Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And so it begins...

Hello there!

This is Edwin Dizon, friend of Eddie Chang and unofficial blogger for the Seattle Sluggers (why I'm not sure).

Small background on me is that I played chess back in high school, managed to be one of the better players in my grade level (not sure how), and after HS managed the Seattle HS Metro Chess league for about 10 years. Honestly when it comes to chess now, I'm on the outside looking in.

I'm interested to see how this league goes as this concept is rather interesting. When I was in college at Seattle U, we participated in a USCF collegiate internet chess league and it definitely was interesting to play against other colleges (even if at the time there were only 4 of us). Of course this league is something for the big shots around the country.

After perusing the site a little since I've been given this blogger status, there are a couple of things I'd like to comment on:

1) Unbalanced schedule - When NM Sharma was referring to intangibles, there was the mention of a harder schedule. This seemed a bit puzzling to me, so I went to the schedule. Specifically, I wonder how teams within the division either play once or twice. There are 10 weeks in the season and no byes. So why can't the teams play against each other in their divisions twice, once as white and once as black? Seems pretty simple to me. Otherwise, if you're going to have 10 weeks and play against teams in the other division, play 11 weeks instead, have a round-robin format and conglomerate everyone into one division.

2) Seattle's chip on its shoulder - As much as Seattleites may be nice and courteous, we resent the fact that for the most part we're ignored (ex. 2007 Mariners, Seahawks, all of Pac-10 if you want to include the west coast as well). So when we think we're slighted we tend to take it personally. Which is why when Seattle was ranked to finish 4th in the division, Eddie ended up taking it the way he did and from a glance of the prognostications and prior results, I might have done the same.

But as they say, "that's why we play the game", ne?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dear Mr. Sharma

Dear Mr. Sharma,

Wow, Seattle never gets any respect. Thats why we are here to prove everyone wrong. The Mariners never get any respect. Not until they won 116 games in 2001. And this year we are right behind the Angels and leading the wild card, and we still get no respect. Save goes for Seahawks. No one but us saw the potential that we had and predicted us to go the Super Bowl. The refs even had to rig the game so we wouldn't win. Maybe they had money on the games, like Donaghey. This is the second year in a row you have discounted us. This year you have us taking 4th, instead of the 3rd you predicted last year.

First off, I was unaware that we could recruit players from Canada. Marcel Milat lives here in Washington, but I would be more than happy to go recruit some guys from our neighbor to the north BC. We have good relationship with them, having an annual BC-WA match, so I'm sure some would be willing to come down to play. Especially with extremely low rated USCF ratings. (Greg: Is that ok?)

Second, for our fourth board dominance, expect it to continue. Unless you want to discount Josh Sinanan's run at the Far West Open, when he scored 3 draws in a row vs IM Zilberstein, GM Serper, and GM Kudrin. Throw in a win against IM Emory Tate this year, and you have a fourth board to be wary of. Or discount an improving Michael Lee who just seems to get stronger and stronger and continues to be dedicated to chess.

Lastly, you also addressed our lack of titled players. FM Loren Schmidt has 2 IM norms. FM Slava Mikhailuk is another 2400+ FM. And last year, Greg Shahade even contemplated giving IM Georgi Orlov an honorary USCL-GM title, because, according to his words, "There really is just a GM with an IM title."

Our goal this year is to win, and win it all. Again we are discounted by the nation, and again, we will prove them wrong.

Eddie Chang
Seattle Sluggers Manager

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Official Sluggers Announced

Ok, the 2007 roster has been announced. This year, they have added 2 alternate spots to the roster as well. The roster follows.

GM Greg Serper
IM Georgi Orlov
FM Slava Mikhailuk
FM Loren Schmidt
FM Marcel Milat
FM John Readey
NM Michael Lee
NM Josh Sinanan

We will be using the October 2006 ratings list, so we have a good set of underrated board 4s. I know people will look down on our roster because of the lack of GM/IMs, however I feel like people underestimate the strength of bottom boards. Look what we did on the shoulders of Michael and Nat last year. It is much harder to win on the top boards, and we had a rock on board one. We scored all our points on board 4, along with a stellar preformance from John Readey. On top of that, if 2 of our 4 FMs have 2400+ ratings and and I believe Loren even has 2 IM norms.

For those of you who don't know Josh, he is Seattle's newest master, after a great tournament season. This year he scored draws against GM Serper, GM Kudrin, IM Zilberstein, and a win over IM Emory Tate. He will also be filling in as my last year's role, the assistant manager.

I am looking forward to this season, and hope to take down a title for Seattle.

Eddie Chang
Seattle Sluggers Manager