Friday, September 26, 2008

Skokie Leaders Attend Blaze Match

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

The Chicago Blaze got some high-level fan support during their Wednesday-night match against the Baltimore Kingfishers, when the mayor of Skokie, Ill., and a town trustee showed up to kick off the meet.

Mayor George Van Dusen was on hand at Skokie’s Holiday Inn, where the Blaze play their matches, to thank them for their presence in his town, a northern suburb of Chicago, and to make the ceremonial first move in the evening’s match. He was accompanied by his grandson Anthony, a third grader who plays chess, and Skokie Trustee Randy Roberts.

Skokie has lately become a major chess Mecca in the Chicago area. In addition to the Blaze games, Sevan Muradian’s North American Chess Association has held a series of FIDE-rated tournaments there, to which players come from all over the country to earn IM norms. One of those tournaments is in progress now, in fact, and was under way Wednesday night when the mayor was there.

Exclusive video footage:

Kudos to Brad Rosen ("Chessdad64") for interfacing with the mayor to arrange his visit.

More at Chess Life Online.

photo: (c) Betsy Dynako


Chris said...

Ok, so the USCL rules state that whatever move is made on the board must be made on the screen. I see the Skokie Mayor played 1.f3, so how come none of the games where Chicago had white had this as their first move??? :)

Tom Panelas said...

Good catch, Chris. I had a feeling it wouldn't take long for you online wags to notice that Hizzoner played the Barnes Opening. :-)

The operative word, of course, is "ceremonial." The mayor's move wasn't part of the match anymore than POTUS's first pitch of the baseball season counts as a ball on the first batter.

I am reminded, though, of a match in which the celebrity first move actually counted. It was an exhibition game between Karpov and Susan Polgar. Mikhail Gorbachev made the first move for his friend Karpov, saddling the former world champ with 1. g4, just for fun. He had to play it. With friends like that . . .

glennpan said...

The mayor was playing board 5. That is why it did not show up.