Mechanics' Institute
Scholastic Chess Highlights
News & Updates --
In-Person, Live Scholastic Tournaments
Summer Schedule
Next Live Scholastic Tournaments
@ Mechanics' Institute

July 10, Saturday 10AM
August 14, Saturday 10AM

Registration links:
Online Registration is MANDATORY!
No onsite registration! Max Capacity: 30 players!

Tournament Format:
  • Four rounds: Win or lose you play all four games.
  • Time control: G/30;d5 - Game in 30 minutes with a five second delay.
  • Round times: Tournament starts at 10AM. Next rounds start as soon as all the games are finished in the previous round (aka rolling schedule.)
  • Awards: We have trophies, medals, and fun alternative choices (magnetic sets, scorebooks, analysis boards) for players.
Advanced Virtual Chess Camp
utilizing Zoom & ChessKid
June 21-25 - 12PM to 3PM
Advanced: Ideal for players with USCF 1000+ rating, or 1200+ rating. Players should know basic checkmating patterns, opening principles, and ideally, have experience with USCF-rated tournaments. Students will participate in analysis of master games, work on tactical patterns, learn opening theory, and have opportunities to play with friends. Advanced camps are in the afternoon: 12PM to 3PM.
Summer Online Classes
Don't forget to register - Starting NEXT WEEK
10-Week Summer Sessions
Fun weekly classes throughout the summer to keep learning and working towards goals.

  • All Girls Class with Coach Colin: Mondays 4-5PM -- Register HERE -- Almost Full!
  • Intermediate Class with Coach Andy: Thursdays 4-5PM -- Register HERE
  • Advanced Class with Coach Andy: Thursdays 5-6PM -- Register HERE
  • Tactics, Tactics, Tactics with Coach Andy for players rated 1000+ ( rating): Friday 4-5PM -- Register HERE

Not sure which class to choose? We are here to help! Email us at, and we'll direct you to the right class. Drop-in classes available anytime to gauge the style and level.
Understanding Chess Tournaments - Part 2

How to prepare for a tournament?
Preparing for a tournament can influence the outcome of the games. So naturally players and parents would want to pay attention to some of the few steps when it comes to preparing for any given tournament.

General preparations:
  • Sufficient sleep and a great breakfast or lunch is a good foundation for peak performance.
  • Know the time control and be mindful of it when you are playing.
  • Make sure to look up the number of rounds!
  • Do you have set round times or will the games start immediately after a round is completed? This is important to know.
  • A bathroom break right before the tournament starts is always a good idea!

Over-the-board (OTB) tournament preparation should include the following:
  • Make sure you know the address of the tournament venue and find out parking close.
  • Calculate how much time will it take you to get to the venue, and make sure to arrive 15-20 minutes before the first round to settle in.
  • Know if you need to bring sets, board, or a chess clock. Check ahead of time to see what the tournament organizers are providing at the event.

Online tournaments are slightly different than OTB tournaments, and thus need a few different preparations:
  • Make sure your laptop or desktop is charged and plugged in to an electricity source. A good old 'reboot' always helps clearing out some possible bugs.
  • Make sure you have your login account name and password to the platform the tournament is held on.
  • Locate the information on the exact place where you need to be on the online platform. Make sure you know if you have to hit the 'Join' button or if your game will need to be started manually or automatically.

To be continued - Part 3 - USCF Ratings
Online Tournament Schedule - June 2021
USCF Online rated tournaments -- on Saturday or Sunday @ 3PM

June 13: 8 games of G/5+2
June 19: 6 games of G/10+2
June 27: 6 games of G/15+2
For more information and to register:

Free practice tournaments - every day @ 4PM
To get more information on the tournaments, including links, please visit:
Tournament results & Featured Games
Weekend USCF Online Rated Tournaments

Many thanks to all the 57 players who came out on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31st, and played in our special online scholastic tournament.
Two sections were offered: Open section and under1300 section (based on ChessKid rating) and we awarded 23 awards!
Congratulations to all the players!
May 31, Monday: 6 games of G/15+5

June 6, Sunday: 4 games G/20+10

Game Analysis by Three-Time US Champion
GM Nick de Firmian

DarkBraveBagel (1758) - NeevGBayAreaChess (1647)
Live Chess

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.f3 Be7 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 a6 11.g4 Nd7 12.Be3 [12.Kb1! b5 13.h4] 12...b5 13.g5 g6? [13...b4 14.Na4 Qa5 15.b3 Bb7 with even chances in a sharp position. Both sides have serious attacking chances.] 14.h4! Ne5 15.Be2 Bb7 16.f4 Nc6?! [16...b4 17.Na4 Nd7 would disrupt the white attack a little more] 17.h5 b4 18.Na4 [Also very good is 18.Bc4! bxc3 19.Qh2 with a crushing attack] 18...a5 19.hxg6 hxg6 20.Bc4 Kg7
21.Bd4+?! [21.Rh7+! Kxh7 22.Qh2+ Kg7 23.Qh6+ Kg8 24.Rh1 would be mate next move] 21...e5 22.fxe5? [22.Rh7+!] 22...Bxg5 23.exd6+?

[23.Be3 Bxe3 24.Qxe3 Rh8 25.exd6 is still a huge advantage for White] 23...Kg8?? [a complete oversight. 23...Nxd4 just wins the white queen] 24.Rh8# DarkBraveBagel won by checkmate. Some dramatic turnarounds in this game. 1-0

MiniJollyCoconut (1193) - ValiyaI30055370 (524)
Live Chess

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 e5 [Normally 3...e6 is played to blunt the scope of the bishop on c4] 4.d3 Be7 5.0-0 [5.Ng5 Bxg5 6.Qh5 is a sharp option. Black can give back the piece with 6...g6 7. Qxg5 or play the risky 6...d5 7.Bxd5 Be7 8.Qxf7+ Kd7] 5...Nf6 6.Re1 0-0 7.Nc3 d6 8.h3 h6 9.Be3 [White needs a plan for the center. 9.Nd5 and planning to mobilized the c-pawn with 10. c3 would be reasonable.] 9...Be6! 10.Bxe6 fxe6
Black's game is now easier to play with the pawns controlling the center squares and the open f-file. 11.a3 Qc7 12.Rb1 Rab8 [12...d5! takes the initiative in the center] 13.b4! cxb4 [13...b6] 14.axb4 b6 15.b5 Na5 16.Na4 Rbc8 17.Rc1 [17.c4 would help on the c-file and the center] 17...d5! 18.exd5 exd5 19.d4?! e4 Black is very happy to get this move in. The e-pawn leads the charge for the black pieces. 20.Ng5? losing a piece [20.Nd2 would keep material equality, though Black would have a clear edge.] 20...hxg5 21.Bxg5 Nh7 22.Be3 Bd6 23.Qe2 Nc4 24.c3 Nxe3 25.Qxe3 Rf6 26.Qe2 Rcf8 27.Rf1 Qf7 28.Rc2 Rg6 29.g3 Rf6 30.Nb2
30...Bxg3! crashing through. There is no reasonable defense here. 31.Nd1 Bd6 32.Kh1 Rf3 33.Kg1 Qg6+ 34.Kh1 Rxh3# ValiyaI30055370 won by checkmate 0-1