Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dan Woods RIP

It is with great sadness that the Boylston Chess Foundation has learned of the passing of former Boylston Club member Dan Woods. A club regular at the Thursday Night Swiss, expert rated Dan twice won the Under 2200 Club Championship tournament, the Rubens Landy.

year Reubens-Landey (U2200 Champion)
2010 Jeffrey Hall, Sean Ingham, David Glickman
2009 NM Greg Kaden
2008 Simon Warfield
2007 Gregory Kaden
2006 Brian Salomon
2005 Kenneth Newman, Carey Theil
2004 Simon Warfield
2003 Edward Astrachan
2002 Simon Warfield
2001 Edward Astrachan, Kimani Stancil
2000 Simon Warfield
1999 Daniel J. Woods
1998 Paul Mishkin
1997 Robert Armes
1996 Larry Schmitt
1995 Miguel Angel Santana
1994 Alex Slive
1993 Timur Feinstein
1992 Daniel J. Woods
1991 Larry Schmitt
1990 Alex Slive
Bernardo Iglesias remembers a tenacious fighter, not willing to take draws easily if he thought there was still life in the position. Bill McClellend recalls a strong expert who had some good tournament victories over the years.

Let us remember his chess:

From Jason Rihel:
Talking this week with those at the club, I learned that many people remember Dan's pet systems that he liked to play against particular openings. My story about Dan involved his 2. Qe2 system against the French Defence. French Defences stalwarts like Mike Griffin well know that I like to jokingly mock the questionable intellect of those who play 1...e6. Oddly enough, against Dan Woods, I played the only two French Defences of my chess career, as I had prepared for his odd 2. Qe2 system.

Dan Woods--Jason Rihel Thrusday Night Swiss, 2003.
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2

2... c5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.d3 Nd4 7.Qd1 Ne7 8.Be3
My opening prep worked out well. Black already has a small but tangible advantage.

8...Qa5 9.f4 d6 10.Bd2 Qb6 11.Qc1 0-0 12.Nd1 Qc7 The start of a too slow plan. Black would be doing well to rip open lines with f5.

13.c3 Ndc6 14.Nf2 b5 15.h4 h5 16.g4 f5 but now f5 is too late. White lunged at the Kingside, and now Black has drifted into a worse position.
17.gxf5 gxf5 18.Qd1 Rf6 19.Qxh5 Rh6 20.Qf3 b4 21.Ne2 Rb8 22.h5 bxc3 23.Bxc3 Bxc3+ 24.bxc3 Qa5 25.Rg1 ? Missing my retort. Instead, [25.Qg3+ Kf7 26.Qg5 Rh7 27.h6 Nd4 28.Qh5+ Kf8 29.Rc1 and Black's counterattack is too slow.] 25...Nd4 Now we've reached equality again.
26.Qg3+ Kf7 27.Nd1 Nc2+ and now Black is suddenly winning.
28.Kf2 Nxa1 29.Qg5 Rh8 30.e5 dxe5 31.fxe5 Rg8?? Oops. A time trouble blunder to throw away the win for Black.

32.Qf6+ Ke8 33.Bc6+ Nxc6 34.Rxg8+ Kd7 35.Rg7+ Ne7 36.Qxe7+ Kc6 37.Qd6+ Kb5 38.Qxb8+ Ka4 39.Rxa7 Ba6 40.Nb2+ Ka3 41.Nc4+ Black Resigns. A sad end to a mutually flawed game. 1-0

A few months later, we faced each other again, and I ventured the French Defence for a second time. This time Dan surprised me, played a "normal" French line, and I was dropping F-bombs in my head. (F is for French-- I don't know the French! What am I doing??)
Dan Woods- Jason Rihel, 2003

1.e4 e6 2.d4!! Now I am clueless.
2...d5 3.exd5?! I breathed a big sigh of relief! I used to play the French Exchange and snag some Expert players when I was younger. At least I knew the basic ideas. What would have happened to me if he steered it into the Winawer or something crazy??
3...exd5 4.Bd3 Bd6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.c3 Qe7+ 7.Be3 Nf6 8.0-0 Bg4 9.Bg5 0-0-0 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Re1 Be6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 Bxg3 14.fxg3 Qd6 15.b4 Nd7 16.a4 Exactly the opposite from our first game. This time, he is brutally attacking my king on the Queenside, while I attack him on the Kingside.
16...Rdg8 17.a5 h5 18.b5 Nd8 19.b6 cxb6 20.a6 Nc6 21.axb7+ Kxb7 22.Qa4 h4 Somehow, I have neutralized/survived his first wave of attack, and my own attack goes forward.
23.Ba6+ Kc7 24.Bb5 a5 and I have shut him out of the queenside for good.
25.Nf1 hxg3 26.Nxg3 g4 27.Nd2 Rh6 28.Ndf1 f5 29.Bxc6 Qxc6 30.Qxc6+ Kxc6 Now Black is getting a serious advantage.
31.Ne2 Nf6 32.Nf4 Ne4 33.Ng3 Bc8 34.Nd3 Rgh8? Messing up a bit in some time pressure. I had to get to move 40.
35.Ne5+ Kc7 36.Nf7 and we agreed to a draw. Black is probably still better after 36...Rxh2 37.Nxh8 Rxh8 38.Nxe4 fxe4 39.Kf2 Bd7 40.Rh1 Rxh1 41.Rxh1 but it isn't so easy.
So, thanks Dan, for the opportunity to play the French. Also, thank you for being a part of our chess community all those years.

From Greg Kaden:

I played Dan in 1992 in the Under 2200 section of a tournament in Watertown. He had a reputation as a very tenacious player. Indeed, shortly before this event, I saw Dan hold two difficult draws in consecutive rounds at the New Hampshire Open against Joe Fang and David Griego. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to put his reputation to the test. He beat me handily and ended up tying for first in the section.

Summer Madness IV
Watertown, MA
August 16, 1992
Greg Kaden -- Dan Woods

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6
4. Ba4 d6
5. c3 Bd7
6. O-O g6
7. d4 Bg7
8. Bg5 Nf6
9. d5 Ne7
10. Re1 O-O
11. h3 h6
12. Bd2 Nh7
13. Bxd7 Qxd7
14. Qc1 g5
15. h4 gxh4
16. Nxh4 Qg4
17. Nf3 f5
18. Bxh6 fxe4
19. Nh2 Qh4
20. Bxg7 Qf2+
21. Kh1 Nf5
22. Ng4 Qh4+
23. Kg1 Kg7
24. Nh2 Ng3
25. Nd2 Nf6
26. Qd1 Rh8
27. Ndf1 Nxf1
28. Nxf1 Ng4

Please share your thoughts and memories in the comment section below. Rest in peace, Dan.

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