The United States Chess League – Chess in the United States

The United States Chess League or USCL is currently the sole nation-wide chess league in the U.S. Counting as its members some of the highest-ranking chess players in the country; the USCL currently has twelve teams in its line up. Some of its members who participated in the 2007 season were Hikaru Nakamura, Larry Christiansen, Ildar Ibragimov, and Sergey Kudrin, in addition to several other chess grandmasters. The United States Chess League was established in 2005 by its current commissioner, Greg Shahade.

History of the United States Chess League

The beginnings and the first season

The San Francisco Mechanics became the very first team to join the USCL on January 30, 2005. The Boston Blitz would later join the league as well, signing up on the 25th of April 2005. With the joining of these two teams, the membership roster of the league numbered a total of eight teams. The United States Chess League’s inaugural match was played between The Boston Blitz and the New York Knights, and was held on September 1, 2005. The first season of the league ended on November 24, 2005, when the Baltimore Kingfishers bested competition Miami Sharks in the USCL Championship.

The second season of the United States Chess League

Commissioner Shahade announced on March 10, 2006 that two expansion teams, the Seattle Slugger and the Tennessee Tempo, would be joining the USCL in time for its second season. This season ended on November 29, 2006 with the San Francisco Mechanics beating out the New York Knights in order to win the championship.

The third season of the United States Chess League

Two other expansion teams joined the USCL in 2007. These were the New Jersey Knockouts and the Queens Pioneers. It was also during this period that The Philadelphia Masterminds changed their name to the Philadelphia Inventors. In a spectacular close to the third season, the Dallas Destiny bested the Boston Blitz in the championship match.

The fourth season of the United States Chess League

During the latter of part of 2007, the United States Chess League announced that two more teams would be joining the upcoming season. These were the Chicago Blaze and the Arizona Scorpions. These two teams competed in the Western Division, with the Carolina Cobras moving back to the Eastern Division in order to balance the two.

As of the 2007 season, the United States Chess League was comprised of the following teams: for the Eastern division there was the Boston Blitz, the Baltimore Kingfishers, the New Jersey Knockouts, the New York Knights, the Philadelphia Inventors, and the Queens Pioneers. For the Western division, teams included the Carolina Cobras, the Dallas Destiny, the Miami Sharks, the San Francisco Mechanics, the Seattle Sluggers, and the Tennessee Tempo.