Posts Tagged ‘Bruci Lopez’

The Fabulous 00s: USCL Week 5

September 22, 2008

In “Thoughts from a Bionic Lime“,a strange prediction is made in Baltimore-Chicago.
Here are the lineups.

Baltimore Kingfishers Chicago Blaze
FM Tegshsuren Enkhbat: 2446 FM Florin Felecan: 2449
IM Larry Kaufman: 2424 IM Emory Tate: 2392
FM Ray Kaufman: 2348 FM Mehmed Pasalic: 2375
NM Aaron Kahn: 2291 IM Angelo Young: 2356
Avg Rating: 2377 Avg Rating: 2393


I think its a bit early in the semester for Erenburg to be having midterms, so its a shame that he’s not on Board 1. Chicago pulls out a solid lineup and will burn the feathers off the birds.

Prediction: Baltimore 0.5 – 3.5 Chicago

That is an unlikely outcome.  Look for Baltimore to at least double or triple their predicted output.

Then the Lime gets too citrus-y in Miami-Dallas.

Miami Sharks
Tennessee Tempo
FM Bruci Lopez: 2486 GM Jaan Ehlvest: 2668
IM Blas Lugo: 2393 IM Ron Burnett: 2412
FM Osmany Perea: 2453 FM Peter Bereolos: 2304
NM Eric Rodriguez: 2242 FM John Bick: 2249
Avg Rating: 2394
Avg Rating: 2408

Quoth the Lime, MIAMI vs TENNESSEE (Monday)

Miami throws up their B-line up (B = Becerra-less) against the Tempo, probably assuming the Ehlvest wouldn’t play again. Wrong. The Tempo will pacify the Sharks like a Discovery Channel producer with a tranquilizer gun.

Prediction: Miami 1.5 – 2.5 Tennessee

Some comments:

A.  Miami made no such assumption

B. Their 3rd board is a moose (granted, this is a late lineup change that might have gone under the Lime’s radar)

C. Their 1st board is under-rated at this time control – Lime puts too much credence on static ratings.

Look for the Sharks to exceed expectations.

Miami vs Tennessee:  Narrowly Avoiding a Shark Bite

Here is GM Jaan Ehlvest’s second win in a row.  But as we will see, it didn’t go so swimmingly vs. the Shark.

Bruci Lopez (MIA) – Jaan Ehlvest (TEN)  Gurgenidze System

1. e4 g6 2. d4 d6 3. Nc3 c6 4. f4 d5 Needless to say, it’s a little bizarre for black to play 2…d6 and then 4…d5.

5. e5 h5 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Be3 e6 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 h4 10. Bd3 Nh6 11. O-O Nf5 12. Bf2 Nd7 13. Ne2 a5 14. b3 Ba3 15. c4 Kf8 16. Rab1 Kg7 17. Rfd1 Be7 18. Rdc1 Nb8 19. Kh2 Na6 20. Bxf5 exf5 Strange, 20…gxf5 is tidier. 21. Nc3 Nc7 22. cxd5 cxd5 To give black this lonely d-pawn is a big accomplishment for white. 23. Na4 Ra6 24. Nc5 Ra7 25. Rc2 b6 26. Na4 Ne6 So far white has conducted the game very well whereas black has made some strange moves.

Position after 26…Ne6.  The Shark misses the Bite.

27. Rbc1? Here is a move I bet white would like to try again.  The obvious 27.Rc6! b5 (27… Rb7 28. Rbc1 Ba3 (too late for this now!) 29. R1c2 Bb4 30. Nc3 Bxc3 31. R2xc3 Rd7 and black is groveling for a half point; white has a big edge) 28. Nc5 Bxc5 29. dxc5 Rc7 30. Rd6 Qa8 31. Rc1 and white is crushing.

27… Ba3 28. Rc8 The mistaken idea that accounts for white’s 27th.

28…Bxc1! Of course!  White winds up paralyzed.

29. Rxd8 Bxf4+30. Kg1 Rxd8 31. Bxh4 Rc8 32. Bf6+ Kh7 33. Nc3 Rac7 34. Ne2 Rc1+! 35. Nxc1 Rxc1+ 36. Kf2

Position after 36. Kf2.  Black to play and win.

36…Bh2? At the threshhold of of victory, a serious mistake.  The pleasing geometric 36… Bd2!  wraps it up. If 37. Qd3 (the toughest is 37. g3 Be1+ 38. Kf1 Bxg3+ 39. Kg2 Be1 40. Qf1 Bd2 41. Qf2 Rd1 42. Qf3 Re1 43. Be7 Re4 44. Qg3 Nf4+ 45. Kh1 Re3 but black still wins) 37… Be1+ 38. Kf3 Rc3 and wins.

37. g4! Nf4 38. gxf5 gxf5 39. Bg5? Losing.  White can save it unexpectedly with 39. Bd8! hitting b6.  For example, the game-idea 39…Bg1+ 40. Kg3 Rc3 doesn’t get the full point because white achieves a classic domination of the bishop over the knight in the liquidation sequence.  After 41. Qxc3 Ne2+ 42. Kg2 Nxc3 43. Kxg1 Nxa2 44. Bxb6 Nc1 45. Bxa5 Ne2+ 46. Kf2 Nxd4 47. Bb6 Nxb3 48. Ke2 and it’s a draw.

39… Bg1+ 40. Kg3 Rc3 Now black wins. 41. Bxf4 Bxd4 42. Qxc3 Bxc3 43. a4 Kg6 44. Kf3 Bd4 45. Bg3 Bc5 46. Bf4 Kh5 47. Bg3 Kg5 48. h4+ Kg6 49. Kf4 d4 50. Bf2 d3 51. Be3 Bxe3+ 0-1

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And for Something Different

The Fabulous 00s: The 2008 USCL Round 2

August 30, 2008

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.

“Patrick Wolff said…
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.”

Greg Braylovskiy said…
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.

Round 2

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
Predicted: 2

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
Predicted: 2.5

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:

Miami Sharks
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
Predicted: 1.5

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
Predicted: 1

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