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No Longer “No Names”

by on May 23, 2008

The 8th Queens Team Championship, held May 2-23 at the Queens Chess Club, drew 13 paid two player squads for the second consecutive year.  As a result, the projected prize fund was raised 30% to $130-$65 to the top two teams, $78 to the top team with an average rating under 1700, and $78 each to the top scorers on Board 1 and Board 2.  With a total rating limit of 3999, club president Joe Felber and long-time regular Mitch Drobbin were the top seed at 3992 (“Drobbin’s Drubbers”, 2050 and 1942), with TD Ed Frumkin and club secretary Jay Kleinman next in line (“Tennis Elbows”, 2000 and 1871).  “Alekhine’s Gun (Dick Murphy (1935) and Tony Lorenzo (1913)” came from the Bronx and homegrown Queens junior stars Andrew (1965) and Nicholas Ryba (1880), soon to turn 16 and 14, calling themselves “The No Names”.  A new team, Dennis Moore (1894), a recent Frumkin opponent at Foxwoods, and Dave Diamond (1864), came from Brooklyn as “J & R Monster Trucks” and was ranked fifth at the start.  It can be pretty difficult to guess the significance of some of these names.  Other singles were hooked up at the door, creating odd couples like septuagenarian Carrie Goldstein (1400) and Ryba friend Kamil Witek (“The Young and the Rested”).  Frank Drazil’s friends Laura and Paul Fraticelli played as the house team, enabling the usual house team of Frank and Paul Drazil (“the Czechmates”) to be a regular entrant this year.  Round 1 was all sweeps by the higher ranked teams, except for “Drobbin’s Drubbers” vs. “Chess Nirvanas”, a pair from India who were matched up at the door but not actually named until Round 2.  Felber took a draw by perpetual two pawns down against Sundar Swaminathan because Drobbin had won easily on the other board, but the spectators swooped in to show the mate that Joe had missed.  Round 2 saw the first drawn matches: “Drobbin’s Drubbers” and “The No Names” drew both games, while “J & R Monster Trucks” and “Tennis Elbows” each won with Black, though Frumkin’s win was completely undeserved.  The only 2-0 match scores were obtained by #3 “Alekhine’s Gun” over #6 “Cruz Control (Ken Cruz (1781) and Zoltan Sugar (1708))” and #7 “The Doctor and the Outpatient (Mulazim (Doc) Muwwakkil (1836) and Paul Denig (1618) narrowly over #8 “Chess Nirvanas”, thanks to a strong defense by Doc against Sundar, who most spectators thought was winning.  Round 3 saw additional drama with two teams scheduled for byes as a result of the Mets-Yankees game, which was rained out just after the scheduled starting time, not allowing those players to “unbye”.  “Alekhine’s Gun” won a narrow victory by Rich over Doc, while Paul played well to draw with Tony, so “AG” was at 3-0.  The top two ranked teams went head to head and the fortunes of all four players went back and forth all game.  First Drobbin had the edge over Kleinman and Frumkin over Felber, then Drobbin blundered a pawn and Frumkin mishandled a promising position, losing in the end while Jay couldn’t pit away the full  point, so the “Drubbers” reached 2½.  The “No Names” had to substitute Hyunseung Yang (1653) for Andrew on Board 1 in their match against “Cruz Control”, a somewhat ironic pairing since these five players have been a single team in New Jersey previously.  Yang drew Kenny and Nicky beat Zoli, so the “No Names” were also at 2½ .  Team #9, “Strangers in the Knight, Andy Bauer (1674) and Dave Randall (1516, playing in his first tournament in nine years)” took the lead for the Under 1700 prize by sweeping Team #11 “The Barnacles, Steve Chernick (1560) and Henry Milerski (1400)” at 2-1.  The fight for the board prizes was getting interesting: on Board 1, Murphy had 2½ and Felber, Frumkin, Cruz and Swaminathan all had 2, and on Board 2, Lorenzo, Nicky Ryba, Diamond and Denig all had 2½, while Drobbin and Randall had 2.  Color balance required that “Alekhine’s Gun” be paired with “The No Names”, so “Drobbin’s Drubbers” played “J & R Monster Trucks”.  “The No Names” disarmed “The Gun” in a sweep, with Nicky also taking the Board 2 prize.  When “The Trucks” knocked off “The Drubbers”, “The No Names” had run off with the tournament ($130) and “Alekhine’ Gun” and “J & R Monster Trucks” had tied for second ($33 for each team).  “Strangers in the Knight” finished at 2½ to take the U1700 prize.  Ed Frumkin and Ken Cruz split the Board 1 prize with 3-1 scores.  Ed Frumkin and Joe Felber directed.

(Report by Ed Frumkin)

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