While I procrastinate a little more from all these final papers I have to write, I’ll prove to my readers that this blog hasn’t become a USCL predictions blog and that I haven’t fell out of the blogosphere.
In other news, I played at the Boylston Sunday for the first time since the summer in the 2011 Greg Hager Memorial and tied for first with FM Christopher Chase. Other than our fought-out round 3 draw ( see below), we each beat three lower rated opponents. One notable player though was the fellow Brandeis King Killer Adam Grossack who is severely underrated at 1175 and beat an 1800 in the first round. Most of you probably don’t know he is a national bridge champion—- Skills will transfer over to chess!
Here’s my madness (OK. not quite) against Chase. In short he played a sideline which led to a pretty level endgame early on. I played a little too passively and gave him a slightly better game but he never had any serious winning chances.
As Mr.E predicted last Sunday, we shall see a NY-Chicago final! Surprisingly, Chicago did not bring out there monster GGGg 2500+ lineup. Furthermore, NY faced difficult missing almost 1/2 of their roster (Fedorowicz, Bodek, Williams and Gershenov) thanks to the World Youth and K-12 Nationals. Thanks to Chicago however, JFern who technically isn’t eligible to play, was agreed to be able to play….. Without further ado, lets answer the golden question: “Who shall the 2011 USCL Champions be?
Board 1: GM Mesgen Amanov vs GM Giorgi Kacheishvili:
Amanov has had a solid season all season long and has the white pieces. However, last week he faced a minor setback when he lost with the white pieces to Conrad Holt, showing he is isn’t entirely invincible with white. Kacheishvili had been playing well too until he suffered two consecutive losses in the last week. However, with a nice rating edge and a dynamic style with the black pieces, I sense a victory for Kacheishvili in either a complicated Nimzo Indian.
Board 2: IM Irina Krush vs GM Dimitry Gurevich
Both players have had high performance ratings this season and had a 66% score, despite the fact Krush played 3 games, when Gurevich played 6. While Krush, has a miniscule rating edge, Gurevich’s GM title definitely counts for something. I see Gurevich equalizing relatively easy and the game eventually ending in a peaceful draw.
NY’s chances on this board largely depends on if Fernandez is in shape. With the exception of the Bermuda International this past February, he hasn’t played a tournament since 2006, when he unfortunately beat your loyal blogger in a long theoretical battle at Steve Immit’s somewhat ridiculous Insanity at NYs home-site the great Marshall Chess Club. For those crazy chess maniacs around the the NY area, this another one of those all-night chess fests coming up as we await 2012! Anyways back on track, I unfortunately have to predict Menon to win with a rating edge and more recent tournament experience.
Thus, to be objective, I unfortunately have to predict Chicago to win 2.5-1.5 and win the 2011 Championship. Come on Knights, please prove my prediction wrong!
The Subway Series: The Mighty Manhattan Applesauce vs the Nauseating New York Knights With last week’s swindle against Boston, NY appropiatlely gets the quality of “nauseating” GM Stripunsky- GM Kacheishvili 1/2-1/2 They drew three times in USCL history- why not again?! IM Krush-Bartholomew 1-0 Krush drew two games thus far this season with black and shall prove her point with the white fellows! FM Mandizha-“GM” Pressman 1-0 I hate to predict against the “gm” but with white, I forsee Mandizha increasing his mini winning streak to 3 games Williams- Black 1-0 Two schoolmates who were mentioned together in the NY Times duke it out for what will likely decide which team will move on to the championship. With the white pieces and a more solid style, I’m gonna go with Williams winning. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/crosswords/chess/chess-three-young-african-americans-earn-recognition-as-masters.html?_r=1&smid=fb-share
and Krush and Williams will lead NY to a 2.5-1.5 victory!
The GGGg Dominating Chicago Blaze vs the Underdog LA Blaze Too be honest, I think with draw odds, even LA’s best lineup wouldn’t be so great, but with this surprisingly u2400 line up, I think LA’s chances are grim. GM Shulman- GM Khaciyan 1/2-1/2 I don’t expect Shulman to push too hard due to match conditions IM Amanov-GM Friedel 0-1 Close call as Amanov has an incredible 100% score with white but I predict he’ll go a little too crazy here due to draw odds and Friedel will earn the full point GM Gurevich-WGM Abrahmyan 1/2-1/2 similar logic to Shulman-Khaciyan Lu-Schmakel 0-1 There’s no stopping the “5-0 perfect” Schmakel!
and Chicago will win 3-1 too challenge NY in the Championship!
Okay…… My margins we’re quite off last night. As a matter of fact I predicted both match points wrong but with my friend named “Draw Odds” I guessed the two teams who were fortunate enough to qualify for the semi-finals: the Chicago Blaze and LA Blaze. Game points wise I was at 4/8: 50%.
The Surprising Division Champs the Philly Inventors vs the Power Hungry Manhattan Applesauce GM Panchanathan- GM Stripunsky 1/2-1/2 Its a hard call as Strip won with with black in week 9. However, numbers wise I don’t think he’ll lose again. IM Bartholomew-FM Bartell 1-0 They drew their week 9 encounter…. This time with draw odds on the table, Bartholomew will be hungry for the point! IM Bonin-FM Mandizha1/2-1/2 The Bone said it himself: he’ll be fine with a draw! Black-Fisher 0-1 There’s no stopping Fisher’s dominant (8.5/9) record… To boot, he also went 5-0 in last weekend’s Eastern Team Championship
and a drawn match 2-2, will send Philly to its first semi-finals!
The Real Deal that is Bound to Send Criticism My Way:): The NY Knights vs the Bahstan Blitz GM Kascheisvili-Sammour 1-0 Last time, Sammour pulled of an upset, but Georgi is still a favorite! IM Catdog Esserman vs HOF Fedorowicz 1/2-1/2 another Morra declined shall lead to peace! Herman-Martirosov 1/2-1/2 Herman is overall a stronger player than Martirosov but has some trouble against him (0-2 in the league)… Lets take baby steps to build back his score– draw this time! Krasik-Bodek 1-0 Krasik is angry he lost a dead-won game in their last encounter: Rematch time!
and another drawn match 2-2 sends NY to play Philly for a third time in 4 weeks!
The Back to GGGg Status Chicago Blaze take on the Challengers: The Dallas Destiny GM Shulman- GM Chirila 1-0 Shulman’s win against Molner last week shows he is serious business! GM Sadorra- GM Friedel 0-1 At first I was going to say draw here, but with draw odds, Sadorra will push too hard. GM Amanov-GM Holt 1/2-1/2 I’d give Amanov an edge but I don’t think he’ll push too hard after Holt equalizes FM Xiong-Schmakel 0-1 There’s no stopping the 4-0 Schmakel
3.5-.5 seems like too big of a margin… I’ll take some moe and say Chicago will win 3-1! ( I made a small correction here as I meant to say Amanov would draw Holt)
The Other GGGg team the SF Mechanics Seek to Overcome LA Vibe’s Draw Odds GM Wolff-IM Matikozyan 1-0 Wolff is historically stronger with white and has a nice rating edge! IM Amanov- GM Bhat 1-0 Both have had great seasons so far…. I’m gonna go with my first instincts and say Amanov will score an upset! GM Kraai-IM Abrahamyan 1-0 GM Kraai will go for a slow positional grind. Kavutskiy-Byambaa 1-0
thus, as the white pieces score 100%, a drawn match 2-2 will say good bye to SF’s season