Played sometimes with beautiful artistic pieces on fantastic boards. Sometimes played with stones and bottle caps on a board scratched in the dirt.
Having been invited by Sunil Weearmantry, and his son, GM Hikaru Nakamura; John Brezina was off to Sunrise, Florida this month. Where he attended the local Mayor's Chess Challenge. Quoting Mr. Brezina, "Sunil and Robert McLellan, both with the National Scholastic Chess Foundation, have put together a great community chess outreach program down there. I had a great time helping teach a little and playing some blitz with some of their stronger kids."
Interest in chess is definitely on the rise.
Are you really going to play that move :-)
Check out the Sunrise Chess Center here: https://www.sunrisechesscenter.org/index.php And, of course, Mr. Brezina - "amateur photographer extraordinaire"- took some great pictures while he was there.
Maybe a mascot would be a good idea for the DCC,. OK, maybe not ;-)
The growth of scholastic chess all across the United States is good sign that interest in chess is also growing. It is heartening to me that parents of chess playing children recognize the benefits of playing this ancient game. Played sometimes with beautiful artistic pieces on fantastic boards. Sometimes played with stones and bottle caps on a board scratched in the dirt. With either, chess captures the imagination of children and adults alike.
Including the heading photo, chess inspired art is on display at the Sunrise Chess Center,
Before getting to who won what this month, some advise from one of the greatest players of all time. An interviewer asks, "Bobby, how does a player do this? Get better while all other players are standing still?" Fischer instantly replied, "Simple. First, learn the chess openings, really learn the ones you play for White and Black. Second, keep the pressure on them every second–they all crack. No exception, play every game to the end, never give up." I like how he starts with the word, Simple :-)
"When you play Bobby, it is not a question if you win or lose. It is a question if you survive." - Boris Spassky. "Many chess players were surprised when after the game, Fischer quietly explained: 'I had already analyzed this possibility' in a position which I thought was not possible to foresee from the opening" - Mikhail Tal. "I see my own style as being a symbiosis of the styles of Alekhine, Tal, and Fischer." - Garry Kasparov.
Bobby Fischer, as we all would like to remember him.
In the Open section Richard Shtivelband, knowing he would be attending a Halloween party, had requested a last round bye in accordance with DCC policy, and still finished in clear 1st place with a 4.5 point score. 101 dollars buys a lot of Halloween candy :-) (see diagram #4 and #5 below)
NM Richard Shtivelband at the board on his way to winning against NM Brian Wall in round 2.
The big story of the Open section was Vedanth Sampath. Rated 1713, but fearlessly running with the big dogs, he started off with a draw against the real strong, Kevin Seidler. Then drew against Mark Krowczyk, who we all know is no slouch. In Round 3 he is paired against 2110 rated Neil Bhavikatti and draws. In round 4, Vedanth wins against Ricardo Bogaert. Mr. Bogaert's rating has slipped a little, but he is a strong experienced player who is not easy to beat. (diagram #2 and #3)
Mark Krowczyk with the White pieces against Vedanth Sampath.
This fine performance placed Vedanth on board 1 for the last round against who else but Brian Wall. I think the entire club was hoping the youngster would also win or draw against the old veteran, but NM Wall was having none of that. I asked Vedanth how the game went. He said it was torture. Over the board, Mr. Wall is not known for kindness or mercy when his rating points are on the line. Clear 2nd place earned 61 dollars for the big Meanie :-) (diagram #6 and #11)
In the foreground, NM Brian Wall is playing White against Vedanth Sampath. Joel Senger has Black against Kevin Seidler.
I am glad to see Joel Senger rising off his rating floor. Getting his game back here at the Denver Chess Club. Mr. Senger took clear 3rd place with a nice last round upset win over Kevin Seidler to finish with 3.5 points and win 40 dollars. Vedanth easily won the 20 dollar Upset prize. Even with draws only counting for half the rating difference, his combined upset total was an astounding 610 points.
Ben Gurka recording his move against Alexs Bashtavenko.
Who do you suppose won the U1900 section? You may be thinking, surely Ben Gurka could not have finished in clear 1st place again. Wrong. At least he was held to a draw in the last round by, new to the DCC, Alexs Bashtavenko. Mr. Gurka said he was forced to make a perpetual to avoid losing. So that's encouraging; that he can sometimes get into a difficult position. Ben won 94 dollars with his 4.5 point score taking clear 1st place.
Rob Cernich recording his move and improving his game
I'm pleased to announce that I, along with Alex Blangy, share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize and we each win 46 dollars and 50 cents. Would it break the bank for the DCC to round these prizes up to the nearest dollar? :-) The 20 dollar U1900 Upset prize was won by Rob Cernich, whose game is definitely improving. He won against the higher rated Norbert Martinez in the last round. I know from personnel experience that Mr. Martinez does not lose easy. All of our games from back in the day were tooth and claw. With most of them going Norbert's way. So it is good to see him playing at the DCC. Maybe I can even the score :-) (diagram #9)
In the U1500 section, I was glad to see a long time DCC player, George Peschke, share the combined 1st and 2nd place prize of 150 dollars with Robert Corboy. Mr. Peschke lost his round 1 game against Mark Fischer then won 4 straight. Mr. Corboy finished in clear 1st place last month and had 4 points after 4 rounds this month, but did not play the last round. We would like all the players to play all the rounds, but of course that is not always possible when the games are once a week. Work, family, and life sometimes gets in the way of our chess playing.
George Peschke in the blue hat is playing Tyler Bowling. In the background, Mark Fischer has the White pieces against Paul Kullback.
Paul Kullback, another long time DCC player, took the 37 dollar 3rd place prize with 3.5 points. Giving up a draw to the lower rated Archer Murane in round 1, and losing to new to the DCC, Tyler Bowling, in round 3. Young Archer is becoming know for his Upset games. He wins the 20 dollar prize in this section for his round 3 win against Coleman Hoyt. A 560 point rating difference upset. Another young player, Abhinav Krishna, also had a nice upset win. He won against the much higher rated Vyacheslav Pupko. (diagram #1 and #10)
Alayne Wilinsky is playing Black against David Pupko in the foreground. Abhinav Krishna has white against Vyacheslav Pupko on the other board.
Congratulations to all the prize winners and thanks to all the players who win, lose, and draw at the DCC on Tuesday nights.
Here are a few diagrams and game links from this month's tournament:.
1) Abhinav Krishna vs. Vyacheslav Pupko.
Round 5. White had played 15. Bc4xf7+ and Black replied ... Kxf7. Find the sweet move that the young Abhinav plays now. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17955
2) Vedanth Sampath vs, Kevin Seidler
. Round 1, In this position White played 33. Nc6, and the game was soon drawn. Vedanth noticed too late that 33. Nc4 would have won the Black pawn on a5, and a win for White would have been likely against the much higher rated player. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17853
4) Richard Shtivelband vs. Kevin Seidler.
Round 4. Black has just played 27... Bd8-b6 probably expecting a trade of Bishops. What did Mr. Seidler overlook? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17939
Observing Mr. Shtivelband's excellent technique over the remainder of the game is educational. Saying "just a matter of technique" is easy, but not so easy to actually do.
6) Neil Bhavikatti vs. Brian Wall.
Round 4. After 28... Rd8-a8 Neil, maybe looking to win the d4 pawn, played 29. Nb3. Overlooking...? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17924
7) Walter Lowe vs. Ken Doykos.
Round 3. After 63. Qf6-e6 White has escaped a long string of Queen checks. After 63... Qh1 how does Mr. Lowe promotes his h7 pawn quickly? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17957
8) Todd Walker vs. Walter Lowe.
Round 4. This had been a well played game by both players and all results are still possible for both players. Minor piece endings are always difficult. My rule is to always keep a Rook on the board :-) After 37... Ne3-c4 Mr.Walker replied 38. Nd3-c5 allowing ...? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17956
9) J.C. MacNeil vs. Ethan London.
Round 4. In this position I played 41. axb7 Seeing that i would trade off the Rooks and have a winning pawn endgame. Do you see the much better move that Todd Walker showed me after the game? My move was OK but I would rather have played Mr. Walker's move. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17934
10) Abhinav Krishna vs. Jonathon Martin.
Round 4. We all learn that moving the f pawn early in the opening can lead to problems. In this position, Abhinav found the best move. Can you? :-) https://denverchess.com/games/view/17933
11) Brian Wall vs. Joel Senger.
Round 3. A slightly more difficult mate to find than in the previous diagram. Black has just played 27... Rd8-g8, Mate in 2. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17890
Thanks again to all,