USCL Week 6 Recap

I blew it this past week against Tennessee.

I had a comfortable edge out of the opening that translated into the win of an exchange with 25.Ng3!, a move that Todd doubtlessly missed. The win was still there all the way up until the dubious move 44.Rg2?! and the horrendous 45.Nf3??. Somehow I blanked out on the fact that my h3-pawn can simply be taken. As Greg Shahade pointed out, 44.Rf3 Be8 45.Rxe3! is simple and good.

This was a frustrating game in a non-chess sense. To make a long story short, I was forced to play on three different computers during the course of the game. The whole process of trying to find a suitable internet connection cost me a ton of time in disconnections, and - worse yet - put me in a pretty stressed mood for most of the game. Still, the position after 25.Ng3 is one in which I expect myself to win probably 95% of the time. I take full responsbility for our loss this week.

Marko, Igor, and Bayaraa all played solid chess. Marko in particular surprised a lot of people by easily neutralizing Jaan Ehlvest with the Black pieces, even obtaining a pawn-up ending. Igor did well to pull himself out of a passive position against Bereolos and Bayaraa recovered from an opening misstep to draw with McCarthy. These last two games can be viewed here and here

We have Philly this week. The lineups indicate a pretty evenly-contested match. The Destiny will definitely come out firing this week.


USCL Week 6 Predictions

In leiu of making a meaningful update to this blog, I'm going to take the easy(!?) way out and predict the matchups for tonight.

Carloina Cobras vs. Queens Pioneers
Stripunsky must be busy this week because the undefeated Pioneers come with a much weaker lineup than normal. Lenderman is on fire, but Dima will have his hands full with Black against Milman. The lower boards swing Carolina's way. Carolina Cobras 2.5 - Queens Pioneers 1.5

New Jersey Knockouts vs. Baltimore Kingfisher
Both teams bring powerful lineups to the table. The top two boards look like a wash to me, but I like Jersey's chances with young guns Mack Molner and Victor Shen manning the bottom two boards.
New Jersey Knockouts 3 - Baltimore Kingfishers 1

Boston Blitz vs. Philadelphia Inventors
Several interesting matchups in this one. I like the solid Kudrin to finally stop the Jorge express, though a draw seems fair. Vigorito - Bartell could produce some fireworks while Shmelov should score the full point against Costigan. Bengston has gotta get the slight nod with White against Krasik. I'm still going to call this match in Boston's favor.
Boston 2.5 - Philadelphia Inventors 1.5

Chicago Blaze vs. Miami Sharks
This is probably the most evenly contested match of the night. Mitkov vs. Becerra will be a draw while anything can happen on board two. The ratings point to a Blaze edge on boards three and four, but having seen both Galofre and (especially)Rodriguez play recently I can't say that they are underdogs. Drawn match! Chicago Blaze 2 - Miami Sharks 2

Tennessee Tempo vs. Dallas Destiny
No predictions for this one. I like our chances, though.