Hammer, and GM Georg Meier at 4.5/5. Four players – GMs Vinay Bhat, Dimitrij Kollars, Zviad Izoria, and Robert Hess – finshed a half-point behind at 4.0/5. The event was livestreamed on Twitch, and the top ten boards were broadcast as well via the club’s DGT boards. Here are some of the more interesting games. Fresh off of his triumphant return to tournament chess at the Denver Open, IM and chess.com co-founder Danny Rensch was back at the board in San Francisco. This slugfest against WIM Inna Agrest isn't perfect, but it sure is fun!
[pgn]

[Event "Mechanics' Institute Rapid"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.05.02"]
[Round "4.10"]
[White "Agrest, Inna"]
[Black "Rensch, Daniel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B96"]
[WhiteElo "2278"]
[BlackElo "2489"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2019.05.02"]
[EventType "rapid"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Nc6 8. Nxc6
bxc6 9. e5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. fxg5 Nd5 12. Ne4 dxe5 13. Qh5 Be7 14. O-O-O Rb8
15. Bf2 Qa5 16. g6 Qxa2 17. Qxe5 O-O 18. Qxb8 f5 19. g7 Rd8 20. Bb6 Qa1+ 21.
Kd2 Nxb6+ 22. Bd3 Qxb2 23. Qc7 Qb4+ 24. Ke2 fxe4 25. Rb1 exd3+ 26. cxd3 Qg4+
27. Kf1 Qf5+ 28. Ke1 Nd5 29. Qg3 Nf4 30. Rf1 Qe5+ 31. Kf2 Bc5+ 0-1

[/pgn]
Pro Chess League Commish and IM Greg Shahade talked some trash before his game with GM Jon Ludvig Hammer: https://twitter.com/PROChessLeague/status/1124400160690192384 ...but Hammer dropped the hammer on  Shahade, starting his clock while Shahade was on-camera, and then defeating him. Was it because of the lost time on the clock? Only Twitter can decide that. https://twitter.com/GregShahade/status/1124413905340469248
[pgn]

[Event "Mechanics' Institute Rapid"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.05.02"]
[Round "3.5"]
[White "Shahade, Greg"]
[Black "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A13"]
[WhiteElo "2540"]
[BlackElo "2686"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2019.05.02"]
[EventType "rapid"]

1. c4 e6 2. b3 d5 3. Bb2 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. g3 e5 6. d3 Bc5 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O O-O
9. Nbd2 h6 10. Ne1 a5 11. Nc2 Bg4 12. Ba3 Bxa3 13. Nxa3 Qd7 14. Nc2 Rfe8 15.
Re1 Bh3 16. Bf3 Rad8 17. a3 b6 18. b4 h5 19. bxa5 Nxa5 20. Nb4 Be6 21. Rb1 c5
22. Nc2 Qc7 23. Nb3 Nc6 24. Nd2 h4 25. Qc1 Bf5 26. Qb2 Rb8 27. Ne4 Nxe4 28.
dxe4 Be6 29. Rec1 Na5 30. gxh4 Nxc4 31. Qb5 Nd2 32. Rb2 Bc4 33. Qa4 Ra8 34.
Qxe8+ Rxe8 35. Bg4 Be6 0-1

[/pgn]
It was Caruana against his second Cristian Chirila in this round three matchup.
[pgn]

[Event "Mechanics' Institute Rapid"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.05.02"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Chirila, Ioan Cristian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B33"]
[WhiteElo "2891"]
[BlackElo "2664"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2019.05.02"]
[EventType "rapid"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 5. Nb3 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6 7. Qe2 Bb4 8.
Bd2 O-O 9. a3 Bxc3 10. Bxc3 e5 11. O-O-O a5 12. g4 a4 13. Nd2 d5 14. exd5 Nxd5
15. Nc4 Nxc3 16. Nxb6 Nxe2+ 17. Bxe2 Ra5 18. c3 Be6 19. Rd6 e4 20. h4 Re8 21.
Rhd1 h6 22. Rg1 g5 23. hxg5 hxg5 24. Kd2 Kg7 25. Rg3 Kf6 26. Ke3 Ke7 27. Rd1
Kf6 28. Bc4 Ne5 29. Be2 Nd3 30. c4 Nxb2 31. Rb1 Nd3 32. Bxd3 exd3 33. Kxd3 Rd8+
34. Kc3 Kg6 35. Rb4 Rd1 36. Nxa4 Rc1+ 37. Kd4 Bxc4 38. Rc3 Rxc3 39. Nxc3 Be6
40. a4 Bxg4 41. Rxb7 Be6 42. Rb5 Ra7 43. a5 g4 44. Ne4 Rd7+ 45. Kc3 Ra7 46. Kb4
f5 47. Nc5 Bd5 48. Nd3 Be4 49. Nf4+ Kg5 50. Ne6+ Kh4 51. Nc5 g3 52. fxg3+ Kxg3
53. Rb8 Kf4 54. a6 Bf3 55. Re8 Kg3 56. Kb5 f4 57. Kb6 Rg7 58. a7 Rg6+ 59. Ka5
Rg7 60. Kb6 Rg6+ 61. Ne6 Ba8 62. Kc5 f3 63. Rxa8 Rxe6 64. Rg8+ 1-0

[/pgn]
Caruana and Hammer were the only players with perfect scores after four rounds, but neither could take the full point in their final round game.
[pgn]

[Event "Mechanics' Institute Rapid"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.05.02"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2891"]
[BlackElo "2686"]
[PlyCount "166"]
[EventDate "2019.05.02"]
[EventType "rapid"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. O-O Nd7 7. Nbd2 O-O 8.
Nc4 Re8 9. Bg5 f6 10. Be3 Bxe3 11. Nxe3 Nf8 12. Kh1 Ng6 13. Ng1 Be6 14. Ne2 Qd7
15. Qd2 c5 16. b3 b6 17. a4 Rad8 18. f3 Kh8 19. Rf2 Kg8 20. Qc3 Kh8 21. Raf1
Kg8 22. f4 exf4 23. Nxf4 Nxf4 24. Rxf4 Qd4 25. Qe1 a6 26. Qg3 Qe5 27. h3 b5 28.
axb5 axb5 29. Ng4 Bxg4 30. Qxg4 c4 31. Rxf6 cxd3 32. cxd3 Rxd3 33. R6f5 Qe7 34.
e5 h6 35. Qg6 Re3 36. b4 Re2 37. Rh5 Qe6 38. Rf6 Qe7 39. Rff5 Qe6 40. Qg3 Kh7
41. Rfg5 Qd7 42. Rxg7+ Qxg7 43. Qd3+ Qg6 44. Qxe2 Qb1+ 45. Kh2 Qxb4 46. Qd3+
Kg7 47. Rf5 Qe7 48. Qxb5 Rf8 49. Rh5 Qf7 50. Rh4 Qe6 51. Rg4+ Kh7 52. Qd3+ Qf5
53. Qe3 Re8 54. Re4 Re6 55. Qd4 h5 56. Re3 Kh6 57. Kg1 Qg5 58. Re2 Qf5 59. Qd2+
Qg5 60. Qc3 Qg7 61. Re4 Qe7 62. h4 Qg7 63. Qe3+ Kh7 64. Qe2 Kh6 65. Qd2+ Kh7
66. Qd3 Kh6 67. Qd4 Qe7 68. Qe3+ Kh7 69. Qd3 Kh6 70. Qd2+ Kh7 71. Qe2 Kh6 72.
Qf3 Qg7 73. Qf5 Qg6 74. Qf4+ Kh7 75. Rd4 Re7 76. Rc4 Qe6 77. Qe4+ Kg7 78. Rc6
Qxe5 79. Qg6+ Kh8 80. Qh6+ Kg8 81. Rg6+ Kf7 82. Qh7+ Ke8 83. Qg8+ Kd7 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Fantastic article! Great pictures! The Mechanic's Institute Chess room is my favorite place for Chess in the USA! I left my heart in San Francisco at the Mechanic's Institute Chess room decades ago... Armchair Warrior https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/

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