The Washington Plumbers won their second match in the 1977 National Chess League season Wednesday night, beating the Cleveland Kinghunters by a score of 4 to 2. The game was played by long-distance telephone, with the Washington team making its moves from the Student Union Building at George Mason University in Fairfax.
The Plumbers' victory was spearheaded by a tricky and dramatic 45-move victory on board 1, with Eugene Meyer of Washington playing a Sicilian Defense against grandmaster Dumitru Ghizdavu of Cleveland. Other Washington victories were won by Charles Powell, Sam Greenlaw and Steve Odendahl, who got into time pressure early. Each had to play lightning chess for most of his game, making approximately 20 moves with less than a minute on his clock.
The Plumbers were handicapped again in the second round by the absence of two of their strongest players, grandmaster Lubomir Kavalek and world junior champion Mark Diesen, both of whom are playing in tournaments elsewhere.
A similar handicap was suffered by the New York Threats, who are the strongest rivals for the national Chess League championship presently held by the Plumbers. Several of the New York team's strongest players were committed to other tournaments, including grandmasters Anatoly Lein and Leonid Shamkovich, both formerly of the Soviet Union. Thus, the Threats split their match with the Boston 64s, 3 to 3.