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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Halcyon Days are back for Coral Reef! Reef Capture 2015 Summer Title!!

coral reef

On Friday October 2, 2015 a playoff match for the Open Section of the summer DCCL league was held at the Arlington Chess Club. 4 Players from the Coral Reef and 4 players from “Can You Smell What the Rook is Cookin” battled for the championship.

The match was held in a secret side room to limit distractions for the players. It was graciously and professionally hosted by the DCCL league Executive Director Andy Rea. Chief Td and Arlington Chess club president Adam Chrisney helped officiate all disputes.

If you didn’t already know and you probably do know, Coral Reef has quite a history in the league. From 2001 to summer 2005 the Reef unbelievably won 8 Championships in a row when you include both summer and winter titles.

reef 8 years

Three years later in winter of 2008 they won the league title again.

Since 2008 they have been one of the top teams in the league but the title has alluded them.

However in 2015 after a 7 year hiatus they turned it all around.

The match was won 2.5-1.5 by Coral Reef who can lay claim to the summer league 2015 championship.

Halcyon Days are back for the Reef!

The Reef has featured many of the Top players in the DC, VA and MD region for many years. On this night former World Open champ IM Eugene Meyer played board 1. His brother Fide Master John Meyer, who fought for the human race vs the most powerful computer in the world Rybka in 2008 and won was board 2 (See NY Times: http://gambit.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/man-vs-computer-match-ends-in-victory-for-man-but-with-a-catch/?_r=0 ). Board 3 was former DC champion and National Master Sal Rosario and board 4 was former Maryland State champion and National Master Stan Fink.

Leif Karrell

Pictured Above: Leif Karell: Long time captain and fearless leader of the Reef prepping strategy for the big match ( Ok maybe he was doing something else but it sounds good).

Can You Smell What The Rook is Cooking, featured some of the frequent players on the Ashburn Squad the last 6 years. The Ashburn crew had won 3 of the last 6 winter league titles and won the most recent winter title just prior to this summer season. The players were former US Open champion Fide Master Paolo Del Mundo on board 1, National Master Shawn Hoshall on board 2, National Master Andy Tichenor on board 3 and Expert Scott Webster on board 4.

Playoff Match

On the Left is Coral Reef:  FtoB:  E.Meyer, J.Meyer, S.Rosario, S.Fink  on Right Rook Cookin: FtoB: P.DelMundo, S.Hoshall, A.Tichenor, S.Webster

Del Mundo won for Rook Cookin on board 1, and J. Meyer and Fink won on boards 2 and 4 respectively for the Reef. Board 3 between Tichenor and Rosario ended in a draw.

One of the key games giving the Reef the title occurred between FM J. Meyer and myself NM Hoshall. I had played John 2 other times in league play before this and scored a win and a draw but tonight John got the best of me.


Meyer,J 2214

J Meyer

Hoshall,S 2241


A brief synopsis of the game: Black got out of the opening well with chances of an advantage and possibly winning a pawn after 10.0-0.

Black played the move 15…Nbd7?! to keep the integrity of his pawn structure. This was a bad, time wasting move by black and made it difficult for black to coordinate his pieces. After this move and the unnecessary 19…kh8 White gets a number of tempos on black.

The move 27…Bxf3? by black was made to destroy the integrity of whites pawn structure. It was a losing move by black and shortsighted. The problem with 27…Bxf3 is because of black’s weak queenside pawns and weak backrank black is simply unable to defend both the isolated ( C and A file) queenside pawns adequately. Credit white with allowing his kingside pawn structure to get wrecked but recognizing that the position was winning for him.

When we initially learn chess we learn that you can have a 1.positional, 2.material or 3.space/ time advantage.

It’s important to understand a positional (In this case stacked pawns on the kingside) is almost always never as good as a material (piece or pawn ect) advantage. If black recognized he would lose a pawn on the queenside he should have never taken the knight with 27…Bxf3.

The Game…

1.d4 e6 2.e4 John usually plays queen pawn openings nowadays but thought I may play the Dutch if he played 2.Nf3 or 2.c4 and did not want to play against that tonight. d5 3.Nd2 Tarrasch variation vs the French, 3.. a6 4.c3 c5 5.dxc5?! 5.dxc5 is not considered best. More normal here is 5. Nf3. dxc was only played 26 times in my database and the results for white were poor with a 33% winning percentage. Bxc5 6.Nb3 Ba7 7.exd5 Nf6 7…Nf6 is best. White cannot take the e6 pawn do to 8…Bxf2+! 8.Bd3 [ 8.dxe6 Bxf2+ 9.Ke2 Qxd1+ 10.Kxd1 Bxe6] 8…Qxd5 9.Nf3 0-0 10.0-0 Nc6

10…Nc6 is inaccurate better is 10…Rd8 first and black simply plays the same plan he does in the game with 12…Ng4 but white can’t swing a rook back to f1. Black would win a pawn and have an advantage. I think Fischer once said. It’s easy to find good moves, the hard part is figuring out when to play them. [ 10…Rd8 11.Bc2 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 13.Bxd1 Ng4 14.Nbd4 e5 15.h3 exd4 16.hxg4 dxc3 17.bxc3 Bxg4 and Black wins a pawn] 11.Bc2 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Ng4 13.Rf1 e5 14.h3 Nf6 15.Bg5

nbd7 meyer


15…Nfd7?!. The price black pays ( Avoiding 16.Bxf6) to keep the integrity of his pawn structure is too high in lost time and development. After 15…Be6, 16. Bxf6, gxf6 black has the two bishops completed harmonious development, activity and full compensation for his compromised kingside pawn structure ( Computer rates this position in blacks favor -.21). After the game continuation note the difficulty black has coordinating his pieces and completing his development.

16.Rfe1 f6 17.Be3 Bxe3 18.Rxe3 Nb6 19.Nc5 Kh8?! 19…Kh8 is an unnecessary passive move that takes the king farther away from the center where he ultimately needs to go and creates possible back rank themes for white. 20.Be4 Nc4 21.Re2 Nd6 22.Bxc6 bxc6 23.Rd1 Nb7 24.Nxb7 Bxb7 25.Rd7 Rab8 26.Red2 c5 27.Rc7

27...Bxf3 Meyer


  1. Bxf3? is a mistake and loses the game. White set the bait for black allowing the integrity of his kingside pawns to be wrecked and his knight to be taken on f3. He does this because he knows without the black bishop it will be impossible for black to protect both queenside pawns and white will be winning.

[ 27…Rfc8 28.Rdd7 Bc6 29.Rxc8+ ( 29.Rxg7?! Rxc7 30.Rxc7 Bxf3 31.gxf3 Rxb2 And black is slightly better ) 29…Rxc8 30.Ra7 Bb5 31.b3 c4 32.Nd2 h5 33.a4 Be8 34.Nxc4 Bg6 35.Nd2 Rxc3 White is still better but black can hold] 28.gxf3 Rfc8 29.Rdd7 [ 29.Rxc8+ Rxc8 Is also winning for white] 29…h5 30.b3 [ 30.Rxc8+ Rxc8 31.Rd6 Rb8 32.b3 c4] 30…Rxc7 31.Rxc7 Rd8 [ 31…Rb5 32.c4 Ra5 33.a4 And the black rook is trapped on a5 and can’t move!] 32.Rxc5 Black went on to resign in about a dozen moves 1-0

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Playoff Time in Open, GM’s Continue to Roll, and Sterling Sacs Great Season

Recently I was teaching chess to a very young child and mistakenly used the word “eating” when making a piece capture.   Trust me on this one, never use the word “eat” when teaching young children about captures.  The opposing piece can be taken but not eaten.  That is your advanced DCCL chess teaching tip of the day!

The final regular season round of the DCCL Summer league took place on Sept 11th. Once again the crew from George Mason came through in the Amateur section and steamrolled their way to a 5-0 final score beating the Sterling Skewers 2.5-1.5.

In 5 rounds they finished with an individual board score 12.5-3.5 a 78% winning percent overall ( See former blog on GMs to see how this % stacks up: https://dcchessleague.wordpress.com/2015/03/) . GM crew is back to back summer and winter champs which is a rare feat in the DCCL.

In the Open section 4 teams went into the final round tied at 2.5-.5. The four teams being the Sterling Sacs, Coral Reef, Forever Young and “Can you Smell What the Rook is Cooking?”( “Rook Cooking” was formerly named Ashburn Open).

Of all the teams who played for the title in the Open section on September 11th the Sterling Sacs have the most impressive story. They had a very hard schedule playing last year summer champs Argyles, then a very tough Ashburn Junior Squad ( see this link for an earlier blog on them: https://dcchessleague.wordpress.com/2014/11/) and the surprising Fury team to go 2.5-.5 vs these teams.

What makes this more amazing is Sterling did not win a match the entire previous winter season capturing a lone draw and 7 losses in 8 rounds. This summer though they were top dog going into the last round and potentially could have won the league if the cards fell in their favor.

This was certainly a Disney made for TV movie waiting to happen if they pulled out the victory. Unfortunately it was not to be with the “Sacs” losing to the Reef but clearly they have shown themselves to be a formidable team.

In the other top match of teams at 2.5-.5 “Rook Cooking” won decisively over Forever Young . The story here is the Rook Cooking team which is the same winter Ashburn Open championship team could repeat as Open champions.

Coral Reef and Rook Cookin will face off in a playoff at Arlington on October 2nd to determine the Open league champion. Because Coral Reef finished the regular season with the better record they will have draw odds. The pressure will be on the Rook Cooking squad to get a decisive result (and possibly come up with a better team name next season, haha, No, I take that back, cool name.)

In honor of Sterling’s great showing I’d like to add a game from the past from their frequent top board player FM Larry Gilden. Among other players in our league such as GM Larry Kaufmann and IM Eugene Meyer, FM Gilden is a veritable legend of US Chess. FM Gilden has played in US Championships in the 70’s and the famous Lone Pine tournaments in the 70’s as well. Lone Pine may not be remembered by the super young chess generation but to me it brings images of all the top players of that amazing era. FM Gilden had stepped away from tournament chess for many years but relatively recently has been playing actively. We are fortunate to have him playing in the DCCL.

Below I wanted to include a game of his from the US Open in 1972. Larry drew the formidable GM Ben Larsen in this tournament at the time. Larsen was one of the very top players in the world and if you have heard about him you know he (almost) never accepted draws. Amazingly three other current active players from the DCCL also faced Larsen in the 1972 US Open, Allan Savage, Eugene Meyer and Larry Kaufman. Larry Gilden was the only local player to steal a ½ point from the Great Dane in USOpen ‘72.

However the game below is a battle with another chess Icon at the time GM Walter Browne. Unfortunately as many of you know the great GM Browne, one of the most successful US players to ever play the game, passed away this year. In the 1972 US Open Browne was on his way to winning his second US Open in back to back years and rolling through the field. Although he did win in ‘72 he ran into formidable resistance from FM Gilden in the 12th Round.

This was a defensive game where Larry was able to quickly quiet down the position and not give Browne many chances. It may have frustrated Browne to where he lashed out and made an unsound sacrifice.

The game approach has similarities to the Ali/Forman, Rumble in the Jungle, “Rope a Dope” match where Ali won by forcing Foreman to throw too many punches and tire out. As I get older I appreciate the ability to play in this style. When I was younger it was all about attack, attack, attack. Not many can play this approach successfully as Gilden ( who is also a great attacking player) did in the game below.

Let’s go back to 1972 and check out the game (My brief annotations below):

White: Walter Browne


Black:  Larry Gilden


1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Alekhine’s Defence Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 Bg7 7.exd6

7. Ng5 is the main move in this position. [ 7.Ng5 e6 8.Qf3 Qe7 9.Ne4 dxe5 10.Bg5 Qb4+ 11.c3] 7…cxd6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Re1 Bg4 10.c3 Nc6 11.Nbd2

11...d5In 5 other games in this position in my database Black played 11…e5 blowing up the center. In this game Larry plays the more accurate but less intuitive prophylaxis move 11…d5 restricting the light squared bishop and keeping the center intact. d5 [ 11…e5] 12.h3 Bf5 13.Nf1 Na5 14.Ng3 Nxb3 15.axb3 Bd7 16.Bg5 f6 17.Bf4 Rf7 18.Qd3 White has more space and black is somewhat cramped but it’s difficult to see how white can make progress. Bc6 19.Qd2 Qf8 20.h4 Nd7 21.Re6 Qd8 22.Bh6 Nf8 23.Re2 a5 24.Bxg7 Kxg7 25.h5

25.h5It looks like white is making some progress. White has traded off the dark squared bishops which was a good defender for black and is now attacking the black king. White’s short range fighters the knights are also hanging out on the kingside. FM Gilden bends but does not break. a4 26.h6+ Kg8 27.bxa4 Rxa4 28.Rxa4 Bxa4 29.Re1 Bc6 30.Ne2 Qc8 31.b3 Qf5 32.Ng3 Qd7 33.Ra1 Qd8 34.Ra3 e6 35.Qa2 White has stacked his heavy pieces on the only open file but black has no glaring weakness to attack and the black pawns for the time being restrict the movement of the white knights on the kingside. Qd6 36.Ra8 Rd7 37.Qd2 Rd8 38.Rxd8

38.Rxd8Seems like a lot of effort by white to trade off blacks rook which wasn’t doing much. Perhaps GM Browne wanted to remove the rook from protecting blacks kingside. Qxd8 39.Nh2 Now the white knights start dancing around looking for better squares to harass the black king who has been pretty safe. Qc7 40.Ng4 Kf7 41.Qe3 Nd7 42.Ne2 Qd6 43.Nf4 So white has maneuvered his knights on more active squares ( From f3,g3 to f4, g4 pretty cool) to attack black but black has everything defended. Black has been patiently defending all game. g5 A slight inaccuracy 44.Nd3 Better in 44. Nh5 with a little pressure on the black king. [ 44.Nh5 Qf8 45.Ng7 Qd6 46.Qh3 Qe7 47.Qh5+ Kg8] 44…Bb5

44...Bb5After 45 moves of going against FM Gilden’s defensive play GM Browne makes an unsound ( But very tempting: white gets a couple pawns and exposed black king) sacrifice in an otherwise dead equal position. 45.Nde5+? [ 45.f4 Qa3 46.fxg5 Bxd3 47.Qxd3 Qc1+ 48.Qf1 Qxg5] 45…fxe5 46.Qxg5 Qf8 47.dxe5 Qg8 48.Qf4+ Ke8 49.Nf6+ Nxf6 50.exf6 Kf7 51.Qb4 Qe8 52.Qh4 Black is winning this position. The pawns on f6 and h6 are weak for white and the extra piece for black is telling. But it’s not an easy position to play for black. The white queen is still very active, the black king exposed and black must be very careful and watch out for tricks involving those advanced pawns and the white queen. Qg8 [ 52…Bd3! 53.Qd4 Bg6] 53.g4 [ 53.Qb4] 53…Qg6 54.g5 e5 55.Qg4

54.Qg4After 55… Qe4 the position would be hopeless for white. 1. If white trades queens he goes into a completely lost endgame where Black’s lone piece will win. 2. If white passively hides the white queen on the h file black has a winning attack and finally 3. If white plays actively with his queen with Qc8 in hopes of chasing around the exposed black king white actually loses quickly to a black attack starting with 56…Qe1+,

Bc6 [ 55…Qe4 56.Qc8 Qe1+ 57.Kg2 Qf1+ 58.Kg3 Qg1+ 59.Kf3 e4+ 60.Kf4 Qxf2+ 61.Ke5 Qg3+ 62.Kd4 Qg1+ 63.Ke5 Qxg5+] [ 55…d4] [ 55…e4] 56.f3 d4 57.cxd4 exd4 58.Kf2 Qc2+ 59.Kg3 Qd3 [ 59…Qxb3 60.g6+ hxg6 61.h7 Qe3 62.h8Q Qg1+ 63.Kh4 Qe1+ 64.Kg5 Qe5+ 65.Kh4 Qe1+] 60.Qh5+ Qg6 61.Qg4 Qd3 62.Qh5+

A great defensive gem by Gilden and ultimately a fortunate draw by Browne. Black can play on with advantage after 62….Kg8 ½-½

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DCCL Summer 2015 Round 2 and Award Ceremony Pictures

The DC Chess league 2014-2015 Winter season awards ceremony took place on July 22nd as well as the second round of the DCCL. As usual Bill Simmons took great pictures of the event.

We also had some interesting results. The Sterling Skewers beat the very dangerous Ashburn Junior team 2.5-1.5 while Cold Fury beat last year’s summer league winners Arlington Argyles 3.5-.5. Both of these teams stand at 1.5-.5 in the overall standing and will square off on August 14th at Arlington.  Meanwhile: Forever Young beat up on the Kings 4-0 and Coral Reef won against the Mome Raths 3.5-.5. Both “The Reef” and Forever Young are 2-0 and are paired as the only undefeated teams for round 3.

Finally in the Amateur section George Mason beat Ashburn to be the only team undefeated in the Amateur section this summer. Can anyone stop these guys?

Below are some of the pictures from the night.

_DSC0274-S[1]Winter Amateur team champions : The happy George Mason crew: L to R: Stephen Jablon, Ako Heidari, Jonathan Bode, Scott Daniels (Ako and Jonathan won top board prize)

_DSC0277-S[1]Winter Open League champions: The serious Ashburn Open squad (Actually we are pretty laid back): L to R: NM Mahbub Alam, Scott Webster, NM Shawn Hoshall and FM Paolo del Mundo (Paolo won top board prize)


George Mason vs Ashburn Amateur. George Mason (On Right- L-R): Jonathan Bode, Ako Heidari. Ashburn: Pranav Karthik


NM William Marcelino checking out the results of his team Forever Young vs The Kings. He was pleased.


Cold Fury vs Arlington Argyles: Cold Fury pulled off the big upset and won the match. L-R Cold Fury (On right L-R) Steve Miller (In orange shirt), Jonathan Mathews, Arthur Tang, NM Daniel Lowinger. Argyles (L-R): NM Geoff McKenna, NM Andrew Samuelson


NM Jeevan Karamsetty of the Arlington Kings


Savage Fury vs Morphy’s Mojo: Savage Fury (On right L-R): Josh Hiban, Paul Swaney, Tim Hamilton. Morphys Mojo: James Guill. The match ended in a draw.


Silver Knights Squad (L-R): Oliver Gainer, Ali Thompson, David Bennett and NM Jeremy Kane. Silver Knights barely lost to Ashburn Open (AKA: “Can You Smell What the Rook is Cookin?” is Ashburn’s fancy new name this summer)

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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

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