Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment
Baltimore Kingfishers vs. New York Knights
GM Giorgi Margvelashvili (2538) - GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (2653)
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2426) - GM John Fedorowicz (2523)
NM Jared Defibaugh (2363) - SM Matt Herman (2426)
NM Adithya Balasubramanian (2292) - NM Justus Williams (2239)
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
Board 1: GM Giorgi Margvelashvili vs. GM Giorgi Kacheishvili. GM Margvelashvili is new to the USCL while GM Kacheishvili is (=1) against Baltimore. GM Margvelashvili takes the top spot on Baltimore's roster as GM Erenburg moved to Philadelphia. He'll look to start off his USCL career with a solid showing especially having the white pieces, but he faces a tough match-up in GM Kacheishvili, who helped lead New York to the USCL Championship in 2009.
Board 2: GM John Fedorowicz vs. IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat. GM Fedorowicz has not played against Baltimore until now and IM Enkhbat is (+2 =3 -3) against New York. Facing a GM on board 2 is tough, but that should not faze IM Enkhbat as over the years, he's played on Board 1 several times so tough opposition comes with the territory. His record against GMs in the USCL is (+1 =2 -1).
Board 3: NM Jared Defibaugh vs. SM Matt Herman. NM Defibaugh is (=1) against New York while SM Herman has a record of (+1 =2 -2) against Baltimore. NM Defibaugh returns to the Kingfishers roster after a 1-year hiatus while sporting about a 200-point rating increase. However, he is still at a rating disadvantage against SM Herman. Perhaps having the white pieces will bridge that (rating-)gap.
Board 4: NM Justus Williams vs. NM Adithya Balasubramanian. Neither player has played against the other team. This is the only board that Baltimore has a rating advantage, but NM Balasubramian has the black pieces. He was (=2 -1) last year on that side of the board while NM Williams won the only game he had with the white pieces last year.