A glorious first season came to a tragic end tonight, as the New Jersey Knockouts lost to the New York Knights, by a score of 2.5 - 1.5. GM Joel Benjamin won on first board against GM Pascal Charbonneau, but the Knockout's Mike Zlotnikov and Mackenzie Molner, lost on boards 2 and 3 respectively. Evan Ju, on Board 4, fought a long difficult struggle, but had to settle for a draw, after 117 moves and the 50 move rule. The Knockouts end their inaugural season with a respectable record of 4.5 - 5.5.
All Knockouts' matches in the year were extremely close, all ending by a score of 2 - 2 or 2.5 - 1.5. The Knockouts were competitive all year long, and, although counted out by some at the beginning of the season, put up a resilient and brave fight.
Congratulations to the winner of the match tonight, the New York Knights, who take third place in the Eastern division of the USCL, and play Philadelphia in the playoffs.
Thanks go to Greg Shahade, commissioner of the United States Chess League, for all his hard work. Check back periodically throughout the year for updates on the Knockouts' players, and other events in Garden State.