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Monday, August 25, 2008

AZ Scorpions Win Week 1 Thriller!

Wow, what a first week in the US Chess League! If the future matches are anything like tonight's match, fans of the AZ Scorpions are in for a treat. Even though our team outranked Chicago on all boards, Chicago Blaze gave us all they could handle. The below games are analyzed in the order they finished.

Board 4: Meerovich - NM Warren Harper 1-0
Warren Harper had trouble on board 4, losing to Chicago's Ilan Meerovich. Warren did not know the Saemisch Nimzo Indian and it showed. I am quite sure Warren will bounce back because he is a lot stronger than this game shows.

Board 3: FM Adamson - NM Burgess 1-0
This game began as a Kan Sicilian where black black played 6.Bd3 Ne7 - a favorite of Vadim Milov. I had no previous experience with this line, but I got a fantastic position. I fell in love with my position too much however, and got into ridiculous time pressure. I was fortunate to overcome a terrible time disadvantage to finish off the game in style. If my opponent had defended better, the game would have been quite interesting. After I won, the match was tied 1-1.

Board 1: IM Altounian - IM Van De Mortel 1-0
Our first board, IM Levon Altounian, tried to mate black on the kingside in a Symmetrical English, but Van Der Mortel put up great defense and could have forced a draw and perhaps better. But remember something, when you are under pressure, it is difficult to find these moves and a lot easier when you are an observer! Levon found a nice tactic, and of course avoided a potentially embarrasing stalemate to finish off Van De Mortel. After Levon came through to put us ahead it all came down to board 2 and Mark Ginsburg.

Board 2: IM-Elect Pasalic - IM Ginsburg 1/2-1/2
Despite having a disadvantage for much of the game (though I thought Mark equalized in the opening after his Qc5, Qh5 maneuver - a typical maneuver), Mark hung in there against IM-Elect Pasalic, and was able to earn a draw under time pressure, and thereby win the match for the Scorpions.

Root for us next week when we face off against 2007 USCL Champion, the Dallas Destiny!

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