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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 2009 Boston Blitz Recap
 Matt Phelps
  July 2010
February 7th, 2005. A date which will live in infamy, for Boston area chess that is. IM Greg Shahade sent an email to the MetroWest Chess Club that began with, “Hello, I’m starting something called the United States Chess League.” Thus began an odyssey that has changed the area chess scene, and incidentally this life-long class-player’s life, mostly for the better. Soon the involvement of the likes of GMs Larry Christiansen and Eugene Perelshteyn, along with future-GM Friedel, and stalwart area masters MacIntyre, Riordan, and Kelleher added a huge degree of legitimacy to the endeavor. Having recently enabled wireless network access at the Natick Senior Center (MetroWest CC’s playing site), and since the leagues’ games would all be played "live" on the Internet Chess Club, I volunteered to help run the team. Five seasons, four playoff appearances, two final matches, and countless tense (and just as many hilarious) moments later, I'm still at it. As we prepare for our sixth campaign, fundamental changes loom; but more on that later. 
The 2008-2009 off-season brought a few changes of its own. Jorge Sammour-Hasbun took over as team manager. After the inaugural 2005 season we moved to my workplace, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, so I acted as the de facto team manager. The irony of a Class B player choosing lineups involving grandmasters did not escape me, nor did it escape countless commentators on the various blogs covering the league. I must have been doing something right as we made the playoffs in all my years at the helm, and made the finals in the last two. However, it was a relief to me to have a 2600-rated player choosing who to face players like Nakamura. “Assistant Manager” (but not “Assistant to the Manager”) was good enough for me.
2009 also brought two new players to the team's regular roster: expert (and now master) Andrew Wang and WGM Anya Corke. Also changing were the ratings of two of our board three weapons, Marc Esserman and Denys Shmelov. They both were now solidly in the 2400+ area, which made lineup choices (the average rating for each match cannot exceed 2400) challenging. What has never changed is the highly spirited Ilya Krasik. Still the “soul” of the team; still offering excitement on board four.
The first week of the season brought immediate intrigue. After two victories versus Queens were in the bag, including a nice win by newcomer Andrew Wang, it all came down to Stripunsky – Christiansen on board one. It wasn’t looking good for the home team when in the following position:
Stripunsky’s move came up on the screen, Qa8+. I dutifully relayed the move and Larry automatically went to move the knight to e8. He paused, sat for a second, then reached for the same knight and played Nxa8! A few seconds of shock passed, then we all burst into laughter. Clearly this was an example of that creature of chess-on-the-Internet, the “mouseslip.” I, and others, fully expected the queen move would be allowed to be retracted, however I remembered that there was a league rule that mouseslips would not be retracted if either player was under five minutes, which both players were. Indeed, the requested takeback by Stripunsky was denied so he resigned. We went on to win the match 3-1. Afterward I pointed out that Stripunsky’s move would appear in “This Week in Chess,” and eventually in the ChessBase database and we all felt bad for him. It’s unfortunate that a game, and match, has to be decided this way, but those are the rules. We took the win. 
Week two versus Carolina saw the best game of the year for the Blitz.
White: Esserman, Marc (2453)
Black: Simpson, Ron (2290)
[C78] Ruy Lopez
Annotated by IM Marc Esserman
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 A surprise. Simpson was probably expecting the Four Knights. 3...a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Nxe4?! Acountersurprise. Simpson is attempting to play the open variation of the Ruy Lopez (5...Nxe4), but with the moves b5 and Bb3 thrown in the mix. 7.Re1! 6.Re1 does not offer White any advantage in the open Ruy Lopez, but with the pawn on b5 and bishop on b3, the situation changes dramatically. The Lopez bishop is now reposted to the Italian a2-g8 diagonal, putting excessive pressure on Black’s center, king, and now fragile black queenside for the rest of the game. [Most players here ignore the move order nuance and transpose to the open Ruy Lopez as follows: 7.d4?! d5 8.dxe5 Be6] 7...d5 [7...Nc5 8.Bd5 exploits the inaccurate b5, pinning the knight and threatening to end things quickly with the king on e8.] 8.Nc3! White now proceeds in true gambit style. [8.d3 Nf6 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.Rxe5+ (or 10.d4 Ne4 11.dxe5 Be6 where Black again obtains an open Ruy Lopez structure) 10...Be6 does not offer White much.] 8...Nxc3 9.dxc3 The b3 bishop is now ideally placed for a central assault. 9...Be6 10.a4! Increasing pressure on the compromised Black queenside in addition to the tension in the center. [Again White can regain the pawn with 10.Nxe5 if he likes, but this would allow Black to mobilize his pieces quickly and solve all his problems: 10...Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 with a quick Bb6.] 10...Rb8 [Trying to close the a-file with 10...b4 does not save Black as the bishop reappears on the Lopez diagonal, this time with greater force. 11.a5! Qd6 12.Ba4 f6 13.cxb4 Be7 14.Be3+/- d4 15.Bxd4 illustrates this concept: 15...exd4 16.Nxd4 Bd7 17.Nxc6 Bxc6 18.Qxd6] 11.axb5 axb5 12.Ra6 Attacking from the front, side, and now behind enemy lines. Black’s defensive resources are stretched thin. 12...Qd7 [12...Rb6 13.Rxb6 cxb6 14.Qe2+-] 13.Rxc6! White offers the exchange to make sure that the black king never escapes. [White can proceed simply with 13.Nxe5 but this would not be the best. 13...Nxe5 14.Rxe5 Bd6 15.Bxd5 0-0 (15...Bxe5 16.Bc6+-) 16.Bxe6 fxe6 17.Re1+/-] 13...Qxc6 14.Nxe5 Qc5?! [If 14...Qd6 15.Bf4 Be7 16.Ng6+-; 14...Qb6!? is a move that would have led to greater complications: 15.Nxf7! Bc5! The idea — Black scrambles for a counterattack on f2. (If 15...Kxf7 16.Qf3+ Kg6 17.Re5! and the Black king cannot find safety in time: 17...h6 18.Bxd5 Bxd5 19.Qf5# denying the h7 retreat) 16.Kh1!! 0-0! The king can castle! — it did not pass through check! (If instead 16...Bxf2 17.Re5! (even stronger than 17.Re2 Kxf7 (if 17...0-0 18.Ng5) 18.Rxe6! as it does not block the queen’s path) 17...Kxf7 18.Qf3+ Kg8 (if 18...Ke7 19.Qxd5+-) 19.Bxd5 Re8 20.Rxe6 Rxe6 21.Qf5! A pretty picture. 21...h6 22.Bxe6+ All of these tactics are a result of Black’s inaccurate opening move order, repositioning the bishop to the dangerous diagonal.) 17.Ng5!+- Bf5 (17...Bf7 18.Nxf7 Rxf7 19.Qxd5 Rbf8 20.Re8) 18.Qxd5+ Kh8 19.Qg8+ Rxg8 20.Nf7#] 15.Nxf7! A Fried Liver coming from the Ruy Lopez! 15...Kxf7 16.Qf3+ Ke7 17.Bxd5 Rb6 White is winning; it is now a question of which way is fastest. 18.Bg5+ [18.b4?! Qd6 19.Bxe6 Qxe6 20.Rxe6+ Rxe6 and Black, although lost, can play on for some moves.] 18...Kd7 19.Bxe6+ Rxe6 20.Qf7+ Re7 [After 20...Qe7 White is lost unless he now finds 21.Rd1+ Rd6 22.Rxd6+!+- and the queen cannot recapture.] 21.Bxe7 Bxe7 22.Qe6+ Here Black resigned, as White has two ways to win: [22.Qe6+ Kd8 (22...Ke8 23.Qc8++-) 23.Ra1! and the black forces cannot reach the a8 square. It is fitting that the final two white moves exploit Black’s weakened central and queenside position stemming from the inaccurate opening moves b5 and Ne4. (Another way for White to win is 23.Re5 and the queen cannot save herself and hold the bishop: 23...Qc4 (if 23...Qd6 24.Rd5) 24.Qxe7+ Kc8 25.Rc5 Qf4 26.g3 and mate is unstoppable.) ] 1-0
After the game finished second in the league’s Game of the Week voting I went off on the judges, mostly because one gave the game zero points, then said in his comments how the game was the best of the week. I was vindicated when the game appeared as a wild card in Game of the Year and ended up finishing in third place! Part of being a good manager is knowing when to get yourself thrown out of a game arguing with the umpires. Ilya also had a nice finish on board four.
White: Jones, Craig (2275)
Black: Krasik, Ilya (2252)
Annotated by NM Ilya Krasik
21.Qh3? Black has been suffering all game, due to a huge loss of tempo in the opening. Black’s king has taken walks to d7 and back to e8, but after White's last move, finally Black gets to have some fun too. Of course, this was more an intuitive sacrifice, since the position is too complex to see it all the way through. 21...hxg5! “And I thought my jokes were bad”, to quote the Joker or Mr. Esserman for that matter. 22.Qxh8 The queen is completely out of play. 22...Nf4 23.f3 [23.Nf3 Bxf3 24.gxf3 Qb7! 25.Ra3 g4 with an attack.] 23...Rc4!+- I am guessing that the idea that his knight has nowhere to go didn’t occur to White before. I noticed this idea earlier also in part because Rc4 is eyeing the queen on h8 by threatening to come to h4 in some lines. 24.Nb3 Rc2 [In this position I could have won the knight by playing 24...Ng6 25.Qh5 Qxb3+- but I decided I had bigger fish to fry; There was no need to allow 24...Qxb3 25.Rd8+ Kxd8 26.Qxf8+ where Black is still winning, but why let White get excited at all?] 25.Nac5 Rxg2+ 26.Kh1 Ng6 27.Qh3 g4! [27...Bxc5 was simpler, but my my move was, well... sexier.] 28.Nxa6 gxh3 29.Nxb4 Bxb4 30.Rac1 Rxb2 31.Nd4 Nxe5 32.Rb1 Bc3 33.Nb5 Bxf3+ 34.Kg1 Rg2+ White resigns. 0-1
This gave us an easy 3.5 - .5 match victory.
Week three on the schedule featured the marquee match-up of Boston vs. Dallas. The previous two seasons saw these clubs face off in the championship match. Both of them went into an “overtime” series of blitz games, and both were won by Dallas. I jokingly predicted a 4-0 win for the Blitz on a league blog days before the match. This came back to haunt me in a big way as we were swept 0-4, the exact opposite of my “prediction.” I will never attempt the art of prophecy again.
The middle of the season featured a nice streak of match wins for the team. Week four was a nice rebound versus Philly with a great win over GM Kudrin by Jorge and none other than a Smith-Morra Gambit victory for Esserman. This time he did win Game of the Week, though some felt it was a “make up call” for the week two snub. Week five was a squeaker featuring a miracle save by Christiansen over GM Kritz of Baltimore. Arematch with Carolina in week six found the Blitz on the correct side of a 4-0 sweep. This week featured the debut of WGM Anya Corke, and another win from Krasik, against Udayan Bapat.
In our second meeting with Queens things weren’t looking good when we only got a half point from our two GMs on boards one and two. Fortunately the tandem of Esserman and Andrew Wang swept the bottom boards bringing victory to the home team.
Meanwhile the New Jersey Knockouts were keeping pace with the Blitz and both teams were at 6-1 going into their week eight match-up. Much fanfare preceded the match with all predictions calling for a tight contest. The result was an anticlimactic 0-4 sweep by the team from the Garden State. Not even Esserman’s newly acquired IM title could save him.
Week nine brought a rare matchup with Miami who, by the oddity of scheduling, were in the Western division. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. Ilya played well again, but apparently missed a win on board four.
White: Rodriguez, Eric (2290)
Black: Krasik, Ilya (2252)
Annotated by NM Ilya Krasik
34.Rxa7 After a fairly sloppy game by both sides we reached the following position; objectively it’s a simple draw, but White’s inaccurate play gives Black chances. 34...Rb2 35.Rb7 [35.Kf3 Rxb5=] 35...Rxe2 36.Kf3 Rb2 37.b6 g5 38.h3 Kg7 39.Ke3 h5 40.Rb8 Kf6 41.Rb7 h4 Trying to create a protected passer, the pawn on e6. 42.Kf3 Rb3+ 43.Kg2 Kg6 44.Rb8 hxg3 45.fxg3 Kf5 46.Kf2 [46.h4 gxh4 47.gxh4 Kf6 48.b7 Kg7 49.h5 Kh7 50.Kf2 f5] 46...Ke4 Black has achieved considerable progress, but is it enough to win? 47.b7? A terrible move, locking in his rook, showing a complete lack of rook endgame understanding. [47.h4 Rb2+ 48.Ke1 gxh4 49.gxh4 Ke3 50.Kd1 (50.Kf1 f5 51.Kg1 f4 52.b7 Ke2 53.Re8 Rxb7 54.Rxe6+ Kf3 55.Kh2 Kg4 56.Rg6+ Kxh4 57.Kg2=) 50...Rd2+ 51.Kc1 Rd3 52.h5 e5 53.b7 Rd7 54.h6 f5 55.Rf8 Rxb7 56.Rxf5] 47...Rb2+ 48.Kg1 Kf3 49.Rg8 Rxb7 50.Rxg5 Rb1+ 51.Kh2 Rb2+ 52.Kh1 Rb1+ [52...Rb6 53.Kg1 f6 54.Rg7 e5; 52...Kf2 53.h4 Rb1+ 54.Kh2; 52...Rb7 53.h4 Re7] 53.Kh2 Rb2+ 54.Kh1 f5? This only leads to simplications and a draw. Black is clearly better, but can I win this? Turns out the answer is yes, but it wasn’t easy to find, and in fact all my teammates watching this in the analysis room also missed the neat winning idea: [54...Rb6! This strangelooking move is in fact winning. The idea is simply to play f6 and then e5, and the pawn is simply unstoppable. 55.Kh2 (55.h4 f6 56.Rg8 e5; 55.Rc5 Kxg3) 55...f6 56.Ra5 (56.Rg6 e5 57.h4 e4 58.h5 e3 59.h6 e2 60.h7 e1Q 61.h8Q Rb2+ 62.Kh3 Qh1#) 56...Rb2+ 57.Kh1 Kxg3; If instead 54...Rb7 55.Kg1 Re7 56.h4 e5 (56...f6 57.Rg6! f5 58.Rg5=) 57.Kh2 e4 58.Rf5+ Ke2 59.h5 e3 60.h6=] 55.h4=Rb7 56.Kh2 Rb2+ [56...Re7 57.Kh3] 57.Kh1 e5 58.Rxf5+ Kxg3 59.Kg1 e4 [59...Rb1+ 60.Rf1 Rxf1+ 61.Kxf1 Kxh4 62.Ke2 Kg4 63.Ke3 Kf5 64.Kf3 Ke6 65.Ke4=] 60.Kf1 Kg4 61.Rf8 Rh2 62.h5 Rxh5 63.Ke2 Rh3 64.Rg8+ Kf4 65.Rf8+ Ke5 66.Re8+ Kd5 67.Rd8+ Kc4 68.Rc8+ Kd4 Game drawn by mutual agreement. 1/2-1/2
After this the final standings were already determined. We would be facing New York in the quarter finals, and as luck would have it, we had them in the final week of the regular season too. Though the match meant nothing, of course it meant everything. We wanted to send a clear message to our hated rivals that we meant business and were going to fight tooth and nail for an advantage going into the playoffs. A fine win by Vadim Martirosov on board four was complemented by SM Denys Shmelov's defeat of former US Women’s Champion IM Irina Krush. A solid draw by WGM Corke sealed the deal.
White: Krush, Irina (2478)
Black: Shmelov, Denys (2474)
[E52] Nimzo-Indian
Annotated by SM Denys Shmelov
How quickly my USCL luck has turned around. Only two years ago I was on a warm and cozy third board, racking up MVP and playing in almost every match. Now I find myself on a cold and windy second board, slugging it out against GMs and IMs and feeling thankful for every draw I am fortunate enough to snatch. Second board has been the weakest spot in the Boston armor, and I myself have greatly contributed to it, scoring only one point in four games going into the last round. I felt the need to finish the regular season on a high note, especially playing against our bitter rival - the New York Knights. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 The first surprise. My preparation consisted of going through 4.Qc2 lines and convincing myself that Black could play a slightly worse ending for a win. 4...b6 5.Bd3 Bb7 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 d5 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Ne5 This shows that Irina is in an aggressive mood. White is going to reinforce her knight with f2-f4, then bring her queen or rook along the third rank and attempt to checkmate me. It's time to take measures. 9...Bd6 10.f4 c5 Black strikes back in the center, reminding White that the aggressive plunge Nf3-e5 left d4 a bit weak. 11.Qf3 Nc6 12.Qh3 White carries on with her plan. Right now she is threatening Nc3xd5 or Ne5- d7. 12...g6 Chess engine considers the cheeky 12...Nb4, but I want to keep my eyes on d4. 13.Bd2 cxd4 14.Nxc6 Alas, White can't keep her strong knight. 14...Bxc6 15.exd4 Ne4 I remember feeling very happy about my position. White's dark squared bishop is en prise, and if White retreats, I reinforce my knight with f7-f5. Taking on e4 leaves the d-pawn isolated and weak. Little did I know that I was in for a nasty surprise. 16.Bxe4! This move keeps tension on the board. 16...dxe4 17.f5! This move puts Black under a lot of pressure. White is opening a diagonal for her bishop, and the f-file for her rook. The pawn on f5 can either go to f6, creating mating threats, or exchange itself on g6, weakening my king. The knight is waiting for a good moment to snack on my e4 pawn and also jump into the attack. 17...Re8 Played after 40 minutes of thinking, leaving Black with about 14 minutes for the rest of the game. [17...Bd7 seems like the most obvious reply, but White has what seems like a Krushing attack after 18.Nxe4 Bxf5 19.Rxf5 gxf5 20.Qxf5; 17...Bc5 is recommended in Dearing's book on the Nimzo Indian (I suspected it was all theory during the game, but it was a theory I didn't know.) During the game I didn't like the idea of the white pawn sneaking into f6 after 18.dxc5 Qxd2 Dearing is confident of Black’s chances, to the point that he doesn't even consider f5-f6. Then again, it’s one thing analyzing this position at home with a chess engine and a cup of hot tea, wearing your piggy slippers, and entirely different - playing it against a former U.S. champion anxious to stomp the living daylights out of your king.] 18.Bh6 [I have spent a great deal of time thinking of what might happen to my poor king after 18.fxg6 hxg6 19.Rxf7, but evidently Irina thought she might get more out of her position without taking drastic steps.] 18...Bf8 Seems like a sturdy move - I trade bishops and decrease White's attacking chances. Unfortunately, I also drop my central pawn in the process. 19.d5! A strong in-between move. [19.Bxf8 allows Black to recover with 19...Qxd4+ 20.Kh1 Rxf8 21.f6 Qd219...Bd7 20.Bxf8 Rxf8 21.Nxe4 So the central pawn is gone, and all I can do is to recapture on f5, setting the stage for a very obvious exchange sac. 21...Bxf5 22.Rxf5 gxf5 23.Qxf5 By this time the other games in the match were all but decided. Vadim Martirosov had won a very nice game on the fourth board, Anya Corke split a point on the third, and Jorge was scrambling to find some compensation for two pawns he has sacked. With what looked like a 1.5 - 1.5 score, second board had become critical. Unfortunately, I had no good news for my teammates - White has a pawn for the exchange and a dominant position. 23...f6 24.Rf1 Qe7 Black can’t even hold on to his f6 pawn - putting the king on g7 would further weaken h7. White would have a chance to pounce with Rf1-f3-h3, after which the game would be over. 25.d6 Qf7 26.Nxf6+ Kh8 27.Qe5 Qg7 28.d7 Jorge resigned at about this time. All of my teammates and most of the spectators retreated to the back room to watch the game through the ICC broadcast, leaving me alone in the big playing hall. I sank in my chair determined to mount a last line of defense on the last rank and sell my life as dearly as possible. 28...Rad8 29.h4 Evidently the pressure had gotten to Irina as well (at this point we were both down to about 5 minutes, which was still plenty of time considering the 30 second increment.) This pawn plunge doesn't spoil anything yet, but it slightly weakens White’s king. Who knows, maybe Black will find some lucky perpetual in a time scramble? 29...Rf7 30.Rf4?? Could it be? Is it? What have I done to deserve such a generous gift? Down to her last minutes, Irina overlooks a very simple tactic, wasting a very well played game. 30...Rdxd7 Very simple, yet effective. The knight, which has been White's main trump card, becomes the biggest weakness, as it is pinned in all possible ways. 31.Rf5 Rde7 32.Qf4 Re6 This forces White to exchange her rook, and White’s attack fizzles out. 33.Nh5 Rxf5 34.Qxf5 Qd4+ Judging from the muffled cheers coming from the back room, this move was as good as I thought it was. 35.Kf1 Qd1+ 36.Kf2 Qe1+ 37.Kf3 Qe3+ White resigned and I joined my teammates, who quickly informed me that I was the luckiest player they had ever seen (or something to that effect.) I guess I am not in any position to argue with that statement. I only wish I was this lucky more often during the session... 0-1 
So, another year, another playoff run. Unfortunately for your Boston Blitz, New York got hot at just the right time. Though we had draw odds thanks to our regular season standing, we couldn’t pull it off in '09 as their GMs (including the Bostonkiller GM Pascal Charbonneau) beat both of our GMs. A typical grinding win by Vadim over Herman gave us hope. It was all up to Krasik, who was facing the notorious Internet blitz specialist Yaacov Norowitz. He very nearly pulled it off.
White: Krasik, Ilya (2252)
Black: Norowitz, Yaacov (2354)
[D37] Queen's Gambit Declined
Annotated by NM Ilya Krasik
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.a3 c5 8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Nxd5 exd5 11.Be5 Bf6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Qd4 Qe7 14.Rd1 Bf5 15.b4 Ne6 16.Qxd5 Bc2 17.Rc1 Rac8 18.Be2 Rfd8 19.Qa5? [19.Qa2 Bb3 20.Qa1 and White is just a pawn up.] 19...Bd3! 20.Rxc8 Rxc8 21.Qe5 Qd7 22.Bd1 Qc6 23.Qb2 Qe4 24.Qe5 Qc4 25.Qb2 Qe4 26.Qe5 Qg4 27.h3 Qxg2 28.Rg1 Qxh3 29.Nd4 Bg6? This naturallooking move is a huge mistake. Now White is basically winning. [29...g6 -/+] 30.Bg4 Qh6 31.Nxe6 Re8 32.Bf5? [32.Bf3! This move simply traps the queen. Now we see the problem with White’s 29th move. I saw this move but either nerves or time pressure made me unsure that it works, and I passed it up. What a shame, since had I played it we would have tied N.Y. 2-2, thus eliminating them from the playoffs. After 32...fxe6 (or 32...Kh8 33.Rh1 Bh5 34.Bd5!) 33.Rh1 wins.] 32...fxe6 33.Bxg6 hxg6 At this point I wasn't too thrilled. I knew I had messed up and I was down to about 2 min. vs. 9 for my opponent, who is known as a great blitz specialist. Luckily, we had the 30 sec. increment and the position is roughly equal so it is hard to lose. 34.Qe4 g5 35.Qxb7 Qf6 36.Qc6 Rd8 37.Ke2 Qf5 38.Rg3! g4 Nastiness in time pressure, as it sets up mating threats. 39.e4= The only move. 39...Rd2+ 40.Kxd2 Qxf2+ 41.Kd1 Qxg3 42.Qe8+ Drawn by mutual agreement. 1/2-1/2
Despite the disappointment of getting knocked out in the first round, it was another successful season for the Blitz. Great performances by everyone on the team, particularly Perelshteyn, Esserman, newcomers Corke and Wang, and the always exciting Ilya Krasik thrilled the fans all year. Despite calls for his head after the playoff loss, Jorge’s first year of managing went well. He will be back in 2010. And my annual threats to quit notwithstanding, I also will be back as Assistant Manager.
As alluded to in the introduction, 2010 is bringing fundamental changes to the USCL. Perennial also-rans Tennessee have left the league and are being replaced by a team from Los Angeles, the “Vibe.” Two new teams are joining this year also. One from the latest chess hot spot in the country, Saint Louis. New residents GM Ben Finegold and 2009 US Champion GM Hikaru Nakamora anchor what is sure to be a strong team. The other new team, of much more interest to local fans, is the New England Nor’Easters, featuring none other than former Blitz members IM David Vigorito and SM Charles Riordan (as of this writing). Clearly a cross-town rivalry will add even more excitement to this coming season!
I’d like to thank Blitz supporters Bill MacLellan,, the Boylston Chess Foundation, Blackstone Chess, Tony Cortizas, Ross Eldridge, Mark LaRocca, Harvey Reed and Derek Slater. Aspecial thanks are due to MACA who have been generous sponsors the last two seasons, and Chris Bird who donates time and web server space! Also thanks are due to the US Chess League, its founder and Commissioner Greg Shahade, and their main sponsors and the Internet Chess Club without whom the league wouldn’t exist. Those interested in sponsoring the 2010 season can contact
Follow the Boston Blitz’s 2010 quest for the USCL championship at