Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment
Baltimore Kingfishers vs. New York Knights
GM Sergey Erenburg (2646) - GM Alex Lenderman (2608)
GM Larry Kaufman (2452) - GM Pascal Charbonneau (2566)
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2425) - NM Matt Herman (2313)
NM Ian Schoch (2245) - NM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy (2289)
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers (3rd in East) battle against the New York Knights (2nd in East) in a fight for 2nd (or possibly even 1st) place in the Eastern Division. The Kingfishers have the same lineup as in Week 2 when they defeated Manhattan 3-1. If this match plays out just as well for Baltimore, perhaps we should call this lineup "The New York Special." However, that won't be an easy feat as the New York Knights counter with a very strong lineup, featuring GM Alex Lenderman, who holds the highest win percentage (10+ games) in the USCL with a score of 12.5/14 (89%). Now, let's take a look at the individual matchups:
Board 1: GM Sergey Erenburg vs. GM Alex Lenderman. These are two of the highest performing players in USCL history. GM Erenburg is (+1 -1) against New York, and GM Lenderman is (+2) against Baltimore. Their ratings are relatively close with GM Erenburg having a 38-point advantage. So what happens when two USCL titans face-off? Fireworks? Game of the Week? Game of the Year? Don't miss this game!
Board 2: GM Pascal Charbonneau vs. GM Larry Kaufman. GM Charbonneau is (+2 =1 -2) against Baltimore, and GM L. Kaufman is (+4 -1) against New York. This matchup is another duel of GMs, showcasing two USCL veterans - both are New York Knight-Slayers, but for opposing sides!. GM Charbonneau holds a significant 114-point rating advantage and has the white pieces, with which New York has a near-perfect 7.5/8 score this season, so New York will look to win here. However, Larry has been getting good positions so far this year. Will he continue his strong track-record against New York? Keep an eye out (or board window up) for this game as well.
Board 3: IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat vs. NM Matt Herman. IM Enkhbat is (+2 =2 -3) against New York, and NM Herman is (+1 =1 -2) against Baltimore. IM Enkhbat holds the rating advantage here at 112-points. He will be looking to break even in this season's MVP points with a win. NM Herman is making his season debut, and he will be out to start it off positively. Expect a Queen's Gambit Declined with sharp play.
Board 4: NM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy vs. NM Ian Schoch. Neither player has played the other team. Both players are 2-0 this season and have not played since Week 2. However, NM Ostrovskiy recently became the youngest player to win the title of New York State Champion. He also has a 44-point rating advantage and the white pieces. On the other side, NM Schoch has played well from worse positions this season - it just looks like the worse position starts earlier than the middle game this time. Will he be able to turn it around once again?
PS. Both Baltimore and New York have a player - WGM Sabina Foisor and IM Irina Krush, respectively - representing the U.S.A. in the Women's Team Olympiad, starting Tuesday, September 21st. Games start at 5 AM EDT (1 AM for the final round), but you can follow the results for both the Open and Women's Olympiad Teams at USCF Online, Official Olympiad Site, Chess-Results.com, and TWIC.