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.