Category Archives: chris baumgartner
Sam Schmakel, a sophomore at Chicago’s Whitney Young High School, came though under incredible time pressure in the clutch, in his US Chess League debut last night to prevail over his opponent, Nick Adams, to clinch a 2.5-1.5 victory for the Chicago Blaze against its tenacious arch-rival, the Arizona Scorpions. With less than 30 seconds left on his clock on move 40, Schmakel shocked and dazzled the crowd as he initiated a brutal combination by sliding his queen to the f7 square to put Adam’s King in check. Sam followed up with another check, then a knight fork of Adam’s queen and king, and when the dust settled, Sam’s passed a-pawn was primed to become queen itself. A few moves later, Adams saw no way out and resigned, which led to Sam’s GM teammates and Blaze fans breaking out into applause, as well as a sigh of relief. With this win, the Blaze are off to a 3-0 start for the season, the in the league and the best ever in the team’s history. Continue reading
Three draws will win you a USCL match—as long as that fourth game is a win.
The Blaze’s quest for the best season in the team’s history continued Monday night as the Chicago squad beat the Eastern Division’s Philadelphia Inventors by a score of 2.5-1.5. It was the second victory in a row for the fire makers, raising their 2010 record to 4.5-1.5. And while only six weeks in the ten-week regular season are over, this is, in fact, the best Blaze season every, the first time they have cracked the four-victory barrier since joining the U.S. Chess League in 2008. Continue reading