Missouri’s States Chess Cup Team

The 2020 Missouri team narrowly missed the playoffs. The 2021 Missouri team intends to win them. The team’s improved depth could be the key to accomplishing this.

Returning members include NM Roman Kozelov (2298), NM Ken Jones (2204), Isaiah Gadson (2159), Nathaniel Fast (2118), Asish Panda (2007), and Ben Boaz (1949). Joining the team this year are NM Julian Proleiko (2259) and NM Doug Eckert (2258).

The States Chess Cup is a national online league in which state teams of four compete each week. The team’s average must not exceed 2200. While there is no ceiling on the individual’s rating, there is a floor of 1800. This means that even if a state puts a player with a US Chess rating of 1700 on board four, their rating will be considered 1800 when calculating the team’s average.

Standings are determined first by match points within a division while game points are used to break ties. A new addition to the league this year is the use of three divisions. Missouri is in the Central Division.

In week 1, Missouri took on Illinois. Missouri fielded Kozelov, Proleiko, Gadson, and Panda with a team average of 2181. Missouri trounced their rival from the previous year, winning 12.5 to 3.5 and grabbing first place in the Central.

If you would like to see NM Ken Jones’ commentary please visit the Springfield, MO. Chess Club’s YouTube channel.

Missouri’s team of Kozelov, Eckert, Gadson, and Panda played Minnesota in week 2. Missouri took an early lead, winning round one 2.5 to 1.5. The match became deadlocked after that. After two rounds, the match was tied at 4 and after the third round the score stood at 6 to 6. The match did not tip Minnesota’s way until deep into the last round, giving them the full match point. The final score was Minnesota’s 8.5 to Missouri’s 7.5.

Missouri would have held onto their game point lead, ensuring that they would win any ties, but the Oklahoma team was forfeited in their scheduled match against Michigan. This not only put Michigan in first with the free match point, but also gifted them 16 game points.

Below is commentary of the exciting week 2 match from Jared Bray and Brian Rude.

The Missouri team of Kozelov, Eckert, Gadson, and Panda will face Ohio tonight (July 12, 2021) at 7:00 on lichess. You can follow the team by searching for their usernames.

Kozelov – chenrip
Eckert – dougie47
Gadson – izgadson
Panda – subham777

Video commentary of the match will also be uploaded to the Springfield, MO. Chess Club’s YouTube page later this week.

Central Division Standings After 2 Weeks (Team – Match Points – Game Points)

  1. Michigan – 2 – 24.5
  2. Minnesota – 2 – 17.5
  3. Missouri – 1 – 20.0
  4. Ohio – 1 – 17.5
  5. Illinois – 0 – 9.5
  6. Oklahoma – 0 – 7.0