Sunday, September 30, 2007

USCL Week 6 Predictions

I think finally I had a week that was worthwhile in predictions but still not up to the standards I've started to expect for myself. Anyways, SF plays Boston this week so obviously there's a lot to talk about.

New Jersey Knockouts vs Carolina Cobras
New Jersey is coming out this week with their full-metal lineup it looks like, fresh off their first win they're looking to keep the trend going.
Benjamin - Milman: New Jersey should have an edge on this board, Benjamin has looked good this season Milman struggled a little bit against GM opposition.
Schroer - Ippolito
I would say the biggest risk for NJ here is that Ippolito tries a little too hard avoiding his more solid opening choices and ends up getting stuck somewhere unfamiliar. However, I think NJ should have a slight edge here.
Zaikov has struggled a little more this season than last, but I think he's still looking to preform well, this should be an even match.
Jones- Lian
I like Jones in this matchup, I don't expect him to lose to another kid so soon and his rating advantage here is much more significant.
New Jersey over Carolina 2.5-1.5

Miami Sharks vs Queens Pioneers
Becerra -Stripunksy is a very strong encounter, I expect Becerra to have the edge as he can be very tough with the white pieces.
Vovsha -Martinez I like Vovsha a little bit better with white, slight edge for Queens.
Moreno Roman -Zhao Definitely a clear edge for Miami here.
Bierkens - Socorregut
Slight edge to Queens here, but I think draw is more likely.
Miami's edges seem better than Queens
Mia over Queens 2.5-1.5

Dallas Destiny vs Philadelphia Inventors
Boskovic - Kudrin
Looks pretty even, no edge to either.
Smith - Kuljasevic Slight edge for Smith, but all 3 results possible in a relatively even matchup.
Stopa - Costigan Costigan should be solid, but Stopa is strong enough he should have a substantial edge.
Wilson - Zorigt: Edge to Wilson with the white pieces.
Dal TIES Phi 2-2

Baltimore Kingfishers vs Tennessee Tempo
Enkbhat - Burnett: A close matchup, I won't give either player an edge.
Andrews- Kaufman : Edge to Kaufman as Andrews feels the (justified) burden to overextend himself to try to score a point for a team where he is probably the best chance to score at the top.
Rohonyan - Wheeler Wheeler has struggled a bit lately giving his opponents extra chances to try to win, I like Rohonyan's chances.
Larsen - Battsetseg Slight edge for Batsettseg.
Bal over Tenn 3-1

Boston Blitz vs San Francisco Mechanics
This is definitely a highlight of the season for me. The match between the East and West's best regular season records from last season.
Christainsen - Wolff
Wolff has looked fine in his 2 performances so far and I imagine will continue to rebuild his form, that being said Christiansen has white and is no fish, I think Christiansen has a slight edge.
Bhat - Kelleher
Until I see otherwise I'm not going to predict anything for Bhat other than a strong result, Bhat gets the edge.
Shmelov - Donaldson
Edge to Donaldson even with the black pieces.
Young- Williams
Williams is probably slightly stronger, but Young is a tough opponent and has the white pieces (I've suffered a few times myself on this end of this tough opponent), probably very slight edge for Young.
SF over Bos 2.5-1.5

New York Knights vs Seattle Sluggers
Nakamura - Serper
My guess is Nakamura will go right into Serper's favorite sicilian. It fits his style well and Serper likes to get himself in time trouble, should be good for Nakamura if he can begin to concentrate a little better in some of the more critical moments of his games in the league.
Orlov - Krush
Orlov has white and is a particularly tough opponent he should have the edge with white.
Bonin - Readey
Bonin has been playing well so it's temping to give him my vote for this one, but... Nevermind I will.
Sinanan - Zenyuk
This should be close, I think it should slightly favor Sinanan, but should be relatively even.
NY over Sea 2.5-1.5

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rest of Week 5 predictions

What has happened to me? My luck coming to an end? Tired work weeks impairing my prediction judgement? Mechanics not the 4-0 I've predicted? Whatever it is, it must come to an end.

New Jersey Knockouts vs New York Knights
Charbonneau definitely has some advantage in youth and activity, but I will not sell Benjamin short, he should have the edge with white.
Hess has a lot of talent, can at times be inconsistent, but youth and rating give him the edge.
A battle of youth on board 3, I don't know too much about either of them, but I know I've seen some impressive games from Arnold that give me confidence to give him the nod with black.
Zenyuk- Ju, should be close probably a slight edge for Ju, but not much.
Close, better chances for NY who still seems to have some fire left.
NY over NJ 2.5-1.5

Boston Blitz vs Baltimore Kingfishers
Christiansen - Blehm should favor LarryC, he lost last time, but not before developing a strong position with black.
Enkbhat - Sammour-Hasbun : Hasbun defended well in 2 games, Enkbhat probably won't try to take of off the board so drastically, but either way I like his chances.
Martiorsov - Rohonyan Should be pretty even, 3 results possible and decisive likely, but still even.
Battsetseg - Krasik : Krasik seems to have trouble in games like these, honestly don't like his chances much as he can get a little overconfident. That being said, he can play and his chances can't be so bad.
Boston over Baltimore 2.5-1.5

Queens Pioneers vs Philadelphia Inventors
Stripunksy-Kudrin Stripunksy has been playing very well in the last year while Kudrin is probably past his prime form edge to Stripunsky.
Smith-Vovsha: Both players who show good classical knowledge and aggressive style should be a balanced game.
Critelli - Costigan: Costigan has a strong lineup in front of him this week and doesn't need the same kind of opportunities, he's performed well in the league and I give him a slight edge.
Wilson-Thaler: I'm a fan of wilson's play in the league, what can I say, I give him the edge.
Phi over Queens 2.5-1.5

Tennessee Tempo vs San Francisco Mechanics
Burnett - Wolff: The question for this game is if Wolff can find good form. He didn't look bad in his first game so I give him the edge.
Donaldson - Andrews
John looked very good last week, solid, not afraid to take some chances and showed a good nose for blood, he can be quite poisonous with white especially against a relatively inexperienced opponent.
Shankland can be really tough, is vulnerable, but he's been playing well and I give him the edge.
Naroditsky - Wu
Naroditsky lost in an unfortunate manner last week but I think his mistake was going away from his normal style, no need for him to try to play unfamiliar positions this week for him so I give him the edge.
Tennessee has made some things close this year, but I think SF is in a good position to try to regain some ground
SF over Tenn 3.5-0.5

Carolina Cobras vs Seattle Sluggers
Milman - Serper
Serper is tougher with white than with black where his predictable repetoire can make him vulnerable, I like Milman here.
Mikhailuk - Schroer
Mikhailuk has been more active (I might be wrong) I believe and the rating difference is not so big so with with white I think he's preferred.
Zaikov - Schmidt
I think this game should be a close one, Zaikov was quite strong last year, he's had some tough games against some tough opponents this year.
Michael Lee- Craig Jones:
Lee was quite solid last year for Seattle, Jones can also be quite good, but especially with white I like to favor youth.
Slight edge for Seattle.
Sea over Car 2.5-1.5

Maybe you're safer predicting the exact opposite though.....

Monday, September 24, 2007

USCL Monday Prediction

Just realized I forgot to post a prediction for monday:
Dallas over Miami 2.5-1.5

Sunday, September 16, 2007

USCL Monday Night Week 4

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rest of USCL Week 3 Predictions

Miami Sharks vs. Carolina Cobras
Should be an interesting board 1 matchup, Becerra an established GM against Milman a strong talent of american chess. Slight edge to Becerra with white.
Board 2 features Schroer vs Lugo with Schroer still trying to score his first point in the league while lugo has been solid, I feel like I need to give Lugo the nod.
Board 3 is Martinez-Zaikov. One of the tougher opponents Zaikov has faced, then again, it doesn't seem to matter that much for him, I give Zaikov the nod.
On board 4 Jones-Maderos Jones gets the nod over the relatively unproven Maderos with the lower rating.
Looks pretty even, roughly equal chances for each side to break through.
Mia TIE Car 2-2

Queens Pioneers vs Dallas Destiny
Board 1: Stripunsky - Broskovic
Stripunsky has rating, experience in the format and the white pieces, looks good for him.
Board 2: Vovsha - Kuljasevic
Should be pretty close, but Vovsha looked very sharp in his first match in the league season so I'm giving him the nod.
Board 3: Stopa- Zhao
Stopa has a substantial rating edge and the white pieces, I'm picking him to take the board with a steady edge.
Board 4: Zorigt-Thaler
Zorigt looked a little shaky in her league debut, but nothing that can't be overcome with a second shot, she's got the rating edge and the white pieces.
Again close, but I think the boards 3 and 4 edge for Dallas seems more substantial than Jersey's higher board edge, I give Dallas the nod.
Dal over NJ 2.5-1.5

Seattle Sluggers vs Tennessee Tempo
The famous week 1 matchup from last year which had the leagues first ever 4-0 sweep. However, Tennessee has looked a lot stronger this year and I wouldn't expect such a route.
Board 1: Tangborn-Burnett
Tangborn might have what it takes to contain Burnett's active style and has looked solid when he holds the white pieces. I'm going to give him the nod.
Board 2: Andrews -Schmidt
Schmidt didn't impress me particularly in week 1, feel free to prove me wrong but Andrews hasn't looked too bad in spite of his 0.5-1.5 record.
Board 3/4: Seattle has loaded up the bottom of their lineup with a fairly balanced team, looks like they're giving themselves good chances on both of these, clearly favored on both boards.
Sea over Ten 3-1

Sunday, September 09, 2007

USCL Week 3 Predictions

I haven't done well so far with my predictions, but I blame a vast conspiracy against me by over/underperformers in the league being unpredictable.... so far.

San Francisco Mechanics vs New York Knights
Even though this pits a 1.5-0.5 team against an 0-2 team this is probably the week's most exciting match-up.
Board 1: Bhat (SF) - Nakamura (NY)
An interesting matchup. Bhat has been hot lately in all of his chess and has had amazing results in the league. Nakamura has a solid 200 point rating advantage. However Bhat is a Mechanic which gives him that something extra (oh yea, my biased prediction). I'd say given the white pieces and recent performances the chances are about equal.

Board 2: Krush (NY) vs McCambridge (SF)
Krush has had a slightly better performance in the league and has the white pieces, she should have a slight edge but McCambridge can be tricky and sometimes Krush can be overly predictable.

Board 3: Pruess (SF) vs Bonin (NY)
If you think Pruess is dangerous on board 3, wait until you see him the week after a loss. Edge to SF on board 3.

Board 4: Young (SF) - Herman (NY)
Their ratings are actually fairly comprable and Young has had some good results lately and I wouldn't underestimate the tough kid at all.
My prediction: SF wins 2.5-1.5

Philadelphia Masterminds vs Boston Blitz
Battle of the undefeated teams. Philadelphia has built on their experience without a true board one to form a tough team this year with a regular board 1. Boston continues to rally on the strong regular season they had last year.
Board 1: Kudrin(Phi) - Perelshteyn(Bos)
Kudring with the white pieces vs Perelshteyn with black, should be a pretty even matchup, slight edge to Kudrin with white.
Board 2: Sammour-Hasbun (Bos) - Smith(Phi)
Boston should have an edge here, but this is the board where I think Phi could potentially steal the match.
Board 3: I dont' know too much about these players, but Boston's board 3 has looked solid in his 2 games so far. Edge to Boston here.
Board 4: Elvin Wilson continues to perform well in the league so I think I need to give Philly the edge on board 4.
My prediction: 2-2 Tie

Baltimore Kingfishers vs New Jersey Knockouts
Board 1: Blehm is solid, but Benjamin should have a slight edge even with black.
Board 2: Ippolito didn't look so strong last week, but I don't expect a repeat performance, edge to NJ here as well.
Board 3: Rohonyan has played well so far this season but ran into a tough opponent in week 2, I expect this to continue. Edge to Baltimore.
Board 4: Edge goes to youth and rating on board 4 despite colors, edge to Baltimore.

It looks very even, but overal I think Baltimore has a much better chance of breaking through
Baltimore over NJ 2.5-1.5

Rest of Week 3 predictions coming soon.....

Monday, September 03, 2007

USCL Week 2 Predictions

So week one was a weak performance by me, also it seems the scoring system has been changed a little, but I'm not going to complain as I think in general it's a better system.

Boston Blitz vs Queens Pioneers
Board 1: GM Christiansen vs GM Ibragimov
This is definitely the power-match of the week, an important board for boston too, if Christiansen can get a half point or a full poin it should be good enough to put the blitz in good position, he probably has a very slight edge too over Ibragimov. Ibragimov is obviously more active as a player, but Christiansen can be a beast with the white pieces.
Board 2: This should be a little closer than it looks on paper, Kleiman can definitely put together some high quality games and his preparation is generally good, but I think the edge goes to Sammour-Hasbun.
Board 3: I'm not really familiar with either of these players, but I think the edge goes to Queens.
Board 4: Krasik personally asked me to trash him a lot here (or maybe not), but either way I will say he's pretty inconsistent so basically are we seeing a Krasik that can play on Wednesday or normal Krasik? I'll give it a 50/50 and call this board a wash.
Boston over Queens 2.5-1.5

Carolina Cobras vs Baltimore Kingfishers
Board 1: Clear edge to Milman, very talented player, also higher rated and has the white pieces.
Board 2: Schroeor's back for Carolina vs Kaufman of Baltimore. Kaufman seems to play a little more so an edge for him especially with white.
Board 3: "You can't stop Zaikov, you can only hope to contain him." Rohonyan impressed me with her smooth win last week, but Zaikov has been a beast in the USCL and I expect this to continue.
Board 4: This is a pretty close match, but I think I need to give the edge to Jones due to Zimmers poor performance so far in the league.
Carolina over Baltimore 3-1

New York Knights vs Philadelphia Inventors
Board 1: Charbonneau seems to do better in situations where he's not such a huge favorite. That being said, what happens when two dragoneers face off? My guess is white doesn't play 1.e4, but then what does he play? Either way I give a very slight edge to Charbonneau.
Board 2: Krush had a frustrating loss last week and is sure to be looking for revenge. Smith so far has had rather poor results in the league, then again he's spent most of his time fighting off board 1 with Ehlvest gone in Europe most of last season. I give him the edge on board 2
Board 3: Hess has clear edge, next.
Board 4: Herman can be tough, but Wilson has had strong results in the league so i'll give him the edge here.
New York Knights tie Philadelphia 2-2

Tennessee Tempo vs New Jersey Knockouts
Edge to Jersey on boards 1,3,4 (although slighter on board 1). I'll pick Jersey to win 3.5-0.5 (corrected)

Dallas vs SF
The matchup everybody's been waiting for (or at least I have).
Board 1: I have no idea what kind of form Wolff's in, but knowing Donaldson he'll make sure Wolff's ready to play at least. Wolff was also former us champion so I think he gets the go ahead here.
Board 2: Bhat gets white on board 2 he also holds the league's highest performance rating to date. That said Bartholemew is no slump, but I think Bhat should have the edge here.
Board 3: Last year Pruess couldn't quite break through Stopa's sveshnikov, but sometimes the white pieces come with this burden. I think slight edge goes to Pruess.
Board 4: A battle of the young guns, unfortunately for Dallas Young is Younger... Okay enough horrible jokes, This should be a close fight, but Young doesn't have the burden of being a full time college student (I assume Zorigt is).
SF over dallas 3-1

Miami Sharks vs Seattle Sluggers
Board 1: Edge to Becerra with the white pieces who has performed pretty well in the league.
Board 2: Slight edge to Tangborn on board 2 where the white pieces and a solid playing style should let him play without too much risk. (Key board!)
Board 3: Edge to Mikhailuk who has performed well in the league and significantly outrates his opponent.
Board 4: Edge to Miami here with the substantially higher rated player.
Miami TIES Seattle 2-2