Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The #2 Chess Area in the Country

the #2 chess area in the country
Last night, we had a match against one of the most important centers of chess in the United States. New York has a long history of excellent chess, and continues to serve as home for several of the country's top players, as well as a breeding ground for many new talents. It would be safe to say that most people consider it the nation's second most important center of chess activity.
So last night, the Mechanics knew they'd have their hands full (with tools) in their match against the Knights. The week before the Knights had also played in the featured Monday night match. They made a tremendous party out of it, kicking off with a party, and presentations by the league's mvp and commissioner (charbonneau and shahade), and following up with the first ever defeat of the Seattle Sluggers, a very strong team indeed. I'm sure they were in pretty good spirits going into this match, and we were right to expect a serious challenge.
But of course, since we believe we are the best team in the league, we shouldn't be counted out. On Sunday, we had all gathered in one place for the first time this season. We met with Boris Spassky! and had a wonderful team lunch, which he attended. It was really great for our team spirit, and I think we were also quite ready to play this match.
The match itself was indeed tough. I can't comment too much on the other three games, as I have not studied them fully. I'll just say this: Mark looked to have a comfortable game out of the opening. His opponent at some point hung a pawn, and Mark had a crushing position from then on. Good job, Mark! Thanks from a teammate.
The other games all went less well. Friedel's defensive abilities have improved markedly. Many will remember the ridiculous save against Costigan which won that close match for us. His game yesterday echoed that one. He was in serious trouble. Eventually it came down to a rook ending 2 vs 1 (this was when I could watch), in which Charbonneau missed one or two wins. Friedel hung on, while a large crowd on icc predicted his demise (and some fans cheered him on hoping for another miracle draw). Finally, I was sure that he had achieved a drawn position, and the reality that we'd gotten lucky (again) began to sink in on all of us.
Vinay's game I did not see too much of, but I think through most of that game a draw was a likely result.
In my game, I thought I gained a good looking position from the get-go. And I came into this game (as most weeks) determined to bring my team a point, so the others wouldn't have to worry about the match score as much. However, my calculations kept turning up fairly equal looking positions. Unsatisfied, I used up a bunch of my time, and still did not come up with much. After the game was over, John informed me that my opponent had probably played pretty good defense. But still, I felt extremely frustrated as it became clear we had transposed into an equal ending, and then when the game ended in a draw. I'm still very frustrated now.
But anyway, the team win is a bit of a salve. I want to thank my teammates for playing decently, and getting the match won, even when I didn't do anything for them.
Go Bay Area!!


At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly Boston is the #1 Chess Area in the country, right?


Manager, Boston Blitz

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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