Monday, September 15, 2008

Week 4-- New Jersey KOs vs Boston Blitz

Wednesday night's KOs vs. Blitz match is fast upon us. You know what that means--- it is time for me to preview the match, make a few predictions, and stir up the masses of comments.

Since my last predictions were so sensitive, this week I am going to hide the predictions in various ways until the night of the match. If you've ever read Godel,Escher,Bach, by Douglas Hofstadler (I highly recommend it for nerdtastic reading fun!), you might be able to decipher some of my predictions. Or, if you are paying close enough attention....

Here are the rosters this eek:

1. GM Joel Benjain 2644 vs. GM Larry Christansen 2670
2. IM Den Ippolito 2500 vs. SM Deny Shmelov 2446
3. NM Mackezie Molner 2397 vs. NM Charles Riodan 2326
4. Jayson Lian 2142 vs. NM Mar Esserman 2307

Since the boards look very evenly matched, I think most people might think a draw.
However, there is a difference on board 4, where I think it is clear that
Marc has a distinct ratings advantage over his opponent. Marc has also been
eating up the competition lately, having a strong New England Masters tournament
last month. Marc barely missed an IM norm, with a disappointing last day
obliterating his chances after good draws against the top board Kritz and also IM
Voshva, who was having a good event as well.

Up on the top board, Joel and Larry square off in a classic battle. Where should I
put my money? My database shows these two, as you might expect, have
split their matches very evenly over the years. We must also consider they they
enjoyed a huge success at the Curacao tournament last month. Looking at the game
they played in that event is not informative, however. On Wednesday, when they
square off on Board 1, I predict they will go all out. Will Larry be happy to

draw, given the Black pieces and the makeup of the other boards? Or will Larry
eye the slight Blitz underdogs on boards 2 and 3 and press harder for a win in
an otherwise even or a slightly worse position? We certainly know Larry can
notch a win on Board 1 against anyone, even with the Black pieces.

I THINK LARRY IS GOING TO DRAW, but who really knows. I'm not Nostradamus!

If Board 2 were a arm wrestling match, the Knockouts would have a huge advantage.

Remember, though, that Shmelov has been very good to the Blitz over the chessboard.

What about Board 3? Charles has been busy with Law School, so his chess playing has been on the backburner. NM Molner, however, has been only so-so in his US Chess League history while Charles has pulled out sone tuugh wins when the Biitz needed him ip the past. Games But, Watch out, Charles. A closar look shows Molner's 3.5 out of 9 history is mostly due to a poor 2006 season. Last year he imptoved a lot Molner's USCL history. This season, Molner is 1.5 out of 3, losing only to the strong IM Voshva.

So there you have it. My predictions of course are not affiliated with the Boston Blitz, and I am only making them in good fun. Good luck to the Blitz this week.

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