Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Week 1 - Knockouts vs. Kingfishers, Realtime!!


And Dean wins too! The Knockouts have won 3-1.


Victor forked, won the exchange, and then played the Krazy Killer Korner Kween move, Qh8! His opponent resigned, and Knockouts are up 2-1!!!


Victor is out of his seat, pacing back and forth, awaiting his seemingly vanquished opponent's next move.


On board 4, Victor Shen has just played 33.Ne4, with a nasty little three-tined fork threatened on d6.


And Joel couldn't quite pull it out. The match score is tied 1-1. Erenburg has been on a roll lately, winning tournament after tournament -- his luck continued here.


There are two other games going on in this room! On Board 2, Dean Ippolito seems to be slowing pressing ahead. His bishop on h6 and his pawn on f5 make a potent combination, a bind on Black's position. Dean is also ahead on the clock with 31 minutes left, to Kaufman's 9 minutes.


There are 120 people watching the Benjamin-Erenburg game. The general consensus is that Erenburg merely has to consolidate, and the game will be in his favor. The arguments are over how he should consolidate.


A rook down, with four minutes to go. Is GM Joel's attack sound?


With a 1-0 lead, 200 cheerleaders, and Joel Benjamin with a speculative attack on Board 1, it is an exciting night here in Lincoln Park! On Board 2, Dean Ippolito is slowly grinding down Larry Kaufman -- Dean's bishops are criss crossing Kaufman's kingside like Michael Palin getting from Moscow to Bangkok and Tokyo to Cairo in three days by public transportation only.

Ok, that analogy was just wierd. Sorry.


Quite tense moments in the Benjamin game. Joel's way down on the clock but he's pressing his attack. Playing directly from the screen, not looking at his physical board, he's a paragon of supreme concentration.


It is getting rather chilly in this room. I wonder if the alarm that went off a half-hour ago was a heat alarm?


Arizona Scorpion and IM Mark Ginsbug says the Erenburg-Benjamin game contains "craziness". It's beyond me, but have a look.


Joel Benjamin is down on the clock -- only 16 minutes left to Sergey Erenburg's one hour. The game is getting exciting though. Joel is starting to unleash the majestic archers with their golder arrows. Or, he's sacking an exchange. I'm not sure.


Mac Molner has won! His opponent abruptly resigned, in a totally uncomfortable position! The Knockouts are up 1-0!


The alarm wasn't a big deal. Some sort of thing on the computer stack in the playing site. Here's a picture of the playing site. From left to right, Victor Shen, Mac Molner, TD Mike Somers (back to camera), Joel Benjamin (standing), and Dean Ippolito.


The Shen-Zimmer game to me is interesting... augh! Alarm going off!


On Board 2, Dean Ippolito's opponent, Larry Kaufman, has been thinking about his 19th move for over a half-hour. Perhaps he had to go outside to feed the meter?


The Big Mac attack is at again. Mac Molner is smashing the ramparts on Board 3.


The inaugural donuts of 2008. Go ahead and lick your screen. I understand Boston Blitz supporters tend to do that a lot.


Finally, on Board 1, Benjamin's heavy pieces are majestically arrayed, like a line of British archers ready to pierce the hearts of the enemy with their golden arrows. Well, sort of. Actually there's just a queen and both rooks kind of hanging out. (94 people watching this game)


On Board 2, IM Dean Ippolito has the bishop pair and a slightly better pawn structure, as he's centralizing his pieces to slowly crush IM Larry Kaufman. (31 people watching the game)


On board 3, Mac Molner's Benko has a inverted phalanx of pawns on dark squares, and has opened up the g-file in front of Ray Kaufman's king. Mac's about 10 minutes up on the clock. (28 people watching that game)


Let's go around the horn and check out our games, starting with board 4, Victor Shen, White against FM Zimmer.

Victor's got a nice Knight planted in Black's territory on the queenside. The pieces are filling up the queenside of the board for both sides. Victor's down on the clock thought, with only 42 minutes left to his opponent's 1 hour and 16 minutes. (26 people watching that game)


Joel Benjamin's got his rooks poised on the f-file to crush Erenburg's emasculated monarch.


So, here's a subset of the 200 cheerleaders outside the New Jersey site.


If you're reading this blog, you're either a fan of the Knockouts, or have a lot of time on your hands. In any case, the New Jersey Knockouts are on Facebook! Come and join our group!


Joel Benjamin is walking around the room surveying the three other games.


I always find it interesting, the way these top level players play the USCL matches. Benjamin and his student Shen (Boards 1 and 4) are studying the computer monitor intently, although they both have physical boards set up next to them. Molner and Ippolito are bother leaning over their physical boards.


On Board 1, the Knockouts' captain and esteemed leader, Joel Benjamin, is already down 20 minutes on the clock, Erenburg still has extra time (over 90 minutes)! Last year, the Knockouts had some problems with time trouble. Let's hope the trend doesn't continue to this year.


Here's a picture of the playing site, Chapel Hill Academy in Lincoln Park, NJ. When I got here, the outside lawn was filled with about 200 cheerleaders (and, no, I'm not kidding). The New Jersey State Chess Federation must have a great PR machine, I thought. Alas, they were just on the site for a cheerleading clinic. I could not convince any of them to come inside to root for the Knockouts, unfortunately.


And "Big" Mac "Attack" Molner -- winner and victim of a few "Games of the Week" last season, has started with FM Ray Kaufman on Board 3. Molner, never afraid to shy away from complications and excitement, has the black side of a Benko Gambit. What can expect from the Mac Attack this week?


Board 2 has finally started, with IM Dean "Of Chess" Ippolito opening with his characteristic 1.d4. His opponentIM Larry Kaufman, has played the Nimzo Indian, and it is a 4.Qc2 variation.


GM Joel Benjamin's game has started again GM Sergey Erenburg. Both have had recent spreads in Chess Life Online about them, both taking place at NJ Board Two's IM Dean Ippolito's facility in Branchburg. Erenburg won the Futurity that was there back in July, and GM Joel just taught the US Chess School there a few weeks ago. That US Chess School was attended by board 4, Victor Shen.


And Victor Shen has started his game. He has nary a donut in front of him. Instead, he has an White in an Accelerated Dragon.


Ready to start the Knockouts' second glorious season!

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