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.