We're having some virtual post mortems here... The Knockouts will be back next Wednesday playing the Tennessee Tempo. Enjoy more real-time blogging then!
Joel won and it is 2.0 - 2.0 and a drawn match!
Ju drew a miracle draw 1.0-2.0
Molner drew. So it is 0.5-1.5.
Wow.... Evan let the queen go. Holy cannoli!
Could the Knockouts be turning it around? Benjamin has managed to uncramp himself and be an exchange up -- the clocks have equalized too.
Evan managed to trap Shiber's queen on the eighth rank, but at the cost of fixing his own rook and knight and king. Can Shriber make a breakthrough?
Molner and Coleman are still battling it out in the relatively equal endgame.
Short walks. Tense room. Players letting out audible sighs.
Things are looking grim for the good guys. Everyone is low on time, Ju and Benjamin are battling, but both positions are somewhat uncomfortable. Mac looks like a draw is on the horizon. Stay tuned.
Tom Bartell resigned. Sensing that we would be down the exchange and the endgame was hopeless, he tipped his king. The Knockouts are down 0-1, but they are not out!
The crowd goes crazy. Did Bartell miss 24. Ng3 and 25. Nf5-d6?
Ok fine! I had two more munchkins, but that's IT for me...
79 people watching Bartell. 73 people watching Molner. 46 people watching Ju, but that's way down from what it was when the disconnect happened. 193 people watching Benjamin.
With the exception of Tom Bartell, the Knockouts are all down on the clock. Ju has 18 minutes left (down 4 to his opponent), Benjamin has 17 minutes (down 11), and Molner has 17 minutes (down 12). Bartell has a half-hour left.
Two and a half hours into the match, and boards 1 and 4 are still in the early middlegame, with a great deal of tension still in the position. Boards 2 and 3 are heading toward endgames. On board 2, Vovsha still holds the slight advantage, as Bartell has the IQP. On board 3, Molner has his queenside majority, but the pawns are still near their starting positions. Again, is it enough for any sort of winning advantage? Only time will tell. (Believe my analysis at your own risk.)
Shiber disconnected in her game with Evan Ju, but she's back now. Ju got two minutes added to the clock. I don't think any of the other players noticed, but the TD worked it out with the USCL commissioner, Greg Shahade.
The donuts... most are gone, and I've only had three! And three munchkins at that!! If my wife is reading this, then I've only had one.
An explosively loud police siren suddenly blasted its wail outside the window here. I jumped, but no one else seemed to notice.
Knockouts team member Victor Shen (vcs on ICC) notes that he likes GM Joel's position on board one, but the rest of the games are unclear.
Evan finally played 11..Bd7 after nearly 34 minutes of thought.
The tension in the room is palpable. The air conditioner is going, but it is still about 80 in here. Now, only Ju is still looking at the screen, the other three Knockouts are at their physical boards.
Evan Ju taking a long time on his 11th move. Khodarkovsky says its a choice between 11...Bh5 and 11..Bd7. I wonder whether Evan is looking at something else entirely?!
The Vovsha-Bartell game has calmed down a bit. White remains slightly better endgame due to Black's isolated d-pawn and White's better development. The question is... is it enough to win? (analysis by M. Khodarkovsky)
(left to right) Tom Bartell, Mac Molner, and Evan Ju, during the pre-game warmup.
Mackensie Molner is taking a quick walk around the room, checking out the other games.
Bartell accepted the sacrifice, after 17 minutes of thought. Vovsha quickly pushed 12. e6, and Bartell took back with 12...Bxe3.
Tom Bartell is hunched over the board, thumb scratching his chin offhandedly. What to do about that knight sac?
Vovsha just played 11. Nxd5... a rather interesting looking move to me. (Don't look to this blog for expert analysis, nor A level analysis, nor B level analysis -- if you're looking for C-level analysis, you're at the right place.)
Benjamin has moved to looking at the physical set instead of the computer screen.
It is very interesting -- Ju, Molner, and Benjamin are all analyzing from the computer screens, while Bartell is sitting at the physical set that is laid out for him. Benjamin is bent forward, left elbow on the table right hand on his chin. Ju's body is straight -- he would be standing if he were upright, but he's at 45 degrees, with his chair as support. Molner has his back extremely rounded, left hand and fingers on his chin, a slight bounce to his posture. Bartell is sitting back in his chair looking relaxed.
Here's a picture of captain GM Joel Benjamin giving a pre-match speech, rallying the troops for battle.
This room is a bit warm... maybe it is all the brain-power working? Maybe it is just New Jersey.
GM Joel Benjamin is striding confidently across the room. All computer problems behind him, he's taking advantage of the private table he is sitting at. Glasses perched, head still -- he's staring into the screen.
Evan Ju is staring intently at the computer screen. He is working directly from the screen, and not the board which is set up next to him. He seems to be working on how to answer 8. Nf1 from Shiber.
I only had one donut. And only a munchkin no less!
We are in the computer lab of Chapel Hill Academy in Lincoln Park, NJ. Someone has generously equipped us with sandwiches, sodas, chips, donuts and coffee. I am going to try a donut or two. Don't tell my wife.
Molner's in a Sicilian, and Bartell in a Caro-Kann. Stripunksy has played a Sicilian against team captain and manage GM Joel Benjamin.
We are at the first match of the USCL third season, about to start! Evan Ju is board four, and he had started with the French Defense.