2017 Summer Events And Where They Fall Next To DCCL

Weekend of: Notable Events:
10-Jun DCCL RD 1/ACC Action
17-Jun Continental Class
24-Jun Philadelphia International/Waldorf Open
1-Jul World Open
8-Jul DCCL RD 2
15-Jul Charlottesville Open
22-Jul ACC Action
29-Jul Potomac Open
5-Aug US Open
12-Aug Washington International
19-Aug DCCL RD 3/ACC Action
26-Aug Atlantic Open
2-Sep VA Closed/MD Quick Blitz Action Championship
9-Sep DCCL RD 4
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Hi everyone as this is NM Andrew Tichenor.  I will be taking over for NM Shawn Hoshall as the blogger for DCCL for future.  The winter season was exciting and packed with action from October to May.

For the Open season, Ashburn Junior went wire-to-wire in the open section.  The team was very strong as 1 IM, 2 FM’s, and 5 NM’s combined with many solid experts.  This team was able to throw out tough lineups each round.  Their most critical match was early on versus Argyles.  Expert Tim Rogalski won a wild affair with FM Allan Savage which clinched the match.  The biggest surprise was Arlington Fury who were tied for second as late as April despite only having 2 NM’s.  This team played hard each round and was never an easy out.

For the Amateur season, DMV Blitzkrieg rolled the competition going 9-0.  This team was loaded as many solid 1900’s and 2000’s throughout and just overwhelmed each of its opponents.  They finished 3 points ahead of perennial powerhouse GMU.  The DMV team would be a middle-tier team immediately if they entered open section.  Hopefully they can join the big dogs in the yard!

Well done for another good season and hopefully everyone has a great Memorial Day.

Frequently I get the questions about history of DCCL.  Here is a simple summary.

1985-1995 Arlington Rooks were the most dominant team (winning at least 11 titles!) with a core of IM Walter Morris, NM Geoff McKenna, NM Bill Mason and NM Harold Mouzon among others.  They used to say they had the 4 M’s who were deadly.  A very impresive run.

1995-2005 Coral Reef go down as the most dominant team (winning at least 13 titles!)  What made the Coral Reef especially tough was they had 2 strong IM’s in E. Meyer and Delaune followed by FM J. Meyer and NM’s Acholonu, Karell, Fink, and Rosario among others.  Many of them were in their prime and north of 2300.  They simply overwhelmed the competition with depth and strong players.  If you had to say a most successful team since 1985 overall, it has to be Coral Reef.

2005-2010 DC Metro.  This team was the all-star team from the Montgomery County/NOVA region with many notable masters such as Defibaugh, Schoch, Low and Uesugi manning the boards.  Team had strong teamwork and comadaerie.  Once the players started graduating from high school, team disbanded.  Brief but powerful run!

2010-2017 Ashburn.  This team started off as a fun activity for a local club but once they started bringing in 2200+ people, the team took off like a firecracker.  Team has won 4 of last 7 winter titles.  What really propelled the team into a new era was the Ashburn Mastery Program.  Lots of notable scholastic players developed their interest in chess with this program.  Team relies on a mix of adult and junior players which is different than most DCCL teams.

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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
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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


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DCCL 2016 Mid-season Update

Below is a detailed mid-season update by DCCL long time participant NM Andy Tichenor.

This winter season has been an action packed season for both the open and amateur sections.  Many new faces have entered the league but still the dominant teams remain the traditional teams.

With the open section, Coral Reef are 4-0 and have obtained clutch performances from the lower boards so far.  However, they have a tough road ahead with Sterling, Kings and Argyles among others.

A slip-up makes it a dogfight until the end.  Sterling has been a pleasant surprise as nice start to the season.  Their season will be tested in the next 2 matches against Coral Reef and Argyles.

The Argyles and Kings have little room for error but with very talented rosters, they are capable of beating any team in DCCL.

Rook and Roll has shown they are a force to be reckoned with by pulling off the upset against Ashburn.

For Ashburn, Black Knights, Fury and Mojo, playing the spoiler and having fun are the main goals.

Over in the Amateur section, GMU continues to dominate all competitors by rolling out to a 4-0 start, which is at least 1.5 points ahead of all other teams.  This team is truly the New England Patriots as consistent division winners.

Silver Knights U21 has put together a fine season and still has a say with key match against GMU in February.  The Storm has swept in and putting together a respectable season.

The key matches for winter to determine DCCL champions are:

Sterling vs. Coral Reef Feb 5

Argyles vs. Coral Reef April 8

Kings vs. Coral Reef Feb 19

Kings vs. Argyles March 25

GMU vs. Silver Knights Feb 19


Also included below is the game Dino Obregon of the Sterling Skewers  vs David Bennett of the Arlington Kings.  The Skewers pulled off the upset and beat the Kings this night 3.5-2.5. I have had the fortune of seeing many of Dino’s games over the years and I think this is one of his very best.  A very high quality game by both participants (Shawn H.)

All notes and comments by Dino Obregon.

DCCL Round 4, Jan 8 2016
[Result “1-0”]
[White Dino Obregon 2010]
[Black David Bennett 2144]
1.e4 d5 { Black seizes the initiative in move one. } 2.exd5 Nf6 { a popular alternative to …Qxd5 } 3.d4 Nxd5 4.Nf3 g6 5.c4 { I like the c & d pawn duo, gaining central space. } 5…Nb6 6.h3 { a key move preventing the annoying bishop pin at g4 } 6…Bg7 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Be3 Nc6 { development of pieces continue } 9.Qd2 e5 { Black pressures the d4 pawn. } 10.d5 { exchanging at e5 doesn’t do anything positive for White } 10…Ne7
dino1 g4
11.g4 { I was familiar with a master game arising from g4.  This gains space on kingside and prevents immediate …Nf5. }
11…f5 12.O-O-O { opposite side castling is fun } 12…fxg4 { clears the f-file } 13.Ng5 { an offensive knight } 13…g3 { Black meets the threat of c5 and Ne6, with g2 resource. } 14.c5 g2 15.Bxg2 { forced } 15…Nc4 16.Qe2 Nxe3 17.fxe3 { The white queen aims to go to c4, at the right time. } 17…Nf5 { with double threat on g3 and g5 }
dino1 h4
18.h4 { Again, I was familiar with a master game featuring a temporary exchange sacrifice after …Ng3.  White goes on to win that game tactically with Qc4, d6, etc. }
18…h6 19.Ne6 Bxe6 { forced } 20.dxe6 Qe7 21.Be4 c6 { …Qxc4 was possible.  …c6 prevents Bd5 tactic after …Qxe6. } 22.Bxf5 gxf5 { prevents knight activity } 23.Rd6 { Rd7 was also fine. } 23…Rf6 { This might have been the first mistake. } 24.Qc4 Re8 { doesn’t accomplish anything;  …Kh8 may have been better but White is in control. } 25.Rg1 { nasty threat now on d7 and g7;  Black can’t take on e6.  Black king is in the light square diagonal. } 25…Qf8 { Black wants to play …Re7.  e7+ does not work yet. } 26.Ne2 { The last piece joins the action.  He is headed towards h5. } 26…Kh8 27.Ng3 Rg6 { Black blunders and flags at his next move. }
dino e7
28.e7 { g6 rook is hanging and Black loses material.  Without …Rg6, Nh5 would also be decisive. }



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Yining Memorial Open 2016 – Sunday, Jan 3! Fund Raiser Chess Tournament

Below is information on the Yining Memorial Open this Sunday from the flier from Capital Area Chess.  Please come out if you can to play some chess, support a family in a difficult time, and remember Yining Wang who was a great chess dad.


Yining Memorial Open 2016 – Fund Raiser Chess Tournament … in memory of Yining Wang (Father of Chess Players Joie Wang and Andrew Wang) – Play an afternoon of Chess and Help a family who had a loss in their family !

A special tribute event in memory of Mr. Yining Wang. For the past decade Mr. Wang had been a familiar figure at local and national chess scenes, and is remembered for his passion for the game of chess and contributions to the growing chess community in the Virginia-DC-Maryland  area.  All proceeds from this event will go to Mr. Yining Wang’s family, with the goal of benefiting his two children, both highly accomplished chess players, in their continued pursuit of chess.


Main event: 4-SS, G/15, d5, USCF rated, also, we have non-rated section for players who don’t want rating, just play for fun and support!


Side events:
  • Bughouse Tournament,
  • Family Team Fun Blitz,
  • World/US/VA Champions Challenging Simul,
  • Blind Chess Tournament

Sunday January 3, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST
Add to Calendar


Pender Center (HS International Academy)
3901 Fair Ridge Center
Fairfax, VA 22033

Yining Memorial Open Committee 

Chief Tournament Director: Caijun Luo, 703-593-0274
Assistant TD: Zhiheng Yu
Assistant TD: Ya He, 202-465-0399
Consultant: Jie Xu
For sponsorship & donation, please contact, Ya He at 202-465-0399 or Email: chesskidscircle@gmail.com 


Anand Dommalapati
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Summer League Award Ceremony Pictures… 2015-16 Winter Season in Full Swing.

The DCCL Summer league championship pictures from round two winter league are just out. Bill Simmons the Mojo’s long time captain does a great job with this and they are featured below.

The Winter league is in full swing and as of this posting 2 rounds in the Amateur section and 3 rounds in the Open have been recorded.

This year’s 2015-16 winter season Amateur section features 8 teams. There is no Reserve section ( The former Amateur and Reserve sections are combined). The theme of a few of the teams like the Black Knights U21,U17 and Silver Knights Under 21 is to emphasize our talented Junior players in the area. So far after the first two rounds the perennial Amateur section powerhouse: George Mason University is off to a 2-0 start.

Changes abound in the Open section as well. The Kings, a team with great history and tradition in the league is back in the winter season after skipping last year’s session but playing this past summer. Also a new team has joined the fray: “Rook and Roll” (Great name!!) .   This is another excellent Junior team that has numerous strong players from the area including young masters: Michael Auger and Ashkay Indusekar.

Finally last winter seasons champs Ashburn Open has essentially merged with Ashburn Junior where most of their former players have migrated to the Ashburn Junior squad making one combined powerhouse team.

So far the Kings, and summer champs Coral Reef are off to a fast 3-0 start.


Pictures  Round 2 November 20th, 2015

DCCL_WInt15_Rd2-playing hall

League and Awards night at the Arlington Chess club Nov 20th 2015.


Andy Rea, Executive Director of the DC Chess League makes a few remarks before handing out awards to the winners of the Summer 2015 DCCL. Prior to the Round 2 matches of the Winter League.


Stephen Jablon accepts congratulations for winning the Board Prize for highest winning percentage in the Amateur division.


Andy Rea hands over winner plaques to the Leif Karell, long-time Captain of the Coral Reef, which triumphed as the top team in the Open Section of the DCCL 2015 Summer League.

webster board prize

Scott Webster shows off his trophy for winning the Open Section Board Prize in the DCCL 2015 Summer League as part of “Can You Smell What the Rook is Cooking”.


Members of the Winning Amateur team George Mason from Left to right: Scott Daniels, George Stone, Ako Heidari, Johnathan Bode, Stephen Jablon


NM Milo Nekvasil, the happy Kings Captain and Redskins fan. Both his team the Kings, and the Washington Redskins, lead their respective divisions.


NM Sal Rosario of Coral Reef getting ready to play his second round match.

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