The US Chess League will again be up and running this year. It will have the same 16 teams as last year, spanning major US cities. President Greg Shahade assures us that the league is funded for the season, but donations are welcome on the league’s site (www.uschessleague.com) for a favorite team, and certainly merited in view of the interest in the league. Games will be shown live on the Internet Chess Club’s website (www.chessclub.com). The league starts Aug. 27 and 29. Here in New England, last year’s champion, the freshman team the New England Nor’easters, organized by David Vigorito, was undefeated and simply ran away with its division and the league’s championship. A plaque commemorating these achievements now adorns the walls of the Boylston Chess Club and will be officially dedicated at a ceremony before the team’s first match.
Vigorito was able to bring about the New England Miracle by arranging a very balanced team. Sam Shankland and Robert Hungaski, who are connected to New England schools, gave power on top boards, while locals performed amazingly well on the bottom boards. However, the trail may not be so easily trodden this year. New England’s trump players from Connecticut, Hungaski and Jan Van De Mortel, hampered by the nightly trip back and forth to the Boylston Club, will not, we understand, be playing for New England this year. Furthermore, some players such as Alex Cherniack, so successful on fourth board last year, have improved their ratings and this may disturb the team’s balance. We will find out soon. Players might not be posted until the week before the fun starts. New England is slated to play the Boston Blitz, one of the league’s strongest teams, on the first day in a Cain v. Abel test of both teams.
As for American tournament performances, Gata Kamsky is turning out to be a leading stalwart. He has now annexed both the World Open and the US championship. He also headed the 6th place US team at the just concluded world team championship in Ningbo, China. His team members were Alexander Onischuk, Yuri Shulman, Robert Hess, and Yasser Seirawan.
Absent was Hikaru Nakamura who is aiming high in world chess. He is currently playing in the Dortmund tournament in Germany, where he is the second seed in a field of six players, but at this writing he is not faring very well. Magnus Carlsen at this writing was leading the Biel tournament in Switzerland.
Brevity: M. Tscharotschkin v. D. Dimitrijevic (2007); 1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Be2 Bxb1 7.Rxb1 Qxa2 8.Be3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 e6 10.00 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Ne7 12.Bb5+ Nc6 13.Rfd1 Be7 14.Qd7+ Kf8 15.Qxb7; 1-0.
Winners: Boylston CC’s Legends of Chess David M. Janowsky: 1st; Farzad Abdi: 4.0, 2d 3d: Embert Lin, Siddarth Arun; 3.0, 1st U1800: Thomas Demartino, 3.0; Worcester Mayte in Four Open, 1st. Muharrem Brahmaj 3-1; 2d-3d, John Curdo and Joshua Marcus, 2.5-1.5;
Coming Events: 41st Continental Open, Aug. 11-14 or 12-14 or 13-14, Host Hotel at Cedar Lake, 366 Main St., Sturbridge, www.chesstour.com; BCC Thursday Night Swiss, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25, and BCC Early Bird Rapid Quads, Wed., Aug. 6; Aug. 13, BCC Tornado #108 all at 240B Elm St., Somerville. www.boylstonchessclub.org