For some the start of summer may mean looking forward to beach road trips, outside barbecues, and swimming in the pool, but for other adventurous soul’s summer means the start of the DCCL summer league. Once a month a DCCL team player can look forward to exciting Friday nights being spent struggling in mental anguish in-front of a chess board from 8:00pm to sometimes as late as 1:00am in the morning fighting for their team and lives!!(It’s not that bad really :-))
For those not in the know, the DCCL is the DC Chess League, one of the oldest chess leagues in the United States. The league began in the early 1950’s and typically features many of the top chess players in the Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia area. It also features some of the best junior chess players in the area.
Most chess leagues today exist entirely online with teams and players often playing each others remotely from different states or even different countries. The DCCL will have none of that. All matches are played between two teams, face to face (OTB).
About half of the DCCL teams have their home bases located at the Arlington Virginia chess club which sponsors the league. In summer time the league runs a 4 round, 4 player team, swiss tournament with an open and amateur section (the amateur section is under 2000 USCF rating with the exception the first board of a team can be up to 99 points over 2000). In winter the open section expands to 6 player teams and the format is a round robin with the caveat that the final round is paired as a swiss tournament.
Once you try OTB team play you seriously may never go back to playing regular tournaments again. It’s something about being part of the team, the comrade with your teammates, and playing not just for yourself but others that makes it better than a run of the mill weekend chess tournament.
There are currently 10 teams in the open section this summer: 6 Arlington Virginia club based teams: Kings, Argyles, Morphy’s Mojos, Coral Reef, Mome-Raths and Forever Young Knights and 4 other club teams not based in Arlington: Sterling Scholars, Silver Knights, Ashburn Jr and Ashburn Veteran teams. The Sterling and Ashburn teams are relatively new teams in the last few years from Northern Virginia while the Silver Knights team is relatively new as well and they field a group of players who represent the Silver Knights Chess organization. Silver Knights organize some of the popular chess camps in the surrounding region and also instruct students in many of the area schools. Notably missing this summer season from the open are the Arlington based Passed Pawns and the Black Knights which is the US Chess Center team located in DC. Those teams should be back in the Winter season.
The Kings are the most recent Open winter Champions and feature GM Larry Kaufman on board 1. The Silver Knights squad won last year’s summer session and have IM Tegshsure Enkhbat playing for them for the first time on board 1. Both of these teams will be tough match-ups and favorites for a league title this summer.
The amateur section Has 4 teams this summer: Ashburn Amateur, Arlington Bishops, GM’s, and Silver Knights Amateur. This has been a very balanced competitive division the last few years. The GM’s which represents many top players from George Mason University won the recent winter league title while the Ashburn team which usually has all junior players won the last summer session.
Finally for those playing in the DC Chess league. Please send any games, comments, picts, suggestions, anything DC Chess league related you want to share to DCCLBlog@gmail.com.
The main goal of this blog is to get some information out about the DC Chess league and to not take itself too seriously!
Thanks and Good luck this season!