Update!  IM John Bartholomew's game analysis on his YouTube channel!

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Round 4 was another big match for the MN Blizzard.  We were paired up with the Rio Grande Ospreys.  The Ospreys were 6.5-3.5 last year making it to the Quarterfinals before losing to New York.   The rating distribution of our lineup was similar to other successful rounds, and Rio Grande appeared to have a similar strategy.

Board 1 was IM John Bartholomew with the white pieces against IM Vazquez.  John played energetically and there were lots of tactics to calculate early.

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[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Bartholomew-MIN"]
[Black "Vazquez-RIO"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A17"]
[WhiteElo "2555"]
[BlackElo "2546"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "119"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g4 {I love this idea from John! Not the
most popular move, but he's playing to mix things up and as White he has some
flexibility.} O-O 5. g5 Ne8 6. Qc2 d5 7. b3 (7. e3 {was played in
Maksimenko-Zorko 2013. Black went on to win that game.}) 7... c5 8. Bb2 Bxc3
9. dxc3 dxc4 10. e3 {A pawn sacrifice offer to open up the two bishops.} cxb3
11. axb3 f5 12. gxf6 {An interesting choice. At first it appears the trade
will strengthen John's bishops. After going forward 6-7 moves though it seems
an improvement could be made on move 12.} Qxf6 13. Be2 e5 14. Qe4 Nc6 15. c4
Bf5 16. Qh4 Rd8 17. Qxf6 {Black's king seems fairly safe and it will be
difficult for John to prove he has adequate compensation for the pawn.} gxf6
18. Rg1+ Kh8 19. Bc3 b6 20. Nh4 Be4 21. f4 exf4 22. exf4 a5 23. Rd1 Rxd1+ 24.
Bxd1 Ng7 25. Kf2 Nf5 26. Bf3 Nxh4 27. Bxe4 Nd4 28. Bxd4 cxd4 29. b4 axb4 30.
Rb1 f5 31. Bd5 Ng6 32. Rxb4 Rf6 33. Kg3 Rd6 34. Bf3 Kg7 35. Rb5 Kf6 36. c5 bxc5
37. Rxc5 d3 38. Rc4 d2 39. Bd1 Re6 40. Rd4 Re4 41. Rxd2 Nxf4 42. Bf3 Rb4 43.
Rd6+ Kg7 44. Rd7+ Kh6 45. Rf7 Kg6 46. Rd7 Kh6 47. Rf7 Kg6 48. Rd7 Kg5 49. Rxh7
Ng6 50. Rc7 Rb3 51. Kf2 Ne5 52. Be2 f4 53. Rc5 Kf5 54. Ra5 Rb2 55. h4 f3 56.
Rxe5+ Kxe5 57. Kxf3 Rb3+ 58. Kg4 Rb4+ 59. Kg5 Rxh4 60. Kxh4 1/2-1/2

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Board 2 was Sean Nagle against IM Ynojosa.

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[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Ynojosa-RIO"]
[Black "Nagle-MIN"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E61"]
[WhiteElo "2471"]
[BlackElo "2542"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 c5 3. e3 Bg7 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. d5 d6 7. Be2 Na6 {We've
reached a King's Indian position. Sean has lots of experience in these setups.
} 8. O-O Nc7 9. e4 Bg4 10. Ng5 Bxe2 11. Qxe2 a6 {Playing for the thematic pawn
break ...b5.} 12. f4 b5 13. e5 Nd7 14. e6 fxe6 15. Nxe6 Nxe6 16. Qxe6+ Kh8 17.
Ne4 Nf6 18. Ng5 Qd7 19. f5 Qxe6 20. Nxe6 {Less experienced players should
study this position closely. Sean sacrifices the exchange for a pawn and
obtains an advantage.} bxc4 21. Nxf8 Rxf8 22. fxg6 hxg6 23. Bd2 Rb8 24. Bc3
Nxd5 25. Bxg7+ Kxg7 26. Rf2 Nb4 27. Raf1 Nd3 {White obtains a position with
perpetual check possibilities and the game headed towards a draw.} 28. Rf7+ Kh6
29. R1f3 Rxb2 30. Rh3+ Kg5 31. Rg3+ Kh6 1/2-1/2

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Board 3 was IM Andrew Tang against IM Joshua Ruiz in his USCL debut.

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[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Tang-MIN"]
[Black "Ruiz-RIO"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E32"]
[WhiteElo "2475"]
[BlackElo "2491"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "156"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 b6 7. Bg5 Bb7 8.
e3 d6 9. Ne2 Nbd7 10. Qc2 h6 11. Bh4 Qe8 12. Rd1 Ne4 13. f3 Ng5 14. Bg3 f5 15.
h4 Nh7 16. Bf2 e5 17. d5 Nhf6 18. Nc3 Bc8 19. Nb5 Qd8 20. Qxf5 e4 21. Nd4 Ne5
22. Ne6 Qe8 23. f4 Neg4 24. h5 c6 $2 (24... Rf7 {Threatening ...Nxd5.} 25. Be2
Nxd5 26. Qxd5 Bxe6 27. Qxe4 {is close to equal.}) 25. Be2 Nxf2 26. Kxf2 {Now
Andrew has the chance to push the g-pawn up the board for a dangerous attack.}
Rf7 27. Qg6 Bxe6 28. dxe6 Qxe6 29. Rd2 Rd8 30. Rhd1 Rc7 31. g4 d5 32. Kg2 Re7
33. g5 hxg5 34. fxg5 Nh7 35. Qxe6+ Rxe6 36. cxd5 Red6 37. Rd4 cxd5 38. Bc4 Nxg5
39. Rxd5 Rxd5 40. Rxd5 Rxd5 41. Bxd5+ Kh7 42. Kg3 Kh6 {The game is close to
equal but Andrew finds a way to get a won endgame.} 43. Kh4 Nf3+ 44. Kg4 Ne5+
45. Kf5 Nd3 46. Kxe4 Nxb2 47. Bf7 Kg5 48. Kd4 Nd1 49. e4 Kf6 50. Bg6 Nf2 51.
Bf5 Nh1 52. Kd5 Ng3 53. Bg4 Nf1 54. Kd6 Ne3 55. e5+ Kf7 56. Be2 Nf5+ 57. Kd7
Ne7 58. Bc4+ Kf8 59. Kc7 Ke8 60. Bb5+ Kf7 61. Kd7 Kf8 62. Bc4 Nf5 63. a4 Nh6
64. e6 Nf5 65. Bd3 Ne7 66. Be4 Ng8 67. Bf3 Nf6+ 68. Kd8 Ng8 69. Bg2 Ne7 70. Be4
Ng8 71. Bf3 Ne7 72. Be2 Nd5 73. Bc4 Ne7 74. Kc7 Nf5 75. Bd3 Ne7 76. Bc4 Nf5 77.
Kd8 Ne7 78. Kc7 Nf5 {Unfortunately while trying to gain time with the 30
second increment a three-fold repetition was reached.} (78... Nf5 {The endgame
is complicated. It looks like White's king can attempt to capture the
queenside pawns.} 79. Kb8 Nd6 80. Bd5 a6 81. Ka7 Ke7 82. Kxa6 Nc8 83. Kb7 Kd8
84. Bb3 {and Black is in zugswang.}) 1/2-1/2

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Assistant Manager and USCF Expert Eric Bell played board 4 for the Blizzard.  Most of the notes are from Eric (Thanks Eric!).

 

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[Event "USCL Week 4"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Serna, Jeffrey"]
[Black "Bell, Eric"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B22"]
[WhiteElo "2108"]
[BlackElo "2050"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 {Eric was prepared for a Be3 Najdorf and the Alapin took him by
surprise. He didn't mind though due to his experience in the opening.} d5 3.
exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bxe2 9. Qxe2 a6 ({
Eric wanted to play} 9... Nc6 {but he didn't like} 10. Nb5 {To avoid
complications Eric decided to try to castle kingside quickly.}) 10. Be3 Be7 11.
Nd2 O-O {Eric thought now any advantage White had is probably dulled by the
c3-pawn being misplaced.} 12. Rfd1 Nbd7 13. h3 {"He spent a lot of time to
come up with h3.. maybe didn't like the idea of allowing Qh5 after Nf3 but I
felt I needed to keep an eye on the b6 from the bishop messing with my d-file
control" - Eric} Rfd8 14. N2f3 Ne5 15. Nxe5 Qxe5 16. Nf3 Qa5 17. Bd4 Nd5 18.
Ne5 Bf6 19. Re1 ({"luckily he overlooked Nf7 after Bf6.. but the continuation
isn't easy" - Eric} 19. Nxf7 Kxf7 20. Qh5+ Kg8 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. c4 {Gives
White an advantage.}) 19... Nf4 {"after he moved his rook off the d-file,
seemed like an opportunity to offer a pawn to grab control of that file seemed
to pay off" - Eric} 20. Qf3 Ng6 21. Nxg6 hxg6 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. Qxf6 Rd5 24.
Red1 Rad8 25. Rxd5 Rxd5 26. Qf3 Qb6 27. Qe2 Qd6 28. Rb1 Rd2 29. Qe3 Kg7 30. c4
Rd3 31. Qe1 Rd2 32. a3 Qd4 33. a4 Rxb2 {"finally he resigned a pawn to relieve
the pressure, I unfortunately missed Qc3 after Rd2.. which would have lead to
an advantage in a rook pawn ending, much easier to convert than an advantage
in a queen pawn, but time pressure was definitely an issue" - Eric} 34. Rd1 Qf6
35. Rd2 Rxd2 36. Qxd2 Qa1+ 37. Kh2 Qxa4 38. Qd4+ Kf8 39. Qd6+ Kg7 40. Qd4+ Kg8
41. Qd8+ 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]

team icon

Minnesota Blizzard (2.0 - 1.0)

team icon

Rio Grande Ospreys (1.5 - 1.5)

All Time Series Record: (This is their first meeting)

 

Minnesota Blizzard Rio Grande Ospreys
IM John Bartholomew: 2555 0.5 0.5 IM Guillermo Vazquez: 2546
IM Sean Nagle: 2542 0.5 0.5 IM Felix Ynojosa: 2471
IM Andrew Tang: 2475 0.5 0.5 IM Joshua Ruiz: 2491
Eric Bell: 2050 0.5 0.5 Jeffrey Serna: 2108
Average Rating: 2406 Average Rating: 2404
Minnesota Total 2.0 2.0 Rio Grande Total

Until next week!

After two weeks the MN Blizzard are right in the middle of the West division with 1/2.  Week 3 faces the Blizzard off against the Lubbock Tornadoes, a new team this year.  This is a big match for the Blizzard as they look to move into a playoff spot down the stretch.  Lineups for these matches must be submitted by a certain deadline, and the Tornadoes were late to submit their roster.  The Blizzard were awarded a time bonus with the clocks showing 84 minutes (Blizzard) - 66 minutes (Tornadoes).  A nice start to the match!  Let's dig into the games.

Lubbock Tornadoes Minnesota Blizzard
GM Andrey Baryshpolets: 2608 GM Mauricio Flores: 2565
FM Steven Breckenridge: 2414 IM John Bartholomew: 2555
WIM Irina Andrenko: 2323 IM Andrew Tang: 2475
WGM Carla Heredia: 2227 Saumik Narayanan: 1949
Average Rating: 2393 Average Rating: 2386

11986415_866752086745113_429392599685403321_n
GM Flores played board 1 for the Blizzard again after taking a week off.  He had the very nice win against Keaton Kiewra with the Black pieces in the first match and now finds himself against GM Andrey Baryshpolets.

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[Event "ICC 66 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Baryshpolet-LUB"]
[Black "Flores-MIN"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D97"]
[WhiteElo "2608"]
[BlackElo "2565"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6 8. Be2
b5 9. Qb3 c5 10. dxc5 Be6 11. Qc2 Nbd7 12. Be3 Rc8 13. Rd1 b4 {Up until this
point we've been following a main line Grunfeld. White deviates from the
standard 14.Nd5.} 14. Na4 Qa5 $1 {A very nice reply threatening ...b3+ and ...
Nxe4!} 15. O-O Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Qxa4 17. Ng5 Nxc5 18. Qh4 (18. Bxc5 Rxc5 19. Nxe6
Re5 $1 20. Qb7 Rxe6 {gives Black a slight edge.}) 18... h6 19. Nxe6 Nxe6 20.
Bc4 {A good move. White puts immediate pressure on the e6-knight.} Bf6 {
Attacking the queen, which must remain in defense of c4.} 21. Qe4 Kg7 {
Mauricio must give back the pawn, leading to a drawn endgame.} 22. Bxe6 fxe6
23. Qxe6 Qc6 24. Qh3 h5 {The players have been following Morozevich -
Kasimdzhanov 2012, which continued 25.b3. That game ended in a draw.} 25. Bd4
Rfd8 26. Qe3 Rd7 27. Bxf6+ exf6 {We now reach a symmetric position that is
headed for a draw.} 28. Rxd7+ Qxd7 29. Qb6 Qb5 30. Qa7+ Kh6 31. h3 Rc2 32. Qd4
Kg7 33. Qa7+ Kh6 34. Qe3+ g5 35. Qe7 Qb6 36. Qf8+ Kg6 37. Qe8+ Kh6 38. Qh8+ Kg6
39. Qg8+ Kh6 40. Qf8+ Kg6 41. Qg8+ 1/2-1/2

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Board 2 featured IM John Bartholomew, hot off a 3rd place GOTW performance last week.  John won his previous match with White and now had the White pieces against FM Breckenridge.

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[Event "ICC 84 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Bartholomew-MIN"]
[Black "Breckenridg-LUB"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2555"]
[BlackElo "2414"]
[PlyCount "109"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. Rc1 c6 7. e3 Nbd7 {This
game is following a standard Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) setup. Black has
chosen a solid pawn formation with the c-pawn on c6 instead of pushing to c5.}
8. a3 Nh5 {John makes an interesting decision here giving up the bishop pair
and accepting an isolated pawn on d4. Is he crazy?! After looking deeper
into the position it appears he gets the exact position he was aiming for.} 9.
Bd3 Nxf4 10. exf4 dxc4 11. Bxc4 {It's time to start focusing on the pawn
breaks. If Black isn't able to safely play ...c5 or ...e5 White will have
complete control of the position.} Nb6 ({I would like to see Black go for
quicker development of the light square bishop. For example:} 11... b5 12. Bd3
a6 13. O-O Bb7 14. Qe2 c5 {White has a slight advantage still, but one could
argue Black is close to equal.}) 12. Bd3 Nd5 13. g3 Nxc3 14. Rxc3 {White is
gaining control of the dark squares.} b6 $2 {The c6-pawn becomes too weak
after this move. If Black has time to play ...c5 next it should be fine but
John doesn't allow it.} 15. Be4 Bb7 16. Ne5 Rc8 17. O-O ({Taking the pawn too
soon doesn't work.} 17. Nxc6 Bxc6 18. Rxc6 Rxc6 19. Bxc6 Bf6 20. d5 exd5 $11)
17... Bf6 18. Qa4 a5 19. Rfc1 b5 20. Qc2 g6 21. Bxc6 Bxe5 22. dxe5 {John is up
a pawn now and has more active major pieces. The downside for him is that the
extra pawn could be hard to mobilize down the stretch.} Rxc6 23. Rxc6 Qd5 24.
Qc5 Qf3 {A very aggressive move for Black keeping the light square threats on
the board. 25...Rd8 is the threat.} 25. Qxb5 Rb8 26. Qb6 Kg7 27. Qc7 a4 28. h4
h5 29. Qxb8 Bxc6 30. Rxc6 Qxc6 {John should feel comfortable now once he gets
out of the checks.} 31. Qb4 Qc1+ 32. Kg2 Qc6+ 33. Kf1 Qc1+ 34. Ke2 Qc2+ 35. Ke3
Qc1+ 36. Qd2 Qc5+ 37. Qd4 Qc2 38. Qc3 Qd1 39. Qd2 Qb3+ 40. Ke2 Qb5+ 41. Ke1 Qc4
42. Qb4 Qc1+ 43. Ke2 Qc2+ 44. Kf1 Qc1+ 45. Kg2 Qc6+ 46. Kh2 Qc2 47. Qd4 Qe2 48.
Kg1 Qe1+ {A mistake for Black switching the queen to the dark squares.} (48...
Qc2 49. Qc3 Qd1+ 50. Kg2 Qd5+ {makes it difficult for White to improve.}) 49.
Kg2 Qa5 50. Qc4 Qa8+ 51. Kg1 Qa5 52. Qb4 Qc7 (52... Qa6 53. b3 axb3 54. Qxb3 {
is also winning.}) 53. Qxa4 Qc1+ 54. Kg2 Qxb2 55. Qa8 1-0

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Board 3 for the Blizzard this week was IM Andrew Tang.  Andrew also won his last match with the Black pieces in week 1.  This week he is playing WIM Irina Andrenko.

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[Event "ICC 66 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Andrenko-LUB"]
[Black "Tang-MIN"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C45"]
[WhiteElo "2323"]
[BlackElo "2475"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {The Scotch Opening. Employed this year by
Minnesota's own Wesley So in January vs. Aronian.} exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6
bxc6 6. Qe2 {6.e5 is the main move here. Now Black can safely play ...d6.} d6
7. g3 Be7 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O Nd7 10. f4 Re8 11. Nc3 Rb8 12. Rb1 Bb7 13. Be3 Bf6
14. Nd1 c5 15. Nf2 Bc6 {Andrew obtains a solid position out of the opening
with equality.} 16. c4 $6 {Creating some weaknesses.} Qc8 17. b3 Qb7 18. Qd3
Re7 19. Rfe1 Rbe8 20. Re2 g6 21. Rbe1 Bg7 22. Bh3 Nf8 23. e5 (23. Bc1 {is
better according to Stockfish. Black still has a small edge.}) 23... Bf3 $1
24. Rc2 f5 25. exf6 Bxf6 26. Rcc1 Bd4 27. Bd2 Be2 28. Rxe2 Rxe2 29. Rf1 Qe4 30.
Qxe4 R8xe4 31. Bg2 Re7 32. Bd5+ Kg7 33. Ba5 Rxa2 34. b4 cxb4 35. Bxb4 c5 36.
Be1 Rxe1 0-1

[/pgn]

Board 4 featured Saumik against WGM Heredia.

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[Event "ICC 84 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Narayanan-MIN"]
[Black "Heredia-LUB"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A52"]
[WhiteElo "1949"]
[BlackElo "2227"]
[PlyCount "130"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Nf3 Bc5 {Budapest Gambit.} 5. e3 Nc6 6. b3
O-O 7. Bb2 Re8 8. Be2 a5 9. O-O Ncxe5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Nd2 Ra6 12. Nf3 Nxf3+
13. Bxf3 Rh6 {Black is playing extremely aggressive.} 14. g3 d6 15. Bg4 Re4 16.
Bxc8 Qxc8 17. Qf3 Qh3 18. Qg2 Qe6 19. Rad1 Rg6 20. Bd4 b6 21. Bxc5 bxc5 22. Rd5
a4 23. Rfd1 h6 24. Qf3 Rf6 25. Qe2 a3 26. R1d2 g5 27. Qd1 g4 28. Qc1 Qe8 29.
Re2 Qa8 30. Qc3 Rfe6 31. Qd2 Kg7 32. Qc3+ Kg6 33. Qd3 f5 34. Qc2 h5 35. h4 gxh3
36. Kh2 R4e5 37. Qd3 Qd8 38. Rxe5 Rxe5 39. e4 Qg5 {The game has been close to
equal, but here Black missed the fork!} 40. exf5+ (40. f4 fxe4 41. Rxe4 {and
White is winning.}) 40... Qxf5 {Now the tables have turned and Black is
winning.} 41. Qxf5+ Kxf5 42. Rxe5+ Kxe5 43. Kxh3 c6 44. Kh4 d5 45. Kxh5 d4 46.
f4+ Kf5 47. g4+ Kxf4 48. g5 d3 49. g6 d2 50. g7 d1=Q+ 51. Kg6 Qg4+ 52. Kf7 Qd7+
53. Kf8 Qd8+ 54. Kf7 Ke3 55. g8=Q Qxg8+ 56. Kxg8 Kd3 57. Kf7 Kc3 58. Ke6 Kb2
59. Kd6 Kxa2 60. Kxc6 Kxb3 61. Kxc5 a2 62. Kd5 a1=Q 63. c5 Qa8+ 64. c6 Kb4 65.
Kd6 Qc8 0-1

[/pgn]

Lubbock Tornadoes Minnesota Blizzard
GM Andrey Baryshpolets: 2608 0.5 0.5 GM Mauricio Flores: 2565
FM Steven Breckenridge: 2414 0.0 1.0 IM John Bartholomew: 2555
WIM Irina Andrenko: 2323 0.0 1.0 IM Andrew Tang: 2475
WGM Carla Heredia: 2227 1.0 0.0 Saumik Narayanan: 1949
Average Rating: 2393 Average Rating: 2386
Lubbock Total 1.5 2.5 Minnesota Total

Minnesota has moved to 2-1 now!  See you next week.

The MN Blizzard played their round 2 match last night against the Seattle Sluggers.  Seattle won the league in 2012 anchored by Varuzhan Akobian.  In this match-up the Sluggers and the Blizzard were evenly matched on all boards.

The top board for the Blizzard this week was IM John Bartholomew.  John has four years of experience in the USCL playing for the Dallas Destiny (2007-2009) and the Manhattan Applesause (2011).  He also has a very popular and instructive YouTube Channel.  In this game he played a very solid opening and fought his way through some tactics to obtain an endgame attack!

BartholomewGame2

[pgn layout=horizontal autoplayMode=none]

[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Bartholomew-MIN"]
[Black "Orlov-SEA"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E33"]
[WhiteElo "2555"]
[BlackElo "2528"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 Nc6 {A rare move that often transposes to a Nimzo Indian.} 3.
Nf3 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qc2 d6 6. Bd2 O-O 7. a3 Bxc3 8. Bxc3 Qe7 9. e3 e5 10. d5
Nb8 11. Nd2 {John obtains a comfortable advantage out of the opening with the
bishop pair and more space.} Ng4 $6 {A sharp move that isn't in the ChessBase
Online Database. John finds a way to convert this position into a better
endgame.} 12. Bd3 f5 13. h3 Qh4 14. Nf3 Qh6 {Threatening ...e4.} 15. O-O-O {
John is ready to counter 15...e4 with 16.hxg4 now.} Nxe3 (15... e4 16. hxg4 $18
) 16. fxe3 e4 17. Bxe4 Qxe3+ 18. Nd2 fxe4 19. Rde1 Qh6 20. Qxe4 Bf5 21. Qe3 Qg6
({Trading queens looks dangerous for Black. For example:} 21... Qxe3 22. Rxe3
Nd7 (22... Bg6 {is the engine move.} 23. h4 Nd7 24. h5 Be8 $16) 23. Re7 Rf7 24.
Rxf7 Kxf7 25. Rf1 Kg6 26. g4 Bd3 27. Rf3 Nc5 28. b4 Be2 29. Re3 Nd3+ 30. Kc2
Nf4 31. Re7 {White is winning at least a pawn.}) 22. g4 $1 {John finishes this
game with some flair.} Bd7 23. h4 Re8 24. h5 Qf7 25. Qd4 Na6 26. Ref1 Qe7 27.
h6 Nc5 28. hxg7 Qe5 29. Qxe5 Nd3+ 30. Kb1 Nxe5 31. Ne4 Nxg4 32. Ng5 h6 33. Nf7
Kh7 34. Nxh6 Nxh6 35. Rf6 Kxg7 36. Rxd6+ Kf8 37. Rxd7 Nf7 38. Rf1 1-0

[/pgn]

Board 2 featured Sean Nagle in his second appearance for the MN Blizzard.  Sean played a nice game in the first round against San Diego and this match-up he is facing another former child prodigy Michael Lee.  Both players were national masters at a young age.  Sean played a rare opening setup and Michael chose to trade queens early and kept Black's counterplay to a minimum.

SeanGame2

[pgn layout=horizontal autoplayMode=none]

[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "MichaelLee-SEA"]
[Black "Nagle-MIN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A37"]
[WhiteElo "2503"]
[BlackElo "2542"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 c5 {Sean started with the Modern Defense and now we
are transposing into a Symmetrical English.} 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. Nf3 a6 (5... d6 6.
O-O e6 {is a more popular setup as of late. Gelfand, Leko, and Dominguez
Perez have all used this setup with some success.}) 6. O-O Rb8 7. e3 d6 8. d4
Bg4 {Something feels a bit shaky with Black's setup now that White can safely
go into a queenless endgame up a couple tempi.} (8... cxd4 9. exd4 Bg4 {is
perhaps an improvement.}) 9. dxc5 dxc5 10. Qxd8+ Rxd8 {The active move!} (10...
Nxd8 11. Rd1 Nf6 {feels too passive for Black.}) 11. Na4 Na5 12. Nd2 b5 (12...
Nxc4 $5 13. Nxc4 b5 {is an interesting idea, but White still appears better
after} 14. Nxc5 bxc4 15. a4 $1 (15. Nxa6 c3 16. bxc3 Bxc3 17. Rb1 {gives Black
some creative counterplay.} Be2) 15... Rd6 (15... c3 16. bxc3 Bxc3 17. Ra2 {
and Black doesn't have 17...Be2.}) 16. Nb7 $16) 13. cxb5 axb5 14. Nxc5 Nf6 15.
h3 Bd7 16. b4 $18 {Sean accepts being a pawn down and his opponent makes life
difficult.} Nc6 17. Rb1 e6 18. Bb2 Ke7 19. Nxd7 Rxd7 20. Bxc6 Rxd2 21. Bxb5
Rhd8 22. a4 Bh6 23. Bc6 Nh5 24. b5 R8d3 25. Bc1 Ra2 26. b6 Rd8 27. b7 Rb8 28.
Rd1 Nf6 29. Bb2 Nd5 30. Bxd5 exd5 31. Be5 1-0

[/pgn]

The top two boards were also the first games to finish, leaving the match tied at 1-1.  Board 3 for the Blizzard featured FM Kevin Wasiluk, former U2300 US Open Champion!

WasilukGame2

[pgn layout=horizontal autoplayMode=none]

[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Wasiluk-MIN"]
[Black "Golub-SEA"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A57"]
[WhiteElo "2317"]
[BlackElo "2321"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "64"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. bxa6 g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 {This move order
has been revived recently after Gelfand-Carlsen 2014. Black delays the
capture on a6 to create a different type of counterplay. It can be a useful
move order if you fear White is prepared for the main lines.} 7. e3 (7. e4 O-O
8. Nf3 Qa5 9. Bd2 {is the main line.}) 7... O-O 8. Nf3 Qa5 9. Nd2 {My feeling
here is that Black has very nice activity at the cost of a pawn.} (9. Bd2 Bxa6
10. Be2 Bxe2 11. Qxe2 {should give White at least equality.}) 9... Bxa6 10. Nc4
Bxc4 11. Bxc4 Ne4 12. Bd2 Nxd2 13. Qxd2 d6 {There is no immediate counterplay
for Black but the development is so smooth Mr. Golub should be pleased.} 14.
O-O Nd7 {heading to b6 if White isn't ready.} 15. a4 Rfb8 {Black is
threatening ...Rxb2.} 16. Ra3 (16. h3 Rxb2 17. Qxb2 Bxc3 18. Qb3 Bxa1 19. Rxa1
{equal or slight edge for Black.}) 16... Qb4 $1 17. Bd3 Nb6 (17... Qxb2 18.
Qxb2 Rxb2 {gives Black a clear advantage.} 19. Bb5 Nb6 $17) 18. Rfa1 Nxd5 19.
Bf1 Nc7 {Preparing to advance pawns in the center.} 20. R3a2 d5 21. Qc2 c4 22.
a5 e6 23. a6 Ra7 24. Nd1 Qb6 {Black's pawns are solid, but the queenside pawns
for White are weak. Kevin decides to go for some quick play in the center.}
25. e4 Rxa6 26. Ne3 Rxa2 27. Rxa2 Bd4 28. exd5 exd5 29. Qd2 Re8 30. Nc2 Bxb2 {
The pawns are unstoppable now.} 31. Qf4 Be5 32. Qg4 Qb3 {Kevin was low on time
and missed this fork.} 0-1

[/pgn]

Board 4 was the debut game for one of the top 13 year old's in the country - National Master Andrew Titus!

TitusGame2

[pgn layout=horizontal autoplayMode=none]

[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Schill-SEA"]
[Black "Titus-MIN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B99"]
[WhiteElo "2236"]
[BlackElo "2189"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "137"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3
Nbd7 9. O-O-O Qc7 10. f5 {A rare move in this position.} Ne5 {A strong reply
by Andrew gaining the initiative.} 11. Qh3 Nfg4 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. Qg3 Qg5+ $6 (
13... O-O {is the safest move here and should give Black equality.}) 14. Kb1
Qe3 15. Nf3 $1 {Now things feel shaky for Black. The d6-pawn is a huge
weakness since the Black king is still on e8.} Qf2 16. Rxd6 Qxg3 17. hxg3 Ke7
18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. Rd4 h6 20. Be2 Bd7 21. Rh5 {For a while now White tries to
figure out how to convert the extra pawn into a winning position. Black has a
lot of defense resources at his disposal.} Nc6 22. Rd1 Rhd8 23. Bf3 Be8 {A
very nice defensive move! White was threatening e5 and f6.} 24. Rhh1 Ne5 25.
Kc1 Rxd1+ 26. Rxd1 {Stockfish says the position is about equal now!} Rd8 (26...
Bc6 27. fxe6 fxe6 28. Ne2 Rf8 29. Nd4 Be8 30. Kd2 Bg6 31. Ke2 Rc8 {White is
still up a pawn but it's very difficult to make any progress.}) 27. Rxd8 Kxd8
28. fxe6 fxe6 29. Be2 Ke7 30. Kd2 Kd6 31. Ke3 Kc5 32. a3 g5 33. Nd1 Kd6 34. Nf2
a5 35. Kd4 Nc6+ 36. Ke3 Ne5 37. b4 b6 38. c4 Nc6 39. Nd3 e5 40. Bg4 Bf7 41. c5+
bxc5 42. bxc5+ Kc7 43. Bd1 Be6 44. Ba4 Kb7 45. Kd2 Kc7 46. Kc3 Nd4 47. Bd1 Nb5+
48. Kb2 Kc6 49. Ba4 Bg8 (49... Bc8 {is best.}) 50. Nxe5+ (50. Bb3 Bxb3 51. Kxb3
{with a plan of a4, Kc4, Nxe5 and White is winning.}) 50... Kxc5 51. Nd7+ Kc6
52. Nf6 Be6 (52... Bc4 53. e5 Bd3 {Allows the Black king to move if White
pushes the e-pawn.}) 53. Nd5 Bxd5 {White was able to calculate out the win now.
} 54. exd5+ Kc5 55. Bxb5 Kxb5 56. Kb3 a4+ 57. Kc3 Kc5 58. d6 Kxd6 59. Kb4 h5
60. Kxa4 h4 61. Kb5 Ke5 62. a4 Kf5 63. a5 Kg4 64. gxh4 gxh4 65. a6 Kg3 66. a7
Kxg2 67. a8=Q+ Kh2 68. Qg8 h3 69. Qg4 1-0

[/pgn]

Next week we play the Lubbock Tornadoes on Tuesday, September 8th at 7:00 PM CST.  Go Blizzard!

team icon
(1-0)
vs team icon
(
0-1)

All Time Series Record: (This is their first meeting)

Starts at 7:30 CST on 9/1

Time Control: Game in 75 with 30 second increment

MN Team playing at the Chess Castle

Minnesota Blizzard Seattle Sluggers
IM John Bartholomew: 2555 IM Georgi Orlov: 2528
IM Sean Nagle: 2542 IM Michael Lee: 2503
FM Kevin Wasiluk: 2317 NM David Golub: 2321
NM Andrew Titus: 2189 FM William Schill: 2236
Average Rating: 2401 Average Rating: 2397
Minnesota Total Seattle Total

 

The Minnesota Blizzard's U.S. Chess League season kicked off last night at the Chess Castle of Minnesota.  Our opponent was the San Diego, also a new team for the 2015 season.  The Blizzard had a rating advantage on the first three boards, with a rising star on board 4.

team icon vs team icon

All Time Series Record: (This is their first meeting)

Starts at 9:00 PM EST

Time Control: Game in 75 with 30 second increment

San Diego Surfers Minnesota Blizzard
IM Keaton Kiewra: 2518 GM Mauricio Flores: 2565
NM Stevan Djordjevic: 2366 IM Sean Nagle: 2542
IM John Watson: 2340 IM Andrew Tang: 2475
FM Ali Morshedi: 2328 Saumik Narayanan: 1949
Average Rating: 2388 Average Rating: 2383
Photo by Arun Narayanan
MN Blizzard Round 1 Team - Photo by Arun Narayanan

The top board featured Chess Coach Keaton Kiewra against University of MInnesota PhD student Mauricio Flores.  Keaton chose a quieter opening and a positional battle ensued.

[pgn layout=horizontal autoplayMode=none]

[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.08.25"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kiewra-SD"]
[Black "Flores-MIN"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D03"]
[WhiteElo "2518"]
[BlackElo "2565"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bg5 Bg7 4. Nbd2 O-O 5. c3 d5 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Be2 h6 {Up
until this point we have been following Kramnik-Caruana Gashimov Memorial 2015.
Caruana played 7...c5 and eventually won the game after 54 moves. Black plans
to play for the bishop pair by trading off the f6-knight for the g5-bishop.} 8.
Bh4 g5 9. Bg3 Nh5 10. Be5 f6 11. Bg3 Nxg3 12. hxg3 Nb6 {Mauricio is probably
planning to play ...e7-e5 soon to open up the center for his bishops.} 13. c4 {
Keaton strikes first, attempting to take control of the center.} dxc4 14. Nxc4
Be6 15. Rc1 c6 16. O-O Nxc4 17. Bxc4 Bxc4 18. Rxc4 Qd5 19. Qb3 {Black cannot
move the queen due to discovered check threats.} Rfd8 20. Rfc1 Rd7 {After the
opening phase of the game White appears to have a small advantage. Black's
position is very solid, but he is tied down to the defense of a few queenside
targets.} 21. Qc2 Rad8 22. a4 Qf7 23. b4 e6 24. b5 cxb5 25. axb5 Bf8 26. Qa2 b6
27. Rc6 Bd6 28. Nd2 e5 29. d5 Bf8 30. e4 {Keaton has been playing to lock up
the pawn structure. Now we've reached a position where White has every piece
placed well, a protected passed pawn, and pressure on the a7-pawn. Mauricio
looks for quick counterplay.} f5 31. Qc2 Bg7 32. exf5 Qxd5 33. Ne4 Qxb5 {A
great practical choice! 33...Qxb5 may not be the computer's top option, but
it gives Mauricio connected passed pawns on the queenside. If Keaton isn't
able to find accurate attacking moves he may run into trouble on the queenside.
} 34. Rg6 Kh8 35. Kh2 (35. f6 $1 Bf8 36. f7 Rxf7 37. Nf6 Rxf6 38. Rxf6 {is
close to winning for White.}) 35... Qd3 36. Qc6 Qd5 37. g4 $2 {37.f6 would
have been best.} (37. f6 Bf8 38. Qxd5 {trading queens on White's terms.} Rxd5
39. f7 Bg7 40. Rc7 {There are lots of tactics in White's favor here. For
example:} R5d7 41. f8=Q+ Bxf8 42. Nf6 {and White is winning.}) 37... Qxc6 38.
Rcxc6 b5 {Now the game is dynamically balanced. These positions tend to be
easier to play in time pressure when you have the passed pawns. Keaton (21
mins) - Mauricio (16 mins).} 39. Nc5 Rf7 40. Rge6 b4 {White's advantage is
gone now and the b-pawn becomes very dangerous. It's very difficult to find a
plawn for White in this position.} 41. Ra6 (41. f3 Bf8 42. Nb3 {is Stockfish's
attempt to hold on. Black still has an edge.}) 41... Bf8 42. Ne4 b3 43. Rxe5
Rb7 44. Ra1 b2 45. Rb1 Rc8 46. Rd5 Rc1 47. Nd2 Bg7 48. f4 Bc3 49. Rxb2 Rxb2 50.
Rd8+ Kh7 51. Rd7+ Kg8 52. Ne4 gxf4 53. f6 Rbb1 0-1

[/pgn]

The Blizzard's board 2 for this match was Sean Nagle.  Sean has been the MN State Champion every year since 2009!  He also recently earned his IM title and sports a 2550 rating.  Not bad for board 2!  I really liked Sean's low-risk strategy here against a slightly lower rated opponent.  We never looked at risk to lose this game and Sean held an advantage out of the opening.

[pgn layout=horizontal autoplayMode=none]

[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.08.25"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Nagle-MIN"]
[Black "Djordjevic-SD"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D30"]
[WhiteElo "2542"]
[BlackElo "2366"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 e6 3. c4 c6 4. Qc2 Nf6 5. Bg5 Qa5+ {White scores very well in
this line and it isn't popular at the top level. It might have been a
surprise weapon.} 6. Bd2 Bb4 7. e3 {Sean reacts well and obtains a comfortable
advantage out of the opening.} Bxd2+ 8. Nbxd2 O-O 9. Bd3 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nbd7 11.
O-O e5 12. Qc3 Qxc3 13. bxc3 exd4 14. cxd4 {White has the center pawn duo and
more space. Black reacts quickly with a pawn break trying to neutralize
White's control of the center.} c5 15. e4 cxd4 16. e5 Ne8 17. Rfe1 Nc5 18. Nxd4
Nc7 {White has a slight advantage at this point, but there's no clear way to
increase his advantage. Sean tries to activate his rooks quickly and push the
f-pawn.} 19. Ne4 Nxe4 20. Rxe4 Bd7 21. f4 g6 22. Rf1 Ne6 23. Nb5 (23. Nxe6 Bxe6
24. Bxe6 fxe6 {also looks drawish.}) 23... Bxb5 24. Bxb5 {The game is headed
towards a draw.} Rad8 25. Bc4 Nc5 26. Re2 Rd4 27. Rc2 b6 28. f5 {An
interesting idea. Sean may have been playing for a win at this point.} Re4 29.
e6 fxe6 30. fxe6 Rxf1+ 31. Kxf1 Nxe6 32. Bd5 Re5 33. Rc8+ Kf7 34. Rc7+ Kf6
1/2-1/2

[/pgn]

Board 3 features one of Minnesota's fastest rising talents, IM Andrew Tang.  This was a very impressive game by Andrew and I don't think he made any mistakes.

[pgn layout=horizontal autoplayMode=none]

[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.08.25"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Watson-SD"]
[Black "Tang-MIN"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2340"]
[BlackElo "2475"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "98"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 {John Watson wrote a book titled "A Strategic
Chess Opening Repertoire for White" where he recommends the Exchange Variation
- 4.cxd5.} 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Be2 dxc4 8. O-O c5 9. dxc5 Nxc5
10. Bxc4 Qxd1 11. Rfxd1 a6 (11... b6 12. Nd4 Bb7 13. Rac1 a6 14. b4 Nce4 15.
Nxe4 Bxe4 {is the main line.}) 12. Ne5 Re8 13. Be2 b5 14. Bf3 {Allowing Black
to finish development and offer the bishop trade simultaneously.} (14. Nc6 Bf8
15. Rac1 Bb7 16. Na5 Bd5 {retains a slight edge for White.}) 14... Bb7 15. Bxb7
Nxb7 16. Nc6 Bf8 17. Bg5 Rac8 18. Na7 $2 {Andrew spots John's mistake and
immediately sets up the knight trap. From here to the end one could argue
that Andrew plays a perfect game.} Rc7 19. Rac1 Ra8 20. Bf4 Rc4 21. b3 Rc5 22.
e4 Rxa7 23. Be3 b4 24. Bxc5 Nxc5 25. Na4 Nxa4 26. bxa4 Nxe4 27. Rc8 Nf6 28.
Rdd8 Nd7 29. Rc6 g6 30. Rd6 Nf6 31. Rc6 Kg7 32. a5 Ne4 33. Kf1 Nc3 34. a3 Nd5
35. axb4 Bxb4 36. g4 Bxa5 37. Rdd6 Bb6 38. Rxd5 exd5 39. Rxb6 a5 40. Rb3 a4 41.
Ra3 g5 42. Ke2 Kf6 43. Kf3 Ke5 44. Ke3 d4+ 45. Kd3 Kd5 46. h3 h6 47. f3 Ra6 48.
Ra1 a3 49. Ra2 Ra5 0-1

[/pgn]

Board 4 featured our toughest game on paper.  Saumik Narayanan played extremely well and held at least equality until both players were down to 5 minutes or less.  At move 15 you'll see a pawn structure that was referenced in GM Flores' outstanding book, "Chess Structures A Grandmaster Guide" by Quality Chess.  GM Flores mentions multiple plans for each side, and both players seemed to know what to go for!  Great positional chess.

[pgn layout=horizontal autoplayMode=none]

[Event "ICC 75 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.08.25"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Narayanan-MIN"]
[Black "Morshedi-SD"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A56"]
[WhiteElo "1949"]
[BlackElo "2328"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "50"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e5 4. Nc3 d6 5. e4 Be7 6. Nf3 Nbd7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O
Ne8 9. a3 g6 10. Bc2 Ng7 11. Qe2 f5 12. b4 f4 13. Ba4 g5 14. Bxd7 Bxd7 15. bxc5
g4 16. Ne1 Rf6 17. f3 g3 18. hxg3 Nh5 19. gxf4 exf4 20. Qc2 Rg6 21. Ne2 Bf6 22.
Rb1 Be5 23. Rf2 $2 {Saumik should try to trade off the f4-pawn here and reach
an equal endgame. Saumik was down to only 3 minutes here, and Black had 6
minutes. It's hard to defend accurately in time pressure and Saumik has
played a great game up until this point.} (23. Nd3 Qh4 24. Ndxf4 Nxf4 25. Bxf4
Bxf4 26. Nxf4 Qxf4 {holds equality.}) 23... Qh4 24. Kf1 Qh1+ 25. Ng1 Ng3# 0-1

[/pgn]

So there you have it, MN Blizzard takes the match 2.5-1.5!

San Diego Surfers Minnesota Blizzard
IM Keaton Kiewra: 2518 0.0 1.0 GM Mauricio Flores: 2565
NM Stevan Djordjevic: 2366 0.5 0.5 IM Sean Nagle: 2542
IM John Watson: 2340 0.0 1.0 IM Andrew Tang: 2475
FM Ali Morshedi: 2328 1.0 0.0 Saumik Narayanan: 1949
Average Rating: 2388 Average Rating: 2383
San Diego Total 1.5 2.5 Minnesota Total

The MN Blizzard's next round will take place on Tuesday 9/1 at 7:30 PM against the Seattle Sluggers.  We'll be back with a round 2 report after that match-up!

The MN Blizzard have their first match in the US Chess League!

Date: Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Time: 8:00 PM

Location: Chess Castle.  1121 Jackson Street NE, Suite #134, Minneapolis, MN 55413

 

team icon vs  team icon

All Time Series Record: (This is their first meeting)

Starts at 9:00 PM EST

Time Control: Game in 75 with 30 second increment

San Diego Surfers Minnesota Blizzard
IM Keaton Kiewra: 2518 GM Mauricio Flores: 2565
NM Stevan Djordjevic: 2366 IM Sean Nagle: 2542
IM John Watson: 2340 IM Andrew Tang: 2475
FM Ali Morshedi: 2328 Saumik Narayanan: 1949
Average Rating: 2388 Average Rating: 2383
San Diego Total Minnesota Total

Ways to view the games:

  1. Step into the Chess Castle
  2. If you have an ICC (chessclub.com) account, log in there to observe
  3. Watch the games on our YouTube Channel!

For more info:

Website:http://mnblizzardchess.org

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaBlizzardChess

USCL Team Page http://uschessleague.com/minnesota.php

2015 Roster (February Rating List)

1. GM Wesley So 2814
2. GM Mauricio Flores 2557
3. IM John Bartholomew 2553
4. IM Sean Nagle 2531
5. IM Andrew Tang 2425
6. FM Kevin Wasiluk 2328
7. NM Dane Mattson 2246
8. NM Andrew Titus 2191
9. Saumik Narayanan 1952

Players to be added: Matt Jensen, Oke Iwu, Dane Zagar, Samrug Narayanan

2015 Schedule

 

Week Date Color Opponent Result
1 8/25 B San Diego Surfers
2 9/1 W Seattle Sluggers
3 9/8 B Lubbock Tornadoes
4 9/15 W Rio Grande Ospreys
5 9/22 W Las Vegas Desert Rats
6 9/29 B St. Louis Arch Bishops
7 10/6 B San Francisco Mechanics
8 10/14 B Arizona Scorpions
9 10/20 W Dallas Destiny
10 10/28 W Lubbock Tornadoes

 

The Minnesota Blizzard had their kick-off meeting tonight and are ready for the 2015 season.  The Blizzard have two Grandmasters, three International Masters, a FIDE Master, and multiple National Masters.  The United States Chess League will have 20(!) teams this year with the addition of the Minnesota Blizzard, Lubbock Tornadoes, and San Diego Surfers.  One team has dropped out since last year.  The league will be divided into East and West divisions, 10 teams each.  Included in the West division alongside the Blizzard are teams from St. Louis, Dallas, Rio Grande, San Francisco, Lubbock, San Diego, Seattle, Arizona, and Boston (they don't mind late night games).

Team Managers
Team Managers by Arun Narayanan
MN Blizzard Team by Arun Narayanan
MN Blizzard Team by Arun Narayanan

To keep in touch with the team you can like us on Facebook, join our chess.com group, and subscribe to blog updates on our website.