In Lieu of Parts 3 and 4!!!

Jeremy Kane and Trevor Magness provide a nice presentation of the Blaze's two wins against Dallas, so please go read their annotations!

Chicago Blaze beats Dallas, clinches playoff berth! (Part 2 of 4)

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Also, you're invited to visit the Chicago Chess Blog

Board 2: Sadona—Amanov

GM Mesgen Amanov has been in excellent form this month, so playing for a win with Black against IM Julio Sadona was a reasonable risk.  Amanov played well enough, but Sadona conducted a brilliant attack.  There's certainly no shame in losing a game as interesting as this one!

Chicago Blaze beats Dallas, clinches playoff berth! (Part 1 of 4)

Thursday, October 28. 2010

Last night was the final match of the Chicago Blaze's regular season in the U.S. Chess League, and they needed at least a drawn match against the Dallas Destiny to make the playoffs.  Grandmasters Dmitry Gurevich and Mesgen Amanov both had rocky outings, but International Master Florin Felecan and National Master Trevor Magness both won to give the Blaze a 2½-1½ victory...and its first postseason berth!

Here's how the match went, roughly in order of completion.

Board 1: Gurevich—Bercys

Dmitry opened with 1. d4, and IM Salvijus Bercys replied with the Dutch Defense (1...f5).  Dmitry put a bishop on g5 and captured Black's knight on f6.  Sometimes this leads to a rapid kingside attack, as in the famous game Edward Lasker-Sir George Thomas.  Gurevich tried a different plan, grabbing space with 7.e5!?  But Bercys came out of the position with a very attractive position.  In match play, it's essential not to lose with the White pieces.  So Dmitry sacrificed a pawn for sufficient counterplay.  When Black gave the pawn back, neither player had anything to do: a draw was the natural result.  Score: Chicago ½-Dallas ½.