Fabulous 70s: Going Way Back to 1974

Pictured are the winners of the D.C. Chess League “B” Division, the one and only “Potomac B” squad!

I will need help with some missing first names from the readers.  (supplied by a timely comment by John Mingos!)

From left, standing: John Mingos, Bob Owen, me, David Matzke. I remember Mingos and Matzke from the JCC Chess Club in Rockville, Maryland – my first chess club! It was a short drive away from my home in Bethesda, MD on 70-S (now named Interstate 270). Of course I was too young to drive and my father had to do the honors.

Seated from left: Bob Adams, Alan Kline, and John Struss.


It was strange but fortuitous for chess development how strong chess-wise the small region was.

Potomac, MD had World Junior Champ Mark Diesen who won it in Groningen, Holland, in 1976 – GM Kavalek (his second) wrote a nice article for Chess Life & Review about it.

Bethesda – Chevy Chase MD area: IM’s me, Steve Odendahl, Larry Kaufman

elsewhere in Maryland: Robert Eberlein, Allan Savage, David Thompson, Larry Gilden

Washington DC: John Meyer, Eugene Meyer

Virginia: dearly departed: Charlie Powell, 7-time Virginia State Champ and hero of the National Chess League.

As the San Francisco Mechanics Institute chess club newsletter wrote in 1995, ” A perennial state champion in his native Virginia, he moved to San Francisco in the late 1970s and played in several Northern California State Championships (Bagby Memorials), but will be best remembered for his friendly manner and good sportsmanship. ”

We also had from Virginia another dearly departed strong player, future IM Richard Delaune (4-time state champ) who also died much too young in 2004 at 49. The USCF writes, “Richard K. Delaune was born December 24, 1954. Rick Delaune was an International Master, Life USCF member, VA state champ in 1974, 1975, 1981, and 1985. Richard’s highest Established over-the-board rating achieved was 2468 (after the 1998-09-13 “Hall of Fame Open” held at the U.S. Chess Center where he tied for 1st place). Rick was also active in USCF Correspondence Chess. He was also one of the nicest, easy-going guys you’d ever want to meet. He was 49 when he died of a heart attack while home with his mother on Saturday, May 29th.”


5 Responses to “Fabulous 70s: Going Way Back to 1974”

  1. John Mingos Says:

    The Potomac A & B teams won 8 DC League championships
    in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
    Missing 1st names are Bob Adams, Alan Kline, Bob Owen(Va), and John Struss (later captained the Potomac team for many years).
    Mingos was the founder of the JCC Chess Club and its 1st
    Champion. He has all the club records in his possion today 2008.

  2. Sam Conner Says:

    Also departed too soon is Don Barr of Northern Virginia, winner of the Virginia state championship in 1978 and 1979, and was killed in a car accident on the way to a tournament in West Virginia. The other passenger of the car survived…and his name was Richard Delaune.

    Right… I knew Don Barr. I played him when he was a 1600 in a Md.-Va.-DC scholastic tournament.

  3. Peter Henderson Says:

    I used to play in Virginia tournaments in the 70s when I was living in Charlottesville. I remember both Charley Powell and Richard Delaune well. Both were very nice guys. I just learned today that Richard once drew with Korchnoi. I think that would be quite a thrill. I remember Richard having a Tal-like attacking style with great imagination, but maybe he had to rein that in when he started playing IMs. When I first met Richard he was 14 or 15 and he always looked boyish to me. I remember Charley Powell as quiet and gracious, a sort of southern gentleman (I think he went to William and Mary.) He was a mathematician. Both were the nicest people you could meet. RIP

    I will scan in a photo of R. Delaune (Canadian chess periodicals called him R.K. Deliune!) from the early 80s. He was always the last player in a round, seeking the elusive endgame win. Far from a big attacker, when I knew him.
    Here’s a tough game MG – Delaune, Maryland Open 1982. I will post it when I have the scanned pictures. I overcame his perfect 4-0 start to win this final round and wind up tying for first myself with T. Connor and K. Clayton at 4.5/5.

    [Event “Md. St. Ch.”]
    [Site “College Park, MD”]
    [Date “1982.03.??”]
    [Round “5”]
    [White “Ginsburg, Mark”]
    [Black “Delaune, Richard”]
    [Result “1-0”]
    [ECO “E48”]

    1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Bd3 O-O 6. Nge2 cxd4 7. exd4 d5 8. a3
    dxc4 9. Bxc4 Be7 10. O-O a6 11. Ba2 Nc6 12. Qd3 b5 13. Rd1 Bb7 14. Qh3 (14. d5
    exd5 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 Bf6 17. Nc3 Qe7 18. Bf4 (18. Be4 g6 19. Nd5 Qe6 20.
    Nc7 (20. Nxf6+ Qxf6 21. Qf3 Qxf3 22. Bxf3 Na5 23. Bxb7 Nxb7) 20… Qe5 21. Nxa8
    (21. Qf3 Rad8 22. Bf4 Rxd1+ 23. Rxd1 Nd4 24. Bxe5 Nxf3+ 25. gxf3 Bxe5 26. Bxb7
    Bxc7 27. Bxa6 Be5 28. Bxb5 Bxb2 29. a4 Bc3 30. Rd7 Rc8) 21… Rd8 22. Qf1 Rxd1
    23. Qxd1 Qxe4 24. Nc7 Nd4 25. f3 Qe5) 18… Rad8)

    14… b4?! (Dangerous! 14… Na5! 15. Bg5
    Nc4 16. Bb1 g6) 15. axb4 Nxb4 16. Bb1 Rc8 17. Bf4 Qb6 18. Be5 g6 19. Qh4 (19.
    Nf4) 19… Qd8 20. Qh3 Qb6 21. Nf4 Nd7 (21… Rfe8 22. Qh6 Nc6 (22… Bf8
    23. Qg5 Nd7 24. Nxg6 hxg6 25. Bxg6 Nxe5 26. dxe5 fxg6 27. Qxg6+ Kh8 28. Ra3 Qc7
    29. Ne4 Qh7 30. Rh3 Qxh3 31. gxh3 Bxe4 32. Qxe4 Nd5) 23. Bxf6! Bxf6 24. Nh5
    Bh8 25. Ne4 Qd8 26. Ng5) (21… Rfd8 22. Qh6 Bf8 23. Qh4 Nd7 (23… Nfd5 24.
    Ne4 (24. Ra3 Nxf4? (24… Rd7 25. Ncxd5 Nxd5 26. Rh3 h6 27. Bxg6 fxg6 28.
    Nxg6 Qxb2 29. Qg4 Bg7 30. Bxg7 Rxg7 31. Rxh6 Qc1 32. Rh8+ Kf7 33. Ne5+ Kf6 34.
    Rxc8 Qxc8 35. Qh4+ Kf5 36. Qh5+ Kf6 37. Qh6+) 25. Qf6 mates) 24… Be7 25. Ng5 Bxg5
    26. Qxg5 Rd7! {Who wouldn’t like white? Nevertheless, the computer indicates
    black is all right.} 27. Qh6 f6)
    24. Nxg6! hxg6 25. Bxg6 fxg6 26. Qh8+ Kf7 27. Qh7+ Ke8 28. Qxg6+ Ke7 29. Bg3!)

    22. Qh6 Nf6 23. Ra3! {The attack is too strong now.} Rfd8 (23… Nc2 {
    This doesn’t work but it’s a resource white must always pay attention to.} 24.
    Bxc2 Qxb2 25. Rb3 Qxc2 26. Rxb7 Qxf2+ 27. Kxf2 Ng4+ 28. Kg1 Nxh6 29. Rxe7 Rxc3
    30. d5 Nf5 31. Bxc3 Nxe7 32. d6 Nc6 33. Bf6) 24. Nxg6 fxg6 25. Bxg6 hxg6 26.
    Qxg6+ Kf8 27. Bxf6 Bxf6 28. Qxf6+ Ke8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8

    (30… Kd6 {
    Relatively speaking the best try.} 31. d5 (31. Na4 Qb5 32. Nc5 Bd5 33. Rda1
    Rxc5 34. dxc5+ Qxc5 35. Rc3 Qb6 36. Rac1 Nc6 37. h4) 31… Nxd5 32. Ne4+ Kc6
    33. Rc1+ Kb5 34. Nc3+ Nxc3 (34… Rxc3 35. bxc3 Kc6 36. Ra4 Qc5 37. Rb1 Bc8 38.
    Qg4) 35. Rb3+ Ka5 36. Qxc3+!! Rxc3 37. Ra1#)

    31. Ne4! Qxd4 32. Qg8+ Ke7 33. Qg5+ Ke8 34. Rxd4 Rxd4 35. Qg6+ Ke7 36. Qg7+ Ke8 37. Nf6+ (The computer
    points out the easiest 37. Qh8+ Ke7 38. Qf6+ Ke8 39. Qxe6+ Kf8 40. Rf3+)

    37… Kd8 38. h3 1-0

  4. Steve Mayer Says:

    I played Rick Delaune many times. I’m *sure* that his rating was over 2500 (at least briefly) in the 1980s.

  5. peter henderson Says:

    In skittles chess Richard was a brilliant attacker with great imagination. At any rate I’ve watched a lot of masters play skittles and I can’t remember any other player whose games were more consistently interesting. I remember a game where his king was driven into the open with queens on the board and he responded by marching the king all the way to the opponent’s first rank where it assisted in delivering mate. In tournaments I remember some games he won with funky attacking openings (like Bird’s defense to the Ruy) But as players get older and the quality of the competition goes up they tend to play more soberly. Just a wonderful ‘kid’ as I remember him. Salt of the earth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: