First USCL Predictions of 2011

Ok- so I skipped predictions for Monday Night as I have not blogged for a while… This year I am no longer as USCL player, rather a curious onlooker:) I am proud to say that I’m officially a New York Knights fan again! I will openly say that I’m slightly disappointed at the Boston Blitz for not giving me a chance to redeem myself for having a bad season last year (.5/2), but that’s their call….. LETS GO KNIGHTS!

Lets get the ball rolling: Here are my Predictions for Wednesday’s matches!

My old compatriots (The Boston Blitz) vs the Reigning champs ( The NE Nor’Easters):

After the NY International, my respect for Hungaski quadrupled– 8/9=heavy…. Hungaski wins.
FM Griego  hasn’t played competitive chess for a few years… IM Vigorito wrote 3 books in the last 3 years…. Vigorito wins.
Battle of the Rocks on 3… Martirosov and Cherniack both had solid seasons last year… Martirosov had more bd 3 experience though and has the white pieces so I’m gonna say Boston gets the point here.
Fikiet and Gu is really a toss up, which very well might end up deciding the match.. I’m gonna go with Fikiet as he has a long trip from CT and will be more hungry to play and has the white pieces
At the end of the night,  the reigning champs will open their season with a victory by a 2.5-1.5 margin.

The Rejuvenated  Carolina Cobras vs The always strong NJ Knockouts 
Schroer is solid but Fishbein is a strong GM and will be hungry to win in his USCL debut and prove him worthy to his GM teamates Benjamin and Gulko…. Fishbein wins in along positional struggle.
NYer Korley vs experienced IM Kapengut… Korley is a great contribution to the Cobras as he starts at Duke… He’s had a good summer of chess and Kapengut is pretty solid…. I predict a draw.
Simpson and Shen: neither had a particularly good season last year and will be trying to redeem themselves… At the end of the day I predict experience will win here giving Simpson the point– really toss up though. Matlin will have her work cut out for her against the ever strong bd 4 Craig Jones… If she plays well she can redeem last year’s loss to Jones but I give Jones the nod to win again…
All in all, the ( finally higher rated ) Cobras to win 2.5-1.5 !

The Baltimore Kingfishers vs My Rebeloved New York Knights
The Battle of the Georgians: I do not know much about Margelashvili and Kaschi is higher rated… Yet Marge has white… I predict draw!
Fed with white+ lower rated opponent = money 1 point for NY
Defibaugh is sharp  but Herman is a killer on board 3: His extreme rating gains in Europe as seen in Chess Life recently were just too impressive… One more point for NY
Williams vs Balasubrumanian… Gonna take a long shot that Williams goes for a  minimal risk game and draw is the end result…..
NY wins by 3-1(margin of error)—  2.5-1.5

The St Louis Arch Bishops( w/o Hikaru) vs the Longtime good SF Mechanics 

The Arch Bishops are considerably weaker when Hikaru isn’t playing..  Both Finegold and Kraai are pretty solid GMs and are very close in rating—– draw at the end of the night.. Gotta give  newly minted IM Naroditsky and IM Pruess nods for wins being a clear rating favorites… Lets say things don’t go perfect and they score 1.5/2 … Bd 4, at least in my view, is a complete toss up… I’ll go on a whym and predict Sevian wins with white…. All in all, the SF mechanics shall win 3-1 

The Seattle Sluggers w/ their mighty guest killer Akobian vs the hot Chicago Blaze 

Like the Arch Bishops, the Sluggers rely on Akobian making up a trip to Seattle- Fortunately for them Akobian is coming to the rescue tomorrow. He shall travel far and beat the ever solid Gurevich. Thats 1 for Seattle. Felecan shall see Akobian slowly grinding Gurevich and play sharp and shall upset Cozianu a good win but not over his horizions as he upset Shulman last year, good enough for GOTW material. Kelley is new to the league but I saw him analyze in Vegas two years ago… still he’s a severe rating underdog– gotta give the nod to IM Young… He may have underperformed last year but I expect him to revive his awesome results in 08 and 09 this season. In 4 tournaments Rosen gained 100 rating points, (3 in practice, as he lost a few in one— Thats Heavy… Rosen wins ……With Margin of Error in account, the Chicago Blaze shall win 2.5-1.5

A Smörgåsbord of Stuff- My Return to Blogging

I last blogged a month ago on a rather high note reviewing Sir Paul’s excellent show. Since then, life has been good- I have been a Ramblin man traveling pretty much non-stop. Speaking of which, one sad tidbit as I will not get to see Greg Allman play in Lowell next week as I was hoping to. Unfortunately, he canceled the last several shows of his 2011 tour due illness. Feel Better soon Allman.

Early morning on July 17th I flew to Buffalo NY, where I spent a week doing the camp. While there, of course I had to eat some original Buffalo wings:) I went with my coworkers Alanna Brian and Abby to quote on quote “the home of the original [Buffalo wild wing]”, Anchor Bar.