October 2nd, 2012- Connecticut draws with New York

By NM Daniel Lowinger:

Greetings from the cardiac ward of Norwalk Hospital where many of the Dreadnoughts and other audience members were rushed by ambulance upon completion of the NY-CT Heart-stopper! Just kidding about the hospital bit, but it couldn't have been more dramatic as the team result was to be determined precisely by the result of the final remaining game, a game that wildly vacillated between varying evaluations as though on each move, with both players under a minute in the final position. When the smoke finally cleared, it was a draw between CT board 2 GM Mikheil Kekelidze and NY's GM Pascal Charbonneau. Draw on board 2, draw for the match.

National Masters Colas & Harris

Grandmasters Kekelidze & Hess

That finish closely mirrored the entire course of the match. First it looked like it might be a surprisingly easy night for the Dreadnoughts; Robert Hess easily held Kacheischvili, the NY board 1 endgame grinder to a draw with Black. Next to finish was Josh Colas who took down NY Board 4 Nicolas Checa in a dazzling display of endgame fireworks, made necessary by Checa's admirably stalwart play throughout the game. With 1.5/2 in the bag, we only needed 1/2 on the remaining boards, both of which seemed to be going our way. Williams-Harris was a wild affair that even stumped US #4 and Dreadnoughts team captain Robert Hess, though we all thought Black really should be better. But as severe time trouble dawned Harris put the brakes on his initiative too early and Williams organized a swift deadly attack on Harris' king. Once the path to victory was available, Williams never let up, successfully dodging several mines planted by Harris to simplify to a rook-up finish. Still optimistic, the Dreadnoughts looked to GM Kekelidze; he had been struggling a bit with his results lately, but appeared to have a comfortable edge on the board to go with his massive time advantage. Incredibly, with everything on the line, GM Pascal Charbonneau dug deep, turning the evaluation of the position around with a series of superb defensive ideas, executed almost literally on the increment. Suddenly it was Kekelidze with his body against the ropes and the mood in the Dreadnoughts home went south fast.

Meanwhile, spectators watching the games.

And trying to figure out what was going on.

The final position on Kekelidze-Charbonneau resembles a Dvoretsky exercise and I, for one, am still in the dark as to what "should" have happened. If there's one thing tonight has taught me, though, it's that what "should" happen in any given game is far from what does happen. Well, it was a tough night against powerhouse NY but the Dreadnoughts march on undefeated and look forward to the chance for a post-season rematch!