Thursday, October 1, 2009

Black is Black

Hi Sluggers fans, I have the week 5 wrapup of the Sluggers match with Tennessee. Before we get started I need to ask Dean Wormer... er I mean the Commish to notify the local transit folks about the USCL schedule so that our bus drivers know that it is ok to excede the posted speed limit on Wednesday nights during the season. I was a couple of hours late for the start of the match because of this and want to apologize to anyone trying to find the start on Twitter. To the match...

My previous post explained why this was going to be a difficult match for the Sluggers, so no need to rehash. Just watch the details, like my dad told me "the devil is in the details".

Bd. 1 Seattle's lone GM Serper played the White side of the Nimzo Indian defense versus GM Ehlvest. A pretty book type line with 12... g6 being new. A small exchange of barbs occured with white's d4 going in exchange for Black's g6 and the GM's went to a perpetual. After the exchange on e6 at move 15 Black is looking to get Qh4 in, so White just played safe. I arrived only for the final half dozen or so moves of this game.

Bd. 4 This was finished when I arrived. An old g3 line against the Taimanov Sicilian. It looked like Justice was much better prepared than Sinanan as White gained quite an easy advantage. The reason I won't comment on preparation is that the White moves are not too difficult and could have just been OTB inspiration. Anyway, from a distance I think White could have made life quite a lot easier at move 18 by playing 18. Bxd7 Bxd7 19. Ne4 Qc6 20. Nf6+ Kh8 21. Nxd7 and it looks like Black is still going down the ex, but White will have a lot fewer issues later on. In the game Sinanan was able to drum up quite a good initiative for the ex and turned it into a point.

Now we come to the games that I saw a fair amount of

Bd. 3 A slightly offbeat opening choice saw Black's dark square bishop end up on c3 and it would draw a lot of attention. The only place I might question the opening is at move 10 where White might have better than Re1. As the game went, the sector in the square d4/a4/a1/d1 became kind of a sinkhole. Some adventurous play by both sides ended with White a full rook down, but trapping Black's queen. The price would be the other rook, so Rohonyan played to make the best effect of it. Unfortunately she become a bit too embroiled in improving things that she allowed Bick to save the queen. Some off hand attempts followed, but Black eventually picked up the point.

Bd. 2 With a GM facing an FM this appeared to be the most favorable board for the Tempo. A Rauzer Sicilian was played and followed several games up to the 18th move. Shabalov is known to work quite a bit on his openings, so there is no way of knowing where his prep ended. Playing to get the Black king in the center Shabalov sac'd the exchange on f5. As the game progressed it appeared that any initiative gained from the sac was short lived as Slava took control. With both sides short of time Black just wedged forward and was able to pick up the full point! A most unexpected result.

There you go, the details. In my prediction I did pick a draw on first board and suggested that a point for Tennessee on second wasn't a given, I didn't see how close Seattle would be to losing on 4th board nor the insanity that would appear on 3rd. Details, I tell you details. What I really didn't see was White scoring 1/2 point out of the match! Normally a 3 1/2 out of 4 performace would be something unusual, but Seattle had a 3 1/2 match for Black versus Arizona and this rounds Philly - Queens match went them one better with a 4-0 shutout for Black!

So, until me next slow moment ... have a nice day and ttyl

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