. Needless to say, Felecan came out of the opening stronger and maintained his advantage throughout. NM Eric Rosen also played solidly on board 4 with the white pieces, and continually improved his position until his opponent saw no hope and resigned on move 28. IM Angelo Young's battle on Board 3 was somewhat topsy-turvy but Young kept on pressing and captured the full point to secure the match victory for the Blaze. Shortly thereafter, GM Dmitry Gurevich, playing with the black pieces, agreed to a draw on Board 1with the uber-talented GM Varuzhan Akobian (USCF 2698) the fifth highest rated player in the US. Gurevich could certainly have played for the full point if the match score had required him to do so. After the match concluded, the customary applause and congratulations ensued. Team owner Sevan Muradian expressed his appreciation to the team members for their superb performance and and then reiterated "this year the Blaze will take no prisoners".
A special thanks also goes out to celebrity TD Len Weber who did an awesome job things in keeping things in check at the season opener. Len is one of the driving forces behind the well regarded South Suburban Chess Club of Greater Chicago.
Much has been written about the new and improved Blaze roster which includes 4 Grand Masters. Interestingly though, in the match against with Sluggers, the line-up consisted of only returning Blaze veterans, and the highest rated returning vet, world class GM Mesgan Amanov (USCF 2612), was on-site but did not play. Whatever the line-up might be for next week's match against the Miami Sharks, we have only a few words of advice: Get Used to the Heat!.
And from Skokie, Illinois, that's the way it was.
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photos: Daniel Parmet