Soul Poll!

deal with devilHear ye!… Hear ye!

We are gathered at this place to decide whether the Devil has fulfilled his part of the bargain… that is… Is Ilya’s soul worth at least a half point?… and a match win over NE?

Vote Yea (yay)… if you feel that Ilya has a kind and gentle nature… and truly deserves more for his Soul sacrifice.

Vote Nay… if you feel Ilya never deserves anything.

Does Ilya deserve at least a half point for his Soul?

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Blitz draw Kingfishers

boston_blitz_logo_xsmall They say a draw is like kissing your sister… so, you can imagine how the Blitz feel after kissing their sister… 4 times!!

No kidding… I showed up late last night and witnessed such a disappointing display of sibling love… as your Boston Blitz drew with the Baltimore Kingfishers. I must admit that I expected a win in this match… but, it was not to be.

First, Marc struggled to win a pawn up, bishop of opposite color and Rook endgame… an endgame that even Kramnik would have trouble winning… and failed.

Then Ilya cracked under the pressure of being up an exchange with the better position… and drew.

Vadim added his contribution to our sisterly appreciation night by missing a clear winning line… 30…b4!… and went down drawing.

Finally, Denys kept taking the inferior position in hopes that maybe his opponent would fall asleep… but, no luck… a Shmack! on the cheek draw.

And I had looked forward to such a colorful match! Read ‘em and weep!

Blitz (2 – 2)


Boston Blitz  vs  Baltimore Kingfishers

IM Mark Esserman (BOS) – ½

IM Levan Bregadze (BAL) – ½

IM Tegshuren Enkhbat (BAL) – ½

SM Denys Shmelov (BOS) – ½

NM Vadim Martirosov (BOS) – ½

GM Larry Kaufman (BAL) – ½

NM Andrew Zheng (BAL) – ½

NM Ilya Krasic (BOS) – ½

Analysis coming… on…  Blitz Blog


Blitz Game of the Year!

Alright, Blitz fans… time to choose your favorite game. I picked the candidates, but… You pick the winner.

Vote for the Blitz Game of the year!

  • Stripunsky-Sammour-Hasbun, Week 7 (41%, 15 Votes)
  • Gulamali-Kaufman, week 10 (16%, 6 Votes)
  • Sammour-Hasbun-Becerra, Week 2 (16%, 6 Votes)
  • Krasik-Ryba, week 8 (14%, 5 Votes)
  • Fisher-Gulamali, Week 5 (13%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 37

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Seeking Bliss!


Seek your Bliss!

After their devastatingly depressing DRAW with the LA Vibe, the Blitz find themselves in a “do or die” match facing perhaps their toughest opponent of the year,  the NJ Knockouts, who are sporting one heckuva right-left combo in GM Stripunsky (2673) on board one and GM Benjamin (2646) on board two.  Obviously, Boston will need to be at the top of their game… and to assure this, management had sent the team on a journey to the Himalayas… in search of their “Bliss”.  Well, considering the mood and moral after last week… It couldn’t hurt… but, more about this after the match.

In a total reversal of my usual form, I have decided to evaluate this match honestly.  Keep in mind that in no way does this add any credibility to my predictions… but, at least I can feel a bit better about myself… maybe find a bit of “Bliss” as well.

So, to begin… Let me say, we will need stellar performance from boards 3 and 4… two wins here are a must, in my opinion, because I see no better than half a point coming from the top two boards.  Shocking, you say?  Yes… that means I am predicting a Blitz loss of a game.  Didn’t I tell you about that honesty thing?  But, don’t scream at me yet… check out this lineup…

Week 7:  New Jersey Knockouts (3.5 – 2.5) vs Boston Blitz (2.5 – 3.5)

        White                                                 Black


GM Stripunsky (NJ)                          SM Sammour-Hasbun (BOS)

FM Gulamali (BOS)                           GM Benjamin (NJ)

NM Wu (NJ)                                       NM Martirosov (BOS)

Liu (BOS)                                            Burke (NJ)

There are no sure things here… but, it seems this top heavy NJ lineup just may have an Achilles heel (lets hope).  Vadim has been playing excellently and Andrew Liu out-rates his opponent by about 100 points.  With that in mind, I will predict a Blitz win (2.5 – 1.5) as follows…

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My Two Cents

Alright… Alright… So, I owe an apology to the Los Angeles Vibe. They are certainly a very tough opponent, and proved it in Wednesday night’s tragic… yes, I said tragic… DRAW with our own Boston Blitz. We were well on our way to my predicted slaughter with a nice Sicilian victory by Joel Hanks as Black over Nicky Korba on board 4. For a while, I was worried. But Joel showed nerves of steel as he weathered White’s very dangerous looking attack to put us up (1 – 0). And then Vadim, the endgame Maestro, took a nice opening edge down to an advantageous two Rook endgame and showed his fearsome technique… with just a few glitches… bringing home the point to put us up (2 – 0).

At this point, I was really confident of a match victory. Jorge had won a pawn as White in a Bc4… Sicilian against GM Melikset Khachiyan and was sure to bring home at least a draw. And on second board, Steven had the better part of a Queen and Knight ending as Black, as IM Keaton Kiewra was forced to take unnatural chances to try to win. No way we could lose on both top boards… Right?… Wrong! Oh the chess Gods are cruel. They let you hold the gold in your hand and then snatch it away just before you can spend it.

Oh yeah… you’re probably wondering why I am not making up some silly story that makes no sense to anyone… not even me. Well, this was too serious a match to toy with… and we needed that full point to get back into things. Now, it’s a real uphill climb to make the playoffs. At (2.5 – 3.5) the Blitz are in sole possession of 7th place in the Eastern division… Nope… no jokes now… we need wins. So, lets get this analysis rolling and on to our next match. Time to get serious guys…

But first, lets take some time to appreciate our bottom board wins… Joel and Vadim… thanks for showing up and giving us fans a much needed reason to celebrate… even if only for a short time.
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Boston Bombers will Explode

Blitz Bombers device of choice.

Can you say… Boom!!

You know, sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode… and when I do, I write my next blurb for the blog… Hey, maybe they should call them blurbs, instead of blogs.  Makes more sense to me… Anyway, you rack your noggin, trying to get some idea of who is going to win, and who will draw, and how your team, ie., da Blitz, will be able to win this one and then the match happens… and poof!… you look like an idiot.

Well, I tell you, this week I am predicting a Blitz explosion… not just their heads… no, they will wipe out the L.A. Vibe, leaving only nuclear waste in their wake… yep… I am predicting a  (4 – 0) whitewash of a very tough opponent.  Truth is, I am doing this without thinking, obviously, and just blurting out this nonsense in order to avoid those painful headaches that arise from actual thoughtful analysis.  How would I know about thoughtful analysis you ask?  Simple… I have read through other blogs and seen it done.

Ok, here’s the skinny on my process… The Blitz ( (2 – 3) on the season)  are White against the Los Angeles Vibe ( (1 – 4) on the season) … Vibe?  Don’t you just hate those teams with singular last names… I mean really…. shouldn’t it be Vibes?  Now, before you get upset… Blitz is plural… just a lexicalization mechanism… but, I’ll explain that in a later lecture.  So, that was my first strike against them.  Then, I thought to myself (how else), there are good vibes, and bad vibes, but there are no Vibe… strike two… Then, they are making us play at 9 pm EST… 9pm!!… just so these guys have time to get home from work, kick their shoes off… relax and have a nice dinner… and show up ready to play chess.  And that, my friends, was the final straw.  Unwittingly, they have already blundered and allowed the Blitz to party until game time.  With that in mind, I realized that this would limit the Blitz Bombers (aka. BB) thinking processes and, therefore, guarantee victory.

So there you have it… I guarantee a Blitz sweep!   Although the two teams seem rating comparable (2367 to 2355 in favor of the BB), I am putting my reputation on the line, in support of the following lineup.

Lineup for Weds., OCT. 10, 9pm.

     White                          Black
SM Sammour-Hasbun (BOS)          GM Khachiyan (LA)
IM  Kiewra  (LA)                 IM Zierk (BOS)
NM Martirosov (BOS)              WGM Abrahamyan (LA)
Korba (LA)                       Hanks (BOS)


And now for something completely different, Deep Thoughts…
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Blitz measure Inventors

           How do you measure your life?  Recently, I started measuring my life by the number of razor blades I use…  one per week, 52 per year… if I figured on living until 90 or so… that meant I had about 1560 razor blades left in my life… round abouts.  So, I thought, what if I could use one razor blade every 2… no, every 3 weeks.  Well, either that would be a lot cheaper, or, I would extend my life to the ripe old age of 150.

It’s what they call a win-win. Once I did this, I noticed that I played better speed chess… because, of course, time for me was running 3 times slower.

Immediately, it struck me that Chess players have the option of measuring their lives by the number of chess moves… for example, most USCL games are 40/90 with a 30 second increment… or about 40 moves in 2 hrs… 480 moves per day… 3360/wk… 174720/yr…  Or, for me, 5,241,600 chess moves left in my life.

Well, I’ll never reach that number of moves, I thought, and combined with my razor blade theory, I was in good shape.  Actually, this leads to several insights, for example…  Jorge, in showing up late for each USCL game and having to make 40 moves in an hour, has increased the number of chess moves in his life by one third to about 7,022,744… a pretty high number… thus, extending his life by one third to about 120 years on average.

Amazing, now I think I understand why he comes in late… and, as a result of this insight,  the USCL is considering shortening the time limit to 40 moves in 60 minutes for the benefit of all of us.  Certainly, not as good as counting razor blades, but, a nice beginning all the same.

By now, you are pretty fed up with me… and may be asking… What does all this have to do with the great Blitz win over the Philadelphia Inventors (2.5 – 1.5) in Monday evening’s USCL week 5 match.  Well, everything… as Eugene showed up just enough late for his game to extend his life… and slow down time… thus, making his time pressure moves seem easy… as he drew the last-to-finish, critical game… and won the match.

But, lets not stop here… Lets see how other Blitz players used my unconventional theory to win games and extend their lives in their match with the Philadelphia inventors… maybe, just maybe, we’ll find a way to live forever.
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Eye Juice can be Messy

Here we go… tempus fugit… time waits for no man.  We’ve hardly had a chance to whine and kvetch over our last dismal failure.  But, you all know, I am not one to live in the past… nor the future.  I live for today. So, bring it on!

This week 5 match with the Philadelpia Inventors is crucial to the Blitz season.  I think it is safe to say that a win is the only cure for the Blitz woes.  At (1 – 3) there is no more wiggle room.  We’ve got to start that long, long climb back to the top.  That said, Guys… Let’s rip their eyes out… figuratively of course… no one wants eye juice all over their fingers… makes it hard to move the pieces.

Monday 7:10 pm. Lineup

White                                                        Black


GM Perelshteyn (BOS)                      GM Erenburg (PHI

SM Fisher (PHI)                                 FM Gulamali (BOS)

NM Vilenchuk (BOS)                          FM Gorman (PHI)

NM Daly (PHI)                                    NM Krasik (BOS)

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Blitz in the Mist

There is a terror about Cambridge, like the cool breath of an assasin, just before he strikes… and you know the end is coming, and there is nothing to be done.  Yet, you linger, hiding in the darkness, hoping.  Running from square to square, you reach the edge… it is time… finally… to resign.

The heart of the Ninja is in each of us… yes, you… and all we breed called Chess players.  What better hobby for the heartless?… What better place for the hidden anger to emerge than this board of 64?  Ask yourself, as you twist the knife deeper,… when will my time come?   If not today, then in some dark corner, on some bleak Harvard night, when  he, she, it will find you and put an end to your miserable existence… a dagger in your black heart.

Such was my mood while watching this match as Destiny seemed to toy with our fate.  I don’t believe that chess players win games, nor lose them…. No, it is a mystical being that severs the lifeblood and lays the loser bare… a killer of egos… of decency…  of our psyche.  As I watched the struggle on each board, there seemed to hover a thin black mist… Yes, it came in with the cool wind as the doors of SOCH hall opened and it walked with the team…. Then, one by one, it visited its carnage upon them.

The first sign of its malicious intent was our failing connection on board 1.  We struggled mightily, but somehow the simplest thing… the entering of a password, would not… or could not..  allow us to start Jorge’s game.  As he lost precious minutes, maybe 20 or so,  I could feel its icy stare… hear its demonic laugh.  This was no natural delay,  this was the  hand of the abhorrent… Come with me and watch its long pointy nails rip the heart from our heroes… Come on… You can’t hide forever… Come see your fate… your Destiny.
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Short Scene of Boston Blitz wk 4 USCL match

Can you guess who won? Yeah… the Blitz went down. Dallas 2.5 – Blitz 1.5

From expert videographer, Ilya Krasik, and his new cell phone, HTC Amaze 4G on T-Mobile.
A short scene from the United States Chess League (USCL) match showing the Boston Blitz team deep in concentration during their week 4 loss (2.5 – 1.5) to the Dallas Destiny.
Appearing seated, left to right, Vadim Martirosov, Denys Shmelov, Jorge Sammour-Hasbun, Andrew Liu (Boards 3, 2, 1, 4, respectively)