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Great Teachers Lead Minnesota Blizzard

Great Teachers Lead Minnesota Blizzard

Dec 30, 2016, 3:47 PM 2

Minnesota is known as a hub for those who push pucks, not pawns; in fact, one of the state nicknames is the “State of Hockey.”

But the Minnesota Blizzard intend to alter perceptions with a strong showing in the inaugural season of the PRO Chess League. With the exception of Wesley So’s departure, Minnesota has retained much of the team’s talent from the final U.S. Chess League season.

Spearheading this lineup is GM Mauricio Flores Rios, a three-time member of the Chilean Olympiad team. While Rios is largely inactive these days, the UT Brownsville graduate is renowned for writing a superb chess book: "Chess Structures: A Grandmaster’s Guide." The GM will aim to bring his teachings into practice as the top player for the Blizzard.

Rios' popular book.

IM John Bartholomew hardly needs an introduction to the chess world. Affectionately known as “Fins” to the online community, Bartholomew is a celebrated teacher with over 27,000 subscribers on his YouTube page. Over the board, he is a stable player whose rating has barely fluctuated between 2440 and 2460 for years. Here John is taking on his first chess opponent.

IM Andrew Tang is one of the best blitz and bullet players on Chess.com. This 17-year-old is also very talented in classical chess, currently at his peak rating of 2466. While it appears that Tang plays better with less time on the clock, he will be tasked with the daunting challenge of upsetting higher-rated players to keep his team in the hunt.

IM Sean Nagle rounds out the Minnesota international master triumvirate. Although Nagle plays just a handful of tournaments every year, the current Minnesota champion doubles as an attorney, meaning he has hardly lost his analytical thinking skills.

Minnesota will also trust their local players to pull off some upsets. The rest of their lineup includes FM Kevin Wasiluk, and NMs Frank Johnson, Andrew Titus, Jackson Wahl, Dane Mattson, and Okechukwu Iwu.

The PRO Chess League welcomes the Minnesota Blizzard!

Read up on everything you need to know about the PRO Chess League:

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