Category Archives: florin felecan
The 8-1 Chicago Blaze will be looking to conclude its historic 2011 season this Monday evening by knocking out the 4-5 Arizona Scorpions. Anything less than a win by the Scorpians means the end of the road and the oblivion of mediocrity for Arizona But the Scorps won’t go down without a fight. Accordingly, they are throwing a tough lineup at the Blaze. Continue reading
The Chicago Blaze came out smoking in its season opener with a convincing 3.5 – .5 victory over the Seattle Sluggers this past Wednesday evening. It was a hot night in the Chicagoland area as Blaze team members, management, local luminaries, chess fans, as well as members of the local press corps converged on the the North Shore Chess Center in Skokie to witness the beginning of what many believe will be a championship season. Continue reading
Well, this is it, chess fans. The 2011 U.S. Chess League season gets under way this week, and our first match of the year, against the Seattle Sluggers, starts Wednesday night at 8:00 PM. Here are the lineups. Continue reading
Aiming to break out of the pack and make a run for the championship of the United States Chess League, the Chicago Blaze has added five marquee players to this year’s roster, including 2008 U.S. chess champion GM Yury Shulman.
The Chicago Blaze are swept from the playoffs by a surging storm from the Sunshine State.
The Chicago Blaze beat a sad and hasty exit from the 2010 USCL playoff Wednesday night, when they were defeated by the Miami Sharks in the first round 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, manages to hold draws with higher rated opponents, but that left GM Mesgen Amanov that 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. Continue reading
By NM Jeremy Kane
Heading into week 10 the Blaze needed only a draw to make the playoffs for the first time in team history. In reality though, the team needed more. While a tie would qualify for the playoffs, no one wanted to have finished the season winless in the final four weeks. Furthermore, the prospect of a round one matchup giving draw odds to the stacked St. Louis lineup didn’t fill anyone with excitement. This is why there was a large, tense crowd huddled into the North Shore Chess Center Wednesday night pulling for the Blaze to win and clinch the second seed in the West. In their way stood the Dallas Destiny with a young and strong lineup, hoping to spoil the Blaze season and take a playoff spot of their own.
The make-or-break battle for the playoffs makes the Blaze and breaks Texas
For the first time in their history the Chicago Blaze have made it to the USCL playoffs. They did it by beating the Dallas Destiny last night by a score of 2.5-1.5 in the final match of the regular season. It was a make-or-break night for both teams; it made the Blaze and broke the Destiny.
The margin of victory came from wins by IM Florin Felecan and NM Trevor Magness and a draw my GM Dmitry Gurevich. As a result of the victory the Blaze finish the regular season in sole possession of second place in the Western Division of the USCL, a half a match point behind the division-leading Arizona Scorpions.
“I still can’t believe we won it!” said a stunned an elated Dmitry, whose draw with IM Bercys was critical to the match victory for the Blaze. “What a match! What a team!” Continue reading
Even in a good season there are losses, and the Chicago Blaze suffered one last night, at the hands of the St. Louis Arch Bishops, by a score of 2.5-1.5.
St. Louis’s winning edge came on Board 1, in the first game of the night to end, when Arch Bishop GM Hikaru Nakamura successfully carried out a regicidal plot reminiscent of power-hungry medieval prelates, against the good and virtuous king of his opponent, GM Dmitry Gurevich of the Blaze. Alexandre Dumas would have understood the game perfectly.
It’s tough having a perfect won-loss record; the pressure to keep winning and stay perfect is overwhelming. Going into last night the Arizona Scorpions were the only USCL team in that highly fraught position, but thanks to the Chicago Blaze, who handed them their first defeat of the 2010 season, the Scorpions have now been relieved of that particular burden.
We will forgive them, of course, if they don’t thank us. Continue reading
While much of the league’s attention this year has been focused on the St. Louis Arch Bishops, the new expansion team that arrived on the scene with a roster laden with super-GMs, another team, the Arizona Scorpions, has quietly amassed a perfect 4-0 record in the opening week of the season. They’re the only team that’s won all of its first four matches. While everybody’s been talking about the 800-pound gorilla, the 800-pound arachnid has taken over.
It’s no surprise to Chicago chess fans. In addition to being 4-0 on the season, the Grand Canyon State woodpushers boast that very same lifetime record against the Blaze.
Tonight, however, they put both of those records on the line when they face the Blaze in Monday night USCL action.
The match starts tonight at 8:00 PM Chicago time. Follow it on the Internet Chess Club, and keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook. Go Blaze! Continue reading