Chicago's playoff ambitions are swept out to sea by a surging storm from the Sunshine State.
The Chicago Blaze beat a sad and hasty exit from the 2010 USCL playoffs Wednesday night, when they were defeated by the Miami Sharks in the first round of the postseason by a score of 3-1. For the Blaze, the season is now over.
Wednesday night’s match was an uphill battle for the Chicago squad from the very beginning. Early in the night, FM Gauri Shankar dropped a miniature on Board 4 to Nicholas Rosenthal after playing an unfortunate 19.Be3.
On Boards 1 and 3, GM Dmitry Gurevich and IM Florin Felecan, both playing Black, managed to hold draws with higher rated opponents, but that left GM Mesgen Amanov the task of having to beat GM Renier Gonzalez on Board 2 to secure the match draw the Blaze needed to advance in the playoffs. Several knowledgeable observers said the position in that game was drawn, but Mesgen struggled mightily to turn it into a win for the team, and in the course of that attempt Gonzalez emerged with the victory.
Here are the games:
Many thanks to Partrice Connelly of the Chicago Industrial Chess League, who served as our Celebrity Tournament Director for the second time this year. And thanks to all the fans who supported the team throughout the season. It was our best season yet, and the fan turnout, both onsite and online, was a big part of it.
While the season is over, the bloging is not. Stay tuned for season wrap-ups in the days ahead. And please follow the continuing league playoffs, which continue next week.
photos by Jae Lim and Mike Mei.