This Monday the Pioneers will be matched up against the "other" New York team --- The Knights. Like the Pioneers, even with super strong line-ups the Knights find themselves sitting at 0.5/2. I am sure both teams feel they should have a better record, and after tomorrow's match one of our teams surely will.
When looking at the schedule in the beginning of the season I asked Dimitry, our team manager, if we could play our week three match over the board since we play only 3 train stops away. As I assumed, the answer was no, since the point of the USCL is to give viewers and fans from all over the country the chance to tune in to the action on the ICC. However, if either of us have internet problems we always have live over the board play as an option.
This Monday the Pioneers will send out a different line-up for the third week in a row. Below is a closer look at the individual board match-ups.
Board 1: GM Alex Stripunsky vs. GM Giorgi Kacheishvilli
Board 1 continues to match strong GMs, and this week is no exception. In spite of the way GM Stripunsky's last game ended, he played extremely well and I expect him to continue to in Monday's match. Because he has the White pieces the advantage goes to GM Alex Stripunsky.
Board 2: GM Pascal Charbonneau vs. IM Dimitry Schneider
As you may have read on the USCL page the other day, board 2 pits two players who share an apartment and have been friends for quite some time. This match should be quite interesting since they will depart from home together and see each other when they return. Each knows more about the other than most USCL players knows about their respective opponents. In their last USCL game, Dmitry won with the white pieces and tomorrow I expect a tough game from both sides. Board 2 should be at least a draw for Dmitry.
Board 3: FM Andrei Zaremba vs. NM Matt Herman
Andrei is the only player on our team to play in all of our matches this year. For the third week in a row he will have the white pieces--- a nice way to start the year. Like last week, Andrei is matched with a lower rated opponent and should have a clear advantage. However, Matt has played well since last season and is definately more experienced than Andrei's last opponent. Even so, Advantage Zaremba.
Board 4: NM Yaacov Norowitz vs. WFM Elizabeth Vicary
Elizabeth will play on board 4 for the second week in a row. Last week she played a nice game even though the result was not what she expected. I expect Elizabeth to be well prepared for this game to make up for the large rating difference. There is no doubt that Norowitz is the clear favorite in this game. However, I expect this game to be a toss up and it may decide the match if our top boards do not play as I predicted.
Match Prediction: Queens wins 2.5-1.5
Check out the games live on the ICC on Monday at 7:15pm