Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Round 1 : Miami vs. Seattle

I had a running commentary going, but decided to abandon it for a couple of reasons. First, I came in late, basically getting home and mowing lawn. Second, this USCL is the weirdist thing because at the end I don't know if anything I wrote is relevant. So, I will just go with a quick wrap up

Board 1 appeared quite positive for Serper from the time I got in. He had a Knight on d4 and looked like he was going to dictate the pace of the game. I don't know if time shortness affected his play, but the position just switched from being completely in Black's control to a total grip for White. It seems to me that Serper played too quickly on the K-side (25...h5) without taking some precautions on the other side. A fine performance from Lopez

Board 2 Tangborn looked to be building a solid advantage, but slowly. Martinez found a continuation to create some complications, Eric came out with two minors for a rook and the Black heavy pieces buzzing around the d-file. I think somewhere Eric lost the thread as the next time Black had 3 passed pawns to go with the rook and White had no targets.

Board 3 This seemed to start out as a flashback 40 years to games played in the Northwest by a certain BC player who became a 3 volume legend. Then, Readey castled and it turned into a race. Funny enough Lugo snatched a Q-side pawn in passing, found a pretty good attacking theme only to have Readey respond with a very nice rearguard defense

Board 4 Sinanan played the White side of a Slav. The pieces were arranged ok, but White had a knight that couldn't find a really effective square. Both sides seemed to shuffle pieces for a while and then White pushed forward with f5 and then e5. This all happened without any proper preparation and lost a pawn. I suspect that the match situation affected Josh after that as the White Knight was just knocked off the board without a wimper.

A 3 1/2 - 1/2 loss! Ouch! I don't think anyone saw that coming. The funny thing is that the Sluggers appeared to be doing ok on the boards they lost on and then suddenly all of them went up in flames. It was like a total collapse. Very irregular.

I have said this before and guess it bares repeating. The Sluggers sometimes try to play a little too "finely". There is one thing that has become apparent about the USCL, you have to take the play to your opponent. There aren't many games where one player just outclasses another, so bringing the fight to the opponent tends to bring some advantage. When they can do that consistently it will make them much more of a contender than adding one GM or two.

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