DCC February 2023 Tournaments Report
4:38pm Friday, March 3rd, 2023
I doubt if any other local chess club anywhere is paying out this level of prize money to this many players.
First a note about the pictures used in this DCC report: The heading photo is from the Cottonbro Studio. Other pictures that are crisp, clear, and in focus are likely by Shirley Herman. Blurry out of focus pictures are by your reporter. And instead of identifying players, you get some "witty" captions. See game diagrams as usual following the written report.
Thursday night attendance is looking better.
I am pleased to report that the DCC Thursday tournament location has shown a significant increase in attendance. This month 61 players registered with an average of 32 playing each week. Up from 37 registered and 20 playing each week in January. The best part is we are continuing to see new to the DCC and USCF rated tournament chess players at this location.
TD Brian Ledsworth recording his move against an opponent who apparently has no worries :-)
Tournament Director, Brian Ledsworth's prize payout structure with Place prizes, in addition to Under and Upset prizes in each section, means everyone has a chance to win prize money. Speaking of which, Brian Wall's dream of having DCC electronic prize money payments, has come true. Quoting Mr. Wall: "Hotshot new DCC Treasurer Luiz Jimenez has a system where DCC members can state their payment preference: Zelle, PayPal, Venmo, or paper check."
Hoodie vs. earplug.
So then, who did put cash in their pocket by playing chess at the Denver Chess Club? In the Thursday night Premier section, I was glad to see DCC Vice President, Juan Brenes, take 1st place with 3.5 points. Ahead of both Brian Wall and Daniel Herman. Mr. Brenes won against Will Wolf, held Brian to a draw, took the full point from Daniel, and topped it off with a win against the strong Expert, Nick Petersen, in the last round.
Stronger than you players, playing on a classy board.
This fine performance put 99 dollars and 30 cents in Juan's pocket. In addition Mr. Brenes also won the 20 dollar Premier Upset prize for his win against Mr. Herman. Beating out Sara Herman's big upset win over NM Richard Shtivelband.by just a 22 point rating difference margin.
Young vs. somewhat older.
Mr. Herman took away NM Wall's hope of tying for 1st place, by winning their last round game. Thus, they both ended up with 2.5 points and share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of 111dollar and 72 cents. The U1900 prize of 37 dollars and 24 cents was sharded by Luis Jimenez and Kristopher Zelkin, who each finished with 1.5 points. In the Thursday night U1600 section, Lev Shulman played excellent chess to finish with a perfect 4-0 score to win 99 dollars and 30 cents. Mr. Shulman won against the way underrated Alex Barraza in round 3, Then went on to also upset the strong Drew Tuck in round 4 to earn the 1st place prize.
Hoodie vs. hoodie.
Mr. Tuck, Mr. Barraza, and Mitchell Beyer all ended up with 3 points and they share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize, with each player winning 37 dollars and 24 cents. The U1300 prize was won by Tom Needham and Weston Taylor. They each finished with a final score of 2 points, and each player won 18 dollars and 62 cents.
Hairstyle vs. hairstyle.
Many thanks are due to Mr. Taylor for assisting Brian Ledsworth and becoming a much needed backup DCC Tournament Director. Gera Cruz won't be rated 235 for long. He held Mr. Ledsworth to a last round draw and won the 20 dollar Upset prize. Tim Liu and Hayden Hollis each finished with 2.5 points, and they share the 20 dollar Unrated prize.
The DCC U1800 tournament in progress
In cooperation with the Aurora Library system, and in particular with librarian Corina Iannaggi, Richard Shtivelband - after some arm twisting by Ann Davies - set up a DCC U1800 tournament at the Hoffman library. The 1st of a planned series of tournaments at Aurora library locations. Next up is Brian Wall's unique Clone Wars tournament at the Aurora central library.
TD Andrew Starr on the job.
Then I think a similar U1800 tournament is scheduled for April 1st. The TLA will be posted soon at DCC Tournaments. For the inaugural event, we had a great room capacity registration of 52 players, who were all USCF rated under 1800, and who all were looking to win a share of an off the charts DCC prize fund of 1375 dollars, for a one day tournament !!
Kids, adults, chess is for all ages.
With place and under prizes in each section 14 players won prize money at this innovative DCC event. In the U1800 section, Jordan Edmonson, Owen Christ, and Abhijay Balamurugan all finished with 3.5 points and each player won 175 dollars. All of Abhijay's points were upset wins and a last last round upset draw against Qwen. Mr. Christ had had the pleasure of upsetting both Ken Doykos and son, Ted Doykos.
Two players awake, one player taking a nap :-)
Daniel Aizenberg won the 150 dollar 1st U1600 prize by winning against three higher rated players and only losing to Mr. Christ in round 2. The 2nd U1600 prize was shared by Tanya Prabhui and Ann Davies, who both ended up with 2 points and each player won 37 dollars and 50 cents. Ms. Davies defeated yours truly in the last round by playing very well to recover from an opening trap that left her down the exchange and two pawns. The youngster, Tanya upset the strong Jeff Nohrden and long time Colorado chess player, Norbert Martinez to earn her share of the prize money.
Young lass, young lad.
In the U1400 section Audrey Li was phenomenal. After a forced 1st round bye, she won three straight games to take 1st place and win 225 dollars. The rating difference between her and her opponents totaled 1441 points!! DCC Secretary, Madeleine Finch held higher rated Kamron Corriea to a last round draw and they share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of 200 dollars, with 3.5 points.
One hoodie, three hairstyles.
Visant Sankaranarayanan is from India, and currently living in Fort Collins. He was kind enough to take me for coffee between rounds, and is the proud father of sons Shaurya and Shubh Misra, who were also playing in the tournament. Mr. Sankaranarayanan also finished with 3.5 points - that included two big upset wins - and consequently won the higher value 1st U1200 prize of 125 dollars. The 75 dollar 2nd U1200 prize was shared by Lan Truong and Weston Taylor.
A DCC Tuesday night room shot.
And even more prize money was won at the DCC Tuesday night tournament. In the Premier section, Daniel Herman is proving his official USCF Master rating is no fluke. This month he finished with a perfect score by winning against none other than NM Brian Wall in the last round.
This fine performance earned Mr. Herman 188 dollars and 78 cents. Matthew Wofford took a 3rd round bye, but otherwise won all his games to take 2nd place and win 113 dollars and 27 cents. Mark Brown lost to NM Wall in round 1 then won his next three games to claim the 3rd place prize of 75 dollars and 51 cents.
Look at that move.
Taylor Andrews only played one game, but that was enough to win the 30 dolar Best Upset prize for win over strong Expert, Rhett Langseth. Who everyone knows is not at all easy to beat. The 20 dollar Honorable Mention Upset prize goes to DCC Treasurer, Luis Jimenez for his win against Expert Alex Steger. Another significant Upset was Turpana Molina holding NM Brian Wall to a draw in round 2.
Well now, this is interesting.
In the Tuesday night U1900 section Abhiram Palle also had a perfect 4-0 score to take 1st place and win 182 dollars and 49 cents. That included a nice last round win over the strong Cole Strong. Grayson Manuel played a great game against yours truly in the last round to take the 2nd place prize of 109 dollars and 49 cents, with 3.5 points.
All ages play at the DCC.
Cole, along with Jason McEwen, Abhijay Balamurugan, Ryan Kearns, and Archer Murane all finished with 3 points and they each won 14 dollars and 60 cents. Niall Case won the 30 dollar U1900 Best Upset prize for his round 3 win over Stan Zborovski. The 20 dollar U1900 Honorable Mention Upset was won by Nathaniel Lasaga-Ivey for his against the upcoming youngster, Kaavya Sakthisaravanan.
Yes, another Tuesday night room shot. I can't help myself :-)
The Tuesday night U1500 section The combined 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize was shared by Seth Fortinsky, Landon Hershey, and Conner Mehler. They all ended up with 3.5 points and each player won 121 dollars and 66 cents. Mr. Fortinsky upset the higher rated, Mitcheal Toth in the last round to earn his share on the prize money. Brandt Finch - DCC Secretary Madeleine Finch's younger brother - won the 30 dollar U1500 Best Upset prize for his big 438 rating point difference win over Rob Jamison in round 2. All three of Brandt's points were upset wins. Tanay Kataru won the 20 dollar U1500 Honorable Mention Upset prize for her round 1 win against Mike Henchen.
No DCC Report is complete without one of my completely out of focus photos :-) Here, players are waiting for the parings.
As always, a big THANK YOU to all the players who are making the DCC great. DCC February total prize money payout was 3189 dollars!! With 47 prize checks being paid out. I doubt if any other local chess club anywhere is paying out this level of prize money to this many players. Next month I'll try to properly identify players and have no blurry pictures. Fat chance of that happening :-)
The Games Section features great games from all three DCC February tournaments.
1) Brian Wall vs. Mark Brown. Round 1. Tuesday. Brian opened this game with 1. Na3 As part of another 40 move challenge, where NM Wall intends to win with both colors after every possible opening move. In this position after 10...Bc2 NM Wall played a preplanned 11. Bf4. What is a much better move? See Brian Walls answers to diagrams #1, #2, #3, #3a #4 and #6 below after Diagram #19a.
3) Turpana Molina vs. Brian Wall. Round 2. Tuesday. NM Wall has just played 23...Qb5xb4, capturing a pawn. What move does Brian say would have been "...twice as good"? It is not an easy answer :-)
3a) the same game Black has just played 46...Kc5-c6 and offered a draw. This may be surprising to anyone who has seen Pawn Wave Guy easily win positions like this. What is the "impossible to find move" that would win for White? Mr. Molina refused the offer and played 47. g5 but a few moves later he was forced to accept Brian's 2nd draw offer.
4) Alex Steger vs. Brian Wall. Round 3. Thursday. NM Wall credits his opponent in this game by saying, "Alex is a brave Tal-like tactician, always looking for a sacrifice. My position was shaky and my opponent was aggressive." Mr. Steger had sacrificed an exchange early to keep the Black King in the center. In this position after 20. Rd1-c1 what does NM Wall say is the "only winning move"?
5) Brian Wall vs. Daniel Herman. Round 4. Thursday. Now an official USCF Master, Daniel Herman wins a lot of games tactically. After a sweet kingside attack, he has just played 48...Rh7xb7 capturing a Bishop. Do you see why NM Wall resigned? If not, burn your chess card :-)
6) Daniel Herman vs. Brian Wall. Round 4. Tuesday. NM Wall has not been happy with his game lately. Saying, "I was in a weeklong slump where I lost all my rating points. I had some kind of atypical impatience running through my games." See his comment below to understand why he says, "I could have resigned on Move 8 but I dragged it out." In this position, Brian has just played 8...Bd7.
7) Sara Herman vs. Brian Wall. Round 1. Thursday. Final position. Pawn Wave Guy has three pawns and an extra Rook for a Knight. Sara lost on time.
8) Nick Petersen vs. Juan Brenes. Round 4. Thursday. a few moves before this position after 35. Nc3-b5 Mr. Petersen's comment was "...now Blacks attack will crash through." and Mr. Brenes does just that :-)
9) Kristopher Zelkin vs. Nick Petersen. Round 3. Thursday. Mr. Petersen's clear concise notes to his games are always like a free chess lesson. Prior to this position he gives a template for how to evaluate an opposite color Bishop ending. They are not all drawn :-)
10) Bradford Blake vs. Jason McEwen. Round 2. DCC U1800 Tournament. Like Mr. Petersen's, Mr. McEwen's game analysis is also always informative and often entertaining. In this position after 23. b3, find "... a fun little checkmate to end it."
11) Kristopher Zelkin vs. Jason McEwen. Round 4. DCC U1800 Tournament. Why did 19. Bh2xd6 - capturing a pawn - "...lead to a losing position..."
12) Jason McEwen vs. Mark Weston. Round 3. DCC U1800 Tournament. White has just played 37. f2-f4. Mr. McEwen's comment is, "approximately 0.1 seconds after making this move I regretted it. He has a forced way to win my rook. Lucky for me he missed it" I can't realize it's my turn to move in 0.1 seconds, let alone see a six move combination :-)
13) Jason McEwen vs. Don Wisdom Round 1. DCC U1800 Tournament. Final position. Mr. McEwen's only loss. Jason credits Mr. Wisdom by saying, "My opponent played well and never gave me a chance to get back in the game."
15) Lev Shulman vs. Gera Cruz. Round 1. Thursday. I believe this position is a draw if Black remembers the pawn ending rule of taking the opposition, then staying in front of the pawn. Instead Gera played 50...Kg7-g8. and the pawn Queens.
I saw 11 Nb6 seconds after playing my preplanned 11 Bf4 after 28 seconds,
Mark Brown missed Nb6 twice after thinking for 20 minutes."
Thanks again to all,