Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Boston Blitz take on New Jersey KOs

In local chess news, tonight the Boston Blitz take on the New Jersey KOs in a critical US Chess League battle for both teams. The Blitz really need to win to try to keep pace with the upstart newcomers to the USCL scene, the undefeated New England Nor'easters. The KOs need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

New Jersey Knockouts vs Boston Blitz
KOs have white on Boards 1 +3

GM Joel Benjamin: 2614 vs GM Larry Christiansen: 2665
IM Mackenzie Molner: 2548 vs GM Eugene Perelshteyn: 2568
IM Albert Kapengut: 2372 vs NM Vadim Martirosov: 2248
Anna Matlin: 2078 vs NM Evan Rabin: 2227
Avg Rating: 2403 Avg Rating: 2427

The Blitz have an overall ratings advantage, but don't let that fool you-- most of that comes from a lopsided matchup on Board 4 plus marginal plusses on Boards 1+2.

The marquee matchup on the top board transports us to the 80s, when GM Joel and GM Larry square off. Based on the matchups, a win for Joel appears critical, while Larry would probably be happy with a draw, especially with the Black pieces.

On Board 2, the Blitz hope that GM Eugene Perlshteyn's GM title can outclass IM Molner's IM title, even though they have similar ratings. Molner also has a good record in the USCL, so this one's a tossup, with a slight advantage to Eugene with the White pieces, where is record in the league is very good (excepting against a certain GM Pascal Charbonneau from the team-that-should-not-be-named).

On Board 3, IM Albert Kapengut must be a favorite over the Blitz's Vadim Martirosov. But Vadim has proven his staying power in this league with some great results. He'll be looking at Boards 1+2 late in the game to determine if a draw is good enough for the team, or if he needs to go all out for the win. IM Kapengut is 3-0 this season, so the Blitz have a tough matchup here.

On Board 4, the Blitz's Evan Rabin plays Anna Matlin. This is the most lopsided of the ratings advantages (but only 100 points or so) , and the Blitz must be eyeballing a win from Evan on this board. Let's hope that the pressures of Brandeis haven't built up too much yet.

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