Summer Stuff and the Emory Tate Jr Board Award

A few years ago at a league team captain meeting I proposed we have a blog because there was almost no information about this historic league and it’s players. The other team captains agreed but much to my dismay I was also voted to run the blog (That was never the plan haha).

The last few years I was determined not say a whole lot , keep things simple, try to be funny, and at the very least have something posted on the internet about this great league and its former and current players. I really don’t know what the future will bring in the amount of posts on the blog but most likely they will continue to slow down.

Below is a brief update over the last few months:

The Grind

The winter season in the DCCL is a grind. Every team plays every other team and only one team is left standing at the end. As previously reported on the DCCL home page the Open team left standing was Coral Reef. It didn’t look good for the Reef going into the final round. The Kings were having a fantastic season leading the field by a 1/2 point. The Kings however unexpectedly lost to Ashburn Junior while the Reef beat Rook and Role to overtake the Kings. A fantastic season by the Reef and their resurgence continues after winning the prior summer season as well.

In the amateur James Madison once again went undefeated and won 9-0.  This is James Madison’s 5th straight season win starting with the winter 2013-14 season.

Emory Tate Jr board prize

ETate

IM Emory Tate Jr

As proposed by league commissioner Andy Rea, and unanimously seconded by all other members at the bi-annual team meeting, the DCCL Board prize has been changed in honor of IM Emory Tate Jr to the “Emory Tate Jr board prize”.

As most of you know IM Tate was a well known and well liked International Master who played in the MidAtlantic for a time and also played in the DCCL in the 80’s. In 2016 he tragically and unexpectedly passed away. He was known throughout the World for his incredibly creative and attacking style of play. He made chess fun and was a larger than life presence when playing at any tournament.

My Emory Tate story.

I was talking to a good friend and told him about my experience with IM Tate and we both marveled how a few minutes of talking with someone can have a big impact on your life. We each have the ability to help, teach, and be a positive force.

I interacted with IM Tate only once in my life for a short period of time when I had just started playing. I believe it was at the Maryland Open in the late 80’s. I was a 15 year old or so kid rated 1600 or 1700 just starting out and he was a very strong master. I remember I was analyzing a game and he came by and sat down for a few minutes.

I knew he was a very good player and I was suprised he would come by and even bother to talk to a much lower rated player like me. I thought it was a very nice gesture.

What he said in those few minutes had a big impact on my style of play and improving in chess.

I remember pointing out moves I thought were good and he said something on the lines of “Where is your play?” (Where are you strongest on the board was what he was communicating). He would say this a couple of times until I picked out the right move.

I never ever forgot this and what it drilled into me was you play to your strength. You typically don’t focus on shoring up your weak points on the board but you double down on where you are strong.

This rule was a battle cry for me as a junior player as I made my way to the Expert and Master level.  Other strong players would sometimes describe me as someone who was “dangerous with the initiative”. Thank you IM Tate.

Summer has begun

The first round of the summer league has just begun and already some of the recent league winners got zapped with losses or draws. The top 2 teams from last winter lost ( Kings lost to Ashburn Jr) and drew (Coral Reef drew DMV Experts). The Ashburn Senior team which won the league 2 winters ago and was in the playoffs last summer lost to the Sterling Sacs.

1st Round Summer Game Total Crush:

I was utterly destroyed on white no less by my opponent Robert Cousins. In a loss certainly errors are made but I have to give Robert a lot of credit for playing a very nice game, sacking not one but 2 exchanges for an overwhelming CRUSH.

Hoshall S. 2225, Cousins R 2099

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7
  2. Bc4 Nc6 6. O-O Nf6 7. d3 O-O 8. Qe1

cousins1

In this position whites play is typically invested into a kingside attack. In an optimum world white will stick his queen on h4, play f5, bh6, ng5,  and perhaps sack his rook for the f6 Black knight. A plan as my good friend Paul Swaney has said has been around since the 1800’s. You can however still find 2800 rated players losing today in under 20 moves to this type of plan so it still works.

Nd4

  1. Nxd4

This move is fine by white but I was kicking myself after the game for not playing Qh4, allowing nxc2 by black and then simply playing Rb1. White will have a nice attack in an unbalanced position. I should have played where my strength was and listened to the advice I got years ago from IM Tate.

cxd4 10. Ne2? (This move is bad. White can not play a retreating knight move in this position and needs to play Nd5.  White has no attack now and black can place his pieces on good squares.) d5 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Ng3 e6

  1. Kh1 a6 14. a4 b6 15. Bd2 Bb7 16. Ne4 Rc8
  2. Bb4

cousins2

So here is the situation. Blacks positions is nice but white is threatening to win the exchange on f8. If black takes the bishop with Nxb4 he trades off his good knight for blacks not so good bishop.

14…Rxc4 Wow!!!, instead of protecting or moving the rook on f8 to avoid the loss of the exchange black correctly decides to sac the other exchange! 18. Bxf8 Qxf8 19. dxc4 Ne3

cousins3

White is up 2 full exchanges in this position but totally lost.

  1. Nd2 Bxg2+
  2. Kg1 Bxf1 22. Nxf1 Nxc2 23. Qc1 Nxa1 24. Qxa1 a5
  3. Ng3 Qb4 26. Qa2 Qe1+ 27. Kg2 d3 crush
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The Diplomat

Down the Home Stretch

 With only two more matches left in the Winter season the Open section appears to have come down to a two team race.  The Kings who had big matches vs Coral Reef in February and the Argyles in March won them both and stand at 5-1.  Coral Reef has suffered only 1 loss this season and also stands at 5-1.  Good luck to both squads. 

In the Amateur section GMU stands at 7-0 and has wrapped up yet another season championship.  Can we say dynasty for this team?  Historically they have been on the type of run that Coral Reef was on in the early 2000’s.  Yet another outstanding season for this squad.

Below is a featured article about one of our top DCCL players, Srdjan Darmanovic written by Andy Tichenor

 The Diplomat

 As many of you know, one of the strongest players in the DCCL is NM Srdjan Darmanovic.  While being very successful over the board, he is also very successful in his professional and personal life.  He is ambassador of Montenegro to USA since 2010 and has discussed foreign policy with noted public figures such as President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry.  He was born in 1961 and has been a professor, while writing several books.  He is currently the top board for the Black Knights. 

If one has played him, you can attest to the solid play of this very strong master.  He plays Caro Kann Defense against e4 on most occasions and can systematically grind down experts and masters alike with grandmaster precision.  If one makes positional concessions or goes for unsound attacks, one is putting themselves at long odds against this seasoned veteran.  He rarely loses and has displayed good results since arriving in 2010.  Srdjan frequently plays in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC and many masters have seen first-hand why he was rated 2282 FIDE at one time.  Personally, he recently had a new son enter the world, so we wish him the best on that front!

The author thinks his closest parallel in style to world champions is GM Smyslov:  great understanding of English Opening, search for the truth in the position, and very good at the endgame.  Like GM Smyslov he is a very modest master, earning the respect and admiration of his peers. 

Below is a recent game by Srdjan at the Washington Chess Congress against another talented DCCL player Andy Samuelson.

 images[1]

Srdjan Darmanovic

(Annotated by: S. Hoshall)  In this game Srdjan makes no positional concessions but does make logical sound moves to quickly get a strong attack on the black side of the Bishop’s Opening ( themes: control of center, centralization, open file, stacked rooks).

 C54 Samuelson,Andrew 2316 Darmanovic,Srdjan 2266 Washington Chess Congress 10.10.15

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bc5 5.0-0 0-0 6.Re1 d6 7.c3 a6 8.Bb3 h6 9.Nbd2 Ba7 10.Nf1 Nh5 (10…Nh5, has given black good practical chances in this position) 11.Ng3 (11. Ng3 is a novelty) Nxg3 12.hxg3 Bg4 13.Be3 Qf6 14.Bxa7 Rxa7 15.Re3 Raa8 16.Qd2 Rad8 17.Rf1 Be6 18.Nh4 Bxb3 19.axb3

axb3 darm

The position is equal.  Although White has stacked pawns on the g and b files this is usually OK if due to a capture with the a and h pawns as in this case.  The stacked pawns can however become a more serious weaknesses particularly in an endgame. 

 d5 20.Qe2 dxe4 21.dxe4 Qe6 22.b4 Rd7 23.f4 Rfd8

rd8 darm

With blacks last 3 moves he has centralized his queen to a more effective square and stacked his rooks on the open d file.   3 moves ago the position was equal.  Now black is clearly better.

 24.Nf3 Qg4 25.fxe5 Qxg3 26.b5 axb5 27.Nd4 Qxe5 28.Nxb5 (28. Nxb5 opens the d file for black’s rooks and loses quickly.  28. Nf5 or 28. Qxb5 were better options for white but white would still be worse.) [ 28.Nf5 Ne7 29.Nxe7+ Qxe7 30.Qxb5-+] [ 28.Qxb5 Qxb5 29.Nxb5 Ne5 30.b4 c6 31.Nd4 Ra8-+] 28…Rd2 29.Qc4 Qg5

29...Qg5

Threatens mate on g2 and the rook on e3 is hanging among other problems.  30. Qxf7+ would bring no relief.

30.Re2 [ 30.Qxf7+ Kh8 31.Qf3 Qxb5 32.b4 Ne5-+]   30…Ne5 0-1

 

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DCCL 2016 Mid-season Update

Below is a detailed mid-season update by DCCL long time participant NM Andy Tichenor.

This winter season has been an action packed season for both the open and amateur sections.  Many new faces have entered the league but still the dominant teams remain the traditional teams.

With the open section, Coral Reef are 4-0 and have obtained clutch performances from the lower boards so far.  However, they have a tough road ahead with Sterling, Kings and Argyles among others.

A slip-up makes it a dogfight until the end.  Sterling has been a pleasant surprise as nice start to the season.  Their season will be tested in the next 2 matches against Coral Reef and Argyles.

The Argyles and Kings have little room for error but with very talented rosters, they are capable of beating any team in DCCL.

Rook and Roll has shown they are a force to be reckoned with by pulling off the upset against Ashburn.

For Ashburn, Black Knights, Fury and Mojo, playing the spoiler and having fun are the main goals.

Over in the Amateur section, GMU continues to dominate all competitors by rolling out to a 4-0 start, which is at least 1.5 points ahead of all other teams.  This team is truly the New England Patriots as consistent division winners.

Silver Knights U21 has put together a fine season and still has a say with key match against GMU in February.  The Storm has swept in and putting together a respectable season.

The key matches for winter to determine DCCL champions are:

Sterling vs. Coral Reef Feb 5

Argyles vs. Coral Reef April 8

Kings vs. Coral Reef Feb 19

Kings vs. Argyles March 25

GMU vs. Silver Knights Feb 19

___________________________________________________________________

Also included below is the game Dino Obregon of the Sterling Skewers  vs David Bennett of the Arlington Kings.  The Skewers pulled off the upset and beat the Kings this night 3.5-2.5. I have had the fortune of seeing many of Dino’s games over the years and I think this is one of his very best.  A very high quality game by both participants (Shawn H.)

All notes and comments by Dino Obregon.

DCCL Round 4, Jan 8 2016
[Result “1-0”]
[White Dino Obregon 2010]
[Black David Bennett 2144]
1.e4 d5 { Black seizes the initiative in move one. } 2.exd5 Nf6 { a popular alternative to …Qxd5 } 3.d4 Nxd5 4.Nf3 g6 5.c4 { I like the c & d pawn duo, gaining central space. } 5…Nb6 6.h3 { a key move preventing the annoying bishop pin at g4 } 6…Bg7 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Be3 Nc6 { development of pieces continue } 9.Qd2 e5 { Black pressures the d4 pawn. } 10.d5 { exchanging at e5 doesn’t do anything positive for White } 10…Ne7
dino1 g4
11.g4 { I was familiar with a master game arising from g4.  This gains space on kingside and prevents immediate …Nf5. }
11…f5 12.O-O-O { opposite side castling is fun } 12…fxg4 { clears the f-file } 13.Ng5 { an offensive knight } 13…g3 { Black meets the threat of c5 and Ne6, with g2 resource. } 14.c5 g2 15.Bxg2 { forced } 15…Nc4 16.Qe2 Nxe3 17.fxe3 { The white queen aims to go to c4, at the right time. } 17…Nf5 { with double threat on g3 and g5 }
dino1 h4
18.h4 { Again, I was familiar with a master game featuring a temporary exchange sacrifice after …Ng3.  White goes on to win that game tactically with Qc4, d6, etc. }
18…h6 19.Ne6 Bxe6 { forced } 20.dxe6 Qe7 21.Be4 c6 { …Qxc4 was possible.  …c6 prevents Bd5 tactic after …Qxe6. } 22.Bxf5 gxf5 { prevents knight activity } 23.Rd6 { Rd7 was also fine. } 23…Rf6 { This might have been the first mistake. } 24.Qc4 Re8 { doesn’t accomplish anything;  …Kh8 may have been better but White is in control. } 25.Rg1 { nasty threat now on d7 and g7;  Black can’t take on e6.  Black king is in the light square diagonal. } 25…Qf8 { Black wants to play …Re7.  e7+ does not work yet. } 26.Ne2 { The last piece joins the action.  He is headed towards h5. } 26…Kh8 27.Ng3 Rg6 { Black blunders and flags at his next move. }
dino e7
28.e7 { g6 rook is hanging and Black loses material.  Without …Rg6, Nh5 would also be decisive. }
1-0

 

 

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Yining Memorial Open 2016 – Sunday, Jan 3! Fund Raiser Chess Tournament

Below is information on the Yining Memorial Open this Sunday from the flier from Capital Area Chess.  Please come out if you can to play some chess, support a family in a difficult time, and remember Yining Wang who was a great chess dad.

Greetings!  

Yining Memorial Open 2016 – Fund Raiser Chess Tournament … in memory of Yining Wang (Father of Chess Players Joie Wang and Andrew Wang) – Play an afternoon of Chess and Help a family who had a loss in their family !

A special tribute event in memory of Mr. Yining Wang. For the past decade Mr. Wang had been a familiar figure at local and national chess scenes, and is remembered for his passion for the game of chess and contributions to the growing chess community in the Virginia-DC-Maryland  area.  All proceeds from this event will go to Mr. Yining Wang’s family, with the goal of benefiting his two children, both highly accomplished chess players, in their continued pursuit of chess.

 

Main event: 4-SS, G/15, d5, USCF rated, also, we have non-rated section for players who don’t want rating, just play for fun and support!

 

Side events:
  • Bughouse Tournament,
  • Family Team Fun Blitz,
  • World/US/VA Champions Challenging Simul,
  • Blind Chess Tournament
When:

Sunday January 3, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST
Add to Calendar

Where:

Pender Center (HS International Academy)
3901 Fair Ridge Center
Fairfax, VA 22033
 

Yining Memorial Open Committee 

Chief Tournament Director: Caijun Luo, 703-593-0274
Assistant TD: Zhiheng Yu
Assistant TD: Ya He, 202-465-0399
Consultant: Jie Xu
For sponsorship & donation, please contact, Ya He at 202-465-0399 or Email: chesskidscircle@gmail.com 
Sincerely,

 

Anand Dommalapati
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Summer League Award Ceremony Pictures… 2015-16 Winter Season in Full Swing.

The DCCL Summer league championship pictures from round two winter league are just out. Bill Simmons the Mojo’s long time captain does a great job with this and they are featured below.

The Winter league is in full swing and as of this posting 2 rounds in the Amateur section and 3 rounds in the Open have been recorded.

This year’s 2015-16 winter season Amateur section features 8 teams. There is no Reserve section ( The former Amateur and Reserve sections are combined). The theme of a few of the teams like the Black Knights U21,U17 and Silver Knights Under 21 is to emphasize our talented Junior players in the area. So far after the first two rounds the perennial Amateur section powerhouse: George Mason University is off to a 2-0 start.

Changes abound in the Open section as well. The Kings, a team with great history and tradition in the league is back in the winter season after skipping last year’s session but playing this past summer. Also a new team has joined the fray: “Rook and Roll” (Great name!!) .   This is another excellent Junior team that has numerous strong players from the area including young masters: Michael Auger and Ashkay Indusekar.

Finally last winter seasons champs Ashburn Open has essentially merged with Ashburn Junior where most of their former players have migrated to the Ashburn Junior squad making one combined powerhouse team.

So far the Kings, and summer champs Coral Reef are off to a fast 3-0 start.

 

Pictures  Round 2 November 20th, 2015

DCCL_WInt15_Rd2-playing hall

League and Awards night at the Arlington Chess club Nov 20th 2015.

readirector

Andy Rea, Executive Director of the DC Chess League makes a few remarks before handing out awards to the winners of the Summer 2015 DCCL. Prior to the Round 2 matches of the Winter League.

jablon

Stephen Jablon accepts congratulations for winning the Board Prize for highest winning percentage in the Amateur division.

leifchamp

Andy Rea hands over winner plaques to the Leif Karell, long-time Captain of the Coral Reef, which triumphed as the top team in the Open Section of the DCCL 2015 Summer League.

webster board prize

Scott Webster shows off his trophy for winning the Open Section Board Prize in the DCCL 2015 Summer League as part of “Can You Smell What the Rook is Cooking”.

ateamchamps

Members of the Winning Amateur team George Mason from Left to right: Scott Daniels, George Stone, Ako Heidari, Johnathan Bode, Stephen Jablon

DCCL_WInt15_Rd2-Milo

NM Milo Nekvasil, the happy Kings Captain and Redskins fan. Both his team the Kings, and the Washington Redskins, lead their respective divisions.

DCCL_WInt15_Rd2-Sal

NM Sal Rosario of Coral Reef getting ready to play his second round match.

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Halcyon Days are back for Coral Reef! Reef Capture 2015 Summer Title!!

coral reef

On Friday October 2, 2015 a playoff match for the Open Section of the summer DCCL league was held at the Arlington Chess Club. 4 Players from the Coral Reef and 4 players from “Can You Smell What the Rook is Cookin” battled for the championship.

The match was held in a secret side room to limit distractions for the players. It was graciously and professionally hosted by the DCCL league Executive Director Andy Rea. Chief Td and Arlington Chess club president Adam Chrisney helped officiate all disputes.

If you didn’t already know and you probably do know, Coral Reef has quite a history in the league. From 2001 to summer 2005 the Reef unbelievably won 8 Championships in a row when you include both summer and winter titles.

reef 8 years

Three years later in winter of 2008 they won the league title again.

Since 2008 they have been one of the top teams in the league but the title has alluded them.

However in 2015 after a 7 year hiatus they turned it all around.

The match was won 2.5-1.5 by Coral Reef who can lay claim to the summer league 2015 championship.

Halcyon Days are back for the Reef!

The Reef has featured many of the Top players in the DC, VA and MD region for many years. On this night former World Open champ IM Eugene Meyer played board 1. His brother Fide Master John Meyer, who fought for the human race vs the most powerful computer in the world Rybka in 2008 and won was board 2 (See NY Times: http://gambit.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/man-vs-computer-match-ends-in-victory-for-man-but-with-a-catch/?_r=0 ). Board 3 was former DC champion and National Master Sal Rosario and board 4 was former Maryland State champion and National Master Stan Fink.

Leif Karrell

Pictured Above: Leif Karell: Long time captain and fearless leader of the Reef prepping strategy for the big match ( Ok maybe he was doing something else but it sounds good).

Can You Smell What The Rook is Cooking, featured some of the frequent players on the Ashburn Squad the last 6 years. The Ashburn crew had won 3 of the last 6 winter league titles and won the most recent winter title just prior to this summer season. The players were former US Open champion Fide Master Paolo Del Mundo on board 1, National Master Shawn Hoshall on board 2, National Master Andy Tichenor on board 3 and Expert Scott Webster on board 4.

Playoff Match

On the Left is Coral Reef:  FtoB:  E.Meyer, J.Meyer, S.Rosario, S.Fink  on Right Rook Cookin: FtoB: P.DelMundo, S.Hoshall, A.Tichenor, S.Webster

Del Mundo won for Rook Cookin on board 1, and J. Meyer and Fink won on boards 2 and 4 respectively for the Reef. Board 3 between Tichenor and Rosario ended in a draw.

One of the key games giving the Reef the title occurred between FM J. Meyer and myself NM Hoshall. I had played John 2 other times in league play before this and scored a win and a draw but tonight John got the best of me.

C03

Meyer,J 2214

J Meyer

Hoshall,S 2241

DCCL_Sum14_Rd1-5215

A brief synopsis of the game: Black got out of the opening well with chances of an advantage and possibly winning a pawn after 10.0-0.

Black played the move 15…Nbd7?! to keep the integrity of his pawn structure. This was a bad, time wasting move by black and made it difficult for black to coordinate his pieces. After this move and the unnecessary 19…kh8 White gets a number of tempos on black.

The move 27…Bxf3? by black was made to destroy the integrity of whites pawn structure. It was a losing move by black and shortsighted. The problem with 27…Bxf3 is because of black’s weak queenside pawns and weak backrank black is simply unable to defend both the isolated ( C and A file) queenside pawns adequately. Credit white with allowing his kingside pawn structure to get wrecked but recognizing that the position was winning for him.

When we initially learn chess we learn that you can have a 1.positional, 2.material or 3.space/ time advantage.

It’s important to understand a positional (In this case stacked pawns on the kingside) is almost always never as good as a material (piece or pawn ect) advantage. If black recognized he would lose a pawn on the queenside he should have never taken the knight with 27…Bxf3.

The Game…

1.d4 e6 2.e4 John usually plays queen pawn openings nowadays but thought I may play the Dutch if he played 2.Nf3 or 2.c4 and did not want to play against that tonight. d5 3.Nd2 Tarrasch variation vs the French, 3.. a6 4.c3 c5 5.dxc5?! 5.dxc5 is not considered best. More normal here is 5. Nf3. dxc was only played 26 times in my database and the results for white were poor with a 33% winning percentage. Bxc5 6.Nb3 Ba7 7.exd5 Nf6 7…Nf6 is best. White cannot take the e6 pawn do to 8…Bxf2+! 8.Bd3 [ 8.dxe6 Bxf2+ 9.Ke2 Qxd1+ 10.Kxd1 Bxe6] 8…Qxd5 9.Nf3 0-0 10.0-0 Nc6

10…Nc6 is inaccurate better is 10…Rd8 first and black simply plays the same plan he does in the game with 12…Ng4 but white can’t swing a rook back to f1. Black would win a pawn and have an advantage. I think Fischer once said. It’s easy to find good moves, the hard part is figuring out when to play them. [ 10…Rd8 11.Bc2 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 13.Bxd1 Ng4 14.Nbd4 e5 15.h3 exd4 16.hxg4 dxc3 17.bxc3 Bxg4 and Black wins a pawn] 11.Bc2 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Ng4 13.Rf1 e5 14.h3 Nf6 15.Bg5

nbd7 meyer

15…Nfd7?!

15…Nfd7?!. The price black pays ( Avoiding 16.Bxf6) to keep the integrity of his pawn structure is too high in lost time and development. After 15…Be6, 16. Bxf6, gxf6 black has the two bishops completed harmonious development, activity and full compensation for his compromised kingside pawn structure ( Computer rates this position in blacks favor -.21). After the game continuation note the difficulty black has coordinating his pieces and completing his development.

16.Rfe1 f6 17.Be3 Bxe3 18.Rxe3 Nb6 19.Nc5 Kh8?! 19…Kh8 is an unnecessary passive move that takes the king farther away from the center where he ultimately needs to go and creates possible back rank themes for white. 20.Be4 Nc4 21.Re2 Nd6 22.Bxc6 bxc6 23.Rd1 Nb7 24.Nxb7 Bxb7 25.Rd7 Rab8 26.Red2 c5 27.Rc7

27...Bxf3 Meyer

27…Bxf3?

  1. Bxf3? is a mistake and loses the game. White set the bait for black allowing the integrity of his kingside pawns to be wrecked and his knight to be taken on f3. He does this because he knows without the black bishop it will be impossible for black to protect both queenside pawns and white will be winning.

[ 27…Rfc8 28.Rdd7 Bc6 29.Rxc8+ ( 29.Rxg7?! Rxc7 30.Rxc7 Bxf3 31.gxf3 Rxb2 And black is slightly better ) 29…Rxc8 30.Ra7 Bb5 31.b3 c4 32.Nd2 h5 33.a4 Be8 34.Nxc4 Bg6 35.Nd2 Rxc3 White is still better but black can hold] 28.gxf3 Rfc8 29.Rdd7 [ 29.Rxc8+ Rxc8 Is also winning for white] 29…h5 30.b3 [ 30.Rxc8+ Rxc8 31.Rd6 Rb8 32.b3 c4] 30…Rxc7 31.Rxc7 Rd8 [ 31…Rb5 32.c4 Ra5 33.a4 And the black rook is trapped on a5 and can’t move!] 32.Rxc5 Black went on to resign in about a dozen moves 1-0

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Playoff Time in Open, GM’s Continue to Roll, and Sterling Sacs Great Season

Recently I was teaching chess to a very young child and mistakenly used the word “eating” when making a piece capture.   Trust me on this one, never use the word “eat” when teaching young children about captures.  The opposing piece can be taken but not eaten.  That is your advanced DCCL chess teaching tip of the day!

The final regular season round of the DCCL Summer league took place on Sept 11th. Once again the crew from George Mason came through in the Amateur section and steamrolled their way to a 5-0 final score beating the Sterling Skewers 2.5-1.5.

In 5 rounds they finished with an individual board score 12.5-3.5 a 78% winning percent overall ( See former blog on GMs to see how this % stacks up: https://dcchessleague.wordpress.com/2015/03/) . GM crew is back to back summer and winter champs which is a rare feat in the DCCL.

In the Open section 4 teams went into the final round tied at 2.5-.5. The four teams being the Sterling Sacs, Coral Reef, Forever Young and “Can you Smell What the Rook is Cooking?”( “Rook Cooking” was formerly named Ashburn Open).

Of all the teams who played for the title in the Open section on September 11th the Sterling Sacs have the most impressive story. They had a very hard schedule playing last year summer champs Argyles, then a very tough Ashburn Junior Squad ( see this link for an earlier blog on them: https://dcchessleague.wordpress.com/2014/11/) and the surprising Fury team to go 2.5-.5 vs these teams.

What makes this more amazing is Sterling did not win a match the entire previous winter season capturing a lone draw and 7 losses in 8 rounds. This summer though they were top dog going into the last round and potentially could have won the league if the cards fell in their favor.

This was certainly a Disney made for TV movie waiting to happen if they pulled out the victory. Unfortunately it was not to be with the “Sacs” losing to the Reef but clearly they have shown themselves to be a formidable team.

In the other top match of teams at 2.5-.5 “Rook Cooking” won decisively over Forever Young . The story here is the Rook Cooking team which is the same winter Ashburn Open championship team could repeat as Open champions.

Coral Reef and Rook Cookin will face off in a playoff at Arlington on October 2nd to determine the Open league champion. Because Coral Reef finished the regular season with the better record they will have draw odds. The pressure will be on the Rook Cooking squad to get a decisive result (and possibly come up with a better team name next season, haha, No, I take that back, cool name.)

In honor of Sterling’s great showing I’d like to add a game from the past from their frequent top board player FM Larry Gilden. Among other players in our league such as GM Larry Kaufmann and IM Eugene Meyer, FM Gilden is a veritable legend of US Chess. FM Gilden has played in US Championships in the 70’s and the famous Lone Pine tournaments in the 70’s as well. Lone Pine may not be remembered by the super young chess generation but to me it brings images of all the top players of that amazing era. FM Gilden had stepped away from tournament chess for many years but relatively recently has been playing actively. We are fortunate to have him playing in the DCCL.

Below I wanted to include a game of his from the US Open in 1972. Larry drew the formidable GM Ben Larsen in this tournament at the time. Larsen was one of the very top players in the world and if you have heard about him you know he (almost) never accepted draws. Amazingly three other current active players from the DCCL also faced Larsen in the 1972 US Open, Allan Savage, Eugene Meyer and Larry Kaufman. Larry Gilden was the only local player to steal a ½ point from the Great Dane in USOpen ‘72.

However the game below is a battle with another chess Icon at the time GM Walter Browne. Unfortunately as many of you know the great GM Browne, one of the most successful US players to ever play the game, passed away this year. In the 1972 US Open Browne was on his way to winning his second US Open in back to back years and rolling through the field. Although he did win in ‘72 he ran into formidable resistance from FM Gilden in the 12th Round.

This was a defensive game where Larry was able to quickly quiet down the position and not give Browne many chances. It may have frustrated Browne to where he lashed out and made an unsound sacrifice.

The game approach has similarities to the Ali/Forman, Rumble in the Jungle, “Rope a Dope” match where Ali won by forcing Foreman to throw too many punches and tire out. As I get older I appreciate the ability to play in this style. When I was younger it was all about attack, attack, attack. Not many can play this approach successfully as Gilden ( who is also a great attacking player) did in the game below.

Let’s go back to 1972 and check out the game (My brief annotations below):

White: Walter Browne

Browne

Black:  Larry Gilden

VASr14-30

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Alekhine’s Defence Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 Bg7 7.exd6

7. Ng5 is the main move in this position. [ 7.Ng5 e6 8.Qf3 Qe7 9.Ne4 dxe5 10.Bg5 Qb4+ 11.c3] 7…cxd6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Re1 Bg4 10.c3 Nc6 11.Nbd2

11...d5In 5 other games in this position in my database Black played 11…e5 blowing up the center. In this game Larry plays the more accurate but less intuitive prophylaxis move 11…d5 restricting the light squared bishop and keeping the center intact. d5 [ 11…e5] 12.h3 Bf5 13.Nf1 Na5 14.Ng3 Nxb3 15.axb3 Bd7 16.Bg5 f6 17.Bf4 Rf7 18.Qd3 White has more space and black is somewhat cramped but it’s difficult to see how white can make progress. Bc6 19.Qd2 Qf8 20.h4 Nd7 21.Re6 Qd8 22.Bh6 Nf8 23.Re2 a5 24.Bxg7 Kxg7 25.h5

25.h5It looks like white is making some progress. White has traded off the dark squared bishops which was a good defender for black and is now attacking the black king. White’s short range fighters the knights are also hanging out on the kingside. FM Gilden bends but does not break. a4 26.h6+ Kg8 27.bxa4 Rxa4 28.Rxa4 Bxa4 29.Re1 Bc6 30.Ne2 Qc8 31.b3 Qf5 32.Ng3 Qd7 33.Ra1 Qd8 34.Ra3 e6 35.Qa2 White has stacked his heavy pieces on the only open file but black has no glaring weakness to attack and the black pawns for the time being restrict the movement of the white knights on the kingside. Qd6 36.Ra8 Rd7 37.Qd2 Rd8 38.Rxd8

38.Rxd8Seems like a lot of effort by white to trade off blacks rook which wasn’t doing much. Perhaps GM Browne wanted to remove the rook from protecting blacks kingside. Qxd8 39.Nh2 Now the white knights start dancing around looking for better squares to harass the black king who has been pretty safe. Qc7 40.Ng4 Kf7 41.Qe3 Nd7 42.Ne2 Qd6 43.Nf4 So white has maneuvered his knights on more active squares ( From f3,g3 to f4, g4 pretty cool) to attack black but black has everything defended. Black has been patiently defending all game. g5 A slight inaccuracy 44.Nd3 Better in 44. Nh5 with a little pressure on the black king. [ 44.Nh5 Qf8 45.Ng7 Qd6 46.Qh3 Qe7 47.Qh5+ Kg8] 44…Bb5

44...Bb5After 45 moves of going against FM Gilden’s defensive play GM Browne makes an unsound ( But very tempting: white gets a couple pawns and exposed black king) sacrifice in an otherwise dead equal position. 45.Nde5+? [ 45.f4 Qa3 46.fxg5 Bxd3 47.Qxd3 Qc1+ 48.Qf1 Qxg5] 45…fxe5 46.Qxg5 Qf8 47.dxe5 Qg8 48.Qf4+ Ke8 49.Nf6+ Nxf6 50.exf6 Kf7 51.Qb4 Qe8 52.Qh4 Black is winning this position. The pawns on f6 and h6 are weak for white and the extra piece for black is telling. But it’s not an easy position to play for black. The white queen is still very active, the black king exposed and black must be very careful and watch out for tricks involving those advanced pawns and the white queen. Qg8 [ 52…Bd3! 53.Qd4 Bg6] 53.g4 [ 53.Qb4] 53…Qg6 54.g5 e5 55.Qg4

54.Qg4After 55… Qe4 the position would be hopeless for white. 1. If white trades queens he goes into a completely lost endgame where Black’s lone piece will win. 2. If white passively hides the white queen on the h file black has a winning attack and finally 3. If white plays actively with his queen with Qc8 in hopes of chasing around the exposed black king white actually loses quickly to a black attack starting with 56…Qe1+,

Bc6 [ 55…Qe4 56.Qc8 Qe1+ 57.Kg2 Qf1+ 58.Kg3 Qg1+ 59.Kf3 e4+ 60.Kf4 Qxf2+ 61.Ke5 Qg3+ 62.Kd4 Qg1+ 63.Ke5 Qxg5+] [ 55…d4] [ 55…e4] 56.f3 d4 57.cxd4 exd4 58.Kf2 Qc2+ 59.Kg3 Qd3 [ 59…Qxb3 60.g6+ hxg6 61.h7 Qe3 62.h8Q Qg1+ 63.Kh4 Qe1+ 64.Kg5 Qe5+ 65.Kh4 Qe1+] 60.Qh5+ Qg6 61.Qg4 Qd3 62.Qh5+

A great defensive gem by Gilden and ultimately a fortunate draw by Browne. Black can play on with advantage after 62….Kg8 ½-½

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