US Chess League: Week Seven Highlights
By Kostya Kavutskiy   
October 17, 2011
USCLmainlogo.jpgThe seventh week of the US Chess League clarified the playoff picture in both divisions. In the West the Chicago Blaze officially clinched a playoff berth after defeating the San Francisco Mechanics 2.5-1.5 and moving to a league-record 7-0 start to the season. The Los Angeles Vibe jumped into clear second place after beating the Miami Sharks with a 2.5-1.5 score. San Francisco fell to fourth place while the Dallas Destiny grabbed clear third by drawing their match with the Arizona Scorpions. The Seattle Sluggers also drew with the Saint Louis Arch Bishops and now both teams are in must-win mode for the rest of the season if they are to have any chance at making the playoffs.

In the Eastern Division the Philadelphia Inventors and New York Knights cemented themselves at the top of the standings with wins over the Boston Blitz and New Jersey Knockouts. New York dominated their match thanks to GM Giorgi Kacheishvilli's win over GM Joel Benjamin while Philadelphia edged past the Boston Blitz. The Manhattan Applesauce, despite losing to the New England Nor'easters remained in third place while the Baltimore Kingfishers split their match with the Carolina Cobras. New England, Boston, Baltimore, and Carolina are now tied with each other fighting for the last playoff spot.

Game of the Week

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (LA) – FM Eric Rodriguez (MIA) 1-0

The critical parts of this game will be analyzed below, to read the full article go to the US Chess League blog.
Most Exciting Match

Arizona Scorpions vs. Dallas Destiny 2-2

This match featured a horrible blunder out of the opening by FM Xiong, interesting wins by IM Molner and IM Holt, and an accidental forfeit on time in a drawn pawn ending by FM Adamson to make this quite an exciting match.





Best Move

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (LA) – FM Eric Rodriguez (MIA) 1-0

In this position Abrahamyan started her attack with

Show Solution

19...g6 Best, taking the pawn is suicidal: (19...exf4 20.Rdg2+-; 19...Qxf4 20.Qh6! g6 21.Rxd6 Be8 22.Bh3!+- And to avoid a disaster on g6 Black has to give up his queen] 20.f5 Kg7 21.Rdg2 Be8 22.Bb5!+-

Abrahamyan continues the attack flawlessly until the end of the game, every move contributes to a devastating siege on the g6-pawn 22...Nc6 23.Nd5 Nxd5 24.exd5 Ne7 25.Nd2!

The last piece comes into the attack to increase the intolerable pressure 25...Rh8 26.Qg4 Nxd5 27.Ne4 Qe7 28.Bxe8 Raxe8 29.f6+!

29...Qxf6 (29...Nxf6 30.Rxg6+ fxg6 31.Qxg6+ Kf8 32.Rf2+-) 30.Nxf6 Nxf6 31.Rxg6+ 1–0 A brilliant attacking display by Abrahamyan to earn GOTW honors!

For more blogs and this week's line-ups and matches, go to the US Chess League homepage. Watch live games on Monday and Wednesday night on the Internet Chess Club. Kostya Kavutskiy will also be posting weekly recaps from his team's perspective at