Ok, its a bit of a cliche by now, but welcome to the “First round of the playoffs” in the West: Here’s my humble predictions:
“Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Opposite ends of the spectrum coming together fighting to squeeze in the playoffs: The Chicago Blaze vs the Dallas Destiny
GM Gurevich has been having a solid season so far and has beaten Barcenilla’s KID a few weeks ago.. A lot depends if IM Bercys holds down the fort…. Gurevich should have a slight edge.
IM Sadorra vs GM Amanov should be another interesting match up… Sadorra has had a great season so far and has the white pieces but is facing a higher level of competition than he has thus far this season: I predict a solid game leading to a draw.
IMS are always scary on board 3 so I give Felecan a clear edge, especially as he has the fate of the white pieces
Dallas has a slight edge on 4 as Lopez has more experience in the league:
Overall, anything could happen, but I predict Chicago will qualify for the playoffs for the first time with a 2.5-1.5 margin.
The SF Mechanics on the verge of not qualifying for the playoffs for the first time who will certainly be looking for revenge against the Miami Sharks who beat them in the Semi-finals last year
As I said in the past, GM Kraai seems to me much stronger with white and Becerra stone: A draw seems very likely. Bds 2 and 3 seem like slight edges for Miami and last year’s 3rd team allstar Liou seems like a clear favorite over Rosenthal…..
History is to be made: SF doesnt make the playoffs for the first time losing the match 1.5-2.5!
The Sluggers who will be diehard to win against the St. Louis Bishops who does not have Naka present at a key time
Akobian- Shulman: its always hard to play friends…… they will make a fight but at the end of the night: DRAW will be the outcome…. Bds 2+3 splits and Guo holds down Finegold’s attack leading to victory…
Seattle wins 2.5-1.5 making NE being the only expansion team to head to the playoffs.
Coincidentally the same situation as NE vs Carolina from Monday…. 1st place Arizona vs the out of contention LA Vibe
As nothing is really on the line, both teams gave their top players a rest… On the other hand, Arizona has a rating edge on 3/4 boards but draw offers are likely due to a lack of motivation….. Arizona will have one victor and the rest of the boards will draw….
Arizon wins 2.5-1.5