Knights Now Try to Do What the Yankees Didn’t


It was a wonderful night. No one egged my house or tp-ed my yard, and the New York Knights finally pulled it all together and made it to the playoffs in the U.S. Chess League by defeating the New Jersey Knockouts 2.5 to 1.5. The match was extremely tense. Early on, New York soared to a commanding 2-0 lead, with victories by “Sleeping Knight” Jay Bonin and Irina Krush. The Knights then gave back a point when Pascal Charbonneau misplayed a drawn rook ending against Joel Benjamin.

Everything came down to whether Irina Zenyuk (shown above) could hold a draw on board 4. After 117 moves, and more than four hours of play, she did.

Credit also goes to Queens. The outer borough played a supporting role in enabling the Knights to reach the playoffs: they crushed Baltimore.

The Knights also cast off the spell of the Nakamura paradox, proving that they can win even when their top player is sitting out.

Next Wednesday the Knights will square off in the playoffs against the Philadelphia Inventors.

5 Responses to “Knights Now Try to Do What the Yankees Didn’t”

  1. Tom Panelas Says:

    I’ll be rooting for the Knights

  2. for the record Says:

    i wont be

  3. Adam Levy Says:

    Not to sound sexist, but if more chess players looked like Irina Zenyuk, there might actually be a market for the sport on TV or in mainstream media. I am not that familiar with chess, Paul, but read and enjoyed your book very much. I guess my stereotypical impression was that 90% of chess players were vodka-swilling men in their late 60’s who smelled of tobacco and three day-old cabbage. I stand (sit actually) corrected.

  4. Derek Slater Says:


  5. Aileen Zsenyuk Says:

    Does anyone know where I could send an email or a note to Irina Zenyuk? I am interested in knowing more aobut her last name, which is so rare and similar to ours. I doubt we are related, as my husband’s family comes from Hungary, but the name is interesting to me. Email me at

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