Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rd. 3 Seattle vs. Arizona

Week 3 and a matchup of two undefeated teams. The odd part is, Seattle hasn't won any matches yet! Each team has reason to feel that an undefeated streak through the 3rd week of the season is likely.

Seattle can feel confident that Nakamura on board one is not an underdog even with the black pieces. This limits the match to a 3 board affair with Seattle having white on 2 of those boards. It is just the way that the rating system and GM's work I guess.

Board 2 is the most intriguing, only because of the history from the end of last season between Mikhailuk and Ginsburg. A couple of different moves in that last round and Arizona would have gone to the playoffs. Ginsburg will likely be looking for a bit of payback and is unlikely to give anything away. If there is any place where Arizona might expect kharma to work for them it is right here.

Rensch on board 3 has the only rating advantage listed ( to be honest, the USCL rules on ratings doesn't seem to reflect the numbers posted on the pairing sheet ). Lee is improving, but hasn't shown his best in the USCL. This is definitely the board where Arizona can look to make hay.

Leo Martinez is going hoping to use some of the expertise he has in match predictions to work some magic on board 4. On the Seattle side Josh Sinanan has yet to bust out, much like Lee, and is looking for any opportunity.

The match looks like a real landslide for Seattle, but don't be fooled. The Scorpions have a lot to play for, an undefeated string this season as well as some bad luck from last season. Arizona can win this match on the bottom 3 boards, it is very possible. For Seattle the season so far has been a 50/50 proposition... that is get 50 percent on the top 2 boards and 50 percent on the bottom two. To me this is not a surprise, I has a brief conversation with some of the Sluggers about a month before the season and suggested that it didn't matter how well they did on the top boards, that they needed better play on the lower boards. Doesn't seem to have rung through to them yet. I am going to predict a tie, that way everybody stays undefeated and can wait for next week.

Message to Sluggers fans everywhere, especially my friend Mulfish. I have set up a Twitter account HA81chess where I am going to try to keep up on the match. Not sure how it will work, I don't type very fast any more, but at least it will keep the news fresh and the Commish won't have problems linking to it. Just go out to and look for HA81chess, that is wher I should be. I will have a post match wrap on this blog right here.

Ok, see you all later


EJ said...

Looking forward to the match. It looks to be a tough one for both teams. A tie seems like a fair prediction.

Mulfish said...

Allow me to play devil's advocate here. Since most of my predictions and most of my reasoning has been wrong so far, I'll just fly by the seat of my pants instead of trying to use logic.

Nakamura was unrecognizable last week and got very, very lucky. I still think he'll win, but if his play is as uninspired this week he should not expect lightning to strike twice. He won't need it to. And if I'm wrong on this game, he'll still draw.

Mikailuk has been a consistent bright spot in the past, but I expect the IM to hold the draw. Since I've been wrong on just about everything this season, I just hope I'm wrong the right way.

Lee has shown great promise but has also shown weakness towards the end of the games. He's going to have to show me something to get me on his bandwagon. Until then, I've got to pick the guy with the stinger.

Sinanan also needs to show me something with the white pieces after his week 1 failure to close. His opponent has yet to score a USCL win. Until this week.

All this adds up to a Scorpion victory. But fortunately, I'm always wrong, so the Sluggers will win the match by 2.5-1.5.

Mulfish said...

Enjoyed the tweets. Since it's pushing midnight, though, I can't wait up any longer. Have to read the rest in the morning. At least I got Nakamura's result right. Or is that wrong?

Anonymous said...

um, I can't find you on twitter.

HA81 said...

Mulfish, I think you have found the formula! Go with an absolutely half baked theory, create some logic to back it up and then go in the completely polar opposite direction! Fantastic! I just found that Hershey's bar I thought I lost 2 weeks ago! Great!!!!

Not to anonymous, search for ha81chess all one word, I found me, Mulfish found me, I must be there! Now, how do I find you?