Suprising Start to DCCL Summer League in Open, 3 of 4 Top Seeds Draw


The DC Chess league summer session kicked off on June 19th. We have 13 teams in the Open section and 5 teams in the Amateur. Teams were seeded by projected rating of their top 4 boards. George Mason and Ashburn Amateur started off strong in the Amateur section with wins. The Open section had a much more surprising start with 3 of the top 4 seeds drawing their first round. Big individual upsets in the first round included Sean Senft of the Cold Fury over Fide master Paolo Del Mundo of Ashburn Open (Paolo went undefeated on board 1 and won top board prize last winter season). Mark Scott of the Sterling Skewers also beat expert Chris Sherwin who had an over 400 point rating advantage. Finally the summer league saw the welcome return of the Kings. A staple in the DC chess league for many decades. The Kings won their first round vs Savage Fury.

Finally congratulations for all those who played in the grueling 9 round World Open this year that was locally held in Arlington.  Big Congrats to Dc Chess league Junior player Andy Huang who tied for first in the under 2200 section.

DCCL Summer 1st Round Big Upset

The game below was played between Mark Scott of the Sterling Skewers and Chris Sherwin of the Argyles. It enabled the Sterling Skewers to draw the favored Arlington Argyles and it was also one of the bigger individual board upsets in some time. I wasn’t all that surprised though because I have seen Mark beat 2200 rated players in over the board play. The game was well played by both players. Black may have pressed to hard to win at the end.

600_16939988 (2)

Mark Scott, Team Captain of the Sterling Skewers

Scott,M 1613 Sherwin,C 2044

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 d5 4.exd5 exd5 Exchange French 5.Bb5



5…Bd6 is considered the main move. It’s a more aggressive bishop placement than the game continuation and black can play Ne7 next and castle.   Played over 500 times in my database and whites results vs Bd6 are not very good.  40% positive for white.

[ 5…Bd6 6.0-0 Nge7] 6.0-0 Be7 7.Ne5 Bd7 8.Nxd7?! 8.nxd7 is not a novelty but just developing with 8.Re1 is probably best. French GM Oliver Renet played 8. Bxc6 in this position in 1995 vs his IM opponent from Sweden, B. Tiller and won. Game below [ 8.Bxc6 Bxc6 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Bg5 0-0 11.Nd2 c5 12.dxc5 Bxc5 13.Nb3 Bb6 14.Qf3 Qd6 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qxf6 gxf6 17.Rad1 Rad8 18.Rfe1 Rfe8 19.Rxe8+ Rxe8 20.Kf1 Re5 21.Nd4 Re4 22.c3 Kf8 23.Nf3 Ra4 24.a3 c6 25.Nd4 c5 26.Nc2 Rh4 27.Rxd5 Rxh2 28.Ne3 Rh1+ 29.Ke2 h5 30.Nc4 Ke7 31.a4 Ra1 32.a5 Bxa5 33.Rxc5 Bd8 34.Rxh5 Ke6 35.Rc5 f5 36.Re5+ Kf6 37.Rd5 Bc7 38.Rc5 Bf4 39.Ne3 Ke6 40.Nxf5 Ra2 41.Kf3 Bd2 42.b4 Bxc3 43.Rxc3 Kxf5 44.Rc5+ Kf6 45.Ra5 Rb2 46.Ra6+ Kg7 47.Ra4 Kg6 48.Ke3 f5 49.g3 Kg5 50.Kf3 Rb3+ 51.Kg2 Rb2 52.Kf3 Rb3+ 53.Ke2 Kg4 54.b5+ Kg5 55.Ra5 Kg4 56.Ra4+ Kg5 57.Ra5 Kg4 58.Kd2 Rb2+ 59.Kc3 Rxf2 60.Rxa7 Kxg3 61.b6 Rf3+ 62.Kd4 Rf4+ 63.Ke5 Rf1
64.Ra3+ Kg2 65.Rb3 Re1+ 66.Kd4 1-0 (66) Renet,O (2530)-Tiller,B (2395) Paris 1995]

8…Qxd7 9.Re1 0-0 10.Nc3 Rfe8 11.Bg5 Qf5 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Re5 Qg6 14.Qe2?! A slight inaccuracy by white placing the queen on e file. [ 14.Ne2 h6 15.Nf4 Qh7 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Rxe8+ Rxe8 18.c3] 14…Bd6 15.Rxe8+ 15.  White had an interesting exchange sac with 15.Bxf6 [ 15.Bxf6 Bxe5 16.Bxe5 f6 17.f4] 15…Rxe8 16.Qd2 Ne4 17.Nxe4 Qxe4 18.Qe3 f6 19.Qxe4 Rxe4 20.Be3 f5 21.c3 Kf7 22.Re1 f4 23.Bd2 Kf6 24.f3 Rxe1+ 25.Bxe1



25… c5 for black ridding himself of the doubled pawn in this position as opposed to 25… g5 the move played is better.

26.b4 Keeping the black c pawns stacked.  26. Bf2 was also possible.

26…Kf5 27.h3 h5 28.Kf1 White offered a draw that was refused. It is difficult for either side to make progress.  White stands slightly better do to no way for blacks king to penetrate the kingside and black has a stacked pawns weakness. Be7 29.Ke2 g4 30.Kd3 Bf6 31.Bf2 gxh3 32.gxh3 Ke6 Now this really looks drawn.  No way for the white or black kings to penetrate besides down the a file.  Lots of maneuvering ensues. 33.Kc2 Kd7 34.Kb3 Kc8 35.Ka4 Kb7 36.Ka5 Bd8 37.a3 Bf6 38.Be1 Bd8 39.Bd2 Bh4 40.Ka4 40. Bxf4 is actually winning for white but it is very complex and unclear over the board. [ 40.Bxf4 Be1 41.Be5 Bxc3 42.f4 Bb2 43.f5 Kc8 ( 43…Bxa3 44.f6 Bc1 45.f7 Bh6 46.Bf4 Bf8 47.Bd2 a6 48.b5 cxb5 49.Bb4 Bh6 50.f8Q Bxf8 51.Bxf8) 44.f6 Kd7 45.a4 Bc3 46.Ka6 Bxb4 47.f7 Ke7 48.Bxc7 Bc3 49.Bd6+ Kxf7 50.Bc5] 40…Bg3 41.Ka5 Bf2 42.Ka4 Be3 43.Be1 Kb6 44.Kb3


44…a5? a5 was not best as noted by Mark.  It allows white to get an outside passed pawn.  If white can distract the black king with the outside pawn and munch blacks c and d pawns with his own King he should be winning.  Easier said then done however and black still has good drawing chances with the bishops on the board.

45.Bh4 Better is simply taking the pawn with bxa+ [ 45.bxa5+ Kxa5 46.c4+ Ka6 47.Bc3] 45…Kb5 Black needs to play 45…axb here and white has a choice of two less good moves.  Take back with a pawn and lose the passed pawn or take back with the white king and allow black to untangle his stacked pawns. [ 45…axb4 46.axb4] 46.a4+ Kb6



47. bxa5 or 47. Be7 is better.  Keep those black pawns stacked.

47… axb4 48.Kxb4 c5+ 49.dxc5+ Bxc5+ 50.Kb3 Bd6 51.Bf6 c5 52.Bd8+



52…Bc7 loses.  White will be able to march in with his king on b5 and sac the a pawn that the black king will have to chase after.  It’s difficult for white to make any progress after black plays 52…Ka6 or 52…Kb7.

53.a5+! The most forcing continuation Kc6 54.Bxc7 Kxc7 55.Ka4 d4 56.cxd4 cxd4 57.Kb3 Kc6 58.Kc4 1-0


About shoshall

Father, Chess player and teacher, Securities trader
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4 Responses to Suprising Start to DCCL Summer League in Open, 3 of 4 Top Seeds Draw

  1. akoheidari says:

    very nice, good start!

    BTW, i was wondering do you want to rate the first round? do they want to make this season rated at all?

  2. shoshall says:

    Season will be rated for sure. I believe the individual who submits the results has been out of town so first round rating was delayed.

  3. shoshall says:

    Good question. In principle I think all the teams were Ok with it being FIDE rated but 2 additional hurdles are 1. The time control would have to be changed ( Something like game 90 and 30 second delay) to fit FIDE requirements. 2. All the games would have to be played at one location because have to have someone who is a FIDE qualified TD and the individual teams don’t have that. I believe Adam C. And Andy R are the only 2 who have that qualification. I think the time control change could work but teams that are away from Arlington would be reluctant to give up their home sites. So unlikely the Open becomes FIDE rated though I would still be inclined to vote for it.

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