If the idea takes off, then we will have added another dimension to the Denver Chess Club.
We have realized that requiring players interested in the DCC team tournament idea to form their own teams would be difficult. While Ben Gurka's formula to ensure fair and balanced teams is right and proper, and each player could of course easily calculate their own median number. But how would they then connect with two other players to team up with? To make just one team, Getting 10 -15 teams together would be like trying to herd cats.
Join a team? Do math calculations? Are you crazy?
It dawned on me that what could take hours for an individual player to do - wade through all the players and their ratings, do the calculations to get a median number, then more calculations to get possible teams - a computer could do in a split second. Fortunately, we have people at the DCC with high tech skills, and Rob Cernich readily agreed to write some code that will generate 3 player teams in compliance with Mr. Gurka's formula using the CaissaChess monthly list of DCC players.
Somebody help me figure this out :-)
Mr. Cernich then had the idea to use the June player list as a trial run to produce teams of players that had played at least 3 games, and calculate what each team combined score would have been. Thus showing which teams would have won prize money. We feel like this will present a more clear idea of what the team tournament idea is all about.
Click enter and presto; a team starting point.
The idea would then be to use the July player list after say week 2 to make new computer generated teams using the players July tournament ratings. Players could then opt out, go with the team as suggested by the computer, or trade places with another team. Or reforming a team by hand would be much easier since each player's median number would be known. Hopefully, this will get the team tournament idea off the ground for the August tournament. If the idea takes off, then we will have added another dimension to the Denver Chess Club.
Code writer Rob Cernich, with the White pieces, playing Aditya Krishna.
On with who what in the DCC June tournament. It has become clear there is a new alpha dog at the DCC. Richard Shtivelband has again taken clear 1st place in the Premier section with a perfect score. He won against strong players - Jesse Hester and Haroun Mueller-Omar - in round 1 and 2. Once again beat Brian Wall in round 3 and schooled Sullivan McConnell in round 4. This fine - or should I say, routine - performance earns Mr. Shtivelband 124 dollars. (see diagrams #1 thru #4 below) Also see Mr. Shtivelband's comments on his games below diagram #15
Not a lot of bark from NM Shtivelband, but plenty of bite.
Brian and Jesse share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prizes with Eamon Montgomery. All won last round games to earn their prize money. Mr. Wall won a hard-fought game against Alaa-Addin Moussa. Mr. Hester won against the better than his rating, Cory Klass. Mr. Montgomery won a long tough game against Neil Bhavikatti. They each win 41 dollars. (Mr. Wall's games - diagrams #5, #6, #7 and #15)
Michel Doyon did not play the last round. Otherwise, he may have been included in with the place prize winners. Playing up in the Premier section he had 2 points after 3 rounds. Which included a big 261 rating point difference win over Kevin Seidler in round 1 that won the 20 dollar Open Upset prize. Richard Shtivelband pointed out to me that Mr. Doyon has gained an astounding 147 rating points since March.
Michel Doyon with the White pieces against Mark Krowczyk.
It is always good to see a young players game improving. I don't know if Karthik Selva is even a teenager yet, but I do know he is a force to be reckoned with in the U1900 section. Karthik had to win his last round game against the hard to beat Phil Brown to finish with a 4-0 perfect score and win 113 dollars.
Karthik Selva, a force to be reckoned with.
Mr. Brown, Bill O'Neil, and George Peschke share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of 116 dollars. I managed to drop my Queen to both Phil and Goerge. Phil baited a Queen trap with a pawn which I did not hesitate to take, and Phil did not hesitate to move his Rook two squares and leave my best piece with nowhere to go. (diagram #12) Against George, an attack on my Queen is blocked, but I move the blocking piece and Mr. Peschke just takes the Queen. What can I say? Mr. O'Neil had a nice upset draw against Andrew Starr in round 2.
Bill O'Neil writing down his move.
Another young player whose game is clearly improving is Archer Murane. He wins the 20 dollar U1900 Upset prize with a humongous 744 point rating difference win against Randolph Schine, which I know had to have been a tough game because Mr. Schine is certainly not easy to beat. Archer also upset John Krue, a strong veteran player, in round 1. That was "only" a 681 point upset.
In the U1500 section, Alayne Wilinsky and Brian Norris-Saucedo share the combined 1st and 2nd place prize money with 3.5 point scores. They each win 93 dollars. Mr. Norris-Saucedo took a 1st round bye and won all his other games. Ms. Wilinsky continues her draw or win streak with a 90 point upset draw against Rob Cernich in round 3 and an upset last round win over Paul Kullback. (diagrams #9 and #10)
Alayne Wilinsky has the Black pieces against Paul Kullback.
Mr. Cernich, Mr. Kullback, Mark Zeringue and Owen Vonne ended up tied for 3rd place with 3 points. They all win McDonald's lunch money, but they may have to pay for the soda :-) The 20 dollar U1500 upset prize goes to Derek Yin - Davin Yin's brother - for his 367 point difference win against David Pupko in the last round.
Congratulations to all the prize winners. I know most, if not all, DCC Tuesday night players are playing more to improve their game and increase their rating, than for the money. Still, it is nice to be playing USCF rated tournament chess for free by winning prize money. Note that the blurry pictures in this report were taken by me. Crisp clear pictures by John Brezina.
Once again we'll start out the Games Section with the games of the Premier section winner:
1) Richard Shtivelband vs. Jesse Hester. Round 1. Richard used this game for his DCC lecture entitled, "How to Win Games From a Lost Position". Quoting Mr. Shtivelband. "...It's a good example of how to fight on effectively from a lost position and how to steer the game into a type of position where the bishop can fight effectively against a rook because of the existence of passed pawns on both sides of the board." https://denverchess.com/games/view/18637 and observe "how to fight on effectively from a lost position"
More than 20 people were present by the end of the lecture. They all broke out in enthusiastic applause.
2) Haroun Mueller-Omar vs. Richard Shtivelband. Round 2. In this position Richard criticizes his "automatic developing move 17...Rae8" What do you suppose he should have played instead? https://denverchess.com/games/view/18649 See Mr. Shitvelband's complete comment to this game and the ones that follow after the last diagram below.
3) Richard Shtivelband vs. Brian Wall. Round 3. Richard says, "... It's a really interesting game though because the game featured two line opening clearance pawn sacrifices. I was able to execute the one in the game where I sacked the c2 pawn and got the open c-file for my Rc1." I think it's around this position that Mr. Shtivelband refers to when he says, "It turns out Brian had a similar opportunity by sacking his d4 pawn with a timely Nf6-Nd5-Nc3 maneuver." I freely admit I can't see a way to sac the d4 pawn. Brian says, "What can I say about this game 11 days later? "... almost nothing, I did not understand it then, I do not understand it now." See Mr. Wall's entire comment here
4) Richard Shtivelband vs. Sullivan McConnell. Round 4. In this position, with Black to move, what do both players say Black must play? See the game with Sullivan's annotations Also, again please see Mr. Shtivelband's comments on these games below the last diagram.
5) Brian Wall vs, Joshua Blanchfield. Round 1. Final position. Black resigns. Brian said he was keeping the Rook on a2 "just in case I needed it" :-) Pawn Wave Guy strikes again
6) Brian Wall vs. Alaa-Addin Moussa. Round 3. Black has just taken a Rook with 27... Nb2xd1. Find a Brian Wall mating attack. https://denverchess.com/games/view/18644 Solution given with Brian's comments on the next diagram.
7) Mark Krowczyk vs. Brian Wall. Round 2. After 24... Bb7-e4 White played 25. Ra1. Would 25. Rbc1 have been better? See Brian's comments below after the last diagram. https://denverchess.com/games/view/18653 See also Mr. Krowczyk analysis
8) Vibi Varghese vs. Ben Gurka. Round 1. Mr. Gurka has already won a couple of pawns and In this position White plays 19. Bd2. Why was that not the best move? https://denverchess.com/games/view/18610
9) Rob Cernich vs. Alayne Wilinsky. Round 3. After 12... Qc5-e7 Ms. Wilinsky's comment is, and I quote, "Yuck" :-) As always Alayne's comments are instructive as well as at times, amusing. Mr. Cernich replied 13. Be2. Do you see a better move?
10) Alayne Wilinsky vs. Paul Kullback. Round 4. Mr. Kullback has just played 41... Bc3-e5. What did he overlook? Again, Alayne's comments are great. https://denverchess.com/games/view/18651
11) Nicholas Torres vs. Jason McEwen. Round 2. Black's last move was 21... Ne7-c5. Nicholas had been playing well but here he completely misses the threat of Mr. McEwens move and played 22. h6. A little to focused on his own attack on the Kingside. https://denverchess.com/games/view/18619 Mr. McEwen's annotations, like Alayne's, tell the story of the game.
12) J.C. MacNeil vs. Phil Brown. Round 3. When Mr. Brown played 25... Qc2-c6 it doesn't occur to me that he could be setting a trap, so I took the a7 pawn, and snap went the trap. https://denverchess.com/games/view/18639
13) Michael McNamara vs. Vyacheslav Pipko. Round 3. Mr. McNamara made a threat with 22. Rh1-e1. Did Mr. Pupko's ...f3 answer the threat? https://denverchess.com/games/view/18638
14) Mukund Gurumurthi vs. J.C. MacNeil. Round 3. In this position, I get the idea to play 15... Bxf2. I couldn't calculate whether it was sound or not and devil may care, played it anyway. https://denverchess.com/games/view/18640
15) Brian Wall vs. Ying Tan. I thought i would include a Geriatric Floormaster game from the 2019 Chicago Open. Mr. Wall begins a nice series of moves in this position. https://denverchess.com/games/view/18606
Richard Shtivelband comments on Diagrams #2, #3, and #4.
#2 "I chose to play a secondary line with 1...Nc6 and Haroun responded to it with a development scheme that was probably not the most assertive as it could have been and left him struggling to find an effective plan to continue progressing his position to achieve important strategic aims for his position.The key moment for me arrived on move 17 for black.In the game, I played an automatic developing move 17...Rae8 which allowed him to free his position a bit and complicate matters for me with 18.d4. Instead, I should have played 17...f5 when 18.d4 is met by 18...e4 and white remains planless and struggling to find useful moves. After 17...Rae8, the computer says I'm still better, but I ended up feeling like I needed to win the game all over again to be able to mark the result on the wall chart."
#3 "With my game against Brian, if you play through the game it looks like it was just a smooth victory for me and nothing of particular note happened. It's a really interesting game though because the game featured two line opening clearance pawn sacrifices. I was able to execute the one in the game where I sacked the c2 pawn and got the open c-file for my Rc1. It turns out Brian had a similar opportunity by sacking his d4 pawn with a timely Nf6-Nd5-Nc3 maneuver. With my Bb2 gone, he could have achieved a dangerous Qd4-Bg7 battery along the long diagonal aimed at my Kb1. The computer eval was saying the Black was clearly winning in those positions. But we both missed just how potent this d4 sac idea could be. Not surprising since it is a GM level idea and Brian and I are just NM's."
#4 "I had a chance to see Sullivan's annotations to my game with him. The tournament situation dictated that he needed to find a way to beat me with black in order to win the event. It's never easy to win on demand against a good player, especially with the black pieces. It also didn't help that my results against Sullivan have been pretty lopsided in my favor in our past encounters. So, it was just going to be tough sledding for Sullivan going into the game no matter what. In his annotations, he's correct that 8...c5 was absolutely necessary instead of 8...Nbd7. 8...c5 is very thematic in QGD pawn structures. Also, I learned from a Kasparov DVD a while back that one of the first main attempts in early games for White to try to demonstrate an advantage in QGD lines was to play c4-c5 and claim a space advantage on the Q-side. Once I got c4-c5 in on move 9, Black's position becomes very difficult and likely he is already strategically busted because White will get in Na5."
Brian Wall's comment on diagrams #6 and #7
#6 28. Rh7+ followed by 29. Qf6+ and mate cannot be avoided.
#7 "I was hoping for 25. Rbc1!! Qxa2 26. Qc7+ Kg8 27. Qc8+ Kg7 28. Rc7+ Kh6 29. Qf8+ Kh5 30. Rxh7+ Kg4 31. h3+ Kg3 and Black checkmates until Omar showed me 31. Rh4+!! Kxh4 32. Qh6+ Kg4 33' Qh3# at my place later that night. Gulp. That would have been embarrassing."
Also in the actual game, Brian gives this: "Anyone else would checkmate by retreating on the g-file but I wanted to enforce a humiliating pawn-checkmate. 31 Kxh2 Qe2+ 32 Kg3 Qg2+ 33 Kh4 g5+ 34 fxg5 fxg5#, but Mark denies me my small pleasure. 31. Kg1 Rg2+ 32. Kh1 Rg3+!! insisting on 33 Kh2 Qe2+ 34 Kxg3 Qg2+ 35 Kh4 g5+ 36 fxg5 fxg5# with a degrading pawn-checkmate, but Mark denies me again by resigning" Seems like taunting to me :-)
Thanks to all,