Dave Collyer Memorial

Dave Collyer Memorial 

     The Dave Collyer Memorial, sponsored by the Spokane Chess Club and the Gary Younker Foundation, is the Spokane area’s premiere chess tournament.  Gary Younker started the tournament in honor of longtime chess organizer (and strong player) Dave Collyer who passed away at a young age.  Gary Younker himself died way too young.  Friends of both men began the Gary Younker Foundation, dedicated to promoting chess in the Inland Empire Region of the Northwest, with a special emphasis on youth chess.  The Collyer Memorial is now held each year in memory of both of these outstanding men.  The event is normally played on the last weekend of February.

     Just scroll down the page to check out the stories of the tournament dating back to 2004, along with cross table links and some old photos!


                                February 23 – 24, 2019

The Spokane Chess Club and the Gary Younker Foundation, in memory of former presidents Dave Collyer and Gary Younker, proudly present the Twenty-Seventh Dave Collyer Memorial tournament.

Location: Millwood Presbyterian Church Community Center

                 3223 N. Marguerite,  Millwood, WA 99212        

I-90 Exit 287; north on Argonne Road to light at Euclid; turn left, two blocks.

            A computer-paired, five-round Swiss System event.

Registration: 9:30-10:30, February 23, 2019.

Rounds:  11-2:30-7; 10-2:30 or ASAP.  Time control: Round 1: G/90,d5; Rounds 2-5: G/115,d5.  Entry fee: $28 if received by 2/22, $35 at the door; under 19 $5 less. Telephone entries accepted (pay at door).  All registrants must check in by 10:40 unless a first-round bye was granted.

            A Northwest Grand Prix Event.  $1800 GUARANTEED prize fund.  Class prizes based on at least 5 per class; classes may be reconfigured if less than five class entries.  Only one prize per player (excluding biggest upset). NS, NC, W.  One ½-point bye available if requested by end of prior round; Sunday bye must be requested by end of round 3.  Director reserves the right to use class pairings in final round.


                   FIRST —               $350

                   SECOND — $225

                   THIRD —     $125

                   Class Prizes: Top Expert $100

$100 first, $70 second: A; B; C; D; E/unrated. 

Biggest Upsets: $100 & $50 (non-provisional ratings).

            Entries:  Spokane CC, c/o Kevin Korsmo N. 9923 Moore, Spokane, WA 99208-9339. 

For information please call (509) 270-1772.



 6:00 p.m.-– IM John Donaldson lecture at the Kress Gallery – River Park Square, 808 West Main, Spokane. 

 6:45 p.m.—- Donaldson Simul  —  $10 per board (bring your own equipment)


2:30 – 3:00 – Registration for Blitz at Kress Gallery (2nd level River Park Square).

Event will end by 6:00.  Format depending upon entries.

2018 (Feb. 23-25)

   This year’s action ran late, with quite a few games running to the end of their time controls, but the 26th Dave Collyer Memorial is now complete.  IM John Donaldson, who drew with Michael Cambareri in the final round, shared first place with Spokane chess veteran Dave Rowles.  The two finished with scores of 4.5 to finish 1/2 point ahead of LM Viktors Pupols, Michael Cambareri, John Julian, and Garret Casey.  Casey took home the first place prize in Class A, while the other three split third prize and the expert prize. The co-championship was the first Collyer title for Rowles.

   After defeating Julian in round four, Donaldson entered the final round with a 1/2 point lead over four contenders.  While Cambareri had to play Donaldson, Rowles and Steve Merwin matched up on board two, while Travis Elisara, having himself a great tournament, was matched against Pupols.  Michael went on the attack against Donaldson, but after the IM blunted that effort, a tight position ensued that made a breakthrough difficult, with the parties eventually agreeing to a draw.  Rowles and Merwin went to the wire, with Dave finishing nicely when Steve got in his typical time pressure.  On board three, Travis put up a good fight, but Viktors broke him down late in the clock for a victory that moved the LM into a tie for third place. 

   Five players finished second in Class A with scores of 3.5: Braxton Casey, Steve Merwin, Jim Skovron, Wilton Strickland, and James Stripes.  The Class B prizes were split by Travis Elisara and Nick Martonick, both of whom also scored 3.5.  The Class C prizes were split by Cleve Johnson and Austin Yeo with scores of 3.0.  David Peoples won Class D with a score of 2.5, while William Merry and Jerry Richards (aided by Morgan, the chess dog) finished second at 2.0.  The Class E/unrated section was won by Alex Rosenkrantz (3.0), while newcomers to Spokane chess tied for second (2.0) in the section:  Brandon Arnold, James Badgett, Walter justice, and Hayden Sweeney. 

     Dallas Filan won the top upset award for defeating Pupols in round 1.  Dallas had been absent from tournament chess since 2011, but recently returned to the region (he now lives in Walla Walla) and picked up chess again.  Badgett, from the San Francisco Bay area, took the second upset prize for a victory in a case where there was a 491 point differential.

   Four players from the initial Collyer event in 1993 also played in this tourney — Steve Fabian, Dave Griffin, Dave Rowles, and Loyd Willaford.  A total of 60 players took part this year.  The event was played at the Millwood Presbyterian Church’s Community Center, the site of the previous two Collyer Memorial tourneys. 

   The weekend kicked off on Friday, February 23, at River Park Square in downtown Spokane.  Six players took part in a double round robin blitz tournament, with Cam Leslie scoring 9 of 10 to easily win the event.  The blitz event was followed by the annual lecture from International Master John Donaldson.  After the lecture, the IM took on 18 players in a simultaneous exhibition.  Rory Peterson was able to secure a victory, and the IM was nicked for a pair of draws, but won the other 15 games.

   The tournament cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201802256532 

   The blitz cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201802235162  


2017 (Feb. 25-26)

     The 25th Dave Collyer Memorial, held the weekend of February 25-26, was a reunion of sorts.  Six of the former champions were in attendance, and quite a few of the “regulars” who have attended the event in years past turned out once more for a celebration of good chess and friendship.

     John Donaldson recaptured the title of champion of the Dave Collyer Memorial, winning the event with a perfect 5.0 score.  Second seed Jim Maki (4.5) took second place after defeating Curt Collyer in the final game of the event.  Third place (4.0) was shared by Carl Haessler and John Julian. With four master/international masters and another four experts, the top end was the strongest to ever compete in the Collyer.  The field of 59 (plus two house players) was the same as the previous year.

     The event began quietly enough, with but a single upset in the first round, although that (as is often the case) stood up as the biggest upset of the event. Nick Martonick scored a 454-point victory that claimed the prizes for biggest upset of the round and for the entire event.  The second round saw a few more upsets, including two experts falling, and there were a pair of large upsets involving provisionally-rated players that did not qualify for the upset prizes.  Loyd Willaford’s 371-point victory won the prize for the biggest upset of the round.

     The main drama of the first day occurred after the second round when Jeremy Younker, son of tourney founder Gary Younker, had to be taken to the hospital due to a surprise onset of kidney stones.  Mika Mitchell performed the emergency transport and returned in time for his third round game!  Jeremy’s event ended after the first two games, but he is on the road to recovery and feeling better.

     The third round saw third seed Curt Collyer take a bye to deal with a persistent cold, but the other three top seeds were pushed into the late evening before winning.  John Donaldson defeated Michael Cambareri in the night’s last game.  Donaldson’s clock showed sixteen seconds remaining, to Cambareri’s four seconds, when the IM completed a mate with a knight, bishop, and pawn.  Expect to see that game written up in Northwest Chess! Missoula veteran Frank Miller won the upset prize for the round with a 371- point conquest.

    Round four saw the six remaining perfect scores match-up: David Arganian against John Donaldson on board one, Jim Maki and Chris Kalina on board two, and Carl Haessler and John Julian on board 3. Donaldson won against the Seattle expert, while Maki drew Kalina, who was making his first Collyer appearance since 2009.  In the next to last game of the round, Julian pulled out the victory over Haessler. That game also was the biggest upset of the round.

    Round five saw Donaldson work hard to defeat Julian, and the victory cemented a clear first with a perfect 5.0 score.  Maki and Collyer played the last game of the tourney before Maki fended off Collyer’s attack and claimed the victory and a clear second place.  Haessler rebounded by defeating Kalina and shared third place with Julian.  The two split that prize and the class A first prize.  David Griffin achieved the top upset of the final round.

    There were numerous other winners.  Arganian and Kalina split the Expert prize with scores of 3.5. Five players shared second in class A with 3.5 scores: Scott Caldwell, Braxton and Garrett Casey, Mark Havrilla, and Karl Reutter.  The two class B prizes were shared by Dan McCourt, Jim Skovron, and James Stripes.  First place in class C went to youngster Jonathan Geyman (3.0) of Idaho, while Griffin and Martonick (2.5) shared the second place prize.  Class D was won by Shancie Wagner (2.5), while William Merry (2.0) took second in the class.  Youngster Varun Ambalavanan scored 2.0 in his very first USCF tournament to win the class E/unrated prize, while second in that category was shared by Greg Callen and Cecelia Valeriotte (1.5).  Another youngster, Arnav Wadikar, won the prize for best performance by a provisional player.  His performance rating for the event was over 1,000 points higher than his rating!  Kalina, a northwest chess veteran who now makes his home in Minneapolis, traveled the furthest for the event – driving from Minneapolis to Spokane in two days!

      The weekend kicked off with the traditional lecture and simul from John Donaldson at River Park Square on Friday, February 24.  The topic of this year’s lecture was the gold medal won by the U.S. team at the Chess Olympiad.  John captained the team to its first gold in 40 years!  Fifteen players took on the IM after the lecture, with the challengers scoring two victories (by Michael Cambareri and Jason Cross), and one draw (Alex Herron).  For the rest of us, it was an opportunity to begin preparing for next year!  In a sign of what was to come as he continues to knock the rust off his chess game, John Julian won the eight-player blitz tournament at RPS preceding the lecture.

       One significant streak came to end, and one continued, in this year’s event.  Jim Waugh’s retirement from chess (his 88th birthday is April 29), ended his streak of playing in the Collyer at 24.  Dave Griffin is now the only person to have played in all 25 of the tourneys.  He and Willaford were the only two from the original 1993 field of 31 to play in this year’s event, while a third member, Kevin Korsmo, continued as director.        The event was sponsored once again this year by the Spokane Chess Club and the Gary Younker Foundation in memory of former chess organizers Dave Collyer and Gary Younker. A $1,000 donation permitted a guaranteed prize fund of $2,500 for the special occasion of the 25th tournament.  Several players also made personal donations to the prize fund.  Tito Tinajero once again obtained the use of the Millwood Presbyterian Church’s Community Center for the event.  He led a group of volunteers that included Ted Baker, Michael Cambareri, and James Stripes in setting up and taking down the facility.  That spirit of selflessness continues the legacy of Dave and Gary that we celebrate every year.

       The USCF tournament cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702262862

       The cross table link for the blitz event is found here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702241202


2016 (Feb. 27-28)

        This year’s event saw a lot of “firsts.”  It was the first time the tourney has been played outside of Spokane, and the first time that the championship was won by Michael Cambareri and James Maki.  The two scored 4.5 to top the 59 player (plus 2 house players) field.  The tourney was held at the Millwood Presbyterian Church’s Community Center.  Third place (4.0) was shared by Viktors Pupols, David Arganian, Steve Merwin, and Mika Mitchell (with Arganian being top Expert, and Merwin & Mitchell topping the class A category). 

        Top seed Maki suffered a second round draw, moving second seed Pupols to board one for the rest of the event.  The two met in the fifth round while Cambareri battled Mark Havrilla on board two.  Cambareri’s attack broke through and gained him the point.  Meanwhile, Maki and Pupols battled until they were the last game going.  Maki pulled out the win and joined Cambareri on top — the first Collyer victory for each of them.

        There were a lot of other prize winners.  First place in class B went to Steve Buck (3.5), with a crowd of Steve Fabian, Dan McCourt, Jim Skovron, and Jeremy Younker sharing second at 3.0.  The two class C prizes went to youth — Nick Havrilla and Garret Casey each scored 3.5 to win their class prizes.  Five players scored 2.0 to share the class D prizes: Arlene Bodie, Hedda Campbell, Jeff Jaroski, Colin Phelps, and Bill Rottmayer.  The class E and unrated first prize went to Anthony Raelund (3.0), while another newcomer, Dr. Shancie Wagner (2.0) claimed the second prize.

        There were quite a number of upsets, including eight victories over opponents rated at least 300 points higher.  The prize winners were Cecelia Valeriote (687) and Ted Baker (486).   

        The unofficial prize for the furthest travel to the tourney once again belongs to Jerry Morton — this year he came all the way from Tashkent, Uzbekistan!  Jerry had to depart after the Friday night events, but has already promised to return for next year’s tourney!

        The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201602281932 


2015 (Feb. 28 — March 1)

         A California connection of IM John Donaldson and Darren Russell, a recent transplant to Spokane, won the 23rd Dave Collyer Memorial with 4.5 scores.  Donaldson took his first four games before drawing with Tim Moroney in round five, while Russell played the “Swiss Gambit,” being held to an upset draw in the first round before winning his final four games to tie for first.  There was a four way tie for third place between Moroney, Alan Bishop, Steve Merwin, and David Dussome.  That foursome also split the A and Expert prizes.  This year featured six first round upsets, while round two featured an upset on board two and two class A players following to class C players.  Several youth players had strong events, highlighted by Savanna Naccarato scoring 3.5 (losing only to Merwin in an exciting scramble in round four) and Garrett Casey scoring 3 points.

         The other prize winners included Steve Fabian first in class B; six tied for second in the class.  The class C prizes were shared by Ted Baker, Alex Popescu, and Peter Schumaker.  Naccarato won first in class D, while second was shared by Jeff Jaroski and Pat Kirlin.  Garrett Casey won first in class E, while Michael Munsey finished second.  The top two upset prizes went to Jeremy Younker (573 points) and Savanna Naccarato (521 points).  A total of 56 players competed for the $1800 guaranteed prize fund.

         The weekend kicked off with a Friday blitz tourney won by Nikolay Bulakh (6.0) over Darren Russell (5.5), followed by the ever popular John Donaldson lecture and simul.  This year the IM went 13-1-1 in the 15 board competition.

         The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201503016042

         The USCF cross table link for the Younker’s Blitz:  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201502274752


 2014 (Feb. 21-22)



        The 22nd installment of Spokane’s biggest chess tournament, the Dave Collyer Memorial, saw three players top the field of 50 with scores of 4.5. Top seed John Donaldson, expert Paul Bartron, and Moscow (ID) stalwart Mark Havrilla shared this year’s title after a lengthy and exciting final round on Sunday, February 23. The final round played long as a strong and evenly matched field resulted in close matches throughout the score groups. On the top boards, three players stood undefeated after the fourth round — Bartron, Donaldson, and expert Cameron Leslie.  Havrilla was the only 3.5 score, the sole blemish being the third round bye he took on Saturday night.  That situation required all of the top four to win their games in order to claim first prize.  The final round featured Donaldson and Bartron on board 1, while Leslie took on his fellow Moscow resident on board two.  Turning down a draw offer, Leslie aggressively played for the win, only to have an advanced rook cut off and the position turn against him.  Meanwhile Bartron and Donaldson played a sharp game in which the master had a rook and pawn for two pieces.  Havrilla downed Leslie while board one progressed into a rook and two separated pawns versus the two pieces endgame.  Bartron eventually collected the pawns while losing his bishop.  Donaldson attempted to convert his rook against the knight, but eventually agreed to a draw as Bartron succeeded in keeping his knight from getting trapped.  

        The three champions shared the first three prizes.  There were numerous other prize winners.  Leslie and Tim Moroney shared the Expert prize with 4.0 scores.  Nikolay Bulakh took first in class A with another 4.0 score.  Second in class A, with scores of 3.5, were Jeremy Krasin, Mika Mitchell, Dave Rowles, and James Stripes.  Four players with 3.0 scores split the two class B prizes: Ralph Anthony of Mukilteo, Brad Bodie, Jerry Morton, and Jeremy Younker, the son of tourney founder Gary Younker.  The two class C prizes were split three ways by Jacob Beverly of Oregon, George Lombardi, a recent transplant to north Idaho from Alaska, and Ashley Napier of Missoula by way of Scotland.  Each scored 2.5.  The class D prizes were shared by Jeff Jaroski, recently returned to Idaho after moving to Wisconsin and then Montana, and Frank Miller of Montana.  They scored 2.0.  Jeff was handicapped by a fourth round forfeit after a blown tire put him in the ditch awaiting a tow truck on Sunday morning. 

        Younger newcomers were the story in the class E/under section.  Andrew Wolf was the surprise of the tourney.  Rated 953 while playing in USCF events through junior high, he disappeared from tournament play for 10 years to return extremely underrated.  He defeated two 1780 players in the first two rounds before finally falling to Leslie in round three.  His score of 3.0 won the section by a full point and was the only plus score by anyone in the lower half of the tourney.  He also claimed the biggest upset prize.  Second place in the section went to nine-year-old Alden Ortolano of Richland who beat a class C and a class B player to earn his points.  His game showed remarkable maturity for his age, and his second win resulted from outplaying the B player in an even king and pawn endgame.  We can expect big things from Alden over the years.

        The weekend kicked off with three popular events on Friday evening.  John Donaldson gave his always well-attended lecture and then took on 20 players in a simul, defeating 17 while drawing 1 and losing 2.  The afternoon saw a 14-player blitz tournament that brought players in from as far away as Great Falls, Montana.  Havrilla scored 6.0 to sweep the blitz on his way to a perfect weekend.  The blitz cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201402216372

        The USCF main tourney cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201402237582

2013 (Feb. 23-24)


Three Share Second

        The 21st installment of our premiere event, the Dave Collyer Memorial, once again saw IM John Donaldson top the field with a perfect score of 5.0.  He turned back Jeremy Krasin, who had the only other perfect score, in their fifth round encounter.  Krasin tied for second with Mark Havrilla and Jon Middaugh.  The threesome collected the prizes for second, third, and first in class A. 

        A score of 3.5 was the magic number for most of the other prize winners: the expert prize shared by John Julian and Steve Merwin; second place in class A, which was shared by Nikolay Bulakh, Dave Rowles, and James Stripes; and the first and second prizes in class B which were shared by Adam Attwood and Steve Fabian.  That tally also was good enough for first place in the E/unrated category, where the award went to another newcomer, Xiaoman Chu, an exchange student at St. Georges school in Spokane.  He ended the event with a provisional rating just over 2000!

        The class C winners were Bill McBroom and Ron Weyland with scores of 2.5.  Newcomer Jacob Beverly of Enterprise, Oregon, was a big winner.  His 3.0 score won him the $100 first prize in class D, and his final round upset (412 points) scored the $100 prize for largest upset.  Second place in D went to Jim Burney with an even 2.5 score.  Savanna Naccarato scored 2.5 to take second place in the E/unrated category.  Arlene Hiatt took the second upset prize with a second round draw against a player 749 points above her!

        There was a field of 53 players this year (plus a house player), which was once again played at St. Anne’s Children’s Center’s conference room.  A late Friday afternoon/evening storm caused problems in the mountains to the east, which prevented one player from making it over and cost another player his first round game when slow travel prevented a timely arrival.  But aside from those travel problems, the tourney was once again an enjoyable reunion of old and new chess friends.  The field saw a large number of first time entrants, including both those new to the game and old-timers returning after decades of absence.  A total of $1800 in prizes was awarded, although several players returned their winnings to the club or the Gary Younker Foundation.  Once again, the participants showed the good sportsmanship and love of the game that is a hallmark of the Collyer tourney.

        The cross table link for the event: http://main.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201302245232-10328357

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        Area favorite IM John Donaldson once again gave a Friday night lecture and simultaneous exhibition at Riverpark Square on Friday, February 22.  He needed just two hours to sweep the 17 player field!


        Our friends from the University-Community Chess Club in Missoula have done it again.  We recently received a beautiful wall plaque from the UCCC which lists each of the winners of the first 18 Dave Collyer Memorial tournaments and also has room for the next 18 years!  Included with the plaque were pictures of some of Missoula’s finest posing with it.  We owe special thanks to Bill McBroom, Dan McCourt, Bob Rajala, John Hay, Jim Wierson, Sherwood Moore, Dale Gross, and all the other Missoula chess players who help make our local tournaments special.

        The plaque, pictured below, is displayed at Ellen Collyer’s home between tournaments.


2012 (Feb. 25-26)


   After the first day’s action, there were five perfect (3.0) scores in this year’s 20th Dave Collyer Memorial among a field of 64 players.  By the end of the final round, only John Donaldson was still perfect.  It was the fifth perfect score in the history of the event.  In addition to winning the first place prize, John also won the Stephen Christopher Memorial Perfect Score prize of $200 donated by long time northwest chess figure Rusty Miller.

         Second place went to James Stripes (4.5), whose only record blemish was taking a third round (“old man’s”) bye Saturday night.   Third place (4.0) was shared by Paul Bartron, John Julian, Steve Merwin, and Jon Middaugh.  Jon took the first class prize in A, while the other three shared the prizes for third place and Expert. 

        A score of 3.5 was the magic number for most of the remaining prize winners.  Five of those players shared the second prize in Class A: Ryan Ackerman, Nikolay Bulakh, Kairav Joshi, Cameron Leslie, and Dave Rowles.  The same score gave Dan McCourt and Steve Fabian the Class B prizes.  Likewise, that score was the winning tally in Class C for Richard Williams.  Second place in Class C went to Ron Weyland with a 3.0 score.  The Class D category prizes were won by Jim Burney and Peter Schumaker with 2.5 scores.  The Naess sisters from Norway (currently living in Moses Lake until June), Maria and Sara, shared the Class E section prizes with 2.0 scores.  They also claimed the second and third place biggest upset prizes ($50 each), with Sara’s upset only ten points below the top upset achieved by Ron Weyland ($100).  They both claimed scalps of players rated more than 700 points above them!

        A large contingent of youthful players — 9 scholastic youth in fifth grade or younger — augmented the turnout and helped make the 20th Collyer the youngest in event history!  A special prize of a magnetic wooden travel set donated by John Dill, coach of the Northwest Christian chess program, went to Nick Seleski who recorded a 814 point upset win in round two.  The upset did not qualify for prize money because it involved a provisionally rated player, but was still the most impressive upset of the event.

        The event was without incident except for a late Saturday morning snow storm that dumped five inches of snow in just a few hours.  It prevented one sleep-in player from making his morning game on board one and sent another player home after the first round.  By mid-afternoon, though, the roads were clear and the snow was melting, leaving only slush to be dealt with the rest of the weekend.

        A special 20th anniversary plaque, featuring a photo of Dave Collyer and Gary Younker (along with a very young Curt Collyer) was handed out as a door prize to each entrant.  An anonymous donor spent over $600 providing 75 plaques for players.

        The cross table for the event can be viewed here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201202269352-10328357

2011 (Feb. 26-27)

Bartron & Donaldson Top 19th Collyer

      An exciting final round of this year’s Dave Collyer Memorial left two atop the standings with 4.5 scores: top seeds John Donaldson and Paul Bartron.  They fought to a draw and then awaited the result of the board two battle between Ryan Ackerman and Chris Copeland to see if a third winner would emerge.  The board two contest also ended in a draw (as did five of the seven top boards) when both parties were down to very little time left on the clock.  Chris and Ryan were joined in third place with 4.0 by Mike Schemm.  In addition to the third place prize, Schemm won the Expert category and Ackerman & Copeland took the first Class B category prize.

        The first day’s action ended with five players having a perfect 3.0 score: Donaldson, Bartron, fourth seed Steve Merwin, and teenagers Nikolay Bulakh and Ryan Ackerman.  Ryan took Sunday’s fourth round off to visit friends and family, leaving the others to slug it out on the top two boards.  And slug it out they did.  Both games went into king and pawn endgames and were settled with little time left on the clock. Donaldson stopped Merwin, while Bartron turned back his youthful challenger.  The fighting spirit was shown throughout the round, with only three of the 26 games resulting in draws.

        The final round saw the top two seeds meeting on board one.  As the only perfect scores, they had the only chance to win a $100 perfect score prize offered by the Gary Younker Foundation. Meanwhile, a pair of challengers sitting at 3.5 met on board two — Ackerman and Copeland — with hopes of gaining a tie for the championship if a board one draw resulted.  As with the previous round, this one went late as well, with nearly one third of the games approaching the four hour mark.  Board one ultimately drew when the players reached an endgame in which no one could advance. While a lot of the out-of-towners left when their games were complete in order to beat the weather, quite a few locals stayed to watch the results. Five of the top seven boards ended in draws, most in the last few minutes of play.  The result was many ties among the prize winners.

        There was a 7-person log jam for the Class A prizes involving (in rating order) Diwakar Rana, Dave Rowles, Pat Herbers, Michael Cambareri, Cameron Leslie, Nikolay Bulakh, and Kairav Joshi.  All scored 3.5.  Your editor got writer’s cramp from writing all those checks!

        Second place in Class B went to Steve Buck (3.5). The Class C prizes were shared by Ted Baker, Michael Clark, and Richard Schumaker with 3.0 scores. The Class D prize winners were Peter Schumaker and Rory Peterson with 2.0 scores.

        The biggest upsets were bagged in the first round.  Soon to be 82-year-old Jim Waugh once again pulled off the largest upset, topping a player 442 points above him.  Ted Catton claimed the second upset prize when he upended an Expert in the first round — a 391 point differential.  The two prize winners were tops among 17 upsets of at least 125 points or more!!

Fourth round action at the 2011 Dave Collyer Memorial (photo by Adam Attwood)

     There were 57 entrants in this year’s event, which was the first marred by bad weather.  A heavy snowstorm midweek, followed by subzero temperatures Friday and Saturday mornings, threatened to hurt turn out.  While the tally was down a few players from recent years, a number of hardy travelers arrived from outside the area — nine from Montana, six from the Seattle-Tacoma region, and several from Idaho and Oregon.  Bad pass conditions to the west did encourage some players to leave early, but none of the pre-registered canceled out due to the weather.  Regional chess players are definitely a strong lot!

      The Collyer weekend kicked off with the traditional Friday night lecture and simul from popular IM John Donaldson.  The IM was nearly perfect in the Friday night simul, where he won 16 of 17, dropping only a game to Nikolay Bulakh.  The simul followed a lecture on the U.S. team’s adventures at the Olympian in Siberia last October, and the return of Yasser Seirwan to the U.S. championships.  The lecture was well-attended and well-appreciated.

      The USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201102278711-10503728 

2010 (Feb. 27-28)

Donaldson & Malugu Win 18th Collyer Memorial

           John Donaldson and Satyajit Malugu won the 18th installment of Spokane’s premiere chess event, the Dave Collyer Memorial, held February 27 & 28, 2010, at St. Anne’s Children’s Center in Spokane.  The top seeds met in the final round and reached a draw after entering the early middle game without advantage to either party.  The result set a final round trend as five of the top seven boards drew, most after extended play.  For Donaldson, the title was the ninth win in eleven years.  Malugu, a recent transplant to Bellevue from New Jersey, made his first appearance in the tourney.

        A group of five finished one-half point back at 4.0 to claim third place.  Steve Merwin (4.0) took the expert category prize, while the other four finishers split the third prize and the two Class A prizes: Cyrus Desmarais, Mark Havrilla, Jim Skovron, and Phil Weyland.  

        Three tied for the Class B prizes with 3.5 scores: Stephen Buck, Dan McCourt, and Jeremy Younker.  The Class C prizes were shared by five players with 3.0 scores: Ben Blue, Bill McBroom, Jerry Morton, Aaron Nicoski, and Doug Sly.  There was another three-way tie in the Class D/Unrated category, where 2.5 scores were posted by Bryant Baird, Jeremy Krasin, and Murray Strong.  Murray also claimed the top upset prize ($100) after a strong first day showing when he drew with a Class B player and beat an expert (708 point upset) and a Class A player.  The second biggest upset belonged to Pullman sixth grader Peter Schumaker (586 point upset).  The two were nicely rewarded by the USCF: Murray’s rating jumped 142 points, while Peter’s climbed an even 100!

    A total of 63 players took part, tying last’s year tally as the second largest Collyer tourney.  A large number of the participants were first timers at the event and we hope to see many of them back next year.  Two players traveled quite far to play this year.  Wayne Hatcher drove up from New Mexico to make another appearance in this event.  Meanwhile, world traveler Jerry Morton, who has come from central Asia for two of the past Collyer tourneys, topped his previous travels by coming all the way from Australia this year!  Way to go, Jerry!

    This year’s $1600 guaranteed prize fund was again supported by the Gary Younker Foundation, which was started in memory of long-time Spokane chess stalwart Gary Younker who founded this event in honor of his old friend, David Collyer.  Friends of both regularly contribute to the foundation which promotes chess in eastern Washington.  In addition to the Collyer tourney, the foundation recently backed the 2009 Washington Open and the 2009 Washington Elementary Chess Championships held in Spokane.

The USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201002284271-10328357

The weekend’s festivities kicked off with  IM John Donaldson giving a lecture and playing a simul on Friday evening at Riverpark Square’s Kress Gallery.  The lecture covered John’s experiences at the world Team Championships in Turkey in January.  John captained the U.S. squad to a surprising Silver Medal finish.  John then took on 23 players in a simul, and managed to win 19 of the games in just over 2 hours of work!  Travis Elisara, Cameron Leslie, and Dave Rowles all managed wins, while ten-year-old Hannah Merwin offered a draw after winning a piece off of the IM!  He accepted and the youngster had a great memory for her scorebook.



Collyer, Sinanan Win 17th Collyer Memorial

     National Masters Curt Collyer and Josh Sinanan won the 17th Dave Collyer Memorial, topping the 63 player field with a score of 4.5.  NM Nat Koons, Daniel Gay, Peter Watts, and Michael Cambareri tied for third (and won the A and B prizes) with scores of 4.0.  Gay, a 1995 rated teenager from the Portland suburb of Tigard, held IM John Donaldson to a draw in Saturday night’s third round action.  That left the 3 NMs in the lead heading into Sunday morning.  Koons and Sinanan played a wild game that ended in a draw.  Collyer had the white pieces against Donaldson and they battled late into the time control before Collyer set a mating net that won the point.

    The fifth round saw Collyer and Koons battle until a single rook pawn was left on the board, leading to a half point for each.  Sinanan topped Steve Merwin to join Collyer at the top of the standings.

    There were plenty of prize winners.  Merwin and Paul Schuey, who returned to competitive chess after a five year absence, shared the $100 Expert Prize.  Gay and Watts shared the Class A prizes.  Cambareri was tops in Class B, while second place ($75) went to Nathan Armstrong of Southaven, Mississippi.  Nathan was in the area and dropped in to play.  Travis Elisara and Henry Pallares shared the Class C prizes.  First place in the D and under section went to unrated Odysseus Rodriguez of Yakima, an unrated player trying his first over the board competition.  The second prize was split by Mike Clark, another unrated player from Yakima, and WSU student Aaron Nicoski, a native of Vancouver, Washington. 

    The biggest upset prize ($100) went to Pat Kirlin, and the second biggest upset ($50) was won by Ron Weyland.  In all, $1600 in prize money was awarded again this year.

     Nearly every round saw multiple games go to the wire.  Saturday night’s third round saw six games playing right to the end of the time control, and most of the other rounds similarly had several games running to the maximum time.  There were few easy draws; the fighting spirit of the event continued to the end of the last round, with much of the field still present when the tourney finally finished.

        There field of 63 was  the second largest Collyer tourney ever.  ft.

        Festivities kicked off with the tenth Friday night Simul & Lecture from International Master John Donaldson at River Park Square.  The lecture discussed the recent Bronze medal performance of the U.S. chess olympiad men’s team that was captained by John.  He shared some stories of what the event was really like and then analyzed the final game of the Kamsky-Topalov match.  In the ensuing simul, 19 challenged the IM, with two (John Julian and Cameron Leslie) emerging victorious, and Dr. Ward Chow achieving a draw!  Way to go!  This was the best showing against the IM in quite awhile

.    (JC Mies, left, ponders move at simul)

     Below: John Donaldson in action at the the simul.

2009 Collyer Action

Round 1 (photo by Adam Attwood)

The first round pairings presented a special surprise when the computer (unassisted by any humans) paired Curt Collyer, son of Dave, and Jeremy Younker, son of tournament founder Gary Younker, together on board 3 (photo below).  The pairing was reminiscent of many when the two were youths growing up in Spokane and ended in a victory for the NM.

Photo courtesy of Randy Countryman.

The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200903010061-10328357

 2008 (Feb. 23-24)

Donaldson & Haessler Share Collyer Crown

        John Donaldson and Carl Haessler shared the title of champion of the 16th Dave Collyer Memorial played February 23-24, 2008.  They topped the record-sized field of 67 players with 4.5 scores. 

The two met in the final round and reached a quick draw to share the title.  Third place was a four-way tie involving David Bragg, Josh Sinanan, Chris Kalina, and Michael Wang. Each scored 4.0 and received $100 as their share of the combined third place, expert prize, and the two Class A prizes.   Wang won an additional $100 donated by the Gary Younker Foundation for the highest score by a player aged 18 or under.  The Kirkland youngster played like a seasoned veteran and won his share of third place by winning the very last game of the tourney, a tight queen vs. rook endgame with little time left on the respective clocks.

        The other winners included Alex Chow, Cyrus Desmarais, and Casey Fleck in Class B.  Their 3.5 scores shared the $175 in class prize money in the largest section in the tournament.  The Class C prizes were shared by Ryan Ackerman and Dave Griffin, each of whom scored 3.0.  The Class D and under prize was won by Cameron Leslie, making his first tournament appearance in the region and his first rated event in five, with a score of 3.5. The second place prize in the section went to Missoula’s Brett Thomas-Dejongh with a 2.5 score.  Brett played excellent chess the entire tournament and drew an exciting game with Michael Wang Saturday night.

        As typical, there were many upsets in this always strong tournament.  The top upset went to Helena’s Bill Spencer with his last round victory over a player rated 688 points above him!  The second upset was nearly as large. Robbin Arnett of Yakima bagged a player 651 points higher!!  Each won $100 for his upset efforts.

        Despite the upsets, the tournament went pretty much to form the first day.  The top four seeds had the only perfect 3.0 scores after the first day’s action: John Donaldson, David Bragg, Carl Haessler, and Josh Sinanan.  The four squared off on the top two boards in round four action Sunday morning.  Donaldson defeated Sinanan while Haessler topped Bragg.  That set the stage for the final round match up.  In their previous meeting  in the 2000 Collyer Memorial, Haessler had defeated Donaldson.  This time there was not a protracted battle despite the fact that the Gary Younker Foundation had offered a $200 bonus to any player achieving a perfect 5.0 score.

        The Collyer Memorial is jointly sponsored by the Spokane Chess Club and the Gary Younker Foundation in honor of past Spokane Chess Club presidents Dave Collyer and Gary Younker.  Gary started the tournament in 1993 in honor of Dave.  After Gary died of cancer in 2001, several of his friends formed the Gary Younker Foundation to promote chess in eastern Washington, with a special emphasis on youth chess.  The Foundation has backed each of the subsequent Collyer Memorial tournaments, as well as other regional events.  Several players made donations to the foundation, including Bill Spencer who donated his $100 upset prize!  

        The weekend kicked off with Donaldson presenting a lecture February 22 at the Liberty Cafe on the first floor of Auntie’s Bookstore, on the pending Gata Kamsky semi-final championship match.  The lecture was followed by a 18 board simul.  Donaldson was perfect for the second year in a row, putting away the competition in about 2 1/2 hours.

        The tournament was played at the St. Anne’s Children’s Center, W. 25 Fifth Avenue South, Spokane.  The site drew plenty of fine reviews from the players and will be used again for next year’s Collyer Memorial.

        The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200802241931-10328357

  2007 (Feb. 24-25)

Donaldson & Koons win 15th Collyer Memorial

    Top seeds John Donaldson and Nat Koons shared the title at the 15th Dave Collyer Memorial with 4.5 scores. Third place was shared by Experts Paul Bartron and Josh Sinanan and Class A players John Julian and David Rowles.  Each scored 4.0. There were a total of 53 players competing in this year’s event.

        Three players shared the Class B prizes with 3.0 scores: Alex Chow, Bert Dennison, and Dan Mathews.  Dennison, from Tyler, Texas, played in the tourney as part of his effort to play a rated tournament in each of the 50 states.  Washington became the 49th state in his collection!  He needs only to add the Wyoming Open to complete his cross country chess tour.  Showing what a small world this is, Dennison had a surprise reunion with the Blue family when Alton and his sons, Ben and David, entered the tourney.  The Blues had previously lived and played in Tyler and knew Dennison from their time down there.

        The Class C category was won by Bill McBroom of Missoula, whose 3.0 score headed the class by one-half point.  Professor Bill generously donated his $100 prize back to the club!  Kenny Erickson took second and won $75 for his efforts.

        The Class D prize was another win for the Chow family when Dr. Ward Chow topped the section with a 2.0 score.  Ryan Ackerman, newcomer Khai Le, and oldtimer Jim Waugh finished second with 1.5 scores.  The top upsets in the tournament came from this category as well.  David Blue had the biggest upset ($100) by downing a player 719 points above his rating!  The second biggest upset went Pat Kirlin who claimed a scalp 456 points above his rating.  Good job to both of you!!

        The weekend began when International Master John Donaldsongave another entertaining lecture and simul at Aunties Bookstore Friday night, February 23. There were 16 players in the simul and John put us all away, sweeping to a 16-0 record in less than two hours!!  Better luck next year, gang! 

Chess veterans John Downes and B. G. Dennison of Texas strike similar poses in their second round matches.  (Photos courtesy of Jerry Morton).

Below: John Donaldson and Phil Weyland (round two)

More round two action:

Chris Copeland and Geoff Gale ponder their position:

 The 2007 USCF cross table: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200702251711-10328357

   2006 (Feb. 25-26)


     John Donaldson repeated as champion of the 14th Dave Collyer Memorial, Spokane’s biggest chess tournament.  He scored a perfect 5.0 to top the 52 player field.  Elston Cloy, a Spokane native now living in Seattle, finished second with 4.5.  Curt Collyer and Steve Merwin, each with 4.0, tied for third place and also were the top Experts. 

         The Class prizes ($100 first and $75 second) were widely dispersed.  Pat Herbers and Chris Kalina paced the A section with 3.5 scores.  They recorded a draw against each other in the final round. The B class prizes were shared by Michael Cambareri, John Downes, and Michael Hosford, each of whom finished with 3.0 scores.  Alex Chow, at 3.5, was the C winner.  His rating soared over 100 points and put him firmly into the B category.  Four shared second in the category with 3.0 scores: Ken Erickson, Constantine Etingher, Mark Mangiaracina, and Bob O’Bannan.  The D/unrated category prizes went mostly to three unrated players entering their first USCF events.  First place, with 3.0, went to Sattarov Sattar, an Uzbekistan émigré to the U.S. who recently arrived in Spokane.  The second place prize was shared by Chelan twins Cyrus and Niles Desmarais, and Tacoma’s John Hornickle.  Each scored 2 points.  The Desmarais brothers have had success in local scholastic events and decided to try a USCF tourament.

    The biggest upset of the tourney was scored by Jerry Morton in the third round.  He won $100 for toppling an opponent 450 points above him.  It made the long trip from Kazakhstan worthwhile! Alex Chow won $50 for the second biggest upset.

     Donaldson kicked off the weekend with a lecture and simul at Aunties Bookstore on Friday night.  The lecture, about the upcoming US Championships, was well attended.  Twenty-five players then took on the IM in the simul. Donaldson won 20 games, lost one, and drew four.

      The new  “Sleep In” option turned out to be popular, with twelve players choosing that option — including the top three boards.   Several annotated games from this event can be found on our Game Corner link at left.

The official USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200602267521-10328357

  2005 (Feb. 26-27)

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.

      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

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

  2004 (Feb. 21-22)  

12th Annual Dave Collyer Memorial

Probably the largest, and undoubtedly the strongest, tournament in Spokane history
took place February 21-22, 2004. The Twelfth Dave Collyer Memorial tournament attracted 
62 players from five states (including 14 who ventured over from Montana), with 
eleven of the contestants rated 2000 or better. IM John Donaldson and local Expert Curt 
Collyer shared 
the title with 4.5
scores. Each 
claimed $250
for their efforts. 
A total of $1500
in prizes was
awarded. The
surprise of the
year was the 
number of 
As is typical in 
an open tourney,
the first round 
presented the 
biggest pairing 
of the event. Unlike
most years, this 
year the lower rated
 players struck hard and frequently. Jeremy Younker (1591), whose chess has been limited by 
school and work to playing only in this event, recorded the 
biggest upset of the tourney by besting NM Nat Koons (2021) in the first round. Not far 
behind was Yakima’s Terry Fortier (1283), who downed Montana’s Jim Skovron (1817). 
There also were four upset draws recorded that round, including two between players 
rated 500 points apart.

The second round saw upsets continuing, including ninth grader Daniel Copeland’s (1696)
conquest of Matt Goshen (2000). Copeland would finish the day with one of five perfect
scores and ultimately finished with 4 points to join the six way tie for third overall and
win the “B” prize. IM Eric Tangborn, who was making his first visit to the Collyer tourney, 
was held to a draw by Spokane’s Kirk Steinocher (1866). Two other upset victories 
were recorded, including Pat Kirlin (1379) over Skovron. A knowledgeable chess 
spectator at this point decided to donate $50 for an additional upset prize (only 
one had been advertised). It proved to be a good thing as ultimately five games involved
victories by players rated at least 400 points lower than their opponents.

The second round also saw the “Best Game” of the event: Nick Raptis’ victory over 
Dustin Benson. That game, which won the $100 donated prize, was highlighted by a 
queen sacrifice.
The third round was highlighted
by Daniel Copeland’s (1696) 
victory over Montana Champion 
Greg Nowak (2153). Only five 
players finished the day with 
perfect 3.0 scores. That number 
was reduced to one by the end 
of the fourth round. Donaldson
bested Oregon Champion 
Nick Raptis, while Collyer 
and FM David Sprenkle fought 
long and hard before drawing with opposite colored bishops. John Julian stopped Copeland’s run,

and hope of facing Donaldson in the championship game, with a hard fought victory.

Donaldson and Sprenkle reached a quick draw in round five, leaving the winner of the 
Julian-Collyer game with a chance to catch Donaldson. Collyer eventually prevailed over
his longtime friend and rival to share the first place title. Final round class pairings 
also resulted in most of the class prizes being settled in head to head contests. Chris 
Drake defeated Paul Barton to win the Expert section with a 3.5 score. That prize was
added to the event after Northwest Chess made a generous $100 donation to the tourney.

The other class prizes were $100 to first and $50 to second. The winners were: (A) Kirk 
Steinocher and Kent McNall (each 4); (B) Daniel Copeland (4) and Murlin Varner (3.5); (C) 
David Griffin (3) and Jeremy Younker (2.5); and (D) Patrick Kirlin (3), and Ken 
Hunt-Erickson and Dave Reinhold (each 2.5).

The Collyer Tournament was begun in 1993 by the late Gary Younker in honor of 
longtime Spokane chess stalwart David Collyer. The Spokane Chess Club and 
the Gary Younker Foundation continue the tourney in honor of both men. The Collyer 
Weekend is more than the tourney. Events began Friday night with John Donaldson 
graciously giving another lecture at Auntie’s Bookstore. He talked about the 
recent Lindsborg tournament and his time spent with former world champion Anatoly 
Karpov. After the lecture, Donaldson began a 19-board simul. He turned that event
over to Eric Tangborn when the Tacoma IM arrived midway through the event. 
Longtime friends of Dave Collyer gathered to play or visit the event. Vancouver’s 
John Wise, for instance, was unable to play but flew up Saturday to renew old acquaintances.

The event was played this year at the downstage ballroom of Center Stage, a 
downtown Spokane dinner theatre. The venue allowed the players a much larger 
playing hall than years past and gave visitors a chance to see some of downtown 
Spokane’s highlights.

The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200402220940-10