Sorry for not posting something sooner, but finals and non-chess activities have kept me pretty occupied the past few weeks. Life often gets in the way of chess, as they say.
I am happy to report that the Dallas Destiny managed to become the first ever repeat USCL champions by virtue of beating the Boston Blitz on Saturday, December 6th. For all those who tuned in to ICC to watch the match, it turned out to be every bit as exciting as last year's final. The Destiny managed to prevail in a tiebreaker when GM-elect Davorin "Kul J" Kuljasevic took out SM Esserman, SM Sammour-Hasbun, and GM Christiansen in succession. Davorin's key win against Sammour-Hasbun in regulation was pivotal for our success, as was WFM Bayaraa "the Mongolian Power" Zorigt's demolition of Boston fourth board NM Ilya Krasik. FM Igor "Freshmans" Schneider and IM Marko "Zica" Zivanic were definitely disappointed with their results against Esserman and Christiansen (respectively), but I can state with 100% certainty that we would never have made the finals without their steady play during the regular season and playoffs. Congratulations also to Boston, who had another fine season.
Dallas Destiny members plus TD Michael Corallo. L to R: Michael Corallo, Igor Schneider, Bayaraa Zorigt, myself, Drasko Boskovic (2007 board one), and Davorin Kuljasevic.
It has been a real pleasure to manage and play for the Destiny these past two seasons. When I took over management of the team in the summer of 2007, I knew we had the players here at UTD to really make a run at the USCL championship. What has happened since has gone past any of our wildest expectations. We've been very fortunate to develop a close-knit group of players here who aren't big on ego and are always willing to back their teammates up. The attitude we've kept since the week one loss to San Francisco all the way through the final against Boston has been laid-back and relaxed. I would be remiss if I failed to mention two outstanding players, Bayaraa and Davorin, who have been the foundation of our success in 2007 and 2008. Their play has been nothing short of remarkable and I'm always amazed at the team spirit they have displayed. Watch out for them in the future!
Thanks to Greg Shahade and Arun Sharma for another great season. They do a lot of work and often (undeservedly!) take a lot of heat, but they do a fantastic job year in and year out. The USCL is going to get better and better under their guidance.
Also thanks to UTD coach Rade Milovanovic and all the Destiny Destiny fans - I know there are some of you out there!
I graduate in the spring, but with any luck I hope to be around to manage the 2009 Dallas Destiny...if they let me!