Category Archives: yury shulman
Okay, chess fans, this is it, the thing we’ve been working and rooting for all season long: the Chicago Blaze have made it to the final round of the U.S. Chess League playoffs.
The Blaze, who will play the New York Knights for the league championship next Sunday, earned that right after beating the Los Angeles Vibe 2.5-1.5 in the league semifinals Monday night, making them the Western Division representative in the season’s final match.
The Blaze took Monday night’s match on the strength of a draw by GM Yury Shulman and victories by GMs Dmitry Gurevich and Josh Friedel, who won the league Game of the Week prize, the third week in a row it has been won by a Blazer. (Yury won it the previous two.) Continue reading
I don’t know if this has ever happened before in the U.S. Chess League, but for the second week in a row—first in Week 10 of the regular season and now in the first week of the playoffs—GM Yury Shulman of the Blaze has won the league’s Game of the Week prize. And here again he’s annotated the game for our edification, enlightenment, and entertainment. Enjoy. Continue reading
And now, on to the playoffs
The USCL regular season ended last week with the Blaze posting a draw against our arch rivals the always-tough Arizona Scorpions. The Blaze held the match on the strength of victories by GM Yury Shulman and IM Angelo Young. Yury’s game, which he annotates below, has won the league Game of the Week. Continue reading
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
Week 7 brought us a match against the always dangerous San Francisco Mechanics in what may be a preview of the first round of the Western Division playoffs. The 2.5-1.5 win brought the Blaze to a perfect 5-2 7-0 record.
The formidable Mechanics threw an entire gauntlet of obstacles in our path including (2) strong GMs, a world youth champion, another top junior player, and an assistant commissioner. Like so many matches in the US Chess League, trying to guess the final match score is a futile endeavor as tightly contested games swing the score predictions one way or the other every few minutes.
Tonight the Chicago Blaze deafeated the San Francisco Mechanics 2.5-1.5 to go 7-0 on the season! A victory on Board 4 by NM Sam Schmakel and draws on Boards 1-3 by GMs Shulman and Amanov and IM Young did it for the Blaze. Here are the games. Stay tuned for more. Continue reading
GM Yury Shulman of the Blaze has a long history with GM Melikset Khachian, whom he played this past week in Chicago’s match against the L.A. Vibe. “The majority of [our games] ended in a draw,” says Yury. This one, too. But win, lose, or draw, every game contains lessons, doesn’t it? Which is why Yury has kindly annotated this one. Continue reading
National Master Gopal Menon made his USCL debut in spectacular fashion Wednesday night as he extracted a win, from what many in the crowd thought was a drawn position, to clinch the Blaze win and extend the team’s perfect record to 4-0. Menon, known for his one minute bullet chess prowess (he was #1 on the ICC one minute list earlier in the year), came out of a the opening in typical fashion, with an advantage and up the exchange against 10-year old whiz kid Albert Lu. Continue reading
When the Blaze take on the Los Angeles Vibe tonight, two members of the lineup will be making their Blaze debuts: FM Jim Dean and NM Gopal Menon. Though they’re new to the Blaze, both are veterans of the Midwestern chess scene. Please welcome them and wish them well as they attempt to help the Chicago Blaze maintain their undefeated record, which now stands at 3-0. Continue reading
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