"There are kids all over the world right now looking at online chess lessons because they want to be like Tani, not Kasparov or Carlsen..."
Not being a sentimental type of guy, it is hard for me to label any chess news article heartwarming. But the nationwide story of an 8-year-old Nigerian refugee, Tanitoluwa Adewumi, (he goes by the nickname, "Tani") winning his division of the New York State Championship is exactly that; Heartwarming. Emotionally uplifting. The boy and his family had immigrated to America and were living in a New York City homeless shelter.
Quoting none other than Garry Kasparov from a March 22, 2019 Washington Post opinion article "... Despite his family’s conditions, Tani learned to play at a good chess program in an excellent Manhattan public school. His mother took the initiative of getting him into the school chess club..." and the boy took it from there. Again quoting Kasparov "... Tani had learned to play only a year earlier, while most of his rivals had been playing in tournaments for several years." The beauty of this is, as Kasparov says, "There are kids all over the world right now looking at online chess lessons because they want to be like Tani, not Kasparov or Carlsen..." Many national newspapers, as well as television news programs, highlighted this great chess story.
"...kids all over the world..."
In light of the ongoing political debates about immigration, I'd like to also include what Russian born Garry Kasparov had to say about America from the same Washington Post article. Quoting GM Kasparov; "This heart-warming tale is also a quintessentially American one." and "The United States is where the world’s talent comes to flourish. Since its inception, one of America’s greatest strengths has been its ability to attract and channel the energy of wave after wave of striving immigrants. It’s a machine that turns that vigor and diversity into economic growth." and " Talent is universal, but the opportunity is not, and talent cannot thrive in a vacuum." Tani's father, Kayode, told the New York Times, “The U.S. is a dream country.”
Immigrants coming to America at Ellis island in the early 1900's
The United States is the land of opportunity. The Statue of Liberty stands in New York harbor, welcoming all who come to the shores of America for the opportunity to better their lives. Make America Great Again?? America has never not been great. People from all over the world dream of coming to America. Maybe now more so than ever.
Under a bright blue sky, downtown Denver is a great vacation city for everyone planing to play in the 2019 Denver Open.
Before getting to who won what in this month's tournament, I'd like to encourage anyone and everyone reading this report to register to play in the 2019 Denver Open. IM Danny Rensch will be doing a 30 board simul and we have an all-star lineup already registered for the Championship section. It is a rare occurrence to have this many titled players playing at a tournament in Denver. It will be a golden opportunity for Colorado players to see live and in person professional chess players at work over the board. Attendance alone will be the determining factor to decide if we can make the Denver Open special again next year. Register for the Danny Rensch simul here: https://caissachess.net/online-registration/index/485 and for the tournament here: https://caissachess.net/online-registration/index/471
Round 2 of the DCC March 2019 tournament is in progress. Vedanth Sampath with the Black pieces in the foreground.
Not a single DCC player complained about our new policy of allowing players to play up only one section. It certainly made the Premier section games much more competitive. Gunnar Andersen went 4-0. and won the 1st place prize of 119 dollars (See diagrams #1 thru #4 below) But I know for a fact that his last round game with Sullivan McConnell was a dogfight. In his notes to the game, Gunnar says from move 72 thru move 79 he had to find the only moves to win or Sullivan could have held the draw. Mr. Andersen credits Sullivan with these words: "I think that he is phenomenal, and has a truly exceptional talent for chess".
A real endgame battle arose in the game between Gunnar Andersen and Sullivan McConnell.
Richard Shtivelband and Griffin McConnell share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of 116 dollars, both finishing with 3 points. Mr. Shtivelband added to his victory total against Brian Wall with a nice last round win. Griffin won his last round game over the hard to beat Mark Krowczyk to earn his share of the prize. (see diagrams #5 and #6) Incredibility both Eamon Montgomery and Vibi Varghese had identical 185 point Upset wins, so I think for the first time two players share the 20 dollar Upset prize. Eamon once again won against Brian Wall, and Vibi upset Vedanth Sampath.
Richard Shtivelband is ready for his game against Brian Wall
Griffin McConnell in a deep think pose.
Haroun Mueller-Omar with White against Roberto Popa. In the background, Will Strong is playing White against Ben Gurka.
The story of the U1900 section was two Unrated players were on the top boards for the last round. Both Roberto Ropa and Will Strong are new to the DCC and we are glad to have them. They both play very well. Mr. Ropa was paired against Haroun Muellar Omar for the last round. Mr. Muellar-Omar won the game to take the clear 1st place prize of 108 dollars with a perfect 4-0 score. (diagrams #7 and #8) Mr. Strong was paired against Ben Gurka, who had lost to Aditya Krishna in round 2. So Will had a chance to tie for 1st place, but Mr. Gurka was having none of that. Thus they ended up as part of a 6-way tie for the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of 110 dollars.
Aditya Krishna with the White pieces on his way to a nice 263 point rating difference win over Ben Gurka.
In addition to his big upset over Mr. Gurka, Aditya earned his share of the prize money by crushing me in the last round. I helped him by making a really bad move. Aditya took advantage of that without hesitation or even a trace of mercy :-) (see diagram # 12) I also lost to Mr. Strong in round 3. In a good game, he kept making threats until I cracked under the pressure. Ken Doykos and Dwight Sehler also finished with 3 points to share the prize. Mr. Doykos mentioned to me that he has a 17 game no loss streak going. More power to him I say. Along with Aditya, another youngster won prize money in this section. Abhinav Krishna won the 20 dollar Upset prize for his huge 652 rating point difference win over George Peschke in round 2.
Abhinav Krishna playing White against George Peschke.
Speaking of youngsters playing at the DCC, in the U1500 section two kids that I don't think are even 10 years old yet, were lighting it up. Grayson Manuel at the end of round 3 had 3 points, from a combined rating point upset difference of over 1500 points. I am not making that up. Kaavya Sakthisaravanan started off with two over 500 point rating difference wins. Please don't ask me to pronounce her name :-)
Elena Novik has too much material for the young Kaavya Sakthisaravanan to handle. Alayne Wilinsky is eyeing her position.
Kaavya lost her last two games to experienced adult players, Tyler Bowling and Elena Novik, but not without a fight. Mr. Bowling, the big meanie :-), then also ended Grayson's streak in round 4 to share the combined 1st and 2nd place prize of 174 dollars with Petra Lambert-Gorwyn. They each finished with 3.5 points. Grayson's 3 point score took the 3rd place prize of 44 dollars. Kaavya wins the 20 dollar Upset prize for her round 2 win against Elijah Warwick.
Tyler Bowling playing White, put an end to Grayson Manuel's incredible upset streak. Petra Lambert-Gorwyn has the Black pieces against David Pupko
Congratulations to all the prize winners. Thanks to all the players who are making all 3 sections of the DCC Tuesday night tournament competitive. The 5 round April tournament will be for the title of DCC 2019 Tuesday Night Champion. A trophy - in addition to the prize money - will be awarded in all 3 sections.
Plan to play for the DCC championship in April. We'll find more tables :-)
Except for the first three pictures, all the pictures used in this report are by John Brezina. The heading photo was taken by Mr. Brezina at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis. See all of Mr. Brezina's photos of the DCC March tournament here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Gpmvs6VeFq8rphA38