Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment
Philadelphia Inventors vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
GM Magesh Panchanathan (2535) - GM Sergey Erenburg (2646)
FM Tom Bartell (2429) - GM Larry Kaufman (2452)
FM Karl Dehmelt (2308) - IM Ray Kaufman (2433)
IM Richard Costigan (2288) - NM Ricky Selzler (2252)
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers have won two matches in a row, and they enter Week 4 with a strong lineup looking to continue that streak. Both Kaufmans come back for an encore this week after fine victories against Carolina. Also, returning after a week's hiatus is GM Erenburg, who took 2nd place in Game of the Week in his last time playing. Finally, we see the USCL debut of NM Ricky Selzler, who is the UMBC Chess Club President. Now, let's look at each of the matchups:
Board 1: GM Magesh Panchanathan vs. GM Sergey Erenburg. GM Erenburg is (+1 =3) against Philadelphia, and GM Panchanathan is (+1 =1) against Baltimore from his seasons with the Dallas Destiny. Erenburg is the 111-point rating favorite though he has the black pieces in this matchup. However, that also could be a slight advantage seeing as the league is scoring 56% this year with black, and Baltimore is one of three teams making the most of playing the black side. Don't count Panchanathan out though - I still remember Blehm's astonished reaction when Panchanathan uncorked that Rxf3! move in Season 2. Anticipate quite a struggle between these two GMs!
Board 2: GM Larry Kaufman vs. FM Tom Bartell. GM L. Kaufman is (+2 =2 -2) against Philadelphia, and FM Bartell is (+1 =2) against Baltimore with that one win coming against Larry in 2008. Looking at the game, you will see that Larry was actually winning until a late blunder (38. Rc3?) into a trap. Considering also the length to which Larry tested IM Schroer's defenses last week, don't expect either player to concede a conclusion without trying everything in his power.
Board 3: FM Karl Dehmelt vs. IM Ray Kaufman. IM R. Kaufman is (=1 -3) against Philadelphia while his opponent, FM Dehmelt, is new to the USCL this year. FM Dehmelt is (+1 -1) in the league thus far. Ray has a sizable 125-point rating advantage and will be looking to score Baltimore's first victory on Board 3 this year (=2 -1, so far). Envision a fantastic middlegame skirmish!
Board 4: NM Ricky Selzler vs. IM Richard Costigan. As previously noted, NM Selzler is making his USCL debut. He faces a veteran of the USCL in IM Costigan, who has a (+1 =2 -4) record against Baltimore. IM Costigan has the only rating advantage for Philadelphia, so they will be counting on him to prevail in this matchup. Will Selzler be able to hold him off or even turn the tables?
Will Baltimore enjoy its first 3-match win streak since 2005? Find out during Monday Night Chess!