Monday, September 10, 2007

Don't cry for me...

Poor Teddy Coleman, what did he do to deserve this?

First, he was the only member of his team, the Queens Pioneers, to do his job and win a game against Boston in last week's US Chess League match. Next, his game gets serious consideration in the Game of the Week voting, ultimately finishing third. So you'd think that everybody would be talking about him and how he played. Not so!

Instead, they're talking about his opponent -- that's right, the guy who lost. It got so bad that the commissioner said Teddy's game would have received his top vote for Game of the Week, if only Teddy hadn't won!
It's a real shame that Krasik didn't either win or draw this, because if he did I'm pretty sure it would have gotten my vote for game of the week.
At least Greg had the decency to recognize that Teddy was a participant in the game. The two other voters didn't even bother to mention his name at all.

Now, none of this is intended to disparage the game that Ilya played. It was remarkable and complex, and certainly escaped the understanding of this viewer. Nevertheless, doesn't it seem like Teddy deserves better?
Speaking of the Game of the Week voting, a Blitz-Pioneers game was also the second place finisher. As I anticipated, Christiansen-Ibragimov received serious consideration in the voting. Unfortunately for Larry, the voters felt that his opponent let him down by not playing well enough at the end. Then again, I'm sure that he and the team, and Blitz fans everywhere would rather have the win, than the award.
While a 2-0 start for the Blitz isn't likely to have surprised too many people, the same can't be said for the Philadelphia Inventors. The Inventors, back when they we were the Masterminds, were always a troublesome team that often played over their heads. However, without a legitimate first board, they often entered matches with a distinct disadvantage to overcome. With GM Kudrin at the top this year, things appear to be different -- at least so far. Nevertheless, the Blitz, who have never lost a match to Philadelphia, should prove to be a stern test.

With LarryC presumably unavailable due to the Rosh Hashana holiday, GM Eugene Perelshteyn will be leading the way for Boston this week. SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun and NM Denys Shmelov man the middle boards again, with NM Chris Williams returning, after a one week hiatus, for Board 4 duties. Here are the pairings (the Blitz have White on Boards 2 & 4):

GM Eugene Perelshteyn: 2601 vs. GM Sergey Kudrin: 2599
SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun: 2558 vs. IM Bryan Smith: 2446
NM Denys Shmelov: 2251 vs. NM Daniel Yeager: 2247
NM Chris Williams: 2175 vs. NM Elvin Wilson: 2240

Only JG has posted Week 3 predictions so far, and he expects a drawn match. I am, however, more optimistic about Boston's chances. Board 1 will, of course, be a competitive game; however, I like the Blitz's chances on both of the middle boards. Williams has been playing so well as of late, that I might even be inclined to say he has an edge as well, except for the fact the Wilson has frequently been a monster in league play, especially on Board 4. In fact, in 2005, Elvin was named to the 1st USCL All-Star team on the bottom board. Putting it all together, I'm looking for the Blitz to squeak out a 2.5-1.5 victory.

No live blogging this week at BCC Weblog, in fact, I won't even be available to watch the match live at all. We'll catch up with all the action next week.

BCC Weblog provides independent coverage of the United States Chess League. It is not affiliated with the USCL or the Boston Blitz.

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