This is the last and probably the most exciting Monday night match of the season. This week we have:
Seattle Sluggers vs San Francisco Mechanics
On board 1 there is the rematch of two weeks ago when Friedel defeated Serper. This week Serper takes the white pieces where he can be a really tough opponent. I'm guessing a benko from Friedel based on a few games where Serper has mostly avoided it. Still I think Serper has a moderate edge in this matchup, hopefully Friedel will prove me wrong. On board 2 the game is Bhat - Orlov. This game was touted on the USCL site as a matchup between two players undefeated in US Chess League history. Orlov sports a 2-0-0 record against some tough opposition while Bhat is 3-0-3 against strong opposition. Who will win? Well, I can't say for sure, but I think with the white pieces Bhat should hold a slight to solid edge since he has only failed to win as white once against the especially tough GM Becerra. On board 3 the game is Readey-Zilberstein should be another close matchup. Zilberstein should have a slight edge, but this game has a real 3 result possibility. On board 4 we have a rematch of 2 weeks ago where Shankland made one mis-step in the middlegame and then was suffering. With white this seems less likely to happen and I think he's ready to show his class, especially with the white pieces. I give a moderate edge to Shankland. Overally I think this match will be very close, all kinds of things can happen, but I think San Francisco is more likely to break through.
San Francisco over Seattle 2.5-1.5