Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment
Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Manhattan Applesauce
GM Sergey Erenburg (2646) - GM Alex Stripunsky (2659)
GM Larry Kaufman (2452) - IM Lev Milman (2501)
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2425) - IM Eli Vovsha (2539)
NM Ian Schoch (2245) - James Black (2102)
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers, looking to turn fortunes around after a loss, offer a much higher rated lineup than previously as can be seen by last week's Board 1, IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat, moving to Board 3! Last week's chess magician, NM Ian Schoch, returns to Board 4; while GM Sergey Erenburg and GM Larry Kaufman make their season debuts.
The Manhattan Applesauce (formerly known as Queens Pioneers) counters with a slightly stronger (numerically-speaking) lineup with IM Eli Vovsha and James Black returning from Week 1; while GM Alex Stripunsky and IM Lev Milman make their debuts.
Board 1: GM Sergey Erenburg vs. GM Alex Stripunsky. These two have yet to face each other in the league. Nonetheless, GM Erenburg has 1 win and 2 draws against Manhattan; while GM Stripunsky has 4 draws against Baltimore (no games since 2007). Expect a solid battle after an early novelty.
Board 2: GM Larry Kaufman vs. IM Lev Milman. Despite having 75(!) USCL games between the two players, these have not played each other yet either. GM L. Kaufman has only played Manhattan once, but came out with a win; however, on the other side of the board, GM Milman has played Baltimore 6 times, resulting in 1 win, 3 draws, 2 losses. Five of those games were against GM Erenburg and IM Enkhbat - I am sure they will be sharing their experiences with their teammate. Expect a long theoretical battle.
Board 3: IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat vs. IM Eli Vovsha. These two have actually played each other once, a draw in Week 10, 2007. They will have the same colors this time around, so should we expect another Pirc?
Board 4: NM Ian Schoch vs. James Black. Both players are new to the USCL and both managed to pull out wins in Week 1, despite their opponents' having clear advantages during the game. Whose tenacity will win out this week? Watch Wednesday to find out!