I have to say that I could not think of a better song title or song for tonight's match with Arizona. The final was 3-1 for the Scorpions and they fully deserved to win the match, without any question. To make this as simple as possible for any readers who don't like to read, the Sluggers played a match in which they displayed all their short comings and very few of their strengths. Here is a quick recap:
Bd. 1 Ramirez met 1. e4 with Alekhine's defense, Nakamura chose the exchange variation. Black was willing to keep a compact and fairly solid position, Naka seemed to be making small gestures but in the end Ramirez had a liquidation that won black a pawn but left bishops of opposite color.
Bd. 2 Slava played a Grunfeld setup against the english in which Whtie had Qa4+ to h4. This is a kind of tricky bit for Black which Slava didn't handle well. He was dreadfully behind on time and lost a pawn. Altounian didn't let up and scored the full point.
Bd. 3 a Benko broke out between Milat and Adamson, a topical line with 10 Rb1 followed. For some reason Black put h6 and g5 in which afforded White a ready made idea. Marcel did his best to create an accident on the g or h files, but was unable and with both sides low on time a draw was agreed.
Bd. 4 Sinanan played the Nimzo, Mateer replied with 4. Qc2 00 5. e4. This has become a popular line, which I don't know the theory of. Josh created a really good chance based on play down the h1-a8 diagonal, but missed what I think was an excellent chance at move 20 where I thought 20...e3 was quite strong. Slowly White crawled out of trouble, offered a draw which was refused in order to play on and then Josh's boat just went over.
In a way this was a perfect storm. With Black the Sluggers were not prepared at all and got caught out for it, both blacks were way behind on time in the early opening phases. Combined with Naka's worst performance of the season, with all due credit to Ramirez, and Seattle just didn't have any umph. This is very much like matches that they played last season where they were underdogs and just seemed to accept that status. Let's hope that isn't really the case.
Next up is Chicago, a team with surprising aspirations to get into the playoffs. We know they will be coming to play, so lets hope the Sluggers do as well.
ttyl and have a nice day