|Knights first to nick Sluggers!|
|By Jennifer Shahade|
|September 28, 2006|
On September 25, I hosted a pregame party at the Marshall Chess Club for the New York Knights Monday night game against the Seattle Sluggers. League comissioner Greg Shahade attended his first U.S. Chess League match. Usually, he's tied to the computer helping with last minute tech problems and updating the website. He claimed impartiality in his talk, but the Knights all knew in our hearts that he was gunning for us, especially after tasting the brownies.
Fans and supporters cheered the Knights to victory!
Pascal Charbonneau showed his thrilling round 2 Game of the Week, Irina cut the carrot cake, and Greg Shahade explained how he thought up the idea for the league on the dentist chair. That story combined with the cake, strudel and white wine had many of our visitors making dental appointments the next morning.
Go Knights!, says the cake.
The match was a great success for the Knights. There's nothing like beating a team which is 4-0.
Jay Bonin, the heart of the New York Knights got a small edge against Slava Mikhailuk. It petered out quickly to a draw, and Jay stayed on to cheer for his team-mates.
Irina, playing Eric Tangborn, was the next one to finish. She had a bad position for most of the game, reaching a worse endgame. Then she found a trick, scoring her first win for the Knights. (This is only her second match, as she was in Israel for most of the season.)
Position after 41.Nc6??
Irina played Ra4! and White resigned because if bxa4 b3, and the pawn is unstoppable.
Pascal defeated GM Gregory Serper in a hard-fought game when Serper blundered in time pressure:
34...Bf4?? was the culprit. Pascal's 35.Qe4! is a triple threat on the f4 bishop, the d5 rook and mate on e8. Black resigned, clinching the match for New York.
This third consecutive victory brings Pascal back into MVP contention, behind only GM Julio Becerra of the Miami Sharks.
On board 4, Matthew Herman came back from a terrible position to draw against Michael Lee, bringing the final score to 3-1.
Last week, I said teams with bloggers do better. This week, I'd have to add to that: teams that have parties do better.
For all USCL games, standings and more, go to www.uschessleague.com