Monday, October 12, 2009


Many tasks at hand. Of course, it was a day off and some how there were always lots of tasks for a day off. He glanced out the window as the view was filled with a sudden burst of sunshine. "Check the USCL first!", his mind concluded the best first step. Checking for updates and rereading posts for new comments there was one thing that was fairly obvious, either the USCF or the Commish was going to have to make some sort of ruling about the consumption of donuts . "Quite a change in a week, the Knockouts have gone from looking for a record 6-0 start to worrying about fried pastries." His direction of thought jumped to the changes of the past week. "Not an unusual result in the league, nobody got 3/4 of a point for almost winning or anything like that" , his face changed expression as his eyes squinted "Four-to Niners?" The mind would be boggled. Such things didn't happen in a universe directed by string theory, only in the universes of upside down gravity. "NO! There is the clue!" Yes, 429 was a special number in his memory. As a youngster his mother had taught him about the odds in Vegas, where they happened to live, and one of the things she ingrained in him was that you would never see a smaller number listed first, " 2 to 1 you will see, 3 to 1 sometimes, even 7 to 2, but never a smaller number first like 4 to 9". He could here her words in his mind, those exact words, 4 to 9!. It was mom letting him know that she was well. Having been on the run for that whole "Yes, we produce wonderful dry wines in Washington state" fiasco. Everyone knows that 'Dry" and "Washington" can't be used together. "Thanks Mom" he thought. Now, there are matchups to consider.

New York versus Philadelphia looks pretty easy. "Of course I will root for the Inventors first board, I remember him as a fine lad in Alaska, scratched arm and all", yet that won't change the outcome. The Knights are picking up momentum and will win this one easily
Carolina and Dallas, " Poor scheduling committee, didn't have a clue" Carolina has run completely out of magic dust and the Destiny are trying to get out of the rear view mirror in the West playoff race. Dallas will win, by the minimum, but will win
Wednesday night has only in division matches for each side on Wednesday
Boston and Queens. His head turned for an instant as a could blocked the sunlight for a moment. Boston would be the obvious pick, obvious to those who didn't observe. The Blitz know they have a big match next week and could be looking ahead, not really very likely as the Boston players seemed to focus on their immediate surrounding quite well. No, there are 2 factors to consider. Queens took a hard loss last week where a tie seemed almost certain, this is the point where they need to make some advances in the standings. Combine that with the most recent trend, Red Sox swept in playoffs and Patriots defeated by some oversized ponies, and you have the makings of a surprise result. I can't pick Queens to win because that would have too dramatic an effect on next weeks predictions (how many of us think Boston would lose 2 in a row?). Tie
The Knockouts face the Kingfishers. Baltimore isn't fielding there best team, so their chances go way down. The Knockouts get back on track.
Chicago is kind of like the little train that can't. Their lineup jumps around too much. The Tempo have their GM's on hand and will win easily. Board 3 will be the focus for much of this match as Bick and Young are possibly the 2 best board 3's . "That is another change" he thought, "Arun is back?"
Sf and Arizona face off. The Mechanics have a problem, a simple big problem. They have too many GM's! Anytime that the Mechanics have Donaldson on 2nd board it means that a bunch of their GM's are busy. Arizona has a problem, they don't have Ramirez playing this week. The obvious thought would be that the Mechanics still have more talent, but the Scorpions are coming off their win over the Knockouts. Teams that have problems are usually lucky to tie, so I think both teams will be lucky this week.
"Finally, the Seattle match" he peers at the names while his mind races to the donut dish. He nodded as he noticed Nakamura would have white and possibly a little bit to play for, considering what happened between these teams in last years playoffs. Sinanan on 4 has been pretty close to a rock. "That has been a real surprise" he sipped some coffee. "Milat is making his appearance for the season, very clever!" Weighing things up a strange feeling came to him. " Miami often has young underrated players on the lower boards, but Marcel is very solid and Josh is playing well. Seattle has the advantage there" another chocolate donut, " Nakamura is not likely to base anything on payback, but is the better player and trying to get past Slava is like trying to climb over a brown bear" his fingers felt a bit numb. Quickly he jumped to the season schedule. "All the matches are tough, pretty even league. Still, if the Sluggers get past this match the rest of the division will be racing with one leg tied behind their backs". How could he do it? This was sure to be a hard match, but logic was in charge. "Logic, the thinking man's way of explaining the obvious!" he whispered. Yes, it was time. "Seattle will win this match, probably 3-1, but a simple win will be enough". There, he had said it. No way to go back now. It was certainly quite a change from the week before, predicting a Seattle victory, but it was only a change in perseption. Gods be damned, it was the right prediction and he knew it. Still, the chocolate didn't taste right...

All the best to whoever reads this, to GM Joel Benjamin who has proven that the best players do read the blogs (sort of), to all the guys in the Omega Theta Pi house, Dean Wormer and of course to "mom" in 429.


Mulfish said...

I miss the days when we posted our Slugger comments on Then I could initiate the discussion, while here I have to wait for you to post so I can reply. Fortunately, you don't keep me waiting very long.

For tonight's matches, the only real suspense will be whether we can have two 4-0 matches on the same day. Probably not, but either match could go that way. This is the week for the big "D". My guess is Carolina scrapes out a point somewhere, and the Inventors manage to hold one draw.

Fortunately, Wed night will be far more exciting.

Boston-Queens features tossups on the bottom three boards, while Christianson is a solid favorite on Bd 1. That will be just enough for the win, even though Queens has the only "D" player on their side.

Baltimore may weasel out 1.5 on the bottom boards, but even if they do that won't be enough to offset the Knockout's power on top. NJ by two, with Baltimore "D"riving to victory on board 4.

The Tempo could conceivably sweep this match. They won't, but a two point victory will be enough to leave them on the fringes of contention in the West. Shabalov will finally get on track, which is bad news for the rest of the division.

At their best, San Francisco is hard to beat. They aren't at their best this week. The rule of "D" only clarifies matters on board 4. On Board 2 we get to find out if it's better to put your "D" at the beginning or use it on the last name. Or not. It's a draw. On Board 3, the "D"aniels are evenly matched as well. So it all comes down to board 1. The Stingers have a higher rated, lower titled player. No guidance there. Since there is no "D", the attacker will win. Can Bhat sieze the initiative and tie the match? Last year Rogelio played the Exchange Lopez against Vinay, using the unusual 5. Nc3. They drew. The next week he tried it again, against Becerra, again sharing the point. All this tells me that no one will end up attacking anyone, and thus the lack of "D" won't matter. They draw, and Arizona wins the most exciting match of the night.

OK, I've put off the Slugger's match as long as I can. Becerra will slow down the Nakamura Express, but he won't stop it. Slava is solid, and I don't see him losing even with Black. Bd. 3 is impossible to predict, so I won't give the nod to either player. That leaves it all up to board 4, where Sinanan needs to win with Black to secure the match. He's playing a USCL rookie, but not not a kid. Josh will do the job. If he doesn't, I still think one of the top three boards will show everyone I'm too conservative. Sluggers win yet another squeaker and strengthen their grip on the top spot in the West.

Hopefully Thursday morning I'll wake up and find that my predictions did not earn - a "D".

Mulfish said...

OK, that "D" grade on predictions is starting to look optimistic after teh Monday matches. I hope some measure of normality returns on Wednesday.

HA81 said...

Well Mulfish, you know that people think that Robert Louis Stephenson was Scottish, but actually I believe the author of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde" was from New York. I really don't have any way to explain their up and down results. I knew that making my prediction, but opted to overlook it. Actually, their team seems to do best when Charbonneau or Krush is playing, so maybe they get handicapped on that? The Dallas loss was more surprising to me. I had a feeling that Carolina was going to win a surprise match, but after getting swept last week I didn't think they would do it here. The thing that really worries me is that Miami had a surprise winner on Monday and could be looking to repeat? I just don't think so