HIYA, HIYA, HIYA, HIYA…!!! It is a great day to be writing. Sky is gray, rain is falling from right to left (October in Seattle is very windy) and the only thing less interesting than the local news is, well news from any where else! It is a great day! Before we get to all the razzmatazz from this past week, I want to share a thought with the other bloggers in the USCL. I have to pay tribute to my “spiritual superior”. Like Darth Vader kneeling before the Emperor, I bow my head in tribute to the force that has guided my hand in blogging. Of course, I recommend all of this person’s worCheck this guy out, I am pretty certain you can all pick up plenty of tips on interesting communication from him! Ok, on to the party…!!!!
Sluggers match with the Sharks. I had convinced myself to pick the Sluggers to win based on some pretty reasonable thinking. Therein was the problem, anyone who knows me will tell you that I am neither reasonable or a thinker. Behind the scenes I was kicking myself for not looking at the facts. Seattle had found their way to the top of the western division, had Nakamura coming back and were facing a Miami team that appeared to be in the middle of the blues, you know the depression of staying up to 4 a.m. to see your favorite terrible sci-fi movie only to find out they cut out the one scene you loved and now you had to be up at 6:30 to go to work? Yeah, that feeling. All of these things were really negatives for the Sluggers; never a team to accept success well, this was the equivalent of winning a brand new Porsche as the price of gas hits $5 a gallon. Still, I had to watch… it is my duty. Sinanan on board 4 had a pretty standard game, got to a Benoni type position with b5-b4 in, then did a slight shuffle of pieces to the left (does anyone remember “The Time Warp”?) and finished with a bit of nice technique. Well done. Milat made his season debut on board 3 and surprised me by playing the Zot /Trompovski (quick note to Marcel… “Dude, tough to get to the Belgrade after that sequence”). This one deteriorated quickly into a contest of who could mis-interpret Reinfeld more effectively. To be fair, Marcel found everything in the house to try to win and it wasn’t quite enough. On board 2 Slava took a choice in the opening to give up the exchange for a pawn and cut Martinez’ attacking chances down. It appears that White then went looking for a rabbit, while Slava just “slowly rolled along”. In a game where either side certainly had places to press for more, a draw was found via a rook opposition. Matchups of GM’s in the USCL has become pretty common and we know that those GM’s just don’t like being outdone at anything. So, as if the efforts on boards 2 and 3 weren’t enough Becerra and Nakamura got together to give us plenty more excitement. I had predicted that Nakamura would open with 1.g3, this had been his usual previously in USCL matches, and was quite intrigued when he opted for the Veresov. It turned out to be an inspired choice as White was presented with a huge space advantage and plenty of time in the opening. I would bet that Nakamura changed his mind at a couple of points, seeking the “perfect” route instead of just a pawn or some such ( I hope he writes the game up in his blog). Slowly Becerra worked his way out of the dungeon and emerged with equality. So, tied match right? WRONG!! I don’t know if he just misjudged, misanalyzed or simply overplayed but Becerra went directly into a losing ending by offering a queen exchange. Nakamura found a very direct line to victory from there. So, another use of reflections to collect a 2 ½ - 1 ½ victory. Let’s be clear, except for board 4 all the games swung around at least once and had the potential for any result, plus every player seemed to have some sort of issue with the clock. This was a close match between division rivals. Next up for the Sluggers is a rematch with the Tennessee boys who will likely by sporting their 2 GM’s again.
On a more self serving angle; note to IM Mark Ginsburg ( please, please, please Eddie, can I call him Dr. Demento?) when you are considering the opening to focus on this week keep in mind that this week there were 2 Zots, 1 Veresov, 1 aborted Stonewall and of course the Young – Bick encounter. Work with the league here to get across to the readers how Sunye Neto – Quinteros Lone Pine 77 had morphed into Young – Bick USCL 2009. Changing topics here, I appreciate the Arizona folks for all their efforts in blogging and want the rest of the league to show their approval as well. However, I think there should be a rule limiting players to less than 3 “nicknames”. Please, Dr. Dem… er, I mean IM Ginsburg sir, I am your age and enjoy quite a bit about your writing, but giving each player on the squad 3 or more nicknames is a bit much. If J. Edgar Hoover were alive the Tucson area would be drowning in FBI agents trying to figure out what secrets you are passing to the KGB via these nicknames! Thank you.
Donuts! That should be the battle cry for at least a couple of the USCL teams. Anyone who knows/remembers “The Tick” can relate this to “spoon”. I am however suspicious, thinking back on GM Benjamin’s comments about “energy drinks” and donuts, then seeing this. Coincidence?
Special big thanks go out this week to John Bick and Angelo Young, spirits of chess from a different dimension, to all the players out there pushing digital wood, to all the “four – to – niners” where ever they may be, absolutely to my friend Mulfish, The Arizona team for being good sports and of course to the Commish. Ttyl and have a nice day!