The Fabulous 00s: 2008 USCL Season Starts

USCL Madness

Whoah.  The Arizona Scorpions battled the Chicago Blaze on August 25, 2008 at Levon Altounian’s house in a thriller that was sure to please the Commish, IM Greg Shahade..

Photos of the Arizona players are here.

Not a match for the faint of heart.  First let’s see some pre-match predictions.

First, from BionicLime.   The Lime guessed 3-1 Arizona.  No word yet on IndestructibleKiwi’s or MetallicMango’s thoughts.

“Saturday, August 23, 2008

USCL Season: Week 1 Monday Predictions

The United States Chess League season starts next week, and I have been asked to participate in this year’s prediction contest! I am very excited and honored to be part of it.

For most of the games and matches, I will be drawing heavily from my unofficial USCL ratings list, which I am planning to maintain throughout the year.

However, since the Monday match is between the two expansion teams, nobody on those teams has a USCL rating.

So, I suppose, I could predict a 2-2 tie, but I think I’ll do something a little more intelligently.

Both boards 1 and 3 of Arizona have white, and outrate (USCF ratings) their opponents by about 80 points or so. Therefore I expect at least 1.5 out of those boards.

On board 2, IM Mehmed Pasalic (Chicago) is white against IM Mark Ginsburg (Arizona). Although Ginsburg is a little higher rated, Pasalic plays a lot in the North America Chess Association’s FIDE norm tournaments, so he’s probably in a good form.  This is funny, because in Pasalic’s final norm tournament a few months ago, he and I drew at yes, you guessed it, a North America Chess Assoc. Sevan Muradian FIDE event in Chicago.  In that game too, I was black in a Sicilian.  Pasalic won that event and Tate and I trailed a half-point behind.  (A Taimonov there, here I try a Kan).

On board 4, Warren Harper outrates his opponent by over 150 points, and although he has black, he’s got a better shot to pull it out.

Thus, my prediction is Arizona over Chicago 3-1.

At the USCL mothership site, Arun “Please don’t squeeze the …” Sharma actually got it right with the statistically “safer” prediction of 2.5 – 1.5 Arizona.  But as we will see, the final result was very much up in the air.

Monday Night Prediction — Week 1

The inaugural match of the USCL season is always by nature one of the most interesting, treating us to a display by players generally unknown to us (at least in the league aspect). This match is a strangely unbalanced one rating-wise, with most past expansion teams looking to get a good jump off the starting blocks to help ease any initial butterflies and signify that they are for real. Nevertheless, this match is what it is. While one team has a distinct rating advantage, there are nevertheless two things which I really feel to be true:(1) Never take anything for granted in the USCL(2) A player’s OTB strength can definitely vary quite a bit (either higher or lower) in comparison to their internet strength.Of course, taking these considerations together might suggest that guessing match results in general is a fair crap shoot, and in a league as balanced as this, it probably is! But me and the other predictors (Bioniclime and OrangeKing) don’t get paid to not try. However, given as I said these players are completely unfamiliar in the league, I’ll simply go with the purely mathematical approach for guessing the board results for this match.
Board 1: Slight Edge AZ
Board 2: Even

Board 3: Edge AZ
Board 4: Slight Edge AZ

So I suppose it won’t be hard to guess who I’ll be picking to win from that. But given the variance I think is involved with expansion teams in general, you simply can never know how people will react in their first ever match, I’ll go with the variance happy approach of the smallest victory margin and pick Arizona 2.5 – 1.5.

all adamson-a

Observing 3 [(Adamson-ARZ) vs. (Burgess-CHC)]: (Sele) Lipsome123 Sea-Hawk Micawbr aToutLeMonde deppis MorphyMadness ChessFM KingDestroyer Big-King Fluxcapacitor THUNDAR Lalu IrishGambit kklinheib Rosewood therealwizard Urk mastershake Flying-Tiger Morr louis darrellmac bioniclime USCL DukeBishop Paul kjkormick nemasters LikeClockwork ScottM Ktsofjd MrBob tenor jechess Andrews-TEN NashvilleChess MAGICKOFCHESS Rensch-ARZ XR Shankland-SF jsemmens molokai GrandmasterFinn island sengir Iridium24 pjj Old-Guard bhima pcornelius MASTERCHEF androp StarJock jkjell85 imgm easycure adamredsox vkpanch elizabeth littlestz MrHat frank001 carbide BadBeats giggy EyeAm icecream-smilez putt4dough ShadyMoves Nimzo40 MysteryMan tessie Phlox PlymArg supernova pawnforce93 junkmaster SamsBlockade

79 people

all altounian

Observing 1 [(Altounian-ARZ) vs. (vandeMortel-CHC)]: Bumbly samod1 BertrandRussell (Sele) Lipsome123 Thor5581 Silluger Sea-Hawk Micawbr aToutLeMonde badmove deppis CapitalG bughouseprod MorphyMadness ChessFM KingDestroyer Big-King Fluxcapacitor DWANG THUNDAR Lalu IrishGambit GunSlinger kklinheib Rosewood therealwizard Urk mastershake Flying-Tiger dantas Morr apollo53 louis Zornorph darrellmac bioniclime USCL DukeBishop kjkormick nemasters ArthurianLegend LikeClockwork ScottM DanFerrer Ktsofjd MrBob chigato tenor jechess Andrews-TEN NashvilleChess MAGICKOFCHESS Rensch-ARZ XR Shankland-SF RoJac88 jsemmens Memphischess molokai GrandmasterFinn island sengir Iridium24 LouCKE smarks lepomis hpjj Old-Guard bhima pcornelius impregmate MASTERCHEF androp StarJockell85 imgm Smearinov easycure adamredsox vkpanch elizabeth phoenix10q72 littlestz MrHat frank001 carbide wisebard777 BadBeats giggy EyeAm WillThrash chess1 icecream-smilez putt4dough Gandalf ShadyMoves Nimzo40 alec-805 MysteryMan tessie PorkChopsTamer Phlox PlymArg The-Freak TSMag pawnforce93 Darnoc Player1521 SamsBlockade bamileke79

111 people

all ginsburg

Observing 2 [(Pasalic-CHC) vs. (Ginsburg-ARZ)]: (Sele) Lipsome123 Silluger Sea-Hawk Micawbr aToutLeMonde deppis CapitalG MorphyMadness ChessFM KingDestroyer Big-King Fluxcapacitor THUNDAR Lalu IrishGambit GunSlinger kklinheib Rosewood therealwizard Urk mastershake Flying-Tiger Morr louis darrellmac bioniclime Rebellious USCL DukeBishop kjkormick nemasters LikeClockwork ScottM DanFerrer Ktsofjd MrBob tenor jechess Andrews-TEN NashvilleChess MAGICKOFCHESS Rensch-ARZ XR Shankland-SF jsemms GrandmasterFinn island sengir Iridium24 LouCKE smarks hpjj Old-Guard bhima pcornelius impregmate MASTERCHEF DrinkBeer androp StarJock jkjell85 imgm easycure adamredsox vkpanch elizabeth littlestz MrHat frank001 carbide BadBeats giggy EyeAm icecream-smilez putt4dough ShadyMoves Nimzo40 MysteryMan tessie Phlox PlymArg GeertM pawnforce93 SamsBlockade

85 people

all harper

Observing 4 [(Meerovich-CHC) vs. (Harper-ARZ)]: (Sele) Lipsome123 Sea-Hawk  Micawbr aToutLeMonde deppis MorphyMadness ChessFM KingDestroyer Big-King Fluxcapacitor THUNDAR Lalu IrishGambit kklinheib Rosewood therealwizard Urk mastershake Flying-Tiger Morr louis darrellmac bioniclime USCL DukeBishop kjkormick nemasters LikeClockwork chessdude64 ScottM Ktsofjd MrBob tenor jechess Andrews-TEN NashvilleChess MAGICKOFCHESS Rensch-ARZ XR Shankland-SF jsemmens GrandmasterFinn island sengir Iridium24 LouCKE koolhand bitachi hpjj Old-Guard bhima pcornelius MASTERCHEF DrinkBeer androp StarJock jkjell85 imgm Sandeen easycure adamredsox vkpanch elizabeth littlestz MrHat frank001 carbide BadBeats giggy EyeAm icecream-smilez putt4dough Gupta ShadyMoves Nimzo40 guest1382 MysteryMan ScotchMAN tessie Phlox PlymArg supernova TSMag pawnforce93 junkmaster SamsBlockade

87 people

A lot of spectators!

Let’s pick up the action in IM Pasalic – IM Ginsburg and try to match up the move to kibitzer comments.

1. e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Qb6 6.Nb3 Qc7 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Qe2 d6 9.f4 Nbd7 10.c4 b6 11.Nc3 Bb7 12.Bd2 Be7 13.Rae1 Rd8!?

An interesting defense. I saw it once in a Dzindzi game. Black exploits the temporary logjam on the d-file to stop e4-e5 for the time being.

14.Kh1 g6?

Correct is the natural 14…O-O! 15. Bb1 g6 16. Nd4 Rfe8 17. Nf3 Nh5! with equal chances.

15.Nd4! Logical.  15. f5! Ne5 16. fxe6 fxe6 17. Nd4 Qd7 18. Bc2 O-O 19. Na4 is also a white edge.

15…Qc5?

A smart Rybka computer program showed me this defensive motif once.  But I have the exact position wrong.  In this position, I must play 15…O-O 16. f5 Nc5 and try to hold on.

16.Nf3

White had the exceedingly dangerous thematic blow to exploit black’s uncastled king: 16. Nd5! exd5 17. exd5 O-O 18. Nc6! Bxc6 19. b4! Qd4 20. dxc6 d5 and black maybe, might, be able to hold.

Qh5?

Continuing with my altogether faulty plan.

Position after 16..Qh5.  Queen on a limb (crazy) variation.

Black’s play is quite illogical and as the computer shows, the thematic shot 17. Nd5! is terrible for me.  If I play 17…exd5 18. exd5 O-O 19. Qxe7, d6 hangs and I am lost.

17.Bc2 I get a reprieve. 0-0 18.b4 e5

I would estimate this as being roughly balanced.

19.a3 exf4 20.Bxf4 Rfe8 21.Qd3 Ne5

I don’t adore this move as it gives white a simple plan of action.

22.Bxe5 dxe5 23.Nd5 Nxd5 24.cxd5 Bf8

Position after 24…Bf8.  Time for a Reshevsky-like draw offer.

After the initial vicissitudes, here I offered a draw from what I thought was a solid enough position to see what he would do.  Levon looked += on board 1 and Warren on board 4 had already lost for us, but Robby on board 3 had already won with an amazing 38 seconds left on his clock thus refuting Korchnoi’s dictum “in time pressure, there are no heroes.”   Of course, Pasalic has no reason to accept and plays on.

— Game 2: Pasalic-CHC vs Ginsburg-ARZ —

WhiteKnightAR whispers: lol

Ginsburg-ARZ offers a draw to Pasalic-CHC in game 2.

bioniclime whispers: hmm… draw offer?

Lalu(DM) whispers: he must feel they have the beter chances on board 1

Lalu(DM) whispers: so draw here would then be a good thing

bioniclime whispers: Sure, but then Arizona can’t win 3-1 like I predicted…

Lalu(DM) whispers: once they were upset on board 4

Lalu(DM) whispers: i probably would have given up hope on that anyway :0

Lalu(DM) whispers: but he didn’t take it, so u’re off the hook for now!

WhiteKnightAR whispers: you predicted AZ, bioniclime?

Lalu(DM) whispers: everyone did

bioniclime whispers: I just remember in a New Jersey match last year — I think it was Hess-Zlotnikov — Hess offered draws and Zlotnikov never noticed…

Lalu(DM) whispers: yes i recall that

USCL(IM) whispers: yea that happens a lot because people turn off their sound

WhiteKnightAR whispers: but chicago has the better logo!

Lalu(DM) whispers: or they have a relayer

USCL(IM) whispers: good for the fans, who wants to see draws anyway 🙂

WhiteKnightAR whispers: very true; just say “no’ to draws 😉

GunSlinger kibitzes: i believe the offer wascorrect, and declining was likely also correct

carbide kibitzes: does uscl have a 30 move draw rule?

Lalu(DM) whispers: no there is no rule

USCL(IM) whispers: whats a 30 move draw rule?

carbide whispers: i dont know

Lalu(DM) whispers: uscl has much more creative ways to stop draws

Lalu(DM) whispers: just ask him

carbide whispers: lol

USCL(IM) whispers: draws are good for the uscl, otherwise too many 2-2 tied matches 🙂

carbide kibitzes: its 1-1

carbide kibitzes: with last 2 games unclearish?

GunSlinger kibitzes: oh

ShaqCosteau kibitzes: what happened in other games

carbide kibitzes: adamson was playing flash and uscl at same time i heard

checkm8 whispers: how did adamson do

carbide kibitzes: rf2 and ref1 and lock n load?

carbide kibitzes: adamson won after an attack for the ages

bioniclime whispers: Adamson solved a relatively simple “Mate in 3” puzzle.

carbide kibitzes: lol

Rosewood whispers: what happened in the Adamson game

StarJock whispers: But what counts, is he solved it!

bioniclime whispers: Adamson solved a relatively simple “Mate in 3” puzzle.

carbide kibitzes: bc8?

bioniclime whispers: that his opponent unfortunately set up rather nicely for him.

carbide kibitzes: but then bg4

Rosewood kibitzes: darn wnated to see the end the games just disappered

25.Ba4! b5 26.Bd1 Qh6 27.h3 Bd6 Weirdly, the computer likes the rook lift Rd8-d6-f6 here.  That’s not so easy for a human to play.

28.Nh2

Most annoying.

Position after 28. Nh2.

carbide kibitzes: ng4 looks like some pain

Lalu(DM) whispers: bc8 forced right

Lalu(DM) whispers: can’t have ng4-f6

carbide whispers: dunno

carbide whispers: bc8 bg4

carbide kibitzes: then bb7

sangen whispers: f5?!

Lalu(DM) whispers: yeah maybe

Lalu(DM) whispers: qg7 ng4 be7 is possible

Lalu(DM) whispers: then u have h5

carbide whispers: this feels bad for black

carbide whispers: but who knows

carbide whispers: rf2 and ref1

GunSlinger kibitzes: sac rook on f7

carbide kibitzes: in time pressure we tend to open stuff we shouldnt..that for black here might not work

Rosewood whispers: quick Bc8 before white plays Ng4

WhiteKnightAR whispers: lol Gun

carbide kibitzes: B going to b3 wriong side?

carbide kibitzes: bd1 bg4

GunSlinger kibitzes: B on B3 is freezing d6

28 … Qg7 Yes, I am feeling uncomfortable.

darrellmac whispers: finchetto queen Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm:::::)

carbide kibitzes: qb6?

GunSlinger kibitzes: both sides are as uncoordinated as a Jerry Lewis movie

darrellmac whispers: hahahahahahahahahaha

carbide kibitzes: rc7 maybe

StarJock whispers: Who’s Jerry Lewis 🙂

GunSlinger kibitzes: Rc5 is interesting

Danya(FM) whispers: Rc7

Danya(FM) whispers: +-   Danya sees blood.

GunSlinger kibitzes: yes better

carbide whispers: rc7 bc7 d6 kg7

Danya(FM) whispers: more lik winning oh and Rc6 also wins

Danya(FM) whispers: Qc7 then carbidce

carbide whispers: is that all good?

carbide kibitzes: ok

29.Bb3 Bc8 30.Rc1 Bd7

30…f5 is playable but I was worried about the squares it would leave behind in a vacuum.

31.Qe3 h5 32.Nf3 f6 I need to get the queen to e7 post-haste.

33.Qb6 Qe7 34.Ne1 Rb8

Again, 34…f5 was quite playable but not fitting into the “solid” persona I had selected for myself in this difficult time control.

35.Qe3 Kg7 36.Nd3

White is shwoing off good maneuvering skillz. I am starting to get bad feelings.  I never wanted to play …f5 fearing I would get too loose.

Danya(FM) whispers: oh ne3-nc5

carbide kibitzes: nd3 nc5

carbide kibitzes: N on c5 looks brutal too

Danya(FM) whispers: a5

sangen whispers: f5

carbide whispers: white plays with great patience

Danya(FM) whispers: f5 ef

sangen whispers: gf

carbide kibitzes: can black play f5?

Danya(FM) whispers: Nc5 after gf

Danya(FM) whispers: black collapses

carbide kibitzes: f5 and ef g5 then?

carbide kibitzes: just nc5?

sangen whispers: black can’t just sit around  I can!

carbide kibitzes: white has reorganized nicely  Yes, he has.

Danya(FM) whispers: Nxd7 Rxf6 !?!>

Danya(FM) whispers: and Qh6

Danya(FM) whispers: oh rc1

Rec8

The computer likes 36…a5 straightaway for me.

37.Nc5 a5 My b5 pawn is now weak.  But what to do?

38.Qf3 axb4 39.axb4 Ra8

Position after 39…Ra8.  It’s all down to this board.  (Arizona leading 2-1).

carbide kibitzes: f5 now?

carbide kibitzes: apparently not

Valeriya kibitzes: Qc5 then claim mouslip

carbide kibitzes: whites better but how to increase pressure?

Lalu(DM) whispers: no mouseslips pls

USCL(IM) whispers: ok looks liek arizona will take a 2-1 lead and it all comes down to this

USCL(IM) whispers: with pasalic needing the win

Lalu(DM) whispers: don’t need any of those this season

Valeriya kibitzes: u gotta try something

Lalu(DM) whispers: ok official AZ up 2 – 1

Lalu(DM) whispers: pasalic must win

ShadyMoves whispers: do the players know the situation with the match score? Are they informed?

BadBeats whispers: yes

Lalu(DM) whispers: yes

Lalu(DM) whispers: everyone plays at same site

Lalu(DM) whispers: they know exactly

40.Rc3 Rf8 41.Rfc1 Ra7 42.Bc2 Rfa8 43.Bb1 Rf8 44.Bd3 Rfa8 45.Qf1 White has patiently arranged the win of a pawn.  But the battle continues!

Ra3

Of course, black could have simply defended the pawn with 45…Rb8 here!  I had a bit of a hallucination and thought the pawn was a goner so I went for activity.

46.Rxa3 Rxa3 47.Bxb5 Bc8

Position after 47…Bc8.

In chess there is the weird property that sometimes the win of a pawn doesn’t hurt the defending side as they retain chances.  This is one of those cases.  Black can play on and fight with the bishop pair, looking for pesky counterplay.

48.Be2 Qa7 49.Bf3 Qb6 50.Qc4

At this point, I knew 50…Bxh3 might be “on” but it was a scary thing to do in mutual time trouble.  If I did it, the dispassionate Computer Engine would either show me later that it is fine or I lose. 🙂

Position after 50. Qc4.  Can I do …Bxh3?

USCL(IM) whispers: hey btw whats going on in this chess game?

RLH2(IM) whispers: its getting tight

RLH2(IM) whispers: time trouble

RLH2(IM) whispers: bh3

vcs whispers: Bxh3

RLH2(IM) whispers: blundered it

RLH2(IM) whispers: i was waiting for it

vcs whispers: i guess he gets Ne6 tho

carbide kibitzes: ruhroh

Smearinov kibitzes: well a knight move to threaten rc6 looked kewl

carbide kibitzes: bh3

USCL(IM) whispers: is bh3 so good?

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

GunSlinger kibitzes: white queen heads for e8

Lalu(DM) whispers: bh3 gh3 rf3 ne6 and qc8

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: all the genius league predicters made Ginsburg out to be a punk in their analysis    I was very interested to see those geniuses, but I could not find their writings!  The only ones I saw gave me as about equal chances.  Curiously, I had just battled Pasalic recently (also on the black side of a Sicilian, NA FIDE Chicago 2008) – the result?  An accurate draw.

USCL(IM) whispers: we can do some ne6 then

StarJock whispers: On TV on “In Plain Sight”, the witnesses move to New Mexico.

PushingPawns whispers: Bh3 Bh5

carbide kibitzes: true dat

adamredsox whispers: Ne6?

Lalu(DM) whispers: made him out to be a punk?

adamredsox whispers: more lik eKg2

RLH2(IM) whispers: bh3 is forced

Lalu(DM) whispers: how did I do taht

Lalu(DM) whispers: i don’t think i even mentioned him

USCL(IM) whispers: bh3 gh3 rf3 ne6 seems v dangouers whats black do’

vcs whispers: i agree USCL.

RLH2(IM) whispers: kh7

RLH2(IM) whispers: after ne6

USCL(IM) whispers: ok qc8

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: it seemed that everyone favored Chicago on board two

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: Ginsburg, at one point or another in his life, could have played for all teams! …he lives everywhere

Lalu(DM) whispers: i didn’t lol

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

Smearinov kibitzes: lol finegold

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: well, what do you know?

carbide kibitzes: ginsburg gonna have to dig deep ( sports cliches are really stupid no?)

RLH2(IM) whispers: rxh3+

Smearinov kibitzes: he lived in maryland didnt he

bioniclime whispers: I didn’t — I thought it was a toss up

RLH2(IM) whispers: in that line

mthal513 whispers: wow

RLH2(IM) whispers: kg2 rh2+

RLH2(IM) whispers: and qf2 sealed a draw    Good line!!!

Smearinov kibitzes: ginsburg goes where the ladies are  (exclam strategy)

RLH2(IM) whispers: if you followed

USCL(IM) whispers: yea maybe

Lalu(DM) whispers: then ginsburg will be playing in TN soon

Lalu(DM) whispers: following ehlvest obv

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: he lives in MD, Chicago, Boston, AZ, NY, and everywhere in between

Darnoc kibitzes: white can play kg2 before ne6

vcs whispers: na4?

MJP whispers: 2-1 for AZ right?

Smearinov kibitzes: aries2 we’ll never here him shut up if he wins but if he loses he might not log on this week   (I might venture the occasional logon to talk to my lady friends)

ExMachina whispers: why not … Bx h3?

carbide kibitzes: uscl tbhis game could go on for hours…maybe at move 100 u could subtract time for each move made

RLH2(IM) whispers: ra1+ followed by f5 ideas/!

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: Tennessee – Tennessee there aint no place I’d rather be

therealwizard whispers: what a dumb idea carbide

carbide kibitzes: lol

USCL(IM) whispers: nb3 threat sort of?

carbide kibitzes: of course it is

USCL(IM) whispers: im dumb nevermind

carbide kibitzes: f5?

USCL(IM) whispers: im liek 1200 when analyzing these games

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: for more of carbide’s dumb moves, tune in 8 PM eastern on Wednesday

Lalu(DM) whispers: don’t be so generous to yourself uscl

RLH2(IM) whispers: rxb3.

DrinkBeer whispers: for people who know ginsburg personally is he sort of…off a little…maybe? i mean not in a bad way but not the kind of guy who has a PHD  (I was actually feeling spot on as I munched down a couple of red seedless Altounian grapes.)

carbide kibitzes: crap i cant see anything

Lalu(DM) whispers: u know u’re lower

Smearinov kibitzes: no ur 1450 uscl

Smearinov kibitzes: 🙂

champ whispers: blunder?

dannyhodo whispers: this looks drawish

FlirtyMegan1991 whispers: drawn

TheChessKid whispers: b4 hangs

TheChessKid whispers: oh c8

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: this game reminds me of Blake-Young except the tennis is exciting  (isn’t there beach volleyball on *some* cable channel somewhere?)

USCL(IM) whispers: qc8

carbide kibitzes: rb3?

TheChessKid whispers: then Qh8 maybe

bioniclime whispers: Rxb3

USCL(IM) whispers: tennis much more boring than chess, just hitting ball back and forth over and over!

Sea-Hawk(IM) kibitzes: yeah blake isn’t playing too well

RLH2(IM) whispers: rxb3 nb3 qb4 qc8 qb3 qh8+ kg5 h4+.. and white wins

therealwizard whispers: this game reminds me of time trouble

Kh6??

Oh no!  I *did* have 50…Bxh3!! 51. gxh3 Rxf3 52. Ne6+ Kf7! (The move I missed) 53. Qc8 Rxh3+ 54. Kg2 Rh2+!! 55. Kxh2 Qf2+ with a perpetual, the nice variation pointed out in kibs by RLH2!!

51.Rc3?

51. Na4 is crushing.  After 51…Rxa4 52. Qxc8 white is winning in the long run, e.g 52….Qb8 53. Qxb8 Bxb8 54. Rc6 Rxb4 Rxf6.

Ra1+ 52.Kh2 Rb1 53.Rb3

Position after 53. Rb3.  I miss a great zwischenzug.

RLH2(IM) whispers: oh ba6 here   Great shot!

53…Rxb3? 54.Nxb3 I never even considered 53…Ba6! with total equality; what a nice move.

PushingPawns whispers: Missed Ba6 instead of Rb3

carbide kibitzes: pawns dropping like snowflakes

ShadyMoves whispers: great chess and tennis tonight

whis he missed ba6

Adamson-ARZ(FM) whispers: he missed ba6

(whispered to 149 observers)

RLH2(IM) whispers: ba6 now

ShadyMoves whispers: go Donald Young!

RLH2(IM) whispers: …

USCL(IM) whispers: yea looked kind of shaky for white for a bit…

whis before

Adamson-ARZ(FM) whispers: before

(whispered to 149 observers)

RLH2(IM) whispers: ba6 now robby

carbide kibitzes: ba6 qc6?

whis better before

Adamson-ARZ(FM) whispers: better before

(whispered to 148 observers)

USCL(IM) whispers: maybe just ba6 now hard for white to lose

USCL(IM) whispers: black to lose

54…Ba6

therealwizard whispers: Qc1+

dpruess(IM) kibitzes: qc1 and nc5?

Shankland-SF whispers: qc1 and nc5

mthal513 whispers: Qc1 if nothing else

Smearinov kibitzes: wow

FlirtyMegan1991 whispers: ugh

Smearinov kibitzes: white busted

RLH2(IM) whispers: whoa i missed qc1

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: challenges in tennis are great, we need challenges in chess

FlirtyMegan1991 whispers: these so called masters are blunbdering    We’re allowed to ‘blunbder’ with crazed paparazzi, screaming babies, and Amanda Mateer hovering around.

FlirtyMegan1991 whispers: all games

Smearinov kibitzes: lol qc1 i did too

carbide kibitzes: and nc5 again

KingDestroyer kibitzes: lol flirty masters never bludner

carbide kibitzes: and ne6 coming

therealwizard whispers: it is time trouble and late at night so layoff

55.Qc1+ Check!   White has time for Nc5 next!  Back to the drawing board.  Get it? Heh heh.

Smearinov kibitzes: b4 still falls no?

carbide kibitzes: wheeeeeeeee

RLH2(IM) whispers: g5?

TheChessKid whispers: Nc5 I guess

carbide kibitzes: oh yeah..g5 is good

vcs whispers: nc5

g5 56.Nc5 Bc8 57.Qc4

Once again, 57. Na4! is best. After 57…Qb8 58. Qc6 black will not survive.

mthal513 whispers: what happened to guessthemovve?

Smearinov kibitzes: or nc5 qb4 ne6 i guess

RLH2(IM) whispers: bc8.

vcs whispers: qa3?

carbide kibitzes: its a 2 minute blitz game..its just who blunders least

therealwizard whispers: Na4

carbide kibitzes: qc4?

RLH2(IM) whispers: na4 qc4 g4?!

USCL(IM) whispers: we need guessthemove obv

USCL(IM) whispers: woohoo

mthal513 whispers: yay!

Smearinov kibitzes: what happens if g4

carbide kibitzes: g4

57…g4

A useful space gaining move opening lines to white’s king! At this point, I felt I was pretty much out of the woods.  But it’s not true  – white is still much better.

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 57…g4: carbide USCL sangen (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

RLH2(IM) whispers: g4 with potential on h4-e1 diag?

carbide kibitzes: and we get some three mile island chess

Tiger17 whispers: tell geussthemove 0-0-0 🙂

Smearinov kibitzes: i guess we’ll find out

mthal513 whispers: why g4?

RLH2(IM) whispers: whoa

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

RLH2(IM) whispers: gxh3

mthal513 whispers: qc1 ideas again

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: tell guessthemove Blake

RLH2(IM) whispers: qa7 as well

vcs whispers: f5 coming?

Smearinov kibitzes: f5?

Smearinov kibitzes: open diagonal?

RLH2(IM) whispers: f5 looks bad

Darnoc kibitzes: f5 fails

carbide kibitzes: f5 doesnt pass the sniff test

USCL(IM) whispers: will be hard for black to lose this

MJP kibitzes: isn’t this position just terrible for black?

USCL(IM) whispers: really?

Smearinov kibitzes: lol sniff test

carbide whispers: wow bold claim from uscl

USCL(IM) whispers: ok maybe not so hard

PushingPawns whispers: In blitz the only terrible position is a lost position.

KingDestroyer kibitzes: hard for white to lose this?

MJP whispers: I know nothing but I was thinking black is screwed

carbide whispers: now if he does that quote will be publsihed widely

USCL(IM) whispers: but few moves ago was very ok for black

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: can’t real chess players kib, and not USCL?

USCL(IM) whispers: still seems like it should be fine

PushingPawns whispers: Plenty of schwindle opportunities here.

USCL(IM) whispers: i have special account they can see my kibs

Smearinov kibitzes: is this the guy who plays at UTD?

USCL(IM) whispers: so i have to whisper always

MJP kibitzes: no these are both older guys

Smearinov kibitzes: oh ok

Smearinov kibitzes: well old guys play college chess

Smearinov kibitzes: just ask umbc

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

carbide kibitzes: this is just hard position

MJP kibitzes: haha yeah but not these old guys

carbide kibitzes: good for us bad for them

therealwizard whispers: pasalic is not old

Smearinov kibitzes: oh ok 🙂

WhiteKnightAR whispers: lol

58.Be2 Qa7 59.hxg4 Black is starting to see the happy contours of draw harbor.

59. Qc1+ Kg6 60. hxg4 hxg4 61. Bd3 keeps a white plus.

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 59.hxg4: therealwizard (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

USCL(IM) whispers: i feel like 30 second increment is most nervewracking thing, perpetual time scramble that never ends

mthal513 kibitzes: and then qc1 and kg3?

carbide kibitzes: kg3?

KingDestroyer kibitzes: I agree

hxg4 60.Qc1+

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 60.Qc1+: Darnoc (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

USCL(IM) whispers: and you are also even expected to make good moves

Andrews-TEN(FM) kibitzes: RZA would be 4 hours late to each match

chicagosevan whispers: Marc Arnold needs 2/4 for his IM norm

carbide kibitzes: we will see many more..stay tuned

chicagosevan whispers: no he drew

chicagosevan whispers: with Angelo

Smearinov kibitzes: lol andrews

mthal513 kibitzes: he just needs all draws now?

chicagosevan whispers: yes

RLH2(IM) whispers: almost a sure-fire norm

chicagosevan whispers: he has 2 more IM’s, 1 FM, and the lowest seeded player left

MJP kibitzes: god ginsburg’s position so depressing   I thought I stood OK here.

GunSlinger kibitzes: Kg1!

carbide kibitzes: tick tock

Kg7 61.Qe3 Qf7 I spotted the nasty blitz Ne6+ trick.

62.Kg1

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 62.Kg1: Darnoc (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

chicagosevan whispers: he’s get it

MJP kibitzes: can keep struggling forever

carbide kibitzes: wow

chicagosevan whispers: and it will be his 3rd IM norm

Adrenaline whispers: who has the best team in USCL ?

chicagosevan whispers: all three done at my tournaments

carbide kibitzes: white plays like altounian   He didn’t blunder yet as in Lev’s game. 🙂

mthal513 kibitzes: queens

mthal513 kibitzes: no doubt

RLH2(IM) whispers: yeah he took his norms at your series

Lalu(DM) whispers: that’s why we play the league adrenaline

MJP kibitzes: LOL

Smearinov whispers: not even gonna try to analyze this

Lalu(DM) whispers: to figure that out

ROCKET34 whispers: az scorpians

carbide kibitzes: very partient and solid

Qh5

Smearinov kibitzes: qh5 threatening what?  Just hanging out.  Maybe white will fall for b5 Qh4 g3 Bxc5.  Stranger things have happened.

champ whispers: b5?

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: I am moving the team after this season…who wants to buy a franchise?

carbide kibitzes: qh3

carbide kibitzes: move of the century

Lalu(DM) whispers: depends where u move

Tiger17 whispers: how much todd?

WhiteKnightAR whispers: how much? lol

therealwizard whispers: he’s moving to east st.louis

mthal513 kibitzes: just b5 here?

chicagosevan whispers: i’ll buy it todd – hamburger happy meal and i’d like some change

RLH2(IM) whispers: b5?! qh4

Lalu(DM) whispers: st. louis has a darn nice club to play in at least

MJP whispers: what the?

Lalu(DM) whispers: too bad i doubt they have the player base

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: I wouldnt trade you the team for that entire chess center you guys play in, Sevan

Position after 62…Qh5.  White decides to take action.

63.Ne6+?

No doubt exhausted by the lengthy struggle, white blunders back the pawn and the game becomes level.  Worse, white cannot make any threats going forward and the game and match swiftly conclude.  After 63. g3 white can continue to press.

Smearinov whispers: bx forced?

carbide kibitzes: so whats going on here?

StarJock whispers: Moving Team includes those hot Tenn. women?

Lalu(DM) whispers: yeah

chicagosevan whispers: we’re at the Holiday Inn Northshore Hotel

Lalu(DM) whispers: but if u take the women

Lalu(DM) whispers: u have to take ehlvest then too

Lalu(DM) whispers: since that’s why he’s tehre

Bxe6 64.dxe6

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 63…Bxe6: TheChessKid therealwizard Smearinov (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

RLH2(IM) whispers: bxe6 de qh4..

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 64.dxe6: therealwizard (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: not at the Touch move Center huh

Smearinov whispers: chicagosevan any hot chicks in the crowd?

Britt kibitzes: is this love or hate you chess center guys

WhiteKnightAR whispers: you’ll lose Ehlvest

champ whispers: Bxb4   The champ is onto something.

PushingPawns whispers: pawn is a pawn

carbide kibitzes: i feel some perp in the future qh4 qe1

Smearinov whispers: 🙂 lol

ExMachina whispers: Qh3

blitzmaniac whispers: sevan doesnt swing that way

blitzmaniac whispers: 😀

champ whispers: why not Bxb4?

PushingPawns whispers: Looks like white lost the thread somewhere.

champ whispers: ooooooooo Qa7

Smearinov whispers: qa7 + then qb8+

64…Bxb4! Gaining c5 for the bishop in some positions.  It’s now totally drawn. Some kibitzers posited it might be a blunder but it is a safe capture.

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 64…Bxb4: therealwizard champ TheChessKid KNVB (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Smearinov whispers: bf8 e7

carbide kibitzes: qa7 kh6

Smearinov whispers: wtf

carbide kibitzes: here we go

therealwizard whispers: and draw

mastershake whispers: king can move up too lol

65.Qa7+ The check is not scary but some spectators were still caught up in the fervor.

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 65.Qa7+: carbide therealwizard KNVB (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Smearinov whispers: qa7 kg6 qf7

GunSlinger kibitzes: Qa7 wins   If my king had to go back, yes.

Smearinov whispers: k6

Smearinov kibitzes: h6

MJP whispers: Bxb4 looks like it was a blunder from ginsburg   Ye of Little Faith.

carbide kibitzes: qa7 and e7 in some lines  Fortunately Ms. Queen covers e8, so no.

RLH2(IM) whispers: ===========

Adrenaline whispers: super draw

Kh6 66.Qe3+

Nothing else to do.  But some spectators were flummoxed.

carbide kibitzes: wtf?..qg5?

PushingPawns whispers: Bb4 is fine

therealwizard whispers: draw time

USCL(IM) whispers: weird

mthal513 kibitzes: black shouldn’t repeat

MJP whispers: qe3+ looks terrible to me

White could even lose if he “did nothing” in time trouble.  Black’s queen and bishop can coordinate to make inroads.

For example, 66. g3 Qh3! 67. Qf2 Kg7 68. Bf1 Qh8 69. Qa7+ Kg6 70. Qf7+ Kg5 71. e7 Bc5+ 72. Kg2 Qh3 mate!

Qg5

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 66…Qg5: TheChessKid (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

GunSlinger kibitzes: just gaining seconds

champ whispers: draw

USCL(IM) whispers: what was he doing taht for?

Smearinov kibitzes: now has to

Lalu(DM) whispers: huh

67.Qxg5+ Kxg5

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 67…Kxg5: KNVB TheChessKid (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Smearinov kibitzes: opp color bishops

Lalu(DM) whispers: now it’s just dead

MJP kibitzes: ok dead draw

therealwizard whispers: lol draw

mthal513 kibitzes: strange decision

carbide kibitzes: what in the world is he thinking??

Smearinov kibitzes: g3

MJP kibitzes: white blew it with qe3+   No, he had no threats and couldn’t even make any.

carbide kibitzes: lol

68.g3

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 68.g3: Smearinov TheChessKid (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Lalu(DM) whispers: f5

therealwizard whispers: white blew it with Ne6  Sort of, but it was a tough slog in the mire of zeitnot.

carbide kibitzes: lol

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 68.g3: Smearinov TheChessKid (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Lalu(DM) whispers: f5

therealwizard whispers: white blew it with Ne6

champ whispers: f5

carbide kibitzes: lalu predicted 2.5 for az

Rensch-ARZ whispers: Way to Go Mark!!! Go Scorpions!!!

carbide kibitzes: perfecto

Andrews-TEN(FM) kibitzes: goodnight

USCL(IM) whispers: f5 seems simple enough

Smearinov kibitzes: f5 is draw

therealwizard whispers: 63 …. Ne6??

Andrews-TEN(FM) whispers: see you Wednesday

carbide kibitzes: oh so now danny chimes in

f5

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 68…f5: Lalu TheChessKid champ USCL Smearinov (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

MJP kibitzes: where do the scorpions play? Phoenix or Tucson?

Lalu(DM) whispers: both

USCL(IM) whispers: whoa if u just kibitz the move it counts for guessthemove, thats awesome

champ whispers: exf5

Lalu(DM) whispers: they have site at both moves

Lalu(DM) whispers: at both locations that is

69.exf5

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 69.exf5: KNVB TheChessKid champ therealwizard (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Smearinov kibitzes: yea greg lol

USCL(IM) whispers: they play in phoenix+tuscon…they alternate

champ whispers: Kxf5

USCL(IM) whispers: from week to week

Rensch-ARZ whispers: don’t worry carbide… I listened to every word you said…

Kxf5 70.Kf2

GuessTheMove(C DM) whispers: Correctly predicting 69…Kxf5: TheChessKid therealwizard champ (Tell GuessTheMove your guess)

Adrenaline whispers: 0-1

MJP kibitzes: ok presumably this is tucson

ROCKET34 whispers: the Scorpions will not be denied!

MJP kibitzes: since these are all tucson players

carbide kibitzes: why are they still playing?

Game drawn by mutual agreement 1/2-1/2

USCL(IM) whispers: yes its tuscon

mastershake whispers: how can you play qe3 and trade queens haha

therealwizard whispers: draw

therealwizard whispers: it was drawnalready by then

Smearinov kibitzes: its aries2 that’s why  Hmmm.

therealwizard whispers: Ne6 is the mistake

Smearinov kibitzes: 🙂

USCL(IM) whispers: never give up

mastershake whispers: still enough on the board to push

MJP kibitzes: here comes a humorous update on nezhmet.wordpress.com, I predict

Safe prediction.

Rensch-ARZ whispers: no draw is GREG’s league… 🙂

bioniclime whispers: In this league, you play until its officially dead

carbide whispers: snore

{Game 2 (Pasalic-CHC vs. Ginsburg-ARZ) Game drawn by mutual agreement} 1/2-1/2

Lalu(DM) whispers: he’s only a figurehead remember

Finegold(IM) kibitzes: boo! fix!

Smearinov kibitzes: its all about who offers

Smearinov kibitzes: lol

Postscript:  Victory Party Insanity

The crew headed over to Applebee’s on Grant and Swan.  Levon had a Pina Colada.  Leo Martinez was a rum and coke man.  Warren, being a freshman, had a water.  The agua helped him drown out his internal demons and re-center his chi.

Dark and Fuzzy is how we like it.  This is Robby Adamson, happy winner, with squad fotog and part-time relayer Amanda Mateer.   Also perhaps somewhat visible are Benjamin Marmont (l.) and Warren Harper (below).

And Elsewhere in the League

An excellent journalistic moment as Ilya Krasik alludes to some dark fisticuffs that might have been: “Besides welcoming David Vigorito, I was quite surprised to see another fellow with him, FM Braden Bournival. Last year it was simply unthinkable that he would come to watch our games unless he planned to leave on a stretcher but of course one cannot keep old grudges forever and sometimes circumstances force you to become more amenable as well.” Those nutty Beantowners! Boston una Sumus!

And on the mothership site, the headline was “Blood was Flying in Week 1.”

I’ve heard of the Fur Flying and Blood Being Spilled, but Blood Flying is a new and intriguing mixed metaphor from the non-liberal-arts boys at the mothership.

Week 1 Action

In the Week 1 games themselves, there were some weird moments.  Shabalov chose the worst opening possible (psychologically speaking) against Sammour-Hasbun who likes to doggedly defend with extra material and calculate.  That’s what Shabalov’s gambit made him do. The NY Knights should have a pre-match prep session to discuss these delicate matters.  I would recommend on move 6 the tricky 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. Qb3 and g3 next – a no lose, maybe win scenario great for match play.  Sammour-Hasbun’s style in such situations is computer-y (surprisingly similar to Nakamura’s).  So if you force him into computer-y calculations, he will succeed.  Of course, this led to speculation he was using a computer – but it’s just the Intel inside!   Note paradoxically how Shabalov’s ill-chosen gambit (forcing Sammour-Hasbun into a comfort zone) acted as an unseen force, sucking white’s creative juices dry (he was reduced to craven pawn grabs here and there while Sammour remained at all times the better centralized).

In another weird moment, in the tight SF-Dallas match, one player (Igor Schneider) made a “virtual forfeit” – played as if he never showed up (i.e. a thousand points below his playing strength) and SF took it with a “plus one” 2.5 – 1.5.  These things happen.  In the Boston-NY match Boston moved up to “plus 2” when Krasik’s opponent similarly was conspicuously absent.    Nerves?

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2 Responses to “The Fabulous 00s: 2008 USCL Season Starts”

  1. bioniclime Says:

    IndestructibleKiwi was out of town and couldn’t be reached for comment.

  2. BLITZMASTER Says:

    Awesome commentary by the 30 year old Ginsburg

    If I do say so myself. BTW the team is sending you to hypnosis school “I must move faster. I must not get down to 8 seconds left on move 21 in a game where I am not only higher rated, but also stand comfortably better. I … must …. move … faster.” (sounds of robotic short-circuiting and quick clip of robot arms thrashing around).

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