DCC June 2024 Report

3:55pm Sunday, June 30th, 2024

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Then when you look at your opponent with the touched piece in your hand, he is smiling :-) 

The heading photo is Forrest Lundstrom, Wyatt Wear, and Ben DeGuire engaged in some post game analysis. Chess is an ongoing learning experience. The depth of chess fascinates me, as I'm sure it does for all chess players. I wouldn't be surprised if books on or about chess outnumber all other gamebooks combined. As in all sports, there are professionals and amateurs. I separate tournament chess players from casual players because, in my opinion, tournament chess is playing for real. I don't mean that as a knock on casual chess which is all fine and good, but winning or losing doesn't really matter when it's family fun, or trash talking casual games between friends. 

In a USCF rated tournament, you've paid an entry fee, and you are playing for pride, prize money, and USCF rating points. Of the three, I think for most players, it's the rating points that matter most. The fascination is that everything is in plain sight, and no dice or cards can influence or affect the outcome of the game. Both Backgammon and Texas Hold'em are thinking games but without question, luck plays a significant part. In chess, for the most part, it's all you. You may call it lucky if your opponent overlooks that your last move left your Queen hanging. But even that's more their oversight than you being lucky. 

Also fascinating to me is that not only has chess survived essentially unchanged for centuries, but yet still in the Opening, the tree of possible moves has so many branches, and when as you try to follow a branch, twigs appear and leaves get in the way :-) Eventually, a Middlegame arises, and now you try to plot a strategy that will lead to tactics that give you a material advantage going into the Endgame. Where incredibly, with fewer pieces on the board, the calculations are sometimes even more difficult.  

Every move, in each phase of the game, requires foresight along with sound, careful decision making, because one careless move can wipe out any number of previous good moves. But all the while a clock is ticking away, and your allotted time for the game is dwindling. Losing on time while winning on the board is hard to take. Let me also mention the touch move rule. All of us have reached out and picked up a piece we intend to move, only to then see that not only is the intended move losing but there is no safe move at all for the touched piece. Then when you look at your opponent with the touched piece in your hand, he is smiling :-) 


The DCC always welcomes new players. Benjamin Simberg is about to move against DCC regular Vedanth Margale 

So then, now that I'm done preaching to the choir :-) on with who played the best moves in the DCC Tuesday and Thursday night June tournaments. In the Tuesday night Premier Section, the rivalry between Eamon Montgomery and Daniel Herman continues. Last month Mr. Herman took 1st place, this month Mr. Montgomery took home the 167 dollar and 2 cents 1st place prize. Mr. Herman won 100 dollars and 21 cents for 2nd place. Rising star Sikander Backer-Nagar and LM Richard Shtivelband share the 3rd place prize of 66 dollars and 82 cents. William Wolf (1731) won the 30 dollar Premier Section Upset Prize when he won against the DCC Treasurer, Luis Jimenez (1965) in round 1. 


Rhett Langseth is on the move against Eamon Montgomery. On the other board, Luis Jimenez has won against Dom Wisdom.

In the Tuesday night U1900 Section, there was a three way tie for 1st place. Jarod Heap, Jeff Nohrden, and Sumanth Naga Kaja each won 107 dollars and 58 cents. Shirley Herman (942) won the 30 dollar 1900 Upset Prize when she beat long time DCC player Randolph Schine (1500) in Round 2. Ms. Herman also scored a big upset when she held Pranav Male (1421) to a draw. Most of the photos used in this report are by Ms. Herman. 


 Shirley Herman - shown here playing on Thursday night- with a big grin. I appreciate the photos that Ms. Herman takes at DCC Tournaments., and I'm impressed by how much her game is improving. 


Tanay Kataru making one of his many good moves. 

In the Tuesday night U1500 section, Tanay Kataru (872) can be pleased with his performance. Not only did he take 1st place and win 161 dollars and 37 cents, he also won the 30 dollar Upset Prize for his win over Alexan Kaenel (1275) in round 2. Not to mention his Round 1 win against long time DCC player, Mark Fischer (1200). Andrew Nohrden and Richard Eveleigh tied for 2nd and 3rd place with 3 points, and they each won 80 dollars and 69 cents. Both players had upset wins against higher rated players. Rating points and prize money are always good.


Can't have a DCC report without one of my fine blurry Tuesday night room shots...


... and here the Thursday night tournament is in progress.

In the Thursday night Premier section LM Richard Shtivelband took 1st place with a 1st round bye and a last round win against his nemesis, Brian Wall, to end up with 3.5 points and take home 73 dollars and 20 cents. Daniel Herman, Luis Jimenez, and Rocco Degeest all finished with 2.5 points and they share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize of 82 dollars and 35 cents. The young Rocco had the pleasure of winning against Mr. Herman in round 3. I'm not sure if DeGeest is spelled with a capital G or not. Fine reporter, I am.  The Premier U1900 prize of 27 dollars and 45 cents was won by Samuel Slack, who also won the 20 dollar Upset prize for his round 3 win over CM (Candidate Master) Mike Maloney. 


Richard Shtivelband (b) vs. Brian Wall (w) Two of Colorado's best players.

In the Thursday night U1600 and Unrated section, John Schoenke took 1st place and won 73 dollars and 20 cents. The combined 2nd, 3rd, and U1300 place prize was shared by Brian Hood, David Barthold, Don Henry, and Will Evans. Each player won 27 dollars and 45 cents. Mr. Henry also won the 20 Dollar Upset prize for his win over Glen Holguin in round 2.


Brian Hood (b) vs. John SChoenke (w)

As always, first thanks to the players who attend DCC tournaments. The DCC is getting better and better and your attendance is the reason. Thanks to DCC President Earle Wikle for writing DCC tournament TLA's and making arrangements for our weekend tournaments. Next up will be the DCC Fall Classic in October. Thanks to DCC Treasurer Luis Jimenez for writing the DCC tournament prize money checks in addition to assisting TD Weston Taylor on Thursday night. Thanks also to the Tuesday night TD's: Phil Brown, Peter Barlay, and Sikander Baker-Nagar. 

    Games Section


Best Game

by NM Christofer Peterson

There were many interesting games played during the Tuesday and Thursday tournaments in each section. It was difficult to select a best game. While most of the games had one or two fascinating positions, this game has multiple. The opening and middle game also reminded me of two games I played in the past.

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Brian Wall (2200) - Richard Shtivelband (2243)

Round 4 of DCC Thursdays June 2024

2024.06.27

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1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 b5 3. Bg2 Bb7 4. O-O g6 5. a4 b4 6. d4 Bg7Jesse Cohen and I played a similar opening in our game during the 2016 Colorado Open. 7. Nbd2 a5 8. Re1 O-O 9. e4 d6 10. e5 Nd5 11. e6 f5This reminds me of a game I played against Rhett Langseth at the Loveland Open in 2016. https://denverchess.com/games/view/15618 I sacrificed a knight to get an advanced pawn on e6. The benefit is that the pawn splits the board in half and establishes a space advantage. Black has trouble maneuvering around the pawn. In positions like this, black seeks to trade pieces to ameliorate the space disadvantage. White should avoid trades and look for avenues of attack and open lines. 12. Nc4( 12. Ng5This knight move somewhat threatens Nf7 but it is mostly to open up the g2 bishop. The knight may also maneuver to f4 via h3. 12... Qc8 13. Nc4 Nf6 14. d5 c6 15. Nb6±White is better but the collapse of his center is some compensation for the loss of an exchange. ) 12... Nc6 13. Ne3 Nxe3 14. Bxe3 Qc8 15. d5?!It is a natural reaction to defend a strong, advanced pawn with another pawn. Here, though, white is doing a disservice to the g2 bishop by closing the diagonal. It is almost always better to defend things dynamically with tactics than statically. Here white can keep the position open while maintaining the e6 pawn due to the precarious placement of the c6 knight.( 15. c4! bxc3 16. bxc3 Qxe6 17. Rb1( 17. d5 Qd7 18. dxc6 Bxc6+− ) 17... Rab8 18. Rxb7 Rxb7 19. d5+−And the g2 bishop is an absolute monster ) 15... Ne5Black is trading off the awkwardly placed e5 knight solving many of the problems in the position. A quick follow-up of c6 to undermine e6 will allow black to stabilize and begin a counterattack. 16. Bd4?Trades favor black in this position and Bd4 invites more trades.( 16. c3 Ng4 17. Bg5 Qe8 18. Nd4 h6 19. Bc1 Ne5 20. f4 Ng4 21. c4It takes a little maneuvering and some unnatural feeling moves but white can maintain the strong point on e6 and keep pieces on the board. It won't be long until black will start getting desperate for breathing room. ) 16... Nxf3+ 17. Bxf3 c6( 17... Bxd4While trades help black, to take a is a mistake. This will draw white's queen into the position. Black should be in no hurry to trade off their best piece. The one advantage that the immediate trade of the dark-squared bishops is that black's king will not be vulnerable to a check on the a1-h8 diagonal after the recapture on g7. 18. Qxd4 ) 18. Re2 cxd5 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Bxd5Black is already better because white allowed the trades. As more and more pieces come off, the e6 pawn becomes more of a liability. 20... Bxd5 21. Qxd5 f4A great idea if executed a tad early. Since white traded off all of the minor pieces, all that is left are the major pieces. Black has control over the c-file and opening the f-file will give another avenue for pressure. Black must be better in this position. 22. Rd1 Rf5 23. Qd4+ Kg8 24. gxf4?( 24. g4White's best chance is to keep the f-file closed. This will limit black's play to the c-file or require creative piece placement. By restricting black's play white can likely hold the position to a draw. I suspect the white player still thought they were better in this position given the advanced e-pawn. There are many key moments in a chess game that require extra scrutiny. Any change in pawn structure is one of those moments. I believe if Brian had looked at this position objectively he would have made the right decision. ) 24... Qf8 25. Re4 Qh6 26. Qc4 Rh5 27. Rxd6??A very cool-looking move. Unfortunately, it can be safely ignored. White's shattered kingside pawn structure means black is in firm control of the initiative. 27... Rxh2!( 27... exd6Black should not do this as it throws away the initiative. It is still interesting to see white's idea. 28. e7+ d5( 28... Kg7 29. e8=Q Rxe8 30. Rxe8Now black has no time to launch his own attack and must start chucking pieces in a vain attempt at a draw. 30... Rg5+ ) ) 28. Rd3 Rh1+ 29. Kg2 Qh2+ 30. Kf3Black is clearly winning but the precise win is still difficult to find. 30... Qh3+ 31. Ke2 Qf1+ 32. Kf3 Rh3+ 33. Kg4 Qg2+ 34. Rg3 Rxg3+ 35. fxg3 h5+ 36. Kg5 Kh7It is often better to restrict the king when on a king hunt than to keep checking. Now there are checkmating threats.( 36... Qxg3+??I am sure many of you were tempted by this capture. Unfortunately, it is losing! 37. Kh6 Qh4 38. Qd4 Qf6 39. Qxf6 exf6 40. Kxg6Suddenly the e6 pawn comes to life and black is in serious trouble. ) 37. Qd3 Rd8??Black throws away the win with this move. Of course the rook is immune to capture due to the checkmate on g3, but white is not obliged to take it.( 37... Qh3This subtle move leads to winning white's queen and a checkmate. 38. Qf3 Qf5+ 39. Kh4 g5+ 40. fxg5( 40. Kxh5 Qh3+ 41. Kxg5 Rg8# ) 40... Qxf3With checkmate to follow shortly. ) 38. Rd4 Rg8 39. f5( 39. Rd7White can also begin a counterattack 39... Rg7 40. Rxe7 Rxe7 41. Qxg6+ Kh8 42. Kf6 Qb7 43. Qxh5+White's attack is just strong enough to make up for the rook deficit. In fact, black has to tread very carefully to not stumble into a loss. 43... Kg8 44. Qxa5 Rc7 45. g4Somehow I think Brian would love this position for white. ) 39... gxf5+ 40. Kxh5 Rg6 41. Qxf5 Qe2+ 42. Rg4 Qh2+ 43. Rh4 Qxg3 44. Qf7+??I do not know the time situation of the players but even with a lot of time, finding the right defense for white would be difficult. This move gives black the chance to shelter his king and free the rook from the pin. Instead, a waiting move is necessary to maintain the pin which is paramount to the defense.( 44. Rh1It seems impossible for black to get out of the pin due to the pressure from the queen and rook. White should be able to hold a draw here. )( 44. Rc4 )( 44. Rf4 ) 44... Rg7 45. Qf5+ Kg8Now there is no chance to hold a draw. 46. Rf4 Rh7+ 47. Qxh7+ Kxh7 48. Rf7+ Kg8 49. Rxe7 Kf8 50. Rf7+ Ke8 51. Rf6 Qh2+ 52. Kg5 Qxc2 53. Rh6 Qxb2 54. Rh7 Qe5+Black Won The e-pawn is finally going to drop so white resigned. An absolutely fascinating positional and tactical struggle. The game could have easily gone either way for the majority of the game.0-1


Congratulations to Richard for having his game being selected as the best game of the June tournaments. If you believe you played a game worthy of the best game prize, please submit it the PGN to admin@denverchess.com or reach out to the club manager, JC MacNeil. 

 JC speaking here: Or simply upload the game to DCC Games. If your game is selected, as you can see from the above, you will get high grade commentary and analysis. In addition to winning the 20 dollar Best Game prize. Now on to some other games from the DCC June tournaments. 

6k1/2p5/5p2/p7/P1pN3P/2rp2P1/2bR1K2/8 w - - 46 92
1) Lev Shulman vs. Brian Wall. Thursday. Round 3. Final Position. Pawn Wave Guy has two connected and protected passed pawns. Need I say more :-)

3k4/8/p6K/4BPP1/4n3/1pn2B2/8/8 w - - 50 100
2) Brian Wall vs. Jarod Heap Thursday. Round 2. This was an interesting Bishops vs. Knights battle. In this position after 50...b4-b3, how does NM Wall force resignation? 

4B3/8/2p3p1/4n2p/4P3/5k2/2K5/8 w - - 42 84
3) Rocco Degeest vs. Richard Shtivelband. Tuesday. Round 4. Final position. Another Bishop vs. Knight game. This time with the Knight is overruling the Bishop. Of course, having the Knight and extra pawns trapping the pitiful Bishop helps. You got to wonder how the Bishop got in such a predicament :-)

r2qr1k1/3n1p2/p5p1/2pQ2Pp/P1B2P2/b3B2P/2P5/5RK1 w - - 24 48
4) Richard Shtivelband vs. Wyatt Wear. Tuesday. Round 4. After 24... Bb2xa3. It appears that NM Shtivelband has just dropped a whole Rook.  Richard demonstrates that the game is not about who has the most material. 

6k1/3R4/7p/P5p1/1P4PP/8/r3bP2/6K1 w - - 40 80
5) Agan Modalaavalasa vs. David Wise. Tuesday. Round 2. Final Position. Anytime I see pawns vs. a piece I wonder if Brian Wall aka Pawn Wave Guy could win the game. Here the players have agreed to a draw. 

3r1rk1/6pp/p2qpp1Q/1p1p4/3n4/1PN3R1/P1P2PPP/5RK1 b - - 24 47
6) David Wise vs. Trevor Mast. Tuesday. Round 1. White has just made a mate threat with 24. Qc1-h6. What did Mr. Wise overlook?

6k1/1p5p/2p2q1R/p3p1P1/P2rQ3/1P1p4/6BK/2r5 w - - 33 66
7) Eamon Montgomery vs. Kenzie Moore. Tuesday. Round 2. Mr. Moore has just played 33...Qe7xf6, capturing a Knight and maybe counting on his Queenside Rooks and the passed pawn. What is Mr. Mongomery's game winning reply?

Thanks again to all,
 J.C. MacNeil



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