It has been quite some time since I have been able to post to this blog. Unfortunately, my laptop simply died leaving me without a computer for a couple of weeks (Dell Inspiron 1720 motherboards are dying by the thousands in the last couple of months- I am now fighting with Dell to have to have my computer fixed or replaced.) In any case, I am now back on-line and will continue to post on a weekly basis.
I would like to thank Jeff Kelleher for reporting on our last match in my absence. Since I do not play every week and have a million things to do, I have decided that whoever plays board 4 for our team should write the preview and report of the match they are involved in (most board fours are lucky to be on a team and be given the chance to play, so it is the least us lower rated players can do for the team.). Since I am back in action I will make sure the match is well covered, before and after the games. Since Jeff correctly pointed out that making a match prediction could be a bad thing for us, I will hold off and simply say that this match will be very close since there are tough match-ups of closely rated players on each board---we are essentially using the same type of line-up. I wonder how often extremely close match-ups in terms of ratings occurs. From now on I will no longer predict the result of our matches, but will instead predict the results for all other matches in the league- See the end of this post.
We have white on boards 2 + 4 and black on boards 1+3. We will be employing our week one line-up and try to make up for what happened in that match by coming out strong. Lets take a closer look at this week's games:
Board 1: GM Sergey Kudrin vs. GM Alex Stripunsky
GM Kudrin has had a rough start to the 2009 USCL Season losing all four of his games. Granted he is playing other strong players each week, but still I am sure most would agree this was not expected. His competition gets no easier with GM Alex Stripunsky who also is looking for his first win of the season. I am always confident with Stripunsky on board 1 for our team and this week is no different. This should be a fun game to watch.
Board 2: IM Eli Vovsha vs. IM Bryan Smith
Like myself, Eli will get his first try with the White pieces and I hope this change brings him good luck. Bryan and Eli are very equally matched players and I expect this game to be very close with a small edge to Eli because he has the white pieces.
Board 3: FM Tom Bartell vs FM Andrei Zaremba
All I will say here is that I will make sure Andrei has an XL Iced Coffee from DD.
Board 4: Shaun M. Smith (Me) vs. Kavinayan Sivakumar
I am 0-2 in the USCL in the last 2 seasons and have played both games with the black pieces and am happy to have a change in this game and hope I can be as important for our team as Jeff K. was for our team last week. Like week 1, I am playing another young expert-- I hope for better results this week.
Tune in on Wednesday as this should be an exciting match with clear play-off implications. I can only promise that this will be very close
Other Match Predictions:
Baltimore Kingfishers vs Boston Blitz (Boston wins 2.5-1.5)
Miami Sharks vs Carolina Cobras (Miami wins 3-1)
Philadelphia Inventors vs Queens Pioneers (No Comment)
New Jersey Knockouts vs Chicago Blaze (New Jersey wins 2.5-1.5)
New York Knights vs SF Mechanics (Draw)
Arizona Scorpions vs Dallas Destiny (Arizona wins 2.5-1.5)
Seattle Sluggers vs Tennessee Tempo (Draw)