Time Control 90 min. with 30 sec. increment
Philadelphia Inventors vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
GM Sergey Erenburg (2700) - IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2509)
FM Tom Bartell (2489) - GM Larry Kaufman (2445)
FM Dov Gorman (2327) - NM Kevin Wang (2366)
IM Richard Costigan (2288) - FM Ralph Zimmer (2304)
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
After missing the playoffs last year, the Baltimore Kingfishers have returned to the playoffs in 4th place in the Eastern Division. That means they will now do battle with the Philadelphia Inventors, who finished 1st place in the Eastern Division with a 7.5-2.5 record and return to the playoffs for the 2nd straight year. Since Phildelphia is the higher seed, they will advance in the case of a drawn 2-2 match. They also received the choice of colors and picked to play white on Boards 1 and 3. Philadelphia leads the all-time series with a 8 match points against 5 match points for Baltimore. These two teams played in Week 1 this season, which ended in a draw. Five players (GM Erenburg, FM Gorman, IM Costigan, IM Enkhbat, and FM Zimmer) from that match return to play this one. All except two of the players (both board 3 players) in this match have playoff experience. Baltimore is 2-2 in playoff matches but they have not won since 2005. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is 0-2 in the playoffs.
Board 1: GM Sergey Erenburg vs. IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat. GM Sergey Erenburg, a former Baltimore Kingfisher, is (+4 =5 -1) in his 6th USCL season, (+1 =1) against Baltimore, and (+1 -1) in the USCL Playoffs. He won last week with black on Board 1 against GM Alexander Ivanov (NE). He placed 4th in the USCL MVP race, but surprisingly only 2nd on his team. In Week 1, he drew with white against his upcoming opponent, IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat. IM Enkhbat is (=3 -1) in his 8th season, (+3 =3 -1) against Philadelphia, and (=2 -2) in the Playoffs. He lost in Week 9 with white against IM Eli Vovsha (MAN) on Board 2.
Board 2: GM Larry Kaufman vs. FM Tom Bartell. GM Larry Kaufman is (+1 =2 -2) in his 8th season, (+2 =3 -3) against Philadelphia, and (+2) in the Playoffs. He lost last week as black against FM Kazim Gulamali (BOS) on Board 2. He has played twice with white (a draw in Week 4, 2009 and a loss in Week 2, 2008) against his opponent, FM Tom Bartell. FM Bartell is (+1 =1 -2) in his 6th season, (+1 =4 -1) against Baltimore, and (-1) in the Playoffs. He won last week with white against IM David Vigorito (NE) on Board 2.
Board 3: FM Dov Gorman vs. NM Kevin Wang. FM Dov Gorman is (+6 =2) in his first USCL season and (+1) against Baltimore. He won last week as black against Carey Theil (NE) on Board 3. With his impressive record, he placed 2nd in the USCL MVP race and first on his team. Also in his first USCL season, NM Kevin Wang is (+1 -1) and has not yet played against Philadelphia. He won in Week 8 with black against GM Boris Gulko (NJ) on Board 2.
Board 4: FM Ralph Zimmer vs. IM Richard Costigan. FM Ralph Zimmer is (+4 =1 -1) in his 7th season, (+4 =2) against Philadelphia, and (=1) in the Playoffs. He won last week against NM Ilya Krasik (BOS) with black on Board 4. That win gave FM Zimmer the slight half-point edge in the team MVP race. He has won twice (with white in Week 1, 2012 and with black in Week 8, 2009) against his opponent, IM Richard Costigan. IM Costigan is (=3 -1) in his 7th season, (+2 =3 -5) against Baltimore, and (-1) in the Playoffs. He drew with black against Nicolas Checa (NY) on Board 4 in Week 9.
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