New York Knights win first match Print E-mail
Jennifer's Blog
By Jennifer Shahade   
September 1, 2006
On Wednesday, August 30, I met five of my team-mates at the Marshall Chess Club for the first match of the New York Knights. We were slated to play against Philadelphia.

Philly- New York match-ups were on the tip of my mind as just I week ago, I saw the new movie Invincible. (spoiler alert) Invincible, set in South Philadelphia, stars Mark Wahlberg in the true story of Vince Papale, a regular guy who earned a spot on the Eagles when a new coach decided to have open tryouts. There are some eye-rolling cliches, but it's still a gorgeously shot, entertaining movie. Needless to say, there is a Philly-New York match-up in that movie, and it didn't end well for New York. Fortunately, my father manager, Mike Shahade, had no time to host open tryouts.

Here were the Philly-New York match-ups:

Pascal Charbonneau- Richard Costigan
Irina Krush-Norman Rogers
Jay Bonin-Elvin Wilson
Boris Privman- Boris Baczynskyj

Team Spirit Award

IM Jay Bonin was the first to finish. He defeated a star of last year's league, NM Elvin Wilson. Filled with team spirit, Jay Bonin screamed "Go Knights" when he walked in the club, and "Go Knights" when he walked out. Here is his win against Elvin:

The battle of the Borises

Boris Privman, playing against Boris Baczynskyj finished next.

Our Boris defeats Philly's Boris.

Boris Privman, rated 2300+ is an amazing fourth board to have. Privman is a practical player. In this game Philly's Boris had about two minutes to Privman's 30 at the crucial moment. Although Privman was losing, Boris made a big mistake with Rf3. In this case as in many, rook lifts, can cause much damage as they wreak. Here's the crucial position:

This is where Boris played  Rf3? after which Privman pounced with Nd2!, preventing the White rook from crawling back to defend the back rank. White could have kept his material edge and pursued his attack with h4. After Nd2, Black won easily, especially considering Black's time advantage.

Irina Krush, board 2 for the Knights.

Disappointment on boards 1 and 2.

Irina Krush defeated Norman Rogers twice in last year's season, so you can be sure that she was out for blood again. She did appear to gain a winning endgame, but Norman defended tenaciously and Irina was held to a draw. On the upside, when she accepted a draw, it clinched the match in New York's favor.

Pascal Charbonneau played Richard Costigan on board one.

Rick, despite being rated 200 points lower than Pascal, rose to the occasion and played solid chess. When all other games were finished, this one was still in full swing. Unfortunately, Pascal blundered terribly with Rf2?, reaching the following position:

Rick quickly found Rxc5!, forcing Pascal's resignation. "It was all so sudden," remarked Irina Krush. Fortunately, we still won the match 2.5-1.5, and since the league is scored by match points not game points, this loss probably won't hurt us too much.

Pascal is already under-rated at 2500 USCF, and he was glad to know after the game that the U.S. Chess League is not yet rated. Not that it made Philadelphia captain Mike Shahade's taunting any less irritating. : "Stick to Anand, you potzer," he was reported saying, referring to Pascal's crushing Olympic victory over the Indian super-GM. When we play Philly again, Jaan Ehlvest will most likely be sitting on board one, and perhaps Mike's words will come back to haunt him, as Ehvlest, will become the highest rated player in the league, and surely remind Pascal more of Anand!

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