Live or Let Die: The Dallas Destiny and the Miami Sharks Duke it off for a Critical Playoff Spot GM Chirila- GM Becerra 1/2-1/2 Becerra will equalize in a theoretical Ruy Lopez….. GM Sadorra- FM Rodriguez 1-0 IM Holt-FM Pelaez 1-0 Pelaez has shocked me in previously but I’m gonna go with the rating favorite Rosenthal-Xiong 0-1
With a moe in mind, The Dallas Destiny shall win 3-1…. till next year Miami
The Other Play-off Contender the SF Mechanics vs the Spoilers: The St Louis ArchBishops For the second time in three weeks, St Louis threatens to place Naka on board 1 and changes their line up: Perhaps a Hollaween taunt? GM Kraai- IM Vojinovic 1-0 With the white pieces and last week’s GOTW under his belt, Kraai’s chances are good! FM Banawa- IM Naroditsky 0-1 Liou-Eckert 1-0 Karlow-Rumph 1-0
Since SF shall be hungry for a play off spot and has a big rating edge no moe here…. SF wins 3-1
The Smoothly Sailing Chicago Blaze vs the Ever-so Desperate Arizona Scorpions With last week’s loss, Chicago has come back with a strong line-up (but is still saving its heavy 2500+ lineup for the playoffs!) GM Shulman-IM Molner 1-0 IM Altounian-IM Felecan 1-0 Felecan will go for complications and end up down too much material! IM Young-FM Adamson 1-0 FM Atoufi-Menon 0-1
and Chicago says goodbye to Arizona’s season as Chicago Wins 3-1… no moe of here because Arizona will play desperate to win– no draws
The One game with Little Play-off Implications : The LA Vibe vs the Seattle Sluggers WGM Abrahamyan-IM Orlov1-0 Very close call between two tacticians: Tatev has the momentum! FM Milat-FM Casella 1-0 Kavutskiy-WGM Rohonyan 1/2-1/2 Kavutsiky won their 2010 encounter… Now is time to make peace! Feng-Lu 1-0 Don’t much about either of these kids but Feng surprised me with a few upsets this season
and Seattle wins 2.5-1.5 (disclaimer: last week an anonymous commented I’ve been predicting against LA too much… Maybe perhaps so but with a low avg 2278 this week, its hard to go in their favor)
My success (or lack of it) of my predictions last night was somewhat strange.. Usually I score higher on match points than game points.. This time around however, I predicted 11/16 game points right and a mere 1/4 match points accurately… Shall I fare better or worse for tomorrow night? – We shall see!
First off, we have The Too Little Too Late NJ Knockouts vs the Dominant NY Knights When NJ is finally eliminated, they produce a super solid team: a little too late GM Benjamin-GM Kascheishvili 1/2-1/2 Kashi won last time but with black it’ll be another draw! GM Fedorowicz- GM Fishbein 1/2-1/2 a relatively boring GM draw here: less exciting then Benj-Kasch:( FM Shen-Herman 0-1 Williams-Wu 1/2-1/2 (Williams has a miniscule edge, but Wu is playing awesome in the MCC championship—- I think he’ll equalize out of the opening and neither side will push for much.
and the the final verdict is Herman helps NY win 2.5-1.5 setting up a critical match next against against Philly to determine the Eastern champion!
The still Shanklandless NE Nor’Easters vs the Absolute Desperate to win Carolina Cobras IM Vigorito- IM Schroer 1/2-1/2 FM Korley- IM Yedidia 1/2-1/2 FM Bournival-FM Simpson 1-0 Jones- Goldberg 1-0 ( nothing personal Ben!- extra motivation to prove me wrong!) and a hard fought match is mutually detrimental: Drawn Match 2-2
The Even Steven Teams Fight to go in the Positive: The Dallas Destiny vs the SF Mechanics IM Bercys- GM Bhat 1/2-1/2 GM Kraai- GM Sadorra 1-0 IM Holt-IM Pruess 1-0 Rumph-Lapedz 0-1 As far as I can tell Rumph isn’t so active anymore Lapedz is rapidly improving.
and………….The Dallas Destiny wins 2.5-1.5
The Weakened St. Louis Archbishops vs the Relatively Balanced Seattle Sluggers Naka threatened to play but with him out, St Louis’s chances look pretty dim this week GM Finegold- FM Cozianu 1-0 FM Mikhailuk- Karlow 1-0 ( 400 rating pts+ white= win) Rich -Sinanan 0-1 (300 pts+ Sinanan dynamic with black=win) Kelley- Hua 1-0 And Seattle will slide to victory with a 3.5-1.5 margin (moe). St Louis would need miracles to pull of an upsetFor either of these teams to have objective play-off chances next year I think they need new recruits… Right now they have all their eggs in one basket: Naka and Akobian and respectively.
The Co-Leading Philly Inventors take on the Trailing Manhattan Applesauce GM Panchanathan-GM Stripunsky 1/2-1/2 IM Bartholomew-FM Bartell 1/2-1/2 IM Bonin-FM Zaremba 1-0 I underestimated Jay the last two weeks predicting draws.. This week he’s going for the FULL BONE! Smith -Fisher 1-0 I had Fisher drawing Black but with the late lineup change and time odds I’ll give Fisher the point! (However the expected match result does not change! and all in the end the Bone leads Philly to victory 2.5-1.5 (moe here)
The Caught up Boston Blitz take on the Still Slacking Baltimore Kingfishers SM Sammour-GM Kaufman 1-0 In the battle betwen the wild tactician and computer, the human style shall take precedent! IM Enkhbat- IM van de Mortel 1-0 Martirosov-FM Zimmer 1/2-1/2 They drew in last year’s Semi-Finals and they’ll draw again! Schoch-Krasik 1-0 and Boston will go back into the (-) as Baltimore shall pull of an upset 2.5-1.5
The Close to Even Miami Sharks take on the Light Version of the Chicago Blaze Chicago had enough winning at least for now and finally produces a soft line-up. Don’t be fooled though: the other GMs will be back for the Playoffs though! GM Becerra- GM Friedel 1-0 ( Becerra has perfect score against Friedel in league history: Psychological Edge) IM Young- FM Rodriguez 1-0 FM Pelaez- Rosen 1-0 Shmackel-Rosenthal 1-0 and an all decisive games will lead to a Drawn match 2-2
The Arizona Scorpions Look to keep their Playoff Hopes Alive against the LA Vibe IM Molner- WGM Abrahmayan 1-0 Mac=BEAST enough said. Gupta- IM Altounian 0-1 FM Adamson-Kavutskiy 1-0 FM Yanayt- FM Atoufi 1-0 and Arizona will remain in the game as Arizona shall win 3-1 ( no moe of here!)
I am in NY for the weekend for tonight’s Tedeschi- Trucks Band concert… Post on that to come up soon.
Here’s one of my games from last night against GM Kekelidze. I sacked a pawn in an interesting line of the Queen’s Indian and had my fare of chances at one point… At one point, he agreed I was likely winning but in the final mutual scramble, I tried to simplify into what I thought I was an equal endgame without many winning chances for either side.. However unfortunately, the GM begged to differ and convincingly took out the whole point…
I won my three other games and tied for the 3rd and the u2200 prize with Leif Pressman, Edward Kopiecki and Vladimir Polyakin. GM Kekelidze drew IM Bonin in the last round in a long struggle that led to an opposite-colored bishops ending to tie for first.
In pure match points, I was PERFECT last night 4/4…. With a little bit of luck:) I only got 6/16 match points. The Rather Successful Comeback Kids aka. the NE Nor’easters vs the Rather Desperate NJ Knockouts
IM Hungaski-GM Benjamin 1/2-1/2 I’m expecting a relatively quiet Caro- Kann draw IM Kapengut-IM Vigorito 1/2-1/2 Cherniack-Ng 1-0 Matlin-Fikiet 0-1
and New England will survive, ending NJ’s playoff chances as with a moe, NE will win 2.5-1.5!
The Middle of the Pack Manhattan Apple Sauce vs the Strikingly Distant Baltimore Kingfishers IM Vovsha- GM Margvelashvili 0-1 GM Kaufman-IM Schneider 1/2-1/2 FM Zaremba-IM Enkhbhat 1-0 Yang-Prilleltensky 0-1
and Manhattan will solidify a third place position as Manhattan will win 2.5-1.5
The Unpredictable Miami Sharks take on a Ridiculously Watered-down St. Louis Arch Bishops If it was one of the Amateur Team Championships, St. Louis would have a decent team… wrong event GM Becerra-FM Banawa 1-0 Cao-FM Olivera1/2-1/2 I’m thinking Olivera will leave the game = as his teammates have big edges.. FM Rodriguez-Karlow 1-0 Hua-Rosenthal 0-1 and Miami wins 3.5-.5: Any reader knows I rarely predict such big margins but with such a big rating gap, its seems likely.
The Dallas Destiny vs the Relatively “Weak” Chicago Blaze Duke it Out Chicago’s team is by no means weak at super strong 2456 but is slightly weaker than previous weeks. GM Chirila- GM Friedel 1/2-1/2 ( Friedel won’t push as a match draw clinches the division) GM Gurevich-IM Holt 1-0 FM Kiewra-Rosen 1-0 FM Dean-FM Xiong1/2-1/2 ( same reasoning as Chirila-Friedel!) and Chicago’s “weak” team clinches the Western division with a Drawn Match 2-2!