The GM’s on the right vs the Arlington Bishops getting to work this past summer in the DCCL.
The Amateur section has been surprisingly competitive the last 10 years or so ( Why do we call it the Amateur section? No one is a professional chess player in any of the other sections. But I digress…). Of the teams playing in the section: GM’s, Sterling, Ashburn, Arlington Bishops and Black Knights, all have won the division at least twice. That’s what I call balance.
This year however something unique is going on. The GM’s are simply rolling over everyone to a 5-0 match record and 17-3 individual game record. That’s an 85% game winning percentage. If you look at their matches as well, although they typically have a rating edge this season, it does not predict an 85% winning clip. Take a look at the last 8 winter league Amateur division champions winning percentage in the graph below.
Typically a division winner scores between 60 and 70% in their games. The GM’s are on pace to obliterate that with their 85% winning clip. Yes you may say there will be some regression to the mean with 3 matches left. That’s true but assuming a 66% winning percentage their last 3 matches (8-4 record)that would still finish them with a 78% winning percentage for the season which would give them the best winning percentage over the last decade at the very least. Congrats on a great season so far GM’s! Hope I didn’t jinx you guys.
Meanwhile the action is beginning to heat up in the Open section but no clear favorite has emerged. Six rounds have been complete but there are still 3 rounds to go so plenty of chess left. Three of the teams have however created some separation: Coral Reef and the Argyles only have 1 loss while my team Ashburn Open has only been nicked by a 1/2 point so far this season. The two preseason favorites in my humble opinion that I would have given the best odds to win: Silver Knights and Ashburn Junior find themselves both playing .500 ball at this point.
In the Reserve the Silver Knights Reserve team is taking control at 5-1. The Reserve section was unfortunately plagued by forfeits for awhile but seems to be turning around.
Plan to have another blog out in the next few weeks. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any games, ideas etc.