It was a different kind of match from the last time the two teams met, but the result that mattered was the same, as the Chicago Blaze defeated the Tennessee Tempo last night for the second time this season.
The Tempo, which had definitely retooled since the 4-0 drubbing they took at the hands of the Blaze in Week 3, this time inflicted some damage in the match, which ended 2.5-1.5 in Chicago’s favor.
The evening saw the triumphant return to the Blaze lineup of Niles North High School chess star Ilan Meerovich, who beat FM Jerry Wheeler on Board 4, giving Ilan a 2-0 record on the season.
The other Blaze victory came from IM Jan Van De Mortel, who beat the Tempo’s FM Todd Andrews, just as he had in the first match. This time, however, Tennessee got in some licks. IM Ron Burnett avenged his earlier loss to Chicago’s GM Nikola Mitkov by beating him this time on Board 1; and FM Peter Bereolos, who lost to IM Angelo Young in the team’s previous encounter, this time managed to eke out a draw against IM-elect Mehmed Pasalic.
Playoff Picture Improves
The victory gives the Blaze a 4-3 record in seven matches and lifts the team over the .500 mark for the first time in its young history. It certainly boosts our playoff chances with three weeks left in the regular season, though just how much it helps will become clearer after the rest of the leagues plays on Wednesday night. More on this later.
Many thanks to Tom Sprandel of the Evanston Chess Club, who served as tournament director for last night’s match. Here are the games, by board number:
1. IM Ron Burnett (TEN) vs GM Nikola Mitkov (CHC) 1-0
2. IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) vs FM Todd Andrews (TEN) 1-0
3. FM Peter Bereolos (TEN) vs Mehmed Pasalic (CHC) 1/2-1/2
4. Ilan Meerovich (CHC) vs FM Jerry Wheeler (TEN) 1-0