Friday, March 03, 2006

US Championship Round 2

Starting with round 2 we won't see quite as many 200 point disparities. This round we'll be seeing closer pairings on the top boards, but a few wider pairings on the bottom of the tables, especially in Kleiman - Nakamura. So I'll be trying to predict the results of the top 3 boards in each section.

Section 1:

GM Ibragimov, I - GM Gurevich, D prediction: 1-0
I think Ibragimov is very tough with the white pieces, very solid, can play for += positions and really grind his opponents down. Also remember Ibragimov almost beat Nakamura in the final round of last year's US Championship and he's probably come back this year with better nerves.

GM Serper, G - GM Onichuk, A prediciton: 0-1
I realize that for the second game I'm also going with the favorite, but I really think Onichuk's preparation is something to be admired and he is an expert in almost every line he plays, it's quite likely Serper will just be outclassed.

IM Gonzales, R - GM Stripunsky, A prediction: 1/2 - 1/2
Gonzales plays a lot of off-beat systems as white. Not as off beat as 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5, but he plays the Vienna game and King's Indian attack systems which can be a little dry. Stripunsky is a really tricky player, but I've seen him have pretty inconsistant results. I believe his amazing result at last year's championship was somewhat of a fluke as we haven't seen these results from him eslewhere.

Section 2:

GM Kamsky, G - IM Perelshtein, E prediction: 1-0
This prediction is really a lot tougher than it might seem. I don't know how well prepared Kamsky is right now, even at the World Cup his openings felt like they lacked something and Perelshtein always seems to have good preparation. However, Kamsky is still a top player and is probably out for blood this year, my bets on him.

GM Wojtkiewicz, A - GM Shabalov, A prediction: 1/2-1/2
Shabalov likes to keep things very sharp, but Wojkiewicz can be quite tough to play for such a sharp player. My bet is the white pieces will give Wojo good chances to draw.

GM Kreiman, B - Novikov, I prediction: 0-1
Seems like Kreiman's hyper-agressive style won't work well on an experienced player like Novikov. I expect Novikov to calmly defend some early initiative and just be left with a better position to show his technique in.

Other predictions (won't count towards my overall record):
IM Friedel, J - GM De Firmian, N prediction: 1-0
This is not just because I am a big fan of Friedel's play, I actually have logic to back it up (although my logic was not what won him the Nakamura game). So in all likelihood it will be a Najdorf with 6. f4 which Josh has very good results in and De Firmian rather mixed. De Firmian even played this system quite a few times as white and the type of dynamic positions it yields I think give Friedel very good chances to win.

1 comment:

David Glickman said...

JG - Welcome to the chess blogosphere. I've added you to the sidebar at BCC Weblog.

Nice coverage of the US Championships so far. Obviously those of us in Boston are following Friedel, Perelshteyn, Christiansen, et. al. very closely.

DG - BCC Weblog

P.S. You'll probably want to have your sitemeter ignore your own visits in order to get a more accurate picture of your visitors.