Blitz Lose "Loser Bowl"
(Beat Reporter: Mark LaRocca)
You may think that the Blitz won their match with the New England Nor’easters (3 – 1)… and they did. But, fortunately, they also lost the “Loser Bowl”… as the dubious distinction of “Loser Bowl” winner goes to their cross-town rival. As this year’s winner… the Nor’easters will receive the “Fickle Finger of Fate” award, which, with thumb extended horizontally, kinda’ looks like an “L”… nudge, nudge… wink, wink. In any case, I’m sure that when melted down, the tin is worth at least a half cup of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts.
While overwhelmed with grief at their inglorious loss, the Blitz, a class bunch of guys, found it within themselves to offer their opponent their heartfelt condolences, with best wishes for the future, should there be one.
The match itself was not as one-sided as the score might indicate. FM Kazim Gulamali, playing White on Board 2, quickly refuted FM Braden Bournival’s ill-conceived pawn hunting expedition, winning in under 30 moves. Boston (1 – 0) On Board 1, IM Steven Zierk was clearly better… even winning, I thought… out of the opening. But, after a few inaccurate moves… wham… FM Charles Riordan, that wily young veteran, seemed to have an overpowering attack. But, with time running short, somehow, some way, Steven pulled a rabbit out of his hat, winning a crucial game. Boston (2 – 0) Then it was SM Denys Shmelov coming through as Black on Board 2 against IM Jonathan Yedidia. Denys seemed to be suffering out of the opening, but then IM Yedidia just gave the exchange, Rook for Knight, and still had pressure. However, Denys has made suffering in bad positions an art form and was able to pull out a draw. Boston (2.5 – 0.5) Leaving NM Jake Miller to laugh his way through his slightly worrisome position against wily old veteran, FM Chris Chase, and eventually pull out a draw… Boston (3 – 1) leaving New England to celebrate a big “Loser Bowl” win… and the Blitz to start calculating “what-if’s” for the remaining matches and what unlikely scenarios may allow them to sneak into the playoffs… no matter how undeservedly. No conscience here… we’ll take it.
So, as you can see, to win a “Loser Bowl” is not easy, it takes quite a few accurately calculated mistakes. It also takes an opponent like the Blitz, whose will to win is just great enough to lose… Yeah… the Blitz just didn’t have what it takes on this night… thank God… and the Nor’easters… well, one can only say they truly, truly deserved the honor.
So, without further, ado (Shakespearean for insults), let’s get to the nuts and bolts… as Kazim “Whiz kid” Gulamali led off with a slam bang, thank you Braden win on board 3. Talk about will to lose…
I must say, the mood of the fans was quite positive with regard to this game. We weren't worried at all... maybe we should have been as things weren't as easy as they seemed during the game. Thus, my first game descriptive motto reflects the nonsense of this non-sensical match...
“Winning is not the most important thing… It’s not even a thing.”
FM Kazim Gulamali (BOS) vs FM Braden Bournival (NE) 1-0
Great game Kazim!... With this one in the books, it took some of the pressure off our now struggling first board.
The way this game started, we were all thinking "crush"... but, then FM Riordan proved that suffering is part of chess... and Oh boy... were we sweating this one. The only thing that I have to say is...
“Losing is never having to say you’re sorry.”
IM Steven Zierk (BOS) vs FM Charles Riordan (NE) 1-0
You know, Charles was once a Blitz player and his contributions were not minimal... but, this one is perhaps his biggest gift. Well, that is chess... all we can say is "Whew".
Our next struggle is a draw... but, actually one that we can be very proud of. Denys never gave up (his MO) and when the chance came, he quickly grabbed the draw and never let it go. Something other Blitz players had been lax in doing all season... especially, when playing Black.
“A draw is like kissing your Rook pawn.”
IM Jonathan Yedidia (NE) vs SM Denys Shmelov (BOS) 1/2-1/2
Now that's a draw! Thank you Denys for wnining this match and taking the pressure off Jake!
Jake had been making all kinds of odd facial expressions during this game. Some saying... "Why the heck did I do that?" and others saying "I can't believe he did that!"... believe me, we were all thinking the same things... as almost every move seemed to us fans... simply incredulous.
“To be the best, you have to beat... Everybody.”
FM Christopher Chase (NE) vs NM Jake Miller (BOS) 1/2-1/2
Ok, way to go "Smiling" Jake. You know... "I'd rather be luck than good" is not so bad a motto either.
Anyway, this sets the stage for next week's "Death cage" match with Baltimore... Winner goes to the playoffs... Loser goes nowhere special.
Not to brag, but... my exact predictions of the match scenario necessary to get the Blitz into the playoffs came true... Check out my Week 9 standings in "Leap of Faith". Coincidence?... I think not... rather, it seems to be... Destiny. If Ilya is correct, and we have the tie-breaks... a win by the Blitz this Wednesday, 7:30... puts us into the playoffs (not true... see comments). What a "Lucky" break for a not so "Good" season that would be. Be there for the drama... Harvard SOCH Hall, 59 Shepherd st., Cambridge, MA.
So, guys... here are my sage bits of wisdom for week 10... a draw with Black is "Good" and remember... a drawn match is "Bad"... and just try and make my week 10 scenario come true... I need your support here.