Meet the Puffins


Magnus Chess Academy has entered a team in the winter season of the DC Chess League (DCCL).  Our team name is the Puffins, after the black and white seabirds sometimes referred to as the “clowns of the sea”.  We are aiming to have some fun, play some great chess, and generally prove that we are not the clowns of the chessboard.


What is the DC Chess League?

The DCCL is a series of matches played in four person teams. For any given match, four players from our team will play against four players from another team.  This format is commonly seen in the chess olympiad (played in Chennai this year), and the corresponding youth U-16 olympiad (played in Azerbaijan this year).  The total score on all four boards determines the winner of each match. 

Our Teams

We actually have two teams:  the Puffins Open and the Puffins Reserve.  Our Open team played their first match on Friday 11/18 and scored a 2-2 draw against Morphy’s Mojo.  Our Reserve team had a bye in the first round.  Both teams have their next match on Friday, 12/2.   

Here’s a picture of the Open team deep in thought during their recent encounter.  L-R and facing us: Wally Lambert, looking to ceiling for inspiration, Andrew Shiman, waiting for his opponent to return, Will Moorhouse, standing, and Ceriochi Ortiz Perez, writing down his move. 

Puffins Open Team thinking November 18, 2022

Round 1 Recap - Puffins Open

On board 2, Will Moorhouse broke out of the Maroczy Bind with an enterprising queen sacrifice, giving up his queen for a rook, knight and pawn.  Unfortunately, he fell victim to some tactical errors in the resulting imbalanced position. Here’s the sacrifice:

Will's queen sacrifice

On board 4, Wally Lambert won a beautiful positional game, exploiting his opponent’s backward d-pawn and the whale-sized hole in front of it on d4.  In the king and pawn endgame, Wally showed good technique, putting his opponent in zugzwang before making the decisive breakthrough. 

Wally's zugzwang

Good luck to the Puffins Open and Puffins Reserve in their upcoming matches on Friday, December 2nd. 

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