"...was very ecstatic to have had the opportunity to play the State champ." "...kids were very inspired by the stronger players..."
Before getting to who won what in the DCC November tournament, I'd like to present another excellent John Brezina report. This time from the exotic location of Parker, Colorado :-) Mr. Brezina runs quarterly tournaments at the Parker library. These fun, unrated, no entry fee, tournaments are open to all and are becoming more and more popular, as shown by the heading photo. This is a good thing Mr. Brezina is doing to bring young new players - as well as adults - into tournament chess. As always, I am pleased to select and caption the excellent pictures that John takes at the chess events he organizes or attends.
Young players as well as adults enjoy John Brezina's Parker Library tournaments.
Quoting John Brezina: "The final tournament of the year for the Parker Chess Club drew a record crowd of 56 players including our Colorado State Champion Gunnar Andersen. Initially starting out as a tournament just for kids and a community event for the Kerala Association of Colorado, it has grown beyond my expectations. I have kept the same format - non-rated, no fees, G10 minutes with five rounds and interesting prizes. This has allowed many kids and adults the opportunity to play in their first competitive chess tournament."
Caissa Chess software author, Dean Clow, at the board.
"And thanks to Dean Clow it is run on his Caissa Chess software and he has donated much time in helping TD as well as playing. Kevin Seidler has also donated his time to help TD. Along with other volunteers, we continue to grow and reach many new kids and parents who see the benefits of chess."
Shirley Herman has long promoted and organized Colorado chess tournaments.
"The Open section had 44 players of all ages and skills with club players along with many new faces. I was pleased to see long time Colorado chess advocate Shirley Herman join us. Her only loss was in round one to the tournament winner Karthika Sakthisaravanan. Karthika and her daughter Kaavya play often at the DCC and other tournaments."
Karthika Sakthisaravanan is pleased to win the 1st place trophy
"Karthika took clear first with five points after defeating second place winner Kumaran Lenin in the final round. Eight players ended up with four points so Caissa used tiebreaks to declare Shirley Herman in second place. She kindly passed her trophy onto Kumaran Lenin who took second place in the last Parker tournament and plays at the DCC."
... and a smiling Kumaran Lenin has another trophy for his showcase...
... as does a smiling Darshan Satishkumar...
"Then in third place was Darshan Satishkumar. He is a Parker Chess club regular and plays often in scholastic tournaments. Darshan has placed in second and third place in previous Parker tournaments as well. Of special note is that his family is from the same city as former World Champion Vishy Anand, Chennai India."
... and this young lady sure looks happy to win a commemorative T-shirt...
...and Gunnar Andersen is happy to win the autographed by Magnus Carlsen board.
"The Championship section had twelve players competing for a signed vinyl chessboard by World Champion Magnus Carlsen. It was an honor to have current State Champion Gunnar Andersen play along with several other strong players. Daniel Herman and Dean Clow both played as well so no easy task for the top spot. Another notable was long time Denver Chess Club manager J.C. MacNeil. I was quite humbled to have him play in one of my tournaments for a change."
The best players always draw a crowd.
"Gunnar's games would be watched by many of the kids, a special treat to see the State Champion up so close. Dean and Daniel faced each other in the final round each with their only loss to Gunnar. Daniel prevailed and took clear second with four points."
Daniel Herman is likely Colorado's next Master level player.
"Long time Parker Club regular Cameron Miner played Gunnar in the last round. Cameron lost but was very ecstatic to have had the opportunity to play the State champ. He and other kids were very inspired by the stronger players and will no doubt motivate them to continue their chess pursuits. I am looking forward to continuing these quarterly tournaments next year and hope to see more new faces including some of Colorado's best players. Having been to many tournaments around the world I can attest that kids are inspired and motivated by watching great players as with any sport or art."
It's great to see such a wide range of players at this tournament.
"The Parker library has been a great host not only to the Parker Chess Club but these tournaments as well. With the growth, we have an even larger room acquired for our next tournament planned for Sunday January 26, 2020. Esteemed chess author IM Cyrus Lakdawala has graciously signed and donated a copy of his book "Chess for Hawks" as the top prize." See all photos from this tournament
The Colorado Women Chess and Wine Club is up and running.
"Lastly, I wanted to mention the Colorado Women's Chess & Wine Club. I was invited to photograph their meeting by CSCA Vice-President Kevin McConnell, in order to help promote the USCF initiative for Women in Chess. He was instrumental in starting it with CSCA Member at Large, Gracie Salazar, who is teaching the classes."
Chess instructor, Gracie Salazar, and Regal Bakery owner, Victoria Grotewiel.
"Along with Regal Bakery owner Victoria Grotewiel they have started a social and interactive chess class for women. The thirteen initial women all seemed to be enjoying themselves with wine, coffee, snacks and then learning chess. I ended up helping with some of the chess and learned that most of the women were new to chess."
This young woman is clearly enjoying the wine and the game.
"Wanting to learn as their kids all played chess and some in scholastic tournaments. The CSCA is funding this and I provided some gifts for them as well to inspire the ladies including my Denver Open photo book which had photos of some of their kids which they enjoyed. More info can be found on the CSCA website, Twitter or Instagram pages."
Gracie is showing off Mr. Brezina's excellent 2019 Denver Open photo book.
"So there is much we can all do to continue the growth of chess. Simply showing up at your local club or tournaments is the easiest. There are always interesting people to meet and friends to be made. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and thank you to all the chess volunteers everywhere that continue the long tradition of this wonderful game... John Brezina, Parker Chess Club." See all photos from this event. Thanks for the great report and the terrific photos, Mr. Brezina. They make these reports so much more interesting.
Now to get to the actual DCC November report. Like in October, another winter storm affected the DCC November tournament. This time we decided to go ahead and pair whoever showed up for the last round. Resulting in attendance well below our usual average of 60 players a week. Canceling a scheduled round seems to be damned if we do, damned if we don't :-)
Winter storm or not, it's Tuesday and we are going to the chess club :-)
To be fair to the players not able to attend due to the weather, we made a last-minute exception to our last round bye policy. Allowing - upon request - a last round half-point bye even though the penultimate round had already been played. The DCC board will have to decide if we are going to make the exception to the last round bye a "severe winter weather rule". I asked Mother Nature to not have any more cold, snowy, days on Tuesdays in Denver. She chuckled :-)
A full house for round 3. Paul Kullback is playing Alayne Wilinsky.
Anyway, on to who won what in November. In the Premier section - with their requested last round byes - Brian Wall and Kevin Seidler ended up tied for 1st place with Mark Krowczyk, All with 3 points and they each win 78 dollars.
Jesse Hester having a snack. Brian Wall playing a mini simul with Jesse and Steven Bu.
Mr. Wall had to work for his share. He played a mini simul in both rounds 2 and 3 to avoid players not getting a game. In addition to his regular pairing against Mr. Seidler in round 2, he also played Tyler Bowling. In Round 3 he played Jesse Hester and Steven Bu. Both Tyler and Steven made the National Life Master work to win. (see diagrams # 2 and #3 below)
Mark Krowczyk is playing Neil Bhavikatti. Rhett Langseth in the foreground. (diagram #1)
Mr. Krowczyk played all 4 rounds and played very well. Mark lost to Mr. Wall in round 1 but scored upset wins against both Neil Bhavikatti and Mr. Hester in rounds 3 and 4. Vedanth Sampath had an upset win against Neil and that won the 20 dollar Premier Upset prize. (diagram #4 and #5) Vedanth just edged out Griffin McConnell, for the biggest upset game. Griffin had a terrific upset draw against Gunnar Andersen in round 1. Saying it was really complicated Rook ending where both players had 3 passed pawns. How could it not be complicated? :-) I didn't see the end when both players were in time trouble, but I think they played it out till only the Kings were on the board. Truly a fighting draw.
Gunnar Andersen and Griffin McConnell about to have a fantastic game.
Ted Doykos took no prisoners in the U1900 section. (diagrams #11 and #12) He played all 4 rounds and won all his games. In my game with Ted, I thought I was OK out of the opening until I got crushed on the kingside :-) Ted wins 107 dollars for his fine play. I am pleased to see Rob Cernich take clear 2nd place with 3 wins and a round 3 bye to win 65 dollars. When I glanced at his last round game against the much higher rated Ben Gurka he was up a bunch of material. A great game for Mr. Cernich. Even when he is down material Mr. Gurka is not easy to beat. (diagrams #8 and #9)
Ted Doykos - with headphones - against Jason McEwen (diagram #6)
I want to say John Brezina's 3rd place prize of 44 dollars should be mine. If only I had played better moves :-) Then if only John hadn't found a beautiful Bishop move that left my King with nowhere to hide. Just when I thought I was going to escape with a forced perpetual check. C'est la vie. Shiven Sexena won the 20 dollar U1900 Upset prize for his nice round 1 win against Ken Doykos, which I know had to be a tough game.
Tyler Bowling has White against John Brezina.
In the U1500 section, Elijah Warwick also took the "severe winter weather bye" and ended up in clear 1st place with 3.5 points to win 107 dollars. Chris Nate finished in 2nd place with 3 points, but being unrated his prize is restricted to 20 dollars, as per DCC policy. Thus, Mark Fischer and Vyacheslav Pupko with 2.5 points share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of 88 dollars.
Iris Li with the Black pieces against Elijah Warwick.
Ashrith Nistala only played one game, but it was a 464 rating point difference win over Chad August and that won the 20 dollar U1500 Upset prize.
Congratulations to all the prize winners, and I hope we have warm snow-free Tuesdays so everyone can play all 6 rounds of the DCC Championship tournament scheduled for December and January. Uh-oh, I think I hear Mother Nature chuckling :-)
Leading off the Games Section is a beautiful game that Rhett Langseth played at the Colorado Springs Chess Club.
1) Sam Bridle vs. Rhett Langseth. Rhett is the reigning Colorado Quick Chess Champion. Find the sweet move that Mr. Langseth plays in this position. Rhett said he had played his last few moves to reach this position, and now he strikes. The game and diagram is reprinted from Paul Anderson's Colorado Springs Chess Club newsletter.
2) Jesse Hester vs. Brian Wall. Round 3. White has just captured a Bishop with 38. Re1xe6 probably expecting ...Qxe6 and then to play 39. Qxg5. What did Mr. Hester overlook?
3) Brian Wall vs. Mark Krowczyk. Round 1. White to move and force mate. It is a shame to show the only game Mr. Krowczyk lost this month. I'd much rather show his wins, but they haven't been uploaded to DCC Games. Mark often gets good positions against Mr. Wall but somehow lets them slip away and then has to endure Brian's trash talk. See also NM Wall's games against Kevin Seidler, against Steven Bu. and against Tyler Bowling.
4) Neil Bhavikatti vs. Vedanth Sampath. Round 1. After 16. Nd2-c4 Find the nice tactical sequence that Vedanth begins with his next move. Hint: Think about the f2 square.
5) Vedanth Sampath vs. Aleksey Kaikov. Round 2. Black has just played 20...Rf8-e8. Find another long tactical sequence that Vedanth played on the board to win material. Maybe Vedanth is playing move by move, but I'm thinking he is seeing these combinations from start to finish.
6) Grayson Manuel vs. Jason McEwen. Round 1. Black captured a Knight with 19... Nb4xc2. What is a good "zwischenzug" move instead of 20. Qxc2. As usual Mr. McEwen's excellent comments describe his thought process throughout the game. See also Jason's game against Bill O.Neil
7) Steven Bu vs. Grayson Manuel. Round 2. Final position. I think Grayson is like 8 years old and this game is well worth playing over just to read his comments. For instance: "He rightly resigned here" :-)
8) Rob Cernich vs. Ben Gurka. Round 4. In this position Black played 19... Bg6-c2. What did Mr. Gurka overlook?
9) The same game after 35... Kc8-d8. What is now the very best move for White? It is not an easy move to find. See the answer and Mr. Cernish's other comments about this game after the last diagram below.
10) Roger Morris vs. Abhinav Krishna. Round 2. Black has just played 12... Bc8-a6 and White played 13.Nf3-e5. Why was that just a bad move? Don't we all experience chess blindness occasionally? In my case nearly every game i don't see something.
11) Ted Doykos vs. J.C. MacNeil. Round 3. I though I was OK and a pawn up in this position. What move does Ted play here to disabuse me of that belief :-)
12) Jason McEwen vs. Ted Doykos. Round 4. Can you find the winning move Black plays in this position?
Rob Cernich comments on Diagram #8 and #9: "Ben blundered a bishop on move 19 ... Bc2. Interesting was move 32. Rxe4 giving back material for a decisive advantage." and the answer to the diagram: "Actually, I shouldn’t have missed 36 Bc5."
Thanks to all,