Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Blitz shut out of USCL All Star teams

The US Chess League Champion San Francisco Mechanics secured three of eight spots in the 2006 USCL All Star team selections, with the remaining spots going to players from Carolina(2), Miami, Dallas and Philadelphia. Outside of San Francisco, it seems that overall team results were not a major factor with neither the Eastern Division regular season champion Boston Blitz nor the Western Division runner-up Seattle Sluggers receiving any spots.

As for the Blitz, three of their players did receive some consideration:
Board 1 (2nd Team) - "This was a more difficult decision for the judges. Boston's GM Larry Christiansen had a higher performance rating, but Josh was the one who came through huge for his team in the playoffs, with a key win over GM Serper in the SemiFinals and the tiebreaker win over GM Charbonneau that gave San Francisco the League Championship. Friedel is also over 100 points lower rated than Christiansen, which may have given San Francisco the extra points to use on the lower boards that helped them win the Championship."

Board 2 (2nd Team) - "Other candidates were William Kelleher, who also had a high performance rating of 2595, but he only played 5 games and thus couldn't reasonably get the nod over Bhat."

Board 3 (2nd Team) - "Charles Riordan was also a very serious candidate with a very nice performance rating of 2534 after 6 games. Again his lack of games played was what held him back.... An extra half point for ... Riordan ... would have almost surely given [him] a place on the All Star Teams."

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