Blaze beat a GM-laden Tennessee lineup
Earlier in the week we asked the following about this week’s match between Chicago and Tennessee:
“Can the Tempo do it? Can they finally beat the Blaze with two top grandmasters?”
The answer, we can now tell you, is no.
Last night the Tennessee Tempo threw everything they had at the Chicago Blaze in an attempt to reverse a three-match losing streak against the Windy City, and it wasn’t enough. Despite Tennessee’s having two of the strongest players in the United States on Boards 1 and 2, the Blaze prevailed, winning the match 2.5-1.5.
The big news of the night was that that IM Jan van de Mortel of the Blaze overcame a 241-ratings-point deficit to beat GM Jaan Ehlvest. In a wild unbalanced game that is bound to be in the running for the league’s Upset of the Week prize, Jan emerged from an intense series of captures up three pawns on Move 30. GM Ehlvest resigned ten moves later.
The still-undefeated IM Angelo Young beat off a tough comeback attempt by FM John Bick to give the Blaze their second victory on Board 3, and Trevor Magness drew Gerald Larson on Board 4 to give us the margin of victory. But since anything I say about a chess game is suspect, you should look at them for yourself, board by board:
1. IM Jan van de Mortel (CHC) vs GM Jaan Ehlvest (TEN) 1-0
2. GM Alex Shabalov (TEN) vs FM Florin Felecan (CHC) 1-0
3. IM Angelo Young (CHC) vs FM John Bick (TEN) 1-0
4. Gerald Larson (TEN) vs Trevor Magness (CHC) 1/2-1/2
Mad props, as they say, to Professor Gary Alan Fine, who kindly pinch hit at the last minute as our Celebrity Tournament Director last night. Gary is researching a book about the sociology of chess and had to conduct last night’s field work while officiating, and we’re grateful for his willingness to do so.
It’s a short week, because on Monday night we take on the Arizona Scorpions, to whom we are the Tennessee Tempo because we’ve never beaten them. The Blaze, with a record of 2.5-4.0, are now on a two-match non-losing streak, having drawn Philadelphia last week. Not long ago our odds of making the playoffs seemed nil, but we’re still alive if we can win our remaining matches. Stay tuned.