Chopper Trading Intramurals: Soccer Update – Summer 2014

If you follow my blog, then you know that Chopper has an excellent soccer team that plays in the evening on Monday nights.  The games are hosted by the Chicago Sport and Social League, and are played with 11 players from each opposing team.  To recap this past season, Chopper’s 17-person team ended the summer with a clean 2-0 victory at the finals to win the whole division!

As clear as the final victory was, the players tell me it wasn’t always so easy to win with solid margins. The preceding semi-final game was apparently one of the toughest games the team played all year.  They managed to pull through with a 3-2 victory, much to the credit of Chopper’s goalie who blocked three of the five shots from the opposing team.

As with any activity, having a good mascot has been essential to the team’s success.  Since my dog Chopper is the firm’s mascot, it only makes sense that our soccer team have a canine mascot, as well. One of the players always brings her dog, Ollie, to boost morale.

If having a cool dog for a mascot and enjoying the sport were not exciting enough, I hear Chicago’s unpredictable weather also contributed to the excitement of the season.  I recall a story of one game in which a spontaneous thunderstorm erupted out of perfectly clear skies, soaked the players for five minutes, and then evaporated as quickly as it arrived.  That’s lake-effect weather for you!

For updates on Chopper Trading activity, follow Raj Fernando on Twitter.

Chopper Trading’s Chess Team

Chopper Trading employees apply themselves to a diverse array of sports and hobbies in their free time.  One of those hobbies is chess, sanctioned by the Chopper Chess Team, which plays in the East Division of the Chicago Industrial Chess League.  Seven of Chopper’s employees meet once a week to practice and prepare for competitions scattered throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons.

While some activities can be picked up and set down without too much difficulty, chess is not one of them. Since the team’s creation in 2012, it has exhibited the dedication necessary to excel at the game, and the hard work has paid off in a big way.  Every player has demonstrated consistent and marked improvement over time, culminating in a third place team ranking in the East Division this year.

From what I hear, Chopper players have frequently had the pleasure of upsetting higher rated players and teams.  In the 2012-2013 season, Chopper’s team won the league-wide “highest team upset award,” and a Chopper player won the league-wide “highest individual upset award.”

The Chopper Chess Team has improved its final standings every year. In 2014, the players achieved their best record with six wins and three losses resulting in the previously mentioned third place ranking in the East Division. While this technically qualified the Chopper team to participate in the league-wide playoffs for the first time, our players were unfortunately unable to participate due to travel and scheduling conflicts.

Nonetheless, Chopper’s team has led victories over employees from a number of prominent Chicago area businesses and institutions such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, the American Medical Association, Enova Financial, and Northwestern University.

Overall, I think the Chopper Chess Team is highly representative of Chopper employees as a whole: driven, hard-working, and always bent on improving.  I want to congratulate the team on a well-played season, and wish everyone good luck in their competitions this next year.

To learn more about Rajiv Fernando and Chopper Trading activity, follow @rajiv_fernando and @ChopperTrading on Twitter.