What other game has added so much to human culture?
Before getting to another terrific St. Louis chess report by John Brezina, let me call your attention to the ACE Chess Club. ACE is an acronym for All Children Equal, and is the idea of Griffin McConnell. Most of us know that Griffin is disabled due to several life saving brain surgeries that he has already had to endure in his young life. Undaunted, Griffin has become quite a chess player. He is a USCF rated Expert and last years Co-Colorado State Scholastic Champion.
Griffin McConnell thinking about his next move.
Griffin is supported in his ACE endeavor by his wonderful parents, Kevin and Kori, and by his younger siblings, Sullivan and Moira. Mainly for kids, the club will offer chess instruction geared to all levels of play. They will be meeting every other Wednesday at 4:30 PM at The Bridge Church at Bear Creek, 3101 S. Kipling St. Lakewood Co. 80227. For more details, contact Kevin McConnell at 303-501-0974. Please support this enterprise with your attendance, or in any way you can.
Due to his job with an airline company, John Brezina has the opportunity to frequently travel to St. Louis, attending world class chess events that the patron saint of U.S. chess, Mr. Rex Sinquefield, organizes. We get the benefit of Mr. Brezina's commentary about the events, as well as his great pictures. This time Mr. Brezina reports on the Chess 960 Champions Showdown. Where some of the best players in the world competed in the increasing popular Fischer Random chess variant.
Quoting Mr. Brezina:
"Kasparov returns to St. Louis for Fischer Random chess! The St. Louis Chess Club with Rex Sinquefield's leadership continues to bring top level tournaments to the U.S. This time ten players competed in the Chess 960 format, also called Fischer Random Chess."
GM Garry Kasparov vs. GM Veslin Topalov.
"Veselin Topalov had the distinct honor of playing Garry Kasparov who would best the 13th World Champion. Over four days the players would play five different drawn positions. All the games would be in a Rapid and Blitz format, entertaining spectators right at the first move. Each time the players would have about an hour to study the position on their own or with others and then again between games."
GM Maxine Vachier-Lagrave wondering who set up these pieces :-)
"What a great opportunity for the spectators to be up close and watch the best in the world analyze positions and lines with lightning speed. A rare treat indeed to see maestro Kasparov at work at the board with no loss of passion for the game. And to hear him analyze in Russian and English! Nakamura, So, Aronian, and MVL would also win their matches."
GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Peter Svidler about to have some fun with Chess 960.
"The Nakamura and Svidler match drew the most attention being so close and producing some great games. But Hikaru would best the first Chess 960 World Champion, Peter Svidler. All the players would later speak highly of the Chess 960 variant and showed interest in more forms of the tournament format.
And at the Chess Hall of Fame, an exhibition match between Leinier Dominguez and Levon Aronian. They would use a Purling London exhibition set with full "Chemical Warfare" gear which peacefully ended in a draw. A great side event which allows you to meet and talk with all the players."
The "Chemical Warfare" game in progress.
To better explain the "Chemical Warfare" game, here is the promotional blurb from the World Chess Hall of Fame:
"Meet and mingle with Grandmasters Levon Aronian and Leinier Domínguez before they battle it out with Chemical Warfare, an artistic chess set featured in our exhibition Painted Pieces: Art Chess from Purling London. The enclosed, illuminated chess set by artist Tony Raymonzrek requires players to wear gas masks and gloves while making moves, plus the added option of pressing a button to instantly eliminate your opponent by filling the chamber with smoke. Raymonzrek uses this unique installation to raise awareness of the competition for scarce resources and the potential to engage in extreme tactics...(Aronian and Dominquez resume info)"
GM Aronian being fitted with his gas mask.
This seems a little "Hollywood" to me, but I am not going to knock anything that the St. Louis Chess Club is doing to promote, and raise the level of interest in chess here in the United States. In the long history of this game, it is sure true that chess has inspired fantastic art. The heading photograph - taken by John Brezina - is an example of the incredible artistic diversity of boards and pieces. Chess is also expressed as art in paintings, sculpture, literature, and of course Hollywood movies. What other game has added so much to human culture?
See all of Mr. Brezina's terrific photographs from this special St. Louis event here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/6ffKQpFu6iGgmnfj6
Chess inspired art: "The Chess Players". A painting by Thomas Eakins.
In this month's DCC tournament I am most pleased to report that neither one of our resident National Masters took the 1st place prize in the Open section. I'm pleased because it means we have a competitive Open section. Where the winner is not a foregone conclusion.
Eamon Montgomery on his way to upsetting NM Brian Wall. The beautiful board is handmade by Andrew Eskenazi.
After his 1st round bye, Eamon Montgomery ended up with 3.5 points. Finishing with an awesome game in the last round against NM Brian Wall to take clear 1st place and win 113 dollars. NM Richard Shtivelband was held to a draw by Neil Bhavikatti in round 2. Then, somehow made a draw a rook down against Mr. Wall in round 3, to finish in clear 2nd place with 3 points, and win 68 dollars. (See diagrams #1 and #2 below)
The DCC president knows he has problems on the board.
Mr. Wall ended up in a 5-way tie for 3rd place. His 2.5 point score was matched by Kevin Seidler, Dean Clow, and the McConnell brothers, Griffin and Sullivan. They all share the 3rd place prize and each won McDonald's lunch money :-)
Vedanth Sampath, a youngster fearlessly playing in the Open section, won the Upset prize with his win in round 3 against Joel Senger, a long time Colorado player that we are glad to see back at the DCC. Vedanth wins 20 dollars for his 264 point rating difference win. Fairly new to the DCC is Emad Musa. Having played less than 20 USCF rated games, he is proving to be a strong player. As shown by his 224 point upset of Kevin Seidler in round 1.
Vedanth Sampath with the White pieces playing a great endgame against Joel Senger.
In the U1900 section, going into the last round, Jack Woehr (diagrams #4 thru #7) and Ben Gurka were leading with 3 points each, and they were paired for round 4. Mr. Woehr emerged with the win and took the clear 1st place prize of 104 dollars. Mr. Gurka went home for the summer, but is now back in school, I think at DU. We are glad to have him playing at the DCC. Also finishing with 3 points was Alexandr Bangly, Todd Walker, John Brezina, and Randolph Schine. They all share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of 105 dollars.
Long time Colorado player, Jack Woehr, playing new to Denver chess, Ben Gurka.
I am real happy to see Mr. Schine in this group. All of his points were upsets. Including big wins against the strong players, Steve Kovach and Phil Brown (diagram #8) and he drew both Mr. Walker and Mr. Brezina. Randolph has been playing chess at the DCC since the beginning. It is likely there would not be a Denver Chess Club if Mr. Schine had not stepped in as Treasurer when he did, back in the day. Through his efforts, the DCC regained a sound financial footing, and here we are today. Thriving.
Randolph Schine, in the orange shirt, playing Steve Kovach.
The actual 20 dollar U1900 Upset prize was won by Michael Crill for his big round 3 win against the real strong, Sulleiman Omar. (diagrams #12 and #13) Readers will recall that Mr. Omar took clear 1st in U1800 section of the Denver Open with a 5-0 score. Mr. Crill also upset me in round 1. I had a choice of a capture with one move or another. Naturally I played the wrong move, and Michael stomped my position into dust. I should mention I was also ripped apart by Yuriy Bogaychuk in round 3. In Yoda speak; humbling, this game is :-)
It cannot be denied that Robert Corboy owned the U1500 section. The combined rating point difference between his 1228 rating and his opponents was a whopping 633 points. Big upsets every single round for Mr. Corboy. A well earned 104 dollars for clear 1st place. Rob Cernich took clear 2nd place with 3 points and won 63 dollars. Mr. Cernich only lost to the section winner.
Robert Corboy playing White against Coleman Hoyt. In the background, Rob Cernich has Black against Mark Fischer.
The 3rd place prize of 42 dollars was shared by Coleman Hoyt, (diagrams #9 and #10) Andrew Eskenazi, and Alayne Wilinsky, who all ended up with 2.5 points. Ms. Wilinsky is a young lady fairly new to the DCC, and she is playing very well. She won her round 2 and 3 games against much higher rated opponents, and had the foresight to request a round 4 bye before the start of the 3rd round. In accordance with the DCC bye policy. The 20 dollar U1500 Upset prize was won by Stephen Goebel for his 420 point win over George Peschke. I know for a fact that Mr. Peschke is not easy to beat. Mr. Goebel played a great game. (diagram #11)
Players not pictured directly may, or may not, be in this photo somewhere :-)
You will notice some of of the photos in this report are a little blurry. That is because they were not taken by Mr. Brezina. I used my phone photo's to show prize winners and the lecture pictures below.
Congratulations to all the prize winners. Thanks to you all for making the DCC monthly tournaments competitive. Competition is good for the soul :-)
The DCC will be moving the starting time for our main tournament game from 7:30pm back to 7:00pm beginning in October. Online registration will be available. Otherwise, call/text or be at the club between 6:00 - 6:45pm. Several players have asked us to do this, and it will certainly be better for our school age players. The new DCC lecture time will be from 6:10 - 6:55pm and on the 1st and 2nd week of each month. Both Gunnar Andersen and Ricardo Bogaert gave excellent lectures at the DCC this month.
Mr. Andersen reviewed all his games from the Colorado Open from memory. No notes, no computer, no phone, no hesitation. Just astounding to me.
Ricardo Bogaert gave an informative, and at the same time, entertaining lecture on the Sicilian Kan defense.
Jack Woehr is offering best games prizes for the upcoming DCC October 2018 tournament.
I think this is an excellent idea an encourage all DCC players to submit a game and win the prize. Here are the details:
Dr. Harry J. Woehr
Memorial Excellence Prize
Denver Chess Club, October, 2018
In 1960, my late father, Dr. Harry J. Woehr, taught me chess. 55 years later, he congratulated me on becoming a Colorado State Senior Champion. In honor of the third anniversary of his passing, I am awarding in his memory four (4) October, 2018 Denver Chess Club Excellency prizes:
Best Game Open $25
Best Game Under 1900 $25
Best Game Under 1500 $25
Best Game by a Woman Player $29
Game must be played in one of rounds 1-4 of the October, 2018 Denver Chess Club Tuesday night tournament. This will allow judging and award at opening of 5th round.
Only one game may be submitted per player.
Jack Woehr is the sole and final judge awarding the prize, and is himself not eligible.
Game must be submitted and nominated as follows:
Game must be submitted by 10:00 AM October 26th, 2018.
Upload the game as normally to the denverchess.com games section.
Send a link to the game to firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading “Excellence October 2018”.
The Excellence I will be looking for is a game in which both players played well, but one player saw deeper. Miniatures will only be considered if the mistake made by the losing player is extraordinarily subtle. Swindles will only be considered if amazingly tricky and amusing. Thank you and good luck!
And now, of course, we have a few game diagrams... Let's start with an Eamon Montgomery win that features a sweet Queen sacrifice, and took clear 1st place in the Open section.
Next month we will feature Jack Woehr's " Best Game" prize winners.
1) Eamon Montgomery vs. Brian Wall. Round 4. Final position. Black resigns. The Rook cannot be taken and the Black King is helpless against the swarming White pieces. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17845
2) Brian Wall vs. Richard Shtivelband. Round 3. Another game that Mr. Wall was not happy with. He has been up a whole rook since the opening but misplays here and allows Mr. Shtivelband to hold the draw. Black has just played 28...Bg5-f6. White replied 29. Qe2. What does Black play now? Do you see the subtle computer move 29. that would probably have won the game for White? About which Brian says, "...which I did not consider for a second..." https://denverchess.com/games/view/17832 With computer notes: https://denverchess.com/games/view/17835
3) Brian Wall vs. Mark Krowczyk. Round 1. It 's only fair to include a game where Mr. Wall plays more like his self. 49. a2-a4 and uh-oh, Mr Pawn Wave Guy has got his pawns rolling. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17805 A great game with the minor pieces against the Rook.
The winner of the U1900 section, Jack Woehr, uploaded his games and I am quite happy to show them all.
4) Jack Woehr vs. Ben Gurka. Round 4. This is the game that took clear 1st place in the U1900 section. Mr. Woehr has played 18. f2-f4 do you see what he has in mind, anticipating 18...e5-e4? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17851 See Mr. Woehr's interesting comments about his games below, after the last diagram.
5) Bill O'Neil vs. jack Woehr. Round 3. Mr. O'Neil's last move was 13. c2-c3. After this and the move a3 earlier, Mr. Woehr considers White to be "strategically busted". Lacking any kind of positional understanding, I admit to being clueless as to why this is so, From here, Jack on to win without any trouble. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17850
6) Jack Woehr vs. Karthik Selva. Round 2. In time trouble, Black has just played 35... Qe6-e4. Do you see why this was a really bad move? What does White play? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17849 Burn your chess card if you didn't see White's move :-)
7) Roger Redmond vs. Jack Woehr. Round 1. Black's last move was 31... b5-b4 and White played 32. Nc3-b1. Mr. Redmond was outplayed from here on out in this interesting minor piece ending. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17848 Again, please see Mr. Woehr's comments below. He has an amusingly apt description for the remainder of this game.
8) Randolph Schine vs. Phil Brown. Round 1. Black has played 13... Nd7-f6. How does Mr. Schine win material in this position? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17826 Mr. Schine just kept winning material the whole game.
9) Robert Corboy vs. Coleman Hoyt. Round 4. This game determined the winner of the U1500 section. White has just played 15. h2-h3. Black was 2 ways to capture the pinned Knight on d4. One way probably wins the game and takes 1st place away from Mr. Corboy. The other way loses. Do you play ...exd4 or ...Qxd4? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17846
10) Coleman Hoyt vs. Joe Aragon. Round 3. Black's last move was 14... Bc8xg4 and White replied 15. Nc3-e4, leaving the Rd1 hanging. Mr. Aragon just took it, and Mr. Hoyt's next move wins the game. What was White's 16th move? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17837
11) Stephen Goebel vs. George Peschke. Round 4. Black has captured a pawn with 27... Qf7xf6. How would you continue as White? Mr. Goebel makes a nice attack. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17844
12) Michael Crill vs. Sulleiman Omar. Round 3. Blck's last move was 27... Ke7xd8, capturing the White Queen. Resulting in an unbalanced position. Mr Crill handles his pieces very well to overpower the Black Queen. This is a really great game to play over. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17834
13) Sulleiman Omar vs. Roger Redmond. Round 2. In this position, Black played 20... Qd8. Probably wanting to play 21.., Bg4 What did the DCC Vice President overlook? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17823
14) Meint Olthof vs. J.C. MacNeil. Round 2. I couldn't resist showing of my beautiful Knight outpost after 19... e6-e5. Seven moves later it springs into action and wins the game. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17840
Jack Woehr's comments about diagrams 4 thru 7.
#4. "18. f4 was a nutty sac, but it was easy to calculate that it gets 3 pawns for a piece and the Black king stuck in the center."
# 5. "I think Bird's Opening is a good choice for Bill O'Neil, but he has to study it more deeply. It's a narrow line with specific well know tactics. Bill wasted 2 moves in the opening and early middle game - a3 and c3 - and was strategically busted thereafter, if not objectively lost already."
#6. "Karthik Selva will go far. Very careful thinker, just got in time trouble"
#7. "(The) Redmond game was very good. Roger played well and only got his shoelaces tied together in the minor piece ending. His biggest problem throughout was lack of a plan." "...shoelaces tied together..." Now i know how to describe my games :-)