Summer Stuff and the Emory Tate Jr Board Award

A few years ago at a league team captain meeting I proposed we have a blog because there was almost no information about this historic league and it’s players. The other team captains agreed but much to my dismay I was also voted to run the blog (That was never the plan haha).

The last few years I was determined not say a whole lot , keep things simple, try to be funny, and at the very least have something posted on the internet about this great league and its former and current players. I really don’t know what the future will bring in the amount of posts on the blog but most likely they will continue to slow down.

Below is a brief update over the last few months:

The Grind

The winter season in the DCCL is a grind. Every team plays every other team and only one team is left standing at the end. As previously reported on the DCCL home page the Open team left standing was Coral Reef. It didn’t look good for the Reef going into the final round. The Kings were having a fantastic season leading the field by a 1/2 point. The Kings however unexpectedly lost to Ashburn Junior while the Reef beat Rook and Role to overtake the Kings. A fantastic season by the Reef and their resurgence continues after winning the prior summer season as well.

In the amateur James Madison once again went undefeated and won 9-0.  This is James Madison’s 5th straight season win starting with the winter 2013-14 season.

Emory Tate Jr board prize


IM Emory Tate Jr

As proposed by league commissioner Andy Rea, and unanimously seconded by all other members at the bi-annual team meeting, the DCCL Board prize has been changed in honor of IM Emory Tate Jr to the “Emory Tate Jr board prize”.

As most of you know IM Tate was a well known and well liked International Master who played in the MidAtlantic for a time and also played in the DCCL in the 80’s. In 2016 he tragically and unexpectedly passed away. He was known throughout the World for his incredibly creative and attacking style of play. He made chess fun and was a larger than life presence when playing at any tournament.

My Emory Tate story.

I was talking to a good friend and told him about my experience with IM Tate and we both marveled how a few minutes of talking with someone can have a big impact on your life. We each have the ability to help, teach, and be a positive force.

I interacted with IM Tate only once in my life for a short period of time when I had just started playing. I believe it was at the Maryland Open in the late 80’s. I was a 15 year old or so kid rated 1600 or 1700 just starting out and he was a very strong master. I remember I was analyzing a game and he came by and sat down for a few minutes.

I knew he was a very good player and I was suprised he would come by and even bother to talk to a much lower rated player like me. I thought it was a very nice gesture.

What he said in those few minutes had a big impact on my style of play and improving in chess.

I remember pointing out moves I thought were good and he said something on the lines of “Where is your play?” (Where are you strongest on the board was what he was communicating). He would say this a couple of times until I picked out the right move.

I never ever forgot this and what it drilled into me was you play to your strength. You typically don’t focus on shoring up your weak points on the board but you double down on where you are strong.

This rule was a battle cry for me as a junior player as I made my way to the Expert and Master level.  Other strong players would sometimes describe me as someone who was “dangerous with the initiative”. Thank you IM Tate.

Summer has begun

The first round of the summer league has just begun and already some of the recent league winners got zapped with losses or draws. The top 2 teams from last winter lost ( Kings lost to Ashburn Jr) and drew (Coral Reef drew DMV Experts). The Ashburn Senior team which won the league 2 winters ago and was in the playoffs last summer lost to the Sterling Sacs.

1st Round Summer Game Total Crush:

I was utterly destroyed on white no less by my opponent Robert Cousins. In a loss certainly errors are made but I have to give Robert a lot of credit for playing a very nice game, sacking not one but 2 exchanges for an overwhelming CRUSH.

Hoshall S. 2225, Cousins R 2099

  1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7
  2. Bc4 Nc6 6. O-O Nf6 7. d3 O-O 8. Qe1


In this position whites play is typically invested into a kingside attack. In an optimum world white will stick his queen on h4, play f5, bh6, ng5,  and perhaps sack his rook for the f6 Black knight. A plan as my good friend Paul Swaney has said has been around since the 1800’s. You can however still find 2800 rated players losing today in under 20 moves to this type of plan so it still works.


  1. Nxd4

This move is fine by white but I was kicking myself after the game for not playing Qh4, allowing nxc2 by black and then simply playing Rb1. White will have a nice attack in an unbalanced position. I should have played where my strength was and listened to the advice I got years ago from IM Tate.

cxd4 10. Ne2? (This move is bad. White can not play a retreating knight move in this position and needs to play Nd5.  White has no attack now and black can place his pieces on good squares.) d5 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Ng3 e6

  1. Kh1 a6 14. a4 b6 15. Bd2 Bb7 16. Ne4 Rc8
  2. Bb4


So here is the situation. Blacks positions is nice but white is threatening to win the exchange on f8. If black takes the bishop with Nxb4 he trades off his good knight for blacks not so good bishop.

14…Rxc4 Wow!!!, instead of protecting or moving the rook on f8 to avoid the loss of the exchange black correctly decides to sac the other exchange! 18. Bxf8 Qxf8 19. dxc4 Ne3


White is up 2 full exchanges in this position but totally lost.

  1. Nd2 Bxg2+
  2. Kg1 Bxf1 22. Nxf1 Nxc2 23. Qc1 Nxa1 24. Qxa1 a5
  3. Ng3 Qb4 26. Qa2 Qe1+ 27. Kg2 d3 crush

About shoshall

Father, Chess player and teacher, Securities trader
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