Round 2 DCCL, No Donuts and the “Internal Chess Tell”

Round two of the DCCL took place this Friday July 11. This was the “awards ceremony round” for the prior winter season. Congrats again to the Kings and GM’s for winning their respective divisions this past winter and all the top board prize winners as well.

The awards ceremony round day is always one of my favorite rounds because all the teams play this match at the Arlington club.  It’s a great chance to see everyone in action at the same time.  Also, someone often brings donuts and munchkins ( chocolaty covered goodness) during this round as well. I figure if I lose at least I can drown my sorrows in a few yummy donuts and munchkins.

Well there were no donuts ( We may need to start a DCCL donut committee or have a donut director at least) but I wrote that off to the match day being July-11.  If you live in the United States and only know one big holiday day you know that July-11 is free Slurpee day at 7-Eleven stores every year.  I know many an individual who will go to multiple 7-Eleven’s on this day to splurge on this sugar filled ice slush drink with reckless abandon.  Perhaps the person who brings the donuts felt like free Slurpees is enough of a sugar fix.

So no donuts and the ambiance at the club was also a tad on the hot side.  The AC was broken so it was kinda like playing chess in a sauna . Being that I’m not a particularly svelte individual and I’ll be sweating even if its 20 degrees below due to nervous energy it was hot.    But enough with the donut and sauna jokes.  Overall the night really did go well, it seemed like everyone was in good spirits, and the  matches ran smoothly!

Teams in Action!:

Bill Simmons who is an incredible photographer and team captain of the MoJo’s has taken some pictures the last two rounds.  Below are some of the pictures. He has not gotten all the teams but when he is able will take some pictures from time to time that I will post.  If you want to see all the pictures in incredible clarity and blown up go to:

I think the pictures tell the story of what we go through in team play.  You really get a feel of the intensity of these matches and the different array of emotions.   If you never knew what the DCCL is all about these pictures should give you a sense of what it is like to be in the secret world of the DCCL.

 Round 2 pictures!

Forever Young Knights


Despite using an analog clock with no delay William Marcelino looks pretty happy and well he should.  His team Forever Young Knights won their second round 4-0 Vs Sterling Scholars to go 1.5-.5 in the Open section  ( Also in the picture is: Narciso Victoria and Jose Franco)

Arlington Argyles


The Argyles getting down to business in their second round match vs the Mojos.  From front to back: Jon Middaugh, David Slack, Andrew Rea and Andrew Samuelson

Silver Knights vs Ashburn Open


The Ashburn Veteran Squad Taking on last years summer league champs the Silver Knights

From front to back ( Silver Knights On left):  Alfred Horton, Justin Burgess. Ashburn Open players : Raymond Duchesne, Vinay Doma,  Shawn Hoshall, Paolo Del Mundo

Round 1 pictures!

  Arlington Kings vs Sterling Scholars


The winter league champs Arlington Kings Vs Sterling Scholars in first round action.  From front to back Kings players on left GM Larry Kaufman, Sam Hamilton, Ken John.  Scholar Players: Paul Yavari, Chris Snell, Maggie Luo, Mark Scott

Arlington Bishops vs GMs


The Bishops face off vs the Winter league Amateur champs GM’s in this matchup and drew.

David Kerans of the Arlington Bishops makes his move against Victor Guzman of the GM’s.  Ako Heidari, L, and Daniel Aldrich, R, hold the first boards in their matchup.

Silver Knights vs Mojos 1


The Morphy’s Mojo arrayed against the Silver Knights. L to R:  Steve Armentrout, Jim Guill, Bill Carroll and Jason Carr. Jason’s opponent is David Siamon

Silver Knights vs Mojos 2


Silver Knights players on the right include IM Tegshure Enkbhat and Jonathan Munnell. Tegshure’s opponent is Steve Armentrout

Silver Knights


FM Jeremy Kane of the Silver Knights.  Jeremy has put up impressive results in league play but could not attend the round 2 match.

Coral Reef and Mome Raths


Coral Reef and sister team the Mome Raths on the right

In a match vs the Ashburn Jr and Ashburn Open teams respectively.  L to R: Coral Reef and Mome Raths, John Meyer, Sal Rosario, Stan Fink, Leif Karell and Stephen Chaney.  Paolo Del Mundo sits across from Leif.

Growing up in MD I recall looking up to many of the Coral Reef players as the best local players in the area.

Experience vs Youth


Coral Reef Stan Fink squares off against Ashburn Jr Andy Huang.

I personally find the smaller and younger my opponent, the faster I lose.  It’s great to see the youngsters come out and play in the league.



IM Eugene and FM John Meyer of Coral Reef.

We have had many family member combinations play in the DCCL through the years.  In the last few years alone: Father/Son GM Larry and IM Ray Kaufman, Herky and FM Paolo Del Mundo, Wife and husband Mira and NM Leif Karrell, Jr players brother and brother Vikas and Vignesh Rajasekaren, Justin and Nathan Lohr . I could go on and on…



Jim Guill of the Mojo’s in intense concentration.  We have all been there.



That’s me Shawn Hoshall looking quite concerned about lack of Donuts.

Official standings and final round results at

Since a league blog should have a game every round if possible and no-one has sent me a game yet to I’ll post my game.

All else being equal I prefer playing with an initiative/ space advantage as opposed to playing with a material, positional advantage.  This game on Friday I couldn’t do that.  I had an extra pawn and better pawn structure but my opponent had all the play and initiative in the opening.  I was outplayed in the opening phase but was fortunate enough to basically survive after mainly playing defense all night.

3 offbeat concepts from the game before posting the whole game :  1.  The Internal Chess Tell.  2.  Bruce Lee…Honor the principles but don’t be bound by them and 3.  Playing into a trap.

  1.  The Internal Chess Tell.  The Internal Chess Tell is a very simple concept similar to a poker tell but internal, only a tell to you. In poker a “Tell” is noticing a behavior from your opponent during the game that may give you information about his hand.  An “Internal  Chess Tell” relates to noticing your own behavior and taking steps to improve that midgame.

Internal Chess Tell: has a few assumptions:

I.            That players tend to have good games when they are focused and anticipating their opponents replies correctly.

II.            Players tend to have bad games or moments when they are not focused and they overlook logical replies by their opponents.

III.            Not anticipating your opponents moves can be a sign of poor concentration and focus.

IV.            Awareness of the times when concentration is poor can help improve future performance.

So nothing should be too shocking about those assumptions.  Basically, After playing chess for many years I find that when I start missing reasonable replies my opponents make , even if the reply is fairly innocuous and the position equal, has been precursor for me making more mistakes and losing the game.  The “Fix” to this situation is not “More Cowbell” as some Christopher Walken fans may believe but starts with awareness of the issue.  Once I’m aware that I’m losing focus I realize I need to check the lines more diligently, stay seated a little longer and concentrate a little harder if I want to survive.

Here is my basic Internal Chess Tell from my Friday game:


White to Move.  Playing black, I thought 7. e5 was forced in the above position ( White can’t recapture the black bishop right away because black would have a pawn fork on e4). I missed that 7.exd is good for white.  This missed ½ move reply was an Internal  “tell” for me that I needed to step it up and try to focus better or I wouldn’t be playing very long.

  1.  There’s a commercial that keeps running on all the Oriole Baseball games I watch that has the Bruce Lee Quote:  “Obey the principles without being bound by them.”  This relates to chess as well.


Can white play 14. Qxg7 and allow Black to play 14…Rg8?

In principle you don’t want to allow 3 pieces, one being the queen to have an unimpeded attack on your open king.  In the above position indeed after 14.Qxg7, Rg8 15.Qxf6, Bxg2 ( See Next Diagram) black has an unstoppable discovered check on the white king with mate threats with 16…Bh3+ and winning the d8 rook.  It looks grim for white.


Possible forced position in the game.  How could white have turned the tables on blacks counter attack in the above position?

But white is actually winning the above position after 17. Be5!  The point is after 17…Bf3+ (if 17…Bh3+, then 18. Bg3!) 18. Kf1, Bxd8 19. Bd6! white is the one threating checkmate forcing black  to play 19…Qg5 to trade queens and after 20. Qxg5,Rxg5 21. Rxd1 white is much better.

So the point is on principle white should not allow an attack like the one above but digging deeper in the position found that it was ok. Something that both my opponent and I missed.

  1. Playing into a trap.


In the above position White has just played 37. Bh7 ( from the d3 square).  I thought white would simply play 37 Bg6 first and I may play 37…Be8.  Instead white is giving me the g5 square for my rook which at first glance looks even better because it won’t be blocked in by the bishop.

However after 37…Rg5, 38. Bg6, Be8  the black rook is trapped with 39. Bh4.  So Bh7 was a move that gives black an opportunity to make a mistake with 37…Rg5.  You always want to make moves if possible that give your opponent a chance to make a bad choice.  I determined that 37.Bh7 was such a move to set a trap but instead of giving up on 37…Rg5 entirely I wanted to make sure the trap worked.  It turns out it doesn’t after 37…Rg5, 38. Bg6, Nd4 39. Re3, Nf5! ( 39…Bxf3 even better, black gets out of the trap.) So the point here is even though you may recognize a trap is being set you may be able to play right into it!

Below is a video of the game.

Doing a video was not the original plan but this blog site does not allow plugins for an interactive chess viewer.  Since I never actually look at a game unless I have a viewer or video I bet there are a lot of people like me as well so I made a video.    Anyway it was easy to place the game on video and may have been faster than annotating it.  Next round It would be great if we got other games from the league by other participants.  You can either send it to me and I can annotate or if you have a few minutes make the video yourself and send.  In the unlikely scenario we get a number of games will just have to pick a few.

Thanks and see you all in Round 3, August 15th!


About shoshall

Father, Chess player and teacher, Securities trader
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