Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Blaze Sweep Tennessee

Windy City woodpushers get on the board with blowout against the Tempo

When Ron Burnett’s flag fell at about 11:00 last night, the din that went up in Patios A/B at the Holiday Inn Skokie was deafening. Despite the hurt it put on my ears, however, I was neither surprised nor irritated by the applause—from players, fans, managers, even the players’ parents—because it signaled that GM Nikola Mitkov, playing in his first game for the Chicago Blaze, had beaten IM Burnett of the Tennessee Tempo on the first board of this week’s U.S. Chess League match.

Of course, it meant much more than that. As the last game of the night to end, it meant not only that the Blaze had won the first match in the team’s brief history, but that they had done it in stunning fashion, sweeping all games against the Tempo to finish 4-0 on the night. It was the first sweep in the league this season.

Look at all those ones in the Blaze colunm

Moments before Nikola’s game ended, the Tempo’s John Bick resigned his game against Adam Strunk of the Blaze, in a hard-fought game that represented the most challenging matchup of the night for a Chicago player as measured by ratings difference. Earlier, the old pros, IMs Jan Van De Mortel and Angelo Young, disposed of their opponents, both in very exciting games. Here are the games. The Blaze players are in bold:

GM Nikola Mitkov vs. IM Ron Burnett 1-0

FM John Bick vs. Adam Strunk 0-1

Which game to choose as Blaze Game of the Week? Tough call. What do you think?

It was an exciting night, and it means that the Blaze have arrived and demonstrated that they belong in the USCL. We’ll try to have details and analysis in the next couple of days, but there’s not much time to celebrate: the Blaze have a short week and face the Seattle Sluggers on Monday night.
Once again: thanks to Betsy Dynako for first-rate tournament direction.


Anonymous said...

This will hunt them for the rest of the league.


Congrats! Blaze

Burn them to death LOL!

Anonymous said...

The backwoods Tennessee team must have been out late the night before 2 stepping and shooting squirels. YEEEEEHAW!


Chris said...

Congrats to Chicago on a nice victory! (PS - All the games link to the same one...)

Tom Panelas said...

Thanks for catching that, Chris. I think it's fixed now.

Anonymous said...

You were extremely lucky that Little Burn's flag fell. It should not have been a shutout!

Anonymous said...

Anon - why don't you post your name.

Too chicken to?

Afraid the Blaze will come scorch you too?

Just deal with it that we scorched the Tempo.

Post your name and we'll forward you the flame.


glennpan said...

How exactly is Burnett not getting mated in the final position?

I would grant you that he had quite a lot of play earlier, and had very good drawing chances.


Tom Panelas said...


You're a true poet.


Michael Bacon said...

The person who left the derogatory comment concerning "The backwoods Tennessee team..." would have left his name if he was any kind of man at all. Since he did not, I can only surmise that he is NOT MUCH OF A MAN!
I can understand your elation at the shutout, but cannot fathom the need to write such offensive remarks. The fact that you people from the so-called "windy city" would leave them on your blog says more about what kind of team you have than the 4-0 win.
These people on the team from the great neighboring state of Tennessee are my friends. They may have lost the match, but they have something you will never have. It's called "CLASS."
Michael Bacon

Tom Panelas said...

I agree with Michael: gloating is juvenile, and anonymous gloating is even worse.

Tom Panelas said...

On the other hand, trash talk seems to be the grease that lubricates much of the USCL public sphere, so I guess we have to put up with a certain amount of it.

We're pikers here compared to Boylston and Elizabeth's blog.

glennpan said...


I think you would find that any of us with connection with the team have great respect for the Tempo players.

I am not sure that we have a policy regarding removing offensive posts, and if somebody ripped on the Blaze, we would likely not have removed that either.

Somehow, your lumping of all of us in with some anonymous dork seems to be showing the same lack of class you are accusing us of.

Can't we just find something we can all agree on like that NY sucks?


Michael Bacon said...

This comment was left on the BaconLOG. I would like to thank southside Roberto for proving my point.

Anonymous said...
When you quote Bob Dylan at least use it in the proper context!?

That song is about a bitter divorce, not friendly ribbing about a chess match. Get a grip Jack Off!

signed, Roberto from the southside of chicago.

September 11, 2008 10:47 PM

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to apologize to the fine people of the Blaze for posting my negative assessment of why the TN team squandered in Weds match.

I am in no way affliated with this team I was mearly trying to show my allegiance to the cities chess team.

I suppose it wasnt the right way to do so since inevitably there are many crybabies in this world, like M. Bacon, that would easily be offended by my statements.

Sorry Blaze. Good luck next week. And sorry TN Tempo, ,may Caissa bless you with better play next time.


Tom Panelas said...

I agree with Glenn that those of us associated with the Blaze have the utmost respect for the Tempo. We all lose sometimes; we all win sometimes. This was a good week for us. Next week is another week, and who knows what that brings.

We can't control what other people say short of deleting their comments. We don't have an explicit policy on this; we're a new team and this is a new blog, and the way we deal with trolls will evolve. If it gets too nasty we'll start hitting the delete key.

And, no, Glenn, I'm afraid we can't all agree that New York sucks. I was born and raised there.

Anonymous said...

Feel Free to Delete my TN comment Tom. Im not a troll though, I was just joking around but by all means, clean up this thread and get rid of my comment and moanings of M. Bacon. I should have thought before hitting the enter button.


glennpan said...


We appreciate the support! It is great having people that like our team. Hopefully you can visit one of our matches.