In the inaugural match of the 2008 season, on August 27 2008, the Knights squared off with bitter rival Boston. There was crazy anticipation surrounding the GM Alexander Shabalov – SM Jorge Sammour Hasbun game. GM Shabalov proceeded to sacrifice a piece in a theoretical semi-slav position and he acquired an extremely dangerous looking attack. However SM Sammour Hasbun defended meticulously and eventually scored the full point.
On board two IM David Vigorito opposed SM Gregory Braylovsky. IM Vigorito had impressively nursed an edge on the white side of a symmetrical english for forty moves, until the inexplicable 41. Qc3 allowed SM Braylovsky to penetrate with his queen. David had nothing better than a perpetual check and the game was drawn.
IM Jay Bonin and SM Denys Shmelov had played three times in the 2007 season, with 1.5 points recorded for each. Their match on board three had all the tension of their first three matches combined. After a transposition to a symmetrical english, IM Bonin squandered his slight edge with the unnecessary 21. b4. After queens were exchanged some moves later the game ended peacefully, maintaining the balanced score between the two USCL heavyweights.
I wish it were easier to objectively describe the contest on board four. NM Ilya Krasik is a good friend and great competitor. I got the better of him once over the board in Foxwoods 2006, but he remains my superior in USCL competition. I had only prepared for the gambit 5. e4 in the proper slav, and after Ilya promptly moved 5. a4, I was left to my own, inadequate devices. I certainly had many opportunities to improve throughout the game, but as soon as Ilya discovered the winning blow 17. Bc8 my fate was sealed. A desperation mating attack was swiftly disarmed, and I lost. Boston Blitz defeated New York Knights 3.0-1.0.