Monday, September 01, 2008

USCL Week Two Predictions

The Citrus Symbols (myself and Orange King) sit side-by-side in second and third in the prediction contest, behind last year's winner Ron Young, and ahead of the Assistant Commish of the USCL Arun Sharma.

Therefore, there's really no reason to change much of a good thing. So, once again, these predictions are based primarily on comparisons of players on the USCL rating list that I developed.


Knockouts' captain Joel Benjamin is old enough to remember Welcome Back, Kotter -- the other members of the team may have trouble remembering The OC. Well, this week, his line up looks like a spin off of that 1970s show -- Welcome Back, Benjamin. The teacher (Benjamin) and three wisecracking, but good-hearted youngsters (Molner, Ju, and Shen), two of them Benjamin's students (Ju, Shen), tee it up against the Queensmen. Look for Benjamin and Shen to lead the Knockouts to victory.

Prediction: New Jersey 2.5 - 1.5 Queens
  • UPDATE: The Knockouts were creamed on the lower boards, even though Bejamin won. Queens 3-1.


The big game of the week is the Battle of the Sergeys, between the ultra-solid (in the USCL) GM Sergey Kudrin and the winner-of-seemingly-everything-recently-over-the-board GM Sergey Erenburg. Watch for an ultra-sharp line, deep into theory, before someone lashes out with a novelty, and then an exciting draw. On Board 3, Daniel Yeager may be the one to nip FM Ray Kaufman and bring Philly a victory.

Prediction: Philadelphia 2.5 - 1.5 Baltimore
  • UPDATE: Right on target. Yeager won too!


I'm hesitant to pick a non-Tennessee team (sorry, my Tempo friends) to get almost wiped out in a match, but Boston's fire and determination make it kind of intimidating this week for the experienced Carolina team. GM Larry Christiansen's game ought to finish first, and the dominoes will fall soon after that.

Prediction: Boston 3.5 - 0.5 Carolina
  • UPDATE: Boston won 3-1, and probably had a good chance to win on Board 1 too, if it weren't for Larry Christensen's computer melting in the morning.


The first glimpse of the Pascal and Irina show this week, should see decisive results on both the top boards, while the lower boards draw. IM Krush should be especially eager to wipe newcomer FM Osmany Perea off the board, after skipping the Women's World Championship this week.

Prediction: Miami 2.0 - 2.0 New York
  • UPDATE: Pascal and Irina had decisive games, but both lost. Miami blew the Knights off the board, 3.5 - 0.5


Fan favorite IM Emory Tate debuts his "take no prisoners, leave no witnesses" attitude in the USCL against IM Vinay "One Minute" Bhat on Board 2, but Bhat's consistency and record of USCL excellence may be too much for Tate. All the other boards will be hard-fought draws.

Prediction: Chicago 1.5 - 2.5 San Francisco
  • UPDATE: Bhat won over Tate, but all other games were decisive too for a 2-2 draw.


Todd Andrews, valiantly defending Board 1, will duel GM Serper brilliantly, but the rest of the team is unfortunately overmatched. Of course, I picked that Seattle would surely win last week, and look what happened. So the Tempo may prove me wrong, but I don't think so.

Prediction: Tennessee 0.5 - 3.5 Seattle
  • UPDATE: Tennessee pulled off a draw in this match. Good for them!


It is very hard to pick against the current champs, but it worked last week, so what the heck! Arizona goes to 2-0 with a nailbiter against the Destiny. Look for "Coach" Robby Adamson to knock off Igor Schneider in a rook and minor piece endgame.

Prediction: Dallas 1.5 - 2.5 Arizona
  • UPDATE: Wrong! Dallas won 3-1, but Adamson and Schneider was a rook and minor piece endgame.

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