Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chamberlain prevailed at Little Round Top

Here's a little poem I wrote about Chamberlain's battle at Little Round Top. If you notice, you will see that each line is an anagram of each other.

Dear, lovable, triumphant, intrepid, Colonel.
Repelled brutal and vile riot. Not champion,
But heroic man... Patrol landed. Violent peril!
A bold invention! Impaled lethal corrupter!
Abort hilltop and violence, ample intruder.
Chamberlain prevailed at Little Round Top.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Famous Original Power Rankings: Post-Week 9

Another crazy week in the United States Chess League. The Sharks upset the Cobras, despite having a depleted roster. Once mighty (and one-quarter Awesome) Boston could not win a single game over the lowly Pioneers, and had to settle for a drawn match. The pre-season favorite Knights were out-thought by the resilient Inventors.

This puts the playoff picture into a pretty pickle. Boston and Philadelphia are tied atop the Eastern Division standings, and somehow the magic scheduling fairy spread its pixie dust and made it so that they play each other in the last week. The winner gets a first round bye, and the loser gets draw odds in the first round of the playoffs against another Eastern team (while a draw gives the division crown to Boston based on better game points). The New Jersey Knockouts have the most direct route to the playoffs -- win and they are in. They are playing the Knights, and if they draw, they are still in, provided Baltimore loses to, draws, or even beats Queens by 2.5 - 1.5 (and that the average calculated rating of Baltimore's opponents is lower than NJ, which is a pretty safe bet). If New Jersey draws, and Baltimore beats Queens by 3-1 or more, then Baltimore is in. If New Jersey loses to New York, and Baltimore draws or loses, then New York is in. If New York wins and Baltimore wins, then New York must win by a half-point more than Baltimore to get a playoff spot. I think. It is confusing.

In the Western Division, it is a lot clearer. Dallas is in, and has won the division. San Francisco is in, and will come in second or third. The final playoff spot comes down to the match of Seattle and Miami. If Seattle wins or draws, they are in. If Miami wins, they are in. Who gets second place is a little more confusing. If San Francisco wins, they get second place. If San Francisco draws, then Seattle must win 4-0 to have a chance at second place, and that will come down to the average rating calculation, which is just too lose to call now. Note if San Francisco draws, and Miami wins, San Francisco gets second place no matter what. If San Francisco loses and Miami wins, then San Francisco gets second place. If San Francisco loses, and Seattle wins, then Seattle gets second place. If San Francisco loses the match, but scores at least 0.5, and Seattle draws, then San Francisco gets second place. If San Francisco loses 4-0, and Seattle draws, then again, it will come down to the average rating calculation, which is just too lose to call now.

So, that's the playoff picture, as far as I can tell. Not gospel. Your mileage may vary.

But, now onto the power ratings.

1 - Dallas 1.000
2 - Boston
3 - Philadelphia
4 - San Francisco
5 - Seattle 0.917
6 - New York
7 - New Jersey
8 - Queens 0.854
9 - Baltimore 0.853
10 - Miami 0.827
11 - Carolina 0.824
12 - Tennessee 0.739

Dallas remains in first place, which shows that their rise last week to the top spot was not a fluke. Boston is still in second, but only a slight bit ahead of the surging Inventors. Despite their loss to that powerful Philadelphia team, the New York Knights remain above New Jersey, primarily due to their strength of schedule. Queens is a hair above the Kingfishers, likely because of their surprising draw today, and the tough schedule they have faced. And finally, from a high of fourth in the rankings after week 2, and fifth after week 4, the Carolina Cobras have slithered down the rungs, and now are only out of the cellar because of the Tempo.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Famous Original Power Rankings, Week 8

A new leader has emerged in the Famous Original Power Rankings! The Dallas Destiny has vaulted over the Boston Blitz, helped by their win over the Seattle Sluggers, and the Blitz's draw with the New Jersey Knockouts.

In fact, the biggest change is that the Knockouts have jumped to seventh place in the Power Rankings. And, the New York Knights are showing that their victory last week was not a fluke and are now living up to the pre-season hype, still in fifth place.

Without further ado, or in fact, any ado, here's this weeks list.

1 - Dallas 1.000
2 - Boston 0.993
3 - Seattle 0.945
4 - Philadelphia 0.939
5 - New York
6 - San Francisco
7 - New Jersey
8 - Baltimore 0.848
9 - Carolina 0.842
10 - Queens 0.833
11 - Miami 0.793
12 - Tennessee 0.726

Until next week! Only two weeks to go until the end of the season.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

USCL Famous Original Power Rankings - Week 7

What a week of upsets! The biggest has to be the New York Knights stunning 2.5 - 1.5 win over the previously undefeated Boston Blitz. The Blitz still didn't solve the Pascallian Enigma, as GM Charbonneau won on Board 2, and Boston's Chris Williams is not Awesome any longer, after losing on Board 4. In other upsets, the Pioneers trampled the Kingfishers and the Sharks short-circuited the Mechanics.

These upsets... well... upset the previous quasi-stability of the Famous Original Power Rankings.

1 - Boston 1.000
2 - Dallas 0.964
3 - Seattle 0.962
4 - Philadelphia 0.907
5 - New York
6 - San Francisco
7 - Baltimore 0.869
8 - Carolina 0.865
9 - Queens 0.850
10 - New Jersey
11 - Miami 0.796
12 - Tennessee 0.715

You can see that while the Blitz remain in first place, the Destiny is only 2/1000 behind. The Knights have galloped up the rankings, while the Knockouts have fallen. Interestingly, San Francisco leads Baltimore by 2/10000 of a point. Finally, despite their improved showings this week, Tennessee and Miami still remain in the Southern-most region of the rankings.

Only three weeks to go before the playoffs!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Lawsuits at the USCF

I suppose it had to come to this. With all the vitriol and bile that were splashed throughout the elections of the United States Chess Federation, a lawsuit is clearly the most logical and obvious consequence in the USA's litigious society.

How unfortunate. With the popularity of scholastic chess, the scholarships given at major research universities, and the recent unification and reaffirmation of the world championship title, you would think these people would have better things to do.

Read all about it, here. Then, if you really want to depress yourself, try browsing the USCF forums (you have to be a USCF member to get to the USCF issues forum, which has the most combat).

Sunday, October 07, 2007

USCL Predictions for Week 7

Here are the predictions for the this week, based on the Famous Original Power Rankings. There was a slight change to the model this week, where the best model was not chosen by a statistical method such as ordinary least squares (or weighted least squares). Instead, the best model this week was done on the basis of how well it would do in the USCL prediction contest.

Therefore, I expect a healthy return this week.

PHI 2 Tie Match
BOS 2.5
NYK 1.5 BOS wins
QUE 2 Tie Match
CAR 2.5
TEN 1.5 CAR wins
SFM 2.5
MIA 1.5 SFM wins
DAL 2 Tie Match

Remember, these predictions are done not using the lineups, and are based solely on the Famous Original Power Rankings.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

USCL Power Rankings post-week 6

No comments tonight... Too late! But suffice it to say, Boston still at the top. Carolina comes down to earth, and New York creeps up a little.

1 - Boston 1.000
2 - Dallas 0.937
3 - San Fran
4 - Seattle 0.872
5 - Baltimore 0.867
6 - Carolina 0.858
7 - Philadelphia 0.832
8 - New Jersey
9 - New York
10 - Queens 0.777
11 - Miami 0.697
12 - Tennesee 0.665

Until next week!