Some years ago a local comedian stated that being a sports fan in Seattle is "like loving a woman you can't stand!" I won't lie, I have only been about 70 percent Seattle fan when it comes to sports teams, what I have noticed is the number of deja vu experiences concerning Seattle sports. Well, here is another one. The Seahawks played Chicago on Sunday without their 5 best players and lost, now Seattle plays Tennessee without there top GM. I tell you, it is eerie! To be fair, the Seahawks should have won, but there is that deja vu thing again. Back to reality. To my eye this match appears to confirm how strong the league has become. Despite drawing with West leading, and perenial powerhouse, San Francisco plus defeating the 2 time defending champions from Dallas this could be the Sluggers toughest match yet! Think about it, besides not having Nakamura Seattle has the challenge of facing 2 GM's and Tennessee hasn't lost to Seattle since 2007! That's right, last season the 2 matches were a tie and a Tennessee victory. All of this adds up to a load of trouble for the Sluggers. Now, take a deep breath and work with me here...
We can break down the match to top boards and bottom boards. Tennessee definitely has the advantage on the top boards with 2 world class GM's, but how much of an advantage? Serper is not chopped liver and certainly has the ability to score on first board. Slava is quite capable of scoring against GM's on board 2, but we shouldn't sugar coat that he is a big underdog against Shabalov. On the bottom 2 boards WGM Rohonyan is experienced and with the white pieces a probable favorite against Bick, while Josh has a rating advantage against Justice. My feeling is that the Sluggers will get 1/2 point out of the top 2 and either Rohonyan or Sinanan will win for sure. Where the match comes down is whether Seattle gets both points on the bottom 2 or not. Josh with Black concerns me a little, but he did win last week. Rohonyan is a pretty solid bet to at least draw. I want to say that Seattle wins to keep up with the West leaders when Slava gets an unexpected plus result, but I am going to predict a 2-2 tie.
In the other Wednesday matches: I like Philly over Queens based on better results with White, New Jersey will defeat Chicago in a close match, I mean time trouble on 2 boards and nobody can keep up close. It seems like all of Chicago's matches are like that. San Francisco will defeat the Knights for a very simple reason, the Knights historically don't come totally to life until the 6th week and finally Dallas over Arizona only because it will cause more confusion in the playoff race.
That's all for now, but keep a look out for my posts... stuff just flies into my head and I have to write it, so this blog could be updated at literally any second!
Have a nice day and ttyl