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.


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


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



About shoshall

Father, Chess player and teacher, Securities trader
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