DCC March 2024 Report

11:37am Sunday, March 31st, 2024

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It's always good to win against higher rated players...

If you will indulge me, I'd like to start  this report with a quick summary of the great Colorado State Chess Association's annual Colorado Closed tournament. The CSCA invites 24 top rated Colorado players to play in four sections: Closed - Challenger - Scholastic - and Scholastic  Challenger. Then the six players in each section play a round robin to determine the champions. This event could also be called the No Easy Games tournament :-) CSCA President and Tournament Director Earle Wikle is standing on the left. See Mr. Wikle's summary of the tournament in the April Colorado Informant . The heading photo and all pictures in this report are by Shirley Herman. 


Colorado State Closed Champion, Eamon Montgomery.

Rising Colorado chess star, Eamon Montgomery won the Closed with 4 points, losing only to Griffin McConnell. Thus Mr. Montgomery becomes the new Colorado State Closed Champion. Suhass Narayanan won the Challenger section with 4 points. Only allowing draws to Vedanth Sampath and Rhett Langseth. 


 Suhass Narayanan, Challenger section champion.

Rocco DeGeest and Grayson Manuel finished with 3.5 points to become Co-champions of the Scholastic Closed. Kaavya Sakthisarvana wiped out the Scholastic Challenger section with a perfect 5-0 score. I'm pleased to mention that most of these players play often at the DCC. 


Grayson Manuel...


and Rocco DeGeest are the Scholastic Closed Champions...


and  Kaavya Sakthisaravanan is the Scholastic Challenger Champion.

So then, on to who won what in the DCC Tuesday night tournament. I guess it won't come as a surprise that it was Eamon Montgomery who finished 1st place in the Premier section. With a round 2 bye and three wins, he takes home 160 dollars and 23 cents. Richard Shtivelband and Rhett Langseth ended up with 3 points and each player won 80 dollars and 7 cents. Rhett upset both NM Shtivelband and NM Daniel Herman. Reyansh Agarwal (1535) won the 30 dollar Best Upset Prize for his round 1 win against the strong USCF Expert, Alexander Steger (2076) The 20 dollar Honorable Mention Upset Prize goes to Mr. Langseth for his win against Mr. Shtivelband.


Abhijay Balamurgan (w) vs. Charles Larimer (b)

In the Tuesday night  U1900 section, Charles Larimer took the 1st place prize of 154 dollars and 64 cents with a 3.5 point final score. Incredibly there was a five way tie for 2nd place. Abhijay Balamurugan, Niall Case, Sumanth Kaja, Sarvesh Rajesh, and Andrew Robichaud all finished with 3 points, and each player won 34 dollars and 90 cents.  And to talk about upset wins, Abhijay had two, Sarvesh and Andrew both had four. Then, incredibly James Corbett and Ragul Thiyagarajan both had identical 363 rating point difference upset wins. So, the Best and Honorable Upset Prizes were combined and James and Ragul each won 25 dollars. Of course, in addition to the prize, it's always good to win against higher rated players, if only for the USCF rating point gain. 


Tom Crabb (b) vs. Pranav Male (w). The other board is Joe Aragon (white hat) vs. Weston Taylor.

In the Tuesday night U1500 section Pranav Male and Alexander Von Kaenel both ended up with 3.5 points. They share the combined 1st and 2nd place prize of 247 dollars and 50 cents. Tom Crabb won the 84 dollar 3rd place prize. Mr. Von Kaenel (888) also won the 30 dollar Best Upset Prize for his win round 1 win against Royce Haynes (1246). Of note is all of Mr. Von Kaenel's points were upsets. Totaling up to a rating point difference of 841 points!!. Shirley Herman (904) is improving by the game and won the 20 dollar Honorable Mention Upset Prize for her win over Mark Fischer (1200) in round 3. 


Thursday night TD Weston Taylor setting the clock. Ms. Herman has informed me that she did not take this photo because she "would have cropped the blurry lights out." So, it must have been me who did not crop out the blurry lights :-) 

The DCC apologizes for the last minute rescheduling for the 3rd round of the Thursday night tournament. We have a key and the code for the playing room, but we never expected the entrance to the building to be locked. Apparently building management assumed due to the severe snowstorm the DCC would not be meeting. I know this was an inconvenience for TD Weston Taylor and of course for several players who arrived ready to play and found we had rescheduled the round to be played on Friday. Hopefully, this won't happen again. Of course, if we had a facility like they have in St Louis, that would be the ideal solution. We can dream.


Richard Shtivelband (w) vs. Mike Maloney(b)

In the Thursday night Premier section, Mike Maloney (1942) has big bragging rights because he upset both NM Brian Wall (2219) and NM Richard Shtivelband (2206), to take 1st place with 3.5 points, and win 68 dollars and 60 cents. Brian and Richard tied for 2nd and 3rd place with 2.5 points, and they each won 44 dollars and 22 cents. 

Ben DeGuire (w) vs. Kristopher Zelkin (b)

Kristopher Zelkin won the U1900 prize with 2 points, and takes home 29 dollars and 48 cents. Logan Fry (1678) won the 20 dollar Premier Upset Prize when he won against Alexander Steger (1976) in round 1.   In the Thursday night U1600 and Unrated section Richard Teller took 1st place and won 78 dollars and 60 cents. Mark Kingsley, Shirley Herman, and Weston Taylor share the combined U1600 2nd, 3rd, and U1300 prize of 117 dollars and 90 cents. Steven Oakman (654) won the 20 dollar U1600 Upset Prize for his win against Tom Needham (1200) in round 3. 

As always a big THANK YOU to the players who play in DCC tournaments. We look forward to having you all play in the upcoming DCC Spring Classic, on April 6th and 7th. 

Games Section (Starts with #0 because I'm a space case) 

3rr3/pk3ppp/1pp3n1/3p1n2/3P1q2/2QB1N1P/PPP2PP1/1K1RR3 w - - 19 38

0) Mike Maloney vs. Brian Wall. Thursday. Round 3. NM Wall has just played 19...Qd6-f4. Why was that essentially a losing move? A rare oversight by Mr. Colorado Chess.

r1bqr1k1/1p1n1pb1/p2p1npp/2pP4/P3P3/2N1BP2/1P1Q2PP/R1N1KB1R b KQ - 13 25
1) Brian Wall vs. Luis Jimenez. Thursday. Round1. NM Wall said that he saw Mr. Jimenez's 13... Nxe4!! three times. Remembering past games that were years apart. Brian credited Luis with the exclamation marks. Brian says, "Two weeks later I handed Luis this  book , with the ... Nxe4!! idea explored by old friend Eric Montany." Note: In this and the following games, all comments in "quotation marks" are by Brian Wall.

rnbqkbnr/pp1ppppp/8/2p5/4P2P/8/PPPP1PP1/RNBQKBNR b KQkq h3 2 3
2)  Brian Wall vs. Forest Lundstrom Thursday. Round 4. NM Wall explains this position by saying, "Many of my favorite attacking schemes for Black and White involve Pawn to King's Four and Pawn to King's Rook Four. Alekhine-Chatard Attack, Fishing Pole, Raccoon." 

2r2rkb/p2q1p2/2np1P2/1ppBpbPQ/7P/2PPB3/PP3N2/4RRK1 w - - 23 46
2a) the same game In this position after 23...Qd8-d7 Brian played a winning move - 24. Nf2-g4. What is a slightly better mating move? Answers below after the last diagram. 

4k3/6R1/2K5/8/8/8/7b/8 w - - 108 216
3) Brian Wall vs. Sullivan McConnell. Colorado Closed. Round 5.  Final position. "(I) tortured the highest rated player in the 2024 Colorado Closed for 108 moves but couldn't come up with a win." Further saying, "After missing a trillion wins all game due to Sullivan's superior clock management, I stumbled into a weird positional draw with 68. e6??  Ke8!! and I don't see how to make any progress. I didn't have to rush f5 and/or e6,I could have swung my King around first making it super easy." As the GMs say: Winning is good, but it's more important not to lose. Sullivan did just that.

r4rk1/1p1qbppp/p1np1n2/4pP2/8/1P4P1/PBP1NPBP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 13 26
4) Brian Wall vs. Eamon Montgomery. Colorado closed. Round 2. After 13...Qc7-d7 Brian says of this game, "Eamon went from playing his worst game ever against me last time to his best ever." It occurred to me during the game I should have just let the f5-pawn go and play natural moves with14 c4, Nc3-d5 with adequate simple compensation. Instead, I had to enter insane complications that would make anyone's head spin." See other comments below. 

1kr4r/pp2np2/4p3/PPqpPp1p/3N4/2P1Q2P/5PP1/2R1R1K1 w - - 26 52
5) Zachary Bekkedahl vs. Brian Wall. Colorado Closed. Round 4. Mr. Wall laments this game by saying; "I had a position where I couldn't do anything positive, just had to wait for Zach to endlessly improve his position" Why was 26... Qc4-c5 a bad move? 

4r1k1/p1qb2p1/1p2p1N1/3pQ3/2r1nB2/8/PP3PPP/3RR1K1 b - - 27 53
6) Daniel Herman vs. Brian Wall. Colorado Closed. Round 3. Brian said "I hadn't converted a winning position against Daniel Herman for two years. It was hard for Daniel to accept a draw being a pawn up, therefore he kept playing until he blundered in time pressure with 48 Kf2?? See other comments below. But first, think like Brian Wall and decide what you would play after Mr. Herman played 27. Bg5-f4

2kr3r/pp3pp1/1n2pn2/7p/2P5/4N1PP/P4P2/R1R2BK1 b - - 23 45
7) Brian Wall vs. Griffin McConnell Colorado Closed. Final Position. Round 1. NM Wall says, "The game felt a lot longer than 23 moves, each position was critical." A hard fought game that ended in a draw. Griffin had the satisfaction of being the only player to take a point from Eamon Montgomery, the tournament winner.

r1b1k2r/p2n1ppp/2p1B1n1/1pb1P3/3p1B2/3P1NP1/PPP1N1PP/2KR3R b kq - 13 25
8) Andrew Robichaud vs. Ricardo Bogaert. Tuesday. Round 4. Mr. Robichaud says "13. Bc4xe6 Sacrificing the bishop is a fun idea that doesn't work." I'm also prone to thinking maybe something good will happen :-)

r1b1qrk1/1pp1ppb1/pn1p2pp/n2N4/P2PP2B/5N1P/BPP2PP1/R2Q1RK1 w - - 12 24
9) James Corbett vs. Andrew Robichaud. Tuesday. Round 4. With 12... Nd7-b6 Black allows a knight fork on c7, but nevertheless goes on to win the game. 

4R3/8/p6p/1p2kb1K/8/1P4P1/P3p1P1/8 b - - 49 97
10) Jeff Nohrden vs. Andrew. Robichaud Tuesday. Round 2. Perhaps Mr. Nohrden was counting on 49. Rd8-e8+ to stop the passed pawn, but Mr. Robichaud has an answer for that. 

3r3k/pp4Rp/b1p1B3/2q5/8/5Q1P/PP4P1/7K b - - 28 55
11) Mark Kingsley vs. Will Evans. Tuesday. Round 4. Mr. Kingsly has just played 28. Rf7xg7 capturing a pawn. Can Mr. Evans reply with ...Kh8xg7? If not why not? 

rnbqk2r/p1p2ppp/1p2pn2/3p2B1/1bPP4/2N2N2/PP2PPPP/R2QKB1R w KQkq - 5 10
12) Kaavya Sakthisaravanan vs. J.C. MacNeil. Tuesday Round 3. I have just played 5...b7-b6? How does Kaavya win a piece and go on to win the game with ease?

Brian Wall's answers to diagrams  #2a, #4, #6

 2a) "24. g6!!!!! mates faster." 

4) "Rushing in with 23 Qh7+? was wrong, 23 Rxf4!! = a move early was right.

17 Kh1!!, 18 g5!!, 20 g6!!, 21 Nf4!! were brilliant"

"I have dozens of better moves than 11 Nce2!?  but I was copying GM 
Alexander Ivanov's approach to the Sicilian."

6) "I almost resigned after 26 ... Ne4??  27 Bf4!! winning material.
I can't trade Queens and I can't not trade Queens.
26 ... Ne4??  27 Bf4!!  Qxe5  28 Nxe5  everything hangs
26 ... Ne4??  27 Bf4!!  Rc8  28 Rxe4, Ne7+, Qh5, Qxc7, f3, b3 everything wins."

Then saying, "I decided to gamble with 26 ... Ne4??  27 Bf4!!  Qc5 knowing that
28 Qh5!!  Qxf2+  29  Kh1  +4 looks scary but Black has no real threats. 
Surviving that was the first miracle to saving the game."

Thanks again to all,
J.C. MacNeil



Last Modified: 4/1/2024 at 1:05pm Views: 206