Friday, October 24, 2008
Blaze Stung By Scorpions Again
Photos: (c) Betsy Dynako
As Charles Dickens once said, there are the best of times, and then there’s last Wednesday night. Yuck. That evening, the Chicago Blaze lost to our fellow expansion team the Arizona Scorpions for the second time this year, leaving us with only the slimmest chance to make the U.S. Chess League playoffs. The score was 3-1.
And after last week’s loss to the Queens Pioneers, the Blaze are now in the first losing streak in our history; until now we haven’t lost two matches in a row.
Of course, Wednesday wasn’t a total waste. IM Emory Tate won an exciting game against FM Danny Rensch. More on that later, maybe, if we can get someone who knows about chess to annotate the game.
One of the big highlights of the evening was a visit from Ilan Meerovich’s teammates at Niles North High School. Coach Harry Kyriazes pushed the ceremonial first pawn to start the match.
Another bright spot was having Betsy Dynako serve as tournament director, which meant we also got the great pictures above. Oh, yeah, and we got to hang around with IM Ben Finegold, who was on hand for one of Sevan Muradian’s FIDE tournaments, which was contemporaneous with the Blaze match. (For you Joe & Sarah Sixpacks who shun elitist erudition, that means it was happening at the same time.) Anyway, besides being an insanely great chess player, Ben is one of the funniest and most entertaining people you’re likely to meet—if you meet him, that is, which I recommend.
Our playoff hopes ride on the final match against the reigning champion Dallas Destiny next week, and on the outcome of the Arizona vs. Seattle contest. We must win.
Elsewhere, the Scorpions’ blog reviews the games in the match, and FM Joel Johnson annotates his game with Ilan at Elizabeth’s blog.
Finally, if you haven’t gotten the word yet, the Illinois Chess Association’s Web site has moved to http://www.il-chess.org/. Glenn explains.