Mayor Visits Blaze Match
By Betsy Dynako/Andi Rosen   
September 25, 2008
Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen with his grandson. Photo Betsy Dynako
The Chicago Blaze had a special visiting dignitary to kick off the beginning of their victorious U.S. Chess League match against Baltimore Wednesday night, when Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen paid a visit and pushed the ceremonial first pawn.  The Blaze play all their matches at the recently renovated Skokie Holiday Inn and Conference Center, and the mayor told the players that he appreciates their presence in Skokie.

“Having the Blaze play here in Skokie is important to us because we consider ourselves to be an art and humanities community.  It’s one of the most important things we do,” he told the small but appreciative group.  “You bring a lot of distinction to the community.”  Accompanied by his 9-year-old grandson Anthony, who has recently started to play chess, he then pushed the first pawn.  Skokie Village Trustee Randall Roberts also attended the match.

Skokie, population about 64,000 (the number of chess squares times 1,000!)  is an inner ring Chicago suburb, and is known for its excellent schools, park district and library.  It is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in Illinois, with more than 40 languages represented in its public schools.  The village celebrates its ethnic diversity with a weekend long Festival of Cultures every May.  Since chess is played the world over, it’s fitting that the Blaze has found a home here- Andi Rosen

The Blaze prevailed 2.5-1.5, with Emory Tate scoring the win. Check out the game below and look for a midseason wrap-up on by Jonathan Hilton this weekend.

Photo Gallery by Betsy Dynako

IM Kirill Kuderinov, IM-elect Mehmed Pasalic, local chess organizer Chris Baumgartner

Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, Glenn Panner, North American Chess Assocication President Sevan Muradian, Brad Rosen, and Skokie Village Trustee Randall Roberts

IMs Emory Tate and Angelo Young. Tate's victory this week gave the Blaze a 2.5-1.5 win over Larry Kaufman

No cell phones allowed at USCL matches. This week's line-up included Tate, Young, Felecan and Pasalic. Who did the pink one belong to?