2015 Iowa Denker/Barber Candidates Tournament

2015 Iowa Denker/Barber Candidates Tournament

NM Lord_Neezy
Jan 27, 2015, 8:54 AM |

2015 Iowa Denker/Barber Candidates Tournament

Coverage by James Neal

The last time I had the pleasure of attending the Denker/Barber Candidates tournament was in the winter of 2004 as a contender. That year I scored a paltry 1.5/5.0 with the only remnants of those games being bad losses that still sting to this day. Now, the winter of 2015, I will have the pleasure of attending this event as a coach.  

In the Denker section (8th – 12th) the top contenders this year are:

Kushan Tyagi (2160)

Arshaq Saleem (2110)


In the Barber section (K – 8th) the top contenders this year are:

Joseph Cheng-Wan (2071)

Gokul Thangavel (1878)

Clive Power (1709)


Round 1

I spent the first round asking the top players from each section to provide me with a game that displayed good execution. I predicted some the players would have games throughout the tournament where their opponent may not have put up much resistance but they were still proud of the way they delivered the boom.


The first game I observed was from the Denker section where Kushan Tyagi (2160) was set to take on Trevor Ciha (1138). There weren’t too many fireworks, Trevor was gradually outplayed.  


There were no upsets this round but I was informed by Kushan that the battle for the Iowa Denker candidate would take place round 2 instead of round 3. I was a little disappointed that the winner would be declared so early with 2 rounds left to complete; what an anticlimactic ending.

Round 2


The battle between these two giants was set to begin; with each player having about a 700 point edge over the rest of the field, there was a clear consensus that one would represent Iowa in August 2015. This year would be Arshaq’s debut into the Denker class it would also mark Kushan’s final year. I am certain Kushan wanted to win this game more than anyone and his decision to choose the Saemisch reflected his desire. 


Round 3



So the Denker section had been pretty much wrapped up but in round 3 there was a mega upset where Kushan Tyagi (2160) gave up a draw to Morgan Lu (1440). I reviewed this game with Morgan and it definitely looked as though Kushan may have been out of gas following his bout with Arshaq. There was supposed to be only 3 rounds in the Denker section due to the low participation but because Arshaq wasn’t mathematically eliminated, a fourth round was to be played. The 4th round came and gone and Arshaq and Kushan beat their opponents with gusto. Kushan Tyagi would be the representative of Iowa in the Denker/Barber tournament taking place in Phoenix, Arizona this fall.

In the Barber section there were only 2 players undefeated following the 3rd round. They were Gokul Thangavel (1878) and Joseph Wan (2071). They ended up playing each other in round 4 but I was unable to retrieve the game (it was a good one). Instead, I have posted their knockouts from round 3. 



Round 4



The winner of the Barber section was Joseph Wan following a long hard bout against Gokul Thangavel. Joseph was pretty animated following his victory and he mentioned if he suffered two broken legs, he would find some way to Arizona to represent Iowa in the Denker/Barber tournament this fall. Also, Joseph will more than likely be participating in the Closed this March to determine who will be the 2015 Champion of Iowa.


Upcoming Posts: I will more than likely be posting on the results of the Cedar Rapids Leather Jackets regardless to how good or bad it may turn out for me.


If you are in the dark about 2015 Iowa Closed Championship, it follows the Cedar Rapids Leather Jackets and features a Round Robin of the top 6 players in the state. 

Tim McEntee (2206) *Defending Champion

James Neal (2114) *That would be me

Robert Keating (2188)

Joseph Wan (2079)

Dan Brashaw (2219)

Arshaq Saleem (2101)