Who Were the Montclair Sopranos? Who Are We?

If you’re involved in the online chess community, odds are you’ve heard of the Montclair Sopranos! Hailing out of New Jersey they were a pro team in the Chess.com backed PRO Chess League with a solid performance throughout. Only one season, 2018, did they miss out on a playoff breadth.

Throughout their years, the team consisted of several major players in the chess world. Strong players such as GM Hou Yifan, GM Alex Lenderman, GM Sam Sevian, GM Gadir Guseinov, GM Mackenzie Molner and other big names such as the strong chess expert and poker star Dan Smith.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances outside of their hands, the team found themselves without a competitive spot. It was in that lull when original founders and managers, GM Mackenzie Molner and Sean Finn, looked to branch out and create their own path going forward.

At this point, the two were introduced to another competition called the States Chess Cup. Looking to form a team they recruited their friends Ed Knesevitch and John Mullanaphy to fill the four man squad. As the season progressed they recruited more masters and experts to form a solid team that proceeded to find themselves in the playoffs. Unfortunately the season ended in an 8-8 draw with their opponents having draw odds, however it provided a good launching point to devise a new team out of the ashes.

Welcome Garden State Passers! The spiritual successor to the Montclair Sopranos; the Passers look to represent the vibrant chess community in the beautiful state of New Jersey. Going forward, we’re hoping to continue bringing a strong presence to any competitions we might enter. So stick around and grow with us!

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