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David R. Sands

David R. Sands

Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.

At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics and Capitol Hill, and spent eight years on the foreign desk as senior diplomatic correspondent. He is currently the deputy editor for politics. In addition, he has reviewed books and written feature stories for the newspaper and authored The Times' weekly chess column since 1993. He is also senior writer for Washington GolfStyles, a monthly publication covering the Mid-Atlantic golf scene.


Articles by David R. Sands

Kupferstich-Andreasen after 34. Nd6.

Zugzwecklos: When you have chess moves, but it doesn't matter

Beginning chess students are quickly introduced to the remarkable concept of "zugzwang" -- German for "It's your move, pal" -- in which a player's position may be perfectly fine as is, but any move makes things worse, and may even lose. Unfortunately under the rules, passing is not allowed when it's your clock that is ticking. Published January 12, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Cottage during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP) ** FILE **

Canada's Trudeau calls out Trump over U.S. Capitol clash

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dropped the diplomatic niceties Friday and said President Trump and his supporters were directly responsible for the clashes in the halls of the U.S. Capitol this week attempting to block the ratification of the 2020 U.S. presidential vote. Published January 8, 2021

Dubov-Carlsen after 20. Nc6-e5.

Daniil Dubov's games rank as must-see chess

He didn't win the tournament, but Russian GM Daniil Dubov's performance at the just-concluded Airthings Masters online tournament may have cemented his reputation as the one grandmaster whose games are must-watch viewing. Published January 5, 2021

In this Jan. 8, 2020, file photo, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right and Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, talk during a ceremony in Istanbul for the inauguration of the TurkStream pipeline. A summit meeting between the Turkish and Russian leaders scheduled for Thursday, March 5, 2020, may be the last chance to work out a deal that avoids a calamity in Syria's northwest. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

Russian pipeline bypassing Ukraine advances

A major new Russian pipeline designed to bypass Ukraine to supply southeastern Europe got a major symbolic boost on New Year's Day as Serbian President Alexandar Vucic officially proclaimed the first nearly 250 miles of the Balkan Stream natural gas pipeline to be open for business. Published January 1, 2021

Yip-Cervantes Landeiro after 26...Rfd8.

Rising U.S. chess stars bring home the hardware at world junior tourney

There are still a couple of days left to turn things around, but the consensus seems to be building that 2020 will not go down as a banner year. Chess was not exactly spared: tournaments big and little scrubbed for the first in decades, top players -- including both the U.S. and U.S. women's national champs this year -- surviving nasty brushes with COVID-19. Published December 29, 2020

Dubov-Karjakin after 18...Be6.

Pressure-cooker chess yields some savory results

When it's your game and your clock ticking and your rating points on the line, even a Friday night ladder pairing at the local club can be a highly stressful exercise. Put some higher stakes on the table -- say, oh, the last available slot for next year's U.S. championship field -- and things really start to get interesting. Published December 22, 2020

Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline are stored on the premises of the port of Mukran near Sassnitz, Germany, Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. The port of Mukran on the island of Ruegen is considered the most important transhipment point for the construction of the pipeline. (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP)

Putin: U.S. pressure won't stop Nord Stream pipeline deal with Germany

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday expressed confidence that a massive natural gas pipeline to Germany will be completed despite the determined opposition of the Trump administration, telling a national audience in his annual holiday press conference that the Nord Stream 2 project is nearly completed. Published December 17, 2020

Digging the Queen's Gambit long before 'The Queen's Gambit'

Chess players were into the Queen's Gambit long before "The Queen's Gambit." The runaway Netflix hit may have made chess cool this year (at least for a little while), but the Queen's Gambit -- accepted, declined or counter-gambited -- has been opening royalty since at least the late 19th century. Published December 15, 2020

Kuzubov-Korobov after 38...Ng5.

Hou Yifan has tough loss, good win in women's chess 'summit'

Former women's world champion GM Hou Yifan of China was the clear winner of the recent Belt and Road World Chess Summit, an online tournament replacing the traditional December event in Danzhou, China. It was not all smooth sailing for the top-rated Hou. Published December 8, 2020

Grau-Eliskases after 26. Rc4.

Chess: A global game gets snared in global problems

Who's up for a little more political talk? It's just a game, but chess with its global appeal can't help but get caught up in the great controversies of the day. From the Napoleonic wars to the Cold War, battles at the chessboard too often come to be stand-ins for ideological debates on whose faith, race, country or form of government is best. Published December 1, 2020

White to play and win -- Troitzky.

For a chess lover, still many reasons to give thanks

In this weird, disjointed year, for the world of chess and the world in general, there are still plenty of reasons for our annual Thanksgiving count-your-blessings column. Published November 24, 2020

Christopher Yoo commands the Cadets at U.S. youth chess championship

As the Good Book says, a little child shall lead them. A month of U.S. championship tournaments got off to a nice start for 13-year-old California IM Christopher Yoo, who easily captured the U.S. Cadet Championship last week with an undefeated 6-1 score. Published October 6, 2020