Posted: 2/22/2010 | Updated: 3/8/2010


With a five out of a six total, ICA ‘Team 1’, which we all  also lovingly know as “Open File For Divorce; Tiger’s Discovered Mates” set the tone for a significant presence at the latest US Amateur Team East competition.  Evan Rosenberg, Hana Itkis, Max Schwartz, and Solomon “the Wage Earner” Lerner  teamed up to eat up almost everyone they faced save for a team with a few stubborn International Masters who survived Hana and Solomon’s winning onslaughts long enough to see both ICA coaches blunder in time pressure and suffer the only defeat ‘Open File’ would deal with in the entire tournament (Max won, and Evan drew in the single losing effort so the team was a half a point shy of going undefeated).  All other opposing teams fell at the hands of this the ICA’s most experienced team as far as this tournament goes (Max, Hana, Solomon, and many captains of the other teams like Danny Rade,  and Jonathan Lamdan have been playing at this tournament for more than a decade) .  The impressive feat was enough to net the ICA accolades and a victory as the strongest team with an average rating under 2100.

Coming in with an almost equally impressive victory, and score, was ICA team 3, or a team collectively, and warmly known as “Is that a passed Pawn or are you happy to see me.”  The team, also entirely compromised of ICA faculty members, Johnson Pau, Max Yelsky, Ilya Krasnovsky, and David “Darth Schliemann defense in the Spanish game” Shekhtman, scored an impressive four out of six points to win best honors for the strongest team with an average rating under 1800.  Aside from the accolades received, and congratulations accepted, I am sure this team will be most impressed with my contention that besides the witty, and best team name of all: “ICA insert generic Arabic numeral here:>>><<<” this team had the best team name among all our different groups and contingents.  

What can I say I’m a sucker for anything PG-13.

Among other ICA teams competing were:

1.       “You’ve Got Mate,” comprised of, Igor Yeliseyev, Eugene Sokolovsky, Timothy Hoang, Mark Aksen, and alternate Ari Shusterman, felt the team name “You’ve Got ‘A’ Mate On the ‘a-file’ would have been too dull, and insulting a nickname to those team participants who were short spouses. 

2.       Chessbusters,” comprised of Alex Katz, Greg Gabovich, Ben Wolfson, and Nicholas Katz, couldn’t exorcise the necessary ghosts to get rid of this horrendous rip-off moniker, torn off a mediocre Hollywood film.

3.       We’re Shirov Almost Winning,” which included Jonathan Lamdan, who flew in from California to join Kiernan McVay, Sebastian Spitz, and “big knuckles black belt” Genry Krichevsky, was a team created to pay tribute to one of the weirdest chess players of our modern time.  I didn’t really get the point of the name myself, but I hope alternate Michael Finkel did, which is really the more important  thing.

4.       JayMay & His Crew,” was a team name more fitting for a rap group competition.  Much like the “Wu Tang Clan Of Kings” (who apparently also play chess) decided to go without the customary chess terminology references in its title so did our own hip hoppers here.  The name itself tried to honor its member Jayenth Mayer (i.e. ‘Jay-May’), who despite the symbolic title wasn’t allowed to captain the team, which was something reserved for his brother and teammate Arjun Mayer.   The other team members were Robert Elliot, and Ethan Klein.

5.       While I don’t know if “Tiger was Indeed Skewered By His Mate,” it would have been funny if the lady used a golf club for said action.  In any case, siblings, Yakir, and Elana Forman were joined by Dov Hochsztein , and Yehuda Koslowe, with possible Forman relative Edward Forman rounding things out as alternate on the team.

6.       The “ChessNuts” weren’t roasting on an open fire, because it wasn’t Christmas, but the team did include Danny Rade, Gilad Drillich, Ryan “Wooks” Hoang, and Eric “play along” Kong.

7.       “King Dragon” should have considered the name, “How To Train Your Sicillian Dragon” as an alternative to the one they chose, simply because I hear the cartoon movie is awesome, though I’m not sure of the film company would press charges for plagiarism. Anyway, William Chen, Chris, and Clement Shao, and Kaida Tong  made up this ICA group.

8.       “The Kings Of Opposition” weren’t really opposed to anything except maybe that passed pawn that ICA 3 was happy to see, but the team did include David Rubenfeld, Haik Der Manuelian, Aleksandr Markenzon, Kenny “el calorie compiler” Geiler, and alternate Amol Pasarkar. Coincidentally Amol won his board outright as an individual competitor.

9.       “Chess AfterMath” should have thought about their team name beforehand, but the team did include Steven Knauer, Elliot Barinberg, Alfred Tan, Nathan Zlochevsky, and alternate Alexandr Poste.

10.   Finally, closing things out was  ICA 12,” or the ICA team with the second best name of all our groups,  which was a  troupe made up of Amey Pasarkar, Joshua Katz, Michael Aksen, and Lev “the Lion Of the Kings Gambit” Krasnovsky.

Congratulations to all our teams, and because everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves, I guess it’s fair to say you are welcome folks.  Here is to hoping they start giving out better chess clocks at the next one of these, and thanks to all the teams that donated the chess clocks they won to the academy.

More info on the Amateur East will be available soon.