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.
GM Cristian Chirila (DAL) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) (1-0)
Of course, Jorge was late, but coming from Newport, Rhode Island to Boston after work is not a trip that lends itself to timeliness… especially, since it is rush hour. However, he was only a few minutes late… I would guess about 10. Then came that hand of doom that I spoke of… as we just couldn’t get him connected. Then we couldn’t get the password entered. Ilya entered it about 10 times and made 5 calls. No luck. Finally, we brought in another computer and got things working. Strangely, we took the failing computer into the other room and logged in easily. So, Jorge started the game down about 30 minutes. That Black mist hovering over the team had struck its first blow… and it was to prove a fatal one. Well, that and Jorge playing the Grunfeld.
Not much to say here, but, congratulations to GM Chirila on a fine game, even if he did have assistance from a hovering cloud of evil. Somehow, we just gotta’ get Jorge started on time. Just think, he would have more than 4 minutes for the last 20 Moves.
Boston (0 – 1)
Struggling at the very same table with the very same dark cloud, was our 4th board, and new Blitz player, Andrew Liu. He looked to be in bad shape at times, but his opponent just kept giving him chances… and one big chance in particular is this weeks puzzle (see position after 31…Rb1??).
Andrew Liu (BOS) vs Travis Guenther (DAL) (0-1)
We all expected Andrew would win… but, this was his first important match game, and believe me, many players have wilted under the pressure of a USCL match, right Ilya?
All in all, I kinda’ liked his game… 1.d4 combined with the fearlessness of youth. Now, if we could just temper that with a bit of caution… and some time management… we will have a very strong tail-ender for the team.
Boston (0 – 2)
Another victim of that darn dark mist. Two down and two to go; but things were looking great on Denys’s board. So, I decide to take a blow dryer to the Mist and fight it off as best I could. Somehow, hot air just wasn’t enough.
SM Denys Shmelov (BOS) vs GM Conrad Holt (DAL) 1/2-1/2 (Game of the Week!)
When I saw this game won GOTW, I thought, did they know about the Mist? Seriously, it’s about time a very nice positional, maneuvering game gets its due. Congrats to Denys and Conrad. Yeah, there were tactical motifs here and there. But, mostly this was a nice bind by Denys that somehow GM Holt escaped. Hmmmm! Maybe I didn’t hold off the evil spirit as well as I thought.
The theme of the Queen on the e-file seemed to dominate at the end. Truly, how the heck did Black’s Bishop get out? I guess I’ll never understand chess.
Boston (0.5 – 1.5)
Now, Vadim is another story. Evil mists don’t bother him in the least. In fact, he usually dresses in Black… as was the case today. I guess the Mist was a little put off by this. Or, maybe it was the incredibly strange opening that Vadim pulled from his extensive bag of incredibly strange openings.
Wow! What a nice ending by our guy. Of course, it just rubs salt in our wounds since if some of our other games could have had a different outcome… but if ifs and buts were…
BOSTON (1.5 – 2.5)
I guess it’s time to call it a day. Boy, I was really in a depressed mood when I started and now I feel a bit better. I’m even looking forward to our next match… it’s against Philadelphia at 7:10… be there… Monday night! Monday! It’s on Monday? Boy, these Demons never let up. See ya all there. Bring your blow dryers.