Sunday, August 29, 2010

Preview: Will the No'easters defang the Cobras?

Monday at 7PM, the Boylston Chess Club in Davis Square hosts the New England Nor'easters match against the Carolina Cobras. Come and enjoy the witty banter and live analysis session.

Here is the lineup:

(Cobras have White on Board 1+3
Carolina Cobras New England Nor'easters
Board 1 IM Jonathan Schroer: 2437 IM Robert Hungaski: 2520
Board 2 FM Ron Simpson: 2330 IM David Vigorito: 2524
Board 3 NM Chris Mabe: 2244 FM Charles Riordan: 2397
Board 4 NM Craig Jones: 2286 NM Carey Theil: 2251
Avg Rating: 2324 Avg Rating: 2423

Here are my Board by Board predictions.

But first, a recap of the Blog Post of the Week contest. As I now understand it, a torrent of wacky, witty repartee, a hive of hyperactive hyperlinks, and a bevy of glib prose littered with literary allusions, irony, and gratuitous Krasik baiting (don't the judges appreciate the bodily harm I risk?!) just is not enough to win. Clearly, what the judges want is more Deep Rybka "chess analysis", "videos", "photos", and "player interviews". So this week, I'm going to give it 110%, I'm going to leave everything I have out there in the blogosphere, I'm going to strive to hit sports cliche after sports cliche.

Board 1 IM Schroer vs. IM Hungaski

Hungaski played such a milky smooth win with the White pieces last week that it will be hard to predict anything other than another win for him. But let's turn to some computer chess analysis of the game they haven't played yet to make this prediction easier. To do this, I took the moves from Schroer's game last year against Joel Benjamin and I took the moves from an Hungaski game against Leinier Dominguez, and made them play each other.

Schroer-Hungaski (pre-game analysis)
1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 An unusual plan. 4...Nfd7 5.Bg2 c5 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 too slow. White is already in good shape. 8.b3 b5 Hanging the d pawn. 9.Bb2 eschewing the d pawn for equality. 9...b4 Now White makes an unusual plan-- capturing his own Knight. 10. Bxc3?! Crazytown now ensues. 10....Qa5 After the error by White, Black is a gentleman and doesn't take the Bishop. 11.Qd2 Nb6 12.Qe3 Bxc5!? 13.Bh3 Qxc5? 14.Qxf3 Ne7 15.Qd3 Bd7 16.f3 Qxb6 17.Kh1 0-0-0 18.Bg2 18...e to f5 In time trouble, Black knocked over a pawn, then replaced it on the f5 square by mistake. 19.Qe3 f6 20. Ng5!!

And White sneaks a new Knight onto the Board, threatening the nasty fork with Nf7. 20.... fxe5? Hungaski tries to take the Knight.... but moves the pawn the wrong direction. The game then devolves into a blitz mess of flying pieces and knocked over pawns.

How to assess this mess of a game? On the one hand, White has an edge in the final position before the time trouble. On the other hand, White missed many chances to go up a queen, and he showed a lack of chess understanding by capturing his own pawn. The only fair conclusion is a draw.

Board 2- IM Vigorito vs. FM Simpson.

Here is a video of a Carolina Cobra:

Here is a video of a Noreaster at Wildwood:

Which looks cooler to you? Vigorito wins on Board 2.

Board 3: Mabe vs. Riordan

Instead of predicting this game, I will have an interview with Charles Riordan, based on past conversations I've had with him over the years.

Me: Charles, remember how when we met, you were a 1900 player and I was a 1900 player? And now, you are a 2450 player, and I am barely a 2000 player? How did that happen?
Charles: I can read chess opening books like novels.
Me: You also like to read crime novels, don't you?
Charles: Yes.
Me: How is Law School going?
Charles: It's going great, thanks for asking.
Me: Well, good luck this week. Any last thoughts?
Charles: I am going to leave everything I have out there on the chessboard.

With a 'tude like that, I predict a Charles victory! Nor'easters go up 2.5-0.5

Board 4 Theil vs. Jones
Krasik loses.
Wait, sorry, a little bit of typing automatica, there! Actually, this is a tough call. Carey is a good player, but Craig Jones has been a solid Board 4 for the Cobras for years. How will Carey do on his USCL debut? I think he will be afraid to give any preparation to his teammates, as they are his competitors in the upcoming Boylston Chess Club Championship. Therefore, he will play some inferior stuff he dregged out of the Russian Computer Openings project, leaving him to struggle for a draw. Which........ he will get!

Here is a photo of Carey:

Yea! Another rosy prediction for the Nor'easters. Come watch live or on ICC to see if my predictions hold up.

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