by Joseph Criscuolo
The New Jersey Knockouts opened the season on the right foot, by getting their revenge by knocking out the New York Knights by a score of 2.5-1.5 with two wins coming from Dean Ippolito and Victor Shen and a draw by Joel Benjamin. Also Arthur Shen began his promising career in the US Chess League. The win gives them a team record of 1-0 with hopes of adding another early win against the Philadelphia Inventors next Tuesday who lost by a score of 1.5-2.5 against the Tennessee Tempo. For those who can’t get enough of this rivalry, the Knockouts will make life even worse for the Knights when they play them again on September 23.
Playing as white, Joel Benjamin drew newcomer US Chess League player Giorgi Kacheishvili after 32 moves with both sides in slight time trouble after both took their time in the opening, which is never a bad thing to do in chess. Joel appeared to have the more active position in this game.
The most notable game of the night was when Dean Ippolito defeated New York Knights MVP Pascal Charbonneau as white. Late in the game Ippolito had two pawns and two knights while Charbonneau had one pawn, a knight, and a bishop. With the pawns being up on the board, Charbonneau decided to trade his knight and bishop for those two pawns, hoping that Ippolito would not know how to get a checkmate with two knights on the board. Unfortunately for Charbonneau, Ippolito did know how to win with two knights against a pawn, expanding his school, Internet-wide. This win won the first of many games they will win this season for the Knockouts!
Matt Herman hailed to the Victor on board three... Victor Shen that is! In an exciting fashion, Victor Shen made brilliantly sacrificed a rook for a knight on move 34 (see diagram)! Herman would take the rook and Victor’s next move he played Rd1+ and Herman resigned! At such a young age, Victor Shen will be around a long time for chess fans to enjoy!
Rising star Arthur Shen’s first game in the US Chess League would not be the result he wanted against blitz legend Yaacov Norowitz, but his first win should come pretty soon. Arthur resigned after 35 moves against strong opposition. Arthur’s rating of 2107 is something many chess players can envy, not many players his age can say they have the honor to play in the US Chess League!
Chess fans should tune in next Tuesday on ICC to see the New Jersey Knockouts face another nearby rival, the Philadelphia Inventors. Game time is at 7:00 pm and chess fans will get to see the Knockouts invent Philadelphia’s second lost of the season.