The Argyles repeated as winter champions by defeating Ashburn this week. They are 8 out of 8 heading into May match with Kings. Ashburn and Kings finish top 3 regardless of May results. Next leadership meeting is May 17. The Summer season begins in June and lasts until September. Summer season has 4 board matches throughout so it helps the lower rated teams a little bit. The big things to address in meeting are competitive balance in open section and financial matters.
The Arlington Storm secured the Amateur Section title this past week with a round to spare. The Black Knights Reserve secured the Reserve Section title this past week with a round to spare. The Amateur and Reserve Section play out the string in April to close the season out.
For the Open Section, the Argyles face Ashburn once again. Ashburn needs to realistically win to keep hopes of a playoff alive. If Ashburn wins, they would face the Kings, if the Kings defeat Tabiya Technologies. The Ashburn and Argyles team then would face one of Tabiya/Kings/Arlington Fury in second swiss round. Ashburn likely would have draw odds if there is a playoff game in May. The Kings match in April carries weight as a tougher opponent for Ashburn or Argyles. Kings would love to face a chief rival in either team.
DCCL Alumni Jennifer Yu won the US Women’s title in convincing fashion! Well done as reaches 2450+ USCF in process. Akshita Gorti and Sabina Foiser (DCCL Alumni) also competed in Women’s Section. For the men’s title, GM Nakamura won the title by a slim margin over GM Dominguez. The 2020 US Men’s Olympiad team will be loaded with Caruana-Nakamura-So-Dominguez with one of Shankland/Sevian/Xiong as a reserve. Only a handful of countries would be able to match up against that team.
The Argyles and Ashburn dominated the matches versus Coral Reef and Black Knights. Like legendary WWF wrestler King Kong Bundy who passed away this week, these teams could have demanded a 5 count in their matches. 10-0 against the other teams in the league and will face each other in early April. Ashburn needs to win next match versus Arlington Fury to remain in the hunt for title as going in 1.5 down with 2 rounds left is very tough to overcome. Tabiya Technologies had a convincing win over Morphy Mojo, whom have had a very rough season. Perhaps they can turn it around versus Arlington Kings this month.
In Amateur Section, it is truly a four team race as all teams still have mathematical shot at the title with 2 rounds left. VA Open/VA Scholastic Championships is soon and DCCL alumni FM Jennifer Yu and FM Akshita Gorti play in US Women’s Championship too.
In open section argyles beat Ashburn in a very close match with FM Allan Savage being the lone victory with all other boards drawn. Ashburn will definitely be rooting for coral reef in March when they face argyles. Coral reef and Kings won by good margins versus mojo and black knights. Tabiya had their best result this season by defeating fury. With the Swiss rounds ahead argyles have best position right now but a draw or loss next match gives Ashburn window to move into first. Over in amateur, blitzkrieg and storm face off soon with lots at stake. Next match is in 11 days so teams have to be ready for quick turnarounds!
In the Open Section, Ashburn Open barely escaped with a win versus Arlington Kings behind heroic efforts from Paul Swaney and Vishal Kobla. Now they set up the biggest match of season versus Argyles, who won by 4 points over Mojo. Both teams undoubtedly will have all players over 2100 and at least 10 masters competing. If one is to be a spectator this season, February 15 is the one to attend! One could spend an entire blog entry dissecting all the potential match-ups but lets see how it plays out. This upcoming match has the feel of those Steelers-Ravens rivalry from 2008-2011 where both sides were loaded with talent. Ironically Rea (Steelers) and Shawn (Ravens) represent the teams.
The Fury moved to 3-1 overall by defeating Coral Reef, who fall out of contention and play out the string now. Tabiya Technologies dealt with unexpected setbacks and lost to Black Knights, who are 2/4. Right now, it is a 3 horse race between Argyles, Ashburn and Fury. A loss is not fatal for either top teams though as the Swiss round looms in the spring (which will feature a rematch). Fury still has to face Ashburn and Kings which is tricky. USATE might impact who plays February match and have a good Martin Luther King holiday everyone.
Tabiya Technologies-Black Knights:
A win by Black Knights puts them at 2/4 while a loss by Tabiya Technologies puts their season in downward spiral at 0.5/4. Question is which guys want to win the games more on the lower boards. Either side could win this one as very tough to pick a winner.
Ashburn has a well-rounded lineup usually. Kings need to bring their A game in this one to stay in contention. A win by Ashburn would likely turn the league into a two-horse race from here on out. Kings have one of the strongest players in DCCL with GM Larry Kaufman leading the way so this is toughest test yet for Ashburn.
Coral Reef needs the win badly to make up for early losses. Fury needs the win to improve their position in standings and keep season going on high note. A potential top 3 of Chiu-Lowinger-Senft could cause headaches for Coral Reef and potentially turn out the lights on their season.
Argyles are focused on Ashburn in very near future so this could be a look ahead spot for them. Argyles go in as massive favorites here. Potential for some of Mojo guys to pull some upsets perhaps?
Blitzkrieg can blow first place wide open win a win here. Question is does Storm allow it?
Arlington Reserve-Black Knights Reserve
A win by either side would go a long way to determining winner of Reserve section.
Ashburn took care of business 4.5-1.5 over Coral Reef while Argyles routed the Fury in November. The Kings were stung for a draw by Tabiya Technologies and the Black Knights won over Mojo. Lots of new teams in Amateur and Reserve section so check out the standings.
For December, we feature a major match between Argyles and Kings. Kings need to at least draw this match to stay in serious playoff contention. The Coral Reef look to get back on track when they go to DC to face Black Knights while Fury and Mojo look to rebound from November losses. Ashburn faces Tabiya Technologies and looks to keep pace with Argyles. Eastern Open is next month run by Tom Beckman so consider entering this one after Christmas.