|Knights and Mechanics Advance to Finals.|
|By Jennifer Shahade|
|November 16, 2006|
As manager of the New York Knights, it's my job to rile up my team. So, I sent them a link to a blog by Boston team supporter David Glickman including predictions such as:
LarryC is overdue for a win against Charbonneau....Their (The Knights) most likely winning strategy against it is securing a half point on Board 1 (surely they can't expect Charbonneau to defeat Christiansen three times in a row) and sweeping the lower boards 2-0.
After reading this, Irina Krush said: ""It's like he thought there was a freaking vacancy on board 2 for the Knights." In quiet retaliation, Krush spent all of Monday and half of Tuesday studying to avenge her earlier loss against Igor Foygel. Her preparation paid off, and her game clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Knights.
Against Ilya Smirin in Ashdod, Israel Irina played 4.Ng5.(Read Irina's Blog from Israel for the Smirin game.) In her preparation, Irina guessed that Igor might choose 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 and she decided to try 4.Nd2 instead. "The resulting positions are just about playing, not winning with novelties." Although the game seemed as though it could go either way for a long time, Irina always had a good feeling about her position. "Foygel's knight on c7 was bad for the entire game. I didn't have any similarly awful pieces."
After winning, Irina yelled "Go Knights!" and everyone clapped and hugged one another. Soon thereafter, Robert Hess drew his game, making the final score 3:1, and resulting in another round of cheering.
Here is our other win of the night, Matthew Herman's nice tactical crunch over Ilya Krasik. That makes three wins in a row for Matt.
First boards for Boston and New York, Larry Christiansen and Pascal Charbonneau are two very popular, aggressive players, so it was no surprise that their game broke records for number of live observers. It looked as though Larry had a nice attack in the c3 Sicilian, but when it petered out Pascal had a great position. Larry defended cleverly though, and Pascal had no choice but to take the draw in view of imminent three move repetition.
On the West Coast, San Francisco defeated the Seattle Sluggers 3-1. Spearheading the victory was IM Josh Friedel, who beat GM Gregory Serper.
On Saturday, I'm off to Stamford, Connecticut for the open session of the USCF Board meeting. Among the topics on the agenda is the direction of this website- I'll keep you updated on what we come up with. As always, be sure to let me and your board membersknow what you think of the new website. Your thoughts about what you like really make a difference.
In two weeks (Nov.29), we play against San Francisco at 8:30 pm EST. I'm planning a pregame psych-up session at the Marshall Chess Club with light refreshments. Games will be projected for your viewing pleasure. If you're interested, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put you on the list for more details. I also have the Marshall Chess Clubon my calender for December 4, 8 pm. They're hosting an exciting roundtable discussion on cheating and chess. Moderated by Jon Jacobs, the panel will include GM Alex Stripunsky, USCF President Bill Goichberg, and many more. Don't miss that one.
Many CLO readers were pretty excited by the inaugural Top 10 list, and so was I. I decided to publish only nine "Top Ten Things You Don't Want to Hear After Losing", leaving it up to CLO readers to come up with a funny tenth. However, none of CLO readers responses were quite funny or original enough to publish. We need to step it up, and from my overwhelmingly positive response to Chess in the Trees and Wilt vs. Bobby, I think that offering prizes is the best way to my readers hearts.
The next challenge to my readers is... to come up with a great entry for: "Top Ten Things Chessplayers should be Thankful For." Deadline is Tuesday, November 22. We'll publish the Top Ten on Thanksgiving, and the best idea that originates from outside the Chess Life editorial team will get a free signed copy of my Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport.
Congratulations to Mark Ashland and John Stopa for correctly identifying the game in Wilt vs. Bobby as Fischer-Robatsch from Varna 1962.
Congratulations to Mitch Joseph and Eric Jones for correctly deciphering and answering the treehouse problem composed by Dr.Steven Dowd (look for his first column in the next couple of days!). The problem is below, and you can click on it for the answer [PUZZLE:46]here[/PUZZLE] or on the diagram itself. If you go to the original article, you'll see why this one was pretty hard for even the strongest of our readers!
White to Mate in Three