DCC 2023 Fall Classic Report

11:50am Thursday, October 19th, 2023

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... snatch defeat from the jaws of an opponent's victory

There is no question that the popularity of chess continues to rise. Looking over the registration list for the 2023 DCC Fall Classic, I didn't recognize even half the names. Back in the day, Brian Wall and I could name any player in the room. Mainly because there were nowhere near as many players and it was pretty much the same players at each tournament. I'm glad to say those days are long gone. Part of the reason for the rise of popularity is chess parents have become aware that chess is good for helping their kids learn how to think. The heading photo is Chief TD Earle Wikle checking out the DGT board display.

What other game can get kids to sit still for hours :-)

So it's good to see more and more school age players taking up the game. I think the reason is the sense of accomplishment that comes with winning by what you, and you alone, did throughout the course of the game, and knowing that luck had little or nothing to do with it. When playing a game sometimes you'll see a tricky winning combination and your eyes light up. Or in a bad position, you find a way to save the game. Meaning sometimes a draw is even better than winning. When you save a lost game, you snatch defeat from the jaws of an opponent's victory :-) All this is just saying there is a thrill factor to playing tournament chess, that non-players just don't get.  

In the sport of chess, the size or the age of the players doesn't matter in the least.

Speaking of scholastic players, this is from scholastic chess organizer Jesse Cohen who runs the Summit School of Chess . "I'm getting ready to formally announce that the 2023-2024 Colorado Chess League (for elementary and middle school) will be starting in November... A way to form a school team and compete against other school teams." Mr. Cohen has been promoting and organizing school team tournaments for years and years.  Contact Jesse for more information.  

Owen Curtis (b) vs Alex Bohn (w) Last round game for the championship...

 Brian Wall (b) and Richard Shtivelband (w) who appears skeptical of Brian's opening :-)  

So then, all that said, on to who won a share of the huge DCC Fall Classic 4500 dollar prize fund. In the Championship section, it cannot be called anything but a big surprise that Owen Curtis - USCF rated "only" 1819 finished ahead of NM Brian Wall, NM Richard Shtivelband, and strong Expert Rhett Langseth. With 4 wins and a Round 4 bye, Owen took clear 1st place and won 600 Dollars. Well done, Mr. Curtis!! 

Mr. Wall, Mr. Shtivelband, and Mr. Langseth all ended up with 4 points and they share the combined 2nd, 3rd, and U2200 prize. With each player winning 266 dollars and 67 cents. Why Rhett is sharing the U2200 prize was beyond me. It seemed that should have been extra for him alone since Brian and Richard are rated over 2200. Earle Wikle, DCC President and chief TD, explained that it was due to USCF rule 32B. Reading through the density of that was also beyond me :-)  

DCC Treasurer, Luis Jimenez vs. Daniel Herman, one of Colorado's strongest players.

Of note is Alex Bohn's (rated 1846) first four games were all huge upsets. He started out with a win against NM Shtivelband, held a draw against former CSCA President, Brad Lundstrom, won against near Expert Luis Jimenez, then beat strong Expert Rhett Langseth. Only losing in the last round to the DCC Fall classic Champion, Owen Curtis. Mr. Bohn won the 200 dollar U2000 prize. Proving that you can't look at a player's rating and assume a result. As we should all know by now :-) 

 Eli Cohrs (b) vs. Darshan Satishkumar (w)

In the U1800 section, Willard Davis and Eli Cohrs each finished with 4 points. They share the combined 1st and 2nd place prize of 700 dollars.  Mr. Cohrs had 3.5 points going into the last round, and with a win against Darshan Satishkumar would have taken clear 1st place. But Darshan was having none of that and the game ended in a draw. Allowing Mr. Davis to tie with a last round upset win over Johnathan Amdahl. Kristopher Zelkin and Mr. Satishkumar both finished with 3.5 points and they share the 3rd place prize of 200 dollars.

Greg Wheeler (w) vs. Kyle Luo (b)

In the U1600 section, both Kyle Luo and Mark Lauer ended up with 4.5 points. Tying for 1st and 2nd place. Mr. Lauer benefitted from a 1st round forfeit win, and when they were paired against each other in round 3, Mark held the higher rated Kyle to a draw. Both players won 287 dollars and 50 cents for their excellent play. 

Krish Mathimaran won the 125 dollar 3rd place prize with 3.5 points.  Matthew Miller and Conner Tran didn't win any money with 2.5 points, but they will be gaining USCF rating points, as their scores were all from upsetting higher rated opponents. Who cares about the money? It's the rating points that matter :-) 

Seth Fortinsky (b) vs. James Colbertt (w)

Seth Fortinsky took 1st place in the U1400 section with 4.5 points and won 350 dollars. The combined 2nd and 3rd place prize was won by Micah Pena and Ricky Marchant. They both won 175 dollars with 4 points. The youngster James Colbertt had the best upset in this section when he won against the 248 higher rated, An Andy Hoang in round 3. I should mention that Shirley Herman only scored 1 point, but it was from drawing against two much higher rated players.  

Lan Troung (w) vs. Brendon Wells

In the U1200 section, Lan Troung won the 1st place prize of 300 dollars with 4.5 points. It may have been a 5-0 score if he had not taken a 1st round bye. The combined 2nd and 3rd place prize was won by Jason Wuu, Harley Richardson, and Brendan Wells. They all finished with 4 points and each player won 100 dollars. 

Micheal-van Dinh had a nice last round 384 rating point difference win over Alison Walker. There were only two other upsets in this section, and both were less than a 100 point rating difference. My opinion is if it's not more than a 100 point difference, it's a big win but not really an upset. I am hoping at next year's DCC weekend tournaments, we will have Upset prizes as we do for our Tuesday and Thursday night tournaments.  

Another DCC tournament has filled up the room with chess players.

I'd like to finish this report by saying I appreciate DCC President, Earle Wikle, having a five sections tournament. Thus spreading the wealth and allowing any player - regardless of their rating - some chance of winning prize money. Also thanks to Mr. Wikle for setting up the DGT boards.  Quoting Mr. Wikle: "The top eight boards (1-4 Championship, 5-6 U1800, 7-8 U1600) were displayed on the Library's big projector screen so that all can watch the games without getting up and walking over to the top boards. One person commented, “Nice touch”. It most certainly gave a feeling of seeing those old pictures where the top boards were displayed on a big board on the wall for the public to watch from a distance."

Mr. Wikle had this to say about the Aurora Library: "I would like to thank the Aurora public library for allowing us to use the library and stay after to get setup, play, and tear down. The whole library staff is amazing, and most notably Tessy Walker, Virginia De La Paz, Andrea North, Nisha Chatnani, Justine Camacho, all helped out with making the tournament a success." Mr. Wilke has informed me that, unfortunately the library will closing on Sundays in the near future. Mr. Wikle asked me to include a library contact  and for us to ask them to reconsider their decision. 

Assistant TD, Peter Barlay is on the job. He and Earle Wikle do good work.

Many thanks to assistant TD Peter Barlay for once again making sure Earle got things right :-) Of course, the DCC is most grateful for the players who play in DCC tournaments. Casual chess is all well and good, but tournament chess for prize money and rating points is the real thing. Thank you all very much. 

The DCC also very much appreciates chess parents who wait patiently while their kids play a game that can last hours. Thank you. Somehow I accidentally deleted a photo of the #1 chess parent, Nicole Hagg. Proud parent of Phineas Hagg. 

Also, I can't tell you how much I appreciate John Brezina taking pictures at DCC tournaments. See all of his round 2  and round 3 photography. Plus these extra added attraction video clips

In the foreground, Sai Dasari (b) vs. Will Wolf (w) See the story of this game in John Brezina  pictures...

Mr . Wolf contemplating and...

...now making his move...

... attracting a crowd...

... and the handshake of respect. It was a great game. 

Games Section

Find all DGT board games here.   Click Round in the upper right corner and select the round and game you wish to view.

r4rkb/p1pbqp2/3pp2p/3P2p1/4Q3/2PB1PN1/PP4PP/3RR1K1 b - - 22 43
1) Caleb Pena Vs. Brian Wall. DCC Fall Classic. Round 1. White threatens mate after 22. Qe2-e4. At the cost of material, find the only move to prevent checkmate. 

r5k1/p4ppp/8/1N1nBP2/8/1P1R3P/P6K/8 b - - 28 55
2) Brian Wall vs. Guillermo Lozano. Fall Classic. Round 2. Final Position. NM Wall says Mr. Lozano should have accepted the Kings Gambit pawn, and when he didn't - "His refusal to do so led to the loss of a central pawn." and it went downhill from there. 

r1bqkbnr/pppp1ppp/8/3pn3/4PP2/8/PPP3PP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 4 8
3) Grayson Manuel vs. Brian Wall. DCC Fall Classic. Round 3. After 4...e6-d5 NM Wall appears to be sacrificing a Knight. Brian says, "The Full Metal Jacket which I invented in Josh Bloomer's basement 20 years ago." See a Brian Wall - Chris Peterson YouTube video: "Full Metal Jacket -- A New Chess Opening" Would you take the free Kight?

2kr3r/ppqb1pp1/2p2n2/3p3p/2P5/3BPNP1/PP3PP1/R2Q1RK1 w - h6 15 30
4) Brian Wall vs. Julien Botto. DCC Fall Classic. Round 4. NM Wall credits his opponent by saying, "Julien Botto almost Fishing Poled me... I had no right to win" This position looks familiar, except NM Wall is playing the White Pieces.  Here, after 15...h7-h5, Brian says, "Suddenly I am fighting for my life."

2k5/pp3pp1/2p4n/6qr/8/3QP3/PP3PKN/3R1R2 w - - 27 54
4a) the same game After 27...Qf6-g5 Brian says, "Oh no! 27 ... Rxh2+! = Only Move. Julien anticipated 27 ... Qg5+  28 Kh1  Rxh2+ =. He had drifted to less than a minute and had a momentary blind spot after playing well all game." What did NM Wall play instead of 28. Kh1. With the comment, "No perpetual now"

1k6/pp1Q1pp1/2p4n/6q1/8/4PK2/PP3P1r/3R1R2 w - - 29 58
4b) the same game In this position, imagine that instead of playing 30. Qd7-d8+, as played in the game, NM Wall had decided to win the Rook with 30. Qd6+ and 31. Qxh2. Why would that have lost the game?  See NM Wall's answers to this, and the following, below after the last diagram below. 

8/p1r2kpp/b2r4/5p2/1b3P2/1PN2RP1/P1RB2P1/4K3 b - - 30 59
5) Brad Lundstrom vs. Brian Wall. DCC Fall Classic. Round 5.  In this position, NM Wall played 30...Ba6-b7. A good move but what does the computer like much better? Brian calls his analysis of this game "a Stockfish fairy tale." :-)

8/pbr2kpp/8/3N1p2/1b3P2/1P1r2P1/P1RB1RP1/4K3 b - - 32 63
5a) the same game. White has just played 32. Nc3-d5 and NM Wall says it was "a horrible shock, then further saying he had "missed a 100 wins and Brad breaks out of the bind." Unfortunately, under time pressure Mr. Lundstrom missed equalizing moves and lost anyway. 

r1b3k1/Np3r1p/p3pbp1/2B3q1/2P2PQn/7P/PPP3P1/3R1RK1 b - f3 20 39
6) Rocco Degeest. vs. Turpana Molina. DCC Fall Classic. Round 1. White has just played 20. f2-f4. What did he overlook? 

8/p2r4/6K1/8/2k4P/2P5/3p4/3R4 w - - 59 118
 7) Turpana Molina vs. Mike Maloney. DCC Fall Classic. Round 2. Final position. White resigns. A well played Rook - Pawn ending by Mr. Maloney

6k1/p6p/4n3/5p2/5P2/r3b1PP/P1q2n2/1R2Q2K w - - 39 78
8) Sandeep Mathew vs. Turpana Molina.  DCC Fall Classic. Round 3. At move 24. both players had a Queen and Bishop with Sandeep also having two Rooks and seven pawns against Turpana also having one Rook, two Knights and five pawns. Mr. Mathew resigned in this final position. I'd say the Knights won :-)

8/1PK1k3/8/8/8/8/2R5/1r6 b - - 66 131
9) Turpana Molina vs. Caleb Pena. Round 4. Final position. This time it's Mr. Molina who wins a well played Rook-Pawn ending.

r2q1rk1/4bppb/p1Q1p2p/2p1P3/2Pp1P2/3P1N2/PPnNK1PP/R4B1R w - - 17 34
10) Rhett Langseth vs. Turpana Molina. Round 5. After 17...Ne3-c2, Mr. Mollina asks, "What's the threat if white moves the a1 rook? See Mr. Molina's answers below. 

r4rk1/4b1pb/p3p2p/2p1N2q/2Pp1P2/3P2P1/PP1N3P/Q3KB1R b - - 23 45
10a) Instead of 23...g5 as played in the game, what is a much better move? 

8/6rk/p3p2p/2p2r2/2PpBpNb/3P4/q2NQ2P/6RK b - - 37 73
10b) the same game  After 37. Kg2-h1Mr. Turpana says, "white removed one of the pins in the position, what move can black try to regain material? First what move did regain material? Now how do you think would the computer have continued? 

5Q2/8/p5k1/2p4p/2Pp4/3P1N1K/8/5q2 w - - 63 126
10c  the same game Final position. Mr. Molina's comment is "at the end... I thought I had a perpetual, but I was just seeing ghosts and blundered under time pressure." And haven't we all?  

1r2qrk1/p1R3pp/3Rpp2/1p2P3/5P2/3Q1b2/PP4PP/6K1 b - - 26 51
 11) Evan McCromick vs. Daniel Marmer. DCC Fall Classic. Round 5. White has just played 26. Qd2-d3. What would have been a better move?

                                                                 Brian Wall answers to diagram #4b, #5 and 5a

4b) "30 Qd6+  Kc8  31 Qxh2???  Qg4#"
5) "30 ... Rh6!!!  +5.2 did not occur to me at all,
vicious Rooks and Bishops scissors action.
30 ... Bd3!!  31 Rc1  Ba3!!  32 Rd1  Bc5!!  +4.5
30 ... Bc5!!  +4.2
30 ... Rcd7!! +4.2
And many other wins. I had no idea how strong my position was." 

5a) "38 Nf2! =, Nc1! =, a3! = After  38. Nc5+??  Kd5 39. Nxe4??  fxe4 40. a4??  Kd4 Brad was -5 all over again.

 Turpana Molina's answers to diagrams #10, 10a, and 10b.  

10) "18... Nb4! with Nxd3 to follow and the octopus knight will keep some pressure on. "octopus knight" :-)

10a) 23... Rxf4! If white takes the rook with 24. gxf4, then Bh4 is checkmate!

10b) "37... f3 works with the game's continuation 38. Qxf3. However, according to the computer analysis white could have kept a big advantage in this messy position with 38. Qd1."

Thanks again to all,

J.C. MacNeil

Last Modified: 10/24/2023 at 9:45am Views: 578