Northside chess team upsets #9
Glenbard West and #16 Glenbrook South to start
season 3-1 at Evanston;
Northside JV team upsets Mt.
Carmel varsity team to go 2-2
by Jeff Caveney, Renaissance
Knights chess instructor and Northside College Prep
High School chess coach
by pizza before the 3rd round, Kit Kat bars before
the last round, and warmed up with a little football
tossing, the Northside Mustangs varsity chess team
scored back-to-back upsets of #9 Glenbard West and
#16 Glenbrook South to go 3-1 at the first
tournament of the season Saturday, November 6th at
Evanston. Northside's junior varsity team, competing
in the same field and powered by the same pizza, Kit
Kats and football, upset the #53 Mt. Carmel varsity
team in the last round to go 2-2.
The Northside varsity team,
ranked #30 based on last year's state tournament,
beat #9 Glenbard West by a score of 37-31. The lower
boards led the way for the Mustangs in the match.
8th board James Fan, promoted from JV to varsity for
this tournament, opened the scoring with a win for 5
points. Co-captain Aamir Ansari on 6th board won
next to raise the team total to 12 points. 7th board
Harris Khan and 4th board co-captain Alex Bologna
followed with wins, putting the team at 27 points.
With the score 27-20 and the
two-hour match coming down to the final 15 minutes,
3rd board Edmond Jay clinched the match with a win.
He captured a pawn with check to force an exchange
of queens that left the opponent helpless vs. the
extra pawn with only the kings and pawns on the
board. Jay showed his customary coolness under
pressure as the clocks ticked down to the last few
minutes--at one point he calmly re-tied his shoes
while the opponent sweated out his moves.
the last round match with #16 Glenbrook South, the
lower boards once again sparked Northside to a 40-28
win. Ansari and Khan won again and 5th board Ahmed
Akhtar joined them in the victory column. With
Glenbrook South short a player and not
the 8th board, the score stood at 26-11 Mustangs.
This time it was Alex Bologna,
fighting through illness all day, whose win made the
score 35-11 and clinched the match. In a rook and
pawn endgame, he captured pawns on his 32nd, 35th
and 40th moves, and converted the advantage. Bologna
described the game as "boring", to which his coach
replied, "Winning is not boring." Jay added a solid
draw to bring the final score to 40-28.
The Mustangs' JV team scored its
biggest victory in the last round over Mt. Carmel's
varsity team, which ranked #53 in the state last
year, by a score of 38-25. 1st board Brian Lehman
led the way, scoring the first win of the match for
12 points. After capturing a bishop, Lehman finished
the game with a nice checkmate: rook on c8
the king on e8 and controlling the back rank, bishop
on f6 controlling e7, knight on c5 controlling d7,
and the king's own pawn on f7.
3rd board Abdul Ibrahim and 6th
board Aidan Sadowski followed with wins, putting the
JV Mustangs at 29 points. 4th board Hikari Sugisaki,
the Northside chess team's first female player,
clinched the match with a win. Sugisaki used her
queen on c6 protected by her bishop on b5 to
checkmate the king on b6, with her rook on a8
blocking the king's escape.
Northside JV team also won in the 3rd round 48-20
over ACE Tech. JV captain Philip Abraham on 2nd
board and Jigar Dhimar on 5th board joined Lehman,
Ibrahim and Sadowski in the win column. Lehman
amazingly fought back from losing his queen,
a pawn to the 7th rank and using it to support his
rook moving to the back rank to checkmate.
In the 1st round the biggest
results were achieved by Philip Abraham for the JV
team and Harris Khan for the varsity. Abraham
defeated Glenbrook South's player on 2nd board. Khan
held state champion Niles North's player to a draw
on 7th board, finishing the game with only 1 second
left on his clock. Northside lost the overall
matches to these very strong opponents.
In the 2nd round the Mustangs
varsity team dominated Maine West 68-0. 1st board
Chengliang Luo and 2nd board Christian Kavouras, who
faced the toughest competition all day, joined the
rest of the varsity team with wins in this match.
The Northside JV
team lost a closely contested match
to Northridge Prep 31-26. Abdul Ibrahim and Hikari
Sugisaki won their games to make it a very close
best overall individual performance was by varsity
7th board Harris Khan, with 2 wins, 1 draw and a
forfeit win. Khan won the tournament's 3rd place
individual prize for 7th board. The other top
individual varsity scores were by Alex Bologna and
Aamir Ansari, both with 3 wins and 1 loss. The
Northside JV team's top individual performance was
by Abdul Ibrahim, with 3 wins and 1 loss.
The Northside chess team is
looking forward to more tournaments and a great
season ahead. With a game plan of more football, Kit
Kats, pizza and checkmates, the Mustangs are
confident of continued success.