September 4th, 2012- Connecticut off to a strong start!!

The calm before the storm.

By NM Daniel Lowinger:

The Connecticut Dreadnoughts kicked its inaugural season off with a bang, earning the W against perennial powerhouse Boston Blitz. Supported by CCFC, the Northeast’s newest and nicest chess club, Dreadnoughters found themselves chauffered from the local train stations, provided with dinner, and given ample time to strategize and acclimate to their brand new laptops and wooden boards in a VIP “Master’s room” replete with French doors and inspiring photos of the chess world champions (see photos). While the Dreadnoughts team bonded and found unity amid inspiring surroundings, Boston team members fought frustrating traffic, arriving separately and individually, their board #1 nearly an hour late.

Anxious to start their games.

First to finish was CT #1 GM Robert Hess. Facing USCL legendary attacker SM Jorge Sammour Hasbun with Black, Robert wisely trotted out the Berlin Wall. His strategy worked to perfection; after merely 18 moves, Sammour found himself with 8 minutes remaining and zero prospects for a win – he duly requested the draw (See the game here). On board 2, CCFC staff member GM Mikheil Kekelidze played a trademark game, outmaneuvering IM Steven Zierk who found himself down the exchange and lost in under 20 moves. Board 3 was our only loss; Boston FM Kazim Gulamali, whose sensational Smith-Morra victory over Israeli GM Ilya Smirin at the 2012 World Open escaped the databases but not the notice of CT’s #1 Robert Hess, who sat right next to Smirin during that game, innocently trotted the Smith-Morra out again only to find it dismantled by the wonderfully discerning play of CT's Board #3, WIM Yuanling, who played at turns cautiously, at turns with a fantastically tactical eye for counterplay. By move 25, Kazim's position had reached critical status. Resorting to a pseudo-threat on move 26, Black missed the best continuation 26...d5!, suggested to a riveted audience by Robert Hess in one of the CCFC’s comfortable lounges replete with exposed brick walls, leather seating, and a large flat screen on which the games were displayed. Mistakes and inaccuracies were traded in a tactical melee and ultimately Kazim came out on top. Board 4 featured absolutely masterful endgame play by 13 year old NM Kapil Chandran. Looking to the solid Scandinavian, Chandran’s opponent hoped to neutralize the rating gap by taking play into a heavy pieces endgame with equal material. With forceful, directive play, NM Chandran exposed the flaws of Boston’s board 4 approach.

Congratulations to all our players on winning a hard-fought match. It’s early, but it looks like the Dreadnoughts, with their professionalism and unity are going to be a team to keep your eye on as the season rolls on.

If you are local, be sure to join us at the club next Wednesday night as we take on the Carolina Cobras. As the players finish they will join the spectators to share their thoughts on their game and help provide analysis of the remaining games!

Full Week 1 Results