Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chicago Blaze Announced

The Illinois Chess Association and the Chicago Blaze have issued this press release today:

For Immediate Release

Big League Chess Comes to Chicago

Illinois Chess Association Forms Chicago Blaze for U.S. Chess League

CHICAGO, July 10, 2008
—Big league chess will finally come to Chicago this summer, when the Chicago Blaze (, a new team with several of the area’s top chess players, joins the United States Chess League (USCL) and competes against teams across the country.

The Blaze is an initiative of the Illinois Chess Association, which made the announcement today.

The Blaze boasts several of America’s strongest chess players, all of whom live and play in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The initial roster includes Grandmaster Yury Shulman, the 2008 United States Chess Champion; Grandmaster Dmitry Gurevich; International Masters Angelo Young and Jan Van De Mortel; FIDE Master Mehmed Pasalic, and experts Adam Strunk and Ilan Meerovich. Pasalic recently completed the requirements for the international master title and is expected to receive it shortly from the World Chess Federation.

The team will be managed by Glenn Panner, a chess expert and national tournament director based in Frankfort, Ill. Chicago-based Sevan Muradian, the U.S. Chess Federation’s organizer of the year for 2007, will serve as assistant manager.

“It’s great to have a team from Chicago in the league,” said International Master Greg Shahade, commissioner of the USCL. “It’s a town with a great chess tradition, and with all their talent, the Blaze could be a contender from day one.”

The USCL is a organization of professional chess teams from across the country that play matches during a ten-week season that runs from late August through late October and is then followed by playoffs and a championship. Last year the league had twelve teams, from New York and Boston to Seattle and San Francisco, but until now none from Chicago. Two expansion teams will be admitted for the 2008 regular season, the Blaze and the Arizona Scorpions. USCL matches are played online, via the Internet Chess Club.

The schedule is available at

“The Blaze will be an integral part of the Chicago and Illinois chess communities,” said Panner. “We want everyone who enjoys chess to be part of the fan base. It will be good for the city, good for the state, and good for the game.”

About the Illinois Chess Association
The Illinois Chess Association is the official U.S. Chess Federation affiliate for the Prairie State. The ICA organizes major tournaments such as the Illinois Open and the Illinois Class Championships and helps bring national tournaments to the state. Members receive the award-winning Illinois Chess Bulletin. The Illinois Chess Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, and donations to the group are tax-deductible.

About Chess Titles
Superior chess players can earn a variety of titles from the World Chess Federation (French acronym: FIDE) and the U.S. Chess Federation based on their tournament performances.

FIDE titles are the highest and include, in descending order of strength, grandmaster, international master, and FIDE master. American players can earn titles such as national master and expert from the U.S. Chess Federation.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish I was at their games.. Seeing it on the Tv set wasnt really as exciting..
Being there with adrenaline fully pumped into your vains really tells a lot about how much love we really have for the game. I guess its in our hearts to feel the players pain, the players game, and as a fan hope to make it to fame.. :)