Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 5 Lineup/Preview

Wednesday, 7:15 PM EDT
Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment

Philadelphia Inventors vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
GM Sergey Erenburg (2679) - GM Larry Kaufman (2467)
FM Tom Bartell (2405) - IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2426)
IM Jay Bonin (2438) - WGM Sabina Foisor (2416)
NM William Fisher (2369) - NM Jared Defibaugh (2363)

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.

Board 1: GM Sergey Erenburg vs. GM Larry Kaufman. GM Erenburg had previously played for Baltimore until moving to Philadelphia this year so he has not played against Baltimore while GM Kaufman is (+2 =3 -2) against Philadelphia. This game is the biggest ratings mismatch (212 point difference) of the season for Baltimore. As the other boards are quite evenly matched according to ratings, Philadelphia will surely want GM Erenburg to push for a win on this board with the white pieces. Will GM Kaufman be able to fend off his former teammate? Vote in the polls on our sidebar with your predictions!

Board 2: IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat vs. FM Tom Bartell. IM Enkhbat is (+3 =1 -1) against Philadelphia while FM Bartell is (+1 =3 -1) against Baltimore. In fact, these two played to a draw in 2009. This season, IM Enkhbat is (+1 =2 -1) and FM Bartell is (+1 =2). This is the only board where Baltimore has a rating advantage, but it is marginal, so this is a toss-up.

Board 3: IM Jay Bonin vs. WGM Sabina Foisor. IM Bonin is (+1 =2 -3) against Baltimore while WGM Foisor has not played against Philadelphia. IM Bonin is (+1 =2) this season and WGM Foisor is making her season debut. This game is another toss-up as both players are fairly close in rating.

Board 4: NM Jared Defibaugh vs. NM William Fisher. NM Defibaugh is (-1) against Philadelphia while NM Fisher, who is in his first USCL season, has not yet played against Baltimore. Both players are 3-0 this season and are 6th and 7th, respectively, in the USCL MVP Race - a fairly surprising matchup to see on a Board 4. Also, this game is probably the highest rated Board 4 matchup in USCL history!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 4 Lineup/Preview

Monday, 7:15 PM EDT
Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment

Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Boston Blitz
GM Larry Kaufman (2467) - FM David Griego (2494)
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2426) - NM Vadim Martirosov (2329)
NM Jared Defibaugh (2363) - NM Ilya Krasik (2264)
NM Ian Schoch (2296) - Christopher Gu (2283)

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.

Board 1: GM Larry Kaufman vs. FM David Griego. GM Kaufman is (=1 -4) against Boston. FM Griego is new to the USCL this year and only has one game (-1) under his belt. This is the only board where Boston has a rating advantage, but it's only 27 points and GM Kaufman has the white pieces, so it is a wash.

Board 2: NM Vadim Martirosov vs. IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat. NM Martirosov is (=3) against Baltimore while IM Enkhbat is (+2 -3) against Boston. IM Enkhbat has a 97 point rating edge. With the black pieces, he will look to play solidly and then strike outwardly if the opportunity presents itself.

Board 3: NM Jared Defibaugh vs. NM Ilya Krasik. NM Defibaugh has not yet played Boston and NM Krasik is (+3 =1 -2) against Baltimore. NM Defibaugh has both a 99 point rating advantage and the white pieces. It is the best statistical advantage of the match especially noting NM Krasik's record against Baltimore with the black pieces is (=1 -2) as opposed to (+3) with white, so NM Defibaugh should be pressing here.

Board 4: NM Christopher Gu vs. NM Ian Schoch. NM Gu is another Boston Blitz player who is new to the league this year. He has played just one game so far - a draw with the black pieces. NM Schoch has not played against Boston. These players are very closely matched in rating, but despite that fact, do not expect a draw as I anticipate both players aiming for victory.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Week 3 Lineup/Preview

Monday, 7:15 PM EDT
Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment

New England Nor'easters vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
GM Sam Shankland (2624) - GM Larry Kaufman (2467)
IM David Vigorito (2547) - IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2426)
FM Braden Bournival (2396) - NM Adithya Balasubramanian (2292)
NM Mika Brattain (2208) - NM Ian Schoch (2296)

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.

Board 1: GM Sam Shankland vs. GM Larry Kaufman. Neither of these two players played in the previous NE-BAL match last year - New England's inaugural USCL match, which they won 2.5-1.5. GM Shankland is returning from the World Cup, which he explains here at the USCF site. GM Kaufman faces another tough matchup with a large rating disdvantage (157 points) and the black pieces.

Board 2: IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat vs. IM David Vigorito. IM Enkhbat is (-1) against New England while IM Vigorito is (+1) against Baltimore. IM Enkhbat sat on Board 1 last in the last NE-BAL match, but Board 2 will not be much easier with a 121-point rating disadvantage. However, he will have the white pieces for the first time this season.

Board 3: FM Braden Bournival vs. NM Adithya Balasubramanian. Baltimore is again at a rating disadvantange, but this is a rematch from Week 1 last year, which ended in a draw. Expect a similar Philidor Defence from these two again.

Board 4: NM Ian Schoch vs. NM Mika Brattain. NM Schoch is (+1) against New England and he squares off against another player making his USCL debut - NM Brattain. This appears to be a developing theme with NM Schoch as he is (+2) against USCL debutants and (+3) against players in their first USCL season. This is the one board where Baltimore holds a rating edge and judging from NM Schoch's previous games, it will be a highly entertaining affair.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 2 Lineup/Preview

Wednesday, 7:15 PM EDT
Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment

Baltimore Kingfishers vs. New Jersey Knockouts
GM Larry Kaufman (2467) - GM Boris Gulko (2587)
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2426) - IM Dean Ippolito (2554)
NM Jared Defibaugh (2363) - FM Arthur Shen (2291)
NM Ian Schoch (2296) - Christopher Wu (2151)

Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.

Board 1: GM Larry Kaufman vs. GM Boris Gulko. New Jersey really seems to have GM Kaufman's number as he is (-3) against them while GM Gulko's only game (+1) against Baltimore was with GM Kaufman. Having a 120-point rating disadvantage, GM Kaufman will have a tough time turning that dubious record around against GM Gulko, who is one of the best performers (in terms of win percentage and performance rating) in USCL history.

Board 2: IM Dean Ippolito vs. IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat. IM Ippolito is (+3 =1) against Baltimore and IM Enkhbat is (+2 =2 -2) against New Jersey. These two players have actually squared off three times (See 1 2 3) already with 2 wins for IM Ippolito and a draw between them. IM Enkhbat did manage to draw against GM Fedorowicz last week. With the black pieces again this week and facing another large rating disadvantage (128 points), IM Enkhbat will look to hold on again.

Board 3: NM Jared Defibaugh vs. FM Arthur Shen. NM Defibaugh is (-1) against New Jersey while NM Shen is playing for the first time against Baltimore. NM Defibaugh notched the only victory for Baltimore last week while FM Shen, the only returning player from New Jersey's Week 1 lineup, drew his game. This time, with a slight rating edge and the white pieces again, NM Defibaugh has a great opportunity to make a strong start this season.

Board 4: Christopher Wu vs. NM Ian Schoch. Christopher Wu is playing his first USCL game while NM Schoch scored 2.0/3 overall last year. NM Schoch has a significant 145-rating advantage, so he will be counted on to press for victory with the black pieces.