(GM Alex Lenderman is the Manager and Captain of Philadelphia Inventors. He was the MVP of last season (2008) in USCL. He achieved three GM Norms in 2 months recently. Immensely talented from childhood, he won Gold Medal at World Youth Championship and was World Junior Champion. More details about Alex Lenderman and his USCL Games could be found at Diamondback Chess Blog http://diamondbackchess.blogspot.com/2009/08/alex-lenderman.html.
The following is an e-mail interview conducted by PK Sivakumar with Alex Lenderman. Photo Courtesy: www.chessbase.com )
What do you think about Inventors team roster for 2009?
I feel like it is a complete team. Any reasonable four-man team that we create from this roster, even with people unavailable we feel like we have a legitimate and realistic chance to win and that is all we can ask for. It is a complete team, with two GMs, a couple of IM's, and a lot of other very strong masters, and of course two young players who are very excited to play and they are only getting better while they also allow us to use very strong first three boards due to their low ratings( but much higher strengths).
What are your plans for the team this year?
My plans for the team are to go as far as we can and do the best we can. My plan is to always use the lineup to have the maximum winning chances.
As Captain and Manager of the team, what are your specific goals to achieve as a team?
My goal as a team is to at least make the playoffs and have a strong season, and rebound after a disappointing 2008 season. I am going to try to do as much as I can to contribute and we also changed the dynamics of the team by adding me and adding two young players.
You had an incredible run at USCL last year winning MVP award. So, apart from team goals, what are your personal goals for USCL in 2009?
I have no real goals for myself. I have a simple job. To lead my team as far as possible and try to create a dynasty.
How would playing for Philadelphia Inventors be positively different for you?
I have a lot of supporters, I was really wanted by Michael Shahade, and I was asked if I wanted to play, back in May or June. That means I was really wanted. And I want to play on a team where I'm wanted.
You have two kids (15 and 13 years respectively) on your team. In what ways, this USCL experience would shape up their chess?
I think for the young kids it is going to be nothing but a great experience and they will always play the best they can because they will enjoy every moment of it and be excited by the nature. It is like a professional league. It would be good both for their chess and their other skills.
Apart from the games, are you planning any other informal team building activities like get-to-gethers, joint preparation etc?
At this point I don't plan to do that many get-togethers but if any one is interested in setting something up they are more than welcome.
What did you tell your teammates regarding preparation and playing?
To play practice games with each other and don't put too much pressure on themselves, just do the best they can.
What else should USCL do to popularize the league?
Maybe try to get more money :) Try to make it more like other sports(hehe). I think it's doing great and Greg and Arun are doing a great job. I think it's getting better and better to be honest.