Monday, September 08, 2008

Jason Makes Week 3 USCL Blitz predictions

Tonight, The Boston Blitz come into their match 2-0 against the 1-1 Dallas Destiny. Everyone who followed the USCL last year knows that Dallas defeated Boston in the Finals to take the coveted 1st place honors. The big sparks in that matchup came in the game between Jorge Sammour-Hasbun and IM Kuljasevic, which was voted a well deserved Game of the Year, when Jorge repelled Kuljasevic's savage piece sacrifice with creative play of his own.

Game of the Year

How will this match-up play out this year? Here are the lineups:

1. SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun: 2576
2. IM David Vigorito: 2431
3. SM Denys Shmelov: 2446
4. NM Ilya Krasik: 2144

1.IM Davorin Kuljasevic: 2528
2.IM John Bartholomew: 2488
3.FM Igor Schneider: 2396
4.WFM Bayaraa Zorigt: 2217

On Board 1, how can I go against Jorge's impressive play? In week one, he played a beautiful game against New York Knights Alexander Shabalov, in a game that not only won game of the week but will likely be a strong contender for game of the year honors. Shabalov-Sammour-Hasbun,Game of the Week. However, Kuljasevic is a tough opponent with an excellent USCL record of 75%. Still, I have seen Jorge play, and I must predict Boston Blitz 1.0 - Dallas Destiny 0.0

Board 2 poses a tough call. David Vigorito is a USCL newcomer this year, after being passed up for last year's roster. He held a comfortable draw in Week 1. John Bartholomew is a strong player who just passed the 2500 mark at this year's World Open. Although he continues to play strong chess, he has not been playing very much (two events this year by my count), and his record in the league is a so-so 46%. Still, he gets the White pieces and plays 1.Nf3 -- watch out! I'm going to predict this one turns into a draw after David saves a tricky position. Boston Blitz 1.5- Dallas Destiny 0.5

Board 3 has Denys Shmelov vs. Igor Schneider. Denys is a fantastic Board 3 for the Blitz, and he has only lost two games (in the playoffs) by my count. Igor has just climbed back over the 2400 mark, but he has been playing even less than Bartholomew. Denys has a slight tendancy to cough up some draws, however, and I am going out on a limb to call this one a draw. Boston Blitz 2.0 - Dallas Destiny 1.0

Board 4 has Ilya Krasik face off against FM Bayaraa Zorigt. One of the Blitz mainstays, Ilya has been the go-to anchor Board 4 for the Blitz in the past, although he was mostly replaced by an in form Chris Williams last year. Although Ilya won his game against the Knights in week one,

Krasik-Rosenberg Week 1

I think it is safe to say that his opponent provided great help. I don't know anything about Zorigt except that she beat Chris Williams last year in the key Final game. She also took down a strong Arizona player, Warren Harper (2300+) last week. I predict that Zorigt is going to do the same to Krasik this week, thus tying the match. Boston Blitz 2.0-- Dallas Destiny 2.0

Tune in tonight to see one of the exciting matches of the year. Later this week, I'll recap how my predictions have succeeded or failed.

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