After a win over Glenbrook South on Friday, Evanston has a 4-0 record and is in first place in the North Suburban Chess League. Glenbrook South, which finished sixth at February’s IHSA State Chess Finals and has very strong players on their top boards, was seen as Evanston’s strongest conference competitor going into this match.
Early wins by Henry Zaslow and Meris Goldfarb gave the Wildkits an early lead in the 8-board competition, but wins by Glenbrook South’s top two players kept the match close. However, wins in the late stages by Jonah Chen, Boaz Lieberman, Chris von Hoff and Nathan Melnikov helped Evanston pull away and take the match by a 45-23 margin.
The von Hoff and Melnikov games were particularly close, but both were able to pressure their opponents into mistakes and win endgames that were favorable, but challenging.
“Endgames are especially important in close matches,” said assistant coach Tom Doan after the match. “Working on endgame play between now and the state tournament will help both teams.” Evanston also came out on top in the additional nonscoring games that were played by Ozan Mixon, Immanuel Zerega and Ethan Brush.
After Thanksgiving break, the Wildkits will be back in action on Dec. 2 against Niles West and on Dec. 3 at the Palatine Pirates Team Tournament.
Keith Holzmueller is the coach of the ETHS chess team.