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Jennifer's Blog
By Jennifer Shahade   
September 9, 2006
The Immortal Game

Brooklyn based author David Shenk began promoting his new book, The Immortal Game , including a spot on Good Morning America, a glowing review in the The New York Times Book Review , and a book signing at a Barnes and Noble.

Fortuitously, David's reading/signing and after party were all just a few blocks from the Marshall Chess Club, allowing me to switch back and forth from supporting and watching my team, the New York Knights and checking out his debut.

David drew over 60 people to his Barnes and Noble signing and Q+A. At his after party, there was a red velvet edible chessboard served by New York celebrity, "Cake Man Raven" I'm sure it was very expensive- and after tasting it (perfect 10!), I can see that this Brooklyn confectioner lives up to the hype. As for chess accuracy, well, look below and do the counting yourself...

What's wrong with this picture?

The Knights

When I ran back to watch U.S. Chess League action at the Marshall, giddy from sugar, I had a bad feeling. Pascal had just drew, Matthew was better, but Jay and Robert both seemed to be in big trouble. Pascal was peppy though, having just finished a fascinating game. "I don't find my games this interesting so often," Pascal said as he blitzed through variations, "so I have to take advantage of it."

GM Pascal Charbonneau won Game of the Week with his thrilling Dragon draw.

25... e4! is a nice shot- if 26.Bxe4 Ne2+! and 27. Qe2 Qa1++ If 26. Qxe4 Re8, followed by Ne2 leads to a similar death. Pawel Blehm defended well though (27.Qh6!), and Pascal's inspired attack ran out of piece-power.

The moral: in the Dragon, if you lose you dark-squared bishop,get your queen to g7- she'll be a reasonable substitute.

This game was designated as "Game of the Week." It's unusual to see draws awarded brilliancy prizes, but this one clearly deserved it.

FM Tegshsuren Enkhbat's victory over Robert Hess was another candidate for Game of the Week. Enkhbat played two particularly pretty moves, 23...Qc3+! and 49...Bb8! to beat the current U.S. Junior Champ.

The Banker's League

On Thursday, I went to the The Banker's League of America to lecture and answers questions. The Banker's League is much bigger and inclusive than I expected. There are four divisions, so the strength of play ranges from 2400 to 1200. Teams can recruit from other companies or outside the corporate world, so in addition to bankers, there were representatives from all different types of occupations.

I talked about the U.S. Chess League, and how team-play has always excited me more than individual play. Even as a young girl, the U.S. Amateur Team East was my favorite tournament. Later I played in Olympiads, but I prefer team events, like the Amateurs, the Banker's League and the U.S. Chess League that determine points based on match points (so 2.5 gives you 1 point, just as 4-0), rather than game points, like in the Olympiad.

I'm happy to announce that the Correspondence Area of the website has been transferred from the old site to the new site. Chess Life Online's Top Ten lists just debuted, and I encourage you to send me ideas for future Top Ten lists. As always, I'm happy to hear from you!