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New York Knights: 2011 US Chess League Champs Print E-mail
By Kostya Kavutskiy   
November 23, 2011
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GM Giorgi Kacheishvili, Matthew Herman, IM Irina Krush, John Fernandez

In one of the most anticipated final matches of all time, The New York Knights won the 2011 USCL Championship Match after defeating the Chicago Blaze, 2.5-1.5. 

In this showdown there was no clear favorite—Chicago had the better record  and had been consistently overpowering teams all season, while New York, having not missed the playoffs in seven years and winning the league championship in 2009, was probably also feeling confident based on having more playoff experience, not to mention also having a strong season in 2011. This created a lot of excitement and buzz around the league, as these were definitely the two strongest teams in the league this year, facing off against each other. 

The match started off with Chicago's board four, NM Gopal Menon, quickly getting a positional advantage with the black pieces against John Fernandez and swiftly finishing him off. 


Next to finish was New York's SM Matthew Herman, playing a very complicated game against IM Angelo Young, where it seemed like all three results were still possible for almost all of the game. At the end Young mouse-slipped and blundered with 36.Qf2, but the position was losing for him at that point so it did not make a difference.


At this point, the match was tied 1-1, with the top two boards still playing. Despite having an extra pawn, GM Dmitry Gurevich, playing for Chicago, could not make any progress against IM Irina Krush, who set up a simple blockade in an opposite colored bishops endgame. 


This meant the match would come down to the top board, where GM Giorgi Kacheishvili successfully converted a minor piece endgame against GM Mesgen Amanov. Giorgi had a strong central passed pawn, and ended up confidently displaying the technique to checkmate with a bishop and knight against a lone king.


 
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This gave New York their second league championship, to cap off a strong year.

Chicago fans need not be disappointed--although many people were expecting Chicago to win it all, the 2011 Blaze roster will still go down as one of the strongest teams of all time. Chicago will definitely be one of the favorites to win the championship next season, while New York will hope to become the first team to win three US Chess League titles. 

Check in to www.uschessleague.com regularly for the upcoming Game of the Year contest. Good luck in being able to wait until 2012 for more USCL action!

 
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November - Chess Life Online 2011

Sucesso in Brazil Four-Way Tie at Turkey Bowl in Florida The US Chess Scoop on the National Chess Congress Shabalov Wins STL Thanksgiving Open, GM Norm Tourney BeginsThanksgiving Results are in Stars of Chess in Education Gather in Dallas Liang Golden at World Youth; Silver for Li Carlsen Wins Tal Memorial, Plans Trip to NYC Hou Yifan Defends World Women's Title Happy Thanksgiving From BrazilNew York Knights: 2011 US Chess League Champs Nakamura Hunts for a Win in Moscow Hou Extends Lead in Women's World Championship US Junior Congress Smashes RecordsOver 1000 Compete in K-12 Nationals in Dallas US Chess League Final: Chicago Blaze vs. New York Knights A Weekend in Dallas: National K-12 Champs Kick Off Preparing for Brazil: Awonder Has Adream Heading to Brazil: World Youth Awaits Amanov & Akopyan Top 12th FIDE Metropolitan Invitational John Ballow Earns Correspondence IM TitleRuth Haring: President's Report Tal Memorial Begins in Moscow US Chess League Highlights: Quarterfinals Kaidanov Takes Throne in King's IslandWomen's World Championship Begins Grandmasters Attack in Michigan Brooklyn Castle: The IS 318 Story Urgent Update for Organizers of FIDE Rated Tournaments2012 Samford Fellowship: Call for Applications US Chess League: Week Ten Highlights The Scoop on the US Chess League: Eastern DivisionMore Action Than Ever in Irvine & Miami The November Check is in the Mail Kekelidze New Marshall Club Champ; Wu Second Greg on Norms Part I: Please Stop Caring! Pumpkin Patch Chess Tournament A Better Place to Wait in Dallas New in Chess and the FEB show on Nakamura and Kasparov