Monday, September 28, 2009

Next Up: Jersey

Can the Garden State powerhouse keep it up, and is the Blaze manager their Board One?

This week, at long last, the Chicago Blaze come up against the New Jersey Knockouts, the Eastern Division leaders and the only 4-0 team in the league. The pressure the Knockouts must feel at having to risk their perfect record against a 1-3 team recently described on the USCL Web site as “struggling” has got to be enormous, but they’re pros, and on game night no doubt they’ll be ready to give it their all.

They’d better be. Because like so many teams that have faced the Blaze this season and last, the Knockouts are burdened with a large overall ratings advantage. This week, in fact, they outrank their Chicago opponents on every board. Here’s what they’re up against (the Blaze players are in bold. We have White on Boards 2 and 4):

Board 1
GM Joel Benjamin (2641) vs. IM Jan van de Mortel (2456)

Board 2
SM Mackenzie Molner (2446) vs. IM Angelo Young (2325)

Board 3
IM Albert Kapengut (2379) vs. IM Mehmed Pasalic (2346)

Board 4
NM Andrew Ng (2182) vs. NM Eric Rosen (2164)

New Jersey Average Rating: 2412
Chicago Average Rating: 2323

Has anyone ever seen Glenn Panner and Joel Benjamin in the same place at the same time?

This could be a great match, though inevitably talk of what happens on the boards will be eclipsed by the perennially vexing question of whether Blaze Manager Glenn Panner and Jersey’s GM Joel Benjamin are one and the same person. Does anyone know for sure? Like the many purported Elvis sightings by people claiming to have seen the King of rock and roll alive, rumors of Glenn and Joel being spotted together have never been confirmed.

To add to the mystery, Glenn says he will miss this week’s match and will hand the reins for the evening over to Assistant Manager Daniel Parmet, who ably steered the Blaze to victory two weeks ago against Tennessee. The reason for Glenn’s absence? I don’t know, but GM Joel is playing Board 1 for Jersey. . . .

What do you think? Please vote in the poll in the right-hand column.


Anonymous said...

Are GM Glenn Benjamin and Blaze Manager extraordinaire Joel Panner one and the same?! or is this more likely than not a case of being separated at birth??! --- we may never know for sure.....

best chess regards,

Tom Panelas said...


That thought crossed my mind as well. Maybe they're twins.

Don't twins sometimes communicate telepathicly? Does that mean Glenn could mess with Joel's game Wednesday night by sending him untoward vibes? Or that Joel could induce Glenn to manage the team in a way that plays into New Jersey's hands? It depends on whom the alpha twin is, right?

And if one of them did manipulate the other by telepathy, would it be illegal? It's not like using Rybka in the bathroom.

glennpan said...

I can understand the confusion, but no Joel and I are not one and the same. I can think of many differences.

Joel is a few inches taller, has about 500 rating points on me, and has the better USCL record for now. So despite his other inadequacies, Joel can always focus on that to fall asleep at night.

However, that apparently has not stopped some of my many fans from asking Joel at tournaments if he is Glenn Panner. I have heard from mutual acquaintances that this makes Mr. Benjamin a bit jealous. He does not need the reminder that he is not me. Perhaps Joel could help matters by wearing a name tag, or growing a goatee (then he could be the Evil Glenn).

It shouldn't be so hard to remember, one of us is one of the most respected and beloved members in our chess community, the other is Joel Benjamin.

And to Joel, if you are reading this: Don't worry buddy, you should take it as a compliment.


Anonymous said...

Whatever you say Joel.

Anonymous said...

I know who Glenn Panner is. He is a famous TD. Who is Joel Benjamin?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Glenn can have Joel tied up and temporarily hidden in a trunk, and then Glenn just shows up and plays Joel's board at Glenn's "lowly" 2100 level. Let the rest take care of itself!

Anonymous said...

A TRUNK??? That is a normal place for people to BE in Jersey. At least that's what I heard.

Anonymous said...

a TRUNK? don't you really mean one of the Meadowland endzones (subsurface)?

Tom Panelas said...

Good heavens, all these anonymous comments. This is beginning to look like lizzyknowsall.

Anonymous said...

Maybe its like superman. Wears the GM cape when playing, and wears the NTD glasses when working as a reporter.

Anonymous said...

ZOMFG Kapengut? What is this, the 1936 CCCP Otborochnii?

Anonymous said...

Can you say "doppelganger"?