DCC December 2023 Report

3:16pm Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024

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...to play competitive USCF rated chess for pride, rating points, and substantial prize money. 

The DCC is the only chess club I'm familiar with, but I believe we would stack up against any other. If not tower over them. I believe our premier weekend tournament, the Denver Open, has put us on the national tournament map. Meaning nationwide players are aware of the Denver Open and eagerly await the annual TLA. In addition, we have the DCC Spring Classic,  the DCC Fall Classic, and the upcoming DCC Tribute to Martin Luther King tournament, on his national holiday weekend. If, in some way, this DCC event reminds players of what Mr. King did for America then it is a tribute indeed. 

In this year end DCC encomium (or panegyric) - two more Liesl Johnson "Make Your Point" words that I would have never known - let me recap our fantastic attendance and prize money payout at both the Tuesday and Thursday night locations and our above mentioned weekend tournaments


I admit my photography leaves a little to be desired. OK, a lot to be desired :-) 

The Tuesday night monthly registration averaged 101 players, with an average of 67 players competing for prize money and USCF rating points each Tuesday night. For the 3rd round of the April 2023 tournament, 94 players were paired. A record Tuesday night attendance!! As for the prize money, the DCC paid out an average of 1350 dollars each month!! Yes, really. I am not making this up. Thanks to Dean Clow's caissachess software we have factual data going back to 2016.

The Thursday night location is seeing a monthly average registration of 47 players, with an average of 26 players in attendance each week. I am pleased to say that the DCC is paying out an average of 465 dollars a month at this site. With our rating sections at both locations, everyone and anyone has a legitimate chance to win prize money and thus cover the cost of a USCF membership and the entry fees. Not to mention then also having free money to spend. Combining the DCC Tuesday and Thursday prize funds, we are averaging a monthly payout of 1815 dollars!!

Now we'll get to the truly awesome DCC weekend tournament registration and prize money payouts. At the 2023 MLK, we saw 110 players competing for a share of the 5775 dollar prize fund. The inaugural DCC Spring Classic had 90 players and 4500 dollars up for grabs. The 2023 Denver Open saw 194 players vying for a share of 6300 dollars. The DCC Fall Classic had 101 players looking to win a slice of the 4500 dollar pie. In addition, The DCC also paid out 2075 dollars at two U1800 one day tournaments, that were organized by Richard Shtivelband and directed by Andrew Starr. Add that up and you get twenty three thousand, one hundred and fifty dollars. Yes really. 23150 dollars paid out in prize money at our weekend tournaments!!

And I'm not done yet.  There is also the DCC Tour prize fund of 3287 dollars. Entirely funded each year with a small deduction from each DCC tournament entry fee. The DCC Tour is intended to encourage players to play often and play well. Points are awarded for participation and score throughout the year. Then at year's end, the top three players in six USCF rating classes share the money. Thus 18 DCC tournament players will get a belated Christmas gift. 

I asked CSCA and DCC president, Earle Wikle to write a couple of paragraphs about his 1st year as President of the DCC. Here is what Earle had to say: Quoting Mr. Wikle. "As I literally sat writing the night before Christmas, not the rewrite of the classic by Clement Clarke Moore, but a reflection back over the year of the Denver Chess Club. The Club hosted two monthly tournaments, one on Tuesdays at the Hope Fellowship Church, and the other on Thursdays at the Denver Bridge Studio. Both have been successful ranging from 89 to 118 players on Tuesdays, and 34 to 61 on Thursdays."

"At the beginning of the year the DCC hosted the Tribute to MLK, attracting three Grandmasters from Texas. The event was hosted at the Arora Library with 110 players and five sections. 1st in Championship section with 4.5 GM ALEKSEY SOROKIN and GM SEMEN KHANIN, 1st in U1800 with 4.5 NATE GETZ, 1st in U1600 with 5.0 JONATHAN SEALANDER, 1st in U1400 with 5.0 ARI WANG, and 1st in with 4.5 U1200 EMMETT LIGNELL. Hopefully, at the beginning of this coming year the Tribute to MLK will be almost as successful." "In the Spring, Clone Wars started the season off with some fun chess entertainment, with LM Richard Shtivelband and LM Brian Wall taking first. In May, Daniel Herman won the DCC Championship with 4.5 out of 5, and the DCC Spring Classic was also won by NM Daniel Herman with 4.5 out of 5. A very good month of May for NM Daniel Herman. Daniel has also placed first or tied for first at most of DCC Tuesdays and Thursdays tournaments this year, and is in clear first for the DCC Tour."


DCC President, Earle Wikle, center with the Black pieces.

"In the Summer, the DCC hosted its premier tournament, the Denver Open. Although, we could not get any Grandmasters due to scheduling conflicts with national tournaments, we managed to get an astonishing turnout with 191 players. The tournament was amazing and I only have to thank all the players in Colorado and especially the incredible support of the Denver Chess Club players. Also big thanks to Tom Nelson and Peter Barlay for tournament directing and keeping everything running smooth. Congrats to the winners; 1st in Championship RHETT LANGSETH 4.5; 1st in U2200, EDWARD YASUTAKE 4 and MIKE MALONEY 4; 1st in U1800, LEIF PAUL MCFADDEN 5; and 1st in U1400, MATTHEW ABRAHAM 5. Back in April, Brian Wall and I went to the Embassy Suites and negotiated the contract. Unfortunately Brian got very Ill shortly after, and I had to come in help out the DCC. It’s been tough running two organization, but I knew that I had to help out to keep chess in Colorado going. I’m glad that Brian is feeling better and pulled through that rough time. I’m also so grateful to serve with many other good people on the two organizations to help keep everything going."

"In the Fall, the Fall Classic finished out the DCCs four main weekend tournaments. The event was hosted at the Arora Library with 101 players and five sections. Not as big as last years, but still a successful tournament. Congratulations to the winners, 1st in Championship OWEN SEBASTIAN CURTIS 4.5; 1st in U1800 WILLARD DAVIS 4 and ELI MATTHEW COHRS 4; 1st in U1600 MARK LAUER 4.5 and KYLE LUO 4.5; 1st in U1400 SETH FORTINSKY 4.5; 1st in U1200 LAN TRUONG 4.5 pts." "Finally, I want to thank Tom Nelson, Phil Brown, Peter Barlay, James MacNeil, Shirley Herman, Brian Wall, Brian Ledsworth, Weston Taylor, Luis Jimenez, Richard Shtivelband, Turpana Molina, Niall Case, Sikander Baker-Nagar, and Phineas Hagg. Without your help the DCC would lack the ability to continue being successful. If I forgot someone, I’m sorry and thank you. Most of all I would like to thank all of you the players for turning up and playing. Have happy holidays everyone, and may the New Year continue to keep chess growing." 

The Summit School of Chess director, Jesse Cohen is looking for chess instructors. Quoting Mr. Cohen: "Attention Chess Players! (The) Summit School of Chess is passionate about bringing the joy of chess to young minds! We're looking for enthusiastic individuals with flexible schedules or retired, to join our team as chess instructors. "What's in it for you? Earn 80% cash back on your entree at our monthly tournament at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds! - Flexible scheduling - perfect for students or retirees. - No prior teaching experience needed! We provide comprehensive training and support. - Make a positive impact - inspire the next generation of chess champions. Are you ready to share your love of chess? Visit our website or contact us today to learn more. Summit School of Chess - Making chess fun for everyone!" Mr. Cohen's 2024 Scholastic Championship is coming up. See details here: https://summitschoolofchess.bmeurl.co/108CE403

So now at last :-) we'll get to who won what in the DCC December tournaments. In the Tuesday night Premier section is anyone surprised that Daniel Herman has again taken 1st place, to win 178 dollars with a perfect 4-0 score.  Brian Wall will always be Mr. Colorado Chess but he may no longer be the top dog. Mr. Herman is laying claim to that title.  Chris Motley only played two games but he won them both, and with a 1st round bye took 2nd place and won 107 dollars. Eamon Montgomery, Juan Brenes, Joe Ford, Forrest Lundstrom, and Vedanth Peesapaty all ended up with 2 points and they share the 3rd place prize of 71 dollars. 


Daniel Herman (w) vs. Eamon Montgomery (b)

Mr. Peesapaty continues to upset higher rated players to earn his share of DCC prize money. This month he again won the 20 dollar Honorable Mention Upset prize. This time for his win against Mr. Brenes in round 1. The 30 dollar Best Upset prize went to DCC President, Earle Wilke for his round 1 win against NM Brian Wall. 


Lev Shulman (w) vs. Luis Jimenez (b). Turpana Molina on the other board. 

In the Tuesday night U1900 section DCC Treasurer, Luis Jimenez, and Charles Larimer each finished with 3.5 points. With Mr. Larmier having a nice last round 196 point rating difference win over the strong Jeff Norhden. Thus Luis and Charles share the combined 1st and 2nd place prize of 275 dollars. Grayson Manuel, Lex Shulman, Ben DeGuire, and Avyukth Srikanth all ended up with 3 points and share the 69 dollar 3rd place prize. They all had big upsets as part of their score. Mr. Shulman (1577) won against Andrew Starr (1874) and held Mr. Jimenez (1776) to a draw. Mr. DeGuire (1572) probably took 1st place away from Grayson (1808) when he won their round 2 game. After a 1st round bye, Avyukth's (1318) next three games were all upsets that totaled up to almost a 700 point difference!!


Jeff Norhden (w) vs. Charles Larimer (b)  Next board is Lev Shulman recording his move against Ben DeGuire

Youngster James Corbett (1017) won the 30 dollar Best Upset Prize with a 495 point win against Michael Toth (1512) in round 2. Then in round 3, he held yours truly (1600 floor) to draw in a marathon knights and pawns endgame. I like the USCF rating floor because even if I never win another game, I'm a lifetime Class B player. You can't take that away from me :-) The 20 dollar Honorable Mention Upset Prize went to Aaron Ammon (1226) when he upset longtime DCC Player, Bill O'Neil (1600) in round 3.

In the Tuesday night U1500 section Kyle Moellenkamp (1235) won the 1st place prize of 172 dollars with a perfect 4-0 score that included a round 3 upset of Johnathan Lovell (1396). Andrew Robichaud (1443) and Brent Renzi (1040) both finished with 2.5 points and they each won 86 dollars. Mr. Renzi had a nice round 1 upset win against Jeff Wannell (1439) 


Thwayne Johnson (b) vs. Kyle Moellenkamp (w)

The 30 dollar Best Upset Prize was won by Anshul Singhal (387) when he won against Tom Needham (1200) in round 2. The 20 dollar Honorable Mention Upset Prize goes to Nicholas Brookins (613) for his win over long time DCC player Joe Aragon (1312). i should mention that Navid Singhal had two big upset wins with a rating point difference that totaled up to a 958 rating point difference!! To say once again that you can not assume a win just by having a higher rating than your opponent. As I know only too well :-)


Seth Lichenstein (w) vs. Daniel Herman (b)

In the Thursday night Premier section is it a surprise to anyone that Daniel Herman once again took 1st place with a can't do better than a 4-0 score? Set them up, mow 'em down and take home 55 dollars and 60 cents. Luis Jimenez and Seth Lichtenstein both had 2 point final scores. 


Grayson Manuel (b) vs. Luis Jimenez (w)

Mr. Jimenez won against the hard to beat Grayson Manuel in the last round, and Mr.  Lichtenstein upset Mr. Jimenez in round 3 and held higher rated John Sutton to a draw to earn his share of the 62 dollar and 56 cents combined 2nd and 3rd place prize, and also win the 20 dollar Premier Upset Prize. Grayson's 1.5 final score was enough to win the U1900 prize of 20 dollars and 25 cents. 


What's great about the Thursday location is all the new players we are seeing. Photo by Shirley Herman 

In the Thursday night U1600 and Unrated section, Ahriel Godoy had a perfect 4-0 score to take 1st place and win 55 dollars and 60 cents. New to the DCC, Chase Cline won the 41 dollars and 70 cents 2nd place prize with 3 points. Also fairly new to the DCC, Thwayne Johnson took 3rd place and won 20 dollars and 85 cents. Anshul Singhal won the 20 dollars and 85 cents U1600/U1300 prize, and Nivid Singhal won the 20 dollar U1600 Upset Prize. 


Anshul Singhul (w) vs. Ahriel Godoy (b)

The DCC looks forward to 2024. We intend to continue to provide chess players with frequent opportunities to play competitive USCF rated chess for pride, rating points, and substantial prize money. Note that the crisp clear pictures in this report were taken by Shirley Herman. Thank you kindly, Ms. Herman.

We have a scant Games Section this month. I would to see more DCC players posting their games to DCC Games. Please. Brian Wall's games are always interesting. and insightful as to how a chess Master thinks. Keith Oxman has compiled over 1000 of Brian's games from way back, with more to come. I am hoping they will collaborate and publish a book. 

b1rq1rk1/p3ppb1/1p5p/4B1p1/3PQ3/1Bn2N2/PP3PPP/3RR1K1 w - - 20 40

1) Earle Wikle vs. "Pity Master" Brian Wall. Tuesday. Round 1. NM Wall has just played 20...Nd5-c3. A discovered attack and a fork can't be a bad move, right? Wrong. Why? Gunnar Andersen called Mr. Wikle's reply "nasty".

rnb1kbnr/pppp1ppp/8/8/4Pp1q/2N5/PPPPK1PP/R1BQ1BNR b kq - 4

2) "Pity Master" Brian Wall vs. Will Wolf. Thursday. Round 1. An enjoyable game to play over. NM Wall says, "The Steinitz King's Gambit is impossible to play correctly"... "I can never predict where my King will end up."... "In general it is scary and confusing but very satisfying if you survive."

4q3/6pk/2p2p2/Q3p2p/2P1pPbP/2BnP1P1/8/5BK1 b - f3 41 81

3) Daniel Herman vs. Brian Wall. Thursday. Round 2. In this position after 41. f2-f4 NM Wall in time pressure played the  en passant capture ...exf3. Why was that ill advised? 

1k1r4/pp4r1/2pb3p/5B2/1P1P4/2P3P1/P6P/4RRK1 b - - 24 47

4) "Super GM" Brian Wall vs. Dean Brown. This game is from a Shirley Herman dual rated Colorado Springs IHOP tournament. Find the move that Mr. Brown plays in this position after 24. Rae1. Brian says, "Allowing 24 ... (xxx) was very impractical. Dean goes on to give the "Super GM" a tough game.

3rr1k1/pp1nppbp/1qpP2p1/3n4/3P1BbP/P1N2N2/1PP1BPP1/R3QRK1 b - - 13 25

5) Daniel Marmer vs. Brian Wall. Same IHOP tournament. In this position, Mr. Wall says "13. exd6 was a move so heinous tactically and positionally that I instantly took a pawn instead of a free piece." Do you see the hanging piece? Brian says "By Move 23 Daniel was down to 5 minutes." which "...also made it hard for me to focus". Incredibly NM Wall "ended up botching a +5 position into an insane loss.". Therefore, this game indicates that next time you play NM Brian Wall you have hope :-)

5rk1/1p4pp/p2pp1r1/4p1q1/3nP3/6P1/PPP1BP1P/R2Q1RK1 b - - 19 37
6) Niall Case vs, Andrew Starr Tuesday. Round 1. Quoting Mr. Starr "White just played 19. Be2. What is the only way to create several threats against White and win a pawn?" See Andrew's answers below.

5rk1/1p4pp/p2pp1r1/4p3/3nP2q/5PP1/PPP1B2P/R2Q1RK1 b - - 20 39

6a) the same game  Mr. Case has just played 20. f3 Mr. Starr says, "Unfortunately, White does not find the critical line here and blunders. Find the immediate winning shot."

3Rr1k1/1b3q1p/p1p1p1pP/2p1PpQ1/2B5/6P1/PP3P2/6K1 w - - 35 70

7) Grayson Manuel vs. Abhiran Palle Tuesday. Round 3. Mr. Starr comments on this game with "Black just played 35...Bb7. Find a quick mate!" 

8/4p2p/p1p2k2/4pP2/2P3rP/1P1RKPr1/P6R/8 w - - 31 62

8) Chris Motley vs. Joe Ford. Tuesday. Round 3. Mr. Starr found the Rook pawn ending of this game to be "interesting". Aren't Rook and pawn endings always interesting :-)


Joe Ford has physical disabilities, but that doesn't stop him from enjoying and playing a good game of chess. Here playing a tough endgame against Chris Motley. It is thanks to Joe that the DCC has our current Tuesday night location. Far and away the best location the DCC has ever had. 

      Andrew Starr's answers to diagrams #6,6a, and #7

6) "19... Qh4! threatens the pawn on e4 and a few other nasty plans based on how white responds: 
If 20. Bd3, 20...Nf3+ 
If 20. Qd3, 20... Rf4 was my intention and gives a large advantage to black, but 20...Qh3 is better, which threatens to play 21...Rh6.
If 20. c3, 20...Qh3! 21. Bg4 Qxg4 22. cxd4 exd4 (critical line)"

6a) "20...Rxg3+! 
If 21. hxg3, 21... Qxg3+ 22. Kh1 Rf4
The game concluded 21. Kh1 Rh3 22. Qe1 Rxh2+ 23. Kg1 Nxe2+ 24. Qxe2 Qg3+ 25. Qg2 Qxg2#."

7)  "36. Rxe8+ Qxe8 37. Qf6! Qf7 to prevent mate on g7 (if 37...Qd7, 38. Bxe6+ with mate on the next move) 38. Qd8+ (38. Bxe6 is slightly faster threatening immediate mate on g7) Qf8 39. Bxe6+ Kh8 40. Qxf8#"


Thanks to all, 

J.C. MacNeil


Last Modified: 1/4/2024 at 12:45pm Views: 426