DCC March 2022 Report

4:58pm Saturday, April 2nd, 2022

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"All in all, got to give the DCC another "A+" grade!"

Before getting to the annual DCC Tuesday Night Championship tournament - which is typically held in the first month of each year that has five Tuesdays. - I'll provide a brief summary of the DCC March Rapid tournament, which was organized by Andrew Eskenazi and Andrew Starr. 55 players signed up for a fun and exciting 10 round rapid time control tournament.  As usual with Mr. Starr directing, the rounds started on time and players were not grumbling about delays between rounds. Mr. Eskenazi, at his own expense, provided snacks and beverages for the players to enjoy throughout the day. 

I imagine that by now players are getting used to seeing NM Richard Shtivelband's name at the top of the final standings list. Losing only one game to Brian Wall, Richard finished in clear 1st place with 9 points and won 315 dollars. Not bad money for a day's work I'd say. Sharing the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize was Sullivan McConnell and Mr. Wall, both National Masters. They ended up with 8.5 points and each won $197.50. 


The heading photo is a typical Tuesday night crowd. This photo by Emilee Blakely is the DCC March Rapid tournament 

Due to it being a one section tournament there were also 1st and 2nd place prizes awarded to U1600 players. Turpana Molina and Jeff Nohrden are both new to Colorado chess, and clearly their USCF ratings have not caught up with their chess playing ability yet. Mr. Molina won $135 with a 7 point score, and Mr. Nohrden took home $97.50 with 6.5 points. An excellent prize payout for a one day DCC event !!

Jeff Baffo is a long time Colorado chess tournament player. His high opinion of DCC tournaments is valued and appreciated. The following is what he had to say about the DCC March Rapid tournament. Quoting Jeff Baffo: 

"This was a 10 round event with the rapid time control of game in 12, .3 delay. I would have preferred game in 10 with a 3 second increment, but the delay feature is beloved by Tournament Directors for it's ability to keep games shorter and more tightly on schedule. There are frequently constraints imposed by the physical location. Hotels, Schools, etc will want you out of the room at a certain time. Say La Gar (Paris lingo for you). In any case, I had a blast. 10 rapid games with only small breaks between games, and a brusque lunch break made for an exhausting day. But a very good exhausting day, giving your all doing a difficult thing that you love. Can I get an Amen? 

My hands were shaking and I felt light headed after some of my games. I finished with 6 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses. Always fascinates me how any non-bye game can end in a draw at these fast time controls. In my case, it was my opponent's fault! He whipped a thunderous Rook sac at my King and had to settle for a perpetual check when he realized he was down to 3 seconds. My losses were all to the Master's/top finishers and I have no complaints, they beat me like an Amoeba, and I deserved my single-cell classification. Cool bonus for us patzers; there were healthy snacks provided, gratis! Energy drinks, nanners, oranges, sparkling water, etc. Very nice."


Brian wall in the background wearing a blue shirt is about to make a move. Photo credit: Emilee Blakely. 

"As I put in an email to thank the organizers, having snacks at a tourney is like with the cheese or pepper grinder dude or lady-dude comes to your table at Olive Garden. One unpleasant incident was that some phat guy pitched a hissy fit at the start of the tournament because he didn't like the COVID face-diapers. Boo-Hoo. If the DCC deigns that we wear masks even when the whole rest of the World has unmasked, so be it! The ay-hole finally sat down and shut up. Praise God. The games were typical rapid play specimens, but still there were some pretty cool tactics. I'm trying to reconstruct my games but that's going to take a while. Keeping score was impossible for me, but some people still tried. All in all, got to give the DCC another "A+" grade!" Thank you kindly once again Mr. Baffo.   


Richard Shtivelband playing Black against Brian Wall. In the foreground Craig Moffit has Black against Turpana Molina

And now on to the DCC 2022 Tuesday Night Championship Tournament report. Is it a surprise to anyone that Richard Shtivelband is the Premier section Champion? After giving up a 1st round draw to Craig Moffit, Mr. Shtivelband won four in a row to claim the Championship trophy and pocket $224.43 Proving that he belongs in the Premier section, Mr. Moffit may have equaled Richard's score if he had not had to take a round 4 bye. Still he ended up with 4 points and won the 2nd place prize of $134.66. (See diagrams #1thru #7 below),  Turpana Molina's 3 point score included two big upset wins and he took home the $89.77 3rd place prize. (diagrams #8, #9, #10) The $20.00 Premier Upset prize was won by the young Harsh Mali for his 1st round 731 point rating difference win against Juan Brenes. Harsh also had a big upset win in round 4 against the DCC Vice President, Lex Huberts. 


Harsh Mali with the White pieces against Lex Huberts

The U1900 section Champion is Kristopher Zelkin, who played like NM Shtivelband. Mr. Zelkin allowed a 1st round draw then won four in a row to finish with 4.5 points to claim the U1900 trophy and win $217.54. Unrated Palmer Wong took clear 2nd place with 4 points that included wins against the strong players, Phil Brown, Randolph Schine, and in the last round, Ken Doykos. This fine performance earns Mr. Wong $130.52.

The U1900 3rd place prize was shared by Ricardo Bogaert, Grayson Manuel, Charie Flaxbeard, and Aaron Zimmerman. All ended up with 3.5 points and they each won $21.75. The $20.00 U1900 Upset prize was won by Archer Maurane for his last round 334 point upset win against Tyler Mandel. Archer also had a 302 point upset win over Joe Beane in round 3. All three of Caleb Pena wins were Upset wins. DCC Tournament Director Brian Ledsworth held the 1st place winner to an upset draw in round 1 and also had upset wins against the much higher rated players, Bill O'Neil and Roger Redmond.  

The U1500 Champion is Unrated Barrett Altman. With a 1st round bye and a round 4 draw, Mr Altman finished with 4 points to take clear 1st place and win $217.54. Justin Moss and Alex Sottile scored 3.5 points and they share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of $217.54. Patrick Kubanyi wins the $20.00 U1500 Upset prize for his big 621 point last round win against the strong and experienced Mark Fischer. 


It's not just old men playing chess at the DCC anymore. 

It is good to see Mr. Fischer back at the DCC. Its also good to continue to see new players showing up every week. Once again over 100 players played at least one game this month. If only we could attract more higher rated players for the Premier section, I wouldn't have anything to complain about :-) Congratulations to all the prize winners. Also let me mention that the DCC intends to start having a Tuesday night chess related lecture at least once a month. The April 5th lecture will be from 6:15 to 7:00 PM and will be presented by Brian Wall. Titled "Why must I lose to this idiot." This promises to be entertaining lecture :-)

I like to feature Brian Wall's games in the Games Section because of all he has done for Colorado chess and the DCC since the dawn of time :-) Griffin McConnell and Neil Bhavikatti are the latest in a long line of young players that Brian Wall has mentored and who have gone on to achieve USCF 2200 Master level ratings. Ask Gunnar Andersen, Josh Bloomer, Jesse Cohen, or Sullivan McConnell if they would be as good as they are without having been schooled by the grand old man of Colorado chess in their younger years. I believe one and all would say they were inspired and shown the beauty of chess by Life Master Brian Douglas Wall. 

I can't tell you how many times over the years that I've been asked - about an upcoming tournament or for Tuesday night - "Is Brian Wall going to be there or, will I get to play Brian?" (See diagrams #16 thru #26) Also I want to thank Sikander Baker- Nagar for uploading many March DCC games to denverchess.com/games. Sikander is the reason we have a boatload of games from the DCC March Championship tournament to enjoy.

r4r1k/1b4pp/2q2b2/2p5/p2B2QP/5N2/PP3PP1/3RR1K1 b - - 22 43

1) Craig Moffit vs. Richard Shtivelband.  Round 1. Against NM Shtivelband, Mr. Moffit has just boldly played 22. Bxd4 looking to get 2 pawns and an attack for the piece. Which reply would be better, 22... Bxd4 or ...cxd4? 

8/kp3q2/p4P2/4Q2p/8/5K2/8/8 b - - 57 113
2) Richard Shtivelband vs. Sikander Baker-Nagar Round 2. After 57. f6 the power of a passed pawn is evident, despite Black being two pawns up. Sikander says, "Defending this position with under a minute is a complete nightmare." Indeed. See also Sikander Baker-Nagar vs. Mike Maloney

7Q/1q6/5R1K/8/6b1/6k1/8/8 w - - 75 150
3) Chris Motley vs. Richard Shtivelband. Round 3. Mr. Motley has played a great game to reach this position, but - probably in time pressure - he plays 76. Qg7. What did he overlook? 

q4rk1/1p3ppp/p3p3/2Bn4/1PR2b2/P6P/4QPP1/3R2K1 w - - 23 46
4) Richard Shtivelband vs. Turpana Molina  Round 4. Ather 23...Nf6-d5, how does White end the game quickly?

8/5N1k/p5p1/5PP1/1p1P3P/6K1/r7/8 w - - 46 92
5) Brian Wall vs. Richard Shtivelband Round 5. In this difficult position after 46...g6 NM Wall's flag fell when NM Shtivelband still had over 47 minutes!! See diagram #18 for Brian Wall's comments on this game.

3Q1b1r/pp3p1p/b4kp1/4pq2/8/2P5/P4PPP/K2RR3 b - - 25 49
6) Evan Helman vs. Craig Moffit  Round 2.  After 25.Qxd8+ Black has two Bishops against a Rook. With the weak White King the Rook had no chance. 

r4k2/p1r1n3/4p1Q1/p2pPp2/3P3P/5N2/1P3PP1/6K1 w - - 32 64
7) Craig Moffit vs. Harsh Mali. Round 3. Black's last move was 32...Ng8-e7. Find the move that causes Black to resign.

8/8/R2b3p/4k1p1/1pP1bp2/4p3/P6P/3B1K2 w - - 38 76
8) Turpana Molina vs. Craig Moffit. Round 5. After 38... f4. White has an exchange, but Black has way too many pawns. Note: the game heading says round 3 but this game was actually played in round 5. 

6rk/1p3p2/p2pb2r/2b1p2n/3nP3/2PB2PP/PP3P1K/R2Q1R2 b - - 22 43
9) Mike Maloney vs. Turpana Molina. Round 2. Mr. Molina had previously sacrificed his Queen for two pieces and now after 22.c3 has overwhelmed the White position. Find an immediate winning move for Black. 

r1bn3r/pp3pkB/2p1qp2/1P4P1/8/P3P3/1BQ2P1P/2KR3R b - - 21 41
10) Turpana Molina vs. Swetha Gadda. Round 3. Ms. Gadda had played 20...Rh8 and White replied with 21. g5. Black can just take the Bishop, right? If not, why not? See also Cory Kohler vs. Turpana Molina 

8/pp1P1kp1/5bp1/2p2p2/B1P1pP2/4B1P1/Pq5K/3R4 w - - 27 54
11) Juan Brenes vs. Evan Helman. Round 4. White has some compensation for the Queen but the pawn can't get to the promised land.

2b2r2/4bk1p/2p2pp1/r1N1p3/2R3P1/2P2P2/1P1R1B1P/6K1 w - - 28 56
12) Alexander Huberts vs. Mike Maloney.  Round 1. After 28...g6 why is 29. Nd7 not the best move?

2kr4/pp3pp1/2p5/b2nq1p1/8/2P1nB2/P3N1PP/1RQ1R2K b - - 25 49
13) Ted Doykos vs. Alexander Huberts Round 3. White has just played  25. Rb1. Find the winning attacking move that Mr. Huberts played in this position. See also Alexander Huberts vs. Cory Kohler 

8/8/1p1p4/3Pb2k/1P2N1p1/3K4/6P1/8 w - - 45 90
14) Mark Krowczyk vs. Vedant Margale. Round 3. Final position. Vedant holds a much higher rated player to a draw. 

2r2rk1/p3bppp/q7/2p1p3/2QpP3/P2P2P1/5PBP/R1R3K1 b - - 20 39
15) Charles Minskey Vs. Vedant Margale. Round 5. Final position. A GM type draw was agreed at the DCC. Say it ain't so :-)

1rr1b3/5pk1/3P2pp/8/2BR1QP1/PP1R3P/1KP1q3/8 b - - 33 65
16) Brian Wall vs. Charles Minsky. Round 3. Final position. First Pawn Wave Guy takes all his opponents Queenside pawns and then Brian's comment is "Pawn Wave Guy has 4 extra connected passed pawns" :-)

r2q2kr/ppp3p1/2n4p/2bpp3/6b1/1P1P1N1N/P1PQ1PPP/R1B1K2R b KQ - 11 21
17) Swetha Gadda vs. Brian Wall. Round 4. In this position 11. b3 What move results in "Everything wins for Black" See answers to this and the following diagrams after #26

2r2rk1/6p1/p2pbq2/1p3P1p/3P4/4n1P1/PP1N2BP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 21 42
18) Brian Wall vs. Richard Shtivelband Round 5. White to move. Instead of 22. Ne4 as played in the game, What is - quoting Brian - "...the only winning move"

8/6p1/p7/1p2NP1k/3P3P/6P1/P7/2r3K1 w - - 39 78
18a) the same game  After 40... Rxc1+ (trading Rooks). What is the best move King move? 

6k1/3r1p2/5B1P/5p2/pp3K2/8/2R5/8 b - - 54 107
19) This game against NM Shtivelband is from the 2022 Colorado Closed Tournament. Richard Shtivelband vs. Brian Wall. Round 5. White has just played 54. Kf4. Find a few moves that would insure a draw. Now find the losing move that Black played. Hint - It's Pawn Wave Guy to move :-)

r1bq1rk1/p1pp1p2/1p4np/3nP2Q/3PN3/3B4/PPP3PP/R4RK1 w - - 14 28
20) And this game is from a Jesse Cohen Summit School of Chess Tournament. Brian Wall vs. Aditya Krishna NM Wall has just sacrificed a Bishop with 14. Bxh6 gxh6. Find an "everything wins" move in this position.

8/8/p1p2pkp/8/4KPP1/8/PP6/8 b - - 35 69
21) And this game is from the DCC March Rapid Tournament. It's only fair to show a game that Brian managed to win against his nemesis. Richard Shtivelband vs. Brian Wall In this position NM Wall says, "Black to play and create an easily winning outside passed pawn in a King and pawn ending." See excellent technique from a pawn ending genius.

r1b1kb1r/3n2pp/pq1pN3/1p1n2B1/4P3/8/PPP2PPP/R2Q1RK1 w kq - 11 22
22) Also from the DCC March Rapid Tournament. Brian Wall vs. Alexander Xie. After 11... Nf6xd5 - capturing a Knight - White can recapture with 12. exd5 or Qxd5. Which is better? 

r4rk1/2q2pb1/b1p1p2p/p3P1p1/PpPPNn1B/5N1P/5PP1/2RQ1RK1 w - - 22 44
23) This is a Private Match game against Griffin McConnell. Brian Wall vs. Griffin McConnell After 22...g5 it's White to move. What would you play? 

rn1q1rk1/p3bppp/bp2p3/3nN3/3P3P/3B1N2/PP3PP1/R1BQK2R w KQ - 11 22
24) This is a game from a Colorado Springs IHOP tournament. Brian Wall vs. Eric Billaux  NM Wall asks you this question: Does the standard Greek sacrifice 12 Bxh7+ work here? If not why not?

1q4k1/p2Q2pp/4p3/4Np2/2P1n3/1P5P/PB4PK/8 w - - 29 58
25) This game is from a Jesse Cohen Summit School of Chess Tournament. Brian Wall vs. Britt Whittaker White to move. Find mate in 3. 

2k4r/pp2n1b1/3p1pr1/PPp1p3/2P1Pp2/2BP2Nq/5P1P/R2QR1KB b - - 25 49
26) This game is also from a Jesse Cohen Summit School of Chess Tournament. Daniel Smith vs. Brian Wall  In this position NM Wall played 25. Qxh2+ and went on to win some 15 moves later. Can you see the mate in 4 that the Super GM overlooked? 

BrianWall's answers to diagram #17 thru #26 

#17 Everything wins for Black. 
After 11 ... Qf6!!  +9  I threaten ... e4, ... Bxh3, ... Bxf3

#18 22 fxe6!!  +5  is the only winning move. A few sample lines: 
22 fxe6!!  +5  Qxe6  23 Rxf8+  Rxf8  24 Qe2  +7
22 fxe6!!  +5  Nxd1  23 Rxf6  +7
22 fxe6!!  +5  Qxd4  23 Nb3  Rxf1+  24 Qxf1  +5  Only Move
22 fxe6!!  +5  Nxf1  23 Nxf1 Qf2+  24 Kh1 Rc2  25 Bd5 +10
Also saying, "Instead with 7 minutes left the last line frightened me and I 
blundered with  22 Ne4??  Qh6!!"

#18a  40 Kf2!  draws with the idea Ke3-pawn d5. Instead my King went to support my Kingside pawns which was too slow. I had one minute left here.

#19 Here I had easy draws with  54 ... Rd5 ( Shtivelband ), ... Kh7  or ... Rd1
but with 5 minutes left I got over-excited and thought I might win with: 54 Kf4  b3??  55 Rc8+  Kh7  56 Kxf5?  Rd5+  57 Be5  Rxe5+  58 Kxe5  b2. 
Instead 54 Kf4  b3??  55 Rc8+  Kh7  56 Kg5!  is helpmate.  I also thought the tournament was over a long time ago and Sullivan McConnell was clear first but my blunder created a tie with Sullivan and Richard.

#20 Everything wins. My idea is 15 Rf6 Nxf6 16 exf6 Kh7 17 Ng5+  Kg8  18 Qxh6  Qxf6  19 Qh7#  If Aditya Krishna doesn't take the Rook I am building up more power with Raf1 or Qxh6

#21 See the game for the continuation.

#22 I missed the killer 12 Qxd5!!  threatening  13 Qxa8 but also  13 Nc7+ 
or  Nxg7  Black-any  14 Qe6+  mating

#23  High point here is the sac where after 22 ... g5 White plays 23 Nfxg5  hxg5  24 Bxg5 where the Bg5 does everything - paralyzes Black Rooks by controlling d8 - paralyzes Black King by controlling f6 - ... Ba6 paralyzed by pawn c4 - Black Queen paralyzed by pawn e5. Meanwhile White Queen drifting over to Black's King and maybe a White Rook too.

#24 No because I have a Knight on e5 instead of a pawn so 12 Bxh7+?  Kxh7  13  Ng5+  Kg8  14 Qh5  Nf6 refutes the whole attack. Instead I had to spend the whole game groveling for a draw in a miserable position.

#25 Brian was unhappy that Mr. Whittaker's flag fell before he could play 30.Qf7+ Kh8 31. Ng6+ hg6 32. Qg7#

#26 Brian called White's move 21. gxf4 taking the Knight "real bad" It led to the overlooked mate in 4: 25 Ng3 Rxg3+  26  fxg3  Qxh2+  27 Kf1 Qxh1+  28 Ke2  Qg2#

Thanks again to all,
J.C. MacNeil

Last Modified: 4/3/2022 at 8:00pm Views: 447