Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Knockouts Roster 2010
by Robert N. Bernard, NJKO Manager
The New Jersey Knockouts are getting prepared for their fourth season in the United States Chess League. Last year, the NJKOs had the best regular season record in the USCL, but were vanquished in the divisional final by the eventual USCL champion, the New York Knights.
This year, the Knockouts have returned with many of the same players as last year, and a new face. GM Joel "Señor Sombrero" Benjamin (pictured at right), captain and founder of the Knockouts, once again leads the team on the top board. GM Boris "The Incredible Gulk" Gulko, hopes to continue his streak of eight straight USCL wins on Board 2, which made him a USCL Board 2 All-Star last year.
IM Dean "501" Ippolito, also a 2009 USCL Board 2 All-Star, returns to the team as well, despite preparing for his world record simultaneous exhibition attempt in November. Newly minted IM Mackensie "Big Mac" Molner will capitalize on all his recent tournament successes to take down the Knockouts' opposition.
Also returning are FM Victor "No Longer Eligible for U-2400" Shen, who won the U-2400 section of the World Open this year, and IM Albert "Dr. Theory" Kapengut who returns after his two victories last season.
The team's rookie, FM Gregory "The Fridge" Markzon, will fill a valuable hole in the team's roster, filling the mid-2200 range. FM Arthur "Bro-Bro" Shen, returns as a formidable fourth board.
Finally, we have Sean "Dorsal" Finn, last year's late season replacement, returning to more success. And, finally, Anna "Gonna Drop You To The" Matlin, will anchor the final position.
Currently three of the Knockouts, Victor Shen, Arthur Shen, and Anna Matlin are competing in the North American Youth Championships, for which you can see up to the minute results by clicking here. Anna has all but sewn up her division (Girls Under 16) already, and the Shen brothers are in contention for the top prizes in their divisions as well.
Stay tuned for more Knockouts' Knews!