2005 Collyer Memorial
Donaldson wins 2005 Collyer Memorial!

       International Master W. John Donaldson repeated as the champion of the Dave Collyer Memorial, winning the 13th annual event with a 4.5 score.  He topped the 57 player field by half a point to claim the $300 first prize. Six players shared second place with 4.0 scores: IM Eric Tangborn, FM David Sprenkle, NM Curt Collyer, class A player Geoff Gale, and class B players Daniel Gay and Phil Weyland.  Gale received $120 as the top A player, while the others each received $96 for their share of the second and third prizes, as well as the B class prizes.  Other winners included six players tied for second in A with 3.5 scores:  Elston Cloy, John Julian, Chris Kalina, Michael Lee, Dave Rowles, and Drew Serres.  James Stripes and Scott Young won the class C section with 3.0 scores, which netted each of them $80.  The class D prizes (also $80 each) were shared by newcomer Bogdan Stepchin and young veteran Zach Countryman, who also scored 3.0.  Countryman also claimed the top upset prize of $100 with a first round conquest of an A player 560 points above him. Spokane veteran Vern Johnson took the $50 prize for the second largest upset (378 points).   

   Talented youngsters were the story of this event.  Bellevue's Michael Lee, 11, was the sixth seed (1964), and spent the final day of the tourney playing the two IM's on the top two boards!  He drew with Tangborn before falling in the final round to Donaldson. The Portland-Vancouver area sent four of its best youngsters -- Serres, Daniel and Patrick Gay, and Andy May -- and none posted a score worse than 3 while claiming the scalps of several higher rated players.  Spokane's Zach Countryman pushed several stronger players to the limit and should also see his rating rise nicely.  Phil Weyland, now a high school senior, will ascend to the class A category with his results for this event.

     The final round saw six players tied with 3.5 competing with each other.  Phil Weyland battled Dave Sprenkle to a draw.  Donaldson later broke through with a win over Lee, which left the outcome of the Collyer-Tangborn game to settle the title. The two fought late before calling it a draw.  It was one of eight final round games that were played to nearly the end of the time control.

     The cross table for the event, as well as more photos, can be found at left under the Collyer Memorial link.

      A total of $1,520 was paid out in prizes.  The event is co-sponsored by the Spokane Chess Club and the Gary Younker Foundation in memory of former club presidents Dave Collyer and Gary Younker.


Donaldson ponders a move in the simul.
(Photo compliments of Ward Chow)






The Collyer weekend kicked off with Donaldson and  Tangborn conducting a simultaneous exhibition at Auntie's Bookstore on Friday, February 25.  The IM duo played in tandem against 29 players, with the IM's winning 24 games, losing three, and drawing two.  The winners were John Julian, Robert ("Obie") O'Bannan, and Ron Weyland!  Young Alex Chow secured one of the draws while Kevin Korsmo registered the other.








Eric Tangborn concentrates during the Friday night simul at Aunties Bookstore.(compliments of Ward Chow)








Michael Lee ponders a move during his fourth round match with International Master Eric Tangborn.








Chris Kalina v. Steve Brendemihl and Henry Pallares v. John Julian







Early Fourth Round Action on Boards 15-24









Phil Weyland v. David Sprenkle

Geoff Gale  v. Kent McNall   (foreground)








Lots of spectating on the top boards in the final round.



The 2005 Collyer Memorial paid out a total of $1,520 in prizes.

The USCF cross table link for the event: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200502273391-10328357

A game notation follows (compliments of IM John Donaldson)

This game decided the 2005 Collyer Memorial championship


(notes by John Donaldson)

Michael Lee - John Donaldson
Queen's Gambit Declined Exchange Variation D35
David Collyer Memorial, 2005 -- Round 5

1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5

3.d4 Nf6 4.cxd5 is a more accurate sequence but of course there is always 3..c6 when 4.e4 or 4.e3 are the main choices but not the Exchange Variation.

 3...exd5 4.d4 c6

4...Nf6 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.Bd3 is the setup White is aiming for with possible plans of playing for b4-b5, f3 and e4 or Ne5 and f4.


The Exchange Variation is not particularly effective here as White is forced to make this move giving Black time to solve the problem of his Bishop on c8. GM Igor Novikov must have won at least twenty games on the Black side of this variation, usually without breaking a sweat. Note 5.Bf4 is comfortably met by 5...Bd6

5...Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.e3

White can try to avoid the exchange of Bishops with 7.Qc2 but Black can insist with 7...g6 then 8.e3 Bf5 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Nbd7 11.Bh6 Ng4 12.Bf4 0-0 13.0-0 Re8 leads to a classic example of how Black should play in this variation. Note how Petrosian places his Knight on the ideal square d6 and patiently clamps down on breaks with b4 or e4 before advancing slowly but inexorably on the Kingside. 14.h3 Ngf6 15.Ne5 Nb6 16.Bg5 Ne4 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.Qc2 Nd6 19.Na4 Nbc4 20.Nxc4 Nxc4 21.Nc5 Nd6 22.Rac1 Qg5 23.Qd1 h5 24.Kh1 Re7 25.Nd3 Ne4 26.Nc5 Nd6 27.Nd3 Qf5 28.Ne5 f6 29.Nf3 Rg7 30.Nh2 Re8 31.Kg1 Ne4 32.Qf3 Qe6 33.Rfd1 g5 34.Qxh5 f5 35.Re1 g4 36.hxg4 fxg4 37.f3 gxf3 38.Nxf3 Rh7 39.Qe5 Qc8 40.Qf4 Rf8 41.Qe5 Rf5 0-1 Bobotsov-Petrosian, Lugano 1968.

 7...Bf5 8.Bd3 Bxd3 9.Qxd3 Nbd7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Rab1 a5 12.Qc2

Michael wants to play b2-b4 but sees an immediate a3 might be met by ..a4. I am not certain this needs to be avoided. The real problem for White is that with the light-squared Bishops traded the c4 square is very weak. Black has an easy and effective plan with ...b5 and Nb6-c4.

12.a3 Ne4 (12...Re8 13.b4 axb4 14.axb4 b5 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Nd7 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.f4 Ra3 19.Rfd1 Rea8 20.Qd4 Nf8 21.Rdc1 Ne6 22.Qd2 Qa7 and Black is much better, Larsen-Geller, Linares 1983)  13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.b4 b5 15.Rfc1 axb4 16.axb4 Nd6 17.Rb3 Nb6 18.Ne5 Rfc8 19.Nd3 Nbc4 20.Nc5 Re8 21.h3 g6 22.Rc1 Ra7 23.Qd1 h5 24.Kh1 Qg5 25.Rbb1 Rae7 26.Ra1 Nf5 27.Ra2 Ncxe3 28.fxe3 Rxe3 29.Rf2 Qh4 30.Qd2 Nxd4 31.Rcf1 Nf5 32.Rxf5 gxf5 33.Nd1 Re1 34.Kg1 R8e2 35.Qc3 Rxd1 0-1 Nikolic-Kramnik, Monte Carlo 1998.


12.Rfc1 Ne4 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Qc2 f5 15.a3 Rf6 16.b4 b5 17.Ne2 axb4 18.axb4 g5 19.Qb2 Re8 20.Ne5 draw, Donaldson-V. Georgiev,Lindsborg 2004.Here 20...Nxe5 21.dxe5 Qxe5 22.Qxe5 Rxe5 23.Nd4 was White's idea. This game reminded me once again that White's prospects in this line are not particularly promising. There is a real worry that White will drift into a position where he has no active play.


12...Ne8 This is an alternative way to get the Knight to d6, perhaps without having to exchange as many pieces as after ..Ne4. 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.a3 Nd6 15.Na4 Ne4 16.Rbc1 Rfe8 17.Nc5 Ndxc5 18.dxc5 a4 19.Nd2 Ng5 20.Qc3 Qe6 21.Qb4 Re7 22.h4 Ne4 23.Nxe4 Qxe4 was a little better for Black but eventually drawn in M.Shahade-Donaldson,Bermuda 1995

 13.a3 Nb6

13...Ne4 looks more to the point: 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.b4 Nd6 16.b5 Nc4 17.bxc6 bxc6 18.Rb7 Reb8 19.Rxb8+ Rxb8 20.Ra1 Rb2 21.Qf5 g6 22.Qf4 Rb3 23.Nb1 Nf8 24.h4 Ne6 25.Qh6 Rd3 26.Nc3 Rxc3 27.Rb1 Qf8 0-1 Figler-Novikov, Virginia Beach 2001.


14.Nd2 Nfd7 15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.Na4 Nxa4 17.Qxa4 Qd6 with a slight edge for Black in Ivkov-Polgar,Zsu, Vienna 1993 is probably how White should play this position, refraining from playing for b4-b5, at least for awhile.

14...Nc4! 15.Qb3 b5 16.Ra1 Ne4 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.Rfe1


I spent 25 minutes calculating 18...axb4 19.axb4 Rxa1 20.Rxa1 Nxf2 21.Kxf2 Qxe3+22.Kg3  (22.Kf1 Qxf3+ 23.gxf3 Nd2+ 24.Kf2 Nxb3 25.Rd1 f5 26.Ne2 Kf7) 22... Nd2 23.Qa3 Qxc3? 24.Re1! but missed the deadly quiet move 23...f6! with the idea 24.Rc1 Ne4+ 25.Kh3 Qh6+  The text is not bad. The pressure on the a-file and Knight on c4 makes White position miserable to play.

19.Na2 Rea8 20.Rec1 Qf6

Aiming at the f2 square

21.Rc2 g5

 Making luft and preparing g5-g4 to attack f2.

 22.Rd1 axb4 23.axb4 Ra3 24.Qb1 Kg7

 Black slowly improves his position and prepares a thematic combination. Note the immediate  24...R8a4 25.Ne1 Rxa2 fails to 26.Rxa2 Nc3 27.Rxa4 Nxb1 28.Ra8+ hence the text avoiding the check.

 25.Ne1 R8a4

 Black improves the placement of the Rooks for maximum pressure.

26.Rd3 Qf5

As Michael pointed out after the game the immediate 26...Rxd3 27.Nxd3 Na3 won on the spot. Unfortunately for White this brief reprieve still doesn't allow him to save his position.



 Black is finally able to cash in his chips.

 28.Rxf2 Qxb1 29.Rxb1 Rxa2 30.Rb3 Rxf2 31.Kxf2 Ra2+ 32.Kg3

 Or 32.Kg1 Nd2 33.Rd3 Rb2.

32...Nd2 33.Rd3 Ne4+ 34.Kf3 h5 0-1


  One of the most exciting games of the first round, this was the last one completed.
[Event "Collyer Memorial"]
[Site "Spokane"]
[Date "2005.02.26"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Cloy, Elston"]
[Black "Stripes, James"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A57"]
[WhiteElo "1938"]
[BlackElo "1493"]
[Annotator "Stripes"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Nf3 g6 5. cxb5 a6 6. Qc2 d6
(6... Nxd5 7.Qxc5 Qc7 8. Qxc7 Nxc7) 
7. e4 Nbd7 8. Nc3 Bg7 9. Be2 $146 O-O 10. O-O axb5 11.
Bxb5 Ba6 12. Bd2 Qb6 $146 13. a4 Rfb8 14. h3 Rb7 15. Be3 Qc7 16. b3 Ne8 
(16... Nxe4 17. Bxa6 Nxc3 18. Bxb7 Qxb7 19. Bg5 Nxd5 {gives black better chances
 than the line played}) 
17. Bxa6 Rxa6 18. Rab1 Qb8 19. Nd2 Nc7 20. f4 Qd8 21. Rfd1 Ra8 22. Nc4 Na6 
{Still hoping to get this knight to d6, I failed to anticipate Elston's sacrifice.} 
23. Nb5 Nc7 {Now I want to trade knights and weaken his pawns.
Alas, Elston had another idea.}
24. Ncxd6  exd6 25. Nxd6 Rb4 26. Bxc5 Nxc5 27. Qxc5 Na6
28. Qc6 Rb6 {This skewer gives me two pieces for four passed pawns.} 
({I might have tried} 28... Bd4+ 29. Kh1 Be3) 29. Nxf7 ({Fritz likes} 
29. Nb7 Kxf7 {Fritz (the materialist) assures me that black is winning. 
I thought I had some chances, but found white's pawns a bit
terrifying. The clock was my ally: Elston was under 20 minutes to my hour.} 
30. Qc4 Rc8 31. Qe2 Nc7 (31... Nb4) 32. Qg4 Rb4 33. Qf3 Ne8 
(33... Bd4+ {may have been my last chance for an advantage.}) 
34. e5 Qh4 35. d6 Nf6 
({I considered} 35... Rd8 {but it seemed wise to give back a piece and diminish the strength
of Elston's pawns.}) 
36. d7 Rd8 37. exf6 Bxf6 38. Qd5+ Kg7 39. f5 
{at this point Elston has five minutes left to my 35 minutes.}
39... Rd4 40. Rxd4 Bxd4+ 41. Kh1 Bf6 42. fxg6 hxg6 43. Rd1 Qf4 44. Qf3 Qc7 45. Rf1 Rf8
(45... Qd6)
46. Qd5 Rf7 47. d8=Q Bxd8   (47... Qxd8 48. Qxd8 Bxd8 49.Rxf7+ Kxf7) 
48. Rxf7+ Qxf7 49. Qxf7+ 
({better is} 49. Qxd8 Qf1+ 50. Kh2 Qf4+ 51. Kg1 Qe3+ 52. Kf1 Qf4+ 53. Ke2 Qe4+ 
54. Kd1 Qb1+ 55. Kd2 Qxb3 56. Qd7+ {and white will win}) 
49... Kxf7 50. Kg1 Ba5 (50... Ke6) 
51. Kf2 Ke6 52. Ke3 Ke5
53. g3 Bb4 54. h4 Bc5+ (54... Be1 55. Kf3 Kd5 $11) 
55. Kf3  {and now it is only a matter of time}
55... Kf6 {a bad move in a bad position}(55... Be7) 
56. Ke4 Bf2 57. Kf4 (57. a5)
57... Bc5 58. g4 Bd6+ 59. Ke4 Bb4 60. h5 Bf8 (60... g5 {and Elston might have asked for a draw due to 
insufficient losing chances, or so he said after the game.})
61. hxg6 Kxg6 62. Kd4 Kf6 63. a5 Bd6 64. Kd5 Ke7 65. a6 Bb8 66. b4 Kd7 67. b5 Kc7 
68. g5 Kb6 69. g6 Ka7 
{Elston's flag fell. We used an analog clock. With a time delay, white wins easily.} 1/2-1/2