And this fresh on YouTube
Week 1 GOTW Judging Missteps
Even if the judges aren’t good players (and even good players have a hard time if they are not actually playing the game; it’s hard to read players’ thoughts), they need to consult a database/engine (or ask someone!) to see if an outright blunder occurred. Unfortunately, they did not consult and were “wowed” because a high-rated player played a sacrifice, reminiscent of the monkeys gathering around the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The move-order blunder occurred right after the sacrifice and then white had no chance. There were many more competitive games in Round 1. But not very good quality – murky GOTW territory!
They didn’t know (insufficient inquiry) that it was a simple move-order mistake. This thing actually happens all the time in chess when the writers don’t have much time (a deadline). GM Wolff did know…
The bottom line is the GOTW should feature a tough (not one-sided) battle where both players demonstrate ideas and the game is not essentially decided by an opening omission. But of course if the judges are laboring under a strict deadline then it gets tougher. Actually talking to the players helps when that is possible. Notice though there were very few such games in week 1. The Altounian game was marred by a resource that could have turned the tables for his opponent.
- I am puzzled by this choice for game of the week. Shabalov obviously just forgot to play Bg4 before Qc2, and his move order blunder was easily exploited. I think Black played well to drive the point home but I don’t think it is a “game of the week.”
- I agree with Patrick. In Jorge’s game, first 15 moves are theory; moves 16 to 22 are very close to being forced; and then Alex is just lost. Not sure what’s being rewarded here.”
The fix: don’t go on the opponents’ ratings and the first impression that someone strong gave up a piece, this guarantees a long fight with interesting chances for both sides- it ain’t so. Go on the actual moves in the game.
Can the spectators really stand more USCL excitement? It’s almost too much already!
Updates as of Sunday August 31 having just seen the actual rosters.
My Week 2 Predictions
WEEK 2: Wednesday, September 3rd
1. New Jersey Knockouts vs Queens Pioneers 2-2 Both teams are strong. So there. My prediction: numerous fear/respect draw offers that float by unseen and unanswered as strong players get low on time and start flipping out. Much sturm und drang followed by pax.
Update having seen the roster:
|New Jersey Knockouts||Queens Pioneers|
|GM Joel Benjamin: 2644||IM Dmitry Schneider: 2508|
|NM Mackenzie Molner: 2397||IM Eli Vovsha: 2532|
|NM Evan Ju: 2292||IM Alex Lenderman: 2528|
|NM Victor Shen: 2265||Benjamin Katz: 2108|
2. Philadelphia Inventors vs Baltimore Kingfishers 1.5 – 2.5
Update having seen the roster:
|Philadelphia Inventors||Baltimore Kingfishers|
|GM Sergey Kudrin: 2600||GM Sergey Erenburg: 2592|
|FM Thomas Bartell: 2386||IM Larry Kaufman: 2424|
|NM Daniel Yeager: 2349||FM Ray Kaufman: 2348|
|NM Elvin Wilson: 2240||FM Ralph Zimmer: 2328|
|Predicted result: 2
3. Boston Blitz vs Carolina Cobras 2.5 – 1.5 or 3-1 Ratings don’t always matter that much. Carolina will score a nominal upset on one of the boards and may pull off a nominal ‘draw upset’ on another board.
Amusing side-note: The Lime puts this as Boston 3.5 – Carolina 0.5. That’s not happening 🙂
Update having seen the roster – the match will be closer than I envisioned and Carolina actually has chances of the ‘mini-upset’ drawn match:
|Boston Blitz||Carolina Cobras|
|GM Larry Christiansen: 2670||IM Lev Milman: 2502|
|SM Denys Shmelov: 2446||FM Oleg Zaikov: 2376|
|NM Charles Riordan: 2326||FM Ron Simpson: 2346|
|NM Marc Esserman: 2307||NM Craig Jones: 2320|
4. Miami Sharks vs New York Knights 1.5 – 2.5 NY is out to avenge its sickening performance in round 1. Have a pre-match prep/strategy session, guys! Don’t play into the opponents’ strengths! Less talk and more pawns! More team and less individual! Prepare, prepare, prepare. JFern, this means more than bringing snacks.
Update – who the heck is on board 2 for Miami? The answer (or non-answer) impacts the result greatly:
||New York Knights|
|GM Julio Becerra: 2640||GM Pascal Charbonneau: 2524|
|FM Osmany Perea: 2453||IM Irina Krush: 2534|
|FM Charles Galofre: 2326||SM Gregory Braylovsky: 2445|
|NM Eric Rodriguez: 2242||NM Matthew Herman: 2271|
5. Chicago Blaze vs San Francisco Mechanics 1.5 – 2.5 Chicago is always competitive. Hopefully Shankland’s opponent will appear this week.
Staring at the actual rosters, I predict a minor “upset” in the form of a 2-2 tie.
|Chicago Blaze||San Francisco Mechanics|
|FM Florin Felecan: 2449||IM Josh Friedel: 2595|
|IM Emory Tate: 2392||IM Vinay Bhat: 2481|
|FM Mehmed Pasalic: 2375||FM Sam Shankland: 2364|
|IM Angelo Young: 2356||FM Daniel Naroditsky: 2321|
|Predicted Upset: 2
6. Tennessee Tempo vs Seattle Sluggers 1.5 – 2.5 Similar to the NY story, Seattle is out to redeem itself. But the road is not always easy to hoe against the Tempoiacs. Todd Andrews just needs to be a little more mindful of pins before going hogwild and taking juicy pawns that turn out to be poisoned. Let’s see if GM Jaan “Cornpone” Ehlvest enters the fray to push some pawns, chew some chaw, and choke down some hominy grits. I apologize in advance for the grotesque substitution of Alabama for Tennessee here. If Seattle is dead-set on not winning this match and being the Great Bust of 2008, I think they can succeed. Digression: unrelated to the team result (1-3), Readey missed a sweet mate on move 31 vs Lugo in Week 1.
Update with roster:- Seattle should cruise (but they have to do something about their graphic logo, the cartoony knight has a mentally ill expression):
|ennessee Tempo||Seattle Sluggers|
|FM Todd Andrews: 2350||GM Gregory Serper: 2592|
|FM Peter Bereolos: 2304||FM Slava Mikhailuk: 2437|
|FM John Bick: 2249||FM John Readey: 2296|
|FM Jerry Wheeler: 2204||NM Michael Lee: 2314|
7. Dallas Destiny vs Arizona Scorpions 2-2 If Levon (or another board 1 we choose to employ) can neutralize in the best style of Petrosian and our board 4 is solid. The hissing Scorpions will be quite happy to avoid being stepped out in this match (note, Scorpions sometimes survive a direct human step; they just don’t like being smashed by rocks very much).
Update with roster: This is going to be ultra-tense. I still see 2-2 as most likely. The pressure is really on our boards 2 and 4, well, all our boards really. Whoah. I am really at a loss, btw, to explain why other pundits such as the Lime, Youngovich, and the Sharmanator are picking us as favorites. I see it as completely equal.
|Dallas Destiny||Arizona Scorpions|
|IM Drasko Boskovic: 2504||IM Levon Altounian: 2535|
|IM John Bartholomew: 2488||FM Danny Rensch: 2411|
|FM Igor Schneider: 2396||FM Robby Adamson: 2377|
|WFM Bayaraa Zorigt: 2217||NM Warren Harper: 2351|
Tags: Absurd Chess Blogs, Bruci Lopez, Danny Rensch, insane bioniclime prediction, Jan Van De Mortel, Levon Altounian, Oleg Zaikov, Sam Shankland, Todd Andrews, USCL 2008, Warren Harper, Week 2 Predictions