Tuesday, November 01, 2011

New England Nor'easters Play for a Playoff spot, WEDNESDAY!

Dear fair weather chess fans!

Let's face it-- you haven't been watching the US Chess League this year like you did in the past. The Boston Blitz hightailed it to Providence, R.I., effectively destroying their fanbase. It didn't help that IM Esserman's games involved 3 draws, not a psycho-gambit in the bunch. The New England Nor'easters followed up their amazing undefeated season by failing to win in their first 4 matches. So you cut and ran. I get you.

But listen!

The Red Sox imploded and after four hours of 'breaking news' interviews with Epstein, Grady Little (Whoops! I meant Francona), and the binge drinkers in the bullpen, you are likely fed up with any more baseball.

What's more!

If you thought Tom Brady must have watched Tim Tebow's game tape for pointers before he got manhandled by the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, you probably can't stand any of the National Concussion League.
I guess you could watch thrilling coverage of the NBA lockout. Or hockey pre-season games--there is always the, ahem, Bruins (who, even as Champs, will never fire up these ice hockey veins).

Or! Or! Or! You could come and watch the New England Nor'easters at the Boylston Chess Club on Wednesday at 7:30PM as they enter the final game with a chance at REDEMPTION! COMEBACK! PLAYOFFS! GREATNESS!

That's right, while you were fair weathering it up at home, you have missed the New England Nor'easters scrape and claw their way into playoff contention. It is all on the line Wednesday, when they take on the Baltimore Kingfishers. They will have to leave everything they have out there on the chessboard to make their playoff dreams come true (and need only a little help from spoilers, but never mind that!)

Here is the lineup:

Baltimore Kingfishers vs. New England Nor'easters
GM Giorgi Margvelashvili: 2538 vs. GM Sam Shankland: 2624
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat: 2426 vs. IM Robert Hungaski: 2621
NM Jared Defibaugh: 2363 vs. FM Braden Bournival: 2396
FM Ralph Zimmer: 2280 vs. NM Mika Brattain: 2208
Avg Rating: 2402 vs. Avg Rating: 2462

Doin' a little Moneyball math, we can see that the New England Nor'easters have a slight ratings edge on the Baltimore squad. Furthermore, I'm quite sure that both Hungaski and Shankland have very impressive Win Shares, if I knew how to calculate that stuff. After watching Brad Pitt lead a scrappy Oakland team to a scrappy loss in the playoffs back in '01/'02, I also know that FM Bournival has a high On Base Percentage, which, I'm told, is the key stat that wins games, which is why Scott Hatterberg made the highest salary in baseball back then.

Another key factor for those A's was that side-arm pitcher with the wacky knuckledragging, almost underhand, toss from the mound. Maybe Mika still has time to alter his pitching mechanics for this all-important game-- 1.h3 anyone?

Why don't you come cheer on (quietly, let's not distract them mid-move) the New England team on Wednesday? As usual, we will be projecting the games onto the wall. Lots of us will pretend we know something about chess while some resident masters give us the real scoop on all the action.

You better show up now, or you will be mighty embarrassed during the playoffs when you pretend you were a fan all season long! Show up Wednesday night for a little fair-weather camouflage.

These guys are the Nor'easters-- they are all about rain and sleet and days off work and that nasty stuff we had last weekend.


RuralRob said...

I'm soooo confused... Perhaps you should have made this more clear by throwing in some local hockey and soccer references as well. :-)

But seriously, Go Nor'Easters! Go Shanky!!!

VerityCawley said...

A few of us have been watching week to week faithfully in silence, I think you aren't hearing as much hoopla because the bad apples were more involved last year. I will be sure to watch tomorrow as I really believe New England will make a clean sweep of Baltimore (maybe a draw on board 3), and Boston will make at least a solid draw with NJ.

I think Sam Shankland and Robert Hungaski are just better players than their opponents, and it appears Braden Bournival has lost the least amount of games on the team so I'm hoping he can draw/win, and Mika Brattain has had an unfortunate time so far but everyones losing streak has to end and I think he will pull off an impressive win.

Going from the bottom up with Boston, I think Christopher Gu is a better player than his opponent and will win easily, I think Ilya Krasik will surprise many and pull an upset win over Albert Kapengut or atleast a draw, unfortunately I see Jan van de Mortel losing to Boris Gulko, and then a draw with Eugene Perelshteyn and Joel Benjamin. I would have played Larry Christiansen for such an important game, or Jorge Sammour-Hasbun, he's been playing with the moves and skill of Sergey Karjakin, I don't know what gave him such a remarkable improvement this year, but I would definitely use it to Bostons advantage and have him play Top Board for some more dominating wins. I will cross my fingers that Eugene Perelshteyn will surprise me!

Go New England Woop Woop!

Doc_Kinne said...

I'm excited to be there tonight, as well as mandated to be there. I have the honor tonight of being the USCL Arbiter on the NE end.

Come folks! There will be donuts!! :-)

Anonymous said...

What's the USCL?


Ken said...

Your mission, Mr. Phelps, is to forget all you have ever known.