The idea of a team chess league is a brilliant concept! Combining the structured organization of sports such as baseball (minus the headaches) with the intellectual intensity (in most cases) of chess is a win-win situation! Being a huge fan of the USCL team, the Seattle Sluggers, I’d like to start by thanking Greg Shahade and Daniel Rensch for inviting me to participate in the USCL blogs here at chess.com! Being a San Franciscan, why do I love Seattle so much? For thirty years I worked as a professional guitarist, starting at the age of 16. At 17, I went on my first tour and the first stop on that tour was Seattle. I loved that city (and still do) which is why I jumped at the chance to blog about its US Chess League team.
Team chess differs from other forms of chess, such as individual tournament competition, in that it truly is a “team” effort! This means that everyone on the team has to give it their all in order for the team to succeed in the long run. While certain players may be more well known than others, success depends on group or team results rather than that of a lone player. In baseball, a team might have one or two power hitters that ensure needed runs. However, winning requires a group effort. The same holds true in team chess! Tomorrow (September 4th, 2013 9:15 EST), we’ll see the Seattle Sluggers take on the Los Angeles Vibe in what promises to be a closely contested match.
We saw Seattle win the 2012 championship last year in a heated contest against Philadelphia; a team many thought would bring home the victory to the City of Brotherly Love. This was also the first time a fourth seed team had taken the title. It is very clear from last year’s season that despite the odds being against them, Seattle is a force to be reckoned with! They know how to deal with being under the gun and come out unscathed. In fact, Seattle is a team that shines brightly under the spotlight of pressure! As it stands, the Seattle Sluggers are in the number two slot (tied with Arizona) in the Pacific Division, with San Francisco in first place. However, that won’t stop our undaunted hero’s of the Pacific Northwest from going after the 2013 championship title! As they say at the start of baseball games, here is the lineup for your mighty Seattle Sluggers (and the crowd goes wild)!
It should be noted that the Seattle Sluggers are managed by the brilliant Eddie Chang and the equally brilliant Joshua Sinanan. It is equally important to understand that the manager and assistant manager are critical to the team’s success! While you may not see them on the boards, know that they are crucial members of this team!
I just started this blog and want to go over a few things with you. First off, I want this blog to be a two way street. By that, I mean that I want you to participate. Tell me what you’d like to see as long as it’s related to the Seattle Sluggers. Voice your opinion on the subject at hand. I only ask that you keep the commentary intelligent and on topic. We have people from all walks of life and viewpoints so keep that in mind when posting comments! Together, we can make this a fantastic blog. You could say that this blog is a team effort as well! I’ll cover the team’s games and spotlight individual players. I’ll see about some interviews with the team’s players and management in the future. Games played by the team will be posted within 24 to 48 hours after they’re played. I encourage you to add commentary when post game reports go up. Be proactive and this blog will be enjoyable.
The Seattle Sluggers have a great lineup and is in top form, ready to take on the competition. Fasten your seatbelts because we’re in for a wild ride. See you in few days and remember, you’re a part of this blog so get involved! Go Seattle Sluggers!