Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 Week 6 Preview

Baltimore Kingfishers vs. St. Louis Arch Bishops
GM Niclas Huschenbeth (2603) - GM Wesley So (2751)
IM Levan Bregadze (2530) - GM Le Quang Liem (2785)
NM Jared Defibaugh (2325) - NM Mathew Larson (2251)
NM Andrew Zheng (2208) - Jacob Wilkins (1909)

Tuesday, 8:00 PM EDT
Time Control: 75 min. with 30 sec. increment

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.


The Baltimore Kingfishers and St. Louis Arch Bishops face-off in a rematch of Week 1 when St. Louis won with a 2.5-1.5 result. Baltimore is using the same lineup from Week 1 while St. Louis has two players (GM Le Quang Liem and Jacob Wilkins) returning from that match. Currently in the Southern Division, St. Louis (3.5-1.5) is on top of the standings with Baltimore (2.0-3.0) trailing in 3rd place (of 6). St. Louis has won both previous matches against Baltimore.

Board 1: GM Niclas Huschenbeth vs. GM Wesley So. GM Niclas Huschenbeth lost his only game this season, which occurred in Week 1 on Board 1 with the black pieces against GM Le Quang Liem of the St. Louis Archbishops. That starts him with a 2385 performance rating. He is (-2) against St. Louis in his 3-year USCL career. This week, GM Le Quang Liem drops down to Board 2, so GM Huschenbeth will do battle with GM Wesley So. GM Wesley So is (+2 =1) with a 2864 performance rating in his first USCL season. He won last week on Board 1 with the black pieces against GM Mackenzie Molner of the Arizona Scorpions.

Board 2: GM Le Quang Liem vs. IM Levan Bregadze. GM Le Quang Liem is (+3 =1) with a 2860 performance rating in his first USCL season. He is (+1) against Baltimore, and he won last week on Board 2 with the white pieces against IM Alexey Diulger of the Arizona Scorpions. Squaring-off against him will be IM Levan Bregadze, who is (+3 -1) with a 2690 performance rating in his 3rd season. IM Bregadze is (-1) against his former team, the St. Louis Arch Bishops. He won last week on Board 2 with the black pieces against FM Andrew Shvartsman of the Manhattan Applesauce.

Board 3: NM Jared Defibaugh vs. NM Matthew Larson. NM Jared Defibaugh is (+1 =2 -1) with a 2350 performance rating in his 5th season. He drew his only career game against St. Louis in Week 1. He last played in Week 4 when he won on Board 3 with the black pieces against NM Richard Francisco of the Atlanta Kings. He is set to play NM Matthew Larson, who is making his season debut. NM Larson is making his return to the USCL after only playing for St. Louis in 2012. He was (+2 -4) with a 2115 performance rating that year and scored (+1) against Baltimore.

Board 4: Jacob Wilkins vs. NM Andrew Zheng. Jacob Wilkins is (=2 -1) with a 1990 performance rating in his 2nd USCL season. He last played in Week 3 when he drew on Board 4 with the white pieces against Shaun Smith of the Manhattan Applesauce. He lost his only career game against Baltimore in Week 1 on Board 4 with the black pieces against NM Andrew Zheng, who is also his opponent this week. Colors will be reversed this time. NM Andrew Zheng is (+2 =1 -1) with a 2281 performance rating in his 2nd season. He last played in Week 4 when he drew on Board 4 with the white pieces against NM Michael Corallo of the Atlanta Kings.

Catch the games live on ICC and let us know your predictions in the 5 polls linked below/shown to the right!
Board 1 Result? | Board 2 Result? | Board 3 Result? | Board 4 Result? | Match Result?



Reposted at: Chess.com blogs

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 Week 5 Review

Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Manhattan Applesauce 1.5-2.5
GM Akshayraj Kore (2543) - GM Robert Hungaski (2551) 0-1 View Game
IM Levan Bregadze (2530) - FM Andrew Shvartsman (2432) 1-0 View Game
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2450) - FM Rico Salimbagat (2286) 0.5-0.5 View Game
NM Mark Ashland (2068) - NM Levy Rozman (2382) 0-1 View Game

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.


The Manhattan Applesauce defeated the Baltimore Kingfishers with a 2.5-1.5 score. Both teams actually retain their respective divisional standings as Manhattan (3.0-2.0 in match points) stays in 4th place in the Eastern Division while Baltimore (2.0-3.0) remains in 3rd place in the Southern Division.

Board 1: GM Akshayraj Kore vs. GM Robert Hungaski. The top board began with a Scandinavian Defense: Pytel variation (3... Qd6). GM Robert Hungaski played the novelty 8... Bxf3. However, 9... Nbd7 transposed into some previously played games, so another novelty, 11. Qe2, was played by GM Akshayraj Kore. GM Hungaski create an avenue for attacking with the f5-f4 pawn push, but then the game became a slow-piece-shuffling affair. Later, as both players had created an Alekhine's gun (2 rooks with a queen behind on the same file), the fireworks started with 38. Rxe6. White pinned the rook in front, but black showed that was not at all a problem as the white king was far too vulnerable. The game ended on move 44 with mate in 3 on the board.

Board 2: FM Andrew Shvartsman vs. IM Levan Bregadze. Board 2 featured a Modern Defense. IM Levan Bregadze played the novelty 8... Ngf6. As the middlegame went on, it was black that was forcing the play. However, even with winning a pawn after queens were traded, it was not clear that the advantage could be converted. IM Bregadze kept the pressure on FM Andrew Shvartsman as black's c-pawn slowly pushed forward. Finally, the blunder 69. Kg3 appeared and white resigned a couple moves later.

Board 3: IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat vs. FM Rico Salimbagat. Board 3 saw the usual Catalan from IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat's white play and FM Rico Salimbagat chose the Open variation (dxc4). FM Salimbagat steered towards uncharted territory with 8... c4 and the novelty 9... Bd7. Played soon focused on the queenside and the opening of the c-file. To finally break open the c-file, black accepted the material imbalance of two black rooks for white's knight, bishop and rook. However, not much play was seen from this imbalance as black's rooks were quickly placed on the 2nd rank and a draw was agreed as a repetition was clearly going to be played.

Board 4: NM Levy Rozman vs. NM Mark Ashland. The final board showcased a Trompowsky Attack with 2... Ne4 3. Bf4 c5. After taking an offered pawn on b2 in the opening, NM Mark Ashland played the novelty 8... g6 [8... g5 is the most popular choice with a (+2 =4 -3) record for black]. White was constantly threatening the black queen in the middle of the board, but there was a moment of respite when black could sacrifice the exchange with 13... e4 to get a more play than what actually occurred in the game. In the game, a queen exchange was forced and it was clear black's pieces had little mobility afterwards. Despite that, NM Ashland managed to hold onto the position for quite some time before NM Levy Rozman forced the final breakthrough. Black resigned on move 55.

Next week, Baltimore gets a rematch from Week 1 with the St. Louis Arch Bishops at 8:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, September 30th.



Reposted at: Chess.com blogs

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 Week 5 Preview

Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Manhattan Applesauce
GM Akshayraj Kore (2543) - GM Robert Hungaski (2551)
IM Levan Bregadze (2530) - FM Andrew Shvartsman (2432)
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2450) - FM Rico Salimbagat (2286)
NM Mark Ashland (2068) - NM Levy Rozman (2382)

Tuesday, 7:30 PM EDT
Time Control: 75 min. with 30 sec. increment

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.


The Baltimore Kingfishers are set to take on the Manhattan Applesauce. Baltimore (2.0-2.0 match record) currently sits in 3rd place (of 6) in the Southern Division while Manhattan (2.0-2.0) is in 4th place (of 6) in the Eastern Division. The Manhattan Applesauce (formerly Queens Pioneers) have been in the USCL for 8 years, and they lead the all-time series against Baltimore with a 7.0-2.0 match record. These two teams last played in Week 3, 2013 when the match was drawn. Two Baltimore players (IM Levan Bregadze and IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat) and 1 Manhattan player (FM Rico Salimbagat) return from that match to play in this upcoming match.

Board 1: GM Akshayraj Kore vs. GM Robert Hungaski. GM Akshayraj Kore won his only career USCL game in Week 3 on Board 1 with the black pieces against IM Andranik Matikozyan of the Los Angeles Vibe for a performance rating of 2938. His opponent, GM Robert Hungaski, drew his only game this year on Board 1 with the white pieces against GM Alex Stripunsky of the New Jersey Knockouts for a 2656 performance rating. GM Hungaski is playing in his 4th season in the USCL and 2nd season for Manhattan. He has a (+2) career record against Baltimore with both games played against IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat.

Board 2: FM Andrew Shvartsman vs. IM Levan Bregadze. FM Andrew Shvartsman is (+1 -1) with a 2420 performance rating in his 2nd USCL season. He last played in Week 3 when he won on Board 3 with the white pieces against WGM Anna Sharevich of the St. Louis Arch Bishops. This will be his first career game against the Baltimore Kingfishers. He will be challenged by IM Levan Bregadze, who is (+2 -1) with a 2642 performance rating this year. IM Bregadze won last week on Board 2 with the white pieces against NM Damir Studen of the Atlanta Kings. He is playing in his 3rd USCL season and 2nd season for Baltimore with a (=1) career record against the Manhattan Applesauce.

Board 3: IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat vs. FM Rico Salimbagat. IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat lost his only game this season on Board 1 with the white pieces against IM Kassa Korley of the Carolina Cobras for a 2086 performance rating. In his 10-year USCL career, he is (+1 =2 -4) against Manhattan. He will play against FM Rico Salimbagat, who won his only game this season on Board 3 with the black pieces against NM Chris Williams of the Boston Blitz for a 2710 performance rating. FM Salimbagat is (=1) against Baltimore in his 2-year USCL career.

Board 4: NM Levy Rozman vs. NM Mark Ashland. NM Levy Rozman is (+1 -1) with a 2299 performance rating in his first USCL season. He lost last week on Board 3 with the black pieces against NM Alex King of the New York Knights. He will face NM Mark Ashland, who is making his USCL debut for the Baltimore Kingfishers. This marks the third consecutive week that Baltimore has started a player who is completely new to the US Chess League.

Catch the games live on ICC and let us know your predictions in the 5 polls linked below/shown to the right!
Board 1 Result? | Board 2 Result? | Board 3 Result? | Board 4 Result? | Match Result?



Reposted at: Chess.com blogs

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 Week 4 Review

Atlanta Kings vs. Baltimore Kingfishers 0.5-3.5
IM Carlos Perdomo (2400) - IM Tanguy Ringoir (2583) 0-1 View Game
NM Damir Studen (2372) - IM Levan Bregadze (2530) 0-1 View Game
NM Richard Francisco (2382) - NM Jared Defibaugh (2325) 0-1 View Game
NM Michael Corallo (2284) - NM Andrew Zheng (2208) 0.5-0.5 View Game

Wednesday, 7:30 PM EDT
Time Control: 75 min. with 30 sec. increment

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.


In their first-ever meeting, the Baltimore Kingfishers defeated the Atlanta Kings with a 3.5-0.5 result. Baltimore scored wins on the top three boards and secured a draw on Board 4. The teams swapped places in the Southern Division standings as Baltimore (2.0-2.0 match record) is now in 3rd place (of 6) while Atlanta (1.5-2.5) is in 5th place.

Board 1: IM Carlos Perdomo vs. IM Tanguy Ringoir. The top board began with an unusual English Opening, 1. c4 f5 2. b3. IM Tanguy Ringoir played the novelty 7... g6. At first the game revolved around black's e4 pawn, but once that cleared up, black set his sights on the kingside. IM Carlos Perdomo did not find the best reaction on move 19 and his king's protection quickly disappeared. The game ended on move 25 with mate in 4 on the board.

Board 2: IM Levan Bregadze vs. NM Damir Studen. The second board saw a Slav Defense: Declined (4. e3). NM Damir Studen played the novelty 11... Qb4, and then, the game progressed into a rather closed position. NM Studen ambitiously chose to break open the position with 26... Nxg5. However, IM Levan Bregadze returned the extra bishop with 33. Bxa6 to create passed pawns on the queenside and take control of the game's course. Black resigned on move 46.

Board 3: NM Richard Francisco vs. NM Jared Defibaugh. Board three featured a Ruy Lopez: Cozio Defense Deferred (4... Nge7) that has been played before in the USCL by NM Jared Defibaugh. The positions in the late opening have been reached through various transpositions, so we saw the rather late novelty 19. Ng5 played by NM Richard Francisco. The middlegame had both sides playing with a queen, 2 knights, and the open f-file. In the ensuing knight and pawns endgame, white seems to have pressed too hard to find winning chances after declining a draw offer when Baltimore had already clinched the match victory. NM Defibaugh managed to convert a pawn advantage into another victory for Baltimore in 62 moves.

Board 4: NM Andrew Zheng vs. NM Michael Corallo. The fourth board exhibited another variation of the Ruy Lopez, the Closed Defense (4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7). The unusual 6... 0-0 allowed white to take a pawn. NM Andrew Zheng played the novelty 10. Nf3. In the middlegame, NM Michael Corallo sacrificed an exchange for capturing two pawns and opening diagonals for the dark-squared bishop. It seemed like black was nearing a decisive blow when shockingly, he sacrificed a rook and queen for a knight and two rooks, which left white with a queen for 2 bishops and a pawn. With victories on boards 1 and 2 already secured for Baltimore, NM Zheng went for a draw by threefold repetition to secure the match victory.

Note that IM Tenguy Ringoir gained his first victory in his USCL debut.

Next week, the Baltimore Kingfishers face the Manhattan Applesauce at 7:30 PM EDT on Tuesday, September 23rd.


Reposted at: Chess.com blogs

Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 Week 4 Preview

Atlanta Kings vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
IM Carlos Perdomo (2400) - IM Tanguy Ringoir (2583)
NM Damir Studen (2372) - IM Levan Bregadze (2530)
NM Richard Francisco (2382) - NM Jared Defibaugh (2325)
NM Michael Corallo (2284) - NM Andrew Zheng (2208)

Wednesday, 7:30 PM EDT
Time Control: 75 min. with 30 sec. increment

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.


The Atlanta Kings will meet the Baltimore Kingfishers for the first time. This is Atlanta's first season in the USCL. In the Southern Division, Atlanta (1.5-1.5 match record) is in 3rd place (of 6) while Baltimore (1.0-2.0) is in 5th place. Atlanta is using the same lineup as last week when they played the New Jersey Knockouts. Meanwhile, Baltimore's boards 2, 3, and 4 return from last week's match against the Los Angeles Vibe.

Board 1: IM Carlos Perdomo vs. IM Tanguy Ringoir. IM Carlos Perdomo drew his first USCL game last week on Board 1 with the black pieces against GM Alex Stripunsky of the New Jersey Knockouts for a 2656 performance rating. Meanwhile, for the second week in a row, Baltimore's Board 1 is making his USCL debut. This time, it is IM Tanguy Ringoir from Belgium, the latest chess recruit of the University of Maryland: Baltimore County (UMBC).

Board 2: IM Levan Bregadze vs. NM Damir Studen. IM Levan Bregadze won last week on Board 2 with the white pieces against FM Konstantin Kavutskiy of the Los Angeles Vibe. He is (+1 -1) with a 2578 performance rating in his 3rd USCL season and 2nd season for Baltimore. Facing him will be NM Damir Studen, who is (+2 -1) with a 2631 performance rating in his first USCL season. NM Damir Studen lost last week on Board 2 with the white pieces against GM Joel Benjamin of the New Jersey Knockouts.

Board 3: NM Richard Francisco vs. NM Jared Defibaugh. NM Richard Francisco has a (+2 =1) record with a 2578 performance rating in his first USCL season. He drew last week on Board 3 with the black pieces against IM Alexander Katz of the New Jersey Knockouts. His opponent, NM Jared Defibaugh is (=2 -1) in his 5th USCL season with a 2206 performance rating. NM Defibaugh drew last week on Board 3 with the black pieces against FM Mark Duckworth of the Los Angeles Vibe.

Board 4: NM Andrew Zheng vs. NM Michael Corallo. NM Andrew Zheng has scored (+2 -1) with a 2280 performance rating in his second USCL season. He lost last week on Board 4 with the white pieces against FM Michael Casella of the Los Angeles Vibe. Squaring-off against him will be NM Michael Corallo. In NM Michael Corallo's first career USCL game last week, he drew on Board 4 with the white pieces against Ethan Klein of the New Jersey Knockouts.

Catch the games live on ICC and let us know your predictions in the 5 polls linked below/shown to the right!
Board 1 Result? | Board 2 Result? | Board 3 Result? | Board 4 Result? | Match Result?



Reposted at: Chess.com blogs