In case I don't get time to make another aweful prediciton, I predict boston over NY 3-1.
So I'm sure some of you out there might be shocked by my bold prediction. Well the key is take whatever you expect Boston to do and add at least 1 point to it. Sure, board by board it doesn't look too impressive for Boston. Nakamura should have an edge on board 1, Perelshteyn counters with an edge on board 2. Bonin on board 3 should be a bit better and Williams on board 4 should have the edge. Looks like the perfect line for a 2-2 tie, but you have to remember that Boston has the team factor, I really think this is what drove both them and San Francisco to such strong results in the regular season last year. I have been overlooking this so far this season. So really this just gives Boston much better chances of holding/ winning on boards where they should be worse.
Queens vs NJ
A rematch of the week 1 tie. A few changes for both teams and a color flip. This time I can more confidently predict something at least slightly offbeat by Stripunsky against Benjamin. Board 1 is pretty close Board 2 should favor the Queens, but boards 3 and 4 I like NJ so I give NJ the slight edge in the match.
NJ over Queens 2.5-1.5
Phi vs Bal
Philadelphia is missing Kudrin this week and Baltimore debuts their top GM. Baltimore should have an edge on board 1, I trust Costigan to keep it close on board 2 but ultimately he should be on the worse side of thigns, but Philly looks good on boards 3/4 which should give them good chances to hold the match.
Phi TIES Bal 2-2
Tennessee Tempo vs Miami Sharks
If you remember, Tennessee scored their only historical team win against Miami at the end of last season, this week however Miami is showcasing a tougher line-up. Miami has a substantial edge on boards 1 and 4 and less so on boards 2/3, but still very promising. I predict a 3.5-0.5 victory for Miami.
Mia over Ten 3.5- 0.5
Dallas Destiny vs Carolina Cobras
This looks very close on Paper, Carolina has been playing with a large core of its original members from season to season. This experience in making good team judgments should help them.
Car over Dal 2.5-1.5
Seattle Sluggers vs San Francisco Mechanics
Obviously the most important match of the week (since it involved the Mechanics). It features one of the most exciting matchups of last season in Serper-Friedel. These 2 played 3 matches last season. This produced 2 games of the week and 3 decisive results. Friedel got quite a bad position in his one game as black, however it was shown here:
that Serper did slip up at one point. I think over the last year watching Friedel's games he's become a much tougher defender and I expect this to be a pretty balanced game with my bias going towards Friedel.
On board 2 we have Orlov-Pruess. Last season Orlov got his taste of Bhat, this time around he's looking at Pruess who has had a somewhat disappointing couple of weeks, he seems to do better when he's playing stronger opponents though so this should be a good chance to turn that around with the white pieces.
Board 3 there is an interesting match Readey-Donaldson. Donaldson was a long-time resident of Seattle and I'm guessing has had quite a bit of experience with Readey. My guess is his stronger level of play and experience against this specific opponent should make things quite difficult for Readey.
Board 4 features Daniel "kid" Naroditsky against Seattle's young player Sinanan. Naroditsky has white against a lower rated player so this looks quite good for him.
This week looks quite promising for SF.
SF over Sea 3-1