2005 Trailblazer Award

US Chess League
and Commissioner
IM Greg Shahade

1/2006 - 2005 was the inaugural year of the US Chess league. The league consisted of two Divisions. The Eastern Division consisted of the New York Knights, Boston Blitz , Baltimore Kingfishers, and Philadelphia Masterminds. The Western Division consisted of the San Francisco Mechanics, Miami Sharks, Carolina Cobras , and Dallas Destiny.

    Each team consisted of 8 players, and only 4 would play for the team each week. There was a team rating cap, which stipulated that the maximum average rating of the 4 starting players must be under 2400.  There was a 10 week regular season and two weeks of play offs. The two top teams in each division played a divisional playoff. The division champions  played in the League Championship. After 10 weeks, the top teams in the Eastern Division were New York and Baltimore. In the Western Division the top teams were San Francisco and Miami.

   Dual upsets in each Divisional playoffs, allowed the wild card teams of Miami and Baltimore to advance to the League Championship.  In an exciting Championship final, IM Pascal Charbonneau and the Philadelphia Masterminds defeated GM Julio Becerra and the Miami Sharks by a 2.5 - 1.5 score.  Pascal Charbonneau won the league MVP.

   The league commissioner was IM Greg Shahade, who recently was elected to the USCF Executive Board. During the regular season,  4 games were played each Wednesday at 7pm est. The games were relayed in ICC game rooms and live commentary was provided by ChessFM. The weekly games were exciting and generated a good size fan base on ICC.

 Chess is an intense mano-a-mano sport, but it's also an exciting team sport too.

 In October of 2005, Greg Shahade helped create the US Chess  School. This school will provide chess training to young and talented players. Greg is the School's president. 

Pascal Charbonneau vs. Julio Becerra -
http://www.uschessleague.com/games/charbonneaubecerra.html

Greg Shahade
http://www.uschess.org/about/uscfeb1.php

US Chess School
http://www.uschessschool.com/index.html

Founding of the School
http://www.uschessschool.com/news1.html

US Chess League
http://www.uschessleague.com/index.html
 


Chess Reporter

Greg Shahade
2004 US Trailblazer
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