Thursday, October 30, 2008

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish...

Hello NJ Knockouts Fans!

Well, this is my last entry on this blog for a while. Now that the Knockouts' season has ended, its onto the playoffs for the other teams.

Next year, I hope to be a guest blogger here again, and follow the matches with the rest of you.

Best wishes and good luck to all the Knockouts and their fans, and especially to the captain and managers Joel Benjamin and Michael Khodarkovsky for the oppotunity to blog for this great bunch of guys and exciting team!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Knockouts Season is Over!

Well, deja vu all over again... all over again.

The New York Knights defeated the New Jersey Knockouts to take the final playoff spot in the Eastern division, by a score of 2.5 - 1.5.

Just like last year.


Oh well -- next year, the Knockouts will prevail!

Deja vu all over again

It is the last week of the USCL matches. New Jersey stands in 4th place in the Eastern division and tonight takes on the New York Knights, who stand in 5th place.

A win or draw tonight, and New Jersey goes to the playoffs.

A loss tonight, and New Jersey goes home.

Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah... the same exact situation happened last year -- same teams, same scenario.

Stay tuned as New Jersey battles the Knights...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cobras, Real time blog week 8 and webcam

FACEBOOK: Join the NJ Knockouts group on Facebook!

ARTICLE: Read a profile of Benjamin and Gulko at 201 Magazine.

WEBCAM: Watch the live NJKO webcam at


Next week, New Jersey takes on Miami and tries to lock up a playoff berth.


In the span of a few minutes, several things happened -- and the match ended.

Ju resigned his game, after his attack fizzled.

Molner lost the thread, lost a piece, and lost the game.

Milman resigned and Joel won.

Shen and Jones agreed to a draw.

Carolina wins a squeaker, 2.5 - 1.5.


On Board 2, Mac Molner is up a piece for some pawns, in a very entertaining position. Will he be able to pull it off? He seems to excel in unbalanced positions.


On Board 4, Victor Shen is down to 50 seconds or so. It is going to be tight there too!


On Board 3, Evan Ju is down to 38 seconds in a crazy position. His opponent must play carefully to counter Evan's speculative attack.


I always wondered. A sacrifice is called a "sac". But which is correct, "saccing" or "sacking"?


Joel is walking from game to game, checking out all the other players' action. His serpentine movements are ironic.


The room is quiet as the tension in palpable.

On Board 1, Joel Benjamin has a menacing position, with his knight squarely in the center of Milman's esophagus.

On Board 2, Mac Molner has some space, and a decent time advantage, but it is not clear whether it is enough for the pawn.

On Board 3, Evan Ju forayed a rook onto f5, sacking a pawn in the process. A risky move by the young man, but his play is inspired.

On Board 4, Victor Shen, down on the clock but with an even position, looks like it will be down to the wire.


Joel Benjamin's pieces are slowing making their way toward Milman's king. With a few more exchanges, Joel could see a solid plus.


On Board 1, a third mate-in-one threat from Joel Benjamin. Trying to see if his opponent will fall for it. (wink, wink)


On Board 3, Simpson is trying to open the position against Evan Ju. Ju's next move will be to bludgeon Simpson's thorax with his mighty pieces of doom.


On Board 2, Mac Molner is trying to figure out how to hold his initiative for his sacked pawn. White looks pretty solid, though, so it might be time for Mac to rip the intestines out of his opponent's position.


Back on Board 1, Joel has thrust his bishop into the love handles of Milman's position with the pointy Bh6!


Evan Ju is having a long think about his fifteenth move. It seems like this is the critical position on how he is going to break the game open.


After a couple of munchkins, its back to blogging. Victor Shen has loosened up his position, with an exchange of rooks along the a-file.


Victor Shen is down on time by a big margin on board four. White also has the bishop pair and more space. Looks like Victor will have to do something drastic to get back in the game.


On Board 2, Mac has his big wood ready to smash White's queenside pawns, which theink they're going somewhere.


GM Alex Yermolinsky is commenting on Joel's game on board 1. He said that Milman's parrying of Joel's mate-in-one threats was "no fun". We agree!


The games all seem to be tight. For a change, it appears like New Jersey has time advantage on three of the four boards, which is unusual


Joel Benjamin is throwing around another mate-in-one threat.


The ubiquitous back up alarm is going off again! Ah, it stopped.


On Board 2, Carolina's Zaikov is trying to emulate a Fischer Random setup, but putting all his pieces on the first rank.


Joel's Ng5 throws out the mate in one threat. Maybe Milman will do a Kramnik and not see it?


Joel Benjamin will be commentating on the Internet Chess Club on the World Chess Championship, which starts tomorrow. The game tonight serves as a good warmup for it!


On Board 2, Mac Molner has some wide open a- and b-files. I expect that's where his attack will begin on the defenseless Cobra.


Joel is pacing the room like an expectant father, or so he said earlier. Indeed, both Evan Ju and Victor Shen are Joel's students.


On Board 1, Joel is trying his best to get in time trouble again. A fifteen minute think on move 13 for the little pawn push a2-a3. Certainly, there is deep meaning in the pawn push -- don't get me wrong -- but the pawn taking 15 minutes to go 2.25" means it was moving at 0.000142 miles per hour.


The room, once again, is cold, but not as bad as it has been before. The air conditioner is actually on today, because of the near 80 degree temperatures today in New Jersey.


We've not been known to have a plethora of fans show up to the site, but today we have a local Expert who's walking around the room taking in the games. All NJ fans are welcome to join the action here at the Chapel Hill Academy.


The webcam is a big hit among the fans, but it seems that Boston is dispensing with their webcam because it makes the players too uncomfortable. I find that really interesting, as players are used to being watched all the time at tournaments, and the webcam subscriptions (number of watchers) is usually so low.


On Board 4, Craig Jones of Carolina has pulled out a pure English against fourth board and second year Knockout Victor Shen. Both have spent about 10 minutes and are on the 9th move.


On Board 3, 2007 US Cadet Champion Evan Ju has pulled out a Ruy Lopez against FM Ron Simpson. On move 8, Evan is down on the clock nine minutes or so, and has just played Be3.


On Board 2, Mac Molner, true to his reputation, has essayed a Benko Gambit against FM Zaikov. Playing quickly and confidently, Mac has gained a minutes and a half on the clock already on move 12.


Joel Benjamin, first board and captain of of the NJ Knockouts, has an interesting Closed Sicilian against IM Lev Milman. Milman has played all seven games for the Cobras and has done well.


Hard to get the webcam aligned just right. Evan Ju is being cut out a bit from it.


Welcome to week 8 of the Knockouts' (presumably) championship season! We're live at the Chapel Hill Academy in Lincoln Park, NJ, to watch the Knockouts take on the second place Carolina Cobras!

Knocking out the Cobras


Join the NJ Knockouts group on Facebook!


Read a profile of Benjamin and Gulko at 201 Magazine.


Tonight, we're hoping for real time blogging and the webcam again, as the Knockouts take on the Carolina Cobras in a battle for second place in the Eastern division.

Monday, October 6, 2008

NJ vs Queens! Live blogging and webcam!

Knockouts versus Pioneers, LIVE!

Tonight, we had a live webcam!

The Knockouts and the Pioneers tied 2-2. Next week is the Carolina Cobras, in the battle for 2nd place in the Eastern division!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Joel Writes About Midseason

Click here for a great, detailed article about the New Jersey Knockouts at midseason. Don't miss it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Knockouts draw Kingfishers

Click here to read an article on the USCL (sponsored by PokerStars) at

The battle of the Knockouts and the Kingfishers was drawn last night. The Knockouts are now 4-2, and firmly in second place in the Eastern Division. Division leader Queens lost last night, and are now 5-1. The Carolina Cobras pushed up to third place in the East with their win over Queens.

The first game to finish was Board 3, where Mac Molner unloaded two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, and a sesame seed bun against FM Ray Kaufman's kingside. A nice combination finished the same, which can be found here.

On Board 1, GM Joel Benjamin lost to GM Sergey "I Win Every 2008 Event That I Play In" Erenburg. Benjamin played the Panov-Botvinnik attack against Erenburg's Caro-Kann, and lost in 58 moves, as Erenburg's b-pawn was about to give birth. The game is here.

About the same time, on Board 4, the Knockouts Victor Shen had to give up his black bishop to stop Aaron's Kahn's white pawn from queening in a 68-move Trompowsky. The material advantage was just too much. The game is here.

So, at that point, the Kingfishers were up 2-1. The only hope was for IM Dean Ippolito on Board 2 to pull out a win. But, like a knight on the rim, his prospects for a victory, or even a draw, were dim (or grim, depending on your preferred cliche).

However, the tables turned, and after a series of exchanges, Ippolito was up a passed h-pawn, with his king nearby. Far be it for me to try and judge whether it was objectively won or drawn for Dean, but Dean didn't falter, and pulled out the victory. The game is here.

Dean's great success has propelled him to fourth in the USCL MVP standings.

Next match is huge for the Knockouts. It is against division leading Queens and it is this Monday night, October 6 at 7:15pm at the Internet Chess Club. A win for the Knockouts will put them tied for the division lead.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Real-time Match Updates, Week 5 Philadelphia


An interesting endgame in the Ippolito Costigan game. Who will queen first?


Dean is slowing pushing his advantage. If he wins, it will be a huge win for Knockouts. As it is, though, a win is a win!


Andrew Ng has gone home, probably to do his homework. Joel Benjamin is talking with Michael Khodarkovsky, manager and assistant manager planning strategy for the next match, as they await the conclusion of Dean Ippolito's game.


And Andrew has won! The Knockouts win the match 2.5 - 1.5! Only Dean Ippolito's game to finish up!


Andrew is now way ahead.


Andrew looks like he's trying to finish off the game, but he's standing up, pacing around in his t-shirt, since it is so cold in this room.

Now he's coughing. Poor kid is going to get pneumonia!


Ah! Kudrin and Benjamin saw the draw offer, finally, and Board 1 is drawn. The Knockouts lead 1.5 - 0.5


Kudrin and Benjamin just offered a draw to each other. And Joel missed seeing it.


Andrew Ng has emerged from downtown Tactics City up an exchange, but way low on time. He will just need to solidly tiptoe through any potential conterplay and finish off his opponent.


Nice illustration of basic endgame principles on Board 1. In a Bishop endgame, put all your pawns on squares of the opposite color on which the bishop travels. Each side has a dark squared bishop, each side has all their pawns on light squares.


Joel Benjamin just got up, walked over and checked out Dean Ippolito's game. It looks pretty equal, but what do I know? Since the game is wide open, it will probably be decided by a flurry of tactics in time trouble.

Just a guess, though.


Ker-SMASH! Andrew Ng blew apart Black's pawns with the anvil-splitting 24.Nxe6!


On Board 4, Andrew Ng had a nice long think, before uncorking the powerful move 23.Bh5. The threats to f7 are mounting, and his opponent, Elvin Wilson, must do some serious de-stickying to get out of this jam.


On Board 1, Joel Benjamin's game is looking pretty drawish. Same colored square bishops, pawns equal on each side of the board. White's king is still centralized, but it would be difficult to work it.


The team is deep in thought. Joel is staring intently at the computer monitor, but both Andrew and Dean are overlooking their physical boards.

Boris Gulko is in the hallway, chatting!


Andrew Ng is walking quickly around the room. He may be confident about his attack along the h-file, but my bet is that he's also freezing. It is about 58 degrees in here again, and he's only wearing a t-shirt!


Bryan Smith made a blunder, and Gulko played c7, which ended the game immediately. Gulko wins! The Knockouts are ahead 1-0.


Gulko is striding confidently around the room, observing the other games.


On Board 3, ultra solid Dean Ippolito is having no problems with IM Richard Costigan. Costigan has had some good results in the league, but probably hasn't had the luxury of playing too many 2500s on board 3.


To my eye, Board 1, between Joel Benjamin and Sergey Kudrin, looks relatively even. Kudrin's kng is centralized, and he only has two pawn groups (as compared with Benjamin's three), but material is even, and it looks like Joel should not have a problem holding the position.


Gulko just played the exchange sac 23.Rc6, which the chatter seems to believe is a winning or a nearly-winning move. The spectators in the room are getting excited by this. Gulko's victi... opponent, IM Bryan Smith, will have to do some serious tap dancing to defend.


I just got to the site a few minutes ago, so I thought I would give a few match updates. It is a big week in Knockout history. The Knockouts have the strongest average line up in the history of the USCL. Board 1 and 2 are GMs Joel Benjamin and Boris Gulko. Board 3 is IM Dean Ippolito. Board 4 is Knockout alternate, and underrated junior Andrew Ng.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week 4: Real Time Blogging Returns


And Mac has won! And the Knockouts crush the Blitz 3-1!! Until next week.


An exciting finish on Board 3 -- both players under a minute. Boston has to win in order to draw the match.


Joel just came over to me and gave me the double thumbs up. He's pretty psyched that the KOs have at least drawn.


And Dean Ippolito pulls it out! A big win for NJ on Board 2. The Knockouts have at least drawn the match!


A nice maneuver by Dean Ippolito on Board 2 (34...Nc6), has brought Board 2 back into New Jersey's favor. With a wild melee on Board 3, it is still anybody's ballgame.


When "El Capitan" says "Take a picture of the donuts, blogger!", you do not question. You obey. Thus, here are the Boston Cremes!


Captain Joel Benjamin is carefully studying the demonstration boards, seeing where the next New Jersey point will come from. On Board 2, the situation is still tight, with Dean having five minutes remaining, and Shmelov eight.


And Larry Christensen, lost from move 8, has resigned. Boston and New Jersey now tied 1-1!


Yes, Jayson resigned. Boston up 1-0.


Doesn't look good for the Knockouts on Board 4. Jayson made an error in an endgame in which he was already down, and a few tactics later, he should be down some serious material.


Once again, the room is cold tonight. Jayson Lian has his arms completely tucked inside his t-shirt. Joel Benjamin and Dean Ippolito are folding their arms and covering up. Mac Moldner has half his face inside the front of his shirt.

Clearly no one is going to fall asleep for fear of hypothermia!


Number of people watching the games:
Benjamin: 194
Ippolito: 67
Molner: 54
Lian: 56


Denys Shmelov has bravely declined to take Dean Ippolito's rook on board 2, so the draw is not actually forced. Dean will now have to slug it out with the Blitz player.


Jayson Lian is in tough shape, but he's concentrating very hard at his terminal. Wearing a green t-shirt and jeans, he's been exceedingly still for the half-hour I've been on site.


Dean has just taken 16...Rxe4, probably now forcing the draw on Board 2.


IM Dean Ippolito has been on move for about 15 minutes. He keeps getting up to survey the other boards, deciding whether to force the draw or not.


Now that we've passed the two hour mark, let's recap all the boards.

On Board 1, after a huge blunder in the opening, GM Larry Christensen finds himself down a queen for two bishops against New Jersey Knockout captain GM Joel Benjamin. GM Joel, as usual, is way down on time, with about 20 minutes left to LarryC's 52 minutes. They are on move 18.

On Board 2, IM Dean Ippolito's Nimzo-Indian has brought him to a position where he can practically force a draw if he wants. With 16...Rxe4 17.fxe4 Qh3+, a perpetual could ensue. This might be just the result the Knockouts want on Board 2, with Joel winning on Board 1.

On Board 3, material is virtually equal in Mac Molner's game against Riordan. Mac's slightly better pawn structure may balance out Riordan's development, but it looks like this will be a tough fight.

On Board 4, the Knockout's Jayson Lian is down a pawn against clearly underrated Marc Esserman -- both have a queen, rook, and dark-squared bishop, The game is wide open, with potentially a lot of tactics.


Realtime blogging is back, now from Lincoln Park, NJ, the Chapel Hill Academy. The players have been moving up and about for the past few minutes. Mac Molner took a stroll, Dean ippolito walked around the room and inspected all the boards. Joel Benjamin rushed out of the room with a grimace on his face.


Well, it is time to sign off for about an hour. We'll be back with more live coverage from the New Jersey site at 9:00pm!


The word is that after Joel made the 8.Be3 move, he got up, got a Boston Creme donut, and devoured it. Take that, Blitzpatzers!


Word from the front... Boston Creme Donuts at the site!!!


He played it! The crowd is amped up now for an epic struggle of Man versus Blitz.


On Board 1, GM Joel could play a very cute and exciting move, 8.Be3. The fans are cheering for that move! Play it Joel! Make the fans go WILD!!


Dean Ippolito really impresses me as a solid tournament player. He tries to win as white and will play solidly and draw with black. He doesn't take too many unnecessary risks. He plays in tournaments frequently, and runs his own chess school located in Branchburg, NJ, (see

Check out the results from last week's Miami Open... While he didn't have a spectacular tournament, he never lost, and drew several GMs. Very very solid.

He's also a super-friendly, nice, normal guy.


Ok, this really is a "break the opening principle" night.
  • Benjamin has a knight developed to a3
  • Christensen pulled his queen out on move 4
  • Shmelov pushed four pawns, and developed a knight to h3
  • Ippolito moved five pawns, the same knight twice, and it ended up on h5
  • Molner pushed his rook pawn
Only Riordan on board 3, and both players on board 4 have read their Reinfeld recently.


Kerpow! Something really got into Esserman -- Smith Morra on board 4!


Both sides clearly needs to brush up on their opening principles. Riordan's got his knight on a5, and Ippolito's got his on a5.

Tsk tsk tsk...


Esserman decided to show up. My challenge clearly emboldened him.


Esserman has decided not to show up for his game against fourth board Jayson Lian. Clearly afraid...


On Board 3, Mac Molner has tossed out the Guioco Piano against Riordan, and Riordan has played a Two Knights Defense. As most of the Knockouts' fans, groupies, and entourages know, Big Mac's rarely has a "Quiet Game" and this is likely to be a Guioco Forte instead.


On Board 1, Larry has thrown out a Sicilian with the hyper-accelerated 2...g6. Joel is pondering the brashness of Larry's foolish play.


IM Dean Ippolito on Board 2 has thrown out a Nimzo-Indian against Denys Shmelov. The commentary points out that he didn't lose a game last weekend in Miami. He drew several GMs and ended with a solid result.


And they're off! The games have started.

On Board 1, GM Joel Benjamin has essayed his king pawn a double square foray toward GM Larry Christensen's evil Blitz territory.


The natives are restless... The games have not started yet.... We wanna game! We wanna game!


I am watching the games from here, and will transfer to the New Jersey playing site around 9pm. From there, I can make insidious and flippant comments, like I usually do. But for right now, it looks like I'll have to concentrate on the games.


Live from Wizards of the Mind chess club, here in Springfield, New Jersey.... its real-time blogging of the New Jersey - Boston match in the USCL! How can I blog from here, you ask? Stay tuned!


Real time blogging of the New Jersey Knockouts' match against the Boston Blitz returns tonight! Watch theKnockouts make the pizza-crazed Boston players wish they were stuck on the Garden State Parkway on a beach-travel morning, rather than being demolished by the talents of Benjamin, Ippolito, Molner, and Lian.

The match starts at 7pm, and the blogging will start late, around 9pm or so, as the match is in full swing! So stay tuned to this post, as it will be updated through the evening!

Friday, September 12, 2008

GM Joel Annotates from the NJ-Seattle Match

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This past week, the New Jersey Knockouts tied their match against the Seattle Sluggers, 2-2. New Jersey now sits firmly in third place in the Eastern division, with a 1.5-1.5 record.

We'll get to board 1 in a minute.

On Board 2, the last game to finish, veteran GM, former Soviet and US Champion, and USCL rookie, Boris Gulko, slowly out played his opponent IM Eric Tangborn, and scored the full point. One of the funnier comments that appeared in the chat leading up to this game was given by IM Mark Ginsburg, who said the Gulko could give a simul to the whole Seattle team.

On Board 3, Mac Molner had black against John Readey. A tense game, in which Mac couldn't quite get a kingside attack going, and ended with a repetition.

On Board 4, the KO's Jayson Lian matched up against Josh Sinanan. Jayson was winning toward the end of the game, but low on time, fell into a repetition. The repetition wasn't easy to see, because it didn't come from the more typical alternation of moves, but from a series of different moves leading to the same position.

Back to Board 1, where captain GM Joel Benjamin fell with black to now-nearly-2700-FIDE, and new Seattle Slugger, GM Hikaru Nakamura. While it seemed like Nakamura's opening was taken from a page out of GM Joel's 1987 book "Unorthodox Openings", Nakamura actually claimed that they reached a "relatively standard" opening position.

Indeed, we're in for another treat, as GM Joel sent me some annotations on the crucial parts of the game. I present them here (and blame me for the title, not Joel).

Don't Cry For Me, Nakamura - The Truth Is... (by GM Joel Benjamin)

Wednesday night was a heartbreaker. Jayson played so well, only to be tripped up by a three-time repetition.

I can’t cry about my loss to Nakamura, but the game has been portrayed as two things it’s not...

  • A game of the week candidate
  • One-sided
It certainly wasn’t as good as Pascal’s win. It was very cool how he sneaked in on the light squares while Sergey wasn’t looking. I’m not criticizing Hikaru’s play, now. He didn’t make any mistakes, and he made some cool-looking maneuvers, but he didn’t make any difficult moves either.

Let’s examine:

1.g3 d5 2.Bg2 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nc3 e5 5.e4 Bg4 6.f3 Be6 7.Nh3 Bc5 8.Qe2 dxe4 9.dxe4 Qd4 10.Nd1 Bc4 11.c3 Qd3 12.Bf1 Qxe2+ 13.Bxe2 Be6 14.Nhf2 Nbd7 15.f4 exf4 16.gxf4 Nb6 17.b4 Bxf2+ 18.Nxf2 Bc4 19.Rg1 0-0-0 20.Rxg7 (D)

Here I played 20...Rhe8?? and after 21.e5 Nd5 22.Rxf7 I noticed that the planned 22…Nxb4 leads to nothing after 23.Bxc4 Nc2+ 24.Ke2 Nxc4 (24…Nxa1 25.Bd3) 25.Rb1. Heck, even 20...Rhg8 was better. I wish I had taken more time on that move. But I should have played…

20...Bxe2 21.Kxe2 Nxe4!! 22.Nxe4 Rhe8 (D - analysis)

Black recoups the piece with an unclear position. White can win a pawn or two in some lines, but he is in danger of losing his bishop. Feel free to run your chess engines on this one. Those of you who scoffed at 19…0-0-0, I accept your apologies now.

I didn’t see the sacrifice during the game, but found it moving the pieces around after the game, and I showed it to my teammates. I’m not one to make excuses for losing (other than when I’m joking), but this possibility should be noted by all those who attempted to assess this game.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week 2: Knockouts versus Pioneers

In Week 2, the glorious Knockouts were orienteered back to earth by the surprisingly powerful Queens Pioneers. Only captain and board 1, GM Joel Benjamin, was able to grind out a solid, grandmasterly win that ought to compete for game-of-the-week honors.

The remainder of the team was struck by some chess plague. On board 2, Mac Molner got a thorn in his territory, when his opponent's knight crimped his position something wicked with its presence on d6. On board 3, Evan Ju played a relatively even game against IM Alex Lenderman, but was torn down in time trouble, by a nice little combination. On board 4, Victor Shen got his queen trapped in the middle of the board and had to lose a knight to save her.

The US Chess League (sponsored by site has all the games, and you can also find coverage on the Kenilworthian and the "oh-we're-so-darn-lucky-to-have-this-domain-name" site,

Unfortunately, there won't be any real-time from-the-site blogging next week either, but you can catch all the action at ICC.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Joel Benjamin on his game of Week 1

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After the resounding victory, the Knockouts are all smiles. From left to right, Victor Shen [board 4], Dean Ippolito [board 2], Michael Khodarkovsky [assistant manager], Mac Molner [board 3], Joel Benjamin [captain and board 1].

Joel Benjamin asked me to post the following note. Its great to have our esteemed captain add to the blog!

How 'bout those Kayos? My teammates did a great job in the first round. I think a lot of our players are under-rated and will score big this season.

I wasn't so happy though about my game, and I think the USCL fans should know why I lost the game.

The obvious excuses are:
  1. My young opponent has been touring the country winning tournaments while I've been touring Bergen County maternity wards.
  2. I didn't study 12.d5 sufficiently and couldn't remember anything about the games I looked at.
  3. The last time I sacrificed that many pieces I was playing bughouse.
But I'm going to opt for a darkhorse excuse for losing. I'm going to blame it on the METS. That's right, my favorite baseball team is driving me crazy! On Tuesday night they managed to blow a 7-0 lead. Seven nothing!!! And they took an agonizing five+ hours to do it, finally capitulating in the 13th inning, sometime after midnight. There was no way I could sleep after such a debacle. After tossing and turning all night, I lacked the energy to combat such a strong young player. [I have scoresheets older than this guy. A lot of them]

Hopefully the bullpen will get its act together and give me some peace. I don't think it's fair to ask my boys to bail me out every week.


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!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NJKOs 2008 Schedule Preview

The 2008 United States Chess League commences play in less than a week! The New Jersey Knockouts are set to begin their second season, ready to lay some bone-crushing hurt to the souls of their feeble competition. (Hey, this blog isn't supposed to be objective.)

The USCL has two new teams this year, the Chicago Blaze and the Arizona Scorpions. Fortunately, for the Blase and the 'Pions , they do not have to face the mighty Knockouts this year, except perhaps in the playoffs.

But the big news for the Knockouts is the addition of veteran Grandmaster Boris Gulko to the roster. GM Gulko adds cassiac gravitas and a potent left hook to the line-up.

Let's take a look at the schedule. (Ratings are from the unofficial 2007 USCL rating list.)

Week 1: Baltimore Kingfishers

The opening week sees the Knockouts taking on the Kingfishers of Baltimore, and last year the Knockouts drew Baltimore in two matches. The 'Fish are 2005 league champions, but their glorious past is well behind them, as they finished in the cellar of the Eastern division last year. Their top board, GM Sergey Erenburg (USCL 2558), has had some excellent tournament success this past year (including winning the NJ Futurity II), but we'll see if his success can translate to his team.

Week 2: Queens Pioneers

The Pioneers, last year's fifth place team in the East, battle the Knockouts in the second week. Last year, the Knockouts drew one match and lost another to the Queensmen. GM Alex Stripunsky (USCL 2525) returns as top board.

Week 3: Seattle Sluggers

The Knockouts and the Sluggers parlay their pugilistic proclivities in week three. Its the first meeting between the teams. The Sluggers have acquired GM Hikaru Nakamura (USCL 2580), formerly of the New York Knights, as their top board. Nakamura now lives in Vancouver, and will have to drive a ways to get to their matches. Will the drive tire him out? In week three, we may get to see.

Week 4: Boston Blitz

The Knockouts light up the board with the Blitz in the fourth week of the season -- they drew last year's match. GM Larry Christiansen (USCL 2581) and GM Eugene Perelshteyn (USCL 2481) head up the team, but don't forget about USCL All-Star Jorge Sammour Hasbun (USCL 2579), who ruled board 2 last year.

Week 5: Philadelphia Inventors

In the fifth week, the Knockouts will attempt to avenge last year's loss to the Inventors. The Inventors are led by USCL rating leader GM Sergey Kudrin (USCL 2591), who undefeated consistency last year lead Philly to the playoffs. Notable also is the inclusion of the Inventors' latest addition, FM Tom Bartell (USCL UNR), who fought for the Knockouts last season. Tom moved to Philadelphia, and is better known to New Jerseyites as Benedict Arnold!

Week 6: Baltimore Kingfishers

Midway through the season, the Knockouts pluck the Kingfishers in a rematch of week one.

Week 7: Queens Pioneers

Week seven is a rematch of week two. As northern New Jersey resident Yogi Berra apparently once said, "Its deja vu all over again."

Week 8: Carolina Cobras

The geographically challenged (or perhaps they are simply peripatetically inclined) Cobras are back in the Eastern division, after a one year foray into the West. The Knockouts de-venomed and fang-extracted the Cobras last year. FM Oleg Zaikov (USCL 2423) was a USCL All-Star in 2006.

Week 9: Miami Sharks

The penultimate week of the regular season sees the Knockouts tackling the Miami Sharks for the first time. Lead by two-time USCL MVP GM Julio Becerra (USCL 2566), the Sharks almost drowned in the first half of last season, only to perform swimmingly in the last half and make the playoffs.

Week 10: New York Knights

The last week of the season sees the Knockouts joust with the nearby New York Knights, in a contest that is hailed as "The Battle of the Silent Ks". Two GMs take over the top two slots in the roster, GM John Fedorowicz and 2007 US Champion (and former USCL Game-of-the-Week judge and Chris Berman of ESPN imitator) GM Alex Shabalov. The Knockouts also have to watch out for fourth board All-Star Iryna Zenyuk (USCL 2402), who tends to pull of big wins.

In the next post (early next week), I'll post a Knockouts' player preview.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

NJ Futurity II - Erenburg Repeats!

UPDATE! Games are available at NJoyChess.

Sergey Erenburg repeats as champion of the New Jersey International Futurity. In a remarkable performance, Erenburg drew all his games with his fellow GMs, and won all his games against the IMs and untitled players. The tournament was sponsored by the New Jersey State Chess Federation and Michael Khodarkovsky's International Chess School (ICS).

Yesterday, Friday July 11, were the final two rounds.

Round 8

= Ehlvest - Erenburg =
1 Yudasin - Scekic 0
0 Zlotnikov - Ju 1
= Ippolito - Palatnik =
1 Saenz - Molner 0

GM Ehlvest had a chance to catch GM Erenburg this round, but Erenburg played a Petroff, and the game was drawn in 38 moves. The final position was nothing remarkable - Ehlvest's bishop and Erenburg's knight, with three pawns each. Probably a smart decision by Erenburg, trying to close down any potential chances that Ehlvest wanted.

Yudasin outplayed Scekic in a 32 move Caro-Kann. See the diagram below for Scekic's crucial mistake, which Yudasin pounced on, and brought to a decisive conclusion.

In a battle of Knockouts, Evan Ju as Black, defeated IM Zlotnikov in a 30 move English. Ju penetrated his Queen into Zlotnikov's queenside, snapped off a couple of pawns, and ended with a slightly unusual ending, where each side had all four minor pieces, but the big wood was gone from both sides. The key, though, was that Ju had two connected passers on the queenside, and Zlotnikov was down those two pawns.

The soporific sounds of a Dutch Defense, led IM Ippolito (White) and GM Palatnik to call it quits after only eight moves.

In the game with the most norm implications, Mackensie Molner (Black) lost his chance for an IM norm, as he was defeated in a rare Benoni Counter Gambit (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 b5) by IM Saenz as White. 3...b5 was a move favored by Keres in the 1950s. In fact, Molner played the same variation in the last week of the United States Chess League's regular season, against IM Jay Bonin (but lost that game too). Bonin had played 4.Ng5, but in thous tournament, Saenz countered with 4.a4, a comparatively rare variation that is played only about 10% of the time. In the Polish/Orangutang Opening (1.b4), 1...a5 is a good reply, and this variation reminds me of that. In any case, Molner went into the ending a pawn up, but Saenz's advanced, passed c-pawn was his compensation. Saenz's king came in to help out, and after a few inaccuracies right at the end, Molner finally had to give up big material, or Saenz would queen his pawn.

Round 9

= Palatnik - Saenz =
= Ippolito - Yudasin =
= Molner - Ehlvest =
1 Erenburg = Zlotnikov 0
0 Ju - Scekic 1

Ippolito - Yudasin, 11 moves. Palatnik - Saenz, 6 moves. Getting to go home after a long tournament, priceless.

Molner (White), now without the chance for an IM norm, still managed to give Ehlvest a run for his money. A 49 move Hedgehog-Pirc-Modern something-or-other, saw Molner with a nicely advanced e-pawn in Ehlvest's positions. After the GM swept it away, Molner's king was chased around the board by Ehlvest's queen, and the game was drawn.

Erenburg (White) completed his remarkable sweep of the non-GMs, by finishing off IM Zlotnikov in a 33 move Modern, with some nasty queenside penetration and a mating attack. Zlotnikov clearly had an off-tournament, and we're sure he'll be back in form soon.

In the final game, IM Scekic finished off Evan Ju, with a cute bishop sacrifice. See the diagram below.

It was most excellent to see another round robin come to New Jersey, and we look forward to next year's event. Congratulations to GM Sergey Erenburg of Israel on repeating as champion!

Games are available at NJoyChess.

The Knockouts' second season begins the last week of August. Watch this blog for continuing coverage of their likely championship winning season!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NJ Futurity II Round 7

Just got results in my mailbox. Try the NJSCF site for the relay tomorrow (Friday) for the final round. The relay today was problematic, unfortunately, but it was due to a physical connection being disconnected, accidentally, as opposed to hosting issues, as before.

Round 7 Results
= Palatnik - Yudasin =
0 Molner - Ippolito 1
1 Erenburg - Saenz 0
= Ju - Ehlvest =
1 Scekic - Zlotnikov 0

Standings after Round 7
6.0 Erenburg
5.0 Ehlvest, Yudasin
3.5 Molner, Palatnik
3.0 Scekic
2.5 Ippolito, Ju, Saenz
1.0 Zlotnikov

The big game of the final day is Round 8's clash between Ehlvest (White) and Erenburg (Black). Molner needs 1.5/2.0 on the last day to gain an IM norm. In Round 8, Mac has Black against Saenz, and in the final round, he has White against Ehlvest -- a tall order, but we hope that he can play a typical Big Mac Attack (like in many US Chess League games), and gain his norm.

Also, there's an article and some nice photos on the USCF site, here.

NJ Futurity Round 6

The kinks finally seemed to be worked out with the relay, and you can watch round 6 here.

Let's root for the Knockouts to have a great round!

UPDATE: Erenburg sacked a bishop in his game against Ippolito. Here's a diagram...

Round 6 Results:

1 Yudasin - Zlotnikov 0
= Ehlvest - Scekic =
0 Saenz - Ju 1
0 Ippolito - Erenburg 1
= Palatnik - Molner =

Standings after Round 6
5.0 Erenburg
4.5 Ehlvest, Yudasin
3.5 Molner
3.0 Palatnik
2.5 Saenz
2.0 Ju, Scekic
1.5 Ippolito
1.0 Zlotnikov

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

NJ Futurity Rounds 4 and 5

Raw results of Round 4. Unfortunately, I have no details.

= Yudasin - Ehlvest =
1 Saenz - Zlotnikov 0
0 Ippolito - Scekis 1
= Palatnik - Ju =
0 Molner - Erenburg 1

Standings after Round 4
3.5 Erenburg
3.0 Yudasin, Ehlvest
2.5 Molner, Palatnik
1.5 Saenz, Scekic
1.0 Ippolito, Zlotnikov
0.5 Ju

It just hasn't been the Knockouts' tournament. Molner has performed well, but Ju, Zlotnikov, and Ippolito have 1 win, 3 draws, and 8 losses after four rounds. Combined, the Knockouts are 5.0/16.0.

Partial results of Round 5

= Erenburg - Palatnik =

A quick 10 mover Exchange Ruy that ended with a forced perpetual -- I found 88 other games just like it in my database. These guys called it a day pretty early!

= Molner - Yudasin =

A 17 move French Defense lead to an equal position, but still with a lot of life left in it. Nevertheless, in the second round of the day, it seemed like a good time for them to call it off, I guess.

= Ju - Ippolito =

A 14 move Petroff leading to dead equality. Neither of these guys are having a good tournament, so they made peace.

0 Saenz - Scekic 1

A 50 move Slav transformed early into a rook and dark-squared bishop ending. Scekic made some nice maneuvers, exchanged some pawns and eventually the bishops and ended in an rook and pawn endgame, with Scekic about to queen his e-pawn. Saenz, presumably, threw in the towel.

0 Zlotnikov - Ehlvest 1

A 43 move Pirc, transformed into a rook and knight endgame, with Ehlvest pushing his d-pawn to its ultimate destiny. It was inevitable at the end, and Zlotnikov gave up.

Standings after Round 5
4.0 Erenburg, Ehlvest
3.5 Yudasin
3.0 Palatnik, Molner
2.5 Scekic
1.5 Ippolito, Saenz
1.0 Ju, Zlotnikov

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

NJ Futurity Rounds 2 and 3

Round 2

While in Round 1, there were three Black wins (and one White win), Round 2 saw three decisive games, all won by White.

GM Yudasin (White) beat IM Saenz in a 40 move Two Knights Defense. At the end, Yudasin had an extra bishop and his c-pawn was passed and on the sixth rank. Saenz had hoped for a perpatual a few moves earlier, but when Yudasin wriggled his way out of it, there was no hope.

Knockout and tournament host IM Dean Ippolito (White) opened with his usual 1. d4, and GM Ehlvest responded with the King's Indian. Ippolito fianchettoed his king's bishop, and the game ended peacefully after 21 moves. (Don't believe Ehlvest's final move in the game file at the NJSCF site. It drops a queen!)

GM Erenburg (White) put away Knockout Evan Ju in an French Defense, Tarrasch variation. After 54 bruising moves, Erenburg was poised to queen one of his two remaining pawns supported by his rook, while Ju had only one pawn and a rook. A fairly even game for most of the first two-thirds, Erenburg neutralized Ju's isolani, split and weakened Ju's queenside pawns, and expertly finished the contest.

Knockout Mac Molner (White) and IM Scekic played a Lowenthal Sicilian that lasted over 50 moves (the game file at the NJSCF site has some strange moves at the end) and ended in a drawn in an unbalanced position; Molner had two rooks and a pawn, and Scekic had a rook, bishop, and two pawns, and they called it a day.

In a 70 move Pirc marathon, GM Palatnik (White) took down Knockout IM Zlotnikov. Palatnik sacked the exchange for a serious kingside attack. Zlotnikov weathered the storm, but Palatnik ended with three monstrous kingside pawns. Zlotnikov gave back the exchange, but Palatnik's pawns were too powerful.

Games are available at the NJSCF site.

Standings after Round 2
2.0 Erenburg, Yudasin
1.5 Ehlvest, Molner
1.0 Ippolito, Palatnik
0.5 Saenz, Scekic
0.0 Ju, Zlotnikov

Round 3

In the only completed game, and a GM-GM clash, GM Erenburg (White) and GM Yudasin (Black) drew in 26 moves in a Sicilian.

Results - I have no details!

= Erenburg - Yudasin =
0 Ju - Molner 1
0 Scekis - Palatnik 1
1 Zlotnikov - Ippolito 0
1 Ehlvest - Saenz 0

Standings after Round 3
2.5 Erenburg, Yudasin, Ehlvest, Molner
2.0 Palatnik
1.0 Ippolito, Zlotnikov
0.5 Saenz, Scekic
0.0 Ju

Monday, July 7, 2008

NJ Futurity: Round 1 Results

The first round of the Second New Jersey International Futurity has concluded!

GM Yudasin (Black) beat NJ Knockout Evan Ju (White), in a 42 move Najdorf. It seemed like Ju had chances up until at least move 35 in a Rook and six Pawn versus Rook and six pawn endgame, but it ended rather quickly. I don't pretend to tell you where exactly it went wrong for Ju, but seven moves later, Yudasin had two connected passed pawns on his fifth rank.

IM Saenz (White) and NJ Knockout Dean Ippolito (Black) drew in a 34 move Slav. The relay site gives 35 moves, but the last moves are outright blunders, so I suspect it they are relay errors.

IM Scekic (White) lost to last year's winner GM Sergey Erenburg, in an exciting 46 move Slav, where both sides had furious attacks at the end, but Erenburg's was more powerful. Again, the last move or two are unclear, likely because of the relay.

The first GM clash, between Ehlvest (White) and Palatnik (Black) ending with a win for Ehlvest in the midst of a King and Pawn endgame. The game started as a Queen's Gambit Declined Tarrasch.

The game between the two NJ Knockouts, IM Zlotnikov (White) and Mackensie Molner (Black), ended with Molner a few moves from mating Zlotnikov, in that rarest of endings, Knight and Bishop against Zlotnikov's lone king. Zlotnikov played for a while and clearly wanted Molner to prove that he could execute the W-maneuver and mate him. When Molner proved that he had actually studied his endgame technique, Zlotnikov resigned.

Standings after round 1:
1.0 Ehlvest, Erenburg, Molner, Yudasin
0.5 Ippolito, Saenz
0.0 Ju, Palatnik, Scekic, Zlotnikov

Combined, the NJ Knockouts are 1.5 / 4.0.

The second round begins tomorrow at 10am at the Dean of Chess Academy in Branchburg, NJ.

NJ Futurity II starts today

At 3:15pm Eastern today, the New Jersey Futurity II starts. According to one of the sponsors, the New Jersey State Chess Federation, there will be a live game broadcast, which you can reach by clicking here. The other sponsor of the tournament is the International Chess School (ICS).

Good luck again to Ippolito, Zlotnikov, Molner, and Ju, the New Jersey Knockouts' representatives in the tournament!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Jersey Futurity II

Welcome back to the New Jersey Knockouts blog! Where have you been? More importantly, where have I been? The US Chess League starts up again in under two months, and you can tune in right here to find all the action.

Until then, there's other New Jersey chess action to keep us occupied. The New Jersey State Chess Federation and the International Chess School (ICS) are sponsoring another Futurity tournament starting on Monday, July 7, 2008, the day after the conclusion of the World Open. The ten-player single round robin will take place at the Dean of Chess Academy in Branchburg, NJ. It concludes on July 11, 2008.

I got a scoop on the pairings, and an updated list of the participants, so without further ado...


GM Jaan Ehlvest (2603 - USA)
GM Sergey Erenburg (2563 - ISR)
GM Leonid Yudasin (2550 - ISR)
GM Sam Palatnik (2472 - USA)
IM Dean Ippolito (2445 - USA)
IM A. Almeida Saenz (2419 - MEX)
IM Milos Scekic (2371 - SRB)
IM Mikhail Zlotnikov (2345 - USA)
Mackensie Molner (2337 - USA)
Evan Ju (2286 - USA)

Average Rating = 2439 (Category 8)

Erenburg is returning to defend his title from last year's tournament. Many of the participants are the same as last year; new players this year are Ehlvest, Palatnik, Saenz, and Scekic. Ehlvest, formerly in the world's top five, and Palatnik, with his team and individual medals at the Student Team Championships in 1974 and 1976, are impressive additions to this powerful tournament.

Most importantly (in the context of this blog), is the fact that Ippolito, Zlotnikov, Molner, and Ju were all members of the Knockouts last year! Just a couple of weeks ago, Molner picked up an IM norm at the Marshall Chess Club. Ippolito may have a homefield advantage, playing at his own school. Let's cheer them all on to floor the rest of the competition.

Schedule (White listed first)

Round 1 (July 7, 2008: 3:15pm)
Ju - Yudasin
Scekic - Erenburg
Zlotnikov - Molner
Ehlvest - Palatnik
Saenz - Ippolito

Round 2 (July 8, 2008: 10:00am)
Yudasin - Saenz
Ippolito - Ehlvest
Palatnik - Zlotnikov
Molner - Scekic
Erenburg - Ju

Round 3 (July 8, 2008: 4:00pm)
Erenburg - Yudasin
Ju - Molner
Scekic - Palatnik
Zlotnikov - Ippolito
Ehlvest - Saenz

Round 4 (July 9, 2008: 10:00am)
Yudasin - Ehlvest
Saenz - Zlotnikov
Ippolito - Scekic
Palatnik - Ju
Molner - Erenburg

Round 5 (July 9, 2008, 4:00pm)
Molner - Yudasin
Erenburg - Palatnik
Ju - Ippolito
Scekic - Saenz
Zlotnikov - Ehlvest

Round 6 (July 10, 2008: 10:00am)
Yudasin - Zlotnikov
Ehlvest - Scekic
Saenz - Ju
Ippolito - Erenburg
Palatnik - Molner

Round 7 (July 10, 2008: 4:00pm)
Palatnik - Yudasin
Molner - Ippolito
Erenburg - Saenz
Ju - Ehlvest
Scekic - Zlotnikov

Round 8 (July 11, 2008 10:00am)
Yudasin - Scekic
Zlotnikov - Ju
Ehlvest - Erenburg
Saenz - Molner
Ippolito - Palatnik

Round 9 (July 11, 2008, 4:00 pm)
Ippolito - Yudasin
Palatnik - Saenz
Molner - Ehlvest
Erenburg - Zlotnikov
Ju - Scekic