Brian Wall calls his game against Jason Wycoff a "Dance of a 100 Knives"
Before getting to the local DCC June tournament report, I would like to share pictures and a summary of a GM tournament in Belgium that was attended by John Brezina. Pictures and text that follows are courtesy of Mr. Brezina. Thank you kindly, Sir.
The venue for the Belgium GM tournament
"Wow what a venue for chess! The Town Hall in Leuven was spectacular! Another great leg of the Grand Chess Tour."
"The Grand Chess Tour lands in Leuven Belgium. The beautiful Leuven Town Hall provides a stellar venue for the world's best chess players. Over 500 years old and a Gothic masterpiece. A royal setting for the royal game. Next door is the newly renovated Fourth Hotel where the players stayed. And across the way is the magnificent St. Peter's Church.
St. Peter's Church. Hard to find architecture like this in the United States.
The Leuven leg is 3 days of Rapid followed by 2 days of blitz. The opening ceremony had the players pick lots from chessboards with chocolates. Then an autograph session provided fans a closeup with the players. And a cocktail reception afterwards allowed mingling with the players and others from the chess world.
The entrance to the playing hall.
The playing hall was a dramatic background to a great event. You could watch the players somewhat close and screens provided a great following. And downstairs was live commentary by none other than FIDE Presidential candidate Nigel Short.
GM Nigel Short with John Brezina.
Maurice Ashley also provided commentary and interviews live fed back to St. Louis. Highly recommend checking out some of the video coverage. It was great seeing our three American players there. Fabiano was the talk of the town despite not doing so well in the tournament. Nakamura had a good showing, especially in blitz. But it was Wesley So who took top honors and won the tournament by a half point margin.
GM Wesley So, quite pleased with his 1st place finish.
The organizers did a fantastic job putting together a first class tournament. The people of Leuven were great and the city was very relaxing. And pretty good beer too!"
...and here is Mr. Brezina with GM Fabiano Caruana
I'm a little jealous that Mr. Brezina gets to travel all over the world and become friends with all these famous Grandmasters :-) See all of John's pictures from Belgium here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/My4Py8DpGt4gBpky5
Now on to the report of the not quite as awesome DCC Tournament :-)
In a continuing effort to improve the registration process, as a way to insure that the round starts on time each and every week, the DCC is investing in a 50" TV to electronically display the player list for each section in real time. Players will be able to verify their registration, section, and score before the round is actually paired. Eliminating a lot of problems in one fell swoop. As mentioned last month, there is much more to running a tournament when you have different players playing or not playing from one week to the next. The pairings will then also be displayed on the TV. No more squinting at small print on paper.
In addition to greatly improving the registration, we plan to also stream chess related video and pictures before, during and after the round. John Brezina has video and pictures of top Grandmasters playing blitz and bughouse. When a players game is finished, they could hang out and watch Fabiano Caruana playing blitz or Levon Aronian playing bughouse. I am sure we will find other uses for the TV as we learn its capabilities.
Brian Wall with the Black pieces against Jason Wycoff. Neil Bhavikatti is playing Richard Shtivelband.
And on to who won what. In the Open section, Brian Wall again took clear 1st place. After a tough round 3 win against Richard Shtivelband, Mr Wall may have thought he would have an "easy" last round win to take the top prize. That was not the case. Jason Wycoff gave Mr. Wall all he could handle. According to Brian and several observers Mr. Wycoff was completely winning before allowing the game to slip away to a draw. Mr. Wall called the game a "Dance of 100 Knives". Brian wins 110 dollars and Jason shares the 105 dollar combined 2nd and 3rd place prize with Kevin Seidler and Mr. Shtivelband. (See diagrams #6, #8, #9 and #14 thru #18 below)
Eamon Montgomery has the black pieces against Cory Kohler. Daoud Zupa in the maroon shirt.
The 20 dollar Open Upset prize was won by Davin Yin. A young, highly tactical, player that Brian Wall calls a GM in the making. Davin played very well to upset the real strong, Eamon Montgomery in just 25 moves. With the Black pieces, no less. (diagram #10 and #11)
I'm pleased to report that a long time DCC member, John Krue, won the U1900 section. Only needing a draw in the last round, Mr. Krue did just that against Phil Brown, and took clear 1st place and won 100 dollars with a 3.5 point final score. It is good to see Mr. Brown back to playing at the DCC. (diagram #12)
Phil Brown playing White against John Krue with 1st place in the U1900 section on the line
I am unabashedly also pleased to report that I share the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize with Mr. Brown, and we each win 50 dollars. (diagram #13) I am still more pleased to report that our hard working DCC Treasurer, Meint Olthof, won the 20 dollar U1900 Upset prize, for his round 3 draw against the much higher rated, Cory Foster.
Siddarth Ijju with the Black pieces against David Stellar, with the top prize in the U1500 riding on the outcome. Jacob Zirin in the red striped shirt is playing Micheal Igoe.
Again this month we had an unrated player, David Stellar, take the top place in the U1500 section. Going into the last round the young Siddarth Ijju, playing for the first time at the DCC, had won all his games and was paired with Mr. Stellar who had to win to take 1st place. He was up to the task and won the restricted Unrated prize of 20 dollars. It is a pity that an unrated players prize is restricted, but necessary in the age of online chess. Where a player can get real good without ever playing a game over the board. Mr. Stellar had no complaint; saying he was just pleased to get an official USCF tournament win.
Consequently, with 1st place being the $20 unrated prize, the combined 2nd and 3rd place prize was 180 dollars. Jacob Zirin and Siddarth were the beneficiaries of this windfall. The 20 dollar U1500 Upset prize was won by Alayne Wilinsky for her 3rd round 348 point rating difference win over Nicolas Aretz. Coleman Hoyt deserves mention because both of his wins this month were big upsets. A combined rating difference of over 600 points against James LaMorgese and Rob Cernich.
Congratulations to all the prize winners. We are glad to have you playing chess at the Denver Chess Club. Thanks again to John Brezina for his contribution to this report. Excellent pictures and summary of the GM tournament in Belgium.
Thanks to all, J.C. MacNeil
Here are diagrams and game links from this month's tournament. First though, I'd like to highlight a few games played by DCC members at the 2018 National Open recently held in Las Vegas.
1) Andrew Starr vs. Bryan Hu. National Open. Round 4. In answer to 18. Bh7+ Black replied Kg8-h8. Mr. Starr asks, "What very aggressive move can potentially take advantage of White's unique position and lead in development?" Be bold :-)
2) The same game. Needless to say, as you can tell by the position, this has been a wild game. Here Mr. Starr asks you to find mate in 5. White to move. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17675 Andrew's comments to this game and the next are given below following the last diagram. Well worth your time to peruse.
3) Parathan Ghosh vs. Andrew Starr. National Open. Round 2. White has just played 24. Qb1-f5, making a big threat. Mr. Starr asks you to find the only move that doesn't lose. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17673 A multifaceted game. Well worth playing over.
4) Boyd Thomas vs. Griffin McConnell. National Open. Round 2. Black played 28... Ne4+ and White has replied 29. Kd2-e1. Maybe not the best move. Do you see how Griffin wins a piece here? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17650
5) Robert Akopian vs. Sullivan McConnell. National Open. Round 1. Sullivan's last move was 23... Re8-b8, which in his notes to the game, he calls "a move slip" :-) I believe because he drops the e5 pawn. Nevertheless he plays well from here on to hold the draw against a much higher rated player. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17672
On to games from the DCC June tournament. I found it amusing that the following 4 games all were lost by a player taking a poisoned pawn. Beware the perils of pawn grabbing.
6) Kevin Seidler vs, Daoud Zupa. Round 4. White has attacked the Black Queen with 29. Ng1-e2. A nice juicy b2 pawn is there for the taking, and in fact was taken. How did Mr. Seidler continue? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17662
7) Joe Aragon vs, Walter Lowe. Round 4. Black has captured a pawn with 21... Bd7xb5. The d6 pawn is double attacked, Should White play 22. Qxd6? Why not? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17661
8) Richard Shtivelband vs. Neil Bhavikatti. Round 4. Black had played 13... b4 and Mr. Shtivelband replied 14. Nc3-b1, and the a2 pawn is no longer protected. Enjoy the beautiful way Richard handles the position after Black plays 14... Qxa2. What would you play as move 15 for White? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17658
9) Neil Bhavikatti vs. Brian Wall. Round 2 In this position after 23... Rb2-b8, the d6 pawn is free. Right? Wrong. What does Black play after 24. Nc4xd6? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17653
A rough couple of games for the young upcoming player, but Neil was also at the National Open and he fearlessly played in the Open section. He ran with the big dogs and made a fine showing. He lost twice to much higher rated players, but he won against a 2329 rated player and drew all 4 of his other games. All against strong experienced players rated at least 200 points higher. One of his draws was against a player rated 2463. I do hope Neil will post his games to the DCC site. If so we will sure have some diagrams next month
10) Eamon Montgomery vs. Davin Yin. Round 1. Davin is another young player who is improving by the game. Find the game winning move for Black in this position. It is not the hardest move to find :-) https://denverchess.com/games/view/17641 A fine game from the youngster against a strong Expert.
11) Sulleiman Omar vs. Eamon Montgomery. Round 2. It is safe to say this has been a wild opening :-). In this position White plays 15. Ne4-g6 Can you see why 15... fxg6 is not possible. From here, Mr. Montgomery has to find 45 good moves to save the draw. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17640 A fantastic game.
12) John Krue vs. Aditya Krishna. Round 3. Final position. A slam bang mating attack from the winner of the U1900 section. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17660 Mr. Krue is a long time DCC member and Aditya is one of several bright young players we have playing at the DCC.
13) Christopher Vaughn vs. J.C. MacNeil. Round 4. After I got lucky at move 25, we reached this position 10 moves later with Black to play and win. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17663
Mr. Colorado Chess, also know as Pawn Wave Guy, none other than Brian Wall, won the Open section for the second time in a row and still isn't rated over 2300. It is frustrating as all hell for the long time Colorado Life Master to repeatedly get within a few points and slip back. I am sure Mr. Wall will cross the 2300 barrier sooner rather than later and then never look back.
14) Brian Wall vs. Cory Kohler. Round 1. In this position Mr. Kohler played 21... Bxg2 and resigned. Noticing that he had overlooked.... what? https://denverchess.com/games/view/17642
15) Brian Wall vs. Richard Shtivelband. Round 3. Black's last move was 30... Rh6xe6. Inexplicably over the last couple of moves Black has dropped a piece. Even more baffling is it takes Mr. Wall another 70 moves to win the game.
16) The same game 70 moves later. White still up the Bishop. Black resigns. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17647
17) Jason Wycoff vs. Brian Wall. Round 4. After 30... Nb8-c6, Brian grovels for a draw. Mr. Wycoff declined to accept.
18) The same game. After 35... a7-a5, Brain again begs for a draw, and is again refused. The general consensus was White was just winning. Brain agreed. 30 moves later Mr. Wall forced a draw by perpetual. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17674
19) George Pesche vs. Stephen Goebel. Round 4. In this game it seemed as both players were trading mistakes. Only proving the chess adage that it is hard to win a won game. Here, after 22. Nf5+, Mr. Goebel is up the exchange and should be winning except he plays 22... Kg6 allowing the Knight fork, 23. Ne7+, and Mr. Pesche went on to win after all. https://denverchess.com/games/view/17676
Andrew Starr's comments:
Andrew Starr vs. Bryan Hu. Diagram #1 https://denverchess.com/games/view/17675
11.a3: I want to play Qc2 but don't want to allow 11...cxd4 12. cxd4 Nb4 because I want to keep my light-square bishop but also want to keep a pawn on d4 to keep the e pawn weak, even if it comes at the expense of a weak d4 pawn.
24...Nd7: the point is 25.Qxh5 no longer wins thanks to 25...Nf6