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