Barons, Barons, what’s your cry?
— Brighton High School sports chant
For several years now, we’ve given our love many times to city chess and the Wilson Wildcat’s dynasty including last year’s win over SOTA in the playoff finals. SEE AT ENDBut this year was to be Brighton’s. The 35th anniversary of that championship season when we Barons wore the Monroe County Chess League crown (now the Upstate New York Interscholastic Chess League.) The Fab Five: Andre, Alan, Phil, Dean and myself.
When I arrived today at Eastridge High School, the final round Wilson v. Brighton was underway. Despite playing undermanned, Brighton was ahead. Throughout the tournament, Brighton had only fielded three players, meaning boards 4 and 5 were automatic forfeits.
At first it was suggested the two players were missing because of Passover. Fair enough. But not true. One unnamable Baron had overslept. Baron, back in the day, we set multiple alarm clocks the night before that championship. The second Baron had another activity. No comment.
But those two unnamables appeared to have dodged checkmate. On pivotal board 3, Wilson’s Sam Cherin was down a rook.
Moving to the Brighton table to take pics of our vast display of hardware, I felt secure. But then a flurry of excitement on the Wildcat side.
Cherin had rallied — and won. Wilson had successfully defended its crown. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.
In the post match interview, I asked Sam if he had seen it coming. When down a rook, he was hoping for a stalemate draw. But Sam was able encircle Black’s king with queen and rook. Then winning back a rook. Then, pressing his attack, the game.
From Avalon to Westland to Claybourne to Edgemoor, disappointment reigns.
At first, I considered downgrading the two overactive oversleepers from Barons to Vassals. But upon reflection, understandable stuff happens. We all oversleep. We all have prior commitments to which we are bound. Seriously, your participation on the team is much appreciated. Next year.Besides, the Brighton chess world has phenomenal news to celebrate. A couple of months ago, junior Lev “Baron von Richtofen” Paciorkowski [my nickname] became a Master, his rating eclipsing the 2200 threshold. And who is Lev’s favorite player? It’s Paul Morphy from the 19th century! Good call, Lev.
Only still in high school, Lev is unsure of his chess future, although he definitely plans to compete in college. Playing at the professional level takes a great deal of time and dedication. But there is no reason why Grandmaster can’t be next.
MORE BELOW ON CITY CHESS, CHESS IN GENERAL, BRIGHTON HIGH SCHOOL AND WILSON, BIG AND LITTLE
AND FROM “LITTLE WILSON” WHERE THE WILDCATS’ DYNASTY BEGAN