Week 3: Connecticut Draws Baltimore
Like the 2012 Championship Miami Heat basketball team that brought such high expectations when it formed its Big 3 in 2011, we are taking our lumps as the top seed in the USCL our inaugural season. Against Baltimore, team manager Ian Harris' former team, we struggled mightily, ultimately holding the draw thanks to a stroke of exceptional luck on board 2 when GM Larry Kaufman mouseslipped in time pressure against GM Kekelidze, failing to send his rook from the 1st to the 8th to capture a hanging queen. Still winning, Kaufman accepted Kekelidze's sly draw offer with time running down, thus securing us a draw in a match we had already written off as a loss.
Some blitz before the games start.
Meanwhile the players wait to begin.
The hero of the match (our team's version of Mario Chalmers in the 2012 NBA Finals) turned out to be Manager Ian Harris who is demonstrating that dedication and hard work preparation count for more than rating. Against his higher rated and very familiar opponent Defibaugh, Harris outprepped his erstwhile teammate in his favorite line, the Schliemann variation of the Ruy Lopez, surprising him with 9.Nxa7 and obtaining a winning endgame a mere few moves later. For the second straight week Ian earned high praise from his teammates, including US #4 Robert Hess; gradually, as we take our hits, we are learning what works and what doesn't and you can expect our preparation to step it up markedly as the season wears on. As all chess players know, it is what you learn from your losses that counts the most: make no mistake, the Connecticut Dreadnoughts are quick and avid learners. We know that when chess becomes a team sport with ample time to prepare for your opponent, playing off-the-cuff and expecting a rating advantage to take care of itself is naive; from here on out, we're going to step up our determination. Stay tuned!
Harris checks out the opening in Zimmer vs. Colas.
The league will almost never allow a takeback in the event of a mouse slip such as the one that saved the match for the Dreadnoughts. Any thoughts about how the league should handle future mouse slips?