|Shetty, Yang, He & Wiener Victorious in Vancouver|
|By Randy Hough|
|August 8, 2012|
At our last update, there was a four-way tie at the halfway point of the Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Vancouver, Washington. |
The favorite, IM Darwin Yang of Texas, yielded draws in the final two rounds, and his 5-1 score was equaled by Michigan’s Atulya Shetty. Shetty finished ahead by half a tiebreak point and earned the UTD scholarship.
Shetty had real chances in the last round; first 33.Nf6 and then the cold-blooded 38.Bxd5 (or 38.Bc2) appear to leave White well on top. Instead, a perpetual check was the quick outcome.
Yang’s last round game was much less eventful, as he easily repelled White’s attacking gestures in an unusual variation of the Scotch and the game became drawish.
Yang showed great technique in this fourth round game. It would be an understatement to say that chess journalists tend to dislike 91-move games, but this one will repay study.
Most 15-year-olds lack such patience! Darwin builds on his structural advantage out of a French MacCutcheon (practice favors the immediate 8.a3), avoiding such traps as 61…Bxa3? 62.f5, which puts White very much back in the game, and finally cashes in on both wings, avoiding any stalemate tricks.
Shetty was proud of the following two games:
Atulya Shetty will be a junior at Huron High in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
He enjoys sports, including karate, and plays percussion. He hasn’t yet settled on a career goal (and why should he?). He missed an IM norm by a half-point in the Chicago Open last May, and we were happy to learn that he’ll be playing in the six-day US Open schedule. Fewer of the Denker and Barber seem to avail themselves of that opportunity these days, though the Open is one of those special tournaments that every serious player should experience at least once!
Darwin Yang, only 15, attends St. Mark’s School in Dallas. Some observers were surprised that such a high-rated IM played in the Denker, but he spoke earlier this year to WIM Alexey Root of the good memories that flooded back when he attended the State Scholastic with his school team, and having won that tournament, decided to come to Vancouver. Following two disappointing tournaments that were alluded to in our preview article , he also looked forward to the opportunity to reevaluate his form. In exactly one week he’ll be playing in the Second LA Metropolitan Chess GM tournament.
Sam Schmakel received third place on tiebreaks (corrected from earlier version of this article) ahead of Deepak Aaron, Kevin Bu and Southern Californian Michael Brown, still 14.
The best game for the Denker went to this gem by the Hawaiian rep, who insists on sacrificing his knight!
A full list of winners can be found at the Denker pairings and standings page.
Texas was alone in the winner’s circle in the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, as FM Tommy He, originally the fifth seed, emerged on top with 5½ points.
Tommy, who’s only 12, enjoys, in addition to chess, math, sports, and, yes, school! He earned the FM title in 2010 by winning the Pan-American Boys Under 10 championship. His favorite game, against Jackson Chen, was featured in our earlier report. He had no difficulty holding the draw to clinch clear first in the last round here:
Balakrishnan, of New Jersey, and Mika Andrew Brittain from Massachusetts were second/third with 5 points. Home state player Roland Feng was alone in fourth with 4½.
Feng also won the best game prize for the Barber, for this old-fashioned kingside attack:
A logjam with 4 included Jackson Chen of Colorado, Jalen Wang (Michigan), Andrew Tang (Minnesota), Matthew Fishbein (Maine), Craig Hilby (Southern California), Maggie Feng (Ohio, and a recent silver medal winner in the Pan-American Championships), and Zhaozhi Lin (Illinois). Again, see the results page for a full list.
Although a “real time” report can hardly do justice to all the hard work that goes into the Denker and Barber tournaments, Jon Haskel, Dewain Barber, Steve Shutt, and TD Frank Guadalupe earned many kudos for their hard work. Nor can this write-up convey the spirit of camaraderie and learning that the tournaments foster. One new feature this year (unfortunately announced too late for some of the players, who were already away from home) to comply with, was a suggested exchange in each game of gifts from home states. Posters, refrigerator magnets, and postcards were some of the contributions.
In the Trophies Plus US Junior Girls Open, Alexandra Wiener of Connecticut won clear first with 5.5/6 and nabbed a $500 scholarship. Stephanie Shao of California took second and $350 in scholarship money. Find full standings of the Girls here. Also see an essay by Wiener, who won a 2012 Scholar-Chessplayer award on uschesstrust.org.
In the U.S. Open, only eleven players have 3-0 scores in the Traditional schedule: GM Yasser Seirawan, Yaacov Norowitz, IMs Michael Mulyar and Ray Kaufman, Steve Breckenridge, Nick Raptis, Patrcja Labedz, Joshua Sinanan, James MacFarland, Kun Jack Cheng Jr. (who hit the “sweet spot” for an Expert, playing “down” again), and 17-year-old Ales Gustafsson of Utah, who swears that this upset was his first-ever rated game against a Master and first Sveshnikov Sicilian,
The position after Black’s 13th appears to be untested in practice. Black equalized easily, and White went wrong in allowing the breakup of his kingside by 24…f3.
Another upset dropped GM Dmitry Gurevich out of the perfect score group, as 75-year-old Expert Ron Gross went for a perpetual check after 48 moves. However, Gross could have gone for the full upset: he had a winning game after 48.Qc4.
And Steven Cooklev drew with IM Sal Bercys. The U.S. Open player count is well over 460 as the six-day schedule began Tuesday night, with GMs Alexander Shabalov and Alejandro Ramirez among the participants.
Follow US Open pairings and results and live and archived games at Monroi and browse Denker results, Barber results and Girls results.